Tag Archives: recipe

Gourmet Instant Food You Need In Your Life

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Gourmet Instant Food You Need In Your Life

The words “gourmet” and “instant” don’t usually go together. But in our high-tech world of technological voodoo, that’s no longer the case in the realm of food. Today there are all sorts of instant gourmet options available. And it’s taking instant gratification to a whole new level:

Cheese Stuffed Burgers:

Why put cheese on top of your burger patty when you can put it inside, instead? That’s the idea behind cheese-stuffed burgers. As a home chef, you just cook the burgers as you usually would. Then when you bite into them, the cheese oozes out, and you get a massive dose of flavor.

What’s nice about these burgers is how runny the cheese gets when you cook it this way. The meat prevents evaporation, so you wind up with a sous-vide-style experience. These burgers tend to work best with semi-sweet sauces, like BBQ, but you can also pair them with coleslaw or onion rings.

Gourmet Calzones:

Call up your local late night pizza delivery services these days and they will probably offer gourmet options around the clock. Today, it is a completely different experience. Takeouts know that their patrons want quality ingredients and new taste sensations. The standard options are still popular. But there’s also a big market for the finer flavors.

Today, gourmet calzones are a big hit. That’s because you can fit more quality ingredients in them than you can a standard pizza. Goat cheese, spinach, sun dried tomatoes, and roasted peppers are all par for the course. And the taste experience is dramatically improved for foodies with sophisticated palates.

Specialty Ramen:

If you thought that ramen was just for students on microscopic budgets, think again. It turns out that multiple vendors are now making gourmet versions that harken back to the original Asian dish. With these meals, you’re getting much more than just some cheap noodles suspended in MSG-filled water. Many come with things like king shiitake mushrooms, wholefood glass noodles, sugar snap peas, black fungus, and marinated tofu. In fact, the number of options is quite spectacular. If you haven’t checked out the market yet, you definitely should!

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Mac n’ Cheese With a Twist:

This classic American dish is usually something you put in the microwave and enjoy steaming hot a few minutes later. But even this “plain” dish is going through a revolution.

The standard version is just a cheese sauce with refined macaroni pieces. It’s comforting, but it’s not healthy food. Today, though, people are discovering that they can create a better experience by combining flavors and using whole food ingredients. So, instead of using refined pasta, they’re using specialty wholemeal versions. And instead of using cheese sauce, they’re replacing it with cashew and nutritional yeast. A lot of budding chefs also like to char some broccoli with soy sauce before mixing into the main meal.

Bean Sausages:

Finally, we’re seeing the rise of bean gourmet sausages made with fresh ingredients. In these recipes, the base is always beans and wholemeal breadcrumbs. People are then adding their choice of herbs to create a variety of flavors to keep them interested throughout the month.

Is your mouth watering yet? Use the ideas above and transform your family dinner tonight!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Breakfast Burrito Bonanza

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Breakfast Burrito Bonanza

Howdy! My boyfriend, Johnny, is somewhat of a breakfast aficionado and I revel in when I can actually make breakfast for him over the weekends. A few days ago, however, breakfast for dinner was the move and it ended up being one of my favorite things that I’ve made in a long time. So, get your orange juice and coffee ready because we are talking breakfast burritos!

The last time I went to the grocery store, I went a bit wild because we literally had no food in the apartment. In this “we’ve gotta stock up” stupor, I had no problem purchasing all of the goods to make delicious meals at home. A girl has gotta eat. 😀

One of the things that I love about Johnny is that he is willing to try new things. For example, I am a strict vegetarian while he is the furthest thing from it. While there is meat at our place for him, there is MorningStar veggie sausage patties and chicken nuggets for me… And for him too, because he likes the vegetarian products as much as I do!

I decided that breakfast burritos would be a delicious way to go and something that Johnny would love. So I purchased tortillas, shredded cheese, shredded hash browns, vegetarian sausage patties, and eggs for the filling. In fact, when I mentioned it to him when I got home from shopping he asked me if I could make them right at that moment, lol!

