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Category: call for recipes

  1. Tuesday, January 10, 2012

    Call for ‘Recipes’: LUNCH IDEAS!

    Bethanie, a long-time reader, recently emailed me asking if I would be willing to put the following question out there: What do you pack for your kids’ lunches? Like my daughter, her child doesn’t have the ability to heat food at school but is sick to death of sandwiches. I am in the exact same boat, so I was totally down with this call for “recipes” of sorts!

    AND…for that matter…I’m having a bagel for lunch today. Which is what I had yesterday. Not exactly nutritious and definitely boring. SOOOO…

    Today’s Call for Recipes is three fold!

    • What do you pack for kids’ lunches, especially where they can’t reheat food?
    • What kinds of food do you pack for your own lunch?
    • If you eat lunch at home, what are you eating?

    Bethanie ended her email with “I know the blog is ‘This week for DINNER’, but I’m desperate!” and I actually feel the same way. I’m good about getting my dinner plan together each week, but I’m terrible about lunches! Can’t wait to see all of your great ideas and tips!

  2. Tuesday, November 8, 2011

    The Most Amazing Grilled Cheese Sandwich Ever Made

    Unlike Andy, eating the most amazing grilled cheese sandwich ever made does not happen to be on my bucket list…although, perhaps it should be. Regardless of its bucket list status, I do love a good grilled cheese. While Nate’s mom Pat was here, we had butternut squash soup and grilled cheese sandwiches  for dinner one night and of course we couldn’t help talking about what makes a grilled cheese amazing (thanks to Andy’s inspiration).

    Here’s what we came up with:

    • I think the bread is key. You have to go with white bread, and the higher the quality the bread, the better. We used the La Brea Bakery Pugliese bread from Costco and our sandwiches were amazing.
    • Pat said her aunt Margaret taught her a trick that she still stands by…butter the outside AND the inside of the bread. That’s right, butter, butter everywhere. As I always say, oodles of butter makes anything amazing.
    • Nate and Pat both agree, American cheese is the way to go. I’m not sure if I can stand by this 100%, but I must admit that American cheese is pretty amazing for some completely inexplicable reason (can you tell I’m an American cheese snob?).
    So, what do you think makes the most amazing grilled cheese sandwich ever? Can’t wait to hear your thoughts because I have a feeling this is a topic that many of us will unexpectedly have passion for! Share your tips, tricks, recipes, opinions, whatever…it’s time to discover the most amazing grilled cheese sandwich ever made!!!

  3. Friday, September 23, 2011

    Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookies…and an ‘Equal Opportunity Cookie’ Call for Recipes

    Sorry I disappeared. No baby. Just Cate and her broken arm. She had surgery on Tuesday and is doing very well…today was her first day back at school, where she was welcomed by applause and many interested friends who were very happy to see her. Between her doctor’s appointments and mine this week, I’m plum worn out! The baby should be coming this weekend, so stay tuned for an announcement!

    All this nuttiness had me craving baked goods. I had seen a recipe for cream cheese chocolate chip cookies on Pinterest recently and decided to give them a whirl last night. When I sat down and read the recipe, I realized it was an adapted recipe by a mom who’s son has an egg allergy. The cream cheese was serving as an egg substitute in the recipe. I can eat eggs, so I was just going to throw an egg in there, but I decided to be courageous and give it a try.

    I dug around the web, found a few similar recipes and ended up going with this recipe from a blog called Art of Dessert. The verdict? The flavor is great, but it took some tweaking to get the texture right. I cooked the first batch right after making the dough. Combine that with not cooking them quite long enough at 325 degrees and they were super flat and sort of gooey. After letting the dough sit in the fridge overnight, things improved greatly. I highly recommend cooking the cookies after the dough has been refrigerated at least overnight. I also cooked them longer and at a higher temperature. The shape and texture came out much better. Once I got it figured out, the cookies were fab! Definitely a great eggless chocolate chip cookie recipe!

    Yes, these two cookies came from the same dough! Left: Unrefrigerated dough, not cooked long enough. Right: Refrigerated dough, cooked at the right time and temperature. 

    In the spirit of ‘Equal Opportunity Cookies’ everywhere, I thought it would be fun to do a special Call for Recipes today. The theme? Cookies for people with special food considerations! Please share your best vegan, gluten-free, eggless and/or allergy-friendly cookie recipes!

    Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookies...and an 'Equal Opportunity Cookie' Call for Recipes
    Recipe type: Dessert
    • 1 cup butter or margarine, at room temperature
    • ¾ cup sugar
    • ¾ cup brown sugar
    • 8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla
    • 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
    1. Directions (rewritten a bit by Jane):
    2. Preheat oven to 375ºF (Jane note: my batch that came out was cooked at 350 degrees in a convection oven).
    3. Cream together butter and sugars in a mixer – beat until light and fluffy. Add cream cheese and vanilla – mix well. Sift together flour, baking soda and salt then gradually blend dry mixture into butter mixture. Stir in chocolate chips.
    4. Drop heaping tablespoons (Jane note: I used my medium scoop, which is 2 Tablespoons) onto ungreased cookie sheets (Jane note: I cooked mine on my Silpat) about 2 inches apart. Bake at 375ºF for 9 to 11 minutes, or until golden brown (Jane note: I cooked mine at 350 degrees F in a convection oven for about 10 minutes).

  4. Tuesday, August 16, 2011

    First CSA Mystery Solved…They’re Cucumbers!

    So, last week when I opened up my CSA bag, I found these little guys.

    And when I say little, I mean little. Maybe 4 inches long or so.

    Instead of doing my own research, I just went straight to Facebook and Twitter. Because you people are smart. I posted the above photo and of course immediately had bazillions of responses from people.

    And the consensus was…lemon cucumbers. And while I’m obviously no expert, I think you’re all right (or at least close to right!).

    Cate loves cucumbers. They’re her favorite veggie, hands down. So it was lots of fun cutting into these with her.

    I must admit, they didn’t taste that different from the regular cucumbers. The texture was a bit more tender and juicy, but bottom line, they taste like cucumbers. But they were delicious and it sure was fun to try something new! Another 10 points for joining a CSA

    While we’re here…if you have any good cucumber recipes to share, please do!

  5. Tuesday, July 26, 2011

    Grilling Galore…and a Mr. Bar-B-Q Giveaway…and Amazing Recipes for the Grill!

    This giveaway is now closed. But don’t miss the great grilling recipes at the end of the post!

    I love grilling. And not just because grilled food is delicious. But because I usually hand over the grilling responsibilities to Nate. My kitchen stays cool and I get a man to cook for me. It’s heaven.

    When Mr. Bar-B-Q contacted me about a giveaway and offered to send some fun grilling accessories, I jumped on the offer. Because Nate seriously does love grilling and I figured a few new tools might get him in front of the BBQ even more this summer.

    Mr. Bar-B-Q sent us some some beautiful grilling tools, a pair of heavy-duty gloves (Nate is most excited about those!), and a pizza stone for the grill. We haven’t used the stone yet, but I am most excited about that one for sure. There have been a few times this summer when we’ve really wanted homemade pizza, but firing up the oven to 500 degrees in the summer heat is the last thing I want to do. Enter pizza stone on the grill – woo-hoo! I cannot wait to give it a try!

    To inspire you to have some fun at the grill this summer, I have two “gifts” for you today. First, a giveaway from Mr. Bar-B-Q. Second, favorite grilling recipes from some of my favorite food bloggers. Do you think you can handle all this grilling love? I thought so…here we go!

    Mr. Bar-B-Q wants to help you find your inner Mr. or Mrs. Bar-B-Q by giving away a Mr. Bar-B-Q Grill Stone Pizza Kit (which includes a 15″ round grill top pizza stone and a folding pizza shovel) and a Mr. Bar-B-Q 18-Piece Stainless-Steel Grill Tool Set. Imagine the fun you could have at your next barbecue! To enter the giveaway, please leave a “juicy” comment…you know, spill the beans on your favorite grilling recipe, memory, tips, sauces and more! Comments must be made by Midnight PT on Monday, August 1. One winner will be announced on August 2. I can’t wait to see your juicy comments!

    BONUS: if you “like” Mr. Bar-B-Q on Facebook, please add a second comment to this post to get an additional entry in the giveaway!

    In anticipation of today’s great giveaway, I emailed a handful of my dearest food blogging friends and asked them to share their favorite grilling recipes. Between the Mr. Bar-B-Q giveaway and these fabulous recipes, you should be feeling pretty darn inspired to have a lot of fun at the grill this summer!

    Happy Grilling!


  6. Thursday, July 14, 2011

    Fresh Garlic…and LOTS of it!

    Last week when it was time to put my order in for this week’s CSA bag, garlic made its first appearance on the list of available produce. I have been waiting for this moment. I love fresh garlic. But I HATE buying garlic bulbs at the market that end up being old…you know, you cut into a clove and it’s already sprouted green inside. Which happens probably 90% of the time. It seriously makes me bonkers.

    Of course I added garlic to my order as quick as I could. And I picked up my CSA bag yesterday. AND this is what I found:

    SO MUCH GARLIC. I am super excited about it, don’t get me wrong…but what am I going to do with all this garlic?

