Sausage Winter Stew

Sooooo its been a crazy holiday season! Between working two jobs, prepping for the holiday, shopping, spending time with my family, and I can’t even remember what else, I’ve barely had time to even go grocery shopping! (I know I’m just as appalled as you are, try not to judge.) As much as I love Christmas, to me it’s the most magical time of the year; I’m happy that things are finally getting back to normal. I’ve actually had a minute to sit down, come up with a recipe, and actually prepare it! It felt good to be back at it, and it made me realize how much I didn’t like not having the time or energy to be able to. No more of that! So here it is the first recipe of the year…Sausage Winter Stew!



This dish can be whipped up in no time, and is super easy on the wallet! (I don’t know about you, but light on the wallet is something I need after all that christmas shopping.) To buy all the ingredients for the recipe, plus a loaf of fresh bread, only cost 16$! I mean come on! For AT LEAST three seperate meal-sized servings for two people, how can you beat that?! You can’t.

So without further drag, I’ll get right down to it!



Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground Italian sausage
  • 2 medium carrots; thin sliced
  • 2 stalks celery; thin sliced
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion; diced fine
  • 3 cloves garlic; minced
  • 1 sprig rosemary; stripped and fine chopped
  • 3 sprigs thyme; stripped
  • 1 can black beans; drained and rinsed
  • 1 can cannellini beans; drained and rinsed
  • 1 can italian seasoned diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • salt & pepper
  • 1/2 head cauliflower; sliced small
  • 1/2 box of Ditalini pasta; cooked seperate
  • Parmesan; optional for topping

  1. In a small pot, cook Ditalini for 9 minutes at a full boil. Leaving it slightly undercooked so it doesn’t become overcooked once added to the stew. Drain off all except 3/4 cup of water. Set pasta and water aside
  2. In a large soup pot or dutch oven, drizzle the bottom with olive oil (less than a tablespoon) add sausage and cook over medium heat. Using a wooden spoon break up the sausage into small chunks. Cook for about 8 minutes or until it begins to brown.
  3. Add celery, carrots, and onion and cook covered with lid until the veggies become soft or about 5 minutes. (Covering the pot once you add the veggies really helps add a huge amount of flavor and cooks the veggies that much faster.)
  4. Add garlic, rosemary, thyme, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Let cook about 1 minute or until fragrant.
  5. Add the beans, diced tomatoes, and chicken broth stirring well to really combine all ingredients. Simmer together for 8-10 minutes.
  6. Now is when I like to add the cauliflower. I prefer it to be slightly crisp instead of mushy. Let simmer another 4 minutes.
  7. Finally add pasta, and simmer another 2 minutes to combine flavors.
  8. Serve in GIANT bowl, and you have the option to top with parm! (cheese should never be optional!)

I hope you enjoy cooking, and devouring this as much as I did!

Until next time,


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Creamy Corn Chowder


Happy October everyone! I cannot believe that it’s already October 1st, this year is flying by at a ridiculous rate! October is by far my favorite month though, so you won’t hear me complaining! I love all things Halloween and spooky! If I could leave my house decorated for Halloween all year long I would! {Ok ok maybe not because I’m a complete sucker for Christmas lights, and Christmas trees, and snowmen 😍 but I won’t get too ahead of myself! Snap out of it, slow your roll!} And the fact that the air gets a little more crisp every morning makes my soul smile. I LOVE when I can just see my breath walking to my car on my way to work!

I don’t know why but in my head October 1st is the first day of fall, and trust me I know that is completely not accurate, but I can’t help but think that way. I even change over my closet and pack away all my summers clothes! The end of September and beginning of October are those in between season days. Some days it’s 65* and perfect, other days it’s freakin’ 80* and I’m sweating! Ugh, my LEAST favorite. It’s those days where I have trouble getting in food-moods. {Food-moods are just my cravings, but it sounds way more intriguing when you put it that way right!?} Am I in the mood for something more light and summery, or something more cozy and hearty? Que this creamy, delicious, hearty, light, slightly-summery corn chowder! And believe it or not it really is all those things at the same dang time!


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I couldn’t think of a more perfect in-between-season dinner then this. It’s got that sweet, crisp, sun-kissed corn with that cozy, creamy broth. It’s seriously the perfect balance. After enjoying a bowl {or two!} you feel super satisfied without feeling heavy and uncomfortable.

With this chowder {actually most dishes period} I love to start by melting some butter and tossing around the onion and garlic. It doesn’t matter what season it is there is nothing better then that smell floating throughout your house! Personally I really like to pump up the flavor, so I’m never afraid to let just those two sauté for a solid 10 minutes or so.



