Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Alex's Brussels Sprouts Salad with Bacon, Avocado, and Lemony Dijon Dressing

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I dare you to try this salad and still tell me that Brussels sprouts are not your thing...

I remember when Brussels sprouts were the reject side dish at my family's holiday dinner.  That is for everyone except for my younger brother who would always request them for some unknown reason, probably just because he knew I would dread having to eat my requisite one sprout, and making things a little annoying for me was his duty as younger brother.  Or maybe he actually liked them, but probably not.  My granny used to make them with a delicious cheesy sauce on them, and that was my favourite way to eat them because I could smother my requisite one sprout with five servings of delicious cheese sauce to mask the flavour.  It barely worked.  But my love for cheese sauce grew stronger and still grows every day.

Nowadays Brussels sprouts are cool again, and I don't know if it's that my tastes have changed, or more likely if it's the bacon that always seems to get thrown in with them, but I love like them!  Back in 2012 I posted this Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Shallots recipe that I made as a side dish to a bacon themed dinner party that we hosted at our house.  Since then I can't get enough bacon and sprouts, which is where this salad comes in.  

The recipe is adapted from one found on my brother's girlfriend Alex's blog, The Bookish Cook, and it is bright, crisp, and packed with flavour.  Alex is a total natural in the kitchen, and ALL OF HER recipes come from her own head, which is something I am insanely jealous of.  She makes this salad at home because it's my brother's favourite (you can see he is still keeping up the charade that he likes Brussels sprouts!), or in his words it's, 'sick.'  Well frick, I agree, this salad is downright flu-like!  I'm feeling chills coming on.  I may need to take a day off of work.  I...ok, ok, that's more than enough.

This salad takes a little while to prepare because you have to peel each little Brussels sprout 'head' (well, that's what they look like!) one by one to make the leaves for the salad.  The Hubby stood at the counter and peeled for about 30 minutes, with only about four or five curse all in all pretty good!

The Hubby's Peeling Efforts

The effort was worth it in the end. Once you have your sprouts peeled, you throw them in their raw form into a bowl with some toasted pumpkin seeds, some fresh sliced avocado, some crispy bacon, some dried cranberries, and some lemony dijon dressing, then toss and serve.  This salad is a nutritional powerhouse.  If you have leftovers, the salad will stay fresh and not wilt if you want to eat the rest the next night.  The Hubby must have been ok with all the peeling because he suggested we quadruple the recipe and bring it to Boxing Day dinner this year...that's 4 pounds of sprout peeling in our future!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone!

For a printer-friendly version of any recipe, simply click 'Print' below the title of any blog post. Voila - a clean recipe without my ramblings or any pictures!

One Year Ago:  Amy's Lentil Soup Copycat Recipe
Two Years Ago:  The Best Mashed Potatoes I've Ever Eaten
Three Years Ago:  Chicken Cacciatore

Brussels Sprouts Salad with Bacon, Avocado, and Lemony Dressing

Serves: 6 - 8 side dishes


  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed
  • 3 sliced cooked bacon, chopped into small pieces
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds or pepitas, toasted (I put into oven at 325F for 10 minutes, monitoring closely, then cool for 10 minutes)
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 avocado, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 & 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • Freshly grated black pepper

Start by slicing off the hard end of each Brussels sprout, pulling off the leaves one by one, and placing the leaves into a medium-sized salad bowl.  Once you are done, give yourself a pat on the back.  Next, add the bacon, pumpkin seeds (or pepitas), dried cranberries, and avocado to the bowl.

To make your dressing, add olive oil, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, lemon zest, and pepper to a container with a lid.  Close lid and shake for 10 seconds until well-combined.  Add dressing to salad and lightly toss.  Enjoy!

Recipe Source:  The Bookish Cook - Dijon Brussels Sprouts Salad with Bacon

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Mom's 'Fall Off The Bone' Oven-Baked BBQ Pork Ribs

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Even writing this blog post has me salivating.


