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Thursday, April 27, 2017

Gluten Free Banana Oat {Pikachu} Pancakes

Banana Oat Pikachu pancakes are perfect for Pokémon fans everywhere!

Spud is a huge Pokémon fan.  In particular, he loves Pikachu!  Spud also loves pancakes, so he decided that we needed to combine his two loves and make Pikachu pancakes!

Can I confess that all of us were way more excited by the cuteness of Pikachu than the pancakes themselves?

I had some bananas moldering on the counter and decided to try to use them up in one fell swoop, plus I was nearly out of flour and somehow managed to not have a spare bag waiting in the wings.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Power-Up (Mushroom) Apples #MarioMonth #FandomFoodies

Power-Up (Mushroom) Apples are a fun, Mario-themed after school snack!

Who’s ready for some Fandom Foodies?

This month Bryan from Level 1 Chef chose the theme: Super Mario Bros!

Guys, I LOVE Mario!  Hubs and I both grew up with the classic game, so it is near and dear to our hearts.  In fact, we dressed up as Super Mario Bros for Halloween a few years ago!

And I also had a blast making these Mario Kart themed cupcakes for a birthday party!

So what to make for the challenge?  Mushrooms are obvious what how to interpret them?  Sure I could make cookies or cupcakes, but I didn’t want to do that.  I could have made a mushroom based dish, but coming right off of Lent, I’m tired of fighting with Spud over mushrooms (turns out he’s one of those people who will literally gag if he eats a mushroom).

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

BLT Pesto Pizza #FantasticalFoodFight

 BLT Pesto Pizza brings a classic to a whole new level!

It’s Fantastical Food Fight time!  Each month Sarah at a Fantastical Sharing of Recipes hosts FFF!  Participants whip up something within the monthly theme.  This month’s theme was BLT!

At first, I made a BLT breakfast sandwich.  I took an English muffin and an egg and added all the BLT goodness!  It was delicious, but unwieldy.  I just wasn’t thrilled with it.

Then I decided to BLT my pizza.  But not just any pizza.  The kids had requested pesto pizza and it was just meant to be!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Lentil Quinoa Veggie Burgers

Lentil Quinoa Veggie Burgers are a great Meatless Monday Vegetarian option!

During Lent, Dude checked out a vegetarian cookbook from the school library and wanted to make dinner one night.

He chose a recipe for Veggie Burgers.  He was excited because he’d found a veggie burger that didn’t include beans in any way.  It left me wondering what exactly the *were* made of. 

Upon closer inspection, I saw that the burgers relied on TVP or Textured Vegetable Protein.  I squinted suspiciously at the recipe, then went off to find out what fresh horror TVP could possibly be.

What I found out was that TVP is the “stuff” that leftover after soybeans have been processed to make soybean oil.  There is very little nutritional value, other than the high protein content.  TVP is often favored in vegan or vegetarian recipes because it supposedly has a “beef-like texture” when rehydrated.

None of these facts convinced me that I wanted to use TVP.  I don’t like soybeans at all and TVP sounds just as horrifying as I had suspected.

But spud reeeeeeally wanted to use his recipe.

So I managed to convince his that lentils are different from beans and that we could add quinoa for some additional protein and structure.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Roasted Root Vegetable Soup #SoupSwappers #EasterRecipes

Roasted Root Vegetable Soup is the perfect soup course for the Easter table.

Now that I’ve shared all those yummy bread recipes, it’s time to share a soup to go with them!

This month’s Soup Saturday Swappers theme is Root Vegetable Soups hosted by Wendy at A Day in the Life on the Farm!

There are so many ways to interpret root vegetable soup!  Potatoes?  Onions? Beets? Carrots?  Celery root?  I mean, you could go so many directions on this!

Almost immediately I decided I wanted carrots involved, since it’s Easter and all.  Then I decided that I also wanted beets (beets are so delicious!)  Then, I kept adding some of the more flavor neutral root vegetables (parsnip and rutabaga), plus some necessities (onion and garlic) and got to roasting!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Honey Cinnamon Quick Bread #EasterRecipes

Honey Cinnamon Quick Bread is perfect for Lent and First Communion Preparation!

