Baked Fish Tacos with Chipotle Lime Sauce

Skip the calories of fried fish for the fresh flavors and healthy ingredients of these baked fish tacos. Another simple, healthy weeknight meal brought to you by yours truly!

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If you’re in the mood to have a beer out on the patio, then fire up your grill and throw the fish on there instead of baking it in the oven.

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But if you’ve got some tidying up to do, or a dishwasher that needs emptying, or dogs that need feeding, then pop the seasoned fillets in the oven and walk away!

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Whatever you do, just don’t skip the chipotle lime sauce–it’s so good you’ll probably be licking the bowl clean!

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Baked Fish Tacos with Chipotle Lime Cream Sauce

  • Servings: 8 tacos
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Ingredients

Tacos:

  • 2 lbs. white fish fillets (tilapia, halibut, cod, grouper, snapper, mahi mahi, etc.)
  • olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Kosher salt
  • fresh cracked pepper
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • pico de gallo for serving

Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons diced chiles in adobo
  • juice of 1 lime
  • splash of water
  • Kosher salt
  • fresh cracked pepper

Directions

In a small bowl combine cumin, chili powder, garlic powder and a pinch of salt and pepper. Drizzle both sides of each fillet with about a teaspoon of oil. Divide spice mixture evenly between the fillets, gently rubbing it in. Place fillets on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 12-14 minutes or until the fish flakes easily with a fork.

In a small bowl combine sauce ingredients, adding just enough water to loosen it up into a creamy sauce. Set aside until ready to serve.

When the fish is almost done, start warming those tortillas. Heat a saute pan or cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Heat tortillas one at a time for about 30-60 seconds. Once the first side has some golden brown spots and smells toasty, flip it over and cook the other side.

This is where it might be nice to have some extra hands in the kitchen to start an assembly line, building the tacos as the warm tortillas come off the skillet.

Flake fish into bite size pieces and divide evenly between tortillas. Top with a drizzle of chipotle lime cream sauce and pico de gallo and enjoy!

Lemon and Dill Goat Cheese Bites (4)

 

Lemon & Dill Goat Cheese Bites

Seriously how much do you love nap time? I mean, don’t get me wrong I love spending time with my girl–belting out every song from Moana, drawing with chalk, blowing bubbles, her sitting on the counter watching me make dinner and tasting everything along the way. But, man do I love nap time! It’s quite possibly the fastest hour and a half of the day.

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If I’m lucky, nap time comes after I get home from work. Not always, but sometimes it does. And if I’m really lucky I’ve planned ahead and can whip something up in the kitchen, style it just right and snap some quick pictures of it too.

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Today, nap time did not come until after dinner. Luckily, this appetizer is SO easy that I was able to make it, style it and photograph it even with a toddler in tow.

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But now, as I write this post, nap time has arrived. Time to put my feet up, edit some photos and sip on a glass of wine. Cheers to a long holiday weekend. And nap time! Big cheers to nap time.

Lemon and Dill Goat Cheese Bites

  • Servings: 14 bites
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Ingredients

  • 4 oz. goat cheese
  • 1 tablespoon whole milk or heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup freshly chopped dill
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • large pinch of Kosher salt
  • crackers for serving

Directions

In a small bowl combine goat cheese and milk/cream. Use a teaspoon cookie scoop to scoop balls of goat cheese onto a parchment lined baking sheet or tray. Place them in the freezer for 5 minutes. This will make them easier to handle.

Chop dill and lemon zest until they are minced and place in a shallow bowl. Roll scoops of goat cheese in the lemon and dill mixture and then use your palms to roll them into balls.

That’s it! Serve with your favorite crackers and enjoy.

Fig Jam, Pear and Grogonzola Tartlets (5)

30 Minute Creamy Horseradish Potato Salad

Grilling season has finally arrived! And this zingy potato salad is sure to make you the talk of the town; or at least the backyard barbecue. If you’re looking for something a little different to bring to the block party this summer, here you go. The subtle flavor of the horseradish is sure to tantalize everyone’s taste buds–even those horseradish haters!

