Leek & Potato Soup with Creme Fraiche and Thyme

Last Friday night we played mixed doubles paddle with friends and had an Irish-themed spread together afterward. Cocktails with an Irish spin were also flowing, and as a consequence, my game deteriorated early on in the evening. It was a sad state of affairs, since I’ve never had much of a game to begin with. Luckily for me, the Husband didn’t seem to mind covering most of the court (because clearly his Black & Tan wasn’t as large as mine was, ahem).

Mushroom Flatbread Pizza with Gruyere and Basil

Flatbread pizza recipes have consumed me lately and as a consequence, I’ve consumed a lot of flatbread pizzas. I recently discovered lavash (I mean, I didn’t personally discover it. I found out about it is what I should’ve said) and I’ve been using it like crazy when it comes to entertaining and/or feeding friends. I’ve made about five different versions of these nifty little pizzas in the past few weeks and they’ve all gone over so well, I thought I’d share one of my favorites with you today.

Slow Cooker Asian Baby-Back Ribs

If your family is a fan of both ribs and Asian flavors, here’s the perfect slow cooker meal idea for you and yours — keep this one in your back pocket for Sundays when pork ribs will be on sale for a ridiculously low price during the Seven Days, Seven Ways to Save Sale. Stop in to the Store early enough in the day that you can set up all of these ingredients in your slow cooker. Then walk away from your kitchen and revel in the fact that your house is going to smell amazing all day long, and dinner will be ready when you want it with hardly any fuss, and very little expense. Enjoy this one; we sure did.

Featured, Fresh, Frugal, Fabulous | February 5th, 2013

Carmelized Onion Tartlets

One more holiday to go, everyone. Here’s a terrific little recipe to serve at your New Year’s soiree. These cheeky little tartlets are frugal yet elegant, but most importantly, they’re really super yummy. Sweet yellow onions are slow-cooked to a deep golden brown, blended with fragrant and earthy fresh sage, and spooned into crisp phyllo pastry cups. Place them on a pretty platter and watch them disappear. And a bonus: the filling freezes beautifully, so make it when you have some time and stash it away – you’ll have little bites ready to go faster than you can say “auld lang syne”.

Featured, Fresh, Frugal, Fabulous, News | December 25th, 2012

Okay everyone, here it is: by popular demand from the various people I’ve served these to over the past two weeks, here is The Appetizer Recipe of the Year (or, the Holiday Season at the very least). I’ve made these little bites FOUR TIMES in the past two weeks, most recently for a paddle tennis party I attended last night where the ladies pronounced them to absolutely be blogworthy. Manly man and girlie girl friendly, they are simple to make, easy on your wallet, and just really, really good. : )

Featured, Fresh, Frugal, Fabulous, News | December 18th, 2012

Mini Smoked Salmon Pizzas

I’ll be honest – I think calling these little appetizers “pizzas” is weird. But I wasn’t feeling clever enough to rename them, so we’re going with them named as is. Whatever you decide to label them, give them a shot. I served them to a small crowd of recipe testing guinea pigs (aka, hungry friends) on Saturday night and they all pronounced them ‘blogworthy’, so that’s all that really matters. (You might think that hungry people would put their stamp on just about any old dish, but that would be wrong. They took their taste testing seriously, were brutally honest and even sent one “un-blogworthy” appetizer back to the drawing board for re-working.)

Featured, Fresh, Frugal, Fabulous, News | December 4th, 2012

Baked Risotto with Bacon and Peas

I saw this recipe in Oprah Magazine last spring when I was killing time in the waiting room at the orthodontist’s office. Because I am a firm believer in leaving reading material intact for the next lady-in-waiting, I did not swipe the magazine or tear out the article and instead made a note in my phone to look it up again at a later date. Anyway, it’s taken me approximately seven months to try the recipe, but I promise you, it is a life-changing risotto making technique. I don’t think I’ll ever go back to the old ‘stand and stir.’ The prep work here is minimal, the variations are endless (check it out; they offer four great versions) and you won’t have to babysit your pan, which will give you more time to shop online or update your Facebook status. : )

Featured, Fresh, Frugal, Fabulous, News | November 27th, 2012

Pumpkin Spice Layer Cake with Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting

I had to take on a baking project today because 1) you know I can’t stand an empty cake plate and 2) I’ve single-handedly demolished every last Milk Dud in the house and had to have something else to move on to. Besides (and I know this is bizarre), about six months ago I decided on a freak impulse to hoard canned pumpkin (don’t ask), and now I’m doing my best to make a dent in my stash. So far I’ve made pumpkin bread, pumpkin bars, and most recently, this perfect layer cake. It’s gorgeous to look at and filled with warm, autumnal spices that will make your house smell amazing and bring a smile to everyone you serve it to. And I have no reservations in making such bold promises.

Featured, Fresh, Frugal, Fabulous, News | November 6th, 2012

Pork Medallions with Mushrooms and Madeira

This is what we’ll be having for dinner when pork tenderloin is on sale this week. It’s awesome, and we all love it, and I haven’t made it in a long, long time. Yeah, it has mushrooms in it and most kids (including mine) don’t like them. I’ve learned to leave them off of their plates completely. From experience, I’ve learned that three punks would either scoot all of the mushrooms off to the side (fine) or worse, transfer each mushroom one by one to either my or their dad’s plate (not fine). I’d struggle to keep my temper and composure as mushrooms and sauce drop, drip and splatter off of forks and onto the table … tell me this has happened at your house, too? Avoid dinner time stress. Save the ‘shrooms for yourself.

Featured, Fresh, Frugal, Fabulous, News | October 16th, 2012

Toffee-Covered Popcorn

…. aka: Homemade Fiddle Faddle. I realize this doesn’t qualify as dinner. Well, it could qualify as a meal if you were in that frame of mind, and you know I don’t judge when it comes to that sort of thing. I’m probably going to get in a heap of trouble with dentists and orthodontists and cardiologists everywhere for even suggesting that you make this at all, but I think like a food blogger and not a normal person, so this is what I’m sharing with you today.

I don’t know why I got it in my head that I needed to make Fiddle Faddle at home. But I’m the stubborn sort (ask anyone) and when I get an idea, I can’t let it go until I give it a go. So I made my first batch of this popcorn yesterday afternoon. Only one thing went wrong (and it was my fault completely); I mistakenly over measured on the amount of popcorn required for the recipe. Thus, my popcorn:toffee balance was way off – by about four cups. That didn’t stop my girls from sneaking clusters of it every time they walked past where it was cooling on the island, but they BOTH said (without realizing I had messed up) “this needs more toffee stuff.”

Featured, Fresh, Frugal, Fabulous, News | October 9th, 2012