Roasted Carrots

Roasted Carrots

I got some rainbow carrots from Bountiful Baskets last month. Last time I got them, they went bad before I could use them, so I was determined to use them right away this time. But on what? So I went with roasted carrots. And I am SO happy I did. I will warn you though. They’re not super easy to cut in half, length wise. I had to have Joel do it so I didn’t lop off a hand. So you may want to try cutting them into coins or sticks. Whatever you do though, make sure you peel them first! I MAY have eaten all but one of them right away for a mid-morning snack. Joel probably snuck one in. Here’s the printable recipe card! This recipe was adapted from here. Roasted Carrots Recipe Type: Side Dish Cuisine: American Author: Sam (Sizzling Mess) Ingredients 8-10 whole carrots, peeled and tops chopped off 1 tablespoon olive oil (I used Extra Virgin) 1 teaspoon dried thyme or rosemary (or both) 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 2 1/2 tablespoons honey Lightly salt and pepper to taste Instructions Start by preheating your oven to 425 degrees. While it’s heating, stick your carrots in a bowl with the salt, pepper, and olive oil. Toss the carrots to coat them. Stick them on a rimmed baking sheet (covered in foil to prevent clean up) and bake them for about 15 minutes. Then take out the carrots and cover them in the honey, balsamic vinegar, and the thyme/rosemary. Stick them back in the oven for another 10-20 minutes, depending on how soft you want them. Check...
Cheese Quesadillas

Cheese Quesadillas

I’ve been super-duper stressed out lately. So stressed that I’m not even sure we’ve been eating every night, and more than one person that I work with told me to get a life. Maybe they’re right, I DO need to get a life. This isn’t a problem I used to have. It’s a problem I have now though, and I am bubbling over with anxiety all the time. So not healthy. Soon is vacation though! Which, even though we cut it shorter and are not going to make it up to Glacier National Park (which, I am more than sad about) will be good for me. So, these cheese quesadillas. Even though a failed attempt the first time, turned out very well once we got into the groove of making them. Some sour cream would have been nice. But it was accidentally (by which I mean, food spoils in the door of my fridge and freezes solid in the back) frozen and defrosted, and then re-frozen and re-defrosted, so it was weird and lumpy and we tossed it. Not everything is perfect, right? Right. And there was so much crispy cheese! Which we all know is the best thing that was ever invented (even if we made it accidentally). These are also good as a side dish. Or lunch. Or next to Mexican soup. Or just as dinner. This recipe makes 12 quesadillas, but it’s super easy to double or quadruple (or even cut in half) for your family size! These are best eaten right away, so you may not want to make extra for leftovers! Here’s the recipe...
Crazy Bacon Macaroni

Crazy Bacon Macaroni

You may have come here wondering what, exactly, makes macaroni crazy. Well, funny story about that. See, we were going to make Penne, but we only had 1/3 box (not enough). And so we added some shells we had left, but we still didn’t have enough. So we added a box of the shells from shells and cheese (and tossed the cheese). So now we have some penne and two different sizes of shells. Pretty crazy, huh? Okay, maybe it’s not that crazy. Maybe it’s just disorganized and lazy, like me. But it tastes incredible! I even ate all of the leftovers, and as a rule, I do NOT eat leftover macaroni (never have, it’s icky). Anyway. If you want to give it a try, here’s the printable recipe card! Crazy Bacon Macaroni Recipe Type: Pasta Cuisine: American Author: Sam (Sizzling Mess) Ingredients 1 box uncooked elbow macaroni (or penne, or shells) 4-oz (1/4 pound) cheddar cheese 4-oz (1/4 pound) swiss cheese 4-oz (1/4 pound) Original Velveeta 1/2 package real bacon bits (or 6 pieces cooked, crumbled bacon) 2 tablespoons butter 1 and 3/4 cups milk 1/4 cup flour Salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste Instructions Start out by boiling your pasta until it is al-dente. Al-dente pasta should still have a bit of “tooth” to it, in other words when you bite in it should be fully cooked but still mildly firm. Once the pasta is done, drain the water, and put it back in the pot. Add your butter, milk, and flour, and stir over low heat until fully combined. Then add your cheeses, one at...
Guacamole Two Ways

