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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Strawberry Shortcake Pancakes #FantasticaFoodFight



It’s Fantastical Food Fight time and this month’s theme is Strawberry Shortcake!

I almost sat this one out because I am so unfamiliar with strawberry shortcake.  But I wanted to at least research before I made a firm decision.

What I learned is that there are many different interpretations of the shortcake in strawberry shortcake.  The basic consensus was that the shortcake is not really a cake but not a biscuit either.  Ummm…kay.

So then is it like a pancake then?

I’m still a pretty uncertain to be honest.  As I looked through recipes, many looked like little cakes, while just as many were definitely biscuits.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Swedish Meatballs #SecretRecipeClub




We are in for a treat today!  Though Secret Recipe Club disbanded a couple years ago, the ladies are back in action today for a reunion reveal!  So fun!

Today I got to make something from Amy’s blog, Savory Moments!

Amy is a foodie who loves foods from all over the world and she is currently an at home mom with toddler twins!  Though I love working in the library (I get to see my kids during the day – yay!), reading about at home mom life made me feel nostalgic for my at home mom days.  It can be tough, to be sure, but I wouldn’t trade those years for anything!

I had a blast looking through Amy’s recipes!  In fact, Dude saw me click recipe after amazing recipe and started adding his two cents as well!  We almost chose Pennsylvania Dutch Ham, GreenBeans, and Potatoes, but ultimately Swedish Meatballs won out.

Dude was excited because he loves meatballs, and I’ve always wanted to make Swedish Meatballs!  Plus I was intrigued by the meatballs over pasta.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Multigrain Bread



The other day, Spud wanted French Toast for dinner. 

Now, Soft & Chewy Italian Bread makes a fantastic French Toast, but I wanted something a bit heartier if sugar covered bread was going to be our dinner.

I decided I wanted to make a nice multigrain bread, especially since I was serving stew that night and French Toast was for the next night.

Problem: most multigrain breads out there start with a base of 7 (or 9 or something) grain cereal mix.

Who has that stuff on hand?

So I decided to adapt a recipe for honey wheat & oat bread, toss in any grains I found in my cupboards and make my *own* multigrain bread. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Chicken Satay #EattheWorld




It’s time for this month’s Eat the World Recipe Challenge and we’re traveling to Thailand!


You guys.

This one was tough.

Thai food presents the following challenges:

  1.      Coconut.  Absolutely no one in my family will eat anything coconut (yuck)
  2.      Fish sauce. Almost makes me want to pass out.  I hate fish, and fish sauce is some untold horror (double yuck)
  3.      Ingredients I’ve never heard of and can’t find in a land-locked state.
  4.    Tofu and fish.  Ew ew ew, ‘nuff said (triple yuck)

So I had a problem on my hands.  I was striving for authenticity, yet I couldn’t make something that would end up in the garbage.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Chicken Scallopini with Marsala Sauce




You guys!

This was my first time ever cooking with Marsala and it cracks me up that it was actually Dude’s recipe!

Dude is the champ at digging through closets and finding random forgotten stuff.  Case in point, an old copy of Taste of Home Magazine!

He was in my office/toy room supposedly cleaning up his cars but decided to dig through some stuff instead.  Half an hour later, the cars were still all over the place and he was asking if he could make this recipe!

So off we went (in a blizzard mind you) for a bottle of Marsala wine, so he could make his recipe!

Friday, March 30, 2018

Cinnamon Rose Bread #FoodnFlix



One more quick gorgeous bread before Easter!

Plus this is my Food n Flix recipe for this month as well (skating in at the very last moment, I might add!)



This month, Ali from Fix Me a Little Lunch chose the Runaway Bride!

I remembered seeing Runaway Bride before and enjoying it – I remembered the basic premise of the movie, but none of the details, so I was excited to watch it again with foodie goggles on!

It was fun watching the movie again.  I’m not a huge Julia Roberts fan, but I do like Richard Gere, and they make a great movie couple – plus the supporting cast was fantastic! 

There was tons of food inspiration in the movie.  Eggs are a particular standout, but I really wanted to amp up the creativity.

For some reason the scene with the rose tattoo stood out.  In one scene, Ike (Richard Gere) ask Maggie (Julia Roberts) to prove that she still has the rose tattoo she got when she was involved with suitor #1.

