Monday, July 16, 2018

Magazine Monday #29: Creamed Spinach Frittata with Warm Bacon Salad

Happy Magazine Monday! 

This recipe surprised me.  I'd glanced through the ingredients and looked at the picture, and I thought it looked good, but I didn't read the recipe itself, so it wasn't until I was making it that I saw that this entire thing is the microwave.

#1:  This was one of the best recipes I've ever made.  I ate half of it in one sitting.

#2:  WHY did none of y'all tell me that you can make bacon in the microwave??

#3.  Make this for dinner tonight.

It's hot, and using the oven when it's hot can be kind of torturous.  So why not making everything in the microwave?

Thanks again, Rachael Ray, with your crafty microwave usage and your surprisingly delicious flavor combinations!

Creamed Spinach Frittata with Warm Bacon Salad
Serves 4


1 cup diced onion
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 Tbsp. prepared horseradish
1 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
6 oz. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
5 eggs, beaten
3 slices bacon
5 tsp. balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. dijon mustard
5 oz. mixed greens
1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
Salt & pepper

In a medium bowl, mix the onion, cream, horseradish, and rosemary for 5 minutes.  Stir in the spinach, eggs, and salt & pepper to taste.

Coat a 9-inch pie plate (or 8x8 casserole dish) with cooking spray or olive oil.  Add the spinach mixture and cover with a plate.  Microwave 5 minutes.  Uncover and microwave for about 4 minutes or until the center of the frittata is just set.  (Check after 2 minutes.)

Arrange the bacon slices in a single layer on a plate.  Microwave on high (you'll probably want to cover is) until the bacon is crisp, about 3 and a half minutes.

Transfer the bacon to a paper towel to drain.  Whisk together the vinegar, olive oil, and mustard with the bacon grease and season with salt & pepper.  

Add the beans to the greens, then toss with the dressing.  Add salt & pepper to taste.

Divide the frittata and salad amongst 4 plates and top the salad with crumbled bacon.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Magazine Monday #28: Mixed Berry Burrata Salad

It's hot, y'all.

Before you tell me that it's only like 86 here and it's 110 in other parts of the state/country, I'll tell you that I know that...but it's not usually this hot here.  And also, I don't have A/C.

This Magazine Monday recipe is a great barbeque side, or a hot weather snack, or a dinner when you just feel like you're melting and don't want to turn on a stove or an oven or even a microwave.  It's really easy and it's refreshing.

A note about the cheese.

Yes, I realize that burrata and mozzarella aren't the same thing.  (You can read about the differences here if you're interested.  I found it interesting.)  However, I had my mind set on this recipe, and I couldn't find burrata at the store, and I don't like asking for things I can't find at stores, and they LOOK similar, so I used mozzarella.  It was fine.

However truth be told, I suspect it would be better with burrata, so try to find that first, and if you can't, mozzarella will do in a pinch.

Also, as I have for a few recipes now, I recommend using a specific spice from Penzey's.  If you don't have it, that's fine, but there's not really a good substitute for it.

Mixed Berry Burrata Salad
Serves 6
From Clean Eating Magazine, May 2017


2 8-oz. rounds burrata cheese (or 16 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese)
1 cup strawberries, hulled and sliced
1/2 cup blackberries
1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 cup raspberries
3 Tbsp. thinly sliced basil leaves
1/4 tsp. flaky sea salt
Black pepper to taste
1 tsp. Penzey's Pico Fruta (optional)
3 tsp. olive oil
4 tsp. balsamic vinegar

Pull cheese apart and arrange on plates or a platter.

Arrange berries on top of/around the cheese.  Sprinkle with basil, salt pepper, and Pico Fruta.  

Drizzle with balsamic vinegar & olive oil.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Magazine Monday #27: Kickin' Cauliflower Shrimp & "Grits"

This recipe was supposedly invented by a 10-year-old.

I always have trouble when magazines have these contests (happy Magazine Monday, by the way!) where they say that kids came up with these impressive recipes.  When I think of a 10-year-old coming up with a recipe, it's more like that weirdo PB&J sandwich with BBQ chips and crushed Nutty Bars.

What I'm saying is, if a 10-year-old actually came up with this recipe, I'm very impressed.  It's a much healthier take on the Southern classic, Shrimp & Grits.  The grits, in this case, are instead cauliflower rice.  (Well, OK, they should have been cauliflower rice.  Mine was riced broccoli because Trader Joe's was out of the cauliflower rice, and I didn't have the patience to make my own.)

