Creamy Potato Salad

Creamy Potato Salad

As I sit here typing this, the smell of weekend grilling and barbecue is wafting in through the open windows.

Its truly tantalizing.

I don’t know about you, but one of my favorite summer barbecue side dishes is a really good potato salad.

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I like mine really creamy with a little bit of a bite, and a mellow after taste.

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Creamy Potato Salad
 
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Author:
Serves: 10 servings
Ingredients
  • 10 golden potatos
  • 6 hard boiled eggs, sliced
  • 3 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons honey Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cyan powder
Instructions
  1. Dice the potatoes into small cubes and boil until fork tender. Drain and cool.
  2. Once the potatoes are cool, place into a large bowl with the remaining ingredients and mix until will combined.
  3. Taste and adjust seasoning if desired.
  4. Serve immediately or cool in the fridge for at least two hours for best results.

 

Cranberry Orange Oatmeal Muffins

Cranberry Orange Oatmeal Muffins

 

It’s finally starting to feel like fall, cooler weather, leaves falling, and fall flavors (besides pumpkin) starting to make an appearance. Cranberries, oranges, oatmeal, oh my.

 

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Even though I’ve only made these muffins a hand full of times, when I think of cooking with oatmeal they are always the first recipe that comes to mind. I actually lost this recipe years and years ago somewhere in the depths of my recipe books and drawers. I tried to look for it or something similar online but came up with nothing. A few weeks ago I dug through it all and finally found it. I was afraid that I built them up in my head over the years, and that they were just going to be okay. But they were everything I remembered, exactly what I wanted and was looking forward to. I absolutely will be making them more often now.

 

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You can use fresh or dried cranberries with this recipe. I like both versions equally. I also add in 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, or pumpkin pie spice just because, but feel free to leave it out if you’re looking for something fallish with out the typical spices. I also like to use my trusty yellow handled scoop that I use for cupcakes for even distribution of the batter.  If you want to get a little fancy you can use the juice of the orange mixed with powdered sugar to make a glaze for the top of the muffins. Enjoy!

 

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Cranberry Orange Oatmeal Muffins
 
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Serves: 12 muffins
Ingredients
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup of sour cream OR yogurt
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
  • the zest of one medium or large orange
  • 1 cup of chopped dried cranberries OR ¾ chopped fresh cranberries
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F
  2. In your mixing bow combine the oats, orange zest and the sour cream, let it sit to moisten for about 5-10 mins while gathering together the rest of the ingredients
  3. In another bowl sift together the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon (if using).
  4. Add the oil, both sugars, and egg to the sour cream oat mixture. Beat until well combined.
  5. Mix in the dry ingredients, and fold in the cranberries.
  6. If you are not using baking cups you'll want to grease/PAM the muffin tin.
  7. Distribute the batter evenly between 12 cups and bake for about 20 minutes or until lightly browned on top and toothpick comes out with few crumbs or clean.

 

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Pumpkin Spice Rice Crispy Treats

Pumpkin Spice Rice Crispy Treats

I’ve been craving Rice Crispy Treats for a while now, and honestly I don’t think I would ever turn them down.

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This week though, with Autumn upon us, I knew I wanted to add a little twist.

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I found the Pumpkin Spice marshmallows in my grocery store and thought, “Perfect!”

These treats couldn’t have been any easier or quicker.

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I highly suggest whipping these up for a snack, a dessert, or for bringing to any get-together in the Fall and Winter seasons.

Pumpkin Spice Rice Crispy Treats
 
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Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 9 squares
Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons salted butter
  • 10 ounces Pumpkin Spice Marshmallows
  • 6 cups puffed rice cereal
Instructions
  1. Melt the butter in a medium sized pot over medium head.
  2. Add the marshmallows and stir continuously until completely melted and remove from heat.
  3. Add the puffed rice cereal and stir until combined.
  4. Transfer mixture into a large buttered/greased glass baking dish and spread evenly, pressing down with a greased spatula.
  5. Cover the dish and refrigerate for 1-2 hours until chilled.
  6. Cut into squares of desired size and enjoy!

 

 

Copy-cat Recipe: Petite Vanilla Bean Scones

Copy-cat Recipe: Petite Vanilla Bean Scones

I don’t go to Starbucks that often (when I say not that often, I mean maybe twice a year), but a long day at jury duty (it was only lunch time) will make you do things you don’t normally do.  I went in for a nice cold refreshing frappuccino so I wouldn’t fall asleep and left with a few little vanilla bean scones instead. I sat outside enjoying the sunshine before I had to be ‘locked up’ again and munched on the scones. They were sweet vanilla-y, and soft. Just a couple of bites of deliciousness. I went back to  Starbucks the next day on my jury duty lunch time and of course, they were out, and the same thing the next day.

