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Sunday, May 31, 2015

Garlic Herb No-Knead Whole Wheat Bread

    I had my eye on a few Italian recipes I wanted to make.  So, I needed some nice crusty bread to go alongside.  It was a perfect time to finally make some tweaks to my favorite whole wheat no-knead bread and let it spread its wings a little bit.  I am sure by now most of you have heard about the no-knead method of making bread.  It takes a realllllllllllly long first rise, a quick foof, another shorter rise and as a grand finale a plop into a screaming hot dutch oven to bake.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Great-Aunt Ellen's Parmesan Salad Dressing

A salad is not complete until it's topped with my Aunt Ellen's Parmesan salad dressing. It is the perfect mix of flavors and is sure to make your next salad delicious! 

   As a kid, we used to make an annual trip to visit my mom's Aunt Ellen and Uncle Richard in Ohio.  We always had so much fun.  They had a pinball machine, jukebox and a softball pitching machine... what more could you want?! The boys would go to a Reds game and us girls would choreograph dance routines or work up little skits.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Banana Oat Muffins

Whether you are looking for a grab and go breakfast or something for a leisurely weekend brunch, these banana oat muffins are perfect! 

    With Nana's wedding last weekend, we had some extra bodies in and out of the house.  I wanted to have a quick grab and go breakfast available to anyone who was hungry, but I didn't have a ton of time to put things together.  So as I was getting ready for the luncheon, I threw a batch of these in the oven.  They are healthy enough you don't have to feel bad about eating one, but still taste really good!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Creamed Spinach Macaroni and Cheese

This fun side dish is part creamed spinach and part macaroni and cheese.  It is a fun way to get them to eat their greens!

   I have been thinking about making this for quite some time.  I loved the idea of mixing creamed spinach and creamy macaroni and cheese.  So, when Matt said he wanted to grill some steaks I decided this was the perfect opportunity to give it a try.  I mean if steak houses are famous for serving creamed spinach with their prime rib, wouldn't this be a great down home spin on that idea?  Yes!  Yes, it is!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Classic Buttercream

Fluffy, sweet and perfect for piping, this classic buttercream is right at home on cupcakes, cake, cookies or sandwiched between two graham crackers!

    There are few things simpler than buttercream.  It makes you wonder why you ever bought one of those tubs of frosting.  This buttercream is made from only 4 ingredients, most of which you probably have anyway.  It is light and fluffy and oh so good!  Plus it is really adaptable.  You can change the extract to match your mood.  Make it a little thinner for spreading or thicker for piping.  Or you can just dip in a graham cracker and call it a day!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Extra Flaky Pie Crust - A Guest Post By MiMi

    A little confession.  I might have a slight addiction to collecting cookbooks.  When trying to decide on a recipe this can be a disadvantage.  So many to choose from.  Several years ago, I was on a misison to find a pie crust that would be as good as the one that my grandma McCallum made.  I wish she were here to spend the day with me showing me how she made hers.  Since that is not possible, and nobody has her recipes, I had to start out at square one.

    I was never able to find one that tasted like hers.  She was a firm believer in using lard.  Hers was the kind of lard that you would have to go to a butcher to get, not the kind available at a regular grocery store.  Even though I made some pie crusts that tasted good, I was always just a bit disappointed so I gave up and started buying the refrigerated pie crusts at the grocery store.  That ends today with this recipe.  Yes, it's that good.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Deviled Egg Macaroni Salad - A Guest Post by MiMi

     There was a recipe for deviled egg macaroni salad in a magazine I was reading.  My family really likes the deviled eggs that I make so I decided to create my own deviled egg macaroni salad that would highlight the flavors that they all love.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Royal Icing and an Easy Way to Decorate Cookies With it

Royal icing is perfect for detailed decorations and fun cookies. It is simple to make and versatile. I am also sharing my favorite shortcut method for using it to decorate cookies quickly!

    Royal icing is great for making all sorts of different designs on cookies. It can be intimidating though, so let me show you a quick and easy way to decorate cookies with royal icing. This method lets you be creative without too much fuss and very little equipment.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Jax's Birthday Party

     It is hard to believe our little guy is two already!  We had so much fun planning a party for him.  Rather than having a big party like we did for his first birthday, we kept it a small family party.  He is going through a shy phase, and we wanted him to enjoy his own party!

    Last year, he wasn't sure what to do with the candle.  This year, he loves to blow out candles.  He tries to blow them out even when they aren't lit!  We had sort of an old fashioned theme going, though I didn't go out of my way to make it obvious.  A vintage milkshake maker, some old fashioned cake recipes and cookies in the shape of "Jax" were some of the hits.  The little guy loved all of it!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

White Chocolate Buttercream

This White Chocolate Buttercream Frosting recipe is one of my all time favorites and I LOVE frosting, so I don't say that lightly.  It is so creamy, fluffy and fun and the white chocolate flavor really carries through!

   This frosting is sooooooooooo good.  No really, it is.  You would think adding chocolate to the buttercream would weigh it down and make it heavy, but it doesn't!  It is so light and fluffy and has a perfect white chocolate flavor.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Chocolate Pie Crust - a Guest Post by MiMi

   When looking for the perfect pie crust recipe in the "Back In The Day Bakery, Made With Love" cookbook, I turned to the next page.  Flaky Chocolate Crust was staring me in the face.  Are you kidding me?  Chocolate pie crust is something we must try.  If Cheryl and Griffith Day think it's good then who am I to judge until I try it?  Lynn's grandma's oatmeal pie calls for two pie crusts, so why not make one chocolate?  I am so glad I tried it.  It's a keeper.

    Note: if you like chocolate you may be tempted to eat the dough.  Popping a piece of gum in your mouth while preparing this pie crust is strongly encouraged.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Donna's Chocolate Cheesecake (with a heartfelt twist!)

    For those of you who didn't read the original cheesecake post, my aunt Donna is famous for her cheesecakes.  They are sooo good!  I recently bought a heart shaped springform pan, so I was looking for a good excuse to use it.  What better excuse could there be than the Mother's Day dessert buffet?  It seemed like Donna's chocolate cheesecake was in order!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Great-Grandma's Oatmeal Step On Cookies

These cookies take a little time to make, but it is mostly hands off.  The results are a smooth cookie with a nice chew unlike any other oatmeal raisin cookie you've had!

    I thought for Mother's Day it would be fun to post one of my Great-Grandma's recipes.  More of her story can be found on the post I wrote about her frozen fruit salad.  She had a very interesting childhood living with her mom and grandparents after her dad passed away.

     It sounds like her grandparents were quite the business people and were in to a little bit of everything!  Since she had a stroke when I was very young, I don't remember her cooking.  But her recipes still live on.  This is one that I have heard of her making frequently.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Churro Ice Cream - A Guest Post by MiMi

       I developed this recipe for a Cinco de Mayo dessert.  I recently made a fried ice cream dessert so I wanted to make something churro related for this occasion.  I found the churro mix idea on Pinterest.  I decided to mix it into my favorite ice cream recipe.  I changed my vanilla ice cream recipe to make it work a little nicer with the churro mix.  Jax likes to stir toppings into his ice cream so I put out a couple of toppings I had on hand.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Curried Chicken Stew

   This is one of my new favorite comfort food dishes.  It may not be what you think of when you think comfort food, but I think it is like a nice warm hug.  I hadn't been feeling the best the past few days.  So, this was was a nice way to make an easy and healthy dish that really hit the spot.  It isn't the prettiest dish, but you are going to love the flavor!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Maw-Maw's Hamburger Surprise

These Hamburger Surprises have been enjoyed by at least 5 generations of our family.  They are so delicious! Make them for your next BBQ for a special treat!

   When I was growing up, we called Monday evenings "kids night."  My siblings and I got to pick the dinner.  When the weather was nice we also played yard games as a family.  Hamburger Surprises were the most requested dinner for those fun kids nights.  They definitely were a family favorite.  I enjoy making them for my "kids" and grandson too.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Grilled Fruit and Doughnut Shortcakes

   Just look at that!  I was the dessert committee for family dinner this week.  I knew K.C. was excited to make a bacon explosion, so I thought I would do something on the grill too.  This was yummy and really quick.  I made the brown sugar cinnamon cream cheese frosting the day ahead and loaded the piping bag.  Then all I had to do was slice some fruit and pick up some doughnuts.  A few minutes at the grill, and dessert was served!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Heavenly Brown Sugar Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

    As far as I know, this recipe is an original.  And totally AMAZING, if I do say so myself.  It takes my love for boiled frosting one step further.  I made it for a grilled dessert you are going to go nuts for.  Don't worry, you'll hear more about that tomorrow.  For right now, lets focus on the frosting.  You know you want to!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Bacon Explosion - Cooking With KC

   My brother K.C. decided to host family dinner this week.  And boy did he do a good job!!  You may remember the last family dinner he hosted.  We filled ourselves on a crab feast of epic proportions!  He really spoiled us that go around.  This time he knew he had a winner on his hands too.  He made a bacon explosion, which gets rave reviews every time he makes it for us.  We have had it a few ways, but this is his favorite way to make it and we all agree!  This gets to the heart of the matter, bacon on pork on bacon.  How could it not be fabulous?!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Slow Cooker Honey Sriracha Chicken for Tacos

    These tacos are crazy good!  I have been seeing some recipes for honey sriracha chicken lately and they all looked lovely.  The spicy sweet sauce soaking into a bed of rice seemed like something we could really go for.  But, we have been having a lot of rice lately.  So, I decided to do something a bit different.  Instead of making the chicken on the stove, I went for the slow cooker and instead of rice I went with tortillas.  Best. Plan. Ever!