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Showing posts from May, 2013

Toasted Coconut Vanilla Limeade

For those who aren't Baking with Blondie fans on Facebook yet - well, last night I revealed that on MONDAY we're giving away a prize worth around $4,800. This giveaway is unlike any other - and will potentially change the way you see life every single day after winning it. 
Mark those calendars, it's gonna be big. You know I don't sugar-coat things like this. Get ready for it - I've never seen a giveaway anything like this before. 

So this beautiful glass of limeade is one of 4 I'll be showing on Studio 5 today. It was a ton of work to throw them all together and have everything ready, but I hope things go well today and make it completely worth it. My nervousness is already taking over - so much to remember! 5 different recipes to nail down... versus the usual 1. I have to leave in 2 hours and I still have no idea what to wear! enjoy it, is still my mantra this week (as discussed on Tuesday).

Anyways, out of all the lemonades/limeades you'll see on the sh…

Homemade Wendy's Frosty

This week might just destroy me. 
Have you ever committed to a ton of things in advance, and then realize all at once that every one of those things are all in the same week?
I was complaining about all of this on the way to Ryan's parents house this weekend, and he said something that kind of caught me off guard:
He said: why don't you just enjoy it?
Enjoy it? I can't even keep my sanity in check and I'm supposed to enjoy it?
Then I really thought about it. All these things I have committed to this week are actually things I like doing. Even if they're all piled up in the same week, they're all things I really look forward to. 
So I think I'm going to take it one day at a time, and enjoy my week of crazy. 
- - -
Oh yes, this recipe. 
Speaking of things I've enjoyed - 100% win right here. 
It's three ingredients, for crying-out-loud, but tastes just like the real thing.
The Frosty is a must when ordering anything from Wendy's. Even if you order…

Summer Squash Saute with Roasted Almonds

You see what I did there?

If not, look here for a second.

Yep.

This dish so good that we made it again a couple days later - but with squash instead of zucchini. I was actually depressed after we finished the zucchini, because I wanted more! Using squash was such a delicious move - I could eat this stuff all day. It has such a beautiful garlic taste, but has just enough spice with the red pepper flakes. The roasted undertones and texture contrast of the almonds are just icing on the cake.

Also, if you have some sort of device that will perform the julienning (is that even a word?) for you, use it. Or once again you will be trying a recipe of mine, and curse my name because you'll be slicing for a solid 15 minutes. I know I was. Or maybe it was because I was wrestling a toddler again at this point.

Totally worth it, as always.

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Summer Squash Saute with Roasted Almonds
makes enough side-dish portions for 4 people. 

Ingredients:
2 lbs squash (or about 4 small squash), julienne

Summer Zucchini Saute with Roasted Almonds

It was one of those sign-straight-from-the-heavens moments. 
This week we went easy on the groceries, and I had absolutely no new recipes planned. I did, however grab a few squash and zucchini to serve along side our gourmet (cough, cough) macaroni & cheese, grilled cheese, and canned soup meals this week. Don't ask, it's just one of those weeks. 
I had no intention of doing anything more than maybe chopping up the veggies and steaming them alongside dinner.  
Then something truly inspiring happened. 
That very afternoon, my Bon Appetit magazine (gifted subscription from Ryan's Aunt Sharon - you rock, woman) came in the mail. 
This recipe was only a few pages in, and I couldn't believe it. 
Thankfully, I had some leftover almonds in my spice cabinet, or else I might have shied away from it. 
And what a shame that would have been - This recipe practically made itself, and tastes ridiculously delicious. I mean, even Ryan the zucchini/squash-hater ate it - and LOVED …

Cherry Limeade Shortbread Cookies

It was one of those ultimate panic moments.

The dessert gods were not going to let me find what I was looking for, and my husband thought I was completely nuts.

Maraschino cherries can be tricky little shiesters - especially when you're trying to find ones with long stems (or stems at all). And of course - the BBQ I was taking these to was only a couple short hours away.

I had driven to 3 different grocery stores, and couldn't find stemmed maraschinos  Also, it didn't help that each store had a completely different idea of what grocery isle the cherries should be shelved on (some were in the freezer section next to the ice cream, some where in the fruit isle, and some where shelved with the condiments.) It was frustrating.

I eventually gave in, and bought cherries without stems. I think the cookies still turned out lovely, but the stem would have added some beautiful height.

Ryan assured me it wasn't the end of the world. And maybe he was right. Just maybe.

Making coo…

Berry Bruschetta

I asked on Facebook yesterday whether you'd like to see berries or cookies on the blog today. And with a resounding YES for the berries, I bring you a beautiful berry dish - straight from Spring's back door. 
Berry Bruschetta
I mean, can you believe all that bright color? Nature has such a gorgeous way of naturally bringing the deepest blues, and brightest reds to our plates. Berries are in full-season right now, and are really cheap in our area right now at the supermarket (in our area). 

I can't wait to make a fresh batch of berry ice cream, or maybe a decadent berry tart with those blueberries. The sky is the limit with these beauties, and not just for the looks - their tastes are equally as seductive. 

This recipe was a second take - the first time the yogurt-cream cheese mixture was a little too bland. So we switched it up, changed a couple ingredients around (okay, we basically added a lot more sugar), and it tasted incredible the second time around. 
We loaded them u…

Cupcake Bouquet

You know what I realized? This past weekend (well, Friday through Saturday) was the very first time I've been home alone since I had our son.

As in home alone without either the husband or child in the house.

It was really weird, and I thought I'd get more sleep, but the sleep really didn't come until the wee hours on the morning. You'd think I'd conk out at 9pm and wake up well into the morning, but my body's sleeping schedule has been in Mom-mode for 2 straight years. There's no way it was going to break the streak.

Thankfully, my beautiful sister rescued the evening with some Mexican food (guacamole is truly the way to my heart), a craft for her baby's nursery, and some Nintendo with my little brother and his wife. I have the best siblings anyone could ever ask for.

Also, this past week, a clever friend of mine posted this idea on my Facebook page - and I immediately thought:

challenge accepted.


And what a fun way to celebrate Mother's Day, eh?  …

Turkey Meatball Orecchiette

Tonight Ryan is taking our son on his very first camping trip with some other father-son types in the neighborhood.

Tonight.

He's 100% confident.

I'm 100% scared to death.

Whenever I hear the words toddler and camping overnight in the same sentence, I can't help but panic. I just think of rushing water, poison ivy/oak, pointed hot dog roasters, sharp rocks, empty/lit fire pits, mosquito/spider bites, midnight waking/crying, the inevitable need for a first aid kit, and...well...

...the fact that my toddler has never slept in a tent/outside overnight before.

Although I have confidence in Ryan's abilities, I seriously with I had video of every second - or some kind of a live feed.

Any must-have advice for the first-time camper, and his Daddio? or even for the paranoid Mama?

- -

Now to the food: ever tried orecchiette pasta before? They are simply darling. Instead of twirling back into themselves like pasta shells, the orecchiette pasta actually cups the sauce, broccolini…

Southwestern Chopped Salad inside Homemade Tortilla Bowls

A couple weeks ago, I made these little lovelies on Studio 5. The producer wanted basically a lovechild between my homemade tortilla bowls, and my southwestern chicken chopped salad. I think they turned out just lovely together! 
Instead of going with the usual flour tortilla, I chose to make things even more colorful by using the garden spinach tortillas (which my son devours - that counts as a vegetable, right?), whole grain tortillas, and tomato basil tortillas. 
Everyone in the studio that day was so welcoming and friendly (as usual), and I loved how 4-5 people (including Brooke) whipped out their phones to share the dish immediately with Instagram. 
For the complete video of the segment, click here. 




Spinach Pesto Pizza with Mixed Greens

Although we make our fair share of kid food at our house, we also can't stay away from making our own grown-up version. Pizza, for example, frequents our plates on a weekly basis. 
This time, we shunned the pepperoni, and ignored that marinara sauce... 
...using something a little more inventive, but much more grown-up for dinnertime. 
Check out myGuest Post over at Love Stitched for the recipe, and my explanation of this "salad + pizza" savory dish.

Peanut Butter Marshmallow Sandwich Cookies

This past weekend was jam-packed.

But one of my favorite parts was when Ryan and I went apartment hunting together Sunday afternoon/evening. We've had our eye on a couple places around Salt Lake City, and wanted to do a drive-by, if you will, to see the surrounding neighborhoods and feel the vibe.

(I almost threw up in my mouth typing that.) Feeling the vibe? Mondays are so weird.

Anyway, back to the hunting: I'm pretty sure a requirement for the newer apartments must be to use every dang color in the crazy blinding-color-spectrum on the outside of the buildings. There are some pretty bright yellows, oranges, and greens all over the place - lined up like a freaking rainbow. It's insane.

Also, the newer apartments don't even seem like apartments at all - they're more like some place you'd stay during a vacation.

In fact, I think some of them labeled themselves as such: apartment resorts.

Why? There's a spa, large pool area, giant park for the kids, tannin…

Mexican Rice from Scratch

Okay, fine. 
I have no idea how authentic the actual "making the Mexican rice" process was. 
However, the taste is spot on.
WAY spot on. 
As in, let's-drive-to-one-of-those-delicious-hole-in-the-wall joints-with-a-90-year-old-woman-from-Mexico-running-the-kitchen, spot on. It's just incredible. And those places are usually the best ones.
I've always loved Mexican rice, and whenever we go to one of my favorite restaurants, The Red Iguanaat downtown Salt Lake City, I can't help but devour the pile of fluffy & light Mexican rice first. 
Okay, I lied. I'd probably eat it after their guacamole. I could probably consume more guacamole than the average human. Their guac is the best I've ever had, and somehow tastes even better every time. 
Back to the rice - I love to recreate restaurant dishes at home, but sometimes there is absolutely no time in the day to fit in something as time-consuming as this rice. Then again, what am I comparing the time to? …

Honey-Lime Chicken Skewers

It's warming up outside - which means us Utahns put on our shorts and flip flops when it hits 50 degrees.

The increase in temperature also means we bust out the grill.

Unfortunately, when I tried said busting, it rained.

No matter - I put the marinade in the fridge, and committed to said grilling the next day.

THEN IT SNOWED.

I was seriously outside in my winter boots and jacket, hovering over our little grill in the middle of April, with snow stuck all over my hair. It was insanity.

But ohhh was it worth it.

This chicken was absolutely mouth-watering juicy. I think I used the words "meat starburst" after the first couple bites. The sweet from the honey, and the tang from the lime & soy sauce was bliss.

I didn't even care if it was a blizzard outside - inside the house, it felt like summer. And I couldn't wait to start grilling our dinners a couple times a week!! These will once again be at the top of the list. 

Stay tuned tomorrow to see what bed-of-heaven…