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favorite broiled brown sugar salmon

We’ve got a new staple around here and it’s not what you’d expect. We’re newly obsessed with broiled brown sugar salmon and I’m pretty sure we could eat it, like, 4 times a week. I know, I know. Not that obsessed but close. The best part: its easy and quick!


Here’s whatcha do:

Gather a 2 pound salmon filet (skin on or off, doesn’t matter), 1/4 cup brown sugar, and 1/2 tsp each of paprika, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes.

Then you’re gonna heat your broiler to high and move the oven rack to the highest position it’ll go. Mix the brown sugar and spices and rub it onto your salmon. Place the filet onto a baking sheet and broil for 5-7 minutes. *If your salmon is thick (more than, say, an inch at the thickest part) you may want to move it down a bit lower after 6 minutes and continue broiling for 3 or 4 more.

Now, what are you waiting for?! Eat!


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easy gluten free key lime “pie”

Pretty tasty, but very rich and dense. And just about the easiest dessert ever. Instead of using a graham cracker crust I lined a baking pan with a box of GF S’moreables. Have you had these?! They’re ah-mazing. Anyway, on top of those I poured a mixture of:
3 cups sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup sour cream
3/4 cup key lime juice
and the zest from 2 limes
I baked it for about 10 minutes at 350 and then chilled in the refrigerator until we were ready to eat it. I highly recommend whipped cream or cool whip to balance it out a bit. Seriously, just make it tonight. You won’t regret it.
Baby Shower!, crafty, recipe box

Jungle Cookies

IMG_1059 I made two different types of jungle cookie prize jars for my friend’s baby shower last weekend. They were easier to fill, more fun to decorate, and way cuter in the end than I’d anticipated. They were a great hit, too! Since everyone who won one has asked for the recipes, I’ve decided to share ’em. ;)


Each of the cookie jars  with a 8-10 minute bake time had:

1 and 1/8 cup all purpose flour

1/2 cup rolled oats (these are the best ever)

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

1/3 cup white sugar

1/2 tsp each: baking soda and salt

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup white chocolate chips

1/2 cup pecans


Each of the cookie jars with an 11-13 minute bake time had:

1 and 1/3 cup all purpose flour

1 and 1/3 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup white sugar

1 tsp each: baking powder and baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1/4-1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


I had some cute labels printed from the fronts of the jars along with matching scallop tags.  I tied fun fabrics overlaid with tulle for added shimmer and sparkle around the tops with the scallop tags attached. Then, with a hot glue gun, I adhered fluffy, flowery tulle ribbon around the edge in alternating fushia and lilac.


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what i like to call ‘Glorified (chicken!) Tortilla Soup’

IMG_1010 IMG_1012

Most of the time it doesn’t have actual chicken in it and there have never been tortillas. But whateves’ the name seems fitting in my mind. We’re pretty much eating this every night around here for, like, a month and a half now. It’s. that. good. Here’s what you do:

1. Chop up 2-3 celery stalks (really small) and 2-3 big peeled carrots.

2. Put them in a soup pot with a whole carton of chicken stock and a box of pasta noodles (we like these elbow noodles best but these are damn tasty too).*If you like your soup more soup-y, or you’re trying to save a little money, only add a half to three quarters of the noodles. If you’re feeling wild and crazy (and you happen to have a cut-up rotisserie chicken) you can add a little chicken meat too.

3. Turn the burner on high.

4. Add 1 tsp of ground pepper and 1/2tsp of each of the following: chili powder, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder. *If you’re sensitive to spice, cut the seasoning in half for a nice non-spicy flavor.

5. Once the soup begins to boil, reduce the temperature to medium and let it cook for, eh, 8-10 minutes-ish.

6. A minute or so before you’re going to serve up add a big serving spoon full of corn and navy beans.

7. Divide soup into bowls and *this is crucial* add a heaping spoonful of sour cream and a small handful of shredded cheese to each bowl.

8. Top with diced avocado.

9. Devour and enjoy.

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Nacho Fries: The Kind of Dinner You Secretly LOVE But Should Be Ashamed to Talk About

guilty dinner

But, I have no shame. It’s delicious. And easy.

And what it gives in generous embarrassment it makes up for with flavor.

Gluten free frozen fries from the grocery store or costco.

A can of corn kernels.

A can of rinsed black beans.

Some bacon pieces from the grocery store or costco.

Shredded cheese.

Fresh avocado if you’re lucky and they’re actually ripe!

Lots o’ dollops of sour cream.

And maybe some salsa.

Oh. My. Yum.

