1
Easy Leftover Turkey Dinner Ideas
2
December Swap: Snowmen and Cookies
3
Swirled Cookie Butter Cheesecake
4
HERSHEY’S® Chocolate Holiday Savings
5
Mini Biscuit Pizzas
6
Give The Gift Of P.F. Chang’s For The Holiday
7
The Best Fluffy Buttermilk Waffles
8
Fresh Mexican Corn Salad
9
Autumn Spiced Whole Roasted Chicken
10
Chocolate Peanut Butter Buttercream Whoopie Pies
11
Be #CartonSmart This Holiday Season
12
Crispy Parmesan Wasabi Soybeans
13
Easy Cheesy Lasagna Skillet
14
Pei Wei Sriracha Pineapple Pork Lettuce Wraps
15
Chopped Mexican Chicken and Corn Salad
16
Creamy Peppermint Hot Chocolate
17
SoBe® Lifewater® In The Garden
18
Creamy Cheesy Broccoli Soup
19
Garden Harvest Before First Frost

Easy Leftover Turkey Dinner Ideas

I hope everyone who celebrated Thanksgiving had a great day full of plenty of stuffing and pies!  

We celebrated with a sea salt overnight brined turkey, stuffing, roasted carrots, creamy mashed potatoes, soft potato rolls and a oreo chocolate mousse pie (recipe coming soon!).     We had a nice dinner, lit a few candles, cats each had their own bowl and we got down to business.    Essy who has the best nose in the business, smelled the Butterball turkey as soon as it was unwrapped the night prior.  Essy would eat turkey every single day of her life if she could, it really is the greatest day for her.  She begins to pace the kitchen as soon as she gets the first whiff of the turkey (cooked or not), then she starts meowing (or howling in excitement), then she finally jumps up to our table and watches every single recipe step we do with her nose wiggling and tongue licking her lips.    Essy has been celebrating Thanksgiving since 1994 – she is the Turkey Queen.
Big Mom Is Ready To Rumble!

Because we will be having turkey in different forms for the next few days I wanted to share some of our favorite recipes to feature some yummy ways to use left-overs!  

Mexican Pumpkin Chili – a delicious chili with green chiles, salsa verde and corn.  Shred the turkey up, or throw in the food processor to make it ground turkey.
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Turkey and Gravy Sandwich – it doesn’t get easier than this, doesn’t it look super delicious? I love this open faced sandwich.
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Easy Turkey Tacos – throw in some  taco seasoning mix and you got a easy and delicious meal!
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Creamy Corn & Turkey Soup – creamy soup and corn? Sounds like heaven to me.
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White Bean and Turkey Chili – I love white beans so I’m all over this chili.  You could use canned beans, throw on a pot on the stove to make it super quick.
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Healthy Baked Penne with Turkey, Tomatoes and Basil – I love a baked pasta dish!
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Leftover Nachos – does this not look like the best meal right now?
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Breakfast Sandwich – why not have breakfast for dinner?
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Turkey Potpie – great for using leftover vegetables too.
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Apple, Turkey Grilled Cheese Sandwich – Instead of using deli turkey, use up shredded turkey.  If  you have no apple butter, just go with the apples.  My mouth is watering just thinking about this combination.
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Lemon Pesto Turkey Pasta Dish – I love a great smelling lemon pasta.
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If you have any other suggestions, please feel free to leave in the comments!  Have a great weekend everyone!

 Easy Leftover Turkey Dinner Ideas

December Swap: Snowmen and Cookies

Can you believe it’s almost December – wild, right?
I’ve had alot of fun with the last 2 swaps and am always in awe when receiving such kind and loving packages from my partners.    It really does cheer up your day and you can’t help but smile.
October’s swap was full of Halloween ghouls, November’s swap was full of Warming Spirit, now December’s swap is all about the holidays!

I know the holiday is a busy time for everyone, but why not say you love your fellow bloggers by baking them some homemade cookies that they can Instagram about how delicious they are?  This is the swap for you!  And not only will you be sending them some homemade cookies but you’ll also be sending them a Snowman decoration to add a little holiday cheer to their home.  Snowmen are my favorite part of the holidays, I have a bunch of plush ones that I hug daily during this time of the year.  They make me pretty happy!  And they will make you happy too!

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You will send your partner:
-Homemade Baked Cookies
-A Snowman Decoration of your choosing (ideas: cookie plate, mug, tree ornament, wreaths, home/table decorations, etc)
-Something Written saying Hello!

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How it works:
You sign up here (click this link for the form). Sign ups end December 3.
I will send out a email with swap partners by December 5. You and your partner contact one another and exchange mailing addresses over email.  Please ask them about allergies or dislikes as this is a cookie based swap.
You send each other the swap contents.
You become friends for life.

Rules:
Anyone can sign up – but you will only be paired with someone in your own country. US to US, Canada to Canada, Australia to Australia, UK to UK, etc. If no one signs up from your country, then you don’t have to swap.
Your swap must be sent out by December 15.
Brooklyn Farm Girl is not held responsible for swaps not sent or received.

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Swirled Cookie Butter Cheesecake

In this post we will be chasing this Swirled Cookie Butter Cheesecake.

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I used to be afraid of cheesecake, do you believe that? Some of you know my life long fear of mayonnaise, whenever I spot  it on a table or a gathering I begin to look around suspiciously.    Is it going to be in a meal that someone serves? What am I going to do? I can’t eat it.     I begin to fear for all food served at restaurants too.  Once as a kid I ordered a grilled cheese and they put mayo on the bread.  I was outraged.  Thankfully I looked before eating it, if not I probably have fainted right there at my local mall diner.    Who makes grilled cheese with mayo by the way?  It just shouldn’t be allowed, ever.   And fast food restaurants, don’t even get me started.  My poor parents would order me a burger and we’d have to inspect it in the car before leaving. If they put mayo on it after our request not to, then my mother or father or me would march back into that burger joint and get that burger remade.  What happened if we didn’t check the burger in the car so we didn’t spot the mayo until we got home? Well I wouldn’t eat dinner.  Mayo was not getting close to me.

How does this relate to cheesecake?  In my mind anything white and creamy must have tasted like mayonnaise.    Ricotta cheese, cream cheese, sour cream, cottage cheese and many more tubs of whiteness scared me, and many still do.  I’ve come around to ricotta completely.  Sour cream?  Only if I have to and it’s well hidden.  Cottage cheese? Nope. Cream cheese…. Once I met Matthew he told me about great cheesecake was.  I was obviously very cautious of this for my mayo fear.  Finally he made me realize it’s nothing like mayo and had me take the smallest bite possible from a slice of cheesecake he was eating.  The things you do for love! Did I like what I tasted? You bet I did! I nearly finished that piece of pie.  So now I’ve grown up to eating cream cheese in cheesecake and mashed potatoes.  Will I eat cream cheese on a bagel though? Absolutely not, that’s pushing it.

