Google Amy's Cooking Adventures: March 2012

Friday, March 30, 2012

Portobello Parmesan

Have you ever noticed that most Chicken Parmesan recipes have more mozzarella cheese than parmesan?  Some recipes don’t even have parmesan at all.  Baffling, it is.

This Portobello Parmesan follows suit with more mozzarella than parmesan, but what can I say?  I’m a sucker for cheese!  The mushroom is a wonderful vegetarian stand in for chicken.  Served over a big pile of pasta, we can forget all about the mozzarella/parmesan conundrum.

The round mushroom also lends itself to being served in a jar, just for fun!

Portobello Parmesan
An Amy’s Cooking Adventures Original Recipe

4 large Portobello mushroom caps
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt & pepper
¼ tsp garlic powder
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
4 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
½ lb fettuccine, cooked to al dente
½ jar pasta sauce, heated

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Two Hour Buns

My Grandma is the baker of the family.  Childhood memories of Grandma revolve around the kitchen.  

I love this picture of Grandma & my little one taken last year at Easter!

Whenever we would go to her house, especially on a holiday, there would be dough rising.  Invariably she would enlist me as her assistant.  We would take turns whipping the dough against the counter to get rid of the air pockets.  It was a fun job (who doesn’t like throwing bread?) and it planted the seed that eventually grew into my own love of baking.

Just check out the next generation tossing the air bubbles out of that bread!

Though I now live too far away to visit Grandma frequently, I do see her on holidays at my Mom’s house, and she always brings fresh baked bread.

This past Thanksgiving when I hosted my first holiday, I also inherited her beloved bread recipe that was passed down to her from her own mother.  When her mother used this recipe, if was four times larger, and used a whopping 26 cups of flour.  Great Grandma made a lot of bread. 

And so these delicate rolls pass from one generation to the next and into the blogiverse.  This Easter I’ll be bring the rolls and Grandma will be bringing the Easter Bread – a perfect generational collaboration!

Recipe Notes:
*Use bacon drippings for a softer, more tender bun.  Just make sure the bacon drippings are in a cooled, mostly solid state.
*This recipe is easily doubled, tripled, or more!
*These rolls make an excellent addition to any meal.  Try them with roast ham or turkey (sop up that gravy!) or as sandwich or hamburger buns.
*These buns also freeze very well.  Just place in a single layer in a large zipper bag (once cooled).  Freeze for up to 3 months.  To thaw: place on a plate in the microwave for 15-20 seconds (for 1-2 buns).  Or place in a paper bag in the oven on "warm"

Two Hour Buns
Recipe from my Grandma

2 cups warm water (around 110 degrees F)
2 packages (4 ½ tsp) active dry yeast
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup solid vegetable shortening or bacon drippings or softened butter (see note)
2 eggs
1 tsp salt
6 ½ cups all purpose flour, divided

Garnish (optional)
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp water
Sesame seeds

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Cadbury Egg & Peeps S’mores

When I was growing up, my dad LOVED Peeps.  He would always get a big ‘ol box of Peeps in his basket every Easter.  He was the only one in our family who liked the things, so he got to enjoy the entire box himself.

I’m still not a huge Peep fan, but when I saw Peeps being made into s’mores, I know I had to get on board.  But why stop with Peeps?  Instead of a chocolate bar, let’s get a Cabury Egg in there!  Now THAT’S an Easter S’more!

Cadbury Egg & Peeps S’mores
An Amy’s Cooking Adventures Original Recipe

2 PEEPS Chocolate Dipped Marshmallow Chicks
1 Cadbury Chocolate Crème Egg, cut in half
2 graham crackers, broken into halves

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Double Chocolate Kale Muffins

In a double bonus move on this blustery Tuesday, I’m sharing an extra Secret Recipe Club post today!  For those yet unfamiliar with SRC, it is a fun group in which participating bloggers secretly create a dish from their assigned blogger’s site.  If is a fun way to meet new friends and try all sorts of interesting new recipes!

Secret Recipe Club

One of my favorite parts of SRC is searching through the blog hop and guessing which post was made by another blogger and inspired by one of my recipes.  Sadly, on yesterday’s reveal, Kelsey of K & K Test Kitchen was orphaned!  When I saw the post asking for volunteers to bake up something from Kelsey’s blog, I was more than happy to oblige.  And when I started looking around the blog, I was thrilled!

