Tag Archives: dinner

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

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

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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! πŸ˜€

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

Easy & Delicious Dinner – Fake Fish Wrap

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Easy & Delicious Dinner – Fake Fish Wrap

Hello! I am a very strict vegetarian and have been for close to two decades. However, that doesn’t mean that I don’t get cravings every now and then and will forever miss the spicy chicken sandwich from Wendy’s and the fillet o’ fish from McDonald’s. Thankfully, both MorningStar and Gardein make awesome substitutes – it’s definitely not the same as your favorite fast food order but, hey, it’s good enough!

One of my favorite Gardein products is the fake fish fillets, which I love using for both sandwiches and wraps. Johnny likes it too and that’s another huge win! This past week, I made fake fish wraps for dinner and, as always, it was SO delicious and super easy. Check it out:

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I Used:

  • Birds Eye Southwestern style rice
  • 2 Gardein fish fillets
  • Butter lettuce blend
  • Mexican cheese
  • Ranch dressing
  • Tortilla

The ingredients that I listed are the staples that I use but you could doctor your wrap up any way you like. Strips of red pepper, red onion, chipotle sauce, or real meat would also do just fine! I sometimes like to make my wraps with the buffalo chicken by MorningStar, which is also really good. These wraps can be made so quickly and are really filling, making them an ideal meal after a long work day when you come home famished.

If you are a vegetarian, I cannot recommend the Gardein brand enough – especially if you are feeling “been there, done that” with MorningStar. Believe you me, I get that. My other favorite Gardein fake meat is the mandarin chicken, which I make when veggie lo mein is on the menu for dinner. Gardein also has “meatballs” that Johnny loves for spaghetti and subs. Yum!

During the work week, quick and easy meals are the name of the game and my world famous wraps will be sure to please! πŸ˜€

What is your favorite meal to make during the work week? What do you use in your wraps? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Spicing Up Spaghetti

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Spicing Up Spaghetti

Hello!! I absolutely LOVE cooking in my new apartment and have the best time making delicious meals for me and Johnny. I try to cook an actual dinner at least a couple of nights per week but sometimes nothing hits better than an oven pizza or a simple spaghetti dinner. This past Monday, I was craving spaghetti something fierce and whipped up a pot of angel hair and some oven cheese filled bread sticks. While Johnny just wanted Alfredo sauce, I made a little something extra for me to spice up the dish:

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Pesto is my absolute favorite pasta topping and I had a lone tomato sitting in my crisper drawer. So, I decided to make a super easy addition to my spaghetti with four ingredients: tomato, mozzarella cheese, basil, and a light drizzle of balsamic vinegar. Of course, fresh mozzarella and basil are the best but I only had shredded cheese and dried basil so you work with what you’ve got!

All I did was slice the tomato, top it with cheese and basil, and poured some balsamic on top. Then, I let it broil in the oven until the cheese browned and bubbled and the tomatoes were tender. This process took about ten minutes in total and I couldn’t believe that I haven’t done this all the time when I make spaghetti.

I have made this pasta add on a few times before in the past and it was just as good as I remember it being. It was a little something that I dreamed up but I am sure you can find fancier recipes on Pinterest. Next time I make it, fresh mozzarella and basil will be the way to go but what can you do when your supplies in the fridge are minimal?!

There are so many ways to spice up a classic spaghetti dinner and this is just one of them. Fresh veggies and cheese go a long way in making a no fuss meal something to blog about!

What is your favorite pasta topping? How do you improve upon classic dishes? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Hibachi Japan Double Date

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Hibachi Japan Double Date

Hello!! This past week, Johnny and I went on a double date to Hibachi Japan with my best friend Lea and her husband Brandon. We had the best time and the food was delicious!! I have not been to this restaurant in close to five years and out of the blue, I had a HUGE craving for it so I was really looking forward to this outing. πŸ˜€ Take a look:

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Hibachi Japan is such a fun date night restaurant to go to because the chef expertly prepares your food right in front of you. The random bursts of fire, patrons at the table trying to catch pieces of shrimp, and exciting atmosphere all make for a perfect evening out. The restaurant window shades also added a touch of ambiance and made the fire seem even brighter! The chef prepared meals are also great because it includes two appetizers and dessert, which is an awesome value!

To start off our meal, we ordered drinks and Johnny and I both got the signature cocktail called Purple Rain. It is basically a Long Island Iced Tea with raspberry and it is delightful but strong – I couldn’t finish mine! Then, along came the appetizers which consisted of soup and salad. Unfortunately, the soup uses beef broth so I was given two salads and that was fine by me because the peanut salad dressing is to die for. I actually had three salads because Johnny barely ate his. πŸ˜€

After appetizers, our chef came to begin cooking our entrees. I got the tofu and veggies with rice and the rest of our table ordered rice with chicken, steak, or shrimp. The portions were huge, as you can see, and no one could finish their entire plate! I am usually not the biggest fan of tofu but it just hits different at Hibachi. It is crispy on the outside and soft in the middle and I savored every bite.

