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Showing posts from January, 2015

Soft Red Velvet Sugar Cookies with Almond Cream Cheese Frosting

Happy Friday, dear friends & fellow baking-lovers! Today I have something to share that I'm sure will need to make an appearance in your kitchens this coming Valentine's Day (in only two short weeks, can you believe it?). I took one rainy afternoon and baked/frosted/sprinkled these lovelies with my three-year old. It went much better than I originally had planned out, and he still talks about when we frosted the "red cookies with aaaallllll the girl sprinkles." 
I can't blame him! They were incredibly soft. I mean, melt in your mouth softness. They reminded me of those perfectly round & soft lofthouse cookies my Mom used to bring back from the grocery store. We'd inhale those things. They were perfect. Red velvet is always perfect, I think. It's just the best. And this time, I'm not using a cake mix to inject the recipe with that red flavor. We're going hard core made-from-scratch on y'all. I promise you'll love every second.

Pasta Caesar Salad

Friday nights at our house have, and most likely always will be, pizza nights. It started with buying one of those Little Caesar's $5 pizzas, then it migrated to picking up a frozen pizza at the supermarket with groceries, then to a fresh take-home-and-bake pizza at the supermarket, and now we're on the "Papa Murphy's $5 Fave" stage. We don't usually use Friday nights as our date-nights, unless we have something extra special planned (we sneak those in during the week, or on Saturday), so Friday is reserved for just us. Just the three (and an half) of us. It's kind of fun to just relax together as a family, spread out the giant blanket in front of a movie, and have a little picnic of that easy pop-in-the-oven pizza. 
I usually have a side of fruit or something like that with it, so we're not just eating pizza-pizza-pizza. But I noticed that we polish off that medium pizza pretty fast... for so few of us. Last December I started making a salad to go a…

Breaded Pork Chops

I've heard it said that pork chops can end up being the driest slice of meat people have served in their kitchen. Heck, I remember eating a few dry pieces here and there in my childhood (Sorry Mom! I LOVE you, woman). This never really made sense to me - even my husband said that he's used to eating dry pork chops (gasp!). Thanks, love. I must have been on the cooking-the-pork-to-its-second-death train, too. Yikes. 
But let me tell you this - breading the pork chop the exact way I bread my always-requested breaded chicken, has been a revelation. It was 100% juicy, and my husband didn't even know I had just served him the pork-chops he apparently would politely chew his way through. He thought it was chicken with a little bacon-esque aftertaste! It was awesome, and he begged me to make sure I "share this one on the blog." He just kept shaking his head in disbelief that I could get a pork chop so juicy. Well, friends, I'm telling you how.

Strawberry Chocolate Cookies

One of the most classic combos for Valentine's Day, for me, is a large & juicy chocolate-dipped-strawberry. It's something I always crave around this lovely season of romance, and think they just look so decadent when they're dipped and drizzled to perfection on a white platter. Oh who am I kidding? I like them YEAR ROUND. Period. 
Unfortunately, strawberries aren't always in season, nor do they always taste like they're in season, either. Thankfully, berry season is right around the corner in Springtime/Summer, and we'll all be snacking on them for cheap here in Utah very soon. Until then, I'm using a quick-and-easy trick to still get those lovely flavors together on the cheap (and tasty) in a cookie - just in time for Valentine's Day! (Too early? Eh, c'est la vie in blogging world, friends. Just pin it for later. It's definitely a keeper. haha) 

Easy Slow Cooker Chicken Fajitas

You guys. Check out the juice on these babies. The flavor you see right here would knock y'all to the floor, I'm just sayin'. Making these fajitas was the easiest thing I could have done for my little family at dinnertime on such a busy day. The meal was effortless, the chicken fell apart beautifully in our fajitas, the peppers were cooked to perfection, the flavor was AMAZING, our tummies were filled with something we could all enjoy, and I had zero stress added to my life when the classic question of "what's for dinner?" came up in my home. Kind of sounds like a recipe you want to throw on that grocery list of yours next week. Am I right? :)

