Google Amy's Cooking Adventures: January 2015

Friday, January 30, 2015

Hearty Garden Chili

Chili is one of my favorite cold day meals.  The heat from the soup, combined with the heat from the spices is just so comforting!

This time, I wanted to switch things up by adding a ton of garden fresh veggies to the mix (actually most of these were frozen after my summer harvest…just for this purpose!)

The end result is nice and spicy, super comforting, and packed full of veggies!  Perfect for snow days…or rainy days…or just anytime!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Italian Pork Meatballs with Broccoli over Pasta

Today I’m popping in just quickly to share another one of those go-to all time favorite recipes in our house.

This recipe is actually a cross between plain buttered noodles and Naked Ravioli (a post from my blogging past), made with all of my family’s favorite flavors: parmesan, broccoli, and basil, being the favorite flavors front runners.

This recipe gets requested a lot, which is great for me because both kids eat it without complaint, it comes together pretty quickly, AND it’s a one pot and one serving dish meal!  All of the win!

Italian Pork Meatballs with Broccoli over Pasta

1 lb ground pork
¼ cup dry bread crumbs
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided
1 egg
1 tbsp Italian Herbs Paste (or dried), divided
½ tbsp Parsley Paste (or dried)
½ tsp garlic paste (or 1 clove, minced)
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 large crown broccoli, cut into florets
1 lb dry pasta
2 tbsp butter

Place a large pot of water on the stovetop.  Bring to a boil and add 1 tablespoon salt.

Meanwhile, place the pork, bread crumbs, ¼ cup parmesan, egg, ½ tablespoon Italian herbs, parsley, garlic, and black pepper into a bowl.  Use you hands to combine the ingredients.

Lightly roll the meat mixture into small (about 1 inch diameter) balls and drop into the boiling water.  Cook for 5 minutes.

Use a slotted spoon to remove the meatballs from the water.  Place in a large serving bowl and cover.

Add the pasta to the reserved water from the meatballs and cook as directed.  During the last 3 minutes of cooking, add the broccoli florets and continue cooking.

Drain the pasta and broccoli mixture and place the serving bowl with the meatballs.  Stir in the butter, remaining Italian herbs, and remaining parmesan until well coated. 

Serves 6-8

Friday, January 23, 2015

Cherry Bomb Truffles

Who wouldn’t like a truffle with a little surprise inside?

These truffles are the ever popular and super delicious Oreo Truffles (or the Spiked version if you’re feeling especially boozy) with a bourbon cherry hiding inside.

Seriously, what’s not to love?

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Hot Cocoa Cookies

Dude is guest blogging again today with Kids in the Kitchen!

Yesterday, he turned 7 years old (stay tuned next week for his awesome birthday party on Amy’s Confectionery Adventures!)

He originally planned to take Double Chocolate M&M Cookies to school as a birthday treat.  But then, a few weeks ago he spied the recipe for Hot Cocoa Cookies on the back of a container of Mini Mallow Bits and immediately changed his plan to those.

He was so proud to take his cookies and share them with his teachers and classmates!  Happy 7th Birthday, Dude!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Chicken BLT #SRC

Today I’m helping out with a Secret Recipe Club SOS.

One of the Group C members was unable to participate this month, so I jumped in to help (especially since Group B is having a month off for the holidays – I miss my SRC!)

I was assigned Sashi’s blog, Get Off the Couch and Cook!  Sashi’s blog focuses on delicious homemade meals, with no processed foods, that can be made in the time that it would take to order a pizza (45 minutes or less)!  What a great philosophy!

There is so much delicious inspiration on Sashi’s blog, I had a difficult time choosing (I’m sure I’ll be back again soon making some more of her fabulous recipes!)

Friday, January 16, 2015

M&M Chocolate Chip Heart Cookies

So remember the Best Cookies Ever?   These cookies are a sweet Valentine version of those (minus the Reese of course).

These came about because Dude wanted heart shaped M&M cookies to give to his classmates for Valentines.

To make them, I added a bit more flour to the recipe (to reduce spreading) and made this super cute heart shape! 

Aren’t they sweet?

They’re the perfect Valentine for school (or for your own Valentine!)

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Two that Run, One that Flies (Angel Wings Wednesday)

Right around Sarah Catherine’s birthday last month, a good friend sent me this poem.


It so perfectly captures the thoughts that go through my head when someone inevitably asks me how many children I have.  And it’s the prefect answer to the question.

I remember writing about this very topic last year around this time.  I was still in the height of my grief and I had no idea how to answer.  I would feel terrible not honoring Sarah Catherine by including her in our children, but I’d stumble over the question and awkward silence would follow.

It’s taken a lot of time and a lot of courage, but I am finally able to speak up and “count” Sarah.  In fact, just before I saw the poem above, I was with a group and someone said to me, “you have only have 2 children.”  It halted me in my tracks and I finally spoke up. 

“No, I have three.”

“We lost Sarah Catherine, but she still counts.  I have three.”

There was a slight awkward pause, the person admitted to forgetting about our loss (ouch, but understandable) and then the conversation moved on.  Thankfully with none of the pitying looks that I wrote about last time.

I stood up for myself.  I stood up for Sarah Catherine.  It wasn’t a huge thing.  It was 2 sentences, but it made a huge impact, at least for me.

It showed me that I can include Sarah Catherine when I tell people about my children.  And as long as I handle the situation with confidence, others can feel sad with me, instead of pity for me.

It’s a huge step in the right direction.

So, how many children do I have?

I have three.

I have two that run and one that flies.

Dude is 6, Spud is 4, and Sarah Catherine would be 1.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Homemade Whole Wheat Slider Buns

Sliders are the perfect game day food!  There are meatball sliders, little sandwiches, or the baked ham slider version.  No matter what, they’re delicious!

In the past, I’ve adapted slider recipes to full sized sandwiches, because I didn’t want to buy the buns.

This time, I decided to make my own slider buns!  They’re delicious and no more difficult than making regular dinner rolls…and they make a ton!

Whole wheat slider buns are also delicious alongside soup!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Slow Cooker Rosemary Pork Roast

When things get crazy with school and sports and other evening commitments, I rely on the slow cooker!

Really, I should use it more often, but I forget.

Actually, I usually forget to thaw the meat I have squirreled away in the freezer.

The roast was so succulent and flavorful we (little dudes included) could hardly stop eating!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Ham & Pickle Rollups {Food 'n Flix}

Evelyne from Cheap Ethinc Eatz hosted this month’s Food ‘n Flix movie (the club in which participants watch a movie as inspiration and then cook up something delicious) which was Bridget Jones's Diary (Collector's Edition).

Can you believe I’ve never seen this one in its entirety?  I’ve seen bits and pieces in the past, but this is the first time I’ve seen the whole thing!

If you’re not familiar, the movie follows the antics of Bridget Jones, a 30-something British lady who is looking for love.  She makes quite a few questionable choices, but eventually everything ends up right in her world.

During the movie, we find out that Bridget Jones is a horrible cook.  She menu includes blue leek soup (a misadventure with colored string), congealed gravy, and overly sweet pudding.  Not very inspiring.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Best SRC Recipes of All Time!

Okay, I have one last roundup for you this year! 

This one is mostly due to the fact that I misread an email and came up with my Top 10 Secret Recipe Club Recipes (instead of my #1 favorite). 

Once the error was cleared up, I couldn’t just let this post go, so here it is!  My top 10 SRC Recipes, with the #1 best over at the SRC blog (so don’t miss that!)

 I love SRC so much!  It is such a great way to meet other bloggers and to challenge myself each month.  Looking back, I’ve participated in a whopping 44 SRC reveals ! Wow!

While I love every single recipe I’ve posted, I’ve narrowed it down to my top 10 all time favorite SRC Recipes:

5.     Mississippi Mudslide

Here’s looking forward to another amazing year of SRC!

Don’t miss the BEST recipe of all at the Secret Recipe Club website today!

Don’t miss my other 2014 round ups!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Crunchy Onion Chicken Fingers {Cook the Books Club}

This month’s Cook the Books Club selection was Sustenance and Desire, something very different from the previous books: it was an anthology of short stories and poems!  All about food, of course!

As is true to most works like this, I loved some, I loathed some, some excited me, and some made me want to stab my eyes out with a pickle fork. 

So well done to the editor, I would say. (My GoodReads review is basically what you read above, but check it out here if you wish).

There was no shortage of cooking inspiration.  The ones that drew me were mostly sweets: chocolate chip cookies, gelato, and pie…with artichokes and French fries thrown in the mix.

Ultimately the fries won out.

I’ve made fries over and over again on this blog, so I thought I’d round them up and then share a yummy recipe to go with the fries!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

New Years Resolutions 2015

The New Year.


It’s almost unbelievable.

And yet such a great time for peaceful reflection.

Each year I approach the New Year differently.  It depends what life has dealt me.

Last year, with 2014 dawning mere weeks after the tragic loss of Sarah Catherine, I did not have the time or energy for reflection.  2014 was survival mode.  2014 was healing.  2014 was taking care of me. 2014 was getting back to what’s important.

With the “me” focus, I fear that 2014 was also impatience and irritability and unkindness as well.

But now it’s 2015.

A lot of healing happened in 2014, but there’s still some work to be done.

2015 will be about loving and patience.  But also still standing up for myself.  The “me” focus of 2014 taught me that.  I don’t have to be a people pleaser all the time.  It will upset people, but it’s okay for me to stand up for myself.

I’m not usually one to set resolutions, but I’m feeling inspired this year.  Perhaps because most of them are just maintain what’s already in place, but it works for me.

2015 Resolutions

Stand up for myself
Be kinder and more understanding
Keep up on housework
Volunteer at the school
Play with my children

Continue Zumba 3x per week
Run at least 1 mile per week
Be active on non-gym days


Post at least twice a week
Make/post at least 1 crockpot meal per month

Well, that’s all I can think of for now – let’s make 2015 great!



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