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taco soup slow cooker recipe

1 brown the beef with the onions (can be done a day or two ahead): heat the olive oil in a large skillet or sauté pan over medium-high heat. add beef and onions and cook 2 to 3 minutes, until the ground beef is browned but not completely cooked and the onions are starting to look soft around the edges. use your spatula to break up the ground beef into smaller pieces as it cooks. remove from heat and use immediately, or refrigerate for a day or two until needed.2 combine the browned beef, onions and the remaining soup ingredients in a slow cooker and stir. cover and cook on low for 6 to 7 hours. it's fine if the soup cooks a little longer or the slow cooker switches to the "warm" setting.3 serve the soup: serve soup in bowls and top with crushed tortilla chips, sour cream, cilantro, red onion and lime juice.this soup will keep refrigerated for 1 week or frozen for up to 3 months.





black rice bowls with tofu and veggies

1 make the salad dressing: in a blender, finely chop the ginger and garlic.add the water, vinegar, miso, soy sauce, honey, olive oil and sesame oil and blend until smooth. (dressing will keep for at least a week in the refrigerator.)2 bake the tofu: preheat the oven to 475ºf. coat a baking dish or baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. cut the tofu into 1-inch cubes and thoroughly pat dry with paper towels.place the tofu in a bowl and add 3 tablespoons of the miso dressing. toss to coat and transfer to the baking dish. bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown. toss with the scallions and an additional 2 tablespoons of the miso dressing. set aside.the tofu can be baked up to three days ahead; wait to toss with scallions and the additional miso dressing until ready to serve.3 cook the rice: in a large saucepan over high heat, bring 6 cups of salted water to a boil. add the rice and cook for 25 to 30 minutes, or until tender (taste a few grains to test). drain in a fine meshed sieve and transfer to a bowl until ready to use. (the rice will keep for about a week in the refrigerator.)4 make the pickle brine: in a bowl, stir together the vinegar,1 teaspoon of the salt and sugar until the salt and sugar dissolve. stir in the water.5 make the cauliflower pickles: place the cauliflower in a bowl and cover with 1 cup of the pickle brine. let sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes. (store in the brine, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.)6 make the smashed c...





9 meals to double and freeze

with a mix of ground beef, pork, sausage, carrots, onions, celery and garlic, there’s plenty of flavor in this traditional dish. get out a bigger bowl for the mixing and a second loaf pan to bake the extra, and you’ve got two dinners ready in the time it takes you to set the table and prepare a tossed green salad.





skillet pork chops with cabbage recipe

1 heat the oven to 400°f.2 sear the pork chops: sprinkle the pork all over with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper. heat a 10-inch oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat for 1 minute. add 2 tablespoons of the oil and when it is hot, add the pork chops in one layer.sear for 3 minutes without disturbing. turn and cook 2 minutes more. transfer to a plate or bowl.3 cook the cabbage: add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the pan over medium heat. add the onion, garlic, and cabbage, along with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. cook for about 3 minutes, stirring until the cabbage is completely coated with oil.continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. add the apples, caraway seeds (if using), and 2 tablespoons of the parsley. cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes more, or until the cabbage is very tender and wilted.4 finish cooking the pork chops: set the pork chops on the cabbage and tip any juices from the bowl into the pan with the cabbage.transfer to the oven. cook the pork for 10 to 15 minutes, without turning the chops, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat registers at least 145°f. exact cooking time will depend on the thickness of your pork chops.5 serve: carefully remove the skillet from the oven (the handle will be very hot). let the meat and cabbage sit for 5 minutes. sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon parsley. serve immediately.





