With the rooomaaantic holiday of Valentine’s Day coming up this weekend, you might be looking for a decadent, indulgent, out-of-the-ordinary meal to cook for your special someone (or yourself, I don’t judge). For some reason, my mom would always make lobster for our family on Valentine’s Day, I suppose just because it’s a more “fancy” delicacy than your usual seafood. And I mean, lobster is delicious, so it’s a pretty solid choice! If you aren’t opposed to a truckload of cheese (actually if you are opposed to that I don’t even know why you’re reading this site) alongside your lobster, this could be the recipe for you!
Can’t even lie, this is not my creation, it came from my friends the Neelys. Their lobster mac and cheese is SO good, I don’t even understand it. I think it’s the use of gruyere alongside the white cheddar, plus the sweet paprika and lots of cracked black pepper… oh and the LOBSTER. I’ve made this twice for celebratory dinner occasions and it is a crowd pleaser to the millionth degree. To really kick things up, I like to add extra garlic, extra black/cayenne pepper, and an extra lobster tail for good measure. I also like to par-boil the lobster before adding it to the pasta, although the original recipe tells you to add it just straight up raw. I feel like the texture is better when the lobster is already cooked, but you can choose your own adventure on that one.
And YES, I realize the Neelys have filed for divorce and I DON’T WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT and the state of their love lives can’t ruin how magical and special this lobster mac & cheese is. The love between the Neelys may be gone, but the love between my mouth and this mac will never be diminished.
Lobster Mac & Cheese
If you haven’t had a breakfast taco in your life, you (a) have never been to Texas, and (b) are doing yourself a huge disservice. And if you haven’t had a breakfast taco while hungover, you are doing yourself a HUUUUUGE disservice because breakfast tacos are some of the best hangover cures ever. This particular breakfast taco is from a teensy diner in Port Aransas, on the Gulf Coast of Texas. It features fresh gulf shrimp, battered and deep-fried, topped with lettuce, tomato, cheese, and shredded cabbage. Oh, and on the side? Hashbrowns. Why? WHY NOT.
We’re nearing the end of soup season (which, to me, runs roughly mid-October through late-February) so I need to cram in some new recipes while I still have the chance! My two favorite types of soups are Asian-inspired, particularly Thai, and squash-based. So when my friend sent me a recipe on Pinterest incorporating both, I was IN. (And yeah I pinned it to my Soup-specific board, duh)
This fabulous recipe originally comes from the lovely blog Carlsbad Cravings. While I’ve made Thai-spiced butternut and/or sweet potato soups before, the addition of sriracha-roasted pumpkin seeds on top really brings this one to a whole other level. Actually, she used butternut squash seeds, but I had a bunch of naked pumpkin Superseedz in the pantry so I decided to use those and it came out great. Perfect if you are using pre-chunked or frozen butternut squash versus the whole gourd. (Which I actually was, too… pre-cut packaged organic squash because I was running late after work! No shame in my game on a busy weeknight.) I amped up the spice in this a bit and cut down the fat by using light coconut milk, and the result was absolute heaven.
Thai Butternut Squash Coconut Soup with Honey Sriracha Pumpkin Seeds
Yeah yeah YEAH SONS!!!!! This Sunday is the Super Bowl and the Seahawks are BACK, BABY! Loyal ES readers may remember that I am from Seattle and loooove me some Hawks and made this ultra-handy Super Bowl Snacks for Seahawks Fans last year, and that post still stands because OBVIOUSLY THE SEAHAWKS ARE BACK IN THE ‘BOWL.
(If you want me to stop typing in all caps, SORRY NOT SORRY I CAN’T STOP WON’T STOP because I LOVE THE SUPER BOWLLL)
This year, though, to add to my Seahawks-centric list, I thought I’d share a Top 10 list of general football recipes guaranteed to please any Super Bowl partiers. There is NO shortage of Super Bowl recipes online but these are the tried-and-true snacks we’ve successfully made in the past, and/or new (to us) recipes I’m excited to try this weekend. Need even more inspiration? Take a gander at our Endless Super Bowl Pinterest board.
What… even… ARE YOU? Once again, one of my personal favorite food blogs, HBH, comes through with an amazing recipe and gorgeously mouth-watering photos. I want, no, NEED this sandwich in my life.
I developed this recipe two years ago and it is GOOD. Your breath might smell, but so will everyone else’s, so you’ll be just fine.
Lil’ smokies are one of Rob’s favorite football snacks (and one of mine, and one of probably most of America, let’s be real…) so obv they’re a Super Bowl staple. The addition of creamy buffalo dipping sauce and blue cheese inside the “blanket” ?! A stroke of genius.
Now this is what we like to call… the money shot. What would a leisurely yet luxurious hotel room breakfast be without some luscious smoked salmon, and of course, a golden, runny egg yolk? This was how I started the day during a staycation at the W Austin last week. Perfection on a plate.
I am SO in love with the new spiralizer I got for Christmas! (It’s this fancy-pants Paderno 4-blade variety… kind of complicated to put together at first, but once you get the hang of it, it’s great.) I’m about to spiralize everything up in this kitchen. Well, within reason.
Obviously, one of the best things to do with a spiralizer is to make faux-noodles. I’ve been trolling Pinterest for some spiralizer inspiration and I happened upon this recipe from Shape. Instead of heavy dairy, it uses puréed sweet potatoes to make a creamy, thick sauce. (Thankfully I also received a shiny new Cuisinart food processor at Christmas this year!)
The original recipe also uses spiralized sweet potatoes to make the “noodles” and while I love me a sweet potato, this was a little too… overly sweet potatoey for my liking, so I subbed zucchini for that component. So technically you can call them “zoodles” but I haven’t fully given into that terminology yet. I also added some shrimp for protein, it went really well with the rest of the flavors and textures. If you’re trying to keep things vegetarian/vegan, you could omit the shrimp and add some firm tofu.
This meal was SO filling and satisfying while also managing to be extremely healthy and low calorie. Rob and I split this entire recipe, and I was wondering if it’s unhealthy/weird for adults to eat 1.5 zucchinis each in a single sitting, but I guess that’s just #spiralizerlife.
Sautéed Zucchini Noodles & Shrimp in Sweet Potato-Red Pepper Sauce
This drink may look like a light and healthy brunch refresher, something you’d sip post-workout maybe. And it is all that…except for you know, tequila. White tequila that is — looking healthy but still getting you drunk since 1685.
· 1 oz Herradura Silver tequila
· 1 oz Dolin Bianco vermouth
· Dash of orange bitters
· ½ oz lemon juice
· 1 oz club soda
· Pomegranate seeds
Place all ingredients except the soda into a high ball glass.
Add the club soda last, then using a bar spoon stir the ingredients together to chill & combine the flavors.
Garnish with a mint sprig and pomegranate seeds.