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Monday
May262014

Garlic Potatoes with Garlic Sauce

Garlic potatoes and sauce

Happy Memorial Day, and Happy Secret Recipe Club Reveal Day! This month, I was assigned to K&K Test Kitchen, a collaboration between mother and daughter team Kim and Kelsey! What a great way to stay connected with each other, especially since Kim is in VA and Kelsey is in Ottawa! I truly enjoyed reading through their blog. There were so many delicious recipes. As per usual, it was difficult to pare down my choices to just one, but in the end these potatoes won. They were perfect as a side dish for our grilled burgers. Now that summer is here and grill season is in full swing, the next time you fire up the grill and need a side dish, look no further than these potatoes! 

For the Potatoes:
Small Red Potatoes
2-3 tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon Oregano
1/2 teaspoon Thyme
1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
Pinch of Salt and Pepper

Cut the potatoes into quarters and toss with the oil, garlic, and spices. Spread the potatoes out in a single layer on a baking dish and roast at 375 degrees for 30-40 minutes, or until brown and crispy.

For the Sauce:
1/2 cup Sour Cream
1 1/2 tablespoon Tahini
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
1 tablespoon Olive Oil

Put all ingredients into a food processor and blend on high until mixed. Pour sauce over the top of potatoes  and serve.  

SOURCE: K&K Test Kitchen

Sunday
May182014

Spring Vegetable Minestrone 

Spring minestrone

We’ve been spoiled. This past week it has been pretty warm. People at work were complaining about how hot it was! Then Friday came…it was back to being pretty darn cold. So cold that we turned our heat back on, and that is pretty much unheard of past April 1st in our house. After a week of no-cook salads for dinner, I decided to make soup to warm us up. Since every time I use my crock pot, the food is mediocre at best, I adapted a crock pot spring soup recipe and made it on the stove top instead. Great move on my part, if I do say so myself. The meal was done in under an hour, was incredibly delicious, and made more than enough to freeze half the batch for whenever Mother Nature tries to throw some colder weather our way!

1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Sweet Onion, diced
3 Garlic Cloves, minced
3 Carrots, peeled and sliced
1 (28 ounce) can Diced Tomatoes
2 (15 ounce) cans Cannellini Beans, drained and rinsed
4 cups Vegetable Broth
2 cups Water
8 ounces Ditalini Pasta, uncooked
1 bunch Asparagus Spears, stems removed and cut into thirds
1 cup Frozen Peas
6 ounces Baby Spinach
1/3 cup Grated Romano Cheese, plus more for topping
Salt and Pepper, to taste

In a large stock pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and carrot, and cook until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute. Add the tomatoes, beans, broth, and water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the asparagus, spinach, peas, and pasta and cook for 15 minutes, or until the pasta has cooked through. Stir in the grated cheese and add salt and pepper, to taste. Serve with additional cheese on top. 

SOURCE: slightly adapted from How Sweet It Is

Saturday
May172014

Strawberry Spinach Salad with Poppyseed Dressing

Strawberry Poppy Seed Salad

A few summers ago, I bought a strawberry plant with hopes of being able to pick baskets of berries all summer long. I was new to gardening and I bought it in the distressed plant section of the nursery, but I still had high hopes. Unfortunately, the strawberries never grew. I’m not sure if it was the plant, the soil, or me, but I never saw a single berry. This year, I decided to try it again. This time, I bought a healthy strawberry plant and plan to plant it in its own container with fresh, good soil. Hopefully I end up with lots of berries. When those berries come, I plan to make this salad all summer long. Simple and flavorful, with just the right amount of sweetness from the berries, saltiness from the feta, and crunch from the almonds. It is the perfect salad for any hot summer night!

For the Salad:
6 ounces Baby Spinach
1 cup Strawberries, sliced
2 Avocados, chopped
1/4 cup Sliced Almonds (I used chopped)
1/4 cup Feta Cheese

For the Dressing:
1/3 cup Mayonnaise
1/4 cup Milk
3 tablespoons Sugar
4 teaspoons Cider Vinegar
2 teaspoons Poppy Seeds

Combine the spinach, strawberries, avocados, almonds, and feta in a large salad bowl. In a small jar with a lid, combine the mayonnaise, milk, sugar, vinegar, and poppy seeds, and shake to combine. Pour about half of the dressing over the salad and toss to coat. Add more dressing, if desired. 

SOURCE: The Recipe Critic

Sunday
May042014

Buffalo Chicken Burgers with Spicy Celery Slaw

Buffalo Chicken Burgers

Summer is quickly approaching, which means I need to beef up my collection of burger recipes for causal cookouts. I’ve said it before, but being from Buffalo, normally the “buffalo” flavor isn’t really our thing, but on a whim, I gave these burgers a try. Man, am I glad I did, though I never should have doubted how amazing they would be, since the recipe comes from a Buffalo-native! The burgers themselves have the perfect amount of spiciness, and the coolness from the slaw on top brings everything together to make one outstanding burger for your next cookout. Placed on homemade whole wheat burger buns, this easily has become one of our favorite burgers! 

For the Burgers
2 1/2 tablespoons Butter (I used less)
1 Onion, finely diced
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
1 pound Ground Chicken Breast
2-4 tablespoons Hot Sauce, to taste (I used Frank’s)
3/4 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper

Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Cool slightly. In a large bowl, add the onion mixture, chicken, hot sauce, salt, and pepper. Combine the mixture with your hands, being careful not to over-mix. Divide the mixture into four portions and shape each into a patty. Grill the burgers until the chicken has cooked completely, being careful not overcook. Place each burger on a bun and top with slaw (recipe below).

For the Slaw
1/4 cup Mayonnaise
1/4 cup Greek Yogurt
1-3 teaspoons Hot Sauce, to taste (I used Frank’s)
1/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/8 teaspoon Salt
1/8 teaspoon Black Pepper
3 Celery Stalks, thinly sliced
1 Carrot, shredded
4 Scallions, thinly sliced
3 ounces Blue Cheese, crumbled

In a large bowl, combine the mayonnaise, yogurt, hot sauce, garlic powder, salt, and pepper; stir well. Add the celery, carrot, and scallions and stir until coated with the sauce. Gently fold in the blue cheese crumbles. Add additional salt, pepper, and hot sauce, to taste. 

SOURCE: An Edible Mosaic

Monday
Apr282014

Surprise Carrot Cake

Surprise Carrot Cake

Spring has sprung (finally) and with it has come another Secret Recipe Club reveal day. This month, I was assigned to Lynn’s blog, Turnips 2 Tangerines. Lynn is semi-retired from the retail/restaurant industry and is a certified Gourmet Chef and Caterer! Lynn married her junior high school sweetheart and now lives on a picturesque lake in an old home that she and her husband renovated on their own. She has quite the arsenal of recipes on her blog and I encourage you to take a look!

We hosted Easter dinner for my family this year and I needed a dessert to “wow” the crowd. For some reason, carrot cake seems like the most appropriate dessert for a spring holiday, although I’ve never made it before. I liked that this particular carrot cake recipe had something that set it apart from most. The surprise filling made it special. This cake was amazing! We all had a slice on Easter, and even after giving some to my mom and my sister-in-law to take home, I ended up with half a cake left. I ate some for breakfast and treated myself to dessert each night. I finally finished it up on Friday. It held up well in the fridge for almost a week! Thank you, Lynn, for sharing such a special dessert recipe!

For the Filling
1 (8 oz) package Cream Cheese, softened
1/4 cup Sugar
1 Egg

In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar. Add the egg and mix well. Refrigerate the filling while making the cake batter. 

For the Cake
3 Eggs
1 3/4 cup Sugar
3 cups Shredded Carrots
1 cup Vegetable Oil
2 cups Flour
2 teaspoons Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 teaspoon Salt
1/2 cup Chopped Walnuts

In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs and sugar. Add the carrots and oil and beat until blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Add the dry mixture to the carrot mixture and mix well. Stir in the walnuts. Pour half of the batter into a greased bundt pan. Spoon the cream cheese filling into the bundt pan and top with the remaining batter. Bake at 350 degrees for 55-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan for 10 minutes before removing from the pan to cool completely. 

For the Frosting
1 (8 oz) package Cream Cheese, softened
1/4 cup Butter, softened
2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
4 cups Powdered Sugar (I only used 2)

In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until smooth. Gradually add the powdered sugar until the frosting has reached the desired consistency. Frost the cake and store it in the fridge until ready to serve.  

SOURCE: Turnips 2 Tangerines