Stuffed Pepper Skillet

When I moved into an on-campus apartment last year, I had to learn some things.

How to cook in a teeny tiny kitchen.

How to share space in that tiny kitchen.

How to prepare my meals in a fast and easy way to save time and kitchen space.

How to repurpose food I’ve already made into another dish to save time (and cooking).

While it was nice to cook for myself, namely because I enjoy it, there were a lot of things I had to adapt too. And even though I have a nice spacious kitchen now, time saving meals are something I haven’t let go of.

Some days I have plenty of time to prep and cook but most days I need to prep something quickly so I can study, tutor, go to class, work-out, grocery shop, the list goes on and on. So while I love the classics, I usually adapt them into something that I can prep one part of and then use that multiple times.

That’s exactly how this dish started. I had some frozen meatballs I’d made a few weeks ago, and some leftover veggies, namely green pepper. I’d seen some recipes for stuffed peppers recently and while I enjoy them, they definitely take longer than my stomach can wait.

So I created this skillet a week ago. And made it again last night. The first time I used the aforementioned meatballs, but last night I used some lentils I had leftover. Both ways, it was delicious.

With the meatballs!

Easy, quick, and super healthy. It can be paired with rice or eaten on its own. Experiment because this is definitely something you’ll want to eat again and again.

With the lentils!

Stuffed Pepper Skillet

1 serving but easily doubled

1 tsp garlic

1/2 small onion, diced

1 green pepper, chopped

1 tomato, diced or 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes

4-5 already prepared meatballs crumbled or 1/2 cup lentils or any protein of choosing (You could always prepare something to go with it too)

Heat oil in a skillet. Add garlic and onions. Let saute for a few minutes, then add in peppers. Let them soften. About 5-6 minutes.  Add in the tomatoes and protein of choice and let warm.

Remove from heat and enjoy!

Have a great day!

Pumpkin Yeast Bread

When ever I feel antsy or restless, I flit around the house. I barely sit still long enough to watch tv from commercial break to commercial break, or read a chapter in a book, or browse at stuff online.

I blame this on the fact that at school, I always feel like I should be doing something even if I really just need to relax. I’ve gotten a lot better at relaxing and winding down but sometimes I just need a release. Exercise is usually that release but I can only push myself in a workout so many times a day.

So I bake or cook. And one of my favorite energy releases is baking bread. Whether is a kneaded bread or a no knead bread, I love it. In the spirit of fall, I was craving something pumpkiny but didn’t want a pumpkin quick bread. It’s great in its own way, but I was just not in the mood for it.

With some quick googling research, I found this recipe from King Arthur Flour.

I made a couple modifications like adding whole wheat flour and a touch of molasses, but the kneading was the key to my happiness. And the delicious taste of this bread.

Make it, then slather on some butter on warm slice.


Pumpkin Yeast Bread

Makes 1-2 loaves

1/2 cup warm water
2 packages (2 tablespoons) active dry yeast
2/3 cup warm milk
2 large eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups puréed pumpkin, either fresh or canned
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 1/2 cups (approximately) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon molasses

2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

In a large bowl, stir yeast into water to soften. Add milk, eggs, pumpkin, oil, 2 cups white flour, 2 cups wheat flour, molasses, sugar, salt, ginger and cinnamon to yeast mixture. Beat vigorously for 2 minutes.

Gradually add remaining flour, a little at a time, until you have a dough stiff enough to knead. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead, adding flour as necessary, until you have a smooth, elastic dough.

Put dough into an oiled bowl. Turn once to coat entire ball of dough with oil. Cover with a towel and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.

Turn dough out onto a lightly oiled work surface. Divide dough in half. Shape dough into loaves and place in well-greased 10 x 5-inch pans or, shape half into a loaf. (I did both but liked the free form loaf better). Cover with a towel and let rise until almost doubled, about 45 minutes.

Bake in a preheated 375°F oven. Loaves bake about 30 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.


Gingerbread Butterscotch chip cookies

At the beginning of November, I found out about The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap from Love&OliveOil, one of the event founders, blog post. It sounded like such a wonderful idea that I signed up and started brainstorming ideas.

The plan was that I would make 3 dozen cookies and send a dozen to 3 different bloggers. I would also receive a dozen cookies from 3 more bloggers thus creating a great cookie exchange network.

As I started coming up with ideas, this one stuck in my head. A gingerbread flavored cookie with the texture similar to a chocolate chip cookie but with butterscotch chips instead. It sounded like the perfect combo of traditional and simple yet creative and fun. I experimented on my roommates (of course) and deemed the cookie a success.

After Thanksgiving, I baked the real deal to be mailed cookies, and purchased these bags and containers to send them in.

Off my cookies went to Nettie at Moore Or Less Cooking, Stacy at Every Little Thing, and Shannon at Dinner or Dessert. My little cookies  went all across the country!

I also started receiving my cookies shortly after and want to thank Renee at Kudos Kitchen, Mercedes at Satisfy my Sweet Tooth, and Adrienne at Food, Family, and Vino for their delicious treats!

Delicious “Rocks”,

from Kudos Kitchen

Triple Chocolate Mint Cookies,

from Satisfy my Sweet Tooth

and Hazelnut Almond Biscotti!

from Food, Family, and Vino

To see everyone who participate in the exchange and their recipes, check out this link later this week!

Gingerbread Butterscotch Chip Cookies
Makes about 5-6 dozen cookies

1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 T vanilla
2 T molasses
2 eggs

3 cups flour
1 T baking soda
1 T salt
1 T  ground ginger
1 T Cinnamon
1 cup butterscotch chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Beat together butter and sugars. Add vanilla, molasses, and eggs and mix well.

Mix flour, soda, salt, ginger, and cinnamon together. Add to wet mixture and stir until just combined. Fold in chips.

Scoop 2 tablespoon sized (or as desired) dollops onto lined, sprayed, or non-stick baking sheet. Bake for about 8-10 minutes until deep golden brown. (It’s hard to tell because of their gingerbread color but don’t let them burn!) Let cool 2 minutes on pan, remove and cool completely.


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Welcome to FoodNook!

Hi! I'm Kristina and a college student who loves food, eating, fitness, and variety of other fun things! I have a combined love of food and fitness and trying to balance it all into my busy life. FoodNook is my way of documenting my experiences and adventures in navigating healthy living on my own and trying out new things.