Family Recipe: Frito Surprise!

It’s not a surprise. And I can’t believe I’ve never posted this recipe before. My grandma invented it one summer, driving across the country in a Winnebago full of kids, my grandfather cruising the highways and byways of America.

It’s similar to Frito Pie, but it’s a little beefier. Ya know, when you have seven growing kids, you gotta add a bit more.

My friend Kara asked for the recipe yesterday, and I thought I’d share it.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef (you could use ground turkey, but honestly this recipe is not anywhere near healthy)
  • One can of Hormel chili with beans (It has to have beans)
  • One bag Fritos
  • 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
  • one canned sliced black olives, rinsed and drained
  • Two tomatoes diced
  • One avocado, pitted and sliced
  • sour cream
  • salsa

Directions

I like cooking Fritos Surprise in an electric skillet, but you can cook it on the stovetop in a regular skillet.

  1. Crumble and fry the ground meat (drain as needed).
  2. Add the chili and cook until heated through.
  3. Top with Fritos and cheese.
  4. Cook on low until cheese is melted.
  5. Remove from heat.
  6. Add tomatoes, olives, and avocados.
  7. Dish out portions and top with sour cream and salsa as desired.

It serves about 6-9, depending on how much you eat. And it’s really good. In true grandma fashion, serve it with fruit salad and bread and butter.

Little Caesar’s Pizza: Free Pizza This Week!

It’s pizza time! We order pizza every Friday. Usually, I go pick it up, but this week, we might spring for delivery, because if we do, we’ll score a free Extramostbestest pizza (that’s a pizza with TONS of pepperoni or TONS of cheese) when I order online through their app and use coupon code EXTRAPIZZA6. This coupon code is good through 8/22/2021.

Family Recipe: Chicken Fajitas Soup!

This Recipe is easy and tasty.

Ingredients:

  • 1 t. avocado oil
  • 2 bell peppers, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 ribs of celery, diced
  • 2 carrots peeled and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced.
  • 1 lb. cooked chicken, cut into bite size pieces (leftover rotisserie chicken is great for this)
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (about 14.5 ounces)
  • 1 can pinto beans, rinsed and drained (about 14.5 ounces)
  • 1 packet fajitas seasoning
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 c. uncooked rice

Toppings: Crispy Jalepenos, cheddar cheese, avocado

Directions:

  1. In a large stockpot, saute onions in oil until translucent.
  2. Add garlic, stirring often. Cook until fragrant (about 5 minutes).
  3. Add in peppers, celery, carrots, and can of tomatoes. Cook over medium until celery is tender (about 10 minutes).
  4. Add remaining ingredients and cook over low, stirring occasionally for 30-45 minutes, or until rice is cooked.

This recipes serves 8-10. It freezes well.

Substitutions/tips:

  • This can be made with beef instead using cooked chopped beef and beef stock in place of chicken.
  • Or make it vegetarian omitting meat and substituting veggie stock.
  • If you have an abundance of fresh tomatoes, substitute 5 tomatoes (peeled and chopped) in place of the can of tomatoes.

Copycat Recipe: Souplantation Cheesy Garlic Foccacia Bread

It’s so good, it practically evaporates.

When my big kid found out that Souplantation (or Sweet Tomatoes, depending on where you live up) had closed permanently due to the pandemic, he cried.

When you have food texture aversions, you rely a lot on your favorite standby foods and restaurants. I was on a mission to try and recreate one of his Souplantation favorites, which was the Cheesy Garlic Focaccia Bread.

