Sloppy Cheeseburger……..

Remember sloppy Joes? I used to love those messy things…..with the ground beef and that sauce all dripping everywhere.  I can’t remember the last time I had one.

This is my version…..without the sauce. It’s more like a cheeseburger but better. The ground beef is not formed into a patty. I think it’s fun to eat it this way. It’s so simple and you can whip one up in no time! The cheese and onions are all mixed up with the ground beef, so it all stays together with that cheesy glue. Of course I had to throw in some jalapeno since I’m a spicy girl.

So, if you’re looking for a quick and easy meal, here it is! It’s prettier when using cheddar cheese, but I prefer the Monterey Jack cheese. Your choice! Use both!! Yessssssssssssss….cheeeeeeeese.

Sloppy Cheeseburger
serves 3-4

1 lb ground beef or turkey
1/2 small onion, sliced thin
1 cup shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
peppers (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
Rolls (ciabatta, hamburger buns, French bread, etc)

In a large skillet, cook the ground beef with the sliced onion. Add salt and pepper. As the beef is cooking, toast or grill the bread. I put a pat of butter in a skillet and place the rolls, cut side down, into the butter. Once they are as brown as you like, remove.

When the beef is cooked, add the shredded cheese and mix until the cheese is all gooey and melty. At this point you can add the peppers, tomatoes, or anything else you may want to add.

Scoop a generous amount into a roll and serve immediately. Soooooooooo good.

The Best Tomato Feta Bruschetta…..

Fresh tomatoes, garlic, feta, tossed with a zesty dressing………Yum. Then, you scoop that onto some toasted, crusty bread and WOW. How could something that simple taste that fabulous. Seriously. How???!!!!!!

There are so many ways to make a bruschetta. I’ve tried many a kind. I have to say, this is my favorite one. How can you go wrong with the combination of fresh, (home-grown) tomatoes and feta cheese? I mean, come onnnnnnnn. So good. If you have never had a Sun Sugar tomato, you’re missing out. Little bites of sweet tomato heaven, that just burst with flavor. I can’t get enough of them. I highly recommend planting some in your garden! You will be so happy.

This is a great appetizer to serve at a party. Or, you could make a few varieties and have them be the meal. They go great with a glass of chilled white wine or champagne! Oh yesssssss.

So easy to put together.

  

 

Tomato Feta Bruschetta

approximate quantities:

1 baguette, cut into 1/4″ slices

approximately 2 cups whole Cherry tomatoes (I used a combo of Cherry and Sun Sugar tomatoes)
2 fresh garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup sliced black olives
1/2 cup crumbled Feta cheese
2 Tblsp red wine vinegar or vinegar **
1/4 cup plus 2 Tblsp olive oil or vegetable oil  **
or use a premade Italian salad dressing (1/2 cup)
salt and pepper to taste
fresh basil to garnish (optional)

Cut the fresh tomatoes in quarters. Place them in a bowl with all of the other ingredients and give them a gentle toss. Set aside for at least 10 minutes.

While your tomatoes are bathing, prepare your bread. Heat oven to 425. Place the slices onto a baking sheet. Brush lightly with a bit of olive oil. Place sheet into the oven. Allow bread to toast until lightly browned. Remove from oven and allow to come to room temp.

Scoop tomato mixture onto your little toasts. Garnish with basil and serve immediately.

Berry Berry Topping……

Ya gotta have a good topping for your ice cream, right? Or your pancakes, or some cake! This would make an excellent topping for cheesecake, too! This is a quick and easy topping using two berries…..blackberries and blueberries. You could even throw in some raspberries. The last time that I  made this, I added some peaches. Peaches and blueberries go really well together. I have included a picture of that also.

So, whenever I go to Oregon, there is an ice cream served at one of the casinos…..Huckleberry ice cream. I can’t find huckleberries here, but they tell me it’s a cross between a blueberry and a blackberry. So, the closest I can come, is to combine the two berries. It works. I made some ice cream awhile back using the two berries and it sure tasted like the huckleberry ice cream that I had in Oregon.

Ok, back to this topping…..my semi huckleberry topping. This is really quick and you can mash up your berries or leave them chunky. As you cook them, they will break up, so you really don’t have to mash them at all. If you just want a syrup, just put the cooked berries in a food processor and pulse it until it’s nice and thick. You could even strain it, so that you have just the syrup.

