Tag Archives: Less than 30 mins

Maple Sausage, Pepper, & Potato Breakfast Casserole

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Husbands ask for a lot of things…and some requests are harder to grant than others. Like when they try to convince you that entertaining the idea of them growing a mustache for a month will make them look cool or when they think its a good idea to watch television in place of folding laundry. Thankfully, one for a breakfast casserole was something I could happily oblige to. Not only does it make husband happy (and possibly more inclined to fold laundry while watching football) it’s easy to throw together and tastes amazing.

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mmmm cheese and sausage, what more could you ask for?

Here’s a little story for all of you, we’re friends now right? It seems as though we’ve had a pretty steady friendship for the past 6 months and I feel ready to open up to all of you. Anyhow, now that we’ve established our virtual relationship, here’s the story. This one time, my very sweet husband, thought it would be a great idea to cook me breakfast. He actually surprised me while I was still sleeping. I woke up to a very proud husband. Matt announced, “I made you eggs!” I smiled and was excited about his very thoughtful gesture. He poured me a glass of orange juice and said “Not only did I make you breakfast, but there is a secret ingredient!” Yeah, I was worried too. So I smiled, picked up a forkful of the mystery eggs. I couldn’t even chew it….it tasted that bad! I gulped it down. Care to guess what was in them? Maple syrup, hot peppers, and feta cheese. Don’t get me wrong, these are actually a few of my favorite things. Mixed into eggs together however, not so great. I politely ate my whole plate but I’ll tell you I sure didn’t ask for seconds…

The Ingredients: 

Makes an 8 x 8 pan

  • 8 0z frozen of potatoes  
  • 5 eggs scrambled
  • 1 lb of breakfast sausage
  • 1/2 red pepper & 1/2 yellow pepper, diced
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup of freshly grated cheese, I used pepperjack (I actually roughly chopped a block of cheese and put it in my food processor to grate it; great time saving tip!)
  • Salt and pepper

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Pomegranate and White Chocolate Scones

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I can’t even begin to explain how much I love a good pastry in the morning with my coffee. My brain sometimes tells me that it’s a bad idea, but look how delicious these scones look. How bad could they be? Thankfully I figured out a way to make them taste fantastic but not be a huge calorie bomb like many of the purchased baked goods (for example a blueberry scone from Starbucks is almost 500 calories per serving; gasp! but they’re so good!). Now you can have your cake (scone) and eat it too. This recipe only has a few tablespoons of sugar and absolutely no butter. Seems too good to be true doesn’t it? Seriously though, you won’t believe how good they taste until you give them a try.

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Feeling less guilty about drooling over them yet?

The flavor combination may seem a little weird to some, but it’s actually pretty amazing. I found myself with about 4 cups of pomegranate seeds after buying two gigantic softball sized pomegranates and needed to find a creative way to use them. I started reminiscing about some chocolate covered pomegranate candies I’ve had in the past and voila a new recipe was created. If you’re not sold on the flavor paring feel free to add blueberries, strawberries, diced apples etc. instead. Hope you enjoy them! They are a fantastic treat and ridiculously easy to make.

The Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of flour
  • 3 tbs of sugar
  • 3 tsp of baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • zest of one small orange
  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 3/4 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 1/4 cup  half and half (or substitute half regular milk if heavy cream now makes this recipe horrifying to you)

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Herbed Ricotta, Pistachio, & Lavender Bruschetta

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Happy New Year all! I hope that everyone was able to celebrate 2012 and welcome the beginning of a new year. Matt and I are looking forward to all that 2013 brings and welcome any new adventures that may arise. We are grateful for a wonderful family and for our quite amazing group of friends. We also look forward to celebrating our second wedding anniversary early next week! I can’t believe that two years have already passed! Time flies when you’re married to your best friend! I look forward to the new opportunities and challenges that will arise this year. I hope that everyone had a wonderful NYE and has a prosperous, healthy year ahead!

Anyhow, onto one of my favorite appetizers! We frequent a wine bar in Philadelphia called Tria that not only has fantastic wine, but delicious small plates. We are obsessed with their herbed ricotta and pistachio bruschetta. It is fantastic! We honestly order 3 small plates of the amazingness every time go in. Since our obsession seems to be insatiable, I thought that it was important that I figured out how to make an as delectable version at home. I think the true secret is the addition of the pistachios and since I’m a honey addict, it also makes the plate for me too. It’s so easy to make and is sure to please your family or any guests!

