With my first pregnancy (our now 4 year-old son), I craved one thing, and one thing only: Chinese food. Not the classy, upscale, good stuff (not sure where that exists, but I'm sure it does somewhere). I wanted the trashy am-I-eating-cat-or-what-the-heck-is-this Chinese food from the random food court in a shady strip mall. Orange chicken. Fried Rice. All of it. I wanted it. I craved it all the time.
There are weeks when we try new recipes for dinner almost every single night, and then there are weeks like a couple weeks ago when we just chug along with the usual tacos, spaghetti, etc. And hey! There's nothing wrong with that, friends.
Unless you're a food blogger...
Ever since spring has begin to peek it's way lovingly through our windows, I've been craving the sweet bursting flavors of fresh berries. Thankfully, now that they are beginning to be in season (strawberries especially), I've been able to toss them into our salads without spending a pretty penny at the grocery store.
I've received a lot of fun and positive feedback from you fine people about my Berry Spinach Salad with Strawberry Lime Vinaigrette - thank you!!! I've even gone to a friend's house and it's what she had just barely served her family along with dinner. It was so fun to see, and I LOVE hearing about how the recipes I've shared have been working beautifully in your homes. That's such a fun part of food blogging, and kind of my favorite part, actually.
Anyway, I thought we should try another salad recipe involving those gorgeous berries, and this time, I wanted to focus on one of my favorite berries in particular: blackberries! I used it in both the dressing and the salad, and we were absolutely smitten with how delicious it was!
We are HUGE fans of the classic BLT sandwich. Each week we have a sandwich night, and BLT's are definitely our go-to. Lately, though, we've been having just simple egg-salad sandwiches instead. It's easy, simple, and takes almost no effort to throw between a couple slices of bread. So one night, we decided it would be fun to just combine them both, and make a mega BLT Egg Salad Sandwich. Two in one. I mean, why didn't we do this before?
I thought I'd share this recipe right before Easter because the #1 thing we'll all have lying around the house after the holiday is either a pile of candy, or lots of leftover dyed eggs. Well, this recipe calls for a bunch of the latter, so definitely put it on the list for next week's dinners!
A while back, I was on Studio 5 whipping up a classic, traditional, family-style recipe. I felt like it was really fun because I was able to share a recipe that took zero effort or even a glance at a recipe to make. I think those are the best recipes! They're ones we've tried, tested a million times, and prepare for our families on a monthly, and sometimes weekly, basis.
Along with those stuffed shells (thank you for all the emails and messages about how successful it was in your kitchens! It completely has made my life!!!), this pot roast dish is something I remember eating so many times throughout my childhood. My Mom would place the mighty roast in her large black roasting pan (the piece of roast was definitely much larger than the ones I buy - but she had many more mouths to feed), seasoned it up with salt and plenty of pepper, and I remember the strong smell of the infused-vinegars she's drizzle all over the meat. A few hours later, after church, we'd come home to the incredible aroma of pot roast and baked potatoes. It smelled like Sunday afternoon, to me, and I LOVED it when we were able to gather around the family table at dinnertime and talk together while we filled our bellies with what she had cooked for us.
My recipe is different, but the concept of the Classic Slow Cooked Beef Roast is still alive and vibrant throughout this dish. I've made it a million times since Ryan and I got married almost 8 years ago, and this is still my favorite way to prepare it. I know slow cooker recipes are usually pretty straight forward, but this one requires a couple of extra steps - don't worry, I have the photos for the steps to help you along the way. Let's jump in!
Happy Friday, everyone! I know we usually stick to desserts on Friday here on Baking with Blondie, but I thought it would be fun to share a few details from my son's birthday party we had this month!
I usually only try to share ONLY food recipes here on my blog, because I'm a firm believer in blogging about one thing, and blogging the crap out of it. If I spread myself over several different categories, things tend to get muddy, categories get ignored or lose quality, and tend to not have the best of the best delivered to your screens, I think. I mean, if I was an expert on EVERYTHING, sure, I'd blog about everything! Kudos to you fine bloggers who blog about everything and a bag of chips! But I like food, make food, share food, eat food, so here we are with a food blog. :)
However, I love sharing a little bit from the parties I throw for my son's birthdays. I love him more than anything, and making his birthdays extra special while he's so very young is a pleasure I treasure every year. I'm sure when more kids come along, they won't be as detailed or elaborate, but for now, we're going to milk it. For his first birthday, we did a Very Hungry Caterpillar Birthday Party and it was just the most darling little first birthday. I LOVE parties based on books, and Eric Carle simply can't be beat when it comes to beautiful photos and delicious pages filled with amazing fruits and veggies! Next, we did a party based on my son's favorite movie at the time: UP - his UP Birthday Party was a fun celebration of him becoming such a darling little toddler! Last year, we did the Pirate Birthday Party - and OH MAN was it a blast! We had everyone come dressed in pirate garb, went on a treasure hunt, and had the time of our lives!
This year we asked my son over and over what kind of birthday party he'd like to have. It was a long process, but eventually he chose to have a monster truck party (with a "cool car" birthday party as a close second). We'd been to the monster trucks out in the desert last year, and he still can't stop talking about it, so monster trucks were chosen as this year's theme!
This was our very first year doing a "friend" birthday party. Usually we have just family, but with over 35-40 people in our families living within 45 minutes of us, and our small two-room apartment well... small... we knew we'd have to rent out a place or be outside to fit everyone! March is kind of schizophrenic in Utah, so we chose to stay inside, and we chose to keep his party to his friends in our neighborhood (plus a few of the older cousins!).
The kids are still preschool age (3 & 4 years old), so I knew we had a crazy challenge ahead of us with nearly 10 kids invited. But looking back, it was THE BEST having them all run around, giggling, laughing, partying, and the look on my son's face made everything entirely worth the trip to crazy-town we took getting this party together. I simplified a lot of things, and incorporated a lot of age-appropriate games for the little ones to play. We had such a blast, and I was so happy with how low-maintenance it ended up being for Ryan and I to tackle on that fun Saturday afternoon. Let's jump in!