Monday, December 27, 2010

For 2: Christmas Dinner

This is what the FH and I had for Christmas dinner the night we celebrated together: Cornish hens, cornbread dressing, scalloped potatoes, and sautéed spinach. I love Cornish hens for an intimate dinner because you get both white and dark meat without cooking a whole chicken, each person gets their own little bird, and they are just so freaking tasty. Yes, we had some leftovers but I didn’t want to cut any dishes out because we love them all and it’s Christmas; indulge yourself (we did). Hopefully we burned off many of the calories we ate by staying up until almost 4am and playing the Wii that I got him. The Cornish hen and sautéed spinach recipes are below, for the scalloped potatoes I used this recipe from Tyler Florence, and click here for the cornbread dressing recipe posted last week. I hope you all had great Christmas dinners. What did you eat?
Sincerely Loving Food,

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Merry Christmas!

So its the most wonderful time of the year and I am pumped!  I plan to eat my heart out the next couple of days!  Tonight the fh and I are having "our Christmas dinner."  We are doing one last seperate Christmas with our respective families so tonight we are celebrating togther; we've done this the last couple of years and I really cherish it!  Menu: Cornish hens, cornbread dressing, scalloped potatoes (homemade not from a box) and sauteed spinach.  I am so pumped!  I put the recipe for the dressing below, and I will put up pictures and the other recipes after the holiday.

I am headed to my parents tomorrow so I will be eating every piece of deliciousness my Mom can make!  I am really hoping for a roasted pork loin because she does those so beautifully and maybe some monkey bread on Christmas morning, but we'll see what happen.  What are you looking forward to over the next couple of days?  Does your family have any traditional dishes that are always around at Christmas?
Sincerly Loving Food,

Cornbread Dressing
4 large cornbread muffins (I use store bought, but if you want to make them, more power to you!)
1 small onion, diced
2 tbl bacon grease (can substitute olive oil, but its Christmas, so why would you?)
1/4 C fresh, chopped sage
1 egg
1/4 C Chicken Stock
2 tbl Heavy Cream

Preheat oven to 350.  Crumble the cornbread into a medium mixing bowl.  Heat the bacon grease in a skillet over medium heat and once hot add the onion.  Cook until the onion is soft about 7 minutes.  Meanwhile mix the egg, stock and heavy cream together.  Throw the cooked onion and all the renderings in the bowl with the cornbread, along with the sage and stock mixture.  Give it a good stir, sometimes this is enough moisture and sometimes you have to add a little more stock and/or cream (which ever you like or have more of) until it all sort of sticks together.  Put mixture into a buttered casserole dish, spread out evenly and bake for about 25 minutes or until the top is golden brown.

Some tips - It's better if you let the muffins sit out a day or two so they are sort of stale and absorb the moisture and its best with gravy on top!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

For a Crowd: Grits-and-Greens Breakfast Bake

I love Southern Living recipes; usually they are straight forward, easy to follow and the write up is an honest representation of how complicated (or not) the dish is. I found this recipe for “Grits-and-Greens Breakfast Bake” and decided to make it the day of the FSU v. Florida game and take it to tailgate. Let’s just say I got in a little over my head…Don’t get me wrong, this dish was delicious and in all honesty I did change it up a bit, but this was not nearly as easy as it sounded and mine looked no where near as good; in fact it sort of looked a mess, so much of a mess that I didn’t take a final picture. So, here is the link to the Southern Living  Recipe…check it out! It looks and sounds delicious! I decided I wanted a little more. First I sautéed a chopped onion and some mushrooms, because I love them so much and second I cooked the collard greens for a few minutes in ham hock water like here because that is my favorite way to eat them. My main problem was the eggs didn’t stay down in their holes they just sort of ran all over the top of the grits, next time I will make bigger holes! I think this happened because my baking dish was too small, the onions and mushrooms added moisture which kept the grits from setting and I was inpatient. I should have just let the grits cook longer on their own before adding the eggs, but we had a very important football game to get to! All things considered, I will definitely be making this again; cooking is all about learning experiences!  You should try it too!

Sincerely Loving Food,

The Perfect, Southern Living, Completed Dish:

All my ingredients, ready to go:

Stirred up, ready to bake!

After baking, right before the egg spread:

And then imagine a mess...and I will imagine mine looked like the one in the magazine!

Friday, December 3, 2010

For a Crowd: Squash Casserole

I love squash casserole, especially when it is still recognizable as squash and not just some gooey cheesy mess. Don’t get me wrong, I love gooey cheesy messes, but not so much in this dish. I like to sauté the squash in a little olive oil until they just start to become tender and then stir them in with everything else and bake it off, with a little panko on top for some crunch! This recipe is super easy and a great way to sneak some veggies into even the pickiest eater’s diet.
Sincerely Loving Food,

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Get my life together...

Do you ever have those weeks where you feel like you just need to get your life together?  I am probably exaggerating, but I am talking about when you have a lot of dirty laundry (like dirty clothes not baggage) and you still haven’t unpacked from your thanksgiving trip and you feel like the holidays are coming at you like a freight train and … yeah its just like man I need to get my life together. Well, that’s how I feel right now. I really want to tell you guys about some dishes made over the last couple of days: squash casserole, green bean casserole, cornbread dressing, and a delicious breakfast dish with grits and collard greens and I promise I will this week. But today I have to focus on laundry, getting my dress altered for my engagement party, playing a flag football game tonight, and oh yeah I have a 8-5 job….

Are you feeling the holiday crunch already? What’s on your plate today?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

So Sorry...So excited!

