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Showing posts from February, 2013

Creamy Avocado Yogurt Dip & Baked Whole Wheat Tortilla Chips with Sea Salt

I have a serious issue with avocados. A huge problem. Why?  Well, I just can't get enough of them.  Just this past weekend, I even sliced and seeded an avocado, grabbed a handful of tortilla chips, and just plowed right through the dang thing right then and there.  And guess what I did the next day? The same thing. So you can imagine when avocados were priced-matched at 4/$1.00 at the supermarket, I came home with a pile of 'em. Most of them have been used in egg wraps , eaten in our favorite tacos , and some savored during the aforementioned "chip attack" method. This dip, however, was by far the most amazing. There's something so sneaky about greek yogurt - it's so multifaceted, and with that trait, can be used equally in savory dishes, as well as in our favorite sweet treats. With this beautiful creamy dip, it tastes just like sour cream. You could easily slather this stuff on anything of the Mexican food genre and be satisfied. The chips

Bacon and Egg Toast Cups with Two-Potato Hash Browns

  Breakfast.  or Lunch.  or Dinner.  Man, whatever it is. We're purists when it comes to what we can eat for breakfast. We don't have food that's usually designated for lunch/dinner for breakfast. But for some reason, we let our typical breakfast choices bleed into lunch meals, or on our dinner plate. It's strange, really, but happens more than occasionally.  I'm sure there's a special law in the universe deeming what you can/should eat for these meals. But we completely ignore it when lunch and dinner come around. Why? I think one of our rules is better: Eat what you have in your house. Seems pretty straight forward to me. Why make an entirely new meal, if I have ingredients that need to be used up in the fridge, on my counter, or in my cupboards? I think it's kind of fun, actually. I love watching Chopped on the Food Network, and I think it's really fun pretending I'm on the show when I'm in the kitchen. The in

A Grand Opportunity

Hello my amazing readers, Apparently this little blog of mine has been selected as a finalist in the "Top 10 Food Bloggers of 2013" contest, and they're going purely on votes as to who will come out on top. I'm absolutely honored and grateful - If you have a second, and I promise I rarely ask my readers for anything, it would be amazing if you could click on the link below, and give my blog a thumbs up for a vote! I'm competing against people who have amazing and beautiful blogs, but their following is a bit intimidating. A huge thank-you to those who have already voted for me. You are amazing. Here's the link to the website, and THANK YOU for your vote! ~ Blondie

Simple Bruschetta & Mazola Corn Oil

  It was a lazy and very snowy Saturday afternoon. Ryan had just come home from playing a couple basketball games. The Manchild and I were cuddled up in sweatpants, hoodies, and blankets in front of one of his favorite movies. We had nowhere we needed to be, and nothing we really needed to do. I love days like this. Sometimes I feel like we get to relax more on our Saturday afternoons versus our Sundays. (seems a little backwards, if you ask me). Our Sundays usually end up pretty jam packed with meetings, visits, and everything else. So these days, we try to relax and soak in our uninterrupted family time together, while we can. We also had a pile of tomatoes in our fridge calling our names. I put the little Manchild down for his nap, and started chopping up those juicy rounds. Bruschetta seems more like a mid-to-late summer appetizer to serve on our table, but I didn't mind. The vine-on tomatoes were wonderfully ripe, and I was so excited to use our multi-grain baguette (ve

Cafe Rio Inspired Slow Cooked Sweet Shredded Pork and Cilantro-Lime Rice

Ever feel like you have to get your "fix" of something? Usually this refers to a devilishly sweet treat or something wonderfully salty. I think it's possible to need your "fix" for something healthy. For me, though, when the weekend rolls around, I crave nothing else but that sweet and juice pork barbacoa from Cafe Rio.    It's divine. And could probably fill you up for a couple days in one sitting.  It calls to me, and I'd willingly go towards that call every weekend if I could, but the sound of our bank account screams louder with reason. So I do what I've done in many times past: I make the dang thing in my own kitchen.  The beauty of Pinterest, and the food blogging community, is that there are already a bunch of copycat recipe out there to chose from - especially with Cafe Rio-inspired dishes. So all it took during "grocery-list-making-day" (Thursday of each week) was a quick search - and immediately I was staring at a t

