Posts Tagged ‘recipes’

Stuffed Artichokes.

How excited are you for Friday trivia tomorrow? I got 3 more questions comin’ at ya!



Have you ever had stuffed artichokes?



I never had. Not until 2003.



And for the record, I ate them at an ex-boyfriend’s house on most holidays. Yep, I said it.



The relationship didn’t stick, but the artichokes sure did. I think my husband is happy on both accounts.




My mom had never had them, and I didn’t know anyone who had. Sad to say, I am not very cultured.¬†Unless you consider never leaving home and being afraid to use public restrooms cultured.



A few years ago I created this ‘stuffing’ for the artichokes, after learning how to prepare them first.




If you are looking for a recipe that does not include butter, oil or cheese – you have come to the wrong place, my friend. But I hope you’ll stay. ūüôā




I bought this 4 pack of artichokes from Trader Joe’s for $3.99. Talk about a deal.



In my grocery store, they are $2.50 a piece. Not that this matters, because I think money grows on trees I love them so much that I am willing to pay $5.00 for artichokes and $7.00 for avocados. I have no idea where all of my money is going.











These are beauties. ‘Round these parts you don’t see such elegant artichokes.











You’d think I lived in a remote area of town. I don’t.¬†




I do this one of two ways. This time, I cut the top off of the artichoke before boiling.











Sometimes I do it after. I believe after is the best way, in order to keep the artichoke from browing. But I have never had that problem, so I do it my way.

I am such a rebel.




The prickly leaves should be trimmed off.











Unless you enjoy cuts on your tongue and cheek.




Hey, some people do. You may like that kinda’ thing.

I’m not judging.




You can see I was practicing my karate chopping skills and took off a huge hunkin’ chunk of the bottom left artichoke.


















Don’t do that. Please don’t follow my lead.







I let them drain for about 5-10 minutes. It can be done longer, but I am extremely impatient.











Chances are, those that know me and are reading are thinking ‘No! She is definitely not impatient at all.’





I have talked about panko before. I adore panko. My lobster mac adores panko.











You should, too. It is nice.




This is how I created the stuffing for the artichokes.
































Otherwise known as – a myocardial infarction in a saucepan.







The panko and cheese create an incredible stuffing.


















Toasted, cheesy, and crispy –¬†yet soft. Remember that time I wished I could eat breading as a meal? This is one of those times.







The artichokes need to be reallllly pulled apart to get the stuffing inside.

























Do you think I didn’t take a couple spoonfuls for myself?











You don’t even know me.




If you really knew me, you’d know I ate quarter-cupfuls of the mix.




Isn’t this incredible?


















I dumped a bit of water in the bottom of my small baking dish. I love the ‘casserole dishes for two.’ I have one from pampered chef.











Unfortunately, a casserole that can actually fit in the ‘casserole dish for two,’ only feeds me. And then, I need to make a dish for my husband in a ‘casserole dish for six.’ That should satisfy him.






Check out the stuffed, baked artichokes.










If you are not familar with eating the ‘meat’ from the leaves, you simply pluck a leaf, and scrape from the top down with your teeth. Buttery, toasted, cheesy stuffing included.

















Stuffed Artichokes

4 artichokes

1/4 cup olive oil + 1 tablespoon

1/4 cup butter

1/3 cup panko bread crumbs

3 peeled garlic cloves

1/4 cup parmesan cheese

salt & pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375.

Cut stems off of artichokes. Place upside down in a large pot and fill with water. Boil for 20 minutes. Artichokes should be submerged in water, so you may need to place a bowl or other object on top.

Remove artichokes from pot. Let drain upside down for 10 minutes. Cut off the top 1/2-1 inch of artichoke. Trim remaining leaf tips if sharp. 

In a small saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1/8 cup butter. Add chopped garlic, bread crumbs, salt, pepper, and any other fresh herbs or seasons you desire. Stir until mixture comes together. It will most likely be dry, so add the remaining oil and butter. Add in the parmesan cheese, a squirt of freshly squeezed lemon juiced, and stir until lightly golden brown.

Pull apart artichoke leaves and spoon mixture evenly inside. Place artichokes in a baking dish and add 1 inch of water to the bottom.

Bake for 15 minutes uncovered. Place foil over the artichokes and bake another 25 minutes. 

Serve with clarified butter and a dish to discard leaves.


































Remember when I made Whole Wheat Pumpkin Gnocchi’s??







Cinde from Gluten Free Taste of Home made Gluten Free Pumpkin Gnocchi’s for all of you gluten-free peeps out there. Check out her site, and try out her recipe!




Also, a HUGE shout out to Seth from Boy Meets Food for spending alot of time with me yesterday regarding my wordpress issues.





And if you are craving more buttery, sugary goodness, follow How Sweet It Is on Twitter and Facebook.

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(I’m having some wordpress formatting issues (spacing between photos and lines)¬†that no one has been able to figure out – I apologize if the formatting of this post is goofy!)

I think the title says it all, but could there be a more fabulous combination?



Well, assuming you like pears. And figs. And gorgonzola.


A lot of people are not fond of all 3 said foods. ¬†Maybe I should stop while I’m ahead.¬†



I LOVE pears, figs, and am more than passionate about gorgonzola. 



You may be thinking ‘is there a food she does not like?’

Why, yes. Yes, there is.



It would be vegetables. 

All vegetables. Except for corn. Which is, like, a fake vegetable.




This was one of the juiciest pears I have found in a long time.



I chopped it up, snuck multiple bites, pouted because I couldn’t just eat the entire thing, the threw it in a small dish with some sugar and cinnamon.










Crumbled gorgonzola.


I could eat this as my entree and dessert. Who am I kidding? I already do.





One of my most favorite foods on the planet.





Fresh, juicy figs.

I also enjoy dried figs. I don’t discriminate.





The incredible fig spread I bought last week at Whole Paycheck Foods.






The pear, figs, and gorgonzola went into a ramekin.

I only added the figs and gorgonzola once the pears were roasted, and allowed it to roast for 5 more minutes.



Truth be told, it really could be eaten like this. The juiciness of the roasted pears combined with the soft, pungent gorgonzola creates a world of flavor.



But as much as I love it alone, I love my pants tightening around my waist more, and added some flaky empty-calorie-filled puffed pastry.


I know you think I’m joking.

I’m not.



Just call me by my new nickname –¬†‚Äôpuffy pastry‚Äô.



Serve it with fresh figs.

And crispy, flaky layers topped with fig spread.







Roasted Pear, Figs and Gorgonzola Puffed Pastry

1 large bartlett pear

3 fresh turkish figs

2 tablespoons gorgonzola

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon fig preserves

1 sheet Pillsbury puffed pastry.

Preheat oven to 400.

Thaw puffed pastry according to directions. Once thawed, place in oven and cook according to directions ‚Äď about 15 minutes. Once cooled, slice pastry into squares.

Chop up pear and place in ramekin. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Roast at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes.

Chop figs into quaters. Once you remove the roasted pear from the oven, cover with chopped figs and gorgonzola. Place back in the oven for 5 minutes.

Spread fig preserves on 1 side of 2 puffed pastry squares. On a third square, spread both sides with fig preserves. Assemble one square on plate, fig preserves-side up. Place spoonful of pear, fig and gorgonzola mixture in middle of square. Top with 2-spread-sided square. Place on another spoonful of pear mixture. Top with 3rd puffed pastry square, fig preserves-side down.

Serve with fresh figs.






I am slowly increasing pants sizes…




…one cup of gorgonzola‚Ķ


…at a time.






Do you know any good personal trainers?



Oh wait. I am one.



The gravy stain on my shirt and popped-off buttons caused me to forget.



I am staging a gorgonzola-free intervention. With myself.



And my pants.

(Become a How Sweet fan on Facebook!)

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Chunky Fire-Roasted Chili.

Here in Pittsburgh the mornings and evenings are chilly, yet the temperature during the day is reaching about 65.



Still perfect chili weather, in my opinion.




Sometimes I make chili with ground turkey, and¬†sometimes I use beef. I’ve also mixed turkey, chicken AND beef. That is delish.


I wanted to partake in the chili-eating, and was craving some good ole’ ground beef.



I wear the pants in this house.



(I’m shakin’ in my boots as I type those words.)





I used about 3lbs of organic 92/8 ground beef.













Chopped up some veggies.













And found nice, huge chunks of mold inside the red pepper we had just got at the store.









Don’t you hate when that happens??







I rescued the no-mold sections.










Which is actually surpising, since I served my husband tacos with tortillas that expired on August 25th last week. I checked them out again this weekend and they were covered in spots of black and green mold.



I guess he was so hungry, he overlooked that.







Chopped up a few cloves of garlic, which I think is oh, so fun.
























It all went into a giant pot with some olive oil. I took a picture, but just accidentally deleted it. I am lazy.









I seasoned the beef with sea salt and pepper.













And threw it into the pot.


















We do like our chili chunky (like my other soups), so I broke up the beef and tried to leave some larger chunks.









The chili sauce base.











 Tomato puree, diced tomatoes, and fire-roasted tomatoes. Yum.







I don’t use any seasoning packets – I prefer to do it myself.










Crushed red pepper, cocoa chili powder, smoked paprika, chili powder, and cumin.




While I love doing the seasoning my way, I always end up doing different things each time. I guess that is the beauty of it.






At about noon, I decided it was time for this.










For the chili, of couse.







 Ok, maybe not.












But I did add some to the chili. It was thirsty.


















I used a LARGE can of kidney beans. I’m talking, HUGE. They went in after the base sauce.




























My first round of seasonings added.

















I’m noticing my pictures are a bit blurry. I think my camera is on it’s last leg. I am devastated. I love my camera. I don’t want to have to buy a new one.



I’d rather buy 5 inch pumps.




Because I don’t have any. I swear.¬†





I let my chili simmer for about 6-8 hours.










Of course, there were many tastings withing those 6-8 hours.







Including a few bowls for my husband.


















Topped with smoked cheddar. My all-time favorite cheese. Along with gouda, asiago, gruyere…



Does it get any better?







Chunky Fire-Roasted Chili

3 lbs organic, grass fed 92/8 ground beef

1/2 sweet onion, finely chopped

1 small green pepper, chopped

1 small red pepper, chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup red wine

2 large cans tomato puree

1 large can diced tomatoes

1 large can of fire-roasted tomatoes

1 extra-large can of kidney beans

1 small can of tomato paste

1/4 cup chili powder

4 tablespoons cumin

1 tablespoon cocoa chili powder

1/2 tablespoon cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon smoked paprika


Heat a large pot on medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil and the chopped onion, peppers and garlic. Saute until vegetables are soft.

Season ground beef with salt and pepper. Add to pot and break apart with a wooden spoon. Let brown. Add one cup of red wine and continue to saute and stir for about 3 minutes.

Add tomato puree, diced tomatos, fire-roasted tomatoes and kidney beans. Stir and add tomato paste.

Add chili powder, cocoa chili powder, cumin, cayenne, and smoked paprika. Stir and let simmer for 30 minutes. Taste and add more seasoning if needed.

Simmer for 2-8 hours.





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This here is a recipe I found deep in the pages of one of Mother Lovett’s recipe books. You know, those crazy-beautiful books from the 1950’s that have yellow pages? I wrote about them a few weeks ago. They certainly are a treasure to me.



Since I know no restraint when it comes to cream cheese, I figured I would LOVE this recipe. Anything to make my inner thighs jiggle more and begin stretching the seam of my pants.



Oh wait. That already happens.



This time I don’t just have butter. I have cream cheese.















Ingredients in the morning sunshine.














Creamed butter and cream cheese.















This went into my mouth. Suprised?









This is obviously your first time visiting. 











And I also licked this clean.











It was delicious.








I used milk chocolate chips. Not dark.










Because I hate anything that is deemed ‘good’ for me just really love milk chocolate.








Ready to go in the oven.























The finished product.











 Can I tell you a secret?


Thanks. Don’t tell anyone.





I didn’t like these cookies. They were not sweet enough for me. Which, luckily for you, means that¬†you would most likely love them. I have the sweetest teeth known to man.





My husband and brother LOVED them. 


They are also the kind of people that sometimes find certain desserts ‘too rich.’




Yeah. Those people.




Ugh. They are luckily they are family.



I just don’t get the concept. There has never been anything too sweet or too rich for me.



I wanted to throw these cookies out. That led to a giant fight, because my husband suggested I was wasting food.



He obviously has not looked at my thights, butt, hips, stomach, and arms.





So, in my honest opinion, these did turn out perfectly. I think most of you would absolutely love them, so I urge you to give them a try. They do have a slight sweetness to them just not enough for my whacked out tastebuds.













Cream Cheese Chocolate Cookies

1 cup butter

3 oz of cream cheese

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 cups flour

1 tsp salt

1 cup chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350.

Cream butter, sugar, eggs, and cream cheese together. Add vanilla and mix. Stir in flour and salt, just until blended. Fold in chocolate chips.


Bake for 8-10 minutes or until edges are golden brown. The cookies will remain light in color.





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A Day In the Life.

I’m so glad you guys had a blast playing¬†Friday Trivia! Can’t wait¬†for next week.


The correct answers:

1. Adventures of Pluto Nash

2. Three

3. Oreos


Those that got all 3 correct that are entered for the prize:


Molly P


Rosemary and the Goat

Kristie Lynn

Julie @ SavvyEats


Thanks to¬†all for playin.’ ūüôā


If you didn’t make it this time, check back next Friday. You’ll still have 5 chances to win.¬†





Some of you have inquired about my daily eats and routine. Take a look below, and you will see that it is not anything to write home about. This may or may not appear more often. I cannot decide. I am not a fan of taking pictures without natural light. So this probably leans toward the ‘may not’ side.





Yesterday, my morning began like this. It usually does.













To say I am a HUGE fan of makeup is an understatement. I love it. My secret dream job is to be a MAC makeup artist. I love wild colors, dramatic eyes – you name it. And no, I’m not talking about gross, ‘caked-on-your-face’ makeup. You won’t find that on me. I do not even wear foundation. But I love bright, fun colors and experimenting.





My other secret? The real reason I won’t ever become a makeup artist? As much as I love all of your faces, I really have no desire to touch them. You know what I’m talking about. There may always be that one person you see sitting in the makeup chair and¬† as you walk by, you think ‘oh dear. I am so glad I do not have to touch that face.’




I know. I’m cruel. Please forgive me.




You know what I’m talkin’ bout.





Anyway, my 2 favorite brands (as if you can’t tell from the picture), are MAC and Urban Decay. Put me in a Sephora and I can single handedly destroy my bank account along with yours, and think it is totally worth it.




Have a question about my favorite colors or what I really use everyday? Give me a shout.








Yesterday morning also began like this.













I think it is time for a new blender. I have a ‘normal’ blender, though too much moose juice has cause it to have a mental breakdown. I attempted to use my immersion blender for my green monster. Tiny green spinach flakes are not fun to clean up when you are ravenous at 6:30am. This stuff flew everywhere – I even noticed some that had dried on my foot last night.





What was in my green monster?

*Chocolate Amazing Grass

*almond milk


*frozen banana







I also had an unpictured mini whole wheat bagel with cream cheese.







After discovering the price of the Vitamix last night (which I refuse to disclose here since I will most likely walk through the door with one this weekend and would like to save my husband a heart attack) – I am deciding whether to bite the bullet and get it, or get a cheaper blender. Any suggestions?








Around 11:00 I had some of this Oikos with pumpkin spice granola.











I usually am a plain Fage girl, but had some coupons for Oikos.







Around 2:30 I had some leftover veggie soup and a honeycrisp. Check out the recipe.
















And dove right into this puppy. Have you checked out Ange’s bakery?











