Brittany wrote this on 16 October 2016
Hello friends! You may not know it, but you have stumbled upon DAY #2 of the 12 Days of Christmas Blog Tour! Traci, the fabulousness behind the blog Traci & Co., has organized a special blog tour of recipes, crafts, and gift tutorials to get us all ready for the holidays! There is a different blogger each day so don’t forget to click here to see all the amazing stuff we have for you!
And it gets better! There is a HUGE giveaway after the tour wraps up so be sure to head over to see what is happening each day and to enter the GIVEAWAY! There will be several winners and, among other outstanding prizes, one lucky friend will win a copy of my holiday eCookbook, Cooking Through The Holidays, releasing November 1! It has been quite the project and I am thrilled to be able to announce its debut here on the 12 Days Of Christmas Blog Tour!
So what do I have for you today?
The gift of food!
I am all about passing along a plate of cookies or a fruit cake to the neighbors (or RECEIVING a plate of cookies or fruit cake…) but occasionally I try and shake things up. A little jar of this Harvest Fruit Spread will definitely bring a smile to whoever enjoys it! Tuck it into a gift bag and pass it on as a hostess gift at an upcoming holiday party or top it with big bow and leave it for a teacher! This spread would be perfect as a secret santa gift. Make a gift for under the tree and fill a pretty mixing bowl biscuit mix, a fun mixing spoon, a seasonal kitchen towel, and a little jar of this! Boom! Better than Santa! Just don’t forget to save some for yourself!
The ingredient list may be a bit different, but cooked down, it becomes a smooth, spiced spread that has been know to make a fellow swoon. The flavor is a bit sweet, a bit tart, and perfectly spiced! If you plan to make a batch or two and want to share the love with family and friends, I made a handy dandy printable to make that a bit easier! Although a ribbon and a holiday tag work just as well!
Harvest Fruit Spread
This will make you house smell divine! The mix of flavors is comforting and just a little addicting! Be sure to cut the squash extra small; it will take the longest to cook. Any variety of apple and pear will do!
2 c small cubes fresh butternut squash or fresh pumpkin
1 large apple, peeled, cored and cubed
1 large pear, peeled, cored, and cubed
1 c raisins
7 ounces dried figs, snipped into small pieces
1 scant T freshly grated ginger or 1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon-or 1 whole tsp if you like things nice and spiced
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 c apple cider
2 cinnamon sticks
1 c water
Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan and place over medium heat. Simmer gently until fruit and squash is VERY tender and falling apart. If the pan starts to go dry before everything is soft, add more water. This will vary depending on the ripeness of your fruit and how big the chunks are! When everything is soft and most of the moisture has evaporated, let the mixture cool a bit. When ready, remove the cinnamon sticks and pulse in a food processor until desired consistency. I like it uniformly smooth, but not to the point of baby food. You decide! Alternatively, you can use an immersion blender to puree the spread. Mix well and be sure to give it a taste! If your fruit is extra tart and the mixture makes you pucker a bit, now is the time to stir in some honey. This spread is not supposed to be like candy, but feel free to adjust it to your liking. I won’t tell! Store it sealed, in the fridge for up to two weeks or freeze for later for several months. Enjoy!
Note~These are all the ways we devour this fruit spread:
- smeared on a panini with turkey, cheese and mustard
- spooned over pancakes and waffles
- as a dip for graham crackers
- spread on a tortilla with cream cheese and rolled up for a snack
- on a peanut butter sandwich
- paired with salty butter on these Sweet Potato Biscuits (Good LORD its good!)
- on cinnamon raisin toast
- smeared on crostini, topped with crumbled goat cheese, and served as an appetizer
- tucked onto a cheese plate and served with crackers and brie
- directly out of the jar with a spoon 🙂
Don’t miss out on all the fun! Click here to go to ALL of the handmade tutorials for The 12 Days Of Christmas Blog Tour and to enter the GIVEAWAY!!
Brittany wrote this on 26 September 2016
I have talked before about my love affair with homemade bread.
My very first blog post EVER was a recipe for the bread machine and this pillowy Buttermilk Yeast Bread has been know to send friends and family to their knees when I serve them a slice slathered in butter and honey. It is that good.
As much as I love both those recipes, I have been looking for a really good, really easy recipe for multigrain bread. The chewy, almost nutty texture of whole grains is a favorite of mine, but I didn’t want to have to spend the money and purchase multiple kinds of flour that I may not use for anything else. Years ago, I had seen a recipe using a 7-grain hot cereal mix to make bread and I never forgot about it! A few months ago, I started searching and testing recipes, and several loaves of bread later, I FINALLY have the perfect version!
This is one of the easiest bread machine recipes you will ever make. There is no soaking of grains and no extra steps; the ingredients are just dumped in. It makes fantastic sandwiches, but toasted with butter and jam is nothing short of beautiful. Crusty and chewy on the inside and oh. my. GOSH! My Mom used to make homemade bread when I was a kid and we had hot bread as a bedtime snack on nights when we sat up and watched movies. With my kids, it is more likely that they will have it as an after school snack, opening the door to the scent of freshly baked bread. Either way its a memory that I hope always makes them think of home.
