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Showing posts from October, 2014

Stuffed Pepper Soup

When we were first married, Ryan and I took turns cooking dinner. We cycled through some of the same meals most of the time, but sometimes I'd have time in my busy undergrad schedule (yes, I was that idiot who took 23 credits in a semester with special approval from the department of Music - bad, bad, idea. But it had to be done if I was going to graduate within 4 years with a Music Degree at BYU!!!), to try a brand new recipe. I think this era was when the small seedlings of Baking with Blondie were planted, and my love of trying new recipes was born. 
They weren't all successes at first, though, I totally BOMBED dinnertime plenty of times. I remember burning a pan of orange glazed chicken so badly that I called Ryan crying. We threw the pan away, and agreed to get our weekend date-meal that night at Cafe Rio. I felt like a total failure! Little did I know that only a few years later, I'd be able to make that same chicken with ease, along with a crazy toddler "helpi…

Slow Cooker Beef and Broccoli

There's a lot of things we like to do around Halloween time. As a little family with a son who is definitely old enough to remember almost every detail (he still talks about last Halloween), I have been trying extra hard each year to make our traditions stick. Its important to incorporate some of our childhood traditions into our little family, but with all respect, I think it's also super important to make our own, on our own, as our own in little family unit, too. 
This year, so far, we've stuck to the plan of carving our pumpkins on the Monday before Halloween. I usually like to carve a couple, while Ryan (the non-pumpkin-carving-kinda-guy) listens to each and every demand the three-year-old has to say about where the eyes should go on the face. It's amazing how much detail that little guy has for just a simple little pumpkin! 
We also like to make the yearly trip to Cornbellysor a pumpkin patch. This year, though, we have to hold off a week on the Cornbellys visit…

Pick Your Prize Giveaweay!!

Happy Monday, everyone! I am SO excited to finally be doing a giveaway on here for you amazing readers! I've teamed with some of my favorite bloggers to give away one seriously amazing prize. If you win, YOU have the choice between a 1. KitchenAid (I use mine in some way almost every. single. day. and it is simply my favorite kitchen tool), 2. an iPad Mini (these are SO awesome!!!) or even $275 cash in your PayPal account (this would ROCK with the holidays coming up so quickly). Any of these are amazing, and the winner is going to have a super-tricky time choosing their own prize! Good luck, everyone! 
Enter the giveaway below, to win. 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

A Dash of Sanity - A Kitchen Addiction - Baking with Blondie - Butter with a Side of Bread - Cupcake Diaries - La Fuji Mama - Life Made Simple - Like Mother Like Daughter - Love to be in the Kitchen - Real Mom Kitchen - The Baker Upstairs

Cajun Chicken Pasta

My son was showing some heavy signs of sickness - a nasty fever, he was super lethargic, he wasn't giggling/talking constantly, he didn't want to run around like a wild thing, he didn't cough very often but when he did it was really scary, and overall he just wasn't his usually crazy three-year-old self. This usually means we are just going to stay in for the rest of the day. These days don't happen very often, but when they do, we milk it like crazy and allow his little body to heal as much as possible without interruption. 
I can only take cartoons so much, so when he's dozing off, I quickly flip the channel over to the Food Network. Well, thankfully I did! Darling Ree from Pioneer Woman was going to town in the kitchen, and THIS amazing pasta dish was on the menu. I watched in wonder as she effortlessly assembled, cooked, and tossed together all the beautiful ingredients to this Cajun Chicken Pasta. My mouth seriously could not stop watering, and I immediat…

Crunchy Taco Salad

As a food blogger, there are a few times a week (especially when we get a little closer to those dark winter evenings) I make our dinner at lunchtime. The light is much better in the afternoon/morning/evening than around 7ish when we get around to dinner in our family. This also gives me a chance to plan something else for dinner if the recipe flops. Thankfully, this taco bowl was one of the WIN recipes! I was able to reheat the meat perfectly at dinnertime, crunch some new tortilla chips, grab the pico de gallo, cheese, and guac from the fridge and BAM, dinnertime was on the table within minutes. 
It saves so much time, and we end up with an awesome dinner without any stress at all at crunch time.

10 Ways I Save Money in my Kitchen

(image by Tracy Hill Photography, graphic by me)
Ever since we were married 7 years ago (we were practically babies!) we've been on a very strict budget. We're not financial experts, but we have found some things (through a lot of trial and error) that work extremely well for us & saved us money in the long run. I figured that knowledge could be helpful to anyone looking to save a bit of money in their kitchen. This, after all, IS a food blog! I make a TON of food every week, and in doing so have had to figure out how to still keep our weekly/monthly food costs within our budget.

