Midwest Sweet Tea

A movement towards balance and self-discovery.

Food Matters

One of my New Years Resolutions is to try something new in the kitchen each week. Whether it be a new food, recipe or technique, there’s so much to learn when it comes to cooking.

6-21-16: I changed the format today, so the most recently listed recipes will be sitting towards the top versus the bottom of the page.

Week 104: Christine’s Practically Vegan Chicken Salad

Results: My friend entered a weight-loss competition and brought me some of this salad to try. When she said chicken salad, I assumed the base was greek yogurt. Come to find out, this dish calls for vinegar and I absolutely loved it. So I tried to replicate her recipe, and I got pretty close! Here we have diced chicken with raw zucchini, carrots, brocoli, green and white onions, and a hefty dose of quinoa.

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Week 103: Spicy Falafel

Results: Good! I’ve made falafel from scratch before, but this new recipe with the tangy avocado lime greek yogurt dip was to die for.

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Week 102: Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

Results: So so good. I left out a few ingredients such as the brown sugar and stevia to make it a little healthier, and it really didn’t seem to need the sweetener in the first place.

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Week 101s: Tomato Tart

Result: Good but kind of bland. From an asthetic perspective, it looks amazing. However, this dish lacked flavor. Instead of using just ricotta cheese, in the future I would try it again with dollops of goat cheese on top and not just tomatoes with basil and garlic powder.

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Week 100: Peppermint Oreo Truffles

Results: Awesome!! I never made any kind of truffles before, so I decided to try a recipe with Oreo in the middle, hoping these would hold up well and not fall apart. You mix Oreo’s with cream cheese into balls and freeze them for an hour before dipping them in warm white chocolate. I was surprised by how easy this recipe was to follow. It’s definitely a keeper.

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Week 99: Mixed Berry Cobbler

Results: Winner winner chicken dinner. For my first ever cast iron skillet recipe, I wanted to put it in the oven. And I’ve been craving cobbler, so this is what we tried. I was truly astounded by the results: The heat distributed evenly, nothing stuck to the pan, and I swear to God the skillet added some sort of unique flavor to the cobbler that’s hard to describe, but it almost tasted more savory than usual. If I could score this recipe on a scale of 1-10, I would give it a 12.

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Week 98: Pickles!

Results: Not that great initially lol. I’m giving them a few more weeks before I open another jar–I was told they need more time to settle, so here’s hoping the flavor gradually improves!

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Week 97: Seafood Chili Blanco

Resultss: Gross. I picked up this seafood bisque thinking it was like lobster mac and cheese, and there was no cheese in this pack. I honestly didn’t like it at all and gave the rest to Buddy.

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Week 96: Steak Roll-Ups

Results: Pinterest fail. I cooked them for too long and didn’t add enough cream cheese. It was a very sad waste of steak and another score for Buddy.

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Week 95: Chicken Fried Steak

Results: Very good. We smothered pork chops in white gravy for epic breakfast one morning and had to take a nap afterwards due a successful carb overload.

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Week 94: Bacon Egg and Cheese Roll-Ups

Results: Good flavor, poor rolling-up skills. I loved the way they taste, but we need to practice rolling scrambled eggs into croissants. I would still try this recipe again. I think it would taste good with sausage instead of bacon, too.

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Week 93: Terriyaki chicken with stir-fry veggies

Results: Not that great. I’m honestly about ready to give up my oriental efforts at home. Seems like every time I try to make stir-fry the flavor we use isn’t quite right. I can make some awesome wontons but stir-fry…..we might need to try some different ingredients besides sesame oil, soy sauce and chinese 5 spice.

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Week 92: Carrot, Apple, Ginger Detox Juice

Results: Fucking awful. I had high hopes for this recipe, but it sucked! Too much of a carrot taste, not enough apple and it was super thick. I managed to drink half of it after adding extra water but ended up pouring the rest down the drain. Thanks a lot, Pinterest.

