Tag Archives: cooking

All Time Favorite Enchilada Recipe

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All Time Favorite Enchilada Recipe

Hiii! It is no secret that your girl loves to eat and I enjoy a variety of different ethnic cuisine as long as it’s vegetarian. But, perhaps, my most favorite is Mexican food. The spice, the flavor, and heat – I just love it and I wouldn’t complain if that was the only type of food I could ever eat for the rest of my life. Recently, I had one of my favorite Mexican dishes that is quite simple but insanely delicious and I had to share it with all of my fellow foodies!

This recipe for Avocado & Cashew Enchiladas is from The New Moosewood Cookbook. Enjoy!

Avocado & Cashew Enchiladas

  • 2 medium sized avocados
  • Juice from one lemon
  • 4 finely minced scallions
  • 1/2 cup finely minced parsley
  • 1 cup finely chopped cashews
  • 1/2 cup sour cream or firm yogurt
  • 1 medium clove of garlic, crushed
  1. Mash the avocados until they are smooth and add the lemon juice immediately.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.
  3. Fill your tortillas and place on a pan sprayed with Pam.
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees.
  5. Top with your favorite salsa or enchilada sauce and dig in!

This recipe takes a whole ten minutes to make and the avocados and cashews provide a satisfying and relatively healthy filling. I feel so full after this enchilada meal and always can’t wait to eat it again the following day. 😀

What is your favorite type of food to eat? What are some of your favorite recipes? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

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Happy Thanksgiving!

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Hello everyone and a Happy Thanksgiving to all of you! Thanksgiving is one of my most loved holidays, because it revolves around food and family, which are my two favorite things in the world. There is nothing like having friends and family over to share in a beautiful meal and just enjoy each other’s company, and I feel like that is what this day is all about.

Today, I am looking forward to cooking up some deliciousness in the kitchen with my mom and sister. I love to cook, and it is so fun and rewarding to be able to make a meal that everyone looks forward to year round (At least, I do!). I hope that however you spend your day today brings you a lot of joy, good food, and wonderful company.

Happy Thanksgiving!

What is your favorite Thanksgiving dish? How are you going to spend your day? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Five Tips To Follow For Faster Cooking

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Five Tips To Follow For Faster Cooking

Cooking at home is always better than ordering take out or getting a pizza delivered for the third time this week. You can always find more taste and more nutrition when you cook the food at home. However, there are occasions when you need to make cooking easier so that you spend less time in the kitchen when you’re hosting a party or family dinner. Apart from using the best vegetables and other ingredients, you must use the best cooking methods that are not only safe for the food but also make your cooking effortless. You can use some great tips and blend them together with your knowledge and experience to make cooking easier and less time consuming. Remember, most of these are devised by the great chefs and are tried and tested by the homemakers. Here they go:

Plan your recipe:

One might say that this is the most important step, because the recipe that you choose is what will be on your dinner plate. Make sure you pick something that you feel capable of being able to make well – especially if guests are coming over.

Get your ingredients read:

Very often, people feel the pressure when they do not plan their recipes. If you plan what to cook and how to cook, then it becomes easier for you to get the ingredients ready and within your reach. This preparation keeps you ahead of your time as you start cooking right at the moment when you get the stove ready.

Set up appliances and ignite the stove:

After getting the ingredients out, you should get the appliances ready and ignite the stove. Make sure you have the best appliances right in front of you and you know how to use them so an unexpected fire doesn’t ruin your meal!

Use a pressure cooker and smoker:

It goes without saying that the use of pressure cookers can ease the task of cooking. Since boiling the ingredients is an important step of cooking, you can use these appliances to shorten your cooking time because they boil the food in a reduced manner. You should make sure to boil your veggies before you cook them. This preserves the nutrients and reduces the time for cooking, as well. Also, if you have a smoker, you can cook a number of recipes quickly. To learn more about smokers, visit review websites like Hvacify.Com.

Go for multitasking:

This is an efficient way to reduce the time for cooking. While you boil the ingredients in a cooker, you should do some other task on the oven so that you can finish another item off of your check list till your vegetables are ready. In a similar manner, you can prepare the spices for a particular dish till something else is being done on the stove.

Though these are some of the top tips that you can follow to make cooking faster, you can apply some more from your own experience. Also, the internet is loaded with a lot more innovative tips that you can always learn and apply to make cooking an enjoyable necessity.

