Tag Archives: delicious

Best Snack EVER!!

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Best Snack EVER!!

Hello!! A couple of weeks ago, Johnny began purchasing this little bag of deliciousness from the gas station and we are OBSESSED:

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The first day that Johnny bought the Snak Club Tajin seasoned peanuts, he almost ate the whole bag at work. However, he is a thoughtful angel and saved some for me to try when I got home and it was, truly, love at first bite (Seriously, how sweet is he?). I just had to share this with all of you because it has become our new go to snack and one bag never feels like enough!

A couple of years ago, I tried the Mango Outshine popsicles that were seasoned with Tajin and they were a massive disappointment. The melting fruit juice flavored with the chili lime seasoning did nothing for me and I threw away the entire box after a few bites. The peanuts with a Tajin cracker shell are an entirely different story, though, and it is always painful to throw away a finished bag lol.

This peanut snack is filling and has just the right amount of kick to it to keep things interesting. You have the Lil Red Guarantee that you will not be able to eat just one and I can’t recommend them enough. In fact, I have a bag of them sitting right by my computer as I type this… I think I’ll have one (or ten) now! 😀

What is your favorite snack? Do you prefer sweet or savory treats? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Best Chocolate EVER!!

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Best Chocolate EVER!!

Hello! Whenever Johnny’s amazing Aunt Elaine comes to visit from Boston, she always comes with delicious treats from Phillips Chocolates in tow. For Easter, Johnny and I returned home with a huge haul of chocolates from Aunt Elaine and I just had to share them with all of you. Of course, the chocolate tastes divine but they are so pretty I almost didn’t even want to eat them! Lol, check it out:

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My Johnny has a huge sweet tooth. Myself, on the other hand, prefers more savory and I always would rather have more dinner than save room for dessert. All bets are off when it comes to Phillips Chocolate, though, and I seriously think that I could eat an entire box full. They are the most decadent, rich chocolates that I have ever had and, now that our supply is gone, I can’t even begin to tell you how much I miss them. 😦

The box of truffles we got literally made me gasp when I took off the lid. They were so beautiful and before Johnny and I took a piece, I had to take pictures of them. I apologized to Johnny for momentarily standing in the way between him and chocolatey bliss but he told me he would have done the exact same thing. Is he the best blog husband, or what?

The truffles were all chocolate filled and they were melt in your mouth heavenly. My favorite thing from Phillips, however, is the assorted box which features chocolate turtles, caramels, nougat, fruit, nuts, and all of the chocolatey goodness you can imagine. Johnny and I worked our way through our favorites in the box then, when they were gone, we started telling each other to “surprise me”. As long as it wasn’t a fruit one, we were fine with whatever!

If you are looking for a gift for a special occasion, as a thank you, or just because, I can’t recommend Phillips Chocolates enough. Just be sure to order a couple of boxes for yourself too! 😀

What is your favorite sweet treat? Do you prefer sweet or savory? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

 

Dinner Time!

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Dinner Time!

Hello! Something that brings me great joy is cooking and I love making delicious meals for Johnny and our friends and family. This past week, my sister and niece joined us for dinner and it was an absolute delight. I texted her a list of options that I could make and she chose lemon pasta. I was excited because I have had that saved on my Pinterest for forever and really wanted to make it!

I prepared the pasta dish with garlic bread and salad and it was a raging success. I also made air fried Oreos for dessert. These pictures are actually of leftovers because I was so hungry I forgot to snap some pics when it was fresh lol:

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You can view the entire recipe for lemon pasta at Contentedness Cooking!

The lemon pasta was an ultra easy and super tasty dish that I most definitely plan on making again. It is nice and light and will make for a perfect meal on a warm spring or summer day. It also tasted great leftover too and was even more lemony after it had time to sit.

When cooking a new recipe, I tend to follow it pretty closely. Then, I add my own variations if I like it enough to make again. The only thing I did differently when making the lemon pasta was use way more garlic than what was called for because we all know that three cloves is simply not enough! The taste of this dish was so yummy but we all agreed that it could use something extra. The next time I make it, I plan on adding the following:

  • Feta cheese
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Spinach
  • Fresh parsley
  • Pine nuts

Any type of pasta is my favorite food and this recipe is one that will be enjoyed by anyone who shares my sentiments. It is really good as is but if the recipe looks a little too bland for you, adding extra veggies or herbs will help to kick things up a notch (In the eternal words of Emeril Lagasse)!