Guacamole Two Ways

It’s not really a secret. I’m kind of testy sometimes. Sometimes people just make me mad. It’s not my fault. It’s probably genetics, or hormones, or a brain defect at play. But seriously, people who make guacamole “wrong” set me off. How can something with so MANY ingredients taste so bland? Why is it chunky? How hard would it have been to make it smooth? Do you know this just tastes like a mashed avocado? (Not that mashed avocado tastes bad, it’s just not guacamole. I’m actually eating plain avocado with a spoon as I type this.) Okay, so now I will stop, and I will tell you how to make it the correct way. Two ways in fact. The “I’m-making-dinner” way and the “I-really-need-a-snack-way”. And both are easy, and both are good. And they’re also healthy, and paleo by nature (not on purpose). And did I mention that they actually taste good? Okay, now with it! Dinner (or lunch, or party, or whatever) Guacamole This guacamole is how I always make it for dinner or when I’m making it for other people. Or when I feel particularly ambitious (never). This is real guac. I use either an immersion blender or a food processor to make it since I like it super smooth. But I suppose it can be mashed with a fork too. First, you add all the ingredients to whatever you’re blending/mashing it in. And then you blend it up, so it’s super creamy and all of the ingredients are perfectly combined. Look at that green beauty! Here’s the printable recipe card! Real Guacamole Recipe Type: Condiment...
Philly Cheesesteaks

Philly Cheesesteaks

I love a good steak philly. Emphasis on good. We have a restaurant here called Pepperjax which sells all kind of phillies and wraps and bowls (and now nachos?!), and they have super thin meat and they are so good. But I’ll be honest, the last 5 or so times I have gone there, the meat has been too stringy and fatty for me. So that’s gross. So, I’ve been on a hunt to make them at home. And when I ran across this recipe from the Pioneer Woman, I knew it would be perfect! Obviously I made some version of it right away. So, I’m using the roast beef here, instead of cooked steak because it’s 1. easier since it’s already cooked and 2. it’s super thin and low on fat. If you want to, you could cut up a steak really thin and fry it until it’s browned, but this was good! I used medium (not rare) roast beef from the deli. And for the cheese sauce, I used American singles in swiss flavor because they melt well. Add in a little milk to thin it out and you basically have nacho cheese. I also used a little soft swiss which I already had, but not too much. Just to give it some flavor. You could use white American too, but they didn’t have it at my store. It’s usually behind the deli counter. Here’s the printable recipe! Philly Cheesesteaks Recipe Type: Sandwich Cuisine: American Author: Sam (Sizzling Mess) Ingredients For One Sandwich 1 deli roll, cut in half 3 tablespoons butter 1/4 onion, sliced thinly 1/2 bell...
Dip and Share Eggs

Dip and Share Eggs

I saw this recipe on The Londoner a couple of months ago (hell, maybe it was a year ago now, I can’t keep track), and I’ve been wanting to try it ever since. I’m kind of lazy when it comes to cooking from a recipe, so I tweaked it a bit here and there to fit what I had in my cupboards. But, all of that aside, it’s healthy, and if you don’t count the bread you dip into it, it’s paleo. I MAY have separated the egg yolks and whites and only used the yolks. Sorry but egg whites are gross level: 1000, and for the most part have little nutritional value anyway. Plus, I get the heebie-jeebies when egg whites aren’t fully cooked and I had my doubts with this (even though I love runny yolks, so go figure). I’ll let you make that decision for yourself. To separate an egg, crack the shell into two pieces, and then over a sink or trash can drop the egg yolk back and fourth between the two halves. After two or three passes, the egg white will completely separate and fall into the trash/sink. Or you can just be normal (unlike me) and use the entire egg. Okay so let’s see some pictures, right?! First, sauté some tomatoes and peppers and garlic. Then, add some tomato sauce, cilantro, and spices: Then stir it together and let it simmer for awhile. Then add some eggs and let them cook. Or if you’re weird like I am, just add the yolks, and let them cook less. Finally, add some chhhhheeeeeessssseeeee! And...
Poutine

Poutine

I’m American. I’ve never had “real” poutine. We don’t eat that in Nebraska. Except we should, because it’s to die for. Seriously. Really, seriously. Fries, cheese curds, gravy. That’s it! AND OMG IT’S SO GOOD. I made this with 2 types of cheese (neither of which were cheese curds, oops). One was a fancy gouda which came form whole foods and I needed to use up. It had Indian spices in it. It’s also great in curry. And the other cheese was a garlic pepper cheese which I got at the farmer’s market (and I think is mozzarella). I made my own gravy. And I used frozen fries. Because I’m ambitious like that. See how the fries are extra crispy? Yum. Here’s the printable recipe card: Poutine Recipe Type: Side Dish Cuisine: Canadian Author: Sam (Sizzling Mess) Ingredients 1 bag frozen french fries (I used extra crispy, any kind is fine, thick is better) 8 oz cheddar cheese curds (or whatever you have), diced if necessary 1 tablespoon flour 1 tablespoon oil or butter 1 and 1/2 cups beef, chicken, or vegetable broth Optional Ingredients: garlic powder, steak seasoning, allspice, salt, pepper, Kitchen Bouquet Browning Sauce, minced onion Instructions Preheat your oven and bake your french fries as directed. When your french fries have about 5 minutes left, start your gravy: heat a pan over medium heat and add your oil and flour. Mix them together thoroughly and then wait for them to start to bubble (kind of looks like foam). At this point start pouring your broth in about 1/2 cup at a time, stirring/whisking together briskly after...
Vegetable Lomein