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Week 91: Orecchiette

Results: Good, but I didn’t use it like I should. I crafted a traditional tomato sauce with pork, mushrooms and garlic when I should’ve tried the pasta with something like this: http://www.delallo.com/recipes/orecchiette-peas-pancetta-cream/ I might give this recipe a try in the upcoming weeks, but we still enjoyed the texture of the pasta.

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Week 90: Pumpkin Zucchini Cake

Results: 12/10. This cake taste SO good. Very proud of my first ever 4 layer masterpiece.

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Week 89: Juicy Lucy’s

Results: Jesus Christ. Why tf have we never stuffed our burgers with sharp cheddar? I prepped the meat while Keegan cooked them on the grill. Between the two of us, they turned out absolutely perfect.

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Week 88: Cheesy Potato Mishap

Results: Gross. I had the idea to shred potatoes and make loaded potato soup with them instead of taking the diced route, and the consistency totally sucked. Keegan swore it tasted good–pretty sure he was trying to spare feelings.

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Week 87: “Krystal Chicks”

Results: Good, but would have been better with pickles! We made these for breakfast as a last-ditch effort to rid the fridge of biscuits.

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Week 86: Mexican Street Corn Tostadas

Results: For someone who doesn’t exactly enjoy Mexican food, these turned out so well! We made these in my cooking group, so I had the help of several people and can’t take full credit for making this recipe. But regardless, I tried something new and I will definitely make these at home for Keegan soon. And who knows? Maybe Mexican food is finally beginning to grow on me. 20161004_160959_hdr

Week 85: Pumpkin Carrot Bread

Results: Awesome, but not quite as awesome as the 4 Layer Pumpkin Zucchini Cake. Pictured is the Pumpkin Carrot Bread at the top with Cream Cheese Swirled Banana Zucchini Bread towards the bottom. My Pumpkin Carrot Bread fell flat in the middle, so I added more homemade butter cream frosting like any smart person would do.

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Week 84: Cream Cheese Swirled Banana Zucchini Bread

Results: Good, but bland. I probably won’t make this again to be honest, but the swirl turned out nicely.

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Week 83: Colorado Hatch Chili:

Results: Best green chili I’ve made so far, This marks my third batch and you know what they say: Third time’s the charm!

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Week 82: Pasta with homemade sauce

Results: We tried a new Vitamix recipe called Roasted Red Pepper Alfredo. It turned out alright, but I’m not quite sure why ours was so…orange. And it didn’t go well with the sausage as anticipated, but I would give this sauce another chance sometime.

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Week 81: Mississippi Sweet Potato Pie

Results: One of the best recipes of the year. Before we ran to Safeway earlier, I looked at our sweet potatoes needing to be eaten before they go bad. I decided to make two sweet potato pies on a whim, and I’m so glad I did. These pies were literally the highlight of my weekend. At first I worried they might turn out runny based on their consistencies before popping them in the oven, but no. They settled absolutely perfectly, and I’m convinced I could win over anyone with these savory-sweet sweet potato pies. Click here for the recipe.

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Week 80: Cajun Shrimp and Grits with Pimento Cheese

Results: Another Pinterest winner. I used this recipe right here for the Pimento Grits and added extra cheese and milk. As the grits were cooking, I thawed and peeled the shrimp, tossed them in extra virgin olive oil with chili powder, cayenne and garlic powder, basil and thyme and set them on high for just a moment for a crispy, flavorful coat (without burning the olive oil) before adding them to my grits. Needless to say, I’m glad we still have all the ingredients on hand. I couldn’t believe how well these grits turned out!20160828_111121_HDR

Week 79: Lasagna Soup

Results: So effing gooooood. This was trending on Pinterest, so I gave it a go. I will definitely make this again in the future–I might actually enjoy the soup-y version of lasagna more so than the “real deal”. I’m telling you, this recipe was to die for. 
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Week 78: Homemade Kettle Chips

Results: Super tasty but annoying to cut. Took forever to cut them so thin, so I probably won’t make these again. But the flavor was awesome with vinegar, sea salt and a tad bit of dill. 20160804_220155_hdr.jpg

Week 77: Oreo Pudding lined with Fresh-cut Strawberries

Results: Good, but kinda bland. This was another dish for the bridal shower and the Oreos went well with the white chocolate pudding, but I regretted not making a strawberry glaze to pour on top versus the fresh-cut strawberries hidden towards the bottom.

