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Jessica – FoodWatcher

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Tuesday Things.

1. Tuesday is basically my favorite day because new books release every Tuesday. It’s a rush to my reading loving brain. 2. This lime chiffon pie!! Looks so good I can taste it. 3. Our weather is so weirdly warm that I’m already gathering my summer essentials. Like what? Please don’t let me down with […]

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tuesday things

1. Tuesday is basically my favorite day because new books release every Tuesday. It’s a rush to my reading loving brain.

2. This lime chiffon pie!! Looks so good I can taste it.

3. Our weather is so weirdly warm that I’m already gathering my summer essentials. Like what? Please don’t let me down with three feet of snow.

4. How to get better at active listening.

5. TV things!! Oh man, new season of Love is Blind sucked me in and WOW. AD is my favorite. I also watched Anyone But You and I loved it so much! Def a rom com I’ll watch over and over.

6. Gilmore Girls is an endless buffet of TV comfort food. I could not agree more! It’s my go-to background show always.

7. My current obsession is a sourdough pizza dough sandwich. I will tell you about it soon!

8. The Cheesecake Factory is thriving. Not gonna lie, I still love it!

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Our Favorite Baked Cheesy Rice.

This baked cheesy rice is ridiculously easy and so delicious. It’s a crowd pleaser that goes with almost any main dish and is a neutral staple in my recipe box! Cheesy, easy and fabulous! Otherwise known as, the side to go with everything! I get it. This looks like a verrrrrry boring baking dish filled […]

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This baked cheesy rice is ridiculously easy and so delicious. It’s a crowd pleaser that goes with almost any main dish and is a neutral staple in my recipe box! Cheesy, easy and fabulous!

Otherwise known as, the side to go with everything!

baked cheesy rice

I get it. This looks like a verrrrrry boring baking dish filled with rice. 

But I promise it is not that. Well, okay. It is that. 

But minus the boring! This is not plain old rice. Though there is nothing wrong with that. I have always loved plain old rice!

baked cheesy rice

This is like plain old rice, but let’s make it a little fancy. But it can’t LOOK fancy, or the kids won’t eat it.

IYKYK…

baked cheesy rice

If you’ve ever made the “stick of butter rice” before, this is sort of like that. Except I don’t use beef stock or canned soup and I don’t use an entire stick of butter. 

This is more of a “bland” rice recipe, which is funny because it’s not bland at all. But it does look a little bland. The good news is that because it looks bland, the kids go crazy for it.

Like all the kids.

This is such a basic rice with a ridiculous amount of flavor and it can be served with ANYTHING!!

baked cheesy rice

This is how I make it, and it’s kind of embarrassingly easy. 

Rice + stock + grated cheese + butter

You basically dump everything in a baking dish. Then bake it for one hour.

The result is a fluffy, buttery white rice that has cheese mixed in – but not too much cheese. Just enough that it gives it a wonderful sharp flavor. It’s not melty with cheese pulls, but it’s so flavorful that it makes you wonder what’s in it. 

Because there is no way that it’s just regular old rice. 

baked cheesy rice

Since the ingredients are combined in a dish, the cheese migrates to the top. This gives the top a nice, slightly cheese crust that is almost gold and sometimes crunch, 

A bonus to this being “plainer” than the stick-of-butter rice? It allows you to serve it with more meals.

This is the perfect side dish for ANYTHING. Chicken, steak, seafood, tofu, beans – prepared any way. It can be the base for a rice bowl or served on the side. It’s incredible topped with a fried or poached egg. (more…)

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A Week In The Life, Vol 9.

How is it the end of February?! We had a nice little week. The kids had monday off from school. Sourdough pizza dough!! It was cold this week but still not February cold. Park fun. Little baby boy. They are the sweetest. She is just the best with him. Sourdough focaccia, sliced super thin for […]

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How is it the end of February?!

We had a nice little week.

The kids had monday off from school.

Sourdough pizza dough!!

It was cold this week but still not February cold.

Park fun.

Little baby boy.

They are the sweetest.

She is just the best with him.

Sourdough focaccia, sliced super thin for sandwiches.

Testing sourdough waffles too!

This long little bean.

