Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Senate's Trailer Park Hot Dog

D and I love this place, and we 're not alone (see the glowing reviews here, here, and here).
We've been here several times, and yes- it is gourmet hot dogs and they are delicious! It is in the trendy Over-The-Rhine area, and the first time we went there, it was a Friday night at 9:30pm and there was a wait for 45 minutes! Luckily, we were able to find 2 open seats at the bar, and we promptly sat down and started looking at the menu.

I settled on their "Trailer Park", while D ordered the "Croque Madame". We both love the Trailer Park dog. It is essentially a hot dog wrapped in bacon and cheese, topped with creamy cole slaw and crushed Grippo's BBQ potato chips. Grippo's is a local Cincinnati company, and they have my favorite BBQ potato chips of all time.

When making this, definitely butter and toast your buns. Makes a huge difference! Also, we used Nathan's all-beef hot dogs (our fave), but we both agreed that we wanted a thicker hot dog, so we're going to look for that the next time we make a grocery run.


  • 3 cups coleslaw (see recipe below)
  • 6 slices crisp bacon
  • 6 hot dog buns, buttered and toasted
  • 6 all-beef hot dogs, grilled
  • 6 slices American cheese
  • 1 cup crushed Grippo's BAR-B-Q potato chips


  1. Make the cole slaw. Refrigerate and allow the flavors to marry for 1 hour.
  2. While the cole slaw is sitting in the fridge, cook your bacon (for a mess-free option, bake it!).
  3. Assemble in this order: Bun-> Hot dog--> Cheese--> Bacon--> Cole slaw--> Grippo's
Yields: 6 hot dogs



  • 5 cups cole slaw mix
  • 1-1/2 cups mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • salt to taste


  1. Combine shredded cabbages and carrots in a bowl. 
  2. Add mayonnaise, water and sugar. Season with salt. Refrigerate for 1 hour to allow the sugar to dissolve and flavors to marry.

Source: Adapted from via The Senate

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Creamy Cole Slaw

We were looking for a creamy cole slaw to top over a hot dog (recipe to come soon!). This was straightforward and easy, and foot the bill.

When I initially tasted it, I felt the sugar granules and thought it tasted too sweet. However, when I took it out of the fridge a few hours later, the sugar granules had dissolved and it tasted perfect.


  • 2 cups cole slaw mix
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise (full fat and we love Hellmann's)
  • 1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp celery salt
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • Ground black pepper, to taste

  1. In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients. 
  2. Allow the sugar to dissolve and flavors to marry in the fridge for a few hours.

Source: Adapted from Robert Irvine

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Baked Zucchini Fries

  • 1 large egg white
  • Salt and freshly grated black pepper
  • 1/3 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 Tbsp grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 medium zucchini, sliced into 3" x 1/2" sticks
  • Marinara sauce (for dipping; quick homemade version below)

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil, and spray with cooking spray.
  2. In a small bowl, beat egg whites and season with salt and pepper. 
  3. In a ziplock bag, place breadcrumbs, garlic powder and cheese and shake well. 
  4. Dip zucchini sticks into eggs, then into bread crumb and cheese mixture- a few at a time and shake to coat. 
  5. Place the breaded zucchini in a single layer and spray more cooking spray on top. 
  6. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. 
  7. Serve with 1/2 cup marinara sauce for dipping.

Quick Marinara Sauce
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • Salt and fresh pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • 1 small bay leaf

  1. In a medium pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and saute until golden, being careful not to burn. 
  2. Add crushed tomatoes, salt, pepper, oregano, basil and bay leaf. Stir and reduce heat to low.
  3. Cover and let simmer about 20 minutes.

Source: Adapted from Skinnytaste

How To... Make Seasoned Breadcrumbs (from plain breadcrumbs)

A recipe I was using (which turned out delicious, by the way) called for "seasoned breadcrumbs". We usually keep them in the house, so I wasn't concerned but when I decided to make them over the weekend, I looked in our fridge and saw that we had none. What I did find was plain breadcrumbs.

I quickly Googled for a recipe, and came to the rescue (with multiple 5* reviews). All the "seasonings" are pantry staples for me so a shake of this and a spoonful of that- I had seasoned breadcrumbs!

