Orange Rosemary Roasted Almonds

Earlier this month I hosted our monthly Po-Ke-No game. Po-Ke-No is essentially bingo but instead of letter-number combinations, the board is filled with different playing cards and a standard deck of cards is used to call out the “tiles.”

Each month someone new hosts and gets to pick a theme for the night. We all bring $1 and a “Secret Santa” style $10 gift in a bag. We play through two rounds. In the first, the winner of each game picks a bag and shows everyone what’s inside. In the second round, the winner of each game gets to steal a gift of their choice. Each gift can only be stolen twice, making it effectively “owned” a total of three times. (Starbucks gift cards and cash are the first to be finished.) We play one more game for “all the marbles” aka that $1 buy-in.

While it’s not a requirement, I like to make my “Secret Santa” gift match the theme of the night. For example: for the theme of flowers I brought a flower silicone bowl cover (similar to this).

I chose the theme of citrus. I made a large batch of my Fresh Lemonade, these orange rosemary roasted almonds, and my Key Lime Cheesecake Filled Graham Cracker Bundt Cake. Everything was a success.

Orange Rosemary Roasted Almonds

Ingredients:

  • 4 C almonds
  • 6 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 tbsp orange zest

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  2. Place almonds on prepared baking sheet. Lightly spray with cooking spray and roast 10-15 minutes.
  3. In a small saucepan over medium heat melt together butter and sugar. Once the sugar is dissolved remove from  the heat and mix in the rosemary and orange zest.
  4. Toss roasted almonds and the butter mixture together in a large bowl. Spread nuts back out on baking sheet(s) to cool completely.

*This recipe is adapted from Christie at http://akitchenhoor.blogspot.com/2015/02/src-reveal-orange-and-rosemary-roasted.html*

Orange Rosemary Roasted Almonds | Sew You Think You Can Cook

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

#FoodieExtravaganza: Mushrooms

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This month’s #FoodieExtravaganza theme is mushrooms. TheFoodie Extravaganza is a monthly party hosted by bloggers who love food! Each month we incorporate one main ingredient or theme into recipes to share with you. Thanks to Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm for hosting this month.

Honestly, I wasn’t sure I was going to participate in today’s event as I’m not a mushroom lover. I didn’t rule it out completely though because my husband and son quite enjoy them.

A couple of weekends ago I had quite a lot on my schedule in preparation for a game night I was hosting (making fresh lemonade, baking this cake, and mixing roasted almonds) so my husband took our son out of the house and went to a grocery store that specializes in fresh, mostly organic foods. They came home with all sorts of great produce, including mushrooms.

I guess it was just meant to be that I participate in today’s Foodie Extravaganza!

I decided to also utilize another fresh produce grab, Brussels sprouts, in a creamy pasta dish that even this mushroom hater could enjoy. At the request of my husband I added Italian sausage to the dish, too. It was this ingredient addition that meant I couldn’t pick around the mushrooms and I ate most of them without worry. So, if you’ve got some picky family members who dislike mushrooms, you can easily hide them in this hearty entree! I’d consider it a success – all three of us enjoyed this for dinner and lunch the next day.

An Original Recipe

Ravioli with Mushrooms and Brussels Sprouts

Ingredients:

  • 18 oz cheese ravioli
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, divided use
  • 2 links Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 C chopped mushrooms (I used baby bellas)
  • 2 C sliced Brussels sprouts
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1/4 C chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 C milk, at room temperature (I used whole)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp flour
  • 3/4 – 1 C shredded Parmesan, to taste

Steps:

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook ravioli according to package directions. Strain, reserving some of the cooking liquid.
  2. In a Dutch oven, or other large pot, heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat. Cook the sausage, breaking it up. When fully cooked remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  3. Add remaining tbsp olive oil and the butter to the pot. Saute mushrooms, Brussels sprouts, and rosemary until tender, about 8 minutes. Season with S+P. Add the garlic and cook another 60 seconds, until fragrant. Deglaze the pot with the chicken stock and cook until the liquid has evaporated.
  4. In a measuring cup whisk together the milk and flour. Slowly add the milk to the pot, stirring to prevent lumps. Bring to a gentle boil and melt in the cheese. Season with addition S+P if needed. Add in the cooked ravioli and sausage. If the sauce is too thick, add some of the reserved pasta water.

Ravioli with Mushrooms and Brussels Sprouts for #FoodieExtravaganza from Sew You Think You Can Cook

Be sure to check out the rest of these mushroom recipes:

Cheesy Mushroom Chicken by Fearlessly Creative Mammas

Chicken and Mushroom Stuffed Crepes by Cooking with Carlee

Crusted Seafood Mushroom Caps by The Freshman Cook

Duxelles by Food Lust People Love

Marinated Mushrooms by Making Miracles

Mushroom and Chorizo Ragu by Cookin’ and Craftin’

Mushroom Bread Pudding by A Day in the Life on the Farm

Mushroom Leek Chinese Dumplings by The Joyful Foodie

Mushroom Stroganoff with Herb Spaetzle by Caroline’s Cooking

Mushroom Zoodles and Cheese;by Brunch with Joy

Portabella and Butternut Squash Crepes by Cherishing A Sweet Life

Rántott Gomba – Hungarian Fried Mushrooms by Tara’s Multicultural Table

Shiitake Bruschetta by Culinary Adventures with Camilla

SRC: Strawberries and Cream Muffins

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Good morning and welcome to another edition of The Secret Recipe Club. For a little “behind the scenes” information, The Secret Recipe Club (SRC) is divided into four group. Each group posts on a different Monday of the month. I am in Group D and always post on the 4th Monday of the month. This means that those special months with five Mondays there’s a week without any fun reveal day! That is all about to change, beginning with today. On the 5th Monday of the month there will now be a themed reveal and it’s a “free for all,” which means that there aren’t any group restrictions. I’m looking forward to getting to know some of the other bloggers in the club.

That being said, I’m very familiar with my assigned blog for today’s tailgating themed reveal. My assignment this month comes from Group B, but I’ve participated in many blogging events with her in the past. Quite conveniently, she was a member of the #10DaysofTailgate blog event two years ago! Needless to say I had a lot of recipes to choose from that fit with today’s theme.

So who is this mystery assignment? It’s Ashley from Cheese Curd in Paradise!

I promised myself that I would not pick a dip recipe because 5 of my last 8 reveals were a dip recipe. This meant her pizza dip, Mexican spinach dip, and loaded baked potato dip were off limits.

Auburn tailgatingInstead I thought about those morning games. Morning games are probably my favorite ones for tailgating. We would get to campus early and have a tailgate tent complete with fresh fruit, bagels, coffee, and muffins. Then after the game return back to the tent for more “traditional” tailgating fare of burgers, chips, dips, and beer. (I get pretty “home sick” during football season, wishing I could be back on the Plains cheering on my Auburn Tigers in person, throwing the football with family, and enjoying the atmosphere that is SEC football.)

I decided between Apple Strudel MuffinsBlueberry-Lemon Yogurt Muffins, and Strawberries and Cream Muffins. It’s a good thing I didn’t pick the apple ones because I ended up making Apple Cinnamon Muffins for my standard SRC reveal day (I made this tailgating muffin weeks before)! The only reason I picked strawberry over blueberry was because I had strawberries in my fridge that were reaching the end of their shelf life. Besides, there’s no way I can “waste” blueberries for baking – they’re my little man’s favorite food, he’d eat the whole pint if I let him!

We really liked these Strawberries and Cream Muffins – my only regret is that I misjudged how much of the cream cheese mixture to put in the muffins and there wasn’t nearly enough. My advice: use it all, it’s the best part! I loved having these muffins on hand for that mid-morning snack.

Strawberries and Cream Muffins 2  Sew You Think You Can Cook

This recipe makes 12-15 muffins.

Strawberries and Cream Muffins

Ingredients for filling:

  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 11/2 tbsp of beaten egg
  • 1/3 C sugar
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Ingredients for muffin:

  • 2 C flour
  • 3/4 C sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 1 C milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp almond extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 C diced fresh strawberries

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line muffin tins with liners.
  2. Make the filling: Whisk together the cream cheese, egg, sugar, and vanilla until lump free. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  4. In a small bowl (I actually did this in the glass measuring cup I used to melt the butter), whisk together the melted butter, milk, vanilla extract, and almond extract. When slightly cooled, whisk in the eggs. Pour this mixture into the dry ingredients.
  5. Fill prepared muffin tins halfway with the batter. Add a few strawberries, and top with a generous amount of cream cheese filling. Top the muffins with batter and stud with some more strawberries.
  6. Bake 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out cleanly. Allow muffins to cool 5 minutes in the tin before removing to a cooling rack.

