Posts Tagged ‘Greek yogurt’

USA Soccer Cake

Show off your American pride with this surprise-inside USA flag cake, decorated like a soccer ball for the World Cup. Also perfect for Memorial Day and the Fourth of July.

USA Soccer Cake 1

Today the USA soccer team takes on Ghana for their first game in the 2014 FIFA World Cup. USA is in Group G with Ghana (obviously), Portugal and Germany. In other words we’ve got some tough teams to play. To have any hope of being one of the two teams to advance from the group, team USA must beat Ghana as they are likely the most beatable. Unfortunately, Ghana has knocked the USA out of the last two World Cups. Obviously this means it’s time for a fun cake.

USA Soccer Cake 2

To celebrate game 1 for the USA, I originally planed to make cupcakes decorated as soccer balls but decided to take it a step further and try out my own version of a surprise-inside cake – a soccer ball decorated cake with a USA flag inside! Alternating layers of red and white cake are segmented with a round of blue cake which when cut, looks like a miniature flag. This cake would also be perfect for Memorial Day or the upcoming July 4th holiday.

USA Soccer Cake 3

One year ago: Cinnamon-Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Three years ago: Homemade Whole Wheat Pita Bread
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Greek Hummus Dip with Homemade Pita Chips

Dig into this layered Greek hummus dip with a cream cheese-Greek yogurt layer, hummus, and chopped tomatoes, red onions, cucumber and feta. Served with homemade pita chips.

Greek Hummus Dip with Homemade Pita Chips 1

The other day I was mailing out a bill and needed a stamp. I found a sheet of old Easter stamps on my parents’ desk and sent it on it’s way. Later that day, Sherrill asked me if I had any stamps for the letter she needed to mail and I pointed her in the direction of the sheet I used earlier. They weren’t stamps, they were stickers. Stickers that looked just like stamps with the ridged edges and everything but were not legal stamps. Of course the mailman had already pick up my letter which meant my bill would likely be late by the time it was returned and properly stamped. I waited a week and finally decided that it was time to call up the credit card company to see if I could reason with them, but first I got the bright idea to check my checking account. Guess what? The check was cashed which means the post office accepted the sticker as a stamp! Glad I wasn’t the only one who was duped.

Greek Hummus Dip with Homemade Pita Chips 2

This dip may seem complicated with the long list of ingredients but is pretty easy to throw together. The hummus is pureed in a food processor, the cream cheese and Greek yogurt are blended together, and then the two layers are topped with chopped veggies and feta. The homemade pita chips take a little more effort but if you are not up for the task feel free to skip and serve with store-bought pita chips, tortillas chips or vegetables.

One year ago: Breakfast Stromboli

Three years ago: Lunch Lady Peanut Butter Cookies
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Pesto-Feta Dip with Roasted Red Pepper

This quick and flavorful dip is perfect for crackers or any of your favorite vegetables. Feta, cream cheese, Greek yogurt, and pesto are blended together and topped with roasted red pepper.

Pesto-Feta Dip with Roasted Red Pepper 2

Yesterday was the grand opening ceremony for the new pickleball courts. There was music, hot dogs, cookies, lemonade, ice cream, clowns and a lot of pickleballs flying around. But beforehand I played pickleball on the old courts and actually some tennis too! It had been a very long time since I last played tennis and it was completely disorienting. I felt like a miniature person because pickleball really is a miniature version of tennis – everything felt huge. Tennis courts are much bigger, the net is a little higher, the racket is bigger than a paddle, and tennis balls bounce a lot higher than pickleballs. Of course the worst part was realizing I am no longer as good as I was in highschool and college. Apparently not playing for a few years will have that effect, who knew? I wonder if I can keep up with switching back and forth between the two sports though. May be difficult if only for time constraints.

If you couldn’t tell I am not having a hard time enjoying all this time off post-grad school. I did start working part time at the gym to help pay the bills but otherwise I am still living the retired life. Another perk of this situation is all the opportunities to cook. If I am not cooking dinner for my parents, I am whipping up a dessert or appetizer for their friends who come over for various game-nights. Since healthy options are always welcomed with this crowd I dished out this feta dip served with veggies.

Pesto-Feta Dip with Roasted Red Pepper 1

One year ago: Wheat-Oat-Flax Buns
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Peanut Butter & Jelly Parfait

If you love pb+j then you’ll love this parfait. Peanut butter yogurt is layered with strawberry jam, fresh strawberries, and peanut butter granola. Prefect for breakfast or a light dessert.

Peanut Butter & Jelly Parfait 1

After 4 awesome days of BBQ-festing it’s time for me to return to Knoxville. Memphis is especially fun in May and I couldn’t have picked a better weekend for which to return. I may need to detox with spinach smoothies and salads however, but in the meantime lets talk about parfaits.

