Sunday, February 28, 2016

Green Onion Spread #SecretRecipeClub

Welcome to Secret Recipe Club special themed reveal! 


Secret Recipe Club hosts an optional themed reveal on months with an extra Monday. The theme for this event is Leprechauns & Bunnies.  St. Patrick's Day and Easter are right around the corner and what a perfect theme to load up on an arsenal of holiday friendly dishes like carrot cake, corned beef and other green dishes! 

I was assigned Sid's Sea Palm Cooking. I loved the variety of recipe to choose from! I have a friend who recently moved to Copenhagen and it was fun to look at all of the different Danish offerings on the blog.  I had a hard time choosing between a few different recipes. At the top of my list was Bread Pudding with Irish Soda Bread, Deviled Egg Chicks, and Ham and Green Onion Roll-Ups. However, the recipe that won me over was the Green Onion Spread. My husband loves green onions and I loved the idea of a spicy cream dip. The original recipe called for everything to be minced, but I opted use my food processor to speed up the process a bit and was hoping the processed green onions would produce a lovely green color for my dip. I opted to serve my dip with corn chips, but crackers or veggies would also be delicious. 

My husband and I loved this dip and gobbled it up! The dip was a nice light green and a great fit for the Leprechaun part of the theme- especially with the additional sliced onions on top. 

I love these themed reveals and I believe that the next one will happen in May- can't wait to see what fun the next theme will bring to our group! 

Check out the round-up below to see more Leprechaun & Bunnies inspired recipes! 


Ingredients

8 oz Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 cup sour cream
2 Tbl mayonnaise
1 bunch green onions, roughly chopped (set aside 1 Tbl of sliced for garnish)
2 cloves garlic
1/2 jalapeno
1/4 cup shredded Pepper Jack Cheese


Instructions

Place cream cheese, sour cream, mayo, onions (making sure to set aside 1 Tbl sliced for garnish), garlic and jalapeno into a fod precessor (if you don't have one just mince your veggies).  Plus till it is well mixed. Stir in the cheese. Plate (or chill till time to serve) and garnish with sliced green onions. 

Serve with chips and veggies. 


Weekly Meal Plan 2/29 - 3/6

Sunday night already? Time is going too fast these days and I have such mixed feelings about it. I am happy because it is closer to meeting our baby boy, but it means fewer days to relish time with Kellen as my only little guy! I imagine that that this is a very common  for parent expecting their second baby and I know it will be great, but (like when you have your first baby, visualizing it before it happens is hard! 

This weekend we took advantage of the weather. We grilled burgers on Friday nights and headed to the Wildlife Sanctuary for a second weekend n a row with friends. We always have so much fun there and I love that the kids can touch everything and are encouraged to explore!  We climbed in turtle shells, splashed in puddles and fed a deer!


After we played we went to Culver's for lunch for sandwiches. Kellen and I shared a strawberry shake for a treat! While Kellen napped I started a new soup recipe in our slow cooker. Ron was working so Kellen and I enjoyed tomato soup and grilled cheese while watching The Good Dinosaur. 

This morning I was greeted by a monster.  I love this his sense of humor. I was sound asleep and he crawled in bed and waited till I woke up. I love it because it is totally something I would do and find lots of humor in.


After my monster got ready, we went to the grocery store and then home so I could work on a few recipes. I met my friend Kelly (and fellow mommy-to-be) for brunch and ordered a S'mores Hot Chocolate. Oh.My.God. It was delicious. The restaurant makes their own mix and it was topped with 3 toasted marshmallows, teddy grahams and chocolate. I ordered a quinoa and kale veggie burger with poached eggs and asparagus to help balance it out! 


When I got home Kellen and Ron were out working on the yard and we shortly headed for naps. I was able to get a few photos done during nap time before the SNOW started. I was hoping that we were beyond the now, but I guess not yet! We have been bumming around tonight, eating tacos and watching the Oscars. I am rooting for Leo. I have been a lifelong Leo lover and am hoping he wins tonight!

This week we have the usual swim, but we are headed to Milwaukee to see Daniel Tiger later in the week! It is also Ron's 40th birthday on Friday! Lots to celebrate this week!

Have a great week everyone!

