Google Amy's Cooking Adventures: July 2012

Monday, July 30, 2012

Crockpot Bacon Bourbon Baked Beans

We recently had our first annual neighborhood block party.  It was an absolute blast!  The ladies who organized the event thought of absolutely everything.  There was a bean bag toss tournament for adults (lesson learned: I am a terrible bean bag tosser).  There was a cake walk for the children…well…cookie walk anyway (and my 4 year old won a round – he was thrilled!)  There was face painting and someone called the ice cream truck to stop by.  And then the fire department stopped by with a demonstration and even let the kids use the fire hose.  It was amazing.

And then there was the food.  Of course there were burgers & hot dogs and a pot luck dish to share.  So it was the perfect time to give a new bean recipe a try!  These beans were super delicious; I mean a cup of bourbon?  Come on – they have to be great!   These beans are also perfect for those people who don’t like spicy beans.  These were definitely on the sweeter side, but with an amazing depth of flavor that was a huge crowd pleaser!

Recipe Notes:
*For spicier beans, use a spicy BBQ sauce or add in a minced chipotle pepper!

Crockpot Bacon Bourbon Baked Beans
Adapted (slightly) from How Sweet Eats

1 lb dry navy beans
1 lb thick cut bacon, cut into pieces
1 medium onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups water
¾ cup BBQ sauce
1 cup brown sugar, loosely packed
¼ cup ketchup
2 tbsp molasses
1 cup bourbon
1 ½ tbsp vinegar
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

Friday, July 27, 2012

Orange Sunrise Cupcakes {Dairy-Free}

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Last week I shared the super delicious adults-only Tequila Sunrise Cake.  But there were children at that party, so I decided to make some kid-friendly (and lactose intolerant-friendly) cupcakes!

The cupcakes fit right in with the fun, beachy party d├ęcor and the guests loved the swirled colors inside the cupcakes.

Orange Sunrise Cupcakes {Dairy Free}
An Amy’s Cooking Adventures Original Recipe

1 package yellow cake mix (check to make sure mix is DF)
3 eggs
¾ cup plus 2 tbsp (7 oz) canola oil
1 cup orange juice
1 cup water
1 cup all purpose flour
¾ cup sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp orange extract
1 tsp baking powder

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line 2 muffin tins with paper liners.

Combine all of the ingredients (except for the food coloring) into the bowl of a stand mixer.  Mix on low until combined, then switch to medium and beat until smooth, about 2 minutes.

Separate the batter evenly into 3 separate bowls (about 2 cups of batter per bowl).  Tint the first bowl orange, the second bowl orange-red, and the third bowl red.  

Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin tins.  Place about 1 tablespoon of red batter on the bottom of each muffin cup.  Follow with the red-orange batter and orange batter.  Bake the cupcakes for 22-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Move immediately to wire racks and cool completely.  Frost with buttercream frosting and decorate with mini cocktail umbrellas.

Makes 24 cupcakes

Hummus & Veggie Sandwich

So remember that hummus from last week forever ago?  I was super thrilled to have some leftover after our little get together (but super depressed because all of the pitas were gone).  Lucky for me, I still had some multigrain bread left from BLT-C sandwiches!

The multigrain bread ended up being slathered in that delicious hummus and piled high with veggies (including a teeny tiny baby bell pepper from my garden – yay! I grew something!)  Even my husband got in on the fun (though his sandwich did have some turkey on it.)

Hummus & Veggie Sandwich
An Amy’s Cooking Adventures Original Recipe

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

BLT-C {Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato, Chipotle!}

The other day I started craving BLTs.  Then BLTs with chipotle mayo crossed my Pinterest board.  Then I thought, why stop at chipotle mayo?  There is some {fabulous} Chipotle Sour Cream Dip just hanging out in the refrigerator waiting to be used up!  It was definitely a good call…I should’ve cooked 2 pounds of bacon.

BLT-C {Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato, Chipotle!}
Inspired by A Sweet Chef

2 slices rustic bread (like this Multigrain Bread)
2-3 slices thick cut bacon, cooked crisp
2 slices tomato
1 leaf of lettuce

Monday, July 23, 2012

Multigrain Bread

I had a craving for BLTs the other day, but I didn’t want them on just any bread.  I wanted them on a thick, rustic piece of multigrain bread. 

And so I baked up a loaf of this lovely.  It was so delicious!  The inside of the bread so soft and moist and the outside was hard and crunchy, just beautiful!  And that BLT?  It was so wonderful that you get a peek at that one Wednesday!

Multigrain Bread
Adapted from Pastry Affair

1 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
1 cup old fashioned oats
½ cup ground flax seed
½ cup sunflower seeds
2 tbsp whole flax seed or other whole grain (optional)
1 heaping tbsp vital wheat gluten
1 ½ tsp active dry yeast
1 tsp salt
12 oz warm water (105-110 degrees F)

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Tequila Sunrise Tiki Cake

My friend’s husband recently celebrated his 30th birthday. And what better way to celebrate than with a luau?  My friend is a party planning machine!  She creates the most beautiful parties and she is so sweet – she always has me make the cake!

For the luau, we decided on a fun Tiki Cake!  And because plain old cake is boring, we had a fun Tequila Sunrise Cake (not to worry there were alcohol-free cupcakes for the kiddies…more on that next week).  The cake is delicious, with a moist crumb that absolutely melts in your mouth.  The tequila buttercream is also amazing, especially when paired with the salty pretzels rods! 

Oh and those Hawaiian shirt cookies?  Check out Sweet Adventures of Sugarbelle for an amazing tutorial!

Tiki Cake
An Amy’s Cooking Adventures Original Recipe

1 recipe Tequila Sunrise Cake (recipe follows)
1 recipe Tequila Buttercream Icing (recipe follows)
1 (12 oz) package pretzel rods
2-4 tbsp dark brown sugar
Quarter sized ball of MM Fondant, tinted blue
Cocktail umbrellas
Hawaiian Shirt Cookies

Friday, July 20, 2012

S'mores Frappuccino

Remember last week when I made the Mocha Cookie Crumble Frapp and decided it was breakfast forever?  Forget that.

I’m back on a s’mores kick (again) and started thinking about S’mores Frappuccinos.  Starbucks? Caribou?  I’ve got Frappe gold here!

I. Can’t. Stop. Drinking. These.

It is amazing – this is my new go-to morning beverage of choice.

Recipe Notes
*I used Mona Vie RVL: Chocolate Berry for the protein powder in this recipe.  If you don’t have protein powder, use Ovaltine instead.

S’mores Frappuccino
An Amy’s Cooking Adventures Original Recipe

1 cup ice
1 ¼ cup skim milk
1 tbsp instant coffee
3 tbsp chocolate protein powder or ovaltine
1 graham cracker
1 tbsp chocolate syrup
2 marshmallows or 2 tbsp marshmallow fluff

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Fruit Parfait

If you follow my facebook, twitter, or photo of the week (wow this was all over the place), then you’ll know that this happened just over a month ago.

Yep, I joined the ranks of teenagers everywhere and got me some braces.  So every time I get these things tightened (holy ouch!) I’m all about soft foods…and also soup (I know it’s summer right now, but expect a lot of soup recipes in the near future) 

Another one of my go to braces friendly snacks is a fruit parfait.  Fruit is generally soft enough to eat with ouchie teeth (and I just suffer through those walnuts because I just need to crunch something!)

Recipe Notes
*I used blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, & kiwi in this parfait
*My latest yogurt obsession is Yoplait Simply 6.  So amazing!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Watermelon Margarita {SRC}

This is one blazin’ hot summer!  So when I got my Secret Recipe Club assignment this month, Staying Close to Home, I was immediately drawn to all of the summery recipes (though there are so many cute kid friendly crafts and recipes, too – Snake Sandwich, you will happen one of these days!)

I am so glad I made the choice to do another drink (sheesh, two months in a row! – must be hot out!)  Watermelon Margaritas absolutely hit the spot and were so amazing at the end of a hot, muggy day.  I was a bit cheater and used sprite instead of making simple syrup (shhh…don’t tell) but do make some margaritas, and while you’re at it, head on over to Staying Close to Home and say, “Hello!”

