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Meals

Brunch/ Meals/ RECIPES

Easy Egg Spinach and Avocado Breakfast

Egg and spinach topped with avocado slices

The Beauty of Egg, Avocado, and Spinach

I posted the above Egg, Avocado and Spinach breakfast photo on Instagram, and it got lots of attention!

Maybe it is all of the beautiful colors in this ‘easy-but-looks-fancy’ dish. They really are quite beautiful; the dark green of the wilted spinach against the shiny cooked egg white and sunny yellow of the egg.

A sprinkling of seeds in all the neutral colors doesn’t hurt, either. Such a pretty dish! All those colors represent different textures, which make this dish very satisfying!

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Meals/ RECIPES/ Roundups

16 Staple Go-To Dinner Recipes You Will Make Over and Over Again

korean noodles and peas with sesame seeds

There are recipes that become staples in every family. The ones you go to over and over again and really don’t have to think much about.

You make them so often they become woven into the fabric of your family memories and will be the recipes your kids will take with them when they leave the nest.

They will make them automatically for their families because it is what they know and “how Mom always did it.”

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Halloween/ Meals/ RECIPES

Instant Pot Cincinnati Chili With Dark Chocolate

Instant Pot Cincinnati Chili with Dark Chocolate

This Instant Pot Cincinnati Chili with Dark Chocolate has been a family favorite for a while now. I’ve wanted to make an Instant Pot version and did so last night. It turned out great and was such an easy process.

Last night was Halloween AND our first snow of the season. It was so pretty with great big snowflakes drifting down. I sent a group text to my three teens letting them know dinner would be ready at 5 and that Grandma would be joining us so that she could see their costumes.

My oldest and her boyfriend dressed up to serve little kids candy at a church party. My girl teaches Kindergarten Sunday School every Sunday and was hoping to see some of “her kids” there. It was crazy seeing my girl in scrubs–it may be a glimse into the future as she wants to go into the medical field.

My youngest 2 girls dressed up and went trick-or-treating and to visit their cousin. It may be the last time they trick-or-treat, and it was crazy to watch them drive away on their own. Halloween feels so different now that they are all grown up!

Todd and I bundled up and walked our neighborhood streets, reminiscing about how it seemed like just yesterday that we took our 3 little girls were trick-or-treating down the same streets. My Todd would keep them out until the last porch light went out and they would come home with gobs of candy and spend the next hour sorting and trading.

Instant Pot Cincinnati Chili with Dark Chocolate

Cincinnati Chili & Cinnamon Rolls

I knew my girls would be out and about on Halloween, so I was purposeful in bringing the family together early in the evening to eat some nourishing chili. When my Teagan heard we were having chili, she asked…”are you making cinnamon rolls?”

Did you know that is a ‘thing’ in Nebraska? It is. My local grocery store was out of cinnamon rolls and the grocer said…” sorry…I’m all out…lots of people eating chili on this snowy Halloween!”

The combination of chili and cinnamon rolls reminds me of the popular combo of chicken and waffles. Salty, spicy & sweet. I do think chili is a great excuse to make cinnamon rolls, but it seemed a bit much on Halloween when sweet candy will be in abundance, but my girl asked for it, and it IS tradition, so I stopped at another store and bought some, and that made her very happy.

Instant Pot Cincinnati Chili with Dark Chocolate

Cincinnati Chili with Dark Chocolate

Cincinnati chili is typically served over spaghetti noodles and topped with cheese, onions, and crackers. We skip the pasta but enjoy a bit of cheese and crackers on top.

The reason I LOVE Cincinnati chili is that the flavor is so rich and complex, thanks in part to dark chocolate. It also has cinnamon, cloves, allspice, a bay leaf, apple cider vinegar and Worcestershire sauce in the recipe. These layers of flavor make the chili dark and delicious!

Instant Pot Cincinnati Chili with Dark Chocolate

Instant Pot Cincinnati Chili with Dark Chocolate Recipe

I love having an Instant Pot version of this recipe. It pressure cooks for 10 minutes, then uses a natural release.

You can make this in a pot on the stove, but it will need to simmer for 3 hours. If you make it in the crockpot, it can cook for 8 hours on low and 4 hours on high.

