One of my favorite things in the world is baking with my mom. When I was little, she would sit my sister and I down and tell us stories about her growing up in kitchens and learning from great people.
One of the things I love doing is taking recipes my mom has passed down and making them more my own in a small way, like the first time I recently made Peanut Butter Cheesecake. My boyfriend just celebrated a big milestone and this was his one dessert request!
However, we had never changed mom’s recipe before and it’s a family secret (not giving this one away, I would be disowned if I spilled the beans 🙊) , so I will link a recipe I used as a reference for how much peanut butter to use here (we actually cut it down to 3/4 cup): https://www.aprettylifeinthesuburbs.com/peanut-butter-cheesecake/
Peanut Butter Cheesecake
Servings: 1 big cheesecake (using spring-form pan) or 20-24 cupcake sized versions
Prep Time: 10-30 mins.
Cooking Time: 15 mins- 1 hour, plus 30 mins to let cheesecake cool down after oven is turned off
How was your weekend Foodie Friends? Are there any secret family recipes that your family holds dear? Sound out in the comments below or let me know suggestions of where I should check out next. As always, feel free to like, comment, and share 🤗
Hello Hello again Foodie Friends 🙂 Hope you had an awesome sunny weekend! In this edition of Foodie Adventures, I’ll be talking about the 5 year Anniversary for Swamp Rabbit Brewing Company and Mo & Joe’s BBQ.
So to honor my love of everything cookie related, I’ve decided to touch on an old classic recipe in my family and a new favorite – Oatmeal chocolate chip cookies and Hamantaschen, a jam-filled Jewish cookie that is made during Purim celebrations.
Pictures above from the view around the hotel attached, patio, and vineyard adjacent. Someone could get used to waking up to a view like this ❤
The hotel and restaurant are nestled at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains, surrounded by gorgeous views and a small vineyard across the road. Hotel Domestique, a quaint, Old World Style building next door, lends a great backdrop and atmosphere as you look out from the bar of Restaurant 17.
The three menus above change seasonally and also by the variety of amazing local ingredients contributed by the farmers and suppliers listed. Check marks on the menus (added post-dinner, of course) detail what we ordered for my friends birthday celebration!
Click on each picture for a description of the items!
In business for 18 years, this little Jewish bakery is a gem and the best place around to get bagels, sandwiches, homemade cookies and baked goods, and some great lox too!
We got a black and white cookie, baked fresh on Sunday (which got inhaled so quickly I couldn’t even take a picture 😂), a Brown Sugar Blueberry bagel (pictured right with cream cheese), a cinnamon raisin, and honey wheat bagel, only three of their 20+ flavors on the menu. A must try for breakfast, lunch, and a Sunday morning with family!
How was your weekend? I’d love to hear your foodie adventures from this weekend too! As always, feel free to like, comment, and share, and look out for another post coming up later on this week 🤗
Happy (belated) St. Patrick’s day to all my foodie friends! 🍀
What better way to celebrate the day than drinking some green beer (if you’re over 21 😋) and finishing it off with homemade corn beef and cabbage? 🍻
One of the easiest holiday recipes to make, it’s super simple, and all you really need is time to finish this recipe. I’ll post the recipe and pictures on their respective tabs, so let’s talk about how to make it!
Corned Beef & Cabbage
All you really need is three main ingredients — 2-3 lbs. Corned beef (which usually comes with its own spice mix or packet in the store), One head of cabbage, and 6-8 potatoes. I always add carrots for extra veggies (6-8 as well), however, those first three ingredients are the Holy Trinity of Saint Patrick’s Day recipes!
To start, take your corned beef out of the package and place in a big pot with the spice mix (I used a pot I usually make big soups or lobster in), filling the pot with water until about 2 inches of water covers the top of the meat. If your corned beef doesn’t come with a seasoning packet, all you need to add is a clove of garlic, a bay leaf, 1/2 tsp. whole peppercorns, 1 tsp. salt, and 1 tsp. of pepper (to taste).
Wash your potatoes, carrots, and cabbage well. Chop the stump off the bottom of the cabbage and remove the outer 3-4 leaves before cutting. Chop the cabbage into small wedges, leaving the center intact to keep the cabbage in its shape.
Chop up about 6 to 8 small red potatoes and carrots into small chunks, increasing the amount of potatoes and carrots by how many pounds of meat you’re cooking. For reference, I cooked 2 to 3 pounds of meat, so increase your potatoes and carrots accordingly if cooking more meat (ex: the original recipe calls for 4-5 lbs. of beef = 16-18 carrots & potatoes, and a larger head of cabbage).
Bring the meat to a boil, then turn the heat down to low and simmer for 3 – 3.5 hours. This would be a great time to go out and drink beer with buddies and have some fun before finishing up the recipe!