In all honesty, we couldn’t have ate another bite but how can you say no to pineapple sorbet for dessert?! It was DIVINE. The bold pineapple flavor was complimented with the creamiest texture and I wish I could buy it by the gallon. It was also especially yummy with broken up pieces of fortune cookie on top.

Once we all officially couldn’t move, it was time to head home after a wonderful double date. A marvelous time was had by all and I will definitely not be waiting another five years to go back! πŸ˜€

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

Vegetarian Cheesy Gordita Crunches

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Vegetarian Cheesy Gordita Crunches

Hello!!!! Cooking in the kitchen of mine and Johnny’s new apartment will, honestly, never get old to me because it feels like an actual kitchen. Counter space for days and lots of room to spread out makes for a very happy me and I have had a blast cooking lots of yummy Pinterest recipes for dinner. Even the simplest of meals feels like a special event!

As you all know, Johnny and I are avid fans of Taco Bell and I decided to try my hand at vegetarian Cheesy Gordita Crunches. I drew inspiration from my undying love of TBell, of course, but I also took a peek at Texas Cookin’ At Home on Pinterest. I didn’t end up using the recipe, which featured a homemade sauce because Taco Bell has graced us with their own Baja sauce that can be bought in store. Now, let’s get to it:

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Cheesy Gordita Crunches are super easy to make and only requires dressing a hard taco shell to your liking, microwaving a soft shell tortilla with cheese on it, and putting two and two together. Viola, a TBell level dish in under twenty minutes. For my crunches, I made MorningStar vegetarian beef crumbles, refried beans, lettuce, tomato, cheese, and the Taco Bell brand Baja sauce. They were so incredibly delicious and filling – Johnny and I couldn’t have had another bite after two Gorditas no matter how much we wanted to!

Prior to going vegetarian in my youth, I had never tried actual taco meat before for no other reason than that it looked gross to me lol. I had never made the MorningStar crumbles before and was curious to try it on a taco. I love that Johnny will eat and actually enjoy the fake meat that I make and he ended up really liking the crumbles. Myself, on the other hand? Not so much. I couldn’t get down with the texture, I didn’t like the taste, and was so happy that I made some refried beans just in case this were to happen.

Although I wouldn’t eat the crumbles again, Johnny would and I definitely plan on making this meal often. It was fun to make, different than what I’ve been cooking, and that TBell Baja sauce? *Chef’s kiss*!

What are some of your favorite meals to cook? Have you ever made a recipe inspired from a restaurant before? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Super Yummy Veggie Lo Mein

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Super Yummy Veggie Lo Mein

Hello! Over the past several months, I have taken to consulting Pinterest for recipe inspiration. It’s like having a cookbook on your phone! I have always loved to cook and the kitchen in my new apartment is much more prep friendly because it has a lot more counter space. While cooking in my old kitchen was fine, it was hard to be limited to just one small area to prepare meals with!

With room to spread out in the kitchen, it has turned cooking back into something really fun rather than cramped and slightly annoying lol. This past week, I tried out a delicious recipe by Momsdish for Veggie Lo Mein. It was a huge hit for me and Johnny as well as my parents who enjoyed the leftovers I brought by later that evening. Check it out:

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Of course, when I’m scouring Pinterest I save recipes that look yummy but I also look for ones that don’t take an entire grocery cart’s worth of ingredients to make. Not only was this Momsdish recipe a huge success but it was made with a little over ten ingredients which was totally doable. It also helped make cooking a recipe that I haven’t tried before less overwhelming because the prep work was minimal and it took only a half hour to make. That’s what I’m talking about!

I followed the Veggie Lo Mein recipe almost to the T with a few exceptions. The carrots that I had went bad so that was a no go. I also added way more garlic than what was called for, as always, as well as ginger to add some more oomph. Johnny and I were both very surprised by the end result because it had so much flavor for so few ingredients. The sauce was tangy, the recommended veggies were perfect, and I can’t wait to make it again.

I am already day dreaming about this Veggie Lo Mein and I also plan on adding my own twists to it:

  • First and foremost, I will be making a double batch because just one was not enough!
  • I’d like to try precooked Lo Mein noodles next time.
  • Using carrots, definitely, as well as adding bamboo shoots or bean sprouts.
  • Garnishing with peanuts and sesame seeds.
  • The brand, Gardein, makes a yummy fake orange chicken to have as a side dish.

If you are looking for a super easy and super delicious dish, then I cannot recommend Momsdish’s Veggie Lo Mein recipe enough. I am so proud of how it turned out and I think that you will love it!

Where do you like to find new recipes? What is your favorite vegetarian friendly dish? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

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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

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