Fermented Jalapenos

Fermenting jalapenos is a science. I love adding fermented jalapenos to a salad or any meal that needs an extra kick.

  • about 20 jalapenos sliced
  • about 3 tbsp salt
  • about 3 cups water

Slice jalapenos with a mandoline. Add jalapenos to a clean glass jar (used for canning). Create a saltwater brine. The brine should be made up of a 1 cup water to 1 tbsp salt ratio mixture. The jars that I use require just over 2 1/2 cups of the salt water brine. For best results add an item to the jar to push down jalapenos. I cut up the bottom of a clean plastic raspberry container to push down the jalapenos. Leave jars in a dark and cool place for 2 weeks. Check the jars each day. There will be a white cloudy mixture that forms on the top part of the water. Scoop the cloudy mixture out with a spoon to prevent the jalapenos from molding. Any jalapenos that are exposed to air will begin to mold.

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Cheesy Enchiladas

Filling

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 8 chicken thighs shredded
  • 1 4.5 oz. can green chilies
  • 2 tbsp chopped fermented chilies (1 regular jalapeno chili would work too)
  • 2 tbsp sour cream
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 Tbsp taco seasoning

Brown Chicken (about 4 minutes per side). Shred chicken and add all ingredients into the pan. Cook on low for 5 minutes.

Sauce

  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup gluten free flour
  • 1 pint heavy whipping cream
  • Rest of the sour cream from a 16oz cup. (2 tbsp were used for the filling)
  • 1 tbsp taco seasoning
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Melt butter and add flour to create a roux. Slowly add whipping cream. Mix until sauce thickens. Add sour cream and taco seasoning. Slowly add shredded cheese while mixing sauce.

Putting it all together

  • Sauce
  • Filling
  • Corn tortilla shells (about 15)

Preheat oven to 400F. I layer my enchiladas together like a lasagna. I cut shells in half to edge the sides of a 13×9 baking pan. I then use 2 whole shells for the center. After one layer of shells I add a layer of filling and sauce. Add another layer of shells, filling, and sauce. Top the final layer with one last layer of shells. Pour the remaining sauce over the last layer. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until the cheese starts to turn brown. Allow dish to sit for 5-10 minutes before serving.

This is the type of dish that is better the next day. Make sure to bring the leftovers to work and make your coworkers jealous.

Almost like ice cream

Want something that is almost like ice cream but does not contain all of the sugar?

Somedays I just crave sugar. This is a recipe that I turn to, to satisfy my sweet tooth while still trying to stay healthy. The great thing about this recipe is that you can choose any frozen fruit to use depending on what you are craving…or what you have in the house.

Not Ice Cream

  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup frozen berries (I enjoy frozen cherries)

Add the heavy whipping cream and frozen berries to a blender. (I like to use my NutriBullet) Blend for a few seconds until the berries are mixed and the heavy whipping cream is mixed. Add mixture to a small bowl and enjoy.

Potato Chips

  • 2 yukon gold potatoes
  • 4 Tbsp Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Italian seasoning

Preheat oven to 400F. Using a mandoline, thinly slice potatoes. Make sure you are careful to not cut your fingers. Lay tinfoil over a cookie sheet. Drizzle 2tbs of olive oil over the tinfoil. Sprinkle the tinfoil with salt, pepper and italian seasoning. Line the pan with the potato slices. Drizzle the rest of the olive oil on the potatoes and sprinkle with more salt, pepper and italian seasoning. Cook potatoes in oven for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are done. (You can test to see if the potatoes are done using a fork. I usually wait until the edges of the potatoes turn brown.)

Fajita Seasoning

  • 1 Tbsp Chili Powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

Mix spices together in a bowl. Store in an airtight container for up to one month.

Kielbasa Potato Hash

  • 2tbs Olive Oil
  • 4 medium size potatoes (I use yukon gold)
  • 4 Kielbasa Sausages
  • 1-2 red/yellow or orange peppers
  • 1 onion
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • pepper to taste

Chop up potatoes and saute with olive oil in a pan for 10-20 minutes (or until soft). While potatoes are cooking, chop up sausages, peppers and onion. When potatoes are done, remove potatoes from the pan and fry sausages. Add sausages to the potato mixture when done and cook peppers and onions. Saute onions and peppers together for 5-10 minutes or until the onions are translucent. Add potatoes and sausages back into the pan and add seasoning.

Enjoy-

Beef Kabob Marinade

This was a great recipe to enjoy Up North at my families cabin.

Beef Kabob Marinade

  • 1.5lbs sirloin steak
  • 2Tbs Sherry (cooking wine)
  • 2Tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1TBS salt
  • 2 bay leaves

Chop steak into bite size pieces. Add all the ingredients to a plastic bag. Make sure the seal is tight before massaging the ingredients together. Allow meat to marinate overnight. When ready to cook kabobs, add meat to skewers with other vegetables. (I used mushrooms, peppers and onions.) Grill kabobs about 4 minutes per side.

Turkey Sweet Potato Bites

I can count the amount of times I ate sweet potatoes on one hand. Growing up I was not a fan of the starchy veggie. I remember buying one when I first started dating David and having him coach me on how to make one. His recipe added a lot of sugar. Occasionally at a restaurant, I will order the sweet potato fries.

