Google Amy's Cooking Adventures: August 2016

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

August Reads

Author: Brandon Sanderson
Rating: ★★★★★

Author: Lev Grossman
Rating: ★★

Author: Kerstin Gier
Rating: ★★★★

Author: JK Rowling
Rating: ★★★★★  
Read out loud to my children

Title: Sapphire Blue (Precious Stones Trilogy #2)
Author: Kerstin Gier
Rating: ★★★★

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Guacamole Skull Frida Kahlo

I’m *almost* done sharing my Frida Kahlo-obsessed recipes!

Hubs and I went on a trip to Mexico for out 10th anniversary this past March and Frida Kahlo was EVERYWHERE!  The second we got on the bus from the airport to our resort, there were billboards everywhere.  It turns out that a restaurant inspired by Frida Kahlo’s art had recently opened.  I made it my mission to eat there (and Hubs was totally on board).  The food was great at our resort, but it was epic at Frida Kahlo.  It was easily my favorite meal of the trip!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Hearty Meat & Vegetable Lasagna

Hubs & I love lasagna, but I don’t think I’ve ever actually made it. 

Hubs made what he dubbed “man lasagna” early in our marriage (there was a whole lot of meat & cheese and it was delicious).  And both my mom and mother in law have made lasagna for us when we’ve visited.  But every time the kids have seen lasagna (mind you, it’s been a couple years) they’ve flipped out and won’t eat it (even though they love spaghetti and meat sauce).

I finally decided to tackle lasagna myself and made a sort of hybrid between Hubs’ man-sagna and a healthier veggie lasagna by adding all sort of meat plus tons of veggies (because my goodness would the zucchini plant stop already?)

I loved it! And Hubs loved it!  And I told the spuds it was spaghetti and meatballs, only with giant noodles so they ate it too (Dude was all over it, Spud was slightly less thrilled, but ate without (much) complaint).

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Slow Cooker Chicken Mole #CooktheBooksClub


Welcome to this month’s Cook the Books Club!  In CtBC, bloggers can read the selected book and then make and blog a recipe inspired by the book (plus there’s a recipe round up at the end!)

This month’s book is The Secret Book of Frida Kahlo by FG Hagenbeck and is hosted by Debra at Eliot’s Eats.

 The Secret Book of Frida Kahlo: A Novel

The book is a novel, which made it a bit confusing.  Obviously it was historical fiction, since it was a novel based off of a real person’s life.  But I kept wondering what was fact (there had to be some) and where did the fiction come into play (was it just the conversations/internal monologue or were entire parts of Frida’s “history” exaggerated?  After reading this book, I got my hands on several other books chronicling Frida’s life and found out that the former was most accurate – the events/circumstances in the book were more or less factual with some embellishment, including the fictional “book” the story hinges upon.)

Despite the confusion, I loved the story and found Frida incredibly fascinating.  It also got me curious about Frida Kahlo and sent me fact searching all over the internet and library (I watched the movie (recipe coming up next month), grabbed a recipe book (I made Squash Blossom Quesadillas), and picked up a copy of her biography).  Fact of fiction, Frida Kahlo lead a very interesting life.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Homemade Corn Tortillas

But when I became (slightly) obsessed with Frida Kahlo over the spring and decided that I needed to take on corn tortillas as well!

It took me a few tries to get the consistency of the dough just right, but then, I also had a giant bag of masa harina, so there was plenty to practice with!

Once that perfect, soft dough is made, it’s just a matter of rolling (unless you have a tortilla press, which I don’t).  When hand rolling, I found that the trick is to not roll too thin or the dough will stick to the waxed paper (I tried plastic wrap and heavy duty zipper bags, but preferred the waxed paper.)  Personally, I found it best to use each side of the waxed paper only once to reduce sticking.  Unfortunately, there’s lots of used paper, but fewer tears, so I figure it evens out.  Maybe as I practice even more I can reduce the amount of paper used.

Any corn tortilla makers out there?  Any tips?

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Triple Chocolate Protein Pancakes

Breakfast for dinner happens (at least) once or twice a month in my house (more if Hubs is out of town).

