Friday, August 31, 2012

Favorite Things #33 - Rada Cutlery

A few weeks ago I told you about Shun knives and how much I love them. I understand that the knives are very expensive and really don't fit into most people's budgets for a knife. Here is my absolute favorite affordable alternative, Rada Cutlery.

Rada Cutlery - great knives

Picked up this awesome Rada knife for $10
These knives are SHARP and extremely durable. You can get this awesome knife on Amazon for around $9. I first discovered these knives in an Amish community in Western PA and bought a paring knife and a chef's dicer. I bought those knives about 14 years ago and they are still incredibly sharp and have maintained a perfect edge.

What is your favorite bargain item that is just as good or better than the big name brand?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Best Thing I Ever Ate - Spicy Stuff

When I am sick, I don't want chicken noodle soup, I want something with a kick that will get my sinuses flowing and have me sweating by the time the meal is done. My go to meal is Pho from a local place called Noodles Ranch.

If you are not familiar, Pho is a Vietnamese rice noodle soup that comes in all sorts of varieties, you can even get it with tripe, which I have tried and loved. The version I get comes with spicy chili on the side, so I can make it just as hot as I can handle. I like to bring it home and bring it to a boil and poach an egg in it as well.

Pho is the best thing when you are sick.  I poached an egg in mine as it boiled.
If you get a chance, try some Pho!

What is your favorite thing to have when you are not feeling well?

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Simple Crock Pot Kielbasa

Growing up in Western PA I ate a lot of pierogies, sauerkraut and kielbasa. Kielbasa is a smoked sausage and is available in most grocery stores. I was very excited when I saw some Boar's Head kielbasa on 'Managers's Special' at my local store and I snatched it right up.

For this recipe you do not need much at all, just a crock pot and a few ingredients.

Kielbasa, sauerkraut, potatoes and a beer.

Chop up your potatoes into bite sized pieces.

Do the same with your kielbasa.

Simple Crock Pot Kielbasa
Layer in the potatoes, kielbasa and top with sauerkraut then pour the beer over the whole thing. Pop on the lid and let it cook on low for about 6 hours.

Simple Crock Pot Kielbasa
After 6 hours you are ready to eat. You can mash up the potatoes if you want or just serve them as is. This is the ultimate in comfort food for me and reminds me of being a kid. I am glad I was exposed to all kinds of foods when I was younger.

Have you had kielbasa before?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Favorite Things #32 - Corelle

Several years ago I started collecting Pyrex and decided I would not move into the realm of Corelle and Corningware collecting. Well, that didn't really work out and I started to collect Corelle plates. Corelle is seriously amazing stuff, it is virtually unbreakable and comes in so many patterns that it is easy to find in thrift stores for cheap. Just take a look at the discontinued patterns on their site. Go ahead, I will wait...

Did you find some favorites? I have too many to name so when I found out there is a Corelle outlet about 20 miles from my house I was super excited and made plans to go. Here is my haul from the trip.

Happy Days placemat set
I got this awesome placemat, coaster and hot pad set, I should have got more as they were on clearance and cheap.

This pattern is available at Wal*Mart right now, love the red. I like to buy the salad sized plates as they are cheaper and I never really eat enough to fill a full sized dinner plate.

Berries and Leaves

Muse Grey

Spring Pink

Provincial Blue

Spring Blue


The cashier and the lady wrapping the plates were all very curious as to why I was buying all different patterns, I guess I am an oddball. :)

I can't wait to fill these plates with food to share with you guys, and I hope you all have a great weekend.

What are your plans for the weekend?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Best Thing I Ever Ate - Snack Food

One of my favorite snacks ever is popcorn. I have an air popper and every seasoning imaginable. But one combo I have never made at home that is just amazing is this Dichotomy Popcorn from Campbell's Sweets. I have been lucky enough to visit Cleveland's West Side Market while visiting my sister and that is where I found this amazing snack.

Dichotomy Popcorn
I know that the combo of cheese and caramel sounds strange, but trust me, it works. I even have my sister ship it out to me when I get a craving for more. I am sure I could just put a piece of caramel and a piece of cheese popcorn in my mouth, but it just wouldn't be the same. If you are ever in Cleveland you absolutely must visit the West Side Market and be sure to check out Campbell's Sweets.

What is your favorite snack food?

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Hungry Girl's Pizza! Pizza! Egg Mug

First of all, I realize that somewhere along the way I made it so my photos cannot be pinned to pinterest...well I fixed that, so happy pinning :)

I am really liking all of my Hungry Girl cookbooks, this super easy egg recipe comes from her 300 under 300 calories. I have been making variations of it since I first tried this pizza one.

