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I don’t have much of a sweet tooth and I’m not much of a baker, but wow! these muffins are delicious. My husband has taken up a few hobbies lately, both pickling and baking. The moment he told me he was making these, I said, “they’re going to taste like carrot cake.” And he laughed. But guess what?! They taste like a perfect, light, fluffy, declicious muffiny carrot cake breakfast-magic. I’m totally in love. Again.

sweet potato muffins

 

Sweet Potato Muffins
via melanie cooks

2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 egg
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp baking power
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup apple sauce
2 cups mashed sweet potatoes

Preheat the oven to 375 F. In one bowl, mix the flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, mix the egg, sugar, oil, apple sauce and sweet potatoes. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix until combined. Line the muffin tin (12 cups) with paper baking cups. Put the muffin mixture in the muffin cups. Put the sweet potato muffins in the oven and bake for 25 minutes.
So delicious when served hot and fresh from the oven, but these muffins stay fresh and sweet for days!

jaudette sweet potato muffins 02

Veggie packed, gluten-free (or gluten light, dending on your enchilada sauce), rich, cheesy, spicy magic! The satisying texture of a lasagna with a southwestern bite. This is my kind of comfort food!

mexican inspired casserole

Mexican Inspired Casserole with Roasted Corn & Peppers
via a pinch of yum

2 red bell peppers
2 green bell peppers
1 jalapeno or 2 chipotle peppers (optional – just for more kick)
½ red onion
2 cups frozen corn
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoon cumin
salt to taste (about 1 teaspoon)
2 cups shredded cheese (I used a cheddar & pepperjack blend)
10 medium corn tortillas
1 can refried beans
2 cups red enchilada sauce
cilantro, guacamole, or sour cream for topping

Dice the peppers and mince the onions. Heat a large nonstick skillet with a little bit of oil over high heat. Add the onion and peppers, sprinkle with chili and cumin, and stir, rest, stir, rest until you get a nice browning on the outside of the peppers. Remove and set aside. Repeat the roasting process with the corn, sprinkling with chili and cumin, removing from the heat when browned and roasted on the outside. Sprinkle the roasted veggies with a little bit of salt and toss to coat.
Grease a 9×13 inch baking pan and preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the tortillas into thin strips. Put the refried beans in a bowl and mix with a little bit of water to make them easier to spread. Spread a little bit of sauce on the bottom of the pan. Layer in order: half of the tortilla strips, all the beans, half of the veggies, half of the sauce, half of the cheese. Cover with the other half of the tortilla strips, veggies, sauce, and cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 15-20 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese is melted (I broiled mine for the last 3 minutes to get the top nice and bubbly). Serve with guacamole, fresh cilantro and sour cream!

Sometimes I just don’t have it in me. Sometimes I’m craving something but I want it now and it’s time for a few shortcuts. Wonton soup is one of those things I crave all the time, but with order minimums, there’s only so many times I can order take out and be left with a bunch of other stuff in the fridge (although the husband never minds). I was having another one of those cravings this weekend, grabbed a bag of pre-made wontons, and tossed a few things I had in the fridge and freezer in. Voila! If I did a little more shopping before hand, I might pack this with some more veggies, like bok choy, carrots, broccoli, maybe a bit of cilantro. This is a great base for so many options. Easily made vegetarian or vegan too, subbing out the fish sauce, chicken broth and opting for meatless wontons. Endless possibilities!

5 minute won ton soup

Five Minute Wonton Soup
inspired by the view from great island

4 cups chicken broth
3 cups water
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce (or tamari)
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 package wontons (I used Trader Joe’s frozen chicken cilantro mini’s)
1/3 cup very thinly sliced mushrooms
1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions

Bring your stock and water to a low boil, stir in the fish sauce, soy sauce and rice vinegar. Toss in the wontons and let cook for about a minute. Add the mushroom and cook for an additional minute, until the wontons are just done. Remove from heat and stir in in the scallions. Serve hot!