Vegetable Lomein

The first challenge for me to make this recipe was finding chowmein noodles that weren’t the crispy, salad kind. They sell them, by the way, in the Chinese section. They just don’t sell them at my local store, but Walmart has them! The second one was figuring out what to do. I meant to follow a recipe, really. But then I looked at all the steps and literally went, “What the ****? No.” That was not happening. So I winged it. Because I’m the queen of lazy and that’s how I do it. So first, I put the water on to boil and it took for-freaking-ever. I kept waiting, and getting up and going, “Is this shit boiling?!”, and then realizing that it wasn’t and going back to waiting. Anyway, so it finally came together! And, plus side, I got to use my new ceramic pan so that was exciting! These noodles cook INSANELY fast, so make sure you only let them boil for like 3 minutes or they get mushy and sticky. Which is not desirable. Also! I learned something new! I always throughout the difference between lomein and chowmein was the type of noodle (soft versus crispy), but I actually leaved that the difference is entirely in the cooking process! Lomain is “tossed” while chowmein is “fried”. So maybe this is actually chowmein…. Hmm.   Here is the printable recipe card! Vegetable Lomein Recipe Type: Dinner Cuisine: Chinese Author: Sam (Sizzling Mess) Ingredients 1 package chow-mein noodles 1 package coleslaw cabbage (or broccoli slaw) 1 tablespoon fresh, grated ginger 2 cloves garlic, miced 1 tablespoon coconut oil...
“Crack” Potatoes: Reimagined and Improved

“Crack” Potatoes: Reimagined and Improved

Awhile ago, I tested “crack potatoes” for one of my weekly pin-tests. And, as you can read in that post, they weren’t that great. Maybe it needed more sour cream and cheese. Maybe it just sucked. I don’t know. But due to the huge number of pins and re-posts, and my undying love for potatoes and cheese, I wasn’t ready to give up on them yet. So since I had left over potatoes in the freezer, I decided to give them another go – but fix them as I went. Sorry, crack potatoes are not photogenic. As nothing named after “crack” should be. I tried, but based on the multitude of un-photogenic posts on Pinterest, I have gathered that it just is not possible. Here is the original recipe: http://www.plainchicken.com/2011/01/crack-potatoes.html. It calls for sour cream as it’s main ingredient, but I subbed cream cheese. I also added green onions. Oh, and I made a human-sized batch since this is definitely a recipe that is for more than 1 person. Not to brag, but this turned out really, really, really well! I think all it needed was a little extra fat and cream to really make it pop! Here’s the printable recipe card. “Crack” Potatoes: Reimagined and Improved Recipe Type: Side Cuisine: American Author: Sam (Sizzling Mess) Ingredients 1/2 bag of shredded frozen hash brown potatoes 8 oz cream cheese 4 oz (1/2 normal block) extra sharp cheddar cheese 1 packet ranch dip mix 1/2 jar/packet of real bacon bits 2 green onions, diced Instructions Thaw the potatoes and soften cream cheese. When the potatoes are thawed and the cream cheese...
Kale Chips

Kale Chips

Today has been an interesting day. I’ve been working on my laundry for about a week and just piling the clean stuff into a basket to be folded. And today was the day to fold. Except, as I was folding I noticed that all of my pants and half of my socks (but, mysteriously nothing else from the SAME LOAD) smelled like they hadn’t even been washed. Go figure. So after that “adventure”, and taking apart and scrubbing my stove, I was not really up for trying anything new. But I did for two reasons: 1. So I could have something interesting to blog about. 2. Because the kale was about to go bad. This was take 2 and take 3 of my kale chip adventure. The first time I burned them (oops), and so this time I put in two pans separately just in case. And it worked! Mostly. I put too much olive oil on the first tray, so I put less on the second tray, but it wasn’t enough. But now I know what amount you should use so there’s that! Learn from my mistakes! They were actually really good! I’m not going to lie to you: they do not taste “just like” potato chips, and they are way too thin and fragile for dip. BUT they make a good substitute for chips, and they do not taste like raw kale. All in all, I’ll probably make them again (and maybe next time try nacho cheese flavored ones). And what’s even better is that I get to eat all of them myself since Joel is allergic to...