The Sweetest Thing.

" I feel there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people" ~Van Gogh

Welcome Fall. (Fall Cooking & Baking Wish List) September 23, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jessica @ 5:00 am

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Fall is my favorite season- by far. I love the crispness in the air, the gorgeous colors of the changing leaves, boots and scarves, Halloween, big pots of soup, cozy afternoons reading on the couch under a blanket, roasted vegetables, apples, squash and of course, pumpkin spice. I love harvesting the garden and “putting up” food for the winter. Fall appeals to my naturally domestic inclinations.

I compile a list of new things I want to cook/bake/do at the beginning of every season, but I always get most excited about that list in the Fall. I make a lot of my personal favorites every season as well. Some of these recipes will have to be modified to be gluten free. Without further ado, here is my fall cooking/baking list for 2014-

(Just Click for the recipe)

 

Acorn Squash stuffed with Kale and Sausage

Penne with Butternut Squash, Kale and Goat Cheese

Pumpkin Granola

Spinach Artichoke Mac and Cheese

 Pumpkin Gingersnap Bark

Spicy Coconut Carrot Soup

Lentil Soup with Sweet Potatoes and Spinach

Creamy White Bean and Bacon Soup

Loaded Sweet Potatoe Soup

Quinoa Enchilada Casserole

 Pumpkin Scones

Honey Thyme Pork Chops

Small Batch Stovetop Apple Butter

Pumpkin Pound Cake

Apple Cider Pancakes with Cinnamon Sugar Topping

Pumpkin Chowder

Slow Cooker Coq Au Vin

Cheesy Sweet Potatoe Crisps

Honey Pecan Pork Chops

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Butter

Caramel Apple Sangria

Apple Cider Margaritas

Crockpot French Onion Soup

Crock Pot Sweet Potato Mash

Sausage and Egg Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Mashed Potatoes with Ricotta, Spinach and Bacon

Scalloped Root Vegetables with Ham and Crispy Fried Onions

Honey Mustard Rosemary Glazed Carrots

Fried Cabbage with Bacon, Onion and Garlic

 

From the looks of things, I may just have to quite my jobs and eat all Fall!

I know I will not get through all of these, but I like a list for a quick look  when I’m in the mood for something new or when I am trying to do our meal/grocery planning for the week.

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I’m Back! (For Real This Time) September 21, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jessica @ 5:23 pm

 

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For anyone who has followed a link here from Pinterest (which seems to happen quite a bit despite my limited links) or for my friends and family who have read the blog in the past, you know I haven’t been around in awhile. There are a variety of reasons for this, but it has mostly been about poor time management. I am pretty busy during the school year, but I really do want to blog and I have decided I just need to make it a priority. I never knew how much time blogging actually takes.

 

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I have spent the last month stockpiling drafts of blog posts so that I can have a back up for when things get too busy. I have also decided to expand my scope a bit and to not worry about posting everyday. I will still blog primarily about food and recipes (through the scope of life) but I also want to include community events, information (maybe even interviews) about local businesses, my personal musings on whatever may be on my mind,  books I’ve read lately, links to read etc. I am planning to post 3-4 times a week, but I am not going to  get discouraged if that does not always happen.

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I am also trying to learn about the technical parts of blogging. I am really not very tech savvy. I am still trying to figure out how to turn text into links, format things, make a recipes link page etc. I recently purchased a WordPress For Dummies book, so hopefully that helps once I get around to reading it. Please bear with me while I get those things figured out. I do have a decent camera, a computer and an internet connection so I feel I have the most important tools and the rest will get better as I keep learning.

 

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I love constructive criticism, suggestion and advice of any kind, so please feel free to share. What do you like about what you see? What would you like to see more/less of? I want to make this a resource for good recipes and community information for everyone.

 

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Regular posting will start on Tuesday the 23rd- the first day of fall! The start of a new season (my favorite season) seemed like a perfect time to start a “new” adventure.

* I just included some of my favorite pictures from the summer to break up the text a bit :)

 

Heat Wave. July 18, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jessica @ 7:56 pm

Sorry I haven’t posted in a few days. It is hot. I really haven’t done much of anything besides lay on the couch reading books & drinking iced coffee. There has been some gardening, some visiting, some swimming, an attempted campfire, some dog lovin’  & even tai chi in the park with my grandma too. One thing there hasn’t been much of is cooking. We honestly haven’t even wanted to eat a couple of nights because of the heat & there have been salads, leftovers and take out the other nights. I did finally want to/have to cook tonight. In the effort to not add any more heat to the house than nescessary, I came up with 3 new quick to prepare, no oven needed recipes. I made Browned Butter Tilapia, Swiss Chard with Garlic & Red Wine Vinegar and crock pot Italian seasoned potatoes. Lots of flavor, minimal effort & ingredients. In other words, the perfect summer dinner. Recipes to come soon!

