Counting Beans Doesn’t Have to be Boring

I’ve been doing a lot of budgeting lately.

And I’ve actually enjoyed it.

I think it’s fun figuring out the cheapest way to cook meals and make leftovers last for a few days. I think the challenge of not just eating out every day makes life much better (also cheaper) and healthier.

Booya!

Lately we have been eating a lot of black beans in our meals because they’re such a cheap, easy and tasty protein.

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Chicken Nuggets in Style

I hated my college cafeteria.

The food was seriously gaumy and bad. The carpet always smelled weird and it was always really loud and packed with people.

I prefer to dine in a more quiet place with a few people so that I can have conversations with those around me.

It was nearly impossible to do this in the caf.

Thank goodness for the salad bar and cereal or I would have wasted away at college.

Anyway, there was one meal that I got excited about in the caf: chicken nuggets and mac and cheese!

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Mom’s White Bean Hummus

I don’t know if I mentioned it here on the blog, but my mom is one of my biggest culinary inspirations.
She has always been the absolute best cook I know.
She’s always trying something new and she’s not afraid to get the kitchen dirty while doing it.
Whenever my dad and mom first got married they lived with my grandmother (my dad’s mom) for a little while before they got a house of their own. Since Penny (my grandmother) wasn’t a cook, she and my mom worked out a deal. My mom would cook dinner and Penny would clean up.
The story goes that many nights Penny would say that she didn’t know whether to clean the kitchen or just burn it.
I definitely feel that way sometimes. But no matter what the kitchen looks like, my mom’s cooking is absolutely worth any amount of cleaning.

Birthday Cake With Tang

We had a birthday at our house recently.

My husband, Jason, turned 24 on Tuesday and I made sure that we had a few parties to celebrate his wonderfulness!

On Tuesday, I made him a birthday dinner of filet mignon (ok, so he cooked that part), bacon-wrapped asparagus, goat cheese mashed potatoes and an incredible dessert of goat cheese custards with red wine berry sauce (these will be up on the blog soon).

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Easy Hummus

One food that I discovered during my time in England was hummus.

There were always two flavors of hummus (regular and Moroccan) at my little grocery store in Oxford and I always had a package in my fridge while living there.

Hummus is a perfect, healthy, creamy dip. I love it on pita or pita bread, tortilla chips, raw carrots and as a condiment on sandwiches.

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Perfection in Baked Chocolate Pudding Form

I love to eat, bake, cook, read food blogs and constantly try new recipes.

You would think that I would be a cookbook book queen, right?

Well, although I have quite a few a cookbooks that I have bought or been given over the past few years, I rarely ever use them.

True confession.

I haven’t even cooked from my Jamie Oliver Cookbook. Eek-I know, it’s awful. I’ll get there someday, hopefully.

But, I decided to leap into my Ina Garten “Back to Basics” Cookbook and pull out a decadent and delicious dessert.