Friday, January 17, 2014

A Small Hiccup

Hi all,

I know I said that I was back. Raring to go. Lots of new recipes hanging out in the wings, ready for their pictures to be taken and shared with you. And then my computer crashed. Hard. Like can not resuscitate. Unfortunately a new computer isn't in my budget right now, so, it looks like I'll be taking some forced time off from the blogging thing. I'm hoping only for a couple of months. Enough time for me to save my pennies together and get a computer. Because no computer=no photo editing, interneting, just computing all together. So, please, hang in there with me while I get my ducks all in a row. Hopefully this will give me some time to work on my photography skills and try more new recipes! Plus I have some exciting changes that I want to happen to the blog, so I might be able to squeeze some of that in there. We shall see! Thank you all for your understanding and patience.

~Elizabeth

Saturday, December 28, 2013

2013 Year End Wrap Up

Hope you all had a wonderful holiday season! Sorry I've been MIA for the past month or so, but truthfully I've been crafting my life away. This year I made 50% of the gifts we gave, plus our Christmas cards and all the bows that adorned our presents. Yup. I'm cuckoo for cocoa puffs folks. Plus there's all the food we ate- Both every day meals and the special holiday snacks. Any who, I seriously need to figure out how to manage my time better, but now I'm back in full force.

And since 2013 is almost over (how the heck did that happen??), I figured I'd recap the top FIVE recipes from 2013. And throw in a couple of my faves too :)

1. Avocado Egg Salad- Super easy and super delicious! Eaten with crackers, in between bread, rolled in a tortilla, or in lettuce cups. Seriously good anytime of the year.

http://pantrydreams.blogspot.com/2013/04/avocado-egg-salad.html
2. Roasted Garlic Alfredo Sauce- Also super easy and super delicious! And is a great substitute in any recipe that calls for a jar of alfredo sauce. Just remember to roast your garlic a couple days ahead of time.
http://pantrydreams.blogspot.com/2013/02/roasted-garlic-alfredo-sauce.html

3. Eggs Benedict Casserole with Hollandaise Sauce- Great for feeding a crowd or make up a batch and keep it in the fridge all week for quick weekday breakfasts. Note: When reheating the hollandaise sauce, whisk in a couple tablespoons of warm milk!
http://pantrydreams.blogspot.com/2013/05/eggs-benedict-casserole-with.html

4. Easy Lemon Garlic Broiled Salmon- Like the title implies: EASY. And is incredibly versatile! After cooking, crumble into pastas, on top of salads, or serve with some of your favorite sides!
http://pantrydreams.blogspot.com/2013/03/easy-lemon-garlic-broiled-salmon.html

5. Eggs Over Easy- So basic, but so good! For those who like their egg yolks runny, but not their whites!
http://pantrydreams.blogspot.com/2013/08/eggs-over-easy.html


MY FAVORITES (in no particular order because I couldn't decide!):

1. Oven Fried Breakfast Potatoes- Because I love all things potato!
http://pantrydreams.blogspot.com/2013/08/oven-fried-breakfast-potatoes.html

2.  Cola Braised Shredded Beef- My go-to Mexican meat for everything! Salad, tacos, tamales, enchiladas and more.
http://pantrydreams.blogspot.com/2013/06/cola-braised-shredded-beef-for-tacos.html

3.Tomato Avocado Salad with Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette- If I could eat this every day for lunch I would.
http://pantrydreams.blogspot.com/2013/07/tomato-avocado-salad-with-lemon-dijon.html

4. Summertime Macaroni Salad- So good! Plus I think I may dreaming of warmer weather right now!
http://pantrydreams.blogspot.com/2013/06/summertime-macaroni-salad.html

5. Coffee Cake Muffins- Reminds me of my mom's coffee cake (which I could eat for breakfast every day).
http://pantrydreams.blogspot.com/2013/05/coffee-cake-muffins.html




Monday, November 18, 2013

Thanksgiving Menu

First off I have to apologize for being non-existent lately. Once again I've been carried off by the tide that is life. Amping up my work hours for both my jobs and still doing the normal housework, added to the Halloween holiday and the recent passing of a family member, time just hasn't been on my side. Let's just say I've been really good with devoting time to others, but not myself. And although I'd like to make a change, with the upcoming holidays, I'm not sure I can. But I have to try.