Anyone read any good books lately? I am flying thru my list! (Hopefully starting my new part time job at the library tomorrow will bring some book inspiration my way!

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Fresh from my garden chard :-)

 

Strawberry Blueberry Crisp. July 13, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jessica @ 7:20 am
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Nothing says weekend like dessert. Don’t let me fool you, I also think Wednesday or a good hair day or a Sex and the City marathon with your best friend (or yourself) is a perfectly good excuse for a dessert.

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This one just screams summer with fresh local strawberries and blueberries. You could easily substitute any berry. I had actually planned on just making a blueberry crisp until I saw my strawberries needed to be used ASAP. I was very pleased with the results. It is great on it’s own but a scoop of good vanilla bean ice cream certainly wouldn’t hurt anything.

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Strawberry Blueberry Crisp

Filling-

2 cups strawberries

2 cups blueberries

1/4 c sugar

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp cornstarch

Topping-

1/2 c brown sugar

1/2 c all purpose flour

3/4 c old fashioned oats

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp allspice

1/8 tsp salt

1 stick unsalted butter- chilled & cut into cubes

1. Preheat oven to 350*

2. Butter (or use cooking spray) and 8×8 inch pan

3. Mix filling ingredients until berries are coated

4. Pour filling into 8×8 inch pan

5. Mix topping ingredients thru allspice

6. Cut in butter with fingers until  incorporated into pea size clumbs throughout

7. Top berry filling mixture

8. Bake at 350* 30-40 minutes until top is golden brown

9. Enjoy!

* I apologize for any typos, I have had a few glasses of wine this evening in the name of #goodlivin’

 

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Shrimp Tacos with Sesame Lime Slaw, Feta & Avacado. July 10, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jessica @ 6:00 am

There isn’t really too much to say about this recipe that isn’t already obvious from the title. They were delicious. They were both hearty and fresh at the same time. A great summer meal for sure!

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Shrimp Tacos with Sesame Lime Slaw, Feta & Avocado

Serves 4

1 lb shrimp (fresh or frozen)

2 tsp Old Bay seasoning

8 corn tortillas

half head of cabbage (shredded)

medium red onion (finely chopped)

2 Tbls cider vinegar

3 Tbls sesame oil (seperated)

2 Tbls honey

salt & pepper to taste

2 limes (one cut into wedges)

2 avacadoes- diced

1 cup feta

1.Combine cabbage, red onion, 2 Tbls of sesame oil, juice from one lime, honey, apple cider vinegar, salt & pepper in medium bowl. Set aside.

2. Heat 1 Tbls of sesame oil in pan, add shrimp (tails removed) & Old Bay. Cook until done- this only takes a couple of minutes.

3. Top corn tortillas with shrimp, slaw, feta & diced avacado. Serve with additional lime wedges.

4. Enjoy!

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Super Easy Olive Tapenade. July 9, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jessica @ 6:00 am
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This is my go to appetizer recipe whenever I forget to plan ahead (parties always seem to sneak up on me). My grandmother made something similar years ago and I have been making my version ever since. It is easy to keep a couple jars/cans of olive in the pantry and I always have fresh garlic and olive oil- and that is all it takes! It comes together in less than 5 minutes and can be made a day ahead or at the last minute. It keeps in the refrigerator for a week. Serve with pita or tortilla chips, sliced peppers or my favorite option- crunchy little  bread rounds (crostini).

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Olive Tapenade

1 jar green olives

1 can black olives

2-3 cloves garlic (depending on size)

2 Tbls Olive Oil

1. Drain Olives.

2. Toss everything in the food processor, pulse until combined. You can make it into almost a paste like texture, but I tend to stop when it is in uniform little bits.

3. Enjoy!

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4th of July! July 8, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jessica @ 10:53 am

How was your holiday weekend?  I hope it was filled with laughter, people you love,parades, good food, sunshine, campfires, ice cream and of course fireworks. I was lucky enough to get to enjoy all of these things as well as just some time relaxing at home, grocery shopping and a birthday party for my nephew. The honey was off from job number #1 so we were able to spend some much needed time together as well. Despite all of the fun over the weekend, there are very few pictures. I have been really into just experiencing life instead of recording it so often. It feels good.

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There is a lot on my to do list this week. Some of it fun stuff, some of it work stuff, but I am excited to be productive after so many days of just relaxing. I like balance.

What was your favorite part of the holiday weekend?

 

 
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