Now that the cat is out of the bag (announcing that Rex and I are expecting), I’m sure it all makes sense that I haven’t been posting a lot of recipes lately. Mainly because in the last 5 weeks it has been very difficult to find anything that sounds good to eat. One of those beautiful symptoms of pregnancy. I’ve had a lot more food aversions than cravings and for a while the only thing I could stomach was string cheese, baked potatoes and water. Mmm… now doesn’t that sound like a healthy diet. Luckily, as I am nearing my second trimester food is starting to sound good to me again. Oh how I’ve missed my spinach salads for lunch and my home cooked dinners. Rex has been great during these last few weeks and really stepped up and into the kitchen making dinner for the both of us after a long day at work. I just didn’t have the energy to cook and it’s really hard to think of food when everything makes you want to puke. One thing that has always sounded REALLY good to me has been red meat with A1 sauce! This makes Rex really happy too, and I think surprised him when I would come home from the grocery store and stock our fridge with steaks. Thankfully our beautiful, Colorado weather has allowed us to heat up the grill and we made these marinated pork chops the other day and they were so flavorful and yummy. The marinade is really easy and all ingredients are pantry staples. We ate ours with loaded baked potatoes and sweet peas!
Marinated Grilled Pork Chops
What you need:
– 4 boneless pork chops
– 2 T sugar
– 3 T Dijon mustard
– 1/4 cup soy sauce
– 1 T Spicy brown mustard
– 1 T Vegetable oil
– pepper to taste (I didn’t add salt because the soy sauce is salty and pork tends to be saltier too)
Place pork chops in a ziplock bag. In a small bowl combine all other ingredients and mix together. Pour over the pork chops and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. Heat up and cook on grill until cooked through. Enjoy…How easy is that?!
What you need:
- 1 lb. ground beef
- tostadas (this can be found with the tortillas)
- 1/2 cup onion, chopped
- 1 jalapeno pepper, diced
- 1 can of diced tomatoes with green chilies (rotel)
- garlic powder
- 1 can refried beans
- TOPPINGS (shredded cheese, black olives, shredded lettuce…)
In a large skillet add onion, jalapeno pepper and ground beef. Season with cumin, paprika, garlic powder and salt and pepper. Cook until beef is browned. Add the can of diced tomatoes and continue to cook for another 5 minutes.
To assemble, start with your toastada chip. Spread on an even layer of refried beans. Top with the ground beef mixture, cheese, lettuce, olives and any other toppings that sounds delicious to you!
We are back, bronzed and feeling relaxed! Why, because we just returned home from a fabulous family vacation in Maui. If you remember from my post last Christmas, my parents surprised the family with a trip to Maui. I was shocked at how quickly this trip arrived but we were all ready for some fun in the sun. Rex and I were especially looking forward to this trip since the last 2 big vacations we have taken (Italy and Iceland) were very adventurous and constantly on-the-go exploring. I told myself that Hawaii was going to be my “Do NOTHING” vacation and that is exactly what I did.
When we first arrived, we were blown away by our gorgeous place. We stayed in a penthouse at the Wailea Beach Villas that had our own private front patio and a wrap around back porch. The glass doors leading to the back porch retracted so we could completely open the place up and breath in the lovely ocean air.
The first couple days we all laid out by the beach and worked on our tans. We also took a 6 person canoe out into the ocean and came face to face with huge sea turtles and learn a lot about the island of Maui. Then the boys had a day of deep-sea fishing while us girls went to the Wailea Beach Hotel for a spa day. We were getting pampered as the guys caught Mahi Mahi and Ono and brought home fillets for us to enjoy. The fish was so delicious and fresh! Good job guys! The next day Rex went scuba diving and got to hold a squid and swim with sea turtles and sharks. Another day the guys went golfing and you guessed it….us girls went to the spa again! We treated ourselves to mani/pedis. We had a couple more days of relaxing on the beach and also checked out some cute little towns that were near by.As for the food, we did a lot of cooking in our Villa. How could we not when our guys caught us fresh fish? But we didn’t let that stop us from checking out some of the most popular restaurants on the island. We went to Cafe O’Lei which was delicious and of course we HAD to go to Mama’s Fish House (the most talked about restaurant in Maui). Mama’s had beautiful views where we took a lot of pictures, but the food was outstanding! All the fish they serve is caught that day. We had wasabi crusted calamari, lobster guacamole, short ribs that you could eat with a spoon (that is what I got), and macadamia nut crusted fish. If you ever find yourself in Maui you have to go to Mama’s Fish House…just beware…it is expensive, but worth every penny! On our way to the airport we also stopped by a cute place called Flatbread Pizza. All the food was homegrown and organic, they even make their own pepperoni.
