Tag Archives: Hormel

Slow and Steady

Getting a slow-cooker has proved to be a successful meal maker on most Sundays. I love the idea of throwing a whole bunch of stuff into a big pot and letting it just cook for hours, without needing any attention from me. After trying slow-cooker lasagna for the first time a few months ago, I knew I wanted more of it, but I wanted to switch things up. So, I tried a buffalo chicken lasagna a few weeks ago that was amazing (I need to find that recipe so I can share it with you!), and then I made a Southwestern lasagna.

Even though this is the first year I haven’t filled out a March Madness bracket in awhile, I’m still interested in the games. So, throwing this in the slow-cooker and plopping myself on the couch was just what the doctor (aka myself) ordered on Sunday. It also made enough that the hubs and I will be able to enjoy it mid-week as well. I’m a big fan of making something that has leftovers, especially when the meal is a winner. When I was trying to figure out what I wanted in the lasagna, I realized there are so many different variations you could make. Ours was on the spicier side, but you can of course dial down the spices to your liking, or swap them out for something else!

Of course it wouldn’t be complete without some guacamole, so thanks to the wonderful Hormel, I picked up some Spicy Wholly Guacamole. It was the perfect addition to the meal, and they aren’t messing around with the spice! I would definitely try their pico de gallo and guacamole dip they have, too.

Southwestern Lasagna
– Serves 4 –

Ingredients:
1 lb. ground beef, ground turkey, or soy crumbles (I used Jennie-O ground turkey)
1 green pepper, diced
1 yellow onion, diced
1 15oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 10oz. can Rotel tomatoes & green chiles
1 10oz. can enchilada sauce
3 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp Adobo
1/4 tsp paprika
8oz. shredded cheese blend
6 burrito sized flour tortillas (I use Chi-Chi’s brand)
guacamole, sour cream, and salsa for garnish 

Directions:
1. Brown meat until cooked through, and drain any excess fat (if there is any). Mix in spices (chili powder, cumin, Adobo, and paprika) until combined.
2. Combine ground beef, diced onions, diced green pepper, black beans, and tomato and chilies mixture in a medium sized bowl.
3. Layer 1/2 cup of enchilada sauce on the bottom of your slow-cooker. Follow with a tortilla, 1 1/2 cups of the meat/veggie mixture, and a 1/4 cup of cheese.
4. Continue layering, ending with a tortilla at the top. Finish it off with another 1/4 cup of cheese, and pour the rest of the enchilada sauce on top.
5. Cook on low heat for at least 2 hours. Enjoy!

Disclaimer: Hormel Foods sent me a $50 gift card as a member of their Extended Family Food Blogger program in order to create a meal using products from the Hormel family, and to blog about it. The opinions in this post are my own. 

1 Comment

Filed under Recipe, Spanish Food

Super Sides

Every year it takes me by surprise just how quickly the Holidays come and go. Only a few days ago I was echoing the sentiment I do every year; “I can’t believe it’s almost Christmas. It doesn’t feel like it.” The next thing I knew we were at my husband’s parent’s house enjoying Christmas Eve dinner, and then in the blink of an eye we were leaving my family after Christmas dinner. This year has flown by and been one of the biggest years of my life yet. There will certainly be a recap of sorts coming tomorrow!

I had the honor of being a Hormel Foods Extended Family Food Blogger for part of the year, and our last challenge was side dishes. For me, side dishes are often times my favorite part of a meal, becoming the star on the plate. Growing up, we always had a few things on our plates (meat, vegetable, maybe a starch), but I’ve found myself in the kitchen mostly making meals that can all be enjoyed in a bowl, or on a small plate. This isn’t to say the dishes themselves don’t require a lot of pots and pans to get to the end result, but it’s usually just one thing.

After looking through Hormel’s website for some inspiration, I decided to make two side dishes. Growing up, I was (and still am!) a huge mashed potatoes fan. Call me crazy, but I love instant mash just as much as homemade mashed potatoes. Sure, the homemade thing is better, but in a pinch the boxed flakes aren’t half bad. So, I made bacon-ed up mashed poatoes, and a veggie loaded chili dish (because I love everything chili related). Even though chili is usually the key player, this is a perfect side to have with pork, beef, or some marinated and grilled chicken, or you can enjoy it as your main. Maybe even over some mashed potatoes!

