Fantastical Sharing of Recipes...and more!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Fantastical Friday: The Birth Story

For those of you who may follow me on Instagram, you probably have seen little guy has made his appearance into the world! I'm late posting my Fantastical Friday - due to adjusting to having him home - plus apparently you can nest after you give birth, because I have been trying to clean and organize EVERYTHING! :) Please be aware the following is a looooong post and, nope, I have no problem talking dilation here. You were warned!

So it all began on Sunday the 22nd...

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Southwest Tuna Salad Sandwiches

Southwest Tuna Salad Sandwiches | Amp up that boring old tuna salad recipe with this southwest twist! #tuna #sandwich #recipe

I am a sucker for a good tuna salad sandwich. I know it's not everyone's thing and that's okay, but man alive do I freaking love them! I've only really ever made them the traditional way with pickles and bare minimum everything. It was the same with chicken salad too and then I tried a different way with more seasonings and LOVED it. So I absolutely had to try tuna salad with a Southwest twist. This recipe came from one of my Secret Recipe Club hostesses, Debbi, and I'm so glad I found it and saved it. Next time, they will be served on bagels, which I have found is the best way to eat chicken salad and I'm sure that's true for tuna salad too. It is a nice crunch with the softness of the "salad" :)

Southwest Tuna Salad Sandwiches | Amp up that boring old tuna salad recipe with this southwest twist! #tuna #sandwich #recipe

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Espresso Pecan Brownies

Espresso Pecan Brownies | Chewy, fudgy, dark chocolate brownies with a hint of espresso #dessert #coffee #brownies #recipe

Espresso Pecan Brownies | Chewy, fudgy, dark chocolate brownies with a hint of espresso #dessert #coffee #brownies #recipe

So every once in a while, I will get a mad, insatiable craving for one of two homemade treats: fudgy brownies OR chewy chocolate chip cookies. The struggle is real, guys. So what's a girl to do, but make the chocolate sinful temptation!! The particular day that I made these brownies, I had really wanted some coffee flavoring and nuts in them. I typically like nuts in brownies and chocolate chip cookies and I had some pecans on hand, so that was definitely going in there! When I am craving a dessert, I try to use a recipe that I haven't tried - so I adapted Sally's recipe for chewy, fudgy brownies into the espresso pecan brownies that I was wanting. :) And yes, these beauties did sate my craving!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Menu Plan Monday

Menu Plan Monday | My week of meals, grocery list, and how much I'm spending on these delicious treats! #menuplan #groceries

I'm hoping that today's dinner will rival my mother-in-law's amazing pork roast, so that I can make something at home without begging her to make hers for Sunday dinners constantly LOL. I am also incredibly excited about soup night on Wednesday...Italian sausage, kale, and gnocchi - HECK YES!

Slow Cooker Parmesan Honey Pork Loin Roast, potatoes, carrots, and green beans (side)
pork loin roast, soy sauce, Parmesan, potatoes (3), baby carrots, green beans

Chicken Enchilada Salad
chicken tenderloins, romaine lettuce, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, corn, black beans, Mexican cheese, green onions, enchilada sauce, tortilla strips, southwest ranch, taco seasoning

Brown Butter Very Blueberry Muffins // 7-Ingredient Zuppa Toscana
butter, egg, blueberries // hot Italian sausage, onion, roasted red peppers, kale, gnocchi, heavy cream, bacon bits, Parmesan cheese, chicken bouillon cubes

Lightened Up Cheesy Quinoa Lasagna Bake
quinoa, ground beef, Italian sausage, Italian cheese, marinara sauce, basil

Philly Cheesesteak Burgers
ground beef, garlic, onion, green bell, provolone cheese, lettuce, hamburger buns, chips (side)

Sticky Pecan Mini Buns
pecans, butter, milk

Total Spent: TBA


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Homemade Nutella #SecretRecipeClub

It's time again for Secret Recipe Club reveal day for my group, Group D! What is Secret Recipe Club? It's a bunch of food bloggers separated into four groups that post once a month on a designated Monday. Each month, we are paired with another foodie from our group secretly (hence the name). We then pick a recipe (or two or more) from that blog and make it. On our reveal day, we reveal whose blog we had and what recipe(s) we chose all at the same time. It's like a Secret Santa every month, but with food and blogs! It's a great deal of fun :)

This month, I was paired with Nora of Natural Noshing. Nora's blog focuses on putting a healthy twist on recipes. She eats gluten free and refined sugar free, so if you made a resolution to be GF, refined sugar free, vegan, or vegetarian in 2015 - you definitely want to stop by her blog. Even though my family doesn't go out of the way to eat gluten free, refined sugar free, vegan, etc., I found tons of recipes that I want to make off of Nora's blog.

There's this Java Chip Smoothie - hello, yes! Turkey Stuffed Peppers look very good - I mean, you cannot go wrong with a stuffed pepper. Chicken with Bruschetta Veggies is something I cannot wait to try when my stupid chicken aversion goes away. I love seeing the different colors of veggies on that plate. Although not her own recipe, but a Secret Recipe Club recipe, I still would love to try the Chicken Florentine Meatballs. This Breakfast Scramble has kale and that means it already is going to be a favorite in our house. This recipe for Zucchini Bread caught my eye because of the nuts on top and its rustic look! If I ever get around to making breakfast again, I will be making Nora's Cinnamon Cappuccino Sour Cream Muffins. And the recipe that ALMOST won out from the one I chose was the Baked Quinoa with Pumpkin and Banana. I never ever get sick of pumpkin and I've been wanting to use quinoa in a baking recipe rather than savory recipes for a while now. I feel like all self-control would be out the window if I made this recipe though.

Homemade Nutella | Make your own #Nutella at home with a food processor! #recipe #SecretRecipeClub

In the end, Chocolate Hazelnut Spread won out. I have always wanted to make homemade Nutella. I have had my Ninja system for a while and so it was time to break it out to make some homemade spread! I adapted Nora's recipe and did use refined sugar. I also added honey to the mix. Honestly, I could not tell you if I made it gluten free or not...or if any of it counts for being vegan/vegetarian, but I can tell you that it was quite amazing.

Homemade Nutella | Make your own #Nutella at home with a food processor! #recipe #SecretRecipeClub

I want to try it again with utilizing less granulated sugar and toasting the hazelnuts prior to processing. I think it would turn out a little less gritty with those adjustments, but honestly, it was still every bit as amazing as I expected it to be. I filled a pint size mason jar with my spread and used the remainder in a no-bake cheesecake recipe for my daughter's birthday dessert that evening since we were having a family get-together to celebrate with cake and presents over the weekend. It was very very good in the recipe!

Homemade Nutella | Make your own #Nutella at home with a food processor! #recipe #SecretRecipeClub