I have been a really crappy post in over a week.  Totally my bad!  I miss it, as much as I miss home cooked food.  We have just been so crazy busy and eating out a ton. (although there is something to be said for a McNugget with sweet and sour sauce, but I digress)  Last night I had some shrimp that I marinated in pesto, pan fried for like 4 minutes and then put on top of spaghetti with store bought alfredo sauce...easy dinner and tasty!

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving pot luck at my office.  Hooray, homecooked food!  Super pumped is the best way to describe me right now.  I love the holidays and all the yummy food that comes with them!  Tomorrow, I am making this awesome macaroni and cheese recipe from The Pioneer Woman.  I am really looking foward to it and will let you know how it goes.  She is just great and I love reading her blog!  Friday night I am going to another Thanksgiving party and making the classic Campbell's green bean casserole.  Green bean casserole is my absolute favorite; I like to make it with french cut green beans, I think that's the best.  I love it so much I am making it for this gathering of friends Friday night and for Thanksgiving on Thursday.  I also love dressing (some people who are wrong call it stuffing) and mashed potatoes covered in gravy on Thanksgiving.  Those are my favorites!  What are your favorites that you just can't do without?  Do you call it dressing or stuffing?  Personally, I think its stuffing if it is actually stuffed inside a bird and dressing if it is cooked in a casserole dish on the side...this has been a huge discussion with the fh, he is wrong...Thanksgiving is only a week away....YES!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Registry Ideas!

So today after work the fh (future husband) and I are going to register.  I have choosen Williams Sonoma and Macy's....I think I pretty much know what I want and what we don't need, but I want to poll my friends in the blogging world.  If you are married what is the one thing you registered for that you couldn't live without and you use all the time?  What is the one thing you registered for and you never use?  And if you aren't married, what will be on your dream registry?
Thanks for the help!
Sincerely Loving Food,

Monday, November 8, 2010

For 2 or a Crowd: Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Last week I had a giant butternut squash that my Mom had brought me from the Farmers’ markets. I just cut it in half, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt, pepper and garlic powder and roasted it at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes. After it was cool enough to handle I cut it into chunks and ate it along with a steak for a delicious dinner. It was so good, but I had so much left over. After eating squash for lunch 3 days in a row…this weekend I still had about 3 cups of cubed squash left so I put together this soup, it made the house smell awesome and it was so creamy and delicious, just perfect to sit on the couch and eat while watching football. It made about 8 servings so you could serve it to a crowd or a make it for just 2 and enjoy the leftovers; it will freeze really well.
Sincerely Loving Food,

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Crock-Pot Roast

There is nothing better than coming home from a long day and your house being filled with the savory aroma of pot roast. This crock-pot recipe makes a super easy dinner, and I serve the roast with mashed potatoes and green beans…delicious! It is so easy because the night before you put everything in the pot and then the next morning turn it on low and when you get home it is basically ready. Perfect for these rainy fall days…

Sincerely Loving Food,

Thursday, October 28, 2010

For 2: Man Burgers

This is a man burger. 1/3 of a pound; no veggies mixed in; all about the flavor of the meat burger. And just so you know I enjoyed it topped with Colby jack cheese and a little ketchup: like a man! And yes, I know it says this is for 2 and it makes 3 burgers, but take one for lunch the next day, you won’t be sorry.

Sincerely Loving Food,

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

For a Crowd: Big Turkey Sandwich

This is one of my favorite sandwiches to make and take some where. It has turkey, roasted red peppers, green apple and havarti (possibly the best cheese ever).  I always make it in a large sour dough round and then cut it like a pie when ready to serve, but you could use the same ingredients for any bread of any size and it will be just as good. I made it a couple weeks ago for a tailgate and it was a hit!
Sincerely Loving Food,

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

For a Crowd: Birthday Dinner Party

I love to throw a party, and dinner parties are just the best! Friday night I threw a girls only dinner party for my best friend’s birthday. I believe the key to a dinner party is being able to enjoy yourself, while still serving everyone good food; you can do this by having most things ready before your guests get there. I accomplished this by having my salad and soup course ready early in the afternoon so they were chilling and simmering, respectfully, then about an hour before the guests were set to arrive I put the vegetables and potatoes in the oven to cook and a few minutes before everyone arrived I seared the meat and put it in the oven as well so I could mingle when they got there! This is what we had:

Baby Spinach and Arugula Salad with Apples, Pecans, and Blue Cheese Crumbles

Beer Cheese Soup

Rosemary Pork Tenderloin with Twice Baked Potatoes and Roasted Fall Vegetables

Flourless Chocolate Lime Cake with Margarita Cream
Sorry I didn't take a was so good we starting eating...

I started thinking about this menu a couple of weeks ago and from the get go I was sure of a couple of things: I wanted to incorporate seasonal ingredients, I wanted the menu to include some of Brittany’s favorites, and I wanted it to be casual comfortable food because it was all about great girlfriends getting together to celebrate a birthday…so this is how it came together. The inspiration for the salad came from a post by The Novice Chef, but I did make some changes changes: I couldn’t find watercress even tough I went to 3 different groceries, honestly I really don’t care for pears, and I wanted to serve the salad family style to keep it in the tradition of the rest of the meal (aka – I don’t have the time or the patience to make the “stacks,” but if I did I would have done it her way). As for the soup, Brittany and I both love beer and who doesn’t love cheese, so beer cheese soup was the perfect choice. The soup is rich, but not too filling (so long as you don’t eat the whole pot). It was great as the second course. The rosemary pork tenderloin is one of my favorite recipes and one of the first things I posted on the blog. I knew it was perfect for a party because the majority of the cook time is hands off in the oven, and it is amazingly tender, juicy and delicious. I paired it with a twice baked potato because I believe everyone loves them, I mean potato, heavy cream, sour cream, cheese and chives…HELLO! To round it out, the roasted vegetables had so many fall flavors and colors and they were super simple! Finally, Nigella Lawson was featured in the October issue of Better Homes and Gardens and when I saw Margarita Cream and Chocolate Cake, there was not a doubt in my mind that I had to make it for the birthday girl. I hope you enjoy the recipes below (note – I am just linking to the original Nigella recipe because I did not change it in any way) and throw your own dinner party soon…let me know how it goes!
Sincerely Loving Food,