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And chances are good if you’re a horseradish lover like myself, you might already have all the necessary ingredients to whip this bad boy up. Be sure to note that in this recipe I used a horseradish sauce which means the horseradish is cut with mayo or cream (I like Silver Springs brand best). So the flavor is much more mellow compared to that of a prepared horseradish, which is just straight horseradish.

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Instead of parsley you can also garnish with green onions, chives or better yet, crumbled bacon!!!

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30 Minute Creamy Horseradish Potato Salad

  • Servings: 8
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Ingredients

  • 3 lbs. potatoes, diced
  • 3/4 cup mayo
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons horseradish sauce
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • splash of heavy cream
  • 4 hard boiled eggs, diced
  • Kosher salt
  • fresh cracked pepper
  • fresh chopped parsley for garnish

Directions

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add potatoes and a large pinch of salt to the boiling water. Boil for about 10 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender but still have just the slightest bite to them. Strain potatoes and rinse with cold water. Place into a serving bowl and put them in the fridge to cool for about 20 minutes.

While the taters are cooling, in a small bowl combine mayo, sour cream, horseradish, vinegar, cream, hard boiled eggs, a large pinch of salt and a pinch of pepper. Pour dressing over the potatoes and stir until potatoes are well coated. Garnish with parsley and serve!

If you are not planning to serve the potato salad the same day, you may need to add another splash of cream or milk to the potato salad just to loosen it up again.

Fig Jam, Pear and Grogonzola Tartlets (16)

Charcuterie Board Making 101

If you don’t feel confident in the kitchen, the charcuterie board might become your best friend. No cooking skills required whatsoever and even the least creative person can put together an artful masterpiece of meat and cheese. You can make them large enough to feed an army or small enough for a date night with your other half.

Charcuterie boards are hands down the easiest and most elegant appetizer for any group. But they are often overlooked as many think they are too difficult or complicated to make, or that there are certain rules you have to follow. In my humble opinion, the only rule for making a charcturie board is that there are no rules. It’s typically comprised of a few kinds of cheeses, a few kinds of meats, a nice crusty sliced baguette and some crispy crackers along with a few other accompaniments–think pickles, potato salad, roasted nuts, fresh or dried fruit, jams, spreads, etc. Actually, I do always follow one rule when making my boards–variety and randomness are paramount. I like to cut all the cheeses in different shapes and arrange my meats in different shapes also. I put some in neat rows, others in piles, some are fanned around dishes and others are rolled into little cones. I never plan where I’m going to put anything; I just let it happen organically.

But if you’re into following rules you can use a simple blueprint of different cheese textures that takes the guesswork out of what to include. Try one creamy cheese (like Brie), one firm cheese (like manchego), one crumbly or blue cheese (like goat cheese or gorgonzola) and one aged cheese (like aged cheddar). Also try to include a variety of textures with the meats–soppressata or hard salami, proscuitto,¬† and sliced deli meats work well. But don’t get hung up following these blueprints exactly. I usually think about the tastes of my guests and try to include things that I know they will like, and also things that they maybe haven’t tried before.

The best part is it’s a great way to use up those odds and ends you have in your fridge or cupboard. You know, the ten green olives at the bottom of the jar, the last of the Dijon mustard, the handful of roasted pecans you didn’t end up using in your favorite cookie recipe. The wider the variety, the more beautiful the cheese plate.

 

 

Charcuterie Board Making 101

  • Servings: unlimited
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Ingredients

  • soft cheese
  • firm cheese
  • aged cheese
  • crumbly/blue cheese
  • salami
  • proscuitto
  • deli sliced ham
  • crackers
  • sliced French baguette
  • pickles
  • sliced apples
  • Dijon mustard
  • roasted pecans
  • pitted olives
  • literally whatever you want

Directions

Find a large cutting board or serving platter. Place your accompaniments (pickles, fruit, nuts) in small serving dishes. Start by arranging those on your platter. Slice cheese and meats into bite size pieces and arrange them randomly on your platter. Add sliced bread and crackers to the platter. Pour yourself and your guests a glass of wine and head for the patio to enjoy this delicious appetizer!

