Garlic and Cheese Beer Bread

This simple quick bread is easy to make and full of flavor.  It is similar to by regular Beer Bread that you can make from Beer Bread Mix. I add garlic powder and cheddar to make this a perfect savory side to a soup, stew, or chili.

I have made it with different kinds of beer, but I find that an American-style lager works best. If you do not buy alcohol, you can use seltzer water, but you will miss the yeasty flavor the beer provides.

 

Garlic Cheddar Beer Bread

Garlic Cheddar Beer Bread

Yield: 12
Prep Time: 8 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 58 minutes

This simple quick bread is easy to make and full of flavor. I have made it with different kinds of beer, but I find that an American-style lager works best. If you do not buy alcohol, you can use seltzer water, but you will miss the yeasty flavor the beer provides.

Ingredients

  • 3 Cups Flour (I have used all-purpose flour and white whole wheat flour.)
  • 1/4 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 4 teaspoons Garlic Powder (divided)
  • 1 Cup (4 ounces) Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 12 ounce Beer
  • 6 Tablespoons Butter, melted
  • Cooking Spray

Instructions

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
    Prepare the bread pan. Spray an 8 x 5 inch loaf pan with cooking spray. Cut a piece of parchment paper the width of the loaf pan. (I like it to be long enough to fit down the middle of the pan, and up the sides with a little extra on each side. See Video.) Spay over the parchment paper with cooking spray.
    Mix the bread. In a medium bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda, 2 teaspoons of the garlic powder, and cheese. Add the beer and mix until combined. You do not want to over mix the dough.
    Add the dough to the prepared bread pan. You may need to gently push it to the edges of the pan. The top does not need to be smooth.
    Mix remaining 2 teaspoons of garlic powder with the melted butter. Pour melted butter mixture over the dough.
    Bake for 45-50 minutes. The top will be barely turning brown. You can stick a toothpick in the center of the bread to test doneness. If the toothpick is dry or only has a few moist crumbs the bread is done.
    Using the excess parchment, gently lift the bread from the pan. Slice and serve.

Notes

I have made this with seltzer water instead of beer. It works, but you will miss the deep yeasty flavor the beer provides.

American-Style lagers like Budweiser or Coors work best, but you can use any beer you prefer.

This is great toasted the next day.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 207Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 18mgSodium: 396mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 1gSugar: 4gProtein: 4g

Nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and may not be completely accurate.

Marie Fiebach is a married mother of four active kids. She helps busy families plan and execute weeknight dinner so they can recapture a little calm in the crazy. You can see her every week on KAKE TV’s Good Morning Kakeland or listen to the Feed Your Family Tonight Podcast.

 

Blanched and Roasted Veggies

We all want to eat more veggies, but they can be boring and bland. This technique can be used for almost any vegetable and will take your roasted veggies from boring to delicious.

What is blanching?

Blanching is a technique where you cook vegetables in boiling water for a few minutes. Then you take them out of the boiling water and place them in ice water (or ice bath.) If you are making veggie trays it helps the produce have a bright color. 

I streamlined this and we skip the ice water, but quickly blanching the vegetables in salted boiling water before roasting improves the flavor and texture so much it is worth the extra step.

Will the vegetables bee too salty?

You can adjust the salt to your individual taste. Know that like cooking pasta, most of the salt will not go into the food, but if you skimp on the salt, you will notice it in the finished product. Pasta cooked without enough salt tastes bland and veggies cooked with the right amount of salt will sing!

The salted water penetrates the veggies as they quickly pre-cook in the boiling water and seasons them much deeper than simply sprinkling salt on top of them as they roast.

What about the oil?

I find you can use much less oil when you roast the veggies because you do not need it for flavor. The veggies are well-seasoned because of their trip in the salt water.

You can use any oil you prefer. I like avocado oil or bacon grease the best, but you can use olive oil, vegetable oil, or even ghee.

How do you finish the vegetables?

The veggies are great roasted on their own, but there are a few things you could add after cooking to take them to the next level. Some of the things I sprinkle on after they have roasted include:

Hot Pepper Flakes

Lemon Zest

Lemon Juice

Parmesan Cheese

Balsamic Vinegar

Blanched and Roasted Veggies

Blanched and Roasted Veggies

Yield: 1 Pound Veggies
Prep Time: 12 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 27 minutes

These are roasted veggies taken to the next level. The vegetables are briefly cooked in boiling salted water before roasting in the oven.

