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Upgraded Mac N’ Cheese

So mac n’ cheese has always been a comfort food. I wanted to make it a mission to upgrade it, not necessarily in taste, since we all know a good mac n’ cheese cannot be beat, but in health. This mac n’ cheese has veggies, carrots, onions, spinach, and whatever else you want to throw in. Also this is a recipe for people who are a bit more experienced in the kitchen, as you are making sauce from scratch, which is a roux. All it consists of is equal part fat and flour. I used butter for the fat, but you can use olive oil ect.

Also, there is quite a bit of veggies, I added them to make this a little healthier and add some micro nutrients, feel free to leave them out.

Now onto the recipe!

Upgraded Mac N' Cheese

  • Servings: 16
  • Difficulty: Moderate

A new and healthier spin on a traditional baked mac n' cheese.

Ingredients

  • 16 oz dried pasta of choice (I used penne)
  • 2 medium white onions, sliced thin
  • 4 medium carrots, large dice
  • 2-3 C. of chopped spinach
  • 4 TBSP flour
  • 4 TBSP salted butter
  • 2 1/2 – 3 C. of milk. (I used unsweetened almond milk, use milk of choice.)
  • 2 C. each of cheddar and mozzarella cheese, shredded.
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • 1-2 C. of Italian style bread crumbs.

Directions

  1. Put a tablespoon of butter in a skillet on low heat and cook the onion till soft and translucent, about 20-25 minutes.
  2. Boil some salted water, then put in the pasta and carrots. Cook till the pasta is toothsome. (A little firm, not mushy, not crunchy.) Drain and put in pan you are going to bake in.
  3. Remove the onion and mix in pasta and carrots.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350° before starting your roux.
  5. Melt the butter in a pan and whisk in the flour, cook until slightly brown. While that is cooking slightly heat up the milk then slowly add to the butter/flour mixture. (This is the roux)
  6. Once the roux is well mixed add in 2 cups of cheddar cheese and 1 cup of the mozzarella, saving the rest for the top.
  7. Mix in the nutmeg, pepper, and salt to taste.
  8. Mix the sauce with the pasta then add in the spinach, mixing well. Top with the bread crumbs and the rest of the mozzarella cheese.
  9. Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until the top is golden.
  10. Let cool and enjoy!

Featured

Vegan Banana Pancakes

So I wanted something on my blog everyone could easily make. This is something I didn’t have to go to the store for and had everything at my disposal. This recipe is written up to be a vegan recipe, and it is pretty healthy. I used “Flax Eggs” which it super simple to make and ground flax seeds are relatively cheap. If you don’t have flax seeds on hand though you can just use an egg, or simply leave it out, it’ll still taste great.

It’s quite funny actually, I eat relatively healthy, and I try to feed my husband healthy foods, he raved about these pancakes, and how surprised he was that they were vegan. Of course though I give him something healthy and he smothers it in syrup. But to each their own, I prefer mine with a little peanut butter and agave, everyone has a preference though. Real maple syrup would be excellent.

Also I made these with and without blueberries, you could mix in anything really, blueberries, raspberries, chocolate chips, coconut, even more chopped up bananas, let your imagination run wild.

Now onto the recipe.

Vegan Banana Pancakes

  • Difficulty: Easy

Delicious and easy vegan banana pancakes that are healthy and are a great start to the day. Can be made ahead of time and freeze well!.

Ingredients

  • 2 large ripe bananas
  • 1 TBSP ground flax seed
  • 2 TBSP water
  • 1/2 C. nut milk of choice (Or regular for non-vegan)
  • 1 C. oat flour or all purpose (I used some from my mother in law, though you can also put rolled or steel cup oats in a blender and blend it into flour.)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

Directions



  1. Before you start the recipe, you need to mix the ground flax seed and water in a small bowl and let it sit for 5 minutes until it gels a bit.

2. Now put everything into the blender (Including the flax) and blend until smooth, about 30 seconds. Mix in any mix-ins you want.

3. Heat your pan over medium heat and grease it well, drop your pancake batter in, however big you want them, and cook until little holes start forming, flip and cook until firm. (I literally poke it, it shouldn’t feel squishy but also not too firm, like a just ripe avocado.)

4. put on a plate to cool and top with toppings of your choosing.

5. Enjoy!

Tip: These pancakes freeze very well, just stick them in the toaster to heat them up perfectly. Like an Ego waffle.