These oven-baked BBQ pork ribs are one of my favourite things to walk into my parents' house for Sunday dinner and smell cooking away in the kitchen.  They are so saucy, tender, fall-off-the-bone delicious that I can't believe it's taken me this long to get this recipe up on the blog!  Whenever I make them it reminds me of my mom, who pretty much has the market cornered on delicious comfort food.

Speaking of which, we were going to make them for supper when my parents came by a couple of weekends ago, but then The Hubby informed me that it's a faux pas to cook something for someone that they make for you when you go to their house (who knew?!), so we had them the next night instead because after getting them into my head I couldn't get them out!  For those of you who don't like loose ends (or if you just like me and don't like not knowing all of the details to every single thing all the time), we ended up having steak for dinner the night my parents came (also good).

These ribs are best served with mashed potatoes to soak up the BBQ sauce, and in my family we always use this delicious baked cheesy mashed potato recipe when eating them (and pretty much every other time that dinner demands mashed potatoes!).

My version of the recipe follows below, but here it is in my mom's own words...the sign of a great recipe is in the food splatter marks all over it!

For a printer-friendly version of any recipe, simply click 'Print' below the title of any blog post. Voila - a clean recipe without my ramblings or any pictures!

One Year Ago:  Healthy Southwest Chicken and Rice Bake
Two Years Ago:  Baked Chicken with Creamed Spinach and Squashed Potatoes
Three Years Ago:  Chicken Cacciatore

Mom's 'Fall Off The Bone' Oven-Baked BBQ Pork Ribs

Serves: 6


For Ribs:
  • 6 pounds 'country-style' pork ribs
  • 2 lemons, thinly sliced
  • 2 onions, thinly sliced
For Sauce:
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 + 1/4 cups Heinz chili sauce
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 6 tablespoons molasses
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 6 teaspoons chili powder
  • 3 teaspoons celery seed
  • 3 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 1 + 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Cut excess fat off of ribs.  Arrange in a single layer in a lasagne pan.  Distribute lemon and onion slices over top of ribs.

Cover with foil and bake for 1 + 1/2  to 2 hours.

Meanwhile, to make your sauce combine all of the sauce ingredients in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 hour uncovered, stirring occasionally.

When the ribs are cooked, remove from oven (leave oven on) and discard the lemon and onion pieces.  Drain off the liquid from the pan and discard.  Pour the hot BBQ sauce from the saucepan over top of the ribs.  Return the ribs to the oven and baked uncovered for about 1 hour, basting every 10 minutes.  Do not let the ribs dry out or they will be tough to eat.

Serve with a green vegetable, mashed potatoes (such as this delicious recipe), and a green salad, for a comfort dinner like no other.

Recipe Source:  My wonderful mother.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Easy Refried Bean Soup

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Do you ever buy an entire case of refried beans at a time from Costco?   Ha ha, yeah, me neither obviously! *looks awkwardly at floor.*  But if you have, this is a good soup for you to use them up.

This is one of my mom's recipes, and it's sort of like a cross between a vegetarian chili and a soup, with a smoothness because of the refried beans.  It makes for a very filling meal, packed with taste.  The best part?  It's the easiest soup I have ever made in my life.  Basically all you do is open some cans...

They had a Western Family brand sale...
and then I made a pyramid of cans.
And, well, that's nearly it.  It's that simple.

Now you do it!

One Year Ago: My Dad's Teriyaki Salmon Recipe
Two Years Ago: Triple Coconut Banana Muffins (Paleo / Gluten-Free)

For a printer-friendly version of any recipe, simply click 'Print' below the title of any blog post. Voila - a clean recipe without my ramblings or any pictures!

Refried Bean Soup

Serves: 4


  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion (or 1 cup), chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper (or 1 cup), chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (14.5 oz.) Mexican-style stewed tomatoes
  • 1 can (15.5 oz.) black beans, drained and rinsed well
  • 1 can (15.5 oz.) red kidney beans, drained and rinsed well
  • 1 can (16 oz.) refried beans
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Sour cream, cilantro, and taco chips for garnish (optional)

Heat the olive oil in a soup pot over medium-high heat, and add the onion and bell pepper.  Cook for 2 - 3 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.  Add the garlic, broth, and tomatoes, and stir.  Raise the heat to high, and add the black beans, kidney beans, refried beans, and cumin.  Stir well.  Cover the pot and let the soup come to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and stir occasionally for 5 - 7 minutes or until ready to serve.

