Andouille & Chorizo Sausage Nachos

Hey all!

During all of last week, I could barely contain my excitement for the Super Bowl.

Not because I care or even remotely understand anything about football.

Because of the food!!! Duh!!!

I also enjoy some of the stupid funny Budweiser commercials.

But mainly the food. Steve had a few friends over, and so we had to make sure we had some classic Super Bowl goodies. We served pizza and wings. Nom nom nom.

I feel kind of guilty admitting it, but I’m all about takeout for when we have company over. It’s so much easier than preparing this giant, homemade meal. I really try to clean up our place when I know we’re having guests. The last thing I want to do is shit up the kitchen. You feel me?

If you’re someone who cooks gourmet meals for when your friends come a-knocking, all I have to say is mucho respect, God Bless, and when can I come over?

Oh yeah, I can also say “Better you than me.” No no NO cooking for this girl.

Okay, I mean, I did make one simple thing. I’ve had a couple of pieces of andouille and chorizo sausage sitting in my freezer, ever since I used it to make quesadillas about two weeks ago. I can’t tell you how much I had-I honestly don’t remember. It was one big, long piece of chorizo and two normal sausage link-sized pieces of the andouille. I thought about taking it’s picture, but sometimes sausage links bear a comical resemblance to pieces of poop in photographs. I couldn’t do it with a straight face. I’m just saying.

If this recipe interests you, please keep reading before I make you lose your appetite any further. Sorry.

How I made Delicious  Andouille & Chorizo Sausage Nachos:

I chose to make my life easier by making my sausages ahead of time. As soon as I woke up on Sunday morning, I preheated my oven to three hundred seventy five degrees. I baked the sausages on a parchment-paper lined tray for twenty minutes. I then  flipped them over, and baked them for an additional twenty minutes. I took them out of the oven, let them cool a bit,and chopped them up into little pieces. Once they had completely cooled to room temperature, I put them in a container and threw them in the fridge.

Hours later, it was time to make my nachos. You could use any tortilla chip. I opted for Tostito’s lime flavored chips and the scoops. The lime flavor is just so different and fun. The scoops hold the meat and cheese really well. Those two are simply my favorites.

I set my oven to 350 degrees. In order to save myself a lot of aggravation, I lined my glass dish with parchment paper (ALWAYS! If you haven’t noticed, parchment paper is my kitchen holy grail item). I then proceeded to build a chip-tower. I lined the bottom of the dish with lime Tostitos. I gave them one or two liberal handfuls of cheese and some sausage. I covered them with more lime tostitos and did the same thing all over again. You can build as many layers as you like ( or as many as your glass tray will fit). For my top layer, I used the scoops. I placed little pieces of sausage right inside of the scoops, because what else would you do? Don’t forget to cover with extra cheese on top!

Here’s where I messed up– I baked my nachos for only five minutes. When I took them out of the oven, they looked phenomenal..but the cheese on the bottom two layers was not completely melted. I’m pretty sure that this could have been prevented by baking them longer. I got lazy and just stuck them in the microwave for thirty seconds. In the future, I will try baking for 8 or 9 minutes. No real harm done, as my nachos still came out great 🙂

Look how yummy….

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These really were a lot of fun. I received several compliments. About thirty percent of them might have been from myself. When I eat something amazing, I tend to not be able to stop talking about it. I’m sure I come across as ridiculously pompous, talking about my food. To clarify, I don’t go around saying, “Wow, what a great job I did!”  In fact, it’s not about me at all. When I eat something I like made by ANYBODY, I just can’t seem to resist going, “Wow, this is great!” “This is so good!” “Ugh, I want to  have this again soon!” Comments of that nature on repeat throughout the entire meal. Maybe a little obnoxious, but I can’t help it.  I genuinely am that passionate about amazing food.

So what awesome snacks did you get to enjoy yesterday? Please do share your snack recipes with me.

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Breaded and Baked Chicken Cutlets

Hey all 🙂

This past Wednesday night, I decided I felt like cooking something for dinner. My goal was to make enough food so that I wouldn’t have to buy lunch on Thursday. I aim to do that practically every time I cook. I’m not someone who enjoys buying her lunch on a regular basis. I always prefer to bring something I’ve made. For times when I’m too busy to do that (this happens constantly), I’ll  bring a frozen meal to heat up in the microwave.

