Monday, August 3, 2015

Greek Stuffed Peppers with Tzatziki Sauce

This is a really easy and quick recipe for Greek stuffed peppers.  I love combination of flavors in this dish, especially the cinnamon.  Tzatziki sauce goes with all things Greek and I love the tang it brings to the dish.  These are so filling they can stand alone or you can serve them with a salad.  The stuffing is also great leftover.  I used mine to make a frittata the next day.  Here's how to make them:

Friday, June 5, 2015

Foolproof Crispy Chicken Thighs - Whole30 Approved

I don't know anyone who doesn't love fried chicken.  It's satisfying but leaves you feeling guilty afterwards!  One way to cut the guilt is to bake chicken instead.  Sometime I have trouble getting the skin really crispy, especially if it's a whole bird.  With chicken breasts, I find that once the skin is crispy the meat is dry!  So I gave chicken thighs a try.  They are cheap, juicy and delicious and I've come up with a foolproof method of getting crispy skin and keeping the meat juicy.  Here's how to make them:

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Whole30 Approved German Potato Salad

It has been so long since my last post!  Even longer since I've posted a recipe.  I got pretty carried away doing the Whole30.  I wasn't really making any "recipes" so I took a little break from blogging.  I would just roast a lot of vegetables and meats and eat things that weren't very pretty.  So why bother posting?  But here is my first Whole30 approved recipe!  I know German Potato Salad doesn't sound like something that would be approved to eat on Whole30, but it is!  It's probably not the healthiest choice because of the bacon, but nonetheless it is indeed Whole30 compliant.  This is a great recipe that will make you feel like you aren't on a diet.  Even though Whole30 isn't a "diet"!!  Here's how to make it:


Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Whole30 - Week 1

I am officially into week 2 of Whole30 and I'm feeling pretty good.  I haven't had any major changes but I am definitely starting to feel a difference.  I'm still reading "It Starts with Food" by Melissa and Dallas Hartwig.

I haven't been having any kind of cravings for the most part.  Fruit tastes incredibly sweet right now, so eating some grapes or strawberries keeps my sweet tooth at bay.  I bought some local strawberries and they literally tasted like candy.  I couldn't stop eating them.  Grapes have been extra sweet too, and sour.  I felt like I was eating Warheads rather than grapes!

After the first few days, I noticed that the tiny bumps I've had on the backs of my arms since I was about 12 have almost disappeared.  It's something I've always been really self conscious about.  I've ready that having those little bumps is a sign of gluten intolerance, so perhaps I'm sensitive to gluten.  Time will tell.

I feel lighter every day when I wake up.  I haven't had any bloating at all, I haven't felt gassy or had any heartburn at all.  I've noticed that I have more energy every morning when I go into work.  Someone asked me "what's wrong with you?". Hah.  Overall I just feel really light and alert.

I'm still going to the gym 3-4 times a week doing cardio and weights, but if I skip a day I don't feel guilty about it.  Before Whole30 I would feel extremely guilty if I skipped a day at the gym.  Now if I skip, I don't feel as bad about it because I know what I'm eating is good for me.  I don't feel like I need to spend an hour at the gym to burn off what I had for dinner.

I've been eating meals that aren't so pretty, so I haven't been sharing recipes.  Every time I have a day off work I prep big batches of sweet potatoes, baby potatoes, brussel sprouts, roasted carrots, hard boiled eggs, meatballs, and stock up on fruits.  The only way I have been successful so far is having things in the refrigerator to heat up when I'm hungry and don't feel like cooking.  In the mornings, I pack a little plastic container of eggs, a meatball and some veggies to take to work.  I've also been making big pictures of cucumber-lemon water.  It's so refreshing and really quenches my thirst.

I even survived a Friday night at our friends' house.  There was plenty of beer, cheese, dips and chips to snack on.  It was tempting but I explained what I was doing and they were both very understanding.  It was hard but I got through it and felt great about myself.

I've noticed in about the past 3 days that I feel really full after a meal, especially breakfast, and can barely finish what's on my plate.  I continue to feel full well into the afternoon.  I usually have to make myself eat lunch because I'm just not that hungry.