    I think this giant bag of garlic is just screaming for a Call for Recipes, don’t you? And this Call for Recipes is also a Call for Tips…as in, if you have good tips for storing garlic or ways to use it up that doesn’t necessarily involve a recipe, please share! And, as always, we love it when you share recipes, too!

    I’ll start us off Roasted Garlic Bulbs. Heaven.

    So, put your garlic thinking caps on and let’s get this party started.

  7. Thursday, June 23, 2011

    My First Freshly-Shelled Peas

    This week I did something in the kitchen I’ve never done before: I shelled fresh peas. I remember clearly a picture book from my childhood where a little girl who lives in the mountains shells peas with her grandmother on the back porch. That scene is so clear in my mind, soaked in nostalgia, what I perceived as the perfect childhood pastime. For whatever reason, however, fresh peas in the pod have never crossed my path, whether on a back porch in Appalachia or in my own kitchen!

    Last week we received a bag of English peas in our CSA bag. I was super excited to eat super fresh peas, to see if it made a difference in flavor. So, on Sunday, I set to work!

    First off, shelling them was actually kind of fun and satisfying…just what I thought it would be years ago reading that story as a child. BUT…you have to shell a LOT of pods to get not-so-very-many peas. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

    Secondly, they did taste better. I mean, they’re still peas. If you don’t like peas, then fresh or frozen, you’re probably not going to fall in love. They tasted how I expected, maybe just a bit fresher. But the real advantage is the texture was better, crisper, fresh.

    It’s official: freshly shelled peas are great!

    If you like peas…

    And if you don’t mind manual labor…

    But really, they’re great! 😉

    As always, feel free to share any pea recipes you love!

  8. Tuesday, June 7, 2011

    Call for Recipes: Green Beans

    We haven’t done a real honest-to-goodness Call for Recipes in ages. It’s about time, don’t you think? I love getting you all to share your favorite recipes and I really should make you do it more often!

    I have a big old bag of green beans sitting in my fridge from last week’s CSA bag. They want to be eaten, and they want to be eaten well. I usually just steam green beans then sauté them with olive oil, salt and pepper. It’s delicious. But today I was thinking, green beans have so much more potential!

    So let’s tap into that potential, folks. Summer is here. Green beans are too (or will be soon!). Share your best most favorite recipes with green beans or your favorite way to prepare them. Nate loves green beans, so I have a feeling he’s going to be very happy with today’s post!

    P.S. If your recipe involves a can or frozen bag of green beans, bring it on! We are equal opportunity green beaners around here.

  9. Tuesday, February 8, 2011

    The Un-Recipe

    My dear friend Emily (who I often credit the existence of this blog to) sent me an email recently with a great blog post idea: The Un-Recipe. Here’s part of Emily’s email: “In my family we have a thing we make a thing called “Melted On Cheese.”  Yep, you guessed it, it’s cheese melted on bread…usually in the microwave. Not a recipe. But it has a name, and all my siblings make and eat it. It’s not fancy, and other families would probably think it’s gross. I think a lot of families have recipes like this…”

    When I first read her email I thought I didn’t have any Un-Recipes in my life. Then the other day, as I was pulling out some Ritz crackers and cottage cheese, I realized my family most definitely has an Un-Recipe: Cottage Cheese and Crackers. Just like Emily said, it has a name, my family eats it, it’s not fancy, and other people might think it sounds gross. I was able to mark off every checkbox for the definition of Un-Recipe! I can totally remember my mom making this for me when I was a kid. I loved it. I wanted to squeeze as many Ritz crackers onto the plate as possible. I still eat it and think it’s mighty tasty.

    So, thank you Emily for a great post idea! I can’t wait to hear about all of your Un-Recipes! Please share!

  10. Tuesday, January 11, 2011

    Call for Recipes: Walnuts

    Let me begin with a confession. I hate walnuts. Hate them. In fact, I’ve never met a walnut I liked. Which is a shame since they are a superfood and all. I’ll just have to eat extra oats or something.

    Anyway, just because I don’t like walnuts doesn’t mean you don’t. In fact, I’m pretty sure there are a whole bunch of you out there who actually like, maybe even love, walnuts. Go figure.

    We haven’t done a Call for Recipes in a while and I think it’s time. Plus, I found these absolutely gorgeous red walnuts at the store yesterday. Even I, hater of walnuts, couldn’t resist putting them in my shopping cart. They were practically screaming for me to take their picture. I obliged. And luckily Nate likes them, so I promise they won’t go to waste!

    I don’t have a walnut recipe to share. But I’m certain you all have wonderful recipes! Please share your favorite recipes that use walnuts, whether they are the main character or play a supporting role. Maybe you’ll even convince me to open my mind to what walnuts have to offer…although I doubt it! 😉