Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Weekly Meal Plan 2/8 - 2/14

What a fun weekend! It makes me sad when Monday comes so fast! 

First, I want to say thank you to everyone who entered the #FreshTastyValentines- such a fun event!

This past Wednesday we hightailed it out of Green Bay and headed for Wisconsin Dells for a little fun at The Wilderness. We went to The Wilderness over my birthday last year and I was excited to go back again! We spent our days there relaxing, swimming, playing in the arcade and eating. It was a great trip. Kellen has a an absolute blast and so did the adults. We returned home on Sunday (my birthday) to grill brats and watch the Super Bowl. It was a great week and now back to reality. Here are a few snaps from the weekend:




I took Monday off to relax and organize- I also go to grab sushi and a pedicure with my friend for her birthday!

This week I am grabbing dinner with a few girlfriends, bringing Kellen to swim, my sister is throwing me a shower/blessing way on Saturday and Kellen and I are going to Disney on Ice! I am really excited to celebrate this little man with family and friends. I can't believe that we will be meeting him next month (potentially unless he is fashionably late like his brother)!

Have a good week everyone!


Monday: Chili with all the Fixin's
Tuesday: Out with Girlfriends and Subs for the boys
Wednesday: Slow Cooker Muffaletta Beef Roast, Roasted Potatoes and Green Beans
Thursday: Gyro Bowl and Pita Bread
Friday:  Out for Dinner
Saturday: Baby Shower/Blessing Way thrown by my Sister! Pizza for Dinner before Disney on Ice!
Sunday: Valentine's Meal: TBA!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Easy Apple and Meyer Lemon Tart #FreshTastyValentines

Welcome to #FreshTasyValentines!

This week filled this space with fresh and tasty recipes- perfect to share with your valentine and today is our final day! Don't forget to check out the prize package below and enter! 

I introduced this event, sponsors and bloggers in my preview post and please click here to visit and learn more about our sponsors. Also, I want to thank Camilla of Culinary Adventure with Camilla. This lady has worked so hard to put this event together and deserves many rounds of applause- head over to her blog and show her some love!

I decided that I needed to end the week with a dessert. Apples are a favorite of mine and I am loving all seasonal citrus this time of year- especially the Meyer Lemon.  I decided that combining the two to make a tart would be a perfect end to my weeks sharing #FreshTastyValentines recipes with all of you. 

Envy Apples generously sent me 3 of their delicious apples, an apple corer and a tote bag. Envy Apple uses natural plant-breeding, non-GMO methods and crosses Braeburn with Royal Gala apples. The company started in New Zealand and has expanded to Washington State. The apples are amazing and I was lucky that my 3 year old didn't snag them before I had a change to make my tart! 

KitchenIQ generously sent me a BetterZester and Strawberry Tool. I used the zester for this recipe and the zester is wonderful and has a slightly curved design and a bonus container for easy zest removal. I used seasonal Meyer Lemons for my tart because I love the combo of citrus and apples together. 

This tart is so quick and easy! The flavors are crisp and sweet from the apple and a bit tart from them lemon. I really like having a lighter dessert and this is a perfect end of the meal for me.... if you wanted a little more richness a scoop pf vanilla ice cream wouldn't hurt! 

I want to thanks Camilla one more time for all her hard work. I have done a few of these recipes challenges with Camilla and you would not believe all the work she does to get these up and running! I also want to thank all of our sponsors again. They are so generous to us and provide such wonderful products to share with all of you. 

Check out the blog hop below to see what my fellow bloggers are sharing today and don't forget to enter the giveaway! 


Ingredients

1 piece frozen puff pastry, cut into 3 pieces and thawed
2 apples, cored and thinly sliced
Juice from 1 meyer lemon (2 Tbl)
2 Tbl brown sugar
zest from 1/2 meyer lemon
raw sugar
1 egg beaten


Instructions

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Whisk together lemon juice, and brown sugar. Brush the lemon mixture over the puff pastry. Layer the thinly sliced apples on the puff pastry. 

Combine raw sugar and zest and mix so it is well combined. Sprinkle over the apples.

