1
Spicy Bok Choy Mushroom Noodles
2
Cake Batter Granola Bars
3
Fudgy Kidney Bean Brownies
4
Broccoli Grilled Cheese Sandwich
5
Baked Kale Meatballs and Is it Spring? Are you sure?
6
Glazed Carrot Cake Donuts
7
Pasta al Gratin Macaroni and Cheese
8
Chicken and Cherry Tomato Toss Stir-Fry
9
Easy Cinnamon Roll Muffins
10
Getting Ready for Game Of Thrones With Sweet Oatcakes
11
Mid Week Chat With Some Light & Airy Sugar Cookies
12
Leftover Spaghetti Casserole
13
Sugar Puff Cloud Cookies
14
Chinese Takeout General Tso’s Chicken
15
Are you ready for Munch Madness?
16
Crispy Baked Ranch Chicken
17
Soft Dipping Bread Sticks
18
Peanut Butter Donuts With Vanilla Frosting
19
How to Make It Green for St. Patrick’s Day
20
Slow Cooker Peanut Butter Potato Stew

Spicy Bok Choy Mushroom Noodles

Easy 15 minute Asian dish recipe for Spicy Bok Choy Noodles.  These Spicy Noodles include Bok Choy, Kale and Mushrooms making them a vegetable lover’s dream!

Lately I have really been in the mood for a big bowl of Chinese noodles full of vegetables so I cooked this up one night and now it’s a official staple for dinner. I love that I can use both fresh bok choy and kale from the garden making this a happy harvest meal too.   The red pepper flakes and ginger add a little spice that goes a long way for flavor.  These noodles are not soupy as the broth will boil off and the rice noodles will soak them up.    Just thinking about this dish is making my mouth water!

Oriental Spicy Bok Choy NoodlesOriental Spicy Bok Choy Noodles_1
Oriental Spicy Bok Choy Noodles_2Oriental Spicy Bok Choy Noodles_3

Easy 15 minute Asian dish recipe for Spicy Bok Choy Noodles. These Spicy Noodles include Bok Choy, Kale and Mushrooms making them a vegetable lover’s dream!

Easy 15 minute Asian dish recipe for Spicy Bok Choy Noodles. These Spicy Noodles include Bok Choy, Kale and Mushrooms making them a vegetable lover’s dream!

Easy 15 minute Asian dish recipe for Spicy Bok Choy Noodles. These Spicy Noodles include Bok Choy, Kale and Mushrooms making them a vegetable lover’s dream!

Oriental Spicy Bok Choy Noodles
Print
Ingredients
  1. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  2. 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  3. 1 teaspoon ginger
  4. 1 large head bok choy - chopped
  5. 1/2 cup kale - chopped
  6. 8 oz sliced mushrooms
  7. 4 cups chicken broth
  8. 12 oz rice noodles
  9. salt + pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. In a pot heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add red pepper flakes, ginger, bok choy, kale and mushrooms. Stir to combine them while cooking for 2-3 minutes until the greens wilt.
  2. In a large pot bring chicken broth to a boil. Once boiling add rice noodles, cooking as instructed on noodle package. When the noodles have 4 minutes left, add vegetables and stir.
  3. Season with salt + pepper if needed.
  4. Enjoy!
Brooklyn Farm Girl http://brooklynfarmgirl.com/

Easy 15 minute Asian dish recipe for Spicy Bok Choy Noodles. These Spicy Noodles include Bok Choy, Kale and Mushrooms making them a vegetable lover’s dream!

Cake Batter Granola Bars

Birthday Cake Batter Granola Bars that taste just like cake and are topped with chocolate chips and sprinkles!

One of my absolute favorite afternoon snacks is a granola bar to add some fuel, but who says your granola bars can’t be sweet too?

Basing this on my Chocolate Chip Granola Bars and Peanut Butter Pretzel Chocolate Chip Granola Bars recipes I wanted to create a granola bar that was filling with oats but tasted more like a pastry.  To be exact I wanted it to taste like cake batter because shouldn’t everything?  Alongside the other ingredients I added in some dry cake mix which was a great partner to pair with the oats when the wet ingredients are added in to make everything stick together.

