Thursday, March 29, 2012

Spicy Roasted Chickpeas

I got this recipe from All Recipes. It's a nice, simple method that can be modified for whatever sort of spices you want to use. I'm sure it's no surprise that I made them spicy! This is a healthy snack that satisfies that crunchy, salty craving I usually have in the evenings. Much better for you than a bag of potato chips, and easier than baked kale!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Creamy Baked Chicken and Broccoli

I very rarely make meals with cream (especially since I'm slightly lactose intolerant), but for some reason, this recipe spoke to me. And I'm glad I gave it a try! We both enjoyed it. 

The original recipe (from Cinnamon, Spice, and Everything Nice) called for curry, but I forgot to buy some at the store, so I improvised. Instead, I used the Bankok Blend that I had picked up from a Penzeys Spice store a while back. I need to use it more often!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Spicy Sliced Potatoes

As a part of my continuing my quest to use up everything that has been lingering in the back of my pantry and freezer, I came across a can of sliced new potatoes. I had bought them specifically for some recipe months ago, but never made it, and eventually forgot what that recipe even was. So, I decided to make up my own recipe to use them.

Well, I need to pat myself on the back, because these turned out great! And very easy to make without much hands-on work at all.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Pancakes from Scratch, and How to Freeze Extras For Later

As I've been reducing the amount of stuff cluttering my pantry, one of the things that I didn't replace after finishing was the box of pancake mix. Because, guess what? I've found out you can make them completely from scratch almost as easily with stuff that I already keep stocked. This recipe was adapted from Charles' Pancakes from Scratch at

When I make pancakes, I like to make a lot more than we'll eat for one breakfast, so I can freeze the extras to reheat on hurried weekday mornings. Tips on how to freeze and reheat pancakes are included in this post. 

This morning, John had a craving for chocolate chips, so I added those to his for the same-day breakfast. However, I plan to eat the extras myself and like them plain, so most were chocolate-free.

Taco Corn Bread Casserole

Ok, here we go. Our favorite dish I've made so far. John and I both LOVED it the first time around for dinner, but found that the leftovers for lunch the next day were EVEN BETTER. This is definitely going into heavy rotation. 

I found this recipe on Elizabeth's Dutch Oven. I used the super spicy En Fuego salsa that we recently bought at a local St. Patrick's Day Festival from Cape Fear Salsa. I think that might have been part of the magic, so I'm going to need to buy some more of that stuff!

Baked Parmesan Perch and Roasted Carrots

The other day, I found a single Perch fillet in the back our freezer, and wanted to use it up. It was kind of a bummer, because John and I had to share this lovely creation. (Don't worry, we had plenty of other leftovers in the fridge to fill our bellies.) The perch recipe came from All Recipes. I had originally planned to make these Honey Balsamic Carrots from Budget Bytes, but I was multi-tasking and accidentally let the balsamic vinegar burn. Whoops! No worry, though. The carrots were delish, even without any extra sauce.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Cayenne Sausage and Pepper Penne

This was a meal that really had John going crazy. It is very spicy, and he couldn't stop raving about how much he loved it. If your family isn't quite as into the burn, you'll want to cut back on the cayenne. But if you're brave, go for it!  The recipe inspiration came from Our McWonderful World, via Tasty Kitchen.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Strawberry Banana Oatmeal Bake

Today's recipe from Inspired Taste, and is another one that my sister Jillian discovered. She made it a couple weeks ago and enjoyed it, but thought that it didn't have quite enough of the fruit. I took this to heart and doubled what the original recipe recommended. Great move! I was also out of walnuts, so I used almonds instead. And I'm not a big chocolate fan (I know! The travesty!), so I left out the chocolate chips. 

This turned out to be a lovely "big breakfast" item with plenty of delicious leftovers!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Black Bean Burgers and Spicy Sweet Potato Sticks

I had a hard time photographing this meal to look appetizing, and for that I am truly sorry. Because these burgers are SO. SO. GOOD. If you've never tried black bean burgers, this is the recipe to start with. I've tried others that are kind of blah or too mushy. But these! They're super flavorful, and actually hold together really well. You won't miss the beef at all, I swear! John is completely on-board with these too.

The Spicy Sweet Potato Sticks look a lot like french fries, but they have their own unique flavor, and aren't nearly as crunchy as they look. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE a crispy fry, but these are so delightful that I loved them even though they are a little soft. Kind of reminds me of mashed potatoes, disguised as fries.

Both the burgers and potatoes recipes came from the incomparable Budget Bytes.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Thai Chicken Pizza

I'm so happy that I recently decided to start making pizzas at home from scratch. It's just so satisfying to start from nothing and end up with this delicious creation. So far, I've only used the same simple crust recipe (this is my fourth pizza using it), but mixed up the toppings. This time, I went Thai! This recipe inspiration came from Closet Cooking.

Black Bean Quesadillas

Oh, Budget Bytes, what would I do without you? This was another ingenious recipe idea from my favorite inspiration source. If you can spot a theme with my blog here, it's that I love to make things that I can freeze for a quicker meal in the future. I can't believe I never thought to do this with quesadillas! These tasted amazing, and I've got 6 more in my freezer waiting for hunger to strike at the same time laziness ensues. This is also a great way to use the black beans that I cooked in my slow cooker.

I made my quesadillas this time with chicken, but that's only because I had some extra to use up from a previous recipe. This could just as easily be made vegetarian by leaving that out. (In fact, I made a couple without the chicken too, and you didn't miss it at all!)

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Dry Black Beans in a Slow Cooker

This is another super useful (and easy!) method that I learned from Budget Bytes

There is something super satisfying about buying a bag of plain old dry beans, and turning them into a useful ingredient to keep stocked in your freezer or fridge. You can save a lot of money (she calculated that cooked beans from dry are about half the cost of canned), but I think the real savings comes in the fact that you can freeze in containers for whatever size you will need for a future meal. So, if you have a small family that won't use an entire can, you won't find yourself wasting (or overeating to finish it up) just because the cans are always one standard size.

Balsamic Chicken in a Slow Cooker

This is one of the first recipes I made when I started this blog last November. However, that was before I was taking the time to post photos and full descriptions. I went back to make it again and discovered that the original website that I got it from no longer exists! So, here's a full post with the ingredients I use and steps for how I make it. It's a really good, healthy meal that's super easy and uses stuff I always have on hand. 

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Baked Beans in a Slow Cooker

This is a recipe that I just made on a whim one day after seeing it on Budget Bytes, because it seemed easy and cheap. To my surprise, it became one of our favorites, with John requesting that I always keep our freezer stocked with these beans! He loves them so much that he sometimes just eats them as a snack. And happily enough, they are plenty easy to make in big batches.

Frozen Yogurt Cubes for Smoothies

After noticing that some yogurt in my fridge was nearing its expiration date, I had the bright idea to try to freeze it. It turned out to be a perfect way to spare it from the trash, as well as provide an easy addition to morning smoothies.