Quick one pot dinners are some of my faves. My husband’s too since he does the dishes. Ha ha! Basically, any noodle bowls are a hit with my family and I love them because they are usually quick, easy, and they are a great way to get an assortment of veggies into the mix. This recipe takes less than 30 minutes to make and it is so versatile. You can swap out the beef for shrimp or chicken and you can really use any veggies you want. I also recommend snow peas, bell peppers, zucchini, and mini corn as great options. The sauce has lots of great flavors that the noodles, meat, and veggies all take on. Just the perfect balance of sweet, salty, and spicy. We also like to serve this with a side of egg rolls or pot stickers to get that whole “take out” vibe.
I follow a LOT of foodies on social media and over the last year I have seen this trend of people posting photos of these delicious looking meat and cheese filled tacos served up with a dish of red sauce for dipping. This delicious looking meal is called birria or quesabirria tacos and now it seems like you see them everywhere! I scoped out some of our local Mexican restaurants and could not find anywhere that had birria tacos on the menu, but I had to have them! Sooooo… to Pinterest I went!
I found quite a few recipes out there and of course every one of them was different, but none of them had me sold. Being who I am, I picked and pulled elements from several different recipes and came up with my own recipe.
I was absolutely thrilled with how these tacos turned out. The meat was flavorful and juicy and the broth was so rich and just the right amount of spicy. I served my husband, son, and I each up with three tacos to start with but we kept going back to the grill for another one, and another one, and another one until we were about to pop. These seriously lived up to all the hype. I can honestly say, these were not only the best tacos I have ever made, but also the best tacos I have ever eaten!
Note: These are relatively easy to make but time consuming since you slow cook the meat on the stovetop. It is the perfect recipe to make on a rainy Sunday while you watch some football and just want to indulge in some good food.
BIRRIA INGREDIENTS 3 lbs short ribs (bone in) 1 large white onion skin removed, halved and cut into 1/2″ thick slices 1 garlic bulb with skin on, top cut off 2 carrots, cut into quarters 5 bay leaves 8 dried guajillo chiles, stems cut off and seeds removed 3 chicken bouillon cubes 2 tsp chili powder 1 tsp oregano 1 tsp ground cumin 1 tsp salt
TACO INGREDIENTS corn tortillas jack cheese, shredded white onion, chopped cilantro, chopped cotija cheese, crumbled
In a large pot add meat, onion, garlic, carrots, bay leaves, and dried peppers and cover with water.
Add the chicken bouillon, oregano, cumin, and salt.
Bring the pot to a boil over medium high heat.
After 30 minutes of cooking, skim any foam off the top of the water.
Remove the peppers, onions, and carrots and place them in a blender.
Squeeze the garlic cloves from the bulb into the blender and add 1 cup of the liquid from the pot.
Puree the ingredients in the blender until smooth.
Pour the vegetable puree back into the pot.
Add the lid to the pot and simmer over medium-low heat for 3 hours stirring every 30 minutes or so.
Transfer the meat and bones to a large cutting board.
Remove the meat from the bones and discard the bones.
Using two large forks, shred the meat and set aside.
Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium heat.
Dip a corn tortilla into the broth left in the pot and place the tortilla on the griddle.
Top the tortilla with jack cheese, chopped meat, diced white onion, and some cilantro.
Fold the taco in half and press down with the back of a spatula.
Continue cooking until the tortilla is golden and cheese is melted, about 2–3 minutes.
Flip the taco and continue cooking the other side.
Transfer the tacos to a plate or serving dish as you finish them.
Garnish the finished tacos with cilantro and crumbled cotija cheese.
Ladle some of the broth into a ramekin and top with fresh onions and more cilantro and serve with the tacos.
Dip the tacos into the broth and enjoy each and every sauce-soaked cheesy bite.
If your mouth isn’t watering just looking at this pic, then you must be dead. And if you are doing everything you can to keep from drooling on your keyboard or phone, then please, give this recipe a try. You will have no regrets. Absolutely calorie worthy.