Recipe Source:  My mom!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Slow Cooker Philippine Pork Stew

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Ok, this one comes VERY Hubby approved and recommended.  He seems to throw this comment out kind of often, but apparently this was the, 'best meal this year.'  Then I reminded him he said that about a pasta I made about a month ago, and so he said, "ok, this one is second place then."  Then I reminded him that he said that about a dinner he had at a restaurant we went to on our anniversary and another dinner that we had a week after that at another restaurant.  So, who knows really with him, but he definitely thought this was a keeper!

He put a cookbook into my stocking last year called The Best of Bridge - Slow Cooker Cookbook, and I have made only one or two things in it so far, but something triggered him to remind me of it this week.  I told him to go get it off the shelf, choose anything in the book, and I would make it.  The majority of the summer hasn't exactly been 'slow cooker bubbling away on the counter season,' on account of the heat wave, but a couple of weeks ago we were experiencing a bit of an Augtober that kind of put a 'damper' on things, and a CrockPot dinner seemed like just what the weatherman ordered.  The 'Pork Adobo' recipe caught his eye, and thus a Wednesday night dinner was born.  To be honest, it's probably something I would have turned the page on and never made if not for him choosing it this week.  Ingredients like, 'cinnamon stick,' and 'whole clove,' aren't usually up my alley, but a deal was a deal and I made the dish anyways.  Are we ever glad we did!  The Hubby gave rave reviews, and I always especially know it's a good meal when he excitedly packs his leftovers for lunch the next day.  He admitted afterwards that he chose the recipe because the cinnamon and clove seemed weird.  Haha.  Side note - a stick of cinnamon from the bulk section of our grocery store costs $0.03.  A whole clove is too light to even register on the store's scale, so the cashier shrugged and put it into the bag for free.  The bay leaves were the same way.  I basically robbed the grocery store!!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Mango and Black Bean Quinoa Salad

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"You can't have the Mango!" - Mango, SNL

I feel like I already know the answer to this question, but does anyone else think of Mango, the short-lived mid-90's Chris Kattan character from SNL, whenever they see a mango?  Just me again?  Wow - every time!  Well, here are some classic Mango quotes anyway:

"Can you catch a falling star without burning your hand?  Can you put the sky in your mouth?  Can you say to an earthquake, 'Hey, hold still for a second?'  No!  Such is Mango." - Mango

"Can you know the mighty ocean?  Can you lasso a star from the sky?  Can you say to a rainbow, 'Hey, stop being a rainbow for a second?'  No!  Such is Mango" - Mango

"No Mango for you!  Why must I be Mango?  Why I ask?  Why God, why?  Why can't I be someone normal like John Ritter?  Mango is like a drug.  You must have more and more and more of the Mango until there is no Mango left.  Not even for Mango!" - Mango

So those are the quotes that I think of when I look at or taste a mango, every time!!  I just look at a mango and I have a little chuckle to myself.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

'Mini' Greek Salad (Humour Me!)

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This salad is perfect for the heat wave (mid-30 C / high 90-F!) that we are currently simultaneously loving and complaining about at the same time.  It's fresh, refreshing, healthy, and cool.

It's also obviously not brain science or rocket surgery!  I'm not re-inventing the wheel here...essentially this salad is the exact same concept as a regular sized Greek Salad except with baby, pint-sized, itsy-bitsy, minikin vegetables (I know - tomatoes aren't vegetables, and Pluto isn't a planet, but I'm still going to pretend that they are!).  Also, it's hot and hard for me to care about cooking or picking up my camera to take a picture while cooking or using my insanely hot laptop (seriously, why is it so hot!?) to talk about my cooking.  I made a really, really, really delicious pasta the other night and The Hubby kept asking why I wasn't taking pictures.  Answer - I was too hot and too lazy, and all I cared about was watching Big Brother, and am now way full of regret because I don't remember all of the steps for that pasta to be able to recreate it!  Sigh, sigh, sigh!

