Ally's Sweet and Savory Eats: March 2013

Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Easter Bunny Gave us the Wrong Gift

I promise I'll be back tomorrow with a yummy dish.  Until then the Easter Bunny decided to drop off a delicious basket of "stomach flu"....and the Little Man and I are recovering.

Tomorrow we all hope to be back to regular scheduled programming.

Happy Easter!



Friday, March 29, 2013

Broccoli & Cheddar Twice Baked Potatoes


It's Thursday night.  I'm watching Grey's Anatomy, catching up on emails, yawning and craving a glass of wine.  Tomorrow the kids and I are headed to my parents for Easter weekend, after we pick up great-grandma and I'm topping it all off with a dentist appointment on Monday before we head back.  Fun stuff, huh?

My life is so exciting.

Yawn.

Well, at least we eat pretty good food at our house.  That sometimes makes up for the boring parts.


I've made my share of boring potatoes.  Potatoes that are bland, dull and well, like I said, boring.  But these beauties my friends are not boring.  They are creamy and cheesy on the inside, yet crispy and salty on the outside.

And you'll feel a tad better about eating them since I threw in some greenery.

Let's dig in.


Broccoli & Cheddar Twice Baked Potatoes
2 large baking potatoes
1 c. finely chopped broccoli
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 c. plain Greek yogurt
1/4 c. milk
1 t. onion powder
1 t. garlic powder
1 t. pepper
1 t. salt

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Wash and dry the potatoes.  Generously rub with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.  Bake for 1 hour, remove from oven and allow to cool for a bit.

Cut potatoes in half lengthwise.  Scoop out the pulp of the potato and put into a bowl.  Add remaining ingredients to the bowl and mix to combine.  Put this filling mixture back into the skins of the potatoes.  Put back into the oven until heated through and golden.  Serves four.


What's awesome about these potatoes is that you can also wrap them up with plastic wrap before you bake them, throw them in the freezer and save for another night.

And with that folks....I'm out.

I can't keep my eyes open or fingers from falling off the keyboard.  Goodnight!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Recipes I Want to Try

I'm a foodie geek so I'm always browsing the web for new recipes and the latest trends.  Below are a few I've been eyeing.  Now that work has calmed down a bit, I plan on getting back in the kitchen.  My poor husband has been tackling dad duty more than normal, and I'm afraid the kids have been living on chicken nuggets, cottage cheese, canned peaches and milk.

Oh wait...tonight he threw in peas and cheese sticks.  But more or less it's been pretty slim pickin's around this house!

Check out my foodie finds.

Maybe a little time consuming to prepare, but I think it'd be worth it when you start popping them in your mouth.


I don't know about other moms out there, but there are often days when I barely have time to pee let alone make myself a bite to eat.  These would be perfect to just pop in the mouth and continue on...


My all-time favorite sandwich from a chain is the J.J.B.L.T from Jimmy John's with their Avocado spread.  Why haven't I recreated this at home yet?


Do I really need to explain why I want to make these?


I love, love, love asparagus.  Tis the season!  I had some last night, my first this spring.  This one looks different, yet delicious.





My new summer drink?  I'm usually a plain old beer girl, but I do like a fruity summer drink too!



So, which one do you want to try?  Tell me in the comments!


Monday, March 25, 2013

Carrot Cake Crinkle Cookies



This weekend was the calm before the storm.  I enjoyed two quiet days at home before two crazy days at work.  I'm itching for it to be Wednesday already!

And today is the Little Misses' birthday.  She is 2 going on 12.  She's taller than average, a bit bossy, loud, hilarious, a great eater and a lover of her mommy.  I'm having a bit of hard time realizing she is 2 and no longer my little baby.  I think the baby blues have come back.

Hmmm....

So with my mind being all wound up this weekend, I needed to bake.  It always makes me feel a little better.  A bit of a stress reliever.




