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crunchy granola with oats, nuts and seeds

crunchy granola with oats, nuts and seeds | Heather Bursch | shemadeitshemight.com

Anyone else feel like you’re cooking, cleaning and repeating right now? I’m foggy as to what was happening pre-COVID-19 quarantine. Did we even cook around here? What were we eating? Did the dishes load themselves? Did we really eat out THAT much? While I prefer to understand the why when I am confused and fix it, I am letting the lack of clarity go in hopes for more insight (and hindsight!) in the future. Until then, I’m making things like this granola and soaking up all the ways it makes us feel like being home.

Once upon a time in 2019, we made this recipe from Bon Appetit with most of the ingredients on hand. We liked the crunch and nut combo (not so much the chia pudding situation), and we’ve continued to let the recipe evolve. Which is exactly the kind of recipes we need in this current moment, right? Ones that can change successfully with what we have on hand. Trust me, this one is delicious however you might mix it up!  

crunchy granola with oats, nuts and seeds | Heather Bursch | shemadeitshemight.com

The total amount of nuts and seeds equals 2 cups, which means you should play with it. I love almonds and pecans the best + I usually throw in both raw pepitas and sunflower seeds if we have them on hand. Last year I tried Barùkas nuts and wrote about them here. I subbed out almonds for these crunchy and superfood Barùkas you see above. So good!

Most recently, I’ve been ordering nuts from Nuts.com because they have almost any nut or flour I want, and they can tell me what’s certified gluten-free, which for nuts is nearly impossible to find. 

Here’s the recipe, now go search your cupboards!

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crunchy granola with oats, nuts and seeds

  • Author: Heather Bursch
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 10 servings 1x
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Baking


Slightly sweet and toasty granola with oats, pecans, almonds, pepitas and sunflower seeds. 


  • 3 cups of old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup of raw pecans
  • 1/2 cup skin-on raw almonds
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup raw pepitas or sunflower seeds 
  • 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup liquid honey or maple syrup or combination
  • 1/4 cup melted butter (or unrefined virgin coconut oil)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla
  • pinch of salt


  1. Preheat oven to 300°. 
  2. Prepare a baking sheet with a layer of parchment paper or brush pan with melted butter or coconut oil. 
  3. Mix oats, nuts, coconut, and seeds together in a large bowl. Sprinkle cinnamon and nutmeg on top of the mixture and stir until fully incorporated.
  4. In a saucepan or microwave-safe bowl, melt butter and syrup or honey until just melted and whisk to combine. Add vanilla and whisk again. Drizzle liquid over granola mixture and stir until all dry ingredients and spices are incorporated. Sprinkle lightly with salt (2 pinches) and stir.
  5. Tip granola out onto the baking sheet scraping all ingredients and spices with a spatula and spread mixture in an even layer. 
  6. Bake at 300° for 15 minutes. Stir and bake for another 10-15 minutes until pecans are lightly browned and toasted but not too dark. The granola gets more crunchy as it cools and dries.
  7. Stir granola and let cool on the cookie sheet.
  8. When cooled, break up and store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week. 

We make our granola bowls with a generous smear of whole milk plain yogurt, a drizzle of honey or maple syrup, a scoop of this crunchy granola and some berries or bananas. Yum!

crunchy granola with oats, nuts and seeds | Heather Bursch | shemadeitshemight.com

Let me know when you come up with your favorite nut and seed combo. And if you prefer fewer nuts and more grains in your granola, check out another family favorite Ella started making a few years ago.



Instant Pot Chicken Bone Broth

I can’t honestly say I need a bigger kitchen. I’ve cooked for more than 50 in this 10×12 space, taught cooking lessons, held meal prepping sessions, catered birthday parties, made wedding cakes and party cupcakes, dinners, and hosted soooo many parties.  And while I’ve felt crowded at times because guests always seem to congregate in the kitchen (and I want them there!), I’ve made it work to do what I love and make what I want. There hasn’t been anything in the end that I wanted to do that I couldn’t do for a given party or event because of this kitchen. So there!

With that said, after almost 20 years in the same space with nothing stopping me, I now have this increasing (and somewhat annoying!!) daydream for more space. And I’m partially blaming it on the Instant Pot, dang it. Instant Pot Chicken Bone Broth #shemadeit #instantpot #chickenbonebroth #bonebroth #recipe #howto #collagen #gelatin #healthyeats #soup #broth #winterfood #onthetable #whatsfordinner

It’s one thing to clear space and make something work for a holiday or an event. But I just can’t put this darn thing away for more than a couple of days, and I don’t want to reserve one of the four large enough cupboard spaces I have to house it.

And since you may have just put me in a box, no, I don’t consider myself a member of the Instant Pot fan club. And no, I don’t use it for every meal.

Still, the Instant Pot has become a necessary piece of equipment with the following on rotation from once-in-a-while to weekly.

  • Monthly for winter – A dish like this chicken curry from Pinch of Yum, with a few tweaks. I always have the ingredients on hand, and it only takes 5 minutes to cook and 20 minutes to get in someone’s mouth! 🙌  The first time I made it, I was out of garam masala and used this curry powder blend as a substitute. The curry powder is now my choice of spice for this dish, + I use half of the chili powder and just a pinch of cayenne for the kids!

Instant Pot Tandoori Chicken Curry #shemadeit #pinchofyum #whatsfordinner #instantpot #healthyeats #winterfood #onthetable

  • Weekly – hard-boiled eggs. I still have a stove-top habit, but if the IP is there, I’ll use it.
  • Bi-weekly – the occasional pot of beans or rice (is so fast!)
  • Every couple days + more often for clients – bone broth, see recipe below.

Instant Pot Chicken Bone Broth #shemadeit #instantpot #chickenbonebroth #bonebroth #recipe #howto #collagen #gelatin #healthyeats #soup #broth #winterfood #onthetable #whatsfordinner

And this doesn’t include the occasional experiments and the few times a year I make things like carnitas, Koren beef, beef bourguignon, and the most recent pho.

But the one recipe I could now never give up my instant pot for would be the bone broth.

Instant Pot Chicken Bone Broth #shemadeit #instantpot #chickenbonebroth #bonebroth #recipe #howto #collagen #gelatin #healthyeats #soup #broth #winterfood #onthetable #whatsfordinner

It’s become a staple, and the habit started here. And while I like the process of making it the LONG way, the fact that I can now get quality results (aka liquid that gels) using the Instant Pot floors me. It works. I can also go into a client’s home, make bone broth + meal prep multiple recipes in a few hours. And we’re all happy!

Here’s the thing about bone broth, it has become the perfect snack or a base for a super satisfying dinner.

Have you ever eaten soup or a salad for a meal and an hour later feel like you haven’t eaten all day? This hunger is a sign, people. And it’s not about you and your self-control. You didn’t get enough of the right kind of food, and you probably are missing some essential nutrients. A bowl full of soup made from this simple bone broth (with enough whole food fat!) is FILLING. But don’t take my word for it. Try it, sip it, cook with it, and see for yourself.

