Spaghetti Dinner

I apologize for the long absence! Between a house hold of kittens (who were all adopted!) and multiple work trips, I have been unable to cook or write posts! I hope to be back on schedule and fingers crossed will be able to post every night this week!

RECIPE: Spaghetti Dinner
Makes 5-6 Servings

Cutting Board
Pots and Pans
Can Opener
Baking Sheet
Oven heated to 350
Serving Dishes and utensils

Ground Beef
Diced Tomatoes
Tomato Paste
Wheat Germ
Parmesan Cheese
Flour or boxed pasta
Dilly Beans

DSCF10621) Use your favorite recipe to make some homemade pasta or follow the directions on the box to cook the pasta as directed.
2) Chop up garlic and mix it with the beef in a bowl. Use your hands to mix in cinnamon, paprika, egg, and a heavy dose of wheat germ.
3) Once thoroughly mixed, form the mixture into little meat balls. Place them in a hot cast iron pan, searing each side before placing it into the heated oven.
4) Dice an onion and a few cloves of garlic and add them into a cast iron pan on the stove. DSCF1063
5) While they are cooking on low, add one can of tomato paste and two cans of diced tomatoes.
6) Season with basil, oregano, thyme, sage, and a bit of cayenne. Stir occasionally as it cooks.
7) Slice the bread into half size slices.
8) In a bowl, combine diced garlic and butter. Let it sit for a few minutes before slathering it on both sides of the bread and place on a baking sheet.
DSCF10669) Shred the mozzarella cheese and place it in a serving bowl. Pour Parmesan cheese into another serving bowl.
10) Begin heating two pints or one quart of dilly beans in another pan.
11) Remove the meatballs from the oven and place the garlic bread in to bake. Move the meatballs over into the tomato sauce to stay warm and soak in some of the good Italian flavors.
12) Serve it all together and impress your guests!


Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies…and Kittens!

So I am apologizing ahead of time that I may not be posting as regularly this week. My dog found us a whole litter of kittens! We now have five tiny little kittens that we are attempting to home before we turn them over to the animal shelter in our region. They are absolutely adorable and even more distracting that I ever thought possible.

But since you probably are waiting for a recipe, here is my chocolate chocolate cookie recipe. Its a chocolate cookie with extra chocolate chips thrown in. I used the last of my holiday chocolate chip stock up, which is why they are red and green!

RECIPE: Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookie
Makes 4 Dozens

Cooling Rack
Baking Sheet
Oven heated to 300

2 1/2 Cups Flour
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 tsp Salt
1/2 Cup Cocoa Powder
1 Cup Brown Sugar
3/4 Cup white Sugar
1 Cup Shortening
3 Eggs
2 tsp Vanilla
Bag of Chocolate Chips

1) Cream together the shortening and the sugars.
2) Beat in the vanilla and eggs.
3) Slowly add the flour, baking soda, and salt until a dough is formed.

4) Pour in all the chocolate chips and mix only until they are incorporated throughout!
5) Drop scoops of dough onto the baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes.
6) Remove the cookies from the sheets and let cool on the racks.

These cookies are good warm, cooled, and even in dough form. I must admit that I only baked three dozen, so that I had a bit of dough to snack on as well!

Apple Quesadilla

I am gonna be lazy, and there is nothing you can do about it! Mwhahaha.

But seriously, there are some nights when you want a hot dinner with little to no effort. This apple quesadilla is a warm supper, that allows you to also get your serving fruit in a meal. Plus cheddar and apple is one of my favorite combinations.

RECIPE: Apple Quesadilla 
Makes 2-3 Servings

Cutting Board

2 Granny Smith Apples
Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese

1) Slice up the two granny smith apples. You will probably only use one for the quesadillas, but the other one is good for snacking on as you cook.
2) Cut up some extra sharp cheddar cheese and butter up some tortillas.
3) Place a tortilla in a pan and layer it with apples and cheese. Top with another tortilla.
4) When one side is brown, flip, and brown the other.
5) Serve hot and as is, and then nibble on more apples.


Onion Hot Sauce

So I got curious the other night about hot sauce. We have a lot of hot sauces in our kitchen. I am talking about a shelf in our pantry and a section in our fridge dedicated just to hot sauces. There are mild ones, hot ones, vinegar ones, black bean ones, and ghost pepper ones. One of my favorite combinations is peppers and onions, but we didn’t have any onion based hot sauces.  The experiment began!

