Mexi-Lime-Cilantro Rice with Shrimp

Sometimes I run low on ingredients. I know it seems weird if you’ve even seen my shopping lists… but I only go shopping every 2 weeks (Unless I poorly plan and run out of an essential like butter or milk). So, towards the end of the two weeks, if I have been cooking outside of my meal plan… I don’t always have all of the ingredients for my meal plan! AH! That happened last week and I had to go scrounging on pinterest for a recipe that had shrimp and rice… that wasn’t something I’d made a million times. I found this recipe: Cilantro Lime Black Bean Rice and Shrimp . I of course made my alterations and made my own recipe out of it, especially because I have a food blog… you gotta change at least 3 things to make it your own! The plus side? It took me less than 30 minutes to make! Give this one a try, and ENJOY! You can even make it less or more spicy, to your taste. Throw some jalapenos in there if you want!

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Ingredients

Shrimp
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 pound raw, frozen (wild caught) shrimp, peeled and deveined
    • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 fresh cracked pepper
Rice
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/2 cup uncooked basmati rice (depending on how many people you’re going to serve. Adjust according to amount of people you’re cooking for. This is for 4 people. Remember, if you increase amount of rice, also increase amount of water!! 2 parts water to 1 part rice)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice, freshly squeezed + extra
  • 1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed, drained
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped + extra

Remaining Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • 1 ripe avocado diced
  • 1/2 can fire roasted diced tomatoes with green chilis
  • 1/4 chopped sweet onion
  • 1/4 tsp minced garlic
  • diced bell pepper (I used red)
  • 1 TB butter

 

Instructions

Rice
  1. Start this first!! Rinse the rice well either in a bowl or in a mesh colander until the water runs clear. Then put into a rice cooker, or a sauce pan and cook according to directions on package. Once rice is done and completely cooked, pour into a mixing bowl.
  2. Mix in the lime juice, salt and cilantro and set aside.
Shrimp
    1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
    2. Line pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
    3. Drizzle shrimp with olive oil and sprinkle all of the seasonings evenly over the top.
    4. Dollop the butter over the tops of some of the shrimp.
    5. Bake at 400 for 12-15 minutes or until cooked through, circled up tightly and no longer transparent in the middle. (Depending on size of shrimp. I usually use medium to jumbo shrimp).

Rice Skillet Mixture

  1. Add the butter, black beans, onions, diced bell pepepr, and corn into the skillet. Sautee until the onions are translucent and add the salt, pepper, garlic and the 1/2 can of diced tomatoes with green chilis. Pour in the cilantro lime rice and stir to properly combine. Sprinkle in the fresh cilantro and top with the shrimp once cooked. Garnish with more cilantro and a bit of avocado!

ENJOY!!!!

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And now, for the song of the day:

Chop, Dump and Sautee…

I like the kind of dishes that you can make over and over again without a lot of effort or thought. The kinds that you can make with different ingredients, but it’s the same idea. This meal is like that. I’ve made it lots of different ways, but it’s the same main idea… like hash.Days like yesterday where it RAINS ALL DAY, the kids are restless and trying to break everything in your house, just to keep their hands preoccupied (seriously, me finding my little boy every few minutes, with his hands busy doing something he SHOULD NOT) and it takes everything in me to just MAKE DINNER. That was last night. But… I made dinner! I grabbed a bunch of ingredients out of my fridge, chopped them up, dumped them all in the skillet, added some seasonings, and SERVED. That’s it. Done. And Delicious. There’s a few ways to do it too, depending on what meats and ingredients you have! I’ll give you the alternatives in the ingredients list. Get creative with it!

