Spicy Chorizo Tacos

It’s officially that time of year again when summer is no longer a pipe dream. It feels just around the corner, and I’m already remembering little gems from last year, like these juicy tomatoes. Come onnnn.

IMG_2624

We’ve already got the wood planks set aside for a third raised bed, and I’m itching to get out and make it happen. Time to break out the summery recipes, sweep off the back porch, fill up that wine glass and enjoy.

IMG_2618

Tacos are good whatever the season, and despite the popularity of Taco Tuesday, I’ll eat them any day of the week. Especially with chorizo because, chorizo.

IMG_2626

What You Need:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 pound of chorizo
  • 1 tbsp chili pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced into tiny bits
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. ground paprika
  • 1 cup fresh tomatoes, diced
  • 1 cup shredded havarti cheese
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 8-10 taco shells

IMG_2625What You Do:

Get two separate skillets and heat each over low-medium with a 1/2 tbsp of oil.

In one, cook the chorizo until browned and fully cooked.

In the other, cook the chili pepper, onion and garlic, covered, until the onion is soft and translucent.

Combine the chorizo and onion mixture, and combine well. Add the spices and stir to combine.

Heat your taco shells in the oven according to package directions.

Stuff tacos with chorizo filling and top with freshly chopped tomatoes, cheese and salsa.

Pro Tip: Put the cheese into the warm taco shell first so it melts underneath the other toppings. YUM.

IMG_2620          IMG_2628

Zesty Honey-Lime Cauliflower Rice

Admittedly, I’m still on a not-so-silent crusade to get a cat.

IMG_2106

A large part of my job is to poke around the Internet for cat and dog videos, memes and stories, and occasionally I come across the right cat video to make me swoon. Then I promptly text Mike to once again ask if we can get a cat, at which time he promptly says absolutely not.

IMG_2103

I’m wearing him down slowly, I can feel it. Madison will be a whole other story, because she has no love for cats and thinks they’re all squirrels she can torture. That would certainly make for some good videos though.

#catsmakeeverythingbetter.

I may not have a cat, but I have this cauliflower rice dish, which is going to be just enough, for now.

IMG_2096

What You Need:

  • 1 medium head cauliflower, florets and stems chopped off
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 small garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup scallions, chopped
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup very finely chopped pistachios
  • 1/2 tbsp honey
  • 2 scallions, whole

What You Do:

IMG_2101

Put the cauliflower into a food processor and pulse until the cauliflower becomes a rice-like texture.

In a large bowl, combine the rice, olive oil, minced garlic, scallions, lime juice, cilantro and pistachios, stirring well to fully combine.

Chill in the refrigerator or heat in an oven or microwave depending on your desired temperature for serving. I served mine warm with a piece of seasoned chicken.

Drizzle very lightly with the honey.

Top with the scallions for garnish, and a lime wedge on the side if desired! Delish!

IMG_2105

On-The-Go Omelet Muffins

I have a coworker who’s always thinking up really good ideas for new products. The problem is, they already exist.

IMG_2050 (2)

So far, she’s wanted to invent a dog collar that has a bow tie on it, and wipes that can be used in place of a shower after a run.

It’s fine though – she’s learning new things about the world every day. I feel a little bit of the same way with these omelet muffins. I know they’ve been a “thing” for awhile. I do. But I just discovered them and I’m not going to lie – it blew my mind a little.

IMG_2053 (2)

How could breakfast be this easy? These things even trump oatmeal for simplicity.

Mind. Blown.

Apparently it doesn’t take much.

What You Need:

  • 6-8 eggs, cracked into a large bowl
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 1/4 sliced scallions
  • 1 cup diced fresh tomato
  • 1 cup chopped fresh spinach
  • 1/4 cup chopped jalapenos (optional)
  • 1/2 tbsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt

IMG_1990 (2)

What You Do:

Preheat oven to 350F

Literally just crack the eggs and mix them with all the other stuff, pour into a muffin tin and bake for about 20 minutes or until they begin to brown and crisp on top.

Serve with ketchup or hot sauce or whatever.

Easy!

IMG_2051 (2)

 

Squash Stuffed with Sausage and Wine-Soaked Onions

Mike and I installed a doggie door this summer for Madison.

IMG_2475          IMG_2474

I think she has finally achieved her ultimate goal in life – to come and go as she pleases.

All I’m saying is that it was a little TOO easy to train her to use this door.

She’ll always come back in for food, though.

IMG_2425

What You Need:

  • One large summer squash (about 10′ long and fairly thick)
  • 1 cup diced onions
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1 chopped jalapeno
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup garlic scapes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 lb. hot Italian (or your favorite) sausage, sliced into 1″ pieces
  • 3 cups tomato sauce, either your favorite jar sauce, or homemade this way

IMG_2421

What You Do:

IMG_2418

Preheat oven to 325F

Halve the squash lengthwise from stem to end and scoop out the inside seeds so you’re left with a hollow “bowl”.