I definitely experienced Maui just the way I wanted too….laying on the beach, laying by the pool, and napping and reading on our wrap around back porch. It was the most relaxing vacation and we returned to Colorado bronzed and with great memories. Thanks mom and dad for taking us on a fantastic vacation!
Hey everyone, check out this great picture my hubby took of the sunset! Rex has been zooming in on the mountains and taking great shots with my camera. When I went to snag pictures of the recipe today I came across this one…..so pretty! Good job hubby! Nothing really new in the Johnston house, so I will just jump right into the recipe for today.
We love cooking fish in our home, but I find myself always going for salmon or shrimp…they are just so easy to throw together. But as I stood at the fish counter I decided to be a rebel and go with something different. So I picked up 2 tilapia fillets. I made this really easy (only 3 ingredients) rub and baked them in the oven. They were DELICIOUS! I couldn’t believe how flavorful they were. Tilapia is a white fish that tastes really light, perfect if you are cooking for someone who isn’t crazy about fish. I will definitely be making these again next week.
Parmesan Crusted Tilapia
What you need:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a shallow dish combine parmesan cheese, paprika and parsley. Lightly season fish with salt and pepper, then drizzle with olive oil. Coat fish into the cheese mixture and place on a foil-lined cookie sheet. Bake for about 12 minutes or until fish is cooked all the way through. Serve with lemon wedges.
Happy Easter everyone! I hope you had a wonderful holiday with family! Rex and I had a great weekend celebrating my sister’s birthday, my Dad’s birthday and of course Easter. We were able to “kill 3 birds with 1 stone” in a fun-filled day and a half. We had dinner at the Broadmoor’s restaurant, The Summit for my sister and dad’s birthdays. The food was delicious and of course I had to snag a picture in front of this cool train. After dinner we showered them with gifts, ate cupcakes my mom made (which were delish) and played games which was really fun.
We had a great Easter as well. My mom went all out….no surprise there. We woke up to a delicious breakfast with mimosas. She decorated the champagne glasses with peeps which turned out so stinkin’ cute! The Easter bunny came and left treats sitting on each one of our spots at the table. Dad cooked an early dinner for us which was really good too. He made a delicious pork roast with potatoes and brocoli salad. It was a great holiday with family.
Knowing that we would be heading to my parent’s house for Easter I had a little trick up my sleeve. I decided to make (for the first time) Italian Easter Bread and surprise my mom! My mom is Italian and I remember her talking about how every Easter her side of the family would make these. They would do a different shape each year. One year they made the bread in the shape of a basket with the eggs in it and another year they did an alligator with an egg in it’s mouth…how cool is that? Now I didn’t get that creative. I was actually a little nervous to attempt this, but with the help of my hubby who braided the bread dough it wasn’t difficult at all, and they turned out so cute! I’ve been making my own bread since November so I just used that recipe and added cinnamon and sugar to make it into a sweet treat! I was so proud of myself and couldn’t stop talking about how great they looked. I will be starting the tradition of making Italian Easter bread every year for Easter for Rex and I and our family….my Italian ancestors are jumping up and down in heaven right now.
Italian Easter Bread
What you need:
Take partially raised bread dough and cut into equal parts. You will need two balls of dough for one easter bread. Roll the dough into a long, skinny tube and braid 2 together. Make into a circle and pinch the ends of the dough together. Set a NON-COOKED egg in the middle. We dyed ours first to make them look festive. Brush the top with an egg wash and sprinkle with your favorite sprinkles. Let rise for another hour and then bake in the oven. Mine cooked for about 25 minutes in a 350 degree oven.
Happy Chewing and Happy Easter!
