February 24, 2012

Contact Us

I've been thinking for a while that I need a better way to answer people's questions and take recipe suggestions.  From now on, you can contact me directly by emailing me at:


Ask a question, give feedback on a recipe, suggest a new recipe I should try, let me know if one of my links is down or there's a grammatical error--whatever.  I only ask that you be respectful if you've got some constructive criticism.  This is a blog of happiness, right?  Also, please don't spam me.  That's just not nice.

I'm excited to hear from you!

February 22, 2012

Sweet & Mashed Potato Bake

A few months ago when I went to Sunflower Market, they had these little recipe cards on display that you could just take.  Great!  I took a few of them, shoved them in the recipe cupboard, and forgot about them.  But this week I made meatloaf and had nothing to go with it.  Meatloaf is one of my favorite foods, but I don't know if an entire meal of just meatloaf is very good for your health... So I opened the recipe cupboard and pulled out one of the Sunflower Market cards.  It sounded intriguing, but because of the lack of advanced planning, I was also lacking on ingredients.  I did a bit of substituting and half-ing, and I ended up with this recipe.  It was delicious.  My husband ate almost the entire batch at one sitting--I'm talking seconds, thirds, fourths, fifths... I think we have a winner, folks.

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Sweet & Mashed Potato Bake

5-6 russet potatoes (or try it with red potatoes)
2 large sweet potatoes
2 Tbsp butter
1/2 large onion, minced
2 tsp sugar
2 Tbsp butter, divided into two equal parts
1/2 cup milk, divided into two equal parts
2 tsp salt, divided into two equal parts
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 tsp pepper

1.  Preheat your oven to 350, and lightly grease a casserole dish or 9x13 pan.  Peel and dice your russet potatoes.  Either steam or boil them until they are just tender.  Do the same with the sweet potatoes.
2.  Meanwhile, melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat.  Add the onions and sugar, and reduce the heat to medium-low.  Saute, stirring frequently, until the onions are a deep brown color (10-15 minutes).  If your pan is too hot, they'll burn quickly, so keep an eye on them.
3.  Back to the potatoes.  In a mixing bowl, mash the russet potatoes, and stir in 1Tbsp butter, 1/4 cup of the milk,1 tsp of the salt, and all of the sour cream and pepper.  Set it aside.  In a separate mixing bowl, mash the sweet potatoes, then stir in the remaining butter, milk, and salt.  Now you're reading to assemble your potato bake.
4.  Spread 1/2 of the mashed russet potatoes on the bottom of the casserole dish.  Top the russet potatoes with 1/2 of the mashed sweet potatoes, then sprinkle half of the caramelized onions evenly over the top.  Repeat layers to finish off the casserole.  Cover it, and bake it for 25-30 minutes.
5.  Dish some up for yourself before your husband eats the rest of it.  Enjoy!

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February 8, 2012

Asian Chicken Avocado Sandwiches

Last night I decided to experiment by combining several recipe ideas and making up something new.  The result was a sandwich that my husband thought would fit perfectly on the Cheesecake Factory sandwich menu.  Success!  It's a keeper, folks, so I'm writing down the recipe before I forget what I did.  This is one of just a few recipes that I feel I can truly claim as my own inventions (my other favorite being Italian Chicken Soup).  I feel so culinary!

Image thanks to spadesnspoons
Asian Chicken Avocado Sandwiches

*Yields 2 sandwiches

1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried ginger
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1/2 Tbsp honey
1 boneless skinless chicken breast
1 avocado
4 thick slices bread (or 2 sandwich rolls)
Mayonaisse (to taste)
Spinach leaves (a handful or two)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. In a small bowl, mix together garlic powder, ginger, and soy sauce.  When thoroughly mixed, add the honey and let sit for at leats 5 minutes for flavors to blend.  If you have a hard time mixing in the honey, just throw it in the microwave for about 30 seconds, but make sure the spices are all mixed in well because if you microwave it before they are, it will get all clumpy, which will be gross and frustrating.
3. Cut the chicken breast into two thin pieces (think filet style) or pound the chicken flat and then just cut it in half.  The goal is to create two sandwich-sized pieces of chicken out of one chicken breast.  Place them in a small casserole dish.  Pour the sauce even over the chicken, making sure the chicken is covered as well as possible.  Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.
4. When the chicken is almost done, toast the bread, and spread each slice with a bit of mayonaisse (if desired).  Pit, peel, and thinly slice the avocado.  To assemble each sandwich, place one piece of chicken on a piece of bread, then top with half of the avocado slices and a handful of spinach.  Top with the other piece of toast.  Repeat to assemble the second sandwich.
5. Pretend you're at Cheesecake Factory.  If you want a bit more flavor, try dipping your sandwich in the leftover sauce--but be warned, it is very strong.  Enjoy!

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February 3, 2012

Avocado Quesadillas

Quesadillas are yummy, but they can get boring after a while.  Add a bit of color and flavor to yours by adding some avocados, which are both healthy and delicious.  Also, since the superbowl is this weekend, avocados are going to be on the best sale of the year (or darn close).  I price-matched some just last night for 39 cents each.  So buy some avocados at amazing prices and eat them up in an avocado quesadilla.

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Avocado Quesadillas

*Yields 4 quesadillas

8 tortillas
1 can refried beans
2 avocados, thinly sliced or mashed (I find it's usually just easier to mash them, but it gives it a little bit of texture if you use slices instead.  Also, if you really like the avocado, use a whole avocado for each quesadilla)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (or more...)
2 Tbsp cooking oil
Sour Cream & Salsa to taste (optional)

1. Grab two tortillas.  Spread one tortilla with 1/4 of the can of refried beans.  Evenly spread the 1/2 of one avocado on top of the beans.  Sprinkle 1/4 cup cheddar cheese on top, then finish it off with the second tortilla.
2. Repeat with the other tortillas to make a total of 4 quesadillas.
3. Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat.  Heat one tortilla at a time, flipping once, until the cheese is melted and the tortilla begins browning.
4. Crack open the sour cream and salsa, and eat your heart out.  Then go buy more avocados while they're still on sale.
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