Archives for the month of: June, 2014

We had an impromptu taco night, so I thawed some frozen ground beef and tried out a homemade tortilla recipe. It was fun to roll out the dough and the tortillas tasted great! You could also use the tortillas for quesadillas, burritos, gorditas, or even just to dip in salsa.

Here’s what we ended up with…

Homemade Tortillas - just 4 ingredients you probably already have. Great for tacos, burritos, quesadillas, and more!

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour + more for rolling surface
  • 1/2 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 Tbsp. salt
  • 3/4 c. vegetable oil
  • 3/4 c. warm water

WHAT YOU DO:

  • In a mixing bowl, combine flour, oil, baking powder, and salt.
  • Form dry ingredients into a mountain and make a hole (“volcano”).
  • Pour water and oil in the hole and mix.
  • When dough is firm, gently knead on a flat surface.
  • Break off golf ball sized pieces, and roll into balls.
  • Place dough balls on a floured baking sheet.
  • Cover with a damp paper towel and let sit for 30 mins.
  • Place dough balls on a floured surface and roll out into 6-inch flat circles.
  • Cook on a skillet at medium heat (no oil or cooking spray needed) for approximately 1 min per side (watch for bubbles, sort of like pancakes).

Makes approximately 12-14 tortillas

recipe adapted from hirethestache.com

I can’t wait to make homemade tortillas again and I’m going to serve them in these taco trucks” that I just ordered. Aren’t they cute?!? 🙂 For now we used some fast food tacos…

taco trucks!

 

Homemade Tortillas - just 4 easy ingredients you probably already have. Mix, roll flat, then heat in a skillet for 1 minute on ea side.

 

Homemade Tortillas - just 4 simple ingredients you probably already have. Just mix, roll out, and heat in a skillet for 1 minute on ea side.

 

Homemade Flour Tortillas - just 4 easy ingredients you probably already have. Mix, roll out, and heat for 1 minute on ea side.

 

Homemade Flour Tortillas - so easy you probably already have the 4 ingredients. Awesome for tacos, burritos, gorditas, and quesadillas!

 

Easy Homemade Flour Tortillas - just 4 ingredients that you probably already have. Awesome for tacos, burritos, quesadillas, and gorditas.

 

I have seen tons of recipes for “Crack Potatoes” on Pinterest; I guess they are so good they are addictive. So I guess due to the peer pressure and since EVERYONE’S doing it (just kidding) I decided to try them.

So I made a batch, but I substituted plain Greek yogurt in place of sour cream. I’m sure the cheese, bacon, and potatoes still have lots of bad-for-you calories and fat, but at least I saved a *tiny* amount with the yogurt. At least that’s my excuse lol. It’s a lightened-up version but I’m sure it’s still way unhealthy.

Here’s a clean eating option for potatoes: Lemony Dill Mustard Smashed Potatoes

But back to the crack ‘taters. Here’s what I ended up with…

Crack Potatoes - just mix a few ingredients together and bake. Awesome side dish. Lightened up (slightly) with a substitution for sour cream.

recipe adapted from justaddasliceoflove.blogspot.com

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 4 c. plain Greek Yogurt
  • 3 c. shredded cheese (I used 2 c. colby jack + 1 c. sharp cheddar)
  • 1 (3 oz.) jar real bacon bits
  • 1 pkg. Ranch Dip mix
  • 1 bag (28-30 oz) frozen shredded hash browns, thawed just enough so you can break them up to mix with the other ingredients.

WHAT YOU DO:

  • Preheat oven to 450F.
  • Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir until mixed.
  • Spread into a 9×13 pan lined with foil (or sprayed with cooking spray), and bake for approximately 50-60 minutes.
  • Optional: sprinkle a little shredded cheese on top before serving.

TIP: Buy a super giant container of plain Greek yogurt at Costco, Sam’s Club, etc., and use the extras in these recipes…

Greek Marinated Chicken (freezer-friendly)

Skinny Bang Bang Shrimp

Strawberry Banana Spinach Smoothie (add honey if using plain yogurt vs. vanilla)

 

Buy ground beef in bulk and freeze in ziplocks. Smoosh down flat to save room in the freezer. Also includes 20+ freezer-friendly recipes. YUM.

As you can tell from this blog, I’m a huge fan of freezer cooking. I freeze meals as well as individual ingredients to use later.

Recently I split up a 5 pound package of ground beef. Here’s what I did: sectioned up the meat into individual 1-gallon freezer bags (I did two with 2lbs, and one with 1lb), and labeled them with a permanent marker. I smooshed each one down flat like a pancake, getting all of the air out, then sealed them. I placed the packages flat in the freezer. This way, when they are flat and thin, you can stack them to save room in the freezer. Plus when you go to thaw or defrost them, it takes less time since they are super thin.

