Animal Lovers Surprise – Vegan Chili

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If you’re a carnivore like me, you may see the word “vegan” and snarl your lip a bit. It’s all right. We all come with our own judgements and assumptions about non-meat eaters, but I have to say, I’ve made this meat-free chili on many occasions, and often prefer it to its meat-full brethren. I recently participated in a friend’s annual Chili Cook Off, and while I did not win (womp, womp), my chili still received high marks. The biggest beauty is that the chili doesn’t take hours to cook (although it can if you want it to), so inside of an hour, you could be enjoying a delicious, nutrition-filled meal with the people you love. Really, is there a better way to live? Continue reading

Teriyaki Turkey Meatballs

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If you enjoy food porn as much as I do (obviously you do, because you follow this blog), I strongly recommend following Buzzfeed’s Tasty channel. In less than a minute a video, you quickly find inspiration for future meals, and perhaps a bit of a drooling session.

These meatballs are super delicious, and pretty fast to put together. If you happen to have any leftovers, toast up some sourdough bread, add a little Trader Joe’s cilantro salad dressing and have at it. Continue reading

Beef Stroganoff

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Stroganoff has been a family favorite for as long as I can remember, and once I went off to college, I had to learn quickly how to make the dish for myself. Yes, many converts were made, and to this day it’s a go-to meal when I could use a pick-me-up or just want something warm, creamy and delicious for dinner. This is a great base recipe, so there’s room to grow and experiment (try adding some curry powder or BBQ seasonings). Continue reading

Sausage and Veggie Pasta in Creamy Tomato Vodka Sauce

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Yeah, you heard me.

Sometimes even when you need comfort food, some vegetables are in order, and that’s what I made for myself one fine evening. The base vodka cream sauce recipe (butter, yellow onions, heavy cream, vodka) can be used in multiple iterations, so try your hand at it and impress all your friends. Continue reading

Curried Beef Short Ribs

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I’ve talked about comfort food before. Sometimes it’s a gluten-laden bowl of Mac ‘n’ cheese or pizza, but it can also be a totally different kind of belly warmer that makes you smile at dinner time. Thai is one of those foods for me, particularly when there’s red curry and coconut milk involved. This is one of my favorite recipes, and extra delicious if you have 6 hours to let it cook, but is just as satisfying with 2 hours simmering time.

While I’ve made this dish many times before, this was my first attempt at using pork ribs rather than beef. The consensus: beef is better. Try it out and let me know what you think.
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Fall Menu Ambitions and Favorites

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The crisp smell of falling leaves, rain and harvest is in the air, and my mind can’t help but shift toward stews, potroast, roasted vegetables, pies and all the good eats that come with Fall. I’ve had a few menu items on my “to try” list since last year, so let’s see how many I get to this season:

What are some of your favorite Autumn-inspired dishes?

Lemon Artichoke Chicken

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Nom. Just nom. Yet another win from Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice! This light chicken dinner is seasonal win for the upcoming summer evenings, plus it’s easy to put together and leaves satisfied customers all around. The artichoke marinade can be prepared ahead of time, so it’s perfect if you’ve had a long day and want a simple (and delicious) meal ready within 30 min.

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Homemade beef meatballs

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First of all, let me just give the disclaimer that there will be a LOT more beef posts coming in the near future. I went in on a cow share this year, and this is now what my freezer currently looks like. I am a fairly conscious meat eater, choosing leaner meats and locally raised when I can, but my perspective may be permanently altered after having some of these Eckler Mountain Meats. The beef was raised on grass pasture, supplemented in the winter with the farmers’ own barley hay, oats, and alfalfa, and are corn-, antibiotic- and hormone-free. What’s that they say? The best things in life are free?

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Scallops with Salsa d’Acciughe e Rosamarino

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It’s no secret that one of my favorite places in the world is Hipcooks. I’ve written about them many a time, and am happy to say that I have recreated multiple dishes they taught me, but I think this one is my favorite. To ward off the initial scrunchy face syndrome, Hipcooks wisely calls the sauce for this dish “Salsa d’Acciughe e Rosamarino”, which has a lovely ring to it, rather than what it actually is: garlic, rosemary, lemon and anchovy sauce. No matter what, it’s delicious, so wipe that scrunch off your face, make this up and enjoy the hell out of it! Continue reading

Thai Ginger Chicken and Coconut Rice

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Wow! I was not confident this experiment would pan out, but I am happy to report it was a great success. Last week I assisted with the Thai Two On class at Hipcooks and was inspired to try my own variation of Thai chicken. Our instructor, Tristan said the easiest way to create a Thai tasting dish is to marinate some meat in garlic, ginger, brown sugar and fish sauce. And away I went! Continue reading