Not only do these definitely taste like cake batter, but they smell just like cake too.   Isn’t it just wonderful?  You can totally be fun with the sprinkle colors too.  Maybe add red and green for Christmas, or bright yellow for Summer time picnic treats! 

Next time you’re craving granola bars or cake batter, give these a shot and let me know what you think!

Birthday Cake Batter Granola Bars that taste just like cake and are topped with chocolate chips and sprinkles!

 Birthday Cake Batter Granola Bars that taste just like cake and are topped with chocolate chips and sprinkles!

Birthday Cake Batter Granola Bars that taste just like cake and are topped with chocolate chips and sprinkles!

 

Cake Batter Granola Bars
Print
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups quick cooking oats
  2. 1 cup crispy rice cereal
  3. 2/3 cup cake mix dry
  4. 1/4 cup salted butter
  5. 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  6. 1/4 cup honey
  7. 1 teaspoon vanilla
  8. 4 tablespoons sprinkles
  9. 3 tablespoons white chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Spray a 8x8 pan lightly with cooking spray.
  2. Mix your oats, cereal, cake mix and 2 tablespoons sprinkle together in a large bowl.
  3. In a small saucepan melt butter, brown sugar and honey on medium high heat until melted. Once it begins to bubble change heat to low and stir for 2 minutes.
  4. Remove saucepan from burner and stir in your vanilla.
  5. Pour your hot mixture over your oats mixture. Stir well. You want to make sure every single piece of oats and cereal is coated.
  6. Pour your mixture into your greased pan and push down with spatula to flatten it.
  7. Sprinkle chocolate chips and 2 tablespoons sprinkle over top evenly. Use your spatula to press them down so they are embedded in the bars.
  8. Cover with plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator to set for 1 hour.
  9. Take out and cut into bar sizes.
  10. Store in airtight container in refrigerator to keep them fresh.
Brooklyn Farm Girl http://brooklynfarmgirl.com/
Birthday Cake Batter Granola Bars taste just like cake and are topped with chocolate chips and sprinkles!

Fudgy Kidney Bean Brownies

This Fudgy KIDNEY BEAN Brownies recipe is the BEST!  These brownies are easy to make, moist and made with red beans to make them more healthy!  They have a thick chocolate frosting on top that everyone will love!  This is a sneaky way to get your kids to eat more vegetables!  Trust me, everyone will think they’re the best brownies ever!

A few days ago I was craving brownies (when aren’t I)?    Because I always love some adding some vegetables to sweets, I went into the cabinet to grab a can of black beans to make my favorite black bean brownies but sadness hit, I was all out of black beans.  So then I sat on the floor, pantry door open, and begun to think.. could I use another bean?  So I grabbed a can of dark red kidney beans and these Fudgy Kidney Bean Brownies were made!

This Fudgy KIDNEY BEAN Brownies recipe is the BEST!  These brownies are easy to make, moist and made with red beans to make them more healthy!  They have a thick chocolate frosting on top that everyone will love!  This is a sneaky way to get your kids to eat more vegetables!  Trust me, everyone will think they're the best brownies ever!

These brownies are incredibly fudgy, incredibly rich, incredibly chocolaty and made out of magic.  Did I sell you on them yet? The kidney beans worked as a perfect substitution for the black beans.   This recipe is now one of my favorite brownie recipes that I can’t keep my paws off of!  Because I love double chocolate,  I added a thick layer of brownie frosting to the top of these that set perfectly.  When you take a bite you’re just going to fall into chocolate heaven.  So go ahead and make these….. I’ll meet you there!

This Fudgy KIDNEY BEAN Brownies recipe is the BEST!  These brownies are easy to make, moist and made with red beans to make them more healthy!  They have a thick chocolate frosting on top that everyone will love!  This is a sneaky way to get your kids to eat more vegetables!  Trust me, everyone will think they're the best brownies ever!

This Fudgy KIDNEY BEAN Brownies recipe is the BEST!  These brownies are easy to make, moist and made with red beans to make them more healthy!  They have a thick chocolate frosting on top that everyone will love!  This is a sneaky way to get your kids to eat more vegetables!  Trust me, everyone will think they're the best brownies ever!

