Creamy Beef Stroganoff with Mashed Cauliflower

Oh man. So as many of you know, I have been digging into my  emails, and finding pictures of some amazing meals from my past!  I was SO excited to see this one, it was SO good!  I was even more excited when I realized that I remembered where the recipe was from!! So I made the effort to get up off the couch where I was watching The Office and go all the way to the kitchen to find the cook book. And. It. Was. Gone. It is lost. I’m so sad ūüė¶  However, on a happy note I took very thorough pictures of the process for this recipe, so together we can figure out how I made this super tasty, super comforting, and super clean Beef Stroganoff.  That is what the Archive Series is all about!

We are going to be wild and crazy today and do things out of order today. Let’s start with the pictures this time.


So here is the basics of what we need!  Mushrooms, sliced. Onions and garlic, minced. And my favorite part. Steak, thinly sliced, salted and peppered.

Now at some point you will need to make mashed cauliflower, not only to have for the perfect side, but you will also need it for the sauce. You can find a recipe in my blog archives!  But a quick description is this: cut a head of cauliflower into florets, boil them for about 15 minutes. Drain, add lots of grassfed butter, salt, pepper, and a clove of garlic or two. Blend in a food processor or with an immersion blemder until smooth.


Take your cast iron skillet. They’re my favorite. Melt butter in the pan, and brown your beef.


Set aside the beef. In the same pan, melt more butter. Add the onion and stir, cooking till caramelized. Add the garlic and cook for an additional 30 seconds or so.


Add the mushrooms and cook until tender.


Add your steak back in. Use a little wine or broth to deglaze the pan.


Add a couple large spoonfuls of mashed cauliflower, and a squeeze of dijon mustard. Stir into the whole pan to evenly distribute and create a creamy delicious sauce.


See? Lookie there!  Yummy!


This is making me hungryyyyyy.


What do you guys think?!

Fall Lentil Carrot Soup

As much as I HATE to admit that summer is coming to a close (no no no no no no nooo!), the first day of fall has been announced, and so I am determined to look at the bright side!  I will refuse to think about the impending 7 months of subzero temperatures and snow measured of feet.  Instead I will dwell on this positive point: DELICIOUS, COMFORTING FALL FOOD!  First up?  Lentil Carrot Soup!

I actually made this months ago, but have been waiting for just the right moment to post it!¬† The moment is now, yay!¬†¬† The funny thing is, since I made this in the heat of summer, I had intended it as I side dish to accompany our main dishes for a few days.¬† However…it was SO delicious that both Mr. Rodgers and I gobbled it up as is, unaccompanied.¬† That’s gotta tell you something!


Side note, remember this book?

Meditteranean Frittata 1

This $4 treasure I found at an Ollie’s Outlet?¬† That’s where this recipe originated (with some Rodgers family tweaks of course!).¬† You really should go online and snag one for yourself!


So, enough talking!!¬† Here’s what you need:

  • 2-3 Tbsp Coconut Oil, or Grass Fed Butter
  • 1 Large Onion, Chopped
  • 3 Carrots, Shredded
  • 2 Stalks Celery, Chopped
  • 2 C Lentils, rinsed
  • 8 C Chicken Broth (Or water)
  • 8 Green Onions, sliced
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • Salt and Pepper


And here’s how you do it:

  1. Prep all your veggies!
  2. Heat your oil in a large pot and dump in your veggies.  Cook and stir until they are tender.
  3. Add lentils, water (or broth), salt, and pepper and bring to a boil.¬† Reduce to a simmer and cook until the lentils are tender, probably about 10 minutes.¬† Add the green onion and cook for another minute or so.¬† And you’re done!¬† Just adjust as needed, and enjoy!!




Lentil Soup 1

Prep your veggies and start them cooking!

Lentil Soup 2

Look!¬† It must have been a “comfort” day for all…because these little ladies would not get more than a foot away from me!¬† Look how frumpy they are!¬† They’ve both had hair cuts since then.

Lentil Soup 3

And lentils, your liquid, salt and pepper.  Simmer until lentils are tender.

Lentil Soup 4

Add green onions…

Lentil Soup 5

Stir it all together and cook for another minute or so.

Lentil Soup 6

Lentil Soup 7

Lentil Soup 8




Beans and Franks!

How can this be possible, you ask? I am a health food blogger after all…so how can I be blogging about beans and franks?!

Well, I have some very exciting news!¬† Mr. Rodgers and I were browsing the aisles in one of our favorite grocery stores, and for some reason (DESTINY!), we found ourselves looking through the cooler of hot dogs and bacon and such things.¬† Absently, he reached up and grabbed a pack of hot dogs and started scanning the label.¬† Lo and behold…it was Applegate, my favorite bacon brand!¬† We got even more excited when we realized these were not only all beef hot dogs…but they were GRASS FED!!¬† With no nitrites!!¬† Isn’t that the best news anyone has ever heard?!¬† I can tell you…summer barbecues are now easier because we know we can just grab a pack of those and still be able to eat with our friends!!

But here is another super easy, super satisfying idea I wanted to share with you!  Great for when you want something packed with protein that still has the feel of comfort food!  Beans and franks!


So, here’s what you need:

  • 2 Applegate Grass Fed Hot Dogs
  • 1/2 Small Onion
  • 1 Clove Garlic
  • 1-2 Tbsp Grass Fed Butter
  • 1/2 Can Pinto Beans
  • Red Pepper Flakes to taste


And here’s how you do it!

  1. Heat up a grill pan and slap your hot dogs down on there.¬† Alternately, you can cook them in a normal pan, I just wanted the dish to have that “grill” feel.
  2. Melt butter in a small pan.  Add onion and cook for about 5 minutes, until starting to get tender.  Add garlic, stir, cooking an additional minute or so.
  3. Add beans and stir in.
  4. Slice hot dogs into slices and stir in with beans and sprinkle with red pepper flakes, cooking everything for a minute or so.¬† Just long enough for everything to be warm, and those flavors to be infused with each other. ūüôā
  5. Dump into a bowl, and devour!!  So incredibly comforting!




Photo (11)

Cooking, waiting, yummy….

Photo (12)

Doesn’t get much better than that!


Crackers, Cheese, and Marshmallows…and Bacon (Cheat Treat!!)

I know.¬† It sounds cray cray.¬† But years of Kirkwood tradition and countless converts says it’s not.¬† (P.S…if you don’t know me, Kirkwood is my maiden name.!)¬† Growing up I would tell my friends about how we ate crackers, cheese, and marshmallows at my house…thinking it was completely normal.¬† It didn’t take many confused looks to realize that I was wrong.¬† However, I would promptly invite them over (because my parents loved to cook for my friends), we would broil up a few of these beauties….and we made them believers!!¬† In FACT, Mr. Rodgers himself has become a believer…and it was his idea to create this post when we were trying to decide on a treat for date night.¬† ūüôā

Okay, now a confession.¬† Kirkwoods ourselves are converts to this concept as well!!¬† I think of it as Kirkwood tradition because I have never known my family without said tradition.¬† However, before I was born, my dad’s sister married my uncle Nic…who I have also never known life without.¬† And he introduced my family to his Anderson tradition.¬† And the rest is history.¬† I love my Uncle Nic.¬† And I love this recipe.¬† It is perfection.¬† And now I am proud to say, this is no longer simply an Anderson/Kirkwood tradition…it is now an Anderson/Kirkwood/Rodgers tradition.¬† I even added a few twists.¬† Yep.¬† You guessed it.¬† BACON.¬† I figured if we were going to be naughty and eat a treat…we might as well go all out and really eat a treat haha.

Growing up, we ALWAYS made this with saltine crackers.¬† However, since Mr. Rodgers loves to experiment, he suggested we try it with all different types of crackers.¬† If we had a bigger budget, we probably would have grabbed even more.¬† Personally, I wanted to try this on giant Cheese Its.¬† But we narrowed it down to three types.¬† At the end, I will reveal our thoughts on all three so that you can decide what you want to try for yourself.¬† Or maybe you want to try them all!!¬† Let me know what you like best ūüôā This is a treat you don’t want to miss!!

