Leftover(s) Fried Rice

Leftover(s) Fried Rice

I took this all from what we happened to have at home. I sauteed 2 cloves of garlic and green onions in some oil. I added 2 eggs and scrambled them. While they were still a bit runny, I added some diced leftover chicken cutlet. I added a handful of leftover white rice. I poured a bit of soy sauce and toasted sesame oil over top and mixed. It definitely would have been better with some onions, but it’s pretty tasty. Plus, it all came from leftovers so it’s a nice little lunch considering I didn’t think we had much food but didn’t want to do take out. It’s fun because, with a little forethought, this could be delicious – add some veggies, some different proteins. I bet I could do this with shrimp and it would be lovely. Next time!

Butterscotch Brownies

Blondies (with dark chocolate morsels)

Below is my grandma’s blondie recipe. I know there are probably better, fancier ones out there, but I have such wonderful memories of eating my grandmother’s. She wasn’t known for her cooking (or her baking for that matter), but when she decided to bake, she’d spend all day baking. When she passed, I didn’t take her whole recipe holder, but I took this one and others that were handwritten. Maybe one day I’ll make them, but some are a bit too “classic” for me. It would be a fun occasional experiment though.

We had 1/2 cup of butterscotch morsels left, but I added 1/2 cup of dark chocolate morsels after I finished the batter so kind of balance it out. So, this batch isn’t as butterscotch-y, but it is good – not bad for just going off of what we had in the cupboard. I also had to mix light and dark brown sugar because we had 2 partial boxes. Whatever, it’s homemade, no one complained. The hardest part was waiting for them to cool so we could stuff our mouths.

Last note – this does not make 2 dozen. I mean, maybe if you spread it out in a big enough pan, but it’s one of those recipes where you’re like I don’t have enough batter. I make mine is a square 8×8 pan and they come out like brownies. I make 16. If you make them in a 13×9, they’ll just be thinner and it’ll take forever to spread it all out. They’ll come out more like bars. They do rise a bit in the oven because of all the baking soda. It was a task to fill the bottom of the 8×8 evenly. More power to you if you have the patience to do that with a 13×9.

Caprese Sandwich

Caprese Sandwich

I’ve been trying to make lunch for myself, and this was lunch this past week. I got some good rolls, drizzled fig-infused balsamic vinegar, extra-virgin olive oil, salt and pepper on both sides and then layered decent mozzarella, vine-ripened tomatoes, and arugula. It was pretty good! I’m not sure I love the vinegar, but I liked it more as the week went on. I bet it makes a good dressing. Maybe next week…

Caramelized Onion, Gruyere, and Bacon Spread

Caramelized Onion, Gruyère, and Bacon Spread (photo by me)

I had this Caramelized Onion, Gruyère, and Bacon Spread marked to try forEVER. I finally made it and have no regrets. I don’t use fat free, I measure the bacon with my heart, and I use mozzarella instead of gruyere in full disclosure. Definitely drain your bacon REALLY well. I didn’t once, and it was so greasy. I serve it with a sturdy cracker or crostini/bread.

Ingredients:

  • Cooking spray
  • 3 ½ cups chopped onion
  • 2 ounces Gruyère cheese, shredded and divided
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives, divided
  • ⅓ cup canola mayonnaise
  • ⅓ cup fat-free sour cream
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 425°.
  • Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan lightly with cooking spray. Add onion to pan; sauté 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to low; cook 20 minutes or until golden brown, stirring occasionally. Cool slightly.
  • Reserve 2 tablespoons cheese. Combine remaining cheese, caramelized onion, 1 tablespoon chives, and the remaining ingredients in a medium bowl. Transfer the mixture to a 1-quart glass or ceramic baking dish coated lightly with cooking spray. Sprinkle with reserved 2 tablespoons cheese. Bake at 425° for 20 minutes or until browned and bubbly. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon chives.

Asian Chopped Chicken Salad with Peanut Dressing

Asian Chopped Chicken Salad with Peanut Dressing (photo by me)

Asian Chopped Chicken Salad with Peanut Dressing is one I tried today. I mixed mine up a little by not using bell pepper or edamame but adding cherry tomatoes, green onion, and celery, but it’s good. I think adding something crunchy would be helpful – maybe nuts or seeds or crunchy noodles? I think you could also remove the chicken for a nice side dish or just remove the chicken because you don’t want it. You could add some fruit like mandarin oranges, too. The dressing is one of the easiest I’ve ever made. Second note is that I didn’t really measure anything beyond the dressing. This may be why I ended up using all of my dressing though. I would make this again or put it in a wrap.

