10 Favorite Foods 

Yes 10 may sound like a lot. But I’m going to have to work to narrow it down to 10 my dears. This girl likes her food! 

1. Mashed Potatoes

http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/perfect_mashed_potatoes/

  
2. Mac & Cheese – lobster makes it extra special! 

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/lobster-mac-cheese-recipe.html

  
3. Italian Wedding Soup 

http://www.food.com/recipe/italian-wedding-soup-14061

  
4. Tiramisu 

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/tiramisu-recipe.html

  
5. Spaghetti 

http://www.food.com/recipe/jo-mamas-world-famous-spaghetti-22782

  
6. Gyro 

http://www.browneyedbaker.com/greek-gyro-recipe/?m

  
7. Kielbasa hash

Kielbasa, Peppers, and Potato Hash

  
8. Steak 

http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/butter-basted-rib-eye-steaks

  
9. Shrimp & Grits 

http://www.marthastewart.com/319329/south-carolina-shrimp-and-grits

  
10. Whooper with Cheese extra pickle and no onion 

http://www.bk.com

  
And now I’m hungry!

Mangia my loves!

Becky 

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A new twist on bacon 

Let’s be honest. If you like bacon, bacon never gets boring. It doesn’t need anything to make it better. However, sometimes we like to shake things up. And that is just what we did. My fiancé had a grand idea and well we loved it and now I’m sharing it with you. So for this Try-it Tuesday, it’s something for you to try. Rubbed Bacon! 

You want to start off with the bacon that you normally like. We prefer thick cut bacon. 

  
Then you need to select your rub.   

As you can see we like rub in this house. And the little baby on the left end is the house blend rub. The recipe is under lock and key! But select a rub that you like and if you enjoy it on porkchops you will like it on bacon. Trust me! Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. 

  
Next I put the bacon out in the pan. I like to cook my bacon in the oven. It’s the least amount of work for the best flavor and there’s no chance of me getting burned with popping grease. So win! 

 
Of course I used our house blend and you can see I’m just sprinkling it all over.   
 Here is how your bacon will cook. Nicely covered with the rub of your choice. Put the pan in the 400 degree oven for approximately 20-30 minutes. I have a hard time saying exact time because I watch mine closely and when I start to smell it I know it’s getting close. And of course depending on how crispy you like your bacon makes a difference in the time. 

  
The finished bacon smells amazing. You will want to remove from the pan asap and put on a plate with papertowels to soak up the grease. You can make cleanup easier by putting tinfoil in the bottom of the pan. I was lazy this morning and didn’t do that. 

   
 Lastly serve with your favorite breakfast treats. Over the long New Year holiday weekend we had breakfast every morning and it was so lovely. I love being able to make a good meal for my family. 

Until next time! Mangia! 

Becky 
 

Try It Tuesday Take 1

Continuing with the theme of having daily themed posts, this is Try-It Tuesday. Here I will talk about different recipes and or crafts that I have tried or things that might be a little bit different that I would like you to try. Today is one that I want you to try. Pumpkin chili

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I realize this sounds strange. But I assure you this is very yummy! It is award Winning! I won the People’s Choice Award at my company last year at our Chili Cook-Off. So exciting.

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Here is a little shot of my set-up. Presentation was part of the contest so I had to make sure that I had it just right!

I made another batch the other night with a little extra beef and oh it was so good!

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You can have this like a regular chili with a little sour cream and some fritos or just as it is. I am going to list you the recipe as it appears where I found it at Allrecipes.com. However, I’m going to recommend that you add a little extra chili powder. I don’t like it too spicy but this can use a little extra heat as it is kinda sweet. The pumpkin is definitely present but it isn’t overwhelming and is definitely not out of place.

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Trust me that was a good bite!

pumpkin chili recipe

Ingredient:

2 pounds of ground beef

1 large onion, diced

1 green bell pepper, diced

2 (15 ounce) cans kidney beans, drained

1 (46 ounce) can tomato juice

1 (28 ounce) can peeled and diced tomatoes with juice

1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree (I use a whole can)

1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice

1 tablespoon chili powder (I prefer 2 tablespoons to 1)

1/4 cup white sugar

Directions:

In a large pot over medium heat, cook beef until brown; drain. Stir in onion and bell pepper and cook 5 minutes. Stir in beans, tomato juice, diced tomatoes and pumpkin puree. Season with pumpkin pie spice, chili powder and sugar. Simmer 1 hour.

Give this a try and maybe you can win a contest too!

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Pork multi ways

When we smoke pork it is an event. There is a large amount of pork butt that is created. Here is a sample. 

  
So when you have this much pork there are only so many plates of bbq or pulled pork sandwiches that you can eat. And thus you have to become creative! 

First up is this little concoction. 

  
Potatoes, pork, chili, cheese and sour cream. We shall call you Bbq kitchen sink. Very yummy indeed and the smoked pork made for a nice change from what could have just been bacon for a loaded potato. 

Boil potatoes (chunked) 

Top with chili 

Top that with pulled pork 

Top that with cheese 

Top that with sour cream 

Next:

  
This is bbq frito pie 

Make a layer of Fritos 

Top with bbq pulled pork 

Top with cheese 

Heat until cheese is melted 

Take 2 tablespoons of sour cream and one tablespoon of bbq sauce. Mix together and put on top of dish. So good! 

