Frozen Garlic Cubes!

Where have you been all of my life???

I bought this at Trader Joe’s…I finally remembered I had this in my freezer. My son told me to try these and he is so right!

This is the underside of the packaging. Cute little squares of garlic. I clove per cube!

This is the opened package. Just pop out however many cloves you need for a recipe and then put them back in your freezer until later.

This gives me so many ideas for processing and freezing my own garlic. Thanks TJ’s! I ❤️ U always!

-Mia

Salsa 2 Ways!

Between what is ready to pick at my house and what I found at the farmers market last weekend, I had some extra jalepenos and poblano peppers needing to be used, so I made salsa!

Ingredients:

3 jalepenos, seeds removed

2 poblanos, seeds removed

2-4 tomatoes

1 onion

4 cloves of garlic

Cilantro- I use a handful, it’s to your taste

Salt & pepper

I pulsed it, just long enough for there to still be some small chunks. My guy doesn’t like salsa too thin!

I do something some people don’t…I strain the salsa to remove the excess juices. Not all, but enough so it’s not juicy.

I put half into a reusable container to lid up and then…

Add the other half to a container with some fresh corn! Jon LOVES corn salsa.

*one thing to note: corn salsa only gets better as it sits in the fridge for a day or so. It melds with the onions and peppers and takes on a fab flavor.

I like easy “recipes” like this!

Enjoy!

-Mia

Slow Cooker Beef & Broccoli!

This is some seriously easy stuff to make! I put it on my slow cooker at 2pm and it was ready to eat 4 hours later!

Ingredients:

3 lbs steak, sliced thin and into strips

2 cups beef broth

2/3 cup reduced sodium soy sauce

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 tbsp sesame oil

5 cloves garlic, minced

6 tbsp cornstarch

6 tbsps water

3 heads broccoli, cut into florets

Rice or noodles, cooked

Instructions:

Inside the slow cooker, whisk together broth, soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic and brown sugar.

Place slices of beef (uncooked) in the liquid and toss to coat.

Cover either lid and cook for 4 hours on the low setting.

After 4 hours, whisk together cornstarch and water in small bowl. Add mixture to slow cooker, along with the broccoli florets. Gently stir to combine.

Cover with lid and cook 30 minutes on low to cook broccoli and thicken sauce.

I always prefer to serve over brown rice, but noodles or another rice variety is great!

Enjoy!

Mia

Amazing Slow Cooker Pot Roast!

I’m spoiled with one of those Cuisinart all-in-one slow cookers that’s non-stick. I’ve only had it about 1 year, but WHERE HAS IT BEEN ALL OF MY LIFE? Seriously, its worth it to splurge and have a non-stick version because the clean up takes just a minute. The stuck-on food on my old slow cooker was why I didn’t use it very often. That’s all changed!

Ingredients:

1 chuck roast (mine was 3lbs)

Olive oil

1 pound carrots, cut into chunks (I use rainbow carrots)

1 onion, peeled and cut into large chunks

3 stalks celery, cut into large chunks

1 pound of small potatoes, cut in half (I use small purple potatoes)

2 cups beef broth

1 tbsp corn starch

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Seasoning for meat:

The meat gets its own section. 🙂

2 tbsps steak seasoning

1 tbsp sea salt or kosher salt

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 tbsp dried thyme

2 tbsp dried rosemary

Instructions:

Rub all over both sides of meat and sear meat in hot pan with olive oil. Remove from pan and set aside.

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Here comes the veggies! I use all organic veggies. Cook in same super hot and olive oil coated pan as you cooked the meat in and keep moving them around for about 5 minutes, until they have a nice sear on the edges.

Place meat in slow cooker, then seared veggies all around the meat. Cover the meat and veggies with the beef broth.

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It should look like this! 🙂

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Cook on low for 7 hours. After its all done, pull the roast and veggies out and set aside. Skim any fat off of the surface of the drippings. Pour drippings into saucepan with the cornstarch whisked in and cook 5-7 mins on medium heat until it gets to a slow boil. That’s some mean flavored gravy. I always go crazy and make mashed potatoes too. My fam loves them whenever possible!

Enjoy!

-Mia

Taco Salad With Homemade Avocado Crema!

I’ve always loved Taco Salads. I prefer them when I can control the ingredients and love baking shells instead of frying!

I do fry up the poblano and jalepeno rings however!

The Crema:

4 avocados, halved and scooped out

2 limes, squeezed

1/4 c cilantro

1 cup sour cream

1 clove of garlic

1/2 tsp sea salt, 1/2 tsp black pepper

Just blend it or pulse in the food processor! We store the Crema in squeeze bottles with lids in the fridge. 🙂

Back to my salad:

I usually line the bottom with refried black beans, hamburger browned with taco seasonings and then just start layering on whatever peppers, cheese, and other toppings sound great! I love how everyone can make them how they want!

-Mia

Roasting Veggies!

Whether I’m roasting broccoli, carrots, cauliflower or potatoes, I’ve found that it’s important to make sure everything is close to the same size to ensure even roasting.

I always drizzle olive oil and sprinkle sea salt and cracked black pepper on the Silpat prior to loading the sheet pan with the cut veggies. After I top with veggies, I drizzle and sprinkle a little more, add 3-4 cloves of chopped fresh garlic and fresh herbs. In this roasting, I added fresh oregano and flat leaf parsley, because my herb garden is is going wild right now!

*One tip I’ve learned through failure is if you want to throw broccoli or cauliflower on with your other veggies, they take half the time to roast! Just add them after you’ve flipped the others and you’ll be great!

I preheat the oven to 400 degrees and then roast for 20-30 mins depending on how crispy you’re wanting your roasted veggies!

