Ally's Sweet and Savory Eats: June 2013

Saturday, June 29, 2013

5 Things I'm Loving


1.  So I have this wild idea to gather up all the Iowa food bloggers I can find and invite them to a fun-filled day of networking and good food.  It is in the very beginning stages {like, just trying to find all the Iowa food bloggers}.  So if you live in Iowa, have ties to Iowa or used to live in Iowa and are food blogging I want to know.  It is my hope that sometime in the next year we can all get together and join forces.  With that being said, I have a list of about 15 bloggers so far - but do me a favor if you know of anyone please email me and let me know!

2.  Chores.  Not for me {I have enough}, but little ones for the kids.  We are big on rules at our house and even though our kids are just 3.5 and 2, we expect them to have a few chores.  Nothing drastic, but little things that give them a sense of responsibility, things that make them feel proud when they've finished their task.  Putting their dirty clothes in the laundry room, placing their dirty plates/cups/silverware in the sink when finished with a meal, taking their shoes off when they walk in the door and immediately putting them in the closet, bringing in the empty garbage and recycling bins from the curb, to just name a few.  

Only recently have we started rewarding the Little Man for bigger chores with a quarter {you'd think that quarter was gold} - emptying the play pool outside, bringing in groceries from the car, etc.  His jar of quarters sets on top of the fridge for him to admire.


3.  If you've read this blog at all then you know I'm a BIG fan of freezer cooking.  I love helping people on this subject, along with filling my own deep freeze.  Check out this link if you are still on the fence.  This weekend I'm tackling 3 batches of homemade meatballs, pizza pockets and chicken fried rice.  Some of which we'll eat now, but most of it will be frozen for later.  Again, if you are local and wanting help with this, I'm all ears.

4.  Dreams.  If you saw my facebook post yesterday you saw that I had the craziest dream this weekend.  I don't dream a lot, but when I do it is pretty vivid and usually about random people I haven't seen for 10 years.  This dream was no exception.  I was back in the dorms of college life.  Everyone that I lived with in that co-ed dorm was there - but yet, we were on vacation in our present lives - why we chose to go back to our college dorm for vacation was beyond me!  Let's just say there was drama, lots and lots of drama, lot of beer drinking and a lot of laughs.  It was pretty fun thinking about all those people again - good, fun memories.

5.  The new look of my blog.  I've been blogging for 3.5 years now {how is that possible?} and once a year I give it a little revamp.  I was lucky that an old high school classmate recommended a graphic designer, who literally put this new look together in an hour.  An hour!  It would have taken me weeks.  Big kuddos to her and her design abilities.  Thanks Rebekah!

So there are the current 5 things I'm loving.....

What's on tap:
  • Blueberry Muffin Loaf
  • Homemade Pizza Pockets
  • Apple Cinnamon Slow Cooker Oatmeal

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Buffalo Chicken Cobb Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing


Its about time I give you guys a salad.

Lately we've been feasting on strawberry cheesecake bars, burgers, monster cookies, blt wraps and pasta salad.  It's time we had some greenery, even if it is non-nutrient-filled iceburg.  I hope you understand.

Here's the thing.  I love eating salads in restaurants, but not so much at home.  For some reason they just don't taste as good to me.  I'm not sure what it is, but since it is summer and we are eating lighter, I'm trying to make more salads at home.

And our course it couldn't just be some greens with dressing....it had to be a Buffalo Chicken Cobb Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing.  Because, you know, I always try and out do my last recipe.


This salad is refreshing, yet filling and packs a little heat with the buffalo sauce.  It is also easy to pack up for lunch on the go or better yet through it all in a tortilla and make it a wrap.

A traditional cobb salad also includes bleu cheese, which I do like, but had none on hand.  Feel free to add it if you like.  And since next week is JULY {oh my, I cannot believe it is almost July}I do feel like I need to eat the salad once a day to make up for time lost this summer already.

Dig in.

Buffalo Chicken Cobb Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing
{Print this Recipe!}
For the salad:
iceburg lettuce
chopped tomatoes
chopped hard boiled eggs
shredded chicken
buffalo sauce
bacon

For the dressing:
1 avocado
1/2 c. mayo
1/2 c. sour cream
splash of buttermilk
drizzle of olive oil
juice of 1/2 lemon
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
1/2 t. onion powder
freshly chopped dill, parsley

Combine all ingredients, minus the olive oil and fresh herbs, into a food processor.  To thin the dressing out a bit, drizzle in a bit of olive oil while the food processor is running.  Remove dressing to a bowl and fold in the fresh herbs {a small handful of each}.  Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour.

