Yarn Wrapped Letters

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Once again it’s a work night and I am up wayyyy too late.

Aghaghaghaghaghuhhhhh.

I haven’t posted in a long time and I don’t have any excuses other than my internet hasn’t been working for the past week or so.  No matter how much it bothers me to admit this, wifi is a really good thing.

Also, for some reason my speakers on my laptop haven’t been working for about a week as well.  What are you doing to me technology?!

*takes deep breath because she doesn’t want her readers to think she’s a psycho*

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At this point in my life, I’m starting to know people getting married and having babies.  Since I’m only in college, I was hoping this would wait a few years at least, but that seems to not be the case.  The transition between childhood and adulthood is crazy fast isn’t it?  Time flies when you’re having fun.

Anyways, I went to my first baby shower a couple of weeks ago.  There was no registry for gifts so I figured I would get the baby pajamas or a cute outfit when I realized that’s what everyone and their mother (literally) would be getting the baby.

And then I thought of this idea.  Okay, I didn’t really think of it, but I remembered seeing something about it on Pinterest a few months ago and it happened to pop into my head at that moment.  And I figured it couldn’t be too hard.

I was right!

This is a super easy DIY craft!  So easy, that my brain decided taking pictures would be unnecessary.  Yeah, I know.  I say that a lot.  But I promise, I can explain with words!

Directions:

1.  Gather your materials: yarn of choice (you don’t need anything too expensive–trust me), a cardboard letter (found at JoAnn’s), hot glue, any decorations you may want (I made my owl by hand out of some felt).

2.  Cut out little strips (about 2 in. long) of yarn and glue them across on all of the flat parts:

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This will make your life way easier!

3.  Then wrap the rest of it gluing it periodically so that it stays in place.  Make one side your gluing side because it might show and you want a nice side!  Glue it at the end really well!

4.  Attach your decoration with glue.  I just traced the owl, cut it out and glued/sewed on details (the eyes, wings, beak, etc.).  I don’t really have instructions for that because it was so homemade!  If you’re interested, I could try to explain better :-)

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Super easy, frugal, and cute!  I used the colors/theme for their nursery, so it’s easily customizable.  If you do not know the first name of the baby, you could always use their last name initial.  Or the whole name if you’re up for it!  This would also be perfect for a wedding shower gift, birthday gift, etc.  This letter took me about 2 hours but probably would take less since I know what I’m doing now :-)

Let me know what you think of this cute craft!

XO Sara

Crockpot Baked Potato Soup

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I know that it’s June.  I know that it’s in the 90s and even reaches the 100s.  But I can’t get over soup.

However, it was 75 degrees in Reno all day today, which is totally acceptable soup weather if you ask me.

Especially if you’re making baked potato soup.  Baked potato soup is special.  Believe me.  I made it for a group of friends.  One claimed it was “the best she’s ever had”.  Now that’s a compliment if I’ve ever heard one.

Ahem.

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On another note, do you fellow food bloggers ever notice random things in your photos?  Like a reflection of you taking a picture in the spoon?  Ha.

Before I give you this recipe, please note that I do not normally use “cream of anything” soups.  I really prefer to make most of my food from scratch, but sometimes it’s nice to have a semi-homemade meal.  If you also do not like using cream soups, just give it a chance, you’ll thank me ;) (Also, this soup definitely should only be eaten on occasion, for the sake of your waistline!)

Ingredients:

1-30 oz. package frozen hashbrowns (the cubed kind)

28 oz. chicken broth (may want more for thinner soup)

1 can cream of chicken soup

1 can cheddar cheese soup

8 oz. cream cheese

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. onion powder

Salt and pepper, to taste

Toppings: bacon, cheddar cheese, sour cream, green onions

In a crockpot, combine hashbrowns, chicken broth, cream of chicken soup, cheddar cheese soup, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper.  Cook on low for about 8 hours.  30 minutes before serving, add cream cheese and stir until melted.

Top bowls of soup with bacon bits, cheese, sour cream, and green onions, or whatever you feel like :)

Serves about 6-8.

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I personally like to add lots of bacon and cheese.  Weird right?  Also, I served these with pretzel rolls from my local bakery.  Ah-may-zing.

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As I mentioned earlier, this is not a soup for those on a diet.  But it’s so easy, and so good for a crowd that you should make it for family dinner or movie night sometime.  And then let me know how you like it (or love it?).

