Stuffed Peppers

by amy on 16 October 2014

Stuffed Peppers {With Beef + Tomato Rice}I was a pretty picky eater as a child, especially about any type of meat. However, even in my pickiness, my mom made a few meat-centered meals that I absolutely LOVED, and still do now — especially American Chop Suey, Homemade Meatballs with Pasta, and Stuffed Peppers. Two of those three meals I’ve already put my own spin on and blogged about, so I figured it was time to do the same for stuffed peppers! After experimenting/recipe-testing with different versions over the last few months, I have settled on what I think are the perfect stuffed peppers. =)

My version is actually fairly similar to what we ate growing up, just with a little more pizzaz. =) First, I take bright, fresh bell peppers, halve them + par-boil them. Then, I make an amazingly-flavorful homemade seasoned tomato rice. Then, I saute up a mixture of onions, ground beef, tomatoes, and spices. Finally, I combine the rice + meat mixture, stuff it generously in those pepper halves, drizzle with tomato sauce, + bake until browned + pipin’ hot. The result? Seriously, the BEST stuffed peppers I have ever had, bursting with tons of flavor + depth. This recipe serves 4-6, but is easily doubled or tripled, if you’re serving a crowd. And if you have leftovers, no problemo – these heat up wonderfully straight from the fridge + freeze great for future meals, too!

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Pumpkin Pie Baked Oatmeal

by amy on 8 October 2014

Pumpkin Pie Baked OatmealI’m always looking for new breakfast ideas for my family. For lunches and dinners, I’m pretty creative with recipes, but for breakfast, I tend to make the same few things over and over again. So, when I was looking recently for a new breakfast that my husband, myself, and 16-month-old Fearless Baby would all enjoy, I decided to try baked oatmeal. A lot of my friends swear by baked oatmeal as a delicious, kid-friendly food, but surprisingly, I had never eaten it before. I looked up a bunch of recipes and settled on this pumpkin pie version, because nothing says autumn like pumpkin, + I’m a huuuuge pumpkin pie fan.

How did it turn out? Heavens, this stuff is amazing! Why did it take me so long to try it? I had assumed that the texture would be chewy (like a chewy oat or granola bar), but I was wrong. It’s super soft, like a cake or bread pudding, which was lovely. It tastes fantastic, too – full of pumpkin flavor + warming fall spices. I loved it warm, straight out of the oven, topped with a little whipped cream, but it’s also great cold from the fridge, served with milk, yogurt, or maple syrup. It reheats wonderfully, so it’s a great recipe to make on Sunday, ensuring that you have scrumptious breakfasts for the week. And as I hoped, Fearless Baby loved it as much as we did. A delicious, simple, adult-AND-kiddo-approved meal? You can’t beat that!

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Chicken Broccoli Alfredo Stuffed Shells

by amy on 1 October 2014

Chicken Broccoli Alfredo Stuffed ShellsI love the combination of chicken, broccoli, and alfredo sauce (or really, any cream or cheese sauce). I’ve had that combination in many pasta dishes, rice dishes, and casseroles, but had never tried it in stuffed pasta shells until I made this meal a couple months ago, and now I am totally hooked on it in this form. This recipe has become a regular in our household, since it is SO delicious, super simple to prepare, makes fantastic leftovers AND is loved by both the adults + Fearless Baby. Whenever a recipe can cover all four of those things, I’m sold!

In this recipe, tender shredded chicken is tossed with rich alfredo sauce, cheddar + parmesan cheeses, + chopped broccoli, then stuffed generously into jumbo pasta shells, topped with a little more cheese (you can never have too much!), and baked until bubbly and golden brown. Mmmm. I am seriously making myself SO hungry just thinking about this recipe again! It makes about 20 stuffed shells, which serves 4-5 people as a main dish, but it is easily doubled + prepped ahead of time, so it would be fantastic for a big family get-together or party, too. I can’t wait for y’all to try this meal + I hope you love it as much as we do!

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Single Serving Deep-Dish Chocolate Chip Cookie Today, I’m participating in a fun blogger event — the Secret Recipe Club. How does it work? Every blogger is secretly assigned another blog + chooses a recipe from that blog to make. On reveal day (today!), all of our posts go up at the same time, + everyone gets to see who was assigned to their blog, which recipe they chose, + how it turned out. Fun, huh?

I was assigned the wonderful blog The Spiffy Cookie, which was a fun treat, as I know Erin well, + we’ve even hung out in person! From all her fantastic recipes, I choose to try a sweet treat: this Single Serving Deep-Dish Chocolate Chip Cookie. I must admit, I was skeptical as to whether it would even turn out (I had never made a single-serving mug cake or cookie before), but it was too intriguing not to try. Y’all, consider me a convert! This was SO insanely delicious + incredibly easy to make. The result is a homemade cookie, in deep-dish form: Golden brown + slightly crisp on the outside, and ooey-gooey, warm + chocolatey on the inside. SOOO good, especially topped with a little ice cream. =) I timed it + it took me less than 4 minutes to gather/measure/mix the ingredients, then 15 minutes to bake it. That means that in less than 20 minutes, you have a decadent, scrumptious, from-scratch dessert. Delicious AND a little bit dangerous, I tell you!

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Slow-Cooker Chicken and Mushroom Farro RisottoFall is arriving in Nashville! The mornings and evenings are becoming delightfully crisp and cool, which is getting me excited for hearty cold-weather food, like stews, soups, and risottos. I recently came across this recipe for Slow-Cooker Chicken and Mushroom Farro Risotto and was intrigued. I love risotto and I really love slow-cooker meals, but I had never tried combining the two. The recipe was doubly intriguing, as it uses farro for the risotto, instead of the traditionally-used arborio rice. For those of you unfamiliar with farro (like I was until recently), it’s a hearty, nutty, wonderfully-textured ancient grain. So, this recipe got me to make risotto in the slow-cooker for the first time AND cook with farro for the first time. Gotta love trying new things in the kitchen!

Everything about this is SO delicious: the juicy, fall-apart tender chicken, the wonderfully flavorful mushrooms/onions/garlic, and the cooked-to-perfection farro, all in a truly divine, amazingly creamy parmesan sauce. I first made this on a night when my husband was not home for dinner, as he’s not a huge mushroom fan, so I didn’t think he’d dig it. After I made it + raved about how much Fearless Baby and I loved it, he asked if I’d be willing to make it again for him to try, too. I did a week later, and even though he admittedly didn’t devour every single mushroom, he said it was one of the best slow-cooker meals (and one of the best mushroom meals) he’s ever had. If this can win over a mushroom-hater, it must be truly amazing, right?! You’ve gotta give it a try + report back!

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