Rosemary Spiced Nuts

Rosemary Spiced Nuts

These little nuggets of flavor are perfect for gifts or perfect for snacks at your holiday party!20151222_183823I am sitting here writing this looking at these nuts and wishing I hadn’t given them all away as gifts!!

Since cooking, trying new recipes, and posting about it is such a big part of my life, I love to be able to share some homemade food gift with my friends and family. In the past I’ve made THESE , THESE, THIS as well as flavored salts (including Sriracha, Rosemary, Lemon, Chili Lime, Porcini Mushroom, to name a few) for gifts in the past. They’re always a big hit because I think people really appreciate the time, energy and love that goes into homemade gifts!3This year while browsing Pinterest, I kept seeing so many recipes for different flavors of nuts. I’ve tried a few in the past but for some reason I was really digging the rosemary this year. They turned out great and the sugar in this recipe really helps create a great glaze that helps the little pieces of rosemary and salt stick so each nuts is packed with flavor.

Even if you’re gifts are already given and your parties are all over, you definitely should give these a try!
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ALWAYSSUMMER1It’s as simple as that. You can totally use any type of nuts that you like too. These are just what I had on hand.

I hope you all have a wonderful and very merry Christmas today! My plans for the rest of the day looks like it will contain yoga pants, a top knot, coffee, a nap or two, and enjoying the company of those I love most. In other words, the most perfect day ever.

xoxo

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Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Butternut Squash

 

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Butternut Squash & Arugula Quiche

Butternut Squash & Arugula Quiche
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HAPPY FRIDAY! 6 words for you. Thank. God. It. Is. The. Weekend.

I had what I’m going to call the longest week EVER at work. But I have a super fun weekend planned. I’m heading to the twin cities (Minneapolis/St. Paul) to visit my best friend everrrr. She just moved into her and her husbands first official house and I cannot WAIT to see it and help her celebrate being a homeowner and settle in! 🙂

It’s also my birthday on Saturday! 26! Nuts. But I’m sure we’ll get into some shenanigans like we always do when we’re together. Excited!

But before I head out on my fun filled weekend I had to share what I call “the best thing I think I’ve ever made” with you. (I actually said that when I tasted this). This GORGEOUS and delicious dish can be made for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack time… you name it!

I used crumbled goat cheese as my cheese and it was seriously perfect. I recommend that but as with all of my recipes, use anything you want! It’s all about experimenting and having fun, & I suggest you try with this, pronto.

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Like I said, I used goat cheese and it was to. die. for. Also you can easily make this so quick. Use store bought pie crust (like me) use pre cut up butternut squash(like me) (you can find this in the natural foods frozen section of most stores, otherwise Trader Joes has some!) if you use some of those handy shortcuts you have a wonderful delicious and somewhat healthified dinner in no time at all!

4Like it looks so good. I think I drooled.DSC_9387 copycan’t stop
won’t stop

Do yourself a favor and try this. Then come back and tell how you liked it! oh and MOST importantly, have a wonderful weekend!!!!!

xoxo669058772380712020613

Turkey, Leek, and Wild Rice Casserole

Turkey, Leek, and Wild Rice Casserole

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Hello fraaaaands!

Last year around this time, I posted this enchilada recipe to give you a new way to use your leftover turkey!It was different flavors than most of us probably had on Thanksgiving and we all know I like to spice it up 🙂 butttt we also know I’m a creature of habit and love the holidays. I love the food of the holidays and usually have too many recipes on my wishlist and end up cutting some out because making ungodly amounts of food is wasteful…… That’s why this year, I’m again going to give you an EXCELLENT recipe to use up some of your left over Turkey meat from next week, but it’s a fall inspired comfort food meal!

Yes Thanksgiving is next week and this recipe is a “week early” but if you’re like me, you like to plan and that includes meal planning. This post is extra special because it contacts some sponsored products!

A while back, I was contacted by popchips to see if I would be interested in trying some of their products and sharing them on the blog. Um yes.

Upon further research- popchips are all natural, gluten free, low fat, not fried, no soy(as far as I can tell- though I haven’t tried every kind) and non to mention- delicious!

