Google Amy's Cooking Adventures: August 2017

Friday, August 25, 2017

Puppy Chow #FoodnFlix

I’m running in at the last minute again for this month’s Food‘n Flix recipe!  Where does the time go?!?

This month’s flick was hosted by Courtney at Fictional Fare who chose the movie Second Hand Lions.

I saw this movie years ago, but I didn’t remember a whole lot of it, so I was excited to rewatch with my foodie goggles on!  I almost watched this one with the kids, but the reviews were slightly iffy for my sons’ ages, so I decided against it.  After rewatching, I think they could have watched it, but there was some mild language and definitely some violence, so I’m happy with my choice.

In this movie, Walter gets dumped with his two uncles for the summer by his flighty, neglectful mother, Mae.    Walter’s uncles are shrouded with mystery.  Also, they love hunting or just shooting things in general (especially traveling salesmen) and that’s eventually where the lions come in.

The uncles order a lion for some hunting, but inadvertently purchase a sickly ex-circus lion.  Walter convinces them to let him nurse the lion back to health and more antics ensue.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Eclipse Pizza #DarkRecipes #SolarEclipse

It’s solar eclipse day!

Do you live somewhere where you get to experience this phenomenon?  Are you traveling?  I’m a bit too far north to experience the eclipse in totality this time, but I will get to see the partial eclipse and you can bet I’ll be catching some footage online!

To celebrate this unique phenomenon, some of my blogging friends are cooking up some eclipse-inspired recipes and treats today!

My Dark Mojito would have been perfect for this event (are you counting?  That’s the second event that recipe would’ve been perfect for!), but I posted it *just* before this event came on my radar.

But that’s okay, because I ended up making something the whole family could enjoy and give my kids a science lesson at the same time – eclipse pizza!

Friday, August 18, 2017

Zuppa Toscana (Olive Garden Copycat) #SoupSwappers

This month’s Soup Saturday Swappers is hosted by Heather from All Roads Lead to the Kitchen, who chose the theme: Copycat Soups!

Now I’ll be honest, I almost never order soup when I go out, so this was a challenge for me.  I already shared my Copycat Campbells Tomato Soup recipe back in January and I wasn’t sure if I would think of something for this challenge.

Then I remembered Zuppa Toscana.  This one is an Olive Garden favorite – though I’ve never actually had it at Olive Garden!  I’ve always made the homemade copycat version – perfect for this challenge!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Tiramisu Cupcakes

It’s time for this month’s Fantastical Food Fight, hosted by Sarah at a Fantastical Sharing of Recipes!  This month, the theme is rum!

You guys, I have made so many rum based cocktails this summer (Frozen Banana Daiquiri, Mermaid Martini, & Dark Mojito), I was fresh out of ideas for this one!

Then I did my Coffee-Infused Butter experiment (oh yes, you definitely need to click that link & check it out – Science!) and I knew right away that the coffee-infused butter and resulting buttermilk were destined to become Tiramisu Cupcakes and Coffee Cream Cheese Frosting – yaaaassss!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Homemade Puff Pastry #JuliaChild

Did you know that today would be Julia Child’s 105th birthday?

In honor of the culinary great’s birthday, I joined a few of my blogging friends to cook up some Julia-inspired recipes.

Where better, I thought, than to start off by reading Julie and Julia

And wow.

What a disappointment that was.  I really should have researched the book more before picking it up.  I naively assumed that the book would chronical more of Julia Child’s life (rather, the author’s narcissistic narrative was abruptly interrupted by an unrelated imagined scene from Julia Child’s younger years).  Instead the book followed miserable secretary, Julie Powel in her pursuit to cook all of the recipes from Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking in one year.  What was meant to be endearing and comical simply wasn’t.  Basically, Julie flounders through life hating her job, she claims to be happily married but treats her husband like garbage, and has the housekeeping skills to make most maids turn heel and run. 