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Week 76: Crockpot Bbq (Not Pictured)

I totes forgot to take a pic, but for my coworker’s surprise bridal shower, I tried this recipe, minus the corn starch.

Results: Sweet and tangy. I’ve stuck with my cranberry pineapple pulled pork for years, so this was nice for a change.

Two Mushroom Asparagus Quiche plus Half a Dozen Omelettes 

Results: So so gooood. I’ve been leading cooking classes at a Group Home in Greeley and taught my first actual cooking class in the kitchen following our first three sessions surrounding nutrition, food safety and sanitary precautions. After dishing out all the psycho-educational information, I walked the group through a few breakfast items. I didn’t lift a finger when it cames to these recipes, and they turned out absolutely perfect. So proud of my group! I can’t take the credit (and this isn’t counting towards my resolution), but I’m super proud of my peeps.

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Week 75: S’More Dip

Results: Love the flavor, hate the texture. There’s a Cranberry Orange Chocolate Bar hiding underneath. It was difficult to access, because the ooey-gooeyness of the marshmallows prevented my graham crack from reaching the bottom. They kept breaking, so eventually I crumbled my graham crackers and ate them on top with a spoon.

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Week 74: Open Nature Sour Cream

Results: Yes, I am adding sour cream to this list, as if I’ve never tasted sour cream before. BUT I’ve never tried this brand, and apparently the all natural stuff tends to have the best, tangy flavor. I will definitely look for this brand in the future.

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Week 73: Mozzarella, Basil and Prosciutto Roll

Results: Let’s just put it this way: I will never pack another picnic without this in the cooler!!

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Week 72: Chocolate Flavored Stevia

Results: Not that great. I much prefer the vanilla. This stuff tastes like chocolate splenda–not that good.

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Week 71: Melted Burrata on the Fly

Results: Ehh, okay. I thought heating it up in the oven would help with a texture concern, but instead my beloved cheese melted completely, so I added some seasoning and created a dip

 

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Week 70: Mac n Cheese with Kielbasa, Spinach and Tomatoes

Results: Super tasty. My husband made this, and it might just be the best thing he’s ever cooked.

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Week 69: Lavender Flavored Chevre.

Results: Surprisingly good! My coworker wasn’t a fan, but I think she tried a glob on a tiny cracker.

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Week 68: Cookies n Cream Cake Bars

Results:  Nice flavor, but very dry, hence the $5 price tag.20160705_225204

Week 66 and 67: Homemade Blueberry Syrup with Whole Wheat Pancakes

Results: The syrup was awesome, the pancakes…not so much. Most Vitamix recipes are so healthy that it takes the fun and flavor out of the food. That’s what happened to the pancakes. 20160626_213906

Week 65: Campfire Pasta

Results: Filling and invigorating. After canoeing about 7 miles the first day, we really enjoyed this meal. I made the whole wheat angel hair pasta at the house and tossed it in olive oil, crumbled goat cheese, cherry tomatoes, crushed garlic and red pepper for a nice kick. I definitely want to make this again soon. Who says you have to camp to make this?!

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Week 64: Homemade Hummus

Results: Another Vitamix winner. Click here for the recipe. I added more extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice, since the Vitamix almost appeared to struggle with the abundance of chick peas. I also added extra garlic for an intensified flavor, and it tasted absolutely amazing.

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Week 63: Lemon Ricotta Parmesan

Results: Good, in moderation. I really enjoyed the first serving, but by the time I had it for lunch the following day, I was over it. And my husband wasn’t a fan either. We had tons of spinach from the garden plus a surplus of ricotta in the fridge, so it was worth a shot. Probably won’t make it again, though.