K & K Test Kitchen is a blog by Kelsey & Kim, and wonderful mother-daughter duo who both love to cook.  So many of recipes are ones that I would cook for my family, but the one that really stuck out to me was the recipe for Double Chocolate Kale Muffins, because, let’s face it, I LOVE sticking vegetables into baked goods!

I tried one of these muffins fresh from the oven and it was AMAZING!  It had just the right amount of chocolaty sweetness without going too far down the cupcake road.  I can’t wait to give these to my boys for snack this afternoon—they’re going to love them (and be eating kale-super bonus!)

Recipe Notes:
*You can’t taste or even see the kale at all.  Really.
*I cut down the sugar and chocolate chips a bit from the original recipe, because that’s how I roll.  If you like a sweeter muffin, go ahead and up that sugar.
*I also used part whole wheat flour because I’m big into whole grains.  Feel free to use only all purpose flour or mix it up with some ground flax or wheat germ.

Double Chocolate Kale Muffins
Adapted from K & K Test Kitchen

2 cups kale, chopped, large stems removed
1 cup whole wheat flour
¾ cup all purpose flour
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s Special Dark)
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
1 egg
1 ¼ cups buttermilk
¼ cup canola oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
¾ cup mini semi sweet chocolate chips
½ cup chopped pecans or walnuts

Neapolitan Bird Nest Cupcakes

Easter is right around the corner so why not celebrate with some pretty little eggs in nests…on top of cupcakes?

These pretty little cupcakes are made up of a delicious Neapolitan flavor combination.  Fruity strawberry cake layered fudgy brownie; topped off with a creamy vanilla cream cheese icing.  These whimsical cupcakes are the perfect addition to your springtime festivities!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Carrot Cake

It’s been a couple weeks now since I first introduced my 30x30.  

What I didn’t mention at the time was that I was making up my first 30x30 recipe on my birthday!  Now that’s starting the year off right!  Did I mention that it was the carrot cake?  That’s starting the year off even better!

I got this recipe from my mom, who got it from a lady at church, who got it from her Ukrainian grandmother (apparently Ukrainian grandmothers make the best carrot cake).  And let me tell you, this is one heck of a carrot cake.  The cake is super moist with just a hint of cinnamon, and a bit of texture from the carrots and nuts.  If you want to wow someone with your first from scratch cake – this is definitely the way to go!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Amy’s Cooking Adventures got a facelift!

Amy’s Cooking Adventures got a facelift!  If you're reading this in a reader, 

click on over and check it out!

Here’s what’s new (next up revamp the recipe index!)

Saturday, March 24, 2012

30x30 Update - March 24, 2011

Though I haven’t shared any 30x30 posts yet, I have been baking!

Here’s what’s coming up!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Spinach & Artichoke Pizza

I started off this Lenten series with one of my favorite vegetarian pizzas.  I have a confession to make.  I just *might* have a new favorite!

This pizza had all of the loveliness of everyone’s favorite spinach artichoke dip, but is pizza form – what’s not to love?  So pull up a plate and let’s have some spring veggies!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Pimento Olive Dip

On New Year’s Eve, my husband and I went to a small party at a friend’s house.  One of the appetizers at the party was an amazing olive dip.  When I asked about the recipe in hopes of remaking it, my friend told me she had used a mixture of sour cream, cream cheese, and a packet of olive dip mix.   Sadly, I had no packet of olive dip mix.

I eventually came across Pimento Dip recipe and that, along with my memory of that New Year’s dip, came up with this lovely concoction.  Stuffed full of olives and not lacking in flavor, this is perfect for your next get together!

And if you happen to have a bit of dip leftover, might I suggest it as delightful addition to your sandwich-yum!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Bacon Shortbread Cookies

It’s been a couple weeks since Bacon Nite, and since our arteries are beginning to clear, I decided it was high time to share another bacon recipe from the party.

Today’s bacon recipe is another one of the desserts: Bacon Shortbread Cookies.  Shortbread is the perfect vehicle for the bacon, because it is not overly sweet itself.  The slightly salty cookie dipped in a bit of dark chocolate makes it a perfect addition to any party!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Blood Orange Tartlets

You know how I mentioned that aversion I have to oranges?  Yeah, me too.  Despite my aversion, I just couldn’t get over how pretty a sliced blood orange looks.  And when I found them at SuperTarget I figured it was just meant to be, and bought one on a whim.

