#FoodieExtravaganza: Enchiladas

foodieextravaganza-300April is here and with it another Foodie Extravaganza! This month Camilla from Culinary Adventures with Camilla told us to make some enchiladas. 

It has been 13 months since I’ve participated with this group but I couldn’t turn down enchiladas! I mean, how could I!? My husband and I had a fun culinary routine of Mexican Mondays which held strong for at least 5 years. And to this day, when I do put Mexican cuisine on our weekly menu, I let it fall on a Monday. Mexican Monday allows way more versatility than Taco Tuesday.

My Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas are a family favorite, and my go-to dish for bringing to friends after having a baby or a deployment. I had to come up with something different for today’s post and somehow my mind wandered to one of our favorite Mexican places in Ohio, Abuelo’s. We didn’t realize it at the time, but Abuelo’s is evidently a chain restaurant, but we still liked it! My favorite dish were their Spinach Enchiladas, so that’s what I have for you today. My husband couldn’t stop raving about them and has declared them a strong competitor to the previously mentioned Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas.

Spinach Enchiladas

Ingredients:

  • 10 oz bag frozen spinach
  • 2 strips center cut bacon, diced
  • 1 1/2 C diced mushrooms
  • 1/2 small onion, diced
  • 1/4 bell pepper, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp diced chipotle peppers in adobo
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 4 oz Velveeta cheese, cubed
  • 3 oz cream cheese
  • 1 C frozen corn
  • 6 taco sized flour tortillas
  • 1 10 oz can green enchilada sauce
  • 3 handfuls shredded Mexican blend cheese

Steps:

  1. Microwave the spinach according to package instructions.
  2. In a large skillet cook the bacon until crispy. Add in the mushrooms, onion, pepper, garlic, and chipotle peppers and cook until tender. Season with S+P.
  3. Add the cheeses and cook until melted. Stir in the corn and cooked spinach.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a casserole dish.
  5. Divide the spinach mixture onto the tortillas, rolling them up and placing them seam-side down in the prepared casserole dish. Top with the enchilada sauce and the cheese. Bake 25-30 minutes until bubbly and the cheese is melted.

This recipe is modified from mollypaul at http://www.geniuskitchen.com/recipe/abuelos-spinach-casserole-112480*

Spinach Enchiladas for #FoodieExtravaganza from Sew You Think You Can Cook

Be sure to check out these other creative enchilada recipes:

If you are a blogger and would like to join our group and blog along with us, come join our Facebook page Foodie Extravaganza. We would love to have you! If you’re a spectator looking for delicious tid-bits check out our Foodie Extravaganza Pinterest Board! Looking for our previous parties? Check them out HERE.

Broccoli Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing

I love a good broccoli salad and I am not afraid of mayo.

But I know many people who aren’t as in love with the condiment as I am. And that’s okay.

I settled on bringing broccoli salad to Easter dinner as my contribution. I was going to use my go-to recipe, which involves pasta, but then I found a non-mayo recipe on Pinterest. Those stalkers knew just what I would like!

My favorite thing about this broccoli salad is that there’s lots of fruit involved – apples, blueberries, and cranberries! The poppy seed dressing is sweet and tangy and a perfect compliment to both veggie and fruit. It gets bonus points for sunflower seeds.

I’m sharing the recipe today with some other Festive Foodie bloggers in honor of National Picnic Day, which is today April 23rd. I think this salad would be great for any picnic or potluck!

Broccoli Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing

Ingredients:

  • 2 small heads broccoli, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 large apple, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 C blueberries
  • 1/2 C dried cranberries
  • 1/4 C sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 C diced red onion
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice, divided use
  • 1 C plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 C honey
  • 1 tbsp poppy seeds
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar

Steps:

  1. In a large bowl, toss together the broccoli, apple, blueberries, cranberries, sunflower seeds, and red onion with 1 tbsp lemon juice.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, honey, remaining lemon juice, poppy seeds, and vinegar.
  3. Pour dressing over salad to taste (I had a little dressing leftover) and serve.

