Saturday, January 30, 2016

#FreshTastyValentines: The Intro and Giveaway!!

I'm back, with a new blog event!  Welcome to #FreshTastyValentines - a celebration of healthy foods for your loved ones.
When Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla put out the call for bloggers for this event, I knew I was in!  So have fun.  We're in for a whole lot of fun with some great bloggers!
I've been teasing on Instagram for the past few weeks as things have arrived from our amazing sponsors.
#FreshTastyValentines is almost here. A group of 22 talented food bloggers who will be posting recipes for an entire week that, we hope, will inspire you to make some healthy Valentines treats for your loved ones. Here we are...

The Bloggers
(with links to their homepages, in alphabetical order)

From February 1st through February 8th, not only will you find nearly a hundred recipe posts, but you can enter to win our awesome giveaway, courtesy of some amazingly generous donations from sponsoring companies. See rafflecopter below.

The Sponsors
(with links to their homepages, in alphabetical order)

The Giveaway
For FOURTEEN Different Prizes
begins February 1st and ends February 8th
If you are visiting before the rafflecopter opens, please check back!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you to #FreshTastyValentines sponsors for providing the prizes free of charge. These companies also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for #FreshTastyValentines recipe development without additional compensation. All opinions stated are those of the bloggers.

Monday, January 18, 2016

#BookClubCookbookCC: Gingerbread Pancakes

After taking December off, the #BookClubCookbookCookingCrew returns in January with the Pajama Chef's invitation to make Mrs. Enger's Cinnamon Rolls with Coffee Icing and read Peace Like a River by Leif Enger.

I was excited about reading this.  I thought it sounded good from the synopsis in the cookbook.  I turned to my local library's catalougue...
...and discovered that I could only get it in audiobook form.  10 CDs.
I am not new to audiobooks.  My mom gives us one each year for Christmas, and we often read them in the fall as we go to and from football weekends.  All you need is time.  My old commute would have been perfect.  My 5 minute commute now is not so much.  I only made it through 3 CDs.
While the story was interesting, and I probably would have finished the book in paper form, I just couldn't find the time or the interest to sit and listen in the house to the book.  Not even Swede's poetry could get me into it.
I had, however, already decided what I was going to make as my recipe this month.  Pancakes!  Pancakes are mentioned a couple of times early in the story.  The first is as dinner when duck hunting, but it was the second time that cemented what I planned to make.
Reuben and his father go to a revival meeting at the local church.  Reuben sneaks out and shares an orange with his current infatuation before announcing that he can cook...and the 2 of them make pancakes in the church kitchen during the revival.  I giggled as they prayed in the sanctuary, aroma of frying batter heavy in the air, inspiring turns of phrase that were so, so awesome.
Reuben and Bethany didn't make pancakes like these, but they smelled so, so good on a cold Saturday morning in the house.  Say grace and dig in.
I present to you now from Judicial Peach, Gingerbread Pancakes:

Monday, January 11, 2016

Goals for the Year, and a Quick Roast Chicken

It's been a month since I posted.  Yikes.  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.  I'm either late or early, depending how you look at it.
I fell into the busy excuse over Christmas as to why I wasn't posting, and then it became a habit to not post.  I've also been reading a ton and not really internetting as much (the horror!)
But J and I spent a quiet holiday here on the mountain, eating at home for almost 2 weeks straight.  I don't think we've ever really done that in a good long time!  We had Prime Rib for Christmas and Hot Wings for New Year's Eve, and had chili while watching football until our eyes fell out New Year's Day.  Then I went back to work.
J and I aren't big into resolutions (although I often make a few here around the blog), but we have made a commitment to eating better this year.  He would like to lose some weight, and I know that I could stand to do the same.  Not that either of us are into counting calories or following a program.  There's too much good food out there!
But eating more mindfully isn't a bad idea.  To that end, we've made a few adjustments to our diet, and J's pants are looser already.  That doesn't really change what will happen around here:  it's still comfort food, and the things that are showing up on our table.  But we've made a decision to switch to water as the usual drink of choice around here, and I've made the promise that I will cook fish more often, cook meatless weekly, and incorporate more fresh produce into meals.
Here's what to expect around here in 2016:

  1. The Magazine Challenge rolls on, and we're in 2008 now.  I've updated the Magazine Challenge page to reflect this, and have posted the recipes for January/February.  We've found some new favourites through the past few years.  I hope to find more.  I also wonder what I will do with 5 years of Everyday Food when I'm done this.  I'm going to regain the space that they currently take up.
  2. I've told J that I want to cook a meatless meal every week.  Meat is expensive, and we eat too much of it to my way of thinking.  He's not so sure, but I've been pinning and reading.  There should be some good things coming.
  3. I promised that I will try and cook fish once a week.  I'm still not a fan, but I'll try.  We've had some tilapia recently with a pistachio crust that was really good.  I'm making the Blackened Tilapia recipe from this blog this week.  I'm trying.
  4. Blog events!  The next upcoming one is #FreshTastyValentines in February.  It fits in perfectly with what we want to do food-wise.  
So there's the plans, in a nutshell.  But I promised a chicken.
J has eaten salads for a long time for lunch, but we're making them larger, and have been looking for protein that he can add, along with more vegetables (I still take soup for lunch.  I heart soup, especially in this weather).  He suggested a rotisserie chicken, but I refused to spend what the grocery stores were charging.  But when whole chickens went on sale this week, I told him I'd roast a chicken and we could use the meat for his salads, and freeze some for a casserole later, and then use the carcass to make broth.
I found a video on Facebook from Martha Stewart of how to roast the perfect chicken.  I followed it, and it's super easy.  My oven is a greasy mess right now, but I'll clean it when it cools.  The house, however, smells amazing.
I present to you now Quick Roast Chicken: