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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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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Baking · Dessert · Secret Recipe Club

Wiggle Wiggle Wiggle

Best Oatmeal Cookies EVER

oatmeal_cookies 

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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Asian · Gluten Free · One-Pot · Secret Recipe Club · Vegan

Boom Boom Boom

Tofu Mushroom Cabbage Stir Fry

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Happy 4th of July and with that, welcome to July’s installment of the Secret Recipe Club!  This month I got to visit Alaska by way of Anna’s Cheese with Noodles Blog.  I loved her in her intro she was up front about blog pictures, something that I’m so bad about that I have my husband do it for me!   I found so many incredible recipes on her blog including baked tofu bites and a corn pudding recipe so amazing it survived a divorce.  In the end however I couldn’t move past her Pork Mushroom Cabbage Stir Fry after reading that it’s so good it should be in a restaurant.  I swapped the pork for tofu and waited until the end to season the dish as tofu has a tendency to go from just right to over salted super easily.  I also used baby bella mushrooms as my store was out of the full size variety – luckily Anna’s recipe included the weight so that was a super easy swap to make!  She didn’t say what type of cabbage to use so I went with red over Chinese but either would work.

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Another fabulous dinner thanks to the secret recipe club!  I also reserved a bit of the red cabbage to steam with some apples and ginger for baby girl’s dinner and she was also a huge fan!  I’m also in the process of joining some other food groups – hoping that eventually my cooking spark will come back as little one gets older.   I still enjoy spending time in the kitchen but it’s no longer the sanctuary it once was.

Freezer Meals · Gluten Free · One-Pot · Secret Recipe Club · Vegan

Flying Free

Austin Black Beans

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Hey everyone!  Only a week since my last SRC post thanks to May’s bonus week.  This week is my “normal” group A post – but there is nothing normal about the blog I was partnered with.  I’m very lucky in that I’ve had Leslie’s Cocina de Leslie blog twice so far, once as my regular assignment and once when I decided to adopt a blog while 38wks pregnant.  Leslie’s blog has soooo many amazing recipes that when the powers that be offered to switch me for a “new” blog I told them there was NO NEED to be hasty – that I could happily and easily find something new to make.  With that, this post was supposed to be all about her Mole Ranchero.  While the ingredient list is a bit daunting, the dish came together in no time at all.  However my camera man got a bit peckish and ate the sauce set aside for the photo as a post dinner snack.  So…back to my very long list of recipes!  I had marked her Austin Black Beans when I adopted Leslie’s blog so was thrilled that some nasty weather made it the perfect time to give them a whirl.  I used the vegetable oil instead of lard and left out the lime juice due to my allergy.   I also added the cilantro straight to my bowl as it tastes metallic to hubby and totally omitted below.

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 Another great recipe from Leslie!  So glad there was an oops and that I got another excuse to explore her blog – think I have a good dozen recipes to try! This meal would also freeze well for the slow cooker, just add the 8 cups of water directly to the slow cooker along with all the ingredients.  Instant dinner!!!

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