I started with my pizza dough base (the recipe can be found here). And here’s where it gets crazy (and by crazy I mean this is not super healthy, so don’t eat it daily). The remaining ingredients are:

  • 1/2 cup melted butter (that’s 1 stick)
  • 2T. granulated garlic
  • 1t. of each of the following: dried rosemary, dried tarragon, dried oregano, dried basil
  • 2cups+ Italian cheese

Directions:

  1. Make dough as directed here. I only let it rise once for this recipe.
  2. While dough rises, combine melted butter, garlic, and herbs. Set aside.
  3. Once the dough is down rising, turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and knead for about 5 minutes, until smooth and elastic.
  4. Separate dough into two pieces and roll out to fit onto your pizza pan (I use a cookie sheet that is covered in tin foil and sprayed with spray release).
  5. Spread half of the herbed butter onto the dough, top with cheese. Repeat for the other half of the dough.
  6. If there is any butter left, drizzle it over the bread.
  7. Bake at 450 degrees for 11-14 minutes.
  8. Remove from the baking sheet and slice into long skinny pieces to mimic the Souplantation feel.
The garlicky, herby, buttery goodness….
Cheese and more buttery goodness. Into the oven it does!

New Recipe: Loaded Roasted Cauliflower

I’ve seen this kind of recipe before and I had never made it because it’s really hard to pick decent fresh cauliflower, and honestly, frozen cauliflower is always kinda… soggy (?) when you defrost it and cook it.

We’ve been getting a lot of cauliflower in our  Yasukochi Family Farms CSA box over the past 5 weeks, so I figured it was time to give it a shot.

This recipe is easy. And tasty. It does not duplicate potato skins. I don’t care what any low carb/potato hating website tells you.

Loaded Roasted Cauliflower

Ingredients:

  • 2 heads of cauliflower, leaves and stem removed, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 2 T. Olive oil or your favorite cooking oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup shredded cheese
  • 1/2 cup bacon crumbles (use real bacon, not baco’s)
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • Sour Cream (optional, but tasty)
Served with a green salad, rotisserie chicken, and half an avocado. YUM.

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Place cookie sheets lined with foil into oven to heat up with the oven.
  2. While oven/pan is heating, toss cauliflower in oil, salt & pepper.
  3. Once oven is heated to 450, remove pan, spread cauliflower out in a single, well spaced layer.
  4. Bake for 8 minutes, then turn veggies to roast evenly.
  5. Return to oven and bake for another 8 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven. Top with cheese and bacon. Broil for 2-4 minutes, until cheese is melty and bacon is hot.
  7. After removing from broiler, top with green onions and eat up ASAP.
  8. Serve with sour cream, or salsa. Or both.

This serves 2-4 people as a side dish, or be greedy and eat the whole recipe as a main dish. I won’t tell anyone. I make this at least once a week.

This recipe is gluten free. You can make it vegetarian by omitting the bacon.

Family Recipe: Cheesy Potatoes!

Potatoes are delicious and versatile. One of our favorite family recipes is these nomtastic cheesy potatoes!

Cheesy Potatoes 

Ingredients:

  • 6 – 8 large potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-size pieces (preferably russets)
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 2 Tablespoons AP flour
  • 1.5 cups whole milk
  • 4 cups cheese (I like medium cheddar, but you could use colby, or a sharper cheddar)
  • 1/2 cup bacon bits (I use Kirkland brand from Costco)
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese
  • One sleeve of Ritz crackers, crushed

Directions:

  1. Parboil potatoes, 6 to 8 minutes, drain.
  2. While potatoes are cooking, in a pot, melt the butter. Sprinkle melted butter with AP flour and stir until a paste forms over a low heat. The paste should brown slightly- DON’T BURN IT!
  3. Pour milk into the flour/butter paste and whisk briskly. You do not want lumps. Cook over low heat until the mixture thickens. This may take a few minutes. As the mixture thickens and there are no lumps, add the cheese slowly, about 1/2 cup at a time, until it is incorporated/melted into the sauce. Once the sauce with complete, remove from the heat.
  4. Mix drained potatoes with sauce, add bacon pieces
  5. Pour into a greased baking dish (I use 11 x 9 baking dish)
  6. Top with half a cup of cheese, and crushed Ritz crackers.
  7. Bake 30 to 45 minutes at 350°.

Serve with steamed veggies, or a green salad. I also like this with crusty French bread. This makes a great side dish, or contribution to a potluck.

You can omit the bacon if you are vegetarian.

You can swap out the bacon for 1 cup cooked, chopped ham or chicken if you want to make this a hardy main dish.

 

Recipe: Easy Broccoli Cheese Soup

For those of you who follow me on Instagram, you may remember that I posted pics of my soup extravaganza on Saturday.
I made two batches of soup: one of potato cheese soup (recipe here), and today’s recipe: broccoli cheese soup!

I’ve been told it tastes like Panera’s, but I’ve never had their broccoli cheese soup. I’ll take it as a compliment.

I added a little cooked, puréed cauliflower to the white sauce to give it a little more body. Also, it’s great for adding a little extra veggies to the soup!

Easy Broccoli Cheese Soup

Ingredients

  • 8 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup celery
  • 1 cup carrots
  • 2 cups onions
  • 1 T. Garlic, minced
  • 4 T. Butter, divided
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 Tablespoons AP flour
  • 1.5 cups whole milk
  • 4 cups cheese (I like medium cheddar, but you could use colby, or a sharper cheddar)
  • 2 cups cauliflower, steamed and pureed (I used my immersion blender)
  • 2t. dry mustard
  • Dash Cayenne pepper
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. In a large stockpot, melt 2 Tablespoons of butter and saute onions until clear and slightly browned.
  2. Add carrots and celery, cook for another 5-10 minutes, until veggies are soft.
  3. Add all of the chicken broth/stock, broccoli, and bay leaves. Cover pot and cook on low for 10-20 minutes.
  4. In a smaller pot, melt the remaining 2 T. of butter. Sprinkle melted butter with AP flour and stir until paste forms over low heat. The paste should brown slightly- DON’T BURN IT!
  5. Pour milk into the flour/butter paste and whisk briskly. You do not want lumps. Cook over low heat until the mixture thickens. This may take a few minutes. As the mixture thickens and there are no lumps, add the cheese slowly, about 1/2 cup at a time, until it is incorporated/melted into the sauce. Once the sauce with complete, remove from heat.
  6. Mix in cooked/pureed cauliflower to the cheese sauce.
  7. Add the cheese sauce to the soup mixture slowly, stirring constantly. Once it is fully mixed, remove the bay leaves, season dry mustard, cayenne, salt, and pepper.
  8. Simmer soup for another 5-10 minutes, allowing spices and flavors to meld.
  9. Serve Soup hot with crusty French bread. Resist the urge not to eat it all in one sitting.

This recipe makes about 10-12 servings of soup. It can be frozen. And it makes a great gift!

Family Recipe: Potato Cheese Soup

When I was a kid there was a local restaurant called Piret’s. They served delicious, fresh French food that was unpretentious. One of my favorite dishes to order was their Potato Cheese Soup. They published a cookbook, which my mom bought, and while she cooked a lot of things from the cookbook, the one that was most often made was their Potato Cheese Soup. In fact, to this day when you place the book on the counter, it opens to that recipe.

Today I present my take on Potato Cheese Soup. It’s easy to make, it’s filling, and it tastes sooooo good. Like most soups, it’s better the next day. It freezes well.

You can make it vegetarian by using veggie broth/stock. I do not recommend making it with non-dairy cheese (sorry vegans). You can make it Gluten Free by using GF 1-for-1 flour.

Potato Cheese Soup

Ingredients:

  • 8-10 cups chicken broth or stock (I recommend using stock-homemade is best, but I’m being extra)
  • 2 large yellow or sweet onions, peeled and diced
  • 4 Tablespoons butter, divided in half
  • 1/4 cup white wine (dry- don’t use sweet or cooking wine)
  • 4 large potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 Tablespoons AP flour
  • 1.5 cups whole milk
  • 4 cups cheese (I like medium cheddar, but you could use colby, or a sharper cheddar)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. In a large stockpot, melt 2 Tablespoons of butter and saute onions until clear and slightly browned.
  2. Add potatoes and cook for 5-10 minutes until potatoes are slightly translucent.
  3. Deglaze the pan with white wine, make sure to scrape off all the yummy brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
  4. Add all of the chicken broth/stock and bay leaves. Cover pot and cook on low for 20-30 minutes, until potatoes are cooked through.
  5. In a smaller pot, melt remaining 2 T. of butter. Sprinkle melted butter with AP flour and stir until a paste forms over a low heat. The paste should brown slightly- DON’T BURN IT!
  6. Pour milk into the flour/butter paste and whisk briskly. You do not want lumps. Cook over low heat until the mixture thickens. This may take a few minutes. As the mixture thickens and there are no lumps, add the cheese slowly, about 1/2 cup at a time, until it is incorporated/melted into the sauce. Once the sauce with complete, remove from heat.
  7. Add the cheese sauce to the soup mixture slowly, stirring constantly. Once it is fully mixed, remove the bay leaves, season with salt and pepper to taste.
  8. This step is optional but recommended. Remove from heat. Using an immersion blender (like this one) puree the soup. Put back on the heat, and allow to simmer without the lid for another 20-30 minutes. This will give the soup some time to thicken up.
  9. Serve Soup hot with crusty French bread. Resist the urge not to eat it all in one sitting.

Makes 6-8 Servings

Baking for the Holidays with Truly Grass Fed (Tryazon Party Opportunity)

Truly Grass Fed is back for the holidays with a new Tryazon Featured Party opportunity, featuring their distinctively creamy and uniquely delicious cheese and butter. No matter what kind of holiday baking you plan to do, Truly Grass Fed is the perfect addition. Because Truly Grass Fed doesn’t just pair with food, it #PairsWithYou.

They have 300 hosting spots open for this opportunity! Those chosen will receive a party pack with a variety of Truly Grass Fed products to showcase and sample with friends and family at an in-person or virtual party! Truly Grass Fed will be holding a competition for the best Holiday Baker too!  Learn more and apply here: https://www.tryazon.com/baking-for-the-holidays-with-truly-grass-fed-party/
If you haven’t heard of Tryazon, it’s a Word of Mouth Marketing company that partners with brands and individuals. I’ve hosted a few events with Tryazon before- it’s always a fun time!
I applied, and fingers crossed that I get this one! My family and friends love to cook and it would be a fun way to spend some time (even if we are socially distanced). Plus- Who doesn’t love cheese?

Recipe: Refreshing Cranberry Kale Salad

kalecutI know, KALE. It’s weird and has that super crunchy stem. It’s really good for you, but it gets a bad rap.

This salad recipe is dead simple and is so good that you will fight over the leftovers (if there are any).

I like making this in the morning and letting it sit in the fridge all day. That gives the ACV in the dressing time to mellow out and all the flavors to mingle.

I like starting with a bag of triple-washed chopped kale, since it’s usually the same price as whole kale, and it saves me time, but you do what works best for your family and budget.

Ingredients:

  • 1 package triple-washed chopped kale, or 6 cups of kale, washed and chopped into bite sized pieces.
  • 1/4 cup Apple Cide Vinegar, with the mother (I like Bragg’s)
  • 1/4 cup of your favorite oil, we prefer avocado oil (like this one)
  • 1 t. honey or agave
  • dash kosher salt
  • a few grinds of black pepper
  • 1 T. fresh, chopped rosemary, or 2 t. dried rosemary (whichever you have)
  • 1/2 c. crumbled herbed feta or goat cheese (your choice)
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped almonds (you could substitute sliced almonds or almond slivers if you prefer)

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, mix oil, vinegar, honey, rosemary, salt and pepper. set aside.
  2. In a large salad/mixing bowl, add kale, cheese, almonds, and cranberries. Dizzle over oil/vinegar dressing and toss gently.
  3. Store in Fridge 4-6 hours minimum before serving.
  4. This is great as a side dish, or top with a grilled chicken breast or steak for a great main dish.
kalechips
Yum!  Kale!

Serves 6-8 as a side or 3-4 as a main dish.

If you are vegan, substitute honey for agave and use vegan cheese crumbles of your choice.