Do you know about Cookie Butter, aka one of the greatest things ever invented, aka omg good get it away from me before I eat anymore, aka omg get it away from me before I eat anymore – no wait a minute, please bring it back to me?  Cookie Butter can be bought at Trader Joe’s and it basically tastes like you are eating a Gingerbread Cookie house.  Trader Joe’s suggest that you put Cookie Butter on pancakes and snacks, but whatever, I will continue to eat it with a spoon like it was meant to be eaten.  Unfortunately though after many spoonfuls worth a few days ago I realized that one 1 serving is 1 tablespoon. WHAT?   How guilty did I feel? Very.  How many more spoonfuls did I eat to get me out of this guilty depression? Many.

I don’t do drugs but I would compare Cookie Butter to a very strong drug.  Once you have it, you will always crave it.  You will change your schedule around to be near Trader Joe’s when at all possible. You will tell yourself you are only buying 1 jar then as soon as you see it will you buy multiples to have as many hits as you crave.    I am not saying I want you to become addicted to Cookie Butter because it will lead you down a long and delicious road full of your childrens missed plays and wondering if people know you are secretly hiding a Cookie Butter addiction or not.   At the same time I really want you to try Cookie Butter if you can.  I think everyone should taste this goodness once in their life because it really is magical.     I suggest buying a jar, eating 1 spoonful and then throwing it away immediately.    And then because I know this will happen, you will be scraping around your trash can at 3AM to find the rest of the jar – but I am not condoning that, it’s just what’s going to happen.   Actually I think it’s almost impossible to only eat 1 serving at a time, I’m serious.  Try it, you will fail.  I am sorry for not being more positive, but Cookie Butter… it just takes over your life.

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So one night recently I decided to eat Cookie Butter a different way then with a spoon.   Enter this Swirled Cookie Butter Cheesecake into my life.  This Cheesecake rules for many reasons:
It’s really really delicious.
This is meant to be a quick recipe.  I am even using a pre-made crust. Feel free to make a homemade one if you have the extra minutes.
This recipe only uses 1 8oz package of Cream Cheese. So many recipes call for 3+ packages of cream cheese, not this one.
Cookie Butter is mixed inside the cheesecake then drizzled on top.  That gives the Cheesecake a delicious cookie taste.
Repeating it’s really really delicious.

Swirled Cookie Butter Cheesecake

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I hope you give this Cookie Butter flavored Cheesecake a taste! You’ll just love it.

Swirled Cookie Butter Cheesecake
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1 9 inch graham cracker crust
  2. 8 oz package of cream cheese
  3. 1/2 cup sugar
  4. 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  5. 1 teaspoon vanilla
  6. pinch of salt
  7. 2 eggs
  8. 6 tablespoons cookie butter
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 325.
  2. Beat cream cheese and sugar together until fluffy.
  3. Add lemon juice, vanilla, salt, eggs and 4 tablespoons of cookie butter. Continue beating until all combined.
  4. Pour into graham cracker crust.
  5. Bake for 30-35 minutes until set.
  6. Put remaining 2 tablespoons of cookie butter in microwave for 10 seconds until slightly melted. Drizzle over cheesecake.
  7. Chill in refrigerator. Leave cake chill for at least 1 hour before serving.
Notes
  1. If you cannot get Cookie Butter, try peanut butter instead.
Brooklyn Farm Girl http://brooklynfarmgirl.com/

HERSHEY’S® Chocolate Holiday Savings

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of CVS. All opinions are 100% mine.

Some of you already know about my love for HERSHEY’S® chocolate. As a kid we would often visit Chocolate World in Hershey, Pennsylvania where we would ride around a little cart in an air conditioned chocolate smelling heaven and while being shown a simulation of the chocolate making process.

Afterwards you can buy chocolate and stuffed animals like a KISSES® candy who is adorable and wears sneakers.  Fact: I still have him, his name is Mr. Kiss and he loves to dance.

What’s your favorite HERSHEY’S® candy? I find it hard to pick from but I think I can be strong and say that I love REESE’S® Peanut Butter Cups the most.  Whenever there is a mixed bag of HERSHEY’S® candy I search hard to find the last REESE’S® Peanut Butter Cup.  It must be mine.  Besides that, there’s HERSHEY’S® chocolate bars (I love the almonds!), KISSES® and ROLOS® which I have been craving so bad lately.  ROLOS® candy used to be a childhood favorite and I think it’s about time I run to the store and pick some up!

Thankfully CVS store has me covered in buying all my HERSHEY’S® chocolate needs for a great deal.  During the holidays you can save up to $2.50 on 2 8 oz. HERSHEY’S® bags. Click on over to see more about HERSHEY’S® Holiday Savings.

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So tell me, what are you going to make with your HERSHEY’S® chocolate?  Are there any sweet holiday recipes that you’ll be making with it? I’m excited to make my favorite cookies using KISSES® candy and I can’t wait to share them with you!

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Mini Biscuit Pizzas

Mini Pizza Biscuits recipe makes individual mini pizzas using Pillsbury biscuits in 15 minutes.

How many times do we have pizza a month? Don’t ask.  We are pizza monsters.   Favorite food? It’s hard to choose, it’s like telling me to pick a favorite cat (all of them!).  But pizza is definitely up there in the number ones.   How much do we love pizza? Well we made a video once about pizza, it even included a dancing pizza costume and playing baseball with some slices of pizza and a handle to hit them out of the park.  It was part of a installation piece where you could walk up to a screen and feed friends pizza with a press of a pizza button. 

Last year we had a solo art show in London, it was about dinosaurs (another love that we’ll talk about some other time) and at our opening we had a pizza truck.  Does life get any better than that – going to London, having your own show you made with your best friend about dinosaurs and then having a pizza truck whipping out pizzas all night long?   Life goal: Accomplished.

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So yeah, we really love pizza and now you know a little more about my life outside of Brooklyn Farm Girl.  Dinosaurs and pizza. 

Sometimes we’re craving pizza but we don’t want to spend the money on takeout and we don’t feel like making homemade dough.  Problem solved, let me introduce you to Mini Biscuit Pizzas.

These Mini Pizzas are great because they take 12 minutes in the oven.   That means you can have yummy pizza to eat in about 15 minutes because there’s not much more to do then to dice up some green peppers and mushrooms.   In the recipe I suggest pepperoni, green peppers and mushrooms but feel free to make these pizzas your own, top them with whatever you like.  Speaking of – what’s your favorite pizza topping?  