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Guest-Post for a Crowd: Chipotle Macaroni and Cheese

I am very excited to introduce my friend Sarah to you guys.  She is an excellent cook, and has written this guest post about her AMAZING macaroni and cheese.  I hope you enjoy, and I apologize in advance for the half eaten brat in the picture below.  Please focus on the macaroni...I should have took the photo before I ate, but I was just so stinking hungry...anyway, I hope you enjoy Sarah's post and really try this, it is great!

From Sarah:
Lainey and I have bonded over our love for food, and I was very excited when she asked if I would share one of my favorite recipes with you.--a rich macaroni and cheese with a little bit of heat, just in time for the fall chill. I think this macaroni is wonderful, but I have to warn you that it's also a little bit evil...because it's tempting to eat so much of it!

For me, enjoying food is a way to practice unconditional love. I come from a family where one of your birthday gifts was getting to choose a special dinner, where every event (major and not-so-major) is commemorated with a thoughtful meal, and where we recount our vacations through the wonderful restaurants we tried.

So to "share the love," here's a favorite recipe for a very comforting, crowd-pleasing dish. I've served this at Easter dinner alongside a pork tenderloin, and its most recent appearance was at a football tailgate with beer brats! I really hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

For a Diet: Romaine Shrimp Salad

Last night I had a salad for dinner…yeah its that get in shape for the wedding thing, but I am actually really excited about this salad. It had a ton of flavor and was really healthy.

Romaine lettuce topped with pan seared shrimp, sliced roasted red peppers, a little parmesan cheese and these snapea crisps.  I seasoned the shrimp with a little salt, pepper and grill seasoning and cooked them in a tiny bit of olive oil for about 5 minutes and used peppers from a jar.  Perfect quick cooking for a long Monday!

I found the snapea crisps at Trader Joe’s and they are awesome! They fill that need for crunch, but are way better for you than the traditional crouton. Highly recommended! And I used Kraft’s Sundried Tomato Vinaigrette OMG! If you haven’t tried this dressing and you like tomatoes you have to give it a whirl.
Sincerely Loving Food,

Friday, October 15, 2010

All I think about is food!

A few weeks ago I was reading one if my favorite blogs, for the love, and the writer was listing 7 things that cross her mind a lot. Number four said, “I probably think about food 37 times a day…I’m never not thinking about food. Teenage boys probably don’t think about sex as often as I think about food.” I almost screamed out loud, me too I think about food all the time; obviously I do write a blog about it. Well right now, that obsession has been escalated to a whole new level. I am planning events for the immediate future and semi-distant future and concentrating on the food:

1. What am I going to make for the tailgate tomorrow? GT plays Middle Tennessee (never even heard of it) so the game is sort of a yawner, the food has to be great!
2. Next week is my best friend’s birthday and I am throwing a dinner party for her…I am super excited and working on the menu.
3. Oh, yeah I’m getting married in May and deciding on the menu for the reception, no big deal right?

Basically, I think about those things along with my normal, what’s for dinner thoughts almost all the time. Some people get stressed out about stuff like this but I love it. I almost love the menu planning part of an event as much as the event itself. What about you, what do you obsess about? Do you enjoy menu planning or see it as a pain?
Sincerely Loving Food,

Thursday, October 14, 2010

For 2: Roasted Broccoli

The other day I “freaked my mom out,” I texted her and told her my sister was eating broccoli and liked it! My sister has hated broccoli her whole life, like make a gagging noise, ugly face, don’t even want to see it kind of hate. I dry roasted broccoli and begged her to try it; she did and she said, “humm, its not mushy its crunchy, actually pretty good.” So if you have a child or boyfriend or sister or whatever who doesn’t like broccoli, make it this way (it’s super easy!) and I feel the chances are good they will like it!
Sincerely Loving Food,

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

For a Crowd: Chili + Fritos = Frito Pie

For me fall really begins with the first pot of chili. There is something about the smell of chili simmering in the crock pot that screams, “HEY, I’m autumn and I’m here now.” On Friday I made my “quick and easy chili” for the Saturday tailgate. We used the chili for Frito pie, which if you’ve never heard of: one - You are missing out and two - You must not have ever been to a Sonic Drive-in. Frito pie is the perfect tailgate food: a layer of Fritos topped with a good helping of chili, sprinkled with cheese, sour cream and green onions if you so desire. Does it get any better than that? I am kicking myself for not taking a picture, but it just got gone too fast. So if you want to see it make the chili below and then create a Frito pie with whatever toppings you like; believe me you won’t regret it!  What is your favorite tailgate food?  What signals the start of fall for you?
Sincerely Loving Food,

Friday, October 8, 2010

Appetizer in a box!

Last night I had some girlfriends coming over so I picked up these little guys:

and they were awesome!  I didn't have a ton of time so when I saw them in the freezer section, with a coupon I couldn't resist.  I really liked the mozzarella & pepperoni ones, they were like little mini pizzas!  Give them a try!
Sincerely Loving Food,

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Remix: Cheesy Chicken Casserole with CRUNCH!

