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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Guest Post-Broccoli Salad from Everyday Mom's Meals

Good morning everyone! I'll be away for a few weeks on vacation and won't be able to create any new recipes, but DON'T WORRY! I've enlisted the help of some of my FABULOUS foodie friends to hold down the fort while I'm gone. Check back here each day for a new recipe.  I'm so grateful to all of them for helping me out and they've really outdone themselves! <3

Today, I'm THRILLED to have Krista from Everyday Mom's Meals here with us. Take it away Krista! 
Hello CEK fans!! I'm so happy to be here today helping out my dear foodie friend, Carrie. For those of you who don't know me, I'm Krista and I'm the everyday mom in Everyday Mom's Meals. I am a stay at home to my 7 1/2 year old son, and wife to my husband of 9 years. I started my blog in May 2010, and now 2 years later I couldn't imagine my life without it. I adore my foodie family and love sharing home style, family oriented recipes that bring those I love around the table. Please come visit me soon! You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
This recipe is something I learned to make years ago at the feet of my grandma. She is the epitome of what a great home cook is to me. I have learned countless tips, techniques and recipes from her, and this will always be one of my favorites. It's perfect for a summer barbecue, pool party or pot luck. So fresh and crunchy, but still super easy to prepare, even at the last minute. We love this salad so much we actually eat it year round, but summer time will always be when I crave it the most. 
Thanks for having me and I hope you enjoy this salad as much as my family does...
Broccoli Salad
1 bunch broccoli, florets finely chopped
pieces of bacon, cooked and chopped
1/2 c. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 small white onion, chopped
1/2 c. mayo
2 TBS white vinegar
2 TBS sugar
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large bowl, combine broccoli, bacon, cheese and onion. In a small bowl, whisk together mayo, vinegar and sugar. Pour over broccoli mixture. Season w/ salt and pepper. Stir well to combine. Chill until serving.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Week 24: Seafood Frenzy Friday

Welcome to Week 24 of Seafood Frenzy Friday where I select seafood recipes from some of my food blogging friends to showcase for all of you since I don't eat any fish myself. Simply click on the name of the recipe underneath the picture to be taken to the author's original post. 

Katie's Cucina

Chaos in the Kitchen

Mia's Domain

Very Culinary

Rock Recipes

Bakeaholic Mama

Family Style Food

Sumptuous Spoonfuls


The Curry Guy

Thursday, June 28, 2012

White Chocolate Apple Walnut Granola Bars and Bon Voyage!

Well now I'm on a homemade making granola kick, but it didn't start out that way. You see, after I made those Chocolate Chunk Cherry Granola Bars, I had to make them again because the family loved them so much. I was going to send some to a friend, but then hubby ate it before I had a chance to do so.  I decided to make them for the third time, only to realize I only had 1 cup of oats left and since I was packing up my kitchen and trying to run things out, I didn't want to buy more just to make these. So I decided to experiment...again...and found Apple Cinnamon Instant Oatmeal packages. This time I used up the oats, added in the apple cinnamon oatmeal, threw in some remaining white chocolate chips and walnuts I had and voila! THESE were even better than the other ones (well at least we all thought so!). They also held up better when trying to cut them so I was able to get 20 bars out of them and trust me, these are a little sweet so one bar at 108 calories each was the perfect nighttime snack with a hot cup of tea. :)

White Chocolate Apple Walnut Granola Bars
6 pkg. Quaker Instant Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal
1 c. Quaker Oats
1/4 c. White Chocolate Chips
1/4 c. Honey
1/2 c. Blue Agave 
1/4 c. Walnuts, finely chopped (you can omit if you have a nut allergy)

In a bowl, mix together all ingredients. Line an 8x8 inch baking pan with parchment paper and pour in the oat mixture. Spread so that it is evenly distributed in the pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, then allow to cool. (I placed mine in the freezer once the pan was cool enough to speed the process). Cut into 20 individual bars. 


Nutritional Information per Serving:

Calories 108
Calories from Fat 19
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 2.1g 3%
Saturated Fat 0.5g 3%
Sodium 50mg 2%
Total Carbohydrates 21.6g 7%
Dietary Fiber 1.3g 5%
Sugars 14.4g
Protein 1.7g

*Nutritional Information by Calorie Count and may not be 100% accurate. 