When selecting your meats and cheeses, plan on about 3-5 ounces of meat/cheese per person, depending on whether this is an appetizer or main course.

Fig Jam, Pear and Grogonzola Tartlets (4)

 

 

 

The Best Ever Crispy Baked Fries

Spoiler Alert: If you just want the recipe keep scrolling because Olivia’s about to get real. I can’t say for sure what it is, but there’s a certain quiet loneliness about the late winter months that I just can’t seem to shake. The warmth of the holidays has worn off, the sun is out for like 3 hours and I’m not much of a cold weather person so I don’t really get anytime quality time with mother nature. Did anyone else feel the seasonal anxiety and depression that comes along with winters in Wisconsin this year? I honestly have never realized it before. But looking back, the last few years I’ve been buried pretty deep in those mid-winter blues. As the sun starts shining, the temps warm up and I come out on the other side now, I noticed that I have quite a distinctive pattern around the same time every year.¬†Usually it’s late January or early February, but sometimes it even rolls into March. I start to feel really out of it and melancholy and start contemplating life and how crazy it all is. Which prompts me to schedule a visit with a doctor, who of course tells me everything is fine and then spring comes and I forget all about it. One year it was a few trips to the ER, a few EKGs and finally an echo-cardiogram because I was having palpitations and chest pains (which I later realized were actually panic attacks). A couple years in a row it’s just triggered me to schedule my annual exam and have some labs drawn; I can’t tell you the number of times they’ve tested my thyroid levels. This year it was some delightful rectal bleeding and lower abdominal CT, followed by a colonoscopy. Oh, and there’s usually a drastic hair cut or color thrown in there somewhere.¬†How have I never noticed this about myself before? But with this realization comes the ability to do something about it!

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Move to a warmer climate, right?! JUST KIDDING. I do love Wisconsin; mostly because it’s where my family lives, but I also appreciate the seasons. Even if I go a little crazy for half the year. Every season has it’s pros and cons, but I like living somewhere where you get to experience each season so distinctly. Plus I hate big spiders, snakes and scorpions. So climates where it’s warm all year are out of the question for me. I need that deep freeze to make sure the spiders only get pretty big and not gigantic.

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This past winter my anxiety actually got so bad and constant that I considered adding some sort of prescription pharmaceutical to my daily routine. Which if you know me at all, is quite a surprising thing to hear (see my latest post regarding a sedation free colonoscopy) because I am someone who hates to even take Excedrin when I have a raging migraine with aura. But, almost like clockwork, the seasons have begun to change and I am feeling good again. Certainly not anxiety free, but leaps and bounds better than I had been feeling even just a month ago.

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*Just to clarify: I am in no way putting down those who take prescriptions for anything. I realize it is very necessary for many and might even be for me some day. I just really hate to put any medication of any kind into my body so when I started to consider it, it was a sign that my anxiety was really starting to take a toll on me.¬†It’s so important to listen to your body and take it’s queues.

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The Best Crispy Baked Fries

  • Servings: 4-6
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Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. russet potatoes
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • salt
  • pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 450 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice each potato into 1/2 inch slices, then cut each slice into 1/2 inch wide sticks. So basically, cut the potatoes into french fries. Then add potatoes, oil, garlic powder, thyme and paprika to a large bowl. Add a couple generous pinches of salt and large pinch of pepper. Stir until seasoning is well distributed and fries are well coated.

Spread fries in a single layer on the baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, then flip the fries so all sides get nice and crispy. Bake for another 15 minutes.

Then crank the heat to 500 and bake for 15 minutes. Flip fries and bake for another 5-10 minutes or until desired crispiness is reached. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce. I’m not going to pretend like mine isn’t Heinz ketchup, because it is.

