Entree

Arugula, Black Garlic & Cherry Tomato Pizza

Sweet, spreadable black garlic is the star of this pizza. The whole wheat thin crust is also topped with fresh mozzarella, prosciutto, cherry tomatoes and baby arugula.

Arugula, Black Garlic & Cherry Tomato Pizza 1

I should be in Memphis today. Weezer is performing at Snowden Grove tonight and a few months ago I swore I would find a way to get there but as time ticked away I realized it was not fiscally responsible to buy tickets for a band I’ve already seen 3 times – even if it’s been over 7 years since I last saw them. Of course that’s not all, there’s also a Dishcrawl event in Memphis today for bacon lovers. To compensate you might find me jamming out to Weezer all day while eating bacon.

Arugula, Black Garlic & Cherry Tomato Pizza 2

While this pizza does not have bacon, it does have prosciutto which is basically fancy bacon. It also has a bunch of other fancy things such as fresh mozzarella, arugula and black garlic. What the heck is black garlic? It is caramelized garlic which is the result of being heated at a low temperature for about 40 days. So yea you can make it yourself if you feel like leaving a hot plate/slow cooker on for 40 days straight or you can just buy some like it did (I found it at Jungle Jim’s in Cincinnati, OH). It has the spreadable consistency of roasted garlic but a sweeter flavor. In other words you’ll want to spread it on everything like butter.

One year ago: Blue Moo Cookie Dough Ice Cream

Two years ago: Peach Greek Yogurt Pie
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Slow Cooker Chicken and Broccoli Sauce

Summer cooking is made easy with your slow cooker – it’s not just for cold weather. This chicken and broccoli sauce is great on top of your favorite pasta.

Slow Cooker Chicken and Broccoli Sauce 1

Yesterday I was sucked into the gloriousness that is McKay’s used books. Not only do they have an expansive selection of books to rival any of the larger chain bookstores, but there was an entire aisle of cookbooks. Unfortunately I was only there for a short stop before heading off to the movies and didn’t have enough time to fully commit to the search but you better believe I will be going back sometime this week to take over that aisle. There are all kinds from the latest cookbooks to those gems with contributed recipes which were made for bake sales, fundraisers, etc. I cannot wait to see what I find!

In truth however, I bookmark so many recipes daily from my fellow food bloggers that I really should not be thinking about buying cookbooks, used or not. There are simply not enough meals in the day for how many recipes I want to try. I expressed this problem to Joanne (Eats Well With Others) and decided that somehow we all need to get together, cook two recipes we’ve been dying to try, and then have a fat-kid field day. What I would give to live closer to make that happen. Guess I could always venture back up to the NYC area again. Or maybe Kita (Pass the Sushi) and I could convince everyone to venture to Seattle with us to visit Peabody (Culinary Concoctions by Peabody) and all the root beer deliciousness that awaits.

But back to all the food I want to cook. This is one such recipe that I have been wanting to make and the best part is that it doesn’t take any time at all to prepare because your slow cooker does all the work and doesn’t heat up your house. Well okay you have to steam the broccoli and cook the pasta but the hard parts are taken care of, giving you more time to focus on whatever else. Like daydreaming about foodie-travels.

Slow Cooker Chicken and Broccoli Sauce 2

One year ago: Cherry Vanilla Almond Overnight Oatmeal

Three years ago: Jalapeno Cheddar Hummus with Homemade Pita Chips
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Goat Cheese Stuffed Bacon, Peach, & Basil Burgers

Be adventurous with this goat cheese stuffed burger topped with not only bacon but basil, peach chutney and even peach slices. You’ll be surprised how good it tastes!

Goat Cheese Stuffed Bacon, Peach, & Basil Burgers 1

Well that was quick. Just yesterday I mentioned that any day now someone will snatch me up for a job. Sure enough shortly after applying to a couple jobs yesterday morning I got a phone call from one asking to set up an in-person interview. An hour later I had a confirmation e-mail for an interview on August 18th! I should foretell things more often on this blog – it’s magical. I did just apply to two more perfect-for-me jobs O:-).

