#SundaySupper: Picnic

Picnics. Now there’s a word that means something different to everyone. You might not have thought that before, but think about it.

Do you think of a romantic meal for two on a blanket in a meadow? Maybe sandwiches on the beach? A backpack meal on a hike?

For me, picnic is almost synonymous with family reunion.

Every year my dad’s family has a huge reunion in July. My grandparents came to America from the Dominican Republic along with many cousins from their generation. We rent out a park space and everyone comes together. Much of the family is still in the Chicago area so that’s where we all convene. Growing up we would always travel back to spend the Fourth of July at my mom’s parents lake house in Lake Geneva, WI and spend time with my dad’s parents in Illinois, ending our vacation with the family picnic.

Everyone is assigned a category of food to bring based on last name. Except for my aunt – she’s required to bring her 7 layer dip. And my mom used to be “the candy lady” – she’d buy huge bags of candy (and those giant pixie sticks) and all the kids would love her for it. All the kids are grown up now so she still brings a little something but it’s definitely not to the scale she did when we were younger.

It’s a wonderful gathering of family and I hope to make it this year! Now that I’m an E last name I think I’m supposed to bring veggies instead of salad. Maybe I’ll find some great ideas from the rest of my Sunday Supper family.

A big thank you to T.R. of Gluten Free Crumbley for hosting this event. For more fun picnic ideas scroll past my recipe!

When I think picnic food I think hotdogs and macaroni salad. Stuart doesn’t like macaroni salad so I thought I’d try something new to tempt him. We were having people over for grilling and this spicy version was a huge hit! I used veggies typically served with buffalo wings – celery and carrots – and added tomato to cool it down a bit. Be warned: this macaroni salad gets spicier the longer it sits!

Buffalo Macaroni Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 C uncooked macaroni noodles
  • 1/4 C finely diced red onion
  • 1/4 C finely diced celery
  • 1/2 C finely diced carrot
  • 3/4 C diced tomato
  • 3/4 C mayonnaise
  • 1/4 C buffalo sauce
  • 1/4 C red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder

Steps:

  1. Cook macaroni in boiling salted water according to package directions.
  2. In a small bowl whisk together the mayo, buffalo sauce, vinegar, garlic, and chili powder.
  3. In a large bowl toss cooked pasta with the veggies.
  4. Coat pasta salad in as much dressing as desired. (I only used about half of the sauce)

*This recipe is inspired by Whitney at http://littleleopardbook.com/2012/05/29/whats-for-a-side-spicy-buffalo-macaroni-salad/*

Buffalo Macaroni Salad | Sew You Think You Can Cook

Appetizers:

Beverages:

Main Dishes:

Sides:

Soups and Salads:

Desserts:

#BundtBakers: Hidden Surprise

BundtBakers

This month #BundtBakers issued quite the challenge but the result is a great collection of beautiful bundts! #BundtBakers is a group of bundt loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bundts with a common ingredient or theme. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme or ingredient. This month’s theme is Hidden Surprise and our creative host is Anshie of SpiceRoots.

When I told my mom the theme she laughed and asked what I was going to do! I’ve been very forth coming in my bundt baking failures – most of which had to do with attempting to put something inside the cake. Cherry pie filling didn’t stay in the middle of the pan but sunk to the bottom creating a pseudo-frosting in my All-American Chocolate Cherry Pie Cake. My attempt at an “upside down” bundt using orange segments for a Mimosa Cake ended up having almost dissolved citrus randomly strewn about the cake. The white chocolate chips I placed in my Green Velvet cake sunk to the bottom and created a catastrophe in trying to dislodge the cakes from the pans.

