Google Amy's Cooking Adventures: January 2016

Sunday, January 31, 2016

January Reads

It’s the end of January already!  I didn’t think I’d have much time for reading this month, but with vacations, combined with a few sick days and a couple shorter books, I sure got through a lot!

What are you reading now?

Food: A Love Story | My Review | ★★★★★  (Foodies Read)

Onyx (Lux #2)| My Review | ★★★★

A Dark Lure | My Review | ★★★★   (Kindle First)

Charade | My Review | ★★★  

Tequila Mockingbird | My Review | ★★★★★  (Foodies Read)

Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban | My Review | ★★★★★     (Read to my Children)

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Food 'n Flix Recipe Round Up

It’s the end of January and now time to round up all of the delicious Food ‘n Flix recipes inspired by the movie Failure to Launch!

Failure to Launch is a Romantic Comedy.  The premise is that Tripp is in his 30’s and still lives at home with his parents…with no plans to leave.  His parents hire Paula, a professional interventionist to simulate a relationship with Tripp to encourage him to move out.  There is a stellar cast, including Sarah Jessica Parker (Paula), Matthew McConhaughey (Tripp), Bradley Cooper (Tripp friend), and the absolute show stealer: Zooey Deschanel (Paula’s roommate).

Now for the delicious recipes, here in the order in which they posted.

Kimberly from Coffee and Casseroles made a delicious Lentil Taco Salad.  Kimberly was inspired early in the film when a piggish (and creepy, in her opinion) Matthew McConhaughey character rolls out of bed and crushes bunch of tortilla chips with his feet.  She made a delicious meal despite an…unappetizing inspiration!

I made my Japanese Pan Noodles with Steak after being inspired by Tripp & Paula’s date to a sushi restaurant.  I don’t eat seafood, but I did spy some noodles in the background and set out to recreate one of my favorites, carnivore-style!

Elizabeth from The Lawyer’s Cookbook made Candy Sushi, also inspired by the sushi date.  While Elizabeth loves sushi, she’s not about to risk purchasing raw fish, so she took a fun and sweet twist to make sushi out of candy!

Heather from All Roads Lead to the Kitchen was inspired by the Champagne Thursday scene (my favorite in the movie!)  She was so creative, making an amazing Champagne Jelly!  Now that’s taking PB&J up a notch!

Camilla from Culinary Adventures with Camilla was also inspired by champagne Monday…er…Thursday and made an amazing Poached Salmon with Caper-Cream Sauce!  Did I mention the cream sauce has champagne in it? 

Evelyne from CulturEatz made her delicious Raspberry Coconut Protein Bars.  She was inspired by the scene when the guys were bicycling and try to feed a chipmunk a protein bar.  Plus these are a beautiful blush pink from the raspberries, so they get the girly treatment too!

Deb from Kahakai Kitchen made was inspired by tacos seen in the movie, the abundance of seafood and a Wikipedia snafu (you have to click over & see what happened!)  She made some amazing Cajun Shrimp Lettuce Wrap Tacos with Remoulade.

Wendy from A Day in the Life on the Farm made Guava Smashers, the only food actually named in the film (other than a ball park hot dog).  Wendy notes that a Guava Smasher is actually a Whiskey Smash with guava juice!  Check out Wendy’s creative way of juicing the guava!

Tanks for participating, ladies!  And if you want to join in next month, we will be watching The Lunchbox hosted by Camilla from Culinary Adventures with Camilla

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Chocolate Fake-tini #FoodiesRead

I have a great Valentine’s Treat for the kids today!

This recipe came from a super fun book, Tequila Mockingbird (Goodreads review here).  Right away, the punny title appealed to the bibliophile in me.  Plus I do love a cocktail!

The whole book is hilarious and offers recipes (mostly alcoholic) that all connect in some way with a popular (mostly classic) novels.  Though many of the drinks sounded delicious, I reeeaally wanted to make something based off a book I’d already read.  So I added a TON more books to my to-read list and chose the Chocolate Fake-tini, based on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory!

I read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory out loud to my kids last year and they absolutely loved it.  Spud almost cried when Charlie didn’t find the golden ticket the first time and both boys danced around, cheering when he did find the ticket!

My boys love to drink out of fancy glasses (in fact, for part of their birthday celebrations, they get to drink their milk or juice out of a wine glass all day), so they loved being able to have their chocolate milk out of a martini glass!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Garlic-Herb Tomato Sauce with Italian Meatballs #SecretRecipeClub

I was missing Secret Recipe Club so much in my January month off, that I decided to jump in and help out with Group D!

It was my pleasure to cook from Chelsy’s blog, Mangia.  Chelsy is a certified personal trainer from a close knit Italian family.  She says she learned to roll a meatball before she learned to ride a bike!  Chelsy also specializes in gluten-free versions of her family’s favorite baked items!

I thought about making one of Chelsy’s amazing soups with this reveal – Creamy Broccoli Cauliflower Soup and Roasted Carrot Soup with Bacon Grilled Cheese Croutons (bacon grilled cheese croutons!!!!!!) were both calling me name.  But then I came across homemade tomato sauce and Italian meatballs and I was sold.  I mean, homemade sauce from an Italian?  Sign me up!

Italian Chicken & Pasta Casserole

Dude, my 8 year old chef in training, dreams of someday being on Chopped Kids.  So he asked me to set up a practice for him today.  That way, when he’s old enough, he’ll be all ready to compete!

We set him up with a basket of mystery ingredients and even taped him revealing his ingredients and cooking.  It was adorable!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Pot Roast

This delicious roast was actually one of Dude’s recipes.  But then he didn’t feel like blogging, so it sat on the shelf for a while.

But the roast is way too flavorful and delicious not to share!

Here’s how it started:  Dude wanted to cook dinner and blog and picked spaghetti and meatballs for the 8 millionth time.  I told him I was all out of new spaghetti recipes (though there’s totally one coming up on Monday – Ack!  It was true at the time!) and he had to choose something else.

So he chose pot roast – with only 3 hours until dinner time.  So the crockpot was out and it was a mad rush to find a roast recipe that would be ready in 3 hours!

Monday, January 18, 2016

Confetti Chocolate Chip Cookies


It is cold outside!  We’ve been plunged into sub-zero temperatures here for over a week!

It’s so easy to get down when the weather is so cold.

So I thought we’d brighten things up with some yummy, colorful confetti cookies!  Because sprinkles make everything better.  They even make frigid weather tolerable!

Plus, as an added bonus, I originally made these cookies and took the photos in the summer.  Look at the lush green grass!

Oh, spring, please come quickly!

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Creamy Chicken Taquitos {Recipe Update}

Creamy Chicken Taquitos.  I love them!  I originally posted the recipe in my first year of blogging, nearly 5 years ago!  I still make them all the time but my methods have changed a bit.

I now triple the recipe.  Yep, I cook up an entire bag of frozen chicken and move on from there.

I also use my stand mixer to make an easy recipe even easier!

The stand mixer shreds the warm chicken so quickly!  Plus it mixes the rest of the ingredients wonderfully!

Once they’re all made, I cook however many we plan to eat (usually 3 for Hubs, 2 for me, & 1 each for the kiddos), and freeze the rest. 

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Bananas Foster French Toast #FoodiesRead

I’m back with another installment of Foodies Read.  This challenge is all about reading food-centric books (fiction, non-fiction or cookbooks) and reviewing them.  I also like to make something inspired by the book.

My goal is to read 1 foodie book per month.  But then, I picked one off of my “to-read” list that I had completely forgotten was a foodie book!  So here I am with my second foodie book for January.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Crockpot Pork Roast with Apples & Onions

I love those simple and easy crock pot meals!  This recipe marries a succulent pork roast with the sweetness of apples plus onions two ways (caramelized and not)

I mean, slow cooked pork roasts are always amazing, but this one is a cut above the rest!

Friday, January 8, 2016

Japanese Pan Noodles with Steak #FoodnFlix

It’s time for this month’s Food ‘n Flix recipe!  In Food ‘nFlix, anyone can watch the selected movie, whip up something yummy inspired by the film and submit the post!

I love this movie!  It’s a light hearted romantic comedy that has me laughing throughout.  Though Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew McConhaughey do a great job as the lead characters, it’s really the side characters (like Zooey Deschanel) that make the movie.  It’s hysterical.  If you haven’t seen the movie, you really should!

Though it’s a romantic comedy, there is tons of food inspiration throughout!  Someone is nearly always eating or drinking something during the movie. 

Now, a lot of the food inspiration is fish or seafood and if you’ve been around here long, you know that I don’t eat water dwellers.  So much of the inspiration got the ax straight away.  Luckily, there is plenty of other non-fishy food in the film.

I was especially inspired by a scene near the beginning of the movie where the characters are having dinner in a Japanese restaurant.  Though they’re eating squid (blerg), I happened to spot a bowl of noodles in the background.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

BBQ Pulled Pork (No Added Sugar Homemade BBQ Sauce) #FoodiesRead

It’s time for my first Foodies Read book!  Foodies Read (hosted by Heather at Based on a True Story) is all about the food centric books, reviewing them, and sharing.  Being me, I decided to add an extra challenge and cook something inspired by each book, too.  My goal is to read at least 12 foodie books this year!

My first book is Food:A Love Story by Jim Gaffigan.  This book was a reread for me (you can see my review on GoodReads here), but it is hysterically funny and I was in the mood for some laughs.

In a sentence: Gaffigan loves food!  The book goes through his favorite foods, his guilty pleasures, and his not so favorite foods (we are like minded as far as seafood – or “seabugs” according to Gaffigan – goes), with amusing anecdotes along the way.

The book begins almost like a case study for overweight Americans, but then quickly eases into the comedy!  Don’t read this book on an empty stomach!

Now for the inspiration!  There were so many foods I wanted to make!  But the calorie count on many of the recipes (like poutine) was just too high!  So I went for BBQ.  Depending on where you live, BBQ might be something you eat, something you do, or a sauce.  Where I live, BBQ is a sauce.

I’ve always wanted to make a good BBQ pulled pork, but I get weirdly hung up on adding an entire bottle of BBQ sauce to a recipe.  I don’t actively avoid high fructose corn syrup (a common ingredient in commercial BBQ sauce) or added sugars, but using an entire bottle of the stuff in one meal freaks me out (yet I’m ok with Coca Cola Pulled Pork or Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork – I know, it makes no sense.  I faced a similar conundrum with the canned chili vs. Velveeta debacle).

Anyhow, I came across a no sugar added BBQ sauce that sounded like a winner!  It’s paleo friendly, if you’re into that kind of thing (I’m not), and uses pineapple as the sweetener.  It adds nice tang for the BBQ! 

Monday, January 4, 2016

Chicken with Lemon-Thyme Egg Noodles

The other day, the kids saw a lemon on the counter and asked for lemon chicken and noodles.  But Hubs wasn’t home and I couldn’t get the grill lit, I couldn’t make lemon-herb chicken.

So instead, I made a stovetop version with a delicious butter and white wine sauce.  The end result was flavorful and amazing with tons of bright flavors to complement the chicken.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

December Reads

Happy New Year!

What a great year it’s been for reading.  In December, I checked off my bucket list of reading the 100 Children’s Books to Read in a Lifetime! My goal was to read any that I hadn’t already read (about 60 books), all in 2015!  Mission accomplished!

Here’s a peek at what I read in December!  I can’t wait to start 2016 in books!

Tuck Everlasting | My Review | ★★★★

Heidi | My Review | (no rating because I accidentally got the abridged version. Plan to read the full story & rate it later)

Shadows of Self (Mistborn #5) | My Review | ★★★★★

Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets | My Review | ★★★★★     (Read to my Children)

Wind in the Willows | My Review | (No Rating, Did not Finish)

Here & There | My Review | ★★★★

The Good Neighbor | My Review | ★★★★

A Death in Sweden | My Review | ★★★★

Obsidian (Lux #1) | My Review | ★★★★



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