Grilled Cauliflower and Yellow Squash

Happy Monday, everyone! How was your weekend? Mine was FANTASTIC! I was on Spring Break last Wednesday through Friday, and my 28th birthday was on Thursday, so I spent the last five days eating good food, hanging out with wonderful people, and enjoying the beautiful spring weather. Here are a few of the highlights…well, food highlights, anyway.

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Oh My, Spaghetti Pie from Old Chicago…my birthday dinner for the last three years!

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Baked Pretzels at The Barrel House

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Firecracker Shrimp Tacos and Chips at The Barrel House

Martinis with my sisters!

I’m so bummed that my awesome weekend had to come to an end, but I’m so grateful that I got to spend it the way I did….and that I only gained 2 pounds.

With the weather being unbelievably nice the past week, I’ve been a grilling fiend. Twice in six days! My mom and dad used to always grill potatoes with butter and onions, so I decided to try cauliflower and yellow squash to see if it’d be as good. It was. It REALLY was.

Grilled Cauliflower and Yellow Squash

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What I’m Listening to: the new episode of “Once Upon a Time”

Ingredients (makes 2 servings)

-1 medium yellow squash, sliced (I cut the big pieces in halves or quarters)

-1 head cauliflower, stems removed and cut into small pieces

-1/4 yellow onion, diced

-3 tbsp butter, cut into small pieces

-Salt and pepper

-3 large pieces of aluminum foil

Wash and cut up all the vegetables. Lay two pieces of the foil on top of each other. Scoop the veggies into the center of the foil. Drop the butter chunks evenly over the vegetables; season generously with salt and pepper. Fold the foil into a pouch, using the third piece to secure any open spots. Flatten the pouch into a disc.

Cook on a hot charcoal grill for 30-40 minutes, turning every 5-7 minutes. Serve with brats or hot dogs.

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Fajita-Style Bratwursts with Chipotle Mayo

Happy Hump Day! Since it’s my Spring Break this week and my birthday is tomorrow, I thought I’d do a bonus post!  Yes, this lady is going to be 28 tomorrow. I’m excited to have the day off from work, although I don’t have a lot planned. I do want to sleep in, before getting a massage and having dinner with my friends. But that’s it. My family is coming to visit over the weekend, so I’m pretty excited about that too! My biggest concern right now is my birthday dessert. I can’t decide what I should make…any suggestions?

I get asked sometimes where I come up with my recipes. To be honest, I take a lot of inspiration from the people in my life, or from other bloggers I follow. I also spend a ton of time experimenting in my kitchen. But sometimes, I’m making my grocery list and I think to myself, “hey, I should try brats with fajita veggies” and thus, a new recipe is born. That’s what happened with this one. You’re welcome.

Fajita-Style Bratwursts with Chipotle Mayo

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What I’m Listening to: “How I Met Your Mother” season 7

Ingredients (makes 2 bratwursts)

-2 bratwursts of your choice

-2 brat buns

-1/4 onion, sliced

-1/4 red pepper, sliced

-1/4 yellow pepper, sliced

-2 tsp vegetable oil

-1/8 tsp oregano

-1/8 tsp chili powder

-1/2 cup mayo

-1/2 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce

Place the mayo and 1/2 chipotle pepper in a blender or food processor. Blend well. Place in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it.

While you cook the brats (I grilled mine, but you can boil them too!), place the vegetable oil in a small skillet. Heat over medium-low heat until warm. Add the peppers and onion; stir to coat. Sprinkle the oregano and chili powder over the vegetables and stir. Cook for 4-5 minutes, until hot and crisp. Remove the pan from the heat.

Put the cooked bratwursts in buns, topping with the vegetables. Drizzle the chipotle mayo over the top. Serve hot, with a side of vegetables.

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8 Recipes to Get You Out of Your Cooking Rut

Hey friends! I apologize for disappearing on you all. It has been one of those weeks…not bad, just busy, busy, busy. So busy, that I forgot to make the meals I was planning on posting, with the exception of one, which turned out BADLY. We’ve all been there. Anyway, I’ll be back in the kitchen tomorrow and will have lots of new, fun recipes to share with you soon. In the mean time, I thought I’d share some recipes with you that I absolutely love, to keep you inspired this week! When I’m not creating new recipes myself, I am constantly seeking out recipes from every blogger under the sun. Below are some of my personal favorites. Check them out, and let them know that Steph from “Table for One” sent you!

