Sweet potatoes cut into fries, seasoned with salt, pepper, and smoked paprika then wrapped in uncured applewood smoked bacon and baked to perfection! Why does bacon make everything better? WHY? Well, applewood bacon makes everything better. Hehe. Yes, that’s my opinion. I think applewood bacon […]
Mini phyllo cups filled with basil, garlic, creamy goat cheese, chopped pistachios, and crumbled applewood smoked bacon then topped with a honey-balsamic glaze. OH. EMM. GEE. There is no better appetizer, I PROMISE YOU.
I have no words.
LOOK AT THESE THINGS!
They are beautiful.
After trying to think up new ideas for appetizers, especially now for the holidays, I came up with this masterpiece. My usual go-to are these Brown Sugar Glazed Kielbasa Bites because my friends are crazy about them. Needless to say, I make them all the time. But I wanted to change things up.
And that I did, my friends.
Enter Honey Balsamic Bacon Goat Cheese & Pistachio Phyllo Cups! Or is it fillo shells? I never know.
What I do know is that you WILL be addicted to these.
I actually had originally purchased these fillo shells to make pulled pork something (maybe I should still do that?)…but I just have SOOO many pulled pork recipes on this blog that I nixed the idea. Pulled pork is so good. Omg.
P.S. You can find these mini fillo shells in the frozen food section of your grocery store. You remove them from the package, let them thaw for a bit, fill them, bake them, and boom. Done in minutes.
I’m a GIGANTIC fan of savory and sweet everything. In case you haven’t already noticed. Most of the recipes on this blog are savory sweet. You know, the way cooking should always be, in my humble opinion.
This recipe was a complete vomit from my crazy brain. I have an obsession with goat cheese so imagine a cheesy app with some crunch, saltiness, and sweet. Hmmmmm. Of course, bacon had to be there because duh. Pistachios are my best friend’s favorite nuts so I know she will enjoy these (she’s the pickiest eater in the entire world). Finally, something sweet… honey because YUM.
But wait, there’s more!
“What happens if I mix honey and balsamic glaze together?” MAGIC. That’s what happens. I just put a tablespoon of balsamic glaze and a tablespoon of honey in a bowl, tasted it, and was beyond excited to try it on this recipe.
So should we run down the list again? It’s a lot I know. I could barely fit everything in the title of this post!
We have some salty, crispy, crunchy deliciousness from the bacon and pistachios, some soft and creamy from the goat cheese, and tangy sweet from the honey-balsamic glaze. I’d say this is a winner!Cannot wait to make these Bacon Goat Cheese & Pistachio Bites with Honey-Balsamic Glaze!Click To Tweet
Crushed candy canes, crushed Oreo cookies, cream cheese, and melted dark chocolate result in the easiest, most refreshing, and festive dessert ever – Chocolate Peppermint Oreo Truffles! It’s not December without peppermint, am I right?!
Am I the only one that’s still in shock that this year is almost over? I mean SLOW DOWN, LIFE! Please!
I’ll be one year older in 25 days and I can’t even believe it. Where my Capricorns at?! Woot. We Caps like Jesus. Heyyyy. I was thinking of baking my own cake for my birthday this year. But…. I don’t even like cake that much, tbh. I’m more of a cookie girl. Maybe I’ll just do one big Brown Butter Salted Chocolate Chip Cookie Skillet. Mmmm. Or maybe I can just build a huge tower of these truffles and put a candle on it.
I love peppermint. Two sweet things I love with all of my heart: coconut & peppermint. Well, salted caramel too. And chocolate. And toasted marshmallows. …….. Five things I love with all of my heart: coconut, peppermint, salted caramel, chocolate, and toasted marshmallows.
Since it’s December and Christmas will be here before we know it, let’s focus on peppermint for this post k? It’s hard I know. I love everything about this time of year! Although, it feels like Summer outside because I live in Miami and it’s 100 degrees outside. I’m also wearing flip flops. I make the best of it by making things like these Chocolate Peppermint Oreo Truffles!
If it can’t FEEL like Christmas, it can sure TASTE like it!
This was so easy to make, you guys. Omg and it was so hard not to just give up, sit on the couch, and just spoon feed myself this entire mixture. I mean, Oreo cookies AND crushed candy canes in the mix?! Slight crunch with chocolate?! I can’t.
Oreo cookies are my ultimate weakness (so are french fries… ugh, death to calories). These Chocolate Peppermint Oreo Truffles are perfect for Christmas Eve or Christmas Day! Just make sure you store them in an airtight container in the fridge until you’re ready to serve or they WILL melt.
