Nothing tastes better on a cold day than a bowl of steamy hot soup, like this Golden Red Lentil Soup! It keeps your insides warm and your taste buds happy. Pair the soup with crusty bread and all I can say is YUM!
Did you know that some health experts consider lentils the single most healthiest food? Some of the health benefits of the beautiful little lentil are; lowering cholesterol (and we could all use that), rich in dietary fiber, Iron for energy, and lowers blood sugar, just to name a few. It’s a super food, one that is easy to make and tastes delicious!
Lentils come in a variety of colors (Brown, Green, and Red). I haven’t noticed a difference in flavor since lentils are wonderful at taking on the flavors you add to them, but I like the red ones the best (their prettier).
The red lentils start this beautiful coral color and when cooked turn into a delicate golden color.
I remember when I was a kid my mom would make lentil soup and when she served it to me she would always say “mangiare, it’s good for you” little did I know how right she was. Now, I make lentils for my family. I still make my mom’s recipe, but I’ve also added a few more recipes that I will be sharing with you!
I’m so excited that the official start of Spring is in a matter of a couple of weeks! It’s such a special time of year, the flowers are blooming, we eat lighter, gone are the heavy meaty meals for dinner and happily replaced by salads and fresh Spring vegetables.
One of my favorite vegetables of all time is carrots. Today I’m bringing you one of the most delicious ways to eat them! These scrumptious little discs of delightfullness are glazed with maple syrup, brown sugar and butter then topped off with crispy little morsels of glorious bacon. YUMMY!
How pretty would these shiney bites of goodness look sitting on your Easter table? They are the quintensenntial Spring side dish. Plus, they don’t take up valuable oven space to make and they are so incredibly easy. Win Win Win!
I promise these carrots will be devoured like candy and all your guests will be asking for the recipe.
In a stand mixer with the flat beater attachment cream together butter and the sugar until light in color.
Add eggs, one at a time to the butter mixture, then add the cornstarch, salt, and almond extract until well combined.
Solwly add flour about ½ cup at a time on medium-low speed, just until the dough gathers on itself into a ball and removes itself from the side of the bowl cleanly.
Cut dough in half (and shape into a disk shape) and wrap each half separately in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Once dough is chilled roll out to a ¼ of an inch thick between 2 pieces of wax or parchment paper lightly sprinkled with powdered sugar.
Using the larger cookie cutter cut out all the cookies, using the smaller cookie cutter cut out the middle of ½ of the cookies.
Bake for 10 - 12 minutes or just until the edges turn golden. Cool completely.
Sprinkle the top of the cookies with powdered sugar and set aside.
Cover the bottom portion of the cookie with raspberry jam.
Top the jam covered cookie with the powdered sugar open center cookie.
The dough is very tender and buttery, next time I will choose a smaller cookie cutter than the heart for the top layer of the cookie. I did have a problem with the dough breaking at the thinnest parts. This could have easily been avoided if I used a smaller cookie cutter.
Do you have favorite menu items at restaurants and order them time and time again? Did you know you can make most of these items at home and they will taste just as delicious, if not actually better?
That is exactly how I felt about Lemonade’s Isreali Couscous. Everytime I ate there I always ordered a serving of this scrumptious dish, I couldn’t help myself.
I knew it couldn’t be that difficult to make and luckily it’s not!
After several attempts of trial and error trying to figure out the combination of ingredients for the vinaigrette I discovered they have a cookbook where they have the exact recipe they use. Comparing mine and theirs, I have to say I like mine better.
I’m always amazed at the amount of shrinkage that happens when roasting most vegetables.
One Pot Cheesy Rice Casserole is the perfect side dish or no-meat meal that comes together in less than 30 minutes.
The other day I made this One Pot Cheesy Rice Casserole which was delicious! It was so delicious that we didn’t even have any left over’s (that almost never happens).
I came up with the recipe when I was scouring the pantry trying to figure out what to make for our no meat Wednesday dinner. I had rice, canned tomatoes, and frozen corn, but since I hadn’t been to the store in a few days I had no garlic or onions. Just then I realized I had purchased several Pop & Cook packages a while ago for exactly this reason. They are perfect to have on hand in my freezer for situations just like this.
Plus, they are great when you’re in a hurry to get dinner on the table and you don’t want the hassle of washing, chopping, measuring, and cleaning up.
You don’t know what Pop & Cook is? You are totally missing out on a huge secret!
Pop & Cook are fresh frozen portion controlled garlic, onions, and herbs. At the pinnacle of ripeness the garlic, onions, and herbs are picked and flash frozen within 90 minutes of harvest. There is a freezer shelf life of 2 years! And because the garlic, onions, and herbs are pre-portioned there is nothing to do but to pop them out of the trays into your delicious cooking meal!