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Week 62: German Potato Salad

Results: Super yummy. I’ve been trying to stick with chilled foods lately since it’s summer, and I’m practically dying of heat. I’ve made potato salad in the past, but this recipe was absolutely wonderful, and it’s a shame I misplaced it on Pinterest.
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Week 61: Pho

Results: Good, but not my thing. I’ve heard of pho for years and sadly never tried it till two weeks ago. We have several Vietnamese restaurants near our house, and I finally tried one thanks to our out-of-town visitor. I appreciated my friend buying it for me, but I honestly wasn’t impressed. Stick a plate of sushi in front of me, or take me to a sketchy chinese buffet, and I’m good to go. Unfortunately, I wasn’t feeling the pho.

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Week 60: Baby Snap Peas

Results: Tiny, but good. This marks my first attempt at growing strawberries, spinach AND snap peas, and the peas were my favorite. They tasted fresh and delicious with my homemade hummus.

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Week 59: Green Smoothie Recipe

Results: It tasted great! Thank you Vitamix. I’m using the remaining ingredients to make another smoothie tomorrow. You would think it’s odd-tasting with the pineapple juice, avocado and brocoli, but nope. This smoothie has a refreshing finish.

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Week 58: Turkey Bacon

Results: Not too shabby. They sell Jennie-O at the King Soopers a block down from our house. The turkey bacon has renewed my faith–Maybe I can make it through the next 6 months without red meat. My only issue was not knowing when exactly the turkey bacon was done cooking. So I followed the instructions, and it turned out well.

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Week 57: Mustard Potatoes

I’m trying these next week before the last few pounds of our potatoes expire. Potatoes are one of my favorite things to eat, and this recipe looks cheap. This recipe is from Cooking in the Kitchen with Rosie: Oprah’s Favorite Recipes. I imagine Oprah encompassing a much more refined palate at this stage of her life, but these recipes sound good for 1994.

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Week 56: Mozzarella Omelette with Ground Turkey and Brocoli Florets

Results: Kind of bland. I made this one up when I needed to combine expiring ingredients. Might be better with tomatoes next time.

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Week 55: Tuna Salad in an Avocado

Results: Very tasty! Don’t let the picture fool you. I stole this recipe from Pinterest. Combine tuna from a pouch with lemon juice, celery and avocado and you’re good to go. In the future, I would add a boiled egg for flavor and protein.

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Week 54: My Healthiest Spaghetti Experience Yet

Results: So, so goooood. We used a Vitamix spaghetti sauce recipe yielding the freshest tasting tomato sauce ever. We also added ground turkey, tomatoes and mushrooms to thicken the sauce which topped organic whole wheat angel hair pasta. This recipe had me trying three new things–the sauce, whole wheat noodles and ground turkey. I can’t wait to make this again.

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Week 53: Chicken Salad on Crackers Topped with Boiled Eggs

Results: Okay. I learned I prefer chicken salad on bread instead of crackers.

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Week 52: Moroccan Chickpea & Carrot Soup

Results: Not too shabby. This soup had a unique flavor, and the convenience of heating it in a bowl during a hectic work shift was relieving.

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Week 51: A Nectarine

Because I’m a fan of peaches, but I’ve honestly never tried a Nectarine before.

Results: Tastes identical to a peach

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Week 50: Vitamix Asparagus Soup

Results: Love it! I’ll be honest–my mother-in-law made this for us once, but this marks my first time making it myself. And I’m not a fan of Asparagus, but this soup is the bees knees. I opted for Organic Vegetable Broth instead of the recommended Chicken Broth. And crumbled Goat Cheese adds tangy flavor, as if the soup isn’t awesome enough. wp-1453686802998.jpg

Week 49: Banana Blueberry Orange Smoothie

Results: Refreshing. I made this smoothie for Keegan and I this morning. Glad I purchased enough blueberries to make it again tomorrow!

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Week 48: Turkey Sausage Links

Results: Tastes similar to pork sausage links. I’ve made it 24 days without red meat, and it’s thanks to these convincing substitutes that I continue to meet my goals.

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Week 47: Turkey Bacon Bits

Results: Pretty good. May as well try as many turkey substitutes as possible.