Have you tried any new recipes lately? How did they turn out? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

 

Dinner Time!

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Dinner Time!

Hello! When I go grocery shopping, I try to get enough fresh ingredients so that I can cook dinner several times per week. Once the fresh food is gone, Johnny and I will turn to our frozen options until it is time for another curbside pickup. One of our favorite meals that I cook has got to be jalapeno popper quesadillas (Peep the recipe here!).

My mom used to make these back in the day and I always have to buy the fixings to whip them up for dinner:

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*Note: I substitute the regular tortilla chips in the quesadillas for Nacho Cheese Doritos, instead.

The popper quesadillas are a bit of a tedious meal to make between cutting and broiling the jalapenos, assembling the tortillas, and frying them. Especially because I make several extra ones because Johnny loves to take them for lunch at work. However, it is so worth it once the finished product is complete. They are cheesy with the perfect amount of crunch thanks to the chips. Broiling the jalapenos and the cream cheese also takes away a lot of the spiciness, which allows for a fairly mild level of heat.

As a side dish for the quesadillas, I made some nacho bites out of scooped shell tortilla chips. These consisted of a dollop of queso, salsa, and shredded cheese and then I broiled them for about two minutes. The nacho bites were a little something that I came up with and were just as tasty as I imagined them to be. They are the perfect appetizer for a Mexican meal or could be great for snacking on during your favorite show. I will definitely be making them again!

Although I have been branching out with new dishes, you can’t go wrong with tried and true favorites. The jalapeno popper quesadillas are a wonderful dish to spice up your dinner time!

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

Dinner Time!

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Dinner Time!

Hello! Ever since discovering the joys of Pinterest super late in the game, I have spent many an enjoyable evening cooking up new recipes for myself and Johnny. It has been great fun because I love to cook and I was so bored with all of the dinners that I have been making time and time again. This past Friday, I cooked a feast for dinner and while it was a lot of food, it also meant leftovers for days and that’s always good! Check it out:

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The Menu:

My sweet Johnny spent most of the week being bummed out that he had to go to work on Saturday. I planned on cooking a big dinner on Friday anyways but when I got a surprise day off, I decided to go even bigger to help cheer him up. Johnny’s love language is definitely sharing his favorite music for me and since I have not one ounce of musical talent, cooking our favorite meals is my love language for him.

I started with homemade mac n’ cheese with the tried and true recipe that my mom has been making since I was little. It was and is still one of my favorite dishes and my niece is especially partial to it too. However, I still think it turns out better when my mom makes it! Although it’s not quite up to JANE level standards when I make it, it is still really yummy and I like to make mac n’ cheese grilled cheeses with the leftovers.

Then, it was on to the jalapeño popper rolls, which were delicious! This recipe was another one that required pizza dough to make but I figured Pillsbury croissants would work too. At least, I hoped so because the last time I substituted croissants for pizza dough for a recipe, it didn’t turn out the best. This time around, Pillsbury did me right and the rolls were a highlight of the meal and something I would happily make again.

I didn’t have pickled jalapenos as the recipe called for so I cut mine up and broiled them in the oven for about five minutes. The end result tasted exactly like the jalapeño popper quesadillas that are mine and Johnny’s favorite. In fact, it was almost an identical recipe minus the crushed up tortilla chips to give the quesadillas some extra crunch. 

Originally, I just planned on cooking the mac n’ cheese and the rolls but I figured I might as well try and clear some food from my pantry, fridge, and freezer since I had extra time on my hands. For example, I love the idea of baby carrots. However, whenever I buy a bag, they always just end up sitting in my crisper drawer.

I figured it was now or never to use the carrots so I just threw them in a pot of water and cooked them up. It took about thirty minutes for the baby carrots to be completely tender. Then, I drained the water and put them back in the pot with butter, rosemary, salt, and pepper and let that simmer for five minutes. This is something that I made when I first moved into my apartment and it was just as tasty as I remembered it being. They are also still really good leftover!