  • 4 cups (13-oz) plain breadcrumbs (we love this 100% whole wheat breadcrumbs)
  • 1-1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1-1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1-1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1-1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 rounded tsp dried oregano or Italian seasoning
  • 1 rounded tsp pepper
  • 1-1/2 tsp salt

  1. Mix all your ingredients together :)

Source: Adapted from

Alton Brown's Bacon Horseradish Dip

I love me some Alton Brown, and this dip was no exception. While his onion dip is still my all-time favorite dip, this is another delish app that earned 2 thumbs up.

Now, if you don't care for horseradish, I would steer clear of this recipe. I like horseradish just fine, but if I could have this dip every day (of which I did eat this for 3 days), I'd be one happy diner.

Adding the chopped bacon...

  • 8 slices bacon, chopped
  • 2 medium onions, large diced
  • 1-1/2 cups sour cream (reduced-fat is fine)
  • 3/4 cup Hellmann's mayo (full fat here)
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsp jarred horseradish
  • Stacy's Pita Chips (for dipping)

  1. In a cold saute pan, add the chopped bacon, turn onto medium heat and cook until the bacon is cooked all the way through (but before it gets extra crispy).
  2. Once the bacon is cooked, remove the bacon onto a paper towel-lined plate.
  3. In the same saute pan, cook the onions until soft in the bacon grease.
  4. While the onion is cooking, add and mix the remaining ingredients in a medium bowl.
  5. Add the cooked bacon and sauteed onions.
  6. Place the dip into the fridge to allow the flavors to marry. (This step is important- it tastes much better if you let the flavors meld for at least 2-3 hours.)
Yield: approx. 4 cups

Source: Adapted from Alton Brown

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Korean Beef Bowl

This dish came highly recommended by my friend Jenn, and Darin threw this meal together earlier this week. It was easy and super tasty! I love easy Asian-inspired dishes, and this fit the bill exactly. All the ingredients are straight forward, we had them on hand, and it came together quickly. We both loved this dish!

Next time, we both thought we'd like to try using 93% lean ground turkey- we're looking forward to adding this to our meal rotation again soon.


  • 1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil (we use Kadoya brand)
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red-pepper flakes, or more to taste
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb ground beef (or try ground turkey)
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced + extra to garnish on top
  • Cooked rice, for serving (we used Nishiki brown rice in our rice cooker- took 1.5 hours though!)


  1. In a small bowl, whisk together brown sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, red pepper flakes and ground ginger.
  2. Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. 
  3. Add ground beef and cook until browned, about 3-5 minutes, making sure to crumble the beef as it cooks; drain excess fat. 
  4. Stir in soy sauce mixture and green onions until well combined, allowing to simmer until heated through, about 2 minutes.
  5. Serve immediately over rice; garnish with extra thinly sliced green onions.

Source: As seen on Damn Delicious, who adapted from Six Sisters' Stuff

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Baked Chicken Taquitos

I had this entree prepped to make during the work week, but with Darin getting sick mid-week and me being exhausted and worn out this week (keeping my fingers crossed that I wasn't getting what Darin had), we ended up ordering out a few times this week.

Luckily, Darin is getting healthier, and I was tired of eating high in fat and sodium foods, so I ended up making this tonight and it was a hit. Darin loved it, I loved that it was relatively healthy and easy to make. It is especially easy since the meat was already prepped and cooked (I like to make a large batch in the slow cooker and freeze for meals like this.)

On another note, I love guacamole but don't always want to make it since I'm usually left to eat it all by myself since Darin doesn't care for it. In comes these single-serving guacamole by Wholle Guacamole. They are just the perfect size for dipping for a meal.


  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened (we used reduced-fat)
  • 1/4 cup green salsa
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice (we used bottled lime juice)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 3 Tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 1 green onion, sliced finely (white and green parts to equal about 2 Tbsp)
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken (I cook large batches of chicken in my crockpot with a little chicken broth and salt, shred it and freeze it for meals like this)
  • 1 cup grated monterey jack cheese (use pepperjack if you like a little heat) (we used 1/2 cup sharp Cheddar + 1/2 cup Monterey-Jack cheese
  • Tortillas (we used 10 flour tortillas)
  • Kosher salt
  • Cooking spray
  • Oil mister (optional)
  • Dipping "sauces"- Ranch dressing, guacamole, sour cream, and/or salsa


  1. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly coat with cooking spray.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, mix softened cream cheese, green salsa, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, onion powder and garlic powder. Stir to combine and then add cilantro and green onions. 
  3. Add chicken and cheese and combine well. You can prepare this step ahead of time (which I did – I made it the morning of). Just keep the mixture in the fridge.
  4. Working with a few tortillas at a time, place 3-4 between two damp paper towels and microwave for 30-45 seconds, until tortillas are soft and pliable and don’t crack while rolling. 
  5. Place 2 Tbsp of the chicken mixture on the lower third of a soft tortilla, keeping it about 1/2 inch from the edges. Then roll it up as tight as you can. (A few of mine wanted to rebel and come unrolled so I stuck a toothpick through them to keep them right and tight.) (I initially used 3 Tbsp per tortilla, and the chicken mixture ended up oozing out of the shells.)
  6. Place filled taquitos seam side down on the baking sheet, making sure they don’t touch each other. 
  7. When ready to bake, spray the tops lightly with cooking spray or an oil mister and lightly sprinkle some kosher (coarse) salt on top.
  8. Place pan in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until crisp and the ends start to get golden brown. Serve immediately. 

Source: As seen on Mel's Kitchen Cafe, adapted from Our Best Bites

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Cottage Ham with Green Beans & Potatoes

This was a meal made by my dear friend Mackenzie, and it was delicious! I had never heard of cottage ham before she made this meal, but we loved it so much, I ended up making it the same week.

Cottage ham is a boneless shoulder butt, and is located near the chopped ham and ham steaks in the refrigerated section (near sausages, bacon, and hot dogs at my local Kroger). Mackenzie bought 2 cottage hams, and we all agreed that the brand called "Rose" (red wrapping/packaging) was the better tasting ham.

This is a meal that is quick to assemble but will take an hour of cooking time. The longer the cottage ham cooks, the more flavor it will impart. It was delicious, and we were able to get 2 dinners out of this meal.

Update (Dec 2014)- I had all afternoon today so I sliced the cottage ham and simmered everything for 4.5 hours covered, and then uncovered it for 1 hour and added the potatoes. Make sure the water is covering the ham. If it evaporates too much, just add more water. It is a very forgiving dish. Fantastic!

Add just enough water to cover the vegetables

  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • 1 large (or 2 medium onions), chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cottage ham (roughly 2-3 lbs)
  • (3) 14.5-oz cans green beans (we used  cans b/c we love green beans!), undrained
  • 4 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, diced
  • Water
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper 

  1. Heat the oil in a 4-5 qt Dutch oven on medium heat. Place the chopped onions into the Dutch oven, and saute for 3-5 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic, and saute for 30 seconds, stirring frequently.
  3. Add the cottage ham, green beans and potatoes, and then add just enough water to cover the vegetables. Cover the Dutch oven, and allow it come to a boil (should take 10-15 minutes.)
  4. Once it starts boiling, uncover, turn the heat down to medium-low, and allow it to simmer for at least 1 hour (I did it for 2 hours). Check on the pot every so often, making sure the water hasn't completely evaporated. Add a little more water if water is getting low. (You don't want it to saute the vegetables/ham mixture.)
  5. Once cooked, season with salt and pepper.
Yield: 4 servings

Source: Adapted from Homestead Chronicles

Portugese-Style Fish Stew

We recently purchased this digital steamer, and have been using the heck out of it.

Hard boiled eggs? Check!
Steamed veggies? Check!
Steamed fish? Check!

I love that I can literally set it and forget it. Once the timer goes off, it'll just keep warm. So much better than using the oven! Not to mention, steaming fish and veggies is super easy, efficient, and healthy.

When we want to let the steamer rest for a bit, we opt to make this fish stew. Although the word "stew" is usually synonymous with long hours of cooking, this dish can be prepare on a weeknight, and is still healthy and full of flavor. You start out by sauteeing the veggies until soft, then add in the liquids and fish, cover, and voila- done! Healthy, easy, and quick are exactly what I love about this recipe.

  • 2-3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp paprika (smoked or sweet)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 small green pepper, chopped (roughly the same size as the chopped onions)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 14.5-oz can of diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, divided
  • 1 cup water
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1-1/2 lb white, flaky fish (we use tilapia), cut into large bite-sized chunks
  • Crusty bread (optional)

  1. Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the bay leaves and paprika and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.
  2. Add the onion and bell peppers to the saucepan, and saute the vegetables until soft (5-10 minutes).
  3. Once softened, add the garlic and saute for 30 seconds.
  4. Add the diced tomatoes with juice, crushed red pepper, 1/2 of the cilantro, salt, and pepper. Cover and cook until the vegetables are softened, about 10 minutes.
  5. Add the water and reduce the heat to medium low.
  6. Season the fish with salt and pepper, then nestle the pieces among the vegetables in the saucepan. Cover and simmer until the dish is just cooked through, 5-7 minutes.
  7. Top the stew with the remaining cilantro, and serve.