fettuccine alfredo with mushrooms recipe

1 cook the mushrooms: melt the butter in a deep sauté pan over medium heat. add the mushrooms and cook for 6 to 8 minutes until they have released their liquid and become tender. season with salt and pepper (give one a taste!).2 add the flour: add the flour to the pot and stir it in to coat the mushrooms. the flour will form a paste on the mushrooms and the pan will look quite dry. cook for a minute and turn heat down to low.3 make the sauce: slowly add the milk while stirring; the flour will dissolve in the milk. if any lumps of flour form, break them up against the side of the pan with the back of your spoon. simmer for 1 to 2 minutes until the sauce has thickened slightly, and then add parmesan cheese.lower the heat, cover, and keep warm until ready to serve, up to 10 minutes. if the sauce thickens too much before you’re ready to serve, add a splash of milk to thin it out again.4 make the pasta: bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil and cook the pasta until al dente. drain and set aside.5 serve: divide the pasta between plates and top with a generous serving of the sauce. garnish with fresh parsley and serve.





skillet pork chops with cabbage recipe

1 heat the oven to 400°f.2 sear the pork chops: sprinkle the pork all over with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper. heat a 10-inch oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat for 1 minute. add 2 tablespoons of the oil and when it is hot, add the pork chops in one layer.sear for 3 minutes without disturbing. turn and cook 2 minutes more. transfer to a plate or bowl.3 cook the cabbage: add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the pan over medium heat. add the onion, garlic, and cabbage, along with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. cook for about 3 minutes, stirring until the cabbage is completely coated with oil.continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. add the apples, caraway seeds (if using), and 2 tablespoons of the parsley. cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes more, or until the cabbage is very tender and wilted.4 finish cooking the pork chops: set the pork chops on the cabbage and tip any juices from the bowl into the pan with the cabbage.to the oven. cook the pork for 10 minutes, without turning the chops, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat registers at least 145°f.5 serve: carefully remove the skillet from the oven (the handle will be very hot). let the meat and cabbage sit for 5 minutes. sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon parsley. serve immediately.





meal plan for february week 3

i don’t know about you, but we had a lot of valentine’s treats around the house last week, so i’m excited about jumping into the kitchen to get some real food back on the table!for this week’s meal plan, there’s quite a bit you can tackle over the weekend to make your dinners during the week a little easier.make the chicken mulligatawny soup when you have a free moment over the weekend and you won’t have to give a thought to monday’s dinner. it will keep in the fridge for several days and reheats well.likewise, the turkey meatballs are easy to make in advance. you can even freeze them — just put them in the refrigerator to thaw the night before you plan to eat them.we’ve also got a quick sheet-pan supper and some easy pressure cooker tacos in the mix, plus a simple sandwich that will remind you of summer.we can do this! here’s the plan:





how to make a hot toddy {chamomile-honey}

what is a hot toddy?children who are having trouble falling to sleep are often prescribed a glass of warm milk to help them nod off. their parents, having spent the night cajoling, ordering and begging their children to go to bed, may need something a bit stronger.enter this chamomile hot toddy. it’s a drink of whiskey, honey, and lemon mixed with chamomile tea to help you doze off in no time.how to make a hot toddysince the toddy is supposedly irish in origin, purists insist that only irish whiskey be used in the drink.however, as the recipe became popular outside ireland, spreading throughout europe and north america, so did its boozy variations.i say, use what you have in your liquor cabinet and most enjoy! brandy, bourbon, and rum can all be used used in place of whiskey and make a delicious hot toddy.also, while certainly not traditional, i find the addition of chamomile tea really transforms this soothing, but otherwise ho-hum drink into a truly fantastic cocktail. the floral notes of the tea bring out the sweeter, spicier notes of the spirits and give the drink a more captivating flavor.other warming drinks to try!this post has been updated. originally published december 2016.





