Saturday, March 21, 2015

Avocado Deviled Eggs

Yes, you read that right: Avocado Deviled Eggs. My plan is this: to post this variation of a deviled egg recipe, followed by a post about the "real" way to make deviled eggs sometime next week. After all, I am sensing lots of hard boiled eggs in your's nearly Easter! This recipe for avocado deviled eggs arose because I am doing a Whole 30 (no grains, added sugar, dairy, or legumes for 30 days). Being on day 21, I am hitting the food boredom wall pretty hard. I needed a snack that felt like a departure from a handful of cashews or a bunch of sliced vegetables.

These eggs fit the bill. You mash the yolks with an avocado, some hot sauce, and some lime juice. You can add more to the recipe if you want, but these are sort of awesome the way they are. My non-whole 30 husband went by the store for more eggs SPECIFICALLY requesting more of these deviled eggs. I feel like that means these are winners, even when you aren't trying to eliminate some of the more processed foods from your diet.

I hope you enjoy these eggs and that you check back in next week to see the "real deal."


3 eggs, hard boiled
1/2 avocado
Juice from 1/2 of a lime
Hot Sauce 
Salt/Pepper to taste


  1. Peel the eggs, then slice lengthwise. Gently pop the yolks out into a mixing bowl, then arrange the yolk-less eggs on a serving plate.
  2. Add the avocado, lime juice, and as much hot sauce as you want. I usually go for 2-3 tablespoons, but you can add more or less depending on how spicy you want it. Keep in mind that you can always add more hot sauce at the end, so start conservatively if you aren't sure about the spice level you want. Add a pinch of salt and pepper, then mash away at the mixture with a fork, a potato masher, or some other preferred method.
  3. Spoon the mixture into the well of each egg, then serve! I topped mine with a cajun seasoning for more spice, but that part is up to you.


The eggs keep fine, but they start to look ugly after awhile--avocado turns brown (it oxidizes) when exposed to air. Make these and eat them within an hour or two if that grosses you out. I'm an equal opportunity avocado eater, so I don't mind the oxidation. Just sayin'. 

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Happy Pi Day!

Remember in math class when there was inevitably some student who raised his hand to ask, "When are we ever going to use this?" Well here it is:

Pi Day

For those of you who remember your geometry, Pi is the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. You probably used it lots in math class, but now you have an even better reason*

An excuse to eat ALL THE PIE

(*not really...math is very important)

Pi equals 3.1415926... I could go on, I suppose, since Pi continues forever, but I'm sure we all have better things to do with our day.

This kid does it better anyway (while balancing books on her head and solving a rubik's cube):

Anyways! March 14 (written as 3.14) is annually known as Pi day. Extra special is this year's Pi day, because today's date (3.14.15) represents the first 4 digits of Pi after the decimal. Extra extra special is 9:26 AM and PM because, well, see above.

In honor of Pi day, I will share with you one of my favorite "Pi"s...KEY LIME PIE! So good, so tart, so easy to make! This is a bonus recipe with a pie CRUST recipe and a pie filling recipe.

I totally think you should have some pie tonight. Around 9:26 if you want extra credit!

Graham Cracker Crust:

Crush one sleeve of graham crackers either by hand or in a food processor (it comes out more uniform in a food processor). Mix with 1/4 cup of brown sugar and a pinch of salt. Melt 3/4 of a stick of butter (6 tablespoons) in the microwave, then pour over the graham cracker mixture. Stir together, then press into a pie pan. Bake for 8 minutes at 350 degrees, then let the crust cool completely on a wire rack (think: at least 30 minutes).

For the pie


1 prepared graham cracker crust (above)
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/2-2/3 cups key lime juice--fresh or bottled
            (the amount depends on how tart you want it...I almost always go 2/3 cups)
4 egg yolks


  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. In a mixer with a whisk attachment, whisk the egg yolks for about 2 minutes. 
  3. Add the sweetened condensed milk and mix well (about 30 seconds).
  4. While the mixer is running, add the lime juice in a slow and steady stream. When all is combined, turn the mixer off and let everything sit for 5 minutes. It should thicken slightly.
  5. Pour the mixture into the crust and bake for 15 minutes. It should be set, but still jiggle a little
  6. Cool pie to room temperature on a rack, then chill in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours. 
  7. I strongly recommend serving this pie with whipped cream. You can buy it, or make your own by pouring 1 cup of cold heavy cream and 2 tbsps powdered sugar into the mixer and whipping it on medium high (about 1-2 minutes, until it makes peaks and is, well, whip cream-like)

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

New Uses

This is a "gimme" blog post. Consider this post to be the ball, all tee-d up for me to swing. See, it's been A Week, y'all. In North Carolina, we had about two weeks off for snow and ice, and my body got really used to waking up when it felt like it. Then, we got all back to school and somewhat in a groove and Daylight Savings snatched up its hour and somehow, I feel like I might never get back on top of things.

But it's not just me.