I was also craving carrot cake.  I'm not sure why.  I had a butt load of carrots in the fridge and was actually thinking of making a homemade carrot cake last week....but the longer I dwelled on it, the quicker the carrots in our house kept getting eaten.

The husband and Little Man eat them like candy.  So it wasn't must of a surprise when I looked for them yesterday, only to find two left in the bag.  Not enough for homemade carrot cake.

So, I did what most home cooks do.  I improvised.

I took a major shortcut with these cookies and was pleasantly surprised.

Carrot Cake Crinkle Cookies
{Print this Recipe!}
1 boxed carrot cake mix 
1 egg
1/2 c. plain Greek yogurt
powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine cake mix, egg and yogurt.  Cover and refrigerate for one hour.  Using a cookie scoop, round out a scoop and drop into powdered sugar, rolling around to cover dough.  Place on a greased cookie sheet.  Bake for 8-10 minutes, just until golden brown and springy to the touch.

Cool on a wire rack.  Keep in an airtight container.


There you have it folks.  The easiest carrot cake cookies you've ever met.  If you're feeling frisky try out other cake mix flavors as well.  The possibilities are endless.

Meanwhile, I'll be back on Wednesday when I've got my wits about me again.

Hmmppfffhhh.

Friday, March 22, 2013

3-Ingredient Banana Pancakes


Yep, that is all you need!  Eggs, bananas and oatmeal.  Oh, and maybe a blender or food processor to grind up the oatmeal.  Just these three ingredients for some healthy, different, yet tasty pancakes.

I'm not going to lie, these don't taste like your typical buttermilk, fluffy, great-tasting pancakes.  The texture is  a bit different, yet similar.  Am I confusing you yet?

And here is the kicker - you can easily make this a two ingredient pancake and omit the ground oatmeal, but I like how the oatmeal gives it a bit more fluffier texture.  Or...use almond flour like many do to keep this recipe paleo.  I know very little about paleo, but this girl does.


I made these last weekend and little miss kept screaming {and I'm not kidding when I say screaming, she does not have volume switch}...."more pancake!"  I couldn't make them fast enough.  She is so impatient.  Must get that from her father.

A drizzle of maple syrup, peanut butter, homemade jam or even fresh fruit and yogurt would be fantastic on these.  Although I am partial to keeping them traditional - butter and maple syrup.


3-Ingredient Banana Pancakes
{Print this Recipe!}
3/4 to one whole very ripe banana
2 eggs
1/4 c. finely ground oatmeal

Ground oatmeal in a food processor or blender until it resembles fine crumbs.  In a bowl mash banana with both of the eggs.  Stir in ground oatmeal to form the batter.

In a greased skillet on medium heat pour in batter.  Cook low and slow, about 4-5 minutes on the first side until bottom is browned and ready to flip.  Cook another 1-2 minutes on the other side.

Suggested add-ins: mini chocolate chips, coconut, granola, dried fruit.

Who is going to give these a try?
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So.

A few housekeeping issues.

For some ungodly reason Google Reader has decided to stop its services on July 1.  If you aren't familiar with Google Reader, it's okay.  For those that use it to follow ALL of our favorite blogs {like me}, it's kind of a big deal.

See the section underneath my photo and the ad box, where there is a button that allows you to "follow" me?  That will be gone.  Ugh.  No fun.

So there are a few solutions.

1.  You can enter your email into the line at the top right of my screen {directly above my photo} and that will give you all my posts directly into your inbox shortly after I post them.  Which is kinda nice....most check their email daily anyway, so now I can come directly to your inbox.

2.  Or you can follow me through Bloglovin'.  Just click on the link below.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

3.  Or you can follow my posts on Facebook and Twitter.

4.  Or you can be really old school and manually type in my webpage address every other day when I post.

Whatever works for you!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Homemade Greek Salad Dressing or Marinade


Homemade salad dressings make me thing spring and the weather we are having right now is NOT making me think spring.  I am so over the cold, wind, snow, sleet and muddy, yucky streets and sidewalks.  And I long for the day when the kids and I can simply walk out the door without even a thought of a coat.