Also, I substituted kale for the collard greens, because TJ's doesn't have collard greens.  I got creative, OK?

And it was delicious.  I ate the whole batch over the span of a couple of hours, but I didn't feel too badly about it, because it was 95% vegetables. 5% shrimp & olive oil.

You could eat all of this yourself like some kind of monster (like me) or make it for your family.  It's your call.  But make it, for sure!

Kickin' Cauliflower Shrimp & "Grits"
Serves 4 (or me)
From Rachael Ray Every Day, September 2016


4 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 bunches kale, chopped (or 1 bunch collard greens, chopped)
1/2 cup water
3 dashes balsamic vinegar
1 bag riced broccoli
1/2 cup canned light coconut milk
Zest and juice from 1 lemon
1/2 cup corn
10 oz. shrimp, peeled, deveined, and tails removed (I got medium-sized shrimp.)
2 tsp. chili powder
2 green onions, green parts chopped
Crushed red pepper to taste

In a large pot, add 1 Tbsp. oil and heat over medium-high.  Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring often, for about a minute.

Add the kale (or collard greens), water, and balsamic vinegar to the pot.  Season with salt and pepper.  Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 25 minutes or until the greens are tender.

Add 2 Tbsp. of oil to a large saucepan over medium, then add the broccoli and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 3 minutes.  Add the coconut milk, lemon zest, lemon juice, and corn.  Reduce heat to low and simmer until the veggies are tender, about 5 minutes.

In a large non-stick skillet, heat the remaining oil over medium.  Add the shrimp, chili powder, green onions, crushed red pepper, and salt and pepper to taste.  Cook, turning occasionally, until the shrimp are opaque in the center, about 5 minutes.

Divide the cauliflower among 4 plates; top with the greens and shrimp.

Friday, June 29, 2018

#CookoutWeek 2018: Al Roker's Big Bad Book of Barbecue - Grilled Asparagus (Sponsored Post)

Another #CookoutWeek sponsor with a product that's super useful for everyday cooking is Barlean's!  They provided us with butter-flavored coconut oil, which is great, because I love cooking with coconut oil and with a 1:1 ratio of this oil with whatever other butter or oil you'd be using, it's easy to use as well!

Even though I just grilled with it, you can also bake with it, saute with it, pop popcorn with it, or just use it for regular cooking.  It's vegan, organic, non-GMO, and tastes like butter, so it's a super substitute.

When I saw these giant asparagus stalks at the local grocery store, I knew immediately I'd need to try grilling them...and they turned out amazingly!  I used Penzy's Brady Street Cheese Sprinkle on these, which I highly recommend, but you could also use that Parmesan cheese out of the green can if you wanted.

Grilled Asparagus
Makes 2 pounds


2 lbs. thick asparagus
2 Tbsp. Penzy's Brady Street Cheese Sprinkle (or Parmesan cheese) 

Melt the coconut oil and cut off the tough asparagus ends.

Put the asparagus in a shallow bowl and coat with the coconut oil.

Grill the asparagus over direct medium heat for 6-8 minutes, turning, until browned.  Drizzle a little more of the oil over the top and sprinkle with Cheese Sprinkle before serving.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

#CookoutWeek 2018: Al Roker's Big Bad Book of Barbecue - BBQ Popcorn (Sponsored Post)

This post is sponsored by Chef Shamy

So you're having a cookout, you've served your guests their Strawberry-Rose Agua Frescas, you've fired up the grill to cook some steaks or hot dogs or burgers or whatever...but your guests came hungry, so you'd better have some snacks set out to tide everyone over while you show off your mad grilling skills.

That's where this BBQ popcorn (made with Chef Shamy butter) comes in.

I will tell you that never before in my life have I eaten a spoonful of butter, but I can no longer say that.  Even if I hadn't received 2 tubs of this butter from Chef Shamy to use during #CookoutWeek, I would still be telling you about that time I ate a spoonful of butter.

It was AMAZING on this popcorn.

A little about Chef Shamy: 
  • Their butters are 100% butter with no weird added stuff, which means there are also no added oils
  • These butters are clean label
  • They're good for up to 2 years frozen, 1 year unopened in the fridge, and up to 6 months after being opened and refrigerated.  (Just make sure your utensils are clean!)

This butter really made my popcorn...POP. (Sorry...) I used specific brand ingredients for this recipe, and I recommend getting the specific brands I used.  (The only brand sponsoring this post is Chef Shamy; I just think the other ingredients made this stuff amazing!)

BBQ Popcorn
Makes about 8 servings, or 10 cups


1/2 cup popcorn kernels (or 1 3-oz. bag of microwave popcorn)
2 1/2 Tbsp. Penzy's 33rd and Galena seasoning (or other BBQ rub seasoning.  But use this one.)
1 Tbsp. Lousiana-style hot sauce
2 cups honey roasted peanuts

If you're using microwave popcorn, pop according to package directions.  If you're using an air popper, pop according to manufacturer's directions.  If you're popping your popcorn on the stove, you can figure that out your own self, because that scares the crap out of me.

Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat.  Add the BBQ seasoning and hot sauce and cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes until the seasoning has melted into the butter.  (This is very important.  Otherwise, you get weird, chunky coating.  Trust.)

Put the warm popcorn in a large bowl, pour the seasoned butter on top, and toss to coat.  Add the peanuts, but don't stir them in too much, or they'll sink to the bottom.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Magazine Monday #26: Strawberry-Rose Agua Fresca & Welcome to #CookoutWeek!

Happy Magazine Monday and kickoff of #CookoutWeek! During this week, I am joining over 50 of my blogger friends to celebrate summer by posting delicious cookout-themed recipes. If you love grilling, frozen treats, picnics, berries, s'mores, campfire meals, and other summer goodies... you are in the right place! This week, we are also hosting a HUGE giveaway thanks to our generous #CookoutWeek sponsors. Enter below to win.

Here's what one lucky will receive:

  • Char-Broil Classic 280 2-Burner Liquid Propane Gas Grill from blog hosts The PinterTest Kitchen. This grill has 280 square inches of cooking space over porcelain-coated grates and two 12-inch side shelves for extra prep space.

  • A Red KitchenAid Mixer and 5 Flavored Butters from our friends at Chef Shamy. Make the World a Butter Place® with Chef Shamy! The winner will receive Garlic Butter, Cinnamon Brown Sugar Honey Butter, Vanilla Bean Honey Butter, Strawberry Honey Butter, and French Onion Butter with Asiago Cheese to use in your favorite cookout recipes. And if you just can't wait, use 10BUTTER10 starting today to get 10% off your Chef Shamy butter order on Amazon. These butters contain no oil, and the savory butters are perfect for keto recipes.

  • A Duck Product Pack from our friends at Maple Leaf Farms consisting of 2 packages All-Natural Boneless Duck Breasts (7.5 oz), 2 packages Fully Cooked Roast Half Ducks w/Orange Sauce (14 oz), 1 package Duck Bacon (12 oz), and 1 package All Natural Duck Legs (16 oz). Maple Leaf Farms is celebrating its 60th anniversary raising White Pekin ducks on local, family-owned farms.

  • Butter-flavored Organic Coconut Oil from our friends at Barlean's. This dairy-free option offers all the healthy benefits of organic coconut oil, with the rich taste of butter. It's great on toast, popcorn, baked potatoes, or cooked vegetables. You can also substitute it 1:1 for butter in baking, cooking, and frying, and of course it is perfect as a butter substitute for all your favorite cookout recipes.

  • 24 Cartons of Vinegar Shots from our friends at Vermont Village. You'll receive 12 cartons of turmeric flavor and 12 cartons of cranberry flavor. Each carton contains 12 individual, 1 fluid ounce vinegar shot pouches! This raw, organic apple cider vinegar has rich flavors from whole foods and is sweetened naturally with honey.

  • That's a prize pack worth over $750! To enter, follow our sponsors and bloggers on social media by entering your information below: a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Here's a full list of the bloggers participating in #CookoutWeek 2018! You can find yummy recipes by checking out any of the links below: The PinterTest Kitchen2 Cookin MamasA Day in the Life on the FarmA Kitchen Hoor's AdventuresApril GoLightlyAuthentically CandaceBlogghettiBody RebootedBottom Left of the MittenCheese Curd In ParadiseChef Sarah ElizabethCoconut & LimeCookaholic WifeCookwithRenuDaily Dish RecipesEveryday EileenFairyburger ♥ Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck Survive Despite a Whiskered AccompliceFamily Around the TableFix Me a Little LunchFor the Love of FoodFrankly EntertainingFrugal & FitGet the Good Stuff!Hardly A GoddessHerbivore CucinaJoin Us, Pull up a ChairJolene's Recipe JournalJonesin' For TasteKaren's Kitchen StoriesKelly Lynn’s Sweets & TreatsMildly MeanderingMoore or Less CookingOur Good LifeOven Tales By SyamaPalatable PastimeSarah Cooks the BooksSavory MomentsSeduction In The KitchenStrawberry Blondie KitchenSweet CoraliceTampa Cake GirlTechnotiniThat RecipeThe Baking FairyThe Beard and The BakerThe Freshman CookThe Simple SupperThe Spiffy CookieThe Weekday GourmetThis is How I CookWho Needs A Cape?Wildflour's Cottage Kitchen

    So, listen.  I know that last week, I noted my propensity toward using drinks on my Magazine Monday posts because they tend to be easy to make last-minute.  This is not that.  When I got the June/July issue of Bon Appetit, I knew that #CookoutWeek would follow not too soon after, and I wanted to get a recipe from that issue.

    It just so happens that I'm starting the week with a refreshing drink you can make for your next cookout to celebrate the wonder that is strawberries in the summer.

    At least this one doesn't have booze in it?

    (Although, it would be really good with a shot of rum in it, probably, if your cookout guests are looking for some adult libations...)

    Also, since the point of Sarah Cooks the Books is that I'm cooking from books, I thought that #CookoutWeek 2018 would be an excellent time to bust out Al Roker's Big Bad Book of Barbecue, a book that, honestly, I never saw myself using, as I'm not a huge barbecuer.  But here we are.  I guess stranger things have happened.

    Point being, you'll be seeing recipes from ol' Al this week.  Enjoy!

    Strawberry-Rose Agua Fresca
    Makes 4
    From Bon Appetit Magazine, June/July 2018

    1 lb. strawberries, hulled
    1/4 cup mint leaves
    2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
    2 Tbsp. light agave nectar
    1 tsp. rose water (optional)
    2 cups cold water
    Club soda
    Mint sprigs, lime wheels, and whole strawberries for garnish

    Puree strawberries, mint, lime juice, agave, rose water, and plain water together in a blender.  Transfer the puree to an airtight container and chill for about an hour.

    Skim any foam off the surface of the mixture and add ice to four 12-oz. glasses.  Fill the glasses about 3/4 of the way with the strawberry mixture, top off with club soda, and garnish with mint, strawberries, and lime wheels.

    Monday, June 18, 2018

    Magazine Monday #25: Sweet Basil-Orange Mojito

    I feel like I need to clarify something here.

    I don't generally sit around in my day-to-day life and make fancy drinks.  (Or gross drinks.)  My blogging habits and my drinking habits don't so much match up.

    What usually happens is that I remember on Saturday or Sunday that I need to have a Magazine Monday post ready for the following Monday, and I pull out my binder of magazine recipes, and then I get sidetracked, and then I remember later I still haven't made anything, and then I go to the drinks section of the binder because drinks are easy, and I tend to have everything I need, except maybe the specific booze, which I can just walk up to the store and get.

    When I first started Magazine Monday, I had a plan; I had a calendar that lists which National Specific Food Day corresponds with which Monday, and I would try to find specific magazine recipes to go with each specific day.

    That worked for a few weeks.  I worked ahead, was super proud of myself, got a little cocky...

    But now here we are.  With many recipes for drinks which makes it look like I'm way fancier than drinking Trader Joe's canned cabernet or rosé.

    Food blogging is hard, y'all. I don't know how some people churn out new posts every day with tons of social media stuff to go along with it.

    Regardless, this is a nice summery drink, and could probably be made in a pitcher or something if you're having a gathering.  Cheers!

    (Oh, and, if you wondered, I made this drink on Saturday and am writing this post on Sunday, so I'm ahead of the game and should have a celebratory glass of rosé!)

    Sweet Basil-Orange Mojito
    Makes 1
    From Better Homes & Gardens, June 2012


    Handful of basil leaves
    1 orange, cut into fat wedges
    2 tsp. sugar
    1 shot rum
    Club soda

    Add the basil to the bottom of a tall glass.  Place 1 orange wedge in the glass, and top with the sugar.  Smush these ingredients with the handle of a wooden spoon (or muddler).

    Top with ice, add the rum, and fill the rest of the glass with club soda.

    Monday, June 11, 2018

    Magazine Monday #24: Sticky Honey-Pineapple Custards

    Third time's the charm, I guess!

