Monday, September 22, 2014

Sloppy Joe Enchiladas

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I guess I should preface this post by sharing that Chris is a HUGE sloppy joe fan. I've stated before that his go-to birthday dinner isn't a complicated, made-from-scratch meal, but sloppy joes. From a can. And tater tots. That's my husband and that's the one of the many reasons I love him.
We usually find ourselves eating Mexican food on Mondays and/or Tuesdays, so you can thank him for this fun recipe. He knew what was on the menu for the evening, so he texted me with this recommendation. Since it's busy season at his office and I've been trying to make some of his favorite foods for when he gets home for dinner, I went for it. And he loved it. I guess you can't really go wrong with loads of sloppy joe mix and cheese, can you? Enjoy!

Printable Recipe


Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
  • 1 (18 oz.) can original sloppy joe mix, divided
  • 1 (18 oz.) can chunky sloppy joe mix
  • 3 1/2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese, divided
  • 8 flour tortillas
  • Scallions, chopped, for serving (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray the bottom of a 9x13" pan with cooking spray and set aside.

Brown beef in a large skillet until brown and drain. Return beef to skillet. Add 1/2 can of original sloppy joe mix and one full can chunky sloppy joe mix. Cook for 3 minutes or until heated.

Use a slotted spoon to scoop 3 tbsp. beef mixture down the center of each tortilla. Top the beef with 3 tbsp. shredded cheese. Roll up the tortilla and place seamside down in the prepared pan. Repeat with remaining tortillas.

Once all tortillas are in the pan, pour the remaining 1/2 can of original sloppy joe mix evenly over top of the enchiladas. Sprinkle 1 1/2 cups of cheese over top.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Sprinkle with scallions and serve.

Source: SK Original

Friday, September 19, 2014

Giant Vanilla Cupcake with Buttercream Frosting (and Bradley's First Birthday!)

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Happy FIRST Birthday to my sweet baby boy, Bradley Christopher. 
Oh, Bradley. Where has this past year gone? I was in love with you from the moment I first saw your sonogram. When you were born, I didn't think I could love you any more than I already did, but my heart overflowed for you. It was literally love at first sight and you have brought pure joy to my life ever since. Sure, we had some sleepless nights, crying for no apparent reason, exploding diapers and the occasional throw-up on my shirt along the way, but it was all worth it. So, so worth it. Just one quick smile from you is all it takes to make this thing called motherhood the best job I could ever ask for.
You have brought so much joy and happiness to your daddy and me and we can't imagine our lives without you now. You constantly make me laugh and just looking at you brings a smile to my face. I am amazed by you daily. I love seeing you grow and seeing you express your adorable personality. You are so outgoing, friendly and social. You love people, you love to laugh, you love to flirt and you love to explore. I am filled with so much pride over everything you do, even the tiniest things. 
I remember the moment you were born and immediately reaching down to hold your hand. I think that was the most I have uncontrollably cried in my entire life. I was so happy. You entered the world and you were perfect. All 6 pounds 11 ounces of you. How tiny you felt back then. You basically fit in the palms of your daddy's hands. Then a few months later you rolled over...and a few months after that you began to crawl. Slowly gaining some independence, you were off exploring the world and you haven't stopped since. You are by far the most curious little boy I have ever seen, and it's one of the many things I love about you.
I love your laugh. I love your smile. I love your friendliness. I love that you bring everyone in your life so much happiness. I love your appetite. I love your big thighs. I love your little rolls. I love your smooth skin. I love how observant you are. I love when you snore. I love your two little teeth. I love your bright blue eyes. I love your button nose. I love your wobbly walk. I love your babbling. I love your crawl. I love your drool. I love your fishy face. I love when you say "mama." I love every single thing about you.
You are the best thing that has ever happened to your daddy and me and we love you so very much! We are so blessed and lucky to be your parents. Happy first birthday to my precious baby!
For Bradley's birthday, I made him a giant cupcake for his "smash cake." He had a first whirl at it for his professional photo shoot and he loved it, as you can clearly see :) I made him another for his birthday party, which is tomorrow, so hopefully he'll love that one too! Recipe is below!

Photo credit: Jessica Tapscott Photography

Printable Recipe

Ingredients

Cupcake:
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 eggs plus 2 egg whites
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup organic whole milk
  • 2 tbsp. rainbow colored sprinkles (optional)
Vanilla buttercream frosting*: 
  • 1 stick butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp. organic whole milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Cupcake: Heat to 350 degrees F . Grease and flour a 6-cup large cupcake pan (such as this one); set aside. 

In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. 

In large bowl, beat sugar and butter on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce speed and add the eggs and egg whites one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in vanilla. 

Add the flour mixture and milk beating until just combined; scraping bowl often. Beat on medium speed 1 minute; stir in rainbow sprinkles. 

Bake 45-55 minutes, until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool 15 minutes in pan. Invert onto cooling rack and cool completely before frosting.

Buttercream Frosting: Beat butter until creamy, about 1 minute. Add sugar, milk and vanilla and beat on low until combined. Raise the speed and beat on high for 3-4 minutes, until fluffy. If necessary, add more milk to thin it out or more powdered sugar to make it thicker.

