December 4, 2019

Pistachio cardamom crescent cookies

Buttery shortbread crescent cookies made with ground pistachios and cardamom make a lovely addition to your holiday dessert tray. The aroma and sweet taste of cardamom pairs nicely with the pistachios.

Buttery shortbread crescent cookies made with ground pistachios and cardamom make a lovely addition to your holiday dessert tray. The aroma and sweet taste of cardamom pairs nicely with the pistachios.

It's National Cookie Day and I'm celebrating with some blogger friends! We are all sharing a new cookie recipe (check them all out at the bottom of this post) and just in time for holiday baking time. In our house, we have some traditional Christmas cookies that we make every year, but I always like to try out a new cookie or two, especially to take to a party or potluck.

Pistachios and cardamom are a favorite pairing of mine and crescent cookies are one that I've been wanting to try. They are often made with walnuts or pecans and sometimes cinnamon, but I thought pistachios and cardamom would be a nice combination and festive for Christmas. We also celebrate the winter solstice in our house and these crescent moon shaped cookies would be a perfect treat for yule celebrations. 

Buttery shortbread crescent cookies made with ground pistachios and cardamom make a lovely addition to your holiday dessert tray. The aroma and sweet taste of cardamom pairs nicely with the pistachios.

November 30, 2019

December Recipe Round-Up {Winter Holidays}

December Recipe Round Up | Holiday Food & Recipes

It's the most wonderful time of the year!

All the joys & feels the holiday season brings! Celebrating what the season truly means to each of us, decorating our homes, finding or creating thoughtful gifts for those we love, spending time with family & friends and of course all the food.

If you're baking cookies for everyone you know - or maybe just Santa - we have lots of cookie ideas this month. If you're making a holiday dinner, or just bringing a side dish - we got you covered. Oh, and if you need something a little more "festive" we have some drinks too. Don't forget that your holiday party hosts, friends, family, and co-workers would probably love a delicious edible gift, too! I like to gift things like fudge, nuts, etc. that I make and people are always so appreciative.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa - Happy Holidays! Whatever you celebrate, we hope you have a joyous holiday with the ones you love! This is my last monthly recipe round-up post and I'll be focusing on new things for my blog in the coming new year! I've enjoyed participating in these and hope readers have liked them as well.

November 13, 2019

Sourdough banana bread

A lightly spiced banana bread with a bit of tangy flavor from sourdough starter is a delicious twist on the classic treat!

A lightly spiced banana bread with a bit of tangy flavor from sourdough starter is a delicious twist on the classic treat!

Recently, I was gifted some sourdough starter from a friend. I had one in the past, but it didn't make it through the newborn twins stage of life in this house (I mean, my husband and I barely fed ourselves, let alone my sourdough starter haha)! So now that I have one again, I've been playing around with making loaves of sourdough bread and making these overnight sourdough pancakes. My starter has been doing really well and I had some to use up, so I went looking for recipes you can make with your unfed starter or discard and found this recipe for banana bread and just had to give it a try.

This bread turned out terrific! I didn't use too much sugar in this recipe, so feel free to add a 1/4 cup more if you like a sweeter bread. I love the bit of tangy flavor from the sourdough, but it's not overpowering at all! The cinnamon and nutmeg add a little bit of spice flavor and make your whole house smell yummy while it bakes. This bread makes a nice breakfast on its own or with a side or scrambled eggs (and hot coffee, of course), or it's perfect for a snack. You can add a half cup of chocolate chips or chopped nuts if you would like. It was a hit with my family.

A lightly spiced banana bread with a bit of tangy flavor from sourdough starter is a delicious twist on the classic treat!

November 8, 2019

Cranberry cornmeal cookies

Cornmeal cookies filled with sweet and tart dried cranberries and rolled in sugar are a childhood holiday favorite. These cookies are simple, rustic, unique, and yummy!

Cornmeal cookies filled with sweet and tart dried cranberries and rolled in sugar are a childhood holiday favorite. These cookies are simple, rustic, unique, and yummy!

This recipe comes from one my mom and I used to make at Christmas. She gave me the recipe and I changed it slightly to make a smaller batch and also to incorporate a bit more cornmeal and more cranberries to the cookies. These are lovely to have for Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. The cornmeal adds texture and makes a pretty rustic looking cookie, but they taste super! I love cornmeal in baked goods and pairing it with cranberries is a beautiful combination of fall flavors. You can also add a bit of orange zest if you'd like.

I hope everyone is loving all the cranberry recipe ideas everyone has been sharing this week. I know I have been and look forward to trying some of them out.

Cornmeal cookies filled with sweet and tart dried cranberries and rolled in sugar are a childhood holiday favorite. These cookies are simple, rustic, unique, and yummy!