Originally I was asked if I could try some of the Cheddar Cheese products because they were interested in teaming up with bloggers in Wisconsin because Wisconsin is apparently one of the only places where Cheddar cheese is a snack consumed at higher rates then anywhere else . I said yes, even if I try to limit my cheese intake we all know- I love cheese. Too much.

They sent me a big box of samples of tons of flavors and even some veggie pop chips.

So I won’t lie- they were so good just as is (especially with Hummus) that that’s pretty much how we enjoyed them. However I did get the idea (rather genius if you ask me 🙂 ) so use them as a crunchy layer on a casserole. It was the PERFECT way to get a healthy crunch!

I was inspired by a fellow Wisconsin food blogger, Sarah from Wisconsin from Scratch. I get her blog posts directly to my email and love every single thing she posts! This dish she made particularly caught my eye. So I did my own rendition. Hope you enjoy as much as we did!

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Turkey, Leek, and Wild Rice Casserole
Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large leek, thoroughly rinsed, chopped
  • 8 oz mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme (or ½ tsp dried thyme)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 3 Tbsp gluten free flour
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 cup chicken or veggie broth
  • 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1 ½ cups cooked wild rice*
  • 2 cups cooked turkey shredded or chopped (or chicken too!)
  • 1 ½ Tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese popchips, crushed

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 350

2. Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Once hot,  add the leeks, mushrooms, thyme, salt, and pepper. Cook until vegetables are soft, around 5 minutes or so.

3. Sprinkle flour over the vegetables, then stir so that the flour coats all the vegetables. Once coated, cook for about 1 minute more and add the milk and broth. Bring it all to a boil, and reduce the heat to low and simmer until it thickens a little, about 3-5 minutes.

4. Stir in the cheese and yogurt until well combined. Once cheese is melted in, stir in the already cooked wild rice and turkey.

5. Pour wild rice mixture into a medium sized (1.5 quart) baking dish or casserole dish.

6. Pour 1 ½ Tbsp melted butter into a small bowl. Add the crushed popchips and mix together.

7. Top the turkey/wild rice mixture with the crushed popchips. Place in the oven and bake at 350 until topping is golden brown and filling is hot and bubbling, about 20-25 minutes.

7. Let sit and cool for about 5 minutes and then ENJOY!!!

*To cook wild rice, combine ½ cup dried rice with 2 cups of  water(or broth) in a saucepan. Bring it to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until rice is tender, about 45 minutes. Then drain off any excess liquid. 

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Hmmm baked cheesy, crunchy goodness. Soo good and comfort foody. So there you have it- the perfect thing to do with your leftover bird.

Hope you enjoy and happy holidays to you and your families! Take time to tell them you love them and unplug from social media/technology and have a drink, laugh and love with them!

xoxo

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Goat Cheese, Sausage, and Arugula Stuffed Peppers

Goat Cheese, Sausage, and Arugula Stuffed Peppers

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Wowza you guys. This recipe is sooooo freaking good. simple. delicious. fresh. healthy. did I already say delicious? Because it is.

It probably doesn’t hurt that I am OBSESSED with Arugula. Something about that taste just gets my every time. Spicy. Nutty. A tiny bit bitter. Loveeee it.

This dish does a great job highlighting those flavors. And it has goat cheese. So, what’s not to like?

Ingredients:

3 medium bell peppers of any color, halved lengthwise, seeds and ribs removed
2 teaspoons olive oil
4 links sausage of your choice, casings removed (I used spicy italian)
1 onion, diced
4 ounces goat cheese, softened or just buy the pre-crumbled stuff
2 large handfuls of arugula (about 1½ ounces) *Rocket for all you non USA folks 🙂
Salt, pepper and/or red pepper flakes, to taste
1/4 cup  freshly grated Parmesan (or mozzarella)

Instructions:

Turn on oven to 400º. Place the prepped peppers in a baking dish and set aside.

Heat olive oil in a medium skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook until it browns, crumbling with a wooden spoon as it cooks. Drain the sausage and return to heat. Add the onion and cook until softened. Reduce heat to low and stir in the arugula and goat cheese until the cheese has melted and the arugula is wilted. Taste and add salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.

