Cooking

Your Favorite Posts of 2014

by Koko on January 5, 2015 · 1 comment

in Best Of, Cooking, Recipe

This year I am continuing the tradition of doing a favorite posts round up (here are 2011 2012, and 2013‘s). Today will be YOUR favorite posts of 2014 and Wednesday I will share mine.

Every year since we’ve been together has seemed like a big year and 2014 was no exception. A new house, a deployment, and a big kitchen remodel. Like last year, your favorites were all food related! Here is what you loved the most:

10. Chocolate Chip Cookie Cream Cheese Bars: One of my favorite desserts to make. These are great for a big crowd (they make about 18 bars) and are also an easy freeze recipe (serve some and freeze the rest for when you need them).

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9. 5 Reasons Why I Love Oatmeal: Well I guess you love oatmeal too! This is an old post from 2011 (holy moly have I been blogging for that long?), but apparently still popular. I am still 100% on my oatmeal kick,.

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8. Spinach Balls: My all time favorite appetizer when I am entertaining a big crowd. These can be made in advance and heated right before company arrives. Simple and delicious.

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7. Frijoles Borrachos (Drunken Beans): This is a New Year’s tradition in our house. Drunken Beans are eaten in order to bring prosperity in the new year. A different take on beans and definitely worth trying if you haven’t made them before.

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6. Spinach & Mushroom Orzo: One of my favorite side dishes that I totally forgot about until right now. YUM.

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5. Restaurant Style Salmon: There is no going wrong with this simple salmon recipe. Perfect with brown rice and veg for a kickstart in the new year.

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4. Pan-Seared Shrimp with Lemon Butter: Another oldie, but goodie. This 20-minute recipe makes perfect shrimp every time.

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3. Slow Cooker Sausage and Kale Soup: Like last year, I have to say that slow cooking is the best and easiest way to have kitchen on the table every night. This soup is hearty and all you do is set it and forget it.

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2. Four-Ingredient Shortbread Cookies: It is no surprise that these super duper easy cookies made the list because not only are they easy, but so buttery and delicious.

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1. Baked Tofu & Quinoa with Chickpeas and Spinach: Holy moly guys, this recipe was HUGE this year. I guess because without knowing it, it is a vegan dish (depending on your sauce)!

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Life Lately

by Koko on December 8, 2014 · 2 comments

in Cooking, Teaching

Fall eats. There has been a whole lot of chili and beer bread at our house. My all time favorite chili: this slow cooker one.

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Job (sort of). I started a wonderful long term substitute teaching job in a fourth grade classroom on post. It’s been a huge learning experience being thrown into a class in the middle of the year, but I’m loving it. Target for the teaching needs win.

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Full-time teaching job equals many a pizza night.

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The kitchen remodel is SOOOOO close to being done. We are 95% there. I’ll post final remodel photos within the next two weeks, but here’s a little teaser for ya.

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And no post is complete without some recent Carl pics. Love of my life.

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Cheesy Greek Brown Rice Bake

by Koko on November 10, 2014 · 1 comment

in Cooking, Recipe, Side Dishes

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It may not be the best looking dish I’ve ever made, but man is it good. This cheesy, 20-minute dish is a great weeknight pick. I was fine eating it without any meat, but you know Q… so I added some grilled chicken to the top to make it man-friendly.

I used brown rice, but you can easily replace that with quinoa, farro, barley or whatever grain you prefer. For your tomatoes, spinach and artichoke hearts, just eyeball it (no need to measure 1 cup exactly). I love a lot of spinach, so I loaded it up. I had plenty of tomatoes, so more of those too. You can add olives if you wish (they just aren’t my thing). I love the feta sauce- I’ve never done anything like it before and it is SO darn easy. This was fabulous the night we made it, but honestly even better the next day for lunch.

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Pinned This Week

by Koko on October 24, 2014 · 0 comments

in Baking, Cooking, Recipe, Uncategorized

In my ongoing quest to try new recipes and find interesting eats, I am bringing you some delicious bites found around the web (through all of my blog reading!).

Appetizers:

Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Soup: What an easy and delicious starter by one of my all-time favorite bloggers, Joy the Baker.

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Smoked Paprika and Garlic Shrimp SkewersI’m always a fan of shrimp and these skewers look delicious to serve with rice or on their own.

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Crusty Pan Bread: This is a new technique for baking bread that I have yet to try. I love the ease of it and am going to attempt it this week.

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Lunches & Dinners:

Caprese Chicken: This looks simple and very satisfying!

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Spicy Apple Cheddar Grilled Cheese: What a  great fall take on a classic grilled cheese.

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Desserts:

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Frosted Blondes: The perfect dessert to bring to a Halloween party! And not just your usual pumpkin bars!

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Salted Caramel Apple Cake: This decadent beauty looks like it would be a real crowd pleaser!

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Pumpkin Streusel Bars: Another fun fall dessert perfect for entertaining!

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