I didn’t make the burritos right at that moment but when I did the following day they were a huge hit! In one pan I scrambled eggs and in the other I combined the hash browns and sausage together, breaking apart the patties into pieces once they were cooked enough. After everything was prepared, I mixed the eggs, hash browns, and sausage into one pan and then I put some shredded cheese in each tortilla. Then, I added the filling and wrapped them up. Breakfast for dinner is served!

While I preferred some salsa on mine, Johnny liked his plain. Either way, they were SO yummy and I definitely plan on making breakfast burritos again. Next time, I might consider different toppings like sour cream, guacamole, or cheese sauce. I also might add some sliced red peppers for a tangy crunch. However you dress your breakfast burrito, it is sure to be a hit no matter what time of the day you eat it. 😀

What is your favorite meal of the day? How about 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

My Attempt At Making Spaghetti Squash

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My Attempt At Making Spaghetti Squash

Hello! When I’m at work, I am constantly being handed bagfuls of goodies from the gardens of whichever home I’m at for the day. During my produce haul last week, I was given a gigantic squash that I had absolutely no idea what to do with. My client’s mom suggested spaghetti squash and I have always wanted to try it so I thought I would give it a shot over the weekend.

Unfortunately, my attempt at making spaghetti squash was not very successful and, after a quick Google, I learned that the squash I used definitely did not look like traditional spaghetti squashes. WHOOPS! Lol, oh well. I tried something new and now I know differently for the next time! Take a look at some pics and let’s discuss:

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To learn how to prepare my “spaghetti squash”, I visited the blog Cookie + Kate. This is one of my mom’s favorite sites to get vegetarian recipes from and, as her spiel goes, “Cookie is the dog and Kate is the human”. Lol, I consulted Kate’s recipe while making my squash and it was so easy to follow because it was just like learning how to make it from a friend. No unknown cooking terms and no long stories of how she found God while making this dish, haha.

To prepare my spaghetti squash, I cut it in half from the middle and then halved the pieces again. Afterwards, I scooped out all of the squash guts… AKA the seeds! It was actually pretty fun. Once the squash halves were seedless, I drizzled olive oil onto each of them and then seasoned with salt and pepper. All that was left to do was bake them and I kept my squash in the oven for a little under an hour at four hundred degrees.

I was eager to take my squash out of the oven but, sadly, there was nothing really “spaghetti” about it. I tried to fluff the insides into a spaghetti like texture as Kate had mentioned but there was hardly even any squash to work with on the interior. What I was originally hoping was going to be a noodle shape ended up being a few forkfuls of the squash and the texture definitely looked more like pulp. Although, I must say, it still tasted really good!

Sadly, my attempt at making spaghetti squash didn’t go too hot. However, I feel confident that if I ever get the right ingredients to make it with, it will turn out delicious with the help from Cookie + Kate! 😀

What is your favorite vegetarian recipe? What do you top your spaghetti squash with? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Smoky Cauliflower Bites Recipe

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Smoky Cauliflower Bites Recipe

Hello! As I get older, I have definitely been trying to eat more healthy. AKA more fruits and veggies and less Taco Bell, lol! But, seriously, sometimes it’s just a hassle to make a healthy meal – especially after a long day at work. Quick and easy recipes are the name of the game in my household and this super simple/speedy recipe for Smoky Cauliflower Bites makes for a delicious and ultra fast appetizer for your fam:

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 1/8 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 medium head cauliflower, broken into florets

Directions:

  1. Combine all of your dry ingredients and mix into the olive oil, then pour over your cauliflower florets. You might want to let it sit for a few hours, shaking every so often to let the flavored oil sink in on all of the areas it might have missed.
  2. Preheat oven to 450 and transfer into a baking pan and roast until tender – about 15 to 20 minutes. This recipe is by Courtney Stultz of Weir, KS and I have no rights to it!

My client’s brother makes these cauliflower bites often and it is my absolute favorite treat. Last week, he so generously bought a head of cauliflower for me and mixed up the dry ingredients into a zip lock bag so all I would have to do is cut the veggies and heat it up at home. It was such a sweet gesture and I was eager to make it because it is so delicious in every sense of the word.

