Ground Beef Tacos II

When in doubt, ask your nine-year old what you should make for dinner…the boy loves tacos! Any Tex-Mex style foods, really. We haven’t had tacos in a while, so I agreed; searched through Pink Parsley and chose this recipe. M is anti-corn tortilla for some reason, so I haven’t decided if I want to fry up the flour tortillas I’ll be using for these.

Verdict: Yum! The leftovers didn’t last more than one day either! I served this with my fave rice, fresh pico de gallo, pepper jack cheese and lettuce. Everyone enjoyed these and my picky daughter even ate more than a few bites. This is the second ground beef taco recipe that I have posted here, and I’m happy to report that this one is going to be my go-to recipe. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Ground Beef Tacos – adapted from Pink Parsley via Cook’s Illustrated

  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped (about 2/3 cup)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbs chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano (*I used Mexican oregano)
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 pound 90% lean (or leaner) ground beef
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
Directions:

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet until shimmering.  Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 4 minutes.  Add the garlic, spices, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.  Cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Add the ground beef and cook, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon and scraping the bottom of the pan to prevent scorching, about 5 minutes longer, until meat is no longer pink.

Add tomato sauce, broth, brown sugar, and vinegar; bring to a simmer and reduce heat to medium-low.  Simmer uncovered, stirring frequently, until liquid has reduced and thickened, about 10 minutes.  Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper and serve with your favorite taco fixin’s.

 

 

Asian Inspired Baked Chicken

Quick Post:  I was inspired by this recipe, but I added a little of this and that to the mix which resulted in some really tasty chicken. I made this last month and forgot to post about it sooner, but I remember that we all really enjoyed it 😉 Serve it over rice and steamed veggies of your choice and don’t waste any of the delicious sauce!

Asian Inspired Baked Chicken – 

  • 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 TBSP honey
  • 3 cloves of garlic; minced
  • 1″ of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice
  • 1 TBSP Mirin
  • fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 3 pounds chicken thighs (or preferred chicken meat)
  • prepared rice
  • steamed vegetables

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Mix first 7 ingredients together in a large plastic zip-top storage bag. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add the chicken to plastic bag making sure to coat each piece.
  3. Place chicken in baking dish along with sauce/marinade or leave in large plastic bag to marinate in the refrigerator. Marinade for at least 6 – 8 hours, turning the bag once every few hours.
  4. When ready to cook, in a baking dish, bake chicken in a 425° oven for 25 minutes with the skin side up. Turn the chicken and cook another 15 minutes. Then turn the chicken again to skin side up and finish cooking for another 10 minutes to crisp up the skin. Cook until internal temperature of chicken reads 165°F.

Steak Marinade

Now, I’m not usually for fiddling with a perfectly good steak; but while searching through Pinterest, I came across this and the combination of flavors worked well and I thought “why not?”. Steak was on the menu, and I already had all the marinade ingredients so, again – “why not?”. Three strip steaks are soaking in this now and soon I will flip them over to marinade a little longer on the other side.

Verdict: These had great flavor and were so much more juicy than the steaks that were not marinated. M accidentally overcooked the steaks, but it didn’t dry out the marinated ones at all – they were still tender! Thanks for reading, enjoy 🙂


Steak Marinade – adapted from Kayotic Kitchen

  • 3 tbsp oil (*I used grapeseed)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice (*I didn’t have lemon, woops!)
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 large garlic clove, sliced
  • 1 large shallot, sliced
  • 2 rosemary sprigs, crushed to release the oils
  • tabasco
  • pepper
  • salt

Directions –

1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and pour over top steak. I placed my steaks in a glass baking dish, then covered with plastic wrap. Marinade for at least 4 hours.

Crockpot Garlic and Herb Chicken and Cheesy Orzo

Quick Post: This meal was a hit at my house – even my picky daughter ate it up 🙂 Enjoy!

Crockpot  Garlic and Herb Chicken – adapted from How Sweet Eats

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 tablespoons dry white wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
  • steamed broccoli
Directions –

The night before, season chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Whisk together 3 tablespoons olive oil, basil, parsley, garlic and 3 tablespoons of wine in a bowl. Place chicken in a large ziplock bag, then pour marinade over top and coat chicken. Keep in the fridge overnight.

The next morning, place chicken in your crockpot with 3 tablespoons of wine. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Once cooked, combine with remaining olive oil, parmesan and salt and pepper if desired. Cut chicken into pieces/chunks, and toss together with orzo.