Brush exposed pastry edges with egg wash and place tarts on the baking sheet. Bake 13-17 minutes or until pastry is golden and underside is completely cooked.  Remove from baking sheet, slice and serve. 


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Friday, February 5, 2016

BBQ Tangerine Hatch Chile Roasted Cornish Game Hens #FreshTastyValentines

Welcome to #FreshTasyValentines!

This week I will be filling this space with fresh and tasty recipes- perfect to share with your valentine next week. Don't forget to check out the prize package below and enter! 

I introduced this event, sponsors and bloggers in my preview post and please click here to visit and learn more about our sponsors. Also, I want to thank Camilla of Culinary Adventure with Camilla. This lady has worked so hard to put this event together and deserves many rounds of applause- head over to her blog and show her some love!

Today I am sharing a perfect recipe for two using one of my favorite poultry proteins- cornish game hens.  I have shared cornish game hens before because I think they make a lovely meal and always look impressive. They are much easier to prepare and cook much quicker than chicken and are usually have a very reasonable price point at the store. I normally roast mine with butter, salt and pepper but this was a perfect time to show-off a few of our sponsor ingredients! 

NotKetchup sent the bloggers a bottle of their newest product: Tangerine Hatch Chile  NotKetchup Sauce. The sauce is a fantastic all-purpose sauce that has no added sugar, no artificial or non-nutritive sweeteners, nothing artificial and no preservatives.  In Fact, the sauce is only sweetened with real fruit like tangerines, apples and dates and there is only 1g sugar per serving. I sampled the product right when we got it and couldn't wait to get cooking! I opted to mix mine with a little mine with a little tangy bbq sauce and the flavors were amazing! 

KitchenIQ generously sent me a BetterZester and Strawberry Tool. I used the zester for this recipe and the zester is wonderful and has a slightly curved design and a bonus container for easy zest removal. The added lemon lest in my sauce worked perfectly with the tangerine and brought out the citrus in the NotKetchup!

Ron, Kellen and I loved this meal and Kellen loved dipping his serving in extra sauce- we are so lucky he is in a stage that he likes to try food because with toddlers you never know what you will get! We served our hens with a side of roasted broccoli and wild rice. This is a perfect meal to share as a family or as a romantic dinner for two. 

I am so excited to share all of the recipes for #FreshTastyValentines! Also, check out the other bloggers on the hop below for more recipes! 


Ingredients

2 Cornish Game Hens
1 fresh lemon, quartered
Salt and Pepper
1/3 cup Tangerine Hatch Chile Not Ketchup
1/3 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce
Lemon zest of a 1/2 lemon


Instructions

In a medium bowl, whisk together NotKetchup, bbq sauce and lemon zest. Set aside.

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Pat the hens dry and stuff with lemon quarters. Season with salt and pepper and truss if desired. Place in a roasting pan and roast for about 60 minutes or until the temperature reaches 165 degrees. 

When the hens are in the last 20 minutes of roasting, generously brush the hens with the BBQ sauce. Return to over and allow the hens to finish roasting. 

Remove from the over and allow the hens to rest 5-10 minutes before carving and serving.




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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Roasted Garlic and Red Wine Butter #FreshTastyValentines

Welcome to #FreshTasyValentines!

This week I will be filling this space with fresh and tasty recipes- perfect to share with your valentine next week. Don't forget to check out the prize package below and enter! 

I introduced this event, sponsors and bloggers in my preview post and please click here to visit and learn more about our sponsors. Also, I want to thank Camilla of Culinary Adventure with Camilla. This lady has worked so hard to put this event together and deserves many rounds of applause- head over to her blog and show her some love!

So far, I have shared delicious a main course and a side dish highlighting our sponsor's donation. I wanted to share a frequently forgotten part of a meal- butter. Not just any butter, but a flavored butter. Flavored butters are great for enhancing dishes and adding touches of flavor. I love the use them on warm rolls, steaks and other meats, potatoes, green veggies....the list goes on and on. A few years ago, at one of my favorite places in town, I was served a red wine butter of the top of my steak and it was amazing. I love red wine and red meat together, but this butter put the steak over the top and it is still one of my favorite meals. I wanted to create a butter for this challenge because they are versatile and can be used in so many different ways. Plus, who won't get impressed if you are serving a roasted garlic and red wine butter? 

Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi sent me a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Nior.  I am not drinking much these days (less than 2 months to go till baby boy is here!), but I love to cook with wine! For this recipe I  used the Pinot Noir to make a delicious butter. 

Casabella was generous enough to send me a Garlic Roaster and Clip 'n Strip Shears. The garlic roasted is designed oven and dishwasher safe and roasts the garlic with no mess to clean afterwards!  I love to roast garlic and this tool is a fantastic addition to my kitchen. I am always hesitant to buy specialty kitchen tools for fear it will take up too much space or I won't use it, but this is a tool I know will be frequently used in my household! 

I am so excited to share all of the recipes for #FreshTastyValentines! Also, check out the other bloggers on the hop below for more recipes!


Ingredients

1 stick salted butter, room temperature
2 1/2 Tbl Robert Mondavi Pinot Noir
1 large clove roasted garlic
1/4 tsp cracked black pepper


Instructions

Add butter, wine, garlic and pepper to a food processor and pulse till smooth and evenly mixed. If you do not have a food processor a hand mixer will work. 

Serve whipped at room temperature, or roll in wax paper to make a log and store in the fridge till firm. Butter can also be frozen till ready to use.

To Roast the Garlic: I used my Casabella Garlic Roasted and it was fantastic. If you do not have one click here for an alternative roasting method.




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Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Honey Garlic Ginger Glazed Sugar Snap Peas #FreshTastyValentines

Welcome to #FreshTasyValentines!

This week I will be filling this space with fresh and tasty recipes- perfect to share with your valentine next week. Don't forget to check out the prize package below and enter! 

I introduced this event, sponsors and bloggers in my preview post and please click here to visit and learn more about our sponsors. Also, I want to thank Camilla of Culinary Adventure with Camilla. This lady has worked so hard to put this event together and deserves many rounds of applause- head over to her blog and show her some love!

Side dishes are often long forgotten after thoughts and I wanted to share something quick and delicious that is a perfect accompaniment to any main course. I turned to Mann Packaging's Stringless Sugar Snap Peas and Gourmet Garden's herbs to create this delicious and fresh side!

Mann Packaging was generous enough to send coupons to me to try out their products. I have always been a fan of Mann's Stringless Sugar Snap Peas even before this challenge! They are cleaned, washed and make for easy snacking for Kellen and I- perfect for car rides between work, daycare and swim! Click here to check out all of their different and amazing products!

Gourmet Garden was kind enough to send participants 18 different herb products (stir-in pastes and lightly dried) for this challenge.  I was lucky enough to use Gourmet Garden's product in a previous blog challenge and was thrilled to have a chance to work with the product again. This time, along with stir-in paste, Gourmet Garden included 6 lightly dried herbs. I love this product because they last 4 weeks after they are opened, but are void of moisture and freshness like a fully dried herb.

 I served this recipe with a Cornish game hen recipe I will be sharing tomorrow. The fantastic thing about this side dish is it comes together in a snap (haha) and isn't your everyday steamed veggie with a little butter or salt. I used sharp flavors of garlic and ginger, but mellowed them out with a touch of honey. I like to lightly saute the pea pod so they maintain a slight crunch. My three year old adored these and devoured almost 2/3 of the entire pan- I would say that is a hit in my book!

I am so excited to share all of the recipes for #FreshTastyValentines! Also, check out the other bloggers on the hop below for more recipes!


Ingredients

1 (15 oz) bag Stringless Sugar Snap Peas
2 Tbl butter
1 1/2 tsp raw honey (regular will work fine)
1 tsp Gourmet Garden Garlic Stir-In Paste 
1/2 tsp Gourmet Garden Ginger Stir-In Paste 
1/4-1/2 tsp salt


Instructions

In a large rimmed skillet, saute the snap peas in butter for 2 minutes. 

Stir in the honey, garlic and ginger. Allow the glaze to thicken while cooking over medium-low heat for about a minute. Season with salt, to taste, and remove from heat. Serve immediately. 




