As I’m sitting here looking out my window and seeing a BLANKET of WHITE (yes we’re having yet another snow day here), I’m dreaming about warmer weather and quick, simple and flavorful foods. Had I known that my kids would have been out of school for yes count them TWO weeks because of said weather we might have planned a vacation to someplace tropical where I’m certain we would have been able to nosh on things like this Mango Avocado Tuna stack. Since that didn’t happen I can always pretend I’m off to warmer weather and make these myself. If I close my eyes and sit in front of the fireplace it “almost” feels like it.
We’ve got a new taco for your Tuesday taco night taco night, or Thursday taco night but does anyone really prefer Thursdays to Tuesday taco nights? Tuesday just has a better ring to it yeah? Don’t let the turkey fool you, this turkey taco has got flavah for days. You might also be surprised to hear that its also stuffed full of veggies. You heard right. We’ve snuck in shaved carrots, bell peppers, onions and more spices than you can shake a stick at. You don’t have to tell the kids if you don’t want to. They’ll be none the wiser.
Why yes it’s snowing outside (in our neck of the woods and probably in a lot of yours) and we’re making homemade ice cream. It makes perfect sense yeah? At least in our heads. In all honesty we eat ice cream year round. No matter if I have to sit in front of the fire place to warm up or jump in a hot bath afterwards. I’m nothing if not dedicated. I’m also dedicated to good chocolate and COFFEE so this ice cream pairing was bound to happen. I can’t believe I didn’t make it happen before now. What was I thinking? I’m glad I went ahead and rectified that.
I haven’t met too many people who don’t adore flan. It’s creamy dreamy and you might be surprised to know that it’s super simple to make. Now there is quite a bit of time involved but the majority of that time your oven and fridge are doing the heavy work for you. Now that you know, there’s no reason not to try and make this at home. If you can stir, blend and pour you’ve got this. Trust me.
Bacon makes everything better. It’s true. At least in my world. Pairing bacon with Brussels Sprouts and pasta well that was inevitable in my house. Sadly, Brussels Sprouts tend to get a bad wrap. If I was a betting girl, I’d bet that those people planted firmly in the dislike camp were served Brussels sprouts at one point in their life that were boiled to a soggy sphere state. Which is GROSS. I’ve had them that way (thanks Mom) and until I started roasting and sauteing them I was also stubbornly planted in the dislike camp. I’ve since proudly defected and am in the bring on the Brussels camp. Roasting and sauteing is the way to go. Adding all that to pasta and give it a zip of zest and a sprinkling of spice well it’s just really really nice.
A few months back we took a Carnival CRUISE . Have I mentioned that I LOVE to cruise. Cruisin’ is aca-AWESOME. I’d probably live on one of those floating cities if I could swing it. What’s not to love? Well I suppose if you have motion sickness that might be a problem and well the rooms are on the small side, but you’re not really in them except to change and sleep so that takes care of that problem. What is to love? For starters there is all the food and drinks you could ever want available 24/7. There are attentive staff who actually remember your name. That still BLOWS my mind every. single. cruise. I can barely keep my kids names straight and they memorize new names every. single. WEEK. Gold star to them.
Have an occasion that calls for creating special dessert? Maybe you’re celebrating a birthday, graduation, anniversary? Maybe it’s even Valentine’s Day (we don’t dare to not have dessert on heart day gasp)? Or heck maybe it’s because you just WANT chocolate. Whatever the occasion we’ve got a chocolate recipe for you to choose from. Our list includes: TARTS, MOUSSE, PUDDINGS, CAKES, CUPCAKES, COCKTAILS, BARS and even RAVIOLI. All have a little bit or a whole lot of one of our favorite ingredients: CHOCOLATE! I’m going to go ahead and tell you it’s probably not going to be easy decision if you’ve got a sweet tooth like mine that is. I would tell you I’m sorry but misery loves company you know.
Like almost every other child I know my kids go berserk for macaroni and cheese. They’d probably eat it every single day if I let them. I grew up eating traditional baked macaroni and cheese, let’s be honest it’s some kind of amazing but it’s a process, a timely process. Sometimes I just don’t have that kinda time on my hands when I’m faced with three fired up kids asking for mac and cheese please. Times like those call for a stove top version of macaroni and cheese that hits the spot.
If you’re gluten free you’re probably familiar with flour-less cakes and can sing their praises with the dessert choir. If you’re not familiar with gluten free desserts this might be new to you. You may even have your eyebrow raised and be thinking how can you make a cake without flour? You can, you really really can. Once you have a bite of one you’ll be singing the praises along with the rest of the choir. Flour-less is fantastic. Not convinced? How about if I told you the cake portion only takes 4 ingredients? 4 ingredients that are staples in most kitchens. You probably have everything you need.
Gluten free is looking good. Real good. If you’re looking for an easy peasy dessert you’ve found it. Chocolate mousse is quick and easy and honestly you can eat it by itself if you don’t want to take the extra step and make the crust. I’m not going to lie and say I haven’t. I kinda look forward to keeping the bowl, beaters and spatula to myself. What can I say, you know I have a wicked sweet tooth. I could tell you it’s quality control. Yeah, on second thought let’s go with that.
I believe in moderation. So since I’ve been a VERY good girl this week and put in the time with my workouts I’m rewarding myself with a tart. A raspberry Nutella frangipane topped with powdered sugar and pistachios (insert smile and sigh). I’m not going to eat the entire thing (although I could, I really could). If I did that, that would require me to be on the treadmill even more hours of the day than I already am and I’m so not willing to do that, which means one (okay maybe two) slices for me. You know for being so good and all.
