Sunday, October 19, 2014

Hannah's Chili

It's Fall!!!! Fall is definitely my favorite season. Growing up in St. Louis, we got nice chilly weather, rain, and lot's of gorgeous trees changing color! Unfortunately in Southern California, it's still feels like summer and nothing has changed. Regardless, I still break out my boots, scarves, and flannel shirts and sweat through it! Fall also mean soup season! Yum. So this year I made chili!

This chili will definitely make enough to feed 4-6 people. I make a giant batch because the leftovers are great, and it freezes really well if you want to save it for later!

1lb Ground Beef
1 medium Yellow Onion (Diced)
3 Cloves of Garlic (Minced)
1 Serrano Pepper (ribbed, deseeded, and minced)
Salt and Pepper
1/2 tsp Chili Powder
1/2 tsp Cayenne
1 tsp Cumin
2 cans of Diced Tomatoes (I like the petite diced)
1 can of Diced Tomatoes with Chilies
1 can of Tomato Sauce
1 can of Kidney Beans (drained)
1 can of Pinto Beans (drained)
1 can of Black Beans (drained)
1/4 cup Corn Flour (Masa Harina)

In a large pot brown the ground beef. Once done drain all the grease out. If you used a lean beef then you probably won't have much grease. Add in the onion, garlic, and serrano pepper and cook for about 3 minutes, just until the onion gets soft. Sprinkle in the chili powder, cayenne, cumin, and season with salt and pepper. Stir until the seasonings coat all the meat.

Now add in all the tomatoes and beans. Bring to a simmer. In a small bowl mix water with the corn flour to make a paste and then mix that into the chili. Let the chili cook for a few more minutes and then you are done!

Hope everyone's fall is off to a good start and you have some wonderful chilly weather to enjoy some chili!!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Goat Cheese Pasta

Oh boy it has been a while!! I found out I was pregnant and was sick for the first few months, which meant I was not cooking at all! Thankfully now that I'm feeling better I'm cooking again!

If there's one thing I have on hand almost all the time, it's goat cheese. I love goat cheese! I put it on sandwiches, pizza, salad, pretty much everything! So this recipe was a fun new way for me to use goat cheese!

This recipe serves 1. (I made it when my husband was gone so it was dinner for one!)

1 cup uncooked bow tie noodles
4 TBS goat cheese (about 2 oz)
1 clove of garlic minced
8 cherry tomatoes
a handful of arugula
6 large basil leaves
1 slice of prosciutto
Olive oil
salt and pepper

First get your water boiling and start your pasta. While the pasta cooks start chopping the tomatoes, arugula, basil, and prosciutto. Chop everything into bite size pieces. Next heat some olive oil in a pan on medium heat. Add the prosciutto and cook until it's crispy. Add in the garlic. Next add the tomatoes. Once those are soft, add the arugula and basil until wilted.

Drain your pastas once it's cooked and in the warm pot stir the pasta and goat cheese together. Once combined, toss in the tomato mixture and serve!

This is such a flavorful and simple pasta! I know some of these seem like odd ingredients, but they are definitely some of my favorites so I always have them!

Hope you all enjoy!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Dinner for Three!

I'm so excited to announce that we are having a baby!! We're so excited for this new addition to our family.

Sorry I haven't been posting much, but with morning sickness, the whole cooking and food think hasn't been going well. But hopefully since I'm in the beginning of my second trimester I'll start feeling better and get a chance to start cooking again!

Saturday, May 3, 2014


Tonight I made some AWESOME spicy chicken drum sticks!!! They were delicious and soooo simple! Too bad I got so excited that I ate them all before I could take pictures.....

Well, I guess that means I will have to make them again!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Chicken and Wild Rice Cream Soup

Today I went to the dentist. As expected it was horrible. And unfortunately I will be going back a few more times. But, I'm a food blogger, so after a horrible trip to the dentist I was really wanting a warm and comforting bowl of soup. This soup is easy because it uses ingredients that you probably have on hand!

