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

Lemon Cream Cheese Pie With Strawberry Glaze!

Ok, so initially the plan was to make a strawberry cream cheese pie, but then I couldn’t get lemon curd out of my mind! I love lemon anything and the idea of lemon and strawberry together was irresistible!

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Typically, you see graham cracker crust with cream cheese pie, but with lemons dancing through my mind already, I decided to use some of my favorite Trader Joe’s cookies that my son brought to me the week prior. Here they are in all of their glory:

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They are so amazing on their own…light and slightly lemony. Yum.

 

CRUST:

I put 2 sleeves of cookies in my food processor and pulsed it until they were fine crumbs, then drizzled in 3 tbsp of melted butter and pulsed that until combined. I then pressed the mixture into a pie plate and popped it in the fridge while prepping the cream cheese filling.

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FILLING:

  • 8 oz cream cheese softened, not light
  • 1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla powder
  • 3 tbsp powdered sugar

Using a mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth. While continuously beating, slowly add sweetened condensed milk and then vanilla extract. Add powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Pour into the cool crust, then tightly cover and refrigerate until firm, at least 3 hours or up to overnight.

LEMON CURD: 

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I use Ina Garten’s recipe, because she’s a genius and everything she makes is perfection. Here’s where I am getting the recipe: https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/lemon-curd-recipe-1941910

Ingredients

  • 3 lemons
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 pound unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 extra-large eggs
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice (3 to 4 lemons)
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

Directions

Using a carrot peeler, remove the zest of 3 lemons, being careful to avoid the white pith. Put the zest in a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Add the sugar and pulse until the zest is very finely minced into the sugar.

Cream the butter and beat in the sugar and lemon mixture. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and then add the lemon juice and salt. Mix until combined.

Pour the mixture into a 2 quart saucepan and cook over low heat until thickened (about 10 minutes), stirring constantly. The lemon curd will thicken at about 170 degrees F, or just below simmer. Remove from the heat and cool or refrigerate.

STRAWBERRY GLAZE:

glaze

  • cups ripe strawberries, hulled
  • 1cup sugar
  • 1tsp cornstarch, dissolved in
  • 1cup cold water
  • tbsp butter
  • tsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Crush enough strawberries to make 1 cup pulp.
  2. Place pulp in medium saucepan; add 1/2 cup sugar and cornstarch mixture.
  3. Cook and stir over medium heat 2 minutes or until mixture boils, thickens and is clear.
  4. Remove saucepan from heat; stir in 1 tablespoon butter and lemon juice.
  5. Cool to room temperature.

TIP!

I give the filling in the crust about 30 mins at least to sit in the fridge before topping with the lemon curd, then another 30 mins before I put the strawberry glaze on too! So good!

Any questions, shoot me a message!

-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 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

Homemade Pizza Sauce!

Pizza sauce is a lot thicker than tomato sauce. It needs to be more firm on pizza so it doesn’t run and get all messy. It’s easy!

Add everything to the pot, except for the sugar and fresh herbs. Fresh herbs have a tendency to blacken in the oven.

Roast the pan full of deliciousness for 2.5 hrs in a 300 degree oven. Let cool completely before processing.

In a food processor or blender, add all of the items roasted together in the pan, sugar and fresh herbs. Pulse until everything is small and a thick sauce emerges. Perfection!

Ingredients:

2-3 cups tomatoes

5 cloves of peeled garlic

Half of an onion, diced

1 tsp dried basil

1 tsp dried oregano

2 tsp sea salt

2 tsp cracked black pepper

Drizzle olive oil

After roasting, add:

1 tbsp sugar

1 tsp fresh chopped basil

1 tsp fresh chopped oregano

Pulse everything together in food processor or blender. I like to store in the fridge for use- mainly because we make pizza and calzones so much. You can store in the fridge for up to 3 months, sealed tightly. Make sure any utensil used is clean when grabbing some from jar. You can also store in a freezer bag in your freezer up to 6 months.

This recipe makes 1 pint of pizza sauce. You can easily double or triple this recipe, if needed.

Enjoy!

Mia

Fresh Organic Corn Salsa

I like to keep it simple. Simple meaning you grab fresh ingredients you grow yourself or can purchase locally and make something fresh and non-complicated. I try to save complicated for fall and winter when we’re inside more often and my kitchen doesn’t heat up too much from massive baking.

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I shucked over 20 ears of corn last week and then shaved the kernels from the cobs. I froze a lot of corn, we ate some and I made some fresh corn salsa last night since I was making Carne Asada street tacos for dinner. MY MOUTH IS WATERING REMEMBERING THE FLAVORS! Mexican food is in my soul, man. (I have some Mexican blood running through my veins, so not to surprised there! Portuguese, and other things too, hehe.)

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Ok, back to this amazing stuff. It’s simple. Just gather these ingredients:

2 cups of shaved corn (I par cook it- just enough that it’s not too tough, but not soft)

1 jalepeno, seeded & diced

1 tsp chili powder

1tsp cumin

Zest & juice of one lime

1/2 cup chopped cilantro

1/2 onion, chopped

 

That’s it! Seriously! Just put everything in a bowl and mix it up! It gets better as it sits, so make it ahead of time if you think of it. You can add more if you need or want to. Mix up the ingredients with what you have growing. You can double, triple or whatever to this recipe. It’s great! I have some left in my fridge to munch on with lunch tomorrow. Yes! The jalepeno we used was from our garden and it was SUPER hot. So much flavor! Get those kids cooking with you! These easy recipes help gain confidence in the kitchen!

 

Happy cooking!

-Mia