This is actually a copycat version of the Loaded Korean BBQ Beef Fries from my favorite local food truck, Turnt Up Tacos and Tortas. The first time I had them, I was HOOOOOOKED!
I start off with a base of thin crispy fries and cover them in finely shredded jack cheese and then pile on a mound of my sweet and spicy Korean Beef and then top that with a cabbage and carrot-based coleslaw made with a creamy sesame ginger sauce and then don’t forget about that spicy sriracha drizzled over the top to give it a kick. The flavors are so freaking good, I tell ya! Mmmmm… mmmmm… mmmmmmmmm!
I have actually started serving this as a meal in my house with each person getting their own plate of loaded fries (yes, loaded fries as a meal, it even has most of the food groups) but you could absolutely make one big pile of loaded fries and share them with friends as an appetizer or shared plate.
Note: The sesame oil and ginger paste go in both the Korean beef as well as the creamy sesame ginger sauce so pay close attention when preparing.
bag of frozen french fries
1 lb ground beef
1/2 c brown sugar
1/4 c soy sauce
1 tbsp & 1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp garlic, minced
1 tsp ginger paste, divided
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
salt and pepper
3 c green cabbage, shredded
1/2 c carrots, shredded
1/2 c mayonnaise
1 tsp white sugar
1/4 c milk
2 c jack cheese, shredded
2 green onions, chopped
Bake or fry the French fries according to the package directions.
While the fries are baking, cook the ground beef over medium high heat breaking it apart as it cooks.
Once the beef is cooked through, drain off most of the fat.
Add in the brown sugar, soy sauce, garlic, 1 tablespoon of the sesame oil, 1/2 teaspoon of the ginger paste, red peppers, salt, and pepper.
Simmer over medium heat for a 4–5 minutes stirring occasionally.
While the beef is cooking, put the cabbage and carrots in a medium bowl and set aside.
In a small bowl whisk together the mayonnaise, white sugar, 1 teaspoon of sesame oil, the other 1/2 teaspoon of ginger paste, and the milk to make the creamy sesame ginger sauce.
Toss about 3/4 of the creamy sesame ginger sauce with the cabbage and carrots and set aside the rest to drizzle over the top.
When the fries are done transfer them to the plates.
Top each pile of fries with the jack cheese, cooked Korean beef, and the coleslaw.
Drizzle the remaining creamy sesame ginger sauce and sriracha sauce over the top.
Sprinkle with sesame seeds and finish off with green onions.
Yee haw! It is time to round up the family for another installment of Family Theme Night. This week I am giving you all the deets you need to throw together a Country Hoedown for the family. Until I sat down and started planning out our own menu for a western themed feast, I had NO idea how many recipes I actually had on my blog that leant themselves to this theme. A western theme is always a great reason to fire up the BBQ but if you are not the grilling type, or you want something that can be done in the kitchen, don’t worry! I still have so many great recipes for you to try. Just check out the fabulous list I compiled for you below.
For our western night we had fun doing target practice with Nerf guns and playing cards. We sipped on good ol’ fashioned root beer and drank Knock You Off Your Saddle Lemonade (recipe coming soon!) from mason jars. I danced to country music in my kitchen while cooking my Jalapeño Popper Mac N’ Cheese in a cast iron skillet and served it up in a metal pie dish with some of my homemade chili, corn on the cob, and ribs. And then of course finished it off with some cherry pie, because why not. I am still working that meal off but it was so worth it!
If you do participate in any of the theme nights please be sure to post your pics and tag me on Instagram @DivaDiCucina and use the hashtag #DivasThemeNight. I would love to see how you and your family incorporate any of the themes and put your own twist on them. Please also share any other ideas you have or links to other country or western themed recipes you enjoy in the comments below.
I hope you have as much fun with this as my family and I!
