Google Amy's Cooking Adventures: May 2016

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

May 2016 Reads

Can you believe it’s already June?!?  May was a super busy month for me, but I still read quite a few books, mostly good, a couple “meh”, but overall enjoyable!  What’s on your list?

Author: Terry Pratchett
My Review
Rating: ★★★★★

Author: Paul Pen
Rating: ★★★★  
Kindle First 

Author: Beverly Cleary
Rating: ★★★   

Read out loud to my children

My Review
Rating: ★★★

Author: Terry Pratchett
Rating: ★★★★★

Author: Pattie Fitzgerald
Rating: ★★★★★  
Read out loud to my children

Title: Bel Canto
Author: Ann Patchett
Rating: ★★★★

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Double Chocolate Salted Caramel Cookies #SecretRecipeClub

I’m back with *another* Secret Recipe Club reveal again today (In SRC, members are secretly assigned another blogger, search through the recipes & reveal them on the specified day!)  The first one this month (Tortellini & Turkey Meatball Skillet) was for my regular group.  The second (Pecan & Honey Granola), I stepped in to help out another group.  And today is a special themed reveal for Memorial Day and we’re sharing our favorite BBQ recipes!  The BBQ theme is pretty broad, encompassing grilled dishes or any sides or desserts one might take to a BBQ.

And since it’s Memorial Day, I’d like to pause and thank all of those who paid the ultimate price to serve and protect our country.

For this special reveal, I was assigned Traci’s blog, Burnt Apple.  Traci’s cooking journey is remarkably similar to mine!  When she first got married, she hardly cooked at all (me either!), but then she had kids and something had to change (also when I started cooking!) 

Once she started cooking, Traci started manipulating recipes to incorporate healthy ingredients while still enjoying some treats!

Speaking of treats, I’m totally the person who brings cookies to a barbeque, so I found one of Traci’s amazing cookie recipes, kept a few to myself and sent the rest to work the Hubs (his coworkers went nuts over these!!!)

Salted caramel and chocolate are one of my all-time favorite combinations, so I knew I’d love these cookies and they sure didn’t disappoint!  The cookies were super soft and the perfect balance of sweet with just a little salty!

Friday, May 27, 2016

Copy Cat "Mc10:35"


I totally missed the awesomeness that is the Mc10:35 until it didn’t even matter.

(What?  Me miss a trend?  Shifty eyes—Neeeever!  Haha!)

For those of you who (like me) also live under a rock, the Mc10:35 refers to the magic that people could (before McDonald’s all day breakfast arrived) order off the Secret Menu in the short window of time between 10:30 & 11, when you could order off both the breakfast and dinner menus at McD’s and make an amazing hybrid sandwich, commonly referred to as the Mc10:35.

Basically, it’s an Egg McMuffin with a cheese burger (without the bun) stuffed inside.

I learned about it from watching Archer with Hubs.  And it’s totally not the first time I’ve made something inspired by that show (Steak au Poivre was more awesomeness inspired by Archer!)

I wasn’t about to go the McD’s and order off the secret menu when I finally heard about the Mc10:35, but I did want to make my own version.

I already love the breakfast burger, so why not up the ante with the Mc10:35?

Monday, May 23, 2016

Pink Lemonade Cookies

Look at these pretty little cookies!!

They’re bite sized and pink and yellow and perfect!

The lemon flavor in these cookies is layered three times!  It’s in the cookies, the frosting, and again in the garnish!  That’s a huge punch of bright lemony flavor in one little cookie!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Homemade English Muffins {Large Batch}

If we don’t have any leftovers for lunch, Hubs & I default to an egg sandwich…on a homemade English muffin.

The first time English muffins, the recipe only made 6 muffins.  What?!?

English muffins take a looooong time to make.  Granted, much of it is rising time, but it’s still time stuck at home, waiting for bread to rise.  I want a lot more English muffins for my time!

So I started quadrupling the recipe, using the entire quart of buttermilk in one shot!  I also started switching out half the flour for whole wheat, because I like using whole grains (though 100% whole wheat is a bit much for English Muffins).

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Post-Workout Apple & Yogurt Parfait

In addition to being a mom, & blogging, & decorating cakes, I also teach Zumba classes a couple nights a week.  My classes are right after dinnertime, so I generally make dinner for the family, but eat lightly so I’m not too full to teach class!

After an intense Zumba workout (usually followed up by a short weight lifting routine), I come home ravenous!  I like to have a go-to healthy, high-protein snack option so I don’t start snacking on junk.

Apple & yogurt with granola on top has been my snack of choice for ages.  And now that I’ve started making my own granola, it’s worth sharing here!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Pecan & Honey Granola #SecretRecipeClub

I’m jumping in for an extra Secret Recipe Club Reveal today!  In SRC, participants are secretly assigned another blog, cook something delicious and reveal it!  Today I’m helping out with Group C and was assigned Helen’s blog, Casa Costello.

Helen is from the UK and is mom to 3 little girls!  She loves to travel and make delicious food!  And we’re lucky, because she blogs about all the deliciousness!

I was assigned Helen’s blog once before when we had a special Christmas reveal.  That time I made her super cute Christmas Tree Cupcakes.  Though, that was really more of a decorating idea than a recipe, so I was super excited to get a chance to dive in again!

At first glance, I wanted to make her yummy Caramelized Onion Dip and pair it with her homemade Thyme Mini Crackers.  But this week got the better of me, and I ran out of time for cracker making (sadness).

So I decided to make a bucket list recipe instead: Walnut& Honey Granola!

I love mixing apples & yogurt topped with granola for a post-workout snack, so I am constantly buying granola & it can get expensive!  Why it’s taken me so long to make my own, I haven’t the foggiest, because it is totally easy & delicious!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

French Onion Chicken and Rice

I have been in a meal planning funk lately.  I just cannot get my act together!  So I end up searching through the fridge and pantry at 4:00 praying for inspiration (Easy Ham & Broccoli Bake or Burrito Skillet or Creamy Ham, Potato & Corn Chowder are all delicious results of poor planning skills).

This was yet another of those nights.  This time, I had an irksome half container of beef broth that needed to be used up and I had just purchased chicken thighs.  Beef broth & chicken?  Hmmmm…what to do.

I’d been craving French Onion Soup for a while, but haven’t gotten around to making it (it doesn’t go over well with the kids.)  So I decided to take a simple chicken & rice and elevate it with a French Onion Soup broth!

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Tortellini with Turkey Meatballs #SecretRecipeClub

It’s Secret Recipe Club Reveal Day again!  In SRC, members (click that previous link for more info on how to join) are assigned another blog, go through the archives and then cook up and reveal something delicious!

This month, I was assigned Sarah’s blog, Well Dined.  Sarah originally started off blogging restaurant reviews but eventually shifted her focus to more homemade foods.  And boy do her recipes sound amazing!

Back in March, I was assigned to Well Dined for our special seasonal reveal and made her completely amazing Apple Cider Glazed Ham!  I was super excited to be assigned her blog a second time, this time without an Easter focus!

I had such trouble deciding which delicious recipe to make!  I really wanted to make either Sarah’s recipe for Strawberry or Rhubarb Sour Cream Pie!  I’ve never put sour cream in a pie before (though I use it in cakes all the time) and I thought the tartness of the sour cream sounded amazing.

However, I’ve learned the hard way not to make pie unless we’re planning to have company (Hubs & I are fully capable of taking down a whole pie on our own…we just shouldn’t!)  So that one is on the back burner until we have company!

Instead, I decided to go for a hearty, but healthy main dish: Tortellini with Vegetables and Meatballs.  It was so delicious!  I never would have thought to combine meatballs and tortellini in one dish, but it is brilliant!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Rice & Bean Enchiladas

Happy Cinco de Mayo!


I love any excuse for margaritas and tacos, so Cinco de Mayo is one of my favorites!

I totally have to teach Zumba tonight, so I’ll be enjoying my margaritas a bit later, but you’d better believe I’m making Mexican food for dinner!

I’ve been making this enchiladas for years (being a vegetarian dish, they’re a Lenten staple), yet somehow I’d never gotten around to blogging them!

These enchiladas are super easy and family friendly!  Even the pickiest eaters can be enticed to eat a bean or two with this meal!

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Orange Creamsicle Cookies

This month’s Food ‘n Flix film was The Witches of Eastwick, hosted by Kimberly at Coffee & Casseroles.  In Food ‘n Flix, participants watch the selected movie, then make something delicious inspired by the film!
This is a late 80’s film I wasn’t familiar with, but does have a lot of familiar actors, so I gave it a whirl.  It was odd.

At times it was a campy 80’s movie and then it would abruptly turn into a weird horror-esque scene.  I kept feeling like I was missing something.

In the movie the 3 “witches” (in quotes because I never actually remember them being referred to as witches) are hanging out having a girls night (read: man bashing) and seem to inadvertently conjure a man (demon?  Again, unclear).  In fact, the women seem to be unwitting participants in most of the “magic”.  It felt like parts were missing in the story.

As I was researching the movie (after watching it), I discovered that it was actually based on a book by the same name.  So I high tailed it back to the library (where I had gotten the movie) and checked out the book.

Initially, I liked the book, because it filled in many of the missing details from the movie.  In the book, the women are witches outright and everyone knows it.  They perform all the magic and Darryl is just there to make the reader confused and host sexy parties…with lots of booze and drugs.  By the end of the book (as in the movie) it is still unclear whether the women inadvertently conjured him or not.



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