Mini Pizza Biscuits recipe makes individual mini pizzas using Pillsbury biscuits in 15 minutes.

Mini Pizza Biscuits recipe makes individual mini pizzas using Pillsbury biscuits in 15 minutes.

Mini Pizza Biscuits recipe makes individual mini pizzas using Pillsbury biscuits in 15 minutes.

Mini Pizza Biscuits recipe makes individual mini pizzas using Pillsbury biscuits in 15 minutes.

Mini Pizza Biscuits recipe makes individual mini pizzas using Pillsbury biscuits in 15 minutes.

Mini Pizza Biscuits recipe makes individual mini pizzas using Pillsbury biscuits in 15 minutes.

Mini Biscuit Pizzas
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1 16 oz can Pillsbury Grands refrigerated biscuits
  2. 1 cup Pizza sauce
  3. 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  4. 24 pepperoni slices
  5. 1/2 cup diced green peppers
  6. 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Press each biscuit down with your hand or rolling pin until it becomes around 5 inches round.
  3. Place biscuits down on greased cookie sheets.
  4. Top each biscuit with pizza sauce, cheese, pepperoni, peppers and mushrooms.
  5. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until bottoms are golden brown.
  6. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. Makes: 8 Mini Pizzas
Brooklyn Farm Girl http://brooklynfarmgirl.com/
Mini Pizza Biscuits recipe makes individual mini pizzas using Pillsbury biscuits in 15 minutes.

Give The Gift Of P.F. Chang’s For The Holiday

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of P.F. Changs for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Do you love Asian food? I do so much!  
Do you love taking a night off and having someone else cook for you? I do!

Why don’t you combine those 2 and give the gift of P.F. Chang’s during the holiday season? At P.F. Chang’s you get to enjoy yummy hand-crafted dinner dishes, appetizers, desserts and cocktails in a modern environment.

Why not surprise a friend, co-worker or family member with a night out to P.F. Chang’s? It will be a unique and modern dining experience full of mouth watering dishes.  Since I’m your friend I’m going to share with you with my 3 favorite menu items:
Crispy Green Beans – These beans are Tempura-battered and have a spicy dipping sauce.
Wonton Soup – This soup is always one of my favorites! I love the mushrooms and fresh spinach added in!
Garlic Noodles – These egg noodles are tossed with garlic and chili pepper flakes.
 
Is your mouth watering yet?
 
A P.F. Chang’s gift card would make a pretty great gift and to make the deal even more sweeter – you get a gift card in return.  When you buy $100 in gift cards, you receive a $20 bonus gift card to treat yourself! This offer is available in store or online at P.F. Chang’s.  
 
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Tell me – what are you going to order to eat with your bonus gift card and who is most deserving of a P.F. Chang’s gift card in your inner circle?
 
 

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The Best Fluffy Buttermilk Waffles

 You are going to want these waffles for breakfast.  If you already ate breakfast you’re going to want to eat it again, or even better you’re going to want waffles for dinner.  Personally I love breakfast for dinner so I say heat up the waffle maker and get the maple syrup out.     

For many years my life was empty without a waffle maker.  I added it to my cart on Amazon so many times but somehow talked myself out of buying it. I would see waffle recipe posts on all your lovely blogs and I would leave comments in shame, kicking myself for not buying that waffle maker.  But on my birthday this year I woke up to a candle in the middle of a pile of waffles at our table.  I shouted “Waffles!”.  Then it hit me, not only did Matthew make waffles for my birthday breakfast but they came from a waffle maker. I got a waffle maker, my world was happy again.

Since getting a waffle maker a few weeks ago we have made these fluffy buttermilk waffles so many times.  We both declared them the best waffles ever so we don’t even want to try another recipe.  They are extremely fluffy thanks to the buttermilk.     We love them so much I have been making big batches of them to freeze.  Waffles freeze beautifully which means you can make a bunch at once, and then just heat them up for 1 minute when you’re groggy in the morning.  Waffles, you rule.

How do you eat your waffles?  A little maple syrup with a sprinkle of powdered sugar is the way I go.  

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All this waffle talk sure left me hungry.   I hope you have them for breakfast (or dinner) soon!

Fluffy Buttermilk Waffles
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 cups flour
  2. 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  3. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  4. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  5. 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  6. 6 tablespoons butter - melted
  7. 2 eggs
Instructions
  1. In a bowl mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  2. Stir in buttermilk, melted butter and eggs. Stir until mixed completely. Your batter will appear thin but this is what we want.
  3. Pour 2/3 cup of batter into the middle of your waffle maker once heated.
  4. Close lid and cook 5-6 minutes or until golden brown.
Notes
  1. Makes 4-5 pancakes.
  2. To freeze: Put in freezer bag. I like to put wax paper in between each waffle so they don't freeze together. When ready to eat, just take out of the freezer and put in the microwave for 1-2 minutes.
Brooklyn Farm Girl http://brooklynfarmgirl.com/

Fresh Mexican Corn Salad

Fresh Mexican Corn Salad – it’s a quick and delicious recipe using fresh ingredients!

Growing corn in a box on a rooftop in New York City is pretty cool.  When we start to spot the ears of corn and I can start to shake the plants to help pollinate I get very excited.  As you probably can guess, I do a corn dance. It looks the same as my broccoli and pumpkin dance. I pretty much have the same garden dance move for all our plants, I put my hands out to my side and do a 60s Twist move.  But I do it fast because that’s how I roll, quick and smooth.  One day I might post the dance on here but I’m not sure if you are ready for that yet.

Fresh Mexican Corn Salad - it's a quick and delicious recipe using fresh ingredients!

Lately I’ve been craving vegetables for dinner. Lots and lots of vegetables and nothing else.  My other half loves a good meat for dinner but I have been persuading him to try a happy veggie meal once a week, and I’m hoping we can get that up to 2 nights a week soon.    If I served this Mexican Corn Salad more than once a week I know I could because we love this dish.  It’s full of fresh corn kernels cut right off the cob, black beans, diced tomatoes, bell peppers and my favorite: hominy.  To spice it up we add in cumin, cilantro and lime juice.    Just thinking about this salad makes me want to cancel dinner plans for tonight and cut up some corn.

Speaking of corn, isn’t it just beautiful?

Fresh Mexican Corn Salad - it's a quick and delicious recipe using fresh ingredients!

Even the husks are pretty.

Fresh Mexican Corn Salad - it's a quick and delicious recipe using fresh ingredients!

And when the salad comes together you are going to be in love too.  The best thing about this salad is that it takes 5 minutes to make- amazing, right? The only thing that is cooked is the corn and that is only for 3 minutes.    

Fresh Mexican Corn Salad - it's a quick and delicious recipe using fresh ingredients!

