I get in “trouble” at home sometimes for making delicious meals and then never making them again. Or taking them out of rotation for a while and then forgetting all about them! This month’s recipe, Beef Stroganoff is one of those, and my family was pretty excited when I brought it back!
I want to warn you up front that the sauce is made from scratch, but I also don’t want you to worry because it is really easy! This meal takes about 20 -25 minutes to make. When I say that is from scratch, I mean that you will be making a roux. A roux is a mixture of melted butter and flour, all you do is melt the butter in your skillet and mix in the flour until there are no lumps. It mixes really well, and doesn’t take but a couple of minutes to be ready to add your other ingredients!
The sauce is tangy and it pairs perfectly with egg noodles, and I recommend adding the mushrooms if you like them. My kids aren’t a fan, but I say they don’t know what they are missing!
Over the weekend there was a sale at Kroger on bags of frozen chicken, so I stocked up on a few of them! But, I already had some frozen chicken in the freezer, so I decided that I would try a new recipe! I have heard some bloggers out there talking about using a jar of salsa to season chicken, and I was curious. Most of the recipes were in the crockpot, but I wanted to try it out in my Crock Pot Express. (my instant pot)
I love having the ability to cook meats quickly, and still have a tender, flavorful product. In the “pressure cooker”, you need to have some liquid for it to cook properly. Otherwise, you wind up with an error code. I knew the salsa was probably not enough, and I wanted the chicken tender enough to shred. I decided to go with chicken broth and salsa so as to give the chicken more flavor.
This easy chicken recipe can be used in so many recipes.
I can tell you that it turned out AMAZING and full of flavor, with just a little kick. (a kid friendly kick, because I am also a huge wimp) The reason I wanted it to be tender enough to shred is because I was using it for taco salad. You could also use this chicken as a main dish(served with Mexican rice and a veggie), for enchiladas, soups, tacos/burritos, or even fajitas.
Best of all, you set it and walk away. For taco salad, I used a bag of tortilla chips, 2 cans of black beans, guac, avocado slices, shredded lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, and sour cream. If you are dairy free like I have to be, sprinkling a little nutritional yeast on top will give a little cheese taste.
Basically you crunch up the tortilla chips and layer whatever ingredients you want and enjoy. The kids will all love it, and will go back for more. And so will you because it is delicious, and the way the salsa/broth combo soaks into the chips…mmm! Here is the recipe for this versatile Mexican Chicken.
This Chili recipe is so easy, I almost didn’t post it. But isn’t that the whole point of my recipes? To be quick and easy? My recipe is basically my version of my mom’s chili that she has been making for years. It is basically a dump recipe, meaning you dump in the cans and call it a day.
Today, I decided to prevent the burnt Chili fiasco of last week, that we would go with the Slow Cooker method. Yes, even a food blogger burns stuff. It happens to the best of us! I decided that myCrock Pot Express would be the best way to cook it, because of the sauté option. In a traditional crock pot, I would have to brown the meat in another pan, but with this one, I can brown it in the cooker. This keeps the dishwashing to a minimum. I think we can all agree that less dishes = happier mamas!
This recipe is very versatile! Add some chopped matchstick carrots or chopped bell peppers. If you like spice add some chopped jalapeños. I also make rice or macaroni noodles to mix it with. If you don’t like that many beans, cut the beans and add more meat. You could even substitute ground turkey for the ground beef.
Don’t forget to take a picture and post it with the hashtag #leslieslittlecorner.
Looking for more easy, kid friendly meals? Check out my Recipe Index!
I finally broke down and bought a Crock Pot Express this summer and I have really come to LOVE it. When I first started reading up on how exactly you could make baked spaghetti in an Instant Pot, I was a little thrown by all the water that they called for ! Most of the recipes had some fancy DIY recipe, which was fine, but all I had was a jar of spaghetti sauce. So, you can see how I was freaking out a little to pour all of that water into the mix. I was afraid it was going to be watery and have no flavor!
After a little hesitation, I decided I was just going to do it, and if it was bad we could just order pizza! But, guess what? We didn’t wind up having to order pizza that night! My “Baked” Spaghetti was a success and it was done in no time.