It got me thinking – could I make something inspired by roses?  I loathe rose water, so I knew I wouldn’t go that route.  But there are always fruits cut into rose shapes or even breads!

Ever since I made my Twisted Star Cinnamon Rolls and subsequent Twisted Turkey Cinnamon Rolls, my family had been slight obsessed with cinnamon rolls.  I don’t make them often, but they’re a welcome treat when I do!  So when I saw a recipe for Cinnamon Rose Bread, I knew I had to give it a whirl!

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Cinnamon Roll Mini Cheesecake #eighteencheesecakes


Hey hey!  Who’s ready for a super delicious cheesecake?

My friend Camilla, at Culinary Adventures with Camilla is celebrating her wedding anniversary with a cheesecake celebration again this year!

I love when she hosts this event, because it comes right on the heels of Hub’s birthday and I love to experiment with fun new cheesecakes on his birthday!

This year, I spotted an amazing cinnamon roll cheesecake and knew I had to try it – only small scale since it was only for Hubs and me (the dudes refuse to even attempt cheesecake!)

Holy bananas you guys!  This cheese cake was knock-you-socks-off amazing!

Friday, March 23, 2018

Vanilla Bean Mocha Biscotti #NielsenMasseyInspires #EasterRecipes

*Disclosure: I received product to sample from ­­­­­Nielsen-Massey Vanilla.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.


Today I’m partnering with Nielsen-Massey Vanilla to bring you an awesome recipe!

Is a family operated business that strives to deliver the finest vanillas.  In addition to vanilla, Nielsen-Massey Vanilla also make a number of other wonderful extracts.

Nielsen-Massey Vanilla provided me with a bottle of their fabulous Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Paste.  I mean, hello, what’s not to love?  The vanilla paste features a stunning flavor and those signature vanilla beans specks (I can’t wait to make vanilla bean ice cream with this!)

Want to know the best part? Nielsen-Massey Vanilla is also providing a sample of their Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Paste to one of my readers!  Yay!  Don’t miss the Rafflecopter Giveaway below!

But since it’s nearly Easter, I thought I’d made a lovely cookie that’s the perfect addition to any Easter brunch!  Because who can say no to a cup of coffee and biscotti (especially after staying up for the Easter Vigil mass?!?)

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal #FantasticalFoodFight #EasterRecipes



You guys!  This recipe is sooooo good!!!!


The wheels started turning when Sarah at a Fantastical Sharing of Recipes decided that this month’s Fantastical Food Fight battle would be carrot cake.

I wasn’t sure to make at first, because I’ve made an amazing Carrot Cake already (it’s so delicious, there is literally nothing I can do to make it better!)  I also reimagined a couple recipes into carrot cake versions namely Carrot Cake Pancakes and Carrot Cake Oatmeal Cookies!


Eventually, I started thinking about my favorite pumpkin spice baked oatmeal and wondered if I would be able to make a carrot care version?

Monday, March 19, 2018

Chocolate Dipped Robin's Egg Cookies #EasterRecipes




Can you believe it’s almost Easter?  It is soooo early this year!  It’s almost hard to wrap my mind around making Easter treats already!

Luckily, these cookies are so fun and vibrant, they make me feel the coming of spring, even though there’s another snowstorm on the way today!

Gotta love the northern states!  Easter dresses will definitely be dressed up with cardigans this year!

So let’s chat about the cookies, shall we?

The base is my very favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe.  Only some of the chocolate chips are swapped out for crushed up springtime whoppers.  Then they’re dipped in chocolate and sprinkled with more crushed whoppers!  They’re so colorful & fun, almost like a kaleidoscope!

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Beef Stew Pot Pie with Homemade Puff Pastry Topping #piday




Happy Pi(e) Day!

So, I was about to say that Pi Day was my favorite nerdy holiday, but then I remembered Star Wars Day (May 4th) AND I just recently found out that my birthday is on Mario Day! (March 10 = MAR10) Woot!  I’m totally making myself a Mario Cake next year!