Cheesy Orzo – adapted from Sprinkled with Flour

  • 2 cups orzo pasta
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup Romano cheese
  • kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
Directions –

Add stock to a medium pan and bring to a boil. Add the orzo, cover pot and reduce heat to simmer. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until liquid is absorbed and pasta tender. Watch the pasta during the last few minutes, if too much liquid has evaporated, you can add a few tablespoons more of broth. When pasta is done remove the lid and stir in the cheese. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Lemon Thyme Chicken


Quick Post: I made this awhile back and forgot to post! It’s from Annie’s Eats, so if you’re a fan of hers, you know that she wont steer you wrong. This dinner is cheap, quick and flavorful and tasted great with this garlic rice pilaf – which is also one of Annie’s recipes. Pair it with a nice green salad and you’ve got a complete meal that is good enough to share with company. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Lemon Thyme Chicken – adapted from Annie’s Eats

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, butterflied into halves (4 pieces total)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1½ tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves, minced
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • ¾ cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 tbsp. butter

Directions

  • Season both sides of the chicken pieces with salt and pepper.  Place the flour in a shallow bowl, and dredge the chicken pieces in the flour, shaking off the excess.  In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add the chicken pieces to the pan and saute until lightly golden, about 2-3 minutes per side, and an instant-read thermometer reads 160˚ F in the thickest part of the chicken.  (Keep in mind that pieces of different sizes will finish cooking at different times to avoid overcooking.)  Remove the chicken pieces to a plate, tent with foil, and set aside.
  • Add the garlic and thyme leaves to the pan and sauté  just until fragrant, about 1 minute.  (If necessary, add an additional small drizzle of olive oil if most of the oil was absorbed by the chicken.)  Off the heat, add the wine to the pan, scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen any browned bits.  Return the pan to the heat and bring the liquid to a simmer.  Stir in the chicken broth.  Reduce until the sauce has thickened, about 4-5 minutes.  Add the lemon juice to the pan.  Add in the butter and whisk until completely melted.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve immediately, spooning the sauce over the chicken.

Creamy Garlic Pasta

Quick Post: This was so yummy! I served it along side roast chicken and roasted potatoes. My picky five-year old liked it, so that was an added bonus; and my neighbor and her one year old son really liked it too. I will make this again and again because I’m a sucker for carbs, but also because it’s so quick, easy and flavorful. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Creamy Garlic Pasta – adapted from The Cheese Pusher

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • ¼  tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 3 cups chicken stock or broth
  • ½ lb angel hair pasta
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • ¾ cup heavy cream (*I used half and half)
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
Directions:

In a pot, bring the olive oil to medium-low heat. Add the garlic and stir, allowing it to cook for 1-2 minutes. Mix in the butter until melted. Add the salt, pepper and chicken stock. Raise the heat to high and let it come to a boil.

Once it is at a rolling boil, add the pasta and cook for as long as the box’s directions indicate. Reduce the stove to medium heat and mix in the parmesan until completely melted. Turn off the heat and stir in the cream and parsley. Serve immediately.

Garlic Bread Pizza

Quick Post: I found this on Pinterest the other day and knew that this would be on the menu this week! We finished the whole pizza 🙂 Next time I will have to double the recipe to make sure there are leftovers. I love the texture of the crust because the butter made it slightly toasty and pleasantly crisp. I will make this again, but I will plan ahead next time to let this dough age in the fridge for a few hours to give the dried herbs and garlic powder time to meld and flavor the dough. Thanks for reading, enjoy!


Garlic Bread Pizza Crust – adapted from How Sweet Eats

  • 1 1/8 cups warm water (100-105 degrees)
  • 3 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed or very finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese

In a large bowl, combine water, yeast, honey and olive oil. Mix with a spoon, then let sit until foamy, about 10 minutes. Add in 2 1/2 cups flour, salt, garlic powder and dried basil, stirring with a spoon until the dough comes together but it still sticky. Using your hands, form the dough into a ball and work the additional 1/2 cup flour (you don’t need to use all if it is not needed) in to the dough, kneading it on a floured surface for a few minutes. Rub the same bowl with olive oil then place the dough inside, turning to coat. Cover with a towel and place in a warm place to rise for about 1 hour.

Once the dough has finished rising, roll it out and finish with your favorite pizza toppings. I used pepperoni, fresh mozzarella, Pecorino Romano and parmesan cheese.  Spoon the garlic butter over the edges of the dough. I baked the pizza off in a 475 degree oven for 10 minutes on top of my pizza stone.