Recipe Notes:
*Unless you are a tequila connoisseur, use what you already have on hand.  If you need to buy some, there is no need to buy expensive top shelf tequila for this recipe.  I used the cheapest bottom shelf tequila I could find (and I love it!) 

Watermelon-Mint Margaritas
Adapted from Staying Close to Home

12 oz watermelon, cut in large chunks
6-8 mint leaves (optional)
2/3 cup sprite or other lemon-lime soda
2/3 cup tequila

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Copycat Mocha Cookie Crumble Frappuccino

Since I’m not a huge breakfast fan, protein shakes are my go-to breakfast.  This one mimics one of my favorite coffee shop drinks while being friendlier on the wallet and more appropriate for breakfast, not that I’ve counted frappuccinos as breakfast or anything…

Anyhow, if you aren’t a fan of protein shakes or want to make these for a group of people, just use Ovaltine in place of the protein powder and enjoy!

Recipe Notes:
*I used Dark Chocolate Fudge Striped Cookies in this recipe, but any chocolate wafer type cookie will do.
*I used Mona Vie RVL: Chocolate Berry for the protein powder in this recipe.  If you don’t have protein powder, use Ovaltine instead.

Copycat Mocha Cookie Crumble Frappuccino
An Amy’s Cooking Adventures Original Recipe

1 cup ice
1 cup skim milk
2 chocolate wafer cookies
3 tbsp chocolate protein powder (see recipe notes)
1 tbsp instant coffee or espresso granules
2 tbsp chocolate syrup, divided
Whipped cream, for topping

Friday, July 13, 2012

Grilled Caprese over Pasta

It’s Vegetarian Friday with some garden-fresh deliciousness!  In this particular dish, the tomatoes didn’t come from my garden precisely (tomatoes are still green up here in the frigid north), but my basil is absolutely amazing.  In fact, it’s almost growing faster than I can use it, so expect some fab basil recipes coming up soon!

But I digress…

I loved how the simple Caprese flavors worked together with this dish. Plus the grill was perfect on a day too hot to fire up the oven!

Grilled Caprese over Pasta
An Amy’s Cooking Adventures original Recipe

2 cups penne pasta, cooked al dente
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
¼ tsp garlic powder
¼ cup parmesan cheese

3 medium tomatoes
Olive oil
Salt & pepper
¾ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
¼ cup fresh basil, sliced

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Grilled Potatoes

I have a new favorite summertime potato.

They’re just like fries only way better…and on the grill. 

No heating up the house!  Plus, as long as you eat them fresh off the grill, they’re crispy to boot! 

And you can even cook them while you’re cooking your steak or burgers or chicken. 

And there are no extra dishes, because you put these right on the grates! 

I am totally in love with these potatoes!

Grilled Potatoes
Recipe from Skinny Taste

2 lbs potatoes, sliced ¼ inch thick
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt
Black pepper

Monday, July 9, 2012

Baked Egg Skillet {Giveaway - closed}

Have you ever read one of those articles or blog pages where someone shares their list of kitchen essentials?  It seems that one of the items that shows up on every single list is a cast iron or carbon steel skillet.

And then there are those yummy recipes, like this Baked Egg Skillet, that start on the stove and end in the oven.  But with non-stick skillets, those recipes just aren’t possible.  For the longest time I’ve been an utter failure as a cook and blogger because I only have non stick skillets! *GASP* (I kid, I kid)

But guess who just acquired her very own seasoned carbon skillet??  This girl!!  I am so excited!  Using a cast iron skillet made this dish a breeze!  And it was so amazingly delicious.  The flavors are simple, but the dish is satisfying enough for Sunday brunch or a quick, easy brinner. In fact, it is so good, that I’ve already made it twice this week (gotta break in that new skillet, you know)

Is your kitchen missing a seasoned carbon steel skillet? 

I’ve partnered with and they would like to give one of you a Lodge Seasoned Carbon Steel Skillet.  

Enter the giveaway after the recipe below!

Baked Egg Skillet
Adapted from Two Tarts

1 tbsp bacon grease or olive oil
2 cups hashbrowns, thawed
½ tsp seasoning salt
1/3 lb asparagus, woody ends snapped off
6 eggs
Salt & pepper
¾ cup extra sharp white cheddar

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Remember Bacon Night? (I know, I know, I haven’t even posted all the recipes yet…bad blogger!)

