Apples & cinnamon oatmeal gets a grown up makeover

April 17, 2014

Grown up apples-n-cinnamon oatmeal

I’m sure you all remember the little Quaker oatmeal packets we’d have for breakfast back in the day (or, maybe you still stock your pantry with these guys). Undoubtedly you’d be somewhere, and instead of just having a box of your favorite flavor, they’d have the dreaded flavor variety box. And you were left hoping your favorite flavor was there. Or at least, there would be a flavor you could at least stomach. My favorite flavor was Apples & Cinnamon, and everything else was just a huge disappointment or downright inedible. It’s been quite a while since I’ve had Apples & Cinnamon oatmeal, but a couple of weeks ago I happened to have a plethora of apples and decided that was exactly what I was going to make.

I call this version grown up, because not only does it have huge chunks of apples and nuts in it, but I came up with this recipe while my husband and I were doing an elimination diet. That seems like something only a crazy grown up would do (more…)

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Lamb Merguez & Strawberry Salad

April 2, 2014

Lamb Merguez & Strawberry Salad

Around the change of seasons, when the flowering trees start to shoot out their buds and bushes start show that bright green new growth, the farmer’s market becomes so overwhelmed with fresh strawberries that it becomes impossible for me to walk by stall after stall and not come home with a couple of quarts of them. And that’s how this recipe was born – a trip to my local farmer’s market, too many strawberries, and an adventurous “why not?” purchase of lamb merguez sausage.

Merguez sausage is usually made from lamb, spiced with the North African flavors of cumin and harissa. It has a very rich flavor and often a little kick from the harissa. While it is amazing wrapped in a pita, with my plethora of strawberries I decided to go a slightly different route. (more…)

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Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Tacos

March 30, 2014

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Tacos with Pickled Red Onions

I’m not much of a slow cooker girl. It’s rare that I get my act together early enough in the day to plan ahead for dinner, having all the ingredients I need on hand, readying them for that slow cooking pot. However, this recipe, only needing to cook for 6 hours, means I can be my procrastinative self and put this on later in the day if need be. It’s the perfect meal to cook on a lazy Sunday.

Most of the ingredients in this list are pantry items for me, which lessens the need to go to the store. I kept this recipe simple, with just two flavorful items going into my tortilla – pork and pickled onions. The pork is juicy and melt-in-your-mouth tender, with a nice heat, while the pickled red onions bring a little sharpness and crispness to the meal, cutting through the fat while adding a gorgeous jewel-like color to each bite.

Since I kept the ingredients on the tacos minimal, I decided to get my traditional taco toppings (read: veggies!) via a salad on the side. (more…)

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Spring forward! salad

March 7, 2014

Spring forward salad with blueberries, white peaches, and rabbit sausage

Cinnamon-dusted roasted blueberries. Slivers of ginger crisped by the oven. White peaches just slightly warmed. Sometimes the best recipes are born of the random ingredients one has in hand. My husband has a love of blueberries that always leads him to pick up a pint at the grocery store, but then they end up forgotten, stashed in the produce drawer. I’m not a fan of the remnant bud on them, so they’re the last thing I want to snack on, and thus, they stay in the drawer. Until this week, wanting something light, I decided to make a salad. I figured roasted grapes are good, so why not roasted blueberries? Where on earth I had the idea to dust them with cinnamon I’ll never know. But I’m happy it did. (more…)

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A Southern New Year’s Day: Must have collard greens

December 29, 2013

Collard Greens

Collard greens is one of those things that I kept trying to like, but for the life of me I couldn’t. It never made sense, because I like spinach, stir-fried mustard greens, kale… so why not collard greens? So when I recently made Hoppin’ John, which almost has to be accompanied by greens, I decided to give it another spin. If anything, my husband loves all kinds of greens, so he could eat them. Lucky for me, this time I hit upon a magical combination of ingredients that made me love these as much as all the other greens I’ve fell in love with over the years. I took the preparation approach of an Italian-stewed kale I love, mixed in my favorite dressing approach from spinach salads, and was careful not to overcook the greens so there was still a bit of bite to them. The result was nothing short of fantastic, and I foresee serving this dish a few more times this winter before collard greens disappear. (more…)

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