So, I just realized that all of the Easter recipes this year are bread recipes…

But we love bread around here, so it’s cool, right?

I used this bread recipe for a First Holy Communion Lesson with my 3rd graders.

The lesson begins by reminding the children of the story of the Last Supper (which is celebrated today on Holy Thursday!)

Jesus broke the bread and said, “This is my Body, which will be given for you. Do this in memory of me.” Luke 22:19

Jesus also said, “I am the bread of life, whoever comes to me shall not hunger.” John 6:35

Here is what each ingredient represents:

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Praying Arm Pretzels #EasterRecipes

Praying Arm Pretzels are a wonderful Lenten tradition for kids!

I always loving doing fun, food related activities with my kids.

This year, since I’m teaching 3rd grade, I get to take those fun activities to the classroom!

And since I’m teaching at a Catholic school, I can really make Easter and Holy week faith based.

For yesterday’s Holy Week lesson, I brought bread baking to the classroom!

After lunch, I introduced the Legend of Pretzels.  According to legend, a Catholic Monk wanted to motivate children to learn their prayers.  Since people at that time prayed with their arms crossed over their shoulders, he made the school children pretzels as a reward for learning their prayers. 

Additionally, the word “pretzel” may have its roots in the Latin word, “pretiola” meaning little reward!

For a bit more info and a cool printable, click here.

Oh, and as an added bonus, pretzels, divided into three sections as they are can be a great teaching tool for the Holy Trinity (the Father, Son and Holy Spirit as the three persons in one God).

Pretzels for the win!!

After discussing the history of pretzels, we moved into a science/math/cooking lesson and made our pretzel dough.  I did the mixing, then had the kids each take a turn kneading.

Monday, April 10, 2017

30 Minute Dinner Rolls #EasterRecipes

30 Minute Dinner rolls are perfect for Easter!

I LOVE making homemade breads.  But some days I get home late from work or the oven is in use all day on a major holiday and I just don’t have time to make fresh bread.

Or so I thought.

Because that’s when 30 minute dinner rolls come in!

That’s right, 30 minutes from start to finish (well, depending on your oven.  Mine took a bit longer, because I like my rolls to be deeply browned).

Now what happens here, is that you use a quick yeast, shape your rolls immediately, go for one quick rise, and bake.  The resulting rolls are delicious.  However, because of the significantly reduced rise time, there’s less time for gluten development.  Therefore, these rolls will be quite heavy and a bit dense (yet still very soft), compared to the light delicate crumb of, say, my Grandma’s Two Hour Rolls.  The tradeoff is totally worth it, though, for a super-fast dinner rolls!

Friday, April 7, 2017

Orange & Herb Roasted Chicken #CooktheBooksClub

Orange & Herb Chicken is a homey delicious recipe the whole family will love!

Hey hey!  It’s time for Cook the Books Club!  In CtBC, participants read the selected book and cook up something delicious!  This month Debra from Eliot’s Eats chose Life from Scratch by Sasha Martin.

The memoir follows Sasha through her difficult upbringing, with poverty, instability, adoption, and death of loved ones.  She had a lot of hardship to overcome, though it eventually led her to happiness.

Her past eventually brought her on a mission to cook across the world from a-z and chronicle her adventures on her blog.  It’s an amazing story of perseverance in many ways, from overcoming the struggles of her childhood to the huge cooking a-z project she undertook (with an infant, no less!)

Quite a few recipes referenced in the story are included in the book.

I chose to make the nice, homey roast chicken Sasha made when she cooked for her boyfriend for the first time.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Quadruple Grilled Cheese #GrilledCheese

Quadruple Grilled Cheese for National Grilled Cheese Day!

Guess what?!?

It’s Grilled Cheese Day!  Hooray for grilled cheese!

I’m celebrating by making the most cheesiest grilled cheese there is.

