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Chili Cheese Dip

Like I told you last week, I got a brand new cast iron skillet and keep looking for excuses to use it. So today is another skillet recipe! hahaI took out the chili I made a few months ago from the freezer (I stored it in two 32 oz containers) and decided to do something new to it. It’s also perfect for those of you who enjoy making quick snacks for game night! Chili Cheese Dip Ingredients: -Leftover Chili (32 oz) -4 tbs Siggi’s Icelandic Yogurt OR Cream Cheese -1 cup Shredded Mexican Blend Cheese -1/2 cup Pico de Gaillo -1/2 Avocado -Tortilla Chips Instructions: 1. Take out your frozen chili the night before you want to make the dip and put it in the fridge to defrost. 2. Preheat the oven to 350º F. 3. Put the chili in your cast iron skillet, make sure it comes to a boil. 4. Once,…

Chocolate Chip Cookie Skillet

One of my favorite things ever is a warm, chewy, delicious chocolate chip cookie! And what’s even better than that? Making it in a skillet and topping it off with some ice cream and Nutella! I recently bought two cast iron skillets and when I brought them home, I immediately wanted to use them! The fastest thing I could think of was to make a chocolate chip cookie skillet which I’ve always wanted to make. Before I tell you the recipe, I have to admit that it is semi-homemade because I used Nestle Toll House cookie dough. Sometimes, it’s okay to cheat and use pre-made things, right? Ingredients: -Nestle Toll House Cookie Dough -8″ Cast Iron Skillet -2 tbs Nutella -Vanilla Ice Cream -Nuts of your choice Instructions:  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. 2. In an 8″ cast iron skillet, press half of the cookie dough into the bottom…

Small Cities in the US – Vermilion, Ohio

As you may know, I live in Chicago but often go to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and Silver Spring, Maryland since my siblings live there. A lot of the times I end up driving to and from there no matter how much I say that next time I’m just going to fly! I usually don’t mind driving, but this drive is really boring, there’s barely anything exciting that comes along the way! However, I have managed to find a town that I like stopping in when I have time. It’s also conveniently about halfway between Chicago and Harrisburg, called Vermilion, Ohio. It’s a cute town located by Lake Erie which means there is a beach (one of my favorite things ever). The reason why I initially chose to stop here was because of an ice cream shop called Granny Joe’s Ice Creamatorium. It had good reviews and so I knew I had to check…

Perfectly Crispy Seasoned French Fries

A couple of weeks ago I was sick and had to drink soup-y things every day but all I wanted was french fries! So when I got better, I decided I’d make them instead of going out and buying some. (Surely making them at home was going to be slightly healthier, right?) I usually bake fries or roast potatoes but this time I wanted the grease real badly so I looked up a recipe and tried something new! Ingredients: -3 medium sized red potatoes -1/4 cup all purpose flour -1 teaspoon garlic powder -1 teaspoon onion powder -1 teaspoon paprika -1 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning -1 teaspoon salt (may need more for sprinkling on top when they are done) -1/4 cup water, or as needed -1 cup vegetable oil for frying Instructions 1. Slice the potatoes into French fries. 2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. In the…

Restaurant Review – Antico Posto an Italian Restaurant

This past Tuesday, we celebrated a friends engagement by taking her out to dinner. We let her decide on the place. She chose an Italian restaurant called Antico Posto. And before I get started, let me just say that as much as I love Italian food, I prefer making it at home because when you go to restaurants they give you oversized bowls of pastas which don’t ever finish or things are too cheesy for my taste (and I do love cheese). So, I was a bit hesitant when she told us her choice. However, let me just tell you right off the bat, this place was AH-MAZING! I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed Italian food as much before! Everything was perfectly seasoned and cooked just right. There was five of us, we ordered 4 things that we all shared (I’m so lucky that all my friends like to share…

The Best Chili You’ve Ever Had!

Today I’m going to be sharing one of my favorite recipes ever, chili! For me, eating chili is probably the best part of winter. I grew up eating it only at my aunt’s house (my mom mostly made Pakistani food at home) which was one of the few non-Pakistani dishes I enjoyed back then. As I’ve grown into an adult (I think), and have started cooking more and more, I never really wanted to learn how to make this dish only because I was scared I couldn’t make it as good as I remember tasting it. Last year, I decided that was a stupid reason not to make something so I started looking up recipes. I found one that seemed to be a good base to start on allrecipes.com. If you click here you’ll see the original. However, here is my version: ***updated 1/1/2017***  I changed the ground beef and chili powder measurements as I made it…

Creamy Pesto Pasta With Chicken & Roasted Tomatoes

Time for another recipe! This one’s a pasta dish that I came up with by combining a few ones that I read online. A few weeks ago I made basil pesto which I had frozen because I made a lot and so I wanted to incorporate that in the pasta. I also wanted to include tomatoes in it because my dad grows a lot of vegetables in our backyard and if you know anything about growing tomatoes, they always grow in abundance and so I’m always looking at different ways to use them. I didn’t want to make this pasta taste like a salad because pesto pastas that I have eaten in the past are salad-y tasting and served cold. And although, this tastes great cold, it tastes even better when it’s warm and freshly made! Oh, and by the way, when adding chicken to pasta, sometimes I take a…

Easy Cheesy Veggie Quesadillas

My first recipe, yay! Let’s see if I can manage to write out the measurements and instructions properly because I usually end up putting a little bit of this and a little bit of that and just eye ball things when I’m cooking. I’m going to share this very simple recipe because it was one of the first things I learned to make as a kid, when I was still a FOB (fresh off the boat). I didn’t grow up eating cereal or pop tarts or luncheables etc. I ate paratha egg rolls and dhaal chaval (rice and lentils). I even took that stuff to school. In middle school we had to take a home economics class which included a cooking unit. I was a bit hesitant about the cooking unit because I knew we would be making things I didn’t really like eating at the time. I obviously couldn’t…

Taste of Chicago 2016 Review

Yesterday, I went to the Taste of Chicago and it felt necessary to share my experience with you this morning rather than Monday morning in case someone out there is debating whether they should go or not and are dying to know what I thought about it. For those that don’t know, It’s a food festival where various local restaurants and food vendors set up booths so people can come and sample some of their popular dishes. Basically, a foodie’s heaven! How it works is, once you are in, you buy tickets at the gate which ends up being your “money” to purchase the food. For 12 tickets it’s $8.50 which I thought was pretty reasonable. The cool thing is that most of the vendors had sample size portions for 3-5 tickets so you can try more than one place and not feeling like you are going to explode. I went with a friend so…

Valpo Velvet – Valparaiso, IN

Continuing with the exploring Indiana theme, it’s time to tell you about Valpo Velvet. When I was looking up things to see, do and eat in Valparaiso, Indiana, I kept coming across Valpo Velvet. It’s an ice cream shoppe! And such a historic one as well. They’ve been making ice cream in this location since 1947. And what’s great is that they continue to make all their products from scratch! The picture of the ice cream featured above may not look as exciting but the flavor definitely was. There are about 50 different flavors of ice creams, sherbet, frozen yogurt, etc. to choose from and I got Salted Caramel. It’s one of my all time favorite flavors of ice cream along with cookies and cream. It was delicious! I really liked the inside of this shoppe as well, it was really cute. In particular, I enjoyed all the colorful chairs, almost each…

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