tex mex baked blooming onion

I participated in my first March Madness bracket this year. I’m so unaware of what I’m doing I’m not even sure if the sentence I just typed means anything.

But basically, my small group decided to (lovingly, brotheringly, as we do) compete against each other this year. And so, I signed up for a bracket, clicked a bunch of buttons with college names on them and sent it in. Currently, I am in 8th place out of 10 (not surprising). But Elliott is in 9th. VICTORY FOR STEPH.

And again, if it’s any indication of how little I know about what goes on with this March Madness business, I just had to ask the husband when it is over. Apparently, the championship is this Monday. Which is why this recipe for a baked blooming onion comes at the perfect time.

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vanilla almond chai latte

Welcome to vanilla-almondy, cinnamon-sugary, spiced chai latte bliss.

If you’re anything like me, my friends and probably about two-thirds of the U.S. population, you have a slight addiction to coffee beverages from coffee shops. But it’s so yummy, says you. It’s like a daily treat, you justify. And by you I mean me. And then I look into my wallet and realize said treats are making my bank account weep, and not with happy tears.

So I’ve been trying to cut back on the number of trips I make to the drive-thru down the street (yes, I have a Caribou Coffee JUST DOWN THE STREET. It’s torture, you guys. #firstworldproblems) (also, all of these trips currently are for half-caff/decaf beverages, in case you worry I’m being insensitive to my fetus) and instead, make some tasty beverages from the home. Once I stumbled upon the recipe for this homemade latte and took a sip, I felt like I needed a microphone. So I could drop it.

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moroccan spiced nuts

It’s Monday. Again. Another day, another dollar. Good thing I made us some Moroccan spiced nuts for our energy needs.

Oof, that started out kind of Debbie Downer. Sorry about that. Good thing I made us some Moroccan spiced nuts for our energy needs!

Much better.

These little snackaroos are my new favorite thing to munch on, well, pretty much whenever I’m not eating a meal. So that would be around 10 a.m., when I get my first mid-morning hunger pangs because the oatmeal has worn off but lunch is still soooo far away; and then again at 1:30 p.m., because lunch was so delicious that I kind of just want to keep it going; and then again around 3:30 p.m., which I consider my official “snacktime” because everyone needs an official snacktime. Sometimes there’s also a pre-dinner snack. And then sometimes I need a little sum-sumthin’ savory for dessert.

Hey, I’m enjoying these extra snacktimes while I can (ya know, for the babe). Pretty soon I have a feeling I’ll be wanting sleep more than food, in which case we’ll be talking about my nap schedule instead of my snack schedule (JOKES. I wouldn’t do that to you. Though I did just give you a rundown of my snack regimen, so… I heart you. Thanks for sticking with me here).

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twice-baked potatoes with fresh horseradish

When I go out of town, the husband eats frozen pizza and Chipotle and drinks beer. When he goes out of town, apparently I eat enchiladas for four days in a row.

Such is what happened this past weekend, when Elliott was on a trip in Colorado with his friends. He gallivanted around the state snowboarding, hiking and mountain biking. I think there was also a night of camping in Arizona, too? I don’t remember, as I was too busy staring out the window while it snowed making faces like this. I know for sure he didn’t shave, though, as he lovingly reminded me with daily photo updates on my phone.

Obviously by the last night of this most recent separation of ours, I couldn’t take one more bite of leftover enchiladas. And so, these twice-baked potatoes with fresh horseradish graced the single-lady dinner menu. And cheering and dancing and devouring of said potato ensued (look at all the excitement you missed out on, BABE).

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salmon + ravioli with lemon-garlic butter

Maybe it’s the 50-degree weather we had last week (I saw a patch of grass, you guys! GLORIOUS DAY). Maybe it’s because I had my baby shower this weekend and my family and friends and I all got to ogle over baby dresses together. Maybe it’s this playlist I’m listening to on repeat lately. Or maybe it’s this lemony, garlicky, buttery salmon I recently had for dinner. I don’t know. But things are definitely looking up.

Much as I love me some seafood, I really don’t cook much of it at home besides shrimp (and usually I buy the pre-cooked kind, so it’s kind of cheating). I’m not sure why — I mean, we don’t eat a ton of meat anyway, so I suppose when we do decide that today is the Day We Will Eat Meat, we usually go for chicken or, more deliciously, bacon. But this dish alone may change my ways because lemon-garlic butter.

I’m serious. This stuff is a game changer. It takes literally three ingredients and two minutes to prepare, and yet it makes almost anything taste like heaven on a plate. I’m considering making a bulk jar of it and just pouring it on everything — pasta, salads, hamburgers, a spoon that goes straight to my mouth. You get the idea. It’s so g-o-o-d.

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homemade cocktail rye bread + reuben dip

Tell me I’m not the only one who grew up on those mini cocktail rye breads at holiday gatherings. You know the ones — they’re square-shaped and, well, mini and they perform like champs when it comes to bringing spinach dip from the bowl to your mouth. Sometimes they also make fun lil’ cucumber sammies. I love ’em.

I love them so much, in fact, that I fear the day when I will need them for a party and they will be all out at the grocery store (which probably will never happen, because I always see stacks and stacks of them by the deli counter, BUT STILL); or the day when I have a craving for them but there’s a blizzard outside (may it never be again this winter, though); or, more likely, when I’m too lazy to put on real clothes and walk out the door but I still want the cocktail rye bread yum yums.

This is my brain on pregnant.

Anyway, that’s how this homemade cocktail rye bread came to be. And the reuben dip is a bonus recipe because, well, what good is cocktail rye bread without a dip? You’re welcome.

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