*This recipe is adapted from Ashley at http://cheesecurdinparadise.blogspot.com/2012/08/recipe-swap-apple-strudel-muffins.html*

Strawberries and Cream Muffins  Sew You Think You Can Cook

To see the other bloggers who participated in the themed Secret Recipe Club this month click here:

Key Lime Cheesecake Filled Graham Cracker Bundt Cake

Happy Birthday… to me!

I am very excited to share my birthday cake with you. This cake recipe comes from one of my fellow #BundtBakers, Tux over at Brooklyn Homemaker. Back in April we were tasked with the theme of “hidden surprise.” I have been sitting on his recipe for four months just waiting to make this cake my birthday cake.

Why? Because key lime pie is my absolute favorite dessert and he took it to the next level with our shared love of beautiful bundts! The “hidden surprise” inside a graham cracker cake batter is a key lime cheesecake.

Key Lime Cheesecake Filled Graham Cracker Bundt Cake (baby) | Sew You Think You Can CookI brought this cake to a game night and only one piece returned home with me, which my husband was thankful for so he could try more than a bite. When I tried my piece after photographing the cake, my little man raced around the table to get a taste. It was pretty much the funniest and cutest thing. (But I’m pretty partial.)

Thank, Tux, for a fabulous cake recipe worth of anyone’s special day!

Key Lime Cheesecake Filled Graham Cracker Bundt Cake

Ingredients for filling:

  • 8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/4 C sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 4 tbsp key lime juice
  • zest 1 lime

Ingredients for cake:

  • 2 sticks butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 C sugar
  • 1/2 C brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 C finely crushed graham crackers (I got this from about 9 sheets in food processor)
  • 1 1/2 C flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/4 C buttermilk

Ingredients for glaze:

  • 4 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 tbsp key lime juice
  • 1 C powdered sugar
  • up to 3 tbsp milk

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Heavily grease bundt pan.
  2. Make the filling: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together cream cheese and sugar with a pinch of salt until there aren’t any lumps. Add the egg and mix until combined. Add in the key lime juice and lime zest until smooth. Set aside. (If you don’t have a second stand mixer bowl transfer the filling mixture to a separate bowl and clean the mixer bowl and paddle.)
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and both sugars. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until incorporated. Add the vanilla extract and mix until combined.
  4. In a bowl, whisk together graham cracker crumbs, flour, baking powder, and baking soda.
  5. Alternate adding the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the stand mixer, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.
  6. Pour batter into prepared bundt pan. Create a well by pressing the batter up the sides of the pan. Pour the filling mixture into the well – if you’re talented and brave enough, swirl the filling into the cake batter being careful not to touch the sides of the pan. (Mine didn’t quite swirl and instead I had a lovely tunnel of key lime cheesecake.)
  7. Bake cake 50-60 minutes until a cake tester comes out cleanly. Allow cake to cool at least an hour in the pan before turning out onto a cooling rack.
  8. Make the glaze: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the cream cheese and powdered sugar until there aren’t any lumps. Add the key lime juice and as much of the milk as needed to achieve desired consistency. Drizzle over cooled cake.

*This recipe is adapted from Tux at http://brooklynhomemaker.com/2015/04/16/graham-cracker-bundt-cake-with-key-lime-cheesecake-swirl-bundtbakers/*

Key Lime Cheesecake Filled Graham Cracker Bundt Cake | Sew You Think You Can Cook

Tomato and Bean Salad

Late spring and summer this year have been fairly wet. All of the rain yielded quite the tomato crop over in my neighbor’s yard. Which means just about every week I’m being given fresh homegrown tomatoes! (Black cherry tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes, and roma tomatoes) I’ve even been handed two quarts of homemade tomato sauce.

This pregnancy I’ve found that I adore tomatoes. BLTs have been shamelessly scarfed down for lunch at least once a week, and those cherry tomatoes turned into my favorite salad (tomatoes, thinly sliced onion, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, S+P).

