31 January 2013

Grilled Shrimp with Pomegranate Sauce & Black Bean Cilantro Rice

I absolutely adore beans and rice.  Delicious and hearty, when these two champions of the pantry come together, a winning combination is born.  We are particularly fond of black beans with whole grain rice.  Usually we pairing them with avocados and lots of spicy salsa.  But I've been on a crazy pomegranate kick as of late, and thought I'd give a pomegranate sauce a try.  Sweet rather than spicy, this delicious dinner is a new take on our traditional beans and rice.

Shenanigan's Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie

Shenanigans:  mischief, antics, fooling around or frolicksomeness (my personal favorite).  As in this pie is utterly shenanigans.  The thought of eating is enough to send one into a total fit of tom-foolery.  And I have been waiting for months to bring this pie to you.  Shenanigans is the name of the pie as it is the culinary triumph of the classic restaurant, C.I. Shenanigan's (insert Super Troopers joke here).  If you've ever bitten into a peanut butter cup and thought, "Huh...could be better" this pie is for you.  

27 January 2013

Jalapeno Pepper Pasta

Long, long ago I taught three year-olds at an early childhood development center.  And they did not like bell peppers because "peppers are hot".  Last week I went to grab fajitas with a co-worker, who ordered hers without peppers because "peppers are hot".  Typically, I laugh manically and try to explain that bell peppers are pretty much the opposite of hot.  Sweet, fresh and bright are better words to describe their flavor.  However, there are times when my little three's class and co-workers are right...and peppers are hot.  Jalapeno, habanero and serrano will all set your mouth ablaze.  It just so happens that the hubs and I love both bell and hot peppers.  So it is with fond recollection of these individuals that I bring you this recipe tonight.  We're making bell peppers hot, folks.

23 January 2013

Spinach Dip & Roast Beef Panini

I love dip.  Dippady-dip-dip.  Down to my belly.  And on single-digit January days, I tend to gravitate toward the hot dips.  After all, something has to encourage your toes to thaw after a brief walk to the mailbox/car/doggie bag dispenser.  When it comes to hot dips, nothing gets me like Hot & Skinny Spinach Dip, made with greek yogurt instead of mayo.  But who says a dip is only for dunking?  Why can't a dip be on a sandwich?  Well, it can and it is if you try this delicious hot, hearty panini (highly recommended by frozen toes in Southeast Ohio).

21 January 2013

Roasted Garlic Cumin Cauliflower

Cauliflower is one of those misunderstood vegetables.  It is sad how frequently a veggie tray is pitched with all empty bins, except for the one overflowing with white florets   And I'm sorry to say that I was guilty of this at one point.  Growing up, I thought a side of steamed cauliflower was a served as a punishment for particularly naughty behavior (what, I never found out).  This hatred extended into my post-college years and an Indian-spiced dish by the name of sookhi gobi.  One bite and I was changed forever, completely converted to the cauliflower-side.  I realized that it's not bland or boring, just a blank canvas.  All it needs is a little color!

15 January 2013

Weeknight Slender Joes

I don't know about you, but I have a terrible habit of squandering my free time.  Take an evening such as this, for example.  After working all day, bathing the pups, cooking dinner and designing a belated 2013 photo calendar, I am blogging rather than watching Alias on Netlix (*sigh*....c'est de ma faute).  It seems I never have time for free time.  So in honor of this recipe, I am limiting my blogging time to 15 minutes....starting now.  Meaning that within the next 14 and a half minutes, I'm going to present to you a recipe that will take you 15 minutes to make.  With me still?  And as an added bonus, it's so healthy that you can help yourself to seconds.  Boo-yah.

13 January 2013

Baked Breakfast Peppers

I am a huge fan of edible food vessels.  Whatever you're eating, they always take it up a notch.  Just think about soup out of a bread bowl...chicken salad out of a lettuce cup...ice cream out of a waffle cone (classic!).  They take a dish from delicious to delightful.  One of my all-time favorite food vessels is bell peppers.  Usually they are filled with some sort of savory, dinner-time stuffing, such as Roasted Pesto Barley Stuffed Peppers or Mexi-Stuffed Peppers with Cilantro Sour Cream.  But why not fill them with breakfast?  All the delicious flavors of a baked egg dish stuffed into a sweet and tender pepper...yes, please!

09 January 2013

Baked BLT Mac & Cheese

The hubs has a guilty pleasure for Velveeta shells and cheese.  Every time I'm out with the girls for dinner, he makes himself a box and goes to town.  And I secretly love him more for it.  I guess the way to my heart is a love of shell-shaped noodles and cheese.  So I decided to make an extra-special, gourmet version of his shells when we made our annual Cougar Gold baked mac & cheese this year.  Hence, the BLT Mac & Cheese was born.  Get ready for a hearty dinner, folks.

*Disclaimer:  the & sign makes it taste better.

05 January 2013

Eggs Florentine with Avocado Basil Creme

If you read this blog with any regularity (hi mom!), you know that we love poached eggs on toast.  We make some variation of this classic about once a month.  So far I've introduced you to Smoked Salmon Benedict, Green Goddess Breakfast Toasts and Pacific Northwest Breakfast Toasts.  But our favorites are still the classics:  the hubs loves Eggs Benedict (ham) and I adore Eggs Florentine (tomato & spinach).  Since the hubs is at work this lazy Saturday morning, I was free to dabble in Florentine land. 

02 January 2013

Roast Tomato Mirepoix Soup

Ok, so seriously the name of this dish is not intended to make it sound pretentious, because this is in no way a fancy dish.  It's vegetable soup.  Hearty, delicious, perfect-for-cold-weather soup that is made from the staples of most people's vegetable drawer - carrots, celery and onion.  Also known as mirepoix.  Just call it that and sound fabulously French.

01 January 2013

Baked Sweet Potato Nachos

Goodbye 2012...hello 2013!  I hope you all had a very lovely New Year's celebration, filled with plenty of festivities and food.  Ours consisted of pomosas, Hot & Skinny Spinach Dip, pizza rolls, enough dip feed an army and (of course) nachos.  Nothing rings in a new year like a few extra calories, right?  But now it is time to start shedding all the holiday weight packed on by buttery carbohydrates. It's difficult to get back into healthy eating habits, but this unique nacho-hybrid helps to ease the transition from decadent indulgence to balanced cooking.  And it's one of my personal favorites.