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Week 46: Pesto, Mozzarella, Baby Spinanch, Avacado Grilled Cheese Sandwich

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Results: This recipe blew me away! We enjoyed decadent grilled cheeses sandwiches last Friday night with tomato soup, and it was perfect for the recent chilly weather. I also added smoked provolone and crumbled goat cheese–my triple cheese sandwich with the avocados and pesto made this one of my favorite recipes of the year so far.

Week 45: Toast with Cream Cheese, Avocado and a Boiled Egg

Results: Very tasty! I forgot to take a pic, and I’ve had Toast with avocado and Egg before. But adding the garlic and onion flavored Cream Cheese brought this recipe to a whole nother level.

Week 44: Blueberry Orange Parfaits 

Results: Revitalizing. I used similar ingredients for the Blueberry Orange Smoothies last week, but this recipe involves plain greek yogurt, sliced oranges, organic almond granola, blueberries and more greek yogurt. Dessert for breakfast is never a bad thing. 20160131_103553.jpg

Week 43: Omelette with Spinach and Crumbled Goat Cheese

Results: Fresh and energizing. Trying to empty this container of goat cheese, and incorporating it with the omelette turned out well. Yuuuum. 20160131_105120.jpg

Week 42: Savory Sweet Potato Soup

Results: Absolutely awful! This has been my least favorite recipe of the year so far–very time-consuming, and this modge-podge of ingredients doesn’t mix well together, at all. But here’s the recipe if you’re interested: http://domesticate-me.com/five-spice-sweet-potato-soup/

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Week 41: Spinach and Tortellini Salad

Results: Very, very good. Unlike the previous recipe, this one’s well worth the time and energy. Not to brag or anything, but this was a hit at the super bowl party last weekend. http://www.3boysunprocessed.com/spinach-and-tortellini-salad/20160207_180853_hdr.jpg

Week 40: Fruit and Cheese Plate

Results: Tasty and aesthetically pleasing. I tried this at Cafe Panache located in Greeley. Between the $5 snack, hot chocolate spiked with Rumple Minze and an eclectic, quirky setting to relax and play mancala, Keegan and I will definitely be back! (Yes, I know I didn’t make this, but it’s still something new I tried. And I doubt I’ll have issues reaching 52 new to-dos in the kitchen by the end of the year anyways.)wp-1454948206544.jpg

Week 39: Turkey Chili in the Crockpot

Results: Whoa! So good. This guy at a party recently told me he likes turkey in his chili more so than beef. And now, I have to agree. This recipe was simple and effortless. http://www.wineandglue.com/2013/10/healthy-turkey-chili.html20160207_160150_hdr.jpg

Week 38: Potato Quinoa and Spinach Soup

Results: Perfect for cold weather. Sometimes, it’s nice to not cook, and this was nice to grab and go for lunch two weeks ago.20160204_115638_hdr.jpg

Week 37: Authentic New Orleans Seafood Gumbo

Results: Amazing! This was another one of those things that I tried but didn’t make. My friend Christine hosted a Mardi Gras Party and served authentic Cajun food. This dish was such a treat. wp-1454948225307.jpg

Week 36: Strawberry Banana Smoothies

Results: Sweet and refreshing–I made these up yesterday for breakfast on Valentine’s Day. The smoothie includes a banana, several strawberries, milk, pineapple juice, and ice. The pineapple juice relayed a tropical taste.wp-1455595105367.jpg

Week 35: A Naked Calzone

Results: Meh, okay…..We tried a restaurant in Greeley after our inspection for the house on Friday afternoon. Santeramos has some of the best pizza ever, but I actually longed for the bread that a normal calzone comes with versus this naked rendition. But I won’t hold it against them–the service and $5 Italian margaritas made up for this mediocre dish. 20160212_175636.jpg

Week 34: Valentine’s Dinner Three Course Meal: Course One–Mozzarella Plate with Fixins

Results: Pretty damn close to replicating Origin’s appetizer in Loveland. We had burrata with pesto, tomatoes, and fresh basil leaves with crostinis and the presentation, flavors and bang-for-your buck were impressive. So this was my best effort to bring their food to our house. All the local grocery stores sold out of burrata, but mozzarella makes for a similar substitute.   20160214_204529.jpg

