Tag Archives: Quick and Easy

Couscous, Spinach, and Fig Salad

Israeli Couscous, Fig, and Goat Cheese Salad

I’ve been spending too much money on lunch lately and was looking for a filling, delicious salad that I could make instead. I had figs, I had hazelnuts, I had Israeli Couscous. It was a start! What was it missing? Cheese! And I guess some sort of salady something to make it pretty and healthier. And so this salad was born:

Couscous, Spinach, and Fig Salad

It was really freaking delicious. My recipe was enough for four very satisfying lunches. I love it when I can eat a salad for lunch and actually feel full! If you’re wondering why I chose Israeli Couscous (other than the fact that I had it in my pantry) it’s because I thought it would work better in a salad than the regular, smaller couscous. It mixed in well with everything, and didn’t really sink to the bottom. I used a baby spinach based mix the first time I made this, and a regular baby greens mix the next time. I say you should just pick what you like!

Israeli Couscous, Figs, Goat cheese, spinach salad

I went home this past weekend, and thought it would be nice to make it for my family’s Memorial Day picnic. I chose to double the recipe, and it made for a very delightful picnic salad. Also it was super convenient because I was able to make it the day before. People seemed to like it, and I promised I would have the recipe on my website, and I never lie! I’d write a more fun story, but I have lots of homework to pretend to do now.

Here’s the recipe! Enjoy!

Israeli Couscous, Fig, and Goat Cheese Salad
Author: 
Recipe type: Salad
 
A perfect summer-time salad with a very simple lemon dressing.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup Israeli Couscous
  • ½ cup chopped hazelnuts, lightly toasted
  • 1 cup dried figs, quartered
  • ½ cup crumbled goat cheese
  • 5 oz baby greens mix (spinach, baby lettuce, etc.)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • ⅓ cup fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Cook the couscous in lightly salted water according to the package instructions.
  2. Drain and rinse with cold water.
  3. In a large bowl mix cooked couscous, figs, toasted hazelnuts, and olive oil. Cover and let cool in refrigerator at least 10 minutes.
  4. Once cooled, add goat cheese and salad.
  5. Toss with lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Keep chilled before serving.

If you aren’t sure how to toast hazelnuts, here’s how I do it:

On the stop top, spread the chopped hazelnuts out in an ungreased pan. Keep heat on medium/medium-low, stir hazelnuts frequently until they are lightly toasted. Make sure you watch them so they don’t burn! It should only take a few minutes. Remove them to a separate bowl once finished, so they don’t continue to cook in the hot pan!

Cheesy Apple Pie Rolls

Cheesy Apple Pie Rolls

Is the title confusing? I don’t know how else to describe these! Any ideas, let me know! I thought I would try these out after seeing a picture on Pinterest of a piece of apple being rolled up in a crescent roll. It seemed like an easy enough thing to do, so why not try it out? For mine I added a bit of sharp cheddar cheese because I had some left over from my fancy Cheesy Rice recipe and because my dad claims that apple pie is best with cheese. So again, why not?

apples

It’s easy enough. I didn’t really measure things like cinnamon. Just a light dusting I suppose? My dad is Diabetic, so I didn’t add any sugar to these and they were still quite tasty, but I do think they would have been a tad better with extra sweetness, so go ahead an add a dash of sugar too if you want.

cheesepie

I only used a small bit of sharp cheddar cheese because I was unsure of it. The result? Next time I’ll definitely use more!

plus apple

Then I just put the apple on top and rolled it up!

apple cheese pie

 

Cheesy Apple Pie Rolls
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 8
 
Crescent rolls, an apple, cinnamon and some cheese are all you need to make these pie-like creations!
Ingredients
  • 1 container Crescent Rolls
  • 1 apple, sliced
  • 8 small slices of cheddar cheese
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • Sugar (optional)
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Toss sliced apple pieces with cinnamon and sugar(optional), and set aside.
  3. Unroll crescent rolls, lightly sprinkle with cinnamon (optional). Place one piece of cheddar cheese at the wide end of the roll. Place an apple slice on top, and roll it up.
  4. Bake rolls at 350 for 11-13, or until lightly golden brown.
  5. Best if served warm.

