Google Amy's Cooking Adventures: 2019
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Sunday, May 19, 2019

Beef Stir Fry with Leeks, Broccoli, & Bok Choy

A couple months ago, I got a Rachel Ray Magazine in my mailbox.

I paged through and found a yummy picture of stir fry.  Then I read the recipe and realized that the greens I was were wilted iceberg lettuce!

And I just couldn’t wrap my head around it!

I grew up eating iceberg lettuce, but now I typically go for spinach or romaine.  And I’ve heard of grilled romaine but can’t quite wrap my head around that either.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

French Onion Burgers on Brioche Onion Buns

It’s Fantastical Food Fight time and with summer right around the corner, this month is a burger fight!  Luckily for me after weeks of rain and chilly temperatures, it finally got warm enough for grilling last weekend!

I spent a lot of time thinking about what to put on a burger – there are so many yummy, creative combinations out there!  I eventually decided that I wanted to play with texture by adding crunchy fried onions as a burger topping.  And with crunchy onions in the topping, why not add them into be burger too?  How about an onion brioche bun to go with it?

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Glazed Lemon Shortbread Cookies

Happy Mother’s Day!

How do you celebrate?

I know my boys made little gifts in school that they’ll present later on. 

In past year I’ve “taken the day off”.  I went out shopping and we ordered pizza for dinner…and I had a huge backlog of chores to do on Monday (boo).

This year, I decided that I want to cook and bake all day and make some sort of extravagant dinner.  I requested that my gift be that everyone else cleans up instead of me, but honestly?  If it doesn’t happen, it’s not big deal.  I’m hoping for a family bike ride, but I think it’s supposed to be rainy, so maybe we’ll go out for ice cream instead.

Yes, this Mother’s Day, I want to do what I always do.  I want to be the mom.  I’ll take anything special that happens to come my way, but really, I want to be my kids’ mom – it’s seriously the best job in the world!

Friday, May 10, 2019

Loc Lac (Cambodian Beef with Lime) #eattheworld

Pack your bags and grab your passport!  We’re heading to Cambodia for this month’s Eat the World recipe challenge!

After researching Cambodian food, it looks like stir fries, sea food, and brothy soups are very common cuisine.  Another popular recipe is Loc Lac or stir fried beef.  There are many variations of this dish, depending largely on the region on Cambodia it comes from, additionally Loc Lac is also popular in Vietnam (though without the fried egg).

As with anytime I push the boundaries with recipes, the kids had a comment.  This time, “I thought this was stir fry mom, why is there BBQ sauce, an egg, and salad?”

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Strawberry Moscato Slushie #FoodnFlix

Mamma Mia! 

It’s already time for Food ‘n Flix because I’m getting in early this month.  This month’s movie pick (chosen by my friend Wendy at A Day in the Life on the Farm) is Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again.

This movie is a sequel to a movie I wasn’t terribly impressed with, yet, I’m always willing to keep an open mind.  Mamma Mia 2 was one of the 3 Food ‘n Flix movies I watched while on the plane to Disney World back in January!  The other two were Book Club (I made Cheesy Spinach& Chicken Soup) and Crazy Rich Asians (I made a double header – Homemade Wonton Wrappers and Ginger Pork Pot Stickers).

Saturday, May 4, 2019

May the Fourth Mix

Happy Star Wars Day!

As the kids and I embark on a Star Wars movie marathon (Hubs is out of town, so he’s missing out), we needed snacks to munch on!

In addition to popcorn, we made a super fun (and super yummy) chex mix. 

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Churro Cupcakes

Who’s ready for Cinco de Mayo?

Fun fact!  I was researching Cinco de Mayo and found out that it is commonly misunderstood to be Mexican Independence day, but is actually the anniversary of an underdog victory by Mexico against France in the Franco-Mexican War.  The holiday is noted (a little) in the region in which it was won, but it not really a big deal in Mexico (it is NOT a holiday).

In the United States, however, it has become kind of a big deal and a time to celebrate Mexican culture.  Funny how that works, isn’t?

Cinco de Mayo has been a favorite in our house ever since Dude (now 11) was a baby.  When he was born, someone gifted us a set of “holiday bibs”…Baby’s first Christmas, Baby’s first Easter, and Baby’s First Cinco de Mayo.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Color Changing Sparkling Tea #Sipbysip

Disclosure: I received tea to sample and review from The Republic of Tea.  All opinions are my own.

Today is a fun #SipbySip event coordinated by Camilla at Culinary Adventures with Camilla and sponsored by the Republic of Tea!

The Republic of Tea sent two of their delicious Daily Beauty Beautifying Botanicals for our Sipping Beauties event!