*This recipe is adapted from Kristine at https://kristineskitchenblog.com/no-mayo-broccoli-salad-blueberries-apple/ *

Broccoli Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing for National Picnic Day from Sew You Think You Can Cook

Be sure to check out these other great picnic worthy recipes:

Asian Slaw by A Day in the Life on the Farm

Bánh Mì + A Wine Suggestion by Culinary Adventures with Camilla

Broccoli Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing by Sew You Think You Can Cook

Chicken BLT Shaker Salad by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings

Deviled Eggs with Horseradish and Dill by Palatable Pastime

Florida Stone Crab Claws with Key Lime Mustard Dipping Sauce by Family Around the Table

Italian Antipasto Pasta Salad by Books n’ Cooks

Marinated Three Bean Salad by Jolene’s Recipe Journal

Roasted Corn Salad with Chile Vinaigrette by Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck Survive Despite a Whiskered Accomplice

Southern Crispy Oven Fried Chicken by Everyday Eileen

 Thank you, Ellen of Family Around the Table, for hosting this National Picnic Day event.

#SRC Reunion: Roasted Green Beans and Mushrooms

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It’s Secret Recipe Club Reveal Day! In the Secret Recipe Club, each participating blogger is assigned a blog from another participating blogger and secretly searches their site for something to recreate. The accompanying blog post then goes live on reveal day! So while I was immersed in my assigned blog, someone else was picking through mine! I’m so excited to be part of this group, to see what on my blog peaks other’s interests and to stumble upon new blogs and new recipes.

Secret Recipe Club ended its run about a year and a half ago, but today we’re back with a reunion meeting! I’d by lying if I said I didn’t want this group to regain its strength and come back in full force.

For this reveal I was assigned Cookaholic Wife written by Nichole. I’m fairly familiar with Nichole’s blog as we’re both members of a group called Festive Foodies. Nichole, as her blog title would suggest, is a loving wife who loves to cook and bake! On her About Me page she says, “I find the ocean soothing in a way that nothing else can compare.” Though she lives in Maryland and is staring at a different ocean, that is absolutely something I can agree with her on! There is nothing that makes me calmer than getting to listen to and watch the waves crashing on the sand.

And that’s not all we agree on! I’m thinking she’s my twin across the country! I, too, am a compulsive list maker and am addicted to my planner (bullet journaling is a little too “creative” for me to pick up, but I adore goggling at bullet journaling ideas on Pinterest and Instagram), I love Sharpies, and challenge that “too much” popcorn isn’t a thing.

When looking through Nichole’s Recipe Index I limited myself to side dishes. We were invited to a friend from church’s house for Easter dinner – and I said I’d bring the side dish and my grandmother’s pound cake. (It felt so good to have a secret SRC pinterest board again!)

Okay, so the recipe I’m ultimately sharing today didn’t make it to Easter dinner. I got too excited by it and cooked it in March instead. (We’re moving mid-April… so probably as you read this and simply needed to get this fabulous post scheduled!)

I picked this side dish because I love green beans and my husband loves mushrooms. Winner!

Roasted Green Beans and Mushrooms

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb green beans, trimmed
  • 1 container (5 oz) sliced shitaki mushrooms
  • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • grated parmesan cheese, to taste

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, toss together the green beans, mushrooms, oil, and vinegar. Place on a rimmed baking sheet. Season to taste with S+P. (Check out my kids’ technique here.) Roast 20-25 minutes.
  3. Sprinkle with parmesan. Serve warm.

*This recipe is adapted from Nichole at http://www.cookaholicwife.com/2012/03/roasted-green-beans-with-mushrooms.html*

Roasted Green Beans and Mushrooms for #SecretRecipeClub from Sew You Think You Can Cook

To see the other bloggers who participated in The Secret Recipe Club reunion click here:

Buttermilk Coffee Cake with Jam

Last Fall I joined Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS). Young moms – check out that link to see if there’s a MOPS near you! You won’t regret it, I promise. And no, I’m not being paid to say that.

I’d not actually realized that MOPS was a real organization, I just thought it was a group of women who had toddlers running around their homes gathering together.

And really, that’s kind of what it is. But it’s so much more than that.

It is a Christian organization developed to inspire moms and their kiddos in faith and companionship. Each meeting we have a fabulous speaker and our group has been seriously blessed with incredible, real women who have come to share their stories on friendship, parenting, faith, and freedom.

