Seductive Skinny Spaghetti

Looking to wow the pants off your Valentine while not feeling like a beached whale?

Avoid the bloated feeling that accompanies over consumption of traditional pasta by substituting noodles with spaghetti squash.  Yes, I said substitute pasta with a vegetable.

I thought this was a ridiculous idea until I tried it (as I was looking for ways to keep my skinny jeans buttoned) and realized that I could do without the over processed ingredient .

Skinny Sketti

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • One Spaghetti squash – I had to ask where the hell they were located at my grocery
  • Choice of meat (if desired)
  • Your favorite Italian sauce (I use canned – but low sodium!)
  • Choice of cheese (if your heart beats for dairy like mine does.)
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This is what the vegetable I had no idea existed looks like.

Prep:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Microwave the squash for about a minute.  This will make it loads easier to cut and save your hand strength for opening that tightly sealed jar of sauce (that I have to ask the grocery clerk to open for me before I leave the damn store because I have zero hand strength).
  • Cut the substitution spaghetti lengthwise.

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  • Once cut, scoop the seeds out of the middle .
fork or spoon

If you forget this step (as I ALWAYS do) you can remove after cooking – no worries.

Slippery Sucker

Be sure to hold on tight because squash are slippery little suckers.

  • Once seeds have been removed, place halves on a cooking sheet.
  • Bake for 45 minutes to an hour, depending on the size of your gourd.

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  • Cool for a few minutes and use a fork to create noodles.

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  • Place your ‘spaghetti noodles’ in a bowl.

Spaghetti Sizzle

  • While your sketti is baking start on the non-strenuous sauce by pouring it in a pan and adding your choice of veggies and/or meats.
Free Bird

Typically, I add FreeBird chicken breast strips that can be found at Whole Foods (low in sodium and calories).

  • Mix sauce and cooked meat, bring to a boil.

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Once complete, serve immediately with or without cheese.

Voila!

Due to the non-pasta spaghetti, I treat myself with a handful of mozzarella on top.

This cheesy version of sexy spaghetti will cost $10 (more or less depending on the meat), is gluten-free and has about 260 calories, 20 carbs and 11 grams of sugar overall per serving.

Just might wow the pants off of your Valentine!

Use reduced fat cheese to keep it on the ‘skinny’ side.

Now get out there in all your skinny glory and seduce someone.

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Pigskin Sushi

Trashy tailgating treat at its finest.

Trashy tailgating treat at its finest.

There’s nothing my family does better than snack and celebrate, so with the college football season kick-off this weekend, we already have our game faces on with what appetizers to draft for our game day spread. And there’s no fumbling when it comes to making one of our finest treats, Pigskin Sushi.

Cheers to football season finally being here!

A big moonshine cheers to football season finally being here!

This non-threatening Midwestern version of sushi is a crowd pleasing hit at any tailgate whether you’re cheering for your fave college team….

On Iowa!

Yes, the Big Ten is a conference in college football.

…or you’re trying to impress fellow NFL fans.

Titan Up!

And yes, the Tennessee Titans still have fans even after dismal seasons.

This is my trashy version of sushi that requires three ingredients, five minutes of prep and dirties no dishes (perfect for kitchen lovers like me).

Ingredients:

Ingredients

Baby dill pickles, one block of cream cheese and thick-sliced, cooked ham. Total cost – $7.00.

Remove one piece of the cooked ham and place on a paper towel.

Spread room temperature cream cheese over the ham.

Rollin'

Place dill pickle at one end of the ham and roll up.

Slice

Slice the pickle-in-a-blanket to your desired size.

Trashy tailgating treat at its finest.

And voila! White trash sushi.

This low carb, gluten-free delicatessen will stand out among the typical tailgating treats.

hit it

A bright beacon of shining food among traditional football snacks.

And not only is Pigskin Sushi cheap and easy (no I’m not referring to myself), it washes down with any cocktail you choose on game day.

Skinny Pirates for the Hawkeye.

Skinny Pirates for this Hawkeye.

In my book, that’s a touchdown!

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How to Make One Whopper of a Pie

Applause

Wouldn’t this be fun to throw in someone’s face? Come a little closer, please.

No good at following recipes?

Don’t know how to turn your oven on?

Here’s a quick, easy, no bake pie to put your mad kitchen skills to work and impress folks with a Whopper Pie.

whopper

Impressive, yes?

You need a whopping four ingredients to concoct this masterpiece.

whoppers

  • One store-bought graham cracker crust
  • One carton of whipped cream
  • 1/2 carton of vanilla ice cream
  • 2 boxes of Whoppers

Start by putting all but about 20 Whoppers into a ziploc bag and crush.

beat

Ball bustin’.

