Wednesday, September 4, 2019

The Girl He Used to Know Book Review

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Radish Cream Soup

This radish stew requires no heavy cream but offers the same creaminess as if you had added it. For those, like me, that aren’t in love with eating fresh radishes, this recipe is a wonderful way to use garden produce while taking away some of the radish bite. Not only is it tasty, radish soup offers vitamins C and B-12, magnesium, and iron and is under 200 calories per serving. This makes a great soup and salad lunch. Plus, did I mention it tastes great to a nonradish lover????

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Strawberry Rhubarb Brownies

Strawberry rhubarb pie is a well known dessert than is a favorite of many. While we could stick to the basics of only pie for rhubarb, we wanted to branch out and find many more fun and tasty recipes that we could use our rhubarb in because really, how much pie can you eat? 

Maybe that's not the right question... I love pie, could probably eat it every day. So this is just another great recipe you can add to your pie rotation and a fun twist on a baking classic. 

Printable to letter size paper

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Rhubarb Cheesecake

Springtime brings fresh produce in abundance. Rhubarb has a great and unique taste which often times leads people to believe it has few uses. Today we are making a rhubarb cheesecake, just one of the many delicious recipes using this colorful plant.

Monday, June 3, 2019

How to Clean and Descale Your Espresso Maker

We all want the best tasting coffee possible in the morning. We find a routine and roast that works perfectly for us and follow that same pattern daily -  the right amount of grounds, the right temperature, the right milk to coffee ratio - but after awhile our morning caffeine boost isn't tasting the same or as good. Did I miss a step? Are my tastes changing? The easiest answer is probably that you haven't taken the time to thoroughly clean the appliance you use every morning. Scale builds up in your espresso maker or coffee machine and can greatly affect the taste and even alter the temperature at which your machine is brewing. Follow us for a fairly quick fix that you should be doing regularly to keep you coffee tasting amazing month after month.

In the video above, we are cleaning and descaling a Delonghi Espresso Machine. 

How often should I clean/descale my espresso maker?

This depends on how often you use your machine and if you have hard water. If you don't have hard water and use for 1-2 cups daily, you should aim for a thorough cleaning and descaling every 2-3 months. However, if you have hard water or make upwards of 5 cups of espresso a day, add this task to a monthly cleaning list. 

How should I clean my espresso maker?

Start by hand washing all removable parts in warm soapy water. This includes the drip tray, portafilter handle, the steamer head and the water reservoir tank. These items may need to be washed daily or weekly prevent stale coffee smell or undesirable buildup in the tank. 

Next fill your reservoir with a descaling agent such as vinegar or one that may come with your machine. Check the manual to ensure it doesn't advise against vinegar. 

Continue by running a brew cycle through both the espresso maker and the steamer/frother. Let the vinegar, or descaling agent, soak in the machine for ~10 minutes to allow it to breakdown the scale and other buildup. Run the machine until you have used all vinegar. Fill your reservoir tank with water and run, alternating between the espresso maker and the steamer, until no smell of vinegar is present during the process. This may be up to two tanks in the smaller versions (~8 cups of water). 

Be sure to thoroughly scrub the outside of the steamer as well to remove any milk that has built up over time. It has a way of sticking to the steam pipe even if you wipe it down after every use.

Common Comments

My milk is curdling after I cleaned my machine.

Run more water through the steamer/frother. Likely there is still a trace of vinegar in the line causing the milk to froth. 

Why don't I have to turn the frother on as high after cleaning? Also, the espresso seems to brew much faster. 

By removing scale you are allowing water to more quickly pass through the machine. Often, if it seems like the espresso maker is wearing out or you have to use higher settings, it is a result of scale buildup. Removing scale will allow your machine to work more efficiently. 

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Avocado Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps - A low carb twist on an old favorite!

Spring is here and summer is on its way. Lighten up your meals with this fun, tasty low carb take on a deli favorite. Chicken salad offers great flavor with a hint of sweet but the carbs and calories can add up. By switching out the typical salad dressing for avocado, we upgrade the fats you're eating and add extra nutrients. We also take out the bun in favor of lettuce to create a low carb, budget friendly meal. Plus, did we mention it tastes great?? Scroll down for printable recipe, nutrition information and 2019 cost breakdown. 

printable to letter size paper

Cost Breakdown (2019)

Monday, April 15, 2019

Southwest Egg Bake - Breakfast for Under $1

Getting a healthy breakfast in every day can be a challenge. Who has time to cook everyday? There are plenty of grab and go options, but have you seen the price of these? I know I'm not going to pay $1 + for a microwave sandwich that is fairly high in calories, sodium and preservatives. What we've done to help mitigate the costs as well as to create a quick an healthy everyday breakfast is to make a egg bake every week. These can be frozen individually to create microwave and go type of breakfast that fits into your diet and your budget. Bonus, you don't have to cook everyday!

