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Bacon Feta Guacamole

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Oh yes, we're doing this today.  We're going there.  We're taking all of our favorite flavors and ingredients and we're putting them into one thing.  Yes siree...that's how we roll.

This recipe comes to you courtesy of this month's Secret Recipe Club match, I Am A Honey Bee.  Nicole is the brainchild behind this blog.  I think she and I would get along fine because:

1) she hates olives.  This product is the highest on the list of things I really dislike.  It's even higher than pickles and that's saying a lot.

2) she labels everything.  I had to laugh when she mentioned that she labels the kitchen cabinets.  I may or may not have labels on anything stored in a container in my pantry.  I mean, how else are we gonna know what's in there?

3) Nicole is the grammar police.  Yep, I'm guilty of this too.  Though I wouldn't say that I feel guilt when correcting grammar.  I think of it more as a service :)

So now that you know we're long lost sisters, I've got even more evidence for you in the form of this bacon feta guacamole.  Yup.  Keep breathing.  Guacamole and I have a thing.  It's a good thing and it's not going anywhere.  But anytime we can expand upon such a thing, maybe we should do that.  Adding bacon and feta allows you to take a few awesome things and combine them together, and clearly create another most awesome thing.  Thanks for this recipe Nicole!

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Zucchini Banana Bread

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Is it just me, or is anyone else drowning in overripe bananas?  I've resorted to freezing these bananas so I can use them another time.  The issue is that I tend to "freeze it and forget it".  My tipping point came last week when I went into the freezer to retrieve something and all I could find were containers of mashed bananas.  Seriously?  Perhaps it's time to do something about this.

So what are we about to make?  Banana bread of course!  I then realized I didn't want to make a regular banana bread.  There's nothing wrong with it, but if I can add all the things to my banana bread, then why wouldn't I?  Junk up all the things!  I decided that zucchini should be the addition.

Now, here's something shocking.  I managed to refrain from adding chocolate chips to this bread.  Say whaaa?  Right?  I'm shocked too, but I was really trying to step out of my comfort zone and let's be honest, my comfort zone is covered in chocolate.

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Pie Crust Pepperoni Calzone

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You guys don't know the struggle I had making this calzone.  Ugh!  I know I can be dramatic, but really though...

This particular day, I preheated the oven in preparation for baking.  I then got to work with my pie crust, which thought I had defrosted enough to use for this calzone.  However, it still wasn't pliable enough for me to fold over or even move around without breaking.  And break it did...  I tried for what feels like forever to make this work.  Guess what?  It wasn't working.  I only generated a pile of broken pie crust pieces.  Womp womp.

Never fear!  Living in Hoboken means I have a grocery store three blocks away, so I ran there to buy more pie crust (with a pit stop to get iced coffee, obviously!) and was back 15 minutes later.  As I walked back into my kitchen, I instantly realized that I had left the oven on.  I thought I had turned it off because I had pressed a button and the oven beeped at me.  That means it's off, right?  No!

Once I got over my annoyance at myself, I realized the pie crust which had offended me 15 minutes earlier was now at a perfect temperature to roll out and use for my calzone!  Soooo, I ended up using the original pie crust instead of the one that I had left my apartment to purchase.  Isn't cooking fun?  This is fun.  So. much. fun.

I had toyed with the idea of using regular pizza crust for this calzone and I'm really happy I stuck with the pie crust.  The calzone was flaky and completely delicious.  The only potential drawback is that you will need to use a knife and fork to eat this.  The pie crust just isn't substantial enough to hold the filling.  This is so delicious that I couldn't really care less!  Just make it yourself and see!

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Lemon Hummus

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The heat has arrived!  The heat has arrived!

Guess what, as I suspected, I love/hate it.  I love that it's so nice and warm.  BUT.  I didn't realize that my cute little 4th floor walk up with the skylight in the ceiling absolutely traps heat like none other.  So that's splendid.  I'm really trying to survive without A/C this summer.  I can make it, right?  Someone please say "yes".

So far, I've only broken down and gone to the neighborhood coffeeshop to bask in the air conditioning once.  OK, maybe twice.  I just really suck at making iced coffee and the two times I drank hot coffee in my apartment over the past week have left me dripping in sweat.  Not cute.  And how can I resist an iced Nutella latte.  Iced. Nutella. Latte.  It was fabulous.

This lemon hummus is almost as fabulous.  I really can't compare hummus to chocolate.  Chocolate will always win.  However, if you're really trying to be on top of your health game, then this lemon hummus is the shizzz.  Generously dip vegetables and/or pita and/or crackers into this fountain of citrus-y goodness (do you like that description?) and proceed to eat without caution.

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Summer Pumpkin Pizza

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I'm convinced if you add basil and arugula to a thing, it can become a "summer" thing.  So even though I totally took a fall/winter vegetable such as pumpkin and added it to my pizza, once I topped everything with greens...voila...instant summer food!  Heck, even if I'm outvoted, you can't deny that this is basically a "salad".

I'm a big proponent of eating what I want when I want it.  In this case, I couldn't get the idea of a pumpkin pizza out of my mind.  This pairing was prompted by a find of both pumpkin puree and pizza dough in my freezer.  Once I saw both of them, I immediately knew what I had to do.  I wasn't sure this would be seasonally appropriate meal, but in addition to adding greens to this pizza, I also threw on some corn and sweet peppers.  Come on.  You can't deny it now.  Get on board this summer pizza/salad train as fast as you can!

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Zucchini Hummus

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Friends!

The "Big Move" is done!  I mean, I do still have to do a few more things to organize.  I also have to finish putting up my wall art/pictures/etc, BUT everything is in one building.  I consider that a win!

 

For blog-picture-taking, I played with my lighting situation this past weekend when I made a new dish (soon to come!) and it's been interesting.  However, I chalk that up to user error ... aka my error.  Must try again next weekend!  At any rate, I'm still getting through a backlog of dishes I already made and shot at my old apartment, so never fear, I still have content to post.  Seriously though, I have been trying to get these older recipes up for some time now, but between moving and working late nights I haven't been able to do so.  #Fail.

Can I bring you this zucchini hummus as a peace offering?  I'll also tell you a secret.  I put peanut butter in this!  Don't worry, you can't taste it, but in a pinch, peanut butter is a good substitute for tahini.  Tahini is actually sesame paste, which means it's a nut paste, which is pretty much the same thing as peanut butter!  The flavor of the tahini and peanut butter are different, but the difference is not noticeable once the peanut butter is mixed into the hummus.  And I say "use peanut butter in a pinch", but really, I've given up buying tahini for good.  Part of the reason I haven't made hummus often is because I always felt I needed to purchase tahini.  I would get the large container (which is the only size container I could find) and use maybe half a cup of the product before it went bad.  I just hated wasting all that money on something I knew I wasn't going to use up.  But now peanut butter has swooped in to save the day!  I'm not saying you're going to see an influx of hummus recipes on the blog now....but don't be surprised if you do!

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Sun-Dried Tomato Hummus

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It's once again time to talk about how much I hate moving.

I took some time today to go through the insane amount of paperwork that I keep around for no reason.  As each year goes by, we (and by we, I mean "everyone in the world") are going more and more paperless.  Yet, I still have documents from 2007 all up in my grill.  Why!?!

In addition, I've been hoarding a ton of recipes that I tore out of food magazines over the past several years.  I had this not-so-great system where I would rip out the recipe and then loosely categorize it so I could find it later and actually make the dang thing.  Well, I'm sure you can guess how well that has been going... Spoiler alert: Not well at all! I've maybe made three of those recipes in the past three years.  Hmmmm... So anyhow, I cleaned out a lot of papers and old books and work manuals that I'm never going to look at again.  It feels great to get rid of things but honestly, I just need someone to remove my paper-hoarder gene.  It's stressing me out.

When I'm stressed out, I tend to overeat.  To counter this, I decided to at least give myself something healthy to munch on.  Shockingly, it's been working!  In fact, it worked so well that I've been craving this hummus over sweet treats!  If you know me at all, you know that's a bold statement.  I'm never one to pass up chocolate or caramel or popcorn (which is not really sweet but dangit my popcorn obsession is spiraling out.of.control.).  When I see this hummus, every other option goes out the window and all of a sudden I'm sitting on the couch watching YouTube videos and munching on hummus, carrots, and sweet peppers.  I'm really hoping this trend continues, but I do have all that 50%-off Valentine's candy hanging out in my cupboards and they are calling to me...

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Sweet & Salty Edamame

 

Happy 4th of July!

Today, I have nothing for you that is red, white, or blue.  Ummmm, sorreeey about that!  Life and work are kinda crazy so you get some edamame from me right now.  I would totally bring this to a BBQ because it's easy to make and it's tasty and it's unique.  Anyone else with me?

I first had sweet edamame at a work lunch with colleagues a few weeks ago and since then I've been thinking about this nonstop.  I finally recreated it this week and proceeded to stand over the bowl of edamame and eat every single one within 5 minutes.  Am I ashamed?  That would be a nope.

This is a short and sweet post today, just like this recipe.  (Hahaha...I crack myself up. #dork)

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Sausage & Peppers Pizza

Sausage & Peppers Pizza

We have eaten all the turkey that was drizzled with all the cranberry sauce and maybe we even added some gravy, but only if you're fancy.  The apple and pumpkin pies have been devoured and our families may or may not have gotten along for the entire meal.

Yes, I do look forward to hanging out with family and friends for Thanksgiving.  Yes, I love stuffing my face with the turkey and all the sides that I can.  I like to smush at least 3 sides together with every forkful.  Yes, I love eating leftovers in the days following the big feast.  But really, after the post-Thanksgiving euphoria has worn off, do we really want to be eating that turkey 3/4/5 days later?  It's time to branch out and since we're obviously overwhelmed with Christmas shopping and holiday parties and more at this point, we need to whip something up quickly.

In times like these, this pizza is here for you.  I'm really into sausage and peppers right now, so this is what I made.  Clearly you can make any version of pizza that you like, but if you're looking for a good time, you should make this.  That's all I'm saying.

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Baked Cajun Fries


Does anyone else route their flights to certain airports just so they can eat certain foods?  Just to be clear, if I can take a direct flight to my destination, I will.  But if I can't, then Charlotte International Airport is the airport for me.  What's there?  Bojangles.  Yes.  If you haven't heard of Bojangles before, you should know that it's a southern-based fast food chain.  Nowadays, I don't eat a ton of fast food because I'm "trying" to be healthy, but you know....McDonald's fries are my kryptonite.  I know I'm not the only one in that department.

Well, one day years and year ago (ahem...maybe about 10 years ago...) I was traveling when I started craving fries.  Bojangles was the closest fast food chain to my gate.  They're well known for their chicken and biscuits, but I figured I'd try them out anyhow since McDonald's was too far of a walk.  I took the gamble on Bo's cajun fries and wow!  That was the best decision ever!  I ate them all in record time, then thought about those fries throughout the entire second leg of the trip.  Trust me when I tell you that these things are winners.

I never thought of creating them myself, mostly because of my aversion to frying anything in my own kitchen.  Splattering hot oil coming toward my face is not worth any food.  For some reason, I never considered making a baked version of these fries!  I only thought about it after my friend asked me to test out a batch of baked fries for a project she was working on.  So yes, I quickly pulled together a cajun spice recipe and set to work on making this wonderful snack!

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