For those of you who are asking: Okay, but honestly is it really worth it to have ANOTHER gadget in my kitchen? I already have a crock pot…. Well here is MY answer to that. Have you ever bought a roast and wound up throwing it out because your week got jacked up and you never had time to stick it in the crock pot? Well, with the Instant Pot, that would never have happened because you could have made it in there in less than an hour. And yes, the meat is just as tender!
Yes, it is definitely worth it!
Now, on to the recipe! For the Baked Spaghetti, first you will brown your ground beef in the Instant Pot/Crock Pot Express using the saute option.
Then, you will pour all the other ingredients and spices in and stir them well. Close and fasten the lid. Press the Chili Button, set the time to 5 minutes, and press Start!
*Quick tip: Make sure the pressure release is closed!*
Here is the story of how a meat eater came to be making a Vegan Queso recipe:
A long time ago, in a house across town, a very pregnant woman got really, really sick one day. From that day on, she vowed to never drink milk, and only eat a little bite of ice cream every now and then. It was really hard for her, because she loved milk and ice cream with all her heart. Her only consolation was that she could still eat cheese in moderation.
But one day many years later, her world came crashing down and she had to give up cheese too! It was almost too much to bear! In her desperation, she started looking for something she could replace cheese with! Fake grocery store cheese was expensive and disappointing! Soaking (expensive) cashew’s all day? Please.
But then, one summer day, she came across a recipe for Vegan Queso Dip. She was very skeptical, and also not vegan. But she was desperate, so why not?, she asked herself. It turned out that she actually had all but one of the ingredients already! And the list of ingredients wasn’t a mile long either! It was almost too good to be true! So, she set off to the store to buy the one missing ingredient : Eggplant!
And that friends, is the story of how I came to be making a Vegan recipe today. I am sure most of you know, that I am very much a meat eater! Especially if you have followed my blog for any length of time. So don’t worry guys, I am not going Vegan on you! But, I had to share this recipe with you, because it is actually good! So if you can’t eat dairy either, starting today you CAN eat chips and queso!!
I found this recipe on Minimalist Baker, and I am impressed! I literally had to make myself put it away. (Although, it was made with a vegetable, so I don’t really feel that bad.) So, there is a chance that you may see me reviewing some more of her “cheesy” recipes. You can find the recipe here.
I was a little ill-prepared this morning and didn’t have quite enough almond milk, so I added a little chicken broth to mine to make sure I had enough liquid. So mine wasn’t actually Vegan… But, as I was eating it, I also thought that it would be good with some chili mixed in or even adding a little ground beef with the rotel, so you may also see some follow up posts about that.
Now, you may be wondering “But what about the husband and kids, did they like it?” Well, I haven’t actually shared it with them yet, but when I do I will edit to let you know! However, if by chance they don’t like it , well : More for me!
If you decide to try it out, let me know! I would love to hear your opinion!
Are you looking for some quick and easy dinner recipes? Try out my Recipe Index!
I have been wanting an Instapot for a long time! I just never seem to have the extra money when they go on sale. Last week, I took the kids to get some summer clothes at Kohl’s and got $50 in Kohl’s cash from the shopping trip. I had noticed the Instapot and the Crock Pot Express in the store, and was thinking that maybe I could get one for half off. But after a 20% discount and my Kohl’s cash, I was able to get the Crock Pot Express for less than $14!!
I have been researching recipes all weekend and reading up on how to use it. I had a whole chicken in the freezer, so I pulled it out to thaw, and have that be my first test in the new Crock Pot Express. I know, I am such a nerd with my new cooking toy. But, this is supposed to be this awesome way to cook , and I have been missing out!
Well, the Crock Pot Express did not disappoint! My chicken turned out great! It was tender, juicy, and fell off the bone. It wasn’t dry or soggy, it was perfect! Since it turned out so well, I am going to share the recipe so you can try it too!
I don’t usually buy ground turkey, but I found some on clearance the other day and decided to try a little experiment. See, my husband always notices when I replace ground beef for ground turkey. I think it tastes fine, but he isn’t a fan. I decided that I would try making meatballs with the turkey instead of trying to sneak it in a dish.
It worked! They didn’t even know it was turkey!
Actually, it worked so well, that we wound up using most of the meatballs that I had made to freeze for dinner the next night! All of my kids loved them. My son, Caleb even ate them, and he doesn’t eat anything. I was so excited!