And now you may be wondering about the Bon Voyage portion of this title. NO, I'm not completely shutting down, but today will be my last new recipe post for a few weeks as I will be heading out for vacation while my kitchen is being renovated. (You didn't think I could stand by and watch all of that happening around me now did you?! =]  And for those of you who didn't know, CEK is FINALLY getting a real life kitchen makeover. No more 1965 kitchen with painted white cabinets (over mahogany frames)! 

This was Demo Day (minus the appliances that were sold)
So we're leaving our dear friend and trusted General Contractor here to oversee everything while we're gone.  My family and I will be traveling to Europe to experience some wonderful sights, eat incredible food and take in all of the history we can. We are all very excited and blessed that life has allowed us to take this opportunity at this point in our lives and I can't wait to share it all with you!  I will be checking in periodically through Instagram, Facebook and Twitter so be on the lookout for updates. 

Our stops will include:
  • Barcelona, Spain
  • Livorno, Italy (Florence/Pisa)
  • Rome, Italy
  • Naples, Italy (Sorrento)
  • Messina, Italy (Sicily)
  • Nafplion, Greece
  • Corfu, Greece
  • Katakolon, Greece
  • Dubrovnik, Croatia
  • Venice, Italy
  • Paris, France
DON'T WORRY,  I'm not going to leave you empty handed!!! I have arranged for some of my fabulous foodie friends to help me out while I'm gone so there will be a new recipe post on the blog almost every day...See, I'm always thinking! They have some special treats in store for you that you won't want to miss...TRUST ME!!! :)

Saturday, June 30-Everyday Mom’s Meals

Sunday, July 1-Gabrielle Farias' blogging debut (Yes, that's my baby girl!)

Monday, July 2-Sumptuous Spoonfuls

Tuesday, July 3-Ally’s Kitchen

Wednesday, July 4-Mia’s Domain

Thursday, July 5-Bakeaholic Mama

Friday, July 6-Seafood Frenzy Friday with recipes from, Jersey Girl Cooks, The Saucy Gourmet, Cupcakes & Kale Chips, Cooking with Chopin-Living with Elmo, Mother Thyme, Spicie Foodie, Comfy Cuisine, A Culinary Journey with Chef Dennis, Beer Meets Food

Saturday, July 7-Knead to Cook

Monday, July 9-Rich and Sweet

Tuesday, July 10-Lauren Kelly Nutrition

Wednesday, July 11-Amee’s Savory Dish

Thursday, July 12-The Foodie Physician

Friday, July 13-Seafood Frenzy Friday with recipes from A Healthy Jalepeno, Silvia’s Cucina, The Galley Gourmet, Project Foodie, 3 Tomatoes, Big Bears Wife, Girl Cooks World, Cooking with Michele, Coconut & Lime, and Cara’s Cravings

Monday, July 16-Basilmomma

Tuesday, July 17-Running with Deviled Eggs

Wednesday, July 18-Lisa’s Dinnertime Dish

Thursday, July 19-The PaperCup Kitchen

Friday, July 20-Seafood Frenzy Friday with recipes from Avocado Pesto, Simply Fresh Cooking, SmokedNGrilled, Teaspoon of Spice, Bev Cooks, Olga’s Flavor Factory, eCurry, Best of This Life, Food 4 Tots, and Gen Y Foodie

Saturday, July 21-Chocolate, Chocolate and More

Thank you in advance to all of my Guest Bloggers for helping me out while I'm away. I'll miss chatting with all of you each day and I'm sure all of my CEK friends will love your blogs as much as I do.  Wishing you all a FABULOUS Summer! 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Brie & Raspberry Jam Panini

I had a small piece of Brie cheese leftover and didn't want it to go to waste so I decided to make myself a grilled cheese sandwich for lunch. I was busy running around this particular day (what else is new!) and wanted something that I could take with me, but it also had to be quick and easy. Not only was this easy, (yes, only 3 ingredients!) it was delicious! I do make a baked Brie covered with Crescent Roll dough and put the preserves on top once it comes out of the oven and it had the same taste...YUM! I adjusted the recipe below to make for four people. 