Now go on and make these super chocolatey, festive and refreshingly minty Oreo truffles!Can't wait to make these super easy, no-bake Chocolate Peppermint Oreo Truffles!Click To Tweet
Chicken breast marinated in mojo (garlic citrus marinade) and spices then grilled under a brick to get those juicy grill marks!
Years ago, I bought a grill pan. It’s this one, in case you’re wondering. ;)
Since an actual grill is not allowed on my balcony where I live, I was beyond thrilled to use the next best thing – a grill pan! I remember getting home one day, marinating chicken, placing it on the grill pan, anxiously awaiting grill marks. Except…there were none. No grill marks.
I saw faded grill marks but I was expecting the ones you see on an actual grill. You know when you BBQ next to the pool and you make chicken and you see grill marks and they taste delicious. Well, there was none of that happening here!
I never used the pan again.
I was so discouraged after that, I just never used the pan again.
UNTIL NOW. (more…)
The Gift Guide is here! Sing it with me, guys… “It’s the most wonderful time of the yeeeear!”
Don’t you just LOVE Christmas? This is my favorite holiday of the year. I love everything about it. Are you one of those dorks that decorates the house and wraps gifts with Christmas music playing in the background?! Me too!
The only downfall is that I live in Miami so it’s usually Christmas in chancletas (flip flops) and tank tops. Our “winter” weather is about 60-70 degrees and lasts a few days, sometimes hours. So whenever you hear, the weather outside is frightful, it totally is because it’s hot af in Miami.
I guess I shouldn’t complain, huh? Could be worse!
Moving on…CHRISTMAS SHOPPING! Woohooo! I never stress Christmas shopping because I’m an online shopper. As a matter of fact, I’ve already finished all my Christmas shopping for the year. Between Black Friday and last Saturday, I got everything on my list, even gift bags! Be proud of me. ;)
In case you haven’t even started or need a few ideas, below are… a few of my favorite things. Sorry, I sing a lot. Especially during Christmas!
The following gift guide (actually, there are 3 in total) are for the baker & cook, the host (or hostess), and cookbook lover. If you have any questions or need more ideas, let me know! I’m happy to help!
Gift Guide for the Baker & Cook
Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer: I’ve had one for years and it’s my favorite kitchen appliance! Not to mention, it looks so pretty on a kitchen counter.
OXO Cookie Scoop: Perfect cookies need a cookie scoop. This one from OXO is super easy to use!
Cuisinart 12-piece Ceramic Knives: Literally, the BEST knives I’ve ever used for such a reasonable price. VERY sharp and comes in fun colors.
Non-Stick Silicone Baking Mats: Forget parchment paper for life, these baking mats are magical. Bake cookies with confidence. They’ll never stick to the mat!
“Hello, Is It Me You’re Cooking For?” Cutting Board: DEAD. This is the most hilarious kitchen utensil I’ve ever seen in my life. I wouldn’t even use it for cutting. I’d just display it or use it to pass out hor d’oeuvres! SOMEONE BUY ME THIS.
The Inspiralizer: I fail at healthy eating so this DEFINITELY makes eating veggies FUN. There are many spiralizers on the market but this one is definitely the best one. Why? Aside from it’s compact size and its powerful suction feature to secure the spiralizer in place, there’s no need to pull each blade out to change the spiral style! You just simply turn the green knob and the blade switches to a new spiral. Once I saw that, I was SOLD. Jan 1 is right around the corner!
Cuisinart 7-Cup Food Processor: Necessary, useful, perfect for someone who loves to cook!
Cuisinart 2 Speed Hand Blender: Best thing ever to make soups!
Nespresso Inissia Espresso Maker: When I’m not making Cuban coffee, I’m using this bad boy and I LOVE IT.
Bring something new to the dinner table this year! Cuban-Style Thanksgiving Stuffing: Ground beef, diced ham, herbs, spices, sliced almonds, olives, raisins, and cornbread stuffing.
Can you just smell the cumin!? Sigh.
Ok, so here’s the deal. I’m ALLLLLL about traditional American Thanksgiving. From sweet potato to corn to green bean, I love all the casseroles. Cornbread, turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing, I love all of it! My family on the other hand? Not so much.
When you grow up in a Cuban family, they ain’t about that cornbread life. Casserole? No rice!? Wait, no Cuban bread!? Turkey!? But, turkey is too dry. Let’s put a TON of bacon strips on it and fry it. Ahhhhh.
