Congrats guys! We did it. We made it through yet another winter that felt like a bazillion days long (especially since NY is about to experience our 4th Nor’Easter in about two weeks) But we’re here, it’s staying lighter longer which is awesome and on our way to warmer weather.
And speaking of lighter, let’s talk about salads. Nothing says warmer weather than a salad with fresh & colorful ingredients with an amazing dressing. Because in my opinion, a salad is nothing without a bomb.com dressing.
Now, what goes into your salad is totally personal preference or what your in the mood for or what’s in season. Coming into spring we’ll see a lot of fresh lettuce, asparagus, cabbage, carrots, kale, broccoli, peas, radishes, spinach …AKA ideal ingredients for a salad. And although we can find almost all of these veggies year round, they are usually less expensive and in abundance when in season.
But let’s get back to dressing. Usually, oil and vinegar based (vinaigrette), a dressing is what holds the salad mix-ins and most importantly provides the flavor. But a vinegar based dressing is not the only kind out there. You can incorporate avocado, mustards and citrus and create many delicious dressings. My favorite go-to when crunched for time is simply olive oil, fresh squeezed lemon, salt & pepper. So easy and even more refreshing.
But it can be a little over whelming when searching for the right salad dressing in the store and often many store bought dressings hold very little nutritional value so why not save some money and calories by making your own?
So lets kick off the start of spring with a burst of flavor with some quick and easy DIY salad dressings:
Sunday is the Super Bowl. And I didn’t know that because my team is playing. But I knew it because I’m a fan of the Super Bowl for a few reasons, I like to pretend I know how football works, I enjoy watching the halftime show – I am BEYOND excited for JT to perform this year because he is my absolute favorite – but the main and most important reason because of the food. YUP.
The Super Bowl is another reason to get together with friends and family and have an excuse to make mouth-watering, delicious and fun foods. But to be honest, I’ll find any excuse to do this – no big event needed! #foodie
Side note: You have no idea how badly my mouth is drooling and my stomach is grumbling while writing this post. Writing on an empty stomach probably wasn’t the best idea!
There are a bazillion and one Super Bowl app ideas & recipes flooding the internet this week and unless you have a specific idea in your head of what you want to make, it can be very overwhelming to find the perfect dish. I put together a list of recipes I have come across to save you some of the work. I’m not going to lie, I will be making at least 3 or 4 of these recipes to serve at our little get together. The thing that I like most about these recipes is that each of these is simple to make, can be made ahead of time and can be easily transported if you are taking to a party.
Has anyone else noticed that is has been staying lighter later? This makes me very happy. I know I am not the only one who feels this way, but feeling like you have more daylight in a day makes you feel more productive.
It was a busy weekend for me between dinner with our best friends, visiting family and watching a close friend christen their adorable baby girl, the weekend just seemed to fly by. It’s weekends like this that make me very anxious if I don’t have time to prep food for the week. And since I knew I wasn’t going to have all my usual allotted time on Sunday, I knew I had to keep it easy and simple.
So I decided to make hard boiled eggs for quick weekday breakfasts & snacks. These are often a staple in my house. M will take a few to work for breakfast, and I like to have them as a mid-day snack. Although my weakness is avocado toast with a crushed hard boiled. But the potential goes well beyond just these two.
Knowing how to hard boil eggs is an essential skill to have, only takes a few minutes from start to finish and the clean up is almost non-existent. There are varying techniques that you will find online, I have seen a ton lately using the uber-popular InstaPot but since I have yet to jump on the bandwagon I can’t say for sure how they hold up. However, I am sharing with you the recipe that I find this is the most common and, tried & true.
Place eggs in a pot. Cover eggs with cold water until completely covered (by approx. 1 inch of water).
Bring water to a boil.
Once boiling, remove the pot from the heat and cover.
Let eggs sit and cook for 4-10 minutes depending on your liking (4 minutes for soft, 8 minutes for medium, 10 minutes for hard).
After desired time is up, immediately place into an ice bath to cool.
Once fully cooled, refrigerate until ready to eat.*
You can deshell right away or keep them in their shell until you are ready to eat – totally personal preference.
