Macaroni Cheeseburger

1 lb lean hamburger meat
1 pkg taco seasoning
1 can Rotel tomatoes and green chilies (or petite diced tomatoes)
2 cups beef broth (or water)
1 cup elbow macaroni
Brown and drain hamburger meat. Stir in taco seasoning, Rotel, beef broth, and macaroni. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat and cover pan. Simmer 12-14 mins until macaroni is tender.
Meanwhile, make the cheese sauce….
2 Tablespoons butter
2 tbsp flour
3/4 cup milk
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
Melt the butter in a saucepan. Whisk in the flour and cook, whisking for 5 minutes until fragrant and light brown in color. Whisk in the milk and bring to a boil. Whisk until smooth and thickened. Remove from heat and stir in the shredded cheddar cheese until melted. Add the salt and pepper to the cheese sauce. Pour the cheese sauce over the hamburger mixture. Stir gently to combine.

Eggplant,tomatoes and Appetizers


1 eggplant
2-3 tbs olive oil
2-3 tomatoes, sliced
½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
4 tbs mayonnaise
2 garlic cloves, crushed
Fresh herbs to garnish (dill, basil, oregano, thyme, etc)
Salt and pepper

Special food

2 jalapeno peppers, washed, cored, seeded, and finely chopped
3 avocados
1 medium yellow onion
2 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, preferably dry roasted
1/2 habanero chili, washed, cored, seeded, and finely chopped
2 tomatoes (or an assortment of smaller ones – because it adds variety)

Potato Tart

2 pie crusts (homemade or store bought)
2 C mashed potatoes, warmed up
3/4 C sour cream
3/4 C sautéed onions
6 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
1 C shredded cheddar cheese
salt and pepper
1 green onion, green parts only, chopped

Pizza in the early morning

Breakfast Pizza
Adapted, barely, from The Big Sur Bakery Cookbook via an earlier version of it

Makes 2 (12-inch) pizzas

When I asked what I would change about this when I make it again, I drew a blank. I actually like it that much the way it is. Nevertheless, the bacon could of course be omitted if you’re bacon-averse, countless toppings could be added from spinach to mushrooms or sausage, you could swap some or all of the mozzarella for goat cheese and you could swap out some of the flour in the crust for whole wheat flour. Although the recipe as is makes two large pizzas, I think it would be fun to make six smaller ones with one egg each in the center — plus, friends could choose their own toppings. So “drew a blank” = okay, I have a few ideas. But I’m pretty sure I’ll be making this exactly as written next time.

fruits Apple Roses

1 puff pastry sheet
3 apples
5 TBSP sugar or splenda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 pinch nutmeg
1 teaspoon lemon zest
4 cups water
3 TBSP sugar
2 TBSP lemon juice

Stuffed Chocolate & Chip Cookies


2 cookie dough rolls at room temperature (32 oz each…I used Toll House)
8 graham cracker squares, broken into halves
4 marshmallows, snipped in half lengthwise
1 full-size Hershey’s bar, divided between each of the prospective cookies

How To Make Cherry Cheese cake

12 whole Graham Crackers (the 4-section Rectangles)
2 packages 8 Ounce Cream Cheese
1 can Sweetened, Condensed Milk
1 can Cherry Pie Filling
1/4 cup Slivered Almonds
Preparation Instructions

Put the graham crackers into a ziplock bag and smash them with a rolling pin until they're fine crumbs.
Spoon graham cracker crumbs into the bottom of mini wine glasses.
Add cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk to bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and whip them together until fluffy.
Fill a pastry bag or zipper bag with the filing. Snip off the end and pipe a big helping over the crumbs in each of the glasses.

Top with a big spoonful of cherry pie filling.

Top with chopped almond flakes.
(Note: Mix 2 tablespoons melted butter into the crumbs if you'd like them to be a little more moist.)
(Use whatever kind of pie filling you'd like!)
(Note: 1 package of cream cheese makes for a more pudding-like texture; 2 packages makes for a thicker texture.)



1 (2 1/2- to 3-pound) boneless pork shoulder
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup blackberry jam (See Kelly's Notes)
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
1/2 cup chicken broth
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup diced onion
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1 recipe Asian Slaw or store-bought coleslaw
12 slider-sized buns or rolls

Cilantro Chicken in minutes

Mince the garlic, snip the cilantro and zest a lime.  Juice the lime carcass along with two more limes.  Cut a lime into wedges and slice and avocado for the table.
Cut the chicken into chunks.  You can skip this and cook them whole but chunks cook faster.
Pour a little olive oil into a large skillet or saute pan, just enough to not quite cover the bottom.  Heat it over medium high heat until it’s very hot, almost smoking.  Add the chicken and let it cook undisturbed.
Once the chicken is browned nicely on the bottom and will easily let go of the pan, sprinkle it generously with cumin and chili powder or pepper.  Let it cook another minute or two, until the white line has moved about halfway through the pieces.