Thursday night was amazing…

Because I went to see Boyz II Men! I mean, my inner 13 year old was DYING. They were so good.

He said “mama take a picture!”

Now “do a funny face!”

Pretty sure Emilia needs to be my stylist.

We put her hair up in flexirod curlers!

This morning it came out like this.

It was another hockey weekend!

Sneaky babies.

Must find all ways to entertain.

How cute is he on the ice!

My little tween.

Made a big pile of sourdough waffles to freeze.

And tried to make sourdough chocolate chip cookie bars but, eh. You win some, you lose some.

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This Week’s Menu: 2/25/24.

So many delicious faves are on the menu this week!

What’s on your menu this week?!
This Week’s Menu

Warm BBQ chickpea pitas

Cheesy turkey meatball subs

Cilantro lime salmon and rice

Pumpkin burrata baked ziti

Crispy sheet pan shrimp q…

So many delicious faves are on the menu this week!

What’s on your menu this week?!

This Week’s Menu

Warm BBQ chickpea pitas

Cheesy turkey meatball subs

Cilantro lime salmon and rice

Pumpkin burrata baked ziti

Crispy sheet pan shrimp quesadillas

Smoked sausage potato soup

Southwest couscous bowls

Winter breakfast quinoa

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Currently Crushing On.

Happy weekend! This week on the blog I shared this tortellini caesar salad. I also shared this smoked sausage potato soup and these hot honey baked shrimp quesadillas! I also shared my february favorites this week! There’s a new weekly menu up and a peek at a week in our life! You can join The Everyday Dinners cookbook club right here! If […]

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crushing on

Happy weekend!

This week on the blog I shared this tortellini caesar salad. I also shared this smoked sausage potato soup and these hot honey baked shrimp quesadillas!

I also shared my february favorites this week!

There’s a new weekly menu up and a peek at a week in our life!

You can join The Everyday Dinners cookbook club right here! If you have a copy of the bookrequest to join the group. If not, get one here!  Ready to start on fall! It is such a wonderful community and an amazing place for recipe ideas.

xoxoxo

WHAT I’M LOVING THIS WEEK

Steak nachos forever!

Love this white pesto lasagna soup.

Soft pretzels are the best!

Adorable macaroon nests!

Carrot cake cupcakes too!

This is banana bread perfection.

Crispy potato tacos! Delicious.

Craving this lime cake.

Blueberry baked oatmeal looks wonderful.

Gorgeous blood orange cheesecake.

Copycat chipotle chicken. YUM.

I want twisted bacon.

Chicken pot pie with biscuits. Always a fave.

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Crispy Hot Honey Shrimp Sheet Pan Quesadillas.

These hot honey shrimp quesadillas are savory and delicious, made with lots of melty cheese and served with mango salsa. These are baked in the oven until the tortillas are super crispy. The perfect easy meal! I love a good old quesadilla!  These shrimp quesadillas are super crispy and crunchy, filled with melty cheese and […]

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These hot honey shrimp quesadillas are savory and delicious, made with lots of melty cheese and served with mango salsa. These are baked in the oven until the tortillas are super crispy. The perfect easy meal!

I love a good old quesadilla! 

crispy hot honey shrimp quesadilla

These shrimp quesadillas are super crispy and crunchy, filled with melty cheese and topped with mango sauce. They are easy and delicious, and even though they have minimal ingredients, they are seriously flavorful! 

crispy hot honey shrimp quesadilla

There is something so nostalgic about quesadillas. Even though most of the ones I ate in my childhood consisted of a bagged cheese and a microwave, they still hit the spot. However, everyone knows that the best kind of quesadilla is cooked in a skillet with some butter.

Oh my gosh, I can just smell the deliciousness.

For a long time, I thought that was the only way to make a quesadilla that was extra special and delicious. 

mango salsa

But then! I discovered my sheet pan method and it has been a game changer. HUGE game changer, every single time. I promise. 

Let’s talk about the flavor here though.

We’re cooking shrimp in some hot honey with chipotles in adobo for some heat. 

I like a mix of sharp cheddar and monterey jack cheese for the ultimate meltiness. 

And we’re topping the entire thing with fresh mango salsa! Think cilantro, red onion, tomatoes, lots of lime. And the juiciest mango you can find. 

crispy hot honey shrimp quesadilla

It’s simple. And it’s full of flavors that will please everyone! 

I use my sheet pan method for these quesadillas and it is foolproof every single time. I love this for so many reasons!

First, and perhaps most importantly, it allows you to make more than one quesadilla at a time. If you are feeding a group of people, this is key! Because with one skillet, you can really only make one at a time. This way, you can make a few. It’s also a great method if you want to make quesadillas for an appetizer, snack or party! 

crispy hot honey shrimp quesadilla

Second, it’s easy! There is no flipping before the cheese is done. Everything is warm and melty, so the filling does not spill out. 

Next, it’s consistently crispy! Every edge of the tortilla is perfectly crisp and crunchy, but not burnt. 

Finally, it’s super easy to make different flavors of quesadillas on the sheet pan! You can change the varieties of cheese, make one spicy, include leftover vegetables, etc. It’s such a great method! 

crispy hot honey shrimp quesadilla

Now, for these shrimp quesadillas, they are slightly more high maintenance because I like to buy raw shrimp and cook it myself. This takes an extra step, but the shrimp is so good. 

If you want to make it even easier, you could buy shrimp that is already cooked, simply toss it with the sauce and pile it into the quesadillas on the sheet pan. It will all get hot in the oven and will be done even more quickly since you’re skipping the saute step. 

crispy hot honey shrimp quesadilla

A twist on a classic quesadilla is always a welcomed change around here. There are so good! (more…)

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February Favorites.

A peek at everything I loved in February 2024! FOOD Purely Elizabeth Chocolate Chip Cookie Granola. This may be the best store-bought granola I have ever had. It’s SO good. My kids love it too. Salt & vinegar pistachios. These are irresistible – the best salty snack. If you love salt and vinegar chips, these […]

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february favorites

A peek at everything I loved in February 2024!

FOOD

Purely Elizabeth Chocolate Chip Cookie Granola. This may be the best store-bought granola I have ever had. It’s SO good. My kids love it too.

Salt & vinegar pistachios. These are irresistible – the best salty snack. If you love salt and vinegar chips, these are incredible.

Favorite Day bunny bait. A snacky staple this time of year – it’s a great little weekend treat. This goes for all easter candy, anything in an egg shape is superior! Like dove peanut butter eggs, peanut butter m&ms, lindt eggs and more.

HOME

Sourhouse Goldie. This has been a HUGE game changer for my sourdough starter!! I keep my starter in this and it rises and falls like clockwork. It keeps the temperature stay consistent and high enough – at a temp that I don’t even reach in our house.

Raisenne Proofing Mat. On that same note – this has also been a big help for my actual dough. I’ve been using it for all sorts of dough (I like our house to stay cold) and it helps it to rise quickly and efficiently.

iHome multiport charger. I’ve mentioned these before but they are a lifesaver in both our house and my car. We have so many things that have to be charged and this streamlines them a bit!

Matte hot pink wrapping paper. This paper is fabulously neon and I think it’s going to be my signature wrapping! I adore it.

Acrylic necklace hanger. I bought these for my delicate necklaces and they come with sticky backs – they are so pretty! And you can really stick them almost everywhere. Super useful!

BEAUTY

Unconquered perfume. I discovered this through scentbird and it’s incredible. Warm, some musk, a little coconut, but not summery. New favorite perfume!

Summer Fridays lip oil. The pink shade is this is so pretty – it’s so light but is flattering with just a little color. This is so, so moisturizing, it’s wonderful.

Trader Joe’s Brazil Nut body oil. I use this daily after my shower, it smells exactly like sol de janiero. I love that it has a pump and I mix it with body cream.

FASHION

Target sandwash sweatshirt. This is an exact (maybe even better?!) dupe for the lululemon softstreme sweatshirt at a fraction of the cost! It’s incredible. I have black, green and purple and I love them so much.

Gap vintage neon pink sweatshirt. Hello, all I’m going to tell you about today? Sweatshirts! This neon pink sweatshirt is another huge fave this month. It’s perfect. And you’ll notice a theme. I’m obsessed with red and pink.

