Blowing off Steam: Cooking and Other Adventures

Join me on my adventures in the kitchen and in life in general! We will laugh, talk about our successes and failures & figure this all out together!

Chopped Salad with Satay Chicken and Peanut Dressing (Even Better Now!)

I told you I would post this again with better pictures, so here they are!!  Hopefully you will give this a try now that you can see how awesomely colorful and gorgeous it is!

I love Ellie Krieger.  She takes recipes we know and love and makes them healthier for us!  I have spent the last few years trying to do exactly that with my go-to recipes so I was so excited when she came onto the scene.  Every recipe I have tried of hers has been a success so when I found her recipe for Chicken Satay with Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce and I couldn’t wait to try it!


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Easy Turkey (or Chicken) Chili (Beer in it!) and Buttermilk Biscuits

*** UPDATE: This is a revised version of my chili.  I made this a couple of nights ago and realized my measurement guesses were off so I fixed them for you!  If you guys ever read a recipe of mine and notice a glaring error like “2 tbsp salt” please feel free to comment so I can fix it!  My cooking is very casual and I don’t often measure or perfect recipes before I post them so I won’t be offended!***

Chili!! I asked everyone what was on the menu this week and several people said chili so I thought I would jump on the bandwagon and make some too!  I am not usually a fan of chili the traditional way, but a few years back I found two recipes that seemed like they would suit my tastes (one from The Food Network Kitchens and the other from Rachael Ray) and subsequently combined the two into this!  Even if you don’t like beer, you should try this because it doesn’t even taste like beer and it’s just GOOD, especially with globs of sour cream, scallions, pepper jack cheese…

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Tex Mex Egg Rolls with Avocado Dipping Sauce

Update:  This is an old post, but I made these for an Easter pot luck/birthday party today and changed a couple of things so check it out again!!

I have seen variations of this recipe all over the internet.  The filling is similar to that of the rolls you get at some well known chain restaurants but the rolls are baked instead of fried, which I love!  This version I pulled from and made the rolls pretty much exactly as written.  The Avocado Dipping Sauce I changed to suit our tastes and the whole meal was so awesome I may or may not have eaten a roll this morning with dipping sauce.  Before breakfast.

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At Least One of Us Is Creative

** It’s about that time of year!! I thought I would bring back this oldie but goodie from 2012.  I can’t wait to see what my overachieving elf husband (OEH) has in store for this year!

By now you may have heard of a slightly viral rant by Jen, of People I Want to Punch in the Throat about overachieving Elf on the Shelf mommies.  If you haven’t read it yet, it’s hilarious.  It’s bold and mean, but one of the funniest things I have read in a long time.  I checked up on Blossom’s (the inspiration for the rant) website and it seems that the rant helped both of them so hopefully all is good.

I don’t want to punch overachieving mommies in the throat.  OK to be completely honest maybe sometimes but in this case I had every intention of being an overachieving Elf mommy and I had big plans for the little guy.  BIG plans.

Things did not go exactly as planned.  I think the official number of days that I haven’t fallen asleep without moving him is two.  TWO days out of fifteen where I was basically forced into the responsibility of moving him because my husband was out of town and I fully plagiarized some other overachieving mom’s ideas for where he should end up.  Let’s just go ahead and admit it.  I am a bad Elf mommy and I actually think he is a tad creepy.  Which brings me to the point of my story.

Last night I realized that my husband was missing.  Not missing, missing.  Just missing from my peripheral vision.  I set out to track him down and this is what I found:

Exhibit A:


Don’t worry, he hasn’t been kidnapped.  I know it looks like he is hog tied but I have confidence that his legs will bounce right back and just look at the smile on his face!  He is so excited because he is having an adventure.  Hence, the bubble wrap because safety first, right?

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Whole Wheat Pumpkin Spice Pancakes

I know I just made pumpkin muffins but I had a little bit of pumpkin left over and I can’t stand to throw away food so I made pumpkin pancakes!  Don’t they look yummy?

  1. 3/4 cup white whole wheat flour
  2. 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  3. 2 tsp baking powder
  4. 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  5. 1/4 tsp ginger
  6. 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  7. pinch of cloves
  8. 1 1/4 cups skim milk (+ or -, depending on your consistency preference)
  9. 2 tbsp sugar
  10. 6 tbsp canned pumpkin puree
  11. 2 tbsp butter
  12. 1 egg

Sift 1-7 together in a large bowl.  Mix 8-12 in a separate bowl.  Add wet to dry and gently fold together until blended. Read more…

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