Fig Jam, Pear and Grogonzola Tartlets (8)

My Favorite Veggie Enchiladas

Resolution: a firm decision to do or not to do something. Have you started making your New Year’s resolutions yet? Or at least started thinking about them? I don’t usually make resolutions anyway, but this year I decided I am going to set my intentions for the year. They are your typical resolution-ish type intentions but there is nothing firm or concrete about them. They are more like goals. Long term goals that I have a year to work towards. That sounds way better than resolutions, right?

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What are my intentions for 2018 you might ask? Well, let¬†me share a few with you! Probably the most common resolution people make is to cut back on drinking. Well that’s number one on my list! I have been trying (with¬†very little¬†success) to lose weight (for the last…10 years¬†maybe?)¬†and I think that my daily glass (or two on the weekend!) of vino¬†could definitely be hindering my journey. But seriously, this time of year a glass of malbec is my favorite way to unwind after a long day… So my new night cap? Tea! I am trying all kinds of new decaf teas to cozy up with this season.

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Next on my list is spending more time being present at home. It’s¬†so easy to get sucked into our hand held devices and I¬†am guilty of spending too much time with my face in front of my phone instead of in front of the people I love. So this year, I am trying oh so hard to put that phone down and limit the time I spend looking at everyone else’s delish food. Which is kind of ironic if you think about it, because I’m posting my food photos hoping that everyone else will spend their time looking at them…

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Another big intention of mine this year is to take more time for self-care. I spend a large majority of my time thinking about everyone else in my life and I¬†don’t often take time for myself to unwind, relax, re-group or just chill. This intention actually goes hand in hand with another intention…to wake up earlier! Mornings will be “me time” from now on. No more hitting the snooze button; I will be setting my alarm 1 hour earlier and plan to use this extra time to make breakfast, enjoy a¬†cup of coffee, blog, do yoga; whatever my heart desires!

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Lastly, I also intend to continue meal prepping like crazy this year and filling my house with delicious food. Like this recipe. Wishing you and yours a very happy holiday season!

My Favorite Veggie Enchiladas

  • Servings: 12 enchiladas
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Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon + 1/4 cup olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 3¬†cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 (15 oz.) can black beans
  • 1 (15 oz.) can corn
  • 1 small can diced green chiles
  • 1 teaspoon diced chiles in adobo
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, cut into cubes
  • 4 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onion + more for garnish
  • 12 fajita size tortillas
  • 1 (15 oz.) can of your favorite enchilada sauce
  • sour cream for garnish
  • avocado for garnish
  • Kosher salt
  • fresh cracked black pepper

Directions

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add onion, pepper and a pinch of salt and pepper and sauté for about 4 minutes. Then add garlic and sauté for another minute. Then add cumin, chili powder, beans, corn, green chiles, chiles in adobo and another pinch of salt and pepper. Stir to combine until everything is well coated in seasoning. Then add cream cheese and stir until melted. Remove pan from heat and stir in 2 cups of cheddar and 1/2 cup of sliced green onion.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Time to fill and roll the enchiladas! Each enchilada will get about 1/2 a cup of filling. It’s easiest to spread¬†the filling in an even layer on¬†one¬†half of the tortilla. Then with the filling side closest to you, roll the tortilla away from yourself until the¬†enchilada is rolled into a tight cylinder. Place seam side down on the lined baking sheet.

Use a brush to coat the outside of each enchilada using the remaining olive oil. You may not use the entire 1/4 cup of olive oil. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

Remove from oven and use a spoon (or brush if you prefer) to coat the outside of each enchilada with enchilada sauce. Reserve the rest of the sauce for serving. Divide the rest of the cheddar cheese evenly between the enchiladas and bake for another 5-8 minutes or until the cheese is warm and melty.

Heat remaining enchilada sauce over medium heat until warm.

Then remove enchiladas from the oven and garnish with sour cream, avocado and sliced green onion. Serve with warm enchilada sauce and enjoy!