Click on the name of the food item below to be directed to a page with that recipe. Please note some of these link to recipes shared by other awesome food bloggers which will redirect you to their sites.
I don’t know about you, but my family is going through some serious baseball withdrawals right now. In early April we were supposed to be in LA celebrating my husband’s birthday and cheering on our boys in blue down in Dodger Stadium. This time of year, I am supposed to be carting my kid around to late night baseball practices and be spending my weekends in the bleachers cheering him on. But we are obviously not, and we are trying our best to be okay with that. It is in everyone’s best interest that we are instead, safe at home. So why not make the best of it and satisfy those ball park cravings from the comfort of our own home.
For the second installment of Family Theme Night we went with a “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” theme and I’m not gonna lie, it was a pretty fantastic way to spend Friday. The best part of all, it was simple and cheap. You do not have to spend a fortune and spend hours prepping to incorporate a family theme night into your week.
We had some popcorn, lemonade, a hot dog bar, and watched Little Big League while sitting in lawn chairs in our living room. It was anything but fancy but my guys LOVED it! It was the perfect ending to another week in quarantine.
If you do participate in any of the theme nights please be sure to post your pics and tag me on Instagram @DivaDiCucina and use the hashtag #DivasThemeNight. I would love to see how you and your family incorporate any of the themes and put your own twist on them. Please also share any other ideas you have or links to other baseball themed recipes you enjoy in the comments below.
I hope you have as much fun with this as my family and I!
FOOD IDEAS Click on the name of the food item below to be directed to a page with that recipe. Please note some of these link to recipes shared by other awesome food bloggers which will redirect you to their sites.
The first time I actually made this recipe was Christmas Eve. Some of you might be thinking, who makes a crock-pot meal on Christmas Eve? The answer is, this lady! Why is it that people feel the need to spend half the day in the kitchen and half their paychecks on holiday dinners? You can have an amazing meal with minimal time in the kitchen and by spending less than $25. Thennnnnnn you can use that money you saved on groceries and buy some nice red wine that will compliment this dinner perfectly.
That Christmas Eve I just wanted to be able to fully relax and enjoy the day with my family. I didn’t want to be in the kitchen for most of the day slaving over the oven. And guess what, this dinner was just as good as many of the dinners I spent the entire day making. And best of all, my family loved it!
The meat had so much flavor and was so juicy! The sauce is a very mild tomato-based sauce that goes so fabulously with the parmesan risotto. This is probably in the top 5 recipes I have ever made. It is so filling and hearty. A perfect comfort meal for the cooler weather. I love that this recipe is “fancy” enough for a special occasion or a holiday but is quick and easy enough that you can pull it off on a Thursday night after a long day of work. Literally an all occasion dinner.
POT ROAST INGREDIENTS
3 lb beef chuck roast
1 tbsp dried minced onion
2 tbsp garlic, minced
1 (.6 oz) package au jus mix
1 (.7 oz) package dried Italian salad dressing mix
2 tsp black pepper
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1 1/2 c tomato juice (like V8)
3 tsp olive oil
1 lb arborio rice
6 c chicken broth, room temperature
1 c parmesan cheese
1 tsp onion powder
Last weekend I hosted a wine tasting party, which is so much fun by the way! Each person brought an appetizer and a bottle of wine so it was minimal preparation required on my part and didn’t break the bank. Thanks to all my amazing friends that came if you are reading this! It was such a blast! We had a total of 13 bottles of wine and an amazing spread of food.
Since I was holding the party around dinner time I knew I needed an appetizer that was hearty and filling. Steak came to mind since it would pair so nicely with a good hearty red blend. These appetizers may look very simple but the flavors were so amazing. The goat cheese is whipped together with cream cheese, olive oil, and red pepper so it is creamy and smooth with a mild kick. I was able to prepare everything earlier in the day and then assemble right before anyone arrived. And let me tell you, they were pretty darn popular among the ladies.