Fresh Mexican Corn Salad - it's a quick and delicious recipe using fresh ingredients!

Fresh Mexican Corn Salad - it's a quick and delicious recipe using fresh ingredients!

 

 So if you’re craving a delicious dinner full of vegetables and you want it made within minutes, look no further.  Enjoy!

Fresh Mexican Corn Salad
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1 can black beans - rinsed and drained
  2. 1 can hominy - rinsed and drained
  3. 4 ears corn - kernels sliced from cob
  4. 1 can Ro*Tel Diced Tomatoes and Green Chilies
  5. 1 bell pepper - chopped
  6. 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  7. 2 tablespoons lime juice
  8. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  9. 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Instructions
  1. Place corn in large pot of boiling salted water and cook for 3 minutes.
  2. When corn is cool, cut kernels off cob.
  3. Combine all ingredients in a bowl.
  4. Serve and enjoy.
Brooklyn Farm Girl http://brooklynfarmgirl.com/
Fresh Mexican Corn Salad - it's a quick and delicious recipe using fresh ingredients!

Autumn Spiced Whole Roasted Chicken

Does it feel like Fall to you?  The weather is changing here to the point of my mittens have made a few appearances already.  The pavements are covered with leaves ranging in shades of yellows, oranges and reds.   The heat has been turned on and usually at least 2 cats can be found in front of the heater warming up their bellies.   The days feel shorter as it becomes dark out around 5PM.    At home I wear the fluffiest socks to stay warm with cement floors in our loft.  

Fall.

As Fall approaches into Winter our meals begin to change.  There’s more slow cooking, many more soups from creamy to vegetable and more weekend roasts and chickens.  Last weekend we were craving a chicken dinner to help us feel warmer and fill the house full of delicious cooking smells.

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If Autumn had a taste this would be it.    This is a dinner that screams out that the seasons are changing.

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The chicken is seasoned with rosemary, cloves, allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt and sugar.   Can you already smell Autumn?

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Inside it’s incredibly moist and juicy.  

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My favorite part of a chicken is always the drumstick.  I will fight for this piece, but usually that doesn’t happen as Matthew is more of a breast man (too easy – stop it).  Occasionally I do have to fight off Essy who tries to nibble but she ends up getting her own bowl full of shredded chicken.  All our cats look forward to chicken and turkey dinners, they smell it before it even goes into the oven. 

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If you’re looking for a comforting chicken dinner, look no further.  You will love this spiced and moist chicken.  Enjoy!

Autumn Spiced Whole Chicken
Print
Ingredients
  1. 6 pound chicken
  2. 1 tablespoon salt
  3. 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  4. 2 teaspoons white sugar
  5. 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  6. 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  7. 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  8. 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  9. 8 cloves garlic - minced
  10. 1 onion - sliced
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
  2. In a bowl mix salt, rosemary, sugar, cloves, allspice, nutmeg and cinnamon. Rub the chicken all over on both sides with this mixture.
  3. Stuff the chicken with minced garlic and onion slices.
  4. Place chicken, breast side down on a pan.
  5. Put chicken in oven for 15 minutes.
  6. Reduce heat to 450 degrees and cook for 15 minutes.
  7. Reduce heat to 425 degrees and cook for 30 minutes.
  8. Make sure chicken has internal temperature of 180 degrees.
  9. Let cool for 15 minutes, serve.
Brooklyn Farm Girl http://brooklynfarmgirl.com/

Chocolate Peanut Butter Buttercream Whoopie Pies

The BEST Chocolate Peanut Butter Buttercream Whoopie Pies! Bake up a dozen of these classic Chocolate Whoopie Pies with this easy homemade recipe.  These pies are extra moist with DELICIOUS peanut butter buttercream filling – perfect for desserts and parties!

If you love soft chocolate cake, peanut butter buttercream filling and happiness then you are going to super love these Chocolate Peanut Butter Buttercream Whoopie Pies.    When you take your first bite you are going to yell out “Whoopie!” and do a little dance.  What does the “Whoopie?” dance look like?  It varies from person to person but just shake it, add a smile and keep shaking it.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Buttercream Whoopie Pies

I’ve already talked about my love for Whoopie Pies from Amish Country that bring back so many yummy memories.  Last month I baked some Pumpkin Whoopie Pies that were a hit so I decided I’m going to spend a large chunk of the rest of my life enjoy Whoopie Pies even more.  I have Holiday ideas for them, I have spicy ideas for them, I have rainbow ideas for them – you just wait.  Until then, let’s get personal with these Chocolate and Peanut Butter beauties.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Buttercream Whoopie Pies

Do you know when you got a killer yummy recipe?  Before it’s even baked you are licking the cake batter bowl thinking about just not making these pies at all and having a bowl of chocolate batter for dinner instead.   Of course I didn’t do that though, instead I just had 6 giant spoonfuls of batter which is always a great idea at the moment but never a great idea once it all settles. 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Buttercream Whoopie Pies

And the Peanut Butter Buttercream! Let’s talk about that.  I think it should become a major food group itself because it’s just that good.  You know when you take that first spoonful (big spoonful) and your eyes close and everything is just perfect, you ever get that feeling?  That’s how I feel about this Peanut Butter, it’s just delicious.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Buttercream Whoopie Pies

I used my Whoopie Pie pan again which is pretty much one of the best on sale purchases I made this year.  I never thought I needed a Whoopie Pie pan until I got one.  Now I can’t imagine life without it.  If you don’t have one, I would highly recommend it, it creates perfect shaped pies and nothing ever sticks.  I love it.  

 Chocolate Peanut Butter Buttercream Whoopie Pies

Then the Peanut Butter Buttercream gets scooped on, one pie at a time.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Buttercream Whoopie Pies

Until they’re all filled.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Buttercream Whoopie Pies

Then I smack another pie on top and smile and do the “Whoopie!” dance all over again.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Buttercream Whoopie Pies

Chocolate Peanut Butter Buttercream Whoopie Pies

Chocolate Peanut Butter Buttercream Whoopie Pies

These Whoopie Pies are definitely delicious, I hope you give them a try!  

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The BEST Chocolate Peanut Butter Buttercream Whoopie Pies! Bake up a dozen of these classic Chocolate Whoopie Pies with this easy homemade recipe. These pies are extra moist with DELICIOUS peanut butter buttercream filling - perfect for desserts and parties!

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Buttercream Whoopie Pies

The BEST Chocolate Peanut Butter Buttercream Whoopie Pies! Bake up a dozen of these classic Chocolate Whoopie Pies with this easy homemade recipe.  These pies are extra moist with DELICIOUS peanut butter buttercream filling - perfect for desserts and parties!

