Wednesday, October 31, 2012

October in Review

The Recipes
Favorites are noted with an asterisk!
Side Dishes
There was one cookbook feature this month: Jacques Pepin: New Complete Cooking Techniques.
I participated in Secret Recipe Club this month and posted Sweet & Spicy Hawaiian Pizza from The Spiffy Cookie and Raspberry Cheesecake Muffins from  Lavender & Lovage.
My sponsor spotlight - meet my current sponsors {here} and Faith from Life of Faith {here}

I want to revisit my resolutions again and update on how well/awful I'm doing on them:
  • Get on a schedule - I updated my household binder and have been doing better here.
  • Catch up on adding the printable feature to old recipes. - Knocked a bunch out. I have from March 2011 to September 2011 left now.
  • Work on emptying bookmarked recipes. - I sorted these alphabetically and clear out a letter's worth of bookmarks when I remember to do it.
  • Leave reviews {comments} for recipes I've tried where I got them. - Need to find a way to keep track of the new recipe reviewing system I have. (That still applies for this month)
  • Use breadmaker, cake pop maker, and KitchenAid pasta attachment. - I really need to use these before Christmas. I'm afraid I'll come home with more kitchen toys!
  • Add tried recipes to my Master List. - I put my recipes on the floor hoping that the mess would encourage me to work on them...whoopsies.
  • Figure out which recipes have been posted that aren't in a binder or on my Master List. - I will need to get around to this...
  • Plan December & January's themed weeks - including recipes and the banners. - Done!
  • Don't forget the food bucket list! Make stuff off of it. - Wrote it down and planning some of it in November. I may have been a little overzealous about the desserts portion!
  • Make November menu plan and grocery lists for Oct/Nov ahead of time. - Getting sick kind of screwed up my plans for this.
  • Organize and use what is in my freezer.  - along with updating my household binder is updating the stuff in it. I have pages for pantry and freezer inventory to fill out.
  • **NEW** Go back and label Pioneer Woman recipes that I've reposted with the PDub label.
If you missed them, you can find Sunday Social and Tasty Thursdays by scrolling all the way down and finding the little label cloud. Click on whichever you want to see :)

I really enjoy doing these monthly wrap ups - you can find January {here}, February {here}, March {here}, April {here}, May {here}, June, July {here}, August {here}, and September {here} by clicking the links! 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Pork Chops and Pineapple Fried Rice

Let's play a guessing game!
Guess whose recipe this is??
Did you guess Pioneer Woman? Because you'd be right. Guess what I'm gonna say? Delicious, family favorite, outstanding, etc. Yep. Same as always. You have to try this recipe! Loved the pineapple with the fried rice and the pork was juicy :) 

This was a great portable dinner too since my husband was on a month long detail of brigade staff duty in September. 24 hours on, 48 hours off. So on his duty day, we'd bring him dinner and eat together.

Pork Chops & Pineapple Fried Rice. Fresh pineapple and sweet, salty pork chops paired with fried rice. Game on! #friedrice #pineapple #pork

Monday, October 29, 2012

Secret Recipe Club: Sweet N Spicy Hawaiian Pizza

I was very excited to have Erin from The Spiffy Cookie as my assigned blog. I found Erin's blog around a year ago and immediately fell in love. Have you seen how adorable all those cookies are? Plus it's very purple which is only the best color ever. She is another science whiz - we have lots of them in the SRC! Erin and I have a very similar taste in food, so I do have a bunch of her recipes bookmarked.

When I got my assignment, I had no trouble at all with choosing a recipe because I had already planned to make a recipe from Erin's blog that week for dinner. Her Sweet N Spicy Hawaiian Pizza was absolutely incredible. I'm not a fan of apricots, but it was not an issue at all here. The flavors all went together so perfectly. So much better than a purchased Hawaiian pizza.

Sweet & Spicy Hawaiian Pizza. A new spin on one of the best kinds of pizza. #pizza #ham #pineapple #spicy

Secret Recipe Club: Raspberry Cheesecake Muffins

We had an extra blog this month and since I had such an easy time picking out and making my actually assigned blog's in like 2 days time, leaving me with pretty much the full time of picking out and making a recipe, I took on our extra: Karen from Lavender & Lovage.

When I joined SRC, Karen's blog was my first assigned blog. So it's kind of a little nostalgic that I would make something from her blog again for my 1 year SRC anniversary :)

I immediately went with her raspberry cheesecake muffins. I've made cheesecake muffins before and they were great, but I loved how these ones you just put a dollop of cream cheese right in there. It was very easy and efficient - instead of cubed up 8 oz. of cream cheese.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

**Sunday Social #85**


This week has been a little bit of a whirlwind. My daughter just got over the cold she got from my son and then my son caught a new bug - that he promptly gave to me and her. Somehow my husband always escapes these bugs. We've also been preparing for my husband to go home to see his brother graduate from basic training - so phew!