Anyway, I had to revise to say that Pi Day is my favorite nerdy math holiday! (there’s also Mole Day on October 23nd)

And while I would love to make pie on Pi day every year, I almost never do, since Pi Day shows up right on the heels of my birthday AND Hub’s birthday (his is just a few days before mine), so there’s usually still an abundance of desserts happening in my house.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Cheesy Potato Soup with Irish Ale #EattheWorld



Today’s yummy recipe is just in time for St. Patrick’s Day!

Plus it’s this month’s #EatTheWorld since we were challenged to create something either from or inspired by Ireland!


And since it’s also Lent, I decided to go vegetarian!

At first, I wanted to go with super traditional Irish fare.  As I was browsing, I found all sorts of amazing recipes and started leaning toward a potato soup of sorts.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Narnian Pork



Today Dude is guest posting!  He did such an awesome job with the post, that I’ll let him take it from here:

The thing about this recipe is that we were reading The Chronicles of Narnia #2 Prince Caspian when we heard about how they cooked their bear for dinner. They cooked it by wrapping pieces of the bear meat around apples, and cooking them on sticks over a campfire.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork with Rhubarb BBQ Sauce #fantasticalfoodfight



It’s Fantastical Food Fight time and I very nearly didn’t participate this month.

Sarah from A Fantastical Sharing of Recipes chose a wonderful food fight ingredient: rhubarb. 



But…ummm…it’s February.  And it snowed 6 ½ inches over the weekend…on top of the 3 foot drift that was already residing on top of my rhubarb plant.

Yeah...

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Homemade Queso #foodnflix




Oh boy.

I feel like I could retitle this post: the good, the bad, and the ugly.

The Good: This Queso (ermergerd, get in mah bellay!)
The Bad: The Food ’n Flix Movie this month (so so bad!)
The Ugly: Photo of delicious queso (Geez Louise, what was I thinking?)

Let’s start with the bad.

Ok, so the movie was the 1967 film Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner and hosted by Evelyne at CultrEatz.


The premise is that Joanna comes home from vacation having fallen in love at first sight with John.  However, it is controversial since it is an inter-racial relationship…in the 60’s.


Throughout the movie the dads are made out to be the “bad guys” men who preach tolerance but have trouble blessing the engagement and marriage of their children. 

But here’s the thing – throughout the entire movie, neither dad is upset about the inter-racial marriage, both say, over and over again that the kids are going too fast. 

Joanna is young and John lost his first wife and child to a tragic accident not long before.  And they met a week ago and they’re getting married – it’s too fast.  And that’s the actual issue.  Not that she white and he’s African American – no! 

The real problem here is that the met a week ago and plan to get married straight away and demand a blessing from their parents or they’ll be miserable forever!  I mean, how selfish can you be?

Yet the movie is heavy handed and self-congratulatory (especially the mom characters) about the inter-racial relationship.  It was just an awful movie.

And completely cheesy.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Bacon Parmesan Soft Pretzels #foodbloggerlove


Today is kind of a fun one.  It’s #foodbloggerlove, when foodie bloggers from all over take the time to share the love!

As part of the fun, participants have the option to do a blog swap and surprise another blogger by making a recipe from their blog and giving them a shout out!  We can make Valentines inspired recipes or just something amazing!

I was assigned Audrey’s blog, That Recipe.  Audrey and I have a very similar philosophy when it comes to cooking.  Like me, Audrey loves trying new recipes and while many of her recipes use healthy ingredients, there still plenty of delicious breads and desserts!

Don’t forget to connect with Audrey via her amazing social media:


Ready for the recipe?  I chose one that I felt fit the bill of amazing and something I’d make for my sweetie on Valentines.  Because these are bacon crusted bagels! 

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Slow Cooker Cuban Ropa Vieja


I’m always up for a new fun challenge, so I joined a brand new one, hosted by Evelyne at CulturEatz called Eat the World.  In this fun club, participants create a dish inspired by the selected country each month.

This month, the country was Cuba!

A couple years ago, I made a few Cuban dishes, Lechón Asado (Cuban-Style Roast Pork), Pan Cubano (Cuban Bread), and Cubano (Cuban Sandwich), so I wanted to try something new.

A quick search showed that Ropa Vieja is a very popular Cuban dish.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Heart Cocoa for Two


Do you celebrate Valentine’s Day?