Monday: Mac and Cheese and Smoked Sausage after Swim
Tuesday: Meatball Sub Casserole and Peas 
Wednesday: Dinner in Milwaukee for Daniel Tiger
Thursday:  Steak Fajitas with Jalapeno Cream Sauce, Rice and Beans
Friday: Out for Fish for Ron's Birthday
Saturday: Date Night
Sunday: Grilled Steaks with Blue Cheese,  Loaded Cauliflower Casserole and Grilled Asparagus

Hospital Ginger Bread #BookClubCookBookCC

This February, I am hosting the #BookClubCookBookCC and really excited to share my selection from The Book Club Cookbook, Revised Edition: Recipes and Food for Thought from Your Book Club’s Favorite Books and Authors by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp. 

A little background if you don't remember my kick off post in July, a group bloggers organized by Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla (click the link if you want to join the fun!) draw inspiration from a book and recipes published in The Book Club Cookbook which was provided to bloggers by Judy, Vicki, and their publisher, Tarcher-Penguin. Each month, a blogger selected a book and The Book Club Cookbook offers several suggested recipes or the blogger can create a recipe inspired by the story.  At the end of the month the host or hostess posts a round-up and gives away a copy of the book. 

Here are a list of my fellow participating bloggers/hosts:

Cheese Curd In Paradise               
Life on Food       
The Pajama Chef              
The Spiffy Cookie             
Things I Make (for Dinner)           
Tortillas and Honey         

Even if you are not part of the blogs listed above, any blogger can join in our fun! This month, I chose for us to read The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara and make Civil War Cherry Apple Cobbler with Sweet Vanilla Custard. 


This novel is a Pulitzer Prize winning historical novel. I know that is not everyone's cup of tea, but it is right up my ally! The book is writer about the Battle of Gettysburg and told from different perspectives of the soldiers of the Union and Confederacy.  The film Gettysburg is the film adaption of this book. The book is recognized as one of the best written on this particular time in American history.  I love that there is so much focus on the characters and it allows the reader to really engage and see the different perspectives of soldiers during that time. 

I selected this book for the story, but unfortunately cherries are not in season in my neck of the woods. I searched for a Civil War era recipe that would have been relevant to the soldiers.  One  type of food I ran into in my reading was Hospital Ginger Bread. The bread was considered a comfort food and was given to hospitalized soldiers to lighten their mood. It was also included in care packages from families. I found a recipe from 1860 from Ms. Josephine Peffer. The recipe won the blue ribbon at the Wisconsin State Fair. The bread is delicious, but be aware- it is not a sweet bread! However, there are suggestions to add a few tablespoons of packed brown sugar if you want a sweeter bread. I was actually a little surprised by the flavor because normally I expect sweet from a quick bread and this was delicious change, and I can see why this is a comfort food! 


Ingredients

1 cup molasses 
¼ lb butter, softened 
½ cup buttermilk 
2 eggs 
1 Tbl ground ginger 
1 Tbl baking powder 
2 cups flour 


Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350. Butter a 9 x 5 bread pan and dust it lightly with flour. Beat the ¼ pound of butter until it is smooth and creamy. Add the eggs and beat well. Add the buttermilk and molasses, and mix well.

In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, ginger, and baking powder. Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix well. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 40-50 minutes. Stick a toothpick into the center of the bread. If it comes out clean, the bread is done. Cool in the pan, cut and serve with butter. 


Giveaway
This month Ashley at Cheese Curd in Paradise (Me!), this month's host, is giving away a copy of the book.* Enter to win a copy of the cookbook so you can join us in future months, if you wish!

One of our lucky readers - US and Canada only! - can enter to win a copy ofThe Book Club Cookbook, Revised Edition: Recipes and Food for Thought from Your Book Club's Favorite Books and Authors by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp, courtesy of Tarcher-Penguin. Giveaway runs from February 1st till February 29th at 6 o'clock PM, Pacific time. Please see terms and conditions in the rafflecopter widget below. Many thanks to Tarcher Books. You may find Tarcher: on the web, on Facebook, on Twitter, and on Pinterest.

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*Disclosure: I was received a complimentary copy of The Book Club Cookbook, Revised Edition: Recipes and Food for Thought from Your Book Club's Favorite Books and Authors by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp as an opportunity to give a copy away. Opinions are our own. We received no further compensation for our posts.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Spaghetti Pie

Quick dinners are the best these days...well everyday....  when I saw this recipe for Spaghetti Pie after a recommendation from another lady on my cooking board I was sold!  This recipe is great because it can be made in advance and cooked the following evening or frozen for a later.  I don't always have a lot of time at night and anything I can do to make our lives less hectic is a bonus for my family and it allows us more time to do fun things at night!  Kellen loves spaghetti and this was a big hit with him and warmed up nicely for lunch leftovers for Ron and I the following day. 

