I’ve said it before and I will say it again. My hubby is not a big fan of sweet potatoes. However, we get them pretty frequently in our weekly organic produce delivery so I am always looking for creative new ways to prepare the sweet tasting tuberous root. When I saw this recipe I knew I had to try it. It was the perfect balance of spicy and sweet. Even thought there is no actual meat in it you can certainly fool yourself into thinking there is. It is delicious, thick, hearty, and filling. We served it with a grilled tri-tip and my husband ended up chopping up his tri tip and mixing it in. He is truly a meat and potatoes kind of guy. Give this a try next time you are looking for a super food side dish to warm you up.
Note: For a completely vegan version of this recipe sub vegetable broth for beef broth.
1 tbsp olive oil
1 lb sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 tbsp garlic, minced
2 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4–1/2 tsp cayenne (depends on how much kick you like)
2 (14.5 oz cans) diced tomatoes with chiles, undrained
2 (15 oz cans) black beans, drained
2 c beef broth
- In a large pot heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.
- Add the sweet potatoes, onion, and bell pepper until the onions become translucent, about 8–10 minutes.
- Stir in the garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano, and cayenne.
- Sauté for about 1 minute.
- Add the tomatoes, beans, and broth stirring until well combined.
- Bring to a boil and then simmer for 30–35 minutes or until potatoes are tender and the chili is the desired consistency.
Recipe adapted from Alida’s Kitchen
I run a household that always seems to be full of friends and family who come to visit on the weekends. I absolutely love entertaining and cooking delicious meals for my visitors. What I don’t love is when I’m in the kitchen for hours on end. It means I am missing out on valuable time with them. This is a breakfast dish that is perfect for when you are entertaining, or heck, even if you just want an easy breakfast in the morning for the family. You prepare this in advance before your company even arrives, and then just pull it out and pop it in the oven in the morning. And by make it in advance is that you literally take the ingredients, plop them in a dish (in an orderly fashion of course) and refrigerate. How much more easy could it get? Easy to prep and easy to bake. That is my kind of breakfast!
12 slices French toast bread, cut into 1” cubes
16 oz (2-8 oz blocks) cream cheese, cut into cubes
2 c blueberries
2 c milk
1/2 c syrup
1 tsp vanilla
- Grease a 9” x 13” baking dish.
- Spread half of the bread cubes into the bottom of the baking dish.
- Sprinkle about three quarters of the cream cheese cubes over the bread.
- Sprinkle about three quarters of the blueberries into the dish.
- Top with remaining bread, cream cheese, and blueberries.
- In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, syrup, and vanilla.
- Pour the egg mixture over the entire dish.
- Using your fingers or the back of a spatula gently press all of the bread pieces down into the egg mixture.
- Cover the baking dish with foil and place in the fridge 8 hours or overnight.
- When ready to bake remove the dish from the fridge and allow it to sit on the counter for about 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350º.
- Keep the dish covered in foil and bake for 45 minutes.
- Remove the foil and continue baking until the top is s nice golden brown and the egg mixture is set, about an additional 20–30 minutes.
- Remove from oven and allow it to cool for 5 minutes.
- Cut and serve.
Traditional beef wellington has got to be one of the most glamorous meals ever prepared. It is so rich and attractive but certainly not something you want to be making Monday–Friday. It is a wonderful dish but it is a lot of work! Certainly not in the regular rotation for this busy momma! I saw this recipe the other day for a beef wellington made from ground beef and had to give it a try. It was absolutely delicious! It was relatively easy to throw together and the flavors were very close to that of traditional wellington, just with some added veggies, which are always welcome in our house. This will most certainly be a go to recipe for me from here on out.
Note: Try to dice your veggies so that they are all about the same size. This will help them to cook evenly. This will make two wellington “logs”. Each log will feed 2–3 people. If you don’t think you will eat both, place one prepared and uncooked “log” on a wax paper lined baking sheet and freeze for 2–3 hours. Transfer to an airtight bag or seal o’ meal pouch and freeze for a future dinner. (See Steps below for cooking a frozen one.)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1 potato, cubed
1 tbsp garlic, minced
1 portobello mushroom or 5 baby portobello mushrooms, chopped
2 tsp thyme
1 lb ground beef
salt and pepper
1 package puff pastry (2 sheets), thawed
flour for dusting and rolling
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add the onion, carrot, potato, garlic, mushrooms, and thyme to the skillet and sauté until your vegetables are fork tender and onions are translucent, about 8–10 minutes.
- Transfer your cooked veggies to a bowl and place in the freezer for 10–15 minutes to cool.
- While your veggies cool preheat the oven to 350º.
- Remove the veggies from the freezer and add in the ground beef, salt, and pepper.
- Mix everything together until well combined. (I recommend just getting in there and using your hands.)
- Set your meat mixture to the side.