Spoon the filling into the peppers and sprinkle each half with Parmesan. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until the peppers have softened slightly. Hit with the broiler for about a minute to get the golden cheese on top and serve!

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I tried some with and without cheese on top

So I tried baking both with cheese on top and without. Honestly, the cheese sort of helped hold everything together but it’s one million percent possible to make this without the extra cheese on top. Just as delicious, just slightly messier.

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so pretty too!

Hmmmmmmm seriously sooo delicious. This meal was so quick to make and the flavors were aaaaaammmazing. I could have eaten the pepper “stuffing” by the spoonful out of the bowl.

Ok, I did that.

Don’t judge. It was soooooo good. You could serve this as a side or meal by itself! You need to make this pronto!

Also I just wanted to share that I’ve created some social media pages dedicated to the blog, check us out on Twitter and Facebook!

Thanks!

xoxo

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Beef Bourguignon Soup

Beef Bourguignon Soup

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A little overkill on the parsley. Don’t care. Still delicious!

Happy Sunday! Hope your weekends were all great and relaxing and fun! This is totally a winter comfort food- which I’m posting, not in winter. I’m not that organized. Get over it 🙂

I love a good Beef Bourguignon and when I saw a soup rendition, I was all for it. Most are kind of stew-like anyway, so why not go all in?!

I served this with my great grandmothers Homemade German Potato Dumplings and it was to. die.for.

This is actually a pretty rich and decadent version of a beef bourguignon. It takes a little but more time that more recipes I feature on here, but I promise that it will be worth it! 🙂

Ingredients:
3-4 thick cut slices of bacon
2 tablespoons flour
1 ½ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds stew beef meat, cut in 1/2-inch dice
1 onion, chopped in 1/4-inch dice
3 medium cloves garlic, minced
6 tablespoons tomato paste
2 cups red wine
6 cups beef stock
4 medium fresh thyme sprigs
1 large bay leaf
5 tablespoons pesto, prepared or homemade (Costco has the BEST pre-made pesto on the planet)
2 teaspoons brown sugar
2 stalks celery, diced
8 medium carrots, peeled and diced
2 tablespoons butter
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced

Instructions:
1. Cook bacon over medium low heat until golden brown and crisp, but not hard. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside. Remove half of the bacon drippings and set aside.

2. Combine flour, salt and pepper in a large bowl and stir to combine. Add beef and toss with your hands to coat.

3. In a large Dutch oven or heavy duty pot, heat bacon fat over medium high heat until hot, but not smoking. Add ½ of the beef and spread out to cover the bottom of the pan. Cook until the beef is golden brown on the underside, about 5-7 minutes. Don’t mess with it too much. Let it get a good golden brown coat. With a large metal spatula, flip beef to uncooked side and cook until second side is golden brown too. Remove with a slotted spoon to a clean plate. Add the rest of the bacon fat to pot. Heat until hot, add remaining beef and repeat cooking process as directed above.

4. Once second batch of beef is browned, return first half of beef to pan. Add onion and garlic, tomato paste and 1 of cup wine. Bring to a boil then lower heat to maintain a low simmer. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally. Simmer until most of the wine is absorbed, about 20 minutes then add the remainder of the wine and simmer until almost completely absorbed .

5. Add the beef stock, thyme, bay leaf, pesto and brown sugar and return to a boil. Reduce to a low constant simmer, cover and cook for 1 hour or until beef is tender. Remove bay leaf and thyme sprigs (if you used real thyme)

6. Add celery, carrots and potatoes, cover loosely and cook till tender, about 20-25 more minutes.

7. While vegetables are cooking, melt butter in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. When butter is bubbly, add mushrooms and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally until mushrooms are golden brown, about 10-15 minutes. Add mushrooms to soup and stir. If soup is too thick add a bit more stock or water.

8. Serve it up. Like I said, I served over some German Potato Dumplings, but served by itself or with some good crusty french bread would be amazing too!

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Yum. Yum. Yum. I want this again right now!

xoxo

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