Google Amy's Cooking Adventures: 2013

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Cheesy Pepperoni Breadsticks

Sometimes I have to wonder if my children are completely normal.

You see, they refuse to eat pizza.  Even cheese pizza, unless it’s of the cheesy breadstick variety.

I’m constantly making new and different versions of homemade pizzas trying to tempt their picky little palettes.

Then I made the Super Soft 45 Minute Breadsticks and a light bulb went off.  The breadsticks were the absolute perfect base for my boys’ favorite cheesy breadsticks!   Success!

I’ve since made these two ways, with leftover breadsticks and fresh breadsticks.  Both are nice quick options, though if you’re in a weeknight pinch, method 1 is lightning fast.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

In Memory of Angel Baby Sarah Catherine

While we all anticipate Christmas in a couple days, I find myself smiling through tears and so very thankful for my sweet boys who bring joy to my heart despite my sadness.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Melted Snowman Cookies: SRC

It’s Secret Recipe Club time again!  This month, I was assigned Rebekah’s blog, Family, Food, and Fun!

Rebekah is a home-schooling Mama of 5!  She also has a passion for cake decorating.

I absolutely love Rebekah’s food philosophy which is, 1. If your grandparents (or great grandparents) couldn’t have eaten it in the 1920’s, you don’t need it either. And 2., if a 3rd grader can’t pronounce something in the ingredient list, it isn’t something you should be eating!

Rebekah has so many delicious (and healthy) meals on her blog, but being December, I was drawn toward cookies!

I’ve been wanting to make Melted Snowman Cookies for quite some time, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity.  Though it is a bit ironic making melted snowmen when we’ve been enduring a January-like cold snap (the temperature hasn’t been above 0 in over a week!)  We’re not making snowmen at all (windchills are around -35….brrrr), much less watching them melt!

But I digress…

Friday, December 13, 2013

Cranberry Brown Sugar Cookies: 2013 Christmas Cookie Recipe Swap

Today is the big 2013 Christmas Cookie Recipe Swap reveal!

The swap is hosted by Julie at White Lights on Wednesday, Rachel and I {Love} my Disorganized Life, and Stacey and Aubrey at Real Housemoms - thanks ladies!

For this swap two bloggers (or non bloggers) swap tried and true favorite Christmas Cookie recipes, cook them up, and share them!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Elfie's Antics 2013 {One}

Our Elf on the Shelf is back and up to his usual antics again this year.

Here's what he's been up to lately!

Day 1:
Elfie returned bearing jammies (he had trouble finding Christmas jammies he really liked this year, so he went for Spiderman instead), some Christmas CDs (Elfie has a major weakness when it come to Christmas music), some treats, and a note reminding Dude & Spud about the "rules".

Day 2:
Elfie sneaked into Dude & Spud's room while they slept and left a Christmas tree!   He didn't quite finish decorating it, so Dude & Spud got to finish (they loved it!)

Day 3:
Elfie was reading a book on the bookshelf.  This one was tough!  It took Dude & Spud almost until bedtime to find him, even with several hints!

Day 4:
Elfie was helping me out with a little sewing project this morning.  He can be a very thoughtful elf.

Day 5:
Elfie was swinging from some Christmas ornaments we have hung by the patio door!

Day 6:
Elf collected all of our Christmas books (and a few of his friends) and read them a story.  This was one of my favorites...Dude added the two teddy bears on the arms of the chair and Spud slowly added more books and stuffed animals throughout the day.  They were very careful not to touch Elfie, though!

Day 7:
Elfie thought our stockings were boring, so he added our underwear to the display.

Day 8:
Elfie noticed that the boys hadn't sent letters to Santa yet, so he brought some stationery and instructions on where to find the magic mailbox to the North Pole.

Day 9:
Everybody's gotta do their business sometime... Dude and Spud got a kick out of Elfie every time they went into the bathroom!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Bark Cheese Board Review and #Giveaway

Christmas is right around the corner, so how about a fantastic giveaway??

I was recently approached by Uncommon Goods about their wonderful products.  If you haven’t heard of them before, Uncommon Goods is a privately owned Brooklyn, New York retailer.   They pride themselves in providing unique products that are good for the environment and not tested on animals.  In addition to that, they also feature a wide variety of handmade and upcycled products.  And they’re affordable!  Just click here for some awesome gift ideas, all under $100!

Now since I focus on cooking over here, the folks over at Uncommon Goods let me peruse their fantastic selection of dining and entertaining products (check that wonderful collection out here) and I absolutely fell in love with this Bark Cheese board.

I mean, how gorgeous is it?

Photo & Description (below) courtesy of Uncommon Goods

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Candy Cane Brownie Crinkle Cookies


Have you seen what’s in stores this Christmas?  Peppermint Bark Bells!  I really thought that nothing would ever trump Candy Cane Kisses as my favorite Christmas Candy, but the Peppermint Bark Bells completely blew those out of the water.  Completely.

I knew immediately that I wanted to make chocolate blossom cookies with the bells, because chocolate.

Sadly, oh so sadly, the peppermint bells completely failed to hold their shape like the kisses do.  And while they still taste completely delicious (totally live up to expectations in that aspect), they’re simply not aesthetically pleasing.  Not that looks are everything, but these are Christmas cookies, they should be pretty! 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Roasted Brussels Spouts & Cauliflower with Bacon

I made this delicious side dish for my mini Thanksgiving, but it would work well with most meals.

My family loved the bacon & parmesan and I loved that they were eating Brussels sprouts and cauliflower!

Side note: As my kids get older, I think it’s getting confusing to refer to them by age.  So now they have blog names.

Meet Dude & Spud.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Apple-Bacon Turkey

This year my mom is hosting Thanksgiving, but when I came across this recipe, I simply couldn’t resist whipping it up for a little mini Thanksgiving, just for my family.

I absolutely love, love, love, love, LOVED this recipe!  The apple in the cavity lent just a bit of sweetness to the turkey and the gravy, while the bacon (of course) gave a nice smoky flavor and {super bonus!!} kept the breast meat super, super moist!  No dry turkey in this house! (and I think I even overcooked it slightly!)

I also love that the bacon and apple flavors are subtle, so even turkey traditionalists will love this turkey!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Spiced Rum Caramel Apple Pie: Spiked Challenge

This month, I decided to join in the fun of the Spiked! Spiced Rum Challenge hosted by Julie from This Gal Cooks and Carrie from Frugal Foodie Mama.


I’m always a fan of cooking with booze (even though I’m pregnant because the booze cooks out & it’s preggy safe!) and this one really inspired me.

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I knew I wanted to spike an apple pie!  But not just any apple pie, a caramel apple pie!

As I was beginning to cook, I quickly realized the error in my fit of inspiration.  I had sworn off homemade caramel sauce a little over a year ago after many, many failed attempts.  Uh oh…

Thankfully, my candy making skills have come along way in the last year and after…ahem…two…attempts, I was able to whip up a fantastic Spiced Rum Vanilla Bean Caramel Sauce!

There isn’t a ton of rum in the sauce, but it is enough to add a beautiful robust richness to the caramel, which of course makes one of the best, flavorful apple pies I’ve ever eaten!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Creamy Tomato Basil Soup with Sausage: SRC

It’s the second Monday of the month which means: Secret Recipe Club!

This month, I was able to whip up something delicious from Ellie’s blog, The Bitchin’ Kitchin’.

Ellie has so many wonderful seasonal recipes to pick from, but ultimately I was drawn to her recipe for a hearty Tomato Basil Soup!

I am always looking for ways to add protein to tomato soups adding both beans and Greek yogurt,(otherwise I get hungry way too quickly) but I somehow never thought to add meat!

I did adapt the recipe a bit, reducing the amount of heavy cream.  If making this again, I would even consider omitting it entirely (it was sheer luck that I even had it on hand, I almost never use heavy cream), substituting with either whole milk or half and half (but by all means NOT fat free half and half!  Check the ingredients people, you’ll be horrified).

