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Showing posts from February, 2018

New England Hot Chocolate

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I'm a New England girl, through and through.  Even during the snowiest of winters, I cannot imagine living anywhere else.   Sure, there are days when it's so cold the air hurts your face, but that's why hot chocolate was invented!

I've been making this recipe for more than 10 years, and it disappears so quickly I've never gotten a chance to take pictures of it.  This time around, I set up my surrounding shot, including the glass so that I was prepared. I made the hot chocolate, poured it, took my pictures.

I went to edit the pictures, and came back to an empty glass. The kid strikes again. It's good stuff.  Try it.  It's not overly sweet, which I love. I use the real NH maple syrup, but you can use maple flavoring if you can't get your hands on any.


If you live in a state that produces maple syrup, I highly recommend going for a tour during sugaring season.  It's such an amazing process, so much work to yield that amber goodness!  We look forward…

Garlic Lover's Chicken

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I was putting groceries away when I realized that my freezer and pantry were getting a bit out of control. I've got an upright freezer in the basement that I love, but it sometimes can fall into the "out of sight, out of mind" trap. I decided I needed to get organized and make an inventory and start clearing some things out.  To make it a little more fun, I issued a challenge to the members of a Taste of Home fans Facebook group to do the same.

I had four packages of boneless skinless chicken breasts, so I went to my Taste of Home board on Pinterest and browsed the Poultry section.   The Garlic Lover's Chicken caught my eye because I had most of the ingredients on hand.   Instead of regular breadcrumbs, I used panko, and I used dried parsley.  I omitted lemon because I didn't have one.  The recipe calls for 4oz chicken breasts and the ones I had were much larger than that, closer to 8oz. I baked them on convection at 400ยบ for 35 minutes. I like to use a probe th…

Best Ever Banana Bread

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I've mentioned before my family's odd banana eating habits.  No matter how many I buy, they always seem to leave 2 or 3 behind, and I've surmised it's because they want me to make something with them.  Sometimes I do, and sometimes I peel them and stick them into the freezer for use at a later time.   Sometimes the bags of frozen bananas start piling up, so I head to the Taste of Home site to find a recipe.

No major changes to this one.  I omitted the walnuts due to allergies, if I'd had them on hand I might have added some mini chocolate chips or cinnamon chips.  I sprinkled the top with turbinado sugar before baking, we just love the crunch it gives.  One loaf was definitely not enough, next time I will definitely double the recipe and freeze one of the loaves.  Thank you to Gert K. for sharing her recipe.

Be sure to check what my fellow Volunteer Field Editors are cooking up this week using the links at the bottom of the post. Do you have an amazing recipe you&…

Springtime Beignets

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So, I got a text from my husband with a link to an article about Mardi Gras, and Fat Tuesday, and beignets.  Can you make these? Since he rarely makes requests, I told him sure.   Then the worry set in.  Yeast dough! Now, I made great strides towards conquering my fear of yeast in 2017, but there's still always that little doubt in the back of my mind.  But I pushed it aside, and got to work.

The dough comes together quickly, but my guys are not patient enough to wait 4 hours (or overnight!) for something to rise.  My new oven has a bread proof setting, so I used that and it was ready to go in a little over 2 hours.   It rolls out like a dream.  Frying them up goes quickly if you are organized and have eager helpers standing by to dust them with powdered sugar.  


These were perfectly pillowy sweet bundles of goodness.  My regularly scheduled eating healthier campaign will resume tomorrow, there was no way I was going to miss out on these!  Thanks so much to  Kathi H. for sharing…

Sausage and Pepper Sheet Pan Sandwiches

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I come from a huge Italian American family, and food plays a huge role not only on holidays, but in every day life too.  I had a very hard time choosing what I wanted to post today, because I have so many memories associated with certain dishes.   I saw this recipe for Sausage and Pepper Sheet Pan Sandwiches in the Feb/Mar 2018 issue of Taste of Home, and I knew it was the one.  I immediately thought of trips to the beach we used to take as a family.  We'd play the arcade games, and grab lunch from one of the food stands.   You could smell the peppers and onions frying up all the way down the street.


I've made them at home before, the traditional way, parboiling the sausage, then frying everything up in a big skillet, but I love how this recipe is done on a sheet pan in the oven. I buy a brand of turkey sausage that is harder to cut when uncooked, so I browned it up quickly on the outside in a skillet first, then let it cool.   I used red onion, orange, red and yellow peppers.…

Chocolate Dream Whoopie Pies

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February and chocolate are soulmates in my mind, so I jumped at the chance to participate in this month's #FoodieExtravaganza Chocolate Lover's event.  I spent days searching through recipes.  I looked at  cheesecakes, cookies, and puddings.  Then I saw this recipe for Chocolate Dream Whoopie Pies, and I knew it was the one.  I made no changes to the recipe itself.  I baked some in my mini muffin top pans, and then some in heart shaped.  They went very, very fast, so much so that I had to hide one in order to take pictures!  Thank you to Jill P for sharing her recipe.

Be sure to check out all the other great recipes at the bottom of the post. You can never have enough chocolate!  And big thanks to Ellen for hosting!


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With ImageWithout Image Chocolate Dream Whoopie Pies ingredients:1 packages chocolate cake mix (regular size)3 large eggs1/2 cup canola oil1 teaspoon vanilla extractFilling2/3 cup sugar2 Tablespoons flour1/8 teaspoon salt1 cup 2% milk1/2 cup milk chocolate chi…

Calico Pepper Frittata

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It's #TasteofHomeTuesday again, and this week's recipe came from the Comfort Food Makeovers cookbook, which I got as part of the Special Delivery Winter Box.  I marked so many recipes in the cookbook, I had a hard time deciding which one to try first!


I know it's crazy, but I just started cooking eggs this year.  I didn't really care for them as a kid, and my son had a sensitivity when he was little, so I never made them for him either.  But I'm trying to expand my food world a bit, and this Calico Pepper Frittata looked like a great way to do it. It's packed with delicious veggies, and really is a fast dish once you do all the prep work.


The only change I made was to use red, yellow and orange peppers, no green bell peppers.  At the very end, the top was still a little underdone for my tastes, so I stuck it under the broiler for a bit.   I absolutely loved this.

I've been eating healthier for a few months now, and it was a great way to get in my veggies …