Tag Archives: cooking

Worst Oven Pizza Ever!

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Worst Oven Pizza Ever!

Hello! Johnny and I consider ourselves to be oven pizza connoisseurs. It is my go to when I don’t feel like cooking and it is Johnny’s favorite thing to make so that he feels like he’s cooking lol! I recently saw a commercial for a Digiorno pizza that had the entire crust (not just the edges) stuffed with cheese and it really blew my mind. I told Johnny about it and he decided to investigate when he ran some errands. Unfortunately, the pizza was only available in pepperoni and that wouldn’t do for my vegetarian self. So, Johnny purchased the Digiorno for him and this for me:

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I don’t know if you guys are familiar with the show Community but there was a character named Leonard who was a senior citizen and attending the community college. He had a vlog in which he reviewed different oven pizzas and would declare it to be “a buy” if he liked it. Lol, while lifewithlilred is not turning into a pizza blog any time soon, I just had to get my Leonard on one time for the one time because the Red Baron pizza Johnny got for me sucked on ice!

When my sweet husband returned from his shopping, he was so proud of himself for the substitution of the Red Baron Fully Loaded Five Cheese Pizza. And, I have to admit, it looked awesome and I couldn’t wait to pop it into the oven. After it was cooked, it was still looking good with all of that glorious cheese. Then, I had to cut it and it ended up being a very difficult feat. I kid you not, this pizza was literally all crust. *Face palm*

Once I freed some slices and plated it up, I lost most of my original zest for testing this pizza out. And, I don’t blame myself one bit because it was the worst. The crust was so thick that it tasted like eating a brick with a thin layer of sauce and cheese on top. I had to douse it in Ranch dressing to soften it up – it was that bad. The Red Baron truly missed the mark with this one and I couldn’t even bring myself to eat the leftovers, which is something I pride myself on. If only the crust were stuffed with cheese like Johnny’s pizza because he was living his best life with his!

lifewithlilred is all about giving honest reviews on products and I guess that goes for pizza too! Haha, I just felt obligated to warn all of my oven pizza fans out there about this epic failure before buying it. You’ll thank me later when you are enjoying an oven pie with a normal sized crust!

What is your favorite brand of oven pizza? What do you make (Or order!) when you don’t feel like cooking? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

How To Make Mealtimes More Exciting

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How To Make Mealtimes More Exciting

Eating delicious food is one of the greatest pleasures in life. Mealtimes are about so much more than simply providing your body with the fuel it needs to function. Preparing and eating food should provide a feast for your senses and social activity to enjoy with friends and family. However, every once in a while, you may fall out of love with food. When mealtimes become tiresome, it can be hard to feel enthusiastic about what is on your plate. If mealtimes were once the highlight of your day but now leave you feeling blah, you should make some changes. Take a look at these ideas to help make mealtimes more exciting;

Try Food From Around the World:

When food becomes boring and you no longer look forward to what’s on your plate, it’a time to shake things up. Trying different cuisine from around the world is an excellent way to regain your enthusiasm for food. Sampling flavors that are entirely new to you is guaranteed to reawaken your taste buds. If you don’t feel like cooking from scratch, you could try the best frozen Chinese food for some new flavors without needing to get creative in the kitchen yourself. Once you find a new cuisine you like, why not continue to sample dishes from that region to continue your food journey.

Put Your Cooking Skills to the Test:

Sometimes, getting back into the kitchen and cooking up a storm is the best way to rekindle your love of food. Experimenting with different flavors and ingredients will liven up your meals and make everyday food far more interesting. Adding an exciting twist to recipes you make all of the time is another way to add interest. You can do this by upping the amount of seasoning that you add to the dish or trying it with a different combination of herbs and spices. Changing the accompaniment you usually serve with the recipe is helpful too. A meal that you usually serve with rice could be even better if you try it with pasta, instead.

Get Inspired:

When you feel unenthusiastic about food, it is often helpful to seek extra inspiration. There are lots of ways that you can be inspired by your food choices to make every meal more exciting. Planning a dinner with friends where you each bring a course of the meal to share will help you to enjoy both an evening of great company and delicious food. This will give you the opportunity to sample each other’s cooking and swap recipes.

