Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Birthday Funfetti Pancakes {Baby Knives Turns 3!}

How is it possible that it is July tomorrow? I feel like I blinked and June was gone. We had so much crammed into the past month that it flew by! Most noteworthy (of course) was our daughter's third birthday.

Yep. Its been 3 years since this little munchkin wrapped us around her finger. She's not super-into cake these days, but loves frosting and anything with sprinkles, especially frozen yogurt so for her "kid" birthday party we did an ice cream bar complete with sprinkles, gummies and other yummy toppings. What did she do? Ate all the gummies and sprinkles off her bowl of ice cream and left the rest for me.


Another one of her favorite foods are pancakes, so I made a special "funfetti" version for her to enjoy this year. I found the recipe on Baked By Rachel and just had to share it. I love that I got to include sprinkles in her favorite breakfast treat. I didn't change the recipe at all except for swapping in buttermilk for regular milk. It was a big hit (with the birthday girl and the grown-ups).

Check Out The Recipe Here

What are your favorite special treats to whip up for your kiddos (or yourself!) when its time to celebrate their birthday?

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Friday, June 19, 2015

Feeding A Lemon Addiction: Zucchini Lemon Bread

It's happened...I've found another way to incorporate lemons into a recipe and use up garden veggie surplus at the same time: Lemon Zucchini Bread!

To be fair, this zucchini bread is more like a lemon loaf cake that is super-moist and addicting. It's perfect for a light summertime dessert, you can even dollop it with a little soft whipped cream and a drizzle of warm berry compote to really impress.

Photo credit: http://www.delightedmomma.com/

A friend of mine has a big garden and a surplus of zucchini and squash as well as eggs (she has chickens too!) and graciously gifted me with a huge zucchini and a bunch of farm-fresh eggs this week. I used about half the zucchini in this recipe to make 2 loaves of the bread and still have the rest of it shredded in the freezer with plans to turn it into marinara next week. I love friends who have the space to grow veggies, not to mention farm-fresh eggs are incredible. I'm totally spoiled. If she had a cow I would shamelessly take free milk too!

Even if you don't have access to free veggies and eggs the way I did this week, there are farmstands all over bursting with fresh zucchini, so do yourself a favor and pick up a couple this weekend and make this fabulous bread.

Lemon Zucchini Bread
(makes 2 loaves)

1/2 cup cornstarch
3 1/2 cups AP flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
4 large eggs
1 cup canola oil (unsweetened applesauce can be used instead if you like or plain yogurt)
2 2/3 cups granulated sugar (you can cut back on the sugar easily if you like)
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp. lemon extract
2 cups grated zucchini (use a box grater)


Whisk together the cornstarch, flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl and set aside. In a separate bowl mix together the eggs, canola oil and sugar. Beat well with a whisk until well blended. Add in the lemon juice, buttermilk and extract, stirring well to combine.

Fold in the shredded zucchini and mix well to combine, then make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and slowly incorporate the wet ingredients, stirring until just combined. Avoid over-mixing or the breads will be tough.

Preheat the oven to 350 and lightly mist two 9x5 loaf pans with nonstick spray and divide the batter between the two pans. Bake for 40-50 minutes until a knife inserted in the middle of the loaf comes out clean and the tops are golden brown. 

Let cool in the pans on a cooling rack for at least 10 minutes before removing and serving. This bread is delicious at room temperature or warm and freezes well too!

Recipe adapted from Lil' Luna

Click Here To Print The Recipe
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Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Early Summer Ratatouille Tart {Courtesy of The Chew}

Not surprisingly, I am a huge fan of cooking shows, I've been tuned into Food Network for years, but I don't get to watch them as often as I'd like, mostly because I work full-time from home and am also at home with our soon-to-be-three-year-old daughter who likes the occasional cooking show, but generally prefers PBS-driven fare. We also don't have a DVR anymore so I miss out on watching some of my favorites. Anyway, all of that to say, I love The Chew on ABC and so does my daughter. I've been watching it since it first began and I think its the prefect blend of talk show and cooking show, the ensemble cast of Michael Symon, Mario Batali, Daphne Oz, Carla Hall and Clinton Kelly is just so fun and well-balanced.

I've tried a ton of recipes featured on the show, tweaking them here and there as I like and have yet to have one fail. This one in particular looks beautiful and tasted so amazing I just had to share it. Its a new way to showcase early summer produce like zucchini, squash and tomatoes and how can you turn down anything involving a pastry crust? I've adjusted the ratios a little bit (mostly because I didn't buy enough cheese) and seasonings to fit my family's tastes, but all credit for the recipe goes to the fantastic Clinton Kelly from The Chew. I love this recipe and its definitely going to become another summer staple in my kitchen, perfect for brunch, lunch or dinner with a side salad. My husband's only suggestion for improvement is to add bacon...which, to be fair, he suggests for most dishes!

Check out the recipe below and give it (and The Chew) a try!

Ratatouille Tart Recipe

Note: I cut the cheese down to 4 oz. and decreased the thyme to 1 tsp. since I used dried thyme instead of fresh. I also had larger zucchini and squash so only used one of each. Definitely use a veggie peeler or mandoline to get nice thin slices!
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Monday, May 25, 2015

Fresh Strawberry Shortcakes: A Classic

I love new recipes, of course if you read this blog at all you know that! Strawberries are one of my favorite summertime treats and I love that their season is at the beginning of the summer, ushering in the season.