If it were up to them, Thanksgiving would be EXACTLY like Christmas Eve. Do you know what a Cuban Christmas Eve looks like? Tons of pork with crispy skin because the entire pig was made/smoked in a box or under ground in your backyard, rice, probably two or three kinds, black beans, plantains, flan, rice pudding, basically what every dinner looks like on any given day. Well, sans the giant pig in the ground in your backyard.
This is why I believe Thanksgiving should be done differently. Gotta change things up once and a while!
I still remember my sister and I fighting for Thanksgiving to be completely, authentically American. “It’s just one dinner, mom!” Do you know how hard is was to convince them?! Everything seemed to have been running smoothly until… my mom walked to the dinner table with a bowl of white rice. Nooooooo. Stoooop. WHYYY. “But the meal is not complete without rice.” Mom, you don’t get it.
This Cuban-Style Thanksgiving Stuffing does a pretty good job of marrying both cultures. You mix the cornbread stuffing with a whole bunch of herbs, spices, and “picadillo-esque” everything else. Just in case you’re new here, picadillo is basically Cuban-style ground beef made with raisins, olives and spices. I make it a lot. It’s flavorful and delicious. I tend to use lean ground beef or ground turkey though. That’s just my preference. I used lean ground beef for this recipe but you can use regular ground beef or even ground turkey, if you wanna get wild.
Above all, the mix of sweet and salty flavors here is what makes this dish AMAZING. Salty diced ham and olives, crunchy almonds, chewy sweet raisins, and ground beef with cumin, oregano, and black pepper. It really is my favorite dish to make every Thanksgiving.
I hope you make this and you absolutely LOVE it!I'm bringing some Cuban flavor to Thanksgiving dinner this year! Click To Tweet
Nothing says Thanksgiving like classic sweet potato casserole made with cinnamon, pecans and topped with toasted mini marshmallows!
Whether it’s a potluck, Friendsgiving or Thanksgiving with the fam, I’ve made this Classic Sweet Potato Casserole every year. There’s just something comforting about the smell of cinnamon, the sweetness of the warm mashed sweet potatoes, and toasted marshmallows that just make me happy. I mean all foods make me happy but you know what I mean. ;)
I’ve tried so many variations of this dish but this one is by far my favorite. It’s quick, easy, and simple. I’ve always believe simplicity is best.
Do you have a favorite sweet potato casserole recipe? Share it with me below, I’d love to see it!
This year, I’m hosting Friendsgiving for the first time EVER on Thursday. This is the first year my friends and I celebrate Thanksgiving together. We’re usually with our families but this year, there was a change of plans. So what’s the next best thing? Cooking all day with your besties while drinking wine and chatting for hours. How do we not run out of things to talk about!?
I can’t wait. I’m SO excited! I also need chairs. There’s a major chair drought in my house.
I’ll be making my delicious Cuban-Style Thanksgiving Stuffing and, I’ll definitely be making this Classic Sweet Potato Casserole too! Maybe I’ll make caramelized sausages or bacon wrapped dates too while we wait for the turkey to be ready. Hmm…the possibilities are endless!
If you’ve added me on Snapchat, I’m sure you know that my friends are crazy, hilarious and simply the best. Aside from the million blessings I’m 1000% grateful for each day, I’m very thankful to have friends that have become family. <3
What are you thankful for this year?
While you think about that, scroll down and find the recipe for this easy, delicious mess of Classic Sweet Potato Casserole below.
I hope you make it and LOVE it!This year, I'm thankful for this Classic Sweet Potato Casserole!Click To Tweet
Sweet potatoes cut into fries, seasoned with salt, pepper, and smoked paprika then wrapped in uncured applewood smoked bacon and baked to perfection!
Why does bacon make everything better? WHY? Well, applewood bacon makes everything better. Hehe. Yes, that’s my opinion. I think applewood bacon has that perfect sweet salty mix. And to be honest, I really don’t like bacon as much as the rest of America.
I know right. WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU, JAMIE? I’ll explain.
As a kid, my mom would buy these little mini cuban bread rolls from our local bakery which were DELICIOUS. Think Cuban bread loaf but small little mini rounds, like those Hawaiian dinner rolls. Mmmm. She would make bacon for breakfast then make bacon sandwiches with the Cuban bread roll on the weekends. Did you get that? Cuban. Bread. Bacon. Sandwiches. I mean how I didn’t die from a heart attack at 10 years I’ll never know. Bottom line is they were AMAZING.
One morning however, I ate WAY too many of those suckers and almost died. I got SO stomach sick that to this day, I cannot even smell bacon for too long without wanting to barf. I still have nightmares. OVERDRAMATIC. Lol!
