Thursday, April 30, 2020

Sheet Pan Sausage and Fennel - Whole 30 and Keto

Believe it or not, we do try to eat healthy most of the time.  Jenna and Meg are back in Texas so I am trying a few new healthy meals this week.

Do y'all make Sheet Pan Meals?  Sheet Pan Meals are one of the current trends  - especially for easy meals.  I follow this young mom on Instagram, Natalie at Tastes Lovely.  Natalie has lost around     75 lbs with clean eating - mostly clean keto. She and her husband and their little family are so cute.

She recently posted this sheet pan meal....Sausage and Fennel with Broccoli.   I have never purchased fennel.  I have used dried fennel in recipes but never actually purchased fennel.  I watched Natalie's video on how to chop fennel.  When she mentioned it has a anise flavor, I almost bailed.  I don't like black licorice at all.  She said it gets very mild when roasted so I went for it.  I did fennel, broccoli and a smoked sausage I had gotten at Sam's.  You could use any vegetable if you don't have broccoli.

I thought it was amazing.  I only bought one fennel bulb but I totally wanted more.   It was wonderful and so easy with very little prep and very little clean up.

Sheet Pan Sausage and Fennel - Whole 30 and Keto (adapted from Tastes Lovely)

1 lb sausage - I used beef from Sam's but any sausage will work
2 fennel bulbs - chopped off the green end, cut in half, take out core and slice in chunks
1 head of broccoli, cut into florets (or any vegetable you have on hand)
2 Tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 425.  Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper (for easy clean up).  Toss the sliced fennel in 1 Tbsp olive oil and spread an even layer on one end of the baking sheet.  Season with salt and pepper.  Place the sausage on top of the fennel.  Toss the chopped broccoli in 1 Tbsp olive oil.  Spread evenly on the other end of the pan.  Season with salt and pepper.  Bake for 25 - 35 minutes or until fennel and broccoli are soft with crispy edges.  Flip the sausage at about 15 minutes into cooking.  Serve warm with favorite mustard - I used a flavorful brown mustard.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Rosemary Parmesan Biscuits

Can I get a Woohoo!!  These Rosemary Parmesan Biscuits are totally amazing.  Jenna referred to them as "flavor town". They were so easy, no yeast and just so much flavor.  I will totally make them again.  Thank you Baker By Nature for another fabulous recipe.  Truly, Ashley has THE best recipes with so much flavor.  There are good recipes and there are amazing recipes and Ashley has amazing recipes.  

Rosemary Parmesan Biscuits (adapted from Baker By Nature)

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup fresh rosemary, finely chopped (only use fresh)
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
5 Tbsp butter, very cold and cut into pieces
1  1/3 cups half and half

2 Tbsp butter, melted (for brushing the biscuits)

Preheat oven to 475.  Generously grease a 9" pie plate.  In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, garlic powder, black pepper, rosemary and Parmesan cheese.  Whisk to combine. Add in the cold butter pieces and toss well to coat.  Using two forks or a pastry blender, working the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles a coarse meal.  Pour in the half and half and using a rubber spatula, stirring in ingredients until just combined.  Sprinkle a generous amount of flour on a clean work surface (about 1/2 cup).  Spray 1/4 measuring cup with cooking spray.  Scoop up level amounts of the batter and "plop" onto floured surface.  Sprinkle a little flour on top of the dough "plops".  Form each "plop" into a ball shape and place into prepared pan.  The dough balls can be touching.  Brush the tops and sides with melted butter.  Bake in preheated oven for 8 minutes. Reduce temperature to 400 and continue to bake for 14 - 15 minutes. May need to tent with a piece of aluminum foil at about 10 minutes to keep from over-browning. Place pan on a cooling rack to cool for 5 minutes.  Sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese and serve.  You can use a knife or just pull apart.  

Printable Version

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Snickerdoodle Rice Krispie Treats - update

Our oldest daughter, Annie, loves to bake.  Annie really just loves to cook even though sweets are her passion.  She has an Instagram...Annie's Sweet Teeth....because she has more than one sweet tooth!

Annie and John-Mark are quarantined in Virginia, just outside of DC.  She has been making new recipes almost daily.  She made these Snickerdoodle Rice Krispie Treats from Cookies & Cups last week.  This is such an easy recipe and definitely gives a unique flair to regular Rice Krispie treats.  I have made them three times in the last few days - wrapping up a big chunk in plastic wrap and giving to neighbors and friends.

You totally need to try these.  I changed the recipe a little bit.  I borrowed my good friend Shelley's Rice Krispie treat recipe and adapted it to this yummy Snickerdoodle recipe from Cookies & Cups.  uture.  Make these!!  Please visit Cookie & Cups for more details and better pictures!

Snickerdoodle Rice Krispie Treats (adapted from Cookies & Cups)

1 stick butter
16 oz bag mini marshmallows (reserving 2 cups to add in at the end)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
9 cups Rice Krispie cereal


1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp granulated sugar

Line a 9 x 13 pan with aluminum foil and lightly butter or lightly spray with cooking spray. In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat.  Once butter is melted, continue to cook the butter until it boils and begins to brown, stirring constantly.  Take two cups of the mini marshmallows and set aside.  Once the butter is an amber color, add in the large portion of the marshmallows and stir until completely melted.  Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla, salt and cinnamon.  Gently fold in the cereal until coated evenly.  Fold in the remaining 2 cups of marshmallows.  Coat your finger tips in softened butter and pat the mixture into prepared pan, pressing in evenly.  Sprinkle with topping. Cool completely and cut into bars.

