Simple.

Sometimes things just need to be simple.

Like a rainy day that requires no make-up, a top knot bun, a hoodie, sweat pants, and maybe some chuck taylor’s (that is, if I decide to get out of my house shoes).

Yesterday was a simple day.

It was raining.

Sunday was meant for rain.

To me, rain on Sunday signifies a mourning to the end of the weekend, as though the sky were crying out for just a few more hours of relaxation.

Wow, that’s depressing 😉

 But then again, I have TONS of good Sunday memories: family pasta gatherings, sounds of laughter, my mamaw’s buttermilk biscuits, my grandfather’s feet squeaking across the floor in the wee hours of the morning to check on his sauce, and mountains of freshly grated snow white parmesan cheese on a bowl of angel hair pasta.

Yep. That’s what Sunday’s are made for.

Simplicity.

This dip can’t get any more simple.

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Tahini a.k.a. sesame seed butter, honey, and Greek yogurt.

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3 ingredients(es) people!

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Things are simpler in 2014.

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Duh.

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I suggest you dunk some fruit up in this.

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Apples, maybe?

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Honey Tahini Yogurt Dip
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizer, Snack, Dip
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
Rich, buttery, smooth dip made w/ tahini, yogurt, and honey for a touch of sweetness. Perfect for dipping fruit. Gluten-free, paleo option, refined sugar-free, vegan option.
Ingredients
  • ¼ c. tahini
  • ¼ c. non-fat Greek yogurt (use coconut yogurt or another vegan yogurt for vegan option and paleo option)
  • ¼ c. pure honey (use agave nectar or maple syrup for vegan option)
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until smooth.
  2. Serve w/ sliced apples or any other fruit.

MANGIA!!!

Dream Recipes.

I’ve pretty much been staring at the screen for 5 minutes trying to decide what to chatter about.

It’s come down to this…I’m awake at 5:30 a.m. and my brain is not quite functioning yet due to lack of caffeine intake.

I’m listening to Annabelle snore away…oh, wait that was her who woke me up at 3 a.m.? Because who just needs to eat breakfast and go on a potty break…for 30 minutes!? At 3 a.m.!!!

That dog.

So, I went back to sleep for an hour and dreamt I was actually in school and had overslept and my entire morning schedule was thrown off and I was going to be super late for my computer class that I had a test in.

Oh Lawd, please send help.

haha.

Friday should be your “it’s Friday and any work that I had piled up on my desk can wait until Monday” day.

Friday should also be your “I had fruit and eggs for breakfast so I can definitely have 3 chocolate chip cookies for lunch and cake for dinner while watching re-runs of Dawson’s Creek on Netflix” day.

Friday should be your “omg I’m going to see my extended family two whole weekends in a row which gives me an excuse to drink an entire bottle of wine 24 hours before hand” day.

You obviously don’t know my family.

But I’m sure you have your drama.

Let’s see who actually shows up to this wedding without a B.S. excuse.

Should be interesting…

Let’s get back to dinner…or ummmmm lunch…or snacks?

We will just say this is a snack.

Eggplant is my b.f.f.

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That’s super Italian of me 🙂

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This is probably one of those dips that I will make over and over again.

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It’s also one of the dips I came up with in a dream…except I was eating a bowl of it with Ryan Reynolds. Now, don’t get any sick ideas I wasn’t cheating with him on Blake Lively. She’s my home girl.

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I was his personal chef. Duh.

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This dip is all about roasted veggies…eggplant and my sweet bell peppers…two of my fave things, got married.

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Speaking of marriage. Tomorrow night will be epic.

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So epic that I might* even sleep in late.

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Haha. Dare to dream.

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My goal is to be able to try and find my shoes by the end of the night.

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I intend to party rock on the dance floor…so hard.

