Ham and Gruyere Tart

My mom has always been a huge fan of the Barefoot Contessa. And while she’s always been ok in my book, I don’t think I really started to love her until a few years ago. Now, I DVR every episode of her show. I watch them late at night when B is sleeping and I am wide-awake. She really makes the best stuff.  Continue reading

Mini Veggie Quesadillas

I really enjoy food that is “mini”. I’m not sure why exactly. I guess I like the ease of it. Small, easy to grab, no need for a knife or fork. Typically served at fun parties. Yes, that must be it.

These mini veggie quesdaillas fit right into that mold. They’re crispy and loaded with veggies. You can knife and fork it if you want by adding sour cream and salsa. But you can also put the condiments in cute little cups for dipping. I will definitely whip up a batch to serve at my next gathering, whenever that may be.

Mini Veggie Quesadillas
Recipe type: appetizer, mexican, bite-sized, quick and easy
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 2

  • 4 small corn tortillas
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • ½ cup refried beans
  • ½ cup cheddar cheese

  1. Heat a medium-sized pan over medium high and spray with non-stick spray.
  2. Lay your corn tortillas on a flat surface.
  3. Spread refried beans on two of the tortillas. Sprinkle the bell pepper and red onion evenly on the beans.
  4. Layer cheese on top of the veggies and place the other corn tortilla on top.
  5. Place the quesadilla in the pan and cook about 3 minutes until golden. Flip and cook about 3 more minutes golden on the other side.
  6. Serve with sour cream, salsa and cilantro (optional).


Chili Cheese Fries

I have a love/hate relationship with fast food. I love it and it hates me, my butt and my wallet.

That’s the same relationship everyone has with fast food, right? I’ve been trying to get on this kick where I make everything from scratch at home. So far, I’m succeeding just a bit. I’ve made Starbucks drinks, Chinese food and even Smokey Bones’ honey walnut butter (that I could eat by the spoonful… so sad, I know). Most of the time, the at home stuff is comparable. Equal on taste but friendly for my wallet. There’s no waiting. I can sneak some of my food to the dogs under the table when no one is looking…

As soon as I saw these chili cheese fries in Joy The Baker’s new cookbook (Joy the Baker = girl crush), the challenge was on. B, Abby and I always get these Texas cheese fries at a well-known, semi-low class establishment that may also serve wonton tacos and spicy queso blanco. Don’t judge. Either way, the fries are great and we gorge. Once these chili cheese fries presented themselves, I knew our days at said establishment could be over.

Hooray for take out at home!

Recipe from Joy the Baker Cookbook

5.0 from 1 reviews

Chili Cheese Fries
Recipe type: appetizer, side
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
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Serves: 3

  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • 2 medium russet potatoes, sliced into fries
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon worchestershire
  • 1 tablespoon grill seasoning
  • ¾ cup shredded cheddar cheese

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with non-stick spray.
  2. In a small bowl, combine chili powder, paprika, cornstarch and cumin.
  3. Toss the potatoes with the olive oil, worcestershire and grill seasoning.
  4. Take the cornstarch mixture and sprinkle it on top of the potatoes, mixing to coat.
  5. Lay the fries on the baking sheet in a single layer. Cook for 30 to 40 minutes until slightly crisp.
  6. Sprinkle cheese on top and put back in the oven until melted.


Classic Guacamole

Did you attend Rock The Mall this weekend? I did and it was hot, hot, hot. And fun and exciting and record-breaking. 250,000 Girl Scouts, representing all 50 states, huddled on the Mall in Washington D.C., next to the Washington Monument to celebrate 100 years of scouting with a sing-a-long.

It was really cool and fun. Abby, my mom and I stood in line for almost 2 hours to meet celebrities from the Disney Channel during the pre-show hours. We did NOT meet said stars because, after 2 hours, Abby gave in to the heat and wanted to seek solace in cooler temperatures.

Days like that, so hot that you can actually feel your skin burning, you don’t want to cook or even eat. I had to throw away half of my hoagie. On days like that, you need light, easy foods.

Like chips and guacamole. Classic guacamole is really fantastic. It’s flavorful and creamy and zesty and spicy. When you spoon a big glob of it on top of a crispy chip, the taste is out of this world. Next time the heat hits 106 and you don’t want to cook, give this a try. It will fill you up and satisfy you at the same time.

Classic Guacamole
Recipe type: appetizer, snack, dip, mexican
Prep time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 4 to 6

  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 4 Tbsp. salsa of your choosing
  • Juice of 1 lime

  1. Slice and pit your avocado. Scoop the flesh out into a small bowl.
  2. Mash with a fork until it has reached the consistency you like.
  3. Add the salsa and stir well to combine.
  4. Add juice of lime and stir slightly.
  5. Serve with tortilla chips.

Some people like their guac very smooth. I like mine a little lumpy and didn’t mash it as well.


Cheesy Hasselback Bread

Today is the Super Bowl. Let’s be honest though for a minute. I don’t care.

I more of a hockey gal. Football just doesn’t interest me. I’m more excited for the Puppy Bowl than for any sort of football antics.

I mean… look at this face.

Photo courtesy of Animal Planet

Who would want to watch football when you could be watching this cute little pup running around, causing trouble?

Either way, B and I still want football food. We’re not attending any parties, but the fare should still be fun, right? On deck, we’ve got hot dogs, sauerkraut, french fries, peanut butter blondies, s’more bites and this amazing bread.

As soon as I saw this recipe on Lauren’s Latest, I KNEW I had to make it. I changed it up a little, using American cheese instead of the recommended white cheddar. It ended up being fantastic. Abby scarfed. And if we’ve all learned one thing, it is that when Abby is happy, the world is happy. And if she is willing to eat something, then it is generally good and accepted by all people.

Oh gooey, cheesy goodness… I almost can’t stand it.

Cheesy Hasselback Bread

From Lauren’s Latest


1 cup Warm Water

1 Tablespoon Honey

1 envelope Active Dry Yeast (2 1/4 Teaspoons)

1 teaspoon Salt

3 cups Bread Flour

Olive Oil

⅓ pounds Sharp White Cheddar, Or Any Other Cheese You Prefer

½ cups Butter

2 cloves minced garlic

In a bowl, stir together water, honey and yeast. Let the yeast sit for five minutes. Once it is active, stir in the salt and flour in 1/4 cup increments. When using  a stand mixer, don’t increase your speed higher than 2. Once the dough starts to pull away from the sides, set a timer for 5 minutes and let the machine knead the dough. After 5 minutes, the dough should be smooth and tacky.

Grease a bowl with a bit of olive oil and cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel. Let it rise for one hour until doubled in size. Punch it down and then separate into two equal portions. Form the two pieces into long baguettes. Twist them to keep the length. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for another 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and place the dough on top of the oven where it is warm. When the oven is preheated, remove the plastic wrap and set the temperature to 350 degrees. Bake the bread for 20 minutes.

While you wait, melt the butter. Mix the garlic into the butter. Take your cheese and break it into chunks.

Take the loaves out of the oven and brush with melted garlic butter. Bake for another 5-7 minutes until golden brown. Remove and let cool for 10 to 15 minutes.

Cut 1 inch slices throughout the loaves. Brush more butter in between each slice and then fill each slice with cheese. I used 2-3 pieces of cheese for each slice. Bake for another 3-5 minutes until cheese is melted.