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Not cooking by the book and a recipe for grilled peaches

I alter recipes right and left. I’m not a careful measurer of certain ingredients. And if I make it a few times, I don’t even bother with digging the recipe out of my box.

In short…. I drive my husband crazy.

When Brad was going to grill steaks at home for Valentine’s Day, he looked up the exact seasoning and temperature to grill at. He did the same thing for pork chops, chicken burgers, brats, corn, etc. I get it. I understand the desire to find the steps for a guaranteed positive outcome. It’s not always the way I work though.

I wanted to grill peaches since a) they’re in season and b) I’ve heard they’re good  but never had them. I looked at several recipes to get ideas of how to season them and get specifics on heat/time. In my opinion, grilled peaches are a side and not a dessert so most of the recipes that included sugar, ice cream and honey got nixed. Here’s how we ended up doing the peaches (Brad is the griller… I just help):

Ingredients

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Twitter Tried to Kill Me and Clean Out the Fridge Salads

If you follow me on Twitter, you might have noticed that I occasionally ask some question about dinner around about 4:30 or so.

As my workday is wrapping up, I start thinking about our evening meal. I don’t have the option  of starting dinner at 2:30 in the afternoon (that apparently some of my Facebook friends do)… If it’s not in the crock pot at 7:30am, dinner won’t be started until about 6.

Yesterday I tweeted: Okay Twitter, what’s for dinner tonight?

I was fishing for ideas for that evening’s meal (I often fail at advanced meal planning and continuously try to do better). It’s about that point that Twitter tried to kill me!

Four people tweeted me back. Three people answered with some sort of seafood.

I’m allergic to seafood.

But seriously, the people who responded to me are way together and prepared. Why can’t I be like that?

I’ll try harder.

I already know what’s for dinner tonight at least!

Clean Out the Fridge: Salads

A salad. But not the one I’m talking about.

Read the rest of this entry

The Auto Show, a Birthday Tradition

My husband is officially older than me for the next week and a half. We had a whirlwind couple of days in celebration.

On Friday, we unexpectedly received tickets to the Cleveland Auto Show preview night. So we got some Mexican food and margaritas (Did you know Friday was National Margarita Day?) with our friends before heading to the IX Center. We had a good time checking out the cars and I got to do the Jeep Experience.

Here’s Brad’s video from the 2012 Jeep Experience (it didn’t change much… just the years of the vehicles)

I also rode the IX Center Ferris wheel for the first (and last) time. The view of the airport at night is pretty cool, but the gondola-style seating freaked me out. We were up very high and there aren’t seat belts!

On Saturday (Brad’s actual birthday) the guys went back to the auto show to do the ride and drive events. They got to drive a Cadillac CTS-V, which was the main event as far as the guys were concerned. That evening we introduced my in-laws to the Great Lakes Brewing Company and their amazing food (and beer, but that’s a given).

We capped off a wonderful evening with birthday cheesecake.

–  –  –

When given my Pinterest board of recipes last year, Brad decided that he’d like the Bailey’s Irish Cream Cheesecake. This year he requested it again and I’ve gotten the recipe tweaked to where I like it finally!

Rachel’s Coffee Bailey’s Cheesecake (adapted from this recipe)

Ingredients: Read the rest of this entry

Thursday’s Menu

I shared our Valentine’s Day menu with you last week before we even got a chance to taste what we were going to make.

I’d give us a C in presentation…

Grilled Filet

Brad marinated our filet in an herbed balsamic vinegar before grilling it to perfection. Sorry no recipe for that!

Red Potatoes

The red potato bite recipe that I used was definitely a keeper! I replaced the garlic salt with just plain garlic and added only one twist on the salt grinder instead of a whole teaspoon. No one had bad breath though!

Roasted Asparagus

Despite what Brad said on the questionnaire, roasted asparagus might be his favorite thing that I make. It’s incredibly easy… so I’ll share the recipe. Read the rest of this entry

Clean out the fridge: Turkey Toast

Although I’m 100% sure there’s a better name for this side dish…. I can’t think of one at the moment. The other evening Brad and I were going to have tomato soup for dinner and instead of going with old standbys of crackers or grilled cheese, I decided to use up some fridge food with expiration dates approaching. (approaching, not arrived. I don’t recommend eating expired food, even if you are cleaning out your fridge… I digress.)