Back to the salad.  In this version, I have traded in full-sized cucumbers, bell peppers, and tomatoes for their ridiculously cute baby versions.  The other ingredients aren't tiny...I was considering using shallot or pearl onions in place of the red onion, but chose not to because who knows what that might have been like.  The olives I had no teeny substitute for other than capers, and that seemed weird.  The feta is also not fact, the the less mini you get with cheese in any recipe the better/tastier/merrier, amiright?

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Garlic Scape Pesto

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Garlic Scape Pesto

Warning:  For garlic lovers only...all others beware the deliciousness!!!

It's garlic scape season again!!!!!!  Run, don't walk, to your nearest farmer's market and pick up some of these green beauties while you can, because their season is very short, too short, only 2 - 3 weeks in duration short.  I get a bit freakishly excited when I see garlic scapes at the market.  For example, my friend texted me that she picked up some garlic scapes and my reaction was 'Jealous!'  I've been known to buy armloads at at time, then go back for another bunch, then talk about it to whoever will listen.

Garlic Scapes !

Garlic scapes are one of the best kept secrets in the world of produce, and I'm here to out them.  The garlic scape is the long, bright green, usually curly stem that grows out of the garlic at the plant's maturity.  The closest thing that they resemble visually is a green onion, but they are hard to the touch unlike the soft green onion, with the stiffness of the stem of a daisy.  Their season is very short, from late June to early July (where I live anyway), and they can typically only be found at your local farmer's market.  Garlic scapes range in price from $1 to $2.50 a bunch - cheap, cheap, cheap - so get out there and support your local farmers.  They taste is exactly like garlic to me, which since I'm like very into garlic, works for me.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Golf Themed Cake

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I love my dad.  So much.  Enough to learn how to frost a cake with a cake decorating tip for his retirement party last year.  Which is something that I could never, ever, be great at.  I've just never been crafty...I don't think that I got that badge in Girl Guides.  But I do think that the golf-themed cake still turned out pretty well, all things considered.  This could be a great cake for your dad/husband/brother's celebration of their birthday/father's day/retirement.  Or hey, let's not discriminate here; it's great for golf-loving moms/wives/sisters/friends too!

I went to Michael's to buy the cake decorating tip, and may I just say that there is a whole world that I never even knew existed at Michaels in the cake aisle, including a whole section just for the various types of cake decorating tips alone.  To put it in perspective, the tip that I selected was called, "Grass," so that's how specific the cake tip selection gets.  Overwhelming.  I purchased my cake tip and left.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Creamy Bacon and Leek Pasta

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My family likes to cook.  So recently when we went away for a nice relaxing three-day weekend in Birch Bay just over the US border from our place, we decided to have a pasta throwdown.  Because why wouldn't you have an intense pasta competition on your relaxing family vacation.

The competition gets underway.
My family is obviously also competitive.  So when I called my dad a few days before our trip to let him know what kind of pasta I would be making and what my ingredients were, I shouldn't have been surprised when he remarked that he couldn't believe I had willingly given up my recipe so close to the competition and that he could really use this to his advantage.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Mini Peppers Stuffed With Goat Cheese and Asparagus

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Hurry and make this, while asparagus is still cheap in the stores!

I needed a healthy appetizer for when my sister-in-laws came over for some wine the other night.  I had a bag of mini bell peppers, a bunch of asparagus, and some goat cheese in the fridge, and this appetizer came to life.  Besides those three ingredients, the only other things you need are some olive oil, red pepper flakes, and garlic.  Although simple in terms of the number of ingredients, these healthy bites pack some delicious flavour.  And those mini peppers are just so cute.

