Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookies

We spent the last week turning our kitchen into the cookie factory for Christmas. I decided to bake everyone cookies this year for 3 reasons: Because I wanted to bake cookies for everyone last year, but I didn’t because we were in the process of moving the day before Christmas Eve and nothing was even a little unpacked. Because I got a new stove (with a convection oven!) and I wanted to test it’s power! Because I didn’t want to buy anyone gifts. So cue baking massive amounts of Christmas cookies. And these cookies in particular have been calling my name basically since I discovered Pinterest and food blogs. So the stars of Christmas cookie baking and giant (cheap!) jars of Nutella at Costco aligned and I made them! And now that I have made them, it’s your turn to make them, too! It’s the perfect time! Right before New Year’s and any resolutions to eat healthier, or – god forbid – cut down on your cookie intake. Maybe stick to eating cookies. That way I don’t feel so bad, right? Right. I must thank Add A Pinch for this recipe! I did change up the method a bit, but the glorious ingredient combination is all thanks to her! I also want to add that it is my New Year’s Resolution to post original recipes regularly, to go back to doing Pinterest Recipe Fridays, to maybe add some other features, and to bring my blog back from the dead. So, any help that you would like to give me in the form of re-pinning, sharing, or even commenting on here will be appreciated...
#MadeWithChobani Chicken Tikka Masala and Mango Lassi

#MadeWithChobani Chicken Tikka Masala and Mango Lassi

Probably my favorite kind of restaurant food is Indian food. I love curry and naan bread and mint chutney. It’s just a little too expensive for weekly feasting, so I had to learn to make my own. I was inspired by Chobani’s #MadeWithChobani Project to create a recipe, and I knew exactly what I was planning to do – Indian food! It’s the perfect way to use yogurt, and it also gives me an excuse to make an entire Indian feast. And I am not one to turn down the chance to create an entire feast. Or eat one. Chicken Tikka Masala is in my top two favorite curries (the other is vegetable korma). And Tandoori Chicken is delicious (yes, even if you’re me and you make it in the oven instead of a Tandoor). This is the only picture I got of the chicken, somehow. I was hungry, man. We’re lucky I got any pictures at all! But as good as the curry is, lassis are totally the best. Totally. Even in the middle of December when it’s freezing rain and I haven’t seen sandals in three months. Because they’re refreshing, but they’re also filling. Really, you could eat them as a breakfast shake, sometimes I do. Here’s the printable recipe card! I added both recipes to it so you can just print one page for the entire thing! Chicken Tikka Masala and Mango Lassi Recipe Type: Dinner Cuisine: Indian Author: Sam (Sizzling Mess) Ingredients Tandoori Chicken 2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts 2 garlic cloves, minced 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger (I like to buy the kind which comes in...
Steak Fajita Nachos

Steak Fajita Nachos

I had my wisdom teeth removed last Monday. Complete bony impaction. On Sunday I developed mild dry socket. Today is Monday (again!). I can’t eat super solid food, or especially crunchy food, so I think it’s a good day to make a post about nachos which I ESPECIALLY cannot eat. We have a local Mexican restaurant “chain” here (if three restaurants counts as a chain). I went there one time on the way home from a horse show as a kid and had their fajita nachos. These nachos stuck with me for YEARS. Until one day I went back as an adult, and, by some grace of god, found the same dish and ordered it. And somehow it was still exactly the same as before. Ooey, gooey, goodness. I also went back last Saturday before my tooth extraction so I could have a last crunchy meal before weeks of no chips. And then I followed it with huge margaritas, which I also cannot have. But, it’s not super cheap at that place, and I eat out way too much, so I needed to learn to make this one at home. And mine is maybe a bit better, if I do say so myself! First is learning to make cheese sauce at home. Here’s a spoiler: That white cheese sauce at Mexican restaurants? It’s not some fancy Central-American cheese. It’s white American. I use Swiss flavored American. It’s all whatever. And then is learning to blacken the crap out of some vegetables. Never done that before. But it’s easy. Just have some steel wool ready for your pan and DO...
Roasted Balsamic Garlic Brussels Sprouts

