Thursday, August 30, 2012

Foodie Friends Friday #10

Thanks to everyone for linking up last week. We had a great linky party. This week our very own Robyn of Robyn's View is providing the prize for three lucky, randomly picked winners. She has a great blog that is full of recipes, crafts, and DIY ideas. Just one of these great ideas is her ranch dressing mix, and that is what she will be providing the three lucky winners. Thank you Robyn!

Here are last week's winners:

We switched things up a bit and now have 3 sets of winners every week.
1. Top Voted
2. Most Clicked
3. Random Picked for Sponsor Gift

So lets start by recapping the Top 3 VOTED recipes. 

You get a permanent place on the "Page of Fame" and a "Brag Button" for your Blog!
Congrats to:

1. Muffin Doughnuts  from Cozy Cakes Cottage
2. Turtle Smoothie  from Project Healthy Ever After
3. White Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal Delights  also from Project Healthy Ever After

And...The "Most Clicked" Recipe Links also get a place on the "Page of Fame" and a "Most Clicks" Brag Button for your blog too!

Congrats to:

The lucky 3 recipes drawn at random by Inlinkz for the Sponsor 

Gifts from Dogwood Acres  are:

This week's sponsors are:

Foodie Friends Friday Tracy at Busy Vegetarian Mom
Robyn at Robyn's View
Angie at A 'lil Country Sugar  
Lindsey at Family Food Finds  Family Food Finds
Keira at Luscious Delights Luscious Delights

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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Garlic Rosemary Chicken - Budget Friendly

This is a super inexpensive, super easy recipe that is really good too.  Our local grocery store regularly has chicken leg quarters on sale very inexpensively, so using them is very helpful to the budget.  I know it is boring, but I actually like them just salted and peppered and then roasted or grilled, but this is almost as easy and even better.  You will notice that there is no fat in the recipe, and trust me you don't need any.  I leave the skin on during cooking, and it provides all the fat you need.  The skin is wonderfully crispy and tasty, but the chicken is still good if you want to remove it after cooking to eliminate some of the fat.  

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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Butternut Squash with Browned Butter Sage Sauce

I love the browned butter, sage, and butternut squash combination.  And, while I usually put this sauce over butternut squash ravioli , we are trying not to eat too many carbs for dinner, so ravioli is kind out.  Butternut squash has quite a few carbs all by itself, so it doesn't need the addition of pasta, and you still get a great flavor combination.  

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Monday, August 27, 2012

Apfel Studel and Apple Picking

Here in the south, it is already apple picking time.  This doesn't usually get started well until September, but it is a bit earlier this year because of the extreme heat we had this summer.  The quintessential baking apple, the Granny Smith, won't be ready for a few weeks yet, but we have a busy late September and early October, so we went ahead to Mercier Orchards last Saturday to pick apples, including the Jonagold, which can be used in baking and is in this recipe.  We also picked Red Delicious, McIntosh, and Crimson Crisp.  If you are in north Georgia, you really should stop at Mercier Orchards.  They have apples (u-pick as well as picked for you), a small restaurant, bakery (yummy fried apple pies), and a gift shop that contains many gourmet foods.  At the end of this post, are pictures of the orchard, so be sure to scroll down and see them.

Now, about the apfel strudel or apple strudel, as I said before, we went to pick apples, and after you pick apples, you have to decide what to do with them.  One of the things my husband has been planning to do is to cook something from the out of print cookbook, Luchow's, that my parents gave him for Christmas last year.  His mom was German and this cookbook was from a famous German restaurant in New York, so we put these two plans together and made apfel strudel from the cookbook (adapted just a little bit) using the freshly picked apples.  I have to say the filling in this is out of this world!  If you like apple desserts, you have to try it!

