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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Teriyaki Flank Steak

Looking for a healthy meal? But also one that has all the flavor? Well, this is it! When you think of frozen food, typically healthy and flavorful don't come to mind. This recipe will change your thinking, because this Flank Steak is DELISH! The key to freezer meals, is having fresh fruit and vegetables to add as side dishes. I love fresh food, so..... Yes. You can have fresh and frozen all in the same meal (although you aren't eating your meal frozen, duh!)

Teriyaki Flank Steak
2.5-3 lb flank steak
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 tsp ground ginger
2Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp veg. oil
1 Tbsp dried minced onions

Put all ingredients into a gallon size ziplock bag, seal tightly getting all air out. Label/date and Freeze!

When ready to eat, thaw completely.

For grill: turn heat to medium/low. Cook on each side for 5-8 minutes done to liking.

For oven: heat oven to low broil. Bake on each side for 5-8 minutes done to liking.

Let meat rest for 10 minutes before slicing against the grain. Serve with grilled portabella mushrooms, corn on the cob, and spinach salad, or any of your favorite grilled veggies!

I have to share one more thing... Recently we went to Disneyland this summer. One of my favorite things I love to eat at the park is a Chili-Lime Corn on the Cob. As we were eating corn with this dish, I decided to replicate my own Chili-Lime Cob. This was an afterthought as I prepared dinner, so I went searching through my spice cupboard and sprinkled this and added a dash of that and, it was pretty darn close to the real thing. Except we ate sweet white corn instead of the typical yellow corn at the park. This was such a treat, I felt like I was right back in Disneyland with each bite!

Corn on the cob
Butter (I use spray butter, don't hate me!)
2 tsp lime zest
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp dried cilantro flakes

Boil as many corn on the cob as you like. Spread butter on each cob, with a sprinkle of the lime zest, chili powder and cilantro flakes to liking.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Mom's cookies

I got this recipe from my mom, she is the author. I'm SOOO grateful, because they are mine & my husband's favorite. I try and keep this cookie dough in my freezer at all times (you know, when you need a "go to" dessert, friends are coming over and I have not prepared a darn thing, or just because I feel  like eating a cookie, RIGHT NOW!!)

I love to cook really yummy food, BUT....At heart, I am a dessert girl! (Hence the two posts today are desserts!) And I also really like cookies in the category of sweets.   My favorite cookie growing up that I made all the time was a peanut butter cookie. I still love those, but my mom's cookies are at the top now.

Christyn's Cookie Recipe

2 cubes butter, softened
2 cups brown sugar
1 cup sugar
4 eggs
1 cup veg. oil
1 T vanilla
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
4 1/2 cups flour
12 oz. pkg milk choc. chips
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans toasted
2 1/2 cups oatmeal

Cream together butter and sugar. Then add eggs, oil and vanilla to creamy mixture. Add dry ingredients, mix well and fold in the last three ingredients. Bake @ 375 for 9 minutes.

Enjoy, and just a warning, you might have to make a double batch, they go VERY fast! I have to keep the baked cookies in my freezer just so I don't pop them in like popcorn. YES...the warning is real!!

My Oreo Cheesecake

My infamous Oreo Cheesecake!! I made this for our Mother's day dinner this year. I pull this one out on holidays, otherwise it would be too dangerous to keep around!!!

2 cups oreo cookie crumbs (take out the filling of the cookie before you crush them in the food processor)
6 Tbsp. melted butter
4 Tbsp. sugar
5 pkg (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened (or 2 1/2 lbs)
1 cup sugar
3 Tbsp. flour
1 Tbsp. vanilla
1 cup light sour cream
4 eggs
3 cups crushed oreo cookies
1 tube cream cheese frosting
12-15 whole oreo cookies for the top


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Mix crumbs, sugar and butter, press firmly onto bottom and up the sides of a spring form pan. Bake 10 minutes.
Beat cream cheese, sugar, flour and vanilla in electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add sour cream, mix well. Add eggs mixing on low speed after each addition just until blended. Stir in crushed oreos. Pour over crust. Bake 1 hour 10 min. or until center is almost set. Cool completely, keep covered in fridge for 4 hours or overnight until ready to frost, decorate and serve. Frost cake with cream cheese frosting and decorate with whole oreo cookies.
Makes 16 servings, one slice each. ENJOY!!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Basil-Balsamic Pork Chops

Loved, loved, LOVED this meal!! With having lots of frozen meal options, I like to throw in the "fresh" to change it up. This summer we have been grilling 3-4 times a week, and I'm not complaining one bit! This meal consists of mouth-watering Basil-Balsamic Pork Chops, Basmati rice, grilled peaches & grilled pineapple. YUM! (You can go ahead and wipe the drool hanging off your chin, now!)

Makes 3 entrees, 4 servings each
12 pork chops bone in or boneless
1 cup olive oil
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons honey
3 teaspoons minced garlic
3 teaspoons dried basil
2 1/4 teaspoons black pepper
3 one-gallon freezer bags, labeled
1.  Rinse and divide chops evenly among the freezer bags.
2.  Whisk together olive oil, vinegar, soy sauce, lemon juice, and honey in a medium bowl.  Divide marinade evenly over the pork.
3.  Into each bag measure 1 teaspoon garlic, 1 teaspoon basil, and 3/4 teaspoon pepper.
4.  Seal and freeze.
Cooking instructions:
1.  Prepare a medium fire in a gas or charcoal grill.
2.  Cooks chops, turning occasionally, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickets part of a chop reads 160.  Discard remaining marinade.

