Shrimp & Sausage Jambalaya

It won't be too much longer until we are getting seventy degree weather everyday and spring is in full bloom. I've decided that I need to get my fill of hearty soups, chilis and other winter favorites while there is still time because, let's face it, no one wants to eat a huge bowl of jambalaya when it is seventy degrees outside! This shrimp and sausage jambalaya has wonderful flavor and is the perfect comfort meal on these final winter days.

Adapted loosely from Best Loved Slow Cooker Recipes

You Will Need:
  • 1 can (28 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (I used sweet onion)
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium green pepper
  • 2 cups okra, diced
  • 1 rib celery, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 Tbsp garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp Tabasco
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 lb cooked shrimp
  • 1 lb sweet Italian sausage, cooked and sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 2 cups uncooked brown rice

Here We Go:
  • Combine cooked sausage, tomatoes with juice, onion, bell peppers, celery, okra, garlic, oregano, Tabasco, chili powder and thyme in slow cooker and cover
  • Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours
  • Stir in cooked shrimp and cover
  • Cook on low for another 20 minutes
  • While shrimp is cooking, prepare rice according to package directions

Makes 6 Servings
Happy Feasting!


Orange Scented Blueberry Muffins

I was in the mood to bake this weekend and thought I would make my staple blueberry muffins that are about as basic as you get yet still seem to be a crowd pleaser. I was about to settle on making these good ole' muffins when I remembered that I had seen on one of my favorite food blogs, A Sweet Pea Chef, a recipe for orange scented blueberry muffins and her pictures alone made my mouth water. I had never thought of adding orange zest to a blueberry muffin, but I decided that a little orange zest and some crumb topping might be just what my muffin recipe was lacking. You all will be pleased to know that these might be the best blueberry muffins I have ever eaten (bold statement I know).

You Will Need For the Muffins:
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 3/4 Tbsp freshly grated orange zest
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries, washed and de-stemmed
  • softened butter to grease muffin tin

You Will Need for the Crumb Topping:
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, chopped into small pieces
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Here We Go:
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and butter muffin tin or line with muffin liners and set aside
  • Combine flour, 3/4 cup sugar, baking powder and kosher salt in a medium mixing bowl
  • In a separate mixing bowl, combine vegetable oil, egg, milk and orange zest
  • Add above mixture, all at once, to the dry flour mixture
  • Stir until just moistened (Note that the mixture will be lumpy & thick)
  • Gently fold in the blueberries to the wet mixture
  • To make the crumb topping, combine 1/4 cup sugar, brown sugar, 1/3 cup flour, cubed butter & ground cinnamon in a small mixing bowl
  • Spoon muffin batter into the buttered (or lined) muffin tin, filling until almost full
  • Generously sprinkle the crumb topping over the tops of each muffin cup
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until muffin tops are golden brown
  • Remove from heat and cool on a cooling rack for 5 minutes 

Makes 12 Muffins
Happy Feasting!


Chicken and Arugula Pita Pockets

I was recently asked by a reader for some healthy and delicious lunch recipes. I don't know about all of you, but I am always trying to think of new and exciting ways to spice up the daily grind. Lunch at the office can oftentimes become redundant and boring. I assure you that this recipe from Giada De Laurentiis is neither. It is quite unique in that the recipe calls for homemade arugula pesto rather than your typical basil pesto. With whole wheat pita or wraps, fresh rotisserie chicken, sweet cherry tomatoes and distinct arugula flavor this recipe hits the spot!

You Will Need:
  • 2 whole-wheat pitas, halved and opened (I used wheat wraps instead)
  • 1/4 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup Arugula Pesto (click for recipe)
  • 2 store-bought rotisserie chicken breasts, diced into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 8 cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 cup arugula

Here We Go:
  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees F and bake pitas or wraps for 5-7 minutes until warmed through
  • In a large bowl combine the mayonnaise, lemon zest and Arugula Pesto
  • Stir in diced chicken
  • To assemble pita pockets or wraps, fill each with the chicken mixture
  • Top with tomatoes and 1/4 cup arugula and serve (I brought this to work today for lunch so I did all the above "assembling" at home this morning!)
Serves 4
Happy Feasting!

Arugula Pesto

Giada's Arugula Pesto recipe is a great change from your typical basil pesto. This is the perfect sauce to use on pizza, pasta or chicken. You can also add 1/4 cup of light mayonnaise to this recipe and make this a pesto mayo for your sandwich! (See Chicken and Arugula Pesto post)

You Will Need:
  • 2 cups packed arugula
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and halved
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly grated ground black pepper

Here We Go:
  • Blend the arugula and garlic in a food processor until finely chopped
  • With the machine running, gradually add the olive oil until well blended
  • Transfer to a large bowl and stir in Parmesan and salt and pepper

Happy Feasting!


Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry

The best thing about this stir fry is that the flavors are such a good base to add more vegetables or even substitute chicken or shrimp if you are not a beef lover. I think adding baby corn, water chestnuts or red and green pepper would also be a great addition. This is a great week night meal to have on the dinner table in just under 30 minutes. Defnitely don't forget to add the fresh ginger as it gives the meal such wonderful flavor!

You Will Need:
  • 3 Tbsp cornstarch, divided
  • 1/2 cup water, plus 2 Tbsp water
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1lb boneless round steak or 1lb charcoal steaks, cute into desired thickness
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil ( I used olive oil)
  • 4 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 small onion, cut into thick strips
  • 1/3 soy sauce ( I used low sodium)
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar (I used light brown sugar)
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • Cooked Rice (I used brown rice)

Here We Go:
  • In a medium bowl, combine 2 Tbsp cornstarch, 2 Tbsp water and garlic powder until smooth
  • Add beef and toss
  • In a large skillet or wok over medium high heat, stir-fry beef in 1 Tbsp oil until beef reaches desired doneness; remove and keep warm
  • Stir-fry broccoli and onion in remaining oil for 4-5 minutes
  • Return beef to pan.
  • Combine soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger and remaining cornstarch and water until smooth; add to the pan
  • Cook and stir for 2 minutes
  • Serve over rice

Serves 4
Happy Feasting!


The Elvis

While I was living in New York one of my favorite things to do was go out for any meal. Dinner, lunch or brunch- it didn't matter what meal it was, it was just the fact that we lived in a city with so many incredible restaurants and I wanted to take advantage. There are many "stand-outs" in my mind...the lobster ravioli from Cornelia Street Cafe, the truffled bechamel croque monsieur from Bagatelle, the devils on horseback from Freeman's...the list goes on and on. There was, though, one simple sandwich from a cute little place called Peanut Butter & Co. that I loved and continue to recreate quite a bit for breakfast on an english muffin or for lunch-The Elvis.

You Will Need:
  • 2 slices of bread or an english muffin
  • 1-2 Tbsp peanut butter (I prefer Jif)
  • Honey
  • 1 small banana

Here We Go:
  • Toast bread or english muffin to preference
  • Spread peanut butter on both sides of bread or muffin
  • Slice bananas about 1/4 inch thick and lay on sandwich
  • Drizzle a light layer of honey over bread or muffin
Happy Feasting!


Cowboy Caviar

It was seventy degrees on Friday night and we were headed over to a friends' house to grill out and enjoy the amazing weather. I wanted to bring an appetizer that was representative of the weather and the first thing that came to mind was cowboy caviar. I'm sure most of you have heard of this tried and true delicious dip and it is so simple that it can be done in a matter of minutes.

You Will Need:
  • 1 15 oz can of black beans, drained
  • 1 15 oz can of corn, drained
  • 2 large plum tomatoes, diced
  • 1 large avocado, diced
  • 1/2 sweet onion, diced
  • Lime juice from 1 lime
  • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder

Here We Go:
  • Mix together red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt , pepper, lime juice and garlic power in a small bowl, set aside
  • Mix together black beans, corn, tomatoes, onion, avocado
  • Pour liquid mixture over vegetables and toss
  • Chill before serving
  • Serve with Tostitos Scoops or Frtios Scoops


Ode to the Pizza Stone

I began making pizzas while I was living in New York City. One of my friends was an avid pizza maker and would always tell me when she was making a pizza and what toppings she was going to use. I would usually sit there, with gaping mouth, drooling over her descriptions. She told me about the secret to a "restaurant style" pizza - the pizza stone!

It wasn't long until I was googling "pizza stone" and placed my order with Target for their $13 Bialetti pizza stone and it was worth every penny! Italian sausage, green peppers, pineapple, BBQ chicken, caramalized onion - it didn't seem to matter what the topping - each pizza came out of the oven steaming, perfectly browned, with slightly puffy edges and just the perfect crunch. So do yourself a favor, people, and get a pizza stone. You will not be disappointed!

Hawaiian Pizza

You Will Need:
  • 1 ball of pizza dough (I prefer Whole Foods)
  • 1 1/4 cups pizza sauce (I prefer San Marzano)
  • 1/2 of a 12oz bag of mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup diced fresh pineapple
  • 2 slices of smoked deli ham (pulled apart loosely for topping)
  • Fresh basil for topping

Here We Go:
  • Preheat oven to 500 degrees F
  • Roll out dough using your hands or a rolling pin if you have one
  • Place dough on pizza stone or baking sheet
  • Top dough with sauce, cheese and pineapple

  • Put pizza on top rack in oven and cook for 10-12 minutes
  • Add ham when there are only a few minutes left to ensure it doesn't dry up while cooking
  • Top with fresh basil

Happy Feasting!


Sauer's BBQ Pulled Pork

One of our best wedding gifts has to be the slow cooker. I used to think that I loved it more than my husband does, but now that he has realized what he can actually cook in it (virtually anything), I am not so sure anymore. Thanks to Sauer's BBQ Pulled Pork slow cooker mix and a few other ingredients we enjoyed this homemade BBQ last night for dinner. Each mouthwatering bite explodes with the subtle hint of brown sugar and vinegar but feel free to spice it up with more chili powder if desired!

You Will Need:
  • 1 package Sauer's BBQ pulled pork seasoning packet
  • 3 lbs boneless pork shoulder
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tsp chili powder

Here We Go:
  • Place pork into slow cooker
  • In a medium sized bowl mix seasoning packet, ketchup, vinegar and brown sugar. Stir and pour over pork.
  • Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours
  • Half-way through cooking turn pork over
  • When finished cooking, shred pork with two forks and mix with sauce in slow cooker

Serves 10
Happy Feasting!


Not your same ole' Bruschetta

The bruschetta that we all know and love usually consists of tomatoes, fresh basil, olive oil and a few other key ingredients. I had some leftover goat cheese in the fridge and decided that adding this to regular ole' bruschetta would probably make for a delicious combination. You will be happy to know that I was correct!

You Will Need:
  • 1/4 cup goat cheese, crumbled
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 french baguette
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 4 fresh basil leaves, minced

Here We Go:
Turn oven broiler on (500 degrees F)
Quarter tomatoes and add to mixing bowl

Mix olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic and basil in another small bowl

Pour olive oil mixture over tomatoes
Stir in goat cheese with wooden spoon

Put bowl in fridge to chill
Slice baguette into 1/4 inch rounds (roughly 10 slices)

Place on baking sheet and broil in oven until browned
Top with chilled bruschetta mixture

Makes Roughly 10 Bruschetta
Happy Feasting!

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Why is it that chocolate covered strawberries are so expensive? I just got an email from Godiva (yes, I am on their email list) and you could pre-order your strawberries for Valentine's Day. They were trying to sell me six large strawberries for $42! I think that is absolutely absurd and instead I have some great news for you guys! This recipe for chocolate sauce is so easy and is perfect for dipping any kind of fruit or even topping ice cream. So save yourself the money and make your own v-day strawberries!

You Will Need:
  • 1 Package Nestle Toll House Morsels
  • 1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Stick of unsalted butter

Here We Go:
  • Melt all ingredients in small saucepan over low heat
  • Stir constantly to avoid the chocolate sticking
  • Dip strawberries into chocolate and cool on wax paper

  • Let cool for one hour or until chocolate has hardened (can also put in refrigerator to expedite cooling)
  • Note: Leftover chocolate sauce can be stored in refrigerator for up to 1 month

Happy Feasting!


V-day Champagne Cocktail

Every holiday or celebration should be the perfect excuse to have a little bubbly. I wanted to share this fun and easy pretty pink cocktail with all of your in honor of Valentine's Day! Rather than go with the typical mimosa, consisting of champagne and orange juice, spice things up with this yummy concoction.  It's easy enough that you could run to the grocery store after work today and pick up the ingredients for you and your honey (or just you!)

You Will Need:
  • 1 Bottle of Champagne
  • Diet Cherry 7-Up
  • Fresh Raspberries

 Here We Go:
  • Pour the champagne glass half full of champagne (or 3/4 full if you are more like me)
  • Fill remaining glass with Diet Cherry 7-Up
  • Drop in 1 or 2 fresh raspberries

Happy Feasting!
(Don't mind the brand of champagne...)