November 6, 2019

Cranberry curd tart

Sweet and tangy cranberry curd fills a shortbread crust flecked with orange zest for a delightful and colorful autumn or holiday dessert!

Sweet and tangy cranberry curd fills a shortbread crust flecked with orange zest for a delightful and colorful autumn or holiday dessert!

I have another curd tart for you today (and I just posted this passion fruit and blood orange one last month). It's funny how that works because I haven't posted a tart in a while, but I knew when I decided to do #CranberryWeek this year that I was making something with cranberry curd. Sweet/tart desserts are my favorite! I love the flavor contrasts and the way the bit of tart and tangy flavors cut through the sweetness. If you are like me, then you will also love the cranberry curd tart! Plus, I'm super excited about using cranberries this time of year. I feel like they are so festive and pretty.

This tart has a few steps, but they are all relatively easy and worth it for the smooth curd filling. I love this tart for a Thanksgiving or Christmas dessert, or for any fall/winter party or gathering where a dessert is needed. Plus, the color is stunning! If you are feeling extra festive, make up a batch of sugared cranberries for decorating and garnishing the tart. The curd is slightly adapted from this recipe.

Sweet and tangy cranberry curd fills a shortbread crust flecked with orange zest for a delightful and colorful autumn or holiday dessert!

November 4, 2019

Cranberry & brown sugar glazed turkey meatloaf

Turkey meatloaf is glazed with a sweet and tangy sauce of brown sugar and fresh cranberries for a delicious autumn dinner.

Turkey meatloaf is glazed with a sweet and tangy sauce of brown sugar and fresh cranberries for a delicious autumn dinner.

This week I'm participating in #CranberryWeek - a fun blog event dedicated to celebrating and sharing recipes using cranberries in all forms. We love cranberries in our house. I look forward to seeing bags of fresh ones appear in the grocery store in the fall. My kids love them, too -- they will even eat them raw. I like to use them in all sorts of recipes and I even toss a few in our morning smoothies.

Using fruit in savory dishes is something I like to do a lot. There are fruits, especially berries, that pair so nicely with savory foods and meat dishes. Plus, my kids love fruit and getting them excited about eating dinner is sometimes a challenge. They loved this cranberry meatloaf and the adults did as well. We had this with a side of mashed potatoes and a side of roasted delicata squash and it was a delicious autumn dinner. The addition of allspice in the glaze and the poultry seasoning in the meatloaf gives it a feel of the holidays as well.

Turkey meatloaf is glazed with a sweet and tangy sauce of brown sugar and fresh cranberries for a delicious autumn dinner.

October 31, 2019

November Recipe Round-Up {Thanksgiving Recipes}


November is arriving and that means it is time for our monthly recipe round-up! This month our group of bloggers is featuring recipe for Thanksgiving and autumn. We have a lot of ideas for your Thanksgiving dinners, especially tasty side dishes and some delicious desserts. I'm getting excited about our dinner. We host and I absolutely love making (and eating) our meal. I love to make something out of as many of the autumn harvest produce items that I can - we often have pumpkin pie, apple pie, Concord grape pie and also use cranberries, squash or sweet potatoes, yellow potatoes, and Brussels sprouts for our side dishes. We love to celebrate the harvest season!

Don't forget to check back at the end of each month to see the next themed round-up to help you with your meal ideas and menu planning! Keep reading to see all the November ideas.

October 28, 2019

Pawpaw pudding

Sweet, creamy, custardy, and delicious - pawpaw pudding is a wonderful old-fashioned autumn treat! Plus it's simple and quick to throw together (once you have the pawpaw pulp, that is).

Sweet, creamy, custardy, and delicious - pawpaw pudding is a wonderful old-fashioned autumn treat! Plus it's simple and quick to throw together (once you have the pawpaw pulp, that is).

It's high pawpaw season here in our region. In the more southern regions of its range, the season is over or almost over, but here at the more northern end of its range, we are enjoying lots of pawpaws right now (if you are lucky enough to find them). There are only a couple places that we know of to get them around us and the season is so short. Our backyard trees are still growing, but not close to fruiting age yet. Pawpaws are still a bit of a secret around here, even though my husband and I are always talking about them and sharing them when we get some.

So, what is a pawpaw? Pawpaws are North America's largest native fruit. They grow in the mid-Atlantic and eastern regions. Check out this article, or to learn even more, read this book. This book is also terrific for those who want to grow and cook with pawpaws.

I've saw this recipe on Sara Bir's website and knew that some of this year's pawpaws were destined to become this old-fashioned dessert. The texture is kind of like a pumpkin pie without a crust, but the filling is sweeter and has that distinct tropical-like pawpaw aroma and taste. This pudding is a must-make for pawpaw lovers!

