Thursday, August 16, 2018

Slow Cooker Spicy Chicken & Rice

A hearty and fantastic slow cooker recipe with a kick - perfect for "Taco Tuesday"

Slow Cooker Spicy Chicken & Rice #recipe #chicken #slowcooker #crockpot #rice #maindish

I adore chicken and rice crockpot meals. I feel like even with the little time the rice spends in the crockpot, it just soaks up all that slow cooked goodness that the crockpot makes. This particular recipe has Rotel to add some kick plus a chipotle pepper, which adds some nice smokiness with an added kick. I don't always make tacos for Taco Tuesday and I love to switch up proteins from week to week, so this one is part of our permanent meal rotation for sure!

Slow Cooker Spicy Chicken & Rice #recipe #chicken #slowcooker #crockpot #rice #maindish

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Eggs Benedict Fail #FantasticalFoodFight

Welcome to another Food Fight! Fantastical Food Fight is a group of food bloggers who will get a theme or ingredient each month and make some sort of variation for it. It could be traditional or nontraditional and can be found in a cookbook, on a blog, or be a blogger's own creation! For more details, check out this page.

This month's Fantastical Food Fight theme is JULIA CHILD. Why is that? Because it's Julia Child's birthday today. I thought it would be super fun to open up the recipes quite a bit to celebrate this wonderful lady.

As you can tell by my recipe was a fail. I had it in my mind that I was going to make Julia's hollandaise sauce. I have never had hollandaise and really wanted to make it. I recently made macarons and they were super nerve-wracking, so I thought hollandaise should be a cinch if I made macarons successfully. I was absolutely wrong. I messed up three times and then tried to make the hollandaise in a blender...and still messed it up. I wasted a dozen eggs and a whole pound of butter. My kitchen was so greasy. I also was so flustered that I left my poached eggs in longer than I was going to (4 1/2 minutes instead of 3 1/2 minutes), so they were overcooked.

All the egg third broken hollandaise...the egg/broken sauce graveyard.

Overcooked poached egg...booooooo!

If you haven't made hollandaise, you take egg yolks and add butter to them (with lemon juice and cayenne) and it's this really rich wonderful sauce. But the method is very tricky. Most that I have seen, you do it over a double boiler. Because if it gets too hot, you'll cook your egg yolks and have scrambled eggs. If you don't whisk enough or add too much butter, you'll have a separated mixture, which is referred to as "the sauce breaking". This was my issue. The first time I was super close. I whisked my little heart out and counted 15 seconds on the heat and 15 off the heat. The second time, I thought maybe while adding my hot butter, I was supposed to take it off the heat completely (WRONG). The third time, I forgot my second pat of cold butter before adding the hot butter. It was honestly the most frustrating thing I've ever done in my life. I don't like not being good at something, so this was infuriating. I will attempt it again because I'm determined to nail it. I think instead of doing it directly in the saucepan (or the blender which didn't work because I don't have the right blender for it), I will attempt it over a double boiler.

I'm sorry, Julia! I may attempt your recipe once day, but I am definitely going to have to recover from the fiasco first.

You may be wondering...Sarah, why didn't you just make another Julia recipe? Well, my overly confident self didn't plan ahead and waited until the weekend before to make my recipe expecting success :P That's what I get haha. I cannot wait to see what everyone else made to honor Julia Child today. And Happy Birthday, Julia!

Find something you're passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it.

The winner of the KEBABS Food Fight is Michaela from An Affair from the Heart and her Chicken Fajita Kabobs. I'm always looking for new Taco Tuesday grub and I love the selection of veggies she picked :)


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Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Easy M&M Cookie Bars

These bars are the perfect treat for any time of year, but especially back to school!

Easy M&M Cookie Bars #recipe #dessert #bars #cookies #chocolate

Back to school time just makes me think of M&M cookies and I don't know why. That I can recall, we didn't have M&M cookies for after school snacks or anything. But I'm not going to question it. I love making sweet treats for my kids for after school snacks on occasion. I made these last year and they loved them! It's such a great recipe - not too much skill needed to make it :)

Monday, August 13, 2018

Menu Plan Monday - August 13, 2018

Menu Plan Monday for Aug 13, 2018 // What I'm making this week #menuplanmonday #mealplan

Another week is here and it is also the first full week of school for my big kids. I expect soccer will be starting soon, so September's meals are going to be quicker during the weekdays for sure. Trying out some new quick recipes this week. AND doing a little belated Harry Potter's birthday celebration with some butterbeer cupcakes!

Monday - One Pot Pesto Chicken Alfredo Zoodles
Tuesday - 20 Minute Taco Salad
Wednesday - Chocolate Chip Cookie Muffins // Cheddar Broccoli Soup with Chicken
Thursday - Hawaiian Steak Kabobs
Friday - Jalapeno Popper Pizza
Saturday - Swedish Coffee Cake // Mississippi Pot Roast
Sunday - Butterbeer Cupcakes

What are you having for dinner this week?
Feel free to leave a link to the recipe in the comments!


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Friday, August 10, 2018

Homesick Texan Pot Roast

The perfect smoky pot roast that is served up with a horseradish jalapeno sauce that is to die for!

Homesick Texan Pot Roast #recipe #maindish #potroast #brisket #beef

This recipe was supposed to be Homesick Texan Brisket because if my brother-in-law has conveyed anything about's that they love their brisket. However, brisket is an expensive cut of meat, so I opted for the cheaper chuck roast. Sorry, not sorry, Texans. This is still a pretty great recipe and if you have a brisket to make, definitely use this recipe for it! I really love that there is molasses in this because it adds such a nice smoky richness to the meat. It also has a jalapeno horseradish sauce which was the most surprising part of the recipe to me. It's not pictured, but it was absolutely wonderful and I wish I always had some on hand. In fact, I'm not sure why I don't always have some on hand. I need to make some asap!

Thursday, August 09, 2018

Throwback Thursday No. 66

Throwback Thursday No. 66 | Rediscovering Old Favorites in the Recipe Archive

Just in time for school, these DIY PIZZA LUNCHABLES are perfect for box lunches. They taste just like the real thing!

I love fruit breads like this BLUEBERRY CREAM CHEESE BREAD. This one is just especially delicious. Perfect for breakfast and honestly, teeters the line of snack/breakfast and dessert.


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Wednesday, August 08, 2018

Slow Cooker Apple Cake

This wonderful fall dessert is made in the slow cooker and takes little effort to throw together!

Slow Cooker Apple Cake #dessert #crockpot #slowcooker #cake #autumn #fallrecipes #apples

Slow cooker desserts are among my favorite thing because you can set them and forget them and you have a delicious dessert ready after dinner. This particular recipe for apple cake is perfect for late summer into fall. It's pretty much a dump cake because you just put all the ingredients into the slow cooker and cook it. There is not beating of ingredients and a crazy amount of preparation. It is simply tossing the apples with cinnamon and sugar, topping with cake mix, topping with melted butter, and cooking. This is a great dessert to make with children or for a potluck. You can even add some caramel sauce when you serve it up for a little caramel apple goodness!

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

Easy Pesto Pizza

This pesto pizza has only a handful of toppings, but don't underestimate the tastiness!

Easy Pesto Pizza #recipe #pizza #pesto #basil #tomato #meatless

I don't usually purchase store bought pizza crust. I much prefer to make a batch of my favorite pizza dough and freeze half. Then it's just a matter of thawing the crust during the day in preparation for dinner. I love this easy pesto pizza because it truly is easy. And there's pesto. And then more basil. This speaks to me on so many levels. The original recipe calls for topping the pizza with just mozzarella and then baking, then adding the remaining toppings after baking. I prefer the toppings get melted into the cheese, so I baked it all :)

Easy Pesto Pizza #recipe #pizza #pesto #basil #tomato #meatless

Monday, August 06, 2018

Menu Plan Monday - August 6, 2018

Menu Plan Monday for Aug 6, 2018 // What I'm making this week #menuplanmonday #mealplan

I am so excited about tonight's dinner honestly. I don't get enough brussels ever. They are so good! Tuesday is going to be an old favorite. Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday are all new recipes and we are really looking forward to all of those too. Then Saturday, I'm attempting to make a recipe that I cannot get a good picture of for the life of me! It's one of our favorites and we don't mind having it, but I desperately want to get a good picture of it so I can post it :)

Monday - Sausage, Brussels Sprouts, and Parmesan Pasta
Tuesday - Chili Lime Chicken Salad
Wednesday - Blueberry Cheesecake Oatmeal // Crockpot Caramelized Pork Ramen Noodle Soup
Thursday - Grilled Chicken and Strawberry Salad Wrap
Friday - Taco Burgers
Saturday - Bacon Cinnamon Rolls // Cheese and Proscuitto Stuffed Chicken
Sunday - Poo Emoji Brownies

What are you having for dinner this week?
Feel free to leave a link to the recipe in the comments!


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Thursday, August 02, 2018


This German cheesecake is definitely a dessert you want to try - it's way different than American cheesecake!

Käsekuchen #recipe #German #Germancuisine #Germanfood #dessert #cheesecake #cake

I have been trying more and more German cuisine thanks to my German sister-in-law. She asked if I would make käsekuchen (aka cheesecake!) and I was all for it. German cheesecake uses quark which is, from my understanding, somewhere between cottage cheese and cream cheese. I attempted to make her grandmother's recipe but the American substitutes for quark can be finicky. I tried Greek yogurt but it ended up very gritty and it was discouraging. The next time I made it, I tried a new recipe and it suggested ricotta if you couldn't find quark. I was very skeptical but decided to try it and get Chantal's opinion. She said that it was very close to what it should be and that was that. Ricotta is the right substitution for quark and it makes for a delicious German cheesecake.

Käsekuchen #recipe #German #Germancuisine #Germanfood #dessert #cheesecake #cake
Käsekuchen #recipe #German #Germancuisine #Germanfood #dessert #cheesecake #cake

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

A&W Chili Dogs Copycat

Grab a root beer and enjoy this classic chili dog copycat from A&W restaurants!

A&W Chili Dogs Copycat #recipe #copycat #hotdogs #chilidogs #maindish

I am no stranger to A&W restaurants but I have never had one of their chili dogs. So I'm not sure exactly how this chili dog copycat compares to the real thing and I'm not entirely opposed to traveling to our nearest one in Sevierville to test out the real thing. I can say, without question, that this is a fabulous chili dog recipe and I really enjoyed the very classic flavors to the chili. Per the recipe, this is a Coney Island style chili.

A&W Chili Dogs Copycat #recipe #copycat #hotdogs #chilidogs #maindish

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Butterbeer Pancakes

For all the Potterheads in your life (or butterscotch lovers), these Butterbeer Pancakes will be their new favorite breakfast. Always.

Butterbeer Pancakes #recipe #breakfast #pancakes #butterscotch #butterbeer #harrypotter

Happee birthdae, Harry and Jo! Today's recipe is in celebration of the wizarding world's most fantastical treat: butterbeer. I know I would totally love these Butterbeer Pancakes on my birthday, so totally fitting for me to share today :) These are a little bit of a labor of love, as you make pancake batter, butter syrup, and whipped cream. But it honestly doesn't take too long and the end result is amazing. I love all the butterscotch-y goodness AND the whipped cream is honestly good on its own. I would take a bowl full of it by itself. I don't like butterscotch ice cream topping and wanted to find something with better flavor and discovered this Mrs. Richardson's topping that is butterscotch caramel. It was so luscious and the perfect consistency for these pancakes!

Butterbeer Pancakes #recipe #breakfast #pancakes #butterscotch #butterbeer #harrypotter

Monday, July 30, 2018

Menu Plan Monday - July 30, 2018

Menu Plan Monday for Jul 30, 2018 // What I'm making this week #menuplanmonday #mealplan

We're on a bit of a spicy kick this week and will be enjoying some yummy old favorites with some heat. And also looking forward to the breakfasts and dessert. I am doing pretty well on my breakfast making finally and I hope I can continue that when school starts. This week is the kids' last week of summer. I start college up again on Wednesday!

