Tuesday, March 17, 2015


I can't deny that I love to eat. Anytime, anywhere. I have, however, learned that in the summer, my appetite decreases. I'm not sure if this is because of the heat or because I'm more active and just too busy and don't think about eating...but I usually have a 10 lb difference between my summer weight and winter weight. (I'm just glad it's not the other way around). Not only do I eat less, but I eat HEALTHIER. After a bike ride, I crave....applesauce. Weird, but true.

I recently received a new product for free to review called a spiralizer (spiral slicer, basically). I couldn't wait to try it on...a salad. Now, there are a lot of uses for the spiralizer like making vegetable pasta noodles, slicing cheese etc., but I ended up making a fresh summer salad. Just like this one:

A lot like this one. In fact, it IS this one. How bout that! Some spring mix, blue cheese, strawberries, avocado, carrots, cucumber and some balsamic vinaigrette and you're set!

Now, this spiralizer doesn't just come on it's own...oh, no...it comes with a cleaning brush, a lid to help grip the vegetable you are slicing and press it into the blades, a hand gripper, and a little mini cookbook. There are 2 different sides blades so you can slice thick (above) or slice a little thinner.

Bottom line? I love this! I really like the texture of the spiral sliced veggies. I don't know why it should make a difference in how they are cut, but it does! I'll definitely be using this for future salads. I've never really tried vegetable noodles but it might be worth checking out since it seems like it would be easy to do with this slicer! I'll let you know! :)

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Marshmallow Filled S'more Cupcakes

I recently received two different baking products for free that I needed to test out. The first one was this BakeItFun baking mat. The second were these silicone baking cups. They come in fun colors and there are 24 of them in a package. I only needed 12 for this recipe. This recipe is more to test out the products and not necessarily for the actual recipe. Most of it is..well, cheating.
To start with I used the silicone baking cups. I cheated and used a boxed mix. It was a S'more mix with graham cracker base, chocolate cake and marshmallow filling. Then I iced the cupcakes with chocolate icing, graham cracker crumbs and then...the fun part! I put marshmallows on the baking mat. It's non-stick so that comes in handy in a bit.
The I put them under the broiler in the oven and watched. It takes less than 5 minutes so watch carefully!
After they start to brown, take them out of the oven. Use a flat metal spatula to pick them up and place them on the cupcakes. Smash them down a little bit so they'll stick! And finally..you end up with..this!
I liked both of the products. The baking cups are cute and colorful and easy to clean. The baking mat is dishwasher safe and very non-stick. It's easier to fit in the oven then the cookie sheet that you would NEED to wash if you hadn't used the mat. I'd definitely recommend both products!!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Carmelized Onion, Mushroom, Spinach Quesadilla

I'm alive! I post pretty often on my other blog, but I've neglected this one.  I'm sorry.  To be honest, it will probably continue to be hit-or-miss on posting.  I bought a house and, at some point, the counters are going to need some work.  My goal is to use a Giani Granite Kit on it, which requires  you to stay off the counters for around 2 weeks.  Until then...random ideas like this one may occasionally make their way onto this blog.  I'm on a mushroom, onion, spinach kick right now.  The mix can go on anything: quesadillas, pasta, etc.  Tonight it went on a quesadilla!

First I put a little olive oil in a cast iron skillet on medium-high heat and added thinly sliced onion.  Stir immediately to coat the onion with the oil.  Stir occasionally.  While this is cooking, I added more oil to another pan, added a combination of mushrooms and some minced garlic.  I ended up cooking the onion for around 30 minutes and the mushrooms for about 20.  

I don't know how that wine ended up in the picture.....

Anyway, add just a bit of balsamic vinegar to the onion and deglaze the pan.  Then, I added the mushrooms to the onions, and added spinach. Let the spinach cook down (less than 5 minutes). 

Then in another skillet (I used the same one that I cooked the mushrooms in) add a tortilla, mozzarella cheese, mushroom/onion/spinach mix, more mozzarella cheese, and a tortilla. 

Heat until warm and the cheese is melted, flip, and then EAT!  I added sour cream and started out with salsa, but in all honesty, I liked it better without the salsa.  Salsa covered up the carmlized/balsalmic flavor of the onions that is sooo good!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Steak Salad

I don't know that a salad counts as cooking, but this was good, dang it, and it's my blog.  It could have been a lot better though.  Steak is not my job.  I don't do steak.  David is in charge of steak.  However, due to the below freezing temperatures and the fact I decided to do this after he had gone to bed, I had to figure it out.

First, I marinated the steak in garlic herb marinade.  I seared it after heating a little bit of oil on medium high heat for about 3-4 minutes on each side then I put it in the over and....overcooked it.


Don't do that.

Anyway, this also included:
Spinach/Spring Mix Combo
Blue Cheese Crumbles
Basalmic Marinated Cherry Tomatoes
Shiitake Mushrooms
Basalmic Reduction Drizzle
Homemade Ranch Dressing.

I think I'll have to make this again. And again. And again.  But with better steak. :)

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Avocado-Tequila-Lime Salsa

Last week, I went to dinner with a friend at a local new restaurant, Carleo's.  I ordered Avocado Tequila Salsa to snack on until our food arrived.  As I'm raving about how wonderful it is, my friend looks at me like I don't have a brain and says, "You know you could make this...right?!"  Oh yeah!

I think maybe my brain was absorbing the tequila already.

Anyway, I took my first shot at it today.  While the salsa at the restaurant was an amazing mix of chunks of tomato, onion and avocado, etc., I made mine a little more "saucy."  Not because I think it would be better (not possible), but because good Roma tomatoes are hard to come by this time of year and I ended up deciding on canned diced tomatoes. In the right season, I would definitely prefer fresh tomatoes.

1 can diced tomatoes, drained (or fresh, if you're lucky!)
1 can diced tomatoes with green chilis, drained
1 cup diced onion
chopped cilantro, to taste
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 avocado, chopped
juice of half a lime
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon tequila (or more)
minced jalapeno, to taste (I used half of one)

If you're short on time, or have contacts, buy the diced tomatoes with jalapeno already in it.  If you're going to dice the jalapeno yourself, don't forget to wear gloves! Trust me on this, dicing jalapeno without gloves and then removing contacts, even hours later, is a poor, poor decision.

Combine all ingredients and chill for half an hour.
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