- Dust a large cutting board with flour and unfold your pastry. Dust the side of the dough facing up with additional flour and roll out to 1/4″ thickness.
- Divide your meat mixture into two portions and shape one of those portions into a log in the center of the dough.
- Wrap the dough around the meat “log” like you would a burrito, making sure to tuck in both ends.
- Place seam side down on a baking sheet.
- In a small bowl whisk the egg until broken up.
- Brush the egg wash over the entire outside of the prepared wellington.
- Place in the oven and bake for 45 minutes until it is a nice golden brown.
- Transfer the baked wellington to a cutting board and allow it to sit for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.
Recipe adapted from Jaime Oliver.
As I announced a few weeks back after my break from blogging I started a new job back in August. It’s always a rough transition moving out of your comfort zone into something totally new. New environment. New responsibilities. New coworkers. Eek! It can be kind of nerve racking! Well the way I deal with nerves is food. Yes, I am an emotional eater! So I made a batch of these wonderful delicious bars but I couldn’t bear to eat them all so what did I do, I took them to work to share with my new co-workers. Way to bond and score some points at the new gig, right? Well these were a hit and I apologize that the recipe is 5 months late getting to you. Good news is I am still at my job so I must have made quite the impression with my tasty treats or maybe it’s my mad skills.
GRAHAM CRACKER CRUST INGREDIENTS
1 1/2 c graham cracker crumbs
2 tbsp sugar
5 tbsp butter, melted
12 oz cream cheese, softened
1 large egg
1/4 c sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
COOKIE DOUGH INGREDIENTS
5 tbsp butter, softened
3 tbsp sugar
1/3 c brown sugar, packed
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 c flour
1 c semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 325º.
- Line a 8” x 8” baking dish with foil making sure there is enough to go up all four edges of the pan.
- In a medium bowl mix together all of the graham cracker crust ingredients.
- Press the crumb mixture into the bottom of the baking pan using a spoon or backside of a spatula making sure that it is firmly packed.
- Bake for 5 minutes and remove from oven.
- While the crust cools beat together all of the cheesecake ingredients on low speed until smooth.
- Pour the cheesecake mixture into the baking dish and set aside.
- In a large bowl beat together the butter, sugars, vanilla, and salt until well combined and smooth.
- Add in the flour until well incorporated.
- Fold in the chocolate chips.
- Sprinkle small clumps of the cookie dough over the top of the cheesecake mixture making sure to cover most of the dish.
- Bake until the cookie dough looks cooked and the cheesecake has set, about 25–30 minutes.
- Move the dish to a cooling rack and allow it to cool completely.
- Chill in the fridge for a few hours.
- Remove the entire “bar” from the baking dish by holding onto the edges of the foil and lifting it from the pan.
- Slice into small squares and eat up.
It is FINALLY starting to feel like winter in California! We have been having 60–70 degree days in December and January. Not normal! Don’t get me wrong, I love nice weather but one of my favorite things about Cali is that we usually have 4 very distinct seasons. I love being bundled up with a cozy scarf and boots on a cold winter day with a big bowl of soup and it has just not been that kind of winter. Well we just got our first spell of rain in what feels like months! This led me to go into full on soup mode.
Broccoli cheddar soup has always been one of my all time favorite soups. It is so rich, creamy, and filling. (Exactly what you need after you made your new year’s resolutions right?) Well give yourself a cheat day and serve this up with an old-fashioned grilled cheese sandwich for a real winter treat. A perfect warm up for a cold winter day!
1/4 c butter
1 tbsp garlic, minced
1 yellow onion, diced
1/4 tsp thyme
3 tbsp flour
3 c milk
3 c chicken broth
1 c heavy cream
2 heads broccoli, chopped
1 c cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 c parmesan, grated
- Melt the butter in a large pot over medium-high heat.
- Add the garlic, onion, and thyme and cook stirring occasionally until the onion is translucent, about 4–5 minutes.
- Add in the flour and mix until well combined and it starts to brown, about 1 minute.
- Gradually whisk in milk, broth, and cream.
- Stir in the chopped broccoli and bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the broccoli is tender, about 8–10 minutes.
- Add in the shredded cheeses and stir until smooth and melted, about 2 minutes.
- Season to taste with the salt and white pepper.
- Serve and top with additional shredded cheddar if desired.
- Serve immediately.
Hey ya’ll! One of my best friends is a true southern belle. I’m talking straight out of Alabama. I love the ways she says ya’ll and ma’am, and she calls a shopping cart a buggy, she makes banana puddin’ (one of may favorite desserts of all time), and that she drinks sweet tea. Okay, I love everything about her. She is just down right fabulous, a true belle. Since hanging out with her I have been channeling my own southern diva and trying some of the foods I hear her talk about. Made cheesy grits with shrimp for the first time ever the other day. Those things are dangerous by the way!