The very first thing I noticed was that the first ingredient promoted on the Blueberry Lavender Tea was “Collagen-Promoting Blue Butterfly Pea Flower”.  Then, nerdy boy-mom teacher in me then got really really excited. 

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Pollo a la Brasa (Peruvian Chicken) #CooktheBooksClub

Pull up your favorite coffee mug and tuck in with a blanket, because it’s Cook the Books time (and what’s better than a coffee, a blanket, and a good book?)  The April/May book pick was Buttermilk Graffiti by Edward Lee.

The book follows Edward Lee as he traverses the United Stated looking for unique ethnic restaurants with a story.  Lee goes to these restaurants, enjoys the food and then sits down with the chef/owners to hear their stories.

Lee’s specialty is fusion cuisine, but not in the “break all the rules” trendy way.  No.  Lee believes that our experiences change and shape us.  And those experiences, those twists on a recipe because we can’t get those ingredients in our area, that is what makes fusion cuisine. It’s about the heart and the memories, that’s what makes good food.

You guys!  I love that way of thinking about fusion!  So often, I set out to make an authentic recipe, but continually question its actual authenticity (with the internet, you never know) or I have such trouble finding ingredients that I have to make substitutions.  I always end up loving the recipes, though – and isn’t that the real goal here?

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Huevos Rancheros Tacos (Breakfast Tacos) #FoodnFlix

It’s time to pull up a bowl of popcorn for this month’s Food n’ Flix!  This month is hosted by Camilla from Culinary Adventures with Camilla.  Camilla chose something a little different this month: a restaurant documentary, Spinning Plates!

Spinning plates follows 3 very different restaurants and the people that make them: a high end fusion restaurant chasing its 3rd Michelin star, a century old rural family-run diner that is the heart and soul of the community, and a new Mexican restaurant run by a young family that is brand new to the restaurant industry.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Grandma's Easter Bread

Every year, my grandma makes Easter bread.  She makes an enormous batch
(enough for the extended family) that calls for a whopping 24 cups of flour!

As the family gets larger, there’s not always enough bread to bring home, so
I thought it was high time that I learned to make grandma’s Easter bread myself.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Blood Orange Mule

I’m not generally a huge orange fan, but blood oranges are a different story – sweeter than their counterparts, this short-season fruit is the perfect addition to a non-traditional Moscow Mule!

Hubs and I first tried a version of these last week – we had tickets for a show, but then it got canceled due to inclement weather (sad!)  The kids were all settled in with movies at home, so we decided to go out for a quick drink before heading home.  We ordered the Blood Orange Mule & fell in love!  I immediately decided that I wanted to reproduce it at home.  And can I tell you a secret?  I like this one even better!

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Easter Chick Mini Cheeseball

It’s Fantastical Food Fight time and this month is a Cheeseball throwdown.  At first, I was going to bow out.  I don’t think I’ve ever made a cheeseball and I certainly didn’t have an occasion for making and serving a cheeseball either.

Then I made my 3-cheese tortellini and ended up with just a bit of extra cheese filling (I think I under-filled a few tortellini).  So I got to thinking…could I add some cream cheese to the ricotta mixture and create a cheeseball?  What about mini-single serving cheeseballs??  What about something Easter-themed?!?

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Homemade Three Cheese Tortellini

It's meatless Monday again!  This time, I decided to break out the pasta roller again and make homemade tortellini!

Homemade tortellini are a lot of work (it takes a ton of time to individually shape the tortellini) but it is well worth the effort.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Lenten Charcuterie Board

Last Friday, Spud came down with a cold and all he wanted was homemade knoephla soup.

Problem: it was Friday and it’s Lent so knoephla soup (with all its chicken) was a no go.  Spud suggested a meat-free knoephla soup.  Meatless knoephla soup, however, is basically just a bowl of carbs, so I wanted some protein, fruits and vegetables to serve with it, and I created a nice Lent-friendly charcuterie board!

I took pictures, but you won’t be seeing that soup recipe anytime soon, it was merely “ok” and certainly needs some work (if a meatless knoephla can ever be truly achieved).

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Crispy Pork Carnitas

Well, well, it’s the 10th of the month, which means we’re traveling the world for the Eat the World recipe challenge!  With Cinco de Mayo just around the corner, we’re headed to one of my favorite destinations: Mexico!

Mexico is a favorite since Hubs and I honeymooned in Mexico and went back for our 10-year anniversary.  Great memories and amazing food!

I make Mexican food (well, Tex-Mex at any rate) fairly often at home – taco Tuesday is frequently requested, as are homemade tortillas!  I’ve also made food inspired by both trips (Honeymoon Tacos and Guacamole Skull).

I wanted to make something authentic that I hadn’t made before and I finally settled on Pork Carnitas.  Now, I cannot truly attest to the authenticity of this particular recipe.  As I researched, I found many recipes claiming to be authentic, all containing wildly different ingredients.  So, is it one of those recipes where everyone has their own twist on the recipe or are some more authentic than others?  I can’t say for certain.  Eventually, I chose one and added one of two components from a couple others and called it a day.

Authentic?  Probably not.  Delicious? Oh yes.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Veggie Pot Pie

Lent is nearly over and I still haven’t shared that delicious meatless pot pie that I promised a month ago!

Let’s change that, shall we?

I made this amazing Veggie Pot Pie on Ash Wednesday.  After fasting for most of the day, I wanted to make a hearty vegetarian dish for dinner.

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Quadruple Layer Brownie Cheesecake

It’s a March tradition to make cheesecake!  It’s a birthday month in my house and you’d think that as a hobby cake decorator, I would be making fantastic cake creations for Hubs and my birthdays.  But nope.  I pull out all the stops for the kids, but Hubs honestly prefers brownies or cheesecake and I, well…I usually get leftovers of Hubs’ cake or (like this year) ice cream!

Anyway, this cake was the third version of brownie cheesecake!  The first version was the simplest (and oh so delicious for its simplicity), the second was an amazing Brownie Tuxedo Cheesecake and while astoundingly delicious, that a wonky gelatin texture that became more pronounced after the first day.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Snickerdoodle Coffee Syrup

Everything is awesome!

That’s right, it’s time for this month’s Food n Flix, hosted by Simply Inspired Recipes with this month’s move, The Lego Movie!

My family loves The Lego Movie, so it was fun to rewatch with foodie goggles on!  There was a surprising amount of inspiration in the first movie (croissants, hot dogs, tacos, ridiculously over-priced coffee, to name a few), then since the new movie came out in theaters, I thought it would be fun to take the family out and see how the new one compared!

I loved the second Lego Movie as much as the first!  There were so many nerdy little jokes aimed toward the adults in the audience (without innuendo!) – I loved it!

Since I was in the theater, I wasn’t overly focused on the foodie moments, however I did note many of the same Lego foods as the first movie…plus cake!

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Garlicky Baked Asparagus

Well, well, it’s time for this month’s Fantastical Food Fight!  I didn’t participate last month, I totally had a recipe ready to go, then I completely flaked out and didn’t post it at all.  Ahh!  Silliness!

Anyway, I’m back and ready to go for this month’s Asparagus food fight! 

I love asparagus.  The kids…not so much.  They’ll grudgingly eat it, but still call it “ick-sparagus” Haha – we’ll get there one of these days!

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Tater Tot Shepherd’s Pi Pie

It’s Pi Day!  I always like to celebrate with pie on pi day, usually pie in the savory form and this year is no different.

Since it is (yet another) blizzard outside, I took quite a few liberties with the Shepard’s pie, using what I had on hand.

What I had on hand meant sausage for the meat and tater tots for the topping!

I’m so glad I had these particular ingredients on hand, because it made for an amazing dish and it was a total crowd pleaser!  Happy Pi Day!

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Lobiani (Georgian Bean-Stuffed Bread) #EattheWorld

Hey hey, it’s the 10th which means we’re traveling the world for this month’s Eat the World Recipe challenge!  This month, we’re heading to Georgia!

There were so many great recipe options!

As I was researching recipes, I couldn’t help but notice that m

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Peanut Butter Cookies

So my New Years Resolution to start blogging on a more regular basis now that I’m done with grad school has failed miserably so far.

After giving 110% for a year and a half, then Christmas, then Disney, then sub zero temperatures and blizzards…well, I’ve been resting!  I’m reading and playing computer games and *gasp* going to bed at a decent time!  But now I’m ready – I’m really going to give it a whirl and get back on blogging track!

Today’s recipe is brought to you by Spud, who has taken a sudden interest in cooking!  So far he’s made waffles, sugar cookies, and cinnamon rolls and has been checking cookbooks out from the school library.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Homemade Biscoff Cookies

It’s Valentines Day!

Do you celebrate?

The kids always have a school party, so we always do the class valentines and the valentine box. 

In the past, I’ve done the bulk of the work, but this year, I decided to let it go!  My boys are very creative and capable and I decided to let them go for it!  We had our 4th snow day in 2 weeks, so I gave them cardboard boxes, tin foil, tape and told them to have at it and let me know if they needed help!

5 rolls of tape, 4 boxes, and 1 roll of tin foil later, they were done (with very little adult assistance needed) and they did an amazing job!

For my part, I usually get the boys some chocolates and make heart pancakes for lunch (or in this case the night before since tomorrow is a school day).  Then I make steak for dinner, because steak is Hubs’ favorite and it’s a real treat in the winter since steak is usually a summer grilling treat (I know some people grill year round, but our grill is literally buried in a snowbank and it’s been weeks since we’ve seen temps above zero, so, ummm, no). 

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Leaky Cauldron Mini Cottage Pie

A few weeks ago, we took a family vacation to Disney World…with a 2-day detour to Universal Studios and Wizarding World of Harry Potter!

There is so much to do and see!  Though both Universal parks are huge, we spent almost all of our time in Wizarding World, living every minute!  The entire family got wands, I almost bough robes (but they were too pricey), and we got a little taste of London when we stopped by The Leaky Cauldron for lunch!

Monday, February 4, 2019

Ginger Pork Pot Stickers & Homemade Wonton Wrappers

Last week, I posted about the fortuitous plane ride to Disney World with the Food n’ Flix movie (which I couldn’t get locally) playing on-board!

After watching that movie, there was still ample time on the flight, so I started paging through the rest of the movies and saw Crazy Rich Asians.  I wasn’t 100% sure, but I thought that Crazy Rich Asians might have been a future Food n’ Flix movie.  Since my phone was in airplane mode, I couldn’t verify it, but I decided to take a chance.

Imagine my surprise later on when I realized that, not only was Crazy Rich Asians the Food n’ Flix movie for February (here's the invite), but also the Cook the Books Club pick for this month!

What luck!

After watching the movie on the plane and having an amazing, magical week in Disney World, I got a copy of the book, Crazy Rich Asians and got reading!

While I enjoyed the movie, in a train-wrecky kind of way, as this librarian typically says – the book was better!

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Hawaiian Rolls

So, funny story.  I was totally on the ball with this months Cook the Books Club.  I finished the book over Christmas vacation and made my recipe right away.

Then I got sick (just a sinus infection, but I was completely wiped out) plus I was getting my family all packed and ready for Disney so the recipe just sat there!

Now I’m back from that amazing trip, it’s the end of the month, and here I am!

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Cheesy Spinach & Chicken Soup

It’s Food ‘n Flix time and I’m flying in at the end.  Which is pretty typical, all things considered.

I nearly didn’t do this month at all because I was having a hard time coming by the movie.  I always check Netflix and Amazon first (no dice) and then the library (checked out – for weeks!  It’s probably lost) because I don’t like to buy movies, especially if I’m not sure if I’ll like them or not.

Then we got on an airplane to go here:

And on that plane, lo and behold, was the movie for this month, Book Club, hosted by Evelyne from CulturEatz.

One magical week later, and it was time to be back in the frigid cold and start cooking!

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Ethiopian Hummus (Buticha)

It’s the 10th of the month which means it’s time to take a culinary journey around the world with the Eat The World RecipeChallenge!

This month takes us to Ethiopia!  Surprisingly, this is not the first time I’ve researched Ethiopian food – I also took a peek when I read Marcus Samuelsson’s memoir for Cook the Books Club a number of years ago (though I ultimately decided on a French recipe that time, since he is also a classically trained French chef).

So I was excited to revisit Ethiopian food and actually make it this time.  The challenge: from what I saw, Ethiopian food is very spicy (read: not kid friendly) and commonly uses the Ethiopian spice blend, Berbere (which is not available in my area).  I found a couple recipes for a homemade approximation of berbere, but I was still worried about the spice level (plus authenticity is thrown out the window).

So I kept searching and eventually came across bitucha, which is basically an Ethiopian version of hummus!  What makes this version of hummus different than others I’ve seen is the addition of mustard!

Many of the recipes I looked at simply listed “mustard” – which made the wonder – seed? Ground? Yellow? Dijon? What?!?!?

One recipe of the many called for Dijon mustard.   I took my knowledge of berbere (spicy!) and applied that to my buticha, opting for spicy brown mustard here.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Vegan Superfood Breakfast Cookies

Today’s recipe challenge ended up being rather fortuitous.  You see, one of my co-workers asked me to recreate her favorite bakery breakfast cookies.  Just as I was working on developing that recipe, I saw challenge to create a vegan recipe for January! 

The recipe that caught my eye as I was researching was already vegan (and gluten-free!) so that’s what I made!

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Homemade Vanilla Syrup & Caramel Macchiato

Brrr!  How’s the weather where you are?

It is frigid where I am plus, I got a Nespresso for Christmas, so it’s the perfect time to settle in with a cup of coffee and a great book.

And by cup of coffee, I mean it’s time to start making fancy coffees at home!!!  Hooray!

I decided to start with my coffee shop favorite – a caramel macchiato!  To make that, I needed vanilla syrup.  And because of coldness, that was definitely not happening, so I made my own and then made my macchiato!

The vanilla syrup is perfect!  It packs a vanilla punch with an amazing depth of flavor because of the brown sugar.



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