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Month: April 2020

SWEET AND TANGY GREEN BEAN BUNDLES

SWEET AND TANGY GREEN BEAN BUNDLES

These bacon-wrapped green bean bundles, brushed with a sweet, balsamic glaze, are a beautiful and elegant side dish that is easy enough for a weeknight dinner. I think that bacon makes everything delicious.  Then add balsamic vinegar to that, and you have a dish that…

On A Time Crunch? These Easy And Healthy Lunches Will Keep You Full Without Weighing Down On Your Schedule

On A Time Crunch? These Easy And Healthy Lunches Will Keep You Full Without Weighing Down On Your Schedule

If you’ve spent up to $30 for a small piece of roasted chicken during your office lunch break, you know the pain. But what else can you do? You are always on a time crunch, and preparing lunch for yourself is never on your to-do-list.…

CLASSIC TUNA MELT

CLASSIC TUNA MELT

This classic tuna melt is so easy to throw together for a weeknight dinner.  It’s perfect in its simplicity – the buttery crunch of the bread, the gooey cheese, and savory tuna filling make for the ultimate comfort food.  You may find yourself craving these in the middle of the night.

A classic tuna melt sandwich with cheese on buttery sourdough bread. A diner style sandwich that is the perfect comfort food.

How many times have you sat in an old fashioned dinner and ordered their tuna melt?  It’s always been a favorite of mine.  They’re consistently good and ridiculously easy.

With all of us in self-isolation, why not bring that diner favorite home?  You probably have all of the items in your pantry and refrigerator.  Bring on the comfort food.

WHAT’S IN A CLASSIC TUNA MELT?

  • It all starts with the tuna.  I like Albacore in water because it tastes light and fresh.  You can use tuna in a pouch or canned in oil.  Use whatever you like or have on hand.
  • Bread.  Again, use what you have on hand.  Sourdough is my choice.  I like the texture of sourdough when its toasted.  I also like the flavor, but Texas toast, rye, whole wheat, or plain old white bread all work well.
  • Cheese.  I think the slices help keep the bread from getting soggy, but you can use shredded in the tuna mixture as well.  Swiss, cheddar, gouda, any cheese works.
  • Pickles.  I like the sweetness of a bread and butter pickle, but a great, sour dill is also amazing.  Not in the mood to chop?  Use a pickle relish – just be sure to drain it a little bit.  You don’t want a watery tuna filling.
  • Mayonnaise.  I am, and always will be, a Helmann’s girl.  However, any mayo will do the trick!
  • Flavorings.  I use grated onion, celery, and pickles.  But use what you have in the fridge or your family loves.  No produce on hand?  Try a ½ teaspoon of onion powder, celery seed, or other herbs to add flavor.

A classic tuna melt sandwich with cheese on buttery sourdough bread. A diner style sandwich that is the perfect comfort food.

Like this recipe?  Here are a few more ‘Diner-Style’ comfort food recipes:

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CLASSIC TUNA MELT


  • Author: Eats By The Beach
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 minutes
  • Total Time: 23 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 1x

Description

This classic tuna melt sandwich is the ultimate comfort food.  Buttery, toasted sourdough bread with a savory filling that has just the right amount of crunch is sure to please your whole family.


Scale

Ingredients

8 slices sourdough bread

2 tablespoons butter 

2 (6-ounce) cans Albacore white tuna, drained well

2 tablespoons grated sweet onion, dried on a paper towel

⅓ cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon minced celery

12 sweet pickles, finely minced and dried on a paper towel

1 tablespoon freshly minced parsley

6 slices cheddar cheese


Instructions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat mat.  Set aside.

Butter one side of each slice of bread.  Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the tuna, onion. Mayonnaise, celery, pickles, and parsley.

Lay 4 slices of bread, buttered side down, on the prepared baking sheet.

Top each slice with 1 ½ slices of cheese.

Spread the tuna mixture over the cheese slices.  

Top with the remaining bread slices, buttered side up.

Bake in the preheated oven for 6 – 8 minutes until the bread is toasted and the cheese is melted.

Serve hot.