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It may not look like a lot, but boy is it amazing!

This recipe is very variable, you can either prepare a little or a lot depending on what you are planning on serving it for. I often make a small batch and eat it in place of a sandwich for lunch. So there are no specific measurements but require you to go more on taste and the amount you want to prepare.

The Ingredients:

  • 1 loaf of french bread, sliced on the bias into half inch thick slices 
  • 1 jar of fresh or store prepared ricotta
  • Pistachios, shelled and roughly chopped
  • Fresh basil, chiffonade (aka small strips; it’s easiest to roll on bunch of leaves and then cut them into small strips)
  • Dried lavender
  • Honey
  • Salt & fresh cracked black pepper

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Easy Peanut Butter Cookies

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Yay! It’s almost Christmas! It’s starting to really feel like the holidays as Matt and I geared up yesterday for the 10 hour jaunt across country from Philly to Indiana. I was a very spoiled passenger and was able to take a few naps and watch a few movies along the way. I used to hate car trips but thanks to technology it isn’t nearly as bad. We broke up our trip with some of our favorite high school jams and I impressed my husband with my endless knowledge of lyrics. It was a great trip and it feels great to be home for a few days between the madness of constant studying.

Anyhow, we were invited to our neighbors for dinner and I was asked to bring some dessert. Since preparing for finals was consuming all of my life and braincells, it had been a while since we had a proper grocery trip. Our fridge was pretty bare, but fortunately I had all of the common staples in my fridge and pantry. These peanut butter cookies are probably the easiest cookie recipe I have ever made. All you need is 5 ingredients and NO flour and you have a perfect, delicious cookie in less than 20 minutes from start to finish. I highly recommend that you add it to your cookie repertoire. No worries if you feel you are baking challenged, these are so simple that I know you’ll have great results. It’s a very easy starter dough and you can feel free to add chocolate chips or press Hershey kisses into the cookies.

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I made regular peanut butter cookies with the classic fork hashmarks and also some with Hershey hugs pressed in to the top. Both are equally delicious!

The Ingredients:

Makes 26-30 cookies 

  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp of salt

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Lettuce Wraps…with a Mexican twist!

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Phew! Finals are over and I have a few weeks off before resuming classes. I am looking forward to getting back into the kitchen over break and trying all the recipes I’ve been stockpiling during my study breaks (aka periods of pure procrastination!) It is finally feeling a little bit more like the Holiday season now that I’ve caught up on sleep and feel like a real member of society again. I am in the preliminary stages of my Holiday shopping and have already brainstormed a few really great gift ideas. One of my gift ideas is actually a little bit of an at home project, so I look forward to sharing that after the Holidays! It seems like a great project and I can’t wait to get it started tomorrow morning. I’ll be sure to share after the Holidays when all of my gifts have been dispersed! I love giving personalized gifts because I feel that it really shows people just how much you care. I am also excited about creating all my favorite Holiday recipes! A particular favorite of mine is my candied almonds! I’m planning on making them this week and will be sure to share the recipe. They are to die for!

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On to today’s recipe:)  On a quick trip to Whole Foods I saw that Bibb lettuce was on sale for $1.99, avocados were on sale for $1.00, and ground chicken was also ridiculously on sale. I couldn’t resist any of these items and because of my underlying love of lettuce cups I knew I had all the makings of a very quick and healthy meal. If you know me at all, you know that I love all things spicy food. So naturally, I knew these ingredients would lend themselves very well to creating a twist on the traditional Asian inspired lettuce cup. It was undoubtedly a success and I’m not certain I’ll ever transition back to using taco shells after coming up with this recipe redo. One can’t beat tasty and healthy! Plus cutting the calories from the taco shells allows me to feel a little less guilty about having a small scoop of my homemade vanilla ice cream in the freezer (recipe to follow soon!).

I made a very simple guacamole to add on top. I used one avocado, a 1/4 cup of sweet onion which I rinsed under water to get rid of the pungent onion taste/smell, and a small handful of pickled jalapeños which I minced. I added a squeeze of lemon juice and salt and pepper and mashed it all together with a fork. I let it hang out in the fridge while I prepared to the rest of the meal.