Take your taste buds on an adventure by shaking up your meals. Your full belly and invigorated palette will thank you!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Super Yummy Breakfast Pizza

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Super Yummy Breakfast Pizza

Hello! Due to the crazy circumstances of the past few months, it has been a while since I cooked a big breakfast over the weekend. That was one of my Johnny’s favorite things and our low key New Year’s weekend gave me the opportunity to whip together a new concoction made with the same ingredients as my usual breakfasts. It was basically like the Taco Bell menu of different items using the exact same base ingredients and I was so proud lol. Behold, the vegetarian breakfast pizza:

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cans of Pillsbury biscuits
  • White gravy for the sauce
  • 5 scrambled eggs
  • 6 MorningStar sausage patties
  • Shredded cheese
  • Hashbrowns if you want!

Instructions:

  • Separate the biscuits in half and fill a cooking tray with them to form the crust. Keep an eye on the biscuits while they’re in the oven since they are half of their normal size.
  • Begin cooking your additional ingredients of eggs, sausage patties, and hashbrowns. Cut the sausages into bite sized pieces once they are cooked.
  • Prepare the white gravy for the sauce (The recipe is in the link under ingredients.). If the gravy gets too thick, add some milk because you should be able to cover the biscuits entirely with just the one pot.
  • Assemble your breakfast pizza and top with shredded cheese. Then, stick it back in the oven for a few minutes so it can melt.
  • Remove from the oven and enjoy!

This breakfast pizza turned out delicious if I do say so myself and Johnny does too! Oh yeah, and so does my mom, dad, and sister because they all tried it as well lol. He spent the entire day complimenting my efforts and it made me feel awesome. Of course, I modestly said it was the same thing I always make but assembled differently and he would hear none of that. He also told me it was so good because I haven’t made breakfast in forever and I thought that that was the sweetest. I know that Johnny loves my cooking (He better, anyways!) but to hear him be so forthright about it made getting up early on a Saturday morning to cook all the more worth it. ❤

My Breakfast Pizza is perfect for breakfast, lunch, or dinner and a hearty portion of my family agreed. I guess I better start cooking breakfast again!

What is your favorite breakfast food? What is your favorite meal to cook? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

3 Ways To Make Cooking More Exciting

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3 Ways To Make Cooking More Exciting

Everyone loves indulging in delicious meals that have been prepared with passion. But not everybody loves cooking these meals. According to a study, nearly 90% of people hate cooking. While eating out might be a solution for most people, it’s not the healthiest option and can increase your expenses. Spending time in the kitchen is a great way to use that space in your home, explore your culinary skills and creativity, and eat healthier meals. Sometimes, you cannot avoid cooking, but if you want to turn it around from a boring and time-consuming chore to a fun activity, here are some ways to do so:

Play some music while cooking:

Playing some of your favorite songs and playlists is a great way to liven up your ambience and make your kitchen more exciting. Cooking can be stressful sometimes, especially after spending a long day at work or school. However, creating a fun cooking environment can make the experience a breeze and boost your mood. You can create a fun cooking playlist with all of your favorite songs. It’s even more enjoyable if you have a portable speaker that you can place in a safe area of your kitchen. You can easily turn your time in the kitchen into a party.

Try new recipes:

Even if you enjoy cooking, it can get very boring, especially when your menu consists of the same recipes. Although you might master making those meals, you will likely lose interest in preparing and eating them. So, why not make your cooking more adventurous by including new recipes? Trying out new recipes is a great way to break your routine and challenge yourself. But don’t be so hard on yourself when you make mistakes. It could take some time before you master any new recipe. You can also switch things up in your regular menu by switching out some ingredients and giving it a new taste. You can check out new recipes by checking out blogs, watching cooking shows, buying a new recipe book, or following a recipe page on social media.

