• March 9, 2016

    Greek Salad with Lamb

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    Sometimes you just need an easy meal that is healthy and quick, you know?  That’s not an easy combination to come up with, so I end up making my go-to easy meals kind of a lot.  I’m ok with that, especially with this Greek salad recipe!  The lamb makes it hearty enough for dinner, but the veggies keep it fresh and crisp.  I especially love this meal after a good work out at the gym.

    Greek Salad with Lamb Recipe

    By Erin Published: March 9, 2016

      Sometimes you just need an easy meal that is healthy and quick, you know?  That's not an easy combination to come up with, so I end …

      Ingredients

      Instructions

      1. ComponentsGather Ingredients.
      2. Cook-it-upCook ground lamb and season with oregano and dill.
      3. Greek-SaladFill bowls or plates with lettuce, top with cooked lamb, feta, olives, tomatoes to taste. Top with a drizzle of olive oil and enjoy!

      Pro Tip: If you can’t find lamb or it’s too expensive, you can substitute ground turkey.  Or, for a more traditional and vegetarian option, leave the meat out altogether!  Just toss the oregano and dill with the lettuce and you’re golden!

      Pair with a yummy glass of pinot grigio or merlot and you’ve got yourself a classy meal that you can really impress your friends with!

    • February 10, 2016

      Romantic Fondue for Two

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      Ready for something really fun?  And easy?  And romantic?

      *grin*

      I really love fondue and am so excited to share my favorite cheese recipe with you!  This is a pretty basic one which is nice because you can totally add different seasonings, spices, and dipping ingredients depending on what you feel like doing and what you have on hand.

      You’ll need a fondue pot – we use an electric one similar to this and it’s been great!  I like that we don’t have to have an open flame at the table and that we can raise and lower the temperature easily as we cook and eat.

      I hope you have a romantic evening soon where you can enjoy this delicious meal.  If not, though, you can totally make this for a group of girlfriends too!  I mean, it’s mostly cheese and who doesn’t like cheese?  ha!

      Romantic Fondue for Two Recipe

      By Erin Published: February 10, 2016

        Ready for something really fun?  And easy?  And romantic? *grin* I really love fondue and am so excited to share my favorite …

        Ingredients

        Instructions

        1. IngredientsGather ingredients.
        2. Cheese-and-Corn-StarchCombine cheeses and cornstarch together
        3. Wine-and-SpicesPour wine and spices into fondue pot and heat over medium heat until bubbling
        4. CheeseStir in cheese - stir continually until melted to a smooth consistency; Lower heat to as needed to prevent burning while still keeping the fondue warm
        5. Dip desired foods into the cheese mixture and enjoy!
          Fondue
         

        Pro Tip: My favorite fondue dippers with this cheese are: granny smith apples, grapes, broccoli, and artichokes. 

        Keep an eye on the cheese so it doesn’t over heat and burn to the pan.

        Since you only use 1 cup of the wine, be sure to get one you really like so you can break out the fancy glasses and drink the rest!  This is a romantic meal, after all!  ;)

      • November 4, 2015

        Thai Chicken with Mushrooms and Leeks

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        I was at the farmers market this weekend and came across some beautiful leeks that I just had to make something with!  This led me into some experimenting and we came up with a new favorite meal.  The best thing is that it is super easy too!  Now is a great time to find leeks since they are in season, so I hope you’ll give this little dish a try!

         

        Thai Chicken with Mushrooms and Leeks Recipe

        By Erin Published: November 4, 2015

        • Yield: 4 Servings

        I was at the farmers market this weekend and came across some beautiful leeks that I just had to make something with!  This led me …

        Ingredients

        Instructions

        1. Gather Ingredients.
        2. Mix garlic, cilantro, tamari, and sesame oil together and let chicken marinate for 15 - 20 minutes. While the chicken marinates, prep your grill for use.
        3. Cook chicken on the grill, searing on both sides to help keep the juices in.
        4. While the chicken cooks, heat olive oil in a saucepan. When hot, sauté leeks and mushrooms together.
        5. To serve, top chicken with vegetable mixture and sprinkle parmesan cheese on top. Serve hot.