My sister-in-laws and I gobbled down an entire platter of these mini peppers...they are so worth the asparagus pee!  But actually, in addition to eating too much food and drinking too much wine, the whole point of getting together that evening was to have an occasion to put on our wedding dresses one last time.  We pre-planned to meet at my place and throw the old gowns on for the night, because why spend so much money to just get to wear them once, right?!  I had never dry-cleaned mine after the wedding, so it still had McDonalds ketchup on it from the drive-thru on the way home from my wedding.  My sister-in-law Caitlin had mustard on hers for a similar reason, so there was no judgement.  The dresses didn't stay on too long, on account of then being extremely uncomfortable, but we had fun!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Classic Spinach Dip in Bread Bowl

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People have asked me why I don't have a spinach dip recipe on my blog.  Well, it's because I use the same spinach dip recipe that you probably already have the recipe for.  It's the one that your mom uses, or you ate at that baby shower last week, or that you bought in the deli section of the grocery store the other day.  This guy...

It's the recipe almost straight from the Knorr website, which you can link to here.  Dead easy, and always devoured quickly.  Why mess with a good thing, right!

I have a question do you say 'Knorr?'  I usually say it with the 'K,' but always feel weird about doing so, and even weirder when my friend straight up laughed at how I said it the other day.  It's a German company, so I had always assumed that that K should be used.  I also seem to remember from television commercials as a kid that the K was used, but logically it seems wrong, like it would to use the K in the words Knife or Knight.  In any event, since I'm in my 30's now and set in my ways, I will probably go on pronouncing it with the K because I fear change.

Update:  No wonder everyone is I am puzzled!  This is another Canadian / American word difference thing.  In Canada, we use the 'K,' and in the United States you don't.  I live an hour from the US border, so these types of confusing word situations come up a lot.  So, 'K'-Norr it is for me for now and forever more then!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Curried Coconut Chicken Vegetable Soup

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Healthy.  Delicious.  Satisfying.  Orange.  


Souper Sunday has arrived early this're welcome!  Here's a goodun' for ya.  Chock full of veggies galore (you've got carrots, cauliflower, onion, and celery in there), flavourful spices (how does a combination of curry powder, ground coriander, cumin, and chili powder sound?), shredded chicken (delicious bite sized two pieces the same!) and rich coconut milk (coconut anything and I'm, this soup is a keeper.  The Hubby and I have pounded this soup for lunches at work this week.  You can choose to puree some or all of the soup to create a chunky or smooth texture based on your preference.  Don't worry, the chicken gets added in after the pureeing step.  

Monday, March 31, 2014

Spring Equinox Salad with Roasted Beets, Goat Cheese, and Pecans

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Here's a little salad that's perfect for late winter / early spring, and / or for when you have only four days left before you (well, me actually) have to squeeze into a bikini.

I mentioned in my last post that Hubs and I had just been in New Orleans for 10 days, and now we are off to Mazatlan on Friday.  We are officially on a salad-only dinner regime until we leave. New Orleans is one of our favourite cities in the whole world, but low-cal it is not...from all of the deep fried food to the massive portions to the sweet alcoholic drinks, it's hard to come back without a few extra pounds to call your own.

For instance here's The Hubby looking unimpressed by the size of his dinner order, 'Catfish Dinner with a side of fries and onion rings.'

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Weeknight No-Brainer BBQ Chicken Salad

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The Hubby and I were recently in New Orleans for ten days for a combination of work and pleasure, and so it's pretty much been deep-fried catfish, and deep-fried shrimp po'boys, and deep-fried french fries and deep-fried chicken, and deep-fried crawfish, and deep-fried bacon (didn't even know this was a thing!), and deep fried chicken wings, and deep fried boudin, and deep-friend beignets, and even deep-fried pickles, jalapeƱos, and mushrooms.