Featured

Instant Pot Deer Roast

So I have quite a bit of deer in my freezer, one of which is a shoulder roast. This is a simple easy to follow recipe, also if you don’t have an Instant Pot you should definitely invest in one, it is my most used kitchen appliances by a long shot.

So all you really need is some vegetables, stock, and of course, the deer roast. Sear the meat, toss everything in, and press start. It really is that easy. 

Also it is pretty healthy too, large dose of veggies and a lean protein, so absolutely no guilt here. Also my husband LOVED it, all thumbs up from him.

Instant Pot Deer Roast

  • Difficulty: Moderate

A delicious and healthy deer roast recipe. The deer can also be replaced with beef if you don't have access to wild game!

Ingredients

  • 3 Pounds Deer Shoulder/Roast
  • 1 Large Onion
  • 5-6 Medium Carrots
  • 3 Pieces of Celery
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper
  • 2 Jalapenos
  • 2 C. Red Cabbage
  • 1 TBSP Olive Oil (or oil of choosing)
  • 2 tsp Paprika
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 2 tsp Pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp Miso Paste (optional but adds great flavor)

Directions



  1. Put the instant pot on saute mode, high heat. Wait until it reads “Hot” then add oil. Season the meat with salt and pepper and sear both sides until a golden crust forms on each side. Remove from pot.

2. Add in chopped all vegetables, except for the cabbage, and cook for a couple minutes, add broth and deglaze the pot. (Scrape the brown bits at the bottom.) Add in cabbage.

3. Add in the paprika and miso then stir well.

4. Set meat on top of the veggies and put the lid on, press meat/stew mode and set it for 45 minutes, or until meat falls apart. Add additional seasonings to taste.

5. Let cool and enjoy!

Featured

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

This is another one of those things I never used to like growing up, for some reason or another. Everyone around me loved banana bread, but with nuts. Now I am not a big fan of nuts in desserts, but chocolate, I can get on board with that.

This is a pretty simple recipe, But the brown sugar in it gives it that caramely delicious taste that I know many people love. In my home we ALWAYS have bananas, and I buy a lot, for things like banana pancakes and of course banana bread, I usually have a pile for bananas to eat, and bananas for baking. I dare you to count how many times I wrote banana so far in this post.

Now onto this foolproof and amazing recipe!

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

  • Servings: 16
  • Difficulty: Moderate

A delicious and simple banana bread recipe. Feel free to replace the chocolate chips with nuts or anything your heart desires.

Ingredients

  • 3-4 Large Ripe Bananas
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1/2 C. White Sugar
  • 1/2 C. Dark Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 C. (1 Stick) Softened Butter
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 2 C. AP Flour
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 3 tsp Cinnamon

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325°
  2. Grease and flour a loaf pan.
  3. Mash banana until there are barely any chunks left.
  4. Add in the eggs and mix well.

5. In a separate bowl combine sugars and softened butter.

6. Mix sugar mixture into banana mixture until well combined, add vanilla.

7. Mix dry ingredients in separate bowl

8. Add dry ingredients into wet ingredients and add mix-ins. (Nuts, chocolate chips, dried fruit, ect.)

9. Pour mixture into loaf pan leaving a bit of room for it to rise (About 1 inch) and bake for about an hour, until a toothpick or knife comes out clean. (I had extra batter and made mini muffins with them)

10. Enjoy!

Featured

Instant Pot Deer Chili

So I was never was a chili person growing up, I think my fault was that I didn’t used to like beans, and also, I never had good chili. I never liked chili until I made it, and now it is a staple in my house hold. It is hearty, filling, and not expensive to make. This recipe can also be made on the stove top, instructions will be below.

So the key to a good chili are the spices, without good spices chili is just no good. (Looking at you chili powder.) Good chili contains NO chili powder, but a mix of cumin, peppers and paprika. It also is either cooked in the instant pot, or long and slow. If you are cooking on the stove top give yourself no less than 3 hours once you start cooking.

Now this specific chili I am using deer, it is what we had on hand, but you can use just about any protein, beef, chicken, turkey, alligator, be creative! You can even make it vegan by supplementing the meat with beans or a “meaty” veggie like mushrooms and using vegetable stock! Also vegetables are also interchangeable, the only one I would keep to a must are onions, bell peppers, and carrots, other than that, you have creative freedom.

Now onto the recipe.

Instant Pot Deer Chili

  • Difficulty: Moderate

A delicious and hearty chili that sure sure to fill your belly with warmth.

