June 30, 2008

Parmesan Pork Cutlets and Mashed Potatoes

Parmesan Pork Cutlets and Mashed Potatoes

I’m always looking for new recipes for easy and fast dinners to make. But a lot of times fast and easy = boring and no flavor. The other thing I’m always looking for is good pork recipes. I have chicken dishes out the wazoo, but barely any good pork ones. The other night I was pleasantly surprised to find a recipe, which I had torn out of a Real Simple magazine ages ago, that was successful on all counts.

I paired this recipe with my absolute favorite side dish: mashed potatoes. I used to think “real” mashed potatoes were too much work and would make the kind from a box instead, but then I found this recipe and realized how simple they are to make. I probably make mashed potatoes at least once a week these days.


December 1, 2008

Easy Chili with Honey Cornbread

Easy Chili and Honey Cornbread

Who’s tired of turkey? I am, I am! I’ve eaten nothing but turkey and leftovers since Thursday and I’m ready for something new. The problem is that after preparing such a big meal last week, I am not in the mood to make anything complicated or time consuming. For times like this, I have my two old standbys: my mom’s spaghetti and chili. It was rainy and cold all day, so that translates to the perfect weather for some chili.

Now, I’ll be the first to tell you that this is not some mind-blowing recipe for chili. There are probably tons of more creative recipes out there. But I’ve been making this stuff forever and it tastes great and gets the job done. I like it because I can make it up in 10 minutes in the afternoon and let it simmer until dinner time or if I didn’t remember to make it early I can whip it up, cook for less than 30 minutes and it’s still good. For my money, it’s better if you let it simmer for at …

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April 19, 2012

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip “Soft Batch” Cookies

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip "Soft Batch" Cookies

If you couldn’t tell from previous posts I have quite a long list of store-bought-food-I-want-to-learn-to-make-at-home. After I cleared off Spaghetti-Os, Soft Batch cookies were next on the list. They’re probably my second favorite kind of store-bought cookie (because nothing is better than Oreos). I like them so that I can only ever buy the small packs that you get from gas stations because I can’t trust myself around an entire package. If you’re unfamiliar with these cookies, they’re basically what they sound like: extremely soft and chewy chocolate chip cookies. It’s sort of like eating cookie dough but without the threat of getting sick since they’re baked.

I bookmarked this recipe for Soft Batch cookies a while back and finally got around to trying it out earlier this month. That’s when I realized that although I love the texture of those cookies, they don’t really have much flavor other than the chocolate chips. So I decided to change the recipe a bit and add one of my favorite ingredients: peanut butter! I had to do several tests (Is Cookie Recipe Tester a real job? Because I …

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October 15, 2009

Black and White Cake Cookies

Black and White Cake Cookies

I’m finally back from my little hiatus. We’re settled into our new apartment in Virginia and I’m ready to start cooking again. I was ready to start last week but after two things I tried to bake burnt to a crisp and set off the smoke alarm, it became apparent that the oven was broken. Luckily, the maintenance guy was able to fix it after he ordered a new part and now my oven stays at the right temperature (which I verified with an new oven thermometer, I’m not taking anymore chances with burning the house down).

But while I work on getting some new recipes under my belt, I wanted to finish posting things that I made this past summer. You may have noticed I have a thing for black and white desserts (see Black and White Chocolate Cheesecake Supreme, Black and White Cupcakes and Cheesecake Brownies), so when I saw Black and White Cake Cookies in my new Cooking Light cookbook, I knew I had to try them.

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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.

June 30, 2011

Cherry-Peach Yogurt Parfaits with Maple Granola Brittle

Cherry-Peach Yogurt Parfaits

I have a confession: I don’t really like yogurt. I’ve tried so many times over the years to make myself like it, but it always ends with me having to throw out a bunch of expired yogurt containers. But then I made that Cherry-Rhubarb Fool last month and I realized that yogurt can be good as long as it’s the base for something else. So yogurt by itself = meh, but yogurt + fruit + whipped cream = yum.

Last week I got some absolutely gorgeous peaches and cherries from my CSA and I had big container of yogurt that was close to expiring, so I decided combining them would be a great way to use everything up. But instead of mixing it all together like I did with the fool I made it a yogurt parfait. Because what’s more fun than a parfait? It just feels so much more decadent than a simple bowl of yogurt topped with fruit. Sometimes I have to trick myself into eating things that are better for me and this is a trick that worked really well.

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.