Spring is officially here! Bring on the flowers and the sunshine. I can’t even explain how excited I will be to put all my sweaters and winter clothing away. Goodbye snow…it was nice knowing ya! While at the store today I saw tons of beautiful flowers displayed and couldn’t pass up the opportunity to buy some and make our home a little more Spring-like…check out my pretty tulips! I hope everyone is excited for Easter Sunday and that you have fun plans with family as we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Although Easter egg hunts and the Easter bunny are fun, it is important that we all remember the real reason why we celebrate this amazing day. I hope you have a fantastic holiday and always remember….Jesus loves you! Luckily I will not be hosting Easter brunch/dinner this year. My parents have it all planned out, so Rex and I can just show up and enjoy. Don’t worry I will make sure to take some pictures. If you are looking for inspiration for your Easter Dinner see what I cooked last year HERE.
I made these cheddar and jalapeno chicken burgers the other night. It was still a little too cold to go outside and cook them on the grill so I made them in a skillet and they were fantastic. I can’t wait to try these out again this Summer on the grill…I bet they will be even better. We decided to eat them with no buns, but we topped them with homemade Chew Love Guacamole…..YUMMY! Rex liked them so much he took 2 for his lunch the next day.
Cheddar and Jalapeno Chicken Burgers
What you need:
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Form into patties and cook. I made our in a lightly greased skillet on medium-high heat (covered) for about 5 minutes per side. Top with guacamole and enjoy!
It’s 65 degrees in Colorado today and I am SO ready for Summer. I can’t wait to bust out my shorts and sundresses and enjoy a drink on my patio. Ahhh….so close, but yet so far. It’s going to snow all weekend. I guess we will be heading up to the mountains to get some skiing in!
Keeping with the snack theme for the week, I’m excited to share my recipe for Guacamole. (Is it weird that when I read it it sounds like “Guacamoooollle” in Austin Powers? hehe) This is one of Rex and I’s favorite things to eat, but I have never actually made it before. For some reason I always thought this would be a difficult thing to make, but with my handy-dandy manual food processor it was extremely easy. Last Summer I bought a mini food processor from Pampered Chef and I am totally obsessed with it. It makes chopping multiple ingredients simple and quick, perfect for salsa. If you don’t have a food processor at home you can always make this by hand…it will take just a little longer but will be totally worth it in the end. We both agreed that we like our Guac. chunky, not smooth. It kina freaks us out when it resembles baby food (eww). How do you like your Guacamole?
Rex had the brilliant idea of using the left over lime in a nice cold beer….mmmm…..now we are talkin’! Because avocados are a super food and this recipe is really healthy, I plan on making more for us to use on top of egg omelettes for this weekend.
Chew Love Guacamole
What you need: (This makes 4 servings- double or triple as needed)
In a bowl mash avocados with a fork until desired consistency (we like ours a little chunky). In a food processor (or by hand), finely chop the onion, jalapeno, cilantro and tomato. Mix tomato mixture in with the avocado. Add lime juice and spices and mix well. Serve with chips and enjoy!
Lately Rex and I have been brainstorming on some new, healthy snack ideas. Especially something easy for Rex to take to work so he isn’t starving when he gets home. We came up with greek yogurt with granola (one of my personal favorites) and fruit, but Rex isn’t the biggest sweets eater. It was really difficult to come up with something savory. Then I remembered I have been dying to make roasted chickpeas for the longest time. I am pretty much obsessed with beans. I love them and eat them every single day. Not only that, they are one of the healthiest foods on the planet….full of protein and fiber! I made these spicy roasted chickpeas and I am telling you they are SO good! The only mistake I made was not doubling and tripling this recipe. I made these one weekday afternoon and it took every ounce of my being to not eat the entire batch. I stopped halfway and Rex finished them off when he got home. They lasted a total of 30 minutes in our house. So I highly recommend multiplying this recipe. These do have a pretty good kick, so if you don’t like spicy you can limit the amount of Cayenne pepper. Do you have a favorite snack that is easy to make?