Joining MOPS is probably the best thing I’ve done as a mom! I just love the women I get to gather with every other Wednesday morning. Having breakfast provided is a huge perk, too!

Each meeting, the different tables take turns providing breakfast for the entire group. During our table’s turns I’ve brought Homemade Biscuits and Rolled Pancakes.

At our last meeting it was a “free for all” sign up sheet amongst everyone. I signed up to bring some sort of breakfast sweet.

Coffee cake.

Now, you all know I have a favorite coffee cake recipe that I mix up fairly often, changing out the Nutella filling for various fruits and adjusting the topping slightly to coordinate.

Today, I’m sharing with you a completely different coffee cake! WHAT!?!

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This recipe comes from Magnolia Days, a blog formerly written by my virtual friend Renee. She’s since handed over the reigns to Katie and I’m so glad she did because this Buttermilk Coffee Cake recipe gets to remain on the internet!

Buttermilk Coffee Cake with Jam

Ingredients:

  • 2 C flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 C + 2 1/2 tbsp buttermilk, divided use
  • 1/2 C sugar, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1/2 stick butter, melted
  • 1/4 jam (I used apricot-pineapple)
  • 1/4 C chopped walnuts
  • 1 C powdered sugar, sifted

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9″ x 9″ cake pan with parchment paper. Lightly spray with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In another bowl, whisk the eggs with 1 C buttermilk, and 1/2 C sugar. Add to the dry ingredients, stirring until combined.
  4. Pour batter into prepared cake pan. Top with spoonfuls of the jam and gently swirl into the batter. Sprinkle with walnuts and a little extra sugar.
  5. Bake 35-40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out cleanly. Let cake cool 5-10 minutes in the pan before removing to a cooling rack.
  6. Before serving, mix together the powdered sugar and 2 1/2 tbsp buttermilk until smooth. Drizzle over the cake.

*This recipe is adapted from Renee at https://magnoliadays.com/apricot-buttermilk-coffee-cake*

Buttermilk Coffee Cake with Jam for #CoffeeCakeDay from Sew You Think You Can Cook

Be sure to check out these other great coffee cake recipes:

Blueberry Lemon Buttermilk Coffee Cake by Girl Abroad

Blueberry Sour Cream Coffee Cake by Jolene’s Recipe Journal

Busy Day Blueberry Ginger Coffee Cake by A Day in the Life on the Farm

Butter Crumb Coffee Cake by Karen’s Kitchen Stories

Buttermilk Coffee Cake with Jam by Sew You Think You Can Cook

Chocolate Espresso Bundt Coffee Cake by Daily Dish Recipes

Cinnamon Nut Coffee Ring by Family Around the Table

Coffee Cake Donuts by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks

Cookie Butter Coffee Cake by Strawberry Blondie Kitchen

Crumble Topped Nutty Coffee Cake by Culinary Adventures with Camilla

Meyer Lemon Coffee Cake by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings

Strawberry Rhubarb Coffee Cake by House of Nash Eats

Thank you, Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm, for hosting this Coffee Cake Day event.

#EasterWeek: Peeps Cookie Bars

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Disclaimer: This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Earlier this year Firecracker wanted to make some cookies. My husband grabbed one of my cookie cookbooks (Cookies: Over 300 Step-By-Step Recipes For Home Made Baking). They selected more of a bar than a cookie, but we ran with it. Little tip for ya: Don’t try cutting out train shaped cookies from this bar, just let it be and cut it into rectangles.

The cookie bars were an almond cookie base, topped with jam, and marshmallows.

Now, my kids LOVE marshmallows. I’m talking bribery-status treat level here!

The cookies were quite fun and incredibly sweet. I had used a huckleberry jam from Knott’s Berry Farm.

I knew I had to try them again for Easter using Peeps!

I can’t recall having Peeps since making my famous (hey, the recipe was published in the Chicago Tribune last year!) Peeps Lemon Drop Martini FOUR years ago.

