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©Life of a Foodie and Her Family 2008-2013, Lynn Tabor

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4/22/2014

Chick Pea Salad

I am so in love with Chick Peas lately and came up with this yummy recipe by combining a few different ideas.

2 cans chick peas beans ( rinsed and drained )
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
1 English cucumber, peeled and diced
1/2 small red onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup feta cheese
3 tablespoons fresh parsley
3 tablespoons of Nellie and Joe's Lemon Juice
2 tablespoons of Nellie and Joe's Lime Juice
1/4 cup olive oil
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon each kosher salt and pepper

Add the first 8 ingredients in a mixing bowl.

In a small bowl combine the juices, olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper and whisk to combine.  Or put in a small Gladware bowl and shake to combine.

Pour the dressing over the salad and toss gently to combine.

Place into smaller individual size Gladeware containers and store in the fridge.



This is yummy and very refreshing!

4/14/2014

Roasted Edamame and Quinoa Salad

I kind of put a couple different summery salads together in my head this morning and came up with this.

16 oz frozen, shelled, edamame
1 1/2 cup frozen corn, thawed
3 green onions, sliced
1 can Chick Peas rinsed and drained
Olive Oil, Kosher Salt and Pepper

1 red sweet bell pepper, diced
1 1/2 cup cooked, cooled quinoa

Dressing:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Dash of Franks Red Hot

Preheat oven to 425.

On a baking sheet place the Edamame, Corn, Green Onions and Chick Peas.  Drizzle a little olive oil and season with kosher salt and black pepper.  Place the baking sheet in the oven and roast for 30 minutes.  Stirring every 10 minutes.  The chick peas will start to crisp and the Edamame will get brown spots.

Remove from oven and allow to cool for 30 minutes.

In a bowl combine the roasted veggies, red bell pepper and the quinoa.

In a small bowl combine the dressing ingredients and pour over the salad mixture.  Stir to combine.  Place in the fridge for a couple hours to allow the flavors to blend.



I did cheat and eat some right away and it was FABULOUS!

Strawberry Shortcake

Last Friday was our last Alpha Class for the season.  I asked my Facebook friends all about Strawberry Short Cake and they all said to use sweet biscuits.  I googled for a bit and came across one of my favorite sites.  Joy of Baking and posted was just what I was looking for.

I do have to say I was a bit preoccupied and made the biscuits to thin, but in the end I don't think it really mattered.  I did double everything and made two batches of the scones.

 Strawberry Shortcake – Joy of Baking

Scones:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup cold unsalted butter
1 large egg,
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup cream, half and half, or milk

Filling:
2 pounds fresh strawberries
1/4 cup - 1/3 cup granulated white sugar (or to taste)

Topping:
1 cup cold heavy whipping cream (double cream) (35-40% butterfat)
1 - 2 tablespoons granulated white sugar (or to taste)

Scones:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) and place rack in middle of oven.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.   In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut the butter into small pieces and blend into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or two knives. The mixture should look like coarse crumbs.  Whisk together the egg, cream and vanilla extract and add to the flour mixture, mixing just until the dough comes together. Do not over mix the dough.

Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead dough gently four or five times and then pat or roll the dough into a 7 inch (18 cm) round. With a 3 inch (7 cm) round cookie cutter, cut out rounds and place the scones on the baking sheet. Brush the tops of the scones with a little cream. Bake for about 15 - 20 minutes or until nicely browned and a toothpick inserted in the center of a scone comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack.

Filling:
Wash, hull, and slice the strawberries. Place about one third of the strawberries in a large bowl and crush them with a potato masher or fork. Add the remaining sliced strawberries, along with the sugar. (The amount of sugar used will depend on how sweet the berries are.) Set aside to macerate at room temperature for about 30 to 60 minutes.

Whipped Cream:
Chill the bowl and whisk in the freezer for about 15 - 30 minutes. Place the cream and sugar in the bowl and whip until stiff peaks form. The whipped cream can be covered and stored in the refrigerator for a few hours.

To serve:
Cut the scones in half and place the bottom half of the scone (soft side up) on a dessert plate. Top with some of the strawberries and whipped cream. Place the top half of the scone on the strawberries. Top with whipped cream and a few more strawberries. If there is any juice from the strawberries, drizzle a little over the top of the scone. Serve immediately.

Serves about 6 - 8 people.


They came out wonderful and I would definitely make them again, but make the scones a bit thicker.  They are just easier to split when they are a little thicker.