The brief cooking in salted water seasons the vegetables thoroughly and helps them stay bright and vibrant.

Ingredients

  • 1 Pound of Broccoli or other favorite vegetable cut into serving-size pieces (see note for best veggies)
  • 1 Tablespoon Avocado Oil (See note for substitutions.)
  • 1 Quart boiling water
  • 3 Tablespoons Coarse Sea Salt

Garnishes and Finishing Ingredients

  • Zest of One Lemon
  • Juice of One Lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon Hot Pepper Flakes
  • 2 Tablespoons grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar

Instructions

Preheat Oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

Bring water to boil in a large saucepan.

Spread oil over a rimmed baking sheet.

Add Coarse Sea Salt to boiling water.

Place cut vegetables in boiling salted water and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Using tongs or a slotted spoon, remove vegetables from boiling water and place them on the oiled baking sheet. It is okay to have a few drops of water, but try to get as little water as possible on the baking sheet.

Roast veggies in the 450 degree oven for 10-15 minutes until they are starting to brown around the edges.

Remove roasted veggies from the oven and sprinkle with one or more of the finishes.

Notes

You can do this with almost any vegetable. You can use fresh or frozen. Veggies that work great include:

Broccoli

Cauliflower

Asparagus

Brussels Sprouts

Green Beans

Cabbage

You want the veggies cut into serving-size pieces. Whole asparagus spears, 3-4 inch pieces of broccoli or cauliflower, Brussels Sprouts that are cut in half all work well.

You can use any oil you like. I have used Avocado oil, olive oil, bacon grease and ghee. They all work well.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 73Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 3252mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 4gSugar: 3gProtein: 3g

Nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and may not be completely accurate. Most of the salt will not end up on the vegetables so the sodium is much lower.

 

 

Easy 2 Serving Mac and Cheese

My daughter loves to make this simple one pot macaroni and cheese for lunch. You start with boiling macaroni in salted water. It is super important to salt the water to flavor the macaroni as it cooks. Once the macaroni is cooked you make a simple sauce by mixing melted butter and flour in the pan and adding milk and cheese. It is a super creamy mac and cheese that comes together quickly and is perfect for a lunch or simple side dish.

Easy 2 Serving Mac and Cheese

Easy 2 Serving Mac and Cheese

Yield: 2
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 14 minutes
Total Time: 19 minutes

This simple macaroni and cheese can be made in one pot and makes two servings it is perfect for a quick lunch or side dish. Cooked elbow macaroni is added to a simple sauce made from milk and cheddar cheese.

Ingredients

  • 4 Cups Water
  • 1 Tablespoon Plus 1/4 teaspoon Coarse Sea Salt, divided
  • 1 Cup Uncooked Elbow Macaroni or other dried pasta (see notes)
  • 1 Tablespoon Salted Butter
  • 1 Tablespoon Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Milk (see note)
  • 1/2 Cup (1.5 ounces) Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese

Instructions

In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil over high heat.

Add 1 Tablespoon salt and the dried macaroni. Cook according to package directions until desired doneness.

Drain pasta and set aside.

Reduce heat to medium high and add butter to now empty saucepan.

When butter is melted, add the flour. Mix well and cook 30 seconds to 1 minute until beginning to slightly turn golden.

Add the milk, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and stir well. Continue to stir until the mixture thickens.

Add the cheese and mix well.

Add the macaroni and stir to combine.

Serve

Notes

I have made this with several different shapes of pasta including farfalle and rotini.

I tested this recipe using whole milk.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 319Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 27mgSodium: 407mgCarbohydrates: 44gFiber: 2gSugar: 1gProtein: 11g

Nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and may not be completely accurate.

Episode 93 Lazy Genius Dinner with Kendra Adachi

Kendra Adachi is The Lazy Genius. Her new book, The Lazy Genius Way: Embrace What Matters, Ditch What Doesn’t, and Get Stuff Done, came out this week and it was a treat to talk with her. One of the things I like most about Kendra’s approach is that you can choose what matters to you. We all have different things that are important, and it is okay if your ideals are different than your best friend, an influencer on Instagram, or anyone else. Once you know what is important to you it is easier to say yes to things that matter and no to things that don’t.