Week 33: Course One Continued– Strawberry Balsamic Chutney and Goat Cheese Bruschetta

Results: Life-changing. So. So. Unbelievably GOOD. http://www.rockrecipes.com/strawberry-balsamic-chutney-and-goat-cheese-bruschetta/wp-1455595069661.jpg

Week 32: Course Two–Seafood Bake

Results: Decadent. My husband loves cheesy crab meat, and this recipes ups the ante. The homemade sauce was meticulous to make, and this was probably the most expensive recipe I’ve tried all year, but it was totally worth it. http://www.callmepmc.com/seafood-pasta-bake/20160214_205056.jpg

Week 31: Course Three– Clean Eating Peanut Butter Brownie Triffle

Results: This recipe gave me another excuse to use the Vitamix, and this peanut-buttery-goodness had TWO avocados in the pudding. You couldn’t even tell! This super healthy recipe was just as impressive as the strawberry balsamic chutney. Our three course meal might’ve been the best meal we’ve had in the last 4 years at home–not even playing. http://thehealthyfamilyandhome.com/clean-eating-peanut-butter-brownie-triffle/20160214_213044.jpg

Week 30: Mozzarella Pasta Salad

Results: Now that we made it past V-Day, we still have all these leftovers. So, I took the assortment of tomatoes, tossed them in balsamic, white wine vinegar and pesto, then added fresh Spinach and Basil with Rotini Pasta and chopped mozz. I’ll probably be eating more of this this week, because it’s good, and we have plenty of leftover ingredients. 20160215_205231.jpg

Week 29: Cream of Chicken Mushroom Casserole

Results: Hearty. As we’re trying to clear out our cabinets before the move, we threw together chicken, a can of cream of mushroom soup, actual mushrooms, rice and spinach for a simple and comforting dish.

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Week 28: NOOSA

Results: Love love love it. This creamy, flavorful yogurt could be the very best thing that’s happened to me since we moved. 20160217_203132.jpg

Week 27: Strawberry Parfait

Results: Super sweet and yum! I especially enjoyed adding flax honey and extra almonds to the Naked Granola.20160219_082533.jpg

Week 26: Vitamix Peanut Butter Latte

Results: Ehh, it tasted okay…kind of bland. This wasn’t a true Vitamix recipe, since I found it on someone’s blog.
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Week 25: My rendition of Human Bean’s Mexi-Mocha Blended with No Whip

Results: Disappointing. It’s just not the same as the “real deal”20160216_075601.jpg

Week 24: Homemade Pancakes Topped with Homemade Blueberry Sauce

Results: Best syrup ever. God bless the creators of the Vitamix Recipe Book.20160221_182813.jpg

Week 23: Tennessee Peach Pudding

Results: Very similar to peach cobbler with a slightly more dense texture. Add a scoop of Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, and you’re good to go!20160221_184501.jpg

Week 22: Shrimp Ceviche

Results: Fresh and citrus-y. It didn’t taste a whole lot different from what we tried at this sushi restaurant awhile back, so that’s a plus.20160226_203445.jpg

Week 21: California Spicy Shrimp Stacks

Results: Super impressive. The meticulous prep time was well-worth the results.20160228_151639.jpg

Week 20: Indian Food Sauce

Results: Perfect for our veggie curry listed below.20160228_203440.jpg

Week 19: Veggie Curry

Results: This recipe called for tofu, but why do that when you have peas, carrots, spinach, tomatoes, potatoes, cauliflower and brocoli to use?20160228_204539.jpg

Week 18: A Gas Station Chicken Salad Sandwich

Results: Not too shabby. I’d buy it again if I was desperate for food.20160229_171227.jpg

Week 17: Turkey Pesto Cranberry Melts

Results: Amazeballs. For whatever reason, my favorite recipes this year seem to be the sandwiches on Pinterest. This decadent recipe is one I’ve saved on my phone.20160227_191819.jpg

