Friday, December 21, 2012
I know, I know tomatoes, mozzarella, basil … all things that make me think of summer. But then again, aren’t these the holiday colours, too? Anyway, we eat this Italian treat all year round because it’s so yummy. And probably like anyone else with kids I can never ever have enough good pasta recipes. Lego here to share a super-easy and really yummy family favourite:
This is what you need … and what you get :-)
- 500 g (16 oz box) whole-wheat spaghetti
- 1 fistful of pine nuts
- appr. 30 small cherry tomatoes
- 1 package (250 g) of Halloumi cheese (Greek cheese for grilling)
- 20 dried tomatoes (when in olive oil: rinse a bit)
- 1 mozzarella cheese ball (rinse and try to get it at room temperature)
- fresh basil
- olive oil
- 12 slices of prosciutto crudo (or any kind of dry cured ham)
- First you’ve got to cut, cut, cut!
- Fry pine nuts without oil in a non-stick pan for about a minute. They should not get dark! Set aside.
- While the spaghetti is being cooked al dente in salted water (see package) fry Halloumi in a non-stick pan until it turns brown. (You wanna get that yummy crust ;-) Set aside.
- Put tomatoes in the very same pan and melt a bit. Add dried tomatoes. Heat and stir for a minute or two.
- When pasta has finished cooking and you have rinsed it, put it back in the pot. Add tomatoes and Halloumi. Cover the pot, set aside and let rest for about 5 minutes. (Believe me, it’s worth it. We found out because the second helping always tasted better ;-)… I guess because the pasta can absorb all the yummy tomato flavor!
- In the meantime place ham slices on a baking sheet lined with baking paper. Grill in the oven for about a minute or so. (Depends on your grill actually!) They should get a bit brown and crispy. The crispier, the better!
- Put on a plate and drizzle with some good olive oil.
- Sprinkle with pine nuts, mozzarella and basil. Place ham chips on top. Serve and enjoy! For a heartier version: drizzle with more olive oil ;-) or add more ham strips.
- Buon appetito!
Here comes the recipe card to download…CLICK HERE to download or click on the image below. I used one of the very handy Muffin Man recipe card templates!
Thanks for checking in with the blog today! Don’t miss tomorrow‘s entry when Emily shares her creativity with us in her inspiration post! Since I won’t have the opportunity to “blog” to you in the very soon future, let me wish you wonderful Christmas celebrations with your beloved ones and the bestest for the New Year!
Food Stuff, Free (not desktops), Uncategorized
Thursday, December 20, 2012
Hi everyone! Lindsay here to bring you one of my very favorite treats EVER! The Chocolate Chip Cheeseball! With the holidays FAST approaching, it’s always great to have a quick and easy go-to recipe either to take to gatherings or just have on hand for festive holiday snacking! This is that recipe for me! It’s super easy to make and everyone who has ever tried it LOVES it!
So here’s what you need to make this sweet & creamy treat!
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 cup mini chocolate chips ~ divided
1/2 cup chopped pecans
To make the cheeseball, first you mix your softened cream cheese and butter with the vanilla. I did not take a picture of this step, as I have not yet mastered the art of holding both my camera AND the mixer. So apparently professional food blogging is not in my future. Oh well! After you’ve got that mixed up and nice and fluffy-looking, mix in the sugars. The recipe says to “gradually” mix in the sugars, but when you have a four-year old helper, there’s no such thing. And really, I don’t think it matters! To finish it up, stir in 3/4 cup of the chocolate chips. Next, you need to chill the mixture so you can shape it into a ball later. I like to help this step along a little by wrapping the cheeseball in plastic wrap and forming it into a ball shape. I think that makes it WAY easier to make into a lovely-shaped cheeseball later! When chilling time is over, I just unwrap my pre-formed ball and stick it into my nut and chocolate chip coating mixture. But whatever cheeseball-making method you prefer is fine!
By the way, the coating mixture is the 3/4 cup of chopped pecans mixed with 1/4 cup of mini chocolate chips – just spoon it over the top and use your hands to lightly press the mixture onto the top and sides of the cheeeball!
And that’s all there is to it! We like to eat this with chocolate Teddy Grahams, but any chocolate graham cracker will do – it would probably be good with regular graham crackers too! (actually, it’s pretty good to just eat straight off a spoon!)
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family and I do! And as a little gift to you, here’s the printable recipe card! Click here to download OR just click the image below!
Happy Holidays, everyone!!! …and make sure you join lego tomorrow for another festive recipe!
Food Stuff, Free (not desktops), Uncategorized
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Casharina here today, to bring you a new, and healthy twist to the “smoothie!” So lately I’ve been working really hard to lose weight, and let me say it is SO hard!! I have been running walking fast/ jogging, on the treadmill and recently I’ve really been focusing on changing my diet. With that, I don’t want to “diet” because honestly, I love sweet food way too much to say no, and I do not have an ounce of willpower in my system to say no to the delicious good stuff. So in an attempt to loose, I’ve been changing small things that don’t make a ton of difference, but will help lessen the calories I take in. Since it’s almost the first of the year and people are thinking about making their resolutions I figured I’d add a new healthy snack/meal that I have tried and really love! Let me warn you, the color of these little monsters is kind of disturbing, but if you can get passed that I bet you’ll love them!
