Nov 18

Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Cake

It’s a good thing this cake tastes way better than it looks!

pumpcinnrollcake.jpg

Are you a pumpkin fan? Cinnamon roll fan? If so, you’ve found your next favorite cake. And wait until you see how easy the recipe is.

pumpcinnrollcake3.jpg

It was a huge hit among friends, and it feeds a crowd…so bring it along to your next holiday get together. You’ll all see exactly what I’m talking about! Can’t wait to make it again…this time, for brunch :)

pumpcinnrollcake2.jpg

Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Cake
slightly adapted from Call Me PMC

1 box yellow cake mix
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
2 eggs
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray or grease a 9×13 baking pan.

Combine cake mix, pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice and eggs in a bowl, and mix until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Pour half the batter into prepared pan.

Add brown sugar and cinnamon to remaining batter and mix until combined. Pour over batter in pan. Smooth the top flat.

Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out of the middle dry.

Combine heavy cream, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla until smooth. Pour over cake once it’s completely cooled. Sprinkle a little cinnamon on top. Refrigerate if not serving immediately.

Posted in cake, dessert, make ahead, pumpkin, QuickAndEasy | Leave a comment
Nov 12

Greek Salad

This is one of my favorite salads, especially paired with the avgolemono soup I posted the other day. Normally you’d see kalamata olives in it, but I ran out…and yes, there was feta cheese…I just didn’t sprinkle it on until right before eating it.

greeksalad.jpg

Stuffed grape leaves are very easy to find these days – even Trader Joe’s carries them. This salad is delicious, fresh and good for you! Pair it with your favorite vinaigrette – I actually made one with some of the juice from the grape leaves.

Greek Salad

romaine lettuce
tomatoes
cucumber
kalamata olives
green pepper
red onion
feta cheese
stuffed grape leaves

Chop/slice all ingredients besides feta and stuffed grape leaves and place in a bowl (amounts of all ingredients depend on how many people you are feeding). Place grape leaves around the perimeter of the dish and top with feta. Serve with your favorite dressing.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
Nov 10

Avgolemono

This soup not only warms my belly and cures most ailments, but it reminds me SO MUCH of my Nana. She made it often as a first course leading up to another Greek dish that was equally delicious. My mom also made it when we weren’t feeling well. It’s family and comfort food rolled into one, and it’s very easy to make!

avgolemono.jpg

Feel free to add chicken to it if you like…I didn’t have any that was leftover, but it’s always a nice way to make the soup a little more hearty.

Avgolemono
from Nana

6 cups chicken stock/broth
3/4 cup rice
3 eggs
juice from 1-2 lemons (taste as you go – I prefer 2 lemons worth)
salt and pepper

Bring stock to a boil, then add rice. Lower heat to medium, cover, and let cook for around 15-20 minutes.

In the meantime, beat eggs and lemon juice together in a bowl. Remove soup from heat. Ladle a small amount of soup into the eggs slowly while whisking them together. Add another ladle slowly and whisk while adding.

Add egg mixture to soup and mix until heated through (do not turn on heat). Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

Serves 4-6.

Posted in eggs, family, Greek, lemon, QuickAndEasy, rice, soup | 1 Comment
Nov 4

Escarole and Beans

Who’s in the mood for some good old fashioned Italian peasant food? Well, you’ve come to the right place :)

escarolebeans.jpg

This is a very easy dish that can be served as a side, or on its own as is, or with an added protein. I put a little pancetta in this batch. Ready in minutes and very inexpensive to make!

Escarole and Beans

1 head escarole, rinsed well, roughly chopped
extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, choppped
crushed red pepper
salt and pepper
1 can cannellini beans, drained

Heat oil in a large pan or dutch oven. Add garlic and crushed red pepper and let cook for around 20 seconds before adding escarole. Move around and let cook down (it will reduce a lot during cooking process), adding a little salt and pepper.

Once escarole has reduced, add beans. Stir and add salt and pepper to taste, and more crushed red pepper if you like. Cook a few more minutes until beans soften. Serve hot or at room temp.

Posted in beans, Italian, low carb, side dishes | Leave a comment
Oct 27

Chorizo and Sweet Potato Enchiladas

Enchiladas are by far one of the easiest dishes to make, and definitely one of my favorites when entertaining. Make ahead, pop right in the oven to reheat, spend more time with your guests…perfect! These were a big hit recently at my table.

chorizoench.jpg

Seriously, that cheese…

chorizoench2.jpg

I served them with homemade sweet plantains, sour cream, guacamole and salsa. Oh, and Corona, naturally.

chorizoench3.jpg

Chorizo and Sweet Potato Enchiladas
slightly adapted from Inspired Dreamer

2 tablespoons canola oil
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3 links chorizo
approximately 10 tortillas (I used low carb tortillas from Trader Joe’s)
1 (15 ounce) can enchilada sauce – or this homemade recipe
1 1/2 cups shredded cheese of your choice (I used Monterey Jack)
chopped scallions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large skillet, cook sweet potato, jalapeno and garlic in oil over medium heat until they begin to soften, about 10 minutes. Chop chorizo and add to pan. Cook until thoroughly browned.

Spray a 13×9 dish with non-stick spray. Scoop about 1/4 cup of filling into each tortilla. Fold in the ends and then roll the tortilla up around the filling. Place the filled and rolled tortillas in the baking dish. They should fill the dish and fit tightly against each other to prevent unrolling.

Pour enchilada sauce over tortillas and top with cheese. Bake in the oven until the edges begin to bubble, around 20 minutes. Sprinkle scallions on top.

Posted in cheese, freezer friendly, main dishes, make ahead, Mexican, pork, Spanish, Trader Joe's | 1 Comment
Oct 21

Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta & Onion

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

brusselspancetta.jpg

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:

brussels.jpg

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.

jalapenogrilledcheese.jpg

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!

eggplantpom.jpg

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.

sweetpotatostew.jpg

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!

crockpot

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.

baconscallops.jpg

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
salt
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