Meals I Make: Recent Winning Recipes

It’s summer! I’m soaking it up, because fall may be my favorite season, but summer is pretty hard to beat. Plus, this is the last summer where I’ll be off school and work, so I’ve been enjoying the free time. We got all moved in to our new place and I’ve been walking my dog Jade every day! We took an hour long walk this morning while it was still cool outside. The weather has been amazing lately!
Jade
I’ve been inspired to make some tropical-themed suppers lately. Fruit is delicious right now, and I got a perfect pineapple and mango. I thought I’d share some of my favorite meals from this week. I’m sorry that I don’t have photos of them all, but the original posts have awesome photos if you need to see them. By the time I get supper made, we just dive in without snapping photos first. I honestly don’t know how food bloggers do it! Desserts are so much easier to capture for me.

These Crock Pot Hawaiian BBQ Chicken Tacos with Pineapple Slaw are our favorite new tacos, and I loved that I didn’t have to heat up the kitchen to make them! I left out the sriracha and the brown sugar and we ended up with crunchy, sweet, spicy tacos. It was the perfect blend of flavors and textures!

These Margarita Enchiladas are more complicated, but so worth it. I used this marinade (without the tequila) to make the chicken, then mixed up some homemade enchilada sauce (with half the oil) to make these enchiladas (without the onions, olives, and chilies). I added some sautéed onions and bell peppers.

These Mango BBQ Quesadillas also took three separate recipes, but they’re incredibly simple. I think when you start with fresh ingredients, and even though they take more time to prep, the end results are worth it! These were juicy, full of flavor, plus you can make the sauce and salsa in a blender or Ninja to make it go faster.

If you want a true midwest meal, just make some really excellent steak like these Pan-Seared Riby-Eye Filets and Cheesy Roasted Garlic Corn on the Cob. Maybe throw in some sautéed peppers, fresh tomatoes, or grilled zucchini to balance things out. I have more, but I’ll stop for now. I’m hungry!

Fresh Strawberry Muffins

I admit, before this, strawberry muffins weren’t something I’d ever considered making.

Strawberry muffins- loaded with fresh berries and topped with a berry glaze, these muffins are packed with flavor!

I love strawberries fresh or in ice cream, but baked? I was afraid I’d lose that sweet berry flavor! I asked for suggestions on Facebook for what to bake with all my fresh berries, and a friend suggested muffins. I said I’d give it a shot, and wow, I’m so grateful she said that! These are amazing. Proof that other people are much smarter than I am. 🙂 These are a perfect breakfast, treat, or even dessert. The glaze is sweet but adds a nice shot of flavor. You can definitely skip it, though. Continue reading

Creamy Strawberry Ice Cream

I warned you that there’d be a lot of strawberry recipes coming your way, right? Okay, good!

Creamy Strawberry Ice Cream- soft, sweet, packed with strawberry flavor…basically it's the strawberry ice cream you've always dreamed of!

Before this, I was pretty sure I just plain sucked at making ice cream. Even if it was good straight from the ice cream machine, by the next day it was always a rock-hard chunk and then it turned straight to freezer burn. Finally I drew on my food prep lab knowledge and added a bunch of fat and sugar. Ta-da! Creamy ice cream that’s as easy to scoop as the store-bought kind. Also, it tastes amazing. So much strawberry flavor! Did you know that ice cream actually needs a lot of sugar to keep the ice crystals small? And the cold temperature tricks your tongue, so it seems less sweet once it’s frozen. Continue reading

Honey Lemon Mini Tarts

 Honey Lemon Mini Tarts- an easy, lemon filling with just 3 ingredients, inside a crunchy shell!
This was the coolest experience ever, and I have Iowa State to thank for it. One of the ladies from the Ames Farmers’ Market emailed all the students in the FSHN (Food Science & Human Nutrition) department and asked if anyone would like to volunteer to do a cooking demo at the market. I said yes, not sure of what that even meant.
Cooking Demo
I was also unsure of how to make a dessert with only an induction burner (which I had to google to know what that even was; apparently it’s a portable stovetop). I bake almost everything in the oven! My one and only idea was mini tart using already-prepared shells.

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How To: Cut Up Tropical Fruits

My husband has been attacking the mangos I buy ever since I showed him how to cut them up. I had an old post on here with terrible photos that I’ve been dying to re-do, and now I finally have!

How to cut up tropical fruits

Sometimes people ask me how to cut/use/eat certain fruits and vegetables, so I’m going to try to do some photo tutorials of my favorite ones! Tropical fruit is first on my list because 1) it reminds me of Hawaii, that magical state where I wish I was at all times and 2) it’s delicious, healthy, and sweet like sugar. These are probably some of the highest-sugar fruits out there, but rest assured, they are still very good for you! I know this isn’t close to all the wonderful tropical fruits out there (mmm, kiwi), but these are our very favorite ones! Continue reading

Chocolate Strawberry Tart

My sister is very honest. When you bake and share it with people, you need some honest feedback (you need lots of compliments too, which is why I love my enthusiastic husband and parents, and aunts!). She suggested some changes to this tart in the flavor department, mostly to make it sweeter. I agreed with her, so I’ve adjusted the recipe to reflect this. This is how I’ll be making this tart from now on! The tart dough is sweet and tastes like mild sugar cookies. The hidden layer of ganache adds some depth, and the fresh strawberries give you some juiciness and color appeal!

Chocolate Strawberry Tart

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