The plan for this month was to find a cake recipe with a hidden surprise that is supposed to be baked in a bundt pan. I wasn’t about to get all creative this time around! A hidden surprise cake is creative enough with trying to invent my own. I’m not a professional baker or cake recipe developer! And you know what, it worked! Well… kinda… some of the cake stuck to the pan but I was able to get enough to take some pictures. And no one would know, except that I just told you. I brought my slightly mangled cake to a potluck and no one seemed to mind. I was surprised to find that I was only bringing two pieces of cake back home with me – good thing I left a slice for my husband! And hey, on the bright side, I didn’t have to make a frosting. Sure, a frosting would have definitely covered up the imperfections, but my filling acted like a frosting for me. And I don’t care for overly sweet desserts and this cake did not need the extra frosting. But, by all means, go ahead and make some chocolate frosting for a more beautiful bundt.

Chocolate Cheesecake Filled Peanut Butter Bundt

Ingredients:

  • 1 C peanut butter
  • 2 1/2 C sugar, divided use
  • 6 eggs, divided use
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract, divided use
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 C + 2 tsp flour, divided use
  • 1/2 C milk
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Heavily grease a bundt pan.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together peanut butter with 2 C sugar until combined. Add in 1 tsp vanilla extract and 5 eggs, one at a time. Mix in the baking powder. Add 1 C of flour and mix until combined. Add the milk. Once combined add the remaining 1 C of flour.
  3. In a large bowl, use a hand mixer to combine the cream cheese, cocoa powder, remaining 1/2 C sugar, 1 egg, 1 tsp vanilla, and 2 tsp flour.
  4. Pour half of the cake batter into the prepared bundt pan. Top with the chocolate cream cheese filling, be sure not to touch the edges. Cover the filling with the remaining batter.
  5. Bake cake 60 – 70 minutes, or until a knife inserted comes out clean. Allow cake to cool before removing from the mold.

*This recipe is adapted from Miriam at http://overtimecook.com/2014/03/25/peanut-butter-bundt/*

Chocolate Cheesecake Filled Peanut Butter Bundt Cake | Sew You Think You Can Cook

If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send an email with your blog URL to foodlustpeoplelove@gmail.com. All recipes and photographs can be found on our individual blogs, on our Pinterest board, and the #bundtbakers homepage.

And don’t forget to take a peek at what other talented bakers have baked this month:

Almond Crunch Cake by Renee at Magnolia Days

Balsamic Strawberries Bundt Cake by Terri at Our Good Life

Banana Maple Bundt Cake with Chocolate Star  by Samantha at Un Mordisco Un Pecado

Black and White Surprise Bundt Cake by Patricia at Patty’s Cake 

Chocolate and Vanilla Polka Dot Bundt by Kelly at Passion Kneaded

Chocolate Bundt Cake with Oreo Cheesecake Filling by Mary at Recipes, Food and Cooking

Citrus Raspberry Bundt by Tara at Noshing With The Nolands

Confetti Zebra Cake by Julie at Eat, Drink, Be Mighty

Cookie Dough Bundt Cake by Olivia at Liv for Cake

German Mozarthupf by Jelena at A Kingdom for a Cake

Graham Cracker Bundt Cake with Key Lime Cheesecake Swirl by Tux at Brooklyn Homemaker