2 skin on, bone in, Chicken Thighs
2 cups of milk
1/4 cup flour
3 TBS butter
2 large carrots chopped
1 medium white onion chopped
1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
3 cloves of garlic
1 cup Cooked wild rice (I used a 4.5 oz package of Mahatma wild rice)
2 TBS dried Parsley
1/2 TBS Thyme
3 Bay Leaves
Salt and Pepper

This serves 2-3 people.

First bring 2 quarts of water (season with salt) to a boil. Add in Chicken thighs and boil until they are cooked through. This should take about 30-40 minutes.

While that is boiling chop your veggies and start cooking your rice.

In a separate large pot, melt your butter and add in the carrots and onion and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the carrots are mostly tender. Next add in the garlic and mushrooms and cook for about a minute. Sprinkle in the flour and stir around until it makes like a paste on the veggies. Add in the milk slowly, stir 1/2 cup in at a time so that your flour doesn't get lumpy. Once the flour and milk is combined simmer and stir until it thickens.

At this point your chicken should be done. So pull it out and set it aside, BUT SAVE THE WATER IT COOKED IN! That is some delicious stock we are going to use!

Take 3 cups of the stock and add it to the thick flour and milk. Stir until incorporated.

Chop up your chicken and add that to your soup.

Add in the cooked rice, parsley, thyme, bay leaves, salt and pepper and let the soup simmer for about 20 minutes or until the soup is to your desired thickness. The longer it simmers the thicker it will get. Make sure to stir occasionally!

Once that is done go ahead and serve! This definitely made me feel loads better! I hope you all enjoy it as much as we did!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Starting my Etsy Shop

I have great news!! I have an Etsy Shop!!

Most of you know that I have had a hard time finding a job. It seemed that a lot of people didn't want to hire me for the job I wanted since I needed a very flexible schedule. I did get a small job with Abundant Harvest, but I still wanted to do more. So I decided to turn my hobby into a job!

After I got my new sewing machine, I put in lot's of hours of practice and have started selling my appliqué creations! I only have on listing right now to try it out, but I'm excited and I really hope this takes off!

So if you want to buy an adorable Pillow Cover, click here and check out my shop!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Recipe Fail

Well I guess I should post about my dinner disaster. I tried out a recipe I saw on The Chew, by Michael Simon. It looked wonderful! Greek yogurt marinated chicken, grilled.

This recipe called for a half chicken. This made me a little concerned because it would be so thick, but the recipe said it would only have to cook 10 minutes on each side. Usually when I grill just a chicken breast I pound it to be a little thinner. So this would be something new to try, but I was really excited.

Now, I must say, my grill isn't the most top notch grill there is on the market, so sometimes it's a little tricky to get the temperature right. I set it on "Medium-high" heat like the recipe said. I put the chicken on and let it grill for 10 minutes. Flipped it over and it had a couple grill makes but the rest was pretty much raw! I couldn't believe it! So I turned it up a little, cooked for the next 10 minutes and flipped it over and it was completely black! So I lowered it just a little and let it grill. No matter what I couldn't get it right. By the end of it I had a burnt chicken that was still a little too pink for my liking.

I was so disappointed!! I really want to give this another try, but I think next time I will buy skin on thighs, or something a little smaller that will cook through a little easier.

So don't give up! I have meals that I have to toss out sometimes. It's okay, just keep cooking, and keep something in the freezer in case of an emergency!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Zucchini Noodles

Since my husband is in the military he is gone a lot. Usually out on a training field op for a few weeks at a time. Which means I'm on my own for food. I actually get asked a lot "so what do you eat when it's just you??" That is a good question. I go almost full blown vegetarian. I just find it hard to cook meats for just myself, veggies are so much easier to make for one person. So this is one of my favorites that I eat when it's just me, or I use it as a side when Jared is home.

First you will need a julienne peeler. It will cut your Zucchini into little strips.

See how this peeler doesn't have the same smooth blade?
1 large Zucchini
Olive Oil
Toppings: I use Parmesan cheese and sesame seeds

First use the julienne peeler to peel the zucchini to the middle. Stop once you hit the seedy area. You don't want the seeds because when that cooks it just breaks down into mush and it won't hold together. Place the "noodles" in a strainer and sprinkle with salt. Make sure to mix the "noodles" around so they all get coated.

