Friday, September 28, 2012

Strawberry Bread

I love trying new things in the kitchen. There's just something so exciting about tasting a new food or creating something that you haven't made before.

I never used to be much of a baker, but I've found myself pushing my own culinary limits lately and writing recipes that I would have never even thought about writing. Whenever I would bake a cake or whip up some muffins, I always used recipes in cookbooks or ones I found online. I was always too nervous to write my own since baking is such a precise science. But like most other things in life, a little practice and hard work will usually yield great results. Since I started this whole blog thing, I've tried out a few baked items here and there and I can honestly say that I've gotten better with each one.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Bacon in the Oven

I am a changed woman. I cooked up my first batch of bacon in the oven and I'm never going back to the pan again. Less clean up, less fat, less wrinkle. It was overall awesome.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Crock Pot Apple Pie Pork Chops

I think this has to be, quite possibly, the easiest meal I've ever made. It was easy as pie! (Sorry, I just couldn't resist. I promise I'll try really hard not to do that again...but no guarantees.)

I got the idea for this when I glanced up at my pantry shelf one day. I made and canned some apple pie filling last year and really needed to use it up because the shelf life is only about a year. I'm always looking for ways to cook non-dried out pork chops and the crock pot seemed like the perfect tool for that. In my opinion, applesauce is a pork chop's best friend so why not go with that idea but throw some pie spices into the mix! The spices infused the pork chops and left them with the subtle hint of cinnamon and nutmeg while the apples were the perfect compliment. I felt like it needed a little something else though so I added the onion to offset some of the sweetness of the pie filling. They brought about a nice subtle flavor.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Cheddar Jalapeño Cornbread

Years ago, I decided it was time to create my own cornbread recipe. I tried so many versions by other people but I just couldn't find one that I liked. I wanted more cornmeal flavor and none of them were up to par. It seemed like all the ones I've made before were just too floury and didn't even deserve the cornbread name!

Friday, September 14, 2012

How To Caramelize Onions

The next time you have a little time, grab a couple onions, slice those suckers up, and throw them in a pan to caramelize. When they're done cooking, stick them in the fridge (they'll keep for a few days to a week) and they'll be on hand for virtually anything!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Spinachy Garlic Dip

Love garlic? Love spinach dip? Then you'll love this super easy and extremely tasty dip! Pair it with some of that Hawaiian bread and you're in for a real treat.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Peanut Butter Banana Bites

My kid is weird. I think I may have inadvertently made him skip loving 'kid food' and go straight to the stuff that kids don't usually eat. My sister and I did it when we were little though and I honestly don't really think it impacted anything so it probably doesn't matter in his case either.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Laura and Max's Wedding

I'm sharing a non-food-related subject with you today. Along with my passion for food is a passion for design. Part of that design-life includes creating beautiful invitations and other wedding-related items for Brides and Grooms to be and nothing makes me happier then helping others be happy on their wedding day. 

I was approached by Laura after her mother showed her the invitations I did for Dustin and Lauren. You can imagine my surprise when this girl from Wisconsin loved what I did so much that she wanted to work with someone so far away on something so personal.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Polenta Cakes Topped with Spinach and Tomato Sauté and Fresh Mozzarella

I had polenta for the first time a few weeks ago and it was pretty awesome. It wasn't regular polenta though, it was some pretty nifty polenta cakes! I've seen them on the Food Network a couple times and I always wondered what they tasted like. It had to be somewhere along the lines of a creamy cornbread, right? Well, my expectations were correct and it was darn tasty.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Four (Is Better Than Three) Bean Salad

There's just something so nice about a simple side salad. An easy vinaigrette and some beans can do the trick and it goes with pretty much everything.

It's great to find a side that is easy to make and easy on the budget. Most of the ingredients in this are ones you probably already have on hand and if you have to buy a few, they're really inexpensive. All you need is a few cans of beans, an onion and a few standard dressing ingredients. I've noticed a lot of other bean salad recipes out there have tons of sugar in their dressings but I've cut mine down a ton and you won't even miss it. And because it's full of 'good for you' beans and a small amount of sugar and oil, this is one healthy dish!