Equipment you’ll need:

  1. Instant Pot
  2. Strainer – This one from Ikea has lasted me for longer than I expected!
  3. Large metal or glass bowl for straining and cooling.
  4. Three 32 ounce size mason jars

Here’s the recipe!


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Instant Pot Chicken Bone Broth


  • 22 ½ lb bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces, carcasses, feet, wings, drumsticks, or thighs
  • A handful of fresh parsley, thyme, and dill
  • 1 large yellow onion, peeled and cut in half
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 1 parsnip
  • 1 large celery stalk
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 quarts water
  • ½ small lemon squeezed


  1. Put all ingredients in the Instant Pot, cover with the 2 quarts of water and lemon juice.
  2. Set the timer on the manual setting for 40 minutes. Allow for a 20-minute natural release.
  3. Remove insert of the IP and let it cool on a trivet until the pot has cooled down enough to handle well.
  4. Using a strainer spoon, remove as much of the solids as you can. Discard as they have been pressurized to remove all flavor and fat.
  5. Pour broth into a large bowl or pot over a colander or fine mesh strainer. Allow the broth to cool in a bowl or divide into jars and set on countertop uncovered until completely cool to the touch.
  6. Once cooled, put lids on jars and refrigerate for up to 3-4 days.
  7. If you prefer broth with less fat, once cooled, the layer of fat at the top can easily be removed.
  8. To freeze, leave at least 2 inches of room from the top of a wide-mouth jar. Refrigerate for at least a day before putting it into the freezer. It can be frozen for up to a year!

Instant Pot Chicken Bone Broth #shemadeit #instantpot #chickenbonebroth #bonebroth #recipe #howto #collagen #gelatin #healthyeats #soup #broth #winterfood #onthetable #whatsfordinner




instant pot beef bourguignon

Beef stew, beef burgundy, beef bourguignon or boeuf bourguignon.

How to make beef bourguignon in the Instant Pot. #shemadeit #winterfood #slowcooking #instantpot #beefstew #beefburgundy #recipe #redwine #cookingiwthwine #makeahead #companyiscoming #fallfood #comfortfood

However you communicate it, this recipe is how we all shall cope with the new weather knocking at our door, the inevitable goodbye to the short fall and acceptance to the long winter coming.

The last of of the herb garden. #shemadeit #cookingwithkids #garden #pickingherbs #kidfood

And by coping, I don’t mean you have to settle in for a half-day simmer and depression. If you do find yourself at home for a day, by all means, make it the looooong way, and there will be magic in the air and your life by dinner. But for most people with normal hectic lives or those of you who love good food but not the hours of cooking part, this beef is for you.

How to make beef bourguignon in the Instant Pot. #shemadeit #winterfood #slowcooking #instantpot #beefstew #beefburgundy #recipe #redwine #cookingiwthwine #makeahead #companyiscoming #fallfood #comfortfood

I’ve been a skeptic about a lot of things, and I can see how it’s served me well at times, hello crockpot? I only had to ruin meat once to know it wasn’t going to be my best relationship. But my hope never wholly dies, and in this instance, along came the Instant Pot so now I can quit being such an appliance snob.

Naturally, when a client asked me earlier this year if I could teach her husband how to make beef bourguignon in the Instant Pot,😂 I set to work on making sure I liked my recipe enough before I shared it here. Which led to lighting things on fire (I still do steps 1-5 on the stovetop 🙏) along with some heavenly smells.

In turn, I rekindled my love for this dish, and perhaps most importantly, another win for the IP and not skepticism.

How to make beef bourguignon in the Instant Pot. #shemadeit #winterfood #slowcooking #instantpot #beefstew #beefburgundy #recipe #redwine #cookingiwthwine #makeahead #companyiscoming #fallfood #comfortfood

It turns out that beef bourguignon in the IP isn’t second best, it is my first choice these days. (Hush, I’m not claiming it’s a side by side comparison, because who would even say that?) It’s first for me now though because time + time = more time, right? While Julia Child’s iconic recipe is on my #shemadeit bucket list (let’s do it together sometime!), I have made Ina Garten’s versions multiple times, including her version with filet mignon, and we all die of happiness.

I tweaked my recipe here and there this fall and describe below how I like to finish it and serve it on most days. We’ll call this our version 2018 because year to year who knows what will come.

Instant Pot Beef Bourguignon
: Adapted from Ina Garten.
  • Olive oil or avocado oil for pan
  • 8 ounces diced bacon (I recommend Wellshire organic uncured bacon)
  • 2.5-3 pounds chuck roast beef trimmed of large pieces of fat - cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 1½ pounds of carrots peeled and cut into 2-3 inch length chunks
  • 2 small yellow onions sliced into rings or chopped into pieces
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1-2 teaspoons of pepper
  • 2 large garlic cloves peeled and sliced thin
  • ½ cup cognac
  • 3 cups good dry red wine (¾ -1 bottle), Côtes du Rhône or Pinot Noir
  • 2 cups organic beef broth or stock
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
  • I big handful of thyme tied in a bundle with kitchen string
  • 1 pound mushrooms de-stemmed and sliced (more as desired!)
  • Clarified butter, butter or oil for sautéing mushrooms
  • 1 bag of frozen whole pearl onions
  • 4 tablespoons butter mashed with 2 tablespoons of gluten-free or regular flour and set aside for the last step. I like to use King Arthur All-Purpose, Gluten-Free Flour.
  1. In a large surface area saucepan, heat a teaspoon or two of olive or avocado oil. Add the bacon pieces and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes until lightly browned and starting to crisp on the edges. Stir occasionally. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon to a large plate, leave as much bacon fat in the pan as you can.
  2. In batches, brown the seasoned beef pieces over medium heat in the hot bacon fat for 2-3 minutes on all sides. Remove the seared pieces of beef to rest with the bacon on a large plate that can hold the juices. Continue to brown all pieces of meat and remove with the others.
  3. In the hot oil, toss the carrots and onions with 1 teaspoon of salt & 1½ teaspoons of pepper, cook occasionally stirring until the onions are browning, about 10 minutes more. Clear a spot in the center of the cooked vegetables and sauté garlic for 1 minute.
  4. When I’m in my own home, I will light my cognac on fire. If you don't wish to light a fire in your kitchen, skip to the bottom of this step. To continue, add ½ cup cognac to the pot and stir the carrots and onion mixture to incorporate. Wearing a hand mitt and using a long lighter or tongs holding a match, stand back and ignite the alcohol and let the fire burn off the alcohol. When the flame burns out, stir your vegetable mixture and move to step 5. (If you don’t wish to light your cognac on fire, add the cognac and stir the carrots and onion mixture instead, gently scraping up the browned bits. Let it simmer rapidly for 5 minutes while the alcohol burns off, continue to stir.)
  5. Add half of the wine to the vegetable and cognac mixture, and deglaze any remaining browned bits still on the bottom of the pan. Allow the mixture to simmer for 5 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, turn the Instant Pot to sauté and add all the beef, bacon and juices. Once bacon and beef are sizzling, add your vegetables, cognac and wine mixture.
  7. Pour in the rest of your wine, beef broth and tomato paste and stir. Sink your thyme bundle into the stew. Bring to a boil, letting wine cook with the meat for about 15 more minutes. Liquids should almost be covering all your vegetables and meat. If you need more broth, add it and stir, not to pass the fill line on your Instant Pot.
  8. Cover the pot with your lid and lock in place. Cancel the sauté feature and turn on manual pressure cooking with the timer set at 40 minutes. Plan on a 20-minute natural release.
  9. While the beef is cooking, heat a saucepan with clarified butter, oil or combination of the two, and sauté your mushrooms until soft, and the moisture is evaporated while mushrooms start to brown. Set aside for later.
  10. When 40 minutes of pressure cooking and 20 minutes of natural release is complete, manually release the rest of the pressure and remove lid when it is ready.
  11. Turn the Instant Pot back to sauté and remove your thyme bundle. When the mixture is simmering and bubbling, add the frozen onions and mushrooms. Let the stew simmer on sauté until extra liquids (alcohol) continue to evaporate and flavors intense while onions cook. Stir occasionally to keep the sauce from coating the bottom of the insert. This can cook for 10-20 minutes if you like. When ready, add the butter and flour mixture, stirring until completely melted and incorporated. Let the sauce thicken for a few minutes and taste for seasoning. Add more salt and pepper as needed.
  12. Serve over roasted fingerling potatoes (our current favorite), mashed potatoes, noodles, polenta, or alone with some crusty bread if you like.
  1. This dish is even better made ahead of time or the day before you serve it! Let it cool completely and store covered in the refrigerator.
  2. This entire dish can be made in the Instant Pot, but because of the small surface area, it will take longer to do the first five steps. Also, I have not tried lighting the cognac on fire in the IP.
*See notes on burning off the alcohol below.
Makes 10-12 servings