Garlic Shrimp Over Pasta

This is simple, weeknight fare at its best. My family loves shrimp, so I knew this would have to be a winner. I’m not usually a fan of less saucy pasta recipes, but this resulted in a light and flavorful pasta dish suitable for company. I served these with leftover breadsticks that I rewarmed in the oven, and Pecorino Romano cheese for grating over top all. The addition of lemon zest and juice was my adaptation of this recipe, plus the swap for white wine instead of using beer. I like the brightness of the lemon that cuts some of  the richness of the butter and the light flavor of the wine over beer. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Garlicky Shrimp over Pasta – adapted from Steamy Kitchen via Thermador

  • 1 pound dried spaghetti (or other pasta)
  • 1 pound shrimp
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • ¼ pound butter
  • ½ bottle beer of your choice (*I used white wine)
  • salt and pepper
  • lemon zest, lemon slices and lemon juice – to taste
  • 1 teaspoon crushed pepper flakes
  • handful fresh basil leaves

1.    Cook the pasta in salted water according to package instructions.

2.    While the pasta is cooking, heat a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the butter and when beginning to bubble, add in the onion and the garlic. Saute for 4 minutes until very fragrant.

3.    Pour in the beer. Turn the heat to medium-high. When the beer begins to bubble, add the shrimp,  fresh basil, lemon zest and juice. Cover and let cook for 4 minutes.

4.    Season with salt, pepper and crushed pepper flakes. Stir and taste sauce – season with additional salt and pepper if needed. Serve over pasta.

Roasted Garlic Bread

Quick Post: This is so darn good – it’s dangerous! The last time I mentioned it, I didn’t get a chance to photograph it cause it disappeared before I was able to. I figured that I would make this again really soon so I could share it with you 😉 I saved up carbs so I was able to eat this pasta with Italian chicken sausage and at least two pieces of the garlic bread. This dinner is definitely a carb overload, but totally worth it! Thanks for reading, enjoy 🙂

Roasted Garlic Bread –

  • 1 loaf of french bread
  • 1 bulb of garlic
  • 6 TBSP of butter
  • 2 – 3 TBSP of olive oil
  • kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper (to taste, optional)
  • dried herbs – I used parsley (optional)
  • Parmesan and Pecorino Romano cheeses
Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut the bulb of garlic in half and place it on a square of foil, large enough that you can make a little package for roasting. Place the cut garlic into the center of the foil and drizzle with a little olive oil. Close the package up and roast for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown. Set aside.
2. Squeeze the cloves into a small bowl to smash up with the butter, olive oil and seasonings. Blend well and set aside. Cut your french bread in half and then take the two halves and split those down the middle lengthwise. Spread the butter mixture generously over each piece. Place your bread on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake for 7 minutes – take the bread out and sprinkle your grated cheese over top each piece. Place back in the oven until the cheese melts and is nicely browned – about 3-5 minutes. Cut into slices and enjoy!

Slow-Cooker Shredded Beef Tacos

I  love taco night:) Especially when all the work takes about 10 minutes to prepare and then the crock pot does the rest. I seared the meat and prepared the sauce the night before. I decided that it was best to have it ready to go so I don’t have to stress about it the next day. There is lots of spring cleaning I need to finish…one less thing is just that – one less thing.

The verdict: The meat was so flavorful, tender, juicy and not at all spicy. It just has a wonderful smoky flavor from the chipotles and smoked paprika. I used two chipotles in mine and they weren’t overpowering at all. We ate these tacos with my “orange” rice, this salsa, cilantro and some shredded Colby Monterey jack cheese. I suppose some day I should share my “orange” rice with you all since I have mentioned it in several different posts🙂 Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Slow-Cooker Shredded Beef Tacos – adapted from Gimme Some Oven

  • 1-2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 pounds beef (boneless chuck roast)
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin (*cumin is my favorite, so I always use extra)
  • 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, minced
  • 1/2 large sweet onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • Flour tortillas
  • Favorite taco toppings

Method:

Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat.  Meanwhile, combine the chili powder, cumin, and smoked paprika in a small bowl.

Rub the spice mix into the beef, covering each side evenly. Once the oil is hot (it will shimmer a bit in the skillet), place the beef in the skillet and sear on each side.

Remove the beef from the skillet and place in the bottom of a slow cooker.  Leave the pan on the heat, and add in the beef stock to deglaze, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.  Add the tomato paste and minced chipotle and whisk into the pan sauce. Bring the sauce to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for a few minutes until the sauce has reduced and thickened slightly.

Add the diced onion and minced garlic on top of the seared beef in the slow cooker.  Pour the pan sauce down over the onions, garlic, and beef.  Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Remove the beef from the slow cooker and shred with two forks.  Use a slotted spoon to remove the onions from the slow cooker, and mix into the shredded beef.

Serve the beef in the flour tortillas, topped with your favorite taco toppings.