 

 

cheesyrice.com

Cheesy Rice (fancy version)

I have decided it is long past time that I give my original cheesy rice recipe a makeover. Why? Because I bought a really cool bowl and wanted to use it for my website's title recipe. Also I wanted to buy different cheeses. Normally I make cheesy rice with just butter, salt, and American cheese. This time I jazzed it up with chicken broth, Muenster cheese, cheddar cheese, and a green bell pepper (you know, so it's healthy). cheesyrice.com Was the rice still cheesy? You betcha! Am I now in love with Muenster cheese? Holy moly I really am. I almost ate it all before it was time to add it to the rice. That would have been tragic. Also this recipe makes a lot of rice. Why so much????? Because cheesy rice is a meal, not a side dish. cheesy rice2 You're probably wondering "can I add more cheese?" The answer is: YES. When in doubt, always add more cheese. See how my site is named Cheesy Rice? That means I have final say in this matter. In fact, I added more than just Muenster cheese, I added sharp cheddar too! BECAUSE I CAN. Check it: cheese Now check out the recipe  
Cheesy Rice (fancy version)
Author: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups long grain white rice
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • ¾ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (plus more for topping)
  • ⅓ cup cubed Muenster cheese
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • Salt
Instructions
  1. In a medium pot, bring broth to a boil. Add rice and butter, lower the heat, cover and simmer about 20mins or until done. Stir occasionally.
  2. Once rice is done, stir in the cheeses until thoroughly melted. Mix in the bell pepper, and season to taste.
  3. Top with more cheese, and eat it while it’s hot!

 

Honeycomb

How to Make Honeycomb (video)

Hi! Look! A video! I had to make a video for class this week anyway, so why not make it for my website? I chose to do a How to Make Honeycomb video mostly because honeycomb is easy and fun to make, and I like breaking things (you'll see).

Honeycomb pic

It's been a long time since I've made a video, and I tried to get this one done very quickly so I could submit it before I go home for Easter, so it's not the most polished video in the world. If nothing else, doing this reminded me of how much fun it is to make videos! Maybe they'll be more (better planned) ones in the future? We'll see!

A special thanks to Kenny Penguin for supplying me with the music.

Lemony Farro Salad

Lemon Farro Salad

I had a lot of fun learning how to cook with farro and I wish I knew about this when I was a vegetarian because it is really easy to cook, super filling, and it seems to be very versatile. The reason I decided to try it this week is because I received free samples from the Eat Write Retreat Scholarship Challenge to win a ticket to their conference in Philly this year. The contest is being run by Tuscan Fields, who sent out samples of farro to all of the contestants.

My samples were Farro Perlato (organic semi-pearled Emmer) and Farro ai Funghi (organic semi-pearled Farro with ‘Porcini’ mushrooms”.  Both were delicious. And obviously I had to make two different recipes with them so I could play around and see how awesome these little farro fellas are. I wanted to make one hot and one cold dish to see what temperature I prefer farro. I like both! I decided to keep the recipes simple because this is a learning experience for me. Now I need to buy more farro and try some crazy recipes with it! This recipe was my favorite of the two, so I chose it to be my entry to the contest. It was also my cousin’s favorite, so I have to make it for her again because it is the perfect salad to bring to work for lunch!

So what did the farro look like uncooked?

farro

Pretty, right?

So what did it look like cooked?

Lemony Farro Salad

 A couple side-notes before we get started: I used a rotisserie chicken and cut up all the white meat from it for this (I ate the rest of it in the meantime…this was after work and I was hungry!). Obviously you can just cook a couple pieces of chicken breast instead if you want. For cooking the farro, I pretty much just followed the directions on the back of the box. Also, I would go light overall with salt since the feta adds a lot of salty flavor at the end.

