Chicken and sausage gumbo from Voodoo Kitchen. The gumbo was packed with chunks of andouille and chicken, along with the requisite holy trinity vegetables. I am jealous of the darkness of the roux – mine never gets that rich. And as a bonus, the truck also sold these stunning mardi gras themed cake balls, made by a local company. The flavors were king cake (purple), white chocolate (gold), and red velvet (green).
Happy Pi Day! I believe I’ve waxed poetically before about my love for pie. This year to celebrate, I’ve made a savory pie. A pot pie. And since a certain holiday is on the horizon, I added beer to the pot pie. And cut a shamrock shape into the crust.
My son has only recently discovered his love for pie. He could hardly keep his hands off these pot pies, but how could I get mad at this face? Really, it’s the crust he loves. He tolerates the filling. It was the pumpkin tarts and mini pecan pies I made on Thanksgiving that converted him. So now every time he hears the word “pie” he comes running. He liked the savory filling in these pies. He even ate the carrots! I think the incentive of extra crust helped him get the vegetables down.
Hey, whatever it takes.
- Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season beef on all sides with salt and pepper. Brown meat on all sides. Remove beef with a slotted spoon to a plate.
- Add the onion and carrots to the Dutch oven and saute until onions begin to brown. Stir in the tomato paste and flour and cook another few minutes. Slowly add the beer and beef broth, stirring as you pour to eliminate lumps. Add the thyme and parsley, and bring contents to a boil. Reduce heat and cover; let simmer for 40 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350F. Remove lid from the pot. Stir in the frozen hash brown potatoes. Pour contents of the pot into a deep dish pie plate. Roll out pie dough and cover the filling. Crimp the edges. Cut a few slits into the surface of the pie dough.
- Place pie on a baking sheet. Bake until the crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly, about 20-30 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes before serving.
Recipe makes six 5-inch mini pies. Use two pre-made pie crusts, or a recipe for a double pastry crust. Cut pie dough into into 6-inch circles to cover the mini pies.
Anytime friends of ours have a baby, the first thing we do is offer to bring them a meal. Back when we had Tyler, our friends and neighbors did the same. So, when some friends of our recently had a baby, the first thing I asked (after finding out her name) was, “would you like us to bring over some food?”
Our friends are vegetarians, and after the birth, the mom was really into soups. I have never been fond of commercial brands of vegetable stock. They’re either too orange (overdose of carrots?), or too bland. So, I decided to come up with my own version. It’s very non-fussy, and the recipe makes enough to store and use as needed.
Use as a 1:1 substitute for chicken stock in soup recipes.
- Place all ingredients in a large stock pot. Bring to a boil.
- Cover pot and let the stock simmer for 60 minutes. Turn off heat and keep pot covered. Let cool for an hour.
- Using a slotted spoon, remove solids from the stock. Season with a little more salt if necessary. Store in freezer-safe containers or bags.
Chicken tostadas from Mi Casita. This dish consisted of two crisp tortillas, generously heaped with guacamole, seasoned chicken, salsa, and sour cream – great flavors all around. I love when I can order something from a food truck that is delicious, filling, and doesn’t sit heavily in my stomach.
Today, we are honoring a very special lady. Katie has been a good blogging friend of mine for a few years now. Actually, I’ve known her since before either of us started blogging. We first met online, when we were wedding planning. Both of us had our receptions at the same venue, albeit a month apart. She and her husband John are now expecting a baby in just a few weeks, and we wanted to surprise her with a shower! Special thanks to Julie and Christine for organizing everything.
The “theme” of the shower was “Easy ideas for the new mom and dad.” Not only does Katie blog recipes, she and John also are DIY home improvement experts. They’ve been sharing updates on the baby room on instagram, and I can’t wait to see how it comes together! Talk about busy!
Since I was out of town and couldn’t attend the real baby shower, I definitely wanted to participate in the virtual one. I contributed an easy quiche. It uses one pan, one bowl, and a pie shell. That’s way less prep and cleanup compared to some of my other recipes. The filling was inspired by spring, which so many of us are craving right now. And one slice will keep you full for a while – especially important for a nursing mother. Below is a collage and links of all the other wonderful people who made something for Katie. Being a busy mom myself, I can’t wait to try some of these recipes on those on-the-go weeknights!
