Bacon Wrapped Green Beans

We found some jalapeno bacon the other day and wanted to try it out. We are still lucky enough to have fresh green beans available at the local grocery store so we took advantage of that as well. This is a super easy way to get a picky eater to eat more veggies.

Bacon Wrapped Green Beans

1 pound fresh green beans, ends snapped off
about 5 thick slices of bacon, cut in 1/2
Ziploc Steamer bags

Give your fresh green beans a head start by steaming them for just about 3 minutes. Taking about 4 or 5 green beans, make a little bundle and roll 1/2 a slice of bacon around it, using a toothpick to keep everything in place.

Bake at 400 for about 10 minutes (or until bacon is done) take out the toothpicks and serve. Delish!

Shrimp Fra Diavolo

This is one of my favorites to get whenever we go out for Italian. Cancy & I both love a little heat to our food. This recipe from Cassie is a super fast way to get a really tasty dinner on the table. You can be frugal with the red pepper flakes or go a little crazy. We probably did about a Tablespoon of pepper flakes. I think next time we’ll also just do both cans of tomatoes as the fire roasted. It added a nice depth of flavor.

Shrimp Fra Diavolo

2 tbsp olive oil

6 cloves garlic

2 cans diced tomatoes, 14.5 oz each (I used one plain and one fire roasted)

½ tsp dried oregano

½ tsp dried basil

¼ tsp black pepper

1 tsp red pepper flakes

1 tbsp tomato paste

1 lb 31-40 shrimp, thawed, peeled, and deveined
1 lb pasta of your choice

Boil salted water for the pasta. Add the pasta to the water when it reaches a boil. Cook as directed on the package.

As the pasta boils, press the cloves of garlic into the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. When the garlic is just starting to turn golden and is fragrant, add the shrimp and saute for 1-2 minutes on each side or until pink and opaque. Remove the shrimp to a bowl, leaving as much of the garlic and olive oil as possible. Add the tomatoes, oregano, basil, black pepper, red pepper flakes, and tomato paste. Bring to a gentle boil then turn the heat down to simmer.

Drain the pasta and set aside. Stir the shrimp into the sauce.

Serve hot!

Marbled Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

I love, love, love Elly’s recipes. This one was adapted from, but I like what Elly did with it so thats the one I made. :) What a great way to get your pumpkin fix. The cheesecake was nice, but the pumpkin cut the sweetness a little bit so it’s not as overwhelming. And my favorite part of the whole things is the crust. Gingersnaps & Pecans? Yum!

Marbled Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

2.25 cups crushed gingersnap cookies

3/4 cup chopped pecans

1 stick (8 Tbsp.) unsalted butter, melted

2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened

3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided

1 tsp. vanilla extract

3 eggs

1 cup pumpkin puree

3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

1/4 (heaping) tsp. ground cloves

Preheat the oven to 250 and lightly grease a 9×13 baking pan.  In a large bowl or in your food processor, combine the gingersnaps, pecans, and butter.  Press into the bottom of the prepared pan and bake for 10-12 minutes.  Set aside to cool.

In a medium bowl or in your stand mixer bowl, mix the cream cheese, 1/2 cup sugar, and vanilla just until smooth.  Mix in the eggs one at a time, blending after each addition.  Set aside one cup of the mixture.  To the remaining mixture, mix in the 1/4 cup sugar, pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.

Spread the pumpkin batter into the crust.  Drop the remaining plain batter by spoonfuls onto the top. Swirl with a knife to create a marbled effect.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until filling is just set (the middle will still jiggle a little bit).  Cool the bars in the pan and chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours before serving.

Cuban Sandwich

We had a bunch of leftover Pernil (Puerto Rican Pork) so we thought we’d make some yummy Cuban Sandwiches. This was a great quick dinner before heading out to the Hockey Game the other night. You can use a sandwich press, a George Forman grill, or just a regular pan to make this. Enjoy!

Cuban Sandwich

Crispy crust bread loaf
Pernil leftovers
Swiss cheese
yellow mustard
sweet butter pickles

Heat sandwich press.

Slices bread to desired length, spread with mayonnaise and yellow mustard.    Stack Swiss cheese, pernil, ham and pickles, top with bread.

Brush sandwich press with melted butter, place sandwich on press and brush with butter.  Press for 1 – 2 minutes, until cheese begins to melt, then turn and press for another 1 -2 minutes. 

Enjoy hot off the press.