KitKat Surprise Bundt Cake by Shilpi at Simply Veggies

Lemon Blueberry Van Halen Bundt by Stacy at Food Lust People Love

Orange and Strawberry Jam Bundt Cake by Deepti at Baking Yummies

Pear and Blue Cheese Bundt by Jane at Jane’s Adventures in Dinner

Polka Dot Bundt Cake by Linda at Brunch with Joy

Raspberry Filled Lemon Bundt by Wendy at A Day in the Life on the Farm

Real Nutella Bundt Cake by Laura at Baking in Pyjamas

Savory Monkey Bread Stuffed Bundt by Andrea at Adventures in All Things Food

Sour Cream Boozy Hazelnut Bundt Cake by Pam at Sidewalk Shoes

Spring Break S’mores Cake by Margaret at Tea and Scones

Strawberry Cheesecake Bundt Cake by Kathya at Basic N Delicious 

Strawberry Twinky Bundt Cake by Beatriz at I Love Bundt Cakes 

Strawberry Swirl Cream Cheese Pound Cake by Kris at Big Rigs ‘n Lil’ Cookies 

Surprise Bundt by Esti at Mummy & Cute

Surprise Filled Chocolate Bundt Cake by Anna at Media Ración Doble, Por Favor

Surprise Inside Carrot Bundt Cake by Rebekah at Making Miracles

Triple Lemon Bundt Cake by Avril at Baking and Creating with Avril

Tropical Surprise Bundt Cake by Anshie at Spice Roots

Black Bean Dip

Let me tell you about my new favorite snack. Well, healthy snack. I’m still a sucker for Sour Cream and Onion potato chips. Which is why I tend to not buy them. Unless I have a good excuse. Like people coming over for a grill out and game night. Such as happened over the weekend. And why I’m now sitting here munching on processed food deliciousness.

Salty and crunchy foods are always my mid-afternoon craving, so I try to keep a smarter option on hand. A bean dip is a great snack – full of protein and fiber – and I can enjoy it with a slightly guilty pita or tortilla chip along with carrots and celery. I think the biggest challenge with eating healthy is satisfying those unhealthy cravings, so it’s important to “cheat” in a smart way. By combating salty chips with a filling and healthy dip you end up feeling satisfied.

This black bean dip is a huge hit! I’ve made it three times now. If it’s still on the table when my husband gets home I find I don’t have any left the next day. My son even enjoys it – he’ll eat it with his hands, off a spoon, or even gnaw it from a piece of celery.

Black Bean Dip

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans (15 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 C salsa
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tbsp fresh cilantro

Steps:

  1. Place beans in food process and pulse until they’re broken up. Add salsa, garlic, cumin, chili powder, olive oil, and lime juice. Puree until smooth.
  2. Season to taste with S+P and add in the cilantro. Pulse until combined.
  3. Serve with multi-grain tortilla chips, pita chips, pita bread, or veggies.

*This recipe is adapted from Bobbi at http://www.bobbiskozykitchen.com/2015/02/chipotle-black-bean-dip-sundaysupper.html#.VSrAH_nF_0e*

Black Bean Dip | Sew You Think You Can Cook

Slow Cooker Chicken and Chorizo

Whenever you’ve seen chorizo on my blog in the past it’s always been the Mexican version. Even in recipes that originally called for Spanish chorizo. I’d never been able to find it before.

But now, I’ve found a store that sells it!

Friday mornings I go to a Mommy and Me yoga class and right next door is this adorable grocery store. The store has the most beautiful produce section, a fabulous butcher counter with sausages made in-store, and an outstanding bakery. After church we like to pick up some sausages and some salted focaccia rolls for lunch.

We found Spanish chorizo in the international aisle and Stuart really wanted to get it. I knew immediately of one recipe I’d use it in (I’m waiting for the perfect day to share that one, though). The leftover chorizo ended up in this slow cooker dish!

Slow Cooker Chicken and Chorizo

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 6 skinless chicken thighs (bone-in recommended)
  • 1/2 lb Spanish chorizo, diced
  • 1 red onion,diced
  • 2 leeks, sliced and cleaned
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 can (14 oz) chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 C chicken stock
  • 1/4 C cooking sherry

Steps:

  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Sear the chicken thighs on all sides until golden. (Do this in batches if necessary.) Place chicken in slow cooker.
  2. In the same skillet, saute the chorizo for 3 minutes until it’s lightly charred. Remove with a slotted spoon and add to the slow cooker.
  3. Saute the onions and leeks in the chorizo oil and cook until softened. Add the peppers, coriander, thyme, and garlic. Cook until peppers are tender.
  4. Add the tomatoes, chicken stock, and sherry. Bring to a simmer. Season to taste with S+P and pour over the chicken in the slow cooker.
  5. Cook on LOW 6-8 hours.

