Garlic Bread

Garlic Bread

I know. Garlic bread is easy. We usually just spread some butter, throw on some garlic salt and sometimes cheese and call it a day, but this is just a hair better than that without being too garlicy. It’s a good recipe without going too herby or garlicy, but you can also mix it up for preference, too – more herbs, add spice, etc. Sidenote – I only use mozzarella and not the cheese mix. Otherwise, I make it exactly as instructed. The stick of butter makes 2 loaves for me with a light spread. If you do this, you’ll need to double the cheese for the second loaf.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Loaf French bread
  • 1/2 cup salted butter softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 cup Colby jack cheese shredded
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese shredded
  • fresh chopped parsley for garnish

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut your French bread loaf lengthwise and place on top of a baking sheet.
  • In a small bowl combine softened butter, garlic powder, minced garlic, Italian seasoning and shredded cheese. Spread evenly on each side of the garlic bread. Top with Colby and mozzarella cheese.
  • Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes until butter is melted an bubbly. You can also broil the top for 1-2 minutes at the end to give it a more crisp top.
  • Garnish with fresh chopped parsley if desired.

Braised French Onion Chicken with Gruyère

Braised French Onion Chicken with Gruyère

This Braised French Onion Chicken with Guyere has been on my Pinterest page for awhile. Last weekend, the oldest asked if we could make it. It doesn’t take a ton of ingredients and is super easy. However, it’s not a fast recipe. It got a thumbs up from 2/3 of us. The youngest liked the chicken and cheese, but he didn’t like the soup part and, at the end of the day, he basically just wanted noodles and red sauce.

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 pounds yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken or beef broth, divided
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 to 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 (4-inch) fresh rosemary sprig
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Gruyère cheese (about 5 ounces)
  • Coarsely chopped fresh parsley, for garnish (optional)

Directions:

  1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 325°F. Cook the onions and chicken while the oven is heating.
  2. Melt the butter in a large, heavy bottomed oven-safe pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onions and baking soda and cook, stirring every few minutes with a wooden spoon, for 15 minutes. Continue cooking, stirring more frequently and scraping up the browned buildup that forms at the bottom of the pan, until the onions are a deep golden-brown, 10 to 15 minutes more. Meanwhile, sear the chicken.
  3. Heat the oil in a large nonstick or cast iron pan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Meanwhile, pat the chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Working in batches as to not overcrowd the pan, sear the chicken until golden brown on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. As each batch is ready, transfer the chicken to a large plate.
  4. Add 1 cup of the broth to the chicken pan and scrape up any browned bits at the bottom of the pan. Add the mustard and vinegar and whisk to combine, then simmer until reduced by about half, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  5. When the onions are ready, add the garlic, thyme, and rosemary, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the remaining 1 cup of broth, scrape up any browned bits at the bottom of the pan, and simmer until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Remove and discard the thyme and rosemary stems.
  6. Transfer the chicken on top of the onions in an even layer and add any juices on the plate. Pour the mustard sauce over the chicken. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes.
  7. Remove the pot from the oven, then turn the oven up to broil. Sprinkle the chicken evenly with the cheese. Broil until the cheese is melted and golden brown on top, 3 to 4 minutes. Sprinkle with the parsley if desired and serve.

Note: I did not use rosemary in mine. I had trouble finding thyme as it is. I also used mozzarella instead of gruyere because it’s a family preference (though I am not as particular with my cheese). Third, I’m always looking for a reason to use my cast iron skillet to justify the purchase. It’s just getting to the point where it’s perfectly nonstick which is lovely. Last, we also ate this over egg noodles. Fusilli would be less slippery, but it was tasty.

Roasted Spaghetti Squash Seeds

SRoasted paghetti Squash Seeds

I made spaghetti squash last week (let’s not talk about it). While I cut it open, the youngest asked if we could eat the seeds so I said we could try. I washed and dried them and then put them in the air fryer. I put them in at 360 for like 10 minutes. I sprinkled them with a mist of olive oil and some kosher salt. It was only one small squash so it was a good little snack.

CHICKEN!

General Tso’s Chicken
Parmesan Chicken Strips

I basically bought 2 packages of chicken and air fried them up. For the first, I cut 2 breasts into small bite-sized nuggets. I soaked in buttermilk, dipped in plain panko, egg bath, panko again and then air fried at 400 for 8 minutes or so (checked at 5 and then until done). For the second, I did the same but cut into strips, soaked in buttermilk, dipped in seasoned panko AND parmesan cheese, egg bath, panko again and then air fried for the same amount of time.