Goat Cheese Stuffed Bacon, Peach, & Basil Burgers 2

To celebrate this crazy turn of events lets have some fun with our food by combining meat and fruit into one crazy-awesome burger. This burger starts off decently normal with a little pepper mixed into the meat and bacon for topping but then you stuff some goat cheese in the patty and add peach chutney, peach slices, and basil on top. Sounds weird but tastes delicious. If you are skeptical assemble it with everything but the peach slices, but put them on the side to try. I bet they will end up on that burger if you give them a chance.

Goat Cheese Stuffed Bacon, Peach, & Basil Burgers 3

One year ago: Veggie Cups with Green Goddess Dip & Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Two years ago: Cinnabon Roll Rice Krispies Treats
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Turkey and Kale Panini & Stonewall Kitchen Giveaway

This turkey, pepperjack, and kale panini perfected with the addition of maple bacon aioli. Spread it on just about anything and you won’t be sorry.

Turkey and Kale Panini

August is National panini month. Paninis are just fancy grilled cheeses and I happen to love all forms of grilled cheese. This particular version was dreamed up when I received a jar of Stonewall Kitchen’s maple bacon aioli. Bacon makes everything better and the sweetness of the maple seemed perfect for turkey. Then I slapped on a little heat with pepperjack cheese and some healthy stuff in the form of kale. Yea it was good, so much so that I also spread it on top of a steak.

Steak with Maple Bacon Aioli

But I don’t want to be a tease so I am giving away a jar of the aioli to try out for yourself. Just use the Rafflecopter widget located at the bottom of this post. If you need more motivation,  on their website they also had a recipe for hot spinach and artichoke dip with this aioli in it – that has got to be tasty. Get a jar, make it and this sandwich, and then serve it together. And then continue to spread the aioli on everything in sight.

One year ago: Gnocchi with Sausage and Kale

Three years ago: “I Can’t Believe It’s Healthier” Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
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20 No-Cook Summer Recipes

Beat the summer heat with these 20 no-cook breakfast, snack and entree recipes. No oven or stove-top required.

20 No-Cook Summer Recipes

July and August tend to be the hottest summer months which means turning on your oven or even cooking on your stove-top is undesirable. For such occasions I have compiled a list of 20 recipes that require no oven or stove-top for breakfast, entrees and even snacks. What are come of your favorite no-cook recipes for hot summer days?

Next week I will be sharing some of the favorite no-bake desserts!

One year ago: Individual Scalloped Potatoes with Bacon & Jalapeno

Three years ago: Sourdough Starter
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SPAM Tacos

Turn canned SPAM meat into a tasty and fun weeknight dinner. Tacos! Stuffed in a crispy corn tortilla shell along with all your favorite taco toppings.

SPAM Tacos

You read that correctly, SPAM-freaking-tacos. My dad and I actually made these together. He did all the prep work and all I had to do was fry it and assemble. Such a great sous chef! I can always depend on my dad to be game for fun/kid-like foods, movies and activities. Oddly enough I didn’t ever appreciate SPAM as a child but now that my taste buds have been refined I find it to be most acceptable. Especially when fried and stuffed in a crispy taco shell along with avocado, corn, black beans, tomatoes, lettuce, and cheese. What could possibly be wrong about that?

One year ago: Peanut Butter Burgers with Slim Jim Fries and Chocolate Malted Milkshakes

Two years ago: German Chocolate S’mores Gooey Cake Bars
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Creamy Peanut Chicken with Rice

This creamy peanut chicken packs a lot of flavor into a quick and east weeknight meal. Serve it over rice and you’re ready to dig in.

Creamy Peanut Chicken with Rice 2

Coolest thing that happened over the weekend? My team and I won Harry Potter trivia on Saturday night! With 21 teams, we were convinced we would be trailing after missing 4 of 32 questions in the first half. As we listened to them counting down the top 15 teams we began to get worried as they neared the top 5 and we had not yet heard out team name – could we really have been worse than #15? 5 – not us, 4 – still not us, 3 – could we really be in the top two? 2 – yet again not us. Low and behold we were rocking the #1 spot! Tension rose for the second half as we fought to retain our throne of nerddom and despite missing a few more questions we the reigning champions in the end. To make it even sweeter we won half of money collected to participate ($5/person) which amounted to $200 or $50/person. Who knew Harry potter knowledge could earn money? We proceeded to bar hop around the Knoxville Market Square-area to celebrate.

