Carne Asada

Ah, vacation…..why can’t you come around more often?  I could get used to waking up to this view every morning.

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Our family had an amazing time once again this year cruising the gorgeous Caribbean for the week.  The weather was perfection and my kids had so much fun being outside nonstop.  It makes coming home to a cold Minnesota a bit harder for sure, but at least we got to escape it for a little while :)

One thing I love about cruising is not having to do all the tasks that make up a normal day for me.  Someone makes my bed.  Someone scoops my oatmeal.  Someone washes the beach towels.  Someone refills my drink before it is empty.  And that someone isn’t me!Carne Asada

Taking a week off from cooking for our big family really does get my juices going again when I return.  I had a week of fabulous food on the boat and coming home to boring old Taco Tuesday just doesn’t seem right so this week, I upped our tacos to something more fab.  I’ve had this recipe from Marc over at No Recipes burning a whole in my recipe box for way too long and I knew it was the perfect dish because it only took a few minutes to prep since vacation had me in a lazy type of mood.  The meat was ridiculously juicy and packed with flavor, but then adding some homemade tortillas, avocado and pico de gallo just sent them over the top.  This is definitely going into the normal rotation at Casa Jones.

Carne Asada

Ingredients

  • 1.5 - 2 lb skirt steak
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/4 C oil
  • 1/4 chopped cilantro
  • 1 Serrano chili, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander seed
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp black pepper

Instructions

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a gallon sized Ziploc bag, being sure the marinade is evenly coating the skirt steak. Refrigerate overnight.
  2. Heat your grill to high heat for at least 10 minutes so it is really hot. Grill the steak on one side for 5 minutes, and the other side for about another 3-5 minutes. The timing will all depend on how thick your steak is. I suggest cooking it so it is still pink in the center or the meat will be too tough!
  3. Allow the meat to rest for 5 minutes before slicing it against the grain and then chopping those slices into smaller pieces. Put the meat in a serving bowl, pour over any of the juices on the cutting board and add a bit more salt (about 1/2 tsp) over the finished meat, then stir. Serve with warm tortillas, lime wedges, avocado and pico de gallo.
http://www.mykitchenescapades.com/2015/01/carne-asada.html



Pineapple & Coconut Banana Bread

Seven years ago, my hubby and I did away with buying Christmas presents for our six children. We had spent months trying to come up with gifts that weren’t: #1 – a waste of money and #2 – a gift just because we needed to have stuff under the tree. So we just stopped buying it all.

Now before you go all commando in the comments below, you have to understand what we do instead of gifts. While we may not need anymore “stuff” under the Christmas tree, we desperately need more time together as a family. So, we take that money we would have spent on “stuff” and go on a great family vacation instead. We are now making memories that will last a lifetime, which is especially important considering how fast my children are growing up and leaving home.

Pineapple Coconut Banana BreadSince we could never afford a vacation over Christmas break, we pull our kiddos out of school and go in January or February. This year we are headed on a cruise across the gorgeous Caribbean. With the miserable cold we’ve been having in Minnesota, this vacation can not come soon enough!

I am so obsessed with getting on this boat and away from the cold that it is even coming out in my baking! This Pineapple Coconut Banana Bread is perfectly tropical and helps me visualize what it will be like sitting on my balcony watching the gorgeous blue water go by. Maybe it can help you escape a little bit too :)

For the full recipe and instructions, click here to see my guest post over on Made From Pinterest!



Hot Roasted Cauliflower Cheese Dip

Hello MKE! This is Sherri, the Baby of the Family from MFP and I am so glad to be back to share this easy to make dip that is perfect for the Super Bowl, without all the calories!This Hot Roasted Cauliflower Dip is healthy comfort food without all the calories!

I love the Super Bowl. Mostly for the food and hanging out with family and the commercials. I spend most of the time in the kitchen cooking while the rest of my family watches the game. Since I love to cook, this works for our family and is totally okay with me. But the deal is, when the commercials come on, they have to pause and let me come watch them, or they don’t get to eat the food I am making. They never forget about me! Must mean the food is good! I was looking for something new to add to my menu for game day. Something that would be a little lighter than all the indulgent foods we have been consuming during the holidays. But it would have to be really good if it was going to pass the family test. If it isn’t good enough to pass the muster, I am likely to miss some commercials.

