Monday, March 28, 2016
A little late to the game today...it was a rough week and then an even tougher weekend. But I have high hopes that the next few weeks will be a bit quieter. Since I didn't get to the grocery store today, we had what we were supposed to have on Sunday morning. Brinner is definitely a favorite for me on busy days. Nick has drill this weekend, so I am making a meatless dinner!
Tatortot Egg Bake
*all ingredients on hand*
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 assigned to Erin's blog, The Spiffy Cookie. Because I have been in Group D for so long, I'm getting blogs I have already had once before...which it totally fine by me. It's rare that I go to a blog and only pick ONE recipe. Most of the time, I have to narrow it down significantly. I followed Erin's blog long before I joined the SRC and still love her taste in foods - because it's so much like mine. I had once again had one of her recipes on my monthly meal plan already, so I didn't really have to hunt through recipes to pick one. HOWEVER, I have to share some of her more recent recipes that are on my to-try list: Shepherd's Pie Potato Skins, Breakfast Quinoa Burrito Bowls, BBQ Bacon Mango Pizza, Peach Cinnamon Rolls, and Pineapple Cranberry Zucchini Bread.
The recipe I had on my meal plan was for Homemade Garbage Plates. Years and years and years ago, while watching some sort of foodie show, we saw Garbage Plates that were in Rochester, New York. We only went to Rochester once while living in New York for 7 years...to get Nick's Grand Prix GXP. Unfortunately because it was such a long drive and the process to get the car was a few hours, we didn't go out to get a Garbage Plate while we were there.
Now that we're back down south, we really don't want to go back to New York, so a copycat will have to suffice. What is a Garbage Plate? A Garbage Plate consists of: your choice of two hamburgers, cheeseburgers, red hots (hot dogs), white hots (hot dogs), chicken tenders, haddock, fried ham, grilled cheese, or eggs. Then you choose two sides: home fries, French fries, baked beans, or macaroni salad. It's served topped with a beef sauce (dubbed "hot sauce") that has been slow-simmered plus mustard and onion - and you put two pieces of buttered Italian bread on the side.
What I learned from my experience...this is A LOT of food. You may want to half the portions. You'll never finish it. I tried so hard to do it, but I couldn't. I subbed macaroni and cheese for macaroni salad because none of us eat macaroni salad. We did cheeseburgers and home fries with ONE piece of Italian bread. The "hot sauce" totally reminds me of Skyline chili - it has some similar spices, but not all of the same ones. I will most definitely make these again - I think they would be great for a family get-together because we have a huge family and it has all sorts of wonderful things on the plate! Thank you, Erin, for posting such an awesome recipe - we really loved it :)
Friday, March 25, 2016
I am getting some conflicting results for whether it's just Waffle Day or National Waffle Day. I believe it's just Waffle Day (which began in Sweden). National Waffle Day appears to be US-based in August. Anyways, I asked some of my blogging friends if they had any waffle recipes to share with me. I wanted waffles to be the star and mostly in their original state, so you'll see a few savory waffles and waffle sandwiches here.
My waffle iron is one of my favorite kitchen gadgets. I purchased it for under $20 and it is still going strong years later. I actually brought it to a battalion function where we were serving waffles and eggs to soldiers and ended up having the only waffle iron that managed to keep cooking waffles for the hour+ we were there. Everyone else's gave up. I really don't make waffles as much as I'd like to which is odd because they are really easy to whip up and cook so quickly in the waffle iron. I am very glad that I now have a collection of 50 or so recipes to test out!
Wednesday, March 23, 2016
Have you ever had a malted muffin with berries and chocolate? No?!
Well then, you must try this recipe!
Bear with these pictures, I was trying to be artsy fartsy and show how gorgeous these muffins were and how fluffy and moist they turned out by tearing a chunk out of one. I probably should have set it off to the side a little more. Sometimes I crack myself up. Regardless of my silliness, I love these muffins. Truly a great recipe!! I don't make recipes with blackberries enough and they are the best! Our produce has been great throughout the winter, so I didn't have to wait until summer to get a good batch of blackberries to use. I thought the chocolate was the perfect partner in crime for the blackberries. AND as I've mentioned, these muffins are fluffy and moist. These muffins are just beyond heavenly and it's all thanks to the malted milk in them!