Last night I tried a new restaurant with a few girlfriends called the Vintage Cantina. It serves a la carte tacos and was delicious. I ordered a Pastor taco and Green Chicken taco. Both were amazing, but I think the Green Chicken was my favorite. We also shared a few of the dips for appetizers. I also can't wait till I can go back and try a few of the margaritas in the summer! 

Everything on the baby boy from has been great! He must have shifted around a bit because I have been sleeping a little better and have had a a lot less discomfort! Yay! I am working on building up our freezer and should be finishing up with that this weekend. Ron has everything unpacked from Kellen's old stuff and we just need to organize a little. I am feeling a good about where we are and getting more and more excited to meet our new family member. We still need a new chair for the room (Kellen asked to bring his with him) and am planning to purchase once we get all  the clothes and stuff out of the way. It is still so strange to me, like it was with Kellen, to have him with me all the time, but not seeing him yet! 

Tonight, we are heading to Appleton for dinner with Ron's family and we are excited to see everyone! We like to do a birthday celebration or sorts in February and May because it seems most of our birthdays are around this time. We are headed to a place that has delicious German food and steaks....so many choices! 


Ingredients

7 oz uncooked spaghetti
2 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tbl butter
1 lb lean ground beef or turkey
1 (24 oz) jar of spaghetti sauce
1 cup cottage cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella


Instructions

Cook the pasta till al dente and drain. 

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix pasta with eggs, Parmesan cheese, and butter. Pout mixture into a 10-in pie dish to form a crust. Top with cottage cheese. 

Brown beef or turkey and drain. Add spaghetti sauce and mix well. Spread spaghetti sauce mixture over the cottage cheese. 

Bake 25-30 minutes. Top with mozzarella cheese and bake an additional 5-10 minutes. Remove from oven and let it stand 5 minutes before cutting. 

Serves 4-6

Monday, February 22, 2016

Weekly Meal Plan 2/22 - 2/28

Happy Monday!

This weekend was so nice! The weather was great and we got a ton of stuff accomplished. 

Friday we ended up having take-out fish fry from one of our favorite places and just relaxed at home. Ron has been awesome and really taking charge of getting the little guy's room set up and that has let this tired mom have a little downtime. 

On Saturday,  we had a little family outing to the Wildlife Sanctuary to enjoy the weather. The animals were active and loving the warmer temps too!




 Afterwards, we headed home for lunch and a nap before Kellen headed to Ron's parents for an overnight. Ron and I took advantage and had a date night at one of our favorite places, Plae Bistro. I had a pan roasted salmon with an apricot curry sauce....so delicious! When we got home we had a burst of energy and did a bunch of cleaning in little man's room and in our room. It was awesome and we are both feeling super accomplished!

On Sunday, I made a Target run to grab a few odds and ends to we are stocked up before out baby comes. I learned with Kellen that the last thing I wanted to do was run out to the store and it was nice to have what I needed on hand. Kellen needed to be picked up shortly after and when we returned we met my sister and nephew for a late pizza lunch. After naps, my friend Emily came over and we grilled steaks, played with the kids and watched SVU.  I also made a big pot of meatsauce to add to our freezer stash after we each a bit of it for dinner tonight! 

This week we are starting swim on a new day because Wednesday night was full. I am also meeting girlfriends at a new taco place n Tuesday and celebrating a few birthdays with Ron's family on Wednesday. Bust but fun week in store for us! 

Have a great week & here is what is on tap:

Monday: Ravioli and Meat Sauce and Garlic Bread
Tuesday: Out with Girlfriends for Tacos-  Bacon Pieorogie Bake for Kellen and Ron
Wednesday:  Out with Leckers
Thursday: Baked Vegetable Alfredo Pasta and Salad
Friday: Grilled Burgers, Oven Fries and Fruit
Saturday: Out
Sunday: Spicy Tacos, Rice and Beans (Making Taco Ranch Chicken to Freeze)

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Tomatillo Chicken Enchiladas

Enchiladas are one of those things that I always think of taking a long time to prepare. However, when I saw this recipe from So Tasty, So Yummy shared on my cooking board I knew it would be a perfect weeknight meal for my family. I love enchiladas and the creamy spicy sauce sounded too good to pass up! 