Don’t forget you can get “behind the scenes” views of Chew Love on Instagram….you can find me at Chew_Love
Spicy Roasted Chickpeas
What you need:
Preheat oven to 450 degrees and line a backing sheet with foil. In a bowl combine all the ingredients and toss. Spread out on baking sheet in an even layer and cook for 15 minutes in the oven. Remove, toss and return to the oven for another 15 minutes or until chickpeas are a nice golden brown. Hello YUMMY!
The snow has been falling here in Colorado. In the last 3 days we had over 14 inches fall where we live which makes for great days on the ski slopes and Rex and I have been taking full advantage of that. The last few weekends we have been able to get up to the mountains and ski our little hearts out. But as much as I love that, I am so ready for some warm weather, summer dresses and a little relaxation on a beach. Ahh…only a couple months to go, for now I will be lounging by the ocean in my dreams.
The other night was a “Use up what’s left in the fridge” night in our house. I had some chicken breasts, leftover pasta sauce, and mozzarella cheese so I decided to make my version of Chicken Parm. It was REALLY good, except I almost gave Rex salmonella poisoning. I rarely cut chicken breasts in half and pound them out flat, so I wasn’t quite sure how long to cook them in the oven. When I pulled out the chicken it looked so delicious and Rex was very hungry. He quickly filled up his plate and started eating. While I was finishing up in the kitchen I heard him say at the dinner table “The consistency of this chicken is weird. I don’t think I like it when it’s pounded out flat”. I asked “Well, is it cooked all the way through?” I walked over and found that the chicken was still very light pink and that half of his chicken was already in his tummy. I promptly put the rest of the chicken back in the oven for a couple of minutes to make sure it was fully cooked and we both giggled a little bit and hoped for the best. Luckily Rex survived. This is a really great recipe and I served it with vegetables instead of pasta for a healthier dinner.
What you need:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a plastic ziplock bag, place halved chicken breasts and pound until 1/2 inch thick. Place flour (seasoned with a little salt and pepper) on a plate and the breadcrumbs, italian seasoning and parmesan cheese on another plate. In a bowl whisk the eggs and milk. One at a time coat each chicken piece in flour, dip in egg then coat in breadcrumbs. Place on a cookie sheet lined with tin foil. Drizzle a little olive oil over the top of the chicken and bake for 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and spoon pasta sauce over chicken and then top with mozzarella cheese (I used fresh mozzarella but shredded would be fine too). Return to the oven and cook for another 8 to 10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
I hope everyone had a fantastic Valentine’s Day and that they were able to spend it with someone special be it a significant other or family member or good friend. I woke up V-day morning to a cute display of chocolate, a red rose and a long-sleeved running shirt that I am obsessed with. Rex did good! Since Rex isn’t the biggest sweets eater I surprised him with an adorable popcorn tin full of fun flavors and some ski gloves that he desperately needed. We then made our own pizza together while we sipped on champagne and ended the evening making chocolate fondue…yummy! It was a great celebration and I am a lucky girl to have a husband who likes to do fun and sometimes silly things with me. On Saturday, Rex and I were trying to come up with some unique but healthy breakfasts to make. As you know, I love making fun and special things for breakfast or brunch on the weekends. Our weekend mornings are really important to us. We love that time to relax with one another with our coffee and something good to eat! Rex came up with a great idea…Huevos Rancheros! So we skipped on over to the grocery store and bought all the goodies we would need. Sunday morning we were just two love birds cooking in the kitchen together. I was in charge of making the salsa and Rex was in charge of warming the tortillas and frying the eggs. This ended up being an amazing, high protein, delicious breakfast!
Huevos Rancheros What you need:
In a food processor finely chop the tomato, onion, jalapeno, garlic, hot sauce, cumin and salt and pepper. Once blended to a salsa consistency pour into a skillet with 1 T of olive oil and cook for about 5 minutes. Then transfer to a bowl and set aside. Place black beans in a microwave safe bowl and heat. Then gently smash with a fork and set aside. In a large skillet fry eggs sunny side up and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
To assemble place warm tortilla on a plate and top with smashed black beans and then the sunny side up egg. Sprinkle with salsa, feta cheese and cilantro and serve.
