Ham and Mushroom Tart

Need dinner quick and painless. I have the answer for you. This tart is so easy to make but packed with flavor. The almonds and rice gives this tart a great crunch. The ham, onions, mushrooms and Swiss cheese gives it so great flavor. 30 minutes cook time and 20 minute prep. In the summer Jon works long hours and it is hard to get dinner ready for when he comes home. With this tart I can prepare ahead of time and then stick in the oven when he gets home. By the time he gets done cleaning up from work dinner is done.

 

Ingredients

1 pie crust

8 oz of shredded Swiss cheese

Ham Mixture

1 package of small diced ham

2 green onions chopped

6 cremini mushrooms sliced

2 tablespoons of slivered almonds

1 cup of brown rice and wild rice (I use the prepackaged cups from Minute Rice)

1 tbsp of butter

Olive oil

Custard Mixture

3 eggs

1 cup of sour cream

1 tablespoon of Dijon Mustard

1 tsp of salt

1/8 tsp of black pepper

Dash of hot sauce

 

Preheat oven to 425°.  Place pie crust in pie pan. Place in oven at 425° for 10 minutes.  Take out of oven and let sit. Turn oven to 400°. While the crust is baking sauté your mushrooms in the butter and a dash of olive oil until tender and then add ham and green onions until cooked through.  Add almonds and the rice.  Take off the heat.  For the custard beat three eggs and then add the sour cream, Dijon mustard, hot sauce, salt and pepper.  Take the pie crust and a half of the Swiss cheese to the bottom of crust and then put the ham mixture on top of the cheese layer. Pour over the custard mixture and then top with the other half of Swiss cheese.  Put in oven for 30 minutes. Take out and let sit for about 3 to 5 minutes then slice like a pie and dish.

 

Here is how I layer the tart. First layer half the cheese on bottom of tart.

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Then add the Ham Mixture.

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Pour the custard mixture over the top.

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Take the other half of the Swiss cheese and sprinkle of the top.

017Bake at 400° for 30 minutes.

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Enchilada Bowl

Tonight was one of those nights when I come home from work and look in the pantry and said hmmm.  I am limited to a few items because I really need to go to the store.  I pulled out two cans of enchilada sauce, can of black beans and a can of whole corn. Enchiladas sound great but I don’t have corn tortillas and then wham it hits me I should create an Enchilada Bowl.  So here is what I came up with and it was so good and a little bit spicy.

I started out by cooking the white rice following the instructions on the bag. Cooked my pound of ground beef and then added the chopped onions, green pepper and jalapeno along with a beef bouillon cube.  I have been blessed this year with an abundance of green peppers and jalapenos in my garden.

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After those cook down I add salt and pepper and the chili powder to the ground beef mixture. I drain the corn and the black beans then add those to the ground beef mixture.  Put in the two cans of enchilada sauce and then let it simmer until the rice is done or a little longer. In the last few minutes add a tablespoon of butter to the sauce. Sounds crazy I know but trust me it smoothes out the sauce. Next add some chopped cilantro to the sauce.

So now we must assemble this gorgeous creation.  I put down a layer of rice in the bottom of the bowl. Top that with some Mexican shredded cheese. Then add a layer of the enchilada mixture.  Top with sour cream and more chopped cilantro.  I enjoyed the spicy hints to this dish but if you don’t want spicy you can eliminate the jalapeno and use mild enchilada sauce.

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Enchilada Bowl

 

1 pound of ground beef

2 cans of mild or medium enchilada sauce

1 can of black beans-drained

1 can of whole corn-drained

1 jalapeno chopped

½ green pepper chopped

½ onion chopped

Chili powder

Salt and pepper

1 beef bouillon

White rice-prepared

Mexican shredded cheese


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This morning we set out with great expectations to do some boating. Jon was going to dive and I made a picnic and was looking forward to sunning myself and relaxing.  But as the day unfolded we found ourselves looking to head home early.

Here is a summary on how our day went.  We get up that morning so excited to get the day going. We pack the boat and off we go. We get to Littlefield Lake and as we are trying to get the boat ready Jon notices that we have a flat tire on the boat trailer. We pull into a slot and Jon realizes that he does not have the right tool to take the tire off. Oops! We ask another gentleman there and he tries to help but he does have the right tool either. Then after searching the truck Jon finds one. Whew!

