Chicken Enchilada Quinoa Bake

I am so excited to share this recipe with you guys today.  This recipe is the first (of many) that I’ve made from one of my new favorite bloggers, Emily Bites!

She is ah-mazing.  Emily writes about lightened up fun comfort food, often with a twist on the original.  She is so super creative and I love that she lists the Weight Watchers point values on each recipe- one less step for me!

This recipe is Continue reading

Pistachio & Cranberry Cookies

You probably have figured out that I don’t bake that often, but when I do, I like to make something special.  I am not the best at following directions, which is why I tend to stick with cooking and winging my own thing.  I have been trying to bake a little bit more which has been so fun!  In trying to find the perfect recipe for the cookie swap last month, I stumbled upon this adorable semi-homemade recipe from one of my favorite blogs, The Girl Who Ate Everything.  I ended up choosing the Peppermint Pattie Cookies for the cookie swap, but still HAD to make these! Continue reading

Peppermint Pattie Cookies

 

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It’s Cookie Swap Time!!!

This is the third year I’ve participated in the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap, and I just love it.  Here’s how it works:  I whip up a huge batch of cookies and send a dozen to three different bloggers that I am assigned to.  My favorite part about it all… three different bloggers send ME a dozen cookies each!  It’s such a fun way to try new recipes and share with friends in the holiday spirit.  As if three dozen cookies isn’t enough, the best thing about the swap is that we raise money for an awesome cause, Cookies for Kids’ Cancer.   How awesome is that?

This cookie recipe is screaming to be made for this holiday season.   Continue reading

White Cheddar Beer Bread

When I originally tagged this recipe and saved it to make, I read the original blog post from my absolute favorite blogger (Jessica @ How Sweet It Is ).  The recipe comes with a warning, to sum it up:  If you’re going to make this bread, just know you’re also going to eat the entire crunchy topping yourself.  It’s impossible to share.  It’s just so crunchy and  buttery and delicious!

I decided to give it a whirl and planned to serve the bread along with a batch of chili for the week.  I could just set myself up and cut the bread ahead of time so I would split it between Dave and I, each of us having enough for the week.

But then something happened-  the bread came out of the oven and as it was cooling, I couldn’t help but to try a little snitch off the corner.  That would be all I’d taste.  Until I tasted it.  Holy moly, is this stuff good!  Jessica was not lying.  This was the start to the end of me.

I was sneaky enough to thinly slice off the crusty end of one side of the loaf so Dave wouldn’t notice, and devoured every last crumb while cooking the chili.  So. Freakin’. Good.

Crunchy crusty delicious bread

Crunchy crusty delicious bread

Now, I’m sharing with you, because I mean, who doesn’t want to eat an entire loaf of cheesy beer bread?  I know I did!  I also have to mention that this recipe only takes SIX basic ingredients.  Doesn’t get much easier than that.

The bread was perfect for a bowl of chili, or if you check out Jess’s post, she makes a homemade apple compound butter to slather ontop that looks divine.  And, as I mentioned earlier, you could totally just gobble it up warm out of the oven… ENJOY!

White Cheddar Beer Bread
Recipe slightly adapted from:  How Good It Is Blog

Ingredients:
3 cups All Purpose Flour
3 teaspoons Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Salt
6oz White Cheddar Cheese, freshly grated
12oz Beer, any beer! (the more flavor the better!)
6 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, melted

Directions:
1.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9×5 loaf pan with nonstick spray.

2.  Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Stir.  Mix in the grated cheddar and pour the beer in until a thick batter comes together.  It will be very thick!  Spoon the batter into the prepared loaf pan.  Pour the melted butter right on top.

3.  Bake in the preheated oven for 50-55 minutes, or until the bread is golden brown and set in the middle.  Remove from the oven and let cool for about 30 minutes.  Slice and enjoy!

3.  Bake Over a large bowl, sift together the all-purpose and whole wheat flours. Stir in the baking powder and the salt. Stir in the grated white cheddar. Pour in the beer and stir until a batter forms. It will be thick. Spoon the batter in the greased loaf pan. Pour the melted butter over top. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until the bread is golden brown and set in the middle. Remove the pan from the oven and let cool for about 30 minutes.

Take a second to check out a few of my other favorite quick breads!

I suppose the melted butter helps :)

I suppose the melted butter helps 🙂

Nommmm

Nommmm

Eat it plain, or even with chili like we did :)

Eat it plain, or even with chili like we did 🙂

Enchilada Stuffed Peppers

stuffedpeppers

As it turns out, getting a new job, getting married, planning and going on an 18 day honeymoon in Hawaii all while trying to maintain a social life is JUST ENOUGH to prohibit me from blogging like I used to!  Sheesh!  Imagine that.

I’m more than happy to be back to share the first of many awesome recipes I’ve been busy with in my kitchen for you today.  This recipe is my first attempt at Stuffed Peppers- something Dave and I first tried on our trip to Israel  and that I have promised to make for him since.  It’s only taken 3.5 years.  No big deal.

I will be the first to admit that bell peppers are not my favorite ingredient.  I know they’re so basic and in everything, I just am not their biggest fan, so I guess I wasn’t super excited to try these out.  I think it was my trust in one of my favorite bloggers, Nikki from Chef in Training that gave me the courage to try this new recipe out (she’s fabulous, check out her blog!).  Her recipe for Enchilada Stuffed Bell Peppers caught my attention, especially because I already had most of the ingredients in my pantry.  Score!

Enchilada Stuffed Peppers
Recipe slighly adapted from: Chef in Training

Ingredients:

6 Red Bell Peppers  

1lb Ground Turkey, lean

2 Zucchinis, chopped small

1 – 15oz can Black Beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup Corn

1 cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese (plus a little extra for topping)

10oz can Enchilada Sauce

1 teaspoon Cumin

1 teaspoon Salt & 1 teaspoon Pepper

Fat Free Sour Cream for topping (optional)

Directions:

1.  Cut just the tops off the bell peppers and hollow out the insides.  Place in a large baking pan or pyrex dish and set aside.  

2.   In a large skillet, brown and chop ground turkey and the zucchini until cooked through and juices run clear and the zucchini is starting to soften.  

3.  Place turkey/zucc mixture in a large mixing bowl and add the black beans, corn, cheese, enchilada sauce, cumin and salt and stir until everything is combined.  

4.  Stuff each bell pepper to the top.  Cover the pan with foil.

5.  Bake in the oven at 350 for 1 hour.  Remove pan and foil and sprinkle a little extra cheese on the top and bake uncovered for another 5 minutes or so until the cheese is melted.  ENJOY!

 

Peppers ready to be stuffed

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The original recipe calls for a little more ground turkey, which I didn’t have handy, so I used the chopped zucchini, which worked just fabulously.  You could really use whatever vegetables you wanted!  If you chop them into nice, small pieces, it will work perfectly.

My new job requires me to work one “late day” each week, so this stuffed pepper recipe was perfect for that type of day.  I did all the cooking in the morning, which didn’t take long… then I stuffed the peppers and prepared them in the dish and stuck them in the fridge.  When I left work for my 45 min commute home, Dave popped them in the oven and dinner was ready when I got home!  It was perfect.

We ate the peppers for lunches the rest of the week- they are absolutely delicious.  The enchilada sauce makes the dish so flavorful and spicy, and I just love hot lunches in the wintertime.  I can’t wait to try new versions of this!  Who knows, maybe this will be the start of me finally liking bell peppers?

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Greek Stuffed Tomatoes, SRC September

Greek Stuffed Tomatoes

So.. excuse me but I’m a little busy getting MARRIED RIGHT NOW! Like, not even kidding, as this is posting at midnight on 9/1, my wedding will be just wrapping up (and the after party will be starting of course). Isn’t that crazy?!  I SOMEHOW still found time this week to not only cook a fun recipe but to blog about it for you for the Secret Recipe Club!  Don’t worry, I’ll post pictures on facebook and instagram this coming week 🙂

For those of you who are new to the blog (shoutout to the new work friends!), The Secret Recipe Club is an awesome program I’m in where every month, I’m assigned a new blogger in the program.  I get to visit their site and check out some new recipes.  Then, I have to make one of their recipes and blog about it!  We all do the same thing and post on the same day.  It is awesome to try new things and read about everyone else’s experiences!

This month, I was assigned to check out Francesca’s blog, Della Cucina Povera.  She is amazing!  I could not decide what to make because all of her recipes sounded so yummy and also her photography is GORGEOUS.  Francesca has such an interesting background which I’m sure attributes to her creative recipes… she is an Italian-Iranian-American living in Amsterdam.  WOW.  I’m also super jealous of all of her travels!  Due to my serious decision making issues… I also tried her Carmelized Onions & Blue Cheese Pasta… holy cow it was so good!   I’m also making these Lamb Meatballs next… omg.

just AWESOME blue cheese pasta recipe.  So simple but so good.

just AWESOME caramelized onions & blue cheese pasta recipe. So simple but so good.

For now though, let me share with you these crazy good Greek Stuffed Tomatoes!