Printable Version

Monday, April 6, 2020

Zucchini Bread - Joanna Gaines

Looking for new recipes to try to keep me sane during this crazy time.  I follow Joanna Gaines and Magnolia on Instagram.  I love that Joanna has been sharing recipes on Instagram.  She and her daughter filmed her making Zucchini Bread.  It is their new favorite.... banana bread.  She said it is in in her new cookbook, Magnolia Table Volume 2.  I took notes, made the recipe and we enjoyed each piece just as Joanna suggested... warm with butter.

In the video, Joanna's 9 inch square pan is in use and she uses her 8 inch square pan.  The bread just about overflows out of the pan.  She recommends using a 9 inch square pan!

Zucchini Bread (adapted from Joanna Gaines)

2 medium zucchini
1 1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1 Tbsp vanilla
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup or more chopped walnuts

Using a food processor or hand grater, grate the zucchini using the large grate.  Joanna suggests about 3 cups shredded zucchini on the large grate. Put the grated zucchini on a clean dish towel or cheese cloth, pulling up the sides of the towel and squeezing hard to release most of the liquid through the bottom of the towel.  After you squeeze and release most of the liquid, let the zucchini sit while you mix up the rest of the ingredients.

In a bowl, mix flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda ands salt.

 In another large bowl, whisk together oil and sugar until smooth.  Add in eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition.  Add vanilla.  Add flour mixture to oil mixture and combine.  After combined, fold in chopped walnuts and zucchini.

Spray a 9 x 9 pan with cooking spray.  Pour mixture in prepared pan and bake at 350 for 40 - 50 minutes.  (mine took about 55 minutes to get the center done).  Don't over bake but bake until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool 15 - 20 minutes on a wired baking rack.  Serve warm with butter.

Printable Version

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Instant Pot Lemon Garlic Chicken

If you haven't done a Whole30, I highly recommend it. It isn't easy but it makes you read labels and cook and eat "cleanly".  You learn so much about the food you are eating.

I love following Whole 30 Recipes on Instagram.   They have a different Whole 30 foodie on each week sharing recipes daily.  They are amazing, clean recipes!

I did Whole 30 a while back with a few teacher friends.  Barb's family loved that she did Whole 30 because she was cooking amazing recipes every night.  Barb's family loves this Instant Pot Lemon Garlic Chicken.  It is amazing.  I made it with the Italian Smashed Potatoes.  These potatoes are also Whole 30 and one of my very favorite recipes.  I keep the Italian Seasoning in a jar and use it when a recipe calls for Italian Seasoning.  It is SO much better than the purchased Italian Seasoning.  We also roasted brussels sprouts.  I think my family would like rice with this chicken because the sauce is so yummy!  Go for extra lemon zest/juice and extra Italian seasoning.  This dish is fabulous!

Instant Pot Lemon Garlic Chicken (adapted from Life Made Sweeter)

6-8 boneless chicken thighs (I used 4 boneless chicken breasts)
sea salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Italian Seasoning
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 Tbsp butter, divided
1/2 small onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, sliced or minced
1 1/2 Tbsp Italian Seasoning ( see below for a homemade version)
Juice and zest of 1 to 1 1/2 lemons
1/2 cup homemade or low sodium chicken broth
chopped fresh parsley and lemon slices for garnish

Pat and dry chicken.  Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder and sprinkle with Italian Seasoning. Press the Saute button on your pressure cooke.  Sear each piece on each side for at least two minutes or until chicken is brown.  This helps seal in the juices.  You may have to do this in batches, depending on the size of the pieces of chicken.  Once browned, removed chicken from Instant Pot and set aside.

Melt butter in pressure cooker and stir in the onions and garlic.  Add lemon juice to deglaze the pan. Cook for 1minute and add Italian Seasoning, lemon zest and chicken broth.

Place the chicken back in the pressure cooker and and lock the lid.  Be sure to seal the valve.  Set the pressure cooker to cook for 7 minutes.  It will take about 5-10 minutes to build the pressure.

When done, allow the pressure cooker to naturally release for 2-3 minutes.  Then very carefully, use a wooden spoon to push the valve to release the extra steam and unlock the lid.  I added lemon slices at the end - just before serving.

Serve with your favorite sides.  Sprinkle with chopped parsley

Homemade Italian Seasoning  - I quadruple this and store in a glass jar!

1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried oregano flakes
1 tsp dried basil flakes
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Printable Version

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie

I hope everyone is quarantining safely.  As you know, Annie and John-Mark are married.  They are both working from home and enjoying life in Arlington, Virginia.

Jenna and Meg came to Omaha to quarantine with us.  I LOVE having them home.  We are watching movies, going for walks and I have been trying some new recipes.  I tend to gain weight easily and I can gain the "Corona15" if I am not careful!  But having girls home makes me want to make fun treats.  I don't think they are complaining!

As I have mentioned in many posts, I follow lots of food bloggers on Instagram.  I found this yummy recipe on Handle the Heat.  I love peanut butter and chocolate and thought this would be a great quarantining treat! I have made several peanut butter/chocolate desserts over the years and this one is one of the easiest.

I am going to send you over to Tessa at Handle the Heat for this easy Peanut Butter Pie recipe.  I didn't change a thing.  You will love it if you love this yummy combination like I do!