My sister made my favorite Cheesy Chicken and Rice Casserole last night with one small change, which made a HUGE FLAVOR DIFFERENCE! She didn’t sprinkle the extra cheese on top before baking like I did. She put it in to bake with no cheese on top, in the mean time she mixed up some shredded cheese and a can of French fried onions (oh, yeah those are good!) and then when the casserole had about 5 minutes left to cook she took it out of the oven and covered the top with the onion and cheese mixture. Then, she put it back in the oven to finish cooking and let the onions brown and the cheese melt. HOLY MOLY!!! This was delicious! Such a great addition! Healthy, not so much but FLAVORFUL and added a nice crunch texture!!! And let’s be honest this is a casserole, so it’s not like it is super waist line friendly to begin with, but that’s why they taste so good! What is your favorite casserole?  Or are you an anti-casserole person?  (which I don't even pretend to understand by the way, but I know you are out there...)

And one other little thing, sorry for the lack of posts lately.  I got engaged last week so my life has been exciting and hectic!  I will have some new exciting stuff for you soon.  I am having a hard time with one thing though, I have always called my boyfriend the bf on the he is my fiance.  I don't think I should call him the f.  Anyone have any ideas?
Sincerely Loving Food,

Monday, October 4, 2010

For a Crowd: Bacon and Cheese Biscuits again!

There is nothing wrong with a do over, when the recipe was good the first time!  Last week the Jackets had another noon kick off, so it was another breakfast tailgate.  I made the bacon and cheese biscuits, that I made for breakfast club a couple of months ago.  Last time I didn't make them thick enough so this time I was careful to not have flat biscuits and I succeeded! 
Biscuits in my handy Built bag:

Luckily this week we finally get a 3:30 kickoff, so I can make a normal tailgate, not that I don't love breakfast but let's be honest those 7am wake up calls on a Saturday were getting old!
Sincerely Loving Food,

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

For a Crowd: Crock-Pot Tortilla Soup

I love learning new stuff! (nerd alert!) But seriously, I really enjoy watching people cook and picking up new techniques and ideas – hence my DVR is always full with Giada, Ina, Bobby, Tyler, etc. On Sunday my sister taught me an amazing, easy crock pot soup that was perfect for a rainy day, or any day for that matter. This Tortilla Soup couldn’t be simpler and your house smells so good while it is melding together in the crock pot! Literally you throw the stuff in the crock pot, let it sit for a few hours and that's it, so easy! I love to top mine with avocado, cilantro, and queso fresco but use whatever you like or nothing at all. This makes about 5 good servings, so you can feed a small crowd or have leftovers for lunch. Have fun with it and people will thank you worked really hard! Thanks sister for teaching me something new!
Sincerely Loving Food,

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

For 2: Chicken Sausages

Dinner doesn’t always have to be complicated.  Sometimes it is a Monday and it is raining and you are tired and you don’t want to do any work and that’s totally fine.  That is how I felt last night, which is why we had these chicken sausages, they are fully cooked all you have to do is brown them on the grill for a minute, and they were delicious! 

 Whenever I use a store bought/prepared products I like to do something a little special to take away the “out of the box” taste, which is why I made caramelized onions to top them with.  Really you can’t get any easier than caramelized onions: melt some butter in a pan; add the onions and sprinkle with  salt, pepper, and cayenne (if you like it spicy) and cook over low to medium low for 20 to 30 minutes. 

I completed dinner with green beans and grilled tomatoes: seasoned with olive oil, salt and pepper grilled for about 5 minutes and topped with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese. 

Look at all the pretty colors on that plate!  So don’t be scared, use short cuts, but dress them up a little and you will be totally satisified with your dinner!  What are your "short cut meals"?  Do you do anything to change them up?  If you live in Atlanta are you also tired of the 2 days straight of rain?
Sincerely Loving Food,

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Rosemary Horseradish Pork Chops

So this recipe is a redo, using leftovers, change up, inspired by other bloggers. A couple of weeks ago I posted a fabulous crunchy pork chop that I saw over at 20 Something Cupcakes, by Sarah. Then Melissa from For the Love commented about a similar pork chop she made, but with like ¼ of the steps and really tasty none the less. Well the other day I had some pork chops, left over rosemary horseradish mayo from the steak sandwiches and my inspiration from Sarah and Melissa; so this little delight came to be. The pork chop was juicy and tasty and since it was a night I had worked late it was paired with scallop potatoes from a box {gasp, I know, but I love them for some reason} and some green beans sautéed in chicken stock with 2 crushed garlic cloves. It was quick and delicious.
Sincerely Loving Food,

Rosemary Horseradish Pork Chops
2 Thin Cut Pork Chops
Rosemary Horseradish Mayo
¼ C Dried Italian Bread Crumbs
2 tbl Parmesan Cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix bread crumbs and cheese together in a pie plate or other dish with high sides. Set a wire rack on a cookie sheet and spray with non stick spray. Spread each pork chop with some mayonnaise on each side and then coat in the bread crumbs, shake away extra and set on the wire rack. Bake for 15-17 minutes. Enjoy!

Monday, September 20, 2010

For 2: Steak Sandwiches for Football!

