Stuffed Bell Peppers

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So after many trial and error attempts, I think I finally found the perfect way to cut a bell pepper when stuffing it! I had always had issues with keeping the stuffing nice and intact, and once it cooks, I want it to be easy to cut as well. So, i think you guys will be pleasantly surprised when I show you my technique!

Prep: 10 mins | Cook: 40 minutes | Total: 50 mins IMG_3237

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of white rice
  • 1lb of Italian sausage, or use ground turkey
  • 1 whole onion chopped
  • 4-6 bell peppers ( I used an assortment of color).
  • 1 large can of tomato sauce
  • 3 gloves of garlic
  • 2 cups of bread crumbs
  • 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese ( or a blend)2 cups of mozzarella cheeseIMG_3212

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I took the casing off the sausage during prep.

IMG_3214 In a skillet on medium heat saute onions and garlic until translucent for about 5 minutes.

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Next, Add the Italian sausage. Use a wooden spoon to chop it and blend it with the onion/garlic mixture. IMG_3218 IMG_3219

When the sausage is about halfway done, add your cooked rice. I recommend not cooking the rice fully, it will finish cooking in the oven.IMG_3220 IMG_3222

Next, add your tomato sauce.And if you like, add a bit of chopped parsley, but that is optional!IMG_3223

Cook it down for about 10 minutes.IMG_3224

While your sauce is cooking down, lets start preparing the bell peppers. Note how I sliced them like miniature boats. IMG_3225 IMG_3226

I took the seeds and stem out, i turned them face up and sliced downward into the bell pepper, that way, they will lay flat and face up in the oven. IMG_3227 IMG_3228

Next, in a bowl i combine bread crumbs, cheese and a little parsley and blend together with 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil so that breadcrumb mixture will be a malleable. IMG_3229

Now, time to add the rice mixture. I noticed cutting the bell peppers this way i was able to get more stuffing in them! IMG_3230

Time for the breadcrumb mixture. Make sure its packed nice and tight! Pop them in the oven for a good 30-35 minutes or until the bell peppers are soft and the breadcrumbs are browned.IMG_3233

Just like this!

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And now you’re ready to eat!! IMG_3236

Enjoy! See, it’s that simple! 🙂IMG_3238

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars

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As delicious as these bars look, they’re probably one of the easiest desserts I have ever made! You can easily fool your guests with this one! If you like cookies, chocolate chips, and cheesecake, then this one is for you!! A beautiful recipe, with just a few ingredients!!

Prep: 5 mins | Cook: 35-40 mins

Note: It is important that after your cheesecake is finished baking, give it a few hours to properly set! Approximately 2-3 hours in the fridge and it will be perfect.

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Preheat oven on 350 degrees

Ingredients:

  • 1 pkg of chocolate chip cookie dough
  • 1/2 cup of mini chocolate chip cookies
  • 2 pkgs of cream cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups of sugar

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Firmly and evenly press cookie dough on the bottom of a 9X13 glass dish. This is how you make the crust.

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Just like this!

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In a bowl combine cream cheese, 2 eggs and 2 cups of sugar. Blend with a mixer until mixture is creamy.IMG_3149

It looks like somehow, I wasted a chocolate chip on the counter! lol IMG_3151

Like so!IMG_3153

Now, smooth the cream cheese mixture over the cookie dough.

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Next, sprinkle your chocolate chips! As much or as little as you like! The chips will sink in slightly, but thats ok! IMG_3158

Now back on 350 degrees till cheesecake is nice and brown, the edges and all! Once your cheesecake has browned, it is important to let it set in the fridge for atleast 2 hours. Make sure it cools completely.

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Once your cheesecake has set, you are ready to tear into it! You can keep foil over it and store it in the fridge until you’re ready to eat!

Enjoy!

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Cheesy Chicken N’ Mushroom Casserole

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I didn’t eat much casserole growing up, it was usually the standard tuna casserole. As i continue experimenting with different flavor combinations I think I will start making more casseroles. Some people like to keep their food totally separate, but sometimes it’s fun mixing together a bunch of different ingredients into a boiling hot pan of cheesy-casserole goodness!

This recipe is super easy. Prep: 10 minutes (not including the time it took for me to sear and dice the chicken up that took about 10 minutes). Cook time: 30 minutes.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 bone in chicken breasts, seared/cooked and diced into chunks.
  • 1 cup of mushrooms
  • 2 cups of shredded cheese
  • 1/2 cup of bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup of peas and chopped carrots
  • 1/2 white onion
  • 1 tall can of cream of mushroom soup
  • 3/4 bag of egg noodles

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I seared the entire breasts to lock in the flavor. I did a basic seasoning of seasoning salt, black pepper and salt with a little paprika.

