Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Brown Paper Bag Picnic Sandwiches

Do you ever want to make a fancier sandwich than just plain ol' pb&j or a ham sandwich on regular bread?  Especially when you're taking a sack lunch somewhere or to have a picnic w/? I surprised my husband w/ these when my sons and I took him lunch to work on Valentine's Day. I think we were all impressed! We even made them for dinner the next night w/ all the leftovers. Not only are these yummy, but the presentation in the paper bags are adorable! It's much better than just stuffing them in a plastic baggy. When you're all about presentation, this is a great option! These would even be adorable for a girl's luncheon, a baby shower, parties, ect.

Cut Ciabatta rolls, spread w/ pesto mayo, top off w/ 1st meat, 1st cheese, 2nd meat, 2nd cheese, spinach leaves and press tight w/ the top of the roll.

Wrap tightly w/ a cut up brown paper bag and tie off w/ twine.

Brown Paper Bag Picnic Sandwiches

  • 6 small Ciabatta rolls (or you can use large buns or bread and slice up after)
  • 2 T Mayonnaise
  • 2 T Pesto
  • Assorted Italian cold meats (I used two types of Salami)
  • Cheeses (I used Havarti and Mozzarella)
  • Fresh Spinach Leaves
6 Brown Paper Bags

To prepare the sandwiches: Cut your ciabatta roll in half lengthwise.  Mix together the mayo and pesto in a small bowl.  Spread some of the pesto mayo on both slices of the roll. Start layers: one type of meat, havarti cheese, 2nd type of meat, two slices of mozzarella, and spinach leaves, close off and press with the top roll. Cut to make two halves.

To wrap: Take a paper bag and cut the bottom off and discard.  Take the remaining paper bag and cut out two rectangles.  Wrap each rectangle around each half a sandwich.  Use enough twine to wrap tightly around the sandwich several times and tie off with a bow.  Enjoy!

Recipe Adapted from: Pinterest

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Apple Crumb Pie

My friend Kristy made me this pie a while back, I loved it so much, that a week later I attempted to make it myself! It is seriously my favorite apple pie! I love that it's creamy and has a crispy crumb top. You know how most pies you have to eat ice cream w/ it to off set how sweet it is? Well, at least I do.  This pie, I didn't have to do that! It was perfect alone! It even tastes great cold for breakfast, not saying I did that...ok, I did...only once or twice ;) This is great teamed up w/ my Pie Pastry recipe I added yesterday as well.  Give it a shot, it was super easy to make!

Line your pie pan with a pie crust, I recommend my Pie Pastry Recipe.

In a large bowl, combine the sugar, flour and salt.  Add egg, vanilla, and sour cream, and stir until smooth.

Add apples, mix well.  Pour into unbaked pastry shell. 

Bake at 375 for 15 min.  Reduce heat to 325 and bake for 30 min more.

Meanwhile, prepare streusel topping by combining flour and brown sugar in a bowl, cut butter in until crumbly.

Remove pie from oven and sprinkle streusel mix over the top...

Return to oven and bake about 20 min longer or until filling is bubbly and topping is browned. Cool on a wire rack.  Serve warm or chilled. Enjoy!

Apple Crumb Pie

1 unbaked 9-inch pastry shell
3/4 C sugar
2 T flour
Pinch Salt
1 egg, beaten
1/2 t vanilla extract
1 C Plain Greek Yogurt (or sour cream)
2 C tart apples, such as granny smith, peeled and sliced thinly

Streusel topping:
1/3 C flour
1/3 C packed brown sugar
2 T cold butter

Preheat oven to 375

In a large bowl, combine the sugar, flour and salt.  Add egg, vanilla, and sour cream, and stir until smooth.  Add apples, mix well.  Pour into unbaked pastry shell. Bake for 15 min.  Reduce heat to 325 and bake for 30 min more.

Meanwhile, prepare streusel topping by combining flour and brown sugar in a bowl, cut butter in until crumbly.

Remove pie from oven and sprinkle streusel mix over the top; return to oven and bake about 20 min longer or until filling is bubbly and topping is browned.  Cool on a wire rack.  Serve warm or chilled. Enjoy!

Recipe Source: The Romney Family Table Cookbook

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Pie Pastry (aka Crust - New Zealand Style)

I am so lucky to have an amazing family living next door to me from New Zealand.  They use to own a bakery on their tiny island, and so they know what they're doing.  They are always bringing over yummy treats for us to try out and occasionally I'm lucky enough to be taught some of their secrets. This, my friends, is a true New Zealand Style Pie Pastry recipe.  It's amazing! I like it so much better than normal pie crust! My husband, who is not a fan of pie crust, loved this! I truly understand why they call it a Pie Pastry, rather than a Pie crust.  It's got some "fluff" to it, it's not crispy, and it just tastes like a pastry! Ya'll, honestly, don't be scared to make this, it was my first attempt at making a homemade pie crust, and sooo easy! Let me know what you think! Have any of ya'll ever tried a New Zealand Pie Pastry before? B/c I had never before!

I made a banana cream pie, yum!

Shred your cold butter.

Mix together the butter, flour, sugar and 2 T water.

Add in 1 egg yolk.

Mix together while slowly adding up to 1/2 c total water.

Spread half the dough into your pie pan.

Fill the dough w/ uncooked beans and bake at 400 for 15 minutes. 
(Or this is the part where you'll leave the beans out and just fill w/ your pie fillings and bake according to your pie directions and disregard the rest of the directions.)

Take out of oven...

and empty out the beans (to be used again).

Place back in oven for another 5 minutes. Place on cooling rack.