How to make beef bourguignon in the Instant Pot. #shemadeit #winterfood #slowcooking #instantpot #beefstew #beefburgundy #recipe #redwine #cookingiwthwine #makeahead #companyiscoming #fallfood #comfortfood

Grab a stock pot, your Instant Pot, a bottle of good red like Côtes du Rhône or Pinot Noir, a little bit of cognac, possibly your matches, all the ingredients and get ready for the cozy fall smells and satisfaction.


~ Heather

*Disclaimer on alcohol:  While the recipe is designed to “cook off” all alcohol, there is no guarantee a percentage will be left in the sauce. I make no claims on how much, and if you Google this question you’ll be reading mixed opinions for the entire time this beef could be cooking. If you don’t want a trace of alcohol in your recipe, you can make a tasty beef stew without the wine and cognac. It just won’t have that burgundy flavor. Add beef stock, tomato juice or sauce, extra seasoning, burn off some balsamic or red wine vinegar (acid) instead and see what version you can create. 😘



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lamb burgers with homemade pickles

Once upon a holiday, I made lamb for the first time. You know, so wise. Having company for a holiday, Heather? Oh, let’s try something you’ve never done before with an audience that isn’t super adventurous, said me. Yes, of course. 🤦🏻‍♀️

It wasn’t my favorite, and from the number of leftovers, it wasn’t anyone else’s either. But it was the first try done. First try results rarely stop me and good thing since lamb has become one of my favorites. Roasted lamb chops, lamb meatballs and lamb burgers? I’ll order it over beef most days.

We love these burgers with a bun or plate of spinach greens and always topped with sauce and homemade pickles. And by pickles, I don’t mean canned, jarred, or Grandma’s anything. I wouldn’t just throw that careless comment in there like that, I promise. These you can make in 15 and eat immediately or better yet, an hour or more later. And if you have no time for this or you forget, try these even easier pickled onions.

Since I’ve been scratching down notes for these lamb burgers in multiple places, it’s time I put it here for you AND me.

Lamb Burgers with Lemon Yogurt Sauce
For the burgers:
  • 1.5 lb ground lamb
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • pepper - 20 cracks or ½ teaspoon
  • 2 garlic cloves crushed
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil, more for frying
Lemon yogurt sauce
  • 1 cup of yogurt
  • ½ lemon zested
  • ½ lemon juiced
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped mint or dill
  • ½ teaspoon of salt & a pinch of pepper
  • 1 small garlic clove crushed (optional for a little punch.)
  1. In a bowl break apart your meat with two forks lightly.
  2. Add all the spices and oil.
  3. Gently mix ingredients into the meat with two forks, not stirring or mashing the meat, just enough to combine.
  4. When all is mixed, form 4 - 6 patties about ¾ inch thick.
  5. Heat oil in a pan, enough to lightly coat the pan surface.
  6. Fry lamb burgers 3-4 minutes a side, until cooked medium or longer as desired.
To make the yogurt sauce
  1. Whisk yogurt, lemon zest, juice, olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt & a few cracks of pepper. Lastly, stir in 1 tablespoon mint or dill.
Option: I like to make small versions of this recipe under the broiler for an appetizer. Broil 3-4 minutes on each side. Top the cuties with tzatziki sauce and lemon zest on little toasts, and they fly off the plate.
Makes 4-6 full-size burgers or 12-15 mini burgers.

My family’s favorite way to sandwich this burger, or any burger, is on a toasted English muffin. But this summer, my family and clients have been eating those delicious looking Euro brioche buns from Whole Foods that are gluten-FULL and smell like heaven. Every once in a while I’ll have the multi-grain, gluten-free Rudi’s English muffin toasted or no bun at all, and I’m not sad about it.

A slice of a seasonal tomato, spinach greens, lemon yogurt sauce and these pickles? Yes. It’s what’s been on our summer table but this one we’ll take with us all year long.

homemade quick pickles
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • ½ cup white distilled vinegar
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 English cucumber sliced thin (1/8-1/4 inch on my Mandoline)
  • ½ teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 6 pepper berries
  • 1-2 tablespoons of roughly chopped fresh dill
  • Optional: 1 teaspoon of sugar
Replace cucumbers with red onion slices or fennel slices. Or a combination of all.
  1. In a small saucepan whisk together vinegar, salt, water, caraway seeds and pepper berries until salt dissolves and liquid comes to a boil.
  2. Place your chopped cucumbers and dill into your jar.
  3. Pour hot liquid over cucumbers and dill and put on the lid.
  4. Let it cool on the counter.
  5. When cooled to room temperature, tip upside down a few times and then place in refrigerator.
  6. Pickles can be eaten an hour after refrigeration but are best after 24 hours and up to a month.





how to turn dinner into a cooking lesson

Last week Cole and Ev were home at the same time, the kale and cucumbers were overflowing in the garden, I had a story to finish for W.E.L.L. Insiders, and we needed a salad to go with dinner. Dinner time, cooking lesson, story inspo and pictures needed? Grab available kids and do all the things!

