Welcome to day three of Fresh Tasty Valentines! I’ve been having so much fun with this blog party thanks to all the fantastic sponsors and bloggers that have joined in. One of my favorite things about events like this is being exposed to new-to-me vendors – such as Casabella. When I received their Clip n Strip shears I think all my herbs gave sigh of relief as I would no longer be torturing them with dull shears or nails in my attempt to get some herbs. These shears are rather fantastic, especially since they have this awesome little notch in the handle for stripping the leaves off the stem. Needless to say these scissors made quick work of the rosemary needed for these aromatic treats. for best results, make sure the eggs are at room temperature and resist the urge to peek as they are baking – just trust in your oven as best you can!
Are they a dessert or are they a side dish?!? I served them both ways and suspect they would also be fantastic as a breakfast item with some runny eggs. Since I don’t have a proper popover pan, I use a jumbo muffin tin which works perfectly. Now, have you entered the giveaway for a chance to win your own shears? herbs? or zester?
Note: I was gifted the shears and a garlic roaster as part of participating in Fresh Tasty Valentine however all opinions are my own.
It’s hard to believe that 2015 is already over – in so many ways this year has just flown by! 2015 was a BIG year for my family as we welcomed our little girl at the end of November. It was also a year where I learned to let go and accepted that I can’t control everything, a lesson that I’m sure will be repeated over the next 18+ years or so. I wasn’t able to post nearly as much as I had hoped (curse you HG) but I was able to catch up with some of my older cookbooks and make some great plans for the future. There are about 21 freezer meals that will be reviewed between now and March (!), a return to the Secret Recipe Club, and a rather awesome Valentine’s Day series. However, this post isn’t about what’s coming but rather a look back on the top posts of the year. So without further delay the top three posts of 2015:
Cheese “burger” Mac & Cheese
Mini Ginger Cheesecakes
Cherry Chipotle Brussel Sprouts
Not at all surprised that two of these posts are from February’s Triple S Bites! That was so much fun to participate in, and so many of the posts from that week really pushed me. I still can’t believe I made mini cheesecakes! This year my focus is going to be on quick and easy meals as I don’t see myself having that much spare time. I also hope to get back on track with eating seasonal vegetables as well as local and sustainable goodies. 2016 has a lot to live up to after such a fantastic 2015 – I can’t wait to see what happens!!!!
Carrot Potato Mash
During my pregnancy I did my best to eat all the colors of the rainbow, and got a bit creative towards the end. Possibly because I was due on Thanksgiving, I kept getting cravings for traditional Thanksgiving foods – especially mashed potatoes and stuffing! While I didn’t have the patience to make stuffing from scratch, I was totally up for making some mashed potatoes. However I couldn’t just make normal mashed potatoes so I grabbed some carrots and combined the two to make a very colorful dish. As a bonus, I used redskin potatoes for an extra burst of color.
I served this up with some BBQ tofu but it would also make a bright addition to any holiday spread. I have a feeling these ingredients have the potential to make a fantastic latke and hope to test that theory at some point!
It feels so good to be back in the kitchen and on the blog again. I’m still in shock that after three years of trying and two years of treatment we finally have our little girl! She has already changed our lives in some many amazing ways and is only 16 days old – can’t even begin to imagine all the joy heading our way.
Cheesy Vegetable Lasagna
After a very mild few weeks, fall is 100% here and I’m becoming okay with that. Something about having those extra few weeks of nice temperatures is somehow making it easier – feel like we “cheated” in a way. The nice weather also made for some strange food overlaps as cherry tomatoes kept trickling in to the markets which are normally long gone by this point. Again it feels like we’re cheating! With that, I wound up with a bunch of random vegetables at the end of the week so I decided to just take everything out of the fridge and see what I could do with it. In the end it came down to a pizza or lasagna and a rogue sweet potato made the decision for me: lasagna!
For a different twist switch out the sweet potato for any type of squash – or use a variety of wild mushrooms. Spinach, swiss chard, or kale would also go fantastically in this dish either fresh or pre-cooked with the mushrooms and onions. Since my main mission was to clean out the fridge I just used what I had on hand, and it worked fantastically! If you don’t have alfredo sauce on hand a simple bechamel sauce can also work, tho you might want to add more garlic/salt/pepper in order to keep the dish from being too bland.
In other news, our little one made her appearance last Friday (11/27) and we are 100% smitten. She arrived at 7:02 am weighing 8lbs 13oz and has the cutest chunkiest little cheeks!. After years of fertility treatments and wishing/hoping/praying it is such a relief to have her home!
Welcome to Part 2 of my #partylikeamadman – again with a huge thanks to my in-laws for allowing me to use their kitchen since ours is still in construction mode! In going through the Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook, one of my favorite parts was how each recipe included not only information about the episode the dish was featured in but also facts about the origin of the recipe. In the case of the Waldorf Salad, the cookbook also included information about the evolution of the salad – as well as two versions of the dish. I went with the classic dish, adding some grapes for an extra POP of color. I served this for a large group of people but due to taste preference not all ingredients were increased the same way. The first recipe is how I served it, while the second one is the original recipe plus grapes.
I wound up making this dish twice – the first version wound up with a technical problem in that I was the one taking the picture. The second time around I served this up as part of our Seder dinner and it was the perfect fit (and quite the hit!). I am so glad I was able to participate in this Mad Men Party, and look forward to having a finished kitchen so that I can try out some of the more elaborate dishes in the book!
Chocolate Caramel Cheesecake
Welcome to #15Cheesecakes – an anniversary celebration for Camilla and her husband. Like Joe and I, Camilla and her husband also celebrated their vows with a delicious cheesecake in place of the standard wedding fare. So when I saw her call for 15 bloggers to make a cheesecake to help them celebrate I KNEW I had to be involved. My first plan was to recreate our wedding cake, a fantastic Dulce de Leche creation but that didn’t exactly work out due to poor dulce de leche making skills on my side – thankfully I had back-up ingredients. One of the biggest take-aways from doing all these blog challenges is to always, always, always have a back-up plan in place. Sometimes the recipe just won’t cooperate while other times it will be life in general. Thankfully my back-up cheesecake worked out perfectly! The real trick is to gradually lower the temperature of the cake to prevent it from cracking – or at least that’s what I heard many moons ago and so far the “trick” works.
Happy 15th Anniversary Camilla and! May you have dozens and dozens and dozens of more cheesecakes together! Also a happy early anniversary to my husband – 5 years together tomorrow and 3 years married (!!!) next month 🙂
Found out late last night (2/12) that one of the Dancing Veggies readers WON the Acala package as part of the TripleSBites challenge! So with that, CONGRATULATIONS to Jeanne 😀
New post coming tomorrow (2/13) and then a special Valentine post on 2/14!!!!
Again, HUGE congratulations to Jeanne!!!!