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text 2017-12-27 21:47
Menu Monday - Holiday Edition

Holiday dishes and goodies!


Hope everyone was able to spend some time with friends and/or family and enjoy some good food. I had some hits and some misses with the holiday dishes I made.




Once I sprinkled on the crushed candy cane, this looked really festive and cute. I would definitely make the crust they suggest, went with the flavoring perfectly. It's called Eggnog cake for a reason and you're really going to have to like eggnog because this has a very eggnoggy taste to it. 

Taste:  B+

Ease to Make:  The crust is the most time consuming and it wasn't hard at all. I would make with enough time to sit in the fridge for at least an hour. Half hourish.


(Recipes for everything but the turkey)


If you need a side dish that is quick and easy, one you can cook on the stove top if your oven is occupied, this was a pretty good one. I would probably add even more brown sugar, 2tbs more, the next time as the brown sugar taste was pretty faint otherwise. 

Taste:  C

Ease to Make:  Just cutting up the potatoes, you don't even have to skin them if you don't want to! Around 20mins


The bf loves bread/dinner rolls and these seem to be his favorite that I make. I used to use the cubed mozzarella it suggest but now I simply do shredded and it melts it better. They now have the fun pull apart and have stringy cheese between factor that is a big hit in this household. Also great because you can pop them into the oven quick after the turkey and by the time the turkey is finished being cut, these are ready.

Taste:  B+

Ease to Make:  Super easy as I just buy the canned biscuits. Just make sure you fold them tight so the cheese doesn't leak out. 12 mins or so.


The only thing the bf loves more than dinner rolls is stuffing, seriously, it kind of grosses me out how much of the stuff he can eat. I'm more of an eh, on stuffing but I really like this one. It has meat in it which I think puts it over the top. I use turkey sausage and love the flavor combo. I don't stuff my turkey so after the turkey is done, I pop this in with the dinner rolls. By the time it is done cooking (20mins) the turkey has sat in its juices and been cut, perfect plate ready timing.

Taste:  A

Ease to Make:  Time to cook the turkey sausage, then 10mins with everything mixed together to sit in chicken broth, and then 20mins cooking time. A breeze to make.




I know when you saw the grapes and cheese on the plate, you were thinking "Is this weirdo going to try and give me a recipe for grapes and cheese?!?" I told you I need a recipe for everything ;)  I ran across this cute appetizer idea and was delighted on how it turned out. Adds a little festiveness to a simple fruit and cheese plate. I can't even tell you how proud I was of how well the star turned out, lol. I wasn't going to add the thyme but it did make it "better" looking and of course the thyme star was a highlight. 





These turned out adorable when I decided they need jazzing up a bit and bought some gingerbread man toppers. Super heavy bars that are complimented wonderfully by the sweet cream cheese icing. I thought the molasses taste was too heavy. For some weird reason I think I'm not the biggest fan of homemade gingerbread, I guess I like the dulled down store bought gingerbread taste better :/  They were a hit even though I didn't like them.

Taste:  B-

Ease to Make:  Pretty much like any other homemade bars except for the added molasses that everyone might not have at home. They cooked great, mine were moist. Took around 40mins for them to be completed. I would put them in the fridge too because of the icing.


Any holiday goodies you still can't get out of your mind or wanting to share any favorite traditional dishes?

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text 2017-12-18 14:00
Menu Monday

A Soup and a Salad for this week :)


Smoke Sausage, Kale and Potato Soup



I used Turkey kielbasa for this and Very, Very, Vanilla soy milk. This was really good but I wouldn't add any salt because the kielbasa provided enough for me (I'm not a salt fan). Was so good on a cold day. The thyme and rosemary made it a nice lighter soup even with the potatoes. Carrots would be a good addition if you wanted more heft.

Taste:  A

Ease to Make:  Very easy took probably 40 mins and most of that is just getting soup to boil and then simmering to cook potatoes. 



Red Velvet Brownies with White Chocolate Frosting



These make quite a bit, you use a 9X13 pan, so prepare for a good amount. You use a red velvet cake box mix and then doctor it up a bit. They were good but had a smidgen of the drier box mix taste. Definitely add the white chocolate to the frosting, I think that is what makes these, it melded with the the red velvet taste wonderfully. 

Taste: B Sweetly rich

Ease to Make:  Very easy because your base is a box mix. Probably around an hour including brownie cooling off period to frost.