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Once I diced the chicken I added it back to the pan and sauteed until the chicken was cooked through. IMG_3036 IMG_3037

In the same pan I sauteed mushrooms, and onions for about 5 minutes. IMG_3039

Then I added the cream of mushroom while the pan was still hot. Once the cream of mushroom is nice and liquified, I began assembling the casserole. IMG_3040

I cooked my bag of eggs noodles and set them aside. I halfway cooked them because they will finish cooking in the oven. I made 3/4 of the entire bag. IMG_3042

I added the egg noodles, cream of mushroom, peas, mushrooms and cheese and began mixing and layering. I used a large wooden spoon and kept folding over. IMG_3043

The I added the carrots last. You can use fresh carrots or canned, whichever you prefer.   IMG_3046

I then added the breadcrumbs, then the cheese on top.IMG_3047 IMG_3048

I baked in the oven on 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until the cheese was nicely melted and the casserole was bubbly. IMG_3053

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Round Steak N’ Gravy

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This is a childhood favorite of mine. I can remember coming home from school and the entire house smelling like gravy!! I was such a fat kid, I really loved eating! I always asked for seconds, and thirds if my mom would let me lol. This is a homage to my indulgent childhood. I thank my grandmother for showing my mom this recipe. Its inexpensive, and easy to make A LOT of it.

Note: Make sure you ask the butcher to run it through the tenderizer twice. Usually cheaper cuts of meat need to be tenderized which is why this gravy recipe is so perfect- its softens it up quite nicely! With this dish you can serve it over rice, or potatoes and whatever veggie you like.

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Prep: 5 minutes Cook time: 10 minutes in the skillet. 40 minutes in gravy. Total: 55 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1lb of round steak cute into pieces.
  • 1 onion
  • 1/2 cup of flour
  • 3 tablespoons of canola oil
  • 3 cups of beef broth or  2 tablespoons of beef bouillon.IMG_2960

Seasonings:

  • 2 tablespoons of seasoning salt
  • garlic salt to taste
  • paprika to taste
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • Flour generously

Season the steak first, then flour generously. IMG_2961

In a hot skillet with oil, fry steaks until golden brown. About 5 minutes on high then flip over and repeat for the other side. The blood will cook out of it, but most importantly it will finish cooking in the gravy. IMG_2963 IMG_2964 IMG_2965 IMG_2966

Remove the steak and let them rest on a plate. In the same skillet add onion and flour and stir to begin the gravy. Cook down until onions are slightly transparent.IMG_2967 IMG_2968

Once the flour and oil begin to mix, add a little black pepper then whisk quickly the 3 cups of broth. IMG_2970 IMG_2971

The broth should give it a nice color…IMG_2973

Next, add your steak back into the pan and cook down for 40 minutes on medium to low heat. I added a touch of chopped parsley because it looked pretty! lol IMG_2974 IMG_2978

Once your steak is nice and tender, serve over rice or potatoes. I opted to do rice and peas since that’s what I grew up eating…The flavor combinations take me back to my childhood!

ENJOY!

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Spinach and Bacon Quiche

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This recipe was done on the fly! Remember the deep dish apple pie I made? Well usually when you buy frozen crust it comes in a package of two! Two for the price of one allowed me to make an apple pie AND a quiche! Score! I hope you guys enjoy this recipe. I can home and remembered I had a pie crust left over, and instantly thought of making a breakfast quiche for myself. This recipe is so easy and quick to make. Here’s how you do it:

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All you need:

  • 1 pie crust unthawed
  • 6-8 strips of bacon
  • 1-2 cups of cheddar cheese ( or a cheese blend)
  • 1/2 chopped white onion
  • 1 bundle of spinach
  • 6 eggs whipped
  • green onion/chives (optional)

Mmmmm bacon…

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Directions:

Once your bundle of spinach is chopped and rinsed.  I used a drizzle of the bacon grease to the pan and sauteed the spinach and onion together until it was soft. I use bacon grease because it gives the spinach a nice flavor without me having to add any seasonings. I also added a pinch of crush red pepper flakes.

IMG_2866 IMG_2867Sit your spinach mixture aside and let it cool for about 10 minutes. Make sure you preheat your oven for 350 degrees. Once your spinach has cooled, place the spinach mixture on the bottom of the pie crust like you see below.