Cucumber Tea Sandwiches

If any of you fine folks are following me onInstagram, I shared a while back that for Christmas, my husband gifted me a beautiful white teapot. Inside the teapot was an invitation to Afternoon Tea at The Grand America Hotel in downtown Salt Lake City (about 20 minutes from our home). We got all dressed up, and spent the afternoon sipping non-caffeinated herbal tea, luxury hot chocolates, nibbling on the most wonderful tea sandwiches, fresh fruit, and jams with biscuits, and had an entire selection at our fingertips of desserts (tarts, macaroons, french gum drops, and chocolate mousse bowls). We talked about our goals for the new year for our little family, and about our goals we've set as individuals. It was seriously such a lovely afternoon, and we enjoyed it so much we want to make it a yearly tradition on New Year's Eve. 
One thing I remembered the most, and wished I could have had at least ten more bites of, were the cucumber sandwiches. They were so light, moist, decaden…

Coconut Raspberry Smoothie

We're still knee-deep in smoothie-ville here in the Blondie household. I'm still sticking to my 1-green-smoothie-a-day plan (almost 2 years strong!) and it has been a HUGE jump start to my day (or even a late-afternoon boost!) I love my green smoothies, and probably always will find a way to have one each day forever. However, sometimes I feel like I need something else (instead of that heaping pile of ice cream at night) to satisfy my craving for a creamy milkshake or something sweet and cold. That's when this recipe came to life in my kitchen! This coconut raspberry smoothie is perfect to satisfy that craving, and guess what? It's a healthy guilt-free smoothie, so drink up darlings!

7-Layer Dip Tortilla Pinwheels

The classic 7-layer dip. The quintessential game-time food. Well, with the NBA & college basketball games in full swing (too early to mention March Madness?), there are limitless needs for food to munch on while your favorite teams face off on your screen. Tortilla wraps, or "pinwheels" are my favorite way to get a lot of flavors all into one simple bite. These look huge, but they're actually the size of a 1/4" measuring cup. Super teeny, perfect for that perfect all-in-one bite. Except this time, we're switching up the traditional 7-layer dip delivery, and wrapping it all up in a pretty new green package. It's a completely different way to to serve up those bold flavors, and I couldn't have been happier with how ridiculously amazing these little beauties turned out.

Ramen Noodle Oriental Chicken Salad

Okay, so there was this one time (alright, many times) when my Mom would have the missionaries over for dinner. It was always a big deal, and she'd set the table hours and hours before they even arrived. She'd set up everything perfectly, and was always the perfect hostess, and made really yummy food for them to eat. 
As a little girl, I wasn't always the most gracious eater, and I can remember a couple times when she made what I called "Top Ramen Salad" for them to eat. I hated the salad. I thought it stunk, was soaked in a nasty dressing that smelled like vinegar to high heaven, and I just couldn't believe she would even think of serving it to the missionaries. They were always super nice, and polished their plate. So polite of them, I thought. I was kind of a little brat, aight? Heck, I'm surprised my Mom didn't smack me up the side of the head more often. Anyways, it wasn't until recently when I discovered just why she was so in love with thi…

Beef Taco Lettuce Wraps

Guys, I totally know what you're thinking. What the heck is she posting a freaking taco recipe for? I get it. Tacos are easy. But dang it, they're a staple in our house. Recently, though, we decided to skip the tortilla, and throw that taco goodness in a wrap.

Tortellini Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken Noodle Soup. The pinnacle of comfort soups, in my opinion. I've made nearly hundreds of batches of chicken noodle soup from scratch since we were married 7 1/2 years ago. But I've discovered recently just how to take the simple classic to an entirely new mouthwatering level. It's kind of annoying how good it was, because I always thought I had a pretty steady recipe to depend on when it came to the beloved Chicken Noodle Soup. 
Nope. There was just one ingredient missing. And that one ingredient pretty much made me obsessed with making the next hundred batches differently. 

Lightened Up Blueberry Muffin Smoothie

I can't believe we're already at a new year! I feel like we were just barely making our 2014's family goals, and now here we are already reviewing them. Time flies by so quickly. As an adult, I didn't really feel like time moved as fast until we had our son. Now I see him grow from a sweet little newborn to a crazy little boy in the bat of an eye. It scares me to death, but I love this time in our lives so much, it's just a total blessing and pleasure to witness it all happening around me. 
With all the new years resolutions flying through people's lives at this time of year, a common one might be selected from the following phrases: "be healthier" "eat healthier" "be more active" "eat better" "eat less crap" "eat more green things" "eat less sugar" "lose x amount of pounds" "be a better, healthier, me"... etc, etc, etc. All fine goals, and to kick start any of them, toda…