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Showing posts from April, 2017

Garlic Crescent Rolls

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It's vacation week here in NH.  For my son, that means no school, sleepovers, day trips.  For me, it usually means catching up on all the things that need doing, plus cooking.   I try to balance all the new recipes I want to try alongside quick and easy meals on the days I have lots of non-cooking things to do.

Where I struggle the most with that is side dishes.   Steam in bag veggies are a go-to.  Texas toast from the freezer case.   Microwavable rice.   I made a quick dinner of store bought meatballs, jarred sauce and angel hair and realized that my family was not going to be satisfied with that.   Looking through the pantry and fridge, I found 1/2 a container of garlic butter spread and a tube of Pillsbury crescent rolls (the full sheet kind).

I've done the kind that are rolled the traditional way with some cheese in them before, and wanted something a little different.    I rolled the sheet out, spread the garlic butter spread on, and then rolled it up longways.    I cut i…

Vanilla French Toast

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French toast is one of those things that I've made so often, I don't usually look at a recipe.  I'm trying to teach my son some basic dishes, good kitchen habits and how to read a recipe, so I searched the Taste of Home site and found this one for Vanilla French Toast.   We did make one minor substitution, which was using whole milk instead of 2%, it's what we always have on hand.   We served it with some real NH maple syrup, and next time we'll probably add a bit of cinnamon to the egg mixture.    Thank you so much to Joe & Bobbi S for sharing the recipe!






*Exported from MasterCook*


Loaded Stuffed Potato Pancakes #EasterLeftovers

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I have a problem-  whenever I make mashed potatoes, I make enough for an army. That would be ok, if anyone ate them in leftover form besides me.   To reel the guys back in, I do what I do with anything I want them to eat without complaint- bread it and fry it!

I searched the Taste of Home site and found this recipe.  I omitted the salt from the potato mixture, I'd rather sprinkle it on after frying.  I used a small cookie scoop for the cream cheese, then molded the potatoes around by hand and flattened them in the crumbs.   The only thing I'd do next time would be add some bacon to the potato mixture, because what isn't better with bacon?  I served them with some sour cream on the side, but it was totally unnecessary.   Crispy crunchy coating, delicious mashed potato and then that surprise cream cheese inside.   Thank you so much to Jane W for this awesome recipe!

Need to give those Easter leftovers another lease on life? Get some inspiration from all the leftover recipes…

Old Fashioned Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting #EasterRecipes

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When in doubt, go with the classics, right?   For the dessert portion of our Easter meal, I chose this gorgeous carrot cake.   Sadly, my food processor went to appliance heaven a while back, and the thought of hand grating carrots wasn't putting me in a festive mood.    Then I remembered that I had a Salad Shooter stashed away in the basement, anyone else remember those?   It made super short work of those carrots!



I made no changes to the cake recipe itself.  For the frosting, I used whole milk, omitted walnuts, and used 8oz of cream cheese.   Though I"m not the best decorator, I piped on the carrots and stems.

I loved this cake.  It had such great texture and flavor on its own, then that cream cheese frosting.   My son isn't a huge cream cheese fan, but he ate all the cake and most of the frosting and gave it a thumbs up.    My husband?  He said it was good, but he doesn't really think of carrot cake as dessert...  Vegetables and cream cheese make him think of break…

Honey Butter Peas and Carrots #EasterRecipes

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We always have the same old side dishes, usually corn or green beans.   I had sent my husband to the store for carrots and he came home with a gigantic bag, so I went in search of a recipe to use them.   This recipe looked so colorful and perfect for Easter! To be honest, I'm not a huge fan of peas except the first of the year straight from the farm, but I had some in the freezer to use up.   Though the recipe called for being made in the slow cooker, mine was otherwise occupied with ham.   It was simple enough to convert it to the stove top.  In a large saucepan of boiling water, I cooked the carrots until tender.   I drained them and set them aside, wiped the pan dry and then sauteed the onion and garlic in a teaspoon of butter.   I added the remaining butter, honey, salt, marjoram and pepper- I used cracked black, it was what I had on hand, as well as the peas.   I cooked it over medium heat until the peas were cooked through.

I loved the not-too-sweet glaze, and the marjoram-…

Spring Pea and Radish Salad- Taste Of Home Tuesday!

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I've mentioned it a few times, but in 2015, I was chosen to be a Volunteer Field Editor for Taste of Home magazine.   I've got binders full of the magazines, plus cookbooks, and I've tried over 150 recipes from their site and publications.   Part of my duties as a VFE is to submit original recipes, and I admit, I originally found this daunting.   I've pecked away at it, remaking some family favorites, recreating restaurant dishes, etc.   Some things I hesitate to submit..  are they too simple?  Too specific to our family?

Then I got the "Congratulations" email- one of my recipes had been chosen for publication!   I was so excited, even more so after my issue arrived.   The Test Kitchen and photography team took that simple salad and made it so elegant and beautiful.



You can get the April/May issue of Taste of Home in stores now, or you can visit www.TasteofHome.com for subscription deals.

Would you like to become a Volunteer Field Editor?  Do you have amazing…

Easy Citrus Ham #EasterRecipes

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Easter was a HUGE holiday growing up in my Italian family.   As years went on, we got away from the big gathering and spent it more casually, like taking a ride to the beach and having a picnic.   We do enjoy Easter dishes though, so at some point in April I'll make a ham and sides.   

I got a great deal on a bone-in spiral ham, and ran across this recipe on the Taste of Home site.  Using the slow cooker was great, freed up the oven.   We like a sweet glaze on our ham, and this was sweet without being overly so.    The crystallized ginger is what really puts it over the top, gives it a little 'warmth" without being spicy.   Thanks so much to Sheila C for sharing her recipe!

This week, thirteen bloggers are sharing 46 recipes and tips to help you serve up deliciousness this Easter.  Follow #EasterRecipes on social media to see what we're serving up!  Scroll to the bottom of the post to see what other amazing dishes are being shared today!




* Exported from MasterCook…

Loaded M&M Oreo Cookie Bars #Fill the Cookie Jar!

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So excited to be able to participate in April's Fill the Cookie Jar event!  The theme is "spring", and I chose this recipe from the Taste of Home 100 Family Meals cookbook.   I hit the store, but the shopping gods were not with me.    I wanted the Spring or Peeps Oreos, no luck.   I looked the other choices over and went with Golden Oreos instead.  The seasonal candy aisle was loaded with M&Ms- dark chocolate, milk, chocolate, white chocolate, minis!  I grabbed a bag of the minis, because I like those best in baked goods.  I knew I'd have to empty all the little bags, but no big deal.

Fast forward to the weekend.  I get out all the ingredients and set about dumping all the little bags into a bowl.    Hmmm.   Despite the Easter packaging, the M&Ms were regular colored.    Mother Nature had decided to drop an April Fool's joke of plowable snow on us, so the store was out of the question.  I did what any other person under a spring cookie challenge would do-…

Sage Chicken Cordon Bleu- Taste of Home Tuesday!

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I've mentioned before that when I'm meal planning and needing inspiration, I turn to the Food Holidays calendar.   Chicken is the thing we eat most and the thing I get bored with most easily, but seeing that today is National Chicken Cordon Bleu day got the wheels turning.   It's one of my husband's favorite dishes.   I searched the Taste of Home website and found this Sage Chicken Cordon Bleu.   Sage is one of my more underused spices in my collection, and I had all the other ingredients on hand.

I did make minor changes- used Panko and dried parsley and omitted the tomato.   The biggest difference is that I didn't pound out the chicken.   Using a knife, I cut a nice deep pocket in one side of the chicken, then rubbed the inside with the sage.  I layered the ham and cheese inside, then proceeded with the dipping and breading.    I did not use toothpicks.  Some cheese oozed out, but that was just fine with me!   My husband and I enjoyed it very much, and I'll d…

Apple Bacon Cheddar Grilled Cheese #GrilledCheese

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It's Grilled Cheese month!  Grilled cheese growing up was Wonder bread and cheese that you had to peel out of it's single wrapper.   I was not a fan. Thankfully, the different varieties of cheese sold by the slice is fantastic now.   One of my current favorites is a thin sliced sharp cheddar.

When I told my husband that I was looking to add something to a grilled cheese to make it "different", he asked "Didn't I see a bunch of apples in the kitchen?"  I've never jumped at the apple and cheese combo in pies, but keeping it savory, and adding bacon started sounding reallly good to me.

Crisp bacon, crunchy tart apple, gooey melty cheddar cheese, perfectly golden sourdough bread.   It was still missing something though.   Spinning my spice rack around, I rejected bottle after bottle.   And at the end, Tarragon.    Turned out to be that one final touch it needed.   

Looking to up your grilled cheese game?   Go check out the other amazing ideas at the …

April Fool's 2017- "Grilled cheese & onion rings"

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Mother nature pulled it's own joke on us here in New England yesterday- plowable snow, so I'm posting this a day late. 

First up, the "grilled cheese".  I used a boxed angel food cake mix, baked in 2 loaf pans.  I carefully sliced it after it was completely cooled, and then browned it in the skillet in a little butter.  For the cheese, I warmed a little marshmallow fluff and mixed in orange food coloring.  I made the apple rings using this recipe from Donna via Tasty Kitchen.   I only had veg oil on hand.   I didn't make the Cinnamon cream.  

Laid out on the plate-


I was photographing some other recipes I'd made, so I invited him to sit with me and have lunch while I took them.  I've had some great success with pranks on Jake in the past, but this time he caught on to me pretty quickly.  He hesitated at the "onion rings", but didn't say anything. 



 The sandwich "cheese" color was a little off, and of course, it wasn't hot.





I …