This month I had the pleasure of browsing through the recipes by the very person who gave us The Secret Recipe Club – April of Angels Homestead! Some recipes of hers that I enjoyed included a festive Shamrock Pizza for St. Patrick’s Day, Creamy Salsa Verde, and even a recipe for 2-Ingredient Banana Pancakes using just banana and egg whites. She also just celebrated her 4th blogiversary last week, so head on over and check out her blog (there’s even a giveaway).
I chose to make her recipe for smoked sausage with bell peppers and onion. This recipe takes less than 30 minutes to prepare and couldn’t be easier, making it a perfect weeknight meal. Caramelize the peppers and onion, then add the sausage until heated through. There is no need for a sauce and just some garlic for seasoning. The sweet bell peppers, onion and smoked sausage bring plenty of flavor and moisture all on their own.
Two years ago: Grilled Balsamic Chicken with Mozzarella and Pesto
When I first started this food blogging thing, I submitted several pictures to websites like Tastespotting and Foodgawker only to be consistently rejected. Honestly I cannot blame them as my pictures during those times weren’t that wonderful (as many food bloggers can relate to with their first photos). Now that I have a nice camera and a little more experience, I decided it was time to try them out again. And guess what? I got my first submissions onto both sites yesterday! The Smoked Sea Salt Caramel Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies made it onto both Foodgawker and Tastespotting, and the Cookie Dough Oreo Cake made it onto Tastespotting. Of course several others were rejected but that seems to be pretty typical and I still have plenty of learning to do when it comes to food photography.
Most of the time when my pictures don’t come out perfectly it is because I am in a hurry or don’t have the best lighting. It is especially difficult when you have hungry eaters anxiously waiting to eat the item you are photographing. Take these spaghetti squash lasagna boats for example: the lighting was not ideal but three other people were ready to dig in. I love cooking for more than just myself, but always feel bad making people wait until the photoshoot is done. It is a tricky thing to balance! Lighting aside, these lasagna boats were a delicious, low carb alternative to traditional lasagna with a fun presentation.
One year ago: Cake Batter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Two years ago: Gluten-Free Bananas Foster Muffins
Per the request of my parents I have been cooking healthier meals. The only problem is that they eat about half as much as I do resulting in me feeling like a little piggy. Regardless, I guarantee I am still eating less than I normally did when I was on my own. I know this because I’ve been getting a lot of headaches, which is typical for when I am not eating enough. Sherrill has reminded me on more than one occasion to eat lunch. If any of my former labmates are reading this they will be shocked because I was nearly always the first one to initiate the “Lunch?” conversation. It’s hard to remember to eat when you’re the only one participating!
But yes, healthier meals are going to be spread across this blog on a more regular basis. I actually made this recipe before the meatloaf cupcakes. They were so darn cute I couldn’t wait to post them. These meatballs also deserve your attention, being made with not only ground turkey but also quinoa in case you were short on your protein intake for the day. These meatballs are great served over pasta, but would also make for a great appetizer.
On an unrelated note, if you didn’t watch the Olympics finale for mens snowboarding halfpipe then don’t read any further. Jump to the recipe and ignore all this. All I have to say is – holy crap Iouri. As for Shaun White and the rest of the USA team – there’s always 2018!
I’ve only been here a week and am already loosing track of what day of the week it is, let alone the date. The days are blending together and it’s hard to remember what happened yesterday, or what it two days ago? Speaking of time-warps, I starting digging through my old stuff here and I’ve stumbled across many interesting things: terrible-style clothing from middle school, old tennis and soccer uniforms, prom dresses, and even stuff from former boyfriends. It’s actually been fun recalling memories but now what to do with it all? I think I should just bake up a storm while wearing the prom dresses. I’d totally look like a little baking fairy haha.
Now even though these may look like cupcakes, I did not bake them while wearing a prom dress nor are they sweet dessert items. These “cupcakes” are actually mini meatloaves baked in a muffin pan and topped with whipped sweet potatoes as the “frosting”. I’ve always thought that meatloaves were ugly to photograph and this made for a much more appealing presentation. And I get to say I made/ate cupcakes for dinner O:-).
Two years ago: Valentine’s Day Recipe Roundup (2012)
After fleeing the snow and below freezing temperatures in Rochester, NY, returning to 40-50 degrees in Memphis, TN seems like a heat wave and I thoroughly enjoy not requiring my huge winter coat to step outside (although tomorrow there’s a drastic drop into the teens). On the flip side, I am not enjoying sizing up all the things in my apartment in preparation for packing it all up by the end of this month. I have accumulated so much stuff since I last moved 4.5 years ago! Purging must be done, some of which involves food.
I have a habit of stocking up on essentials whenever I see them on sale. As a result, I have a lot of canned and boxed food items stacked up in my pantry, awaiting the apocalypse. This stock-pile has come in handy throughout the years at times of minimal funds, but I have no intention in moving it all. It will be fiscally beneficial to my ever-dwindling checking account to consume what I have instead of going out to buy more food anyway (I’ll still be buying some fresh food, for my sanity). So let the battle of pantry cooking begin! To start off this adventure, how about a pizza quesadilla?
Two years ago: Gluten-Free Brownie Cookies
Last Sunday I showed you how to cook a Thanksgiving meal for two with a little bit leftover to enjoy another day. Today I sharing a fun way to utilize Thanksgiving leftovers, inspired by my grandmother and her ability to make soup out of anything.
When I first decided to make a noodle soup with leftover turkey, I realized that gravy is literally reduced stock (assuming you cook down the turkey juices to make gravy) and therefore could be reconstituted in this soup. Take a moment to bask in my glorious realization. Of course you could use premade stock or a store-bought stock concentrate but if you have gravy you may as well use it! After how delicious my gravy turned out, I couldn’t see how it could possibly be a bad idea.
One year ago: Gluten-Free Ooey Gooey Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake
Two years ago: Pecan Chocolate Chip Gooey Butter Cake
Normally for Single Serving Sunday I try to share recipes that only make one serving, but with the upcoming Thanksgiving feast I decided to do something special – a Thanksgiving meal that serves two. Many recipes for Thanksgiving produce a magnitude of servings, but what about the people out there only cooking for two, or four? This menu I have prepared easily serves 2 with leftovers. Because who doesn’t want leftovers from Thanksgiving? That being said, the turkey could serve four but if you have hearty eaters you may want to double the sides.
This dinner consists of a slow cooker turkey tenderloin with gravy, Greek yogurt-rosemary rolls, bagel-bacon stuffing, roasted brussels, twice baked sweet potatoes, cranberry-pomegranate sauce, and pumpkin crème brulee for dessert. Take a moment to be jealous.
My turkey tenderloin came out so juicy and flavorful that it will be hard to convince me to cook a whole turkey in the future. It literally fell apart when I lifted it out of the pot. By using a slow cooker I was also able to do whatever the heck I wanted in the oven, which is a huge perk for those of us with only one oven (one day I hope to be spoiled with a double oven). Even the gravy was amazing after cooking in all those delicious juices.
As you are aware, I have a habit of adding Greek yogurt to anything I possibly can so it shouldn’t be a surprise that it shows up here in dinner rolls. The rosemary really sold me on these rolls. If you don’t like rosemary, please substitute for another herb because they will rock your world with their subtle herby-ness. You can also prep these the day beforehand and refrigerate before the last rise. The next day, take them out of the fridge about 30 minutes before you want to bake them.
Then there’s the stuffing. I’ve seen stuffing made with all types of bread but this was the first recipe I had seen using bagels. I originally set aside two corn muffins for stuffing, but those were thrown into the freezer once I discovered I could use a bagel instead. I freaking love bagels! And I was not disappointed by the trade-off, especially since there was bacon involved.
For a green side I chose brussels sprouts. Only a couple Thanksgivings ago I discovered that I no longer hated them and actually became obsessed. As a result, they are nostalgic to me at this time of year. Just a simple roasting and a drizzle of balsamic is all they needed.
Growing up we usually had both regular mashed potatoes and mashed sweet potatoes but knew I would burst if I tried to add both onto this already long lineup. I went with a twice baked sweet potato that is topped with pecans and coconut. Although it is less sweet than a marshmallow topping, it has a crunchier topping that will make you forget about those puffy white things (no offense marshmallows, I still love you).
No Thanksgiving dinner is complete without some cranberry sauce. This version uses pomegranate juice for a more complex flavor. This can be made the day beforehand or even a few days before to minimize the amount of work you have to do on the big day. But if you do have to whip it up the same day, rest assured that it will only take 20 minutes.
Of course, once you’ve stuffed your face you’ll still find room for dessert, right? Especially for pumpkin crème brulee. I know you may initially think it’s a crime to not have pumpkin pie but it’s basically pumpkin pie and crème brulee all in one. Are you really going to be upset by having both?
Now for some tips on how I timed everything in order to be hot and ready all at the same time. An hour before turkey is done cooking (mine only took 4 hours), take rolls out of fridge (if prepared the night before), toast the bagel for stuffing, and prep the brussels sprouts. Bake the stuffing and brussels at the same time and with 20 minutes of cook time remaining, add the sweet potatoes and rolls to the oven. At that time, remove the turkey from the slow cooker and prepare the gravy. Slice up the turkey and serve! Then once your belly has digested a little to make room for dessert, torch the creme brulee just before you’re ready to dig in.
One year ago: Buckeye Cupcakes
Two years ago: Apple Blackberry Pie
Mini meatloaves return! After discovering that I actually like meatloaf if prepared in a miniature form (and therefore less squishy), I wondered if it was only due to the texture of if it had something to do with the flavor variations I have tried. So this time I tried out a more classic flavor.
And the verdict? I gobbled these up too! After an entire life of shunning meatloaf, it’s as if a whole new world has been opened up. Sure enough it’s the size that matters.
What’s your favorite kind of meatloaf? I want to try other variations in mini form!
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
Gnocchi is supposedly a filling pasta and most people I know can only eat about 8-10 morsels before claiming to be “full”. Yet I can house an entire package by myself without feeling the slightest discomfort. I am not claiming this to be a good thing, just a fun fact about my belly.
This gnocchi dish however was in fact very filling and for once managed to only eat the recommended serving size. Actually, finishing one serving left me feeling quite full and satisfied. And it was a quick prep recipe too, which I am in dire need of these days!
P.S. Today is actually National Waffle Day, but I didn’t have time to whip up a recipe for the occasion. Just sharing this info in case you wanted to celebrate on your own ;-).