Tag Archives: yummy

Trashy Tot’chos

Yes, I said the word “trashy” to a delicious recipe.  This isn’t something you want to make for an elegant dinner party, but it’s fantastic for your game day crew of friends!!  This has all the flavors one craves while watching the big game, it’s easy to share and more importantly it involves Velveeta and pickled jalapenos…which reminds me of the state fair, small town football or baseball games, backyard all-American grill outs, drive-in theatres.  Basically all good memories that are completely UNpretentious!

Now I’m not claiming to be a nutritionist or dietician, but in moderation (aka Sunday Funday) this can be enjoyed with a few cold ones!  This is “trashy” after all ;)!

The Starting Lineup

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 bag frozen tater tots
  • 1 can pinto beans
  • Velveeta cheese sauce (16oz), plus 2 Tbsp milk
  • Taco seasoning packet (or your own blend of mexican seasonings)

Garnish

  • Sour cream
  • Salsa
  • Black olives
  • White onions, diced
  • Green onions, sliced
  • Pickled jalapeno slices
  • Bacon, cooked & crumbled  

Preheat the oven to the tater-tot package instructions (mine was 425 degrees).  Add the package of tots to a large baking sheet and cook till crispy (about 25 minutes). 

 Once you add the tater-tots to the oven, you can start the ground beef and heat up the pinto beans.  Here is where you can add the taco seasoning mix (or you own spices i.e I used cumin, ground new mexican chili powder, salt & pepper, coriander, etc) to the ground beef.  You can also doctor up the pinto beans as well, if you wish.  Cook the beef through.  (*If you chose to also garnish with bacon, make sure that you’re frying it up now 🙂 

 Once everything is heated up and ready to eat it’s assembly time!! 

  First heat up the new Velveeta’s Cheese Sauce in the microwave according to package directions (*also whisk in 2Tbsp of milk to the two packets of cheese to thin out a bit), and have all of the other garnish’s in small bowls for everyone to top to their taste.

Alternatively, I chose one LARGE platter that everyone can share while watching the game!  I first layed down the crispy tater-tots and topped those with a generous amount of beans and spiced ground beef.  Then poured that gooey, cheesy sauce over top and sprinkled on black olives, onions, pickled jalapenos and finally a few dollops of sour cream and a salsa drizzle.  

Grab a couple plates, a few forks and a LOT of napkins!!!  Go Cardinals!! 🙂


Maple Dijon Chicken

This easy, minimal ingredient recipe I cannot take full credit for…though what I can take credit for is how often I make it.  This is always, always, always a hit.  So good that I had to share it with y’all.  

I tweaked it just a hair to suit my family’s taste preferences.  I will tell you too that my boys ate every bit of it up.  So don’t be scared of the word ‘Dijon’ with younger palates…the maple syrup sweetens it up just enough for all taste buds!

The Starting Lineup

  • 1 package chicken breasts 
  • 1 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup (the real stuff, no aunt jemima here)
  • 1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar (plus a dash more if you prefer)
  • Rosemary (fresh best if possible), roughly chopped 
  • Kosher salt & pepper
  • Cornstarch (optional to thicken if desired..)
     

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.  *I also slightly butterflied my two chicken breasts pictured above.  I made two smaller ones off of my two larger ones for my toddlers.  Perfect amount of food for them, while cost effective for me!

In a small bowl, mix together the Dijon mustard (not spicy brown or ballpark yellow..Dijon!), the REAL maple syrup, rice vinegar and a pinch of salt and pepper. 


Place your chicken breasts into a double-foil-lined casserole dish.  I use a smaller dish (8×8 or 9×9, etc for my 4 Breasts)…If your casserole dish is too large, with not enough chicken in it, the sauce will just burn off and basically disappear. 

Pour about 3/4th of your prepared sauce over your chicken.  Reserve the remaining 1/4 for the finished product.  Flip the chicken breasts over to fully coat and then sprinkle a bit more salt & pepper on top of the chicken. 

  

 

Pop this baby into your preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, uncovered.  *mine above took 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, chop up a bit of fresh rosemary for garnish along with the remaining sauce. *here is also where I’m preparing my side dishes.  Time management!!

My 1/4 of ‘reserved’ sauce is actually newly made^^…I didnt make enough in the beginning. Oops!!

Ding!!  Your chicken is now finished and cooked through.  When plated drizzle with a bit more of the sauce and a sprinkle of fresh rosemary on top!  