To make the salad:  Layer lettuce on the plate.  In rows, lay the tomatoes, chicken {combined with hot sauce}, bacon and eggs.  Drizzle with the avocado dressing.


Hey, did you see the new design on my blog?

Do you like? Hate?  Don't care?

I'd love some feedback.


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Strawberry Swirled Cheesecake Shortbread Bars


Before I dive into these bars today {and don't you just want to dive right in?}, lets take care of some business.

If you follow my blog through Google Reader, we all need to remember that Google is shutting down that awesome piece of goodness {can you tell I'm bitter?} on July 1.  So in an effort to risk not seeing my blog everyday in your feed, you need to sign up for Feedly or Bloglovin.  Both of which I have accounts with.  But, I will say Feedly automatically transfers all your blogs over to their account with the simple click on a button.  Nice!

Okay - business done!



I love this above photo.

It perfectly represents cheesecake, all cracked, thick and yummy.

On Father's Day I made this for the dad in our house.  His absolute, all-time, hands-down favorite dessert in the whole world is cheesecake.  Swirled with strawberries?  Even better.  I didn't tell him I was making it and even hid it in the back of the fridge {you know before he dug in and I wasn't able to get a nice photo}.

When I pulled it out after dinner that night his eyes lit up like the 4th of July.  It's the little things that make him happy.  Or in this case, cheesecake.

What am I waiting for?  Here's the goods.

Strawberry Swirled Cheesecake Shortbread Bars

For the shortbread crust:
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1/2 c. powdered sugar
1/2 t. salt
1 t. vanilla extract
1/2 t. almond extract
2 c. flour

For the cheesecake:
8 oz. softened cream cheese
1 1/2 c. plain Greek yogurt
1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 egg
1 t. vanilla
3 T. honey
1/2 t. almond extract
1/2 c. strawberry jam

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Using a hand or stand mixer, cream butter sugar, salt, vanilla and almond extract.  Add the flour and mix.  It will be crumbly, that is what you want.  Press the mixture into a greased 8x8 square baking pan.  Bake for 15-20 minutes or until just golden around the edges.  Let this cool completely.

To make the filling, in the same mixer combine the cream cheese, yogurt, powdered sugar, egg and extracts. Whip until just combined, do not over mix.  Spread this filling over the cooled crust.  Add drops of the jam and swirl it with a knife into the filling.  Bake for 25-30 minutes until the cheesecake has set.  Let cool, then refrigerate before serving.



I hope these bars make you happy.  They made our family happy.  Maybe that is why they only lasted two days in the house.

Have a great day!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Triple "B" Burgers with Hatch Chili Mayo {+ giveaway!}


The husband had to give me a pep talk yesterday before he left for work.  You see I had these burgers planned for dinner, but I had no husband to grill them for me.

I make 95% of the meals in our house.  The remaining 5% comes from him grilling our "meats" or the occasional skillet of scrambled eggs {he's pretty good at those}.  So there was a bit of nervousness on my end when he headed out the door at 2 p.m. for work and that grill was staring back at me.

It's not that I haven't grilled before or that I don't know how to do it, I just prefer that he does it.  He must have been nervous as well as the last words to come out of his mouth before he walked out the door were, "please don't burn the house down".

Thanks for the vote of confidence sweetie.


Besides the grilling on my own, I was also a bit apprehensive on how this burger would taste.  This little guy is my second entry in the Saucy Mama's Sliced Contest.  I made it to the entree round and with the requirements of using one of their mustards and BEANS {the secret ingredient} my mind had been bouncing back and forth for the last week trying to figure out what I'd make.

I had remembered seeing a recipe for a burger back in the day that had black beans in it.  Not like a veggie burger, but regular ground beef burgers with just the added "umph" of black beans.  What the heck, I gave it a try.

And I'm so glad I did.

In the end I put the Saucy Mama Hatch Chili Mustard in both the burger patty and the sauce.  What is a hatch chili?  {Don't feel bad, I didn't know either}.  My understanding is that the heat can vary, but it mostly resembles what most of think as a green chile, with most coming from the New Mexico area.

I cannot even explain how STELLAR this burger was.  The burgers held up perfectly on the grill.  They were hearty and filling, and with the added bonus of the hatch chili mayo, lettuce, tomato and bacon - really, do I need to say more?

Oh, and are you wondering was the triple "B" is?

Beef, Black Beans & Bacon.  

Yum.  Yum.  And yum.


Triple "B" Burgers with Hatch Chili Mayo
2 lb. ground beef
1 can black beans, drained
1 egg
3 T. Saucy Mama Hatch Chili Mustard
1 t. garlic powder
1 t. onion powder
1 t. pepper
2 t. salt
hamburger buns

Hatch Chili Mayo: 1 c. mayo + 4 T. Saucy Mama's Hatch Chili Mustard

Toppings: 2 c. mozzarella cheese, lettuce, tomato, dill pickles, 16 strips of cooked bacon

In a large bowl place meat, mustard and spices.  In a food processor combine the drained black beans and egg.  Pulse lightly, stopping before it is a complete puree.  You will want small chunks of black beans.  Add this mixture to the beef mixture.

Using clean hands combine the meat mixture, not overworking, but until all ingredients are incorporated.  Using a large ice cream scoop, gently form the patties.  This batch with make 8 large patties.

Place the patties on a greased medium-hot grill.  Grill for 10 minutes.  Flip the patties and grill for another 10 minutes.  Add a good handful of mozzarella cheese on the top of each patty during the last minute of cooking, allowing to melt.  During this last minute place hamburger buns on the grill to lightly toast.

To assemble: Bottom bun, lettuce, tomato, burger, 2 strips of bacon, pickles and a healthy doll-up of the hatch chili mayo, top bun.


So, what is the second best thing after making this burger and eating it?

Well, winning some mustard silly!

Saucy Mama has generously offered to give one of my readers the same sample pack of mustard I received.  Open to U.S. Residents only.  I will randomly pick one winner on July 1.  To enter, simply tell me:

When was the last time you made your own burger patties?

For extra entries {leave a comment for each entry}: follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram.   

-OR-

For even more extra entries:  follow Saucy Mama on Facebook or Twitter

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Now it's time to pray.

I'd love to make it to the next round: desserts.  But it also scares me to think of putting mustard in a dessert!

Have a great Sunday Funday!



Friday, June 21, 2013

Deviled Egg Pasta Salad



A spin-off of my mom's homemade potato salad recipe, 
this pasta salad is like eating that + a really good deviled egg!  

deviled egg pasta salad (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

How is everyone's day so far?

Good, great, grand, wonderful?  {Happy Gilmore reference, if you caught that.}  It's Friday! I don't know about you but I am forever grateful that Friday has arrived.  Its been a week.

This weekend is going to be filled with a play date, making mints with a girlfriend for her baby shower and as usual, some recipe development.  {That is the professional phrase for "destroying my kitchen"}.

We've got a scant amount of this pasta salad left - such a shame.  Thank god, I just made half a batch, this makes a LOT and if I would have made the whole batch we'd be eating on it till next Friday.


deviled egg pasta salad (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

I have a real issue with some pasta salads.  You know the ones that have a weird "tang" to them and taste really sugary?  Yeah, I don't like those kinds.  I like mine with a bit more zest, more savory and without sugar.

And if you love deviled eggs, you'll love this one.  It's the best of both worlds.  Deviled egg + pasta + creamy style dressing.  Yum!

This is the perfect dish to bring to a barbecue, but make sure to make it the night before.  It needs time for the flavors to blend together.  Trust me, make this the day before.  Did you hear that?


deviled egg pasta salad (sweetandsavoryfood.com)


Deviled Egg Pasta Salad


{Print this Recipe!}
6 hard boiled eggs
1 lb. elbow macaroni
3 c. Miracle Whip dressing
2 T. mustard
1 t. vinegar
1/2 c. dill pickle relish, or chopped pickles
1/8 c. dill pickle juice
1 t. paprika {additional for topping}
1 T.minced onion flakes
pinch of cayenne pepper
salt/pepper to taste

1.  In a large pot cook pasta according to the directions.  
2.  Meanwhile in a large serving bowl combine all other ingredients.  
3.  When pasta is finished, drain and pour into the large bowl. Toss to combine pasta with the sauce.  
4.  Sprinkle with additional paprika, cover and refrigerate overnight.



