February 22, 2017

It ain't pesto without nuts! (arugula salsa verde pasta with roasted veggies and chicken)

Update:  New niece has a  name!  Ruby Ann!  Now on to the food!

I bought a big bag of arugula for a specific recipe and it did not happen.  I made a small salad out of it, which is now a favorite of the gentleman caller, and never made the recipe.  So I decided to make a semi pesto out of it, but not a real pesto because I had no nuts. I found this recipe for arugula salsa verde and knew it was the ticket.  I made it and put it in a mason jar for another day.  Then the next day, I had a night that needed a quick dinner.  Arugula salsa and other pantry staples to the rescue!

I also made an impulse purchase of roasted marinated jarred veggies from Costco (can't find them online) and thought they would be nice with the arugula sauce.  I bought some egg noodles for my Friday night with Katie Kakes for Steven Gurley Gravy and I knew I was not going to use them all, and I always have chicken laying around.  A plan had come together!

Oh man this was good!  The rest of the arugula salsa is in my freezer and I can't wait to try it again! This had such bright flavor, felt light for a pasta dish, and pleased both a man and a lady on cheat day. Try the sauce, make it your own or do this pasta dish.  It is delish!  Full recipe to follow.

Arugula salsa verde pasta
Egg noodles are my jam on cheat day!

February 21, 2017

Don't ever forget the avocado! (Tomatillo Pineapple Burgers with zucchini fries) And a baby!

My sweet sister (Who had a baby yesterday!) gave me the Mix and Match mama cookbook a few months ago just as a little happy since she loves it and made so many delicious dishes from it.  I love Shay's blog and Instagram so much so I was so glad to get a copy. There is just something about a cookbook for me and one lazy Sunday I pulled mine out to meal plan.  

I have been loving my little riffs on the traditional burger, with my Moroccan Chicken Burgers   and Buffalo Chicken Burgers but I was craving a meat burger.  I stumbled across her recipe for Tomatillo Pineapple burgers in my cookbook and thought it sounded delicious. Pineapple, homemade tomatillo salsa, pepper jack and avocado?  On a burger?  You don't have to twist my arm!  Too bad I forgot the avocado!

I missed the avocado for sure, but these burgers were just delicious.  Spicy and sweet, juicy with some crunch, what a combination. And these zucchini fries?  Don't get me started.  They were really good.  I won't say they were a complete stand in for fries, but they are just yummy on their own.  Try them both or just one, you will not be disappointed!  Full recipes to follow the montage.

Looking good despite missing avocado!

February 17, 2017

Five for Friday-Fun Ahead!

Howdy friends!  It is finally Friday!  This was a long week and I am ready for Mardi Gras and All Star Game festivities.  They will together be making traffic and getting around a nightmare, but should be a blast! Linking up with Amanda for Friday Favorites


I brought my Dad to Pure Barre on Valentine's Day since my real valentine was out of town for work. Dad did good! As I told you before, he is a cross fit person so he was used to hard work, and kept his plank all 90 seconds!  We went and had sushi after with my mom at Shogun.

Me and my gym rat idol.
It was a fun night at the barre for all of us!


The gentleman caller and some friends and I went to see Chris Tucker and Dave Chappelle last night at the beautiful Saenger Theater. There was a strict no cell phone policy, but I needed mine to Instagram my food at Meauxbar and catch a Lyft, so I did their odd pouch option. They, and the comedians, were hilarious!  BTW, if you have not tried Lyft yet, do it!  I like it better that Uber.  If you haven't signed up yet, use my code here.  We both will get discounts! (I was not paid for this, I promise).


I had a hankering for Taco Bell for three whole weeks and I finally let myself have it Wednesday. Worth every calorie.  Now I have started with a hankering for Chinese food.  Since Mardi Gras is starting and I have no room for extra calories, maybe this recipe will help quell the craving!


I am making Jello shots for out Mardi Gras party Sunday.  I am also using them for my photography homework to practice selective focus.  Kind of like this.

Image by Jason Devaun from my class materials
What is your favorite kind of jello shot?  I am making pomegranate berry and strawberry banana as wild cards.  What other two should I make?


I probably won't be around Monday because my sister is having a baby!  Well scheduled to, it could happen before.  I will be busy meeting my last little niece or nephew and holding them tight.  I can't wait to find out which flavor he or she is!  Pics to come on the recap Tuesday!

I hope you have a fantastic weekend with people you love!  See you next week!

Happy Cooking,


February 15, 2017

Breakfast for dessert! (Chocolate dutch baby)

A few weeks ago, I had a slumber party with my niece, Kate.  If you know Kate, you will know she is a chocoholic.  She is a big fan of my mug brownies and only ever wants to eat that, which is a terrible thing when you are a food blogger that only makes dessert when she is hanging out with borrowed kids!  Dessert is the best, but not on my little to no carb lifestyle.