Brie & Raspberry Jam Panini
4 Ciabatta Rolls, cut in half
12 oz. Brie, sliced
1/4 c. Raspberry Jam or Preserves
Cooking Spray

Add 3oz of cheese to the bottom of the bread, then spread 1 tbsp. of the preserves on the top of the bread. Place the top of the bread on sandwich. Heat up your panini grill pan, spray with cooking spray and place one sandwich. Hold down the top so that you melt the cheese and get light grill marks on the bread. Repeat for each sandwich. Serves 4. 


Shared at Everyday Mom's Meals Church Supper 7/1/12
Shared at Bobbi's Kozy Kitchen Manic Monday 7/2/12

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Baked Pasta in a Chicken Meat Sauce

This dish is our family's go-to meal when I need something quick. I can make it the night before or earlier in the day, then just heat up what we need when it's time to eat, which comes in handy on those nights where we're off and running to so many sporting events. This time I used ground chicken but I've also used ground beef and turkey and threw in some mushrooms once or twice too. Just add whatever you and your family like. You can also substitute whole wheat pasta or pasta plus (like what I normally use), but I'm trying to use up what's in my cabinets. :)

Baked Pasta in a Chicken Meat Sauce
1 lb. Pasta (I used Gemelli, but Rotini would work nicely also)
1 lb. Ground Chicken (you can substitute ground turkey or beef if you prefer)
1 tsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
1/4 c. Red Onion, chopped
1 tbsp. Fresh Basil, chopped
1 tbsp. Parsley
28oz. Hunts Crushed Tomatoes
6oz. Hunts Tomato Paste
6oz. Water (I use the tomato paste can)
1/4 c. Dry Red Wine (I used Chianti)
1/4 c. Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese, grated
1 c. Part Skim Mozzarella, shredded

Add the oil to a  large, non-stick saute pan and add your ground chicken, onions and garlic. Allow chicken to brown completely, then add in your tomato products, water, wine, basil, parsley and cheese. Let simmer for approximately 45 minutes. While the sauce is simmering, prepare the pasta according to package directions, drain water, then add the cooked pasta to the sauce once it has thickened and turned a deep red color. Next, stir in the mozzarella cheese then add the pasta to an oven safe baking dish. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Makes 5 cups. 

Nutritional Information per 1 Cup: Calories 512, Carbs 64g, Fat 15g, Protein 41g


*Calculations based on ingredients entered into MyFitnessPal and may not be 100% accurate.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Raspberry & Orange Risotto

The day I made those Raspberry & Orange Chicken Breasts, I needed something to go with it. So I called on my Facebook friends to offer up some suggestions and rice/risotto seemed to be the popular favorite. I still had a little bit of Chambord left, so I decided finish up the bottle and use the same flavors in my side dish. I love when you have the same flavors in sides or vegetables that complement your main meal, it just ties everything together in a nice little package. This was so easy to make, was slightly sweet, but not overly so and was perfect with our chicken.

I've also started a small herb garden on my deck, as I can't grow anything in my yard (too many deer, bear, fox, coyote, name it...gotta love wildlife!). It's not very big but it suits my purpose just fine. This year I'm growing basil, cilantro, rosemary and lemon thyme. I had never seen this herb before and wanted to give it a try. You can really smell the combination of lemon and thyme in this herb and it brings out a nice, soft flavor. I've used it so far in vegetables, chicken and now rice but I bet it would also go well with seafood. 

Raspberry & Orange Risotto
1 tbsp. Butter
1 c. Arborio Rice
1 tbsp. Chambord
1/2 c. Orange Juice
1 c. Water
2 c. Low-Sodium Chicken Broth
1 tsp. Lemon Thyme, removed from stem

In a large, non-stick saute pan, melt the butter and add in the rice. Stir until the rice turns slightly brown, then add the Chambord and orange juice. Allow the liquid to evaporate, then add in the water. Again, allow the liquid to evaporate, then add in the chicken broth 1 cup at a time, allowing the liquid to evaporate after each addition. Add the lemon thyme, salt and pepper and mix well. Serves 6. 

Lemon Thyme in my mini herb garden. 