One time I tried to be healthy and ordered a salad, and the only vegetable on my plate was 11 sprigs of arugula topped with fried green tomatoes, huge croutons, bacon, and a creamy dressing.  Another time The Hubby ordered a 1/2 sandwich, and what arrived was the biggest sandwich I've ever seen in my life.  I told the waitress that there was an error because we only ordered the half-size, to which she laughed and told me that was the half-size.  Makes sense, since it was the size of a small baby.  We were doomed a delicious, delicious fate.  Which leaves my waist-line in a bit of a predicament because The Hubby and I are off to our friend April's wedding at an all-inclusive in Mazatlan in just a little over a week, and I'm pretty sure that appropriate sun-bathing attire isn't my most comfortable pair of extra-large pyjamas.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Butternut Squash, Italian Sausage, and Spinach Pasta

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Secret:  The butternut squash is the sauce.  No, like it actually is the sauce.  Like, there's no tomato sauce, and instead it's butternut squash.  Does that mean it's healthier?  I have no clue.  But tasty?  Oh my gourd, yes!

But, first things first (and I know I'm a little late)...WAY TO GO TEAM CANADA!

This is what Canadians live for!
We had 26 people crammed into our tiny living room to watch Canada win gold over Sweden in Men's Hockey in the Sochi Olympics.  And with a 4am game start time, why wake up early when you can stay up partying all night long?  We didn't crawl into bed until close to 8am, but it was worth it.  Well, except for The Hubby who was sawing logs by the end of the second period after doing a well-executed 'classic slip-out*' exit from the party.  He was discovered minutes later, in our bed, with drool already on the was too late to drag him back to the party.

*During a classic slip-out, you must tell no one that you are leaving, and 'slip out' of the room without saying goodbye, for fear of being told by anyone in the room that you are actually, in fact, not allowed to leave because leaving would be super lame.

So, Pinterest is awesome and something I could become easily obsessed with.  Just kidding, I already am obsessed with it.  You can follow me here if you like.  Actually, I have pinned something like 1500+ recipes (with probably a lot of duplicates, because with 1500 recipes who could remember which ones you've laid eyes on before), and have only made a few things.  A couple of weeks ago I challenged myself to make something, anything, from one of my Pinterest boards, and that's when I stumbled upon the Pasta with Butternut Sauce, Spicy Sausage, and Baby Spinach from the Skinny Taste website.  It looked like exactly what I was going to need in my life that night, so I went to my favourite store (COSTCO!!), and picked up some butternut squash, 18 other things that I didn't plan on buying (48 granola bars!  16 cans of soup!  6 boxes of crackers!), and Italian sausage.  I changed up the recipe a little bit, with one of the main differences being that I roasted the squash instead of boiling it in water, which I felt would help to retain more flavour.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Roasted Bell Pepper & Roasted Garlic Soup

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This is going to make your house smell sooooooo gooooood.  I'm jealous of you.

This is the type of soup to make when you buy a big bag of bell peppers from the produce store because you thought you were out, and your husband also buys a big bag of bell peppers the same day because he thought you were out, and then you both get home and you already had a bag of bell peppers in your fridge.  This is a true story of my mom and dad and the dilemma of what to do with too many bell peppers.  Cue a delicious tasting soup that requires eight of these beautiful bells, and a mother/daughter team ready for the challenge while gearing up for a diet (my mom and I made this soup while we were making our diet Detox Water the other day).

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Slow Cooker Beef Chili Rice Bowl

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The Hubby put a new cookbook into my Christmas stocking this year - the 'Best of Bridge' Slow Cooker Cookbook. Although this recipe is not from that book, him buying it for me reminded me that a) I have a slow cooker, and b) slow cooking is awesome.

What I don't like is when you have to do a lot of pre-cooking before the slow cooking starts, which just makes me feel like there's no point in finishing things up in the slow cooker in the first place.  What I do like is when you can just throw everything into the slow cooker and press Start.  "Set it and forget it!!" I think people say.  Or maybe that's referring to something else like alarm clocks or my recordings of Real Housewives on the PVR, or each and every single one of my New Years resolutions.  Who knows, but in any event, slow cooking is super easy when all that you have to do is dump stuff into the thing and turn it on.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Detox Water

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Booze free January continues full throttle.  But really, who needs wine and beer when you can have...Detox Water!

Or whatever.