Sweet, creamy, custardy, and delicious - pawpaw pudding is a wonderful old-fashioned autumn treat! Plus it's simple and quick to throw together (once you have the pawpaw pulp, that is).

October 18, 2019

Passion fruit & blood orange curd tart

 This sweet and tangy tart is similar to a lemon tart, but better and more complex! It's delicious, creamy, and full of a tropical feel for a delicious and refreshing dessert.

This sweet and tangy tart is similar to a lemon tart, but better and more complex! It's delicious, creamy, and full of a tropical feel for a delicious and refreshing dessert.

It's another edition of #FreakFruitsFriday today with Melissa's Produce and I'm excited to share this delicious and unique tart. For this tart I used two of the freaky fruits I received - passion fruit and blood oranges. These are both tart fruits making them perfect choices for a dessert. I love desserts with lemon, lime, etc. because they really help offset the sweetness and provide complexity to the flavor of the recipe. I was going to make a curd with just one of the fruits, but combining them was a great idea! The blood orange juice gave the curd a darker color and a hint of citrus and the passion fruit provided that distinct tropical smell and flavor.

It's been a while since I've used my tart pan. I used to make tarts more frequently. Tarts are a nice size for a dessert that contains a rich filling like a curd rather than a pie where the filling would be too much. I used a shortbread crust for this recipe because they are simple and delicious.

Have you ever tried passion fruit or blood oranges? I had passion fruit when my now husband was living and working in the Everglades. It's definitely something that lends itself to desserts and other recipes with sugar as it is quite tart on its own. Blood oranges are also pretty tart and super pretty! I like them sliced into salads.

 This sweet and tangy tart is similar to a lemon tart, but better and more complex! It's delicious, creamy, and full of a tropical feel for a delicious and refreshing dessert.

October 11, 2019

Individual Jack Skellington cheesecakes #HalloweenTreatsWeek

This post and recipe were created for #HalloweenTreatsWeek! I was sent samples by some of the sponsor companies to help in recipe development, but as always all opinions are 100% my own.

Individual Jack Skellington cheesecakes are not only delicious, but they are also a super fun Halloween dessert or party treat! These creamy little cheesecakes with a chocolate graham cracker crust are sure to please.
Individual Jack Skellington cheesecakes are not only delicious, but they are also a super fun Halloween dessert or party treat! These creamy little cheesecakes with a chocolate graham cracker crust are sure to please.

This is my last recipe for #HalloweenTreatsWeek and it's one I'm very excited to share! This recipe is based off of this one here. I made a few changes for mine and am so happy with how they came out. If you or anyone you know is a fan of The Nightmare Before Christmas, these are the perfect treats to make! They are not complicated. The most difficult part is putting on the face (I did a few practice ones that did not make the photos, but were still delicious, and happily gobbled up by my family and I).

The chocolate base makes a nice contrast in color and flavor and is perfect for Halloween time. For this recipe I used Dixie Crystals granulated sugar, Wilton's pastry bag and round cake decorating tip 3, Adams Extract twice as strong vanilla extract, and these sturdy white cupcake liners from Sweets & Treats. All these items helped to make these little cheesecakes a success! Don't forget to visit the bottom of this post for your chance to win one of the awesome prizes from our sponsors.

Individual Jack Skellington cheesecakes are not only delicious, but they are also a super fun Halloween dessert or party treat! These creamy little cheesecakes with a chocolate graham cracker crust are sure to please.

October 9, 2019

Cinnamon & sugar soft pretzel bones #HalloweenTreatsWeek

This post and recipe were created for #HalloweenTreatsWeek! I was sent samples by some of the sponsor companies to help in recipe development, but as always all opinions are 100% my own.

Soft pretzels shaped into little bones and dipped into a cinnamon and sugar mix make a delicious and fun Halloween treat!
Soft pretzels shaped into little bones and dipped into a cinnamon and sugar mix make a delicious and fun Halloween treat!

Do you like soft pretzels? I do and making them at home really isn't super complicated. These ones are perfect for your next Halloween party or gathering because they are shaped like spooky bones! These pretzels are coated in a mixture of cinnamon and granulated sugar from Dixie Crystals. And if that's not enough, I also served them with some Litehouse Chocolate Dip Singles so we all had our own little container of dip for a few pretzels! They were definitely a big hit and the kids especially thought they were fun.

When making these pretzels, you have to be prepared that every single one may not look exactly like a bone, or exactly alike. It takes some practice and you have to over exaggerate the shape of the ends to make sure they keep shape during the baking process. It takes a little practice, but you get the hang of it as you go along.