This Hot Roasted Cauliflower and Cheddar Dip is creamy, warm, comfort food that is full of flavor! Our family tested it out and it passed the test. Phew! I won’t miss out on any commercials because of a failed appetizer. I am also loving this recipe because I will make it the day before and I can sit and enjoy some of the game while it bakes. You just need to add a little extra time because it will be cold from the fridge if you make it the day before. For so many years, I have not really understood football. Specifically, what a down was and how it was calculated was an absolute mystery to me. Every time I would ask my hubby, he would begin to explain it, but then get caught up in what was happening on screen and we never really did finish the conversation. Finally, while I was at our high school’s football game to support my kids performing in band, a girlfriend of mine sat next to me and explained how it all worked. Maybe I just needed a woman to explain it! Ever since I could make sense of what a down was and how it related to the game, football has been much more fun to watch. This Hot Roasted Cauliflower Dip is healthy comfort food without all the calories!

I think I will have a double batch of Hot Roasted Cauliflower and Cheddar Dip all prepped so I can watch commercials and the game!  Enjoy!

Hot Roasted Cauliflower and Cheddar Dip

1/2 small head cauliflower, cut into florets
1 tablespoon oil
salt and pepper to taste
4 ounces light cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup light sour cream or Greek yogurt
1/2 teaspoon thyme, chopped
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (or more to taste!)
1 1/4 cup aged white cheddar, shredded 1/4 cup reserved for top
chives to garnish

Roast cauliflower tossed in oil and salted and peppered to taste at 400° for about 20 minutes or until lightly browned.  Add all remaining ingredients except 1/4 cup aged white cheddar and chives to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth.

Bake in a small baking dish at 350° for 20-30 minutes.  Add 1/4 cup cheddar to the top and set under the broiler for 5-10 minutes until cheese is golden brown and bubbly. Watch carefully so it does not burn!  Garnish with chives.  This recipe adapted from: Closet Cooking

Here are a few more game day recipes:

Crock Pot Cream Cheese Taquitos

Crockpot Cream Cheese Taquitos - Use your crockpot to make this moist flavorful creamy chicken. Fill flour or corn tortillas with cream cheese chicken and cheese, bake and enjoy! These are fantastic!

Slow Cooker Hot Corn Dip
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3 Ingredient Crab Dip

3 ingredient {5 minute} Crab Dip with graphic
Sherri MFP headshot signature-sherri



Salted Caramel Puppy Chow

As a momma to six kiddos, I am sharing my tips, recipes and anecdotes related to bringing out every kid’s culinary potential.

Click HERE to see all the posts in this series!

Kids in the KitchenAs I mentioned in my last post, Minnesota has been brutal this January, which also means our school schedule has been complete madness with all the weather delays and early dismissals.  My children really don’t do well with these unpredictable changes.  They are creatures of habit and routine.   Last week brought so much upheaval in their lives and by the end of the week, they were soooooo grouchy that I wanted to bop them all on their heads.

Salted Caramel Puppy Chow

Instead of brute force, I chose to distract them in kitchen with a new recipe for Puppy Chow. While they had a blast making this addictive treat and covering my kitchen in powdered sugar, I’m afraid of this new obsession I have now have for these Salted Caramel Muddy Buddies.  The classic chocolate and peanut butter is good and all, but I l.o.v.e.d. this version with salted caramel in it.  The salted caramel gave them a great chew but didn’t turn the Chex cereal soft at all.  Just be warned….they are rockstar!

Salted Caramel Puppy Chow

Yield: 9 Cups

Ingredients

  • 9 cups corn or rice Chex cereal
  • 1 jar Smuckers Simply Delight Salted Caramel Ice Cream Topping
  • 1 1/3 C milk chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 C powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. Place the Chex cereal in a large mixing bowl. In a microwave safe bowl, combine the caramel and chocolate chips. Microwave on high for 1 minute and then stir. If the chocolate chips are not melted, microwave for another 30 seconds.
  2. Pour the caramel mixture over the top of the cereal and mix gently until the cereal is evenly covered with the caramel mixture. Pour the powdered sugar over the top of the cereal and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Gently shake and roll the bowl until the cereal is evenly coated with the powdered sugar. Store in an airtight container.

Notes

recipe adapted from The Cookie Rookie

http://www.mykitchenescapades.com/2015/01/salted-caramel-puppy-chow.html