Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Butternut Squash

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Butternut Squash

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Um two days from now it’s November. WHAT? How did THAT happen?

First of all, don’t forget to change your clocks back Saturday night/Sunday morning. I’d like to go on the record here and state how incredibly STUPID and pointless daylight savings time is. I read an article a few years ago about how it’s pretty useless now and more of a pain than a benefit and we should do away with it. I 1000000% agree and could rant for a good 3 paragraphs here butttttt I’ll spare you 🙂

Next, THANKSGIVING! (side note, did you all hear about REI being closed on Black Friday? Read about it here. I wish every store would follow suit but that’s another topic I could go on a rant about and again, I’ll spare you, you’re welcome 🙂 )

Now serious time. It’s time to start thinking about Thanksgiving day menu!! Some families make the same items year after year after year. And hey, there’s nothing wrong with that! But if you’re like me and physically can’t seem to make the same thing twice, then you probably get so excited to try new recipes every year!!

There are some flavors that scream fall and cold weather and family comfort time to me. Rosemary, sweet potato, pumpkin, sage, brussels sprouts, cranberry I could go on. Not to say I don’t eat those flavors throughout the year but you know what I mean. Turkey usually get to be the star of the show but for me, I’m obsessed with the sides. Stuffing, potatoes (yes both, you can’t skip either one) veggies, cranberry…

whoooaaa. I’m drooling.

But fo’ realzzzz that’s where flavors can shine! Turkey, meh, turkey can be good or bad (best Turkey I ever had was one that had been brined and then roasted….ohhhh mamma it’s to die for. Do it…) but it generally stays the same from year to year no experimentation. Sides! You can mix it up all the time. Different types of stuffing, different flavors in your potatoes, different roasted veggies and a million other things.

A few weeks ago I came across these BEAUTIFUL fresh local brussels sprouts and wanted to try a new flavor mix up. Enter this healthy and delicious fall flavored side dish. It’s packed with flavor, super easy to make, and healthy/low fat! I eat brussels sprouts like they’re going out of style but this is a great way to maybe sneak some into your menu and try to trick those that are too afraid to try them “don’t like them”.20151007_184353ALWAYSSUMMER (3)BEFOREOMGGG so good. Look at that roasty goodness.The cranberries get a little bit caramelized/chewy in the oven and every single thing about this dish is perfection.

I hope you make this (even if not for Thanksgiving) and enjoy it! Thanks for stopping by!

xoxo669058772380712020613

Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Butternut Squash
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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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Homemade German Potato Dumplings

German Potato Dumplings

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These are a family recipe passed down from my great grandma (my maternal grandpa’s mom) I never had the chance to meet her but she was one heck of a lady. She managed to provide for her very large family on a teeny tiny budget.

These were one of the tricks up her sleeve. These little dumplings are pretty cheap and easy to make but they’ll “stick to your ribs” as my family says and fill you up nicely!

This is kind of a shoot from the hip recipe, as I’ve only ever been told the ingredients but no the ratios. It’s really easy and you’ll figure it out quickly. They’re pretty much fool proof so don’t worry 🙂

Ingredients:

Mashed potatoes
Vegetable Oil
All Purpose Flour

This all depends how much you are making. I don’t even have a recipe for these bad boys but they are so simple, you don’t need one either. This is a great use for left over mashed potatoes but you could also make some for this purpose too. Homemade mashers obviously work well, but just know that boxed mashed potatoe flakes are also the bomb for this purpose too! (Boxed mashed potato flakes are like my guilty pleasure..shhhhh)

Anyway here is how you do it:

Instructions: 

1) Put your mashed potatoes in a large bowl (I’m not joking, like very large)

2) pour about 1 TBSP of oil in the potatoes (This is the “secret” to success)

3) add in a cup of flour at a time and mix in by hand until the dough is no longer tacky and you can roll into a ball without leaving half of it on your hands.
*I’m not going to sugar coat anything here. You will use a LOT of flour. Be prepared. And don’t skimp either!