Fig Jam, Pear and Grogonzola Tartlets (1)

 

Creamy Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup

This is my most favorite soup I have ever made!¬†It¬†is so hearty and creamy–perfect for the single digit¬†temps and windy nights we’ve been experiencing up here in the Midwest.¬†My husband made a delicious potato soup last week (maybe you saw it on Insta?) so we still had broth, carrots, celery and onion waiting¬†to be transformed into something delicious.

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I debated long and hard about whether it would benefit from the addition of chicken breast and in the end, I’m glad I decided to skip it and add mushrooms instead.

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It has just enough cream to make it feel indulgent, but it’s also loaded with veggies so you can feel good about eating and serving it to your family. A big loaf of crusty bread and a side salad of mixed greens would¬†round out this dish into the perfect winter¬†meal!

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Creamy Wild Rice & Mushroom Soup

  • Servings: 8
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Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2¬†large onion, diced
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 16¬†ounces baby portabella mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 cups veggie broth (or chicken broth)
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 3¬†tablespoons corn starch
  • 3 teaspoons dried sage + 3 sprigs fresh sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
  • Kosher salt
  • fresh cracked pepper

Directions

Start by heating olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion, celery, carrots, mushrooms, thyme, rosemary, onion powder, garlic powder and a large pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then add garlic and cook for another minute.

Add veggie broth and wine to the pot. Then dissolve cornstarch in 3 tablespoons water and add the slurry to the pot as well. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cover and simmer on medium high for 50 minutes.

Then stir in cream and parsley, add more salt and pepper to taste and serve!

Fig Jam, Pear and Grogonzola Tartlets

Secret Family Recipe Falafel and Tzatziki

If you follow me on Insta then you saw this epic grain bowl I had at Forage a couple weeks back. It honestly was life changing. I know I know, you might think that sounds crazy. But it was seriously loaded with so much flavor and healthy ingredients; I’ve just had grain bowls on the brain ever since I ate it. So this weekend I turned to another grain bowl for my weekly meal prep menu.

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I fell in love with falafel at first bite down at Water Street Deli many years ago when I was a broke college student living downtown. It was cheap and the portions were huge.¬†And I had never had anything like it before. Growing up in the Midwest in a mostly “meat and potatoes” home the flavors my taste buds were experiencing were life changing. And ever since I have had a great¬†fondness for falafel.

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Oh and tzatziki. Don’t even get me started on my love for that sauce–I can’t get enough of the stuff. I have a weakness for sauces and condiments in general, but then add fresh dill and lemon. Game over.

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Secret Family Recipe Falafel

  • Servings: a million, actually like 50 depending on their size
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Ingredients

For the falafel:

  • 3 (15 oz.) cans garbanzo beans, drained (but not rinsed)
  • 1/2 red onion, roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoon flour
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • Kosher salt
  • fresh cracked pepper
  • olive oil for frying

For the tzatziki:

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed dill
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • Kosher salt
  • fresh cracked pepper

Directions

Start by adding the onion, garlic, parsley, cilantro, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper to a food processor. Process for about a minute or so, scraping the sides as needed, until everything is finely minced. Add one can of garbanzo beans and process for another minute or two until the beans are finely minced, but not quite hummus consistency. Transfer herb and garbanzo mixture to a large bowl.

Add remaining two cans of garbanzo beans to the food processor and pulse until the beans are chopped, but still in pretty large pieces. This will give your falafel some texture. If you don’t want texture, process them a bit more. Add them to the large bowl and sprinkle the flour over the mixture. Stir until flour is well combined. Then add egg and stir until egg is well combined. Refrigerate for about one hour.

While the falafel are chilling, get the tzatziki made. Add ingredients to a food processor and process until everything is finely minced and a sauce forms. Add water to thin if your sauce seems too thick. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat and add 1-2 teaspoons of olive oil or enough to coat the bottom of the pan with a thin layer. Using a tablespoon cookie scoop, scoop falafel into equal size balls and then using slightly oiled hands, gently form them into discs. Cook them in batches of about 7-8 at a time depending on the size of your pan. Be sure to leave about an inch between each falafel so as not to crowd the pan.

