Google Amy's Cooking Adventures: September 2014

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Caramelized Onion, Spinach, & Bacon Pizza

You guys.

Hubs is out of town for a week and a half.

It’s looooong.

Not only do I miss him, but Dude and Spud take the opportunity to complain about absolutely everything I make for dinner.

It’s draining.

I had some odds and ends left over from dinner before he left, so I decided to have a make your own pizza night and make everyone happy (lies…Dude still complained that I don’t have the right cheese.  Seriously.  Apparently I don’t have pizzeria cheese magic.)

So Dude had his unsatisfactory pepperoni pizza (and eventually picked off all the cheese and ate the crust), and Spud chose cheese with no sauce (he ate his, at least), and I got to have a completely amazing artisan pizza!

Fresh mozzarella, caramelized onions, garlic sautéed spinach and BACON!  YUM!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Ultimate Steak Salads

I love salads.

I have salad almost every day for lunch.

I also often order salads at restaurants.  That’s where the inspiration for this salad came from.

Way back in March, I tagged along with Hubs on a work trip.  It was still cold and blowy in the upper Midwest and we got to travel to sunny Florida with all sorts of beautiful fresh ingredients that weren’t yet available at home.  I fell in love!  And I made it my goal to replicate the salad as soon as summer vegetables and grilling weather hit our area.

Well, now it’s fall and I’ve finally perfected the recipe.  It took just the right chickpea salad and just the right marinated mushrooms to make this salad sing! 

Now it’s a favorite for the whole family – even the little boys will eat this salad for dinner!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Buckle Up, It's a Cross Country Culinary Tour

My good friend, Wendy, from A Day in the Life on the Farm, featured me last weekend in her Cross Country Culinary tour.  Now the initial premise is something like a chain letter, each blogger features 3 other bloggers who in turn feature 3 bloggers…you get the point.

However, by this point, most of the people in my blogging circles have either already been featured or are already booked on such short notice L

So I’m going to answer the questions and encourage you to go on your own cross country tour! I’m going to list some blogs that inspire me after the questions.  Have a look at some of them and don’t forget to tell me your favorites in the comments!

1. What am I currently working on at Amy’s Cooking Adventures? I’m trying to catch up on a whole bunch of backlog!!  I cooked all summer, but I was too busy playing outside with the boys to blog about it!  So, I’m attempting to get back to posting at least twice a week and sharing all those fabulous recipes with you!

2. How does my work differ from other “foodie” blogs?  I think Amy’s Cooking Adventures differs from other foodie blogs because it’s all about balance.  I have a quest for healthy eating and feeding my family healthful foods, but we still enjoy our desserts and bacon!  I also chronicle our experience with stillbirth with Angel Wings Wednesdays.

3. Why do I write what I do? In the beginning, the blog started out as a way to share my recipes with people I know in real life.  It has expanded more than I could ever imagine and that’s still the primary goal.  Additionally, I love that blogging challenges me.  I get to write and I get to try new recipes and techniques and expand my family’s palates.  I love it!

4. How does my writing process work? It’s all about giving my honest opinion.  I never post anything that I don’t absolutely love.  As far as motivation, it comes mostly from other bloggers, but also magazines, or just my own inspiration.  After I’ve made a recipe, I try to write down the ingredients and directions as soon as possible.  Then, in the evenings when Hubs and I are watching TV, I edit photos (I use PicMonkey) and write up my posts.  Since I’m usually distracted while writing, I come back the next day to proof read (I still miss stuff – proofing on a computer screen has never been one of my talents), tweak the post and publish!

Blogs that inspire me:

Who did I miss?  Tell me in the comments!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

2-Ingredient Chocolate Pumpkin Cake {Food 'n Flix}

It’s time for this month’s Food ‘n Flix recipe!

This month’s movie was Funny Girl, hosted by Caroline Makes.

Funny Girl is a 1968 musical starring Barbara Streisand who portrays comedienne Fanny Brice.

I almost made onion rolls and bagels for this challenge, because Fanny at one point exclaims, “I’m like a bagel on a plateful of onion rolls!”

But then I thought about another one of my favorite parts.  Fanny has just gotten a part in a musical and it’s the final wedding scene, but she’s uncomfortable singing about her beauty (she thinks people will laugh), so she stuffs a pillow under her dress and makes light of the whole thing!  Here’s the youtube clip:

Just before this part, other brides come forth with these lyrics:

The winter bride is typified 
By Christmas, frost and fairies 
An though the weather is changeable 
Her virtue never varies 
The springtime bride is story eyed, as poets often say 
No other bride would dare to dream the dreams that April, May, 
The summer bride is glorified by Merlin's magic touch 
A lucky man receives the love of June, July and such 
The autumn bride is prude and wise at sweet sixteen or twenty 
And as a wife in future life she'll hold the horn of plenty 

And so, I was inspired by the “Bride Finale” and the autumn bride.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Traditional Tuscan Tomato Porridge {Pappa al Pomodoro} (Cook the Books Club)

This is a month for joining new clubs!  This time around, it’s the Cook the Books Club.  Participants read a novel and then create a recipe inspired by the novel.  For as much as I love books, joining this club was a no-brainer for me!

The August/September selection for the book club was A Thousand Days in Venice: An Unexpected Romance by Marlena diBlasi.

A disclaimer before I begin: I read the synopsis of the book several weeks before I borrowed it digitally from my friend, Wendy, and forgot that it was a memoir, so I think that affected my opinion of the book.  To read my full review, check out Goodreads (and be my friend!  I’m always up for new recommendations!)

If you don’t feel like stopping by Goodreads, here’s the gist of it:  I loved the imagery of the story.  The descriptions of the places and the foods makes me desperately want to visit Venice and experience it for all it is.  Despite that, I had trouble connecting with Marlena.  I’m not sure if it was because I spend most of the book thinking it was a novel (versus a memoir) or just because I’m at a very different stage of life than she is (she’s older and divorced with grown children, I’m younger, married, and my kids are young.)

Lucky for me, I was very inspired by Venice and all the drool-worthy food descriptions.  Plus Marlena de Blasi is also a chef, so she included recipes for several of the dishes she described in the book!

Since the weather is just starting to turn cool, I decided to make de Blasi’s Traditional Tuscan Tomato Porridge, or Pappa al Pomodoro.

The tomato porridge is a robust version of our American tomato soups and I thought it was amazing.  I wanted my porridge even thicker, so I served it up in whole wheat bread bowls and let the porridge soak right into the bowl.  It was amazing!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Tuscan Chicken Meatballs, Artichoke, and Spinach Skillet: SRC

Hey, hey Secret Recipe Club Fans!

This month I got to whip up something amazing from Diana’s blog, A Spoonful of Luxe.  What a fabulous blog name!  I just love it!  And once you click over there, be prepared to stay for a while, drooling over the delicious recipes and beautiful photos!

Diana has been cooking since childhood, eventually moving into the Bed and Breakfast industry and then into Marketing.

I had such a difficult time choosing a recipe to feature today, because they were all so amazing (I have soooo many bookmarked, watch for some more in the future!)  In the end, I made the Tuscan Chicken Meatballs (though I used turkey, because the ground chicken at the grocery store looked positively vile the day I was shopping), because the boys are huge meatball fans and I always love a recipe the whole family can enjoy!  I loved that the recipe was tasty, light, and quick – perfect for a school night!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Parmesan Noodles

Dude and Spud can be rather picky eaters.  So when it comes to all the new recipes, they aren’t always on board (though really, they’ll still in that phase where they love a meal one day and despise it the next time I make it.  So nothing is ever really a safe bet.)

I still cook whatever I think Hubs and I will like, because I like exposing the boys to new foods and sometimes they shock me and love something completely off the wall!

But when I am experimenting in the kitchen, I like to have something on the table that I know the boys will eat.  And that’s where parmesan noodles come in.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Angel Wings Wednesday #16

Today’s Angel Wings is very similar to last week’s, but it’s a situation that I’m suddenly running into a lot.  And I feel like I need to get my thoughts out there, not only for myself, but for others who have had a loss too, because I think this problem is fairly universal.

To sum up the last post: If you know someone who has had a loss, keep the door to friendship open, they’ll walk through when they can.  Meaning, if you have a baby (or are pregnant) and you know someone who has had a loss, you don’t have to stop being their friend.  Ask them out for a girl’s night (or a playdate if she has other children).  If she’s not ready to go out, she’ll graciously decline, but will know that you’re there, ready to be a friend when she’s ready.

Today’s post deals with the second part of the last one, a part I only touched on.  I’ve graciously declined to get together (because I’m not ready to see a newborn or pregnant lady), but the other person becomes very offended that I have done so. 

Monday, September 1, 2014

Chicken Caprese Quesadillas

School is just around the corner.  Tomorrow, in fact.  Where did the time go!  I love spending time with my boys and I'm jut not ready for them to go to school!

The garden is finally yielding some veggies!

I know, beginning of September and only just starting to yield.  I blame the cold, rainy June, but who knows, I don’t have the greenest thumb!

Since I had only 2 tomatoes (*single tear* no homemade salsa this year unless I pony up at farmer’s market!), I decided to take a play on quesadillas with one of my favorite summertime combos: tomatoes, basil, & mozzarella or caprese!

I added chicken this time around since yesterday Dude requested “chicken with a wish bone” for dinner (Ha! In case you’re wondering, that’s Citrus Roast Chicken). Any cooked chicken will do, baked chicken, grocery store rotisserie, or even poached chicken!



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