Who doesn’t love a loaded baked potato? Ohhmyygeeerrddd. When I was pregnant, I devoured potatoes. I found this recipe around]]>

loaded baked potato casserole

One of the BEST things I love about recipes like this one is when you can make it AHEAD OF TIME. You do the dirty work, throw it in the fridge [even do the dishes so it looks like you’ve got your act together], and then when it’s time to eat – POP THAT *ISH IN THE OVEN. Bam.

loaded baked potato casserole

Crowd pleaser + make ahead = winning.

loaded baked potato casserole

I leave the skins on [because I’m lazy], and I cut them into chunks like these. It’s just 2 cuts per potato to make them into quarters, but feel free to cut them as you see fit. I kind of like the non-mushy texture they have when they cook in the casserole.

loaded baked potato casserole

This little ditty may seem like the WORST thing you could eat during swimsuit season, but you’re gonna be okay. If you make this recipe into 6 servings, each serving is only about 350 calories (18g fat; 13g protein). It’s not exactly a kale salad, but I’m willing to trade every now and then.

loaded baked potato casserole Loaded Baked Potato Casserole

Loaded Baked Potato Casserole

2 lb. red potatoes, cubed ¼ cup bacon bits (plus more for garnish) 3 green onions, chopped (plus more for garnish) 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded (plus more for garnish) 8 oz. sour cream 1/2 cup mayonnaise Kosher salt Freshly ground black pepper Cooking spray

Place the potatoes in cold, heavily salted water. Bring to a boil. Cook until fork tender (about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile in a large bowl, combine the bacon bits, green onions, cheddar cheese, sour cream, mayo, a pinch of Kosher salt, and 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper.

Drain potatoes and add to mayo mixture while still warm (but not hot). Stir to combine.

Spray an oven-proof dish with cooking spray. Pour mixture into prepared dish, garnish with bacon bits and cheddar cheese. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350. Remove dish + plastic wrap while oven preheats. Bake for 15-20 minutes (until cheese melts). Garnish with more green onions.

This. This recipe IS summer. I dream of if every single year. I usually only make it once because it’s definitely a recipe made with love [aka a little extra work than most]. I also only make it once a year because the star of this show, the lovely heirloom tomato, is usually a pretty expensive find. All of that aside, this recipe is my absolute FAVORITE thing to make in the summer once the tomatoes are ripe, juicy, and sweet enough to mix with some cheese + a homemade crust. Holy. Yum.

Heirloom Tomato Pie
This, my friends, is the crowned jewel of the summer. The perfect, the juicy, the ripe heirloom tomato. If you don’t know what an heirloom tomato is, it’s basically an organically-grown (usually) unique tomato with an unbelievably delicious taste. HTs can be red, yellow, or orange. Each HT has a distinctly different shape than every other one. They’re yummy and pretty, too.
I’ve paid up to $15 for four of these little lovelies. Yes, I’m that committed to my food. If only that level of commitment would transfer over into things like cleaning, laundry, working out, and wearing make up.
The filling consists of all of the following bits of delicious: sautéed onions, mozzarella cheese, mayo, chives, thyme, parsley*, and breadcrumbs.
*I definitely bought two bunches of cilantro instead of 1 cilantro + 1 parsley when shopping for this year’s tomato pie. Ewwww. Cilantro would NOT work for this. I would’ve cried. wept. sobbed. if this summer sensation was ruined by the wrong herb.
Heirloom Tomato Pie
This homemade crust is worth EVERY ounce of extra effort. I actually use it in a few other recipes because it’s sooooo savory, cheesy, and buttery. It’s also very, very forgiving. Right before I took this picture, you should’ve seen the crumbly hot mess of dough this was. I just shmooshed it around with my fingers until it submitted to my ultimate power and took the shape of a pie crust. It takes a little extra time to make, but I promise you, your taste buds will thank you later. Plus, bonus, it burns some extra
calories, right?
 homemade savory crust
Enjoy the taste of summer, friends!
Heirloom Tomato Pie

