Fall is around the corner and that means it's soup and chili season! If you are looking for a lighter chili or just want to eliminate meat, this vegetarian butternut squash chili is the way to go!
Well ladies, the time has come. Football season is here. We have our checklists ready: stock up on team gear, tally up those that have put their dibs in on game tickets, collaborate on tailgates. All seems complete. Well except for one thing, how can I finally fulfill the promise I have made to myself year in and year out: to not spend any money on concessions! WAGS, the temptation is real. 1,000 calories later all intentions of standing your ground against the buttery aroma of popcorn and candy packs mysteriously floating down the aisle, have gone out the window. Guilty as charged. Well played stadium, well played.
I don't know about you ladies, but I am ready to come out of the season with a "W." Me: 20 Concessions: 0. (Okay realistically maybe 12:8 but who's counting?) So how do we do that with a margarita outside of every tunnel and friends saying "I'm hungry, you want some pizza?" Well, since you guys know I love lists, I'm here with another one to help you swerve those bad boys and come out of the game with a W regardless of the game score!
- EAT BEFORE HAND: I know many of us might do this already but, it is all about the timing. Whether you are eating at the WAGS tailgates or at home with the family, try to eat as close to game time as possible. You know your body, so time your meals out so that you are ready to eat something before kickoff. This helps to make sure you aren't hurtin' with hunger come halftime.
- FIND THE FAMILY ROOM: In some NFL stadiums you may have access to a family room as a WAG and if not you should suggest to the team's women's association leader to push to get one. In the family room you can typically find fruit and vegetable platters, waters and sometimes even sandwiches- all the things that can help you satisfy a food craving without going over the top on calories or having to spend money! Ask around to find out what perks you get as a WAG because there are plenty to be found, believe me.
- STASH A PACK OF TRAIL MIX: The stadium bag policy is that you have to have either a small wallet/clutch or that all items need to be placed in clear bag (check your stadium website for more info prior to showing up.) HOWEVER, I have found that when I bring my clear bag security does not go through every small pouch within that bag. So with that being said; if you can find a place to tuck in a small pouch of trail mix (almonds are known for their appetite suppressing effects) or another snack you may be able to beat the hunger until the game is over! (Disclaimer: I cannot promise they won't ever find your snack stash and make you throw it away lol.)
- CALM DOWN: In some people, stress and emotion can trigger "hunger." If you know that you are an emotional eater, anytime that you begin to feel hungry try to ask yourself "would I eat an apple right now?" If your answer is "no, I want some ice cream," then it is likely that you are not actually hungry but instead dealing with a food craving possibly due to emotion. Ladies, it is an emotional game...know the difference between emotional hunger and actual physical hunger.
- AVOID THE GUM: Studies have shown that gum (in particularly those with aspartame as a sweetener) may increase hunger. Personally, I used to believe that gum did the exact opposite so I would chew a piece when I felt the hunger coming on. Unfortunately, it only made it WORSE! So, do not.... I repeat DO NOT... start chomping on gum when you feel a little craving or you just might find yourself at the concessions counter 15 minutes later.
Lets go get those W's this season ladies!
I just got back from London, but before I left, I was able to prepare a brand new recipe for y'all! I finally discovered all the vast possibilities of puff pastry. It comes packaged in these neat sheets, bakes quickly, and turns the most simple of appetizers into something impressive. I first discovered this recipe when I needed to come up with a potluck dish in a hurry. I was running out of time but I opened my freezer and found frozen spinach and a couple sheets of puff pastry. I based the filling off of my beloved spinach dip and was able to make 24 bite size appetizers in about half an hour.
- 2 Sheets of Puff Pastry
- 1 package of chopped frozen spinach, thawed
- 1/4 C of Feta
- 1/2 C Mozzarella Cheese, Shredded
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 4 oz cream cheese, softened
- 1 egg, beaten (for brushing on top)
- 1 tbs butter, to grease the muffin tips
1.Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2. Let the puff pastry sheets thaw and spread them out on a floured surface.
3. Once thawed, cut each sheet into 12 sections.
4. Grease mini muffin pan generously.
5. Gently press sectioned puff pastry into muffin pan. There will be some hanging out of the cup but we will use that to seal them up. (See photo above for reference)
4. In a bowl, mix all the ingredients till combined well.
5. Use a cookie scoop or a spoon and place a dollop of the filling in each pastry square. Pinch all the corners together in the middle and brush the tops lightly with the egg wash.
6. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or till golden brown.
These can be prepared ahead of time! Just keep them in the fridge until you're ready to bake them.
One my favorite times with my husband is lunch together on his day off. We either go out for a day date or I prepare something at home and we binge-watch Netflix. With the weather cooling down, it’s finally soup season! One of my favorite lunch combos is tomato soup and grilled cheese. My tomato soup is smooth, creamy, and topped with fresh basil and parmesan cheese. There is also the fun addition of a little orzo pasta for texture. If I wasn’t an adult, I would live off of grilled cheese! I prefer the white bread version of my childhood but I class it up a little now, and use fresh sourdough, garlic butter, and thick slices of cheddar cheese.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ½ C onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Carton of Pomi Strained Tomatoes (26 oz.)
