Category Archives: Little Momma

Project 52.4 – Sloppy Joaquins

January 30, 2017

Week 4 comes to us courtesy of Rachael Ray’s The Book of Burger.  I LOVE a good burger, and could probably eat burgers at least once a week.  The same can be said for Mr. Twice Around, so this book is a match made in heaven.  I actually let him take the wheel for the selection of week 4’s recipe, and was not surprised in the least when he grabbed Book of Burger off the shelf with a manly Tim Allen style grunt.

According to Rachael, the “Sloppy Joaquin is the Spanish cousin to Sloppy Joe.”

According to us, it’s just damn delicious.  I took my mixture and put it over top of some quinoa, thus dubbing mine the “Sloppy Joaquinoa”.  Mr. Twice Around kept it traditional, and the tiny one, well, he just went face first into a bowl of it.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound ground beef sirloin
  • 6 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 24 medium size cap mushrooms, crimini or white – your choice, chopped
  • Coarse salt and lots of black pepper
  • 1/2 cup dry sherry (eyeball it)
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (eyeball it)
  • 1 can tomato sauce (15 ounces)
  • 4 crusty rolls, ciabatta or Portuguese rolls if available, or Kaiser rolls, split
  • 2 tablespoons softened butter
  • A handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • A wedge of Manchego cheese, for shaving
  • Chimichurri sauce- Recipe found here

Preparation

Heat a deep skillet over medium-high heat with EVOO. Add beef and deeply brown, 6-7 minutes. Add garlic, onion and mushrooms and cook until mushrooms are dark and onion is tender, 7-8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, add the sherry and deglaze the pan, then reduce 1 minute. Add Worcestershire sauce and tomato sauce and stir to combine. Reduce heat to low and cook for 5 minutes more.

Pre-heat the broiler.
Spread rolls with softened butter and sprinkle heavily with parsley. Toast rolls until charred at edges. Top roll bottoms with sloppy mixture and shaved Manchego cheese.  Spoon the chimichurri over the sloppies,  then set roll tops in place. Olé!

Recipe courtesy of Rachael Ray

Project 52.3 – Chicken Hot Pie

January 30, 2017

Behind seems to be my common trend this past week or so.  Life gets busy, things get piled on, and other things get buried in that pile.  Sorry, friends!  I’m back though and I have week 3 AND week 4 of project 52!  SO, first things first.

After week two’s semi lack luster recipe, I felt that I Heart Naptime needed a second shot to prove itself to you, my dear readers.  With that being said, I decided to turn a few more pages until I saw Chicken Hot Pie.  Is there anything better on a dreary day than comfort food?  I think not.  This recipe delivers full on “granny” style comfort food on a working woman time crunch… you’ll even have those extra 2 minutes to make cute pie crust cut outs for the top. I promise.


Jamielyn Nye’s Chicken Hot Pie (from I Heart Naptime)

4 cups chicken stock (confession- I did 2 cups chicken stock and 2 cups vegetable stock)
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
1 cup diced potatoes ( I cheated here and got a can of sliced potatoes. SHHH don’t tell)
1 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup frozen green peas
1/2 cup sliced celery
2- 9 in unbaked pie crusts (Confession again – I only used one. It’s what we had. OOPS!)
1/2 stick of butter
3/4 cup chopped yellow onion
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup half and half
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp fresh thyme

1. Preheat oven to 425.
2. In a medium saucepan, bring the stock to a boil over high heat.  Add the chicken, potatoes, celery, carrots, and peas and boil for 12-15 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and vegetables are tender.  Remove from heat and reserve 1 to 1 and 1/2 cups stock for the filling.  drain the excess stock and set the chicken and vegetables aside.
3. While the vegetables are cooking, place one pie crust in a 9 inch pie plan and pierce the bottom with a fork a few times.  Bake for 5 minutes.  (I skipped this step, as I only had 1 crust.)
4. In a large skillet. melt butter over medium heat.  Add the onion and cook 2-3 minutes, or until soft and translucent.  Slowly stir in the flour until smooth, and cook until lightly golden.  Slowly whisk in the half and half and 1/2 cup of the reserved stock.  Stir in salt, pepper, and thyme.  Simmer over medium-low heat for a couple of minutes, or until it has thickened slightly.  Remove from heat and add the chicken and vegetables.  Add more of reserved stock if needed and additional seasoning to taste.
5. Remove the piecrust from the oven and reduce oven to 400 degrees.  Pour the chicken filling into the bottom crust.  Cover with top crust, seal the edges, and make five small slits in the top of the pie to allow steam to escape.
6. Bake the pie for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

*For a lattice crust, use a pizza cutter to make 1 inch strips.  Then weave across the top.*

52:2 – Baked Chicken Taquitos

January 17, 2017

I’m a little late on week 2 of my Project 52 Cook Book Quest, so you’ll have to forgive me for that.  Week 2 took me into a newer cookbook on the shelf- The I Heart Naptime Cookbook from Jamielyn Nye.  It’s a super cute premise: easy and tasty recipes that you can make in less than an hour (aka… nap time!)   I want to note that this book is adorable and also has some cute DIY’s in there for us mommies of young ones.  I also want to note that I have loved several of the recipes that I’ve made, especially the baked goods-  Apple Snickerdoodle Muffins, anyone?