Heirloom Tomato Pie
Crust
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
3/4 tsp. table salt
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces
3 tbs. Manchego cheese, shredded
Filling
2¼ pounds mixed heirloom tomatoes (about 4 tomatoes)
Kosher salt
2 tbs. EVOO, divided
1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
3/4 cup Manchego cheese, shredded
1/4 cup mayonnaise
3 tbs. breadcrumbs
3 tbs. chopped fresh chives, divided
3 tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, divided
1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
Freshly ground black pepper
Make the crust: Pulse the flour, cornmeal and fine salt in a food processor or standing mixer to combine. Add the butter and 3 tbs. Manchego; pulse until the mixture looks like coarse meal with pea-size bits of butter. Drizzle in 4 tbs. ice water (must be ice cold for the dough to come together) and pulse until the dough comes together; add 1 more tbs. ice water if necessary. Form dough into a disc, place in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 45 minutes, or until firm.
Flour a clean working surface and dust a rolling pin with flour. Roll the dough into a large enough disc to fit into a pie plate. Press the dough into the pie dish and form to the sides of the dish. Pierce the bottom of the crust all over with a fork. Refrigerate an additional 20 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350.
Line the crust with foil, then fill with dried beans or pie weights. Bake until the edges are golden, about 20 minutes. Remove the foil and beans and continue baking until golden all over, 10 to 15 more minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool. Increase oven temp to 375.
Make the filling: Thinly slice the tomatoes and toss with 1 tsp. Kosher salt. Place in colander and allow to drain, tossing occasionally, for about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, heat 1 tbs. EVOO in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté onion, stirring occasionally, until golden and tender (about 15 minutes). Allow to cool.
Combine the mozzarella, 3/4 cup Manchego, mayo, breadcrumbs, 2 tbs. each chives and parsley, thyme, ¼ teaspoon each kosher salt and pepper, and the sautéed onion in a large bowl. Spoon and level into the cooled crust. Arrange the tomatoes on top. Drizzle with the remaining 1 tbs. EVOO and season with pepper. Bake until the tomatoes are browned, about 50 minutes. Garnish with remaining chives and parsley.

Summer (I know it’s only spring technically) is my favorite produce season! I loooooooooove me some good ‘maters, and summer is their prime time to shine. H-E-B had some gorgeous Beefsteak Tomatoes last week, so I had to grab a few. I made a quick turkey bacon BLT, and I felt my heart go pitter-patter. I’m already dreaming about making an Heirloom Tomato Pie and maybe even some Fried Green Tomatoes. #getinmybelly
life lately
I’m currently really digging this song. To me, it’s very raw and emotional, especially considering that Jon and I are coming up on our five year anniversary (seems just like yesterday…). I’ve been hearing so many stories of couples breaking up after years and years together. Those stories and realities can really haunt you, but this song just puts a sweet tone to my day.
say you won't let go

I recently went to a baby shower for a sweet friend, and they gave us the best party favors ever. They placed a simple, stemless wine glass in each bag. Then, they had an assortment of individual wines to choose from inside the different bags. I can always dig wine as a party favor. I went for the pink variety since my sweet friend is having her second baby girl!

baby shower favor

They added an adorable note, too.

baby shower favor

On Sunday, we spent all morning organizing our chaotic garage, so we decided to rest in the afternoon. Jon put on the Astros’ game on the porch, and we all just played and lounged outside. The weather was nothing short of perfect. I’ll take all the cool, breezy days I can get before the 100 degrees + humidity starts.

corey douglas

I just bought the cheapest 100% pineapple juice I could find, which happened to be the canned version. It cost about $2 and comes with a ton that you can put in a different container and store in the fridge.

Blackberry Breeze Cocktail + Extras

This cocktail is citrusy, smooth, and the perfect way to end your day (or start it, whateves). If you taste it and feel like you want more sweetness, just add a dash of agave nectar and give it a stir.

Blackberry Breeze Cocktail + Extras

Blackberry Breeze

4 blackberries
2 oz. pineapple juice
2 oz. tequila blanco
1/2 oz. lime juice
Mint, for garnish
In a cocktail shaker, squeeze the blackberries with your fingers so they break apart and their juices come out. Add the pineapple juice, tequila, and lime juice. Shake until foamy (about 10 seconds). Garnish with mint.
For added sweetness, add a splash of agave nectar.