What You'll Need:

2-3 Tbsp Olive Oil
12 Large Eggs
2 Cup Diced Peppers (bells or chili depending on what level of spiciness you like)
2 Medium Cubed Sweet Potatoes
1.5 Cups Diced Onion
4 tsp Chili Powder
2 tsp Cumin
2 tsp Salt


12" Skillet
Spatula or Turner
Cutting Board
9x13 Baking Pan
Pyrex Bowl

How to Make It

  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Cook sweet potatoes for ~ 10 minutes or until soft. 
  2. Add in peppers, onions and cook until onions are translucent. 
  3. In a large bowl, gently beat 12 eggs. 
  4. Add Cumin, Chili Powder and Salt to eggs and mix.
  5. Place vegetable medley into 9x13 baking pan. Pour egg mixture over the top.
  6. Mix gently. 
  7. Optional: Top with additional eggs for more decorative finish.
  8. Bake at 350 for ~20 minutes if ingredients are warm or 45 minutes for cold ingredients. 

Printable to letter size paper

Nutrition Facts

Cost Breakdown

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Totally Nonbasic Beans and Rice - Protein Packed Snack

Get ready for the week with a easy store, protein packed snack! Beans and rice usually sounds plain, boring and basic, but with the spicy kick these beans and rice are anything but basic. We like to keep a few cups of this on hand to use as a side dish or for a low calorie, high protein snack to keep us going throughout the day.

What You'll Need:

2 Cups Water
2 tsp Gelatin
1 tsp Olive Oil
2 Cups Diced Onion (1.5 Large Onions)
1 Cup Diced Bell Pepper (feel free to use spicier peppers if desired)
1/2 Cup Diced Celery 
4 Cloves Garlic (minced)
2 tsp Paprika
1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
2 Cups Black Beans (Cooked ~2/3 Cup Dried)
2 Cups Rice
4 tsp Parsley

1 Cup Diced Ham

Equipment (What We Used)

Storage Containers - We love Pyrex for easy transporting and microwaving

How to Make

  1. Combine water, bouillon, and gelatin.
  2. Cook rice as directed on packaging. If using dry beans cook as directed.
  3. Heat olive oil in skillet over high heat. Add onions, peppers and celery. Cook stirring continuously for 5 minutes. 
  4. Add garlic, ham (if using), salt, pepper, paprika, and cayenne pepper. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add beans, rice, parsley and gelatin mixture to skillet. Mix well and cook for an additional 3 minutes or until liquid has been reduced or absorbed. 
  6. Enjoy immediately or portion into 8 - 1 cup servings to be enjoyed as a snack later in the week.

Cost Breakdown

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Monday, April 8, 2019

Almond Breaded Chicken

Fried chicken is an American favorite dish, but the grease adds up. Many people choose to switch to baked chicken to cut out the fried factor. Today we've made this favorite even healthier without sacrificing any flavor. We've turned the carby breading to a great source of protein and healthy fats as well as converted this to a gluten free and paleo friendly recipe.  Scroll down for a printable recipe as well as the nutrition facts and the 2019 cost to make. 

What You'll Need:

Chicken Breasts or Thighs
1 Cup Almonds or Almond Flour
2 tsp Garlic Salt
3 tsp Lemon Pepper Seasoning
1 Large Egg
1/4 Cup Water
1 tsp Lemon Juice


Ninja Food Processor
Air Bake Cake Pan
Pyrex Casserole
Meat Thermometer

How to Make:

  1. Preheat oven to 450.
  2. Blend almonds to crushed size or smaller. We wanted the slightly larger chunks to keep the almond flavor better, but almond flour can also be used here.
  3. Combine almonds, garlic salt, and lemon pepper seasoning.
  4. Combine slightly beaten egg, water, and lemon juice in separate bowl (large enough to fit a chicken breast without spilling). 
  5. Dip chicken breast or thigh in egg mixture before transferring to almond mixture. Coat thoroughly.
  6. Place chicken in baking pan (9x13).
  7. Repeat for remaining chicken.
  8. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 180.
  9. Serve immediately. Goes well with rice and stir fried vegetables or as a standalone.
Variations: May be made on the grill or in an air fryer. Lemon zest may be substituted for lemon juice. 

Printable to letter size paper.

Nutrition Info

Cost Info

The Girl He Used to Know Book Review