Similarly to baby carrots, I always find myself buying onions and garlic during grocery shopping even though I rarely use them! I guess it’s just a habit because those were ingredients that were never not available at my parent’s home. I had a box of perogies that have been sitting in my freezer for a while so I knew just what to do: Saute the veggies and the perogies along with honey mustard. 😀

This was not a complex meal to make at all and, even though I might have went a bit overboard, we ate like royalty on Friday night… and also every night that we had the leftovers lol! I enjoyed my cooking session so much and it was the best to see how surprised Johnny was when he got home from work. ❤

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

 

Dinner Time!

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Dinner Time!

Hello! Ever since discovering the joys of Pinterest, I have become a woman obsessed and have spent a considerable amount of time checking out vegetarian recipes. During my last shopping trip, I bought the ingredients to make baked ziti and spinach and ricotta Stromboli and was daydreaming about it until I finally made it this past week. 

Once I arrived home from work, I spent about an hour cooking with the recipes I found from DeLallo for the ziti and Kitchen Cat for the Stromboli. Johnny and I agreed that they both turned out excellent and I will definitely be making this meal again in the future:

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^^^ And, yes, I am so aware that I need a bigger casserole dish but you work with what you’ve got lol!

Both of these recipes were incredibly easy to make but next time I make the Stromboli, I will be following the recipe to the T and making calzones, instead. My lazy ass decided that the Pillsbury croissants would be a simple fix as opposed to pizza dough and I was dead wrong. While in the oven, the croissants pulled away from each other leaving the middle bare of breading. It still tasted great but it looked less than presentable and was a pain in the butt to cut into pieces.

I also will be the first to admit that I should have left the ziti in the oven for longer than a half hour because it wasn’t piping hot. But, Johnny and I were starving and it was nothing that a little blast in the microwave couldn’t fix. We were both already hungry before the food went into the oven but when the aromas started wafting around the apartment we were ravenous!

Although there were little blips in this dinner in terms of heat and presentation, they are both still recipes worth trying out. Peep DeLallo and Kitchen Cat for the full posts! 😀

What is your favorite thing to cook? What do you like to look at on Pinterest? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Tips For Making The Best Coffee At Home

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Tips For Making The Best Coffee At Home

A lot of people hit the coffee shop for a freshly brewed cup during the day. But what about those times when you’re at home and need a caffeine burst? Brewing your own cup of joe can save you money and time, but with so many methods and flavors out there, how do you know which way is best? We have outlined ten tips that will help you make better tasting coffee from the comfort of your very own kitchen:

Grind Your Beans Just Before You Brew Them:

Freshly ground coffee is the best way to ensure that you’re getting the freshest flavor possible. Coffee starts to lose its flavorful oils as soon as it is ground, so using ground up coffee will give you a subpar taste. If you can’t grind your own beans, try searching for a grocery store or cafe that has grinding options in the store.

Use Filtered Water:

If your water tastes bad, so will your coffee! Make sure to use clean cold water without any hidden odors of chlorine for the best results. If you don’t like the taste of tap water (or don’t have access to safe drinking water), bring filtered or bottled spring water to a slight boil and cool it for a couple of minutes before pouring it over your coffee grounds.

Avoid Grounding Beans In A Machine With Metal D Blades:

Ground up metal is not going to taste very good! Invest in a blade free or a burr grinder, which will ground all of your beans easily and consistently.

Clean Your Machine Often:

Coffee oils build up in household coffee makers quickly, creating an intense flavor that can be nearly impossible to clean out completely after every use. Make sure to keep the machine clean by running through several cycles without any coffee in it at all. A good rule of thumb is to clean it once a week or after ten uses, whichever comes first.

Avoid Over Filling the Basket:

Coffee machines are measured by how many cups they hold but, if you’re filling the basket with too many beans, you’re going to end up with watered down coffee that lacks flavor. Generally, one rounded tablespoon for every four ounces of water in your machine will produce an optimal cup of coffee.

Grind Your Beans To The Right Consistency:

It may be tempting to grind your beans to an incredibly fine powder so that more oils get trapped. However, this can create a gummed up mess in your grinder and lead to an over extracted cup of coffee. A slightly course grind will lead to a smoother cup of coffee with less grit.

Temperature Matters:

Water temperature is crucial in coffee brewing because it takes away any unpleasant, bitter flavors before the flavor has a chance to develop. In order for your water to be at an optimal temperature, bring it to a boil and let it cool for 30 seconds before pouring over the ground beans.