For the first, I kept half nuggets plain and then tossed the other half in a store-bought General Tso’s chicken sauce. It was really good, a little spicy but not too sweet. I am super picky about my General Tso’s. We ate it more as an appetizer, but I’m going to make some rice for leftovers.

We’ve been eating leftovers all week. The kids have had it for dinner plain with a side of fries and fruit. I ate some nuggets with dipping honey. I made some strips into chicken parmesan. Fairly easy, versatile and cooked once on Sunday and ate all week – my favorite kind of cooking.

Garlic Butter Steak Bites

Garlic Butter Steak Bites

The kids wanted steak, and I wanted them to branch out and eat different foods so I treated them. This is super easy. I got a middle of the road steak so not chuck but not filet. Basically, this dinner cost the same as a fast food meal and fed both kids for 2 meals. I think the original recipe was for bites, but I bought the stir-fry meat which was more strips. I suppose that’s just preference.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. (0.4 kg) top sirloin steak, cut into bite-sized cubes
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon Maldon sea salt flakes or kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 12 cloves peeled small garlic
  • ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon Italian Seasoning (I used McCormick Italian Seasoning)
  • 1 teaspoon homemade dry rub
  • 1 tablespoon chopped Italian parsley
  • 3 squirts fresh lemon juice

Directions:

  1. Cut the sirloin steak into equal, bite-sized pieces (or, you know, buy the stir-fry meat already cut).
  2. Marinate the steak bites with smoked paprika, salt and black pepper. Set aside.
  3. Heat up a skillet, cast-iron preferred on high heat.
  4. Add the butter. As soon as it melts, add garlic cloves and stir a few times.
  5. Add the steak bites. Stir and cook continuously, flip, turn and toss around with the garlic.
  6. Add the Italian seasoning and homemade dry rub, stir to combine well.
  7. As soon as the steak bites are cooked, about 3-4 minutes, add the chopped parsley. Stir to combine well with the steak.
  8. Remove the skillet from the stove top, add the lemon juice on top of the steak and serve immediately.

I didn’t add the dry rub, and I forgot to add the lemon. It still tasted good. I mean, it’s steak and butter and garlic at the heart of it so duh.

Roasted Gnocchi

Roasted Gnocchi

I wanted gnocchi so I threw this together with what we had. I put the gnocchi and cherry tomatoes on a sheet pan with a little olive oil, onion, smashed garlic, salt and pepper. 20-25 minutes in the 425 degree oven and then I took it out, added some mozzarella cubes and sprinkled Italian seasoning on it. I probably should have sprinkled a little leftover tomato sauce on there, too, but it was a good, simple little lunch.

S’mores Granola Bars

S’mores Granola Bars

I got this recipe from Pinterest – from this site in particular. It’s an easy no-bake recipe. I made it in no time. I have this bar mold from Pampered Chef and wanted to give it a whirl. It has more of the consistency of a cereal bar. That said, I made the 12 bars and then a 9×13 pan full. The pan may set better than the bars. We’ll see. They are delicious, but I think I like my bars with a little more structure/firmness. I’ll still inhale all of these don’t get me wrong there.

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups of Rice Krispies*
  • 1 cup of graham cracker crumbs*
  • 3 cups of rolled oats*
  • 1 bag of mini marshmallows, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups of mini chocolate chips
  • 3 tablespoons of butter

Directions:

  1. In a microwave safe bowl, add 4 cups of mini marshmallows and 3 tablespoons of butter. Microwave for a minute, or until the marshmallows puff up. Remove from microwave and stir.
  2. In another bowl, toss together the Rice Krispies, graham cracker crumbs and oats. Pour this mixture into the melted marshmallows and butter. Stir until thoroughly combined.
  3. Let the mix start to cool. Then gently fold in the remaining mini marshmallows and the chocolate chips.
  4. Spoon the entire mixture into a baking dish coated with nonstick spray. Let set for at least an hour prior to cutting into bars.

TIP: Keep the whole recipe gluten free by using gluten free Rice Krispies, gluten free oats, and gluten free graham crackers.

**The recipe above is for a 9×13 baking dish. To make in an 8×8 baking pan follow the same method but change the ingredient measurements as follows:

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 ½ cups of Rice cereal
  • ½ cups of graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 4 cups of mini marshmallows, divided
  • 2 tbs butter

Pasta Carbonara

Pasta Carbonara

It’s really just pancetta, spaghetti, garlic, parmesan cheese, eggs, and a bit of butter. I should have done a little more research. I’ve made carbonara a couple of times. It comes out fine – each time better than the last. I mean, it’s fine. This was requested so I made it, but I just don’t think this dish is what we want it to be.