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Sunday, August 26, 2012

Another try for the best chocolate chip cookies

These are really, really good.  My son says they are the best he has eaten, but then he is only fifteen.  They are the best I have made, but I think they are not quite perfect for me.  They are really, really close, but eventually you are going to find another recipe here that I at least think I have improved.  Of course, what is perfect is very subjective, so they might be perfect to you.  I have tried all the "perfect" chocolate chip cookie recipes I can find and none of them are so I am coming up with my own.  I used this recipe from last time as a jumping off point.  They are really good too, they just taste a bit short bready, which is good, just not what I am aiming for.  For these, I browned the butter, added a little more egg, and used dark brown sugar.  This definitely made them richer and got rid of the short breadiness, but somehow they I think the cornstarch takes away from the dark brown sugar - makes it seem less dark, or something.  I don't know, but I will tweak it again and share it, but in the mean time, these are really thick and chewy, and I am having trouble staying out of them, so they just might be your favorites because they are really close for me.

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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Foodie Friends Friday #9

Some of you may have noticed that I didn't host Foodie Friends Friday last week.  We had to take my daughter back to college last weekend, so I took the week off.  As it turns out, I probably would have had time, but I was afraid I wouldn't, but I'm back this week.  The recipes last week looked really good - just because I didn't host doesn't mean I stayed away.

This week's winners will be randomly picked to receive HOT jam from Dogwood Acres

Here is a recap of last week's winners:

Top 3 Voted Recipes!

#1  Jams n Pans  Petits Gateaux ..Apple carrot and walnut cakes  13 Votes


#2  Hugs and Cookies XOXO   Reese's Overload Cake 9 Votes

#3  Rants from My Crazy Kitchen  Chicken Pot Pie  7 Votes

Congratulations! Thanks to our Sponsors this week:  Farm Girls Glitz and Glam you will be receiving wonderful Lavender Scented Body Scrub.

AND...Make sure you pick up your "Voted Top 3" Button from the "Page of Fame"

And our "CLICK STARS" for this week are:
(with the most "clicks" on their recipes)

Swedish Berry Blondies

No Bake Butterscotch Pretzel Bars

Petits Gateaux ..Apple carrot and walnut cakes 
From: Jams n Pans

Make sure you go and pick up your "Click Star" Button from the "Page of Fame"

Here are my favorites from last week:

The sweet:

these S'more Truffles by Mommy's Sweet Confessions

And, the savory:

buffalo chicken sandwiches by Mommy's Love

If you were one of my picks, be sure to hop on over to Foodie Friends Friday host page and get your badge!

This week's hosts are:

Robyn at Robyn's View
Angie at A 'lil Country Sugar  
Lindsey at Family Food Finds  Family Food Finds
Keira at Luscious Delights Luscious Delights

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole

This is not your ordinary chicken casserole.  Yes, it takes a bit longer than those made with your favorite "cream of" soup, but the results are well worth it.  That being said, I don't think I would make it on a week night unless I had leftover chicken and rice, because it does take a while.  But, I am trying to get in the habit of cooking and shredding extra chicken, cooking extra rice, and other things for recipes later in the week.  This lets you get dinner on the table in a timely manner while giving you higher quality more nutritious food.  This casserole also freezes very well.  In fact, this one was frozen.  When I made one to take to a friend, I made two and put this one in the freezer.  Just let it thaw completely before baking.  And, it will take a little longer to cook because it is cold, but other than that, it will be the same.

This is a very slightly adapted recipe from the Picky Palate that I found on Pinterest. The side you see is collard greens sauteed in olive oil.

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Saturday, August 18, 2012

Old Fashioned Macaroni and Cheese

Nothing says comfort food like homemade macaroni and cheese.  It is one of my daughter's favorites, but we  have not had much of it recently because white pasta is just not something we have been eating since my husband was diagnosed with type II diabetes.  But, since she is about to head back to college, I decided to make it.

This recipe has always been my favorite, but that might be because it is basically the one I grew up with.  It is my mother's recipe with just a little extra cheese and some dry mustard added in.  The recipe calls for medium cheddar cheese, but it you can't find it you can substitute half mild and half sharp.  Hope you enjoy!

