Pea Rangoons Appetizer with Blueberry Chutney

I’m absolutely OBSESSED with these pea rangoons! I know, pea rangoons? What’s the deal, McBooty? Bear with me.

I was feeling inspired the other day so I threw some ingredients together, cast my spell (“Double, double, toil and trouble!”) and popped my creations into the oven. To my surprise, these turned out to be tasty little morsels – perfect for an appetizer! This was one of those magical cooking moments that only exists in folklore. Okay, not really, but these pea rangoons are absolutely addicting – you’ve been warned!

I felt capable of anything. If my magical powers could create such an appetizer masterpiece, what else could I do? My thoughts reeled… I could end world hunger or help nations around the world find peace. Or I could create a sauce to dip these pea rangoons into. Baby steps, right?

First, I whipped up an Asian dumpling sauce (soy, vinegar, garlic, etc.) to dip these little guys in. The dumpling sauce ranked 3 out of 5 in my book – good, but not good enough. Then I blended up some buttery, lemony Hollandaise sauce because frankly, Hollandaise sauce tastes good on everything, right? FALSE! Hollandaise received a 1 out of 5 for these dumplings. Hmm… the wheels continued turning and then it hit me. {BAM!}  Spicy, fruity chutney.  Wait a second McBooty, fruit with peas? I don’t know about that combination, you’re weird. Trust me, in some absolutely wacky (and delicious) way, it works.

Try these for yourself and you might become a believer too. These are great for any get together where you want to impress your guests with your refined palate and cooking skills (yet these are very easy to make). Tell me your thoughts in the comments below.

I included a recipe to make your own blueberry chutney, but I used store-bought chutney (and it works just as well!)

Pea Rangoons with Blueberry Chutney

Pea Rangoons with Blueberry Chutney


    ---For the Pea Dumplings
  • Nonstick olive oil cooking spray
  • 2 cups cooked green peas, lightly mashed
  • 1 small shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan
  • zest of one large lemon
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 32 wonton wrappers
  • ---For the Blueberry Chutney
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 cup minced onion
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger root or 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup dried blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 cinnamon stick or 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice


    ---For the Pea Dumplings
  1. Saute the shallot in a bit of olive oil until transparent and fragrant. Remove from heat.
  2. Add the peas, cooked shallots, salt, garlic, Parmesan and lemon zest to a food processor and blend together. Plop the mixture into a large bowl and fold in the ricotta. Taste and add more salt or lemon for added brightness.
  3. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F and lightly grease a baking sheet with olive oil cooking spray.
  4. Set up your wonton assembly line; lay out five or six wonton wrappers on a clean counter top and keep a tiny bowl of water handy. Drop a teaspoon of filling into the center of each wonton wrapper. Fold the wontons however you wish, using the water as a "glue" to seal all of the edges. I lined one corner of each wonton wrapper with a bit of water, folded the wrapper in half and pressed the edges together. Then I folded each remaining side across the plump pea filling so it resembled an open envelope. Seal with a bit more water.
  5. Rub each dumpling with a bit of olive oil and arrange them in a single layer on your baking sheet (you can heavily spray them with the olive oil cooking spray too) and bake them for 4 minutes. At the 4 minute mark, flip them over and bake for another 3-4 minutes, until golden brown and crispy.
  6. ---For the Blueberry Chutney
  7. Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Boil 1 minute and remove cinnamon stick. Cool completely, place in tightly sealed containers and refrigerate for up to 3 weeks (or freeze).

This is an original Foodie McBooty recipe.

Savory Pumpkin Ravioli {Vegetarian}

 savory pumpkin ravioli

Homemade pasta of any kind (especially ravioli) can be very intimidating to make. This recipe may sound complicated at first, but if you plan ahead and grab another pair of hands, homemade ravioli is well worth the hard work. Keep in mind that you can always freeze a good portion of these to easily pop into boiling water on those nights where standing in the kitchen is not on your TO DO list. Easy peasy.

If you haven’t made ravioli at home before, here are a few tips:

1.  It takes a lot of love to make homemade pasta (i.e. patience, elbow grease, a glass of wine, maybe a great album)

2.  You don’t need a pasta roller or a ravioli cutter to make ravioli (we used a rolling pin and one of our favorite Avery glasses to make these)

homemade ravioli

3. This is a project best made with a loved one. What better time to bond?

We stuffed our ravioli bites with a savory pumpkin filling because, well, we love pumpkin and it’s fall! What more can I say? Other than this pumpkin filling is to die for. I may or may not have licked my plate when I finished my portion. This is definitely a new favorite autumn recipe in our household!

If you’re looking for a shortcut and don’t feel like rolling out your own pasta dough, try using wonton wrappers instead. You definitely save on the hard labor. The only trade-off is there is less chew to your ‘pasta.’ But in a bind, I bet everyone will be too busy gobbling up your ravioli that nobody will notice the difference. Your secret is safe with me.

Savory Pumpkin Ravioli

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 2 hours

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 10 minutes

Yields: About 6 servings

Serving Size: 9 raviolis and 2 tablespoons sauce

Calories per serving: 670 calories

Fat per serving: 47g

Savory Pumpkin Ravioli


    For the Pasta:
  • 2-1/2 to 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 egg (separately), lightly beaten
  • For the Filling:
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 4 teaspoons chopped shallot
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/3 cup butter, cubed
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh sage (or 1 teaspoon dried sage)
  • 3/4 teaspoon minced fresh thyme (or 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup parmesan/romano blend cheese
  • 1 small bay leaf, whole
  • For the Sauce:
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh sage (or 1 teaspoon dried sage)


  1. Place 2-1/2 cups flour in a large bowl; make a well in the center. Beat eggs and oil; pour into well. Stir together, forming a ball. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 8-10 minutes, adding remaining flour if necessary to keep dough from sticking. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute pumpkin, shallot and garlic in butter until tender. Add the sage, thyme, salt and pepper. Transfer to a food processor; cover and process until blended. Return to the pan; stir in cream, cheese and bay leaf. Bring to a high heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes or until thickened. Discard bay leaf.
  3. Divide pasta dough into fourths; roll one portion as thin as you can (1/16-in. thickness). (Keep remaining dough covered until ready to use.) Cut circles of pasta by using a ravioli cutter or a small glass. Place a teaspoon of filling in the middle of a pasta circle then brush around filling with beaten egg. Place another pasta circle over the filling and press down firmly to seal. Repeat with remaining dough and filling.
  4. Bring a stock pot of salted water to a boil. Add ravioli. Reduce heat to a gentle simmer; cook for 1-2 minutes or until ravioli float to the top and are tender. Drain and keep warm.
  5. In a small saucepan, bring cream to a boil; cook, uncovered, until reduced by half. Stir in butter and sage. Serve with ravioli.


If you wish to freeze any extra ravioli, lay completed ravioli in single lines on a floured cookie sheet and set in the freezer for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, store the ravioli in a freezer bag for up to 3 months. When you are ready to cook these, pop them into salted boiling water just as you would if they were fresh. They are cooked when they float to the top of the water.

Recipe adapted from Taste of Home.

Green Bean and Corn Salad {Vegan}

This time of year is always busy. So many weddings, BBQs, birthday parties, and of course, work (work, work, work, work). Come the weekend, all I want to do is sleep in, wake up to birds chirping and a strong cup of coffee, and shop locally at our farmer’s market. In Wisconsin, we currently have a plethora of carrots, cucumbers, squash, zucchini, potatoes, and of course, green beans.


Green beans and wax beans as far as the eye can see. $3 for how many beans? Um, done. Goodness, I love summer.

Minus the mosquitos.

Anywho, beans don’t always have to mean a casserole. Honestly, on hot summer days casserole is the last thing on my mind. So a green bean salad it is!


The fresh beans are amazing, but the real star of this dish is the vinaigrette. It’s extremely flavorful and makes the vegetables shine. Perfect for these hot, lazy, summer daze.


Green Bean and Corn Salad

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yields: 6 servings

Serving Size: 1 cup


  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound green beans, stem ends trimmed
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil, julianned
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste


  1. Combine minced shallot, oil, vinegar and salt in a mason jar and set aside.
  2. Bring several inches of water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add beans. Boil until the beans are bright green and crisp-tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the beans from the saucepan and submerge in an ice bath. Shake dry and place on a platter.
  3. Spread the corn on top of the beans. Shake the dressing to blend and drizzle it over the vegetables. Top with fresh basil and pepper. Serve at room temperature or cold.


Recipe adapted from

Citrusy Corn and Zucchini Pasta Salad


During hot summer months, I try not to spend too much time cooking over a frying pan or near a hot oven. My body craves meals that can be served at room temperature or cold. So even though there is some “hot” work involved with pasta salad, this is perfect to whip up and enjoy later in the day after it has had time to chill.

It’s also time for the corn and zucchini harvest, so this pasta salad is light, fresh, and in-season. All good things in my book!

This recipe is very easy to throw together. It’s great as a meatless meal, a side dish, or served with rotisserie chicken for a more robust entree. This keeps well at room temperature so you can bring this to BBQs as well, especially if you use vegan mayonnaise, like we did.

Note, we are not vegans we but prefer the taste of vegenaise.

Citrusy Corn and Zucchini Pasta Salad


  • 3 ears of corn, kernels cut off
  • 1 pound small zucchini, quartered
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 1/2 pound mini bowtie pasta
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise (we used veganaise)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ancho chile powder
  • 10 or so cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 ounces fresh goat cheese, frozen


  1. In a large bowl, toss the corn and zucchini with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a large frying pan over medium heat. Saute for four to five minutes, until the zucchini browns slightly. Add shallot and cook for another minute. Pour vegetable mixture back into your large bowl and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the pasta until al dente. Drain and rinse under cold water to cool. Drain well and pour into same large bowl.
  3. In a liquid measuring cup, whisk the mayonnaise with the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil and the lime juice, chile powder; season with salt and pepper. Add the pasta, corn, zucchini, tomatoes and mix well. Transfer to a serving bowl or individual bowls. Using a vegetable peeler or carefully with a knife, shave the frozen goat cheese all over the top and enjoy at room temperature or chilled.

Vegan Pepperoni Mac and Cheese


I don’t often eat vegan, but when I do I’m usually very happy with that decision. My brain and my body feel good. But once in awhile I have to eat something that satisfies that craving for comfort food. I admit, I feel less guilty for eating such a comforting dish when it is vegan. Does that make me a terrible person? I could eat a pound of deep-fried tofu and probably feel okay with that.

Oh, so you’re one of THOSE foodies. 

Don’t judge me.

I tried some new products today.


  1. Go Veggie! Mozzarella Flavor Shreds
  2. Yves Veggie Pepperoni

Let’s start with the mozzarella cheese shreds. The flavor was surprisingly good and the “cheese” melts like normal cheese! I was able to create a successful cheese sauce with this. Highly recommended. I’ll buy this again. I’m especially excited to try to make a vegan pizza with these shreds. Gonna shred on some shreds, yo.

What am I talking about? Who knows.

On to the co-star of the show: The pepperoni. By itself, the flavor of this pepperoni is not my favorite. I realize this is fake meat, but I was hoping this would taste a little closer to pepperoni. But who eats pepperoni by itself? When you use this in combination with the Go Veggie! cheese, brown rice pasta, and sauce, it’s pretty darn good! Each bite of this dish had a great cheesy, mouth feel. Plus you got a nice bit of spice from the pepperoni.


This is something I will definitely make again and again.

…and again.

Vegan Pepperoni Mac and Cheese

Yields: 6-8 servings


  • 1 pound brown rice macaroni
  • 3 Tablespoon vegan butter spread
  • 4 Tablespoon plain flour
  • 2 1/2 cups soy or plain almond milk
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 3 Tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 cup grated vegan cheese (I used mozzarella but I like a blend of mozz and cheddar)
  • 1/4 cup vegan pepperoni, chopped
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Boil the macaroni according to the package instructions while you make the sauce.
  2. Melt the butter in a medium pan over medium low heat. Add the flour and whisk, constantly stirring for 1-2 minutes. Your roux should resemble a thick paste. Add the milk in 1/2 cup increments, whisking well after each addition to form a thick but smooth sauce. Add the nutritional yeast, garlic, onion, mustard, paprika, tomato paste, and vegan cheese and whisk until everything is melted together and smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add more milk if the sauce becomes too thick.
  3. Drain the pasta and return it to its pot. Add the cheese sauce to the pasta. Fold the sauce into the pasta until each piece is coated and then fold in the pepperoni. Serve hot.

This recipe was inspired by Floral Frosting. Check this page out. Great recipes!


Butternut Squash Lasagna with Spinach and Mushrooms {Vegetarian}


Sadly, I think my photography skills are getting worse. I don’t have my food photo area set up anymore after I’ve moved. I’m still in a temporary living situation so that wont change anytime soon. Plus, I have a tendency to want to inhale anything I spend hours cooking, so by the time I get to the photo session I get impatient, snap a few shots, and satisfy my primal urges.


Besides the high contrast photos, life has been good. I’ve been participating in a 31 Days of Horror (movie) Challenge. So far I’ve been able to watch 9 movies in 11 days. I have a little catching up to do, but I did discover a new favorite series, Dead Snow. Bask in its glory.

If you’re a fan of Evil Dead or Dead Alive, you need to watch Dead Snow and Dead Snow 2! So many fun references, great humor, and even better Nazi zombie gore scenes. Foodie McBooty gives these two thumbs up!


Okay, back to the food. Every fall pumpkin and squash everything seems to appear everywhere (lattes, shakes, spaghetti, ravioli) come out of the woodwork (along with all of the creepy crawlies), and I love it!! I’m definitely one of those people who takes full advantage while she can. My apologies to anybody around me who has to deal with my (slight) addiction, but if I see a pumpkin or squash related item on a menu, I’m most likely ordering it.

This is a recipe I’ve made before but haven’t posted until today. I added mushrooms to my lasagna this time because I picked some up at the farmer’s market last weekend. I have to warn you now, as this lasagna bakes in the oven you might go a little crazy. The smell of warm butternut squash, garlicky spinach, and bubbling, browning cheese might drive you nuts. Or at least, it drives me nutty, which is why by the time I pull this out of the oven, I can’t take any decent pictures. Everything goes dark and before I know it, I’ve eaten half of the pan of lasagna and I have crummy pictures on my camera.

I regret nothing.

Butternut Squash Lasagna with Spinach and Mushrooms {Vegetarian}

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 50 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yields: 8 servings


    Butternut Squash Filling:
  • 2 cups butternut squash puree (1 medium cooked squash or frozen works in a bind)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup milk (more, if needed)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 ground nutmeg
  • Spinach Filling:
  • 1 pound spinach, washed and stems trimmed
  • 6-ounces of your favorite mushroom, washed and diced (I used oyster, but white or cremini would work great too)
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt and pepper
  • Olive oil, for cooking
  • Other Ingredients:
  • 10 oz lasagna noodles, cooked or oven-ready
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Italian seasoning


    Prepare the Butternut Squash Filling
  1. Cut the end of the butternut squash off, cut the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Place squash in a microwave safe container and add 2 teaspoons of water. Cover and microwave 6 minutes on high (you can also roast your squash in the oven if you have the time). Scoop out the cooked squash and place in a food processor. Add the thyme, ricotta cheese, milk, salt and nutmeg and blend until smooth. Add more milk if the mixture is too thick.
  2. For the Spinach Filling
  3. Heat olive oil in a medium-size pan over medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent, stirring occasionally. Add the mushrooms, toss, and season with salt and pepper. You may need to add more olive oil as mushrooms tend to absorb a lot of liquid. Cook until the mushrooms are browned or cook down a bit, about 5 minutes. Add the spinach and toss until wilty, 1-2 minutes. Lastly, add the minced garlic and stir almost continuously until fragrant. Put the mixture into a medium bowl and add the ricotta and mozzarella cheese while the mixture is still hot. Set aside.
  4. Assemble the Lasagna
  5. Heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease a 11 inches x 8.5 inches x 3 inches dish with butter or non-stick spray.
  6. Spread about a 1/3 of the butternut squash filling on the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle lightly with mozzarella cheese. Top with cooked or oven-ready lasagna noodles, being careful not to overlap them.
  7. Spread half of the spinach mixture over the noodles. Top lightly with mozzarella cheese. Top with cooked noodles.
  8. Spread another layer (1/3) of butternut squash mixture, then sprinkle lightly with Mozzarella cheese. Top with cooked noodles.
  9. Spread the remaining half of spinach filling over the noodles. Top lightly with Mozzarella cheese. Top with the final layer of cooked noodles.
  10. Spread the last layer (1/3) of butternut squash filling over this final layer of noodles, sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese (should be about 1/2 cup of mozzarella). Generously sprinkle the cheese with Italian seasoning.
  11. Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the cover and bake for an additional 10 minutes until the top is golden and bubbly.

Grilled Cheese with Cauliflower “Bread”

Good day to you fine people! I mean, how can a day NOT be fine with this beauty?


I have to admit, I have a slight obsession with cauliflower as of late. As you know, I love, love, love my Cauliflower Crust Pizza, I have been roasting cauliflower for side dishes like nobody’s business, and now I’ve arguably taken cauliflower too far. I’m not sure, all I know is that I might be due for an intervention.

You’ll have to pry this grilled cheese out of my cold dead hands first!

For all of you people who want to cut down on your intake of bread (and in my case, sugar) and add an extra serving of vegetables to your diet, this “bread” is a great substitute!


The key to this recipe? Make sure your cauliflower is DRY. Dry as a bone. Dry as an old woman’s… handbag. Dry, dry, dry! If your cauliflower is too moist (I really dislike that word btw), your “bread” slices will turn out mushy. So try to practice some patience with this step. This is very important!

The end result turns out surprisingly bready! You still get your crispy satisfaction of bread in your grilled cheese, but with cauliflower instead.


If you don’t like cauliflower, you wont like this recipe. The amount of cheese or even the act of grilling in delicious butter doesn’t hide the flavor of cauliflower. But if you like cauliflower, you have to try this!

Disclaimer: If you get addicted, don’t blame me. Just please bring me with you to your addict meetings.

Grilled Cheese with Cauliflower “Bread”

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yields: 2 grilled cheese sandwiches

Grilled Cheese with Cauliflower “Bread”


    Cauliflower crust “bread” slices
  • 1 small head cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Grilled cheese
  • 1 tablespoon butter, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded


    Cauliflower Bread
  1. Preheat oven to 450°F and place a rack in the middle.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and liberally grease it with olive oil. Set aside.
  3. In a food processor rice the uncooked cauliflower florets (it should be evenly chopped but not completely pulverized).
  4. Transfer cauliflower rice (about 3 cups) to a microwave-safe dish and microwave on high for 8 minutes, no water, until cooked.
  5. Place the cauliflower rice in a tea towel and twist it to squeeze as much moisture as you can (I squeezed out over a cup of liquid). Lay out on a flat surface for five additional minutes. Then squeeze out excess liquid again.
  6. Transfer the cauliflower rice to a mixing bowl, add egg, mozzarella, salt, pepper and mix well.
  7. Grab some of the cauliflower mixture and spread onto the lined baking sheet. Shape into 4 equal squares.
  8. Place in the oven and bake for 16-18 minutes until golden.
  9. Remove and let cool 10 minutes before peeling them off the parchment paper.
  10. Grilled Cheese with Cauliflower Bread
  11. Heat a frying pan over medium heat. Butter one side of each slice of cauliflower crust bread.
  12. Place one slice of bread in the pan, buttered side down, sprinkle with the cheese and top with the remaining slice of cauliflower crust bread, buttered side up. Cook until golden brown, about 2 to 4 minutes. Gently flip and cook until golden brown on the other side, about 2 to 4 minutes.

Polish Pickle Soup (Zupa Ogorkowa) {Vegetarian}

pickle soup

Attention pickle lovers – you MUST try Pickle Soup!!

I am 50% Polish and 50% Filipino. Probably haven’t heard of that one before, huh? My unique heritage could explain why I love so many different types of food (or maybe I just like to eat good food?) Every time I visit my family in Wisconsin I have to indulge in the local European cuisine. The same goes with my Filipino family in California… lumpia and pancit all the way. Today, my Polish heritage won out.

The process of pickling has been used to preserve foods for decades. In Poland and other parts of Eastern Europe, pickled baby cucumbers in hot broth was the winter counterpart to the summer offering of cold cucumber soup. Fun fact for the day. So pickle soup might sound weird to us, but it’s a big dish in Eastern Europe.

When I first tried this soup, one spoonful in and BLAMMO!!! I was hooked. This recipe may not have started in my family, but I will pass it on to my friends and family! It’s so stinkin’ good!

Because soup is very easy to make, you have no excuse NOT to make this. My recipe uses a cream base where others use a tomato base. You could also make this soup vegetarian by using vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. This is a good base recipe to work off of. I add carrots and celery to the broth when I have them on hand too. It’s a poor man’s soup, so anything goes really! Make it your own, just don’t forget the pickles!

Polish Dill Pickle Soup (Zupa Ogorkowa)

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yields: 6 servings

Polish Dill Pickle Soup (Zupa Ogorkowa)


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 8 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock
  • 3-4 dill pickles (about 1 cup), finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup liquid from pickle jar
  • 2 large russet potatoes (about a pound), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 rib celery, diced
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon dill
  • 1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Add olive oil and melt butter in a large stock pot over medium heat. Saute onion and garlic until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the flour and stir the thick mixture constantly for 2 minutes.
  2. Add broth, potatoes and veggies. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Test and add salt and pepper, to taste.
  3. In a small bowl, temper sour cream mixture with a little hot soup and whisk together. Pour the sour cream into the hot soup, whisking until combined. Reduce heat to low and simmer until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Add dill, old bay, pickle liquid and pickles. Adjust seasoning if necessary. The soup can be left chunky or pureed to a velvety consistency. Serve immediately with your favorite crusty bread or croutons.

Cheesy Polenta with Garlicky Spinach & Runny Egg

polenta cheesy spinach egg

Hello blog buddies,

2015 has already been such a busy year!  It’s amazing how little the weather affects life here in Colorado.  When there is snow, the people will play!  When it’s warm and the sun is shining, which is almost every day, Coloradans are outside and enjoying the outdoors.  I love being surrounded by people and places that are always hustling and bustling.

This is going to be a big year in regards to travel.  We were already saving up for a trip to London but now two friends have announced their wedding dates and we have an opportunity to visit family in Florida on the “cheap.”   That’s a lot of travel in one year for us (and a lot of $$$$ too)!  I’ve had an itch for awhile to travel internationally, but with everything else that is going, we are really going to have to pinch our pennies to make that happen.

Queue Salt-N-Pepa: “Puh-pinch ’em real good!”

Doing my best to prepare, I have been budgeting and saying no to things I want to do on the regular.  I know I need to nitpick and prioritize if I want to make every single one of my travel goals this year.  I plan to make more meals at home and eat the leftovers for lunch for as long as they last.  I will have to get creative with pantry ingredients too – like our very own series of Chopped!  This Cheesy Polenta dish is definitely on the cheap and tastes like a million bucks!

The polenta was super easy to make, just use a whisk and add plenty of liquid to make it smooth.  The Spinach adds a nice garlicky, spicy kick while adding some nutrients too.  And the runny egg on top really adds some richness to bring it all together.  Plus the egg adds some protein to help make this meal last longer.

When in doubt, put an egg on it!

I have always been good at budgeting, but this tight of a budget will be a challenge for me.  No useless shopping, no overspending when I go out for coffee, no nothing…

It’s London (and two weddings and maybe Florida too) or bust!

Wish me luck!

P.S. Sorry about the quality of the photo.  It’s off of my Instagram feed.  My laptop is still fighting with my camera. I’ve put them both in a time-out so here’s hoping that changes something.

