Google Amy's Cooking Adventures: 2018
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Friday, August 10, 2018

Fougasse (Provençal Flatbread) #EatTheWorld


It’s already time for this month’s Eat the World Recipe challenge and holy smokes, have I been a terrible blogger!  Eek!  I slammed through my summer grad school class (with a A+… bam!), then I packed the kiddoes up and put over 2,500 miles on my car and traveled through 5 states in 2 weeks!  We had a blast, but it was certainly not conducive to blogging! 


Now that I’m back I’m helping lead Vacation Bible School and getting my library ready for the upcoming school year (did I mention that we got new carpeting, so the library had to be moved out and moved back in and now I get to completely re-envision my floor plan?  It’s super exciting but a ton of work!)

But back to the challenge!  This month’s pick, France, was chosen based off the world cup winner!

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Pasta Carbonara #CooktheBooksClub


Eek!  I’m flying in at the last minute with my Cook the Books Club recipe! 


Would you believe that I’ve had the book read since May and the recipe made in June?  But here I am at the last minute, because my grad school class (yes, in the singular) was legit crazy this summer?

Yeah…

We’re talking 35+ articles to read plus 4 assignments and a major project per week.  It was nuts. 

PLUS – I’ve spent days being mom (baseball-basketball-piano lessons-library-pool-bike rides (all my favorites!)), so I’ve been doing homework at night (usually from 10pm-2am)!  AHHHH!!!

But…

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Homemade Hot Dog Buns & Chili Dogs #HotDogDay


Hey hey! It’s National Hot Dog day! 

Dude absolutely loves hot dogs.  When the kids are home all summer, I have to stock hot dogs and buns because he will have one for lunch at least half the week.  And the other half of the week, he’s asking to make a fire in our fire pit and roast hot dogs!

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Steak Kebabs #FantasticalFoodFight



It’s Fantastical Food Fight time and it’s all about the summer favorite: Kebabs!



I had scarcely had time to process the prompt when I took the kids and visited my parents for the weekend.  My mom had just gotten a great marinade recipe from a friend, so she marinated and grilled chicken breasts (and they were fabulous) and mentioned that this was also great on steak kebabs.  That was all the inspiration I needed! 

I made these less than a week later and they were so good!  After marinating for two whole days, the steak bites are incredibly flavorful and tender. 



You can play around with your favorite kebab veggies, but I highly recommend bell peppers and mushrooms.  They’re firmer veggies so they hold up to grilling nicely!


Steak Kebabs

1 ½ lb sirloin steak, cut in cubes
½ cup Italian dressing
½ cup French dressing
½ cup pineapple juice
¼ cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon worchestershire sauce
½ tablespoon garlic powder

                                                                            
Place the steak cubes in a gallon sized zipper bag.  Whisk together marinate ingredients and pour over steak.  Seal and refrigerate for 24-48 hours.

Preheat the outdoor grill to medium heat.  Thread steak cubes onto skewers, alternating with bell peppers and mushrooms.  Cook to desired temperature and serve.






Friday, July 13, 2018

Ratatouille Bake #BastilleDayRecipes



Today is Bastille Day, so my friend Camilla at Culinary Adventures with Camilla is hosting a French themed recipe round up!

I generally think of French food as heavy comfort foods.  For me, comfort food = winter food. So, I wasn’t sure I’d find any recipe inspiration this time around. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Kiwi Burger #EattheWorld



It’s time to eat our way around the world again and this month, we’re headed to New Zealand!  Read more about the #EatTheWorld recipe challenge here.



I think New Zealand would really be a fun place to vacation some day!  Did you know they filmed Lord of the Rings there and you can visit Hobbiton and other places in Middle Earth?

Monday, July 9, 2018

No Churn Chocolate Toffee Ice Cream #IceCreamSocial



Did you know that July is National Ice Cream Month?  It’s steaming hot where I live, so ice cream is always a welcome treat!

Last year, I learned how to make a delicious no churn ice cream, so I was excited to try again this year.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Patriotic S'mores Brownies



It’s so fun to make festive treats for the 4th of July!

Since the little Dudes and I are so focus on summer fun (not to mention summer school for yours truly), summer treats are fun but easy!

So for these brownies, I used a box mix (help! I still can’t find a great homemade recipe!) and stuffed them with my favorite s’more flavors and some festively colored M&Ms!

Thursday, June 28, 2018

ElastiGirl’s Super-Stretchy Edible Candy Silly Putty



Eek! This summer is getting away from me!

The boys and I are all about the summer fun during the day and my evenings are homework, homework, homework!

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Chicken, Bacon, Ranch Tortellini Pasta Salad



So, like every grocery store I’ve ever been to seems to have some version of chicken bacon ranch pasta salad.  And it always has waaaay to much sauce.  It’s positively swimming!

