Saturday, January 31, 2015

Super Bowl Party Appetizer Round Up

Are you ready for tomorrow's big game?  I could really care less about the actual game and really the commercials as well.  However I am looking forward to the food. Mr. J is definitely excited for the food but also to watch the Patriots.  We are still finalizing the options.  We typically end up with nachos and chicken wings and then a few other minor snacks.  I am torn because as much as I love chicken wings spicy food has not been my friend lately. For me, chicken wings must be hot and I just don't think a sweeter version would be satisfying. 

I will be going to the store later today to gather all of the ingredients. In case you are still in the planning phase here is a list of game day food you might consider.

Pulled Pork Nachos

Twice Baked Loaded Potatoes

Browned Butter Snack Mix

French Onion Dip

Five Layer Mexican Dip

Spinach Artichoke Dip

Baked Feta

Cheddar Ale Dip

Super Easy Cheesy Queso Dip

Pizza Dip

Baked Brie

Hot Wings

Crescent Roll Pinwheels

Jalapeno Popper Pockets 

Caprese Garlic Bread

Cheesy Pull Apart Bread

Spinach Pull Apart Bread

Corn Dog Bites

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Loaded Twiced Baked Potatoes

An easy game day appetizer food that is sure to please all palates.

Of course if you are like me I made a meal out of these little potatoes. I had one and then promptly went back for two more.  If you want these for a crowd you need to double the recipe.

I somehow managed to delete all of the other hundreds of photos of these potatoes when transferring them from my camera to my computer. They were there and then they weren't.  Sometimes I just don't even know.  Since at that point we had eaten them all I couldn't take more.  #bloggertroubles

You can switch up the topping to make them a bit healthier - scallions or broccoli anyone? These are decidedly not all that healthy with loads of cheese and bacon. They are delicious though. Mr. J talked about kicking up the heat aspect with paprika or cayenne.  I thought they had a nice kick on their own with the use of pepper jack cheese. Lately even the littlest spice seems really spicy.  

Loaded Twice Baked Potatoes

by Emily Morris
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Keywords: bake appetizer bacon cheese potatoes Super Bowl
Ingredients (6 potato skins)
  • 3 Russet Potatoes
  • Olive Oil
  • Sea Salt or Kosher Salt
  • 2 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • Shredded Colby Jack Cheese, Cheddar Cheese, and Pepper Jack Cheese
  • 3 Slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Drizzle each potato with olive oil and then in the salt to coat entirely.

Place the potatoes in the oven on tin foil and bake for 50-60 minutes. A fork should slice through the skin easily.

Allow to cool then slice open lengthwise and remove most of the white flesh into a bowl. Add the butter and cream cheese and using a potato masher begin mashing the insides. Add seasoning and mash until smooth.

Spoon back into each potato skin and top with cheese and bacon.

Place onto a baking dish and bake until the cheese is melted, about 10 minutes.
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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

We survived the snow and #WIAW

Well, the storm came and went. We got about 18 inches of snow that poor Mr. J had to handle all on his own but we never lost power. In fact we were in some random band in Connecticut that didn't really get much snow after 10 am. There was snow to the west and snow to the east but no snow over us.

This was the nightmare I faced on Sunday afternoon. I thought we had everything we needed for the storm but neglected to get water. Thankfully there was plenty of water.  Unfortunately there were people everywhere. Negotiating a cart and a pregnant belly in a crowd is not my idea of fun. 

We went out again Sunday night for some extra propane at Walmart. It was much less hectic. As a reward I also got a Blizzard.  Oreos are the best and very, very dangerous. 

As for eats during the storm. I woke up super early being anxious with the snow and wind. Because we still had power I quickly turned on the coffee maker and made a green smoothie. I pretty much snacked all morning and forgot to take pictures. There was some toast, and sweet potato tots in the mix. 

Lunch was chicken and wild rice soup with lots of saltines.  Perfect for a snow day. 

And of course a cookie. My afternoon snack also consisted of an apple and cheese cubes. 

Mr. J whipped up this dinner pretty quickly and it was marvelous. It was semi like a dish he ordered at an Italian restaurant a while back. Pork chops with onions and peppers. He also added some garlic bread. I gave him a hard time because I think he used a whole bulb of garlic for our three pieces of toast.  Seriously there must have been as least 4 tablespoons on the cutting board. 

What is your favorite snow day food?  What did you eat Wednesday?

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies #KingArthurFlour

King Arthur Flour's Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies. One of the most popular recipes in 2014.

Did you know that we are in the midst of a blizzard? I scheduled this post last night just in case we lost power.  Fingers crossed we do not lose power.  When they first started forecasting this storm I wasn't too worried. I am from Maine. I can handle snow. What I cannot handle is the wind and snow mix.  No power is no fun.  Being almost 9 months pregnant makes matter even worst. No power means no heat and no power to cook. 