Ingredients

For the cakes

  • 1/2 cup butter - melted
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup Dutch process cocoa
  • 2 1/3 cups flour
  • 1 cup milk

For the peanut butter buttercream

  • 1/2 cup butter - melted
  • 1 cup creamy Peanut Butter
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 cups powdered confectioners sugar

Instructions

For the cakes

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray baking sheet or whoopie pie pan.
  2. In a large mixing bowl mix together butter, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and vanilla. Once mixed, add in the egg and continue beating until all smooth.
  3. Add Dutch process cocoa and continue mixing.
  4. Add flour and milk and continue beating until smooth. Make sure it's completely mixed and soft.
  5. Drop the cake dough by 1/4 cupfuls onto baking sheet or fill up whoopie pie pan. If using a baking pan, leave 1 inch between cakes as they will grow.
  6. Bake 11 to 13 minutes until firm.
  7. Remove from oven and let cool.
  8. Spread peanut butter filling on one pie, while using another pie to press it down.
  9. Enjoy immediately or wrap in plastic wrap to store.

For the peanut butter buttercream

  1. Beat melted butter and peanut butter in a bowl until mixed.
  2. Gradually mix in sugar and once thick, add milk in.
  3. Continue beating for about 2 minutes until buttercream is spreadable and fluffy.

Recipe Notes

Makes 10-12 whoopie pies.

Be #CartonSmart This Holiday Season

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Carton Smart for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

So if you come to this blog, it’s pretty likely you enjoy getting your hands dirty in the kitchen.   We all love buying the ingredients for the dishes and sweets we plan on making, but doesn’t it feel a litle better when your ingredients come in environmentally friendly packaging?   I know it seems like a small gesture when it’s only you, but just think about if everyone was to pitch in, then it would become a global initiative and make one happy planet.

During this holiday season (and forever!) Tetra Pak wants to enourage people to make smart decisions when they’re making that chicken noodle soup, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie and much more.  Let’s Be Carton Smart!

Why choose Tetra Pak?

The cartons are made of 70% paper, a renewable source, from selectively harvested, re-grown trees.
Cartons use 1/3 of the packaging compared to cans.. or even a egg!
Cartons are space saving to keep your pantry neat and organized!
The packaging preserves the flavor and nutrients of the food, without using preservatives.
The cartons result in 60% less landfill waste than cans.
Cartons are re-closable so you can just close it up and save for a recipe later on. This means no dumping what you don’t use into another container (less dirty dishes) or even worse – wasting it!
 
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One of my favorite go to dishes during the winter months is Creamy Cheesey Broccoli Soup, it warms me up during those extra chilly nights.
 
When I make this soup I always use Pacific Foods Chicken Stock, a brand committed to using Tetra Park to be more environmentally friendly.
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During the upcoming weeks you will begin to think about Thanksgiving and holiday dinners and some of  my staples are always Pumpkin Pie (yum yum yum!) and Cranberry Sauce.    Pacific Foods and Tetra Pak have got you covered with those too!  Making yummy dishes and making the Planet happy – does it get any better? So when you are planning your delicous Green Bean Casserole, or a delicious pie, always reach for a Tetra Park!  The carton options are endless!  From mushroom to beef to chicken broth,  to soups (my favorite is Black Bean!) and soup starter bases, to mac and cheese and black beans, to gravy, to rice and almond and chocolate beverages and so much more.. do you see the amount of options here?
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I hope you are #CartonSmart this holiday season! You can Tweet @CartonSmart with some of your yummy dishes and Follow #CartonSmart on Pinterest for recipes.
 
How are you doing to be #CartonSmart this holiday season? Are there any recipes that you will be using that comes in cartons, or entertaining tips that produce great taste with little waste?  If so, pleae share them in the comments!

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Crispy Parmesan Wasabi Soybeans

 Lately I’ve been craving healthy snacks – peas, almonds, crispy soybeans and plenty of fruits.  Raspberries tend to disappear quickly when I’m near them, I can easily eat one of those small little pints for a snack which leaves it as a expensive snack but so worth it.  Why can’t raspberries be cheap?  I’m constantly on the lookout for them on sale.   There’s a market near me that they’re occasional on sale at and when they are, I get hearts in  my eyes and skip home (with raspberries in hand).  What’s your favorite berry?  We grow a bunch of strawberries in the garden but I’m thinking we need to start growing raspberries next year! 

Soybeans are one of my other favorite snacks and even better when I can make them straight from the garden!  Within 30 minutes you can enjoy crispy Edamame soybeans!  And trust me, they will make you snack happy!  I could snack on these all day, actually sometimes I do! 

In my Dried Salted Edamame recipe we dry them for over 6 hours, but sometimes you don’t want to wait all day for Soybeans.  In this recipe here they are done in 30 minutes and are covered in Parmesan and wasabi.   The wasabi adds a nice spicy touch while the Parmesan gives it a bit of salt.     As soon as they come out of the oven, I’m practically picking up handfuls and throwing them in my mouth.

You can use fresh or thawed soybeans for this recipe.  If using frozen, make sure to pat them with a towel after thawing so you get the water out as best as you can.  The less  water locked in, the more crispy you can get the beans.

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I used freshly picked soybeans for this recipe straight from the garden.

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A little hard work of deshelling leaves me with beautiful beans.

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Into the oven they go..

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Out of the oven they come..

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Into the oven they go..

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Out of the oven they come..

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You want to keep them in the oven until they slightly start  to brown and become crispy.

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Then throw them in a bowl and enjoy!

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You can store these for quite some time too but they never last that long with me nearby. 🙂

Crispy Parmesan Wasabi Soybeans
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup of shelled edamame soybeans (thawed or fresh)
  2. 1 teaspoon salt
  3. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  4. 2 teaspoons wasabi powder
  5. 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  3. In a bowl mix all ingredients so soybeans are well covered.
  4. Place soybeans on cookie sheet, spreading them out so they are one layer.
  5. Bake 20-25 minutes until they are crispy and slightly browned. Flip the soybeans half way through.
Brooklyn Farm Girl http://brooklynfarmgirl.com/

Easy Cheesy Lasagna Skillet

Welcome to a new week, I hope you all had a lovely weekend.   

We have a new favorite dinner that we’ve been making almost bi-weekly now, it’s Easy Cheesy Lasagna Skillet.   Lasagna is hands down one of our favorite dinners, but sometimes you just don’t have the time to organize the layers and bake in the oven, this skillet is quick, cheesy and oh goodness is it delicious.    What makes this lasagna extra special?  Well besides the ricotta cheese which makes everything creamy, there’s Sweet Italian Sausage which I’m pretty  much in love with at the moment.  After I brown the sausage there’s a good 3 minute period where I just stand by the stove and eat it out of the pan.   

