* Warning: You are about to fall in love! *
About a year ago, I was going through recipes on the internet, and my eyes zeroed in on what I believe is the best blog name, ever. “Bacon, Butter, Cheese & Garlic”. Yes! I mean, putting at least one of these ingredients into EVERY single recipe is a brilliant idea! So I started searching through the various entrees and appetizers and my stomach started growling
This blog is the site for the creative, delicious recipes of Cindy Wright. She’s got a knack for coming up with things I have *loved* for the past 12 months, and I really wanted to share my favorite of her recipes with you. By the way, in case you are wondering… yes, your meal will come out looking like the photo. Seriously. And it will taste like heaven. Be prepared to lick your plate. Continue reading
Last weekend I was getting ready to make breakfast, and I wanted something really filling, since I had a busy day ahead of me. I didn’t want to have it full of carbs, and I needed protein. So, after looking around in my fridge and cupboards, I came up with this…and it was delicious!
(*recipe is below the graphic) Continue reading
When you go to a party, what type of snack do you tend to reach for first? For me, it’s generally savory. I love spicy… not the “holy cow, get me a giant vat of milk before my mouth incinerates” kind of spicy… but the kind where you go, “mmmm. ooh! nice little kick”. That’s what these are. Jalapeños as a whole don’t have a ton of heat, and when they’re cooked and a dairy item is added, nearly all of the spice is gone. But there’s a tiny heat that lingers. That my friends, is quite addictive, in my opinion. So, I thought I’d share a very simple recipe with you, so you can be the hit of your next party.
Jalapeno Bacon Boats
2 dozen jalapeno peppers
2- 8oz. blocks cream cheese (not the low fat kind!)
2 dozen slices of Trader Joe’s Nitrate Free pre-cooked bacon
1½-2 cups Shredded Cheddar
As with any spicy pepper that’s got heat, please be careful when you cut into them. You can either choose to wear plastic or latex gloves, or just wash your hands really, really, really well after handling. And please don’t touch any part of your eyes or skin, or you may be burning up for a while afterward. Okay, now that that’s over, let’s get to work! In order to make these cute little boats, slice each pepper lengthwise, trying to get half of the stem on each piece. Will they taste better that way? Of course not. Then why go to the effort? Cause it just looks better. ;) Once they’re all sliced, carefully scoop out the seeds with a grapefruit spoon and make sure none of them land on the floor! Once they’re all seed-free, place them in a large freezer bag overnight. This will make your cooking day’s job all that much easier. PS: A huge thanks to Kenny, who scooped out all of the seeds in the peppers you see in this photo.
Start by preheating the oven to 450°. Make sure your two oven racks are evenly spaced. Lay out the jalapeños cut side up on 2 foil-lined cookie sheets. Here comes a great trick: Put the cream cheese in a Continue reading
(*Pssst…. make sure to click on “view original” for the recipes!)
Originally posted on sockmonkeyskitchen:
Who doesn’t like a nice steamy bowl of soup?
I think each of us has that same memory of eating a bowl of soup, while watching Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color on Sunday nights. Or was that just me?
Kenny and I had our combined families together for the day, and I wanted to fix something delicious. As I was thinking about the different food likes/dislikes/allergies/intolerances, etc… between all of us, I had a difficult time coming up with something everyone could enjoy.
However, since we both love fresh, organic produce… we came up with a “make your own salad bar” idea. Thirty-seven ingredients later… it was a hit! The best part of an idea like this, is that there are no set amounts of items, and the only limitation is your imagination. Or lack thereof, I suppose ;) Kenny’s daughter Kelsie was home from college and was a huge help! While I was chopping away, she was busily plating everything. As a matter of fact, she’s the one who set everything out… so all of those bowls are her artwork =0)
You Rock, Kelsie!
Wouldn’t this be a GREAT idea for your Super Bowl Party on Sunday?
Here are the ingredients we used that day. Of course, there are so many more… so when you want to put together your own “Ultimate Salad Bar”, take a look at these, and then add as many more as you’d like Continue reading
Raise your hand if you’d like to devour an artichoke right now. I thought so. Raise your hand again if you’re really not sure how to make it. Good! I can help you with that! But first, here’s a little history on the artichoke capital…
As with many produce items, growing up in California made it easy for Mom to prepare artichokes for us often, because it was a common crop. Why? Because of the small town of Castroville near Monterey. It’s the artichoke capital, and nearly all artichokes grown commercially are from there. They even have an Artichoke Festival each year, complete with a parade and a Queen. I remember driving through there with my family as a teen, on our way to family camp. It was pretty wacky, seeing “all things artichoke” along the roadside stands and buildings as we drove up the coast. Even though you may not have heard about Castroville, no doubt you have heard of their favorite 1948 Artichoke Queen. As the story goes, Miss Doreen Nash was scheduled to make appearances as the honorary Queen, but wasn’t able to attend. So, a replacement model was sent. Her name? Continue reading
Welcome to mid-January… would you like me to turn up the air conditioning? Here in southern California, we’ve had quite a few days where the temperature has been in the 80s, and to be honest, turning on the oven or cooking over the stove doesn’t sound all that inviting! Fortunately, there’s our old friend the Crockpot. I love these little wonders and they’ve saved me many a time. Last week on my Sockmonkey’s Kitchen Facebook page, I had a request for some slow cooker recipes, so I thought I’d share one that keeps the kitchen cool during the day, but when the sun goes down and it gets a little chilly, you’ve got a nice hearty Chicken Cacciatore just waiting to be devoured.
