Okay, so I know I’ve been slacking on this blogging situation, so I’m going to make a plea-bargain… I have two delicious recipes that will blow your mind and make your mouth water. These are GREAT for summer picnics and will absolutely wow your guests... BUT (there's always a but, right?) I have no motivational photos to seduce you into making these delicious dishes. I was in a serious rush to 4th of July celebrations and didn’t have enough time to set up a photo shoot, but they were devoured instantly so that’s probably a good sign, right? So… no photos but TWO awesome sides (or meals honestly). I hope you'll forgive me.
First up, taco pasta. Let me tell you two things:
a.) this taco pasta rules, like… rules so hard it should be adorned with robe and crown, like… make once a week awesome. It’s freaking delicious, super simple to prepare, and is fills you up. This would make a great week night meal or a stellar side at a large gathering.
b.) this is a family friendly recipe. My mother, the woman who thinks ketchup is spicy thought this was fabulous, which means your kiddos will love it too. However, if you have taste buds (okay, a little harsh) you might want to chop up some chipotle peppers or maybe flip a few jalapeños in this dish just to kick it up a notch. Perhaps your favorite taco sauce or even just some chili powder would make a great addition to spice it up. The next time I make this I’m def. going to step up the spice, but honestly it’s great as follow.
adapted from Fake Ginger
-1 pound ground turkey (I used ground turkey, but this would also be delicious with ground bison or obviously ground beef)
-1 Tablespoon (ish) olive oil to coat pan
-16 ounce small dry pasta shapes (I used medium shells, pick your favorite shape)
-1 small onion, chopped
-2 clove garlic, minced
-1 (14 oz.) can diced tomatoes
-1 standard size envelope of your favorite taco seasoning (you need about 4 tablespoons)
-3 ounce cream cheese
-1/2 cup sour cream
Salt and pepper to taste
Bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook pasta according to the package and or your preference.
-Drain the pasta but reserve around 1/2 cup of pasta water and set aside.
-In a large skillet or sauté pan add oil and cook the ground meat (feel free to season with salt and pepper) over medium-high heat until nearly no pink remains.
-A few minutes before the meat entirely browned, add the chopped onion to the skillet. -Once the meat is cooked entirely through, add in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
-Pour in the diced tomatoes and taco seasoning and let simmer over medium heat for about 5 minutes.
-Finally stir in the cooked pasta, cream cheese, sour cream and reserved pasta water, and continue stirring until the cream cheese is melted and the sauce is well blended.
-Open mouth and shovel in immediately.
Now recipe number TWO:
Southern-Style Baked Beans recipe by Pam Anderson, slightly adapted by yours truly.
These beans are so freaking good. That's all I'm saying. Feel free to add some hot dogs or kielbasa and beef up (or pork up hahaha I'm so funny, right?) this recipe to make it a full entree. Make, smell, and enjoy. Dooooo it.
-8 slices of thick cut bacon (I used peppered), halved
-1 medium sweet onion, cut into small dice
-1/2 medium green pepper, cut into small dice
-3 large cans (28 ounces each) pork and beans (the original red can pork n beans, nothing fancy)
-3/4 cup barbecue sauce (I used Sweet Baby Ray’s Raspberry Chipotle and it was a great choice I highly suggest you do the same)
-1/2 cup dark brown sugar
-1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
-2 tablespoons Dijon
Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees.
-Fry bacon in large, deep sauté pan skillet until bacon has partially (don’t let it get crispy, YET. No worries it will get crispy later) cooked and released about 1/4 cup drippings.
-Remove bacon from pan and drain on paper towels.
-Add onions and peppers to drippings in pan and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes and take a moment to embrace the glorious smell of onions and peppers in bacon fat.
Add beans and remaining ingredients and bring all that sweet deliciousness to a slight simmer.
If skillet is not large enough, add beans and heat to a simmer then transfer to a large bowl and stir in remaining ingredients).
-Pour flavored beans into a greased 13-by 9-inch (or similar size) ovenproof pan.
-Top with bacon, then bake until beans are bubbly and sauce is the consistency of pancake syrup, about 2 hours. Let stand to thicken slightly and serve.
I hope you will take the time to try out these dishes! They're worth it, I promise!!