This Fudgy KIDNEY BEAN Brownies recipe is the BEST!  These brownies are easy to make, moist and made with red beans to make them more healthy!  They have a thick chocolate frosting on top that everyone will love!  This is a sneaky way to get your kids to eat more vegetables!  Trust me, everyone will think they're the best brownies ever!

This Fudgy KIDNEY BEAN Brownies recipe is the BEST!  These brownies are easy to make, moist and made with red beans to make them more healthy!  They have a thick chocolate frosting on top that everyone will love!  This is a sneaky way to get your kids to eat more vegetables!  Trust me, everyone will think they're the best brownies ever!

UPDATE: Here’s a how to video for you! If you like the recipe, share it on Facebook!

Fudgy Kidney Bean Brownies
Print
For the brownies
  1. (1) 15 oz can of dark kidney beans - drained and rinsed
  2. 1/4 cup creamy regular or chocolate peanut butter
  3. 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  4. 1/2 cup quick oats
  5. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  6. 1/3 cup brown sugar
  7. 2 tablespoons sugar
  8. 1/4 cup coconut or vegetable oil
  9. 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  10. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  11. 1/2 cup chocolate chips
For the frosting
  1. 1/4 cup milk
  2. 1/4 cup butter
  3. 1 cup powdered sugar
  4. 2/3 cup chocolate chips
  5. 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the brownies
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine all ingredients except chocolate chips in a food processor. Pulse until smooth and creamy.
  3. Stir in chocolate chips and mix with spoon so they are equally distributed.
  4. Grease 8x8 pan and pour brownie mixture in it. Take a spatula to smooth out the top.
  5. Bake the brownies for 16-18 minutes and remove from oven.
For the frosting
  1. Combine milk, butter and powdered sugar together in a saucepan over medium heat, bringing to a boil. Allow to cook at a rolling boil for 30 seconds. Remove from heat.
  2. Add chocolate chips and vanilla to saucepan and stir until the chips are melted.
  3. Pour immediately over warm brownies.
  4. Put in refrigerator to allow brownies to set quickly.
  5. Enjoy!
Brooklyn Farm Girl http://brooklynfarmgirl.com/
This Fudgy KIDNEY BEAN Brownies recipe is the BEST!  These brownies are easy to make, moist and made with red beans to make them more healthy!  They have a thick chocolate frosting on top that everyone will love!  This is a sneaky way to get your kids to eat more vegetables!  Trust me, everyone will think they're the best brownies ever!

Broccoli Grilled Cheese Sandwich

 Today we’re going to give a makeover to our favorite childhood sandwich, The Grilled Cheese.

As a kid I would beg my Mom to make Grilled Cheese sandwiches for lunch and dinner.  When I wasn’t asking her to make them, I was ordering them at the diner served alongside a big spoonful of mashed potatoes.  Did you ever have grilled cheese and mashed potatoes? It’s the perfect combo, especially if there’s a bunch of gravy poured over your potatoes.

One night we were craving something different for dinner but wanted to use up some fresh broccoli we picked that was growing under the greenhouse.   After a quick broccoli roast, these sandwiches were made and enjoyed… very quickly!  Immediately after finishing his Matthew said “I want another!”.  Me too man, me too.

Read More

Baked Kale Meatballs and Is it Spring? Are you sure?

It’s Spring, right?  Are you sure?  I mean snow and sleet storms happen when it was just 75 degrees a few days ago, right?  Wait.  What is going on?

Spring was here.  The sunshine was blasting.  I had my sunglasses on and short sleeves.  I was planning picnics in the park.  I was ready to get the tomatoes outside.  I was excited for walks for ice cream.  I took my mittens out of my bookbag.  Winter coat? No way, that was packed away.

Then Tuesday night came.  We were on our way home from the last regular season home Brooklyn Nets game (note: The Knicks killed us, but who cares, we’re going to the playoffs unlike you Knicks) when suddenly it just started sleeting and snowing.  We’re talking sleet that comes down and cuts you in the face.  We’re talking a storm where you get home and you have to throw your clothes right in the washer because you’re soaked.  We’re talking weather where there’s no way of not looking like a wet dog (note: I do not look cute like a dog does.  I look like a monster).  This all happened…. in Mid April!

