Google Amy's Cooking Adventures: March 2016

Thursday, March 31, 2016

March Reads

Hey there fellow book addicts! 

This month was a month of sequels for me!  I’m trying to make headway on a bunch of series that I’ve been neglecting!  It’s actually been quite fun, it’s like catching up with old friends…without having to leave my house!

What have you been reading?

Author: Shannon Hale
Rating: ★★★

Author: Georganne Bell
Rating: ★★★★★  

Foodies Read

Author: Janet Evanovich
Rating: ★★★

Author: JD Robb
Rating: ★★★★★

Author: Diana Gabaldon
Rating: ★★★★

Author: Kathleen Flinn
Rating: ★★★★   
Foodies Read & Cook the Books Club 

Author: Terry Pratchett
Rating: ★★★★★

Author: Carla Bardi
Rating: ★   
Foodies Read

Author: Richard Ellis Preston Jr.
Rating: ★★★★

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Mexico 2016 in Food!

A few weeks ago, Hubs and I took a trip to Riviera Maya, Mexico to celebrate our 10 year anniversary (it’s coming up early this summer, but we wanted to take a trip when it was still cold outside!)

We stayed at Valentin Imperial Maya, and all-inclusive resort that was absolutely beautiful and the perfect getaway for our anniversary!

We relaxed on the beach, swam with the sea turtles and of course, indulged in delicious food!

So here’s my trip in food!

I didn’t get photos of all of the food we ate, but this is at least an overview of the deliciousness!

First up is the Italian restaurant at the resort

They had the most gorgeous appetizers!

We started off with a roasted tomato and caper focaccia (I totally get why people put tomatoes on top of bread now!  Totally making it soon!) with a balsamic dipping sauce.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Asparagus Stir Fry over Rice

I picked up a copy of the Complete Vegetarian Cookbook from the library to get my vegetarian cooking inspired for Lent!  I’m Catholic, so my family abstains from meat on Fridays during Lent (the 40 days leading up to Easter).  We’re allowed to eat fish & seafood, but I don’t like fish & seafood (and neither do my kids), so I’ve spent the last few years honing my vegetarian cooking skills!

My biggest struggle is finding protein sources that my family will enjoy, because I don’t eat soy-based products either!  Such a conundrum!  Which leads me to the Complete Vegetarian Cookbook.

It is such a great resource, especially for someone who dabbles in vegetarian cooking.  It covers everything from cutting techniques to hearty mains to sandwiches to sides to how to choose and cook grains.  There were so many delicious recipes included!

I decided to combine 2 recipes into one.  First, I found an asparagus and mushroom stir fry.  I switched it up, adding broccoli and placing my mushrooms into egg drop soup as our protein.

With the leftovers I added a fried egg, inspired by a recipe for veggie rice bowls I also saw in the book! 

The kids poked around at the dish a bit (they were really missing the beef or chicken), but overall, the family loved the dish (I thought it was even better with the fried egg, though I was the only one to tackle the leftovers!)

Asparagus Stir Fry over Rice
Adapted from The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook, page 53

2 tbsp water
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp mirin
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 tsp garlic, minced
1 tsp toasted sesame oil

Stir Fry
1 tbsp olive oil
1 lb asparagus, broken into 2-inch pieces
1 crown broccoli, cut into florets

1 fried egg, optional

Whisk the sauce ingredients together.

Heat the oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat.  Add the vegetables and cook for 3-4 minutes or until the asparagus starts to brown.  Stir in the sauce, cooking for another 1-2 minutes. If the broccoli isn’t cooking, place the cover on the skillet to steam the broccoli while the sauce cooks.

Serve over rice with a side of egg drop soup.  Top with a fried egg, if desired (also great as leftovers!)

Serves 4 (with fried egg or egg drop soup)

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Blueberry Cheesecake with Gingerbread Crust #SixteenCheesecakes

I love cheesecakes, but I don’t make them often.  I just don’t often have enough people over to eat a whole cheesecake.  Added to that, I’m at stay at home mom, and Hubs is home every day for lunch (so no sending it to work for coworkers), and there are just not many cheesecake opportunities.

Lucky for me, I was at a garage sale over the summer and snagged a set of mini springform pans.  And yet I still didn’t put them to use until this event.  Well, actually for Hubs’ birthday.  I’ve had a lot of cake orders and birthdays lately and we’re all a little caked out.

