Sunday, December 21, 2014

Bacon, Cheddar, Spinach, and Mushroom "Grilled" Flatbread Sandwich

YOU. GUYS. This sandwich. Oh. Dear. God.
It began as many things in my kitchen do--with a semi-specific craving: I wanted a mushroom grilled cheese sandwich. It's gray and chilly outside, and I wanted to bring some warmth inside! This sandwich did exactly that--and filled the house with delicious aromas to boot!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Turkey Tamale Pie

Hi, friends! Are you in need of a way to use some of your Thanksgiving turkey leftovers? Look no further! The answer lies here, in this Turkey Tamale Pie! :)
So, like many of my great ideas, I stumbled upon this recipe completely by accident. When I was growing up, my mom used to make a really comforting, delicious Turkey Pie (which I now know to be "turkey pot pie")--and I've never made it as an adult. She's given me the recipe, but I was searching for other versions just to see what was out there.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Caramel Apple Cake Pops

What do you have to be thankful for this year? It's a tired question, I know, especially in the wake of the craziness that is Black Friday. In such a busy holiday season, I realize that it's very easy to overlook how wildly and ridiculously blessed we are, in part as compared to others; but also because we were privileged enough to wake up today, see people that we love, and enjoy the beauty of life.
I have tried, in my life, to make a point to notice the little things and live life as a grateful person; not in a "glass half full" kind of way, but in an authentic "I am REALLY thankful for _______" kind of way. Each day, I encounter something that reminds me how fortunate I am to live where I do, have the things I have, and live the life I live. When I remember to posture my heart in this way, I am consistently humbled by the million blessings in my life, and it perpetuates a grateful heart in me.

Breakfast Flatbread with Fried Eggs and Greens

So...tomorrow is December 1, 2014. WHAT?! Time never fails to surprise me in its swift passing. Just like that, another year elapses...and we're on the brink of entering a new one, which will undoubtedly pass just as quickly. Man. I'm too old for this.
Thankfully, a runny fried egg is the perfect fix for existential crises in the morning. Especially a runny fried egg atop a crunchy, crisp flatbread crust with leafy spinach, savory garlic, some extra virgin olive oil, and tons of cheese.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Baked Salmon with Lemon Caper Butter Sauce

Good afternoon, my friends! It is a *spectacular* November day here in north Texas...warm, windy, and perfect. My windows are open, sunlight is cascading into the room, and all is right with the world :)

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bars

Okay. Fall is HERE. Maybe if I say it enough times, it'll become true? Even though the weather doesn't feel like it, I can still bake with the flavors of fall, right? That's what I'm trying to tell myself...because it was 90 degrees outside two days ago.
Enter these Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bars--moist, spiced, great big mouthfuls of fall :) Everyone who tasted them fell in love! These came together so quickly, and I appreciated that they used ingredients that I already had in the house.

Caramelized Banana Cinnamon Rolls

You'd think that by now, I'dve learned my lesson and buy fewer bananas, because I can never finish them before they start to go bad! But...clearly, today is not that day. The bananas in this recipe were sitting on my counter, swiftly dying, as so many of their predecessors. So...I came in as the Caped Kitchen Crusader to save the day!

Caprese Flatbread

Welp. It's been over a month since my last post...NOT for lack of trying, though! In the last month, I have attended two weddings and a fall festival, been in the recording studio twice, celebrated a birthday, and been without my cell phone for almost three weeks due to a surprising, unexpected hardware malfunction in my phone that took forever to repair. Whew!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Banana Muffins with Oatmeal Crumb Topping

Hello, friends. I'll keep this post short and sweet :) How are you? I hope all is well with you, wherever you are.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

One Year Ago Today...

On this day last year, my life changed forever. It's completely surreal to revisit the events of Thursday, September 5, 2013, especially when I consider how quickly time passes, and also when I measure and marvel at the faithfulness of God in my life.
If you had told me that I would begin the day at work, (like normal) and end the day in the Intensive Care Unit (arguably not normal), I probably would have rolled my eyes or laughed in your face...if I'd had the energy. You see, I have diabetes...and on this day last year, I found out (in very dramatic fashion).

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Spinach-Artichoke Angel Hair Pasta with Tomato Cream Sauce

So...this week, I learned that I've been typecast--in my own life. Apparently, I play the uni-dimensional role of "princess" or "diva" much better than I knew! What's the reason for this revelation? Well, this weekend, I went for an overnight camping and kayaking trip with a good friend, and everyone who learned about our trip responded in one of two ways: either, "Oh my gosh, you're really expanding your horizons this year! I'm so proud of you!" or "Really? YOU are going camping? I mean, don't take this the wrong way...but you just don't seem very...outdoorsy."