Now we have the boat in the water we make a few laps and Jon realizes that he does not have all his dive gear so now he cannot go diving. See where I am going with this. Now we have the boat anchored for lunch and take a dip before we eat because it was so sunny and hot.  I have made a delicious salad and brought some mandarin orange slices. Plus we had bought two bottles of the best Root beer you will ever try. Brundaberg Root beer is the best root beer hands down plus it comes in a cool bottle. The salad was the bomb.  Bomb meaning awesome!!! Insert my horrible singing voice. Plus I did take my Nikon with me but forgot my SD card in my laptop at home so all pictures today are from cell phone. So my pictures do not do my salad justice but trust it is awesome.

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So after we ate Jon decided to snorkel around the area and I decided to sun myself.  As soon as the picnic was put away the sun decided to hide under the clouds. It looked like it was going to stay that way.  So shortly after Jon snorkeled for a while and I read a few pages of my book. We decided to call it a day. Packed up the boat and heading to the boat launch.  We got the boat out and then the sun came out. All in all we had a good day not what we expected but it was a good day. Sometimes you just have to take what comes. Plans change and expectations are not what you expected. You just have to roll with it. I just want to end today’s blog with a picture I took over Memorial Day weekend on Saginaw Bay at sunset. It is a true picture of why I love to boat.  It is times like this where everything in my world seems right.

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Chicken Bacon Pesto Pasta

2 chicken breast sliced in half and grilled with Morton’s season salt.

1 ear of corn

1/2 of box of pasta (whatever you prefer I used Orecchiette pasta)

6 sundried tomatoes sliced

10 slices of bacon cooked and chopped into bite size pieces.

5 leafs of basil

tub of fresh mozzerella balls small ones

1/2 cup or more of pesto (homemade or store-bought)

 

Yesterday I grilled two chicken breast cut in half with Morton’s season salt and an ear of corn.  I then cooked the pasta according the directions.  I had earlier in the day cooked about 10 slices of bacon in the oven. I think there was more but I ate a few.  I placed the cooked pasta in a large salad bowl and chopped the chicken into bit size pieces added them to the bowl. I took the slices of bacon and did the same.  I then took my corn on the cob and cut the pieces of corn off and added them to the bowl.  I make pesto every year and freeze them in ice cubes tray then put them into a freezer bag to use later. So I took out 3 cubes which is ½ cup of pesto and let it set out and defrost.  Then I added it to the pasta mixture. I also added chopped sundried tomatoes.  I went out to my garden and took 5 basil leafs and  cut them in chiffonade style and put into the salad. Next I took little mozzarella balls and cut them in half.  Then I stirred the salad and add olive oil until coated well with pesto and olive oil.  I am not sure if you even had pesto before but the flavor it out of the world. You really don’t need any other seasoning. You can add a little salt but is not needed.

 


Jacked Up Grilled Potatoes and Onions

What goes better with steak? Why potatoes of course.  These are not your average grilled potato and onions. I have been looking for something different to try on the grilled to change up my grilled potatoes.  Well I found it.  I was reading this recipe online where you take a Vidalia onion and add a beef bouillon to it and grill it.  Which I am sure is great but why not add potatoes to that and make it even better.  These potatoes will melt in your mouth. They have such great flavor. I know my pictures do not even do this dish justice but they are definitely a must try.

 

First I took two sheets of aluminum foil and lay them over each other to form a T. Then I butter the top sheet by rubbing a stick of butter of it. This will help the potatoes from sticking to the foil.  I slice up the potatoes and onions. Place them in the center of the T.

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Then I add pads of butter to the potatoes and onions. I then took two beef bouillon cubes and crushed them into small pieces and sprinkled them over the potato and onions. (This is what makes these potatoes so jacked up.)

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I also sprinkled some all season salt and sea salt over the potatoes.  Then with my hands I toss the potato and onions until everything is mixed well.

