Love getting packages in the mail? Join Bakin’ Friends, a group that is similar to having a pen pal but with baked treats!
After over a year I have finally jumped back in with Bakin’ Friends, which is a group where you are paired up with someone different each month for whom to bake! Each month also comes with its very own secret ingredient which must be used in your creation. It should come as no surprise that February’s secret ingredient was chocolate. I actually got to send my goodies to Leah (MacKenzie Memories) who took over after Stephanie (Steph’s Bite by Bite) stepped down. I sent her my double dark chocolate cherry cookies which she said she’s been able to hoard them all to herself since her husband and daughter are not huge chocolate fans. And I quote “I had one before dinner…they were fabulous!!”. You should probably go get the recipe HERE.
As for me, I was lucky enough to have Dora send me some of her homemade Snickers! Her uncle (who unfortunately passed away recently) was a chocolate maker for over 40 years where she lives. When his health took a turn for the worse she began trying her hand at some of the things he used to make and found a renewed respect for all the effort it takes. She warned me that I may want to go to the gym in preparation for their arrival and she was right! Definitely a good thing I am a regular gym goer. Thank you so much Dora for a literal slice of your family’s history. I hope you made another batch for your husband ;-).
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Looking for a side dish for your slow cooker gyros? These Greek lemon potatoes are a great option for any meal. Soft inside, slightly crisp outside and infused with lemon.
Alright folks these are not your regular everyday spuds. Not because they take over an hour to cook and convincing you to cook them on a regular basis would be crazy talk (or is it?) but because they are one the best potato side dishes I’ve ever had. Other than the cook time they are actually quite easy to make. The potato wedges are roasted in a mixture of olive oil, water, lemon juice, oregano, and garlic which gets infused through the entire wedge making them both soft and flavorful. Then with the help of a secret ingredient, flour, the outsides get just a little crispy. In the end these potatoes became the stars of my dinner plate despite the beautiful gyro sitting beside them. “And the award for best spot-light stealing side dish goes to…”
One year ago: Oven-Fried Mac and Cheese Ravioli Salad
My favorite chicken gyros are now available in from your slow cooker! Complete with an easy homemade tzatziki sauce.
Ever since I reentered the working world after a year off post graduate school, cooking dinner has been a struggle. Per my usual working-life schedule I usually go straight to the gym after work and by the time I get home, shower, and cook, dinner won’t be on the table until 8pm at the earliest. This combined with the never ending frigid temperatures has given rise to more slow cooker meals. I hope whoever invented that magical contraption won some sort of award.
One such slow cooker recipe that has appeared was these slow cooker chicken gyros. I modeled the recipe after my non-slow cooker version. The very delicious success of these gyros has spawned my desire to attempt to turn all kinds of older recipes into those suitable for the slow cooker. If any more of them turn out as good as this one, you better believe I will be sharing those as well.
After preparing the chicken for it’s hot bath in the slow cooker, mix up the tzatziki sauce and refrigerate. The flavors will marry while the slow cooker does its job. Then when you get home for dinner all you have to do is slice up the chicken and any other toppings you prefer before stuffing it all in a nice soft pita. Just don’t forget the tzatziki sauce!
One year ago: Smoked Sausage with Peppers and Onion
Three years ago: Grilled Balsamic Chicken with Mozzarella and Pesto
Now you really can eat your favorite cookie butter by the spoonfuls in this Speculoos cookie butter mousse. Light and rich at the same time.
If you’ve had the pleasure of sampling either Biscoff of Speculoos cookie butter spread and you liked it as much (or even more than) your favorite nut butter, then you may be guilty of eating it straight from the jar using a spoon. If so, this dessert is for you.
This fluffy mousse harnesses the sweet yet rich flavor of Speculoos cookie butter making it light and sinful at the same time. You’ll find yourself savoring each spoonful and scraping every last bit out from your bowl. You may even start eyeing your neighbors if you finish first or vice versa so guard your bowls!
One year ago: Mini Caramelized Banana Nut Bread
Three years ago: Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, Dried Cherries and Israeli Couscous
You don’t have to be in college to enjoy these jello shots. Prepare them inside of the rinds of blood oranges to impress guests at your next party.
Happy National Margarita Day! I’ve teamed up with a fun group of bloggers to celebrate this boozy holiday with an assortment of margaritas and margarita-inspired food items. We’ve got you covered no matter what way you like to get your margarita fix. I contributed a grown-up version of jello shots because they arn’t just for college kids anymore. These are made with fresh blood orange juice and gelatin, not a boxed mix, and then allowed to set inside the rinds of the blood oranges themselves. Once solidified you can slice them up just like and orange!
Love Trader Joe’s maple walnut blondies? Now you can make them at home! Chewy blondies packed with walnuts and maple flavor.
On my most recent trip to Trader Joe’s I snagged a bag of their Maple Walnut Blondies. They’re freaking fantastic by the way and I highly recommend picking some up if you are able. If not then you’re in luck because I did my best to recreate them!
On an unrelated note, since getting my first smart phone in December I have slowly accumulated favorite apps. The obvious ones being Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram (yes I finally have instagram – follow me). But the app I abuse most is Target’s Cartwheel app. You can either browse offers to add to your barcode which is scanned at checkout or you can scan products while shopping to check if there are any offers. When there are not any for that particular item, if there are other offers for similar items it will tell you. I’ve already saved over $30 using it and in the process got the deal of the year – combat boots for $6.75!
What are your favorite smart phone apps?
Sure you can find soft pretzels in the frozen section at your local grocery, but what about beer soft pretzels? Complete with cheddar-cream cheese spread.
Carbs and cheese might be one of the best appetizer food combinations ever created, improved only by the addition of bacon. While I neglected to add that salty meat into the mix this time, there’s no denying soft homemade pretzels and cheese dip. The inspiration for this ensemble comes from one of my favorite bar foods at the Flying Saucer – soft pretzels served with queso dip (just like Ro*Tel queso dip) and a cheddar-cream cheese spread.
While homemade soft pretzels are a bit of a commitment, it’s worth it in my opinion. I’ve never been disappointed with the end results and since most of the time is spent waiting for the dough to rise it makes for a great weekend project. Speaking of the weekend, why not make them with beer instead of water? Boozy pretzels! You can’t buy those at the store.
I took the opportunity to bust out Red Star’s Platinum yeast for the occasion, being the first yeasted recipe to be made in my kitchen since moving in. (Yes these were made before the skillet rolls I posted on Sunday which btw were also made using Red Star’s Platinum yeast.) Let me tell you, that yeast does some work! And I know my yeast ;-). I may spoil myself by only buying that brand from now on because it’s not as finicky as others I have used in the past.
One year ago: Cookie Dough Oreo Cake
Two years ago: Pepperoni Pasta Bake
Turn your hurricane cocktail into a sweet treat with these hurricane cupcakes! Tastes just like a tropical storm without all the destruction.
I know we just spent the weekend being romantic but now it’s time to get boozy because it’s Mardi Gras! How about some rum infused cupcakes? Rum in the batter, rum soaked into the baked cupcakes, and then rum in the frosting. These cupcakes were inspired by the hurricane cocktail which is made of passion fruit juice, orange juice, lime juice, grenadine, and rum. You will find all of those flavors in these cupcakes however I could not find straight passion fruit juice and instead went with a mango-passion fruit blend. Oddly enough Bob did not enjoy these cupcakes at all, which upset me at first until he explained that he said it tasted like a fruity girly drink. Mission accomplished!
One year ago: Goat Cheese, Spinach & Tomato Quiche
Three years ago: Crispy Parmesan Green Beans
A new take on your favorite cream cheese chicken enchiladas made gluten-free and stuffed into an acorn squash! But still featuring all the creamy, cheesy goodness you love.
The #1 all time most popular recipe on this blog has been my cream cheese chicken enchiladas. (Second most popular? My favorite chewy chocolate chip cookies.) Every day it is the most viewed post which has lead me to believe that what you really want are enchiladas! As a result I have shared several other enchilada recipes such as cheesy veggie, chicken and spinach, and spicy avocado chicken. Yet the cream cheese version still reigned as king.
Since the cream cheese chicken enchiladas remain the most popular enchilada on my blog, I figured it was time to reinvent it a bit. This gluten-free version only has two changes from the original: the addition of bell peppers and substitution of tortillas with acorn squash! It was a huge success and may need to have a regular position on the menu. That says a lot folks because I rarely make the same exact thing without changing it at least a little bit (Exhibit A: this recipe).
One year ago: Giant Peanut Butter Snickerdoodle Cookie For One
Three years ago: S’mores Molten Lava Cake