I use my Taco Ranch Chicken for this recipe because I normally keep some in the fridge or will prepare it in the slowcooker while I am at work so the chicken is ready when I get home. This recipe comes together so easy and cooks quickly for a perfect weeknight meal. I have even rolled the enchiladas in the morning before work and finished the sauce when I come home for a very quickly prepared dinner! If you do this I recommend putting a damp paper towel in and covering the dish so the tortillas remain pliable. 

Kellen, Ron and I love this meal and I serve it with a little saffron rice and black or pinto beans- we also like a little sour cream and sliced olives on top (tomatoes would be yummy too!). 

Tonight Kellen has swim class and parents are invited to sit by the pool and watch. Normally, we have to watch from a little window, but on family night we get to be up close to see how the kids are doing with their swimming skills. Kellen loves swim class and it is always fun to watch and see what he is learning!

In other news, lovely pregnancy leg cramps have started..... I had them with Kellen and was hoping they would skip me this time. Nope! It is especially nice when normally will wake me around 3:00 AM....... Sigh...Maybe this was a one-time thing? I can always hope, right? I am trying to make sure I am stretching, getting enough magnesium and water, and hopefully it helps over the next few weeks. Anyone else have this lovely pregnancy side-effect?


Ingredients

12 corn tortillas
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken (I use my favorite Taco Ranch Chicken)
2 cups shredded Cheddar Jack cheese
3 Tbl butter
3 Tbl flour
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup sour cream
½ cup tomatillo or verde salsa


Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray and set aside.

Wrap the tortillas in a damp paper towel and microwave for 40 seconds. Mix the chicken with 1 cup of the cheese. Place a couple spoon fulls of the chicken mixture in each tortilla, roll up and place seam-side down in the prepared pan.

In a medium sauce pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for a about a minute, whisking the whole time. Add broth and whisk until smooth, heat for 3-4 minutes until thick and bubbly. Remove from the heat and stir in the sour cream and salsa. Pour the sauce over the rolled tortillas and top with the remaining cheese. Bake for 20 minutes and serve.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Weekly Meal Plan 2/15 - 2/21

Monday is here already.... every week I go one about how fast the week went and this is not different! Plus, we had a really fun weekend and that makes starting the work week that much harder! 

Friday night, we headed out for fish and forgot it was the first Friday of Lent....crazy busy, but still delicious! 

Saturday morning I headed to the grocery store before heading home to get ready for my shower/blessingway. The theme was rainbow because this little guy is my rainbow baby and the calm after a bit of a storm getting to this point of growing our family. My sister did a beautiful job and the decor was lovely. Here are the lovely cupcakes and ceiling decorations she made! 


(love the sour candy rainbow!)


My sister also made puffy clouds with rainbow colored raindrops- it was gorgeous. We had a nacho bar and each of my friends wrote inspirational words on rocks for me. Words of love and support for labor. My friends and family also brought a bead to make a necklace. Each bead had a special meaning and I am going to bring it with me to use as a focal point during labor. My doula said a few beautiful words and it was so fun to visit with everyone. 

After the party I headed home to rest and in the evening my friend Kayla and I brought the kids to see Disney on Ice. Kellen loved it and enjoys a snow-cone all to himself! 

Sunday was Valentine's Day and my sweetheart surprised me with beautiful flowers and Kellen with a balloon. I bought Ron and Kellen some chocolates from our favorite candy store in town- yum! 


Kellen and his Valentine kitty:


In the evening, we dropped off Kellen at Ron's parents for an overnight and because daycare was closed today for in-service. Ron and I enjoyed the rest of the night with take-out Thai curry and West Wing- perfect Valentine's Day! I had to add that my husband scored major points when I walked upstairs to find him organizing Kellen's old clothes to get ready for baby.... that was an amazing gift all on it's own! 

This week we are not doing too much besides the usual swim, but we do have a pizza party on Thursday for a friend! I am also looking forward to trying a new cauliflower dish recommended by my Kayla for our grill out on Friday! The weather is supposed to be 40 degrees and what better way to celebrate than to grill?!

Have a great week!