Baked Brie with Tomatoes

2 (8 oz) packages Brie cheese
2 tsp fresh garlic, minced
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves, stripped from strips
1 cup sun dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained well & chopped
1/2 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
French bread crostini or crackers

Spaghetti with Shrimp in a Creamy Tomato Sauce

1. Put the tomatoes, onion, chili flakes, basil, garlic and butter in a heavy pan , season with pepper.
2. Add the wine and cook until mixture is soft and most of the wine has evaporated. You will have about 1/4 cup liquid remaining.
3. Peel shrimp and dry on paper towels. Lightly season shrimp with salt and pepper and saute in 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium/high heat, just until cooked through, about 3 minutes. Set aside.
4. Cook pasta in salted water with 1 tablespoon olive oil, according to the package instructions until al dente (tender but firm to the bit). Rinse, Drain and set aside.
Putting it all together

Bread with Tomato a Special Way

Once you’ve let it hang for 10-18 hours, scrape the dough out on your floured counter. Wet your hands and fold the dough over a couple of times to shape it into a flattened ball. Wet hands prevents the dough from sticking to your hands.

Set the dough ball seam side down, tuck the edges and seams under.
Brush dough with olive oil, cover loosely and let rise for 1-2 hours. So hey, that red towel? Bad idea. Even though I dusted with flour, it still stuck.
Divide the dough into 4 equal parts.

HOW To Make Creamy Vegan Scalloped Potatoes

So, here we are today with a pile of potatoes and a recipe that will show you how to make a rich and comforting recipe without the greasy toppings.  No cheese, no butter, no bacon.  

On the upside, we're combining simple ingredients with big flavor to make a crowd pleasing dish that can fit almost anyone's diet.
It's a new take on scalloped potatoes using butternut squash and cashews to create a luscious cream sauce that is infused with onion, garlic, sage, and thyme.
I mean, what could go wrong with those ingredients?  I knew it would at least be edible.
See?  Luscious.

How To Cook Salsa Chicken Casserole

1 cup uncooked rice $0.33
1 cup frozen corn kernels (thawed) $0.52
1 (15 oz.) can black beans $1.39
1 (16 oz.) jar salsa $1.99
1 cup chicken broth $0.15
½ Tbsp chili powder $0.10
½ tsp oregano $0.03
2 large (1.5 lbs.) chicken breasts $2.99
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese $0.94
2 whole green onions, sliced $0.17

How to Cook Chicken Soup

2 tsp olive oil
1/2 cup onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups low sodium fat-free chicken broth
8 oz can tomato sauce
1-2 tsp chipotle chili in adobo sauce (or more to taste)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro (plus more for garnish)
15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
14.5 oz can petite diced tomatoes
2 cups frozen corn
1 tsp cumin

How To Cook Shrimp with pasta

Melt a bit of butter in a large Dutch oven pan over medium/high heat and
saute the shrimp.
The shrimp is already cooked, so you're only heating it through.
Takes only a few minutes.
The shrimp shrinks and loses a lot of water.
Drain the shrimp and return it to the pan.
Add a spoonful of minced garlic and saute for about a minute.

Bread stuffed

Plain Flour - 1.5 cups
Warm Water- 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp
Yeast - 1/2 tbsp
Salt - tsp
Sugar - tbsp
Olive Oil - 1 tbsp + 1 tsp
For Garlic Spread: 
Plain Flour - 1.5 cups
Warm Water- 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp
Yeast - 1/2 tbsp
Salt - tsp
Sugar - 1 tbsp
Olive Oil - 1 tbsp + 1 tsp
directions :

How to Cook Pasta with Pesto Cream Sauce

Basil! Basil! Who wants some basil?
Throw the basil into a food processor or blender.
Grate up some Parmesan…
And throw it in, too.
Then grab some pine nuts…
And throw some in. You can toast them in a skillet first, if you’re motivated, have the the time, and can’t eat


The Cast of Characters: Small Russet potatoes, carrots, celery, onions, milk, flour (not pictured, because I’m an airhead), heavy cream, salt, pepper (not pictured, for the same aforementioned reason), Cajun spice (ditto), parsley, and thin bacon. The sour cream is optional, as is the cheese, which is obscured by the potatoes.

