Sweet

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie: A not so boring pie

Strawberry rhubarb pie

I wasn’t planning to make a pie. I even have half of a post written for a soup to counter this last (hopefully) round of winter weather. That recipe is put on hold for this strawberry rhubarb pie. Strawberries and rhubarb were both on sale at the grocery store, so how could I not make a pie? While you can buy strawberries all year, rhubarb is almost synonymous with spring in my mind. We are still a few days out from the beginning of spring, but I’m ready to move on from winter!

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Breakfast, Sweet

Cocoa PB2 Chocolate Milk Waffles

Cocoa PB2 Chocolate Milk Waffles topped with raspberry syrup, banana slices, and dark chocolate chunks

Life has been a little chaotic lately! This week is almost over but only going to get busier. However, at the moment, there’s enough time to finally post an update. I’ve discovered the wide variety of homemade waffles, since becoming really active on my food Instagram. Every weekend there are SO many beautiful pictures of fun, and tasty looking waffles! It’s very inspiring and didn’t take long to convince myself to buy a waffle iron. I opted for a light stove top iron over an electric model. For whatever reason, I seem to have an aversion to electric, single-purpose kitchen gadgets. Two days later my waffle iron arrived just in time for the weekend! It took a little experimenting, but I finally made mine own Instagram worthy Cocoa PB2 Chocolate Milk Waffles.

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Budget Friendly, Healthy

The Lunch Dilemma: Black bean and cheese freezer burritos

In my pre-cohabiting life, lunches were pretty easy. Whatever I had for dinner, I would eat for lunch the next day.  Unless my dinner was salmon, I don’t want to be THAT person microwaving fish at work.  However, this approach had to change when I started cooking for two. A meal that was once two dinners and two lunches, was no longer going quite as far. As much as I enjoy cooking, I don’t want to make a new dinner every night. So, no more leftovers for lunch. Deli sandwiches were out ( pricey, too much meat), tuna salad was out (pricey, too much tuna), and PB&J was out (cheap but not healthy enough). As I’m struggling through how to feed myself at work, I’m buying Ben frozen burritos every week at $2 a piece. Then it finally occurred to me. I can make black bean and cheese freezer burritos!

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Breads, Sides

Black Olive Focaccia Bread

My aerogarden is currently blowing up with fresh herbs. I’m constantly trimming back my Thai and Genovese basils to make room for more plants. I even have little bowls full of water and herb cuttings spread across my counter in an attempt to keep the leaves fresh until I can use them. My plan for using some of the herbs was to make a big pot of tomato sauce with the Genovese basil for pasta and a cast iron skillet pizza.  However, I kind of messed up and used all of the sauce in the pasta dish, which left me with a bag full of pizza dough. Fortunately, store-bought pizza dough is versatile! It can be used in recipes like the Orange Glazed Pecan Cinnamon Rolls I made a few weeks ago or to make a loaf of savory Black Olive Focaccia Bread.

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Breakfast, Budget Friendly, Healthy

In Defense of Grains: Apple ginger baked oatmeal

It seems like since the Atkins Diet reached peak fad status in the early 2000s, grains have been getting a lot of hate. Atkins has fallen out of favor, but new diet trends like Whole30 preach very similar rules. I agree that most people could and should limit their intake of sugar and simple starches like potatoes, white bread, and pasta. However, I wholeheartedly disagree with the belief that whole grains like barley, oats, farro, and quinoa belong on a “Do NOT Eat” list. These grains offer many great health benefits and are very affordable. Healthy and budget-friendly foods definitely deserve more respect! If you are unconvinced, continue reading to learn more about why oats in particular are good to eat. If you are already a believer, skip to the end to find a whole grain loving recipe for Apple Ginger Baked Oatmeal.

apple ginger baked oatmeal

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Budget Friendly, Healthy, Soups and Stews

Sour and Spicy Chicken Tomatillo Soup

Chicken Tomatillo Soup

My first try at cooking with tomatillos was on a whim when experimenting with a salsa verde type of chili recipe. I really didn’t even know what a tomatillo was or what it tasted like. I only knew they were a key ingredient in green salsa. That chili recipe is still under construction, because I got completely distracted by my idea for a chicken tomatillo soup. It’s similar to what a lot of people call chicken tortilla soup, but I really wanted to highlight the tomatillos as a key ingredient.

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Healthy, Salads, Sides, Vegetables

A Salad for Two: Spring green salad with strawberries, pear, blue cheese, and walnuts

It’s always good to have a few hard to mess up, easy to make, and tasty recipes. Dishes that are pretty simple but taste kind of impressive and a little special. The types of recipes that can be confidently made for any special occasion. For me, that recipe is a spring green salad topped with strawberries, sliced pear, crumbled blue cheese, and toasted walnuts. Finished with a balsamic vinaigrette, this salad – in my opinion – is perfect. It looks pretty and the sweetness of the fruit balances out the blue cheese.  Without question, this salad is a first choice for a Valentine’s Day dinner menu.

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Breakfast, Sweet

Saturday Morning: Orange glazed pecan cinnamon rolls

A few weeks ago when I doing some recipe research on Pinterest, I stumbled across this recipe for a giant cinnamon roll baked in a cast iron skillet. I couldn’t pass up what looked like such a fun and visually striking recipe, so I saved the post for a future weekend project! However, when I revisited the recipe yesterday evening, I noticed some room for improvement and realized that this massive cinnamon roll was going to be a lot of work. I had my heart set on a cinnamon roll, but I needed to make some changes. I scoured the internet for more cinnamon roll ideas. With the added inspiration and some creativity, I ended up with this decadent recipe for orange glazed pecan cinnamon rolls. Aside from baking the rolls in a cast iron skillet, they are almost completely different from the inspiration recipe.

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Sweet

Bourbon Bundt Cake

 

Sundays have a tendency to feel like a lot of work. There’s so much meal prepping to get ready for the coming week. I feel like I spend all day in the kitchen cooking. Ben feels like he spends all day in the kitchen cleaning up after my cooking. It’s usually worth the effort, since planning lunch in advance helps me move on autopilot in the mornings before work. Today seems extra busy with trying make super bowl party food for our two person party. **Update:  Buffalo chicken meatballs are gross. 0/10. Do not eat.** I’ve been looking forward to sharing this bourbon bundt cake recipe and post for over a week, so I’m also attempting to squeeze some writing into my Sunday!

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Salads

Fish Friday: Lemon tarragon tuna salad

I’m taking advantage of my two-hour wait at the car dealership to post an update. Praise be for free WiFi! Apparently, my entire horn unit is dead, so my car’s annual tune-up is taking a bit longer than usual. Sitting around in waiting rooms isn’t exactly a good time, so you have to make the best out of it. I’m learning so much about small claims courts from the classy daytime TV programming! I like scheduling appointments like this for the afternoon, because it gives me a chance to go home for lunch. It’s always a novelty to hangout with Ben and Kismet during a weekday. For whatever reason, making lunch on days like today always seems special to me. One of my favorite things to make for lunch is tuna salad.

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