I am eating pretty constantly now and I do not want to deal with not being able to make food.  Just in case I went out with the masses yesterday and stocked up on batteries, water and non-perishable groceries.  We have about 50 different granola bars.  No joke. 

I have been planning on making these cookies for a while but there was no time like the present to bake off several dozen. Cookies are essential to have on hand during a blizzard. 

These cookies are amazing and we actually ate way too many yesterday instead of saving them for the actual storm.  Besides having the perfect ratio of flour and oats to make them nice and thick, these cookies have 3 cups of chocolate. Three cups is more than the standard 12 oz bag of chocolate chips from the store. That is a lot of chocolate. I used a combination of mini chips and chocolate chunks. There is no need to search for the best cookie in the cookie jar. They all are the best!

I feel much more comfortable going into this storm with a big batch of cookies waiting for me when hunger strikes. 

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

by Emily Morris, Adapted from King Arthur Flour
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Keywords: bake dessert chocolate oatmeal cookie
Ingredients (36 cookies)
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line several cookie sheets with parchment paper.

In the bowl of a stand mixer beat together the butter and sugars until smooth. Then add the eggs and vanilla one at a time, beating well after each.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and add to the butter mixture in the bowl.

Mix until everything is thoroughly incorporated. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl, and mix briefly.

Stir in the chocolate chips.

Form 1-2 inch balls with the cookie dough. Scoop the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 1 1/2" to 2" between cookies.

Bake the cookies for 12 to 15 minutes, until they're a light golden brown, with slightly darker edges. Their middles may still look under cooked. Remove from oven and let cool on the cookie sheet. The cookies will continue to bake.
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Monday, January 26, 2015

Dark and Rich Homemade Hot Chocolate {SRC}

This month for the Secret Recipe Club I was assigned Curious Cuisiniere. This blog is by Sarah and Tim who strive for eating wholesome. Meaning real food, real ingredients. I am all for that, more so now then ever before with the baby on the way. I really enjoyed exploring all the potential recipes.  They had all sorts of recipes - sweets and savory as well as different ethnic cuisines. 

I ended up making her recipe for Dark and Rich Homemade Hot Chocolate.  This was really out of necessity. I have been having a nightly mug of hot chocolate every night for the past several weeks. I am starving for dinner by 5:30 but if I don't eat again before bed I wake up in the middle of the night hungry. Clearly this baby is her mother's child.  Never too long without eating. Anyway, the mug of hot chocolate fills me up before bed. Well, the other night we ran out of my hot chocolate mix.  Before my panic state set in I remembered seeing a recipe on Curious Cuisiniere. I made it and it was wonderful. And then I knew I had to share the recipe with others. 

Before my little hot chocolate fiasco turned wonderful nightly snack I was eyeing her Cake Mix S'mores bars, Nutella Swirl Banana bread, and the Slow Cooker Jerk Pork. Just recently she made Jalapeno Popper Potato Skins. Yep, those will be making an appearance soon. 

Anyway, this is about my forth round of this recipe. I finally made some when it was not already dark out.  Fake lighting = bad photos.  I don't really like marshmallows or whipped cream on my hot chocolate but they would be great additions if you like that kind of thing. 

With the colder temperatures and snow coming our way, I know I will be making more and more of this hot chocolate. 

Dark and Rich Hot Chocolate

by Emily Morris
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Keywords: beverage chocolate winter
Ingredients (serves 4)
  • 1/4 c butter
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1/2 c cocoa powder
  • 4 c skim milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • pinch of salt
In a 2 qt saucepan, melt butter with honey over medium heat. When the butter is melted, whisk in cocoa powder until dissolved and smooth.

Add milk slowly, whisking constantly, bringing to a simmer.

Add salt and vanilla (and additional honey if necessary) to taste. Simmer 2-3 minutes until frothy.

Serve with marshmallows or whipped cream if desired.
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Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Hungry Caterpillar Baby Shower

This weekend I had a really special time. Several close friends and family came for my baby shower.  I have a dear friend who is extremely talented and crafty. She threw the cutest "The Hungry Caterpillar" themed baby shower. I cannot think of a more perfect theme for a food blogger. 

I didn't get nearly as many photos as I would have liked but I have some of the highlights. We had a caterpillar cupcake dessert. 

The favors were cute, colorful lollipops. They reminded me of being a little kid. 

We had caterpillars everywhere...along with balloons but you will see those in a minute.

My favorite part was the diaper cake. I am obsessed with these. I am not crafty and I am just amazed by the diaper cakes and how they are put together. I want to keep it like this forever. 

We were very lucky receive homemade gifts. Again I am not craft so anything quilted or knitted blows my mind away.