Monday: Creamy Tomato Basil Risotto and Garlic Parmesan Roasted Shrimp
Tuesday:   Mexican Meatballs, Rice and Beans
Wednesday: Subs after Swim
Thursday: Out for Pizza for a Birthday
Friday: TBA
Saturday: Date Night!
Sunday: Grilled Steaks with Blue Cheese,  Loaded Cauliflower Casserole and Grilled Asparagus

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Easy Split Pea and Kielbasa Soup

I am a big split pea soup lover.  As a kid, I remember my Grandma making pots of split pea or bean after a ham and thinking it was delicious.  It is the type of soup I will get a craving for, but do not always have a leftover ham sitting around to make a soup. I came across this recipe from Taste of Home and immediately put it on our meal plan because it sounded easy and delicious.  I had not tried kielbasa in my pea soup before and knew it would be something I would enjoy.  I opted to use a turkey sausage to lighten up the soup a little bit, but if you prefer regular it will be just as tasty.  The only other change I made was to use a bit of chicken broth and add a little additional water because the soup is pretty thick.  I didn’t find that I needed to use additional seasoning beside what is list below.  Ron and I loved this soup and it re-heated great for lunches. Kellen was a little apprehensive because of the color (which is odd because he loves green veggies), but happily ate the sausage, carrots, celery and onions from the soup. Kids are so funny sometimes.

This week has been flying by and I can’t believe it is Friday tomorrow!  This weekend my sister is hosting a Blessing Way for me and the babe.  A Blessing Way is somewhat of an alternative baby shower.  Traditionally,  a Blessing Way was a Navajo Ritual created to support and empower the mother for her journey of birthing and motherhood. However, many times it is now alternative to Baby Showers. Many times the baby shower focus is gifts and baby and a Blessing Way focus is on the mother and her journey.   Our road to this baby was not as long as some, but it certainly had hurdles. I am really thankful that I am able to have another child and an afternoon of support with people I love is really exciting to me.  And there will be cake and nachos because like I said this is about the mother and this mother loves a little cake and nachos.  There are going to be some other activities and I can share them with you in Sunday after the party.  I am so flattered that my sister is putting this together and am so excited for Saturday!

Tonight, we are laying low and I need to get Kellen’s Valentine’s together for his Friendship Party at school. They are having ice cream sundaes and he is in charge of the M&Ms… I wish parents were invited- yum!


Ingredients

1 pound smoked turkey kielbasa, cut into ¼- ½ inch pieces
1 pound dried split peas
4 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
3 cups water
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon coarse black pepper
2 bay leaves


Instructions

Cut sausage in half lengthwise. Place in a soup pot and add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours or until peas are tender. Remove the bay leaves. 

Makes 2 quarts. 

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Big Sky Bran Muffins

As mentioned in my meal plan post, my family went to the Wisconsin Dells last week and each time we go I try to pack healthy snack for the kids to enjoy poolside, for lunch, or for breakfast. This time I made some banana bread, Ham Salad and this muffin recipe from Smitten Kitchen. Kellen loves muffins and I loved that this recipe was packed with bran, fresh fruit and low on sugar. The original recipe used strawberries, blueberries and blackberries, but I opted to use chopped raspberries and blueberries and it was delicious. The muffins were a big hit with my family and we all loved having them around for a quick snack or a light breakfast before heading out to play for the day!  I loved the flavor of this muffin and the lightly sweetened fruit in the middle was the more delicious part!  These were so easy to make and I can't wait to make them again. Next time, I am thinking of adding a little banana and they will certainly be on the docket once strawberry season arrives to my area! 

Last night, I met a few girlfriends for sushi and it was a blast as usual. I am trying to get some time to myself before little man arrives because, as I learned with Kellen, adjusting to a newborn and learning their schedule and preferences keeps a mom very busy! I am also trying to get  lots of time with Kellen because I know more juggling on my part will have to take place in the not so distant future! This weekend I am taking him to Disney on Ice and I think we will really enjoy it! Ron and I also have a few date nights on the calendar before baby boy gets here to we get a little time just together as well. Tonight, we have swim class and then coming home for a bath and a little relaxation. The week certainly flies by when you are off work on a Monday! 


Ingredients

1 1/3 cups buttermilk 
1 large egg
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup lightly packed dark brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups  wheat bran (I use Bob's Red Mill)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp granulated sugar, divided
3/4 to 1 cup berries (I used blueberries and halved red raspberries)


Instructions

Heat oven to 425 degrees and coat a 12-cup muffin tin with nonstick spray.