  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: classic tuna melt, comfort food, weeknight meal ideas, tuna recipes, sandwich recipes,

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ONE PAN BEEF ENCHILADA SKILLET

ONE PAN BEEF ENCHILADA SKILLET

An easy one-pan meal that uses leftover beef and some of the cans you have stockpiled in your pantry.  Ready in less than 20 minutes, this simple enchilada skillet will be a family favorite. As you can see, this isn’t a pretty dish, but it…

Craving Some Broccoli? Here’s a Creamy Broccoli Salad Recipe That Will Make You Feel Good Inside Out

Craving Some Broccoli? Here’s a Creamy Broccoli Salad Recipe That Will Make You Feel Good Inside Out

If you know of a better way to get your kids to munch on fresh, raw broccoli, enlighten us. We are waiting. Got nothing? Then allow us to brag about this divine beauty: our creamy broccoli salad recipe. It’s an easy-to-make salad that goes well…

BANANA STREUSEL MUFFINS

BANANA STREUSEL MUFFINS

These banana streusel muffins are tender, buttery, full of fresh banana flavor, and topped with a ton of sweet, crunchy streusel topping.  Make them ‘bakery style’ by using a jumbo muffin pan or keep them on the smaller side with a standard pan.

I am trying to use up all of the ingredients that I bought at the beginning of the quarantine.  This would include instant oatmeal packets, flour, butter, sugar, and a lot of bananas. Now I’ve been looking for ways to use up all that’s in my pantry.  Muffins, cookies, pound cakes, etc. have all been on the list of things to make – especially since they freeze beautifully.

Pan of bakery style banana streusel muffins.

When we have visitors, I love making muffin batter the night before and baking them in the morning while everyone’s still asleep.  It makes me happy to see those sleepy faces emerge from the bedrooms enjoying the aromas of banana, vanilla, and cinnamon.

This recipe is a great way to use up some of those plain instant oatmeal packets that come in the variety oatmeal box.  Who wants to eat those? Nobody in my house. But you save them and wonder what to do with them later.

HOW TO FREEZE AND MASH BANANAS

To freeze bananas, I like to peel them and slice them.  Place the banana slices in a ziplock bag and freeze them. 

To mash them, allow the banana slices to thaw.  Dump them into a bowl and mash them with a fork or a potato masher.  I like this method because it leaves a few chunkier pieces.

You can also add the thawed bananas into the bowl of a stand mixer and allow the paddle attachment to mash them.  A blender or food processor will also work but will liquefy them more than hand mashing.

HOW TO FREEZE BANANA STREUSEL MUFFINS

These muffins freeze beautifully.  First, allow them to cool completely.  

Next, wrap the muffins individually in plastic wrap and store in a ziplock bag in the freezer.

When ready to eat, allow the frozen muffin to thaw at room temperature. 
To warm it, wrap lightly in a paper towel and microwave for 20-30 seconds.   It will taste like you just baked it!

Pan of bakery style banana streusel muffins.

For more breakfast pastry ideas, give these Fruit And Nut Oatmeal Scones a try.  They also freeze beautifully and are full of healthy goodness. 

Lemon Vanilla Bean Scones are a sweet treat in the mornings.  As are Classic Zeppole Di San Guiseppe and this Super Moist Lemon Loaf.  

EQUIPMENT USED IN THIS RECIPE

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Pan of bakery style banana streusel muffins.

BANANA STREUSEL MUFFINS


  • Author: admin
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 6 jumbo or 12 standard 1x

Description

These bakery style muffins are the perfect sweet breakfast treats – especially with a crunchy, cinnamon scented streusel topping.


Scale

Ingredients

Muffins:

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup instant oatmeal
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon banana extract
  • 4 large ripe bananas, mashed 

Streusel:

  • 5 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Lightly spray a muffin tin with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, oatmeal, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and brown sugar until creamy and fluffy.  

Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each.

Pour in the milk, vanilla extract, banana extract, and mashed bananas.  Thoroughly mix.

Dump in the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.  Do not over mix. You don’t want tough muffins.

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups.

Make the streusel.

In a shallow bowl, using your fingers, mix together the melted butter, flour, powdered sugar, and cinnamon until small crumbs form.

Sprinkle the crumb topping on top of the muffins.  Lightly press them into the batter and top with a bit more crumb topping.

Bake the muffins in the preheated oven for 5 minutes.  Without removing the pans from the oven, reduce the heat to 350 degrees and continue baking for another 20 minutes for jumbo muffins or 13 minutes for standard muffins.  

The muffins are done when a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean and the crumb topping is turning golden around the edges.

Remove the muffins from the oven and cool in the pan set atop a wire rack for 10 minutes.

Use an offset spatula to gently lift the warm muffins from the pan.

Enjoy warm or allow to cool and store in an airtight container.


