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Saturday, June 24, 2017

Cocoa Ice Pops

I bet you’ve all been wondering when my favorite sous chef would be back!

Well, he found a recipe for some kid-friendly popsicles in his Highlights magazine, so he’s here to share it!

The other day, we stopped by a coffee shop and he ordered a hot cocoa.  He proceeded to drink approximately 3 sips before declaring he was full.

He brought his undrunk hot cocoa home and the next thing I knew, he was creating!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Pico de Gallo #InspiredbyNature

*Disclosure: I received product to sample from ­­­­­Charles Viancin & Republic of Tea.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

This week, I’m participating in a Progressive Picnic, organized by Camilla from Culinary Adventures with Camilla and sponsored by Charles Viancin.

Today’s theme is Quick dips & appetizers.  To make this recipe possible, Charles Viancin provided me with their awesome 5-piece Timber cutting board set.  The set includes a silicone mat (which doubles as a trivet) and creates a sturdy, no-slip surface for the 4 cutting mats (designated beef, chicken, fish, & veggies to keep cross-contamination to a minimum).

I decided to make Pico de Gallo for our progressive picnic.  Pico is so perfect because it’s quick, it’s fresh, and uses seasonal ingredients!  Pico de Gallo is also crazy versitle.  You can eat it straight as a fresh salsa or add it into tons of other dishes (several of which will be on their way soon!)

Monday, June 19, 2017

Mermaid Martini #NationalMartiniDay

Did you know today is National Martini Day??

Now that’s a day I want to celebrate!

I wasn’t sure at first what I wanted to make.  Then I came across Mermaid Water (basically a rum punch) and the classic Fishbowl and decided do a take on the two of those to create a Mermaid Martini!

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Beef Stew with Dumplings #SoupSwappers

I’m back with this month’s Soup Saturday Swappers!  This month’s theme, English Stews, was chosen by Sneha from Sneha’s Recipe.

English stews are actually pretty hard to come by.  I found lots of stews shared by British chefs, but does that automatically make it a British stew?  I say no.  Just because I learned how to make croissants does not automatically make them an American food.

After quite a lot of searching, I came across a couple recipes for British Beef Stew with Suet Dumplings.  Finally – something that sounded like it might have originated in England!

Now, since I’m in the US, suet is not a pantry staple.  Suet appears to be a type of rendered beef fat, so, like I do for anytime anything calls for rendered fat, I substituted bacon grease. 

The stew itself starts with some beef seared stove top.  Then all manner of yumminess and some broth are added and the stew gets to braise in the oven for a couple hours.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Frozen Banana Daiquiri

It’s suuuuummmmmmerrrrr!  WooHoo!!!!

You guys, I absolutely adore summer.  I love the warmth.  I love the sunshine.  I love riding my bike and going to the pool.   And I LOVE that I get 3 months to stay home with my boys!

Oh but wait – curve ball. 

I also just started grad school (for the second time).  So, I got my Bachelor’s in Elementary Education and went straight back to school and got my Master’s in Education and Reading Instruction (in 2005 & 2006).

Now after just getting back into the workforce, I’m heading back to school to…drumroll please…be the new school librarian!!!!

You guys, I LOVE books almost as much as I love summer, so even though I’m rocking some summer school (I’m the nerd with textbooks at the pool this year) I am so incredibly excited!

So let’s celebrate with a cocktail inspired by a book!

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Steak & Bacon Risotto


Before we get started, I’m going to put it right out there and let you know that this is not a true risotto.  I used the wrong kind of rice and the wrong method.  Regardless, the end result was decidedly risotto-esque, and since this was a toss all the leftovers in the pot type of deal, the recipe and therefore title was realized as the dish cooked.

So this recipe came about one night when the refrigerator was full of random odds and ends and we were about to go out of town, so I really did not want to make a huge main dish, but there really weren’t enough leftovers to feed the whole family.

So I tossed some rice in a pot and started formulating as it cooked.  At first I thought to make something like my favorite Hamburger Rice Skillet or French Onion Chicken &Rice, but I really didn’t have the ingredients for either.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

German Brotchen Rolls

I recently finished reading the Baker’s Daughter by Sarah McCoy.  The novel follows Elsie and her family during WWII in Germany.  Elsie’s family (at least somewhat) sympathized with the Nazi party (more so, they did what they were told to keep their livelihood).  It was fascinating to read a story from the perspective of a regular German citizen.

The story also has a second, modern day point of view character, Reba.  And honestly, I would have much rather read an entire story about Elsie instead of being interrupted by Reba.  Reba was boring and whiny and I really just wanted to enjoy a good historical fiction. 

Thankfully, more of the story centered on Elsie and her journey through WWII, so I was able to deal with Reba.

Since Elsie came from a family of Bakers (thus the title), there were many amazing breads described throughout the story.  However, the one that stood out the most and had a prominent role in the story were the Brotchen Rolls.

Brotchen Rolls are a rustic German hard-roll.  Most of the recipes I found involved whipped egg whites in the dough and plenty of steam during baking.



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