Bold & Beefy


I made these spicy beefy burgers last weekend and they were a huge hit.  Besides being easy they were delicious!  I believe I got 9 patties out of 2 lbs of meat, some were larger  than others, and that was perfect.  Don’t skip out on the Aioli because that is what made the burger, enjoy!

*recipe can be found at Rachael Ray Show


Spicy Burgers with Sharp Cheddar & Chunky Blue Cheese Aioli

For the Burgers: 

  • 2 pounds ground sirloin (for a lean, beefy flavor) or chuck (for a buttery flavor) or your own blend
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tbsp grainy Dijon
  • 2 Tbsp prepared horseradish
  • Kosher salt and coarse black pepper
  • Melted butter, for basting burgers
  • 12 oz (3/4 pound) sliced sharp white cheddar cheese

For the Chunky Blue Cheese Aioli: 

  • 1 cup mayo (homemade* or store-bought)
  • 1 large clove garlic, grated or pasted
  • 1 Tbsp grainy Dijon mustard
  • 6 oz crumbled blue cheese crumbles or smoked blue cheese crumbles
  • 2 Tbsp parsley, finely chopped

*For the Mayo Base (yields 1 cup prepared aioli): 

  • 1 organic egg yolk
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsps lemon juice
  • About 2/3 cup grape seed oil
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Green leaf or Bibb lettuce, sliced beefsteak tomatoes, thinly sliced Vidalia or other mild sweet onions
  • 6 burger rolls of choice (such as Amy’s multi-seeded white rolls for burgers), split and lightly toasted



Combine beef with Worcestershire, Dijon, horseradish, salt and pepper; form 6 patties.  Heat a griddle or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Cook patties 8 minutes for medium-rare, turning occasionally and basting with melted butter to improve caramelized flavor of beef.  Top with cheese the last minute or two of cook time to melt.


If you are preparing your own mayo base, whisk up the egg yolk with Dijon and lemon juice then slowly stream in oil, letting it lightly pour down the sides of the bowl while you whisk, stream in oil until aioli forms; season with fine sea salt to taste.


For the dressing, combine mayo with garlic, grainy Dijon, blue cheese and parsley.


Serve cheeseburgers on roll bottoms topped with lettuce, tomato and Vidalia or red onion. Spread chunky aioli on bun tops and set into place.


Side Dish Staple


I found this next recipe at Half Baked Harvest and I have already made it twice! The first time I made it as a side dish and the second time I ate it for my main dish over several nights.  It is packed with protein, flavor, and cheesy goodness.  It makes a small 8×8 side dish or you can double the recipe and make a 9×13 or larger casserole.  Enjoy!


Creamy Caprese Quinoa Creamy-Caprese-Quinoa-Bake-1

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup of your favorite pasta sauce
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup mozzarella, divided
  • 1/2-1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 large bunch fresh basil, cut into ribbons
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper




Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.


Heat tomato sauce and tomato paste over low heat in a large saucepan.  Once warm, stir in heavy cream, parmesan, crushed red pepper, salt and pepper.  Remove from the heat and stir in the quinoa.  Fold in half of the mozzarella and half of the tomatoes, then chop 6 fresh basil leaves and add them in too.


Once combined, spray an 8×8 or 9×9 baking dish with non-stick spray and pour the entire quinoa mixture into the dish.  Top with fresh mozzarella rounds or shredded mozzarella and the remaining tomatoes.


Bake for 10 to 15 minutes and then turn the broiler on and broil for 1 to 2 minutes or until cheese is golden and bubbly.  Remove from the oven and top with fresh basil ribbons.  Allow to sit five minutes and then serve.

Road Trip


So I’m heading on a road trip this weekend and I was looking for a good car snack.  Below is a recipe for cheez-it’s with a little twist.

*recipe can be found on Twirl & Taste


Easy, Cheesy, Spicy, Snackers! spicy snackers2

  • 1 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 (1-ounce) package Ranch dressing mix
  • 1-3 tablespoons red pepper flakes (I used 2 and it was plenty warm)
  • 1 (13.7-ounce) box baked cheese snack crackers



Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl; let sit 10 minutes to really get the crackers coated. Spread them out on a cookie sheet and drizzle any oil that’s in the bottom of the bowl, over the top of the crackers.  Bake in a preheated 250 degree oven for 15-20 minutes, stirring them around about halfway through. Allow to cool and store in seal-able bag.

Hot Chocolate Reinvented


This past Sunday I was recovering from a sinus infection so once I got my behind out of bed I decided baking would help me feel better.  Guess what? it did!  Below is a recipe from My Invisible Crown.  It has chocolate, butter, sugar, and everything that my sick little heart desired.  I will definitely make this again, enjoy!


Hot Chocolate Pound Cake Chocolate-Pound-Cake-by-My-Invisible-Crown

  • 2 1/2 sticks butter, softened
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 (8 oz) bar cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2/3 cup hot chocolate powder
  • 1 (3.5 oz) bar of melting chocolate of your choice
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 cups cake or all-purpose flour
  • powdered sugar for garnish



Pre-heat oven to 300°.


