Pineapple Sausage Chili 

Our chili cook off is happening next month at work, so I am going to recipe test some chili recipes until I decide on a winner! I found a great one for last year, but it wasn’t the winner, so I’m determined to find something great this year!

The first one I am trying is this pineapple and sausage recipe. I made it exactly as written, but also added a pinch of saffron:

https://twohealthykitchens.com/crock-pot-crazy-pineapple-chili/

It was good, but not a winner. Have to eat this one up before I can test another… excited to try another!

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Homemade Beet Pasta 

For the cooking portion of my cooking & baking rainy fall Saturday, I wanted to try and tackle some flavored pasta, so I decided to give beet root pasta a go. It wasn’t that difficult to make, but the pasta recipe that I went off of made more of a wet and stretchy dough than your typical homemade pasta dough which was different, but all in all still ended up working well and tasting great! Not to mention it made a nice pretty pink plate of pasta!

https://www.marthastewart.com/326582/fresh-beet-pasta-dough

Will definitely make it again in the future, but maybe add a lot more flour so I can get more of a tough dough to work with.

Crockpot Creamy Tortellini Soup

For dinner tonight, my sister wanted to make this recipe, so we threw it all together in the crockpot and let it cook. I enjoyed it and thought the Soup was great except for the fact that it didn’t need that last cup of milk! It was a bit too milky for my taste (really not a fan of milk!) so that freaked me out a tad, but otherwise it was a very good soup! We will definitely be making it again, but I am going to lay off the milk quote a bit and make it more chicken brothy!

https://cafedelites.com/slow-cooker-creamy-tortellini-soup/

Zucchini + Hash Brown Fritter Spaghetti Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Suddenly, the song “What A Beautiful Mess I Made” makes so much sense. For dinner tonight, I shredded a zucchini and then combined it with some hash browns, a sprinkle of Panko bread crumbs, an egg and a sprinkle of mozzarella cheese. I mixed all of that together and then threw the mixture into a waffle iron. Then, I put havarti and shredded mozzarella cheese on one of the fritters, some leftover homemade spaghetti on top of the cheese and covered the sandwich with the other fritter half. I gently laid the waffle iron on top of the sandwich to allow the cheese to melt, then leaving me with a beautiful mess of a sandwich creation. It was delicious!!

Spinach, Feta & Sundried Tomato Turkey Burgers 

Last night I premade these burgers and wrapped them in some Saran Wrap and put them in my fridge overnight so that I could come home from work today and throw them in the oven right away for an easy night! All I did was combine a pound of ground turkey with an egg, some Panko bread crumbs, sundried tomatoes, feta and chopped spinach. After it was thoroughly combined, I formed the mixture into 6 patties. I cooked them at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes a side, or until the center was at 165 degrees. Great meal!

Kale, Pear & Granola Mix Stuffed Acorn Squash

For dinner today, I first roasted an acorn squash at 400 degrees for 45 minutes. I cut it open (the wrong direction) and brushed it with olive oil and sprinkled some salt, pepper and oregano in it and then threw it in the oven.

After that, I cut up a pear and sautéed it in coconut oil and cinnamon until the pear cubes were soft and warm. I threw the pear slices in with some small cut up kale and a homemade pumpkin seed, almond and granola mix and then sautéed all of that until the kale wilted down. I also drizzled some agave and pomegranate vinegar in the pan to coat the kale.

When the acorn squash was done, I simple threw some of the warm kale salad in to the squash and it was good! I really loved the kale salad but I wish I had sprinkled some brown sugar and coconut oil in the acorn squash to go with the sweet fruit salad instead of the savory spices but will just have to do it next time!

Homemade Pasta

My sister bought me a pasta machine for Christmas last year and I tried once to make pasta and it was the most frustrating meal of my life! After doing some more research and building up the courage, I decided to try again using help from these websites:

http://www.ijustmakesandwiches.com/recipe/how-to-make-homemade-pasta/

http://www.seriouseats.com/2015/01/best-easy-all-purpose-fresh-pasta-dough-recipe-instructions.html

I followed the first recipe and used a 1:1 ratio between the semolina pasta flour and eggs. I still struggled with crumbly dough that wouldn’t come together when trying to knead it and added about 1/8 cup of water which helped, but I’m guessing I could have used more because it was still really hard when I wrapped it to put in the fridge for 30 minutes. Then, when running the pasta through the rolling machine, the dough would break and tear a lot so I had to fight it but eventually got some noodles to come out! Still need lots of practice and figuring out the right method to putting together the perfect pasta dough, but I have to say this time was really darn tasty!!

I also cooked up some shrimp and made a Marsala wine sauce with some onions, garlic, butter, Marsala wine and a sprinkle of flour to thicken it up.

It was a long process, but all worth it!

ELOTE

One of my favorite places I have been to in Nashville is called “Mas Tacos,” and I went there with a friend last year. She just had ACL surgery so I decided to recreate her a dinner similar to the one we had at Mas Tacos because we both fell in love with their menu there!

First of all, my friend loves pineapple, so I decided to make the pineapple teryiaki boats again and assemble tacos with the pineapple rice on the bottom, teriyaki chicken and then some guacamole on top and it was probably the best taco combination ever. Finished off with feta would have made it perfect in my opinion!!

Then I also made some caramelized plantains and Elote for sides, which are the same sides we had at Mas Tacos. The Elote was incredible, so I did my best to copy what they did. Elote is just a Mexican street corn on the cob. All I did was boil the corn, then cook it some more on the stove top in a pan to get that grilled corn effect because I sadly do not have a grill, rubbed some butter on it, sprinkled Parmesan cheese to stick to the butter and finally finished it off with some paprika. Wasn’t the same as Mas Tacos but I would say it was pretty close for an amateur!

It was an awesome meal and definitely worthy to be made again!