If not, swing by Glo Bakery and order some bars. They are more than worth it.







After that, I went on an excursion to Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s with my brother. I only go every 3rd week or so because it is about 35 minutes away, but is a real pain to get to.









I was starving because I did not eat much, so I had about 56 of these.











Chocolate Chewies from Whole Foods.









And we also ate almost the entire container of these during the car ride back.















¬†Hi. My name is Jessica and I’m a shopaholic.






I have issues.












That was only about half the stash. 













This may be my most favorite purchase EVAAHH.












I think  I have shared with many of you my obsession with figs. I live for figs.


I have an excellent recipe to try out so stop back in the next few days.







My husband finally made it home after 3 hours of sitting in traffic coming from the airport.

Ah, he was a joy. He was especially hangry, as you can imagine after sitting in gridlocked traffic in the pouring rain.




He asked me to make him a ‘sandwhich-thing’ with¬†some leftover filet we had in the fridge. I sauteed some onions and mushrooms, and decided to throw the mix between 2 whole grain tortillas.












































He was not a happy camper when he saw what I made. He didn’t want this, he wanted a sandwhich. After a brief temper tantrum, he ate it anyway. It was pretty fabulous.







I had some whole wheat naan for the first time.











Um, why on earth have I never had naan? I broiled it with some low-fat mozzarella and asiago. It was amazing, to say the least.






Today it looks like this outside.











Now it’s my turn¬†to throw a tantrum like a 5 year old because all I want to do it go to the darn pumpkin patch.




Oh well. I will drown my sorrows in more Chocolate Chewies.



Up next: a spin on good ole’ chocolate chip cookies.

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Asiago Breaded Pork Chops.


Although I have been suffering from an aversion to meat this year, I have been craving pork. Tenderloin, chops and pulled (my ultimate fave!) – you just can’t go wrong!



This is another dish my mom made often – and still does. We never got sick of it because it is THAT good.


You need 4 boneless pork chops.




4 thin, boneless¬†pork chops. THIN makes all the difference. (Doesn’t it though?)













Trim off all of the fat.










This is something I have to do because if I see or bite into (blech!) the tiniest piece of fat, gristle, vein, muscle, etc, I’m done. No more meat for me. It is one of the reasons I have a hard time eating the meat I prepare, because I see everything.







Tenderize the pork with a fork.














The breading is a mixture of corn flakes and seasoned bread crumbs.

















Best. Breading. Ever.







This meal is very simple to prepare. Takes less than 15 minutes!





There are only 2 steps before it hits the skillet:



1. Dip and soak the chop in some milk for about a minute.










2. Then press the chop into the bread crumb mixture.












Pan-fry to seal in the juices and the outside coating .




















Now for the best part. Asiago.










One of my most favorite cheeses.


Which doesn’t say much since I’ve never met a cheese I didn’t like. But if you have never tried asiago (in ways other than a light sprinkling on your spaghetti) you are missing out!





Top each chop with a small handful of cheese. Lots o’ rhymes going on today.









It was a ‘2-handful’ day.



I also add a bit of chicken stock into the skillet to keep the chops moist as they bake. Pork chops are known to come out dry, but I promise if you try them this way, they will be super moist.





Take cover before hittin’ the oven!














Ohhh I can taste it now…












These are tender, juicy, cheesey and every other word that would fall in those categories.










You know what else is awesome? Making a gravy using the bits left in the pan and serving it with mashed potatoes. It’s da’ bomb.




Who even talks like that? I’m so embarrassing.






Of course the breading is my favorite part.










I wish breading was considered a meal. A healthy meal, even. Served daily.

Like ‘honey, I’m home! Can we have breading for dinner?’

I would totally eat that.





You can’t say no to this.












Asiago Breaded Pork Chops

4 thin, boneless pork chops

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup milk

1/2 cup Kellogg’s Corn Flakes

1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs

1 cup chicken stock

1 cup asiago cheese, grated or crumbled


Preheat oven to 325.