Spicy Shrimp Tacos with Pineapple Salsa



I love shrimp so I'm always looking for different takes on shrimp tacos; they're usually quick and easy to make. I used the whole jalapeno and it definitely spiced up the taco along with the sriracha. This calls for too much butter, I would skip the second tbs of butter it calls for to saute the pineapple in next time. I also used a broccoli, cabbage, and carrot pre-mixed coleslaw. These were good but not a recipe I would keep.

Taste:  B-

Ease to Make:  Super quick and easy, probably around 20mins. Great if you come home tired, want a quick meal, and nothing heavy before bed.



Whole30 Sweet Potato Breakfast Bowl



I loved the taste combo of this one! It's called a breakfast bowl, so I tried it for breakfast but I'm not a big eater in the mornings by any means. I ended up only being able to eat around half of this because I got so full. I usually have an orange, banana, or some such so this made my stomach feel super heavy which I didn't like. I would eat this for lunch or a light dinner next time. If you like a solid breakfast though, this would give you some nice energy. 

Taste:  A

Ease to Make:  A bit time consuming because you have to cook the sweet potato first, which takes around 30 mins, I just put it in the oven while I showered. Have to use a food processor too, so not the quietest morning meal if others are trying to sleep in. Other than that, simple to throw together.



Apples and Cheddar Chicken Salad Recipe



This makes a good amount, probably a 4 person meal. I seasoned the chicken with a BBQ seasoning and pan fried them, I thought the BBQ seasoning went great with everything else. I left out the green apples because for some reason my stomach can't handle those but is fine with red delicious. I think I would use cashews instead of walnuts next time too but just because I generally just like those nuts better. Definitely make the dressing this calls for. I used plain greek yogurt, maybe a tbs of mayo, and then of course the honey. The honey mixed with all the other flavors so amazingly! This was a great "meal" salad, will make again.

Taste:  A

Ease to Make:  Obviously, cooking the chicken takes the longest, cubing the cheese, slicing the apples, and mixing together the dressing are all you have to do. Half hour tops. 



Buffalo Chickpea Veggie Burgers



These were so GOOD. I loved them! I used Franks Red Hot sauce and an actual egg. I was super impressed with how well they stayed formed. I had some left overs and they stayed good in the fridge for two days and cooked up fine. I wouldn't skip any of the toppings, avocado smash, slaw, and a little drizzle of ranch, as I think all the flavors blended together so well. Even the "ain't a burger without meat" bf thought these tasted pretty good. Filling and tasted great!

Taste:  A+

Ease to Make:  These are fairly easy to make but a bit more time consuming and you'll be a moving and a grooving in the kitchen getting everything done. I think these took around 45mins. 


Hope there is at least one recipe that looks good to you all!


Not sure if I'll get a Menu Monday post up next week, as it will be Christmas but something will pop up in the week :)


Happy Holidays, everyone!

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text 2017-12-11 14:00
Menu Monday

Hope a recipe entices you to try it :)




I think I added too much oil (used Canola) and it took me a slightly burned and not cooked enough one to get a good cook. They kind of didn't hold together very well for me either but I made these with pancakes and just let them fall apart and called them hashbrowns instead of cakes. C'est la vie! Since I was doing a brinner thing, I just drizzled them with some maple syrup but I can see a green goddess or hummus tasting really good. 

Taste:  B

Ease to Make:  Hardest part was grating the sweet potato and getting the little poops to stick together. Took only 10mins or so, super easy.



Sheet Pan Salmon and Avocado Fajitas



Even though it didn't call for it in the recipe, I took the visual from the picture and sliced up a lime and put the slices on top of the salmon and peppers on the sheet pan. It gave everything a great taste. I also didn't have cojita cheese and instead used feta, still good! These were a simple, clean, and great subtle taste meal. Next time, I'd serve a Corona on the side or a big margarita. Definitely will keep for a quick easy breezy summer meal.

Taste:  B+

Ease to Make:  Super easy, hardest part was cutting up the three peppers. Probably took around a half hour (cut up peppers during salmon defrosting).



Honey Garlic Turkey Meatballs



Probably can consider this my first Menu Monday fail, the taste was pretty bland. If I was going to make it again (spoiler alert: I won't be making this again) I would double the honey garlic sauce and use the other half to dip the meatballs in.

Taste:  D

Ease to Make:  Very easy, just mixing and mashing up ingredients with turkey and baking them up. I think it took around a half hour.


