Monday, January 28, 2013

Spaghetti Carbonara with Tomatoes

I'm always looking for new ways to modify my favorite pasta dish, Spaghetti Carbonara. I've made multiple versions with different add-ins like asparagus and corn, but I hadn't considered tomatoes until Katie posted a recipe for Spaghetti Carbonara with Tomatoes. Brilliant!


While Baby Girl and I love spaghetti carbonara it has two strikes against it as far as SP is concerned - the spaghetti (he doesn't like it for some bizarre reason) and no real sauce. Imagine my surprise when he told me how much he loved this version. I was shocked to say the least. He did ask me to make this version with a tubular pasta next time, though. Poor Baby Girl will be so disappointed - she positively loves her pesketi.

Spaghetti Carbonara with Tomatoes
Modified from Nigella Lawson and So Tasty, So Yummy

1 pound spaghetti
6 slices bacon (or as much as you like), chopped
2 large onions, sliced
1 15-oz can diced tomatoes, drained
1/4 cup dry white wine or vermouth
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan
1/4 cup heavy cream
Freshly ground black pepper
Freshly ground nutmeg

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta water.

In a large skillet that will fit the pasta later, cook the bacon until crispy but not crunchy. Add the onions and cook until softened and starting to caramelize, about 15 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook for a minute, then add the white wine or vermouth and let it bubble so that, after a few minutes, you have a small amount of thick syrup left.

In a bowl, beat together the eggs, Parmesan, cream, pepper and nutmeg.

Add the pasta to the pan with the bacon, tossing well to coat with the syrupy sauce. Take the pan off the heat (remove from the stove completely, don't just turn off the burner) and add the eggs and cheese mixture, swiftly tossing everything to mix. Thin with pasta water, if needed. Grind over some more pepper and grated cheese, if desired. Serve.
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Friday, January 25, 2013

Baked Breakfast Taquitos

We need to eat breakfast for dinner more often. Or, in the case of these Baked Breakfast Taquitos, for lunch.


Various iterations of the baked taquito have been making their way around food blogs for awhile now. But I think my favorite version are these breakfast ones, mainly because you can eat them for breakfast, lunch or dinner. I actually made the egg mixture the day before we ate these, which meant all I had to do the next day was roll up the taquitos, bake the ones we were eating and freeze the rest.


I served these with breakfast potatoes and fruit salad, which was a great pairing. Since making these I've already eaten two from the freezer for breakfast with the last of the dipping sauce. I've found that a nice healthy shake of hot sauce with each bite is delicious as well.

Baked Breakfast Taquitos
As seen on Pink Parsley, inspired by Our Best Bites

4 slices bacon, chopped
12 large eggs
3/4 cup Greek yogurt
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 cup grated cheese - cheddar, Colby jack, pepperjack, etc
1/2 cup salsa (thick and chunky preferred over a thinner salsa)
1/4 cup minced green onions
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Juice of half a lime
Hot sauce to taste
16-20 6″ flour tortillas
Cooking spray or olive oil

Dipping Sauce:
1 cup Greek yogurt
juice of half a lime
1/4 tsp chipotle chili powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray or lightly brush with oil and set aside.

Chop the bacon into 1/2-inch pieces and cook in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, stirring often, until browned and crispy. Use a slotted spoon to remove from the skillet and drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Discard all but 2-3 teaspoons of the bacon fat.

Meanwhile, crack eggs into large mixing bowl. Whisk in the Greek yogurt, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and cumin. Add egg mixture to pan. Using a rubber spatula, gently scrape bottom of pan and fold eggs over to scramble. Remove from heat when slightly undercooked. Add cheese, salsa, cooked bacon, green onions, cilantro, hot sauce, and lime juice. Mix to combine, taste, and season with additional salt, pepper, and/or hot sauce as needed.

Place the tortillas on a plate, cover with a damp paper towel, and microwave 30 seconds. Working with a few tortillas at a time, place a scant 1/3 C egg mixture into the center of each one and roll up. Place on a prepared baking sheet, seam-side down, spacing 1-2 inches apart. Lightly spray tops with cooking spray, or lightly brush with olive oil. Sprinkle lightly with salt. Bake for 15 minutes or until edges are golden-brown and crisp.