Yield: 4 servings

Source: Adapted from Food Network

Cherry Apple Baked Oatmeal

Darin has been loving his oatmeal in the mornings. Whole grains are a great way to start the day as they are low in fat and high in fiber and good carbohydrates. We make a large batch on Saturdays and then package them into individual plastic containers, so they are portable and easy to pack into his lunches every day.

This is a nice variation to his usual oatmeal + PB as the Craisins and grated apple add some sweetness to the oats. Make sure to grate your apple- if you dice/chop it, the apple won't get soft enough and it'll remain too crunchy for this baked dish.

Grated apple, Craisins, and almond extract gives this oatmeal a nice sweetness to it


  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats (not quick cooking oats)
  • 1/4 cup dried cherry or cranberries (we used Craisins)
  • 1 Tbsp light or dark brown sugar
  • 2 cups skim milk
  • 1 medium apple, grated
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • 2 Tbsp sliced almonds (we omitted this)
  • Topping options: Vanilla yogurt, sliced almonds, additional dried fruit

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a square baking dish (8x8) with cooking spray.
  2. Combine first 6 ingredients (oats through almond extract) in a large bowl, and mix well.
  3. Pour the mixture into your prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with almonds.
  4. Bake uncovered for 45-50 minutes (ours was done at 45 minutes), and serve with toppings.

Source: (can't find it anymore, but it was on the internet...)

Monday, May 26, 2014

Grilled vegetable marinade

We have been trying to incorporate more vegetables daily, and while we love green beans and broccoli (the greens of choice in our household), I love grilled zucchini and yellow squash. I could eat these every single day.

My "usual" routine is to cut up the zucchini, squash, and an onion (occasionally an eggplant), add some salt and pepper, then put in several (healthy) splashes of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I was looking for something similar but different, and ran across So Tasty So Yummy's blog. She has a grilled asparagus recipe and recommended that I try that marinade. It was a little different in that it not only has balsamic vinegar, but also includes some lemon juice, soy sauce, and garlic.

This marinade was definitely a keeper! It had a little more depth to the marinade, and the vegetables turned out delicious.

Can you believe this much vegetables (raw, tossed in marinade)...

... turn into this after being cooked? Yum.

  • 2 zucchini, diced
  • 1 yellowneck squash, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper to taste

  1. Place all the diced vegetables into a large Ziploc bag.
  2. Add the marinade 60 minutes before cooking.

Source: Adapted from So Tasty So Yummy

Bobby Flay's Roasted Vegetable Meatloaf with Balsamic Glaze

While I love roasted vegetables, "roasted vegetable meatloaf" was not on my radar... until someone on one of my forums recommended this dish. I would never have tried this dish (despite the 300+ positive reviews) had it not been for her recommendation- and I would have never found my favorite turkey meatloaf. Yes, it was just that good! Don't get me wrong- when it comes to a beef meatloaf, this is still our reigning favorite. But, this one was delicious- like out of the world, I never expected this to be so darn good, delicious.
Bobby Flay's original version uses a mixture of ground chuck, veal, and pork ("meatloaf mix"), but I decided to go with ground turkey- yes it's more lean and not as flavorful, but I was told that the meatloaf would still be incredibly moist due to the roasted vegetables within. Let me tell you- it didn't sacrifice flavor or tenderness at all.

I also love that there are vegetables within this meatloaf (or for you parents, what an easy way to "sneak" in veggies), and the balsamic glaze- oh, the super delicious balsamic glaze!- you are in for a scrumptious treat!

Some notes I learned:
  • Use a Silpat or parchment paper- Balsamic is really sticky, and it leaves for an extremely sticky (and messy) if it gets onto your pan. Make sure to cover your pan well with parchment paper (don't use foil, trust me). If you've got a Silpat, use that instead of parchment paper
  • The meatloaf is rather flat- This meatloaf shape isn't your traditional hunk of meat- it is pretty narrow height-wise (look at above picture)
See how flat I am?

