Baking · Breakfast · Secret Recipe Club · Side Dish

Looking Pretty

sconesRoasted Onion and Cheese Scones

Time for October’s Secret Recipe Club recipe – which was originally going to be the final post on this blog (at least for the near future.  However, it was announced yesterday that next month will be the final month for the Secret Recipe Club, so there will be at least one most post!  When it was time for me to pick my recipe I thought it was going to be my last so I decided to go BIG.   I wanted a recipe that was going to push me and WOW was I assigned the right blog!  Baking Fanatic is a blog stuffed with delicious baked goods that I tend to avoid for fear of destroying my kitchen.  Based out of Surrey, Philip is a math teacher with a passion and INSANE talent for baking.  Reading his blog posts I couldn’t help but hear them in the voice of Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood (RIP GBBO) due to his use of “bakes” as a noun.   This was one of the hardest picks ever as every deliciously amazing bake seemed better than the last – at one point I had over 20(!!!!) recipes marked to try.

In the end reason, and having a nine month old, won out and I went with a recipe that was somewhat familiar in that I had worked with each of its “parts” before.   Philip’s  Roasted Onions (done that) and Smoked Cheese Scones were my first attempt to ever make a savory scone and oh my goodness were they worth all the dirty pans.   The original recipe is gluten free but I went the gluten way using the direction provided in the original post.  I did debate caramelizing the onions on the stove for fear of overheating the kitchen but fall has finally decided to arrive – so was able to open the windows and get a nice cross breeze going.

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My scones are not nearly as pretty as the originals since I had to do a drop method for lack of a biscuit cutter.   The end result however was fantastic, beyond fantastic even.  The sweetness of the onions partnered so well with the smokeyness of the cheese – every bite was just packed with flavor.  Since I went grated the cheese was pretty evenly melted but every now and then there was a pocket of gooey “nuggets” of awesome.

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Baking · Dessert

What’s This

Chocolate Chip Pudding Cookies

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Even tho I am retiring from the “blogging life” or at least taking a hiatus.  I couldn’t pass as the opportunity to adopt an orphan blog from Group B of the Secret Recipe Club.   A Spoonful of Thyme is a blog I have purused before so I was more than happy to pick out a goodie.  Since it was hubby’s birthday on Friday and I knew there would be lots of family gatherings I decided to head straight to the sweet stuff.  I came ever so close to making her Apple Cinnamon Bread Pudding until a quick double check indiciated that it had been a SRC post making it ineligible.   Thankfully there were a few DOZEN other recipes to select from and in the end I went with her Sprinkle Pudding Cookies.  I’m not a stranger to using pudding mixes as part of cakes in order to make them extra moist but this was a first for cookies and WOW!!!!  They cookies were so soft and moist – total melt in your mouth deliciousness.  I did have to swap out the sprinkles for chocolate chips as apparently most sprinkles taste nutty – which makes them a no go for my family.

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These were a huge hit with everyone – so much so that it’s a good thing we kept a few at home otherwise they would have disappeared before it was time for the picture!

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Freezer Meals · Gluten Free · Home Cooking · Secret Recipe Club

Oh baby

Homemade Baby Food

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Welcome to my September SRC post as part of Group A!  I’m still in shock how long I’ve been doing this blog which is why it hurts to say that this is going to be my next to last post.  While I’m still cooking (and eating!), I’m spending little to no time researching and developing new recipes – which is rather essential as a food blogger.  Right now my days are spent as a jungle gym and I’m okay with that.  Most likely I’ll come back to the blog, probably as soon as spring time but right now I’m doing lots of family favorites.  However, I did want to finish out my commitments to the SRC which had been such a huge part of my blogging identity.   This month I was assigned a blog with one of the most hilarious “origin” stories out there – it involves a muffin burnt so badly that it went THRU an apartment wall when tossed.  I can soooo relate to that – as well as the desire to focus on healthy recipes while still being tempted by the good things in life such as caramel and nutella (or biscoff)!!!!!  Burnt Apple  is run by an awesome mom of three kids who is juggling normally mom life along with some pretty intense medical issues such as Type I diabetes and colitis.  I found soooooo many vegetarian friendly recipes on her blog, including variations of some of my family’s favorite such as sweet potato black bean quesadillas.  However in the end the part of her blog that I HAD to focus on was her small but awesome section dedicated to baby food.  Baby E started doing solids a few months ago and it has been such a learning curve in regards to texture, color, and temperature.  As it gets closer and closer to the time I return to work I’m also starting to think about what I can do now to make things easier.  One of those is prepping baby food and WOW did I strike gold in being partnered with Burnt Apple.  She has a two column color-coded guide to freezing baby food as well as one of the easiest baby friendly applesauces out there – plus a healthy first birthday cake (which we’re going to need very soon).

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This month I did things a bit differently and instead of doing a “recipe”, I essentially did her entire freeze column using her “how to make baby food” and “baby food delicacies” posts.  All of the items I made can be stored for up to a month, which is great since husband is starting a new job this week and will have some rather insane hours for the next few weeks.  This way I can pick out baby girl’s meals the night before and just toss in the fridge to thaw before reheating.  I’m hoping that eventually I’ll be able to do this in the hour suggested – maybe then I can get back to blogging!!!!  I used a Ninja in place of a food processor and my Doctor Who Silicon Ice Cube Trays since 1) they hold just over 2tbsp and 2) everything pops out of the super easy.    The top picture is squash by itself while the second one is her apricot puree – which was a HUGE hit.  I’m hoping to do her Garden Vegetable combo this week since we have now checked all those veggies off on their own.

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Casserole · Mexican · One-Pot · Quick Weeknight Recipes · Secret Recipe Club

SuperMan

Enchilada Casserole

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Welcome to the August BONUS installment of Secret Recipe Club!!!  Today all posts are focused on “back-to-school” and family friendly dishes which are basically all my family eats these days cuz 9 month old.  For this special feature, I was assigned Sid’s Sea Palm Cooking which is PACKED with amazing recipes including caramelized potatoes which I made before.   Had this been a normal challenge I would have made her Vandbakkelser because OMGoodness does that look amazing!   However, playing by the rules is good so I went with her enchilada casserole.  She actually has two of them on her page so I went with a hodge-podge version of both!  Instead of chicken, went with all beans per the suggestion of one recipe and upped the spice while reducing the sauce as per the second recipe.  (apologizing for any typos in this post as my computer has decided it doesn’t “like” certain letters right now)

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Only thing I might do differently in the future is add some chips to the top to give it a bit of a crunch.  This came together super quickly and also tasted amazing as lunch the next day – always a nice bonus!

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Baking · Dessert · Secret Recipe Club

Better Place

Apple Crisp

 apple filling

Hello August!!!  Hello Monday!!! Hello Secret Recipe Club reveal day!!!!  This month I was partnered with the incredible Andrea of Adventures in all things Food – which has got to be one of the best blog names EVER.   Andrea’s blog has a bit of everything, from vegetarian goodies to desserts to crafts fit for the entire family.  I’ve been a sweet kick lately so I went straight to her dessert section, trying to avoid eye contact with her peanut butter icing because OMGoodness chocolate donuts with PEANUT BUTTER – nom nom nom.  However, in the end I was won over by her fall ready Apple Crisp.  I’m normally a summer girl but I’m ready for cooler temperatures!   Didn’t even make any changes to the recipe – it’s perfect already!  While Andrea didn’t specify what type of apple, I went with Pink Ladies since they offer a great combination of sweet and tart.  Plus they hold up well when it comes to baking.

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I also went with old fashioned oats, tho quick oats would also work well.  I just prefer a crisper crisp!  For a vegan option, switch out the butter for earth balance or a similar spread – easy peasy.   Since there are 5 Mondays in August – there will be another secret recipe club post at the end of the month so hope to see everyone then (if not sooner).

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Appetizer · Gluten Free · One-Pot · Quick Weeknight Recipes · Salad · Simple and In Season

Big Noise

Simple Beet Salad

beets

Summer is most certainly here – hitting over 100 degrees earlier this week before the heat index!  I’m trying to stay as cool as possible in the house, so avoiding the oven as much as possible.  Thankfully the local farmers’ markets are BOOMING with fresh and delicious produce making it super easy to make healthy dinners that don’t require much cook time.  With this simple salad the trick is to slice the beets on the thin side so that they can be cooked in under 7 minutes, nice and crispy on the outside and melt in your mouth delicious in the middle.

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To make it even quicker to get dinner on the table, I prepped them the night before so that they could soak in the oils.   We enjoyed these with a cold pasta salad, which had also been prepped the night before!  I find it so much easier to cook right before bed (and after dessert) and since it’s cooler outside the kitchen doesn’t become a mini-furnace.

Baking · Dessert · Secret Recipe Club

Wiggle Wiggle Wiggle

Best Oatmeal Cookies EVER

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Welcome to a bonus July SRC recipe!!!!  When I saw the call to adopt an orphan from group C I was super excited as I love exploring the other groups that make up the Secret Recipe Club.  Anne’s Simple and Savory (and sometimes sweet) is a blog stuffed to the brim with healthy and delicious recipes – including an entire section devoted to vegan and vegetarian food.  Since I only had a few hours to pick, make, and blog I went straight to work finding the perfect recipe.  I flagged two different coconut cookies, a spicy buffalo cauliflower dish, and two perfect for baby recipes: applesauce and hummus.  In the end however Joe decided he NEEDED to try her “best oatmeal cookies” recipe and so that was that!  I didn’t have any raisins so I switched for semi-sweet chocolate chips – not the healthiest option but I was on a tight schedule.  I also used unsweetened  flaked coconut in place of shredded since that’s what I had on hand.

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Easily the moistest oatmeal cookies I have EVER had!  If I was aiming for a standard chocolate chip and got one of these instead I would still be a happy camper – they are seriously that good!   The base recipe would also work well with craisins, going back to the healthy roots of this recipe.  Actually, any dried fruit would probably do well in this dough…thinking I need to get some dried cherries!!!!

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