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SLOW COOKER BEEF STROGANOFF

SLOW COOKER BEEF STROGANOFF

Slow cooker beef stroganoff recipe

Happy September friends!  On my last blog post I shared with you how every August I just can’t deal with cooking.  Call it end of the hot summer season burn out… I don’t know but like clockwork every August it happens!  The best strategy I’ve learned it to have a pile of easy no brainer recipes that can carry me through the slump.  I recently shared my oh so easy spicy maple salmon recipe and now I’m sharing another oh so easy girl you can do this recipe with my slow cooker beef stroganoff.  It has minimal prep work, you basically just throw everything in the slow cooker and then your free!  Well, you’re free for about 6-8 hours anyway.

Slow cooker beef stroganoff recipe

I love the complete easy laziness that slow cooker or crockpot meals have.  I’m normally NOT a fan of any slow cooked recipe that calls for additional stove top cooking.  When it comes to the slow cooker I want to be the laziest person possible!  Having said that this recipe does call for additional stove top cooking.  What??  I know, but hear me out, we’re just boiling the noodles, and it’s egg noodles, those babies cook fast!  But if noodles aren’t your jam you can skip them altogether and serve with bread.

Easy slow cooker recipes

When  I say this recipe is easy I mean it!  I start with lean pre-chopped stew meat, a little seasoning, add sliced mushrooms, and a rough chopped onion.  That’s it, easy peasy!

8 hours later…..

Easy crockpot recipes

Now the fun starts, building the sauce!  To thicken the sauce a bit I like to ladle out some liquid to a bowl and whisk in some cornstarch until smooth.  With the heat still on the slow cooker I stir the cornstarch mixture back in and let the mixture thicken while I start the noodles.

Slow cooker beef stroganoff recipe

Once the noodles are done right before serving we add sour cream and Dijon mustard to finish the delicious sauce.

Fact: anything with sour cream is incredibly delicious and this sauce certainly doesn’t disappoint.  If you’re not a fan of Dijon don’t let that throw you off, it helps to emulsify the sauce and adds just a hint of tang.  My kids aren’t mustard fans yet they never notice it.  Shh!

Slow cooker beef stroganoff recipe

Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff

Servings: 8

Equipment

  • Slow cooker

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs beef stew meat
  • 1 yellow or white onion, chopped
  • 1 lb whole mushrooms, rinsed and sliced in half (or use pre-sliced)
  • 1 tbs worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 2 tbs cornstarch
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 tbs Dijon mustard
  • cooked egg noodles, for serving
  • chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

Instructions

  • Place beef, onion, mushrooms, worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper in a slow cooker.
  • Cover and cook on low 8 hours or high 6 hours, until meat is tender.
  • Ladle 1 cup of the liquid from the slow cooker into a medium size bowl. Add the cornstarch and whisk until smooth. With the heat still on pour the cornstarch mixture back in slow cooker and stir until combined.
  • Cook another 10 minutes until the sauce has thickened. While the sauce is thickening boil the egg noodles according to the package directions.
  • Turn the slow cooker off, or set it to warm and stir in the sour cream and Dijon mustard.
  • Serve over egg noodles and top with fresh parsley.

Easy slow cooker recipes

There you have it, a family friendly easy meal that takes very little time and effort.  This meal is so hearty and satisfying but what I really like is how it doesn’t scream I’ve been cooked in the slow cooker.  Whether you just can’t deal with cooking or your short on time this recipe is perfect!

Fall is coming, who else is bursting with excitement?  The blog will be turning full on fall soon!  Have a great week my pumpkins!

5-INGREDIENT SPICY MAPLE SALMON

5-INGREDIENT SPICY MAPLE SALMON

Spicy Maple Salmon with just 5 ingredients

Every August like clockwork I get completely burned out with cooking.  It’s always been a weird phenomenon with me and I honestly can’t explain it.  Personally I think it’s just the end of the hot summer season that stops all my passion, I’m ready for fall food but the temps are still hot and I’m over it.  Occasionally I’ll get the same feeling late winter but nothing like August, August is epic.  Ok, so you’re wondering why I’m telling you this right?  We all get bored at times in the kitchen and lack the will power.  We still need to eat and we can’t eat every meal at a restaurant, so what do we do?  Cook super easy recipes that require no effort, of course!

Here I am ready to share one of my favorite, easy, no brainer recipes…my spicy maple salmon recipe.  It takes just 5 easy to find ingredients, marinates an hour, and cooks just minutes in the oven.  Pair that with a simple green salad and you’re good to go!

