Archive for the ‘quick’ Category

cooking vs baking


posted by on baking, cooking, gripes, healthy, leftovers, quick, vegetable

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The idea of spending more than 30 minutes cooking a meal is annoying to me. Don’t get me wrong, I love being in the kitchen but I’d much rather spend 4 hours with the precision of baking. Throw “a bunch of sh*t” in a pan and cook it is my theory when it comes to dinner (which is exactly what I did last night).

I had a couple of almost empty boxes of elbow pasta, some feta cheese, frozen corn, frozen chopped spinach, and a half can of diced tomatoes leftover in the fridge. I heated up a tablespoon of butter, threw in the frozen spinach, corn, can of tomatoes with the juice, mixed it all up until it was hot and bubbling and added some finely chopped garlic at the very end. Feta cheese was sprinkled on the top after it was dished up. Bonus: it made about 4 servings so the boyfriend and I had leftovers for lunch which, in my opinion, was even better reheated the next day (you’ll have to ask him how it was cold – yuck!).

Cucumber Salsa


posted by on Colorado, cooking, homemade, quick, vegetable

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If you’re in need of some dicing and chopping practice, this recipe is just what you need. An easy, non-traditional salsa that I learned from Rick while I was living in eastern Colorado.

What you’ll need:

  • 3 cucumbers – cut in half lengthwise, seeded, cut into strips & diced finely
  • 1 medium red onion – diced really small
  • 1 bunch cilantro – chopped finely
  • 1 jalapeño – halved, seeded & minced
  • 4 cloves garlic – minced
  • 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 2 fresh limes – juiced
  • 2 tsp. salt
    Mix all ingredients together.  If you plan on making this in advance, cover well & drain juice before serving.
    photo credit: AJ Vicens 

Crustless quiche


posted by on baking, Colorado, cooking, homemade, leftovers, quick, vegetable

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Mini quiches served with home fries

When I was in Eastern Colorado, I lived with a co-worker and friend of mine for a short time. Her husband was an amazing chef but she was the one that taught me how to make her “garbage” quiche. Use whatever leftovers you have in your fridge. You can choose either fresh or frozen veggies, just make sure to sauté them to soften them up before mixing them in with the other ingredients. Also, if you decide to use any meats, make sure they are all pre-cooked.

Anything can be thrown into the mix and the amounts of the ingredients for the filling are really up to you. Often times, I use up whatever leftover pizza cheeses and toppings I have from the night before to make a quick quiche the next morning. The possibilities are endless!

I’ve also prepped all the ingredients the night before. Just pour the egg mixture into your pie pan or crust and bake in the morning! Over time I’ve skipped the crust (which you can make yourself or use pre-made roll out dough) and gone crustless which is equally delicious!

What you’ll need:

  • 5 eggs
  • onion
  • frozen, chopped spinach – thawed and drained (I use about half a bag)
  • 1 cup shredded cheese
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • lemon pepper
  • garlic
  • basil

Chop up & sauté any hard vegetables first (peppers, onions, etc… you need to soften these up before mixing with the eggs). Set aside to cool.

Beat eggs with milk, oil & cheese. Add any seasonings.
Add in spinach and any other vegetables and/or meats you may have (aka the “garbage”).
Add cooled, sautéed veggies.

Pour mixture into 8″ or 9″ pie plate. This time around I divided the mix equally into 12 muffin pans to make mini quiches. 

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes, or until the top is bubbly and golden. (muffin pans took a little under 20 minutes to bake)

Garlic Knots!


posted by on baking, Colorado, cooking, homemade, pizza, quick, side dish

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A little place called The Garlic Knot in Jefferson County, Colorado (Jeffco for those who know it & all of it’s glory) is where it all started for me. I could not get enough of their garlic knots so I had to make my own.

Pretty easy and all you need is my pizza crust recipe with a few alterations.

Follow the recipe except:

  • Substitute basil for garlic salt (and lots of it!) – I suppose you could keep the basil if you wish, but I omitted it. 
  • In a small saucepan heat 4-5 tablespoons butter and 5-6 cloves of finely
    chopped garlic.
  • Roll out the dough and cut into strips as shown. Then cut those strips in half.
  • Tie the dough in loose knots, tucking in the ends. Brush with the butter garlic mixture (you will have left over for another bath after they bake).
  • Bake in a 425-450 degree oven for 10-12 minutes or until lightly golden brown.
  • Dip in the remaining butter/garlic mixture and you’re done!
    See if you can leave room for pizza, okay? I never can.






posted by on cooking, quick, vegetable

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I’m a true believer in coming up with new dishes using what you have readily available to you. As much as I love baking and cooking, I’m just like anyone else when it comes to coming up with a quick and easy dinner idea after a long day of work.

This one uses the few ingredients I had in my kitchen and is easy to convert for whatever portions you need.* Feel free to change it up however you see fit, based on what you may already have in the kitchen.

*Portion control is something I’m very passionate about and will be talking about in later posts.

What you’ll need: 

  • Pasta
  • Garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Spinach (I used frozen, thawed and drained)
  • Cooked asparagus (I boiled mine just until tender and cut into thirds)
  • Black Olives, halved
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Basil
  • Lemon Pepper
  • Salt & Pepper

Heat 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil in a small skillet. Add 2-3 chopped garlic cloves, spinach, asparagus and seasonings. Let heat up & add cooked pasta and olives. Drizzle with a little more olive oil. Mix well and add parm. Cover and heat up a few minutes before serving.

posted by on cooking, Phoenix, quick, side dish, vegetable

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I love the local markets in downtown Phoenix! Here’s a quick fix that’s especially good when there’s warmer weather (I know it’s February, but it’s been 75-80 degrees here).

What you’ll need:

  • 3 tomatoes (I used orange from the fresh market – use what you have/want)
  • 6-7 spears of asparagus, trimmed and cut into fourths
  • olive oil
  • lemon pepper
  • garlic salt
  • fresh lemon
  1. Bring water to boil in a small pot (just enough to cover the asparagus pieces)
  2. Add the asparagus pieces and cook just until fork tender (3-5 minutes) & drain
  3. Dice the tomatoes into medium size pieces
  4. Mix tomatoes, asparagus pieces and seasonings in a small bowl.
  5. Toss with 1-2 tablespoons olive oil & fresh squeezed lemon juice
  6. Serve!
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