Saturday, June 23, 2012

Cauliflower & Cheese Fritters

My youngest daughter does NOT like cauliflower at all. No matter how I prepare it. I can't say I blame her as I didn't even like it myself until several years ago, and now I love it. My favorite way to eat it is roasted with some fresh garlic (go figure!). So one night I decided that I would puree some frozen cauliflower I had and make fritters out of them. I normally buy fresh cauliflower as it does taste better, but I also like to keep some frozen vegetables on hand in case I have last minute guests (saves me a trip to the store). I thought these would also be easier to use than steaming fresh cauliflower too (and boy were they...5 minutes in the microwave and done!). At first, I set out to make them a little healthier so I tried baking them, but the inside never seem to set right and they were doughy. So I resorted to frying them, and they were a hit.  She must have eaten 4 of them herself! Later, I was pleasantly surprised that they were only 78 calories a piece too; however, I don't know this until after I make something and it's usually consumed by that point. I just used some 2% American sliced cheese I had, but feel free to add whatever you have. Maybe some sharp cheddar or Asiago might be nice or if you like things a little on the spicy side, some PepperJack. In any event, these were delicious. Besides, everything tastes better with cheese! 

Cauliflower & Cheese Fritters
1-16oz. Bag Frozen Cauliflower Florets
3 oz. Cheese (I used 2% American)
1/4 c. Scallions, chopped
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 c. Self Rising Flour
Salt and Pepper, to taste
Canola Oil, for frying

Defrost cauliflower, drain excess water and place in a food processor or blender. Add in the cheese, scallions, and garlic and pulse until the mixture is smooth. Place mixture in a bowl then stir in the flour, salt and pepper. Heat about 1/2"-1" of oil in large, non-stick saute pan then carefully drop a kitchen tablespoon size amount of batter into the oil, pushing down on it to flatten it. Allow to brown on both sides, approximately 2-3 minutes per side, then drain on paper towels to remove excess oil. Makes 16 fritters. 

Nutritional Information (I factored in that a total of 1/4 cup of Canola is used to fry the fritters):

Calories 78
Total Fat 4.7g
Saturated Fat 1.1g
Cholesterol 3mg
Sodium 55mg
Total Carbohydrates 5.3g
Dietary Fiber 2.1g
Sugars 0.9g
Protein 1.4g

*Nutritional Information from and may not be 100% accurate. 

Shared on Thursday's Treasures 6/28/12


Friday, June 22, 2012

Week 23: Seafood Frenzy Friday

Welcome to Week 23 of Seafood Frenzy Friday where I select seafood recipes from some of my food blogging friends to showcase for all of you since I don't eat any fish myself. Simply click on the name of the recipe underneath the picture to be taken to the author's original post. 

Chin Deep

Ask Chef Dennis

All Day I Dream About Food

Noshing with the Nolands

Big Bear's Wife

What's Cookin' Chicago?


Family Foodie

La Difference Catering

Once a Month Mom

Thank you all for allowing me to share, have a wonderful weekend! 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Dijon Red Bliss Potato Salad

I love these little potatoes and I can't seem to always find them in my regular grocery store, but they do carry them a my local produce market (where they are generally less expensive too!). This salad is another easy alternative to basic potato salad and the dijon mustard adds a nice color, as well as a little flair, to these potatoes. 

I also like the fact that this recipe has only 5 ingredients, which makes it real easy to make too! I'm thinking of adding a new category under the Labels section (to the right of the blog) called 5 INGREDIENTS OR LESS. What do you think? Go to the top left side of the blog to cast your vote! 

Dijon Red Bliss Potato Salad
2lb. Baby C Red Potatoes (the really small red skinned ones)
1 Scallion, chopped
1 tsp. Fresh Rosemary, chopped
1/3 c. Hellman's Mayonnaise
2 tbsp. Grey Poupon Mustard
Kosher Salt, to taste
Fresh Ground Black Pepper, to taste

Add potatoes to a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and let cook until fork tender. Remove from heat, drain water and add cold water to bring down the temperature of the potatoes. (You may have to do this 2-3 times). Cut the potatoes in half, then add to a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, mustard, rosemary, salt and pepper until creamy. Add to the potatoes and mix well. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours to give the mayonnaise a chance to penetrate the potatoes. Serves 8. 

Nutritional Information: Calories 102, Carbs 8g, Fat 6g, Protein 2g


*Calculations based on ingredients entered into MyFitnessPal and may not be 100% accurate.