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Fold up on side and then the other. Then I take another piece of aluminum foil and rolled the package until completely covered again.

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Place this on the grill for about 30 minutes on medium heat. Each grill is different. You will hear the butter sizzling when it is almost done.  You can check but make sure if you open it up to check it you sealed it well before putting it back on the grill.  Trust me on this.  Fire will happen.

Here is the ingredient list I used for two people.

2 russet potatoes

1/2 vidalia onion

1/2 stick of butter or less. ( I used less but forgot to measure)

2 cubes of beef bouillon

1 teaspoon or more of all season salt

dash of sea salt

I hope you enjoy it. I will now be making this more over this summer.  It is very addicting. The flavor of the beef bouillon just Jack’s up the traditional grilled potatoes and onions. Try it and see for yourself.

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I wrote Walking in the Dark because I have been dealing with grief since last summer. Most of you know that I lost my sister almost a year ago. It has been the hardest thing that I have ever had to deal with. Grief is something I never understood until July 19th of 2013. I never realized what others who have lost a loved one were going through. As I struggle with my loss I wonder if others are where I am at in my journey through grief. I wondered if others felt like they were walking in the dark. The dark to me represents my grief but it could be depression or other hurts as well. The glimmers of lights are my friends who help me everyday see that it will get better even though I am walking in the dark I have them. When I was feeling all alone a friend came along and said I am here for you. The light hole is my husband. He will never leave me and he is not trying to get me out. He knows I have to walk through the dark and get out of the dark on my own. I know that I will not feel whole again because my sister was part of my heart. That part of my heart left me when she left. My hope is that one day I will walk in the light. Everyday I try to see the light that my husband and friends are showing me. I am posting this not to be all gloomy but it is a reminder to myself that everyday is a new day, a new day to try.


 

                                                                  Walking in the Dark 

          I have been walking in the dark for almost a year now. It seems to surround me everywhere I go. I have seen glimmers of light but not enough to get me out of the dark.

 I feel my way to get from one place to another but never quite know if I am where I should be. My emotions are controlled by the dark. They bounce from thinking I am happy to crying uncontrollably. I become angry with the dark and it seems to laugh at me. I feel heavy from the dark it seems to weigh me down. My life in the dark is very predictable. I go day by day through the motions. I have begun to think I will never get out, that this is my life now in the dark.

I have seen glimmers of light. Those glimmers try to pull me out. Some are stronger than others and at those times I feel like I am almost out and then I get sucked back in. Once back in another one comes trying and trying to pull me out but it doesn’t work. Some are not even glimmers they are small light holes that never leave me. That light hole stays by my side to make sure I don’t lose my hope to get out. It stays to remind me that there is light. I am hoping that the glimmers never stop coming in to try to save me. I hope the glimmers realize I need them to keep reminding me that there is light and with the glimmer’s help I can reach the light myself. 


 

 

Sweet and Tangy Rhubarb Raspberry Sauce

It is Rhubarb season! After last year’s Rhubarb Banana Bread I thought what else would I create with Rhubarb?  So I always make Jon and I Raspberry sauce to pour over ice cream so why not add Rhubarb to it.  A little sweet and a little tangy sauce is perfect for ice cream.

My parents have Rhubarb plants so I went out there today for Mother’s day. I came home with 10 stalks of Rhubarb which I cleaned up and chopped them into pieces to put in the food processor.

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Pulse them until they are chopped into a sauce consistency. I know it does not look appetizing but trust me the end result will knock your socks off.

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Take this sauce put into a stock pan and turn on high until boiling once boiling turn to medium heat.  Add the juice of ½ of a lemon and keeping cooking until soften. Once the Rhubarb had cooked for about 5 minutes add 3 containers of raspberries which is about 18 ounces. Cook this down until it is slightly chunky then add ¾ cups of sugar.  I continued to cook it until it thickened. Now I like my sauce with the slight chunks in it but if you wanted a smoother sauce you could strain the sauce to get the raspberry seeds out or you could use an immersable blender to create a smoother sauce.

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Now we use this sauce on ice cream. But I am going to try to come up with other uses so stay tuned and I will share as soon as my creative side kicks in.

