Category Archives: *favorite*

Honey Mustard BBQ Chicken

Honey Mustard Summer Chicken - Just the TipI’m bumping this post up from the archives (2010!). This is my go-to grilled chicken every summer. Feel free to switch up the cuts of chicken – sometimes I”ll use a mix of thin breasts and thighs, sometimes breasts only. Mix it up, go nuts.

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Risotto Primavera with Shrimp

Risotto Primavera - Just the TipOh, hello there. I thought I’d share a favorite recipe with you just in time for spring. I added cooked shrimp to this at the end, but feel free to omit for a vegetarian option. Or, swap it out for some cooked lobster or crab, if you like – would be yum. This risotto comes together in about 30 minutes start to finish, and oddly enough, I find it to be a relaxing dish to make after a long day.

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Dallas’s Grilled Balsamic Eggplant

Dallas's Grilled Balsamic Eggplant - Just the TipThis recipe hails from my mom, Dallas. This recipe makes for a great, easy summer side dish and it is my absolute favorite way of cooking eggplant. Enjoy!

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Spaghetti with Roasted Eggplant and Tomatoes

Spaghetti with Roasted Eggplant and Tomatoes - Just the Tip

This was one of the first recipes I ever made when I was first learning how to cook and I’m so happy I rediscovered it.

Is it bad to say that the only reason I’m blogging is because I don’t want to forget about this recipe again? It’s not like I haven’t missed blogging over the last few months…(I didn’t really miss it, sorry), but I am reminded of why I actually started to blog to begin with – to keep track of my tried and trues.

This recipe made me and a few of my girlfriends very happy this past week. I even used low-carb pasta and none of them were the wiser. Dreamfields spaghetti and linguine tastes exactly like regular pasta and I love it. Enjoy! xo

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Mini Shrimp Calzones

Mini Shrimp Calzones - Just the TipThis is the second time I’ve made this recipe and absolutely love it. We’re trying to behave calorically around here – and theses taste positively decadent but clock in just around 500 calories. Next time, I will make a little more sauce to reserve for dipping because the sauce is amazing. Enjoy!

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Herby Kale Soup with Chickpeas and Sausage

Kale Soup with Chickpeas and Sausage - Just the TipI am digging this recipe out of the archives because it’s one of my favorites and I make it all the time as soon as the weather dips a little. It’s super simple, hearty, and when served with some crusty garlic bread, makes a perfect meal.

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Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf

This is THE BEST meatloaf ever. The combination of the ground beef + pork, all draped under a layer of streaky bacon…to die for. I’ve made this a couple of times now and it’s just too awesome not to share. Now, I never grew up eating meatloaf so this whole thing is somewhat new to me. But I like it. We served it with some steamed veggies and some frozen mashed sweet potatoes (which are kind of weird and bland, don’t recommend). Perfect Sunday meal. Also! I have fun plans for re-purposing the meatloaf leftovers – stay tuned.

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Sausage, Pumpkin, Potato and Halloumi Bake

Sausage, Pumpkin, Potato, and Halloumi Bake - Just the TipThis is fall cooking. This is what I’m talkin’ about. Roasted acorn squash (use any seasonal squash/pumpkin you like), buttery yukon gold potatoes, sausage, tomatoes, and squeaky and salty halloumi cheese. Homey and comforting and the best thing I’ve had this fall. And not just because ‘fall’ just officially began today, either.

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Favorite Taco Meat

My Favorite Taco Meat - Just the TipWhen I put tacos on the menu this week, I went to the blog to search for the recipe to remind myself of what I needed to pick up at the store. I’ve been making this same taco meat recipe for a while now, I can’t believe I haven’t posted it here yet.

This is a very straight-forward and classic tasting taco meat recipe, but it’s made a lot healthier by sneaking in a ton of fresh veggies and it using fresh spices instead of those sketchy seasoning packets. Try it!

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Escarole Soup with Mini Meatballs

Escarole Soup with Mini Meatballs - Just the TipI am yanking this one from the archives and re-posting with some upgraded pictures. From time to time I think of what a shame it is that some of these particularly yummy recipes I post are stuck in blog archives that will probably never get seen. This soup is just too good for that.

Today we had a lovely 70-degree humidity free day in Boston. This got me wanting to dust off my dutch oven, which during colder months is in heavy rotation, but is basically abandoned come May. I’ve been under the weather with one thing after the next over the last week+, so I went looking through my old posts for some comforting, yet light, old standbys.

Reading through the old post, I was reminded that the recipe is from the Sopranos Cookbook that someone had given me as a gift many years ago. Since James Gandolfini’s death (sniff sniff), Brian and I have been re-watching the series from the beginning and loving it. Although i am having a lot of mob-related dreams and I think I actually briefly considered blackmail as a solution to a real-life problem. Might need to cut back on The Sopranos.

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Grilled Veggie Pesto Panini

Veggie Pesto Panini - Just the TipThis sandwich is a favorite in our house. It’s a great option for a vegetarian meal that still feels substantial. Just grill up your veggies of choice (I did zucchini, onions, and roasted red pepper, but eggplant would be a great addition/ substitution), layer on some pesto and provolone cheese. Use a panini press (I used my beloved Griddler) or a pan with heavy pan on top of the sandwich to press down until the sandwich is pressed and crispy and the cheese has melted.

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Grilled Chicken and Sausage Kebab Salad

IMG_4420This is my FAVORITE dinner salad. I was so excited making it tonight because somehow I had forgotten about it. This recipe was heavy in my repertoire a couple of years ago and for good reason – it’s awesome. Grilled skewers of pork sausage, chicken breast, and fresh bay doused in olive oil and lemon all tossed around with romaine lettuce (the most boring part, but necessary), fresh garlic croutons and THE BEST dressing ever. The Best. Best part is that it’s such a simple meal and perfect for a summer night.