But this recipe, just wasn’t a winner for me.  Ya’ll, I wanted to love this recipe.  I REALLY wanted to love it because I felt like it would be really great to take as leftovers…. but, I just didn’t.  Don’t get me wrong, it was alright- but for me, personally, I felt it was just a little one note.  HOWEVER, The tiny human???  He thought they were the bomb-diggety, so that counts for something, right?

I think I might try it again and sub in ranch dressing for the sour cream portion to see if that adds any dimension to the dish.

Baked Chicken Taquitos
Serves 6

PREP 20 min
COOK 13-15 min
TOTAL 33-35 min

“Weekends were made for taquitos. They are the perfect appetizer or dinner, and are always devoured very quickly. Sour cream, salsa, chicken, and fresh cilantro come together in these amazing homemade taquitos. You’ll never resort to store-bought ones again. Serve these up as a main dish or cut them in half for party appetizers. We top ours with Favorite Homemade Salsa or The Best Guacamole.” ~Jamielyn Nye

Ingredients

½ (8-ounce) package cream cheese, at room temperature
¼ cup sour cream
¼ cup Favorite Homemade Salsa or salsa of your choice (recipe below)
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¾ cup shredded Monterey Jack or pepper Jack cheese
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
2½  cups shredded cooked chicken (I like to use a rotisserie chicken)
Salt and black pepper
12 (6-inch) flour tortillas Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing
The Best Guacamole (recipe below)

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

2. In a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese, sour cream, salsa, garlic powder, and cumin. Stir in the shredded cheese, cilantro, and chicken. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Place about 3 tablespoons of the cream cheese mixture in the center of a tortilla and roll up the tortilla. Place the tortilla seam side down on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat until all the tortillas are filled. Lightly brush the tortillas with olive oil and bake for 13 to 15 minutes, or until lightly browned. Serve while hot.

FREEZER TIP Place unbaked taquitos flat in a zip-top bag and freeze. When ready to eat, thaw, brush with olive oil, and bake according to the directions in the recipe.

Ease of Preparation: 4 out of 5
Taste: 3 out of 5
Visual: 4 out of 5
Final Verdict: Tweak it and try again

Pumpkin Churro Waffles

October 29, 2016

It’s Halloween weekend here in the Twice Around kitchen, and we’re kicking it off with one of our fall favorites.  These pumpkin waffles are our “go to” in the fall – and for good reason!  2 ingredients and 5 minutes to homemade fall goodness that fills the house.  This morning we gave them a churro twist, but they are simply perfect with or without the cinnamon/sugar finish.

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Easiest Pumpkin Waffles
1 Can Pumpkin Puree
1 Boxed Angel Food Cake Mix

Mix together and cook up in your waffle iron, about 4 and 1/2 minutes.

For the “Churro” finish :
Melt 1 stick of butter in a bowl.  In a separate bowl, combine 3 tbsp sugar with 3 tbsp cinnamon.  As soon as the waffles come out of the waffle iron, dip both sides in melted butter and then coat both sides in the cinnamon sugar mixture.

No tricks here, only treats!  Happy Halloween!

Stuffed Summer Squash

August 5, 2016

 

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Wow.  It’s been a little while, hasn’t it?  Life over here has been BUSY busy, and we’ve all been enjoying our summer days.  There’s a certain relaxed feel to the day when you truly have nothing to DO and nowhere to be.  The little guy and I have been soaking up some sun, and lately, cruising around to some local farmers’ markets. (Since I kill everything I plant. It’s really sad.)

Last week, we picked up some summer squash and zucchini to turn into a delicious summer supper.  This recipe doubled as a “2 for 1” meal because it made so much filling that I was able to repurpose it later in the week for a pasta dish!  Husband and toddler approved, healthy but delicious, and on the table in 30- Now that’s MY kind of summer supper!

Stuffed Summer Squash Boats

4 zucchini or yellow summer squash, cut lengthwise
1 cup tri-colored bell peppers, diced fine
1 cup baby Bella mushrooms, diced
2 tbsp minced garlic
1 cup chopped frozen spinach
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 lb ground turkey
1/2 cup panko
1/2 cup grated manchego cheese
1 tbsp adobo seasoning

In a medium skillet, saute peppers and mushrooms for approximately 5 minutes until adding spinach.  Saute an additional 3 minutes and add garlic along with Dijon mustard.  Stir and saute over low for an additional 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Meanwhile, in a large, high-sided skillet, sprinkle ground turkey with adobo seasoning, and brown the meat.  Drain and mix with vegetable mixture.

Hollow out your centers of your zucchini or squash and spoon turkey mixture into the boats.
Combine the panko with grated manchego cheese and enough olive oil to make the texture of wet sand.   Sprinkle atop squash boats and roast for 15 minutes at 400 degrees.