I would love to share with you too! I’ll keep the butter and honey pot on standby. 🙂
Multigrain Bread For The Bread Machine
Recipe adapted from Betty Crocker
This recipe makes a 2 lb loaf. In the market for a bread machine or want to add it to your Christmas wishlist? Try this one!
1 1/2 c water
2 T coconut, canola, grapeseed, or vegetable oil
1 1/2 c bread flour or all-purpose flour
1 1/2 c white whole wheat flour, whole wheat pastry flour, or whole wheat flour
1 c 7-grain hot cereal (uncooked) such as Bob’s Red Mill brand
1/4 c brown sugar or honey
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 tsp bread machine yeast or 1-.25 oz packet
Place all ingredients in your bread machine according to manufacturers directions. Choose the 2 lb, whole wheat or standard loaf setting and I recommend the light or medium crust option if you have the choice. The whole wheat tends to really darken and you don’t want it to burn. This bakes up great on standard or rapid baking times. Remove to a cooling rack as soon as it is done and TRY not to cut into it until it has cooled a bit!
Brittany wrote this on 14 September 2016
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SandwichWithTheBest #CollectiveBias
It isn’t all that earth shattering to learn that it is hot here in the South.
Apparently, where I live in South Carolina, we have set records for high temperatures this summer. I am told this is hard to achieve, especially in a geographical area that is famous for being hot. Nevertheless, my family and I continue to find ways to beat the heat. Swimming, lots of indoor movies, visiting the local snow cone stand (yes, we actually have one), and avoiding the use of my oven if at all possible. You know what I have NOT been avoiding? My panini maker.
I got my husband a panini maker for Christmas some years ago and every summer it gets a full workout. Toasty sandwiches are a family staple and even though we make them year round, we can’t seem to get enough when it is hot outside. We are always after something light and the easier the better. That is how this sandwich was born!Some of our favorite brands come together in this one recipe. I was able to purchase all of mine at my local Walmart, but you can find everything at any neighborhood supermarket! A good variety of Pepperidge Farm® Bread is always on our counter and our favorite to use here is the Pepperidge Farm® Whole Grain Oatmeal or Farmhouse® Hearty Oatmeal. Bread can make or break a sandwich, friends! The options with Pepperidge Farm® are so plentiful, it will be a cinch to pick the right one for your family. The fresh baked taste never fails to impress and we always stock up. They loaves are double bagged and this momma, with three forgetful offspring, can use all the help she can get in the kitchen to sandwich with the best! Hillshire Farm® Thin Sliced Honey Ham is one of my secrets to easy meals for my family! There is no wait at the meat counter and the quality is definitely up to my standards! No by-products and no artificial flavors is exactly what I am looking for and because the meat is slow roasted for hours means it has a taste that ALL of us drool over! The convenience of the sealed tubs makes meal time that much easier. I have another secret! Hellmann’s® Real Mayonnaise is pretty much the only kind I buy since it is just that good. It is hard to beat a classic! In this recipe I spread it on the outside of the sandwich, giving the crunchy, toasted bread an extra tangy bite! We actually like it better than butter. So good!Easy cooking and great ingredients guarantee a successful dish! Add in some extra sweet and salty flavors and you have a sandwich that is darn near irresistible! At least that is what my kids call these. Nothing fancy and no complicated steps. Just really good food in a matter of minutes. Exactly what I need whether it is Summer, Winter, and any season in between!Want to keep up with all things happening at Pepperidge Farm®? Follow them on Facebook and Twitter and you won’t miss a thing!
Sweet & Tangy Ham Panini
If you want to add an extra boost of flavor, I highly recommend, swiping on a bit of mustard. It adds an extra zippy bite that goes great with the ham!
Pepperidge Farm® Whole Grain Oatmeal or Farmhouse® Hearty Oatmeal or any other Pepperidge Farm® Bread
Hillshire Farm® Thin Sliced Honey Ham
Hellmann’s® Real Mayonnaise
fresh sliced tomatoes
sliced cheese-mild cheddar or colby jack are perfect
peach or apricot jam
Spread a slice of the bread with peach jam and top with sliced tomato and cheese. On a second slice of bread, generously pile up the ham. Sandwich the two together and evenly spread the outside of the slices with mayo. Toast in a panini maker until desired crispiness. Alternatively, toast on a stove in a cast iron pan, slipping halfway through to toast the other side. Careful, IT’S HOT! Enjoy!
Brittany wrote this on 28 August 2016
Goodness! August has just flown by and I am trying to keep up with everything!
I have been woefully behind with my posts and I want you all to know I have a good excuse! My husband is finishing up a degree in nuclear engineering, and since it is all online, I have had to share my computer lately. Between the kids, activities, keeping the house running, etc, my time at the keyboard has been limited! But trust me….I have so much in store for you! My kids went back to school last week and in addition to everyday things, I have started a new project for Brittany’s Pantry! I am SUPER excited about it and will share with all of you soon, but for now, you will have to be content with this stellar roasted veggie recipe.
