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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Baking · Home Cooking · Quick Weeknight Recipes · Secret Recipe Club

Can Dream

Cheese Sticks

Cheese Sticks

Happy May Reveal Day!  This month I was once again partnered with Erin of Making Memories with My Kids for Group A of the Secret Recipe Club.  Her blog is full of fantastic recipes and awesome science experiments – so lots of awesome things to look at.  I was apparently craving carbs when I was checking out her blog as every recipe I flagged was hardcore sinful.  Top of the list were (and are) her apple fritters but every time I got to the store I was unable to nab some Pink Ladies.  Luckily I was able to find some awesome cheddar cheese allowing me to make her fantastic Cheese Sticks!!!   These delicious treats are made using ingredients that I normally have on hand but decided to go the distance and get some really good cheese.  I went for some Vermont Extra Sharp as well as some Vermont Mild White – which is why mine aren’t as vivid as Erin’s!  I also added minced garlic in place of the garlic powder as I prefer the fresh stuff, no risk of vampires in this house!

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Lesson learned on this: read the recipe all the way!  My sticks weren’t nearly as pretty or evenly cooked as I missed the part about having a cookie press which is one of the few kitchen tools I don’t own.   These disappeared pretty quickly here, with both of us enjoying these with dinner and then again for breakfast!  I enjoyed them slightly warm and toasty while Joe was eating them however they were available. Needless to say another successful SRC recipe! I can’t wait to see what June has in store – but first there will be a bonus BBQ and Picnic SRC recipe at the end of the month.

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Baking · Dessert · Home Cooking · Secret Recipe Club

Need You

Biscuit Sandwich

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Welcome to April’s Secret Recipe Club reveal for Group A!  Normally when I get my blog assignment I go to the recipe page and read everything, saving and pinning anything that catches my eye.  This time however I was transfixed by a thumbnail on Chit Chat Chomp  and HAD to make it.  So I first searched her dessert page, trying to not be distracted by all her delicious goodies before finding MY recipe on her baking page: Melting Moments.  Leigh made these for her boss’s birthday and for some strange reason was not given a raise, which blows my mind because oh my goodness are these biscuits insanely good.  I had to make a change to the custard filling, switching the lemon curd for vanilla due to my citrus allergy.   Not so surprising Leigh has a recipe for vanilla custard as well so I used that as the filling for my biscuits!  I just halved that recipe and dropped the zest – super easy and super incredible.  We wound up with some “extra” pudding after assembling the cookies and it was very hard to not lick the bowls clean.

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I also enjoyed the irony of getting an Australian blog seeing as how I got one just over a year ago when my little sister moved to Australia for a year.  She gets back next Monday (!!!!) and I can’t wait to get all the food details about her trip.  I have a feeling I’ll be making some more of Leigh’s recipes once she gets back, especially since she has a very large vegetarian recipe section.

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Baking · Dessert · Home Cooking

and Gumdrops

Cafe Mocha Cheesecake

cheesecake

Welcome to #16Cheesecakes – part 2!!!

Last year Camilla at Culinary Adventures with Camilla rallied some blogging friends to help her celebrate her 15th wedding anniversary. She was only looking for fifteen cheesecake recipes. But we posted waaaaaay more than #FifteenCheesecakes.  It was such a hit and we all had so much fun that she decided to see if she could get enthusiasm for another round of cheesecakes. Yep. This is an encore performance by some of her favorite foodie bloggers.

More than #SixteenCheesecakes

Last year I kept things rather simple with a chocolate caramel cheesecake – something I knew my husband would love.  As I mentioned last year, Joe and I also did a cheesecake at our wedding and it was the BEST decision ever.  This year I decided to go for something more my style: Cafe Mocha Cheesecake.  Don’t get me wrong, Joe’s a huge fan of coffee but not in his dessert so much as with his dessert.  I, on the other hand, prefer Double Dunker ice cream by Turkey Hill to almost anything!  Coffee and chocolate and just the hint of vanilla to keep things from being too overpowering – perfection!

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Make sure to check out all the other fantastic cheesecakes – perfect addition to a holiday dinner or a substitution for dinner.

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52Weeks · Home Cooking · Quick Weeknight Recipes

Can I get

Three Cheese Swiss Chard

Mac & Cheese

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Sometimes it’s fun to be a bit indulgent, for example using three types of cheese to make mac & cheese.  I try to keep my dairy intake to a reasonable amount as I’m slightly lactose intolerant but sometimes have to just take a lactaid and enjoy the cheesiness of life!  In attempt to tease myself into thinking this dish is at all healthy, I added some swiss chard.  Regardless, it’s all 52weeksofcookings fault as they were the ones who posted a Mac and Cheese challenge – so totally blaming them for all the calories in this dish!

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This Mac&Cheese is so rich that we actually had leftovers for lunch the next day which is something that normally doesn’t happen.  I warmed everything back up on the stove, adding just a bit of olive oil as this dish did not need more diary.  Joe then topped his with Old Bay (shocker!) while I enjoyed mine as is.

Freezer Meals · Gluten Free · Home Cooking · One-Pot · Vegan

Used to Call

Northern Bean Cassoulet northern_bean_casoulet

Quick and easy, or in the very least easy, is what I’m all about these days.  Which is why each week since the arrival of our little girl, I’ve made at least one of our freezer meals.  Just pop it in at some point around lunch (whenever that is) and there will be something warm to eat come dinner (whenever that happens).  I tried to add as many vegetables as possible to these meals in an attempt to maintain a balanced diet – even tho there is nothing wrong with having ice cream for breakfast!  I’ve made bean casseroles before but for this I want to jam as many veggies in as possible and with it being late fall when I prepped these meals, I went heavy on the root vegetables.

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For a gluten free option just use your favorite GF breadcrumbs or go for something like hemp seeds.  Protein, vegetables, and the perfect sauce for some crusty bread makes for a fantastic dinner.  To really speed things up, use Gourmet Garden garlic pastes and their Italian Herb paste – tho be warned these do contain whey so are not suitable for vegans but are gluten free.

Baking · Dessert · FreshTastyValentine · Home Cooking

Love by Day

Apple Cake

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Welcome to the 5th day of Fresh Tasty Valentine.  I’ve had such a fantastic time the past few weeks coming up with these recipes, and hopefully you’ll want to share the with your valentine.  Since I started with a soup I figured it was fitting to finish with a dessert – one that’s on the healthier side at that!  Envy Apples started in New Zealand with a mission to make a better non-GMO apple and I’m rather certain they have succeeded!  Now they have expanded to Washington state, allowing them to offer in season apples nearly year round.  While I debated using mine in a savory dish, in the end my sweet tooth won out.  Plus after the success with the hemp seeds in recreating a nutty taste I wanted to see if I could do that again.

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Needless to say this cake was a total success!  The hemp seeds added the perfect nutty taste and texture, would easily have guessed the cake had walnuts in it.   Just one more reason why you should enter the giveaway if you haven’t already.  Plus as a bonus the envy apples come with an apple corer that is so easy to use that I managed it one handed while wearing a certain little fussy one.