Spicy Maple Salmon with just 5 ingredients

Seriously, this could not be easier!  I just throw maple syrup, spicy sriracha, a little garlic powder, and low sodium soy sauce in a bag.  Toss in the with salmon, marinate an hour, cook, and boom done!  It’s so easy even those who can’t deal with dinner can do this.  It’s perfect for my August cooking burn out or just a quick weeknight meal.

We’ve used Frank’s buffalo sauce in place of the sriracha before with mediocre results… seriously don’t be afraid of the sriracha sauce, it adds a punch that nothing else can without being too spicy.

5 ingredient recipes

I don’t know about you but any time I put a marinade together in a bag it always falls over.  I mean like always!  It looks stable on the counter and as soon as I turn my back it falls and all the liquid spills out.  So now without a doubt I always set my marinade bags in a bowl for stability.  By the way if you’re out of resealable bags you can also marinate in a bowl, just make sure everything is evenly covered.

Easy salmon recipes

Toss in the marinade ingredients, add the salmon, then seal and shake.  Place it back in the refrigerator for about an hour then boom you’re ready for the oven.

Just a few notes, I always use low sodium soy sauce.  I’m a salty girl, I love salt… my last name is Salter after all, but I honestly can’t do full sodium soy sauce, it’s just too intense.  I recommend you also use low sodium but that’s up to you.  I also recommend you use skin on salmon, it can be frozen or fresh but having the skin on adds so much flavor and moisture.  I never do skinless!  Feel free to add a few sliced green onions if you have them on hand, it makes things fancy!  You can find this amazingly easy recipe below but keep reading to find a few more of my recipe tips.

Spicy Maple Salmon with just 5 ingredients

Spicy Maple Salmon

Prep Time35 mins

Ingredients

  • 4-6 8 oz salmon filets (with skin on preferably)
  • 6 tbs maple syrup
  • 2 tbs low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tbs sriracha sauce
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • gallon size ziploc bag or a bowl to marinade

Instructions

  • In a ziploc bag combine maple syrup, soy sauce, sriracha sauce, and garlic powder.
  • Add the salmon filets to the bag, close and shake to combine.
  • Place the salmon in the refrigerator and let marinate for at least 30 minutes.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 425° and line a rimmed baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.
  • Place the salmon on the pan skin side down and bake 7-9 minutes.

The first time you make this recipe you’ll definitely want to watch the cook time.  Salmon is a bit like steak, some like it rare, others more done.  You can also marinate it a bit longer but I’ve never gone more than 90 minutes.  Sometimes I’ll cook a whole salmon and of course that takes a bit longer, a good 20-25 minutes.  However I am cooking at a high altitude which means a longer cook time so keep an eye on it the first time for the best results.

Spicy Maple Salmon with just 5 ingredients

Pair this spicy maple salmon with some rice and a simple arugula salad and you’re good to go!  In the summer we make this salmon recipe all the time, along with my asian sesame salmon both are perfect satisfying meals.  It’s delicious and healthy!  Am I the only one who gets August cooking burn out?  Please tell me no.  Or maybe you have another month where you’re so over being in the kitchen?  Do tell, I’d love to know.  I do have another easy “I can’t stand to cook another meal ever again” recipe that I’ll be sharing soon.  It’s rich and beefy and cooks in the slow cooker.  Another perfect meal whether you’re just busy or you’re waiting on your cooking passion to come back.

Got any cooking tips or ideas for when you just can’t deal for whatever reason?  Share them in the comments below.  Happy end of summer!

CREAMY LEMON PASTA WITH GREEN PEAS

CREAMY LEMON PASTA WITH GREEN PEAS

Creamy Lemon Pasta with green peas

Let’s talk food.  Simple, easy, and affordable food!  I want to share with you my Creamy Lemon Pasta with Green Peas, a delicious pasta recipe that you can make in 20 minutes or less with just a few simple ingredients.  I don’t know about you, but I always have several bags of green peas in the freezer.  I find so many uses for them in recipes.  They add lots of nutrition, a cheerful pop of color, and are easy on the budget.

You can use any kind of pasta you like but I prefer egg noodles, they’re so comforting and delicious!  With all the corona panic, our grocery store shelves have been pretty bare, especially in the pasta section.  Luckily we’ve had plenty of egg noodles in stock and they’re my favorite!

