posted by on family, guilty pleasure, Nebraska, side dish, vegetable

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Bacon Braised Green Beans

On my most recent trip back home to Nebraska, Dad pulled out all the stops (as usual) making beer chicken and these amazing bacon braised green beans. I dare any of you who don’t care for green beans to try these out. After all, bacon makes everything better, right? || Read more

posted by on cooking for 2, healthy, portions, quick

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shrimp and broccoli

If you tell me you have nothing to cook for dinner, I won’t believe you. A few basic staples in your kitchen and some seasonings will take you far, I promise.

Here’s a quick fix that easily serves two people and uses very few ingredients. This recipe is definitely one to experiment with depending on what vegetables you have in your freezer and can easily be turned vegetarian (think garbanzo beans for protein, for example). || Read more

posted by on cooking, Crock-Pot, Oakland, quick

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I realize I don’t have a kitchen. The last few months have been full of creative thinking, problem solving and flat out improvising. It’s almost as if I’ve gone back to college dorm life, but with kitchen experience (also minus the ramen).

The few things I have available to me have taught me you really don’t need much in a kitchen … or sans-kitchen in my case. Granted, I have a Pinterest board full of amazing ideas for my dream kitchen with storage and beauty galore. Until then, I refuse to let that mean I can’t cook what I love. || Read more

posted by on Oakland

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**This post has nothing to do with cooking, baking or even beer (sorry). But it’s something very traumatic that happened to me that I felt I need to share. Continue to read if you wish, otherwise I’ll see you on my next post!**

|| Read more

posted by on guilty pleasure, quick, Vegetarian

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grilled provolone and leeks sandwich

I’ve mentioned before how much I love my subscription to Vegetarian Times magazine and October’s issue featured some awesome spins on the classic grilled cheese sandwich. I mean, who else is going to do a feature on the anatomy of a great grilled cheese?

I’m a huge fan of leeks but if you’re not familiar, they’re along the family lines of a green onion and garlic, but have a really subtle flavor and is amazing for adding some crunch to dishes. Leeks can be tricky to clean, so if you’re buying them root intact, Simply Recipes has an awesome tutorial on how to get them clean before you cook with them.

For me, since I’m all about shortcuts (sans kitchen, remember?) I picked up a bag of two, pre-cut leeks from Trader Joe’s. I’m short on storage space so the two leeks were just the right amount to make about 3 sandwiches.

The combo of the creamy provolone and the crunch from the leeks makes sure you never go back to the a normal grilled cheese sandwich ever again.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 4 slices of sourdough bread (I don’t use sourdough often and didn’t want to get a whole loaf, so I picked up a mini round loaf at TJ’s that was easily sliced to make about 3 sandwiches)
  • 1 cup of leeks, thinly sliced and only the green part
  • Provolone cheese (shredded or sliced)
  • butter
  1. Prep the leeks by heating a small amount of olive oil and a tiny bit of salt and pepper.
  2. Cover and cook over medium heat until the leeks are tender. Should only take a couple of minutes. Set aside.
  3. Butter one side of each piece of bread.
  4. Place butter side down in a skillet that’s on medium heat.
  5. Layer with provolone, sliced leeks and another piece of provolone and the other slice of bread, butter side up. Since I was using a round loaf, I folded my sliced provolone into two pieces and layered with the leeks.
  6. Cook on both sides until golden brown and the cheese is melted. Enjoy!

recipe adapted from Vegetarian Times

crock pot chili

Sep
2013
29

posted by on cooking for 2, Crock-Pot

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turkey chili

Another super easy crock pot recipe that can be vegetarian, or not. I added in cooked ground turkey to the recipe below but honestly it would have been just as good without it! Definitely better the second day, too!

Remember, this is for my small 2-quart crock pot. If you have a normal human-sized crock, use full cans of the ingredients below. Also, as far as the seasonings go, it really depends on your taste and how spicy you want the chili to be. Below I’ve just given recommendations. If you like spicy, you could always add in some green chilies too!

What you’ll need:

  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed + drained well
  • ½ can of cannellini (white kidney) beans, rinsed + drained
  • 1 can of petite diced tomatoes, undrained (using large crockpot? use 2 cans)
  • 1 can of corn, drained (can use frozen!)
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • ½ tablespoon smoked paprika
  • chili powder
  • 1-2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1-2 tsp. italian seasoning (I know… but I didn’t have just oregano)
  • red pepper flakes
  • ½ lb. ground turkey, cooked (optional)

Now comes the easy part! Throw all the ingredients into your crockpot, put the lid on and cook on low for 8-10 hours. In all honesty, since I was cooking the meat and adding it in later I started this later than I normally would a crock pot recipe so it probably cooked 6-7 hours until hot and bubbly.

I was short on time so I cooked and seasoned the turkey, added it in after about 4 or 5 hours and let it cook the rest of the time.

adapted from NewLeaf Wellness’s freezer recipe

pot roast for two

Sep
2013
21

posted by on cooking for 2, Crock-Pot, portions

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pot roast searing

Pot roast reminds me of Sundays and Grandma H. Super simple to make, even in my two-person crock pot. I asked the butcher to cut a pot roast in half for me so it would fit in my little crock pot. Worked perfectly!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Chuck roast
  • 1 medium onion
  • baby carrots
  • Sea salt
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Garlic powder
  • Italian seasonings
  • Olive oil
  1. Slice the onion into thick slices. Place in the bottom of your crock pot.
  2. Layer with the baby carrots giving the roast a place to sit.

    season both sides of the meat well! I know you're jealous of my hot plate!

    season both sides of the meat well! I know you’re jealous of my hot plate!

  3. Prep the roast by seasoning well, rubbing all the seasonings into the meat (both sides).
  4. Heat some olive oil into a pan and get it hot! Sear the roast for up to 5 minutes or until browned on both sides.
  5. Place the roast on top of the carrots, put the lid on, turn on ‘low’ and let cook all day (8-10 hours on low or 4-5 on high)
the finished pot roast and veggies

the finished pot roast and veggies

For those using a normal sized crock pot, throw in some halved potatoes with the carrots and onion .

Normally I do this, but with my smaller crock pot I didn’t have the room and wanted the flavors from the onion and carrots over making room for potatoes.

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