Instant Pot Cincinnati Style Chili with Dark Chocolate

{for your pinning pleasure!}

Instant Pot Cincinnati Chili
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
40 mins
 
Recipe Type: Meals
Servings: 6
Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp oil (I use avocado oil)
  • 2 small onions or 1 large chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 3 cans beans I use kidney black, and pinto
  • 1 15-oz can tomato sauce
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 1 oz square dark chocolate
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 quart water more or less depending on the consistency you would like
Instructions
  1. Saute onions in oil on saute function on the Instant Pot until translucent. Add garlic and ground beef and cook until browned. Drain if needed.
  2. Drain and rinse beans in a colander.
  3. Add beans and the rest of the ingredients into the pressure cooker (can eyeball the water and use more or less depending on desired consistency) and stir well.
  4. Pressure cook for 10 minutes, then use natural release. Open the instant pot and stir. If you need to thicken the chili, set to saute and let bubble until desired consistency.

Have you tried Cincinnati Chili? What do you think of chocolate and cinnamon in your chili? How about Chili and Cinnamon Rolls?

Meals/ RECIPES/ Uncategorized

Easy Steak Quesadillas

Easy Steak Quesadillas. Nice and brown and crispy!

This Steak Quesadilla recipe is a keeper. I just made it for the first time last week, and it is a recipe that will for sure go into our frequent meal rotation.

What makes these tortillas so appealing is the brown, crispy outside of the tortilla. There is something about a crispy crunch into oozy gooey of cheese and the slight tender chew of the steak strips — this all makes the dish very memorable. It is texture heaven for the mouth!

The steak is well seasoned and smells amazing while cooking. Between the scent of seasoned steak and the aroma of bits of cheese that fall from the tortillas into the pan, your home will smell amazing and your people will come running!

My people did, and they all really enjoyed this meal. We are not huge steak eaters around here, so having a few bite-sized bits of steak in a crispy tortilla was perfect for our family. We also don’t do a ton of cheese in our meals, so I love that it is easy to control the amount of cheese in this dish. Just sprinkle your preferred amount!

I kept our steak quesadillas pretty plain, but they still had a ton of flavor! Dipping them in salsa adds more layers of flavor. If you use the suggested cilantro, tomatoes and green onions inside of the tortillas, even though not necessary your quesadillas will be colorful AND flavorful.

Don’t let the length of the recipe below make you feel like this recipe is hard. It is super easy and cooks quickly. You do need to cut and season the beef about 20 minutes ahead of cooking, allowing it to come to room temperature before putting into the hot pan.

Also, make sure you have all ingredients prepped ahead of time! This is key as the dish comes together very quickly and is done in a jiffy!

Easy Steak Quesadillas. Nice and brown and crispy!

Easy Steak Quesadillas

(from How Jen Does It)

8-12 Flour Tortillas (or corn for gluten-free), cut in half.

 

1 pound Tri-Tip Steak, cut into thin strips against the grain

3-4 Tbsp Oil (I use Avodaco oil)

2 tsp Chili Powder

2 tsp Garlic Powder

2 tsp Cumin

Pinch of Crushed Red Pepper

 

1 c Shredded Colby Jack Cheese

1/4 c Fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)

1/2 tomato, chopped (optional)

2 green onions, chopped (optional)

 

Salsa for serving

Sour Cream, for serving (optional)

 

Prep Ingredients:

Cut tortillas in half. You will be folding each half in half, which helps keep the filling from falling out.

Cut steak into strips against the grain. Sprinkle steak with seasonings and toss. Let sit and come to room temperature for about 20 minutes.

Prep all ingredients ahead of time, as the assembly and cooking process goes fast!

 

Cook Steak Strips:

Heat oil in large skillet over med-high heat. Add steak strips and cook just a couple of minutes until cooked through but DON’T OVERCOOK! It will get tough. Take off of the heat right after the steak is cooked through.

 

Assemble Steak Quesadillas:

Heat more oil in a large skillet over med-high heat.

Work with 4 tortilla halves at a time. Lay the tortilla halves in the hot pan with points touching each other in the center, and the opposite points of each tortilla half hanging over the pan edge.