Friday (before I got sick) we went to the Batallion's Fall Festival. The kids were Ash & Pikachu - I recycled my Lady Gaga Born This Way costume from last year.


Tasty Treasures

Time to show off the most clicked from last week's Tasty Thursday :)

#1: Fall Food Favorites//Couponing & Cooking
{image via}

#2: Homemade Pierogies with Dad//Hezzi-D's Books & Cooks
{image via}
{image via}

You can also grab this nifty button if I featured your recipe!
Just highlight, copy/paste in rich text or compose mode.

This week's Tasty Thursday is still open (and will be until Tuesday), so feel free to stop by and add a few recipes! :) Make sure to check out the other recipes linked up too!

DIY Spreadable Butter

As I've said before, I'm slowly transitioning into less and less processed, preservative-ridden foods. I know that the spreadable butter I get at the store has a bunch of junk in it. So I was all over this recipe. I stuck it in an old butter container and it is perfect!
DIY Spreadable Butter. Quick, easy, inexpensive, and YOU control what goes in. #DIY #homemade #butter

Friday, October 26, 2012

Grilled Chicken Pasta with Tomato Cream Sauce

I've been doing a bunch of grilled chicken and pasta dishes lately...(i.e. here and here). Okay, so maybe 3 recipes isn't a lot, but to me, it is! I am big on changing it up. We never eat the same meal for dinner more than once in sometimes a span of months. But I have been on a grilled chicken/pasta kick! This one really surprised me with the tomato cream sauce. I expected more of a spaghetti sauce taste to it, but it was more rich and creamy. Very decadent. Loved the pairing of the sauce with the chicken - especially with the Montreal Steak Seasoning. This is a must-try recipe!!

Grilled Chicken Pasta with Tomato Cream Sauce. Decadent, rich, and fancy, but easy to make. #pasta #chicken #tomato

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Tasty Thursday #83: Hawaiian Pizza Grilled Cheese

Welcome back to Tasty Thursday!!

As a child, I always loved when I found out we were having Hawaiian pizza for dinner. I'm not sure why now as an adult, I don't ever make it. I definitely need to change that. This, however, is a great middle ground because my family loves grilled cheese and they are so quick and easy to make for a weekend lunch. It was a great sandwich!

Hawaiian Pizza Grilled Cheese. The best of two worlds plus a little pineapple! #pizza #grilledcheese

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

French Bread Rolls

If you notice things appearing or disappearing - don't fret. I'm not some kind of crazy blog Houdini. I'm learning so much in the Online BlogCon and I'm trying to make my blog better for not only myself, but for you all too! If you ever have a question or comment, feel free to send me an email: I appreciate your all's feedback!

I'm still trying to test out bread recipes - I thought I would give the combo French bread - hoagie - sandwich rolls recipe from Sara & Kate of Our Best Bites out. It was a pretty good bread recipe. I didn't get to try them fresh out of the oven, but I will definitely be making these again and remembering to try them fresh!
French Bread Rolls. This recipe can also be used for hoagies, buns, and a loaf of French bread. #bread

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Carrot Cake Donuts

When I first saw these on Jocelyn's blog, I was seriously in awe.  They were so gorgeous and seriously...carrot cake! A perfect excuse to have carrot cake for breakfast. These donuts were every bit as delicious as they look. They were soft and moist and the frosting was incredible.

Carrot Cake Donuts. Here's a great excuse to have cake for breakfast! #carrot #cake #donuts #breakfast

Monday, October 22, 2012

Family Favorite Slow Cooker Roast

Anyone else here a crazy cat lady? Or just generally crazy about animals? We have two kitties: Bella and Muffin. Bella is my kitty, hands-down. She's prissy and motherly, very much a cat. Muffin, on the other hand, is my husband's cat and way more like a dog. Last night, she curled up in between my husband and I on her back sprawled up just like a dog - paws curled and everything. This distracted me from sleeping and I am in dire need of coffee this morning. I wish I would've gotten a picture! Now back to the food...

After trying this recipe, it isn't hard for me to understand why it is called "Family Favorite" - this roast was so tender and flavorful. I loved the Cajun seasoning (first time using it) and the coffee added so much more flavor to the roast as well.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

**Sunday Social #84**


I am now hooked on Modern Family. My husband and I started season 1 a few days ago and we've been watching as many as humanly possible at night. So I interrupted my marathon, just to type up this post - hope you all find something worthwhile because I thought a bunch of these were worth hitting pause on, seriously, the best show ever! :) Anyone else a fan of the show? Who is your favorite character?
{Fantastical Favorites}
What I loved from my blog this week...

Source: via Sarah on Pinterest

Source: via Sarah on Pinterest

{Around the Web Favorites}
What I loved from everywhere else this week...
The following pictures are owned by the blogs linked underneath. I have no rights to these droolicious pictures! 

Pumpkin Gingersnaps from My Favorite Finds
I love pumpkin, of course, and these gingersnaps sound perfect.

Source: via Sarah on Pinterest

Eyeball Pops from The Domestic Rebel
These pictures crack me up! Hayley is hilarious and she's been posting so many good looking recipes lately. Go follow her blog now! You will not be disappointed.

Source: via Sarah on Pinterest

Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese Breakfast Cookie from Cookies & Cups
I saw a pin that said donuts have frosting, Poptarts have frosting, so why can't I have a cupcake for breakfast. I concur, Random Pin. I concur! I think cookies sound good too.

Source: via Sarah on Pinterest

Milky Way Cake from Mommy's Kitchen
Count me in on this one!

Source: via Sarah on Pinterest

Better than Anything S'more Cake from Chef in Training
Nikki never ceases to amaze me - can't wait to try this version!

Source: via Sarah on Pinterest

Philly Cheesesteak Pizza from The Black Peppercorn
Winner, winner, Philly Cheesesteak dinner!!

Source: via Sarah on Pinterest

Tiramisu Brownies from Roxana's Home Baking
I love the swirl - I bet the pairing of flavors is out of this world.

Source: via Sarah on Pinterest

Supreme Pizza Burgers from Pioneer Woman
Oh my word. I'll take eight, please :)

Source: via Sarah on Pinterest

Raspberry Vanilla Bean Cupcakes on Something Swanky
How gorgeous and festive for Breast Cancer Awareness!

Source: via Sarah on Pinterest

Pumpkin Pudding Monster Cookies from The Domestic Rebel
Mmm pudding cookies with all the fixings!

Source: via Sarah on Pinterest

Cinnamon French Toast Latte from A Kitchen Addiction
I think this just sounds like a plain good idea.

Source: via Sarah on Pinterest

Rolo Pretzel Pumpkin Bites from The Domestic Rebel
Why are these not in my facebone right now?

Source: via Sarah on Pinterest

Slow Cooker Sweet & Sour Meatballs from Learning the Ropes
Love this take on traditional sweet & sour cuisine.

Source: via Sarah on Pinterest

Jalapeno Pepperjack Cornbread Bites from Feeding Temple
Another must have - especially since it would pair nicely with the last recipe in this post.

Source: via Sarah on Pinterest

Spider Peanut Butter Blossoms from Confessions of a Cookbook Queen
How completely precious are these?!

Source: via Sarah on Pinterest

Super Easy Italian Sausage Soup from Feeding Big
Yum yum yum. All the best things - sausage, spinach, carrots, and zucchini.

Source: via Sarah on Pinterest

There is a button to grab on the buttons page if I shared one of your recipes :)

This post is linked up at...

Tasty Treasures

Time to show off the most clicked from last week's Tasty Thursday :)

#1: Quick Peppery Cheese Bread//Hot Eats & Cool Reads
{image via}

#2: Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies//Semi Homemade Mom
{image via}

#3: Cinnamon Swirl Bread//Amy's Cooking Adventures

{image via}

You can also grab this nifty button if I featured your recipe!
Just highlight, copy/paste in rich text or compose mode.

This week's Tasty Thursday is still open (and will be until Tuesday), so feel free to stop by and add a few recipes! :) Make sure to check out the other recipes linked up too!

Green Bean Bacon Bundles

So because of all the pre-Online BlogCon chatting going on in the Online BlogCon FB group, I've decided even if I have posts scheduled to mid-January (I thought I was moving this month and was preparing for at least 2 months of no internet) I'm going to try and update my scheduled posts with a little blabbering. I don't really do a lot of blabbering here because I feel like I have nothing interesting to talk about, but I also want to feel like Fantastical is a little more personal. So I'm sharing - sharing is caring! Even if the sharing is completely random.

I have two kids - Matthew, 5, and Cambria, 4. I'm one of those uber attached parents and so I drive Matthew to school daily and I am continuing SAHMing with just one kiddo. Matthew's school is like 3 miles from our house and there is this wicked awesome curve on the way there. My husband put an open cone intake on my car and I love to hear the engine go. Even if Matthew likes to remind me that my car has a measley v6 and Daddy's has a v8. :) The highlight of my boring mom/housewife life is taking that curve more than the posted 25 mph speed limit. Because it's soooo much fun!

Yesterday when I was taking the curve, I noticed that my steering wheel was acting kind of "sticky" and so I didn't speed up like I normally do. I called my husband and asked him if that would be perhaps power steering fluid low - someone in the office said it could also be the pump going...not sure what pump that is because I am completely car-illiterate. So I took on the task of finding my power steering fluid compartment. My Pontiac, Prixie, is amazing and I love her, but they did NOT put this compartment in an easy to access place. I had to wait for it to stop raining and get sunny again before I actually found it because the lid was covered in sludgey engine stuff, scientific term here, people! I cleaned off the lid and checked the fluid - and sure enough, it was just under the right amount. So I got to get fluid in there all by myself and I'm really excited about it. I properly diagnosed and "fixed" my own car! :)

Now on to these beans - which have nothing to do with my car story. What I really love about this side, other than the fact that it includes butter, garlic, and bacon, is that it looks so incredibly fancy and complicated. However, it takes so little time to prepare, you don't really have to hover over anything while it cooks, and they are out-of-this-world delicious!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Fantastical Feature: Jacques Pepin: New Complete Techniques

Jacques Pépin New Complete Techniques
Publish Date: 13 November 2012
Pages: 784

Synopsis via Barnes & Noble:
Jacques Pépin is universally hailed by professional chefs and home cooks as the grand master of cooking skills and methods. Now, his classic seminal work, Jacques Pépin’s Complete Techniques, is completely revised and updated with more than 1,000 color photographs and 30% new techniques.

Based on Pépin’s 1978 and 1979 archetypal works La Méthode and La Technique, Jacques Pépin's Complete Techniques has become a cookbook classic in its own right, selling more than 140,000 copies. Comprehensive and authoritative, New Complete Techniques includes more than 600 techniques and methods and 160 recipes that are demonstrated by Pépin in thousand of step-by-step photographs. It is a culinary course on every aspect of classic cooking, from the basics (how to sharpen a knit or peel an onion) and the practical (how to properly bone a chicken (to the whimsical (how to make decorative swans and flowers out of fruits and vegetables) and the complex (how to use an old refrigerator as a smoker for trout).

The time-tested recipes show everyone, from the greenest home cook to the seasoned professional, how to put techniques into practice. This completely revised edition includes thousands of color and black-and-white photographs throughout and is redesigned to make it even easier to follow the step-by-step techniques.

My Thoughts:
New Complete Techniques is a very thorough handbook for every basic technique you could think of in the kitchen. The design is simple and doesn't take away from what is important: the content. There are chapters for equipment, vegetables, eggs, fish and shellfish, poultry, meat, offal and charcuterie (organ meats and prepared meats like bacon, ham, pates, etc.), carving, bread and pasta, pastry and dessert, and presentation. Each chapter has a wide array of information on foods in the category. The equipment and presentation chapters are incredibly informative. Pepin drives home the point that learning the basics opens up so many different possibilities in the kitchen and is something that cannot be skipped in order to be successful. You can make a dish look pretty, but it's all about knowing how to make it that will keep people raving and coming back for more.

Thank you to NetGalley and Black Dog & Leventhal for letting me preview this amazing book.

Preorder on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

Mexi Steak Kabobs

This is going to send awful/weird/crazy, but we made this recipe way back in the end of August. I've been blogging August recipes for a bit now. I got really ahead of myself with a ton of new recipes being made once, twice, or even three times a day for a few weeks. So, we knew that here in New York, our grilling days were numbered. Surprisingly, in the beginning of September it was still hitting up into the 80s. But we planned for sparse grilling - and these sounded like a good thing to grill while we still had time!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Tasty Thursday #82: Apple Butter Hotcakes

Welcome back to Tasty Thursday!!

The original recipe also had a recipe for flavored butter and a warm cherry sauce. I used leftover TX Roadhouse butter and just did syrup. It's totally up to you what you would like. I personally thought that the cherry sauce may take away from the fall-feel to this breakfast. The cinnamon honey butter was the perfect touch though!

What you need:
  • 1 1/2 cup pancake mix
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp. cooking oil
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup apple butter
Stir together all ingredients until just moistened.

Add about 1/4 cup batter to heated griddle.

Flip when top is bubbly and then cook until golden brown on each side.

Recipe from Better Homes & Gardens

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