Rum Glazed Eggnog Bread Pudding



So disappointed in this one, I was looking forward to it all week! When I started making it and added the Tbs of nutmeg, I started to get rumblings of worry and then when the "splash" of rum took much more to get close to a thin icing, I knew I was in trouble. The bf liked it but the bread had way too much of a heavy taste because of all the nutmeg for me. I had to add enough rum (not my favorite alcohol) to the icing that the smell made it really off putting to me. I thought there would be a hint of rum and more of an eggnog taste. The disappoint was real, people.

Taste:  D-

Ease to Make:  Not hard to make but time consuming, I think around an hour or little more. I don't know, I'm bitter I didn't enjoy it so when I think back it took forever to make, lol.



BBQ Ranch Chicken Casserole



After my two failures, I had high expectations for this one and it sort of made it. I went with a sweet and tangy bbq sauce and I think that was a good choice, mixed well with the Monterrey jack cheese. This was good but I couldn't help feeling like something was missing. The bf crumbled ritz crackers on top and really liked that. I don't, if you could figure out a seasoning to mix in, it might make this go from ok to great.

Taste:  C

Ease to Make:  Easy but time consuming, you have to cook the chicken and noodles before mixing it all together and then putting it back in the oven for 20mins. Other than that, shredded the chicken was the most labor. Around an hour and 15mins to make.


Try any good recipes this week?

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text 2017-12-04 17:31
Menu Monday

Welcome to the first Menu Monday! Hope a recipe entices you to try it :)

Vegan Tacos with Lentil Walnut Meat




I'm so happy to start with such a winner, I LOVED this one. Definitely don't skip on the sour cream (didn't remind me of sour cream at all but whatev) because it was delicious and added so much to the taste. I was kind of shocked at how much (roll with me here) the Lentil Walnut meat, well, looked like meat and kind of had the texture. The bf said it was really good for something trying to taste like meat. I count this as a Win :)

Taste:  A+

Ease to make:  Not hard and not incredibly time consuming, took me an hour I think.


White Chocolate Peppermint Fluff 



I like to make themed desserts during certain months. Finding Hershey's peppermint kisses might be a tad difficult in June, too. This was super yummy, I only got one bar of peppermint bark so I ended up adding about half of what the recipe requested of bark. I still think it had a strong peppermint taste. Bf and I got stomach aches the first night eating too much. Winner!

Taste:  A

Ease to make:  Very easy, but recipe does call for whole milk which some might not always have on hand. And like I mentioned, a pretty seasonal dessert as the peppermint kisses and bark might be hard to come by other times of year. 10 mins to make and needs to sit for 2hrs in fridge.

*If making it to take somewhere, I'd let it sit overnight, the peppermint red bled a little and created a pretty pink color. Three day max probably though as the marshmallows started to unravel a bit sitting in the pudding mixture, lol



Firecracker Salmon



Salmon is one of my most favorite versatile meats. You can season and marinate it with just about anything, add some rice, and have a super yummy meal. This seemed a bit sweet but still had a nice hotness to it but if you lean more towards spicy, I'd add more hot sauce and red pepper flakes.

Taste:  B+

Ease to Make:  Very easy, it doesn't say to marinate salmon so that cuts back on time. Even without marinating, I thought it had a good taste. I wouldn't skip broiling, it slightly caramelized the sauce, which I love. Around 40mins to make; made sauce while salmon was defrosting.



Jalapeno Popper Deviled Eggs



I try to make Wednesdays my app day, this is supposed to make Weds easy for me and give me something to snack on for two days. However, my apps usually turn into full meals, so my save some work for myself often fails. Not here, unless you wanted to get egg belly, I guess. I cut this recipe in half and they turned out great. I made 4 eggs for myself and then mixed in the chopped up bacon and made the rest for the bf. We were both fans. Nice touch of jalapeno spice from them and they kind of looked adorable with the sliced bacon and jalapeno decoration.

Taste:  B

Ease to Make:  25 mins counting the egg boiling time. Super easy!



Skinny Chicken Parm Sliders



I just bought the 1lb chicken tenders from the refrigerator section, there ended up being two tenders per two normal size buns which was a good amount for us (ok, so, I ate half of the second and had to donate the second half to bf). Really good, kind of tasted like a chicken pizza sandwich. They were a bit too salty tasting for me and a bit too much Parmesan (I'm not the biggest fan).

Taste:  B

Ease to Make:  Pretty easy (sensing a trend yet with what recipes I pick out ;). I think this took about 40mins. Nothing that took mad skills, just baking and mixing!


Hope everyone can find a recipe to try!

Any recipes for me?

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