Did you remember to turn back your clocks yesterday? I changed mine right before I went to bed Saturday night which made me feel like I was going to bed crazy early. Although it will now get darker earlier, at least waking up early is a cinch. I find it difficult to wake up before the sun rises (and sleep when it up) so this will be good for me. But on to the food!
When it comes to comforting soup and sandwich pairings, tomato soup and grilled cheese is my go-to. So that slow cooker tomato-basil soup I shared last week? You better believe there was some grilled cheese action going on there too. But not just any ol’ grilled cheese, grilled cheese stuffed with macaroni and cheese! You can use any leftover (or fresh) macaroni and cheese you have on hand, but I used a spicy version and it was excellent.
If you follow Steph’s Bite by Bite you know that she is hosting Fit-Ober and a 24 day AdvoCare challenge. Although I am not participating in those specific challenges, I did purchase the AdvoCare 10 day herbal cleanse after being lured in by the amazing results Steph has already been seeing. My day one belly looks similar to Steph’s (we’re the same weight too) so we shall see how it goes! Although I have to admit, reading the guidelines about eating 8 cups of veggies/fruit a day, at least 8 cups of water, only whole grains, little to no fat, and no processed sugar makes me wonder how much the cleanse is doing versus the healthy eating. I eat pretty healthy already but need to work on eating more veggies, less fat and no sugar (goodbye cookies fort 10 days = sadness). Either way, if I am a bit leaner in time for being a bridesmaid in Amber’s wedding this weekend I’ll be a happy camper.
Speaking of healthier eating, how about a veggie burger? When it comes to meatless burgers, black bean is typically the first kind people think of. Yet, for some reason I shied away from this version and tried every other kind first. I have no legitimate reason for this other than it simply did not appeal to me. But that all changed when this burger came into my life. It should come as no surprise that part of the reason this burger was so appealing to me was the addition of avocado slices on top. But I also liked that jalapeno and corn were mixed into the patty as well.
I made these burgers before the cleanse began, but to meet the guidelines given by AdvoCare I should have substituted the oil with broth, the bun for whole wheat (although I normally do), and the fries for veggies. Next time ;-).
I know most of you are enjoying pleasant fall weather, but here in Memphis it’s still highs in the 80s and 90s. I cannot really complain though because we had a very moderate summer (for Memphis), with only a couple days over 100 degrees instead of entire months. As a result my electricity bill was never over $85 all summer! Normally I average around $140 because I live on the third floor and everyone’s heat comes to me (while during winter I barely turn my heat on). Add all my baking and cooking and it’s a never ending battle to keep the temperature under 80 inside.
Even though the battle against the heat isn’t very prevalent anymore, I still like to make no-cook meals or desserts from time to time. This meal is legit no cook because it doesn’t even require a stove top or a microwave – absolutely no heat involved. Well, except for some spicy heat from the cashew sauce!
Secret Recipe Clubbing time! This month I was assigned to Bobbi’s Kozy Kitchen and it is cozy indeed! With recipe like redneck eggs benedict and shrimp with tomatoes and feta cheese (except I would made it with chicken) my eyes were even comforted by the sheer appearance and thought of eating them. From the awesome list of recipes I decided upon her Sloppy Joses with Avocado Cream. I can never turn down avocado!
In case you haven’t figured it out, the Sloppy Jose is a Mexican version of a homemade Sloppy Joe. Not only is this baby topped with an avocado cream sauce, but it’s made with bacon, jalapeno, and even beer. I even sprinkled some cotija cheese on top for fun since I had some handy. My favorite part was actually mixing the bits the dropped out from my sandwich into the potato salad I served it with. (Potato salad compliments of my dad, who gave it to me when he visited for my defense a week ago.)
After drooling over Devon’s guest post on Wednesday, I decided to dig out her balsamic chicken recipe I made and the pictures that I’ve been sitting on since July. Hectic times result is forgotten recipes evidently. Luckily these forgotten gems come in handy now that I have less time and motivation to cook. I barely even have time to work out most days, which combined with my constant urge to survive on boxed mac and cheese is a terrible thing for my health. Especially since I would eat the entire box in one sitting. Thankfully, I still mange to fight that urge most days but I fear my self control won’t be able to hold out for the remaining 2.5 weeks. I will have to remind myself that recipes such as this one are just as easy to prepare!
One year ago: Sausage Stuffed Zucchini Boats
It’s Monday. My brain was already fried on Friday and I proceeded to fry it further over the weekend with lots more writing. My mission to have everything written by the end of August at first seemed completely reasonable but now is much more daunting. If I do manage to pull it off, I’ll get to take a break and celebrate with wedding #2 of 3 for the year. Motivation comes in many forms and if someone wants to cook me dinner in the meantime that’d be awesome.
Does this look familiar? It was in the background of a milkshake recipe posted last week, although I think I got a better shot of it in the background of that picture than in the spotlight here. Oh well, it shouldn’t take much to convince you to make a burger that has cheese in it as well as on top of it, finished off with another topping of guacamole. If you need more, go ahead and serve it with fries and a milkshake cause I know you want to anyway. This flavor explosion of a meal is a quick one to prepare too.