Trim fat off of pork chops and tenderize with a fork.  Heat skillet on medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons olive oil. In separate bowls, pour milk into one, then breadcrumbs and corn flakes into other.

Dip chop in milk and let soak for about a minute. Dip in bread crumb mixture and coat thoroughly. Add to skillet and let cook on each side for about 3-4 minutes, or until breading is golden brown.

Take off heat and add 1 cup chicken stock to skillet. Also add 1/4 cup asiago cheese on top of each chop.

Cover and bake at 325 for about 45 minutes. Make sure the chops do not dry out. If the skillet becomes dry, add more chicken stock.





Serve with some of that delicious homeade applesauce I’ve seen floating around blogworld.









Anyone want to give me a good recipe for it?


Please try these. And be happy. Forever.

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Halloweenie Pumpkin Scones.


 I said weenie.

 (follow me as I tweet my life away and say other inappropriate things.)


Thank you all so much for additional recipe suggestions on my honeycrisp apple crisp! Check out the comment section for some yummy and healthier substitutions. You guys are the best!




I have never been a fan of scones from most bakeries or coffee shops. 95% of the scones I’ve bought are usually dry and crumbly, and although I realize that is sometimes how scones are supposed to be, I really do not like that texture.


After getting a pumpkin scone from Starbucks on Saturday that tasted like it had been sitting out for 4 days, I knew I had to come up with something.




I used the base of this scone recipe from a friend’s sister. It is SO good. The addition of the pumpkin even made it more moist. Perfect for my taste buds.





Dry ingredients.














Don’t be grossed out. That is some buttermilk with a splash of vanilla.










The buttermilk expired on 9/15. I think it had some chunks in it. I used it, ate a scone (or 7), and didn’t get sick or die. I was channeling Mother Lovett. Now you can be grossed out.







I wonder how many of my posts do not include butter?













At first I was using my mixer and it just wasn’t getting the job done. I brought out this trusty tool and it worked perfectly.
















Crumbled little bits of butter.








A good dollop of pumpkin goes into the mix.














The dough – which was SO good. I kept eating bits. And spoonfuls.









 And handfuls.









I got these festive Kisses to chop up and use¬†as ‘chips’ in the scones.























Aren’t they pretty?




The truth is, I was desprately trying to find the pumpkin spice Kisses that everyone is using and talking about. I searched far and wide and could not find them ANYWHERE. I am wondering if they do not have them in Pittsburgh? Any Pittsburgher’s out there? Please let me know. I went to 5 Target’s and 4 Giant Eagle’s. No luck.






So I threw a tantrum on the floor of the 5th Target. Then picked up the candy corn Kisses and went on my merry way.








The dough that somehow escaped my mouth.















Formed into a circled after some gentle kneading, patted down, and cut into slices.
















Topped with this! Is there anything better than coarse sugar?










I’d like to eat it straight from the bag.








Like a slice of raw scone pie.




¬†Nevermind – that doesn’t sound very appealing.









Right before they went in the oven I brushed with some melted butter.


























And sprinkled with sugar.















Hello, lovaaaaaaah.




















May I top you with some pecan pumpkin butter? Thank you.














How many of you used to rip off and only eat the tops of muffins that were coated in coarse sugar?











Anyone? Just me?



Ha! Who am I kidding? I still do, and did it with 4 of these scones. Just LOOK at that top. Mmmm.









How about we coat you in festive chocolate?


















Pumpkin Scones

3 1/4 cups flour

1/3 cup sugar

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

3/4 cups cold butter

1 cup buttermilk

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup pureed pumpkin


Preheat oven to 425.

In large bowl combine dry ingredients. Cut in butter until it forms coarse crumbs. Stir in buttermilk, vanilla, and and pumpkin. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently.

Divide in half and pat into 7 inch round circles. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Cut into 6 wedges.


Bake at 425 for 13-15 minutes.






I’m going to eat my scones in a pumpkin butter bath.























Can someone PLEASE make these with pumpkin spice Kisses? If not, I’m going to go insane with the possibilities.



And finish off the scones. Which might make my husband stay out of town for good.

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