The Jackets were on the road this weekend, and most of our friends were out of town so the BF and I had our own indoor tailgate watching the game on TV. We had homemade onion dip and steak sandwiches. For the onion dip I used Ina Garten’s recipe with 2 minor changes: the addition of 4 green onions to the yellow onions she calls for and mixing it in the food processor instead of the stand mixer; I think the dip consistency is better that way. The steak sandwiches were a Lainey Original. Before the game started I made a rosemary horseradish mayonnaise to put on the sandwiches, marinated the steaks and sliced the mushrooms, so that when half time came I could throw the sandwiches together quickly. It totally worked out and the sandwiches were a hit. Georgia Tech won and we had a great time. What an awesome weekend!
Sincerely Loving Food,

Thursday, September 16, 2010

For 2: Work Once, Eat Twice - Mexican Stuffed Bell Peppers

I like to call this a work once, eat twice meal. The stuffing for these bell peppers is simple to make, but you can’t really make a portion small enough for just 2 or 3 peppers. Good news – the left over stuffing freezes nicely, so you use what you need, freeze the rest and then in a couple of weeks you have a quick supper. All you have to do is defrost the stuffing, cut and clean some peppers and bake them off. Or you could invite some friends over a make them all at once! To go with these I just grilled a thinly cut squash and quartered onion which were dusted with olive oil, paparika, cumin and coriander. It went perfect!  I must warn you the stuffing is really tasty, so tasty the bf wanted to steal it out of the freezer and just eat it with a spoon. I hope you enjoy these, once soon and then again in a week or two, up to 3 months!
Sincerely Loving Food,

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

For 2: Roasted Eggplant and Pork Chops

Summer is coming to an end and so are the opportunities to buy locally grown, fresh produce. Last night I made dinner with the last remaning gems of summer: roasted eggplant and corn with BBQ pork chops. I marinated the pork chops over night in the sauce left from the pulled pork last week and then grilled them on the grill pan, and topped with the final remaining sauce. The corn was super-simple: fresh corn on the cob doused with olive oil, salt and pepper wrapped in aluminum foil, roasted in the oven at 400 for 15 minutes. It was delicious! The eggplant is really the only thing that took a little bit of work. I took some inspiration from this Giada de Laurentiis recipe, but used all fresh ingredients.
Sincerely Loving Food,

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

One of my favorites: chef's salad

I ate a salad last night. It was a combo chef's salad. Combo because everyone did a little work: my sister chopped the lettuce and veggies, my bf grilled the chicken and I boiled the egg and stopped on the way home to get the ranch dressing. I love ranch on a chef’s salad! We had romaine and spinach with green onions, avocado, feta cheese, boiled egg, and tomatoes topped with the chicken and ranch. OMG it was to die for. I should have taken a picture before the dressing so you could see all the pretty colors, sorry!  And here's the thing, all three of us had a huge salad for less than like $12 total; in a restaurant they would have been like $8 or $9 a piece.  Sorry I just don't get going out for salads, its a rip off.  You can make delicious ones at home! So no real recipe, its just a salad, lettuce topped with whatever you like, but here's a tip:
Salt and pepper your tomatoes and avocados right after chopping, before putting them on the salad. That way the seasoning will really stick to the veggies and add more flavor!
I love ranch on a chef's salad, but italian is generally my favorite and I just can't eat a salad with out tomatoes!  I want to know: what's your favorite salad dressing and what are your favorite toppings?
Sincerely Loving Food,

Thursday, September 9, 2010

For a Crowd: Football Breakfast Burritos

Man, I love a breakfast burrito and this Saturday morning we had some at the tailgate that totally hit the spot! The burritos were stuffed with steak, scrambled eggs, queso fresco, diced tomatoes & onions and homemade tomatillo-avocado salsa. I got the tomatillo-avocado salsa recipe from Marcela Valladolid on Mexican Made Easy and it was to die for; I am going to have to refrain myself from making this on a weekly basis. The steak marinated over night in Newman’s Own Lighten Up Lime Vinaigrette, cumin and cilantro and then grilled to medium rare. These burritos are perfect food for an early game tailgate, because they can be put together the night before and then just warmed up the next day (which is what I did). All you have to do is make the burritos and wrap them individually in aluminum foil and place them in a baking dish in the fridge over night. The next morning pop the dish in the oven on 350 for about 30 minutes to an hour and you are good to go!  I like to keep mine in a Built Bag so they stay warm, you can just see the polka dot bag on the left side of the tailgate set up, full of burritos ready for everyone to grab one!

Sincerely Loving Food & Football!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

For a Crowd: Pulled Pork Sandwiches, again!

I did it again! Sunday night I roasted a pork shoulder (or boston butt depending on where you’re from) for a Labor Day BBQ. I used the same technique as I did a couple months ago, posted here, but I changed up the rub a little bit. I mean, who doesn’t love a pulled pork sandwich?
Sincerely Loving Food (and 3 day weekends),

Dry Rub:
1 C dark brown sugar
¼ C smoked paprika
¼ C dried minced onions
¼ C cumin
¼ C coriander
¼ C garlic powder
¼ C black pepper
2 tbl cayenne pepper
3 tbl Lowry’s seasoning salt

I rubbed all this on the pork, put it in a roasting pan (fat side up):

then added chicken stock and milk, covered the pan with foil, put it in a 200 degree oven and roasted for 8 hours. Then I pulled it apart with 2 forks, made the same sauce as I did here and we enjoyed sandwiches by the pool! Perfect!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Football HOORAY!

Oh my goodness!  It is finally here!!!  What you might ask, well college football of course.  This labor day weekend is a double pleasure - tailgate tomorrow for the GT Yellow Jackets and BBQ on Monday with good friends.  Our game tomorrow is at 1pm, so I am making steak and egg enchilidas - hopefully they are good and I will share the recipe next week.  And on Monday I am doing some pulled pork for BBQ sandwiches.  Oh I can't wait...only a few more hours...