Whisk  egg, oil, brown sugar in a medium medium bowl. Next, slowly whisk in the buttermilk and vanilla. Whisk bran, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Stir wet mixture into dry until just combined and still a bit rough.

Spoon two 2 tablespoons of batter into each prepared muffin cup. Add about 2 teaspoons fruit to each (dividing it evenly) and sprinkling the fruit with one of the teaspoons of granulated sugar. Spoon remaining batter (about 1 tablespoon each) over fruit and sprinkle tops of muffins with remaining teaspoon of sugar.

Bake muffins for a total of 16 to 18 minutes, rotating pan once midway through baking time for even browning, until a toothpick inserted into the center of muffins comes out with just a few crumbs attached. Do not over-bake. Let muffins cool in pan  for 10 minutes before removing from tin.

Makes 12 regular sized muffins. 

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Weekly Meal Plan 2/8 - 2/14

What a fun weekend! It makes me sad when Monday comes so fast! 

First, I want to say thank you to everyone who entered the #FreshTastyValentines- such a fun event!

This past Wednesday we hightailed it out of Green Bay and headed for Wisconsin Dells for a little fun at The Wilderness. We went to The Wilderness over my birthday last year and I was excited to go back again! We spent our days there relaxing, swimming, playing in the arcade and eating. It was a great trip. Kellen has a an absolute blast and so did the adults. We returned home on Sunday (my birthday) to grill brats and watch the Super Bowl. It was a great week and now back to reality. Here are a few snaps from the weekend:




I took Monday off to relax and organize- I also go to grab sushi and a pedicure with my friend for her birthday!

This week I am grabbing dinner with a few girlfriends, bringing Kellen to swim, my sister is throwing me a shower/blessing way on Saturday and Kellen and I are going to Disney on Ice! I am really excited to celebrate this little man with family and friends. I can't believe that we will be meeting him next month (potentially unless he is fashionably late like his brother)!

Have a good week everyone!


Monday: Chili with all the Fixin's
Tuesday: Out with Girlfriends and Subs for the boys
Wednesday: Slow Cooker Muffaletta Beef Roast, Roasted Potatoes and Green Beans
Thursday: Gyro Bowl and Pita Bread
Friday:  Out for Dinner
Saturday: Baby Shower/Blessing Way thrown by my Sister! Pizza for Dinner before Disney on Ice!
Sunday: Valentine's Meal: TBA!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Easy Apple and Meyer Lemon Tart #FreshTastyValentines

Welcome to #FreshTasyValentines!

This week filled this space with fresh and tasty recipes- perfect to share with your valentine and today is our final day! Don't forget to check out the prize package below and enter! 

I introduced this event, sponsors and bloggers in my preview post and please click here to visit and learn more about our sponsors. Also, I want to thank Camilla of Culinary Adventure with Camilla. This lady has worked so hard to put this event together and deserves many rounds of applause- head over to her blog and show her some love!

I decided that I needed to end the week with a dessert. Apples are a favorite of mine and I am loving all seasonal citrus this time of year- especially the Meyer Lemon.  I decided that combining the two to make a tart would be a perfect end to my weeks sharing #FreshTastyValentines recipes with all of you. 

Envy Apples generously sent me 3 of their delicious apples, an apple corer and a tote bag. Envy Apple uses natural plant-breeding, non-GMO methods and crosses Braeburn with Royal Gala apples. The company started in New Zealand and has expanded to Washington State. The apples are amazing and I was lucky that my 3 year old didn't snag them before I had a change to make my tart! 

KitchenIQ generously sent me a BetterZester and Strawberry Tool. I used the zester for this recipe and the zester is wonderful and has a slightly curved design and a bonus container for easy zest removal. I used seasonal Meyer Lemons for my tart because I love the combo of citrus and apples together. 

This tart is so quick and easy! The flavors are crisp and sweet from the apple and a bit tart from them lemon. I really like having a lighter dessert and this is a perfect end of the meal for me.... if you wanted a little more richness a scoop pf vanilla ice cream wouldn't hurt! 

I want to thanks Camilla one more time for all her hard work. I have done a few of these recipes challenges with Camilla and you would not believe all the work she does to get these up and running! I also want to thank all of our sponsors again. They are so generous to us and provide such wonderful products to share with all of you. 

Check out the blog hop below to see what my fellow bloggers are sharing today and don't forget to enter the giveaway! 


