Friday, March 30, 2012

Strawberry Lemon Quick Bread

I’ve said it before a million times that I am so blessed to live in Florida in the winter time…summer time not so much, and this year doubly so.  With our mild temperatures all of our food crops did amazingly well.  I found that I had an abundance of things that I love.  Two of them being lemons and strawberries.
This year the strawberry and lemon crops have been so plentiful that I had so many lemons and strawberries that I just had no way of getting them used up unless I made something with them.  I searched high and low for a recipe for that used both strawberries and lemons. Weird huh?  Not many out there.  So I adapted a strawberry bread recipe from Union Street Eats and it turned out perfect!
Strawberry and Lemon Quick Bread (adapted from Union Street Eats)
Preheat oven to 375F

Grease and flour a 9X5 inch bread pan

2 Cups fresh strawberries, roughly chopped
1 1/2 Cups all-purpose flour
zest of one lemon
3/4 Cup granulated sugar
1/4 Cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 Cup vegetable oil
1/4 Cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract

  • Place chopped strawberries in a large strainer or colander and sprinkle with a couple of Tbsp of sugar.  Let sit for about 15 minutes
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, lemon zest, both sugars, cinnamon, baking soda and salt
  • In a separate bowl whisk together eggs, vanilla, oil and lemon juice.
  • Stir in the strawberries.
  • Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until combined.  Do not over-mix.
  • Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.  Bake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out clean.
  • Remove from oven and let cool before removing from pan.
**This is a moist and delicious bread.  It was gone in no time and I’m looking for another sale on strawberries to make it again!
I also want to give a quick shout out to the folks at The Food Channel.  They featured my blog in “Thing We Love”  So honored…Head on over and check them out.  They have some great stuff on their site (besides me!! LOL)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Black Bean and Goat Cheese Pizza

Last week one day I put a post on Facebook saying that I was making a black bean and goat cheese pizza.  Having never tried it before I added the comment at the end…”How could that not be good right?”  To those of you who responded that there was no way it could be good, you’re just plain crazy.
This ended up being an absolutely delicious pizza and we all were fighting for the leftovers the next day. 
I pretty much followed the same recipe that I use when I make black bean and goat cheese quesadillas the only real change being the pizza crust instead of tortillas.
Goat Cheese and Black Bean Pizza
Preheat oven to 500F (I use a pizza stone on the bottom shelf and cook my pizzas on a cookie sheet directly on the stone.)
1 package of store bought pizza dough or your own recipe (I make a bread machine dough that we love).  Stretched as shaped on a pan.  We use a cookie sheet pan and make rectangular pizzas.
Black Bean Topping
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 lg yellow onion, finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
24-oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 cup water 
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 jalapeno, chopped or sliced if desired
4 oz. or more goat cheese, crumbled
In a medium skillet, heat the oil over medium heat until hot. Add the onion and garlic and sauté, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the beans, cumin, chili powder, oregano and 1/2 cup water and cook, stirring occasionally, until almost all the water has evaporated, 5 to 7 minutes. Take the pan off the heat. With the back of a fork, break up the beans to make a chunky mash. Stir in half of the cilantro and season with salt and pepper.
Spread the black bean mixture over the pizza dough and crumble the goat cheese and dab on top, sprinkle with jalapeno.
Cook until hot and bubbly and the pizza crust is browned to your liking (should be about 20 minutes but keep an eye on it.  My oven is funky at 500F.  Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Asian Broccoli Slaw (Thanks Sherri M.!)