While taquitos are baking combine all the ingredients for the dipping sauce. Stir to combine season to taste. Remove taquitos from oven , let cool for 5 minutes, and then serve with dipping sauce.

To Make Ahead: The egg mixture can be made a day ahead of time and stored in the fridge until ready to use. You can also prepare the taquitos and instead of baking right away, cover tightly in plastic wrap and store in the fridge overnight, or freeze for later use. To prepare frozen taquitos, place (un-thawed) directly on a baking sheet sprayed with non-stick spray. Follow original baking instructions, increasing time by 5 minutes or until taquitos are golden brown.
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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Beef Stroganoff Meatballs

Every day the ladies on my cooking board post what they're having for dinner. One night Josie mentioned she was making these Beef Stroganoff Meatballs and I was immediately intrigued. We love Swedish Meatballs and Beef Stroganoff, so the idea of combining them sounded great.

beef stroganoff meatballs

These were good but could have been better (at least according to SP). The meatballs were very mildly seasoned and SP said he prefers the Worcestershire sauce in the Swedish meatballs for that added kick. He also has a thing against spaghetti and would have been happier if I served this over egg noodles. I loved the whole dish, especially the dill, but I'll plan to make some modifications before serving it again.

Beef Stroganoff Meatballs
Everyday Food

Coarse salt and pepper
3/4 pound spaghetti
1/2 cup plain dried breadcrumbs
1/2 cup whole milk
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 large shallots, diced small
1 pound ground beef chuck (80% lean)
1 pound mushrooms, such as button or cremini, trimmed and sliced 1/2 inch thick
1 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill, divided

Preheat oven to 500 degrees. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions. Reserve 2 1/2 cups pasta water; drain.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine breadcrumbs, milk, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. In a large heavy pot, melt butter over medium. Add shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; transfer 1/4 cup shallots to breadcrumb mixture, along with beef and stir until just combined (do not overmix). Form into 1-inch balls and place, 1 inch apart, on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until browned and cooked through, about 15 minutes, turning halfway through.

Add mushrooms to pot with remaining shallots and cook, stirring, over medium until mushrooms are softened, 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add reserved pasta water, scraping up browned bits with a wooden spoon, and bring to a rapid simmer. Cook until liquid is reduced by half, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in sour cream and 2 tablespoons dill. Add meatballs and toss to coat. Divide pasta among four bowls and top with meatballs, sauce, and remaining 2 tablespoons dill.
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Monday, January 21, 2013

Chicken with Prosciutto, Brie, and Arugula

While making this week's meal plan I realized I had chicken in the freezer, a box of arugula in the crisper quickly going bad, and half a wheel of Brie. I'd had my eye on this recipe for Chicken with Prosciutto, Brie, and Arugula ever since Jaida posted it, so this seemed like the perfect time to make it.


This isn't a complicated recipe but I was happy I chose to make it on a weekend instead of a weeknight. I always get flustered breading and frying chicken so I prefer to take my time and do it right rather than rushing. As you can see, patience is a virtue and I got a nice, crispy crust on the cutlets. Delicious.


The slightly-melted Brie and prosciutto combined with the tang from the arugula dressing was divine. This will definitely be going on my 2013 roundup at the end of this year. I was peeved at myself for only making two chicken breasts (and one was so teeny tiny it barely counts as a full breast). SP was also peeved - he ate both his pieces for dinner so he didn't get any leftovers for lunch. I cut Baby Girl's chicken into nuggets, which she devoured along with the crispy potato wedges I served alongside.

Chicken Cutlets with Prosciutto, Brie, and Arugula
Bobby Flay, as seen on Sweet Beginnings

Arugula Salad
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 lb baby arugula, rinsed and spun dry

1 cup flour
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups Panko breadcrumbs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 (6 oz) boneless, skinless, chicken breasts
6 tbsp unsalted butter, divided
2 tbsp olive oil, divided
1/4 lb Brie, rind removed, sliced
8 thin slices Virginia ham or prosciutto

Prepare Arugula Salad: In a medium bowl, whisk together vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Slowly whisk in the oil until emulsified. Add the arugula and toss to coat the leaves with the vinaigrette. Set aside while you prepare the chicken.

Place flour, eggs and breadcrumbs in three separate shallow bowls and season each with salt and pepper. Place a wire baking rack over a baking sheet; set aside.

