Google Amy's Cooking Adventures: February 2016

Monday, February 29, 2016

February 2016 Reads

This month’s book were all over the board!  I loved some, hated (even loathed) others!  There was sci-fi, a whole lot of YA, some classics, and a bunch of cookbooks!  In other words, it was a great month!  Happy Leap Day!

Author: William Golding
Rating: ★★★

Title: Opal (Lux #3) 

Author: Jennifer Armentrout
Rating: ★★★★

Author: Marissa Meyer
Rating: ★★★★★

Author: Jacquelyn Dodd
Rating: ★★★★★   
Foodies Read

Author: Aliza Green
Rating: ★★★★★  
Foodies Read

Author: Jules Bass
Rating: ★★
Read this with my son & for Foodies Read

Author: Joanne Fluke
Rating: ★★   
Foodies Read

Title: Ghost Gifts
Author: Laura Spinella
Rating: ★★★★★  
Kindle First

Author: America’s Test Kitchen
Rating: ★★★★★
Foodies Read

Title: Hoot
Author: Carl Hiaasen
Rating: ★★★

Title: Fairest
Author: Marissa Meyer
Rating: ★★★★★

Author: Christina Dodd
Rating: ★   
Did not finish

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Apple Cider Glazed Ham #SecretRecipeClub

It’s a Secret Recipe Club bonus reveal today!  Since there’s an extra Monday this month, SRC is back with a themed reveal:  Leprechauns & Bunnies!

For this special reveal, I was assigned Sarah’s Blog, Well Dined.  Sarah started off blogging restaurant reviews, but soon shifted her focus to home cooking.  She typically posts seasonal and (reasonably) healthy recipes.

I was immediately drawn toward the Easter recipes.  I’ve had a hankering for home baked ham lately, and Sarah’s blog did not disappoint.

First I can across her Dr. Pepper Glazed Ham with Prunes.  I very nearly made it, but I don’t really drink Dr. Pepper anymore (I got a food aversion to Dr. Pepper while I was pregnant with Sarah Catherine and it never went away!) and I really wasn’t sure how the fam would react to prunes.

Lucky for me, I kept poking around and found two more ham recipes!!  Yay!!

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Guinness Burgers

I was recently at one of my favorite local restaurants when my eyes happened upon a Guinness Burger on the menu.  Now, I generally don’t order burgers at restaurants because they have a tendency to undercook them and I really can’t handle undercooked ground beef.  But I did decide to pull inspiration from the restaurant and made my own version at home!

Marinating the meat beforehand really gave the Guinness a chance to blend with the meat lending an amazing depth of flavor.  Plus, you can’t go wrong with cheese, Guinness caramelized onions, and sriracha mayo to top!

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Review of a Terrible Book & an Even Worse Cup of Coffee

The Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder by Joanne Fluke has been on my “to-read” list for quite some time.  Since I’m joining in 2016 Foodies Read, I decided to finally check it off the list.

I was not impressed.

The story takes place in a small town in Minnesota at some undisclosed time period.  Based on the descriptions, it sometimes felt like the 1950’s, but likely took place in more modern times (there are computers, but no mention of cell phones.)  I have serious doubts as to whether the author actually grew up in Minnesota (as she claims) or not, because there are so many inaccuracies.  It is so exaggerated that it’s more like someone read a book and watched a documentary about Minnesota and then randomly chose that as the setting for a novel. 

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Cinnamon Butter, Sweet Yeast Rolls, & Marinated Steak Bites

I love how children are always watching and always learning.  Spud, my 5 year old, watches me cook every day.  And he watches his brother cook form time to time.  The other day, he told me that he wanted a turn to cook.  He was going to make butter sandwiches for everyone!

Not wanting to discourage a budding chef, I told him yes, he could “cook” in a couple nights.  Then, slowly his idea evolved.  Suddenly, he was telling me that he was going to have cinnamon butter for his sandwiches and “bread that we make”.  And I knew he was thinking of the rolls at Texas Roadhouse (he got to go there for the first time last month and he’s been talking about the butter ever since!)

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Lucky Charm Crunch

Ok.  I loooove sweet chex mix.  But I almost never make it because I end up eating too much of it!

Luckily (for me), Spud has a summer birthday.  Which means he gets to take birthday treats to school for his half birthday.  Which falls in February!

Last year he brought cookies and this year I said the magic words (“Lucky Charms!”) and he brought this yummy chex mix (leaving a whole ton of leftovers at home for mom!)

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Paratha #FoodnFlix

I am sliding in right before the deadline for this month Food‘n Flix recipe!  This month’s movie is The Lunchbox, hosted by Camilla from Culinary Adventures with Camilla.

At first, I thought I’d have to sit this movie out, because February was so crazy busy!  Plus I was having trouble finding a copy of the movie.  But then, a bit of time freed up and the movie was available for rental on Amazon!  Win!

Then the movie started: subtitles.  Ugh.

Thankfully, there is quite a bit of (heavily accented) English in the movie, making the subtitles and story much easier to follow.  Hubs and I very much enjoyed the movie!

The premise is that a young woman sends her husband a lunch every day using Mumbai’s lunch delivery service.  Her husband works a lot and seems to ignore her (and their daughter) the few times he is home.

Then, somehow, the lunch starts getting to delivered to a different man (quite by accident).  He is on the verge of an early retirement and rather stuck in his ways.