I had seen a recipe for Brown Butter Mashed Potatoes on How Sweet Eat’s blog, and had been jonsing to try them. I was going to make it for Thanksgiving, but my mother-in-law’s plain ‘ol milk, butter, and hand mashed  potatoes just can’t be replaced. In honor of Jessica and her love for bacon, I thought she’d appreciate me adding some bacon to the potatoes. And let me tell you, this was a delicious addition! (recipe below).

As for the loaded veggie chili, it’s close to my heaven. Sauteed veggies (onions, peppers, etc.) are some of my favorites, smothered in spices and combined with some Hormel chili couldn’t be easier, or tastier. I actually think this would be a great burrito filler as well, or over rice or mashed potatoes if you’re looking to have it as the star of the show. But, it’s a great side dish as well, and sneaks in a lot of vegetables without you even realizing it. Of course I’m not one to hide my vegetables, but for those of you that are veggie shy or have dining companions that are, this is a great way to get them in.

Browned Butter & Bacon Smashed Potatoes – adapted from How Sweet Eats 
– serves 6 –

Ingredients:
3lbs yukon or russet potatoes (I used russet)
1 cup milk
6 Tbsp butter
4 slices of bacon (I used hormel)
3 Tbsp of bacon fat
salt & pepper to taste

Directions:
1. Chop potatoes (I left the skin on, but you can peel them first if you’d prefer) and put in a large pot, filling just above the potatoes with water. Boil for about 20-25 minutes until the potatoes are tender
2. Meanwhile, cook 4 pieces of bacon in a medium pan, about 4-5 minutes on each side until they’re nice and crispy. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate when done.
4. Keep the pan on, and add the butter, stirring it constantly until it begins to brown (about 5 minutes). Remove from heat.
3. Once the potatoes are cooked, drain them and then return them to the pot. Using either a potato masher or hand mixer depending on if you liked smashed or mashed, mash the potatoes until they’re to your liking.
4. While mashing, add in browned butter, bacon fat, crumbled bacon, and milk. Season with salt and pepper

Veggie Loaded Chili
– Serves 4 –

Ingredients:
1 yellow onion, diced
2 green peppers, diced
1 jalapeño, diced
1 15 oz. can of corn
1 15 oz. can of chili with beans (I used Hormel)
1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp taco seasoning (I used Chipotle)
1/4 tsp Adobo
1/4 tsp ground cumin

Directions:
1. Preheat skillet over medium-high heat with olive oil, and once glistening add in onion, pepper, and jalapeño. Cook until all is just about tender, 5-10 minutes.
2. Add in spices and allow to cook together, about 2 minutes.
3. Add in tomatoes and corn, cook an additional 5 minutes.
4. Add in chili and cook until heated through, about 2-3 minutes.
5. Serve over rice, pasta, mashed potatoes, or by itself. Top with cheese if desired.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Food Blogging, Recipe, Uncategorized

This Week in Yum and a Giveaway!

I haven’t been posting many recipes (or posts at all) lately, and that’s because I haven’t been making too much of my own. Instead, I’ve been re-creating, or exactly following, recipes from some of the many cookbooks I have. So, in an effort to not step on anyone’s toes in terms of copyright laws, etc., I’ve left those delicious meals off the blog. But, since this is a food blog, I figured I should still be sharing all the yummy things I’ve eaten with you – especially if they were created in my own kitchen! Who cares if it wasn’t my original idea, right? So, I’m going to try out a new weekly post for all of the really good things I ate that I didn’t have the opportunity to blog about. Hence the posts’s title, this week in yum. Oh, and I also have a giveaway for this week [scroll to the bottom for info]!

I bought two new cookbooks recently, and have already made two things from Appetite for Reduction by Isa Chandra Moskowitz, and they have been awesome. I’ve been somewhat intimidated of vegan cooking because so many recipes I’ve read have really obscure ingredients. I’m still on a tight budget, so it’s hard for me to justify buying some of these odd ingredients for just one or two recipes. But this book has really accessible ingredients, which I of course appreciate.

First up was Curry Laska, which was flavorful and really easy to prepare. It had a little bit of spice, and nice coconut undertones from the coconut milk. I would absolutely make this again.
Curry Laska

The second dish was Cajun Bean Balls, which I served just with some pasta and regular tomato sauce (though there is a great recipe for homemade tomato sauce with a lot of variations). This was my second attempt at meatless meatballs, and these were really good. I was surprised by the combination of ingredients (soy sauce, tomato paste, balsamic vinegar, a bunch of herbs) but it all worked together really well. I also appreciated baking them, as I never seem to have luck pan-frying any faux meat (burgers, meatballs, etc.). I was too excited for it’s deliciousness to take a picture. But I will definitely be making them again, so I’ll be sure to snap a picture next time.

This next dish was completely random, and totally awesome. I could see this being a huge favorite at parties, or while watching a game. I threw this together after a run and it was the perfect amount of melted cheese, soft and puffy biscuit, and a little kick from the pepperoni. This recipe is from Baking Serendipity, and it’s awesome. You should make it next weekend!

Last but certainly not least are Funfetti cookie bars. It can’t get any easier than this. All you need to do is prepare the Funfetti as you usually would (1/3c oil, 2 eggs), and instead of putting it into a cake pan or in a cupcake pan, simply spread it out on a greased baking sheet, and bake it at 350 for 8-10 minutes! Then once it’s cooled you can frost them. They look kind of like Poptarts, but taste like those delicious soft sugar cookies that have globs of frosting on them. You know what I’m talking about – they come in a 12 pack and scream “buy me!” at places like Target (I had to resist the urge last night). This was the perfect way for me to use the extra Funfetti mix I had laying around.

So now I’m sure you must be thinking to yourself, “great, I don’t really care what food you’ve eaten recently. Just make with the giveaway details!” So here’s the goods: Just in time for halloween, the folks at Hormel are giving away the following to one lucky FoodosaurusRex reader! You’ll get some limited edition chili cheese dip, pepperoni minis, and chunk breast chicken. Perfect ingredients for party snacks to watch the games! To enter, you can do any of the following, and make sure to leave a comment telling me for each!:

1. What’s your favorite game-day/party snack?
2. Follow me on Twitter – @FoodosaurusRex
3. Subscribe to the blog via reader or e-mail

You have until Thursday 10/28 at 9p to enter!

7 Comments

Filed under Food Blogging, Giveaway

Sweet Potato Chipotle Beer Chili

This month’s Hormel Extended Family Food Blogger theme was slow cooking, specifically with a Crockpot. They actually sent me one in order to create my meal – how awesome! Having only just made my very first meal a la slow cooker last week (it was this), I was psyched to give a new recipe a try. I really love the idea of a slow cooker, since it gives you the opportunity to set up your meal, go about your day, and come home to something delicious. I will most definitely be putting some type of slow cooker meal into heavy rotation in our house this winter.

Because it’s fall and the weather is slowly getting cooler, I first knew I wanted to make chili, and as an ingredient have what I consider to be a classic fall food – sweet potatoes! From there, all the other ingredients kind of fell into place based on what I invision a good chili to include. And, of course I had to add beer – its such a great cooking ingredient. This also made enough for leftovers, which is always appreciated. While I don’t mind bringing frozen meals for lunch, I would much prefer a leftover, and I can’t justify eating out more than once a week (if even that).

So, after a long run and making a trip to the Halloween store in hopes of finding a costume for my husband, it was great to come home to this!

Sweet Potato Chipotle Beer Chili… with Turkey
– Serves 4 –

Ingredients:
1.25 lbs ground turkey (or leave this out, use ground beef, etc.)
1 large Spanish onion, diced
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
1 15.5 oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 15.5 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 8 oz. cans diced tomatoes with jalapeños
12 oz. Mexican beer (I used Corona)
2 chipotles in adobo, plus 2 Tbsp adobo sauce [or less depending on your spice preference]
1 tsp cumin
2 tsp chili powder 

Directions:
1.  Combine all ingredients in your slow cooker
2. Cook on the high setting for 2 hours
3. Serve with your favorite chili toppings (shredded cheese, sour cream, etc.) 

1 Comment

Filed under Beer, Home Cooking, Recipe

Childhood Favorites: Monkey Stew

This month’s Hormel Extended Family Food Blogger post is in regards to childhood favorites. While it’s true I grew up loving hot dogs, hamburgers, pizza, macaroni and cheese, and all the other things deemed “typical” for a child to like, there was one dinner that was my hands-down favorite. I think the name might have played a part in why I liked it, because it was fun telling people what I was having for dinner, and seeing the extremely confused look on their faces. But, it also tasted great. As you can guess by the title of the post, it’s Monkey Stew!

Monkey Stew itself is super easy to make, and versatile. In my house, it was usually served over pasta or mashed potatoes, with a side of peas. It could definitely be made into a sloppy Joe styled sandwich, or as a base for chili, and more. My favorite style of Monkey Stew was over mashed potatoes, and if an extra vegetable was needed, with peas. We always had salad with our dinners growing up, but we often had other vegetables as well. I’m not sure why, but peas seemed to always be the go-to with this particular recipe.

Now that I’m married, I’ve been thinking about recipes that I want to keep as “go-to’s” in my recipe arsenal for when I have a family. This recipe will definitely be on that list, since it was such a favorite growing up. So, of course for my re-creation I made mashed potatoes, and served it with peas. Instead of using ground beef, though, I went with Jennie-O ground turkey. When you put it all together, it’s a hearty meal that takes no time at all to make. This was just what my husband and I needed after Sunday’s long run, too.

Monkey Stew
– Serves 4 –

Ingredients:
1 package Jennie-O ground turkey
1 15 oz. plus 1 8 oz. can tomato sauce (I used Hunt’s)
1 medium yellow onion, diced
Salt & pepper, to taste

Directions:
1. In a sauté pan over medium heat, brown the meat, and season with salt and pepper. 
2. When the meat is almost fully cooked, add the diced onions and sauté them together until the meat is cooked, and the onions are soft.
3. Add in the tomato sauce, cover, and let simmer about 5-10 minutes.
4. Serve over mashed potatoes or pasta. 

Leave a Comment

Filed under Recipe

Sunday Barbecue and a Giveaway!

For this month’s Hormel challenge, I decided to stick with a barbecue theme. With the weather being so warm, I’ve wanted seasonal meals pretty much every day. It seems like the default meal preparation of choice when having a gathering during the summer months is to fire up the grill. So, that was exactly what I did.

If you remember, I received a pretty sweet goodie bag as a “welcome” to the Hormel Extended Family Food Blogger. Well, they want to offer a Foodosaurus Rex reader a similar goodie bag! All you have to do is leave a comment telling me about your favorite thing to grill (it can be anything)! You have until Thursday at 9pm EST to enter.

On the menu was pulled pork sandwiches, baked beans, and grilled stuffed jalapenos. Of course, this was all cooled down with some of our favorite beers. I grabbed a tub of Lloyd’s pulled pork, and it had enough flavor that was all we needed on the sandwich front. As for the baked beans, I grabbed a can of Bush’s black bean fiesta “grillers.” My fiancé and I were of course drawn to it as soon as we saw mention of black beans, chipotle, and peppers. I’m not a huge fan of “traditional” baked beans so this was a delicious change of pace – I’d definitely recommend them!

As for the stuffed jalapenos… yum. I had tried my hand at them about a year ago with stuffed poblano peppers as well, and had baked them. So, when I saw YumSugar had a recipe for them on the grill, I had to give them a try. Below is the recipe for how I made mine.

Grilled Stuffed Jalapenos inspired by YumSugar
– makes 10 jalapeno halves –

Ingredients:
5 large jalapenos, sliced and deseeded
1/3 cup whipped cream cheese
1/4 cup Mexican or taco blend cheese
3 scallions, diced
2-3 Tbsp Panko bread crumbs

Directions:
1. Preheat grill to medium-high
2. Combine cream cheese, shredded cheese, scallion, and bread crumbs
3. Fill each jalapeno with the cheese filling, trying to fill each one evenly
4. Grill for about 8 minutes, until bottoms are lightly charred (either put them in a gril basket, or use some foil)

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway! Leave a comment about your favorite thing to grill, and do it before Thursday at 9pm EST!

9 Comments

Filed under Giveaway, Recipe

Anytime Pizza

With the high temperatures this week, I struggled with what I should make for dinner each night. I didn’t want to turn on the oven, but the thought of standing outside and grilling in the heat was too much to bear. So, I cranked up the air conditioning and got to work, this time on pizza.

I’ve been meaning to make a breakfast pizza for awhile, but hadn’t gotten around to it. I had breakfast pizza for the first time while staying at The Borgata in Atlantic City, at their buffet. Until that point I hadn’t thought of a breakfast styled pizza, but after having a slice was immediately convinced it’s a great idea.

So when one of the things I got in my Hormel Family Food Blogger welcome package was bacon, I decided that would be the perfect vehicle for my breakfast pizza. In addition to the bacon, I added some eggs, scallion, cheese, and seasoning. Since I used a pre-made pizza crust, it was so quick and easy. Because it’s so fast and requires little effort, it’s great as a quick week night meal, or even as something easy to throw in the oven on a Saturday or Sunday morning.

Breakfast Pizza
– makes one pizza –  

Ingredients:
1 pre-made pizza dough crust, or your own
1 cup shredded cheese (I used mozzarella, but any kind will work)
3 scallions, diced
4 slices of cooked bacon, chopped
3 eggs
1/4 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp dried basil

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Layer pizza with cheese, bacon, and scallion. Crack each egg over the pizza (I did a triangle formation to try and prevent them from spreading into one another). Top with oregano and basil.
3. Bake for about 20-30 minutes, until crust is crispy and eggs are cooked through 

Leave a Comment

Filed under Breakfast, Pizza, Recipe

Hormel Extended Family Food Blogger

As some of you may have noticed (though most probably read these posts through some sort of Reader), I’ve added another badge to the lefthand side of the good ‘ole blog. Based on the title of the post, you can probably guess it’s the Hormel Extended Family Food Blogger badge! About a month ago I was contacted and asked if I would like to join in the fun, and I couldn’t refuse! I’ve had quite a few Hormel giveaways on the blog before, and they’ve always been so good to me, I just had to see what else they had to offer. Look what the sent just to get me started!

This month’s challenge was to make a meal using three Hormel ingredients, called Grocery Shopping 101 – Weekend BBQ Challenge. Only after perusing their website did I realize just how much I had to chose from! After some pondering, and assessing what I already had on hand and what was given to me in my “welcome kit,” I came up with the perfect Holiday weekend BBQ menu.

To start, I made some homemade tortillas using Chi-Chi’s burrito sized tortillas (same recipe found here), and had some Chi-Chi’s salsa and also some pico de guaco. I found pico de guaco in the produce section of the grocery store, and it’s exactly what it sounds like; pico de gallo on top of guacamole. It was like killing two birds with one stone, so I decided to give it a try and was pleasantly surprised. After enjoying the chips and dip, we moved on to the main course.

I decided to keep it simple and have some Jennie-O turkey burgers, topped with some pepper jack cheese, and of course more pico de guaco. One the side, I decided to make a potato skins potato salad

. My fiancé loathes mayo, so I’m always hard pressed to find a potato salad recipe that doesn’t have that as a main ingredient. I started thinking about potato skins (you know, the ones you get at a bar and grill), and figured I’d try and turn that into a potato salad, since it doesn’t include mayo. It does have bacon in it, and I know how most people feel about that. Well, sweet success! It doesn’t look like much, but oh did it taste delicious.

Of course we had to have some veggies as well, so I marinated some portabello mushrooms and zucchini in balsamic vinegar and grilled those along with the burgers. Unfortunately, there was a serious thunderstorm going on for most of the afternoon, so we wound up doing our grilling inside on the George Forman. I didn’t mind too much, until I heard that our local fireworks were postponed until Friday due to the weather. Thankfully, we got to check out a different town’s fireworks, which was the perfect end to a delicious day!

Potato Skins Salad
– serves 6 –

Ingredients:
3 red skinned potatoes, roughly diced
1 Idaho potato, roughly diced
3 Tbsp red onion, diced
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup shredded cheese
6 slices of bacon (I used Hormel ready-cooked)
1 tsp olive oil
tsp chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
2. Combine  diced potatoes with olive oil, chili powder, and garlic powder in a medium bowl. Using a large spoon, make sure each piece of potato is coated with the seasoning. Place on a greased baking sheet. 
3. Bake for 20-25 minutes, using a spatula to shake up the  potatoes and move them around at about the 10 minute mark.
4. Once the potatoes are cooked, add them back to the original bowl, and mix in the rest of the ingredients, starting with the onions, followed by the bacon, sour cream and then the cheese. Again make sure everything is well coated.

*Disclaimer: I was provided a welcome kit to be a part of the program, and for this month’s challenge I received a $50 gift card to help cover the cost of food in order to complete the three ingredient challenge. Thanks again, Hormel!

2 Comments

Filed under Recipe

Our Second Thanksgiving

This was the second year in a row that my fiancé and I decided to host Thanksgiving for both our families. We figured it was the easiest way to make sure we could see everyone, and also avoid the whole traveling thing. Plus, since I like cooking, I certainly don’t mind! Last year I enlisted the help of my mom to prepare the turkey and stuffing the day before. This year, though, I decided to be a big girl and do it all on my own.

Our menu was as follows:
– Bruschetta
– Cheese & crackers
– Shrimp Cocktail
– Turkey
– Stuffing with sausage, onion, and celery
– Broccoli casserole
– Cornbread
– Mashed Potatoes
– Mashed Turnips
– Corn
– Cranberry sauce
– Pumpkin Pie
– Apple Pie

Our original plan was to have everyone over around 2pm, with a 3pm eat time. Well, I underestimated the time Ralph (what we named our Turkey – last year it was Charlie) took to cook, so we didn’t eat until about 4:30/5pm. Since we had plenty to munch on and a plethora of beers and wine to chose from, no one seemed to mind. Everything was absolutely delicious, but without the help of both my mom and my fiancé’s mom, it would have been much more stressful.

On Wednesday night we took the time to clean and prepare Ralph, and also make the stuffing. Our turkey was 18.5lbs, so in order to make the stuffing with some left over, I did the following:

Semi-homemade Stuffing
– enough to fill an 18+ lb turkey –

Ingredients:
2 bags Arnold’s herb seasoned cubed dry stuffing

1 onion
3 stalks of celery
1 roll of pork sausage
water (according to Arnold package)
butter (according to Arnold package)

Directions:
1. Chop onions and celery, sautée until almost translucent with about 1 tbsp of butter. Then add sausage, cook until browned.
2. Slowly add stuffing mix, butter, and water, combining along the way until moist and all combined (about 15-20 minutes).
3. If making day-of, once cooled, stuff turkey. If making ahead of time, set in refrigerator until cooled, then stuff accordingly.

I also made the broccoli casserole ahead of time, with the exception of the crust. This recipe actually came from a co-worker who made it during our company Thanksgiving a week earlier. It was so simple and delicious, I thought it would be a nice trade for the typical green bean casserole (though I love that as well). It isn’t the healthiest, but boy is it good.

Broccoli Casserole
– Serves 8-10 –

Ingredients:
1 package Velveta
4 boxes of frozen chopped broccoli (or 2 bags)
40 Salteen crackers (non-salted)
1 stick of butter

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
3. Cook broccoli according to package, saving water when done.
4. Melt 3/4 stick of butter (reserve remaining 1/4 stick for topping)
5. In sauce pot, melt cheese with already melted butter, adding 1/2 cup of leftover broccoli water. Stir constantly until melted.
6. Pour cheese mixture over broccoli, mixing well, add to greased casserole dish.
7. Crumble crackers, melt remaining butter in small sauce pan, adding crumbled crackers. Sauté until butter has coated crackers – be sure not to burn. Sprinkle on top of casserole.
8. Bake 30 minutes, let cool for 15 minutes before serving.

Thursday morning involved last minute cleaning, and general preparations. We had to make sure the cheese and crackers (with Hormel pepperoni!) was out, our Magic Hat, Dogfish Head, and Saranac beers were cool, and our Cupcake Vineyards wine was ready to go.

My fiancé’s mom was kind enough to make us her amazing bruschetta (it has huge chunks of tomato and garlic – yum!). She also prepared a huge shrimp cocktail, corn, made delicious corn bread, and gave us the ingredients for making mashed potatoes. My mom took care of her favorites – mashed turnips and delicious cranberry sauce. She also made an apple and pumpkin pie, which at quick glance looked store-bought! We certainly ate well on Thursday, that’s for sure.

Friday evening was Thanksgiving round 2 at my parent’s house. Any year that my family doesn’t have Thanksgiving at home, my mom insists on making her own turkey with all the fixings so she can have leftovers herself. So, we headed over to assist in the devouring of their “measly” 12 pound turkey. After having a Thanksgiving dinner two days in a row, I was unsure how I’d manage to finish the 5 mile Turkey Trot I was signed up for on Saturday.

While it was beautiful outside when looking out the window, gusty winds and a cool temperature made standing around pre-race no fun. Since the race started at 11am, I was thankful the sun was shining. However, I didn’t hand over my jacket until the last possible moment. Unlike your typical Turkey Trots, this particular race was a 5-miler in my hometown that both starts and ends at a nearby park. Once we got started I didn’t mind the cold, but there were points where the wind was blowing directly in my face, making it difficult to breathe. I’ve found that the hardest part about cold weather running, for me, is breathing through all the mucus (gross, I know). I spent a decent part of this race trying to prevent myself from choking. At any rate, I finished in 39:40, a solid 7:56 minute/mile pace (fastest race pace ever!) and was 6th in my age group, 43rd woman, and 206 overall! There were a total of 843 runners. My wonderful fiancé came in 3rd in his age group, 46th man, and 53rd overall. A friend of mine from high school also ran, who is super fast (hello 3:08 marathon!) and was the 2nd female overall, and of course the winner of our age group! Afterwards we rewarded ourselves with bagels, and had Thai for dinner – an overall successful day!

I think it’s safe to say my mini-four day vacation was a complete success. We finished everything off on Sunday with another chilly 8-miler, and some leftover turkey and cheese quesadillas. I’m looking forward to whipping up some interesting recipes with the leftovers throughout the week!

Leave a Comment

Filed under Home Cooking, Recipe, Running

A Piggie Sunday

The latter half of this past week was super stressful; I got sick, we had a family emergency, and then Saturday and Sunday was spent packing, cleaning, and traveling to two (yes, two) Ikeas to get new furniture. Why the new furniture, you may ask? My fiancé and I are moving at the end of the month! Don’t get too excited, we’re only moving about 10 minutes away to a different town, but we’re upping our game and renting a townhouse! We’re hoping this will be our semi-permanent home until we’re ready to buy a house… yikes.

As you know, I had an awesome giveaway this week, that I just picked a winner for (congrats Jordan!). So, any time I do a giveaway, I also get a sample (win!). I decided to make an appetizer styled dinner, since I was exhausted and wanted minimal effort, and I had all these yummy Hormel products laying around. I had stumbled upon You Are What You Eat or Reheat‘s White Trash Puff Balls a week or so ago, and thought they’d be perfect for the little pepperoni package I got. Instead of combining them with cream cheese, I just threw the pepperoni with shredded mozzarella, and since I grabbed the regular Pillsbury rolls and not crescent rolls, I essentially made pinwheels.

Pepperoni and Cheese Pinwheels

I also decided to try my hand at homemade potatchos, which are basically potato chip nachos. They’re served at a New Brunswick and Rutgers University staple, Stuff Yer Face. If you live in the general vicinity (i.e. probably about an hour in every direction) you’ve heard of the restaurant. You may have even seen it on Man vs. Food! At any rate, their potatchos rule. It’s potato chips, bacon, tomato, cheese, ketchup, sour cream, and chives. I assembled pretty much all of that (I forgot tomatoes – duh!) and threw it in the oven. I have to say, they were pretty spot on.

Homemade Potatchos!

Both of these little ditties would be great appetizers for a get together, on game day, etc. I wouldn’t recommend pairing them together as a dinner, unless you are attempting to use a lot of self control, and break it up with a giant salad (as I did). Sometimes, though, you just need a little comfort, and after the past few days, my fiancé and I were glad to have it.

Homemade Potatchos (Potato Chip Nachos)
– Serves 2-3 –

Ingredients:
1 bag potato chips
4 oz. shredded cheese (any variation – I used Mexican)
2 handfuls of crumbled bacon (I used Hormel’s Real Bacon Bits)
1/2 tomato, diced
Liberal squirts of ketchup
1/2 cup Greek yogurt (plain) or sour cream
1/2 cup chives, chopped

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
2. Spray baking sheet, and pour chips onto sheet
3. Sprinkle liberally with cheese (feel free to use more!) and bacon pieces
4. Bake for 10 minutes
5. Squeeze ketchup all over chips, top with yogurt, tomatoes, and chives

Pepperoni and Cheese Pinwheels
– Serves 3-4 –

Ingredients:
2 containers of Pillsbury Rolls
1/2 bag of Hormel Mini Pepperoni
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
2. Coat baking pan and open rolls (unroll them, even though their directions tell you not to) and keep them in twos
3. Place combination of pepperoni and shredded mozzarella on each set of two, and roll from one end to the other
4. Bake for 10 minutes

PS – Congrats to everyone that completed the Chicago Marathon yesterday! Hopefully I’ll be there one day too.

 

UPDATE: I’ve submitted the potatchos recipe to Foodbuzz’s BACONALIA contest! YUM.

2 Comments

Filed under Giveaway, Home Cooking, Recipe