Place each chicken breast between two pieces of waxed paper (or a freezer-style plastic bag) and pound to 1/4-inch thickness. Season chicken on both sides with salt and pepper, and dredge each breast in the flour; tap off excess. Dip into the egg wash and let excess drip off, and then dredge on both side in the breadcrumbs. Place on a baking rack set over a baking sheet.

Preheat two large nonstick sauté pans over high heat. Add 3 tablespoons of butter and 1 tablespoon of oil to each pan and heat until the butter is melted and sizzling. Place 2 breasts in each pan and cook until golden brown on the first side, using tongs flip over and continue cooking until golden brown on the second side and the chicken is cooked through, about 5 to 6 minutes total.

Remove to a plate and immediately top each breast with a few slices of Brie, then top with a few slices of prosciutto and some of the arugula salad. Serve immediately.
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Friday, January 18, 2013

Recipe Swap: Banana Sour Cream Pancakes

The theme for this recipe swap was a celebrity recipe. I was excited when I got Jey's submission - Ina Garten's Banana Sour Cream Pancakes. Yum!


I was really hoping for pronounced sour cream and banana flavors but if I hadn't made these myself I wouldn't have known the sour cream was there. And the banana flavor was also non-existent, aside from the slices of banana on top. Don't get me wrong, these still tasted good, but for the effort of making pancakes from scratch I was hoping for better flavors. My batter was also a little thin and I didn't want to add more flour to thicken it up in case it threw off the other ratios.


I didn't realize just how many pancakes this would yield. I got about 24 medium-size pancakes. Thankfully pancakes freeze well so I have quite a few for another time.

Banana Sour Cream Pancakes
As seen on Jey of Cooking, slightly adapted from Ina Garten
Makes about 24 medium pancakes

1 1/2 cups flour
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1/3 cup sour cream
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon milk
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
Zest of 1 lemon
3 bananas, 2 diced, 1 sliced
Maple syrup, for serving

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, nutmeg and salt. In a separate bowl, combine sour cream, milk, eggs, vanilla and lemon zest. Slowly add the dry mix to the wet ingredients and mix to combine, and then stir in bananas.

Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Spoon batter into the pan to make 3 or 4 pancakes and cook for 2-3 minutes. Flip and cook an additional minute. Continue, working in batches, until all batter is used.

Serve with sliced bananas and maple syrup.

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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Egg Sandwich with Brie and Prosciutto

I had some Brie and prosciutto leftover from New Year's Eve dinner and only one thing on my mind - creating a spinoff of my new favorite breakfast sandwich, the Egg Sandwich with Goat Cheese, Scallions, and Prosciutto.

egg sandwich

I didn't change much from Bridget's original creation, just swapped the goat cheese for the Brie. I had to leave out the scallions because we didn't have any. I usually have at least one lurking in my produce drawer but alas, not this time. Definitely add it, though. That slight onion-y flavor would be perfect.

egg sandwich4

I didn't do a side-by-side comparison but I think I might like the Brie version slightly better than the goat cheese version. I love Brie. I also really liked the sourdough bread, slightly toasted, in place of the huge rolls I used last time. I enjoyed these two mornings in a row and wished I had more prosciutto so I could make them again.

Egg Sandwich with Brie and Prosciutto
Inspired by The Way the Cookie Crumbles

4 eggs
4 scallions, white and green parts, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon milk
2 teaspoons olive oil
4 ounces Brie, softened
4 slices sourdough bread, cut in half and lightly toasted
4 ounces sliced prosciutto

In a medium bowl whisk the eggs, minced scallion, salt, and milk until a few large bubbles form.

Heat the oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the egg mixture and lower the heat to medium-low. After about a minute, gently stir the eggs. After about another minute they should be starting to set; use a large spatula to flip sections of egg so the other side can set as well. Turn off the heat but don’t move the pan. Residual heat from the pan will finish cooking the eggs without drying the out while you build the sandwiches.