*Bonus:  If made with gluten free cream soups, this recipe is perfectly gluten free!  Remove the bacon and it’s vegetarian!*

XO Sara

Mascarpone Pudding Filled Strawberries

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This weekend I have a Moulin Rouge party I’m going to for my friend Molly’s 30th birthday so I’ve been spending the majority of my day baking a gluten free cake and a hundred cupcakes and making a bunch of sugar diamonds.

*deep breath*

But now I’m lounging in bed watching Friends and blogging.  Also, my left contact is super blurry but I’m going to ignore that for the time being.  And by that, I mean it’s staying in there until I take off my makeup and go to bed.

I’ve been up since 6 a.m.  I’m losing the power to care about little annoying things anymore.

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Completely shifting topics here, strawberries are in season right now which means I’m going through an obsession with them.  They’re just so sweet and red and beautiful in the late spring.  And they’re the perfect start to summer.

I’m sure you’ve seen those cream cheese filled strawberries before.  They’re pretty popular, and they’re super delicious.  This past weekend I considered making them, but right now I’m kind of over cream cheese frosting (since that’s pretty much what the filling is).  Cream cheese frosting to me is just completely overused, and I was looking for something a little lighter.

Enter mascarpone pudding filling.  Yeah, like in tiramisu (without all the coffee and chocolate and stuff, of course).  Also like in canolis.  Honestly, how amazing can this cheese be?

The store I shop at actually only has mascarpone creme which has the consistency of cream cheese and is super smooth.  If you can find this stuff, use it.  Trust me…just use it.

Ingredients:

1 lb. strawberries

3 egg yolks

1/3 c. sugar

Dash of salt

1/3 c. cream or whole milk

8 oz. mascarpone cheese

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Pistachios and chocolate chips for garnish!

First make the pudding: This is where I goofed and forgot to take pictures.  Yep, sounds like my brain right?  Luckily, it’s super easy.  Just whisk the eggs, sugar, salt, and milk in a medium sauce pan.  Heat over medium high heat until it starts to boil.  Boil for a few minutes, or until it is thick like pudding.  Remove from heat, and bring to room temp.  Using a hand mixer, beat in the mascarpone and vanilla extract.  Refrigerate it until ready for use.

Now for strawberries!

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Begin by washing the strawberries.  Here’s a tip so their juices don’t start running: wash them by rubbing them with a wet paper towel.  It takes a little longer but it’s way better than runny strawberries!

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Now remove the stems and cut a little off the top!

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Cut each strawberry into quarters, BUT DO NOT CUT ALL THE WAY THROUGH.  Otherwise they won’t make very good mascarpone pudding holders (;

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Arrange them nicely on a pretty plate.

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*Blurry picture alert*

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*Blurry picture alert again oh my* Fill the strawberries with the pudding.  I just cut a little tip off of a ziploc and filled it with pudding, but it would be pretty with a little tip too.  However, I kind of like my rustic looking filled strawberries.  (Rustic meaning slightly messy).

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Top them with pistachios or chocolate chips or both!  I personally loved the pistachios myself, but the chocolate chip ones were also popular at the BBQ I brought them to (:

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Overall, I would say these took anywhere from 40 minutes-1 hour.  Not too bad if you ask me!  (Plus, they were a HUGE hit).

Try them out and let me know how you like them!

XOXO Sara

Healthy Dirty Rice

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I know, it’s been like, a month.

But on the bright side, I got great grades from all of the finals I was studying for.  When I say that, I mean that somehow I got a full 100 on my calculus exam.  If you’re sitting here stunned, just know that I have been feeling that way since I found out two weeks ago.

I seriously don’t know how that happened.

Another plus is that I’m doing great in my three week mini class.

Three weeks, three credits.  No biggie.

(Kind of a biggie).

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On the bright side, I have definitely not forgotten all about the blog.  I actually have a bunch of great stuff coming up for you guys.  And in approximately a week and a half, I will be completely off of school and lots of great stuff will be coming your way!

But first, let’s start off with dirty rice.  I can recall a few times when I was little where my mom made the boxed Zattaran’s stuff on super busy nights, but we realized pretty soon after that we were not huge fans of the boxed dinners.

Luckily, dirty rice is super easy to make at home and tastes 10x better than Zattaran’s.  This is easily a 30 minute meal (excluding the rice prep but still…).  And, if you didn’t already expect this, the recipe is healthy.  Shocker right?