Then comes my little secret weapon step! Instead of tossing my potatoes in towards the end of the whole processes and letting them cook simmering in the broth, I like to toss them in here and coat them in that onion-garlic-buttery deliciousness! Let them soak up and hold on to some of that flavor I’ve worked to create. This simple little step makes all the difference flavor wise, and honestly time wise. Since your sautéing the potatoes and partially cooking them before adding your liquid, you cut down on simmering and get dinner on the table that much faster. Who isn’t about that life!? I mean seriously!

 Durning this time I love to grill|broil corn right on the cob, and then slather those babies with butter! Once cool I stand them up on my cutting board and cut the kernels off the cob. If you decide to make this after corn season is over you can always use sweet whole corn kernels in cans. I stick with 3s, 3 ears or 3 cans. I feel like at the end of the day they pretty much equal the same amount.

I love to whip this up at the beginning of the week so I have leftovers for a few days. It’s one of those meals that actually gets better as it sits and steeps together. Since it’s so easy and super quick to make, it’s also perfection for those hectic weeknights where your goal is to get dinner on the table in an hour or less. Like those days where I don’t pull in the driveway until 6:30 and it’s already dark, this is my go to!

If you make this I hope you enjoy as much as my squeeze and I do! {This is one of his favorites!} And if you don’t scoff it all up the first day, I hope you enjoy the leftovers even more!

Anyways on to the nitty-gritty…

FOR THE GUTS:

  • 3 Tbsp Butter
  • 1 sweet onion; diced fine
  • 4 cloves garlic; minced
  • 6 sprigs of fresh thyme; stripped
  • 4 cups veggie broth
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 4-5 small golden potatoes; diced small
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 3 ears corn; cooked and cut off cob {or 3 cans sweet whole kernels}
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper {optional but highly recommend! I enjoy a little kick!}
  • salt and pepper
  1. In a 5-6 quart pot, melt the butter over medium heat.
  2. Once completely melted add diced onion and minced garlic. Cook stirring occasionally taking care not to burn any bits for 5 minutes depending on how hot your stove top runs.
  3. Add thyme and cook stirring constantly for another minute
  4. Toss in potatoes, cooking stirring frequently for another 5-6 minutes.
  5. Add both broths and heavy cream bring to boil and let roll for 7 minutes.
  6. Add corn, cayenne pepper, and season to taste with salt and pepper; whether fresh or canned bring chowder to a simmer and continue to simmer for 10-12 minutes. {I recommend keeping an eye here, all stoves cook differently, and if you notice your potatoes becoming over cooked, feel free to cut down your simmering time. The best way to check potatoes is to either taste or to poke with a fork|knife. If they resist they’re still not done, no resistance means done!}
  7. Ladle that bad boy into some giant bowls!

ENJOY!!!!

Until next time

🤘🏻💚✌🏻

 

50 Clove Butter Chicken

Whose tired this week? Two hands up here! I don’t know what the deal is but I’m exhausted, and I’ve been feeling super lazy. With this lazy sluggish mood I’m in I’ve been whipping up some of the easiest, tastiest dinners I can think of.

The first one on the list 50 Clove Butter Chicken! This dish is one of my go-tos. It’s so easy and so delicious, one of those comfort meals. No matter how exhausted I am after a long days work, I’ll always find the motivation to cook this up. There’s nothing quite like finally sitting down with a big plate of buttery, garlicky chicken and pasta and a glass of buttery Chardonnay to go right along with it! I even start to enjoy the wine while I sit and hand peel all 50 cloves of garlic! I mean, why not!?

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Since my laziness has trickled down to even grocery shopping, this dish becomes even more convenient since all of the ingredients are pretty much constantly in my house. That may not be the case for everyone, but I can always guarantee that I have at least 5 bulbs of garlic, chicken broth, and some type of pasta. So then I only have to drag my butt to the store to grab some chicken. I’m not a person that keeps meat in my freezer although most people do, I tend to forget it’s there and typically end up trashing it. Nothing breaks my heart more than throwing out food, especially untouched food. So to avoid the heartache I always buy fresh.

For this recipe I LOVE to use bone-in chicken, 9 times out of 10 I use thighs. If you’re not a bone-in chicken kind of person you can use breasts. Having cooked up both, I can definitely say bone-in chicken gives you a better result no doubt, 1000%. Once everything is combined and it’s done simmering, the chicken is so tender and juicy it just falls off the bone! My mouth is watering! This particular time I used breasts since that’s my other half’s favorite. In my opinion breasts don’t come out as tender but it’s most certainly still delicious.