Cook each side for about 3-4 minutes or until a dark golden brown crust forms. Transfer to a paper towel lined baking sheet and continue cooking remaining falafel. Serve with tabbouleh, hummus, sliced cucumber, sliced tomato, sliced red onion, green olive and of course loads of tzatziki. Or wrap them up in some fresh pita bread!

Fig Jam, Pear and Grogonzola Tartlets (2)

 

Secret Family Recipe {Vegan} Tabbouleh

This is hands down one of my favorite foods.¬†It’s so versatile and can be¬†eaten with so many different things, or by itself for a quick snack.¬†My favorite way to eat it¬†is with some fresh pita bread and roasted garlic hummus from Water Street Deli.¬†It also tastes amazing¬†paired with¬†fresh made falafel and tzatziki like in these grain bowls I made over the weekend.

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The best part about this recipe is how quickly it comes together. I usually have some leftover quinoa in the fridge from my weekly meal prep and with the food processor doing most of the work for you, prep time is minimal.

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My recipe for tabbouleh¬†is only slightly different than traditional versions in that it uses quinoa instead of fine bulgar and I also like to add garlic and onion to mine. It’s super fresh with¬†just a hint of lemon and plenty of olive oil to hold it all together.

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I would definitely consider this a summer time salad but it brings a little sunshine to your meal on these cold winter days too!

Secret Family Recipe Tabbouleh

  • Servings: about 3 cups
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Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 2 cups loosely packed fresh parsley
  • 1/2 red onion, roughly chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 English cucumber, finely diced
  • 2 roma tomatoes, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • Kosher salt
  • fresh cracked pepper

Directions

Add parsley, red onion and garlic to the bowl of a food processor. Process for a minute or so, scraping the sides as needed until everything is well minced. Then add parsley mixture to a large bowl along with quinoa, cucumber, tomato, olive oil, lemon juice and  a large pinch of salt and pepper. Gently mix until well combined and then season to taste with more salt and pepper.

Fig Jam, Pear and Grogonzola Tartlets (3)

Slow Cooker Peach Whiskey BBQ Meatballs

Looking for an easy¬†holiday appetizer? Here you go! This is one of my family’s favorites and I have friends who still text me asking for the recipe to this day. It’s sure to be a crowd pleaser, and seriously think about doubling the batch depending on how many people you are serving, because there will not be leftovers and chances are good you will run out.

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You could make your own meatballs if you’re cool like that. But honestly my scarf making season is in full swing right now so I’m taking every shortcut I can when it comes to meal prep because that means more time to crochet. Winter in Wisconsin brings out my inner old lady–my faaavorite thing to do when the temperatures start to dip¬†is¬†watch some cheesy Christmas movies on Netflix, put my slippers on and crochet to my heart’s content!

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Of course, my toddler has other ideas. Her favorite thing to do all the time is have me read every single book that we own. And seriously children’s books these days…who comes up with this sh*t?! I could write a better story about the orange and chamomile tea that I had for breakfast today than some of these so called authors. Okay, maybe not really. Maybe it’s just when you are made to read the same story 700 times in one day it starts to suck. This year for Christmas, new books! Good books!

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Slow Cooker Peach Whiskey BBQ Meatballs

  • Servings: about 52 (1/2 ounce) meatballs
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Ingredients

  • 26 oz. bag¬†Italian or traditional¬†style frozen meatballs¬†(feel free to make your own if you have the time and energy, this year I am all about making scarves so I have no time or energy)
  • 1/2 cup¬†Peach Whiskey (2 of those cute little bottles)
  • 1/4 cup¬†(regular) Whiskey (1 of those cute little bottles)
  • 3/4¬†cup chili sauce
  • 1/2 cup¬†peach preserves
  • 1/4 cup BBQ sauce
  • 1¬†tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili¬†powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic¬†powder
  • Kosher salt
  • fresh cracked pepper

Directions

Start by combining all sauce ingredients in a large slow cooker. Stir until everything is well mixed.¬†Add meatballs, cover and cook on low for 4 hours (or high for 2 hours) or until meatballs are heated through. Serve with toothpicks, because who doesn’t want to eat meatballs with toothpicks?!

