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Thursday, September 18, 2014

2-Ingredient Chocolate Pumpkin Cake {Food 'n Flix}

It’s time for this month’s Food ‘n Flix recipe!

This month’s movie was Funny Girl, hosted by Caroline Makes.

Funny Girl is a 1968 musical starring Barbara Streisand who portrays comedienne Fanny Brice.

I almost made onion rolls and bagels for this challenge, because Fanny at one point exclaims, “I’m like a bagel on a plateful of onion rolls!”

But then I thought about another one of my favorite parts.  Fanny has just gotten a part in a musical and it’s the final wedding scene, but she’s uncomfortable singing about her beauty (she thinks people will laugh), so she stuffs a pillow under her dress and makes light of the whole thing!  Here’s the youtube clip:

Just before this part, other brides come forth with these lyrics:

The winter bride is typified 
By Christmas, frost and fairies 
An though the weather is changeable 
Her virtue never varies 
The springtime bride is story eyed, as poets often say 
No other bride would dare to dream the dreams that April, May, 
The summer bride is glorified by Merlin's magic touch 
A lucky man receives the love of June, July and such 
The autumn bride is prude and wise at sweet sixteen or twenty 
And as a wife in future life she'll hold the horn of plenty 

And so, I was inspired by the “Bride Finale” and the autumn bride.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Traditional Tuscan Tomato Porridge {Pappa al Pomodoro} (Cook the Books Club)

This is a month for joining new clubs!  This time around, it’s the Cook the Books Club.  Participants read a novel and then create a recipe inspired by the novel.  For as much as I love books, joining this club was a no-brainer for me!

The August/September selection for the book club was A Thousand Days in Venice: An Unexpected Romance by Marlena diBlasi.

A disclaimer before I begin: I read the synopsis of the book several weeks before I borrowed it digitally from my friend, Wendy, and forgot that it was a memoir, so I think that affected my opinion of the book.  To read my full review, check out Goodreads (and be my friend!  I’m always up for new recommendations!)

If you don’t feel like stopping by Goodreads, here’s the gist of it:  I loved the imagery of the story.  The descriptions of the places and the foods makes me desperately want to visit Venice and experience it for all it is.  Despite that, I had trouble connecting with Marlena.  I’m not sure if it was because I spend most of the book thinking it was a novel (versus a memoir) or just because I’m at a very different stage of life than she is (she’s older and divorced with grown children, I’m younger, married, and my kids are young.)

Lucky for me, I was very inspired by Venice and all the drool-worthy food descriptions.  Plus Marlena de Blasi is also a chef, so she included recipes for several of the dishes she described in the book!

Since the weather is just starting to turn cool, I decided to make de Blasi’s Traditional Tuscan Tomato Porridge, or Pappa al Pomodoro.

The tomato porridge is a robust version of our American tomato soups and I thought it was amazing.  I wanted my porridge even thicker, so I served it up in whole wheat bread bowls and let the porridge soak right into the bowl.  It was amazing!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Tuscan Chicken Meatballs, Artichoke, and Spinach Skillet: SRC

Hey, hey Secret Recipe Club Fans!

This month I got to whip up something amazing from Diana’s blog, A Spoonful of Luxe.  What a fabulous blog name!  I just love it!  And once you click over there, be prepared to stay for a while, drooling over the delicious recipes and beautiful photos!

Diana has been cooking since childhood, eventually moving into the Bed and Breakfast industry and then into Marketing.

I had such a difficult time choosing a recipe to feature today, because they were all so amazing (I have soooo many bookmarked, watch for some more in the future!)  In the end, I made the Tuscan Chicken Meatballs (though I used turkey, because the ground chicken at the grocery store looked positively vile the day I was shopping), because the boys are huge meatball fans and I always love a recipe the whole family can enjoy!  I loved that the recipe was tasty, light, and quick – perfect for a school night!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Parmesan Noodles

Dude and Spud can be rather picky eaters.  So when it comes to all the new recipes, they aren’t always on board (though really, they’ll still in that phase where they love a meal one day and despise it the next time I make it.  So nothing is ever really a safe bet.)

I still cook whatever I think Hubs and I will like, because I like exposing the boys to new foods and sometimes they shock me and love something completely off the wall!

But when I am experimenting in the kitchen, I like to have something on the table that I know the boys will eat.  And that’s where parmesan noodles come in.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Angel Wings Wednesday #16

Today’s Angel Wings is very similar to last week’s, but it’s a situation that I’m suddenly running into a lot.  And I feel like I need to get my thoughts out there, not only for myself, but for others who have had a loss too, because I think this problem is fairly universal.

To sum up the last post: If you know someone who has had a loss, keep the door to friendship open, they’ll walk through when they can.  Meaning, if you have a baby (or are pregnant) and you know someone who has had a loss, you don’t have to stop being their friend.  Ask them out for a girl’s night (or a playdate if she has other children).  If she’s not ready to go out, she’ll graciously decline, but will know that you’re there, ready to be a friend when she’s ready.

Today’s post deals with the second part of the last one, a part I only touched on.  I’ve graciously declined to get together (because I’m not ready to see a newborn or pregnant lady), but the other person becomes very offended that I have done so. 

Monday, September 1, 2014

Chicken Caprese Quesadillas

School is just around the corner.  Tomorrow, in fact.  Where did the time go!  I love spending time with my boys and I'm jut not ready for them to go to school!

The garden is finally yielding some veggies!

I know, beginning of September and only just starting to yield.  I blame the cold, rainy June, but who knows, I don’t have the greenest thumb!

Since I had only 2 tomatoes (*single tear* no homemade salsa this year unless I pony up at farmer’s market!), I decided to take a play on quesadillas with one of my favorite summertime combos: tomatoes, basil, & mozzarella or caprese!

I added chicken this time around since yesterday Dude requested “chicken with a wish bone” for dinner (Ha! In case you’re wondering, that’s Citrus Roast Chicken). Any cooked chicken will do, baked chicken, grocery store rotisserie, or even poached chicken!

Monday, August 25, 2014

{Healthier} Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

Zucchini season is in full swing and with it, an updated version of chocolate zucchini muffins!

This time around, I added some oat flour and cut the sugar down… significantly!

The little dudes weren’t entirely thrilled about seeing bits of green in their muffins (but who can blame them? I remember thinking the same thing when I was little!), but I love one (or two) of these muffins alongside my coffee for breakfast!


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