When I first saw the call for bloggers to help with a Man Men Party to kick off the last season of the series- I was very interested but a bit perplexed. When I picture meals in the 1960s, many menus and ideas come to mind and not one of them is vegetarian. So I inquired and was thrilled to find out that this fantastic ode to the food of featured in Mad Men included a more than a few vegetarian recipes – in addition to classic drinks and fantastic treats. I was so excited to open up my copy and get to work deciding on a recipe, narrowing it down to a whopping 5 dishes that begged to be enjoyed. However with my inpending kitchen renovation, I knew that whatever I picked had to be quick and easy and low mess – so hello Chili Rellenos! I’ve had Chili Rellenos before but always fried, so the fact that these are sauted made them even better – plus no breading so a great gluten free treat as well. I had a bit of an issue with the technique, however for these delicious treats looks don’t matter – it’s all about the taste! I also turned it in to a one pot dish but heating up the sauce at the very end while the peppers cooled a bit – this also allowed me to get all of the cheesy and eggy goodness out of the pan.
Since I was serving these to my in-laws, I did a mixture of poblano chilis and standard green bell peppers – same technique just a less spicy pepper. I served the sauce in a bowl on the side, and let people add as much (or as little) to their peppers as they wanted. To take it from an appetizer to a true entree, I added some black beans and rice for the perfect meal. I am so beyond happy that I decided to join in the fun – and can’t wait to try out more recipes (Sour Cream Coffee Cake!) and even try my hand at bartending.
Make sure to check out all the other recipes featured as part of #PartylikeaMadMan
Spinach and Shells
Trying something new with my site, in theory things should now be MUCH faster and hopefully posts/updates will stop disappearing. Today’s post is a healthier twist on my standard lazy night dinner, a recipe that started back in college as it is easily double and can be made on little to no sleep. Just requires some pasta, a leafy vegetable, and shredded cheese of some form! In college this normally meant thin spaghetti, frozen spinach with onions, and whatever fake stuff was on sale. Now that I have a bit more money, and still no time, I’ve been able to upgrade this recipe while reducing the sodium that goes along with fake cheese and fake (or canned) vegetables. It still comes together in under 30 minutes, so perfect for late nights after work or for a late lunch when the day is slipping away. As a bonus – it’s a green dish perfect for St. Patrick’s day!!!
I’m also sending this over to /r/52weeksofcooking for their hangover challenge as I’m fairly certain the first time I made this in college that was the case. This recipe is also a great way to clean out the fridge or freezer, and no need to stick to just one vegetable!
Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese
I can’t believe it’s already day 5 of TripleSBites! Last night we had our awesome twitter party, which included a few of our awesome sponsors and lots of tasty recipes. Today’s feature is one that takes a bit of prep work but offers a great twist on a classic dish. While a few of my twists on Mac & Cheese haven’t been blogworthy (hello, cauliflower) but this one is out of the world! To save some time I used a few of my Gourmet Garden treats and also added just a touch of a new goody: Chili Cumin from Acala Farms. Normally I use mustard seed in my mac & cheese but decided to switch it up this time!
Another HUGE HIT! For a quicker version, drop the baking part and serve right after mixing everything together. Always been a big fan of the breadcrumb crunch but some nights there just isn’t time. If using a gluten free pasta, add 2 tbsp of milk to the dish before baking to prevent the noodles from drying out.
Have you entered the Giveaway yet?!?
Smokey Loaded Potato Soup
This is most certainly the season for snow, considering there is snow on the ground with more forecasted for tomorrow afternoon – fun times! However this means lots of time at home messing around in the kitchen – which is perfect considering the awesome blog event I’m taking part of starting Feb. 2nd! As part of this I got lots of goodies, one of which I already mentioned, and a few more that I’ll be talking about over the next week or so. One of the more interesting items that arrived was a container of mixed spices thanks to VooDoo Chef – I knew that testing it would be a bit difficult as a single whiff indicated that this stuff was good and POTENT. I had been toying with the idea of a loaded potato soup for a few days at this point, and decided that this package of Red goodness would be a great way to add a smokey taste to my potatoes – allowing me to skip the roasting step.
Perfection! The spice had the perfect balance of smokey and cheesy without any one ingredient being too overpowering. This soup also gave me an idea for another dish that I’ll be sharing next week during TripleSBites. By the way, this blog challenge will also include my first (!!!) giveaway! More details coming Monday February 2nd so be sure to check back!
Note: I received VooDoo Chef’s Red Spices as part of the #TripleS blog challenge, which starts February 2nd. I was not required to use the products, or post anything about them outside of acknowledging that I received them, so all opinions and experiences are my own.
Poblano Mac & Cheese
First Monday of November – and with that time for the Secret Recipe Club! This month I was sent out of the US and south of the border to check out Leslie’s La Cocina de Leslie blog which is packed full of spicy traditional dishes. I’m a huge fan of spicy food, and over time my husband has also grown to appreciate the delicious that comes from a good pepper. Leslie’s blog had so many delicious treats to pick from, and more than a fair number of them used ingredients or techniques that were new to me – which are my favorite dishes to pick! In the end I decided to go with one that had a new ingredient as well as a new technique – as a bonus it’s a technique that wouldn’t have worked at my old place with our electronic stove. So enough teasing – time to share her incredible Poblano Mac & Cheese which made enough for a fantastic dinner and a tasty lunch the next day. I had to a make a small change due to allergies but since her recipe was already vegetarian perfection it was only the lime/cilantro that had to go away. I used wasabi arugula from Chocolates and Tomatoes Farm but any variety would work – just figured the added spice would fit right in!
I also bookmarked another handful of dishes for the future, most of which will need to wait until next summer when fresh tomatoes are available. The first on the list are her entomatados with the rajas con crema close behind. So many amazing dishes to try – a few of which I had never even heard of! Needless to say this SRC was another smashing success.
One more sign of fall – Football season is here! I’m not a huge fan of football, more of a hockey girl, but now that we are living in a football town I feel like I have to at least show some team spirit. So with that in mind, below are some awesome dishes perfect for tailgating.
Sweet Potato Chili
Zucchini Parmesan Crisps
Garlic Feta Dip
Hot Artichoke Dip
These are also the same dips that I rotate in and out for gaming days – with the Garlic Feta Dip being everyone’s favorite. It also makes a great burger topping, be it meat or otherwise. Chili is also the perfect group dish since it can easily be doubled and switched to a stock pan if it becomes too much for the slow cooker.
I totally blame Becca over at Amuse Your Bouche for today’s post – when I saw her cheesy toast variation the other week I got a total craving. I don’t remember the first time I had cheesy toast but I’m going to guess it was a case of my mom not having enough bread for grilled cheese sandwich and going with an open-faced variation. Also should note as this point that I’m a HUGE fan of open-face sandwiches so thanks mom 🙂 This extends as far as stripping my burgers which is why I tend to load up my cheesy toast with all sorts of goodies. I want the bread to just barely be hanging on so in part it does become a balancing act of figuring out how many toppings a piece can handle. I also used two different spreads (or smears) as I couldn’t decide which one would work best, one being vegan and one being not so vegan. That is of course assuming that vegan bread is being used, something I can assume since I made my own peasant bread using dairy-free stick “butter”.
The more I use Daiya, the more I’m starting to enjoy it in the melted form. The texture still drives me crazy when it’s raw but that all goes away once it melts. I’m also hoping to find some more varieties of cashew cheese as there are occasions where I can’t melt the cheese but would still like to have some, such as cold salads. I’m also sending this open faced cheese sandwich over to 52weeksofcooking for their historic foods challenge since this Depression Era treat has become a comfort classic over the past (almost) 100 years. Also cool to note that the original version was open-faced and it wasn’t until the 60s that the top piece was added. Important to note that the cheese on toast is historically different than an open faced cheese sandwich, something that has been around since the 15th century – the toasting makes all the difference!
In gardening news, I have a good dozen green cherry tomatoes growing and today my first little pepper joined the party. I’ve also got lots of purple flowers on my fairy eggplant but so far no lil eggplants, fingers crossed that will change. I’ve never done a container garden before so I’m looking forward to seeing how it does in comparison to my awesome box garden. I’m also hoping that the guy who bought my place appreciates the awesome box garden and is using it.