Apparently bacon night caused everyone’s arteries to harden and blood pressure to rise, because many of the bacon night guests are now on strict diets…oops.

So when we had Archer Night (these happen kinda frequently) it was hummus and veggies (and also pitas – so delicious!) for us!  Can I be perfectly honest with you?  Hummus went over just as well as any queso (or bacony goodness) I’ve ever made!

Recipe Notes:
*Of course you can use jarred roasted red peppers but why?  It is easy to roast your own and the taste of freshly roasted red peppers is unparalleled.
*If you prefer or have access to tahini, add it as desired
*The bell peppers add a lot of liquid to this hummus.  If using jarred roasted red peppers, additional olive oil may be necessary.

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
An Amy’s Cooking Adventures Original Recipe

2 red bell peppers
2 (15 oz) cans chickpeas, drained & rinsed
2 tbsp fresh chives
½ tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 ½ tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp salt (more or less to taste)
Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)

Friday, July 6, 2012

I want S'more!

True story: I’m slightly obsessed with s’mores.  To date I’ve posted a S’more cookie, bark, cupcake, cake, and Easter s’more.  But the first cookie wasn’t very fabulous.  It was good but not amazing.  This year I tried again so prepare for amazing!

In this version, the chocolate layer is the star with bits of graham cracker folded in.  Then an ooey gooey marshmallow is toasted on top.  Don’t wait around!  Once you make these, they’re gone fast!

I’m guest posting at A Culinary Journey with Chef Dennis today.  So stop by for the recipe and to say, “Hello!”  And tell Chef Dennis I sent you!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Blueberry-Rhubarb Crumble {for two!}

Happy Independence Day!  Today I am so happy to {finally} be able to join in the fun of the Holiday Recipe Club!  In this fun club, members cook up fun recipes for holidays (worldwide) and must include at least one of three assigned ingredients.

For the 4th of July, the three ingredients were: blueberries, BBQ sauce, and whipped cream.  When I saw that list, I knew I was going to make dessert!

This lovely crumble is so delicious, it speaks for itself.  All of the ingredients work is perfect harmony!  You may be asking why I chose to do a blueberry-rhubarb crumble.  Well…blueberries are expensive and rhubarb grows in my garden!  If you aren’t a rhubarb fan, replace it with more blueberries.

Blueberry-Rhubarb Crumble {for two!}
Adapted from Texanerin Baking

1 cup fresh blueberries
1 cup rhubarb, thinly sliced
Juice from ½ lemon, about 1 ounce
1 tbsp whole wheat flour
2-3 tbsp white sugar

Crumble Topping
½ cup old fashioned oats
1 tbsp whole wheat flour
1 tbsp brown sugar
½ tsp cinnamon
Pinch of salt
1 tbsp canola oil
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Whipped Cream
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 heaping tbsp powdered sugar

Monday, July 2, 2012

Italian BMT {homemade}

My husband’s favorite Subway Sandwich is the Italian BMT, but we just don’t go out very often anymore.  So when I saw this recipe for an at home version of the Italian BMT, I was psyched!

Then I realized that none of the delis at my local grocery store carried that Italian meats I needed for said sandwich.  So sad!   Luckily, I was perusing the gourmet cheeses while pouting about the lack of meats in the deli and found an appetizer tray full of Italian meats.  Not as good as freshly sliced meats, but tasty nonetheless.

This sandwich has become a picnic staple at my house!  We’re even going to take some to the park for our 4th of July picnic!

Recipe Notes:
*Lightly press the tomato slices between 2 paper towels to remove excess liquid.

Italian BMT {homemade}
Adapted from Ezra Pound Cake

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1/8 tsp garlic powder
Pinch of dried oregano
Pinch of salt & pepper

1 (12 inch) crusty baguette or French loaf
1 oz pepperoni slices
1 oz prosciutto, thinly sliced
1 0z Italian dry salami
1 oz black pepper coated Italian dry salami
1 oz dry coppa
2 slices provolone cheese, cut in half
1 tomato, thinly sliced
2 leaves of leaf lettuce, roughly chopped



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