Once the 3 hours is up, or your meat is fork tender and can pull apart really easily, put the wedged cabbage, potatoes, and carrots into the pot and bring the heat up to medium high. Once at a low, rolling boil, set the timer for another 30 minutes – 1 hour, whichever you need to cook the vegetables until fork tender. It may need more or less time depending on how small you cut your vegetables, and how much water is left after 3 hours. You may need to cook the vegetables on the longer end of time depending on how full the pan is.
After your veggies are cooked, pull or shred apart the beef, and put together Tupperware containers with a little bit of everything if doing meal prep, or just enjoy straight out of the pot!
What was your favorite part about St. Patrick’s Day Weekend? Shout out in the comments below! 🤗
In the next few weeks, I’ll be updating my blog with meal prep ideas from HelloFresh, as my friend gifted us a discount and I’m taking you on my meal kit journey with me (#notsponsored #notanad)! I won’t be posting the recipes from these as they’re already written for us, so check out the pictures tab for the full recipe and more in-depth cooking shots.
As (I think) I’ve mentioned before, I’m originally from New England, and I absolutely love seafood, so this salmon dish really caught my eye in the weekly meal lineup.
A long time ago, my parents introduced me to Middle Eastern food, and this Mediterranean salmon reminded me of the times we would go visit this little Lebanese restaurant in Pennsylvania on the way to see family. HelloFresh made it easier to recreate the flavors of some of my favorite food with this recipe!
With every HelloFresh meal kit, it gives you all the ingredients – Minus salt, pepper, and usually some sort of oil or butter. It also wants you to go fetch a few different pans or utensils that you may or may not have to complete the recipe.
For the first part of the recipe, it called for zesting and cutting a lemon into wedges, and taking the dill fronds off of the stems and finally chopping. In the meantime, I boiled about 1/2 cup of water and 1 tbls. of butter in a pan before I threw in the couscous and quickly took it off the stove. It absorbed the water in the next 10 minutes as it rested.
Next was getting that crispy salmon skin!
I salt and peppered the salmon on both sides and put it skin side down in a pan with vegetable oil. It took about 5 minutes on the skin side* and another 2 to 4 minutes to cook the salmon all the way through on the back.
While the salmon cooked, I made the creamy dill sauce, with a combination of the two sour cream packets, half the lemon zest, the juice of two lemon wedges, and a tablespoon of our chopped dill. I salt and peppered that to taste as well!
I also fluffed the couscous with a fork and added the remaining lemon zest, some salt, pepper, and half of the zaatar spice, and stirred until fully combined.
Next was cooking the green beans, which took about three minutes in a steaming bag in the microwave.
Once those came out of the microwave, they went in a bowl tossed with butter, salt, and pepper, to taste.
The only thing left was to Plate it Up! 🤗🍽
I was having lunch catered in the office yesterday, so luckily I only needed four lunches for this week, or else I would have needed to include more vegetables, couscous, and salmon to extend the recipe.** The directions suggested the couscous go down first, followed by the green beans, salmon, and top it with the creamy dill sauce, the remaining dill, and the rest of the zaatar spices.
*One of the tips it suggested for getting really crispy skin was to press down with a spatula while it was skin side down to get the best surface contact while it was touching the pan.
**The recipe only says it contains two servings, however, if you have a bigger appetite than I do at lunch or weren’t trying to meal prep, this definitely wouldn’t last you as long as it will for me.
I must admit, on this rainy day, getting this box made me feel like a little kid on Christmas morning. My friends and I got a gift card for a discount on boxes in the mail (#notsponsored #notanad) and decided to try it for a few weeks and make meals together!
The foil and bubble-wrapped liners contained all the meals we ordered in individually wrapped bags with everything but the proteins in the bundles.
Everything else was hiding under the gigantic ice bag, which was as long as my forearm – no joke!
All three of our meals with their proteins laid out, with recipe cards below!
I’m so excited to share these with you in the next couple weeks. I’ll be using this as meal prep and comparing how easy or hard the recipes are, based on what’s listed on the cards. If I add anything while cooking, I’ll note it here too!
Have you ever tried out HelloFresh or any other meal kit service? What did you think? Shout out in the comments down below, and stay tuned for more 🙂
This spot opened up right next to a Food Lion near us about a year ago and it’s still going strong. It’s a really cute place, with metal and wooden seating and murals along the wall, depicting the hustle and bustle of a Mexican town. If you look closely, you can see familiar faces & names of the family members that own the restaurant sprinkled in with the rest of the colorful scene.
Their food is just as amazing as their décor. The menu is simple, but jam packed with goodies like tortas, gorditas (my absolute favorite), and mulitas. If we want really good authentic Mexican food, this is where we go!