Note: These can be served hot or cold. I served them cold for the sake of convenience. I was able to do all the prep in the morning, stored the cooked steak and goat cheese spread in the fridge, and put the toasted crostini in an unsealed Ziploc bag. I then assembled them right before the party.
1 baguette, cut into 1/4 slices
10–12 ounce New York strip steak
4 oz goat cheese, softened
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
salt & pepper
1/2 c pesto
Preheat the oven to 425º.
Place the baguette slices on a parchment paper lined baking sheets.
Brush each slice with olive oil and season with a light sprinkle of salt. Flip each slice over and repeat.
Toast the baguette slices for 12–15 minutes or until they are a nice golden brown.
While the baguette slices are toasting, season both sides of the steak with salt, pepper, a sprinkle of chili powder, and garlic powder.
Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat and add the steak.
Cook the steak for 4–6 minutes, flip, and continue to cook for an additional 4–6 minutes.
Remove the steak from the pan and allow it to sit for 10 minutes.
While the steak is resting, use a hand mixer to whip together the goat cheese, cream cheese, red pepper flakes, and two tablespoons of olive oil.
Thinly slice the steak and set aside.
To assemble, spread about one teaspoon of the whipped goat cheese on a slice of toasted bread, top with a slice of steak, and a dollop of pesto.
I don’t know why I am so late to the game but I recently discovered a love of ramen. Not just the generic pack of dry noodles, but meat and veggie packed delicious ramen. It’s like Top Ramen on flavor packed steroids. I have a couple different recipes that I have been trying out but this one is the most recent one I have come to enjoy. It takes a bit of time to prep in the morning, but then it comes together in about 15 minutes when you get around to cooking it all up. Perfect for all those with busy lives who want a fast and tasty quality meal. By the way, you won’t believe how amazing the marinade smells. I think my mouth was watering the entire time I was making this recipe. Heck, my mouth is watering just writing about it.
Note: I made this recipe using new york steaks and it yielded a very tender meat. You can certainly use a one-pound flank steak for a more budget friendly recipe. If you are short on time in the morning (I mean who isn’t), you can prepare the marinade and slice the meat the night before keeping them separate and then add them to the ziploc bag in the morning. Just don’t marinade the meat overnight.
1/4 c vegetable oil
3 tsp garlic, minced
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/4 c honey
1/2 c soy sauce
1 tbsp parsley (dried or fresh with both work
2 new york steaks, fat trimmed
3 tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp sesame oil
1/4 c brown sugar
1/2 tsp grated ginger
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 c beef broth
1/4 c worcestershire sauce
3 c broccoli florets, chopped
3 (3 oz) packages ramen noodles
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1/4 c green onions, chopped
Mix together all the marinade ingredients (except the meat) in a small bowl and set aside.
Cut the meat against the grain in 1/4-inch-thick strips.
Place the meat in a ziploc bag and poor the marinade into the bag.
Seal up the bag and place in the fridge to marinade for at least 2–8 hours (no more than 12 hours).
Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the ramen for 2 minutes.
Strain the noodles in a colander and rinse with cold water.
Cut off a bottom corner of the bag over the sink and allow all the marinade to drain out.
Transfer the meat to a small bowl and toss with the cornstarch.
In a large skillet heat two tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat.
Add in the meat and sear on both sides until the meat is cooked but still tender, about 2 minutes.
Transfer the steak to a plate.
Reduce the heat to medium and add the sesame oil, brown sugar, ginger, soy sauce, beef broth, and worcestershire sauce to the skillet and bring to a simmer.
Stir and cook uncovered until it thickens, about 5–7 minutes.
Add the broccoli to the skillet and cover with a lid cooking it for 3 minutes.
Remove the lid and add in the meat and pasta.
Toss everything to coat and heat for an additional 1–2 minutes.
Transfer to bowls or plates and season with crushed red peppers and green onions.