Seriously though, I did get very sick. To the point that when I go out for breakfast now, I usually swap the bacon for sausage. I live a rough life.
In moments like this however, I make it a point to do whatever I have to do to make bacon a magical thing despite my experience with it as a child. Let’s face it, EVERYTHING IS BETTER WITH BACON. Also, sweet potatoes are pretty fabulous too.
So with Thanksgiving around the corner, there’s no better time to bring bacon wrapped sweet potato fries to life! But guess what? You can make these babies ANYTIME. Woohoo! We ain’t about that holiday-specific life. We’re thankful ALL year round!
These bacon wrapped sweet potato fries are SO easy to make. You just cut the sweet potatoes into fries, season them, wrap them in bacon, and bake. Done. Then you get to enjoy the smell of bacon throughout your house! Hooray. Light a candle, it helps. That’s what I do. ;)
If you want to save a bit on calories, you can use turkey bacon instead of applewood bacon too. I know your family and friends will love these on Thanksgiving or any time of year. I promise they are crispy, sweet, salty, and with the chipotle sauce that I made…oh man. Ok I’ll shut up now so you can grab the recipe. YAY.I'm going to wow my guests with these Baked Bacon Wrapped Sweet Potato Fries! #appetizersClick To Tweet
A lightened up version of the Cuban staple “arroz con salchicha” (yellow rice with Vienna sausages) using basmati brown rice, turmeric, and spicy chicken sausage.
When I was 11 years old, my mom went back to visit family in Cuba. It was the first time I was going to be away from her and for two weeks, nonetheless. It was torture! I’m pretty attached to my mom and well, her cooking as well. Imagine being 11 years old and your mom is not home to love you, cook for you, DO EVERYTHING that super moms do for you. AHHH.
A little background before I continue. I don’t know about you but when you’re brought up in a Cuban household, one of the main things Cuban moms teach you is that you MUST eat WHATEVER is offered to you in another household. No matter if it’s another family member or a friend, the polite thing to do is to say thank you and eat it!
“Don’t embarrass me.” – says Cuban moms everywhere.
Even if you’ve never eaten it before, you just have to pretend. Literally the definition of ‘fake it til you make it’.
Now I was the pickiest child in the history of the world. The fact that I’m the foodie I am today STILL shocks my mother. She doesn’t understand how I would literally YELL at the sight of something green in my food and here I am, posting about zoodles, salads, kale and green juice.
Since my mom’s main concern in life was me being well fed, she would try to work with this particularly picky palate of mine. Yes, I was spoiled. Sometimes she would force feed me but for the most part, I never really ate any dish that I didn’t like because again…YELLING would ensue.
So back to the story.
My mom leaves us – my dad, my sister and I, for two weeks. My aunt, who lives two blocks away from my parent’s house, invites us over for dinner. She makes us arroz con salchicha. If you’ve never heard of this before, arroz con salchicha is yellow Cuban-style rice with cut up Vienna sausages. The most Cuban dish on Earth. You make yellow rice with a ton of spices and drop in cut up Vienna sausages from the can. That’s it.
It’s actually pretty freaking delicious BUT at 11 years old, I’d never had it before!
Since my mom taught me that I HAD to eat everything that was offered to me away from home, I accepted the dish and ate it. To everyone’s surprise, I cleaned the plate! My aunt, knowing how picky I was and recalling that my mom had literally told her “please make sure she doesn’t die of starvation because she is the pickiest eater in America”, was beyond shocked.
Maybe it was because there was nothing green in it. In any case, it was flavorful, delicious…it was Cuban comfort food at its best.
And my mom was PISSED. “You never eat that when I make it!?” …but…but you told me to eat whatever is offered to me when I’m not home! Needless to say, that convo did NOT end well.
Today, I bring you MY lightened up version of arroz con salchica. This was FIRE. Seriously SO good. Not too spicy, TONS of flavor, and doesn’t give you that yucky “I’m so full” feeling or make you MSG sleepy. Zzzz.
Instead of using saffron or Bijol spice to color the rice, I used turmeric. I’ve been experimenting with turmeric a lot this year and I really like it. The flavor is definitely strong and a little dash goes a long way so be mindful of that.
Instead of white rice, I used basmati brown rice which has a unique aroma (not a bad one!) and was a bit more chewy than white rice. Finally, instead of Vienna sausages, I used cut up spicy chicken sausages which was delicious and not as spicy as you’d expect. Man, I used to eat Vienna sausages out of the can. Like the entire thing. My mom would have to hide them from me. Ha!