To make the grilled pineapple: skin the pineapple, the cut 1 inch thick pieces and sprinkle with sugar.

Grill on both sides.
Now for the peaches. I left the skin on, you can peel them if you like. Halve and pit each one. Then sprinkle with sugar on the flesh side.
Grill flesh side down til sugar is carmelized!
Right there is a grill full of summer!
Enjoy the plate filled with amazing flavors and textures!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Navajo Tacos

These were my kids' favorite finger food of the week! Sometimes its fun to pick up your food, throw out the fork at dinner time and lick your fingers clean!

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 can refried beans
  • 1 pkg. taco seasoning
  • 12 frozen Rhodes Rolls
  • lettuce, shredded
  • tomato, sliced
  • sour cream
  • shredded cheddar cheese
Taco shell: Thaw the rolls and flatten with a rolling pin into a circle shape. Heat frying oil to 375. Drop in one roll at a time, flipping onto the other side when golden brown. Remove from oil when 2nd side is golden brown. Place on paper towel for oil to drip onto.

Filling: Brown the beef with the onion in a skillet on medium-high. Drain fat. Turn heat down. Add the can of beans and taco seasoning, mix well.

Fill each taco shell with the toppings of choice! Enjoy!!

Get ready to pile some goodness onto this thing!!
I put everything on my taco. Y-U-M-M-O!
My kids just like cheese and lettuce, but they ate the whole thing!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The best RED, WHITE & BLUE dessert!

Who doesn't love the 4th of July? We not only love to celebrate by wearing our country's colors, but we love to make all sorts of desserts with them, too! This Fruit Pizza has a few variations from the one I originally make. First, get a tube of cookie dough from the refrigerated section in the grocery store!! Yes, this is a VERY semi-homemade dessert!!

Press it out into a 9 inch cake pan...the WHOLE tube!! Bake at 350 for about 20-25 min, til the top is golden brown and it is set.

Let cool before you spread this goodness on! Here's the variation: instead of cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice & sour cream...I simply spread on pineapple flavored Greek yogurt!! It was the perfect texture and the chunks of pineapple gave it the flavor that the lemon juice would have provided.

Then pile on your favorite fruits with the colors red & blue! Even blackberries would have been a wonderful alternative! I cute up strawberries into bite size pieces, then layered blueberries and raspberries!

Dig in and enjoy! this one I could eat for every meal and not feel so bad.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Pot Stickers & Yakisoba

I am a lover of sushi. There. I said it. We ate at one of our neighbor sushi joints the other night and it inspired me to break out my Japanese cooking skills! This right here is making me hungry for more!

These three ingredients I ALWAYS have on hand...and you can make anything Asian-style!
  • Pure Sesame Oil
  • Soy Sauce 
  • Rice Vinegar

·         1/3 cup chopped cabbage (boiled)
·         2 tbsps chopped green onion
·         1/2 pound ground pork
·         1 tsp sesame oil
·         1 tsp sugar
·         2 tsps soysauce
·         1/2 tsp garlic salt
·         1 tsp grated fresh ginger
·         20 gyoza wrappers
·         1 tbsp vegetable oil

*Makes 4 servings  (I ALWAYS double it because they are a hit at our house)
1. Combine all ingredients other than oil in a bowl and mix well by hands.

2. Place a teaspoonful of filling in a gyoza wrapper and put water along the edge of the wrapper by fingers.
3. Make a triangle, gathering the front side of the wrapper and sealing the top down to the edges. 

4.Heat oil in a frying pan. Put gyoza in the pan and fry on high heat until the bottoms become brown.

5. Turn down the heat to low. Add 1/4 cup water in the pan. 
6. Cover the pan and steam the gyoza on low heat until the water is gone.

You can't have goyza without a dipping sauce! It just wouldn't be right!  
Spicy Gyoza Sauce
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger root
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  1. Whisk together the rice vinegar, soy sauce, red pepper flakes, garlic, ginger, green onions, and sesame oil in a bowl; allow to sit 15 minutes before serving. Store in refrigerator up to 1 week.
I usually serve Yakisoba with the Pot Stickers. Yakisoba was a personal staple in my diet while I lived in Japan. I was thrilled to find it in the local grocery store when I came back home. Since I've introduced this to my hubby & kids, well, its been love at first taste.  (And YES, it is WAY better than chow mein noodles!)
To find Yakisoba in your local grocery store, go to the Asian section (usually where tofu is sold) or ask for help. Cooking instructions are on the package. Add your favorite vegetables. The usual vegis I put in vary; but aren't exclusive to: chopped cabbage, 1 sweet onion (halved & sliced), minced ginger, sliced celery, carrots, japanese eggplant, mushrooms, bean sprouts, scallions (for garnish), or anything else that may satisfy you.