One Pot Pasta

I saw this recipe on Pinterest and was very intrigued! A ONE POT pasta dish – with ALL ingredients cooked AT THE SAME TIME and IN THE SAME POT?!?! I just HAD to try it out!

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Let me just say: EASIEST AND FASTEST recipe I think I’ve ever made. And tasted great too!

WHAT YOU NEED:
-12 0z linguine
-1 Onion, thinly sliced
-1 Cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
-2 Tablespoons olive oil
-4 Garlic cloves, thinly sliced
-2 Sprigs of basil
-4 1/2 Cups of water
-Pinch of salt
-Pinch of pepper
-Parmesan cheese to top after cooked

Combine all ingredients except parmesan cheese in one large skillet or pot. Bring to a boil and keep at a boil for 9- 10 minutes, flipping/stirring the pasta every so often. It’s important to keep the pasta at a boil so all the water evaporates!!  At the end of 9-10 minutes the water should be pretty much evaporated. And TADAA! You’re done! Dig in and top with the parmesan cheese!

This is also an easy dish to add any kind of protein too, such as chicken, steak, pork chops…etc!

This is such a simple recipe with the added bonus of easy clean up! I hope you enjoy!! 🙂

Black Bean Tacos

OMG. This meal is absolutely de-freaking-licious! And pretty simple to make as well!

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WHAT YOU NEED:
-Corn tortillas
-1 Can black beans
-1 Teaspoon cumin
-1 Teaspoon paprika
-2 Tablespoons cilantro
-1/2 Cup chopped onion
-Cooking spray or cooking oil
-1 Cup shredded cheese

Start by draining and rinsing the black beans, then cook in the microwave for 2 minutes. Add the chopped onion and spices then mix up and mash the mixture lightly. Heat up a tablespoon or two of oil (or a spray of Pam) in a large skillet. Place 1 corn tortilla in the hot skillet. Place 1-2 Tablespoons of the black bean mixture on 1 side of the tortilla and top the mixture with a sprinkle of cheese. Use a spatula to fold over the empty side of the tortilla to form a taco! Hold that side there with the spatula until the taco is able to  hold its form on its own. after a few minutes, flip the taco so the other side can cook. *Try to flip the taco over on the unopened side to keep all the contents in* Once you have the folded taco, you should be able to start another one in the skillet as well!
You can serve these tacos with salsa, avocado, sour cream…whatever you like! I ate mine with avocado slices and salsa, delish!

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Some thoughts: The first round of tacos, I used cooking oil, like the original recipe called for. But I thought they looked pretty oily/greasy and wanted to try to be a little healthier. The next round I used cooking spray but found that the tacos didn’t get as crispy as the oil ones did. Anyone have any thoughts on how to avoid the oil? I thought about baking them but you’d have to place a pan or something on top of all the tacos for the tortilla to hold its shape and then also flip them…. Any thoughts or suggestions are welcome! 🙂 Hope you enjoy these as much as I did!

Buffalo Chicken Egg Rolls

Buffalo. Chicken. Egg Rolls.  Need I say more?

Mmmmmm….I loveeeee buffalo chicken anything-dip, wings…egg rolls? YES. PUH-LEEZE!!

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WHAT YOU NEED:
-1-2 Cooked chicken breasts, shredded
-1 Chunk of blue cheese, crumbled (Or you can get already crumbled blue cheese)
-1 Bag of broccoli slaw
-1 Package of egg roll wrappers
-Buffalo Sauce to your preference (1/2 to 3/4 cup)
-Cooking spray
-Bowl of water

First cook the chicken breasts. I boiled mine in a pot of water. Let cool, then shred with a fork. Next, mix the chicken with buffalo sauce (I used Frank’s Red Hot Wings Buffalo Sauce). I used about a 1/2 cup. Again, I don’t like spicy, but a little kick I can handle. You can add more if you’d like. Also, keep in mind the chicken will absorb most of the sauce so add a little more than you think you should to get that buffalo-y flavor (Yes, I just made up that word!).

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Using a fork, crumble up the chunk of blue cheese.

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Lay an egg roll wrapper out on a clean, flat surface. Place a spoonful or so of broccoli slaw  on the wrapper near the corner closest to you, but slightly towards the middle; spread it out so it’s not just a pile.  Make sure to keep a little space on each side of the slaw (near each side corner on the right and left). Place a spoonful of buffalo chicken on top of the slaw, spreading it out as well. Now place a spoonful of the blue cheese crumbles on top of the chicken.

Now it’s time to wrap it up. Take the corner that is nearest to you and gently roll it, along with the contents, until the point of the corner is touching the middle of the egg roll wrapper. Then fold in each side corner. Lastly, roll it until it is closed. Dip your finger in the bowl of water and press it on the seem that the last corner made. This helps the egg roll stay together.

Now you may have discovered that your contents are busting at the seems or have even poked through the wrapper. It’s okay! If it’s totally ripped through, just wrap it up in another egg roll wrapper. And for the following egg rolls, just add less contents…I learned by trial and error 😉

Place the completed egg roll on a greased cooling rack that is placed on a cookie sheet. It allows the whole egg roll to cook evenly so you don’t have to flip them half way through.