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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Healthier Chicken Salad, School Lunches, Lunch Boxes, Etc.

School is back in session and for me that means school lunches - not for kids, but for me.  School lunches are always a conundrum for me.  I mean, I am always trying to eat healthy or at least I don't want to waste my calories on lunch at school, but at the same time, I don't want to be starving.  Add to that basically no refrigeration - well there is that tiny little refrigerator in the work room.  You know, like the smallest sized one you buy for a college dorm room, for one hundred sixty teachers... like I said no refrigeration.  And, there is one microwave, but there are about twenty of us that might need to use it at once.  Truthfully, only three or four use it in any given day, but with only twenty-four minutes to get to where we are eating, eat, and get back, it is easy to run out of time to eat if you use the microwave.  So, no refrigeration, no microwave, twenty-four minutes, and I want something decently healthy.  So, as I come across things that help me with this, I am going to share them with you.  

This is a chicken salad I made and stored in one of those insulated bento boxes, and it stayed pretty cold, but you could use a cold pack.  If you are interested, I have a Mr. Bento, and so far it is working great!  The chicken salad is super quick and easy to make and very low in fat and high in protein because it uses fat free Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise.  Trust me, you won't miss the mayonnaise at all!  The garlic makes it extra tasty and the carrots and celery give it just the right amount of crunch.  The only time consuming part is cooking the chicken, but I just cooked some extra when I was cooking some for a casserole, so it really wasn't any extra work.  And, in case you don't already know this.  If you put the chicken in your stand mixer with the paddle attachment, you will have wonderfully shredded chicken as seen in the not so great photo below in about a minute.

Healthier Chicken Salad
yield:  2-4 servings depending on the size

2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
6 oz. fat free Greek yogurt
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup carrot, chopped
1/4 cup celery, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together until well combined.   I ate it by itself, but it would be great in a sandwich too.

This recipe was shared on Foodie Friends Friday.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Peanut Butter Filled Chocolate Cupcakes - The Last of the Wedding Cupcakes

Well, I am finally to the end of the wedding cupcakes, so after today it will be on to other things.  The next recipe is even healthy! But, I couldn't leave these out.  They are the perfect combination of peanut butter and chocolate.  The cake is a bit denser than the other too - it needs to be to hold the peanut butter ball that is in the center.  That's right, there is a whole peanut butter ball cooked inside these cupcakes, which makes them a favorite to everyone who loves the peanut butter and chocolate combination.

I found this recipe on  Annie's Eats  who adapted it from Proceed with Caution who got it from Good Housekeeping and made the cupcakes pretty much like the original recipe, but I modified the frosting a bit. 

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Thursday, August 9, 2012

Foodie Friends Friday #7

Thank you all who visited and linked up for last week's Foodie Friends Friday Linky Party.  This week we are having another giveaway for the top three voted recipes!  This time the winners will receive an e-book cookbook from Around the Table with Tami, so submit your best!

Last week's winners were:

Congrats to the Top 3 Voted Recipes this week!!


Frozen Blueberry-Peaches and Cream Pie

Orange Pecan Brownies

Grilled Veggie Medley

Go on and grab your button from the Page of Fame and you will be receiving a bag of Gypsy Girl Granola!

AND...with the Most Clicks:

grab your button from the "Page of Fame"

Snickerdoodle Nutella Cookies

Fresh Raspberry Bars

Dove Fudge


Now for my favorites:

For the sweet:  Baked Churros by Flour Me with Love

and for the savory:  Loaded Potato and Buffalo Chicken Casserole by What's Cooking in the Burbs

If I picked you as one of my favorites, hop on over to the Foodie Friends Friday hosts page and get your button.

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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Salted Caramel Cupcakes

These are wedding cupcakes too, but unfortunately I didn't get any good close ups of them on the wedding display.  If you look back at the first photo on yesterday's post.  These are like the cupcake in the center of the front row.  

The salted caramel combination of these cupcakes is wonderful!  Back when I used to sell cupcakes at the farmers' market, these were the best seller.  They were the only thing I made every week because I knew that there would be upset people if I didn't have them there.

I adapted the recipe from this one from Southern Living via My Recipes.  I just made a few changes:  made them standard sized with no chocolate and added a little oil to make the a bit moister.  Hope you enjoy!

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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Vanilla Bean Wedding Cupcakes

These are the white cupcakes in the photos with the blue sprinkles.  This recipe is by far the best vanilla cupcake recipe I have ever eaten.  They are moist without being too dense and have an intense vanilla flavor that I just know you will love.  I got the recipe from Annie's Eats and only changed the procedure a tiny bit.  Actually, I used my usual procedure that differs just slightly from most cake making procedures, but it works for me.

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Monday, August 6, 2012

Wedding Cake!

This is what I have been working on these past few weeks - a wedding cake/cupcakes for some very dear friends. Trying things out and getting them ready.  I've had lots of cake decorating classes, and over the years have decorated quite a few cakes, but it has been a while, so I spent a lot of the summer brushing up on some things, and now I get to share them with you.  This cake has also inspired me to practice more often to keep my skills up and for fun. You are going to get the benefit of some of that practicing as well because I will be sharing it.  This week you are going to get the recipes for the ten inch cake, the topper (Yes, they are different.), the three cupcakes, and all the icings including the fondant.  Today we are going to focus on the cake and topper and their icings and fondant.  The ten inch cake is lemon raspberry and the topper is chocolate, so this is going to be a long post.  I will do the cupcakes on three additional days this week - one day for each cupcake.

First, lets talk about the ten inch cake.  The cake and the filling are the same recipe as these Lemon Filled Raspberry Cupcakes I shared with you earlier this summer.  This time, I did not use the cream cheese icing though.  Instead, I used a simple lemon butter cream that works better at room temperature for longer.
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Thursday, August 2, 2012

Foodie Friends Friday #6

Once again, thank you all for participating in Foodie Friends Friday.  We continue to have a great turn out.  This week we are very excited that Gypsy Girl Granola has given us three bags of granola to give to our three highest voted recipes!

Now for last week's winners...

Top Voted!

(pick up this button for your page under "Page of Fame")
#1 Eggs in Chili Clouds from Kitchen Tested

#2 Gluten Free Caramel Apple Cake from Hun What's for Dinner


#3 Chicken Casserole from Cooking From a Stay at Home Mom

And the recipes with the "Most Clicks" were:

(pick up this button for your page under "Page of Fame")

#1 Sticky Caramel Toffee Cheesecake from That Skinny Chic Can Bake

#2 Snickers Popcorn from Walking on Sunshine

#3 Eggs in Chili Clouds from Kitchen Tested

Thanks again for coming by... we are working on exciting things
over at FFF so be sure to keep coming back! 

Now for my favorites.  Hop on over to the Foodie Friends Friday's Hosts page and grab you button.

For the sweet, this rice ricotta pie by A Day in the Life of Liz..... in the Kitchen.  I have never see a similar recipe, so I can't wait to try it.

And, for the savory these super easy beets by Busy Vegetarian Mom.  I actually made this recipe, but didn't get any photos.  I make beets a lot, and these were by far the easiest I have ever made.  And, once they're cooked you can do all sorts of things to them.  


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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Where I've been all week...

making fondant... lots of fondant.  I apologize for yet another sparse week.  I will make it up to you next week with lots of cake and cupcake recipes.  This week I am preparing to make a wedding cake and cupcakes for a friend, and I really have not done much in the way of other cooking.  But, next week, I will not only be back to cooking, I will have all the wedding recipes ready including the recipe for this fondant!  And, I will still do Foodie Friends Friday this week, and it will be up tomorrow night.  This week should be really exciting because there will be an actual prize for the top three voted recipes, so be sure and come by and see all the great recipes and submit your own if you are a blogger.

From Calculu∫ to Cupcake∫: August 2012

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From Calculu∫ to Cupcake∫