After fifteen minutes of roasting in the oven, my cauliflower was ready to eat and it was just as good as when my client’s brother makes it. I love all of the seasonings that drench the cauliflower because they add quite a bit of heat to it but it was never overpowering. Johnny and I dipped our bold and smoky cauliflower bites in Ranch dressing and enjoyed it as a side dish with our dinner. Ranch or sour cream is a good bet to have handy with you just in case there’s a little too much “oomph” for anyone at the table.

Easy as pie to make and tasty any time of the day, make these Smokey Cauliflower Bites to spice things up at your next family dinner!

What is your favorite veggie recipe? How do you eat healthy at home? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Garden Goodies

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Garden Goodies

Hi! I looove having lots of fresh fruits and veggies at my apartment and, during the summer, I am never lacking in that department. My dad as well as all of the families of my clients have gardens and I always seem to be returning home from work with surplus veggies. It’s freaking awesome and I haven’t been without cucumbers, zucchinis, tomatoes, peppers, and green beans in weeks.

I know that all of the families I work with are up to their ears in produce and they have entire gardens but, shit, I am too! I can’t even get to the bottom of my crisper drawer until it’s filled up again with all of the garden goodies I am constantly being gifted with. The last thing I am doing is complaining about it, though!!

My appetite changes drastically in the summer because I get nauseous when it’s really hot. I find myself craving light dishes as I think I would keel over even thinking about eating a heavy meal in my hot ass apartment. Having a never ending supply of veggies has been a game changer because I can snack on them all day totally guilt free and it has added a lot of variety to my cooking.

This past week, I had an overflow of produce that I needed to purge from my fridge – cucumbers, tomatoes, red onion, lemon, and lots of garlic. So, I decided to prepare a cucumber salad with the ingredients I had available. My recipe went as so:

Lemon Cucumber Salad

  • 2 large cucumbers with the skin peeled and cut in slices
  • 1/2 large red onion, thinly sliced
  • Multicolored grape tomatoes, halved
  • 4 large cloves garlic
  • Juice from one lemon, with some of the pulp added too
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Salt, pepper, Italian seasoning to taste

I am obsessed with the salad I whipped up and have been eating a few servings daily. I just love the tart lemon mixed with the tang of the balsamic vinegar and when it’s poured over crisp veggies it is an absolute treat. Get creative with your cooking and try making a salad recipe of your own next family dinner!

How has your garden been doing? What do you have growing? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Summer Spaghetti Recipe

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Summer Spaghetti Recipe

Hello! On our last day of staycation in Lexington, Kentucky we had a great big cookout. My sister’s boyfriend, Ramon, was the grill master for all of the guys and I was in charge of the vegetarian dish for the ladies: Spaghetti. At first, I was fine with just heating up some sauce and calling it a day. However, Ramon was creating grill magic and I wasn’t going to be caught dead just serving spaghetti with red sauce!

So, I got to work. And, I must say, thanks to the friendly competition, I think I created a masterpiece that I would definitely serve for myself and Johnny again. My entire family loved it and I think all of you will, too! Check it out:

Ingredients:

  • 1 box spaghetti
  • 7 cloves garlic
  • 1 eggplant
  • 2 medium zucchinis
  • 1/2 of a large, red onion
  • 2 lemons
  • Butter
  • Olive oil
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Salt, pepper, parsley, oregano

Directions:

We all know how to make spaghetti so we are going to talk about the saute I made to put on top of it. I wanted the dish to be really light so I didn’t want to go with a heavy sauce. So, I created a dressing in the vegetable saute by doing the following:

  1. In your frying pan, add butter and olive oil and season it with the herbs of your choosing. I kept it light with salt, pepper, parsley, and oregano.
  2. Once your mixture is all melted, add the vegetables. Then, squeeze the juice from one full lemon over top. If the mixture still looks dry like mine did, add more butter and olive oil. To top it off, add five to six splashes of red wine vinegar and continue seasoning to your heart’s content.

By now, your vegetables should be frying away in its own sauce, which is going to make them literally burst with flavor. I kept mine cooking on a medium to high heat until the last five minutes or so when I brought it down to a simmer. I wanted to make sure they were all thoroughly cooked but I also didn’t want them to shrink away into nothing!