Creamy Lemon Pasta with green peas

I usually buy the biggest bags of frozen peas I can find and I store them in large freezer bags.  So whenever I need a small amount of peas I just scoop a little out here and there.  My daughter has always been a big green pea lover, she adds them to her eggs and even eats them frozen.  I love them too!

In this recipe it’s best to use thawed green peas so they’ll cook faster, but if you’re like me you might forget.  No worries, just run the frozen peas a few minutes in a colander under cool water and they thaw pretty fast.  You can also use canned peas as well.

Fresh lemon juice really makes this recipe sing, so you’ll need two good size lemons.  I usually buy large quantities of lemons and keep them in the refrigerator so they last longer.  We use them for everything from lemon water, salad dressings, cocktails, marinades, and yes, lemon bars!  Lemons can be kept on the counter if you’ll be using them within a week, otherwise keep them in the refrigerator and they can last a good month, maybe more.

This recipe calls for lemon zest and juice.  Be sure and zest your lemons first using a zester or a cheese grater.  Then after juicing your lemons be sure to measure out the amount of juice you have before adding it to the recipe.  I like using three tablespoons of juice, any more than that I find a bit overpowering.  So don’t eyeball it, measure it out and adjust the taste to what you like.

Creamy Lemon Pasta with green peas

As Julia Child once said, “If you’re afraid of butter use cream.”  I love her to pieces… I keep heavy cream on hand at all times, it’s really versatile.  However if you’re out of cream you can use butter at a reduced ratio with a little milk (not too much) and you should be good to go.  Don’t forget to add a generous dose of freshly ground black pepper and a little parmesan to add even more flavor.

Creamy Lemon Pasta with green peas

Creamy Lemon Pasta with Green Peas

Servings: 6

Ingredients

  • 16 oz package egg noodles
  • 1 ⅓ cups heavy cream
  • 2 lemons zested
  • 3 Tbs fresh lemon juice (about 1 ½ -2 lemons)
  • 1 cup frozen green peas, thawed
  • salt to taste
  • fresh ground pepper to taste
  • parmesan cheese for topping

Instructions

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add noodles, stir, and cook according to package directions.
  • During the last 5 minutes of the pasta cooking combine cream, lemon zest, salt, and pepper into a small saucepan.
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, add the green peas, and simmer for 2 minutes.
  • Drain noodles and return to the pot. Pour creamy mixture over noodles, add lemon juice, and stir to combine. Cook over low heat 1-2 minutes to absorb some of the liquid.
  • Taste for seasoning, adding extra salt of fresh ground pepper if needed.
  • Top with fresh parmesan cheese and serve immediately.

Creamy Lemon Pasta with green peas

With the temperature starting to warm up, this light pasta dish is so fresh and satisfying.  Plus it’s cheap, filling, and looks pretty!  Things are stressful right now so relax, set the table pretty, and serve up this delicious lemony creamy pasta!  With most or all of us trapped at home I’ll be focusing more on simple foods with minimal ingredients and small home projects that require little materials to lift our spirits.  Take care!

SPINACH PARMESAN POLENTA WITH BACON

SPINACH PARMESAN POLENTA WITH BACON

Spinach Parmesan Polenta with Bacon

Happy Wednesday!  We’re shifting into holiday mode around here, and that means I have food on my mind!  I wanted to share with you this incredibly delicious spinach parmesan polenta with bacon recipe… and I’m happy to say we have a print button for my recipes now!  This has been on my to-do list for so long, but it’s finally done.  This should hopefully be easier to read and easier to print for reference.  Now I want to talk about polenta and my love for it.

So what do I have to say about polenta?  Only that I’m obsessed.  I can’t get enough of the sloppy goodness, any time I see it at a restaurant, no matter what, I order it.  Those unfamiliar with polenta, it’s like a rich liquid buttery cornbread, it’s heavenly and marries well with many different flavors.

Not to be confused with grits, don’t get me wrong I love grits when prepared well, but polenta ups the ante.  If you’re confused about the difference no worries… I’ll explain it.  Polenta is an Italian based dish, while grits are a southern delicacy.   Polenta is made from yellow corn while grits are from white corn.  Both are delicious, but what seals the deal for me is the course texture.  Like I said liquid cornbread!  It’s the best of both worlds.  There is nothing better than rich creamy polenta.  I think if more people ate delicious polenta everyone would be peaceful, happy, and the world would be a better place.  So there it is, eat more polenta and let’s have world peace!

