February 15, 2012

Lemon and Cream Cheese-filled King Cakes

Lemon and Cream Cheese-filled King Cakes

Even though I haven’t lived anywhere that celebrates Mardi Gras for a very long time, I grew up on the Gulf Coast and still have lots of fond memories of going to the parade every year. And since my birthday is in late February, Mardi Gras has fallen on or near the same day—the date changes every year, along with Easter—a bunch of times so I would usually have some kind of Mardi Gras themed party and we’d order a King Cake instead a normal birthday cake. This year, Mardi Gras happens to be next Tuesday, the day after my birthday, so I thought it would be fun to have a King Cake again.

King Cakes I’ve made in the past have always been huge, not only hard to handle and store but they’d wind up drying out before we could finish eating them. So this time, rather than making one giant cake I decided to make small personal-size cakes. I don’t think I’ll ever go back to full size again! This recipe makes four 6-inch King Cakes which are adorable and easy to carry and store. I think they’d …

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June 20, 2011

Frozen Raspberry Pie

Frozen Raspberry Pie

Sometimes I worry that people think I’m way better at this while cooking/baking thing than I actually am. But if anyone is to blame for this perception, it’s obviously me because I’m always telling you how easy this or that recipe is to make and blah blah blah…look how great it turned out, too! Here’s what you should be taking away from any recipe I post on this site: If I can make this thing, then you most definitely can as well. Because the truth is I’m still learning and I make mistakes ALL the time. But the awesome thing about learning to cook is that the more you do it, the more you learn little tricks and shortcuts so that you can fix your mistakes and learn to steer clear of them next time. But even then, things don’t always go your way. It always sucks to waste ingredients, but you just have to stop, take a breath and start all over again.

November 20, 2009

Honey Roasted Turkey

Honey Roasted Turkey

I’ll always remember my first Thanksgiving with Brandon when we were living in our first apartment together at the ripe old age of 20 and I didn’t really know how to cook anything except brownies. The turkey was the thing I most afraid of. I had always thought that cooking a turkey was so complicated and was surprised to find that it…wasn’t. I had much more problems with my stuffing which I completely ruined when instead of using a real actual onion (I think the only vegetables I cooked with back then were potatoes and tomatoes) I put in 1/2 cup (!!) of onion powder. You haven’t tasted onion until you put a 1/2 cup onion powder in something. To this day I really can’t use onion powder in anything, I think I used up my life quota of it.

But anyway, I think anyone can make a turkey. As long as you keep an eye on it and baste it regularly, there isn’t much thought or work involved. And the end product is almost always impressive looking and something that you can feel proud of cooking. …

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July 9, 2009

Balsamic Chicken with Roasted Tomatoes and Garlic-Roasted Potatoes

Balsamic Chicken with Roasted Tomatoes and Garlic-Roasted Potatoes

Brandon and I started on a diet a few weeks ago. And not one those “I’m eating more fruits and vegetables” kind of things, like an actual counting calories, keeping a food log kind of thing (though of course we are eating more fruits and vegetables, too). The first week was really scary because I thought it would be impossible to come up with a week’s worth of low-fat meals. But now in week 2, I’m realizing that I was very, very wrong. With the help of a couple of great cookbooks, I’m finding that it’s really not difficult and it doesn’t even take a lot of extra time. In fact, all the dishes I’ve made in the past few weeks take MUCH less time to make and both Brandon and I agree that they’ve been really good and filling. If someone else made these dishes for me, I wouldn’t even think they were supposed to be light. They’re just good recipes and they happen to be low fat as well.

Even though I’m on a diet, this isn’t going to …

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October 3, 2013

Carnita Salad with Citrus Chipotle Dressing

Carnita Salad with Citrus Chipotle Dressing

I’m not going to lie: for most of my life I’ve hated salad. Mostly, it’s the lettuce. It’s so limp and flavorless. I’ve never had a true BLT because the lettuce was always the first thing to be discarded from any sandwich. But earlier this year I realized the problem wasn’t all lettuce it was just iceberg lettuce. So I put aside my lettuce prejudice and tried a bunch of other kinds of lettuce only to discover that they’re not that bad. Especially once you add a bunch of veggies, cheese and dressing on top.

Since making that discovery I’ve implemented a weekly Salad Night where we eat a very large salad, usually topped with chicken. It’s a simple but filling dinner on nights when I don’t feel like making much effort and it saves us from ordering pizza like we used to. It’s been especially great while we’ve been doing the Whole30 because it’s one less meal I have plan out every week.

October 14, 2008

Chicken Paprikash

Chicken Paprikash

My boyfriend and I have this inside joke about paprikash and goulash. It makes no sense to anyone but us, but suffice it to say, when I saw a recipe for paprikash, I HAD to save it. I finally got around to making it last week and while I may have made it sort of as joke, it’s really good. And easy to make as well.

This recipe is supposed to be made in a dutch oven, but I don’t have one (it’s on my Christmas list!). I just made it in a skillet and then transferred everything to my 13×9 Pyrex to cook in the oven. Because I was making it in a larger dish, I didn’t think there were enough diced tomatoes so I added a second can. But even if I was making it in a smaller dish, I still think I would have doubled it. The picture in the magazine looked like it had WAY more than one can of tomatoes.

April 11, 2012

Mini Bean and Corn Tamale Pies

Mini Bean and Corn Tamale Pies

When it comes to dinner, Mexican food is my big weakness. I don’t go out to eat too much anymore, especially compared to five plus years ago when Brandon and I dined out more days than we ate at home, but I can’t give up my Mexican food. I go to my favorite Mexican restaurant at least every other week, sometimes more often. Whenever we move to a new town, finding a Mexican restaurant with a decent chimichanga and good queso blanco is my number one priority. And there have been some places (*cough* Jacksonville) where that meant trying out pretty much every Mexican restaurant in town.

I know I shouldn’t eat at the Mexican restaurant so much, though. It’s probably one of unhealthiest meals you can have. So whenever I see a Mexican-ish recipe in one of my many low fat/light cookbooks I always try it in the hopes of finding something satisfying that’s not totally unhealthy. Most of the time I’m disappointed. I got this recipe from Martha Stewart’s new Light cookbook and I was …

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August 1, 2008

Classic Pot Roast

Pot Roast

I just rediscovered pot roast and I really like it. See what happened was, at some point in my childhood I decided I didn’t like beef. I don’t know why. There’s no rhyme or reason when you’re a kid, you just decide things like that. I wasn’t a vegetarian and it’s not like I never ate beef (I’d never turn down a hamburger), but I just refused to eat most dishes made with beef.

Slowly, I’ve been adding more beef back into my life. I like steak and I use ground beef for a lot of dishes. When I saw this recipe, it made me remember that my mom used to make Pot Roast all the time and I liked it. So why did I stop eating it? I guess maybe I thought it would be too complicated to make, but it’s really not. It’s quite easy to put together and then you just let it cook for a few hours. My mom made hers in a crockpot; I don’t have one, but it seems just as easy on the stove. I guess Pot Roast …

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