I was perusing my beloved Smitten Kitchen cookbook for some menu inspiration and came across the beautiful recipe for a Chocolate Dutch Baby.  It sounded decadent, rich and different.  I knew she would not mind that since she devoured Pots de Creme as three year old (Y'all have to click that link to my Instagram of it, it is too dang cute!)  And we could cook it together to make a memory and teach her how to bake.  It was a win win!  Except, it caused me to forget to get a picture of the finished product, in tact, which is what you need!

In all, this was so delicious for breakfast or dessert.  I was sure I messed it up when I put it in the oven because the original post did not have a picture of that.  Be aware, that is how it is supposed to look. It puffed up so big in the oven that Kate shrieked with delight!  Powdered sugar and shaved dark chocolate was a great addition, but it would be delightful with fruit and syrup for breakfast. Make this, it is so easy and good!  Full recipe to follow the montage.

It has the texture of a pancake and full of chocolate deliciousness.

February 14, 2017

A vegetarian comes to dinner again (Crock pot sweet potato and black bean Enchiladas)

Happy Valentines Day!  I have a gift for you.  Enchiladas.  Who doesn't love enchiladas?  They are a crowd pleaser for sure.  I love putting all kinds of different things in them.  From leftover short ribs, butternut squash to brunch, I have a thing for different fillings in these rolls of yummy.  I got a box from Hollygrove Market a few weeks ago and I was trying to decide what to make with it. My favorite law student,  Adrienn, had not been over for a meal since our fancy brunch at Voodoo Fest, so I decided to make a vegetarian treat and invite her over.  Sweet potatoes and tomatoes are not a usual combination but I was determined to make it happen.  I also just happened to have corn tortillas in the box and some Trader Joe's Mexican style items in the pantry and wait, didn't I make enchilada sauce too? 

I also have been super busy at work and it has been messing with my pure barre schedule ;)  I like to go after work now since I can't go before work or at noon.  Which means I need faster meals...I cannot imagine if I ever had to throw kids into this schedule!  I decided to prep the filling in the crockpot so I could exercise and have minimal prep when I got home.

These were totally yummy!  You really do not miss the meat on this one, so filling, so flavorful and so pretty as a picture!  The homemade enchilada sauce really makes a difference, but so does slow cooking the filling.  And tomatoes on top are so yummy!  Make these, you will not regret it!  Full recipe to follow the montage.  Linking up with Meal Plan Monday for $5 dinners!

Crockpot sweet potato and black bean enchiladas
I mean. C'mon. How can you not find these delicious!?

February 13, 2017

Recapping the Weekend

Howdy peeps!  Welcome to a new week!  Hope yours was magnificent!  It was a great time celebrating a birthday, Mardi Gras and Hogs for the Cause coming soon!  Joining the lovely Biana for Weekending.  Let's get to the highlights!

Friday night we had a family dinner at Ruth's Chris for my Dad's 65th birthday.  It was delicious of course!  My dad still does crossfit 4 days a week, 65 ain't slowing him down!

Parents, sissies and brothers in law having a lively time!
We sang with some yummy cheesecake and after dinner drinks.
Saturday was a fun day of furniture shopping and day drinking.  Hit up a few furniture stores and discovered this gem, that was unfortunately not for sale.
It's like Belgian pin ball!
Hit up second line after for some duck fries and brews, so yummy!
Saturday night was the raunchy and delightful Krewe Du Vieux.  It was full of Donald Trump memes, commentary on local leaders' behavior and the corporate sponsorship of Jazz Fest.  And most is too vulgar to post.  If you follow me on snapchat you got to see a lot!

Crass Menagerie!
Donald the Hut
Sunday was hogs for the Cause prep.  We made ribs to garner some fat for a cocktail for the judges with Mezcal and did some binge watching and porch drinking.

Makin' cocktails!
This is not rose.  This is a mezcal cocktail.  No fat yet.  It needed some work!
So yummy, recipe to come!
What did you get into?  Did you have beautiful weather like we did or still in the frozen tundra?  Let me know in the comments!  Back to the food tomorrow!

Happy Cooking!


February 9, 2017

Five for Friday

Happy Friday my dears!  This was a long week and I am ready for a great weekend!  I hope you have some fun planned!  Linking up with Amanda for Friday favorites.  Here we go!


I am loving my Photography Class, but man do I feel so dumb!  I had no idea so much went into taking great pictures.  Well I kind of did from reading all of Amanda's awesome tutorials, but I was told there would be no math!  It is so inspiring though and making me get out of my comfort zone and take pictures of things other than food.  Here were two I took at Crescent Park last weekend.

I needed to get rid of that bottom right corner!  We are not allowed to edit yet!

I loved the shadows in this one!


It is Carnival time for realz!  Tomorrow night is Krewe du Vieux!  It is a satirical and raunchy parade that loves to skewer politicians...I am sure they have plenty of material to work with this year!  I was going to add some photos from earlier years but decided not to do that as they were a bit profane. This is a family blog, despite the profanity in the name!


We had a very successful Happy Hour fundraiser for my Sweet Swine of Mine team for Hogs for the Cause yesterday!  It is so nice to raise money to fight pediatric cancer just by drinking at Happy Hour!  The awesome Rusty Nail generously donated 20% of all sales and let us cook Jambalaya and keep the proceeds. All on game night!  It was a great time had by all!


Oh buffalo chicken fries how I loved you!
Saveur knew what they were doing when they sent me an article entitled How to Buffalo everything! I cannot wait to add more recipes to my collection!


PSA everyone.  Mental health issues are real and common.  This article says if you never suffer from them, then you are actually the weird one!  I struggled with depression for a long time and have anxiety here and there and it is the worst. But it gets better!  It takes work for most of us to be a well adjusted adult sometimes and there is no shame in that game!  Talk to your friends, see a therapist, read self help books (but not too many), get the tough love from Mark Manson (warning, his website is a Friday afternoon rabbithole).  No one is 100% happy all the time, but if you are feeling down, talk it out, many of us have been there.

Well that is what I have for you.  What are you getting into this weekend?  Stay warm northern friends!

Happy Cooking!


I never liked learing the metric system (Oven baked risotto with bacon and cherry tomatoes)

I made risotto in the oven once and it came out really well. I was cleaning out my pantry and had some Arborio rice that was looking lonely.  I wanted to do oven risotto again, but in a different way. I went to the google and found this recipe.  It was in the metric system, so I plugged it all into google and of course nothing was exact.  I blame that for this taking way less time than I thought and for it being not like a traditional risotto.  But, still,  it was so good I ate it twice!

I decided to make a nice dinner for my sister and brother in law and go watch my niece play basketball one weeknight.  Since the kids would not eat risotto and pork chops, I brought them some red beans and rice from the freezer.  They tried the risotto though and liked it!

You can never go wrong in my book with bacon.  And rice is always nice.  Cooked cherry tomatoes are quite the treat as well.  But again, if you make this, don't expect a creamy risotto.  If you want easy oven risotto that is creamy, you must make the one I made with kale.  Or without kale! But, this dish is very yummy regardless for a yummy spin on plain rice.  Full recipe after the montage.

oven baked risotto with bacon
I love making fancy adult meals in her nice kitchen!

February 8, 2017

Always stick with the normal sausage (White Bean, Chard and Chicken Sausage Soup)

Cold weather always calls for soup.  Especially for lunch.  My office is like the frozen tundra even though we actually never have that kind of weather.  I had pinned this recipe for Tuscan White Bean Soup from Cooking Light awhile back.  I decided to make it when we had our cold snap and lo and behold, the three grocery stores I went to did not have escarole so I had to improvise with chard.

I also decided to add some chicken sausage to make it more hearty.  I bought the crunchy-granola Whole Foods chicken sausage and I was not a fan, but the soup was still great.  I wish I would have used the al fresco sun-dried tomato flavor.  This is really yummy, full of veggies and will warm you up and fill your heart and tummy with goodness on a cold day.  Full recipe to follow the montage!

Doesn't that just look like a great lunch. Even better with some crusty bread!

February 7, 2017

A fantastic Winter salad ( Brussels Sprout Salad with avocado, goat cheese and Warm Bacon Vinaigrette)

I am a pretty boring lunch lady.  I have salad or soup or leftovers most days or weeks.  I am always looking for something different and new to have as I usually make the same thing and eat it several times.  I was perusing Pinterest for some inspiration and came across this salad I pinned awhile back. I was trying to get some raw green leafy veggies in my life as the cancer fighting power is best in them when raw (of course I can't find the article now!) and I knew this would satisfy that need.

I am not a fan of blue cheese so I subbed garlic and herb goat cheese for a match of color and texture. I think it certainly did the job! I also subbed walnuts for pecans because the are a bit better nutritionally. The nuts were so damn good all my office mates ate them alone and I couldn't have them the whole week on my salad.  All of the ingredients combined to create a great contrast in texture, taste and made such a great combination of sweet and savory.  This would be a perfect entertaining salad  and you could easily add chicken to make it a hearty dinner.  

Make this, you will not be disappointed!  It is filling and delicious, just like I like my salads!  Full recipe to follow the montage.

pears, brussels and avocado
I tried to make this look pretty with an iphone and a government office building, not bad!