When I do used breasts I tend to go heavier on the butter. It’s like I have Julia Child in my head reminding me that butter is always the answer! Lol! So instead of starting with 2 Tbsp I just toss in half a stick. Don’t judge! In fact you’ll probably thank me later! 😊

Here is where I’ll leave you; keeping it short and sweet today! With the thought of white wine, butter, and that intoxicating smell of sautéed garlic filling the air…

FOR THE GUTS:

  • 50 cloves garlic; peeled
  • 4-6 chicken thighs
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • splash of white wine {optional}
  • 1 stick of butter; cut in half
  • 4-6 sprigs thyme
  • S&P to taste
  1. Using a deep sauté pan, melt half of the butter over medium-high heat.
  2. Season both sides of chicken with salt and pepper, then carefully place in pan, and sear for 3 minutes a side. Remove from pan and set aside.
  3. Lower temperature to medium and add 2 Tbsp of your butter to pan.
  4. Once butter is melted, add all of your garlic. Cook stirring frequently with a wooden spoon until slightly caramelized. {you’ll know it’s caramelized when it has a slight brown or caramel color. Once you see color it’s will begin to cook more rapidly. KEEP A CLOSE EYE HERE!}
  5. Add thyme sprigs and sauté with garlic for about a minute.
  6. If using white wine, add here and deglaze pan. {deglazing is a fancy intimidating word for pouring some cold liquid into a hot pan to get all delicious brown bits unstuck from the bottom. Those brown bits hold tons of flavor, you don’t want to give that up!}
  7. Pour in chicken broth, season with salt and pepper, and add remaining butter.
  8. Give pan a good combining stir, and allow to come to a simmer.
  9. Add chicken back to the pan, and simmer COVERED for 30-35 minutes.
  10. Serve over pasta, or for a healthier option roasted spaghetti squash!

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Until next time

🤘🏻💚✌🏻

Veggie and Hog Frittata

I don’t know about you but I’m ALWAYS in the mood for breakfast or brunch. Any time and any day of the week, doesn’t matter. I’m one of those people who is perfectly content with breakfast for dinner.

The Sunday’s that I’m fortunate enough to have the day to myself are the days I really get into it! There’s a few things I always come back to and frittata is definitely at the top of that list. For anyone who is thinking what the heck is a frittata, let me explain. The best way to describe it would be to say it’s pretty much a crust-less quiche, but it’s creamier and ugh so darn delicious! It’s started on the stove in a cast iron skillet and then popped in a super hot oven to seal the deal.

{If you don’t have cast iron you should definitely grab one, but until then an oven safe skillet will do the trick.}

There are so many reasons why I love frittata; it’s so quick and easy when your really itchin’ for something filling but not too heavy, and when you’re not craving something specific it’s perfect for those days you need to kind of clean out the fridge so to say. Once you have a good solid base you could literally add anything you need to get rid of before it starts to get a little fuzzy. For those specific craving type days though, I love to get weird with it!

On this particular day I was feeling a hearty, kind of salty, kind of herby type frittata. Something that would go perfectly with the mimosas being poured! After hardly any thought I immediately knew what I wanted, bacon and prosciutto! So freakin’ good! With those two components on top, my mind just start to race from there. Behold the veggie and hog frittata!

{Now I know what some of you may be thinking. Prosciutto? Really? Didn’t you say the recipes on here would be low-cost? What the heck girl?! Well slow your roll. Prosciutto isn’t always in my budget, and when I do decide to throw it in th mix I buy it by the slice not by weight. Buying 6-7 slices cost about 6$, give or take depending on where you shop. Adding it to the frittata which will feed the two of us two different servings, averages only about 3$ meal. On splurging days, in my opinion, that’s a price I can manage.}

If I added all the veggies that I wanted to, this thing would have been probably triple the size! Lol! So I narrowed it down and went with what I consider classics in my house; potato, onion, lots of garlic, jalapeño, yellow pepper, broccoli, and garden fresh tomatoes! Ugh my mouth is watering just reminiscing! Other veggies that I have no doubt would be equally delicious; mushrooms, spinach, eggplant, marinated artichoke hearts, zucchini/squash, and cauliflower. I feel like I could just keep listing but I’ll cut myself off there. All those veggies with the prosciutto, some delicious salty thick cut bacon, and a few fresh herbs; pure heaven!