how to make shrimp and grits

1 sauté bacon, render fat: fry the bacon in a large sauté pan on medium heat until crispy. remove the bacon and chop. pour off all but about 3 tablespoons of the fat. turn off the heat.2 boil the grits: bring the water to a boil in a medium pot. add the salt. slowly pour the grits into the boiling water while you stir with a wooden spoon. stir and pour gradually so you don't get any lumps. when all the grits are incorporated, turn the heat down to a low simmer and cook the grits, stirring often, for 35 minutes.3 chop the shrimp: reserve about 1/3 of the shrimp whole and cut the rest into 3-4 pieces each. set aside.4 sauté onions, peppers, bacon, garlic, shrimp: when the grits have cooked for 30 minutes, heat the sauté pan on medium high. when the bacon fat is hot, sauté the onion and green pepper over medium-high heat until soft, about 4 minutes.add the bacon, garlic cloves and shrimp and toss to combine. let this cook another minute.5 add stock, let boil to reduce: add the chicken stock and let this boil down for 5 minutes.6 add cheese and butter to grits: meanwhile, stir the cheddar cheese and butter into the grits. the dish might not need any more salt, but add some if you'd like.7 serve: to serve, spoon out some grits in individual bowls. add to the shrimp the green onions, parsley and lemon juice to taste. add salt if it needs it. spoon some shrimp over the grits and make sure at least one whole shrimp is on everyone's plate. serve at once.





fudgy gluten-free brownies recipe | simplyrecipes.com

1 heat the oven to 350°f and prepare the pan: line an 8×8 square baking pan with parchment paper, and grease the parchment paper and pan with a little coconut oil.2 prepare the flax "egg": combine the flax with 8 tablespoons of water in a small bowl. let stand for 7 to 10 minutes to thicken. (this will be used as an egg replacer in this recipe.)3 whisk dry ingredients: in a small mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.4 melt the coconut oil and chocolate: in a small saucepan over low heat, warm the coconut oil and chopped chocolate, stirring until the chocolate is completely melted, about 2 minutes.5 add the sugar and vanilla: whisk the sugar and vanilla into the chocolate mixture, stirring vigorously until combined. the mixture will be a little grainy at this point, which is perfectly okay.6 make the batter: pour the chocolate mixture into a large mixing bowl, scraping everything from the pan. fold in the flax eggs.add the dry ingredients and stir well with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until well combined. the batter will be quite thick and will gather into a ball—it won’t be loose and thin like many traditional brownie batters.7 scoop the batter into the prepared pan, and use a rubber spatula or the palm of your hand to press it into the pan in an even layer.8 bake the brownies for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the edges are set and no longer jiggly. the tops of the brownies will still feel very soft and may even be bubbling a ...





fudgy gluten-free brownies recipe | simplyrecipes.com

we have a lot of friends on a variety of restrictive diets right now, and as someone who loves to entertain, i wanted to make sure i had a treat that everyone could eat. but first and foremost, it had to be something everyone would actually want to eat.i began scheming up a super fudgy, no-frills brownie that could be gluten-free, egg-free, and dairy-free — and still leave us all reaching for more. mission accomplished.use coconut oil instead of butterfirst, i like using coconut oil when baking with chocolate because the flavors compliment each other so well, but you could use any oil you’d like here: a neutral-flavored oil like canola or safflower oil would be just fine. the coconut oil, however, isn’t terribly pronounced.use “flax eggs” as an egg replacersecond, a “flax egg” gives you the benefit of eggs in baked goods—acting as an emulsifier and helping give your baked good some structure—without actually using an egg. it’s a great go-to for much of the vegan baking i do at home.if flax eggs are new to you, never fear: simply stir together 1 tablespoon of flax meal and 1 1/2 tablespoons of water. don’t worry. there won’t be any overly earthy flavors or oils imparted to your baked goods; it’s likely no one will ever know you used a substitute!use a gluten-free flour with xanthan gumin this recipe, i use a gluten-free flour blend that contains xanthan gum (i prefer bob’s red mill 1:1 gluten free baking flour blend). the xanthan gum acts as a bi...





what’s in season in february

welcome to month 2 of our monthly seasonal produce guide! when february arrives we are still in the thick of winter, but with hints of a spring soon to come. you can find almost all of the produce of january, like winter squash, cabbages, and citrus, but with some new additions like leeks, fennel bulbs, and baby arugula. continue reading "what’s in season in february" »





