It just so happens to be my birthday week! Yes I celebrate all week long, doesn’t everyone? My actual birthday isn’t until this weekend where I’ll be celebrating all things birthday cake as well as Independence. We like to celebrate the 4th of July with family, friends, fireworks and you guessed it … FOOD. While the grill is fired up we’ll be serving up these beautiful bites of grilled bruschetta, They’re the perfect start to any entertaining you may be doing. Piled high with creamy dreamy burrata, salty prosciutto, fresh basil (thankfully our garden is in overdrive at the moment) and the kicker? They’re topped off with a finger licking organic Blueberry Balsamic Sauce from Robert Rothschild Farm. What more could you ask for in an appetizer? Well other than another slice please.
Chicken and pasta with bacon. I’m in. Every. Single. Time. What I love about this pasta dish, well it would probably be easier for me to tell you what I don’t like about it. That would be that somebody else wasn’t making it for me. That’s about it. There are so many plus items for this dish. It’s made in less than 30 minutes. You can use leftover grilled chicken and bacon to save time. Before the emails start flying into my inbox asking how does anyone have leftover bacon let me tell you. You have to HIDE a few slices when you’re cooking it for breakfast and then you can use it during your evening cooking. Simple. That is if you’re good at hiding things. Otherwise just plan on making more bacon. There are worse things.
I love a good meat sauce. What’s not to love, it’s hearty stick to your ribs kinda food. Sometimes though I don’t have the time that my beloved BOLOGNESE sauce takes to make. No fear our easy Italian Ragu Sauce comes to the rescue. It takes about 1/4 of the time that our Bolognese sauce takes to make and tastes out of this world. It starts with Johnsonville’s sweet Italian ground sausage, which has a lot of flavor packed right in there. What does that mean besides it tastes amazing? That means there’s less spices we have to the pot. Win. Win.
If you know me you know I don’t drink beer. At all. I gave it the good old college try, in well you guessed it, college. Beer was cheap and my measly student budget was practically non existent so beer was the obvious choice but alas I could never choke it down so I made friends with Jim and Jack instead and just saw them on a less frequent basis. My dislike of drinking beer hasn’t changed after all these years. I don’t however have a problem cooking with beer. Kind of like how I’m not a fan of cucumbers but like pickles. I know. I know, ’tis weird but it works for me. What also works for me are these slow cooker beer brats.
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.
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.
Ask and ye shall receive. At least in the case of crock-pot slow cooker recipes. I love getting emails from you awesome readers (well almost all of you – there is this one person ehem … ) telling me you made something and loved it, asking me where I purchased an item, asking for more of a certain type of recipe. Lately I have been inundated with requests for more crock-pot slow cooker recipes. Perfect timing because I’ve partnered with Crock-Pot® Slow Cookers to bring you a few recipes using their new Crock-Pot® Smart Slow Cooker WeMo Enabled. What does that mean? It means that it works with your smart device (Android and Apple) to let you easily adjust cook settings … from virtually anywhere. Technology is (most days unless it locks me out of something) awesome.
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Sargento for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.
I can’t believe that the year is almost over. The shorter days, the fact that’s it’s now dark by 5pm (sigh), the COLD temperatures and the sheer amount of appetizer recipes that are being searched for on the site all tell me this is true. It also tells me that it’s time to share a few more easy and effortless appetizers with y’all. Wouldn’t want you to not have options. That would be a shame. Today we’re going way back to a family favorite. Sausage balls. Not just any regular sausage balls, oh no, SPICY sausage balls. Now IF you don’t happen to like spicy, you’re welcome to simply substitute a milder Italian sausage for the hot. We won’t hold it against you. Much.
Are you ready for some tailgating? You all know that I’m not actually a big football fan. I don’t keep that a secret but I do enjoy tailgating. What’s not to love about sitting on the back of a tailgate with your boot (cowboy of course) covered feet swinging away with your favorite cold beverage in your hand and a slider or two in the other. Right? Right. I’m already thinking about recipes for this season. Wings and SLIDERS are some of my favorites. This Pork Tenderloin Slider with Cranberry Sauce and Caramelized Onions might be my new all time favorite slider and could possibly be yours too. It’s cooked to perfection and without worry too. Want to know the secret?
I’m all for low and slow cooking. Set it and forget it if you will. Now that it’s finally fall (happy dance) I’m doing a lot more of that type of cooking. I’m excited to share with y’all that I’ve partnered with Crock-Pot® Slow Cookers to bring you a few recipes using their new Crock-Pot® Smart Slow Cooker WeMo Enabled. What does that mean? It means that it works with your smart device (Android and Apple) to let you easily adjust cook settings … from virtually anywhere. Pretty smart, right? Right!