How to hold a knife safely? #ontheblog #shemadeit #recipe #lemons #vinaigrette #mealprep #mealprepping #sald #eatinghealthy #eattherainbow #chopping #whisking #teaching #cookinglesson #whatsfordinner #onthetable #knifeskills #cuttingveggies

As with any cooking class I teach, impromptu or scheduled, it doesn’t matter your age or skill as there is always something to learn. Read Cooking WELL With Kids: How to Make the Best Green Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette for the first post in a series I’m doing for W.E.L.L Insiders. Keep reading for the actual questions I asked and how we made a salad which led to a cooking lesson for Cole and Ev with these questions:

  • Is this veggie ready?
  • Can you de-stem the kale, please?
  • How do you hold and cut with a knife SAFELY?
  • What’s an emulsion?
  • Have you ever tasted a purple carrot? Thyme? Mint?

Is this veggie ready?

I ask myself this every time I walk by the garden. Googling garden questions has become my everyday practice, as I’ve mentioned I can’t pay friends to share what they know when it comes to gardening!

Cooking with kids! #ontheblog #shemadeit #recipe #lemons #vinaigrette #mealprep #mealprepping #sald #eatinghealthy #eattherainbow #chopping #whisking #teaching #cookinglesson #whatsfordinner #onthetable

How do I know kale is ready? Here are a few things I do that may or may not be in the garden books, but they’ve worked for me, and I’ve shared them with my kids.

  • Pinch off a piece and taste it!
  • Harvest outer leaves when they are the size of your parent’s hand.
  • Keep inner and top leaves intact for the plant to keep growing.
  • If kale is bitter, I’ve read about reversing the order to what you or I usually do which is first wash then cut, to instead, massage leaves to soften, then cut, then rinse to remove some of the activated bitter taste.
  • Still bitter? I have found most kale and chard very edible by sauteeing with a little butter and balsamic. You’re welcome.

Can you de-stem the kale, please?

This job is perfect and fascinating for all the ages. Me! While some (eh hem, Whole Foods) don’t bother, I like a salad better without the chewy, fibrous stem. We love to do it this way:

How do you hold and cut with a knife SAFELY?

How to hold a knife safely? #ontheblog #shemadeit #recipe #lemons #vinaigrette #mealprep #mealprepping #sald #eatinghealthy #eattherainbow #chopping #whisking #teaching #cookinglesson #whatsfordinner #onthetable #knifeskills #cuttingveggies

  • Notice that Cole knows how to hold something he’s cutting with his fingertips down and his knuckles in front, creating a safe place for a knife to line up (safely bump), preventing any cutting of fingers. Eek.
  • Cole holds his knife in the grip of his hand, keeping pointer finger wrapped around the handle. While some find it easier to put pointer finger on top of the blade to guide it is an easy way to cause the knife to slip off balance and cut fingers.

How to hold a knife safely? #ontheblog #shemadeit #recipe #lemons #vinaigrette #mealprep #mealprepping #sald #eatinghealthy #eattherainbow #chopping #whisking #teaching #cookinglesson #whatsfordinner #onthetable #knifeskills #cuttingveggies

Evie uses a butter knife that is sharp enough to cut softer foods. She’s not alone in the tendency to want to use that pointer finger to guide the blade.

Once she heard me notice and compliment Cole’s knife skills, she changed it up below after observing.

How to hold a knife safely? #ontheblog #shemadeit #recipe #lemons #vinaigrette #mealprep #mealprepping #sald #eatinghealthy #eattherainbow #chopping #whisking #teaching #cookinglesson #whatsfordinner #onthetable #knifeskills #cuttingveggies

What’s an emulsion?

The science of food is something I’ve grown to appreciate and understand with age and context. Kids pick up on this right away of course. An emulsion is the mixture of two liquids that would not usually mix, like oil and water.

How to make a simple vinaigrette? #ontheblog #shemadeit #recipe #lemons #vinaigrette #mealprep #mealprepping #sald #eatinghealthy #eattherainbow #chopping #whisking #teaching #cookinglesson #whatsfordinner #onthetable #knifeskills #cuttingveggies

While vinaigrette is a temporary emulsion (after an hour or more it will separate again), there are more semi-permanent emulsions like hollandaise sauce and even more permanent like mayonnaise. Both of the latter requires a third ingredient like eggs or even honey and mustard can help bind the two together. In a vinaigrette, the oil droplets disperse into the vinegar and temporarily create an emulsion. It’s a perfect two kid job so one can whisk and the other slowly pour in the oil.

How to make a simple vinaigrette? #ontheblog #shemadeit #recipe #lemons #vinaigrette #mealprep #mealprepping #sald #eatinghealthy #eattherainbow #chopping #whisking #teaching #cookinglesson #whatsfordinner #onthetable #knifeskills #cuttingveggies

Have you ever tasted a purple carrot? A piece of fresh mint or thyme?

  • Try it!
  • Touch it, smell it, taste it!
  • Never say never (my golden food rule) and try it again next time.

How to make a simple vinaigrette? #ontheblog #shemadeit #recipe #lemons #vinaigrette #mealprep #mealprepping #sald #eatinghealthy #eattherainbow #chopping #whisking #teaching #cookinglesson #whatsfordinner #onthetable #knifeskills #cuttingveggies

I’ve often heard parents say, “My child doesn’t eat ______.” Food rejection IS a part of the developmental process of learning to eat, and some struggle more with this than others. I wonder what happens though when we definitively decide for a little person who they are and what they’ll do long-term when it comes to food, and then we say it aloud on repeat or remove the particular food from their diet for good? Keep at it, give it time. My 2 cents. 🙂

And that goes for me and my lifelong dislike of lima beans too? Ha. While I don’t need to like this legume, I won’t, however, turn down anything YOU think is worth trying again. So bring it on you lima bean lovers? (Is there even such a thing?) Never say never.

For more cooking lessons, check out the full series on cooking with Cole called Before He Goes.




instant pot carnitas

Does the world need another carnitas recipe? Probs not but I still have one for you. And you’re welcome. You can consider this my shock and awe share because I didn’t see an Instant Pot sitting on my counter thing coming.

Make these easy instant pot carnitas for your next meal prep or dinner party! #ontheblog #shemadeit #recipe #carnitas #mealprep #mealprepping #tacos #whatsfordinner #onthetable

I’m old enough and smart enough to know that never is NEVER a sure thing. And lately, I’ve been feeling the future of our food and what’s on our plates bending in a new direction. (Towards more plants and less meat!) I guess I  didn’t see that one coming either.

We made One Part Plant's Roasted Cauliflower and Fennel Soup!

Without a plan, I started throwing in plant-based meals here and there and seeing what the family and I noticed. While we did notice, I didn’t hear anybody missing the meat. Hmm. Are we full? What did we like? Do we want it again? Surprisingly, we are all a bit rocked that the answer has been yes, yes and more, please.