The result of this dish was pretty perfect. Granted nothing will compare for the real deal but I enjoy creating different variations of the tried and true. I hope you make this easy, Cuban-inspired dish and LOVE it as much as I do!
Popcorn combined with melted marshmallows, dark chocolate drizzle and colored sprinkles! A sweet treat that’s ridiculously easy to make.
Recently, I went to Disney. You know, my second home. In case you didn’t know, I frequent Le Disney Parks quite often. Being an annual pass holder, you’ll find me escaping to Orlando like twice a month. So I’m either going north or south. Disney World or the Florida Keys. My two favorite weekend getaways. Best perk of being in Miami is that we have it all just a drive away. (P.S. I also totally feel like Miami is its own state. I mean did you see the map on Tuesday? South Florida was in blue while the rest of Florida was in red. WTF.)
Every time we go to Disney, I always sit and stare at all the kitchen stuff. Naturally. My dream is to someday have an all-white kitchen with Mickey decor. Not crazy color happy Mickey decor; all-white Mickey decor. Just imagine THESE PLATES in my kitchen. AHHH. I just want it all to look pristine! Even though, I make a crazy mess in the kitchen sometimes. I don’t care; I want it to look straight out of a magazine. Sigh. This dream will come true someday.
Until then though, I’ll settle for Mickey sprinkles. Ha!
Are those not the CUTEST thing you’ve ever seen?! Of course I wanted to use these IMMEDIATELY.
To my excitement, I recently saw Gaby from What’s Gaby Cooking making white chocolate marshmallow treats on Snapchat. That’s when I knew I HAD to make them with Mickey sprinkles and dark chocolate. Are you a fan of white chocolate? Call me crazy but I feel like they’re an imposter! I’m a dark chocolate lover for life. Does that make me a chocolate purist? Lol. Whatevs.
Let’s make Chocolate Popcorn Marshmallow Treats with Mickey sprinkles!
In case you don’t have Mickey sprinkles, you can use regular sprinkles. Don’t worry, you won’t alter the taste or anything. I was just WAY too excited to buy and use these. What better excuse than to make marshmallow treats!
Oh and by the way, these Chocolate Popcorn Marshmallow Treats were VERY addicting. So, be warned. They are salty, sweet, chocolatey, and DANGEROUS. I made two batches and let’s just say one of them somehow DISAPPEARED… yeah…
No regrets! They were perfection. I mean melted marshmallows with chocolate and popcorn. What’s not to like!? If you’re not a HUGE fan of too much sweet, you can sprinkle a bit of sea salt on top to balance out all the sweet.
I hope you make them and LOVE them!Can't wait to make these Chocolate Popcorn Marshmallow Treats! Click To Tweet
Fresh, juicy, smokey, spicy, blackened mahi mahi sandwich (aka dolphin sandwich) on a kaiser roll with lettuce and tomato. Simplicity is key.
One of my favorite restaurants ever in this world is this seafood & bar place named Flanigan’s. They are located only in Florida so if you’re ever in town, FIND ONE. Nothing but fresh, delicious seafood, juicy burgers, wings, ribs, curly fries, desserts, and beer. See why I love it? My kinda place.
If I’m not having wings or ribs (which are my usual go-to items), then I opt for fish. Always. Always fish. Did we already establish that I’m obsessed with seafood? Not the open your mouth and you ‘see’ food…no…gross. I’m talking about the kind that comes from the ocean. Oh yeah!
I swear if there was wifi on an island, I could totally survive just by eating fish all day. I’d probably die without the wifi though. Not even joking.
Sautéed shrimp tossed in a quick and easy garlic, red pepper flakes, parsley, white wine, and butter sauce on top of spaghetti squash.
In case it’s not entirely obvious yet that I’m obsessed with seafood… I’m obsessed with seafood.
I’m always thinking of a new ways to bring it to life. Some are recipes with my own spin; others are tried and true (and delicious!)
As much as we all love fettuccini (and you can totally make this shrimp scampi and replace it with any other pasta), I wanted to give veggies a chance to be cool by including them in this recipe.
Enter spaghetti squash.
Super easy to make, and with buttery shrimp scampi sauce on top…I mean, c’mon!
The shrimp scampi is also easy to make. The only reason the recipe has a total time of 1 hour to because you gotta wait until the spaghetti squash comes out of the oven.
But once you’re ready to cook the shrimp, you’re done in minutes! P.S. the trick to cooking shrimp perfectly is to cook them right before they curl and until they are pink. Be careful not to overcook them!
This is a great weeknight recipe and so flavorful, I doubt you’ll have leftovers.
I hope you make and you LOVE it! (more…)