- 1 can can vegetable broth
- 2 tsp of brown sugar
- ¼ C fresh basil, chopped
- ½ C of Half and half or heavy cream
- 1 C of orzo pasta, cooked
- Dash of crushed red pepper flakes
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- fresh oregano (optional)
- ¼ C of parmesan cheese, grated
- additional chopped basil, for garnish
- Prepare 1 cup of orzo according to the package. Drain and set aside.
- In a large stock pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Saute the onions and garlic till translucent, about 5 minutes. DO NOT BURN THE GARLIC.
- Add the box of tomatoes and vegetable broth. Stir in brown sugar, basil, salt, and pepper. (add the oregano here if using)
- Let simmer for 15-20 minutes on med-low heat. If you would like a smoother consistency, use an immersion blender now. If you don’t have an immersion blender, use a regular upright blender in batches.
- stir in the cream and orzo until well combined.
- Top with additional basil and a little grated parmesan
Serve with a warm grilled cheese, Enjoy!
I use pomi boxed tomatoes because they seem to be less acidic. If those aren’t available, don’t worry! Use canned tomatoes and increase the brown sugar and let simmer a little longer.
If you need to make a larger quantity, just double the recipe
It you want to freeze this recipe, do so before adding the cream.
Substitute the cream for 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
Make sure you follow me on Twitter @newmrsallen and Instagram @thenewmrsallen
Football season is here! This means a few things:
- I am busy every Sunday until some time in January (or February!)
- I will host at least 10-20 people in my home during that 5 month span.
- They will undoubtedly be hungry.
One of my duties is to feed these people. What can I possible make that's easy and can be done ahead of time, tasty, and requires minimal clean up? That’s where this Godsend of a recipe comes in! It can be prepped the night before and all you have to do is pop it in the oven for about 45 minutes (and you look like the most gracious host ever)!
I found this beautiful loaf of white chocolate, coconut sourdough bread at the Farmer’s Market that just added such a unique flavor to this dish. Don’t worry though, it is equally delicious with regular sourdough or even french bread!
- 1 Loaf of Sourdough Bread, French Bread, or Texas Toast
- 8 eggs
- 2 Cups of Milk (I used 2%)
- 1/2 cup of Half and Half
- 1/2 cup Sugar*
- 1/2 cup Brown Sugar*
- 2 Tablespoons Vanilla Extract
- 1/2 cup Flour
- 1/2 cup Firmly Packed Brown Sugar
- 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon Salt
- ½ cup of shredded coconut
- ¼ cup of pecan pieces
- 1 stick Cold Butter, Cut Into Pieces
Warm Syrup, For Serving
Butter, For Serving
* If you find a loaf of specialty bread, use half of the sugar recommended
So my husband is from the Southside of Chicago. Some of the best food I have ever eaten has come from the Southside of Chicago. That being said, I am always down for a trip to Ain’t She Sweet Cafe located in the Bronzeville neighborhood. They serve a Caribbean Jerk Chicken Wrap that can’t be touched. It’s full of warm marinated chicken breast, cool crisp lettuce, and a “zesty” Jerk Sauce. In an attempt to satisfy my craving for this wrap, I had to find something similar that could tide me over in the mean time. Enter Jerk Chicken Tacos.
This recipe is one of our favorites because it’s a beautiful combination of spicy, sweet, and it can be done in the slow cooker! That means it can be prepared before the game and when you get back, your house smells amazing and dinner is practically ready. The mango salsa is necessary but I suggest you prepare it fresh, as it only takes about 10 minutes to do.
Once again, you are impressing your guests while barely spending half an hour in the kitchen! For the sake of time and ease, I used a prepared Jerk seasoning and jazzed it up a bit. You are more than welcome to find a blender marinade but this one passed my husband’s seal of approval and I was able to get everything done before the baby started crying! That’s what matters the most right?
- 1 ½ pounds of chicken breast*
- 3 Tbsp of Jerk Seasoning
- 3 large cloves of garlic, crushed
- Juice of half a lime
- Juice of half an orange
- 2 Tbsp of brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon of cilantro, chopped
- salt + black pepper, to taste
- 1 mango, cubed; about 1 Cup
- 1 avocado, diced
- ½ a red onion, diced; about ½ Cup
- cilantro, chopped
- Juice of half a lime
- salt + black pepper, to taste
- corn tortillas
- extra cilantro for serving
- limes for serving
- In a small bowl, mix the jerk seasoning, crushed garlic, and brown sugar together. Coat the chicken breast.
- Add the chicken to the slow cooker and squeeze lime juice and orange juice over the top. Add the crushed cilantro.
- Cover with the lid and cook on high for 2 ½ hours or low for 5 hours.
- The chicken should start to fall apart. Take two forks to shred the remaining pieces.
- Remove the chicken from the slow cooker and discard half of the remaining liquid. Replace the chicken to keep it moist.
Serve on grilled corn tortillas topped with plenty of mango salsa, lime wedges, additional cilantro.
Mix all the prepared ingredients in a bowl. squeeze lime juice over the top and give it a stir. Add salt and pepper to your liking. Serve immediately.
*If serving more than 4, use three pounds of chicken and double all the ingredients