         

         

      • October 7, 2015

        Stuffed Bell Peppers

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        Happy October, ya’ll!  I’ve probably said this more times than anyone cares to hear, but I love fall!  I love the changing colors, the chilly mornings, the warm drinks, and the tall boots.  I also love the yummy treats and meals that are coming in season now!

        One of our favorite fall meals is stuffed bell peppers.  I use quinoa to add protein without necessitating cooking meat along with everything else that goes into this meal.  I also like to mix and match ingredients depending on what I have on hand.  This recipe is my favorite, though, and I hope you like it as much as we do!

        Stuffed Bell Peppers Recipe

        By Erin Published: October 7, 2015

        • Yield: 4 Stuffed Peppers (4 Servings)

        Happy October, ya'll!  I've probably said this more times than anyone cares to hear, but I love fall!  I love the changing colors, …

        Ingredients

        Instructions

        1. Set oven to 400 degrees. Meanwhile, cook quinoa: Rinse 1 cup quinoa in a fine mesh strainer, then put in pot with 2 cups water (or 2 cups broth if you prefer) and bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover, and let simmer for 15 minutes. When done, remove from heat at let stand 5 minutes.
        2. Cover a baking sheet with foil and place all pepper bottoms and tops on - let bake for 25 minutes.
        3. In a separate pan over high heat, add olive oil and sauté the thyme, garlic, leek, and kale.
        4. When quinoa is done, combine veggie mixture in pot. Add remaining ingredients and mix well.
        5. When peppers are done, remove from oven and stuff with the quinoa/veggie mixture and top with the pepper's top. Serve warm and enjoy!

         

        Pro Tip: If you’d like to add meat to this meal, it’s super easy!  Just cook  up some ground sausage while the quinoa is cooking and mix it all in at the end!  You will probably want to halve the quinoa/veggie mixture, though – or bake a few more bell peppers – so the filling to pepper ratio works out better.

        You can also beef up the filling with black beans, corn, peas, nuts, cheese, dried cranberries, etc. depending on your own tastes and what’s in your cupboard!  You really can’t mess this one up.

      • October 8, 2014

        Spaghetti Squash

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        Autumn is one of my favorite things in the whole wide world.  I love the cooler weather, the leaves changing colors, and the harvest.  I also love getting back in the kitchen and cooking more often.  Squash of all different varieties speaks most clearly of fall to me, and one of my favorite squashes is the spaghetti squash.  There are so many different ways to make it and all of them are pretty easy!

        So, today, I want to share with you my favorite way to prepare a spaghetti squash.  I hope you love it as much as I do!

        Spaghetti Squash

        By Erin Published: October 8, 2014

          Autumn is one of my favorite things in the whole wide world.  I love the cooler weather, the leaves changing colors, and the …

          Ingredients

          Instructions

          1. IngredientsGather ingredients.
          2. Spaghetti-SquashHeat oven to 375 Degrees. Poke holes in all side of squash with a fork and place on baking sheet. Cook for 1 hour 20 minutes, turning over half way through.
          3. In the mean time, gather other ingredients. If desired, chop veggies into bite sized pieces; sauté for 2-3 minutes.
          4. Scrape-Out-the-SquashWhen squash is done, remove from oven and chop in half lengthwise. Let cool for a few minutes, and then scrape insides out with a fork. It should look like long strings of translucent, yellow spaghetti. Transfer the squash strings to a large mixing bowl.
          5. Almost-DoneDrizzle olive oil and herbs/spices on squash and mix well. Add veggies and cheese. Serve hot.

           

          Pro tips:

          A lot of recipes for spaghetti squash want you to cut it in half before cooking it.  You can totally do that if you want.  I just prefer to cut it after because it’s so much softer and easier for me.  The squash will, however, be hot… so be careful!  I like to use my handy welding gloves to prevent burns while also allowing for a good grip.