Get a Coffee Server:

Making coffee can be time consuming, but if you invest in a coffee server to keep your pot warm all day long, you’ll never have to waste the whole pot again. Instead, just pour yourself a cup whenever you want one! Buy the Hario Pour-Over Coffee Server Set to get started.

Skip the Sweeteners:

Coffee is a great way to clear up your skin, detoxify your body, and provide your brain with an energy boost so don’t ruin all of those benefits by adding in creamers or sugars that will increase your calorie intake and reduce the health benefits. Instead, try using natural substitutes like honey or maple syrup to add flavor without all of the empty calories.

If you’re looking to take your morning cup of joe up a notch, try these tricks for making the perfect pot every time. Cheers!

Air Fried Oreos!

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Air Fried Oreos!

Hello! Prior to this week, I have never used Pinterest before and knowing what I know now, I can’t believe I didn’t hop on the bandwagon sooner. I realized that I was bored with everything that I was making for dinner and asked my mom to send me a few recipes, including one for baked ziti. The recipe she sent was from a Pinterest post and I couldn’t view it without making an account.

After viewing the baked ziti recipe, I figured it couldn’t hurt to poke around for a few more minutes in search of vegetarian dinners. A few more minutes turned into an hour and over one hundred saved pins! From pasta and Indian food to sandwiches and soups, I couldn’t stop scrolling and pinning to save my own life. The only reason I stopped was because I had to get ready for bed!

One type of food that I found myself pinning a lot of was desserts. My mom and sister are wonderful bakers and are always making sweet treats like scones, cupcakes, and cookies. Myself, on the other hand, prefers savory and cooking dinners. My husband, however, has never met a dessert that he didn’t like! I found several easy recipes that I wanted to try, one being air fried Oreos.

The recipe I used was from Marianne at Basil & Bubbly and it was SO simple to make and oh so yummy. Make sure to check out her page for the full recipe!

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With three simple ingredients (Pillsbury croissants, Oreos, and powdered sugar) and in under ten minutes, I had a dessert worthy of being served at the fair. I added whipped cream on mine and enjoyed one while Johnny had four lol! I thought it was delicious but Johnny’s complaint was the croissant dough not having enough flavor. Next time I make them, I plan on adding a bit of cinnamon sugar to his for some extra sweetness.

Although this was not a complex recipe in the slightest, it was actually the first dessert that I have made in my own apartment so I was very proud. I will definitely be checking out Basil & Bubbly again for more recipe inspiration and cannot recommend her page enough!

What is your favorite recipe to make? Do you prefer sweet or savory? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

 

10 Healthy Alternatives To Your Usual Snacks

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10 Healthy Alternatives To Your Usual Snacks

It’s not always easy to find the motivation to eat healthy snacks instead of unhealthy ones. Who doesn’t love a salty bag of potato chips?! However, making small changes to your diet is a great way to improve your overall health. By replacing unhealthy snacks with healthier alternatives, you can reduce your risk of developing chronic diseases like heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. You’ll also have more energy and be less likely to gain weight.

If you’re looking for a way to improve your health, start by making some small changes to your diet. Here are ten healthier alternatives when you are feeling peckish:

1. Fresh Fruit:

A great way to satisfy your sweet tooth is with fresh fruit. Fruit is packed with nutrients and antioxidants, and it’s a natural source of sugar. So go ahead and indulge in a piece of juicy fruit instead of a candy bar. Cut up your fruit as soon as you buy it to have it handy in the fridge. This way, when you want to grab a snack, it’s already ready to go.

2. Trail Mix:

Trail mix is a healthy and convenient snack that can be enjoyed on the go. It’s made up of dried fruit, nuts, and seeds, which are all packed with fiber and protein. You could make your own trail mix and include your favorite dried fruit, unsalted nuts, and seeds. Keep a pack of trail mix in your bag or car for whenever you feel hungry when out and about.

3. Veggies with Hummus:

If you’re looking for a healthy snack that will fill you up, try veggies with hummus. Hummus is made from chickpeas, a good source of protein and fiber. Dip some fresh veggies in hummus for a satisfying low-calorie snack. To save some money, you can even make your own hummus at home.

4. Fruit Juices:

If you’re looking for a healthier alternative to sodas and colas, fruit juices are a great choice. Many fruit juices have added sugar so, instead, go for 100% fruit juice. You could find juice brands like Fit n’ Right, which have natural ingredients and less sugar. Plus, these can help quench your thirst without the sugary aftertaste or empty calories!