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Sweet Potato Breakfast Hash with Poached Eggs

As I've mentioned before, my favorite cooking show is Chopped. I eagerly anticipate the baskets of mystery ingredients, and groan alongside the chefs as they try to create something delicious, beautiful, and creative before time runs out! :) I don't move very quickly in the kitchen, so I know that the clock would be my ultimate nemesis in the Chopped Kitchen, without a doubt.
One of the dishes I see quite frequently on Chopped is hash, a dish made with cubed potatoes, meat (sometimes), and cooked with additional veggies and spices. Sweet potato hash, purple potato hash, new potato hash, corned beef hash...HASH FOR EVERYBODY! I decided to give it a go in my own kitchen--a Foodie & Fabulous first!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Three-Cheese Beef Lasagna and West Coast Vacation :)

Friends. We've nearly reached the middle of August. DEAR. LORD. Time just keeps flying by so much faster than I can keep up with it! Is that how it feels to you, too? I was out of town last week--I went to visit my brother and sister-in-law in Spokane and made a brief stop in San Francisco to see my uncle on my way back. Obviously, I couldn't travel without making SOMETHING delicious...

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Tilapia Tacos with Peach, Bell Pepper, and Grape Tomato Salsa

I think I've created a peach-loving monster...I made the peach cobbler and now I'm hooked! I enjoyed a girl's night with two good girlfriends over the weekend and made a mini cobbler for dessert. I had one large peach remaining, and it ripened quickly over the week, so I used it tonight!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Crustless Asparagus, Mushroom, & Tomato Quiche

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I LOVE QUICHE. It's so easy. It's so tasty. Oh, and it can be *so healthy*--especially when you pack it full of good-for-you vegetables. I also love lazy Saturday mornings when I don't have to do anything other than exactly what I want (which is usually experiment in the kitchen!)
Quiche is one of those "choose your own adventure" kind of meals--because anything can go into it! This quiche is hearty, rustic, and has some Mediterranean flavors in it, thanks to a bit of tangy feta cheese, red onion, asparagus, and tomatoes.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Strawberry Cheesecake Muffins

You know, I really hate it when I buy fresh fruit and vegetables and they go bad before I'm able to eat them. It's such a waste! That's what ALMOST happened with these strawberries, so to rescue them, I put them into these muffins before I lost them all!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Grilled Greek Turkey Burgers with Crispy Sweet Potato Fries

Friends! SUMMER IS HERE. And while I do NOT love summer heat, I DO love summer food! I also love grilling, ice cream, and conversations that last late into warm nights after alfresco dining with friends. It just...feels so good to the soul :)
Tonight is just such a night. I'm house-sitting for some friends who have a beautiful backyard with a grill, swimming pool, and hot tub, all at my disposal for the rest of the month. Glorious. Other than the mosquitoes (who are in CONSTANT attack mode, apparently), I've loved every minute of it! I invited a friend over tonight with whom to enjoy a lovely summer evening, and I'm so excited :)

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Fresh Peach Cobbler

OH. MY. GOODNESS. I have been waiting ALL DAY to post this recipe!! I saved the best for last! :) Last Saturday, I went with my friend Emily to a peach orchard about 45 minutes out of town. I have never picked fresh fruit from an orchard, so I was really excited! Immediately, I began brainstorming all the peachy, summery, delicious things I could make, like THIS and THIS.

Patriotic NOT Tie-Dye Cake

Alright, I know I'm not alone in being the kind of person who becomes a bit frustrated or annoyed when the cake picture she has in her head is DIFFERENT from the cake that comes out of the oven. In the kitchen (oh, who am I kidding?) IN LIFE, I tend to get annoyed when the real thing doesn't measure up to the perfect picture in my head. Can you relate?

Whipped Cream Cream Cheese Frosting

Okay, guys. I'm regularly here with cupcake recipes for you, so in this one, I'm highlighting the frosting instead of the cupcake because IT IS DELICIOUS. It looked like soft serve ice cream! My sister, who used to work at Sonic, said it looked just like an ice cream cone! So tasty :)

Watermelon Punch Bowl

Hello, friends, and a belated Happy Independence Day to you! This is going to be something of a blitz attack of recipes; this being the first of four that I'll post today. It was a busy day in the kitchen yesterday, and happily, everything turned out delicious!
I first made this watermelon punch two years ago for a get-together with friends. It was delicious and such a creative, resourceful use of fruit; not to mention so summery and refreshing! I had to reprise the recipe for yesterday's fourth of July festivities.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Kit Kat Cupcakes with Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting

Hi, everyone :) How's it going? Happy June...summer is officially here (and it's officially starting to feel like it around here, too!) All is well in my world--summer orientations have begun, and I can hardly believe that the third of this month marked my one-year anniversary at my job! It's been a great year, and I look forward to more good things :)

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Patriotic Cake Pops (and Bonus Funfetti Cupcakes!)

We celebrated Memorial Day this past Monday. With every year, I find that I appreciate more deeply the sacrifices that others made, allowing me to enjoy the life I live. It's so humbling to recognize how many of my freedoms were paid for by the blood of people I will never know. So special.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Homemade Bread (for Beginners)

If you know me personally or have known me closely for a long time, chances are you have either heard about or tasted my mom's incomparable homemade bread. It's ridiculous and amazing and delicious; the stuff that bready, carb-laden dreams are made of. People who ate it ten years ago (or longer) can still remember the way it tastes!
...I'm not here with THAT recipe, though. To be completely honest, I'm very intimidated by the prospect of making HER bread, mostly because the people who've been fortunate enough to try it have all developed a strong emotional attachment to it (seriously), so their expectations are always high--and rightly so. Her bread is awesome. She's got the special touch! That's gotta be why it's called "Comfort Bread" :)

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Asian Glazed Sesame Salmon with Asparagus and Brown Rice

Hello! And to say it ad nauseum as if you haven't already heard it a thousand times, "May the fourth be with you!" (Sorry. I wouldn't do it otherwise...but...*shrug*) Today's post will be short and sweet, for everyone's benefit.

Friday, April 25, 2014


Foodie & Fabulous friends. It's me. I'm here. I'm alive. And I'm sorry! I haven't posted in over a month...because I've had a few things going on.

1) I went to Hawaii with my sweet friend Chris, who competed in his very first triathlon to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society! It was amazing.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Parmesan Asparagus with Fried Eggs

You know what I love? Simple, elegant, beautiful food. I'm talking about straightforward flavors, simple presentation, and delicious tastes that don't have to be fussy or fancy. Of course, there's definitely room for very extravagant, "I slaved over the stove for hours!" kind of dishes--but on some days, like today, less is more.
It's a quiet, rainy day here in Dallas, and I found myself searching to create a meal to match the peace and tranquility of my mood. I bought some beautiful asparagus recently, and decided to give it a go, following Justin at Salt Pepper Skillet. I've never worked with asparagus before--this was my first time--and I was thrilled at how easy it is to make!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Strawberries 'N Cream Pancakes

Did you know: this past Tuesday, March 4, was National Pancake Day? Normally, I celebrate at IHOP because on National Pancake Day, they serve free short stacks of pancakes all day long. Delicious! Of course, with free pancakes come long waits and crowded restaurants, so at the end of my busy day, I decided to make my own pancakes in hopes that they would be healthier and just as tasty (if not tastier).
Enter: Strawberries 'N Cream Pancakes! Wowww. These are as delicious as they are beautiful! It was really late when I started cooking (hence the poorly-lit photos--sorry!), so for simplicity's sake, I used a pancake mix shortcut--but to add a little fiber, I ground up some whole oats to make oat flour and added them to the mix. Bonus: it made for a heartier pancake, especially with the addition of freshly-chopped strawberries!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Pan-Fried Salmon with a Balsamic Blueberry Reduction

Hi, I'm Esther--the most neglectful food blogger of 2014 :( *Hangs head in shame* So here's the deal: each semester, the gym changes its group exercise classes, so what worked perfectly last semester is completely different this semester, and I've had to make some accommodations to maintain my exercise routine.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Slow Cooker Beef and Potato Soup

*Note: I actually wrote this recipe and this post in January, but haven't had time to take photos until today! Keep that in mind while reading. Sorry for the delay :(

Guys. It's 2014. Oh my goodness! And it's almost the end of the month! How did this happen?! Well, I wish you a VERY belated Happy New Year!! This has been an extremely busy month so far; largely work-related--so I haven't had the chance to get into the kitchen at all, and as usual, I miss it so much!