          If you want some protein with your squash, cook up some ground sausage and add at the same time as the veggies.  You can also just make a spaghetti sauce and use the noodles in place of pasta.  Spaghetti squash is very forgiving… be bold and try new combinations!

        • June 4, 2014

          Cowboy Burgers

          IMG_6573

          Howdy, ya’ll!  Its summer time and that means its grillin’ time!

          I love when its grillin’ time.

          The other day I went to the store to get these burgers a friend had made that were delicious.  They told me it was a pre-made burger in the fresh meat section, so I had to take a look.  After inquiring at the store about ingredients and seeing the price per burger, I figured I could make the same thing for a lot less and use better, more healthful ingredients without any chemicals.

          So I did.

          The store called it a cowboy burger and I can’t really think of a better name for it.  Better Then Store-bought Cowboy Burgers, maybe?  I don’t know… is the name really even an issue?  I mean, can you plagiarize a meat product?

          *ponders*

          Well, whatever you call it, it’s delicious!

          Cowboy Burgers

          By Erin Published: June 4, 2014

          • Yield: 4 or 5

          Howdy, ya’ll!  Its summer time and that means its grillin’ time! I love when its grillin’ time. The other day I went to …

          Ingredients

          Instructions

          1. IMG_6521Gather Ingredients
          2. IMG_6530Combine ingredients in a large bowl. Get your hands in there and make sure it's really well mixed.
          3. IMG_6533Measure out 1/4 cup (rounded) of the mixture at a time and shape into tightly packed burger patties.
          4. IMG_6551Grill the burger patties until no longer pink in the center.
          5. IMG_6568Serve hot and enjoy with your favorite burger fixin's.

          Pro Tips:

          1.   Chop up the bacon and mushrooms pretty small.  If they are too big, you may have trouble getting the burger patty to stay stuck together.

          2.  Let the burger patties chill in the fridge for an hour or so before cooking.  I suspect this will also help them stay stuck together.

          3.  Or mix an egg up with the other ingredients too.  I’ve heard that helps bind meat together for cooking as well.

          4.  Be sure to cook your burgers all of the way through… ground hamburger is pretty highly processed and isn’t safe to eat uncooked.  I know a lot of people prefer their meat a little (or a lot) pink… but it isn’t worth getting sick over!

          5.  Invest in a burger masher if you plan to make this (or other burgers) on a regular basis.  These little gadgets are not expensive and really help make burgers uniform and stay well packed.

          6.  Omit the cheese to make this recipe Paleo.  It will still be delicious!

           

          Happy Grilling!

        • March 26, 2014

          Spinach and Artichoke Bake

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          I feel like it has been a really long time since we did a new recipe!  Today, I picked one of my favorite recipes for comfort and coziness.  This meal is super easy to make and is loaded with yummy veggies… and lots of dairy.  You can use less cream cheese if you want, I just find that using 8 oz makes the dish a little more dense and it seems to hold together better.  You can also use whatever noodles you want, I just prefer Quinoa noodles because quinoa is packed with protein, fiber, and iron.

          The original recipe was found at: http://www.budgetsavvydiva.com/2012/02/spinach-artichoke-baked-pasta/  and modified.

          Spinach and Artichoke Bake Recipe

          By Erin Published: March 26, 2014

            I feel like it has been a really long time since we did a new recipe!  Today, I picked one of my favorite recipes for comfort and …

            Ingredients

            Instructions

            1. IngredientsGather ingredients and preheat oven to 425 degrees.
            2. NoodlesCook pasta according to the box.
            3. MixtureIn a large bowl, mix sour cream, cream cheese, Italian cheese, lemon juice, onion and garlic powder. Add pasta and combine.
            4. With-VeggiesNext, stir in spinach, artichokes, salt, pepper, and most of the Mozzarella
            5. Ready-to-BakePour mixture into casserole dish and sprinkle the rest of mozzarella cheese on top
            6. DonePlace in the oven and bake until golden brown on top – about 10 or 15 minutes.
            7. YumLet sit for a couple of minutes after taking it out of the oven so it will set. This makes it easier to cut and serve.

