Thursday, January 31, 2013

Tasty Thursday #95: Toni's Tangy Meatballs

Welcome back to Tasty Thursday!!

So I'm pretty sure I have a curse on me. I may or may not just use it as an excuse to not overexert myself around the house. But at this point, I'm thinking I am legitimately cursed.

There are days when I am just on a roll around the house and get so much done. Little fun fact, I hate to clean. I'm actually the "messy" one in my marriage. Not that I am dirty and sloppy or anything. I just hate to clean. Especially dishes. However, there are rare occasions where I just can't stand anything to be messy and I'll go on a cleaning rampage. Or like I said, I will be on a roll getting so much stuff done that I will keep going.

Perhaps it's just a snowball effect....hmm...

Anyways, any time I am getting somewhere in my housework, something bad happens.The particular day I made these meatballs, I was preparing au gratin potatoes beforehand and then decided to clean up during making dinner. This resulted in me slicing my finger open on the bottom plastic piece of my blender. I thought for a good 20 minutes that I was going to have to go get stitches because it would not stop bleeding. My husband got home and gauzed me up, but also kept bugging me to go to the doctor. I didn't want to get stitches, so I waited. After an hour and a half, it stopped bleeding. Two days later, I finally was able to see how "deep" it was...and it was just a scrape on the surface. I was so perplexed with how much it bled for such a shallow scrape. What's even more funny is that my husband and I searched the bottom of the blender trying to figure out what I cut my finger on. There is literally nothing sharp on I mysteriously scraped my finger on an unsharp surface and bled like I lost a limb. That, my dear friends, is why I cannot get too ambitious :)

Long story short, my husband clearly had to help with the meatballs and he did a great job with it. These were tangy, sweet, and just all around great. I think they'd be perfect as an appetizer at a party too!
Toni's Tangy Meatballs - a great #dinner or a crowd-pleasing #appetizer!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

11 Epicly Delicious Crockpot Recipes

If you are a regular Fantastical reader, you know that I decided to share a collection of themed recipes every couple of weeks. My first collection was 10 Soups to Keep You Warm. My family loves soup - and we even have a soup night (Wednesdays).

This week I was going to do bars and brownies, but decided to do that after Chocolate Week in February. So instead I went with crockpot. I love my crockpots and love to find great flavorful meals that I can make in them. So without further ado...

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

M&M Oatmeal Bars

I'm always looking for a little treat that I can put in my five year old's lunchbox that isn't going to be like sending him to school with a buttload of sugar. This recipe was so so easy to make (you dirty minimal dishes - score!) and the results will blow your mind. I'll be honest - only one made it into my son's lunchbox. I'm fairly certain I ate at least half of the bars. My husband and kids did have a couple and then I had to make myself leave him ONE. Just ONE bar. Because the whole purpose of making these was to pack in his lunch :)
M&M Oatmeal Bars - don't let the oatmeal part fool you - they will knock your socks off!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Secret Recipe Club: Cheesy Jalapeno Corn Chowder

Secret Recipe Club

It's finally Group D's turn for the first round of SRC posts for 2013. I'm so excited to be back :)

For January, I was assigned to supermom, Lindsay, and her blog Life and Kitchen. She has an outstanding archive of recipes! I actually chose two recipes because I couldn't pick, but I won't be posting her Bacon Brown Sugar Waffles until later on down the road. I decided to share her Cheesy Jalapeno Corn Chowder for today.

I was immediately drawn in by the jalapeno in the title, but followed through to the post to see what all was in the chowder. As a child, my stepdad used to trick my mom into eating clam chowder by saying it was potato soup all the I have a long-standing weariness (for no real reason!) with chowder. I looked at the ingredients and wanted it immediately. Cheese. Bacon. Corn. Jalapeno. Potatoes. I'm sold!

Cheesy Jalapeno Corn Chowder - a hearty #soup full of flavor with corn, #jalapeno, potatoes, #bacon, and cheese!

The soup was rich with flavor. We ended up with some weak jalapenos, so we didn't get any kick - we'll be leaving in some seeds next time. However, it was still an extra amazing soup. Definitely one of my all-time favorite soups, even beating out broccoli cheddar soup. This soup just has so many layers of flavor and texture. It's the BEST!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Tasty Treasures

Time to show off the most clicked from last week's Tasty Thursday.
These recipes will be pinned to my Tasty Thursday board.

#1 Most Clicked: Taco Seasoning
from Morsels of Life

#2: On the Border Salsa {Copycat}
from Persnickety Plates

#3: Creamy Fruit Dip
from SteakNPotatoesKindaGurl

The Eye-Catcher: Twix Ice Cream Cake
from Hated on the Playground

You can also grab this nifty button if I featured your recipe!
I was Fantastically Shared!