Use quality kitchenware:

Another way to elevate your cooking experience is by using quality kitchen products. When you cook with the right utensils, it saves you a lot of time in the kitchen, which can be especially useful if you have a busy schedule. Using quality kitchen products can also improve the taste of your meals. Plus, you could measure your ingredients better to improve your food’s consistency and texture. It can help you create some of the most beautiful food presentations if you are concerned with appearance. You must also ensure that any leftovers are properly stored, using the correct storage containers to maintain their freshness. Brands like OXO have amazing containers and other utensils that make cooking and storing food a snap.

Cooking might not be your favorite household task, but it is vital, especially if you want to better manage your finances and health. These tips should help you enjoy the entire process of cooking and make the experience a fun one!

Featured Image By: Pexels

First Attempt At Homemade Alfredo Sauce

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First Attempt At Homemade Alfredo Sauce

Hello!! I love to cook and try out new recipes and during my last curbside order, Johnny requested fettuccine Alfredo for dinner. I have never made it before but I figured that it couldn’t be that hard! As per ushe, I consulted Pinterest for a recipe and settled on one by Self Proclaimed Foodie. Although I wasn’t blown away with the end result, it was still pretty good. Check it out:

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^^^ Obsessed with my tomato butter! YUM!

The Alfredo sauce recipe by Self Proclaimed Foodie only had four ingredients to it – butter, garlic, heavy cream, and Parmesan cheese. I went with this recipe for its simplicity but I think it was a little too simple for my liking. Even after adding parsley, salt, pepper, and way more garlic than necessary, it tasted really bland overall. I definitely plan on making Alfredo sauce again but I think that I will find another recipe for it.

During my next attempt at Alfredo sauce, I will also be steering clear of the Kraft Parmesan cheese! I didn’t even think about buying the thinly shredded kind, which probably would have made a big difference. The Kraft cheese didn’t fully melt down and that gave the sauce a slightly gritty texture. It didn’t make as much of a difference once it was poured over pasta but taste testing from the pot left a lot to be desired!

On the bright side, Johnny ended up really enjoying his requested dinner so that made me happy. I just hate when something I make doesn’t turn out exactly how I want it so here’s to a more flavorful and creamy sauce next time around!

What recipe do you recommend for homemade Alfredo sauce? Have you tried cooking anything new recently? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Too Many Tomatoes? Try These Recipes!

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Too Many Tomatoes? Try These Recipes!

Hello! My dad’s garden was so bountiful this past summer and it is still currently producing a TON of tomatoes. The red fruit has basically taken over my parents’ kitchen so I was called in for cooking reinforcement. We were all sick of spaghetti sauces and salsas so I turned to Pinterest for new recipes to lighten the tomato burden. I made a tomato pie found on Biscuits & Burlap as well as a tomato butter compliments of Kitchn. Both of them turned out really good! Check it out:

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I had two full bowls of tomatoes to work with and these two recipes used them all up, which was awesome. They were also SO incredibly easy to make. The tomato pie by Biscuits & Burlap took me about twenty minutes to make and my dad and I liked it a lot. We both agreed, however, that it definitely needed more to it.

When I cook a new recipe, I tend to follow the directions exactly. Then, if I like it enough, I add my own twists the next time around. When I make the tomato pie again, I plan on using a Pillsbury crust and will be adding an extra tomato and cheese layer. I also will be using a lot more fresh basil, garlic, and onions. The tomato pie would taste even better with spinach so I’ll add that into the mix too.

The tomato butter by Kitchn was a recipe that I was somewhat ambivalent about making but I am glad I did. It is so unique and will be a perfect addition to grilled cheese sandwiches, spaghetti, and French bread. I was worried after I used the food processor to blend the broiled tomatoes, herbs, and butter because the consistency was like tomato soup! After a day in the refrigerator, it formed into a whipped spread and that was more like it lol.

Like the tomato pie, the butter was good but it needed something extra. The butter was a bit on the bland side so if I make it again, I will be adding a lot of garlic (Which the recipe didn’t call for) and fresh basil. Despite not being as flavorful as I would have liked, I love the idea of this recipe and it is such a fresh and different way to use up a tomato harvest.