             

            Pro-Tips:

            If the cheese just won’t brown on top, switch over to the broiler for a minute – be careful not to let it go too long!

            You can use real diced onion and garlic if you prefer it to the powder or salt… I just really hate chopping onions.  *grin*

          • January 29, 2014

            Mango Pork Chops

            Mango-Pork

            Rejoice, dear readers, its recipe time again!

            My husband has never really liked pork chops.  I have several recipes that I really like, but he usually grumbles and complains about them.  That is, until I discovered and improved the following mango pork chops.  He actually requests these and gets excited when I make them.  I think it’s just a good mix of just enough spice paired with the sweetness of coconut and cinnamon.  Whatever it is, I’m glad they passed the test!  *grin*

            Mango Pork Chops

            By Erin Published: January 29, 2014

            • Yield: 6 Servings
            • Prep: 15 mins
            • Cook: 30 mins
            • Ready In: 45 mins

            Rejoice, dear readers, its recipe time again! My husband has never really liked pork chops.  I have several recipes that I really …

            Ingredients

            Instructions

            1. Ingredients-1Gather ingredients.
            2. Ingredients-3Heat the butter in a large skillet and brown the pork chops on both sides. Remove chops and set aside.
            3. Pork-ChopsAdd garlic powder, curry powder, and flour to the butter and juices left in the skillet and stir well. Then, add chicken broth and salt, mixing well. Return pork chops to the skillet, cover and cook for about 25 minutes on medium/high. Stir the mixture occasionally and add a little water if it starts to get dry.
            4. MangoCut mango into bite size pieces and add them to the skillet with the pork in the last 3 minutes.
            5. Ingredients-2In the meantime, add coconut milk and ground cinnamon to a separate pan and stir well. Simmer it until sauce gets slightly thicker.
            6. Mango-PorkServe pork chops with rice and cover with the coconut milk sauce.

            Pro Tips:

            Be careful not to overcook the meat, it dries out pretty easy.  It’s best to check it often to make sure the liquid is still sufficient.

            Don’t mistake papayas for mangoes… they are not the same thing.

          • November 20, 2013

            Thanksgiving for Two

            Next week is Thanksgiving, so I decided it was probably time to start thinking about a menu for the day.  My family never really did the whole traditional turkey-and-all-the-fixin’s meal, so over the past few years, I’ve been learning all about traditional Thanksgiving.

            This year it’s just hubby and me, so I’ll be doing small portions of everything while trying to keep it all healthy with paleo tendencies.  Of course, there will be some grains and dairy that work their way in, but we’ll use substitutes wherever possible and limit what can’t be substituted.

            So, without further ado – here is my Thanksgiving for Two menu for 2013:

            Breakfast:

            • Spinach, Mushroom, & Feta Crustless Quiche
            • Mimosas

            Breakfast

            Snacks:

            • Chex Mix
            • Deviled Eggs

            Eggs

            Dinner:

            • Turkey/Bacon kabobs
            • Mashed Potatoes in the Crock Pot
            • Roasted Winter Squash Salad with Goat Cheese and Pine Nuts
            • Quinoa Sage Stuffing
            • Wine

            Dinner

            Dessert:

            • Pumpkin pie
            • Brownies

            Pumpkin-Pie

            Since most of these recipes are new to me, I will share the recipe my parents taught me after Dad came home from a turkey hunting trip in Kansas.  This is by far the best way to make turkey for two!

            Turkey and Bacon Kabobs

            By Erin Published: November 20, 2013

              Next week is Thanksgiving, so I decided it was probably time to start thinking about a menu for the day.  My family never really did …

              Ingredients

              Instructions

              1. Heat up the grill to a medium heat.
              2. Cut-TurkeyCut your turkey breasts into long, thin-ish strips and halve your bacon strips. Ensure you have one piece of bacon for each strip of turkey.
              3. Skewered-TurkeyWrap the bacon and turkey strips together and skewer them on kabob sticks.
              4. Place each kabob on the grill and cook, being careful not to burn the bacon. Typically, when the bacon is crispy and looks done, the turkey should also be done.
              5. Cooked-TurkeyServe hot and enjoy!

