Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

Classic Monte Cristo

You’ve not had an amazing grilled cheese sandwich until you’ve made this Monte Cristo!  Layers of salty ham, luscious gruyere cheese, tangy dijon mustard and sweet raspberry preserves dipped in this French toast mixture and then grilled to perfection!

I have a confession…

*hangs her head*

I’ve been holding out on you.  <deep sigh>  This recipe I made about a year ago *ducks to miss the shoe that someone just threw at me*. I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry. For the past year I kept saying to myself “You have to post that sandwich. You need to get your butt in gear and post this. People will flip over it!” But I didn’t listen. Honestly there is no real reason why held out on sharing this.  Monte Cristo sandwiches aren’t a new thing but for some reason I posted everything but this. Like we’re talking recipes I literally just created, took the photos the same day and posted the recipe the next day.

I suck, I know.. but you still love me… right???

And I guess while I’m treating this like church, I might as well confess one more thing.  Mr. Fantabulous does not like this but he does not hate it either.  What that means is he refused to try it; not even a single bite. He said and I’m quoting here “That is NOT French Toast, that is NOT Grilled Cheese.  That is a Frankenstein concoction that I will not be a part of.”  Frankenstein?  I didn’t exactly create a monster here dude.  LOL big baby!
I’m telling you, make this once and you’ll be making this a thousand more times because you’ll fall in love with it!

Bacon Chicken Ranch Meatballs

We’re talking this is a meatball game changer folks!  This homemade blend of ground chicken and bacon, ranch and spices make up one SERIOUSLY DELICIOUS meatball! You cannot eat just one of these! And if you tried well, that’s just cruel!

Growing up Mom only ever made meatballs when she made spaghetti. They never were made outside of that.  Maybe if she had leftovers she made meatball subs but she never set out to intentionally have meatballs be the main dish. And never, ever were they considered an appetizer.  They were kind of like the “Plus 1” on a wedding invite.  They weren’t really invited but it was assumed they’d be there. And if I’m being honest here, Mom’s meatballs weren’t exactly on the top of my favorite foods list for 2 reasons:

  1. They had GINORMOUS chunks of onions in them. No no no no NO, never never never in my world, EVER!
  2. She used the exact same recipe for her meatballs as she did for her meatloaf… and I hated her meatloaf

Now I didn’t have my first “OMG that’s what a meatball is supposed to taste like?!?!” until I was in my mid-twenties and I was on a date pre-Mr. Fantabulous.  This guy (how terrible am I that I can’t even remember his name but I can remember the food?!) took me to this little Italian restaurant in the middle of no where for dinner. The place was old school – marinara stained red and white checkered tablecloths, old wine bottles with wax dripping down the sides and a waiter that spoke very broken English.
Take your meatballs beyond the plate of pasta!

Pressure Cooker Mexican Stuffed Peppers

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #HuntsHasHeart #CollectiveBias

No longer do you have to slave over a hot oven for hours to get seriously delicious stuffed peppers!  All you need is a pressure cooker and 10 minutes!  These Pressure Cooker Mexican Stuffed Peppers are easy, heart healthy and delicious!

Growing up stuffed peppers were a staple in my house.  Since we had a huge garden Mom would grow rows upon rows of peppers – green ones, never the good kind like red, orange or yellow. (I hate green ones). It’s a personal thing – to me they taste more bitter or it could simply just be my inner 7-year old acting up because I hated them then so I must hate them now.  Anyway, we’d pick our peppers (and now I’m literally citing ‘peter piper picked a peck of pickled peppers’ over and over in my head.. nice – and you’re welcome for it being stuck in your head now too). Yeah.. as I was saying, we’d pick the peppers and Mom would set at the kitchen table with 3-4 large roasters set up ready to do their magic.  She would stuff pepper after pepper after pepper.  There was one point she had so many we couldn’t give them away! Now where Mom’s Stuffed Peppers and mine differ is I love adding tomatoes into mine. They add such a rich flavor to filling plus seriously, all those healthy benefits are a huge bonus for me!  Tomatoes fit into my lifestyle perfectly – I want deliciousness and healthy!

Tomatoes are heart healthy. Tomatoes are low in calories, high in fiber, and have many nutrients that are good for your overall health, including: lycopene, folate, potassium and vitamins A, B, C, and E. So what’s that all mean? Lycopene is a natural occurring chemical that gives the tomatoes their red color. It’s a powerful antioxidant that, studies have shown, can help prevent cells from being damage. Additionally it’s been shown that it can help lower cholesterol.

