Friday, March 6, 2015

Spinach Artichoke Dip Tortellini Soup

The past 3 weeks have been packed with cold temperature and winter weather.  I'd say mother nature has decided to make up for lost time right here at the end of the season.  We are about 2 weeks away from spring and with mounting piles of snow, sleet and ice the signs of spring are truly nowhere to be seen.

I'm not complaining though.  Since about mid November my little guy has been asking for snow, even just a little bit.  He stands at the window and just looks outside waiting for a flurry or two to fall from those big puffy clouds.  I'd say he finally got his wish!  Mother nature delivered, and in a big way.  So we've taken full advantage of the frigid temps and the snow and ice.
We've sized the days each and every day the white stuff has been on the ground.  The days have been spent sledding, building snowmen, building snow castles, attacking each other with snowballs and of course, making snow ice cream.  Aside from playing with my little guy, another fabulous part of snow days are indulging in big bowls of soups and stews.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Slow Cooker Honey Mustard Chicken

I am a condiment loving girl.  Always have been.  Always will be.  I've never met a sauce I didn't like, but I'd have to say honey mustard ranks pretty high up there on my list.  So, to say I was excited when I saw this chicken from Lauren's Latest would be an understatement.

A chicken that is cooked in one of my all-time favorite sauces and uses one of my favorite kitchen tools for the cooking process.  This is definitely a recipe is right up my alley.  What's not to love? Simply combine a few simple ingredients and throw it in the slow cooker.  And viola!

Monday, March 2, 2015

BTB: Homemade French Baguettes

What is it about a simple piece of warm bread, slathered in butter that makes an ordinary meal extraordinary?  A bowl of soup on a cold day is wonderful.  Now, place a plate with warm bread on the table to accompany that soup and it takes it to a whole new level.  Serve warm rolls or crusty bread with a roast, mashed potatoes and gravy and oh-my-goodness.  There's just something about being able to sop up gravy and soak up soup with a piece of bread that is just so magical.

And if, and I do mean if, I'm lucky enough to have a slice or two leftover I wake up, warm it up, schmear some butter and jelly on it and enjoy it with my morning cup of coffee.  There's truly no better way to start the day.

Before a few weeks ago, I had never made baguettes.  I always picked up a loaf or two when I was at the store and just served them along side our meal.  The craving for a crusty, chewy baguette hit but we were snowed/iced in.  So, the time had come for me to bite the bullet and attempt to make a baguette at home.

Friday, February 27, 2015

DB: Siopao (Asian Filled Buns)

The February Daring Bakers’ challenge is hosted by Julie of One-Wall Kitchen. She challenged us to an easy, simple filled bun using no-knead dough.

I love learning about other cultures, especially the foods of those countries.  It's neat to learn about their foods and compare them to what we enjoy here in our country.  In our Daring Bakers' challenges sometimes, the hosts sometimes share recipes with us they grew up enjoying and then challenge us to try these recipes for ourselves.  The hosts almost always give us a little creative freedom to choose flavorings and such.  

I enjoy all of our challenges, but I especially love learning about other cultures.  The members of the Daring Bakers' aren't just comprised of people from the U.S., it's a group comprised of people from several countries.  I guess that's part of what makes us daring, we are challenged to try different recipes, sometimes recipes that we are familiar (and sometimes not comfortable) with.  

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Orange and Dark Chocolate Biscotti

The world of blogging is one that grows every single day.  Although there are thousands of amazing blogs out there, there is still a since of community among fellow bloggers.  Even though we don't personally know one another, there's still a relationship that is formed through this one common interest.  To me, that is so neat.  So when fellow bloggers share something exciting, naturally we want to celebrate with them.

Tara, of Tara's multicultural table, is a fellow food blogger that I met through the secret recipe club.  She was planning to welcome a sweet, little baby girl in March.  But, as we know little one's come on their own time, and Tara's second little bundle of joy decided to come into this crazy world early!  So I want to say a big congratulations to Tara on the newest addition to her family!
In honor of Tara's second child a group of bloggers decided to get together to help her celebrate her newest bundle by having a virtual baby shower.  The them, biscottit.  Why biscotti.  Since this was Tara's second kiddo (bun in the oven) we decided to make a treat that needed a second bake.  Did you know that biscotti actually means second bake?  

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

3 Ingredient Snow Ice Cream

Growing up in south Arkansas our winters consisted of more sleet and ice than snow.  I think I can count on one hand the number of times we got out of school because of actual snow, and even then it wasn't really enough to do much of anything with.  So we made the best of it and made icemen, sledded in the sleet and so on.  Just no ice fights, cause well, we all know that would end up badly.

So when winter weather rolled around, the idea of snow ice cream was completely out of the question.  I had seen recipes, heard people talk about it but never actually experienced the stuff for myself.

But all that's changed now.  Over the past 7 years we've had several winter storms, and we've even had a decent amount of snow during those storms.  Nothing compared to the northeast, but still decent for our neck of the woods.

Monday, February 23, 2015

SRC: Mini Minemeat Pies

Let me apologize for such the long post.  This particular recipe and challenge was very near and dear to my heart.  If you don't care about reading through all of this just skip to the bottom to get a delicious recipe for a truly British holiday favorite.  These mincemeat pies have a buttery, flaky crust studded with bits of orange zest and it's filled with a boozy mincemeat (dried apples, raisins, spices) filling.

My Grandma, my mom's mom, was born and raised in England.  It wasn't until she married that she made the trek across the pond to live in the states.  So, she was able to partake in traditional English foods and desserts, and fortunately for us she brought her love for that food with her when she ventured to the states.

Many of my afternoons, weekends and summer days were spent in the care of my Grandma.  Which meant I got to experience some of the more traditional British foods.  I didn't think anything of her whipping up something like Yorkshire pudding, steak and kidney, or tea and crumpets on a regular basis.  I now know just how rare some of the foods I enjoyed as a kid are here in the states.

I loved being able to eat all these foods my Grandma grew up enjoying.  I also loved when she went to her English Girl's party.  There were about 8 ladies that had come to the states and they all ended up in the same town, so about once a month they would make English goodies and they'd get together, visit, have tea and eat some delicacies from their home.  She would take me to these parties and I would get to hear stories as well as indulge!

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