I'm excited to see what the next few weeks have to offer.  If I'm feeling this good after 1 week, I can't wait to see how I feel after the full 30 days.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

My First Whole30

Things are going to be a little different here for a while.  I've been doing my first Whole30.  If you aren't familiar with Whole30, you can read about it here.  Long story short, for 30 days you can only eat meat, seafood, fruits, vegetables, nuts and certain oils.  No dairy, grains, gluten, sugar, alcohol, and a few others.  The purpose is to reboot your system and to take notice of what changes come to your body.  After 30 days, you slowly add back the things you cut out of your diet one at a time.  It makes it easier to notice how these foods affect your body.  I'm a week in and it hasn't been too challenging so far.  Most of the things I have been eating haven't really been recipes, just a lot of fruit, roasted vegetables and meats.  Although while I'm doing Whole30, I'm still going to try and come up with some tasty and easy meals that I can share here on my blog.  Stay tuned!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Crab Stuffed Shells with Bechamel

It has been quite some time since my last post!  I have been busy with work and was visiting my best friend in Charleston (hey, Hillary!) last weekend, so I haven't had much time to get in the kitchen and cook.  Being at the beach had me in the mood for some seafood, so I whipped up some crab stuffed shells shortly after coming home!  Here's how to make them:

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Spicy Garlic Shrimp

This is a really quick and easy recipe that's great for a last minute meal.  It takes about 10 minutes to cook and all of the ingredients are things that are easily kept on hand. Also, check out my recipe for General Tso Chicken which has similar flavors and is just as easy to make.  Here's how to make it:

General Tso Chicken

Who doesn't love General Tso Chicken?  It's that classic Chinese take out dish that is sweet, tangy and sticky.  It's so easy to make at home and much better for you than take out.  Almost all of the ingredients are things that I always have in my fridge and pantry, so it's great for a last minute meal.  Also, check out my recipe for Spicy Garlic Shrimp which has similar flavors, but no breading! Here's how to make it:

Monday, March 23, 2015

DIY Game of Thrones Coasters

A few years ago I made coasters as Christmas gifts for my friends and family.  They are so fun and easy to make and people really enjoyed them.  I love going over to their homes and seeing that they still have the coasters on their coffee tables.  I had a great Game of Thrones poster,but sadly the cats got to it and chewed the bottom of it.  It wasn't damaged that bad but it looked tacky on the wall.  I didn't want to throw it away because it was still in pretty good condition, so I made coasters out of it!  Here's how to make them:

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Key Lime Pie Cupcakes

Okay, so these cupcakes aren't actually made with key limes.  They're made with regular limes but the flavors of a key lime pie are all there!  I used my pound cake recipe for these cupcakes, so if you prefer you can easily make this recipe using a bundt pan, just adjust the cooking time.  These are very dense, moist and filling.


Friday, March 13, 2015

Sweet and Sour Pork Tenderloin Tacos

Pork tenderloin is tender, cheap and delicious!  It's a great cut of meat to cook in a slow cooker.  It'll last for days and is great for leftovers.  This recipe has a little Asian twist to it and I chose to make tacos with it.  It would also be great with just a big bowl of sticky rice.  Here's how to make it:


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Linguine with Clams, Mussels and Bacon

Sometimes you just get a craving for some really good pasta that's super flavorful but not too complicated to make.  Here's the recipe for my last craving: 

Friday, February 20, 2015

Lobster Risotto with Roasted Asparagus

On Valentine's Day we kind of forgot to make reservations at the restaurant we had picked out... so we ended up at home cooking dinner instead.  That's always fine by me though, it's cheaper and just as fun and delicious.  Making lobster seemed like a very cliche thing to make on Valentine's Day, so off to the store we went.  Lobster Risotto is what we decided on.  I am a huge fan of risotto for several different reasons.  It's relatively cheap to make, it's filling and it can feed a lot of people.   It turned out great!  Here's how to make it:

Monday, February 16, 2015

Nutella Palmiers

Palmiers are a really easy cookie to make with very few ingredients.  You can easily switch around the ingredients to make any variety, even savory palmiers.  I made these for our Valentine's Day dessert along with some Red Velvet Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting that I made earlier in the week, hehe.  Palmiers are supposed to look like elephant ears, and they do!  Here's how to make them:

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Red Velvet Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting

Happy Valentine's Day!  Here's a great recipe for chewy red velvet cookies with tangy cream cheese frosting.  They're addictive!  I made these for Drew this year. :)  Here's how to make them: