Turkey & Black Bean Chili (stove top or slow cooker)

A few years ago if you asked me if I liked chili, I would have wrinkled my nose at you and said, “Eww, no!”

As a kid I hated chili! Now, as an adult, I can articulate that the reason I didn’t like chili was the texture of canned tomatoes made me gag, kidney beans were are gross and onions can ruin just about anything.

After Brad mentioned wanting chili several times, I really thought about it and went browsing around the internet for a recipe for chili that I could make for him and that I would actually like. Since there was ground turkey in the fridge and black beans in the pantry, that’s were my search started. I couldn’t find just one recipe that I wanted to try, but I liked elements of a few of them so I did my own.


Turkey & Black Bean Chili Continue reading

Recipe: Easy Roasted Tomatoes

I love tomatoes… which is weird because I don’t like tomato sauces.

A couple of weeks ago, Brad and I were grilling balsamic pork chops for dinner and I had some Campari tomatoes that needed to be eaten. Inspired by the tomato that accompanies a plate of eggs on the cruise ship, I started slicing the tomatoes in half and developed this recipe:

Easy Roasted Tomatoes


– small tomatoes such as Campari or plum, but larger probably work too

– dressing – I used Italian dressing

What you do: Continue reading

Better Than Pasta Salad Side Dish

It seems like a staple at most summer cookouts and/or potlucks is pasta salad.

Carbohydrate-filled pasta is not what I want to spend my carb budget on for cool, refreshing summer foods.

For your next summer side dish, consider nixing the rotini and bringing this low-carb option instead.

Ingredients: Continue reading

Friday Five: Grilling

Tomorrow marks the first official day of summer! Although I’ve already spent a fair amount of time enjoying summer activities, soaking up the sun and cursing my awkwardly sunburned knees.

Yesterday, my office took a field trip and attended the Cleveland Indians v. Los Angeles Angels game at Progressive Field, that ended with an exciting 2-out grand slam in the 10th inning. (I sound like I know something about sports!) I came out of the game with some really red knees though… Oh well! Live and learn and slather more sunscreen on next time.

This weekend though, we’re ringing in summer with one of our favorite activities… grilling.

You’ve got to really like grilling to get a monster like this!

You may not know that grills are good for more than cooking up hamburgers and hot dogs, here’s out weekend grill line up: Continue reading

The Secret Family Recipe

I feel like the internet (and Pinterest) might be killing the idea of secret recipes.

Not all families have a recipe that is special and passed down, but the family I married into does. When Brad and I started dating the K-fam baklava season was just about to begin. I didn’t realize how amazing their secret recipe was until I a.) had it and b.) saw how crazy people go for it.  I was amazed at how many people placed huge orders with my in-laws for their baklava every year.

People asked, begged and tried to bribe to get the recipe. Sure you can find baklava recipes online, but theirs is just different.  And part of what makes it special is the secret.

I wasn’t even allowed to help make baklava until Brad and I were engaged. But I also didn’t have access to the recipe… until my bridal shower when I unwrapped what I thought was a picture frame.

Unwrapping the secret family recipe

Now that I’m a Kerstetter I have the recipe and we make it occasionally during the holidays. I could share the recipe, special ingredients and certain tips here on my blog and get a ton of views and engagement and satisfy the curiosity of many… but then the recipe isn’t special.

I have a box full of recipes and am happy to share every single one that I have except for the one. I feel like each person should have that one thing that they make special. The internet is making special recipes into community property and I love the ones I find online. Here’s my take: Share all of the recipes you want, but don’t be afraid of having one thing that’s special to you or your family that’s secret.

Do you or your family have a secret recipe?