Easy Broccoli & Cheddar Soup from The Little Kitchen
Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Peppers from Cook the Story
Individual Tortilla Caprese Pizzas from a farmgirl’s dabbles
Easy Cheesy Potato Corn Chowder from A Little Claireification
Slow Cooker Jambalaya from A Spicy Perspective
Italian Style Stir Fry from Aggie’s Kitchen
Apricot Chicken from Bombshell Bling
Easy Baked Spaghetti from Chocolate & Carrots
Cuban Casserole with Whole Grain Mustard Butter Biscuits from Climbing Grier Mountain
Freezer-Friendly Quinoa Meatballs from Cooking with Books
Baby Boy Subway Art Printable from H2OBungalow
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Banana Cake from Inside BruCrew Life
Asparagus And Leek Quiche from Kokocooks
Roasted Lemon Parmesan Chicken with Red Potatoes from Life After Empty Nest
Yogurt Blueberry and Honey Smoothie from My Sweet Zepol
Pesto Parmesan Chicken Salad from Shaken Together
Printable Baby Whale Themed Cards and Project Life Mini Album from Simply Kelly Designs
Coconut Cookie Butter Sandwich Cookies from Simply Southern Baking
Slow Cooker Pot Roast with Garden Vegetables from Sweet Remedy
Easy Kofta Kebabs from Tasty Chomps
Crock Pot Fajitas with Chicken and Quinoa from The Dinner-Mom
Overnight Oatmeal from The Hungry Housewife
Honey-Dijon Chicken, Apple & Quinoa Wraps from The Kitchen Prep
Slow Cooker Italian Chicken Soup from The Lemon Bowl
Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Tacos from The Nifty Foodie
DIY Whale Art from While They Snooze
One Pot Mexican Chicken and Rice from Yellow Bliss Road
- Bake pie shell according to package instructions (or according to recipe , if making a homemade one.) Cool on a wire rack.
- Reduce oven temperature to 350 F. Heat olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the leeks, and saute until just starting to brown, stirring occasionally. While the leeks cook, trim asparagus stalks. Take 8-12 stalks (depending on width of the stalks) and trim so they match the radius of the edge of the pie shell (4-4.5 inches). Set aside. Chop the bottom of the stalks into 1-inch pieces. Chop remaining asparagus into 1-inch pieces and place in the bottom of a large bowl.
- Add the eggs, half-and-half, and swiss cheese to the bowl and mix together. Stir in the browned leeks, dill, chives, salt, and pepper. Pour the mixture into the pie shell. Arrange the reserved asparagus stalks in a spoke pattern on the top of the filling.
- Place quiche on a baking sheet and bake until set in the middle, about 45 minutes. Check after 30 minutes - if the top of the quiche begins to brown, place a sheet of foil over the top for the remainder of the time.
- Let quiche cool for 15 minutes before serving.
For some reason, I think pasta is a sexy food. Especially pasta in long strands. Maybe it’s because I’m a carbaholic. Maybe I have “Lady and the Tramp” syndrome. You know, that scene at the Italian restaurant, where the two share a romantic plate of spaghetti? Yeah, Disney got it right that time.
I’ve made this dish a few times recently, whenever I see live clams available at the seafood counter. It makes the perfect romantic dinner – not too heavy, and it comes together easily so you won’t be stuck in the kitchen all evening.
- Cook linguine in a pot of water until al dente (about 8-9 minutes). Drain and set aside.
- Heat butter in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add the wine and clams to the pan. Cover and let steam until clams have opened up, about 10 minutes.
- Add pasta to the pan. Drizzle with olive oil and the red pepper flakes. Gently toss the pasta while it heats up, about 4 minutes.
- Remove from heat and sprinkle with parsley and Parmesan cheese before serving.
Once again, it’s World Nutella Day! What a wonderful time of year. It’s been going strong for eight years, and this is now my fifth year participating! Thank you Sara of Ms. Adventures In Italy and Michelle of Bleeding Espresso for hosting this event.
This year, I updated the nutella cupcakes from a few years ago. What could I do to make them better? Why not cover them in chocolate! Typically, hi hat cupcakes have a marshmallow frosting that’s dipped in chocolate. Marshmallow frosting didn’t quite work with nutella, so I made a buttercream instead. As usual, the little chef hovered around the photo shoot, patiently waiting for his cupcake.
Some of my other nutella concoctions:
- For the frosting: Beat together the butter. shortening, nutella, and vanilla in a large bowl with a hand mixer. Add the powdered sugar and beat until smooth and fluffy. Pipe frosting onto the cupcakes using a large circular pastry tip. Chill cupcakes for 20 minutes.
- For the chocolate glaze: Melt the chocolate and vegetable oil in a double boiler set over a pot of simmering water. Mix until smooth. Pour chocolate mixture into a tall, skinny container (I used a coffee mug). Dip cupcakes, frosting side down in the chocolate. Dip quickly to prevent the frosting from falling off. Chill cupcakes for another 15 minutes to let the chocolate set.
The Honey Brie from The Big Cheese. I love both those foods, so this sandwich was a slam dunk for me. It also contained a layer of arugula and a layer of sliced pears. Once in a while, it’s nice to have a food truck dish that doesn’t leave me feeling totally stuffed to the max.
When I first started making buckeyes, I melted a little bit of paraffin in the chocolate achieve a smooth texture. That was a loooong time ago. Nowadays, candy melts make dipping a lot easier. It was an easy stretch to adapt these candies to include biscoff. Along with adding a bit of texture, the cookie crumbs intensify the biscoff flavor.
- Cream the biscoff spread and butter with a hand mixer. Beat in the cookie crumbs and powdered sugar on a low speed until well combined.
- Shape mixture into 1-inch balls. Set balls on a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Insert a toothpick into the center of each buckeye.
- Melt chocolate in a double boiler set over simmering water. Dip the buckeyes in the chocolate, leaving the top bare. Return buckeyes to the lined baking sheet. Chill until the chocolate has set.