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Added into the lasagna is garden fresh spaghetti sauce, fresh basil, green peppers and some mushrooms.  In my opinion life is better when there is mushrooms and green peppers involved.  Lately, we’ve been putting them on our pizza too – what a great combo.  

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So next time you are craving lasagna but don’t want to wait or do the extra work, throw all these ingredients in a skillet and you’ll have the creamiest dinner in all the land!  This is definitely a keeper.  Bonus: Leftovers are delicious!

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Easy Cheesy Lasagna Skillet
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Ingredients
  1. 12 lasagna noodles - broken in half
  2. 1 pound sweet Italian sausage - out of their casings
  3. 24 oz jar of spaghetti sauce
  4. 2 cups ricotta cheese
  5. 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  6. 8 oz cut up mushrooms
  7. 1 green pepper diced
  8. handful of fresh basil
Instructions
  1. Brown sausage in skillet.
  2. Break lasagna noodles in half and cook as directed. Drain.
  3. When noodles are cooked add them to the skillet of browned sausage. Add in spaghetti sauce, ricotta cheese, 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, mushrooms and diced green pepper.
  4. Cook until melted and well heated, about 10 minutes on medium heat. Stir so ricotta is distributed evenly.
  5. Put remaining 1 cup mozzarella cheese on top, sprinkle fresh basil on top. Cover and cook until cheese is completely melted.
  6. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. Servings: 4
Brooklyn Farm Girl http://brooklynfarmgirl.com/

Pei Wei Sriracha Pineapple Pork Lettuce Wraps

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of PeiWei for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

I was not a big lettuce fan until I became a gardener.  We grew some lettuce because I was interested in seeing it grow, and then I was worried about because what was I supposed to do with it?

I supposedly didn’t like lettuce.  Then I started to make Mexican Salads and fell in love.  And then I started to l use the lettuce as a sandwich wrap and really fell  in love with it.  Who doesn’t love a lettuce wrap, especially when there’s Sriracha Pineapple Pork inside?  Sounds amazing, right?  So then we grew more and more lettuce and I transformed into a little rabbit nibbling on garden lettuce all the time. 

Right now for $6.95 you can get a Sriracha Pineapple Pork Lettuce wrap featuring all natural, wok seared pork and a combination of fresh cut ingredients (pineapple, red onions, red/green peppers), topped with a kick of Sriracha sauce served on crisp lettuce cups at Pei Wei Asian Diner who is owned and operated by P.F. Chang’s China Bistro.   Do you love pineapple as much as me?  Doesn’t a fresh pineapple lettuce salad sound kind of perfect right now? Just writing about it makes me want to run  to my kitchen and cut up a pineapple!
 
 
 
I would definitely recommend you pair this lettuce wrap with some yummy Thai Wonton Soup, or a Vegetable Spring Roll!  I would order all 3 because I can’t get enough and am extremely undecisive. Doesn’t that sound like a pretty delicious lunch or dinner?  
 
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Pei Wei offers a menu of fresh, high-quality Asian inspired cuisine featuring 35 fresh, hand-cut ingredients.  They serve everything freshly prepared, wok’d to order dishes.  If you’re picky like me you’ll be happy to hear everything is made to order so you can customize everything to your liking!  And if you are seeking a gluten-free or vegetarian meal, don’t worry Pei Wei has you covered there too! Explore the full Pei Wei Asian Diner menu for lots of choices! 
 
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For more details check Pei Wei here:
 
Tell me – how excited are you to try the Sriracha Pineapple Pork Lettuce Wrap? 
I’ll see you there for lunch!
 

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Chopped Mexican Chicken and Corn Salad

Chopped Mexican Chicken and Corn Salad is a quick and healthy recipe that uses fresh ingredients. 

Chopped Mexican Chicken and Corn Salad

As some of you know I’m not a huge salad eater and that is pretty much a sin coming from a Gardener.   To get to me eat more salads, I have found that if I make it more Mexican inspired it becomes a instant hit.     Matthew and I both enjoyed this for dinner and would have it again.

Chopped Mexican Chicken and Corn Salad
Fresh lettuce from the garden, can’t beat the taste!

Chopped Mexican Chicken and Corn Salad
Arugula, Cilantro, Scallions, Radishes, Tomatoes and Corn!


Chopped Mexican Chicken and Corn Salad

This chicken was some of the yummiest chicken I ever tasted.


Chopped Mexican Chicken and Corn Salad

Minutes later throw all your vegetables and herbs in a bowl..


Chopped Mexican Chicken and Corn Salad

Add your cut up chicken..


Chopped Mexican Chicken and Corn Salad

Sprinkle your olive oil dressing on top..


Chopped Mexican Chicken and Corn Salad

Mix up and you have one beautiful and fresh salad!


Chopped Mexican Chicken and Corn Salad

Serve and sprinkle some Queso Fresco on top.


Chopped Mexican Chicken and Corn SaladAnd enjoy!

Mexican Chicken and Corn Salad
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Ingredients
  1. 2 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
  2. 1 Ear of Corn
  3. 1 Head Romaine Lettuce
  4. 2 Ounces Arugula
  5. 2 Ounces Queso Fresco
  6. 4 Ounces Cherry Tomatoes
  7. 2 Scallions
  8. 1 Bunch Cilantro
  9. 1 Lime
  10. 4 Radishes
Instructions
  1. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Season it all over with salt and pepper.In a large pan, heat some olive oil on medium until hot. Add the chicken and cook 6 to 8 minutes per side, or until golden brown and cooked through.
  2. While the chicken cooks and cools, wash and dry the fresh produce. Cut the radishes into wedges. Cut the cherry tomatoes into quarters. Thinly slice the scallions. Roughly chop the cilantro. Peel off the husks and remove the silks from the corn. Using a knife in a sawing motion, cut the kernels off the cob. Chop the romaine lettuce into small, bite-sized pieces.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the juice of the whole lime and about 2 tablespoons of olive oil.Whisk until blended and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Chop the cooled chicken into bite-sized pieces. Add the chopped chicken to a large bowl along with the radishes, cherry tomatoes, cilantro, corn, romaine lettuce, and arugula. Add some of the dressing (you may not need all of it) and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Divide the salad between 2 bowls. Crumble half the queso fresco over the top of each. Garnish with the scallions. Enjoy!
Adapted from Blue Apron
Adapted from Blue Apron
Brooklyn Farm Girl http://brooklynfarmgirl.com/
Chopped Mexican Chicken and Corn Salad

Creamy Peppermint Hot Chocolate

I know it’s only early November but I’m already in the holiday spirit.   The Halloween directions are still up but they will soon be replaced with snowmen and penguins.  The aisles of the stores are slowly starting to fill up with colorful holiday lights and ornaments.  Soon we’ll be smelling fresh pine (after we begrudgingly carry the tree home), the cats stockings will be hung and I will start to hum Christmas songs while baking cookies.   I love this time of the year, don’t you?