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! Thank you all for linking up.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Chocolate Chip Cookie Milkshake

For Christmas this last year, my husband and I decided to do homemade gifts. We ended up choosing to give his little sister, Emma, a recipe "book" of all our favorite drink recipes. She has seen me posting my frappuccinos and milkshakes. She always comments on them and tells me I need to make them when we come home. So my thought process was...the house has a blender, she is more than capable of making drinks like this on her own - it'd be perfect to have all these recipes at her fingertips whenever she has a craving!

This was one of the beverages that made it's way into Emma's book. I happily devoured it. I am so bad for buying a bag of Chips Ahoy mini chocolate chip cookies and eating the whole bag in a sitting. I mean, I do this all the time. It's horrifying. But they are so addictive! Because I didn't have regular sized cookies, I used the minis in this and they also made the perfect garnish.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Milkshake - never have to choose between a cookie and a milkshake again! #cookies #milkshake

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Tasty Thursday #94: Big Evil Cheeseburger

Welcome back to Tasty Thursday!!

I'm relatively unimpressed by most burgers nowadays. I think I'm burnt out on them. I'll eat them and "enjoy" them per se, but it's rare that a burger blows me out of the water. I think maybe it's because I grew up in a Norwegian-based town and Norwegian food is "bland" - my mom never really seasoned anything other than maybe a touch of garlic. So I've been very used to just a plain hamburger taste all my life and sometimes it's hard for me to get used to the Worcestershire and garlic and everything else. I just love a plain, unseasoned burger that has been cooked in its own juices.

This burger is one of those burgers. It's got a little onion powder, salt, and pepper, but for the most part the burger speaks for itself! It's easily one of the best burgers I've ever had in my life. I toasted the buns and the sauce was slightly adapted, but the perfect touch!
Big Evil Cheeseburger - a good ole, traditional burger with a great sauce to top it off. #burger #hamburger #groundbeef

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Perfect French Fries

Lately, I have been making so many things homemade that I am ruining prepared food. My mom-in-law always teased me because I was particular about Ore Ida fries. I could only eat them. I didn't like off brand, generic ones at all. Since making Kamikaze fries, I have been turning up my nose at my old favorite frozen fries and turning to making them homemade. They take longer to make, but they are way better.
Perfect French Fries - a classic #fries recipe sure to make everyone happy!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Baked Fried Chicken

I have seen this recipe floating around on Pinterest and had to try it for myself. I'm not a huge fan of fried chicken normally, but this chicken is absolutely mouthwatering!

I'm sharing this recipe over on my personal blog for The Pinspiration Project - I highly recommend going and linking up something you've made from Pinterest lately. Any Pinterest-inspired project - hair, recipe, makeup, craft, etc.
Baked Fried Chicken - mouthwatering chicken that you just can't stop eating! #chicken

Monday, January 21, 2013

Cheesy Cream of Broccoli Soup

We have our favorite cheddar broccoli soup that we always eat, but I thought it was time to branch out. I am going to try and do homemade Velveeta next time. As I said last Thursday, I am not the biggest fan of Velveeta. This was a pretty fantastic soup.
Cheesy Cream of Broccoli Soup - a thick, hearty #soup that's loaded with cheese and broccoli!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Tasty Treasures

Time to show off the most clicked from last week's Tasty Thursday.
These recipes will be pinned to my Tasty Thursday board.

#1 Most Clicked:  Beef Taco Bake
from Hezzi-D's Books and Cooks

#2: Healthy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites
from Pink Recipe Box

#3: Marmalade
from Morsels of Life

The Eye-Catcher: Perfect Prime Rib
from My Turn (for us)

You can also grab this nifty button if I featured your recipe!
I was Fantastically Shared!

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!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Easy Blackberry Cheese Danish

This recipe is easily one of the very best danishes I've had to date. I am a lover of berries - especially blackberries. Since I don't eat them enough or breakfast enough, this is a great compromise and it is quick breakfast to whip up in a flash.
Easy Blackberry Cheese Danish. This breakfast is simple, fast, and over-the-top amazing. #blackberry #danish

Thursday, January 17, 2013

How To: Create a Recipe Index

When I first started my blog, I wish someone would’ve have said “Hey, doing an index is super easy. You should start it now!” Instead, I was nearly a year into it and it took me a while to get everything set up. It’s still easy, but once you have a ton of posts on your blog, it can be time-consuming. But in the end, it is worth it to sit down and have an index on your blog. It makes it easier for you and for your readers to find the specific recipe they are looking for!

So let’s get down to business. To create a recipe index, one of the first things that is going to help you tremendously is having your posts labeled, like main dish, dessert, appetizer, etc. You don’t have to go into extreme detail, but a good general category will help you when you start adding links to your index. After you have labels, what you will want to do is create a page for your index that you will be able to put on your homepage. For those on Blogger, go to the drop down menu just left of “View Blog” and select pages. Click the arrow on “New Page” and select “Blank Page” – name it accordingly and then comes the real work!
**You can set up the pages widget on your Layout page - this makes your pages into tabs visible on your blog**

You can do the index a number of ways and I personally think it just depends on how many recipes you have or will have. 1) You can do it all on that page. 2) You can list categories and link categories to separate posts. Either way you do it, breaking down your recipes into categories makes it easy for the reader to find what they are looking for. If they want a breakfast, they should be able to easily find a list of your breakfast foods.

For 1), just simply list your categories and then list your recipes underneath with links to your posts. I prefer to open a couple tabs worth of recipes at a time and work like that. Or open up my very first post and just click next post over and over again until I have made it to the most recent post. Some people bullet their recipes, others number them. That’s up to you and your personal preference.
**This is the closest I have to a plain list of recipes - my Holiday section. You do the same except just on the one main page :)**

For 2), I did this with my recipe index because I had an overwhelming amount of recipes. Again for Blogger, this is how I did it. I created posts for each category I had (Appetizers, Beverages, Breads, Breakfast, etc.) and linked the posts back to that recipe index page that would show up on my homepage. To keep them from showing up on my feeds, I scheduled them for the day before my blog started. If you look at my archive, you will find all of my categories on July 30th. Then you just need to fill out the individual posts with your recipes that pertain to that category.

This is just for a basic recipe index – links to your posts. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at any time and I’d be happy to help: I also have just transitioned to a picture index and would be happy to walk through that process if there is enough interest (just leave a comment!).

For those of you with Wordpress, head on over 
to Sarah's post on Pajama Chef: here!

Tasty Thursday #93: Cheese Sauce for Nachos and Fries

Truth be told, I can be a little snobby with foods. Velveeta is one of those foods that I'm not really a big fan of. I don't like how fake it tastes. I do love a good nacho cheese sauce, but if I think about what I'm eating I will lose my appetite. This recipe immediately had my attention when I saw there was no weird processed fake stuff in it. You have to eat it warm or perhaps keep it in a fondue warmer. That thing exists, right?
Cheese Sauce for Nachos and Fries - four ingredients to the best #cheese sauce of your life!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

10 Soups To Keep You Warm

Dear Fantastical Readers,
In an effort to reference older recipes and also just bring some great collections of a certain type of recipe to the front page, I will now do a "collection" every other Wednesday or so. This is something I have been planning for months and decided to hold off until the new year to start. I'm so very excited and hope that it is something y'all love too!

This is all-time favorite soup. It's the one recipe that our family has eaten over and over and over again. To eat a recipe more than once is a miracle because I've got a never-ending pile of new recipes to try. It's the right amount of cheesy with a melt-in-your-mouth richness from the pureed onion, celery, and carrots. Plus lots and lots of broccoli!

Source: via Sarah on Pinterest

Venturing a little out of the comfort zone with this soup, I didn't really know what to expect. But really if you add bacon or cheese to family (and many others) is likely to eat it.

Source: via Sarah on Pinterest

This was my first successful chicken noodle soup. What makes this one stand out is that you have Italian meatballs in it as well...definitely a man's soup. TWO kinds of meat in one tasty, warm-you-to-your-toes meal.

Source: via Sarah on Pinterest

Homemade meatballs are one of my new favorite things to make. I used to cringe at the thought and once upon a time, I was actually really bad at making them. This particular recipe of wedding soup uses kale - which adds a nice layer of slight bitterness to the sweet carrots and savory broth. But in all seriousness, the meatballs are the best part of the soup.

Source: via Sarah on Pinterest

When I was a kid (and I've told this "tale" many times in my soup posts), I used to despise the red can soup. Absolutely despise. It made me hate nights we had soup...unless my mom made her homemade ham bone soup. Tomato soup is one of those iffy soups for me, but this one was rich, thick, creamy and had bombtastic grilled cheese croutons on top!

Source: via Sarah on Pinterest

While this soup seems very light, it's actually a very hearty soup. We've made it with chicken broth once, but I have to say, it definitely needs the beer. See, beer and cheese are best friends, okay? And they always need to be together. Plus there's bacon. And some corn :)

Source: via Sarah on Pinterest

I had seen this all over my blog feed for so long - here's the thing: I really don't like lasagna. My husband doesn't either. It's just not one of our favorite things. However, this soup was killer. Every time I see it, my mouth waters because I can remember exactly what it tasted like. I can't help but love the pile of cheese that is hidden at the bottom of the bowl too :)

Source: via Sarah on Pinterest

Again, red can = bad. But the bean and bacon red can soup was their best soup that they made, so it is no surprise that I just had to find a homemade recipe for it. This is a dead-on version that makes a whole lot more than just a measly can.

Source: via Sarah on Pinterest

After some research, I found that Olive Garden's version uses ditalini pasta. I don't think that I'd change this recipe though. The tortellini is the most amazing pasta to have in a soup. Hands down.  I also found out with research that pasta e fajoli means pasta and beans. So in this soup, you will find pasta, beans, veggies, and meat. You'll eat til your belly is about to burst and have to convince yourself not to eat even more.

Source: via Sarah on Pinterest
I am a PDub fan through and through. She has all the best recipes. This one is probably in the top five recipes of hers - for me. This chicken soup has heavy cream in it - which isn't traditional for chicken soup. It also has a TON of vegetables I love soup with veggies, if you didn't pick up on it!
Source: via Sarah on Pinterest
I hope one or more of these 10 wonderful soups 
will make their way to your kitchens soon!
Can't wait to share the next collection!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Frito Chili Pie

The first time I had frito pie was when I moved to Tennessee and had Petro's. At the time (in 2000), it was a huge thing in East TN at the very least. Everyone loved Petro's and talked about getting them. I was like..."What on earth is Petro's?" I thought it was a gas station or something. I was very confused. Then I found out it was chili served over Fritos and topped with cheese and sour cream and all kinds of goodness. Of course, it was a yummy food experience and I've been hooked ever since.

P Diddly Dub's recipe for it has a great combination of spices and it's one of the best, if not THE best, frito pies I've ever had. If you've never had frito pie, you should absolutely try it. The chili is just amazing over the top of the crunchy, salty corn chips. I love mine with cheddar, onion, and sour cream, but the toppings can easily be switched up!
Frito Chili Pie - this recipe has an amazing combination of flavors and is sure to be a hit! #maindish #chili

Monday, January 14, 2013

Starbucks Caramel Brulee Latte {Copycat}

It's my understanding that Starbucks has seasonal drinks...although apparently you can get a peppermint mocha any day of the year. I'm not sure. These are the rumors I have heard. I am not a huge Starbucks fan, as I have previously stated. Their coffee tastes horrid. I do like homemade "copycats" - they are so much better than the real thing. So when my friend, Melissa, posted this recipe on her blog (she's awesome, so check her out!), I knew it would be something to try asap. it was simple, quick, and delicious. Apparently, Starbucks has caramel bits that they top this drink with, but I used some finely chopped butterscotch chips.

#Starbucks Caramel Brulee Latte {copycat} - make this fabulous #drink at home

Sunday, January 13, 2013

This Huge Giveaway 2013

I'm participating in a huge giveaway hosted by Julie of This Gal Cooks

There is an amazing group of ladies also participating and an even more amazing prize. You can find the Rafflecopter at the end of this post. I'm nabbing a little of Julie's post to share along too. Just to clarify, I'm not Julie, despite the picture below saying "that's me" :) 

A few rules:
  • Please do not submit for an entry if you did not actually complete the task required for that entry. I do check to make sure that all tasks submitted for were actually completed. I've had to disqualify a selected winner one time because they submitted for entries that they didn't actually complete.
  • Please note, due to shipping costs of items, this giveaway is only open to US and Canadian residents.
Let's meet the gals who are participating in this giveaway!
First, the organizer, Julie from This Gal Cooks.
The lovely gals who volunteered to participate: giveaway

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Tasty Treasures

Time to show off the most clicked from last week's Tasty Thursday :)
::All of the features will be on my new Tasty Treasures pin board::

#1: Baked Quinoa & Chicken Parmesan
Hezzi-D's Cooks and Books

Friday, January 11, 2013

Belgian Cookie Dough Waffles

Wasn't this week exciting?
Aren't you sad to see it come to an end? Me too.

Alright, time to wrap up the week...embarrassing stuff right here...I was so excited to eat these waffles. So very, very excited. I didn't realize the manner in which I "piped" on my whipped cream, did not look the most appetizing. I tried to crop the picture...that really didn't help. I ate these too quickly to attempt another picture, so you will have to bear with the weirdo looking picture that I ended up with :)

These waffles have cookie dough in them. They are insanely good.
Belgian Cookie Dough Waffles - fluffy, light waffles with cookie dough bits embedded in them. #breakfast #waffles

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Tasty Thursday #92: Cookie Dough Dip

Welcome back to Tasty Thursday!!

I think I have mentioned how I love sweets and how there are times I will go to my kitchen and furiously search for something I can make in a bind without having to leave my house. I was going to make funfetti cake batter dip again, but then I remembered that for some odd reason, funfetti cake mix has disappeared around here lately. So I thought to myself how I had seen a lot of cookie dough dip flying around the web - and lucky for me, I had the ingredients!

We ate ours with animal crackers and Teddy Grahams...and maybe just with a spoon :)
Cookie Dough Dip - a great dip that makes eating cookie dough safe, but doesn't skimp on flavor. #cookiedough #dip #appetizer