Boston Baked Beans

When my mom was pregnant with me, she said she always craved pork and beans....and guess what....I love pork and beans.  My mom did not eat pork and beans when she was pregnant with my sister...my sister does not like pork and beans.  Weird how that works.

Growing up I loved eating the canned pork and beans with toast and butter...my fav.  However, as I've gotten older, I've really started to not like the canned stuff....it tastes manufactured.

I loved my mom's baked beans, which I've made quite a few times.  I wasn't even searching for a new recipe, I was happy with hers.

Then I saw Simply Recipe's Slow Cooked Boston Baked Beans...it looked too good not to try.

Um...so we loved it.  It's my new recipe...sorry Mom.

I pretty much followed the recipe.  I used just plain bulk white beans and instead of "salted pork" (I don't even really know what that is??) I used bacon.  I did not add any salt while it was cooking, but I did need some once I was eating it.  I did it in the slow cooker and I didn't need to add more water.

Don't boil the beans...soak them....way better.  Want to know why it's better to use those kind of beans instead of canned beans?

Beans beans the magical fruit, the more you eat the more you....get the point.

There is something in the beans that causes "that".  If you soak them, it should get rid of the side effect.  The reason canned beans aren't as good, is because they've been soaking in whatever causes "that" problem.

So there...I hope I was able to teach you something today.  Who knew I was smart, on top of talented and beautiful??

Okay okay...it was Ben that told me that.


Broccoli and Alfredo Stuffed Potato

A match made in heaven.  This was so good!  It's worth every calorie!!

This one is brought to you by Tasty Kitchen...of course.

I baked my potato in the oven, because I love the crispy skin you get from doing it directly on the oven rack.  I steamed my broccoli on the stove top and I also heated up my alfredo sauce in a small pot....yes....I bought the jar stuff.   I hardly ever have alfredo, so I've never really learned how to make a good sauce from scratch.  The jar stuff was perfect!  I pretty much followed the recipe.

I served it with grilled chicken breast that I had marinated in a honey mustard rosemary marinade that I sort of just made up and threw together....really easy...

- dijon grainy mustard
- honey
- lemon juice
- rosemary
- garlic
- slowly drizzle olive oil while beating

marinate.  easy peasy.

Delicious meal!!

PS...took my own picture...again! Loving the longer days!


Vietnamese Spring Roll

Right after I had my wisdom teeth pulled, I posted a recipe I wanted to try called Vietnamese Spring Rolls with Hoisin Peanut Sauce.

I tried them.  I loved them!   They were exactly how I imagined they would be!  They were a bit hard to roll up....rice paper is sticky stuff,  but overall...easy peasy recipe.

I made a couple of changes...

- I used frozen raw peeled shrimp and boiled it.
- I forgot the mint.
- Instead of rice vermicelli noodles, I just used white rice.
- I did not use organic peanut butter.

Two Fails

I had two girlfriends visit me a couple of weekends ago.  We got in the conversation of cooking.  They were asking me questions and I was encouraging them that not everything always turns out and you don't learn unless you try.

I told them how we've thrown full meals into the garbage after one bite because they were that nasty.  We decided that maybe I should start sharing some of these fails.

Here are two fails...same ingredients tried different ways...neither turned out.  I had such high hopes for this one.

My sister had made the most delicious pizza for my niece's birthday party....this was my attempt at it.

I started out with flat bread (Ang used pizza dough).

I smothered it in pizza sauce...way too much pizza sauce.

I added lots of spinach...remember it shrinks when it's heated up.

Then I added the Cervalet Salami.  I don't like salami or any meat with knobby white bits, however...this stuff is good!

Topped it with fresh mozza balls...

and baked it...

It was a greasy nasty mess.  I did end up eating it because it tasted okay enough to eat and I really do hate wasting food, but it was a floppy soggy mess.  I folded it in half to eat it.

I don't know if it's because I added too much sauce, or maybe I should have baked it straight on the oven racks, or maybe the spinach or mozza created too much moisture....or maybe the salami had too much fat...I don't know.  It was not good...Ang's was good.

Knowing that this combo of ingredients tasted good together, I decided to try making a panini.

I used less sauce, but it still was a drippy drippy mess when I ate it.  It was better than the pizza, but not what I wanted.  Maybe I needed to keep it in the panini grill longer?  

Anyways....you need to make mistakes to learn.  So don't be afraid to not have a recipe and don't be discouraged when it doesn't work out.


Mini Egg Cookies

First I have to say...I took these pictures myself.  Are ya proud?  I've actually been taking a lot of my food post pictures myself.  The days are finally longer, so I'm doing more cooking in daylight hours.

These ones were made on the weekend, so no excuse not to have a good picture of these.

Anyways...if you love mini eggs, you will LOOOOOVE these.  They are sooo freakin good.  Words can not describe the deliciousness that are these.

I got the recipe from my sister...I have no idea where she got it from.  I like my cookies to be soft, so I only baked them for 10 minutes.  The looked undercooked when they came out but were a gold brown on the bottom, so I knew they'd be fine.

Soft, mini egg cookies...heaven....


Let me know if you make them!!

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Asparagus and Gouda In Phyllo

Okay...so this was delicious!!  So good!  I loved it, if I may say so myself.  It was even good leftover, cold, straight out of the fridge.

No recipe...just an idea I thought up.  I'm sure there are recipes out there, but you really don't need them.  All you need to know are flavours you like together and give it a shot.

What I did was I took one sheet of phyllo and brushed melted butter on it, then put another sheet on and brushed more melted butter.  Then I sprinkled a generous amount of shredded gouda along the bottom and put a few spears of cooked asparagus on it.  Fold over the sides, roll it up, brush butter on top...bake it.  I think I did 375 for about 16 or so minutes...just until golden brown.

Now here is what I'd do different next time.  Slice the phyllo in half (vertically) before rolling up so they weren't so long.  I'd, also, maybe undercook the asparagus or grill them (I did mine in the oven with olive oil).  They were a bit floppy and hard to bite.

I love phyllo.  I'm dreaming up new ideas for my left over sheets.

-cream cheese, bananas and caramel sauce
-prosciutto, asparagus and cheese
-cheese cheese and more cheese

I love cheese too.

Avocado Salad

Plating is courtesy of Tracey and dish made by Krista.  I told them I'd give them the shout outs.

This past weekend I had two fabulous girlfriends over...which meant...good food.  One of the things we made was the Avocado Salad from Tasty Kitchen....and by "we", I mean Tracey and Krista.

I have been wanting to try it for awhile, but was waiting for the right time.  This weekend was definitely the right time.

It was so refreshing and light...I enjoyed it.

They did make a couple of changes...

Instead of white wine vinegar, they went with balsamic...it was good, but I think I'd like to try the white wine next time.  I love balsamic vinegar but felt that maybe it was a bit too strong of a flavour that overpowered the dish...but that's just my opinion.

They used dried parsley instead of fresh because that's all I had.

Instead of leaving the avocado in the peel and adding the toppings, they made it like a salad, mixing it all together, and then adding it back into the shell.  I liked it that way....easy to eat.

Oh and want to know what I did with the leftovers?  Poached egg, homemade hollandaise sauce with the salad served on top...DELICIOUS!  It was so freakin good like that!

Let me know if you try it!