Monday Update: Fall Fun Edition

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Monday Update: Fall Fun Edition

Hello everyone and happy Monday! I hope that all of you had a wonderful and relaxing weekend. The fall season is officially among us and I, for one, could not be happier. Actually, that’s a lie, I could be happier BECAUSE IT’S BEEN NINETY DEGREES IN OHIO FOR THE PAST WEEK!!!! All of you know by now that I live for the fall and this heat wave is simply unacceptable. So now instead of participating in all of my favorite fall activities listed below, I will simply have to daydream about it until it cools down to autumnal temperatures. Let’s discuss some of my fave fall outings:

  1. Apple Picking: There are TONS of gorgeous orchards in Ohio filled with trees that are spilling over with crisp, fresh apples. I love going to orchards with my family, friends, or on a date and then making something delicious afterwards with the bounty like an apple pie or crisp. So fun and so yum.
  2. Haunted Houses: Ohio also has quite a few haunted houses that I’m always keen on visiting. Being a horror junkie, going to a haunted house during a chilly, pitch black fall night is one of my favorite things to do. I went to the Factory Of Terror last year and would love to go there again and definitely would like to make it to the 7 Floors Of Hell, too!
  3. Fall Cooking: Lil Red loves to cook all of the vegetarian delights, but I especially love making (and eating) fall comfort food. Soups, stews, breads, and huge dishes of mac n’ cheese are just a few of my go to meals. And the fall sweets aren’t so bad, either! Cinnamon rolls, pies, crisps, and cobblers?! Yes, please. Fall food is so hearty, rich, and flavorful, and it makes sitting down for every meal such a joy.
  4. Fall Shopping: This list of fall favorites wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t talk shopping at least a little bit! Can you say boots and peacoats?! I LOVE IT!! I’m pretty well flush for fall clothing, considering it makes up about 75% of my wardrobe but that never seems to stop me from buying all the booties and oversized sweaters. It’s a curse!
  5. Perfect Weather: Although the heat in Ohio is destroying my favored fall weather, I live for the mid 50s and 60s temps that fall usually brings. I love being that slightest bit chilly. The bite that the fall air blows around, which reddens the cheeks and leaves your hands tucked in your pockets is always what I prefer to scorching summers. One of my favorite things to do during a brisk fall day is throwing on a thick sweater and combat boots and exploring one of the many beautiful Metro Parks in Ohio.

Here’s to hoping that the weather in my neck of the woods makes a drastic change so that I can start enjoying some of my fall favorites soon!

So there you have it, this week’s Monday Update: Fall Fun Edition! What are some of your favorite fall activities? What is your favorite season? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Creative Summer Cooking Ideas That Are Simple And Scrumptious

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Creative Summer Cooking Ideas That Are Simple And Scrumptious

As soon as the weather warms up and the days get brighter, we all want to change our eating habits. There’s just something about an increase in heat that makes you want to go for fresher, lighter, and less indulgent food choices. But, at the same time, you still want to be able to enjoy a delicious dinner that’s full of flavor. To find that perfect balance, you’re going to want to get your creative summer cook on.

So where should you start? When you’re busy, you definitely want your summer cooking ideas to be super easy to make. But at the same time, they have to taste good and look like a small slice of summer, too. To give you the ultimate inspiration for your light evening meals and tasty long lunches, here are a few ideas to get your taste buds tingling:

One-Tray Bakes: When you want something super easy, balanced, but incredibly tasty, always turn to a one-tray bake. During the summer months, you want to be outside with your family and not slaving over a hot oven, so the tray bake is perfect for that reason. By throwing all of your ingredients into one tray and baking it all at once, your meal is done. More often than not, you’ll have veggies in the mix, but you can also serve a salad on the side if you’re feeling saucy!

Summer Pasta: For something super filling but also light, you’re going to want to pull together the perfect summer pasta. Pasta is a great ingredient to play around with. Not only can you choose from a range of different styles, but you can mix up your sauces and ingredients to create completely different dishes. For summer, try using fresh shrimp and crunchy veggies to create healthy but delicious meals.

Low Carb Favorites: Sometimes you want a really light meal that is easy to snack on and won’t make you feel bloated in the heat (Which is the literal worst.). Summer is the perfect time to go for low-carb versions of your favorite dishes. Hello, beach body. Craving pizza? Build your ingredients on a tortilla base, instead. If you want fajitas, why not go for lettuce wraps? And if you want tacos (who doesn’t?), fill them with fresh fish and shredded salad for a lighter alternative.

Rainbow Salads: Then, we get to the salads, because a summer menu wouldn’t be complete without a bunch of them! Don’t think about the kind of diet food you’d usually expect, oh no – these salads should be big, bold, bright, and beautiful. Rainbow salads packed with exciting, crunchy, and flavorful veggies are the best. Create your own dressing and serve with a protein source for a colorful and complete meal.