Maple Bacon Biscuits & Some Food for Thought

Today I want to do something a little different. Yes, these maple bacon biscuits are ridiculously delicious, perfectly classified under "heavenly comfort food" and I could probably go on for a few more paragraphs about how I made them, what I changed, how we served them, etc. But I feel like I've come across such a gem in the book I'm reading... and I want to share it with you (albeit long). I think food and friendship go hand in hand. Food can be such a warm comfort in troubling times, and can bring people together - even save a life in need, if the occasion calls for it. Below is a beautiful story in which food (such as these lovely biscuits) and friendship played such a key role in helping another. " My mother loves people by feeding them. She stuffs them with good food - meat, usually, with potatoes and dark gravy. The kind of gravy that has become a lost art, perhaps because we spend less time cooking, less time learning our cuts of meat, less time pu


  As stated in my previous post (on Valentine's Day ), for lover's day, I was going to be staying in and making dinner together with Ryan. Well, it turned out dinner was a little more tricky to throw together... and dessert was even more ridiculous... You see, in the middle of dinner prep, I received a call from our landlord saying there was a geyser outside on our lawn, and that they'd have to shut off our water for the night to fix the broken pipe.  Yikes.  I immediately filled up our two 2 gallon pitchers with water, and grabbed a couple half gallons from our emergency water stash in the basement. I was grateful I already had the water for boiling the potatoes, but doing dishes without a steady stream of hot water coming from the faucet is NUTS. Ever tried to wash your mountain of dirty dishes with a pitcher of cold water? It takes skills - and skills I don't have. (Plus, almost all my pans/pots were dirty from dinner/lunch that day... so heating up th

Creamy Potato and Asparagus Soup with Honey Bacon Crumble

Happy Valentines Day! I know many bloggers are sharing beautifully sweet desserts for today, but I thought we'd keep things 100% savory over here. Ever since we invited the Manchild to our crew, we've had to make a few adjustments to Valentine's Day. You see, taking the kid out to dinner isn't usually a problem, but it's hard to be all lovey-dovey when you have to change a diaper explosion between mushroom-stuffed ravioli. We'd feel bad making someone watch our son on the lover's holiday, as well. So we decided that on Valentine's Day, we stay in. I love it. No busy crowds, no having to see anyone or anything. It's just me and my man at home with a beautiful candlelit dinner (after the Manchild goes to sleep, that is). I try to make something special for dinner - and this year Ryan requested we have Tomato Glazed Meatloaves with Brown Butter Mashed Potatoes , and for dessert I might sneak in a couple pizookies. This doesn't mean we don'

Almond Cream Cheese Frosted Rosette Cake

A could weeks ago, I was asked by a dear friend at my church if I could team-teach a cake & cupcake activity night. I happily agreed, but when I hung up the phone afterwards, my stomach immediately started practicing its sailor knots. But then I thought it'd be a fun opportunity to share what little I know (I'm serious! I'm still learning so much!) about cake decorating. Plus, it gave me a fun excuse to teach myself the "rosette" cake decorating technique I've seen all over Pinterest. I ended up adding a few little yellow pears to dress it up a bit - I think it turned out lovely!  If you're looking for my Almond-Infused Cream Cheese Recipe, aka my favorite recipe on the entire planet , it's here.   I ended up making this almond cream cheese frosted carrot cake, a 4 layer-pink ombre cake frosted with white chocolate raspberry frosting (to come, my darlings), a red velvet cake frosted with almond cream cheese frosting, and a zebra-stri