 

Our conversation was full of great tips to help you manage dinner and how to use her “magic question” to help you do something now to make life easier later. You will also hear us sing the praises of salt and talk about her infamous Change Your Life Chicken. It is an episode you won’t want to miss.

 

This post contains affiliate links. 
Marie Fiebach is a married mother of four active kids. She helps busy families plan and execute weeknight dinner so they can recapture a little calm in the crazy. You can see her every week on KAKE TV’s Good Morning Kakeland or listen to the Feed Your Family Tonight Podcast.

Crispy Smashed Potatoes

Crispy Smashed Potatoes are a favorite in our home. Baked yukon gold potatoes are smashed on a baking sheet and broiled until brown and crispy. 

I like to use yukon gold potatoes because they have a thinner skin than russet potatoes. You can do it with russets, but the result is much better with yukon golds. It is important to have the potatoes somewhat uniform in size. If you have some big and some little potatoes, cut the big ones in half before cooking. Also, anytime you bake potatoes it is important to poke a few holes in the skin to allow steam to escape, otherwise they can explode and make a huge mess in your oven.

This recipe can easily be adjusted to make larger or smaller quantities. The bake times will be the same. 

Crispy Smashed Potatoes

Crispy Smashed Potatoes

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Additional Time: 16 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 21 minutes

Crispy Smashed Potatoes are simple to make and a fun take on baked potatoes. Yukon gold potatoes are baked and then smashed on a baking sheet and broiled until brown and crispy.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold Potatoes (About 6)
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • Olive Oil Cooking Spray

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Prepare the potatoes by washing and poking several holes the the skin with a fork. If the potatoes are not similar in size, cut larger ones in half or thirds.
  3. Place potatoes on rack in oven and bake at 400 degrees for one hour.
  4. Remove potatoes from oven and change oven setting to Broil.
  5. Spread 1 Tablespoon of olive oil in the center of a rimmed baking sheet.
  6. Place the baked potatoes on top of the oil the rimmed baking sheet.
  7. Smash the potatoes with a potato masher.
  8. Sprinkle the smashed potatoes with salt and then spray over the potatoes with cooking spray.
  9. Place in the oven 8-10 inches from the heating element and broil for 12-14 minutes until the tops are spotty golden brown.
  10. Serve.

Notes

I have done this with russet potatoes. They have a thicker skin and do not work as well as yukon gold.

You can use other types of oil. I like to use ghee instead of olive oil.

The cooking spray works better than drizzling the top with olive oil because it gives a more even coating of oil on the surface of the potatoes.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 146Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 188mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 2gSugar: 1gProtein: 3g

Nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and may not be completely accurate.

Corn and Basil Fritters

My friend, Cassie, of Cook It Real Good, made fritters all summer. She would have them for lunch or dinner and she inspired me to make my own version.

These fritters are super easy and make a simple side dish or a light meal. I like to make them for an easy lunch. They are golden on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside. The fresh basil is what takes these simple fritters form okay to something you will crave.

You can make these with frozen corn or use the kernels from leftover corn on the cob. Either way, you  will want to warm the corn slightly in the microwave before mixing the batter. The corn does not need to be hot, but you don’t want it frozen or super cold.

Corn and Basil Fritters

Corn and Basil Fritters

Yield: 8
Prep Time: 8 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 16 minutes

These fritters are super easy and make a simple side dish or a light meal. I like to make them for an easy lunch. They are golden on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside. The fresh basil is what takes these simple fritters form okay to something you will crave.

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups Corn Kernels
  • 1/2 Cup Chopped Onion
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped Fresh Basil
  • 3/4 Cup White Whole Wheat Flour 
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Egg
  • 3/4 Cup Milk
  • 3 Tablespoons Avocado Oil

Instructions

In a small bowl, heat the corn in the microwave until no longer cool to the touch. It takes about 2 minutes in my microwave for frozen corn. In a medium mixing bowl, mix corn, onion, basil, flour, baking powder and salt. Mix to combine. In a measuring cup, mix the milk and beaten egg. Add the milk mixture to the corn mixture and mix to combine.

Meanwhile, heat the avocado or vegetable oil a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. You want the oil to be very hot. Add 1/3 cup of the batter to the hot oil. If it sizzles you know the oil is hot enough. I like to make 3-4 fritters at a time. Cook on one side for 2-3 minutes. Flip and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Repeat until all the batter is cooked. You may need to add a little more oil to the pan for the second or third batches. Makes 7-8 fritters. Serve immediately.

