Blog to Taste: February 2015

Friday, February 27, 2015

Tasty Achievements: February 2015

Hello again foodie friends! I'm trying real hard not start with "can you believe..." but honestly, I don't know how we are seriously already at the end of February. The month of love was here and gone in what really feels like the blink of an eye.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Parking Lot Chip Dip Recipe

Hello foodie friends! Have you heard of the parking lot chip dip? No? Let me set it up for you. You're standing in a Target parking lot chatting with a friend. Things are going fine and then a car slowly pulls up. "Oh boy..." you'll think to your self, "I hate giving directions." An elderly lady is driving and with deranged eyes and teeth that will haunt you, she asks..."Do you like chips?"

Monday, February 23, 2015

Paprika, Meal Planning's New BFF

A few weeks ago I covered the basics of meal planning. Today I want to spend a little more time talking about the app I use to make the whole process easier. Again, I should just tell you that meal planning saves you money because you are not eating out, and you are not over purchasing groceries. I know you get me!

Paprika is an app made for meal planning. It costs a few dollars to buy and is totally worth it! 

In a nutshell here's how it works:

  1. find a recipe
  2. save recipe to Paprika's recipe box
  3. add the recipe to your calendar
  4. add the ingredients to your grocery list
  5. share the grocery list between devices (that have Paprika on them)

Friday, February 20, 2015

Gin Rickey Cocktail Recipe

Today's post is brought to you by Gin, my new BFF. Please don't feel bad for me because my only friend is alcohol, gin is a great listener and always keeps my spirits high! OK, ok, I'm just kidding, I have real life BFFs who I am sure don't appreciate being replaced with booze. But seriously, I've been having a love affair with gin, it's just so delicious. 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Italian-Style Stuffed Bell Peppers

Stuffed peppers have become one of my favorite dishes to make and eat. There's something fun about filling up the pepper like a little boat with all of my favorite ingredients. When I was brainstorming meal ideas a few weeks ago, I imagined stuffed peppers, but what did I want to fill them with this time? Traditionally I do rice, ground beef, cheese, sauteed onion, and top with a taco or enchilada sauce. That combination wasn't getting me excited, though, so I decided to try a Italian-food-inspired version of the stuffed bell pepper.

Now, you can tell from my picture that I cut the pepper from top to bottom and cook them while they're laying on their side. My mother is of a different school of thought that you cut the top off, fill the pepper, and then put the top back on "like a pumpkin" as she says. While I see how that would look cute and probably take even more filling, I think it is easier to work with and eat peppers that are cut vertically. Really, you can cut them whichever speaks to you.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Warren's Blackberry Pancakes Recipe

Hello foodie friends, and Happy President's Day! I hope you get to enjoy the day off and take advantage of the nice weather that is hitting Portland right now. And if you're not in Portland, I just hope you're not on the east coast with the snow right now! This past weekend was Valentine's Day, and while I don't have a *special hunni*, I love myself, so I decided to treat myself to some special Blackberry Pancakes. 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Totally Bamboo Oregon State Cutting and Serving Board

When I'm out and about with my co-blogger Warren, we often troll the kitchen section of whatever store we're in looking for must-have gadgets and wares. I usually find it hard to commit to an expensive kitchen item, and I'll often put things back on the shelf that I really love. This week, though, we stopped at the Kitchen Kaboodle store on Hall St., and I was instantly attracted to a beautiful bamboo cutting board in the shape of our lovely state. "It is only $20, and I have two Totally Bamboo cutting boards that I already love, so why not?" I told myself as I clutched the smooth wooden board to my chest. 

Monday, February 9, 2015

Sauerkraut Roasted Chicken

Happy Monday foodie friends! Remember last month when I bragged talked about how I had mastered the art of roasting chicken. Well, this recipe is still in that vein. You may be saying "Another roasted chicken recipe?" with disdain, but turn that frown upside down! Roasted chicken is one of those dishes that you can make a million different ways. I like to make this dish often, and hope that by showing you several different ways you can make it, you will see that you can easily throw a couple ingredients together and make your own sophisticated dinner winner!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Multi-Use Recipe

Hello again my foodie friends! It's time again for WHIP IT UP WITH WARREN. Isn't that a nice alliteration? I'm trying it out, so you can let me know what you think of it below. Anyway, I was feeling extremely inspired by Rosie's post earlier this week on Meal Planning and decided I would have my own go at it this week, and make something that I could stretch and use the entire week.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Valentine's Day Homemade Cherry-Filled Doughnuts

Admittedly, Valentine's day isn't my favorite day of the year because I'm one of those forever alone people. Alas, I enjoy heart-shaped foods like cookies, cakes, and candies. If you're like me, you just want to sit in your bed, watch Netflix, and eat some sweets on V-day to console yourself. For this post, I decided to make some lovely cherry-filled doughnuts that you can enjoy with your date or as distraction from your lack of a date.

This is the second time I've used this recipe from Epicurious, and I've gotta say, it's perfect. If you follow the instructions and use the right tools, you will achieve doughnut divinity. It is rather time consuming, yes, but it's worth it in the end. Keep in mind that these little treats are not healthy in any way. They have carbs, fat, sugar, gluten, etc, but you can be a little naughty for V-day, right?

Monday, February 2, 2015

Meal Planning 101

I'm kicking off a new mini feature where I will share some of my tried and true money saving tips related to food. Grocery shopping is one of my least favorite things to do and eats up a huge part of my family's budget. A budget I keep trying to tighten and a chore I keep trying to get out of. So how do I make myself do it? By creating a system that works for me, makes things easier and saves money. 

Enter meal planning. This is absolutely the first and best thing you can do for your budget. If you are anything like me, as in you want to grocery shop as little as possible and hate throwing away food (wasted food = dollar dollar bills y'all), you will want to start taking your meal planning seriously. Meal planning, and the app I used to do it- Paprika, have seriously changed my life for the better. And the longer I keep up my good habits, the easier they get! Today I am focusing on the basics of meal planning, and I will write another post about all the Paprika specifics.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Tasty Achievements: January 2015

Hello foodie friends! We're already one month done with 2015 which is blowing my mind. Are you sticking with any of your resolutions? I haven't forgotten mine, but they're definitely after thoughts. Maybe it's like January doesn't count?? Even if January doesn't count with resolutions, it definitely counted on Blog to Taste! It's that time to share our favorite posts with you. Let us know what you think!