When I came across this recipe on “Unbown Wellness,” I was intrigued with the recipe, not because it had sweet potato in it, but because it looked easy to make. I am a teacher and after a long day of working with 25 third graders, the last thing I want to do is slave away in the kitchen. This recipe was very simple and took around 10 minutes to prepare.

I changed the recipe, because A) I always think I know a better way of making things. B) David doesn’t like anything related to cocoanut. And C) ground turkey was on sale. I was a huge fan of the recipe. They turned out soft and chewy almost like a tater tot. One cooking tip I have for you is to line the pan with foil. (A habit I always do… but especially with this recipe) The cooking process leaves a slight mess on the pan. I was happy to just throw away the tin foil for an easy clean up.

Here is the recipe.

Enjoy-

Turkey Sweet Potato Bites

  • 1 raw and peeled sweet potato
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 2lbs ground turkey
  • 3 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne powder

 

Preheat the oven to 400F. Peel sweet potato and finely chop in a food processor. (You could use a potato peeler if you would like too.) Add the onion to the food processor and chop finely. Mix onion and sweet potato with the ground turkey in a large mixing bowl. Add seasonings. Form mixture into small bite-size pieces (the size you would form to make cookies). Place bites on a cookie sheet and bake in the oven for 25 minutes (Making sure to flip after 10-15 minutes).

Cranberry Sauce

For many years my family would buy the canned cranberries and serve them once a year at Thanksgiving. I wouldn’t say anyone was really excited about the cranberry sauce from a can. I think most of my family members took a spoonful was because it was Thanksgiving and that is what you are suppose to eat on Thanksgiving.

One year my mom accidentally bought cranberries at the grocery story.

“What do you think we can do with these?” she asked me one day before our Thanksgiving feast.

“I think you can make cranberry sauce out of them” I said. I really wasn’t sure what you would do with them otherwise. I set off on a Pinterest search trying to figure out how to make cranberry sauce. Surprisingly, making a cranberry sauce is remarkably easy! A bigger surprise was how many family members LOVED our cranberry sauce that year.

Ever since that year homemade cranberries has been on the Thanksgiving menu.

 

Thanksgiving Cranberry Sauce

  • 1 bag of fresh cranberries.
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar

Guys this is so simple. Add the cranberries to a sauce pan. Add about 1 cup water (or until the water reaches the surface of the cranberries) and sugar. Stir the mixture. Place pan on the stovetop on medium heat. As the water starts to boil, the cranberries will start to pop (don’t worry that is a good thing!). Turn the heat down so that the mixture simmers for about 15-20 minutes. Make sure to stir every 5 minutes. Allow cranberry mixture to cool. As it cools it will start to gel up. ┬áChill cranberries for 1-2 hours before serving.

Variations:

You can substitute the 1 cup water for 1 cup orange juice. If you do this you will need to omit the sugar.

You can omit the sugar and add 2-3 table spoons of maple syrup.

Eat them like I do! Omit the sugar all together and just eat them with plain old water. Boy is it tart, but I love it!!! Natures War Heads!

New Year… Good Food!

Happy 2017! Can you believe the new year is here? I woke up yesterday morning forgetting that it was the last day of 2016. I rang in the new year at home, siting on the couch watching ABC. I kept thinking about all of the things I did this year.

2016 was such a good year for me. I moved in with my boyfriend, David. I spent a lot of time with my family at our cabin. I ran my second marathon in Duluth, MN and had a 27 minute PR. I started online graduate school at the University of North Dakota. David and I traveled to Fort Myers Beach Florida. And I moved to teaching third grade!

Right now everyone is embarking on their new set of new years resolutions. Because I am a goal oriented person, New Years is definitely a time where I reflect on myself and set new goals for the upcoming year. I have some running goals, personal goals and professional goals. Don’t worry, I am not going to bore you with listing them all right here. The one thing that I want to continue to do this year is cook good food.

I love cooking good food for the people I love. Today when I woke up I was craving some homemade tomato soup. Right now David is upstairs chowing down on the batch I cooked up today. By they way he is eating it, I think I did a good job! You should try it for yourself!

 

Casey’s New Year Tomato Soup

  • 10 tomatoes cut into quarters
  • 3 carrots chopped
  • 1 zucchini chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2-3 TBS olive oil (I use Villa Cappelli)
  • 1 onion
  • about 10 fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • ground pepper
  • salt to taste (I used 3 tsp salt… but I like things a little on the salty side)
  • 1 small can of tomato paste (6oz)
  • 2 cups chicken bone broth (or chicken stock)

Preheat oven to 400. Line cookie sheet with foil and roast tomatoes, carrots, zucchini and garlic for 25-30 minutes (or until the tomatoes start to brown). Drizzle vegetables with olive oil before placing them in the oven. While vegetables are cooking, dice onions and finely chop up basil and parsley. Pour 2-3 Tbs of olive oil into a soup kettle. When oil is hot add diced onions to the oil. Allow onions to caramelize. Add parsley, basil, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to the kettle and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add tomato paste, chicken broth and all of the vegetables from the oven into the kettle and cook for 30 minutes. Puree soup in a blender (I use my Nutribullet) and serve.