But before we get to the deets, let me bring you this puzzler:

At what point does a grilled cheese stop being a grilled cheese and become a grilled sandwich?  I mean, is cheese the only requisite for the moniker of grilled cheese regardless of the number of additional ingredients added?  Or is there some magical threshold where the number of added ingredients outweighs the amount of cheese and becomes a grilled sandwich? I dunno, these are the weird things I contemplate sometimes.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Nilla Wafer Hamburgers

Get ready for April Fool's Day fun with Nilla Wafer Hamburgers!

This is an April Fool’s treat I remember from my childhood!

My boys got a kick out of this when I told them we were having cupcakes (meatloaf & potato) for dinner and hamburgers and chips (chocolate chips) for dessert!

Have you ever made candy hamburgers?

I just might have to make these for my 3rd graders this year!

Monday, March 27, 2017

Meatloaf Cupcakes with Potato Frosting #FoodnFlix

Meatloaf Cupcakes are delicious any day, but especially fun on April Fool’s Day!

Last year, on April Fools, I told the boys we were having cupcakes & candy for dinner and hamburgers for dessert (more on that on my next post).

They didn’t believe me.

Little did they know!

I just omitted that the cupcakes were meatloaf cupcakes with potato frosting and chive and bacon sprinkles.  And the candy might have been grapes in candy wrappers!

The laughed so hard when they realized that they truly were having cupcakes for dinner…even if they were meatloaf.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Hamburger Rice Skillet

Hamburger Rice Skillet - another weeknight favorite!

One of my favorite recipes growing up was hamburger-rice casserole.

Actually, Hot Dish. 

Because I’m from the North and we have hot dish up here.  But the rest of the world uses casserole, so I’ve slowly adapted my lexicon.

Anyhow, this was a favorite, but for some reason not one that I made for my family often.

I did, however make a version when Spud was a baby and I tried to go dairy free for a little while (it didn’t last long), but it was one of my first recipe adaptations and it was a little clunky (I needed to adapt it to make it dairy-free and remove the canned soups (which had dairy)).

Then, I slowly stopped using canned soups in recipes, so again, I just didn’t make this recipe all that often.

The one day it occurred to me, since I start by browning the beef in a skillet anyway, why can’t I make this into a stovetop recipe?


Monday, March 20, 2017

Chicken Teriyaki Meatballs

Chicken Teriyaki Meatballs are a family friendly weeknight meal!

Ground chicken isn’t something that I tend to have on hand.  I just never seem to know what to do with it.  But, it was on sale the other week AND I had a coupon, so I picked some up and tossed it in the freezer until I could figure out what to do with it.

I finally decided that I wanted to make meatballs, but I didn’t think gravy would be quite right, so I tossed them in a homemade teriyaki sauce and served them over streamed broccoli and rice to make a nice, balanced meal.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Loaded Nacho Soup #SoupSwappers

Loaded Nacho Soup is a quick weeknight fix! 

It’s time for Soup Saturday Swappers!  This month’s theme is Mexican Soups!

Chicken Tortilla soup is usually my go to Mexican Soup, so this time I needed to think outside the box.

I started thinking about my chicken tortilla soup plus all that deliciousness I love on some loaded nachos!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

PB&J Martini #FantasticalFoodFight

 PB&J Martini takes the classic sandwich to a whole new level!

It’s time for this month’s Fantastical Food Fight, hosted by Sarah at a Fantastical Sharing of Recipes (click that link to join in the fun).

This month’s theme is PB&J.

Can I confess that I wasn’t all that jazzed (again?)  Ahh!  What’s wrong with me?!?

So, I grew up eating peanut butter sandwiches, because I didn’t like the jelly (such a weirdo).  So, even as an adult, I almost never make PB&J (even though PB&J is totally delicious).

So what to make?

I thought about muffins or pancakes, but I didn’t think I could get my family to eat them (they’re as weirded out by jelly as I am – weirdos).

Then I thought about PB&J Burgers that I’ve seen at a local burger joint.  But I expected a full out revolt with that and frankly, I was a little weirded out by the concept myself. 

Monday, March 13, 2017

Pi Pie #PiDay

Happy Pi Day!!

I love celebrating Pi day.