I’d opted for a frozen meal option for lunch that day, one of the “Fit Kitchen” meals from Stouffer’s. They’re supposed to be on the healthier side, touting over 20 grams of protein or something like that…the one I ate contained rotisserie style chicken, string beans, red potatoes, and sweet potatoes. I’ve been wanting to try these out for a long time now. I eat a lot of frozen food, which I know isn’t good for me. Still, I try to pick things that aren’t too terrible…the lesser evils, is what I call it. Unfortunately, I wasn’t quite prepared for the 900 mg of sodium…I was so freaking thirsty all day long. It seriously dehydrated the crap out of me. Not worth it, in my humble opinion.

But yeah.. after that thirst inducing experience, I was pretty eager to come home and  make something fresh. I opted to make breaded and baked chicken cutlets.

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If you think that looks and sounds like something you’d crave to eat, please keep reading.

Breaded and Baked Chicken Cutlets

If you’ve got an appetite like mine, this recipe will serve two. If you tend to eat smaller portions (jealous), you may be able to get 3 servings from it.

You will need:

1.5-1.75 lbs of chicken breast

a baking sheet

parchment paper

3 eggs

1 cup of flour

1 1/2 cups of panko crumbs

salt, oregano, & garlic powder to taste

optional-grated parmesan cheese

optional-grated pecorino romano cheese

This recipe requires a little bit of prepwork…nothing too horrible. You’ll want to preheat your oven to 375 degrees. You will then want to go ahead and cover your baking sheet with parchment paper.

Next, you’ll need to set up your breading station. Get three appropriately-sized bowls. In one bowl, crack your three eggs and whisk them until they have been thoroughly beaten.

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After whisking your eggs, you’ll need to measure out your flour. When I made this, I grossly overestimated how much I should use. I used two cups  and had so much left over. I was so mad at myself for wasting ingredients. Not cool. You should be just fine with a cup, as each chicken cutlet only requires a light dusting.

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Pour yourself a cup and a half of panko crumbs. I mixed mine with three to four shakes of salt, oregano, garlic powder, and parmesan cheese (I used the one that comes in a shaker). You don’t have to use the cheese if you don’t wan to. After adding your seasonings, be sure to stir them in to the panko with a spoon or a fork.

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Once you’ve thoroughly rinsed your chicken and patted it dry with a paper towel, you are ready to begin the breading process 😀 It’s super easy…you dip each cutlet in the egg, then lightly coat it with some flour. Now, go ahead and press it in to the bowl of seasoned panko crumbs, taking care to generously coat each side. Finally, throw your cutlet (maybe place it, so you don’t make a mess) on top of the parchment paper.

Once you’ve done this to all of your chicken breasts, put them in the oven. Bake for twenty minutes, then flip them over with a spatula so that both sides are able to cook. Bake for another twenty minutes.

If you want, you can sprinkle some grated pecorino romano cheese on top of your cutlets. This should be done two to three minutes before they’re due to come out of the oven.

And…

Ta da!

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My breaded and baked chicken cutlets, pictured here with cut up red peppers and rosemary potatoes. I suggest choosing some kind of condiment to enjoy on this chicken. I personally use honey mustard salad dressing. I buy the light one, which still has a lot of calories, but I like to pretend I don’t know that. I  poured it all over my food half way through the meal. Just a personal preference. 🙂

So yummy!

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The Best Way to Make Eggs for a Lazy Weekend Morning

Hey all!

So one of my favorite things to do on Saturday morning is make breakfast for my man and myself. I pretty much always make the same thing-turkey bacon and scrambled eggs. I don’t do toast or pancakes or anything like that because Steve tries to eat all healthy. He’s good like that, always watching his weight and going to the gym. He has quite the routine going. Me on the other hand, eh..My routine consists of going to the gym once in awhile and trying to eat well, while occasionally overdoing it with things like flaming hot Cheetos and that newish hot cookie thing from Dominos.

But yeah.  As I said, I just do the eggs and the bacon. They come out pretty scrumptious, if I do say so myself. Read on if you too would like to make delicious  noms for breakfast.