I served up this delicious, hearty tomato soup with another SRC favorite, Epic Grilled Cheese, made on Asiago Bread!  It was perfect on a chilly fall day!  Thank you, Ellie, for a fantastic recipe!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Fiesta Chicken & Rice Casserole

Fiesta Chicken has been a favorite recipe in my house since the early days of my marriage when I almost exclusively cooked with canned soup based recipes.

Though I come to rely on those soups less and less throughout the years, I can’t deny that this is still a winner. 

I’ve adapted the recipe somewhat throughout the years and even made it freezer meal friendly!  Served with corn muffins, it’s a casserole the whole family can enjoy!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Super Soft 45 Minute Breadsticks

I love a delicious breadstick, especially with pizza or pasta, but I’ve never found the perfect breadstick.

This one is pretty darn close to perfection.  Soft, chewy, and perfectly seasoned!  Plus they’re done in less than an hour!  Who can complain about that?

Sunday, October 20, 2013

My To Do List

Taking a blog break is hard!

When I cut back on blogging because of morning sickness, I thought I’d be able to jump right back in when I was feeling better.


I’ve been reading Game of Thrones, and watching my favorite TV shows.  And taking long baths, and painting with my kids.  And trying, trying, trying to catch up on housework!

So I’ve been making my old standbys instead of experimenting in the kitchen.  Relaxing instead of inventing, sleeping instead of typing.

Here’s a sneak peek of some things I have made, but haven’t gotten edited yet…

Here’s to next week!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Chewy Pumpkin Spice Molasses Cookies

I’m finally back for another Secret Recipe Club!  I took September off because of morning sickness (bleh), and missed it like crazy!

So now I’m back at one of my favorite times of year (I just love fall baking!)

This month, I was assigned Andrea’s blog, Adventures in All Things Food.  Andrea is a super busy mama of three, cooking up all sorts of delicious meals on the family farm.

Even though Halloween is right around the corner, I was inspired by Andrea’s yummy Thanksgiving recipes.  I was sorely temped to make her Green Bean Casserole with Homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup, but I really wasn’t having a big enough crowd to serve a big casserole (I’m totally going to still make it at Thanksgiving!)

So instead I made her yummy Molasses Cookies.  They reminded me of some cookies my mom used to buy when I was young.  They were so soft & chewy and had a delicious white chocolate glaze.

This recipe was a perfect replica of the cookies from my childhood, with the added bonus of being homemade!  These are a definitely going to become a fall staple!  Thank you so much for a fabulous recipe, Andrea!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Pumpkin Banana Muffins


It’s Muffin time!

These little muffins made my heart sing!  They are packed full of whole grains and fruit AND the sweetness comes from a the bananas and a bit of honey…no sugar!

I was more than happy to let my boys gobble these up for after school snacks (and they were begging for more!)

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Multigrain Pancakes

It’s been awhile since I’ve shared great pancake recipe!

Can I tell you that this one is my favorite so far?  AND the kids ate them up!    Seriously!  There was only one left for my husband when he got home!

I also love that these are packed with healthy whole grains!  After all, if I’m going to serve something that drenched in syrup for dinner (because I’m waaaay too lazy to get up in the morning and actually make pancakes), they should at least be packed with whole grains!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Pumpkin Spice Latte M&M Cookies

It’s Pumpkin Spice Latte season!  Woo hoo!!

And since it’s latte season, of course all of the seasonal candies have to follow suit.

This year M&Ms joined the pumpkin spice party.

I was so excited about these, imagining the creamy pumpkin spice flavor of the pumpkin spice kisses (and subsequent cookies) and then…meh.

I tried a handful of the M&Ms and then reached back and studied the bag to be sure I had the new pumpkin spice M&Ms and not just the regular milk chocolate ones!  After sitting and concentrating for a loooong time, I did notice a very vague cinnamon aftertaste, but it was really inconsequential.  Had I not know these were supposed to taste like pumpkin spice, I don’t think I would ever have noticed it.

However, despite the huge M&M disappointment, this cookies were absolutely fantastic!  The chocolatiness of the M&Ms perfectly complemented the spicy cookie…and a dash of espresso powder didn’t hurt either.

