Monthly Archives: December 2013


Vegetarian Chili

So I don’t eat meat.  I’m a what you call pescatarian.  Basically I’m a vegetarian that eats fish. You will see meat dishes crop up on With Love from the Vine from time to time, because I am the only vegetarian in my family so I do cook for meat for them.  This chili is so thick and filling you will never miss the meat. I have a top secret ingredient that accomplishes this!


Start by cooking up some red and green bell peppers, red onion, garlic, and jalapeno.

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Fried Turkey Tutorial

Yeah, I know, I know.  Thanksgiving is over.  But people still eat turkey for Christmas right?  Well at least we do in my family.  I know all the hype out there about how dangerous frying turkeys can be, but if you take the proper precautions you will be rewarded with a delicious and moist turkey.

First thing would be to buy a turkey fryer.  I would not suggest making your own.  Once you have your turkey fryer and turkey, take your turkey (still wrapped) and place it in the fryer and cover it with water.  Remove the turkey and mark the water line in the pot.  That is how much oil you will need.  We use peanut oil to fry our turkeys.

My dad is the deep frying master in our house, thanks Dad for the pictures!

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Start by picking your marinade.  If you are a loyal reader you know my affinity with spicy food.  Well, that has to come from somewhere right?  My family is the same why.  Enter Frank’s Red Hot deep fried turkey.  It adds just enough kick to make this turkey awesome.  You can use any kind of marinade though.  We also did one with barbecue sauce.  You can use any store bought marinade or make one yourself.  Be warned though that the marinade needs to be really smooth.  If your marinade has any chunks in it, you will want to blend it up really well until its nice and smooth. Making sure to use a smooth marinade will ensure that your injector doesn’t get clogged! Inject your turkey with as much or as little marinade as your would like.  You better bet that we used a lot of hot sauce in ours!

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White Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

I love peppermint at any time during the year, but especially during the holidays.  And in some white chocolate and you have a match made in heaven.


These cookies are so tender due to the cornstarch in the dough, plus they use melted butter so you don’t have wait around for the butter to soften. Score!

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Holiday Cranberry Salad

This is another family gem that completes the holidays in my family.  This recipe is originally my aunt Diane’s, but now my mom has taken over the duties of making it every year.


Start with your cranberries and sugar.  Plus the cranberries in a food processor until coarsely chopped. Combine with the sugar and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.


Then place the cranberry sugar mixture in a mesh drainer and drain for 2 hours. (I know a little time consuming, but not a lot of work, and its worth it! Trust me!)

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Party Ideas: Campfire Christmas

Having a holiday party this year and having trouble coming up with theme?  This idea for a campfire Christmas is so cute and very quick and easy to throw together.

How about we start with the decorations?


Get yourself a lantern (I’ve seen them as Target, Ross, or any big chain store like that), then utilize your free labor (kids!) to help you collect some pinecones, pieces of pine, and some red berries.  (If you can’t find any of these fresh Joann’s has a great selection of fake garland for very cheap). You will also need some battery operated tea lights.


Cover the tables first in a red plastic table cloth, then add a strip of butcher paper, and finally a festive scarf.  So simple!  I was able to find the scarfs at my local dollar store.  Put your lantern in the center of the table and arrange the pinecones, greenery, and berries around it.  Turn on your battery operated candles and your tables are done.

Now for the best part, the food!

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Potato Flautas

So yeah.  Me and mexican food?  We go way back.  I love mexican food and could eat it it for every meal. Burritos?  Check.  Tacos?  Check. Enchiladas?  Check.  You see I don’t eat meat but I love flautas and taquitos but most fast food and sit down restaurants don’t normally have a vegetarian version of their flautas.  One way to fix this problem?  Make them myself.  They are really simple too.The only difference between flautas and taquitos?  Flautas are made with flour tortillas and taquitos are made with corn tortillas.  So just switch out your tortillas for this recipe and you will have taquitos.


