Sunday, March 16, 2014

"Hotdish" and Blackberry Chèvre Salad

Actually, I don't like the word hotdish. I prefer casserole. It's kind of like my inner struggle with "supper" versus dinner. I prefer dinner. I think I'm resistant to being completely Minnesotan. I have California roots!


I'm done with the Pioneer Woman. I still follow her blog and I bookmarked this recipe. I bought all the ingredients but didn't end up making it last week. My broccoli was on the verge of expiring so I pulled out the recipe for tonight's dinner. I read through the reviews and saw many people proclaim this casserole bland and fussy. I proceeded knowing I should add salt and love to make it right.

I say I'm done because I haven't had much luck with her recipes lately.

So this Broccoli Wild Rice Casserole was okay. Just okay. It happens. It was a lot of chopping and prep, so it's not worth a repeat performance.


There is a layer of wild rice, blanched broccoli, cooked chicken (my addition), and then a homemade cream of mushroom type sauce (with a pound of diced mushrooms, some carrots and celery). Oh, and then a layer of panko crumbs tossed with butter.


OMG. We have TONS left. I was going to half the recipe, I really was, but I had so much broccoli to use. I did add chicken so I did reduce the amount of rice and broccoli, just slightly. I worried about another ingredient soaking up the sauce so that was my adjustment.


Truly, the star of the meal was the Blackberry Chèvre Salad. I am in love with goat cheese. I couldn't find honey chèvre at my local grocery store so I used plain goat cheese drizzled with honey. I toasted the pecans in butter and spices, and I blended some fresh blackberries with red wine vinegar, honey, olive oil, and S&P.


F@$% yeah! I'm really glad I liked this because this is the start of our week of salads. Side salads and main dish salads. It just feels right.

Click here for the stolen recipe for Wild Rice Broccoli Casserole.

Click here for the stolen recipe for Blackberry Chèvre Salad.


Saturday, March 8, 2014

Cranberry Margaritas

On our way home today my dear husband asked about these margaritas- do we have everything at home to make them? No. So we stopped for limes and cranberry juice.

So glad! We made these first at New Year's, just our usual at-home celebration. I didn't blog about them bit obviously Jimmy didn't forget about them.

Tequila, triple sec, lime juice, cranberry juice, a bit of simple syrup. You'll love them too!


New Years--


Click here for the stolen recipe for Cranberry Margaritas.


Vanilla Bean Cupcakes with Dulce de Leche filling and Dulce de Leche Buttercream

I volunteered to bring a dessert for our neighborhood Spanish Immersion family potluck. My neighbor friend Kiri throws a mean party. There were about 6-8 families with 18 children running around. Yikes! We all brought foods for the feast.

Dulce de Leche translates to sweetened milk, I think. I made the dulce de leche from evaporated milk- a few hours in the oven and it was caramel goodness! You can buy canned dulce de leche from the Hispanic aisle in the grocery store but that's no fun! I do admit that I bought a can just in case. I did end up using a bit when I ran out of my homemade stuff.

The third recipe I have linked below used canned dulce de leche and a different cake recipe. Like I said, I wanted to make my own dulce de leche, and then I found the cake recipe to be too fussy. I didn't have the opportunity to make vanilla sugar (this takes days/weeks) so I found an alternate cake recipe. It turned out well! The cake was moist, fluffy, and so beautiful with its vanilla bean specks.


I scopped a small amount of cake from the tops of each cupcake and filled them with the dulce de leche. My little guy had lots of fun stealing cake bits when I wasn't looking. (Really, I saw. I ignored!)

The buttercream was piped prettily on top of each cupcake. I'm getting pretty good with that pastry bag!


It was nice to try some new recipes! I think sometimes that I have lost my baking mojo. Let's hope it comes back in full force in summer, when I have much more time to experiment!

Click here for the stolen recipe for Vanilla Bean cupcakes.

Click here for the stolen recipe for the Dulce de Leche.

Click here for the stolen recipe for Dulce de Leche buttercream frosting.