Shared on:
Melt in Your Mouth Monday 161

4/10/2014

Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato and Avocado sandwiches

This is one of my favorite sandwiches to make at home.  I love using Potato Bread and Dukes Mayonnaise for this sandwich.  You may cook your bacon any way.  I prefer to cook mine in the oven, less mess and it gets done at one time.  Last night we had these with Terra Sweet Potato Chips.  Luckily it is just Miss V and I this week and we have enough to make a couple more for dinner tonight.



Grilled Margherita Sandwich

I spotted this on Pinterest a while ago and knew that I was going to have to try it.  I made it on Tuesday night.

4 (1/2-inch) slices crusty Italian bread
1 large garlic clove, quartered
4 to 6 thin slices whole-milk mozzarella cheese (about 3 oz.)
1 large plum tomato, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon garlic-pepper seasoning (McCormick Brand)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Rub both sides of each bread slice with garlic. Place 2 slices on work surface; top each with one-fourth of the cheese and half of the tomato and basil. Sprinkle each with 1/8 teaspoon of the seasoning; top with remaining cheese and bread slices.

Brush tops of sandwiches with some of the oil; sprinkle with some of the seasoning. Heat 1 teaspoon of the oil in large skillet over medium heat until hot. Place sandwiches, brushed-sides down, in skillet; cover and cook 4 to 5 minutes or until golden brown and cheese on bottom of sandwich begins to melt.

Reduce heat to medium-low. Brush tops of sandwiches with remaining oil; sprinkle with remaining seasoning. Turn; cover and cook 2 to 4 minutes or until golden brown and cheese is melted.

Both Miss V and I liked it but noticed that the seasoning blend on the outside did taste burnt.  If I were to make this again, I would skip putting the seasoning on the outside.  Maybe sprinkle a little more inside the sandwich.




4/07/2014

Banana Pudding

Last Friday's Alpha Dinner was pulled pork or sloppy joes and our group is about 18 people I figured one dessert.  I kept seeing different Banana Pudding recipes so I asked my Facebook friends their thoughts and it was a bit varied.

I went with a recipe from My Life as a Mrs. The reason I picked this was that it did use a thicker cookie because I had to make this early on Friday and I didn't want it getting to mushy.  I have heard that banana pudding is supposed to be mushy, but I like a bit of texture.

2 (3.4 ounce) boxes instant French vanilla pudding
2 1/2 cups cold milk
16 ounces heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
2 bags Pepperidge Farm Chessmen cookies
6 to 8 ripe bananas, sliced

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat together the instant pudding and the milk until well combined. Place in the fridge to thicken.

In another bowl, beat the cream until medium to stiff peaks form. Mix in the powdered sugar and vanilla into the whipped cream.

In another bowl, add the softened cream cheese and the sweetened condensed milk and beat until well combined. Fold 2/3 of the whipped cream into the cream cheese/sweetened condensed milk mixture. Then, fold that mixture into the pudding and fold until well combined.

Line the bottom of a trifle dish with some of the cookies (breaking them in half helps them lay better). Top with sliced bananas and then 1/3 of the pudding mixture.

Repeat two more times.

Top with remaining whipped cream.

Refrigerate for at least a few hours before serving.

I totally missed that you were supposed to add the pudding mix with the cream cheese mixture for the first layer.  Woops.  I had Brownie Trifle in my head when it came to layering.

Anyway I quickly folded the rest together and completed the layers and put it in the fridge to cool.

It came out really well and didn't have to many leftovers.

4/02/2014

Crispy Onion Chicken and Parmesan Garlic Quinoa

Woops, March got away from me...I made a fantastic dinner and totally forgot to blog it.

The main dish is called Crispy Onion Chicken and can be found at Six Sisters Stuff.


Ingredients:

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3/4 cup honey mustard
2 cups French Fried Onions, crushed

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Dip each chicken breast in honey mustard then coat in crushed french fried onions.  Place in a baking dish lined with foil and sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.  Cook for 30-35 minutes, or until cooked through.

How easy is that?


1 cup quinoa
2 cups chicken stock

Cook the quinoa according to package instructions but substitute chicken stock for the water.

 1/4 cup butter
 2 tablespoons minced garlic
 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
 2 tablespoons milk
 1/2 teaspoon salt and ground black pepper
 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat; cook and stir garlic in melted butter until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Stir quinoa into garlic mixture and mix in Parmesan cheese, milk, salt, black pepper, and parsley.

This was a bit thick at first so I added some chicken stock to thin it out.


This was a very yummy dinner.

4/01/2014

Assemble the Minions! (I bet you just read that in Gru's voice)

Assemble the Minions!  (I bet you just read that in Gru's voice)

So Friday I baked the cake portion of Miss V's birthday cake and wrapped it and put in the fridge over night.

I got up bright and early on Saturday with the plan to make the fondant Minions and other needed pieces.  Miss V was so looking forward to me making her favorite Minion...Dave.





The bottom part of the cupcake was a Blue Velvet from a box and the top was French Vanilla.  I put a quick crumb coat with canned frosting.

Then I laid out my work space, mise en place!


A little Minion inspiration
 Notice, I even bought Banana flavoring so the little fondant Minions would take like Banana!


The I sifted cups and cups of powdered sugar and pulled out the Crisco and marshmallows.  I went to reach for my dough hook and it wasn't where it always is.  Hmm I thought, so I start looking around the different places that it has been put away in.  No luck, by this time I am getting a little frantic and my husband joined the search.  We seriously looked everywhere for two hours.  At this point I am in total freak out mode and my husband asked if I could just run to the store and pick one up.  I got a little teary and snappy and said no.  My Kitchenaid is old and I don't know the official size bowl.  I looked online and found out that my model was discontinued YEARS ago and customer service is not open on the weekends.  By now I am crying.  I am about to let down my sweet Miss V.

I explained that I couldn't make the fondant and I just didn't know what to do. We chatted for a few minutes and she said it was ok and I could just make cupcakes with blue and white frosting and she could put the Banana Runts on them.  So that is what we did.  My heart just ached because she was looking forward to this giant cupcake for months!



I made a special one for her.  I made little stars and the runts had three bananas stuck together.

After the Glow Golf party we all went to the food court at the mall for pizza and cupcakes.  I apologized to the moms.  The kids would definitely have BLUE teeth after this.  Of course the boys heard that and did the best they could to get their teeth blue.  That definitely made me smile.

As for the Minion Cupcake this was the inspiration piece.


It was on Pinterest, with no link and I even tried finding it on Google with no luck.

Well Monday morning I placed a call to the Kitchenaid Customer Service department.  I spoke with a sweet lady named Judy. Who informed me that my model was discontinued but will find the part I needed.  After a minute she gave me the part  number and said that if I want other accessories that I could use them if they started with a certain code number and my mixer is the 5 qt version.  Woo Hoo!  So she said I could look at local stores and if not, to call back and they will ship one.

Thank you Judy!!!

I am going to look at Bed Bath and Beyond this weekend.

As much as I am upset, Miss V was happy just spending time with her friends and eating cupcakes and getting blue teeth.  She said that maybe we could make the giant cupcake another time, just for fun.

Minecraft Creeper Cupcakes

Miss V loves playing Minecraft on her iPod.  She didn't know what she wanted for her birthday cupcakes for school so we sat and looked on Pinterest for hours.  Finally she spotted these cupcakes.

You can find the free printable at The Party Animal.

For the cupcakes you will need:

Baked Cupcakes (Miss V wanted Chocolate so it would be the color of dirt)
Butter Cream Frosting
Green Food Coloring (Miss V wanted Americolor Electric Green, but it could have been a bit darker)
Toothpicks or Craft Sticks, Scissors and Tap

My favorite Butter Cream Frosting:

6 Cups Powdered Sugar
4 sticks unsalted butter, room temp
2 tsp vanilla extract
A little milk

Whisk butter in your stand mixer until smooth.  Add 1 cup of powdered sugar and mix to combine, repeat until all the sugar is incorporated.  Add the vanilla and a dash of milk.  Whisk on high for approximately three minutes until light and fluffy.  You may also use food coloring now.

Print and cut out the Creeper and the Cupcake Wrapper.  I used some Bazzil Cardstock in a bright green color and cut out squares to match the size of Creeper.  Tape a toothpick to the back of the Creeper and then I used Zig Scrapbook glue to glue on the green paper.  Hold them together for a minute or two until dry.

Place the cupcake wrapper around your baked cupcakes and tape at the seam.

Frost your cupcake anyway you want.  Make it look like grass or just swirl.  Miss V likes the swirl.

Place your Creeper on top and enjoy!





Miss V loved them and so did all her classmates.

3/22/2014

Key Lime Cake

I love love love Key Lime pie and when I spotted this cake on Pinterest I knew I had to make it.  The original recipe can be found at Your Homebased Mom. I made it yesterday morning.

For the cake
2 C all purpose flour
1 1/2 C sugar
3/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 eggs
2/3 C oil
2/3 cup key lime juice
3/4 cup sour cream

For the frosting
1 C butter, softened
2 – 8 oz packages cream cheese, softened
2 – 16 oz boxes confectioners’ sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 C key lime juice


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 2 8-inch cake pans.
Mix together flour, sugar, powder, soda and salt into mixer.
Add eggs, oil and lime juice. Beat until smooth.
Add sour cream and beat until smooth.
Pour in prepared pans and bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool and frost.

Make the frosting:
Mix together butter and cream cheese until smooth.
Add in confectioner's sugar
Add in vanilla.
Add in 1/4 cup of key lime juice.


I made a big woops!  I didn't let the cakes cool long enough in the pan and when I went to flip them out onto a cooling rack it was to close to the edge and when I tried to slide it back a little the cake cracked in half.

So when it was time to assemble, I did not slice the two cakes in half to make four layers.  I also had a bit of a problem with the frosting.  It is very fluffy and the layers didn't really stick to each other so the top slid a bit.  Since I only had two layers I did have extra frosting and used a large star tip to pipe on decorations around the bottom of the cake.

Mine wasn't so pretty, but the taste DEFINITELY made up for it.  This is such a wonderful and refreshing cake.  I would definitely make this again.

3/16/2014

Ravioli Bake

I saw this idea on Pinterest a while ago and thought it would be a good quick dinner idea. I whipped it up on Sunday afternoon.  The original can be found at Line Up and Waiting.

1 package frozen ravioli
8 oz shredded mozzarella cheese
2 jars of your favorite pasta sauce, I used Spicy Tomato and Basil
Shredded Parmesan to taste

Preheat oven to 400.

Spray a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray.

Spread half a jar of sauce on the bottom of the pan.

Place ravioli in one layer on the sauce.

Sprinkle with half of the Mozzarella Cheese.

Sprinkle a handful of Parmesan Cheese over the Mozzarella.

Spread the other half jar of sauce over the cheese layers.

Repeat layers and I used a full jar on the top layer.

Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes.  Remove foil and bake for another 15 minutes.










I added a little more Parmesan cheese when I served this.  This came out really well and would work perfectly for a pot luck dinner.

3/14/2014

Mini Shepherd's Pies

Since it was Spring Break, and didn't have to worry about keeping something hot while I picked up Miss V from school I found this little recipe for Alpha dinner.

The original can be found at Tablespoon.

1 box Pillsbury® refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on box

Filling:  (I doubled this so that I could make some later)

1 bag of frozen peas and carrots, thawed
2 tablespoons butter
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 lb lean (at least 80%) ground beef
2/3  to 1 cup beef broth
1 envelope of brown gravy
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper

3 cups of mashed potatoes

Heat oven to 400°F.

Unroll pie crusts. Roll each crust to 12 inches in diameter. Using 4-inch round cutter, cut 6 rounds from each crust. Firmly press each round in bottom and up side of each of 12 ungreased regular-size muffin cups.

Bake 7 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven. Reduce heat to 350°F.

In skillet, heat butter over medium heat until melted and hot. Add onion to skillet; cook, stirring frequently, until onions are translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Add beef to skillet; cook 5 to 7 minutes longer, stirring to break up any large pieces; drain. Place meat mixture back into the skillet and add the broth and brown gravy mix and cook on medium until thick and bubble.  Add the peas and carrots, salt and pepper.  Cook until veggies are hot.

Fill each muffin cup with 1/4 cup beef mixture. Top each pie with about 1/4 cup of the warm mashed potatoes. Bake at 350°F 25 to 30 minutes or until crusts are golden brown and mashed potatoes are lightly browned. Let stand 10 minutes in pan before serving. Run knife around outside of each pie to loosen before removing.



These tasted great, but were really hard to get out of the pan.  Next time I make them, I will definitely spray the sides of the muffin cups with cooking spray.

Let the leftover filling cool and store in the refrigerator.

Coconut Chocolate Bundt Cake

I made this Friday morning for our Alpha Class.  You can find the original recipe at Just a Pinch.

1 devils food or chocolate cake mix
1 pkg (4 serving size) chocolate instant pudding mix
1 1/3 cup water
4 eggs
1/3 c  coconut oil
1 1/3 cup shredded coconut
1 c semi-sweet chocolate chips

Chocolate Glaze
1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla extract

Shredded, toasted coconut for the top

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Combine cake mix, pudding mix, water, eggs, & oil in large bowl until blended. Beat on medium speed 4 minutes. Stir in coconut & chocolate chips. Spray a bundt pan with cooking spray, or grease & flour (or dust with cocoa), and pour batter into pan. Bake approximately 1 hour (mine was done at 50 minutes). Let cool in pan for 15 minutes, and then remove from pan and let it cool completely on a wire rack.

To make glaze, combine sweetened condensed milk & chocolate chips in a small saucepan. Over medium low heat, stir constantly until chocolate chips melt and mixture is smooth. Do not allow it to bubble. Remove from heat, and stir in vanilla. Allow to cool for just a bit before glazing cake.

You can sprinkle the cake with the toasted coconut.




This cake was FANTASTIC!

3/13/2014

Mini Apple Galettes

Woops time got away from me and I forgot to post Miss V's Apple Galettes from the other day.

It is one of her old YCA recipes.

Ingredients
1/3 cup sugar
1 tbs flour
3/8 (use 1/4 tsp) ground cinnamon
3 tart apples, peeled, cored and diced
2 unbaked refrigerated pie crusts

Equipment
Measuring cups and spoons
bowl
apple peeler, slicer, corer
Knife
Rolling pin
4-5 inch biscuit cutter/cookie cutter
Baking Sheet
Cooking Spray

Preheat oven to 400.  Coat baking sheet with cooking spray.

Combine the first 4 ingredients together in a bowl.

Cut 5 circles out of each pie crust, re-rolling scraps as needed. (she used a smaller cutter and got 7 out of each crust)

Place heaping tablespoon of apple mixture into the center of each pie crust circle, leaving a 1 inch border.  Carefully fold border toward the center, pleating dough edges to create a round pastry with about 1 inch of exposed filling in the center.  Like a free form tart.

Bake for 20 minutes.  Makes 10 galettes.  (she had 14 smaller tarts)




3/12/2014

Carolina Pulled Pork

Here is my favorite recipe for Pulled Pork.

1 onion chopped, about 1 cup
2 cloves garlic, chopped
4 lbs boneless pork butt shoulder roast
1 tbs dry fajita seasoning
2/3 cup ketchup
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
3 tbs apple cider vinegar
1 tsp salt
12 hamburger buns split
2 cups prepared coleslaw

Place onion and garlic in the bottom of the crock pot. Top with pork; sprinkle with seasoning.

In a small bowl, whisk together, ketchup, brown sugar, cornstarch, vinegar and salt until smoother. Pour over pork.

Cover and cook on low for 12 hours.

Transfer pork to plate, reserving sauce in the crock pot; cool slightly. Using two forks shred pork into bite size piece; stir back into sauce.


Serve with coleslaw

Homemade Hamburger Buns

Yesterday I made pulled pork and totally forgot to get rolls on Monday.  Woops and since it is Spring Break Miss V just wanted to stay in her pajamas so I went searching for homemade rolls.  The first place I look is King Arthur Flour.  I found the perfect recipe called Beautiful Burger Buns.

3/4 to 1 cup lukewarm water
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 large egg
3 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon instant yeast

topping
3 tablespoons melted butter

Mix and knead all of the dough ingredients — by hand, mixer, or bread machine — to make a soft, smooth dough.

Cover the dough, and let it rise for 1 to 2 hours, or until it's nearly doubled in bulk.

Gently deflate the dough, and divide it into 8 pieces. Shape each piece into a round ball; flatten to about 3" across. Place the buns on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet, cover, and let rise for about an hour, until noticeably puffy.

Brush the buns with about half of the melted butter.

Bake the buns in a preheated 375°F oven for 15 to 18 minutes, until golden. Remove them from the oven, and brush with the remaining melted butter. This will give the buns a satiny, buttery crust.



These came out GREAT and worked very well with the pulled pork.

3/11/2014

Month 2: Working with Eggs - Shortcut Strata

Miss V loves working with eggs and was bummed she didn't have to separate them.  She was so funny sniffing the Secret Ingredient envelope and after a minute or two said it smells like Nutmeg and she was right!

 The YCA way to crack and egg is to crack it on a flat surface then gently place your thumbs in the crack.  Turn the egg sideways and pull the shell apart allowing the egg to fall into the bowl.











These were pretty good, but with both thought it would be even better with a salty meat like bacon or ham.  We will try that version next time.

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