After you pretty much throw everything into the skillet and let those flavors mix on up, you pour a creamy egg mixture over that bad boy, and pop it in the oven. Ok a little more goes into it, but you catch my drift. Like I said so easy!

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I’m going to leave you to creating your masterpiece and hope your frittata is as mouthwatering as you imagine!

GUTS:

  • Olive oil and 2 Tbsp butter
  • 6-8 small potatoes; sliced and diced into small chunks
  • 4 strips bacon; cut into small strips
  • 1/2 onion; diced fine
  • 4 cloves garlic; sliced super thin
  • 1 jalapeño; seeded and diced
  • 1 small head broccoli; cut into small stalks
  • 1 yellow pepper; seeded, cut into thin strips
  • 2 plum tomatoes; diced medium
  • 7 eggs
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar
  • 2-5.3 oz containers plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup of fresh dill and thyme; chopped
  • salt & pepper

To be ahead of the game cut and prepare all veggies, then set aside. In a medium bowl whisk together eggs, 1 cup of cheese, yogurt, herbs, salt & pepper, until creamy and completely incorporated. Add diced tomatoes to eggs mixture and set aside. Heat the oven to 450*F

In a large cast iron skillet, melt butter and drizzle olive oil over medium heat. Add potatoes and cook until slightly tender, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. {Be careful not to over cook we still have much more to add before taking it off the heat.} Continue to stir occasionally after every new addition. Add bacon pieces, cook 3 minutes. Add onion, garlic, and jalapeño, cook 4 minutes. Add yellow pepper and broccoli, cook 4 minutes.

Using your wooden spoon distribute everything evenly around pan, making sure the entire bottom is completely covered. Slowly pour egg mixture into the pan, starting at the edge and circling in towards the middle. Give the pan a slight jiggle to make sure the egg mixture has settled to the bottom and all around the edges. Leave the pan on the stove top for 2 minutes or until edges of egg mixture are just starting to set. Sprinkle the other 1 cup of cheese over top of frittata. Place in oven and set timer for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes pull out of oven, rip prosciutto into small pieces, scatter over top of frittata, place back in oven for an additional 5-8 minutes.

ENJOY!

{preferably with a refreshing mimosa!}

 

Until next time

✌🏻💚🤘🏻

 

Hey you…Yea you…Drink some WATER!!!!

After a very busy weekend of birthday activities {my boyfriend’s not my own} dinner with family, and drink with friends, I sat down after a morning full of cleaning the house {yuck} and realized I hadn’t had a sip of water yet today! WHAT THE HECK!?

How terrible is that!? Especially since we still have this lingering heat wave taking over the last weeks of summer. Drink some freakin’ water lady!!!

Some days are like that for me, I’ll forget to take a sip of water almost all day. Other days it’s 9am and I’ve already refilled my 24oz mason jar 4 times. I think that’s what we call balance, right?! Well that’s what I’m going to call it at least to make myself feel better!

Those days that I do actually find myself keeping up on my water intake are the days that I normally have it a little more together. IF I have time at the end of the day {after driving an hour home from work, stopping at the grocery store, making dinner, then actually sitting down and enjoying whatever I have whipped up} I will actually take a few minutes to gather a few things, veggies, herbs, fruits, throw my combo into a cute carafe, fill it with water, and let it infuse overnight.

I know we all have trouble trying to get those recommended 11-15 cups of water a day. {Those are the new recommended cups by the National Academy of Medicine.} Personally when I make infused water I definitely take in more than I would of just regular ice water. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good ole glass of ice-cold water. Nothing beats that on a 90 degree day! After cup number 6 though I’m ready for something different. So that’s when I decide to jazz it up a touch! And who does like to get fancy!?

{Ya know, there’s an added bonus to drinking infused water! You also take in all the vitamins and nutrients of whatever’s been infusing! Stop it! It just keeps getting better!!!!}

Every time I make a new carafe, I make a new combo. That way even the infused water never gets boring!

Since I’m normally the only one who ends up drinking any of it, a full carafe will last anywhere from 1 to 3 days. Like I said earlier, depends on how much I have it together that day! LOL!

So I figured with the heat wave in it’s peak, I would share a few of my favorite infused water combos with you. Hopefully to get myself, and you, to get your butt in gear with guzzling down more of that good stuff…

SIDEBAR: For all of these combos the quantity of ingredients depends on two things; how strong you want the flavors and how much water your carafe holds! After the first couple infusions you’ll start to figure out your preference. Personally I like a stronger flavor so I tend to go a little heavier on my add-ins. Not gonna lie, I know people use frozen fruit but in my opinion fresh beats frozen EVERYTIME! If you want your water to taste good, do yourself a favor and use fresh summer fruit!