We also got the cutest little outfits. See all of the onesies in the back? Some very clever people thought of moose outfits to remind us of Maine.   Our living room is now full of gifts. We have everything we need to welcome our little girl.  Of course she needs to stay nestled for a few weeks longer. I am so blessed to have such wonderful people in my life. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Hump Day and WIAW

I am so happy that it is Wednesday. I am already for the weekend even though we might get a storm on Saturday. I guess I would rather have a storm on the weekend then have to deal with it on a work day. I see the couch, movies and PJs in my future.

I decided to switch up breakfast this week since we had some good bread on hand.  Hello Nutella!  One piece had Nutella. One piece had raspberry jam.  Topped with banana to make it a healthy breakfast. 

Lunch was leftover mac and cheese. I didn't pack nearly enough!!

Thank goodness for snack though. I had fruit, granola, hummus and crackers and veggies all day long.   Somehow the hummus container is almost gone?!?!

Dinner was also leftovers. My mom made us some French toast souffle this past weekend. I topped it with maple syrup and fruit. When I got done I felt like I had just finished dessert instead of dinner. Cannot say that I mind much?

Are you excited for the weekend? What did you eat Wednesday?

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Nursery Inspiration

We are getting closer and closer to the due date and the nursery is finally coming together. We put the crib together and finished installing the shelving in the closet this past weekend. The last major piece is the changing table. I am getting prepared for washing all of the sheets, clothes and blankets we will need for the first couple of weeks.  

Before we knew it was going to be a boy or a girl I knew I wanted a pretty neutral nursery. Once we found out it was a girl the room became a bit more feminine but still not too pink.  As we finish up our project I thought I would share some of my inspiration photos.



Monday, January 19, 2015

Classic Blueberry Muffins

I love a good muffin in the morning. My favorite is blueberry. These classic blueberry muffins are perfect with a hint of cinnamon.

Happy Monday! For those of you who have it off, I am super jealous.  We had a whirlwind weekend and I am still recovering this morning.  Spending it in bed under warm covers seemed like the best idea today. It was hard to get myself out the door. 

The one thing that did help was these muffins.  There isn't anything super special about them per se. They are a classic blueberry muffin with just a hint of cinnamon. 

The muffins stay fresh for about 3 days in an air tight container.  This is just about perfect for Mr. J and I. Between breakfast, snacking and dessert-ing we can normally finish off the batch in 3 days. They also freeze well after baking. Place muffins in a freezer bag for up to a month. 

Classic Blueberry Muffins

by Emily Morris
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Keywords: bake breakfast blueberries
Ingredients (12 muffins)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1¼ cups sour cream
  • 1½ cups frozen or fresh blueberries
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F*. Grease a standard 12-cup muffin tin (or line with paper liners) and set aside.

Whisk the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl until combined.
In a separate medium bowl whisk the egg until well-combined, about 20 seconds. Add the sugar and whisk vigorously until thick, about 30 seconds. Add the melted butter, whisking to combine. Finally, add the sour cream whisking just to combine.

Add the berries to the dry ingredients and gently toss just to combine.

Add the sour cream mixture into the dry ingredients and fold with a rubber spatula until the batter comes together and the berries are evenly distributed, 25 to 30 seconds. Small spots of flour may remain and the batter will be very thick. Be careful not to over mix.

Divide the batter amount into the muffin cups. Bake until the muffins are light golden brown and a toothpick or thin knife inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes.

Immediately remove muffins to a wire rack and cool for at least 5 minutes. Serve immediately or at room temperature. Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature.
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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

One thing a day and #WIAW

Its cold, cloudy and windy in Connecticut this morning. I really just want to wear my PJs and stay in bed all day reading. Instead of that wonderful plan I am off to work. I am hoping this day flies by as does the rest of the week. I cannot wait for the weekend. We are having my baby shower. It is going to be at my house.  And although I am super happy to have it there I am starting to spot every single speck of dirt and dust that exists.  

My plan this week has been to do one extra task a day above and beyond the normal dishes, cooking, and mail duties.  Monday I sorted papers. Tuesday I organized some random clothes.  Today is all about laundry. So far it is working but I must say last night my ambitions were already diminishing. 

Yesterday at work I was sad to see the last sleeve of saltines disappear. I immediately wrote a note to myself to pick more up.  

Lunch was leftover beef ragu with pasta.  I made a mess all over my computer.  In some ways I feel like pregnancy has made me much more anal about things, in other ways I am much more lax.  A little pasta sauce in the spaces between my keyboard. No bigs.

Chocolate.  Work required chocolate yesterday. Enough said. 

Dinner was by myself and I made grilled cheese. First time ever not over cooking at least one of the sides. I was proud.  About an hour after eating this I was still hungry.  I had a hot dog and was so into just eating it there are no pictures.  I have been eating to breakfasts for a while now but I might get into two dinners for the rest of the pregnancy. This week I have been so hungry at night.  It is hard to find something I actually want to eat.  This morning was the first morning in a while though I didn't wake up in the middle of the night hungry.  

What is your favorite late night snack?  What did you eat Wednesday?

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