Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Mexican Wedding Cookies

Christmas has come and gone but I still have one more cookie to share with you.  These cookies have a multitude of names; Russian Tea Cakes, White Cookies but most commonly Mexican Wedding Cookies.  Although this may not be a seasonal cookie to many of you, it is to me.  I know Christmas is here when I walk into my parent's house and see a big container of these beautifully delicious white powdered sugar cookies.  Once I have my first one of the year I know the Christmas season is here.

These cookies are simple, elegent and festive.  They are a shortbread type of cookie that isn't overly sweet, but they have a nice buttery flavor.  Once these cookies are removed from the oven they are given a dose of super, extra sweetness by being tossed and covered in powdered sugar.  The addition of powdered sugar not only adds a delicious amount of sweetness but it reminds me of a fresh blanket of powdery snow.  Now if that doesn't get you in the mood for Christmas I don't know what will.
These make a terrific addition to any dessert table as well as a cookie or sweet gift basket.  If you do make them for a cookie swap or basket be sure to make a few extras because you'll catch yourself testing one or two...or maybe even three or four!  But who's counting???

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

December Daring Baker's

Our Daring Bakers Host for December 2011 was Jessica of My Recipe Project and she showed us how fun it is to create Sour Dough bread in our own kitchens! She provided us with Sour Dough recipes from Bread Matters by AndrewWhitley as well as delicious recipes to use our Sour Dough bread in from Tonia George’s Things on Toast and Canteen’s Great British Food!

Russian Rye Bread


Servings: 1 large loaf or 2 small loaves and excess rye starter to keep for further baking.

Rye Starter - Day 1:
Ingredients

3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon whole (dark) rye flour
1/4 cup hot water
Total scant ½ cup

Directions:

In a plastic container, mix the flour and water into a paste.

Set the lid on top gently, cover with a plastic bag, to prevent messes in case it grows more than expected!

Set somewhere warm.  It should be a very sloppy, runny dough, which will bubble and grow as it ferments.

Rye Starter - Day 2:


Ingredients

3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon whole (dark) rye flour
1/4 cup water (at 104°F/40°C)
scant 1/2 cup starter from Day 1
Total scant 1 cup 

Directions:

Stir the flour and water into the mixture from Day 1, cover, and return to its warm place.

Rye Starter - Day 3:

Ingredients

3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon whole (dark) rye flour
1/4 cup water (at 104°F/40°C)
scant 1 cupstarter from Day 2
Total 1 cup plus 6 tablespoons

Directions:

Stir the flour and water into the mixture from Day 2, cover, and return to its warm place. If you notice it has a grey liquid on top, just stir this back in and continue as normal.

Rye Starter - Day 4:

Ingredients

3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon whole (dark) rye flour
1/4 cup hot water
1 cup plus 6 tablespoons starter from Day 3
Total about 1¾ cups

Directions:

Stir the flour and water into the mixture from Day 3, cover, and return to its warm place. At this point it should be bubbling and smell yeasty. If not, repeat this process for a further day or so until it is!

Rye Starter, ready for baking.


Russian Rye Bread - Step 1: Production Sourdough

Ingredients

1/4 cup less 2 teaspoons rye leaven (starter)
1 cup plus 2 teaspoons whole (dark) rye flour
1 1/4 cups water
Total 2½ cup 

Directions:

Mix everything into a sloppy dough. Cover and set aside for 12-24 hours, until bubbling. Set aside the remaining starter for further loaves – see the Notes section for tips!

Russian Rye Bread - Step 2: Final Dough

Ingredients

2 cups production sourdough (this should leave some (½ cup) to become your next loaf of bread!)
2 1/3 cups rye flour (light or whole)
1 teaspoon sea salt or ½ teaspoon table salt
3/4 cup plus 2 teaspoons water (at 104°F/40°C)
Total 5 cups plus 3 tablespoons

Directions:

Mix all the ingredients together to form a soft dough. With wet hands, scoop the dough up and put it in a well-greased loaf tin.

Put the tin inside a large plastic bag, blow it up, and seal it. This should make a good little dome for your bread to proof inside. Set aside somewhere room temperature to warm.

The dough should be ready to bake with in anywhere between 2-8 hours, depending on how warm it is. I proof mine by a sunny window in about 4 hours. If the dough was halfway up the tin when you started, it will be ready when it reaches the top (i.e. almost doubles in size).

Preheat the oven to very hot 470°F. For a large loaf, bake for 50-60 minutes, reducing the temperature to moderately hot 400°F gas mark 6 after about 10-15 minutes. If baking in small loaf tins, bake for 35-45 minutes, reducing the temperature after 10 minutes. If you are unsure about whether it is done, give it a few minutes longer – it is a very wet dough, so the extra time won’t hurt.

Leave to cool on a cooling rack, and rest the loaf for a day before eating it.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

We hope you have a very Merry Christmas and best of new year's.  We are truly blessed and we count our blessings every single day.  We have had a blast with our little man over the past year, I can't believe he's 2 now!  We are looking forward to more fun, adventures and memories in 2012.  I can't wait to see what God has in store for us this next year. 
Here's to lots of yummy food, many memories, and tons of quality time with family and friends. 

May God bless you and your family.  And remeber, JESUS is the reason we have this wonderful season. 

Merry Christmas and happy new year,

Spencer, Lynsey and Tucker

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Gingersnaps

Gingersnaps are one of my favorite cookies.  I have always been a fan of them.  As a little girl, I remember standing by the oven waiting on my Grandma to pull out a fresh batch and it was all I could do to restrain myself to let them cool enough for me to touch.  There was just nothing better than having a gingersnap fresh from the oven, while they were still warm and having a large glass of cold milk to accompany it.  It's still the same for me today, I can't wait to have one...or two or three...fresh from the oven.  There's just nothing like it. 

For me, it seems like the Christmas season hasn't officially begun until I've had gingersnaps, chocolate crinkle cookies, and a few other delicious treats.  To me, these cookies scream Christmas and winter.  The flavors fit perfectly with this time of year.  I love the combination of sweet paired with the warm spices in this cookie.  There's just something so comforting about these cookies.  The would make the perfect gift for any sweet lover in your life and Santa would enjoy a plate of these with a tall glass of milk on Saturday night!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Fleur De Sel Caramels


I am a huge fan of caramel.  Caramel apples.  Caramel candy.  Caramel syrup.  If it involves caramel you can count me in!  There is just something irresistable about the rich, chewy, butteriness of chewy caramel candy.  Pair that with a sprinkle of fleur de sel and you've got the perfect combination of sweet and salty.  These caramels not only have fleur de sel in them but they are garnished with some as well, which adds a touch of sparkle to this treat. 

Caramels may not be the most fancy or snazzy candy for the holiday season, but in my opinion you just can't beat a really good caramel.  It doesn't get much better than making your own candy, I honestly think I'm getting addicted!  It's so gratifying to make your own caramel.  This process starts with a few simple ingredients, that are probably staples in every pantry, and then ends with a delicious, chewy candy. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Wild Mushroom and Goat Cheese Quesadillas with Cranberry-Pecan Salsa


The past few weeks have been incredibly busy.  Not only am I preparing for Christmas, but I had the privilage of making a wedding cake for a co-workers daughter, and I have also been preparing for Tucker's 2nd birthday (there will a post about that soon!).  If you're wondering, the wedding cake turned out wonderful.  The bride wanted a simple cake; white cake with buttercream, and wanted a very simple desing.  The end result was simple, elegant and beautiful.  I will post pictures soon.  So needless to say the past few weeks have been complete chaos, but an absolute blast.  Since I've been so wrapped up in wedding cakes and birthday planning, my blog has suffered a little bit.  So for all of you still out there, waiting on the next delicious dish to be posted, I appreciate your patience.  I am back and I think this recipe is the perfect recipe to start back with!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Photo Card

Family Snowfall Holiday
Turn family photos into holiday cards at Shutterfly.com.
View the entire collection of cards.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Sweet Potato Soup

Thanksgiving has come and gone along with all of that delicious food.  I know I enjoyed every bite and I hope you did too.  Now Christmas is just days away!  Can you believe it?  Don't worry, I'm not even going to ask you about how much shopping you've done.  I do have to brag on myself though; I started my shopping earlier than I ever have before and I'm 99.9% done!  I can't believe it!

