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 · One-Pot · Slow Cooker · Soup · Vegan

Lost and Alone

Vegetable Chili

chili

Another one of my awesome freezer meals – this time one that also doubles as a great way to clean out the fridge/freezer!  Once we had finished prepping my list of meals, I checked what I had left and decided I could squeeze out at least one more meal.  This hodge podge of ingredients was fantastic last weekend when Mother Nature decided we needed another round of cold weather, to include snow!

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We topped this with cheese but chives, sour cream, guacamole or nothing would also work.  As for the vegetables, whatever you have on hand will work.

Gluten Free · Mexican · Secret Recipe Club

Sweet Summer

Acapulco Tofu

acapuco_tofu_taco

Welcome to March’s Secret Recipe Club!  It feels so awesome to be joining the SRC again after taking my baby break – I missed the fun that comes with being sent a blog to explore.  This month I was given Sid’s Sea Palm Cooking, a blog I was very familiar with thanks to Facebook and previous SRC reveals.  I had a very hard time picking a recipe this month as Sid’s blog is stuffed to the gills with all sorts of recipes including retro favorites and Danish treats.  Two of the “finalists” were part of the Danish block: Baked Omelette and Cauliflower with Herbs.  In the end I could not get past her Chicken Acapulco recipe and decided that I had to give it a whirl.  I replaced the chicken with extra firm tofu and since I was unable to find the McCormick meat seasoning in the original recipe I made my own.

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Fantastic!  The spices and the cheese went together perfectly and by giving the tofu enough time to drain it was really able to soak up all the flavors.  We enjoyed ours taco style for dinner and as a burrito bowl the next day with some Spanish style rice – adding some fresh avocado and green pepper each time.  I had never heard of acapulco chicken (or tofu!) before finding this recipe but now it will be on regular rotation.  It might require a number of bowls but it comes together super quick.  For a real short cut, pick up some fresh made pico de gallo at the grocery store.  Another great recipe thanks to the Secret Recipe Club!!!

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One-Pot · Quick Weeknight Recipes · Soup · Vegan

So Save

Minestrone

minestrone_soup

Spring it starting to make it’s appearance, and with that soup season is slowly coming to an end.  We had a chilly blast this past weekend so I decided to do up a batch of minestrone – which is about as simple as it gets.  The ingredients are ones I almost always have on hand, if anything just have to buy the tomato juice.  Which makes it perfect for the “it came from a can” challenge over that /52weeksofcooking.  Instead of using frozen vegetables, just use a can of each: peas, corn, carrots, lima beans, etc – the point of this soup is to show that simple can be tasty.

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Nothing like a dish that comes together in record time and only requires one pot.  I know that some people aren’t a fan of cooking pasta in soups but I love how doing so gives the pasta some extra flavor.  Plus the smaller pasta holds it shape better than the larger guys and don’t get as mushy.  However, for those who want more of an al dente taste – cooking the pasta per instructions and then place in the bottom of a bowl before pouring the soup over top.  For a real protein punch, add some garbanzo or great northern beans when adding the pasta or use lentils in place of the pasta.

One-Pot · Quick Weeknight Recipes

Rain Starts

Cheese”burger” Mac & Cheese

seitan_mac_cheese

When I first went vegetarian, I thought I could just make up a box of something and just leave out the meat – then I started reading labels and realized how so not healthy that option was.  With that I started experimenting to see what “out of the box” options I could come up with that would have the same great taste but healthier (i.e. less sodium).  It took a bit of time until I could figure out the right method, but now I have down to a science!   Even better, this dish can be adapted for vegans and all cooks up in one pot.  The one pot paste took a bit of time to get used to but the trick is to add less water than you think as seriously much easier to add more water later than to eat a soggy mess (trust me).

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For an added crunch, add some fresh spinach at the very end – or some kale!  To add an extra punch, I used tomato pasta which also gave the dish a fantastic shade of red.  I’m a huge fan of flavored pastas, especially ones that I don’t have to make myself, even if I know they aren’t as healthy as they might advertise to be.  All the flavors of a cheeseburger, minus the meat!

Casserole · Gluten Free · One-Pot · TripleSBites · Vegan

I’ve Hungered

Caribbean Beans & Rice

carribean_beans_rice

Day 3 of TripleSBites – a saucy, sexy, spicy collection of recipes from 20 incredible bloggers! So far I’ve featured one of my Valentine’s favorite vegetables, a delicious pink treat, and today I’m featuring a spicy dish that is sure to heat things up.  I’ve mentioned before how when I first met my husband he wasn’t a fan of the spicy, and how over the years (5 this spring!) he has acquired a taste for the hot, hot, HOT!  So when the I was Pirate Jonny’s Caribbean  style hot sauce I knew I HAD to use it to make something special for my better half.  This dish features a bunch of vegetables along with two types of beans some brown rice and for those that want it: cheese!  Basically all the things my husband loves, minus Old Bay.

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Not going to lie – this sauce packs a bit of a punch! However it is more than just a hot sauce, there are other flavors going on which is key to me.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy hot sauce but there has to be something else going on beyond the HOT portion – and this sauce has it.  Next on my list is to check out their Guava Girl Hot Sauce, mostly because of the name, but it also sounds like another sauce that will more than just a “hot sauce”.

Note: While I did receive the Cherry Chipotle Not Ketchup for free as part of participating in TripleSBites, I was not required to use or mention the product outside of acknowledging receipt of the product.  All opinions are totally my own.  

Don’t forget to check out the giveaway for your chance to try some of these incredible products!  Also, be sure to check out all the other bloggers below!

Gluten Free · One-Pot · Soup

Heels on High

Smokey Loaded Potato Soup

loaded_potato_soup

This is most certainly the season for snow, considering there is snow on the ground with more forecasted for tomorrow afternoon – fun times!  However this means lots of time at home messing around in the kitchen – which is perfect considering the awesome blog event I’m taking part of starting Feb. 2nd!  As part of this I got lots of goodies, one of which I already mentioned, and a few more that I’ll be talking about over the next week or so.  One of the more interesting items that arrived was a container of mixed spices thanks to VooDoo Chef – I knew  that testing it would be a bit difficult as a single whiff indicated that this stuff was good and POTENT.   I had been toying with the idea of a loaded potato soup for a few days at this point, and decided that this package of Red goodness would be a great way to add a smokey taste to my potatoes – allowing me to skip the roasting step.

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Perfection!  The spice had the perfect balance of smokey and cheesy without any one ingredient being too overpowering.  This soup also gave me an idea for another dish that I’ll be sharing next week during TripleSBites.  By the way, this blog challenge will also include my first (!!!) giveaway!  More details coming Monday February 2nd so be sure to check back!

Note:  I received VooDoo Chef’s Red Spices as part of the #TripleS blog challenge, which starts February 2nd.  I was not required to use the products, or post anything about them outside of acknowledging that I received them, so all opinions and experiences are my own.