Spread each half of each slice of bread with some of the Brie. The heat from the bread will help melt the cheese slightly. Layer on 1/4 of the eggs, then 1/4 of the sliced prosciutto. Top with another slice of bread and serve immediately.
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Monday, January 14, 2013

Baguette with Prosciutto, Gorgonzola and Fig Jam

Right before the holidays a friend posted on Facebook about a recipe for Baguette with Prosciutto, Gorgonzola and Fig Jam. It sounded divine and I immediately planned my New Year's Eve menu around it.

fig toast

I only made about a quarter of the baguette because it was just SP and I eating these (Baby Girl licked all the fig jam off her slice - she turned her nose up at the gorgonzola and tried the prosciutto but claimed she didn't like it). The recipe below is my best guess at how much of everything you'll need for a full baguette.

I used gorgonzola (and only a little bit at that) but the flavor was still a bit too pungent for me. Soña recommended layering the fig jam and cheese together to help cut the flavor a bit so that's how I wrote the recipe below. I also think Brie would be excellent. Good thing I have 3/4 of a jar of jam left. Have you tried fig jam? I hadn't before making this and it was great!

Baguette with Prosciutto, Gorgonzola and Fig Jam
Recipe from Soña

1 French baguette
1 small jar fig jam
8oz blue cheese
12-16oz prosciutto, thinly sliced

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees (or preheat the broiler).

Slice the baguette into 1/2"-thick slices, on a slight bias. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and toast briefly, until just starting to brown. Remove from the oven.

Top each slice with a small amount of fig jam. Add some blue cheese then a slice of prosciutto.

Return to the oven (or broiler) and heat until the cheese melts and the prosciutto starts to crisp.

Serve immediately.
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Friday, January 11, 2013

Amy's Virtual Baby Shower: Stuffed Shells with Beef and Cheese

Amy over at Amy's Kitchen Creations is having a baby! In fact, her little girl is due any day now. Carrie from Carrie's Sweet Life thought it would be nice to host a virtual baby shower where the theme was simple meals for new moms, with an emphasis on meals that can be made ahead and frozen.

As I was helping SP unpack the groceries the other week I found a box of jumbo pasta shells. I had asked him to buy shells for the Panera mac and cheese I was making but I hadn't specified the size of the shells so he bought the jumbo. I realized I had never made stuffed shells before, so this seemed like a good time to fix that. I had printed out Maeghan's recipe for Stuffed Shells with Beef and Cheese awhile back and couldn't wait to make it.

Beef Stuffed Shells

I didn't know this recipe made so many shells (I admit to not reading all of Maeghan's post), so I was thrilled when I realized I could get two meals out of one afternoon of cooking. I filled all the shells, placed half in the baking dish for that night's dinner and half on a baking sheet to freeze. This is a perfect dish to make for new parents - you can give them a half order to eat now and a frozen, fully-assembled dish for another time.

Stuffed Shells

These were positively delicious. I loved the beef mixed with the cheese, although I was surprised there wasn't any egg in the filling. SP thought the filling was a bit dry because of that but I didn't agree, especially when the shells were smothered in his amazing Sunday Sauce.

Stuffed Shells 2

I thought stuffed shells would be too much work but this was a really simple recipe to make. The filling takes no time at all to put together. I think shredding the mozzarella cheese took more time than filling the shells. Thanks for a great recipe, Maeghan! And congratulations Amy and Matt!

To see what everyone else made to celebrate Amy and Matt, click here.

Stuffed Shells with Beef and Cheese
As seen on The Way to His Heart

4 teaspoons olive oil
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1 lb ground beef
Salt and pepper to taste
1 package of Jumbo Pasta Shells
1 15oz container ricotta cheese
16oz mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups marinara sauce
2 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Heat skillet over medium heat. Add 1 teaspoon of olive oil, onion, and ground beef. Season with salt and pepper. Saute until meat browns. Remove and let cool.

Brush 1 teaspoon of olive oil over large baking sheet. Cook shells, 4 to 6 minutes, still firm to the bite. Transfer to oiled baking sheet.

Combine ricotta, half the mozzarella, 1/2 cup Parmesan, and parsley. Add garlic, salt, and pepper to taste and mix. Stir cooled meat into cheese mixture.

Brush remaining 2 teaspoons of oil on a 9x13 glass baking dish. Spoon 1 cup of marinara sauce over the bottom of the prepared dish. Fill shells with the cheese and beef mixture. Arrange half the stuffed pasta in a single layer in the prepared dish and spoon remaining sauce over. Place the other half on a separate baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap and freeze. Once frozen, place shells in a freezer bag for future use.