I mean, it’s a built in excise to eat pie!

Not that one necessarily needs an excuse, but, pie!!!!

This year I decided to make Pi Pie.  Pie with Pi?

The fun is making all the numbers and seeing how many digits of pi will fit on the pie!

I think next year I’ll try to make the numbers smaller and fit more pi on my pie!

You can use your favorite pie for this recipe.  The one pictured happens to be a strawberry-rhubarb pie, however, blueberry and apple pie (or the caramel or cheddar or rum versions) would be great too!

  • Cherry Cream Cheese Pie by Frugal Pantry
  • Chicken Pot Pie with Puff Pastry by Family Around the Table
  • Cinnamon Roll Apple Pie by Moore or Less Cooking
  • Coconut Cream Pie with Oatmeal Cookie Crust by I Say Nomato
  • Coconut Macaroon Pie by Jolene's Recipe Journal
  • Drunken Vanilla Cherry Pie by The Redhead Baker
  • Gluten-Free Matcha-Chocolate Pie by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
  • Individual No Bake Mango Pie by Caroline's Cooking
  • Matcha Buttermilk Pie by All Roads Lead to the Kitchen
  • Pi Pie by Amy's Cooking Adventures
  • Savory Spinach and Cheese Pie by Cooking With Carlee
  • Taco Pie by Tip Garden
  • Tomato Cheddar Pie by A Day in the Life on the Farm

  • Friday, March 10, 2017

    Slow Cooker Guinness Pot Roast #StPatricksDay

    Who’s ready for St. Patrick’s Day?

    This is my favorite time of year to cook with Guinness (like I need an excuse to put beer in my food, right?)

    Anyhow, St. Patrick’s day is always the perfect excuse play with Guinness and kinda accidentally have half a bottle left that someone has to drink – I mean, you can’t waste, right??  This is, unless you’re putting this in the crockpot at 7:30 in the morning and have to go teach 3rd grade.  The drinking the rest of the Guinness is rather frowned upon, so you have to put it in the fridge and have slightly flat Guinness after work – like I said, shameful to waste.

    How smokes, where the heck were we going there?

    Right, so I made this on a day when I stayed at work super late making bulletin boards.  I staggered home so late and exhausted that my family had actually eaten without me (virtually unheard of), but thanks to the crockpot, I still had a hot meal waiting for me (and a slightly flat half Guinness!)

    Tuesday, March 7, 2017

    Klah (Dark Chocolate Mocha)

    For Christmas this year, my brother gave me a copy of The Geeky Chef.  The Geeky Chef rolls all of my favorite things into a nerdy little package of happiness!  Cooking and geek culture?  Perfect!

    As I started reading I appreciated the author’s sense of humor right away.  And I quickly realize that I was way less geeky than I thought.  Wowsa!  There are so many fandoms out there that I’ve never heard of!  In particular, I’m pretty out of the loop of any of the video game fandoms, I’m just not a gamer.

    Luckily for me, the Geeky Chef isn’t only about video games, there are TONS of book references (Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and Hunger Games, just to name a few) and movies/TV shows (Star Wars, Firefly, and Futurama, again just a few.)  There are so many recipes from my favorites I want to try now!

    But I haven’t gotten to those quite yet.  Instead, based off the description in the Geeky Chef, I hightailed it to the library to pick up the first 3 books in an older (but new to me) series, Dragonriders and Pern.  Because dragons, you guys!  Who doesn’t love dragons!  AHHHHHH!!!!  DRAGONS!!!!

    So funny side story.  I often talk books with one of my co-workers because she & I both love us some historical fiction, so we’ll give one another book recommendations.  Anyhow, I had just started the first Pern book and was already hooked when she came asking for a recommendation.  I started off with the title and was met with a blank look.  I paused and said, “uh, it’s a nerd book.”  I continued on with a brief synopsis.  It did not improve her feelings about the story.  Anyhow, it just solidified my general nerdiness and I’m totally ok with that.

    Plus I totally love these books.  And it’s a ginmormous series and I’m going to be enjoying me some Pern books for awhile!  Woohoo!!!

