Tag Archives: home cook

Easy Peasy Banana Bread

Who doesn’t have old bananas in their pantry? I know we do at least once a month. We do not throw them out. Instead, we make banana bread! Banana bread is such a delicious thing that is not too unhealthy, but also easy as heck to whip up. It’s a great snack or treat any time of the year, but especially during the winter, there’s just something about that smell of it baking in the house.

This recipe is incredibly easy: just put everything together, whisk, and bake! I based this recipe off of Carrots ‘N’ Cake’s recipe–you should check her out, she’s a very fun healthy lifestyle blogger. Our favorite way to enjoy banana bread is taking a slice and toasting it in the toaster oven and then slathering butter on it. Mmm-mm! Let’s have fun making this banana bread!

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Quick & Easy Chili at Home

Daylight savings time has us falling back and the sun is setting earlier. Days are getting darker, nights are getting colder and we’re moving through Fall quickly, on our way to Winter. The change of seasons and weather provides us the opportunity to cook different dishes in order to keep our bodies warm and even capitalize on different foods that are in season. One food that you can make all year round is chili, but there’s something special about having a warm bowl on a cold night.

We’ve presented loads of different recipes on the blog, in different forms. Sometimes we use recipe cards; sometimes we don’t. Sometimes we use lots and lots of work; sometimes we don’t. One thing we always want to do is include lots of delicious pictures, but this time around, we’re going to use these pictures as the recipe.

During (nearly) every stage of the cooking process, we’re going to show you a picture and only provide a brief description as to what is going on. Since we’re not baking, precise measurements aren’t as important, and since we’re making chili, there aren’t any complex techniques. Plus, the most important thing to remember is that this is YOUR chili, and you should adjust the seasoning to make your mouth and tummy happy. (If you want to throw some serious heat in there, go for it!)

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Red wine
  • Vegetable stock
  • Potatoes, cut into chunks 
  • Fresh or canned tomatoes 
  • Seasoning like oregano, paprika, and salt & pepper
  • Beans
  • Fat, such as butter
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Step 1: Caramelize onions and garlic in a stockpot.

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Simple Summer Recipes with Al Fresco

Of course we know what you’re thinking! After all these years, we have a pretty good idea what you’re looking for…Summer recipes on (nearly) the last day of Summer… isn’t it?! Really?! Well… don’t fret too much. It’s an idea you probably haven’t had before but what if some delicious Summer-inspired recipes could be replicated inside your home. Sure, it might be too cool or too windy to fire up the grill, but you don’t need to! After all, when you use your noggin, we all know that anything is possible.

Hot Dogs can (and often do) sketch a lot of people out. We’ve all heard the horror stories about what exactly is in that hot dog, but instead of opting for a Hot Dog in a Bun, turn things a lot fresher and a little more fun with this healthier sausage based twist. Honestly, there’s only one thing you’ll need since it is the base of this concept and that is…Sausage.

Now, we’re pretty darn particular when it comes to grocery store sausage offerings so we’re going with Al Fresco’s for a few reasons.

1. You can’t find it in every grocery, so it’s just a touch on the higher end. (Which is a good thing!)

2. It is easy to remove the “casing” from the sausage, which we’re going to do to help cook it.

3. It tastes good! That means… flavor and texture. It basically makes your mouth dance a little.

Here is the “recipe” for this dish, which is going to be more of a “how-to” since we want you to do the hard part!

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How to Convert Leftovers into a Masterpiece

So you’re sitting there thinking, how the heck am I going to make this leftover restaurant food taste good? First, don’t you dare put that fish in the microwave. Or those fries. In fact, I’d avoid the microwave when reheating leftovers (especially from take-out/delivery/etc) because it’s going to have an awful texture. Fried food won’t be crispy, just saturated in oil. Proteins won’t be juicy, just rubbery. No one wants to eat a tire.

While this might only be one recipe, it should inspire you think about what you can do with those leftovers to… make them even better than when you first had them. That’s our goal at home and my challenge every night. For this particular recipe, we had some spinach & artichoke dip from a crummy pizza delivery night, but we turned it into a fine dining experience. How? Here you are.

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Stove to Oven Apple Crumble Dessert

One night, after a delicious supper of leftovers, Hungry and I were craving something else. We had a fridge full of goodies so the world was our oyster. What did we want for dessert? More than just a square of chocolate. What about making something? What about pairing Hungry’s cooking skills with Fit’s baking skills? Yes! Sounds like the right way to go. We had plenty of apples and I always like to add a topping, so we created an apple crumble dessert! This recipe was so fun, but also relatively un-intimidating and simple to do: we cooked on the stove and then baked to finish it in the oven. If you can, grab a partner to make this lovely dessert with you in the kitchen!

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Easy Healthy Shrimp Pasta

Since both Hungry and I are eating healthy, we’ve been doing a lot of home cooking. I’m lucky enough to have a partner who cooks food beautifully. He will even come home from a long day at work and cook for me, and it makes us both happy! Cooking at home is usually healthier (depends what restaurants you frequent), so we’ve been stocking up the fridge and pulling out the pans. These meals are especially special when we use wild caught seafood (a protein I will eat since it’s wild-caught). We have a great Bristol Farms in walking distance of us so we often go there and pick out some decent wild seafood. This time, it was shrimp. Mmm, mmm good! This recipe is simple and light–you will absolutely not feel heavy afterward. It packs a punch of flavor and will have you looking for more. 

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Cooking Shows Can Actually Make Your Life Easier

Food Network was and still is the most-viewed network in our household. Over the course of 20 years, that hasn’t changed but the personalities and themes certainly have. While it’s not fair to say whether it’s for better or for worse because that would be so subjective, we can definitely say what we enjoy more or less. Everyone has strong feelings for Bobby Flay, Guy Fieri, and all the baking contests, but there are just some shows that give you a little bit of everything. Cutthroat Kitchen is one of them.

For the longest time, we watched a lot of Chopped and we still do. It has its practical application. While the focus of most competition cooking shows isn’t being healthy, there are two major components that will make the life easier of the everyday chef, or the home chef. Those two factors are time and convenience. In most of these competitions, the chefs are only given 20-30 minutes to prepare a meal. That’s right, on Chopped they’re not making a single dish. They have to prepare four portions, which could be exactly how many you need to make for your family! Most of us don’t have hours every day to make fresh meals, so we often resort to opting for some not-so-fresh meals but that often sacrifices the health factor. Frozen food and fast food are time-friendly and have large portions, but typically are filled with unnatural ingredients, excess calories, tons of sodium, and a lack of nutrients. On these shows, top chefs show you how to save time. 

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Easy Biscuit Dinner Rolls

We had a family get-together over the weekend and I had to think of something for a side dish. We had no butter, no veggies–nothing in the fridge or pantry. But one thing we did have…baking ingredients! Why don’t I make dinner rolls! Perfect. However…I didn’t have butter. But, thanks to the internet, I found my way around it! I used this recipe. However, again, it called for an ingredient I didn’t have–mayonnaise. I looked up a few different ways to “substitute” mayo and decided on my winner (egg yolk + oil). Either we were going to have some great dinner rolls or we were going to stop at Whole Foods. Spoiler alert: they turned out great! This is an incredibly easy recipe for some delicious biscuit dinner rolls

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