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Ingredients

  • 4-6 chicken tenderloins chopped (You can also use kielbasa, or leftover rotisserie chicken)
  • 2 large carrots diced (you can also use frozen, even mixed veggies if you want!)
  • 1-2 small to medium zucchini cut however you’d like
  • 4 small red potatoes diced (I partially peel them)OR you can use sweet potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 TB butter
  • 1/4 cup white wine for deglazing pan and helping to soften carrots and potatoes (can use chicken broth instead!)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon herbs de provence (or Italian seasoning… herbs de provence recipe)
  • 1/2 small yellow onion diced
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic (or use garlic powder)
  • You can garnish with Parmesan cheese, parsley, dried pepper flakes, basil, whatever!!

 

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Instructions

Chicken:
    1. Preheat skillet with the olive oil
    2. Add onions, carrots and potatoes
    3. Then add chicken, sprinkle with sea salt and pepper to taste and herbs de provence (or seasonings of your choice!).
    4. After everything has browned (turn chicken over when browned on 1 side) add the white wine (or chicken broth) and butter.
    5. Cook for 8-10 minutes uncovered, stirring occasionally.
    6. Add the chopped zucchini towards the end so it’s not too mushy.
    7. Transfer to a plate and garnish and EAT!

 

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And now, for the song of the day:

 

My Favorite Latest Recipes

I’ve been cooking a lot, as per usual, but I haven’t been writing down my newest “creations”. I have found some more of my FAVORITE recipes though! So, I thought I’d share some with you!

Some of these are quick and easy, and some have some complicated ingredients, but they all turned out SOO good!

To start out, did you know that depending on how you cut your spaghetti squash will determine how long the “noodles” are?

Check out this blog!

Perfectly Cooked Spaghetti Squash

And once you nail that, try this recipe:

Spaghetti Squash Carbonara

Do you even crave Indian food? If you don’t… it might mean you NEED to try it! Because once you try it I have a feeling you will start to crave it. You do have to find your favorite recipe, but… I’m telling you! Another benefit is that a lot of Indian food has turmeric in it. Curry powder does! And turmeric not only has the BEAUTIFUL yellow color (add it to your rice for a GORGEOUS yellow rice!), it also has a lot of health benefits!

A lot of Thai food can have some similar ingredients! I didn’t know that until this recipe:

Thai Shrimp Soup

That soup was AWESOME and my husband RAVED!!

Another dish that I have come to LOVE is Tikka Masala. Like… LOVE. I am a bit of a wimp when it comes to spice though, so I always adjust the spice level to my taste. Especially the cayenne powder. So… keep that in mind!

Chicken Tikka Masala

If you’re like me, sometimes you come across a great deal on a certain cut of meat. You then bring it home, throw it in the deep freeze and then forget about it! The next time you come across it you cannot figure out what on earth to cook with it! That’s what I did with a pork loin the other day… and then I found this following recipe. (Note: use a meat thermometer, especially with pork and chicken. You’ll know when it’s done to perfection and will no longer have overcooked DRY meat, because you’ll know when to pull it out of the oven!)

Honey Butter Pork Tenderloin

That pork tenderloin was a HIT at my house!!! Even the leftovers were delicious!

Do you need a crock pot recipe that’s for the summer???? How about FAJITAS?! You can’t go wrong with those! Serve it with some chips and guacamole and you’ll have a WINNER WINNER CHICKEN DINNER! 🙂

Crockpot Chicken Fajitas

Part of the reason I love the above recipe is that it doesn’t used pre-packaged fajita seasoning… so to me it’s a GOOD recipe! 🙂

Last but not least, when I switch to a low carb meal plan, I almost always end up buying some cabbage. Weight Watchers has a soup, South Beach recommended it, it’s filling and good sauteed or whatever. But then… you get tired of the sauteed cabbage. TRY this recipe. It’s like a coleslaw, salad, fresh, yummy mash up with chicken on it. NO MAYO though! (Which I prefer… I usually just say no to MAYO).

Cabbage Slaw Salad

FYI, I did NOT put the pinto beans in the salad…. those are not my favorite… but the rest of the salad… YUM!

Ok, so that’s it for today… I’m telling you… TRY THESE! 🙂

I’ll get back to actually writing down my new inventions… but not today.