Now that Thanksgiving is over, do you still have some leftover ingredients sitting around that never got used for the big meal?  I just happened to have a few large sweet potatoes leftover that were just itching to be used up.  Since they didn't make their appearance on Thanksgiving day I thought I would use them for this soup I saw on Amy's blog, sing for your supper.  As soon as I saw this recipe it started calling my name.  I love all things sweet potato and this soup sounded like it would be right up my alley.  She got the inspiration for this soup from a traditional Thanksgiving side, sweet potato casserole.  That comparrison along was enough to make me want to give it a try, but if that's not enough for your then take a peek at this list of ingredients.  Go ahead.  Now, tell me if this soup doesn't sound good? 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Sauteed Andouille with greens and polenta

When I came across this recipe on Elly's blog I was instantly drawn in and after reading her post I knew this was a recipe that I had to try for myself.  Not only did the beautiful picture of the colorful meal draw me in but the list of ingredients, themselves, won me over as well.  When Elly initially made this dish she made a few adaptations for various reasons, but mainly because she didn't have some of the ingredients on hand.  I made this recipe using Elly's modifications, since I had everything in her version already in my pantry.

To me, this recipe seems like it's a true, cozy and comforting meal.  There is just something about the earthy greens, vibrant red peppers, sausage and polenta encompasses all the flavors of fall and winter.  This meal is one that is full of many different flavors and textures and when combined it's the perfect mix of crunchy, chewy, creamy, salty and cheesy. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Weekly Meal Plan


I'm a little late getting the meal plan posted for this week, but there's been a lot going on.  We had Thanksgiving with my family this weekend so the meal plan will be utilizing a lot of the leftovers we had from our Thanksgiving meal.  I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!

Meal plan for December 4-10, 2011

Roasted chicken sandwiches with cranberry relish, smoked cheddar and horseradish, and french fries
Thanksgiving leftovers
Glazed ham, corn casserole, green beans and rolls
Chili and jalapeno cornbread
Leftovers
Thanksgiving leftovers
Homemade pizza-toppings TBD

Monday, December 5, 2011

Smokey Bean Soup with Ham and Bacon

I mentioned previously that a fellow blogger unexpectedly lost her father on Thanksgiving morning.  In the blogging world you make connections with people from all over the place and develop relationships with others who have the same passion and interest as you.  I don't personally know Annie or her family, but my heart goes out to her and her family during this time of grief and struggle.

On Thanksgiving morning she suffered a tragic loss.  A loss that was sudden.  A loss that was unexpected.  She suffered one of the worst kind of losses.  She lost her father.  Her father that was only 59 years old.  A loss of anyone at any time is a tragedy, but a loss that comes so unexpectedly is the worst.  Although I don't know Annie personally, when I learned of the loss of her father I wanted to do something for her.  We don't live in the same town or state, we are actually miles and miles apart but that doesn't mean I can't do something for her to let her know I'm thinking of her.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Chicken Club Sandwiches

Lately I have been craving a chicken club sandwich something fierce.  I don't know where this craving has come from but it's here.  I have searched high and low for a chicken club that sounds like it would quench my craving but I have yet to find something that sounds like it would hit the spot.  So what's a foodie to do when they can't find the perfect sandwich to end their cravings?  Make one that will, of course!   So I did exactly that.

This sandwich, although nothing fancy, is probably one of the. best. sandwiches. Period!  The ingrdients were simple, and even better they are things that you probably already have around the house.  The chicken had the perfect amount of flavor, the sweet and tanginess of the honey mustard is a perfect combination.  Not only did the chicken have the perfect flavor it was incredibly moist, as well.  The sweetness of the Hawaiin buns added that much more to the taste of this sandwich.  Dress with a little mayonnaise, lettuce, tomato and salty bacon and you've got the perfect sandwich.


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Buttermilk Pie

It's National Pie Day!  Yes, pie has it's own special day.  How fun is that?  I used this special day as inspiration to try a pie that I've heard a lot about but that I've never tried myself.  Buttermilk pie.  Have you heard of it?  I'm sure most of you have, and I'm sure a lot of you have even had one. 