If you’d like to make these ahead of time, combine the sauce, add the frozen meatballs and then refrigerate the whole crock pot insert overnight. This will thaw the meatballs and cut down on the cooking time too. If they are thawed you could get away with about an hour on high before serving, but double check that they are warmed through.

Fig Jam, Pear and Grogonzola Tartlets (5)

Caramelized Onion, Blue Cheese and Fig Jam Tart

Mmmmmmm. Is there anything better than caramelized onions? Well, yes, actually. Caramelized onions with tangy blue cheese and sweet fig jam atop a flaky, puff pastry crust. This lip-smacking appetizer made an appearance this year at Thanksgiving and it was promptly devoured.

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We are lucky enough to have most of our family in town, which means the holidays are extra busy for us! We used to hustle and bustle from one side of the family to the next, house to house, all day long stuffing our faces. But several years ago we started celebrating with my in-laws the Saturday after the actual holiday and what a game-changer that has been. No longer are we rushed and full all day. We enjoy a quiet morning at home, a leisurely dinner at my grandparents and then a rousing game of catchphrase or farkle. Then the following Saturday the fun continues at my in-laws.

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Each holiday for my in-laws celebration we pick a different theme–Mexican, Italian, appetizers, pizza, etc.– and everyone brings something, potluck style. This year’s Thanksgiving celebration theme was appetizers which happens to be my personal favorite. I could eat appetizers for every single meal. A wide variety of small plates is my jam.

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Speaking of jam, the real winner here is the fig jam. It’s deliciously sweet without being too sweet and it really marries the caramely onions and the bite of the blue cheese. Yes it takes 60 minutes to caramelize those babies, but they are worth every second. If you’re into making things ahead of time, you could easily assemble the tart, then freeze, allow to thaw in the fridge overnight, bake and top with the fig jam.

Caramelized Onion, Blue Cheese & Fig Jam Tart

  • Servings: 6-8
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Ingredients

  • 1 package puff pastry (thawed in the fridge overnight)
  • 4 large yellow onions, halved, then thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoon butter
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 5 oz. blue cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup fig jam
  • Kosher salt
  • fresh cracked pepper

Directions

Heat butter and oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add onions and and stir to coat in oil. Grab a glass of wine and a magazine and plop yourself in front of the stove because you are going to be here for a while.¬†You will cook the onions for 60 minutes total, stirring every 4-5 minutes or so. After they’ve cooked for 10 minutes add a pinch of salt. After they’ve cooked for 40 minutes add a teaspoon of sugar. After they’ve finished cooking for 60 minutes and are a gorgeous dark brown color, add salt and pepper to taste, then set aside.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Unwrap the puff pastry and cutting each of the sheets into 3 pieces lengthwise, cutting along the folds of the puff pastry. Lightly flour your work surface and roll each piece into a¬†¬†4″ x 10″ rectangle. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper, then place 3 tart crusts on each baking sheet about an inch apart. Score the edge of each rectangle about a half inch from the edge, creating the crust.

Spread caramelized onion in an even layer across the puff pastry staying inside the scored edge. Divide the onions evenly between the six tarts. Bake tarts for 15 minutes, then divide crumbled goat cheese between the tarts and baking for 8-10 more minutes or until the bottoms are golden brown as well as the edges.

While the tarts are baking, heat fig jam in a small saucepan over medium high heat. You just want to loosen it up enough that you can spoon it over the tart. Remove tarts from the oven and spoon fig jam in a zigzag pattern across each tart. Serve warm or at room temperature (I actually prefer them at room temp myself).

Fig Jam, Pear and Grogonzola Tartlets (6)