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Sweet and Tangy Rhubarb Raspberry Sauce

10 stalks of Rhubarb

18 ounces of Raspberries

¾ cup of sugar

Juice of ½ of lemon

 


Santa Fe Grilled Chicken Pasta Salad

 

I had this recipe rolling around in my brain for about two weeks now. I wanted to create a cold salad that is packed full a flavor for picnics on the boat this summer. This is definitely a winner! It has three of my favorite ingredients Cilantro, Lime and Avocados. Plus the weather is finally warming up enough to grill. Ok so here is what my brain came up with and it is so delicious it is not funny. I had a hard time not eating the whole bowl.

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First I shucked two ears of corn and rolled them in tin foil. Place on a medium heat on your grill. Trust me when I say this grilling the corn is a must for the flavor alone. I turn the corn every few minutes to make sure it cooks the whole corn. Then while the corn is grilling get two chicken breasts ready. I cut my chicken breast in half and then add sea salt and Norton’s seasoning to them. Place on grill until cooked through. By the time the chicken is done your corn will be done too.  Remove from grill and set aside to chill.

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While the corn and chicken are on the grill cook the pasta according to the directions on box. Drain pasta and run cold water over to chill it.

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In a food processor I add a bunch of Cilantro, Juice from 1 ½ limes, pinch of Sea salt, a splash of  Olive oil, 1 avocado pulse until mixed together. Then I add the mayo and pulse again until it is mixed thoroughly.

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In a large bowl I add the can of black beans drained and rinsed. I then chopped the chicken into bite sizes pieces and add those to the bowl. I cut the corn of the husks and add them to the bowl. Stir until combine.

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After pasta is cooked and chilled add the pasta to the bowl and mix again.

Take the dressing and add about half to mixture stir and if it needs more add more until covered.

I shred the pepper jack cheese and throw that in. Stir and serve.

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Now after I made this I thought of some great add ins. Jalapeno, red onion, pieces of Avocado, or Sundried tomatoes would be great in this. I hope you enjoy this recipe, I know that I will be making it over and over again.

 

Santa Fe Grilled Chicken Pasta Salad with Avocado Cilantro Lime Dressing

2 chicken breast split and grilled

2 ears of Corn grilled

Orecchiette Pasta ½ box

1 can of black beans drained and rinsed

Pepper Jack cheese

 

Avocado Cilantro Lime Dressing

One bunch of cilantro

One avocado

Juice from 1 ½ Limes

Olive oil

Sea salt

¾ cup of mayo

 


Healthy Green Juice

 

So I just want to start out by saying I can no longer say “I do not win at contests.” A week ago I enter to win a Breville Juicer from one of our local kitchen supply stores in Midland, Mi. Peel n’ Pare. It was a Facebook contest that involved them reaching a 1000 likes. If you shared the picture of the Breville Juice Fountain Plus you were entered to win.
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So last Saturday they hit 1000 likes and on Monday they were going to pick the winner.  I logged onto to Facebook that night and walked away and when I came back I had a notification from Peel n’Pare that I was the winner. I had to read it twice. I was so excited that I had to have Jon my husband read it to make sure I wasn’t just seeing things.  I actually won something.  So Tuesday after work I of course went to Peel n’ Pare to pick up my new juicer.  All week I was reading up on the manual and cleaned it before I was to use it.  I searched the web for juicing recipes.  So this morning I was so excited to wake up and try my new juicer.  Here is a recipe I adapted from so many recipes I could not name them all.

 

Healthy Green Juice

1 Green Apple

½ Lemon

1 Cucumber

3 stalks of Celery

1 Handful of Spinach

 

I put everything in my juicer except the lemon because I was too lazy to peel the lemon. I juiced the lemon the old fashion way with a manual juicer.  Stir and enjoy.  It tasted like cool apple lemonade. I not sure if you ever tried Cucumber water but it had a slight hint of cucumber water too.  I am so excited to master more recipes with my juicer.

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A couple of weekends ago my girlfriend invited us over for dinner and she was making Fish Tacos. Well I live in Michigan and it was January so snow storms blow up all the time. We had to cancel our evening with her and her husband due to the storm. I have never tried Fish Tacos, and was so excited to try them that all I could think about was what they would taste like. I could not get it out of my head.