This Veronica Romanesco will be roasted soon! (I literally check on my Romanesco plants every day!)

I could literally eat roasted veggies every single day. When I pack my lunch, I love to bring them in a container and just munch on them, even if they’re cold!

Happy roasting!

Mia

It’s All About The Sauces Around These Parts!

This chick has been busy! Full time school all year, one graduation yesterday, another tomorrow, another kiddo coming home tomorrow too…It’s AWESOME! With everyone at home as of tomorrow, I made sure we have some of the favorite sauces for the kids…homemade pesto and tomatillo verde are both major hits here at my house and they’re so easy!

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I grew this organic Purple Opal and Genovese Basil in the garden and it’s amazing! The purple tastes just a tad more mild than the green and together they’re heaven!

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I have a hubby who has never loved Pesto. (He actually makes a face when he hears the name.) I decided to try something new and used the mix of basil varieties with almonds instead of pine nuts. (lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, parmesan & some fresh parsley too!) He loves it, which is really satisfying to me!

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I just pulsed everything in my Cuisinart a few times, topped with a light drizze of olive oil and sealed up in jars for this weekend. 🙂

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Verde. It’s flavor makes me happy. I especially love it drizzled on my carne asada tacos, which is what the plan is for this weekend. Tomatillos, shallots, Poblano peppers, garlic all coated with olive oil, sea salt and cracked black pepper. Roast in a 400 degree oven for about 15 minutes and put right into a blender or food processor and pulse it up!

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It’s really that easy. (Always great!)

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I put in containers with a light drizzle of olive oil and seal them up until Asada night!

I haven’t posted in so long because I have had such a crazy work and school load, but I am thankfully getting close to a break and I am happy to get back to cooking and baking for joy! I have missed it tons! As always, if you have any questions about my recipes, shoot me a message!

-Mia

 

Homemade Hand Cut French Fries

It takes a little bit of time to wash, cut, soak & dry off hand cut fries, but it’s so worth it!

So much starch! You’ll get a crispier French fry if you soak for at least 30 mins. Trust me. Ive tried to cheat the time before.

The whole 2 step frying process is real. These fry guys have been fried once. When you par cook the first time on a lower temp, it preps them for greatness. 🍟

One more fry on a higher heated oil and these fry guys are ready for dipping!

My recipe:

4-6 washed large russet potatoes

(You can peel them first if you wish- I hate peeling!)

3 cups oil (I prefer peanut)

Sea salt

Ice water in large bowl

Have a large bowl filled with ice water all filled and ready!

As you cut your fries, add them to the bowl of ice water. This keeps them from browning and also lets the starch escape. Super important! Let the fries sit in the ice water for 30 mins.

Heat oil to 325 degrees.

Rinse the fries and lay them out on padded paper towels and dry thoroughly.

Fry the potatoes in batches for 3-5 mins, as to not overload the dryer or pan. Before putting next batch in, make sure the oil is back to the 325 degree temp.

Fry again! This time fry for about 2-3 mins at 375 degrees, frying in batches.

Perfection. ❤️

Mia

Homemade Salsa From The Garden

I’ve picked SOOOOO many tomatoes this summer, which I am grateful for. I’ve been inventive with many different ways to use them, but salsa is definitely one of the best! Pepper varieties, onions and cilantro are also picked for some bomb salsa ingredients!

Pulse several times in your food processor until you get the desired thickness. We love restaurant style salsa at our house!

This is my favorite salsa thickness, but if you like it chunkier, make it your way! I store some in jars in the fridge and always freeze a bag too. Yes, you can freeze salsa!

BONUS BEAN DIP TIP:

Throw some of that delicious, homemade salsa into your leftover refried beans. Pulse a couple of times in your food processor with a drizzle of olive oil and you’re good to go!

Homemade Bean Dip! Yes! Game day heaven.

SALSA RECIPE:

5lbs tomatoes

2 onions

2 bunches cilantro

6 hot peppers ( I used 2 red jalepenos, 2 Anaheim & 2 poblano peppers)

6 cloves of peeled garlic

Zest of one lime

Juice of one lime

1 tsp sea salt

2 tsp cracked black pepper

Pulse all ingredients together in blender or food processor. I had to process these ingredients in 3 batches, due to the size of my processor. You definitely don’t want to overfill or you end up with salsa everywhere!

You can store in jars in your fridge that will keep a few months, can the salsa or freeze in quart size freezer bags. 🙂

Happy cooking!

Mia

Flash Freeze Your Veggies! (And Fruit)

I always harvest way more than we can consume and instead of letting the produce just sit in the fridge, I typically flash freeze my veggies & fruits for later. *Flash Freeze meaning that you do a quick uncovered freeze, then bag or put in container for long term freezing. * I live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest and let me tell you, we grow a lot of veggies and fruit here! My peaches should be ready in a week or so! Eek!

Our beans come on quick! It seems I just picked a ton and 2 days before and BOOM! I have to get creative!

Shameless plugging for a company who makes great products- Zyliss makes this great salad spinner that I also use to clean my veggies. It’s great!

Back to the beans- wash really well and cut the ends off. Pat dry. Lay all beans flat on a sheet pan and flash freeze for about 20 mins.

Put all flash frozen veggies in freezer bags and lay flat in your freezer. If you have them in proper freezer bags and remember to pat them dry before flash freezing, those veggies can last 6-8 months in your freezer.

Same exact thing for these peppers. 🙂 Wash really well.

Cut and pat dry. Flash freeze for about 20 mins.

Place in a freezer bag and lay flat in your freezer.

Regarding flash freezing fruit…

This is your chance to wash and trim and cut if you’d like because when you want the fruit later, it will be easy and ready to use. 🙂

Happy harvesting!

Mia