Pie Pastry (aka Crust)

2 c Flour
1/2 c Sugar
10 T Cold Butter (1 1/4 sticks)
2 T - 1/2 c Water
1 Egg Yolk
Any Type of Uncooked Bean (I used Kidney)*

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Either shred or chop butter into tiny pieces and mix together with the flour, sugar and 2 T water until blended (it will be a little clumpy). Add 1 egg yolk and blend.  Gradually add more water (no more than 1/2 total) until well blended and smooth (play dough consistency, may be a little sticky). Take half of your dough and spread evenly and on sides of a well greased pie pan.  

Directions for a no bake filling pie:
Fill the pie crust full of dried beans, this will help the pastry from rising.  Place in oven for 15 minutes. Take out and empty out all the beans** and then bake for another 5 minutes.  Place on a cooling rack and then use whatever pie filling you wish. 

Directions for a baked pie:
Disregard the beans*, you will not use them. Place your desired ingredients in your pie crust and bake according to your pie directions.  Enjoy!

Yields two pie crusts or 1 pie crust and 1 pie top (This also freezes great for later uses).

**You may reuse these beans as many times as you wish, you can also still cook them normally later as well.

Recipe Source: From the Kitchen of Sydney Davies

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Double Marinated Basil Lime Chicken

This was one amazing, fresh and yummy tasting dish! I even dusted off the grill and cooked these puppies up all by myself! In fact, I'm making them again today! (I was supposed to yesterday, but thanks to a HUGE birds next found in my grill yesterday, it has been delayed until today. Click here or here to see what I'm talking about.) Don't let the double marinade thing scare you off, both super easy to make, just look at it as a double bonus for your taste buds.  FYI, the chicken is really good w/o the second marinade too, not as full of taste, but still great! Let me know what ya think!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Spinach Artichoke Pasta

I thought this recipe was amazing! I love pasta! I love fresh spinach and artichokes, and...ya'll all know I like a little kick, this recipe had it!  If you don't like cooked spinach, like my hubby, than you won't like it as much as I did, but you can always leave it out too! My kids loved it, I'd recommend not sprinkling any of the red pepper flakes on the kid's pasta though.  But, seriously, this is restaurant quality pasta! Let me know if you try it!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

One Pot Tomato Basil Pasta

Seriously, can I just tell ya'll how much I love these one pot dishes?! What's your favorite one pot dish? Please share!  This one was delicious! I loved how fresh tasting it was, I had no guilt eating pasta w/ this dish, especially b/c I used whole grain noodles.  My kids even gobbled it all up, which was amazing, b/c it had a little kick to it...which I love a little kick!  This was the perfect dish to make a few days ago for our lazy Sunday.  After church, much needed Sunday naps and playing w/ our kiddos, I didn't feel like making anything time consuming, especially b/c I didn't prep for anything ahead of time.  So, this was perfect! It took no time at all to make and was very filling.  Let me know what ya'll think! And seriously, no joke, plz share any of your favorite one pot dishes.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Easy Potato Doughnuts

I could eat donuts everyday if it were up to my head, and not my body! I love them! This is a crazy easy recipe for homemade donuts. Don't be intimidated, anyone can do it, I promise! The crazy thing about these donuts are that they have mashed potatoes in them!! That's right, potatoes. I don't know about y'all, but I was so surprised to hear that when I was first introduced to them. BTW, I was given this recipe a few years ago by someone I worked w/, I just can't remember her name, sorry!

They're good as leftovers, but uh-mazing fresh. 

Have you ever had potato donuts?! What did y'all think of them? Let me know if you tried these!

Creamy Philly Cheese Steak

If I ever go to a restaurant where a Philly Cheese Steak is on the menu, it's honestly a true battle w/ in myself to even consider ordering anything else.  I LOVE Phillies! I have no idea why I haven't shared this recipe with y'all yet!! I have had this recipe for years! I actually found two recipes I liked and combined them to make this. It's been so long that I can't even remember where the two recipes came from. But seriously, this is seriously so delicious! My 4 year old couldn't eat a bite without making an, "mmmm..." sound last night. My 5 year old was turned off by it when he asked what was in the sandwich and I told him, "roast beef." He quickly ran off screaming, "you want us to eat that?! I don't wanna eat 'gross' beef!!!" Hahaha as much as I tried to reassure him I had said "roast" beef, he wanted nothing to do with it. But, the rest of us loved it! My favorite way to serve these are with steak fries and a pasta salad. You will not disappoint if you serve this, I promise. (Just make sure to clarify you're not serving gross beef.)
Who else loves Phillys as much as me?! Where's your favorite place to buy one?

Look at all that deliciousness!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Guiltless Buffalo Chicken Salad

I shared this a while back on my Instagram and Facebook account (which you can access from the right column here --->), but I'm just now getting around to posting it on here.  I'm so sorry for the wait!  This salad was so good and very healthy.  And, as the title describes, totally guiltless! My friend Kristy shared the recipe w/ me last October, and I finally got around to making it.  Definitely wouldn't regret making it if you're a salad lover, especially if you like a little kick (ya know from the hot sauce). Go ahead, try it, let me know what ya think.  What's your favorite salad?

Doesn't it look beautiful! I love a good loaded salad! YUM!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Tacos Al Pastor

I've had this recipe pinned on my Pinterest account for a long time now.  I finally made it! Once again, while I was searching for healthy, yummy recipes I came across this recipe again.  This was so, so easy to make!  Seriously, you cut up the pork, throw it in a large baggy and refrigerate until you're ready to throw it all into a frying pan to cook.  While that's cooking you heat up the tortillas! So, so easy! And they taste amazing! It sweet and spicy! Seriously, you will not be disappointed.  
Who else loves tacos as much as I do? I L.O.V.E them!