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Monday, February 1, 2016

Pan-Seared Salmon with Citrus Sauvignon Blanc Herb Cream Sauce #FreshTastyValentines

Welcome to #FreshTasyValentines!

This week I will be filling this space with fresh and tasty recipes- perfect to share with your valentine next week. Don't forget to check out the prize package below and enter! 

I introduced this event, sponsors and bloggers in my preview post and please click here to visit and learn more about our sponsors. Also, I want to thank Camilla of Culinary Adventure with Camilla. This lady has worked so hard to put this event together and deserves many rounds of applause- head over to her blog and show her some love!

I wanted to start off the week with salmon. Salmon is one of my favorite types of fish and absolutely love to serve it pan-seared with a sauce. Salmon was also a great vehicle to show a products from a few of our generous sponsors, Gourmet Garden, KitchenIQ and Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi.  

Gourmet Garden was kind enough to send participants 18 different herb products (stir-in pastes and lightly dried) for this challenge.  I was lucky enough to use Gourmet Garden's product in a previous blog challenge and was thrilled to have a chance to work with the product again. This time, along with stir-in paste, Gourmet Garden included 6 lightly dried herbs. I love this product because they last 4 weeks after they are opened, but are void of moisture and freshness like a fully dried herb.

KitchenIQ generously sent me a BetterZester and Strawberry Tool. I used the zester for this recipe and the zester is wonderful and has a slightly curved design and a bonus container for easy zest removal. 

Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi sent me a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Nior.  I am not drinking much these days (less than 2 months to go till baby boy is here!), but I love to cook with wine! For this recipe I  used the Sauvignon Blanc to make a delicious sauce for my fish. 

Since we have a toddler, not all recipes in our house are made for two and this meal was devoured by my 3 year old. He has started really loving salmon and adored dipping his pieces into the sauce. However, if you have a kid free Valentine's day this salmon impress your special someone and the sauce is amazing! A little tang from the wine, richness from the cream but the zest and herbs keel it fresh and light. Like I mentioned before, I love to pan-sear my salmon, but if you prefer a different method this sauce will be a delightful topper for your fish. 

I am so excited to share all of the recipes for #FreshTastyValentines! Also, check out the other bloggers on the hop below for more recipes! 


Ingredients

for sauce:
2 Tbl diced shallots
1 Tbl butter 
2/3 cup Woodbridge Sauvignon Blanc 
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp Gourmet Garden lightly dried parsley 
1/2 tsp Gourmet Garden lightly dried basil
1/2 tsp garlic stir-in paste or 1 minced clove of garlic

1 -1 1/4 lb fresh skin-on boned salmon cut into 4 equal fillets. 
Olive oil 
Salt


Instructions

for sauce:
Saute shallots in butter for 1-2 minutes. Add wine and simmer to reduce to a syrup. Add cream, zest, parsley, basil and garlic. Cook on medium low till sauce thickens. Cover and set aside to keep warm while you cook your fish. 

for fish:
Rub the salmon with olive oil and  season with salt and pepper. Heat a skillet over medium high heat, add the salmon to the pan skin side down and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes. Flip the salmon over and sauté for and additional 3 to 5 minutes. The fish will cook to medium/medium-rare temperature depending on thickness of the salmon fillet. If you like your fish cooked more please adjust your time. 

Remove fish from pan and top with warm sauce. 



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Invitation: Make Civil War Cherry-Apple Cobbler with Sweet Vanilla Custard + Read The Killer Angels With #BookClubCookBookCC

This February, I am hosting the #BookClubCookBookCC and really excited to share my selection from The Book Club Cookbook, Revised Edition: Recipes and Food for Thought from Your Book Club’s Favorite Books and Authors by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp. 

A little background if you don't remember my kick off post in July, a group bloggers organized by Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla (click the link if you want to join the fun!) draw inspiration from a book and recipes published in The Book Club Cookbook which was provided to bloggers by Judy, Vicki, and their publisher, Tarcher-Penguin. Each month, a blogger selected a book and The Book Club Cookbook offers several suggested recipes or the blogger can create a recipe inspired by the story.  At the end of the month the host or hostess posts a round-up and gives away a copy of the book. 

