Oct 21

Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta & Onion

Brussels sprouts. You either love ‘em or hate ‘em. Which camp are you in?


It’s tough to hate them when they’re prepared like this. They really are delicious! Have you seen them sold on the stalk? My local Trader Joe’s sells them that way. You get a ton of them for $2.99. Not a bad deal! It looks like this:


This is a really easy side dish that would be perfect for Thanksgiving, you know, if you like to plan ahead for that sort of thing ;)

Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta & Onion

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3/4 cup pancetta, cubed
1 batch brussels sprouts (about 2 cups)
salt and pepper
garlic powder
crushed red pepper

Boil a pot of water and add brussels sprouts. Cook for about 5 minutes, then drain while running cool water over them. Pat dry and slice lengthwise.

Heat oil in a large skillet. Add brussels sprouts and season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder and crushed red pepper to taste. Cook for a few minutes. Add pancetta and onion and stir. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Cook until brussels sprouts have browned and onions are soft.

Posted in low carb, pork, QuickAndEasy, side dishes, Thanksgiving, Trader Joe's | 1 Comment
Oct 17

Jalapeno Popper Grilled Cheese Sandwich

***Don’t forget to enter my latest GIVEAWAY!!***

TGIF!! It’s been a crazy week – I actually can’t believe it’s already Friday! Hope everyone has fun weekend plans. I’m looking forward to the temps getting back down to what’s average for the season – the past few days have been like summer!

I was looking at the jalapenos in my fridge the other day and remembered this sandwich that I made months ago. Now I’m thinking I may have to make it again…very soon…it’s just too good.


If you love spice and love cheese, this is definitely for you. I’m a big fan of both and this really hits the spot. Pair it with soup and you’ve got yourself a great meal that’s quick and easy. You can use any bread you like – I used low carb bread and it was perfect :)

Jalapeno Popper Grilled Cheese Sandwich
adapted from Closet Cooking

2 jalapenos, cut in half, seeded, then sliced thinly lengthwise
2 slices bread of your choice
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons cream cheese, at room temp
1/2 cup shredded cheese, or 2-3 slices cheese of your choice (I used colby and jack)

Spread cream cheese on one slice of bread. Add jalapeno pieces, then cheese. Top with other slice of bread.

Melt butter in a skillet and place sandwich in it. Let cook a few minutes, until cheese has melted a good amount, and carefully flip over. Cook a few more minutes then remove from skillet. Serve immediately.

Posted in cheese, cream cheese, peppers, QuickAndEasy, sandwiches, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
Oct 15

Eggplant Pomodoro

Has anyone else noticed grocery prices going through the roof lately? I certainly have – especially the cost of meat. I definitely consider myself a carnivore but have been cutting back lately because of this. Fortunately, recipes like the one below make it a bit easier. This dish is very satisfying, healthy and cheap!


I served it with my usual Dreamfields pasta, but I bet it would taste great with quinoa, couscous or polenta. Give it a try while eggplant is still inexpensive!

Also, have you entered my Hamilton Beach Slow Cooker giveaway yet? If not, here’s a reminder!

Eggplant Pomodoro
from Kitchen Daily

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 eggplant, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 plum tomatoes, diced (or one 15 ounce can diced tomatoes, drained)
⅓ cup chopped pitted green olives
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
4 teaspoons capers, rinsed
salt and pepper
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
cooked pasta of your choice
chopped fresh parsley
grated pecorino romano cheese

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add eggplant and cook, stirring occasionally, until just softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for about 1 minute. Add tomatoes, olives, vinegar, capers, salt, pepper and crushed red pepper and cook, until the tomatoes begin to break down, 5 to 7 minutes more.

Serve on top of pasta with cheese and parsley sprinkled on top.

Posted in eggplant, freezer friendly, Italian, low carb, main dishes, make ahead, pasta, QuickAndEasy, tomatoes | Leave a comment
Oct 13

Slow Cooker Black Bean Butternut Squash Chili and a Giveaway!

Hope you all had a great weekend! Fall is definitely in the air here and one thing is for sure – the slow cooker sees a lot more action in the cooler weather. And with school and activities clogging up your schedule, it’s a life saver when it comes to getting dinner on the table, especially during the week.


