Chipotle Beef Tostadas

Happy Valentines Day!  I hope you are spending the day celebrating with loved ones and eating just a little too much chocolate.  This is a quick and spicy recipe to put some real food in your belly before you unwrap one more chocolate kiss.

This recipe is from Food Network Magazine, June 2012.

No substitutions were made.

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Chipotle Beef Tostadas

2 tblsp vegetable oil
1 lb ground beef chuck
1 large white onion, minced
kosher salt
1 to 1 1/2 tsp chipotle chile powder
1 10 oz can Mexican-style diced tomatoes with green chiles
1 15 oz can pinto beans, drained
1 med zucchini or yellow squash, diced
2 c coleslaw mix or shredded cabbage
freshly ground pepper
8 tostada (flat crisp tortillas) or taco shells
1 1/2 c shredded cheddar cheese

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Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over med-high heat.  Add the ground beef, half of the minced onion, 1 tsp salt and the chipotle chile powder; cook, stirring and breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until the meat is browned and the onion is tender, about 7 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, beans and zucchini and cook, stirring occasionally, until the zucchini is just tender, about 6 minutes.

Meanwhile, toss the coleslaw mix, lime juice, salt and pepper to taste in a bowl.

Divide the tostadas among plates and spoon the beef mixture on top.  Top with cheese, slaw and remaining minced onion.  Serve with lime wedges.

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cartoon-strawberry-9I used a heaping tsp of the chipotle chile powder, and it was plenty spicy for us.  It just depends on how spicy you’d like you’re mixture to be.  This is great quick  recipe for a weeknight meal.

Bavarian Cranberry Apple Torte

Sometimes I get to spoil my friends and make really fun desserts.  Husband and I had a dessert date with another couple, and I wanted to try something different and fun, who knew In Style mag would be the one to deliver the right recipe?

This recipe is from In Style, November 2011.

No substitutions were made.

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Bavarian Cranberry Apple Torte

Crust:
1 c unsalted butter
2/3 c sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 c all-purpose flour
1/2 c raspberry jam

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Cream butter, sugar and vanilla. Blend in flour to form a ball.
Press dough onto bottom and about 2 inches up the sides of a 9-inch spingform pan.
Spread with a thin latyer of raspberry jam.
Refrigerate crust while preparing filling.

Filling:
16 oz. cream cheese
1/2 c sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract

Combine cream cheese and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla; mix well.
Pour over jam-covered crust.

Topping:
4 c peeled, cored, and sliced apples
1/2 c dried cranberries
1/3 c sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 c sliced almonds

Toss apples and cranberries with sugar and cinnamon; spoon over cream cheese later and sprinkle with almonds.

Bake torte at 450 for 10 minutes; with torte still in the oven, lower heat to 400 degrees and bake for 40 additional minutes.  Chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour to firm up filling.  Use a thin knife to carefully loosen torte from sides of pan and remove.  Transfer to a serving plat and enjoy!

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cartoon-strawberry-9I can not wait to make this again.  I’m thinking of changing the apple mixture to fresh berries with pecans.  I didn’t press out the crust enough in the crease, so it was a bit hard to cut through, but, OH THE CRUST!  It’s a giant shortbread cookie.  Then layer on the raspberry jam, the cream cheese filling and the tart apples?  HEAVEN.  Do yourself a favor and make this ASAP.  Maybe even for your sweetie on Valentines!

Cranberry Oatmeal Bars

Do you guys always have dried cranberries on hand?  I do.  I put them into my chicken salad; toss them in for a little sweetness in a green salad; or sometimes just a sweet afternoon snack.

This recipe is from Cooking Light, November 2008.

No substitutions were made.

Cranberry Oatmeal Bars 1

Cranberry-Oatmeal Bars

Crust:
4.5 oz all-purpose flour (about 1 c)
1 c quick-cooking oats
1/2 c packed brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
6 tblsp butter, melted
3 tblsp orange juice
cooking spray

Filling:
1 1/3 c dried cranberries (about 6 oz)
3/4 c sour cream
1/2 c granulated sugar
2 tblsp all-purpose flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp grated orange rind
1 large egg white, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

To prepare crust, weigh or lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife.  Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (through cinnamon) in a medium bowl, stirring well with a whisk.  Drizzle butter and juice over flour mixture, stirring until moistened (mixture will be crumbly).  Reserve 1/2 c oat mixture.  Press remaining oat mixture into the bottom of an 11×7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.  – I used a 9 inch square baking dish.

To prepare filling, combine ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring well.  Spread cranberry mixture over prepared crust; sprinkle reserved oat mixture evenly over filling.  Bake at 325 for 40 minutes or until edges are golden.  Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.

Cranberry Oatmeal Bars 2

cartoon-strawberry-9I’m not a fan of sour cream, so I wasn’t so sure how this one would turn out.  BUT I’m trying to not be prejudiced towards ingredients, so I decided to give it a go.  SO GOOD, and completely unexpected.  We enjoyed these with friends and coffee in front of the fire on a chilly winter night.