These combos are just some of my favorites, well quite a bunch of my favorites, but the options are literally endless. So definitely feel free to get a little wild!

INFUSION COMBOS:

  • Cucumber Mint {my absolute FAVORITE}
  • Lavender Lemon {I use dried lavender I snag from the grocery store}
  • Berry Lemon
  • Watermelon Basil {or blueberry basil}
  • Nectarine and Mango
  • Blueberry Mint {pictured above}
  • Ginger Mint
  • Blackberry Sage
  • Blueberry Thyme
  • Grapefruit Jalapeño
  • Cucumber Lemon
  • Strawberry Thyme, Basil, or Mint
  • Strawberry Lemon
  • Strawberry Jalapeño
  • Grapefruit Rosemary
  • Lime Cilantro
  • Orange Raspberry
  • Watermelon, Honeydew, and Mint
  • Orange, Blueberry, and Basil

I could easily list another 50, but those are some that I found I really love!

I hope you enjoy sipping these as much as I do!

✌🏻💚🤘🏻

 

The Un-burrito Bowl

So lately, I’ve been on a serious Mexican food kick. Or maybe I should say Mexican-inspired kick. I don’t know what it is, but I want to put cumin on everything. I feel like my nickname should be Capt Cumin! Lol! With a combination of this pretty intense heatwave we’ve been having here in my part of little ol’ New England, and the summer season seeping into my brain, the last thing I want to do is turn on my oven and bring more awful heat into the house. A couple months ago my super generous dad gave us an amazing brand new grill! I’ve been trying to use it as much as I can before 2 feet of snow drops, and it’s freakin’ impossible to stand out there and wait for those beautifully chared diamond patterns. {Don’t take that the wrong way, anyone who knows me knows I prefer the snow!} But let’s face it, your craving for that jalapeno & sour cream combo drops a little bit right along with the temperature.

{If you don’t have a grill, a broiler works just as well. You just have to keep a closer eye on the steak since it will cook much faster under such high direct heat}

To keep on keepin’ on with my Mexican dinner theme, I made this beautiful bowl last night. A combination of some fresh raw veggies, rice of course, and that perfect rare flank steak piled right on top! And let me tell you, not to toot a horn, but it tasted just as amazing as it looks. Any meat that can be cooked rare, I prefer it cooked extremely rare! Anything past medium in my opinion is burnt! But to each their own!

For dinners like these where steak isn’t the focal point, I love to grab one of those 2-3 lb flank steaks for about 6-8$! I mean come on! How can you go wrong!? It’s the perfect size to feed 2 that night, plus plenty of leftovers for both the next day!

So, on that note, I’ll just cut to the chase and break it all down for ya…

FOR THE STEAK:

  • 1.5-3 lb flank steak
  • 1/2 Tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1-2 Tbsp Olive oil

– Pat steak dry with paper towel.

– Combine all spices thoroughly.

– Rub steak with spice mixture, pressing a touch to make sure spices really stick.

– Drizzle both sides with olive oil and let sit around 15 minutes.

– Once grill {or broiler} has reached temp cook steak to desired doneness.

– Remove from heat, cover with foil, and let rest about 10 minutes.

– Slice against the grain in thin strips. {If you’re unsure what that means; look at the steak and see how the fibers run. If they look like there going left to right, slice across the lines. NEVER slice the same direction as the fibers or you’ll completely ruin the cut of meat.}

FOR THE GUTS:

  • Rice cooked according to instructions, while simmering add 2-3 cloves minced garlic, juice from 1/2 a lime, a generous pinch of salt, and black pepper. Once fully cooked let sit for 5 minutes, add black beans and cilantro, and let steam together.
  • Diced avocado
  • Grilled buttery corn {peel corn, place on grill/under broiler, turn every few minutes until cooked and a few blackened kernels, brush with butter, season with salt and pepper, cut off the cob!}
  • Fresh salsa {I use store bought! Don’t judge}
  • Sour cream
  • Shredded cheddar cheese

FOR MASTERPIECE FABRICATION:

In the largest bowl you can find {just kidding! But you’ll want to eat more then a regular bowl can hold!} place rice and bean mixture first. Sprinkle with cheese so that it can melt ever so slightly. Top with a scoop of avocado, fresh salsa, corn, and sour cream. Finally top with that delicious, tender steak!

{For a vegetarian option: use 1-3 squash or zucchini, slice long ways to create “steaks”, season the same, grill/broil as well}

ENJOY!!!!!