Anyone else with me?

So in the efforts to ignore what is going on outside, I made this dressing.  This glorious, light, fresh and tangy dressing, which can also be used as a marinade.  


All you need to make this dressing is a mason jar, or any jar with a lid.  It's that simple - dump everything in a jar, put the lid on, shake it up and you are ready to go.

I actually ate a double helping of salad last night with dinner....and for those that know me that is saying something!  I can be kinda picky about my salads.


Homemade Greek Salad Dressing or Marinade
1 c. olive oil
1 c. red wine vinegar
2 1/2 t. garlic powder
2 1/2 t. dried oregano
2 1/2 t. dried basil
2 t. pepper
2 t. salt
2 t. onion powder
2 t. grainy mustard or Dijon mustard

Combine all ingredients in a jar and shake well.  Keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

You will need a large mason jar if making the full batch.  I tried a smaller one first and promptly regretted it, as the liquids were nearing the top and I was making a mess.

But the big jar?  Perfect!


We've got about half of this left, so I plan on marinating some chicken breasts for later in the week.  I just cannot get enough.  Maybe at tad obsessed.

Do you make your own dressings?  Or do you prefer store bought?

Monday, March 18, 2013

Chicken Alfredo Lasagna Roll-ups


Welcome!  These Chicken Alfredo Lasagna Roll-ups have become quite the hit on the web.
I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

chicken alfredo lasagna roll-ups (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

This meal came to me a bit my mistake.  A few months back, a friend made these for our freezer swap, but rather than putting the filling into lasagna noodles and rolling them up, she stuffed the mixture into jumbo shells. 

That is what I had planned to do as well, until the husband came home with lasagna noodles instead of jumbo shells.  Enter in = the queen of improvising.

We have recently made a deal, if he has the time he'll go to the store for me {taking a kid with him too, bonus!}.  The only stipulation?  He has to get everything on my list.  Whatever I write down, no exceptions.  And not a ton of extras - anyone remember the red velvet whoppie pies?  Yeah, they tasted great, but not needed.


chicken alfredo lasagna roll-ups (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

So when I showed disappointment that he forgot my shell pasta, I was shocked to hear him then say, "why don't you just put the filling into the lasagna noodles and roll them up?"

Genius.  Why didn't I think of that first?

Sometimes he does have good ideas.

So while the little miss napped yesterday and the little man watched a movie, I got to work on this meal.  I had already cooked and shredded the kitchen in the morning {remember, shred your chicken in a snap in your KitchenAid mixer - if you have one!}, so all that was left was to boil the noodles and combine the ingredients for the filling.

Random fact?  18 noodles come in a lasagna box.  Yep, I counted them.  I wonder how they come up with that number?  Anyway, it was a good number for me, as it made two dishes, nine rolls into each.  I'm all for a meal that makes two meals.  One in the oven, one in the freezer.

Speaking of freezer meals, here are 10 of my favorites and here is a great sandwich that can be prepped ahead of time and popped into the oven later.

Chicken Alfredo Lasagna Roll-ups

1 box lasagna noodles
3 c. cooked, shredded chicken {2 large chicken breasts}
2 c. finely chopped broccoli {or spinach}
1 c. shredded cheddar
1 c. shredded mozzarella
1 t. garlic powder
1 t. pepper
1/2 c. Parmesan cheese

Cook chicken breasts and shred, set aside.  In a large pot boil lasagna noodles until al dente. Drain and lay noodles out on a clean towel or paper towels to drain and cool.

In a bowl combine chicken, broccoli, cheese, 1/4 c. of the Parmesan, garlic powder, pepper and 1/2 of the alfredo sauce.  Stir to combine.  Spray a large casserole dish and spoon a bit of the alfredo sauce in the bottom of the dish and spread around.