My husband is defending his thesis in two weeks, which means that thesis was due to his committee today. This man has been working like crazy to make sure he has all his ducks in a row (or data in a...line? I'm not a chemist, so you'll have to pardon the analogy). I've noticed these few months--and especially this week--just how much he contributes to the running of our home. The magic dishwasher has stopped unloading itself. Suddenly I've cooked dinner and turned around and find that the elves hadn't already cleaned. The laundry...ok, I do all the laundry myself start to finish most of the time. But seriously, even though this week has left me frazzled, it leaves me so thankful for a partner who steps up and does household chores whenever they need doing.

All of this is to say, I'm planning to get through this week and get back on the blog-waggon. Until then, I'm introducing a new type of post to watch for:

New Uses!

You've seen the chicken and soup recipes and my ode to tongs was my first gadget post. The New Uses posts will be all about those tips and tricks you see on pinterest, in magazines, and around the web. I'm going to try the tips out myself (so I make sure I'm not recommending something that will end up on a pinterest fail website) and offer any suggestions I may have that made things work best in my kitchen. I would also love to hear from you what your best kitchen tricks and shortcuts are! 

This week's New Use is looking at:

Spaghetti Sauce and Pickle Jars

As a teacher, married to a grad student, I know a thing or two about making your money stretch. As a teacher, I also have a seemingly inherent love of containers. 

Target during the back-to-school sales is dangerous for my wallet. 

But the one thing I never have to worry about is having enough jars and canisters. In fact, they're free with the purchase of some tomato sauce or pickles! Once you've eaten up your sauce/pickles/olives/etc., you are free to:
  • Peel off as much of the label as you can.
  • Soak the jar in warm soapy water.
  • Use a paper towel or dishcloth to rub off the label. 
  • If the label is still stuck, or has left some residue, you can use a little olive oil and salt to scrub at the label. 
    • I've read you can also use nail polish remover, but I've never needed to try it so I can' say if it works.

Think of all the uses for these jars! I put jellybeans in mine 'cause they're pretty (and my husband loves them!) but you could put art/craft supplies in there, you could use them to make your own "cookie mix in a jar" to store in your pantry for an emergency (cookie emergencies happen!), you can store kitchen utensils, you could put candles in them in a real lost-power-need-lights emergency...the list goes on. I sometimes use them for smoothies in the morning. They have a lid, so they travel well to work, and you can rinse it out with a drop of dishwashing liquid, put the lid on, and swish it around to get it (mostly) cleaned up to go back home. 

Whatever you do, you can feel AWESOME that you saved some money, and maybe even helped out the environment.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Sausage and Kale Soup

The other day, I swung through the grocery store right after work without a list, but with a rough idea of what I wanted to make for the week. I knew that sausage and kale soup existed, but I didn't already have a recipe in mind. I picked up the kale and onion, figuring those were no-brainers. I chose a chicken and apple sausage because I'm currently eating foods without added sugar...for the next few weeks, anyhow--for more on that, read about the Whole 30. I realized I might need a few other ingredients, so I did a bit of googling and found this Food and Wine Kale and Potato soup which was really not very complicated. You probably have most of the ingredients in your pantry! That's winning to me.

I decided to modify this recipe a little bit. For one, the sausage I bought only had 3/4 pounds of sausage, and I didn't want to purchase another package so I decided to try it out--I didn't miss that extra sausage at all! I just cut the links into quarters lengthwise before slicing them up, and every bite has a little bit of sausage. I also wanted to use fewer white potatoes (even though they are now allowed on the Whole 30, I am a total potato addict, and am trying to cut back on potatoes for the next few weeks). I decided that apple sausage seemed like a friendly flavor for sweet potato, so I made up the difference with diced sweet potato. You might see in the picture that I added some leftover hashbrowns--just trying to use up what was in my fridge, not part of the recipe.

This would be a delicious soup for the fall, but I think you should cook outside the box and make it this week!


3/4 lbs   sausage (I recommend Turkey or Chicken)
1 large   onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, diced
1 quart  chicken stock
1 pound Kale--stemmed and torn into small pieces
2 cups   water (I inverted the proportions of stock to water--I usually buy quarts of stock)
2-3 med. boiling potatoes, peeled and diced into 1/4 inch cubes
1 med.    sweet potato, peeled and diced into pretty small chunks
1 pinch red pepper flakes


  1. Microwave the sweet potatoes in a bowl for between 45 seconds and a minute and a half depending on how small you diced them. You want them to be softened enough that they will cook quickly in the soup.
  2. With a little cooking oil, cook the sausages over medium heat to get some color on the outside (a little char equals great flavor in your soup!). When they're finished, pull out the sausage and set them on a plate for later.
  3.  Remove all but a little of the grease from cooking the sausage, then put in the onion. Cook for a few minutes until soft and clear. Add the garlic, and cook a minute longer (maybe 6 minutes total, depending on how hot your pan is)
  4. Add the chicken stock, water, and red pepper flakes and bring to a boil. While you're waiting for the soup to boil, slice the turkey sausage (be careful if it's still hot!). Slice the sausages into quarters lengthwise, then slice into small pieces along the sausage.
  5. Once the soup is boiling, add the sweet and white potatoes and the sausage. The white potatoes will cook while the sweet potatoes finish what you started in the microwave. Let the soup simmer for 2 minutes (I let it go for 5).
  6. Add the kale and let it cook down for about 6 minutes, until tender and all wilted in. Add pepper to taste.