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



Asian Quinoa Salad

I made this yummy Quinoa salad on Monday night.  This is from Two Peas & Their Pod.

1 cup quinoa, cooked to package instructions and then cooled
2 cups water
1 cup thinly sliced red cabbage
1 cup shelled and cooked edamame
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1 cup English cucumber, diced

For the dressing:
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped green onion
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1/4 teaspoon grated ginger
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Salt and black pepper, to taste

 Place the quinoa in a large bowl and add the cabbage, edamame, red pepper, carrots, and cucumber. Set aside.

 In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, green onions, cilantro, sesame seeds, ginger, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper.

Pour the dressing over the quinoa salad and stir to combine.  As with all these kinds of salads, I portion it out into small gladware containers.

This was good, but when I make it again, I am leaving out the Cilantro.  It is just to overpowering for my tastes.

Southwest Quinoa Salad

I have been on a quinoa kick for a while.  Sorry if I have blown up everyone's Pinterest feed.  This Southwest version looked yummy and I made it the other day.

1 cup quinoa cooked according to package directions
1 – 14 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 – small bag of frozen corn, thawed
1/2 of a large red bell pepper
4 green onions, sliced thinly
Juice from 2 limes
1/3 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt

Cook 1 cup quinoa according to package directions.

When the quinoa is done cooking, fluff it with a fork, transfer it to a large bowl, and allow it to cool completely (about 15 minutes).

In a small bowl whisk together lime juice, olive oil, ground cumin, black pepper and salt.

When the quinoa has cooled, add in black beans, corn, red bell pepper, and green onions.

Stir in dressing and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.

I like to portion the salads into small gladware containers so it is a quick and easy lunch.


Easter Bunny Peep Cake

Whew, it has been a busy few weeks and I just realized that I didn't post Miss V's Easter Bunny Peep Cake.  Word of advice, buy the Bunnies early!  I bought a couple packs of yellow a week or so before Easter and the Saturday before Miss V decided to make this and wanted a couple other colors and well Target, Walmart, and Walgreens had ZERO bunny peeps.  Only the chicks.

2 prepared cake layers (either square or round – 8×8 or 9×9)
1 jar of white frosting (I made butter cream)
1 cup shredded coconut
green food coloring
1 tsp water
jelly beans
3 packages of Peeps® (bunny shape)
And other Easter candy like chocolate eggs or bunnies  I found a cute package of tiny Lindt Bunnies to use.

Lay one prepared cake layer on cake plate.

Frost a thin layer on top of cake and lay the other cake layer on top of it.

Next frost the whole cake on top and sides; set aside.

Place shredded coconut into a ziploc bag, add 5-6 drops of green food coloring and 1 tsp of water. Close bag and shake until all of the coconut is dyed green.

Sprinkle coconut on top of the cake.

Open Peeps® packages and assemble around the sides of the cake. Place jelly beans on top of the cake and decorate with chocolate eggs and bunnies.


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!


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

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

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

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

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

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.

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


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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.

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