Meatballs. You gotta love ‘em. I mean come on. They’re fun sized spheres of meat. Okay we’ll just stick to calling them meatballs, that’s much more appetizing. Whether you like to bake them, fry them or stew them in sauce. Totally up to you. Want them made with multiple types of meat? Press on. Want to stuff them? Have at it. Options. You know we love those. A lot.
Next week it’s back to school for my kids. I! Am! Thrilled! You can probably tell by the exclamation marks. It’s been a long summer people. No judging. What I’m not looking forward to is waking up early after a summer of lazy mornings. I’m not a morning person. Never have been and I’m thinking that’s probably never going to change. Thank goodness for coffee is all I can say. For me though, it’s important to get the kids off with a full belly. This biscuits and sausage gravy is a shortcut breakfast that can be prepped the night before and then just heated up in the morning. That’s definitely a good thing.
There are very few people I know that don’t like scalloped potatoes (and let’s just say we’re not close). Creamy soft potatoes swimming in a cheese sauce. Pass me the pan people. Carbs I love them. What can I say. I could eat them every day. Of course I’d probably have to eat them while walking on a treadmill if I did. Okay scratch that walking on a treadmill while eating is really not advisable, don’t ask me how I know. Sigh.
Pork. Mushrooms. Marsala. What’s not to love about this dish? It’s meaty, earthy and is sure to become a recipe in your go to repertoire. Serve the saucy medallions over a bed of glorious garlic mashed potatoes OR creamy polenta and call it a night. But not before adding a baguette. That sauce is the kicker. I mean it’s okay to lick the plate when no one is around but if you have guests it’s probably best to mop it up with a nice piece of toasty bread.
I asked a question the other day on my Facebook page (we are friends there right? Right!) ” Pumpkin Overload or Bring on the Pumpkin?” there was overwhelming Bring on the Pumpkin response. Well I hope you meant it because Pumpkin Palooza is about to converge on the blog. We’re starting out with a basic roasted pumpkin recipe which will be a jumping off point to several other recipes to follow. By itself, it’s an amazing side dish to just about any fall meal that you can think of or if you’ve not eaten all day it’s a meal in itself (not that I know that or anything ehem).
If you’ve never had eggs on pizza you’re missing out. MISSING OUT. Sorry for the yelling but I wanted to be sure you heard that. That moment when you pierce your fork into that perfectly runny yolk and it drizzles and oozes all over the prosciutto, bubbly mozzarella and peppery arugula creating a creamy silky dressing that makes your eyes roll (in a good way). Yes that moment. That bite. See what you’d be missing if you didn’t make this.
Just go ahead and get an extra package of napkins because you are going to need them. There is no lady-like, polite way to eat ribs. If you try you’re going to just end up with a rib in your lap and a nice big stain on your pants. And napkins are way cheaper than a new pair of pants. Truth. I love ribs. Ribs are serious business here in the South. Once you’ve decided on the actual rib itself (pork please) there’s the choice of whether you rub them down, get saucy or both. The sauce is in another category all to itself. There is tomato based, mustard based and vinegar based – which much to my North Carolinian friends dismay I strongly dislike as in I’ll take a pass dislike. What can I say I am a mustard based girl.
I know you’ve all heard of drunken pasta. Typically, it’s pasta that has been boiled in red wine. In theory it’s a good idea right, wine, pasta. Yes please. Well it’s yes until the plate arrives in front of you (at least for me). We eat with our eyes first, and red wine turns the pasta in this deathly looking greyish purple hue that’s completely unappetizing. Unless you use WHITE wine. Ding ding ding. Do you hear the bell going off in your head?
Do you like to get your grill on? As in bbq grill not dental grill (which I have never ever understood – How do you clean those things? I mean just buy a ring or a bracelet already). IF you do, and you think you have what it takes my friends at Dole are hosting their Dole California Cook-Off and you should honestly consider entering. Besides glory there’s a whole lotta gumbo cash at stake. Like $25,000. All you have to do is come up with a killer recipe (some rules and regulations apply see contest page for full details – did that come across in my announcer voice?) and submit it.
I am a sucker for pizza. Thin crust please. I might be in the minority but thick crust or deep dish just isn’t for me. Thin it is and the crispier the better. Pizzas are fantastic because lets face it you can honestly top them with anything you like. Some combinations are way better than others. I’ve had a few oh yeah um moments. But luckily you can usually salvage that carb-y cheesy goodness by picking off whatever isn’t working for you and press on.