3. Once your pasta is cooked, simply add your saute to it and mix it well. Then, you’re going to take the juice from another full lemon to add in as well as any additional seasoning to taste.

The end result? A light, lemony pasta dish that is amazing on its own or, according to the meat eaters in my family, fabulous with chicken over top. I would have snapped some pictures of my creation but, by the time I thought to do it, the pasta was long gone. Lol, WHOOPS. 😀

My entire family agreed that another cookout needs to happen this summer and, this time, Ramon and I agreed that he will make the chicken and I will make the pasta again because it was such a hit. Bon appetit! ❤

How do you like to get creative in the kitchen? Have you had any cooking success or failures lately? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Butternut Squash Risotto Recipe

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Butternut Squash Risotto Recipe

Hello! For the past few months Lil Red has spent a majority of her time indoors due to the coronavirus. When you have no access to the outside world, it is way harder than you can imagine to create daily content! Ever since lifewithlilred began over five years ago, I have always encouraged guest bloggers on my page – especially now!

This is why I am so grateful to my sweet friend, Alice, from Alice Rambles for reaching out to me with a tasty recipe for butternut squash risotto. This recipe combines a bunch of my favorite things and I am looking forward to trying it myself. After checking this post out, do be sure to give Alice’s page some love and if you are interested in guest posting on lifewithlilred, please email me at: sarah.mush6794@gmail.com .

Now, let’s get to it:

Butternut Squash Risotto

Hi everyone, my name is Alice (from Alice Rambles). Sarah has very kindly offered to let me write a guest post for her blog, and I thought today I’d share one of my favourite easy recipes – butternut squash risotto!

In the UK, butternut squash are harvested throughout summer and autumn, so this dish not only uses fresh, seasonal vegetables, but it also reduces our food air miles which is always a great thing to consider. This recipe is also easy to adapt for vegetarian and vegan diets and serves four people.

Ingredients:

  • 1kg butternut squash, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 50g butter (or vegan alternative)
  • 1 brown onion, diced
  • 300g arborio risotto rice
  • 150ml white wine
  • 1.5 litres vegetable stock
  • 50g Parmesan cheese (or vegetarian/vegan alternative), finely grated
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Handful of sage (fresh or dried)

 

Equipment:

  • Large baking tray
  • Medium saucepan
  • Large wide saucepan or deep frying pan
  • Wooden spoon
  • Ladle

Method:

  • Heat your oven to 200°C/gas mark 7. Mix your chopped squash with some olive oil, salt, pepper, and sage. Spread it over the baking tray and roast it for 30 mins, until it’s soft on the inside but slightly coloured on the outside. Mash half of the squash into a rough puree, and leave the other half whole.

  • Next, heat up your stock in the medium saucepan – bring it to the boil first, and then lower to a simmer. In the wide saucepan, melt the butter on a medium heat, then add the onion and cook it slowly until it is soft, but not coloured.

  • Stir the rice into the buttery onions, and keep stirring until the rice is shiny and the grains are starting to become transparent.

  • Pour in the wine, stir it through and simmer until it has all evaporated. Turn the heat down to low, then start adding the stock (one ladle at a time) and stir continuously.

  • Keep going until you’ve used up all of the stock – at this point the risotto should be thick and creamy, with the rice still retaining a bit of bite to it.

  • Stir the squash puree through the risotto, then add the grated Parmesan.

  • Serve, and garnish with the remaining chunks of roasted squash.

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And there you have it, so simple! This recipe is great for when you fancy a nice warming meal and, of course, you can mix it up by adding your own herbs, spices, and flavours if you wish. If you’d like to see more of my posts then do check out my blog (Alice Rambles), and let me know if you give this recipe a try!

Thank you so much again to Alice for sharing her delicious recipe with all of us! What is your favorite kind of risotto? What is one of your favorite seasonal dishes? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Fine Dining At Home

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Fine Dining At Home

Hi! With Ohio’s stay at home order still in place, Johnny and I have been eating at home nine times out of ten. Don’t get me wrong, we still enjoy the occasional Taco Bell but, for now, it just feels easier and safer to do our cooking at home. For the most part, we’re fine with the basics of grilled cheese, pasta, and oven pizza. Lol, but sometimes people need a little bit more. So, may I present the mac n cheese pizza?