I had slipped into a bit of a rut lately with my family meals and felt like I was making the same things over and over. When that happens, I tend to start randomly rifling among my cookbooks and all the recipes I have saved to my computer. I click, flip pages, scroll, and page through to see if anything looks appealing to me at that moment. After I realized I was zeroing in on a lot of roasted veggie recipes, I decided to try and create something with what I had in my fridge. This recipe is the result!
I have made this with different veggies, different meats, and with and without bread to soak up all the pan juices. The recipe below are the flavors that we loved the best (WITH crusty bread 🙂 ) but the goal is to roast the summer veggies that you have to make a meal out of them. This is fast and easy and incredibly fresh, but obviously should be modified to suit your family. Do you really love okra in the summer? That would be AWESOME added to this. Not a fan of tomatoes? No worries, leave them out. My only advice is to keep the gorgeous rainbow of colors as best you can. Not only is it healthy, but kids-and adults-eat with their eyes first. Variety will help stave off any boredom with dinner and the more of it you have in this dish, the better! It is a pretty gorgeous, and may I say, tasty, way to finish out August. Roasted Summer Veggies W/Sausage
I have made this with sweet Italian sausage, kielbasa, and eventually want to try it with chorizo. So far, using bratwurst is our family favorite. The combo of flavors is quite awesome. We LOVE to eat this with crusty bread to sop the juices (gaaaaah its so good) but this would be just as fantastic served over a scoop of plain couscous or quinoa.
3 medium zucchini, ends trimmed and cut into bit sized pieces
2 bell peppers, any color, cored, seeded, and chunked
1 pint grape tomatoes, rinsed
1 large onion, cut into large chunks
1 pint whole, small portabella mushrooms, stems trimmed, rinsed well, and patted dry
1 package (5 links) bratwurst, cut crosswise into bite sized coins
1 tsp dried oregano
salt and pepper
extra virgin olive oil
Pile all of the vegetables in the middle of a large sheet pan. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper, the oregano, and drizzle (again, liberally) with the olive oil. Toss with your hands until everything is mixed and coated, and spread evenly on the pan. Add the sausage, spreading the pieces out so that they roast evenly and add flavor to all the veggies. Roast in the oven at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Toss gently with a spatula and return to the oven until the meat is cooked through, about another 15 minutes. The cooking time will vary based on the type of veggies you decide to use. Scoop the sausage and vegetables onto serving plates, being sure to get some of the amazing juices on the bottom of the pan. Serve with lots of crusty bread! Enjoy!
Brittany wrote this on 4 August 2016
A few months ago I hosted a summer birthday shindig for my husband.
You know what that means, don’t you? Man food. Spicy things and salty things and meat. Wanting to play and visit and chill with our guests, I tried to plan a menu that would be more hands off, ensuring I didn’t spend the day in the kitchen. I knew I wanted to make a slow cooker full of beans, but decided to do something different in order to meet the spicy, salty, meaty requirements.
These aren’t very salty, and actually, not very spicy either, but the men (and women and children) were more than happy to devour them. It is entirely possible that I may never make beans any other way again. Like, ever. They are that good.
In addition, they are a great dish to travel to a potluck type of situation, so be sure to share. The slow cooker is a beautiful thing, friends and this one is our absolutely favorite! Especially in the summer when you don’t want to heat up the house. Perfect for a birthday shindig or any other event you need ‘man food’ for.
Just mixed up and ready to cook! You can tell because the color hasn’t deepened yet and the onion is still raw. You can absolutely make these the night before and then start them in your crockpot the next day! Summer Baked Beans
You can substitute cannelini beans for this recipe, but they don’t hold up to long cooking times as well as great northern beans do, so don’t let them go all day! Also, note that this feeds a crowd! Feel free to halve the recipe, but leftovers reheat wonderfully!
4 cans great northern beans, drained and rinsed
1-14 oz package, smoked sausage or kielbasa of your choice (we like the all beef versions), diced
1 large onion, diced small
1/2 c ketchup
1 c brown sugar
2 T dijon mustard
2 T apple cider vinegar
1 tsp red pepper flakes, or to taste
Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a standard, 3 quart slow cooker (or a larger one) and stir carefully. It will be full! Turn it on low for about 6 hours (or high for 3) or until the flavors meld and the onion is cooked. Depending on your sausage and the size of your onion, the time may vary, but the beans hold up well so no worries. Give them a stir once or twice if you can so that they heat evenly. Enjoy!
Brittany wrote this on 29 July 2016
Just dropping in to pass along a quick recipe for the weekend!
Simply put, this fresh and crisp cucumber salad is just an easy kind of dish to make. It is light and refreshing and great along side heavier barbecued or grilled food. There is very little to it, making it so easy your kids can make it! I like to use it when I need a vegetable, but don’t want to cook anything. Because…yeah. The whole country is hot and steamy right now. We do NOT need to be making anything that will add to the heat and make us wilt any further. It can sit in the fridge for several hours before you serve it and won’t spoil if it is out on the table for too long. No mayo here!
So lets review.
Green? Check. (I’m not sure why this is a requirement, but I think green food is pretty and gravitate toward it…)
No cook? Check.
Healthy and easy? Check check.
Aaaaaaaaannnnnnnnnddddddddd…my work here is done!