I hope you are enjoying #HalloweenTreatsWeek as much as I am! Don't forget to enter the giveaway at the bottom of this post and check out all of today's other Halloween recipes!

Soft pretzels shaped into little bones and dipped into a cinnamon and sugar mix make a delicious and fun Halloween treat!

October 7, 2019

Halloween hidden bat loaf cake #HalloweenTreatsWeek

This post and recipe were created for #HalloweenTreatsWeek! I was sent samples by some of the sponsor companies to help in recipe development, but as always all opinions are 100% my own.

A vanilla loaf cake topped with homemade vanilla frosting and fun sprinkles is filled with a hidden surprise -- chocolate cake bats! A super fun treat for Halloween!

A vanilla loaf cake topped with homemade vanilla frosting and fun sprinkles is filled with a hidden surprise -- chocolate cake bats! A super fun treat for Halloween!

I'm so excited to be participating in #HalloweenTreatsWeek for the first time! Halloween is one of my favorite holidays and my favorite time of the year. I was so glad to step out of my comfort zone this week to bring you some fun, festive, spooky, and delicious creations to help you celebrate the Halloween season! Visit the bottom of this post to enter an amazing Halloween themed giveaway!

First up is this Halloween Hidden Bat Loaf Cake. This cake is fun to make albeit a bit time-consuming. There are several steps, but all of them are relatively simple. The hardest part for me was keeping the bats standing up and trying not to break their wings as I put the vanilla cake batter around them. It's a little messy, and probably won't be absolutely perfect, but it's still a fun process and worth it for the fun hidden bats your guests will find inside their slices of cake. This cake is sure to impress your family and friends and to bring a smile to the faces of those who get to eat it!

For this cake I used Dixie Crystals granulated sugar, Adams Extract Vanilla Extract, Wilton's bat cookie cutter (and their cute bat gummies), and Sweets & Treats bat and orange sprinkles.


A vanilla loaf cake topped with homemade vanilla frosting and fun sprinkles is filled with a hidden surprise -- chocolate cake bats! A super fun treat for Halloween!

October 4, 2019

Thai red curry dragon fruit chicken salad

This post is sponsored by #FreakyFruitsFriday. I received fruit from our generous sponsor, Melissa's Produce, to assist in recipe creation. As always, all opinions are my own.


A twist on chicken salad using Thai red curry paste, coconut cream, fresh dragon fruit, and Thai basil for a delicious and fun light dinner or lunch.

This month I'm participating in #FreakyFruitsFriday with some of my blogger friends. Melissa's Produce sent us some unique and exciting "freaky fruits" to try and to use in recipes this month. One of those fruits were white dragon fruit. Years ago when I was in Thailand during college, I would sometimes find fresh dragon fruit for sale along the streets and would buy a couple. They are sweet and refreshing and they always remind me of my time there. So, I knew I wanted to make something Thai-inspired using the dragon fruit. And, I knew I wanted to make something savory because I enjoy incorporating fruit into meals.

Chicken salad has always been a favorite of mine (the kind with mayo, grapes, and parsley). I swapped coconut cream for the mayo and spiced it up with curry paste. The dragon fruit provided the sweetness and I had Thai basil in my garden for the herb. It came out perfectly! We served this both in the dragon fruit peel (to be eaten with a fork) and lettuce leaves for a wrap. The color and presentation were beautiful! Have you ever tried dragon fruit??

September 30, 2019

October Recipe Round-Up {Fall & Halloween}


It's time for another edition of the monthly recipe round-up and it's my favorite month of the year - October! I'm so excited for fall, apple picking, leaves changing colors, Halloween, and all the yummy and fun food that occurs when this month rolls around. Apples, pumpkins, winter squash, pears, and more all ready for the harvest season. For October our group of bloggers is sharing Halloween and fall recipes including a lot of really fun ideas for serving up Halloween meals and treats. Keep reading for some spooky fun ideas and tasty fall flavors. Join us the last day of each month for the next round-up!

September 20, 2019

Caramel apple cider slushies #AppleWeek

This post is sponsored on behalf of #appleweek. Our generous sponsors, Envy Apples, Torani, Chocoley, Bob's Red Mill, The Republic of Tea, Taylor & Colledge, Flahavan's Irish Oatmeal, Nairn's, and Zyliss have provided us with products for recipe creation and a giveaway for our readers. As always, all opinions are my own.

Two ingredients are all it takes to make delicious and refreshing autumn caramel apple cider slushies!

Two ingredients are all it takes to make delicious and refreshing autumn caramel apple cider slushies! These drinks are perfect for when you have a warm fall day and a super yummy way to enjoy apple cider.

