Summer is on its way out the door. And that means goodbye to all the colorful dishes and hello to pumpkin and sweet potato. But summer isn’t gone yet, so I’m holding on to it for as long as I possibly can. 

That’s why I decided to go for sausage and peppers for dinner tonight. I mean, who can resist a plate full of colors? So I went on a hunt for the perfect palette of peppers. 

A few weeks ago my husband and I moved to Brownsburg, Indiana. It’s a suburb of Indianapolis, but it’s got more of a town feel–which I love. We are super close to a number of farms and that means fresh produce all the time! 

On my exploration of the city, I found a place called The Hayloft. It’s not a traditional farmer’s market. It’s a farm-to-table store with locally grown fruits, veggies and herbs. They also have fresh eggs, meats, cheeses, honey and infused olive oils. And it’s all local. I seriously felt like I hit the chef’s jackpot. 

Pineapple Vanilla Bean Jam
Checkout this locally made pineapple vanilla bean jam I found.

The Hayloft had some amazing Bell and Lipstick peppers to select from, all fresh and ripe for the picking. I even found a purple one. It was gorgeous! The color cooked away and it became more translucent in this dish. Next time I’ll reserve the purple pepper for a summer salad rather than cooking it. That way I can enjoy the color when it’s served. 

Purple Bell Pepper
Peter Piper picked a purple pepper 😉

All in all, this sausage and peppers recipe was very tasty. It was quick and light–perfect for an end of summer evening. 

Here’s what you need:

Most people would add onion to the recipe. I abhor onions, but I won’t judge you if you add them in for your version. 

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 4-5 colorful peppers (I chose a mix of Bell peppers and Lipsick peppers)
  • 4 chicken sausage links
  • 1/2 tsp ground fennel 
  • 1/2 tsp ground savory (if you don’t have ground savory you can easily substitute thyme)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Here’s what you do:

Start with a cast iron pan (if you can). I like my sausage and peppers to get a nice char on them, and I find that’s best with cast iron. 

  • Heat your olive oil and sauté your garlic
  • Chop your peppers however you like. I chop my Lipstick peppers in rings and I chop my Bells long and skinny. 
  • Add your peppers into the pan along with your herbs and salt and pepper
  • Stir the peppers until they are fully coated
  • Let them cook for about 3-5 minutes or until they begin to soften. You will notice that purple peppers will lighten and orange peppers will take on a more yellowish tone. 
  • Add your chicken sausage and stir
  • Cover your pan and let the sausage and peppers cook until the chicken sausage is cooked through and all the flavors are married together 
  • Serve over brown rice and enjoy your colorfully warm, summer goodness. 

-RC 😘

Chicken sausage and peppers


I am a sucker for anything light and creamy and sweet of course. I asked my husband to pick up some fruit from the store one day and he came home with a sack full of pears. I’m typically more of a strawberry, grapes & kiwi type of girl, but my honey was onto something when he switched it up.


What you need:

  • 4 pears
  • 4 cups of water
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup of honey
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract

What you do:

  • Peel the pears and cut in half (try to leave the stems in tact)
  • Core the pears with a melon baller or a spoon (the melon baller will give you a perfect hole)
  • Add your water, brown sugar and honey to a large saucepan and let simmer until the sugar and honey dissolves
  • Stir in your spices and almond extract
  • Add your pears in with the inside facing up (I pushed them down so the liquid would fill the inside and help keep the pears from floating to the top)
  • Cover the pears and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until you can poke the pears easily with a fork (be careful not to let the pears get too soft…we don’t want mush)
  • Remove the pears and the juices and put them in a covered dish to steep

You can eat the pears once they cool but I decided to steep them in the fridge over night for more flavor


What you need:

  • Your remaining juices from your poached pears

What you do:

  • Pour the juices into a saucepan and bring to a boil
  • Turn down to medium-high heat and cook until the juices reduce and thicken


This recipe is actually an adaptation of my mom and grandmother’s banana pudding recipe.

What you need:

  • 4 tbsp flour
  • 3/4 cup of sugar (the recipe calls for 1 full cup but I like my pudding a little less sweet)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3 cups of milk
  • 1 tsp almond extract

What you do: 

  • Mix your dry ingredients together in a saucepan
  • Mix your yolks and milk in a bowl
  • Add your egg mixture to the saucepan
  • Cook on low to medium, stirring occasionally, until your mixture starts to thicken
  • Make sure to stir to keep it smooth…nobody likes lumpy pudding
  • Remove the pudding from the heat and stir in your extract

This recipe might seem like a bit much because of all the pieces and steps, but it is really very easy and equally delicious. Enjoy!