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YUM

Smoked Meats: When you love meats, you want to make sure that they’re packed full of flavor and are served super succulent in the summer. There’s just something about a lighter version of the tastiest meats that screams summer. And when you want to go tender and melt-in-your-mouth, you smoke. You can read the pros and cons of the Brinkmann electric smoker to see if it’s a cooking method that you can work with. If so, throw in your meats and even a few veggies and prepare for a flavor overload.

Mixed Rice: Rice is a great grain that we don’t give enough credit to. It’s always tasty and it’s a super light carb source, too. As a part of your summer meal frenzy, try making a bunch of rice based meals. Stir in your favorite meats, serve with crunchy veggies, and dress with delicious sauces to create some of the most exciting dishes around.

Ultimate Burgers: Summertime is all about the burgers. When you love a good burger, you’ll take one all year round, but there’s nothing like a hot summer day with a burger in hand to make you feel happy (Any food in my hand makes me feel happy!). But don’t just stick to a standard beef patty – pimp them up! There are so many amazing burger recipes here, just take a look. If the chipotle turkey, chicken Caesar, or even the taco burger doesn’t tempt you, you’re not a true burger fan! And if you’re a vegetarian, like me, the veggie burger is a thing!! 😀

Asian Anything: If there’s one kind of cuisine that works the best with summer meals, it’s got to be Asian. Asian cooking is full of those incredibly fresh favors that just work so well when its warm. Whether you decide to whip up a noodle dish or create a crunchy salad, sticking to Asian ingredients and flavors will always serve you well in the summer months.

Garden parties, picnics, and BBQs are essential summer activities. Create the perfect menu with the above ideas, invite your friends, and have yourself a backyard bash!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Adulting Essentials

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Adulting Essentials
Hello everyone and TGIF! I hope all of you are having a fabulous day so far and have a bright and exciting weekend to look forward to. If there’s one thing that I know as a twenty-something, it’s that I constantly feel under-prepared. Everything up until the late teens and early twenties was great, right? A la-di-da world where the only thing that you needed to worry about was what to wear to school and your hours at your weekend job. Fast forward to the ripe age of 23. Freshly graduated from college, moving out of your dorm to your own apartment, and (sort of) ready to take on the world. This is basically what your teenage self has been dreaming about since forever. So why does it feel so stressful?!

The life of a twenty-something is a bumbling and haphazard mess 90% of the time. Job hunting, grad school, moving out of chez mom and dad. You’re stretched thin in all directions and all you want is some literal direction in your so called life. As the baby of the family, I’ve watched three older siblings do the growing up thing. And now, as the 23 year old baby of the family, I guess I have to do the whole growing up thing myself. Gross.

So what comes with growing up? A big girl job, your own place, squeezing some time in for fun between binge eating or binge studying – that all sounds about right. For a big girl job you’re armed with your education or experience. For having some fun, you have your high school or college BFFs to schedule a GNO with. But your own place? A place that you need to pay rent for, furnish, AND do your own laundry in? Well, you’re gonna need a few things:

1) Stationary: From calendars and notebooks to agendas and business cards, stationary is a total must. You know how the life of a twenty-something is a bumbling, haphazard mess 90% of the time? That, my dear readers, is what the planner is for. The calendar, the to do list, the agenda – whatever you call it, is a twenty-something essential. Doctors appointments? Job interview? Date night with the SO? Drinks with the girls? Yeah, there’s a planner for that. Hang your calendar with pride wherever you can see it and take a stab at sitting down with a glass of wine and organizing your week. You will be amazed at how your days will open up once you begin utilizing the free space that you have in between work till four and cardio at 7 on Monday and Wednesday.

2) The Perfect Mattress: The first thing that my sister did when she moved into her own apartment was buy herself a queen sized bed. Okay, girl. I see you. Now, I don’t usually say this, but she had the right idea. There is nothing better than tucking into bed with a good book and Enya on your iPod after a long day. Get comfy cozy in your boyfriend’s shirt, throw on an overnight face mask, and snuggle up on your new mattress compliments of Casper. Breathable, lush, plush, springy, and supportive, you’ll be traveling to the land of nod in no time as soon as you get curled up on the mattress of your dreams. Just make sure to put mattress shopping with Casper on your to do list before dozing off tonight! 😉

3) Business Casual Wardrobe: This isn’t necessarily an apartment essential as much as it is a life essential. I think that it is so important for twenty-somethings to begin investing in business casual wardrobe staples. Whether your ideal job setting is laid back or totally formal, you still need something to wear to the interview, right? Start supplying your closet with sharp, chic pieces that scream “boss lady” as soon as you walk in the door. I’m talking pencil skirts, crisp button downs, trench coats, blazers, cardigans, and a smart pair of trousers.