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Alright, stay tuned for....

  • A unique burger {very unique!}
  • A creamy salad dressing {promised awhile back - I swear it is coming!}
  • A cheesecake using June's star fruit on a to-die-for crust.
I really hope those three things keep you tuned in.

Anything else you'd like to see?

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

B.L.T. Snack Wraps


I love me some bacon.

This here is turkey bacon, but I don't judge, I enjoy all types and kinds.  As a side with eggs, a topper on a sandwich, nestled in a creamy sauce in pasta, whatever it is, I'm game.

This past weekend I wanted a B.L.T.  You know, my favorite summer sandwich.  I opened up the fridge and saw tortillas.

Ding, ding!

Why not make a B.L.T. wrap?


The angels started singing and for the next three days I ate this for lunch.  I probably would have eaten it for dinner as well, but in the fear of my arteries closing I decided to stretch each wrap out in 12 hour intervals.

You know, time to un-clog.

These would also be great prepared ahead of time, wrapped in plastic wrap and taken as a lunch.  Or in the car if you are a busy mom with kids going every which way.  That is if your kids like bacon.

B.L.T. Snack Wraps
*makes 6 wraps
6 slices of bacon, drained, cooked and cut into pieces
1 tomato, finely diced
shredded lettuce
flour tortillas
ranch dressing

To assemble: On the tortilla spread some ranch dressing.  Top with lettuce, tomato and bacon.  Wrap up and eat!


People...I can't even look at these pictures.  I'm kicking myself I didn't make one up this morning for my lunch later today.  Clearly, I'm not as prepared as people think I am.

By the way, thanks for all your positive comments on my last post.  If anything, I hope it gives you hope!

And if you are following my Facebook page you would have noticed that yesterday I announced my Grilled Summer Party Bread made it to the next round in the Saucy Mama Sliced Contest.  By next Monday I need to come up with an entree dish that includes their mustard and BEANS.

I have an idea.....I'm working on it.

And are you following me on Instagram yet?  I'm loving that app.  So fun.  Have a great hump day!


Monday, June 17, 2013

Out-of-this-World MONSTER Cookies


I've baked a lot of items in my day, but never once have I baked monster cookies.  I have a good friend whose mom is known for her monster cookies.  You know, like she is expected to bring them to every gathering or we'll turn around and walk out.

A few months back I talked about how I finally conquered the oatmeal chocolate chip cookie.  Well, somehow, I got this one right on the first try.  Beginner's luck I suppose.

More on these colorful beauties later.



I had a friend post her "dreams" on Facebook the other day.  Not the dreams she has while she's sleeping, but the actual dreams she has for her life.  I thought it was quite brave of her.  I mean, who actually has the guts to say to the world , "hey, I want to do this and it might sound crazy, but it is my dream..."  Not too many people.

Then I thought, maybe I should be brave and say a few of my dreams for my readers.  Most already know my one dream - to write and publish a successful cookbook.  {Still working on that dream!}

Many of you might not know my other dreams.  Here we go.  I'm crossing my fingers and toes that you don't think I'm crazy or stupid for sharing these with the world.  Please don't make fun of me.  I'm sensitive.  And if I cry then I probably won't feel like cooking and then this blog fails.

Capisce?

I have a dream to run a business.  I'm not sure what yet, but in the back of my mind I've always had this feeling that I will do SOMETHING.  I know it will involve food.  I'm just not sure in what capacity.  Lately, I have strongly been considering a food prep business.  Organizing freezer swap parties, cooking for friends and family to help stock their freezer with meals, or taking orders for anyone that needs help getting a hearty, healthy meal on the table for their family.  I would provide a list of meals to them, they'd chose what they'd like, whether I make it for them or whether they'd like to invite their friends over to make a day of it.  We'll see....it's a work in progress.