10 best side dishes to serve with steak

steak and potatoes are often paired together for a reason—it’s a delicious and mouthwatering combination. we’ve got you covered where that’s concerned, no worries. but there’s also this whole world of other side dishes available to you, some of which we think will make you rethink the concept of a traditional steak dinner. continue reading "10 best side dishes to serve with steak" »





broccoli cheddar soup recipe | simplyrecipes.com

1 blanch the broccoli: bring a large pot of water to a boil and add a few big pinches of salt. add broccoli stalks and blanch for 2 to 3 minutes until they are bright green and fork tender, but still slightly crispy.drain broccoli. scoop out and set aside about 1 cup of the florets for the topping.2 cook the onions and carrots: wipe out the pot, place over medium heat, and melt the butter. once melted, add the onions and carrots, and cook until veggies soften, 4 to 5 minutes, stirring regularly.3 cook the soup: stir in the all-purpose flour. the flour will form a paste with the veggies. cook for a minute or two to coat the vegetables, and then start to slowly pour in vegetable stock. stir constantly as you pour in the stock to avoid lumps.once all the stock is added, bring soup up to a low simmer. add milk and the blanched broccoli (except what you're saving for the topping). simmer for about 10 minutes over low heat.4 puree the soup: blend with an immersion blender, or let the soup cool until no longer steaming and blend in batches in a blender. (if using a blender, be careful to let the soup cool a bit and do not overfill the blender to avoid splattered hot soup!)5 season to taste and serve: add the grated cheese, salt, and pepper to the pureed soup and stir over low heat until the cheese has melted. taste soup and season with additional salt and pepper to your liking.ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with some reserved broccoli and extra cheese on top. serve with bread.





how to make chocolate covered strawberries

1 rinse and dry the strawberries, making sure the berries are fully dry as water will cause chocolate to seize up.2 melt the white chocolate in a double boiler or microwave. follow the melting directions on the package.3 dip the strawberry in the white chocolate, holding onto the stem or the "shoulders" of the strawberry. give it a quick little twist and shake with your fingers to shake off the excess and then point it at the ceiling for a second or two to ensure that the chocolate adheres.place on a piece of wax paper to let dry.4 dip berries in melted dark chocolate: melt the dark chocolate according to the instructions on the package. dip the strawberry in at a 45 degree angle from both sides to make the "jacket". let the excess drip off. place on wax paper to dry.5 pipe dark chocolate buttons and bow ties: place some melted dark chocolate into a piping bag with a very small tip, or in a ziplock bag with the little corner snipped off and pipe on buttons and bow tie.6 dry and cool: allow to dry and cool. (if drying seems to go too slowly, place them in the refrigerator for about 15 to 20 minutes.)best eaten the day they are made.





roast chicken on angel hair pasta recipe

1 cook the angel hair: bring a pot of salted water to a rapid boil over high heat and cook the angel hair until al dente, about 4 minutes. drain the pasta.2 transfer the pasta to the baking dish: use 1 tablespoon of olive oil to coat the bottom and sides of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. using tongs, transfer the pasta to the baking dish. if you like, twirl the pasta into several small "nests" within the dish. drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil evenly over top of the pasta and set the dish aside.3 heat the oven to 400°f.4 cook the tomatoes: warm 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. add the tomatoes and their juices, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, red pepper, and 1 tablespoon of the oregano.cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes. spoon the tomato mixture evenly over the nests; they will not be covered completely.5 add the chicken: rub the chicken skin with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.set the chicken on the nests, skin side up. sprinkle with the remaining tablespoon of oregano.6 roast the chicken: transfer the dish to the oven and roast the chicken for 45 to 60 minutes, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a breasts and thighs registers 165°f. remove from the oven and rest for 10 minutes.7 cut and serve the chicken: cut the legs in half to make 2 thighs and 2 drumsticks (you can do this right in the dish). cut the b...