My point on eating more plants and yet this post being on carnitas? Bwahaha. I guess it means this one is worth it but not because it’s the only star on the plate. These beans and this rice can be made in your new Instant Pot. Batch make the parts, and you have my kind of perfect meal prep, which in my opinion is to go ahead and prep the parts. Don’t worry about packing it up like this pretty little jar!

Meal prep these easy instant pot carnitas with rice and beans for your next meal prepping session! #shemadeit #recipe #carnitas #mealprep #mealprepping #tacos #whatsfordinner #onthetable

Unless you are walking out the door, in which case this is also perfect.

When at home, put a fresh over-easy egg on top, pass the hot sauce, perhaps a new cassava tortilla and everybody’s happy. Maybe the best part is it’s extraordinary ability to be breakfast, lunch, or dinner for whoever and however you put it together.

Here’s the cheaper 6 in 1 Instant Pot I have but click picture (affiliate link) for more options!

For the curious Instant Pot or the pressure cooker owners, this gem is for you!

Instant Pot Carnitas
Makes: Serves 8-10
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (or bacon fat)
  • 1 3-4 pound boneless pork shoulder
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 oranges zested and squeezed to about 1 cup of juice
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and left whole
  • 2 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ cup white onion chopped
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  1. Trim large pieces of fat off of pork shoulder. Save fat and add to the pot before cooking for flavor.
  2. Cut pork into 2-inch pieces.
  3. Press [Saute], then press [Adjust] to [More] mode on your Instant Pot. In 10 seconds your pot is ready to saute your meat. Add oil for a few seconds to cover the bottom of the insert and saute all meat sides in batches, placing browned pork in a bowl until all pieces are brown. Keep all meat in the extra bowl to rest and saute onions alone for about 3 minutes. Add some more oil as needed.
  4. Add meat and all the remaining ingredients back into Instant Pot insert, including reserved fat pieces, and stir to combine, scraping up browned bits if possible.
  5. Close the lid of the Instant Pot. Press [Manual] and set time for 30 minutes.
  6. When time is up, let the pork naturally release for about 20 minutes and then release the remaining pressure manually.
Options for finishing recipe:
  1. To eat immediately: Shred meat and use juices to add moisture as you need and skip the sauce thickening process as detailed next.
  2. To cook down sauce with stove and oven: With a slotted spoon, strain out meat pieces onto a rimmed baking sheet with about ½ cup of juices poured on top. Put remaining juices in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer vigorously while the sauce cooks down to a thicker sauce. Broil pan with meat until tops of meat chunks start to crisp. Remove from the oven. Discard fat pieces and shred meat. Pour thicker sauce on top and stir together before serving.
  3. To cook down sauce with stove top only: Remove pork pieces and pour all juices into a saucepan, bring to a boil and cook until thick and reduced as you desire. Add pork pieces back in (removing all fat portions) and stir and shred until meat is pulled apart and ready to eat.
  4. To save or freeze for later: Cool the meat and juices in Instant Pot pan, then package into a storage container and refrigerate for up to 4 days. Proceed with either of the options above, removing the fat layer on top as you wish or use some in your recipe for flavor. Or you can put cooled meat and juices into the freezer once cooled and when you decide to thaw, proceed with oven or stove-top reheating instructions above.


If you don’t see yourself getting an Instant Pot, don’t say “never” or you’ll have one by months end. Do, however, click on over to this stove-top crispy shredded pork carnitas or this oven roasted slow roasted pork shoulder for recipes that have not been replaced by the pressure cooker but perhaps given just a little bit of weekly competition.

As for the winds of change and more plant-based meals coming, follow me on @heatherbursch, and you’ll see where it goes.

~ Heather



how to make scrambled eggs in an All-Clad pan

This one was initially for Cole, cooking lesson #3 and scrambled eggs.

how to make scrambled eggs | cooking lesson # 3 | shemadeitshemight.com | #shemadeit #cookinglesson #howtomakescrambledeggs #allcladpans #cooklikeachef #offtocollege #hemadeit #cookingwithkids #beforehegoes

Even if he doesn’t make eggs during dorm life next year, he will eventually. They’re a staple, right? Breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner. They are also economical. (And I’m talking about organic free-range, vegetarian eggs. Still so cheap!) One day he will need all these things – kitchen skills and inexpensive meals, right?  But beyond all this, Cole likes eggs even though he complains about making them sometimes.

how to make scrambled eggs | cooking lesson # 3 | shemadeitshemight.com | #shemadeit #cookinglesson #howtomakescrambledeggs #allcladpans #cooklikeachef #offtocollege #hemadeit #cookingwithkids #beforehegoes

I realized this winter we had an egg situation going on with the whole family. Everyone wanted or needed them but no one wanted to make them, and when they did, there was a messy trail left behind.

how to make scrambled eggs | cooking lesson # 3 | shemadeitshemight.com | #shemadeit #cookinglesson #howtomakescrambledeggs #allcladpans #cooklikeachef #offtocollege #hemadeit #cookingwithkids #beforehegoes

But hey parents, do you ever find yourself doing something you never intended to keep doing but you’re either not aware that you are hustling or the work seems easier than A, B, or C? Well, eggs were one of those things. Without intention, Tim or I were making the eggs for the kids and ourselves at different wake-up times. One of us was also cleaning up after it was all said and done or using multiple pans all morning long. If we weren’t making or cleaning it, no one was making eggs for themselves and egg-less children were hungry by 9 a.m. On approximately December 2017, I had ENOUGH.

I invited the whole fam damily into the kitchen for an egg refresher to get us all on the same page, and we implemented a new kitchen practice for living at the Bursches:

Everyone (except the 6-year-old) will make their own eggs in our All-Clad pans daily, and they shall clean all dishes involved.

Sound simple?

Well, anybody living with another human knows, nothing is that seamless. Cooking and community necessitate empathy, respect, common courtesy and in my opinion, a parent who doesn’t do everything for their children.

And some of you will say, “For crying out loud why doesn’t this family have a non-stick pan though?!”

Well, I’m not going to rant to you about what non-stick pans are or aren’t, how they leach crap into your food, flake off and become part of your omelet, okay? Enough said. You can look up the research and decide for yourself. Or how they don’t allow for browned bits, deglazing or the perfect crusts to develop when cooking everything else besides eggs. Truth.

How I ended up not having non-stick pans was not by reading an article that scared the $%&* out of me. It’s less glamorous. My last non-stick pan died (as they always do) about ten years ago, I couldn’t afford a new one, and someone said to me something like, “Well, you have to have a non-stick pan for eggs don’t you?”  And because I’m stubborn like this, I didn’t buy one. Ha. Instead, I figured out how to use what I had which was a previously bought set of All-Clad pans. Hello.

how to make scrambled eggs | cooking lesson # 3 | shemadeitshemight.com | #shemadeit #cookinglesson #howtomakescrambledeggs #allcladpans #cooklikeachef #offtocollege #hemadeit #cookingwithkids #beforehegoes

When this beautiful pan and a little clarified butter can give you the most beautiful and delicious eggs along with anything and everything else a chef/cook needs, why even bother with the flaking and replacing. Cooking eggs in a metal pan actually taught me how to lock-down the basics of cooking (like egg making) as well as gain high performance skills with heat and timing, how to adjust and learn what is good or even better, about smoking points and different oils, and how having a pan along with the right utensil for every use is annoying when one kind is all you really need. We never went back.

Here’s our recipe. And what to do when it goes awry.

perfect scrambled eggs in an All-Clad pan
  • 2 teaspoons of clarified butter (see videos for options)
  • 2 eggs whisked well
  • small to medium metal pan
  • salt & pepper to taste
  1. Heat pan on high for 1 minute (make sure it's fully heated!), then add clarified butter or oil. Set the timer for 1 minute while butter melts, heats, and easily covers the pan surface. This time can vary but as you learn your pan works with your stove, make sure your pan is hot and that your butter/oil is fully warmed up and ready for eggs to sizzle. Do not let your fat get to the point of smoking. When butter or oil moves around your pan quickly and easily when you use your wrist to tip the pan in a circular motion, your pan is ready. Visa verse, if the oil or butter moves slowly and doesn't coat your pan, wait a little longer as your fat is not hot enough to create a non-stick surface. This will take practice to know, use the 1 minute above as a guide.
  2. When pan and fat are hot and about to bubble, pour in eggs and working quickly with a firm spatula or spoon, scrape eggs toward the middle, so the oil or butter follows your swipe and recoats the pan.
  3. Fold and slightly break apart eggs as needed to maintain fluffy folds but also cook insides as much as you like. Again, learn the kind of eggs you prefer. I prefer mine slightly wet and one last fold to cook the wet layer, then I'm done.
  4. When ready, remove from heat to stop eggs from frying and drying.
  5. Pan should remain clean if the pan and your butter/oil were hot enough.
See problem shooting below the recipe!


  • If there is a layer of egg film cooked on the bottom of your pan, try to adjust next time. To quickly remove the film when you are done, immediately put water in your pan and return to high heat, scraping as if you were cooking or deglazing a pan. This habit will remove all egg film in seconds rather than trying to wash it off now or later.

how to make scrambled eggs | cooking lesson # 3 | shemadeitshemight.com | #shemadeit #cookinglesson #howtomakescrambledeggs #allcladpans #cooklikeachef #offtocollege #hemadeit #cookingwithkids #beforehegoes

  • If you notice oil or butter smoking, your heat is too high, or it’s been left on the heat for too long.
  • If eggs are too wet, trying breaking them up more next time and flipping them once or twice rather than just folding.
  • If eggs are too dry, try less breaking and more folding or less time on the heat.
  • If eggs are burning, try a little bit more fat in your pan before you decide to turn down your heat. In a metal pan, even if you cook with more fat, it doesn’t just get stirred into the eggs. If the pan is hot enough, some fat will stay in the pan when you are done if you let it. See video part 2 below.

And that’s a wrap on Cole’s cooking lesson # 3. He says 3 out of 5 times a week his pan is clean when eggs are done and believe me this ratio I can live with. As for Cole’s cooking lessons? We now have cake, queso and eggs. I mean, what else does the boy need? Snacks! He always wants another snack. Stay tuned!

Check out these old posts on hard-boiled eggs and that time I decided to nail down how to make an over-easy egg, using the All-Clad of course.

~Heather (& Cole)

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beef and potato picadillo tacos with tomatillo salsa

picadillo tacos with tomatillo and avocado salsa | heatherbursch | shemadeitshemight.com #tacos #greensauce #tomatillosalsa #avocados #shemadeit #cilantro #recipes #glutenfree

This is my kind of food. A recipe that is made to take you through the week in almost any form. I mean I ALWAYS start with a taco, but it inevitably ends up on my eggs, or on top of some greens or an avocado, or another version of a taco with eggs, or by itself for a quick snack. Smack your lips right now. Yum.

And that all just depends if it lasts beyond our dinner because it’s tricky when five people love something. I can’t imagine a big enough batch for five sets of leftovers but I probably should because everyone here would just be happy to have their own stash for the week with signs that say don’t touch. It’s precious.

picadillo tacos with tomatillo and avocado salsa | heatherbursch | shemadeitshemight.com #tacos #greensauce #tomatillosalsa #avocados #shemadeit #cilantro #recipes #glutenfree

It’s also a lesson in improving an average pound of grass-fed ground beef with a basic white potato. I love both of these things. I just do. My body craves red meat once in awhile, and I’m not at the point in the spring where my body has full on given up the need for cozy food like potatoes. Basically, I’m still cold.

While I love both of these ingredients mentioned above, it’s the green sauce I’m most in love with and this my friends WILL take me/you the rest of the way into spring.

picadillo tacos with tomatillo and avocado salsa | heatherbursch | shemadeitshemight.com #tacos #greensauce #tomatillosalsa #avocados #shemadeit #cilantro #recipes #glutenfree

You’ve seen my Rick Bayless love over the years, and he’s taught and retaught me all the ways to roast up things like poblanos and tomatillos, with ingredients like garlic, cilantro and maybe a squeeze of lime. Blend and call it a salsa, sauce or spring. You choose. It’s time.

picadillo tacos with tomatillo and avocado salsa | heatherbursch | shemadeitshemight.com #tacos #greensauce #tomatillosalsa #avocados #shemadeit #cilantro #recipes #glutenfree

Here you go, our current family favorite stuffing for your taco needs – breakfast, lunch or dinner.

picadillo tacos with tomatillo and avocado salsa | heatherbursch | shemadeitshemight.com #tacos #greensauce #tomatillosalsa #avocados #shemadeit #cilantro #recipes #glutenfree

Speaking of tacos, I’ve made these tortillas in the picture above and below three times with Otto’s Naturals 100% Natural Cassava Flour (affiliate link). I was trying to replicate a thin grain-free yuca root tortilla like the ones we had at PICNIK in Austin. I’m still working on a thinner version, but these are solid, friends. And easy to whip up!

picadillo tacos with tomatillo and avocado salsa | heatherbursch | shemadeitshemight.com #tacos #greensauce #tomatillosalsa #avocados #shemadeit #cilantro #recipes #glutenfree

They are thicker and more like the flour tortilla texture, which consequently does make them filling. (Or maybe that’s the potatoes?) But anyways, if you are looking for a homemade alternative, I have had better luck with these than with trying to make fresh corn tortillas since I cannot find fresh masa around this city, yet.

Here’s the taco filling, tortilla options up to you.