RECIPE: Onion Hot Sauce
Makes 2 Bottles 

Cutting Board
Food Processor

Half an Onion
Hot Peppers
Garlic Powder

DSCF10541) Chop the onion and begin cooking it in a pan.
2) When the onion begins to soften, pour in a few peppers and some juice from the pepper jar.
3) I was low on garlic cloves, so I added in a heavy dash of garlic powder.
4) Let it all cook until a bit on the mushy side.
5) Pour the mixture and some extra juice from the jar into the food processor.
6) Start pureeing the mixture, until its hot sauce consistency.
7) Pour into a jar and start using it!DSCF1057

It was spicy and oniony and a kick in the mouth. It was absolutely delicious, and I am surprised more aren’t onion based.

Chicken Two Ways

My husband was feeling under the weather. It doesn’t happen often, but when he gets sick it is always bad. While he was cuddled up on the couch under a blanket, there was only thing he wanted to eat. My chicken noodle soup is not that fancy, but it is designed specifically for recovery. Not being sick, I wasn’t in the mood for soup. So here is chicken in two ways.

RECIPE: Chicken Two Ways
Makes 4 Servings

2 Pots
Cast iron Pan
Cutting Boards

Chicken Thighs
Chicken Broth
1/2 Onion
Evaporated Milk
Parmesan Cheese
Penne Pasta

DSCF10061) In one pan and one pot, begin cooking a chicken thigh.
2) While that is cooking, chop up celery, carrots, garlic cloves, and carrots. Put half of the chopped onion and garlic on one side, and the rest of the garlic, onion, celery, and carrots on the other.
3) In the pan, remove the mostly cooked chicken and chop it up before returning it to the pan.
4) In the pot, pour a can of chicken broth over the cooking chicken thigh.
5) Add the onion and garlic to the pan, and the rest of the garlic, onion, celery, and carrots to the pot.
6) Bring the pot to a simmer, while the pan stays on medium low.

7) Season the pot of soup with a very healthy heaping of ginger. Ginger is a great aromatic for colds, especially when mixed with lots of garlic. Parsley is also a good addition.
8)  In the other pot, begin boiling some water.
9) Season the chopped chicken in the pan with oregano and basil.
10) Remove the chicken thigh from the pot of soup and shred the chicken. Return the chicken and the bone to the pot. The bone simmering away helps fortify the store bought broth. DSCF1018
11) Add penne pasta to the soup pot and to the boiling water.
12) Pour part of a can of evaporated milk over the seasoned chicken in the pan. Add a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese as well if you like a cheesy sauce.
13) Add the cooked pasta from the water to the creamy chicken, stirring to ensure even coating.
14) The pasta in the soup should be done at the same time. Remove the soup from the heat right away so it starts cooling to an edible level of heat.
15)  Scoop some creamy chicken and pasta into a bowl, and a large ladle of soup into a bowl.


Curly Fries!

Back in the day, school lunches used to offer this super curly potato fries that were seasoned and sort of reddish in color. They were flavorful, and soft with just a hint of crispy outside. They were the sort of fries that you traded the lunch your mom backed for you in order to get your hands on them. They were absolutely delicious in that terrible school lunch sort of way.

Well, I had a craving for them. Luckily, potatoes have a lot of nutrients in them. Otherwise, I would feel bad for how often I eat them. Here is my curly fries, topped with a bit of cheese (because I am cheddar obsessed) and also because I couldn’t find the ketchup in the fridge.

RECIPE: Curly Fries! 
Makes 2-3 Servings

Spiralizer/Kitchen Aid
Baking Dish
Oven set to 400 Degrees
Small Bowl

Avocado Oil
Garlic Powder
Onion Powder
Celery Seed
Cayenne Pepper
Cheddar Cheese
(Ignore the peppers and onions, I had changed my mind on those)

1) Use the spiralizer to spiralize up four smaller sized potatoes into a large baking dish.
2) In a small bowl, combine 2 teaspoons garlic powder, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1 teaspoon paprika, 3/4 teaspoon celery seed, 1/2 teaspoon of thyme, and a dash of salt. Stir and taste for balance.

DSCF10533) Drizzle avocado oil over the fries, giving a slight toss to ensure coverage.
4) Sprinkle with the spice mix over everything.
5) Bake for 20 minutes, flips the curly fries, and bake for another 20 minutes.
6) Slice up a few thin slices of cheddar cheese to top the fries if you desire. I think I honestly may have a cheese addiction.