We had a tasty loaf of artisan bread that was down to the small-ish pieces and some deli turkey that wasn’t used up during work-week lunches.

What I used up: Read the rest of this entry

Clean Out the Fridge: Mac and Cheese Cups

When we knew we’d be replacing the fridge Brad and I decided to forgo regular grocery shopping and reduce the amount of food needing shuffled.

We packed frozen leftovers for lunches each day and using up random ingredients. Last weekend we had our friends over for crockpot beef stroganoff and I was able to use up our green beans to accompany the meal (that’s a recipe for another day).

Leftover macaroni and cheese turned into a dinner of bacon, chive mac and cheese cups that used up the last egg and we ate it with salads (emptying out a bottle of dressing). That’s the one I want to share with you. When it comes to clean out the fridge food, and my cooking in general, there isn’t an exact science.

What I used up:

  • About 2 cups of leftover macaroni and cheese
  • About 1/4 cup of crumbled bacon
  • 1 egg

Other ingredients I added:

  • Shredded cheese
  • Ground pepper
  • 2 table spoons of dried chives

What I did:

1. Preheated the oven to 375 degrees.

2. Put everything in my mixing bowl and stirred it all up.

3. Sprayed the cups in my muffin pan with olive oil, then filled them with the macaroni mixture.

4. Baked for 20 minutes.

The cups tasted way better than just reheating the pasta, but they stuck like mad so I’ll work on that next time.

Do you have anything that you make with leftovers?

Related Posts:

Leftovers

Meal Ideas

Free Lunch!

Fall Weekend: Pumpkins, Recipes, Vampires

I’m writing one of those rare weekend wrap up posts. I had a pretty busy fall weekend.

FRIDAY

We went over to our friends’ apartment to split a pizza. I helped my friend with her wedding invitations and our guys played Call of Duty. Nothing screams “Wedding!” like the sounds of fighting zombies in the background.

SATURDAY

We had lunch at my mom’s where I enjoyed chili for the the first time in my life. (Enjoyed, not ate.) My mom made her chili with black beans and unnoticeable onions, so I actually liked it.

Saturday even called for pumpkin carving. Something that I had NEVER done before! When we were kids we got to paint pumpkins and now that I’ve carved one, I can see why my parents didn’t carve pumpkins with us. They would have done most of the work! I did completely clean and carve my own pumpkin. My friend had templates, but I don’t think I was quite ready for anything complicated, so I drew a K on my pumpkin and carved away.

The expert pumpkin and the beginner, all lit up

After the carving fun, we settled in to watch a not-scary Halloween movie. We watched Dark Shadows, I found it pretty funny.

SUNDAY Read the rest of this entry

Two of My Favorite Things

Fall + coffee

One Sunday morning we actually clicked the heat on in the house for the first time. It was a lovely, crisp fall (but not fall) morning that called for some good coffee.

I pinned a pumpkin spice latte recipe last year and finally had the stuff in the house to make them, so here’s the recipe (with my tweaks of course!)

I mostly followed the recipe found here, but here’s what I did:

  • I used the canned pumpkin, but would highly recommend using the syrup to non-insulin challenged people. The tiny bits of pumpkin make the drink pretty thick and settle to the bottom.
  • I used skim milk and Stevia
  • As you can see I did not top them off with whipped cream
  • In our regular-sized mugs there was enough for almost 3 lattes

Also involving coffee, at my husband’s request I made espresso chocolate chip cookies for having family over on Saturday. Read the rest of this entry

Tips

Every once in awhile I get a great tip and I feel compelled to pass along some of my new knowledge. Today I have two tips to share with you.

Microwave Cake

In college, I knew a set of roommates who perfected microwave baking and I’ve seen the coffee mug cakes on Pinterest, but it wasn’t until my mother-in-law shared this super simple recipe that her mother-in-law shared with her (I guess since I’m not a mother-in-law, sharing with you all will have to do!)

It’s called a 3-2-1 cake. You take an angel food cake mix and a regular cake mix and combine them. I put mine in a large plastic container, but most people I guess use gallon zip lock bags. You put 3 tablespoons of mix in a microwaveable dish (custard cups or coffee mugs work well), mix in 2 tablespoons of water and microwave for 1 minute.

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My mother-in-law's cakes always look better than mine!

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