What are you guys up to this weekend?  Who are you cheering for?  What are you gonna make?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Cheesy Chicken and Rice Casserole

Casseroles are comfort food. I know this is like the 3rd casserole I have posted in just a couple weeks, but this past weekend I had a friend who needed some comforting, so casserole to the rescue! My Mom has been making this cheesy chicken and rice casserole for years, and it has been my favorite for a long time. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
Sincerely Loving Food,

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

For 2 X 2: Parm Crusted Pork Chops

Two weeks ago my grocer had pork chops on manager’s special – super cheap! I put them in the freezer until I could figure out what to do with them. Four days later there was an amazing recipe for crunchy pork chops posted at 20 Something Cupcakes (One of my favorite blogs). Monday I defrosted the chops and Tuesday I made these crunchy, cheesy, salty, savory, AMAZING pork chops. You have got to make these. Yes, it was a little bit of work, but it was oh so worth it. Thanks Sarah at 20 something cupcakes for finding this, it is my new love!

Sincerely Loving Food,

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Not forgotten...

Hi everyone,
Sorry for the lack of updates.  This is a crazy week.  I promise to have new stuff for you soon!
Sincerely Loving Food,

Thursday, August 26, 2010


So...the Atlanta paper is looking for a food blogger to contribute to their food and more column once or twice a week.  I am totally gonna enter.  But here's the thing: you have to submit 3 writing samples.  I am going to use a blog post for at least one of them.  What should I use?  Which post has been your favorite? Which one is the best?  And do you like it because of the intro or because of the recipe?  I think I need one example with a good/witty/intruiging intro and one with a really good recipe!  I feel like I am applying to college I am so nervous, and I would really appreciate your help!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

For 2: Salisbury Steaks

When I was a kid I LOVED to go to Piccadilly. Yes, the cafeteria style, meat and three, get your own drink restaurant. Specifically the Salisbury steak did it for me; brown gravy on top of the cubed steak with mashed potatoes and green beans was one of my favorite meals. Fast forward 20 some odd years later and here we are. Last night I made Salisbury steak a little more grown up with cremini mushrooms in the gravy, but still served with the classics: mashed potatoes and green beans! The cooking time is a bit lengthy, an hour and thirty minutes in the oven, but it is hands off cooking time so you can “make this” while you are catching up on your DVR or cleaning your bathroom, and then when the timer goes off you have a hot, delicious, comforting meal all ready for you!
Sincerely Loving Food,

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

For a Crowd: Potato and Sausage Breakfast Casserole

In the famous words of Ina Garten, this weekend I “turned up the volume” on my hashbrown casserole. Don’t get me wrong, I love the original, but this weekend I was looking for something a little more filling. So, I did what any southern cook would do; added sausage! This is a great option when you are feeding a crowd because it is basically a one dish breakfast. I’m not gonna lie, I did fry an egg and put it on top of mine and the yolk running down over the hashbrowns and sausage put it over the top. But, the people who ate it eggless gave rave review as well; I mean really potatoes and sausage…nothing wrong with that!
Sincerely Loving Food,

Potato and Sausage Breakfast Casserole
1 lb Hashbrowns
1 lb Sage Sausage (or breakfast sausage)
2 Cans Cream of Mushroom Soup
1½ C Onion, diced (usually 2 small onions)
1½ C Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 C Sour Cream
1 stick of Butter, thinly Sliced
1 tbl each salt and pepper

Brown the sausage over medium-high heat until cooked through and drain on a paper towel lined plate. Preheat oven to 350. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Pour into a 13x9 baking dish, and sprinkle with a little more cheese if desired. Bake for an hour and a half.

Monday, August 23, 2010

For a Crowd: Asian dip

This dip is a friend favorite and super EASY!!!  I know the picture looks a little wierd, but believe me it is delicious.  My old roomate is moving to Philadelphia and her going away party was this weekend.  I asked her what she wanted to make and she said, "Asian crack," haha!  It is just so addictive! 
Sincerely Loving Food,

Asian Dip
1 block Cream Cheese
Wasabi Sauce
1 tbl Sesame Seeds
1 tbl Soy Sauce
Rice Crackers

Place the cream cheese block on a small plate or platter.  Cover with wasabi sauce, then sprinkle sesame seeds and soy sauce on the top.  Service with rice crackers.  Delicious!

*You can find wasabi sauce in the condiment aisle at the grocery.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Slide show!

Sorry no new recipe today, but I added that little slide show you are seeing to the right.  I think it's pretty cool!  Hope you do too!
Sincerely Loving Food,

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

For 2: Rosemary Parmesan Potato Chips

I have mentioned using my new mandolin (that I LOVE) in a couple of posts: lasagna and grouper in parchment, and I used it again the other night for Potato Chips!  I made these to go with our chicken and green beans and using the mandolin was so fun and efficient! (I know I am kindof a nerd for getting excited about efficiency)  If you don’t have a mandolin I totally encourage you to get one.  I understand they can be expensive, but if you check out the home/kitchen sections in Marshalls and TJ Maxx you can usually find one that is really affordable!  The benefit of quickly slicing things, thinly and consistently is totally worth the cost.  If you don’t have a mandolin you can still make these chips, the slicing with a knife will just take you a little longer.

Sincerely Loving Food,

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

For 2: Braised Chicken and Fully Flavored Green Beans

You know those chicken breasts that are huge?  I had one of those in my freezer and I was sure it was big enough to feed the bf and me.  So, last night that was on the menu along with green beans, because I had a craving for them.  Last time we had green beans I steamed them and the bf told me they didn’t have a lot of flavor, well boys just don’t get steamed veggies, but this time I was determined to make green beans with a ton of flavor.  After searing the chicken breast I braised it with chicken broth, onions and rosemary; then I removed the chicken breast to rest discarded the rosemary stems, reduced the broth with a little white wine and then cooked the green beans in that liquid.  It was awesome!  Added bonus: Chicken and green beans – only one dirty pot.  I rounded out this meal with homemade parmesan potato chips and you can get that recipe tomorrow, but for now here are the details on the braised chicken and fully flavored green beans!

