February 26, 2018

Grandma's Pittsburgh chipped ham sandwiches

Chipped (or "chip chopped") ham sandwiches are something my grandmother used to make when I was a kid. These sandwiches come from the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area. My grandmother grew up in a small borough outside of Pittsburgh called Turtle Creek and this is a recipe she brought with her from her childhood.

My grandma was not a fan of cooking and I rarely remember her cooking any food for me except for these sandwiches on rare occasions (and tuna sandwiches if that counts haha. My grandfather made a mean breakfast). Before she passed away a couple of years ago I asked her a few times for her recipe for chipped ham. I thought that she had used pop (soda) in them, but she swore she didn't. Chili sauce and properly cut ham (see below) were the keys to a chipped ham sandwich she said. I also read a few recipes online and they seemed to vary a lot... some had some barbecue sauce, some ketchup, some chili sauce, some sweet pickle relish, some even had cheese... So, I went with the bare bones of what she told me to recreate what I remember eating as a kid. My finished product matched up well.

I would say that I probably liked these a lot more as a kid than I do as an adult, but for nostalgia purposes, they were great. They are also an easy, kid-friendly, and budget-friendly meal. Serve with sweet pickles on the side or on top along with a side like sweet potato fries, potato salad, or macaroni salad of your choice. This recipe will make about six sandwiches.

February 21, 2018

Baked sweet potato fries with creamy maple mustard dipping sauce

Sweet potato fries baked in olive oil and then dipped in a cool and creamy sauce with hints of spicy mustard and real maple syrup make a delicious side dish! We love fries around this place - I make baked white potato fries a lot, but sweet potato fries are also popular in our house and I like that my kids usually will eat sweet potatoes this way. We've been having a long few weeks of illnesses in our house. It's been kind of a rough winter with sicknesses. Now that everyone is starting to feel more normal and eating again, I'm getting back into making (and eating) more food. I made sloppy joe's for dinner (with a bunch of vegetables in with the meat - finely chopped onion, red bell pepper, celery, grated carrot, and garlic) and these sweet potato fries were the perfect accompaniment to our sandwiches. My twins really enjoyed the sauce a little too much. We had to cut them off because they would have eaten it with a spoon if we let them!

This recipe will make a side dish for about four people. Serve along with any meal you'd normally have fries - burgers, sloppy joe's, pulled pork, and lots more! The dipping sauce is optional, but highly encouraged.

February 12, 2018

Red wine & cherry dark chocolate chip brownies {#FoodBloggerLove}

#FoodBloggerLove is an event where a bunch of food bloggers get together and share the love for another fellow food blogger. This year I was assigned Fix Me a Little Lunch written by Ali, "a writer, recipe creator, cook. Oregon explorer, PNW fan." I had so much fun looking through her tasty blog and all her recipes. I was especially loving her cocktails section and have several marked to try including this blood orange whiskey sour (yum!) and roasted persimmon old fashioned (I mean, seriously, so yummy). I knew I wanted to make a recipe from her blog that would be perfect for sharing around Valentine's Day, so when I saw her Wine-y Dark Chocolate Brownies (yes, more alcohol, I realize this haha), I found the winner! These brownies are perfect for sharing with a crowd, or keep them to share with your Valentine along with the rest of the bottle of wine. They are delicious -- moist and chocolaty with all the dark chocolate chips inside and then have a slight tart and tangy flavor from the cherries. The red wine taste is subtle, but you can detect it when they are fully cool. A delicious flavor combination!

I encourage you to go visit and follow Ali on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest for more great ideas! Also, check out the link-up below for many more #FoodBloggerLove posts and recipes.

February 6, 2018

Chocolate beet mini muffins

Earthy red beets and sweet chocolate come together in these tasty mini muffins making them a perfect Valentine's Day treat! Yes, I am well aware that I'm posting yet another muffin recipe. I can't help it! I promise I'll take a break for a little while after this one. My main dishes haven't been too interesting lately. And kitchen time has been difficult. But, whipping up muffins is something I can do relatively quickly, or even when I wake up in the morning before the kiddos wake up. I guess mom-life has really overtaken me lately, and that's OK by me. But, back to these muffins. They are full of chocolaty goodness, but also full of some beet puree. It seems like an odd combination at first, but they really pair nicely together. I came up with the idea for these muffins when thinking about this chocolate beetroot cake and I had extra beets from making this beet hummus. The muffins were a win - my twins devoured them (and the adults enjoyed them as well). I like making mini muffins sometimes, especially for chocolate ones as they are more of a special treat and perfectly sized for little ones. This recipe will make 24 mini muffins.