After ordering, you make your way to their homemade salsa bar, which always changes with seasonality, but has some classics on hand, like chipotle sauce, salsa verde, etc.
We ended up choosing the Green Sauce w/ avocado; Chile Arbol (wicked spicy); Habanero salsa (my favorite); and Bla Bla Verde Sauce (their take on a salsa verde).
Every order comes with homemade chips and refried beans, which worked well to balance out the spice levels on some of the salsas!
As I said, their gorditas are to DIE FOR! Created with a “handmade thick corn tortilla* that is grilled, fried, cut open like a ‘pita bread’, and then filled with your choice of meat or vegetables” (from their website). From top left down and then top right, the fillings we chose were:
Al Pastor (marinated shredded pork grilled with pineapples) (my favorite, hands down!)
Carne Asada (Steak)
& Barbacoa(Shredded Beef Brisket)
There are so many more fillings we could’ve spent breakfast and dinner there too trying to taste them all! Everything is super fresh and made to order, so even if we have to wait, the food is so worth it.
If you’re in town, absolutely check them out! They’re on 1004 W. Georgia Rd. Ste. B, in Simpsonville, SC.
*Side Story — When I was younger, we used to have Peruvian friends who had invited us to their house to have supper, and they made us arepas, which is the Peruvian version of the thicker corn tortilla pictured above. They added little bits of queso fresco to theirs before cooking, and I have made them that way ever since. One of these days I’ll recreate that recipe here too! See that here if you’d like to make our version yourself.
This week, I made a recipe inspired by Pinterest, one posted by a blogger in 2015 named Vodka and Biscuits I have on my “Fantastically Foodie” board (Shameless plug, I know, here’s the link).
I was in the mood to use my cast iron skillet, and I like to try and use what’s already in my pantry when I can — this week, that item happened to be canned pumpkin! It’s been so dull and dreary outside I wanted a warm, feel-good dish for meal prep this week.
You can absolutely make pumpkin into a savory sauce- adding in more fall spices mixed with a little heat from the red pepper flakes or chili powder helps to balance the natural sweetness of the pumpkin
You can sub out multiple things in this recipe to better suit what you have on hand:
Vegetable broth for Chicken Broth
Sage sausage for Italian sausage
Olive oil for Canola oil
Red pepper flakes for Paprika or Chili powder
Cast iron skillet for Saute pan & Oven safe baking dish
Depending on the size of the container you use, I got about 7-8 single-serve Tupperware containers out of this for meal prep.
See the recipe we edited to make this non-dairy friendly here and let me know what you think!
Have you ever cooked with a cast-iron skillet before? Do you like using one over a saute pan or vice versa? Shout out in the comments below 😁🙌
First stop for this week was the Cousins Maine Lobster Truck, which won Shark Tank a couple years ago and has been bringing great New England Lobster to the people of America ever since! As a native New Englander myself, this was a can’t miss stop. I grabbed two of my besties, Jonothan and Julissa…
…..and we proceeded to stand in line for FOUR HOURS waiting for food.
Now I know, you must be saying, “You must be crazy to stand in line that long!”. Yes, looking back on it, I’d have to agree with you to a point. Hey, at least they parked in front of a brewery!
We made a lot of great friends in line, and that sweet, sweet lobster was so worth it <3 See pictures below for more fun from Food Truck Tuesday!
Brunch is one of my favorite things in the world, besides cooking of course 🙂 Jonathan and my boyfriend & I ended up going to Another Broken Egg after this new biscuit place we were going to check out was closed.
I had an early Saint Patrick’s Day Open-Faced Ruben with a poached egg; my boyfriend had an eggs benedict burger; and Jonathan had a supreme omelet and chocolate chip pancakes!*
*Not pictured here are the biscuit beignets with powdered sugar and orange marmalade dipping sauce we had as an appetizer; brought me back to New Orleans and Café Du Monde!
Dinner with the Fam!
Polish Pierogis and Gołąbki
Pronounced *Peer-oh-geez* and *gol-ump-keys*
When my family gets together, we love making dishes that remind us of our family that are far away or can’t be with us anymore. Last night’s dinner reminded me of when I was younger, and my grandpa would make pierogis and golumpkis (spelling it this way for ease of reading), or take us to a little family restaurant called Patty’s in Rhode Island for some.
The pierogis were always served with sour cream and grilled onions on the side, and the golumpkis were piping hot out of the oven next to them. The pierogis we ate last night were traditional style (potato and onion filled), and a little more modern style (bacon, cheddar, and potato filled). Imagine if they put mashed potatoes into a ravioli wrapper, and voila! Pierogis!
As a kid, I wasn’t a big fan of cabbage, but having it served this way was delish! The golumpkis are cabbages stuffed with rice and beef, and baked in a sweet, stewed tomato sauce.