So this weekend I bought some Tilapia and Chipotle peppers in Adobo sauce. I had a great idea brewing in my head, and as you already know I am a Cilantro lover. And what goes better with Cilantro?  Well, Lime of course. So here is my recipe for Fish Tacos.  This recipe is for two people but could stretch to three.

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Fish Taco’s with Chipotle Cilantro Lime Mayo

Fish

½ pound of Tilapia

½ cup of Flour

2 to 3 tsp of Old Bay Seasoning

Olive oil

Corn Tortillas

 

Chipotle Cilantro Lime Mayo

2 Chipotle peppers with some sauce

1 cup of Mayo

Cilantro chopped (as much as you want)

Lime Zest from one lime

Lime juice (I used half of the Lime I zested)

Sea Salt

First I make the mayo.  In a small bowl add the cup of mayo. I chopped the chipotle peppers into small pieces and add them and some sauce to the mayo. Chop the cilantro and then add that and then salt to taste. Stir together and place in refrigerator for at least an hour.

Next cut your tilapia up into bite size pieces. Mix your flour and the old bay seasoning stir with fork until is the seasoning is mixed in. Add the fish to the flour mixture and make sure each piece of fish is covered with the flour mixture. Heat the olive oil to frying pan. When hot place the fish in and turn and cook on each side for about 3 to 5 minutes or until golden brown. It does not take long to cook so be careful that you don’t burn the fish. While this is cooking I take my corn tortilla and cook them over the open flame on my stove top until you see char marks and it just a little crispy.

Now this is how I assembled mine but you can add or subtract.

Take your corn tortilla and add Pico de gallo (which is tomatoes, cilantro, Jalapeño peppers, red onion and lime juice).

 

Then add the fish.

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Drizzle some of the Chipotle Cilantro Lime Mayo.

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Then add Cilantro and lettuce.

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Top off with some avocado.

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Fold and enjoy. I am so loving this recipe. I can’t believe that it has taken me this long to try them but I know am a fan for sure. I am still looking forward to trying my best friends version. Hint …hint.


So I was just sitting around being lazy today and then all of the sudden I came up with this dessert. It just came to me. I thought of little pockets of joy.  So I made two versions of my little pockets of joy.  Even though I should not be eating these because they are quite heavy in calories, sometimes you just have to throw that idea to the wind and say go for it. So here is what my crazy head came up with.

 

Pockets of Joy

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Nutella Banana

1 sheet of puff pastry

Nutella

Banana

Almonds (chopped)

Powdered Sugar

First make sure your puff pastry is defrosted. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Unfold and cut on the seams, you should have three pieces. Then cut each of those sheets in four pieces.  All together when done cutting you should have 12 squares.  On one square put about a ½ Tbsp or more of the Nutella on the center of the puff pastry. Add some chopped almonds and then two slices of banana.

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Then place one more sheet on top and seal the edges with a fork.

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Make 5 more and you are done with the prep work.  Place in oven for 15 minutes. Keep an eye on them.  Take them and let them cool and then sprinkle powder sugar on them.  Let them cool.

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Peach Cream

 1 sheet of puff pastry

Peach Jam

 4 oz Cream Cheese soften

Powdered sugar

Just like the first recipe. Cut your puff pastry into three strips then each of those into 4 pieces and you should have 12 pieces again. I took the cream cheese and softened it. Add in about 1/2 cup of powdered sugar just to sweeten it and stir until combined. You will not need all of the cream cheese but I will use it later for other things.   Take a piece of puff pastry piece and put a small amount of the cream cheese mixture on the center and spread it around to almost the edges. Then I added a spoonful of peach jam in the center.

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Placed the second piece on top and then sealed the edges with the fork.  Create five more and you are done. Put in the oven for  15 minutes. Take out and let cool and sprinkle with powdered sugar.  Enjoy.

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Jon was out plowing snow all day and came in just when I was pulling them out of the oven and he was instantly warmed up trying each of them. Oh the power of dessert.  Delicious! Please let me know what you think of them.