Friday, February 26, 2016

Toasted Almond & Salted Caramel Bark

Oh yes. It's Friday, and boy do I have a treat for you guys! Because what better day of the week to reward yourself than Friday? And let me tell you, this bark candy is truly a treat. It's super easy and fast to make, crunchy, sweet, and salty. It's only February, but I'm already thinking this will be going in my Christmas Cookie boxes. It's that good.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

25 Rice Recipes

Rice. I love rice. It's a simple, affordable, and versatile grain product that's very familiar to most Americans. You can fry it, and come up with fried rice or even pan-fried rice cakes. You can bake it inside stuffed peppers, or casseroles loaded with veggies. You can serve it with a saucy stir fry with the sole intention of using it to soak up that sauce. One of my favorite ways to eat rice? In a bowl with a little soy sauce drizzled over it. Simple. Yet delicious. I credit rice with helping our budget when we first moved to Kentucky. Due to its low price, I added rice to a ton of dishes and served it often in our first years in the bluegrass state. We still eat a lot of it, even though things are much different these days. I wish I could get the hubby to enjoy brown rice, but you can't win all the battles :-)

Monday, February 22, 2016

Jessica's Special Margaritas

Happy National Margarita Day!

That's right, a whole entire day devoted to that delectable, salty-sweet drink known as the Margarita. I love me a margarita. They are one of my favorite drinks to order. This could be because I frequent a lot of Mexican restaurants... At any rate, if I don't have a margarita in my hot little hands, it's not a real Mexican feast to me. As you can imagine, there's several Mexican restaurants I've never tried around here, solely because they are stuck in a dry county.

Sorry, amigos. No tequila? No Jessica :-)

Friday, February 19, 2016

Creamy Chicken, Potato, & Kale Soup

This is truly one of those soups that came about by me throwing stuff in the pot. I'd picked up a rather large rotisserie chicken after getting a steroid shot one day. Because who feels like cooking after that, am I right? It's pretty much routine for me to throw the chicken carcass into the crockpot and make broth out of it the night we have it. So there I was. I had leftover chicken. I had freshly made chicken broth. It also happened to be the day after the Super Bowl, which meant I also had a bunch of potato innards on hand from the Potato Skins the hubby and I had devoured on our holiday. 

Chicken. Chicken broth. Very soft, almost mashed potatoes. What would you do? 

I chose soup!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Garlicky Sautéed Brussels Sprouts

Yeah, you can go ahead and say it. I've been pretty obsessed with Brussels sprouts lately. And it's all thanks to texture.

It's weird how people get set in their ways with certain ingredients. I say it's weird, but it happens to me all the time too. Yes, me, the foodie. For example, it feels like I'm always focused on main dishes. As a result, my side dishes sometimes fall along the wayside and I find myself going back to the same ones over and over- garden salads, roasted asparagus, roasted potato wedges... Even with Brussels sprouts, I'd fallen into a routine. I only roasted them or steamed them, and then served them with butter for dipping. 

But did you know... Brussels sprouts are amazing when they are sliced thin! They taste different, and they have the best texture.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Recipe Redux: Chocolate Chip Coffee Muffins

This girl is ready for spring!

We've had some weird and wacky weather around here lately. The chihuahuas couldn't be more displeased. Especially Mariota. I've never had a dog that does his business so fast. I mean, even with 4 inches of wet, sloppy snow on the ground, Haloti will follow his nose outside until the iciness of his poor little paws catches up with him. Gizmo keeps wanting to cross the snow field over to our neighbor's house. Those 2 want to smell things all. day. long, even with snow on the ground. But Mariota? His process is more like this: run out the door, hike leg on small trees the hubby and I planted by the front sidewalk, run like hell back to the house. Done. It's amusing. 

Friday, February 12, 2016

Lasagna with Spicy Sausage & Spinach

Let's just continue our journey of around-the-world cuisine, shall we?

I was all set to blog about muffins this morning, and then did an abrupt 360º at the last minute. I mean, I already posted cupcakes this week, and what are muffins but slightly less sweet cupcakes? Plus, I jibber-jabbered all day yesterday about my world-traveling recipes so why not expound on that?

My thoughts exactly :-)

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Enchilada Stacks

-with chicken, black beans, spinach, and pepper jack cheese

Just call me "The Globetrotting Eater"!

I'm doing pretty good this month. An Asian recipe, a Greek recipe, a cupcake recipe (you gotta throw one of those in every now and then), and now a Mexican recipe. I'm spanning the world over here! 

Variety is good, yes? I think so. I know lots of people who eat the same foods, day after day, year after year, for their entire lives. Never getting outside the box. While it's true, I could and do eat certain foods everyday (hello turkey sandwiches!), I need diversity. There's something amazing and life-changing about discovering a new food that you've never tried before. It's almost like falling in love.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Cookies & Cream Cupcakes (Red Velvet Style)

You guys might recognize these cupcakes. These perfect-for-Valentine's-Day cupcakes are indeed the same cupcakes that gave me fits. The first run was a disaster, this particular batch slid off the cooling rack, and I lost my cool multiple times. Anyone out there who thinks food blogging is glamorous because of all the pretty pictures, beware. There's a multitude of hair-pulling, slipper-throwing, fist-shaking, and oh-so-ugly pictures that come with the territory.

And there was plenty of all that during the making of these cupcakes.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Greek Pizza

Happy Friday all!

I really did try to blog yesterday, to ensure I got my normal 3-a-week in. However, yesterday was a morning (or rather afternoon) that I got one of those steroid shots in my back. And I'm not allowed to eat or drink anything after midnight before the procedure. That includes coffee

So I sat down to write yesterday and was heartily displeased to see all the existential, angsty sentences that my caffeine challenged-creativity managed to cough up. Whiny, here. Gloom and doom, there. All because Jessica's brain was without it's normal amount of coffee. Eventually, I erased everything I wrote and said, "Tomorrow then!"

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Kung Pao Chicken Zoodles

I'm joining the zoodle craze.

Sure, February doesn't seem like the right time of year to start, um, zoodling, but it cannot be helped. I was catching up on reading the blogs I follow last month, in the evening and after a couple of glasses of wine. One of my favorite bloggers, Lindsay from Pinch of Yum, featured a recipe using spiralized veggies and that was all she wrote. I've had a spiralizer on my Amazon wishlist for months, but something clicked.  I had to have it. I wanted spiralized bell peppers, and cabbage, and most importantly, zoodles. The wine clearly muddled my thinking, and before I knew it, I'd already clicked "purchase" on Amazon.

Does this happen to anyone else late in the evening when they have a nice wine haze going on? I swear. Luckily, the contraption was only $30. It could have been worse :-)

Plus, the zoodles! Ohhhhhh, the zoodles...