Yum.

Berry Berry Topping

approx. 1 cup blueberries
approx. 1 cup blackberries
1 peach, cut up in chunks (optional)
1/4 – 1/2 cup sugar, depending on how sweet you want it
3 Tblsp water

Pour the berries into a saucepan. Add the water and the sugar. Turn the heat on medium. Give it a good stir. When it starts bubbling, turn the heat to a simmer. As the berries heat up, they will get soft and start breaking up. You can mash them up at this point too if they aren’t breaking up on their own. Let them bubble away for about 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally so they don’t burn. Remove from heat. They will thicken up as they cool.

Now the fun part……eat it!

Change-it-up Salad Dressing…………..

What is your favorite salad? I would have to say I have 3 favorites…..steak and blue….chicken and pear….and Asian chicken salad. Don’t you feel like you’re being healthy when you have a salad? Even if it’s loaded with candied walnuts, cranberries, blue cheese…..hahahhaha. Ok, well a salad like that isn’t exactly healthy. I never have those kind…..ever. Only once. Maybe a few times….ok, today. But I didn’t have the candied walnuts. I was out of those.

Ok, so whatever salad you like, you need a tasty dressing, right? This is a simple one that you just shake up in a jar. You can use it as a base and add so many different things to it to change it up. Not only is it good on a green salad or pasta salad, it also makes a great marinade for chicken and dipping sauce for bread!

So, check out my salad . Doesn’t it look healthy? Focus on the greens…not on the blue cheese. Don’t you feel healthy already?

   

 

Change-it-up Salad Dressing

4 cloves of fresh garlic, minced or grated
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 cup red wine vinegar or 1/4 cup red wine vinegar and 1/4 cup lemon juice
1  1/2 cup olive oil or vegetable oil, or mixture of both
1/2 cup white wine or water
2 Tblsp finely grated parmesan cheese (optional)
2 Tblsp chives or green onion, minced very fine (optional)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Put everything in a jar. Shake it up. Store in the refrigerator.
– If using as a chicken marinade, just pour it over chicken and allow to marinate for at least 4 hours.

optional add ins:
– add 2 Tblsp soy sauce, 1 Tblsp fresh grated ginger and 1 Tblsp peanut butter
– add 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
– add 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
– add 1 Tblsp taco seasoning (but omit salt )
– add 2 Tblsp fresh cilantro, minced fine and 1/2 of a mashed up avocado

 

Super Simple 3 ingredient Peach Tart………….

I’m so happy that so far, the peaches seem to be good this season. Last year’s peaches sucked! I have a long list of “must make peachy things” and I started with this super yummy, beautiful, easy peach tart! It’s only 3 ingredients!! Seriously! Aren’t you excited?

I didn’t peel my peaches for this, because I wanted it to be extra purty, with that beautiful red color. But the next time, I will either cut up the peaches or remove the peels altogether. They get a bit chewy..just a wee bit. But I like the bit of tart it gives the peaches. So, you decide what you wanna do.

For the glaze, I cooked a peach with some sugar and mashed it up. But if you don’t want to hassle with that, here are some options:

– heat up some peach jam in the microwave for a few seconds
– heat up (just to soften) a bit of honey or corn syrup

This is best eaten within an hour of making it. That way, the puff pastry will still have some crisp. But this is so good even when its soft….cold or room temp.

Super Simple Peach Tart

1 puff pastry, thawed
5 medium peaches, (4 of them sliced and 1 chopped up)
1/4 cup sugar

Heat oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the pan in the oven to heat the pan.

For the peach glaze, place the pieces of the one peach in a saucepan with the 1/4 cup sugar. Heat until peaches are soft enough to smash up and mixture looks like a peach topping. Remove from heat and allow to cool a bit.

Slice up the remaining 4 peaches.

Remove the hot baking sheet from the oven. Unroll the puff pastry and lay it out on the parchment lined baking sheet. Fold over the edges, just a bit, to form a crust as pictured above.  Place the sliced peaches on top of the pastry in any pattern you want. Brush with the peach glaze that you made. Brush some glaze on the crust edge, all around.

Bake for 25 minutes. Crust should be golden brown. Serve as is, with ice cream or whip cream.