Well awhile back my friend and I were at some food trucks for lunch and she ordered a fried catfish po’ boy sandwich. It looked amazing! Po’ boy sandwiches are essentially a sub sandwich loaded up with some sort of fried fish. I knew as soon as I saw this sandwich that I wanted to try and whip up some of my own po’ boys at home for dinner. I am a huge shrimp fan so I opted to make shrimp po’ boys and well I declare, they were amazing! The crispy shrimp are just awesome, and make sure you don’t skip the remoulade sauce. The sauce is what makes these over the top delicious. I hope you and the fam enjoy these loaded sandwiches as much as we did!
INGREDIENTS FOR SHRIMP
3 tsp salt
3 tsp paprika
1 tsp cayenne
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
2 cup panko bread crumbs
1 1/2 lbs medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
vegetable oil for frying
INGREDIENTS FOR REMOULADE
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbs. dill pickle relish
1/2 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. pickle juice
1/8 tsp. Tabasco Sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
4 sandwich rolls
2 tomatoes sliced
green lettuce, shredded
red onion, sliced
- Combine all remoulade ingredients in a small bowl and chill until ready to serve.
- Combine the salt, cayenne, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and panko in a shallow dish.
- Whisk the eggs in a small bowl.
- Dip the shrimp in the egg wash and then dredge in the seasoned panko mixture.
- Fill a large skillet halfway up with oil and heat over medium-high heat.
- Fry the shrimp in batches until they are a nice golden brown, about 3-4 minutes, and transfer to a paper towel lined plate. (Note: If they are turning dark too quickly remove the skillet from the burner and turn down the heat.)
- Once all the shrimp are done fill each roll with lettuce, tomatoes, and red onion.
- Place the shrimp in that bad dog and drizzle with the remoulade sauce.
- Dig in!
S’more snack mix please! Last year I made a Valentine’s Day Snack Mix that was a total hit with my followers and also my little man’s little buddies at school. Well it’s that time of year again and I was trying to come up with something fun. All kids love Teddy Grahams so those were a given ingredient. What goes better with graham crackers than M&M’s and marshmallows? This was a no brainer! I had to make s’more snack mix. This is a perfect treat whether or not it’s Valentine’s Day. I’m thinking I will make a big batch for our next summer camping trip (with traditional M&M’s of course). You can just serve it in a large bowl (perfect for a party) ORRRRR you can make your own Valentine’s Day snack bags to pass out!
Last year I had a couple people contact me requesting that I share my valentine snack bag design so that they could print and make their own. This year I thought I would just go ahead and include it right here on my blog. That’s right! You can download a pdf of the cute cards I designed and print and make your own! How fun is that?!? A special homemade bag of snack mix for the kiddos to share with their friends! You’re welcome.
Click to Download PDF
I hope you enjoy this fabulous mix as much as me and my munchkin do! I wish all of my followers a wonderful Valentine’s Day filled with lots of love and happiness.
Note: This recipe makes enough to fill 24–26 snack size Ziploc bags or 1 large bowl. IF you don’t want to print and trim these on your own just take the pdf file to Kinkos or Staples and they can do the work for you.
3 (8 oz) bags Honey Teddy Grahams
10 oz bag mini marshmallows
2 (12.6) oz bags Valentine’s M&M’s
- Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix.
STEPS TO CREATE THE VALENTINE’S DAY SNACK BAGS
- Make snack mix as directed above.
- Distribute mix into snack sized ziplock bags.
- Click on the above picture of the Valentine’s Day tabs.
- Save the pdf to your computer.
- Print out however many pages you will need to a heavy card stock.
- Cut out the valentines along the black trim marks.
- Fill in the “To” and “From” portion of the valentine.
- Fold each valentine in half.
- Staple along the top of the ziploc bag.
If you like this recipe, perhaps you will LOVE this!
A couple of weeks back we got these GORGEOUS rainbow carrots in our box of organic produce and when my son saw them he honestly didn’t believe me that they were carrots. They ranged from a deep purple to red and even white. They were just too pretty to get tossed into a salad or cooked any ordinary way. I wanted these to stand on their own. I know I have mentioned in many previous posts that I am always looking for fun and healthy after school snacks for my little man so we decided to make roasted carrot fries. They were awesome! I just sliced, baked, and served them with a little side of ranch (because every 3 year old loves to dip their food in sauce). These were super quick and a wonderful way to enjoy these rainbow carrots.
4–5 large carrots (I used rainbow carrots)
olive oil for drizzling
ranch for dipping (optional)
- Preheat oven to 425º.
- Carefully cut the carrots into “fry sized” pieces.
- Place the carrots on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil.
- Toss the carrots to coat and season with salt.
- Bake the carrots for 15–18 minutes or until crisp tender, flipping once halfway through cooking.
- Remove from oven and transfer to a serving dish or plate.
