HOPPIN’ JOHN

My grandpa was a great cook. In fact a few of my recipes are inspired by his dishes he created.  One thing though, that doesn’t ever stray is his Hoppin’ John recipe.  We only make it once a year, for the New Year obviously lol. It is sooo good and one of the meals I always look forward to making for my family.  And even though it has beans, which we usually don’t eat, it is one of our family traditions and traditions trump!!

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TENDERLOIN WITH POMEGRANATE SAUCE

You know what should be under everyone’s tree this year…..this pork tenderloin with pomegranate sauce. Okay, okay, that may be a little weird; “here’s a big piece of meat mom! Merry Christmas!”  So perhaps you should just make it for Christmas dinner. You probably even have most of what this recipe calls for already at your house. If you don’t have any pork (or maybe you don’t eat pork) this is great on chicken and even salmon!

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CLASSIC BEEF STEW

Raise your hand if you love beef stew! Your hand should most definitely be raised, come on….get it up!!  I hadn’t had (or made) beef stew in a really long time, but have been thinking about it lately. Then the other weekend, my in-laws had it up at their house. Then my friend Kristen (you can find her over at http://www.livinglovingpaleo.com) made some on her instagram and it sealed the deal for me. I went out that next morning and bought a big batch of beef stew pieces. Sidenote: I love how grocery stores already have the pieces all cut up for you. Makes my life WAY easier!  I seriously love beef stew. It’s hearty and just plain delightful on a cold winter evening. It also freezes really well, so triple the batch!

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PUMPKIN SOUP WITH CARAMELIZED ONIONS

Do you have leftover pumpkins from Halloween that you or your kids never carved?!? Well, we did, and they have been eyeing me everyday to get cooked. There are a couple things that make pumpkins so great. One….they last friggin’ forever.  And two….once roasted, they freeze like a boss. If you have little babies just starting to eat, pureed pumpkin is a great 1st food for them! Just freeze in little ice cube trays and pop one out for them. Easy peasy.

Anyway, this post isn’t about the things you can do with pumpkin, it’s about the delicious, easy recipe that will make your heart go pitter patter. Like so good, my kids had 3rds! THIRDS!! (Anything squashy or pumpkiny they aren’t big fans of, so this is definitely a winner)

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SALMON WITH SHAVED BRUSSEL SPROUTS AND BACON

We are major lovers of salmon in our house. Well actually all fish, but salmon comes first. I know a lot of people are intimidated by cooking fish; I mean who wants nasty dry fish in their mouths. Not me.  The method I use is LEGIT. And I’m here to save the day and to give you a fool-proof method every time. (and this works with all fish, just less time for fish like trout and tilapia)

Ready for this……oil and season your fish, stick on a baking sheet, then place in a COLD oven. Turn the oven to 400 degrees and cook for 25 minutes.  Now, my oven cooks things like a boss, so I usually end up pulling my fish out at 22 minutes. If you have a bomb diggity (who says that?!!) oven like I do, check your fish at the 22 minute mark, otherwise leave it in for the full 25 minutes.

Now that I have given you the best method to cooking any kind of fish, lets proceed with the recipe.

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JERKY AND PORK FRIED CAULI-RICE

Have you ever used beef jerky in a dish before? Yah, me neither, until recently. Usually we eat it as a snack, but when OBERTO sent me some of their all natural beef jerky flavors, I was determined to use them in recipes.  Determined I say!! Well, let me be vain for just a second here….cause I friggin’ hit the nail in the head with this fried rice recipe. It tastes just like the real deal and I’m pretty proud of myself. Guys, it’s kinda hard to “healthify” things like pork fried rice without it tasting nasty. So yah, I’m gonna pat myself on the back for sure!!

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DAS GUMBOTATOR

About a month ago I made this gumbo-esque slash German potato Salad. It turned out to be a delightful fusion of two very different styles. I couldn’t think of a name for the recipe, so I turned to Instagram and asked people to name the recipe for me. There were some awesome ones from the simple “German Gumbo” or the “Germbo” to the classy “Creole Patate Salat” and then to the funny “sausage fest” and “OktoberGras”.  It was super hard to choose, as everyone’s suggestions were so great, but I finally decided on “DAS GUMBOTATOR”

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TOMATO BURST SAUCE

I’ve been wanting to make something that was fresh and simple before tomatoes were no longer in season and this tomato burst sauce does just that. Guys, this is so simple to make. Like stupid simple. For as simple as this recipe is, it is “bursting” with flavor! Get it?! “Bursting”….tomato “burst” sauce. (Just smack me right now!)

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ROASTED BELL PEPPER SOUP

It’s super rare for California to drop below 60 degrees (at least where I live), so when it does get below 60, I jump on the opportunity to make all-the-soup. I really love soup, probably more than my family does, but they never complain; thank goodness!!  One of the things I enjoy about soup is that it gets my kids to eat a ton of veggies. In fact my Asparagus Soup is what got one of my kids to love asparagus.  So, if you are wanting your kids to eat more veggies, try making a soup outta it. Luckily my kids enjoy bell peppers, so I knew this roasted bell pepper soup was going to be a hit #whew!!

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BREAKFAST MEATBALLS

I have to say, I think breakfast sausages are one of my favorite types of sausages. And it doesn’t matter what time of the day it is, you know it’s a breakfast sausage just by the smell when it’s being cooked up. I’ve been tweaking my breakfast sausage recipe for awhile now and I think I finally nailed it. Also, I took it one step further and made them into meatballs, cause who doesn’t love tasty balls in the morning (insert “monkey covering his eyes” emoji here)

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