Roasted Balsamic Garlic Brussels Sprouts

Before I talk about the recipe, let me go on a tangent. I always think very long and hard about what should go into a post. And I save it and come back to it several times usually. SOMETIMES I am able to just hammer it out. But it’s kind of like writing essays for school. Unless I am currently having a “stroke of genius”, I don’t automatically create things that I think are perfect. Hell, even when I do spend a lot of time on something, it’s a rare occasion for me to think it’s perfect and beyond the need of further improvements. But when I am working diligently on something, I often forget that I need to eat, and lose track of time, and get so laser-focused that I don’t even hear the outside world. (And that’s very different from my normal “attention span the size of a flea”, I assure you.) This happened to me yesterday when I was working on an advertising banner for my game. So when I come off of these work binges, I am really hungry for something that is either fatty or flavorful (usually both). And an awesome choice for this is roasted vegetables because I can binge-eat them and they’re still good for you. See how that was circular? It always comes back to the food with me! I made these morsels the other day. They’re very similar to the roasted brussels sprouts that I usually make, but the idea just came to me to add balsamic vinegar. It ended up being so tasty! They tasted salty and roasted and garlicky...
Impressive Eggplant Parmesan (with Homemade Marinara from Fresh Tomatoes)

Impressive Eggplant Parmesan (with Homemade Marinara from Fresh Tomatoes)

This is not an exact recipe. I forgot to keep track of how much of everything I was tossing in while I was doing it. So I am going to tell you WHAT to put in, and you decide how much! Add a little and taste! This is a seriously impressive dish. Made with fresh homemade marinara and fresh mozzarella. The only thing that could make it MORE impressive is if you grew the eggplant yourself. Or made your own breadcrumbs. Or pressed your own olives (okay, maybe not that one). I wasn’t going to add this recipe because it’s not really a set recipe, but then I decided to, because, actually, I think the best way to learn to cook is to experiment in the kitchen. Especially when you have guidelines. I’m not going to lie to you: it’s labor intensive. But it is NOT difficult! And it’s a forgiving recipe, so if you add too much of something it won’t hurt, or if you add too little, you can just add more. When I was making it I added too much honey and so I needed to add more salt. It’s all about adapting! Here’s the printable un-recipe: Impressive Eggplant Parmesan Recipe Type: Dinner Cuisine: Italian Author: Sam (Sizzling Mess) Ingredients 1 large eggplant 3 lbs tomatoes 1 normal sized carrot 1/2 red or white onion 3-4 garlic cloves 2 large sprigs fresh basil Dried oregano, parsley, allspice, salt, and pepper Honey 1 can 8oz tomato sauce 1 tablespoon tomato paste Italian breadcrumbs A tiny bit of parmesan cheese (optional) Mozzarella (preferably fresh) Olive oil Instructions ROAST...
Crockpot Nacho Dip and Homemade Chips

Crockpot Nacho Dip and Homemade Chips

I’m calling it nacho dip in the title, but this little treat is also known as “Stoner Dip”. That’s what I call it in real life. It’s super easy to make, hence the name, but I fancy it up and serve it for dinner. Because I’m lazy cool like that. Also, I just really like nachos. Here’s the pre-crock pot saute in action: I learned to make this when I lived with my dad as a teenager (go figure!). And you can pretty much put whatever you want in it! It’s fun to make it into Queso Blanco (I’ll instruct in the recipe card). But the main ingredients are American cheese (so Velveeta), jarred salsa (I like Mild Pace, but if you have it, go for any kind of salsa – just know the soupy salsa-y kind is best), and generally meat. I make it meatless, but again, I will instruct in the recipe card. Also, I’d like to mention that you can buy nacho chips and not make them. It’s the same concept. But I HAD them precut and frozen, ready to bake, so that’s what I did. Look at that! Add in some sour cream and some guacamole and you have a real fiesta! Here’s the printable recipe card. Crockpot Nacho Dip and Homemade Chips Author: Sam (Sizzling Mess) Ingredients For the Dip (This is how I made it, look to the notes for variations) 3/4 package of classic Velveeta 1 cup red salsa (any heat level) 1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed 1 can diced tomatoes, drained 1/2 red onion, diced 1 clove garlic, mined...
Iowa State Fair Grinder Sandwich

Iowa State Fair Grinder Sandwich

These are also known as Guinea Grinders by MOST people who have had the pleasure of eating these sandwiches at the fair. But calling them “Guinea” grinders is a bit of a racial slur against Italians. So the original stand changed it’s name to Jennie Grinder. And actually these are more of a Gizmo which comes from the Carl’s Gizmo stand. I always eat from Jennie’s stand at the fair. But I like sauce and broiled cheese. Sue me, okay? Confused yet? Yes. Okay! These contain Graziano’s sausage, as any good grinder does. But unless you either live in Des Moines or have an unlimited supply straight from there, you’ll need to use regular italian sausage from the grocery store. Here’s a secret. And seriously, don’t tell ANYONE I told you. It all tastes pretty much the same in the end! These also contain “award winning” garlic. I’m not sure if it ACTUALLY tastes better. But I feel like it does. It does smell better. Garlicy but not smelly. So that’s something, right? But really, you need to try these as soon as you possibly can! The fair is over for the year, but luckily I’m posting this recipe so you can try them whenever you want! I do recommend going to get a grinder at the fair. And a pickle dawg, and a red velvet funnel cake, and a turkey leg, and some bacon wrapped smokies, and a lemonade shakeup, and and and…. Just, promise me you’ll eat your way through the fair, okay? Actually, the Iowa state fair is the best. I live in Nebraska, and our fair suuccckkkksssss....
Fried Green Tomatoes

