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Showing posts from October, 2015

Trader Joe’s Slow Cooker Hack #1 (Easy Jambalaya) ♥

Four Trader Joe's products + a can of tomatoes + slow cooker = Easy Jambalaya supper!
We'd been gone for only four days but the fridge was on e-m-p-t-y so after retrieving the dog, I made a quick stop at Trader Joe's for eggs and milk. There at the tasting counter? A big slow cooker of an orange-colored spicy something. One taste later, I grabbed the four packages of "ingredients" – that would be supper, leaving lots of time and energy for pumpkin carving. The results? A spicy easy jambalaya, a hot supper.

Are these my favorite Trader Joe's products? Not by a long shot. Is it cooking? Not really. But it's a life hack, a Trader Joe's Slow Cooker Hack, and some days, that moves life's needle back to f-u-l-l.

PS Anyone interested in my favorite stuff from Trader Joe's? It'd be easy to put that together for another day. Plus, I'd really love to know your favorite Trader Joe's purchases. Let me know what you think!

Roasted Delicata Squash ♥

A delicata squash is the very easiest winter squash to cook. Here I've roasted the delicata in the oven after cutting it into pretty little half rings. The big question about a delicata squash always is, "How do you peel a delicata squash?" The easy answer? You don't! There's no need to peel a delicata squash. Even though a delicata squash is a "winter squash" (generally, a winter squash is characterized by tough, inedible skins) the skins of a delicata squash are edible! That means no peeling!
~recipe updated for a little weeknight cooking inspiration~
~more recently updated recipes~
Say hello to my very favorite "easy weeknight vegetable" – at least during the fall and winter. It's the delicata squash, see those two long-ish squash in the background of the photo? Those are delicata squash. What you can't see is that these guys are small, maybe six inches long. One squash feeds two or four, no need to pack up leftovers.

And delicat…

Pumpkin Pancakes ♥ Recipe

Today's simple pancake recipe: Light and fluffy pancakes, a pretty pumpkin color and spiked with the pumpkin spices that somehow, more than pumpkin itself, make something taste like "pumpkin".
Amused or bemused? Does either one describe your reaction to the flood of pumpkin recipes come October? (Or even jumping the gun in late August and early September, like stores which inflict Christmas carols just after back-to-school sales. Or so it seems, anyway.)

Me, I fall in the amused camp. Pumpkin is fun! The last couple of years, I've made pumpkin pancakes using my sister's wonderful Lifetime Pancakes recipe. Happy little boyzz at the table gobbling pancakes? Definite amusement.

So maybe, just maybe, Make Tonight a Pancake Night? Move over Taco Tuesday and Pizza Friday, pancakes are the new game in town!

My Favorite Way to Roast Beets ♥ An Illustrated Cooking Lesson from the Beet Queen

How to roast fresh beets with minimum fuss and an abundance of earthy, sensual beet flavor. After many years of cooking beets one way or another, in my experience, this is the best way to cook fresh beets. All it takes? Some beets rubbed with oil. A hot oven. Time. That's it!

Year-Round Kitchen Staple. Great for Meal Prep. Weight Watchers Friendly & Freestyle Friendly. Not just vegan, Vegan Done Real. Naturally Gluten Free. Whole30 Friendly.

“Soul Food” Sweet Potato Soup ♥ with Chicken, Kale & Coconut Milk

Today's heart- and belly-warming soup now that the sun sets early and the nights turn jacket-cool here in the Midwest. It's a simple, soothing soup, light somehow but at the same time hearty. It starts off with an intriguing Sweet Potato Broth, then builds flavors and textures with black beans and cooked chicken. Canadians? That turkey you've got leftover from Canadian Thanksgiving would work great too! Low Carb & Gluten Free. For Weight Watchers, just 3 PointsPlus.
I don't as much read recipes as much as scan them, first the list of ingredients. Here, it was the sweet potato broth that first grabbed my attention. Instantly I wondered, Why is it that our soup broths are so, I dunno, watery? In contrast, this broth has both color and texture. That first time, it was a "fridge cleaning" night – a sprouted onion, gnarly celery, a wizened carrot, a dusty sweet potato. That Sweet Potato Broth? A miracle. Supper that night was a big hit, it hit the spot.

So…

Creamy Pumpkin Steel-Cut Oats ♥

The season's first pumpkin recipe! Let's start the day off right with healthy pumpkin oatmeal, okay? Here, a blend of steel-cut and old-fashioned oats are cooked with pumpkin and banana, an all-natural sweetener. Make a big batch on the weekend, then just rewarm for fast, healthy breakfasts during the week.
Seasonal eating is a mindset. Take pumpkin, take peaches. Sure, I "can" make something with pumpkin in the summer but, really, it doesn't call to me, not when the peaches are drippy-ripe. But then again, sure, I "could" freeze summer's best peaches for the winter but, really, well, I just don't. As a seasonal eater, I'm quite content that pumpkin is a fall thing and peaches are a summer thing. (Hmm, am I allowed one exception? That would be my forever-favorite recipe for Autumn Pumpkin Bread.)

This year, I'm giving extra attention to a handful of extra-favorite recipes that, with seasonal adjustments, can become year-round recipes…