Honey-Ginger Cucumber Salad
My favorite cucumbers to use are the English cucumbers. They have very thin skins so there is no need to peel them, and less seeds inside as well so they are easier to digest. We LOVE them at our house and they are the only kind I buy anymore. SO much easier! Look for them with the rest of the produce; they will be shrink wrapped in plastic to protect them from damage.
2 large English (hothouse) cucumbers, cut into bite sized pieces
1 T honey
1 T red wine vinegar
1 tsp freshly grated ginger, or to taste
salt and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients and toss well to evenly distribute the flavors. Taste for seasoning and adjust salt and pepper if needed. If you like the string flavor of fresh ginger, feel free to add a bit more. Chill until ready to serve.
Brittany wrote this on 18 July 2016
Summer just wouldn’t be summer without hot dogs on the menu!
True, it isn’t a food you see on my blog that much, but I have a bit of a confession. I loooooove hot dogs. I really do. The good kind that are really meaty and snap a bit when you bite into them. Yeah. Those kind. Like the good state fair hot dogs of our youth. On a hot summer day when you have been playing hard and everyone is dirty and sweaty and you smell like sunshine, there are few things that taste as good as a really fantastic hot dog.
About a decade or so ago, when my husband was still in the Navy and were living in San Diego, I flew back to Minnesota to visit family and friends. Mike was deployed and I was keeping myself occupied with a long overdue trip home. I ended up taking a train down to central Illinois to see visit our best friends, and of course, Amtrak took me through Chicago. I had several hours to kill before my next departure and I was way past hungry. I kept seeing signs for authentic ‘Chicago Style’ hotdogs and followed my nose right to a booth. You guys. The man behind the counteract my hot dog in half lengthwise, and then fried it on the flattop! I had NEVER seen that before and thought it was so darn genius, I immediately doubled my order. The cook turns back to me and says, “You want a true Chicago dog?” I hesitated just a moment before reluctantly nodding. I had absolutely no clue what that actually meant, but figured, what the heck. You only live once.
I don’t actually remember all the specifics of what was on my hot dog that day, but the whole dill pickle spear and freshly chopped tomatoes stood out enough that I never forgot it. When he picked up a shaker and dusted my plate just before handing it over, I assumed it was pepper, and was surprised when my nose caught a whiff of the spice.
“Was that celery salt?” I asked.
He grinned. “Yeah.”
I looked at my plate and back up at him. “On my hot dogs?”
Now he looked mildly offended. “Yeah.”
I quickly smiled, not wanting to be a lame and bothersome tourist (too late) and chirped out a thank you. I had no idea at the time, but I was about to eat one of my favorite things ever. Sitting by myself in the corner of a little brick walled nook in the middle of Chicago’s Union Station, I ate-nay, inhaled-my first ever Chicago hotdog. The mix of flavors and textures was outrageously satisfying and I couldn’t believe I had been missing out on this my whole life. It made quite an impression and was neatly filed away in my memory as one of those special food moments we all have sprinkled throughout our lives.Fast forward to present day.
A craving for the fresh taste of that meal led me to an impromptu Chicago hot dog night. Now before you get all huffy about what goes on a traditionally classic Chicago dog, let me first say that everyone has an opinion about that. There doesn’t seem to be any single list of ingredients, although there are obviously a few main commonalities. A pickle spear. Chopped tomatoes instead of ketchup. Diced onion. And of course, celery salt. Some add special sauce, others add spicy mustard. For me, my version only covers the main flavors of my original experience. It is easy to recreate and hits the important points. Simple and so tasty, you won’t believe how you ever lived without it.
The best part? I can eat it here the Midlands of South Carolina. No train ticket needed.
How do YOU like your Chicago Style HotDogs?!
Chicago Style Hot Dogs
Do not-I repeat-please do NOT skip the celery salt. I promise it is worth it.
good bakery buns
dill pickle spears
chopped fresh tomatoes
Assemble your hot dog and sprinkle with the salt. Enjoy!
Brittany wrote this on 31 May 2016
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #FreschEats #CollectiveBias
I may feel like it sometimes, but I am not Superwoman.
Like most Moms and Dads, my husband and I can multitask with the best of them. As busy parents, it is a bit of a necessity to be able to do several things at once. I can fold laundry, help my son with his spelling words, supervise my daughters art project (and assist with extra glitter), all while sipping my reheated coffee and stopping my youngest from scaling the rock fireplace. We are talking ninja level skill here. But even I need a bit of help in the kitchen now and then. Yes, I cook 99% of our family meals, but sometimes life has a way of getting in the way. Even when I make meals ahead and tuck them in the freezer, it isn’t always an option when time and energy are at an all time low. So I started keeping a few convenience items around to help me out on my overly scheduled days.
What did we reach for most often? Frozen pizza. We don’t have to leave the house and we discovered a brand that tastes better (yes, better) than anything we could have delivered. Freschetta Pizza has always been a favorite, but now they have new Artisan Crust® Pizzas! Three whole grains in the crust and you can absolutely taste the difference. They bake up in the time it takes me to throw together a healthy side to serve along with it!