On Sunday I was over at my parents' house and my mom was making this Detox Water, so I joined in on the fun.  It's really slice up a bunch of fruit and cucumber, throw in some mint, and top it up with water.  The water is meant to aid in digestion, cut fat, help in the absorption of nutrients, suppress appetite (naturally and healthily!), and alkalize the body.   Sounds good to me!  I've been drinking it in the morning before work for a refreshing start to the day.  This is a great way to get 3 of your 8 required glasses of water per day out of the way.  

The other bonus is that I found another use for my mason jars following my disastrous attempt at making pickled beans!  Things happen for a reason?

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Kendra's Pickled Asparagus, Prosciutto, and Cream Cheese Appetizer

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What could be easier, but look so gourmet?


You may have thought that with her Italian Sausage Jalapeno Poppers she was a one-trick pony, but this is another great appetizer from my friend Kendra.

The recipe is simple too, with just three ingredients and no chopping, mixing, heating, baking, or cooking, making it the perfect last minute appetizer when you need to throw together something in a hurry.  Or, even when you have time to fuss, because basically for me, anything with cheese in it is always good.  I've used the Sunshine Farms brand of store-bought pickled asparagus for this recipe, which can be found near the pickles and olives in your supermarket.  I can't wait to try making this appy again once I have canned some homemade pickled asparagus this spring, hopefully without risk of botulism this time.  

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Turkey Meatballs in Coconut Curry Sauce

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Happy new year everyone!  Also happy November and December, seeing as it's been awhile since my last post.  The reason for that...well, I'm going to blame our Netflix subscription.  I've become super well acquainted with Emily and Daniel from Revenge, Jess and Nick from New Girl, Mindy and Danny from The Mindy Project, and seriously, why didn't anyone tell me how awesome Grey's Anatomy is like ten years ago?  I'm now hopelessly addicted to it, and have a long haul of ten 27-episode seasons (quick math: 10 x 27 = 270 episodes) to catch up on, and apparently I've given myself a deadline of about four weeks to do this at the rate I have been going at.  No one tell me, but are McDreamy and Meredith going to stay together forever?  Because I seriously can't handle it if they don't.  And no one tell me, but what's going to happen with Addison and McSteamy, and with Izzie and Alex?  They can't get back together, can they?  So many questions, so little time for anything but getting all of the answers!

So, things that have happened in the real world for me in the past few months, at least food wise...

Friday, January 3, 2014

White Chocolate and Cranberry Cheesecake

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Good news - The Hubby bought me a camera for Christmas, so hopefully you've seen the last of dark, blurry photos like this one.  Hopefully...but I wouldn't hold my breath.
As I mentioned in my last post, for Christmas dinner this year on my family's side my contribution was dessert, and I made two different desserts.  I was only going to make one, this White Chocolate Cranberry Cheesecake, but then my mom reminded me that my brother doesn't really like cheesecake ever since that 'bad cheesecake that he tried when he was a kid.'  I already had my heart set on the cheesecake, so instead of changing course I decided to add a second dessert, my mom's Mocha Chocolate Roll.  Because why not - two desserts are better than one dessert anyway.  

Chocolate Mocha Roll

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Chocolate Mocha Roll
Christmas holidays!  In my family this is synonymous with food and booze.  It's January 3 and I now weigh the most I ever have in my entire life, which is not awesome because my clothes are way tighter than desired.  How does this always happen?!  Argh - why do I love food so much?!  I need a quick fix, which is why I am kickstarting my weight loss regime with a January of no alcohol.  Can this be done?  Not's never been attempted by me before, but we are two days in and so far so good.

But for some context on how I got to this state - for Christmas dinner this year on my family's side, my contribution was dessert.  I made two different desserts.  I was only going to make one, a White Chocolate Cranberry Cheesecake, but then my mom reminded me that my brother doesn't really like cheesecake ever since that 'bad cheesecake that he tried when he was a kid.'  I already had my heart set on the cheesecake, so instead of changing course I decided to add a second dessert, my mom's Mocha Chocolate Roll.  Because why not - two desserts are better than one dessert anyway.
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