Eventually they begin a correspondence through the lunchbox and begin to help one another.

It was a nice story, though the ending was a bit bittersweet.

Next, it was time to make something delicious from the movie.  Problem is, I’m not very familiar with Indian food.  I’ve already made Chicken Tikka Masala and Chapati and that’s pretty much the extent of my familiarity with Indian food.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Pasta with Creamy Cauliflower Sauce, Mushrooms & Leeks


I made this ah-mazing dish, because I wanted to compete on Chopped at Home.  Then the site wouldn’t take my submission.

Turns out I’m from one of the two states that are ineligible for the contest.

Sniff, sniff *single tear*

You guys, I’m so bummed! 

I worked really hard on this dish, so I still wanted to share.  But darn it – I wish it was for the contest! 

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Rosemary Pan Bread

Last week, my 8 year old protégé, Dude, picked up a cookbook at the school library.  He started reading during his free time at school and immediately picked a recipe he wanted to try!  He was so excited, we had to swing by the grocery store on the way home from school, so he could pick up some fresh rosemary for his Rosemary Pan Bread from the book Cooking with Herb, The Vegetarian Dragon: A Cookbook for Kids by Jules Bass.

The bread turned out absolutely amazing, however, I was glad that I already had some experience with bread baking, because a few little details (such as greasing the bowl before rising the bread) were missing from the recipe.  I have more thoughts on the book, but I don’t want to hijack Dude’s post with a review, so click over to GoodReads for the full review, if you’re interested.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Laminated Basil Pasta #FoodiesRead

I recently bought myself the book Making Artisan Pasta by Aliza Green.  

I’ve had a pasta maker for years, but I don’t use it nearly as often as I’d like, because I just can’t get the hang of pasta making.

No longer.
Little helping hands.  Spud loved this!
This book is full of gorgeous pictures, fantastic recipes, and super helpful tips.  It breaks down everything from different flours and eggs, to work surfaces, to hand preparation vs machine.  Plus there are many different recipes for flavored pasta doughs as well as filled and shaped pastas.

I decided to jump right in and make a basic egg pasta with basil laminated between the sheets!  It was so stunning and delicious!

Here’s the lowdown.  You take a basic egg pasta dough, slightly on the moist side and roll it as thin as possible.  Then, very lightly dampen some fresh basil leaves and press them onto one half of the dough.  Press the other half of the dough on top, then run through a pasta sheeter on the second to thinnest setting.

As the pasta flattens, the basil leaves will also stretch and break apart slightly.  Cut into wide noodles.

To cook, add to boiling, salted water.  Cook for 4-5 minutes or until cooked al dente.  Toss with butter, fresh basil, and parmesan and serve.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Mom's Vegetable Soup #CooktheBooksClub #FoodiesRead

In the beginning this book was a complete slog and I questioned whether or not I would continue reading.  I had to continually remind myself that the book was written in the 1940’s and that the author’s scornful remarks toward housewives came from a different era, with different expectations.  But still, it raised my hackles.

From then, the author moved on to how terrible America and American foods are. *sigh*

Finally, he moved on and wrote about his own youth in Tuscany.  But not fancy villa Tuscany, poor Tuscany.  And his life after immigrating to America and starting his own garden.  There were still many moments when he comes across as a pretentious jerk, but it’s easier to handle.

Thankfully, the book was also inspiring (in the kitchen, at least).

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Creamy Ham, Swiss, & Potato Soup #BloggerClue

I love blogging clubs, so today, I’m joining a few of my blogging friends in the Blogger Clue Society!   In this club, participants cook from an assigned blog for a themed reveal each month (and the club is open to new members!  If you are interested comment below or e-mail me and I’ll get you in touch with the right people!)  Since February is the height of the cold, winter blahs, we’re cooking up warm, comforting soups and stews today.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

15 Delicious Vegetarian Burgers

Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday.  I’m Catholic, so that means that tomorrow and Fridays until after Easter, my family will be abstaining from meat.  And I don’t eat fish, so that means I dust off those vegetarian meals!

I especially love making vegetarian burgers.  It’s so easy to pack them with protein (without the kids noticing the beans!)  The challenge is always finding a vegetarian burger that’s hearty enough to make my houseful of boys happy.  So today, I’ve rounded up 15 of the best vegetarian burgers out there!

 BBQ Veggie Burgers from Sew You Think You Can Cook

 Black Bean Pepper Jack Burgers from Bewitching Kitchen

Crispy BBQ Quinoa Burgers from Amy's Cooking Adventures

 Crispy Mexican Black Bean Burgers from The Wimpy Vegetarian

Falafel Burgers from Amy’s Cooking Adventures 

 Halloumi &Cashew Burgers from Pizza Rossa

 Homemade Veggie Burgers from Well Dined

Portobello Burgers from Amy’s Cooking Adventures 

 Spicy Chickpea Bacon Burgers from the Pajama Chef
*Note: requires an ingredient substitution/omission in order to be vegetarian

 Sweet Potato Burgers with Roasted Garlic Sauce from Amy’s Cooking Adventures

Vegetarian Chickpea Burgers from Amy’s Cooking Adventures

 White Bean, Wild Rice, & Almond Burgers from Debbie Does Dinner Healthy

Yamburgers from Amy’s Cooking Adventures



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