Take a noodle and spread with a couple spoonfuls of chicken mixture.  Roll up and place seam side down into casserole dish.  Place 9 rolls into a dish, and 9 rolls into another freezer safe dish.  Top roll-ups with remaining alfredo sauce and sprinkle with Parmesan.  Cover the freezer dish with plastic wrap and foil and freeze for up to 3 months.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake covered for 30 minutes, remove cover and bake an additional 10 minutes.

chicken alfredo lasagna roll-ups (sweetandsavoryfood.com)


Well, I've got a crazy week.  I will actually be working 5 days this week, as opposed to my usual 3.  Our big work event of the year is next Tuesday and I'm up to my ears in graphic design work, writing, editing and keeping our sponsors happy.

I'll be happy when it is done!

But thankfully, I've got a couple meals already prepped and ready to go.  I did not appreciate doing it this weekend, but I WILL appreciate it come this week.


chicken alfredo lasagna roll-ups (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Lightened-Up Grilled Chicken Cajun Penne


I had a big 'ol cheesy grin on my face when I took my first bit of this dish.  When you try to copy-cat a favorite recipe from a restaurant, it many times can turn into a big flop, leaving you wishing you just went to the darn restaurant in the first place, ordered your favorite dish and saved yourself the hassle.

When we lived in the big city {and by big city I'm saying a town of a few hundred thousand - not big by many of my readers standards}I really enjoyed eating at The Cheesecake Factory every now and then.  Yeah, yeah it's a chain restaurant and pretty standard, but I never had a bad experience and the food was always great!

And I love that one of my favorite comedies, The Big Bang Theory, references it A LOT.  Love that show.  Well, who I really love is Sheldon.  His annoying tendencies are hilarious.

So what I'm getting at is....I recreated of one of my favorite dishes there.....their Louisiana Chicken Pasta.  It's filled with more calories than probably a human should have in their daily allotment, but it's heavenly.


I've made this dish as a full-fat version before, but this time I vowed to make it a tad bit healthier.  And let me tell you, by doing that it did not sacrifice any flavor.

A tad bit spicy, a little creamy, yet light and not heavy.  You need to make this.  Okay?

Lightened-Up Grilled Chicken Cajun Penne
1 boneless skinless chicken breast, sliced
1 1/2 c. penne pasta
1 red pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 t. red pepper flakes
1 T. butter
1 c. milk
1/2 c. chicken broth
1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1 t. mined onion
salt
pepper
parsley

Do ahead: Make the cajun sauce by sauteing the bell pepper, garlic and red pepper flakes in butter until tender.  Add in milk, chicken stock, minced onion, salt and pepper and bring to a quick boil.  Lower the heat and simmer until reduced by about one-quarter.  Add in Parmesan cheese and simmer.  Take off the heat and let cool.  Can set aside while chicken cooks or prepare this well ahead and keep covered in the fridge.

On a hot grill pan or skillet, cook salt and pepper seasoned chicken over medium high heat.  While chicken is cooking, cook pasta according to directions.  When both chicken and pasta are done, drain and combine both and combine with the reserved cajun sauce  Sprinkle with parsley and serve hot.


This amount will serve 4, or if you're really, really hungry, just 2.  So plan accordingly!  As most know with my husband eating it served both of us with a teeny bit of leftovers.  Which he promptly ate the next day before I even had a chance to open the fridge.

Leftovers, especially GOOD leftovers don't stand a chance in our house.  I'm always amazed when I open other people's fridges {I'm not weird, I don't do that often, but you know when you are visiting places....}anyway, it always amazes me when there are containers and containers of random leftovers, most of which have been there awhile.

This rarely happens to us.

Okay, I've got to check out.  The more I look at this dish, the more I want to make it again.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Peanut Butter Butterscotch Chippies {gluten-free!}


Need a cookie in a pinch?

