Monday, December 31, 2012

Stay Tuned

Hi lovely readers!
I just wanted to let you all know that I am having some technical difficulties with my blog right now.  I'm working to resolve them.  You can still enjoy my existing posts, I just haven't been able to post anything new.  I'm really sorry, and really bummed!  I had another fabulous Christmas Eve Open House, and I really wanted to share those appetizer recipes!!  I know I can post them later, but it was just killing me knowing I wasn't able to share as I don't have this figured out yet!

Thank you so much for your patience.  Happy New Year!


Monday, November 19, 2012

SRC: Nutty Granola

This month's Secret Recipe Club  reveal is from Eliot's Eats.  Debra's blog is filled with wholesome goodness!  I loved looking through her recipe's, as well as just browsing the other parts of her blog.  I also loved that she has a heart for real food and eating local.

If you're new around here, The Secret Recipe Club is a once a month event where I'm assigned another members blog to cook from and blog about.  Likewise, someone has my blog too.  It's a secret until the big reveal day.  Plus, for a foodie like me, I've been introduced to so many amazing food blogs through this experience.  Please go check out The Secret Recipe Club for tons of awesome blogs, recipe's and bloggers.  These people are a fantastic community.

One of the favorite foods in my household is granola, so I was thrilled to find Eliot's Eats Nutty Granola recipe.  It is quite different from my 'usual', so I was excited to try it.  Not that I don't love the other one, I just think a little variety is good.  I did make a couple changes due to not having some ingredients on hand, and they are noted in the ingredient list.

Nutty Granola

2 T. canola oil
1/4 c. local honey
1/4 c. light molasses (not blackstrap)
1/2 c. brown sugar (light or dark—your choice)
1/2 t. Kosher salt
1 t. ground cinnamon
4 c. old-fashioned oats
1 c. pecan halves (I used walnuts)
1/4 c. raw pepitas
1/2 c. raw pistachios (I used cashews--although I would have loved the pistachios)
1/4 c. flax seeds (I omitted because I only had flaxseed meal)
1/4 c. chia seeds

I also roughly chopped my nuts, which Debra's recipe does not suggest.  I just have little ones eating it.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees . 

 Place canola oil, honey and molasses in a sauce pan.  I loved Debra's tip to measure the canola oil into a 1/4 c. measuring cup. Swirl it around to coat the measuring cup and then pour it in a small sauce pan. This will help the honey and molasses flow from the cup.  Add the brown sugar, salt and cinnamon.

Heat over low heat and stir with a whisk until sugar is dissolved. Let cool slightly while the other ingredients are mixed.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together oats, walnuts, pepitas, cashews, and chia seeds. Pour honey mixture over oat mixture and stir well so all ingredients are coated.

Divide mixture and spread evenly on the two baking sheets. Place in oven and and set timer for 10 minutes. After timer goes off, rotate baking sheets and stir. Add timer for another 10 minutes. Repeat. Total cooking time is 35-40 minutes.

This does tend to burn easily so watch carefully.

Some of our favorite ways to eat granola:  As a cereal,

Topping off Yogurt,

Or spreading some Almond butter on apple slices and sprinkling the granola over it.

This granola just might be a new favorite!  Thanks Eliot's Eats!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Maple Apple Crisp

I've been meaning to post this recipe since October when I made it for my hubby's birthday.  I loved the addition of maple syrup and dried cranberries to this delicious Apple Crisp.

For those of you who don't know, we are foster parents.  In August, 2 lovely little girls came to live with us.  We added a 3 yr. old and a 1 yr. old to our 6 yr. old and 8 yr. old.  We are really enjoying them.  I know people have 4 plus kids, and do great, but it did take a little adjusting.  Going from 2-4 overnight, yeah, it was pretty chaotic.  Let's be honest, there's a little chaos every day.  :D  But, I wouldn't change it.  If we come to mind, please pray these girls lives would be touched in a positive way through being with our family for this time.  Okay, that was my explanation (excuse?) for not writing more often.  But, now on to the recipe:

This was adapted from Cuisine at Home.

1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 c. granulated sugar
3/4 c. packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt, divided
2 sticks cold unsalted butter, diced
3/4 c. old fashioned rolled oats
3/4 c. chopped walnuts
3/4 c. dried cranberries
3/4 c. apple cider, boiling
4 lb. Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and cut into slices (about 9 apples)
3/4 c. pure maple syrup (gotta use the real stuff here)
2 tbs fresh lemon juice
2 tbs all purpose flour
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350.

For the streusel, whisk together the flour, sugars, and 1/4 tsp salt in a bowl.  Cut butter into flour mixture using a pastry blender until it resembles coarse crumbs.

Mix oats and walnuts into flour mixture with your hands until thoroughly combined; cover and refrigerate.

I could just eat this with a spoon.

For the filling, soak cranberries in apple cider, covered, until plumped.

Toss together apples, cranberries, maple syrup, lemon juice, 2 tbs flour, cinnamon, and 1/4 tsp salt in a large bowl.  Transfer apple mixture to a 9x13 inch baking dish, (or 2 pie dishes work too).  cover apples with streusel and bake until apples are tender, about 50 minutes.  Let apple crisp rest on a cooling rack 30 minutes before serving.

We like to top ours with vanilla ice cream.  Enjoy!!

Monday, October 22, 2012

SRC: Artichoke Tomato Chicken

Hi!  It's time for another Secret Recipe Club post!  This month I had the honor of making something from Lynne's blog 365 days of baking.  I felt an instant connection to Lynne when I read that her dream job was to me a mother.  She and her family reside in the warmer area of the States, AZ.  Lynne, can I come for a visit to get away from cold Michigan this winter?  :-)  Lynne has many talents and I am incredibly impressed that she would take on the challenge of baking something for 365 days in a row!  That is amazing!  I love to bake, but I think I would feel stressed!  Kudo's to you Lynne!  There is not a lack of choices on her blog.  Some of the incredible things I considered were Home made cheese crackers (I've always wanted to try that for my kids), Banana Bread French ToastBaked Apple Cider Doughnuts, and look at these babies, Fluffernutter Nutella Crescents!  YUM!  But after looking at all her beautiful recipes, I landed on this one.  Artichoke Tomato Chicken.  I loved the simplicity of this one, but it's so flavorful!  It's healthy, which is good, I could serve it for dinner.  The Fluffernutter Nutella Cresents, well, I'm afraid I would eat them all myself.  But I will try those sometime when I have a crowd, or, maybe I will make them just for me.  :-)

Artichoke Tomato Chicken

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 cup Italian style breadcrumbs
4 medium size artichoke hearts (from a can/jar) sliced into thirds
4 plum tomatoes, sliced
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped (I used dried)
6 slices provolone cheese
1 cup chicken broth
*I dipped the chicken in egg first, which is different from the original recipe*

Preheat oven to 425ºF.

Prepare a 9 X 13" baking dish by spraying it with cooking spray.

Place 1 egg, slightly beaten into 1 dish and the bread crumbs into another shallow dish.
I added a little milk to my egg just to stretch it a little bit.

Using one breast at a time, dip the chicken in the beaten egg, and then the bread crumbs and place in prepared baking dish.

Place tomatoes and then artichokes on each piece of chicken.

Sprinkle with oregano.

Slice provolone cheese and half and place  over each chicken breast.  Depending on the size of your chicken breast, you may need 2 or 3 slices on each breast.

Gently pour chicken broth into dish.

Bake for 20 minutes.

So, the verdict?  Really, really good!  Everyone loved it.  Thanks Lynn for such a simple, easy and super flavorful recipe!

Make sure you stop by 365 days of baking and The Secret Recipe Club for more awesome recipes!

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Taste of Michigan part 2

It's been a week since I attended the much anticipated "Taste of Michigan" event.  It's amazing how far behind you get after only 1 day away from home.  A huge huge huge Thank you to my awesome amazing husband, who, stayed home all day with 4 kids, so I could attend the event.  I love you so much honey!  (Isn't he so hot?!)

Photo by Rudy Malmquist

Now, on to my recap.  Please excuse the poor quality on some of these photos.  Some were taken with my phone, which does NOT begin with "i".  
Our first stop was at the Fulton Street Farmer's Market.  

Wow, I haven't been to this market in a really long time.  I knew it was great, but it sure has changed since I've been there.  It's all covered, and they have such an abundance of goods.  We had 20 bloggers that met here, and we started with breakfast at The Silver Spork Food Truck.  I had the baked oatmeal, it was delish!  Everything that was coming out of that truck looked amazing.  You just wouldn't expect that from a truck.  

Next, we headed over to Art of the Table.  

This is one of my favorite shops.  They have tons of kitchen gadgets, towels, napkins, serving dishes and yummy prepared foods.  When we arrived, Patricia's Chocolates was doing a demo with LOTS of tasting!  Her chocolates were amazing, lots of different varieties, and who doesn't love chocolate? 

