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Showing posts from October, 2012

Italian Sausage Lasagna Soup

When I was on the phone with my sister last week, she mentioned she was having Lasagna Soup for dinner. She asked me if I had ever tried it before. Are you kiddin' me?! Of course I've had it before, you beast! We've tried it a couple times at our home. The first two rounds, however, didn't really have the look and feel of lasagna as promised by the recipes- just like plain 'ol tomato soup with meat.

This is when I turned to the queen-of-recipes-that-always-taste-good-and-never-fail:

The One and Only,

Paula Deen

Whenever I try one of her recipes, they always turns out really delicious. Yes, I know, they always taste good because they're usually loaded with the so called "bad things to eat." This recipe, however, is loaded with wonderful ingredients, and has absolutely no heavy cream (I highly suspected a hidden glug somewhere in the directions). 

Albeit almost perfect, I made a couple modifications to her recipe. I wanted to use noodles with that s…

Chicken Avocado Enchiladas

Slowly regaining the ability to walk again - still can't do "down" stairs or slight declines. Ryan seems to be recovering faster, or maybe he's just less of a whiner than I am. 
You see, he paced me for my very first Half Marathon on Saturday. Awesome-husband-of-the-weekend award, eh? It went alright - even though they ended up changing up the course and making us run up the canyon after running down it. It was a beast! But I'm glad we did it. Even if it left us with a bit of a limp for a few days.
With that, I wasn't really in the mood to stand and cook for a long time. Thankfully, this recipe was just what the doctor ordered. You just make the sauce (takes minutes), saute up some peppers and onions, and throw it altogether in some fluffy tortillas. They were filling, but deliciously light. Normally I would go with the more smothered approach (and with red sauce), but these had such a delicate touch - especially with the cream sauce. it will blow your mind…

Wild Rumpus Marshmallow Fondant Cake

So I have this adorable friend, and her little boy is one of the cutest little ones I've ever seen (brightest blue eyes just like his Mom). Well, this little guy turned the big ONE last week, and I was asked to make his birthday cake.  I was scared to death. I mean, I'll never ever forget how they had a Millennium Falcon shaped (and decorated, perfect replica) cake at their wedding. These guys were used to immaculate cakes, and I had attempted *gulp* 3 fondant cakes in my lifetime. However, I was so excited for this cake, and couldn't wait to get started.
 It's filled with red velvet cake and my almond infused cream cheese frosting. Normally, I would have just gone with the store-bought fondant (even though it tastes nasty, it saves brain cells trying to work with). But this time, homemade marshmallow fondant was in order. I love the taste of that stuff, but it is a beast to work with (it just takes a bit more patience, and I had only tried the recipe once before on…

Skinny Potato Leek Soup

Our last and final installment of my 3-day potato hoorah has arrived.

And of course, it has to be soup. It's just my style right now. Cold outside = soup inside.

This soup was painfully easy. You start out with a very simple roux, then add in all your ingredients except for the milk. Simmer, then done. You could set this soup to simmer, slick up the kitchen, shamelessly eat some of your son's Halloween candy, and the soup will be finished when you're through.

The flavors are very simple, and without the addition of cream, this recipe leans directly towards the skinny side of life. However, I wanted Ryan to like the soup, so I added cream at the end after blending. You could do this either way. Heck, you could change the chicken stock to veggie and have yourself a little vegetarian goodness if that's the way you swing.

Ever use leeks before? We have had them few times and have loved them even more with each appearance. They taste somewhere between a yellow onion and…

Gold & Sweet Potato Medley

Here we are, my friends. Part 2 of my 3-day shout-out to the humble, but lovely, vegetable we know as potato.

I thought these fit nicely as our 2nd installment. There are 2 different kinds of potatoes in this side dish, and I loved it enough to make it 2 times in the past 2 weeks. Too many 2's in the mix. 

My little guy (the Manchild) is allowed cartoons during breakfast. It gives me time to finish up whatever I was blogging about earlier, and allows him to take his sweet time with those Multi-Grain Cheerios and epic whole milk slurping. Sometimes at the end of the 25-minute show, a wee little gem of a segment comes on called Small Potatoes. It's only about 3-5 minutes long, and these adorable little British Potatoes sing lovely little tunes together. The Manchild loves it. He squeals with delight, and recognizes them right away.

As I prepared this homestyle side dish of different potatoes, I couldn't help but hum the oh-so-familiar tune of Small Potatoes. Looking back…

Sweet Potato Biscuits

So happy to be back in Utah again. This past weekend we drove (yikes. double yikes.) up to the beautiful Washington for a less-than-24-hour visit. For those (I was in the same boat) who have never been there before, it's 100% true what they say:

Washington is breathtaking.

It was a perfect time to visit family, see a few new places, send my suited-up-husband into the city to kick some serious tail, and also to get a much-needed break from blog land.

--

Luckily, I have a few recipes saved away to share this week. And they're all centered around something we have quite the abundance of in our kitchen (especially during the Fall/Winter season) :

Potatoes! 