Sift dry ingredients together and set aside.  Cream together butter and sugars.  Add eggs one at a time, and beat just until combined.  Add cream cheese just until combined.  Do not over mix.


On the top of a double boiler or a glass or metal bowl set atop a small pot of simmering water, melt chocolate.  Add chocolate to mixture and stir to incorporate.  Add milk and dry ingredients and mix until just blended.  Stir in flavoring.


Butter and sugar a bundt pan or two loaf pans. (I sprayed with baking spray)  Fill pan with batter leaving about an inch of space or more at the top for rising.  Cook for 1 1/2-2 hours until toothpick comes out clean.  Serve warm with a smear of cream cheese if desired.

Feeding an Army, No Worries!


I made this Pioneer Woman recipe last night for some of my family and it was delicious.  We had six adults and we only ate half of the ginormous casserole!  It was easy to make and I substituted ground turkey to make it a little healthier.  Try this one out the next time you’re entertaining!


Baked Ziti 8218037611_de226608eb_z

  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 3 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 whole Large Onion, Diced
  • 1 lb Italian Sausage (Mild Italian Turkey Sausage)
  • 1 lb Ground Beef (Ground Turkey Breast)
  • 1 can (28 Ounce Can) Whole Tomatoes, With Juice
  • 2 cans (14.5 Ounce) Tomato Sauce Or Marinara Sauce
  • 2 tsp Italian Seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  •  Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • 16 oz weight Ziti Or Mostaciolli, Cooked Until Not Quite Al Dente
  • 1 tub (15 Ounce) Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese
  • 1-1/2 lb Mozzarella Cheese, Grated
  • 1/2 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 whole Egg
  •  Fresh Minced Parsley



Heat olive oil in a pot over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and saute for several minutes, or until starting to soften. Add Italian sausage and ground beef and cook until browned. Drain off fat, leaving a bit behind for flavor and moisture.


Add tomatoes, tomato juice, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and red pepper flakes. Stir and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes. After that time, remove 3 to 4 cups of the sauce to a different bowl to cool down.


Preheat oven to 375º.


In a separate bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese, 2 cups of the grated mozzarella, Parmesan, egg, and salt and pepper. Stir together just a couple of times (do not mix completely).


Drain the pasta and rinse under cool water to stop the cooking and cool it down. Pour it into the bowl with the cheese mixture and toss to slightly combine (there should still be large lumps.) Add the cooled meat sauce and toss to combine.


Add half the coated pasta to a large casserole dish or lasagna dish. Spoon half of the remaining sauce over the top, then top with half the remaining mozzarella cheese. Repeat with another layer of the coated pasta, the sauce, and the mozzarella.


Bake for 20 minutes, or until bubbling. Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes before serving.  (Sprinkle chopped parsley over the pasta before serving!)

It’s healthy because it’s organic…….. right?


I tend to believe the title of this post when I know I am eating something with A TON of sugar in it, but hey I am helping the environment and it’s better than all the processed foods I could be eating………..seriously, am I right?  Anyways enough of the guilt trip this cake was GOOD.  Whatever you do don’t taste the raw batter because it will make you believe that you just baked a cardboard mess.  Instead just wait it out and give this beautiful creation some time to cool down and breathe.  It was super easy to put together and it was man tested and approved.  Enjoy!


Fresh Apple Cake moneteryandcake037

* recipe can be found at Deliciously Organic

  • 2 cups organic whole cane sugar
  • 3  large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups grated fuji apples (Use food processor to speed this up!)
  • 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1 cup chopped pecans (optional)


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup organic whole cane sugar
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda



Preheat the oven to 325°F and adjust rack to middle position.  Stir together whole cane sugar, eggs, oil, orange juice, whole wheat flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and vanilla in a large bowl.  Fold in apples, coconut and pecans (if using).


Pour the batter into a buttered bundt pan.  Bake for 1 1/2 hours until cake tester comes out clean.


Sauce:  Put butter, whole cane sugar, buttermilk, and baking soda in a medium pan over medium heat.  Bring to a boil and boil for 1 minute.  As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, pour butter mixture over hot cake. Let the cake stand for 1 hour and then turn it out onto a cake stand.  Serve warm or at room temperature. (The top of my cake stuck to the pan so you might want to turn it over a little earlier or grease your pan better than I did…..)

Southern Charm


If you are from the South then you have had grits before and you know how good they are! If you have never had the opportunity to eat grits then get on the ball people!  Below is a Paula Deen recipe my mom made a while back and it was awesome.  This casserole is great for weekend guests or for a holiday crowd.  Enjoy!


Baked Garlic Cheese Grits

*recipe can be found at 

  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 cups regular grits
  • 16 oz Cheddar, cubed
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 8 oz grated sharp white Cheddar



Preheat the oven to 350°.  Grease a 4-quart casserole dish.


Bring the broth, salt, pepper, and garlic powder to a boil in a 2-quart saucepan.  Stir in the grits and whisk until completely combined.  Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the grits are thick, about 8 to 10 minutes.  Add the cubed Cheddar and milk and stir.  Gradually stir in the eggs and butter, stirring until all are combined.  Pour the mixture into the prepared casserole dish.  Sprinkle with the white Cheddar and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until set.