4) once the dough is the right consistency, roll it into uniform dumpling sizes. You can make them whatever size you want, I’ve done small and large and everything in-between.

5) carefully drop them into a pot of boiling water and let them boil until they drift towards the surface. Then you’ll boil them for about 5-7 minutes. Again this depends on the size of your dumplings but thats a good rule of thumb.

You can take one out and test it too. Just cut it in half and see if it still looks doughy in the middle or cooked through.

6) Once they’re ready- serve them up! You serve with soup, a stroganoff, eat them by themselves..the possibilities are endless!

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These are the ultimate comfort food for me. They are so simple and it doesn’t hurt I grew up eating them so they remind me of so many great memories and special people throughout my life.

Has anyone else ever had these or grew up with them? Most of the people I’ve talked to have only had dumplings that were sort of like bisquick mix made. More light and airy. These are definitely dense and more delicious in my opinion 🙂

Thanks as always for checking out my blog. Hope spring is in full swing where ever you are reading from.

xoxo

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Fresh Veggie Greek Pasta

Fresh Veggie Greek Pasta

Ahhh, look how pretty this one is. Screams summer time BBQ to me.

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NEWS FLASH-I live in Wisconsin (ps. GO BUCKY!)

NEWS FLASH- it’s basically April and it snowed last week……

NEWS FLASH- I’m freaking sick of it!

I was desperate for something that tasted like summer and I came across this recipe.  It seemed so fresh tasting, and it was. 🙂

I made a dinner out of this and topped it with some chopped up chicken breast. We ate it warm. But I believe the recipe was originally intended to be a cold pasta salad. Like the ones you bring to SUMMER barbeques with friends when you wear shorts and tank tops and can sit outsiiiiiide and enjoy a cold beverage and possibly see some lightening bugs…ahhhhhh the good times. CAN. NOT.WAIT.

Anyway, we both really liked this dish. It was also a mini-milestone for me beeeecccaauuuse it contains kalmata olives and my Beau ate them! OK – he sort of picked around them while serving and it’s not like he said “these taste GREAT!” but after you hear this story you’ll realize why I’m so happy.

Jake and I have been together for about 6 and a half years. We met in college. Around our 1 year anniversary I decided to make him dinner. Back then it was a rare occurance as we lived in dorms or college housing and no access to a kitchen and we’re poor so there’s that. ANYWAY I choose to make a dish my mom always made called Medditeranean Chicken. Super simple and tasty. Basically 4 ingredients. Chicken breasts, cherry tomotoes, capers, kalmata olives- and then baked. Looking back, I have NO idea what I was thinking. Jake didn’t grow up eating as many diverse flavors as me and his palate was a little, limited shall we say. This was just too much.

Here’s the down and dirty version: I cook. I plate. We sit down. I take a bite=heaven. Jake takes a bite= run to bathroom, spit out food, brush teeth, gargle with Listerine immedietly.

How we are together to this day you ask? I don’t know. My feelings were so hurt but I tried to understand that it was “weird flavors!” for him. Anyway at the time, he pointed to the capers as being the death of him but after that it was both olives and capers that I had to hear about how he dispised them everytime they were in a 5 foot radius of him. I’m taking this dish a sign that almost 5 years later his palate has grown and adapted and they can slowly become part of our grocery repitiore.

But enough about me- Here is how you can make this deeeelicious recipe for you and your family!

Ingredients:
2-3 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped
½ cup Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
½ cup feta cheese, crumbled
2 tablespoons chopped parsley(I prefer Flat Leaf Italian)
1 tablespoon chopped basil
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 pound penne pasta (or whatever pasta you want)
6 tablespoons olive oil
3 teaspoons garlic, minced

Instructions:
– In a large bowl, combine the chopped tomatoes, olives, feta, herbs and spices, salt and pepper. *If you want to serve this dish cold, you could add this mixture to the fridge at this point to chill
– Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain in a collander.
– In the same pot, (with the pasta in the collander) heat the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes without letting it turn brown and cripsy.
– Put the pasta back into to the pot and toss with olive oil mixture.
– Add the tomato-olive mixture and toss until the fresh vegetables are thoroughly mixed with the penne.
– Serve!