Let the strainer sit in the sink for about 10 minutes. The salt with help pull all the water out and make the zucchini limp. After 10 minutes press the zucchini to remove extra moisture.

See the difference?? They aren't as stiff anymore, almost like boiled noodles!
Heat some oil in a pan on medium heat and toss in the zucchini. Season with pepper, BUT NOT SALT!! You already coated them in salt so you don't need anymore! Stir them around for a few minutes and then they are ready to serve!

This is how much I got from just 1 zucchini! 

Serving suggestions:
When I eat this by itself I top it with parmesan cheese and sesame seeds, but it's also amazing with some spicy sriracha sauce! Another way I love to serve it, is with spaghetti! I just toss these in with the pasta and sauce, it's a fun way to sneak in some veggies! This is always a great side dish that doesn't take much effort at all!

Hope you enjoy!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

String Art

This is a cooking blog, but what some of you don't know is that I am a crazy DIYer. Over the weekend I FINALLY got a new sewing machine! The last one I had was an old 1960's Singer, that my grandma gave me years ago. After numerous repairs it was just time to get a new one! I will for sure be finding a way to display my grandmas.... But I went to Sew Pros and got an Elna! I am in love with it! My Singer had given up on the "fun" stitches a long time ago, so being able to do zig-zags again was awesome! That being said, I'm sure you will be seeing more of my DIY projects!

Unrelated to sewing, this weekend I made a string art "LOVE" sign for my stairwell. It turned out quite lovely, but took FOREVER! I'm willing to say, if you see something similar in the store, just buy it! Even though I really like how it turned out, I'm not sure it was worth all the hard work, but here's the "how to" in case you want to give it a go.

1 wood board (the hardware store will cut it to size for you)
Nails (I'll show a picture below of what I bought)
Paper Letters (I drew my own, 7x4.5 inches)
Embroidery thread
Patience, and lot's of it!

Here are the nails (or brads?) that I used:

I bought about 4 packs of these and that was perfect.

First, use double sided tape to tape the letters in place on the board. Then put a nail on each corner. Start hammering in nails about 1/4 inch apart, it doesn't have to be perfect I doubt your friends will get a ruler and measure the nail spacing. Once you have the letter outlined in nails, tie the embroidery thread on a nail and start wrapping!

 Just be random! Once it is covered to your liking tie it off! Dab a little glue on the knot of the string just to make sure it holds before you cut the extra off! If you want to hang this on the wall you can get the little picture frame hangers and place them on the back. And that's it! As simple as all this sounds, it is quite time consuming!

Potato Nachos

I know I say this a lot....but I think this is my new favorite dish! Definitely not the healthiest, but it was DELICIOUS! It was one of those nights where I was trying to clear out the fridge and it happened to work!

This will make enough for 2-3 people as a side dish.

2 large Russet Potatoes
Olive oil
Salt and Pepper
Shredded Mexican Cheese
Pico de Gallo (Here is my recipe for Pico de Gallo)
Guacamole (Here is my recipe for Guacamole)

First preheat your oven to 400*

Slice the potatoes into 1/2 inch thick rounds. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lay the potatoes on it. Drizzle with olive oil, flip them over and coat the over side. Sprinkle them with salt, pepper, and cumin.

Let them bake for 20 minutes then pull them out and flip them over. Turn the temperature of the oven up to 425* and bake for another 20 minutes. When they are all done place them on a serving plate and top them with cheese, pico de gallo (Recipe Here), guacamole (Recipe Here), and any other toppings you like!

These are a great side dish, or party food! My husband and I fought over the leftovers the next day!

Hope you enjoy!

Pico de Gallo

I love Pico de Gallo! It's such a fresh, crisp salsa that is quick and easy to make! If we are having people over it's easy to make a big batch for people to snack on. Pico de Gallo, literally translates to "Rooster's Beak." Some say it was called that because it was originally eaten like a finger food, pinching it with your finger and thumb, which looked like a rooster's beak. This is my recipe for Pico de Gallo, I'm sure there is a ore traditional recipe out there, but this is how I make it!

4 firm Roma Tomatoes
1 small White Onion
1 Jalapeño
Cilantro (a nice handful)
1 clove of Garlic
Salt and Pepper

Now, however you like to chop your veggies is up to you. I like to dice all the tomatoes, onion, and jalapeño very small because I think it stays on a chip/taco better, but if you like it chunkier then do a bigger dice!

So dice your tomatoes, onion, and jalapeño and mix them together. Mince your garlic and cilantro and stir that in. Last season with salt and pepper. I let mine set in the fridge for a bit to help he flavors develop, but it will taste just as good if you eat it right away!

I used this on my Potato Nachos, Click Here for the recipe!


Saturday, March 15, 2014

Blood Orange Lemonade with Strawberry

Growing up my mom always made up lemonade from scratch! It was delicious. I remember always fighting over who got the last glass! So I decided to put my spin on it!

This recipe was actually a total accident... I got a bunch of oranges in my box and decided to have one. When I cut it open I was surprised to find they were blood oranges!
How cool are these?? They are so pretty!
Of course I had to do something with them, and the juice made lemonade look so pretty!

1 Blood Orange
3 Lemons
1 cup sugar
about 4 cups of water

So I actually don't know what most people use to juice oranges and lemons... my mom always used a vintage hand press juicer, and so that's what I use now too!

Beforehand: The night before you make this you will want to blend your strawberries into a puree and then pour that into an ice cube tray. Once it is frozen, pop them out and store them in a ziplock bag. I would post pictures of that process...but to be perfectly honest I didn't think the whole strawberry ice cube thing would work so I didn't take pictures lol...

This is so simple, get a 1 quart measuring bowl (I use the big pyrex 1qt measuring cup) and juice 1 blood orange and 3 lemons. Pour juice into the measuring cup and add sugar. Add enough water to fill it to the 1 Quart line. It will be less than 4 cups, but it varies depending on how much juice you get. You can add more sugar if it is too tart, but 1 cup will make it quite sweet already! You can strain out the pulp, but I like to keep mine in.

To serve, pour in a glass and add a few strawberry ice cubes! As the ice cubes melt it adds strawberry to the drink, it is quite delightful! A fun summer drink!

Now I make mine in bulk... I buy a ton of blood oranges and lemons and spend a while juicing them to freeze "starters." To do this, I get small tupperware and pour just the juice in it, I add the sugar and water later when I'm ready to drink it. This is super helpful so I don't have to hand squeeze lemons every time I want fresh lemonade! Or if you are having a party, just prep it ahead of time so all you have to do it thaw it and mix it!

So while blood oranges are in season go buy a few and try out this sweet drink! Happy Juicing!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

St. Patrick's Day Dinner

Growing up St. Patrick's day dinner was one of my favorite things! So much yummy food that we only had once a year! My mom always made up Corned beef, Cabbage, Potatoes, and green jello! Of course my favorite memory was our green milk... One year my mom dyed our milk green, and I remember refusing to drink it because I said it tasted bad from the food dye. Well the next year came and I begged for that fun green milk, promising I would drink it this time. Once again I refused to drink it on claims that the food dye made it taste bad. To this day I swear food dye makes milk taste bad, Jared said we should try it this year, but there is no way I'm drinking green milk! When I went grocery shopping I made sure to pick up a few extra corned beefs so we could have them more than just once a year!

So this year I stuck to my mom's tradition and made Corned Beef, New Potatoes, Cabbage, and Green Jello!

I'm going to divide the recipes into different posts to keep them short:

Here is the recipe for the Corned Beef

Here is the recipe for the Cabbage

Here is the recipe for the New Potatoes

Herbed New Potatoes

These are simple and yummy New Potatoes for you St. Patrick's Day meal, or anytime!

9 New Potatoes
Fresh Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme: about 1 TBS of each Chopped
1 stick of butter
salt and pepper

Cut the New potatoes into fourths and boil them for about 8-10 minutes, until they are easily pierced with a fork. While those are boiling melt butter in a pan and add in the herbs and let that simmer for a minute, DON'T BURN THE BUTTER!!! Once the potatoes are done drain the water and add the herb butter over the top. Toss them in the butter with some Salt and Pepper and then serve.

Roasted Cabbage

I have had Cabbage several times and I don't hate it, but I would never go back for seconds... But this time I went back for thirds! My husband and his friend we had over even loved it!

1 Cabbage
Fresh Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme: About 2 TBS of each, chopped
Garlic Powder
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper

Preheat your oven to 350*

Cut the cabbage into 8 wedges. Some people like to cut the cabbage into rounds, but they will not stay together as well that way. Lay them out on a cookie sheet, and drizzle generously with olive oil. Next mix the chopped herbs and sprinkle those generously over the cabbage. Top it all off with some garlic powder, salt, and pepper and then put them in the oven for about 30-40 minutes and serve.

Corned Beef

There are lot's of ways you can cook your corned beef, the packaging should give you a couple options. I do not brine my own beef. I buy the package that is pre brined and has the seasoning packet inside.

1 3lb Corned Beef, pre brined with seasoning
4 Bay Leaves

Preheat oven to 350*

Take a large oven safe roasting dish that has a lid (like a dutch oven, or I have a giant Corningware casserole dish with a lid), and place the Corned beef in fat side down. Pour in enough water to dil about 3/4 of the way up the corned beef. Take the seasoning packet and sprinkle it on the beef, and then just a little in the water. Add 4 bay leaves to the pot, cover and cook it in the oven for 2 1/2 hours.

And that's it! While that's cooking you can get the rest of you meal together!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Sautéed Rainbow Swiss Chard and Snap Peas

This week in my box i got Rainbow Swiss Chard! I was super excited! Last time I got it, I didn't know what to do with it and I let it go to waste, but this time I was determined to use it! It was so pretty, how could I not?? I also got Snap Peas! I absolutely love Snap Peas. While I was delivering everyone's boxes I kept my box on the seat by me so I could snack on them! They were so yummy!

Also, my husband bought me an awesome new book! Vegetable Literacy by Deborah Madison. 400 pages of information all about produce!

She writes a few paragraphs on each vegetable, then lists flavors that go with that vegetable, and a few recipes. My favorite thing about the book are the lists of flavors that go with each veggie! Now I can easily come up with great recipes based on this info! It's awesome! So of course I was really excited to put the book to use with this week's box!

8 Leaves of Rainbow Swiss Chard
about 1/2 lb of Snap Peas, cut in half
3 strips of Bacon, cut into 1/2 in pieces
2 heads of Green Garlic, chopped (If you don't have green garlic, just use 2 cloves of garlic chopped)
1 TBS fresh Cilantro, chopped
Toasted sesame seeds

Look how gorgeous all of these veggies are!!

I always recommend chopping everything BEFORE you start cooking. Everything will go much quicker and it will make cooking so much easier!

To chop the Rainbow Chard, cut the leaves from the stem. Chop the stem into 1 in pieces and the leaves into bigger pieces (they will shrink down a TON when you cook them).

I think Rainbow Chard might be my new favorite! The
stems are just beautiful!
Put a skillet on medium heat and get your bacon crispy!

Or, just make your husband do it while you take pictures and chop everything else...

Remove the bacon and set it on a paper towel and plate to the side. Keep the grease in the pan and add on the Rainbow Chard STEMS, and the Snap Peas. Since these are bigger chunkier pieces they will take longer to cook, so you want to cook those first. Cook those for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Add on the Green Garlic (or regular garlic) and let that cook for a minute.

Once that has cooked add in the Leaves and the Cilantro, and cook for a few more minutes until the leaves are wilted.

After that place it on a plate to serve and top it off with some of the bacon pieces and toasted sesame seeds. I grilled chicken to serve with this, it was so yummy! And if you don't believe that all these weird greens can be good, my husband actually asked me to cook this again!

Give Rainbow Chard a chance! Enjoy!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Chocolate Banana Milk

This is by far my favorite "dessert". After cutting out cookies and ice cream I have really been craving something sweet. Not to mention Jared has been dragging me to the gym so I needed something that would help my body recover. Two of the best things for you after a work out are, Milk and Bananas. So I decided to put those two things together and see how it tasted. It was like drinking a chocolate malt! I seriously don't miss ice cream anymore! It was so yummy!

16oz of Milk
1 Banana (Make sure it's ripe!!)
Chocolate syrup (This is optional it tastes great without it!)

Put your Milk and Banana in a blender. As it's blending add in some chocolate syrup, just enough until it's light brown, you don't need too much! And that's it! It's so quick and easy to make! So toss out your ice cream and give this a try!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Frozen Herbs

I have seen this idea a few places so I decided to try it myself to see if it actually worked. I hate when I buy fresh herbs and only use a little of it and end up throwing it out because I don't use them in time. So I saw that you can cop up all the extras you have and then freeze them in oil. So here's what I did.

I took my leftover basil and chopped it into small piece. I took an ice cube tray and filled each little section hallway up with olive oil. I put about a tablespoon of basil into each section. I used a fork to mix it up to make sure the basil was completely covered. Then I put that in the freezer over night. I popped the cubes out the next day and stored them in a freezer ziploc bag. It works great!! Make sure to label your ziploc bags so you don't forget which herbs you have!!

Please excuse my horrible leaf doodle... I almost threw the bag out it was so ugly!
haha the artist in me was freaking out a little...


Jared and I have pretty much rid the house of all junk food. No candy, chips, cookies....etc. It stinks. I have a sweet tooth so I'm always looking for something sweet!! So we have been looking for recipes that aren't loaded with sugar for dessert. Tonight I tried Sopapillas, a fried pastry originating in South America. So yes it's fried, so no it's probably not the healthiest thing, but it's not loaded with sugar!

This will make about 15-20 sopapillas.

2 cups Flour
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
2 TBS Shortening
3/4 cup Warm Water
Oil to fry in
Ground Cinnamon

First heat your oil to 375*. Now again I'm going to really push buying a small fryer. While you can use a pot/pan on your stove it is WAYYYY easier with a fryer.

Mix together the Flour, Baking Soda, Salt, and Shortening. You can either use a mixer or use a fork to make sure the Shortening gets incorporated into the Flour. Next add the warm water. Once combined the dough should be smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and let it set for about 15 minutes.

Uncover the dough and roll it out to be about 1/4 inch. The dough its pretty elastic so it will take a little bit to get it to stay.

Next cut the dough into 3 inch squares, or get cookie cutters to make fun shapes! If you have kids it's fun to let them cut whatever shapes they want!

Next place the squares in the fryer. Only place a few in at a time, don't over crowd them. Fry them until they are golden brown on each side. Place them on a plate with a paper towel to soak up the extra oil.

Top them with cinnamon and honey, and you are done! These are super yummy served with some vanilla ice cream.

Hope you try this out, they are so good!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Spinach Alfredo Stuffed Chicken

This week was one of those weeks where our refrigerator was pretty much empty. If it wasn't for our Abundant Harvest box I think we would have just had ramen. But I pulled out some chicken breasts from the freezer and decided to just throw something together, and it actually worked!

Note: If you are watching your better just stop reading here, admittedly this is not the healthiest thing I have ever made.

This will make enough for 2

2 Chicken breasts
3/4 Block of Cream Cheese Softened (8oz, if your isn't softened take it out of the wrapper and toss it in the microwave for a couple seconds)
1 cup of Cooked Spinach (you can use frozen, or alb of fresh spinach will cook down to about 1 cup)
1tsp Paprika
2 Cloves Chopped Garlic
Salt & Pepper to season

First preheat your oven to 350*. Place the chicken between some plastic wrap and pound it until it's about 1/2 thick. Mix together the cooked spinach, cream cheese, paprika, and garlic. Take the cream cheese mix and spread it all over one side of the chicken. Line a baking dish with aluminum foil. Roll the chicken breasts up and place them seam down in the baking dish. They should stay put if the steam is down, but if not you can put in a couple toothpick to hold them together. Drizzle olive oil on top and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 30-40 minutes. You will know it's done when the juices run clear, or you can use a meat thermometer.

This was so good! The inside is so creamy, and keeps the chicken from drying out!
Hope you try this and enjoy!!