Peeps seem to get a bad rap (wrap?) these days. They’re one of those “love ’em or hate ’em” types of foods. Whatever. They’re delicious, and my kids, no surprise, quite enjoyed them. I’ll be sure to grab a small pack for their Easter baskets this year.

I used the bunny shaped Peeps because once cut in half, they’re thin enough to layer on the cookie bars. And to avoid any gruesome looking cookies, I used a pineapple and apricot jam instead of strawberry.

To make the cookies you first make the cookie base and let it cool. Then you top it with your jam before layering on sliced marshmallows. You need to cut them in half and place the cut side down to ensure they’ll stick. You then pop them back in the oven under the broiler.

Now, our oven has been busted pretty much since we moved into this home two years ago. The oven is older and runs into an “overheating” error that fails at a mere 350 degrees F. To work around the error we have to have the fan on the microwave running and the kitchen window open. Additionally, anything over 375 degrees F requires that nothing be on top of the stove, too. That means, I don’t get to use my broiler, so my marshmallows don’t get the toasty golden look to them (the Peep bunny faces did melt creating the allusion of toasted marshmallows). Ah well.

Peeps Cookie Bars for #EasterWeek from Sew You Think You Can Cook (1)

Peeps Cookie Bars

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 C superfine sugar
  • zest 1 lemon
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 C ground almonds
  • 1 egg
  • 1 C flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • approx. 1/2 C jam
  • 1 pkg (3 oz) bunny Peeps

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9″x9″ cake pan (option to also line with parchment paper/foil).
  2. In a large bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, and lemon zest with an electric hand mixer. Add in the vanilla, almonds, and egg until combined. Mix in the flour, baking powder, and salt until a dough is formed. Spread dough evenly in prepared pan. Bake 20 minutes. Let cool.
  3. Spread jam over the baked cookie base.
  4. Cut Peeps in half horizontally and place, cut side down, on top of the jam. Return to oven and broil until marshmallows are golden.

Peeps Cookie Bars for #EasterWeek from Sew You Think You Can Cook

Be sure to check out these other Easter recipes:

Brussels Sprout Potato Cakes by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings

Candied Lemon Zest Jalapeño Deviled Eggs by Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck Survive Despite a Whiskered Accomplice

Carrot Cake Cookies by Daily Dish Recipes

Curried Deviled Eggs by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures

Dried Cherry and Almond Scones by Family Around the Table

Easter Egg Sugar Cookies by The Redhead Baker

Eggs Benedict Breakfast Bake by Cookaholic Wife

Greek Lamb Keftiko by Caroline’s Cooking

Ham and Cheese Breakfast Casserole by Karen’s Kitchen Stories

Roasted Pork Loin with White Wine Sauce by A Day in the Life on the Farm

Maple Apple Baked Oatmeal by Jolene’s Recipe Journal

Peeps Cookie Bars by Sew You Think You Can Cook

Easter Bread Cheesecake – Pasca by All that’s Jas

Spring Veggie Crudités with Fresh Pea Hummus by Culinary Adventures with Camilla

Vanilla Bean Mocha Biscotti by Amy’s Cooking Adventures

Vegetable Breakfast Casserole by Simple and Savory

#EasterWeek: Whipped Ricotta Salad

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Wait a minute.

Wasn’t it just Christmas?

Am I allowed to admit I feel like I haven’t reached a level of organization for 2018 yet?

And we’re talking Easter!?

Well, since we’re talking about it, might as well cook about it!

This year’s #EasterWeek, hosted by Christie of A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures, convenes on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and providing you plenty of time to come up with your perfect Easter menu. (Easter is April 1st – that’s 13 days from now!)

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

To start your menu, I propose a light and bright, spring-timey salad.

This salad comes from the cookbook Happy Cooking: Make Every Meal Count … Without Stressing Out by Giada De Laurentiis and is featured in her Las Vegas restaurant.

I quite like ricotta cheese, but when I have leftovers I never know what to do with it besides make some lasagna, ravioli, or pasta sauce. I have done muffins before, which is quite delicious.

With an almost full container of ricotta in my refrigerator, I selected one of Giada’s cookbooks hoping she’d know what to do.

Guess what.

She does!

This salad is both refreshing and satisfying.