  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: bakery style muffins, banana streusel muffins, banana muffins, breakfast sweets, breakfast recipe, brunch recipe

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Want To Give Your Taste buds A Punch Of Good Flavor? These Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream Bars Will Not Disappoint You

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COPYCAT OLD BAY HOT SAUCE & MARYLAND HOT WINGS

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These delicious Maryland Hot wings are made with Old Bay Hotsauce.  They have just enough heat with the savory tang of Old Bay Seasoning. Did you get caught up in the Old Bay Hot Sauce craze?  They released a limited batch of sauce that sold…

EASY TACO MAC & CHEESE

EASY TACO MAC & CHEESE

What do you get when you combine two of the ultimate comfort foods?  This easy taco mac & cheese dish! It’s a perfect kid-friendly lunch or dinner that the adults will love too.

I love comfort foods that have a ton of flavor.  This dish combines the best of both. Savory, spicy taco meat that is mixed into a cheesy, creamy macaroni and cheese screams homey, nurturing, and comforting.

This ultimate comfort food freezes well and you can use leftover taco meat if you have some on hand. It’s also a great way to use up those last bits of pasta that you have in the pantry.  You may need to cook the pasta separately if they are vastly differing sizes.

The Ultimate Comfort Food, cheesy mac and cheese combined with a savory, spicy beef taco meat. Made by EatsByTheBeach.Com

WHAT IS COMFORT FOOD?

The Urban Dictionary defines comfort food as  “Food that gives emotional comfort to the one eating it, these tend to be favorite foods of childhood, or linked to a person, place or time with which the food has a positive association.”

For me, those foods include bowls of pasta, mashed potatoes, anything cheesy, and everything sweet.  My mom was an incredible baker. That probably has something to do with it.

Think about the meals we make and share with our families.  It’s fascinating to think about what will become our children’s comfort food when they are adults.

VARIATIONS TO THIS RECIPE

  • You can use ground turkey or chicken instead of ground beef.
  • Feel free to swap in your own taco seasoning blend.  It’s a great way to control the spices and heat levels
  • this way.
  • Short on time?  Use a box of your family’s favorite mac and cheese.  You can also purchase readymade taco meat as well. Prepare each per the instructions on the package and just stir them together.  

The Ultimate Comfort Food, cheesy mac and cheese combined with a savory, spicy beef taco meat. Made by EatsByTheBeach.Com

EQUIPMENT USED

Looking for a few more comfort food ideas?  Here are a few:

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The Ultimate Comfort Food, cheesy mac and cheese combined with a savory, spicy beef taco meat. Made by EatsByTheBeach.Com

EASY TACO MAC & CHEESE


  • Author: Eats By The Beach
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 - 6 1x

Description

This is the ultimate comfort food.  Who wouldn’t love creamy mac and cheese combined with savory, spicy beef taco meat?  This is a dish your family will ask for over and over.


Scale

Ingredients

For the taco meat:

  • 1 pound very lean ground beef
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • ½ cup water

For the macaroni and cheese:

  • 1 pound elbow macaroni
  • ½ cup butter
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon white pepper
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 8 ounces shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese (grate a block of cheese. Don’t use a pre-shredded bag of cheese – it will feel grainy in your mouth from the anti-caking agent used in packaging.
  • ¼ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

Fill a large pot with salted water.  Use enough salt so that the water tastes like the ocean.  Bring to a full rolling boil.

Stir in the macaroni and cook until al dente, about 7 minutes.

Meanwhile, add the ground beef to a skillet placed over medium heat.  

Saute the ground meat, using your spoon to break up the meat into small pieces.  Cook until no pink remains. Drain off any fat.

Stir in the taco seasoning and water.  Mix till well combined. Reduce the heat to low and allow to simmer until the liquid has evaporated.  Set aside.

In another large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.  Stir in the flour, salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and mustard powder.  Cook, stirring often, for 1-2 minutes.

Use a whisk to incorporate the milk into the flour mixture.  Cook, stirring constantly, for 3-5 minutes until the sauce starts to thicken.  Remove the pot from the heat and whisk in both kinds of cheese until fully melted.

Drain the pasta and add back to the pot.

Spoon the cheese sauce and the taco meat into the pasta pot.  Use a large spoon or spatula to mix the sauce and meat into the pasta.

Taste and adjust for salt and pepper.

Serve hot.


  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American Comfort Food

Keywords: ultimate comfort food, casseroles, casserole recipe, taco mac, mac & cheese, kid-friendly meals

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