  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large zucchini, finely diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1 yellow pepper, finely diced
  • 1 yellow onion, finely diced
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 Tbsp finely chopped thyme leaves (I used 1-1/2 tsp dried thyme)
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley (I used 2 Tbsp dried parsley)
  • 1.75-2# ground turkey (we use 93% lean ground turkey)
  • 1 cup Japanese panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Romano cheese
  • 1-1/2 cups ketchup, divided
  • 1 cup + 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium/medium-low heat. Add the zucchini, peppers, onion, and salt and pepper to taste, and cook until almost soft, 30 minutes.
  3. Stir in the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for 30 seconds. Set aside to cool.
  4. Whisk together the eggs and herbs in a large bowl.
  5. Add the meat, bread crumbs, cheese, 1/2 cup of the ketchup and 2 Tbsp of the balsamic vinegar, and the vegetables; Mix until just combined.
  6. Mold the meatloaf on a baking sheet lined with Silpat or parchment paper (see notes above). 
  7. Whisk together the remaining ketchup and balsamic vinegar in a small bowl then brush the mixture over the entire loaf.
  8. Bake the meatloaf for approximately 1-1/2 hours.
  9. Remove from the oven and let rest 10 minutes before slicing.

Source: Adapted from Bobby Flay

Skinnytaste's Fiesta Bean Salad

If you love beans, you're going to go bonkers for this healthy salad. Beans are mixed in with cilantro, red onions, avocado, and cherry tomatoes in a cumin-lime dressing. It is so refreshing, light, and healthy! Perfect for all the upcoming BBQ parties. 

You can make this salad in advance, and add the avocados right before serving (so they don't turn brown on you).

I also like to add in some chicken (my favorite way here) to increase the protein factor. I made this over the weekend, and divided this up into (4) 1-cup(ish) servings. Can't wait to have this light and satisfying salad for lunch!

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 Tbsp lime juice (this was approx 2 small limes for me)
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 15-oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup minced red onion, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 medium avocado, diced

  1. In a large bowl, combined the garlic, lime juice, oil, cumin, red pepper flakes, and salt.
  2. Add the black beans, chickpeas, tomato, red onion, and cilantro; mix well.
  3. When you're ready to eat, add the diced avocados, and serve immediately.

Source: Skinnytaste

Overnight Oats

I've been seeing this talked about a lot amongst friends. I love having oatmeal for breakfast, and while cooing oatmeal is simple, I love how creamy and filling this version is. I would call this a "suped up" oatmeal since it's more than just oats- it has tons of calcium (milk- use regular, coconut, almond- any milk you like), protein (greek yogurt, or if you're like me, I love Kroger's CarbMaster yogurt), and healthy carbs (oats!). You can also top it with nuts (walnuts, almonds, or pecans), granola, or fresh fruit. I can eat it in the morning and I feel full until lunchtime.

There are many versions out on the internet, but I think this makes a great base and you can add your own varieties to make it your favorite!

I bought these 8-oz Ball jars at Kroger


  • 1/4 cup old-fashioned (not quick cooking) oats
  • 1/4 cup milk (I use almond milk)
  • 3-oz Greek yogurt (I use 1/2 of 6-oz container of Kroger CarbMaster yogurt)
  • Pinch of cinnamon

  1. The night before you plan to eat your oats, assemble all ingredients above and mix well. Seal in an airtight container.
  2. Refrigerate the mixture overnight (they will be ready in about 5 hours, but overnight is best).
  3. Wake up and enjoy the next day!

I like to top mine with...

  • Fresh fruit- Sliced strawberries, blueberries or raspberries
  • Granola
  • Nuts- Crushed pecans, almonds, or walnuts

Source: Adapted from Lauren Conrad

Mojo Criollo Pork Chops

Happy Memorial Day weekend!

This truly marks our grilling season, and today couldn't have been a better day to bust out the grill. Sunny, warm, and non humid, grilling on days like these are pretty terrific. I had bought this marinade years ago, and completely forgot about it until I passed it at Kroger doing my weekly grocery shopping.

As the bottle states, Mojo Criollo marinade is made with "garlic, onion, and citrus for tender, tasty meat and poultry." In the past, we have used it to marinade flank steak, pork chops, and fajita beef. It really makes it flavorful, and the taste is out of this world.

I love grilling pork chops with some garlic salt and pepper, but I really wanted something refreshing and different, so in went this marinade into my shopping cart. I also purchased a boneless pork loin and cut up my own pork chops (thick cut all the way), and let them marinade for almost 24 hours.