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Mashed Unpotatoes / Cheesy Cauliflower Puree

IMG_4395Soooo, I’ve been taking a little break from the blog, if you haven’t noticed. And I’m sure you’re thrilled that in my reappearance I give you cauliflower. It’s not the most popular vegetable, I know, but I’ve been making this a ton and it’s awesome! Considering cauliflower is among Brian’s top 3 hated foods (along with mushrooms and olives – he doesn’t know what he’s missing!), that’s saying a lot. I’ve tried my hand at faux mashed potatoes before, and those are good, but there’s just something about the consistency which screams I’M NOT A POTATO. This recipe, however, only whispers “I’m not a potato, but I’m the next closest thing if not better!” For real. It’s amazing what a little cheese does to making the cauliflower thick and creamy. Make this, I promise you won’t be disappointed!

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Guinness Beef Stew with Puff Pastry Topper

20130316_183053I’m not really Irish, but I love holiday food. Also, my man is Irish, so I figured I would try to give him some of his favorite foods this weekend. Read: potatoes (mashed for me, please!), beef, and beer. This beef stew is hands down the best beef stew I’ve had/made. Mix in some of the crunchy buttery pastry topper, and it. is. heaven. Really.

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Spaghetti Squash and Meatball Boats

IMG_4347So we’ve been doing the low-carb thing for a couple weeks now. It’s recipes like these that keep me keepin’ on. I love so many things about eating limited carbs, except for the obvious lack of pasta. BUT, to the defense of this diet/lifestyle, there’s no shortage of cheese (hello, lover), meats, eggs, and veg – also many of my favorite foods. I actually feel a lot more energetic and “lighter” eating this way, so it’s all good.

Oh, and by the way, this dish is AMAZING. Tender (but still with a little bite) spaghetti squash with perfect meatballs, tomato sauce, and melted cheese? How bad could that be. It’s the first time spaghetti squash hasn’t pissed me off – that’s saying a lot since I’ve given it a lot of chances subbing for pasta. I used Mario Batali’s tomato sauce recipe which is my go-to recipe for quick-cooking tomato sauce. I also used my favorite meatball recipe for the meatballs (I subbed almond meal for the bread crumbs), but use whichever is your favorite. Same goes with the sauce. For this dish, instead of frying the meatballs, I just dropped them in the tomato sauce to cook for about 35-40 minutes. I did this, along with cutting and de-seeding the spaghetti squash, ahead of time on the weekend, so come weeknight, it was a very easy dinner to put together. Perfection.

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Crispy Baked Chicken Cordon Bleu

IMG_4287This is a super easy way to make stuffed/rolled chicken of any kind – in this case, I used ham and thin slices of swiss cheese. These are coated in a crispy panko coating and baked until crispy on the outside and moist and cooked through on the inside. Also, and this really is an unnecessary addition and a bit of an indulgence, since I try to avoid super processed foods, but I ALWAYS heat up Campbell’s Golden Mushroom soup thinned out with a little water or chicken broth to use as a sauce. It’s delicious and mandatory for me, mostly because that’s what my mama does.

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Slow-Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork

IMG_4312This was a bit of an experiment. I wanted to see how little work I could actually do to make something so incredibly yummy. Seriously – the only thing you have to do is season a huge hunk of pork and toss it in the slow cooker with some garlic, onions and maybe some fennel if you’re feeling fancy. Cook on low for 10 hours, which to me is the perfect length of time for a slow-cooker recipe because that’s how long I am usually out of the house on a work day. What’s up with those 4-hour slow-cooker recipes? If I could slow-cook something in 4 hours, then I could real-cook that same thing in probably 30-45 minutes, which would probably be less work in the planning department. I digress. This pork is amazing and will be the only way I make pulled pork in the future. I served it on some whole wheat buns with some greek yogurt coleslaw on top. YUM.

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Giardiniera Pot Roast (slow-cooker)

This might be the best thing I’ve tried in the slow-cooker to date. It’s no secret that I’m not a huge fan of the slow-cooker (it’s a mushy texture thing), but I have found that if you take the time to sear meat before you braise it (i.e. toss it in the crockpot with some liquid), it does a lot for the final product.

This meal was a bit serendipitous as it served a few purposes. I’ve been pinning a ton of slow-cooker recipes lately as we are moving AGAIN  and I will be staring down the barrel of a 2-hour round-trip commute starting in a couple of weeks. I have a feeling my slow-cooker is about to get real popular ’round here.  Also, because of the impending move, I am REALLY trying to use up some of my pantry items that I a) haven’t used since the last time I moved or b) have hoarded since the last move a year ago and don’t want to move now. I found a dusty jar of giardiniera (italian pickled vegetables) that I needed to just finally use or lose. I’m so glad I did. This recipe was the bomb, and I am more than pissed that I didn’t get a pic of the resulting tender roast that we served atop fluffy mashed potatoes and smothered in a homemade beef gravy. YUM. Make this.

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Corn Chowder with Shrimp and Chorizo

I almost titled this dish “OMG Corn Chowder with Shrimp and Chorizo”, because it’s SO. DAMN. GOOD. I took the leftovers to work today and I was literally splashing it around my desk because I was eating so enthusiastically. That’s normal, right?

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Make Ahead Frozen Breakfast Burritos

These babies are our new best friend. I made a big batch of these on Sunday, wrapped them in plastic wrap, threw them in the freezer, and POOF, a hot, homemade breakfast that we could bring to work with us and reheat in no time. I made these with chicken sausage, but you could literally put anything you like in them. I am going to do a batch of bacon, egg, and cheese next week and another veggie filled batch in the very near future.

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