Q is for Queso @AprilA2Z #AtoZChallenge

As you've seen from H is for Hatch Chiles, they're the bee's knees in New Mexico and they're in everything here. Creme brulee, bagels, wine (no, I'm not kidding), and one friend even ordered a lobster roll with green chiles. Being from New England, she was not thrilled with the result, but that's not the point. The point is, New Mexicans love their chiles, even putting them in things that, well, probably shouldn't be tampered with.But queso isn't one of them. It's made for Hatch chiles.In the interest of finding a delicious restaurant-style queso dip you lovely readers can try, I tracked down two recipes on the interwebs (Pinterest, to be specific), and taste-tested them for you.It's a tough job, but somebody's gotta do it.Queso Recipe #1: Roasted Hatch Chile Queso Dip from Cook Like A ChampionQ is for Queso experiment 1A photo posted by Sarah Allan (@sarahallanauthor) on Mar 20, 2016 at 4:50pm PDTFirst off, this recipe was very...
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#FoodieFriday: Roasted Asparagus #vegetarian

This is the last Foodie Friday I'll be doing for a few weeks due to my participation in the April A-Z Blogging Challenge, so I wanted to give you guys something easy.Picture from Simply StacieSpringtime is prime asparagus season, and nothing is more awesome than simply prepared vegetables.In this case, Simply Stacie has the answer: Roasted Asparagus.My personally favorite way to prepare asparagus is to grill it, but this recipe is more universal in that most of us have an oven but not everyone has a grill.Basically, trimmed asparagus+olive oil+ salt & pepper and you're done. She uses garlic, which I think would also be fabulous, but I haven't used it when I've made this recipe yet. I'm lazy like that.10 minutes in a 450 degree F oven, stirring/turning once at the halfway mark, and BOOM.Such an easy side.I hope you guys tune in for my A-Z Challenge posts!xoxo Sarah...
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#FoodieFriday: Blackberry Sage Pork Chops

My poor husband and I share the same aversion to pork chops, though if you ask him, he's suffered worse.Picture from Budget BytesTortured by family who served dry, stringy, overcooked pieces of pork smothered in applesauce (his) or apples and sauerkraut (mine), I rarely bought them in order to save us both from food-related PTSD.Pork tenderloin, on the other hand, enjoys a healthy rotation in our repertoire. And no, I don't overcook it. I pay close attention to the thermometer, thank you very much.But this delicious recipe from Budget Bytes for Blackberry Sage Pork Chops has changed our tune.I've made this recipe a couple of times; the first was with pork tenderloin I had in the freezer (cut into medallions), and the second was with pork chops as prescribed.Though the recipe itself is very cost-conscious and uses simple ingredients--most of which you probably have in your pantry already--the amazing sauce is sweet and savory and makes you feel like you're eating...
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#FoodieFriday: Skillet Chocolate Chip Cookie

This cookie. Martha Stewart knew what she was doing.Oh man.Picture via Martha Stewart's website.If I didn't have a good idea I'd make myself sick, I'd make this and eat the whole thing.Besides serving about 8 people (fewer, most likely...), this cookie is absolutely gorgeous. It fills the cast iron skillet and looks so pretty. As if you needed another reason to use your 10-inch skillet.Served straight from the oven (with a few minutes to cool so you don't sacrifice your poor burned mouth), it's gooey and satisfying.It's perfect for scooping a bit of your favorite ice cream over, too.And it doesn't get any better for parties--who wouldn't want to bring this out to the table!Even better, it's not difficult to make. It comes together in a snap and you can enjoy your party, or enjoy making everyone else clean up while you eat the whole thing.I won't judge.xoxo Sarah...
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#FoodieFriday: Salisbury Steak Meatballs with Onion Gravy #comfortfood

I can't believe I missed last Friday's post, but no matter.  This week's will make up for it.I've made these yummy Salisbury Steak Meatballs by Jo Cooks twice now, and both times they were a big hit with both hubs and me. The meat is flavorful; the gravy is delicious, and it's a must-serve with mashed potatoes and a good veggie. In the picture, you can see that I made roasted asparagus to go with it. This ain't no TV dinner Salisbury steak!There are a good amount of leftovers (4 day's worth if there are two of you, so approximately 8 servings total), and they're even better as time goes on.Some tips I've picked up--with this recipe, make patties, not meatballs. I did meatballs the first time, and they were very soft and didn't keep their shape, making them impossible to turn to brown when in the pan. Epic fail. I got frustrated (might be a slight understatement--I think I threw a...
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#FoodieFriday: Brown Sugar Mustard Chicken

There are a lot of chicken recipes out there. It's a popular meat; I get it. We eat a lot of chicken, too. But sometimes you come across one that shakes things up a bit and makes your mouth super happy.I'm including this chicken recipe for a couple of reasons--one, because it's absolutely delicious, and two, because my dad is somehow convinced I'm withholding it and keeps asking for it every time we talk.Photo from Taste and TellYes, I've given it to both him and my mother. Multiple times.No, I'm not holding it hostage. This is proof.I first came across this recipe in Taste of Home magazine but was able to find it online here, at Taste and Tell.For those of you who are skeptical about or aren't a huge fan of chicken thighs, they're necessary to use. They're meatier in flavor and stay juicier on the grill. Breasts just wouldn't hold up to the flavorful, savory sauce.The chicken is best grilled,...
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#FoodieFriday: Hawaiian Ham & Swiss Sliders #SuperBowl #appetizer #brunch

I can't believe I almost missed this week! And with Super Bowl Sunday coming up, I couldn't resist sharing one of my favorite appetizer/finger foods. Go, sports!Before I get to this Friday's food, if you're vegetarian or want to bring something to a Super Bowl party that everyone will enjoy, try my Black Bean Hummus. Trust me--it's fantastic. Bring some blue corn tortilla chips and have at it!Now for this week's: You've probably heard of them if you haven't already eaten them--Hawaiian rolls stuffed with ham and Swiss cheese and covered in buttery oniony poppy-seedy deliciousness.Picture from A Musing FoodieThere are two main recipes I've seen, like this one from A Musing Foodie, and this one from the actual King's Hawaiian websiteThe one from A Musing Foodie is the one I've seen and made myself (the recipe can be cut in half but it's nice to have the large recipe just in case).There is no downside to these little sandwiches other...
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#FoodieFriday: Bagels! #baking #bagel

GUYS! I totally made my own bagels. Only recently--within the past year or so--I've gotten more brave and comfortable with working with yeast breads. There's something intimidating about it; you have to be so careful to make sure the yeast activates, but that you don't kill it, either. Dough balls that will become bagels!What I'm discovering is that it's much less finicky than I thought, and most of my creations have turned out okay.Now, we love a good bagel. Hubs and I grew up in New England, and appreciate them, but it's sometimes hard to find a suitable one. So, I figured I'd give it a shot. How hard could it be?Not very, actually. It just takes a little time, but once you're invested, you're good.Here's the recipe I followed. It's from Artisan Bread in Five, and wasn't hard to do at all. No kneading, even. Dough rings.I let it rise on the counter top in a giant bowl for a little less than five hours,...
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#FoodieFriday: Slow-cooker Mongolian Beef #CrockPot #SlowCooker

As I've mentioned before, we recently moved and received all of our household goods.Let me tell you, going through everything you own is not as fun as it sounds, and it sounds pretty awful.In order for us to have some semblance of healthy eating (e.g. not ordering pizza because we forgot to food), I've rekindled my love-affair with my crock pot.I was so excited when I unearthed it from the boxy jungle (and to finally try some of the awesomeness on my Crock Pot Pinterest board) that I actually had trouble coming up with what I wanted to do first. I should also add that I nixed any stews or soups right off the bat--we'd just come from a week of them (I've had a nasty cold so I was eating chicken soup like it was going out of style, and hubs was eating sandwiches to avoid the soup), so I took pity on him.This time.Anyway, we get most of our...
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#FoodieFriday: Chicken and Wild Rice #Soup

Much to my poor husband's dismay, it's soup season.I can eat soup all the time--he, unfortunately, cannot. But his complaining is kept to a minimum, and I usually end up freezing a good amount for later so he's not tortured all at once. Must spread the torture out over multiple days, you see--it's how a good marriage works.But in all seriousness, I do love a good soup, and enjoy experimenting with ones I find to make them work for us.One I tried last week was Bowl of Delicious's Chicken and Wild Rice Soup--a nice twist on chicken soup, which is one of my quick go-tos. I generally prefer mine with noodles, but rice is also good, and wild rice is fun and adds a different texture, so I was game.First, I want to address that, yes, you can find just wild rice in the grocery store. Not just the Uncle Ben's mix with white rice, but regular wild rice--it will...
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