Start by slicing the bacon into small pieces…

Natural Potatoes So Good

Begin by bringing a pot of salted water to a boil.

Add in as many potatoes as you wish to make, and cook them until they’re fork-tender. And yes, I realize my pot is a little full, but listen: my boys filled my large dutch oven with a combination of dog food, potting soil, and gravel yesterday, and then they placed it on top of our garage. I have to learn to make do around here.
Oh! And I’d like to officially announce that as a result of my boys’ repeated attempts to dig to China, I no longer have any spoons in my kitchen. You heard me. Send spoons ASAP, please. We have cereal to eat.

Chocolate Caramel with Tarts

To make these Chocolate Caramel Tarts, this is what you do:

In the bowl of a food processor combine the flour, cocoa powder, powdered sugar and salt. Pulse until it is well combined.
Add the butter and shortening and pulse until you have dough. Turn it out onto wax paper, forma disc and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and prepare a 8 4” tart pans or 1 10” round tart pan with baking spray (I used spray coconut oil).



8 slices bacon, chopped
4 pounds boneless beef chuck, cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
2 1/2 cups diced onions
2 red bell peppers, diced
8 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 bay leaf
2 (28-oz) cans diced tomatoes in liquid
2 Tablespoons chopped canned chipotle chiles in adobo
2 (15-ounce) cans kidney beans, rinsed and drained
Assorted toppings, such as shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream and scallions

Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookie Pie


Pie Crust (makes enough for 3 5-inch pie crusts or 2 9-inch pie crusts
2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shortening, cut into cubes and well-chilled
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes and well-chilled
4 to 6 Tablespoons cold water

Pie Filling

1/2 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup pecans, chopped
1 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), melted and cooled
1 teaspoon McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract
2 eggs, beaten



3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 cup diced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh black pepper
3 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
1 cup shredded cheddar or Mexican blend cheese
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
12 (6-inch) corn tortillas (See Kelly's Notes)
Homemade guacamole, for serving
Homemade salsa, for serving


1 pound bulk ground breakfast sausage (See Kelly's Notes)
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter, plus more for greasing pan
1 cup diced onion
8 large eggs
2 1/2 cups whole or non-fat milk
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
10 asparagus spears, ends discarded and spears cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 pound white, whole wheat or French bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 7 cups)


For crumb topping:
4 Tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
2 cups Panko Japanese bread crumbs
3 Tablespoons chopped fresh chives

For pasta and sauce:
1 head garlic
Olive oil
1 pound uncooked pasta (such as cavatappi, shells or rigatoni)
1 stick (8 Tablespoons) unsalted butter
6 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
5 cups whole milk
5 1/2 cups coarsely shredded cheddar cheese (white, yellow or a mix of both)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper


Any Weird Al fans out there remember his song “Lasagna,” that parodied “La Bamba?” I get that song stuck in my head whenever I make lasagna. Such is life when you’re a giant nerd, but there’s worse things in the world.
Moving on. This lasagna is not only vegan, but gluten free and low fat and just generally smug about how nutritious it is. Instead of ricotta cheese it has a tofu and cauliflower blend, and instead of noodles it has strips of eggplant and zucchini. After writing that I realize that to many people those substitutions probably sound sort of awful, but you’re just going to have to take my word for it that this actually does taste like a nice hearty lasagna. Or make the recipe and report back that I’m crazy, whichever you prefer.
It does take a little while to make (maybe about 1 1/2 hours total, including 45 minutes cooking time) but that’s pretty much par for the course with any lasagna. I actually felt like this came together faster than most lasagnas I’ve made, vegan or not. It makes enough to fill an 8″x8″ pan pretty full, so that’s about 4-6 servings depending on how Garfield-like you’re feeling.


Roasting your own nuts is incredibly easy and gives you the freedom to customize them with your favorite flavors. The brown sugar in my recipe caramelizes the nuts while the cayenne pepper adds a little heat to this protein-packed appetizer. Serve the nuts during a cocktail hour or take a small bag of them with you wherever you go for a quick healthy snack.


It wouldn’t be Cinco de Mayo season without a shout-out to good ol’ guacamole. Chunky, smooth, spicy, tangy—I don’t discriminate when it comes time to guac out. And while I’m all for a classic guacamole recipe, I’ve discovered a fruity mix-in that adds a burst of flavor and color to the creamy dip. Enter pomegranate seeds … and their notoriously difficult extraction from the pith that binds them.