Sprinkle remaining mozzarella, then remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese over pasta. Dot dish with butter slices.

Bake uncovered until sauce bubbles on side of dish, 30 to 35 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes.

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Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Buttery Pan Sauce

Pork tenderloin is one of those meats I only remember I like when I have 3 of them in my freezer waiting to be used. I'm always one the lookout for new ways to prepare it. I came across Amy's Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Buttery Pan Sauce and decided to make it with one of my recent recipe swaps (Balsamic Parmesan Asparagus).

Roasted Pork Tenderloin

I'm a big fan of marinating pork tenderloin overnight so it has plenty of time to soak up all the yummy flavors. This had great flavor and the pan sauce was perfect.

Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Buttery Pan Sauce
As seen on Very Culinary, adapted from Chef Mommy

1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
Juice of 1 lemon
1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
2 teaspoons dry mustard
Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound pork tenderloin

Pan Sauce:
Pan scrapings from pork tenderloin
1/2 cup chicken broth
3 tablespoons of pork marinade (reserved)
2 teaspoons unsalted butter
1/2 tablespoon brown sugar

Combine all marinade ingredients and reserve 3 tablespoons in a small container. Place the pork tenderloin and marinade in a Ziplock bag and let marinate for at least 3-4 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a hot skillet over medium-high heat, sear each side of tenderloin for 2-3 minutes. Place tenderloin in a small baking dish or roasting pan, coated with cooking spray, and cook in the oven for approximately 30 minutes or until the meat has reached 160 degrees. Let rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing.

In the meantime, place the skillet back on the stove over medium heat. Add the chicken broth and scrape up all the browned pieces from the bottom of the pan. Give the reserved marinade a quick stir and add it to the pan; let it boil down for 2 minutes. Add the butter and brown sugar; remove from heat stirring until butter has melted and sugar has dissolved. Cut the tenderloin into medium slices and pour the sauce on top.

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Monday, January 07, 2013

Mexican Pizzas

I can't tell you the last time I ate at Taco Bell (or Taco Hell as the guys I used to work with called the place), but I vividly remember loving their Mexican pizza the one time I tried it. Angie recently posted a make-at-home version of the Mexican Pizzas and I couldn't wait to try them. I've been on such a crazy Mexican kick lately that I find myself adding something Mexican-inspired to every weekly menu.

Mexican Pizzas

These didn't disappoint. As always, I prepped everything during the day so all I had to do was assemble and bake. I made my own refried beans - I can never go back to the glop from a can now that I know how easy it is to make them at home - and ended up using smaller tortillas, which worked well because these are quite filling and delicious.

Mexican Pizzas
As seen on My Chicago Kitchen, adapted from Trader Joe's

1 lb. ground beef
1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 recipe refried beans
8 taco size flour tortillas
1 cup chunky salsa, any heat level
2 cups Mexican cheese blend
2-3 green onions, sliced
2 Roma tomatoes, cored and diced
1/4 cup black olives, pitted and sliced

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

In a large skillet over medium heat, brown ground beef. Add onion and saute beef and onion together. Add garlic and saute 2 minutes Season with chili powder, cumin, paprika, salt and pepper, and drain off fat. Set aside.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place tortillas on baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes. When ready, top 4 tortillas with refried beans, followed by a layer of the beef mixture. Top with remaining four tortillas. Bake for 5-10 minutes.

Spread salsa over the tortillas. Top with cheese, green onions, tomatoes, and olives. Bake for an additional 5-10 minutes, until cheese is melted and begins to bubble. Serve with your favorite toppings.
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Friday, January 04, 2013

My Favorites from 2012

Year in Review

In the 6+ years I've been blogging I've never done a yearly recap/roundup post. I always think it's a good idea but I don't plan ahead and all of a sudden I find myself in early January looking at everyone else's roundup posts and thinking, "why didn't I do that?" Well this year I decided to hell with the fact that, once again, I forgot to plan ahead. So what if it's January, I'm doing a 2012 roundup post anyway.

Without further ado, here are my favorites from 2012. I tried to pick one recipe from each month and only ended up with three ties, which is pretty impressive since my original list had 23 recipes.

January 2012 - Orange and Rosemary Pork Tenderloin
This pork tenderloin was a surprise hit. The secret is the sauce, which doubles as the marinade. Lots of bright, vibrant flavors that are completely addictive.