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Next, add your cheese.IMG_2869

Now pour over your 6 eggs that you have whipped.IMG_2870

The fun part….Crush the bacon over the mixture and use a fork to carefully blend the chunks of bacon.  IMG_2871

Bake in the oven for 35 minutes or until the egg is firm and pie crust is brown.

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Three Bean Chorizo Sausage and Ground Beef Chili

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The weather here in California is NO JOKE! We very rarely get to embrace the soups, stews, chilis and other delicious recipes associated with cold weather because we RARELY have cold weather! So now that fall is here and we are experiencing some pockets of chilly weather, what better way to take advantage of that and make some delicious chili. Im going to be honest, I hadn’t made chili in about 8 months! Who wants to eat chili when its 100 degrees outside?!! And this is why Im saying Thank You Universe for this chilly weather!…Perfect way to accompany chilly weather is with a bowl of chili!

Prep: 10 mins. Cook 6 hours. Total: 6 hours 10 minutes IMG_2844

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of black beans
  • 1 cup of pinto beans
  • 1 cup of kidney beans
  • 1lb of lean ground beef ( i used 80/20)
  • 1/2 lb of chorizo ( or use the entire tube. I recommend Cacique brand…so far it has been the best but you can use another brand if you prefer)
  • 1 red, green, yellow and orange bell pepper diced
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1 small white onion
  • 3 cups of beef broth or you can use caldo de res
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of ground pasilla chili ( I will show you the picture)
  • 2 whole tomatoes diced
  • 1 can of stewed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper

Note: Soak the beans for about 15 minutes before you combine them all in the pot. This makes the beans less gaseous!

To cook: I used about 3 quarts of water, 2 cans of beef broth and 2 cloves of garlic. Dont forget to add salt and pepper to taste. Let your beans cook on a medium boil, adding water continuously. For this recipe because I was under time constraints, I controlled my temperature by letting my beans boil vigorously for 15 minutes, then lowering the temperature to a simmer…This helped the beans cook fast as I kept alternating every 15-20 minutes. After 2-3 hours you can begin on your ground beef/chorizo mixture.

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Diced all the vegetables up ahead of time and combined them in a bowl. IMG_2831

In a skillet combine ground beef, salt, pepper and diced vegetables. I also added a little cayenne, crushed red pepper and 1 tablespoon of seasoning salt for kick.

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Once the beef is browned, I added the beef mixture in a strainer to make sure all the grease was out of it. Then I set it aside. IMG_2833

I then added chorizo to the same pan and cooked for 10 minutes on high. Stirring constantly until chorizo begins to firm up. IMG_2834

Then I added both ground beef and chorizo mixture to the pot of cooking beans. At this point, the beans have already been cooking for 3 hours in broth, garlic, salt and pepper. IMG_2836

Allow the mixture to cook on medium to low heat . Now begin adding the rest of your spices: cumin, paprika, cayenne, stewed tomatoes, ground pasilla chili and cook down for 3 more hours. Make sure you don’t let your water cook out. Stir occasionally.IMG_2837

Once your chili is cooked down nicely If you like add some garnish to it. I like to add yellow bell pepper, onion, cheese and jalapenos.

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My husband likes it with tomatoes! Either way, its delicious!IMG_2847

Easy Deep Dish Dutch Apple Pie

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So ever since I was a little girl I would always beg my dad to buy me those frozen apple pies that you see in the freezer section at the store…you know, the ones with the frozen apples in it! lol As I got older, I realized fresh apples just taste so much better! And sometimes, you just want the taste of freshly baked apple pie without spending so much time!! So this recipe is for the quick fix, semi-homemade apple pie makers/eaters like myself!!

My favorite part about a dutch apple pie is the crumble on top!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 deep dish frozen pie crust
  • 8 granny smith apples peeled and sliced
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 1 cup of dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoon of cinnamon

Note: Preheat oven 350 degrees. Prep time: 10 minutes to peel the apples. Allow your frozen pie crust to thaw out for 10-15 minutes. Cook for 30 minute or until pie starts to bubble and is golden brown.

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Directions: In a saucepan combine apples, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1 cup of sugar and 1/2 cup of brown sugar. Cook for 5-7 minutes on low as the apples begin to caramelize and the juices from the apples begin to flow out.

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Let the apples cool while you begin to make the crumble. In a bowl combine the remaining ingredients: 1/2 cup of brown sugar, flour, white sugar, and melted butter. Use a fork to stir and you will begin to see crumbles forming.

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Once your crumble is ready, it is time to assemble the pie!

Get your apple mixture, pour into pie crust. Sprinkle crumble on top of apples.

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Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown and enjoy!!

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