Grab your pressure cookers and let’s get cooking!

Cucumber Cups with Creamy Chicken Whip

Easy, Healthy, Lo-Carb and Seriously Delicious are what these Cucumber Cups with Creamy Chicken Whip are all about! Cream cheese, chicken and spices whipped to a light mousse pipped into a cucumber cup.  Um HELLO!  YOU CAN EAT THE BOWL! 

*WARNING  – this post is deep and emotional* Wow, the end of January already.  I’ll be glad when this month is over because this month has sucked for me royally. The only thing that has been keeping me going is all of the healthy and delicious foods I’ve been whipping up.  With my sister’s recent passing I did something for the first time in my life – I went to food for comfort.  Food for comfort, not comfort food.  Big difference.  To me comfort foods make you feel all snuggly and hugged from the inside. They remind you of a memory, something that made you feel safe, loved, secure.

Yeah, no, food was nothing like that. I was (am still) so devastated that I literally was empty; numb. It’s like you are so sad that you can’t even cry if that makes sense. Mr. Fantabulous did everything perfect (and still does) to help me through the initial days after she passed to even now however I still felt … empty. I would just wander around the house, tissues in hand not really looking or focusing on one thing.  Even though not once did he ask for anything I would go out to the kitchen, cook/bake but it was like *I* was just going through the motions.  I had no appetite yet somehow all I did was eat.. non-stop.  So desperate to “feel” something other than sadness and pain.

…and that’s where food came into play. Food tastes good. It provides a type of satisfaction that is almost euphoric at times; it made me feel something other than pain. If it wasn’t nailed down or frozen solid I ate it. I did this for honestly about a day and that night I was sick as a dog. My body isn’t used to that.  That night I didn’t sleep much (from being so sad and from being so sick  – god my poor stomach) and started to think about what I had done.

So the next morning as I was making him his breakfast I started to reach for the jar of peanut butter and wheat bread (even though I literally ate a yogurt and protein shake like 10 minutes prior). I wasn’t hungry but it was like something my head triggered a “food = no more sadness” thought however this time I caught myself.  So I figured if I was going to eat (because honestly I cared but not really) I’d at least make healthy stuff that wouldn’t make me gain 50 pounds overnight or make me sick as a dog. Plus you know me, I firmly believe that eating healthy does not mean you have to sacrifice flavor.
Eating healthy doesn’t mean you sacrifice flavor

Sunday Frittata – the most delicious way to use up leftovers!

Use up those leftovers in the most delicious way by transforming them into a Seriously Delicious frittata!  Customize it to your liking with just a few basic ingredients straight from the fridge! Make one and have breakfast for the week or brunch for the family!

So for as long as I can remember Sunday mornings meant sleeping in, lounging around a little bit longer in your pajamas, blueberry buttermilk pancakes for Mr. Fantabulous and a frittata for me. I love eggs in pretty much any fashion where dippy eggs are my most favorite however my 2nd favorite way is in a frittata.  Frittatas mean it’s a meal for me that last days. It’s great cold or straight out of the oven. You can slice it, cube it or even put it on toast to make an awesome breakfast sandwich (fyi… a slice of a frittata on an English Muffin with cheese and  dash of hot sauce.. EPIC!!!)

What I will do is make a big one on a Sunday morning then for the rest of the week I take a slice in with me to work.  This way I’m eating healthy and getting more protein. And it more importantly means I don’t have to grab something in the cafeteria – lord knows this child does NOT do drive-thru… ever! But yeah, frittatas are kinda like the most delicious way to clean out your fridge and re-purpose those leftovers.

So what’s a frittata you ask? So Frittata loosely translates from Italian to ‘fried’. Originally they started out in a hot skillet and were cooked low and slow – much slower than an omelet. It would contain at least one additional item and is never ever folded over like an omelet.  So then what’s the difference between that and an omelet?  Both are started out in a pan though frittatas are most often made in a well seasoned cast iron pan or an oven-safe pan. Omelets are cooked on top of the stove with the ingredients oven laid on top of the egg mixture then gently folded in half or rolled prior to serving.
Let’s use up those leftovers in the most delicious of ways!

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