Slow Cooked Puerto Rican Pork (Pernil)

I’m a big fan crockpots. It’s so nice just to prep something and then forget about it. Your whole house will smell delicious. Even the neighbors might ask what you’re cooking. This recipe will take you almost no time to prepare and after an overnight marinade in the fridge, just drop it in the crockpot & forget about it. **Bonus: You can make a great sandwich with the leftovers.

Slow Cooked Puerto Rican Pork (Pernil)

4 lb Pork Shoulder or Pork Butt
6 Cloves of Garlic, pressed
1/4 tsp Ground Black Pepper
1 tsp Oregano
1 1/2 Tbs Olive Oil
1 1/2 Tbs White Vinegar
4 tsp Salt

Combine garlic, pepper, oregano, olive oil, vinegar and salt.  Rub pork with garlic mixture and refrigerate overnight.

When ready drop into the crockpot on low for 8 hrs. You'll know it's done once it's practically falling off of the bone.

Garlic Sautéed Green Beans

In the never ending quest to get my husband to eat more vegetables, I thought I would try something a little different with green beans. The grocery stores around here lately have had fresh green beans. If you don't have access to fresh you can still do the recipe, just skip the steaming process.

Garlic Sautéed Green Beans

1 lb fresh green beans, ends snapped off
5 or 6 cloves of garlic, minced (you can do more or less depending on your tastes. We like garlic so we did closer to 8 cloves)
Olive Oil
Ziploc Steamer Bag

Rinse the green beans after snapping off the ends. Place in the steamer bag and microwave for about 3 minutes.

While they are in the microwave, heat about 1-2 Tbsp of Olive Oil to medium high heat.

Toss green beans in hot pan and add a sprinkle of salt as well as all of the garlic. Toss over medium high heat just until the garlic starts to brown.


Coconut Chicken Curry

I was on the website for my grocery store when I saw this recipe. The ingredients looked simple enough, plus I already had most things on hand. It turned out great. It’s a super easy, really tasty curry. Great for a rushed weeknight. We served this with Jasmine Rice & Garlic Saute’d green beans.

Coconut Chicken Curry

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs
salt and ground black pepper
1 tablespoon oil
2 onions, diced
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 medium tomato, seeded and diced (1 cup)
1 14 ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/4 cup minced fresh mint leaves

Season chicken with salt and pepper.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook chicken 8 to 10 minutes per side or until done (when internal temperature of chicken reaches 165 degrees). Remove chicken to a plate and set aside. Dice onions while chicken cooks.

Add onions to skillet; cook onions in pan juices 10 minutes or until very soft. Stir in curry powder and cook 1 more minute. While onions cook, cut cooked chicken into bite-sized pieces. Dice tomato. Chop mint leaves very finely to mince.

Stir chicken, tomato and milk into skillet with onions. Cook 2 to 3 minutes to thicken slightly and reduce. Combine cornstarch with 1 tablespoon water; stir into skillet mixture to thicken. Remove skillet from heat.

Season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, or to taste; stir in mint. Serve while hot.

Maple-Mustard Pork Loin with Roasted Potatoes

I’ve been a bad blogger lately. Not one update yet for December. Ooops... I’ll fix that starting with this recipe. I’ve been cooking/baking and taking pictures, just not getting anything loaded up on this blog. Let’s try a bit more consistency, eh?

So I found this recipe on Rachael Ray’s site. I had a pork loin to use but had no idea what to do with it. The maple/mustard combination sounded pretty interesting. We both really liked this recipe. Definitely do the overnight marinade as the flavor really gets into the meat. The best thing about this recipe is the smell once you get it in the oven. Enjoy!!

Maple-Mustard Pork Loin with Roasted Potatoes

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary plus 6 sprigs
4 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
One 4-pound boneless pork loin (about 12 inches long)
One 8-ounce package lean sliced bacon
6 small baking potatoes (1 1/2 pounds), quartered
Salt and pepper

In a resealable plastic bag, mix together 2 tablespoons olive oil, the mustard, maple syrup, chopped rosemary and garlic. Add the pork and turn in the mixture to coat; refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 375°. Place the rosemary sprigs in the center of a roasting pan. Arrange six 14-inch lengths of kitchen string crosswise, about 2 inches apart, in the pan. Place the marinated pork on top of the strings and rosemary. Lay the bacon slices, on an angle, over the pork loin. Tie each string around the meat to secure the bacon, then trim the loose ends.

Scatter the potatoes around the pork and drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons oil; toss to mix. Season the pork and potatoes with salt and pepper. Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the pork registers 150°, about 1 hour. Let rest for 10 minutes before slicing. Serve with the potatoes.