My co-workers are probably sick of hearing the word “nachos”. Don’t ask me why, but I’ve been weirdly obsessed with eating them non-stop for going on two months now.
I always make my family’s meat and beans recipe. I could eat it morning, noon, and night. And have done so. Don’t judge.
But I’ve never made chicken nachos before. I’ve only ever had them once or twice at a restaurant, but I was still craving nachos one Sunday and decided I needed to try something new.
I looked up a bunch of nacho chicken recipes, but kept coming back to the Pioneer Woman’s, so that’s what I decided to try. It also was fairly simple compared to the others, fewer steps and less time overall.
One of the great things about nachos is that the toppings options are basically unlimited. Generally I go pretty plain—meat, beans, and cheese—but these called for some extra awesomeness.READ THE POST
My thirst for brussels sprouts shall never be quenched!
This salad is surprisingly hearty, with the crunchy and chewy sprouts and given a boost from the walnuts. I will say that I was a little nervous about this salad, since to me brussels sprouts are one of those things that always need cooked in order to be eaten. But overall it was delicious, filling, and super healthy!READ THE POST
Last weekend I had a plan. I knew that I only had two days of work to get through before break, including two work lunches and a dinner with friends, so I didn’t need to cook enough on Sunday for leftovers. I also wanted to be healthy, so I had some brussels sprouts sitting around and I planned to pick up a salmon filet for dinner, call it a day.
Then this pot pie totally derailed my Sunday dinner plans.
See, last Sunday (and several days thereafter) was just relentlessly gray. Gray, misty, chilly. One of those days where the only then you want to do is curl up in your jammie jams on the couch and read a book, then watch TCM for hours. The kind of day where you get the idea of chicken pot pie stuck in your head and you’re unable to dislodge it despite your best efforts and lazier tendences.
The thing is, I’d never made pot pie before. And honestly, I like pot pie just fine (anything with “pie” in the name, really), my mom’s is good, but pot pie isn’t a thing I’ve ever really craved. Pasta-as-comfort-food is more my style. So I didn’t have a triend-and-true recipe that I was willing to undertake, since I definitely didn’t want to deal with pie crust. In my mind, I was picturing making the filling in a slow cooker, and then topping with a drop biscuit crust—seemed easy enough. Unfortunately I couldn’t find a crockpot chicken pot pie filling recipe I liked (that didn’t include cream of chicken soup) or even a biscuit-topped pot pie for cooking times and so forth, so I decided to make it up as I went, pulling bits and pieces from some recipes and just using my brain for the other parts.
This chicken pot pie is probably the best I’ve ever had. Okay, not probably, DEFINITELY. It’s warm and hearty and comforting and feels decadent, but is secretly really healthy and easy and basically perfect. It’s great as leftovers. The biscuit crust is amazing. I could just eat the filling as a stew (which is saying something because I’m not keen on stew). What I’m saying is that you need to make this pot pie now.READ THE POST
When I first saw this recipe, I was suuuuper excited, because I love french onion soup. I mean really lurve it.
I will say that this pasta doesn’t quite live up to that level of insane richness, but the idea is still there.
You start by caramelizing onions down to the point of sweet jamminess, then add broth (and a little wine in my case). Let those flavors hang out for a while, let the pasta soak up all that delicious liquid, and top with arugula and parmesan. Done.
My one complaint with this dish is that I feel like the onions end up getting lost in all the broth…I was hoping for more onion. I think if I made this again I’d use at least one more onion, and I’d look at using something more like the melty Gruyere that true French onion soup uses, vs. parmesan (which never melts quite as luxuriously for me). But all-in-all, this was warm and comforting.READ THE POST
So, we basically got like two weeks of fall in Georgia before it got COOOOLLLLD! But those two weeks were really beautiful.
This tree outside my window is absolutely glorious, like flame.
And these leaves form an awesome natural stoplight.
The changing of the seasons has also meant that the grocery stores and my CSA box have been all-gourds-all-the-time. I got a couple beautiful butternut squashes and, since I finally learned how to peel and disassemble them last winter, I was actually excited to try out this recipe.
Also, sage. Because sage is always the answer.
This sauce is deceptively creamy and rich, but doesn’t have any cream or milk, or even cheese until the very end. The leeks form a super flavorful base, and the pureed butternut squash is like butter and cream and squash all in one. This was a super easy and healthy dinner.
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Sometimes it’s the simple answers that are the best.
I can be guilty of getting too fancy with pasta sometimes, trying crazy combinations of ingredients or always trying to think of something new. Pasta is the blank canvas, the starting place for a thousand meals. And sometimes I think I’ve tried them all. But when I saw this recipe, I was struck by its simplicity and also how all the flavors complemented each other so well.