Greek Stuffed Tomatoes

Ingredients

4-6 Large Tomatoes

1 Tablespoon + 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1 Large Onion, grated

bunch of Fresh Mint, chopped

1/2 cup Brown Jasmine or Basmati Rice (cook it ahead of time if you can!)

Salt & Pepper

a few Red Potatoes, chopped

1/2lb Ground Turkey (I would so use lamb but I didn’t have any!)

Directions:

1.  Rinse tomatoes and cut off the tops.  Using a spoon, take the insides out making sure not to scoop all the way to the skin.  Place the tomato pulp into a foodprocessor or blender and pulse.  Place hollowed-out tomatoes in a baking dish and surround with potatoes.

2.  Saute the grated onion in the first Tablespoon of EVOO.   Add the ground meat (whatever you use) and saute, chopping.  Continue until the meat is almost cooked through.  Add the tomato pulp, mint, and cooked rice to the pan.  Stir and cook for a few minutes until the meat is done. 

3.  Turn the oven on to 400 degrees.  Fill each tomato and replace the “lid”.  Drizzle the remaining olive oil over the tomatoes and add salt and pepper to the potatoes.

4.  Bake for about 45 min – 60 min, or until the “lids” start to brown.

Recipe from:  Della Cucina Povera, Greek Stuffed Tomatoes

Stuffin' ingredients ready to do work!

Stuffin’ ingredients ready to do work!

Tom's surrounded by Po's... not too bad!

Tom’s surrounded by Po’s… not too bad!

The crispy, crunchy, delicious finished product!

The crispy, crunchy, delicious finished product!

Even the potatoes were outrageous

Even the potatoes were outrageous

Crockpot Coconut Curry – SRC July

Crockpot Coconut Curry w/ Eggplant & Zucchini – for the SRC July

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I know that typically people whip out their good ol’ slow cookers in the dead of winter, but I am super happy I decided to try this out despite the fact that it’s (OMG… already?!?) July!  There’s absolutely something to be said about a recipe that takes zero effort to prepare and no time standing over a hot grill, oven, or stovetop.  And I just love having a “Meatless Monday” to start my week of right.

What I love so much about cooking -and blogging- is that I can find so many different recipes from different places.  This recipe happened because of a really awesome blogging club that I participate in, called The Secret Recipe Club.  Forget what my Secret Recipe Club is?  Every month, we are assigned a new blogger.  We get to pick ANY recipe that blogger has written about and cook it up ourselves.  We can make adjustments according to our tastes too.  All of the bloggers post their results on the same day and we all get to see who had who and more importantly, what delicious dishes were made!

Secret Recipe Club

This month, I was paired with the adorable vegetarian blogger, Amanda and her blog Dancing Veggies.  Despite being the opposite of a vegetarian, I totally fell in foodie-love with Amanda’s blog.  Her veggie dishes are super flavorful and complex, it was so hard to pick just one.  Amanda loves spicy food, like us, so this Crockpot Coconut Curry won out.  It was amazing!

Crockpot Coconut Curry – Eggplant & Zucchini

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Sweet Onion, large
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, seeded and quartered
  • 2 Thai Chilies, minced
  • 4 Garlic Cloves
  • 1 6oz can Tomato Paste
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) Light Coconut Milk
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Madras Curry Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Garam Marsala
  • 1lb Zucchini, cubed
  • 1lb Eggplant, cubed
  • 1/2 cup Fat Free Plain Greek Yogurt
  • Fresh Parsley, chopped

Directions:

  1. Place the onion, bell pepper, and thai chilies into a food processor.  Pulse until finely chopped.  Add garlic, tomato paste, coconut milk and spices and process until smooth. 
  2. Place the veggies and sauce into the slow cooker.  Cook on LOW for 4 hours.  Serve over rice with delicious naan bread.  Top with a dollop of yogurt and some fresh parsley if desired.

Recipe slightly adapted from:  Slow Cooker Coconut Curry

Ready to whirl!

Ready to whirl!

Sauce is complete and ready to go.

Sauce is complete and ready to go.

Veggies chopped... so good!

Veggies chopped… so good!

The finished product!  yummy vegetarian curry over brown basmati rice

The finished product! yummy vegetarian curry over brown basmati rice

Dave and I were just dying over this curry!  The veggies become completely melt-in-your-mouth delicious, and the curry sauce is thick and packed with spice and flavor.  I served the curry over some brown basmati rice from Trader Joe’s and skipped the Naan this time.  This healthy dish should definitely make it into your weeknight repertoire!  ENJOY, and don’t forget to check out the other posts written below by the fabulous bloggers in the SRC!