On to the recipe!!

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Farro al Funghi

Farro Fajitas

With my sample of Farro ai Funghi from Tuscan Fields for the Eat Write Retreat  contest for a ticket to a conference in Philly, I thought it would be fun to make vegetarian fajitas. Also I made this on Thursday, which is taco night, so why not? Also, alliteration is fun. I wanted to have more fun and make it Farro Fajita Pitas, but I couldn’t find pitas at the store :(

Since the farro has a lot of protein in it to begin with I didn’t feel the need for any other protein source, like meat or beans. Also, I just wanted to taste the flavor of the farro.I added mushrooms because 1) I like mushrooms a whole lot and 2) I think the texture of them makes for a great meat substitute. This is a really simple recipe, and was satisfyingly filling. Although next time I might try it with the Farro Perlato because the Farro al Funghi was so delicious on its own that it seemed almost criminal to mix it up with salsa and cheese. I still did it, and still enjoyed it, so overall it was a huge success.

Also, check out the beautiful onion I found at the grocery store! I couldn’t find onions this pretty even when it was my job to pick out beauty onions for the sets of Food Network shows! The peel wasn’t broken at all!

Veggies

Crazy, right? I almost didn’t want to cut it up!

Here’s the Farro al Funghi on its own so you can see how delightful it is.

Farro al Funghi

Seriously, that alone makes an amazing side dish. I might have to get some for Easter.

On to fajitas!

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brownies2

Bailey’s Irish Cream Brownies

Looking for a last minute potluck treat for St. Patrick’s Day? Make some Bailey’s Brownies! These are wicked easy, and absolutely delightful. There is a subtle hint of Bailey’s flavor mixed in with the awesomeness of chocolate. It was really hard to photograph these and not eat them at the same time

But I did it anyway.brownies2

 

I wasn’t really sure what I was doing with this, so I guessed at some measurements and they came out really fantastic. I used a box of Duncan Hines (13×9 Family Sized) Chewy Fudge Brownies. Looking at the instruction on the box, there was a total 1 cup worth of liquid added (water and oil) so I figured if I did 1/2 cup of Bailey’s and 1/2 cup of oil it would be fine. And I added 1/2 cup of chocolate chips because why not? They were easy to get out of the pan once cooled, had a nice slightly crisp edge, and were still chewy.

I’m trying out this recipe feature my website template comes with…so click/look below for the recipe! Let me know what you think!

brownies

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tacos

Shredded Beef Tacos

After I made the Bacon Cheddar Biscuits I had a lot of leftover ingredients, such as the crumbled bacon, chives, and cheese. Luckily, Thursday nights are taco nights, and so I figured I might as well use them up and make fancy tacos. My cousin and I try to make sure our taco nights feature something different each time, so that it doesn’t get dull. We’ve had ground beef, chicken, various toppings, wraps, and now this week I thought it would be fun to try shaved beef. And bacon.

tacos

They did taste as good as they look. Making tacos is really easy, all you need is meat (or lentils), vegetables, taco seasoning, cheese (non-negotiable), sauce, wraps/shells, and toppings. Here’s what I did for mine:

peppers

First I sauteed:

1 shallot

1 bell pepper

minced garlic

And then I removed them from the pan. I cooked the meat next, until it was brown, then added the seasoning and followed the directions on the packet. There is no picture of the meat simmering in taco seasoning because it is not pretty.

 

 

chives

 

While all this was happening, I prepped the toppings. I cut the rest of the chives, and grabbed the bacon, cheese, sour cream, and salsa from the fridge. Because I’m forward thinking like that!

 

 

 

 

tacos2

And then, assemble!!! You can see all the layers: meat, peppers, sauce, cheese, sour cream, bacon, chives!! I should have put the cheese down first, but clearly I wasn’t thinking right. I just wanted to eat. I really wish I didn’t eat them all, because now I’m hungry again.

