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.
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.
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.
Banana Chip Cookies
Another recipe for using up those bananas that are no longer yellow! Or those bananas that have just been chilling in the back of your freezer. It happens to eveyone and can only make banana bread so many times. I’ve been putting bananas in cookies for a while as vegan alternative to eggs but with these cookies the bananas are the lead not the support. I also kept it vegan figuring why mess with a good thing?!?
i’m also proud to say that I made these while babywearing – slowly but surely figuring out this whole “mommy” thing. While in the mornings she easily goes down for a nap (or two) in the afternoon she greatly prefers to be in her Boba. Needless to say this makes me VERY thankful for our double oven as I can easily access the top part with little bending. I don’t see myself wearing her if the baked good needs two hands but luckily cookies don’t fall in that category!
Vegan Sugar Cookies
Many moons ago, or about 5yrs ago, I found an incredible vegan sugar recipe. This past year I went to look for it again and could not locate it! So I decided to come up with my own recipe based on a “normal” sugar cookie recipe and what I know about vegan cookie. One of the biggest issues I’ve had with vegan baking is the missing butter taste as well as the not always awesome aftertaste some vegan “butters” offer. With that I decided to add a bit of cinnamon, not enough to cross into snickerdoodles territory but enough to add a bit of something to the recipe. I also added a touch of cream of tartar in order to counter the melting point of vegan “butter” and keep the cookies from spreading too much – another problem I commonly have. I wasn’t going for a super fluffy cookie but I didn’t want them to be as crispy as a rolled cookie.
These cookies were a huge holiday hit! Husband enjoyed them so much he had a hard time believing they were vegan, which is the ultimate compliment in his case. For a real treat, form the dough and then freeze in a plastic cookie “tin” and bake when you’re getting a craving for something sweet.
Welcome to JUNE’s edition of the secret recipe club! I know that lately my blog has been very neglected but it’s been for a very, very, very good reason. I mentioned a stomach bug last month but that wasn’t exactly the truth – the actual issue is something called hyperemsis gravidium. Many of you might already be familiar with this, either through personal experience or in following HRH Duchess of Cambridge. Basically, I’m (finally) pregnant!!!! Our last round of fertility treatment was successful and I’m now just over 14wks pregnant. The first 7 weeks were fantastic, free of symptoms and all of that, but then it hit will a force that I never could have expected and with that the diagnosis of HG and two trips to L&D for rehydration. This all resulted in a very neglected blog as I was living off of broth and rice but I’m now on some awesome medication and starting to get the energy to get back in the kitchen. Perfect timing for the SRC!!! This month I was partnered with Lisa of Cook Lisa Cook – a blog I’m familiar with thanks to previous SRC events. I picked out sooooo many incredible recipes from her blog including Mashed Cauliflower, Peach Cake, and Corn Souffle but in the end her simple and delicious sounding Apple Dumplings won the day. I couldn’t resist a recipe that featured apples AND croissant dough and I knew my husband and co-workers would have similar feelings.
I had to make one small change to the recipe, swapping out the nuts for some granola that way there would still be a bit of a crunch. As a bonus, if you use Pillsbury crescent rolls and sub the unsalted butter with Smart Balance the recipe is vegan 😀
I’ll be taking July off from the SRC, due to craziness with life right now I don’t want to risk not being able to give the right amount of attention to whatever blog I get. However, I will be participating in an awesome blog link-up over the next week so lots of delicious summer time recipes are on the way!!!
Not a surprise to anybody who knows me in real life, but I’m a HUGE fan of reading – and have been from a very young age. Reading was a way to escape to a different time or place or both and whether it be a galaxy “far far away” or a war between cousins, I’ve always had an appetite for expanding my world via the written word. Which is why I was BEYOND thrill to see /52weeksofcooking was doing a challenge based on book inspiration. The hard part was finding a book to pick from the hundreds on my shelves, but in end I had to go with one of my favorite “YA” books. Eleanor & Park is technically a YA book, but it’s also a great “remember when” book for anyone that grew up in the 80s – or anyone still bitter about the cancellation of My So Called Life (or Freaks and Geeks) during the 90s. Without giving too much away, we’ll just say that Eleanor’s home life is bit rough and while she loves her mom things aren’t always the best between them. However one happy moment between the two takes place in the kitchen when her mom dabs vanilla extract behind her ears as a cheaper perfume option.
'I do it,' her mom said, 'because it's cheaper
than perfume, but it smells just as good.'
This smell is the one Park remembers, lingering while they are on the school bus – causing him to think of sugar cookies and other vanilla treats. However, I knew that I couldn’t just make any sugar cookie to represent Eleanor & Park, it needed to have some sort of a twist. So I decided to merge my favorite snickerdoodle recipe with my favorite sugar cookie recipe in order to create and sugar cookie with a bit of added texture and just slightly cracked.
These cookies didn’t last long, becoming a treat for my co-workers to celebrate a recent achievement for one of then. Before anyone gets concerned. I did allow Joe to have the ones in the photo as it’s only right to pay the photographer!
Pumpkin Streusel Muffin
The other weekend I hosted a few friends for a boozy brunch – followed by a Hunger Games Marathon. I needed something that was quick and easy, just in case the boozy part started before the brunch part. So I checked out a few of my favorite cookbooks in hopes of a spark, and it worked! While a coffee cake was out of the question, I decided I could easily adapt the recipe to work for over-sized muffin tins – and that they needed a bit of pumpkin. This is loosely based on the “quick coffee cake” recipe from Joy of Cooking, just without the egg and smaller amounts of milk plus pumpkin and vegan – so might be more accurate to say this is inspired by that recipe but whatever!
There were enjoyed with some fake bacon, turkey bacon, buttermilk pancakes, and lots of champagne based fruity drinks. Most likely will go all out next year when the final movie comes out, and might actually do something “on theme” at that point – but there is something to be said about random carbs and champagne.