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When Johnny and I first started dating, he created a mac n cheese pizza that was ready for when I arrived home from work. It was basically the sweetest and most delicious thing ever and it has since become one of our favorite “treat yoself” meals. Ready for all the carbs? Just follow this simple recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 Oven pizza of your choosing
  • 1 box or packet of mac n cheese of your choosing
  • Shredded mozzarella to sprinkle on top

Directions:

  1. Make the box of mac n cheese. About halfway through, start preheating the oven for your pizza.
  2. Once the mac n cheese is done and the oven is preheated, cover the top of the pizza with a layer of the cheesy goodness. Then, sprinkle the extra mozzarella on top.
  3. Cook your masterpiece and enjoy!

Is the mac n cheese pizza the finest of quarantine delicacies? Probably. And, it always goes down smooth at chez moi. Give it a try and watch your life change for the better.

What is your favorite crazy food creation that you’ve made? What is your favorite pizza topping? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

White Claw Lemonade Mixed Drink – YUM!

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White Claw Lemonade Mixed Drink – YUM!

Hello! This stint in self-isolation has taught me that there is a whole lot more than going out to the bars… So, in the meantime, I’ll just be drinking at home. Lol, this past weekend while Johnny and I were binging on Community (Hilarious) and Animal Crossing (So fun) he made us a very simple but delicious mixed drink that I can totally picture us enjoying on my balcony once it’s nice and warm out.

Unfortunately, it will be a while before we can revisit our favorite stomping grounds with our friends to drink summery drinks on the patio. But, for now, a White Claw Lemonade will do just fine:

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During our TV marathon, Johnny mixed one lime White Claw with a healthy splash of Newman’s Own Virgin Lemonade. I always have a carton or two of this lemonade in my apartment because it’s really tart, which is what I prefer. When combined with the fizzy carbonated lime Claw, it made a boozy Sprite and it went down way too easily.

Perfect for making a pitcher to share on the porch or to sip on while you fish in your Animal Crossing village, I think Johnny’s “hard lemonade” will be a quarantine staple in our apartment. Yum! 😀

What is your favorite boozy drink? How are you virtually interacting with your friends? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Brunch Warriors ASSEMBLE!

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Brunch Warriors ASSEMBLE!

Hi! If you’re anything like me, then you never say no to a good brunch. Despite almost always being slightly hungover, I revel in a boozy Sunday brunch complete with hearty breakfast food and fifteen mimosas. Well… more like two mimosas but I definitely think I could polish off fifteen of the most delicious mimosa mash up I’ve ever heard of…

Allow me to introduce you to the Lemonade Mimosa. Yes, you heard it correctly. A mouthwatering sweet/tart combination that I just had to read on about when someone posted the recipe on Facebook. And, let me be the first to tell you, the following recipe that can be found on Delish.com sounds… Delish! Take a look and be sure to visit Delish for more food and drink inspiration to spice up your meals!

Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp. lemon zest
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced, plus a wedge for rimming
  • 1 bottle champagne
  • 2 c. lemonade or pink lemonade

Directions:

  1. In a shallow dish, mix lemon zest and sugar.
  2. Rim champagne flutes with a lemon wedge and dip in sugar mixture.
  3. Place one slice of lemon inside each champagne flute, bending if needed.
  4. Fill flute halfway with champagne and top with lemonade. Serve.

 

When the weather begins warming up, I need a drink that is crisp and refreshing which is why I usually favor the Moscow Mule. So, what could possibly be better than ice cold lemonade and champagne during a muggy summer morning? The answer is nothing, of course!

Treat your friends to a Sunday morning summer brunch, follow more simple and tasty recipes by Lena Abraham, and you’ll be the hostess with the mostess by the time the second round of Lemonade Mimosas starts being poured!

What is your favorite mimosa flavor? (I love mango!) How do you do Sunday brunch? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah