The Best Oatmeal

1 or 2 tbs salted butter
1 c oats (can use quick oats for shorter boil time)
1 c water
Toppings: fruit (blueberries, banana, strawberries, etc.), honey, milk

1. Heat a skillet over low-medium heat. Add butter and allow to melt.
2. Add oats to skillet and stir periodically. Oats should start toasting. Add more butter if needed.
3. Boil water (I use a kettle for this).
4. Once oats are toasted and water is boiling, slowly add water a little at a time to the skillet. You may not need to add the entire cup, depending on how watery/firm you want your oatmeal.
5. Remove oats from skillet and serve with desired toppings. I like to have this with some milk with honey and berries. I think this could also be a great base for savory oatmeal.

I call this the best oatmeal because of the texture. It’s chewy, not soggy or goopy.

Featured

Pork Alfredo for One (Also, I’m Back!)

Inspired by: https://www.kj.com/blog/smothered-pork-chops

PorkChopAlfredo
Pork is not photogenic.
  • 2 oz+ pasta (linguine or similar)
  • 2 tbs+ olive oil
  • 1 tbs+ salt
  • 1 tbs+ pepper
  • 1 bone-in pork chop
  • 2 tbs butter
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1+ clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tbs flour
  • 1 c chicken broth
  • 1/2 c milk
  • 1 tsp+ thyme
  • 1 tsp+ oregano
  • 1 tsp+ parsley
  • 2 tbs sour cream
  • Garnish: Parmesan cheese, fresh parsley, salt, pepper
  1. Make Pasta according to instructions on the box.
  2. In a large skillet, heat olive oil. Season pork chop with salt and pepper.
  3. Add pork chop in the skillet to brown sides. About 3 minutes per side.
  4. Remove pork chop from skillet. Turn heat off. Wait for skillet to cool.
  5. Melt butter over low heat. Add shallot and garlic to butter. Saute for a minute.
  6. Add flour and whisk until smooth.
  7. Add broth and milk and whisk until smooth. Add more liquid as needed.
  8. Season sauce with oregano, parsley, thyme, salt, and pepper to taste.
  9. Bring sauce to a simmer.
  10. Place pork chop in sauce. Cover with lid. Allow to cook for 10-15 minutes (until pork temperature reads 145 F or higher).
  11. Remove pork chop from the skillet and cut into slices or cubes. Whisk sour cream and adjust seasonings as needed.
  12. Add pork and pasta in the sauce and toss to coat. Serve with Parmesan and fresh herbs.
PorkChopAlfredo1
Pork being cooked in the skillet is a little more photogenic.

Here I am, back again!

It has been a long time since I’ve posted here, but a combination of factors made me feel like I needed to return to this project. The most important of which is this recipe.

Not only did I feel the need to share this recipe because it was so good, but I also wanted to contribute to the world of online recipes.

Here are a couple of things I want to communicate going forward with this blog:

  • I’m not a fan of the long wall of text and pictures before you even get to the recipe. If somehow what I have written comes up in your Google search, I want you to be able to get to dinner right away. You don’t need to scroll through chatter about me and my life. I may add some context like I’m doing now, but it will be AFTER the recipe. If you’d like to read about me, great! If you just want some recipe ideas, that’s great too!
  • Although I deviate from most recipes in one way or another (I don’t like to be told what to do), I will credit other blogs, books, etc. right at the start so you can visit and see if you like someone else’s interpretation better.
  • In the interest of flexibility, I will list some ingredients as “number+” (for example, you can see above that I have 1+ clove of garlic). I do this because who am I to tell you how much garlic to use? I don’t want to be vague, but I also am morally opposed to wasting utensils and bowls. If you have a spoon you’re already using, don’t bother getting out the tablespoon just for spices (that’s my philosophy, anyway).

Bottom line: I’m excited to return to this project, even just as an exercise for myself, but I do hope someone gets some use out of my experiences.

Happy reading and happy eating!