These are for you!  And you don't even have to drag out the darn flour.  Can you believe these are just 6 ingredients?  Throw it all in a bowl, give it a stir and call it good.  Heck, they are only 5 ingredients if you don't include the butterscotch.  I just threw that in for good measure.

And because my Grandma cleaned out her fridge last month and gave me a bottle of butterscotch.  She also gave me some chocolate sauce, bottled beer and mustard.

Random!

These cookies are gluten free too - so if you have someone in your life with gluten issues or you just want to stay away from refined white flour....again....these are for you.


I make these so often that I never refer back to the recipe, but for your sake I'll write it down.  Here you go folks!

Peanut Butter Butterscotch Chippies (gluten-free!}
1 generous cup peanut butter
1 egg
1/4 c. sugar
1 t. baking soda
1/4 c. butterscotch topping {gf}
1/2 c. chocolate chips

Combine all ingredients, stirring into a thick batter.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Drop by the spoonful onto a greased cookie sheet.  Bake 8 minutes, just until lightly golden.  Do not over bake.  Allow to cool a bit on the baking sheet and then transfer to a cooling rack.

Makes 15 cookies.  Store in an airtight container.


So, I'm sitting here watching American Idol as I'm typing this.  Who is watching with me?  I cannot get enough of Angie Miller.  She is by far the best in the competition.  And her original songs she writes and plays on the piano?  Wow.

Just check out this song she wrote, played and sang a few weeks back.  Unreal.

Gotta watch Nashville tonight too.  Better check out!

Try these cookies.  It's an order.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Loaded Buffalo Chicken & Potato Skin Casserole



It's funny, today I am talking about this calorie-laden heavenly dish, yet I can barely walk from the exercise regimen I did yesterday.

I guess they cancelled each other out.

The husband and I did a killer workout yesterday in our house.  We used our long hallway to do lunges, wall-sits, planks, leg lifts, sit-ups, the list goes on and on.  I can barely walk today.  It's awful, yet wonderful at the same time.

Those workouts make me feel a little better about having a small helping of this dish.  It's all about moderation.


This is the ultimate indulgent meal.  Should it really even be called a meal?  Maybe it should be an appetizer.  I don't know.  We ate it as a meal.

There, lets leave it as a meal.

Ok?

I know my brother and sister-in-law would love this dish.  They love anything with heat {although, this dish I think is pretty mild}, anything buffalo, really anything that sounds like it should be served at a bar.

Yes, we are that family that can make any bar turn out a meal.


Loaded Buffalo Chicken & Potato Skin Casserole
{Print this Recipe!}
5 large baking potatoes, cubed
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
4 strips turkey bacon, diced
1 c. cheddar cheese
3 green onions, diced
1 c. buffalo wing sauce
drizzle of olive oil
sprinkling of paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Spray a 9x13 baking pan.  Mix together olive oil, wing sauce and seasonings. Using two separate bowls, pour half of this mixture over the potatoes and half over the uncooked chicken.  Place the coated potatoes in the baking pan and bake for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.

When potatoes are done, place marinated chicken over the potatoes, bake for 15 minutes.  Remove from the oven and sprinkle on bacon, green onion and cheese.  Place back in the oven for 10 minutes.  Serve hot with your favorite ranch or bleu cheese dressing.
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So you know my dream to write a cookbook?

Well, I just entered another contest via Twitter.  You can read all about it here.  I submitted three different proposals.  We'll see if I make the top finalists this Thursday.  I'm sure the chances are small, but hey you never know!  And there is still time to enter if you are interested.

The final winner with receive a cookbook deal.  Aaaaahhhhh!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Traditional Lasagna with Garlic Parmesan Bechamel Sauce


I don't make lasagna often, it's rather labor intensive.  But when I do make it, I tend to go all out.  The husband had a couple of days off last week and when that happens he usually likes a hearty meal.  I figured lasagna is probably one of the heartiest of them all!  Plus, it's one of his favorites.