If you are still unsure about this pie, here is a bit more information.  This is a pie that has been around for generations, and it's a traditional southern style dessert.  This is nothing fancy; just eggs, butter, sugar, buttermilk and a few more ingredients comprise this pie.  It's a simple, custard based pie that is made with buttermilk (just as the name indicates).  This is a pie that can be baked in a pie shell, but can be baked in just a pie dish as well (this is ideal for my mom since she just uses the crust as a utensil to hold the filling).  This would even be fun to put in mini pie dishes or ramikins for easy, individual serving portions.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Weekly Meal Plan


Menu for November 27- December 3, 2011

Sweet potato soup with apple cheddar grilled cheese sandwiches
Hot wings, french fries, celery and carrot sticks
Homemade pizza
Baked spaghetti, garlic bread, and green salad
Leftovers
Thanksgiving with my family during the weekend.

Have a great week!

Thoughts and prayers for Annie

As we end a month of thanks, celebrations of giving thanks, and embark on the Christmas season please keep Annie of Annie's Eats in your prayers.  Thanksgiving morning instead of finalizing her Thanksgiving feast, as she had planned, she learned of the passing of her father who was only 59 years old. 

The loss of anyone is difficult, even more difficult around the holidays and unbearable when it's a parent.  I can't imagine what Annie is going through right now, but I'm sure she is struggling at this time.  Please keep her and her family in your thoughts and prayers during this trying time.  Pray that she has the strength, not only to overcome this herself, but to be there for her 2 young kids who won't understand what is going on, and to be there for her family. 

Give thanks for all you have.  Take advantage and cherish each moment spent with your family.  And most importantly, tell your loved ones how much you love them each and every day. 

God Bless you, Annie.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Desserts for your Thanksgiving Table

Thanksgiving is just a few days away.  Can you believe it?  Where does the time go?  I'm sure you all are looking forward to spending time with your family, I know I am, as well as eating all of that delicious food, and reflecting on all that we are thankful for.  I look forward to the meal itself, but what really gets me excited is all of the desserts.  I mean a Thanksgiving meal isn't complete without dessert, am I right? 

If you're like me, then you have that one dessert that you wait for all year long, the one that you "unofficially" always have first dibs on.  For me, it's my dad's pecan pie.  He only makes it twice a year; Thanksgiving and Christmas and I crave it the other 363 days of the year.  Yes, I have the recipe and yes, I've made it but it's just not the same.  Maybe you're a person who likes to change it up a bit and try something new each year.  If this is you, then don't worry because I have a few desserts that will be at home at any Thanksgiving celebration.





Pumpkin snickerdoodles- these cookies are perfect for the young, or young at heart, they are sure to please crowds of all ages.  These fluffy cookies encompass all that is fall.  The subtle flavor of pumpkin with underlying tones of fall spices would be the perfect end to any meal.

Brown butter pumpkin latte cupcakes- these little pieces of heave are like Starbuck's Pumpkin Spice Lattes in the form of a cake.  I love the earthy, nutty flavor the brown butter brings to this cake.  Drizzle with caramel sauce and dust with cinnamon for a fun and festive addition to the dessert table.

Pumpkin coffee pound cake- pumpkin, coffee and all the spices of fall are what comprise these pound cake.  No extra frostings or glazes are needed for this cake, just sprinkle with powdered sugar for an elegant and delicious dessert.

Chocolate bourbon pecan pie-this twist on a pecan pie gives this classic a fresh perspective.  Add chocolate to any dish and it's sure to please any dessert lover.

Pumpkin chocolate cheesecake- combine cheesecake and pumpkin pie and you get this rich and delicious pie.  A spin on a Thanksgiving classic will wow your guest and be the perfect accompaniment to a nice, hot cup of coffee.

To all of my wonderful readers, I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.  I hope you use this day to reflect and remember all you're thankful for.  I try to do this daily, but I will take special effort on Thanksgiving to note each and every thing I have to be thankful for.  I am truly blessed.  Happy Thanksgiving to you all.