So, here’s what you need: (For 3 or 4 people)

  • 20 Crackers (Traditionally Saltines.¬† We also tried with Triscuits and FlipSides)
  • 10 Slices Sharp Cheddar Cheese, Cut in Half (Cracker size!!)
  • 10 Large Marshmallows, Cut in half
  • 5 Slices Cooked¬†Bacon, Cut into bite sized pieces (optional)

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Preheat your broiler.
  2. Prep all your goodies!!
  3. Cover a cookie sheet with aluminum foil.  Lay out your crackers in a single layer.
  4. Top each cracker with a slice of cheese, a piece of bacon (if you are using it), and half a marshmallow (cut side down.)
  5. Slide it under your broiler.  Leave the oven door propped open slightly and keep an eye on it constantly cause this happens fast!!  Cook until cheese is melted, marshmallows are puffing up, and the top of the marshmallows are toasted and brown.  About one minute, maybe two.

So….after our experiment, here are our thoughts on the crackers:

Saltines:  Best flavor!!!

Sea Salt and Black Pepper Triscuits: Best crunch!  But flavor a little overwhelming.

FlipSides:  Most trendy!  (Pretzel is so in right now!)  But just not quite the flavor of those classic Saltines!

Try it…what crackers can you think up that would win with this combo?!

PhotoHere’s the crackers we experimented with…and our creations…

Photo (3)Half with bacon….

Photo (1)Half without!!¬† And now, after they hung out under the broiler a couple minutes….

Photo (4)

BAM!!¬† How gorgeous, melty, and toasty is that?!¬† You have the crunch of the cracker, the goo of the cheese, the slight crunch and salty smokiness of the bacon, and the super sweet creaminess of the marshmallow with just a little more crunch on top with the toasted top!¬† It’s layers!!¬† And again I say…it’s perfection!!¬† Again, we have with bacon…

Photo (2)And without!¬† And honestly I can’t way which I love better, because they are both so heavenly!!¬† I love the tradition of the original, which really doesn’t NEED anything.¬† However, bacon never HURTS anything, does it?!¬† ūüėȬ† Both glorious.¬† And up for you to decide.

Photo (5)Pretty!!

Photo (6)Melty.  Yummy.  AAAAAH.  I told myself I would start eating healthy again today.  But this is testing my resolve.  I better end this post now.  Okaaaaay bye!

Chocolate Gravy and Biscuits (A Tribute to Grandma!)

I’m back!! ¬†Yay!!

Those of you who follow me regularly will know from my Heart Talk post that there was a reason for my absence this past week. ¬†Usually I am so good at posting three times a week, right on schedule. ¬†However, last Saturday I tried to call my family and could not get a hold of anyone. ¬†After calling seven phones and starting the rounds to try each number again, my dad answered and said he couldn’t talk cause there was an ambulance there to pick up grandma.

I was on the next flight to Washington.

Unfortunately, I missed her by less than half a day. ¬†Fortunately, she is free from pain. ¬†She is reunited with “daddy,” what she affectionately called her husband of over 70 years. ¬†She is in the arms of the Jesus she loved with her everything. ¬†She’s singing with her father again just like she did back in the revivals, only this time she’s joined by a heavenly choir. ¬†She’s dancing on golden streets, free from the confusion that had just begun to cloud her mind. ¬†She’s happy, healthy, and whole. ¬†She has longed for that moment for years, and it finally came true. ¬†I’m so happy for her, and even more proud. ¬†She was an amazing little lady who ¬†cooked so well that you would eat till you hurt, and then just a little more. ¬†I hope to carry on that legacy.

So…that being said…I decided it was only fitting that my first post back be one of her most famed recipes. ¬†Many a non-family member has been introduced to this beauty and never been the same. ¬†A true Oklahoma breakfast right here. ¬†I know many of you follow me because of my decision to steer toward health. ¬†But, just for today…just for grandma…let’s throw caution to the wind just this once and indulge in her genius. ¬†CHOCOLATE GRAVY AND BISCUITS.

This recipe is so good that if you simply mention it, people who have experienced it before can think of nothing else until it is in their belly. ¬†In fact, that is exactly what happened while I was home with my family. ¬†We had talked about how we had to make this, and my “big-little” brother Jesse over heard us. ¬†The next morning he came home from work around 10:30, threw open the front door and shouted “BREAKFAST! CHOCOLATE GRAVY AND BISCUITS!!!” ¬†After laughing and saying “nice to see you too Jesse,” mom and I got right down to business. ¬†For Grandma. ¬†And Jesse too I guess ūüėČ ¬†P.S…you have to see the super fun pictures I got of him enjoying his breakfast. ¬†I have the best brothers in the world.