February 2012 - Chicken and Broccoli Stir-Fry
Since we don't have a good Chinese restaurant near our house I've started making many of my favorite dishes at home. This was spot-on.

March 2012 - Bacon, Egg and Asparagus Salad
This salad was so good it became my spring and summer staple for lunch. I must have made it once or twice a week for months. Thank goodness they sell pine nuts in bulk at the wholesale club or I'd be broke.

April 2012 - Panera Mac and Cheese
I didn't really like Panera until I tried this make-at-home version of their delectable mac and cheese. I was hooked, tried the real thing, and now I'm a convert. I love the ease of this recipe.

May 2012 - Homemade Refried Beans
Try this recipe and I promise you'll never buy a can of refried beans again. Super simple and utterly delicious.

June 2012 Part 1 - Black Bean Patties with Corn Relish and Avocado Cream
I rediscovered my love of beans when I made a commitment to cook healthier meals for my family. These black bean patties go perfectly with the corn relish and avocado cream. Also sneaking in a plug for these fantastic black bean burgers. I make a big batch every few weeks and keep them in the freezer for quick lunches or dinners.

June 2012 Part 2 - Hawaiian Chicken Sandwiches
I can't say enough good things about this recipe. It went around my cooking board over the summer and I fell in love. It's so easy to make yet tastes outstanding. I think I made these once a week for a month. So, so good.

July 2012 Part 1 - Antipasti Pasta Salad
Whenever I make this recipe I can't get enough of it. And neither can my guests. SP and I fight over leftovers. And the best part is it's mostly chopping - all you have to do is cook the pasta.

July 2012 Part 2 - Artichoke and Salami Sandwiches
I discovered this sandwich one day when I had no idea what to make for lunch and needed to use up some ingredients in my fridge. It's since become one of my favorite go-to lunches.

August 2012 Part 1 - Chicken Souvlaki
Another sleeper hit. For a recipe with so few ingredients I was shocked by how delicious it is. I don't cook with dill often enough but this recipe changed that.

August 2012 Part 2 - Antipasto Salad
This recipe is exactly like the antipasto salad my mother-in-law used to get from a local pizza place for parties. Delicious and easy to make at home.

September 2012 - Philly Cheesesteaks
Living outside of Philly, I've eaten quite a few cheesesteaks in my life. Being able to make them at home is a beautiful thing.

October 2012 - Roast Beef and Cheddar Panini
The secret is in the sauce when it comes to these sandwiches. You can't go wrong with caramelized onions, roast beef and cheddar cheese. Yum!

Roast beef panini

November 2012 - Sweet Ham and Swiss Sliders
Another awesome sandwich recipe that's perfect for parties. These are addictive so make sure you have plenty on hand.

Ham and Swiss Sliders

December 2012 - Chicken Tostadas with Avocado Salsa
Another simple meal that tastes like a million bucks. I always thought making a tostada would be difficult but these are so easy and delicious.

Chicken Tostada 2

I'm already excited for 2013. Looking back through the last 12 months of recipes was a lot of fun. Here's to another wonderful year of cooking!

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Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Sweet and Spicy Dipping Sauce

I'd asked SP to buy frozen egg rolls to serve alongside the Crispy Tofu with Garlic and Broccoli, but that night I forgot to serve them. Oops. Luckily I was making Spicy Garlic and Ginger Chicken with Green Beans the following week. I like dipping my egg roll into duck sauce but I can't justify buying a big jar of it and we haven't ordered takeout Chinese in forever so I didn't have any leftover packets hanging around. A quick Google search led me to this Sweet and Spicy Dipping Sauce on AllRecipes.

Sweet and Spicy Dipping Sauce

What a great sauce and so simple to make. It went perfectly with the shrimp and veggie egg rolls, which were surprisingly delicious (gotta love Wegmans).

Sweet and Spicy Dipping Sauce
As seen on
Servings: 2

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon chili garlic sauce (Sriracha)

Stir the vinegar and sugar together in a small saucepan over medium heat until the sugar dissolves completely, 7 to 10 minutes; add the salt, reduce heat to low, and simmer until the mixture thickens slightly, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir the chili garlic sauce into the mixture. Allow to cool before serving.
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