Hamilton Beach was kind enough to send me their Set & Forget 6 Qt. Programmable Slow Cooker With Spoon/Lid to try out. All I can say is, I LOVE it! The programmable option is wonderful. The lid clips onto the base which makes it easy to carry and take with you. And, it comes with a thermometer probe. All great things!


This slow cooker is sure to free up your day to complete your long task list, and efficient enough to be ready as soon as your family sits down to eat.

I bet you’d love to have one, right? Well, today is your lucky day. Just leave a comment on this post, telling me what your favorite slow cooker meal is.

If you’d like a second entry, follow me on Instagram, and leave your IG user name in another comment.

Want to increase your chances even more? Follow me on Pinterest and leave another comment with your user name.

Giveaway ends on Monday, October 20th at 5pm EST. To participate, you must be at least 18 years old and reside in the US. Good luck! And even if you don’t win, try this recipe soon…it was a winner with us and it’s perfect for the fall!

Slow Cooker Black Bean Butternut Squash Chili
from Eat at Home

1 medium red onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 (15 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
2 (15 ounce) cans black beans
2 cups cubed butternut squash
1 cup water

Combine all ingredients in slow cooker. Turn on high and cook for 3 to 4 hours.

Toppings that work well with this dish are crushed tortilla chips, shredded cheese, sour cream, chopped cilantro, chopped scallions, avocados, and hot sauce!

Posted in beans, cheddar, cheese, chili, crockpot, freezer friendly, main dishes, make ahead, squash, tomatoes | 119 Comments
Oct 10

Grilled Bacon Wrapped Scallops

It’s starting to get darker earlier…incase you didn’t already know, just take a look at the pic in this post ;) I still couldn’t resist blogging it, since it was so delicious and ridiculously easy to make.


This is one of those “impress your guests” dishes and works especially well when you need something quick and easy. And as you can probably tell, I used turkey bacon, which is a perfect healthy substitute.

I served them on top of sauteed broccoli rabe, but you can sub any green you like (kale, spinach, etc)…anything goes!

Grilled Bacon Wrapped Scallops

8 sea scallops
extra virgin olive oil
cayenne pepper
chopped garlic
8 slices turkey bacon

Blot scallops with paper towel to get rid of excess moisture. Season both sides with salt and a little cayenne pepper.

Put a little oil in a grill pan and add bacon. Cook until about halfway done, then remove from pan. Wrap bacon around each scallop and place on skewer.

Add skewers to grill pan and top each scallop with a little garlic. Turn each a few times in order to evenly cook bacon and scallop. Total cooking time should be around 6-7 minutes, depending on size of scallops.

Place on top of your favorite cooked greens and serve immediately.

Posted in bacon, low carb, main dishes, seafood, turkey | Leave a comment
Oct 8

Easy Cinnamon French Toast

The mornings are starting to get brisk (I LOVE it!!) which calls for a more cozy breakfast. This dish is so comforting! Plus, it’s easy enough to make on a hectic weekday.

What screams love more than french toast?? ;)


By the way, I made this with low carb bread. You can make it with whatever type of bread you want. I mean, if you use enough butter, cinnamon and syrup it all pretty much tastes the same. Sort of.

Easy Cinnamon French Toast

6 slices bread (your choice)
2 eggs
a few big drops of milk
2 teaspoons cinnamon
maple syrup

Beat eggs, milk and cinnamon together. Heat skillet and melt a few pats of butter in it. Dip both sides of each slice of bread in egg mixture and transfer to skillet right away. Flip sides when golden brown. Repeat until all slices are cooked.

Add butter and syrup to french toast while still warm. Sprinkle a little more cinnamon on top. Serve immediately.

Posted in bread, breakfast, QuickAndEasy | 2 Comments
Oct 6

Zucchini, Corn & Leek Frittata

Hopefully many of you saw my posts and pics from Martha Stewart’s event last week. I was chosen to cover it, which was a cooking demonstration and a book signing for her new cookbook, One Pot. It’s got lots of great recipes in it, including one that inspired me to make this…


My family makes frittate often, mainly to use up leftovers or whatever is in your fridge, which is exactly what I did with this. I adapted the recipe based on what I had. Can’t wait to try another one!

Here are a few pics, incase you missed them last week. I really enjoyed meeting her, plus we got some great samples of some of her dishes, like the corn chowder you see below. SO GOOD.