Pop & Cook can be found in the frozen food aisle at your local Walmart.
I like to call Pop & Cook my secret sous chef or the best kitchen hack…ever!
Pop & Cook really made this one pot rice dish delicious!
It’s officially the holiday season! I love everything about the holidays; decorating the house, baking with my girls, shopping for gifts, going to see tree lightings, and especially driving around looking at homes decorated with beautiful Christmas lights! These are just some of my favorite traditions.
There is one tradition that is my absolute favorite. During the craziness of all the hustle and bustle Handsome and I take a night just for us. No kids. No TV. Just the two of us, candlelight, good food, and great conversation. We have had this tradition since our first year of marriage. Handsome usually BBQ’s (the benefits of living in Southern California) and I’m in charge of making one of our favorite desserts, individual pudding and brownie trifles.
I have to admit we’re kind of JELL-O pudding fanatics. When we combine pudding with brownies and raspberries it becomes a fantastic dessert and one that we have often! It is also the perfect dessert to make when company is over for the holidays, I like to set out several flavors of pudding and different add-ins and let each guest make their own pudding trifle. It’s fun to see what combination everyone comes up with.
I use mason jars for the individual serving, but you can use any clear glass. The layers are so pretty it definitely is a show stopper dessert!
13 x 9 pan of brownies (prepare your favorite recipe or a box mix)
1½ cups raspberries
½ cup mini chocolate chips
Prepare JELL-O pudding according to package directions. I decided to use Cook & Serve JELL-O for mine, but you can use Instant JELL-O pudding for this, too! If using Cook & Serve let it cool in a bowl with plastic wrap over the top of the pudding so it does not form a skin. When completely cool spoon pudding into a zip top bag. Place in fridge.
Once brownies are cool cut into ½ inch square pieces.
*To Assemble Trifle
In a mason type jar
Place a layer of bownies at the bottom of the jar.
Then add a layer of raspberries.
Top raspberries with a layer of JELL-O vanilla pudding sprinkled with mini chocolate chips.
Repeat layers and top off with pudding, raspberries, and chocolate chips.
Do you remember when I made these Homemade Cheese Crackers with @RealCaliforniaCheese? If you do then you remember me talking about a campaign that the wonderful people at Real California Cheese have going on to help the victims of hurricanes Harvey & Irma. Since I last spoke about this campaign wildfires raged through parts of California, so this campaign will also help those who were affected.
Here is all you need to do to help, take a photo of the Real California Milk seal like this one:
Or this one
between now and December 31, 2017. Share the photo to your social media and add the hashtag #SealsForGood and tag Real California Milk (On Instagram @RealCalifMilk or on Facebook @RealCaliforniaMilk) and $5.00 will be donated to the Great American Milk Drive (up to $20K in Fl/Tx & $10K in CA). No purchase on your part is necessary and you will still be helping so many families in need.
Heat a skillet over medium heat, add bacon pieces and cook until crispy. remove from pan and place on to a paper towel, set aside. Remove excess grease from the pan.
In a bowl mix together eggs, milk, salt, and pepper.
Place skillet once again over medium heat. Add butter to skillet and pour the egg mixture. Stir the egg mixture with a rubber spatula, cooking eggs slowly. Once eggs look 95% done remove from the heat. They will continue to cook in the pan.
**To Assemble Quesadilla
Place a tortilla on to a dry heated skillet.
Add a layer of cheese, then egg, then bacon, then cilantro, top off with another layer of cheese and egg then top with a second tortilla.
Flip tortilla making sure the filling stays inside the tortillas and the cheese has melted to your liking.
Slice the tortilla into 4 wedges.
Serve with sour cream and salsa.
Don’t forget to Spot The Seal and help those in need during this holiday season.
Follow me on Instagram and Twitter to see how many times I spot the seal between now and December 31, 2017.
No-Knead Cranberry Cheese Skillet Bread is the one you have been looking for. It’s crusty on the outside and delicious and tender on the inside! A super easy homemade dough that comes together in just minutes.
This homemade bread is the perfect addition to any meal.
When I saw this Great Midwest® Cranberry Cheddar at the grocery store I knew it would be a delicious cheese to add to my skillet bread. This decadent cheese is the perfect combination of tart cranberries and delicious Wisconsin Cheddar.
While at the grocery store I also picked up a Mango Fire Cheddar that I will be making the yummiest grilled cheeses with! Keep an eye out for that recipe coming soon!
Sorry, I digressed.
Back to the bread I’ve made 3 times in the last 7 days.