Notes

You can make these with frozen corn or use the kernels from leftover corn on the cob. Either way, you  will want to warm the corn slightly in the microwave before mixing the batter. The corn does not need to be hot, but you don't want it frozen or super cold.

I have tested the recipe with whole milk and almond milk if you want a diary-free fritter.

I prefer white whole wheat flour but all purpose flour works well.

Dried basil does not work well for these fritters.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 147Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 25mgSodium: 185mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 5g

Nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and may not be completely accurate.

Marie Fiebach is a married mother of four active kids. She helps busy families plan and execute weeknight dinner so they can recapture a little calm in the crazy. You can see her every week on KAKE TV’s Good Morning Kakeland or listen to the Feed Your Family Tonight Podcast.

 

Cheese Corn

This simple side dish is perfect for summer with grilled meats or BBQ. It comes together in minutes and is so yummy! Add cream cheese and a few spices to frozen corn and you have creamy cheesy corn.

Cheese Corn

1 16 oz Bag Frozen Corn

1/2 Cup Water

1/2 teaspoon Coarse Sea Salt

1/2 teaspoon Onion Powder

1/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder

1/4 teaspoon Coarse Black Pepper

4 oz Cream Cheese

Directions

In a medium saucepan, heat frozen corn with 1/2 cup water over high heat. Once the corn is completely heated through, drain off any water.

Add remaining ingredients (sea salt, onion powder, garlic powder, pepper and cream cheese) to the corn and heat over medium heat. Stir well to combine. Once the cream cheese is melted and mixed throughout, serve.

Frozen Veggies You Want To Eat

Frozen veggies are a lifesaver for quick family dinners. You can buy them ahead and keep them in the freezer. They cook quickly and make easy side dishes. But they can be bland and boring. My favorite way to cook frozen veggies is to “steam fry” them. It is a technique I learned years ago from Cook’s Illustrated magazine. You cook the veggies in a covered skillet with oil, butter, water, salt, pepper and lemon zest. Once they are cooked through, you remove the lid and let the water evaporate. Once the water has evaporated you let the veggies brown in the skillet, stir and brown one more minute and serve.

It is so simple. In recent years there has been a trend to barely cook your vegetables. I have found that fully cooking them and then letting them brown greatly improves the flavor and texture of the veggies. I have done this with green beans and broccoli and different kinds of mixed frozen vegetables. Try it the next time you need a quick side dish.

If you want to make these vegan and paleo, simply omit the butter and use 2 Tablespoons of olive oil.

 

Steam-Fried Veggies

1 16oz bag Frozen Vegetables, (Green beans, broccoli, or mixed veggies all work well.)

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

1 Tablespoon Butter (Replace with olive oil for vegan or paleo.)

1 teaspoon Coarse Sea Salt

1/4 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper

Zest of 1 Lemon

1/2 Cup Water

Directions

Place all the ingredients in a 10-12 inch skillet with a lid. The veggies do not need to be thawed. Heat the skillet on high heat and cook for 5 minutes until the vegetables are heated through.

Remove lid and continue to cook on high until the water evaporates. (About 3-5 minutes.)

Do not stir the vegetables and let them brown for another 1-2 minutes. Stir, and brown again 1-2 minutes.

Remove from heat and serve.

Microwave Mexican Rice (With Instant Pot Option)

Do you ever need a quick side dish to go with dinner? This simple rice takes less than 20 minutes and tastes great. You can make it in the microwave, or the Instant Pot for a quick addition to weeknight dinner.

Note- It takes about the same total time to make the rice in both the microwave or the Instant Pot even though the cooking times vary.

Microwave Mexican Rice

2 Cups Long Grain White Rice, rinsed

1 Tablespoon Taco Seasoning (This is my recipe.)

1/2 Cup Tomato Sauce

2 teaspoons Coarse Sea Salt (Use 1 1/2 teaspoons if you substitute table salt.)

2 1/2 Cups Water

Directions

Mix all ingredients in a microwave safe casserole dish with a lid. Put the lid on the dish and microwave on 100% power for 10 minutes. Microwave another 10 minutes at 50% power. Let the rice rest, covered for 5-10 minutes and serve.

For the Instant Pot, mix all ingredients in the Instant Pot. Seal and cook on High Pressure for 2 minutes. Allow for a full natural release. Serve.