Thursday, January 31, 2013

Meringue Cookies

I did it! I did it! Seven batches and dozens and dozens of cookies later, I finally got these to turn out exactly the way I wanted them to. The funny thing is I avoided making them forever because I was terrified of messing them up, but they are actually really easy. The hardest part is waiting for them to "cook" or dry out.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Black Bean Cocoa Bars

Stop! Don't run away! I know what you're thinking - black beans? In my brownies?! Really? Is this chick crazy?? You're just going to have to trust me on this one. Take a deep breath. It's going to be ok, I promise.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Oven Fried Chicken Tenders

Fried chicken is one of my weaknesses. The crispy coating, the moist chicken, the finger-licking goodness. Heck, who am I kidding? The crispy coating is all I really care about. (I may have even been caught in the kitchen eating the crunchy castoffs from the bottom of the bucket once or twice. Maybe.)

Guess what? Re-creating this crunch-tastic-ness in your own kitchen is totally possible! And it doesn't come from potato chips, crushed up butter crackers, or corn flakes. It comes from...

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Easy Perfect Apple Pie

As promised, I have another apple recipe for you. This one is super easy and makes the house smell so good, you're going to love it.

Andrew is an apple pie snob and only loves his mother's apple pie, but he officially declared this one the best he has ever had. And no, he isn't just saying that. He's completely honest about my food, too honest sometimes, and will be the first to tell me if I make something terrible. Thank him - he has saved you from some of my worst cooking disasters.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Pizza Quesadillas (or is it Quesadilla Pizza...?)

We are big pizza eaters around here. And by we, I mean the boys. I eat one slice and I'm happy but they can kill a whole pie by themselves in under 20 minutes. This can get expensive if you're ordering in and time-consuming if you're going the DIY route. I like to mix it up with French bread pizzas, English muffin pizzas, and lately, quesadilla pizzas. Andrew is a purist so he isn't a huge fan, but K loves them. Sometimes he even asks me to send them to school in his lunch box. (I'll take that over the school's cardboard-pizza Fridays any day!)

Maple Apple Pork Chops

I am always looking for new ways to dress up pork chops. I buy the nice thin ones that cook up in no time and everybody loves them. Sometimes I pan-fry them, sometimes I bread and bake them, sometimes I throw them in the crock pot. But I wanted to try something new. Since K doesn't like applesauce but loves apples, this was a winner.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

New Year - New Meal Plan

I know, I know, it's been the new year for two weeks and I'm just now posting this. I'm sorry, but you'll notice "stop procrastinating" was not one of my resolutions this time around. I tried it before, I just never got around to it. But hey, at least it's still January.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

DIY Rice-a-Roni

The San Francisco treat has always been one of my favorite go-to side dishes for quick weeknight meals. Then it hit me - I was paying a lot of money for a box of rice and pasta (two of the cheapest foods on the planet) with some seasonings. Since I have been looking for ways to make more things from scratch (chicken broth, pumpkin seeds, granola cereal), I figured I would give this a try.

Apple Pie Yogurt

So the organic apples I buy are usually upwards of $8 a bag, and this past weekend, they were on sale for $5.79. Score! However, this means that a lot of my recipes in the next few weeks will be apple-based. If you love apples like we do, come in, take a load off, stay a while. If not, feel free to come back in a few days when I have gotten it all out of my system. This has been a public service announcement.

Taco Salad

I suppose if I'm going to tell you that my two favorite foods in the whole world are pancakes and tacos, that I'd better post recipes for both. I already shared my mini breakfast pigs-in-blankets, so here are some tacos.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Mini Breakfast Pigs-in-Blankets

The only way to make pancakes better is to serve them up with sausage. Or around sausage. I love going to places like IHOP and getting savory pork sausage wrapped up in sweet fluffy pancakes and dipping the whole thing in some warm syrup. Move over Campbells, this is mmm, mmm, good.

My Absolute Favorite Foods

I throw the word "love" around a lot on here. "I love this food" and "I love that recipe" and "I love, love, love _________ (fill in the blank)!" While it may seem like I am an equal opportunity lover of all things food, there are definitely some clear-cut favorites.

What are they? Well, I'm glad you asked.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Quick Cinnamon Rolls

When I made the breadsticks for the red lentil soup, I had some dough leftover that wouldn't fit on the pan. I didn't want to just throw it away, so I made some quick cinnamon rolls with it. These are not those fluffy cinnamon rolls you get from the mall, but they were a decent little dessert after our very savory french dinner.

Breadsticks - 3 Ways

I love, love, love my bread machine. I got a new one for my birthday in October and I can't live without it. I had one before that. Two, actually. The first one was older than me and when I finally decided to start using it, it turned out that it was half broken. It would bake, but it wouldn't mix or knead the dough. Then a friend of mine gave me one that someone gave to her and it ended up also being half broken. It would mix and knead, but not bake. So between the two of them, I had a great bread machine, but a total pain in the butt.

Slow Cooker Red Lentil Soup

For soup-and-bread Sunday last week, we went Italian. This time I decided to head west and go French. I love so many things about this soup. First, it's done in the slow cooker, leaving me free to do other things, like make breadsticks to go with it. Second, it makes the house smell amazing. Third, it uses lentils, a perfect source of protein that is often overlooked. Plus, it's totally customizable. Don't like red lentils? Use brown or green. Out of white rice? Choose your favorite (I used Jasmine). Don't have herbes de provence? Use thyme. Ok? Ok. Here we go...

A New Way to Grocery Shop

Now, we all know about my love affair with the grocery store. Whether I'm looking for the perfect sale, my favorite product's new flavor, or something different to spice up dinner, cruising those aisles is my version of crack. Hey, I don't smoke, I don't drink, I don't watch soap operas; I need some kind of excitement over here.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Banana Nut Bread Muffins (aka The 3 Banana Tragedy)

This recipe was born the same way most banana recipes are born in my kitchen - by three bananas that were ready to kick the bucket. I'm not sure why, but no matter how many (or few!) bananas I buy, there always ends up being three left on my counter.

Every. Single. Time.

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