And now, for the song of the day:

Quick and Easy Low-Carb Dinners

This isn’t going to be an original recipe from me… but this is going to give you a few quick ideas.

I’m in a spring “diet and exercise” accountability group and we are all trying to get ourselves “summer and swim-suit” ready like everyone else! One of the things I’ve found is that I need something “quick” sometimes. That can be hard when you are trying to eat CLEAN and FRESH and LOW to NO carb. So… I’ve searched and found a few great recipes that should be pretty quick to whip together.

From Rachael Ray there is some BBQ chicken wraps:

Barbecued Chinese Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Another GREAT option would be to use Quinoa! It has so many great things in it, and I love to use quinoa to boost my protein without necessarily having to add meat to a dish. You can boost this dish with all sorts of veggies too! Giada has a great recipe here:

Giada’s Quinoa Pilaf

 

Another quick and easy idea? FRIED RICE! My kids LOVE fried rice. I do have to skip the eggs for my sweet little boy… but we can have it as a main dish if I’m feeling like taking it easy, or as a side dish with anything from chicken nuggets, to shredded pork, to wings!

Food Network Fried Rice

(I consider rice a good carb… just not in excess… it’s pretty close to it’s natural from in comparison to other carbs)

Lastly…

Grill out! Take your burgers, hot dogs, steaks, potatoes, veggie kabobs, etc… and GRILL! You can wrap your meat in some lettuce, or put it on top of an amazing salad! If you have a gas grill, it’d only take about 15 minutes to grill something! Before you leave for work, pop your meat and veggies in a ziploc with some marinade and then quick toss it on the grill for dinner when you get home! Seriously… 15 minutes later you’ve got dinner!

Need a quick marinade that’d work for meat or veggies?

Universal Marinade

(personally I’d use coconut or soy aminos that taste JUST LIKE soy sauce… but you use what tastes good to you!)

 

Ok… so that’s it for now, good luck cooking!

And now, for the song of the day:

Zucchini “Chips”

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So, I have a secret to admit. I LOVE watching the Bachelor. I know, I know… but, being that it’s been going for 20 years means that I’m obviously not alone!!! So, last night when I was going to watch it, I needed a snack. I’m trying to be gluten free as much as possible, and also trying to eat “clean”. So… I pulled out a couple of zucchini and made these! YUM!

2 things: mine came out a little bit too dark because I got distracted by my 4 yr old little boy who needed some juice… AND I should have ground my “polenta/corn grits” a bit more finely.

So, here’s the DELISH recipe:

Serves 2-4 as a snack or appetizer

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 small zucchini
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/3 cup Masa Harina OR ground corn polenta/grits
  • 1/4 cup powdered Parmesan cheese
  • olive oil, for frying
  • salt and pepper
  • garlic powder
  • ranch dressing, for serving

 

Now, you may ask, what is Masa Harina flour???? It is: Masa harina is a very finely ground corn flour made from corn that’s dried, cooked in water with slaked lime (which gives it distinctive flavor), ground, and dried again. I found this info here: Mara Harina Definition

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Heat a 1/4 inch of olive oil in the bottom of a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Wash and slice the zucchini into thin rounds, about 1/8-1/4 inch thick.
  3. Beat together the egg and water in a shallow bowl.
  4. Stir together the corn flour, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper and garlic powder, in a second shallow bowl.
  5. Coat the zucchini in the egg and then dredge in the corn flour mixture to coat.
  6. Add a single layer of zucchini to the hot oil, being careful not to crowd the pan. Fry for 1-2 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Repeat with remaining zucchini.
  7. Drain on a paper towel lined plate. Sprinkle with salt, if desired.
  8. Serve with ranch dressing for dipping.

**** don’t be like me and let them cook for too long… let them fry just until they are golden and then flip… watch the edges to know when they are ready and remove!! They are SOOOOOO good!!! Enjoy!