Ingredients

1 piece frozen puff pastry, cut into 3 pieces and thawed
2 apples, cored and thinly sliced
Juice from 1 meyer lemon (2 Tbl)
2 Tbl brown sugar
zest from 1/2 meyer lemon
raw sugar
1 egg beaten


Instructions

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Whisk together lemon juice, and brown sugar. Brush the lemon mixture over the puff pastry. Layer the thinly sliced apples on the puff pastry. 

Combine raw sugar and zest and mix so it is well combined. Sprinkle over the apples.

Brush exposed pastry edges with egg wash and place tarts on the baking sheet. Bake 13-17 minutes or until pastry is golden and underside is completely cooked.  Remove from baking sheet, slice and serve. 


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Friday, February 5, 2016

BBQ Tangerine Hatch Chile Roasted Cornish Game Hens #FreshTastyValentines

Welcome to #FreshTasyValentines!

This week I will be filling this space with fresh and tasty recipes- perfect to share with your valentine next week. Don't forget to check out the prize package below and enter! 

I introduced this event, sponsors and bloggers in my preview post and please click here to visit and learn more about our sponsors. Also, I want to thank Camilla of Culinary Adventure with Camilla. This lady has worked so hard to put this event together and deserves many rounds of applause- head over to her blog and show her some love!

Today I am sharing a perfect recipe for two using one of my favorite poultry proteins- cornish game hens.  I have shared cornish game hens before because I think they make a lovely meal and always look impressive. They are much easier to prepare and cook much quicker than chicken and are usually have a very reasonable price point at the store. I normally roast mine with butter, salt and pepper but this was a perfect time to show-off a few of our sponsor ingredients! 

NotKetchup sent the bloggers a bottle of their newest product: Tangerine Hatch Chile  NotKetchup Sauce. The sauce is a fantastic all-purpose sauce that has no added sugar, no artificial or non-nutritive sweeteners, nothing artificial and no preservatives.  In Fact, the sauce is only sweetened with real fruit like tangerines, apples and dates and there is only 1g sugar per serving. I sampled the product right when we got it and couldn't wait to get cooking! I opted to mix mine with a little mine with a little tangy bbq sauce and the flavors were amazing! 

KitchenIQ generously sent me a BetterZester and Strawberry Tool. I used the zester for this recipe and the zester is wonderful and has a slightly curved design and a bonus container for easy zest removal. The added lemon lest in my sauce worked perfectly with the tangerine and brought out the citrus in the NotKetchup!

Ron, Kellen and I loved this meal and Kellen loved dipping his serving in extra sauce- we are so lucky he is in a stage that he likes to try food because with toddlers you never know what you will get! We served our hens with a side of roasted broccoli and wild rice. This is a perfect meal to share as a family or as a romantic dinner for two. 

I am so excited to share all of the recipes for #FreshTastyValentines! Also, check out the other bloggers on the hop below for more recipes! 


Ingredients

2 Cornish Game Hens
1 fresh lemon, quartered
Salt and Pepper
1/3 cup Tangerine Hatch Chile Not Ketchup
1/3 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce
Lemon zest of a 1/2 lemon


Instructions

In a medium bowl, whisk together NotKetchup, bbq sauce and lemon zest. Set aside.

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Pat the hens dry and stuff with lemon quarters. Season with salt and pepper and truss if desired. Place in a roasting pan and roast for about 60 minutes or until the temperature reaches 165 degrees. 

When the hens are in the last 20 minutes of roasting, generously brush the hens with the BBQ sauce. Return to over and allow the hens to finish roasting. 

Remove from the over and allow the hens to rest 5-10 minutes before carving and serving.




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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Roasted Garlic and Red Wine Butter #FreshTastyValentines

Welcome to #FreshTasyValentines!

This week I will be filling this space with fresh and tasty recipes- perfect to share with your valentine next week. Don't forget to check out the prize package below and enter! 

I introduced this event, sponsors and bloggers in my preview post and please click here to visit and learn more about our sponsors. Also, I want to thank Camilla of Culinary Adventure with Camilla. This lady has worked so hard to put this event together and deserves many rounds of applause- head over to her blog and show her some love!

So far, I have shared delicious a main course and a side dish highlighting our sponsor's donation. I wanted to share a frequently forgotten part of a meal- butter. Not just any butter, but a flavored butter. Flavored butters are great for enhancing dishes and adding touches of flavor. I love the use them on warm rolls, steaks and other meats, potatoes, green veggies....the list goes on and on. A few years ago, at one of my favorite places in town, I was served a red wine butter of the top of my steak and it was amazing. I love red wine and red meat together, but this butter put the steak over the top and it is still one of my favorite meals. I wanted to create a butter for this challenge because they are versatile and can be used in so many different ways. Plus, who won't get impressed if you are serving a roasted garlic and red wine butter? 

Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi sent me a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Nior.  I am not drinking much these days (less than 2 months to go till baby boy is here!), but I love to cook with wine! For this recipe I  used the Pinot Noir to make a delicious butter. 

Casabella was generous enough to send me a Garlic Roaster and Clip 'n Strip Shears. The garlic roasted is designed oven and dishwasher safe and roasts the garlic with no mess to clean afterwards!  I love to roast garlic and this tool is a fantastic addition to my kitchen. I am always hesitant to buy specialty kitchen tools for fear it will take up too much space or I won't use it, but this is a tool I know will be frequently used in my household! 

I am so excited to share all of the recipes for #FreshTastyValentines! Also, check out the other bloggers on the hop below for more recipes!


Ingredients

1 stick salted butter, room temperature
2 1/2 Tbl Robert Mondavi Pinot Noir
1 large clove roasted garlic
1/4 tsp cracked black pepper


Instructions

Add butter, wine, garlic and pepper to a food processor and pulse till smooth and evenly mixed. If you do not have a food processor a hand mixer will work. 

Serve whipped at room temperature, or roll in wax paper to make a log and store in the fridge till firm. Butter can also be frozen till ready to use.

To Roast the Garlic: I used my Casabella Garlic Roasted and it was fantastic. If you do not have one click here for an alternative roasting method.




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Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Honey Garlic Ginger Glazed Sugar Snap Peas #FreshTastyValentines

Welcome to #FreshTasyValentines!

This week I will be filling this space with fresh and tasty recipes- perfect to share with your valentine next week. Don't forget to check out the prize package below and enter! 

I introduced this event, sponsors and bloggers in my preview post and please click here to visit and learn more about our sponsors. Also, I want to thank Camilla of Culinary Adventure with Camilla. This lady has worked so hard to put this event together and deserves many rounds of applause- head over to her blog and show her some love!

Side dishes are often long forgotten after thoughts and I wanted to share something quick and delicious that is a perfect accompaniment to any main course. I turned to Mann Packaging's Stringless Sugar Snap Peas and Gourmet Garden's herbs to create this delicious and fresh side!

Mann Packaging was generous enough to send coupons to me to try out their products. I have always been a fan of Mann's Stringless Sugar Snap Peas even before this challenge! They are cleaned, washed and make for easy snacking for Kellen and I- perfect for car rides between work, daycare and swim! Click here to check out all of their different and amazing products!

Gourmet Garden was kind enough to send participants 18 different herb products (stir-in pastes and lightly dried) for this challenge.  I was lucky enough to use Gourmet Garden's product in a previous blog challenge and was thrilled to have a chance to work with the product again. This time, along with stir-in paste, Gourmet Garden included 6 lightly dried herbs. I love this product because they last 4 weeks after they are opened, but are void of moisture and freshness like a fully dried herb.

 I served this recipe with a Cornish game hen recipe I will be sharing tomorrow. The fantastic thing about this side dish is it comes together in a snap (haha) and isn't your everyday steamed veggie with a little butter or salt. I used sharp flavors of garlic and ginger, but mellowed them out with a touch of honey. I like to lightly saute the pea pod so they maintain a slight crunch. My three year old adored these and devoured almost 2/3 of the entire pan- I would say that is a hit in my book!

I am so excited to share all of the recipes for #FreshTastyValentines! Also, check out the other bloggers on the hop below for more recipes!


Ingredients

1 (15 oz) bag Stringless Sugar Snap Peas
2 Tbl butter
1 1/2 tsp raw honey (regular will work fine)
1 tsp Gourmet Garden Garlic Stir-In Paste 
1/2 tsp Gourmet Garden Ginger Stir-In Paste 
1/4-1/2 tsp salt


Instructions

In a large rimmed skillet, saute the snap peas in butter for 2 minutes. 

Stir in the honey, garlic and ginger. Allow the glaze to thicken while cooking over medium-low heat for about a minute. Season with salt, to taste, and remove from heat. Serve immediately. 




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