Beef and Potato Picadillo Tacos with Tomatillo Salsa
5.0 from 1 reviews
Makes: Makes 12-15 tacos
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1½ pounds white potatoes peeled and small diced
  • 1 small yellow onion chopped
  • 2 tablespoons clarified butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
Salsa Ingredients
  • 8 tomatillos husked, rinsed and halved
  • 8 cloves of garlic unpeeled
  • 1 jalapeno whole
  • ½-1 teaspoon salt & pepper
  • ½ bunch of cilantro
  • ½ avocado
  1. Preheat oven to broil. On a cookie sheet lay halved tomatillos open side down, unpeeled garlic cloves, and jalapeño. Broil for 10-15 minutes total, turning garlic and jalapeño every 3-4 minutes as skins blacken on all sides.
  2. If garlic is browned or blackened on all sides, remove from oven and return the tomatillos and pepper until there are black spots and vegetables are fully softened. Peel the garlic and let vegetables cool while you continue with the meat and potatoes.
  3. In a saute pan, cook ground beef and a light sprinkle of salt and pepper until browned and crumbled into small bite-sized pieces. Set aside.
  4. In a large metal saute pan, heat 1 tablespoon of clarified butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add potatoes, onions and another light sprinkle of salt and pepper in a single layer and saute. Do not disturb for about 5 minutes. If it seems too hot, turn it down but try not to stir so the potatoes can create the browned coating of hash-browned potatoes.
  5. After 5 minutes, with a sharp-edged spatula, scrape the potatoes thoroughly and continue to saute. Add more clarified butter if the pan seems dry. Cook potatoes and onions, stirring occasionally for 10-15 minutes more until potatoes are just tender but not starting to mush. Do not over stir.
  6. To finish salsa, scrape all vegetables and juices with peeled garlic into a blender. Add the cilantro leaves and ½ teaspoon of salt and a few pinches of pepper and blend until pureed.Taste and add more seasoning, and a squeeze of lime if you like. Remove ¾ cup of salsa from the blender jar and set aside for later. Add ½ avocado to the blender jar and puree for final salsa topping. Set aside.
  7. When potatoes are just done, stir in ground beef and ¾ cup reserved salsa. Salt and pepper to taste as you desire.
  8. To eat: fill tortillas with beef and potato filling, top with avocado salsa.
Other optional toppings: cilantro, avocado slices, and limes.
Makes 12 - 15 tacos

picadillo tacos with tomatillo and avocado salsa | heatherbursch | shemadeitshemight.com #tacos #greensauce #tomatillosalsa #avocados #shemadeit #cilantro #recipes #glutenfree



how to make homemade mayo in less than 30 seconds

A few years ago I was looking for a mayonnaise without soy, sugar and other strange ingredients for shelf life. I knew that it should be mostly eggs and oil but nowhere was this to be found at the time. I began making my own here and there. The only time it didn’t work was when I used extra-virgin olive oil. Lesson #1: You need light tasting oils, or the strong flavor will overpower and taste bitter. 

A couple of summers ago I shared my recipe on Instagram, and my good friend Jen had zero success with it. This discrepancy drove me nuts, so I repeated what I had communicated, and it worked for me. Wait, what? You know this version of cooking crazy, right? How does it work them and not me, or this time and not that?

One weekend at the cabin I made it in Jen’s food processor, at least three times with ZERO success. I realized that the food processor Jen was using had too big of a bowl for the blades to reach the ingredients. Lesson #2: the blades have to touch all ingredients since the key to making homemade mayo is to slowly add the oil so the liquids can emulsify and thicken properly.

And then last fall I re-discovered the immersion blender. While I don’t like to acquire tools and additional kitchen tools, and previously gave one of these away as part of my small kitchen survival strategy, I am so glad I now stow this Smart Stick (affiliate link).

While you can whisk mayo in a bowl or blend in a food processor by adding oil drop by drop, immersion blenders are the way to go.

And you know how I feel about homemade activities, right? Satisfied, smart, accomplished and set up for success. While using the right oil is essential every time, this method gets dumped together all at once and has worked every time.

Here’s Ev’s latest favorite way to help me in the kitchen.

This one’s for you, Jen. But I won’t rest until you’ve had success. 😉

Homemade Mayo in 30 seconds
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup of sunflower oil (I also use light olive oil or avocado oil)
  • ½ lemon squeezed
  • 1-2 garlic cloves crushed
  • salt to taste
Optional: herbs like basil, rosemary, parsley, chives and etc.
  1. Crack an egg into your immersion blender cup or tall mason jar.
  2. Next, pour oil and the juice of a ½ lemon squeezed and strained.
  3. Crush garlic clove into the mixture.
  4. Using an immersion bender hold it to the bottom of the oil and blend gently moving it slightly up and down.
  5. Once the liquids start to emulsify, slightly tip blender stick to let oil from the top move under the blades to be incorporated.
  6. After about 30 seconds total, the mayonnaise should be ready and thick. Turn off blender stick and gently remove.
  7. Add salt, about ¼-1/2 teaspoon to taste, stir and store in a jar with a lid for up to about five days in your refrigerator.
  8. See below or visit shemadeitshemight.com and search for blog post entitled: How to make homemade mayo in less than 30 seconds for more flavor options.

Here are a few of our favorite additions:

  • Red Pepper Mayonnaise – Once emulsified, I pushed a roasted red pepper to the bottom of the blender and pureed the pepper into the mayo.
  • Herbed Mayonnaise – Try adding a tablespoon of chopped herbs at the end.
  • Chipotle or Sriracha Mayonnaise – add a teaspoon of adobo sauce, chipotle powder, sriracha or any spicy sauce you like for a dip or sandwich spread. Taste to determine the amount of spice!

Why mayo? It uses whole food ingredients, and we love deviled eggs, this salad, this dressing for any impromptu salad, chicken or tuna with crackers, greens or bread for lunch, a swipe on sandwiches and burger buns, and more to come here or at @heatherbursch.

Let us know how it goes!

~Heather (& Ev)


queso fundido with roasted poblanos and chorizo verde

Trying to fit in a cooking lesson, a photo shoot and a blog post with a senior in high school is like cooking from scratch without making a mess. Impossible. I did get this boy in the kitchen since the crazy-cake day and cooking lesson #1, just not on video or in a pic until now.

queso fundido with roasted poblano and chorizo verde | Melty warm cheese dip with chips, what more could you want? The perfect party food! #shemadeit #hemadeit #queso #chorizoverde #Mexicanfood #appetizers #cheese #chipsanddip #tortillachips #chipsandsalsa #glutenfree | shemadeitshemight.com

The first few times Cole and I tried recipes for an ATX Cucina inspired queso was for post-game snacks last fall. His high school team was on fire and seemed headed for the playoffs. But the Hawks lost by one point, one game before they made it to the state tournament.

queso fundido with roasted poblano and chorizo verde | Melty warm cheese dip with chips, what more could you want? The perfect party food! #shemadeit #hemadeit #queso #chorizoverde #Mexicanfood #appetizers #cheese #chipsanddip #tortillachips #chipsandsalsa #glutenfree | shemadeitshemight.com

Our latest melting cheese experiment happened this month when, Cole, the only true Viking’s fan in the house, watched the Vike’s lose one game away from the Super Bowl.

queso fundido with roasted poblano and chorizo verde | Melty warm cheese dip with chips, what more could you want? The perfect party food! #shemadeit #hemadeit #queso #chorizoverde #Mexicanfood #appetizers #cheese #chipsanddip #tortillachips #chipsandsalsa #glutenfree | shemadeitshemight.com

But sports and loss have been something this kid knows. He was often on the team that came oh-so-close but not quite.

