Welcome to my food blog! I am your average home cook and I want to share my love of food with the world. I'll divulge my recipes as often as possible. Feel free to comment or to email me at nodessertpodcast@gmail.com! Don' forget to come by often for new posts... I love having you visit me!

November 20, 2014

Blue Cheese Meatballs - Home Cooked Recipe 56

Can you tell I am obsessed with the beef and blue cheese combination lately?  There is just something so satisfying and umami about those two together!  I love meatballs, and combining them with blue cheese seemed like the perfect thing to do.  They turned out great, and I recommend you try them! This recipe is so simple and takes almost no time.  You can serve them with your normal pasta sauce, or blue cheese dressing for dipping.

Blue Cheese Meatballs


  • 1 1/2 lbs ground beef
  • 1/4 medium onion, grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 4 oz crumbled blue cheese
  • salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350.
Combine all ingredients and mix well.  Form into golf ball size balls.  Place on a cooling rack you have put on a baking sheet.  Bake for 30 minutes.

November 12, 2014

Simply Sides 13 - Baked Sweet Potato Fries

I have been struggling with potassium issues (muscle cramps, leg cramps, toe cramps, etc).  Tired of eating a million bananas, and one bout with Pedialyte (don't ask LoL), I was reading up on potassium rich foods and found out that sweet potatoes have the most potassium of all veggies/fruits!  Well, I love sweet potatoes so I bought some and we ate them mashed (which is my go to).  My bf said it felt too much like Thanksgiving, so I looked up some fry recipes that would make sweet potatoes more like an everyday side side dish for us.  Here's one that I tried that was delish!

Baked Sweet Potato Fries


  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into strips
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika

Preheat oven to 450.  Line a baking sheet with foil and place in oven to preheat.
In a bowl, mix sweet potato strips with oil and spices.  When oven is preheated, pull out baking sheet and place fries in a single layer on sheet.  Bake for 20-30 minutes.  

November 7, 2014

Black Bean Soup - Home Cooked Recipe 55

Weather is finally getting chillier here in FL (we actually reached 45 this past weekend -whoah!) and it's time to start cooking the recipes I reserve for winter cooking.  In addition to making old favorites, I like to try new ones as well.  Also, I am looking for meatless and/or gluten free recipes and this recipe for black bean soup fits the category!

Black Bean Soup


  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups chicken broth (use vegetable broth to make this recipe vegetarian)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp cajun or creole seasoning

Saute onion and carrots in 2 tbs olive oil until soft and tender (5-10 minutes).  Add in garlic and saute another minute.  Add salt and pepper, as well as creole/cajun seasoning at this stage.  Pour in 2 cups of broth and cook at a boil for 2 minutes.  Reduce heat to simmer and stir in beans, tomatoes, and remaining broth.  Simmer on low for 15 - 30 minutes.  I served mine with yellow rice and a caesar salad, but white rice, another kind of salad, and bread also make great additions to make this soup a main meal.  Hint, use a couple dashes of hot sauce to spice up this soup if you/your family can handle the heat.
I used an immersion blender to partially puree the soup.  You can also use a blender or food processor.  I would only puree half the soup though, you want some texture by leaving the other half unprocessed.

November 3, 2014

Special Post - Epcot Food and Wine Fest 2014

It has been a looooong time since I have been to Epcot for the Food and Wine Fest.  Probably at least 6 or 7 years.  So when I got the invitation to go to help celebrate a friend's birthday (accompanied by free entry courtesy of one of the birthday girl's awesome friend) I jumped at the chance.  I didn't have enough money (or room in my stomach!) to try everything I wanted, but thanks to a great group of people I got a taste of lots and lots of food and drink, and purchased some of my own to devour.  My favorite was the Spanikopita in Greece.  I am a sucker for an awesome spinach pie (stay tuned on this blog, I made my own spanikopita recently and will be sharing the recipe in a couple of weeks).  So let me take you on the journey I went on this year at Epcot's Food and Wine Festival!
Grand Marnier Slush

We started in France.  Our first order of business was to get a drink, a Grand Marnier slush to be exact.  This drink has Grand Marnier, Grey Goose orange vodka, orange juice, and rum.  Very delicious (but kind of priced too high at $9.86 + tax - $10.51).  

From France, our next stop was in Japan.  I did not purchase anything here, but was able to taste a bit of the Saki sampler and my favorite was the Hana Fuga, which is a peach flavored sparkly Saki.  I like my drinks sweet and fruity, and this fit the bill!
Sampling Saki in Japan - What a great group!

Limoncello Margarita
After leaving Japan and walking for a bit, our next stop was in Italy where I discovered the Frozen Margarita, which contained Limoncello and tequila.  I love me some Limoncello and this was by far my favorite drink in the whole festival.  Sweet, tart, and refreshing, I can definitely see myself lying on a beach somewhere sipping these all day.  I did not try any food here but some of my group had the Filetto di Pollo con Funghi al Marsala and they deemed it amazing.

