Google Amy's Cooking Adventures: 2021

Monday, March 1, 2021

Boozy Blue Raspberry Lemonade & a Food n' Flix Invite

Happy March!

This month, I have the pleasure of hosting our Food n’ Flix movie and this is your invitation to join in the fun!

This month’s pick is PS I Love You. 

To join in the fun, do the following:

  1. Watch PS I Love You 

  2. Get inspired by food from the movie (there isn’t much - sorry!  Feel free to get inspired by New York or Ireland!)

  3. Make some tasty food and post the recipe to your blog or Instagram (tag @foodnflix).  Be sure to link back to Food n’ Flix and this post.

  4. Then email amyscookingadventures(@)gmail(.)com and heather(@)foodnflixclub(.)com.  Please include:

    1. “Food n’ Flix Submission” as the subject

    2. Blog Name

    3. Recipe Title

    4. Recipe Photo

So here’s a bit more of my decision making process this month…

I was trying to think of a good movie to choose, and when I couldn’t think of one, I took a shot in the dark.  I decided to look for movies that take place in Ireland since this month it’s St. Patrick’s Day!

As I researched, I came across PS I Love You, which the internet said took place in Ireland (spoiler alert, only a small part is in Ireland) plus it was inspired by a book (which does take place in Ireland).  I always love a good book-movie comparison, so I chose the movie without reading any synopses at all!

Imagine my shock when I realized that the premise (below taken from Rotten Tomatoes):

“When Gerry (Gerard Butler), the husband of Holly Kennedy (Hilary Swank), dies from an illness, she loses the love of her life. Knowing how hard Holly will take his death, Gerry plans ahead. Beginning on her 30th birthday, she receives the first in a series of letters written by him, designed to ease her grief and encourage her to move forward to a new life.”

Woah - all the feels!

Sunday, February 28, 2021

The Best Brine for a Whole Roast Chicken


I never used to brine chickens.

Then, a couple years ago, I decided to try brining my first turkey - the moist turkey was a game changer, and I realized that I needed to start brining all my poultry...which means I do a lot of brining. 

Why, you ask?

Because of Spud.

You see, since kindergarten, at the most, Spud would eat about half the school hot lunches and want cold lunch for the rest.  As the years have progressed, this number has dwindled to the point where he only eats one school lunch (Taco in a Bag).  He sometimes goes for months taking only cold lunches.

Honestly, I’m fine with this choice, since I know I can provide him with a healthy balanced meal (school lunches can be as well, but kids have a huge tendency to dump what they don’t like.  I have lunch duty a couple times a week and you wouldn’t believe the stuff that gets tossed - yikes!)

Here’s the next problem - Spud (especially after COVID and quarantine) has become increasingly picky about what he’ll eat in his cold lunch.  I think being able to heat up whatever he wanted to lunch during quarantine spoiled him a bit.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Chicken Wings


Let’s get reading with this month’s Cook the Books Club pick - Aaron Sanchez’s (Food Network Star) book Where I Come From: Life Lessons From a Latino Chef.  

This one immediately piqued my interest, since I’ve seen Aaron Sanchez on Chopped.  I have to admit - Sanchez was never my favorite judge, but I was intrigued nonetheless. 

After reading this memoir, I was impressed.  The memoir was well-written and gave a lot of insight into Sanchez’s past.  It gave the chef I’d seen on Chopped a lot more dimension.  I feel like I will watch old episodes of that show with fresh eyes.

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Egg & Bacon Sandwich (Homemade Egg McMuffin)


Sunday Funday is back with one of my favorites: Breakfast for Dinner!

If I’m completely honest, breakfast for dinner is the only time I really ever eat breakfast foods.  In my house, breakfast is a protein shake for me and cereal for the boys.

The recipe I’m sharing today is one of my go-to recipes, though usually for lunch, not dinner.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Restaurant Style Rice


This month’s Food n Flix movie is hosted by Camilla at Culinary Adventures with Camilla.  She chose the anime flick, Spirited Away.  As  I started watching, I realized that I had seen still shots from this show before (maybe a meme?)  I can’t recall, but do know that some scenes seemed vaguely familiar.

The movie was...odd…

I’m not a huge anime fan, and this one didn’t endear me to the genre any more.

Nevertheless, there was ample food inspiration.

The food that stood out the most was a rice ball. I started searching for recipes and then realized that what I was really interested in was the rice itself.  Lately, Spud has become more and more vocal about rice.  He is super frustrated that I make rice wrong or buy the wrong rice.  He loves the rice that sticks together at restaurants and has no patience for the regular long grain rice that I make at home.

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

It’s Valentine’s Day!  Is there any more perfect day for Chocolate Dipped Strawberries?

And since Valentine’s falls on a Sunday, Romantic Valentines treats are also the theme for this week’s Sunday Funday!

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Red Lentil Soup (Sudanese Addas)

This month we are heading for Sudan for the Eat the World Recipe Challenge!

I look forward to these challenges every month, because it forces me to think outside the box!  

Yet, even when I’m thinking outside the box, there are still limits, especially because I have learned that there are certain flavor profiles that my kids will absolutely refuse.

Even when my kids were quite young, I’ve never been one to make two meals, simply because someone is picky.  My goal has been to nurture adventurous eaters.  My motto has typically been “eat it or starve”.  The exception is when I make something that I know will be quite spicy.  When I do that, I still require that the kids taste a small portion, but usually have some leftovers from the previous day or two in the fridge that they can heat up.

That being said, the kids have made it abundantly clear that there are some flavors that they simply won’t tolerate (they will literally go to bed hungry (taste a bite and say “I’m full), rather than eat what I’ve prepared).  Two of those flavors are cinnamon and peanut butter when added to savory dishes.  Then add in my refusal to cook seafood or fish in any form and a preference against coconut and we've got a real challenge when it comes to some countries, and Sudan was one of them.

After extensive research, I finally landed on lentil soup.  Then I worried, because I remembered buying the red lentils that were sitting in my pantry for a previous Eat the World Challenge....and I had made soup then too.

I looked back and the previous country was Fiji, and thankfully, the recipe was quite different.

I halved the original recipe (because I only had a cup of lentils on hand), so it was the perfect amount for two adults plus a small scoop for two kids, (who mostly ate the homemade mac & cheese I had on hand).

Sunday, February 7, 2021

Lion’s Head Meatballs


Chinese New Year is this Friday, so Sunday Funday is celebrating today. I wanted to challenge myself a bit and do something different than the usual stir fry.

Cue Lion’s Head Meatballs.  Lion’s Head Meatballs are called such because of their large size.  These meatballs are often served at banquets or special occasions, probably because they can be a bit labor intensive.

Sunday, January 31, 2021

Homemade Crescent Rolls

It’s Sunday Funday, a new fun group of bloggers who are sharing fun themed recipes on Sundays!

This week, we’re featuring croissants since yesterday (January 30) was National Croissant Day.

I’ve made croissants in the past and the recipe is so good, that I’ve felt no need to improve upon it or seek out an alternative.  However, croissants are incredibly labor intensive.  Done right, with all the proofing, croissants take a full 3 days to make.

Friday, January 22, 2021

I Love You to the Moon & Back Cupcakes

This post was originally published in 2016 on my other blog, but I love this cake, so I'm sharing it here!

These sweet little cupcakes & smash cake were for a 1st birthday party.  The Birthday Girl’s mom had always said, “I love you to the moon & back” and that became the party theme!

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Baby Yoda Cake

You guys.

I made a cake today, because my older kiddo is 13. THIRTEEN!  AAHHHH!!!!  I have a teenager in the house!

He always asks for chocolate cake with chocolate frosting (my favorite!) but since he’s getting big and cool he doesn't always have a cake decoration request anymore (sad!) 

Monday, January 18, 2021

Chocolate Eclairs


It’s time for Food n Flix!  This month is hosted by my friend Wendy from A Day in the Life on the Farm.  She picked the movie Simply Irresistible

Simply Irresistible is a quirky rom-com with a touch of magic.  Parts were a bit reminiscent of It’s a Wonderful Life, with an angel-like character intervening occasionally.

I have to admit that I found much of the plot confusing, and was wishing there was more explanation, for instance, how did the magic work, exactly?  Was it the earrings? The crab? The angel character? 

After watching the movie, I looked to see if it was a book first - my hope was that if it was originally a book, I could read it and the book would likely fill in the plot gaps.  But alas, it was not a book, just a poorly written screenplay.  So I am left only with questions and no answers.

But let’s talk foodie inspiration!  Since the movie centers around a chef, there is no shortage of inspiration.  One of the most memorable dishes, however, are Caramel Eclairs, which cause those who smell or eat them to become very...ummmm...passionate.

I’d never made eclairs before, so I thought it was the perfect opportunity to give these pastries a whirl, only I decided to make chocolate eclairs instead of caramel, because I love chocolate!

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Chicken Alfredo Tortellini Soup

Is there anything better than soup in the winter?

This one has it all.  Chicken, cheese tortellini, and the broth tastes just like alfredo sauce!  It is divine!

I actually made this soup for this month’s Cook the Books Club pick.  Deb from Kahakai Kitchen picked Eat Joy: Stories and Comfort Food from 31 Celebrated Writers edited by Natalie Eve Garrett. 

You, guys...I was not a fan.  Here’s my Goodreads review.

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Vietnamese Chicken Porridge (Chao Ga)


It’s time to travel virtually (since that’s all we can do), and we’re heading to Vietnam.

As happens often, I had to nope a lot of recipes because they included seafood (yeah, sill won’t eat it), or ingredients that I can’t get in my area (or would be prohibitively expensive).

The vetting makes this process more challenging, but I do love a challenge.  Finally I came across Chicken Porridge and it was perfect!  The recipe looked (and was) delicious plus Dude was getting braces and Chicken Porridge sounded sufficiently soft for him to be able to eat with sore teeth.

Saturday, January 9, 2021

Pikachu & Pokéball Cookies

 This post was originally published in 2017 on my other blog, but I love these, so I'm sharing it here!

Spud’s half-birthday is just before Valentine’s Day.  Since he has a summer birthday, half-birthdays mean bringing birthday treats to school!

Since Spud’s latest obsession is Pokémon, he decided he wanted Pikachu and Pokéball cookies!

I love that these versatile little cookies can work as birthday or Valentine cookies!!

Friday, January 8, 2021

Chicken & Broccoli Alfredo

Is there anything better than a good alfredo?  When Hubs and I were dating, I would almost always order alfredo when we went out to dinner (well, that or chicken strips - haha).

Hubs and I were friends for a couple years before we started dating.  Once we finally started dating, it was only a matter of months before I knew I was going to marry him one day (but we were in college, so I knew that it would be a couple of years - neither of us wanted to get married before we had jobs).  

So, after a few months it was Hub’s birthday and I wanted to do something special.  I didn’t cook yet (at all), but I got a recipe for alfredo from my mom, borrowed the kitchen at my church, and made alfredo.  



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