*For chocolate frosting, add 2 tbsp. cocoa powder and 1/2 tsp. milk to recipe.


Source: Cake: NordicWare; Frosting: SK Original

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Crockpot Balsamic Shredded Beef

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Chris is pretty big on vinegar, and he puts it on a lot of foods that I wouldn't normally think to put vinegar on. Example? Avocados. He tosses them with apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper and it's a side dish to him. And it's actually really good! Surprisingly (or not so surprisingly since the kid eats everything) Bradley really liked the avocado and vinegar mixture as well. So since he is a fan of vinegar, I thought he might like this balsamic vinegar and beef recipe, too. What do you know...mommy was right!
Not only did Bradley like this, but Chris and I did as well. I absolutely adore slow cooker recipes since they take little prep work and even less hands-on work. The beef sits in the crock pot all day and becomes incredibly moist and tender. It practically fell apart when I tried to take it out. I served this over egg noodles, but rice would be another great option for you gluten-free folks! Enjoy!

Printable Recipe

Ingredients

  • 3.5 lb. beef chuck roast
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 2 tbsp. light brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 tsp. garlic, minced
  • Egg noodles or rice, cooked, for serving
Place the beef in a slow cooker. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Whisk together the beef broth, brown sugar, vinegar, Worcestershire and garlic. Pour over the roast and cook for 8-10 hours on low. Remove roast and shred with a fork. Return meat to slow cooker and cook for an additional 30 minutes.

Serve over egg noodles or rice.

Source: Adapted from Shughary Sweets

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

{Tiny Tot Tuesdays} Homemade Organic Hummus for Babies and Toddlers

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I feel like I'm incredibly lucky. Not only because I have an amazing family, including my handsome husband and son, but because I have an amazing son who also isn't picky when it comes to food! Do you know what a feat that is for moms? It's also really convenient when we go out to eat because there's always something on the menu we can give Bradley. He's also at that stage where if he sees you eating something from your plate, he wants to try it. So we've been giving him tons of new foods and he's loving it! And so am I :) Most recently we got Greek food and he was loving the hummus, so I made a homemade version for him. Enjoy!

Printable Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 (15 oz.) can organic garbanzo beans
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste (optional)
  • 1/2 tbsp. fresh organic lemon juice (optional)
  • Water

Drain and rinse garbanzo beans. 

Add garbanzo beans to a food processor and process until beans are broken up. Add olive oil, salt, pepper and lemon juice (if using). Process until beans make a fine paste. Slowly add water until it reaches your desired consistency.

Serve plain or with whole grain pita bread.

Source: SK Original

Monday, September 15, 2014

Mexican "Fried" Ice Cream

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Want fried ice cream without the hassle of setting up the deep fryer, worrying about your ice cream melting and with limited steps? I've got your solution. This month's Secret Recipe Club assignment was Sara's blog, Cook with Sara. She has so many incredibly delicious looking recipes on her blog, so I can't wait to go back and try out some more! This time I chose to make a dessert (obviously) since summer is coming to a close and I need to squeeze in all the ice cream I can before apple cider and hot chocolate take over!
I love ordering fried ice cream when we go to our favorite local Mexican restaurant, so I couldn't wait to make this non-fried "fried" version at home. I decided to leave out the honey since I wanted Bradley to enjoy some and he can't have any until he's one (which is THIS Friday...Oh. My. Goodness.). I love the dash of cinnamon that is mixed in with the ice cream and whipped topping. It gives the dessert that "Mexican ice cream" feel. The topping adds the crunch that typical fried ice cream usually has, but you save so many calories (and your sanity!) by not actually having to fry this. It's so so good. Enjoy!

Printable Recipe

Ingredients

  • 3 cups crushed Corn Flakes 
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 (1.5 quart) container vanilla ice cream
  • 1 (8 oz.) container whipped topping
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup honey (optional)
  • Chocolate syrup, for serving (optional)
  • Caramel sauce, for serving (optional)
  • Additional whipped topping or redi-whip, for serving (optional)
  • Maraschino cherries, for serving (optional)
Soften the vanilla ice cream and the cool whip by thawing on the counter for 20-30 minutes or so.

Meanwhile, over medium heat, melt butter in a large skillet. Add the crushed corn flakes and sugar and stir to combine. Fry mixture for 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until cereal is golden-brown.

Spread 1/3 of the corn flakes mixture into the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish. Set aside.

In a large bowl, stir together the softened ice cream and whipped topping. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Using a spatula, stir a then mix well to combine. Spread ice cream mixture over the top of the corn flake mixture in the bottom of the pan.

Spread the remaining corn flake mixture evenly over the ice cream. Drizzle honey over the top. Cover and place in freezer. Freeze for at least 5 hours, or overnight.

Cut into squares and serve with drizzles of chocolate syrup and caramel sauce, additional whipped topping and cherries. Makes 20 servings.


Note: You can also half the recipe and make it in an 8x8" or 9x9" pan.

Source: Cook with Sara