*Disclaimer:  This is NOT traditional dirty rice.  Traditional stuff uses chicken gizzards and livers and other leftover chicken parts.  Now, I know that they’re just some chicken parts, but they are just chicken parts I can not wrap my head around eating.  So therefore, I went the Zattaran’s route and used ground beef.  Also, this recipe was created completely according to taste/whatever I had in my kitchen so the spices may or may not be traditional.  End of disclaimer.*

Ingredients:

2 c. cooked long grain brown rice

1/2 lb. ground beef

1/2 onion, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1/4 tsp. ceyenne pepper, or to taste

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. onion powder

1/4 tsp. paprika

1/4 tsp. dried mustard

1/4 tsp. dried marjoram

1/2 tsp. parsley

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 beef bouillon cube, dissolved in 1/4 c. hot water

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Cook rice according to package directions.  Set aside when finished.

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Chop up veggies!  Yes, those are dried onions.  Yes, I forgot to buy a real onion.

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Saute the veggies until soft.

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Brown the beef.  Add garlic and saute until fragrant.  (Blurry picture alert.  Whoops!)

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Oh yeah, and dissolve that little guy.

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Add rice and spices to the mixture.

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Mix it all together and add beef bouillon mixture.  Let simmer until the liquid is absorbed!

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Serve to a group of very happy peeps.

Also, please note that you should adjust spices as needed for your tastes.  I decided to not use much salt since I used a beef bouillon cube.  Just taste and adjust accordingly.

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Serve this with a nice little side salad and you have a delicious dinner that will make the whole family happy!

*Vegetarian/Vegan: Replace ground beef with zucchini, tofu, eggplant, and other veggies.  Replace beef broth with veggie broth.

*Gluten Free: This recipe is gluten free

*Paleo: Replace rice with cauliflower “rice”.

XOXO Sara

 

 

 

Eos-ter Eggs!

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I don’t know if anything in this world could ever be as cute as Eos turned into Easter eggs and then put in a little homemade baskets.

I have endearingly began calling these guys “Eos-ter” eggs because I’m ridiculous and that’s just the kind of thing that I do.

But I just love them and they made a perfect Easter gift for my mom, grandma, cousins, and aunts.  Everyone loved them!  If you don’t know why it’s because, clearly, you haven’t used Eos chapstick before.  If you haven’t, you should probably rush yourself to Target or Wal Mart this instance and get going on that.

But that’s just my opinion.

Here’s how to make them!  (I’m the worst, and I didn’t get pictures.  Luckily, it’s pretty straightforward).

Things You’ll Need:

As many Eos as you need-I got a package of 5 Eos at Costco and then got 1 more at Wal Mart for a total of 6 that I needed.

Small plastic cups

Cute cupcake liners (optional, but recommended)–$1 store find!

Glitter glue! (optional, but recommended)

Easter grass-$1 store find!

Cute ribbon (try to find stiff ribbon so it maintains its shape)

Glue gun

Candy! (optional)-I got mine in bulk at Winco

1. Using your glitter glue, make designs all over the Eos.  I chose to do this to make them cuter and more Easter egg looking.  You could probably use different colors of paint and really go for it, but I liked simple little dots!  Let these dry for about 2 hours up to overnight if you wish.

2. Place a cupcake liner in the bottom of each little plastic cup.  They fit perfectly in those fat, short plastic cups you get on airplanes.  This is optional, but makes it look sooo much cuter than if you just use grass.

3. Place a healthy amount of Easter grass in the cup.  You want it to poke up way over the cupcake liner or it just doesn’t look very cute.

4.  Measure out ribbon for a handle and glue gun each side to the cup.  Let them dry for about 20 minutes so they really stick.

5.  Place candy in the Easter grass (as you will see later, this is optional, but it’s a nice little treat).

6.  Place your Eos-ter egg on top!

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You can choose to leave candy out of it, which really makes the Eos look more like an egg, but the candy looks really cute too.

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My family truly loved these.  I got rave reviews.

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These would be perfect for teachers or co-workers, and I promise they will like them much more than some Easter eggs filled with candy!

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Did I mention that I would definitely recommend adding candy to these?  They look cuter without candy for pictures, but they look so cute with candy in real life!

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Plus, they aren’t very expensive to make.  The most expensive part is the Eos which was $10.99 for a 5 package at Costco and $2.00 for an additional one at Wal Mart.  Not bad for a gift that people will actually use and like!  The orange one does not come in the five pack, but it smells amazing.  

If you do not have time to make the baskets, you could buy little candy holders at the dollar store from the Easter section.  They come in a package and look like small, Easter themed Chinese takeout containers.  Just add some Easter grass, candy, and an Eos-ter egg and you’re all set.

