Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A Jerky Chicken

Last night's dinner idea came from a file of favorite recipes my father-in-law sent to us. Every meal we've ever had at his house is fantastic, so I'm excited to try them out. Some are family specialties and originals, but others are just meals he's liked from other sources. This first recipe I made is called A Jerky Chicken, and originally came from All Recipes. It is a HOT and spicy Jamaican-style dish.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Garlic and Thyme Quinoa Patties

Today's recipe came from a new food blog I recently came across: Cook Republic. I have only recently discovered quinoa, and am happy to find another way to incorporate it into a dish. This really would be better as a party appetizer or side dish, but I used it as a full meal this time. 

We liked these patties a lot, but next time I am going to make some sort of dipping sauce to go along with them. More on that later...

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Banana Bread Oatmeal

I first made and blogged about this delightful recipe a few weeks ago. However, the only photo I took was a terrible one with  my phone, so I decided to revisit it for the blog when I made it again this weekend. This recipe originally came from Budget Bytes

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Spaghetti Squash

This was a recipe idea I got from my cousin Heidi's blog, BananaBuzzbomb.com. Heidi is a vegan, and this would have been a great vegan dish, if I hadn't added parmesan cheese on top. Oops! My weakness! This still made a great vegetarian dish and would be a perfect "Meatless Monday" choice.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Chicken Diablo

I found this gem of a recipe at Bev Cooks. As I'm sure is obvious by the name of the dish and the look of the sauce, this was a spicy little thing. Of course, that's what made us love it! This is one of those dishes where you need to marinate the meat ahead of time to get the full flavor, and man, am I glad I did!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Kung Pao Chicken

Yesterday was the Lunar New Year, so I thought it would be fun to "celebrate" with some Chinese food: Kung Pao Chicken. This dish is far from authentic (I used a sauce from Buffalo Wild Wings, for goodness sakes!), but John and I both loved it. The recipe came from Budget Bytes.

Monday, January 23, 2012

BBQ Chicken Pizza from Scratch

When I make pizza at home, I usually just take the shortcut of pre-made crusts. This weekend, I decided to finally try my hand at making a pizza entirely from scratch. I used the recipe from The Pioneer Woman for California Pizza Kitchen's BBQ Chicken Pizza.  Oh, buddy. It was a good one.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Crash Hot Potatoes

The other day, my sister Jillian was raving to me about the Crash Hot Potatoes she made for her family. She found the recipe on The Pioneer Woman, a recipe originally from Jill Dupleix. I had some some potatoes that needed to be used up, so I thought this would be great as a side dish this weekend. 

They look kind of burnt here, but I swear they weren't at all!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Freezing Omelette Ingredients

I feel like omelettes are one of the healthiest "big breakfast" items to make. (As long as you don't go too heavy on the cheese. We also use just egg whites, to cut down on the cholesterol.) 

The problem is that dicing all those veggies can kind of be a pain. This morning, as I was making omelettes, I decided to chop some extras and freeze them for later. 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Pesto Chicken Pizza

I love pizza, but am not a huge fan of tomato sauce. My favorite homemade pizza for the last year or two has been my avocado pizza. I decided to try something a little different this weekend and make the Chicken Pesto Pizza recipe I found at Annie's Eats.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Cheesy Garlic Bread for the Freezer

I often find myself buying those boxes of frozen garlic bread, to just bake quickly when making a pasta dish. The other day, I realized that these would be a cinch to make myself (and probably a lot healthier).

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Southwest Chili Mac in a Skillet

This meal was inspired by a recipe I found on Pinterest a few weeks ago, originating from Picky-Palate.com


I did not do a very good job with pictures of this one - not really any in-process shots.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Black Bean Burgers with Corn Relish and Creamy Avocado Sauce

This recipe came from Elizabeth's Dutch Oven, a food blog by a friend of mine from high school. We have very similar tastes - she makes a lot of mexican-inspired dishes, which obviously John and I like too!  This is one of the first ones I've actually recreated myself. There are many more of her recipes on my "to-do" list!