So Grandma, this one is for you. ¬†Thank you for passing down a love for cooking, for showing me how to love people with my passion…for simply showing me how to love in general. ¬†For all the laughs, and the wisdom too. ¬†We miss you more than you know, but you have left an impression on us all that has changed us for the better, and in turn will change the world for the better. ¬†This I am confident of. ¬†Be it the world of food or the world of people looking for kindness. ¬†You rocked both, and we will continue your legacy for you. ¬†Love you!

So, here’s what you need:


  • 1/4 C Butter or Oil (Or shortening)
  • 2 C All Purpose Flour
  • 1 Tbsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 C Milk (We used buttermilk!)

Chocolate Gravy: (Note…if any of you have a grandma that cooks, you probably know that measuring is not usually part of the process! ¬†So all of the following ingredients really are “to taste,” but for your sake mom and I tried to measure things out so you had some idea of proportions. ¬†Feel free to play with it, that’s what grandmas do!!)

  • 8 Tbsp Butter (a cube)
  • 8 Tbsp Flour
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 4 C Heavy Cream, Half and Half, Whole Milk…whatever creamy delicious substance you desire
  • 1 1/4 C Sugar
  • 2/3 C Cocoa
  • 1 tsp Vanilla

And here’s how you do it:

  1. It’s a good idea to start your biscuits first. ¬†We kinda did it backwards, and ended up having to put Jesse on gravy duty to stir it constantly while the biscuits baked so we didn’t burn it, haha! ¬†But at least he worked for his breakfast, eh? ūüėČ
  2. Heat oven to 450*.
  3. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. ¬†Add butter or oil, and combine with a pastry blender. ¬†If you don’t know what that is, I have pictures if you scroll down! ¬†I suppose you could probably use a fork as long as you end up with the same crumbly texture. ¬†It should look like crumbs!
  4. Stir in the milk a little bit at a time.  You may not need all of it, you want the dough to form a ball and pull away from the sides of the bowl.  It should not be really sticky.
  5. Drop dough onto a cookie sheet.  Rub some butter onto your hands and pat it down to square/rectangle shape.  About 6 inches across.
  6. Use a knife to cut into two-inch squares, should be 9-12 total.
  7. Spread some additional butter across the tops.
  8. Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes.
  9. While biscuits are baking, start your gravy!
  10. Melt your stick of butter in a large sauce pan over medium heat.
  11. Whisk flour into butter until thickened and evenly combined.
  12. Add cream or milk slowly, in shifts if it works better that way, whisking continually.  Continue to whisk until it is thickened and evenly combined.
  13. In a bowl combine sugar, cocoa, and salt.
  14. Whisk dry ingredients into the wet ingredients in the saucepan until evenly combined.
  15. Add Vanilla.
  16. Let sauce come to a gentle simmer until it is thick and creamy, being careful not to burn the bottom.  If needed you can add milk if it gets too thick for your liking.  Taste and adjust sugar/cocoa level as you see fit.
  17. When your biscuits are done, place a couple on a plate, cut open and smear with more butter (yes, I know.  Kirkwoods love butter.  What can I say?!  My grandma is from Oklahoma! ;))  Take a ladle full of chocolate gravy and dump it all over those biscuits!!!

I know that looks like a lot, but it is actually crazy easy. ¬†And you won’t believe how delicious the rich, smooth, dark chocolate gravy compliments the warm, fluffy, buttery biscuit. ¬†Oh my gosh I am so hungry I want it right now! ¬†Grandma, you’re a genius!

Pictures! ¬†Starring Jesse Kirkwood…and the hands of Sandi Kirkwood!

Choc Gravy Biscuits 14Start your biscuits! ¬†Preheat your oven to 450* and grab your ingredients!! ¬†If you scrolled down because you don’t know what a pastry blender is, it’s that little wire guy with the handle in the front. ¬†You can use butter or shortening instead of the oil, depending on your likes.

Choc Gravy Biscuits 15


Combine your dry ingredients! ¬†2 C flour…

Choc Gravy Biscuits 161 Tbsp Baking Powder…

Choc Gravy Biscuits 17and 1 tsp salt!