Or you can just opt to make the cute little baskets, which only take about 20 minutes, maybe even less.

Just listen to The Motorhomes-Songs for Me (And My Baby) like I did and they’ll go super fast.

Or you can listen to whatever floats your boat.

But I recommend The Motorhomes.

XOXO Sara

*I am not being paid by Eos to promote their products.  I simply had the idea and I am in love with their chapsticks!*

Garlic Herb Pork Tenderloin

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I am soooo tired today.

I seriously could have slept all day.  The worst part is that I don’t think it’s even because of Daylight Savings.  I think it’s just called being a college student.

Although it is fun to blame my sleep deprivation on something besides homework, exercising, cooking, cleaning, and the list goes on and on.

Excuse me while I count down the days until Spring Break (5!!!)

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A few weekends ago I had my boyfriend over for dinner.  Typically for nice dinners, I like to do steak but lately I’ve been a little steak-ed out.  I know, is there such a thing?

(There is).

And the perfect part about pork tenderloin is that it is affordable and seems fancy.  Which is awesome if you’re having a ton of people over or something.

The best thing about this meal is that the actual prep time is only about 30 minutes, but it comes out so nicely that people might actually think you spent all day in the kitchen.

I won’t tell them you didn’t.

It’ll be our little secret.

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Ingredients:

1-1 1/2 lb. pork tenderloin (I bought one of those packages of 2 and froze the other)

1/4 c. + 2 Tbs. olive oil

2 Tbs. fresh thyme

2 Tbs. fresh rosemary

2 Tbs. fresh parsley

2 Tbs. fresh tarragon

1 Tbs. lemon juice

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 tsp. dijon mustard

1/2-1 Tbs. honey (depending on how sweet you like things)

Salt and pepper, to taste

Trim fat off of pork.  Place pork tenderloin in a freezer bag.  Whisk the other ingredients together in a small bowl.  Pour over pork tenderloin.  Marinate for 4 hours-overnight.  I prefer overnight to really let the flavors meld.

Preheat oven to 350* F.  In a large skillet, heat about 2 Tbs. olive oil until it is rippling and slightly smoking.  Remove pork tenderloin from the marinade, leaving on herbs that cling.  Sear pork tenderloin on all sides until it develops a slight brown crust.

Place in a greased casserole dish.  Bake until the internal temperature reaches 145* F, about 30 minutes.

Let it rest for 10 minutes.  Slice and serve!  Serves about 4.

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I just love how pretty the herbs are.  Fresh herbs are the best, especially mixed together with some garlic.

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And it makes great leftovers too!

(Another bonus: pork tenderloin is a very lean meat!  Healthy, easy, and fancy?  I’m so in.)

  • Vegetarian/Vegan Option: Although this is definitely not a vegetarian/vegan dish, the marinade would be very good on veggies such as zucchini, mushrooms, eggplant, and peppers.
  • Paleo: This recipe is paleo.
  • Gluten Free: This recipe is gluten free.

XOXO Sara

Philly Cheesesteak Bites

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Do you ever get a really good idea and you need to make it a reality at that very moment?

Because that is basically my life at all points in time when it comes to food and music.

It’s almost addicting, but my blog makes it all seem okay.  So thanks you guys.

Anyways, my whole point is that that is how these little beauties came to be.  First, I made a French onion soup version my mom and I created over the phone (coming soon!) and then I somehow came up with these while craving Philly Cheesesteaks one day.

I’m quite a complex character, aren’t you impressed?

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Plus, aren’t they soooo cute?  I can’t get over how much I love them.

I just started with some good quality roast beef from the deli.  I’m serious about the good quality thing.  Don’t go cheap here, you really don’t need that much anyways.

Also, look for phyllo cups or  you may have to make your own which takes forever.  Really strive to find the premade cups and your life will be a breeze.

Other than that, it only takes about 5 minutes to throw together, and they freeze.  Easy appetizer much?

How great would these be for Superbowl?  I know what I’m making next year!

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Ingredients:

2 packages phyllo cups (15 per package)

1/2 lb. good quality deli roast beef, roughly chopped

Olive oil

1/2 green bell pepper, diced

1/4 onion, diced (or 2 Tbs. dried onion flakes, which is what I used)

2 cloves garlic, chopped

Salt and pepper, to taste

1/4 c. provolone, shredded + 30 small slices of provolone

Preheat oven to 350* F.  Place phyllo cups on a baking sheet lined with foil.  Set aside.