Cheesy Polenta with Garlicky Spinach and Runny Egg

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yields: 2 servings


  • 1/2 cup cornmeal and 2 cups water (or 1-lb pre made polenta)
  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cups fresh spinach or 1 cup frozen spinach, drained and roughly chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes (or to taste)
  • 2 eggs
  • Romano or Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • 1/2 cup corn kernels (optional)
  • salt and pepper


  1. Prepare the polenta: Bring the water and salt to a boil in a medium-side pot, then turn the heat down to low and slowly pour in the polenta while stirring briskly with a wooden spoon or whisk (stirring while pouring is crutial to keep the polenta creamy and smooth - no lumps!) Once the cornmeal becomes smooth and thick, place a lid on the pot with the spoon still in it so the steam can escape. Allow to cook for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Meanwhile, add a bit of olive oil to a pan on medium heat. Add the garlic and chili flakes. Let them cook until you can smell them, about 1 minute. Add spinach and toss. Allow to cook for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the spinach is wilted. Drain and place contents into a bowl. Cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.
  3. Wipe the spinach pan with a paper towel and add a bit of olive oil then put it back on medium heat. Crack the two eggs into the pan and cover with a lid. This will steam them, making sunny-side-up eggs with fully cooked whites. You can also flip if you'd prefer over-easy eggs.
  4. Add some romano and lots of salt and pepper to the polenta (to taste). Add the corn now if you are using it. Heat until the cheese is melted and scoop the polenta into a pair of bowls. Divide the spinach evenly between the two bowls and add an egg to each too. Enjoy!


Recipe adapted from Good and Cheap:

Crispy Quinoa Burgers

quinoa burger

Blog warning:  This post is filled with extreme excitement.  Only food lovers should continue.

I am a huge veggie burger fan.  From Gardenburgers, to homemade Black Bean Burgers, I love veggie burgers of all shapes and sizes.  I have eaten many veggie burgers in my day, too many to count, but this quinoa burger takes the cake.

I have to say, I’ve made many dishes that I have enjoyed. Heck, I love food so that’s not too difficult to understand, but to be honest, I haven’t been this passionate about a meal in quite awhile.

Until now!

quinoa burger

I’ve absolutely fallen in love with this crispy quinoa burger!!  The combination of the sweet and tangy beer caramelized onions, gooey swiss cheese, runny egg and crunchy potato chips is extremely messy and completely SATISFYING!  This is a burger that even a meat-eater will love.
This is definitely my new ‘go to’ when I am craving something comforting and vegetarian.

SO YUMMY!  The egg comes highly recommended but whatever you do, don’t skimp on the potato chips.  This burger needs that extra crunch!!  Call these burgers QuinWOW burgers.

QuinWOW Burgers with Beer Caramelized Onions and Swiss

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yields: 4-5 Burgers

Serving Size: 1 Burger


    Quinoa Burgers
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa (cooking your quinoa in vegetable broth will add a TON of flavor!)
  • 1 cup cannellini beans, mashed
  • 1/2 cup diced mushrooms, cooked (I used baby bellas)
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chile powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 of your favorite burger buns (I used brioche), toasted
  • 4 eggs cooked to your liking, optional but highly recommended
  • Potato chips, plain or salt and pepper chips are recommended
  • Beer caramelized onions
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 large sweet onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 cup or so beer (I used a lager)


  1. In a bowl combine the quinoa, mashed cannellini beans, mushrooms, bread crumbs, egg, garlic, chile powder, salt and pepper. Mix well to moisten the ingredients and then mix in the shredded cheddar cheese. Mix well again and form into 4 or 5 equal burger patties. Place on a plate and put
  2. Caramelize the onions. Heat a large skillet. Add 1 tablespoon butter over medium-high heat. Add onions and salt and cook for a minute or two, stirring frequently.
  3. At this point you want to slowly add the beer, let it cook into the onions, add more and let it cook. Do this until the 1 cup of beer is gone or the onions are caramelized to your liking and the beer has mostly evaporated. Remove the onions from the skillet and keep warm.
  4. In the same onion skillet add 3-4 tablespoons vegetable oil and heat to medium-high heat. Grab the quinoa burgers and smash them into the pan until they form a patties, about 1/2-inch in thickness. Cook until golden and crisp, about five minutes per side. During the last minute or so of cooking add the swiss cheese, cover the pan and cook 1-2 minutes or until the cheese has melted.
  5. To assemble the burgers, place each burger on a toasted bun, top with equal amounts of caramelized onions, the runny egg and crispy potato chips. Grab some napkins and DEVOUR!