We serve ours with roasted and ‘smashed’ Rosemary new potatoes and a side of garlic & wine sautéed spinach with mushrooms.

 
  

Strawberry Vanilla Bean Cake

This very well may be THE cake of all cakes.  Ridiculous in taste and beyond gorgeous.  Seriously, you’re hand scraping a vanilla bean.  That should say it all…  

The Starting Lineup
CAKE

  • 3 sticks of unsalted butter
  • 3 cups of granulated sugar
  • 9 egg whites, room temperature
  • 4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups of buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and scraped out
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract 

STRAWBERRIES

  • 2 pints of strawberries, hulled & quartered
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

CLASSIC CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

REAL WHIPPED CREAM

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar Vanilla Bean Cake ingredients ^

With this recipe we’re going to start with some of your filling first.  With your strawberries, rinse, hull and roughly quarter them.  Place the cut strawberries into a large bowl. 

Top the fruit with 1/4 cup of sugar and 1 tsp pure vanilla extract.  Mix well, cover with Saran Wrap and let macerate for at least 20 minutes.  *Macerate: soften food by soaking in liquid.  If making your cake the same day, as opposed to the night before, place these in the fridge until ready to assemble.

 Now let’s begin your frosting.   I’m a busy wife, mom and food blogger, so for time purposes I am attaching my link to my Classic Cream Cheese Frosting. Classic Cream Cheese Frosting | Railroad Wife  Check it out 😉 Ok I’m not really that busy, I just like ‘links’..
Onto the delicious cake…Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Prep 3 cake pans with either butter & flour or non-stick spray.  I HIGHLY recommend using a cut piece of parchment paper (also coated in spray, flour, etc) in each pan.  This method NEVER fails in achieving your cake coming out perfectly and not sticking.  The next time I make a cake, I promise you that I will take a picture of this step.  Shame on me :/

In your stand mixer, beat together the softened butter and sugar for 5 minutes on med-high.  It should be nice and fluffy. 

    

Next add in all of those egg whites.  This keeps the cake that light colored hue, yolks will turn its shade.  Turn your stand mixer down till medium while your egg whites are gradually mixed in the butter/sugar mix.

Next, grab two (extra, separate) bowls.  In bowl #1, sift together your flour, salt and baking powder. 

 In bowl #2, mix together the buttermilk and the pure vanilla extract with the scraped out contents of your vanilla bean. (This smells so darn fabulous!  I was rubbing my scented hands on my wrists and neck like perfume.  I’m weird). 

 Can you see those beautiful flecks of REAL vanilla in the buttermilk?? Ahhhh..

Ok, now alternating the two bowls, pour them into your butter, sugar & egg white mix slowly.  Mix till just incorporated.  Don’t over mix please.  Bad things happen to those who do.

Divide the batter evenly between all three pans.  Slightly shake the filled pans to even out the batter. 

Bake these cakes at 350 degrees till a toothpick comes out clean, about 30 minutes.  Let cakes cool on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes.  Invert the cakes onto the wire rack to finish cooling. *please cool completely before applying the frosting and fruit!  These cakes can even be made the night before, wrapped well and frosted the next day.

After the cakes are absolutely, positively cooled, prepare your real deal whipped cream!

In your stand mixer add in your 2 cups of heavy cream along with the 1/2 cup of powdered sugar.  With the beater attachment, beat on high until light, fluffy and sweet! 

    
Final-freakin-lutely!!  It’s cake assembly time, the last step before the cake devouring time.  My personal favorite step.
Now, this cake makes three tiers, HOWEVER, I only use two and my boys and I munch on the third one ourselves.  “Quality time”, I call it.

On a pretty platter, place one cake layer down.  Coat the cake with a nice thick layer of your cream cheese frosting.  If it hangs over the edge, all the better!  Next, spoon copious amounts of your whipped cream over the frosting.  Finally, add a hefty helping of your (drained) macerated strawberries.

You’re then going to softly place your second tier of cake onto that.  Repeat the same process. (I actually prefer to apply my Classic Cream Cheese Frosting to the second tier BEFORE placing it on top and adding the cream & strawberries).  Any extra strawberries ‘stuff’ into the sides of cake and on top.

You’re now done and ready to take in the praises!  Please enjoy!  You can always jog it off tomorrow 😉 

  

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