 

Buy ground beef in bulk and freeze. Smoosh down flat in individual freezer bags to save room, and you can stack em like books in the freezer. Site also has tons of delicious freezer meals.

I saw another tip on RealSimple.com, which looks pretty nifty too: after the ground beef is flat in the bag, section it off into squares to break off individual portions.

Also, here are some of my freezer-friendly recipes:

Mother-In-Law’s Famous Meatloaf

Easy Lemon Pepper Chicken

5-ingredient Cheesy Pork Chops and Potatoes

3-Ingredient Cheesy Ranch Pork Chops

3-Ingredient Slow Cooker Ranch Pork Chops

3-Ingredient Fiesta Chicken

8 Can Chicken Taco Soup

Spinach Lasagna Roll-Ups

Greek Marinated Chicken

Cilantro-Lime Rice

Chicken Teriyaki

Citrus Chicken

Buffalo Ranch Chicken

Cream Cheese Banana Nut Bread

Kickin’ Buffalo Lime Chicken

Braided Pepperoni Pizza

Garlic Ranch Chicken

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

Garlicky Goodness Honey Mustard Chicken

The “No Recipe” Chili Recipe

Cream Cheese Mints

Ranch Parmesan Chicken

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Slow Cooker Korean Ribs

I have never been to a Bonefish Grill restaurant, but I hear they serve an awesome bang bang shrimp. Well, that’s what it seems like from all of my Pinterest recipe browsing. 😉

I tried a lightened-up version that uses Greek yogurt and loved it! Here’s how it turned out…

Four Ingredient Skinny Bang Bang Shrimp - secret ingredient is plain Greek yogurt. So easy and super delicious!

recipe adapted from thecookierookie.com

Skinny Bang Bang Shrimp Recipe - Just 4 ingredients! So easy and super delicious!

WHAT YOU NEED:

WHAT YOU DO:

  • Thaw shrimp according to package directions.
  • Place shrimp on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated 350F oven for 5-10 minutes.
  • While baking, stir together the yogurt, sweet chili sauce, and sriracha sauce in a mixing bowl.
  • After shrimp are out of the oven, place in the bowl and stir to mix with the sauce.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Skinny Bang Bang Shrimp Recipe. Secret ingredient = plain Greek yogurt. So easy and so delicious! Could also skewer on kabob sticks.

I also adapted this to make a Skinny Bang Bang Chicken Salad! You could serve it in a pita pocket as a sandwich, or on bibb lettuce leaves as a wrap.

Love shrimp?

Zesty Lemon Butter Shrimp

Lemon Garlic Shrimp & Zoodles

Mediterranean Artichoke Shrimp and Pasta Toss

Love spice?

Spicy Thai Noodles

Buffalo Cauliflower “Wings”

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Lasagna

Buffalo Cream Cheese Feta Dip

Our house has a beautiful front door. But guess how often we use it? Basically never. Instead, we park our cars in the garage, and enter the house through our laundry room and into the kitchen. So, I decided to spruce up the door and stairs in the garage since we see it all the time.

This door was plain white, and the stairs were gray, though scuffed and missing lots of paint. We also had an old almond-colored light switch plate cover. Here’s what I did…

easy DIY garage makeover

 

I added a few coats of black paint to the stairs. I also bought some black vinyl tiles, which will be a project for later. I plan on attaching them on top of the stairs with some floor adhesive.

Our oldest son helped paint the door a khaki color, and then I added a vinyl “Welcome” decal that I bought on Amazon (have I mentioned how much I love Amazon Prime?!?).

I also added an over-the-door wreath hanger and attached a wreath.

little helper {recipebookandmore.wordpress.com}

 

Below is the light switch cover plate that was next to our door. It was an old plastic thing and I considered buying a new, oil-rubbed bronze plate to match the doorknob, but decided to take a cheap thrifty/creative approach, and used Mod Podge and scrapbook paper to add a custom look. I just followed the directions of a tutorial at organizeyourstuffnow.com.

use ModPodge and scrapbook paper to make a custom-designed light switch plate cover

just 2 supplies needed to transform an old plastic lightswitch cover to a custom plate

garage into house - needs some TLC - added custom paint colors for the door and steps, then added a vinyl 'Welcome' decal and a wreath

garage - entry door - after

DIY garage makeover - custom colors for the steps and door, add a wreath and a vinyl decal