I sent these along with my husband and his aerobatic team and he told me that they were literally gone in 5 minutes.  These were also dubbed “the best cookies yet.”

Wow!  Those are some glowing remarks!

So if you need a spicy latte pick me up, and want to make all sorts of new friends, I suggest making these cookies asap!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Jalapeno Popper Pasta

As I was perusing the cream cheeses at the grocery store recently, I happened upon Spicy Jalapeno Cream cheese.

I immediately threw it in my cart & wanted to make Jalapeno Popper Pasta!

This most certainly did not disappoint!

It was all kinds of jalapeno popper goodness bundled up as a main dish!

It was spicy and delicious (perhaps a bit too spicy for the little dudes) and I can’t wait to make it again!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Sausage & Potato Skillet

Don’t you love quick, easy meals?  I’m loving them even more now that my Kindergartener has soccer practice on the same night that I teach Zumba!  Talk about busy Mondays!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Split Pea Soup with Sweet Potato Hash

As the leaves begin to turn as fall is on the horizon, it’s time to break out those warm, comforting soups again.

Split pea soup can be a little disconcerting, because it is green.  It is very green and a little off putting.  But the flavors are so amazing!

There’s a punch of garlic, and a smoothness from parmesan cheese.  And let’s not forget a bit of texture in the form of sweet potatoes, and smoky, crisp bacon!  This is the perfect to soup to welcome fall!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Pizza Stuffed Buns {Bun Week}

This is one of my absolute favorite stuffed buns, so it is perfect as we wind down bun week.

First: pepperoni pizza.

Second: the pizza is nestled in a light buttery bun.

To. Die. For!!!

You’ll notice that the recipe calls for fresh mozzarella, but really I mean the mozzarella that you buy in a ball in the deli section of the grocery store as opposed to cheese sticks.  Cheese sticks work in a pinch, but they don’t melt as nicely as the spendy stuff from the deli.

So go, make these this weekend.  You can thank me later!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Ham & Cheese Buns {Bun Week}

Day 4 of bun week!!

Today’s recipe doubles as a fantastic freezer meas for those busy nights.

It’s a simple homemade ham sandwich taken to the next level!  Easy. Make ahead. Crowd pleaser.

You can’t go wrong!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Breakfast Stuffed Buns {Bun Week}

I love having a quick easy breakfast ready at my fingertips!

This Bun Week addition is perfect for those busy school mornings.

I would imagine that these would also freeze well, but honestly, mine didn’t last long enough to freeze!

This is another extremely versatile recipe.  You can really add any of your favorite scrambled egg extras instead of or in addition to the spinach and bacon (I can see breakfast sausage, ham, and any veggie combo as possible options).

The bread is also versatile.  I usually use my favorite bunrecipe for anything and I also thing the whole wheat version would make for a great balanced breakfast.  But in this case, I actually used some leftover pizza dough I had sitting in the refrigerator needing to be used!  And if you’re totally phobic about using yeast, you can always use frozen bread dough instead!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Bacon & Cheddar Cloverleafs {Bun Week}

Okay, confession time.

This recipe is from a year and a half ago when I made them for Bacon Night.

I never shared them because, while delicious on an epic scale, I wasn’t thrilled with the photos.

So I made them again in October.

And still never posted them.

I’m so ashamed!

Good thing such lapses can be fixed by Bun Week!

These buns are truly a masterpiece, I mean bacon and cheddar?  Come on, you can’t go wrong!   And the best part is: if you don’t feel like splitting them into cloverleafs, you can totally just stuff the bacon & cheddar into a full sized bun.  Epic win.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Cheese & Herb Buns {Bun Week!}

For the last few weeks of summer, I took a mini bloggy break and cut back to posting once per week, so I could squeeze those last few summertime moments with my boys.

And now that I’m back (school started last week here and I already miss my kinder-kid like crazy!!), I realize that I’ve been on a bit of a bun kick lately.

Yep, I have made quite a lot of different bun recipes, so you know what that means?

It’s bun week!



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