Monday - Roasted Broccoli Alfredo Pasta
Tuesday - Carne Asada Melts
Wednesday - Easy Cinnamon Twists // Jalapeno Popper Chicken Soup
Thursday - Ultimate Summer Salad
Friday - Mexican Chorizo Pizza
Saturday - Sourdough Waffles // Pizza Meatloaf
Sunday - Cinnamon Roll Pound Cake

What are you having for dinner this week?
Feel free to leave a link to the recipe in the comments!


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Friday, July 27, 2018

The Best Coffee Cake Ever

Fluffy, moist, and perfect with a fresh pot of coffee, you have to try The Best Coffee Cake Ever!

The Best Coffee Cake Ever #breakfast #recipe #cake #coffeecake

I am pretty trusting when it comes to recipes from Ree Drummond and if she says that a recipe is the best ever, I know it will be the best ever. This coffee cake is the best ever. My husband's family has a secret squirrel sourdough coffee cake recipe that has been passed down for generations and I won't be posting it here on the blog. However, this recipe really reminds me of it, just minus the sourdough. It tastes much like that recipe. It's fluffy, moist, and the streusel is everything.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Throwback Thursday #65

Throwback Thursday No. 65 | Rediscovering Old Favorites in the Recipe Archive

I am excited to share these two recipes today. I'm in the era of me discovering so many great foods. First up is COFFEECAKE PANCAKES which are unbelievable pancakes with streusel that you didn't know pancakes needed.

I have made this recipe a million times because we love it: RANCH CROCKPOT PORK CHOPS AND PARMESAN MASHED POTATOES. If I am stumped on a pork chop recipe, I turn to this one. And I, as a self-proclaimed gravy hater, love the gravy in this recipe.


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Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Sheet Pan Sausage and Veggies

Throw some smoked sausage and vegetables on a sheet pan and your dinner is a go!

Sheet Pan Sausage and Veggies #recipe #sausage #zucchini #maindish #onepan

I know, I know, where's the sheet pan? Well, I lost that picture. Story of the blog lately. But that is what happens with a hard drive failure. It doesn't take away from just how fabulous this recipe is. Kielbasa is another food that I didn't like as a child. I should say one of the few things I tried and didn't like as a child. But something changed when I became an adult and I love it now. I love all these veggies and I really love the seasonings for the recipe. It all comes together wonderfully and I know I will make it time and time again.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Baked Buffalo Chicken Bites

Spicy and crunchy and made in the oven, these buffalo chicken bites are perfect for pizza night!

Baked Buffalo Chicken Bites #recipe #chicken #buffalo

It still surprises me that buffalo chicken is one of my favorite foods. I was raised on very mild food. Sometimes the only spice used was garlic powder in very small quantities. As I've gotten older, I have been pretty open to trying new foods because I don't know what I may love that I haven't had. I also had never eaten anything spicy at all until I met my husband. It just wasn't in my wheelhouse. I started off eating the Tyson buffalo chicken strips and Hanover's buffalo pretzels. It took a long time to build a tolerance to spiciness, but I love it now. Buffalo sauce is just so dang good. I prefer Frank's Red Hot and just the thought of it makes my mouth water.

This recipe is fairly simple and has elements of basic breaded chicken with the added buffalo sauce deliciousness to it. Italian seasoning pairs perfectly with buffalo sauce! I served up these little nuggets with cheese pizza :)

Baked Buffalo Chicken Bites #recipe #chicken #buffalo

Monday, July 23, 2018

Menu Plan Monday - July 23, 2018

Menu Plan Monday for Jul 23, 2018 // What I'm making this week #menuplanmonday #mealplan

I'm excited to be making Spaetzle this week. Nervous with how it will turn out, of course, but I'm excited. I've never had it so I have nothing to compare it to if I do mess it up :) You'll notice a few more fall-themed foods on my meal plan in order to prepare for posting in the upcoming season! I usually make the seasonal treats during the season and then post them in the following year, but the loss of my recipe pictures is killing me this year!

Monday - Italian Noodle Casserole
Tuesday - Foil Pack Creamy Salsa Verde Chicken
Wednesday - Master Muffin Mix // Slow Cooker Tomato Basil Soup with Grilled Cheese
Thursday - Schnitzel with Spatzle
Friday - Sally's Hawaiian Pizza
Saturday - Salisbury Steak Meatballs
Sunday - Homemade Blueberry Lemon Danish // Maple Walnut Blondies

What are you having for dinner this week?
Feel free to leave a link to the recipe in the comments!


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Friday, July 20, 2018

Fantastical Friday: Life Lately

Hello, everyone! I thought I would pop in since it's coming up on 6 months post-ablation and do a little "life update" - also summer is almost gone!

So we've been pretty busy this summer trying to keep the kids from getting too bored. We've visited the Farmer's Market, went to a go-kart park in Pigeon Forge, taken a million trips to the library, brought Saydee to the dog park, and had fun at the pool. The big kids even went on a nature hike with Nick this week with his Reserves unit. Matthew went to Washington DC early in June as a belated school field trip (I would share pics but there are other kids in it and school identifiers). He also has been down to the local quarry to kayak and went to Dollywood. Cami hasn't gotten to do as much as Matthew but has enjoyed having playdates with a few of her friends. They both just completed a second round of swim lessons and really enjoyed learning how to swim. Cami wants to go back because she has a goal of getting on the swim team in high school.

Nick broke his foot and sprained his ankle back in April and he goes for his final check up today with a hopeful clean bill of health. This is the fourth time he has sprained his ankle since he has been in the army. They have all occurred during army functions. It was a little bit of a rough go, but he's mostly been healed for the summer and able to do things with us.

I, like I said above, am nearly 6 months post-ablation. I need to do a good write up on my personal blog because I never updated after my hematologist appointment or follow-up with my electrophysiologist. But basically, I should be cured of SVT and I'm cautiously optimistic this early on in my recovery. I've been doing yoga and feeling pretty good. Oh, and I had my hair dyed recently. My hairdresser, Camile, is amazing and I came in saying give me galaxy hair and oh my gosh, I LOVE IT. She's got some magic up her sleeves and always makes my hair look incredible.

Summer is definitely winding down. I'm hoping we can make the last few weeks memorable for the kids. We've already done our school shopping and I am also ready to start college back up on August 1st. Hope everyone else is enjoying their summer so far!


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Thursday, July 19, 2018

Funfetti Cheesecake Cake

This amazing cake has a cake bottom, cheesecake middle, and a lovely, fluffy whipped cream topping! And ALL THE SPRINKLES!

Funfetti Cheesecake Cake #recipe #cake #cheesecake #funfetti #sprinkles #dessert

My daughter has this obsession with whipped cream frosting nowadays, so when it came time for her to pick her birthday cake (back in February), it was a top priority for her to find the perfect recipe. We stumbled upon this cake which has both cake elements and cheesecake elements...which was also something she was having trouble picking between. Best of both worlds seemed like the right choice. And this cake having whipped cream frosting was like...well....icing on the cake!

As complicated as it may seem, it's actually not too much more work than just making a cheesecake. The sprinkles add so much spunk to the already gorgeous cake. We were able to use some of the special sprinkles Cami had received in an Owlcrate Jr subscription box (it's a middle grade book box!), which is why you see the big pearls and hearts on top. The frosting was everything she wanted and she ended up being so happy with this cake. In turn, this made me super happy because I just want the kids to have the perfect birthdays! :)

Funfetti Cheesecake Cake #recipe #cake #cheesecake #funfetti #sprinkles #dessertFunfetti Cheesecake Cake #recipe #cake #cheesecake #funfetti #sprinkles #dessert

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Gyro Kebabs #FantasticalFoodFight

Welcome to another Food Fight! Fantastical Food Fight is a group of food bloggers who will get a theme or ingredient each month and make some sort of variation for it. It could be traditional or nontraditional and can be found in a cookbook, on a blog, or be a blogger's own creation! For more details, check out this page.

This month's Fantastical Food Fight theme is KEBABS. Or kabobs? Kababs? I don't know how you want to spell it, but it's food on a skewer! Bonus points if it's grilled because July is National Grilling Month. I knew right away what I wanted to make - these amazing kebabs from Wendy's blog! I found these when I was hunting for a Secret Recipe Club recipe. I have never purchased lamb and made a recipe at home. I've only had lamb in doner kebab. However, our local German fast food restaurant shut down for good and I can no longer get doner and it bums me out so much. Enter this recipe!

Gyro Kebabs #recipe #grill #lamb #kebabs #FantasticalFoodFight #kabobs #kababs

I loved that doner kebabs had tons of fresh veggies and tzatziki sauce (a MUST). These kebabs have a sauce that is very close to tzatziki sauce and I absolutely adore the Greek salsa. The recipe is easy to prepare and the lamb is the only part that needs cooking time and even it doesn't take long. The seasonings added to the lamb kebabs are simple but work so well with the salsa and feta-yogurt sauce. All-in-all this is definitely a recipe I will make every once in a while (since lamb is a bit more expensive per pound than other meats) because I just love the combination of ingredients so much and it's incredibly easy to make.

Gyro Kebabs #recipe #grill #lamb #kebabs #FantasticalFoodFight #kabobs #kababs
Gyro Kebabs #recipe #grill #lamb #kebabs #FantasticalFoodFight #kabobs #kababs

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Garlic Beef Noodle Bowls

Simple ingredients are combined in under 30 minutes to make this full-of-flavor Asian-inspired pasta dish!

Garlic Beef Noodle Bowls #recipe #beef #pasta #maindish

Ignore the fact that this Garlic Beef Noodle recipe isn't in a bowl. Also ignore those sad green beans. But don't ignore this awesome recipe! It's one of the simpler Asian-inspired recipes I've made and you can make it with any type of long pasta. I used thin spaghetti because I couldn't find linguine noodles. You can use rice noodles or even ramen. It's up to you! We've taken to making a lot of stir frys and Asian dishes on Thursdays and this one is definitely going to be a part of our regular rotation of recipes!

Garlic Beef Noodle Bowls #recipe #beef #pasta #maindish

Monday, July 16, 2018

Menu Plan Monday - July 16, 2018

Menu Plan Monday for Jul 16, 2018 // What I'm making this week #menuplanmonday #mealplan

This week is all about remakes and old favorites because I'm saving up all my cooking luck to make macarons for the first time! I'm excited and incredibly nervous, but I finally got around to trying them in the end of May and loved them so much. I just have to make them.

Monday - Pesto Chicken Caprese Pasta
Tuesday - Crunchwrap Supreme
Wednesday - Middle of the Cinnamon Roll Muffin // Egg Drop Soup
Thursday - Herbed Pork Chops
Friday - Kids Menu Burgers
Saturday - Cheese & Prosciutto Stuffed Chicken
Sunday - Breakfast Scramble // Birthday Cake Macarons [link to video]

What are you having for dinner this week?
Feel free to leave a link to the recipe in the comments!


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Friday, July 13, 2018

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs Subwhales

Even if you haven't seen the movie, these Subwhales are an epicly cute way to make a sub sandwich!

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs Subwhales #sandwich #cloudywithachanceofmeatballs #copycat #moviefood #recipe #subsandwich #foodimal

During my husband's third deployment, I tried to make the time pass more quickly for my kids with a lot of activities. Our favorite thing to do was go to the movies and we had a blast seeing Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, as the first one was one of our favorites to watch at home. The food creatures aka the foodimals were truly hilarious and even now that the kids are much older (how has it already been 5 years?!), we still adore the movie. We have made these Subwhales a number of times because they are an easy sub sandwich with some fun whale elements to them.

Even if you have a child who isn't familiar with the foodimals in the movie, this is such an adorable way to make a sub sandwich! I included a picture of the movie subwhales so you can see what we were going for!

via Google images

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs Subwhales #sandwich #cloudywithachanceofmeatballs #copycat #moviefood #recipe #subsandwich #foodimal