Ingredients

  • 2-3 pounds of deer (Or other protein) Cubed
  • 2 Green Bell Peppers Chopped
  • 3 Large Carrots Chopped
  • 1 Large Onion Diced
  • 3 Datil Peppers DICED FINE(or 2-3 Habanero peppers, or 5-6 Jalapenos)
  • 1/2 Head Red Cabbage (Optional) Chopped
  • 1 Bag Frozen Corn
  • 1 TBSP Garlic Minced
  • 1 15oz can Diced Tomatoes (With Liquid)
  • 2 TBSP Tomato Paste
  • 1 15 oz can Black Beans rinsed
  • 1 28oz can Pinto Beans rinsed
  • 3-4 tsp Cumin (To taste I usually like more)
  • 3-4 tsp Salt (To taste, I used everglades seasoning)
  • 2-3 tsp Pepper
  • 3-4 tsp Paprika
  • 2 tsp Ground Sage (Optional, best with red meats)
  • 1/2 cup Stock or Water

Directions

  1. Put all ingredients into Instant Pot or Large pot on the stove, stir well.
  2. Cook on High Pressure for 45 minutes with 10 minute natural release, or on stove top for 3-4 hours until thick.
  3. Now to thicken you have two options, you can either let the liquids cook off until desire thickness, or you can mix 1/2 cup flour and a little water to make a slurry, stir in, and cook for 15-20 minutes. Or you can use corn starch in place of flour. Add more seasonings to taste.
  4. Enjoy!

Featured

Fool Proof Instant Pot Bone Broth

So I got on the bone broth train probably about a year ago. I went out, bought that expensive premade broth in the freezer section, (you know the one) and it hurt my wallet. There must be a better way to get all the benefits of bone broth without breaking the bank. Insert the instant pot (thanks mother in-law!) and all your bone broth dreams can come true.

Bone broth has helped me immensely. There is a ton of collagen and gelatin in bone broth, with is amazing for your hair skin and nails. The gelatin also helps with gut health, so you feel lighter, less sluggish, and also after having a healthy serving of bone broth, you’re less like to reach for that sugary treat. (I think it makes me an instant health nut.) But it also helps you not waste anything, because as we will get into, you can almost throw anything into this broth.

I make bone broth every week, if not twice a week. I use it in cooking, to drink, I could probably bathe in this stuff. (Lets not do that though) anyways, enough chatter, onto the recipe!

Fool Proof Bone Broth

  • Difficulty: Moderate

A super easy and healthy bone broth in your Instant Pot!

Ingredients

  • 2-3 Pounds of bones (I used Pork Necks here but you can really use any bones, I even used gator bones once and it turned out great)
  • Pigs Feet/Tail (Optional, I use these as they have more connective tissues, gets the broth to ‘gel” better)
  • 2-3 Carrots, washed, chopped roughly
  • 2 stalks of celery, washed, chopped roughly
  • 1 onion, large dice
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2-3 small pieces of ginger
  • 1-2 tsp turmeric (to preference)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt (Or seasoned salt, I used Everglades seasoning)
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 TBSP apple cider vinegar
  • Water (fill to just cover bones)
  • Optional add in- literally any veggies/trimmings of fat/parts of veggies you usually throw away. It’s endless.

Directions

  1. It’s simple, put all of your ingredients into the pot and cover with water. Set your instant pot to high pressure for 160 minutes and viola! you can either let it release naturally or quick release. For beef bones or ham bones (Smoked ham bones make the BEST broth in my opinion) I would recommend 180 minutes to extract the most you can.
  2. After the time is up, strain it through a metal strainer, and you can also optionally strain it through cheese cloth to get a clearer broth.
  3. Let cool and enjoy!

Tip* If you have a dog, the bone and meat scraps from the broth make an excellent treat!
*Also I always cool it and skim the fat off the next day.
Keeps in the fridge for up to 1 1/2 weeks, in the freezer for 4-6 months.

Featured

Perfect Pumpkin Bread

A soft and fluffy pumpkin bread that will give you all of the fall vibes anytime of year. With cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. You can not go wrong.

After many trials and errors, many mistakes and lessons learned, I have come up with the ultimate Pumpkin Bread recipe. It is fluffy, moist, and pretty much heaven in your mouth. The key to getting it fluffy is making sure you whip the butter/sugar/egg mixture. We’ll get to that though. I’ve also found the texture of half cake flour and half All Purpose flour to be Superior. Although if you have no cake flour on hand or can’t find any, using just all purpose works well too. Now onto the recipe.

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Perfect Pumpkin Bread

  • Servings: 2 Loaves
  • Difficulty: moderate

A fluffy and delicious pumpkin bread with cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. For that fall taste all year round.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 C. butter (sweet cream salted preferred)
  • 1 C. dark brown sugar
  • 1 C. white sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp orange extract (optional)
  • 1 15 oz can canned pumpkin (or about 1 1/2 cups fresh purred pumpkin)
  • 1 C. cake flour (or substitute all purpose)
  • 1 C. all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cloves
  • 1 TBSP cinnamon
  • mix-ins (Option, I prefer dark chocolate chips)

Directions



  1. Preheat your oven to 325°
  2. Put the butter in your mixer and give it a good whip, make sure it is more like a thick custard and not a solid block.
    LRM_EXPORT_1224772781353_20190107_155427285.jpeg
  3. Add in your sugars and whip again, until it is well combined and lighter in color.
  4. Add in vanilla and orange extract to sugar mixture.
    LRM_EXPORT_1171085132507_20190107_155333597.jpeg
  5. Add in eggs, one at a time, and whip until a tan color and volume has seemed to increase.
    LRM_EXPORT_1156764108325_20190107_155319276.jpeg
  6. Add in your canned pumpkin and mix again until just combined, it is alright if it looks curdled.
    LRM_EXPORT_1092053089871_20190107_155214565.jpeg
  7. Set bowl aside
  8. Combine all dry ingredients together.
  9. Mix dry ingredients with wet ingredients until just combined.
    LRM_EXPORT_1081868821071_20190107_155204381.jpeg
  10. Put in your option mix in and finish mixing by hand until all flour is incorporated.
    LRM_EXPORT_1068404571234_20190107_155150916.jpeg
  11. Get your loaf pans and generously spray with Baker’s Joy or some other oil spray with flour. (Buttering and flouring the pan works well too.)
    LRM_EXPORT_1016953913310_20190107_155059465.jpeg
  12. Put pumpkin bread mixture into your loaf pans (About 3/4 the way full) and bake for 45-55 minutes, until a toothpick comes out mostly clean.
    LRM_EXPORT_997147903939_20190107_155039660.jpeg
  13. Let cool for about an hour and enjoy!
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Keeps in the freezer for up to 3 months

Keeps in the fridge for up to 2 weeks

Keeps at room temp for up to 1 week

Creamy Mashed Potatoes

This is another simple, affordable, and delicious recipe. Not the healthiest but I’m of the opinion, if you are starting out cooking from scratch, coming from an unhealthy diet, anything you make yourself with minimal ingredients is better than before. Plus it is super yummy and makes a great side to main dishes. My favorite pairing is with roasts and steak.

Now onto the recipe!

Creamy Mashed Potatoes

  • Servings: 12-16
  • Difficulty: Easy

An easy and delicious mashed potato recipe. Perfect as a side dish to roasts and meat dishes!

Ingredients

  • A little over 2 LBS potatoes
  • 6 TBSP butter
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 1/4-1/2 C. milk of choice (I use unsweetened almond milk)

Directions

  1. Peel and cut the potatoes into large chunks, about 1 inch.
  2. Boil some water with 2-3 tsp of salt.
  3. Add in the potatoes and cook until a fork pierces through them easily.
  4. Drain and transfer back into the pot and add in the butter, mash and add in the rest of the ingredients, adding more seasoning according to preference. Add in milk until texture preference is reached, more for a smoother mash, less for a thicker mash.
  5. Enjoy!

Note. I used about 2 1/2 lbs potatoes for this recipe. Feel free to use less and adjust accordingly. Also I left a little skin on my potatoes as I like it this way, feel free to peel completely!

Tahini Free Hummus

A super simple and healthy tahini free hummus! Made in your blender or food processor, you’ll easily please a crowd with this easy recipe.

So I’ve never been a huge fan of tahini, and I know a lot of people who don’t like hummus until they’ve tried one without tahini. This is a super simple and quick hummus recipe that is pretty healthy and will make everyone happy!

If you prefer a hummus with tahini though, replace the olive oil in the recipe (Except for 1-2 TBSP). Also be sure to read the tip at the bottom of the directions for a smooth and creamy hummus, if you buy a cheaper can of garbanzo beans they are most likely not soft enough for this recipe. (I buy the ones at Aldi so no judgement here!)