Rotini with Basil and Parmesan

Pasta is one of those meals that can be made in a hurry if you get home from work late, made just for one, or made if you have been meaning to go to the grocery store but haven't gotten around to it (as last night was for me). Keep a box of bowtie, penne, spaghetti or rotini on hand in your pantry for a quick dinner any night of the week.

You Will Need:
  • 2 1/2 cups uncooked rotini pasta
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp garlic salt
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp cracked pepper
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Here We Go:
  • Cook rotini according to directions on box (6-7 minutes)
  • Drain rotini and add back to pot
  • Add ingredients to pot and stir
  • Top with Parmesan cheese before serving

Serves 2 heaping portions
Happy Feasting!


Winter Salad

When it comes to cheese, goat cheese is absolutely at the top of my list! I love it plain, on pizza, with crackers, on sandwiches and in salads. This combo of candied pecans, craisins and goat cheese is the perfect winter combination. Serve this with a simple oil & vinegar because you don't need much else. These flavors can definitely stand on their own.

You Will Need:
  • 1/2 cup craisins
  • 1/2 cup candied pecans (I use Emerald)
  • 1/3 cup crumbled goat cheese
  • 1/4 cup Oil & Vinegar (I use Newman's Own)
  • 1 bag of mesculn mix

Here We Go:
  • Mix mesclun, craisins, goat cheese and pecans in large bowl
  • Add oil & vinegar
  • Toss all ingredients together with salad tongs

Serves 2-4
Happy Feasting!





Salmon with Cucumber and Dill Sauce

I'm always looking for easy weeknight dinners that are preferably healthy and yet still tasty enough for my husband. This salmon dish is definitely one of our "go-to's" for dinner and I would say from start to finish you can have this bad boy on the table in about 20 minutes!

You Will Need:
  • 1 salmon fillet (Roughly 3/4 of a pound)
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 6oz container of plain fat free yogurt
  • 1/4 cup of diced cucumber
  • 1/2 tsp of dried dill weed
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • Salt & Pepper

Here We Go:
  • Preheat over to 350 degrees F
  • Use fork to pierce holes in salmon
  • Drizzle salmon with thin layer of honey and lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Cook salmon for roughly 20 minutes or until flakes with fork

Cucumber and Dill Sauce
  • Empty yogurt into small bowl
  • Finely chop 1/4 cup cucumber and add to bowl

  • Add 1/4 tsp dill weed to bowl
  • Stir all ingredients together and chill while fish is cooking.

Serves 2
Happy Feasting!

Honey Roasted Sweet Potatoes

My favorite side dishes are usually anything and everything carb because ever since I was a little baby I couldn't seem to get enough of anything having to do with rice, pasta or potatoes. I found this simple and delicious recipe from the Food Network's Ellie Kreiger and it has become a staple in our house to serve in lieu of baked potatoes or my beloved couscous. The honey and olive oil makes these potatoes caramelize with the perfect sweet crisp.

You Will Need:
  • 2 pounds red-skinned sweet potatoes
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1 Tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 Tsp salt
Here We Go:
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Peel and cut the sweet potatoes into 1-inch pieces and put in a 9x13 baking dish (Ellie says to peel but almost every time that I have made these I don't peel cause the skin is so tasty)
  • In a small bowl whisk together olive oil, honey and lemon juice
  • Pour mixture over potatoes and toss to coat (I find it easier to shake ingredients in a Ziploc bag)
  • Sprinkle with the salt, and bake, stirring occasionally, for about 1 hour, until potatoes are tender

Serves 4
Happy Feasting!


Baked Parmesan Zucchini & Squash

My husband recently told me that he hated zucchini and squash and low and behold he ate his entire plate full of this yellow and green goodness. The great thing about this recipe is that the two main ingredients are olive oil and Parmesan which I am sure most of you already have on hand in your fridge and pantry.

You Will Need:
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1/8 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1 Zucchini
  • 1 Squash
  • Salt & Pepper

Here We Go:
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  • Slice Zucchini and Squash into 1/4 inch slices and layer on a non-stick baking sheet
  • Drizzle olive oil over vegetables
  • Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and oregano
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown

Serves 2-4
Happy Feasting!


Food 4 Thought?

Got an itch for something in particular?