    Food is mentioned on and off in the Pern books, but in particular klah, comes up a lot.  Klah is a coffee-type drink and everyone in Pern loves them some klah, so it’s the obvious choice if creating a recipe inspired by the novel!

    Saturday, March 4, 2017

    Xavier Soup #XMenu #FandomFoodies

    Xavier Soup is the perfect meatless soup for Lent!

    This month Fandom Foodies is hosted by Food ‘n Flix and the fandom is X-men!  I’ve seen most (all?) of the X-men movies (and loved them), though I haven’t read the comics - other than glancing through a few online searching for recipe information. 

    I was looking at the comics because I rewatched the first two X-men movies (and just saw Deadpool for the first time - hilarious) and found almost no food other than beer, whiskey, & beef jerky.  Yikes.

    After glancing through a few comics, I found a few food references (iced tea and a generic thanksgiving-style spread), I still wasn’t inspired.

    Then I had the idea to start looking for foods than began with the letter X.  Most were very authentic Indian or Chinese dishes I would never dream of making – either the spices/ingredients were too hard to come by or they involved fish/seafood in some way.  Yuck.

    Thankfully, there was one more on my list, and why I didn’t start with the one I could pronounce is still beyond me.  Xavier soup!  (and also Duh, Charles Xavier - why, why, wasn't this obvious right away?!?) And yet, even this could be a bit of a stretch.

    Wednesday, March 1, 2017

    Chocolate Mint Rainbow Shamrock Cookies #FilltheCookieJar

    Saint Patrick’s Day is coming up so I decided to make some minty, chocolatey, shamrocky cookies for the monthly Fill the Cookie Jar!

    I slightly modified my favorite pudding cookie recipe – I added some mint – and sprinkles – and cutesy little shamrocks!

    Tuesday, February 28, 2017

    Bananas Foster Bread

    Bananas Foster Bread is perfect for Mardi Gras or anytime time!

     Ready for this?  Today I’m going for a book review with a Mardi Gras tie in.

    Can I do it?

    You better believe it!

    Let’s start with the book.

    Over the weekend, I finished the book, Heartless by Marissa Meyer.

    Heartless is a take on Alice in Wonderland.  It’s a sort of cross between a retelling, a fractured fairy tale and a prequel.  It was actually pretty cool.  It kind of established the world of wonderland, while exploring some familiar characters (The Mad Hatter, Cheshire Cat, etc), while delving a bit deeper into others (the King & Queen of Hearts), and adding a few new characters (Jest & Cath).

    Oh, and did I mention that Cath is an aspiring baker?  Oh yes, she dreams of sweets with absolutely mouthwatering descriptions of all of her yummy confections.

    Yeah, prepare to have some major sweet tooth cravings while reading this book!

    A large part of Cath’s musings relate to her lemon tarts (how great do those sound) or lavender macrons.  But there’s also mention of pumpkin (so much pumpkin), dark chocolate sea salt truffles, or treacle bourbon pecan pie.

    I didn’t make any of those.

    Friday, February 24, 2017

    Pan de Horno #FoodnFlix

    It’s time for this month’s Food ‘n Flix.  In FnF, participants watch the selected movie, cook something inspired by it, and share!

    I looked at the cover art and got a bit nervous, because it looked scary (and I hate scary movies and avoid them at all costs), but I checked out the movie description and it seemed alright – mostly playing out in the fantasy realm.

    The movie starts out with Ofelia traveling with her pregnant mother to go and live the “the captain”. 

    -Did I mention that this movie isn’t in English?  It takes place in Spain during a civil war.-

    Ofelia’s mother is struggling with her pregnancy, the Captain is cruel (more on that in a bit) when Ofelia meets a faerie and comes to realize that she may unwittingly be the daughter of the king of the underworld.  But to prove that’s she’s not been tainted by mortals, she must complete 3 tasks.

    Monday, February 20, 2017

    Extra Creamy Stovetop Mac & Cheese #PresidentsDayRecipe

    Extra Creamy Stovetop Mac & Cheese

    The other day, Dude came home and requested that I make homemade mac & cheese.