If you have Too Many Tomatoes, then do be sure to give these recipes a try and let me know what you think! 😀

What have you been making with your garden veggies? What do you like to make with tomatoes? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

 

The Best Grilled Cheese EVER

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The Best Grilled Cheese EVER

Hello! I pride myself on my cooking and I LOVE making dinner for my husband and family whenever I can. It feels so good to make something that everyone enjoys and it is a true labor of love. This past week, however, the tables turned and my sweet Johnny ended up making dinner for me. I was craving a grilled cheese something fierce all day and he definitely delivered:

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^^^ He was so pleased with himself for “plating it up” for me!

Last week was a whirlwind between work and helping out at my mom and dad’s house. Every day when I got home, I pretty much just sank into the couch and prepared to do it all again the next day. By Friday, I had averaged a solid 11,000 or so steps per day and walking up the stairs to my apartment was a monumental feat on my aching legs. I was also freaking STARVING.

Rather than become one with my couch, I had to make my way to my office to finish some billing and online work. I am one of those people that can’t do anything else until all of my work is completely done but the rumbling in my belly was proving troublesome. So, I decided to ask Johnny to make me a grilled cheese to which he replied “of course” even though he was worried it wouldn’t turn out as good as mine!

By the time I finished my final tasks for the day, my dinner was ready and I couldn’t wait to chow down. It looked AMAZING and it tasted even better. Food always tastes better when someone else makes it for you and this sandwich was a true testament to that! I was so thankful to Johnny for lending me a hand but he was even happier that he could cook for me for a change. He was so proud of himself and, damnit, I was proud of him too. ❤

With so much going on in my life, Johnny told me that he will cook anything that he is capable of for me. AKA eggs and, now, grilled cheese. It was the sweetest thing and I really do have the best husband/grilled cheese chef ever!

What is your favorite simple thing to cook? What is your go to comfort food? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Breakfast For Dinner

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Breakfast For Dinner

Hello! I am a huge fan of breakfast food and used to love cooking big breakfasts for myself and Johnny over the weekend. This hasn’t happened in a while because now we usually just skip to lunch lol. But, that doesn’t mean that you can’t have breakfast for dinner, instead! This past week, I whipped up our favorite spread when I got home from work and it hit just right:

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My go to breakfast foods for me and Johnny are dippy eggs, MorningStar sausage patties, biscuits and gravy, and hashbrowns for Johnny. Biscuits and gravy was something that I always wanted to try but never got the opportunity to because it’s always made as sausage gravy in restaurants. However, inspiration struck several months ago and I finally thought to look up a vegetarian recipe for it.

During my search, I found this recipe by ammiface and it is, easily, one of my favorite dishes morning or night. The white gravy recipe is SO quick and simple to make with only six ingredients. It turns out amazing every time and tastes just as good leftover as it does freshly made. Not only is it a must make for me but I now have to make it for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners because the other vegetarians and meat eaters alike in my family love it too.

I suppose I could incorporate MorningStar sausages into this gravy recipe but I like it so much as is that I never have the heart to. Regardless of any tweaks you might make, the vegetarian white gravy is perfect for breakfast, dinner, or in this case – breakfast for dinner. Enjoy!

What is your favorite breakfast food? What is your favorite vegetarian dish? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Yummy Asian Cabbage Salad

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Yummy Asian Cabbage Salad

Hello! Johnny and I have several favorite go to meals that I make pretty much every time I do grocery shopping. This is all well and good but it can get kind of boring cooking the same things with no variation. So, I have made it a point to try making new side dishes to enhance the meal even more. It’s amazing how much the dinner transforms with just one different thing, like when I made a pot of cilantro lime rice with a taco dinner.