    After two disastrous Magazine Mondays in a row, I finally hit a home run with this one.  This recipe had to be tweaked a little, but I thought it was great, and both Dennis and my work wife, Tracy, thought it was good.  Hooray!

    There's a lot of sadness and weirdness in the world right now, so why not give yourself a minute to enjoy a rich, fairly easy dessert?

    Sticky Honey-Pineapple Custards
    Makes 4 custards


    1 3/4 cups half-and-half
    5 egg yolks, beaten
    1/4 cup sugar
    1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp. honey
    1 tsp. vanilla
    1 can pineapple rings (or you can use fresh pineapple.  I just didn't have the patience.)
    Kosher or sea salt (optional)

    Preheat oven to 325°F and heat a small pot of water to boiling.

    In a small saucepan, heat the half-and-half over medium heat until bubbly.  Remove from heat and set aside.

    In a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks, sugar, 1 Tbsp. honey, and vanilla until just combined.  Whisk in the hot half-and-half.

    Place 4 ramekins (mine are 4 oz.) in a roasting pan.  Pour the custard in the ramekins.  Place the pan on the oven rack and pour the boiling water until it reaches halfway up the ramekins.

    Here's the part where the recipe & I differ.  It says that if you're using shallow dishes, you should bake for 20-25 minutes, and if you're using deep dishes, it should be from 35 to 40 minutes.  However, my shallow dishes took a total of 55 minutes.  So start out with 25 minutes, and check them every 10 minutes thereafter if they need more time

    You'll know they're finished when you insert a knife near the center, and it comes out clean, while the center jiggles slightly.

    Remove the dishes from the water and place on a cooling rack, then cover and chill for 1 to 8 hours.

    Before serving, in a large skillet, heat the remaining honey and the pineapple slices.  Bring the honey to a low boil over medium heat and boil, uncovered, for 15 minutes until the honey has thickened and darkened and the pineapple is tender.

    Place a pineapple ring on each custard, drizzle with pineapple-infused honey, and sprinkle with salt if you want it.

    Monday, June 4, 2018

    Magazine Monday #23: Citrus-Glazed Bacon

    Sometimes, in the world of food blogging, especially when you don't create your own recipes, and when your first shot is the only shot, things just go horribly, horribly wrong.

    This one was one of those days.

    I found this recipe for Orange-Glazed Bacon in a Rachael Ray magazine.  I hadn't picked a Magazine Monday recipe, and this one seemed simple enough, plus, the only thing I was missing was the main ingredient: bacon.

    I also decided to get a little innovative and make not only bacon glazed with orange marmalade but also bacon glazed with lemon curd.  I'd never tried lemon curd before, but when I tasted the jar I had in the cabinet, I loved it, and decided that if orange was good enough for bacon, so was lemon.  For my first batch with the orange marmalade, I also decided to use brown sugar instead of the called-for white sugar, since I was pretty sure brown sugar was used to make candied bacon,


    I followed the directions in the magazine to a T (minus the fact that I'd subbed brown sugar for white sugar).  It came out looking like this.

    Not great.

    Despite its horrific appearance, Dennis picked up a piece (the second from the bottom on the left, to be specific) and took a bite.

    I have literally never seen him react to eating anything the way he reacted to that bacon.  At first, he didn't think it was terrible.  Then, about 10 seconds in, he turned to the sink, spit it out, and spent the next few minutes gagging and rinsing his mouth out.

    He had some stuff to say about it.  I won't repeat it. He says I've put him off bacon forever.  I'm ever-so-slightly sorry about how hard I laughed for 20 minutes after the fact. (I did try it myself.  Although I didn't have the same reaction he did, it was most decidedly not good.)

    Later, I asked for an official statement.

    Dennis: "You said you couldn't repeat most of the stuff I said."
    Me:  "I just said I wouldn't use the F-bombs."
    Dennis: "Well, that's what I had to say about it.  I don't want people thinking I'm being negative about something you made."
    Me: "If it was bad it was bad!" 
    Dennis:  "OK. Say it was like rancid zombie flesh, cremated.  Burned to a crisp."

    So there you go.  Rancid, Cremated Zombie Flesh Bacon, burned to a crisp.  This is week 2 that Magazine Monday went badly. (Although, to be fair, I determined that last week's recipe went so sideways because the donuts themselves weren't good.  I had more donuts from the same place later that same week, and they were just as disappointing.)