The great thing about these meatballs is that you can mostly use what you have on hand to make them. They can also be served by themselves as an appetizer, in spaghetti, or with vegetable sides as you meal. If you don’t have turkey, you can always use ground beef or ground chicken instead. And you can double or triple the recipe.
A long, long time ago when Josh and I first got married, I found a very simple Tortilla Soup recipe. It was tucked into the coupon insert of the Sunday paper. That was one of my very first recipes that did not involve any type of Hamburger Helper. It was so good that I still to this day get asked to make it.
That was almost 18 years ago!
Since then, I can’t seem to find the Mahatma Red Beans and Rice anymore, so I decided that I would adapt my old recipe to add in a few new ingredients. It is still just as easy and delicious as ever!
I just happened upon some Organic Eggs yesterday that were clearanced out for 50 cents. The expiration is in 3 days, so I was brainstroming in the grocery store what I could make with the eggs. Three things came to mind quiche, breakfast burritos, and egg muffins!
One thing that is always a hit with my family is ham and cheese quiche, so I went over to the frozen section grabbed some pie crusts, then grabbed some ham in the sandwich meat section. Last, I grabbed a bag of colby jack cheese.
So there was one meal (or two) down. I went home and made two quiches. One to freeze, and one to eat for lunch/dinner yesterday. Cooking earlier in the day made dinner so much easier, so that might be something I need to look into trying more often!
While I made the Quiche, I recorded my very first You Tube video to post in my blog, so you can see exaactly what I did and how easy it is! I edited the video down, but I did leave in some of the parts with my kids, because that is what really happens when mom’s cook, right?
While I hope that my video making skills get a little better over time, I hope you can appreciate the authenticity in this one!
I mentioned yesterday that I have been trying to save a little money on my groceries lately. I was inspired by Crystal Paine of Money Saving Mom to go to the store and look for the clearance deals. I have been getting some great deals on meats, bread, yogurt, and milk. Yesterday morning I happened upon some clearance out bananas, and I decided that it would be really fun to make some banana bread.
I haven’t been able to bake in a while because I’ve been so busy. But I really enjoy baking, it’s one of my favorite things to do. There’s something fun about making something from scratch and feeding it to your family. I also occasionally try new things (and fail) and torture my family by making them eat them, so there’s also that.
When I got home from the store, I went looking for a recipe for banana bread. Over the years I have tried a lot of recipes for banana bread. Some of them have been awesome, especially the ones that contain cream cheese. Because cream cheese makes everything better. I found this recipe on the Kitchn. I have used many recipes from here before when I was making dinner or cooking something from scratch. The recipes on this site are always really reliable.
Something that I really liked about this recipe is that you were able to sub out some of the ingredients for more healthy options. I decided that instead of using white sugar that I would try to use my coconut sugar. It has been sitting in my pantry for a while and I really needed to use it.
That was the only substitution that I made yesterday but I was thinking that you could also say about coconut oil for the butter if you wanted to. You could also use brown sugar instead of coconut or white sugar. I really think that the coconut sugar gave it a lot of flavor. I also didn’t completely mash my bananas so there are some chunks of banana in the bread. I personally think the big chunks make the bread even better .
Some ideas for using your banana bread :
Send it to lunch with your kids.
Have a slice for breakfast with your coffee or tea.
Use it as a dessert or serve it with ice cream.
Add some chocolate chips and make muffins for the kids breakfast or lunches.
Arrange a rack in the bottom third of the oven and heat to 350°F. Line an 8x5-inch loafpan
with parchment paper, letting the excess hang over the long sides to form a sling. Spray the inside with cooking spray.
If using nuts, toast them in the oven for 10 minutes as the oven is pre-heating.
Melt the butter in the microwave or you can substitute coconut oil.
Combine the butter and sugar. Place the melted butter and sugar in a large bowl and whisk until combined. (You can also use a stand mixer)
Add the eggs. Mix until completely combined and the mixture is smooth.
Add the milk and vanilla, mix in.
Mash in the bananas. Peel the bananas and add them to the bowl. Using the end of the whisk or a dinner fork, mash them into the batter. Leave the bananas as chunky or as smooth as you prefer. If you prefer an entirely smooth banana bread, mash the bananas.
Fold in the nuts or chocolate, if using.
Scatter the nuts or chocolate over the batter and gently fold them in. separately until no more lumps remain, and then whisk them into the batter.
Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 50-60 minutes.