Have I mentioned lately that one of my new favorite vegetables is cauliflower? ‘Tis true. I might have a problem considering I buy a head of it every time I’m at the market. Every. Single. Time. I kid you not. I guess there are worse things to be enamored with. 9/10 I roast it up with just a simple drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle of salt, pepper and chili pepper flakes. Because spice is nice. I’ve also heard that spicy foods help to speed up your metabolism. I can use all the help I can get so woot. Winner winner roasted curried cauliflower soup dinner. Okay so maybe that doesn’t exactly rhyme but you know what I mean.
I know you’re all familiar with meatball sliders. There’s a good reason for their popularity. They’re GOOD. Really good. I can’t even say the name without wanting one, and now (you guessed it) I want one! I have little to no willpower when it comes to foods that I love. It’s the reason I exercise. The only reason. Because I like to eat. I’m not one of those people who LOVES to exercise. I wish I was but nope I dread it but I suck it up and do it. I may or may not even think about what I’m going to eat for lunch while I’m doing said exercise. Sad but true.
It’s a New Year. That’s means resolutions right? Did you make any resolutions? I have to tell you I’m not a resolutions girl. I do however like to set GOALS for myself. One of my goals is to MOVE more. To be ACTIVE and often. Which should ultimately give me more energy and help my clothes to loosen up. I’m not alone in my goal if the parking lots at the gym and the sheer amount of workout clothes that are on SPECIAL at every retail store I enter are any indication.
I’m not sure about y’all but we eat a lot of chicken. That means a girl has to have a plethora of chicken recipes in her culinary arsenal to keep the family’s taste buds from turning on her. Her meaning me. Hence, I’m always looking for new inspiration in the chicken department and am willing to try new recipes. Some are definitely better than others if you know what I mean. I get inspiration from ingredients at the market, from flipping through the magazines with all the pretty pictures that make me want to make every recipes in the pages, from restaurants. You name it. Inspiration can come from just about anywhere.
P0t pie. It’s a funny name isn’t it. I mean I suppose the initial portion of the recipe is made in a POT. It is a savory PIE. So if we’re going with logic I suppose it makes sense BUT the name still throws me. What can I say. I don’t let the name stop me from eating it though. Oh no. I love me some pot pie. Especially when it’s flipping freezing outside and I need all the help I can to warm up. I love making chicken pot pie after we’ve ROASTED CHICKEN. I typically will roast two at at a time. Why not, you’ve already got the oven on yeah? Then I get the added benefit of a take two meal. You know a meal made using leftovers. It’s a beautiful thing.
I’m not what would you call a cheap skate. At least I don’t think I am. Frugal. That’s a much better word. I like a good deal what can I say. I LOVE saving money as much as the next person. If I can make something (or more accurately if Pinterest makes me think I can make something) save a buck and not pull my hair out in the process I’m all in. I’ve wanted to add a piece of mirrored wall art to our bedroom for a while now. I’ve been smitten with one that I saw at a Gallerie that starts with a Z forever now. Problem? It’s $255. I just couldn’t swipe my card. Couldn’t. I think I found something just as awesome and I spent 1/4 of that making minor modifications myself. Yay me. I’m always amazed at how quickly you can transform just about anything with a simple can of SPRAY PAINT. I figure if I don’t like something, I’ll just paint it again. No problemo. In other news I might be addicted to metallic spray paint ever since we finished our DIY GLITTER RIMMED MASON JARS . I could be addicted to worse things so I’m thinking it’s no so bad after all.
Meatballs. You gotta love them. If not we can’t be friends. Okay well I might make an exception if you’re extraordinarily awesome but I’m just going to be honest and say it’s just weird if you don’t. For the sake of argument, let’s just say you do, even if you don’t m’kay? My favorite MEATBALLS on the planet are made using Johnsonville sausage. I love the flavor that Italian sausage brings to the meatballs. I typically make them with the sweet Italian blend but when I want to shake things up I use the mild or even SPICY. Because sometimes we like a little heat. Especially when it’s cold as all get out.
Google tells me that appetizer recipes are all the rage this week. I’m no psychic but I’m guessing it has something to do with New Year’s Eve PARTIES ; ) Personally I’m always a fan of appetizers. I like to have a little something to nosh on before the main event. It keeps my stomach from embarrassing itself from loud and obnoxious noises that have people turning to see what in the world could be making that noise (yep that would be me). You see as much as I always have the best intentions and tell myself hours before to eat a little something before said party or event I NEVER ever seem to actually do it. Getting side tracked by reading my kindle and then realizing I have OH thirty minutes to pull myself together might have something with it. But anyhoo. Appetizers, they’re a good thing.
Tis the season to get our nog on. Eggnog, Egg-nog or Egg Nog go with your preferred spelling. I find that people are firmly in the camp of love it or hate it. Not too many who fall in the meh, I can take it or leave it category. I like mine on the boozy side but that’s no surprise. If you want to add a little something something different to this recipe (say you prefer bourbon over dark rum) I wouldn’t hate you. In fact I’d probably ask you to bring me one over you know for comparison purposes. Our version of eggnog is a twist on the classic. Yes you can totally flavor your nog. Now you know. At first I considered chocolate BUT why go with chocolate when you can use Nutella. Besides it’s been much too long since we’ve shared a recipe using my beloved so this is my gift to my fellow Nutellaholics.