Sauerkraut Pierogi with Pork Goulash
I jumped right from Italy to Poland (right next door) and purchased my first food bite.  The Sauerkraut Pierogi with Pork Goulash was like being right at home.  I am half Polish and pierogies and pork were a large part of my upbringing.  There is nothing I like better than a good pierogi.  If you've never had them, they are basically like Polish ravioli.  A pasta pocket filled with something (usually sauerkraut/potato, potato/cheddar, potato/onion, or some kind of meat, although really, you can fill them with anything, including dessert like fillings), they are little pockets of heaven. My favorite are generally the potato/cheddar variety, and we would boil them for 3-5 minutes and then saute them in butter and onions and lots of black pepper.  This sauerkraut pierogi was amazing, I am a big fan of sauerkraut.  The Pork Goulash was cooked perfectly, with the chunks of pork being tender and falling apart in a nice tomato sauce.  

Meanwhile, while I was sampling my Polish food, friends were congregating in Singapore, where someone tried the Lemongrass Chicken Curry (a gluten-free option, by the way), and in Germany, where there were beer samplers involved as well as noshes on Bratwurst.  I am not a huge curry fan, and I think by now all my blog readers know how I feel about sausage so I did not sample any of these but when we got to Africa and a group member purchased the (also Gluten-free) South African Bobotie (involving turkey and mushrooms) I did have a bite and enjoyed it.

After leaving Africa are next stop was in South Korea and I had a sip of the Bahae Blackberry Wine and thought it was delish.  

I cannot remember if anyone got anything in China, but I don't think so.  However, at the new Farm Fresh booth which features local delicacies and emobodies the Farm to Table movement, I tried a bite of the Pepper Bacon Hash (good) and I remember someone else trying the Yard Bird and saying it was wonderful.

From there we journeyed to Mexico, where we entered the Tequila Cave.  Everyone but me ordered some kind of Margarita, ranging from cucmber to one that also contained Rumchata.  I can only have limited amounts of tequila, and because my margarita from Italy contained some, I did not chance it in Mexico.  We also went on the boat ride there, which is just a nice way to cool off on a hot day and sit down and relax for a few minutes.  As we were leaving some group members ordered tacos and claimed them to be scrumptious.

Lamb Meatball with Spicy Tomato Chutney
In Australia, which was next, I had a sip of the Reisling, and while I like a sweet reisling this one was a bit dry for my taste.  I know several group members purchased the lamb, and one the shrimp, and I did get a small taste of the sauce on the lamb (very good), but I myself went over to New Zealand and grabbed the Lamb Meatball with Spicy Tomato Chutney.  Situated on a pastry shell, it was tender, moist, and tasty.

Frozen S'mores
After a few brief detours, (which included a sample of Ghiardelli chocolate), we made it to Scotland.  I had a bite of my friend's potato pancake (ok, but nothing to write home about) and watched more group members sample the scallop, which looked divine.  

At the Desserts and Champagne Booth, my friend and I each got a Frozen S'mores, which was a great sweet sipper that fixed my sweet tooth. 

Then we made it to Greece!  I indulged in my Spanikopita, which I have already told you is my fav.  Several group members got the Griddled Cheese with honey and pistachios and were gracious enough to give me more than one bite.  Yummy!  I also had a sip of the Tzatziki Martini which is not a bad drink (although the idea of it beforehand had me skeptical).  I would not drink them all the time but it was good, and definitely different.

In Canada a group member purchased the beer cheese soup and I had a taste of it and really enjoyed it.  In Ireland, my friend got the Warm Chocolate Pudding with a liquor custard sauce and that was just dreamy.  I would eat that again in a heartbeat!
Brazilian Cheese Bread

And that brings us back to France, where we started.  While people were ordering more slushies before we hit the road, I hopped over to Brazil, and purchased one of my favorite things, the Pao de Queijo, which is Brazilian Cheese Bread.  A great finish to a great day.

Sunset at Epcot
I love the Epcot Food and Wine Festival.  I would go back all the time during it's course (usually a month or two every year around Oct/Nov).  It does get really expensive however, so be prepared if you decide to plan a trip.  The pass for the day runs you about $100 and that does not include any food or drink.  Thank goodness for the gracious free entry I received.  The bites range anywhere from $3-$10 or so, and the drinks depend on where you are but also around $3 to upwards of $20.  Each.  You can easily spend $100's on food and drink there in one day.  So plan what you really want to try on the neat little passports they hand out, or go in a group and you can split the cost up by each purchasing something and sharing.  The Festival also offers classes and demos, which you can purchase tickets to.  And there is always a band there that plays at different times of the day, check online for more details about that.  I know Smashmouth was playing the day we were there, but we ran out of time to go see them.  And don't forget about the Fireworks, every day at 9pm!

The festival is still going on until November 10th this year, so you have a week left to go if you choose.  Visit Epcot for more info!

Desserts and Champagne






New Zealand