Beef Braciole

Beef braciola is a special Italian meal I'll make only for certain occasions. It's labor intensive, requires several hours to cook and is a bit pricey, to boot. WHY would anyone ever bother, you ask?

It's. Just. That. Good. 

Creamy Jalapeño & Artichoke Dip

Iagine a classic spinach and artichoke dip...only spicier and healthier! This one is has less calories and fat since there's no mayonnaise or Parmesan, plus it's packed with protein from Greek yogurt and GREEK CREAM CHEESE!! I just found out that's a thing! Oh my gosh...add it to the list of snacks & appetizers you can gladly bring to your next party! It comes together quickly and can be made ahead of time.

BBQ Pulled Chicken Nachos

Transforming leftovers into something my family can get excited about is a bit of a challenge, but it CAN be done quickly and tastefully by turning  them into a delicious appetizer! I used shredded barbecue chicken, grabbed a bag of tortilla chips and smothered it all in pickled jalapeños, black olives and melty cheese! Dinner is done, clean up is easy & all family members are happy!

My family already loves roasted cauliflower florets with just a sprinkling of sea salt. So I thought I would make a meal of it by turning it into a soup instead! There is very little cream despite the smooth, hearty texture. 

This soup is loaded with flavor from the onions and garlic, plus the cheesy topping!  I prefer to use pancetta instead of bacon; the flavor is a little smokier and the texture is less chewy. It's the perfect warm & comforting meal for those damp, early-spring evenings!

I lovingly refer to this dish as the "pantry pasta" because it's really just a delicious mix of whatever I have on hand! It's incredibly versatile and the unlikely combination of flavors will surprisingly become a regular addition to your monthly meal plan!

 The whole point of crock pot cooking is "fix it and forget it", and I wanted to apply that method of simplicity to a Thanksgiving-worthy turkey dinner.  The preparation takes only 10 minutes and the intoxicating aroma makes the 4 hour wait WORTH it! 

It's a few days after Thanksgiving and we are stuffed from overindulging during holiday festivities.  There are still leftovers in the refrigerator but the dry turkey sandwiches just aren't cutting it anymore.  Any of this sounding familiar?  I found the best way to use up any leftover roasted turkey or rotisserie chicken is by using it in a soup!

As soon as the weather starts to get chilly, I immediately start thinking of soups and stews to fill our weekday menu.  This is a classic Italian soup, easy to make with most ingredients you have on hand, including fresh thyme and pancetta. 

Honest to goodness, this soup tastes just like the "Zuppa Toscana" from Olive Garden.  It's not heavy or thick like a cream soup normally is since it's mostly broth based.  The cream is added just before serving, giving it a silken texture.  Big chunks of crumbled Italian sausage and diced white potatoes make this meal hearty enough to stand on its own but the kale adds a slightly crunchy texture.