I know what you're thinking: potatoes are kind of lame.

wrong.

Potatoes are the shizz, are perfectly in season, and you can buy a bag-full for mere pocket change. So this week (well, the three blog days left in it), I'll be sharing a recipe each day starring this completely versatile and inexpensive ingredient.

Fir…

Fresh Living Interview

Had such a blast yesterday on the KUTV 2 Fresh Living show. It was a dream come true, and I couldn't be happier with how rewarding and fun it was to cook on television! Casey was a doll, and I was completely starstruck seeing Ron Bird, Mary Nickles, Casey Scott, and Debbie Worthen in person. Everything went smoothly - but note to self: never attempt to carry a giant cooler, kitchen aid mixer, and 2 bags full of ingredients/utensils without some kind of wagon. My arms kill as I type this.

I loved watching the replay with my husband - he said I was a natural (he has to say that, though, he's married to me... hah).

To tell the truth, though, I can't say that I've never done the whole talk-cook-and-interview-at-the-same-time before...

You see, when the Manchild was a couple months old, we took off to DC for an internship my husband had for the summer. He was gone not only for the usual 8-hour workday, but sometimes up to 12. Most of the days we were on the East coast, I&…

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Mascarpone Buttercream

Welcome Fresh Living Viewers!

There are people who live, sleep, and think in dark chocolate. And there are people who... well... need to eat one of these cupcakes and write an apology letter to humanity.

I am the former.

I have loved dark chocolate since I was a wee little girl. Without giving out too much detail, my Dad travels/traveled to faraway places very often. We missed him very much, but we all knew that when he came home, he'd have something special packed away in his briefcase for us little ones. He'd step through the door late evening and some of us would follow him upstairs to my parents bedroom. As he unpacked a few things, he'd hand each of us a large brick of heaven-sent, creamy, decadent, chocolate. We couldn't eat it all at once, or even within the month (except for my brothers, who I'm quite positive downed the sucker in less than 24 hours), so we (the girls) space it out; eating a small square morsel or two every now and then. In my mind (and …

Hearty Chicken Vegetable Soup

Why yes, another soup recipe.

It's cold outside, remember?

This means I try less of the new 'sweets & treats' recipes, and try more of my saved recipes involving hearty seasonal ingredients and decadent soups. They feed my little family, and keep them full. Simple as that.

It certainly would be glamorous, though, to bake desserts and treats very often. Unfortunately, it's not realistic for us. So when I make our one-dessert-of-the-week (usually on Sunday) we milk the heck out of it; savoring each sugary morsel.

And as much as we sometimes want to, we don't keep the beautiful 'sweets & treats' all to ourselves... I'm pretty sure our neighbors secretly think we're trying to fatten them up for even more soup. To them: I promise we're not cannibals, so eating you will never be on the table.  

This soup was gorgeous. It's loaded will all kinds of beautiful vegetables. The broth itself was soaked with the hearty juices of the roasted to…

Turkey Meatball and Orzo Soup

I think at our house we're all taking turns with the same cold. As soon as we feel like the cold has been banished for good, one of us brings home another beast to share. It's kind of disheartening, especially when I want to go out for my run in the beautiful Fall weather, and my lungs retaliate with a heavy cough. Days of training down the drain.

I thought maybe we were really good at sharing this cold because my house wasn't disinfected enough. *gasp*  I'm actually kind of obsessive about that one. Ever seen Monk? Sometimes it's kind of like that.

Thankfully, a steaming hot bowl of soup warms the soul like nothing else, and forces our colds to hide their fangs for a while. The Manchild has also figured out how to eat orzo without me having to redecorate and re-carpet the dining room. Ryan didn't even notice the meat was ground turkey until he was halfway through his first bowl - (again, if it's not straight up steak or ground beef, it's not 'ma…

Interview

If you're a Facebook fan of Baking with Blondie, or have some connection to me in real life, you may have noticed a bit of delightful ruckus after my interview on KSL TV. Upon returning home from downtown Salt Lake City later that afternoon, I was pleasantly surprised with the after-effect! I had no idea more than maybe a few people would hang around to the end of the 12:00 news hour to check out the interview. I was secretly hoping everyone forgot... that way if I completely botched it, no one would see it happen LIVE (an prayed people wouldn't find the online video afterwards to transform it into those YouTube laughing stocks or Bad Lip Reading sessions). I haven't been that nervous in a very long time, and wasn't anxious to re-watch any huge mistakes.

Let me explain - I graduated from college in Music Performance. As in often being under loads of pressure in front of a lot of people doing something I had prepared/practiced for hours and hours. So when I'm thro…

Cheesecake-Filled Pumpkin Cupcakes with Brown Sugar Buttercream Frosting

Welcome KSL 5 viewers!
The starring flavor of pumpkin has exploded on blog land. I don't think I've gone a single day since the beginning of October without seeing some variation of pumpkin on the blogs I follow.

I don't mind one bit.

My husband on the other hand, is already sick of pumpkin - and we haven't even reached November! Thankfully, I found a recipe where I could sneak pumpkin in a recipe with one of his all-time favorites: Cheesecake. Win win for all, I must say.

I made these little guys last night, and frosted them this morning. The cupcake itself is ridiculous. The pumpkin pie flavors with an extra dose of cheesecake cream? Holy smokes. However, the frosting needed some love. The original frosting recipe called for way too much butter, so I had to make some serious modifications. I know, I know - it's buttercream, but 1.5 cups of butter seemed like overkill.

Other than that, these cupcakes were heaven. Last night was a late night again for Ryan (study…

Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms

I know I talk about my Mom too much on here, but she's been such an influence in my life, and my cooking, since I can remember. And this mushroom recipe is all hers.

I've made these lovely mushrooms countless times. They're yet to disappoint, and always have positive reviews (and recipe requests). There's isn't a gathering around the holidays with the Blondie relatives around the table without these beautiful stuffed mushrooms nearby.

To be completely honest, though, I used to loathe mushrooms. Somehow I could always pick out their texture in a dish, and I flat out thought they were alien to the food world. That was my firm belief, until my Mom served these at a family gathering many years ago.

My mind did a complete 180, and I immediately adored mushrooms. Weird, eh? Well, what can you expect when you stuff something with cream cheese and sausage? Ryan, on the other hand, still hates mushrooms - but willingly eats these like candy. The only change I've mad…

Pumpkin Cinnamon Streusel Buns

So thrilled to announce I'm guest posting over at Through the Eyes of the Mrs today! I'm sharing my Pumpkin Cinnamon Streusel Buns - we ate these with forks right out of the pan! Check it out here.

Mini Caramel Apple Bites

I will never ever reveal how many of these Ryan and I ate in one day. In one afternoon.

Okay. In one hour.

My Mom's green thumb has spread like wildfire throughout her beautiful backyard. I had my wedding reception back there for crying out loud. It's a peaceful haven, and perfectly serene. Fall is when I believe it's in it's full glory - and in full production (not that it doesn't look gorgeous in the other seasons). She has quite the set of trees lovingly growing on both sides of the backyard: cherry, plum, pear, peach, and most importantly... apple! Last week my Mom sent me home with a sack full of these delightfully green apples from one of the said trees.

To be honest, (and to switch gears a bit) I can't eat green apples plain. I've tried. I gag. It's a tragedy because they taste delicious. Unfortunately, green apples play the devil's tune to my taste buds, and I can't keep them down. Why the heck was I so excited for these green apples,…

Avocado Egg Salad Wrap

Holy moly, people. 
I've had this recipe pinned since the Ice Age, and let me tell you right now (as goes the story with most things I've pinned) :  I wish I would have tried this recipe sooner. 
I like to think I've been really good about making the recipes on my Pinterest boards, and in my cookbooks. But I feel like the more recipes I try, the more recipes I add to my list! It's a never ending vicious cycle. Good thing my kitchen life is on publicized on blog land now, right?
This avocado egg salad was dynamite. It has very few ingredients, is surprisingly filling, and has the potential to fit almost any taste palate you could probably think of (unless you hate avocados or eggs... then you're on your own). Just add the seasonings that speak to you, and you'll find yourself loving this wrap from the first bite. 
The original recipe called for curry powder, but I went straight to the cumin. It went perfectly with the avocado! Next time I think I'll even a…

Roasted Red Pepper and Goat Cheese Alfredo with Pancetta

Ever have one of those downright crummy days?

Me too...

...but nothing a little pasta can't fix. Especially pasta including one of my new-found loves this year: Pancetta. This wasn't our first rodeo - I've had pancetta with delicious Bucatini All'Amatriciana. It's heavenly. Ever tried it? It's like bacon on crack (with a little extra shake of salt). Good, good stuff.

I also was really excited to give this pasta dish a try when I heard it had an ingredient I hadn't tried yet: Goat Cheese. I remember holding the cheese in one hand and my cell in the other; calling my Mom at the grocery store asking if she'd ever tried the beast and if I was crazy for wanting to. 

Somewhere along the way of getting lost in the cheese section and wrestling with the toddler, I made a grave error. It took enough convincing to put one package of goat cheese in the cart... it wasn't until I was unloading our groceries into the cupboards and fridge at our home when I noti…

Ratatouille Soup

We've all seen the movie. And if you haven't, it will find you.

This soup turned out much better than I thought it would be. I had it planned on our menu because we still had a zucchini lying around. It had the Manchild's distinct teeth marks in it. He must have found it earlier in the week, and I hadn't noticed it until I was cleaning and chopping it up for the soup.

How the heck did he get up there? I keep my fresh veggies in tiered baskets on a counter in our kitchen. He's not allowed in the kitchen (unless strapped into his highchair) anymore, so I'm convinced he grabbed it when he was too close to the veggie baskets... and then someone just put it back with the teeth-marked side hidden. Well played. I had no idea.

I wasn't sure how well-received this soup would be in the Blondie household - as I've said before, Ryan likes the meat, and this soup didn't have any of it (well... besides the chicken stock). However, with the addition of pasta (who…