With lots of love from my heart to your belly!


Hi Friends!

So many of you know that I have given up meat, dairy and gluten until Easter. This journey has been going pretty well so far but I messed up a little last night. I thought I was making vegan, gluten free pizza. As it turns out, I actually just made gluten free pizza.

Last night was a lesson in remembering to read ALL labels of EVERY ingredient.

I set out to make pizza after my husband suggested we find some gluten free bread and put some tomato sauce with mushrooms and spinach. Poor thing was craving pizza so bad, and I figured I’d help him out.

My initial plan was to make my own crust, but I was perusing through the Kroger clearance shelf and saw a box of gluten free pizza dough. It was premixed and it said GLUTEN FREE in big beautiful letters. That box was saving my life and my time, so I grabbed it and continued on the get the rest of my ingredients.

After we finished dinner I decided to read the box to see what the ingredients were. I was searching for ideas for my own gluten free dough. And I realized that while the mix had no gluten, it wasn’t free of dairy. That’s right folks. We made a mistake and had eggs and milk when we ate that crust. Father, forgive me.

This recipe is still worth sharing.

What you need:

  • Gluten free pizza crust (I used a generic premixed brand and just followed the instructions on the box)
  • Your favorite tomato sauce
  • Garlic & Herb flavored TreeNut cheese (This stuff if like heaven to me)
  • 1 can mushrooms (You can also use fresh mushrooms and saute them, but clearly I was being lazy this particular night)
  • Whole, pitted back olives
  • Vegan meat crumbles. Now as you know, I am not a huge fan of fake beef, but I did find some that I love.


  • Small bunch of spinach
  • Seasoning salt, lemon pepper, garlic powder to taste

What you do:

  • Prepare your dough and preheat the oven according to the box instructions
  • Roll it out in a baking pan. It’s not going to look very pretty. At least mine didn’t
My sad, sorry attempt at rolling out my dough.
  • Spread on your pizza sauce. Feel free to spice your sauce up with seasonings. I didn’t because this night was a super lazy night. Once I saw the box of premixed gluten free dough, it was pretty much downhill from there.
  • Drop spoonfuls of your TreeNut cheese on top of your dough. It’s not very spreadable, but it’s OK. DO NOT try to heat it up to make it spread more easily. This isn’t real cheese so that won’t work. Use as much as you like. I used a ton because I love this stuff.
  • Now you can add your toppings. Add as much or as little as you like
  • Sprinkle your seasonings on top
  • Put it in the oven and bake according to the box
  • Take it our and ENJOY.





This recipe actually was really good. It wasn’t super reminiscent of pizza as the dough had a bit more of a crunch to it. That TreeNut cheese is life though. It’ so creamy and tastes so delicious with the fake meat crumbles. This recipe was a hit in my house.

Now, does anyone have a good recipe for a vegan & gluten free crust?

Hello everyone! I hope you all are doing lovely today. I’m super excited to share this recipe with you because it’s super easy and totally guilt free. 

You may not know this, but I am in love with Asian cuisine. I know I always say I’m in love with other stuff like pasta and cream and wine and whatnot. And that’s because the truth is that I am in love with food. Period. 

But Asian is by far my favorite. I used to say I wanted to marry an Asian man so I could get all the recipes. And as you all know my love isn’t Asian at all so I didn’t luck up on any authentic Asian recipes. Instead, I just try and replicate my favorite dishes. Sometimes I fail, but this time I think I did ok. 

Now I need to warn you that although I used Asian ingredients, I didn’t really do anything super exciting. I also didn’t really make an Asian dish. I just used a couple of Asian ingredients to create a quick and easy guilt free dish. I am in no way claiming this to be an authentic Thai dish. It’s just called Rae Thai because Rae is my nickname (pre becoming RC) and I was dreaming of Pad Thai when I made it. 

What you need:

  • 1 8oz box brown rice noodles 
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 14oz container extra firm tofu
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 package of steam in the bag stir fry veggies (mine were frozen)
  • 1 bottle gluten free Pad Thai sauce (I’m fasting from gluten for Lent so I chose gluten free. The gluten really comes from the soy sauce that’s in the Pad Thai. If you’re not gluten free, then don’t worry yourself over finding a g-free version). 

