Google Amy's Cooking Adventures: June 2013

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Crockpot Smokies with Rhubarb BBQ Sauce

I have a rather large red rhubarb plant growing in my yard. 

I usually gravitate toward sweet treats when I cook with rhubarb, but this time I decided to go savory.

I came across the recipe for rhubarb BBQ and I could not get it out my head!  I knew that it would either be delicious or horrifying.  Since my plant was looking waaaay overgrown (and I was having a huge group of people over), I went ahead and tried it!

And ermergerd.  It is delicious!  The rhubarb lends a slight tartness to the BBQ without being overwhelming.  In fact, if you didn’t know there was rhubarb in the sauce, you’d never detect it.  The tartness blends right in with the sweetness from the molasses and sugar and the spiciness from the chipotle peppers.

I’ve been using this sauce on everything!  Lil’ Smokies, BBQ chicken, fries, burgers, everything!  Good thing my rhubarb plant is still huge, because I’m going to be making it all summer long!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Best, Crispiest Skillet Potatoes

When I was growing up, my mom pan friend potatoes almost every time we ate steak…which was mostly for birthdays and special occasions…so not all that often.

Anyhow, the potatoes were so addicting and delicious!  When I first got married and started cooking, I asked my mom for the secret to those delicious potatoes.  Know what it was?  Fry them in bacon drippings and butter.  Yep, that’ll do it!

Needless to say, these are not an every day side dish.  I sometimes make them a bit healthier by replacing the fats with a drizzle of olive oil, but bacon grease and butter is what really makes these sing.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Jack & Coke Steaks


Last weekend was Father’s Day.

In our house, no Father’s day is complete without steaks or a trip to the hardware store.

My boys gave my husband this gift, bottled Coke, old fashioned Cream Sodas, & some Corona, plus some beef sticks, and (of course) steaks.

Then off to the hardware store!

Is it terrible to admit that we were going to the hardware store so he could buy wood to make me another flower planter? 

As we were wandering around the garden section (it was a beautifully sunny day, after all), we happened upon some huge barrels.

Jack Daniel’s barrels, on sale for cheap, to use as planters.

Boom.  Sold.

So we hauled the barrels to the car (which now smells strongly of Jack Daniel’s) and found them a home in my garden.  Now my tomatoes and bells peppers are living in them.  And if you walk closely, you can stiff get a whiff of Jack.  Huh, I wonder if that’s going to affect the plants at all?  Jack Daniel’s tomatoes?  It could totally be a thing.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Cherry Chip Cake Truffles

Sometimes the best recipe ideas come from unexpected places.

In this case, the idea came from my friend Dan who admittedly does not even own a pot in which to boil pasta.

And yet it was Dan who was looking through my old blog recipes and came upon Birthday Cake Truffles and asked if I could help him make some but with Cherry Chip Cake instead of Funfetti.

Hello!  Why didn’t I think of that??

Cherry Chip Cake mix is perfect for nice, summery truffles!  These will definitely be the hit of the next BBQ!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Orange Rosemary Muffins

Usually when I make muffins, I have my kids in mind, so I stuff them full of bananas and chocolate.   And let’s be honest – chocolate banana muffins are pretty great!

But sometimes, I want a more sophisticated, grown up muffin.

I love, love, loved these muffins!  They are only lightly sweet with beautiful citrus notes from the orange and a surprising savory tone from the olive oil and rosemary!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread

My family loves sandwiches.  So when I noticed that we were rapidly becoming a 2-loaf of {expensive!} whole wheat bread per week family, I decided that something needed to change.

So I tweaked my grandma’s bread recipe a bit to come up with a light, soft, whole wheat sandwich bread the whole family could enjoy!

One of the most important things about homemade sandwich bread is getting it cut to the right size.  

I recommend slicing both loaves right away (well, once they’re cooled, that is) with an electric knife for evenness.  Then store the bread in zipper bags and fresh sandwich bread is always convenient!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Cinnamon Sugar Pie Crust Cookies: SRC


This month has absolutely flown by!

It didn’t feel like a terribly busy month, other than baking lots and lots of cakes, but this Secret Recipe Club (SRC) date very nearly caught me by surprise!

This month, my SRC partner was Chaya from Bizzy Bakes.

Chaya has a lot of delicious looking recipes posted on her blog, and if I had had ricotta cheese in my refrigerator, I most definitely would have whipped up her Ricotta Pizza with Broccoli (it’s totally on next week’s menu, by the way).

As it was, I happened to have an over-abundance of rhubarb in my garden and was planning to make a Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie as I was perusing Bizzy Bakes, and found a recipe for Pie Crust Cookies.  I was overcome with a feeling of nostalgia as I remembered the pie crust rolls my mom used to make with pie scraps when I was growing up!

With a pie already in the works, I couldn’t not make Pie Crust Cookies!  In my recipe, I used the scraps from my favorite crust recipe, but you could whip up any crust or even use a frozen one (thawed) for a whole batch of delicious, easy cookies!

I cut several cookies out with my Mickey cookie cutter (my little guys were thrilled) and I couldn’t resist rolling a few, just like mom used to!

Thank you, Chaya, for reminding me of a fun childhood recipe!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Whipped Strawberry Cokes

The other night after dinner, I was doing dishes and the following happened:

Me: Boys, go upstairs and clean up the Legos you threw everywhere.

Boys: Laughter, merriment, sounds like Legos are indeed being picked up.

A short time later…

5 Year Old: Mama!  I need to go to the bathroom to for a tissue

Me: Um, okay, thanks for the news flash.

2 Year Old: I need tissue, too!

Several minutes later, I realize they are still in the bathroom doing goodness knows what…

Me: Guys!  Get outta the bathroom and clean up those Legos before bath!

2 year old runs out.

5 Year Old: I’m still wiping!

Enter husband from the garage.

Me: Would you please get the boys to pick up so I can finish the dishes?  They’re probably unrolling all of the toilet paper or something.

Husband goes upstairs.  Seconds later I hear…

Husband: What?  Do you or don’t you?

2 Year Old: No. Yes. No.

5 Year Old: I have a Lego up *my* nose!

Me: WHAT?!?

Sunday, June 2, 2013

“Sittin’ by the Campfire” S’mores Cookies

I shared these cookies last year as a guest post, but they are so, so good, and one of my favorite recipes, so I thought it could use another look-see!

These lovelies are a brownies mix base with graham crackers and more chocolate stuffed inside.  Then a marshmallow is toasted on top while they finish baking and topped off with a Kiss!  Did I mention that the chocolate is my favorite part of a s’more?



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