I should also tell you that I never make lasagna the same way.  Every single time it is different.  Sometimes I stick strictly to meat, sauce and cheese.  Sometimes I throw in zucchini, ricotta and mushrooms.  Other times I do a white version and use shredded chicken, garlic and veggies.

This past week it was more of the traditional kind - meat sauce and cheese, but with the added twist of a garlic Parmesan bechamel sauce.

Oh my gosh.  So good.


If I can give one tip on making lasagna....make it the day before you want to eat it.  Not only does it save time the night you are eating, but it allows the flavors to all melt together.  You know how chili always tastes better the next day?  I think the same goes for lasagna.

Traditional Lasagna with Garlic Parmesan Bechamel Sauce
16 lasagna noodles {use the no-cook variety or regular}
1 lb. hamburger or sausage
6 c. marinara sauce
4 c. mozzarella cheese
2 T. butter
2 T. flour
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 c. milk
1/2 c. Parmesan cheese
salt, pepper

Lightly grease a 9x13 baking pan.  Brown meat and drain grease.  Add in marinara sauce, keep on a simmer.  If needing to cook lasagna noodles, cook until al dente, rinse and set aside.  If using no-cook noodles, take out of the package and set aside.

In a saucepan, melt butter.  Sprinkle in flour, whisk together with butter and allow to cook for 2-3 minutes on medium heat.  Slowly add in milk and whisk.  Once it starts to thicken, add in garlic and Parmesan cheese.  Continue to whisk until mixture is thick.  Take off the heat and set aside.

Layer 1: meat sauce, noodles, meat sauce, 1/2 of mozzarella cheese.
Layer 2: noodles, meat sauce, bechamel sauce
Layer 3: noodles, meat sauce, remaining mozzarella cheese

Cover and bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.  Remove the cover and bake another 20 minutes or until hot and bubbly.  Or keep covered and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
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Have any big plans for your weekend?

We're staying at home.  Boring weekend for us!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Peanut Butter & Jelly Muffins



Since about the age of....well....since I could eat solid food, I've loved peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  To this day, if I'm lazy or not in the mood to cook, I'll eat this sandwich and then continue on with my day.  I know there are many haters out there, but gosh darn it, I just love them. 

My kids are finally starting to come around to them.  The little man is hit or miss sometimes and now, as with most any meal, the little miss gobbles them up.  {I'm a little scared that she consumes EVERYTHING.}  The husband and I love meal time when we first set her plate in front of her.  The world turns silent.  If you look at her she is so consumed with bite after bite that the non-stop chatter stops.  A few minutes in, we hear "more, please!"

And yep, she is then ready for more.  It's hilarious.  Last night she ate 4 helpings of lasagna.  And yet, she is tall and pretty lanky!

Anyway.

PB and J's.



Last week there came a point when I was out of eggs, any type of oil and butter.  How in the world did I let that happen?  I wanted to make muffins for the kiddos, but was wrapping my brain around how to even make them with limited ingredients.

Seriously folks, this recipe came flying out the seat of my pants and I'm still shocked they turned out, but miraculously they did.

And they were quite delicious I might add.  Give them a try, especially if you have a member of your family that cannot have eggs, butter or oil.  Swap out any type of milk for the regular milk I used and use any type of nut butter on hand.

I used my homemade strawberry freezer jam....because well, I can kinda be a snob about jam.  But that is another story for June, when strawberry picking comes around these parts.

Peanut Butter & Jelly Muffins
{Print this Recipe!}
2/3 c. peanut butter
1 t. vanilla
1 c. milk {+ plus if batter is too thick}
1 c. Greek or regular yogurt
1/2 c. jam {+ more for topping}
1 t. baking soda
1 1/2 c. flour

Combine peanut butter, vanilla, milk, yogurt and jam.  Sift in flour and baking soda.  Stir to form a thick batter.  If too thick, thin out with a bit more milk.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 12 muffins tins with liners or cooking spray.  Fill muffins 3/4 full and top with a doll up of jam.  Bake for 20 minutes.

Whose going to try these?

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Dirty Life: A Memoir of Farming, Food and Love

 
I cannot put this book down.
 
Sometimes I get crazy and when my blog money comes at the end of the month, instead of putting it towards a bill, I buy a book or two, or three.
 
This month I bought the husband this one {he's been dying to read it} and myself two.  The library had neither of them and I just wanted a good book to read!  Hey, I don't ask for much in my life.  I'm not big on beauty products, I rarely go shopping {although, I do enjoy it} so often the things I splurge on are books and yummy food.


 
Anyway, I'm about 100 pages into this book and cannot put it down!
 
The Dirty Life: A Memoir of Farming, Food and Love is about about Kristin Kimball's life.  By day she is living in NYC working as a freelance writer just getting by.....she travels to rural PA to interview a up and coming farmer who is doing it the old fashioned way {no tractors, no pesticides, living off the land}.  The next thing you know she is spending weekends with him helping out on the farm, then they are engaged and she is giving up her social life in NYC.
 
With a dream to find their own land and live on a sustainable farm while feeding others, they get started.  Does she just want to kill him at times with his weird old-fashioned ways?  I think so, but their love prevails.
 
Now, I'm not finished yet, but you do get hints in the book that they later have two daughters and turn their farm into the ultimate dream.  Each Friday over 100 families come to pick up their food.  For a set yearly fee, families come out and get whatever they need for that week....beef, chicken, cheese, milk, vegetables, flours, fruit, honey....whatever they need.  And there is NO limit.
 
What a fun concept. 
 
I highly recommend this book, if you are needing a good read.  And that is saying something because I haven't even finished it yet!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Broccoli Cheddar Chowder


After a full week of sickness in our house {pink eye, ear infections & tummy aches} I finally got back in the kitchen yesterday.  Our week got turned upside down with one child sick, bad weather, our daycare provider getting sick, switching work schedules.....to be honest I don't even really remember much of the week.

Where was my glass of wine when I needed it?

Obviously, I'm not prepared for these situations.

I'm sorry if I bore you with all my soup recipes.  I realize I post quite a few of them, but we just love soup.  What can I say?  And with it being March, I know our soup days are numbered.  I'm not a big fan of eating soup when it is warm out.

So, in an effort to squeeze in just one more bowl of yumminess, I give you this Broccoli Cheddar Chowder.  Super simple to make {one pot!}and pretty darn healthy.  If you are lactose intolerant, omit the 1 cup of milk and use unsweetened almond milk or rice milk and just skip the cheese, or if your not a fan of cauliflower, just don't put it in {but trust me they taste just like potatoes in this!}


And I almost forgot to mention, this recipe came from Biz.  She is the queen of soups and well, anything really.  Her blog is HILARIOUS and her food is equally delicious.  I did change a few things, but for the most part you can thank her.

Broccoli Cheddar Chowder
4 c. chopped broccoli
2 c. chopped cauliflower
2 large potatoes, peeled and diced
1 c. chopped carrots
2 c. chicken stock
1 c. milk
1 t. crushed red pepper flakes
1 t. Italian seasoning
1 t. garlic powder
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
salt
pepper

Add all ingredients minus the cheese into a large stockpot.  Turn on medium low and partially cover with a lid for 30 minutes or until veggies are tender.  Remove 3/4 of the ingredients out of the pot and put into a blender or a food processor, processing until smooth.  Pour back into the pan and remove from the heat.  Stir in cheese.

Serve immediately or allow to cool and store for later.  {Or freeze for even later!}  Makes seven, 1.5 cup servings.


Doesn't this above photo remind you of Panera?  Gosh, for a second I felt like I was serving myself their soup and baguette....but I soon realized I was at home, with kids tugging at my pant legs and the dog begging to go outside.

The dream quickly ended.

Please put this into your dinner rotation.  You can thank me {or Biz} for filling your tummy.