Every summer when one of our local cider mills open for business, apple cider slushies are a very popular treat people go there to get. I've actually never gotten one, but I see people posting photos of them every year and I always think they look so good. So, when I found out Torani was sending some puremade caramel sauce, I thought that incorporating it into a slushie would be perfect! I was really thinking about the best way to make these slushies, because I didn't want to use ice and dilute the flavor of the apple cider. I ended up freezing apple cider into ice cubes and then blending it and that worked perfectly! The apple cider and caramel flavors were not watered down at all and they were so flavorful. These are a perfectly refreshing drink for a warm fall day!

This is my last recipe for another amazing #AppleWeek! I hope that everyone has found a lot of new apple recipe inspiration (I know I have). 

Two ingredients are all it takes to make delicious and refreshing autumn caramel apple cider slushies!

September 18, 2019

Moroccan apple and sweet potato beef stew #AppleWeek

This post is sponsored on behalf of #appleweek. Our generous sponsors, Envy Apples, Torani, Chocoley, Bob's Red Mill, The Republic of Tea, Taylor & Colledge, Flahavan's Irish Oatmeal, Nairn's, and Zyliss have provided us with products for recipe creation and a giveaway for our readers. As always, all opinions are my own.

Moroccan spices combine in this unique beef stew full of sweet potatoes, apples, and raisins for a warming, hearty, and delicious autumn meal.

Moroccan spices combine in this unique beef stew full of sweet potatoes, apples, and raisins for a warming, hearty, and delicious autumn meal. This is a delicious dish for a cool or rainy fall day to warm you right up.

#AppleWeek continues with a post using one of my favorite apples - Envy apples! I knew I wanted to make at least one savory apple recipe this week and this stew was a yummy choice. Apples and sweet potatoes go so well together and both of them are perfect for pairing with spices because of their sweetness. This stew is so full of flavors and textures and the apples retain a bit of their crispiness, which I really enjoy. I love the warm Moroccan spices like cinnamon, coriander, and ginger with apples for a beef stew that is a change-up from the usual beef stew. Couscous rounds out this dish along with some crunchy almonds and fresh parsley.

My husband and I really enjoy this dish and I think this meal will be a favorite once you give it a try! Don't forget to check out the bottom of this post to see all of the apple recipes we are sharing today.

Moroccan spices combine in this unique beef stew full of sweet potatoes, apples, and raisins for a warming, hearty, and delicious autumn meal.

September 17, 2019

Apple vanilla oatmeal cookies #AppleWeek

This post is sponsored on behalf of #appleweek. Our generous sponsors, Envy Apples, Torani, Chocoley, Bob's Red Mill, The Republic of Tea, Taylor & Colledge, Flahavan's Irish Oatmeal, Nairn's, and Zyliss have provided us with products for recipe creation and a giveaway for our readers. As always, all opinions are my own.

Soft and chewy oatmeal cookies filled with vanilla bean paste and apples make a perfect fall treat.

Soft and chewy oatmeal cookies filled with vanilla bean paste and apples make a perfect fall treat. Grab a bunch of these cookies to take along on your autumn adventures like looking at leaves, picking apples or pumpkins, or taking a stroll in the woods.

I hope everyone is enjoying #AppleWeek! A week long celebration of apple recipes! Apple season is one of my favorites because that means it is fall. Apple picking with our family is a tradition we've done for years and now we get to take our kids, too, which makes it even sweeter! For years I've been wanting to try these cookies and I finally did (with some tweaks). They were a big hit with my family, especially the kids. The delicious vanilla bean paste adds a deep vanilla flavor so I didn't want to overpower the flavor with too much cinnamon or other spices that I usually use with apples. The vanilla and maple syrup really compliment the oats nicely and all those little pieces of fresh apple make a perfect combination of flavor and texture. Plus I got to use Flahavan's - one of my favorite oats - for this recipe!

Cookies are always a hit and I hope that you give these a try. Don't forget to check out all the other apple recipes for today at the bottom of this post! 

Soft and chewy oatmeal cookies filled with vanilla bean paste and apples make a perfect fall treat.

September 16, 2019

Apple crumb pie #AppleWeek

This post is sponsored on behalf of #appleweek. Our generous sponsors, Envy Apples, Torani, Chocoley, Bob's Red Mill, The Republic of Tea, Taylor & Colledge, Flahavan's Irish Oatmeal, Nairn's, and Zyliss have provided us with products for recipe creation and a giveaway for our readers. As always, all opinions are my own.

Classic apple crumb pie is a fall favorite filled with spiced apples, sugar, and topped with a crunchy, buttery crumble.

Classic apple crumb pie is a fall favorite filled with apple, warm autumn spices, sugar, and topped with a crunchy, buttery crumble.