Oh, and there weren’t any recipes *cries*

Needless to say, I wasn’t a fan.

But what I gleaned from the book was a) what I really wanted was a memoir/biography about Julia Child (this was so not it), b) I want to check out Mastering the Art of French Cooking from the library (it’s always checked out!) and c) butter.

It seems that most of the recipes in both books include copious amount of butter, which got me thinking of one of my bucket list recipes: Puff pastry. 

It’s one of those ingredients that seems to show up time and time again.  I feel like I’m constantly passing over recipes that use puff pastry, because I just don’t want to buy the frozen stuff.  I don’t know why, but I just don’t like the idea of frozen pastry dough!

So without even ever having experience with frozen puff pastry dough, I decided to tackle the homemade version!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Coffee-Infused Butter

Last month, I was at a pre-bachelorette party luncheon for my soon to be sister-in-law when suddenly the conversation turned to kitchen experimentation.  Namely, one of the other bridesmaids had heard about coffee-infused butter.

That got my gears spinning.

How to infuse butter with coffee?

My mind immediately went to cold brew coffee.  With cold brew coffee, coffee grounds are placed in room temperature water overnight, then strained out.

So I wondered, could the same processed be used with heavy cream, with the end goal of making homemade, coffee infused butter?

Well, there was nothing to do but try!   I stirred the grounds into the cream and refrigerated it overnight. 

The next step was fraught with difficulty.  Heavy cream is very thick.  And heavy cream mixed with coffee grounds has a bad attitude and doesn’t want to strain out.  At All.

I quickly discovered that my cheese cloth was too loose of a weave and let coffee grounds through.  Paper towels weren’t sturdy enough for all the squeezing involved, and the mixture was too thick to go through a fine mesh strainer.

I eventually did my best with the cheese cloth, then strained and strained and strained again through a fat skimmer until the grounds were removed from the cream. 

In the future, I would recommend using (new) nylon pantyhose or something else with a similar tight weave for straining.

Despite all the difficultly, I finally arrived at the beating stage and I was sweating again.  What if the fat molecules in the cream had bound to the coffee grounds and this was an exercise in futility?

Monday, August 7, 2017

Steaks with Bourbon Mushroom Sauce

Usually my family is steak purists.  A good cut of beef, salt, pepper, and the grill.

But sometimes that steak deserves an amazing sauce to go with it.  This is one of those days.

These steaks are topped with an amazing mixture of caramelized onions, mushrooms, cream, and a splash of bourbon, just because.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Chicago-Style Hot Dog Cups #TailgateParty

Okay, how is it already August?  Where did the summer go?

The boys and I have been thoroughly enjoying our summer but it has gone way too fast!

With August here and school just around the corner, that means it’s almost tailgating season! 

I was inspired (again) by one of those facebook food videos!  The one I saw was for hot dog cups!  Too fun!

The super easy way to make these is to use refrigerated biscuits, but I made these kind of spur of the moment, so I ended up making my own biscuit dough this time.

I actually made 2 versions of these.  The first was the biscuit lining and the hot dog mixture only because I knew picky #1 and picky #2 would never eat the Chicago-Style toppings (actually, Spud ended up adding the pickles and mustard to his).

Then I went full Chicago-Style for me and Hubs.  So delicious!

These are a totally fun twist on a classic hot dog and great if you’re feeding a crowd!

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Minion Multigrain Banana Pancakes

Hubs has been out of town for the last week and a half, so the little dudes and I decided to treat ourselves to a movie date!

We’ve loved the first two Despicable Me movies (and the Minions movie) so we decided to watch the third installment (the kids cracked up the whole time (it was pretty cute!))

Afterward, I decided to surprise the kids with Minion pancakes!

I adapted my favorite multigrain pancakes to make them banana pancakes (bananas are a throwback to the first movie - they didn’t show up this time!)

You guys – the kids were ecstatic!

Right away Spud shouted, “It’s Kevin & Bob & Stuart!”



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