Every time I make a cheesy dish - I can't help wonder if it would meet her approval. 😅 She has high standards for cheese. 🧀 This girl loves spinach dip and she loves macaroni and cheese so I have a feeling that she should approve of this three cheese appetizer and pasta fusion dish.
Just imagine the best spinach and artichoke dip that you've ever tasted, combined with the creamiest, cheesiest pasta thats ever touched your lips and you've got this beautiful main course Spinach and Artichoke Macaroni and Cheese. This one pot dish is easy to make - it comes together quickly and - its delicious.
Spinach and Artichoke Macaroni and Cheese
1 Tablespoon olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
5 ounces baby spinach, chopped
1 cup whole milk
1 1/2 cups water
8 ounces elbow macaroni
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup artichoke hearts, chopped
1 cup White American cheese, shredded (4 ounce block from deli counter)
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup sharp cheddar, shredded
1/2 cup Parmesan , shredded
Add spinach and stir until sauce is smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
The saddest part of this story is that I have yet to make this yummy dish for my sweet, cheese loving, daughter in law. We live 700 miles apart so running dinner over to her house is out of the question. But I promise to make it the next time that you come to visit @aint_no_holly_back_girl. 😉
Anyone remember when the only way to get a new recipe was to visit your grandmas house, call your mom on your landline telephone or look through the cookbooks on your shelf? ☎📕 I'm totally dating myself, but the point is - we have more access to recipes than ever before. It's hard to even imagine a recipe that I can't find on the internet.
This year I was tasked with creating a brand new set of recipes and I gained a whole new appreciation for people who used to have to come up with their own recipes for everything. Can you imagine being the first person who ever came up with a recipe for pancakes?
My first task was to develop a nut flour pancake recipe. 🥞 Since this was my first go around with recipe creation, I went about it in a very methodical way. Batch by batch - I altered one ingredient at a time until I narrowed it down to 6 workable recipes. (That process took me a little over a week. 😅)
I can't think of a better way to spend a couple of weeks than making and tasting pancakes. 😋 Thank goodness it's January and I'm not going to have to put on a bathing suit anytime soon. 😅 I ate a lot of pancakes but honestly, I never got tired of sampling pancakes. At some point though - I had to gather more opinions from fellow pancake lovers. So, I hosted a pancake party.
This was my first experience with a recipe testing event and I made a rookie mistake. I invited 6 other people to taste test 3 different pancakes. You see where this is going, right? 2 people chose pancake 1, 2 chose pancake 2 and 2 people liked pancake 3. 🤦🏻♀️
Looking for a tie breaker, I asked my family for their pancake opinion. And because it's rare that I ask for their input on the food that I serve them, they were VERY enthusiastic about sharing their input on my test pancakes.😂 #becarefulwhatyouaskfor
Even if you don't aspire to create your own unique pancake recipe - I highly recommend creating a pancake tasting party for yourself. My family and friends fully embraced their roles as pancake taste testers. 😅 Use this recipe for Lemon Buttermilk pancakes and tweak it. Add blueberries to one batch, substitute orange for lemon in another and try making one batch with cinnamon. You might be surprised at the pancake that your taste testers choose.
Lemon Buttermilk Pancakes
1 1/3 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
4 teaspoons lemon juice
3 Tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon canola oil
1/2 cup blueberries (optiional)
Flip pancake and cook 1-2 more minutes.
Just a heads up - National Pancake Day is March 1st - a perfect day for a pancake party.
Winter is an awesome time to get outside and do some hiking in Georgia. This is what a Georgia winter hike looks like - mild, quiet and snowless. 😅
I love to explore the outdoors during every season but winter hikes might just be my favorite.🚶🏻♀️ Amazing views, cooler temperatures and trails that are less crowded. And let's not forget the best part of any hike - the hearty breakfast beforehand. Every hiker knows that a good dose of carbohydrates and protein are essential hiking fuel.