Next: Siracha Style 

  
My son makes ramen noodles with fried eggs. It tastes very similar to fried rice. He decided to add some pork and top that with Siracha sauce. He loved it. I did not get to try this dish but it’s Asian flair inspired this: 

  
Spicy Peanut Pork and Noodles 

This was my take on a spicy pork dish. I started with some cabbage. 1/2 a head to be exact. 

  
Into the giant skillet it goes with 3-4 tablespoons of butter and 3 tablespoons of water. Cook it down over medium heat. 

  
It tastes so buttery and good I could have stopped here. But keep going. It’s time to start the peanut sauce. Get a sauce pan and add crunchy peanut butter I think it was about 3/4 of a cup. 

   
 Next you need some Worcestershire  just a splash 

  
Next up balsamic vinegar. Again just a splash. Maybe 1 tablespoon. 

  
Now for some sweet, a tablespoon of honey 

  
And now it’s looking good getting warmed up and mixed together now for the heat. 

A sprinkle of red pepper flakes adds that backend heat that is just right for this dish. 

  
Let the sauce cook on low heat while you stir. Now it’s time to add some pork to the cabbage 

  
The pork is already cooked so it’s warming through and finishing the cabbage. 

  
The sauce turns a beautiful caramel color. We want to add it to the pork and cabbage mixture. 

  
And for the finishing touch rice or noodles of your choice. We had gluten free spaghetti on hand so I went with those. 

  
It was a great treat. My guys both loved it. It will be my lunch today as well. This is just one post about how we make leftovers last and be more interesting. Do you have any special tricks for leftovers? 

Until next time familia, 

Mangia

Becky 

To Gluten or Not to Gluten that is the question! 

Oh pasta I adore you. I should have been born into an Italian family that has pasta for every dinner. I would have been a million pounds heavier but oh the joy that pasta brings! Alas sadly I was not born into that family and I have as of late developed a gluten intolerance that makes eating something I actually have to think about. This weekend I had a super hankering for some spaghetti. 

  
Yep that’s how we do spaghetti. Basil angel hair pasta. Red meat sauce with green and red peppers, squash, zucchini, garlic for days and red pepper flakes that add the perfect kick! 

I will tell you adding some veggies to the sauce just really sets it off and makes it feel like a meal. Now you will note this is not gluten free which is why sadly I didn’t eat it! Here is my pasta. 

  
Barilla Rotini Gluten Free!!!! And let me tell you friends you could not tell the difference.Barilla has taken gluten free pasta seriously and made something that is so good. I am excited there are leftovers.  

Barilla Gluten Free
Now I have not been compensated in anyway by Barilla I am simply a huge fan and very excited they have made a product that allows me to enjoy one of my favorite meals with my family and not suffer for it later. 

  
I might need to get another large pasta serving bowl. Don’t you just love this white set? It’s one of my favorite things. I can’t explain how much I love using it! 

Well until next time familia, 

Mangia 

Becky 

When good plans go bad…

So we have a green pepper plant. And we grew this: 

  
I made grand plans for a date night meal using the pepper and pork steaks which are my favorite. I started off with the pepper and some onion. 

  
I was planning to sauté them and then make a brown butter sauce to top grilled pork steaks. 

   
 So what happens when the grill breaks and then you burn the sautéed veggies? 

   
 Yes that’s right. Margaritas and super nachos!   

  
And my honey didn’t mind either! 

So sometimes yes when everything goes wrong and you get frustrated you have a choice. Bowl of cereal or mexican food and margaritas. I will 9 out of 10 times choose margaritas! What’s your go to when meal plans don’t work out? 

Mangia, 

Becky 

 

Better than Boring 

Salads can be boring; chicken can be boring. Together if done right they can be AWESOME! Caprese salad is one of my favorites. I’m not a huge fan of tomatoes but mixed with some spice and some mozzarella cheese. What’s not to love? So I started this special dish with some tomatoes. 

  
Next I cubed up some mozzarella!

   
 Already looking yummy! Next I took some chicken thighs that I baked a few days before. I will share that super simple yummy recipe with you soon! But if you want to duplicate take your favorite leftover chicken or a sliced up rotisserie. 

  
I added the chicken to the cheese and tomatoes. Totally forgot to take a pic sorry! Then I put it in the microwave for two minutes. And this awesomeness came out! 

  
Oh my creamy cheese! Mozzarella is my favorite favorite cheese and it always will be! 

I added this incredible smelling mixture to some regular salad. No dressing yet! What dressing should I use to compliment these flavors? Well balsamic vinagrette of course! Except instead of regular olive oil I used Tuscan herb infused olive oil. And let me tell you when you forgot the fresh basil for your caprese salad at home. This definitely makes up for the mixing herb. And as you will see below photographing oil is hard and it doesn’t look pretty but well that’s what vinagrette is, so it’s honesty if not beauty! Lol! 

  
For a final healthy addition I added a side of fruit. So yummy and fairly healthy probably more cheese then I should have but I’ll admit I’m slightly addicted and don’t feel bad about that! 

  
Until next time familia, 

Mangia