*This recipe is adapted from Abbe at http://abbescookingantics.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/slow-cooker-chicken-with-chorizo.html*

chicken and chorizo

Blogger CLUE: Spring Vegetables

blogger CLUE

Today is my first month posting with Blogger CLUE. Much like the game, this blogger society involves secrecy, fun, challenge and cooperation with the other game playing members. The good news about this, however, is that in the end, everyone’s a winner. All of the participating bloggers are assigned a blog to find, pick, and make a recipe. But the twist with this group is that there’s a theme! 

This month I was assigned A Spoonful of Thyme and had the task of finding a recipe utilizing spring vegetables. I was on a personal mission to use asparagus. It’s my favorite spring vegetable, and while we do enjoy it year round, it’s always better in season! I found three contenders: Spring Green RisottoPasta with Proscuitto, Asparagus, and Peas; and Warm Salad with Grilled Asparagus.

I chose the risotto for a few reasons: I already had mascarpone in my fridge, which is very rare, I’ve been wanting to try fennel, and my husband had been asking for risotto for a few weeks. Win – win – win!

We enjoyed this risotto for Easter supper! My 9 month old even enjoyed it! I wasn’t sure how he’d handle the peas but they didn’t phase him. Which makes me very excited. It’s been hard getting him to eat vegetables – other than sweet potato.

I made a couple changes to the recipe: by using what I had I combined chicken stock and vegetable stock to have enough liquid and instead of blanching the asparagus and adding it later, I chopped it up to about the size of peas and added it with the leeks and fennel.

Spring Green Risotto

Ingredients:

  • 5 C stock (chicken, vegetable, or a combination of both)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 leeks, sliced
  • 1 fennel bulb, chopped
  • 1/2 lb asparagus, diced
  • 1 1/2 C arborio rice
  • 2/3 C white wine
  • 1 1/4 C frozen peas, thawed
  • zest of 1 large lemon
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/3 C mascarpone cheese
  • 1/2 C grated parmesan cheese

Steps:

  1. In a pot bring the stock to a simmer.
  2. In a dutch oven, melt butter in olive oil over medium high heat. Saute leeks, fennel, and asparagus for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the rice, stirring to coat in the veggies, cook a minute or two. Deglaze the pan with the white wine. Once the wine has been absorbed add the stock a ladleful at a time. Stir often and add more stock after the previous addition has been absorbed.
  4. At the halfway point, add the peas and lemon zest. Season to taste with S+P.
  5. When rice is creamy remove from heat. (Note: You might not use all of the stock, although I did.)
  6. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice and mascarpone. Stir into the risotto along with the parmesan cheese.

*This recipe is adapted from Kate at http://aspoonfulofthyme.blogspot.com/2010/05/two-fer-one-grilled-herb-shrimp-and.html*

spring green risotto | Sew You Think You Can CookHere’s a list of the other players of Blogger CLUE this month:

#SundaySupper: Easter/Passover Leftovers

Happy Easter everybody! I hope today you are feeling blessed, surrounded by family and/or friends.

Today’s #SundaySupper is here to help you with the leftovers you’ll have after tonight’s holiday feast so scroll past my recipe to find many more uses for those leftovers. Thanks to Liz of of That Skinny Chick Can Bake for hosting such a great event.

Growing up we would always have a dish traditional to my mom’s family. We would have a dish called Swienconka (pronounced shven-shun-ka). Swienconka is Polish and translates to “blessed food.” My mom’s grandfather was a butcher and he would bring home the leftover meats for this dish – veal, smoked butt, two kinds of Polish sausage, and ham. These meats would be cooked and mixed with hard boiled eggs. The mixture would then marinate in vinegar and fresh and jarred horseradish. This cold meat salad is an acquired taste. My mom still makes it, although in much smaller quantities! I have never made the dish myself, one day I’ll keep on the tradition but it’s not a cheap concoction and my husband doesn’t really like horseradish, so for now it’s off the menu.