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I thought about them all the time after that. Which is so silly because all I had to do was go into Starbucks to get them. It was also silly because i’ve made scones a million times, and I hadn’t even thought about making them. I grabbed my favorite scone recipe, my vanilla beans and got to making. They were everything I was craving and more!

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5.0 from 1 reviews
Petite Vanilla Bean Scones
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 2¼ cups powdered sugar
  • 3 ounces of unsalted butter (cold and cut into chunks)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 whole vanilla beans
Instructions
  1. Split both vanilla beans in half length wise
  2. In a small sauce pan bring the milk and vanilla beans to a simmer
  3. Once the milk has simmered transfer to another container and cool completely
  4. In a mixing bowl, mix flour, baking powder, ¼ cup powdered sugar and butter together until the butter has turned into small pea size pieces
  5. Crack your egg in a measuring cup and add enough of your now cold vanilla milk to make ½ cup, you will use the rest of the milk for the glaze.
  6. Scrape two halves of vanilla beans (1 whole bean) and add it to your egg and milk then whisk to combine
  7. Slowly add the milk into the dry mixture.
  8. Turn your dough out onto a floured surface and roll out into a sheet about ½ inch thick, cut into about 1½ inch by 1½ inch squares, then cut the squares in half to form a triangle.
  9. Place on parchment or slipad lined cookie sheet and bake at 350°F for about 8-10 minutes, or lightly browned around the edges.
  10. While the scones are cooking, mix together 2 cups sifted powdered sugar, and vanilla milk. Adding only a few spoonfuls of milk at a time until it forms a thick, but runny glaze. Scrape the vanilla bean and add it to the glaze.
  11. Once the scones are done, cool slightly and dip them into the glaze. You can just dip the tops, or coat the whole thing. If you glaze the whole thing, you will need to place them on a wire rack to let drip. Once the glaze sets up you can move them wherever you'd like, they are best served the first day, but are fine for a few days.

 

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Aries was investigating me and the scones at the light box

Copy-cat Recipe: Cheddar Bay Biscuits

Copy-cat Recipe: Cheddar Bay Biscuits

Who goes to Red Lobster for something besides the biscuits? If you say you do, I won’t believe you. Did you know you can make those delicious cheddar and garlic filled biscuits at home? Yep, that’s right, in your very own kitchen. I think they are even better than the ones at the restaurant, especially straight from the oven. The Qwerty Crew had them a few weeks ago on our unintentional fry everything night. Cat made oh my gosh so good super crunchy onion rings, and Chinese pancakes, and Brie made the double crunch honey garlic chicken. These buttery biscuits just added to the richness of the night.

hodgepodge

 

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I have tried a few different variations of  the cheddar bay biscuit recipes, but this one is by far my favorite. They are so quick and simple to make, you’ll want to have them every night. You just mix them up, drop them on the baking sheet, and bake. No rolling, kneading or cutting out. I used my 2 oz cup cake scoop to scoop, and it was the perfect amount. If you don’t have a scoop you can purchase one on Amazon or use your 1/4 cup measure. If you want an even quicker recipe for these biscuits you can try this recipe, it uses Bisquick Pancake and Baking Mix. They are still very good, but they are a little more dense in my opinion.

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Cheddar Bay Biscuits
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoons sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 cup milk OR buttermilk
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1½ cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • Topping:
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
Instructions
  1. Mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, garlic powder, salt and cayenne (if using).
  2. In a measuring cup, mix together butter and milk, then add to the dry ingredients.
  3. Mix until it just comes together then fold in the cheese. You can mix this by hand, or use a mixer if you like ( I used my mixer)
  4. Now scoop out onto a baking sheet and bake for about 10-12 minuets, or until golden brown all around.
  5. While the biscuits are cooking mix the topping together
  6. When the biscuits come out of the oven brush the tops with the mixture.

 

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Yes, I think these biscuits are the bees knees

Krispy Kreme Doughnut Monthly Flavor Review: Brownie Batter and Cake Batter

Krispy Kreme Doughnut Monthly Flavor Review: Brownie Batter and Cake Batter

About 12 years ago a Krispy Kreme Doughnuts opened near me. Everyone talked about how wonderful the doughnuts were, and how magical those warm, right from the fryer, just glazed ones were.  Everyone had to have them, warm or not, people went crazy for them. Even though the Krispy Kreme was pretty close, it was never that close without a car. So I only had a few Krispy Kremes from the local grocery store, but I didn’t think they were anything to go crazy over. A few years later, they closed. The buzz went away. The building sat there empty for years, until about 2 years ago. I noticed one day driving by the hot sign was on, and a super long line of cars wrapped around the building.

