Recipe Posts

Simply Homemade: Mom’s Magical Marinade!

Yep. I said it. Magical marinade. Why is it magical, you ask? Because it’s so versatile of course! No crazy ingredients, quick to whip up, and works on steak/pork chops/chicken. That trifecta, in my book at least, makes this recipe magical! Now that Mother Nature is FINALLY releasing us from the throes of winter into a much more mild-mannered spring season, I thought it was the perfect time to share a marinade recipe. Also, with it being Mother’s Day and me being extra thankful today (as opposed to being incredibly thankful every day) for my mom, I figured what better way to show appreciation for her? Mom, this blog post is for you and all the thankless meals you made for us before we learned to be as thankful for you as we are today! Thank you. For really real, thank you!!!

Is there anything more exciting than the transition from one season’s meal plans into a new one? Just when you’re sick to death of your winter rotation of crockpot roasts, casseroles, and never ending soups, along comes a new season complete with new cooking options (outdoor grilling, yay!) and new seasonal fruits & veggies (double yay!). They don’t say that variety is the spice of life without good reason! Not sure how my mom kept such a variety of food in our rotation of meals when we were kids but I am SUPER thankful for that!

Growing up, I never realized the extent of work that went into each of our meals. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this little tidbit but I grew up on a farm in a quintessential small town. My dad grew multiple crops and raised livestock in teamwork with my mom who grew a garden and made seriously almost every single meal homemade. As an adult, I honestly have no idea how they managed to do this while not killing one of us kids…or each other! Now that I’ve reached the adulthood phase where I have to meal plan for myself and my own tiny family, I remember all the times my mom would beg us to just say what we want for supper! I find myself demanding answers to that same question from my husband and daughter and commiserate (about 25 years too late) with my mom. Did I mention how thankful I am for her?

To this day, I’ll never understand how both my parents stayed sane without having numerous fast food/restaurant options within a couple miles’ radius to run through and grab food for the family. It’s no wonder my mom is the amazing cook that she is or that my dad has always been so open to trying new meals. I’m so incredibly thankful to have been brought up eating home cooked meals, taught to cook, and been made aware of where our food came from and the fact that not everyone had those luxuries. All that being said, my mom got creative with recipes and used a few of the same ones in totally different ways so we never got sick of eating at home. This marinade is one of those recipes! She’d use it one week to marinate and grill chicken for salads then use it the next week for marinated grilled pork chops with mashed potatoes. I was clueless for years that it was the same recipe with only the protein being different; I just knew I loved that chicken and those pork chops too 😉 Now that I’m officially “adulting” and attempting to recreate that same homemade meal experience, I find myself secretly rejoicing when my daughter says she thinks some steaks cooked on the grill with that special sauce sounds great for dinner! For those of you who don’t know my daughter, that is a HUGE win! Getting her to eat meat, in any form, has been a struggle since the day she started consuming solid foods. To have her ask for steak literally makes me want to cry..tears of joy!

Alright friends, get your grill ready and let’s get marinating! Also, quick side note to thank your moms or the mom figures in your life for all they did for you. Whether we realize it or not, our parents shape us into the people (and especially the parents) we are today!

Mom's Magical Marinade

  • Servings: 4-8
  • Difficulty: Insanely Simple
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This is one of the most delicious and versatile marinades I have come across! If you're planning to grill chicken, steak, or pork chops you are going to want to take an extra 10 minutes to whip up this marinade for them beforehand!

Ingredients

-1/3 cup soy sauce (I always use low sodium)

-1/3 cup vegetable oil

-3 tablespoons white vinegar

-1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

-1/2 teaspoon granulated ginger

-1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

-1 tablespoon minced onion (can use a tablespoon of onion packet seasoning instead)

-Protein of choice (up to 8 pork chops or chicken breasts or 4 good sized steaks)

Directions

  1. Add and mix all ingredients together (I recommend doing this straight into a gallon ziplock baggie to cut down on dishes!).
  2. Add protein into marinade and try to arrange so protein lays flat.
  3. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight (flip protein over/rotate halfway through marinating time if it’s convenient but that’s not a deal breaker).
  4. Remove from fridge while preheating grill then grill to desired doneness and ENJOY!

Equal parts soy sauce & vegetable oil with some perfectly picked seasonings to enhance…awwww yeah!
Lay it flat, chill it, flip it, & soak it up!!!!!!!

Simply Homemade: Baked Breakfast Frittata!

Admission time: I let life seem complicated and got caught up with other stuff so I missed posting last week for the first time since starting this blog. At the time, I thought I may feel some relief at taking a quick break…nope to the nope nope on that! I just felt like I missed my chance at sharing one of my go-to recipes that may simplify the most important meal of the day: breakfast. Well, have no fear, this post is now here and it’s filled with info on a breakfast dish that is relatively new to my family but that has saved the day for us multiple times over the past couple years.