I figure you can go one of two ways when it comes to seeding pomegranates:


Gingerbread houses may have met their match last week in the form of Christmas Tree Cupcakes, but with just six days left until ol’ Saint Nick monopolizes the nation’s cookie supply, it’s time for gingerbread to have its moment in the dessert spotlight. Traditional holiday flavors take on a new shape in this kicked up Chocolate Gingerbread Bundt Cake drizzled with vanilla glaze.

We’re all about tradition at my family’s Christmas table, which means age-old favorites like 24-Hour Salad and Veggie Bars—two recipes that have been in my family for more than 50 years—will make their standard appearances. But this year the dessert table is getting a welcome makeover with a pop of color provided by Homemade Holiday Lollipops and a punch of flavor from this deeply rich cake. In the words of Sir (Stand) Mix(er)-a-Lot, I like big bundts, and I cannot lie.


2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 cups cheddar crackers, such as Cheez-Its or Cheese Nips
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 1/4 pounds uncooked chicken tenders
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 cup all-purpose flour


1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup sour cream
1 Tablespoon plus 1/4 cup sugar, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
6 (8-inch) soft flour tortillas
1 3/4 cups sliced strawberries, divided
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
Vegetable oil, for frying
Equipment: toothpicks; deep-fry thermometer


I’m gearing up for the start of my second semester of grad school, and with the pressures of the first draft of my master’s project due in less than a week I’ve resorted to one pot cooking for the night. A simple fried rice dinner is my go-to on days when I’m left feeling drained by school or work. And much like salads, fried rice leaves the door wide open for customization. I’ve used my favorite veggies in this recipe, but other delicious additions could include bell peppers, broccoli or eggplant.


Crackjerack Shrimp and I go way back. Back to the awkward days of high school, when braces and retainers ruled the campus quad and lacrosse practices seeped into dinnertime hours. But when the final whistle did blow, I’d race home, eager and ready to devour whatever my mom had been cooking up in our kitchen.


When I make fried rice, it turns out one of two ways:

1. It’s a gastronomic homerun that makes the most of leftover odds and ends while resulting in a dish worthy of multiple servings, rave reviews and a call home to Mom.


I used a mandoline for the first time when I was in culinary school. The thing scared the bejeezus out of me. Something about gliding clunky foods across a slippery surface and onto a razor-sharp blade just didn’t register as “safe” in my mind. But a few homemade coleslaws, potato chips and cucumber salads later, and I had traded fear for fascination. How could such a tiny, non-electronic gadget produce such perfect slices and slivers and juliennes and … noodles?


2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temp
1/4 cup cream cheese, at room temp
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips


We’re t-minus 24 hours away from the feast to end all feasts. Whether your menu is already set, or you’re making a few last-minute additions, one thing is certain: You will have leftovers this Thanksgiving.

Chances are those leftovers will center on the big bird and the starchiest side. So if you’re staring down a mountain of leftover turkey, look no further than my recipe for Leftover Turkey Pot Pie with Cheddar Biscuit Crust. And if you find yourself with a surplus of spuds, this recipe for Cheesy Leftover Mashed Potato Pancakes is your quick and easy alternative to simply rewarming the extras.

What’s not to love about hot, crispy potato pancakes topped with tangy sour cream? Consider this post-Thanksgiving indulgence your necessary fuel for Black Friday festivities.

Veggie,California Chicken, Avocado and Rice Bowls

This is so typical.

Typical Monday night Gerard food.
And when I say Gerard I mean Creighton, Trevor, Brendan, me, Malachi, Red, Asher, Mom and Dad. The other Gerards out there in Ohio? Yeah, I have no idea what their typical is.

This meal is our staple meal.
Chicken and white rice.

The veggies have only been added recently and same goes for the avocado. If it were not for me cooking, my family would eat this every single night of the week.
Except their meal really would only be grilled chicken and rice.
You guys, they are so boring.


Ah, gnocchi. How I love to eat you, but oh how I loathe to make you. You see, making gnocchi is not for the culinary faint of heart. You need to be in it to win it. Have your eyes on the prize. Be ready to go big and not go home.