    I tried the bacon a second time with the lemon curd, used regular sugar on some of it (the three on the left) and no sugar on some of it, and cut the temperature down by 100 degrees. It wasn't...the worst.

    It was not good, mind you.  Just not the worst.

    I'm not even going to replicate the recipe here, because I don't recommend it at allHere is the original recipe, though, if you're a glutton for punishment.  If you do make this, don't pre-heat to 400 degrees Fahrenheit like the recipe calls for; do it at 300, and do it for a total of 23 minutes.


    The only photo I got of the finished product. I call this "Running, Madly, From Bacon."

    Monday, May 28, 2018

    Magazine Monday #22: Grilled Doughnuts with Strawberry Basil Dip & Mint Julep Dip

    I'm confused by this recipe.

    It sounded good.  ( sounded interesting.)  Grilled donuts?  Good.  (Maybe?)  Strawberry dip?  Good.  Mint Julep dip (complete with bourbon)?  Good!

    But I can't really get behind it.

    I'd love for some people to try this and let me know if it's just me being disappointed in this, that it's actually delicious.

    I was just...very disappointed.

    I'm giving you the recipe anyway.

    I just...I don't know.

    Please try this and let me know if I'm crazy.

    Grilled Doughnuts with Strawberry Basil Dip & Mint Julep Dip
    Makes 8 donuts


    8 glazed doughnuts
    1 batch Strawberry Basil Dip
    1 batch Mint Julep Dip

    Strawberry Basil Dip
    6 oz. (1 1/4 cup) strawberries, hulled
    4 oz. (1/4 cup) cream cheese, softened
    3 Tbsp. honey
    1 Tbsp. packed basil leaves

    Mint Julep Dip
    6 Tbsp. sugar
    1 Tbsp. packed mint leaves
    6 oz. (3/4 cup) cream cheese, softened
    1/4 cup milk (I used almond milk)
    2 Tbsp. bourbon

    To make the Strawbery Basil Dip:  In a blender, combine strawberries, cream cheese, and honey.  Blend until smooth, scraping sides of the blender as necessary.  Add basil, and pulse until just chopped.

    To make the Mint Julep Dip:  Combine the sugar and mint in a bowl and mash until fragrant.  

    In a blender, combine sugar mixture, cream cheese, milk, and bourbon until smooth, scraping sides of the blender as necessary.

    To grill the doughnuts:  Heat a charcoal or gas grill to medium, or heat a grill pan on the stove over medium heat. 

    Coat doughnuts in olive oil (or nonstick cooking spray).  Grill doughnuts until lightly browned, 30 to 60 seconds on each side.

    Serve with Strawberry Basil Dip and Mint Julep Dip.

    Monday, May 21, 2018

    Magazine Monday #21: Gnocchi with Brown Butter, Pecans, and Basil

    I don't know about y'all, but I freaking love gnocchi.

    The problem I have with it is that it's so good, I always eat way too much, and when I eat way too much, I find that the carb content sends my blood sugar levels into outer space.

    Enter Trader Joe's and their Cauliflower Gnocchi to save the day.

    You guys?  This stuff is a revelation.  I ate an entire bag of it, and it didn't ruin my life.

    You can for sure make this (delicious!) recipe with regular gnocchi, but if you're carb-conscious like I am, these are an excellent substitute.

    (As always, this is not sponsored by Trader Joe's, and as always, I wish Trader Joe's would sponsor me!  Call me, TJ's!)

    Also, speaking of sponsoring, don't forget about the Kitchen-Aid Mixer Giveaway several other food bloggers and I are sponsoring.  See the details below, and enter to win a Kitchen-Aid mixer in your choice of color!  Also, make sure to check out the Magazine Monday recipe below the giveaway info!