It is a rare day to find flights for under $300, even more so under $200, but yesterday was one of those days and I snatched it up as fast as I could confirm the time and place of events for that weekend. This flight purchase was for my friend Amber’s wedding in October, another of which I am a bridesmaid! The flight actually ended up being free because I had accrued enough miles to do so. I should have signed up for the Amex Delta Skymiles CC a long time ago. Imagine all the free flights, free 1st checked bag, and group 1 seating I could have been enjoying all these years!
But anywho, to go along with the theme of frugality, here is a pizza taco recipe that I was able to make almost without a trip to the grocery store. Lately I have been trying to cook more with the items I already have stocked, and surprisingly for this meal I had every ingredient on hand except for the ricotta. That goes to show how well stocked my kitchen is for a girl living with no one else besides her cat. Sometimes I try to estimate how long I could survive without leaving my home, and appreciate that I do not need to test it for real because I covet fresh fruit far too much.
P.S. This recipe is a great, quick weeknight meal!
One year ago: Easy S’mores Ice Cream Sandwiches
During my undergraduate career at Ohio State in Columbus, OH I met and became friends with a lot of people from the state of Ohio. However, despite this I never met anyone that ever heard of the famous peanutbutter from Bearden’s in West Cleveland. I even asked those whom I know are from that area and they were clueless. Apparently the next time I visit those friends we will have to fix that issue and hunt down that restaurant. In the meantime, I made it at home!
This burger is proof that I have a deep love for peanut butter and will put it on just about anything. Yes you heard me. Peanut butter melting on top of a burger was as glorious and a gooey peanut butter cookie fresh out of the oven – at least to me. But the burger is only a part of an entire meal. It is the star but there are other necessary players in order to complete this belly-fulfilling-journey. Emphasis on the FILLING.
What’s a burger without fries? I personally prefer my fries to be crispy and often order my fries to be double fried at restaurants, but these slim fries are baked which means they are a little healthier and easier to control how crispy they get. Of course being slim fries they got crispy faster than thick fries would, which was also fine by me! Definitely a good fry recipe for all kinds of burgers.
Last but not least there’s the milkshake. Paired with a peanut butter burger it’s a no-brainer to choose chocolate. Unless you are me and tend to not enjoy chocolate shakes. However, in this situation paired with the peanut butter, it was perfect. Especially with the malted powder, which I used vanilla instead of chocolate just due to my personal preferences. I did drizzle some fudge sauce over the top but I think it would’ve been prettier if I had put a dollop of whipped cream on top first.
Overall, this was a fantasticly indulgent meal and much needed fat-kid food to sooth my recent stress levels. Would I put peanut butter on my burger again? You bet I would! Maybe next time I will get daring and do it with cheese too.
One year ago: German Chocolate S’mores Gooey Cake Bars
When grocery shopping I always bring reusable shopping bags and have never run into a cashier that seemed confused by them. However, half the time I bring them into other stores such as Target, Marshalls, etc. the cashier starts looking for a bar code tag even though the first thing I said to them upon approaching was “Hi, I am using my own bag today”. Reusable bags are common enough these days to not have it be so odd to bring one into a regular department store. Besides, I’m not going to avoid plastic bags at the grocery store just to acquire them elsewhere. I do use them for my small bathroom trash can and really should work on an alternative, but I don’t need very many to meet that call to duty.
Which brings me to a cool thing happening on the west coast (other than my brother, sister-in-law and nephew moving there in a month) – bans on plastic bags! It started in San Francisco in 2007 and has slowly spread to other major cities over the years such as Los Angeles and Sacramento. Chicago, Portland and Dallas look like they might be next. So start busting out those reusable bags if you haven’t already!
Oh and food? Yes you are here for food not my ramblings and I am here to tell you to make these hot dogs. They are regular turkey hot dogs topped with Mexican inspired deliciousness. It involves a salsa made from corn, jalapeno, avocado and some seasonings. Then some chipotle peppers come out to play mixed with Greek yogurt for a perfect cream topping. I even served them with some spicy sweet potato fries, which were also dipped in any leftover cream.
It’s June’s edition of Pass the Cook Book Club! This month we cooked burgers from Bobby Flay’s Burgers, Fries, and Shakes and I have to say if the burger I tried is any indication of the rest of the cookbook, then it’s a dangerous one!
This burger was so insanely good, I had to put comfy pants on afterwards. Bobby certainly knows what he’s doing when it comes to burgers and you really cannot go wrong with half an inch of cheese and crunchy potato chips. Of course then there’s the sauce which you’ll want extra of so I doubled the recipe for you. Thanks to Kita and Bobby, I look forward to being in a bathing suit this weekend even less than before but it was absolutely worth it. I almost paired it up with onion rings but decided it had enough going on already, but I couldn’t skip the Bobby Flay milkshake O:-). Post soon!