Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

Spicy Banana Pepper Sauce

When you see fresh banana peppers at the market, pick up a bunch to make this spicy, zesty, amazing tomato pepper sauce! It packs some heat but with such a great depth of flavor that will leave you wanting more!

So this time of the year in Pittsburgh, fresh banana peppers are in abundance. And for the longest time I only ever bought them to stuff with hot sausage. To eat them on a sandwich is just not something I do because raw I find them too hot. It’s funny as I love spicy foods but for some reason raw peppers like that kill me and I’m reaching for peanut butter bread to help cool my mouth off. Wait, you do know that works, right? That when you’re eating something and it’s way too spicy for you – like we’re talking your ears are on fire hot, that you don’t reach for soda or water but rather you reach for a protein and a carb. Remember?  I shared all of that stuff with you in this post. Anyway I was given a huge bag of fresh peppers from a coworker. Like where it was way too many to stuff.

But I did what I always did and stuffed them with the typical hot sausage mixture. Once it was done I had a bit more sauce in the pan than normal. And without thinking, I dipped my finger in the sauce and it was like a full-blown flavor bomb went off in my mouth! It was hot but not like I needed a drink to handle it. It wasn’t your typical marinara sauce but it was more. It kind of reminded me of an arrabbiata sauce but not quite. See an arrabbiata sauce is a combination of tomatoes, garlic, oil, some spices and lots of red pepper flakes. It was zesty and packed a zing like that but the depth of flavor was… more.

Spicy Banana Pepper Sauce

So how to describe it easily? That’s honestly I’d have to say the hardest part when it comes to running a food blog. Sure mouth-watering photographs are probably the first, and most important, thing but close after that is how you describe it. If you’ve ever watched The Next Food Network Star one of the biggest dings they get from the judges is that they don’t describe their dish. Anyone can say “OMG this is so delicious!  You must try it”. And yes I did think about that but then I was like “Lor, that’s not right. Describe the food to someone if there were no pictures of it.”

Spice up your pasta, zoodles or rice dish with this Zesty Banana Pepper Sauce!

Sheet Pan Applewood Bacon Top Pork Tenderloin with Herbed Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts

Get your deliciousness on with this one pan meal! Sheet Pan Applewood Bacon Top Pork Tenderloin, Herbed Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts is the perfect meal when you want simple, delicious and it all done on one pan!

Question, who, after a long and busy day, wants to stand over a stove cooking dinner tonight while using multiple pots and pans and then, once you’re done eating, washing all of those dirty dishes?  Anyone? Yeah, I thought not.. no one wants to do that. Well okay, I kind of like washing dishes by hand as it’s therapeutic and that’s the one time I’m in the kitchen and not bothered. Most hate washing dishes.

If you’re in that group that hates it then you are going to love this recipe! You have one dirty pan to wash and that’s questionable if you use heavy duty foil!. In that case, you really have no pans to wash. AND if you wanted you wouldn’t even have to use plates; just eat off of the pan. AND you could skip using forks and just eat it caveman-style. But unless you go all barbaric and rip the pork tenderloin with your hands, you’ll need one sharp knife to cut the pork. So literally one knife (and about 42 napkins) and you’re ready to eat!

Sheet Pan Applewood Bacon Top Pork Tenderloin, Herbed Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts

When I think about sheet pan cooking I think of my Mom. She was the queen of sheet pan cooking. If it could be made on a sheet pan she was doing it. It was easy, little to no clean-up and she could make full meals. Now, to be honest, Mom would have multiple sheet pans in the oven at once as one was typically all meat and the other pan were veggies. And yes, she still would put stuff on the stovetop to which every meal was like a mini Thanksgiving but she cooked for a small army.

Do you have a favorite sheet pan recipe?

Sweet Honey Butter Buttermilk Cornbread

Find out my secret to getting super tender, mildly sweet and buttery cornbread!  You’re going to fall in love with this family recipe! Get your pans ready and let’s start baking!

Cornbread is a staple in my house in the winter. It’s the perfect accompaniment to hearty chili, pulled pork and fried chicken. It makes for an amazing stuffing and fried up pieces of deliciousness in the morning. Just dip each nugget in an egg bath like you would for French toast and when done, drizzle with maple syrup! Mmm mmm mmm!  Delish! Now before I go any further, this apparently is a northern version of cornbread. I’m told that “no self-respecting southerner sweetens their cornbread”. Okay.. more for me!  I’ve made it without the sweetness and it just tastes bland to me.

Sure some southern versions will add cheese and or jalapenos for a savory version. But I have to ask if you a savory version is okay, why isn’t a sweetened version? *blink blink blink* Shrugs. Anyway, when my grandma (and Mom) made cornbread they sweetened it so that’s what I did. I’ve taken their recipes and changed it slightly as even theirs was coarse, not really soft and tender. It was delicious but kind of mealy from the cornmeal. That’s a texture I don’t care for. It kind of reminds me of sand. Blech.

Sweet Honey Butter Buttermilk Cornbread

I want cornbread that is soft, tender and has that buttery goodness that just melts in your mouth. And that’s exactly what you get with this recipe. As long as I can remember cornbread in my house was made from scratch. Mom and Grandma never bought the 49cent boxed stuff (though truth be told, is pretty tasty in a pinch when you doctor it up!). This, like many of my family’s recipes, weren’t written down which means it took me many, MANY, test batches (and failures) to finally perfect it.

Are you a sweet or savory cornbread fan?

Crispy Skinny Seasoned Potatoes Dippers

When you’re craving potato chips but all you have is a bag of potatoes these Crispy Skinny Seasoned Potatoes Dippers will surely satisfy!  Crispy, salty, seasoned potato slices with a tender center that are truly addictive!

Crispy Skinny Seasoned Potatoes Dippers

So what’s your favorite vegetable? Like if you had to choose one and only one, what would it be?  I mean we’re talking stranded on an island and the ONLY vegetable you were allowed to bring with you type of favorite veggie. For me it’s the potato. It’s so versatile that you can make pretty much anything out of it. From the standard side dishes to even desserts. There’s pasta (hello potato gnocchi!) and sweet potato bread.

Growing up I ate 3 vegetables…and ONLY 3: corn, canned peas and potatoes. It’s funny to think about just how ridiculously picky of an eater I was a child yet I was so chubby. But now my love of veggies is limitless for the most part however when all else fails and I can’t think of what I want to eat, I’ll reach for a potato and go from there.
How do you like your potatoes?

Chunky Roasted Strawberry Sauce

Roasting brown sugared kissed strawberries draws out their natural sweetness, leaving you with the softest most delicious strawberry sauce you’ll ever have. 

Just 2 simple ingredients and 20 minutes are all you need to make one of the best sauces ever. What I love about roasting fruits is that the high heat pulls out the natural juices and sweetness. To help make that syrupy sauce a sprinkling of brown sugar makes it more of a sauce that will become thick upon cooling.

Chunky Roasted Strawberry Sauce

With fresh strawberries being in season here in Pittsburgh people flock to the stores to grab up pounds of them. They are fresh and super cheap. What I tend to do is buy close to 15 pounds of strawberries and flash freeze them for winter desserts. Oh sure I can buy “fresh” but I’m not sure how “fresh” they really are and I don’t want to have to sell a kidney to pay for them. So instead I’ll freeze a bunch and I’ll make tons of sauce like this (which freezes beautifully!).

Grab your ice cream or yogurt and get to spoonin!

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