Beyond yoga spacedye leggings. Like these red and pink leggings! Red + pink is my favorite combo to wear – it is so fun, happy and bright!

MZ Wallace box tote. And this too. I got it at christmas, it’s a big of the splurge but fits so much. And the perfect color combo! I live for a crossbody.

MEDIA

The Women. Best book I read in February, period. Heart wrenching in the best way!

Breakfast in a Nancy Meyer’s kitchen. This is the best playlist ever.

Starstruck on HBO. This is SUCH a fun and funny show. I love it! And there are enough seasons to get a good binge in.

KIDS

Tulip puff paint. Makes me feel like it’s 1995 again. The kids LOVE using this. Like absolutely love it.

abercrombie kids ypb hoodie & pants. Emilia finally fits into some of the abercrombie kids stuff and these sets are SO cute. They are exactly like the spanx air essentials material – so silky, soft and lays so nicely. Looks super high end! Also, protip: never buy abercrombie at full price. There are constant sales for 30-40% off (kinda like jcrew does) or even more.

Melissa and Doug take along train set. Jordan got this for Christmas and it’s the best toy ever. He loves trains and this is so easy to pack up and move around the house – but also take with us. It’s definitely going to be a travel essential for us!

[none of this is sponsored, i just love to tell you what i love every month! there are a few general affiliate links above! xo]

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Smoked Sausage Potato Soup.

This smoked sausage potato soup is incredibly creamy, satisfying and delicious! Smoked sausage rounds with tender potatoes and kale come together in this cozy, comforting bowl that everyone loves. Tastes amazing! New favorite soup alert! If you love smoked sausage like we do, you’re going to adore this soup! Creamy potato soup with smoked sausage […]

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This smoked sausage potato soup is incredibly creamy, satisfying and delicious! Smoked sausage rounds with tender potatoes and kale come together in this cozy, comforting bowl that everyone loves. Tastes amazing!

New favorite soup alert!

smoked sausage potato soup

If you love smoked sausage like we do, you’re going to adore this soup!

Creamy potato soup with smoked sausage rounds, hearty kale and all the flavor in the world.

It’s fabulous.

smoked sausage potato soup

As expected, I’m still on a huge soup kick! Even though it hasn’t been frigid here – at least not for any significant length of time. I’m still making soup as if we have snow on the ground. 

In fact, just this past weekend I prepped two different soups to eat over the course of a few days when Max and Eddie were on a hockey trip!

Soup. I can’t get enough. 

smoked sausage potato soup

Enter this smoked sausage and potato soup, which has become one of our family favorites. Especially for Eddie, because he only enjoys super hearty soups (like chili) or chicken noodle soup.

I’m happy to say that we can now add this to the list. 

And I get ridiculously excited when I discover a soup that he loves.

smoked sausage potato soup

This is a spin on many other sausage soup recipes I’ve shared – but we’re using smoked sausage! One of our favorite things in this house. And I actually use smoked turkey sausage. It’s what I buy and what is always in our fridge. So simple and delicious. And if I’m being honest, it kind of tastes like a grown up hot dog.

Don’t hate! 

Along with the potatoes and smoked sausage, I add greens to the soup. Kale or spinach – whichever I have on hand. And it’s a great way to sneak in the greens. It’s simple and delicious and easy to eat! 

smoked sausage potato soup

Think of the creamiest, silkiest potato soup – this is that, but also with smoky sausage!

It is SO delicious.

Super satisfying. Very filling, wonderful as leftovers and enjoyed by all. 

smoked sausage potato soup

This is how I make it!

First, I saute lots of onion and garlic. Some spices too! 

Next, I throw in the smoked turkey sausage. I slice it, but you could also chop it up.

Once the sausage has some color, I add in the potatoes and stock. This simmers until the potatoes are super tender. 

Then, I shake together some cream and flour to make a slurry. I pour this into the soup and let it simmer away for a few minutes until it’s thick and creamy.

Finally, I toss in the kale. It cooks down quickly and then it’s time to eat! 

smoked sausage potato soup

I can’t even express how good this soup is. It’s different for us – we rarely eat smoked sausage in this capacity! So it makes for a unique but super easy dinner that we all love. 

Plus, did I mention that it’s so good?! (more…)

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Tuesday Things.

1. Mini croissant cereal!! I can’t even handle it. 2. Currently reading The Women and in true Kristin Hannah fashion, oh my gosh it’s fabulous. 3. Life and death of the american mall. Ugh, I still love malls so much. I don’t want them to totally disappear! 4. While I’m talking about something incredibly 90s, […]

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tuesday things

1. Mini croissant cereal!! I can’t even handle it.

2. Currently reading The Women and in true Kristin Hannah fashion, oh my gosh it’s fabulous.

3. Life and death of the american mall. Ugh, I still love malls so much. I don’t want them to totally disappear!

4. While I’m talking about something incredibly 90s, I should also tell you that I just miiiiight be going to see Boyz II Men this week. I mean… !!!!!

5. TV things!! I started watching Feud on FX. The cast is incredible. Also watched the J Lo film. s

6. The joy of getting organized!

7. While we aren’t really fully unpacked yet into our new house, we have SO MUCH MORE organization that we did before and so much less stress.

8. On that same note I’ve becoming fully obsessed with lighting and how to perfectly light a room for ideal ambiance. Every room! Everyone in this house is quite annoyed with me.

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Cheese Tortellini Caesar Salad.

This cheese tortellini caesar salad is irresistible! Crisp romaine lettuce, greek yogurt caesar dressing, shaved parmesan and crunchy croutons are tossed with tender cheese tortellini. It’s a perfect side dish or base for your favorite protein! I love when I can share a ridiculously delicious and easy recipe! This tortellini caesar salad is a classic […]

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This cheese tortellini caesar salad is irresistible! Crisp romaine lettuce, greek yogurt caesar dressing, shaved parmesan and crunchy croutons are tossed with tender cheese tortellini. It’s a perfect side dish or base for your favorite protein!

I love when I can share a ridiculously delicious and easy recipe!

cheese tortellini caesar salad

This tortellini caesar salad is a classic in our house. Crisp romaine lettuce, greek yogurt caesar dressing, lots of parmesan and crunchy croutons are tossed with tender cheese tortellini. 

You can serve this whole salad chilled or even when the tortellini is still a bit warm.

It goes with everything! 

greek yogurt caesar dressing

Last year I finally shared our favorite caesar pasta salad. It’s always a huge hit – I can’t even tell you how often I make it!

It’s embarrassingly easy too. Caesar salad + pasta. Lots of parmesan. Some toasty breadcrumbs! It’s always a crowd pleaser because the ingredients are ones that my entire family loves. 

I serve it as a side dish often. Sometimes I throw in grilled chicken to make it our main dish and a little more filling. I’ve also added roasted chickpeas!

cheese tortellini caesar salad

So this is the same, but with TORTELLINI!!!

Oh my gosh, yum. Yes. 

If you haven’t noticed, I’ve had a huge moment with tortellini over the last year. I don’t know why. Well, yes I do. It’s delicious! 

We have loved eating it in soups, cold pasta salads and more. It’s also fabulous in baked pasta dishes

cheese tortellini caesar salad

So while we didn’t necessarily NEED a written recipe for this… after all, tortellini IS a type of pasta… I still had to share. Because I had to get this on your radar! I had to make a stand alone post for it, because I reference my own recipes constantly for weeknight meals. 

And for some reason, using cheese tortellini over a pasta like penne or fusilli is more filling and fun. It required its own corner of the internet. We needed a place for it to live!

cheese tortellini caesar salad

Here we are. This is how I do it! 

I use romaine lettuce and chop it up. The fresher and crisper, the better.

Then, I make my greek yogurt caesar dressing. This is another staple in my fridge. I make it all the time. You can also find the recipe in Everyday Dinners!

Next, I love to throw on some croutons of toasted sourdough bread crumbs. This depends on how much time I have, what I have in my kitchen and what I feel like making. If you have a store bought crouton that you really love, that works too. 

cheese tortellini caesar salad

Finally, shaved parmesan cheese is key. There is something so deliciously sharp and wonderful about the paper-thin parm slices. I love how they slide into the romaine lettuce. And I will never complain about getting a bigger bite of cheese in a salad. Never! (more…)

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