Coolest thing that you should cook this week? This creamy peanut chicken made with coconut milk, peanut butter and just a little kick thanks to some garlic-chili paste. Lots of flavor for a quick weeknight meal.

Creamy Peanut Chicken with Rice 1

One year ago: Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

Three years ago: Broccoli Garbanzo Pasta
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Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

Hearty chicken, veggie, and whole wheat orzo soup with a refreshing lemon broth seasoned rosemary and parsley. Comforting but not too heavy for the summer.

Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

Homemade soups usually hit their prime during the fall and winter months but who says you cannot enjoy soup during the summer? This lemon broth based chicken and whole wheat orzo soup is comforting yet light enough to enjoy despite the heat outside.

In family news my nephew Luke has been exceptionally good with his new little brother Griffin. He actually requested to hold him one day and has been showing him how to do tummy-time. Sounds like he’s going to be a good big brother! Hopefully I will get an opportunity to venture out there soon and then will shower you all with photos sweeter than any cookie photo you’ve ever seen.

One year ago: Slow Cooker General Tso’s Chicken

Two years ago: Dark Chocolate Banana Peanut Butter
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BBQ Chicken Salad with Cornbread Croutons

Summer BBQ grilling and salads come together in this BBQ chicken salad with grilled corn, tomatoes, red onion, black beans, cheddar cheese, and even BBQ-Ranch and cornbread croutons.

BBQ Chicken Salad with Cornbread Croutons 4

Summer is the time for BBQ and grilling but that doesn’t mean it can’t also be salad season, especially when you combine them. This salad is mixed with tomatoes, red onion, black beans, grilled corn, and cheddar cheese topped with BBQ grilled chicken, BBQ-Ranch dressing and even homemade cornbread croutons.

The composition of this salad was inspired by OXO and their #WhatAGrillWants campaign. They have a slew of tools which are very handy to have during any grilling adventure, such as 16″ inch tongs for turning and flipping meat (and corn on the cob) on the grill.

BBQ Chicken Salad with Cornbread Croutons 1

But of course one of the best parts about BBQ grilling is the sauce, so I slathered that stuff on with a silicone basting brush.

BBQ Chicken Salad with Cornbread Croutons 2

I also particularly enjoy grilled corn on the cob. I usually soak un-shucked corn in water and grill it, but this time I decided to char the corn by cooking it straight on the grill. Then afterwards I removed those tasty kernels with a corn stripper.

BBQ Chicken Salad with Cornbread Croutons 3

Before all that grilling, while the chicken marinaded, I mixed up the BBQ-Ranch dressing and made homemade cornbread croutons. Toss all of the components together and you’ve got the makings of one awesome BBQ salad.

BBQ Chicken Salad with Cornbread Croutons 5

One year ago: Peach Chicken with Balsamic Glaze

Three years ago: Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Mini S’mores Pies
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Crispy Peanut Tofu & Cauliflower Fried Rice

Skip the rice and go meatless with this vegetarian cauliflower fried rice topped with crispy tofu and a peanut-soy sauce. With all that flavor you won’t notice that it’s not real rice!

Crispy Peanut Tofu & Cauliflower Fried Rice 1

What a crazy World Cup game yesterday! I had my bets on Germany but was expecting a close game, as I am sure most people were. After the 4th goal I was completely at a loss for words. By the 6th goal I stopped paying close attention and was attending to other things, therefore missing the final two goals making it a 7-1 win for Germany. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a score that high ever in soccer, even when playing on my own club teams growing up. What a sad way for the hosting country to be booted out of the race. At least they get to play in the third-place game. On the up side, I’m even more impressed with the USA team keeping Germany to one goal in our game!

But moving on to this stir fry. After seeing a couple recipes for cauliflower rice I was sold. All I needed was to get my hands on some cauliflower, and after my broccoli/cauliflower/cabbage U-picking adventure that mission was completed. The texture of the cauliflower may not exactly resemble rice but it was close enough that neither myself nor my dad were overly aware of the substitution. As for the tofu, it was so sufficiently drained and dried that it sucked up all the flavors from the peanut-soy sauce, resulting in some of the best tofu I’ve ever had. If you’re been looking for a super-vegged out meatless meal, I highly recommend trying this.

Crispy Peanut Tofu & Cauliflower Fried Rice 2

One year ago: Salted Nutella Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
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