I like dark chocolate, the darker the better – up to 72% cacao I’ll just pop a piece in my mouth. The flavor of dark chocolate is deep, intense, with … Continue reading Dark Chocolate Bits Brownies
Just kidding. Sort of.
While there’s no scientific evidence that a particular food can jump-start labor, my water broke within one hour of eating this dip.
Adapted from Slate’s “You’re Doing it Wrong,” I threw this together for Thanksgiving. At 33 weeks pregnant, my husband and I made the short drive to Houston for the holiday. My 94-year-old grandmother lives there, and some other family drove in from Arkansas.
We left Austin with the uncooked dip in tow, compression stockings squeezed onto my swollen legs. I napped most of the way (Aside: I have a superhuman ability to fall asleep anywhere, anytime, within moments. It’s great for me; not so great for whomever I’m roadtripping with).
We exchanged hugs and a few jokes about whether my grandmother’s or my ankles were more swollen, and then the seven of us sat down with paper plates of dip, veggies, pita chips and Panettone bread. We’re not the kind of people to postpone eating for decorum’s sake.
I sat on a scratchy old, yellow chair with my legs stretched out in the living room, talking with my big sister. Something must have registered on my face, as she suddenly asked if I was okay. I nodded, and excused myself. I can only describe the feeling as unexpected dampness.
Surprise! I’ll leave out the details, but suffice it to say my water broke on that ragged yellow chair while my husband was jogging and my dad was sleeping. A few phone calls and we headed to a Houston ER.
My big sister graciously blotted up the poor chair, and grandmother is still none the wiser. Our son was born at 6:30 a.m. the Friday after Thanksgiving. No word yet on whether he likes spinach.
So if you’re pregnant and feeling ready to pop, why not give this recipe a whirl? Or just make it to enjoy; it’s easy and delicious.
8 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup mozzarella cheese
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Juice of 3 lemons
3 garlic cloves, minced
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper – to taste
Salt and black pepper
2, 15-oz cans marinated artichoke hearts, roughly chopped
10 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
Heat the oven to 450°F. Put the cream cheese, Parmesan, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and crushed red pepper in a large bowl. Season with salt and black pepper, and stir to combine. Stir in the artichoke hearts, spinach and mozzarella. Transfer to an 9×13 pan or a gratin dish and bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Serve warm with crisp crackers and crunchy veggies.
It’s August in Austin, Texas, so it’s hot, hot hot. Late afternoons mean prickly, dry skin and the desire to chug gallons of water while lying nearly naked and immobile on … Continue reading Luxurious Trés Leches Cake
Some days the best part of work is thinking about what I’m making for dinner. My handsome hubby hunted down a few recipes for the week and I was looking … Continue reading Seafood Risotto and Wine Stones
It’s been too long since posting, but rather than look back, I’m looking forward.
I have a friend in Austin, the Maple Syrup Lady, who produces maple syrup in Michigan, then hauls and sells it here in Texas. Part of her business is blogging about recipes. This week she tried a new ‘breakfast cookie’ recipe and I had the pleasure of sampling the results.
Let’s just say my bag of 6 cookies lasted 2 days, and that took restraint. They’re soft and fluffy, moist, tangy, and just the right amount of crunch. They’re like less refined Lara Bars, only WAY less expensive. Not to mention that they’re chock full of fruits and grains, no refined sugar, no butter, no eggs – and potentially gluten free. (If you’re into that). Who doesn’t want to eat cookies for breakfast?!
1 Cup Unsweetened Applesauce
2 Mashed Bananas
2 Tbsp Pure Michigan Maple Syrup
1/2 Cup Raisins or Dried Cranberries
1/4 Cup Chopped Almonds
1 Cup Fresh Strawberries, Diced
1 Tsp Cinnamon
1/4 Tsp Sea Salt
1 1/2 Cups Rolled Oats
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Combine the applesauce, mashed bananas, and maple syrup in a medium sized bowl. Add in the dried fruit, nuts, strawberries, cinnamon, and sea salt. Fold in the rolled oats.
3. Use an ice cream scoop to make 16 cookies. The dough will be loose so pack them together and press down on the middle to make a cookie shape. Place on a prepared baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes.
And yes, the Maple Lady has an online store and ships!