Can I tell you how pleasantly surprised I was with blood oranges?   While admittedly a bit disconcerting to cut into (thus blood orange, duh), they are much sweeter than regular oranges and I actually enjoyed eating a wedge!  The rest of the orange was used for these delicious citrusy tartlets!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Avocado, Cucumber, & Turkey Sandwich

Happy St. Paddy’s Day!  I don’t have an Irish inspired meal for you today, but I will share one of my favorite sandwiches…and it’s green!

Even though I’m an at home mom and don’t punch a time clock, I rely on lunch to be a fast meal.  I usually send last night’s leftovers to work with my husband and make myself a salad or sandwich.  This is one of my favorite go to sandwiches!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Buttery Nipple

How’s your Friday night?

This is what mine looks like…

Yes.  You did read the correctly, it’s called a Buttery Nipple.

No.  I don’t know why it’s called that.

Yes.  You should have one.

(ps – I added whipped cream – I think it makes it even more inappropriate – but it’s good!)

Buttery Nipple
Recipe from my Mom, though it likely originated elsewhere

2 oz (1 shot) Buttershots (Butterscotch Schnapps)
2 oz (1 shot) Irish Cream
Whipped Cream

Pour the Buttershots and Irish Cream into a smallish glass.  Garnish with whipped cream.


This week’s Vegetarian Friday recipe is a sweet potato/bean based burger that absolutely blows last year’s chickpea burger out of the water!  In fact, it even gives some beef patties (and certainly any processed chicken patties) I’ve had a run for their money – and that’s saying a lot!

These burgers are so flavorful and healthy that I think we will be trying them on the grill this summer!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Heart Healthy Vegetable Alfredo with Pan Seared Chicken

Though I will always be a sucker for dessert, I usually try to feed my family healthy meals.  Our meals are typically filled with whole grains and veggies and are low in fat.

My blogging friend Jey, from The Jey of Cooking, is very passionate about heart health.  She is hosting a heart healthy blog hop to raise money for the American Heart Association in honor of her mom, who received a life saving heart transplant last March.  She will donate $1 to the American Heart Association for every heart healthy post received between now and March 25 (so there’s still time if you’d like to participate, check out the rules here).  And don’t forget to check out the Heart Healthy blog hop on March 30!

Today’s recipe is a Heart Healthy Alfredo.  How can Alfredo possibly be heart healthy, you ask?  This Alfredo is made with low fat milk instead of cream.  It is served over a veggie enriched pasta with all sorts of veggies.  And our protein in a small portion of boneless, skinless chicken, pan seared in just 1 teaspoon of olive oil.  This recipe proves that you can be heart healthy (and kid friendly) while still enjoying your favorite meals.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Thin Mint Irish Cream Coffee

Do you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?  We don’t really do much at our house.  In fact, I don’t even think my kids even know what St. Patrick’s Day is.  Despite my enthusiasm about St. Patrick’s Day, I’m always compelled to wear rock a green shirt.  And also, I never turn down an excuse for a fun new drink.  Plus this one has Thin Mints!  And you can never go wrong with Thin Mints.

You might notice that this recipe calls for a single drop of peppermint extract.  I mean it.  One drop.  See?  Super serious about this.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Chocolate Mocha Granola Bars

It’s Secret Recipe Club time!  SRC is a fun little club in which members secretly create a recipe from their assigned blogger’s site.  It is always so fun to search through the recipes each reveal day and find out which of your recipes inspired another blogger!

This month, I had the pleasure of cooking up a recipe from Averie’s blog, Love Veggies and Yoga.  Averie has some lovely healthy recipes, many of which fall into specialty diets such as vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and raw. But she also has a bit of a sweet tooth!

When it came time to pick a recipe, that sweet tooth was calling my name!  But instead of choosing a dessert, I decided to make some granola bars!  I added some ground flax for a bit of fiber and some instant coffee for depth.  This makes a very small batch (just 2 or 3 bars!) but is easily doubled.  My family loved these so much, I will definitely be making them again!

Saturday, March 10, 2012


There’s a flaming cupcake on my blog today.  But it's alright, it's my birthday today!

To commemorate last year of my twenties, I’ve put together thirty recipes that I’m going to make (and share) before I turn thirty!  30x30 is a fun assortment of recipes (some difficult, some not so much), that I’ve always wanted to make, but just haven’t.  You can keep track of my progress under the 30x30 tab at the top of the page.  I hope you all have a fun year with me!

1.           Apple Pie
2.         Bagels
3.         Baked Brie (Savory)
4.         Biscotti
5.          Bread Bowls
6.         Brownies from Scratch
7.          Buttermilk Biscuits
8.         Carrot Cake
9.         Chocolate Lava Cake
10.    Dessert Crepes
11.      Egg Drop Soup
12.     English Muffins
13.     Fancy Easter Eggs
14.     French Onion Soup
15.     Grandma’s Caramel Rolls
16.     Grandma’s Chicken & Noodles
17.     Grandma’s Garlic Sour Cream Twists
18.    Homemade Pasta
19.     Homemade Tortillas
20.   Knoephla Soup
21.     Mom’s Fudge Jumbles
22.   Omelets
23.   Oven Baked Ham & Cheese Sandwiches
24.   Peppermint Patties
25.    Pesto
26.   Pitas
27.    Potato Bread
28.   Pretzels
29.   Salsa
30.   Snickerdoodles

Friday, March 9, 2012

Avocado & Egg Grilled Cheese

I just shared my new favorite Bacon Guacamole Sandwich, so I’d thought I’d also share its Vegetarian Friday counterpart!

Of course, one could simply omit the bacon from the previous sandwich, but I like to add a fried egg for extra protein and flavor.  Serve with a bowl of tomato soup for lunch or with fruit for breakfast!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

5 Minute Bacon Guacamole

It’s no secret that I love avocados (as evidenced by many, many sandwiches) and that I also love guacamole, because, yeah, avocado heaven.  Then someone had the idea to add some bacon to the gauc – be still my heart!  And yet more people (like a lot, it’s all over the place on pinterest) decided to take that guac (baconated or otherwise) and stick it between some toast and a bunch of ooey gooey cheese *thud*

I salute you, fellow avocado lovers, you had me at bacon.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Bacon Caramel Corn

When I first started creating the menu for my husband’s Bacon Party, I knew I wanted both savory and sweet baconated treats.  After a scouring the internet for all things bacon, I came across some bacon caramel corn.  I was instantly intrigued.  Bacon caramel corn was resting on the fine line between fabulous and train wreck.  Would it be salty sweet goodness or “why did some put meat in my popcorn?”

The verdict?  Not only fabulous, but mind blowing!  Here’s the key: the popcorn is double baconed!   First the kernels are popped in reserved bacon grease and then the bits of bacon are added to the caramel.  As the caramel corn bakes, the caramel and bacon fuse together creating a lovely salty-sweet candied bacon.  Just beware, once you starting eating this, you can’t stop!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Clementine-Soy Glazed Chicken Breasts

Do you have any foods that you simply can’t eat because of some random bad experience in the past?  For me, that food is oranges.  It is a completely irrational food aversion, but I just can’t help it!

Then I ended up with all those extra Clementine Cuties that my son wouldn’t eat.  What could I possibly do? (I hate to be wasteful even more than I hate oranges!)

I’ve often seen marinades with orange juice and immediately passed them by, due to my aversion.  But faced with rapidly ripening Clementines, things were about to change.  I used them in this chicken recipe and it was phenomenal!   The chicken tasted lightly citrusy, but not orangey.  It is safe to say that oranges are creeping back into my diet!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Did Someone Say, "Bacon?"

For some time, my husband and his friends have been joking that we should host a “bacon night”.  With his 29th birthday imminent, I decided to accept the challenge and put on a Bacon Night!  We invited 10 of his friends and made all manner of bacon themed apps and desserts (recipes will come in following weeks).

Here’s a look at our baconated night:
Started off with 4 pounds of bacon

Bacon Caramel Corn = Mind Blowingly Awesome

Bacon Cloverleafs were a huge hit!

Piggy Cookies (with Bacon)

Lots of laughs with friends

Can't forget a piggy cake for the birthday boy!

Happy Birthday, Honey!



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