I love frittatas for so many reasons and I have little doubt that you will too. First and least relevant but so amazing…the name frittata always makes me think of The Lion King movie phrase, “Hakuna. Matata. It means no worries!” It’s so fitting for frittata to rhyme with hakuna matata because it really is a no worries kind of recipe. As long as you follow the basic core ingredients and directions it’s pretty foolproof that it will turn out not only edible, but darn delicious. You can basically tweak the rest of the optional ingredients to your heart’s desire (or to your fridge’s limitations)! There are all sorts of recipes out there for flavor profiled frittatas but I’m sharing the core of the recipe because I know most of you reading this will appreciate the versatility.

Another big reason of my love for this recipe is that it is such a simple recipe to make fit into most meal plans regardless of dietary restrictions, time constraints, ingredient likes/dislikes, etc. Use egg whites instead of whole eggs, add extra veggies instead of meat, make individual portions with specific ingredients to differentiate, make smaller portion so it will cook faster, make the night before and warm it up the next day..or three..for an on-the-go breakfast meal. Not to mention the fact that you sound super healthy and chef-y when you volunteer to bring breakfast for a group and you say off-handedly that it will be an egg white, spinach, and roasted tomato frittata. Coworker of the year? I think yes.

Ok, onto the good stuff, what exactly is a frittata? It’s an egg based baked dish that is insanely easy to personalize how you (or those you’re serving it to) will like it best. Traditionally, frittatas are started on the stovetop and finished in the oven. But, with the whole point of this blog being keeping life simple, I skip that nonsense and make this a straight into the oven dish. More importantly, I make it an end of the week use-all-the-leftovers dish. Although that’s my practical (and, admittedly, lazy) self shining through. This is also a great planned meal that comes together with minimal effort.

Need a hearty breakfast for the guys who will spend that day working outside? How about a Canadian bacon, spicy sausage, and smoked turkey frittata (hold the green stuff)? Girls brunch complete with mimosas? Maybe a feta, spinach, and roasted red pepper egg white frittata?  Cinco de Mayo weekend and you need a hangover cure? Chorizo, green peppers, and salsa frittata coming right up! A meal for a neighbor or friend going through a rough patch? Let’s go with everyone’s go-to of crispy bacon and cheddar so they just warm and enjoy or they can chop up and put in a tortilla for on-the-go breakfast burritos! You getting my drift get? Keep the eggs and milk and basic seasonings and substitute away on the rest. There’s no harm in making a super basic one with no frills. You can always bring in a cornucopia of toppings that’s sure to make each person in the room swoon with happiness (salsas, hot sauces, bacon crumbles, Greek yogurt, chives).

Alright, alright, I’m sure you are all salivating as much as I am by now I think it’s time I share my simplified version of this recipe. Please enjoy and share with fellow breakfast-lovers out there!

Stacie's Simply Homemade Baked Breakfast Frittata

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: Simple
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This super simple breakfast recipe can be adjusted to your heart's desire and is sure to be a hit at your next get together! Forgive the vague ingredient list but this is a blank canvas for your creative culinary mind.

Ingredients

-12 eggs

-1/4 cup milk (don’t use anything skimpier than 2% here)

-1/2 teaspoon salt

-1/2 teaspoon pepper

-1 1/2 cups shredded cheese (flavor of your choice)

-4 cups of vegetables/proteins (again, your choice but I’d recommend using pre-cooked leftovers whenever possible so those already steamed/grilled veggies and sausage crumbles don’t go to waste)

-Toppings (your choice here but I’d suggest chopped green onions, salsa, sour cream, etc)

Directions



    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9″x13″ pan then set aside.
  1. Beat eggs together in large mixing bowl with milk, salt, and pepper until combined well.
  2. Add in half the cheese and all the cooked, chopped veggies and/or proteins and mix well again.
  3. Pour mixture from bowl into pan and top with remaining cheese.
  4. Place pan into preheated oven and bake for approximately 25 minutes until set.
  5. Serve immediately with toppings of choice or refrigerate and serve within a couple days.

Alrighty folks, usually there are quite a few detailed pictures in this space to illustrate the recipe and my tips. BUT…this one is so dang simple and I threw in so many veggies that my pictures don’t do the dish it’s delicious justice! For the one pictured, I used farm fresh sausage that my parent’s made a few weekends back, leftover veggies from a steamer with asparagus, peppers, zucchini, onions and I chose parmesan cheese to tie it together. I would have had more pictures but I brought it to work for ‘official blog taste testing’ and it disappeared quicker than I expected! FYI that reheating it sometimes makes the flavors mesh even better together. What’s better than a delicious breakfast? A somehow EVEN more delicious breakfast the following day with no extra work. Boomshackalacka!