Inspired by:

Mexican Breakfast Casserole {Vegetarian}


Do you ever find yourself with a huge pile of leftover tortillas?  Maybe it’s just me, but I have a tendency to purchase way too many tortillas at the grocery story.  I don’t know why I do this – heck, maybe my subconscious is preparing for a Mexican apocalypse.  At least tortillas are delicious, versatile rounds of flour and lard.  You can use them to make cheesy quesadillas, wrap them around burrito fillings, or fry them up and make a nacho plate or crispy tortilla strips.  You can even replace the bread chunks in your breakfast casserole with tortillas.


Like many breakfast casseroles, I prepared this casserole the night before to allow time for the tortillas to soak up the egg mixture.  The mixture will seem very runny at first, but fear-not my friends, the casserole bakes to light, eggy perfection.  If you don’t want to wait to eat this, I would allow everything to soak for at least a couple of hours before baking.

I used flour tortillas because I prefer them.  I have not tried this recipe with corn tortillas.  Let me know if you do!

With the cold weather lately, casseroles just seem like the perfect meal to warm you up.   ‘Tis the season for casseroles and soups!

Stay warm out there!

Mexican Breakfast Casserole {Vegetarian}

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 8 hours

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 8 hours, 35 minutes

Yields: 6-8 servings

Calories per serving: 345

Fat per serving: 9.6g

Mexican Breakfast Casserole {Vegetarian}


  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup canned corn, rinsed and drained
  • 8 or so large flour tortillas, cut in half
  • 1 cup (4-ounces) shredded Mexican blend or Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 cup low-fat sour cream
  • 1 cup fat-free milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 large egg whites
  • Cooking spray


  1. Combine the salsa, black beans and corn in a bowl. Line 1/3 of the tortillas along the bottom of an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Top with 1/3 cup shredded cheese and 1 cup of the salsa mixture. Repeat these layers (tortillas, cheese, salsa) and top with remaining tortilla strips.
  2. Combine sour cream, milk, salt, pepper and eggs; stir with a whisk. Pour over tortilla strips; sprinkle with 1/3 cup cheese. Cover and chill at least 2 hours or overnight (is best).
  3. Preheat oven to 350°.
  4. Remove dish from refrigerator. Let stand at room temperature 10 minutes. Cover and bake at 350° for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 15 minutes or until lightly browned.
  5. Remove from oven and allow to cool 10 minutes before serving.

Poached Eggs in Salsa


I imaginee folks in the southwest drench their eggs in salsa on a regular basis.  I didn’t attend the egg and salsa flavor-party until much later in life.  We had all sorts of egg dishes when I was growing up, but never anything with so much flavor and heat like salsa.  It seems like such a simple thing, but salsa just wasn’t on our breakfast table.  More and more I have been adding salsa to my breakfasts – spicing things up with salsa on the side… until now.

Recently, the Mister and I attended a holiday food and craft fair.  We sampled everything from fresh peach iced tea, delicious dips, to handmade toffee!  We loved it all, but this El Fuego salsa really hit us in the kisser.  It was so flavorful and fresh, we couldn’t say no and adopted our own container of it to bring home with us.



We really like Eggs in Purgatory in this household, so I figured, why not try to cook eggs in salsa this time around?  Holy mackerel!  I feel like I should have been doing this since the day I learned how to toast a piece of bread.  This meal is so easy, it seems impossible that it tastes so good.  But it does.  And that’s the miracle that cooking is sometimes.  Because the eggs turn out perfectly and we used such a flavorful salsa, I would even serve this as a nice brunch for guests.  Heck, it makes a great weeknight meal too.

Now the key here is to get some pow-kisser salsa.  I’m not necessarily talking heat here.  I’m talking freshness and flavor.  You really don’t want to have a bland salsa.  So find your favorite salsa, add some eggs and enjoy!

Poached Eggs in Salsa

Rating: 51

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yields: Serves 4

Poached Eggs in Salsa


  • 1 jar of your favorite salsa (our favorite has black beans and corn in it too)
  • 4 eggs
  • Toast or warm tortillas, for serving


  1. Heat salsa in a shallow pan over medium heat until it simmers. Make four indentations in the salsa.
  2. Crack the eggs one by one in the indentations. Reduce the heat to low and cover with a tight-fitting lid.
  3. Once the eggs are done cooking, add an egg and a spoonful or two of the tomato sauce into a bowl. Serve hot with toast or warm tortillas.

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