Let me know what you want to see! Always up for suggestions...Post a comment below!

Happy Feasting!


Cinnamon Banana Pancakes

Pancakes are definitely a favorite in our house on weekend mornings! I love me some chocolate chip pancakes and my husband prefers these cinnamon banana pancakes. He could never understand why anyone would want to eat chocolate for breakfast. The base for this recipe is our good ole' friend Bisquick and I have added bananas and cinnamon for a very tasty combination.

You Will Need:
  • 2 Cups Original Bisquick mix
  • 1 Cup Milk ( for thinner pancakes increase milk to 1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Ripe Banana
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Cinnamon

Here We Go:
  • Slice banana into thin pieces and set aside

  • Stir mix, milk, eggs and cinnamon until blended
  • Add bananas to mixture
  • Pour mixture (less than 1/2 cupfuls) onto hot non-stick griddle or large saucepan
  • Cook until edges look dry and pancakes stop bubbling in the center

Makes 18-22 Pancakes
Happy Feasting!


The "Perfect" Chocolate Chip Cookie

Who doesn't love a chocolate chip cookie? The smell of chocolate chip cookies baking in the oven is pretty hard to beat. I have searched far and wide for the "perfect" chocolate chip cookie recipe. Up until now, I was pretty positive that no one could beat the Nestle Toll House recipe that is on the back of the chocolate chip bag. I promise you, though, that these cookies have done it! This recipe from Smitten Kitchen (Originally adapted from AllRecipes.com) is unreal. These cookies are moist, chewy in the middle and when you take your first bite you get that "perfect" crunch that you had been hoping for. So here it is people, the "perfect" choc-o-chip cookie!

You Will Need:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
Here We Go:
  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F
  • Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper
  • Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended
  • Beat in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk until light and creamy and mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended
  • Stir in the chocolate chips by hand using a wooden spoon

  • Drop cookie dough 1/4 cup at a time onto the prepared cookie sheets
  • Cookies should be about 3 inches apart
  • Bake for 13-15 minutes if your cookies are larger, or 10-12 minutes for smaller cookies
  • I would check the cookies after 10 minutes just to be sure you don't overcook them!
  • Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

Makes 2 1/2 Dozen
Happy Feasting!


Sandy's Meatsauce

If I had to live off of one type of food for the rest of my life it would, without a doubt, be pasta! It is nearly impossible to mess up noodles and you can eat them them with pesto, marinara, vodka sauce or bolognese. I love making a large batch of this meat sauce and having leftovers for an easy weeknight dinner or to freeze for later.
  • You Will Need:
  • 1 Garlic Clove, minced
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Pound Lean Ground Beef
  • 1 Green Pepper
  • 1 Vidalia Onion
  • 1 can Tomato Paste
  • 1 jar Marinara Sauce ( I used Ragu - Sauteed Onion and Garlic)
  • 2 cans Diced Tomatoes w/ olive oil and garlic
  • 1 Tbsp Oregano
  • 2 bay Leaves
  • 1 Tbsp Minced Onion
  • 1 Tbsp Dried Basil
  • 1 Tbsp Garlic Salt
  • Salt & Pepper

Here We Go:
  • Heat olive oil in large stockpot on med/low
  • Mince Garlic, add to stockpot and saute for 2 minutes
  • Add Ground Beef and Saute until Brown and then drain
  • Finely Chop Green Pepper and Onion
  • Add remaining Tbsp of olive oil to stock pot and saute peppers and onions for 5 minutes or until soft
  • Return Meat to pan and add jar of sauce, can of tomato paste and both cans of diced tomatoes
  • Stir well and while sauce is simmering add Basil, Bay Leaves, Minced Onion, Garlic Salt and Oregano
  • Add Salt and Pepper to Taste
  • Let sauce simmer on Med/Low for at least 15-20 minutes.

Serves 6-8
Happy Feasting!


Welcome to 4 the love of feasting!

If I had to pick one word (well, maybe two words) that my friends might use to describe me I would have to say "food lover". Growing up in a family of people who love celebrating food, I have gained a passion for cooking, entertaining & feasting! I love scouring other blogs & websites for new recipes, collecting recipes from friends as well as attempting to invent my own. Nothing makes me happier than delicious food with good vino and great company!

I hope that this blog will be a great resource for delicious and simple food whether you're cooking for one or ten!

So friends, I give you 4 the love of feasting! Happy Feasting!