I'm Just Here To Cook…and Eat!


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The Family Stuffed Pepper Recipe

I spent the morning “visiting” my mom. Her headstone is in, and seeing her name etched into the stone was unbelievably upsetting. Maybe makes it a bit more real, but it’s still so surreal. They started to plant seeds for grass, and my family and I laid out our painted Cape Cod rocks. Bright pink roses and it seems almost…. more cozy?… in a way….

So in her memory, I wanted to share HER recipe for stuffed peppers. It’s funny, because recently both my dad and my aunt brought this recipe up. And while I’ve shared before that my mom never stuffed the peppers, but instead cooked the rice and meat over a pepper… I just learned that my grandma actually used to do this too! Fancy that!

So here’s how she made stuffed peppers, which was a recipe handed down to her as well. My mom would brown ground beef in a skillet with salt, pepper and a dash of cinnamon and oregano. In a glass baking pan, put a halved pepper down on the bottom. My mom would actually par cook this in the microwave. In the skillet, mix together the beef with a cup of rice and an 8 ounce can of tomato sauce. Add additional salt and pepper to taste. Pour this over the pepper in the baking dish and add a cup of water.

Bake in the oven at 350 until the rice is cooked, about 30-40 minutes. It’s a really simple recipe, but it’s really good and brings back such memories. I don’t have a picture at the moment, but maybe I’ll make this dish this week and post 🙂 Enjoy!

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Happy Birthday in Heaven

I still don’t think it’s quite sunk in. And maybe it never will. Another milestone, and another celebration without you. But this time it’s your birthday, mom. And in honor of your birthday, I’m reposting the piñata cake I made for you last year as I think about happy celebrations from the past, as well as the cake challenge ahead of me for your granddaughter’s birthday next month. We miss you. Happy birthday in heaven, mom. 💗💗💗


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How to Pack for the Beach 

I’ve finally got to the beach! Usually I’d have been at the beach at least 3 times by now, but the weather mixed with other things haven’t been on my side this year. So I’m making the day of it. If you’re going to be in the sun all day, you need to ensure you pack appropriately. Staying hydrated is key. Here are my beach going tips to remain hydrated and happy in the sun!

1. Freeze your water bottles. Not only will your water stay colder longer, they double as ice packs for your cooler. Less weight while trying to cross the sand to find the ultimate spot!

2. Watermelon. Watermelon is one of the best fruits to have in the heat. It’s 91% water (hence the name!) and a deliciously sweet treat.

3. Cucumber salad is another great way to stay hydrated. Cucumbers are also over 90% water. Try my cucumber salad to go along with your lunch. Slice 4 mini cucumbers and half a shallot. Dress with salt, pepper, 1/4 tsp sugar, oil and vinegar. Let marinate on the dressing overnight for best flavor.

4. Pack in square containers to better fit in your cooler. This will help fit more yummy treats without having to carry too many bags.

5. Bring a spray bottle to help stay cool when not in the water. The spray bottle should be kept in the cooler also.

6. Avoid mayo. Even though you have the cooler, it’s best to try to avoid mayo in fear of it spoiling. Stick with mustard or oil and vinegar on sandwiches or salads.

7. Wet a washcloth, enclose it in a ziplock bag and throw that in the cooler as well. This can be used on the back of your neck if you feel yourself overheating!

8. Chips are always a good idea. BBQ are great. So are Cheddar and Sour Cream flavor. 🙂

9. My last great tip is to throw your sunblock in the cooler as well. It will feel so nice when you go to reapply.

Hope you enjoy your days at the beach this summer! Stay safe in the heat and shout out if you have any other great tips to share!


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Pork, Apples, Beer, and… Grapes? Yup Grapes!

So, in the fridge I had an apple, beer which needed to be drank, and grapes which need to be eaten. In the freezer I had pork loin chops. While grapes were the odd ball out, I’ll tell you where my inspiration came from and why I was happy they needed to be used. Last week I went out with a friend for dinner and one of the dishes we ordered was hummus. And on top of the hummus were roasted grapes. Yup, roasted grapes. And let me tell you, they were so good and I keep thinking about them. So I thought, that sweet little pop of flavor would go really nicely with the pork! So my thoughts were to use the beer and the grapes. But I also had that apple and no veggies so thought, why not! Throw it all in! It wasn’t the prettiest looking dish, as all the colors blended. But man was it delicious! Grapes aren’t just for snacking, and wine, any more!

Ingredients

2 pork loin chops
1 bottle beer
1 apple, sliced
1 cup yellow grapes
1 tsp habanero hot sauce
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Salt and pepper

Directions

Brown both sides of the pork chops seasoned with salt and pepper. Added the beer and bring to a boil. Add in the hot sauce and stir. Let simmer for 1 minute.

Add in the grapes, apple and cinnamon. Cook down for 2-3 minutes.

Serve with a side of rice pilaf. Enjoy!


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I Found It! A Calamari Steak Dinner

I forgot to tell y’all! I finally found a calamari steak to cook! Do you remember awhile back when I shared my love for this dish in my west coast adventure? And how I longed to find it on the east coast? Well, I did 🙂

I found these frozen steaks in a specialty market not far from my house. I was in heaven. I need to perfect my grilling skills a bit, but it was delicious. Defrost the calamari steak and pat dry for grilling. I should have cut this so that I had two flat pieces, but I did not. Learning for next time! Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder and oregano. Using a grill pan, grill on both sides until cooked through until opaque (about 2-3 minutes per side). I didn’t get the grill marks I had wanted, but I’ll sure try again! Serve with lemon sprinkled over and your favorite sides. Enjoy!

Some Saturday thoughts… life is short. Make it full. 👀


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Golf on Father’s Day

When your dad and your brother-in-law like to golf, and it’s the US Open as well as Father’s Day, you make golf cupcakes. The sand pit is crushed cookies, the grass is green sprinkles, and the golf ball is a coated chocolate candy. Happy Father’s Day to all the dads, bonus dads, grandads, goddads, etc. out there!