Every recipe from her book is based on one pot cooking, and use different types of pots for a nice change of pace. Cooking doesn’t get much easier than this!


Zucchini, Corn & Leek Frittata
adapted from One Pot by Martha Stewart

1 zucchini, sliced
3/4 cup chopped leeks
3/4 cup corn
extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
crushed red pepper
8 eggs, beaten
chopped fresh parsley

Preheat broiler on high. In a large oven safe skillet, heat oil with a little bit of crushed red pepper, then add zucchini. Cook for a few minutes, then add leeks and corn. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 3-4 minutes, until leeks soften a bit.

Add eggs and cook for a few minutes until just set. Sprinkle parsley on top. Place in the oven and broil for 3-5 minutes, until eggs are cooked through.

Delicious served hot, cold or at room temp.

Serves 6-8, depending on how big you slice it.

Posted in breakfast, corn, eggs, low carb, main dishes, make ahead, QuickAndEasy, zucchini | Leave a comment
Oct 2

Eggs Baked in Tomato Sauce

Talk about a quick and easy meal, whether it’s for breakfast, lunch or dinner, for a crowd or a couple. This is perfect when you want to make something “fancy” but don’t have lots of time.


And don’t forget the bread…you’ll need it for dunking! :)


Eggs Baked in Tomato Sauce
slightly adapted from Italian Food Forever

4 extra large eggs
1 cup tomato sauce
extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup peas, thawed (or fresh)
Italian bread
1 garlic clove

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using 4 ramekins, spoon 1/4 sauce into each. Break an egg into each one carefully so the yolk stays intact. Add peas to each.

Drizzle oil on top and add salt, pepper and crushed red pepper flakes to your liking. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until whites cook but yolk remains somewhat soft.

While eggs are cooking, cut bread and broil until golden brown. Rub each piece with garlic and brush with a little oil. Serve bread on the side or place on top of eggs.

Serves 4.

Posted in breakfast, eggs, low carb, peas, QuickAndEasy, tomatoes | 1 Comment
Sep 30

Thai Slaw

I wish I had a better picture, because what you see here does this dish no justice. Aside from a little bit of chopping, it takes just a few minutes to throw together, but it tastes like a lot of effort was required!


The flavors in this are amazing. It paired nicely with the salmon I made (no lengthy recipe for that…just baste it with Trader Joe’s sweet chili sauce and grill) and was really refreshing. I am definitely making this again soon…and I’m also definitely taking a new picture!

Thai Slaw
slightly adapted from Left Side of the Table

1 bag cole slaw mix
1 cup shredded purple cabbage
6 scallions, chopped
2/3 cup rice wine vinegar
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons sesame oil
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1/2 cup peanuts, chopped

Place cabbage in a bowl. Add scallions and mix. In another bowl, combine vinegar, soy sauce, oil, garlic, parsley and cilantro. Whisk until combined.

Pour dressing over cabbage and mix well. Add seeds and peanuts and mix. Refrigerate until serving.

Serves 6-8.

Posted in low carb, make ahead, QuickAndEasy, salad, side dishes, Thai | Leave a comment
Sep 24

Butterscotch Blondies…and a Martha Stewart Event!

Sometimes, butterscotch is all you need.


Addicting doesn’t even describe it. Pair one of these with a cup of coffee or a glass of milk and, well, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

I think Martha would love these. Maybe I should bring one along next Thursday when I meet her. And guess what, you can meet her too! I’ll be covering her cooking demonstration on October 2nd at Willowbrook Mall in Wayne, NJ. There will also be a special deal going on with certain purchases of her kitchen products, as well as the opportunity to meet her and get an autographed copy of her new cookbook! Click here for more details.

For those of you who can’t be there, don’t worry, I’ll be giving updates as it’s happening, as well as more information after the event. It’s going to be a blast!

I am a member of the Everywhere Society and Everywhere has provided me with
compensation for this post. However, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

Butterscotch Blondies
from Your Home Based Mom

3/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 cups AP flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups butterscotch chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×13 baking pan.

Beat butter and sugars until mixed well. Add eggs and continue to mix. In another bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. Add slowly to wet mixture until fully combined.

Stir in chips and spread evenly in pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until top is golden brown (do not overbake!). Cool completely before cutting into bars.

Posted in bars, dessert, make ahead, QuickAndEasy | 1 Comment