June 16, 2011

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Bars

Tried this out on Sunday afternoon for a treat, and we loved it.
They were even better the next day!

1 3/4 cup flour
3/4 tsp soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup oats
3/4 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 c. chocolate chips (I used 1 c. milk, 1/2 c. semi-sweet, and 1/2 c. white because I like that combo)

Preheat oven to 375. Whisk together dry ingredients and set aside. Beat butter, sugars, egg and vanilla till fluffy and add dry ingredients. Stir in chocolate chips. Press into a greased 9×13 inch pan and bake for 18-20 minutes until light golden brown.

June 8, 2011


Quote from "Our Best Bites" recipe site:
"The secret really is in the marinade. And my little trick is to reserve just a little of it to drizzle on at the very end for an extra punch of flavor. You can use your choice of meat; boneless chicken breasts work great, as do chicken thighs or tenders. Flank steak is also awesome. We often do both chicken and steak. Grab whatever colors of peppers and onions you have around and grill them up."

So I did just what she said, I made the marinade, reserved a little, and grilled up the chicken and veggies. MMMMMMMMMMMMMM. Make sure you buy the LIQUID SMOKE. It wouldn't be the same without it!!! Since I sliced up all my veggies and meat ahead of time, I used our grill basket to cook them on the BBQ grill. Perfection.....Delicious......You should buy one if you don't have one! See this link for pictures!

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, chicken thighs, or steak (I pre-sliced mine before adding to the marinade)
2-3 bell peppers, stem and membranes removed and peppers quartered
1 large onion (any color/variety) sliced into 1/2″ slices
1/4 C fresh lime juice
1/3 C water
2 T vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, pressed or finely minced
3 t vinegar
2 t soy sauce
1-2 t liquid smoke
1 t salt
1/2 t chili powder, or chipotle chili powder
1/2 t cayenne pepper
1/4 t ground black pepper
1/4 t onion powder
*If you’re not familiar with liquid smoke, you can find it near the bbq sauces. Don’t make this without it! It’s definitely one of the key components. It makes things yummy and smoky and super flavorful. And if you’re wondering, it actually is real smoke in liquid form. Interesting, eh?

Place meat in a zip-top bag or shallow dish. Place vegetables in another. In a medium bowl, combine all marinade ingredients and whisk well. Reserve 3-4 Tablespoons of marinade for later use. With remaining marinade, add a splash to the vegetables (enough for a light coating) and the remaining to the meat. Marinate for 4-6 hours and up to overnight.

Preheat bbq grill (my preference), indoor grill pan, or large skillet. If you’re using a grill, place everything on at the same time. If using a skillet, slice peppers and onions first. Cook chicken for a few minutes on each side until cooked through and remove from pan. Cover with foil to keep warm. Add vegetables and cook until crisp tender.

Remove vegetables from cooking surface and slice. Slice meat. Toss with reserved marinade and serve along side any or all of the following:

Flour Tortillas
Black Beans/Pinto Beans
Lime-Cilantro Rice
Pico de Gallo
Diced avocado
Sour Cream

June 5, 2011

Creamy Tortellini Spinach Bake

There's not much to say other than we LOVED this! I found this recipe at Our Best Bites here, called Tortellini Spinach Bake in Creamy Lemon Sauce. I followed it exactly. Loved it extremely.

I've copied the recipe below. My only note is to keep in mind that this bakes in a 8x8 dish, so double it if you have a large family.

Tortellini Spinach Bake in Creamy Lemon Sauce
Recipe by Our Best Bites

12 oz bag Barilla Cheese & Spinach Tortelini (find them in the dry pasta aisle)
4 oz bacon or pancetta, (about 4 strips bacon)*
3 cloves garlic, pressed in garlic press or finely minced
2 Tbs flour
2 C milk
¾ tsp kosher salt
⅛ tsp black pepper
1 1/2 tsp dry basil
¼ tsp red pepper flakes (1/2 tsp or more if you like spicy)
1 medium lemon
2 C loosely packed fresh spinach, roughly chopped
¾ C grated mozzarella cheese, divided
¾ C grated Parmesan cheese, divided

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Fill a large stock pot with water and bring to a boil. Add tortellini and cook according to package instructions.

Place bacon in a medium sized skillet on the stove-top at medium-high heat. Cook until crisp. Remove bacon from pan with slotted spoon and set on paper towels to drain. Reserve two tablespoons bacon drippings in pan and discard the rest. Add garlic to pan and cook until fragrant and tender, about 1 minute. Add flour to pan and stir with a whisk for about 1 minute. Slowly add milk and continue to stir with whisk until smooth. Add salt, pepper, basil, and red pepper flakes and bring sauce to a simmer.

While sauce is heating, use a microplane grater or a fine-holed cheese grater to zest lemon. Then cut lemon in half and remove juice. Add 2 teaspoons zest and 1 tablespoon lemon juice to sauce. Continue to stir until thickened, 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat.

Drain tortellini and place back in stock pot. Reserve 1 tablespoon of the cooked bacon and add the rest to the pasta mixture. Add spinach, 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. Add sauce and gently stir to combine. Place pasta mixture in an 8×8 or 9×9 baking dish and top with remaining 1/4 cup mozarella and 1/4 cup parmesan and also crumbled bacon.

Cover pan with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes, until cheese on top is melted and pasta is bubbly throughout. Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes before serving.

* For a vegetarian meal, omit bacon.

Serves 4-6

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