Dinner

Veggie Chili

When the weather gets chilly, it’s time for chili!

This Veggie Chili is exactly what you are craving this fall. It’s full of veggies and beans and all that chili goodness. Steven Michael will make a pot on Sunday and we’ll eat it all week in different forms. It’s more than enough to feed a family! With this pot, we had the chili by itself, chili dogs (with vegan sausages), and chili cheese dip. The possibilities are endless!

He usually makes it as outlined in this recipe, but occasionally he’ll add ground turkey and that’s fantastic too! You can even pair it with his SUPER AMAZINGLY DELICIOUS Cornbread recipe that we posted last week!

What is your favorite fall food that warms you from the inside? Share in the comments below!

Dinner

Grilled Salmon on Coconut Rice

As promised, here is a great meal that is only made greater with the addition of Mango Tango Sauce! This has a little bit of everything – savory, sweet, protein, carbs and even fruit!

Even though coconut isn’t my favorite, I still enjoyed eating this (but don’t tell Steven Michael because I don’t want to give him any coco-nutty ideas 🤐). Coconut is tricky for me. Generally speaking, I don’t like it at all. But there have been a few things, usually mixed with a ton of sugar a la coconut cream pie, that make it bearable. Apparently, this rice joins the list as well.

What’s something that you don’t typically enjoy eating but you’ve found okay in some cases – a.k.a. What’s your coconut? Tell us about it in the comments below!

Dinner

Spinach Ricotta Grilled Cheese

You may notice a theme in the next few weeks of our blog – FAST! As I mentioned last week, back to school season has us busy busy busy with little time to plan and execute elaborate meals.

Sometimes, the simplest meals are the best anyway! The recipe this week is a great example of just that. You really can’t go wrong with any form of grilled cheese, and this Spinach Ricotta version did NOT disappoint!

The recipe is written per sandwich, so make sure to gather enough ingredients for however many you plan to eat. Full disclosure, we each ate two of these bad boys because they were truly that good!

TIP – Get a good sourdough bread from a local bakery. It will make alllllll the difference! We got ours from Amazing Grains Bread Co.

What’s your favorite way to dress up a grilled cheese? Let us know in the comments below!

Dinner

Thai Peanut Bowls with Tofu

It’s official, we have a Kindergartener! Ellis started school last week, and is LOVING it so far. He is especially fond of the bus, and has been known to give high fives all the way up the aisle on his way out the door. In other words, Ellis gonna Ellis. 🤷‍♀️

The school year brings us more consistency in our schedule, and therefore, more at home dinners that we can turn into blogs. Lucky you! This week, we’re sharing Thai Peanut Bowls with Tofu that were fantastic! Steven Michael actually tried this a while ago and it wasn’t quite right. So, he took some notes, made some changes and really nailed it!

These were quick to make after a long day, and exceptionally tasty. It has a little bit of everything that you need – fat from the peanut butter, carbs from the noodles, and a load of veggies. It’s also a much better use of Peanut Butter than the Peanut Stew Incident of 2021. Trust me.

What are some of your favorite quick meals during the back to school craziness? Share in the comments below!

Dinner

Cheesy Spinach Pasta

I grew up in a Yankees house. My dad and brother watched all of the games, and even had a friendly rivalry going with some of our Mets fan relatives. My sports relationship has always been kind of like my cooking relationship. If it’s on, I’ll watch – but I won’t participate.

Fast forward to 2021 and I’m a full fledged Phoenix Suns fan, enthusiastically watching every game and rooting for the players by name. Before you accuse me of jumping on the bandwagon of a winning team, let me give you some background. Steven Michael has always been a Suns fan. In fact, every single picture that I’ve ever seen of him as a teenager has him clad in one or more pieces of Suns clothing. So I guess I did jump on a bandwagon of sorts, but when I jumped on, they were losing – bad. As I’ve explained to Steven over the course of this year, clearly my tuning in changed the tides and I am the sole source of luck for the Phoenix Suns. You’re welcome.

Ellis has also caught the basketball bug. He’s taking lessons every weekend, and loves nothing more than going to the park to play S-H-O-T with Mom and Dad. Last weekend, we got a free broken hoop from a neighbor, and after we fixed it up he was finally able to play on it today! I see many hours of driveway hoops in our future.

It’s totally going in …

We have found ourselves in need of a quick meal a few times this summer. With work, our rehearsal/practice schedules and Ellis’ activities, there are times when we just need something fast and satisfying. This Cheesy Spinach Pasta is tasty AND fast. Winner!

What’s your team? Let us know in the comments below!

Dinner

Big Mac Nachos

Hello, strangers! We took a few weeks off to enjoy some much needed family time. We spent a week with my parents on Long Island, played a lot of basketball, and Ellis started summer camp! Now that we’re refreshed, we’re so happy to be back sharing recipes with all of you!

We’re coming back with a bang … you read that right – BIG MAC NACHOS. Steven Michael has some wacky ideas, and I’ve learned to run with them over the years. Sometimes, wacky is exactly what hits the spot!

I’ll admit that I’ve never actually had a real Big Mac. I’m not a meat person, or a fast food person, so it just never happened for me. I am, however, looking forward to the upcoming Beyond Big Macs that are being teased to compete with the Impossible Whoppers, especially now that I’ve tasted that magical Big Mac Sauce.

I know that I’m late to the party, but let’s talk about Big Mac Sauce. It is SO GOOD! These nachos were fantastic in general, but every saucy bite was just spectacular. We had some left over and used it for Big Mac Pizzas the next day as well. Pair that with caramelized onions and you’ve got me hooked!

What is your favorite fast food staple? Let us know in the comments and Steven Michael just might figure out how to make it at home!

Dinner

Primanti Brothers Sandwiches

As you know, Steven Michael and I love visiting Pittsburgh. It’s an awesome city with so much to see, do and EAT! Any native Yinzer will tell you, Primanti Brothers Sandwiches are a must have when visiting the city. There is a restaurant in pretty much every neighborhood, so it doesn’t matter where you’re staying, you can get one of these sandwiches easily!

The real deal sandwich features various protein options, provolone cheese, fresh cut French fries, sweet and sour coleslaw, and tomatoes layered on slices of home made Italian bread. That’s right, it’s a FRENCH FRY SANDWICH!

The original Primanti Brothers Sandwich is fantastic, but we thought it would be fun to take the general idea and put our own spin on it. At the restaurant, they have a number of different meat/protein options. I usually go for the double egg version, and Steven Michael either does the same or gets the turkey. When we made them at home, we stuck to our usual choices.

We tweaked a lot of things, but made two major changes. First, we decided to make a creamy coleslaw instead of the vinegar based one use at the restaurant. Second, we used frozen French fries. Normally, we preach fresh food all day long but French fries are the one exception to that rule. Frozen fries are just better in every way. Fresh cut sounds great, but just doesn’t deliver (in our opinion).

The result of our experiment was ridiculously good – like FOR REAL. If you’ve ever had a Primanti Brothers sandwich, give our version and try and let us know what you think!

Dinner

Tomato Tortellini Soup

🎶 School’s out for summer! 🎶

That’s right, Ellis is officially done with Preschool! The little dude graduated last week and is off to Kindergarten in the fall. While other children yelled hello to their parents during the ceremony, our special boy waited for complete silence before screaming, “hi, Butts!” (We’re Butts.)

Ellis after graduation with his new “guy” named Ms. Valvo, after his teacher

It’s funny how I have already forgotten what it was like to have him home with me all day in the beginning of the pandemic. We were spoiled with full day Preschool! This week, I got a sharp reminder with 3687 snack requests, 105638 “you gotta see this!” exclamations and 459 potty breaks. Having a child stuck to your butt 24/7 is an experience. Of course, the 3 times he snuggled into my side while I was working made everything ok.

There have been a few wet days here lately, so Steven Michael decided to make a soup to really bring home the cozy rainy day feels. This Tomato Tortellini Soup takes a recipe we used to use for specials in the restaurant (Cheese Quesadillas and Tomato Soup), and kicks it up to another level by adding Tortellini. Fun fact, I used to, and honestly still do, call Tortellini belly buttons – shout out to my mom for turning me into a cannibal. Ellis was very confused when I told him what we were having for dinner, but we all know he wasn’t going to try it anyway.

How are you starting your summer? We would love to hear about it in the comments below!

Dinner

Mexican Salty Bread Pizza

As promised, here is a fun recipe to use with the Red Chicken posted last week!

Normally we use it for tacos or rice bowls, but when the Salty Bread Gods smile down on you, you change things up. As many of you know, Steven Michael is a wholesale baker at a local Rochester area bread bakery, Amazing Grains Bread Co. This particular bakery is known specifically for their absolutely AMAZING salty bread. I really can’t gush enough about this stuff, and I apologize to our readers outside of Rochester because you are seriously missing out. I (and pretty much everyone else) have been known to down an entire loaf on my own without even realizing it. In fact, the owners often joke about people coming in and ordering two loaves, one for the ride home and one to share with their families.

So, when Steven came home from work with two loaves of the good stuff (he’s one of very few people that can resist the salty temptation for a whole car ride), he knew exactly what to do with it – Mexican Salty Bread Pizzas! He turned it into garlic bread, loaded them up with Red Chicken and cheese, and threw them in the oven. The result was salty, garlicy, cheesy, taste bud heaven. Gullet stuffing commenced immediately. (On a side note, my bestie who proof reads all of these posts for me, hates when I say “gullet”. Challenge accepted!)

What is that one local food you just can’t get enough of? Tell us about it in the comments below!

Dinner

Red Chicken

June has arrived! The summer weather is in full swing, bringing with it shorts, swimming, PRIDE and humungous hair. (Shout out to my fellow curlies!) We’re looking forward to our summertime travels, seeing family and friends that we miss very much.

While we wait for school to end and vacations to start, we thought you might enjoy this tasty chicken recipe that winds up on our table pretty often. We use Red Chicken in tacos, burritos, rice bowls or other crazy concoctions. We even featured it in a special at our former restaurant some time ago. It may have a simple name, but it’s packed with flavor. Steven Michael originally made this for burrito night last week, but we had extra, so he dreamed up something that turned out pretty great – stayed tuned for that recipe later this week!

Where are you traveling this summer? Let us know where you’re going in the comments below!