When I began shopping for my job with the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities (which is about as business cashe as it gets), I gradually began making an effort to instill a more professional feel into my wardrobe. I hit up stores like Loft and Express for clothes that were unquestionably cute, but still looked put together and work place appropriate. Look for simple, well tailored pieces and let your accessories or a funky patterned cardi showcase your personality. There is no rule stating that business casual means boring!

4) Culinary Cool: One of the things that comes with moving out is not having a delicious meal prepped for you every day by the rents. I, personally, am a firm believer that everyone should have a basic understanding of cooking and finding your way around a kitchen. Unfortunately, not everyone shares this mindset with me, so cooking on your own might be a rude awakening to burnt pizzas or blowing a fortune on takeout every night.

BUT IT’S OKAY!! I promise. I absolutely love cooking and baking and my golden rule is that if you can read, you can cook. Go to the library or bookstore, snag some cook books (even if it is Making Eggs For Dummies!), and practice. Hit up your local Aldi’s or Save A Lot for ingredients, follow the directions, and you’ll have a meal that you made all by yourself in no time. I swear that it is not as daunting as it might seem and, within time, you might find yourself actually enjoying your meal preparations in your kitchen.

But, of course, you can’t cook without the proper tools. You don’t need to go overboard, but do invest in some quality but not too costly gear to help you out. Spatulas, measuring spoons and cups, mixing bowls, and a sheet pan for your pizza rolls will go a long way. And, like any well stocked arsenal, it doesn’t become that way over night. Pick up odds and ends for your kitchen every so often when you’re out and about and you’ll have all of the necessities before you know it.

5) TREAT YOSELF: Adulting can sometimes really suck. Like a lot. Believe me, I get it. Full time job, college, bills? It’s like a whirlwind of misery. That is why I am all about incorporating a TREAT YOSELF attitude into my adult lifestyle. Seriously. Get out, have some fun, and let the destressing begin. This can range from going out to get your nails done after a long week in the office to buying that sassy dress from Target because it hugged your curves in all of the right places. Do things that make you feel good (within reason). Buy things that make you feel good (within your budget), and you’ll find yourself breezing through adulthood like the boss lady that you are. YOU GO, GIRL!
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Adulting can be unquestionably overwhelming, but you’ll be just fine with the right Essentials! What are your adulting must haves? How do you destress after a long day of being a grown up? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah
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Food-Tastic Gifts For The Health Nut In Your Life

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Food-Tastic Gifts For The Health Nut In Your Life

We all know one. In fact, we all wish we could be one! What am I talking about? I am, of course, talking about the health nuts that we all know and love. You know, the people that hit the gym on Christmas Day or don’t eat carbs, sugar, and everything else that tastes good. They are healthy, they are committed, and they are people that we all love and admire. The only problem most of us have with them is gift giving. Yep, there are only so many running shoes a person can buy, which makes getting them the perfect present tough.

But, fear not because we are here to help. So, put away the catalog and shutdown the laptop (after you read this!) because you can find out all you need to know underneath:

Air Fryer: Nope, it isn’t a new age device that belongs on the International Space Station. Although when you look it at, it does have a certain alien quality. An air fryer is a machine that makes the frying process healthier. In fact, according to some studies, it can reduce the amount of fat in a meal by three-quarters. That is a huge amount in anyone’s book, never mind a health-obsessed foodie! If you don’t know where to start, you can find a comprehensive list of the best value air fryers here. After all, you don’t want to give them a gift that isn’t up to standard.

Zoodler: What, you have never heard of a zoodler? Well, I can guarantee that your foodie friend has, and they will be delighted with your choice. In layman’s terms, a zoodler is a tool that strips vegetables into thin slices. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a zucchini or a potato because the effect is the same. Most people will wonder why this is even a thing. But, you have to get into your friend’s brain to understand the genius of this tool. Quite simply, it makes eating vegetables less daunting. Yep, that’s it! As it turns out, people are more likely to eat healthier if the portions are small and non-intimidating. And who doesn’t like the fun noodle shape?!

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I want one!

Oil Mister: Yes I would like some oil, please! Only joking. This, of course, isn’t someone asking if you would like oil (ba dum chhh). It is a small device that turns oil into a mist. What will they think of next? As it happens, oil isn’t very good for the human body when people like you and I fry it in a pan. In fact, it’s downright unhealthy. Even virgin oil in its regular form contains a lot of calories and fat. Any self-respecting health enthusiast can’t afford to consume more than necessary. And with a mister, they don’t have to any longer as the mist covers the food with just one spray. Because it cuts costs as well as calories, they’ll cherish this gift forever.

Finally, don’t forget about a slow cooker. A slow cooker is a great way to eat more vegetables, maintain nutrition, and avoid nasty additives. All in all, it’s a wonder appliance and your foodie friend will love you for it!

Featured Image By: MaxPixel