So it was a perfect opportunity to break in that mini cheesecake pan and try out a new recipe!

Monday, March 21, 2016

Spinach Salad with Roasted Grapes #FoodNFlix

Today we’re talking movies!  That’s right, it’s time for Food ‘n Flix, the club in which participants watch a movie and then make something delicious inspired by the movie.  This month’s flick was A Walk in the Clouds and is hosted by my friend Wendy from A Day in the Life on the Farm.

A Walk in the Clouds takes place just after the war when two strangers meet.  Victoria has found herself pregnant by a man who will not stick with her.  Paul was hastily married before he was deployed and some of the shine has worn off.  Paul offers to help Victoria and ends up deeply embroiled in family drama.

I actually loved this movie.  Though it’s clear that Paul and Victoria are attracted to one another, he stays true to his marriage vows.  I loved the family dynamic throughout the movie.  And I totally wanted to harvest grapes and stomp on them…well until I started thinking about how nasty and unhygienic that probably is.  Let’s not think about that, ‘kay?

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Dublin Iced Coffee

I love my iced coffee, especially during the summer months.

This recipe takes my favorite iced coffee to a whole ‘nother amazing boozy level!

There’s Guinness, coffee, cream, and a shot of Irish Whiskey!  It’s almost like a float and it goes down oh so smoothly. 

Monday, March 14, 2016

Individual Chicken Pot Pies

Happy Pi Day!

This year isn’t nearly as epic as last year, when the combined date and time matched pi to 8 numbers, but pi day is awesome none the less, because it’s punny and everyone loves pie.

As much as I like sweet pies, I decided to shake things up this year and make savory pot pies.

Usually I serve chicken pot pie with biscuits, because that’s the way my mom made it (and it still me favorite).  But I’ve always wanted to try pot pies with a pie crust.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Three Cheese Orzo & Broccoli #SecretRecipeClub

It’s Secret Recipe Club Reveal Day!  In SRC, members are secretly assigned another blog, dig through the recipes, make something delicious and then reveal!

This month, I was assigned Linda and Christina’s blog, 2Cookin’ Mamas.  Linda and Christina are a mother/daughter duo who share a love and passion for cooking!  For both ladies, the kitchen is a happy place and favorite place to be!

At 2 Cookin’ Mamas, there are recipes of all kinds, including some gluten-free recipes.  I had such a tough decision to make when choosing a recipe!  I really had my eye on Rodeo Burgers (because there on onion rings on that burger!!!), but it’s not quite grilling season yet, so those will have to wait.  My next thought was Pastel Dyed Deviled Eggs, since it’s so close to Easter and they’re just so pretty!

Friday, March 11, 2016

Lager Caprese Pizza with Stout Balsamic Glaze

On Superbowl Sunday, we had our friends over for beer-themed appetizers and mains – kinda like Bacon Night, only with beer!

One of our friends brought their copy of The Craft Beer Cookbook by Jacquelyn Dodd and made Chorizo Stout Sloppy Joes.  Ah-mazing.

Since I’m not such a huge sportsball fan, I grabbed the book and read it during the game – taking time out to watch the commercials, of course!

All of the recipes sounded just as mouthwateringly delicious as the sloppy joes, but the one that really called my name was Pale Ale Caprese Pizza.  Because yum.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Rosemary Cheddar Cornbread Muffins #BloggerClue

Today I’m jumping in with my second Blogger CLUE post.

In this club, bloggers are assigned a theme and a blog from which to cook.  This month’s theme was Easter, and the blog was Food Lust People Love by Stacy.
Stacy cooks for the people she loves, especially with fresh ingredients inspired by the many places she had lived!

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Irish Nachos

I loooove nachos. 

Irish nachos can be a fun change of pace from the tortilla chip variety.  In this version, you use grilled potatoes or homemade potato chips (depending on your preference).  Note that the homemade potato chip recipe is for sweet potato chips (which would be crazy good), but the same recipe applies for regular potatoes.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Beer & Pretzel Cupcakes

Know what’s better than cupcakes?  Cupcakes with beer in them with a salty pretzel topping!  Awwww yeah, I’m going to enjoy my St. Patrick’s Day with these bad boys!

And if you like your beery desserts shooter-style, don’t miss Mini Guinness Floats!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Green Eggs (and Ham)

It’s Dr. Seuss’s Birthday today!

And what better way than to celebrate with green eggs (and ham)?



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