               

              Pro-Tips:

              If you’re using wooden kabob skewers, be sure to soak them in water first so they won’t burn on the grill.

              These are more filling than you would think, so don’t let their small size trick you into putting 100 on your plate.

              In the event you have leftovers, put a little butter on them when reheating to help prevent them from getting too dry.

            • August 14, 2013

              Cook it up!

              Sausage-and-Veggie-Pouch

               

              Another passion I have is making and eating delicious food.

              Delicious, gluten-free, food.

              I am not a band-wagon-weight-loss-fad-diet-gluten-free-by-choice kind of girl. I don’t eat gluten because if I do, it will kill me. Or, to be slightly less dramatic, it will do things that will kill me eventually. So when people tell me “how hard it must be” and how they “could never live without doughnuts and spaghetti” and how “it must be so nice to have such a petite frame and thin waist,” all I can do is shake my head. What a mess fad dieters have made for the rest of us.

              All of that aside, I have spent eight years teaching myself how to stick to a gluten free diet. I was lucky to be diagnosed with Celiac before leaving home to attend university, but a tiny dorm room with no kitchen is NOT a good way to be introduced to the gluten-free lifestyle. I have since invested in a nice, large kitchen and have become much more organized and willing to experiment until I get it right.

              From time to time, I will share some of the recipes that make me happy. I’m actually working on a little cookbook for friends and family who panic when they know I am coming to visit because they are so afraid of poisoning me. Their concern is sweet, but there are so many simple, inexpensive, gluten-free meals out there….

              It took me plenty of time to figure it out, but there are options and it is possible.

              Today’s recipe was inspired by this: http://www.hy-vee.com which I found via pinterest.com. I’ve adjusted it a little for this post… and every other time I make it. Honestly, you can’t really mess this one up, just get whatever veggies you like, get some sausage, put it all in foil, and cook it up! For all you type A’s out there, however, I’ve made a recipe:

              Sausage and Veggie Pouch

              By Erin Published: August 14, 2013

              • Prep: 15 mins
              • Cook: 20 mins
              • Ready In: 35 mins

                Another passion I have is making and eating delicious food. Delicious, gluten-free, food. I am not a …

              Ingredients

              Instructions

              1. IngredientsGather ingredients.
              2. Ingredients 2Wash your veggies and cut everything into bite size pieces.
              3. Open-PacketCombine the pieces in a length of foil along with olive oil, garlic powder, onion powder, parsley, salt, and pepper to taste.
              4. Closed-PacketSeal the foil up as tightly as you can to ensure juices and food stay on the inside of your foil packet while cooking.
              5. GrillingToss it on the grill for about 20 minutes and flip the packet 10 minutes in.
              6. On-a-PlateServe hot.

              Pro-Tips:

              1. Usually we use two of each ingredient. This time we used veggies grown in a real live garden, not purchased from a grocery store… so they were much bigger than usual. We also added the eggplant for the first time to give it a try (delicious, by the way). What I’m saying is this: you don’t necessarily want to use my photos for your shopping list; unless you’re cooking for a small army. Seriously, I won’t have to cook anything else for at least 2 more days.
              2. This recipe can easily be adapted to be vegetarian or to incorporate things that are in season and so on.
              3. Don’t over-stuff the foil! It’s tempting when you have so many delicious veggies in front of you, but if you fill the packet too full, it will rip open and leak all over everything. Ask me how I know.
              4. When grilling this, it’s good to be very careful when flipping the packets. As mentioned above, the foil is fragile and the contents are a little heavy. You may be tempted to use oven mitts or fancy grill stuff to flip your packet. Instead, and this may sound a little weird but, I highly recommend using welding gloves! They make you feel like a grilling superhero.