Sometimes you come across a really great recipe by luck and possibly a little boredom.  I know it’s happened to all of us before.  Either chatting on the phone (anyone do this anymore?), IMing, texting etc. and the other person mentions what they are making or eating.  And you hear it and you just HAVE to have it!
This happened to me a couple of weekends ago when one of my friends text me that she was making broccoli slaw and then she sent me a picture.  I had to have some…luckily she lives in the neighborhood and brought me some.  But sadly I had to share with the kids but it inspired me to make some more…the very next day!
Now, I don’t ever use Ramen Noodles (the really cheap packs you get and add hot water to) and to be honest I have never even tasted them but we have a case of them in our Hurricane Supply kit and I decided that this could put them to very good use!
Asian Broccoli Slaw (Sherri’s Mom got it from the Pastor’s wife)

Salad Ingredients
2 bags of broccoli slaw
6 green spring onions (chopped)
1/4 – 1/2 cup red peppers (chopped)
1/2 cup craisins
1/2 cup roasted and salted sunflower seeds (I loved the salty sweet thing so I added extra)
2 pkg chicken flavor Ramen Noodle (just the noodle part) crumbled up and placed on top just before serving

Dressing Ingredients
1/2 cup olive oil
3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp honey
2 seasoning packets from the Ramen Noodles above
couple of dashes of hot garlic sauce just to taste

  • In a large bowl mix all of the salad ingredients but the noodles (they will be used to sprinkle on top.
  • In a small bowl combine all of the ingredients for the dressing.
  • Toss the salad with the dressing and chill for a couple of hours before serving. 
  • Don't cook the noodles, leave them crunchy.  Break them up and top the salad with them just before you serve the salad.
**We love this salad and yes, it will feed a crowd or 4 people who eat it at every meal when it’s there for a day or so.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Toasted Pecan Pancakes

Anyone who follows me on Facebook or Twitter know that we travel quite a bit due to Kyra’s BMX races.  Those who don’t follow me now know. 
A couple of weeks ago we left the house Wednesday evening after Tony finished work and drove north towards Morristown, TN.  Not much happening in Morristown, TN other than a BMX race but we still managed to have a great time.  Other than the races the fun for us is the drive there…the drive home sucks.  Trust me on that!
So what does all of this have to do with pancakes? 
On our drive north the GPS took us through our old vacation destination of SC and NC mountains.  Just as the sun was coming up we passed a sign that said Cherokee, NC. 
Judy and Tony This is where Tony and I started trout fishing about 20 years ago…
Funny thing is we had been talking about NC and our great vacations there just a week or so ago and were asking the kids if they even remembered being there.  Sadly hardly any memories at all.  One thing they do remember is the crazy Bear Park where you buy food and feed the bears (horrible for the bears but fun for the kids).  This is where we decided to go.  Unfortunately the bears seemed to be sleeping so we looked for a spot to have breakfast.  Luckily we found a place that was open (off season!).  Thanks Peter’s Pancakes and Waffles!!!  This where we had the toasted pecan pancakes.  Absolutely delicious.  I decided to try and recreate them. 
They were a hit…Kyra had 5 before she waved the white flag!!!
Toasted Pecan Pancakes
2 cup all pupose flour
1 Tbs sugar
6 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 egg
2 cup milk
4 Tbs vegetable or canola oil
1 cup toasted pecans, chopped (toasted in a skillet until fragrant and the oils have begun to be released)
  • Whisk all dry ingredients together in a large bowl (except pecans)
  • Whisk all wet ingredients together
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix well. You may have to add additional milk to make the mixture thinner.
  • Lightly oil a pre-heated griddle or pan.
  • Pour using a 1/4 cup measuring cup.
  • Sprinkle with pecans.
  • Cook on first side until you see bubbles on the surface. Flip and cook until the other side is browned.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Pork Roast in the Crockpot

I guess by now you realize that I am back to the food blog and with a vengeance. My goal is to post at least 2 times a week. More if I have something really good to add.

I have been really busy and that is my excuse. Most of the meals I was making are the thrown together family faves that I never really think about blogging but I started to realize that most of us are probably in the same boat right now. Money is tight because of rising fuel costs and I don't know about you but my grocery bill is out of this world (busy looking for ways to keep it down...), and we're all busy...trying to keep it all together. Sometimes more gracefully than others LOL!