Despite my love for all things peanut butter, it took me a long time to get on board with peanut butter and jelly things beyond the sandwich. For some reason it did not appeal in dessert form but that all changed when I had the peanut butter and jelly candy bar from Trader Joe’s. Then when I got my hands on the KIND peanut butter granola I decided it was time to make a peanut butter and jelly parfait! With all the fresh strawberries I’ve had on hand after picking them on three separate occasions it was an easy decision to incorporate them and the freshly homemade strawberry jam my dad and I made.

This recipe is written for one since it is Single Serving Sunday, but it’s incredibly easy to multiply for more servings. As you can see I ended up making two.

One year ago: Twinkie Truffles

Two years ago: Thai Chicken Pizza

Three years ago: Grilled Steak Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing
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Carrot Cake Breakfast Cookies #BrunchWeek

Welcome to the second annual brunch week hosted by Terri of Love and Confections and Susan of The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen!  Join us May 5th through 10th while we celebrate the deliciousness of brunch and to prepare for Mother’s Day and summer brunching season.  We have 32 bloggers bringing you their best brunch game, from cocktails to eggs benedict to donuts, there is something for everyone this week.  Our amazing sponsors have donated some great prizes for a gigantic giveaway, please visit them all for more information.

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Check out all the amazing recipes today:

Brunch Beverages:

Brunch Eggs:

Brunch Mains:

Brunch Breads:

Brunch Fruit and Sides:

Brunch Desserts:

Carrot Cake Breakfast Cookies 1

Cookies for breakfast are even more acceptable when it’s cookies for brunch! These cookies were inspired by the “vegetable dessert” lovingly known as carrot cake. At first, it took a lot of restraint to not top these off with cream cheese icing, just like it’s dessert-cousin. In an effort to keep these breakfast cookies more breakfasty and less desserty, I topped half of them with shredded coconut (half without for the coconut haters). This small addition made all the difference, adding just the right amount of sweetness without being overbearing. And now you can start your day with cookies (without the guilt and/or judging eyes).

Carrot Cake Breakfast Cookies 2

Today may be my final #BrunchWeek recipe post, but there are still two more days until the finale. There are a lot of great prizes which you should not miss out on, so be sure to enter using the Rafflecopter widget at the end of this or any of my posts this week. Learn more about the specific items up for grabs HERE.

One year ago: Mini Greek-Style Meatloaves

Two years ago: Homemade Imo’s Pizza

Three years ago: Avocado Fries
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Grilled Chicken Gyro Salad with Pita Croutons

If you love gyros then you need to make this gyro salad. It’s a Greek salad topped with grilled chicken, homemade pita croutons, and tzatziki dressing.

Grilled Chicken Gyro Salad

I do not repeat recipes often but when I do I typically change them up slightly. Today is one such example, where I deconstructed the recipe for my chicken gyros into a salad. Gyro-seasoned chicken is grilled to perfection and served over a Greek salad topped with homemade pita croutons and tzatziki dressing. The grilled chicken could easily be enjoyed by itself as it is tender, juicy, flavorful, etc… but the remaining components work to further enhance the experience. Although this recipe has quite a ridiculously long ingredient list do not be discouraged because it is relatively simple to throw together. Toss the chicken in the marinade, whisk together the dressing, toast the croutons (or use store-bought), chop up the salad and then grill the chicken. That’s only 5 steps and the longest task is marinading the chicken, which is inactive time.

One year ago: Funfetti Macarons

Three years ago: Mexican Mac and Cheese
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Spaghetti with Roasted Butternut and Brussels & Greek Yogurt Cream Sauce

Spaghetti with roasted butternut squash and Brussels sprouts proves that that winter squash and vegetables transcend the seasons. Especially when paired with a Greek yogurt cream sauce.

Spaghetti with Roasted Butternut and Brussels & Greek Yogurt Cream Sauce

The weather was finally showing signs of spring sticking around but has suddenly revived its pesky habit of dropping to nearly below freezing today. Here I was getting into the groove of spring attire only to be denied once more. As a result I continue to crave roasted winter vegetables/squash such as Brussels sprouts and butternut squash. With this cold front sweeping the nation I figured a pasta dish with some season-transitioning flavors would help comfort the cold away, especially when paired with a creamy Greek yogurt sauce. I even put some fried sage on top, in all its crispy and falvorful glory.
One year ago: Creamy Pesto with Mini Ravioli, Asparagus and Sun Dried Tomatoes

Three years ago: Guiltless Cajun Chicken Alfredo
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Asparagus & Wild Rice Casserole

Creamy wild rice and fresh asparagus come together in this baked side dish. Serve it alongside your favorite cut of meat – it’ll go with just about anything.

Asparagus & Wild Rice Casserole 1

Let’s talk plastic bags. I try to use reusable shopping bags wherever I go and have already told my story about them confusing retail but not grocery cashiers, yet sometimes they like to wait in the car instead of coming into the store with me. Such occasions result in a double dose of annoyance because not only do I have to get plastic bags but the cashiers have a habit of using excessive amounts of them. Yesterday I had one bag with a single can of black beans and another with just a block of cheese and container of sour cream. Apparently those three items would not get along if placed in the same plastic bag. I understand they don’t want the bags to break but that’s just silly. My milk was also bagged, which is not a light item and conveniently already possesses a handle. This is why I prefer self-checkout. Alas, I will just bring them back for recycling.

In other news (I need a new transition phrase because that one gets used a lot), I made a side dish! They appear so infrequently on this blog that I get excited when there’s one to share. Especially when it is something that pairs so well with a variety of things. Grilled steak? Definitely. BBQ chicken? You bet. I served it with apple jelly-glazed pork chops and it was wonderful. Wild rice and fresh asparagus are mixed together in a creamy sauce, topped with cheddar cheese, and baked until bubbly.

Asparagus & Wild Rice Casserole 2

One year ago: Baked Quinoa Chicken Parmesan

Three years ago: White Bean Chicken Chili
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Rainbow-Surprise Lemon Cake & Surprise-Inside Cakes Cookbook Giveaway

Traditionally frosting is the star of cake decorating, but what about the inside? Amanda Rettke proves that it’s the inside that counts with her cookbook, “Surprise-Inside Cakes”.

SurpriseInsideCakes hc c

When it comes to decorating cakes I am not an expert. Upon receiving the Surprise-Inside Cakes cookbook by Amanda Rettke (I Am Baker) I was a bit intimidated to go beyond the recipes for different layers of color and/or frosting without any cutting and cake-puzzle-assembling. It is truly impressive how many different interiors she was able to design and execute. But after reading through a few of the more complicated recipes I realized that with the right tools and some patience, paired with her excellent step-by-step photos and directions, I might be able to pull it off.

I really loved the smiley face cake and argyle cake but decided to start out small with one of the easier recipes – the rainbow cake. First I had to decide on a cake flavor. Amanda provides recipes for perfectly level cakes and frostings which can be used to create any of the surprise-inside cakes. However, you could also use your own recipe or even a boxed mix, I won’t tell. If using other recipes you may end up with a domed top which will need to be leveled off, unless of course you know that particular recipe does come out flat. Either way, a cake with these interior designs will look made from scratch no matter what recipe you choose.

Rainbow Balloon Lemon Cake 1

To see if a boxed mix would work, I decided to doctor up a white cake mix to create a lemon cake. (Did you know that rainbows taste like lemons? Well, at least this one does.) The cakes did dome but that was easily solved by slicing off the tops with a long serrated knife. After that I followed Amanda’s detailed instructions for assembling and frosting the cakes. I don’t think I’ve ever frosted such a smooth cake before.

Rainbow Balloon Lemon Cake 2

Upon that beautiful white scene I created my own balloon decorations using the cake-top scraps and leftover frosting. It looks like fondant doesn’t it!? Nope it’s something even better, something I have decided to call cake-ball-fondant! Yup, I am a genius. Instead of forming balls to be dipped in chocolate, roll flat with a rolling pin and cut out shapes with cookies cutters. Consider your mind blown.

Rainbow Balloon Lemon Cake 3

In order to find out exactly how I colored and assembled this cake you’ll have to read about it in the Surprise-Inside Cakes cookbook! To assist in keeping a copy into your hands asap I am giving away a copy of this awesome cookbook to one lucky reader. After checking out the recipe use the Rafflecopter widget at the bottom of this post to enter.

Rainbow Balloon Lemon Cake 4

One year ago: Baked Eggs with Crispy Hash Brown Crust

Two years ago: Cheesy Cat Treats

Three years ago: Funfetti Cake Batter Smoothie
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Slow Cooker Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup

Let your slow cooker do the hard work. Throw the ingredients for this creamy chicken tortilla soup into your slow cooker and you’ll have a hearty and flavorful soup. Don’t forget the toppings!

Slow Cooker Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup 2

Yesterday afternoon I saw an e-mail that made my tear ducts come to life. Not out of sadness, but instead from pure happiness. The day has finally come – you can now PubMed me! AaaahAAaaAhahAhhhhh!! Here’s to hoping that having this publication under my belt will help me out in the job search.

Click here to read a lot of jargon—> My glorious research paper

If I remember correctly, I first submitted this paper around mid-September 2013. Six months for two revisions with countless figure modifications for new data per reviewers’ requests. I will tell you what though, the biggest pain in the butt was figuring out how to reformat the pictures for my figures to be the correct resolution, size, file type, and lacking alpha channels (wherever the heck those things came from or even what they are). But hey, now I know how to do it for my second paper pending publication. Mastering Adobe Photoshop one scientific figure at a time. And popping open a bottle of wine to celebrate!

Slow Cooker Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup 1

When that many pieces of a puzzle finally come together to create something amazing, it’s quite satisfying. Which is why you should not be scared by the lengthy list of ingredients for the recipe for this Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup. Almost all of the ingredients are thrown into the slow cooker together and the remaining few are added at the end or sprinkled on top just before serving. And to prove it, there are only three steps. Let the slow cooker do the rest.

One year ago: Cake Batter Cinnamon Rolls

Two years ago: Dark Chocolate Nonpareil Peanut Butter Cookies
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