Wednesday, April 30, 2014

No-Noodle Pad Thai

I wanted Asian food today, specifically pad thai.
Like NEEDED it.

Guess what?
Not low carb.
My body likes staying low-ish carb.

I had just pulled into the grocery store parking lot, on a quest for ingredients for a last-minute popcorn order this afternoon, and I sat in the parked car pondering for a minute.

I needed a dinner solution- and then it came to me.

Spaghetti squash.
That stuff is so versatile, seriously.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Churro Chex Mix

Many years ago my family took one last "family" trip to Disneyland before I got married.  I can't think of churros without thinking of that trip, because that was the trip when my dad and I had our Churro Challenge...
After stopping to buy churros and excitedly gobbling them up, my dad and I decided we were going to make it our mission to stop at every single churro stand we saw that day.  Every last one.  God only knows how much money was spent on those fried treats that day, but I can tell you that by the end of the day I never wanted to see a churro again!

Ah, memories... :-)

Anyway, years later, not all that long after moving to TN, I got a HUGE craving for churros.  I just couldn't get them off of my mind, and I mentioned how much I wanted one to a coworker.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Marvelous Meatballs (and My Secret Ingredient!!)

I've always enjoyed meatloaf, and I have fond memories of my grandmother's version- unfortunately, despite many attempts, I'd never really been able to make it very well.  The taste was merely acceptable, the texture subpar.  

Until last Fall, that is, when I discovered The Trick.  I was following a meatloaf recipe that called for pork sausage, an ingredient I'd never thought to include, and it was wonderful.  The texture perfect, the flavor outstanding.  I will never, ever make meatloaf without it again!

The best part?  I use the cheap stuff.  No joke, the tube of sausage that's $1.50/lb.  The stuff that's a little fattier than the expensive stuff and you really wouldn't want to fry up as patties for breakfast.

Super cheap- and for some reason PERFECT when combined with pretty much any other ground meat.  In fact, I think I oddly prefer meatloaf made with that cheap pork sausage and ground chicken to ground beef!  Weird, right?  I know.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Carolina Mustard BBQ Sauce

First of all let me just say "hi"!  I'm still alive!  I normally post a few times a week, but boy have I been busy for the past couple of weeks!

I've been selling gourmet popcorns for the past few months (check out my Etsy link on the right!) and it kind of took over my life with all of those Easter orders!  But I'm back and excited to be cooking with you again.

I've made so many fun and tasty things lately over at Nora's Nibbles- and I'm still creating lots of fun popcorn flavors- but for today I'm happy to be back in the kitchen making some food I can actually eat myself!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

So You Have Some Leftover Ham...

Leftover ham is awesome.  It's wonderful.

Personally, I love it sandwiched in a leftover roll with other leftover Easter ingredients...

My husband, I'm sure would prefer it in some delicious ham salad.

When you're tired of sandwiches, try this Baked Denver Omelet.

Is it omelet or omelette?  The recipe has it spelled "omelet," but "omelette" looks right to me...lol I suppose that's neither here nor there...I get sidetracked easily.  :-)

Showing Johnsonville A Little (More) Love

I've been lucky enough to work with Johnsonville through the Allrecipes Allstars program a few times now, and each and every time I'm blown away by their generosity, awesome attitude, and great product.

Last time, I shared with you how impressed I was with their gratitude towards their customer base and generosity to thousands of people, not just the hundred or so of us working with them through Allrecipes.

This time, I have another personal "oh my word, I've never come across such an awesome company" story...

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

A Freezer Full of Pecans

I have some AMAZING in-laws in Texas- my brother-in-law and sister-in-law live with their families in the DFW area (which is like...almost crazy overwhelming for me to experience after spending the past sevenish years living in my rather rural corner of Tennessee...) but my FIL and his wife live, well...a little off the beaten path.  

Drive an hour into the middle of nowhere.  Take a left.  Lose cell reception.  Drive an hour or so down a rural two-lane road with posted speed limits of 70mph (who knew such a thing existed!).  Get turned around lost a couple of times.  Wonder repeatedly how in the world this part of the world ever became populated to start with.  Arrive at their beautiful piece of property.  That's- without exaggeration- exactly how you get to their home.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Avocados Are Amazing!

It's hard for me to think of avocados without remembering the groves of avocado trees on Highway 41 in California.  I have fond memories of drives over to Morro Bay as a kid, and without fail my mom would always point out the avocado trees as we drove past and wax rhapsodic about her love of that amazing, creamy fruit.

It was years before I really appreciated the avocado myself, but boy am I hooked!  I love them.  Remember that avocado salsa I made last month?

They're just phenomenal.  Flavorful, creamy, easily adaptable- not to mention nutrient dense and filling.  Personally, 1/2 of an avocado doctored up a little is a perfect filling snack or light lunch.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

More Dippable Veggies

I came across a recipe the other day for cauliflower fritters and, remembering how much I LOVED (continue to love, actually, I've made them a million times now...) the Broccoli Cheddar Nuggets I made, I knew I had to give them a try.

Of course I changed things up a bit, because you know...when do I not?

The original recipe was for something a bit more pancake-like, I think.  Personally I upped the cheese from the original recipe a little, omitted the milk, and baked them like nuggets to make them dippable.

So good.

These yummy little guys have both crumbled bacon and green onion in them- to me that screams loaded baked potato.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Bodacious Broccoli Salad

It's finally warm here in Tennessee!  We've hopefully seen the last of that nasty, never-ending Winter we just experienced.  Spring and temperatures in the 70's really couldn't have arrived at a  better time as my daughter is on Spring Break this week.  Last night we took advantage of the beautiful weather to grill out for the first time this year.

Ahhh...sitting outside in shorts, playing with my kiddos, sipping a glass of wine with a book on the back porch after dinner...so nice after the Winter we just experienced!

Although grilling out often lends itself to side dishes I love like beans, bread, and corn I'm low-carbing it these days and tend to stick to (delicious!) grilled veggies and salads.  One of my absolute favorites is Bodacious Broccoli Salad.