Thursday, August 28, 2014

Country Green Beans

I was really in the mood for some "country cooking" the other night.  I was born and raised in the South, so it's food I'm used to.  And I can't get enough of it!  I limit how much of it I eat because Southern food is full of fat, but that's what makes it so good!  I've been making these green beans for years.  They are satisfying and super tasty.  I love the crunch that the fresh green beans give, the saltiness of the bacon and the tang from the red wine vinegar.  Here's how to make them:


Herb Roasted Baby Potatoes

This is great recipe for a quick side dish.  I love potatoes because they are so versatile.  My favorite way to have them is roasted in the oven with a lot of herbs.  The combinations are endless.  This is a recipe I came up with a few days ago using herbs from my garden.  I threw in some onions and garlic for extra flavor.  It's really easy and really tasty!  Potatoes are awesome because they are a natural starch.  It makes me feel healthier to eat some potatoes instead of pasta or bread.  Here's how to make them:

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Cream of Broccoli Soup with White Cheddar and Bacon

"Uhh, what is the Soup du Jour?"
"It's the soup of the day"
"Mmm.. that sounds good.  I'll have that."
-Dumb and Dumber

Soup!  I love making soups.  There are so many different kinds and most are so easy to make.  And not to mention everything is in one pot!  I love one pot meals too.  They make life easier.  At work a few days ago, I needed to make a soup for service.  I decided on cream of broccoli because it's simple and delicious.  I also love broccoli cheddar soup, so I decided to combine the two.  It turned out great!  My co-workers and our guests really seemed to like it so I quickly tried to write down everything I put in it.  I've cut this recipe down a bit because I made several gallons for the restaurant!  Here's the recipe: :)

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Mussels in an Herb Tomato Sauce

It has been really nice living right next door to a grocery store!  A lot of days on my way home from work, I stop in and see what they have in the seafood section. On this day, they had mussels for 4 dollars per pound.  I picked up a pound, not realizing that I didn't have any stock, wine or beer at home. All three are ideal for steaming mussels. So I dug through the pantry and fridge to see what I could come up with. Here is it!  Keep in mind most of my recipes are for 1 or 2 people!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Buffalo Shrimp Salad with Roasted Garlic Vinaigrette

I love a big, hearty and filling salad.  I also love buffalo sauce on anything and everything.  This recipe combines a lot of my favorite things.  The colors are really vibrant and beautiful, which to me, is always a huge plus.  This salad literally has every color of the rainbow.  You eat with your eyes before your mouth!  I have always heard the more colorful your plate, the better it is for you.  This one salad has everything you need all on one plate.  Packed with protein and fresh vegetables, this salad won't let you down!

Roasted Garlic Vinaigrette

Roasted garlic is good in so many different recipes.  I think the best way to use it is in a salad dressing.  It keeps the garlic pure, and it isn't masked by other flavors.  Here is my recipe for a Roasted Garlic Vinaigrette.

Oven Roasted Garlic

Oven roasted garlic is so delicious.  It becomes very sweet and has a mild flavor.  It's great for salad dressings, marinades or even just spread onto a piece of bread.  This method is foolproof!

Ellen's Buffalo Sauce

Oh buffalo sauce, I love you.  I love anything spicy, especially anything tossed in buffalo sauce.  I put hot sauce on almost everything.  I haven't figured out buffalo ice cream or buffalo cake yet, but if I could, I'd probably eat it.  Buffalo sauce really isn't as bad for you as people think.  Sure, it has a lot of butter in it, but other than that it's just vinegar and spices.  As long as you limit how much you eat of it, just like everything else, it's not so bad.  It's a great way to add lots of flavor and spice to pretty much anything you want.  Wings, pizza, proteins on salads, sandwiches, buffalo mac and cheese, buffalo chili... anything! The list goes on and on.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Onion Dip

Having company is a great excuse to eat junk food! ... Well it's true.  I usually only eat junk food when there is some kind of celebration going on.  Having guests staying in your home is a celebration to me!  Today was the Carolina Panthers' second preseason game and Drew's dad was in the mood for some onion dip so I whipped some up for the game. Yum!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Breakfast Frittata

It's been another busy weekend. Drew's dad has been visiting so I've been cooking a lot of things for breakfast. I wanted to come up with a recipe where I could feed a lot of people without using a ton of dishes and ingredients. So I thought a frittata would be perfect. A frittata is an egg based dish that's similar to a quiche or an omelet but has a lot of other ingredients inside.  Everything is cooked in one pan, it's inexpensive, feeds a crowd and is easy to make. 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

7 Months of Ipsy

Ipsy, created by Michelle Phan, is a monthly subscription beauty bag. It's ten dollars a month and comes with 4 to 5 deluxe size samples of beauty products. Everything from nail polish, to lip products, to facial moisturizers.  Everything comes in pink bubble wrap and all the products are inside a reusable zipper pouch. I love it!  Some months you may get a bag with products that you don't like, but most of the time all of the products are great!  It's only 10 dollars, so it's a fun and inexpensive way to try out new products even if you don't care for some. I have really liked almost everything I've gotten.  You rarely ever get products that you can get at the drugstore.  Most of the products are high end brands.  It's a great way to try some of these more expensive products rather than buying the full size and not liking it.  I look forward to seeing that pink bubble wrap inside my mailbox every month.  It's so exciting! 

All of my bags. January - July.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Tilapia Lettuce Wraps with Napa and Apple Slaw

Fish tacos!  One of my favorites.  They are very trendy right now, you see them everywhere!  They can be so healthy, but also sooo unhealthy.  I love both though.  Sometimes it's nice to have some beer battered fish tacos but I love healthy tacos with a crisp slaw just as much.  I tried to make these tacos extra healthy by eliminated the tortilla and using romaine lettuce to wrap everything up instead.  For the slaw for these tacos, I used my recipe for Napa and Apple Slaw with Honey Lime Vinaigrette.  Delicious!

Napa and Apple Slaw with Honey Lime Vinaigrette

I love vinegar based slaws!  I can't stand mayonnaise, so every time I make a slaw I always toss it in a nice vinaigrette.  It's super flavorful and is so much healthier than mayonnaise based slaws.  I used this slaw on my Tilapia Lettuce Wraps but it would be just as good as a side dish or even on a burger.  It's crunchy, tangy and just a little sweet.  Perfect for a hot summer day!  And even better the second day.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Malon and Faron

Malon and Faron have been loving their new home!  There is a lot more space for them to run around, and less carpet for them to tear up!  Both kitties had vet appointments recently.  Faron is still getting all her kitten shots and Malon had her yearly checkup and is in perfect health!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Ellen's Marinara Sauce

I am such a big fan of pasta.  I know it's something I shouldn't eat all the time because it's pretty much just straight up carbs, but I don't care, I love it anyway.  I don't eat it all the time, but about once a week.  One of my favorite sauces of all time is a thick, rich and hearty marinara sauce.  In my opinion, a pasta sauce should coat the pasta and there shouldn't be a lot of excess sauce on the bottom of your plate.  This is my version of marinara and how I think it should be done.  In this recipe, I build different levels of flavor by using multiple techniques that each achieve a different flavor.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Go-To Makeup Routine

I don't wear a lot of makeup everyday.  Mostly because of my job.  I work in a hot kitchen around open flames and sweat all day, so what's the point?  But I do like to wear it when the time is right.  On work days I just throw on some mascara and call it a day.  I look dead without mascara! When I'm off work and just running errands or going to grab lunch I like to wear a little more. I use less than 10 products for this look, if you can call this a "look". This is my go-to. It doesn't even look like I'm wearing makeup. It just makes my skin look a little better and brighten my eyes a bit. Simple!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Poaching Eggs

Poaching eggs is easier than you think.  It really isn't that hard.  All you have to do is make sure you have your water at the right temperature and time it right.  185 degrees and 5 minutes. That's it!  I love eggs, I'm kind of going through an egg phase right now!  There are so many ways to cook eggs, it just never ends.  Eggs are an easy way to add protein and a ton of flavor to any meal.  This is my go-to method for poaching eggs. 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Eggs Benedict with Cajun Hollandaise

We had such a busy weekend!  Moving is rough, especially when you're moving to a third floor apartment. All day Friday I moved boxes and more boxes, 3 car loads. Saturday my family came and they helped me move all of my furniture. It was hard work but I'll take family time any way I can get it!  My sister and her husband spent the night Saturday and on Sunday I wanted to make a nice brunch. This is what I came up with... Eggs Benedict with Cajun Hollandaise.  There are no step by step pictures for this one since I was so busy moving all weekend. Sorry!