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Repeat this process for the other egg rolls.

Spray all the egg rolls with cooking spray (helps them brown) and place in the oven. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown. Take out and let cool.

Let your mouth water while waiting for them to cool…..and then, finally, you can dig in!

Yum. Yum! YUM! Oh, SO good. Hope you like them as well! 🙂

*Egg roll wrappers can be found near the produce section at grocery stores.

**After doing the dishes, I realized it would be greatly beneficial to place a sheet of aluminum foil on the cookie sheet, then place the cooling rack on top. Makes clean up a lot easier.

Original recipe.

Taquito Saturday?

Taco Tuesday. Taquito Saturday. Eh, it’ll do. Found a simple recipe for chicken taquitos on Pinterest here ! I loveeeeee Mexican food, so don’t be surprised if most of my food posts are of the mexi-tex nature. 😉

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WHAT YOU NEED:
-4 oz Cream cheese, softened
-2 Tablespoons sour cream
-1 Tablespoon lime juice
-1 Teaspoon chili powder
-1/2 Teaspoon cumin
-1/2 Cup salsa
-2 Cloves garlic, minced
-4 Green onions, chopped
-3 Tablespoons cilantro, chopped
-1 Cup shredded cheese
-2 Cups shredded chicken
-12-14 Flour tortillas (6-8 inch)
-Cooking spray
-Salt

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Combine cream cheese, sour cream, lime juice, salsa, spices, garlic, cilantro, cheese and chicken. Mix well. ~Lesson learned: Make sure the cream cheese is softened all the way or it will be nearly impossible to mix!~ Put about 2 spoonfuls of mixture on tortilla, near one edge. Roll up tightly and place “seam” down on a greased pan. Repeat until mixture is gone. For me, it was easiest to spread the mixture with my fingers and roll them up tightly. It will get a little messy, but totally worth it! After they are all on the pan, spray with some cooking spray and sprinkle with some salt. Place in oven and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until lightly brown. The last minute or so of cooking, I put some cheese on top and let that melt. Let them cool and enjoy!

Veggie Pasta? Don’t Mind If I Do!

So, my pantry and fridge are looking pretty bare and I need to go grocery shopping. That’s on my to do list for tomorrow, which means I was stuck staring at a barely filled fridge and pantry. What did I find in the back? A box of Mueller’s “Hidden Veggie” Pasta. A full serving of veggies in every 4 oz serving of pasta is what the box says! Well, why not when I have nothing else to eat. I put the pasta on the stove to cook and tried to think of some sort of sauce I could put on top, seeing as I had no kind of pasta sauce in the house. WHAT?! you say? Yes! I told you my pantry was bare!

Well, I just decided to go for a lemon-y garlic something. I minced 2 cloves of garlic and added a hefty few squirts of lemon juice. Once the pasta was drained I added that and stirred. I added a little more lemon juice and some Italian bread crumbs and mixed again. Then finished with some pepper on top. Pretty good I would say! It is definitely a very lemon flavor, so If you don’t like that “lemon punch” you get with lemons, you probably won’t like this dish. Nonetheless, here is the recipe I just made up.

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WHAT YOU NEED:
-1 Box of pasta
-2 to 3 Cloves of garlic, minced
-1/4 Cup lemon juice (or adjust to your preference)
-1 to 2 Tablespoons Italian bread crumbs
-A dash of two of pepper

Cook pasta, drain. Combine minced garlic, lemon juice, and bread crumbs. Mix in pasta and top with pepper. 

Side Note: The “veggie pasta” didn’t taste any different than regular pasta. If you see it in your grocery store, give it a try! Can’t hurt to add some hidden veggies into your pasta meal! 😉

Hope you enjoy!

Dinner & Dessert!

I was in the mood to cook & bake today…and well…that is what I did.  I will have to put in some extra time at the gym tomorrow…

So both recipes I made I found on Pinterest and wanted to try them out.

For dinner I made “Key West Chicken” and adapted the recipe from here

WHAT YOU NEED:
-3 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
-2 Tablespoons Honey
-1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
-Juice of 1 Lime (2 Tablespoons)
-2 Cloves of Garlic, minced
-2-3 Chicken Breasts

So I used frozen chicken breasts. I let them thaw out and then cut them up into bite sized chunks.  For the marinade, combine all of the other ingredients and mix them up in a casserole dish or large flat dish. Place the chicken chunks in the marinade and coat all sides, then leave to sit in fridge for 30 minutes, turning once within that time. The longer they sit, the more flavor they will get, so leave them in for an hour if you want! After the chicken has marinaded, you can pop it in the oven, on the grill, or in a skillet (what I chose). I cooked them for about 7-10 minutes, turning them occasionally.
I paired the chicken with a baked potato and some sauteed onions. Mmmmmm!

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For dessert, I decided to make “Brown Sugar Blondies,” which let me say, looked Oh so good just through the screen of the computer! I got the recipe from here  which actually had them as Valentine blondies.

WHAT YOU NEED:
-1 Cup All Purpose Flour
-1 Cup Packed Brown Sugar
-1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
-1/8 Teaspoon Baking Soda
-1/2 Teaspoon Salt
-1/3 Cup Butter
-1 Egg
-1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
-1 to 1 1/3 Cups M&Ms

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Melt butter. Combine butter and brown sugar and mix well. Add egg and vanilla, mix. Add flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add half of the M&Ms and mix. Spread batter in a 9×9 baking pan and sprinkle the rest of the M&Ms on top. Place in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes.

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Man oh man were these good! I hope you enjoy them as much as I did! 🙂

Busy day = quick meal!

Man! What a day. I think I was home for maybe 20 minutes today between 8am-6pm. Needless to say, the day wore me out and I didn’t want to slave over a home cooked meal. So, what’s the solution you ask? Something in the crockpot of course!! And lucky for me, this meal could be cooked in the crockpot on high for 2 hours instead of the usual 4! (Double win!)

Now, you guys are in for a real treat. This is my Grandma’s recipe (in other words: it’s going to be delicious!). It is called vichyssoise, or better known as potato leek soup. It can be served hot (my preference) or chilled. Also, this meal can be cooked in the crockpot or on traditional stovetop.

WHAT YOU NEED:
-2 large sweet onions
-2-3 potatoes (yukon or baking will do)
-1 large leek (or 2 small leeks)
-1 to 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
-1/2 cup milk
-2 Tablespoons butter
-hand blender
-1 dollop of sour cream for garnish (optional)

 

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So first you need to slice and clean your leek(s). Cut about 1/2 inch from the root and then cut about 1/2 inch from where the “leaves” start to form.  Next, cut the leek lengthwise, so you are left with 2 pieces. Wash each side thoroughly under running water, making sure to get in between the layers to get out any dirt or sand. After they are washed, slice it up and throw it in the crockpot with the butter. Next, chop up your onions and potatoes and add them to the crockpot. Then add the chicken broth. Put the cover on and turn the heat to high for 2-4 hours, stirring occasionally if you are able.  Once the contents are soft, turn the crockpot off. Add the milk and insert the hand blender and start blending! After the soup becomes smooth you are ready to serve with a dollop of sour cream!

Side note: If you make this stovetop, melt the butter in a pot, then add the leeks and onion. Cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then add potatoes and chicken broth and let simmer for 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then add milk and blend with hand blender.

 

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I hope you enjoy this recipe! It is one of my favorites that my Grandma makes, and I hope to continue her good cooking skills! 😉

 

As I Promised…

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This is the rice cup I was talking about. The package contains 2 cups of rice. It only needs one minute in the microwave, great for saving time over a stove or to take to work! There are different varieties such as white, brown, jasmine, yellow, and medley.

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This is the completed dish! Doesn’t it look scrumptious?! Here I used tilapia and seasoned it with Mrs.  Dash – Lemon pepper.

If you have any questions or suggestions feel free to comment 🙂

First Post! (YAY!) Along with a recipe!

Hello there!

So if you haven’t already read, I created this blog to capture the crazy adventures I have when it comes to cooking, baking, doing crafts…etc. That is where my blog name comes from as well! “Find Time To Smile” is meant to encourage me (and you!) to smile through any crazy adventures taken, no matter what the setting or how it turns out!

So now on to the recipe.
I was inspired by a friend who posted a picture on Instagram of a delicious looking meal (and healthy might I add!). It was basically a black bean “salad” with a protein (chicken or fish is best). So make your chicken or fish however you’d like. I chose Tilapia because that’s what I had in my freezer. I let it defrost in the fridge and then seasoned it with a little salt, pepper and lemon juice, then off to the toaster oven it went. In the mean time I drained a can of black beans and a can of corn (yellow). I also chopped up a tomato and a slice of onion. I heated up the beans and corn then added the onion/tomato into it along with a few sprinkles of chili powder. Disclaimer: I do NOT like spicy food. I can take a little heat, but not too much; so you may add a few more sprinkles if you’d like. 😉  Now, you can go almost carb free with this or just add some rice like I did for a base. I had a brown rice and quinoa medley “ready to go” rice cup handy so i heated that up as well. Once the rice was cooked, I poured it on the plate topped it with the bean/corn/tomato/onion mixture and then put the fish on the plate. Can I just say, IT WAS DELICIOUS and I can’t wait to have leftovers tonight!

What You Need:
-A protein (fish, chicken, tofu?)
-1 can black beans
-1 can yellow corn
-1 tomato
-1 SLICE of onion
-Rice (Optional)
-A few dashes of chili powder
-Lemon or Lime juice

Cook your protein to your preference. Drain beans and corn. Chop up tomato and slice of onion. Mix beans and corn together, heat (2 minutes). Add chopped tomato and onion and a few sprinkles of chili powder (or to taste preference). Cook rice (if desired). Layer rice, then bean mixture on plate and add protein on top. Sprinkle with some lime or lemon juice and add a little more chili powder and dig in!!

I think I was so excited to try the dish that I forgot to take a picture! When I have my leftovers I will take a picture and post it!

Hope you enjoy!