The basil vinaigrette paired with the fresh tomatoes and the creamy ricotta reminded me of a caprese salad.

Whipped Ricotta Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 C packed fresh basil
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts, toasted
  • 2 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 tbsp + 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided use
  • 1 C whole milk ricotta cheese, chilled
  • 3 C baby greens salad mix (I used a blend of kale and spinach)
  • 1 C cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 lb sugar snap peas, trimmed and halved

Steps:

  1. Make dressing: Place basil, toasted pine nuts, vinegar, salt, and red pepper flakes into a food processor and blend. Add in 3 tbsp of the olive oil until the dressing comes together. Set aside.
  2. Using an electric hand mixer, whip the ricotta with the remaining olive oil and a pinch of salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, gently toss the salad green, peas, and tomatoes with the dressing.
  4. Plate: Spoon whipped ricotta onto a plate and top with the salad. Serves 4-6 people.

Whipped Ricotta Salad for #EasterWeek from Sew You Think You Can Cook

Be sure to check out these other great Easter recipes:

Broccoli and Blue Cheese Gratin by A Day in the Life on the Farm

Bunny Cinnamon Rolls by Family Around the Table

Bunny Mary by Culinary Adventures with Camilla

Carrot Roll Cake by Cookaholic Wife

Chocolate Dipped Robin’s Egg Cookies by Amy’s Cooking Adventures

Crunchy Easter Bird Nest Granola Bites by Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck Survive Despite a Whiskered Accomplice

Deviled eggs with creme Fraiche and herbs by Simple and Savory

Easter M&M Blondies by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks

Easter Mini Chocolate Rum Cupcakes by Daily Dish Recipes

Egg Benedict Quiche by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures

Orange Ricotta Pancakes by Jolene’s Recipe Journal

Puff Pastry Eggs with Ham and Cheese by All that’s Jas

Sausage and Spinach Pie by Karen’s Kitchen Stories

Tsoureki – Greek Easter Bread by Caroline’s Cooking

Whipped Ricotta Salad by Sew You Think You Can Cook

Rainbow Marshmallow Treats

Last month I shared how I’ve been developing my own curriculum when it comes to holiday themed school units for my preschoolers (with a lot of help from Pinterest).

It’s time now for me to share something from our St. Patrick’s Day “studies.”

Disclaimer: This post contains Amazon affiliate links. 

St. Patrick’s Day was only a big holiday for me when we lived in the FL panhandle because my best friend was (I mean, she still is) Irish and we celebrated 4 SPDs together in a row. Quite fun.

I admit I know nothing really about the holiday. Yes, I could go google that right now, but I’m not going to; let’s be real.

But hey. I ordered two books to fit the holiday off Amazon (funnily enough the library didn’t have materials left for me to check out!) and we’ve read them 8 times today (aka yesterday). Guess they’re a hit: There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Clover! and Ten Lucky Leprechauns. (Personally, I prefer the latter.)

Firecracker absolutely loves rainbows so I knew we’d have to focus on the “pot o’ gold at the end of the rainbow” idea of the holiday. He doesn’t get it. (Hey, I don’t either, kid.) But a rainbow activity and craft – he’s all for it.

We made rainbow paper chains and learned about how staplers work – quite an interesting machine! “I’m very curious about the stapler.” These cute crafts act as my prop for the star of the show – the Rainbow Marshmallow Treats.

Rainbow Marshmallow Treats #StPatricksDay | Sew You Think You Can Cook

Think Rice Krispie Treat made with Trix cereal.

I know marshmallow treats made with Lucky Charms are incredibly popular this time of year, and rightfully so, but I wanted to go a slightly different route this week. They’re definitely fun, festive, and applicable more than once a year – they’d be great for birthday parties!

Rainbow Marshmallow Treats

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 1 bag mini marshmallows
  • 1 box Trix cereal

Steps:

  1. Melt butter and marshmallows in a large pot over medium heat. Stir until smooth.
  2. Remove from heat and fold in the cereal, mixing until cereal is fully coated.
  3. Press into a greased casserole dish and let set before cutting into squares.

Rainbow Marshmallow Treats #StPatricksDay | Sew You Think You Can Cook