The result? The pork chops came out moist and tender with a zesty spicy/smoky flavor. I am definitely glad I let it marinate for awhile (I think at least overnight so the marinade tenderizes the meat), and I couldn't have been more pleased with the end result.


  • 1-1/2 cups Goya Mojo Criollo marinade
  • 4# boneless pork loin, cut into thick 3/4"-1" pork chops
  • Goya Adobo all-purpose seasoning

  1. In a large Ziploc bag, add the marinade and pork chops, making sure the chops are fully immersed in the marinade. 
  2. Place the Ziploc into a glass pan (just in case the bag leaks), and refrigerate for at least overnight up to 24 hours.
  3. Prepare the grill; while the grill heats up, remove the pork chops from the fridge and let it sit in room temperature for 30 minutes.
  4. Remove the pork chops from the marinade (discard the marinade), season the chops with adobo seasoning, and grill it until the internal temperature reads 145 degrees. While the pork chops cook, baste it with additional marinade (don't use the marinade that the pork chops were marinating in)- it should cook in 15-20 minutes.

Adapted from Goya

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Alton Brown's Onion Dip (from scratch)

Onion Dip (picture does not do it justice)

This is one heck of a delicious dip- I made this Friday night, and I had to "test it out" before going to bed... I ended up eating half the dip! Then, the next morning, I woke up craving it and ended up eating the other half. This dip didn't even last 6 hours, and because Darin doesn't like onion dip, I ate the whole thing. It was so SO good, and perfect for this summer all year round. Much better and flavorful than the dry mix kind :)

Cooking time is long (you want to caramelize the onions to get great flavor), but the actual prepwork is easy and simple. Reviews said to make this ahead of time, and I am so glad I did- I tasted it right when I mixed the ingredients together and wasn't blown away. 2 hours later, I took it out of the fridge to "test it out", and it was all over- I was hooked. Having a few hours to allow the flavors to meld made all the difference in the world.

  • 3-4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1-1/2 cups diced onions (I used 2 large Vidalia/sweet onions)
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt (make sure it's KOSHER salt, not table salt)
  • 1-1/2 cups sour cream (I used reduced-fat)
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise (Hellmann's full-fat mayo; don't use reduced-fat)
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground white pepper (don't use black pepper)
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • Pair this with- potato chips (we love Ruffles), baby carrots, sliced cucumbers

  1. In a saute pan or Dutch oven on medium-low, add oil, onions, and salt. Saute the onions until they are caramelized into a golden brown color, about 1-1.5 hours. Set aside to cool.
  2. Place the cooled onions into a food processor to mince the onions finely (glad I did this, as I didn't want chunks of onions, and processing it allowed the onions to really "melt" into the sour cream mixture.)
  3. Mix the rest of the ingredients, and then add in the cooled, minced onions.
  4. Refrigerate the mixture for a few hours before serving.
Yield: approx. 4 cups

Adapted from Alton Brown

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Healthy Turkey Meatloaf Muffins

These muffins were so easy, so moist, and so delicious! I love that I can bake them in a muffin pan so they are proportionate. I had 2 muffins (and D had 3). I already had this silicone muffin pan, and I love making things in it. It is so easy to remove food items, and these muffins baked up great.

Since we had extras, I placed 2-3 meatloaf muffins per plastic food container, added some canned green beans, and we had lunches ready to go for a week.

Turkey Meatloaf Muffins
Yields: 12 muffins, 6 servings (2 muffins/serving)

  • 1.25# ground turkey
  • 2/3 cup oats 
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1 package Knorr vegetable mix (I find this in the soup aisle of my local grocery store)
  • 1/2 cup finely diced onion or grated
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 12-15 tsp ketchup (1 tsp per muffin top)

  1. Mix all ingredients together and put in either a 9x5 meatloaf pan or a muffin tray. (If you use a muffin tray that isn't made of silicone, make sure to spray each well with cooking spray.) I used a 1/4 cup measuring cup to fill each muffin well- it was the perfect amount!
  2. Put 1 tsp ketchup on top each meatloaf muffin and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. 
  3. Serve with veggies. You can also serve with a different carb, but keep in mind the oats in the recipe already do add a little carbs to the meatloaf, so do not eat quite a full serving of whatever carb you choose. 

Nutrition stats per serving (2 muffins): 195 calories, 17g protein, 18g carbs, 7g fat

Yields: 12 muffins (16-17 muffins if you use 1.75# ground turkey)

Source: Adapted from BFL party
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