I guess I’ll just have to start on my St. Patrick’s Day recipes…

open

Bacon Cheddar Biscuits

Sometimes I think I should rename my blog something along the lines of  “Cheesy Bacon Laziness” because that’s totally how I roll. As you can tell, I was in the mood for bacon and cheese. Conveniently my cousin was having a potluck in her department at work so I was able to make a lot of Bacon Cheddar Biscuits, and then not be gross and eat them all by myself. Also, I work in the same building so I was able to have some of the potluck food since I contributed to it. (I may have eaten a lot of the chocolate ravioli…)

open

The other half was already eaten before I remembered to take pictures.

 

I was feeling super lazy, so I decided to just use Bisquick for these. Here is my method:

 

First you cook the bacon. Remove it to a paper towel lined plate when it’s cooked, and either crunch it up with your hands or chop it to make it into small pieces. I just did a whole package, and saved crumbled bacon pieces for another meal.

bacon

I think this is the prettiest picture in the whole world.

ingredients

 

In a large bowl combine:

3 cups Bisquick (or other similar mix)

~2 Tbsp chopped chives

~1 cup sharp cheddar cheese

~2/3 cup chopped/crumbled bacon

1 cup buttermilk (add more if necessary)

These measurements are mostly guesses, I didn’t actually measure anything other than the Bisquick and buttermilk…

 

 

raw

 

Drop in rounded spoonfuls onto parchment lined baking sheets.

Bake at 450° for 8-10 mins, or until golden brown.

Meanwhile, melt about 4 Tbsp of butter.

 

 

 

 

Brush tops with butter while still warm, and sprinkle chives/garlic powder/salt/whatever makes you happy. Best if eaten warm!

baked

 

This recipe made about 14 biscuits.

 

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Chicken and Spinach Stir-Fry

People who exercise a lot seem to be obsessed with protein. So here is a high protein, low-calorie, filling, easy, and delicious meal. It was also, conveniently, a good way for me to use up some leftover ingredients  :)

There isn’t much else to say about this recipe other than how awesome it is. Throughout the recipe I used cooking spray when I was changing the ingredients in the pan (you’ll see what I mean) instead of adding a lot of olive oil or vegetable oil because it’s easier to control and you really don’t need all that much oil. And the only time I really used salt and pepper was on the chicken because the soy sauce will add enough sodium for you when it all comes together.

For the brown rice I just used Minute Brown Rice and followed the directions using 2 cups of uncooked rice. You can do whatever you want, which is why I put the amount of cooked brown rice instead of giving you directions on how to cook rice.

Printer Version

Chicken and Spinach Stir-Fry

Serves: 4
Serving Size: about 1 ¼ cup

Ingredients:

2 2/3  cups cooked brown rice
2 whole eggs, whisked
1 ½ lbs. boneless, skinless chicken tenders(or breasts), cut into ½ inch cubes
½ onion, finely chopped
8 oz. mushrooms, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
8 oz spinach, roughly chopped
1 Tbsp. Sesame oil
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 tsp. Hoisin sauce
1 tsp. vinegar
Cooking Spray
Salt and Pepper to taste

Lightly coat a large non-stick skillet with cooking spray, and scramble the eggs until cooked through, making sure to break it apart into small pieces. Remove from pan, spray again, and cook chicken until cooked through.

Meanwhile, make the sauce by mixing the sesame oil, soy sauce, hoisin, and vinegar in a small bowl.

Remove chicken from pan when cooked. Add onion, garlic, and mushrooms, and cook until tender. Add the spinach, cooking until wilted, then add the brown rice and stir to thoroughly incorporate it. Add the sauce, stir, and cook for 1 minute. Add in the cooked chicken and egg and heat through.

Nutritional info per serving:  Calories 409, Fat 10g, Carbs 39g, Protein 48g