5. Popcorn:

Skip the microwave popcorn and opt for plain air-popped popcorn, instead. This tasty snack is low in calories and fat but high in fiber so that it will keep you full longer! Make sure to avoid flavored popcorn, which is packed with sugar and salt. If you don’t like bland popcorn, you could add turmeric or paprika to give it some zest.

6. Smoothies:

Smoothies are a healthy alternative to sugary drinks because you control what goes into them. You can add fruit, vegetables, and nutritional protein powder if you want an extra boost of nutrients. Avoid adding sugar or other sweeteners since they’ll just add empty calories.

7. Apples and Peanut Butter:

This classic combination is a great snack that you can take anywhere with you. It’s easy to eat on the go, and it’s high in fiber and healthy fats from the peanut butter. Make sure to avoid sugary peanut butter or applesauce since they’ll have the same effect as candy.

8. Oatmeal:

Oatmeal is a healthy breakfast food that you can also enjoy as a snack. It’s high in fiber and has slow-digesting carbs, which will keep you full longer. Plus, it’s a good source of protein and healthy fats. If you don’t like eating hot oatmeal, you can always turn to overnight oat recipes. A perfect snack because you can eat them cold!

9. Yogurt:

Swap out your favorite full-fat ice cream with low-fat yogurt for dessert or a snack. This healthy swap will save you calories, fat, and sugar. Be sure to read your labels carefully if you want yogurt with live cultures and opt out of the ones with a lot of added sugar.

10. Protein Bars:

Protein bars pack a lot of nutrients and protein into a convenient bar form. They can replace traditional candy bars as a healthy snack when you’re on the go. Just read your labels carefully to avoid eating too many calories or unhealthy ingredients!

Try out some healthy snack ideas on this list – you may just find that you enjoy them more than the norm of chips, crackers, and candy!

Hosting The Perfect Brunch Party

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Hosting The Perfect Brunch Party

Brunch parties are an excellent way to bring your friends together for any type of social event, whether it is a bachelorette party, baby shower, or just a general get together. When it comes to brunch, you do not have to plan an elaborate setup for a fun gathering because it’s a much more laid back event. Here, we look at how to host the perfect brunch party:

Think about who you are inviting and your budget:

It is important to work out the kinks in the plan before inviting everyone to your brunch of the century via group text. Decide how many people you can comfortably seat and go from there because this will help you plan your budget accordingly. Figuring out the amount of money you intend to spend on food for a brunch is your next task. Having a rough idea of your spending limit in advance will help you plan a menu with a reasonable budget.

Plan your menu:

It is time to start thinking about brunch menus after you have a guest list and a ballpark budget in mind. In order to please everyone in attendance, it is critical to include a variety of foods, both sweet and savory, on your menu. Creating your meal can be accomplished in many different ways including:

  • The first alternative is to prepare a number of little plates, similar to those served at a tapas restaurant. This allows you to experiment with all of the recipes you have saved on Instagram and Pinterest throughout the years.
  • Traditional meals can also be served with just one main dish and a few side dishes. With this method, you do not need as many components, which saves time and money.
  • In order to make a brunch truly memorable, you will want to serve dishes that highlight your culinary prowess and leave your guests clamoring for the recipe, such as this shrimp and grits recipe.

Don’t forget the cocktails:

Brunch drinks like mimosas, Bloody Marys, and sangria go well with the meal. Offering a selection of alcoholic beverages will help your guests relax and unwind. The longer a drink like sangria sits, the better it tastes. You do not have to worry about being a bartender because you can make them a few days ahead of time.

Nonalcoholic components can still be mixed in advance if you are making bubbly drinks like mimosas. All you will need to do is pour the champagne and mix it well before guests arrive. Make sure you have a selection of virgin mocktails for guests who would like a nonalcoholic option.

Lay the table the night before:

If you are hosting a brunch for a large group, it is a good idea to set up the table the night before. Putting out food and decorations may not seem like a big deal, but if you are a perfectionist, you could spend hours nitpicking. Take your time and create the party layout you have envisioned. The mood can be ruined if you are not thrilled with your setting because you had to rush.

Good food, yummy drinks, and great company will make your next brunch get together the best ever!

Featured Image By: Unsplash