Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Black Eyed Pea Soup




INGREDIENTS
30 ounces black-eyed peas, drained
14 ounces white beans, drained
1/2 yellow onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 package chorizo, c
rumbled
2 Tbsp olive oil
4 cups chicken stock
salt
and pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS
Heat the olive oil, add the onion, and stir and cook over low heat, until soft, about 10 minutes. Add the chorizo, stir and cook over low heat for about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and stock, stir. Add the white beans, stir and cook over low heat for about 15 minutes. Using a potato masher, lightly mash the beans. Add the black-eyed peas, stir and continue to cook over very low heat, until flavors are married; about 45 – 60 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper, and ladle into bowls.

Hope y'all enjoy!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Sugar Cookies


Alright....so I had another late night cookie craving.  So, I made sugar cookies!  A little amendment I made: I ran out of vanilla extract, so I used 1 tsp vanilla extract and 1-1/2 tsp almond extract.  I think the cookies taste wonderful, but it just depends if you like more of a vanilla flavor or more of an almond flavor.  Regardless, I hope y'all make these cookies; they're simply spectacular!  :)


Sugar Cookies

INGREDIENTS
2-1/4 cups flour
2-1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 sticks butter
3/4 cup sugar, plus extra for rolling the cookie dough balls in
2 eggs
2-1/2 tsp vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS
Preheat the oven to 350º F, and whisk the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.  Cream butter and sugar, and beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Blend in the vanilla, and add in the dry ingredients mixing just until incorporated and evenly mixed.  Cover and chill the dough for 1 hour.  Form the dough into balls and roll them in the extra sugar.  Flatten them, and bake for 10-12 minutes.  Let cool, and serve warm with a cold glass of milk.

Hope y'all enjoy!


xoxo, Sara

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Green Beans with Caramelized Shallots



This week has been so much better....I feel like my life finally has the balance I've been looking for.  Plus, I earned a substantial amount in my last paycheck, AND I sold my first bow at the Music Shoppe!  :)  The last couple of days I've had days of literally nothing, so I've been able to catch up on cleaning and general house maintenance things, which has definitely needed to happen.  Living alone out of college is not an easy feat!

So, let's talk shallots.  Shallots are such an interesting thing---they're a cross between garlic and onion, and kind of share that same type of taste.  I found this recipe a while back, and thought it was such an interesting idea, to mix green beans and shallots together, with a hint of thyme!

I had some of the leftover mexican rice from last week, and I thought this would be a perfect pair!  Whatever y'all decide to make with these green beans, I hope you enjoy it :)


Green Beans with Caramelized Shallots

INGREDIENTS
1 lb green beans (about four handfuls), trimmed
2 shallots, sliced
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp thyme, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS
Cook green beans in boiling, salted water for 6 minutes.  Drain and let cool.  Melt butter with oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallots and sauté for 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium-low; sauté until shallots are browned and tender, about 20 minutes. Sprinkle with thyme, salt and pepper.  Add cooked green beans to the shallots and stir over medium-high heat for 3-5 minutes. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper, and serve warm.


Hope y'all enjoy!


xoxo, Sara

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Banana Bread


A couple of days ago, I realized I had fairly old bananas....and anytime you have overly ripe fruit, there's only one thing that means in my mind: time to make a fruit dessert!  Therefore....it was my duty to make banana bread.

I have actually NEVER made banana bread!  I know, surprising right?  But it was seriously the easiest thing I have ever made!  I was really REALLY tired after making the enchiladas, and was definitely having second thoughts about making the banana bread.  But it literally took 10 minutes to mix all of the ingredients and pour it into the loaf pan.  If you guys have overly ripe bananas....just do me a solid and make the banana bread.  Trust me, you'll thank me later :)

Banana Bread
(from the Fanfare Cookbook)

INGREDIENTS 
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
3 large, very ripe bananas, mashed
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt 

DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 350º F, and grease a 9x5x3" loaf pan. Cream butter, sugar, eggs, and bananas. Add dry ingredients, pour into the loaf pan, and bake 1 hour. Cool, cut into slices, and spread with butter.

Hope y'all enjoy!

xoxo, Sara 

Mexican Rice


So, I was a little impatient with the rice and it turned out more liquidy than it needed to be.  But....it's incredibly flavorful, and the addition of jalapeño peppers really flavors it well!  And goes wonderfully well with the enchiladas, too :)  

Mexican Rice

INGREDIENTS
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 green pepper, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped
1 cup long grained rice
1-1/2 cups chicken stock
2 cups diced tomatoes with liquid
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt

DIRECTIONS
Heat the oil in a pan, and add the onions, garlic, green pepper, jalapeno.  Sauté until tender, about 5-7 minutes.  Add the rice, chicken stock, tomatoes, chili powder, cumin and salt, and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat, cover and simmer until the rice is tender, about 20 minutes.  Fluff the rice and serve immediately.

Hope y'all enjoy! 

xoxo, Sara

Chicken Enchiladas with Red Chile Sauce


Man, the past few days have been INCREDIBLY stressful on me.  I've been pretty unhappy with one of the bands I'm in, but after thinking about it and many long conversations with friends and family, I've decided to stick it out for one more month.  We'll see what happens....haha.

So last night I got back from work, and it was a MUCH better day than my shifts last week.  I was thinking about what to make for dinner....and suddenly it came to me.  My favorite food in the world: enchiladas!  When I went to Mexico with my friends Helena and Rue, all I would order are enchiladas.  No joke, there were wonderful Mexican traditional dishes that I could have ordered, but enchiladas are just my favorite food!  The enchiladas I made are a great recipe, but make sure you buy more hot chili powder than you'd think----I didn't use as much as the recipe called for, because I thought I had enough!  Although the sauce wasn't as spicy as I had hoped, it's extremely delicious, and the enchiladas are very addictive.  I hope y'all will try them!


Chicken Enchiladas with Red Chile Sauce

INGREDIENTS 
1 medium onion, chopped 
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin
1/2-1 tsp cayenne pepper, depending on how much spice you want
3 tsp sugar
15 oz can tomato sauce
1 cup water
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup extra sharp white cheddar, shredded
1 cup monterey jack cheese, shredded (I used mozzarella cheese)
1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro
2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
8 corn tortillas

DIRECTIONS
Cook the onion, salt, and oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat until the onions have softened, for 8-10 minutes. Stir in the garlic, chili powder, cayenne pepper, cumin, and sugar, and cook until fragrant. Stir in the tomato sauce and water, and bring to a simmer.  Cook until slightly thickened, for 5 minutes.  Nestle the chicken into the sauce. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until chicken is cooked through, for 15-20 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate, and set aside.  Strain the sauce through a strainer into a medium bowl, pressing the onion mixture to extract as much liquid as possible. Transfer the onions to a large bowl and set aside. Shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces and add to the reserved onion mixture. Add 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce, 1 cup cheese, and the cilantro, and toss to combine.  Season with salt or pepper if needed, and taste to make sure seasonings are correct.  Preheat oven to 400º F.  Heat the tortillas over a small skillet, and spread a generous amount of chicken mixture evenly down the center of each. Tightly roll each tortilla and lay seam-side down in a 9x13 inch baking dish.  Pour sauce evenly over the enchiladas, top with the remaining cheese, and cover dish with foil.  Bake for 20 minutes, remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes before serving. Serve with sour cream and mexican rice.

Hope y'all enjoy!

xoxo, Sara