Steak Quesadillas

Sometimes, after a long day at work, you just need a quesadilla. And a plain cheese quesadilla won’t cut it. That’s when you turn to chicken or, my fave, steak quesadillas. So satisfying.

I picked up a few fast fry steaks, patted them dry and only used S&P on both sides before pan frying them in butter and oil for a short time on each side. After they rested, I sliced them on the diagonal and topped my quesadillas with the tasty strips.

I was going to grill these but I couldn’t be bothered heating up another appliance. I already had the stove on to cook the jalapeno boats, so I grabbed another sheet tray to lay the quesadillas on to bake. Sure, they don’t look as pretty as if I had grilled them, but I just wanted to get that job done that night. 🙂

Sometimes I grill them, too, though.

When I cut them, I take care to keep the cut without an edge with a bit of one so it doesn’t fall apart as I move it from the cutting board to the plate. That tiny bit of uncut folded area, about 1/4″, doesn’t seem like it would help, but it does. It really does.

After you cut the half moon quesadilla into two triangles down the middle, move your knife in place to cut those two pieces into two again to get the four triangles. Now move your knife 1/4″ over to the right (or left) of the centre along the folded edge, and cut down from there to the mid point of the triangle.

Sometimes I serve this with a dip, sometimes not. Your choice. Enjoy!

Jalapeno Boats

We love pub grub, but we don’t really like going to pubs around here. They all tend to be sports themed, and we’re not into that scene. We do like patio dining, but we’re not there yet weather wise. Until then, I make us some of our faves at home. First up, Jalapeno Boats. Love these so much.

Jalapeno Boats:
6 Jalapenos
8 oz Cream Cheese, room temp
1/4 C Cheddar Cheese, grated
3 Bacon Strips, cooked, crumbled
1 tea ea: Onion Powder / Paprika
1/2 tea Garlic Powder

2 tea Butter
1 C Panko (or any other breadcrumbs) *

Trim the tails off the jalapenos barely, leaving a wall of white flesh in tact to create the look of a row boat’s blunt end. Set aside.

In a bowl, mix cream cheese with bacon bits, seasons and cheese grate. When combined completely, scoop this creamy filling into each boat. Don’t overfill the boats. The mixture should be level and flush to the sides of the boats.

* Optional Topping: I tend to make these boats with a panko topping, but I’ve also made them without it. Sometimes, like in these pix, I top the boats with half a bacon strip. Both methods are delicious.

If you want to use the panko method, simply melt the butter in a shallow fry pan. When it bubbles, throw in the panko and move it around in the pan until the butter is all soaked up. Kill the heat. Shake the pan so the panko sits evenly across the pan’s surface.

Place a boat at a time in the pan cream cheese side down. Flip it over and add a bit more panko on the top. Place these finished boats on a foil lined sheet tray or baking dish.

Bake at 400 degrees for 20 mins.

Old Timey Cake Mixes

I may not like flour-based birthday cakes, but I do love the old timey cake flavours and the artwork on the boxes back when I was a kid. Let’s take a trip down memory lane. 🙂

I think, over my lifetime, I have eaten a slice of every one of these cakes at some point. A few of them are classics home bakers still scuttle back to a few times a year, but the decadent ones are huge throwbacks. They only get made when someone is feeling hardcore nostalgic, or bought from a good bakery when basic cakes won’t cut it.

I remember this Raspberry cake mix like it was yesterday. My aunt bought it to make at our house for one of her daughter’s birthday the year it came out, and she loved pink so it got paired with pink frosting. I can’t remember if I liked it or not, but I remember the standout look of her final cake most of all. And how tickled pink (yes, I went there) my aunt was with her creation.

My mother bought these two often. Every birthday cake was one of these mixes, and decorated by my mother to her tastes. I ate way too many slices of birthday cake in my lifetime given how many siblings I have, so I would never make one of these today.

I’m surprised so many cake flavours endure. They really do. I see the Butter Pecan and the Chocolate Fudge boxes in the grocery store all the time. They wouldn’t be on the shelves if they didn’t consistently sell. Shelf space is like a hairdresser’s chair – it’s there for paying clients only.

American Nuevo

My favourite coffee order when I grab coffee at home or out and about has to be, hands down, the delicious Americano Nuevo. It’s simple, straight forward, and tasty. It won me over in one sip.

I ask for it at every coffee shop. Not by name because this is a Starbucks creation that, funny enough, a few Starbucks locations didn’t know anything about. So I l started showing everyone taking my order this above screencap from my phone so they understood what I was after.

Americano Nuevo:
1 shot Espresso
1/2 C Hot Water
1/2 C Steamed Milk
1-2 pumps Hazelnut Syrup

Highly recommend.

Strawberry Milk Drink

This is my take on the new Starbuck’s Strawberry drink that’s going to be hot this summer.

Strawberry Milk Drink:
1/2 C Milk, frothed

4 Ice Cubes
1/4 C Milk
1/4 C Strawberries, frozen
1/4 Strawberry Jam

6 Ice Cubes
1/2 C Cold Water

Start by fluffing up a 1/4 C of milk in a tall mug with a frothing wand. Set aside.

Into a blender, place the 4 ice cubes, 1/4 C milk, frozen strawberries and the jam. Blend that up quickly and pour it into a tall glass or drink jar with a lid and straw.

Top that blend with the 6 ice cubes and the 1/2 C water. Top with the frothed milk.


International Tiramisu Day

Yesterday marked this magical day for a lot of us. It comes once a year, and this year it snuck up on me. I didn’t realise what day it was until it was almost too late. But I did manage to bang out one large tiramisu for the husband, and a baby one for me. (I’m tired of not getting more than two bites out of any of the ones I made in the past because my husband is a vacuum cleaning eater when I make tiramisu.)

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – even the worst tiramisu is still delicious tiramisu, and I’m not even sure it’s possible to make one taste bad. I’ve thought about it a lot, and I can’t come up with a single way to screw one up. 🙂

Baking Hacks – Cookies

I’m a big fan of food hacks. I don’t have a lot of time and mental bandwidth to think of these myself, so when I come across them, I take a screencap for the future when I know I’ll be looking to cut corners. But, a food hack has to be a clever hack. The hack can’t ruin the final product. And it has to make my life easier. Like this one.