These fries were better than the memories! Absolutely delicious and I can’t wait to make them again!

Korean BBQ Ribs

My husband looked like a kid in a candy factory when he saw that ribs were on sale at the grocery. We may live in the south, but when it comes to ribs, we are Korean style BBQ all the way. He likes to marinate it for at least 24 hrs before grilling it. The results are incredible. I tried to list the ingredients he uses in the marinade, but its hard to keep track of him in the kitchen!

RECIPE: Korean BBQ Ribs 
Makes a Rack of Ribs

Pan with cover
Pie Pan or plate
Cutting Board

Avocado Oil
Lemon Juice
Black Peppers
Pork Ribs
2 T Sesame Oil
3 T White Vinegar
2 T White Sugar
1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
1 T Black Pepper
1/4 Cup Garlic
1/2 an Onion
3/4 cups Soy Sauce
3/4 cup Water

1) The day before, combine the sesame oil, white vinegar, brown sugar, white sugar, black pepper, water, and soy sauce in a bowl.
2) Chop up a quarter cup of garlic and half a large onion. Add it to the bowl.
3) Stir together everything, and adjust based on taste.

DSCF12764) Pour the mixture over the ribs in a covered container. After 12 hours, rotate the meat to ensure complete coverage.
5) Right before you put the ribs on the grill, its time to prep the asparagus.
6) Chop the stem ends off the asparagus.
7) Place the asparagus in a pie pan. Drizzle with avocado oil.
8) Squeeze half a lemon over the asparagus and grind black pepper over it afterwards.
9) Grill the ribs and then the asparagus.
10) While the meats are grilling, pour the extra marinade into a pan.

11) Bring the marinade to a boil.
12) In a little bowl, mix together corn starch and water. Pour into the marinade to help thicken it into a sauce.
13) Slice the ribs and serve the sauce on the side! DSCF1288

This was only the first bit of the ribs, the rest were still waiting on the cutting board. The entire feast only fed three, but it could probably be stretched to more people.

Teriyaki Fried Rice

Sometimes I just want to eat lots of vegetables and rice. My husband isn’t a fan of plain rice, so I like to compromise and make teriyaki fried rice. He makes up a bowl of the sauce for me, but you can also buy already made teriyaki sauce. I would share his recipe, except he doesn’t really do it the same way twice.

RECIPE: Teriyaki Fried Rice 
Makes 3-4 Servings

2 Pots/Pans
Cutting Board

Teriyaki Sauce
Sesame Oil

1) In one pan, combine rice and water and cook until done.
2) In another pan, heat a little bit of sesame oil.
3) Chop the carrots, celery, and green peppers and toss them into the pan with sesame oil.

4) Stir until all the vegetables are all coated in oil and cooking up a bit.
5) Pour a bit of the teriyaki sauce over the vegetables, not all of it though. Stir and cook until they are still crisp but not raw.
6) Pour the cooked rice over the vegetables.
7) Add the rest of the teriyaki sauce and two eggs. Stir until everything is mixed and cooked.


I don’t know why, but we were both in a taco bell mood. However, the cravings are not quite enough motivator to actually get me to drive to taco bell. They are even less motivating when it comes to actually spending money at a fast food establishment, especially when I could make the food better at home, for a lot less. So next time you have a taco bell craving, you should try my super easy crunch-a-dilla recipe. If you feel up to it, chicken and beans make a nice addition.

RECIPE: crunch-a-dilla
Makes 2 Servings   

Cutting Board
Cast Iron Pans

4 small flour tortillas
Cheddar Cheese
Pepper Jack Cheese
Tortilla Chips
Fire Sauce
Diced Tomatoes
Hot Peppers

DIRECTIONS: These are easy to customize, so don’t be afraid to have fun with it.
Slice the cheddar cheese and pepper jack cheese into thin slices.
2) Lay a tortilla in each of the two pans on the stove.
3) Top both tortillas with the cheese of choice. On one of the tortillas, also add diced tomatoes, hot peppers, and most importantly a swirl of ranch.

DSCF12954) When the tortillas begin to brown and the cheese melts, layer a handful of tortilla chips on top of the tortilla with the tomatoes and ranch. Flip the plain cheese tortilla from the other pan on top.
5) Press down slightly with your spatula and then remove from the pan.
6) Cut the crunch-a-dilla in half and serve with dash of fire sauce on top.