    This was shocking for several reasons. 

    #1: Dude claims to hate cheese…unless it’s on pizza, cheese sticks, alfredo sauce, parmesan, feta, boxed mac & cheese, or any recipe where he can’t actually see the cheese (yeah, he really “hates” cheese)
    #2: Both kids act like they’re dying anytime I ever make homemade mac & cheese.

    But…uh…ok, I guess I’ll make homemade mac & cheese!  I’ve wanted to try this recipe for quite some time (but avoided it for obvious reasons).  The difference with this particular version is that the pasta is boiled directly in milk (and not drained), then all sorts of cheeses are stirred in!

    For my version, I used mostly white cheeses, since I have Dude mostly convinced that it’s only orange cheese he dislikes, but I think this recipe would be amazing with a whole lot of cheddar cheese instead!

    Friday, February 17, 2017

    Scotch Broth #SoupSwappers

    Today is Soup Saturday Swappers with a Foodies Read Tie-in!

    Today’s Soup Swappers is hosted by Kathy at A Spoonful of Thyme.  She chose this month’s theme of International Soups!

    As I was pondering International Soups, I happened to be just finishing up the latest book in the Outlander Series.  Outlander takes place in the US and Scotland and there is always food being mentioned. 

     Written in My Own Heart's Blood (Outlander, #8)

    So, I decided that I wanted to make a hearty Scotch Broth for the international soup swap!  This is my first time making Scotch Broth and I loved it!  It was nice and hearty like beef stew, yet lighter, with more yummy veggies!

    Thursday, February 16, 2017

    Chicken Casserole

    Chicken Casserole is so easy, kids can make it!

    Dude bought himself a new cookbook a few months ago and had been enjoying trying out the recipes!

    Start to Cook is a great, colorful cookbook for kids.  It also includes safety tips and general cooking tips!  It's perfect for a budding chef like Dude!

    Last weekend, he wanted to make this recipe for chicken casserole. 

    Tuesday, February 14, 2017

    Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cupcakes #FantasticalFoodFight

    It’s time for this month’s Fantastical Food Fight!  Hosted by Sarah at a Fantastical Sharing of Recipes, participants in this group each cook up a recipe based on a certain theme, link up and fight to see who reign supreme!

    Since yesterday was Valentine’s Day, this month’s theme is Chocolate Covered Treats!

    With such a broad topic, I could have made almost anything – it was actually hard to decide!  But I ultimately decided on cupcakes!  Especially since I’ve refined my strawberry cupcake recipe, my chocolate frosting recipe, and mini cupcakes, since I last posted any of those recipes!

    Sunday, February 12, 2017

    Snickers Cheesecake #FoodBloggerLove

    Snickers Cheesecake is rich & decadent and will keep you coming back for more!

    It’s time for the 2nd annual #FoodBloggerLove.  This event is all about sharing the love with our fellow food bloggers!

    Much like the now defunct Secret Recipe Club, Food Blogger Love is all about getting to know other food bloggers, giving them a shoutout, and introducing them to a new audience!

    For this event, I was introduced to a new to me blogger, Melody from Elizabeth Jean!  Melody is a busy wife and mom of 3 grown boys!  In addition to cooking - with some amazing gluten-free options, she also shares some amazing sewing, embroidery and crafting projects!  There are definitely some creative juices flowing over at Elizabeth Jean!

    There were so many delicious recipes to make on Melody’s blog!  I could have cooked an entire day’s worth of recipes from there.  I took a close look at her Bacon Asparagus Quiche (click that link and check out how gorgeous it is!  Go ahead, I’ll wait!) or Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Muffins as delicious breakfast options.

    Then I took a look at Three Cheese Spinach Ravioli or Pesto Bubble Bread as Main Dish options (again – so yummy looking!) 

    But it’s the desserts that truly caught my eye!  Maybe Dark Chocolate Vanilla Bean Sandwich Cookies? Or Chocolate Trifle?

    Nope, what ultimately swayed me was a Snickers Cheesecake!



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