- Serve with a side of your favorite dressing or enjoy all on their own.
Over the summer my mom was coming for a visit and I was trying to think of something fun that we could do outside. I decided to take her, my husband, and son berry picking at Patrick’s Mountain Grown Fresh Berry Farm. It was a total blast!
My gorgeous mom and son in the berry field.
My little man in the berry field. I think he ate more than he picked.
We ended up picking 12 pounds of delicious raspberries and blackberries.
Buckets of fresh berries ready to be eaten, baked, and canned.
Within 24 hours of picking we made raspberry jam, blackberry jam, blackberry ice cream, blackberry cobbler, mixed berry hand pies, and these tasty raspberry turnovers. (Don’t worry, I will eventually get around to sharing all of those fabulous recipes.) We ended up making these for breakfast and oh my goodness were they tasty! The perfect balance of sweet and tart. While it may not be berry season right now, you can most certainly find some at your local market. So please, give these a try. They are the perfect treat for breakfast or dessert.
My little man devouring a raspberry turnover for breakfast.
Note: If you don’t think you will eat these all in one sitting, no need to waste. Just freeze some of them! They freeze great and can easily be baked at a later date. Just place any extra unbaked turnovers on a wax paper lined sheet and freeze for at least an hour. Once they are frozen solid, transfer them to an airtight bag or container. When you are ready to cook them just place them on the parchment paper lined baking sheet for 15–20 minutes and then bake as directed below.
1/4 c flour
1 package puff pastry (2 sheets), thawed
1/2 c raspberry jam
1 1/4 c fresh raspberries
1 tbsp water
2 tsp sugar
- Spread the flour around your work surface and unfold the puff pastry sheets.
- Cut each sheet into either 4 or 9 squares. It just depends how small or large you want your turnovers.
- In a small bowl mix together the jam and raspberries.
- Place an even amount of the raspberry filling in the center of each square of puff pastry.
- Fold each puff pastry square in half diagonally gently pinching around the edges to seal.
- Carefully transfer the turnovers to a parchment paper lined baking sheet as you finish them making sure they are at least an inch apart.
- Using a the prongs of a fork carefully press down along the unfolded edges “crimping the pastry dough.
- Whisk together the egg and water and brush the egg wash over the top of each turnover.
- Sprinkle the top of each with a little bit of the sugar.
- Using a small paring knife cut one slit in the top to help with venting.
- Place your baking sheet in the freezer for approximately 15 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350º while the turnovers are chilling.
- Once they are finished in the freezer and your oven is preheated bake them until they are a nice golden brown, about 18–20 minutes.
- Transfer to a cooling rack and allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving.
Happy new year! How is 2014 treating you all so far? Hopefully absolutely fabulously!
First off I want to apologize for my absence over the past few months. Life has been super busy! I started a new job back in September managing one of the most awesome design studios and it has taken some time to find the right balance in life. My resolution for 2014 is to get back to some regular blogging so I have lots of great things coming for you. I have still been cookin’ up a storm while away so I have plenty of tasty new recipes to share. Now the question is, where to start!
Since it’s winter and we are all still recovering from the holiday madness how about one of my all time favorite soup recipes? It is a quick and easy crock-pot recipe that will be sure to warm you up.
When I was in high school I used to work in a little mom and pop owned coffee shop called Full O’ Beans. (People actually came in thinking it was a Mexican restaurant.) This coffee shop had the best soups and sandwiches! One of my all time favorite soups they served on occasion was the chicken and wild rice. It was delicious! I would have a big bowl at work and then fill up a big styrofoam cup to take home for later. It was one of those comfort soups that I just couldn’t get enough of. Well I finally put together this recipe that is out of this world good and reminds me of the coffee shop’s homemade chicken soup. This soup is easy, delicious, “souper” filling, and best of all it is made in the crock-pot. What more can a girl ask for? Now go make a big pot of this soup and snuggle up under a blanket on the couch while you wait for it to cook. Or do like I do, and just go to work.
4 c chicken broth
2 c water
1 box Rice-a-Roni long grain and wild rice
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 c carrots, chopped
1 cup celery, sliced
1/2 c butter
1/3 c flour
2 c half and half
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt
- In your crock-pot mix together broth, water, and rice (including seasoning pack).
- Add in the chicken breasts, carrots, and celery.
- Cook on low for 6–8 hours or on high for 3–4 hours.
- Remove the chicken breasts from the crock-pot and break it up into pieces using a fork. Return the chicken to the crock-pot.
- In a medium saucepan melt your butter over medium heat.
- Gradually mix in the flour until well combined.
- Whisk in the half and half and season with the salt and pepper.
- Add the creamy base mixture to the crock-pot and stir until well combined.
- Allow the soup to cook on low for another 15 minutes.
- Try the soup and season to taste. If it is too thick you can add a little water to thin it out.