Shared on Everyday Mom's Meals Church Supper 6/23/12

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Review of Bake Huggers Edible Cupcake Liners

Well, where do I begin! Some of you have heard me talking about these liners on my Facebook page recently, but I figured since I recently purchased my first official set of them for my own personal use, I'd share my experience with all of you; especially those that only receive my blog updates via email.  Now I say "officially try" because as you'll read in her bio below, Debra Lee comes from suburban NJ. Technically, she lives about 5 minutes from my home and our kids have been friends for about 10 years now, and I know how hard she has worked to get this wonderful product to the market and am so proud of her for overcoming so many obstacles along the way. 

Here's a little insight into Bake Huggers...

Debra Lee is the creator of Bake Huggers edible liners and CEO of Signed Originals, Inc., the distributor of Bake Huggers. As a professional artist and a busy mother of 3 school-age girls in suburban New Jersey, she was looking for a way to effortlessly decorate the cupcakes her kids loved so dearly, and to minimize the mess and waste involved with plain paper liners.

Visualizing the liner as a blank canvas, Debra Lee began to illustrate Santa's face from his eyebrows down to his jolly chin.  As the cupcake is rotated, Santa's sides and back of head would create an "in-the-round" look.  Decorating the hat, would be all that is needed of the baker!  A sweep of frosting, dusted with red sprinkles, and topped with a mini marshmallow completed the look!  NOW THAT'S SIMPLE!  TRAYS of Santa masterpieces in a matter of minutes!  Debra Lee decided NOT to peel the liner off (which would have been Santa's smiling face!) but to keep it intact.  What she came up with is the revolutionary idea of eating the whole cupcake…liner and all! CREATIVE EASE, NO MESS, AND NO WASTE MAKES FOR A BETTER CUPCAKE...CUPCAKE RE-INVENTED!
By using liners made of a special mix of potatoes and vegetable oil and decorating them with edible inks, she had more time to enjoy her kids’ birthday parties and not spend her time decorating each individual cupcake or cleaning up the mess they left behind. And the kids loved eating the liner with the cupcakes because the liners take on the flavor, as well as the texture of the cupcakes while baking.
After perfecting her liners and filing for a patent Debra Lee decided to share her creations so others could enjoy them.  An opportunity arose, as a contestant on a Discovery Channel show for female inventors.  Debra's cupcake liners received rave reviews from the judges!  Emeril Lagasse, marveled “Why didn’t I think of that?” after biting into a delicious cupcake wrapped with one of Bake Huggers whimsical designs.

Next up for Debra Lee was an appearance on HSN (Home Shopping Network), where her liners sold out in less than 5 minutes!  HSN's producers were shocked and wished they had ordered more of the amazing liners! The movement away from messy, wasteful paper liners was fully underway and now the challenge was to keep up with the demand for the product and more designs.  Bake Huggers is READY for that challenge and has created new YEAR ROUND designs! 
So like I mentioned up above, I purchased my first set as they just recently went to full production for the marketplace (but I was lucky enough to try some of the beginning prototypes too!). I figured they would give that extra something special to the cupcakes I was making for my daughters end of year class party. Now, if you all follow me regularly, I don't profess to be a baker. Desserts here and there but I don't usually fare well with homemade cakes and pies. Since Gab wanted Funfetti cupcakes with chocolate icing anyway, I was in the clear! 

I opened the package and found explicit instructions on how to use the liners. Now, as you can see, there are no bottoms, just the sides. They were SIMPLE to put together using a small tab system and went together in no time. Just make sure your hands are dry before assembling!

Next, mix your cupcake batter and fill the liners about 2/3 full. This is where I ALWAYS goof by filling it too high. 

See, a little too high, but I'm sure the kids didn't mind. Notice how the liners just melded into the cupcake...adorable aren't they?! 

And here is the finished product! 
The liners take on the flavor of the cupcake and you just eat right through it..AMAZING! Imagine what all of you talented bakers can create with these if my boxed cupcakes look this good! 

They have several prints available, including solid colors that you can write whatever you'd like on them yourself (using edible pens of course!), and many more on the way.

I also like that a portion of the profits goes towards Autism research and treatment. Check out their website and you can see some beautiful artwork that has been created in Debra Lee's art therapy classes with autistic people. 

Click HERE to order your Bake Huggers Edible Liners Today!