Oh you heard me correctly...or read me correctly...read that correctly...MALTED MILK. The dimension of flavor it adds - it's so hard to describe. You all just HAVE TO MAKE THESE!!! Sorry for the all-caps there. But it is one of those times that needs the exclamation! :)
Tuesday, March 22, 2016
This spicy comfort meal has peppers galore with corn, cauliflower, and tons of cheese!
Because we have a weekly soup night, my obsessive hoarding of recipes sometimes focuses on new soup recipes. Not that I don't already have plenty of soup "keepers" already, but I just love trying new recipes. So I'm still pinning new ones and finding new ones in my Food Network magazines to try. I was pumped to try this one out. We don't eat cauliflower a lot - not because we don't like it, but because it doesn't really show up in many recipes. I was happy that there was cauliflower AND corn in this soup and it turned out so well. It's one of my all-time favorite soups. It also looked so pretty in my soup mug!
And soup mugs are quickly becoming my new coffee mugs. I have a billion coffee mugs and can't help but buy new ones when I see cute ones. Soup mugs are dangerous too. When I was little, my family had ones that were really similar to the style of the ones my Jalapeno Popper Soup is in, but they had recipes for onion soup, mushroom soup, chicken soup, and tomato soup. We had four and I always snatched up the onion soup one because I didn't like the other three soups...although I had never had onion soup. I really just loved the way the onions looked on it. I tried to find them, but couldn't and I ended up buying four mugs that looked similar to that style. Very retro, vintage looking. Then I ended up caving on these Crockpot brand huge soup bowls. They are the BEST. I have six of them. Don't fall down the Amazon soup bowl hole...don't do it...now I want these soup bowls that just say soup on them and these that have a slot on the side for crackers. I need them in my life! It's honestly such a good thing that I'm not an impulse shopper. Anyways, whether you have bowls just for soup or not, this soup is fantastic!
Monday, March 21, 2016
This week marks the LAST BIRTHDAY PARTY!!!! I tell you what...February & March are birthday months for the kids and it is cake after cake after cake after presents after cake. I'm swimming in presents and cakes. This year is the first year that I did birthday parties for Matthew and Cami with their friends. Matthew's birthday is on the 11th, so his was hard to plan because spring break was the week that followed and this weekend is Easter. Cami's party was super adorable and the bakery that did hers handled everything. Matthew's party with his friends is the opposite - I ordered pizza and drinks, but I have to provide the cake and goodie bags. He requested bacon cupcakes, so I'm getting some ideas together to make him happy.
Sunday, March 20, 2016
Spicy, cheesy, and bacony - this quiche is perfect for breakfast, brunch, or brinner!
I have been on a roll with these Sunday Supper events lately :) This week's theme is EGGTASTIC and is hosted by Wendy of Wholistic Woman. I just had to share one of my favorite types of egg dishes: QUICHE!! It's good for breakfast, brunch, or brinner. Any meal of the day - quiche just works so well!
What's more is that I love love love this quiche. It combines quiche with one of my favorite things: jalapeno poppers. There is this perfect bite of cream cheese in each bite along with the jalapeno, bacon, and cheddar cheese. It really couldn't be any better than that!
Friday, March 18, 2016
I finally bit the bullet and made sourdough starter! When I first was married, my mom-in-law handed me over some family recipes and the sourdough starter/coffeecake recipe is one that was so intimidating to me. For years, I've wanted to make the starter AND the coffeecake, but was too afraid of messing it up. I am happy that I made the starter, but realized I needed to get some more sourdough recipes. Lucky for me, my fellow Secret Recipe Club members had the mother lode of sourdough recipes on their blogs. Thank you, ladies! And thank you to the other bloggers who contributed to my hoarding of sourdough recipes too!
Wednesday, March 16, 2016
This cheesy quinoa goodness only takes 3 1/2 hours to cook in the crockpot!
My crockpot is probably one of my favorite kitchen appliances. I love being able to make meals in it. It's not just dinner either - side dishes, desserts, breakfasts....the crockpot can make them all. Well, I can make them all IN my crockpot, but y'all know what I mean!