    • 1 winner will receive a KitchenAid Artisan Series 5-Qt stand mixer in their choice of color. If the winner is from the continental U.S. they will receive the mixer directly. If the winner is from elsewhere, they will receive an Amazon gift card for the list price of the mixer.
    • The giveaway will end on May 26, 2018 at 11:59 PM. Any entries made after this point will be invalid. A winner will be drawn at random and emailed within 72 hours to claim the prize. If no response is received, a new winner will be drawn.
    • You must complete the mandatory Instagram follows as listed below in order to enter. You can complete additional Instagram follows as listed below to gain more entries. You may only enter with one Instagram account. If you enter using multiple account, all entries will be invalid.
    • Giveaway is open worldwide, except where prohibited. You must be 18+ (21+ in some locations) to win. Chances of winning depend on the number of entries we receive.
    • For a complete list of terms and conditions, please see the link below via the Rafflecopter giveaway widget.
    Enter now: a Rafflecopter giveaway This giveaway is not sponsored by KitchenAid, Amazon, Instagram, or Facebook. The following bloggers have made this giveaway possible: The PinterTest KitchenShockingly DeliciousThe Baking FairySweet + SavorMakes, Bakes and DecorCindy's Recipes and WritingsBlogghettiThe Simple SupperChef Sarah ElizabethCheese Curd In ParadiseThis is How I CookThe Redhead BakerFix Me a Little LunchMoore or Less CookingSarah Cooks the BooksThe Spiffy CookieBusy Bee Kate • Missy's Views and Savings CluesSeasoned SprinklesLong Distance BakingJonesin’ For Taste2 Cookin MamasKaren’s Kitchen

    Gnocchi with Brown Butter, Pecans, and Basil
    Serves 4(ish)
    From Real Simple Magazine, July 2017


    2 16-oz. packages potato gnocchi (or 2 bags Trader Joe's Cauliflower Gnocchi)
    6 Tbsp. unsalted butter
    2 cloves garlic, diced
    1/2 chopped pecans
    A squeeze of lemon juice (you decide how lemony you want it to be)
    1 tsp. salt
    1/2 tsp. black pepper
    2 cups torn basil leaves
    1 oz. grated Parmesan cheese

    Cook gnocchi according to package directions.

    Melt butter in a large pan over medium heat.  Add the garlic and cook for about a minute.  

    Add the pecans and cook, stirring often, until the pecans are toasted and the butter is beginning to brown.

    Add the gnocchi and cook, stirring, until lightly browned, 2-3 minutes.

    Remove from heat and stir in salt, pepper, and basil.  Squeeze lemon over the top and toss.

    Serve topped with cheese.

    So easy.  So delicious.

    Monday, May 14, 2018

    Magazine Monday #20: Spicy Tomato and Goat Cheese Penne (Plus a Kitchen-Aid Mixer Giveaway!)

    Happy Magazine Monday!

    You guys?  

    I love pasta.

    I'm not really supposed to eat pasta, so I don't have it often, but when I do, I enjoy the hell out of it.

    I'm not saying I made this pasta dish on Saturday, and it was gone by Sunday night.

    But I'm also not not saying that.

    Dennis doesn't like cherry tomatoes, so I was on my own with this one.  And when I'm left alone with pasta?

    It's a massacre.

    This recipe was in Real Simple magazine, and it was actually one of those things like, "Here are three things you can do with penne pasta!"

    Let's just say I'm really glad I chose the one I did.

    Also, side note, if you wanted to make this recipe and sprinkle it with Trader Joe's Everything But the Bagel Seasoning?  No one would be mad.

    Make it for a potluck.  Make it for a midnight snack.  Just make it and enjoy it!

    Also?  Who wants to win a KitchenAid stand mixer!? I’ve joined forces with 20 food blogger friends to put together this giveaway. You’ll gain another entry every time you follow one of us on Instagram. Here are the details:
    • 1 winner will receive a KitchenAid Artisan Series 5-Qt stand mixer in their choice of color. If the winner is from the continental U.S. they will receive the mixer directly. If the winner is from elsewhere, they will receive an Amazon gift card for the list price of the mixer.
    • The giveaway will end on May 26, 2018 at 11:59 PM. Any entries made after this point will be invalid. A winner will be drawn at random and emailed within 72 hours to claim the prize. If no response is received, a new winner will be drawn.
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    Enter now: a Rafflecopter giveaway This giveaway is not sponsored by KitchenAid, Amazon, Instagram, or Facebook. The following bloggers have made this giveaway possible: The PinterTest KitchenShockingly DeliciousThe Baking FairySweet + SavorMakes, Bakes and DecorCindy's Recipes and WritingsBlogghettiThe Simple SupperChef Sarah ElizabethCheese Curd In ParadiseThis is How I CookThe Redhead BakerFix Me a Little LunchMoore or Less CookingSarah Cooks the BooksThe Spiffy CookieBusy Bee Kate • Missy's Views and Savings CluesSeasoned SprinklesLong Distance BakingJonesin’ For Taste2 Cookin MamasKaren’s Kitchen

    Spicy Tomato and Goat Cheese Penne Pasta
    Serves 6 (or me, over 2 days)


    1/2 lb. penne pasta
    1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
    4 oz. crumbled herbed goat cheese
    3 Tbsp. olive oil
    1/2 jalapeno pepper, diced (remove the seeds and membrane if you don't want it super hot)
    Salt & Pepper
    Trader Joe's Everything But the Bagel Seasoning (Optional, but HIGHLY recommended)

    Cook pasta according to package directions.