The Ingredients: 

  • 1 head Bibb Lettuce, pre-washed and leaves separated
  • 1 pound ground chicken, turkey, or beef
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

To a small bowl, add:

  • 1 tsp Chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground Cumin
  • A liberal pinch of Cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire
  • 1/2-1 tsp Sriracha or hot sauce
  • Fresh cracked black pepper 

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Better than Starbucks Chocolate Frappuccinos

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With finals week approaching, I thought it would only be appropriate to share my new favorite way to consume copious amounts of caffeine. I’ve come up with a spectacular, easy way to get a drink that tastes as good as Starbucks without breaking a grad student’s budget (plus I bet my recipe is even lower in calories then the purchased kind!). If you are a coffee drinker, I bet you’ll have almost everything you need right in your kitchen. The one thing you may have to add to your grocery list is chocolate syrup or powder. The addition of the chocolate completely transforms the every day ordinary (sometimes boring) cup of coffee. To say that I am totally obsessed with this recipe is an understatement–I have literally been addicted and have made one every day! Give it a try! I bet you’ll love it as much as I do.

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The Ingredients:

Necessary equipment: blender or large food processor 

  • 1 cup brewed coffee–I usually let mine chill in the fridge for about 15 minutes but if you don’t have the time to let it chill, just add more ice
  • 1/2-1 cup milk–depending on how strong you like the coffee flavor
  • 2 tbs chocolate syrup or chocolate powder
  • 1 tsp or 1 packet of sweetener of your choice
  • 1 cup ice

How to:

  • Add ice, coffee, and milk to blender
  • Pulse until smooth
  • Add chocolate syrup and sweeter and pulse until well incorporated
  • Top with whipped cream if desired and enjoy:)

Thanksgiving Dinner and Delicious Leftovers

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Thanksgiving dinner was a success! Matt and I had a wonderful meal and I thoroughly enjoyed putting my own twist on a few classic recipes. We did, however, miss our families and look forward to spending time with them on Christmas. Our Thanksgiving menu included: homemade cranberry sauce, semi-homemade cornbread stuffing, chive and cream cheese mashed potatoes, homemade yeast rolls, and of course turkey and from scratch gravy. I also made a few desserts! You can check out my quick and delicious apple pie recipe and be on the lookout for Matt’s favorite dessert, cream cheese pumpkin roll. We had a lot to be thankful for this year and I am so glad I was able to prepare such a flavorful meal for my well deserving husband.

The turkey was fantastic! I stuffed the cavity with oranges, lemons, sage, thyme and fresh sprigs or rosemary. I made a compound butter with sage, thyme, rosemary, and fresh cracked black pepper that I spread on the skin of the turkey. I basted the turkey regularly with pan drippings and some melted butter infused with the same herbs I listed above. It was so good! I’m glad we have a lot of leftovers!

One of Matt’s favorites sandwiches is the Turkey Cranberry sandwich from Paradise Cafe and Bakery. I decided to draw inspiration from that when looking for a way to repurpose our leftovers. I used my homemade cranberry sauce (Never made it? It’s so easy! Throw a bag of cranberries into a small stock pot with 1 cup sugar, 1 cup water, a splash of orange juice and apple cider, as well as a generous pinch of cinnamon and orange rind and let it simmer on the stove until the cranberries break down and the sugar thickens the sauce. It only takes about 20 minutes and is a thousand times more delicious than the canned variety!) and avocado on this sandwich and it really made the sandwich fantastic. I also added a generous sprinkle of my semi-homemade cornbread stuffing (I’ll fill you in on this recipe later!).

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Pesto, Pine nut, & Prosciutto Pizza

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One of our favorite pizzas in the city is from a restaurant called Osteria. It is divine but…a little expensive (a small pizza goes for about 20 dollars). I knew I could come up with just as delicious version at home at a much, much, much cheaper price! It’s a really quick meal to throw together on nights that I’m too busy to spend too much time in the kitchen. With a little help of pre-made ingredients, you can have this meal prepared from start to finish, including cooking time, in about 20 minutes. It’s way better (in my opinion) then standard delivery. I know pine nuts can be a pricy ingredient, but if you store them in your freezer they will last for about 6 months! I often make my own pesto in the summer, but during the fall and winter months I rely on a very good quality store bought kind because it’s easier when fresh items aren’t as readily available (plus I’ve been so busy studying for exams as of late, I don’t have much time to make my own).

The Ingredients:

  • Pre-made pizza dough or your favorite homemade recipe (we buy ours from Whole Foods for around $2.50 and it’s made fresh daily)
  • Fresh mozzarella
  • Homemade or store-bought pesto
  • Prosciutto
  • Pine nuts

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