Which brings me to posting here. Because it's something I do for me (and anyone else who want to read). Today I want to share with you my plans for our Thanksgiving. This year it's gonna be small. Just FIVE people. It's a huge change from the usual 11-14 people. So I am paring down my menu and this is what is looks like:

Lemon Garlic Sage Roasted Turkey Breast
Roasted Garlic & White Cheddar Mashed Potatoes
Turkey Gravy
Roasted Root Vegetables with Lemon Vinaigrette
Roasted Green Beans & Mushrooms with Balsamic Vinegar & Blue Cheese
Mixed Berry Cranberry Sauce
Jellied Cranberry Sauce (from a can per the request of my mother-in-law)
Dressing (made by my mother-in-law)
Swiss Roll with a Biscoff filling

What are your plans for Thanksgiving? What are you most excited for?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Asian Beef and Veggie Ramen Skillet

I am always on the look out for easy dinner recipes. Usually a quick meal here is done and ready to eat in an hour. But normally dinner takes me two hours to put together. I start cooking at 6pm and we are ready to eat around 8pm. So, dinner that is on the table in under 30 minutes and gets demolished with mmm's throughout dinner? I can tell you that it's a pretty rare thing at our house. Which is one of the many reasons why I love this dish. Fast, easy, and there are hardly any leftovers. And the tiny bit of leftovers? Quickly scooped into a container for Adam's lunch. So, essentially NO leftovers.

I am big into making things from scratch (which I realize is why I normally take two hours to get dinner on the table) and was a little hesitant to make this recipe because of the ramen noodles. I just have a hard time using things that are so processed, but let me tell you, this dish is worth it. And I'm sure there are worse things to eat than ramen noodles. Plus these noodles are chock full of veggies. Which is another reason I love this dish.

Some things to note:
  • I use whatever kind of veggies I have on hand. Really it doesn't matter. And I always try to include the veggies my kiddo likes (which isn't hard, the only veggie Moira isn't into is zucchini). This particular time I included broccoli, zucchini, carrots, onion, garlic, peas, red bell pepper, and baby corn.
  • The cooking time, after you add in the veggies, will depend on the veggies you use and how you cut them. For example: Carrots can take longer to cook than most veggies. So, I slice them pretty thin (about 1/8") and everything else I cut down to about bite-size.
  • I use low-sodium soy sauce and beef broth. Because you use the little flavor packet that comes with the ramen noodles, which has ample amounts of salt, I cut it back everywhere else.
  • I break up the ramen noodles while they are still sealed in their package, so they don't go all over my kitchen.
  • We like our ramen noodles a little al dente, so I only cook them for 3-5 minutes. But if you like your noodles really soft, you should consider cooking them longer. So really, once the noodles are added and the broth begins to boil, keep an eye on the noodles and turn off the heat when they're reached the consistency you desire.
  • The amount of beef broth used will depend on how much liquid is in the skillet with the meat and veggies before the noodles are added. Some vegetables release more liquid than others during the cooking process.

Asian Beef and Veggie Ramen Skillet

2 lbs ground beef (I use lean)
4 cups assorted veggies, cut into bite-size pieces
2 Tbsp soy sauce, low-sodium
2 packages ramen noodles (I use the roast beef flavor)
1-1 1/2 cups beef broth, low-sodium
Sesame seeds or sliced green onions for garnish, optional

In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, brown ground beef. Once beef is browned, add in veggies. Cook for 5 minutes or until veggies just begin to get tender. Drizzle in soy sauce. Break both sealed packages of ramen noodles into quarters. Open ramen noodles and remove flavoring packets. Stir in contents of both flavoring packets to the beef and veggies. Add in ramen noodles and stir until the noodles are underneath the meat and veggies. Pour in 1 cup of beef broth and bring to a boil (add in remainder of beef broth if the noodles still need to cook and there is little or no liquid left in the skillet). Cook for 3-5 minutes or until the noodles have reached your desired consistency. Stir occasionally. Remove from heat and serve. Garnish with sesame seeds or sliced green onions if desired.

Source: Adapted from Taste and Tell.