I suppose that’s just my personal preference but I can’t stand over-dressed salads - pasta or lettuce!

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Grated Beetroot Salad with Goat Cheese (Rödbetssallad med Getost) #EattheWorld




Today’s recipe takes us to Sweden for this month’s Eat the World Recipe Challenge!



I had briefly considered making Swedish food a few years ago for a Cook the Books Club post (I ended up making Croissants instead).  The next obvious choice is Swedish Meatballs, but I just made those recently.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Flourless Chocolate Brownie M&M Cookies (Gluten Free)



This past year, Dude had a classmate who doesn't eat gluten, so was my challenge whenever I sent treats to school to find something delicious that the whole class can enjoy AND doesn’t require any special ingredients.

Also – I realize that I’m super fortunate that we attend a school where we can still bring homemade treats!

Anyhow, I wanted to bring cookies but didn’t want to buy any specialty flours, so I went on the hunt for a fabulous gluten-free cookie using everyday ingredients.

These cookies are a total sugar bomb – but hey – no gluten!

Monday, June 4, 2018

Tuscan Roma Pizza #nationalcheeseday



It’s National Cheese Day and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate than with Tuscan Roma Pizza.  Not only is this pizza topped with the standard shredded mozzarella, but it also boasts a delicious homemade alfredo in place of the classic red sauce.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Burgers Au Poivre #TheLostFamilySupperClub


 *Disclosure: I received a complementary advance copy of The Lost Family in exchange for my review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.



Today is fun because I get to review my first ever advance copy book, The Lost Family by Jenna Blum and be part of the food-centric virtual launch party sponsored by the BookClub Cookbook and HarperCollins Publishers.


You can get all the information here at the Virtual Party!

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Uyghur Nan Bread #CooktheBooksClub


Well, here I am flying in for Cook the Books Club at the very last second!  I’ve had the book read for ages, but just didn’t have the time or motivation to make a recipe.

Why was I so unmotivated?

Well, you can read my GoodReads review of Shark’s Fin and Sichuan Pepper: A Sweet-Sour Memoir of Eating in China by Fuchsia Dunlop (also if I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times – anytime a title is *that* long, the book is certain to be pretentious)


Shark's Fin And Sichuan Pepper: A Sweet-Sour Memoir of Eating in ChinaShark's Fin And Sichuan Pepper: A Sweet-Sour Memoir of Eating in China by Fuchsia Dunlop
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This was ok for a memoir I enjoyed learning about Chinese culture and how very different not only the food but also the people and culture are in different regions.

At times, the book was overly self-congratulatory. At other times, the foods describes were gag-worthy and I thought I'd scream if I read the words "offal" and "stench" and "tang of urine" describing foods anymore.

Ok, I just changed my rating from a 3 to a 2 - ick.

By the end, I was skimming to get through it. The book should have ended 4 chapters earlier. The book became depressing and boring as the author felt the need to wax on about endangered species, pollution, and climate change. While all of these topics are real issues in modern day China, the way in which they were presented was pretentious and boring.

The final chapter tried to lighten the mood but only mildly succeeded.

And the epilogue went right back to self-congratulatory pretentiousness.

Is this worth reading?

Sure, but I skip around to the good parts

View all my reviews

Oy.

I wasn’t making offal (*hurk*) or pretty much any of the recipes included in the text – they were either vile or included such difficult to obtain ingredients (remember I’m in the sparsely populated great plains region) that I couldn’t do it.

I thought of just making a stir fry. But since all of my stir fries are basically the same teriyaki-ish base it felt like a cop out.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Spinach Salad with Gyro Turkey Meatballs


So, I almost missed this month’s Fantastical Food Fight – what with graduate school finals, and romaine trying to kill us and all.


Sarah of A fantastical Sharing of Recipes hosts each month as participants create something based on the monthly theme - this month's food fight is: Salad!

So yesterday, yes yesterday, I finally had some spinach (it will be a long, long time until I trust romaine again *shudder* (ps – if you’re not in the US or are in the US and living under a rock, romaine has been making friends with E. Coli lately and has been recalled)) and decided to try and make something for this food fight!

I had no real dinner plan other than, “swing by the grocery store while Dude is at piano and see what meat is on sale”.

Honestly, I was expecting to buy chicken breasts or pork loin or something.  But no, it was ground turkey that was on sale.  Hmmmm…

It definitely called for some creativity.  I wanted my food fight salad to be a main dish salad with some protein, but ground meat is not general what I think to combine with salad!



I ultimately decided that the ground turkey had to be transformed into meatballs.  But turkey meatballs are boring so they needed some amazing spices.

For some reason, I was reminded of my Gyro-Style Pork Salads and decided to try a turkey meatball version – with an amazing tzatziki dressing this time!

Though I’m the only one who really liked the tzatziki dressing (my family and I are all pretty like-minded when it comes to under-dressing our salads), the rest was a hit with the whole family (and I couldn’t get enough of the dressing *with* the salad!

It was so delicious and a welcome break after eating rather heavily during finals week (I rocked by finals, by the way – woot!!) I’m super glad I was able to participate and stretch myself with this recipe!



Spinach Salad with Gyro Turkey Meatballs
Inspired by Food & Wine 

Tzatziki Dressing
½ cucumber, peeled and diced
1/3 cup plain yogurt or sour cream
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh chives
Salt & pepper
¼ cup crumbled feta cheese

Meatballs
1 pound ground turkey
¼ cup dried breadcrumbs
1 egg
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1 ½ teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon curry powder
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon dried thyme
¼ teaspoon dried rosemary
1/8 teaspoon chili powder
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Salad
Fresh baby spinach
Cucumber, diced
Kalamata olives
Avocado, sliced
Pita chips


To make the dressing, place the cucumber, yogurt, olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, and chives in a mini food processor or blender.  Pulse until smooth.  Add the feta and pulse to combine.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

To make the meatballs, mix all meatball ingredients until combined.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Cook meatballs until completely cooked through, flipping once.


To make the salad, place spinach on salad plates.  Top with cucumbers, Kalamata olives, avocado, and meatballs.  Drizzle with tzatziki dressing.  Garnish with pita chips and serve.







Thursday, May 10, 2018

Crunchy N'Dizi



Wow, has this month flown by!

It’s already time for the Eat the World challenge again.


You guys –

Evelyn was taking it easy on us choosing Cuba, Ireland, and Thailand so far.  This month, she chose Kenya.

Not only am I completely unfamiliar with Kenyan food, it is also difficult to find authentic recipes online!  Or at least ones that I could convince my family to eat.

As I researched, it became clear that desserts, if present at all on the Kenyan table, are usually fruit-based.

Eventually I found a recipe for Crunchy N’Dizi and I was intrigued.  In this recipe, bananas are dipped in butter, rolled in peanuts and roasted.  The over-weight American in me wondered if I shouldn’t be adding some sugar somewhere along the way, but I fought the urge and made the recipe as written.

I popped the n’dizi out of the oven and gave one a try and...meh.

Not so great.

But then I reminded myself that these were meant to be a topping, not a standalone (at least in the preparation I saw).  I dusted them with cinnamon (because cinnamon is delicious and plays a prominent role in Kenyan cooking) and put them on top of some cinnamon multigrain pancakes

Friday, May 4, 2018

Roasted Asparagus & Carrots #BrunchWeek

This post is sponsored in conjunction with #BrunchWeek. I received product samples from sponsor companies to aid in the creation of the #Brunchweek recipes. All opinions are mine alone.



Who loves roasted veggies???

*raises hand enthusiastically*

I’m a huge veggie fan – I like vegetable way better than most fruits - apples and watermelon are the only fruits I consistently love.  Well, I also love strawberries but mostly in pie or margarita form or otherwise doused in sugar.

So I’m all for my roasted veggies at brunch – or actually brinner because my family is way into breakfast for dinner and usually too lazy to make brunch!

It was so perfect that there were awesome brunch week sponsors that provided some of my favorite vegetables for recipes inspiration!

Asparagus (my all-time favorite brunch vegetable) from Michigan Asparagus.


Fresh carrots from Cal-Organic Farms.


Plus, a nice punch a flavor from capers provided by Cento Fine Foods!



I love to keep the flavor profile simple when I roast vegetable to let the natural flavors shine through, so these veggies are lightly dressed with balsamic vinegar, salt, & pepper.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Macerated Strawberry Sauce #BrunchWeek

  
This post is sponsored in conjunction with #BrunchWeek. I received product samples Dixie Crystals Sugar and LorAnn Emulsions to aid in the creation of the #Brunchweek recipes. All opinions are mine alone.


A few weeks ago, I made Strawberry Shortcake Pancakes with sugar strawberries on top.

Then I got to thinking – what if I let those strawberries macerate overnight and added a little vanilla?

I had some fabulous sugar from #brunchweek sponsor, Dixie Crystals



And three amazing emulsions from LorAnn, so I decided to give it a whirl!


You guys – it was such an amazing choice and so perfect on our leftover pancakes!  I hope you’ll give it a try too! 

Monday, April 30, 2018

Hash Brown Waffles with Bacon & Eggs #BrunchWeek

This post is sponsored in conjunction with #BrunchWeek. I received product samples from Eggland’s Best & Cabot Creamery to aid in the creation of the #Brunchweek recipes. All opinions are mine alone.



Hey hey!

It’s Brunch week and things are getting exciting around here!

I’m kicking off the week with some major delicious Hash Brown Waffles with Bacon & Eggs.

Do not get confused like Hubs – the main ingredient of these waffles is actual hash browns, making these savory waffles, but if you want to toss some strawberry sauce on them anyway, then, well, you be you!


Before we get to that recipe, how about all the #Brunchweek deets and the amazing giveaway!


Welcome to #BrunchWeek 2018 hosted by Love and Confections and A Kitchen Hoor's Adventures! This year is even bigger and better than ever! Thirty eight bloggers from around the country are showcasing their best brunch dishes. We have so many delicious recipes for you to enjoy throughout the week (over 150!!) including cocktails, appetizers, pastries, tarts, main courses, and plenty of desserts! Our BrunchWeek Sponsors are helping us give away some great prizes. Thank you so much, Sponsors, for your generosity. We have an incredible giveaway below and we’d love if you would take a moment to read about it and what you can win!


Prize #1 Dixie Crystals is giving one winner a 6-Quart Instant Pot 7-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Steamer, Sauté, Yogurt Maker and Warmer and a case of Dixie Crystals Extra Fine Granulated Sugar

Since 1917, Dixie Crystals® has been the South's choice for high-quality sugar and sweeteners. For generations, Dixie Crystals has been at the heart of family traditions and celebrations. Our pure cane, non-GMO sugar products guarantee that treasured family recipes will turn out right every time. Bake with love and Dixie Crystals.



Prize #2 Cabot Creamery Co-operative is giving one winner a Cheese Board Set, including a slate cheese board, Boska cheese knife, Legacy Collection Cabot Cheddars, Founders 1919 Collection Cheddars, Waxed Private Stock, Waxed Vintage Choice, and 3 Year Artisan cheeses.

Cabot Creamery Co-operative, makers of naturally aged, award-winning cheeses and dairy products is owned by 1,000 dairy farm families in New England and New York.



Prize #3 LorAnn Oils and Flavors is giving one winner A Baking and Candy Making Prize package. The package includes: ceramic serving platter, a collection of 5 LorAnn Bakery Emulsions, one each of LorAnn Madagascar vanilla extract and Madagascar vanilla bean paste, Lollipop cookbook along with re-usable candy mold, candy packaging accessories, candy thermometer, and a pack of 3 LorAnn super-strength candy oils.

Our flavors. Your creations. For over 50 years, LorAnn Oils has been supplying professionals and home chefs with the finest quality candy and baking flavors, essential oils, and specialty ingredients. Visit us at www.LorAnnOils.com to shop, learn, and discover new recipe ideas.



Prize #4 Cal-Organic Farms is giving one winner a Cal-Organic prize package complete with kitchen supplies, a portable cooler bag and branded apparel—everything you need to take your delicious #BrunchWeek recipes on-the-go! The package includes a custom-made Tilit apron, cooler bag, kitchen knife, vegetable peeler, t-shirt, hat, notepad and pen.

Cal-Organic Farms is the largest organic vegetable producer in the United States. Supplying more than 65 year-round and seasonal varieties, we are proud to grow 100% of our produce on family-owned acreage in California.


Prize #5 Michigan Asparagus is giving one winner $100 cash gift card.

Michigan Asparagus is known for its hand snapped fresh asparagus. It is available May – June and grown mostly in Oceana County along the shores of Lake Michigan. Remember to buy U.S. for the freshest of the fresh.



Prize #6 Eggland's Best is giving one winner an Eggland's Best Kitchen Essential Prize Package that included 1 month of free Eggland's Best Eggs along with Hard-Cooked Peeled Egg coupons, a freezer bag to carry your groceries, kitchen essentials, (whisk, spatula, pot holders, cutting board, frying pan), Eggland’s Best brand new cookbook, and a plush Eggland's Best egg.

Eggland’s Best eggs have more of the delicious, farm fresh taste you and your family love – anyway you cook them. Plus, Eggland’s Best provides superior nutrition such as 6x more vitamin D, 10x more vitamin E, and double the omega 3s compared to ordinary eggs so why settle for less?



Prize #7 Cento Fine Foods is giving one winner a Cento Classico gift basket, which contains imported products from Cento and their family of brands.

Cento Fine Foods, the premier Italian food distributor, importer and producer in the United States, presents a distinctive line of more than 1,000 authentic Italian style products produced from only the finest ingredients. A family owned and operated company spanning three generations, Cento continues to provide premium quality, exceptional products at the best consumer value. Taste the difference quality makes and see why you can “Trust Your Family With Our Family Ò”.




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