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And now, for the quote of the day: Instead of a quote, I’m going to post a song that my kids and I have been blasting and dancing to… in the kitchen!!

Dancing Through the Fire

 

 

Guess I took a break!

So, for me, when blogging gets to be a little “overwhelming” I take a break. I don’t stop cooking, I just stop writing about it.

The bad thing is, I continue to make up new recipes and try new things on a weekly basis… and then my husband asks if I “blogged” it, or at least wrote it down because he wants it again… I say “no, sorry!”. Sadly, it’s when I’ve “winged” something and cannot remember the exact measurements and will have a very hard time replicating it because I didn’t pay attention when I was making it.

One of those things was this chili. I did re-make it (because he said it was his favorite chili that I’ve EVER made!!!) And so, I figured out how I did it, re-made it, and it’s a winner!!!!

Since he loved it so much, it inspired me to get back into WRITING down what I’m cooking if it’s not a repeat. I also am going to document it here. Not just for the few followers, but for myself! I may also turn this blog into a cookbook, even if it only sits on my family’s shelves.

So, here’s my chili recipe:

 

Husband’s Favorite Recipe:

Ingredients:

1 lb. ground beef
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 small yellow onion diced (freeze the remaining onion for later!)
1 cup crushed tomatoes (I have yet to find a can of crushed tomatoes in an 8 0z. size, so save the rest of it for later, or make a double batch!)
1 – 1 1/2 TB chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
dash cayenne pepper (I go light on this, to turn up the spice, add more!)
2 TB Masa Flour (Corn flour). You can also just grind Corn Grits (or polenta) into a flour consistency with a blender or magic bullet!
1 can black beans
1 cup frozen corn
1/2 bottle of beer (I use whatever my husband has in the fridge… it varies!)

 

(I currently do not have any pictures of this chili…. boo! I’ll have to make this again, and post pictures when I do!)

Place the ground beef in a large pot and throw in the garlic and onions. Cook the meat and “chop” with spatula to get the meat into nice small pieces as it’s cooked. Cook until browned and cooked through. Drain off the excess fat, and then pour in the crushed tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, oregano, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and cayenne. Stir together well, cover, and then reduce the heat to medium to medium low. Simmer for 15-20 minutes stirring occasionally. Add the 1/2 bottle of beer (about 1 cup). If the mixture becomes overly dry, add 1/2 cup water at a time as needed.

A few minutes before you want to serve the chili, place the masa harina (or your ground corn meal) in a small bowl. Add 1/4 cup water and stir together with a fork. Dump the masa mixture into the chili. Stir together well, and then taste and adjust the seasonings. Add more masa paste and /or water to get the chili to your preferred consistency, or to add more corn flavor. Add the beans and the frozen corn and simmer for 10 minutes. Serve with shredded Cheddar, sour cream (or PLAIN greek yogurt) and some fritos!!! You could even top it with some jalapeno slices!!!

 

And that’s it! It’s a basic recipe, but it’s a winner! You don’t need to make it too fancy to make it DELICIOUS!! You will LOVE this recipe! I’m pretty sure it’s going to be the only chili recipe made in this house for a while! 🙂

Quick and Easy BBQ Pork-loin in the Crock pot!

So… are you feeling the cooler mornings and lower humidity too???? I LOVE it! My hair doesn’t turn into a ball of frizz 2 seconds after I wake up! Woohoo! 🙂 This is my favorite time of year…. well, I take that back. When it’s cool enough all day to wear a sweatshirt ALL DAY, then it’s my favorite time of year. Where you can comfortably spend the entire day outside, LOVE. My kids play outside before we start school, after, we go to the park… we go on walks… It’s just such a fun time of year. All of the holidays and traditions start!!! AND…. crockpot season starts! Ha! Ok, well, technically you can use the crock pot any time of year, but aren’t you usually more inspired to use it during the cooler months? I am! Warm HOT food ready for you when  you get home? Plus… EASY!

This recipe I just tossed together. It’s SOOO easy. I’m telling you. It will probably take you MAYBE 5 minutes… then turn the crock pot on and leave. (This does NOT include the mashed potatoes).

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INGREDIENTS:

1 pork tenderloin (mine was approx 3 lbs)
2 TB brown sugar
2 TB olive oil
salt and pepper to liking
1 bottle BBQ sauce (use your favorite, I used Sweet Baby Rays Hickory brown sugar)
1 cup chicken broth (or water)

Mashed potatoes… (you can use the steam and mash from the frozen section for a really quick mashed potatoes!!)

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DIRECTIONS:

Set out crock pot and either put in a crock pot liner, or spray with cooking spray. (This helps make clean up way easier!) Take your pork loin (mine was FROZEN! Easy, huh?) and place into the bottom of the crock pot. Drizzle with the olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and then press the brown sugar firmly onto the top of the pork loin. Pour the chicken broth AROUND the sides (so as not to get the brown sugar off the top of the pork loin) and then drizzle the BBQ sauce over the top of the pork loin. Put the lid on, turn the crock pot on LOW for 8-10 hours or HIGH for 4-6 hours. That’s it! Seriously! Serve it with mashed potatoes, or salad, or steamed veggies…etc! OR, just pull it apart and make SANDWICHES! It’s DELICIOUS! Try it, NOW!

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And now, the quote of the day:

Quick Turkey Kielbasa and Pepper Skillet

When I was first married, I did a LOT of the quick skillet meals. The ones that are frozen, you dump in your skillet and a few minutes later it’s all done?! Well… look at the ingredients sometime. It’s not just whats on the front picture. It has a LOT of things that if you made something similar at home, you wouldn’t add. You won’t even understand what all of the ingredients are!

So, if you want a dinner that’s PARTIALLY homemade, that’s done in around 20 minutes… try this one!

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Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 whole turkey keilbasa sliced and halved
2 TB butter
4-5 sweet mini peppers sliced thin and seeded
1/4 sweet yellow onion sliced thin
1/2 cup chicken broth (low sodium, free range organic)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
2 large organic carrots sliced
1/4 tsp  dried oregano
dash cayenne pepper

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Directions:

Melt butter in a large skillet on medium heat. Add the diced potatoes and carrots. Add the chicken broth and all of the seasonings and cover and let simmer for 8-10 minutes, or until they are softening. Remove lid and add the onions, peppers and kielbasa and cook until heated through and the onions start to become translucent.

Serve and ENJOY!

See, Quick and easy!!

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And now, for the quote of the day:

50 Inspirational Quotes to Live By in Daily Life | http://blog.piktureplanet.com/inspirational-quotes-to-live-by-in-daily-life/

Chicken Tacos… All “Thai’d” Up!!!

In my hiatus from this blog, I HAVE been cooking. I usually take 1-2 days per week where I do not do a lot of cooking… we eat leftovers, or eat at a Chipotle or Zoe’s or something… or MOES! 🙂 But… I definitely have been cooking. I have so many pictures of meals that I have made over the past couple of months, I’m trying to organize them and figure out which recipe that I wrote down, the pictures correspond to. Oops! It’s been a bit overwhelming around here lately, but in a definitely good way! I’m BACK though! I may take a hiatus here and there, but I will always return to share some new, fun, FRESH and whole ingredient recipes!!

So, I found a great Thai Chicken taco recipe, but they used a lot of peanut butter and peanuts in the recipe. I personally do not use either in my home… so this is my “re-vamped” peanut-free version. And… it’s DELICIOUS!!!! It has SO much flavor… seriously… BURSTING.

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Chicken Tacos – Thai’d Up

Serving Size – 3-4

Ingredients:
For Marinade:
1/2 cup orange juice – I juice some clementines I had in my fridge that worked PERFECTLY
1/4 cup Liquid Aminos OR Soy Sauce (low sodium)
2 tablespoons local honey
1 tablespoons grated FRESH ginger
1/2 lime, juiced
1/8 tsp cayenne powder
s&p to taste or preference

For Dipping Sauce:
2 tablespoon Sunflower Seed Butter (Or any nut butter of your choice)
2 tablespoon liquid aminos (as referenced above… you can also use soy sauce)
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons honey
1/8 tsp cayenne powder

For Thai’d Tacos:
4 large organic carrots, julienned
2 sweet mini red peppers, deseeded and sliced  thin
1 head of cabbage, pull 6-10 whole leaves, thinly slice or shred rest
5-6 chicken tenderloins
2 TB coconut oil
1 tsp minced garlic
salt and pepper
Cilantro, limes wedges, sriracha sauce for topping

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Directions:
For marinade, combine all marinade ingredients in a large bowl, whisk, and add chicken tenderloins.  Cover and marinate as long as you can. I marinated for 30 minutes because I was a bit more rushed. You can even marinate overnight for even better results!! If needed, just marinate while you chop and julienne all of the veggies.

When ready to cook, heat the coconut oil in medium to large size skillet. Combine all ingredients for dipping sauce in a bowl and mix well.  Refrigerate sauce until ready to serve.  Remove chicken from marinade and cut into 1 inch cubes. Put chicken into the heated oil, along with the remaining marinade. Cook chicken until no longer pink (8-10 minutes) and when the chicken is about done, toss in the julienne carrots and the peppers and slightly toss until they are heated, but not soft. Assemble your Thai tacos with chicken, red pepper slices, shredded cabbage, dipping sauce, cilantro,and any other condiments of your choosing.  Enjoy!
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And now, for the quote of the day:

Latest Dishes… Some recipes I HAVEN’T changed… and they are awesome!

So, I have taken a bit of a hiatus from blogging… and I thank you for still checking back for when I continue to blog!!!

I am now going to share a few recipes that I made during my hiatus that are AMAZING!! I am not against sharing other people’s amazing recipes, and telling you to check out their blog! It’s all about sharing and caring, right?! 🙂

About 2 weeks ago, I gave my husband a bit more opinion in what meals I made… usually I pick what sounds good, I cook it, he happily eats the food that I prepare. 🙂 This time, I let him pick out the meals i was going to shop for and prepare!! He was SOOO excited! And, the fun thing is… he picked things I normally wouldn’t! And… they were good!! There were a couple that I did not get adventurous with and so therefore, I did not change the recipe at all.. so, Please venture to their website and check them out!

  1. Bacon, Spaghetti Squash, and Parmesan Fritters
    These are seriously SOOO good! They get all nice and crispy on the outside, and gooey and cheesey on the inside. They are really filling too!! Check out the link here: Bacon Spaghetti Squash Parmesan Frittersspaghetti squash cakes, parmesan fritters, bacon fritters

  2. Easy Coconut Shrimp:
    I LOVE coconut shrimp. Usually I just order it at a restaurant and I’ve never even thought to attempt to make it at home… This was WAAAAY easier than I thought it was! It’s a bit of clean up, because you have to take a few steps to bread the coconut.. but it’s WORTH it!!! Give this easy recipe a try!  Easy Coconut Shrimp

This is the best coconut shrimp recipe I've tried and you won't believe how easy it is! A 30 minute recipe. sallysbakingaddiction.com

3. Loaded Sweet Potato Skins. YUM! DO you have some sweet potatoes sitting in your pantry and you don’t know what to do with them??? Give THESE a try! : Loaded Sweet Potato Skins

Simply Loaded Sweet Potato Skins - what a great snack or side for game day!

As I catch up on my blog, and get back “into the groove” of posting recipes 3-5 x per week… with our HOUSE ON THE MARKET… and HOMESCHOOLING!! HA! I will do my best to post as often as possible… in the mean time, check out those recipes!