Baked Southwestern Pork Taquitos

Dang taquitos. We devoured these, but much too quickly after I had taken a photo of them. You see, I had this beautiful shoot set up, and snapped some photos that I just couldn't wait to put up on the blog last week. Then, the unthinkable happened... My camera ATE the photos. In one gulp. I died. I was more than a little cranky about it. Here I was with a sure-fire recipe, but also with no pictures to show. So I opened up the fridge to take a look over the not-so-lovely-looking-leftover taquitos from the previous day. I was positive we had eaten all the "pretty-looking" ones... and I was right. So here's my second taquito-shoot of the week (UGH). I didn't care that they weren't as cripsy, or that I had basically thrown them right on a pile of cilantro ends. I wanted a picture, dang it! And after shooting them, I realized they tasted just as delicious as the previous day.  Originally, this recipe called for rotisserie chicken. Apparently, at my

Baked Sweet Potato Fries

  Friday is upon us.  The end of the week tends to bring all kinds of warm feelings loaded with tasty anticipation. It's a much needed break from work, for some. Fridays have always been such a release for me. When I was in high school, the weekend was what I lived for during those endless weeks of rehearsals, class, homework, and boys. (for reals.) Either Friday or Saturday consisted of wonderful friends, and some crazy memories. So I've always thought of weekends as the time to "get out and go out." After I got married, I had to reprogram that type of thinking. Going out to the latest movie or visiting a nice restaurant can sure add up quickly in the finance department. As newlyweds, we learned to save those types of dates for something special. As law school progressed a few years later, we stayed with the same type of practice. However, I grew pretty antsy, and felt like we still needed to have an official "date" with each other every weekend.

Raspberry Cheesecake Marbled Brownies

Originally a guest-post on Through the Eyes of the Mrs: Hello darlings!  This is Mandy from Baking with Blondie. I'm so happy to be posting for cute Beth again, and I can't wait to share this recipe with you today. It was a total success, and I already wish I had another batch cooling on my counter. What a crazy month this has been. I thought this month was going to be pretty low key, but it's turned out to be even more busy than I could have expected. But, with all the craziness, comes a great deal of gratitude. I love blogging so much, and trying new recipes on such a frequent basis has become such a fun part of my life. My family doesn't mind being my constant taste-testers, either :)  We had some company over this past Sunday, and I was so excited to try out a recipe from one of my favorite blogs of all time:  Bakers Royale . This recipe is a combination of two of my favorite desserts, coupled with the fresh flavors of raspberries. I could see the poss

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies

  The weather is heating up around here - and when I say heating up , I mean we're hitting the mid-20's in the early morning. To us, though, it feels like Spring is peeking it's beautiful face around the corner. Unfortunately, I know darn well the Winter season won't leave us alone until May. I think it snowed here once in July, so I'm not holding my breath. One can dream, right? This past week was absolutely insane. I remember looking at my schedule thinking: how on Earth am I going to get through this?! And not only surviving through the chaos, but making sure to pour my heart into each task. Then I remembered some wise counsel: Take it one day at a time. And if not one day at a time, one hour at a time, or minute at a time. I'm happy to report: I made it through unscathed. And these cookies were the perfect treat to celebrate at the close of such a hectic week. I may have had more than my fair share in just one sitting. A little bit of salt a

Chocolate Dipped Pears with Salted Almond Crunch

  This morning I'm on my way to sunny St. George to perform at music conference. It's actually my first time making the drive down there. Usually I'm just along for the ride! Luckily, it's only a few hours of driving, and I'll only be on the road during the morning time. We just had our concert on Wednesday, and we're performing the same concert tonight at the conference. I love food blogging, but I absolutely love being a part of a professional Wind Symphony. There's only a handful in the country, and I feel so blessed to be able to channel my passion for music towards something so much bigger that I could have ever imagined. It's a dream-come-true, really. We had some dear family watch the Manchild for us during my concert, so I wanted a simple, but delicious, way to say thank-you. Whenever we have someone watch our son at our home during the evening, we usually have dinner and dessert waiting for them to enjoy while they're here. Bu