Have you ever wondered what “Chicken Cacciatore” means? Well, the “Chicken” part is pretty self explanatory.. heh heh… but “Cacciatore” means “Hunter Style Stew”. It can be made with game meats of all sorts, especially rabbit, and there is usually some type of onion and tomato base. I’ve made this version for over a dozen years, and it’s one my kids used to ask for. This is a good thing, since they have such different likes/dislikes when it comes to food.
The main thing you want to remember is that this recipe isn’t an exact science. This one is merely a guideline. If you don’t have enough of an ingredient, don’t sweat it! Improvise instead. I’m sure it will be great I generally serve it over potatoes that I’ve boiled and mashed with a lot of butter and garlic, but you can also put it over gluten-free pasta, or just serve it with some crusty French bread.
(PS: This dish is Paleo, and unless you serve it with bread, the whole meal (with garlic mashed potatoes or GF pasta) stays Paleo. yay!)
1 tin (28oz) Tomato Puree
1 tin (6 oz) Tomato Paste
3 Celery Ribs
2 Small Onions (or 15 green onions) Continue reading
Last month as Mary and I were leaving work, I was lamenting on my lack of ideas for the pound of ground meat in my fridge. I knew I needed to use it up that day, but I was stuck on what to do with it. I had potatoes, and the typical veggies like carrots and celery… but I didn’t want to have a typical boring meal. One of her suggestions was Shepherd’s Pie, which I love, but I wanted something with a little kick to it.
And that’s when my mind started formulating what I think is a pretty tasty dish.
I remembered the jar of “Tamed Jalapeños” that I’d just devoured a week earlier. Of course! Those would make a lovely addition to my otherwise ho-hum dish! And cheese…. another one of my favorite ingredients. I stopped off at Sprouts for another jar of Jalapeños and by the time I was home, I knew just what to do. By the way, since last month, I’ve made it two more times. Kenny loves it. My son Chris, who is home from college loves it too =0) Plus, it’s gluten free – yay to that!
I call this Jalapeño Cottage Pie. Why not Shepherd? Easy… Shepherd’s Pie is made with a lamb mince, and Cottage Pie is made with beef mince, or ground beef.
*Note: These are not your ordinary hot jalapeño peppers! They’re tamed! Here’s what the folks at Jeff’s Naturals say about them: “Created exclusively for us by horticulturists at Texas A&M University by combining traditional jalapeño peppers with bell peppers to create a proprietary ‘harmless’ jalapeño.”
Jalapeño Cottage Pie
3 potatoes, peeled and sliced thin
3 celery ribs
1 small onion
1 Tablespoon olive oil Continue reading
Do you feel GREAT today? Or are you a little sleepy? Is your belly thankful for ALL of the wonderful foods you gave it over the holidays… or is it asking for a new pair of sweat pants? Have no fear. Most of us enjoyed the sweets, the rich sauces, and the extra helpings of the holiday season. And, most of us are ready to make a new, fresh start for the new year.
While the indulgences were fine, we are now in “Gym Season”. You know, the time when every gym across the nation is at full capacity, and there are more people in line buying exercise equipment at the sports store than there were on free coffee day at Starbucks.
My most important advice to you is this: don’t go on a “diet”. Instead, think about a lifestyle. When you go to the grocery store, head to the organic produce section first. Visit your local Farmers Market and see what is growing in your city. Read labels. (That last one will freak you out, I’m pretty sure). If you’ve been reading my blog more than a few weeks, you’ll know that I do promote foods that are organic, dairy that has no hormones, and meat that is free range and/or grass fed. You’ll also know that I do enjoy sugar (the real stuff), but I try to keep it all in a healthy moderation.
Drink water first thing in the morning. Last year, I started drinking a tall glass of water every morning, as soon as I woke up. You know what? I crave it now. This, coming from someone who had to have 2 cups of coffee before she realized she *was* up. Continue reading