Since I finally successfully made chocolate waffles, I decided to try my hand at chocolate pancakes.  Then, I thought, I make chocolate protein muffins all the time – why not try for chocolate protein packed pancakes.  Challenge accepted.

I adapted my multigrain pancake recipe adding protein powder, three types of chocolate (ovaltine, cocoa powder, & chocolate chips) plus peanut butter and banana (for sweetness).

The pancakes were absolutely perfect.  They satisfied the chocoholic in all of us and I was happy with the hidden protein and fruit!  Win-win!

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Soft & Chewy Italian Bread #SecretRecipeClub

In SRC, members are secretly assigned another blog, search through the recipes, make something, and then reveal!  Interested in joining?  Click that link for all the details!

This month, I was assigned Micha’s blog, Cookin’ Mimi and I was so excited!  I absolutely drool over Micha’s recipes every reveal day!  Micha grew up cooking with her granddaddy and mother and it turned into her own love of cooking.  She focuses on traditional southern cooking, American comfort foods, and a mix of ethnic recipes – it’s my kind of cooking!

I had such fun delving into Micha’s recipes.  Should I make Peanut Butter Brownie Muddy Muddies or Cloverleaf Rolls?  Or how about Mint Chocolate Pudding Brownie Parfaits or Sausage and Potato Breakfast Casserole?

All were very tempting, but what ultimately drew my eye was Chewy Italian Bread.  My whole family LOVES bread.  I’ve made lots of different sorts of breads, but this one especially drew my eye because the method was different.  Usually, breads are kneaded, punched own, shaped and baked. 

Friday, August 5, 2016

Strawberry Lemonade Slurpee #FoodnFlix

Today I have my second Food ‘n Flix submission for HotelTransylvania 2 (this month’s flick is hosted by Kimberly at Coffee and Casseroles).   You can get my full run down of the movie with all the deets on my first post, Monster Ball Soup!

In the movie, Mavis (a vampire, Dracula’s daughter) is visiting the human world with her husband, Johnny.  Since they can only be out at night, their first stop is a 24-hour convenience store.  Mavis is amazed by the chip selection, security cameras, and the giant wall of slurpees!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Matzo Ball Soup aka Monster Ball Soup #FoodnFlix

It’s time for August Food ‘n Flix, hosted by Kimberly at Coffee and Casseroles.  In Food ‘n Flix, bloggers watch the chosen film, create something inspired by the film & blog it!

This month’s movie was Hotel Transylvania 2.

My kids absolutely LOVE this movie!  And we’ve seen it several times!

Last week, we had a stormy, rainy day, so I told the boys we watch the both Hotel Transylvania 1 & 2! (we don’t watch much TV in the summer, since we’re usually outside, so they were psyched!)

A quick overview of the plot: Dracula’s daughter (Mavis) marries a human (Johnny) and they have a baby (Dennis) who may or may not be a vampire.  Hilarity ensues.  Like I mentioned before, my 8 & 5 year old go nuts for this movie, and I have to say, I enjoy it too!  There are definitely some funny moments!

I actually have two recipes for this movie, the boys’ pick and my pick!  I’ll start off today with the boys’ pick because it turned out so stinking cute!

Monday, August 1, 2016

Meatballs with Mushroom Gravy

You guys!

I finally learned how to make gravy!!

Can I get a whoop whoop?

For whatever reason, beef gravy has been the bane of my existence for years.  I don’t know why, but I’ve always had trouble with it.  Sure, I could have copped out and used a gravy packet from the store, but come on!  I had to be able to figure it out!

I mean, I’ve conquered croissants and homemade pasta.  I’ve claimed victory over authentic Italian pasta sauce, and homemade ice cream.  And yet gravy eluded me.

There had to be a way to gravy that wasn’t overly thin or gloopy or tasteless.

Then I spied this meatball recipe from my real life and blogging friend, Wendy from A Day in the Life on the Farm (you should totally go check out her blog.  Wendy has tons of amazing recipes, plus she shares book reviews (often with a recipe attached!))

I tried Wendy’s recipe and finally – success!!



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