1. Ham and Cheese Gnocchi from Kevin and Amanda

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This recipe has everything: gnocchi, cheese, ham, cheese, cheese…so naturally, I love it! It’s incredibly easy to make, and doesn’t make a mess of your kitchen, since you make the whole recipe in one pan. It’s great for chilly nights in, and, even though I hate leftovers, I definitely didn’t mind eating this the next day.  (Side note: I have loved everything I’ve tried from Kevin and Amanda…so you should check out all their recipes while you’re there!)

2. Honey Sesame Chicken from Grumpy’s Honeybunch

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If you like sesame chicken, you HAVE to try this recipe! This is my go-to when I am craving Chinese take-out, and it always comes out delicious. The recipe does take a bit of time, but it is absolutely worth it! This is a popular request from my friends and family. (It makes a bit more than one person needs, so I usually use a little less chicken, if I’m making it just for me.)

3. Slow Cooker Chicken Caesar Sandwiches from The Girl Who Ate Everything

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I love making crockpot sandwiches on a Sunday, so I can take them for lunch all week! This recipe is a regular in my rotation. The chicken is so flavorful, and, even though I hate the word “moist,” the sandwiches are very moist. (Uggggggggh, hate that word!) You need these in your life.

4. Potato Chip Chilaquiles from Big Girls Small Kitchen

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I love this recipe because I almost always have all the ingredients on hand. It’s cheap, fast to make, and so, SO good! Plus, I get my Mexican fix without an obscene amount of leftovers.

5. Crockpot Sweet BBQ Sloppy Joe Casserole from Crockpot Gourmet

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Are you drooling yet? You should be. Sloppy Joes topped with cheesy hashbrowns. That’s all I’m going to say. Oh, and click on the recipe link right now.

6. Spinach and Artichoke Baked Pasta from Budget Savvy Diva

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Spinach and Artichoke Dip meets pasta and cheese. It’s a unique twist on baked pasta, and sure to spice up your weeknight dinners! It makes much more than a single person would need, so I’d recommend either cutting the recipe in half or sharing with friends. But, don’t let that turn you off. This pasta is amazing!

7. Quinoa Fried Rice from Cooking for Keeps

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This. This. THIS. I am in love; I don’t think I’ll ever need to make fried rice again. This recipe is so fast, and so satisfying! Plus. it pairs fantastically with the sesame chicken above!

8. Lazy Girl’s Chicken Enchilada Casserole

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I kid you not, I used to make this casserole every single week. At some point, I told myself I had to be fair to my other recipes, and try some other things, but my heart still has a special spot for this one. This has all the flavor of an enchilada with half the work. What could be better than that?

Thanks for checking out some of my favorite recipes! What are your personal favorites? Do you have any bloggers that you love? Let me know in the comments below!

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4 Ingredient Breakfast Nachos

Happy Monday! I think this is the first Monday in a looooooong time that I’ve woken up in a good mood. I’m giving the weather credit today, because after weeks of 12°F weather, it’s going to hit 50 today. 50!!! Goodbye snow and ice; hello spring time! Let’s just hope this weather holds out for awhile…my birthday is next week, and I’d like to do able to wear something other than my winter boots to celebrate. Just think warm thoughts…

I think I may have mentioned that I’m currently in my busiest time of year. I’m working on recital, which means I’m almost always doing 20 things at the same time: choreography, class planning, headpiece hunting, costume exchanges, props making, keeping track of dancers with quick changes…you name it, it’s on my radar right now. Plus, preschool on top of that. (Three year olds are weepy this time of year!) I’m also choreographing a musical for one of the local high schools, so my Friday afternoons and evenings are spent in rehearsals, and my free time at home is devoted to more choreography. Needless to say, I needed a short break from the crazy this weekend, so I gave myself permission to do what I wanted, which involved binge-watching “Parenthood,” starting a new book (which I ended up giving up on), and taking a 2 mile walk on Saturday. I’ve also decided that Friday nights are “no cooking” nights until the musical is over, so this weekend, I ordered in Mexican. I ended up with a half bag of tortilla chips and a giant bowl of guacamole after it was all said and done, so those became my inspiration behind my recipe today. Yes, nachos for breakfast. Yes, I’m serious.

Cooking for Beginners: 4 Ingredient Breakfast Nachos

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What I’m Listening To: “Lips Are Movin” by Meghan Trainor

Ingredients (makes 2 servings)

-2 handfuls of tortilla chips

-1/4 lb. ground chorizo (check the meat counter at your grocery store)

-3 eggs

-Queso fresco

Preheat the oven to 200°F. Place the tortilla chips on a baking sheet in a single layer and put in the oven to warm.

In a large skillet, cook the chorizo over medium-high heat. When the sausage has browned, crack the eggs and pour directly into the skillet, stirring immediately to break the yolks. Continue stirring until the eggs are scrambled and cooked through. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and top immediately with the chorizo and eggs. Top with queso fresco and serve with salsa, guacamole, or Greek Yogurt.

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Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan

It’s finally Friday! I have been looking forward to this weekend for about 3 weeks. I have lunch plans on Sunday and that’s it. Nothing else. I can’t remember the last time my weekend was so light. I fully intend to do lots of sleeping, cooking, reading, and bath taking. How are you planning on spending your weekend?

I am SO excited about today’s post! I have been trying to get my friend, Elizabeth, to guest blog for me since I started “Table for One,” and she finally agreed! You may remember Elizabeth from Elizabeth’s Bacon-Wrapped Chicken, which she created, but I made and wrote about. Today, Elizabeth is sharing the recipe and photos. She is one of my closest friends, and we do dinner together all the time. She is the master of all things comfort food, and her Chicken Parmesan is no exception! Plus, she makes it in a slow cooker! If I don’t have your attention yet, please take a gander at the picture below. If you’re not drooling, you can’t be human.

Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan

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What Elizabeth’s Listening to: “Geronimo” by Sheppard

Ingredients

  • 2-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (depending on size. If the breasts are small, use 4)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 5 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced (use 1 tbsp of garlic powder if you don’t have real garlic on hand)
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained well
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup bread crumbs
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and add the onion, tomato paste, garlic, basil, pepper flakes, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook until onions are soft and tomato paste is rust-colored.
Stir in drained tomatoes into tomato paste mixture. Dissolve the cornstarch in water and stir into tomato mixture. Place tomato/corn starch mix into slow cooker.
Mix bread crumbs with a dash of salt, pepper, garlic powder, and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Cover chicken breasts in bread/cheese mix. Lay the chicken breasts on top of tomato mixture, slightly overlapping each other. Sprinkle any remaining bread crumb mix on top of chicken.
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Cover and cook on low until chicken reaches 160 degrees, about 2 1/2 to 4 hours. Sprinkle remaining Parmesan cheese on top of the chicken when it’s done cooking, and enjoy!
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Tyler’s Easy Pad Thai

Guys, I had my first seafood taco this weekend. Maybe not earth-shattering news for you, but for me, it is! My friend, Caroline, and I had firecracker shrimp tacos on Saturday after months of me complaining that I’d never had a seafood taco, and it was life changing. Easily the best taco I’ve ever eaten…I talked about it for the rest of the night. And now I’m blogging about it. It was THAT GOOD. I’m trying to figure out how to recreate it for the blog…stay tuned!

How was everyone’s weekend? Mine was good, although I always feel like the weekend is too short. I had a good balance of productivity and laziness, and plenty of kitty snuggles. I also had A LOT of phone conversations. I’m not a big phone talker, but this weekend, I talked to both my sisters, my mom, and two good friends. One of them is my friend, Tyler, who actually lived with me for awhile last year. Now, I’ve basically lived alone since college, so letting Tyler stay here was a big deal. I enjoy living alone. I like knowing that if I leave something in the fridge, it will be there when I get home. I like taking long, hot showers and not having to worry about saving water for another person. I like being able to run downstairs without pants on, so I can get a warm pair of pants out of the dryer. But, I let Tyler stay, and in return, he introduced me to “Scandal” and made me insane amounts of pad thai. Now, if I want thai food, I go out. But, Tyler’s pad thai is SO GOOD. So good, that I’m sharing it here today, with some minor revisions. (I have this listed as a 2 serving recipe, but if you like pad thai as much as I do, you can easily eat it yourself.) Now, get in the kitchen and whip some up for yourself!

Tyler’s Easy Pad Thai

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What I’m Listening to: “Toledo Surprise” from The Drowsy Chaperone soundtrack

Ingredients (makes 2 servings)

-2 oz flat rice noodles (I found mine in the Asian food section at HyVee)

-1 tbsp brown sugar

-1 tbsp lime juice, plus wedges for serving

-1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce

-1/8 tsp sriracha

-1 tbsp vegetable oil

-3 green onions, white and green parts, separated and thinly sliced

-1 clove (or 1/2 tsp) minced garlic

-2 large eggs, lightly beaten

-Lightly salted, roasted peanuts

In a medium saucepan, soak the noodles according to the package directions. Drain when done. While the noodles soak, whisk together the brown sugar, lime juice, soy sauce, and sriracha in a small bowl. Set aside.

In a large skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the white part of the onions and garlic, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Add the eggs and continue to stir, until the eggs are set, about 30 seconds. Transfer the eggs to a bowl.

Add the noodles, green onions, and sauce to the skillet. Mix well until heated through; add the egg mixture and toss to coat. Serve the noodles with salted peanuts. Add lime wedges and cilantro, if desired.

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Spinach and Bacon Alfredo

I’m sure by now you’ve all seen the Great Dress Debate of 2015. I swear, that dress has been EVERYWHERE the last 24 hours. All over my Facebook newsfeed. All over Instagram. All over the news. I walked into rehearsal tonight for a show I’m choreographing and one kid yelled across the room, “Steph, what color is the dress?” and I knew EXACTLY what he was talking about. For the record, it started out gold and white for me, and then changed color while I was looking at it. I’m not kidding. It freaked me out a little bit…I’m having some trust issues.

Now, if I was really on the ball, I would have segued into some cute “white and gold/black and blue” dessert…but it’s Friday, and that’s just too much work for my brain to handle today. So, instead, you get this AWESOME pasta that I love to throw into my weekly dinner rotation. Now, most of the time, I’m a plain alfredo girl. Throw a little salt and pepper on top, and I’m a happy clam. But, occasionally, I want a variation. I know chicken alfredo is the standard, but I think my Spinach and Bacon Alfredo is more fun. And, obviously more healthy, since it’s got a vegetable in it. Right? RIGHT?!

Spinach and Bacon Alfredo

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What I’m Listening to: “Sugar” by Maroon 5

Ingredients (makes 2 servings)

-1/4 box of fettuccine, or your favorite long pasta

-Olive oil

-1/4 pound of bacon (Get it fresh at the meat counter…mine was $1!)

-2 tbsp butter

-1/2 cup heavy cream

-2 cloves (or 1 tsp) minced garlic

-3/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese

-1/4 cup cooked spinach

-Salt and pepper, to taste

Fill a medium saucepan 2/3 full of water, and bring to a boil. While the water is heating, cook the bacon in a small skillet until crispy on both sides. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel lined bowl to cool. When the water begins to boil, add the fettucine and cook according to the package directions.

In a separate saucepan, melt the butter. Add the heavy cream and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to medium, and simmer for 4-5 minutes, until the mixture begins to thicken. Add the garlic and parmesan cheese; whisk quickly. Remove from the heat and add the spinach. Crumble the bacon into small pieces over the top and mix well.

Drain the pasta when done and return back to its original pan. Pour the alfredo sauce over the top and toss to coat. Serve with garlic bread and a small salad.

*Note: I used frozen spinach and cooked it while I was frying the bacon. You could also use raw baby spinach, and saute it with some olive oil, or the bacon grease, if you’d prefer.

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