Sincerely Loving Food,

Monday, August 16, 2010


So this weekend the bf and I went to a wedding. The ceremony was beautiful, the bride was gorgeous, the band was tons of fun and the food was ah-maaazzz-ing! During cocktail hour hot appetizers were passed: mini twice baked potatoes and BBQ pulled pork sandwiches! Talk about a great start. Then for dinner you could choose from 3 stations, or let’s be honest you could choose to visit all 3 stations. Crab cakes with mustard aioli and coleslaw, filet of beef with truffled mashed potatoes and green beans, and chicken Florentine with grilled zucchini, onions, asparagus and squash and a delicious pasta! Then there was dessert, obviously wedding cake was present but also these mini crème brueles. TO DIE FOR! I think I ate 3 of them…sorry if you were there and didn’t get one, it was my fault…Basically as far as weddings go this was one of the best menus ever.

Oh and the best part, on top of the menu was this quote:
“There is no love more sincere than the love of food”
-George Bernard Shaw
This really sums up how I feel, hence the name of this blog. I love food in a crazy sincere way. I love to make food. I love to learn about food. I love to watch food shows. Most important: I love to eat good food. And now I love this quote!

If you are married, what was on the menu at your wedding? Or what do you dream of being on the menu at your wedding if you haven’t crossed that bridge yet? Have you ever been to a wedding with awesome food? What was it? How would you describe your love for food?

Friday, August 13, 2010

For a Crowd: Hashbrown Casserole

Breakfast club is one of the many reasons I love my job. A group of nine people in my office take turns brining in breakfast on Fridays; it ranges from bagels to McDonald’s sausage biscuits to home made French toast. It is such a great way to kick off the weekend! Except for the fact we have to work 8 more hours, but I digress…This morning it was my turn to bring breakfast. I did two simple things: scrambled eggs and microwave bacon and then made a hashbrown casserole to jazz it up. The casserole is super easy, and I know if my friends at Big Girls Small Kitchen are reading this they are gasping at the can of condensed soup in the recipe, but what can I say this is the south and that’s just the way we do it down here! The best part about this and any casserole is you can mix it up and refrigerate it over night so the next morning all you have to do is pull it out and bake it for an easy breakfast! Try it out this weekend, easy and tasty: it doesn’t get any better than that!
Happy Weekend,

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

For 2: His Favorite - Lasagna

My boyfriend loves lasagna, like it is on his list of top 3 favorite foods.  The idea of noodles, meat and cheese constituting a meal never really struck me as awesome, but he really, really loves the stuff.  I have developed our compromise lasagna; there is a layer of meat in red sauce, but also a layer of zucchini and mushrooms for some redeeming quality.  I use marinara sauce from a jar (gasp, I know) but let’s be honest I have a job and a life and not 4 hours to spend making this meal, and honestly when combined with everything else I don’t think homemade sauce would really make a big difference.  It does take 2 sauté pans, 1 big pot for boiling noodles and the baking dish but all in all the clean up isn’t too bad (thanks to the bf!).  I make the lasagna in an 8x8 baking dish so it is enough for the 2 of us for dinner plus leftovers for lunch, or we sometimes freeze half and then eat it for dinner again in a couple of weeks.

What are your the "compromise meals" at your house?  Do you ever use sauce from a jar?  If one cooks at your house does the other clean?  I love that deal!
Happy Hump Day,

Monday, August 9, 2010

Flip Burger - Awesome!

On Saturday I had a FABULOUS hamburger at Flip Burger Boutique. Richard Blais (from Top Chef) has opened this trendy location on Atlanta’s up and coming West Side and I LOVE it!  And apparently there is also a new location in Birgmingham, AL and others in the works.  All of their beef burgers are made with 100% grass-fed beef, and considering how well known Richard is all the prices are totally affordable.  I love that they feature beef burgers along with “alternative” ones i.e. crab, shrimp, chorizo, etc.  On Saturday I had the butcher’s cut which is a beef burger topped with caramelized onion, blue cheese, red wine jam, and frisee pickled shallots.  It was perfect; the wine jam was to die for and there was just the perfect amount of blue cheese to add flavor, but not overpower everything else.  My sister had the po boyger which was made with pan fried shrimp and it was surprisingly good.  She shares my love for a good burger, and although she was excited about her adventurous choice she was a little scared she might miss the beef.  Luckily, she was pleasantly surprised at how much she loved it.  The bf had the Southern burger which is basically a country fried steak topped with pimento cheese - to die for!  Along with the burgers Flip has great appetizers and milk shakes.  I highly recommend starting with the fried pickles and parmesan zucchini fries and finishing with a rice krispy milkshake!  If you haven’t tried this place I really encourage you to do so.  For dinner try going really early or really late to avoid the crowd, or on the weekend go for a late, like 2:30pm, lunch and you will really minimize your time spent in the lobby!

Flip has become my new favorite trendy burger place, but when I want a traditional hamburger with greasy fries and a fried apple pie I go to The Varsity!  These two burger joints are on totally different ends of the burger spectrum, but I love them both.  What are your favorite burger spots?  I am a French fry girl 100%! Do you choose fries or rings as your burger compliment?  What is your favorite dessert to cap off your meal?  I would love to hear about your burger passions!

