Thursday, February 28, 2013

Crescent Roll Tacos

Many years ago, when I was about 16 or so, I went to a Pampered Chef party hosted by a friend of my mom. There were so many great items but one stuck out. A pizza stone. They made these delicious tacos stuffed inside crescent rolls. My mom and I both loved the tacos we bought the pizza stone and had to make the Crescent roll tacos as soon as we got the pizza stone. My mom and I have been making them ever since. Thought I would share the recipe with you....
Crescent Roll Tacos
1lb ground beef
1 (1 1/4 ounce) package taco seasoning mix
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese or taco cheese (4 ounces, so like a half of the typical 8oz bags)
2 tablespoons water
2 (8 ounce) packages refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
Cook ground beef in large skillet over medium heat 7-9 minutes or until beef is no longer pink; drain. Remove pan from heat and stir in taco seasoning mix, cheese and water.
Preheat oven to 375F. Unroll crescent dough; separate into triangles. Arrange triangles in a circle on pizza stone with wide ends overlapping in center and points toward outside. (There should be a 5 inch diameter opening in center.) I use my Pampered Chef pizza stone, but any flat round pan should work--perhaps even a pizza sheet, but I'd spray it with Pam before adding the crescent rolls. Remember when using a pizza stone to preheat the stone. Scoop meat mixture evenly onto widest end of each triangles up over filling and tuck under wide ends of dough at center of ring. (Filling will not be completely covered).
Bake at 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

Panera Bread Broccoli Cheddar Soup for Lunch

I fell in love with Panera Bread's Broccoli Cheddar Soup when I was pregnant with my now 6 year old daughter. There was a Panera Bread across the parking lot from my work. I would get the Broccoli Cheddar Soup almost every other day. My mom had come across a copycat recipe and we together tried it out. The first time we over pureed it so be careful. I used a hand mixer right in the pot and just chopped up the large chunks of broccoli. I also bought the carrots already julienned and the sharp cheddar in the bag shredded. Also, the first time we had made it we used white cheese but the orange cheddar is needed. You can taste the difference! Here is the recipe.....

1 tablespoon butter, melted
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups half-and-half
2 cups chicken stock or bouillon
1/2 pound fresh broccoli
1 cup carrots, julienned
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
8 ounces grated sharp cheddar


Saute onion in butter. Set aside. Cook melted butter and flour using a whisk over medium heat for 3-5 minutes. Stir constantly and slowly add the half-and-half (this is called making a roux). Add the chicken stock whisking all the time. Simmer for 20 minutes.

Add the broccoli, carrots and onions. Cook over low heat until the veggies are tender for 20-25 minutes.

Add salt and pepper. The soup should be thickened by now. Pour in batches into blender and puree. Return to pot over low heat and add the grated cheese; stir until well blended. Stir in the nutmeg and serve.
I hope this comes out as good as the second attempt. It taste spot on with the orange cheddar.

Mongolian Beef

Made a dish that I wasn't too sure how it was going to taste. My husband helped me by cooking the meat and we cut the prep time down in half. This is all prep work, the meat cooks so fast since the meat is so thin. My husband said it was the best thing I've made.

Mongolian Beef Recipe:


1 lb of flank steak, thinly sliced crosswise (I used sirloin tips cut into thin strips)

1/4 cup of cornstarch

3 teaspoons of canola oil

1/2 teaspoon of grated ginger (about 1/2 inch piece)

1 tablespoon of chopped garlic (about 2 -3 large cloves)

1/2 cup of water

1/2 cup of soy sauce

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes

3 large green onions, sliced crosswise into thirds

Prepare the meat:

First, make sure the steak slices are dry (pat them dry) and mix them with the corn starch. Using your hands or a spoon, move them around to make sure all pieces are coated. Place beef slices in a strainer and shake off excess corn starch (see picture bellow).

Make the sauce:

Heat half of the oil in a large wok at medium-high and add the garlic and ginger. Immediately add the soy sauce, water, brown sugar and pepper flakes. Cook the sauce for about 2 minutes and transfer to a bowl. Don't worry if the sauce doesn't look thick enough at this point. The corn starch in the beef will thicken it up later.

Cook the meat and assemble dish:

Turn the heat up and add the remaining oil to the wok. Add the beef and cook, stirring until it is all browned (this is a quick thing). Pour the sauce back into the wok and let it cook along with the meat. Now you can choose to cook it down and reduce the sauce or leave it thinner. Add the green onions on the last minute so the green parts will stay green and the white parts crunchy.

Serve it hot with rice.

It was amazing, too spicy for the kidlet, but the adults loved it.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Bruins Game Reese's Trifle

Tonight is the Boston Bruins vs the Tampa Bay Lightening. As we are watching the game, I was making something sweet to have for the 3rd half. I made a Reese's Trifle, trifles are my husbands favorite kind of deserts. Here's how I did it....

There is a brownies layer, a whip cream layer, a peanut butter layer, a chocolate pudding layer, and I toss a bag of Reese's minis chopped in half on top.

Start by making the brownies, I did this in a 9x13 pan as I find it easy to crumble. Then make the pudding, I made 2 boxes of chocolate pudding though I didn't use all of it.

For the whip cream layer....
2 cups Heavy Cream
3-4 Tb granulated sugar

Beat heavy cream and sugar together on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form.  Stick bowl in the fridge until you are ready to put in trifle dish

Peanut Butter Layer
2 cup creamy peanut butter
16oz of whipped cream cheese, softened
2 cup powdered sugar
4 Tb milk

Beat peanut butter and cream cheese together until creamy.  Add powdered sugar and mix well.  Add 2 Tb of milk.  Take 1 cup of your whip cream mixture from the fridge and fold it into the peanut butter mixture until just combined.

Now layer the brownies, chocolate pudding, then peanut butter mixture, then whipped cream. Do this twice then toss the chopped Reese's on top. There you have it. Enjoy!

I'm going to watch the rest of the game and eat this trifle.