Working quickly, add cooked steak onto each tortilla. Sprinkle each with cheese. Fold each tortilla in half, grabbing the point that is hanging over the pan and folding over the other point.

Cook until nice and brown and crispy on the bottom. Crispy is key! Do not flip prematurely. Enjoy the sizzle!

 

Flip and Fill Steak Quesadillas with Toppings:

Flip each steak quesadilla over. Once flipped, pull the top over and sprinkle with cilantro, tomato, and green onion, if desired. Then refold and cook until brown and crispy on the bottom and cheese is melted.

Serve with salsa and sour cream to dip. A big green salad is a great side to add color and vegetables to your meal.

To see a video of the cooking process, visit How Jen Does It.

 

Easy Steak Quesadillas. Nice and brown and crispy!

{For Your Pinning Pleasure!}

You might also like:

Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix

Baja Fish Tacos

Easy Seasoned Taco Lentils

Meals/ RECIPES

Steak au Poivre and Cooking with Home Chef

Steak au Poivre Meal

I’ve written about Home Chef before in this post, and promised that I would tell you all about making Steak au Poivre and the amazing sauce that I can’t stop thinking about!

Just because it has a fancy name does not mean this is hard to make. I loved learning how to make it using Home Chef meal delivery system, and it is a recipe that I will make again, especially for special occasions.

There is much to love about Home Chef, but my most favorite thing is that it gets me out of my comfort zone and shows me how to make delicious food that I would not have otherwise have learned how to make. Steak us Poivre is one of those things.

Home Chef Meal box

Steak au Poivre Ingredients Home Chef

Steak au Poivre is a French pepper steak recipe that uses peppercorns to help form a delicious crust on the steak. The peppercorns compliment the natural flavor of the steak. I was afraid it would be too spicy for my palate, but it was not. It was perfection.

What made this recipe so memorable for me was two things: the peppercorn crust on the steak and the AMAZING sauce that is served with it. The sauce made this a recipe that I must eat again, it was so good I wanted to drink it! I could not believe the amazing flavor.

Steak au Poivre Cracked Peppercorns

Steak au Poivre Sauce

I was so proud to serve this recipe to my family. It was beautifully presented and tasted divine. We felt like we were dining at a 5-star French restaurant, thanks to Home Chef!

Steak au Poivre Recipe

2 Sirloin Steaks

1/4 tsp Salt

1 Tbsp Cracked Black Peppercorns (divided)

2 tsp olive oil

2 Tbsp Butter (divided)

2 oz Sherry Wine

4 tsp Beef Demi-Glace

Steak au Poivre Seared

Make Steak Au Poivre

Take steaks out of the refrigerator and let set about 30 minutes to come to room temperature. Pat steaks dry, and season both sides with 1/4 tsp salt. Sprinkle half the cracked peppercorns (reserve remaining for the sauce) on one side of each steak, pressing gently to adhere.

Place a medium pan over medium-high heat (I used a cast iron pan) and add 2 tsp olive oil. Add steaks, peppercorn side down, pressing firmly into place. Reduce heat to medium, add 1 Tbsp butter (reserve remaining for the sauce) and cook undisturbed until browned, 4 minutes. Flip, and cook until steaks reach a minimum internal temperature of 145 degrees, 3-5 minutes. Transfer steaks to a plate and rest 5 minutes. Reserve pan; no need to wipe clean.

Note: I prefer my steak medium-well, so I put them in the oven at 350 degrees for just a few minutes.

Make Steak au Poivre Sauce

Return pan used to cook steaks to high heat. Add remaining peppercorns and toast 30 seconds.

Add sherry, bring to a boil, and cook 1 minutes. Add remaining evaporated milk and demi-glace, return to a boil, and cook 2 minutes. Remove from burner and stir in remaining butter. Transfer sauce to a bowl to serve with steaks.

Home Chef Meal Delivery System

Home Chef is a fresh ingredient and recipe meal delivery service. It is “Home Cooking Made Simple” and delivers everything you need for a delicious meal. An insulated box is delivered to your door and stays cold until you get home, with no signature required.

I was giddy with the idea of a chef creating recipes, planning my menu and shopping for me!