The recipe makes 16-18 cookies per batch – 80 calories per cookie.
The only way to enjoy grits is to add butter and cheese. Then add more butter and cheese. This was the first time I made this dish, and while it’s delish, it’s also decidedly not heart healthy. Which makes this recipe perfect for sharing!
For our first Friends-giving this week, B and I each made a memorable dish. His German Potato Salad is practically legendary now, but my shrimp and grits held their own in the taste test. I’d make this again. In fact, the hubby declared, “Holy moley! These are good!” Thanks for the recipe, Aunt Judy – and Southern Living.
3 TBS butter
1. Prepare Parmesan Grits: Bring 1 tsp. salt and 8 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Gradually whisk in grits. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, 8 minutes or until thickened. Whisk in cheese and pepper and butter until smooth. Taste and keep warm. TIP: Use a whisk – it helps the fluffiness factor.2. Prepare Creamy Shrimp Sauce: Peel shrimp; devein and/or detail, if desired. Sprinkle shrimp with pepper and 1/8 tsp. salt – I tossed them with salt and pepper in a colander. Cook in a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat 1 to 2 minutes on each side or just until shrimp turn pink. Remove shrimp from skillet with slotted spoon.
I woke up yesterday to a broken heater and a balmy 59 degree apartment. After calling, emailing and leaving a voicemail for the maintenance service, I curled up in sweats … Continue reading Easy Broccoli Cheese Soup
It’s no secret that one of my life goals is to promote pumpkin as more than a seasonal fall food. Pumpkin is so undervalued in savory foods and baking! While I continue … Continue reading Easy Spicy Pumpkin Soup
The word “arrabbiata” in Spanish means angry, and this sauce is meant to make your mouth burn. That was my goal at least, as I’ve been trying to kick a wicked sore throat for days and have a very unscientific theory that spicy foods will heal the hurt.
This sauce turned out GREAT, and earned happy sighs and compliments from my fiancé as well. It’s spicy but not overboard, easy but layered in flavor. I’m making this again with shrimp!
- 2 TBS olive oil
- 6 boneless chicken thighs or 3 breasts
- Salt & pepper
- 1 TBS minced garlic
- 1/2 diced red onion
- 1 (24 oz.) marinara sauce
- 4 tomatoes, roughly chopped or 1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper (or more to taste)
- 3/4 cup chicken broth
- 1/2 tsp cayenne or chili powder
- 12 oz. pasta for serving
- Goat cheese (optional)
- Season the chicken thighs with a pinch of salt, pepper and cayenne.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the chicken. Brown the chicken on both sides (5-7 minutes each side), then remove the chicken from the skillet.
- After the chicken is removed from the skillet, add the onion and minced garlic to the pan, loosening the browned bits. Sauté briefly until onion and garlic are soft.
- Add marinara sauce, tomatoes with juices, basil, crushed red pepper, and chicken broth to the skillet. Stir to combine.
- Return the chicken to the skillet with the sauce, and spoon some sauce over top of each piece. Allow the sauce to come to a simmer. Taste it and adjust the heat and salt. Simmer the chicken in the sauce for 30 minutes, turning the chicken over half way through to make sure both sides receive adequate heat and sauce.
- Serve the chicken and sauce over cooked pasta. Top with goat cheese.
Adapted from Budget Bytes.
P.S. Don’t serve this over brown rice pasta. They’re lying. It’s not the same as normal pasta and you will be disappointed.
As a kid, my mom made THE BEST chocolate chip cookies. With pecans, oatmeal and semi-sweet chocolate chips, they were tall and sweet with crunch and substance. No mansy-pansy, half-baked sagging middles for us!
These days I don’t have reason – or need – to bake two dozen cookies. But every once in a while, a warm cookie is all I can think about.
Enter a new front runner in the cookie baking battles: Immaculate Chocolate Chunk Cookies. I don’t know if they’re actually new to the market but they’re new to me.
Described as, “A true classic, our Chocolate Chunk cookie dough is chock full of chocolate chunks and maple-y brown sugar.”
These babies are luscious. No no oatmeal or pecans, but the trade-off in consistency gains simplicity – they’re soft and ooey-gooey, baking in 10 minutes. All hail the cookie!