Crockpot Chili

Inspired by: https://www.gimmesomeoven.com/slow-cooker-chili-crock-pot-giveaway/

20150109_143946
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 lb ground meat (turkey, beef, or whatever meat you like)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1+ clove garlic, minced
  • 30 oz dark red kidney beans (2 cans)
  • 15 oz light red kidney beans (1 can)
  • 30 oz tomato sauce (2 cans)
  • 28 oz diced tomatoes (2 cans)
  • 4 oz chopped green chilies (1 small can)
  • 1 cup beef broth (half a can)
  • 2 tbs chili powder
  • 1 tbs ground cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • Toppings: shredded cheese, green onion, oyster crackers, saltines, sour cream, and tortilla chips
  1. Pour olive oil in large pan on medium-high heat. Add chopped onion, ground turkey/beef, and minced garlic and cook until the meat is fully cooked and browned and onions are soft.
  2. Drain some of the fat from the pan and pour the contents into a large slow cooker.
  3. Drain and rise the beans. Add the rest of the ingredients, stirring periodically as ingredients are added.
  4. Cover and cook for 4-6 on high or 6-8 on low.
  5. Serve and enjoy!

Chili is one of those foods that is a point of contention for a lot of people. Everyone has their own opinion on what it should be (beans, no beans, red, white, etc.), but for me, this recipe encompasses everything I want chili to be (adapted from this). It’s hearty from meat and beans, it has plenty of tomato flavor, and the spice level is low enough that anyone can enjoy it. Personally, I prefer my chili as spicy as I can handle, which makes this recipe great because it takes additional hot sauce extremely well. I tried three different hot sauces in the different bowls I tried and all of them were good.

I changed from the original recipe slightly, based on what I had on hand. The other thing I like about this recipe is that there is no store-bought chili packet involved, because if you have a reasonable spice collection, there’s no need for it! When you see all the ingredients together, it looks like a lot, but they really all blend together after sitting in the Crockpot. Also worth noting, this makes A LOT. I managed to (over) feed 4 people for dinner and still have two lunch servings the next day, so be prepared that your Crockpot will probably be full, at least, mine was. If you’re looking to feed a crowd easily for very cheap and virtually no effort, this is a great option.

Recipe: Dirty Rice

20150107_194556

This is a dish I’ve had made by my fiance’s mother for years (if you’ve been following, the Drunken Developer isn’t just my boyfriend anymore — he proposed! :D). It’s great and always pleases a crowd. And although I didn’t do a perfect job with my first try, overall the recipe is fairly straightforward. My mistake was not allowing it to cook long it enough and although it still tasted good, it was too soup-y, and it should really be a casserole. I did it for 45 minutes, but I really think it may need to go for closer to 60. We had this with a side of broccoli and green beans and a pork loin, and it made a great little dinner that was quite easy to throw together.

1 stick of butter

1 cup of rice (uncooked)

2 oz of water

1 can french onion soup

1 can beef consomme

1. Preheat oven to 350. Place a stick of butter in a casserole dish in the oven until it is fully melted.

20150107_182411

2. Pour the rice into the melted butter and allow to cook for 3 to 5 minutes.

20150107_183535

3. Add the rest of the ingredients to the rice and butter.

20150107_184013

4. Cover and bake for 45 to 60 minutes (I think closer to 60 would be better).

20150107_184034

5. Serve and enjoy!

20150107_193935

Recipe: Mexican Pizza

20140807_102115

I had heard recently that one of the most popular items at Taco Bell was the Mexican Pizza. I found this completely shocking, given that in all of the times I had been there, I had never seen anyone even think about ordering it. Curiosity got the best of me and I found that I needed to try it. Once I tasted it, I understood how it could be so universally loved. Luckily. like many other types of Taco Bell food (I promise one day to do a homemade Crunchwrap tutorial) it’s not too hard to make for yourself at home — and eating it homemade makes you feel at least a little better about yourself.

I adapted it a bit from the classic Taco Bell version based on what I had around the house. which proves that this is a really good recipe as far as versatility.

Tortillas

Refried beans

Onions

Jalapenos

Mexican cheese

Salsa (if you don’t have salsa, like me, you can sub in pasta sauce with some added spices to make it more “Mexican”}

1. Preheat the oven to 350.

2. Spread a layer of refried beans on top of one tortilla. At this stage, you could also add already cooked ground beef or chicken.

20140807_095611

3. Stack a second tortilla on top of the first and cover with salsa/pasta sauce.

20140807_100740

4. Sprinkle a bit of Mexican cheese on top.

20140807_100903

5. Cut up your preferred veggie toppings. I used jalapenos and onions, but tomatoes would have also been good.

20140807_100440

6. Sprinkle veggies on top. Don’t add too many, as it will get too floppy to eat.

20140807_101017

7. Bake for a few minutes, until the cheese is melted and veggies have softened.

20140807_102126

8. Serve and enjoy!

20140807_102459

Recipe: Caprese Salad

20140820_131805

Now this is definitely one of those things that I can really only barely call a recipe because it is just easy and simple. But I figured that it was worth sharing because it really makes an easy, healthy lunch for folks on the go like myself. Just be prepared that if you bring this in for lunch your coworkers will be very jealous (at least mine were).

Cherry tomatoes

Mozzarella balls

Basil leaves

Olive oil or Italian dressing

1. Cut cherry tomatoes and mozzarella balls in half or quarters. Although it’s the same amount, this makes it feel like it will stretch so much more, and it’s also a lot easier to eat.

2. Add basil leaves to bowl with tomatoes and mozzarella.

3. Add olive oil and salt or your favorite oil-based Italian dressing

4. Combine and ideally refrigerate over night.

5. Serve and enjoy!

Recipe: Chocolate Chip Cookies/Muffins

20140719_114021

When I began the process of making these cookies, I was thinking of having a nice surprise waiting for my boyfriend when he got home. Great idea, right? Well, there’s something worse about having a surprise that didn’t turn out right than not having anything at all. I know that its the thought that counts, but not when the thought turns out to be terrible.

To be fair, these cookies weren’t terrible, they are definitely edible not disgusting in any way. However, there was a bit of a texture issue. Instead of normal flat cookies, they puffed up into balls. As my boyfriend said “These are some good muffins.” Too bad they weren’t muffins.

The problems began with my lack of ingredients, which could be blamed on my own laziness. Sure, I’ll make a surprise, but it’s not like I’ll go all the way (a five minute drive) out to the store to get the right stuff! So I had to find a recipe that catered to my limited means/laziness. Ultimately, I decided to work with this recipe.

First off, the recipe itself wasn’t great. Not trying to deflect the blame on anyone else, but I think there were definitely some flaws besides my own. The cookie part had no flavor and the amount of chocolate chips seemed like a bit much to me.

And that’s as far as I can go with blaming someone else. The rest was on me. I was trying to halve a baking recipe so that didn’t go well. Then I still didn’t really have all the parts, so there was some making it up on the spot going on. Then, I did the dumbest thing of all and added another egg, right at the end. I was concerned that the dough was too dry and for some reason I thought that would help. I’m going to assume that this is what made my poor cookies into muffin tops.

However, it wasn’t all bad. For muffin tops, they came out pretty good. I don’t think I’d try this recipe again, but I did get to try out one good tip. I’d always heard about refrigerating the dough and freezing the pans, and I can attest to the fact that those totally worked. At least I got something good out of them.

20140719_101751

1 stick of Butter 
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 large eggs (oops I used 2)
1/2 tsp vanilla (I substituted with Amaretto)
2 Tbs dark rum
2 C flour
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 bag chocolate chips

1. Melt the butter.

20140719_102020

2. Mix dark brown sugar with melted butter. Add in egg once it has cooled down slightly so the egg doesn’t get cooked.

20140719_102414

20140719_102510

3. Add in the dark rum and vanilla/Amaretto.

20140719_102613

4. Mix together flour, salt, and baking soda.

 

5. Combine dry ingredients with wet, slowly.

20140719_103319

 

6. Fold in chocolate chips. I didn’t end up using the entire bag because I thought it would be too much. I think this part is really up to your own discretion.

20140719_103607

7. Cover the dough and put into the fridge. Also, put cookies sheets into the freezer to cool. Preheat oven to 325.

20140719_104207

8. Once the oven is preheated, place dollops of cookie dough onto the cookie sheets. Bake for 19 minutes.

20140719_111045

9. Take cookies out and let cool.

20140719_113236

10. Serve and enjoy!

20140719_114015