Happy Eating!
J

**BONUS PASTA**
In a high-sided pan, melt 3 tbsp butter and mix in 3 tbsp flour, stirring and cooking down for 2-3 minutes until slightly golden brown.  add in 1/2 cup milk and 2/3 cup grated cheese until a creamy sauce forms.  (if it seems runny, add cheese…too thick, add milk.)  Add in your left over turkey mixture and stir.  Toss with pasta!

AHDN: At Home Date Night

February 2, 2016

When you have a life with littles, sometimes “date night” can be few and far between.  With baby sitters and broken routines, cries for mama and good night kisses…well, sometimes is it just plain hard!  To help alleviate some of the pressure, but also keep our time as just us, Mr. Twice Around and I have started implementing AT HOME DATE NIGHT, or AHDN as we call it.  The thought is that once munka is in bed, we have the rest of the evening to ourselves and can enjoy a “date” together.  No phones, no distractions – just time shared together.

The only real RULES that we have for AHDN are as follows:
1) Real clothes (with the occasional exception for PJ’s- when appropriate)
2) No cell phones
3) It has to be more than a Netflix binge on the couch

This past week was my turn to plan, so I decided on a kicked up version of dinner and a movie.

Act 1- Dinner.  Stone ground Mustard Chicken Thighs with a Brussel Sprout Gratin and White Wine

Act 2- Cozy Movie Time with snacks,  Tomato Cheese Crackers, prosciutto, grapes, brownie bites, and of course, champagne.

Now, the thing that really makes this ‘not your average movie night’ for us is the location of our movie.  Typically, we only have 1 TV in our home, and that is in our main living area.  We like it that way.  We prefer it that way. BUT- it makes it fun to bring out our second TV from storage and create a new ambiance for movie watching.  I decided that for date night, I’d set up our TV and Apple TV in our bedroom, and that we’d watch the movie from the comfort of our cozy bed, stacked high with extra pillows and cushions.  Add a tray for our snacks, and we were all set!

Stay tuned for more AHDN ideas!

Pizza Pot Pie

September 14, 2015

  What could possibly be better than a pizza after a long day?
What could possibly be more comforting than an individual pot pie, just for you?

How about… the combination of the two- Pizza Pot Pies.

When I originally mentioned these to Mr. Twice Around, he didn’t seem thrilled, and I’ll admit, he TURNED UP HIS NOSE at the idea. I told him to just wait… that this was a brilliant idea… and he would see! I wasn’t 100% convinced myself, but I figured… It seemed like an okay idea, and we always have plan b in the fridge if all else fails.

Little did I know… that from that moment on…I’d be asked to make these 3 times a week, every week. It has been a few years, and still I know that once the crispness of fall air hits, it’s game on! I can no longer ask the question “What do you want to eat this week?” without hearing “PIZZA POT PIES!” Luckily, they are JUST that good, and really easy. As a bonus, this one is super fun for the family-  you can put in whatever toppings you usually like on your pizza and get creative every time!

 Here’s our go-to favorite. It makes 4- we eat 2 the next day for lunch…if they last that long!

You’ll need:

1 pillsbury pizza crust- we prefer thin crust

1 can of tomato sauce

1 pack of sliced pepperoni – you won’t use all of it!

1 cup of precooked sausage crumbles (Jimmy Dean- we use turkey sausage)

1 small can of sliced black olives

1 green pepper, sliced/ diced

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

1 red onion- sliced

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Take your pizza dough out of it’s canister roll, and unroll your dough on a flat cutting board and cut out circles around your ramekins to top .  

Divide your sauce among 4 ramekins. Divide the pepperoni, sausage, olives, green pepper, and onion among the 4 ramekins, and mix with a spoon. Top with 1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella. 

Top with a crust round.

Poke a few holes in the crust dough with a fork, and pop those babies into the oven for about 13 – 15 minutes. 

I usually put them on a baking tray just so its easier to take them all in and out of the oven. Take them out and really poke a decent “vent” in it and give them a few minutes so you don’t burn the roof of your mouth- believe me, it’s been done, and it’s not fun to eat with a blister on the roof of your mouth.  It’s hard, but you should definitely wait! 

Then, when you can’t wait any longer, dive in to rustic pizza goodness.  Each saucy, cheesy topping filled bite leaves us coming back for more all fall and winter long, and with endless combinations, it never gets boring! 

Pictures

June 19, 2015

IMG_0668When I was a little girl, I had tons of doll babies.  Each one unique, special, and named- I had triplet babies, babies that looked real, babies that could crawl, and one little baby doll (A Magic Nursery baby, for all my 90’s friends!) that was a preemie, and well, my favorite.  (Oh if only my 9 year old heart could have known then…)  I had babies, babies, babies…and as I grew, I always thought that I’d be a momma to many.  A baby for both hips, and one wrapped around my leg, toddling along.  That was my picture of my perfect mommy life. Continue reading