One Pot Rice Pasta

What you do:

  • Soak your rice noodle in hot water (not boiling) for 6 minutes. 
  • While noodles are soaking, heat olive oil in a medium pan 
  • Chop tofu to your preferred size and add to the pan once the oil is hot
  • Add in salt and pepper to taste. I also added in some seasoning salt and garlic powder 
  • Brown the tofu to your liking 
  • While browning, steam your veggies. I steamed mine in the microwave. I told you guys this was super simple. 
  • Add the rice pasta into the pan with the tofu and toss around
  • Add in the steamed veggies. Make sure to drain the water out. 
  • Toss the veggies, tofu and rice noodles until mixed well
  • Pour on your Pad Thai and mix it all in. 
  • Plate, serve enjoy. 

I added a little extra sauce to mine because I love sauce but it’s probably best without the extra sauce (according to my husband). 

Rae Thai

By now I am pretty sure you are all WELL AWARE of my addiction to pasta. I created this guilt-free alternative and it turned out to be a hit. Contrary to popular belief, everything I try in the kitchen isn’t always a hit. When I made this I wasn’t on the fast, but you can very easily remove the sausage and this would still be a perfect vegan & gluten free option.

What you need:

  • 1 10 oz box red lentil pasta (I used Tru Roots brand and found it at my local grocery store.)


  • 6 chicken sausage links (I used 3 chicken spinach sausage links and 3 chicken and maple sausage links from the meat department at my local grocery store. FYI chicken sausages are sometimes still cased in pork casings.)
  • 1 can white clam sauce
  • 1 can red clam sauce (You can also just use low cal tomato sauce if you hate clams.)
  • 1 jar artichoke
  • 1 jar sun dried tomatoes
  • Handful of fresh spinach (Use as much as you like)
  • Salt, pepper, garlic and thyme to taste (Sorry I didn’t measure. Use your best judgement.)

What you do:

  • Cook the pasta as directed and BE VERY CAREFUL NOT TO OVERCOOK. It will turn to mush if you do. Remember these are beans we are working with.
  • Mix your clam sauces, artichoke and sun dried tomatoes in a sauce pan
  • Bring to a boil for about 2 minutes
  • Add your seasonings and let simmer
  • Stir in the pasta
  • Fold in the spinach
  • Eat as much as you like…unless lentils rumble your stomach.

It was pretty hard to remember that we were actually eating lentils. The pasta was nice and firm and had a great taste to it. Hope you enjoy this one!


So the Lent season is upon us, and it’s that time to go totally vegan…totally gluten free…totally wine-less. I might be getting sadder and sadder as I continue to type this.

I kid. I kid. I am like a pro at this (sort of). My first experiment this season was meatless enchiladas. I was craving Mexican so bad and corn chips and salsa just wasn’t going to cut it. So I went browsing around in Kroger to see what I could find.

Here’s what I found:

  • Meatless sausage
  • Tree nut cheese spread
  • Gluten free corn tortillas


What you need:

  • 1 pack yellow rice
  • 1 can Rotel tomatoes (or chopped tomatoes if you’re fancy)
  • 1 cup veggie sausage crumbled (I wasn’t a fan of this but my husband was so…eh)
  • Seasoning salt to taste
  • Brush of olive oil
  • 6 gluten free corn tortillas
  • 1 container of tree nut cheese spread
  • 1 can refried beans
  • 1 can green enchilada sauce
  • 1 can red enchilada sauce
  • 1 cup shredded lettuce
  • A few jalapenos
  • A few black olives
They weren’t as pliable as I would have liked, but once the sauce was poured on it didn’t matter.
Yummy goodness coming your way soon!

What you do:

  • Preheat the oven to 350
  • Cook your rice according to the package
  • Add Rotel tomatoes to the rice as soon as the rice is finished and set aside
  • Heat a medium sauce pan and toast each tortilla for about 10-20 seconds per side and set aside
  • Crumble the meatless sausage up in a pan and add some seasoning salt and garlic powder and whatever else you come up with to make it feel like ground beef…perhaps some taco seasoning. I didn’t do any of this because once I opened the package I was convinced I had opened a can of poo.
  • Brush a baking dish with olive oil and sprinkle some seasoning salt
  • Spread a heaping spoonful of tree nut cheese and refried beans onto one tortilla
  • Add a spoonful of your rice & Rotel mix. This is where you would add in your fake meat if you so choose.
  • Roll the tortilla up and place it in the baking dish with the top facing down
  • Continue this process for 6 tortillas
  • Pour your green and red enchilada sauce over the top
  • Sprinkle on some jalapenos
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes
  • Top with shredded lettuce and olives (and more of the meatless poo)
  • Serve and enjoy!