After taking a couple of months off from blogging I am happy to report that I am back and with tons of great recipes to share. I really needed some time to relax and spend with my hubby focusing on us and everything going on in our lives. I hope you didn’t miss me too much
It’s crazy to me that tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. Can you believe we are already half way through February? It feels like we just celebrated Christmas yesterday! I will wait to share our Valentine’s day plans until Friday when I can post pictures, but I love this holiday. I don’t think there is anything wrong with having a designated day to remind us to love on our loved ones. Luckily, Rex and I show one another how much we care for eachother all the time, but I still like to make Valentine’s day something extra special for my hubby. If you are trying to think of something special for your significant other tomorrow I have the BEST idea! You can make them these crazy yummy and ridiculously easy biscuits in the morning for breakfast! Who doesn’t love a fluffy, buttery biscuit? I’ve seen these 7 Up biscuits circulating around Pinterest and decided to make them last weekend. They didn’t disappoint! We made breakfast sandwiches with what was leftover on Sunday and ate them on the go as we drove up to the mountains to go skiing. I think this is a great, easy, and small little thing you can do for your loved one that will make them feel special and start their day off with warm, yummy goodness in their belly as they head off to work.
What you need:
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place 1/4 cup butter in a 8×8 inch glass casserole dish and place in oven as it heats up to melt. Meanwhile mix Bisquick, sour cream and 7up in a bowl with a fork. Roll dough out on lightly floured surface and knead a couple of times. Once butter is melted in the bottom of the pan, place dough in pan and cut-out biscuits on top of melted butter with a knife. Bake for 12-15 minutes.
It’s still cold outside so I’m going to keep the winter dishes coming your way. I’m sure by now you have noticed that I cook A LOT of soups and stews. The reason being they are so easy and very inexpensive and it is also a great healthy and filling meal that you can eat for a few days. I love the cold season because I don’t think there is anything better than curling up on the couch with a warm bowl of soup when it’s chilly outside. I know as we approach Spring, Rex starts to get tired of all the soups. I even recall him saying last year “No more soup”. So to keep him excited about it, I throw in one of his favorites every now and then. This recipe comes from Rex’s family kitchen and it is delicious! We made this a couple of years ago on my family’s annual ski trip and everyone loved it. There is a lot of flavor and it’s really quick to make. I substituted quinoa spaghetti for regular spaghetti and it was mmm… mmm… good!
Grandpa’s Italian Soup
What you need:
Brown sausage, drain. In a soup pot, put sausage, broth, vegetables and seasonings. Bring to a boil then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes. Add spaghetti and cook for an additional 8-10 minutes or until noodles are tender.
We say goodbye to another year and hello to a fresh start! There is something fun about celebrating and reminiscing on the year you are letting go and dreaming and anticipating the year to come. I have to say that 2012 was a great year for Rex and I, there were 5 trips (a cruise to Key West and Grand Cayman, Nashville, Aspen, New York and Iceland). We celebrated our first wedding anniversary, my Mom’s 50th B-Day, and the marriage of my little sister, Katie to her husband, Chris. We spent a lot of time with family and made great memories with friends. We went to a few concerts and I accomplished one of my greatest goals…I ran my first half marathon! All in all we had a packed year of great times and I am sure 2013 won’t let us down! As we get older, the “party hard” youngsters in us are quickly slipping away. Walking around in the cold and bar hopping just didn’t sound like fun
to this “old married couple” for New Years Eve. Heck, it is a struggle to stay awake past 10:30 nowadays. So we decided to host a small, low-key evening for us and couple of our married friends. Of course, the Pinterest Queen in me couldn’t just throw something together, I had to make it special! I put out a big spread of appetizers and some New Year decorations and we had a great time! I even made tinsel numbers in “2013″. Everyone had a great time and yes, we made it long enough to watch the ball drop, give each other a kiss and say “Happy New Year”.
For the appetizers I did all the basics, cheese and crackers, olives, jalapeno poppers, shrimp and cocktail sauce, etc. I wanted to make sure that we had something a little more “hearty” so the boys wouldn’t be starving so I decided to make cocktail meatballs in the crock pot. They turned out really good and were so easy. I love recipes where I can fix it and forget it.
Crock Pot Cocktail Meatballs
What you need:
Combine all the marinade ingredients and mix well. Place frozen meatballs in the crock pot and pour marinade over the top. Cook on LOW for 5-6 hours.