Also another tip is to put your lemon in the microwave for 10-15 seconds to loosen up all those juices, if you keep your lemons in the fridge, then about 25-30 seconds. It’s a game changer!

See this super easy and delicious recipe below!

Tahini Free Hummus

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: Easy

A simple and delicious tahini free hummus! Follow tip at the bottom of the directions for a smooth and creamy hummus.

Ingredients

  • 1 15oz can of chickpeas
  • 1-2 garlic cloves (depending on preference)
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 2 TBSP cold water

Directions

  1. Put all of your ingredient into a blender and blend until smooth and creamy, add water to preferred consistency. Scrape down the sides of your blender every so often to achieve a smooth and uniform consistency.
  2. Enjoy!
  3. Tip: For creamy hummus, make sure your chickpeas are super soft. Boil in a small pot water with a tablespoon of baking soda after draining and rinsing from the can for about 10-15 minutes until soft. Rinse well and use!


Update 4

Just another weekly update. Currently finishing up some future posts and the final touches on my site. I am happy to say everything is on track to start up again soon, and I can’t wait to share it with you all! Thank you for the continued support. Sorry for such a short update! There isn’t anything too new. Hopefully next week will be different.

Update 3

Another weekly update to keep everyone notified!

Currently working on creating recipes and blog posts, also working on photography, little difficult since everytime I go to shoot it likes to rain. Although practicing my photography skills, but getting better comes in time.

Been doing comfort food recipes lately, mac n cheese (with veggies), mashed potatoes, but also planning on simple healthy recipes, like a chickpea salad, and blackbean burgers. I hope everyone is as excited as I am for these upcoming recipes.

Also remember, I plan on posting twice a week, sometimes 3. And keeping up with these weekly blog posts. Regular weekly updates starting today.

My goal date to start posting again is between 17th-20th, but as always. I will be keeping you updated.

I truly thank everyone from the bottom of my heart for the continued support. And although this is just a small blog with little reach, I hope to share my recipes and passion with more and more people in the future.

Update 2

Hello everyone! Just another weekly update in preparation for my coming back! Currently working on some recipes, and I’m going to get a collection of 10-15 recipes before I start to begin posting again. Also I plan on posting 2-3 times a week. Thinking Tuesdays and Saturdays, and occasionally Thursdays/Fridays. Also I plan on posting small updates to keep this site active and up to date weekly, expect updates on Mondays! Thank you to everyone who has supported me these last few months, and I look forward to sharing my recipes with you all!

Schedule Below:

  • Sunday – Rest day/Short recipe testing day
  • Monday – Updates for what’s to come in the week
  • Tuesday – Recipe post
  • Wednesday – Recipe testing day
  • Thursday – Recipe testing day/Potential recipe post
  • Friday – Potential recipe post
  • Saturday – Recipe post

Be sure to comment on suggestions on what you want to see and what you think of this schedule! Thank you!

UPDATE

Been working on my site little by little. I have decided on a final approach to how I want to run my blog and where I want to go with it. Currently recipe testing and writing about budget cooking, quick and easy meals, and how to achieve less food waste. As most people struggle with these issues as well as myself, I wanted to help calm some nerves and give people confidence to not only get into the kitchen, but be able to do it without financial pressure. As these next couple months go by I hope to get things where I want them and to get my ideas and experiences out there. I went in over my head, but this is something I am passionate about. Thank you to everyone who has supported me and been with me through this journey so far. To future successes and to hopefully getting more people in the kitchen and more money in their pockets.

Clean Your Instant Pot

So how many people out there just wash your instant pot with just soap and water and it just isn’t working? Cooked something and it stuck to the bottom of the pot and can’t get it off? Well I got the solution for you, and it is only two things, vinegar and water, seriously! It can also help to get that “smell” out of the ring on your instant pot.

Now onto the super easy way to clean your instant pot!

Instant Pot Cleaning

  • 2 Cups of water
  • 1/2 White Vinegar

Put the water and vinegar into your instant pot and set it for high pressure for 5 minutes. Quick release and let cool for a couple minutes, dumping the solution and cleaning as normal. All the funk should come right up!

Just a reminder that this will not replace routine cleaning. If you do not clean your instant pot thoroughly regularly then it will have a “smell” to it. I recommend doing this cleaning every 3rd dish or so you make in addition to regular cleaning.