So last month I joined The Daring Kitchen as a Daring Baker. Now you are wondering, what the heck is The Daring Kitchen/Bakers?
The Daring Kitchen is the home of The Daring Bakers and The Daring Cooks. The premise of both groups is to create one recipe each month, given to us by a monthly host. We all create the same exact recipe and then post about it on our personal blogs on a designated date.
So as you can see it is a group of foodies exploring new recipes each month and challenging themselves to learn new techniques and methods.
The challenge for the Month of May was to make Lamingtons. I thought I had heard of most dishes but this was new to me. The challenge was hosted by Marcellina from Marcellina in Cucina. Here is a little bit of her story. Check out her great blog for more and her beautiful Lamingtons.
The classic Australian Lamington is a cube of vanilla sponge cake dipped in chocolate icing then coated with desiccated coconut. Sounds simple but it is delicious! It is said that the cakes were named after Lord Lamington who was the Governor of Queensland, Australia from 1896 to 1901. Stories abound as to why the cakes came about. I like the one that tells of Lord Lamington’s maid-servant accidentally dropping a freshly baked sponge cake into some melted chocolate. Apparently Lord Lamington disliked wastage so he suggested coating the chocolate coated cake in desiccated coconut to avoid messy fingers. A good idea, I think. Some New Zealanders actually like to claim the Lamington as their creation! However the Lamington came to be, it is now firmly embedded in the Australian culture. Sold in bakeries, cafés, supermarket, at bake sales and everywhere you expect and don’t expect. The Lamington is also a star at fund-raisers with “Lamington Drives” very popular with schools, sporting clubs and many other fund-raising ventures.
I definitely see why this is a challenge. My first sponge cake fell like a rock. The second turned out much better.
Continue reading Lamingtons
If you are in need of a quick last minute treat to take to a cookout or potluck, this is for you. I love Peanut Butter M & M’s. Peanut M&M’s used to be my favorite until they started making these. They add a nice crunch and little more peanut butter flavor and that can’t be all bad.
I picked up a new pan at GFS this week. It is a 1/4 sheet pan. Perfect size for brownie or bar recipes.
The recipe is simple and can be made in under an hour.
Prep TIme: 10 min Cook Time: 20-25 min
Continue reading Peanut Butter M & M Blondies
This weekend is the unofficial start of Summer. As I sit here at my desk it is a balmy 42°F outside. I know our community plans to open the pool on Friday. I think my swim trunks will stay in the closet. Trust me that is good news for everyone.
Many people have cookouts planned for this weekend. My Cornbread Salad recipe is a great easy dish to bring to your cookout or potluck. It is amazing how well the cornbread mixes in with this layered salad. People might look at you funny when you tell them the name but not after tasting it. Add jalapeno if you would like it a little more spicy.
Continue reading Cornbread Salad
My family loves anything buffalo. They also love lasagna. This is my “mashup” of the two. A little spicy, easy to make and very yummy.
As with all my recipes I try to make them easy and convenient as possible. For the chicken I bought two packages of bone-in chicken breasts. Season the chicken with salt, pepper and a little blackened seasoning. Bake for 40 minutes at 350°. To make the recipe even easier you could substitute a rotisserie chicken from the store.
Continue reading Buffalo Chicken Lasagna
Yesterday my 16-year-old son passed his drivers test. He is now a licensed driver in the State of Ohio, with all the freedoms and responsibilities such license brings. I hope we have instilled in him the importance of being able to control a machine that can kill him or others. My mantra has always been to him (Think what the consequences of your actions will be. Does my decision have a chance of changing my life or someone else’s forever).
Continue reading Mini Strawberry Pies
We had some friends over Saturday evening for an impromptu happy hour. I was told by my friends to keep it simple. Not that easy for me to do. A few weeks ago I found this tube of Cacique chorizo at the grocery. When I saw it I thought about making either stuffed jalapeno’s or mini sweet peppers. I had bought a bag of mini sweets earlier in the week, so that was the obvious choice. I have used mini sweets in many dishes. I usually grill the peppers. Not typically spicy but have a little heat when grilled. These were perfect for this dish. Bite size and not to hot. I added tomatiloes to the recipe. Here is some information about tomatiloes If you are unfamiliar.
Tomatillos are also called “tomate verde” in Mexico (which means green tomato) and are considered a staple in Mexican cooking. Tomatillo is a member of the nightshade family, related to tomatoes. It now grows everywhere in the Western Hemisphere and is common in Texas gardens. The fruit of the tomatillo is green and about the size of a large cherry tomato. The inside is white and meatier than a tomato. They grow to maturity inside of a husk. They can range in size from about an inch in diameter to the size of apricots. They are covered by a papery husk which may range from the pale green color of the fruit itself to a light grocery-bag brown. The husks are inedible and should be removed before use.Read more about tomatillos at Whats Cooking America
After stuffing the peppers I had some sausage mixture leftover so I decided to make mini nachos, using Tostitos® Scoops!®. I tried the organic scoops for the first time and liked the flavor. The adults loved the peppers and the kids and adults both loved the mini nachos. I also grilled some chicken wings, to go along with the peppers and mini nachos. Easy fun night. This is a very easy recipe that could be put together for a last-minute get together.. Please sign up to receive all of my new recipes by email at dadwhats4dinner.com
Continue reading Chorizo Stuffed Mini Sweet Peppers plus Mini Nachos
In honor of Mothers Day this post is dedicated to my mother, Shelby. My mother is one of the strongest women I know. She grew up in Eastern Kentucky with 11 siblings and married at the young age of 18. She moved to Ohio with my dad where she trained and worked as mom a beautician. Unfortunately she started going blind from Retinitis Pigmentosa a progressive retinal disease. Because of the increasing loss of her vision, she was forced to quit work in her late 20’s and stopped driving by mid 30’s.
My mother did the majority of the raising of me and my sister, even though she was going blind. My dad’s job required him to work swing shifts, which disrupted his parenting time. Mom was there for everything.
My father developed heart problems in his 40’s. My dad passed away 2 years ago at the age of 81. They were married 58 years. Mom, even though she is completely blind now, has always been very independent. When I was young she showed me that you cannot let a disability hold you back. She continued to cook, clean, exercise and stay active at her church and does so even today. Since dad passed away she has now moved in with my family. This was extremely hard on her because the home she was leaving was designed and built by her and where she lived for almost 40 years. The house was beautiful and situated on five wooded, rolling acres. But living by herself proved to much for her and I.
Knowing how independent she is we decided to build a complete apartment in our basement. The apartment allows her to keep her independence with my family being there to help her as needed. She has her own kitchen, washer-dryer and a walkout. I’m lucky to be able to have her live with us and allow my to kids to know her better.
In November, as she was getting used to her new home, (this is not easy when you are blind) she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She never gets a break. She has completed chemo and is going through radiation. Like all the trials in her life she faced it head on with God’s help. Her prognosis is good and God willing we will have mom with us for a long time. Happy Mothers Day Mom. We love you.
This is a great twist on chicken salad. I like the added flavor grilling the chicken adds. You could use baked, rotisserie or boiled chicken if you like. I also added guacamole to the dressing. It adds a nice touch to the finished dish, especially with the addition of the cilantro. This will go great for Mother’s Day brunch. I also added the grilling part to entice husbands and son’s to make this recipe for their wives and mothers. Easy, simple and looks great.
Continue reading Grilled Chicken Salad
No one ever said life should or would be easy. But sometimes it does seem harder than it should be. Like most of ours weekends, during the spring sports season, we are swamped. This past weekend we had five games (actually a light schedule), regular yard work, plus 3 yards of dirt, and two rose bushes.
That should be enough for one weekend, but we decided to throw in a swarming attack of flying ants Saturday night, a twisted ankle and sunburn (while doing said yard work on Sunday), and the topper, a broken garage door Sunday night.
So this morning I had plenty of phone calls to make. I also needed to make a dish for teachers appreciation luncheon at school, plus we have away games every night this week,
To add a little more craziness, my mother (who lives with us) started six weeks of radiation treatment today, for breast cancer. Even though I sound like I’m complaining, I’m not. Life is good and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Well maybe without the swarm of ants and busted garage door.
I’m glad I had this easy crock pot dish ready to go. Oh well, I hope you enjoy this great pork recipe during your busy week. Try not to sprain your ankle in the process..
I served the country ribs on top of easy cheese grits. Click here for the recipe
Check out this post and many other great recipes on Fiesta Friday link party
Continue reading Crock Pot Blackened Chipotle Country Ribs
I love my slow cooker. I usually use it twice a week. I plan on posting a new crock pot recipe each week. If you have a favorite recipe you would like converted to be cooked in the crock pot, let me know and I will give it a shot.
Here are some great crock pot tips from crock-pot.com
How do I prevent meat from drying out?
- To prevent poultry from drying out, use chicken thighs—they have more fat and won’t dry out as quickly, Cook thighs for about six hours and breasts for a maximum of five hours on low heat. Beef, depending on the cut, is much more forgiving. For better results, use stewing beef, short ribs, or brisket as opposed to a rib steak or a sirloin.
How much liquid should I use?
Continue reading Crock Pot Tips and Tricks