You will need:

Eggs
About 4-6 0z of whatever cheese you like (I personally use muenster)
Turkey bacon (I like the Applegate Farms brand, it’s meatier than most)
Coconut oil (you can also use butter, it’s what I do when I run out of the coconut oil and don’t feel like shelling out 10.00+ to buy another jar)
Salami (optional-unless you’re me that is. For me, it’s extremely necessary).
a small- medium sized NONSTICK frying pan

I like to make the turkey bacon first, so I don’t forget about it while I’m caught up in preparing my eggs. I use the oven. I’ve heard a lot of people swear by making turkey bacon in microwave- to that, I say try the oven, it will change the rest of your turkey bacon eating life forever. The first thing I do is preheat my oven to 400 degrees.  I then  take a piece of aluminum foil, spray the shit out of it with non stick spray and  throw my turkey bacon on top of it. I leave it in the oven for about ten minutes, or until it’s crispy.

Just like that 😃

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Once that’s done with, I turn off the oven to prevent my bacon from continuing to cook. I will usually leave it in the oven until we’re ready to eat, to ensure that  it stays warm.

Now for the eggs…

I like to get all my ingredients ready first. I shred up a few slices of salami, and dice my muenster cheese into small pieces. You could also grate the cheese if you wanted to. I personally don’t want to. There is nothing more hellish to me than cleaning a cheese grater-nothing.

 

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The next thing I do is beat my eggs. I think this is pretty self explanatory-you just crack eggs  into a mixing bowl and whisk them with a fork. I like to add a little salt and pepper in between  all of the whisking.

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I then grease a nonstick frying pan with coconut oil.  The most important thing to remember is that you want to cook on low heat. Not too low, but low. Medium low. The highest low there is, or maybe the lowest medium. Got it?

Using a pointy cooking utensil (or a chopstick), I begin to cook my eggs.

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I gently use my cooking fork thingy to make circular motions.

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The only  annoying thing is that the eggs always tend to  stick to the side of the pan as they’re cooking.  I have found this to be pretty much inevitable. You’ll want to continuously scrape the eggs off of the sides of the pan when you make yours. This will save you a lot of pain and agony after the fact.

I add my salami when my eggs are about 55% cooked, or when they look like this:

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They will then look like this:

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When my eggs are practically done, (what yours look like at this point  will vary depending on how cooked you like them) I sprinkle my cheese on top of them.

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I’m currently feeling like my  eggs would have looked a hell of a lot more aesthetically pleasing had I taken the time to shred the cheese instead of chopping it up with a steak knife. Oh well. Still beats washing a cheese grater.

Sometimes, if I feel really impatient while I’m waiting for the cheese to melt, I’ll  reduce the flame a bit more and cover my  pan with a dinner plate for two or three minutes. If you do this, use kitchen mits and watch what you’re doing-if you think you’re going to burn yourself doing this, don’t. Chill out and make yourself a cup of coffee while you wait. I refuse to assume any responsibility in the event that you do burn yourself.

Ta-da!

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As you can see, I couldn’t resist taking a bite out of my bacon before I took the picture. Sorry!

If you enjoyed this blog post and would like to see others like it, please let me know in the comments below. Oh, and please follow me. I would also love to see other people’s breakfast recipes- what do you make on a Saturday morning?

Happy breakfast making, everybody!

Nom Nom… Turkey Meatballs

Today was a low-key, relaxing Sunday. I watched television, did laundry, had coffee with my grandmother. Just as I predicted in my last post, I was in no mood to do a whole big fancy meal prep. Shocker.

I did, however, feel like cooking dinner. I baked up a huge batch of turkey meatballs.

I don’t like to brag, but my meatballs are always pretty on point.

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Want to make meatballs that look like mine? Read on, my friend.

I have to be honest- I don’t measure anything when I make these. You’re probably thinking great,  how are you ever going to teach me? They say  a picture is worth a thousand words. So, I took a ton of them to share with you. Together, we’ll go through the process of how I make meatballs, step by step.

How to make Meatballs by Yours Truly 🙂

  1. The first thing I do is preheat my oven to 375 degrees. I line two big baking sheets (I think mine are 10 x 14?) with tin foil. This means they will be less of a pain to clean up later on. Don’t forget to spray the foil with non-stick cooking spray, or else your meatballs will get stuck to it.