Ingredients:

1 (16 oz) bag of coleslaw mix
1 cup cooked chicken
1/2 cup chopped bell pepper (any color)
1/2 cup cooked edamame
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

For the dressing
1 tablespoon creamy natural peanut butter
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil (or more to taste)
1 tablespoon olive oil

Directions:

To make the dressing, add the peanut butter to a microwave-safe measuring cup.  Microwave for 15 seconds.  Add the rest of the ingredients to the melted peanut butter and whisk until everything is combined.  Set aside.

Dump the bag of coleslaw into a large bowl.  Top with the chicken, bell pepper, edamame, and chopped fresh cilantro.  Pour about half of the dressing over the salad and toss well to coat.  Add more as needed and store the leftover dressing in the fridge.

Slow Cooker Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs

Slow Cooker Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs (photo by Le Creme De La Crumb)

Slow Cooker Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs was an easy yummy meatball recipe. I always say I’m going to make them and freeze them, but I don’t. I also find they take a bit longer to cook than the recipe says when I put it on High. I’m always running too far behind to have the time to cook on Low. I like to put a marinara sauce, alfredo sauce, and a pesto sauce as dipping options.

Slow Cooker Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 cup bread crumbs – (panko or regular, Italian seasoned or plain)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic – (or 2 teaspoons garlic powder)
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 3-4 mozzarella cheese sticks – (string cheese)
  • marinara or alfredo sauce – for dipping

Directions:

  1. Chop each cheese stick into half inch pieces (about 6-8 pieces for each cheese stick). Place on a plate and chill in the freezer until ready to use.
  2. Add ground beef, bread crumbs, egg and egg yolk, garlic, onion powder, Italian seasoning and salt and pepper to a bowl. Mush the ingredients together with your hands until everything comes together.
  3. Remove cheese from freezer. Scoop out about 4 tablespoons of meat mixture and roll into a ball. Gently push a piece of chilled mozzarella into the middle of the meatball. Roll the ball in your hands to cover the hole where the mozzarella cheese was pushed in. Place inside a greased slow cooker and repeat with remaining meat and cheese.
  4. When all meatballs are in the slow cooker (*see note for alternate cooking method), cover and cook on high for 1-2 hours or on low 3-4 hours until meat it cooked through (no longer pink). The cheese may start melting out of the meatballs, that’s okay.
  5. If desired, sprinkle with a bit of fresh chopped parsley or dried Italian seasoning for garnish. Serve with your favorite marinara or alfredo sauce for dipping. 

Notes

* For a quicker method, the meatballs can be baked. Follow directions to make meatballs, but instead of placing in the slow cooker, place meatballs 1 inch apart on a greased baking sheet and bake at 400°for 15-20 minutes until browned and cheese is melty.

** These can also be made ahead and frozen! Prepare the meatballs as instructed in the recipe but instead of putting them straight into the slow cooker (or the oven if baking), just place them side by side in a zip lock bag ( you may need two), seal and place in the freezer. When ready to cook them, follow recipe instructions and increase cooking time slightly to allow for thawing.

*This recipe makes about a dozen large meatballs. This works great for an appetizer or side dish. If you want to use this for a main dish, I’d recommend doubling the recipe to be safe.

Roasted Corn Orzo Pasta Salad

Roasted Corn Orzo Salad (photo by To Simply Inspire)

This Roasted Corn Orzo Pasta Salad is such a good summer pot luck salad. There’s no mayo like a lot of salads so it does well sitting at room temperature for awhile. It lasts a second day in the fridge, but after that, the vinaigrette gets kind of gross. That said, it usually goes very quickly. Quick note is that I almost always use frozen corn – thawed and drained well.

Roasted Corn Orzo Pasta Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 TBSP coconut or olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 lb of frozen corn or 2 cups of fresh cooked corn
  • 1 pint of cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 lb of orzo pasta
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil chopped
  • 2 TBSP red wine vinegar
  • 1 TBSP lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Cook Orzo pasta according to package directions.  Drain and set aside to cool.
  2. Add 1 tablespoons oil to a large skillet, add garlic and saute over medium-high heat, and cook for about 3 minutes.
  3. Add corn and saute 3 more minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and let cool.
  5. In a large bowl combine orzo, tomatoes and basil stir well.
  6. Then add in cooled corn and garlic mixture
  7. In a medium bowl, combine 1/4 cup olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.
  8. Pour dressing over salad and toss well.
  9. Serve at room temperature.
  10. ENJOY!!