Heat olive oil in a saute pan over medium high heat.  Add bell pepper and onion.  Saute until soft.  Add garlic and saute until fragrant.  Add roast beef , salt, pepper, and cheese,  and heat until cheese is melted.

Spoon mixture into the phyllo cups.  Top with provolone squares.

Bake for about 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted and slightly bubbly.

Serves 8-12

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These make me happy.  I even ate them for dinner.  I had no shame.

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Just put them on a cute plate, and you’re good to go.  Instant people pleaser.

*For a vegetarian alternative, use mushrooms instead of roast beef.

XOXO Sara

Homemade Hummus with Homemade Tahini

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Mmmm hummus.

It’s one of my faves.  But I do not love the store bought stuff.  How do you make something so healthy taste so chemical-y?  They find a way, I’m telling you.

So I made my own!  Homemade tahini and everything.

This is perfect with fresh veggies and whole wheat toasted pita bread.  I could go eat some right now, and I just might.

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I even accidentally stabbed myself with my blender to make this stuff, so sacrifice was involved.

That’s how good hummus is.  I’m willing to give some blood for it.

But somebody’s gotta do it, ya know?

Oh, did I mention how easy it is to make this?  Even homemade tahini is so simple!  Just blend up the tahini, scrape it out and make the hummus right away.  No clean up involved.  It only took me about 30 minutes, and I was on my way to Greek food heaven.  Maybe gyros will happen this weekend?  It’s so possible.

Follow the directions like this and you will have a perfectly smooth hummus!  Any other way might not end up with the best results.  Go with your gut, but keep in mind, this is my recommendation ;)

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Spoon tahini into a blender.

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Add fresh lemon juice…

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Blend away!  Let it just blend for a good two minutes.  Scrape occasionally.

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Add a bunch of chopped garlic!

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And some salt.

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And some paprika!

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And don’t forget about the olive oil.  My favorite of all the oils.

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Blend it up!  I actually used a little too much paprika so mine looked kind of reddish orange.  You do not have to make my same mistakes, but you can if you want.

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Add chick peas and blend until smooth and creamy.  (At this point, it will be thick, so add some water to get it to the desired consistency).

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Have I ever mentioned how good hummus is with warm whole wheat pita bread?  It’s da best.

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Ingredients:

2 cans chickpeas

2 Tbs. tahini

Juice of 2 lemons

8 cloves garlic (you may use less, I recommend this many though)

1/2 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. paprika

1/4 c. olive oil

2-4 Tbs. water, to thin (I needed 4)

Drain chickpeas and rinse in cold water.  Set aside to drain all of the water out.

Spoon the tahini in a blender and squeeze as much lemon juice as you can in with the tahini.  Blend together for about 2 minutes, scraping occasionally.  Add garlic, salt, paprika, and olive oil.  Blend for a few more minutes, scraping sides occasionally.

Add chickpeas about 1 1/2 cups at a time.  Blend thoroughly so that the hummus is nice and smooth.  Add water to thin to desired consistency.

Makes about 4 cups.

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Delicious.

*This recipe is vegan, vegetarian, and gluten free!

*Paleo: Replace chickpeas with roasted eggplant or roasted cauliflower.

XOXO Sara

Homemade Tahini

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Are you even alive anymore, Sara?

Yes, I’m alive.

Maybe.

I am in college after all.

And after a week with three tests and a few quizzes, my brain is absolutely fried.

Seriously, who the hell invented Calculus?

That guy was on something.

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This tahini recipe is actually rather impromptu, because I was originally planning on making homemade hummus and just buying a jar of tahini at the store.

Until I saw the price.  $6 for something I will use maybe once or twice before it goes bad?

No, no, and noooo.  Although I know tahini is used in more than just hummus, I didn’t even know what it tasted like at the time, much less if I would even like it enough to make other recipes for it.  And $6…?

(I am a college student after all.  If I’m spending $6 on food, it’s a vanilla bean or a latte from a cute little coffee shop, or something I know I like).

And so therefore, I relied on the wonderful internet to see if tahini is even something possible to make at home.  Good news, it’s possible!

So as I was in the middle of the baking aisle at Winco, browsing my very slow internet service on my beloved iPhone, I discovered that tahini consists of only toasted sesame seeds and oil.  There is no specific recipe, it’s kind of just a “see what happens” recipe if that makes sense.

(If not, just read on!)

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Start with some sesame seeds.  Put them in a pan, and then turn on the heat medium high.

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Lightly toast them.  Right when they start to look a little brown, take them off because they burn so quickly!  This should only take a few minutes.