One thing that I really adore about quinoa is its way of taking on the flavor of what it's cooked with. The enchilada sauce and all the other goodies, like the Rotel and cumin, are all soaked into the quinoa while it all slow cooks away in the crockpot and you get this incredible recipe with a punch of flavor in each bite. The textures are all so wonderful together and it would be perfect to reheat and serve up on a tortilla the next day - since it just keeps on getting better tasting as it "sits".
Tuesday, March 15, 2016
A flavorful light dish that can be made in under 30 minutes!
In the beginning of the school year, I found myself extremely busy on Mondays. I was grocery shopping, volunteering at Girl Scouts, coming home to hurry and make dinner because Matthew & Nick left for Boy Scouts. It was insanity. Then Matthew stopped going to Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts got changed to once a month, so our Mondays went back to a more normal pace.
I kept my Monday meals the same though. I like being able to try quick recipes or recipes that take very little effort on my part (hello, crockpot recipes!). This was a recipe I made during our busy months in the beginning of the school year. The General Tso's sauce and teriyaki sauce make for a really flavorful combination and I love the crunch of the chow mein noodles in the wrap.
Monday, March 14, 2016
Trying a couple new things this week - like black bean crumbles - I'm hoping that isn't a weird tofu product. I'm also cooking with corned beef this week and I have never done that! It should be an interesting week, but a fun one. The kids are home for spring break :)
Sunday, March 13, 2016
This recipe is classic comfort in casserole form - the meatballs are positively supreme!
I'm back again for another round of the Sunday Supper movement. This week's theme is MEATBALLS and hosted by the lovely Sue of A Palatable Pastime. I used to stay away from any recipes that contained meatballs because I was scared to make them for fear of them being cooked on the outside and completely raw on the inside. I finally put on my big girl pants and tried a recipe where the meatballs are baked and I never looked back. Baking meatballs is by far the easiest and most foolproof method that I have come across.
Now you may have noticed that in my title of the recipe, I put "chicken"...I still am not brave enough to try ground chicken. The thought just kind of repulses me. So basically any recipe that calls for ground chicken gets substituted into ground turkey. I don't really have a rhyme or reason for my freak-outed-ness for ground chicken, but ground turkey is a great substitute and I love it.
This recipe is fairly simple to put together and a lot of the preparing is just sitting and waiting for things to get out of the oven, so it's great for a night where you are a tad bit busy, but still have a little bit of time to make dinner not out of a box. Even though there's really more pasta than anything, the meatballs are easily the star. It's so hard for me to not pick the meatballs out while scooping up the dish onto plates. They are just so good!
Friday, March 11, 2016
To say the last few weeks have been stressful is the understatement of the century. In the past month, we have celebrated all three kids' birthdays - finishing with Matthew's 9th birthday today. We still have a family "party" tomorrow and his party with his friends after Spring Break. I ended up with the flu the week of Mason's birthday and then wound myself up in the hospital overnight on Tuesday with heart problems (that are still completely unexplained by labwork and a heart ultrasound).
I thankfully have been working the week after having the flu on scheduling blog posts and Facebook recipe shares, so everything went on as planned and I didn't need to be at my computer.
Today, I'm sharing a cutesy Easter "craft" type recipe that can be done with kids on Knoxville Moms Blog: How to make Bunny Butt Cupcakes - although I totally didn't realize until this morning that my bunny feet were upside down. Whoops!
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Wednesday, March 09, 2016
Buttery, garlicky, cheesy homemade breadsticks are the perfect side for those pasta dinners.
I promised to share this recipe today that goes with the pasta recipe I shared yesterday. Really, of course, you can pair it with any dish you would like, but it was great with the Creamy Chicken Pasta. It's a quick bread recipe with only one rise of 30 minutes and is buttery and garlicky and delicious. I know that's not a great descriptive word, but I honestly just can't think of any other way to say it. This recipe is delicious. It's easy, it's homemade, it's buttery, it's garlicky, it's DELICIOUS!!
Tuesday, March 08, 2016
This pasta tastes just like it came from a premade box mix...except better, of course!
It's an easy copycat for sure!
I have always been fond of quick box mix foods. They were easy to make and kept me from starving when I was a kid (middle school/early high school) when my parents worked during the day in the summertime. As an adult, I have strayed from my old favorites because I learned how to make things homemade and they are way better. Why? They make more and taste better. This recipe reminds me a lot of a box mix I used to eat a lot and love that - so I dubbed it a "copycat recipe". Probably the best part of this recipe, in my opinion, is that the veggies have actual substance. It's not like a weird freeze-dried speck of carrot, there's actual slices of carrot in it! Tomorrow I'm sharing the recipe for the breadsticks I served this yummy pasta dish with, so stay tuned :)
Monday, March 07, 2016
I didn't get to make Mason's smash cake for his birthday, so I am determined to make Matthew's Minecraft cake and I'm hoping that it will turn out really well since it's a surprise. Lots of really great recipes this week that I am super excited about!
Today is National Cereal Day and I am celebrating with a bowl full of the new Nature Valley Cereal. It's very important for me to start the day right and eat breakfast. I have struggled in my years of being a mom to make sure I am eating breakfast too. I tend to lean towards simple meals that fill me up like cereal and yogurt with granola and fresh fruit. I was so happy to see Nature Valley had three new cereals out on the shelves because I adore their granola and often eat it with my yogurt for breakfast. While I did grow up eating sugary cereals, as an adult I can't get enough of the healthier kinds of cereal.
So what three cereals are out? Nature Valley has Honey Oat Clusters (which you can see below in my little gif), Baked Oat Bites, and Chocolate Oat Clusters. Nick, Cami, and I all love to add fresh berries to our cereal, whereas Matthew likes his chocolatey and sugary. Luckily, Nature Valley has a cereal for each of us to love and enjoy. We haven't been able to snag a box of the Chocolate Oat Clusters, but we did grab a box each of the Honey Oat Clusters and Baked Oat Bites. I loved both of them, Cami and Nick prefer the Honey Oat Clusters, and surprisingly enough, Matthew like the Baked Oat Bites too because they are cinnamon and he loves cinnamon cereals!
Nature Valley's new cereals are not made with artifical colors, flavors, or high fructose corn syrup. They are great sources of fiber too!
Let Nature Valley power your morning with their three new cereals. Enjoy a bowl today and save some money while doing it with this $1.00 OFF coupon! Which flavor are y'all gonna try first??
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Sunday, March 06, 2016
This carrot cake is moist and fluffy making it the BEST EVER!!
I have posted two other recipes for carrot cake on my blog: Why-I-Joined-Zaar Carrot Cake and To Die For Carrot Cake. They are similar with carrots, coconut, and pineapple in them. I liked this one because it was all about the carrots. I do love pineapple and coconut in my carrot cake - I mean honestly, I will take carrot cake however it comes, but it is called carrot cake for a reason and this recipe really makes carrot the star! This cake also replaces some of the oil with applesauce and it makes for a very moist, fluffy cake.
I decorated my cake with a basket weave on top and then I tried to do a border and failed, so I covered it up with my star tip like grass. It actually turned out pretty cute, so I wasn't too bummed. It was so cute because it looked like a carrot when it was cut into triangles. I used full pecan halves around the edges, but you could use chopped pecans or decorate the top with pecans. It's up to you! Let your creativity flow! :)
Wednesday, March 02, 2016
Peanut butter cups and banana are great partners-in-crime in this banana bread.
I've been playing catch up a little. Last week, I had plans to get more recipes scheduled and be ready for this week to come along...and then the flu came along. I am hoping to get back ahead! So even though this isn't being posted early in the morning like I usually post, I had to get at least one recipe shared this week. I love Reese's cups. I love banana bread. I was not, however, sold on the two of them together. I know plenty of people love peanut butter and banana sandwiches, but that ain't me. I like peanut butter and jelly or peanut butter and green olive. If you have never had the latter, you have to try it, the olives are tart and sweet and so good with peanut butter.
I was pleasantly surprised by the outcome of this banana bread recipe. The chocolate and peanut butter made it so much more addictive than the normal banana bread for me. It did NOT last very long at all.