I buy my Freschetta at Publix and it is easy to locate in the frozen section with all the other pizzas. I love to stock up and right now, all Freschetta pizzas (excluding Gluten-Free) are two for ten dollars from now through the first week of June. Needless to say, my freezer is full! The ingredients are quality and while we have been inhaling the Artisan Crust lately, we often enjoy the Brick Oven and Rising Crust pizzas as well. All I have to do on pizza night is whip up a fresh side to go along with it and dinner is d-o-n-e done. With flavors like Freschetta ® Artisan Chicken and Fire Roasted Vegetable Pizza and my personal favorite, Freschetta ® Artisan Margherita Pizza, it is super easy to find a kind that everyone enjoys! You can check out all the incredible Freschetta products by clicking here. They are also on Facebook, Twitter, and even YouTube!My family loves a good green salad with our pizza, but lately, I have been trying to branch out. Broccoli slaw has been the answer to busting any green veggie boredom with my kids. So fresh and crunchy and ridiculously healthy, this slaw comes together in the time it takes your kids to set the table. It is heartier than regular slaw so it won’t get soggy like cabbage will. If you previously avoided coleslaw due to the bitterness of the vegetables this is your answer! A light dressing and quick toss and you have the perfect cool and crisp side salad.
Hm. Turns out I am a bit like Superwoman after all.
Quick & Easy Broccoli Slaw
1-12 oz package pre shredded broccoli slaw vegetable mix
1/4 c mayo
1 T sour cream (I use light)
1 T red wine vinegar
1 T honey
salt and pepper to taste
Place the shredded vegetables in a medium bowl. Set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients. Taste for seasoning. Pour the dressing over the veggies and mix well. Serve immediately or chill until ready to serve! Can be made up to 1 hour ahead of time. Enjoy!
Brittany wrote this on 23 February 2016
If you have been looking for a new winter stew to warm you up, this should be added to your menu!
Spring is around the corner but while most of the country has experienced some beautiful weather, it IS just February. Snow, cold, sub-zero temps, ice storms, chilly wind, and slushy-sloshy weather are still an imminent reality. So keep your eye out for flower buds and the tell tale bobbing of a robin across the lawn, but keep your boots, muffler, and this stew, handy.
The beauty of this recipe is that it is a bit of a chameleon. You can eat it if you are gluten-free or dairy free, you can freeze it ahead of time if you are busy, and the ingredients are a cinch to prep ahead if you need to have it handy for a weeknight. It is also mostly paleo with a few modifications (read: wine) so depending on how hard core you are, this might work for you. Ultimately, it is incredibly hearty with the sweet potatoes and carrots, but surprisingly light. Warms you up and fills your tummy without weighing you down with any heavy ingredients. It has become a favorite this season at our house and will be part of our menus for years to come! Obviously I had to share it here. That is what this space is for! Making sure you get to see all the best that can come out of my kitchen, making it a bit easier for YOU to create successful edibles out of yours.
Truly scrumptious! Hope you try this one-its a WINNER!
What is YOUR favorite ‘warm me up’ kind of food? Chili? Pasta? Soup? Leave a comment below and share it with us!
Chicken & Sweet Potato Stew
Recipe adapted from OAMM
2 large chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized chunks
2 large carrots, cubed (2-3 cups)
3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed (about 4 cups)
1 Onion, chopped
1 tsp minced garlic
1 T of butter, olive oil, grapeseed or coconut oil
salt and pepper
1 tsp dried thyme
1 dried bay leaf
1 c of dry white wine
1-32 oz carton, good quality chicken broth-I like the Swanson low sodium, 99% fat free or use homemade if you can
1 T arrowroot, optional
Add the butter or oil to a large, heavy bottomed stew pot. Brown the chicken over medium heat, seasoning with salt and pepper as you go. You want the chicken to get some color on it so don’t crowd the pan or the meat will steam. You may need to do it in batches and it does NOT need to be cooked all the way through. When brown all over, remove to a plate and set aside. If pan is dry, add a bit more butter or oil, and dump in all the veggies. Season with salt and pepper and add the dried thyme. Let cook over medium heat, stirring often, sautéing the veggies, but not letting them burn. When the largest pieces of carrot are just starting to soften, add the white wine and stir, scraping up the bits from the bottom of the pan. This is BIG TIME FLAVOR! Let the wine reduce by half and add the bay leaf, chicken and any juices on the plate, and chicken broth. Stir, bring to a simmer, lower the heat and cover. Now. You can either slip this into a 350 degree oven for a half hour, or let is just slowly simmer away on the stove top. It is up to you. Either way, let it slowly cook until the veggies are just crisp tender. Not too mushy! When you stir it, depending on your veggies and your stove, there maybe a lot of liquid left or not. If you want to thicken any broth left in the pan, add the tablespoon of arrowroot, stir well to dissolve and heat gently until thick. This is totally optional so YOU make the call. If you want to freeze it, cool to room temp and seal in an airtight container. Otherwise just spoon into bowls and enjoy!!
Brittany wrote this on 17 January 2016
When I think of chowder, I think of heavy, milk and cream laden soups that are nearly as thick as a stew. And, I must admit, that is what I find appealing about them. If you are eating them whilst wistfully gazing out at the sea, then they are even more appealing.