Place face-down on parchment paper and bake for about 40 minutes.

While the squash is baking, take a large skillet and partially caramelize the onions by cooking them with the water on medium heat, covered, for about 10 minutes or until they soften and become fragrant.

Add the green pepper, jalapeno, cherry tomatoes, garlic scape and wine, and continue to cook, covered, for about 15-20 minutes or until all vegetables are soft and cooked through, the cherry tomatoes are puckered and split, and the wine has cooked off.

Remove from heat, drain and set aside in a large bowl.

IMG_2416

In a separate skillet, heat the coconut oil on low-medium heat, and add the sausage. Cook for about 15 minutes, turning the sausage periodically to prevent burning and to cook through each piece.

When the sausage is done, drain on a paper towel to absorb the grease, and add to the vegetable mixture, stirring thoroughly to combine.

Remove the squash from the oven and flip over so the scooped-out side is facing up.

Scoop the sausage filling into each squash liberally.

Place back in the oven for 10 minutes.

Cover each piece with tomato sauce and serve.

IMG_2423

 

 

Spicy Black Bean & Corn Salad with Pecans

I feel a lot of guilt when I don’t post here for awhile.

So let’s not talk about it.

IMG_2073

Instead, let’s focus on summer. The weather is warm. The sun is out. My garden is in full and bountiful bloom. I’ve also made the grand transition from winter squash-based recipes to summer squash-based recipes.

Things are happening, people.

IMG_2471

There is no squash in this recipe. Shocker! But there is deliciousness that tastes like summer! I don’t really ask for more than that.

IMG_2076

What You Need:

IMG_2071

  • 1 can (14 oz.) black beans, drained and rinsed thoroughly
  • 2 cups corn kernals (I used bagged, frozen ones)
  • 4 plum tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small jalapeno, chopped (optional)
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tbsp cumin
  • 1/4 tbsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup fresh feta cheese crumbles

What You Do:

Mix the beans through the salt in a large bowl, making sure to thoroughly combine so the lime juice and olive oil are well integrated.

Chill for about 30 minutes in the refrigerator before serving.

Scoop into bowls and top with crumbled feta. I served mine with a hot Italian sausage. Delish.

IMG_2075

 

Acorn Squash and Brussels Sprouts Casserole

I’m a sucker for advertising.

IMG_1423

It’s funny to me because I work in marketing, so I’m not a stranger to the ways in which brands sell to consumers. But I’m still a sucker. Banana Republic, in particular, has really tapped into the best way to get me into their store. Just send me an email that says, “Hey, you haven’t been here in awhile and we miss you! Come back!”

IMG_1381

Well, ok! I’d love to! And suddenly I’m scrapping my plans for an afternoon run (wholesome, healthy, FREE) and driving to the store. They miss me! I have to go!

IMG_1385

Everyone wins though, because I’ll stop off at the grocery store too, and get food for our dinner. Along with something I saw a commercial for that I now most definitely need to have.

What You Need:

IMG_1386

  • 3 cups Brussels sprouts, stems chopped off and sliced into quarters
  • 1 acorn squash, halved with seeds removed
  • 1 cup dry wild rice
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried cranberries
  • 2 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper

What You Do:

Preheat oven to 375F

Place the acorn squash halves face down on a baking sheet lined with foil and bake for about 30 minutes or until the skins begin to brown and pucker.

IMG_1383

Simultaneously, cook the wild rice according to package directions. It usually takes about 45 minutes so it’s good to start it early so it can cook while you prepare the rest of the meal.

While the squash and rice cook, place the Brussels sprouts, walnuts and cranberries in a large dutch oven or casserole dish, mixing well.

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients (mustard through crushed red pepper) and set aside.

When the squash is done, gently remove the skins by peeling them off (you may find it easier to flip the squash right side up and scoop out the flesh).

Fold the squash into the Brussels sprouts mixture.

Pour the mustard sauce over the entire dish and bake, covered, for 20-30 minutes or until the Brussels sprouts are soft. Some may have leaves that dry out or slightly blacken – this just means they’re done.

Serve over the rice and enjoy!

IMG_1424

 

3-Ingredient Gluten Free Banana Pancakes

Whenever I go out to breakfast, I have the same dilemma: do I get pancakes, or eggs?

IMG_1418

On the one hand, eggs means home fries, hot sauce, and cheese. All great things.

IMG_1414

On the other hand, pancakes are pancakes. Sweet, syrupy fluffiness…it’s hard to decide.

IMG_1411

Well I have a solution, and it’ll save you money too since you can make these delightful 3-ingredient pancakes in minutes in your own kitchen, and enjoy them whilst relaxing in your pj’s.

IMG_1404

What You Need:

  • 1 1/2 bananas, mashed completely with a fork in a medium mixing bowl
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • Oil or butter for the pan

What You Do:

Using a fork, mix together the mashed banana, eggs and brown sugar until thoroughly mixed.

In a skillet warmed with melted butter or oil, pour the batter into pancake-like rounds. Cook for about 3 minutes – little bubbles should form on the surface of each cake.