Has anyone else been craving all the greens and healthy foods after the holidays? By New Years Day I think my body hated me from all the food I indulged in between Christmas and New Years. But I felt nice to not stress about staying exactly on track with meals & meal prep and to live in the moment while spending time with family and friends. But by January 2nd, it was time to clean it up!
I don’t know about you, but lately, I have been seeing a ton of cauliflower dishes all over the internet and a lot of them have caught my eye. I know that cauliflower is not top on everyone’s list, it’s kinda like Brussel sprouts – you either love em or you hate em. I happen to really like it. The great thing about cauliflower is how easily they take on the flavor of what you are making. No need to eat plain old boiled cauliflower when there are so many yummy and different recipes out there.
I have seen a few of my favorite bloggers come up with recipes for cauliflower fried rice and kept them on a Pinterest board to make. I decided this week’s meal prep was the perfect time to try one out and OMG was it better than I expected! This dish is 100% one that will be put into the rotation, not only because of how good it is but also due to how easy and quick it is to make. You can use a head of cauliflower and ‘rice’ it by using a food processor if you have one or (and easier) you can buy pre-riced cauliflower. Most stores will sell it either frozen or in the produce section by pre-cut veggies. Throw in some frozen veggies, add in scrambled eggs, some soy sauce & scallions and you are DONE! It is great for lunches, just add some protein (I cooked up ground chicken and mixed it in) and super filling.
I’ve shared some of my other favorite cauliflower recipes that I use and love:
Life changing! It amazed me how you cannot even tell it isn’t rice. The cauliflower completely takes on the flavor of all the other ingredients. Plus you cannot beat a 15-minute meal prep.
I love using cauliflower for a low carb pizza craving alternative, you can make the crust homemade or buy it premade from Trader Joes to save some time – it’s just as good.
As a child, my mother always used to hide cauliflower in with mashed potatoes as a way to get us to eat veggies and we ALWAYS could notice the difference. But when adding it to a loaded baked potato soup – you can hardly tell it there. It gives a creamy richness without making being too heavy. SO GOOD!
I just LOVE parm so much that it doesn’t matter what vegetable you put it on, I will devour it up. Roasted cauliflower is a perfect weeknight side to any dish.
So like 99% of the rest of the world, I have spent the last few days of 2017 looking back recapping on the last 365 days but also thinking about the new year of goals and ambitions. This year, one of my resolution’s is to expand my food and cooking rotation. Step out of my comfort zone and try new recipes that I normally would not try.
You have heard me talk about keeping a number of tried and true recipes in your rotation that you can always resort back to. And that is always my advice when I get asked where to start in the kitchen. Having a few staples is what will give you your sea legs and provide the confidence in your kitchen (along with your Quoco Now products!), at the end of the day to me, the end goal is to create delicious food and enjoy the cooking process. But once we reach that point of comfort, it is hard to venture out and try a new, ethnic or more difficult recipes. Trust me, I still get that way, it can be overwhelming. But have made it a 2018 goal to take on recipes that scare me and are out of my comfort zone, and I want to share my experiences with you!
Lucky for us, Pinterest came out with their list of top food trends for 2018. And since the social site is basically the ultimate Foodie cookbook, I trust their judgment when it comes to these types of things! Check out their list below and stay tuned as I try some myself.
If you have any requests for types of foods or there is anything you would like to see me try let me know! I am always looking to keep my viewers happy!
This weekend brought the first snowfall of the season, and I loved it! It was the type of snow that was beautiful to look at, fluffy big snowflakes, perfectly covering the ground and bare trees. It was the perfect excuse to stay inside all day to finish wrapping gifts and to cook (because what else would I do during a snow day!?)
I was feeling something hearty and delicious so I threw together one of my favorite soups from Skinny Taste (who literally doesn’t make a bad recipe), loaded baked potato. I love soup. I can eat it all year long and it definitely counts as a meal to me. Plus with a little help of Cauliflower, you still get an amazing creaming soup and don’t feel so bad going back for more. And what better to top it with crumbled bacon, cheddar, and scallions! I still don’t know which I like better, the soup or the toppings.
The best part is it comes together in 30 minutes and makes enough for leftovers the next day or for lunch, add a side salad and you’re ready for the week! And with the holidays quickly approaching having meals prepped and ready to eat is a huge time and stress reliever…I talk all about the holiday craze here!