10 best side dishes to serve with steak

steak and potatoes are often paired together for a reason—it’s a delicious and mouthwatering combination. we’ve got you covered where that’s concerned, no worries.but there’s also this whole world of other side dishes available to you, some of which we think will make you rethink the concept of a traditional steak dinner.





meal plan for february week 2

this month, megan gordon is here to give us a look at what meal planning looks like for her family! megan is a writer and recipe developer living in seattle, wa, the author of whole grain mornings, and mom to a 2-year-old. please welcome megan!if you’re anything like me, you may find yourself falling into a rut of repetitive cooking in the weeks (and even months) after the holiday season.right now, i’m burned out from hosting, and i’m feeling uninspired by the cabbage and brussels sprouts at the store (any fresh fruits and produce are pretty limited here in seattle). it’s been all too easy to fall back on easy family favorites and stay in our cooking comfort zone.there’s nothing necessarily wrong with this, of course! but i am always trying to get our son to try new foods so he’ll remain interested in new flavors and tastes.so this week, we’re really aiming to break out of our weekend quesadilla rut. i’m planning on making a handful of super colorful weeknight meals that our kiddo will (hopefully) like to eat, but that also remain easy to tackle so dinner prep doesn’t cut into our evening family time.here’s the plan!1 minestrone soup: this comforting, super versatile soup is a great way to entice kids to eat their vegetables, and the protein from the beans is an added bonus. i use canned beans to speed up the recipe, and top with a generous spoonful (or two) of parmesan.serve with crusty bread on the side and dinner is done.2 chicken fajitas: sure to pl...





chocolate chip pancakes with raspberry sauce recipe

weekend breakfasts are a big deal around our house. we don’t get too crazy or complicated, but we do like to slow down and hang out in our pajamas a little longer than usual—especially around a stack of pancakes. after a week of oatmeal or smoothies consumed on the way out the door (or at the desk), pancakes always feel extra special.today’s pancakes feel particularly indulgent thanks to a handful of mini chocolate chips thrown into the batter and a sweet-tangy raspberry syrup to top it all off. i like the way mini chips disperse more evenly throughout the batter, giving you a better chip-to-pancake ratio in every bite, but regular chips will also work. feel free to use what you have on hand or like best.the easy syrup is made with just frozen raspberries, sugar, and water. it maintains some of that bright zing from the raspberries while still being just sweet enough. it makes a great topping for these fluffy chocolate chip pancakes. make these pancakes on a lazy weekend morning, or even for a special valentine’s day breakfast!bonus tip!these pancakes freeze beautifully! arrange them in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze them until solid. pop the frozen pancakes into a zip-top bag and store in the freezer for up to a month. to reheat, microwave them in 30-second bursts until just hot (don’t microwave for longer or the pancakes become tough), and drizzle with leftover raspberry syrup or maple syrup.





how to make crème brûlée

at first glance, creme brulee seems simple: it has a short ingredient list and can be made in a few steps.beneath the surface, however, there’s a lot happening! understanding the techniques needed to create creme brulee will help make your next batch a success.what is crème brûlée?at its most basic, creme brulee is a creamy, pudding-like, baked custard with a brittle top of melted sugar that cracks when you gently tap it with a spoon. the custard is made with heavy cream, eggs, sugar, and vanilla. the melted sugar crust will be slightly warm or room temperature when served, but the custard below should be cold.you can dress up a batch of creme brulee by adding caramel or fruit on the bottom, but the classic version is plain vanilla.part of the joy of eating creme brulee is a study in contrast: you use the edge of your spoon to gently crack the hard sugar surface, in order to expose the creamy custard beneath. you’ll get a little crunchy topping and custard in each bite.how to make crème brûlée, in a nutshellbefore we dive into the details, here’s the basic outline of how to make creme brulee:make the custard: warm the cream, sugar and a vanilla bean in a saucepan. in a bowl, whisk together yolks and some additional sugar. slowly whisk the warm cream into the yolks, and remove the vanilla bean. this is your custard and the base for the creme brulee.bake the custard: divide this custard mixture between several ramekins, place in a hot water bath, and bake until the ...