Here are a list of my fellow participating bloggers/hosts:

Cheese Curd In Paradise               
Life on Food       
The Pajama Chef              
The Spiffy Cookie             
Things I Make (for Dinner)           
Tortillas and Honey         

Even if you are not part of the blogs listed above, any blogger can join in our fun! This month, I chose for us to read The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara and make Civil War Cherry Apple Cobbler with Sweet Vanilla Custard. 


How to Participate

1. Draw inspiration from the chosen recipe. The recipe can be a variation of cobbler or any recipe that the book inspired you to make. 

2. Blog about it! You post does not need to be details and long -  just share your dish.

3. Include a linkback to the hosting blog, Cheese Curd In Paradise (me!),  and this invitation to participate in your post.

4. Your post must be during February 2016. And, of course,we don't mind if your post is linked to other events. The more, the merrier. Posts must be submitted to me by February 29th at 6 PM CT. 

 5. Email your entries to me at: cheesecurdinparadise(at)gmail(dot)com and include the following info:
                    * Your name

                    * Your blog's name and URL
                   *  The name of your dish and the permalink to the specific post you'resubmitting
                    * Attach a photo of any size (or  give me permission to"pull" one from your post)
                    * Indicate #thebookclubcookbookCC in the subject line
The Recipe

Civil War Cherry Apple Cobbler with Sweet Vanilla Custard
serves 10-12

for the filling:
1 (15.5 oz) can unsweetened cherries, drained
5 cups peeled and thinly sliced apples
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cups all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons black cherry preserves
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
Juice of 1 lemon (about 3 tablespoons)

for the crust:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon granulated sugar 
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup milk
1 egg, beaten
Course sugar for sprinkling

2 cups sweet vanilla custard

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 
2. To make the filling: In a large bowl, stir together all of the filling ingredients. Set aside. 
3. To make the crust: In a medium bow, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt with a fork. Using a pastry blender or a fork, cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles a course meal. 
4. Mix together the milk and half the beaten egg (reserve remaining egg for brushing the crust).  Quickly stir into the flour mixture with a fork, just until a dough forms. Do not over-mix. Knead once or twice in the bowl with a small amount of flour to form a ball. 
5. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface with a floured rolling pin, to 1/4 inch thickness. 
6. To assemble: pour cherry-apple filling into a greased 2 1/2 quart casserole dish. Cover with the crust and loosely seal the edges. Cut a steam hole in the middle and brush over the surface of the crust. Sprinkle with coarse sugar. 
7. Bake 55-60 minutes, until the crust is nicely browned and apples are tender. Serve warm or at room temperature with freshly made Sweet Vanilla Custard (see below). 


Sweet Vanilla Custard
makes 2 cups

2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk
4 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon butter

1. In a medium size heavy bottomed sauce pan, combine the sugar, flours, and salt with a fork. Stir in the milk. Cook over medium heat, stirring with a wire whisk, about 5-7 minutes, until thickened (mixture should coat the edge of the pan). Remove from heat. 
2. Beat the egg yolks lightly in a heat resistant glass measuring cup or bowl. While whisking yolks constantly to prevent curdling, pour in roughly 1/2 cup of the hot milk mixture. When completely combined, pour eggs into the saucepan with the remaining milk mixture and whisk to combine. Continue cooking 2 more minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and butter.


Giveaway

This month I am giving away a copy of the book. Enter to win a copy of the cookbook so you can join us in future months, if you wish!

One of our lucky readers - US and Canada only! - can enter to win a copy ofThe Book Club Cookbook, Revised Edition: Recipes and Food for Thought from Your Book Club's Favorite Books and Authors by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp, courtesy of Tarcher-Penguin. Giveaway runs from February 1st till February 29th at 6 o'clock PM, Pacific time. Please see terms and conditions in the rafflecopter widget below. Many thanks to Tarcher Books. You may find Tarcher: on the web, on Facebook, on Twitter, and on Pinterest.

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*Disclosure: Ashley received a complimentary copy of The Book Club Cookbook, Revised Edition: Recipes and Food for Thought from Your Book Club's Favorite Books and Authors by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp as an opportunity to give a copy away. Opinions are our own. We received no further compensation for our posts.