What’s another reason why I love this time of the year?  Seasonal products are out and recipes  are ready to be made.   One of my favorites is here folks.  Let’s just take a minute and look at this beauty.

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Sigh.  Sigh.  Sigh.

Coffee-mate’s Peppermint Mocha Creamer is here and I yell in happiness!  When I saw it in the grocery store I screamed in excitement and told Matthew quickly, and then I continued talking to him crazily to only turn around and realize I was talking to a much older gentleman who was confused. I apologized quickly, found Matthew and glared at him, and then continued to discuss this Peppermint Mocha and all the ways I planned on using it.

This season Coffee-mate has 3 seasonal flavors and I say we buy them all and have one heck of a party!  The seasonal flavors are only available through December so get them and stock up! 
Seasonal flavors include:

  • Dark Chocolate Fudge — Rich, dark and indulgent like only chocolate fudge can be. Enjoy a cup of coffee that’s every chocolate lover’s dream come true.
  • Peppermint Mocha — Enjoy one of the season’s most popular flavors! Let the comfort of crisp peppermint and chocolatey mocha warm you up this holiday season.
  • Eggnog Latte — What would the holidays be without the flavor of Eggnog? Invite over some guests and prepare a holiday flavored latte for everyone on your list.

Coffee-mate’s smooth, creamy taste has been perfected to not only complement coffee, but to bring out the best in it.  And it doesn’t stop at coffee,  let your mind wonder!  We’re talking bundt cakes, hot chocolate (hello there), lattes and so much more!   

What’s one of my favorite Winter time drinks? Hot chocolate of course! I can drink hot chocolate all day long to be honest, but that would leave me napping all day, so I like to save it for when we come in after a cold day or for dessert.    As soon as I brought home the Peppermint Mocha I gathered the supplies and hot chocolate was made!  We clinked glasses, sipped our hot chocolates and stared at each other nodding.  You know the nod, it’s one of those “Oh yeah, this is good.  Oh yeah, let’s just cherish this moment.”. 

Let’s all say a sweet hello to Creamy Peppermint Hot Chocolate.  Hello beautiful.

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I worked hard to get those candy canes by the way. I was the official first person to buy them at my  local grocery.  I saw the box sitting in the aisle unopened and I tore it open like a mad woman to get the first pack of candy canes out!  Then I raised them in the air and told Matthew to cheer with me but he wouldn’t.  

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So please make sure to grab some Peppermint Mocha when you see it!  You deserve this hot chocolate!

Creamy Peppermint Hot Chocolate
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1/4 cup Sweetened Condensed Milk
  2. 1/2 cup Coffee-mate Peppermint Mocha
  3. 1/4 cup Chocolate Chips
  4. 2 tablespoons Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  5. 1/4 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  6. 1/8 teaspoon Salt
  7. 1 1/2 cup Hot Water
  8. Candy Canes (optional)
  9. Mini Marshmallows (optional)
Instructions
  1. In a saucepan over medium heat combined condensed milk, Coffee-mate Peppermint Mocha, chocolate chips, cocoa powder, vanilla and salt. Mix until well combined and heated.
  2. Add hot water, continue stirring until mixed thoroughly. Do not let it boil.
  3. Add mini marshmallows on top and a candy cane on the glass edge.
  4. Enjoy.
Notes
  1. Servings: 2
Brooklyn Farm Girl http://brooklynfarmgirl.com/
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I was selected for this opportunity by Clever Girls Collective, however all content and opinions expressed here are my own.

SoBe® Lifewater® In The Garden

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Dollar General. All opinions are 100% mine.

We had a big garden workday this past weekend.  I took down all the Sugar Snap Peas, and then we went a step further and removed the 10 feet tall fences, strings that supported the peas and all fences and poles.  After that, we built a greenhouse that will be protecting our 8 feet long box (how to post coming soon!).  Under it we’ll be growing kale and lettuce throughout the Winter (who doesn’t love fresh veggies in the January?).   Ususally during a afternoon full of hard garden exercise I start to get grouchy. I’m thirsty.  I’m hot, or I’m cold.  I complain that my arms are sore. I complain that I do not use how to use a adustable wrench (it’s so complicated!).    But what makes me happy is a refreshing drink!  After one sip of a SoBe® Lifewater®  I start to smile again, but I still think that a adjustable wrench is tricky business.

SoBe® Lifewater® is having a  buy one get one free promotion at the Dollar General.  That means you can enjoy a Lifewater®  and share with a friend, or you could just keep them both to yourself. I won’t tell anyone.  I think you deserve it!

So I have a important question for you?  What’s your favorite flavor? 
SoBe life water

My favorite? That’s hard to choose from!   There’s Fuji Apple Pear (yes!), Pomegranate Cherry (one I would share with my dad) and Black and Blue Berry.  And I can’t forget Blackberry Grape.  I love blackberries so  much!

So get sharing! Which one are you going to try first with the Buy One Get One Free Promotion? Let me know in the comments!

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Creamy Cheesy Broccoli Soup

Do you know how much I love this Creamy Cheese Broccoli Soup? I made  it for dinner on Friday. Then I made it again on Sunday. And now I’m thinking when should I have it again.  

This soup is comfort food at it’s finest on a chilly night.   The days and nights are starting to get chilly here even though a few days ago it was weirdly 70 degrees, then it was suddenly 40 degrees, and now there’s some nights set for below freezing. That means get out the big fluffy socks, wear your bathrobe for extra comfort (who cares if it’s 4PM) and grab a nice bowl of this soup.   First about the chilly weather – I need a new winter coat.  Ok, I don’t need a new winter coat, but  I bought one at Uniqlo because I liked it alot. I wanted a long and comfy coat for some time as my other 2 winter coats range from a Brooklyn Nets winter coat which I wear to the all the games, and a lovely full length Wool coat which makes me feel like royalty.  Whenever I wore this coat in London people stopped me on the street because they thought I was British, I don’t know I guess  it has a “British” look to it, but sadly I couldn’t help anyone with directions  – sorry!   So I bought this coat but now I’m having second feelings about it.   I’m not sure if it’s as warm as I thought it was going to be, and I also just don’t know if I generally like it as much.  A plus is that it’s majorly comfortable and I could take a nap in it.  Maybe I should return it and look for another coat? I don’t know! What do you think – what’s your first instinct? Be honest with me!