Start by cooking up some onion and garlic in some olive oil.


Add in your peeled and diced potatoes and a whole packet of taco seasoning.


Cover and let cook until the potatoes are very tender.


Then get your tortillas, place some potato filling down the middle, and roll them up.


Keep going until either: a-you run out of tortillas or b-you run out of filling.  Stick a toothpick straight thru the center of each one to keep them together in the oil.


Fry them up until they are golden brown.


Sooo good.


Serve with sour cream, guacamole, salsa, and some shredded cheese.

Potato Flautas
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Potato Flautas
Serves: 4
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced or grated
  • 5-6 russet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 package taco seasoning
  • 8-12 8 inch flour tortillas
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • sour cream, salsa, guacamole, shredded cheese for serving
  1. In a large skillet over medium high heat saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil until the onion starts to soften.  Add in the potatoes and taco seasoning.  Give a good stir and cook covered over medium heat until the potatoes are very tender.
  2. Fill a another large skillet with vegetable oil.  Preheat oil over medium heat.
  3. Place ⅓ cup of potato filling down the center of each tortilla.  Roll up and secure with a toothpick.
  4. Fry until golden brown on all sides. Drain well.
  5. Serve with salsa, shredded cheese, guacamole, and sour cream.
  6. Eat!

Recipe tip:  One way to tell is your oil is hot enough is to stick the handle of a wooden spoon in it.  If bubbles rise up around the wood, then the oil is hot enough.


Chocolate Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Chocolate Frosting

So yeah, these cupcakes.  It really doesn’t get any better than this.  I mean, come on.  A rich and moist chocolate cupcake (filled with dulce de leche I might add) covered with a salted caramel chocolate frosting?  I think I ate three before I had to give them all away!

Start by making the dulce de leche to fill the cupcakes with.


Place one can of sweetened condensed milk in the slow cooker, cover with water and cook on low for 8-9 hours.  You might want to place the cans on a folded paper towel like I did so they won’t leave a rust ring in your slow cooker.  You only need one can for this recipe but you can never have too much dulce de leche so I did two.  Sue me.


You will be rewarded for your patience with this luscious sauce that is delicious, with almost no effort on your part.

Now for the cupcakes!

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Pomegranate Jelly

For as long as I can remember, my grandparents have made pomegranate jelly every year.  It truly is a labor of love, but it’s worth it.  First you have to beg your granddaughter (me) for all of their pomegranates which she will unhappily part with.

Then you have to juice them.  This by far takes the longest time.  I’m pretty sure it takes my grandpa weeks to juice all of the pomegranates they collect.


Here’s my grandpa DeVaughn.  Isn’t he cute?  You will want to wear clothes you don’t mind ruining while doing this. And preferably a straw hat.

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Then get to juicing.  Slice the pomegranates in half, place in the juicer, and squeeze!  (Note: I have done this using a traditional electric juicer and it works great.)

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Strain the juice into a jar or pitcher and place in the fridge for about a week.

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Salt and Vinegar Potatoes

If you haven’t noticed already, I love tart and sour things.  Fish and chips?  Give me the vinegar over the tarter sauce any day. Any time you get lemon as a garnish at a restaurant? You better bet that lemon is going all over my food. These salt and vinegar potatoes are right up my ally.  They are an easy side dish to really any dinner and another pinterest win!


Start with come potatoes.  I used yukon golds for this. Scrub them really well.


Slice them up.

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Greek Spaghetti Sqaush

Who is still in a food coma from Thanksgiving?  Me.  This is a simple and light dinner or side that is quick and delicious. This recipe also comes from my friend Desi, who shared her lovely sugar cookie recipe with me as well.

Plus, I think I am still a little cooked out and needed something that didn’t take a long time in the kitchen.  I added some grilled fish and a green salad and called it dinner.


Get yourself and spaghetti squash,

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hack it in half, scoop out the seeds, and microwave until fork tender.


Shred with a fork.

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