Fried Green Tomatoes

It is painful to me how many people have not tried this Southern American delicacy. I’m not even from the South and I am scrambling to my grandma’s tomato garden every year to get some green ones. (Even if she would rather I let her get some red ones!) I could eat these for every meal. When I was a vegetarian, I ate them in place of bacon on BLT sandwiches. Unfortunately, unless you have access to a summer tomato garden, these are not so easy to make since they don’t sell unripened tomatoes in the store. But if you have absolutely no other choice, or it’s the middle of winter and you just can’t stand to wait any longer, you can look for the green-ish pink tomatoes and use those. You want as little juice as possible. Because I’m here to tell you that water + hot grease = explosion. Normally I don’t take you through step-by-step pictures. But it is VERY IMPORTANT (as in, life or death) that these are right! So slice up some tomatoes. Not too thin, not too thick. You want heirlooms or beefsteaks. Romas do not work for this. They need to have enough juice that the coating sticks to them. Then you make a spice blend and an egg wash not pictured because there’s no pretty way to photograph an egg wash). Then you dip the tomato slice into the egg and then cover it in flour. It’s now ready to fry. Then you fry them until they’re golden brown, and then take them out of the oil and put them on...
Vegetarian Sloppy Joe (Grilled Cheese Edition)

Vegetarian Sloppy Joe (Grilled Cheese Edition)

You can put these on a hamburger bun like a regular sloppy joe if you want to. You can eat them with no bread, if that’s your jam. You can also make them 1/2 meat and 1/2 lentil. Or add a can of beans if you’re low on lentils. Or you can make them all meat. I like lentils. I don’t like ground beef. But I am here to tell you that making these into a grilled cheese is the best decision ever. They’re melty and cheesy and sloppy joe-y (is that a word?). If you don’t know lentils, they are a similar (notice I said similar and not identical) texture to meat, and are super easy to make. They are also around $1.50 per pound versus about $6 per pound for ground beef (prices obviously depending on where you live). And one pound of lentils is more than enough for dinner for a family of 6, or a meal, and 2 leftover meals for 2 people. If your family is unsure about lentils, try half and half for the first time! Just, please make sure you pick through them a bit. Sometimes there are twigs and pebbles in them, just like in rice. Up until I made this batch I had never found any non-lentil material, but I always check and this time I found a twig! After you pick through them, just toss them in a strainer and rinse them off! Here’s the printable recipe card! Vegetarian Sloppy Joe (Grilled Cheese Edition) Recipe Type: Dinner Cuisine: American Author: Sam (Sizzling Mess) Serves: 6 Ingredients 1 pound lentils...
Roasted Garlic Brussels Sprouts

Roasted Garlic Brussels Sprouts

I eat these like they are candy. And unfortunately I do not have any exact measurements for you. But it’s flexible! So don’t worry, and I’ll give you a guideline. Also, does anyone else have the mental debate about whether they are brussel sprouts or brussels sprouts. Siri says brussels. The spelling gods have spoken! I only took one picture. I ate them too fast for more. And they’re best hot. But they’re also good cold. Did I mention that I eat them like candy? Here’s the printable un-recipe card! Roasted Garlic Brussels Sprouts Recipe Type: Side Dish Cuisine: American Author: Sam (Sizzling Mess) Ingredients 1 bag of frozen brussels spouts, thawed (or about a pound of fresh ones, cleaned and bad leaves cut off) 3 tablespoons (or so) extra virgin olive oil 2 cloves of garlic, finely minced Salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste (lots of salt and pepper, red pepper flakes are HOT and a little goes a long way) Instructions Preheat your oven to 375. Get a rimmed baking sheet and cover it in aluminum foil for easy clean up. Then spread out your brussels sprouts, and cover them in everything else. Toss. If you can, try to keep the garlic on top of the sprouts and not on the pan. But if you can’t, that’s cool. Stick them in the oven for about 25 minutes. Then pull them out and stir them around. Put them back in for about 10 minutes. Then take them out and if they’re all brown on the outside, they’re ready to eat! (If they’re not, put them in...