I want to make sure I set expectations: This is not a recipe to attempt on a busy weeknight while your ravenous self balances a glass of Pinot Grigio in one hand and a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos in the other. So if you’re looking to throw together a super-quick and incredibly tasty meal, head on over to my 30-Minute Mongolian Beef. And for all those who are inspired to join the legions of gnocchi warriors, read on …

Korean Potato Pancakes

3/4 cup meat (bacon/tuna/crabsticks)
1 cup mixture of finely-cut veg such as carrots/chives/spring oions/bell peps/long beans/zucchini etc
2/3 cup onion, chopped finely
2 medium-sized potatoes (about 400 gm unpeeled), grated finely
1 red chili, thinly sliced
1/2 cup plain flour (or Korean pancake flour, which makes lighter & crispier pancakes)
2 large eggs
1/8 t salt (or to taste but remember the dip is salty) 
pinch of white or black pepper
Choganjang dip : 3 t light soy sauce and 1 t white rice vinegar but I like to substitute 1 teaspoon of the light soy sauce with dark soy sauce (Lee Kum Kee's) for a slightly sweetish taste. 

Chicken in a special way

And I don’t even have an excuse. So embarrassing! One minute I was craving tacos (shhhhocker) and the next I was stuffing two French breads with this spicy chicken taco mixture with cheese and beans and chipotle peppers. And then I started twisting it up all like some harebrained villain on the loose in the wild wild west, and then before I knew it into the oven it went with a silky egg wash and crushed Mexican oregano on top and OH.


Because super light chicken salad lettuce cups make total sense in December?

Starting now, they do.

Look, man, when the tidal wave of your soul current comes together with the nor’easter of your blood stream and it passes through the moon beam of your heart strings thus producing an internal hurricane of bloody frickin’ fervor and desire, you obey.

And I had a baby shower to cook for so. . .

But the more I thought about it (and no it didn’t hurt at all THANKS FOR ASKING), how perfect are these little cuppies for winter lunches? I guess it’s technically still fall. Hold on I’m gonna go look real quick to see when winter starts. Hold on.

Beef and Barley Soup

I am such a fan of breaking out my crock pot.  There’s something so comforting and special about a slow cooked meal.
I developed this beef and barley soup last week and can’t say enough about it.  It’s hearty and stick to your ribs delicious.  No worries if your husband or significant other says they don’t like soup for dinner, because this one has got all kinds of fabulous satisfying ingredients inside.
You’ll want to prepare for a little prep work for this one.   You’ll need to chop lots of gorgeous vegetables, however it’s all worth it, trust me :)
Let’s take a look at the process.

How to cook Sweet Potato and Black Bean

Before we get into the heart of today’s post, I need to whet your appetite. You do not want to miss today’s recipe. It comes from my sister-in-law Cora and is amazing. Appetite whetted? Good.

Way back in the day, I was an International Relations major at Boston University, with a focus on developing countries. When I met the folks at ONE about a year ago, I was super excited to get involved and help support their work, especially since one of their main focuses is world hunger. My food blogging and international relations lives were coming together in a very cool way. The folks at ONE have been amazing to work with, too. Win, win, win!

Garlic Cheese Bread

I used to love eating “cheap grocery store garlic French bread.”  You know, the kind that is slathered in bright yellow margarine, overly seasoned with garlic salt, and sprinkled with dried parsley leaves?!  Typically, these loaves of garlic bread are packaged in some type of foil bag and you bake it at home.  All I know is this… there is a time and place for this type of bread.   For me, I haven’t eaten this type of garlic bread in years.   I guess I stopped eating it when I stopped attending community dinners which served this type of bread along with spaghetti, and an iceberg lettuce salad covered in ranch.  Those were the days.


I've been waiting 300.000 entire seconds to show you this.


But first: what did you think of the season premiere of New Girl? I give it a B. I mean I LIKED it, but I wasn’t howling and licking the screen like usual. Don’t wooooorry, I Windex the screen before licking it, you guyyyyys. (<— no z. Am I growing up? This is sad.)

And The Mindy Project? Did you watch? I give it a B, too. She needs to grow her hair out. And be with Danny. The end.


I really want to act out the famous scene in Lady and the Tramp with this pasta right now.
Except I don’t want to share, so I’d look pretty dumb sucking up strands of linguine into my face with a look of “oh my! how did that happ–?!” with no one on the other side.
But let’s be honest here, we both know I’d totally act out that scene by myself. In the bathroom. At midnight.

This pasta has super powers. No, seriously. Did you know kale is like one of top anti-aging foods EVAR? Yeppers. And tomatoes are filled with some healthy agent that I can’t pronounce, so that’s a new year’s bonus for ya. After I finished this plate I looked in the mirror and I found a 17-year old staring right back at me!

Romanian Cauliflower in Tomato Sauce

Romanian Cauliflower in Tomato Sauce:
Ok, I need to start out by saying that this dish isn't really a "wow" dish.... unless you love cauliflower:). But it's a typical Romanian dish that's made with minimal ingredients and quite simple to prepare. This dish was often made in our home when I was growing up.
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