I don’t serve a traditional Easter ham either. I might be the only American who doesn’t like ham! I’ll give it another try one day. Instead I’ve always done a pork loin of some kind. Tonight, though, I’m going way off the grid and make shrimp with risotto!

My brother came up this weekend to spend time with his nephew and per his request we had breakfast for dinner last night – rolled pancakes! This morning before he hit the road we had cinnamon rolls.

IMG_4550And of course, I had to make my grandmother’s Easter pound cake. Mom finally found her lamb mold – after buying a new one – and gave it to me. So this year I went super traditional and made the cake in the shape of a lamb. It was definitely more nerve-wracking than doing it as a bundt!

Regardless of what you serve tonight, the leftover protein can be transformed into breakfast for the week! Breakfast burritos are a family favorite at Thanksgiving – my mother-in-law makes huge batches for everyone to serve themselves throughout the week. Tortillas wrapped around scrambled eggs, meat, and cheese. She adds salsa to hers but I didn’t have any so I put taco sauce in with the eggs. These were made with leftover chicken. You could even add whatever leftover veggies you have, too!

bfast burritos prep

Breakfast Burritos

Ingredients:

  • eggs, 1 per burrito
  • taco sauce or hot sauce, optional
  • splash of milk
  • butter
  • leftover meat, cubed or shredded, ~1/8 C per burrito
  • shredded cheese, ~1/8 C per burrito
  • soft taco sized flour tortillas

Steps:

  1. Whisk eggs with taco sauce and milk. Season with S+P.
  2. Melt a little butter in a nonstick skillet. Pour eggs into skillet. With a spatula or wooden spoon gently move eggs around and cook until desired consistency is reached. Remove from eat and set aside.
  3. Prepare burritos: place eggs in center of tortilla, add chicken, and cheese. Fold sides in on the filling and roll up from the unrolled sides. (Get my “tutorial” on how to roll a perfect burrito here.)
  4. Wrap burritos in plastic wrap. They can then be frozen for easy grab and go breakfasts.
  5. To cook: remove plastic wrap, wrap burrito in a paper towel, and microwave 1:30-2:00.

bfast burritos | sew you think you can cook

Appetizers

Breakfast and Brunch

Main Dishes

Soups and Salads

Desserts

8387592742_f6164fd5a8_o

Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the#SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Carrot Cake Cookies

Shortly after I subscribed to Lauren’s blog, Lauren’s Latest, last year this recipe showed up in my inbox. And I had to make it. Same day. I got out of bed and headed to the kitchen to make these cookies. I took the leftovers to work Monday morning and they didn’t even last an hour. Yes, I’ve been sitting on these pictures and this recipe for a year, waiting for Easter to roll back around so I could share it.

I made some changes based on my pantry and allergies. Instead of coconut oil I used butter, I omitted the pecans, and used brown sugar instead of molasses. I frosted the cookies with leftover cream cheese frosting from Busia’s Easter pound cake.

These cookies are amazing and would make for a perfect addition to any Easter basket. The Easter bunny might like a nibble, too.

Carrot Cake Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick butter, at room temperature
  • 1/3 C sugar
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 C flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 C grated carrots
  • cream cheese frosting (optional)

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together butter and sugars. When creamy add in egg and vanilla extract and mix until combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Add to the wet ingredients until combined.
  4. Gently fold in the shredded carrot.
  5. Spoon cookie batter onto a greased baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the edges are golden and slightly puffy in the center. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for two minutes before removing to a cooling rack.
  6. When cookies are completely cool, frost with cream cheese icing if desired.

*This recipe is adapted from Lauren at http://www.laurenslatest.com/carrot-cake-pecan-cookies-with-orange-cream-cheese-frosting/*

carrot cake cookies | Sew You Think You Can Cook