These black bean burgers weren't my favorite that I've made (that goes to the ones I made from Budget Bytes), but part of that may have been that I left out the chipotle in adobo sauce. John isn't a fan of their smoky flavor.  However, the corn relish and creamy avocado sauce were fantastic! The only change I made was to roast my corn (directly on a cob) in the oven, rather than getting it from a can. Oh my, roasted corn is heavenly!

Applesauce in a Rice Cooker

Today, I made another batch of one of John's favorites: applesauce! He loves to eat it as a post-run recovery snack between his hour drive home from work and when dinner is ready.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Pasta alla Vodka

Today's recipe came from Annie's Eats. This is the first time I've tried a recipe from her site, and it certainly won't be the last! She's got lots of fun stuff there.

I've cooked with wine plenty of times before, but this is my first time venturing into the liquor cabinet for vodka! I think it gave the pasta a nice extra bite (although John says he didn't really taste any difference).

I gave this meal a 4 star rating, but John said he would only give it a 2½ or 3. Too bad for him, I'm the one writing this blog! :)

Monday, January 9, 2012

Freezer Burritos

You know those cheapo-reapo frozen burritos that you can buy at the grocery store and then just nuke in the microwave for a quick snack? I used to love those things. I ate a lot of them in high school and college, even though they are terrible for you and half the time made me feel gross. But they're so easy!   

Enter: Homemade Freezer Burritos, a brilliant idea from Budget Bytes!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Shredded Mexican Beef

When I was grocery shopping this weekend, I had a craving for some red meat. I remembered recently coming across a recipe for shredded taco beef on my favorite food blog (Budget Bytes), so I went ahead and picked up a roast so I could try it out. 

Spicy Baked Kale Chips

Last night, John and I spent the evening playing some rousing games of cards. (Our current favorites: UNO and Kings on the Corner, a really fun, solitare-like game for 2-4 people that his grandma taught me over Christmas.)

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Stuffed Peppers, Carrots, and Potatoes

I made this meal without really using any recipe. Go me! It included stuffed peppers with ground beef and rice, steamed carrots, and blue cheese potatoes.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Buffalo Chicken Grilled Cheese

Recipe from Closet Cooking

I made these a few days ago, but I forgot to post about it. I made it again tonight (need to use up the blue cheese - still have a bit more to go!), and it was still a bit hit. John couldn't stop raving about it.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Chicken Noodle Soup

Since the winter season is upon us, I decided to use the rest of the chicken from my whole chicken in a crockpot along with my homemade chicken stock to make chicken noodle soup. It is still too warm here in North Carolina to really need soup to warm you up, but I like to have it on hand in case either of us get sick.

Freezing Cilantro

One thing that I'm working on for 2012 is to eliminate food waste. With only two of us in the house, it is not uncommon for us to not be able to finish something before it spoils. (Despite the fact that I work from home and cook and eat almost every single meal right in this house!)

Spinach Lasagna Roll-ups

Recipe from Budget Bytes
I had high hopes for this one, but it turned out pretty bland. I had some cottage cheese on hand to use up, so I used it instead of ricotta. I'd always heard it was a decent substitute, but I have a feeling it contributed to the "meh" factor. I also used the cheapo-reapo Kraft parmesan cheese in the cylindar. Some fancy Parmigiano-Reggiano would have also made a huge difference.  And some more spices! I can't believe I made something with tomato sauce and didn't sprinkle in any red pepper flakes. 

Sriracha Chicken Strips

Recipe from Budget Bytes
As soon as John saw this recipe over my shoulder as I was browsing the Budget Bytes website, he went crazy for it. He's basically a sriracha-holic...puts it on almost every meal I make. So obviously, he got excited when he saw that these would be marinated in a bath of the good stuff!