Over the summer the wonderful people at Del Real sent me a massive party box of all sorts of wonderful goodies to try out. One of the items was a package of seasoned shredded beef (carne deshebrada). As soon as I saw it I thought to myself, “wow, having cooked and seasoned meat all ready to go would make enchiladas a total breeze!”
I decided to try and simplify the usually overly complex enchilada process. The name of this recipe describes it to a “t.” I am a huge fan of enchiladas. I make them fairly regularly but when I do the kitchen ends up in total disarray because of all the work that goes into them. This recipe uses only 5 ingredients but makes enough food to feed a small army.
Note: This recipe makes about 12 enchiladas. Since there are only 2 1/2 people in our household I cooked 4 that night and then put the rest into two 8” x 8” foil containers and froze them. That is 3 nights worth of dinner for about $5 a meal. Who can beat that? Cheap and easy. That is my style.
32 oz package Del Read Shredded Beef
12 soft taco sized flour tortillas
2 (28 oz) can Las Palmas Enchilada Sauce (red or green)
4 c jack cheese, shredded
1 c black olives, sliced
Heat the meat per package instructions.
Preheat oven to 425º.
After the meat is done cooking transfer it to a large bowl and toss with 1 1/2 cups of the enchilada sauce.
Spray your baking dish(es) with a non stick spray or lightly grease.
Pour enough enchilada sauce in the bottom of your baking dish(es) to cover the bottom.
On a large cutting board, lay a tortilla out flat and add a scoop full of meat and sprinkle with cheese and a few of the sliced olives.
Roll up the enchilada and place seam side down in your “sauced up” bake dish and repeat until you are out of ingredients.
Pour the remaining sauce over the tops of the enchiladas.
Sprinkle with remaining cheese and olives.
Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes.
Remove foil and finish off in the oven for another 10–15 minutes or until the cheese is nice and melted and just starting to brown.
Allow the enchiladas to cool for 5 minutes before serving.
Top with sour cream or guacamole if desired.
A huge thank you to Del Real for giving me the opportunity to try out several of your products. I love them all! You guys rock!
Looking for a family friendly recipe that both you and the kids will enjoy? Then search no more! Don’t have kids, no worries. Everyone loves these regardless of age! My 4 year old loves helping to crush all the saltine crackers. I just put them in a zip loc bag and he goes to town with his toy hammer. (Cooking is a family affair in our house.) These big ol’ bbq meatballs are huge on flavor and so easy to put together. The brown sugar in the sauce helps to glaze the balls giving them a nice even coating of the sweet and tangy sauce. Yummy! These are the perfect comfort food as the weather cools off. I served these as a main dish but I could totally see making these smaller and serving them up as a party appetizer. Hope you enjoy these sticky saucy balls as much as I do!
Note: The sauce for these balls ends up being super sticky so I HIGHLY recommend lining your cooking sheets with parchment paper to help with cleanup. Otherwise you are going to have a super sticky glaze all over your baking sheets, which will not be very easy to clean up. If you do not have parchment paper then I recommend spraying your cookie sheets with a nice coating of cooking spray.
2 lb ground beef
small yellow onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 sleeves saltine crackers, crushed
3 tbsp honey mustard
3/4 c ketchup, divided
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
3/4 c bbq sauce
3/4 c brown sugar
Preheat your oven to 400º.
In a large bowl combine the ground beef, onions, crushed crackers, eggs, salt, pepper, honey mustard, 1/2 cup of the ketchup, and the Worcestershire sauce.
Using your hands combine all the ingredients until well blended.
Grab a handful of the meat mixture and roll into 2″ balls.
Place the balls on a parchment paper lined baking sheet (see above note) and repeat until you are out of the meat mixture.
Bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
While the meatballs are baking mix together the remaining 1/4 cup of ketchup, bbq sauce, and the brown sugar.
Remove the baking sheet from the oven after 20 minutes and top each ball with a spoonful of the sauce.
Place the meatballs back in the oven for another 10 minutes to allow the sauce to melt and coat the balls.