Plus, it’s the kind of guilty-pleasure meal you don’t bother to grab plates for.

Woo-hoo! Fewer dishes tonight.

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the perfect taco, with a quatemalan stamp of approval.

Lately, we’re in love with tacos over here. And we’ve perfected the taco over here.

The magnitude of awesomeness crammed into these crunchy little shells is no joke either. I’ve effectively addicted friends and co-workers to our taco concoction and it has received nothing but rave, rave reviews.

Thus, in the spirit of generosity, I’ll share our favorite dinner in four easy steps.


Step 1: Preheat your oven to 350. Cook the ground beef (or bison!). Chop and saute a half onion for each pound of meat. When the onion begins getting soft and fragrant, add the ground meat, 2 tbsp taco seasoning per lb, and a half cup of water per lb. Chop up the meat with your spatula so that it looks crumbly and let the meat simmer and brown stirring occasionally.


Step 2: Put your BLUE CORN taco shells on a baking sheet and pop in the oven for about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, get your fixin’s ready: chopped tomatoes, avacados, some kind of lettuce or kale, shredded cheese, sour cream….


Step 3: Build your tacos. I like to fill a plate with shells, using two empty ones on the ends to hold the others up. Lather one side of each shell with sour cream and drizzle Harris Teeter Traders ‘Chipotle Ranch Dressing’ on the other side of the shell (i’m serious). Tuck a layer of shredded cheese into the nook of the shell, top with shredded kale (or lettuce)…


and a little more cheese…


and a spatula full of taco meat…


Then top with tomatoes and avocados.


Step 4: Try not to inhale tacos. Savor and enjoy.*

*Margaritas optional.

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Green Beans, Jalapeno Cornbread Stuffing, and Roasted Thanksgiving Turkey

We were so happy with how our Thanksgiving meal turned out. We were so stuffed from everything “special” we made, we never even cut into our baked yams. So, I thought I’d share the recipes we used.

First up: Green Beans with Caramelized Onions and Almonds from the Food Network.

We boiled about a pound or so of trimmed green beans in a high-sided skillet with a pinch of salt for about 5 minutes. When they were done, we ran ’em under some cold water and set them aside. Next, in the same skillet, we toasted about a third cup of slivered almonds on medium heat for a few minutes, maybe 5, stirring occasionally. Then we put a couple tablespoons of olive oil and butter into the skillet with a sweet onion (cut very, very thinly) along with a little salt and some pepper and cooked them for about 25 minutes stirring frequently. When the onions were well caramelized we added what looked like a tablespoon of thinly chopped fresh thyme and cooked the onions for a couple more minutes before mixing in the prepared beans and almonds.
They were awesome!

The biggest surprise of the night was the Gluten Free Jalapeno Cornbread Stuffing that I found {here}.

My version was *slightly* altered but mostly  the same as Jeanine Donofrio’s. For the cornbread I used Bob’s Red Mill blue cornmeal and just doubled up on the GF all-purpose flour instead of using almond flour. For the stuffing I used jalapenos and some peppers from our garden, raisins instead of currants, green onions instead of scallions, a can of drained corn, and didn’t fret too much about measurements for the veggies but rather estimated quantities by what looked about right. Again, it was awe.some. It certainly wasn’t a traditional herb stuffing but the slight spiciness of it complemented our turkey and beans really well while still standing out as a distinctive flavor on our plates.

Finally, the Roasted Thanksgiving Turkey (breast) from the Food Network’s recipe archive.

On Wednesday morning we brought a large pot of water to a boil and added a cup of apple juice, half a cup of salt, a cup of brown sugar, a couple cloves of minced garlic, three bay leaves, a couple tablespoons of black peppercorns, a tablespoon of dried rosemary, and one and a half chopped up peeled oranges. After bringing the mix to a boil we removed it from the heat, let it cool to room temperature, submerged our rinsed 8 lb turkey breast in the mixture (and added water to fully cover the breast), and put the covered pot into the fridge to “brine” for 24 hours.

Thursday afternoon we discarded the brine, rinsed the turkey, and let it soak for about 15 minutes in cold water before  wrapping it up in our dutch oven with foil over the top and cooking it in the oven at 275 for 80 minutes (10 minutes per pound). After pre-cooking the turkey we removed the foil, brushed the turkey thoroughly with a mixture of orange zest, melted butter, and finely cut rosemary from our garden and then roasted the turkey uncovered for about an hour and a half. Every thirty minutes we checked the internal temp of the bird till it reached 165 and basted it with melted butter.