Okay so let me explain…these little green monsters can be made just about any way you’d like to make one. I’m going to share a recipe that I developed to fit my taste buds, after finding various recipes and including only the ingredients I had and wanted to try. I’ve helped myself to these for the past week, and I don’t know if it’s pure coincidence or not but the dry skin on my arm seems to be clearing up!
For this tasty treat you need only a few ingredients!
- 2 cups of fresh greens (you can use any green: bok choy, spinach, baby spinach (has a milder flavor), kale, etc.
- 1 to 1.5 small banana(s)
- 6 oz. water
- 1 Tbsp. milled flax seed (optional)
- 1 cup mango
Directions: Add the flax seed and fresh greens to the blender. Then add in the water, banana and mango.
A few little tips:
I like to use frozen bananas (peel fresh bananas, cut them in halves, and place in a freezer bag) as they make the shake a little thicker and COLD.
I recently learned that bananas with brown spots are extra sweet so don’t toss them, freeze them up!
Can you believe this was the first time I ever had a mango? I had to search the internet to find out how to cut and eat a mango. Lol. So here goes my version:
stand up the mango, and slice on each side of the large seed in the middle, this is not like a normal seed, it’s a large thick piece in the middle of the mango, you’ll see what I mean when you try.
Next, you’ll slice it, leave it in skin and slice almost through it, slice it long ways and short ways, and then scoop out the pieces with a spoon. Now, you’re done!! That’s it!!
You may want to add more fruit, if it’s not sweet enough for you.
Add some ice cubes to make it even colder – the colder it is the better it tastes!
There are so many ways to enjoy a green smoothie. So far in addition to this recipe I’ve also used banana and peanut butter (this was my favorite!), and banana and strawberries…they’ve all been delicious!
That’s it for today, I hope you enjoy this recipe and if you choose to make one, or have a yummy recipe I’d love to hear about it!
Be sure to stop back tomorrow for another delicious treat…this time from Lindsay!
Food Stuff, Uncategorized
Friday, November 23, 2012
Happy Friday! Emily here to bring you my first ever Food Friday post! I fear many of you (from the US) may not even tolerate the thought of food after celebrating Thanksgiving yesterday!
Regardless of the turkey aftermath, we still need to eat and enjoy today!
I must make a confession: I have an obsession with all things pastry related. I seriously used to be on the donut-a-day-diet! I love-love-love cinnamon rolls (You are not helping Amber with your Cinnamon Roll post! LOL! ), caramel rolls, donuts, and the like. However, most of these yummies are pretty labor intensive to make (worth it–but labor intensive just the same!) I have TWO recipes that quench my craving for a pastry sweet that are quick and easy to whip up. I make these so so often I could probably put them together in my sleep with one hand tied behind my back! I have to make BOTH at the same time because half of my family prefers one and the other half prefers the other. They are so quick and easy that making both is really no big deal. Gracious! – I have rattled on enough. Let’s get to it! Read on to find out how to make our delicious Yummy Buns and Caramel Pull-Apart!
Both of these yummy breakfast treats use very similar ingredients…part of the reason they are so easy to create together!
1. Cut the tubes of biscuits in half which will yield 16 half biscuits x 3 tubes.
2. Spread the 1 cup of brown sugar evenly on the bottom of a 9×13 pan. Press it down with your fingers.
3. Place cut biscuits on top of brown sugar layer, tightly nestled together. The biscuit layer should completely cover the brown sugar layer.
4. Pour the heavy whipping cream evenly over the biscuit layer.
5. Allow the whipping cream to seap between the biscuits down onto the brown sugar layer.
Bake at 350F for about 17-20 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown on the top and the cream/brown sugar mixture is bubbly and gooey!
6. Allow pull apart to cool in the pan for about 5 minutes. Then (very carefully) place a cookie sheet on top of the pan and quickly FLIP the whole thing over (my hubby also does this part for me…he’s pretty much my hero!)—the pull apart should leave the 9×13 pan and land on the cookie sheet (7) in all its gooey glory! Enjoy!
3 tubes of buttermilk biscuits
1 cup sugar
1-2 TBSP cinnamon
1 stick of butter or margarine
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla (forgot this in the ingredient pic! apology!)
2 TBSP milk
1. Cut all the biscuits in half.
Place the sugar and cinnamon in a gallon sized baggie and mix thoroughly. Add more or less cinnamon to taste. (no pic for this one…make it your own!)
2. In a microwave safe bowl, combine butter, brown sugar, vanilla, and milk. Microwave in one minute increments, stirring in between, until melted together.
3. In a bundt pan or angel food cake pan, pour about half of this mixture on the bottom.
Place about 8-10 biscuits into the baggie with the cinnamon and sugar mixture. Shakety-shake until they are well coated with the mixture. (How I missed all the baggie-cinnamon-sugar-goodness pics, I have no idea!) Transfer the biscuits from the bag to the bundt pan. Repeat until all the biscuits are coated and placed in the bundt pan.
4. After all the biscuits are placed in the bundt pan, drizzle the remaining microwaved mixture on top.
5. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20-22 minutes or until the top biscuits are a deep golden brown. Remove from the oven.
6. Very carefully place an oversized plate on top of the golden biscuits in the pan, grip firmly (use potholders!…again this is where I call in the hubby reinforcements!) and FLIP! (REALLY hard to take a picture of this process! )
7/8. Again, gooey goodness abounds! Enjoy!
Check out the TWO downloadable recipe cards below! Long live pastry…and gooey goodness!
This blog post and recipe cards were made using one of my favorite kits, Clementine! I love the rich, fall colors and thought they went perfectly with these recipes that I tend to make more often during the fall and winter holiday seasons. The recipe cards were made from templates from the oh-so-adorable, Muffin Man Recipe Card templates!
Thank you so much for taking a peek at my first Food Friday post! Be sure to come back Monday to help us honor another Layout of the Week!
Have a wonderful weekend!
Food Stuff, Free (not desktops), Uncategorized
Friday, November 9, 2012
Hey there, it’s Amber here with my very first post on the blog! So excited to be here and share a family recipe for Food Friday! My husband has perfected this recipe and was so willing to share it and help me with this post. We have the PERFECT set-up – he made the rolls, and I took the pictures! LOVE it! LOL! I have to admit that cooking is not my favorite thing to do! But, I LOVE sharing the wonderful recipes we have come across, and I hope to be able to do it again, very soon!
So, let’s get started, shall we?!
Is your mouth watering yet? He he! I LOVE cinnamon rolls! Okay, so first, you need your ingredients. (Please don’t let the amount frighten you – it’s completely worth it! I PROMISE!) :0)
1 x 8 oz. package Cream Cheese, soft
1 Tblsp. Butter, softened
1/2 tsp Vanilla
1 1/2 cups Powdered Sugar
Pinch of Salt
2 tsp Whole Milk
Alright! Now, starting with the rolls… In your mixer, blend all your dry ingredients together – flour, sugar, yeast, salt. Then add the butter, cutting it into the flour mixture. Add your warm milk, and lightly beaten eggs. Mix together on 2nd speed for 8 minutes. Now, you place your dough, either in the bowl you mixed it in, or a ceramic bowl, (which will hold the heat in better). Place your bowl in a warm area and let the dough rise for 1 hour, or until it doubles in size. Oh, and at this time, preheat your oven to 400 degrees F, or 204 degrees C – can’t forget that! :0)
Okay, while your dough is rising, prepare your filling by mixing the dry ingredients together – the flour, cinnamon, and brown sugar. Make sure your butter is soft and spreadable – not melted! When your dough is ready, roll it out into a rectangle – on a lightly floured surface – making the dough about a 1/4 inch thick. Spread the butter edge to edge on your rolled out dough. Using a sieve – it makes it easier! – sprinkle the cinnamon mixture over the butter. (Oh, and if you have leftover cinnamon stuff, it’s GREAT on toast! :0) ) Now, starting at the widest edge, roll your dough! Isn’t this exciting?!
This next step is tricky for me to explain, so bear with me! We use a long piece of string or dental floss to cut the dough into 12 equal parts- making each roll about 1 1/2 inches wide, or tall – depending on which way you look at it. :0) Slide the string under the rolled dough, wrap the ends over the dough, opposite each other – twist the ends once. And, pulling the strings’ ends away from each other, “pinch” the dough until it cuts through all the way. Does that make sense? I sure hope so! :0) Now, place your rolls close together on a greased cookie sheet. Place them in a warm area, and let them rise for 30 minutes, or until double in size.
It’s time to bake! Place your cookie sheet in your preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown. While they are baking, add all your frosting ingredients into your mixer bowl and whip on HIGH speed for 2 minutes! Remove your rolls when they are ready, and let them cool for a few minutes. Spread your frosting generously over the tops of your yummy smelling treats. Pour yourself a LARGE glass of milk and savor every delicious bite! :0)
And, I made a 4×6 RECIPE CARD for you to download for free! To make it, I used SP’s super fun Baked With Love Recipe Card Template Set, the beautiful Gracie kit, and a couple other things from here and there! You may click here, or on the image below to start downloading! :0)
I hope you’ve enjoyed this as much as I have! Thank you for being here today, and we will see you back on Monday for LOTW! Have a wonderful weekend! :0)
Food Stuff, Free (not desktops), Uncategorized