A meal delivery service means no grocery lines, no menu planning, no fighting traffic while driving to the store, no parking lot struggles (or in my case remembering where you parked), no wasting money on unhealthy takeout, and perfectly portioned ingredients which means no waste.

The Home Chef website is really easy to use. You choose between 13 easy-to-follow recipes which are always updated. They offer meat, seafood, low-carb, gluten-free options and also vegetarian options. They use ingredient suppliers with sustainable practices & who benefit the ecosystems in which they operate.

One of my favorite things about Home Chef was that you can edit the number of weekly meals or servings you receive, skip a week or pause your account with the click of a button. Subscriptions are easy and flexible, and there are no binding contracts so you can try it with no commitment and cancel at any time.

The process is so fun: unpacking the box, setting out the ingredients, reading over the illustrated step-by-step instructions on the meal recipe card, filling my home with amazing food aromas & presenting a beautiful meal to my loved ones.

 

Steak au Poivre Ingredients

Home Chef Recipes – Baja Fish Tacos & Steak au Poivre

I’ve made 2 Home Chef recipes: Baja Fish Tacos & Steak au Poivre. Both were absolutely delicious!

I loved learning cooking techniques I have never done before, along with simple tips I can reuse over and over.

I also love that the recipe card is for the entire meal, so that at the end of about 30 minutes the main dish and side dishes are all done at the same time! Home Chef does all the thinking for you. I REALLY like that.

When I’m planning my own meals the side dishes are more like an afterthought, and I use whatever I have at home. With Home Chef, the meal components go so well together because the side dishes are planned by a real chef, to go perfectly with the main course, like the slaw topping for these fish tacos, or the cauliflower gratin side dish that came as part of the Steak au Poivre.

Convenience and confidence–these are the 2 words I think of when summing up my Home Chef experience. It can’t be any more convenient and my confidence as a home chef was at an all-time high making such easy, beautiful and delicious meals!

 

$30 Off Your First Purchase

Use voucher code NEWFOOD FOR $30 Off your first purchase. If you click-through to Home Chef using any links from this post, the voucher code is already embedded and will appear when you check out. Easy Peasy!

Need a fun gift for a friend? Have a friend going through a struggle that makes meal planning hard? Home Chef offers GIFT CARDS! I don’t know about you, but I would LOVE being gifted a subscription to Home Chef.

Steak au Poivre (pepper steak) with an amazing sauce that you will want to drink!{for your pinning pleasure}

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What about you? Does subscribing to Home Chef appeal to you? What would you enjoy about a home recipe and ingredient delivery system?

HOME/ Meals/ RECIPES/ Simplifying/ Sponsored

Baja Fish Tacos and My Thoughts on Home Chef

Baja Fish Tacos from Home Chef

I just made the most delicious Baja Fish Tacos thanks to the meal delivery system called Home Chef. I served them up to my taco- lovin’ husband and we had a sweet little meal for two.

Table Set For Two Baja Tacos

The Baja Fish Tacos are topped with the most delicious Sriracha Slaw, which really is key for the amazing flavor of these tacos, along with the Quick Pickled Red Onion which added the perfect acidity. I knew my Todd would enjoy the bit of spice from the Sriracha Slaw and I was right. He ended the meal with “wow, that had great flavor!” See video below, we captured his first bite!

Limes from Home Chef

Sriracha Slaw from Home Chef

That little compliment from my man set my mood to ‘happy’ the rest of the evening. My love language is words of affirmation, and when they are given in response to my food, it is twice as nice!

Home Chef truly helped make me look good. I can take credit for my dinner because I did cook it, but let’s be honest, Home Chef did most of the work for me! Shhh…don’t tell Todd.

Home Chef Meal box

Fish from Home Chef

Baja Fish Taco Ingredients from Home Chef

Home Chef Meal Delivery System

Home Chef is a fresh ingredient and recipe meal delivery service. It is “Home Cooking Made Simple” and delivers everything you need for a delicious meal. An insulated box is delivered to your door and stays cold until you get home, with no signature required.

I was giddy with the idea of a chef creating recipes, planning my menu and shopping for me!

A meal delivery service means no grocery lines, no menu planning, no fighting traffic while driving to the store, no parking lot struggles (or in my case remembering where you parked), no wasting money on unhealthy takeout, and perfectly portioned ingredients which means no waste.