I happen to have some sort of kitchen tool that mimics a hammer (I don’t know how in the hell it ended up in my utensil drawer but weirder things have happened…I think).

smooth

If you have one of these things, be sure you use the smooth side.

Nope

Not the prickly side. Trust me.

In a bowl, combine 1/2 of the carton of ice cream and the entire tub of whipped cream. Stir until smooth (took me and my tiny muscles about one minute to accomplish this).

mix

Add the crushed Whoppers to the creamy mix and stir until well combined.

Heaven

Pour your masterpiece into the graham cracker crust (and squeal with delight when you realize you’ll have left over ice cream mix).

Pour

Be sure to save the empty whipped cream carton so you have somewhere to store the left over whipped Whopper ice cream you just made.

Save some for you!

Again, trust me. You want to do this.

Top the pie with the remaining Whoppers, carefully walk (I speak from experience) to your freezer and let sit for about two hours before serving.

Tah Dah!

Tah Dah!

Then of course, reap all of the accolades thrown your way once you present the Whopper Pie.

PARTY HIT

I slaved over this pie. For 13 minutes.

Be the hit of your next gathering for about $8.00.

A big whopper of a welcome to you!

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Bewitching Breakfast Burritos

Finding myself with a last-minute invitation to a Tennessee Titans tailgate turned into a horror show more quickly than anticipated, as I was under prepared in my own personal grocery department. And you can’t show up to a party empty-handed now, can you?

While rummaging through the fridge, freezer and pantry (which typically house condiments, vodka and expired cereal) I came up with a solution to my meager problem when I spied non-molded corn tortillas.

Which resulted in a first time attempt at breakfast burritos…

Tailgating tasties at their finest.

Early game day tailgating tasties at their finest.

Here’s what I found (and what you’ll need) to concoct a similar potion…

  • Whatever kind of meat you find in your freezer (I ran into a half package of sausage)
  • Green pepper (if you have one…I have no idea how the F one found its way into my fridge)
  • Five non-expired eggs (plus a bit of milk if you have it or you can use water)
  • Shredded cheese (leftover from last year’s chili. I’m kidding…kind of)
  • Tortillas
Fry the sausage separately.

Start by frying your choice of meat.

Peppers

In a separate skillet, saute the green peppers.

Add the egg mixture

Mix the eggs with about 1/4 cup of milk and add to the peppers.

Add the sausage to the mix.

Add the sausage to the mix.

 And then the cheese.

Once the eggs are almost set, top with shredded cheese.

Pick your poison. Personally, I'd reach for the skull....

Scoop the mix onto tortillas. Roll. Then devour.

Of course, I also had the ingredients for Jell-O shots which made me one popular tailgater. I mean, what washes a bewitching breakfast burrito down the hatch better than vodka and gelatin? Nothing.

What washes a bfast burrito down?

BOOzin’ it up spooky style.

You know I like to keep it classy.

Cheers!

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Pigskin Style Sushi

Are you a lazy cook (like yours truly) who can barely get off your ass to pour yourself a bowl of cereal? When invited to a party, do you always offer to bring chips, a carton of dip and a veggie platter because no cooking is involved?

Allow me to introduce you to Pigskin Sushi (at least that’s what my fam calls it, as we make it for almost every tailgate we attend). What’s not to love about an affordable, three ingredient, five-minute, dirty-no-dishes delicatessen that even you can whip together and party goers will devour?

Pigskin sushi

This non-conventional sushi is always a crowd pleaser.

You will need:

Dill pickles, one block of cream cheese and thick-sliced, cooked ham.  Total cost – $7.00.

Directions:

Place a paper towel under the slice of ham (this will absorb some of the moisture due to packaging) and spread cream cheese over it.

You can use light and/or whipped cream cheese, just be sure it’s at room temperature for easy spreading.

Next roll a pickle up in the cheesy slice of ham.

Baby dill pickles work best in the simple recipe.

Then cut the pickle-in-a-blanket to your desired size.

Once you’ve sliced, you’re done. Seriously.

Place on a platter and watch folks curiously gander at the pickles on a plate for a minute (seriously, people will act like they may be above a pickle wrapped in cream cheese and ham but once they have one, it’s game over).

A plateful of Pigskin Sushi won’t last long.

This snack was such a hit at the last tailgate, we made another batch of the low carb, gluten-free delicatessen for the second half of the game and still had no left overs.

Touchdown!

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Spectacular Shit Dip

Don’t let the name fool you. This dip is divine.

I’m prone to easy, simple, don’t dirty-too-many-dishes recipes (plus I don’t have a love deep in my heart for cooking – wish I felt the same about eating).  With tailgating season here and holiday party time right around the corner, I’m revisiting one of my favorite, effortless, wallet friendly, minimal ingredient snack foods (thanks for the reminder, Podunk!).

Then you cross your fingers that guests bring fabulous treats to go along with the fabulous dishes you've laid out. Last Saturday, we had my blog famous Shit Dip, mexican dip, a cheese ball and my dad's 'best batch of ribs ever' (direct quote from him).

A little shit dip goes a long way.

This recipe comes from my gal pal Katie B. She didn’t give this tasty dip its moniker…I did, the day after I practically ate an entire bowl of it single-handedly at a party which in turn, left me feeling very cleansed the next day.

My favorite part about this dip (aside from being so tasty) is you can make it via the microwave.

Here are the whopping four ingredients you’ll need:

1 stick butter

1 block cream cheese

2 cans white shoe peg corn (it’s basically sweet corn – I had to Google it since I’m a regular Betty Crocker and all)

10 chopped jalapeno rings (more or less depending on your preference)

Tortilla chips

Ingredients for the cleansing dip all purchased at Target (where else?) for a grand total of $4.06. Add the $2 for a bag of cheap tortilla chips and you’re set for $6. My kind of treat!

Directions:

In a microwave safe bowl (and one big enough to eventually hold two cans of corn) melt the stick of butter, then add the block of cream cheese. Nuke for about a minute or so and then add the 2 cans of corn (if you add the corn too early, it gets chewy). Add the jalapenos, heat to desired temperature and serve immediately.

That’s it!

This dip will have your bathroom bumpin’.

Go ahead and wow ‘em with shit dip at your next tailgate – just remember to be prepared with an overabundance of toilet paper.

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Lazy Lasagna

I am no gourmet chef. I’m not really even close to being called a cook (although I do own some cute aprons in which I like to prance around my kitchen).

Being beyond lazy, I almost always enjoy a nice bowl of cereal for supper. But every once in a while I get a hankering for ‘real’ food and one of my “specialties” is bland, non-exciting lasagna.  Whipping it up for company not only makes me seem kinda domestic, it typically knocks the socks of my food companions, as I’m not offering them just wine and sliced cheese.

Lazy cooking at its finest. Although when presented on skull and crossbone plates (which is my fine china), it really ups the ante, yes?

Underwhelming cooking at its finest. Although when presented on a skull and crossbones plate (which is my fine china), it really ups the ante, yes?

Here’s what you’ll need for this easy peasy Italian dish that will cost you around $10:

1 box no boil lasagna noodles (I use gluten-free but any will do)

1 small carton of cottage cheese

1 package of shredded mozzarella cheese

2 jars of your favorite spaghetti sauce

1 pound of lean beef (your choice of meat or meat substitute)

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Gluten-free lasagna at its blandest.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and then fry your choice of meat in a skillet.

Instead of a slicing a fresh onion (takes too much time, makes my mascara run, etc…) I shake in some dried minced onion to spruce up the meat while it’s browning. You can also choose to add green peppers, mushroom, spinach, etc…but you know that takes more time, effort and money (plus adds flavors in which I don’t love…being from the Midwest, I’m all about bland food!).

no fresh onions

No need to cry in the kitchen with already minced onion.

Once the meat is done grab a baking dish and coat with cooking spray. You’ll create three layers and start with the spaghetti sauce, meat, cottage cheese, noodles, sauce again and mozzarella.

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Non-tedious layering process.

The second and third layers are the same as the first.

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The “secret” weapon in my lazy lasagna is the using more sauce than needed. Leftovers are never dried out!

Stick the concoction in the oven for 45 minutes.  I typically cover in foil for about 25 minutes, then remove the remainder of the baking time so the top layer of cheese can brown.

Ooey, gooey

Ooey, gooey Italian goodness.

And what good is lasagna without bread accompanying its appearance on a plate?  My favorite gluten-free baguette bread is Against the Grain. While it’s a little pricey ($7 for two loaves), it tastes as close to the real deal as any other brand I’ve tried.

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The splurge is worth it.

In about an hour, you’ll end up with a low-fat, gluten-free, bland, easy, company pleasing dish.

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Of course this lasagna is served with a very large bottle of wine. Duh.

I never tell anyone this is gluten-free until after they’ve consumed and no one ever knows the difference!

Bon appetite my lazy cooks!

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