It starts, as many things do, with a base of sauteed shallots and garlic. From there all you do is add balsamic vinegar for depth and bite, toasted nuts for protein and crunch, and some parmesan cheese to top it all off. It all comes together in about 15 minutes, and is a warm and comforting dish any time of the day or night.READ THE POST
Salmon is one of my favorite simple, healthy dinners. It cooks quickly, is super versatile, and is such a nice break from boring chicken.
This recipe can be made either entirely on the stove or finished off with a nice broil in the oven. Besides the salmon, everything else in this recipe is a pantry staple, and you can throw it together in like 10 minutes total.READ THE POST
I never expected pad thai to become my Everest…
Pad thai is such a great, uncomplicated dish. Simple flavors, not too many extras mixed in—it’s basically thai comfort food. Recipes vary, many more on the authentic route using tamarind paste, fish sauce, and other Asian staples. Others, like this one, stick to the basics. I’ll be trying the more complicated ones later [update: tried, hated, sticking with this one], but this one is a great place to start.
The sauce calls for only three ingredients—brown sugar, soy sauce, and lime juice. And maybe a squirt of sriracha if that’s how you roll. The first time I made this recipe, it came out pretty great. “This is so easy!” I thought. “But honestly I’d like it to have a little more sauce, it’s a little dry. I’ll try it again.”
Cue descent into madness…
I don’t know what was wrong with me but the next few times I made it, something went terribly wrong. First of all, I am the WORST at reading directions, so I had to throw like three different batches of sauce away because I accidentally added the oil to it instead of to the pan. (Don’t be like me, boys and girls.) And then one time I soaked my noodles exactly like I had before and when I added them to the pan they were still super tough and gross. Had to throw the entire pan of food away.
However, I finally got my act together and here you go. It really is a simple recipe, I have no idea why I had to make things so hard. So without further ado, I submit your next favorite 30-minute meal…READ THE POST
Heirloom tomatoes in season are seriously one of my favorite foods. In fact, I got to have a fancy dinner last night and there was an heirloom tomato and burrata salad that I could have eaten gallons of. I was in paradise.
So last week at the farmer’s market when I saw these gorgeous big lumpy heirloom tomatoes, I had to get my paws on them immediately. Thoughts of juicy chunks of tomato swimming in creamy, salty ricotta and tossed with al dente pasta danced through my head. I had plans.
Then plans changed, and I had friends coming over that night, last-minute. Since they’re gluten-, dairy-, and egg-free, I had to make some adjustments to my master plan.
I racked my brain to find something that they’d be able to eat and would still do these beautiful tomatoes justice. I landed upon a simple risotto, with a few adjustments to accommodate their health challenges (namely, I left out the butter and parmesan—sad, but necessary). I was worried it wouldn’t be nearly creamy enough, but it was still totally delicious.
My love of risotto is legendary, and I’ve never understood why people are so scared to make it. Yes, it’s time consuming and takes a little TLC, but it’s also very straightforward, not difficult at all. It’s the perfect dish to put on the stove when you already have people over and want to just stand there and drink wine and chat and stir constantly. Or heck, make your guests stir and drink wine and chat while you put the rest of the meal together. This version lets the tomatoes be the star, with a supporting cast of fresh basil and balsamic vinegar to add just a little extra.READ THE POST
This is seriously one of the best things I’ve eaten in a while. I had such high hopes for this recipe, and am inordinately happy that I wasn’t disappointed.
Sure, traditional pesto is made with basil, garlic, pine nuts, and parmesan, but the word basically comes from the Italian verb pestare, which just means “to pound or crush” (i.e. what you do with all these ingredients). Typically you’d make pestos with a mortar and pestle (from the same verb) but most of us are way too lazy to do that on a regular basis. Because food processors are magical.
While I’ve tried kale pestos, spinach pestos, and all kinds of different nuts in the sauce as well, this is a very different take on the traditional dish. You start with sweet, juicy fresh corn cut right off the cob. Cook some bacon and leave the drippings in the pan to start the flavor profile. Saute some minced garlic in it to release its amazing aroma. Add a dash of red pepper flakes for just a hint of bite. And finish it off in the food processor with pine nuts, fresh parmesan cheese, and olive oil to make a creamy sauce that clings to the noodles like its life depends on it.
This dish doesn’t take long overall—the longest part is cutting the corn off the cob, which I’m pretty slow at (partly because I value my fingers). Once that part’s done, the rest moves quickly and you can have it on the table in less than half an hour. While you could use many different kinds of pasta, I think a long flat pasta like linguine or tagliatelle is best for this (though I break most of the noodles in half before cooking).READ THE POST