the most un-PHO-gettable recipe of all time

I’m at the tail end of a cold and wanted nothing to eat with the exception of soup, but not just any soup… the most PHO-cking, PHO-nomenal, life changing soup known to mankind. In case you haven’t guessed what I’m referring to yet (it’s ok to have a blonde moment…), I’m referring to Pho (pronounced “fa”). This soup has all of the great nutrients needed to overcome the nastiest of germiness and the spiciness to clear the sinuses. Oh, and did I mention… it’s quite possibly the EASIEST meal to make, like ever (insert Taylor Swift song). The following recipe greatness has been modified from a pho recipe found through Pinterest. Enjoy my fellow (hopefully healthy) blondeshells.

Un-PHO-gettable Pho

Servings: 3-4    Prep time: 30 minutes    Cook Time: 5-10 minutes

What you’ll need:

  • 1 lb. lean Thin-Sliced Top Round Steak (about 1/8 inch thick cuts)
  • 1/2 lb. Vietnamese rice noodles (banh pho)
  • 3 cups fat free, 50% reduced sodium Swanson beef broth
  • 3 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
  • 1/2 small onion, as thinly sliced as possible
  • 4 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup basil, sliced lengthwise
  • Asian hot-chile sauce (Sriracha will work)
  • 1 lime, quartered

What to do:

  1. Fill a medium bowl with cold water and add rice noodles. Allow rice noodles to soak in cold water for 30 minutes or until soft.
  2. While rice noodles are soaking in cold water, prep the onions, scallions, basil and lime.
  3. Cut the Thin-Sliced Top Round Steak into 1 to 2 inch strips. (If needed, freeze the steak for 30 minutes to an hour to make it easier to slice into thinner strips)
  4. When noodles are almost soft, add the beef broth and Asian fish sauce to a medium pot. Bring to a boil.
  5. Divide rice noodles evenly amongst 3-4 serving bowls. Place raw, thinly sliced beef strips over noodles. Pour boiling beef broth and Asian fish sauce (keyword it needs to be BOILING) over beef and rice noodles, pushing the beef into the hot broth until it cooks. (Trust me, I know it sounds weird and scary, but all will be fine and the beef will cook. Scout’s honor.)
  6. Add the desired amount of thinly sliced onions, scallions, basil, and Asian chile sauce to top of liquid. Top with freshly squeezed lime juice and serve immediately.

Blonde appetit!

** Other optional toppings: bean sprouts, halved hard boiled egg, jalapeno, Thai chile pepper, cilantro. **

easiest, tastiest, most PHOnomenal meal of all time
easiest, tastiest, most PHOnomenal meal of all time

This cauliflower ain’t no wallflower!

I’m kind of, sort of, maybe on this slight health kick after eating pizza for 8 meals in the past 5 days (not sorry) and I needed a side to go with my leftover Baked Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken from yesterday that would be filling, but not weigh me down like whale (it is swimsuit season after all). My best blondeshell and twin recommended I try a cauliflower mash instead of baked potatoes. I’ve modified a Paula Deen recipe to make it just a smidgen more calorie conscious.  Without any more jib jab… here comes bikini season… I mean the recipe.

Garlic Cauliflower Mash

Servings:  3-4     Prep Time:  5 minutes     Cook Time:  15 minutes     Total Time:  20 minutes

What you’ll need:

  • 1 lb bag frozen cauliflower
  • 1/2 garlic clove
  • 1 oz. fat free cream cheese
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • Pepper to taste
  • Thinly chopped scallions (optional topping)

What to do:

  1. Cook the frozen cauliflower as directed on the packaging. Make sure it is thoroughly cooked and soft.
  2. When cauliflower is cooked, drain and pat dry very well with paper towels.
  3. Add garlic, cream cheese, and cauliflower to food processor and blend until very fine. Mix with spoon, then add salt and pepper to processor and blend again.
  4. Spoon out cauliflower mash and top with scallions (if desired).

Blonde appetit!

Garlic Cauliflower Mash

Days like this…

As I sit here listening to “Days Like This” by Van Morrison on Pandora… I can’t help but think that’s the perfect summary for this blondshell’s “case of the Monday’s.” It’s always hard going back to reality after a PERFECT weekend with best friends and blondeshells frolicking through beer carnivals and tearing down the brunch scene like bosses. To combat the Monday madness (yeah my March Madness bracket is done) my main man Johnny Cash is serenading me while I sip on some Menage a Trois White Wine and make a non “basic” meal. Without further ado… Parmesan, Garlic Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Balsamic Glaze and Baked Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken. The best part, you can bake the brussel sprouts and chicken at the same exact time!!! #winning

Prep time: 15 minutes     Cook Time: 40-50 Minutes     Servings: 4-5

Parmesan, Garlic Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Balsamic Glaze

What you’ll need:

  • 1 lb. bag brussel sprouts
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup The Fresh Market Original Balsamic Glaze

What to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Combine olive oil and minced garlic to small bowl and let sit for 10 minutes while prepping brussel sprouts.
  3. Rinse brussel sprouts and dry thoroughly.
  4. Cut off stems and halve brussel sprouts. Remove outer leaves (they just fell off when I removed the stem and halved).
  5. Grease a baking pan.
  6. Place halved brussel sprouts (round part down) on the greased baking pan. Using a brush, brush the olive oil and minced garlic mixture over the sprouts. Sprinkle the grated parmesan cheese over sprouts.
  7. Bake sprouts at 400 degrees F for 40 minutes.
  8. Drizzle the balsamic glaze over brussel sprouts prior to serving.

Baked Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken

What you’ll need:

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar

What to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Grease a baking dish and place chicken breasts in dish.
  3. Add oil to sauce pan and bring to a light simmer. Add minced garlic to heated oil to soften the garlic (about 1-2 minutes).
  4. Reduce heat and add brown sugar.
  5. Spread oil, garlic, and brown sugar mix over chicken breasts.
  6. Bake chicken at 400 degrees F for 40-50 minutes (make sure it’s cooked through completely).

That’s it!!!!! Days like this… will get better… Blonde appetit!!

naked sprouts
naked sprouts
prior to baking
prior to baking
prior to roasting
prior to roasting

nom nom
nom nom
those brussel sprouts doh
those brussel sprouts doh

March Madness… yup! About sums up my bracket.

When all else fails (especially during March Madness), turn to comfort food that’s easy to make. Case-in-point… Buffalo Chicken Pizza. This recipe is a mix of a few different gems I’ve found via Pinterest, lurking and otherwise being bored at the “office job.” Without anymore BS, bull hockey or malarkey… I bring to you…. March Madness Buffalo Chicken Pizza!!!

March Madness Buffalo Chicken Pizza

Serves 3-6 (depending on how hungry you are)      Prep Time: 15 minutes     Total Time: 30 minutes

What you’ll need:

  • Pillsbury Thin Crust Pizza Dough
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce or pasta sauce (I used Market Pantry… shocker I know)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • No stinking clue how much Frank’s Red Hot Wing Sauce I used (eyeballed it)
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire
  • 2 servings of “Easy peasy no lemon in this recipe squeezy” buffalo chicken
  • 1-8oz block of monterey jack cheese, shredded
  • 1 scallion thinly sliced

What to do:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees F. Place Pillsbury Thin Crust Pizza Dough on lightly oiled cookie sheet. Be sure to “mind the gaps” in the pizza dough, as in don’t let there be any gaps.
  2. Put Pillsbury Pizza Dough in oven for 5-6 minutes at 425 degrees F to brown the top of the pizza dough/crust.
  3. Meanwhile, heat butter, tomato sauce and Worcestershire on low-medium heat.
  4. When pizza dough is browned, remove from oven and spoon the pizza sauce mixture over the dough evenly (should be an even layer; no one likes soaked pizza crust).
  5. Sprinkle half of shredded Monterey Jack cheese over dough.
  6. Using your hands (yeah it’s messy) sprinkle Easy peasy no lemon in this recipe squeezy buffalo chicken over dough, half cheese and sauce mixture. (Squeeze out excess hot sauce, ain’t nobody got time for soggy pizza).
  7. Sprinkle remaining hand shredded Monterey Jack cheese over chicken.
  8. Sprinkle scallions over cheese
  9. Bake in oven at 425 degrees F for 9 minutes.
  10. Remove with oven mitts (obvs).
  11. Enjoy

Blonde Appetit!!

(FYI, ranch drizzle over the pizza is amaze-balls!!!!!)

nom nom nom.... buffalo chicken pizza of the homemade variety
nom nom nom…. buffalo chicken pizza of the homemade variety


Great White Turkey Chili

After a small hiatus from all things cooking, kitchen and being domestic, there isn’t anything that can bring me back to the kitchen like the lure of the Johnny Cash Pandora Station and some good, homemade, comfort chili. Whenever I’m feeling down, confused, anxious, frustrated, or in a funk… preparing a good, healthy meal always brings back the bubbles to the bubbly blonde (ok and maybe an actual glass of bubbly too). The following recipe has been modified from Skinny Taste’s Crock Pot Turkey White Bean Pumpkin Chili and the best part is, you only use ONE pot/pan!! Ain’t no blondeshell got time to do a ton of dishes.

Great White Turkey Chili

Servings: 4     Prep Time: 15 minutes     Cook Time: 45 minutes     Total Time: 60 minutes

What you’ll need:

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 lb Jennie-O Lean Ground Turkey
  • 1/2 large white onion chopped
  • 3 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • One 15.8 oz can Bush’s Reduced Sodium Great Northern Beans rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup pure pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • One 4 oz. can diced green chiles
  • 2 cups water
  • 6 oz. tomato paste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste
    *optional toppings: cheese, sour cream, scallions*

What to do:

  1. Heat vegetable oil in large sauce pan (use a sauce pan large enough to make entire recipe). Brown Jennie-O Lean Ground Turkey over medium-high heat with chopped white onion, breaking up ground turkey (about 8 minutes). Add minced garlic.
  2. Mix in chili powder, ground cumin, onion powder, and smoked paprika. Allow 2 minutes to cook in with the ground turkey, or until fragrant.
  3. Stir in green chiles, Great Northern Beans, pumpkin and water. Bring to a boil, then add tomato paste and gently stir in.
  4. Reduce heat to low-medium to simmer. Add 2 bay leaves to top of chili mixture. Let simmer on low-medium heat for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. DIG IN!!!

Blonde appetit!!

Ingredients for Great White Turkey Chili
Ingredients for Great White Turkey Chili
Great White Turkey Chili (don't eat the bay leaves!!)
Great White Turkey Chili (don’t eat the bay leaves!!)
Johnny Cash on Pandora and Great White Turkey Chili on the stove makes for one happy blondeshell!
Johnny Cash on Pandora and Great White Turkey Chili on the stove makes for one happy blondeshell!
Great White Turkey Chili nutrition info
Great White Turkey Chili nutrition info