Choc Gravy Biscuits 19When they are evenly mixed, add your oil or butter…

Choc Gravy Biscuits 20


Then use your pastry blender till it is about this texture!  Evenly combined and crumbly!

Choc Gravy Biscuits 21


Add buttermilk (or normal milk) in a little bit at a time and stir in until you have a ball of dough that isn’t sticking to the sides.

Choc Gravy Biscuits 22


Drop the ball onto a cookie sheet…

Choc Gravy Biscuits 23Butter your hands!  Yummy, haha!  Love those hands, my sweet mamma!

Choc Gravy Biscuits 24


And start patting down into a rectangle shape. Sorry some of the pictures are fuzzy, my mom just works so fast my camera couldn’t keep up, haha!!

Choc Gravy Biscuits 25


Get it to an even-ish rectangle. ¬†Doesn’t have to be perfect!

Choc Gravy Biscuits 26


Cut into 2 inch squares and butter the tops.  Yes.  We love butter.  Scoot them into your preheated oven and bake until golden brown on the tops, about 15 minutes.

Pause for a moment to see the excitement in your family’s faces! ¬†Jesse could barely contain himself!

Choc Gravy Biscuits 11

Choc Gravy Biscuits 12

Choc Gravy Biscuits 13


I love that kid, haha.

Now start your gravy!

Choc Gravy Biscuits 1


Gather your ingredients!!  (See my home made vanilla extract I made them for Christmas?!)

Choc Gravy Biscuits 2


Put your butter in a large saucepan!

Choc Gravy Biscuits 3


Place on the stove over medium heat and let butter melt.  Whisk in flour.

Choc Gravy Biscuits 4


Whisk till well combined and butter has an even, thickened consistency.

Choc Gravy Biscuits 5



Choc Gravy Biscuits 6


Now slowly whisk in your cream substance of choice so that it also becomes evenly combined and a thickened texture.

Choc Gravy Biscuits 7


Now whisk in the rest of your dry ingredients; cocoa, sugar, and salt.  Though it is different than the pictures would suggest, we recommend whisking all the dry ingredients together in a bowl so they are already evenly distributed when you add it to the wet.

Choc Gravy Biscuits 10



Add Vanilla.

Now stir until it is thickened and creamy. ¬†Here is Jesse on gravy duty. ¬†Sneaking licks off of anything he can find…Choc Gravy Biscuits 18And this is Jesse when we told him that he still had to wait about 15 minutes for the biscuits to cook…

Choc Gravy Biscuits 27


Sad boy!  Haha!

Choc Gravy Biscuits 28


Keep an eye on the gravy until the biscuits are done! ¬†Take the opportunity to pour some glasses of milk (you’ll need it), cook up some sausage, set the table!! ¬†Awe, look at the brother and sister making breakfast together! ¬†Grandma would have loved this! (And yes, yes I did get bangs)

Choc Gravy Biscuits 29


Biscuits are done!  Look at that golden brown deliciousness!  Hallelujah!

Choc Gravy Biscuits 30


Place a few on a plate, cut them open, and smear on more butter.  It melts and creates such a beautiful layer between the biscuit and gravy!

Choc Gravy Biscuits 31


Ladle on the delectable gravy! ¬†Don’t be stingy now!!!

Choc Gravy Biscuits 32


Oh wow. ¬†If your mouth isn’t watering right now…I don’t think you have taste buds. ¬†Best. ¬†Breakfast. ¬†Ever.

Choc Gravy Biscuits 35


Now say a prayer to bless the food…

Choc Gravy Biscuits 33


Grab your utensils….

Choc Gravy Biscuits 34


And devour!!!  Sweet victory, hahhahahahahaha!  This is probably in my top ten favorite pictures ever!!!  I just keep laughing.  Disclaimer:  This meal is so good, it may just make you go cross eyed!

Choc Gravy Biscuits 36


Happy boy!! ¬†Finally got his chocolate gravy and biscuits!! ¬†If you want a smile this big on your face, try my grandma’s recipe! ¬†You won’t regret it! ¬†ūüôā ¬†Here’s to you, grams!







Gluten Free, Guilt Free Super Food Pizza!