I’m not a sports fan, but I grew up in a household full of them and with the movie Hoosiers on repeat. I love a great play or an unexpected win; I just could never commit to fan status with sports.

That is until I saw Cole play anything.

I remember the hill I was sitting on when that ball went high and long for his first home run. And that year when his football coach played him as the quarterback, and he ran that ball himself for a couple of touchdowns when the passing game didn’t come together for those 12-year-olds. The screams!!

But for three straight years, Cole’s football team lost every single game. And the first time his baseball coach put him in as the pitcher they were down by a few runs already. I was begging heaven for a strike, just 1, for the love of all things, please. He walked the first 5-6 batters, but he did not give up. I asked him later, what he was thinking and how did he do that? He said, “What choice did I have, Mom, but to keep going?” I could think of a few options.

First tries and repeat losses. Home runs and touchdowns. I can’t name it all and know what each thing meant, but somehow it all does add up to a childhood of life lessons and experiences that grew him and go with him. I feel a good weight. While I’m not going to tie this to the meaning of queso, I will take all these memories and celebrate how they built courage and created resilience.

And about that queso. If you love cheese, this one is for you.

queso fundido with roasted poblano and chorizo verde | Melty warm cheese dip with chips, what more could you want? The perfect party food! #shemadeit #hemadeit #queso #chorizoverde #Mexicanfood #appetizers #cheese #chipsanddip #tortillachips #chipsandsalsa #glutenfree | shemadeitshemight.comqueso fundido with roasted poblano and chorizo verde | Melty warm cheese dip with chips, what more could you want? The perfect party food! #shemadeit #hemadeit #queso #chorizoverde #Mexicanfood #appetizers #cheese #chipsanddip #tortillachips #chipsandsalsa #glutenfree | shemadeitshemight.comqueso fundido with roasted poblano and chorizo verde | Melty warm cheese dip with chips, what more could you want? The perfect party food! #shemadeit #hemadeit #queso #chorizoverde #Mexicanfood #appetizers #cheese #chipsanddip #tortillachips #chipsandsalsa #glutenfree | shemadeitshemight.comqueso fundido with roasted poblano and chorizo verde | Melty warm cheese dip with chips, what more could you want? The perfect party food! #shemadeit #hemadeit #queso #chorizoverde #Mexicanfood #appetizers #cheese #chipsanddip #tortillachips #chipsandsalsa #glutenfree | shemadeitshemight.com

The good news is you can’t lose with queso unless you leave it in the oven for too long or forget to eat it right away. For a more blended gooey mixture, increase your melting cheese and decrease the crumbling cheese in the recipe below. Play with what your favorite cheese combinations, we liked everything we tried. Win!

Queso Fundido with Poblanos and Chorizo Verde
Makes: 6-8
  • ½ pound of green chorizo, recipe below. Store-bought fresh chorizo not cured works as well.
  • 1-2 teaspoons of olive oil
  • 1 poblano pepper
  • ¼ cup chopped onion
  • ¾ pound Mexican melting cheese like quesadilla or Oaxaca, shredded or cut into small pieces
  • ¼ pound Mexican melting cheese like Chihuahua cheese which is more like a cheddar, shredded
  • ¼ pound fresh cheese like queso fresco or an aged crumbly cheese like cotija, crumbled
Substitute 2½ pounds of any cheese combination you like making sure you have a good melting cheese as the base.
Optional: jalapeno and cilantro slices to top
Serve with tortilla chips
  1. Preheat oven to broil.
  2. Roast 1 poblano pepper for 1-2 minutes a side under the broiler, about 6 inches from the top. Keep turning until all sides are blackened. Remove roasted pepper and put into a paper bag rolled down or a bowl covered with a towel for 15 minutes to create a steamy environment.
  3. Turn oven to 400°.
  4. To remove blackened pepper skin, run under cold water while you rub off the skin and remove inside seeds and stem.
  5. Cut roasted pepper into strips and dice into small pieces.
  6. Heat olive oil in a cast iron or oven proof pan over medium-high heat and saute onion for 5 minutes until starting to soften. Add poblano pieces and saute for 2 minutes or so.
  7. Next, add ½ of the recipe for green chorizo or ½ pound of fresh chorizo to the pan and sauté until lightly brown and starting to crisp.
  8. When meat is ready, salt and pepper to taste keeping in mind the cheese will be salty as well.
  9. Add all 3 kinds of cheese on medium heat, stirring for about 1 minute to melt and combine all the ingredients.
  10. Put skillet into the oven until cheese is bubbling and melted, 5-7 minutes should be just right depending on your cheese selection.
  11. Top queso with fresh jalapenos and cilantro if you like. Serve immediately with chips.

The first time we made the recipe above we used fresh store bought chorizo, and it was good. I knew the dish I had in Austin was with Chorizo Verde and I wanted a similar green chile and cilantro flavor with the salty cheeses. This chorizo recipe makes double and would be great with scrambled eggs, hash, or breakfast tacos!

Chorizo Verde | Melty warm cheese dip with chips, what more could you want? The perfect party food! #shemadeit #hemadeit #queso #chorizoverde #Mexicanfood #appetizers #cheese #chipsanddip #tortillachips #chipsandsalsa #glutenfree | shemadeitshemight.com

Chorizo Verde
Makes: 1 pound of chorizo
  • 1 pound ground turkey or pork. I use ½ white and ½ dark organic turkey. Ground pork is traditional.
  • 1 roasted poblano, skin and seeds removed, diced (See roasting instructions above in queso recipe.)
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 5 garlic cloves crushed
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  1. In the bowl of a food processor combine roasted poblano pieces, black pepper, ground coriander, cumin, oregano, salt, and garlic until finely chopped and mixed. Add apple cider vinegar and cilantro, puree until combined.
  2. Place your meat into a large bowl and add your chile spice mixture. Using two forks gently combine your meat and spices.
  3. Divide meat into two parts, saving one portion to freeze or refrigerate and use later.

queso fundido with roasted poblano and chorizo verde | Melty warm cheese dip with chips, what more could you want? The perfect party food! #shemadeit #hemadeit #queso #chorizoverde #Mexicanfood #appetizers #cheese #chipsanddip #tortillachips #chipsandsalsa #glutenfree | shemadeitshemight.com

Stay tuned for Cooking Lesson #3 and eggs, our entire family and a few friends are getting in on this lesson. 😘

~Heather (& Cole)