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Showing posts from March, 2018

Black Bean Chicken with Rice- Taste of Home Tuesday

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We eat a lot of chicken, and it's very easy to burn out on it if you don't change it up. I've had black beans on my 'new foods to try list' for a while now, and when I saw this recipe, I knew it would be perfect.  It had components we'd all eat, and it was easy to customize it for myself, but also for my guys.

For their chicken, I used the seasoning with a very light hand, they're not as into spicy food as I am.   I knew that they wouldn't try the black bean mixture, but it was easy to prepare the remainder of the frozen corn for them to have as a side.  I used low sodium black beans, and 'hot' salsa. I served it with a microwaveable 90 second brown rice/quinoa mix that I absolutely love.

The chicken on its own was fantastic, and I'm now searching out more recipes to use black beans. We loved the seasoning so much that I mixed up an extra batch and have it stored in my spice rack. I love that the dish is done on the stovetop, and comes toget…

Very Vanilla Slow Cooker Cheesecake #EighteenCheesecakes

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In 2015, Camilla at Culinary Adventures of Camilla enlisted her blogging friends to help her celebrate her 15th wedding anniversary by sharing 15 cheesecakes.  The event was a huge hit, and I'm so excited to be a part of it this year for her 18th anniversary!

Even though we both love cheesecake, I don't really make it at home often. When I saw this recipe for cheesecake done in a slow cooker, I immediately printed it out. I'm probably the last person on Earth who hasn't jumped on the pressure cooker train yet, I'm still using my CrockPot. I had planned on doubling the recipe and making 3 individual cheesecakes in 4" springforms, but I couldn't find mine.  My large springform wouldn't fit in my oval slow cooker.  I ended up buying a Wilton 6" springform, and I love it.  I've already got several more recipes chosen to make in it.

The recipe itself is simple, but you want to make sure that you follow the prep instructions for the pan and the foil…

Maple Apple Baked Oatmeal

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It's Maple Month here in New Hampshire, and we've already hit the sugar shack to stock up on our syrup and other goodies for the year.   I had some apples leftover from the Upside Down Apple Pie I made, so when I searched the Taste of Home site, I knew this recipe would be perfect. Recently I've been eating a lot of oatmeal, and I've been searching for ways to switch it up.

Despite a huge baking dish collection, I do not own an 11x7. I went out to buy one, and somehow came home with another 13x9.  To make it work, I increased the amount of oats to 3 1/2 cups. I substituted almond milk for the fat-free milk.  I used Granny Smith apples, and since "chopped" is rather vague, I cut mine into about quarter inch dice.  I wanted to make sure they cooked all the way through.   The directions also don't specify whether to peel it or not, I peeled mine.

This was delicious the first day, and it also reheated well. I definitely will be making this again with differen…

Citrus Tarragon Asparagus Salad

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It makes me so happy when I can get good produce here in March.   After 3 huge snowstorms in a row, I needed a little taste of spring, so when I saw fresh asparagus at the grocery store, I grabbed it.

I used this recipe from Cheryl M. as a jumping off point. I prefer my asparagus roasted rather than steamed or boiled, so I prepped all the veggies and laid them out on a sheet pan.  I drizzled them with a little olive oil, then tossed them around to make sure that they were all covered nicely.   I roasted them at 400 for about 15 minutes, my stalks were very thin. Thicker ones might need a bit longer.

I couldn't get fresh shallots or tarragon, so I used dried for both.  I made the dressing ahead so that the shallots could rehydrate while I roasted the asparagus.  The orginal recipe calls for white balsamic, and I only had the traditional type on hand.  I love the little hint of orange, and being a New England girl, I might substitute maple syrup for the honey when I make it again.  …

Orange Ricotta Pancakes

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Welcome to #EasterWeek! I'm still a little thrown off by how early Easter is this year, and to be honest, I haven't finalized my menu yet.   My son has become the typical teenager who likes to sleep til noon, so I've been focusing my search on brunch type recipes.

We all love pancakes, and when I saw this recipe from Taste of Home, I knew I had to test it out.
The only change I made to the recipe was to use whole milk instead of 2%, it's what we always have on hand.  I used a large cooke scoop for portioning the batter, it made it so easy to keep them uniform, and I got exactly 12 pancakes.  The ricotta gives them a great texture, and they are filling without being heavy.  These froze and reheated great, next time I will definitely double the batch, adding blueberries to some.  Thank you Brehan K for sharing the recipe!

Thank you so much to Christie for hosting Easter Week, and to all the other #FestiveFoodies for sharing their #EasterRecipes! Be sure to check out the …

Upside Down Apple Pie

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One of my cooking goals for 2018 is to master pie crust, and what better reason to give it a go than #PiDay? My grandmother tried to teach me when I was growing up, but I just couldn't get the hang of it.   I've relied on boxed crust, but they lack that beautiful, flaky texture of a homemade crust.  I think I did pretty well, though I did roll them out a bit too thinly.   I wouldn't say that I'm a pie crust pro, but I'm definitely less intimidated by the process.

I used granny smith apples, and my Pampered Chef peeler/corer/slicer made prepping them super fast. I had to omit the pecans due to allergies, but that was the only change I made.   Half the pie disappeared the first day, the rest is going fast.  I'm really looking forward to making it again with local apples.

Thanks so much to Coleen for hosting #PiDay, and to all the other #FestiveFoodies for sharing their recipes!  Be sure to check them all out by following the links at the bottom of the post.





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Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies- Taste of Home Tuesday

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A little while back I inventoried my freezer and pantry and discovered that I had lots of duplicate items, among them, large cannisters of quick cooking oats.   I searched out recipes to use them on the Taste of Home site, and these cookies had amazing reviews.

My only change to the recipe was to omit the nuts due to allergies in the family. I found the dough to be a little on the dry side and ended up adding a tablespoon or two of water. I used a medium cookie scoop, next time I might even go up one more size.  I baked them at 350ยบ (convection setting) for 10 minutes.   The cookies didn't flatten out much, so I lightly pressed on them with a spatula after I took them out of the oven.

We loved these, they are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, perfect for dunking.  I think they would be amazing with chocolate pudding or cheesecake pudding too.  I also think that because they're made with oats, that makes them perfectly fine to eat for breakfast, right?  :)  Thank y…

Irish Soda Bread Muffins

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I talk a lot about my Italian ancestry and the food that surrounds it, but I also have Irish in there from my Mom's side.   We didn't eat any Irish food growing up that I can recall, so I went on a recipe search.  Irish soda bread kept catching my eye.  Even though I've mostly worked through my fear of yeast, I loved that baking soda is used as a leavening agent instead.   I found these on the Taste of Home site, and since muffins are always a huge hit here, I put the ingredients on the shopping list.

Unfortunately, I couldn't find the currants, I substituted dried cranberries instead. I sprinkled the tops with raw sugar instead of regular, I just love the crunch it gives.  I was hesitant about the caraway.  I've had resistance in the past from my guys when I've made things with anise,  which is a similar flavor profile. These were a huge hit with everyone.   The caraway isn't overwhelming, and I love the texture of the muffins.

Thank you so much to Carlee …