I'm so excited that it's time for another #AppleWeek! As my readers know, apples are one of my favorite foods. I love looking at them, smelling them, learning about all the different varieties, visiting apple orchards, and, of course, cooking and baking with them. Each fall we go on a big day-long family outing here in western New York to pick apples are a local heritage orchard, so we always have an interesting variety to taste.

One of my absolute favorite things to make is an apple crumb pie, and surprisingly, I've never shared it on my blog before. So, when I saw that Bob's Red Mill was going to be a sponsor this year, I knew it was time for this recipe to finally hit the blog. I used Bob's Red Mill organic all-purpose flour and old-fashioned brown sugar in this pie and it was one of my best pie crusts yet. I'm also finally sharing my favorite homemade pie crust recipe. This pie will fill your whole house with a fall aroma and it will be a family favorite! It's a perfect dessert or treat after apple picking or even for Thanksgiving. 

Classic apple crumb pie is a fall favorite filled with spiced apples, sugar, and topped with a crunchy, buttery crumble.

September 15, 2019

Welcome to #AppleWeek and Giveaway

Today we are kicking off the 2019 edition of #AppleWeek today to celebrate the produce darling of the season! Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla arranged this incredible event for you and wrangled a group of bloggers to celebrate all things apple. Apples, apples, and more apples!




And Camilla, the event host, also lined up some amazing prize packages from our sponsors. Keep reading to see what you can win and enter the Rafflecopter below.

September 4, 2019

Creamy spinach and black bean flautas

Flour tortillas filled with cream cheese, black beans, and spinach are rolled and baked until golden and crispy for a delicious family meal.

Flour tortillas filled with cream cheese, black beans, and spinach are rolled and baked until golden and crispy for a delicious family meal.

September is Hunger Action Month – a time to bring attention to food insecurity. According to the US Department of Agriculture, 1 in 8 Americans were food insecure in 2017. That’s 40 million people – more than 12 million of which are children – with a lack of consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life. The meals below were made with a budget of $5.50 – the average amount a family of four would have for a meal on a SNAP budget. We’re sharing these recipes today to show you how far these dollars go – or don’t go – and to encourage you to donate to organizations addressing hunger issues. Feeding America and local food banks are the boots on the ground helping feed your neighbors daily. As a group, we’re supporting Feeding America’s efforts to end hunger. We are collecting donations for Feeding America here: http://help.feedingamerica.org/goto/FoodBloggers Will you forgo your morning coffee stop and donate $5 to help feed the needy instead? There are also many great local organizations fighting hunger too, such as Food Bank of WNY and many local food pantries.

August 31, 2019

September Recipe Round-Up {Back to School Recipes}


September means that back to school time is in full swing! So, for those of you with children or who work in the education field, quick breakfasts, make-ahead dishes, lunchbox ideas, and easy weeknight dinners are all especially important. This month our group of food bloggers is sharing recipes for back to school time! Back to school varies a lot throughout the country, but once September comes it seems to be that everyone is headed back. We hope you find some recipe inspiration here as you plan out your meal ideas for the month. Don't forget to check back on the last day of each month to see the monthly recipe round-up!

I don't know about you, but I'm not quite ready for summer to be over. The daylight is already getting noticeably shorter, our tomatoes are all ripening, and we've had some cooler breezes in the air recently. Even though I'm not going back to school, I can sense the seasonal change on the horizon. Plus, my babies will be starting a little preschool program this fall!

August 22, 2019

18 Vegetable and Fruit Quick Pickles

Photos courtesy of Culinary Adventures with Camilla, A Day in the Life on the Farm, Books n' Cooks, and Yum Goggle.

Quick pickles, or refrigerator pickles, are a simple way to make homemade pickles in a small batch and to extend the life of some of your summer and fall produce. Quick pickles are often crispier than homemade pickles that go through the canning process. Also, they are a little more forgiving as you keep them cold in the refrigerator rather than making them shelf stable. You can pickle pretty much anything and I find that it's always yummy!

August 19, 2019

Potato and spinach curry


A flavorful vegetarian curry dish made with Indian spices, yellow potatoes, and fresh spinach. This curry is a delicious way to enjoy potatoes and a meatless meal.

Today is National Potato Day! I'm celebrating the humble, versatile, and delicious potato with this new curry recipe along with a bunch of new recipes from some of my food blogger friends (see the bottom of the post for more tasty potato recipes). I love potatoes -- any color and any kind of potatoes are always welcome in my kitchen.