After some tasting and shopping, The wonderful people at Art of the Table handed each of us a bag of goodies on our way out.  

Then we were off for a little 'free time'.  We wandered around the shops on Wealthy street and Cherry Street District.  I really enjoyed spending time with other bloggers.  I love that one thing in common with someone can just unite you and give you a special connection.  

At 1:00 it was time for our private lunch at Bistro Bella Vita.  First we had a wonderful demonstration from Liz on how to make her family recipe of hummus, using Kitchen Aid's new food processor.    Hummus is one of my favorite things, and I loved her recipe.  

Then Bistro served us appetizers, and pasta and risotto.  Of course it was all super tasty! 

At the end of our Lunch, Kitchen Aid gave away a beautiful, shiny red Mixer!!!  

I did not win, but Meghan, from What Meghan's Making did win, and she's a baker.  How appropriate!  

After lunch, we headed over to Reserve Wine and Food for a little tasting and Charcuterie.  
Now, my husband and I don't drink, so this is a place that probably would not attract me.  I am so glad this was on our agenda!  Peter, the General Manager gave us a tour of the building, which was formerly a bank. He definitely knows his stuff.  I learned alot about the industry, and about the restaurant and what they serve.  He was very hospitable.  The wine cellar is kept in the former vault, and they still have the door.  It added so much character.  

Peter-General Manager

Doing what food bloggers do... taking pics!

Claire from DC as in Washington

Listening to Peter

The Vault

Anyone for a $2700  bottle of Wine?  fun fact, they've sold 0 and they keep 2 on hand.

After mingling with my new favorite foodies, I headed back home to freshen up for dinner at Six One Six.  Of course, dinner was AMAZING.  We started with a cauliflower soup, then enjoyed a beet and pear salad, followed by our main course, which was a lovely stuffed chicken, and finished with a chocolate banana dessert.

The awesome chef's at six one six.  


All of our stops treated us with impeccable service!  Thank you to all of you.  

Liz from The Lemon Bowl  and Rachel from Rachel Cooks put this event together.  They did an amazing job!  Did I say it was amazing already?  I just can't think of another adjective that describes this event.  Thank you Liz and Rachel!!  I was so honored to be apart of this.  

It was such an eventful day full of food, new friends, and SWAG!!!  Okay, so I'm from W. Michigan, I love a good deal, and the only thing better than a good deal is FREE!  So many local companies donated awesome stuff for our swag bags.  So professional right, "stuff".  There is too much to list, but there was over $500 worth of products in our bags.  A few of my favorites... Rowsters Coffee, Vanilla beans and vanilla extract from Beanilla, Good Life Granola, a cookbook, pickles... okay, I loved it all!

Here's some of my new foodie friends.  I wish I had pictures of them all!


Meghan (mixer winner!) and Nikki

Please visit Taste of Michigan to see all the lovely sponsors and attendees and their fabulous websites, and make sure you tell them I sent you.  :D

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Taste of Michigan

It's here!  It's here!  I am so excited and honored to be attending Taste of Mi TODAY!!!  
This is the first food blogging event I have ever attended.  This blog started as a hobby and a way to log my favorites/trials/errors in a paperless way.  The thought of meeting with other food bloggers never even crossed my mind.  I am so excited... oh, did I mention that already?

Here's a great article by Rachel Cooks (one of the founders) with some fun facts for more info.  

You can also follow along live twitter@tasteofmi or visit our website

Pictures of the festivities to come!  Have a great day!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Pumpkin Oatmeal Cups

I love Fall, I love fall cooking, I love pumpkin!  So, here's a fun and easy recipe I first saw on Pinterest.
They come from Green Lite Bites.  I did add Pepita's (the little green pumpkin seeds) to it.  This is a great breakfast, or snack.  YUM!

1 15oz can of pumpkin (420g)
1/2 cup vanilla Almond milk (I used unsweetened)
2 eggs
1 tbsp Baking powder
3 cups (240g) Old Fashion or Rolled Oats
1 tbsp pumpin pie spice
1/3 cup of brown sugar or sugar in the raw
1/2 cup of pepitas.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Mix all ingredients together, and let sit while you prepare the muffin pans.

Spray a muffin pan and/or liners with with non-stick spray.

Divide batter into 15 muffin cups. They should be just about filled.

Bake 20-30 minutes, you’ll see the edges just starting to brown and they will be firm to the touch.