Simply Homemade: Aunt Patty’s Fudge Pie!

I’ve known for quite some time now but only recently admitted openly that I am completely biased in wholeheartedly believing my family has some of the absolute best cooks (and, therefore, recipes) in the world. Furthermore, I’ve come to the realization that there is no reason the world shouldn’t be able to partake in some of that yumminess just because not everyone was blessed enough to be born into our family! In the spirit of sharing, this next recipe is brought to you by none other than my gorgeous godmother, Aunt Patty. 

Since I love her dearly and don’t want anyone kidnapping her so she will bake the following recipe for them, I’m not going to share any more of her personal details than that 😉 My only request is that, as you take the first bite of this dessert, you send out a silent heartfelt thank you to my Aunt Patty and the friend of hers who shared this with her years ago! If you wish to follow that silent gratitude up with some colorful cursing at me for introducing you to this less-than-healthy-but-oh-so-magical dessert please be my guest! I realize we are all attempting to prepare for bikini season and some of us are still holding onto that misplaced strand of hope that we’ll finally be rid of these last 10lbs. But I stand firm in my belief that cheat meals (or, in my case, cheat weeks) are necessary and vital to any diet because they do wonders for your mental health which is imperative to your physical health. See? Justified! And honestly, this is just too good not to indulge in.

If you’re reading this and wondering what the heck is fudge pie, you’re in luck! With just a few ingredients and simple instructions, you’re about to find out. If you need motivation to get those ingredients and follow those instructions please take a moment imagine a scrumdiddlyumptious fresh baked fudge brownie around the edges of a pan. Inside that outer brownie ring, there is ooey gooey molten hot fudge in the middle of the pan. Now imagine that you just pulled this delightful concoction out of your oven and the air in your kitchen smells like it’s good enough to eat as your last meal. Tempted yet? You haven’t even heard the best part. Let’s go back to imagining…imagine yourself putting a couple scoops of ice cream into a large bowl and then dishing out some of the fudge pie on top so it spreads out over your ice cream giving it the warmest, most delicious hug in the whole world and YOU now to get to enjoy that bowl of heaven. That, my friends, is fudge pie! I won’t even go into the possibilities of adding a drizzle of caramel, just a bit of whipped cream, chopped nuts, perhaps some sprinkles…no seriously, I’m not even going there, that must be your imagination running wild… All joking and completely-made-up-adjectives aside, check out the fantastic recipe below because if it isn’t in your life yet, you are truly missing out!

Aunt Patty's Fudge Pie

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: Simple
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This single pan combination of hot fudge center and fudge brownie ring around the edges is the absolute best topping for an ice cream indulgence!

Ingredients

  • 2 squares of unsweetened baking chocolate (4 rectangle pieces, see picture below)
  • 1 stick (aka 1/2 cup or 8 tablespoons) butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • One quarter cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • One quarter teaspoon salt
  • Ice cream

Directions

  1. Beat eggs together in medium size bowl then add in vanilla and mix again.
  2. Next, add in the sugar, flour, and salt and combine everything together by mixing well.
  3. Melt just the butter and chocolate squares together in 30 second increments until all melted then stir to combine.
  4. Add chocolate butter mix into the first mixture then stir well to combine.
  5. Pour mixture into lightly greased 9″ round pan or pie pan.
  6. Place pan into preheated (325 degree) oven and bake for approximately 15 minutes.
  7. ***IMPORTANT: turn the oven light on/watch/check frequently after it’s been in the oven around 10 minutes as you should only bake this until the edges of the pan sets into a brownie-like consistency (about an inch and a half from the edge towards the middle should be like this) and the remainder (middle) of the pan is hot fudge consistency!***
  8. Scoop ice cream into bowls and be sure to get a mix of the brownie and hot fudge portions of the fudge pie scooped directly on top so you get the full decadent experience!

For those of you out there who aren’t familiar with baker’s chocolate, see the picture below and check the baking aisle at your local grocery store. Trust me, if I can find it, so can you 😉

Also, check out what it looks like when opened and how much you need for one batch of Patty’s Fudge Pie (again, it’s 2 squares which is made up of 4 of the rectangle sections). That’s right…one box of this goodness yields 4 batches of fudge pie. FOUR. BATCHES. OF. DELICIOUS. POSSIBILITIES!

Remember that important note you skimmed over while looking at the recipe? The picture below is as good as I can get to show you that the consistency is key here people! Brownie on the outside and hot fudge on the inside! PS this picture was taken right after I pulled the pie pan out of the oven.

And, just to entice you one more time to try out this simply fantastic dish…look at the end result! Oh. Em. YUM!!!