I have been really craving some Indian food lately, so when I was trying to decide what to make with potatoes, I started thinking about a curry. This curry is similar to Aloo Palak, an Indian curry dish of potatoes and spinach. I say similar because I'm definitely not making authentic Indian cuisine, but trying to recreate dishes that I like with ingredients and spices I can get easily. I love all the warm spices that are found in Indian curry dishes.

This curry dish can be served with Basmati rice or naan bread. I served it with naan and some simple sliced cucumbers. I made our pretty mild because we are also feeding toddlers in our house, but you can add more chili flakes and a chopped chile for a hotter dish.

August 14, 2019

Double chocolate blueberry muffins


Big chocolate muffins loaded with juicy fresh blueberries and melted chunks of semi-sweet chocolate make a lightly sweetened snack, breakfast, or lunchbox treat!

Our fridge and freezer are overflowing with blueberries from our rather overzealous blueberry picking this year, so I wanted to make a new kind of blueberry muffin. I had been thinking about chocolate and blueberry together... it's not a combination you see very often. You often see chocolate with raspberries or strawberries, so I figured it would work well with blueberries, too. And, it does! These muffins have a chocolate batter, then chunks of semi-sweet chocolate melted in them, along with pops of fresh blueberries! They are not overly sweet, which I like, especially for a breakfast or snack item.

I have quite a few muffin recipes already on the blog including a couple with blueberries like these Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins and these Whole Wheat Blueberry Zucchini Muffins (perfect for this time of year) - I'm frequently trying to make new ones that my family will enjoy. These were definitely a hit with everyone in our house, and I hope they will be in yours as well.

August 9, 2019

Sweet corn ice cream


Homemade custard ice cream is infused the all the fresh summer flavor of sweet corn in this delightful treat. Fresh sweet corn is one of the ultimate late summer produce that I look forward to every year and I've been wanting to make ice cream with it for years. So, I'm finally sharing a recipe for it for #FarmersMarketWeek!

It's been quite some time since I made ice cream or shared an ice cream recipe. I used to make it much more frequently, and after making this sweet corn one, I'm thinking I need to get back into making it again. This ice cream is full of the flavor of fresh summer corn on the cob and it pairs so well in this creamy base of ice cream.... sort of like butter on corn, but cold and creamy and smooth. It was a big hit in our house and a fun way to cool off and enjoy some summer corn!

August 7, 2019

Cheddar and thyme yellow squash biscuits


Fluffy homemade biscuits filled with flecks of yellow squash, sharp cheddar cheese, and fresh thyme! These biscuits make a delicious side dish to soups, chilis, salads, and more and are also delicious for egg and ham breakfast sandwiches.

I hope everyone is enjoying #FarmersMarketWeek! I knew that I wanted to use yellow squash. Yellow squash, like zucchini, can be a very prolific garden plant. So, it's one that you may see a lot at the farmers' market, or popping up in your CSA baskets, or from your neighbor's gardens (or your own). If you are looking for a new way to use it up, try out these biscuits. The yellow squash and yellow cheese give these a bright and sunny appearance, making them lovely for summer. The thyme adds a bit of fresh herb flavor without being overpowering. They are easy to whip up and very versatile as well. I love homemade biscuits like this to slice open for breakfast and top with a fried egg and ham (and maybe a little extra cheese). It makes a perfect and hearty breakfast. I'm looking forward to making them again soon to eat with some soup.

August 5, 2019

Lemon garlic scape white bean dip


A creamy and bold dip full of lemon, garlic scapes, fresh parsley, and white beans for a creamy base. It's perfect for all your fresh summer vegetable dipping! This week I'm participating in #FarmersMarketWeek and I'm really excited. Seasonal recipes and seasonal ingredients are things I'm passionate about, so this is a perfect event for me.

If you walk through your farmers' market in early summer or belong to a CSA, you've likely seen those long curly green stalks. These are garlic scapes, which are the flower stem of garlic. They are a fun ingredient to add a punch of garlic flavor as well as a bright green color to a dish. I use garlic scapes to make pesto and pizza sauce, and recently started using it to make this fresh garlic dip. It's definitely a dip for garlic lovers! The flavors go very well with fresh vegetables like cucumber, carrots, celery, bell peppers, and pita chips.

July 31, 2019

August Recipe Round-Up {Summer Cookout Recipes}


I can't believe that the calendar is switching to August already! We are into the long hot days of summer right now. That means grilling, cookouts, and outdoor picnics are in full swing! Our group of bloggers has some terrific summer recipes to share with you this month. Check out the refreshing drinks, side dishes, main meals, and desserts to plan out some of your August meals and enjoy the rest of those summer days eating outdoors.

Don't forget to check back on the first day of each month to see our themed monthly recipe round-up for your menu planning inspiration.

July 24, 2019

Dill pickle quick bread


An easy quick bread studded with chopped dill pickles and fresh dill is perfect for the pickle lovers in our life. Pickles are a big deal in our family. We always have multiple jars of them hanging out in the fridge. We eat them quite frequently and I can't have a burger or a sandwich (especially tuna) without a dill pickle or two on the side or on top. My kids seem to have inherited my pickle love and even like pickled garlic, pickled zucchini, and pickled radishes, among other things!

Since my herb garden is doing amazing this year, I've been trying to use them in more recipes and quick breads are something I make a lot. My dill has been doing well, but it got a bit battered in some high winds recently, so a bunch of tall stems broke and needed to be used up right away. I've seen a lot of dill pickle breads out there and most have less pickle and contain cheese, but I opted for more pickles and some garlic in my version. We had this dill pickle bread with barbeque pork chops and a side of summer squash. The pickle flavor went very well with the barbeque sauce. We ate it on the side, but I bet it would be delicious with tuna on top for a lunch as well.

July 19, 2019

Blueberry buckle


Blueberry buckle is a rich cake studded with blueberries and topped with a streusel and it very similar to a coffee cake. For years I've been wanting to make/try a buckle. I was never even really sure what it was until I looked it up. It's very similar in style to a coffee cake with a rich cake batter and a buttery streusel topping. The blueberries keep it moist and provide a nice pop of flavor and color. We enjoyed this buckle a lot and ate it for both dessert and with breakfast a couple of times! I slightly adapted this recipe from here and it turned out perfect. I'm looking forward to trying out this recipe with other seasonal fruits in the future such as raspberries.

This is my last recipe post for #BlueberryWeek and I hope you have enjoyed all the delicious recipes ideas this week as much as I have enjoyed them! Please visit the bottom of this post to see all the other recipes being shared today.

July 18, 2019

Blueberry ketchup


Jazz up your burgers, steaks, fries, and more with this homemade sweet and tangy blueberry ketchup! Blueberries are one of my kids' most favorite things to eat and we've been going blueberry picking with them the past few years now. They love it and we always have a lot of blueberries to eat fresh and that we freeze for eating throughout the year. We never seem to have a shortage of ways to eat them up, including in savory recipes.

This blueberry ketchup is a little thinner than a bottled ketchup, but has a lot of the same flavors. We ate it with grilled sirloin steaks and crispy oven fries. It was a really delicious compliment to both. I always enjoy fruits with meats and since the flavors are very similar to regular ketchup, it goes perfectly with potatoes. It's also delicious for a burger paired with some red onions and a sharp cheddar cheese or brie.

July 16, 2019

Sour cream blueberry pie


This sour cream blueberry pie is slightly tart, creamy, and lightly sweetened with a bit of crunch on top! I hope everyone is enjoying all of the delicious recipes that are being shared during #BlueberryWeek (check out all of today's recipes at the bottom of this post)!

I'm really excited about this pie. It's basically the same recipe as my sour cream apple pie, just with a few tweaks. Both are completely delicious! I love using sour cream in pies for that extra bit of tangy flavor which helps keep desserts from becoming overly sweet. Plus, blueberries tend to not be overly sweet either, which is perfect for me. My readers know that we are totally a pie family and I post a lot of pie recipes on the blog. I think this pie is going to be making a frequent summer appearance in our house and has quickly moved into a contender for a favorite of mine. That says a lot! I'm looking forward to our family's annual blueberry picking day coming up soon. We like to go to a local farm and freeze a few gallon bags to enjoy all year round.

July 15, 2019

Blueberry bison chili


A summertime chili made with blueberries, black beans, ground bison, and a surprise ingredient -- blueberries! Welcome to #BlueberryWeek! I'm super excited to be sharing four new blueberry recipes this week as we celebrate blueberry season. Blueberries pair beautifully with red meat and for this chili I decided to use bison. I think venison would work nicely as well (ground beef is also good, of course). I can find bison at our local grocery store and I like to use it on occasion. I know you may be a bit skeptical (like that time I made chili with apples), but this chili was a big win at dinner time in our house. The flavors all come together very nicely and the blueberries provide a hint of both sweetness and tartness. Adding fruit to your cooking is a fun way to change up your meals.

We recently went camping and took our twins (who will be turning three at the end of the month -- where has the time gone?!?) for the first time. We were a little nervous, but they ended up doing really well and we had a great time. Chili is something I would often make when my husband and I would go camping because it freezes so nicely. Then you can put the frozen container in your cooler and it lasts a couple of days before it needs to be heated and eaten - giving you have a quick and easy dinner. I love the idea of taking a chili with seasonal blueberries in it for a summer camping trip, but it's good anytime you have blueberries!