RSSFood With A Dash Of Fun
Each year on their birthday my children get to pick their favorite dinner - start to finish, as many courses as they want (though usually they only want dinner and dessert). It's a special family tradition and one I look forward to each year. My middle daughter's birthday is this week and here is her birthday dinner selection. Dessert will be a devil's food cake with cream cheese frosting.
Chicken Alfredo Pasta Bake
- 2-3 cooked & chopped chicken breasts OR pull apart a rotisserie chicken
- 1 box of penne pasta
- 2 jars of alfredo sauce
- 2 cups of shredded mozzerella cheese
- 1 tsp basil
- black pepper
It's getting to be the time of year when this mom has lost all interest in school day breakfasts, packing lunches and after school snacks. At the beginning of the school year I'm all creative with options. Then I tend to fall back on old favorites and then we get towards the last month of school and I am tired of all the food demands. This is when I am thankful for muffins. Particularly if I can find a muffin recipe that's on the healthy end of the spectrum. Serve it with some yogurt or fruit and it's breakfast or even lunch. Leave them on the counter and it will be an after school snack. I've shared our favorite Banana Muffin recipe before but I've got a new one for you today dug out from the recesses of my recipe box.
Applesauce Bran Muffins
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 cup bran cereal
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 cup applesauce
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1 egg
Last week while visiting D.C., we stayed with my aunt. She is also the official family history keeper for that side of the family and while there we got to look through the albums she has compiled. It was especially fun to follow my great-grandparents from Italy to this country. Seeing all that family history made me remember that I have some handwritten recipes from that side of the family tucked away in my recipe box. Last night while cooking dinner, I dug them out. This one popped out as something I'd like to make soon. I remember this dessert making an appearance at nearly every large family function... holiday parties, wedding showers, family reunions. It's nothing fancy (though it has a fancy name) but it is pretty yummy.
Courtesy of my great aunt.
In honor of this weekend’s holiday, here are some of our favorite St. Patrick's Day dinners plus an all new dessert!
Crock Pot Corned Beef (My favorite part of this one is the horseradish crust you do at the end, yum.) Coddle (Delicious, though never as good as the Irish Lion's, I'm still trying.) Beer Bread and Brown Soda Bread (A perfect accompaniment to stew any time of the year, but a nice addition to your St. Patrick's Day table for sure.)
This year St. Patrick's Day falls on a Sunday. That's going to give me a little extra time to cook. I'm thinking I might have to whip up these for dessert. They really have nothing to do with St. Patrick's Day other than adding a dash of green to the table but that seems like a darn good excuse to make them. I'll rename them for this weekend:
Typically when I make enchiladas I use shredded chicken or ground beef. Last week, however, I wanted to do something with shredded beef so I did a little experimenting and a little adapting, busted out the crock pot and came up with this recipe. It was a big hit (and the extra filling made some darn fine nachos the next day).
Shredded Beef Enchiladas
- 3-4 lb roast
- 2 jars of salsa
- 1 can of corn
- 8 tortillas
- 1 bag of shredded cheese
Today is Valentine's Day. Yes, I tend to agree with many of you that it's a made-up holiday with an inordinate amount of associated pressure. I also think it's a good excuse to give the loved ones around you a little treat, a little smile, an acknowledgement that they mean something special.
Here's a little treat (literally) that you can bake up to surprise your kids (or significant other) tonight. Or this weekend... who says you have to give Valentine's treats *on* Valentine's Day anyway?
Valentine's Pixie Bites
I receive emails nearly every day from publishers that want me to share a recipe from their latest cookbook. I try some of them, rarely post any of them. But this week one of those emails caught my eye. It is from Cooking Light - one of my favorite recipe resources. And it sounds too delicious to turn away. I made some last week to surprise the kids. It makes a great after school snack or a perfect contribution to a Super Bowl party!
Peanut Butter Caramel Corn
Growing up, we were allowed to pick whatever we wanted for our birthday dinner. (A tradition I extend to my children today.) Every single year I picked the same thing: ravioli soup. These are nothing like the raviolis you're probably used to. They are small and instead of serving them in sauce, they are boiled in broth to make soup. It's delicious and made all the more special because we only had it once a year. Making raviolis is definitely a labor of love (made significantly easier with a KitchenAid ravioli maker attachment I might add).
This year I've scored big because my mother taught my daughter how to make them and they are making me ravioli soup for my birthday dinner. Another example of how wonderful traditions can be, carried on from one generation to the next, centered around the dinner table.
I have another Crock Pot option for you today. I love it because it's one of those recipes that is so easy to toss together in the morning and then forget about until your house starts smelling delicious at dinnertime. Enjoy!
Beef in Red Wine Sauce
Based on a recipe seen in Simple Slow Cooker Recipes
It's December and in December we like to host a casual gathering titled: Christmas Cocktails & Feast of Appetizers. It's one of my favorite events of the year. Instead of juggling the timing of entrees and side dishes and making sure I'm offering a perfectly balanced menu, I throw all caution to the wind and encourage people to eat with their fingers. I make a half dozen or so appetizers, none of which require utensils (unless toothpicks count as utensils) and a couple desserts. My guests pitch in with one or two more appetizers or desserts. The final result? A counter filled with delicious foods of all varieties; something for everyone; and a guarantee that you won't leave hungry.
I think this idea is similar to the notion behind small plates. When you host a Feast of Appetizers you get to try lots of different foods without feeling like someone needs to roll you out the door at the end. And, in my opinion, it's the very best way to host a holiday gathering. This is such a busy time of year and there's a lot less pressure involved in throwing together appetizers than full-fledged dinners.
I'll be making a batch of these roasted peanuts for our party. I think it will be perfect to have in bowls strategically placed around the room for people to snack on in between appetizer helpings.