Weekly Meal Plan



Menu for November 20-26, 2011

Oven fried chicken, macaroni and cheese and asparagus
Chili or Red beans and rice (haven't decided which)
Out to eat-Mexican
Leftovers
Thurs-Thanksgiving at in-laws
Tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches
Leftovers

Friday, November 18, 2011

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles


We have reached the end of the "Week of Pumpkin".  It's been a good week, I think!  There have been a variety of recipes this week, from breakfast, to chili to desserts, we've covered it all.  Last but definitely not least, we have pumpkin snickerdoodles.  I think these cookies are the perfect way to end a fabulous week of pumpkin recipes! 

Snickerdoodles, to me, are one of the more underrated cookies out there.  I'll be real honest with you and make a confession.  They aren't a cookie I long for, and I don't really deem them irresistable.  While there are some people out there that love these cookies, and prefer them over any other sweet out there, I'm not one of them.  I, personally, would rather have a cookie with a little more to it; like chunks of chocolate or candy pieces or something like that.  But that's just my personal preferance.  I mean that is why they make vanilla and chocolate, right?  So everyone can enjoy a treat that appeals to THEIR tastes.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal


Baked oatmeal is quickly becoming our of my family's favorite breakfasts.  Not long ago I posted another recipe for baked oatmeal that truly was love at first bite!  Now that fall has rolled around I thought it would be fun to incorporate some fall flavors into one of our new favorite meals.  This is a hearty oatmeal that is made up of two kinds of oats, steal and old fashioned.  The addition of the steal cut oats not only adds heartiness to the dish but adds another layer of texutre.  Caramelized bananas are layered underneath the oatmeal before baking.  These add a rich and buttery flavor to the oatmeal, and pairs surprisingly well with the pumpkin.  A dash of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves helps to pull these flavors together as well as make your home smell like all the goodness of fall. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Turkey, White Bean, Pumpkin Chili

We're half way through the "Week of Pumpkin".  I hope you are enjoying this as much as I am!  What's on docket today?  Turkey, white bean, pumpkin chili!

One of the main things I love about soups and chilis is you can make a big batch that can be served for days.  To me, soups are usually better the day after they are cooked because they flavors have had time to meld together and intensify.  Soups are a one pot wonder, in my opinion.  All these different ingredients and seasonings are added to a big pot and simmered for a while and the end result is something fabulous.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Pumpkin Coffee Pound Cake

Thanksgiving is a little over a week away.  I can't believe it!  The time is drawing near for turkey, sweet potatoes, dressing and all of the other scrumptious dishes that go along with this holiday.  I can't wait.  But before we sit down to eat, give thanks and visit with loved ones; last minute planning is heavily underway to ensure that everything goes off without a hitch.  This planning is not only important for the meal itself, but for the dessert as well.  For me, dessert is just as important to Thanksgiving as the turkey and dressing.


Monday, November 14, 2011

Pumpkin Spice Waffles

Welcome to the "Week of Pumpkin"!  I am so excited about this week and all of the wonderful recipes I have to share with you.  We are in the midst of fall, baking season and of course pumpkins!  I thought it would be fun have a week completely dedicated to pumpkin and post recipes that incorporate pumpkin in some form or fashion.  So welcome to the week of pumpkin.  I am so excited about this first recipe, pumpkin waffles! 

So, it's that time of year again.  Fall is in the air and the pumpkin recipes are in abundance.  I anything with pumpkin and spice, not only does it taste good but it makes my house smell divine.  I am constantly marking new pumpkin recipes to try; sweet, savory, breakfast, or supper, I'm not prejudice.  If it's got pumpkin in it, I will try it!  Most of the pumpkin recipes I've made in the past have been in the form of cupcakes, muffins, and bars and now there's a recipe that incorporates pumpkin into a breakfast dish!  This means you could actually have pumpkin incorporated into every meal of the day.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Weekly Meal Plan


Meal plan for November 13 - 19, 2011

Pork tenderloin with balsamic cranberry sauce, mushroom rice casserole and other side TBD
Chicken club sandwiches, wedge salads and french fries
Spaghetti and meatballs, garlic bread and green salad
Leftovers
Meatball subs and potato salad
Pumpkin baked oatmeal, sides TBD
Leftovers

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Brown Butter Banana Strawberry Bread

Banana's.  Strawberries.  Brown butter.  On their own, each of these are delicious and have a very distinct flavor.  They are wonderful in baked goods, breakfast dishes and perfect for a snack.  But lets talk about dessert for a minute.  First and foremost, I love dessert, I mean anything sweet but we're going to get kind of flavor specific for just a second.  I am a huge fan of banana bread, banana milkshakes, banana whoopie pies, strawberry shortcake, strawberry cake and strawberry ice cream...just to name a few.  Honestly, I'm a fan of anything that incorporates any of these flavors. 