Friday, August 6, 2010

My New Love: Zucchini Fritters!

The healthy side of me loves zucchini, and I think I have mentioned my obsession with fried stuff before…a joining of the two, equals my new obsession: Zucchini Fritters! These little guys are easy to make, using only a few ingredients, and taste…um…how do I saw…amazing, especially with a little spicy ranch for dipping. They are a great side dish or appetizer, and really it doesn’t have to be zucchini, you can do this with any type of squash or corn kernels or anything really. Have a great weekend and give these a try!

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Give it a try: Tomato Pie!

I know this sounds a little weird, but please stick with me on this one! I was introduced to tomato pie a couple of years ago and I thought then (and still do) that it maybe should be called something else, since it is savory not sweet, but that is neither here nor there. The pie is a mix of juicy tomatoes, onions and herbs with a cheesey topping, baked until it is bubbly and awesome!  The herbs in the recipe are pretty interchangeable, if you only have one or two but not the others that is fine just use the ones you have.  For the topping, I have tried multiple cheeses: Swiss, parmesan, Mexican Blend, cheddar…they are all great, so really just use whatever you like or have around, but I will tell you my favorite is swiss. The main focus is the tomatoes and the “topping.”  Tomato pie is a great side dish for basically anything and is even a good breakfast. Please don’t be scared and give it a try!

Happy Hump Day,

Monday, August 2, 2010

For a Crowd: Twice Baked Potatoes

I love potatoes, especially when they are twice baked and stuffed with sour cream, cheese and butter! I made my favorite little side dish to share at a cook out this weekend. The process was a little time consuming, but in the end it was well worth it. They came out with a crispy skin on the bottom and gooey cheesy goodness on the inside and were the perfect “finger food” for the buffet line.
Happy Monday!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Learning Experience or Failure...

Well, I really wanted to have this great post for you today.  I bought bone in, skin on chicken breasts, soaked them in buttermilk over night and fried them to "perfection" which was actually I fried them a little longer, the outside got a little too brown and I finished them in the oven to ensure I didn't get sick.  In the end it wasn't the golden fried chicken I had dreamed of, but the meat did have a decent flavor and it was an ok, but not great dinner.  Next time I will change a few things, hopfully obtain that golden friend goodnes and then present you with a way to make that perect fried chicken.
Still learning,

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

For 2: Dessert Tray!

As a general rule, Boys love dessert! You can really impress them by making them think you spent a lot of time on a “dessert tray.” I literally put this together in like 5 minutes, and the boyfriend thought it was amazing to have, "something so impressive" for our Friday movie night. Check it out: leftover chocolate chip cookies from a work event earlier in the week, 1 piece of store bought angel food cake cut into 4 rectangles (Manager’s Special: 99cents), and some strawberries with sour cream and brown sugar for dipping on a black dinner plate.

You might be thinking, “What strawberries with sour cream and brown sugar?” But, try it: dip a strawberry in sour cream and then brown sugar, it is like heaven! I “molded” the brown sugar by pressing it into a ramekin and then inverting it onto the plate (think sand castle), spooned some sour cream into a little container and then arranged everything else around those “anchors.” I highly recommend this for your next at home date night, just use whatever cookies, cakes, fruit, sauces and creative juices you have and the boy in your life will be impressed, or enjoy it yourself with a glass of wine!

From my kitchen, where I am still avoiding the heat!

Monday, July 26, 2010

For 2: Chicken BLT Pasta Salad

In all seriousness it has been like 100 degrees in Atlanta for the last week straight, and I swear I am not exaggerating. I wanted to make dinner Friday night and not turn the oven on, but still have a delicious meal including a veggie, meat and carb. I came up with a Chicken BLT Pasta Salad that was a huge hit; I am not sure who enjoyed it more, me or the boyfriend. I bought a rotisserie chicken from the deli and the precooked bacon that you crisp in the microwave, to minimize the amount of time the stove was on.  However, these two ingredients could be cooked at home or you could just use leftovers from something else; either way this salad will be delicious. Considering this meal came together for less than $10, the only cooking was boiling pasta and the flavor was awesome; it will become a regular in my dining rotation!
Looking forward to cooler days (and football!),

Friday, July 23, 2010

For 2: Shrimp and Garlic Pasta

This pasta was inspired by my Mom when I was complaining about not knowing what I wanted for dinner. She said, “Do you have pasta, a can of diced tomatoes, garlic and parmesan cheese?” I said “yes,” and she said, “Sounds like dinner to me.” It was dinner and it was great! I added a few more ingredients, but not many. The finished product was the perfect summertime bowl of pasta that came together in less than 20 minutes!

Have a great weekend,

Monday, July 19, 2010

For 2: Glazed Pork Tenderloin with Mango & Black Bean Salsa

I think I have a new favorite side dish: Black Bean and Mango Salad! I saw this Bobby Flay recipe the other week for pork chops and salsa and thought it looked delicious. I changed it up a little bit to fit my style and the ingredients I had on hand and though it came out great. He calls the mango and black bean mixture a salsa, but I definitely think it was more of a salad, and I am not a big fan of pork chops so I substituted a pork tenderloin. This one is a keeper, which I plan to make again soon!

Happy Monday,

Friday, July 16, 2010

For 2: Grouper in Parchment

Fish wrapped in parchment always seems so fancy and usually tastes delicious. I tried my hand at it this week and must say it was pretty successful. It is not as difficult as the presentation makes it look and the flavors all mingled so well it was great. I used zucchini, fennel and lemon along with grouper, but the vegetables and fish could easily be substituted for whatever you like or have on hand.