2. I then proceed to combine a bunch of dry ingredients in a large mixing  bowl. The ingredient I used the most of is paprika. I would definitely say that this particular ingredient is the foundation of this dish. Use this picture a a guide-you’ll want to use about four times as much as I have pictured here.

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The second most important ingredient is garlic powder. Look at what’s in my hand and times it by about three, four if you really like garlic (or maybe have some vampires you’re looking to kill). Throw it in the bowl with the paprika.

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Next, it’s time for the accent ingredients.  They are as follows:

garlic n’ herb
rosemary
thyme
oregano
cilantro

For each ingredient, you should use between 5-7 handfuls that look like this:

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(pictured here is garlic n’ herb).

Use a dash of salt, and a dash of black pepper. In my humble opinion, you can’t make anything without either of them. Well, you shouldn’t.

After you’ve added all of the ingredients listed above, mix them together, like so.

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Top the mixture with grated parmesean cheese. I use the kind that comes in a shaker. It takes forever to expire, which is great since I barely cook.

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Top the cheese with some panko bread crumbs.

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Add two jumbo sized eggs.

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Mix the dry ingredients and the eggs together.

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Looks pretty gnarly right? It’s temporary, I promise.

When you are finished doing this, you can go ahead and add 3 lbs of ground meat. I like to use turkey meat, because there’s less fat in it.

Massage the egg/seasoning mixture into the meat, like so:

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This part takes me about ten minutes, because the meat is so cold! I feel like I have to take breaks constantly. Because I’m a baby. Regardless of how much I dislike doing it, I know how important it is to make sure that all of the ingredients are  evenly distributed throughout the ground meat.

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Finally, it’s time to roll out them balls! Make them as big or small as you like. They don’t have to be perfectly round-as you can see, mine are far from it!

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Now it’s time to throw them in the oven. After about ten minutes, open the oven and use a spatula to take a peak at the bottom of the meatballs. You want to flip them over when they begin to develop a nice brown crust on the bottom. ( I had one tray on the middle shelf of my oven, and another on the bottom shelf . The bottom ones cooked a lot faster- I flipped them over after ten minutes. I flipped the middle ones after about fifteen minutes).

Your meatballs should take about twenty-five minutes to bake. When they seem like they are done, you’ll want to cut one or two of them open, to make sure that they are not still red and raw in the middle.  This is especially important if you’re using poultry. You don’t want to get sick!

You can serve your meatballs alone, with pasta and red sauce, or with some sautéed vegetables.  We had ours with sautéed spinach, and some BBQ sauce for dipping.

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If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe to my blog!  If you decide to make this recipe yourself, I would love to see pictures!

HealthyISH eating

So I thought it would be cool to write a blog entry about easy, healthyish  meal options for extremely busy people. I’m in graduate school, work thirty to thirty five hours a week, and I’m in the process of completing an internship- I totally understand what it’s like  to come home exhausted and not want to cook anything for yourself. I also frequently  wake up late in morning, which means I don’t have time to throw breakfast together. To be honest, I often forget about breakfast all together-the only thing my brain says (more like screams) at seven am is COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE!

Being on my winter break from school has been causing me to have these really ambitious food prep fantasies. They consist of me spending my Sunday afternoons making scrambled egg cups to have for breakfast during the week-you know, the cute little things that Pinterest says you can make in a muffin tin. Said fantasies also consist of me preparing all of these healthy lunches, like tilapia and sweet potato (both of which I hate, by the way). My dream fridge is stocked with grilled chicken made by yours truly, which I imagine eating for dinner every night. That won’t get boring at all, I tell myself, dreamily. I’ll just put a lot of hot sauce on it. 

I know very well that all of this is highly unlikely-although Steve and I did buy this really cool kitchen grill that is supposed to cook meat while it’s still frozen. I forget what it’s called. I’ll find out-if it’s any good, I’ll be sure to blog about it. If it sucks, the good news is that we have 60 days to return it…I think. Wait, when did we even buy that thing? Uh oh…

The fact of the matter is that Sunday is my busiest day of the week. Sundays are for papers and discussion posts and current events and all that hella fun stuff that goes along with being a grad student. So I’ll probably just keep eating this stuff instead:

Breakfast:

Think Thin Protein bars

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I really only ever eat one thing for breakfast, at least during the week. I like to have these protein bars by Think Thin. Steve likes them, too. We buy the Brownie Crunch flavor. These bars have less than three hundred calories. They contain  twenty grams of protein and 0 grams of sugar, which is awesome. What’s even more awesome is that they don’t have that disgusting aftertaste that comes from a lot of other sugar free products.