The Home Chef website is really easy to use. You choose between 13 easy-to-follow recipes which are always updated. They offer meat, seafood, low-carb, gluten-free options and also vegetarian options. They use ingredient suppliers with sustainable practices & who benefit the ecosystems in which they operate.

One of my favorite things about Home Chef was that you can edit the number of weekly meals or servings you receive, skip a week or pause your account with the click of a button. Subscriptions are easy and flexible, and there are no binding contracts which means you can try it with no commitment and cancel at any time.

Ingredients from Home Chef delivery

Baja Fish Tacos

 Home Chef Recipes

I’ve made 2 Home Chef recipes: Baja Fish Tacos & Steak au Poivre. Both were absolutely delicious! I will share the Steak au Poivre sauce recipe in an upcoming post so stay tuned. You will not want to miss that recipe. I’m still dreaming about that sauce– it was divine!

The Baja Fish Tacos were really fun to make. I unpacked the box, set out the ingredients, read over the step-by-step illustrated instructions on the meal recipe card, and got my chef on!

What I loved about making both meals was I learned cooking techniques I have never done before, along with simple tips I can reuse over and over.

Baja Fish Tacos from Home Chef

Example? The Sriracha Slaw was so delicious and tasted like it had layers of amazing flavor, yet it was dressed with just two ingredients–mayo and Sriracha. I never buy Sriracha because I always thought it would be too spicy. Now I know it adds a great garlic and chili flavor and is not too spicy if used in moderation.

Another example is that I have never fried fish. It was intimidating to me because I didn’t want to overcook the fish. The recipe card comes with “chef tips” and one of them was that the batter for the fish should be nice and thin so that it cooks quickly and you won’t overcook the fish.

It worked beautifully, and although we rarely eat fried food, I like knowing how to do it, so that when we do eat it I’m the one who makes it. I like this option way more than buying frozen fried food that is full of questionable ingredients.

I also love that the recipe card is for the entire meal, so that at the end of about 30 minutes the main dish and side dishes are all done at the same time! Home Chef does all the thinking for you! I REALLY like that.

When I’m planning my own meals the side dishes are more like an afterthought, and I use whatever I have at home. With Home Chef, the meal components go so well together because the side dishes are planned by a real chef, to go perfectly with the main course, like the slaw topping for these fish tacos, or the cauliflower gratin side dish that came as part of the Steak au Poivre.

Convenience and confidence–these are the 2 words I think of when summing up my Home Chef experience. It can’t be any more convenient and my confidence as a home chef was at an all-time high making such easy, beautiful and delicious meals!

Home Chef Baja Fish Tacos

Baja Fish Tacos with Sriracha Slaw

Go to the Home Chef website and search Baja Fish Tacos. You will see how beautifully they share a recipe meal plan, step-by-step with tips along the way. They even make each recipe easy to share with your friends using their social media share buttons.

Watch Me Make Baja Fish Tacos with Home Chef

{watch this 60-second video to the end to see my Todd taking his first bite and me laughing at my daughter filming us!}

$30 Off Your First Purchase

Use voucher code NEWFOOD FOR $30 Off your first purchase. If you click-through to Home Chef using any links from this post, the voucher code is already embedded and will appear when you check out. Easy Peasy!

Need a fun gift for a friend? Have a friend going through a struggle that makes meal planning hard? Home Chef offers GIFT CARDS! I don’t know about you, but I would LOVE being gifted a subscription to Home Chef.

{for your pinning pleasure}

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What about you? Does subscribing to Home Chef appeal to you? What would you enjoy about a home recipe and ingredient delivery system?

 

Meals/ Pressure Cooker/ RECIPES

Pressure Cooker Indian Butter Chicken

Pressure Cooker Indian Butter Chicken

I first tasted Indian Butter Chicken when visiting dear friends in California a couple of weeks ago. I could not believe the deliciousness I was tasting!

It was the first meal I made for my family once I got back home to the midwest and boy, it was a hit! The leftovers, which although hard to imagine, are even better than freshly made and my family fought over them the next day. This recipe will be going into our rotation for us to enjoy on a regular basis.

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