What is the common element in all of these?  They just incorporate one of these three ingredients.  So what could be better than just a banana dessert or just a strawberry dessert?  What about a dessert that not only includes bananas, but strawberries and brown butter?  To me, that sounds absolutely divine and that's what been done with this bread!      

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Chicken Taco Soup


We love all foods with Mexican flavors.  Honestly, I think I could eat Mexican food everyday and never get sick of it.  Give me a platter of chips and salsa and I'll be content for days.  We're also huge fans of soup.  So the marriage of Mexican flavors and soup was a perfect match, and made for the perfect meal.

So what can I say about this soup?  Although taco soup is nothing new in the food world, I've never made it.  I enjoy it every time I have it but for some reason beyond me we've never enjoyed a batch of homemade taco soup, until now.  This was such an easy soup to put together, it was only a matter of mintues before everything was in the pot and simmering.  The sweetness of the corn and tomatoes added so much natural flavor to the soup and help counteract the spiciness of the rotel and cayenne.  The cilantro added earthy and bright flavors and really helped brighten the flavors as well as add a splash of color.  And let me tell you, it's always good to have a colorful plate...it's just more appealing to the eyes(my MaMaw's philosophy).  My MaMaw was a huge fan of color, not only in her wardrobe but on her plate as well.  A meal wasn't complete without a splash of color!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Baked Oatmeal

Lately recipes for baked oatmeal have been popping up all over the blogasphere.  After seeing this on several blogs I knew I had to try it out and see what all the hype was about.  Boy, I can now say I see why this has been showing up pretty much everywhere I look.  I have been missing out.  I have always enjoyed oatmeal as a traditional breakfast dish as well as a quick fix for supper, and of course I've also enjoyed it in cookies!  Although bland on it's own, oatmeal is a blank canvas and can be jazzed up by a multitude of spices, fruits and various other "toppings".



Until now, I had never tried baked oatmeal.  Don't ask me why, I just hadn't.  I can honestly say I should kick myself for not attempting this until now.  Not only was I holding out on myself, but on my family.  I love this recipe for many reasons.  First, and most importantly is for taste.  Secondly; it is so easy to assemble.  Third; it is so versatile and the flavor combinations can be easily adapted to suit your tastes as well as the season.  So far I have only tried the original, blueberry banana combination, and loved it.  I can't wait try try other flavor variations, I am thinking something pumpkin for fall!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Weekly Meal Plan


Meal plan for November 6-12, 2011

Sauteed andouille with greens and grits
Turkey, white bean and pumpkin chili with jalapeno cheddar rolls
Left overs
Wild mushroom and goat cheese quesadillas with cranberry-pecan salsa
Leftovers
Grilled chicken club and sweet potato fries
Left overs or out to eat

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Cheese Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms


Here is yet another successful meatless meal.  Like I've said before, Spencer is definitely a meat and potatoes kind of guy and is skeptical about any meal I mention, let alone prepare that doesn't include meat.  I am slowly but surely winning him over with some of the recent vegetarian meatless meals.  It's not that he doesn't like vegetables, it's more a matter of not getting full from a meatless meal.  Him not filling up on meatless meals has been a non-issue, which is wonderful!  I enjoy encorporating meatless meals into our menu, so the fact that Spencer is enjoying them and getting enough to eat is a definite plus.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Balsamic Glazed Mushrooms

After I posted the classic steak I was suprised at how many emails I recieved requesting the recipe for the mushrooms I served as a side.  Your wait is over!  Here is the recipe for the balsamic glazed mushrooms!