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Hope you enjoy! And I also hope the weather is warmer by you, but if it is please don’t tell me about it. I’m bitter, however I can’t complain tooooo much as it’s about 50 today. SPRING IS COMING!

Thanks for vewing !

xoxo

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Holy Guacamole

Holy Guacamole !

I’ve been told to quit my day job and become a professional guacamole maker….. not kidding. I have this dowwwwwn and could definitely sit by myself and eat an unhealthy amount of this goodness. Just look at it.

I can’t heeeeellllpp it. It’s sooooo beeeauuutiful”. – and name that movie 🙂

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I mean real talk- I’ll eat that all. Kidding I wont. I would if it was socially acceptable and I was able to get my mind to forget how many calories that contains….but I could probably make a good dent in it.

Lets get up close and personal with this stuff.

Ahhhhhh feed me.

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Ok so I know you guys totally want some of this. Here is my top secret recipe revealed to you! (you lucky readers you)

I pretty much shoot from the hip with this and of course it depends how much of this you’re making and how many mouths you want to feed. I’ll show you my typical ratio I use for a group of people and keep in mind you can par this down or bumb it up depending on your crowd (or how hungry you are 😉 )

Ingredients:

  • 3 Avocados
  • ¼ cup diced red onion
  • ½ cup diced tomatoes
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • ½ jalapeno, chopped
  • Juice of half a lime
  • 1 tsp. ground Cumin
  • 1 tsp. Garlic Powder
  • ½ tsp. Chipotle Pepper Powder
  • ½ tsp. Red Pepper Flakes
  • ½ tsp. Salt

Directions:

  • Peel and cut your avocados into smallish cubes. Use a fork or potato masher to gently mash up the avocados. I don’t mash all the way up because I like some chunks in mine, but that’s up to you.
  • Juice your 1/2 lime into the avocados and stir to evenly mix.
  • Dice your onions, tomatoes, jalapeno and cilantro and gently mix in as well.
  • Then sprinkle your spices into the mix and stir to combine.
  • Chill and serve! Chilling isn’t necessary but know you can make this ahead of time.

 But WAIT?!?!? What about how avocados turn brown and look like something that comes from….well never mind you get the idea- not super appealing. No problem-o, I have toooooootally found the solution to this.

 First of all the fact that you just put the juice of half a lime into your guac will really help keep the browning to a minimum. But truth be told even then you can sometimes get the dreaded icky brown. Here’s what you do. If you’re serving it right away, don’t worry. This baby won’t stick around long enough to even begin to brown. If you are making ahead of time and planning on serving later, all you do it follow all the steps above and put into a container. This can be your serving bowl or just a storage bowl. Then you take some plastic wrap and lightly press down and make sure it’s touching the entire surface of the guac(*don’t worry it won’t stick when you take it off*) then pop in the fridge and try not to sneak any of it while you wait! And I swear to you it could last 5 days and it would hardly brown! Not joking.

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Thanks for stopping by and by the way, notice how my pictures are umm, how do I say, not taken with my iPhone? I am taking initiative to step up my food photography game, which isn’t to say some drafts I have started already and publish at a later date won’t have the sub-par quality 😉 Inspired by Lindsay over at Pinch of Yum. She is my little mini hero breathing new life into my blog pics! And not to mention I think I’ve noticed about 1/3 of my posts are recipes from her site! If you haven’t looked at her blog- ummmm you need to. ASAP. Like why are you still reading my blog? GO! 🙂 Kidding stay as long as you’d like ❤

xoxoxo

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