I have been to Seattle several times and each time I try to eat something different. On one such visit, I had some of the local clam chowder. It was solely for the purpose of eating the local fare in an amazing location. Of course, if you have ever had really good clam chowder in the Pacific Northwest, you know that the salt in the air, the sounds of sea birds, and the spray of the water against the hull of a ferry boat all contribute to the flavor. It is the experience of it as much as the food. Like eating a beignet while walking the streets of the French Quarter in New Orleans or gazing up at the Sears (Willis) Tower in Chicago while digging into a hot dog loaded with chopped tomatoes, onions, celery seed, and a pickle spear. The flavor and the memory are one and the same.
Well, this is not that kind of chowder.
I know! I know! You want a recipe for the heavy, milk and cream laden soup. But that isn’t what is happening today. Nope. Today is the ‘lets make a thick and creamy healthy chowder’ day. Don’t worry. You will thank me latter when you feel great and look fit.
The whole she-bang is simple. Bacon + veggies + broth = wonderful goodness. Its a culinary formula for success.
Sometimes, it is the spectacular flavor that pulls you in and that is the deal with this soup. It may look rather plain and nondescript, but it is a classic example of how a few simple ingredients can make something spectacular. In this case, I wanted all of the goodness of a vegetable chowder but due to the dietary limitations of a house guest, it also had to be dairy free. As it turns out, that isn’t really a problem with chowder. No, it may not be traditional but for me, it hits enough of the major characteristics to qualify. So chowder it is.
Dairy-Free (Gluten-Free) Veggie Chowder
Recipe adapted from here.
6 slices of bacon, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 large carrots, chopped
3 large stalks of celery, chopped
2 T olive oil, grapeseed, or coconut oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 bay leaves
1 head of cauliflower chopped, core, leaves, and large stems removed
1-48 oz carton of good quality chicken or vegetable stock
1 HEAPING T arrowroot
1 c plain, unsweetened almond milk or 1 c or regular milk
In a large soup pot, saute the bacon until browned and crisp. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon to a bowl, and drain off excess fat. Do NOT wipe out the pot! Over medium heat, add the olive oil to the pot along with all the vegetables. Season with the salt and pepper. Stir often to let the veggies start to cook. When they start to steam, add the bay leaves and the stock. Bring the soup up to a slow simmer, and let it cook until the vegetables are cooked, but not mushy. Gently break up the chopped vegetables with a potato masher, and if you choose, blitz it a bit with an immersion blender. Mix the arrowroot and the milk together and slowly stir it into the soup. Let it heat up to a bubble again, taste for seasoning, and serve with crumbled bacon on top.
Brittany wrote this on 4 January 2016
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BetterWithCraisins #CollectiveBiasSometimes, you have no choice but to just throw all your favorite things into one recipe.
Meat? Check. Cream cheese? Check. Cranberries? Check check. Add in a bit of citrus and the kick of Sriracha and you have something that can only be called wonderful. Julie Andrews is singing in my head… “…these are a few of my favorite things….”
It is officially game season here and in the weeks leading up to various big games, I am upping my strategy a bit with this recipe. I don’t make a lot of pinwheels (although I have no idea why) but I really really love it when I see them at gatherings. So I said to myself, “Self? Why not make them more often?” I was experimenting with my favorite flavors over the holidays and eventually, it all morphed into this. I tested the recipe at a few holiday events with mucho success, and now, they are hitting the football party scene.The beauty of this recipe is in its simplicity. The cream cheese and turkey pair great together, but the Craisins® Dried Cranberries are the star. They add color, texture, and a bit of natural sweetness. Obviously, most of us use Craisins® in baked goods, snack mixes, and salad toppings, but if you have never used them in a savory appetizer, now is your chance. Bonus! 1/4 c of dried cranberries equals a 1/2 c serving of fruit, so when you are popping these bites in your mouth, you know you are putting good things in your body.I got my Craisins® at the local Walmart and they were very easy to find in the dried fruit section. I also discovered something new! These Craisins® Fruit Clusters come in two different flavors and my whole family loved both kinds. You can find them right next to the other Craisins® products. They are pretty great for snacking. I portion them out into smaller containers and tuck them in my kids lunch box, or toss the whole bag into my purse for those days when the family needs something easy to munch on when we are traipsing around the zoo, running errands in town, or spending a few extra hours at the park. However, the recipe today features the straight-up, no frills dried cranberries. I wanted the sweet and sour, classic flavor in this appetizer and it works perfectly. Other reasons this works so well? You can make it ahead of time and can easily be a gluten free, depending on the tortillas you use. The cream cheese mixture can be made a day or two in advance and you can assemble the rolls when you need them. Or make the pinwheels as directed and store them in the fridge, uncut, up to 8 hours before party time. Leftover cranberry mixture? It is out of this world smeared on a bagel.
So when you are sprinkling those Craisins® over your oatmeal in the morning, consider a savory appetizer like this one for your next get together. Who could resist when it is full of favorite things?
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Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/OceanSpray/ Cran-Orange Pinwheels W/Smoked Turkey & Sriracha
Don’t worry about the heat from the Sriracha. It isn’t enough to do much more than give it just a bit of warmth in the back of your throat. Of course, I won’t tell anyone if you add more. Feel free to experiment with other flavors of Craisins®. All would taste just as good!
6 large tortillas-we like whole grain and gluten free versions
1 block cream cheese, low fat is fine
1/2 c Craisins® Dried Cranberries
1 tsp Sriracha (or to taste)
zest of 1 large orange
1/2 lb smoked turkey, sliced thin
In a medium bowl combine the cream cheese, Craisins®, Sriracha, and orange zest until well mixed. Set aside. Can be made up to two days ahead of time. Spread the mixture evenly on the tortillas, making sure to go all the way to the edges! Lay two pieces of turkey down the middle so that the meat reaches from end to end. Roll very tightly and set aside, doing the same with the other tortillas. Wrap tightly and store in the fridge for a few hours until ready to serve, or slice immediately. Cut into 1 inch slices, arrange on a platter or plate, and enjoy!
Brittany wrote this on 18 November 2015
There is a misconception that great produce is not available once summer is over. *gasp* I know. Shocking.
Obviously, since you all go to pumpkin patches and apple orchards in September and October, you know that this cannot entirely be the case. Autumn is a favorite time of year for a lot of reasons (fall colors, crisp weather, cute boots…) but I am continually inspired by the rainbow of available items at my local farmers market. The colors and flavors and textures draw me into the kitchen like no other season does. I’m not talking about the heavy, cream laden casseroles and hot dishes, although those are good too. I’m am referring to the stewed, roasted, and braised root veggies and greens that thrive in this chilly weather.
So in turn, to inspire all of YOU, I have TWO (actually three) ways to enjoy a rainbow of vegetables this season. Roasting is easy, classic, and tasty, but it goes beyond just roasting and eating. There are so many different ways to take this dish to the next level, and these are just two of them. What are YOUR favorite ways to enjoy the veggies of the season?
Check out the recipe for Roasted Vegetable Salad and Roasted Veggie Pasta over at the Columbia City Moms Blog!
Brittany wrote this on 9 November 2015
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #PairsWellWithHolidays #CollectiveBias
Why does food on a stick taste so much better? I have asked my kids this question several times and the answer is always the same: Because its fun!
This rings true for adults as well as kids and thankfully, it is ridiculously easy to do. My husband usually gets leftovers for lunch, but in the case of today’s recipe, it is so fast and easy, it just packed for everyone! I make a lot of wraps and sandwiches but I like variety in my meals as much as my kids. Hence, deviating from the norm happens rather often in our house. I’m a rebel that way.
I’m not sure how I got so blessed to end up with children that like strong flavors, but I did, and I am thankful. They have always liked the taste of a good, spicy salami and a sharp cheese. Why not deconstruct the sandwich?! Just like a holiday snack plate, this lunch ends up being a munch-able, exclusively finger-food type of situation. Toothpicks are cute, but they are also the perfect size for a school lunch!The meat I like to use for these is the same kind I serve to party guests. Creminelli has several flavors of uncured, handcrafted Italian salami and at the present time, the Tartufo (with black truffles) is our favorite. What I particularly like about this kind of meat is that the flavor is full and fantastic, but not overly spicy or salty. You can really taste the pork in this salami which is perfect wether you like strong flavors or not. It is mild enough for everyone! Add a cube of cheese and an itty bitty tomato and you have great taste in just a few bites. The meat doesn’t contain any of the chemicals and preservatives associated with other types of salami and that makes it a definite no brainer.
I pick up Creminelli products at my local Whole Foods store so stocking up is easy and convenient. And necessary! Between school and work lunches and weekend snack times, I keep some handy on a regular basis. The fact that I can (and do) use it for company at a moments notice is definitely a benefit for this busy Mom! Be sure to look for the savory Tartufo salami in the meat and cheese section. Because it is uncured, it won’t be refrigerated so check the displays in the aisles. The toughest part will be deciding which flavors to bring home!
When I pick up the salami, I like to grab some water crackers as well. My kids-and husband-love the extra crispy texture with the bold flavors of the skewers. Some fruit and olives on the side and they have a pretty spectacular lunch! The only thing that makes it better is the maple-mustard dipping sauce. A tiny container tucked in with everything else and they can dunk whatever they like! It is just mild enough that it doesn’t overpower the taste of the salmi, but lets be honest here. Its maple and mustard together with salami and cheese. On a stick! Does it get much better?
What are YOUR favorite flavors to eat with salami?
Mini Meat & Cheese Skewers W/Spicy Maple Mustard
These are great with olives or pickles tucked into the lunches as well! Be sure to use grape tomatoes here, as cherry tomatoes will be too big for little mouths.
1 pkg, uncured, Creminelli Tartufo Salami
provolone, swiss, or mozzarella cheese, cubed small
1 T pure maple syrup
1 scant T mayonnaise
1 T grainy mustard
toothpicks or cocktail skewers
Remove the casing from the salami and discard. Cube the meat into small, bite-sized pieces. Skewer the tomato, meat, and cheese onto the toothpick. In a small bowl, mix the mayo, mustard, and maple syrup until combined. Serve skewers with the dipping sauce. Note: This entire recipe can be made ahead of time, making busy school mornings less hectic! Enjoy!
Brittany wrote this on 30 September 2015
I do that all time. Like when I check out the recipe for a chocolate cake and I see the words sour cream, cocoa, coffee, ganache, and vanilla. Yeah. You know its gonna be outstanding. Or a beef stew that has the words red wine and fresh rosemary tucked amongst the potatoes and onions. Mmm. You can almost taste it, right? It is the same reason your mouth starts to salivate when you hear the words apple pie or pumpkin spice latte. You already know what is in it and that it will be fantastic.
This dip is kind of like that. Spice, lime, garlic, sesame, curry…mmmm. For those of you that are looking for a bit of a change from the hummus scene, I got your back. If you are obsessed with all things spicy and, well…we’ll just say it…Sriracha…then you are covered with this one. If you are gluten free and love variety in your diet, then here ya go! And if your house is the place to be for every football game from now until the Super Bowl because of your 879 million inch flat screen and make-ahead snacks with a kick are totally singing your song, well then I am playing your tune amigo!!
I am not usually into food trends, but it is hard to avoid Sriracha right now. And for good reason, since it is quite fantastic. It was around a long time before it became the most famous condiment EVER and it will be around long after the foodie world has moved onto something else. But don’t burn out on it because the flavor of this stuff is really spectacular. Spicy, yes, but vinegary and earthy at the same time. Not just any hot sauce, so don’t be fooled. It is just good stuff.
The combination of flavors in the finished dip here is a little bit asian and a little bit mediterranean. A nice fusion that is perfect with the flavor of the hot sauce and makes for a light and creamy dip. My kids inhale this just as much as my husband and his friends do, so don’t be put off by the Sriracha in the title. YOU control the heat and since you can dip nearly anything in it short of shoe leather and have it taste good, it covers all your bases. If you are thinking this would be awesome at your upcoming Halloween party, you would be right. Adding this to your menu for game day and toting it along to a holiday party or two would also be in order. Check YOU out being all trendy and stuff!
White Bean Dip W/Sriracha
Recipe adapted from White On Rice Couple
This is great served with just about anything. It is also fantastic on a tortilla with chicken or wrapped up with some deli turkey. Spread it on toast with tomato and avocado and gaaaaaaah.
In the bowl of a food processor, add:
2 (15 oz) cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 T extra virgin olive oil
2 T lime juice
1 heaping tsp chopped garlic
2 tsp sesame oil
1 T soy sauce-I prefer low sodium
2 T Sriracha, or to taste
1 tsp curry powder
1 T water
Blend all ingredients together until smooth. Add water by teaspoonfuls if it is too thick. Scrape sides of the processor and combine well. Serve with crackers, pretzels, and various veggies. Enjoy!
Brittany wrote this on 24 September 2015
Several months ago, I decided to start buying my meat in bulk and wholesale off the back of a truck. I swear it is much less shady than it sounds…
We are loving the convenience of it, but occasionally, I start to abandon my regular recipe rotation and randomly seek out something new. Something different. Something with zing. Years ago, I made chicken similar to this from a recipe I found in a Better Homes & Gardens cookbook. I have no idea what the full recipe was, but I recreated it again from memory with great success. It combines two of my favorite items to use in marinades and sauces: lemon and mustard. Packed with flavor and that tangy zing, these two ingredients add very few calories to a dish, but bring the taste factor over the top. There are few additions that pack such a flavorful punch and that is exactly what they do to this chickie. Give it a PUNCH.
This dish is great for a weeknight because you can let it marinade for a few hours, or just smear the sauce on it and throw it in the oven. It comes out equally wonderful either way. A few pantry and fridge ingredients that are always on hand and dinner is done. It goes great with just about anything you can throw at it; potatoes, pasta, veggies, salad, rice, or whatever leftovers you pull from the icebox. Speaking of leftovers, this chicken, cold and diced and thrown on a salad is pretty darn fantastic. Almost as fantastic as having 80 pounds of meat in your freezer.
Lemon-Mustard Baked Chicken
Adapted from a memory I have of a recipe in BHG. 🙂
You have several options with this recipe. Add the marinade and freeze the unbaked chicken for later, or follow the directions, but grill instead of bake. Roasted potatoes are so good with this chicken, it is down right criminal. Double the recipe and make it the main player in a meal for company! Just watch how much salt you add. My lemon pepper mix from the the store has no salt added, but every brand is different.
3 large, boneless-skinless chicken breasts, or 4 medium to small
1/4 c of extra virgin olive oil, grapeseed oil, or coconut oil
1 T dijon mustard
1 T lemon juice
1 tsp lemon pepper seasoning
1 tsp dried oregano
large pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix all of the ingredients (except chicken, duh) in a small bowl and pour over the meat. Turn to coat and let marinade for 2 hours if possible. Place into a large baking dish and roast until just cooked through, about 30 minutes. Roasting time will depend on how large or thick your chicken pieces are. Try not to over cook! Let cool a bit, slice, and enjoy!