So in case, you’re not feeling the Potato Cauliflower, here are some other easy go-to soups to keep you warm all winter long!
The holiday season is officially upon us and I am so excited! As you probably know by now, I love this time of year. There is just something about the music, lights, and celebrations that always makes December feel so magical (I think I have already been watching too much Hallmark). This weekend, we picked out and decorated our tree so it felt extra “Christmas-y” (Luckily M likes Christmas just as much as me). And since I have been a little MIA from the blog for a few weeks so I wanted to fill you in on my Holiday “breaks in routine”.
I will start out by admitting that I have been in a bit of a rut lately. Ever since Thanksgiving, I haven’t been on top of my A-game. Meals have consisted of leftovers, takeout or using whatever we had in the freezer/fridge. And being the type of person that I am, the lack of creative & balanced meals 24/7 coming out of my kitchen has definitely got the best of me. I started this blog as a place to share useful and easy kitchen tips and techniques when it comes to getting into the kitchen and what kind of example am I if I do not practice what I preach?
With all the hustle and bustle around the holidays, it is SO easy to get stressed and overwhelmed and I know I am not alone in this which is why I wanted to share. After a little self-pity, I have decided to go easy on myself for the next few weeks and not stress out about having every single meal of the week planned out or about bring in takeout after a busy day (and neither should you!). After all, I️ am working on building a dream into a reality so any extra time I can get will be put into sharing more content for you.
So if you too are feeling run down or that the holidays are stressing you out, take a step back and slow it down. I have come to realize that everything always finds a way to get done and we often stress for no reason. There is only so much one person can do in 24 hours and that doesn’t have to include everything on your to-do list.
Okay, you get the point, I’ll stop with the sob story! So, what does one do when they feel burnt out? Go back to basics and start out slow. Here are four of the area’s that I like reassess when I get stressed out to the max.
Planning Use whatever system works for you, but stick to it. I love google calendar, I can access it from anywhere and all of my devices are synced up to it. I will use it as an outline of what needs to be done and how I can manage to fit everything in. Start by the month. Are there any big events, projects or meetings coming up that might take up more time (or stress) than normally? Once you have jotted down the big ticket items break it down by week, what can you to accomplish this week that will ultimately help your end goal? From there you can create a To-Do list for each day that ties the week together. My rule of thumb is NEVER to have your To-Do list exceed 8-10 tasks. Otherwise, you may look at it and feel overwhelmed – which basically defeats the purpose of planning.
Preparation Preparation can be your best friend. When you know you have a super busy week coming up, it pays to be prepared. If your weeknights are filled, plan to have that week’s worth of dinners premade. Use the weekend to get your food shopping done. Plan out one or two meals that will allow you to have leftovers (ie crockpot or casserole). Lately, I️ have found myself meal prepping batches of chili (recipe & video coming soon) for quick filling meals during the week. Coming home after a long day knowing there is one less thing to worry about is a huge relief!
Flexibility This is always a tough one for me. It’s inevitable that things are not going to go the way we wanted them to 24/7. I am such an organized person that when things aren’t heading in the direction that I planned for I automatically begin to stress. I am lucky to have found someone who is the opposite of me and will always bring me back to reality and the reality is, we need to be flexible with our expectation of what is supposed to be. Things don’t always work out the way we hoped or wanted them to be and that’s OK too because good things happen when we least expect them.
Time for yourself
Last, but not least, it is non-negotiable that you must make time for yourself. Whether it is enjoying a meal out, spending time with friends and family, pampering yourself or even if it is 20 minutes in the morning while you drink your coffee. It is so important to relax and try to have fun, even if you need to plan it into the schedule. Life is too short and the last thing any of us want is to feel burnt out and miserable in a season that should be filled with joy (nobody likes a Grinch).
*I’ve got you covered for those last minute gifts – Don’t forget use HOLIDAY17 at checkout for 20% off your first month of a Quoco Now monthly subscription. Guaranteed delivery before the big day!
So in order to keep this a food-related blog post, here are some good go-to make-ahead meals for those busy weeknights. (FYI – all can be made ahead of time).