Did you know there’s an app for that!?

 

I still have not had a ‘hot one’, but did manage to make my way  there last fall for their pumpkin spice and pumpkin cheese cake doughnuts. That’s when I found out they had specialty flavors every month. Sometimes it’s two different flavors, or the same flavor in different styles, like a custard filled doughnut and a cake glazed doughnut.

This month’s flavors are cake batter, and brownie batter custard filled doughnuts. I love just about anything cake batter flavored, and who doesn’t like to lick the brownie spoon? We picked these up as soon as Adam and I could fit it into our Qwerty dinner cheat day. So, what did the Qwerty Crew think of these delicious little doughnuts?

Brandie: I really liked both of them, but the cake batter is the better one in my opinion. The flavor of the custard is spot on cake batter. Not overly sweet, or overwhelmingly cake batter flavor like the chemically tasting ones. It’s fresh and light. I hope to get at least one more before they are onto the next flavors. The brownie batter ones do taste like delicious just mixed up batter, it even has the little bit of brownie batter grit. But there’s just a little something missing flavor wise and I can’t quite put my finger one it. Would I eat another one? More than likely, it’s a chocolate creme filled doughnut. If there’s a Krispy Kreme near you I say go try them out!

Brie: Unfortunately, I was just getting over the flu when Adam and Brandie brought us these delectable donuts. I filled up quickly on dinner, but made sure to try one of these. I thought at first that the Brownie Batter would be what I wanted, but I ended up going with the Birthday Cake Batter. It was delicious! The filling tasted just like frosting, and the crunchy sprinkles on top were perfect. Growing up in New Hampshire, I was always a Dunkin Donuts girl, but Krispy Kreme is definitely a treat. Can’t wait to see what they’ve got next month!

Cat: So, this whole cheat day thing has really made me aware of whether or not I’m enjoying what I’m eating. In this case – the brownie batter doughnuts failed the “worth it?” test. The texture was nice, but I was expecting a rich, chewy, moist, ultra chocolatey experience – and they didn’t really deliver. The flavor just wasn’t that strong and though they weren’t unpleasant… I’d give them a “meh.” The cake batter flavor was much better, but only because of the filling. The pastry itself was similar in its blandness to the brownie batter. The filling, however, was absolutely reminiscent of frosting – but the sweetness was THISCLOSE to being cloying instead of enjoyable. For my diet’s sake, I’d definitely have the cake batter ones again… and I’d just spoon out some of the filling. 🙂 As a side note – I have tried fresh-from-the-oven classic Krispy Kremes and they are absolutely addicting.

Adam: The cake batter was for sure my favorite of the two. The problem with the brownie batter is that the donut itself doesn’t have enough of a flavor to enhance the filling. Mix the batter filling with a classic chocolate donut and I’d be on board!

Toasted Almond Gelato

Toasted Almond Gelato

Being on the slow carb diet nuts are a great little treat and snack for me. I’ve was never a huge fan of almonds until recently, now I want them with everything. With the warmer weather coming up, gelato is on my mind even more than usual.   DSC02208   I was a little skeptical of this recipe at first because I love the flavor of almond extract so much, but I didn’t know how just steeping the almonds would compare to what my tastebuds really wanted.   DSC02190   That rich sweet almond flavor is very present, and I have already been asked by multiple friends and family when am I going to make this again?  This gelato is amazing on it’s own, but I think topping it with some chopped toasted or candied almonds, as well as a drizzle of caramel and or sea salt would make for a very nice addition.  I served this gelato with the Chocolate Croissant Bread Pudding Cups. You can’t go wrong with chocolate and almond.

Toasted Almond Gelato
 
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups chopped almonds (toasted)
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 vanilla bean (split in half length wise)
  • 5 egg yolks
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar
Instructions
  1. Mix together milk, cream, vanilla bean and chopped almonds in a heavy bottomed sauce pan
  2. Bring mixture just to a simmer and take it off the heat and let steep for at least 10-15 minutes
  3. Strain liquid into a measuring cup, and scrape out seeds of the vanilla bean and add them to the almond liquid
  4. Whisk together the egg yolks, and both sugars until it lightens in color and is fluffy
  5. Slowly whisk in the almond liquid and put it back in the heavy bottomed sauce pan and return to a medium low heat stirring constantly until it slightly thickens or reaches 170°F
  6. Immediately take it off the heat and strain it into a bowl, cover and refrigerate until completely cold, 5-6 hours or over night.
  7. Once it's completely cold transfer it to your gelato machine and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions

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