Flip gently and cook another 3 minutes. You’ll want to flip them again to cook each side one more time. They’ll be ready when each side is golden brown.

Enjoy with syrup, peanut butter, nutella, mixed berries or whatever topping you prefer.

IMG_1417

Oatmeal Lace Cookies and Nutella Almond Butter Cookies

I find myself watching repeat episodes of the Big Bang Theory all. the. time. In my defense, the repeats are shown on TV all. the. time. It’s funny to me how easily I am influenced to make or eat foods based on what I see on TV. I’m basically a marketer’s dream.

Cookies (12)

Anyways, the other day I was watching the episode where Bernadette is going to be featured in a magazine as one of the top sexiest female scientists to watch, and Amy Farrah Fowler is upset because she feels female scientists shouldn’t have to flaunt their good looks to be recognized for their achievements. Plot line aside, the girls were eating cookies in the opening scene, so I decided to make some.

Cookies (2)

Oatmeal Lace Cookies:

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (or gluten free flour)
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup oatmeal (use gluten free if desired)
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tbsp almond milk
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Cookies (3)

Preheat oven to 375F

In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour through oatmeal and mix well. Set aside.

In another bowl, combine remaining ingredients and mix on low with a blender until smooth. Slowly add dry ingredients and continue mixing until well combined.

Drop tablespoon sized balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet, about 2 1/2 apart. These cookies will spread flat in the oven.

Bake for 7-9 minutes, removing when the edge is just golden. Let cool for a few minutes before transferring to a cooling rack or plate.

Cookies (9)

Nutella Almond Butter Cookies:

  • 1/2 cup Nutella
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 1/3 cup turbinado sugar, such as Sugar in the Raw
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

Preheat oven to 350F

In a mixing bowl, mix together all ingredients with a blender until well combined.

Spoon a tablespoon of the mix onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Use a fork to gently press diagonal lines across each cookie in an X.

Bake for 8-10 minutes or until edges are just golden. Let cool for a few minutes before transferring to a cooling rack or plate.

Cookies (8)     Cookies (11)     Cookies (7)

Buttermilk Red Pepper Tomato Soup

It’s football season. I’m not super into watching sports on TV. I like playing sports, but there’s a fine glaze that forms over my eyes whenever Mike switches the channel to a game of any kind. I’m still trying to figure out why there is Sunday night football, Monday night football AND Thursday night football. It feels like it’s always on. (Sorry football fans).

IMG_0964

But – BONUS! If I don’t care about what’s on TV, that leaves me plenty of time to cook. And that’s something I’m totally fine with. On a separate note, does the buttermilk face I made in my soup look slightly demonic to anyone else?

IMG_0963

What You Need:

  • 15 plum tomatoes, halved
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 2 large red peppers, seeded and sliced into rough strips
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup sliced chives
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated cheddar cheese

What You Do:

Preheat oven to 400F.

In a large baking dish, place the halved tomatoes, onions, red peppers and garlic, alternating layers to ensure they’re all combined.

Cover and bake for about 45 minutes or until the tomatoes are puckered with split skin, surrounded by juices.

Use a slotted spoon to remove the solid veggies and place in a food processor.

Blend the roasted veggies until smooth, and pour into a large bowl.

Add the spices and buttermilk and stir well. Reheat if necessary but it should be hot enough to serve.

Pro Tip: Dip a grilled cheese in it. Is this even a pro tip? Tomato soup and grilled cheese go together like chocolate and milk.

My other pro-tip is to save the leftover baked veggie juices, pour into a Tupperware and freeze. It’s vegetable broth for your next recipe. BOOM!

Homemade Marshmallow Fluff

I want to put on the record that this recipe was a complete accident. My friend and I recently traveled to a trail race on probably one of the nicest days we’ve had since summer. After the race, we stuck around with some of the other runners and happened to meet two really nice people who were leaving shortly to have dinner with their family.

IMG_0315

Before they left, they told us about something called boiled frosting. I was pretty intrigued – I’d never made my own frosting before (because I do not often bake) so it seemed like a good thing to try in preparation for the holidays.

IMG_0307

So, it’s super easy to make this recipe. But the big disclaimer is that it’s not exactly frosting. What it is, is marshmallow fluff. I’m not sure whether this recipe was a success or a failure. What I do know is that it would go absolutely fabulously on top of a peanut butter or chocolate cake.

If you happen to be a fan of fluff, like my husband, you’ll appreciate a recipe that delivers the same exact completely unique, cavity-inducing taste without the weird ingredients in the store-bought kind. And it’s super-simple to make – it literally takes 5 minutes.

What You Need: 

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 unbeaten egg white
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 cup boiling water

IMG_0308

What You Do:

Combine sugar through cream of tartar in a mixing bowl.

Add boiling water.

Using a hand mixer on high speed, blend for about 5 minutes or until the mixture becomes thick and creamy.

Give it a taste. Marshamallow fluff!