To keep going with this, I decided to try a new salad recipe when I cooked a veggie lo mein meal for my entire family. I found the recipe for Asian Cabbage Salad with a peanut ginger dressing on Well Plated By Erin. I had scoped out many Asian salads on Pinterest but I went with Well Plated’s because it used the fewest ingredients and looked so easy to make. Check it out:

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I love going on Pinterest but it can sometimes be disheartening because there are a plethora of recipes that I would like to try but use SO. Many. Ingredients. I just can’t justify buying twenty plus things for a dish that I might not even like. I already had about three fourths of the ingredients that I needed for this salad so it was the obvious choice to go with and I am glad I did!

This Asian Cabbage Salad was to die for and, much to my surprise, Johnny even liked it. That is really saying something because I truly thought that he was going to tell me that there were too many vegetables in it lol. The salad had so much crunch, flavor, and texture and it was delicious as a side or mixed into the veggie lo mein. It also kept for several days leftover and that was another huge plus because of how much the simple recipe made.

I definitely plan on making Well Plated By Erin’s recipe again but there is one thing that I will be tweaking. While I liked the peanut ginger dressing well enough, it didn’t pack much of a punch against all of the colorful veggies. I would have liked for the dressing to have a bit more bite and I’m not sure if that can be solved by making more of it or adding something new. I’m thinking of substituting a tablespoon of the honey for brown sugar and adding one more tablespoon of soy sauce to see if that will make a difference.

Overall, I am really pleased with this new recipe and it was a hit at dinner… It was also a hit every time I had it leftover too and you can’t beat that!

Where do you like to find new recipes? Have you cooked anything new recently? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

 

Delicious Guacamole Recipe & Cilantro Lime Rice

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Delicious Guacamole Recipe & Cilantro Lime Rice

Hello! This past Saturday was a very busy one. We visited my mom at the Cleveland Clinic, I cooked up a feast, and watched my niece while her baby sister was born. For dinner, I treated my dad, brother, and Johnny to homemade Cheesy Gordita Crunches. This is the second time that I have made them and the meal turned out excellent. And in the words of Emeril Lagasse, I definitely kicked things up a notch.

The last time I made Taco Bell style Cheesy Gordita Crunches for dinner, I used the beef crumbles by MorningStar. While I didn’t care for it, Johnny liked it well enough so I just decided to use real beef for the guys and vegetarian refried beans for me. I have never cooked ground beef in my life and apparently it turned out good lol. Not that I was surprised because, I hate to toot my own horn, but Johnny says I cook bacon better than someone who eats meat. GREAT SUCCESS! 😀

Not only did I make all of the fixings for our taco dinner but I also prepared some extra additions to enhance the meal. I made a new Pinterest recipe for cilantro lime rice, which can be found here at Downshiftology. I also whipped up a batch of my own personal recipe for guacamole that I think is simply the best. Check it out:

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^^^ Obviously I should have taken a picture of my guac before we chowed down!

Of course, Taco Bell was the source of inspiration for this meal and my life in general. However, I was also trying to serve major Chipotle vibes. The recipe that I used for the cilantro lime rice claims to be a Chipotle taste alike and I completely agree. It. Was. Delicious. The zingy lime and cilantro balanced out the garlic and salt perfectly and I honestly think that I could have ate the entire bowl. I highly recommend making it during your next taco dinner!

I also hate to toot my own horn again but I truly believe that my guacamole is a Chipotle taste alike too. It is SO easy to make with minimal ingredients and tastes divine. This is my recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 2 mashed avocados
  • A small portion of red onion, finely chopped
  • Juice, pulp, and zest from one lime
  • Several sprigs of cilantro
  • Course sea salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper to taste

While you can add anything you please to your guacamole like chopped olive or tomato, I always say that simple is best. All of the different flavors and textures in my recipe blend together so well and that extra dose of lime in the zest and pulp sends it over the top. I also just mash up my avocado with a spoon, which makes it very similar in texture to Chipotle’s, which is definitely more chunky. Now, if only I could make a taste alike for their tortilla chips. YUM!

As you all know, I love cooking for Johnny but it was SO nice to be able to make a meal for my dad and brother too. Cooking soothes my soul and watching people enjoy what I make makes it even better. ❤

What are some of your favorite taste alike recipes? How do you prepare the perfect taco? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah