Pumpkin Bread Pudding

Pumpkin Bread Pudding

Serves: 12
Prep Time: 20 minutes (15 minutes of soaking)
Cook Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

2 cups milk (or half and half)
2 large eggs
1 can pumpkin puree
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
6 slices stale bread
4 King’s Hawaiian Rolls

Preparation:

1. Combine all ingredients except bread and whisk until combined. Add bread and allow to soak for 15 minutes.

2. Pour mixture into baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

Recipe adapted from Epicurious.com.

I had stale bread left over from the Avocado Toasts I made the other day and one of my favorite ways to do that is bread pudding. I didn’t have enough left over bread for a whole recipe so I added some Hawaiian rolls that I had for dinner. I found this recipe and also had left over pumpkin so it was perfect! The spice mix was good and the custard was the right consistency. Some bread puddings can be dry, but this was nice and custardy. Yes, I just invented that word. This is delicious and I will enjoy eating it for breakfast tomorrow.

Taco!

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Avocado Toasts with Roasted Tomatoes and Hummus

Avocado Toasts with Roasted Tomatoes and Hummus

Serves: 6-8
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

6-8 slices bread, cut into squares or circles and toasted
3-4 plum tomatoes, cut in half and seeded
3 avocados, pitted and mashed
1 small container regular hummus
Salt and pepper
Balsamic vinegar
Olive oil

Preparation:

1. To prepare tomatoes, spread on baking sheet, open side up. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in oven at 450 degrees for 25 minutes, or until tomatoes begin to caramelize.

2. Spread a thin layer of hummus on toasts, add avocado and top with a tomato.

Recipe adapted from Eat, Live, Run.

I planned on making these for a picnic pot luck for school but since I had to buy $600 worth of food at Costco that day for the picnic and make sure everything was prepped, I didn’t have time. So I made them this weekend instead. I was very intrigued by the roasted tomatoes and they ended up being delicious! The toasts were great. The creaminess of the avocado and hummus were a nice contrast to the bite and sourness of the tomatoes. The ones I made were a little big as finger foods and needed either a big hand or a fork, but I used them as a side anyway. I made all the tomatoes I had and therefore had a lot left over so I mixed them with chicken that I marinated in balsamic. Very tasty and great for a party! Don’t forget to check out How to Treat Your Avocados with Respect to make sure you know what to do with the avocados.

Taco!

Pumpkin Mascarpone Pie

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Serves: 8
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes

Ingredients:

Filling
1 cup pumpkin purée
1 cup light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp lemon juice (about half a lemon)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 (8 oz) container mascarpone
Salt

Whipped Cream Topping
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup mascarpone
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbs sugar
Salt

Preparation:

1. With a mixer, beat sugar and pumpkin until combined. Add all other filling ingredients, except mascarpone, and mix until smooth. Add mascarpone and mix until combined.

2. Place mixture in a prepared crust (I used a store bought graham crust). Bake on 350 degrees for about 55 minutes, until filling is set. Remove from oven and place on cooling rack. Allow to cool completely (at least one hour).

3. For whipped cream, combine all ingredients and beat until stiff peaks form, about 4-5 minutes. Serve on top of cooled pie.

Recipe adapted from Epicurious.com.

It was another one of those days where I had mascarpone (happens a lot) and no idea what to do with it. I was at the grocery store and with my handy Epicurious app looked up mascarpone. This was the first recipe that popped up and I knew I had to try it. That was a great decision. This is DELICIOUS and incredibly easy thanks to my handy dandy hand mixer. The picture is a little off because I wasn’t patient enough to let the pie cool completely but it was tasty none the less. I also realized I should have made the whipped cream right before serving because my stiff peaks became not-so-stiff after a while in the refrigerator. Again, not the prettiest thing on the planet but DELICIOUS. You should definitely try this. It’s a bit of a combination of pumpkin pie and cheesecake. It has the flavor of a cheesecake while having the consistency of pumpkin pie. That’s a pretty great combination if you ask me.

Taco!

Potato Soup with Bacon

Potato Soup with Bacon

Serves: 4-6
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

5-6 small russet potatoes, peeled and cut into pieces
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
5 slices bacon
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 (14 oz) can chicken stock
1/4 – 1/2 cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper
1 tsp red pepper flakes
Sharp cheddar for topping, shredded

Preparation:

1. Place chopped potatoes in a large pot. Cover with water, salt and boil until potatoes break apart easily when stuck with a fork. Drain and set aside.

2. In the same pan, cook bacon until crisp. Place cooked bacon on a paper towel to drain.

3. Drain bacon fat, leaving about 3 tbs of fat in the pot. Cook onions and garlic in pot until translucent. Add wine, making sure to stir to get the bits off the bottom of the pot. Cook until most of the liquid evaporates.

4. Remove pot from heat. Add potatoes and mash. Add stock and cream and stir. If it’s not soupy enough, add more cream or water. Season with pepper and red pepper flakes (if desired). Return to heat until heated through. Chop/crumble bacon. Serve soup in bowls with cheese and bacon on top.

Recipe is an original.

I ended up with a very large bag of potatoes in my kitchen and my first thought was to make soup! Potato soup was always one of my favorite things my mom would make growing up and I wanted to try to make my own. This was an experiment that turned out well. I just added stuff as I went along and it worked! The soup was nice and rich and still tasted like potatoes. This would also be good with sour cream, scallions and all kinds of things as a topping. My mom also told me her technique for making this, which I will try next time. She boils the onions with the potatoes and makes sure the potatoes are barely covered with water. Then she uses the water instead of stock and doesn’t have to drain the potatoes. She said to keep checking on the water level to make sure the potatoes don’t burn. I will definitely try this the next time I make soup, which may be soon since I have so many potatoes! I am very proud of this recipe and I definitely recommend giving it a try!

Taco!

A Little Taste of Home: Scrambled Eggs

Serves: 1
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients:

3 eggs
1 tbs butter
Salt
Red pepper flakes
Cheese of your choice

Preparation:

1. Crack eggs and mix with a fork in a bowl. Heat butter in a pan. Add eggs when butter is melted and mix with a spatula until eggs reach desired consistency. Remove from heat. Season and grate cheese on top.

Recipe is an original.

Some times you have a craving and since I’ve been fighting a craving all day to eat an entire box of Samoas, I figured I would indulge at least one craving which just happened to be for scrambled eggs. I learned how to make scrambled eggs when I was little from a babysitter and even though I don’t remember her name or really any other time I spent with her, I remember how to make eggs. It’s quick, easy, delicious and easy to dress up with red pepper and some fancy cheese (I used Prima Donna Aged Gouda and Manchego because they were in the fridge). I’ve been feeling down and missing my family all day and it’s amazing how food can help your mood. Some times all you need is a little taste of home.

Taco!

Curry Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

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Serves: 4-6
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes

Ingredients:

3-4 lbs butternut squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
2 cups chicken stock
2 Macintosh apples
1 yellow onion
3/4 tsp curry powder
3/4 tsp cinnamon
Salt and pepper
Olive oil

For Topping:

Scallions, white and green parts chopped
Cashews, chopped
Toasted sweetened coconut
Bananas, diced

Preparation:

1. Coat inside of squash, apples and onions in olive oil and season with salt and pepper. On a cookie sheet lined with foil, place squash inside facing down and scatter apples and onions around. Roast for 40 minutes at 425 degrees. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly. Scoop out insides of squash.

2. Heat chicken stock in a pot. Add vegetables to stock. Use immersion blender until smooth.

3. Add curry, salt, pepper and cinnamon and stir. Heat through. Serve hot with toppings.

Recipe adapted from Ina Garten at FoodNetwork.com

I decided to buy a butternut squash a few days ago and see what I could do with it. Adam’s mom told me about roasting them and using them in soup so I did some research and found Ina Garten’s recipe online. It. Is. Amazing. The soup was the perfect consistency and so easy to do with the immersion blender. The flavors were excellent. The onion and curry gave a nice spice while the apples and squash and cinnamon gave it a good sweet flavors. The toppings were an excellent idea. I was thinking of ignoring them but when I read the reviews of the recipe I knew I needed to try them. The reviewers were right. The onions give flavor and crunch, along with the cashews. The coconut adds a little more sweet and the banana gives a smooth texture and a taste that goes well with curry. Overall this was an excellent dish that I will certainly be making again. Especially because it gives a good serving of vegetables in a tasty way! Keep in mind that butternut squash are ridiculously difficult to cut. But it’s worth it. You can also peel and slice the squash and roast them along with the apples and onions. I found just slicing them in half and scooping out the insides to be pretty easy. Definitely give this one a try!

Taco!

PS: I’m now using Instagram and tend to post pictures of my food in process. Feel free to follow me at srice22.

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Kale Greens with Bacon

Kale Greens with Bacon

Serves: 4
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

1 package bacon, chopped
I bundle kale (I don’t actually know how much I used…), ribbed
Olive oil
Salt
Red pepper flakes
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

Preparation:

1. Cook bacon in olive oil until brown. Add kale and season with salt and red pepper and stir. Add vinegar and toss. Place lid on top and let steam for a few minutes.

Recipe is an original.

I had kale. I had bacon. It was a good combination. Basically anything is better with bacon! This was my first attempt at greens and it turned out well. The vinegar gave a nice touch and I added a lot of red pepper to make it spicy. Yay for eating healthy-ish!

Taco!

Quinoa Mac and Cheese with Chicken

Quinoa Mac and Cheese with Chicken

Serves: 4-6
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups uncooked quinoa
1 chicken breast
garlic powder
salt and pepper
red pepper flakes
2 tbs flour
1 1/2 cups milk, divided
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup mild cheese such as chevre (goat cheese) or Queso Fresco

Preparation:

1. Cook quinoa according to package directions. Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces and season with garlic powder, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Cook in oil until cooked through.

2. Heat 1/2 cup milk and flour, whisking until combined. Add the rest of the milk and a dash of red pepper and stir with spatula. Bring to a boil and stir for an additional minute.

3. Remove from heat and stir in cheese until melted. Add quinoa and chicken and stir.

4. Put in casserole dish and place under broiler for about 2-3 minutes. Allow to set for 5 minutes before serving.

Recipe adapted from Iowa Girl Eats.

More quinoa! It was a quinoa kind of day. This was delicious! Definitely make sure you have enough cheese and keep stirring the milk mixture so it doesn’t curdle. I used what I had so I used Queso Fresco left over from Carnitas Night. Seasoning the chicken was also great because it gave it a great flavor. I’m also a lazy bum and I don’t like waiting for chicken to cook so I cut it up and then cook. It was delicious and easy. And apparently relatively good for me. Yay!

Taco!

Super Food Quinoa Green Smoothie

Quinoa Green Smoothie

Serves: About 3 medium smoothies
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 0!

Ingredients: 

1 cup kale
1 cup baby spinach
1 cup broccoli, steamed
1 carrot, steamed
1/2 banana
1/4 cup strawberries
1/4 cup blueberries
1/3 cup pineapple
1 cup yogurt (I used Greek Gods Greek Yogurt with Honey)
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup cooked quinoa
1/2 avocado

Preparation:

1. If steaming veggies, place steamer over boiling water or place veggies in glass, microwave safe bowl and add a little water. Cover with plastic wrap, leaving one corner open and microwave for about 5 minutes.

2. Place ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. If necessary, continue to blend with an immersion blender.

Recipe adapted from Cook to Love.

I found this online and immediately wanted to try it. I have been looking for quinoa recipes since I’ve never cooked with it before and ways to eat healthier so, here you go! Mine was not nearly as pretty as the one in the recipe I found but it was definitely tasty. Nice and sweet. The reason I mention the immersion blender is because my blender isn’t that great and I really didn’t want chunks of anything in my smoothie. This made it work! I will definitely be using this for lunch for the week.

Taco!

Beef Carnitas Tacos

Beef Carnitas Taco

Serves: 8
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 6-8 hours

Ingredients:

2-3 lbs beef (Boston butt/shoulder)
1 yellow onions, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 can diced tomatoes
1 tbs cumin
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbs agave (or honey)
Juice of 1 lime
2 tbs orange juice
1/2 cup BBQ sauce

Preparation:

1. Combine all ingredients except meat in a crock pot and stir. Add meat and cook for 6-8 hours. Turn meat half way through cooking.

2. Take meat out of crock pot and shred. Return to juices and let soak before serving.

3. Serve hot with tortillas, sour cream, Steph’s Guacamole, cheese and everything else!

Recipe adapted from Life as a Plate.

Another “because I have stuff for it” meal. Boston butts are not usually in my grocery store and not only did they have it this week but it was also on sale! I’ve already made BBQ and wanted to try something different and I also had avocados so ta da, Carnitas! I found this recipe online and it’s very good. It’s not too spicy, which is good for me but you could certainly add more chili powder or even some peppers for some more heat. I served it with store-bought tortillas, cilantro-lime rice (I added cilantro and lime juice to rice when it was almost done cooking), homemade guacamole and sour cream. I also found Queso Fresco and it was a great addition. I do love Carnitas and this fed my craving while using what I had in the house and feeding me for at least a week!

Taco!