As much as I love coming up with new recipes, sometimes you just don't need to mess with a classic. Strawberry Shortcake is a staple in this house every summer and we always go for the biscuit-style rather than a cake-style. Don't get me wrong, you could put strawberries and fresh whipped cream on just about anything and I'd be all about it, but some things are sacred and biscuit-based strawberry shortcakes are around here.

Of course you can use whatever sweet biscuit recipe you like, but I happened to have a box of Bisquick in the pantry and was feeling lazy so the old-school Betty Crocker recipe was perfect with a few tiny changes. Check out the recipe below and share your favorite strawberry recipes. These shortcakes are so versatile, use them with any summer fruits later in the season too, like blueberries, blackberries and peaches!

Classic Strawberry Shortcakes

4 cups sliced fresh strawberries
2 tbsp. granulated sugar (I reduced the sugar in the recipe by 1/2 because the berries were so sweet)
2 1/3 cups original Bisquick mix
1/2 cup milk (I used 1%)
3 tbsp. granulated sugar
3 tbsp. melted butter
1/2 cup whipping cream
2 tsp. powdered sugar


Heat oven to 425 and mix strawberries and 2 tbsp. of sugar in a bowl. Set aside or refrigerate until ready to use.

In another bowl, stir together the Bisquick, milk, 3 tbsp. sugar and melted butter until a soft, shaggy dough is formed. Scoop out the dough in heaping spoonfuls on a prepared cookie sheet (I used my stone bakeware and it worked well). It should make 6-8 biscuits depending on how big you want them.

Bake the biscuits 10-12 minutes until golden and let cool before serving. 

Beat the whipping cream along with the powdered sugar on high in the bowl of a standing mixer until soft peaks form.

You can serve the shortcakes immediately or the biscuits will keep 2-3 days in a sealed container at room temperature and you can serve them cooled. Either way is delicious!

Recipe Adapted from Betty Crocker

Click Here To Print The Recipe

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Friday, May 15, 2015

Amazing Enchiladas {I Promise You Won't Miss The Meat}

You know those vegetarian dishes that people post saying, "I swear, you won't even miss the meat!". Whenever I give them a try I almost always enjoy the flavors, but in the back of my mind am thinking, "you know what would make this even better? MEAT!"

Don't get me wrong, we do meatless dishes around here at least 2 or 3 times a week and the rest of the time I usually rely on lean proteins like fish, chicken or turkey. Still, its hard to find some truly original veggie-based dishes that really satisfy despite the lack of meat-based protein.

I don't say this lightly...but this recipe is amazeballs...AND I swear I don't miss the meat. I've done meatless enchiladas before, I've done black bean-heavy dishes before, but nothing like these enchiladas. The flavor rocks and I absolutely adore the fresh tomatillo sauce instead of the traditional enchilada sauce. And don't skimp on the roasted poblano peppers, they're the backbone of these enchiladas.

Like any enchilada dish, there is a bit of prep involved, but just plan a little ahead and you can whip these together in no time. They're even great the next day as leftovers. You can roast, peel and chop your poblanos even the day before and store them in the fridge if you want to save a little more time.

*Random fun fact: did you know that tomatillos are a member of the gooseberry family and not the tomato family?*

Check out the recipe below and celebrate a meatless dish that really satisfies. Big props to Annie's Eats for the original recipe I adapted!

Black Bean Roasted Poblano Enchiladas

4 large poblano peppers
6 fresh tomatillos (husked, rinsed and quartered)
1 large white or yellow onion (diced)
1/3 cup vegetable broth
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
5 cloves of garlic (minced)
2 tbsp. lime juice
1 tsp. granulated sugar
1 tsp. salt (plus more if you need it)
1 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1 can low-sodium black beans (drained and rinsed)
1 tsp. chili powder (I like to use chipotle chili powder)
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. ground cumin
8 oz. shredded colby jack cheese
8 medium-sized flour tortillas

Preheat the broiler to high with an oven rack as close to the heating element of your oven as you can get it. Line a baking sheet with foil and lay the poblanos on top. Place in the oven under the broiler and cook, turning every few minutes, until they are blackened on all sides. Remove them from the oven and let them cool for at least 15 minutes.

Once the peppers are cool enough to handle, peel away the sins and discard, then remove the seeds and stems and roughly chop the peppers. Set aside.

Combine the tomatillos, half the onion, veggie broth, cream, 1 tbsp. olive oil, 3 cloves of garlic, lime juice, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until completely smooth and taste to adjust seasonings.

Mash half the beans in a large bowl with a potato masher or large fork. Heat the remaining tbsp. of oil in a large skillet on medium heat and cook the remaining onion until just starting to soften. Season with salt and pepper, then add in the remaining garlic, cumin, coriander and chili powder. Stir in the poblano, mashed beans and remaining whole beans and stir, cooking until just warmed all the way through.

Transfer the mixture to a bowl and mix in about a cup of the shredded cheese and 3/4 cup of the tomatillo sauce. Stir well and start to assemble your enchiladas.

Spread about 1/2 cup of the tomatillo sauce on the bottom of a 13x9 glass baking dish and set aside. Scoop about 1/2 cup of the filling into each flour tortilla and roll, placing seam-side down in the baking dish. Repeat until all the filling is used.

Top with the remaining tomatillo sauce and shredded cheese, cover with a lightly-greased piece of foil and bake at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes until hot and bubbly. Let sit for at least 5 minutes before serving with sour cream, diced tomatoes, shredded lettuce or whatever else you like!

Click Here To Print The Recipe

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