    In a large bowl, combine all ingredients.  Salt & Pepper to taste.

    (See how easy that was?)

    Monday, May 7, 2018

    Magazine Monday #19: Pub Burgers with Hot Beer Cheese

    In the 6 years I've been doing this blog, I've made very few hamburgers.  This is my 7th burger in the time I've been doing this blog, and the reason I don't make them very often is that they often fail.  (Like this one.  And this one.  Aaaaand this one.)  Of course, sometimes, they more or less work.  (Like thisthis, and this.) 

    But now there's another one to add to the win column.  And this one is a solid win!

    The trouble I usually have with burgers is that I don't put enough binder in, and they fall apart.  This one seemed like it was going to be one of those because the only thing that could potentially hold them together was grated onions.  I figured it was another one of Rachael Ray's tricky tricks.

    But no!  They held together and were delicious.  It made a ton of the cheese sauce, so I'm also looking forward to putting it on some fries later.

    Oh, and the recipe calls for pretzel rolls, but I don't much like those, so I used some cheesy rolls.  Delicious.

    Pub Burgers with Hot Beer Cheese
    Makes 4 burgers


    1 1/2 lbs. 80% lean ground beef
    3 Tbsp. grated white onion
    2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
    Salt and pepper to taste
    1 Tbsp. olive oil
    2 Tbsp. butter
    2 Tbsp. flour
    1/2 cup milk
    1/2 cup beer (the original recipe calls for a lager; I used Guinness)
    1 tsp. mustard
    1 tsp. powdered garlic
    1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
    8 oz. shredded sharp yellow cheese
    Toppings:  Grainy Dijon mustard, dill pickle chips, lettuce

    In a medium bowl, combine the beef, onion, and Worcestershire and season with salt and pepper.

    Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat.  Form the meat into 4 large patties and cook in the heated pan for about 8 minutes, turning occasionally.

    While the burgers are cooking, heat a medium saucepan over medium heat and add the butter.  When it melts, whisk in the flour and add salt to taste. Gradually add the milk. Then cook, whisking, until the sauce thickens.  Whisk in the beer, mustard, garlic, and cayenne.  

    Reduce the heat to low, then add the cheese a handful at a time, stirring to melt the cheese between additions.

    Create your burger by putting mustard on the bottom bun, then adding pickles, the greens, the burger, the cheese sauce, and the bun top.

    Monday, April 30, 2018

    Magazine Monday #18: Grilled Steak with Greek Corn Salad

    I'm the worst food blogger ever.

    It's 9:40 on a Monday night, and I made this week's Magazine Monday recipe for dinner.  

    Don't get me wrong, it was delicious.  Way better than last week's failed drink recipe.  But I'm at a loss to how people who run food blogs get all this stuff done.  Some people post every day.  Some people post multiple times a week.  And I find myself at 9:40 on a Monday night trying to post a recipe for Monday so I don't break my Magazine Monday streak.

    Maybe one day, I'll get my life together.  Until then, try some steak.

    Grilled Steak with Greek Corn Salad
    Makes 4 servings


    4 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided
    2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
    1 Tbsp. dried oregano
    1 Tbsp. honey
    Salt and pepper to taste
    1 English cucumber, peeled and diced
    2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
    3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
    2 cans of corn, drained
    1 1/4 lbs. cube steaks

    Season the steaks with salt and pepper.

    Whisk 3 Tbsp. olive oil, vinegar, honey, 3/4 tsp. salt, and a few shakes of pepper together in a bowl.  Remove 2 Tbsp. of the vinaigrette to a medium bowl and set aside.  Add the cucumber, tomatoes, corn, and feta to the majority of the vinaigrette.  Toss to coat.

     Add remaining 1 Tbsp. olive oil to a large pan over medium-high heat and swirl to coat.  Cook the steaks until the edges start browning, about 3 minutes.  Flip the steaks and cook another two minutes until done.

    Transfer the steaks to the bowl with the 2 Tbsp. of the vinaigrette and toss to coat.

    Serve the steak with the corn salad.