Today's recipe falls in the fast and easy and relatively inexpensive if you buy right. I was able to find pork sirloin tip roast at Costco for $1.69 a pound and they come packaged in about 2 lb packs. Which is perfect for us. One meal and leftovers for Tony's lunch the next day. So add some mashed potatoes and a quick salad to it and you have a perfect weeknight meal that will make everyone happy!

Pork Roast in the Crockpot


  • 1 (2 pound) pork roast or tenderloin
  • 1 medium sized onion cut in half and sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon (or cube) of bouillon dissolved in the following cup of water
  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cup red wine
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste


  1. Place pork roast in a slow cooker (I use the smallest one possible to hold all the liquid) with the onions.
  2. Sprinkle with garlic powder and salt.
  3. Pour water, wine, and soy sauce over the top, turning the pork to coat.
  4. Carefully spread garlic over the pork, leaving as much on top of the roast during cooking as possible.
  5. Sprinkle with pepper, cover, and cook on low setting for 4 hours.
  6. Serve with cooking liquid on the side as au jus or thicken for a delicious gravy

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Bacon and Egg Breakfast Cups

I am ALWAYS on the lookout for a quick, healthy and easy breakfast to feed the girls.  Our mornings are sometimes a little (lol!) hectic and having some thing made ahead or that is fast makes it oh so much better.  Usually they get these really tasty breakfast sandwiches but when I saw these on Kristen’s blog (Dine and Dish) I knew I would have to try them.
They were a real hit.  I ended up changing it and using bacon that I cooked up the night before because I didn’t have any ham.  The kiddo’s loved them.  Lauren will eat 2 of these at a sitting.  Easy to make a dozen and heat them up over the next couple of days…
Bacon and Egg Breakfast Cups (Dine and Dish)
  • 12 eggs
  • 1 cup chopped cooked bacon
  • 2 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Spray a muffin pan generously with Pam cooking spray
  3. Crack one egg into each hole of the muffin pan, using a fork to gently break the yolk.
  4. Sprinkle each egg with bacon, salt, cracked black pepper and cheese.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes.
  6. Pop out of muffin tins and serve.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Beef Stew with Beer…

Enough said right?  How can beef stew simmered for hours in a nice hearty beer be bad?  In my books it can’t so when I was searching for a stew recipe and came across this one from Ree of The Pioneer Woman I knew I’d found what I was looking for.
This soup was rich and delicious and made for a perfect weeknight meal for a busy family!
Beef Stew with Beer and Paprika (The Pioneer Woman)
  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Butter
  • 2 pounds Stew Meat (I dredged the meat in seasoned flour  (salt, pepper and garlic powder) before browning it)
  • 1 whole Medium Onion, Diced
  • 3 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 can Beer, 12 Ounce Can
  • 4 cups Beef Stock (or 4 Cups Water + 4 Beef Bouillon Cubes)
  • 2 cups Water (additional, If Needed)
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon Paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon Sugar
  • 4 whole Carrots, Washed, Unpeeled, And Roughly Sliced
  • 4 whole New Potatoes, Quartered
  • Minced Parsley (optional)
Heat oil and butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Brown (floured and seasoned) meat in two batches, setting aside on a plate when brown. Cut pieces in half.
Add diced onions to the pot. Stir and cook for two or three minutes until softened, then add garlic for another minute. Pour in beer and beef stock, then add Worcestershire, tomato paste, paprika, salt, pepper, and sugar. Add beef back into the pot. Stir to combine. Cover and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
*UPDATE: The liquid should cook down to a thicker state. If it gets too thick/reduces too much, add additional water as needed.
Add carrots and potatoes, then cover and cook for an additional 30 minutes. (If stew gets dry, just add a cup of hot water at a time to replenish the liquid.) Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
***We loved this recipe and the only change I made was dredging the meat in seasoned flour (salt, pepper and a bit of garlic powder).  Will be making this again as soon as it’s cool enough…