Tag Archives: food

Pinned: Party food!

I love cooking enough that it tends to be one of those things I definitely try to do when I have a little spare time. And that includes making food for my own birthday party because I took the day off!

Before anyone gets up in arms, Bobby offered to make the food, and I told him I wanted to make it. It was so nice just having the time to prep a few things while the baby was at day care.

Pizza crescent rollsThe first was this incredibly easy recipe for pizza crescent rolls from The Girl Who Ate Everything.

Pizza Crescent Rolls

Ingredients:

Pepperoni
Crescent rolls
String cheese

Directions:

Roll out crescent rolls. Place 4-6 slices of pepperoni (slice if desired) on each. Top with half piece of string cheese, roll up and cook with directions from crescent roll packaging.

See? Super easy!

The second recipe, Beer Cheese Dip from Tidy Mom, was just as simple.

Beer Cheese Dip

Ingredients:

Two 8-oz. pkgs Cream Cheese, softened
1/3 cup beer (I used Yuengling … use more if dip needs to be thinned some)
1 envelope Ranch Dressing Mix
2 cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese

Directions:

Beat the first three ingredients until well blended. Stir in cheddar cheese by hand. Serve with Stacy’s Pita Chips.

The best part of this was that I got to feel the accomplishment of trying a couple of new recipes, but they were so quick and easy that I didn’t feel like I spent the whole day cooking. And both of these were a huge hit at my party!

In which I profess my undying love for kale

So I have a food problem.

I can’t eat spinach. You don’t want to know the details, but just trust me. It’s a no-go. And it’s a little sad, because I love the way it tastes. Plus it’s in approximately half the recipes in the world.

So I was delighted when I was introduced to kale. It’s a pretty decent substitute for spinach in a lot of recipes (more so the cooked ones than the ones that call for raw spinach). And it also holds its own in a lot of kale-centric recipes.

I found a huge bag of it on sale just after the new year, so we have been eating kale like nobody’s business. I wanted to share my favorite way to prepare it as a side and also a really great recipe I tried with it recently.

Sauteed kale with bacon (you know I love me some bacon)
Serves 2

Ingredients:
Two large handfuls of kale
One garlic clove, minced
Two shallots, chopped (you can also substitute onion, but I prefer shallots)
Two slices of thick, center-cut bacon, cut into hunks
Cooking spray

Directions:
Spray your saute pan with cooking spray as the pan heats. Cook bacon until near done, then add garlic. Once the bacon is approaching the crispy stage, add the shallots. Once those have gotten tender, add the kale. Cook to the desired consistency of the kale. I prefer mine wilted but still with a little texture to it.

The other recipe is one I adapted from The Pioneer Woman. It’s a take on zuppa toscana (Olive Garden, anyone).

Sausage, kale and potato soup

Sausage, potato and kale soup
Serves 4

Ingredients:
2 bunches Kale, Picked Over, Cleaned, And Torn Into Bite Sized Pieces
8 small red potatoes, sliced thin
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 pound ground Italian Sausage
1/2 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes (more To Taste)
2 cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth
1 1/2 cups Whole Milk
1 cup Heavy Cream
Fresh Or Dried Oregano
Black Pepper To Taste

Instructions:
Boil potatoes until tender, then drain and set aside. Brown the Italian sausage in a large boiler or pot. Stir in the red pepper, oregano, broth, milk and heavy cream. Add the potatoes and then stir in the kale. Simmer for about 15 minutes. Serve topped with grated Parmesan.

Are you a kale fanatic, too? I’d love to hear some of your favorite recipes?

Pinned: Red wine olive risotto

I’m a huge fan of cooking shows (particularly cooking reality shows like Top Chef and Next Iron Chef — I must admit, I was Team Falkner, but I’m fairly happy with Geoffrey Zakarian winning). If there’s one thing I’ve learned from watching them, it’s that risotto is scary and impossible to get right.

So I’ve avoided it for a long time, but when I came across this recipe from We Are Not Martha, I decided to put on my big girl panties and give it a go.

Totally worth it.

I’ll admit, the rice I used and the way I prepped it was a little different, but I’d still consider it a risotto-style dish, at least. Totally delicious.

Red wine olive risottoRed wine olive risotto, adapted from We Are Not Martha

Servings: 4

Ingredients:
1 cup long-grain rice
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup red wine (I used Rex Goliath Free-Range Red, so it was inexpensive but worked great. Five bucks at Target!)
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 shallots, chopped
1 cup kalamata olives, pitted and chopped (I used kalamata olives with Mediterranean herbs, which I found at Target)
Salt and pepper
Olive oil

Directions:
Cook rice in 2 cups water for 20 minutes, adding salt and olive oil to water. Once rice is prepped, saute garlic in a pan until slightly brown, then add the chicken broth and rice. Allow rice to absorb most of the broth, then add the wine and olives. Cook, stirring occasionally, until wine is absorbed, adding shallots for last several minutes of cooking. Salt and pepper to taste.

As WANM suggests, you can also add Parmesan and a little fresh parsley. We didn’t try this, but we plan to next time! I especially think the Parmesan would be good. I also enjoyed the leftover wine with the meal!

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If you enjoyed this post, I’d love for you to follow my cooking boards on Pinterest! I have a board for general food, vegetarian options, desserts and party items.

Pinned: Beer chili recipe review

If you follow my Top Pin Tuesday posts, you may recognize this beer chili recipe from last week. The weather has cooled down finally (I live in the South, so this actually seems a little early to me for the type of weather we’ve been having), and Bobby and I have been in a chili state of mind.

We also both really like beer, so from the moment I saw the beer chili recipe on Pinterest I knew we would be making it soon. This may be the shortest pinned-to-kitchen time yet.

Here’s what I liked about the recipe:

  • The instructions were fairly easy, and it made a huge pot. I think we’ve eaten at least six servings out of it and probably have two more left. Much better than making chili with a spice packet and scarfing most of it down on the first go-round.
  • I really like that it has both ground beef and ground sausage. It made for a nice flavor combo.
  • The smell in my kitchen when this stuff was on … OMG.
  • Bobby and I like beer, so the addition of beer to chili was just perfect. I also liked that it had corn flour in it because it was almost like having a built-in Fritos or cornbread flavor.

Things I didn’t like so much about the recipe:

  • It ended up having waaaaaaay too much liquid. It was more like soup than chili.
  • It’s definitely a lot more time-consuming than just using a spice packet to make chili. Definitely don’t make this if you are in a hurry or starving.

I did make a few modifications to the recipe. It was a little unclear about what type of red pepper to get, so I got a red bell pepper, and it tasted really good, but I think the recipe probably meant a spicy pepper. The bell pepper was good for us, though, because all the other seasoning made it spicy aplenty for us.

I couldn’t find ancho chile powder, so I subbed regular chili powder. I also used ground beef instead of ground sirloin because the store I was at didn’t have sirloin, and I was too rushed to go by anywhere else. The beer we used was Yuengling, and I think it fit the recipe well.

The main changes I will make for next time would be to actually get ground sirloin and to get a higher-quality ground sausage (I got the cheapo stuff). I would also drain the kidney beans before putting them in the pot and also have a small can of tomato paste on hand to help thicken it. Oh, and I would season the meat with salt and pepper while it’s cooking, even though the recipe didn’t call for it. Bobby and I agreed that this is totally worth making again.

Want to make some beer chili for yourself? You can check out the original recipe at A Spicy Perspective.

ETA: Now linked with Kludgy Mom‘s Fall Food Recipes!

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