The dough comes together so very easily in one bowl (and like the name says with no kneading), then you let it rise in that same bowl. Then gently move it to your cast iron skillet and let it rise one more time.
In the oven it goes to become golden and crusty. Right before the bread comes out of the oven top it with some more Cranberry Cheddar cheese until it becomes gooey.
¾ tablespoon himalayan salt (kosher salt can be substituted)
4 cups flour
½ cup dried cranberries + safe a few to add to the top of the bread.
¾ cup Great Midwest Cranberry Cheddar Cheese + more to sprinkle on top of bread, grated
In a large mixing bowl combine yeast and warm water.
Add 1 cup of flour and salt, stir to combine with a wooden spoon.
Stir in dried cranberries and shredded cheese.
Add remaining flour just a cup at a time until it is all incorporated.
Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place.
Lightly oil the bottom of a 10" or 12" oven proof skillet. I prefer to use a cast-iron skillet.
Coat your hands with flour and sprinkle the top of the dough with flour. Gently transfer dough to the oiled skillet.
Cover with a kitchen towel and let sit in a warm place for 45 minutes.
Drizzle the top with olive oil and add extra cranberries to the top.
Score the top of the dough with a knife.
Bake for 30 minutes until the top of the loaf is golden brown.
Add remaining grated cheese to the top of the loaf and place back into the oven until cheese has melted.
Place loaf onto a cooling rack immediately and let the loaf cool completely prior to serving.
This is the perfect bread to add to your holiday table as well as your weeknight dinner! How pretty would this skillet bread look on your Thanksgiving table?
Don’t you think it’s about time to add a new holiday tradition by incorporating Great Midwest® Cheeses into your recipes?
Click here to find out more about the amazing cheeses Great Midwest® Products makes.
Some of their other cheeses are Apple Cinnamon Cheddar, Blueberry Cobbler Cheddar, Chipotle Cheddar to name just a few. Can you just imagine how beautiful a charcuterie board would look with these cheeses?
I was so excited to hear that Grocery Outlet had opened a store close by. Friends have told me about their great prices on organic produce and brand-name groceries. So you could only imagine that I was over the moon excited about their 20% off wine sale which runs from today, November 1st through the 7th.
Now that it is officially the holiday season I know the Grocery Outlet wine sale is the perfect time to stock up on all the wine I will need for the next 2 months of holiday festivities (parties, gift giving, and recipes).
I discovered the most amazing wines at Grocery Outlet. Here are just 3 of the selections I brought home with me. Handcraft Dark Red, Diama Extra Dry Prosecco, and John Osborn Napa Chardonnay. While I was talking to a sales associate I learned that the wine buyers for Grocery Outlet are industry experts and live in Napa Valley. So they know their wines!
After picking out my wines I also picked up a couple of packages of beautiful plump strawberries, a round of brie cheese, and a box of crackers. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with them, but the strawberries looked way to delicious not grab a couple of packages. And the brie? How could I not when the price was so great?
On my way home I remembered my parents having a party when I was young. My dad realized that he didn’t have enough red wine to go around so he added puréed fruit to the wine to stretch it a bit. It was a huge hit with their guests and everyone wanted the recipe.
You can blend it all the way smooth, but I like the bits of strawberries.
The perfect combination, strawberries and red wine with brie, chutney, and crackers.
I promise I will get to the Homemade Rosemary Cheese Crackers in just a minute. But first, I wanted to write a little about helping people in need.
I personally know first hand what it feels like to lose everything from a natural disaster. It’s normal for someone who is not effected personally to watch the devastation on the news and feel empathy and sadness, then turn off the tv and go on about living their life. We all do it, but I’m asking you to please help out the hurricane victims in Texas and Florida by doing this one simple task. Anytime you see a dairy product with the Real California Milk Seal, take a close-up picture of the seal, share it across all your social media channels with the hashtag #SealsForGood and tag @RealCalifMilk.
Then in turn they will donate $5.00 per photo (up to 20k) to The Great American Milk Drive to help those affected by the devastating hurricanes until 12/31/17. No purchase necessary.
It would mean the world to me if you would please do it! Thank you!
Now on to these delicious cheese crackers made with Real California Cheese…
You are never going to believe how easy these crackers are to make until you make them yourself! I promise you’re going to have one of those hit myself in the forehead moments. The beauty of this recipe is you can change things up however you’d like; you can omit the rosemary, and/or you can use any type of cheddar like cheese, I think pepper jack would be delicious!
Make the simple dough and refrigerate for one hour. Then roll out the dough between 1/16 and 1/8 of an inch and bake, the thinner you get the dough the crisper the cheese cracker will be. That’s it…Really!