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Showing posts with label cooking. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cooking. Show all posts
In light of COVID-19 its a bit hard to share outfits on the blog so I thought I would share some of my favorite things to cook!  I'm by no means a food blogger so these won't be full on professional recipes, but I hope they will still be helpful!

We only buy our meat on sale, so when we can get something for $1.99 a pound or less we pounce! This means we eat a lot of chicken, pork and sausages.

First up, I'll share one of our favorite easy meals: suasages and orzo!

Instead of just cooking the sausages whole and serving over rice I started to take them out of their casings and break them into pieces.  I like orzo because it cooks quick and you can flavor it with pretty much anything you like. To finish it off I usually use onions and peppers but sometimes we'll opt for roasted broccoli if we don't have the other items on hand.

I'll try to get Christian to take some in-progress photos next time we make this, but I wanted to get a blog post up since I haven't in a while so these will have to do! 

Sausage & Orzo with Peppers and Onions

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25-30 minutes
Servings: 4+ depending on your appetite

  • 4 Italian Sausage Links (hot or sweet)
  • 1 cup Orzo
  • 1 Onion (any kind)
  • 3-4 Small Sweet Peppers (or more if you want)
  • optional: bouillon


  1. Cut up onion and peppers into small dices
  2. Remove sausage from casing and break up into smaller pieces, place into a bowl
  3. Pre-cook onions and peppers and place to the side
  4. Boil some water in a small pot and cook the orzo according to box (I add chicken flavored Better than Bouillon to the water to add a little extra flavor)
  5. Heat pan on medium high and cook sausages until browned and mostly cooked through, breaking them up a little more.
  6. Add onions and peppers and continue to cook on a lower heat
  7. Once orzo has cooked add it to the skillet and mix together

Optional: You can add any other seasoning you like. Occasionally I'll add minced garlic and some random herbs but I usually keep this super simple and don't add anything. There is already a lot of flavor in the sausages so I find it doesn't need much else.

Broccoli Option: Roast broccoli in 425 degree oven with olive oil, salt and pepper until browned  (we like ours REALLY dark)

    Here are some examples where I just chopped up sausages. This was how I started making this dish, then I realized you get more bang - or bites - for your buck by breaking up the sausages into smaller pieces.

    How to Freeze Peppers & Onions

    Before all this virus stuff got really crazy Christian and I bought a little more than our usual amount of onions and sweet peppers. Normally I just buy what we need for a week or two so they don't go bad.  Since we got our extra freezer I decided to start freezing them so we would have them ready at the drop of a hat and would last longer.

    The process is pretty simple:

    1. Cut onions and peppers to your desired shapes (I did small chunks as well as thin slices)
    2. Place on a cookie tray and flash freeze for about an hour until fully frozen
    3. Move into plastic bags or reusable containers - I used old Talenti ice cream jars that we cleaned since they're plastic and have a nice twist on cover.
    4. Mark the storage container with the date you froze them on

    I posted this kielbasa and chutney dish on my Instagram a couple weeks ago and quite a few people commented/messaged saying they wanted to try making it so I thought I would post it here too!  My aunt makes this dish as an appetizer for a lot of our holiday gatherings and it's always a hit. Christian has taken a particular liking to it so I decided to surprise him with it for dinner.

    On holidays we eat the kielbasa with toothpicks but for dinner I served it over rice pilaf. Easy, tasty and cheap! I made it again so Christian could take some more professional photos instead of what I shared on Instagram stories. The second time we made it for Christian's work meal preps. I made roasted broccoli and white rice with cilantro and green onions. YUM!

    I wouldn't exactly call this a recipe as you only need 3 things but here's how to make it. I used a 7" Le Creuset Rectangular Baking Dish since this is a small portion but if you're making it for more than 2 people you'll want to use more kielbasa and obviously a larger baking dish.

    Super Easy Kielbasa with Chutney

    Prep Time: 5 minutes
    Cook Time: 25-50 minutes
    Servings: 2 or 3 depending on your appetite



    1. Cut up kielbasa into bite-sized pieces.
    2. Add kielbasa and half a jar of chutney to baking dish and toss to coat (you can use as much or little chutney as you'd like)
    3. Bake at 375° for at least 25 minutes, longer if possible to let everything caramelize more
    4. Serve with side(s) of your choice

    Since moving in together last May, Christian and I have been trying to be a little adventurous with what we cook. We do still have days where all we have is hot dogs or burgers or frozen pizza but cooking together is something we enjoy doing. Here are some of the meals we've cooked and the recipes if we used one.

    One of the first weeks in our new house we did a free week of Blue Apron so we made 3 delicious meals! The rest of the time we've either looked up past Blue Apron recipes to make, checked out food blogs, like Budget Bytes, or experimented with what we had in the house. I have a pinterest board that I load up with recipes and I save recipes on the Blue Apron app that I want to try. We eat a LOT of chicken so we try to do it different ways.

    P.S. Would you want to see actual cooking posts on the blog in the future? I'm trying to expand my blog content and it seems to do well on my Instagram stories.

    Blackened Chicken with Zucchini Rice, Corn & Cherry Tomatoes

    This was one of the first Blue Apron meals I made years ago and remains one of my favorites so we remade it over the Summer. I'm not normally a tomato person but this side dish is amazing! This meal also gets me to eat zucchini, another vegetable I'm not horribly fond of. Blackened chicken, however, is always a Megan pleaser.


    Greek Chicken & Quinoa Salad with Sweet Peppers

    One of our "real" Blue Apron meals and it was great. I'm a notoriously picky eater but they continually get me to try new things. Peppers are on my "don't like" list yet they were delicious in this meal so now I'm more open to eating peppers in food.


    Pan Fried Chicken

    Separating this from the regular chicken and rice meals below because it's extra special! It took us -meaning Christian - a few tries to perfect frying chicken in a pan but we found the perfect method. It takes patience and an infrared thermometer. Temperature control is the key here, and using an IR thermometer is especially handy when working with Pan Fried chicken. The goal was to stay between 300° - 325° until both sides were browned and cooked through (165°). This was the best homemade fried chicken I've ever had and now I'm craving it again. We got a casserole/dutch oven for Christmas so maybe we'll attempt some deep frying next week!


    Roasted Pork with Apple and Garlic Breadcrumbs

    Another Blue Apron recipe we looked up when we had some random ingredients to use up. The garlic breadcrumbs, apple and pork were the perfect combination!Finishing it off with our staple vegetable made for a really simple, tasty meal!


    Crunchy Garlic Shrimp and Couscous

    Made when my friend Hayley came to see our house.  I had seen this garlic shrimp recipe in one of those Facebook foodie videos and immediately made a note to try it some time. You can't fully see the breadcrumbs here but let me tell you, they add the perfect amount of crunch. We devoured this whole thing of shrimp in minutes. The couscous is just Near East brand garlic & herb.


    Chicken and Broccoli Pesto Pizza

    In the Summer and Fall the next town over (where I grew up) has a weekly farmers market. Every once in a while we'll treat ourselves to a DELICIOUS pesto from one of the stands. It's $8 but oh so worth it! We actually have one in the freezer for when crave it during the Winter. One of my favorite things to do with pesto is put it on pizza. More specifically chicken and brocolli pizza! Soooo good! It's also amazing on its own with bread.


    Chicken and Rice-a-Roni

    One of our staples is chicken and rice-a-roni, usually with roasted broccoli as a side. It's what we cook when we want something "real" but don't want to think too much about it. We grab a spice blend or make one of our own and cook the chicken in a skillet.  Then we cut up some garlic (or use garlic powder if we don't have garlic) and roast broccoli until it starts to get blackened. SO GOOD.

    Next comes the Rice-a-Roni. Most people just cook up the rice-a-roni using the box instructions. I add something a bit more special when we make regular chicken rice-a-roni. But it wasn't something I figured out on my own. Whenever I go to my Aunt & Uncles my Uncle makes my favorite meal - chicken and rice-a-roni. He has a magical way of spicing up chicken that I have yet to recreate and he does the same thing with the rice. We brown the rice in the pan with butter first (as the box says) then when adding in the water and flavor packet we add something extra. MORE SPICES! I'm not sure what my uncle uses exactly but his rice is always superior to mine. Usually I add cajun seasoning, chilli powder, garlic powder, and any other spices I'm in the mood for.

    Chicken, Garlic Roasted Potatoes and Rice-a-Roni
    Orange Glazed Chicken and Wild Rice
    Panko Crusted Chicken and Cilantro Lime Rice-a-Roni

    Budget Bytes Slow Cooker Chicken Taco Bowl

    My brother's girlfriend got us an Instant Pot for our wedding and my brother suggested we make this as our first meal. It is a "throw everything in" and set it to go recipe which I love! All it is is chicken, corn, black beans, salsa and rice! We made this again last week and it was just as good. This week we're going to try the Slow Cooker Carnitas!


    Pepperoni and Caramelized Onion Stromboli

    Christian and I love to make stromboli because it's like a personal pizza but more fun! I'm not a huge cheese fan so I only add enough cheese to help my rolls stick together but Christian gets to load his up with a lot of cheese! We had some extra onion lying around when we made this particular stromboli so we caramelized it and added it in! I also add poppy seeds to the top of mine where Christian likes garlic salt and Italian seasoning. Customizable, quick and easy!


    Roasted Pork with Apple, Walnut & Farro Salad

    We made this last week with some pork that we had in the freezer (yay buy 1 get 2 free sales!) I wanted us to have something other than regular rice so I looked for a Blue Apron recipe with a different grain. I had had farro in a few other BA meals so I knew I liked it and how can you go wrong adding apple and kale? It was really good the first day thanks to the crispy bark on the seared pork but when we had it again the next day for lunch the pork wasn't as delicious. The salad was still good though. So if you ever make this, don't save the pork! (Or find a different use for it to add some more flavor and texture.)


    Rice Bowl

    Rice bowls are another easy meal when you just have things to use up. For this bowl we had brown rice added some soy and other ingredients for a sauce (can't remember exactly what) and topped with broccoli, carrots, cucumber and a fried egg.


    Seared Chicken & Pan Sauce with Apple, Kale & Potato Hash

    A Blue Apron recreation we made when we had some leftover potatoes and an apple in the house. We did have to go out and get the mustard, almonds, red onion and kale though, ha ha.


    Blackened Shrimp Pasta

    A thrown together meal when we weren't sure what to have. I found a cajun spice blend recipe and we added it to shrimp, cooked them up and served over whole wheat spaghetti.


    Freekeh & Vegetable Fried Rice with Honey-Sesame Carrots

    A second real Blue Apron meal, simple but still tasty. We may make this again in the future but would probably use it as a side dish for chicken or something.

    Budget Bytes Slow Cooker Jambalaya

    Another slow cooker meal from budget bytes! We had some sausage that we got on sale (buy 1 get 2 free) so we looked for a recipe we could make with it. We had some difficulty with this one when the rice didn't cook all the way so it took us WAY longer to make than the site says. If we make it again we might par-cook the rice before adding it to the slow cooker.

    I'm a bit light on outfit posts thanks to the recent snowstorms so I thought I would re-share this recipe for Nigella Lawson's Chocohotopots that I first posted back in 2012. Chocohotopots have been one of my favorite desserts for as long as I can remember. It's simple, quick and the perfect portion. I've introduced it to quite a few friends over the years and I even brought my own ramekins when I visited a friend in DC so we could make them. As I'm sure you've seen on my Instagram, I make them quite often!


    • 1 stick unsalted butter (I'm lazy and use salted and it tastes just fine)
    • 4 ounces (1/2 cup) semisweet chocolate, with 60 percent cocoa solids
    • 2 eggs
    • 3/4 cup superfine sugar (again, I'm lazy so I use regular sugar)
    • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    • Special equipment: 4 (2/3 to 1-cup capacity) ramekins
    1. Place a baking sheet in the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F.
    2. Butter the ramekins (not from the full stick) or use non-stick cooking spray.
    3. Melt the dark chocolate and 1 stick butter together, then set aside to cool a little.
    4. Mix the eggs with the sugar and flour with a hand whisk and beat in the cooled butter/chocolate mixture. 
    5. Divide the mixture between the 4 buttered ramekins. 
    6. Bake for 20 minutes, by which time the tops will be cooked and cracked and the chocolate gooey underneath.
    7. Let cool and enjoy!!! :D

    Some more looks at the finished product because who doesn't love a good Instagram?

    A photo posted by Megan (@closet_fashion) on

    A photo posted by Megan (@closet_fashion) on

    A photo posted by Megan (@closet_fashion) on

    A photo posted by Megan (@closet_fashion) on

    Welcome to part 2 of my cooking post! Just some more detail shots showing the cooking process! See more photos in yesterday's post. Once again, a deluge of photos is about to arrive, but with far less copy.

    And a couple bonus photos of my doggy, Layla.
    * Disclosure: I have received free products or value from Marshalls or The TJX Companies, Inc. in connection with my affiliation with Marshalls Project FAB.

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