We buy them at Target. You get five for 5.99, which is kind of pricey, but they’re well worth it.

Lunch/Dinner:

Amy’s Bowls

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These are awesome- I buy them every single time we go shopping. They are these little frozen meals that contain more wholesome, good for you ingredients, and less processed crap. They go for a little under four bucks at Wegman’s. My favorite is the broccoli cheddar bake, which despite being gluten free, contains these really delicious bread crumbs. The spiral pasta is made out of brown rice. I also like the Mexican casserole bowl. The single enchilada dish is really good, too-it comes with rice and beans…beware of the one that comes with two enchiladas-it’s actually TWO servings in one. The way they have it packaged makes it look like you’re supposed to eat the whole thing, which pisses me off because that’s what I end up doing every time I accidentally buy it. The other one I really like is the pesto tortellini, even though Steve says it makes my breath smell really bad. Too bad for you, Steve. Too bad for you.

Frozen Shrimp 

I eat these for dinner all the time. They’re a little on the expensive side, but a lot of grocery stories have a value pack. What I love  is that they’re super quick and require next to no planning. You can literally come home, throw them in a bowl of cold tap water, wait about ten minutes for them to defrost… rip their tails off (you don’t have to do this, I just like to), and heat them up in a frying pan with some olive oil and salt and whatever other spices you like. I like to let them get a nice little crust on them 🙂

Steamfresh rice in a bag by Birdseye

This isn’t the official name or anything-“rice in a bag.” The Birdseye brand makes all these really cool rice medleys. Steve was just eating the Southwestern style rice last night. It has corn, peppers,onions, and (you guessed it) southwest seasoning. As for me, I had the “Protein blends” flavor , which contains a bunch of whole grains, beans, corn, peppers, and southwest seasoning. I really like it, but it may not be for everyone. You have to really enjoy that super healthy, grainy taste in order to enjoy it. If not, there are plenty of other flavors to choose from.

Here it is! Pretty? No? Eat it with your eyes closed then.

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Steamfresh also makes plain rice, without any other ingredients. You can find their products by the frozen vegetables. I get them at Wegman’s, but they’re probably sold everywhere.

Tyson Chicken Nuggets

Lol, don’t judge me. Remember, this is called healthyISH food. These aren’t healthy at all, they’re just better than McDonald’s. They’re free of fillers and preservatives, and are supposed to be made from all natural ingredients. They can’t be that bad for you-my sweet Grandma who eats healthy things like sardines and whole wheat pasta and beets keeps them in her freezer. So there.

Fresh Organic Spinach

I don’t buy frozen spinach because I think it tastes gross. The fresh is the easiest thing in the world to make. If you’re already making something-say you’ve just finished heating the pre-cooked frozen shrimp in a pan-you just massage the spinach for a couple seconds with olive oil and a pinch of salt and throw it in there for about two minutes. Be sure to toss it around a bit with a cooking spoon. You can also do this in the oven; after removing your Tyson chicken nuggets, turn the temperature off, throw the oiled and salted spinach in the same pan you cooked the nuggets in, and put it back in there for two or three minutes. If you really want, you can even make your spinach in the microwave. I usually throw it in for about a minute, but every microwave is different.

Oh, and for the record-I’m not an organic food snob. It’s just that I eat a lot of spinach, and it’s typically one of those foods that get sprayed to death with pesticides. It costs a dollar or two more than the regular spinach, which isn’t horrible. You can buy the regular if you want to. I do that sometimes, when I go shopping late at night and there is no more organic left. It tastes the same.

For when I’m feeling snacky:

Mary’s Gone Crackers

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These crackers are super crunchy and fun to eat-plus they’re gluten free, contain little to no flour-and you get to eat thirteen of them for under two hundred calories. Not too shabby, right?

Happy healthyish eating!

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