Veggie Quesadillas – ★★★★★

ImageLast summer when my mom came to visit she bought us a Quesadilla maker at target. Those things are godly. You can make so many different types of quesadillas for any meal. My son particularly likes the PBJ quesadillas with melted peanut butter. Anyways back to veggie… The vegetable mix was really tasty and my husband was actually eating spoonfuls of it while i was heating up the Quesadilla maker! (Don’t fret you can also do it stovetop if you don’t own a quesadilla maker.. eventhough I think you’ll really enjoy the different quesadillas you can create with a maker. I will post a link to the one we own at the bottom of this recipe) I also want to add that the best place to buy your veggies is at a local farmers market when possible. Prices are usually cheaper and you’ll find the veggies last longer and taste fresher. Plus you give back to your local farmers which is always good too. Perry gave it 5 stars and this is why: 

“I would have never thought to mix taco seasoning with raw vegetables. It is delicious and could even make it myself for a late night snack. Kelsey was in a rush to her history class the night she made these but she was stil able to sit down with me and our son to enjoy a meal. It’s great for those nights when you have to run.”

Serves: 3    Calories: 209 per quesadilla 

Ingredients:

-1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper

– 1/2 cup chopped zucchini

– 1/2 cup chopped yellow squash

– 1/2 cup chopped red onion

– 1 tbsp. olive oil

– 1 packet of taco seasoning

– Cooking spray

– 6-9in whole wheat tortillas

– 1 1/4 cups of reduced fat cheddar cheese

Directions:

1.) In a large bowl mix together red pepper, zucchini, yellow squash, onion, olive oil, and taco seasoning. Let sit for 5 minutes as juices from the vegetables will collect at the bottom. Mix once more to coat with additional juices

2.) Heat up quesadilla maker or medium pan on your stove over medium high. Coat with cooking spray. 

3.) Put one tortilla on hot quesadilla maker or pan and layer 1/4 cup of cheese then 3/4 cup of vegetable mixture finishing your layers with a second tortilla on top. 

4.) If using quesadilla maker: close the lid and it cook checking on it every few minutes. quesadilla should be done between 3-5 minutes. 

5.) If using a hot pan: cook until golden on both sides for 2-3 minutes per side. Remove and cut into fourths.

6.) Enjoy with sour cream, salsa or whatever you like to dip your quesadillas in!

*Photo is an original taken by me

** This is a link to the quesadilla maker we have. I am not endorsed by target in any way.. Although I wish I was haha!! http://www.target.com/p/el-paso-quesadilla-maker/-/A-10391696#prodSlot=medium_1_1&term=quesadilla+maker 

Pad Thai – Fakeout Takeout ★★★★✩

ImageJust about every time we go out for Thai food I get Pad Thai. Something about those pea-nutty noodles get me every time. I was extremely excited to try this recipe at home. I did not think it re-heated in the microwave very well the next day so if you do leftovers with this one try to reheat it stovetop if you can. You’ll notice I do not use tofu in this recipe which is usually in a Pad Thai so please feel free to check out the original recipe at myrecipes.com and add any of your favorites that aren’t listed. You can’t go wrong if you throw in things you like! Perry gave this recipe 4 stars and this is why:

 “Pad Thai is not my favorite dish to begin with. Kelsey loves it though so I eat it from time to time. Comparing this recipe to the restaurant it’s a pretty close match. Really the only thing Kels left out was tofu so it tasted like it came from our favorite Thai restaurant. I like that Kels crushed up extra peanuts and set it on the table to sprinkle in addition to what was already on my plate. The more peanuts the better. Green onion too. You can never have too many green onions.” 

Serves: 6   Calories: 372 per serving

Ingredients:

– 1/2 pound of dry rice noodles, 1/4 inch wide

– 3 tbsp canola oil 

– 3 large garlic cloves, minced

– 2 large eggs, lightly beaten

– 1/4 cup fish sauce 

– 1/4 cup of rice vinegar

– 2 tbsp. brown sugar

– 2 tsp. paprika

– 6 scallions, cut into 2 inch pieces

– 2 cups of bean sprouts (you can get these canned in the asian foods aisle)

– 1 small red bell pepper, seeded and sliced

– 1/4 cup of peanuts, chopped

– 1 lime, cut into wedges for serving

Directions: 

1.) Cover the noodles with warm water and soak for 30 to 45 minutes or until softened but not mushy. Drain and discard the water.