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5.0 from 1 reviews
Roasted Eggplant and Sweet Bell Pepper Dip
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizer, Dip, Spread, Snack
Cuisine: American, Mediterranean, Greek
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8-12
 
Gluten-free/Vegan/Paleo/Vegetarian
Ingredients
  • 1 large yellow bell pepper, cored and sliced into thin strips, lengthwise
  • 2 large orange bell peppers, cored and sliced into thin strips, lengthwise
  • 2 large eggplants, cut in half lengthwise
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 1 T. tahini
  • ½ t. fine seal salt
  • ½ t. freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. On one baking sheet, toss the bell pepper strips with a good drizzle or two of extra-virgin olive oil, season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  3. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the peppers are lightly golden and caramelized.
  4. On the second baking sheet, place the egg plant halves cut side down. Poke holes in the eggplant using a fork.
  5. Bake the eggplant for 1 hour or until slightly charred on the inside.
  6. Scoop out the flesh of the eggplant into a food processor.
  7. Add the roasted bell pepper, tahini, salt and pepper and process on high until smooth.
  8. Serve with fresh cut veggies, pita bread/chips, or crackers.

 

MANGIA!!!

I’m Game.

Apparently there is a big game on Sunday where men will be running down green turf, clad in skin tight metallic looking well…tights, chasing a thing us Americans refer to as a pig skin. The only pig skin I know of is the kind you buy at the store in the form of pork cracklins’. Heck, I don’t even know who is playing. There is one thing I do know about the Bowl of Super…its that food is always involved. And lots of it.

Lucky me, I live in a family where, even if we don’t care who is playing, you can bet your bottom dollar there will be a party with food. No question about it. This usually consists of a variety of barbecued meats, the occasional gumbo, pasta, pasta sauce, garlic bread, meatballs (what? we’re Italian), cupcakes, oh and a slew of appetizers.

All I really care about is dip…especially that chunky ranch dip alongside some crispy raw veggies, or maybe a cream cheese/salsa dip with frito chips. Heck yes. My mind is never on the game, it’s always parked in front of the dip table.

Lets make a dip with roasted tomatoes. 

I know they aren’t in season…blah, blah, blah
carpe diem!

This dip is super creamy, made with toasted almonds, tahini, olive oil, and spices. 
Let me tell you

it has taken everything in my power not to consume hummus or make hummus or even think about the can
of garbanzo beans behind the mound of peanut butter staring at me each time I open my pantry. 

Luckily, I can get creative with dips like this. 

And of course, keep my stomach issues at bay. 

Now, somebody hand me a margarita, let’s party!
Roasted Tomato, Almond, and Tahini Dip (GF/V/P):
Ingredients:
2 c. roasted grape tomatoes (or any small tomato)
extra-virgin olive oil
freshly cracked black pepper and salt, to taste
1/2 c. roasted, unsalted almonds
1 T. tahini
2 t. red wine vinegar
1/2 t. ground cumin
1/4 t. ground cayenne
1 T. extra-virgin olive oil
freshly cracked black pepper and salt, to taste
tortilla chips (I used sweet potato) or pita chips, for serving
Instructions:
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Place the tomatoes on the baking sheet and toss with evoo, salt, and pepper.
3. Bake for 1 hour, or until tomatoes have burst and are slightly browned.
4. Let cool slightly before putting the tomatoes in the food processor.
5. Along with the tomatoes, add the almonds, tahini, vinegar, cumin, and cayenne to the food processor and process on high until you get a semi-chunky texture.
6. With the food processor still running, slowly stream in the evoo until smooth and creamy. 
7. Pulse in the pepper and salt and adjust seasonings to taste. Serve with chips.
Makes 2 c. of dip.
MANGIA!!!

Process this.

Happy Monday y’all!
For the past couple of days I have really been enjoying my life. I mean, I am truly thankful for everything and everyone in my life all the time…but lately, I have been especially thankful. This year we restarted a tradition in my family, buying an actual real Christmas tree and I must say…best idea ever. We had held off with purchasing real trees since I was little because of my allergies. I figured that it couldn’t be that bad, so here I am..day two with real Christmas tree…no allergies with the smell of pine drifting through the house. Don’t hold your breath though…my allergies could attack at any time. 
You don’t want to see me around horses, or hay, well…truth is I probably wouldn’t be able to actually see you, seeing as my eyes usually close shut upon riding horses or taking hay rides. O boy. Anyway, I am preparing for a crazy week, studying for finals, baking, cooking, and oh yea, attending baby seester’s college graduation this weekend. I am so pumped for her! Little did I know that almost three years ago I would have started this blog out of a passion for seester’s food allergies. Gotta love her. 
Let’s talk about my absolute favorite kitchen electronic.
Behold, le food processor! Seriously, when I am just so lazy and don’t feel like cooking or baking. BADA-BING! I whip out the food processor and go to work! Or, not work in this case. It’s as though a weight has been lifted off my shoulders as I watch the blade doing it’s work inside the machine…processing, pulverizing, and whipping into shape what is usually going to be a dip, or a nut butter, or something else I can snack on.
I believe I have professed my obsession with dips many a time on this blog. Don’t bring me to a salad bar…seriously, I will have more hummus, whole grain mustard, and ranch dip on my plate than actual salad greens. This time I whipped up a creamy pesto.
I used some organic red kale and mixed greens as the base.