This stuff was literally so good. Like no joke. I am not even exaggerating. Even the kids said it smelled good. They of course wouldn’t taste it. That had real tacos. With real meat. Ground beef. And cheese. And sour cream. Of the self control you must have to serve meat to your children whilst eating meatless enchiladas.


Meatless crumbles for the man.
No crumbles for me!


We wear pink on Wednesdays, but we eat pink cupcakes WHENEVER we want! If you know where the first half of that line comes from, you are fine with me. If you don’t, well I guess you’re still fine 😉

I’ve been in love with the color pink my entire life. So when I get the luxury of having something pink and edible it’s like heaven in my belly. Oh the joy of being a SUPER girly girl. But even the guys will devour these pink goodies because the taste is absolutely to die for. No need for high heels to consume these bad boys. All you need is a hankering for something fresh and sweet.

The key to this recipe is FRESH strawberries. There’s no jello, no cake mix and no food coloring (unless you absolutely want it). I promise you, once you try this recipe you will never go back to fake strawberry cake again. There are quite a few steps required, but it is definitely worth your time.

I’ve broken this recipe up into parts so you can go step by step for each of the components.

Here’s your shopping list:

  • 24 oz fresh strawberries
  • 1/4 cup milk (whole milk will make it a bit more dense. I usually use 2%)
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cup flour, sifted
  • 1 3/4 cup + 3 tbsp sugar
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks + 2 tbsp of sweet cream, unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 4 cups powdered sugar


What you need:

  • 24 oz ripe strawberries
  • 3 tbsp sugar

What you do:

  • Chop your strawberries and place in a bowl
  • Mix in the sugar
  • Let sit in the fridge over night if you have time (if not don’t sweat it)
  • Pour into a food processor and blend until it’s liquid
Fresh Strawberry Purée
Fresh Strawberry Purée


What you need:

  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 3/4 strawberry purée
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cup flour, sifted
  • 1 3/4 cup sugar
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks of butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream

What you do:

  • Preheat oven to 350
  • In a small bowl, mix your purée, milk, eggs and vanilla
  • In a large mixing bowl, mix all your dry ingredients
  • Slowly add the butter and mix on low until it looks crummy (trust me this isn’t cookie dough)
Crummy Cake Batter
Don’t be alarmed by the crummy cake batter
  • Add in the purée mix and mix on medium until well blended
  • Scrape your sides and mix a bit more
  • Fold in the heavy cream

*Depending on your strawberries, your cake may be a faint pink or even plain white. If you want color, add a few drops of red or pink food coloring. I don’t add color.

  • Fill your cupcake pan and cook for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean
  • Careful not to overfill your pan


What you need:

  • 3/4 cup strawberry purée
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp melted butter

What you do:

  • Mix ingredients together
  • Once cupcakes are completely cool, poke holes into your cupcakes (I usually use a straw because I don’t own a professional tool. I just poked the center of each cupcake 3-4 times to get my desired fill hole.  I have also been known to use a cough syrup syringe from CVS. If you don’t have what you need, use what you got 😜).
  • Spoon in your filling
Strawberry FIlling
Strawberry Filling


What you need:

  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1 stick unsalted sweet cream butter
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup strawberry purée

What you do:

  • Mix all of the ingredients using an electric mixer on medium
  • Pipe the frosting onto your filled cupcakes
  • Finally enjoy the goodness of a fresh, homemade strawberry cupcake

Love you guys! Thanks for following. I’d love to hear what you think of these.

Frosted Strawberry Cupcakes
Look at those strawberry specs!


Strawnerry Cupcake with Pink Center
Look how pretty that pink center is!

Seriously who in the world wraps salmon in Pastry? I’ve been seeing everyone do it on the internet and as I’ve said before, sometimes I tend to bandwagon hop. So here’s my stab at taking something totally healthy and wrapping it with the most unhealthy thing I could find. 