Looking at these photos I’m getting sad.  You see these photos were taken days ago and now I’m all out of polenta.  Why??  I need more right now.  Eating this spinach parmesan polenta with bacon is so delicious and comforting… it’s like getting a hug from your grandma.  Perfection.

To ensure the polenta is extra creamy I prepare it stove top, and separate from the other ingredients.  Then it comes together for ultimate creamy deliciousness where I finish with a short bake in the oven.

Bacon lovers feel free to use more bacon!  Has anyone ever complained about too much bacon?  I think not.  After the polenta is finished baking I like to add a small handful of spinach leaves for garnish, nothing makes a dish pop like a sprinkle of green.

This dish makes an incredible breakfast or side dish to any meal.  Polenta, cream, cheese, and bacon.  You can’t go wrong!

Spinach Parmesan Polenta with Bacon

Servings: 8

Ingredients

  • 6 cups chicken broth or stock
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups polenta - I used Bob's Redmill
  • 8 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 5 oz container fresh spinach
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded parmesan, divided
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375°
  • Combine chicken broth, milk, and heavy cream in a large pot and bring to a boil. Stir in polenta and reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • While the polenta is simmering, cook the bacon in a large skillet until done. Remove bacon from the pan and set aside. Leave about 2 tablespoons of bacon grease in the pan. Sautee the onions until soft and golden, add the spinach and cook until wilted.
  • When the polenta is finished cooking stir in butter and 1 cup of parmesan cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Stir in the onion-spinach mixture and mix well. Pour into a greased 9x13 baking dish. Top with remaining 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese and bacon.
  • Bake 10-12 minutes until hot and bubbly. Garnish with spinach leaves and serve immediately.

Soon I’ll be sharing more delicious holiday recipes and other fun stuff.  Stay tuned!

ASIAN SESAME SALMON

ASIAN SESAME SALMON

Asian Sesame Salmon

My son’s favorite meal growing up was salmon, hands down.  Every meal he ever requested was salmon, in fact it’s hard to remember a time when he didn’t order salmon at a restaurant.  The kid was obsessed, and still to this day it’s probably his favorite meal.  So naturally I’ve acquired some salmon recipes, and this one is an easy delicious favorite.  You can easily throw it together last minute, and it pairs beautifully with steamed jasmine rice.

When it comes to salmon, not all is created equally, whether you prefer farm raised or wild caught is a matter of preference.  I’m generally not a fan of frozen filets, and I prefer to buy fresh filets and ones cut a little on the thicker side.  I use about 3 pounds of salmon and, for this recipe, six 8-ounce filets to be exact.

Asian Sesame Salmon

This recipe calls for just a few simple ingredients, but the secret to the amazing recipe is just one of them.  Toasted sesame oil… not just regular sesame oil, it must be toasted!  It’s a hassle to find, but it’s a real gem in the kitchen.  I always keep toasted sesame oil on hand, it tastes delicious and it really adds flavor depth in recipes!  Due to sheer laziness I use garlic powder most of the time in this recipe, but feel free to mince a clove or two.  I love fresh garlic, I just hate peeling and mincing it!  The little garlic paper sticks to my fingers and gets all over the floor.  When I cook with Brian I make that his job, haha.

Don’t forget about the garnish either!  Once your salmon is done baking don’t forget the toasted sesame seeds and sliced green onions.  It’s the little things like this that really bring the flavor of food alive!

I use my favorite baking sheet from Williams Sonoma, y’all see this pan all the time in my blog posts because I use it for everything!  I try to let the marinade sit about 10 minutes or so.  If you’re short on time you can skip this step.

Asian Sesame Salmon

Asian Sesame Salmon

Servings: 6

Ingredients

  • 6 6-8 oz salmon filets, with the skin on
  • 2 tbs Dijon mustard
  • 3 tbs low sodium soy sauce
  • 6 tbs toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • Toasted sesame seeds, for garnish
  • Sliced green onions, for garnish

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 425°
  • Place salmon skin side down on a lightly greased baking sheet.
  • In a small bowl whisk together mustard, soy sauce, sesame oil, and garlic until smooth, then drizzle half the mixture over the salmon.  
  • Allow the mixture to sit 10 minutes and then bake for 15-20 minutes.  Allow the fish to cool a few minutes and then drizzle or brush with the remaining glaze.  
  • Top with toasted sesame seeds and green onions.  Serve with steamed rice if desired.

 

It’s as simple as that, even kids love it.  Skip the rice and add steamed veggies and it’s low carb too.  Enjoy!