A great deal of what I make, photograph, and share on this blog starts with the simple basics of budgeting, time-management for dinner time to prevent last-minute-eating-out, and getting the best out of my grocery visit. I've learned a lot about how to stretch that dollar as far as it can go (without spending hours couponing, etc), and I think I've locked down 10 main practices that have w…

Orange Sweet Rolls

Something special happens twice a year for our religion, and it's called General Conference. I won't go into detail on here because we need to get to these amazing sweet rolls like, yesterday, but if you're curious about Mormons & why your Facebook/Instagram feed was flooded with pictures of us basically "watching our church on TV" as some would call it, (when in reality, we are receiving guidance & council from our living prophets and apostles) click here. It's kind of a really awesome thing, and I look forward to it between conferences. 
Anyway, each time we spend the weekend at home watching, it's been a tradition of mine to make a cinnamon roll breakfast for us. I start the night before, let the rolls rise overnight in the fridge, and then pop them in the oven the second we wake up. This year, I wanted to skip the traditional cinnamon rolls, and dive into a warm gooey flavor that definitely deserves it's stardom from these amazing rolls: …

Slow Cooker Three Cheese Tortellini Tomato Soup

Life. Is. Nuts. I feel like everything is spinning around so quickly, sometimes. But in all the crazy, at least I know there is one saving grace at dinnertime:
the crock pot.
the slow cooker. 
the happy-momma-maker.
the low-stress supper 
Whatever the heck you call it, it saves lives. 
This recipe held me together. 

Homemade Roasted Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower seeds are part of my childhood in so many different ways. My Mom has always planted a big, beautiful garden. She fills her flower beds to the brim with all kinds of gorgeous textures, colors, and different heights of plants. They're all strategically placed, and on any given afternoon in summertime, she's out in the garden. 
I, the little terror that I was (and probably still am sometimes), would sneak a handful of sunflower seeds in the springtime and when my Mom wasn't looking, would sneak a seed here and there in her garden. A few months later, her garden would flourish in perfect order... 
...minus the giant sunflowers sprouting up in the middle of everything, in random places. 
Childhood was fun, eh?

Pumpkin Waffles

Okay, since we've made these a few times by now, I thought we'd stop hoarding the recipe to ourselves and share it with all of you today. I know you're super-psyched. 
No matter how much I try, I feel like we always end up with a half of a can of pumpkin leftover in the fridge. Most recipes I make only use about a cup, but that leaves some left in the can. In the fridge it waits until I make a recipe that calls for pumpkin. Well, instead of letting it wait around for more than a few days, we've been using that leftover canned pumpkin in the quickest and tastiest way we know - waffles for dinner!

Chocolate Mint Oreo Cake

Here's the last of my little mini cakes I brought to the cake auction, but certainly not the least! I wanted to keep this little darling sooo badly, but the price definitely shot up there very quickly, and I wasn't about to pay that much for this cake. 
Okay, I lie. It would have been totally worth it to drop those paper presidents on this baby. 
As promised, today I'm sharing the details for this lovely chocolate mint oreo cake - let's dive right in!

Steak and Pepper Stir Fry

If you've been following closely on Instagram, you already know about my new camera: the amazing Cannon Rebel DSLR that my dear friend Natalie from Life {Made} Simplegifted me. It was seriously the kindest thing for her to do. I'm already obsessed with it, and find myself thinking about it, reading about it, shooting with it, all the time. I still have so much to learn, but I'm happy it's that way - it would be so boring if we already had all the answers to things, and this camera is no exception. There are so many things I don't understand or know about it, but every time I use it, I feel like we get to know each other much, much better. It's a lot harder than I expected (SO many different buttons and settings!) There's a ton of things I'd change about these photos, but I think they're at least fun for a first try! Without waiting any longer, let's dive into this deliciously juicy stir fry dish, shall we? 

Green Minestrone

Sorry, guys. The soup recipes aren't going to stop anytime soon! Especially when there's a pile of bacon involved. 
I learned early on that in order to bribe my husband to try a dish, or soup, with a lot of veggies involved, I'd need to toss in a handful of bacon to sweeten the deal at dinnertime. Works like a charm every time. This soup was no exception, but with or without the bacon, we couldn't fill our bowls up fast enough for a second helping.

Pink Sprinkle Cake with Maraschino Cherries

Okay, so this isn't a recipe share today, so I'm definitely cheating a little bit. But this little sweet cake is totally worth it.  
At my church, every year, the young men host a cake auction to raise money for the scouts. Members of the church voluntarily donate a cake for everyone to bid on, and in return the scouts provide a big spaghetti & meatball dinner. It was delicious, and we all had a blast watching our friends bid on all the unique and tasty cakes. 
For that evening, I thought it would be fun to bring two small cakes (2 x 6" layers). I was a little nervous to bring them (I'd never been to one of these cake auction nights before, and didn't know what kind of cakes I was setting my cakes up against for auction!). There were so many beautiful and creative cakes. There was even a 3-tier fondant BYU football cake with a fondant helmet on top. It was amazing! I loved seeing all the cakes lined up and hearing all the high bids to take them home.

My cakes…

Loaded Cornbread

With all the soup flying out of the kitchen this season (sorry if you're sick of my soups already - but we're just getting started!), there's no shortage of wondering what I'm going to serve along with it. When I was growing up, chili and cornbread was a frequent dinner at our house, and I loved soaking up all that juicy hearty broth with a soft slice of crumbly cornbread. It was like peanut butter and jelly, to me; the perfect combo. 
Instead of just baking up a quick box of cornbread in a, well, jiffy (haah), tossing in a handful of goodness was definitely a no-brainer when it came to this loaded cornbread.