Back to this soup, it will help you get over the coldness for sure and it will make your belly really happy.  In fact your belly will probably start to happily talk to you. You might be weirded out at first when your belly talks to you, but soon you’ll learn to get to used to it.    Make your belly happy!  

This soup has all the good stuff in it.  There’s cheese and milk to make it creamy, then there’s broccoli, carrots and corn to make it a vegetable dream.     The soup is incredibly creamy and if you serve it with a piece of bread, you have a perfect dinner.

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Broccoli and carrots – straight from the garden.

Even better this is a soup that takes about 20 minutes to cook.  I hope you make this soup for dinner,  it’s a win win situation all around.

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With every spoonful you get a good serving of vegetables covered in creamy cheese sauce.

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And  who doesn’t love creamy cheese sauce?

Creamy Cheesy Broccoli Soup
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup butter
  2. 4 cups frozen or fresh broccoli florets
  3. 1 cup carrots - peeled and chopped
  4. 1 cup frozen corn
  5. 3 cups chickenbroth
  6. 1 pound Velveeta cheese - cubed
  7. 1 cup milk
  8. 1 cup heavy cream
  9. 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  10. 1 teaspoon dried mustard
  11. 1/2 cup cornstarch
  12. 3/4 cup water
Instructions
  1. Melt butter. Add in broccoli, carrots, corn and chicken broth.
  2. Bring to a simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Add in cubed cheese, milk and heavy cream
  4. Stir in garlic powder and dried mustard.
  5. Mix until cheese is completely melted (5-10 minutes).
  6. In a separate bowl mix cornstarch and water until cornstarch is dissolved. Then add to soup mixture.
  7. Mix for about 5 minutes on medium high heat until you reach a thickness you like.
  8. Serve, Enjoy.
Notes
  1. Servings: 3-4
Brooklyn Farm Girl http://brooklynfarmgirl.com/

Garden Harvest Before First Frost

It’s that time of the again when we await the first frost.. is it going to be tonight? Tomorrow?  The next night?  Awaiting the first frost is a bit panicking for a gardener as you need to choose when to pick your vegetables.  Leaving some peppers up on a plant that has to endure a night of frost is going to leave you with some not so great tasting peppers.   As the temperature drops here and each night makes me add more layers of clothing, we had to prepare the garden for a possible night of frost.  Although it kills us to pick vegetables that haven’t reached to their full size, and say goodbye to plants that you see producing new flowers, it has to be done.  Even if it doesn’t frost, I think it’s better safe than to be sorry.   A basket full of half size peppers is better than no peppers at all.   

Every morning when we wake up, we check the weather immediately. Our eyes go straight to the “Low” temperature.   A few days ago we saw that our area was nearing freezing so we held hands, closed our eyes, said a few words that I won’t repeat and then headed to the garden to pick many of our vegetables that we had to close down for the year.

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The victims:
Green Peppers – The warriors of the garden.  The biggest and most beautiful peppers came from these plants this year so it broke my heart to pick them.  What even hurt me more was to see all the baby peppers that were trying to grow big.
Tomatoes – The plant we anxiously await for to welcome in summer.  The tomato harvest this year was great and provided so many sauces and tomatoes to last us through the winter.  The plants tried their best to make it through the cold, but so many green tomatoes had to be picked.  Not one to let a tomato go to waste, these will be enjoyed.
Soy Beans – This was batch 2 of the soybeans this year.  We planted these in the 4×4 boxes for the 2nd round and they gave us many beans.  Upon picking our final soybeans of the year, they will be frozen and put into recipes and snacked on for the next  few months.
Sugar Snap Peas – This was the 2nd batch of peas this year as well.  They are a favorite and provide so many great dinner recipes.   These peas will stay on the fence all winter to dry and then in the Spring we’ll clean off the fences and replant the next batch to climb up. 
Cucumbers – The big winners of the garden this year, these are also 2nd batch plants and they grew so amazing. We picked so many cucumbers this year and will be eating pickles for a long time.  This was our first year growing them and we’ll definitely see them again next year.

Here are many pounds of green peppers we picked of all sizes:

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Here’s the plant before picking:
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Pretty peppers that we’ll be canning as well as making some fresh casseroles with soon.
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Tomatoes of all colors.
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We’ll be having some fried green tomatoes very soon.
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I love all our tomatoes, every single one.
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While taking this picture I begged that one tomato off to the left not to fall out of my hand.  Thanks for cooperating!
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And a whole bowl of red tomatoes to make one more batch of sauce to freeze.
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Some cucumbers, some in silly shapes as we had to snip them before they full matured.
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To be pickled and added to the endless mason jars full we have.. And yes I write in my refrigerator in chalk what is in each drawer so we don’t forget. 🙂 
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Peas of all kind and a few strawberries that somehow made it to November..
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We have bags and bags full of sugar snap peas. I promised Matthew’s pasta dish he makes with sugar snap peas a while ago, but it’s coming soon (I promise!). End of Fall Harvest IMG_7623

The soybeans look pretty fed up with the temperature here.
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The spinach plant checked out a few more weeks.  This is New Zealand Spinach and it grows well in heat which is unusual for Spinach.  Once cold temperatures started to be felt, the Spinach said goodbye.  This variety of Spinach was another surprise success this year.
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So that’s the vegetables that had to be picked before frost hit.  The garden is still open though to some vegetables that can handle a bit of cold weather.  The broccoli and cauliflower will be growing a few more weeks and if needed, live under greenhouses to survive a sudden winter storm.  The carrots are protected growing in the soil and will last a few more weeks.   The Pak Choi and Brussels Sprouts are hearty, so much that the Sprouts can live through snowstorms unprotected.  

We grew 2 varieties of carrots this, regular orange and cosmic purple. The purple variety have a spicy-sweet taste and are great in stir fries and pasta dishes. Plus the purple ones sure are pretty. 
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Many orange carrots in the soil ready to be picked whenever we need one.  Carrot cake coming soon!
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And least but definitely not last, one of the garden favorites and loves, broccoli.   We planted the broccoli in 2 batches this Fall so they are spread apart by a few weeks.  This is definitely the way to go so it’s not 16 big broccoli heads to pick in one day and then panic on eating.
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 Aren’t they just the nicest broccoli you ever met?
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They sure are lovely broccoli guys!
Picked our first Fall broccoli!  #garden #urbangarden

Broccoli, I think you know how much I have a crush on you.. but you really are swell.
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The cauliflower heads have just peeked out too..
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Here’s some of the Pak Choi, it was just transferred to it’s container in late October.
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So that’s how we’re getting ready for the first frost and beyond.  Are you preparing your garden at all, do you plan on growing anything in the cooler months?WP_20131023_009.jpg

 

Enjoy your first weekend of November!

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