PERFECT HARD BOILED EGGS

PERFECT HARD BOILED EGGS

The simple way to make perfect hard boiled eggs in minutes.

Hey friends I’m back!  I really needed some time to decompress over Spring Break.  We have some huge changes coming into our life, but I’m not quite ready to discuss them on the blog because we’re still working out some kinks.  I’ll announce soon what’s been going on with us, I promise.  As for now I’m ready to jump back into the blog, and since today is the first day of Spring why not talk about making perfect hard boiled eggs?  This goes hand and hand with Easter and also my love for low carb.  A perfect hard boiled egg is the perfect high protein snack that curbs my hunger!

How to make perfect hard boiled eggs the easy way

The perfect hard boiled egg can be different to everyone, but one thing remains clear…. there should not be a green/gray colored ring around the yolk.  That’s right, hard boiled eggs can be overcooked!  That colored ring is a sign you’ve got an overcooked, rubbery egg on your hands.  But have no fear, boiling the perfect egg is easy as can be!  I’ve tried the oven method but I’m just an old fashioned girl who prefers to boil.

If you’ve ever had trouble peeling a boiled egg hang tight… I’ve got some tips to help you out!

How to make perfect hard boiled eggs the easy way

You want to start with placing your eggs in a pot with cold water.  Make sure you use a pot deep enough so the eggs can be topped with a good 1-2 inches of water.  You also want to make sure the eggs are in a single layer and not overcrowded.  Yeah I probably could have fit another egg in the pot, but I get the best results when I give them a little breathing room.

How to make perfect hard boiled eggs the easy way

Now simply bring the pot to a boil, waiting on this pot can be a little tedious.  Ever watched a pot waiting for it to boil?  It takes forever but odds are if you walk off they will boil too long and you’ll risk overcooking.

Once the water comes to a full boil turn the heat off and immediately place the lid on the pot and set a timer for 12 minutes.  Let the pot remain on the stove so the eggs retain the heat.

How to make perfect hard boiled eggs the easy way

Now don’t skip that cold water bath!  This is very important to stop the cooking process and it helps the eggs peel easier.  Once you set the timer to let the eggs finish cooking prepare a bowl with ice and water.  Any size will work as long as the eggs fit and you can use multiple bowls if needed.  Use a slotted spoon and place the cooked eggs fully into the ice water for 5 minutes.

How to make perfect hard boiled eggs the easy way

After about 5 minutes the eggs should feel much cooler, similar to room temperature.  I recommend 12 minutes with the lid on and the heat off, but keep in mind results can vary with your cookware, stove top, and also personal taste.  Those who like like their eggs on the softer side you can try 8-10 minutes.

How to peel hard boiled eggs

Now the real drama starts… let’s talk about peeling the eggs!  Those who love eating hard boiled eggs we’ve all peeled an egg and had it look shredded full of craters, but fear not I have some tips that will help!

We’ve all been trained when cooking to use the freshest eggs, however eggs that are about a week old are a lot easier to peel, so just keep that in mind.  Another trick is to peel the eggs before you place them in the refrigerator, room temperature boiled eggs peel much easier than cold eggs.

To start peeling an egg I gently tap the bottom and then under cool running water I slowly start to peel away the shell making sure to remove that tricky membrane.  Once you feel the smooth egg texture you know you’ve got it and you can start to peel larger chunks, and that’s it, you’re good to go.  It’s time for some yummy delicious snacks!

How to make perfect hard boiled eggs the easy way

Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs

Ingredients

  • eggs
  • water

Instructions

  • Place eggs in a single layer in a pot and fill with 1-2 inches of cold water above the eggs.  
  • Heat on high until the water comes to a full boil.  Once the water starts boiling turn off the heat and immediately cover with a lid.  Let the pot remain on the stove and set the timer for 12 minutes.  
  • Meanwhile, prepare a a bowl with ice and water.  After 12 minutes carefully remove the eggs with a slotted spoon and place in the cold water bath for about 5 minutes, then remove the eggs.  The eggs will be cool to the touch and will peel best when done immediately.
  •  To peel, gently tap the the bottom edge and peel under running water.

How to make perfect hard boiled eggs the easy way

I love adding just a dash of salt and pepper and when available some fresh herbs.  Nothing beats this clean healthy snack!  Our family is getting excited for Easter and very soon I’ll be blogging our favorite way to dye easter eggs.  Not only is our method budget friendly it’s super fun and you can come up with so many unique variations.  Talk to you soon!