It’s getting closer and closer (or if you’re in south Texas, you’re already there) to grilling season! Toot toot! We actually got to grill out on a Friday night a little while ago which means a good cocktail, great music, and some delic]]>
marinated white beans
I originally found this recipe in Bon Appétit magazine and loved the idea. You just “marinate” the beans in the sauce and serve them cold, at room temperature, or you can cook them a little like I did to get some great texture in them.
marinated white beans
Heating them up gives you this yummy char you see below.
marinated white beans
I also roasted a couple of zucchini and yellow squash (EVOO, salt, and pepper at 400 for about 20; throw the Parm on top and go another 4). Our whole meal was about 550 calories but it sure didn’t taste like it!
marinated white beans
I love roasting veggies – it’s simple, healthy, quick, and easy clean up. I’ll roast all year long, and I don’t care who knows it.
marinated white beans
These beans make 4 good-sized servings and comes in at around 140 calories per serving. Just enough to make you feel okay about that extra glass of wine. You’re welcome.

Marinated White Beans
1 shallot, finely diced
3 tbs. white wine vinegar
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
2 cans white beans (white cannellini, chickpeas, navy beans, or butter beans), rinsed and drained
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
Kosher salt, to taste
EVOO
Combine the shallot and vinegar in a large glass bowl. Allow to sit for about 5 minutes while you chop the herbs and rinse the beans. Add the parsley, cilantro, beans, and red pepper to the marinated shallot and vinegar mixture. Season to taste with salt. Allow to rest at room temperature or in the fridge for about an hour.
You can either serve these at room temperature or, you can cook them a little to warm them up.
In a large nonstick skillet or pot, heat the bean mixture over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes until heated through. Using the back of a heavy spoon, smash about 1/4 of the beans to release their starch, stirring occasionally. Cook another 5 minutes until you get a little brown on the bottom of the beans. Drizzle a little olive oil over the beans and garnish with more cilantro and parsley.
Beans can be made and refrigerated 3 days ahead.

This. Burger. Right. Here.
I can’t tell you how delicious this was! Ok, I can. It was AMAZING! It is hands down the best burger I’ve ever made at home.
I saw the recipe in Food Network Magazine, and my inner preggo said that I had to have it. (Their picture is way better than mine, too. I was too hungry for the fancy shots.)
The onion-bacon compote plus the cheese takes the burger to a whole notha level.
We had our burgers with something I call Corrales Casserole. It was an easy way to use leftover rice – just mixed with two cans of green chiles, some sour cream, diced white onion, and cheddar cheese. Popped it in a 375 degree oven for 20 minutes and voila!
The Office Burger

The Office Burger
Adapted from Food Network Magazine
Onion-Bacon Compote
4 slices bacon
2 tbs. unsalted butter
1 yellow onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbs. balsamic vinegar
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Burgers
Cooking Spray (Pam)
1 lb. ground beef – your choice on the fat content
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Rolls/buns of your choice
Gruyere cheese, shredded
Gorgonzola, crumbled
1 cup baby arugula
Compote
Crisp the bacon in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat, flipping occasionally for even cooking, until crispy (about 5 minutes). Transfer to a paper towel to drain, crumble, and set aside. Reserve 1 tbs. bacon drippings and discard the rest.
Reduce the heat to low (very important to caramelize the onions) and add the butter. Add the onions and cook, covered, until golden (about 15 minutes). Stir occasionally to ensure even cooking. Uncover and add the garlic, stirring to combine. Cook until onions are caramelized, about 5 more minutes. Add the vinegar and stir, until the onions are glazed, about 2 more minutes. Remove from heat, add bacon, and season with S&P. Set aside.
Burgers
Preheat a grill to medium high and spray the grill with cooking spray. Form the beef into four patties, season each side with S&P, and grill about 5 minutes a side. Only flip the burgers once and never, never press the patties down to the grill. Melt the cheese onto the patties while they’re in their last 3 minutes of cooking. Meanwhile, toast your buns.
Serve the cheesy burgers on your toasty buns and top with the onion-bacon compote and baby arugula.