Thursday, October 16, 2014

Much Celebrating

In early October, all thoughts at our house turn to the celebrating of one special little girl.  We've had a family celebration, a getaway trip, celebrating with friends, and more.  All that to say, I've been doing more celebrating than blogging.  Or perhaps you hadn't noticed.

For the big birthday celebration, the new eight year old selected Chicken Verde Mac & Cheese.  We also enjoyed fruit kabobs and Spinach Salad with Sweet-Spicy Nuts, Apples, Feta, and Bacon.  I chose to top the salad with the sweet dressing from the side of my salad dressing mixer.  Two thumbs up for the salad.  It was amazing.  For realsies.

Of course we had to have birthday cake!  My instructions from the birthday girl was a "Frozen" themed cake, but nothing specific was necessary.  I liked the idea of this watercolor cake.  I used white cake mix, and followed the Pinterest instructions for making it more "bakery" like.  I used this recipe for Buttercream Icing, which I then decorated with fondant decorations from this Etsy seller.  Needless to say, this handiwork made me look like a pro, when in truth all I did was online shop.

Monday, October 6, 2014

My Girl and Her Muffins

My girly has picked up my bad habit of losing interest in breakfast foods.  She sticks with something for a while, but then tires of it, and tires quickly. Overnight, bam, she's done. No more.

She does love muffins, but I keep changing them up in hopes of not losing the one standard that has stuck around for some time.  I decided to get ahead of the game last week by making these Banana & Toasted Coconut Muffins.

Those muffins were an act of love, friends.  It was my first time working with coconut oil, there were many, many dishes, and multiple steps.  After laboring over the muffins and seeing how pretty they were, I could wait for my girl to bite into the first one.

As always, I asked, "What do you think?"  I got, "They're okay, I guess.  Not really much flavor."

I was stunned.  Heartbroken. Could it be true?

It turns out that a bad case of allergies and/or a cold prevented her from tasting what are pretty good muffins.  The coconut flavor isn't strong enough for my liking, but they are also better than your average banana muffin too.

I'm guessing these muffins won't be made again--too much work, and most likely somebody will get tired of them too soon.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Ahead of Schedule

October starts this week, and even though it will be a busy month--a certain little someone at our house turns eight--I'm ready!  At least when it comes to eating.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Grilled Cheese with a Twist

As evidenced time and again on this blog, I'll try any variation of grilled cheese.  Sometimes the switch up is absolutely fabulous, and other times I know I'd be just as happy with cheddar or Colby on white bread.

This latest "fancy" grilled cheese, White Garlic Pizza Grilled Cheese, was a good start.  Even though I cut the filling back to the amount for three sandwiches, it was still way too much.  Falling out of the sandwich too much.  I also wish the mozzarella flavor had come through a little more.  It's fresh mozzarella, that's definitely worth tasting!

For people really into the white garlic pizza flavors, this recipe would definitely worth trying.  Since I'm somewhat indifferent, and like plenty of other grilled cheese varieties, I think I'll leave it for others.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Dinner I Can Get Excited About

Lately it seems like we've had some ho hum recipes.  Nothing terribly wrong, but nothing that really rings our bells.  These Crispy Chicken Tortilla Rollups are bell-worthy.

There's a few steps, and I often worry about the assembly process on recipes like this, but not to worry.  This was easy.  The filling easily fit into eight 8" tortillas without a lot of spillage.  I messed up the oil flavoring (by putting ALL the spices in, not just the garlic at first) and it still tasted delicious.  Most of all, the fam really enjoyed them, which is always important.

For our tamer palates, I stuck with my usual extra mild salsa, and didn't include the jalapeno.  I had cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses on hand, so I mixed in a little of each.  We also skipped the dipping sauce, but only for simplicity's sake.  It sounds delicious, but sour cream and ranch dressing were a tasty addition, and I already had those made.

I'll be keeping this recipe for sure.  I would love to try it with green salsa, and also with the intended dipping sauce.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Celebrating Service

This week two of my colleagues received service pins (25 and 30 years, respectively).  In honor of their dedication to the University, I decided cake was in order.

I started with the jazzed up version of a boxed yellow cake mix.  It's so easy, but still tastes just a little bit special.  Then I added this Caramel Frosting and topped with some toasted pecans.  Each step was fairly quick, and the end result was delicious.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Tacos on Tuesday

Does that title sound like a Magic Tree House book to anyone else?  That series is very popular at our house, and I think I'm starting to borrow the titling strategy.

This One Pot Taco Pasta is simple and flavorful without being heavy.  Once you've got everything started and combined, you can walk away for a few minutes to work on the rest of dinner, check in on the latest book order, or hear what happened in gym class.  Still, it all comes together in less than 30 minutes.

This would be an easy last minute recipe.  Most of the ingredients are easy to keep on hand and at the ready.  Plus, it make a lot, we'll be eating leftovers for a while!