That’s a big claim, isn’t it? ¬†But I stand behind it ūüôā ¬†My past three posts have been leading up to this moment….this beautiful moment!!! ¬†I have had an underlying determination for months….knowing that someday, some how, I MUST come up with a way to create a pizza that I can firmly believe is healthy! ¬†It’s a strange thing…because I have never really liked pizza that much…but once I decided that I shouldn’t eat it any more, it’s started looking a lot more attractive. ¬†Especially every time my pastor is offering me free Cici’s. ¬†Oh boy. ¬†But now, I believe I have done it! ¬†The only thing questionable is that I did use cheese, but if you have followed me long enough you know what I believe…if it is natural,¬†preferably¬†raw (I have found it!), and if it is full fat…then in moderation, it passes the test! ¬†The book we try to follow says to keep dairy at 25% or less of your daily intake. ¬†I’ll admit…I don’t always find totally natural, full fat cheese. ¬†But we do the best with what we have, and I am still confident that you will find this pizza quite delicious and extremely nutritious! ūüôā ¬†Read on!!!

Here’s what you need:

(For a large crust:

*4 C grated cauliflower, about 1/2 head

*2 Eggs

* 1 3/4 C Mozzarella, shredded

* 1-2 Tbsp Franks Hot Sauce

* Handful of Parsley Leaves

*Tbsp Pizza Seasoning, or Italian or something similar)

  • 2 Tbsp(ish) Kale Pesto (There is your deliciously hidden super food!)

(Original recipe, you will have leftovers, or you can halve it:

*2 Small Bunches Kale

*1/2 Cup Olive Oil

*3 Cloves Garlic, Coarsely Chopped

*1/2 C Walnuts, Toasted and Chopped

*1 tsp(ish) lemon juice

*1/2 tsp Cajun seasoning, or something similar

*Salt and Pepper to taste)

  • Roasted Asparagus, chopped into thirds (about 1/3…but really to your tastes ūüôā )
  • Cooked Chicken, about 1/2 C. ¬†I used meat from a whole chicken I had used to make home made broth! ¬†But if you want to make it easier, pick up a rotisserie chicken. ¬†Just know you are going to be ingesting some artificial stuff!
  • Roasted Red Pepper Slices (about 1/3 C)
  • Red Onion, Cut into chunks
  • 2 Tbsp Butter
  • Mozzarella, shredded (Optional)

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Follow the directions to make a cauliflower crust!  
  2. Follow directions to make your tasty kale pesto!
  3. Melt the butter in a pan. ¬†Add onions and caramelize while you are waiting for the crust to be done! ¬†Red onions don’t take as long as white ones I am noticing, so keep an eye on them and stir frequently. ¬†I believe mine were done in 10-15 minutes.
  4. Preheat your broiler.
  5. Spread the pesto out on top of the crust.
  6. Top with mozzarella if you are using it!
  7. Arrange your roasted red pepper, chicken, asparagus, and caramelized onions on top.
  8. Toss in the oven under your broiler just for a few minutes!  So the cheese gets melty and everything else is warmed through.
  9. Slice.  Taste.  Do a little happy dance.  I did!

My mother in law loved this. ¬†That’s kind of a big deal. ¬†No offense Lorri, I love you! ¬†But I didn’t tell her till afterwards that she was eating cauliflower and kale. ¬†She went back for seconds! ¬†Also a big deal, because she is not a big eater! ¬†In fact, between the three of us…we ate the whole thing in one night!! OOOPS! ¬†That’s how you know it’s real good. It’s GONE! ¬†And to think we were being kind to our bodies at the same time!! ¬†Hallelujah!!!

Chop your onions, and get them a-caramelizing!

Caramelized Onions 2When your crust is done baking and you have gotten the pesto to your desired consistency…spread it!!!

Guilt Free Pizza 1.5So green!  I love it!!  Now if you are using mozzarella, sprinkle it on!!!  Alternately, to take it a step closer to health, you can use chunks of goat cheese instead!!

Guilt Free Pizza 2Already looks yummy!!!!  Now toppings toppings toppings!

Guilt Free Pizza 3

Look at all those colors!

Guilt Free Pizza 5Yummy!

Guilt Free Pizza 3

Guilt Free Pizza 6

Guilt Free Pizza 7