CLASSIC MIDWEST GOULASH



CLASSIC MIDWEST GOULASH
Serves 4-5
Adapted from Paula Deen


1 pound lean ground beef 
1 large onions, chopped
1 1/2  cups water 
15-ounce can tomato sauce
15-ounce can diced tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, minced 
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning 
2 bay leaves 
1.5 tablespoons soy sauce 
1/2 tablespoon salt 
1 teaspoon ground pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup dried small pasta 
Parmesan


In a Dutch oven, saute the ground beef and ground turkey over medium-high heat, until no pink remains. Break up meat while sauteing; pour off any grease. Add the onions to the pot and saute until they are tender about 5 minutes. Add 1 1/2 cups water, along with the tomato sauce, tomatoes, garlic, Italian seasoning, bay leaves, soy sauce, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Stir well. Place a lid on the pot and allow this to cook for 20 to 25 minutes.

Add the pasta, stir well, return the lid to the pot, and simmer for about 20 minutes. Turn off the heat, remove the bay leaves and allow the mixture to sit about 15 minutes more before serving. Add salt and pepper if needed and sprinkle Parmesan on top if desired.


SHEET PAN CHICKEN FAJITAS



  • Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas 
  • Adapted from number-2-pencil

  • 1 1/2 pounds of chicken breast, sliced thin
  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced into 1/4 inch slices
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced into 1/4 inch slices
  • 1 small red onion, sliced into 1/4 inch slices
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of kosher salt
  • several turns of freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon of chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon of smoked paprika
  • tortillas, warmed
  • Optional:
  • Cheese, Limes, Salsa, Avocado, you get the idea


  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • In a large bowl, combine onion, bell pepper, chicken slices, olive oil, salt and pepper and spices. Toss to combine. Spread chicken, bell peppers and onions on baking sheet.
  • Cook at 425 degrees for about 20 minutes, until chicken reaches 165 degrees. Then turn oven to broil and cook for additional 1-2 minutes just letting the veggies pick up some color. Watch carefully to make sure they don't start to burn. 
  • In the last five minutes of cooking, not while the broiler is on, let tortillas wrapped in foil warm in the oven. Serve in warm tortillas.

SOFT AND THICK SNICKERDOODLES





Soft and Thick Snickerdoodles
Adapted from Sally’s baking Addiction
Makes 24 cookies

1 cup (2 sticks or 230g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 and 1/3 cup (267g) granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups (375g) all-purpose flour 
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt

TOPPING:
1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar


Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper

Make the topping: toss 1/4 cup granulated sugar with 1 teaspoon cinnamon in a small bowl. Set aside.

Make the cookies: In a large bowl using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer, cream the softened butter for about 1 minute on medium speed. Add the sugar on medium speed until fluffy and light in color. Mix in egg and vanilla. Scrape down the sides as needed. Set aside.

In a medium size bowl, whisk together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. With the mixer running on low speed, slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. The dough is quite thick.

Take 1.5 - 2 Tablespoons of dough and roll into a ball or use a cookie scoop. I use a medium Pampered Chef cookie scoop. Roll the dough balls into the reserved cinnamon-sugar topping.  Press cookies just a little with the flat bottom of a glass and sprinkle extra cinnamon-sugar on top if desired. Bake cookies for 11-12 minutes or until the edges are just set up. Do not over bake.

The cookies will be very puffy and soft. Allow cookies to cool slightly and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. 

Bacon and Vinegar Potato Salad

This is my favorite potato salad. Its so easy, delicious, fresh and the vinegar gives it the perfect kick. You can serve it cold but it is best served warm. I wait to sprinkle the bacon on right before serving because no one wants chewy bacon. Also when I store leftovers it in the fridge, I store the bacon crumbles in a separate bowl so they stay crisp. 



Bacon and Vinegar Potato Salad

6 cups white potatoes, diced (I do not peel but you could)
6 slices bacon, diced (i use a scissors to cut up)
1 medium onion, diced
1/3 cup white vinegar
2.5 tablespoons water
1.5 tablespoons white sugar
1-2 teaspoons salt
 ground black pepper
 fresh parsley

Boil potatoes in salted water until tender, about 10-15 min. Sauté bacon pieces in frying pan, stirring constantly until crisp. Drain bacon pieces on paper towels but reserve a little bacon fat in the frying pan. Add the onion to the reserved bacon fat and sauté until softened. Add salt and pepper.


Tale off the heat and add vinegar, water and sugar. Add cooked potatoes, stir together and season with more salt and pepper if needed.


Serve warm and finish with crispy bacon and parsley.
                                   

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ONE BOWL EASY BROWNIES


These brownies are the perfect combination between fudgy and cakey. They have a rich chocolate flavor and like all chocolate baked goods, taste better on the day after they are baked. They are easy to make and also freeze well.


ONE BOWL EASY BROWNIES
Makes 16 bars
Slightly Adapted from www.joyofbaking.com

5 ounces (150 grams) (Little less than 1 cup)  dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup (1 stick) (113 grams) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 tablespoons (15 grams) cocoa powder
1 cup (200 grams) granulated white sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 large eggs
3/4 cup (95 grams) all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (125 grams) dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place the rack in the center of the oven. Line an 8-inch (20 cm) square pan with parchment paper. 


Melt the chocolate and butter in microwave, stirring every at 30 seconds until melted. Let cool for a few minutes. Stir in the cocoa powder and sugar, Next, whisk in the vanilla extract and eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Finally, stir in the flour, salt and chocolate chips.

Pour into the prepared pan and bake for about 25-27 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a little batter and a few moist clumps clinging to it. Do not over bake. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack. Serve at room temperature. These freeze very well.



CHEWY GRANOLA BARS

  • CHEWY GRANOLA BARS
  • Makes 12 bars 

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups quick-cooking/instant oats, such as Bob's Red Mill, Gluten Free, Quick Cooking Oats (do not use regular old-fashioned oats)
  • 1-3/4 cups Rice Krispies
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips

Optional Add ins:
  • sliced almonds
  • dried fruit 
seeds

  • Spray 9 x 9-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray

  • In a pot, combine the butter, brown sugar and honey. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Lower the heat and simmer until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. 
Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla and salt.Add the oats and rice cereal to the pan and fold with a rubber spatula until well combined. Sprinkle in a few chocolate chips (they may melt a little).

Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan and press down lightly with a rubber spatula to even out. 

Sprinkle the chocolate chips over top, adding more or less to suit your taste, and press down firmly with the spatula so the chips stick.The mixture should be tightly compacted in the pan. Place the pan in the refrigerator for 1 hour to cool.

Using a sharp knife, cut into bars. Store the bars in an airtight container/baggie in the refrigerator.

Note: If you are substituting dried fruit for the chocolate chips, mix it in along with the other ingredients as opposed to sprinkling over top.

CINNAMON BANANA BUTTER

CINNAMON BANANA BUTTER
Makes Approx 2 cups
Adapted from chiquita 

1 cup mashed banana (about 2)
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

In a large saucepan, stir bananas, lemon zest and lemon juice; bring to boil over medium heat. Stirring constantly. Stir in sugar: bring to full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat stir in vanilla and cinnamon.
Keep refrigerated and eat within one week.
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