Week 16: Vitamix Everything Smoothie

Results: Very good considering all the crazy ingredients.wp-1457322428149.jpg

Week 15: Vitamix Spicy Tomato Sauce

Results: Turned out well, but I added a half a teaspoon of cayenne pepper to kick up the heat.wp-1457322422183.jpg

Week 14: Chicken breasts with pesto, swiss and raspberry jam

Results: Tasted pretty good. In all honesty, I made these, because I wanted the sandwich I made for Week 43, but we ran out of bread and mozzarella.20160329_211833.jpg

Week 13: Zucchini Pineapple Bread

Results: Good Lord–talk about amazing. This recipe makes me want to bake more often, and we have enough ingredients to make this again!

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Week 11 and 12: Mashed Potato Cakes with Chicken Gravy Biscuits

Results: This kinda food tastes like home. The mashed potato cakes stayed together much better than expected, too. I followed the mashed potato recipe with the exception of the bacon. I sadly had to leave it out. With the chicken biscuits, I just fried the chicken, baked some biscuits and topped them with white gravy–easy as pie.20160417_101724.jpg

Week 10: Natural Peanut Butter

Results: Yes, I’ve never tried fancy peanut butter before where the oil floats on top. And yes, it was delicious on my PB&J and in my peanut butter banana smoothie. On a side note, I tried a peanut butter with lemon curd crepe at Cafe Panache last weekend, and the flavors blew my mind! Who would’ve tought peanut butter with lemon would taste so good?!

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Week 9: Burrata at home

Results: I searched for this cheese before Valentine’s Day at FIVE different grocery stores, including Trader Joe’s, Sprouts, Whole Foods and a specialty cheese shop, but lo and behold, I found it unexpectedly at Safeway. I snatched the last two cheese balls and returned for two more the following week, This cheese is the best thing that’s happened to me in a while, and having it at the house is SUCH a delicacy.

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Week 8: Odwalla Super Protein Bars

Results: These were 10 for $10, so I tried three and ate one before taking this pic. I’ll probably buy more in the future.wp-1461725430198.jpg

Week 7: Fresh ginger root

Results: I’m ashamed to admit I’ve never used fresh ginger in my cooking before. But look out chicken! It’s going down this weekend.wp-1461725434883.jpg

Week 6: Starfruit

Results: GO GET SOME RIGHT NOW IT TASTES LIKE AN ORANGE BUT BETTERwp-1461725424267.jpg

Week 5: Starfruit Upside Down Cake

Results: After relishing in the glory that is Starfruit, I made my first ever Upside Down Cake! It didn’t turn out as pretty as I had hoped, but it’s moist with a brown sugar glaze on the bottom and all around perfect besides parts of the bread sticking to the pan.wp-1461725416025.jpg

Week 4: “Healthy” Strawberry Shortcakes

Results: Another winner on the books. I had leftover homemade vanilla batter from the Starfruit Upside Down Cake, so I baked the small cakes and topped them with honey vanilla greek yogurt and fresh strawberries. The greek yogurt was better than using whipped cream, and saved me a trip to the store.wp-1461725406827.jpg

Week 3: Chocolate Milk

Results: Rich and comforting. I’ve been dying to find something out here remotely similar to my favorite chocolate milk back home, Purity. This stuff tastes just like it and almost even better. Now I’m just afraid of getting fat, since I know I’ll be drinking this more often.wp-1462155727470.jpg

Week 2: Turley Meat Lasagna

Results: Very good! Glad I added extra ricotta, though. I mean, I know she’s the Skinny Mom, but don’t go skimping on the ricotta.

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Week 1:Micro Arugula

Results: Haven’t tried them yet, but I’m adding these to my pasta salad tomorrow! I almost threw some in the turkey lasagna, but I imagine the nutrient dense benefits of the micro greens comes with eating them fresh, so I decided not to cook the Micro-Arugula. After listening to a segment on the Splendid Table about Microgreens, I’ve decided to add more to my diet, and we hope to grow some soon.wp-1462408984102.jpg

 

 

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