I dream that we as a family will become debt free.  {I wonder if most people even know that is possible?}  Since this past November we have been following the Dave Ramsey program.  It was hard at first, but now it's just a part of our lives.  Since then we have paid off close to $7,000 in debt.  That is a great feeling {and quite a bit for a husband who works in civil service and me just working part-time}.  We have found there is no reason why you cannot pay cash for EVERYTHING.  In fact, I will probably have to be on my death bed to ever take out another loan again.  I'm serious.  And those darn student loans - aren't they the death of all of us? 

And to be a bit frivolous, we'd love to someday own land, have a pond, a big garden and a log cabin.  Oh, and working on this blog, raising my kids and having fun at the cabin would be my full-time job.

Hey, a girl can dream.




I apologize if you tuned in for this monster cookie recipe and I'm now just FINALLY getting to it.  I will delay no longer.

Enjoy.

Out-of-this-World MONSTER Cookies
1 1/2 c. peanut butter
1 c. brown sugar
1 c. sugar
1 stick of butter, softened
3 eggs
1 t. vanilla
2 c. oatmeal
1 1/2 c. flour
2 t. baking soda
1 c. chocolate chips
1 c. peanut M&M's

In a stand mixer or hand-held mixer combine the peanut butter, sugars and butter until fluffy.  Add in eggs and vanilla.  Then oatmeal, flour and baking soda.  Fold in chocolate chips and M&M's.  Place the dough in the fridge for at least one hour or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Using an ice cream scoop, scoop out a large ball of dough and place on a greased cookie sheet.  Add a few more M&M's onto of the dough {to make them look pretty!}.  Bake for 11-12 minutes or just until golden around the edges.  Do not over bake.  Cool on a wire rack.

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Okay, be brave folks.

Tell me your "dream" in the comments.  I'd really like to not be the only one airing my fears out for the world to hear.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Weekly Round-up {Call the Midwife, Pasta Salad, Dirty Cars and more}

It's been a couple of weeks since I've "checked in" with y'all....so here I am!  I had a quieter {as in noise volume} week as the kids were with the husband's parents, so it was a nice little break, but I still had lots going on!

1.  Call the Midwife.  I'm trying to get caught up on this show online.  I really like it, although I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be able to survive in East London in the 1950's.  Life was tough!


2.  So, like I said we had a quieter week as the kids were gone {this only happens about twice a year for us}.  I picked them up this afternoon and lets just say besides this sweet, tender moment below as the Little Miss was devouring her ice cream, the rest of the night was pretty much awful.

You could tell the kids were over-tired, exhausted, out of routine and just plain crabby.  There was a lot of crying and tantrums between the hours of 4-7 p.m.  Here's to hoping they have recovered by the time they wake up tomorrow.


3.  I got up at 6:30 a.m. this morning voluntarily {what's wrong with me?} and baked four loaves of banana bread and threw together two pans of beef and bean enchiladas.  I then went outside and vacuumed out my car.  Do you know what happens when you remove two car seats?  You find things growing underneath them.


4.  Between the chaos this evening, we did manage to make the husband his Father's Day cards.  We did this project shown above.  Trying to get our two year old to answer all these questions took about 47 years but we did finally get it done.  Some of my favorites?

What does your dad do for work?

Catches the bad guys.

How old is your dad?

He's 2.  Like me.

5.  I'm a tad bit obsessed about making popsicles this summer.  If anyone has any popsicle molds they want to send me, feel free.  Otherwise I'm going to take Katie's advice and just use cups and spoons.

6.  I made homemade pizza earlier this week.  Right before I started to make the dough I realized I was out of yeast.  So I went back to an old, old recipe of mine - a homemade pizza crust that doesn't require yeast.  It is actually one of the recipes in the archives of this blog, but still gets a ton of hits.  Forgive my hideous photos - it was a long time ago, before I knew to turn off the flash.



7.  I'm going to make this Deviled Egg Pasta Salad this week.  A bit heart attack inducing but probably worth it.  I'll only have a few bites.

Alright folks, I'm out....have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Homemade Slow Cooker Refried Beans


I'm really wondering why, oh why, I spent all those years buying refried beans in a can.  For a meager few bucks I instead made homemade refried beans and got a TON more than a small 15 oz. can.

And really it required no effort, the slow cooker did all the work.  While it worked away on getting my beans nice and soft, I made a homemade pizza for dinner, taco meat for the next night and carried on a conversation with the husband in the other room, all while watching Housewives of New Jersey.

It helped that the kids were at Grandma and Grandpa's house, but lets pretend they were hanging around my legs, just so it sounds even more impressive, okay?


I never used to be a bean fan.  Every time we went out for Mexican, I always ordered extra rice and skipped out on the beans.  What was wrong with me?

The husband loved these, but kind of gave me that look, like "what are you going to do with all the leftovers?"  Remember, it makes a lot....

Oh, if he only knew the makings of a kitchen - I plan on freezing some, making a batch of beef and bean enchiladas and keeping some in the fridge for snacking on with tortilla chips.  If you haven't noticed I love a meal that can be stretched into many more meals.


Homemade Slow Cooker Refried Beans
2 lbs. dry pinto beans
8 c. hot water
1 large yellow onion, diced
4 gloves garlic, minced
1 t. cumin
1 t. chili powder
1 t. pepper
1/2 t. cayenne
3 t. salt

Open beans, pour in a large bowl and cover with cold water.  Soak for a few hours, or if you have time, overnight.  Remove any beans that float to the top of the water.

After soaking, drain and rinse.  Finger through the beans and remove any broken beans.  Place beans and all remaining ingredients (minus the salt) in the slow cooker.  Give it a stir, cover and cook on high for 4-6 hours.  Check the beans halfway through, if it looks like most of the water have evaporated, add a bit more to get the beans covered and again, stir and place lid back on.

The beans are done when you can push the back of a spoon against them and they mash up easily.  With a potato masher, or an immersion blender, mash or blend beans.  It won't take long as they will be very soft.  Mash as much as you like - leaving them a bit chunky, or mashing longer to make them smoother.  Sprinkle with salt and combine.

Serve immediately hot, or cool and use in other dishes for later.  If freezing, cool completely, place in plastic bags, label and freeze.

Please tell me you are going to try these!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Chicken Pesto Penne


Do you ever just have one of those days?  One of those days where someone says something to you and you immediately have this feeling of 'did-they-really-just-say-that'?

Nothing irritates me more than when someone puts blame on someone who doesn't deserve it.  Drives me batty!  So that is weighing on my heart right now.  Even thought I am an outgoing, fun-loving person, I still have feelings and am quite sensitive.

Ugh.

What I'd really like to do is just dive into this creamy, flavorful dish and forget about it!


I got the original recipe here.  But as usual I cannot leave anything alone, so I tweaked it a bit.  Threw in some different cheeses,  used frozen spinach instead of fresh and used my homemade marinara instead of canned tomatoes.

This makes a BIG batch - mine made three 8x8 dishes, so its perfect for one dinner and freezing the other two.  I gave one of those dishes to a new mama friend and put the other in our freezer.  The husband devoured the other dish after work the other night - like inhaled - seriously, I've never seen him eat so fast.  It was quite entertaining.

Chicken Pesto Penne
1 lb. penne pasta
1 jar alfredo sauce
2 c. homemade marinara {or 15 oz. can crushed tomatoes}
3 cooked chicken breasts, diced
1 pkg. frozen spinach {thawed and drained}
8 oz. jar basil pesto
3 oz. shredded smoked gouda cheese
8 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
1 c. grated shredded pecorino romano cheese
a bit of milk or chicken stock to thin it out - 1/2 c.

In a large stockpot cook penne according to directions.  Meanwhile in a large bowl combine all other ingredients.  When penne is cooked add to this mixture and stir.

Place into three 8x8 greased baking dishes.  Cook immediately {top with extra pecorino romano cheese} or wrap in plastic wrap, then foil and freeze.  If making immediately, bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.



These past few days I've also had my elbows deep in strawberries.  The little man and I went to the farm and  picked one morning away {we have the bug bites to prove it}.  He loved this!  I then took him out for lunch and we had the best time.

I strongly suggest if you are a parent of more than one child to make a point to do things with them individually.  He had my full attention for about 4 hours and you could tell he was just beaming.  Did I mention he face was stained red until the next day?  I think he ate his weight in strawberries.

Yesterday I made 5 batches of this jam, and tonight I plan on freezing the rest.  I even brought some to work for my co-workers {I'm nice like that}.

Okay....I've already calmed down.  Just writing out this post has made me feel better!

Enjoy your Tuesday everyone - and make this dish!