Thursday, September 22, 2016

Mashed Potatoes

These are the best mashed potatoes.  For real.  I make them all the time- if I'm not making Mashed Sweet Potatoes, I'm making these.  I topped my yummy mashed potatoes with the garlic gravy from Roasted Chicken Thighs and it was awesome.

These mashed potatoes are super creamy and delicious!  I have used both russet potatoes and yukon gold potatoes for these- I prefer yukon golds because of their inherit butteriness, but russets will work in a pinch or if they're on sale!

Mashed Potatoes

Mashed Potatoes

1 1/2 lb. yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1'' cubes
1/2 tsp. salt
4 Tbsp lite cream
2 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp milk (or more)
Salt and Pepper

Place potatoes in medium pot.  Cover with cold water, about an inch above the potatoes.  Salt with 1/2 tsp. salt.
Turn the heat on to high, and bring the water to a boil. Reduce the heat to low to maintain a simmer, and cover. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until you can easily poke through them with a fork.
Drain cooked potatoes, mash in a large bowl with a potato mashed.  Mix with butter, cream, milk.
Add milk and beat until the mashed potatoes are smooth. Don't over-beat the potatoes or the mashed potatoes will end up gluey.
Add salt and pepper to taste.

Recipe Adapted from Simply Recipes

Friday, September 16, 2016

Roasted Chicken Thighs with Garlic Gravy

I'm ready for fall.  The weather?  Not so much.  I decided however, that because it's September I was going to start roasting, making mashed potatoes, and drinking some pumpkin spice lattes.  (In fairness, the lattes happen early in the morning when it actually is cool)

This recipe is awesome.  The chicken thighs become super crispy.  The garlic basically melts into the sauce.  The gravy tastes amazing by itself, over the chicken, over green beans, and over mashed potatoes.

If you are ready for fall to be here, (or maybe where you are, it is!?) this is a perfect recipe.  Pair it with mashed potatoes to soak up all that gravy and simple steamed green beans or broccoli.  Here's to hoping it isn't 85 degrees all next week and then I can justify my meals and pumpkin spice lattes!

Roasted Chicken Thighs with Garlic Gravy

Roasted Chicken Thighs with Garlic Gravy

1 Tbsp. cooking oil
4-6 chicken thighs, skin on
Salt and pepper, to taste
20 garlic whole cloves, peeled
2 Tbsp. flour
3/4 cup white wine
1 cup chicken broth
*1 1/4 tsp. fresh lemon thyme leaves (or about 3/4 tsp. dried leaves)
2 Tbsp. butter

Preheat oven to 400 with rack in center of oven.
In a oven-safe Dutch oven or big, oven-safe skillet with a lid, heat the oil over medium heat.
Dry the chicken thighs well by patting them with a paper towel.
Sprinkle the chicken pieces with a bit of salt and the pepper. Cook the chicken until well browned, turning regularly, for about 10 minutes in all, then remove chicken to a plate.
Reduce the heat to medium- low, add the garlic, and cook, stirring regularly, until it is starting to brown, about 3 minutes.
Sprinkle the flour over the garlic and stir until combined. Return the chicken to the pot, cover, and bake for 15 minutes in the pre-heated 400° oven. (If you pot or skillet doesn't have a lid, you can tightly cover the top with tin-foil instead.)
Remove the pot from the oven and put it on a burner.
Remove the chicken pieces from the pot to a plate.
Over medium-high heat, whisk in the wine and simmer for 1 minute. Whisk in the broth, thyme and a bit more salt and pepper, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring regularly, until sauce thickens. Turn the heat off and stir in the butter. Taste sauce and add more salt and pepper, if it needs it. Add the chicken back to the pot to re-warm with the sauce. Serve spooned over mashed potatoes.

*You can use regular thyme, but I really like lemon thyme!

Recipe adapted from Seasons and Suppers

Monday, September 12, 2016

Weeknight Sausage Pasta

It is Monday of the first full week of school.  I am exhausted.  Matt wasn't even home for dinner, so I needed an easy, weeknight meal, or else it was going to be pizza.  This fit the bill, coming together in about 30 minutes and without too much work.  As an extra plus, it was really tasty! All in all, this was a super tasty, easy dish with ingredients you probably already have in your house.  A+

Weeknight Creamy Sausage Pasta

Weeknight Sausage Pasta

Cooking spray
12 ounces pasta (I used farfalle)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 lb. bulk sweet Italian sausage (or removed from casings)
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 large tomato, diced
8 oz. tomato sauce
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
½ cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper, to taste
5 basil leaves, cut in ribbons

Heat a large pan over medium heat.
Spray with cooking spray.
Add onion, and cook a few minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add sausage and cook until browned, stirring occasionally.
Add garlic, cook for about 1 minute, stirring.
Add canned tomatoes, tomato, tomato sauce, tomato paste, salt, and pepper.  Simmer 10 minutes, or until thickened slightly.
Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions.
Add cream to sauce.  Simmer 3 more minutes.
Combine pasta and sauce in a large bowl, making sure to get sauce all over pasta.
Top with fresh basil.

Recipe adapted from Spicy Southern Kitchen

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Skillet Cheesy Quinoa with Broccoli and Chicken

Tonight I really wanted to make a casserole, but the temperatures have skyrocketed again here in Philly, so that wasn't really an option.  However, I satisfied my craving by making this skillet cheesy quinoa with broccoli and chicken.
You may now be asking, "why isn't chicken the first ingredient?"  Well, I have had chicken take a back seat in this dish and amped up the healthy quinoa and broccoli, with less of a focus on the meat.  This way you get some protein, healthy grains, and your veggies.  The cheese adds a salty layer and really makes it feel like a casserole.  Delicious!

Skillet Cheesy Quinoa with Broccoli and Chicken

Skillet Cheesy Quinoa with Broccoli and Chicken

1 Tbsp. oil
1 large onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
2 cups chicken broth
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
Salt and Pepper, to taste
1 large head broccoli, chopped small
1 1/2 cups cooked rotisserie chicken, chopped
1 cup shredded cheddar jack cheese

Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat.
Add onions and saute for about 2 minutes.
Add garlic and saute for about 1 minute.
Add quinoa and toast for 1 minute, stirring a few times.
Add broth, thyme, salt, and pepper.
Bring to a boil, turn down heat to low, cover and simmer for 12 minutes.
Add broccoli on top of quinoa and cover back up.  Simmer for another 10 minutes.
Add chicken and cheese.
Cover and cook for another 2-3 minutes, or until cheese has melted and chicken is warmed through.

Recipe adapted from Cooking Classy

Monday, September 5, 2016

Shakshuka with Feta

So today is Labor Day, but we don't have a grill so shakshuka it is!  This recipe is super healthy, super flavorful, and filling.  Now, usually when I make vegetarian meals I douse it in cheese, but this one only used 3/4 cup of reduced-fat feta (of course you can use regular feta, I honestly couldn't reach the regular at the store... the woes of being 5 feet tall).  I actually also bought a rotisserie chicken because I was really worried this wouldn't be filling enough, but it was after I dunked Italian bread in all the juices.  (You can make your own bread too, but I ran out of time.)
As a side note when this comes out of the oven, don't touch the handle it's super hot.  Yikes.  My hand is is a little sore :(

Shakshuka with Feta

Shakshuka with Feta

2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 large red bell pepper, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
⅛ teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
¾ teaspoon salt, more as needed
¼ teaspoon black pepper, more as needed
3/4 cup feta cheese
4 large eggs
 Chopped cilantro, for serving
Challah, Italian Bread, or Pita, for serving

Preheat oven to 375.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat.
Add onion and red pepper, cook for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add garlic, cook for about 1 minute.
Add cumin, paprika, and cayenne.  Cook for about 1 minute, stirring.
Add tomatoes, 3/4 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. black pepper.
Cook for about 10 more minutes, until mixture thickens.
Stir in feta.
Crack eggs over the top of tomatoes and place in oven.
Cook for 7-10 minutes, or until eggs are set.
Take out of oven and sprinkle with cilantro.
Dip some bread in and enjoy!

Recipe adapted from The NY Times

Friday, September 2, 2016

Zucchini Green Chile Enchiladas

Alright, first things first, it's been a really long time since I last posted, but I've been so busy!  I've moved up in the world of teaching to 2nd grade and we start next week!  I also have been crazy busy with my online grad classes AND we just moved into a house!  That we bought!

Of course, my first post back is enchiladas.  If you're an avid reader, you know I love making enchiladas.  (For example, my most popular Cheesy White Chicken Enchiladas or my Vegetarian Crockpot Enchiladas).

ANYWAY, these enchiladas are awesome.  Zucchini is the star of these, which is perfect for summer.  It was finally cool enough to turn my oven on and use some fresh summer veggies!  I did add about one chicken breast into my filling, but only because I needed to use it up.  I omitted it in the recipe below, but if you're feeling like you need to add some meat, go right ahead.

Zucchini Green Chile Enchiladas 

Zucchini Green Chile Enchiladas

1 tsp. vegetable oil
2 zucchini, quartered
1 large onion, diced
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chile powder
1.5 cups corn
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 28 ounce green chile enchilada sauce
8 large flour tortillas
2 cups cheddar jack cheese
1/4 cup cilantro (optional)

Preheat oven to 350.
Heat vegetable oil in large skillet over medium heat.
Add onion and cook until translucent but still crunchy, about 4 minutes.
Add zucchini, garlic, salt, cumin, and chile powder.  Cook until soft, but still a little crunchy, about 6 minutes.
Add corn and cook for 1 minute.
Meanwhile, line a 9x13 pan with foil.  Add half a cup of enchilada sauce into pan.
Take each tortilla and fill it with about 1/4 cup of zucchini mixture, rolling it as you go.  Place seam-side down in pan.  Repeat until you've filled all your tortillas.
Pour the rest of the sauce on top, spreading it out and making sure the tortillas are covered.  Add cheese and cover with foil.
Bake 10 minutes.
Remove foil and bake another 8 minutes.
Remove from oven and sprinkle on cilantro.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Chicken Tikka Masala

Now believe me when I say I was scared to try this recipe.  I think I can cook pretty well, but Indian food never turns out right.  With that being said, this recipe is awesome.  It actually worked and was delicious!  The key is that it uses heavy cream instead of yogurt as the base of the sauce; yogurt always curdles for me.  I was super pumped about this and plan on making it again very soon!

Chicken Tikka Masala 
Chicken Tikka Masala 


For the chicken:
4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1/2 cup whole-milk yogurt
Juice from 1/2 lemon
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. coriander

For the sauce:
1/2 Tbsp. butter
1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. ginger
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
2 Tbsp. garam masala
1 tsp. paprika
Pinch cayenne
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro, plus extra for garnish
For serving: basmati rice, naan

Combine yogurt, lemon, cumin, and coriander in a small bowl.  Place chicken in a greased oven-ready baking dish.  Spoon yogurt marinade over chicken.  Mix, making sure that chicken is coated all over.  Place in refrigerator for up to 6 hours.
Preheat oven to 375. Bake for 50 minutes. Set aside.
Warm a half-tablespoon of butter in a dutch oven. Add the onions and cook until the onions are soft and translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the ginger, tomato paste, garam masala, paprika, and cayenne, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Pour the tomatoes and their juices and reduce the heat to low. Simmer until the sauce is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, dice the cooled chicken into bite-sized pieces.
Stir the cream and chopped chicken into the sauce, and simmer until the chicken is warmed through and the sauce is just starting to bubble, 1 to 2 minutes. Taste and add salt, pepper, or other seasonings to taste. Stir in the cilantro just before removing the sauce from heat.
Serve immediately with rice. Top each serving with another sprinkle of cilantro.

Recipe adapted from The Kitchn

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Breakfast Enchiladas

Now, you guys definitely know how much I love enchiladas by now. (Need proof, check out some of my favorites: Spinach and Black Bean Enchiladas, Cheesy White Chicken Enchiladas, Chicken and Avocado Enchiladas, and Vegetarian Crockpot Enchiladas.  Now, I found a way to have enchiladas for breakfast too!  (Not that I didn't eat the aforementioned as leftovers for breakfast).  These are great because I can see myself putting whatever I want in them... I was thinking bacon and leeks next time!  They would also be SUPER easy to make vegetarian as well!
Note that these enchiladas soak in the egg mixture overnight, so if you want to eat enchiladas immediately, try a different recipe!

Breakfast Enchiladas
Breakfast Enchiladas

2 cups cubed and cooked ham
½ cup chopped green onions
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
8 flour tortillas (6-8 inches)
1¼ cup half-and-half
4 whole eggs
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon flour
salsa, sour cream, and additional green onions for serving

In a medium bowl stir together ham, green onions and 1 1/2 cups of cheese (save the remaining ½ cup for later). Spray a 9x13 inch baking pan with cooking spray. Place a good amount of ham mixture onto a tortilla, careful not to over fill them. Roll up tortilla and place seam side down in the baking pan. Roll up all tortillas and place them into the baking dish with the sides touching.
Whisk together half-and-half, eggs, salt, and flour. Pour over tortillas. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
In the morning, preheat oven to 350ยบ. Bake covered for 30-40 minutes. Remove foil and sprinkle remaining ½ cup of cheese over enchiladas. Bake for 10 more minutes or until tops are golden brown and the egg mixture is set.
Serve with salsa, sour cream, and additional green onions.

Recipe adapted from The Girl Who Ate Everything

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Love Cake

So, normally I don't make desserts.  I leave that up to my sister because mine always turn out not quite right.  This cake ended up being delicious, but I will say that the layers are supposed to flip flop during baking and mine half-heartedly flipped.  It was still delicious, but the layers didn't look as pretty as Paula Deen's did.  Oh well!
Love Cake

Love Cake

1 package chocolate cake mix and the ingredients needed to make the cake according to the package
2 lbs. ricotta cheese
4 eggs
¾ cup sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 (3.9 oz.) package instant chocolate pudding mix
1 cup cold milk
8 oz. Cool Whip

Preheat your oven to 350F and spray a 9x13 inch pan with nonstick spray.
In a large bowl, mix together your cake mix according to the directions on the box. Set aside.
In another bowl, using a hand mixer, beat together the ricotta cheese, eggs, sugar, and vanilla until smooth.
Pour the cake batter into the prepared baking dish. Spread to fill the pan evenly. Once the cake batter is in place, carefully pour the cheese mixture evenly over the top of the cake batter. Spread to cover the cake batter as best as you can.
Bake the cake at 350 for 55 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before frosting.
Once the cake is cool, stir the pudding mix and milk together with a whisk until combined. Carefully, fold the Cool Whip into the pudding until combined.
Spread the pudding mixture over the top of the cooled cake. Cover the cake and refrigerate at least 6 hours before serving. It tastes even better the next day.

Recipe adapted from Chew Nibble Nosh

Friday, September 25, 2015


I realized recently that although I use my mom's recipe for meatballs and sauce all the time, I actually have never posted it before.  These meatballs are delicious.  I could eat them all the time.  Now, I actually forgot to take a picture of my sauce (whoops!), so I will post that whenever I make sauce again.  For now, meatballs alone will have to suffice.



1 lb. hamburger, or ground meat of choice
2 cloves chopped garlic
salt & pepper, to taste
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 cup grated cheese
1 egg
1/2 cup Italian flavored bread crumbs
additional garlic powder to taste

Preheat oven to 400F.
Mix ground meat, garlic, salt, pepper, parsley, cheese, egg, and bread crumbes together in a large bowl.  If mixture is too wet, add more bread crumbs, a little at a time. 
Roll into balls and place on sprayed cookie sheet. 
Spray the top with more pam & season with salt, pepper & garlic powder. 
Bake for about 20-25 minutes until brown.

Add to sauce the last hour.