The kids love giving Valentines to their friends and I like to make a special meal for the family and pull out the fine china, just for fun.

This year, a group of blogging friends got us thinking about great recipes for two.

But what to make?  Since Valentines is always a family affair, isn’t really Valentines for 4!

Then, last weekend I kicked the kids outside to play in subzero temps so I could get a paper written, with promises of hot chocolate when they came back in.

And inspiration hit!

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Groundhog Day Donuts


It’s Groundhog Day!  I don’t know what, but this one always sneaks up on me.  But it is totally fun.

I mean, predicting weather based off a fat rodent kinda nuts, but any excuse to make some fun snacks, right?

These little groundhogs are ridonkulously easy and the kids absolutely love them! 


Groundhog Day Donuts

Chocolate Mini Donuts
Powdered Sugar Mini Donuts
Teddy Grahams

Place teddy grahams into the donuts (chocolate = mud, powdered sugar = snow).  Serve and enjoy!


Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Wreck-It Ralph Recipe Round Up #FoodnFlix


What a fun month!

I got to host this month's Food n' Flix, Wreck-It Ralph and everyone sure brought the creativity!




Before we get started, I have to share Hubs and my Halloween costumes from last year when we were Felix-It Felix and Sargent Calhoun!  So fun!




Camilla from Culinary Adventures with Camilla brought her Cherry Chasing Dot Muncher Libations + Candy Laden Cakes!  She says:
Inspired by Wreck-It Ralph calling PacMan a "cherry-chasing dot muncher" - and the jar of Griottines in the cupboard - I decided to create some perfect New Year's Eve cocktails.


Kimberly from Coffee and Casseroles made Lost and Found Alphabet Soup.  She says:
When Ralph is first out of his game trying to find a metal, he checks the lost and found box at the root beer bar, and finds himself  one single mushroom from Super Mario. So I knew I wanted to do something with mushrooms. Add to this the fact the character of Vanellope builds her first race car from found items. I decided to make  "lost and found alphabet soup."


Evelyn from CulturEatz made two amazing recipes! First, she made Cherry Coke Mentos White Chocolate Fudge.  She says:
 I saw a recipe for Coke jelly and inspiration struck. I made my own cherry Coke jelly cubes and incorporated them into a white chocolate fudge. With the addition of Mentos and cherries of course.

And her second recipe was the Glitch Cocktail!
Now I really wanted to also add a little recipe in honour of Vanellope Von Sschweetz. This misunderstood bad character, a glitch in the game in fact, does turn out to be a hero. 

Sarah from Chef Sarah Elizabeth made a whole Wreck-It Ralph themed menu including Very Vanellope Cookies!  She says:
I love the character Vanellope and the fact that she is a glitch! I know its a “bad thing” in the film, but I am attracted to funky, off the wall, rebel personalities. Instead of making Sugar Rush race cars, I decided to make Very Vanellope Cookies! I took my favorite sugar cookie recipe, cut it into funky shapes, and then we decorated with frosting and candy! 

Kelley from Simply Inspired Meals managed to make a gorgeous healthy Cherry Bomb Smoothie from this candy coated flick! She says:
 I was inspired to create this Cherry Bomb Smoothie based on the race held toward the end of the movie. My kids love video games, and we enjoy playing racing games together, so I loved the “Cherry Bomb” power used during the race where the racers set off cherry bombs from the side of the Royal Raceway track using sparks from their exhaust. 

Wendy from A Day in the Life on the Farm went the savory route and made Chicken and Mushroom Pie.  She says:
 I took my inspiration from the pies I saw at the beginning of the movie and from the mushrooms running around.  I decided to make a Mushroom Pie.


Debra from Eliot's Eats made a delicious Chocolate-Cherry Dump Cake!  She says:
  • Of course, I pulled the cherries from Ralph’s exit from PacMan and the Bad-Anon meeting.
  • I used a dump cake technique because Ralph lives in a dump.
  • The chocolate brownie came from the fact that he hates chocolate, at least at the beginning.  When he finds himself landing in a puddle of chocolate at the end of the film, he confesses to loving it!

Heather from All Roads Lead to the Kitchen was inspired by Ralph & Vanellope's first meeting making Sweet Mother of Monkey Milk-Shakes with Gold Coins!  She says:
Her exclamation "sweet mother of monkey milk, a gold coin!" immediately made me think...monkeys like bananas...so monkey milk must be banana milk. And what's the best way to use banana milk? Turn it into milkshakes, of course! And as a nod to that elusive gold coin they're both chasing, it had to be garnished with a gold-wrapped milk chocolate coin.

Ali from Fix me a Little Lunch made a delicious Chocolate Quicksand Pudding!  She says:
I love this recipe for chocolate quicksand pudding because it’s about as close to instant as homemade pudding can get.  In other words, in about 10 minutes time, you’ll have pudding ready to chill in the fridge.

Amber from Reviews, Chews, and How-Tos made some super fun Rice Krispie Treats Race Cars! She says:
the thing that really inspired me was when Ralph and Vanellope (the glitch from Sugar Rush) had to go into a bonus round of her game to Build a Race Car! They start out with a car mold and as they go through the levels, frosting and various candies drop all over the car to make a huge mess of a race car.... Vanellope absolutely loves it though! Its hers, she made it!


And I just couldn't decide what to make, so I did a triple header making Sugar Rush Jell-O Shots (stuffed with candy and inspired by the Sugar Rush video game), Ralph's Texas Trash Party Mix (inspired by his home in the dump), and Nutter Butter Sugar Rush Racers!

Be sure to join in next month as Evelyne at CulturEatz hosts Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?
in February!


Friday, January 26, 2018

Small Batch Chocolate Cupcakes #ChocolateCakeDay


You guys.  Dude, my older son, my little kitchen protégé, turned 10 last week!

TEN!!!

How is that even possible?  It seems like just yesterday he was a tiny newborn or a wobbly toddler or a strong-willed preschooler!  Now he’s a little man!  He is kind and intelligent and creative and musical and I just love him!

He actually had his birthday party a few weeks before his actual day because he wanted to go to an indoor water park with his best friend and aligning the schedules of busy 4th graders is surprisingly challenging!

Anyhow, Dude wanted cupcakes for his party…for 5 people (our family + his friend). Oy!

Now it’s no secret that I don’t usually go the scratch cake route – I’m  a big fan of doctoring cake mixes!  But this time, there was just no other way.  I couldn’t justify an entire batch of cupcakes for 5 people.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Nutter Butter Ice Cream Cone Cookies


Did you know that today is National Peanut Butter Day?

Say What?!?

I love peanut butter, but in the interest of my waistline, I don’t enjoy it very often.  My favorite peanut butter preparation is peanut butter smeared on apples!  There’s nothing better!

For today’s recipe, however, I’m sharing a quick, adorable treat that is also my 3rd recipes for my Wreck-It Ralph Food ‘n Flix treats! (see the invite here, SugarRush Jell-O Shots here, and Ralph’s Texas Trash Party Mix here)

There adorable little ice cream cones are simply Nutter Butter Cookies dipped in candy melts and decorated with sprinkles!


Ice cream was enough of an inspiration for the movie, but then the sprinkles totally reminded Vanellope’s Hair!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Chocolate Banana Oat Muffins #fantasticalfoodfight


I made protein muffins again.

The boys cannot get enough of these things!  And each time I make them, I seem to have slightly different ingredients on hand.

This time around I had bananas moldering on my counter again.  Because Spud was with me at the store and begged for bananas.  And I said no because every time I buy bananas no one eats them and they sit on the counter forever.  And he promised that he’d eat them this time.  And that I had to buy more than one.  No, not two mom! We need five! Ugh fine.

He seemed pretty adamant, so I went for it.  I figured I’d eat a banana or two and Hubs would and Spud really did want the bananas.

He ate half a banana.

Texas Trash Party Mix #FootballFood #FoodnFlix


Are you ready for some football?

I come from a long line of Packers fans (Dude is following tradition) and Hubs is a Lions fan, but Spud jumped ship and is a huge Vikings fan!  Did you catch last night’s game?!?  It was crazy!!!  Even us non-Viking fans were cheering by the end!

Speaking of football, have you started planning SuperBowl snacks yet?

The ladies at Festive Foodies decided to share some of our favorite football food to help inspire your SuperBowl spread this year.

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