These were as equally delicious as the steak and just as simple to prepare.  These mushrooms were the perfect compliment to the simple flavors of the steak.  The balsamic glaze introduced a whole new depth of flavor to the meal.  And I have to mention the garlic; I love the combination of garlic and mushrooms.  I don't know what it is about that combination, but they definitely are a match made in heaven.  The garlic with the balsamic glaze really compliments one another and makes a perfect sauce for the mushrooms.

These mushrooms are simple yet elegant.  Perfect for a quick side dish but impressive enough for company.  Serve this with any steak and add a simple salad and you have the perfect meal!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

Happy halloween to all of you!  I hope you all have a "spooktacular" day.

                                 My little racecar driver just waiting to hit
                                         the streets and trick or treat!

I hope your day is filled with more treats than tricks.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Daring Baker's October Challenge

The Daring Baker’s October 2011 challenge was Povitica, hosted by Jenni of The Gingered Whisk. Povitica is a traditional Eastern European Dessert Bread that is as lovely to look at as it is to eat!


Can I just say how excited I was when I saw this challenge?  So very excited!  I love learning about and trying new foods.  And when those new foods are from another culture, I love to read the history of them and learn about how those particular foods play a part in their everyday life.  Before this challenge I had never heard of Povitica, but now I can say that I've not only heard of it but I have enjoyed it as well.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Pumpkin Penne with Arugula, Mushrooms and Romano

I am an avid lover of pumpkin desserts; give me a pumpkin truffle, cupcake, or pastry and I'm good.  Well, let's face it give me anything sweet involving pumpkin and I'll be very content.  Savory pumpkin dishes however, I'm not so sure about.  I see recipes from time to time that sound interesting but I'm not as likely to make.  I'm trying to be more open minded and incorporate new recipes in my collection, and that includes more savory pumpkin dishes. 

I came across this recipe on Elly's website; it sounded interesting and it really intrigued me.  The recipe incorporated many things I love; mushrooms, garlic, arugula and how could you go wrong with cheese and pasta?  I knew this dish couldn't disappoint since it utilized so many different foods that I love.  And I was right, it was delicious.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Brown Butter Pumpkin Latte Cupcakes

I love this time of year; the crispness of the air, football, and most importantly all of the wonderful food.  Yes, fall is here!  There are so many terrific foods that accompany fall and recipes with pumpkin definitely flourish.  I love pumpkin desserts and I love trying new foods that showcase pumpkin flavor.  I have a multitude of pumpkin recipes stashed away that I can't wait to make, but I am pacing myself so my family, friends and coworkers don't go into a sugar coma! 


Monday, October 24, 2011

Weekly Meal Plan


Menu for October 23-29, 2011

Sunday-driving back from out of town so something quick
Baked oatmeal, bacon and biscuits
Smokey bean soup with ham and bacon with jalapeno cheddar cornbread
Cheese pizza with wedge salads
Leftovers
Baked honey dijon chicken tenders, green beans and macaroni and cheese
Leftovers

Other cooking baking: brownies, carrot cake, chocolate cupcakes and vanilla cupcakes

Friday, October 21, 2011

Cream Cheese Swirl Brownies

Early tomorrow morning my city's downtown streets will be flooded with a sea of pink.  Tomorrow is the annual Susan G. Komen race for the cure.  In honor of the race and to show my support for the survivors and the cause (and hoping we soon find a cure) I wanted to make something sweet and pink. 

There's nothing that gets me up and going more than sweets, and to be more specific chocolate!  I love brownies; I honestly think I could sit down with a fork and a whole pan of brownies and eat myself sick.  I love their rich, fudgy, chocolatey goodness.  They really do make a bad day good.  What's better?  Enjoying one straight from the oven (or heated in the microwave) with a tall glass of ice cold milk.  There's nothing that can top it.  Brownies are a classic, and delicious on their own but there are so many spins and twists that are added to them now and it just compliments the deliciousness! 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Brazilian Shrimp Soup

 

I love Google reader, it helps me keep up on all of the blogs I love to follow as well as keep track of recipes I want to make down the road.  The other day I was going through all of the updates on my reader when I came across this soup on Kelsey's blog.  Just the picture of her soup made me drool.  Number one, it looked delicious, and number two I love anything involving shrimp.  This recipe moved to the top of my list and it went on the menu for the following week. 


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

S'more Brownies

S'mores are one of my all time favorite treats.  There is just something magical about the combination of graham crackers, chocolate and ooey gooey toasted marshmallows.  What's even better?  Sitting around a campfire on a cool night and enjoying s'mores.  There's just nothing better!  Since we don't go camping a whole lot I don't get to enjoy the traditional s'mores as much as I would like so I'm always on the hunt for recipes that incorporate s'mores.  I've seen quite a few recipes out there that I'm dying to try; s'more bars and adult s'mores, just to name a few.  Finding recipes that incorporate these delicious little jewels is the best way to get my s'mores fix and bring the best of the outdoors in!


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Red Beans and Rice


When fall arrives I get so excited; there are so many recipes that I look forward to making, a few classics but I am always looking for new ones to try as well.  It's the perfect time of year to pull out your favorite long sleeve shirt or sweat shirt, get cozy and have a big bowl of soup or chili.  Fall has been here for a few weeks but the weather hasn't exactly followed suite.  Since the weather has been warmer than normal I watch the weather carefully and plan the meals accordingly.  If there is any glimpse if cool weather in the forecast I immediately work one of my fall-ish recipes into my meal plan.  One of those cool days finally came around Spencer's birthday which worked out perfectly.  One of his all time favorite meals is red beans and rice, and since the weather was actually going to be cool he decided that he wanted that for his birthday meal.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Weekly Meal Plan


Menu for October 16-22, 2011

Out to eat with friends-hot wings
Spaghetti squash lasagna, green salad and garlic bread
Leftovers
Chicken taco soup and jalapeno cornbread
Leftovers
We will be out of town a few days this so we'll eat out those days

Other cooking/baking: pumpkin pie bark, brownie, and possibly pumpkin pound cake

Have a great week!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Low Fat Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

Who doesn't love a muffin?  And, I mean, what's not to love?  They are delicious, and they are small and portable so they can easily be enjoyed on the go.  They are like cupcakes; you get the same taste and deliciousness of a cake but they are "less work" to eat, not that cake or any food for that matter is really troublesome to eat!  For a while I was on a muffin kick, and I had muffins up to my ears.  It's been a while since I've made any muffins, not really sure why, but when I came across this recipe I had to try it.


I love zucchini and I love chocolate, so why not try combining the two together?  I was extremely excited to try this recipe; and one of the reasons was I had never tried a sweet recipe that incorporated zucchini into its list of ingredients.  I'm always up for new things and figured I should give this recipe a try.  Boy am I glad I did!  These muffins were delicious.  They were crumbly, moist and full of flavor from both the zucchini and the chocolate.  While you get the flavor from the zucchini, the chocolate gives it a nice sweetness and a great flavor contrast.  Plus, with the chocolate in there you almost forget these are low fat...and even good for you! 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Weekly Meal Plan


Menu for October 9-15, 2011

Chipotle steak tacos with caramelized onions
Chicken enchiladas, black beans, rice and homemade chips
Steakhouse mushroom burgers with creamed spinach sauce and wedge salads
Leftovers
Spaghetti squash lasagna, garlic bread and a side salad
Sausage and rice casserole, green beans, corn and garlic bread
Leftovers
Chicken spaghetti, side salad and bread sticks

Other cooking/baking: Carrot cake, soft frosted sugar cookies, strawberry cake, strawberry cupcakes, and perfect party cake

Friday, October 7, 2011

Serendipity Deluxe Bars


Tucker is still as in love with the mixer today as he was a year ago.  When he hears the mixer turn on it is only a matter of seconds before he's by my side helping me scoop, pour and mix.  Now, he also knows, that whatever comes out of the mixer is something delicious and most of the time it's sweet and he can't wait to take a bite.  He, now, is under the assumption that anything that is stored in a Tupperware container is a cupcake.  The way he says it, however, is incredibly cute and very southern..."cup-caaaaake"!  And of course, whenever he sees the container, he points to it, says cupcake and insists on having at least 1 bite, if not the entire thing immediately.  It is needless to say that he is not a snob of whatever may come out of that container, even if it's not a cupcake.  Maybe to him cupcakes equal something sweet and delicious?


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