A stash of homemade english muffins in my freezer was the inspiration for our pre-hiking breakfast last weekend. Breakfast Sandwiches seemed like the perfect fuel for our chilly trek through the woods.
For years, I made the eggs for my breakfast sandwiches individually, which was a painstakingly slow process. 😅 I wish I would have discovered this new technique of baking my eggs in a pan in the oven, a loooong time ago. 🥚 I'm never making individual eggs for sandwiches again. 😂
Baked Egg Sandwiches
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup water
4 English muffins
8 avocado slices
4 slices turkey bacon
The combination of baked eggs, avocado, turkey bacon and cheese on a crispy, buttery English muffin is breakfast perfection - even if you're not planning on taking a hike. 😂
Snowy and slushy - two words that would perfectly describe the Georgia snowstorm of 2022. ❄️ It snowed like crazy - all day but unfortunately, very little snow actually accumulated on the ground - much to the dismay of snowman builders everywhere. 😂
The big, giant, fluffy flakes were beautiful but at the end of the day, we only ended up with a dusting of snow on the ground. That didn't stop dedicated Georgians from taking advantage of the situation, though.🛷 You really haven't experienced a Southern snowstorm until you've witnessed a group of people body surfing down a muddy hill on their bellies in 30 degree weather. 😅
Snow days call for comfort food. And carbohydrates and starches are what comforts for this girl. Bread and pasta are my go-to on days when I feel like I need comforting. 🍞🍝 Yet, in a moment of aberrant boldness - I decided to venture outside of my comfort zone and into the delicious world of curry to soothe my chilly soul.
No one likes to be outside of their comfort zone but, that's where progress happens. Am I right? It's scary and unfamiliar but it can also lead to new and exciting discoveries. It took me 50 years to make my first batch of curry but thankful that I finally mustered up the courage to make this flavorful dish.
My aversion to curry stems from a distaste of the curry spice. I think that's why I hesitated so long before making homemade curry. The fact is, this curry dish doesn't have any actual curry spice in it. 🤷🏻♀️ Clearly, I was wrongly associating the spice with the dish. This Lentil and Potato Curry is crazy delicious and packed with flavor and I didn't add any curry spice to it. 😅 I'm a late-comer to the curry world but I'm happy to say that I've found a new comfort food.
Lentil and Potato Curry
2 Tablespoons coconut oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
3/4 Tablespoons grated ginger
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3/4 teaspoon cumin
3/4 teaspoon coriander
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon tumeric
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons dried lentils
2 medium potatoes, diced
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 teaspoon lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon garam masala
1/4 cup coconut cream
Stir in lemon juice, garam masala and coconut cream. Season with salt and pepper. Adjust consistency with more broth if necessary.
Serve curry over rice and finish with a squeeze of lemon and scattering of fresh herbs.
Serve with pita or naan bread. Or if you're an Italian - a rustic Italian baguette. 😅
Where are all my fellow Georgians who stocked up on food and supplies in preparation for last weekends snow storm? 🙋🏻♀️ If you're like me - you overestimated the impact that freezing precipitation would have on your family's appetite and now you're faced with a pantry stocked with "snow day" food. 😬 If I had an excess of lemons - using them up would be a no brainer but what's a girl to do with leftover eggs, bread and milk? 🥚🍞🥛
French Toast!! Ricotta Stuffed French Toast. I'm not normally a french toast fan but I have to admit that this stuffed french toast is pretty amazing. And when you smother it in the honey butter, pistachio and sweet wine sauce - it takes it to a whole new level. I know you're going to love this just as much as I do.
Ricotta Stuffed French Toast
1/2 cup whole milk ricotta
1 Tablespoon powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon orange zest, grated
4 slices hearty white sandwich bread
3/4 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 Tablespoons butter
3 Tablespoons pistachios, chopped
1/4 cup honey
2 Tablespoons Marsala
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve.
As for our winter snow storm - it was kind of crazy. I'll share some video and pictures on the next blog post. You are not going to believe it. ⛄️
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