The best part of these egg mugs is there is hardly any thing to clean up after and they take about 5 minutes total.

For this one you will need some egg replacer, turkey or fake pepperoni, tomatoes or pizza sauce, laughing cow cheese, parmesan and some cooking spray.

Chop up your pepperoni.

Measure out your egg. You can also stir the Italian seasoning into the tomatoes if you don't have some pizza sauce on hand.

Now it is time to cook, well, microwave. This is seriously so easy.

egg and cheese
Spray your mug with pam and then pour in the egg. Break up the laughing cow cheese in the mug. You want to be sure you have a decent size mug or bowl because this will expand.

one minute to go
Put the mug in the microwave for one minute.

starting to cook
You can see it is starting to firm up on the outside. Give it a gentle stir and microwave for 30 seconds more.

sauce and pepperoni in
Add in the tomatoes or sauce and the pepperoni and stir. Microwave for another minute. I only did it for another 30 seconds and it just didn't get cooked enough.

Pizza! Pizza! Egg Mug
Seriously, a meal ready in five minutes that is tasty and filling. I have made variations of this with spinach and mozzarella as well. 3 minutes total cooking time seems to be the perfect amount for my microwave. The variations on this are endless so I encourage you to experiment and please report back if you come up with some must try combos.

Have a great week!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Favorite Things #31 - Tortilla Pizzas

When I am really hungry but don't feel like doing a complex recipe I tend to gravitate toward this simple dish, tortilla pizza. It is exactly as the name suggests, a pizza made on a tortilla. I make these in my toaster oven all of the time. I don't have to heat up the house and I don't have a lot of dishes to clean after.

The tortilla pizza below is a little more fancy than my usual, with some chicken sausage and sauteed onion, but I usually just make a simple pizza with cheese and turkey pepperoni. They cook in the 425 degree toaster oven in about 5 minutes.

tortilla pizza with chicken sausage, turkey pepperoni, spinach, onion and garlic

What is your favorite quick and easy meal?

Monday, August 13, 2012

Hungry Girl's In-N-Outrageous Animal-Style Salad

Arizona has been under an excessive heat advisory so the idea of cooking is pretty far from my mind these days. I did put together an awesome salad that Tom even liked based on the In n' Out Animal style menu items. This recipe is from Hungry Girl and is actually a single serving so I had to double it!

Hungry Girl Recipe

You need some romaine, a veggie burger, thousand island dressing, dill pickles, cheese, onion, mustard and tomatoes.

onions and tomatoes chopped
Chop up your onion and tomato.

Chop up your pickle.

salad almost ready
Get the lettuce, tomato and pickle down on the plate.

Cook the onion over medium high heat until almost browned.

delicious bowl of onions
Then get it out of there!

burger patties
Fry up your burger patties in the same pan. If you don't want to use fake burgers try a chicken or turkey burger instead.

fake burgers
Once the burgers are cooked through get them out to a cutting board.

burger in with onions
Chop the burger and get it in the bowl with the onions, stir in the mustard. Top the salad with the burger, cheese and your thousand island dressing and you are ready to eat.

In-N-Outrageous Animal-Style Salad

Tom and I both loved this salad, it was filling and had so many flavors and textures going on. I will definitely be making this one again soon.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Favorite Things #30 - Stello Foods

I think I have mentioned several times on the blog that I am from Western PA. That means that during football season I am cheering for the Steelers, and usually missing home. I was so happy to discover a great site called Stello Foods that carries a wide variety of food, most of which is made in PA. I placed an order and got my items super fast and in perfect condition, and the shipping was not expensive.

stello foods is the best
So now I can make some BBQ chip chopped ham and enjoy some PA hot sauce while I watch the Steelers.

What is your favorite local food from where you are now or where you grew up?

Monday, August 6, 2012

Best Thing I Ever Ate - Fast Food

In Arizona we are fortunate to have a lot of variety in restaurants, including fast food. I know that some of you are going to freak that I didn't choose In n' Out, since so few people can get it where they live. But this is not just about the hamburger, it is about the whole meal. I prefer Five Guys because there is a lot more variety and I like the fries better. Plus, you get to munch on peanuts while you wait for your food. We recently got a Culver's Butter Burger here and it is right up there at the top of the list too, but I am sticking with Five Guys as my favorite if I have to get fast food.

Five guys

What is your favorite fast food place??