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Add it to a blender or food processor.  I use a blender because I do not have a food processor (but a girl can dream!)

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Add some oil.

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Blend blend blend!

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Wala!

As it turns out, I definitely would only use tahini in recipes such as hummus or maybe salad dressing.  I know many use it in place of peanut butter, and although I thought it was delicious, it will never replace peanut butter in this girl’s heart!

But luckily for you tahini lovers, you now have a more affordable (suuuuuuper easy) alternative!

Amen.

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Ingredients:

1/4 c. sesame seeds

1 Tbs. olive oil

Place sesame seeds in a saute pan.  Heat on medium high and toast sesame seeds, but be careful not to burn them.  Pour toasted sesame seeds into a blender.  Add the oil and blend until smooth and creamy.  You may have to scrape down the sides every once in a while.

Makes about 3 Tbs. of tahini

*This recipe is vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, and paleo!

XOXO Sara

Twice Baked Potato Skins

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Potato skins are perhaps one of the most delicious things known to man, if I do say so myself.  How could you not love a potato stuffed with bacon and cheese and sour cream?  Excuse me, but I don’t hear anyone complaining.

With Superbowl right around the corner, I knew I had to make something that would stand out but was still greasy enough to make it to the game.  And by greasy, I mean delicious.  Greasy does not always equal bad.  Unless you’re on a diet.  In which case, it’s time to splurge a little, okay?

Potato skins actually proved to be a bit of a struggle for me as I was pressed for time in order to also watch a movie in between writing this post and going to bed.  Yeah, I know, my priorities are really straightened out here, but Sunday movie night is important okay?  (Tonight, my bedroom is featuring Peter Pan).

This whole being “pressed for time” thing ended up with me having slightly demolished potato skins because the potatoes did not get cooked quite as long as they needed to be (thanks to my microwave for saving the day).  So they became twice baked potato skins.  You know when bad situations turn into really, really great ones?  Yeah, that’s how twice baked potato skins came to be.  Things happen for a reason, friends.

So therefore, let me prove to you that not everything a food blogger prepares comes out looking all that appetizing and pretty…

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See?  Doesn’t look very appetizing.  But taste wise?

Oh hell yeah.  These things take the cake.

Or the potato.  Whatever floats your boat.

Enough with the cheesy sayings already, Sara.  Show these people how to make these delicious suckers.  (By the way, CHEESY?!  Did you see that?  I’m full of them today).

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Ingredients:

2 small russet potatoes

Olive oil

1/4 lb. bacon

1/2 lb. sharp cheddar cheese, grated

2 Tbs. sour cream + more for topping

1 Tbs. butter

Salt and pepper, to taste

2-3 Tbs. chives, chopped

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Preheat oven to 400* F.  Scrub potatoes thoroughly and dry.  I recommend using 1/2 a potato per person if it’s for appetizers, and 1 potato per person you’re serving this as a meal.  They’re very filling!

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Brush the potatoes with some oil.  Olive oil will be oh-so-fine.

Place them in the oven for about 40 minutes, or until fork tender.

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Meanwhile, chop up some bacon.  I apologize from here on out about the picture situation.  The lighting in my kitchen goes away at about 3-3:30 in the winter, which as many food bloggers know, is a curse.

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Then crisp up that bacon in a frying pan.  Drain on some paper towels when it’s nice and browned.

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Also, grate up your cheese for fun.  (As we all know, grating cheese is not fun so just smile while you work and listen to Tom Petty and it will seem better, I promise).

When the potatoes are good and ready, cut them into quarters.  Scoop out the insides but make sure to leave enough to make a shell to hold everything together, or you will end up with lots of mashed potatoes and no twice baked potato skins.

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Mix about half of the insides with the butter and sour cream.  Mash it all together.

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Then add about 1/2 c. of cheese, about 1 Tbs. chives, and some salt and pepper.

This is when my natural light completely left and I forgot to keep taking pictures.  Sorry for any inconveniences.  Luckily, this recipe is not too complicated!

Brush your potato skins with olive oil or butter and bake in the oven for 5 minutes on each side.  Set your oven to broil.

Fill the skins with about 1-2 Tbs. of the filling and top with some cheese.  Broil for about 2 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Finish them off with some bacon and chopped chives.

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Might I recommend serving them with ranch? (I would).  Why don’t you check out my recipe for The Best Ranch Ever?  I made it specifically for these little guys, and oh my lanta was is so worth it.

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I might go eat some leftovers right now, actually.

Please excuse me.

XOXO Sara