My husband is a HUGE pickle fan and has been on a roll with pickling lately. He started just last month and we’ve already eaten our way through jar after jar of deliciousness. But he really topped himself this week with these amazing sesame ginger pickles. They are super fresh and crunchy and packed with flavor! We served them as an appetizer to our favorite Paleo Chicken Pad Thai. We almost ate an entire jar each (and some the next night too!). This is a super simple recipe, great for beginning picklers.

sesame ginger pickles 01

Sesame Ginger Pickles
via The Joy of Pickling

1 lb Asian or pickling cucumbers (about 3/4 inches in diameter)
1 teaspoon pickling salt
1 scallion, cut into 1 inch lengths then slivered
1-inch piece fresh ginger slivered
1 to 2 fresh jalapeños, seeded and slivered
3 tbs rice vinegar
5 tbs soy sauce
1 tbs sesame oil

Halve the cucmbers lengthwise and then cut them into 1-inch long pieces. In a bowl, toss the cut cucumbers with the salt. Let them stand at room temperature one hour. Drain the cucumbers and return them to the bowl. Mix them with the scallion, ginger and jalapeños. In another bowl, stir together the vinegar, soy sauce, and oil, and pour the mixture over the cucumbers. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap (he transferred them to mason jars here). Let the pickles stand at room temperature for 2 to 3 hours, or in the fridge for 24 hours, turning the cucumbers occasionally. The pickles will keep in the fridge for about a week (day 3 today, and they’re still delicious and crunchy!)

sesame ginger pickles 03

(ps) this is how much my husband loves pickles…. meet Mr. Pickle:

mr pickle

I love this twist on a typical corn chowder! So much healthier too! With coconut milk instead of your traditional heavy cream, this soup has a satisfying heartiness without all the extra heaviness. And with a little chili pepper, it has just the right amount of kick. Might even toss in a bit of chicken next time for some extra protein. This is an awesome base for so many great additions, but is definitely delicious all on it’s own!

thai corn chowder

Thai Inspired Corn Chowder
via the kitchn

1/2 yellow onion, diced
2 medium Russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 Thai chili pepper, finely chopped, optional
3 tablespoons finely grated lemongrass
4 cups corn kernels (frozen or fresh from 4 corn cobs)
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
13.5 oz can coconut milk (1 2/3 cup)
Olive oil
Salt to taste
Roughly chopped cilantro and lime wedges, for serving

Coat the bottom of a large pot with olive oil and place over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the onions and a pinch of salt. Sauté until translucent. Stir in the potatoes, chili pepper, lemongrass, and a pinch of salt. Add a splash of broth, cover, and cook until the potatoes can be easily pierced with a fork, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove the lid, stir in the corn and cook another two minutes. Add the remaining broth and bring to a simmer, then remove from heat. Stir in the coconut milk. Serve warm, garnished with cilantro and lime.

This was a lovely brunch this weekend! Packed with veggies and super hearty, SO MUCH better than my usual boring scramble. A little messy the first go around, but once I figured out to set the top before flipping, it turned out magnificient.

spanish tortilla

Spanish Tortilla with Roasted Red Peppers and Asparagus
adapted from whole foods

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
1 3/4 pound red or yukon gold potatoes, unpeeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt, to taste
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 cup asparagus, chopped into 1/2 in pieces
1 cup thinly sliced roasted red peppers, drained well
8 eggs, lightly beaten

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and onion, and cook about 2 minutes. Add potatoes, salt and pepper, stir well, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are just about tender, about 15 minutes. Add the asparagus and cook 3-5 minutes more, until it’s just al dente. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool about 10 minutes. Stir peppers and eggs into potato mixture, once it’s cooled. Wipe the skillet clean.
Heat another 1 1/2 teaspoons of the oil over medium heat. Transfer potato mixture to the skillet and cook, running a spatula around the edges and gently shaking occasionally to prevent sticking, until eggs are set and bottom is golden brown, 12 to 14 minutes. Place a lid or large plate over the top for the last 4-5 minutes of cooking to set the top. Carefully invert onto a large plate. Heat remaining oil in the skillet and slide tortilla back in, cooked side up. Cook about 5 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer tortilla back to the plate and let cool at least 10 minutes. Slice into wedges and serve.

 

So, so delicious and so easy! This was the perfect side to a bit of chicken this week. I had a few radishes in the fridge leftover from the weekend that I rolled in olive oil & salt and tossed on the pan too. I almost didn’t touch the chicken, this veggie mix was awesome. And the vinegary parsley oil paired with each so perfectly. I love an easy veggie side that’s really just a few minutes in the oven – minimal prep is my fave.

roasted acorn squash with carmelized shallots

Roasted Acorn Squash & Caramelized Shallots with Parsley Oil
via with food and love

2 large acorn squash
6 – 8 large shallots
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt & more for finishing
pinch ground pepper

Preheat the over to 400 degrees and line a baking tray with parchment paper (or foil). Half the squash & scoop out the seeds, then quarter the squash so you have 8 pieces. Trim the ends of the shallots and peel the thinnest outer layer off. Arrange the squash (with one of the cut edges down) and shallots together on the baking tray, rub them gently with a little olive oil and pinch of sea salt. Roast for 15 minutes, the edges that are down should be golden brown. Flip the squash to the other cut edge and flip the shallots, roast for another 15-20 minutes. The shallots should be beautifully caramelized and the squash should have brown edges and soft centers, if they need a little more cooking, lower the heat to 350 and continue cooking until satisfied. As the squash and shallots are cooking you can prepare your parsley glaze. In a small mixing bowl combine the chopped parsley, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, sea salt and pepper. When the squash is done cooking immediately rub the mixture all over each piece and serve warm!

One of the things I did over the holidays was make stock. Lots and lots of stock. Which led to many soups and stews over the past few weeks. We made a lot of old favorites (like split pea and turkey noodle), and a few new ones! This beef noodle stew is a rich hearty classic that I’d been craving for a while. There’s just something about a rich beefy stew when it’s freezing outside – warms and fills you up in the most satisfying way.

beef noodle stew

Beef Stew with Noodles
via martha stewart

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 pounds boneless beef chuck, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 medium onion, sliced lengthwise
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 cups beef, turkey or chicken broth
1/2 pound carrots, cut into 1-inch chunks
2 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch dice
2 cups egg noodles
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon red-wine vinegar

In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat oil over high. Add beef, season with salt and pepper, and cook until seared and brown, about 6 minutes. Add onion and season with salt and pepper. Cook until onion just begins to soften (reducing heat if necessary), about 3-5 minutes. Stir in flour until beef and onion are coated and cook 1 to 2 minutes (careful not to burn). Add broth and 3 cups water, stirring and scraping up browned bits. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer and cook until beef is tender, about 25 minutes. Add carrots and potatoes and cook until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Add noodles and cook until tender, about 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. To serve, stir in parsley and vinegar.

For the game yesterday (go hawks!!!), I finally made this killer corn dip that’s been sitting on my to-do list since the summer. And it turned out awesome! I can’t even put into words what a perfect mix of flavors and textures this is – and so easy! Definitely my new go-to for parties and football sundays. Particularly in the summer, when the corn will be even sweeter. Yum!

corn and cotija cheese dip

Corn & Cotija Cheese Dip
via minimalist baker

2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
3 cups fresh corn, cut off the cob (about 3-4 ears)
1 shallot, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup sliced green onions
1/2 cup sour cream (or you could use plain Greek yogurt)
4 ounces cream cheese
1 cup grated cotija cheese + more for topping
1/4 tsp each sea salt and ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Heat a cast iron or oven-safe skillet over medium heat. Add 1 Tbsp olive oil and shallot. Stir constantly to prevent burning, cook for 3 minutes, until the shallot begins to turn translucent, add the garlic and cook for an additional minute. Add corn, 1/4 tsp each sea salt and pepper and stir. Cook for 5 minutes until shallots appear softened and the corn is slightly darker in color. Then remove from heat.
In a large bowl mix together sour cream, cream cheese, cotija. Add corn mixture to the bowl and stir until well combined.
Use the additional tbsp of olive oil to lightly grease the skillet, so the dip doesn’t stick. Spoon dip back into the skillet (I grated a little additional cotija on top here, about 1/4 cup) and bake 10-15 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Sprinkle the green onions on top and serve immediately.
We served it with tortilla chips, but veggies, crackers or bread slices would be great too!

I’d been craving brussels sprouts, but I needed a break from bacon. Crazy right? I know. But I really needed to try something new when it came to these little balls of green deliciousness. Mustard and sauteed onions for just the right amount of tang? Yes, please! The original recipe called for tossing in a handful of pecans at the end too, if that’s your thing.

brussels sprouts with warm mustard dressing

Grilled Brussels Sprouts with Warm Mustard Dressing
via pbs

1 lb brussels sprouts
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1/2 teaspoon coarse black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 medium red onion
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
1 teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

Remove the tough outer leaves of the Brussels sprouts and then trim and cut the the sprouts in half (top to bottom so that the core holds the leaves together). Add the Brussels sprouts to a bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon of olive oil to coat evenly. Add the salt and pepper and toss to combine. Grill the brussels sprouts cut-side down on a medium hot grill until the sprout is lightly charred and cooked through about 4-7 minutes. If you are using a broiler, broil them cut side up.
While the sprouts are grilling, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a saute pan and fry the onions until tender. Add the mustard and honey and continue frying until the honey starts to caramelize. Add the vinegar, stir to combine, and then pour the hot dressing over the grilled Brussels sprouts. Serve warm.