2.) In a wok or large pot heat the oil over medium-high.

3.) Add the garlic and stir-fry 15 seconds.

4.) Add the eggs and scramble.

5.) Fold in the softened noodles, fish sauce, vinegar, 1/4 cup water, brown sugar, and paprika and toss for about 2 minutes or until well combined.

6.) Add the scallions and bean sprouts and heat through. Pile onto a large platter and garnish with the red pepper, peanuts, and wedges of lime.

7.) Enjoy!

*Photo is an original taken by me
** Original recipe found at http://www.myrecipes.com

 

Slow Cooker Italian Sausage and Peppers – ★★★★★

ImageI love my slow cooker especially being in school all morning and afternoon. I set it in the morning and come home to an apartment that smells amazing and get to give the family a good hearty meal. I found this recipe in a place I never EVER look… on the McCormick spice. I never trust an endorsed recipe to be that good but I went out on a whim and learned I should stop being such a recipe snob. This was a treat and I cannot wait to make it again. The sausage practically melted in my mouth and the sauce was not overly herbed taking away from the sausage and peppers. Perry gave it a whole ★★★★★ and this is why:

“Kels has been into making Asian dinners a lot lately so I was happy when she said she was making sausage and peppers. I envisioned a sub sandwich with links of sausage topped with peppers but should have known Kelsey would give me something completely different. I would describe this recipe as a meat sauce you could eat by the spoonful.. or at least that is what I did.”

Serves: 10     Calories: 310 per serving 

Ingredients:

– 2 lbs. sweet italian sausage (if you get links cut into 1in. pieces if you get ground sausage crumble into 1in. chunks.)

– 1 medium yellow onion, sliced 1in. thick

– 2-14.5oz cans of stewed tomatoes

– 2-6oz cans of tomato paste

– 1 package of McCormick’s slow cooker italian herb chicken seasoning

– 1 red bell pepper cut into 1/2 inch strips

– 1 green bell pepper cut into 1/2 inch strips

– Pasta or whatever you want to put the sausage and peppers on top of. We used gemili pasta.

Directions:

1.) Place all ingredients except pasta in your slow cooker. Toss to coat well and cover with lid.

2.) Cook for 8 hours on LOW or 4 hours on HIGH

3.) Prepare whatever you want to serve with the sausage and peppers like pasta or a soft roll.

4.) Enjoy!

*Photo is an original taken by me

**Original recipe can be found at http://www.mccormick.com

Wonton Soup – Fake Out Takeout ★★★★✩

ImageIf you have not noticed I’ve developed a love affair with wonton wrappers. They are just so versatile and my husband seems really impressed every time I make dinner using them. This soup was delicious and certainly compares to our local Chinese Takeout spot. It might even be a little better because we used a spicy sesame oil giving the broth a nice little kick. Also keep in mind when buying the ingredients that you can get two batches out of the pork and wonton wrappers. We made this twice in a week cutting down on the grocery bill and leaving us with lots of delicious left overs. Original recipe was adopted from Martha Stewart. I did change the recipe a bit so if you are interested in seeing the original you can find it at http://www.marthastewart.com  Perry gave this soup ★★★★✩ and this is why:

“I am used to Wonton Soup being a side dish for my 2 entree combo so I was not sure how it would be as a stand-alone meal. As usual I was surprised how well it stood on it’s own but I do think the whole meal would be better with a little stir-fry  or rice on the side. That is the only reason I am holding the 5th star (forgive him he has a healthy appetite haha -K). The broth was delicious and I really liked how the wonton filling had a little crunch. I would compare the wonton filling to foil wrapped chicken which is my favorite and an absolute plus for this soup. I would encourage Kelsey to make this again.”


Serves: 4    Calories: 283 per 6 wontons in 1.5 cups of broth

Ingredients for Filling:

-1/2 cup of finely chopped Napa or Savory Cabbage

-1/2 tsp. salt

-1 lb. ground pork

-3 Scallions, finely chopped

-2 tbsp. fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped (if you want more crunch don’t chop too fine but keep in mind your wontons will taste more gingery)

-1 tbsp. soy sauce (reduced sodium if you can)

-1 tsp. toasted sesame oil (we used a spicy sesame oil. Also this will be a little pricey but keep in mind you can make many tasty dishes on this site with sesame oil so consider it an investment)

Ingredients for Soup:

-24 square wonton wrappers (usually found in the gourmet or refrigerated organic and vegetarian sections of your grocery store next to the tofu.)

-2-14.5oz. cans of reduced sodium chicken broth.

-1 tsp of salt

-3 scallions, thinly sliced

– 3 tsp rice vinegar (like the sesame oil this is an investment to your kitchen if you like the recipes on this site)

-1/2 tsp. sesame oil

Directions:

1.) In a mixing bowl toss the cabbage with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Let stand 10 minutes.

2.)Wrap cabbage in a double layer of paper towels; firmly squeeze out excess liquid.

3.)Return cabbage to bowl and add pork, scallions, ginger, soy sauce, and sesame oil.

4.)Mix together with a fork and refrigerate until ready to make wontons.

5.) In a large pot, combine broth, 4 cups water, and 1 teaspoon salt; bring to a boil.

6.)Work with one wonton wrapper at a time. It is also smart to have a small glass of water by your side because you need to fold the wontons with moist fingers.

7.)Spoon 1 tsp. of filling into the middle of the wrapper. Wet the 4 edges of the wrapper with moist fingers. Fold the wrapper in half to make a triangle making sure all the ends meet and edges are aligned. Press the edges firmly to seal. Moisten one point on the longer edge of the triangle press it onto the opposite dry end of the longer edge. Repeat for the rest of your wontons.

8.) When broth is boiled add wontons one at a time.

9.) Return to a boil and then reduce heat to medium.

10.) Simmer until wontons are just cooked through, 4 to 6 minutes. Stir in scallions, vinegar, and sesame oil. (trust me on the cook time… if you overcook it the wrappers will be slimy and gross… Lesson learned haha)

11.) Season with salt or a garlic chili sauce if you like and enjoy!

**Photo is an original taken by me

***Original recipe can be found at http://www.marthastewart.com

Grilled Banana Boat S’mores – ★★★★★

419872_10200545455336975_2069040891_nI have seen tons of photos like this one all over pinterest and have read lots of different variations of the recipe. I decided to keep it simple because honestly how could one mess up a s’more dessert. I know some people will call this a poser recipe because there are no graham crackers… I say good for you if you want to try it with graham but these things are full enough without them. However, I do encourage you to try different recipes of your own too. That is part of the fun being in the kitchen! Perry loved them and I even conned my 2 year old into eating banana with this recipe 🙂

” Kelsey doesn’t make desert that often so I am happy she found something other than a gallon of ice cream to satisfy our occasional sweet tooth. These are a healthier alternative to traditional s’mores and I could eat one every night. I give them ★★★★★”

Calories: 122/banana boat

Ingredients: 

-1 Large Banana (7-8 in.)

– 6 Mini-Marshmallows

– 1 tbsp. Semisweet chocolate chips

– Tin foil

Directions:

1.) Slice banana down the middle. Try not to cut all the way through. You only want a slice so you can stuff it.

2.) Stuff with marshmallows and chocolate chips

3.) Wrap in tin foil

4.) Grill for 6-10 minutes on med-high heat. (No need to flip these bad boys just throw them on the grill and let em’ cook)

5.) These will be pretty hot when you take them off the grill.. As tempting as it is to just dive in PLEASE let it sit for a minute so you don’t singe off your tastebuds… You’ll be thankful you waited 🙂

*Photo is original taken by me