Then I add some of these amazing unsalted, pepita seeds that Oh Nuts sent me a couple of weeks back. 
I really just love Oh Nuts! Ummmm…you should too!

Thank you God for food processors!

I added non-fat Greek yogurt for a hint of creaminess and whoa baby!
I will always do this now…sooooooo creamy!

Tomorrow’s discussion…how to use this pesto. 
It’s going to blow your mind.
Creamy Kale Pesto (GF):
Ingredients:
1 small bunch of red leaf kale, or another variety of curly leaf kale, stems cut off
1 c. fresh mixed greens
1/3 c. unsalted, pepita seeds (like the ones from Oh Nuts)
1/4 c. +2 T. extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. black pepper
1 T. non-fat Greek yogurt 
Instructions:
1. Place the kale and mixed greens in the bowl of a food processor, process on high until the greens are well chopped.
2. Add the pepita seeds and process again until thoroughly combined.
3. With the processor running, slowly stream in the evoo until the mixture becomes somewhat smooth and begins to thin out.
4. Turn the processor off, add the salt, black pepper and Greek yogurt and pulse until smooth and creamy.
5. Enjoy!
Makes 1.5 to 2 c. of pesto.
MANGIA!!!

Capital P.

Happy Wednesday y’all!
Is it too early to start prepping for Thanksgiving? I think not! I started recipe testing yesterday for Thanksgiving and I might as well have cranked up the Tony Bennett Christmas album and started decorating the tree. I just looooove this time of year. Anyway, I wish someone in my family would drop the ball already and let me know who is hosting Thanksgiving. While I would love to do it…I am totally not prepped, my kitchen is too tiny, and my oven…well, that is another story.
 While it’s nice for me to hope that I will hear something from a family member soon, I know how we do things in my family…everything starts with a CAPITAL P…for Procrastination. If things go smoothly, I should hear something the night before Thanksgiving. The good thing is, I have mapped out my plan of attack on sides, desserts to bring to the gathering (wherever that may be). You see, baby seester needs to have options when it comes to Thanksgiving…meaning no gluten and no dairy. Don’t worry. I got dis.
Let’s talk about cranberry sauce. No, not that jelly like substance that comes in a can. I’m talking real, deal cranberry sauce made with actual cranberries. Now, I usually have my go to jalapeno cranberry relish that I make each year, but yesterday, I was searching for something quick and simple to make. 
FOUND IT!
Basically, I just threw some things into a pot…
starting with cranberries…duh.

20 minutes later…BADA-BING. 
Fresh Honey Cranberry Sauce.

Of course I don’t have a huge roasted turkey (because it I did I would slather this stuff on it)
so naturally, I broke out the crackers and cream cheese

and went to town.
This sauce is delightfully thick, not overly sweet, and scented with orange juice for a little zing!

My plan was to freeze this stuff for Thanksgiving, but I predict I will finish this stuff off by Friday!

Good thing it’s quick and easy to make…back to the market I go to stock up on cranberries!
Cream cheese…just do it.
HAVE YOU STARTED PREPPING FOR THANKSGIVING? HAVE ANY QUICK AND EASY RECIPES?

Honey Cranberry Sauce (GF/V):

Ingredients:
1/2 c. honey (or agave nectar)
1/4 c. water
12 oz. fresh cranberries
juice of 1 small orange (about 1/4 c.)

Instructions:
1. Place the honey and water in a large sauce pot. Bring to a boil on the stove.
2. Add the cranberries to the pot and bring back to a boil, stirring the mixture periodically.
3. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the berries have burst and the sauce becomes thick, about 10 minutes. Stir in the orange juice.
4. Remove the pot from the stove and let cool for 10 minutes. Serve with cracker and whipped cream cheese, or alongside your Thanksgiving turkey!

Makes 1 large jar (about 1 1/4 cups).

MANGIA!!!