What you need:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 5 oz fresh spinach
  • 1/2 cup Mexican crema
  • 2 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garlic
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 pound slab of salmon (skin peeled)
  • 3 tbsp honey 
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 sheets puff pastry

What you do:

  • Preheat the oven to 425
  • Heat olive oil in a medium pan
  • Lightly sauté your spinach. Don’t overdo it and cook it down too much
  • Remove your spinach from the pan and place in a bowl
  • Add your Mexican crema and 1/2 tsp of salt and mix (resist the temptation to spoon the creamy spinach into your mouth)
  • Season your salmon with your remaining seasonings
  • Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray
  • Lay out one sheet of your puff pastry
  • Spoon your spinach mixture onto the puff pastry
  • Lay the salmon on top of the spinach
  • Mix together your honey and soy sauce
  • Pour your sauce over top of the salmon
  • Place your butter on top of the salmon
  • Cover the salmon with the second sheet of puff pastry and wrap it around the bottom
  • Bake for about 18 minutes or until the pastry is flaky and the salmon is cooked through
  • Remove from the oven and cool just for a bit
  • Cut into this flaky goodness and do your best not to devour the entire thing in one sitting. 

Love you much!

Hi fellow foodies! Can I get a witness that shrimp is one of the most amazing creations for the kitchen? I love to eat shrimp. Big shout out to Mr. Bubba Gump himself!

RC in Vegas at Bubba Gump Shrimp
RC in Vegas at Bubba Gump Shrimp

Anyway, I love trying new things with shrimp because it’s one of the more simpler proteins to work with as long as you remember not to over cook it. Try out my super simple (and super spicy) take on Cajun shrimp. 

What you need:

  • 2 tbsp oil (I used veggie oil but you can use any oil of your choice)
  • 2 lbs peeled and deveined shrimp
  • 1 tbsp blackened seasoning 
  • 1/2 tbsp Cajun seasoning (leave this out if you don’t want a kick)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder

What you do: 

  • Heat your oil in a pan on medium/high (I use a cast iron skillet because it blackens the best but you can use what you got if you don’t have cast iron)
  • Dump the seasonings into your shrimp and make sure the shrimp are well coated (see below)

Cajun coated shrimp

  • Once the oil is nice and hot, drop your shrimp in (Careful not to fill the pan completely. I did mine in 3 batches)
  • Cool the shrimp for a few minutes on each side until you start to see them blacken slightly (Don’t go for the full on blackened effect because you risk the shrimp getting tough and over cooked and that’s no fun)
  • Pull those bad boys and and plate them
  • Let them cool and enjoy your spicy blackened shrimp!

Spicy Blackened Shrimp

The first time I ate Brussels sprouts I wanted to punch my mother in the face. Ok, I’m exaggerating a little. Well a lot because my mother is crazy so I would never even fix my mind to think about punching her in the face. I’m actually a little scared to publish this post because my mom is my number one follower. Love you Mom!

At any rate, the sentiment I am trying to get across is that I absolutely hated them. She described them as little baby cabbages and I loved cabbage so I just knew I’d love Brussels until I popped one in my mouth. I was filled with disappointment. They tasted nothing like cabbage.

As I got older, and of course more fancy, I rediscovered Brussels and actually fell in love with them. Partially because when you’re an adult you gain an appreciation for things you hated as a child. Mostly, because Brussels sprouts started trending like gluten free and vegan and I had to join the craze. No I am not that shallow, but sometimes I bandwagon hop. Sue me.

OK, let’s get into this recipe.

What you need:

  • 9 oz fresh Brussels sprouts (halved)
  • 2 cloves chopped garlic
  • Coarse salt to taste
  • Drizzle of honey
  • 2 tbsp honey infused balsamic (or regular if you can’t find honey. Don’t stress yourself over this ingredient)

What you do:

  • Preheat the oven to 400
  • Cut the Brussels in half (or do like I did and buy the ones at the grocery sells already chopped)
  • Chop 2 cloves of garlic
  • Lay the Brussels on a cookie sheet with the insides up
  • Drop your garlic onto the Brussels
  • Sprinkle on some coarse salt
  • Drizzle some honey across each Brussel (I didn’t measure but just make sure you hit each one)
  • Drizzle your balsamic over the Brussels (make sure they all get some love)
  • Roast for 20 minutes
  • As soon as 20 minutes is up pull them out
  • DO NOT BE ALARMED at what you see when you first take them out:

  • Mix them around in the semi sauce that’s in the pan. It’s not burnt, trust me.
  • Plate and enjoy

Love you all! I really hope you enjoy this one.