I took a play on that aforementioned salad and added beans and basil to make a heartier potluck contribution at a church function.

Tomato and Bean Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 can (15 oz) white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 very large heirloom tomato, chopped
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh basil (I used Gourmet Garden lightly dried basil)
  • 1 heaping tbsp minced red onion
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp agave
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic

Steps:

  1. In a large bowl, gently toss together beans, tomatoes, basil, and onion.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together vinegars, oil, agave, and garlic. Season to taste with S+P.
  3. Dress salad and keep in refrigerator until ready to serve (at least 30 minutes).

*This recipe is adapted from Rebekah at http://rebekahrose.blogspot.ca/2015/07/bloggerclue-white-bean-tomato-and-basil.html*

tomato bean salad | sew you think you can cook

5 Ingredients or Less Potluck Party

This month I put out a vote to my Recipe Club friends for the theme for our monthly potluck: 5 ingredients or less, tailgating, or a new dish. I wasn’t surprised to see that 5 ingredients or less won the vote by a landslide, especially with school starting up and schedules being busy.

5 ingredients or less potluck

What I didn’t expect was the plethora of desserts! My Lemon Ricotta Pasta was the only savory item on the menu! I had to adjust the recipe to fit the theme though. I eliminated the sausage and used garlic powder in the sauce instead of taking the effort to fry up garlic in olive oil. (Olive oil would not have counted towards my 5 ingredients, though.) I made my pasta dish right before heading out the door and kept it warm in a slow cooker at the event.

Thank goodness for boxed cake mix – we had an incredible apple pie dessert (apple pie filling, yellow cake mix, butter) and a berry crumble type dessert (berries, cake mix, butter), no one would know these desserts were “semi homemade.” And one of my friends turned to our group as guinea pigs to experiment with two different brands of gluten free cake mix for her daughter’s upcoming 1st birthday.

A cheese cake inspired dessert joined the menu because of a broken oven (cream cheese, condensed milk, lemon juice, cool whip, pre-made crust). And to round out the cold sweet offerings, a frozen blueberry dessert (blueberry pie filling, evaporated milk, lemon juice, almond extract, cool whip).

A dinner of pasta, desserts, and great conversation meant we were a happy bunch of ladies!

SRC: Apple Cinnamon Muffins

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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.

This month I was assigned the blog Life on Food written by Emily. (Emily was charged with my blog last month!) Emily has been blogging since 2008 so there was an incredible recipe index to search through. She has a few different ways to search through her files: by course, by key ingredient, alphabetically, and the most intriguing by cooking method.

I took the alphabetical route and almost stopped at “A”! I didn’t, though, and after making my way through I had 11 recipes to decide between! I was all set to make Maple Cinnamon Quick Bread until I realized it was a previous SRC post. As I had cinnamon on the brain, I wanted to make her Apple Cinnamon Donuts (although mine would have been mini muffins) but I couldn’t fine apple cider in stores just yet – don’t worry, it’s almost fall. As you can see I took the “next best thing” and went with Apple Cinnamon Muffins.

In retrospect I should’ve gone with a savory item on my list because the amount of baking that’s been happening in my kitchen is completely uncharacteristic of me! Caramelized Brussels Sprouts will definitely need to happen next time my in-laws are in town, Angel Hair with Corn, Feta, and Tomato would be perfect for this summer’s produce, and that 1905 Dressing sounds like a much healthier option to muffins…

IMG_5369But who doesn’t love muffins!? Especially when they’re bursting with apples! My little man definitely approved.

This recipe makes 12 large muffins.

Apple Cinnamon Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1 C sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 C flour
  • 1 C white whole wheat flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 C unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 apple, peeled and diced

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tray with liners.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  4. Alternate adding the dry ingredients and the applesauce to the stand mixer, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Fold in the diced apple.
  5. Divide batter evenly between the 12 muffin tins. Bake 12-15 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out cleanly.

*This recipe is adapted from Emily at http://lifeonfood.blogspot.com/p/recipes.html?recipe_id=6043170*

Apple Cinnamon Muffins for Secret Recipe Club from Sew You Think You Can Cook

To see the other bloggers who participated in the Secret Recipe Club this month click here: