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)
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!
Simple Beet Salad
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.
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.
Sugared Wine Grapes &
Garlic Chive Fries
Welcome to a special themed edition of the Secret Recipe club!!! Whenever a month has 5 weeks the 5th week gets a special theme and is open to members across all of the groups! The special theme for today is Picnic/BBQ which is rather perfect for Memorial Day. I was given The Cookaholic Wife which is run by Nichole who is “owned” by Gidget and Itty von Kat – her adorable cats! I might be a dog person but totally understand the concept of being owned by a pet 😀 I totally failed this month at picking one recipe – but it’s a special day so that makes it okay to do two, right?!?!? First up: garlic-chive fries! Garlic + potatoes = WINNER!!! We had friends over for dinner and these fries were devoured in minutes – and for once my hubby didn’t feel the need to coat his fries in Old Bay. Next up: Frozen Wine Grapes. These were the dessert for the same dinner and omgoodness they just made the entire dinner seem so fancy. The best part is I was able to make them during baby’s morning nap, freeing me up in the afternoon to tidy up the place. Love love love anything that can be done in advance!
With the fries the only change I made was using minced garlic in place of the garlic salt while the grapes were perfect as is so head over to Nichole’s blog for that recipe!!! These grapes could also be added to a sangria to give it an extra punch or as a practical alternative to a travel ice bag to make sure your food stays cool while heading to a bbq or picnic.
A bonus reason why you should check out Nichole’s blog?!?! She’s another Maryland blogger! I’ll overlook that she prefers Delaware to MD’s Eastern Shore, after all nobody is perfect! I’m actually finishing this post up from MD’s Eastern Shore so I might be a bit partial.
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!
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.
Spaghetti with Skinny Green Onion Sauce
Welcome to a BONUS Secret Recipe Club posting – this time from Group C! The best part of posting with a different group is being able to explore blogs I wouldn’t otherwise be exposed to as I’m not the best at checking when other groups post. I was sent to Adina’s Where is My Spoon which is full of family friendly recipes. Since I only had a few hours to find a recipe I got straight to work to find a recipe that was already vegetarian as I knew I wouldn’t have the time to adjust it. Luckily a recent green onion series led me to a deliciously fantastic pasta – Spaghetti with Skinny Green Onion Sauce! I had to make a few adjustments as my store did not have any decent looking tomatoes but they did have some great looking mushrooms – so I subbed in a can of diced tomatoes. I also omitted the vegetable stock as I forgot to pick it up (oops).
This sauce was fantastic! It was creamy, tomatoey, and quick – which is key these days. As a bonus, it can easily become gluten free by switching out the pasta. To make things even quicker, I used some Gourmet Garden herb pastes that I had left from Fresh Tasty Valentine. I put this together after working my first post-baby convention and running on fumes. A few other recipes that I flagged for later are her broccoli cauliflower meatballs and her lentil quinoa carrot salad which sounds perfect for summertime.
Three Cheese Swiss Chard
Mac & Cheese
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!
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.
Mee Goreng: Malaysian Stir Fried Noodles
This week’s challenge for /r/52weeksofcooking sent me back to Asia – this time to figure out a malaysian dish. I’ve always had a thing for noodles so was instantly drawn to the all the street noodle images popping up as I searched for recipes. I also wanted something with a bit of heat, as I’m still trying to figure out how spicy I can get without it upsetting the little one. I’ll admit that I’ve been avoiding spicy foods so happy this challenge came along to push me out of my comfort zone.
Even though we’re no longer around an Asian market my mom is, so I sent her on a shopping trip to get some ingredients for me. I used Lee Kum Kee sauces for this dish as they are vegetarian and husband safe – the second part being more important!