So immediately worries set in for the garden.  Broccoli, Cauliflower, Bok Choy, Lettuce, Peas, Carrots, Radishes, Kale, Onions and more were already planted.   We were historically set to not go below freezing again and we were definitely set for not having snow again until Winter.  Then Mother Nature had to go out and have a bad day…

There’s not  much you can do to protect a garden in mid storm.  Yes, you can brave the sleet while getting soaked to throw on some fabric to protect them from the freezing temperatures (which is what we did), but there comes a time where you just have to hope the plants are going to be ok and just leave them be.    The wait is the worst feeling.    During the next morning we ventured to the roof to find our peas in snow, with more fabric being pressed into the plants due to snow weight on top.  

garden

garden

The kale didn’t look good.  The lettuce didn’t look great.  The sugar snap peas looked frozen.  The onions were knocked over.. but it was too early to tell as they still needed some afternoon sun to bounce back.
Kale, Sleet Snow Storm April 2014

Kale, Sleet Snow Storm April 2014_2

One thing was certain though, the kale had to be picked. If you guys remember, this kale was planted last Summer (!) and it somehow survived Winter (!) so in terms of how long it’s been planted, it was a real true survivor.  I was a bit bummed that this freak storm was the one to finally destroy it, but time was not on it’s side. Kale, Sleet Snow Storm April 2014_1

Kale, Sleet Snow Storm April 2014_4

So with my winter coat on with a somber heart (I’m so dramatic, I know) I picked all 6 kale plants.  These kale plants really grew fantastically and even though they were destroyed by the weather, it was close to time to pick them anyways as they were starting to flower.   I got pounds of kale off these plants and my entire bottom shelf of the refrigerator is now full of kale. 
Kale, Sleet Snow Storm April 2014_3

But first I had to take a dramatic photo of me with my baby kale and title it “Kale Mother” to post on Instagram.  I love my friend Avery’s comment: PAMALEESI: MOTHER OF KALES
“Kale Mother”, the story of a mother losing her kale plants in a freak sleet snow storm during Spring of 2014 when it was 70 degrees a few days ago.  #kale #rip #mother #artphotography #art #documentary #gardenchat #bluehair #manicpanic  #rooftop #NYC #Br

 

How did the other plants do after they thawed out? We think everything is ok.  A few leaves got burned by the frost, but the lettuce bounced back beautifully and the peas are still standing tall (alongside the onions).    Let’s take a collective sigh of relief as it could have been a real disaster with months of seedling planning ruined.   I guess we had a little luck saved! 

So now with a ton of kale.. what are we going to do?  I wanted to make something right away so I could use up a few full cups of kale, as I get a little stressed with too much kale!  We love our kale turkey meatballs, especially on a hoagie,  so I decided to make a double batch and put a spin on this recipe with mixing the meats.  This was the perfect solution because I got 1 dinner that night out of it, and 2-3 extra dinners to freeze.  Lately we’ve been craving meatballs with pasta but we’re too lazy to make them when hunger hits, so now they’re all ready to be eaten (after being defrosted!)

So let’s make some meatballs! First the kale was picked.  But first I had to weigh in. This year I’m going to keep track of how much we grow to see.  I’ve been telling myself to do this every year but this year I’m going to do it! (I hope..)
Kale, Sleet Snow Storm April 2014_6

 In my other meatballs recipe I usually pan fry them but I didn’t feel like babysitting them so I decided to bake them instead.   I loaded 2 cookie sheets full of meatballs!
Baked Kale Meatballs

These meatballs turned out beautifully! They were crisp on the outside, moist in the inside and full of flavor.    These might be some of the best meatballs I ever made so I was happy to see them made alongside our garden kale.  Having a bit of homegrown in every meal always makes it better, right?    Also these are going to make your home smell great.  When someone walked in our front door about 2 hours after baking they said “It smells so good in here!”.  It totally did.

Baked Kale Meatballs _1

Baked Kale Meatballs _2

Baked Kale Meatballs _4

Baked Kale Meatballs _3

 To freeze them, I separate them into meals and put in a freezer bag.  When it’s time to enjoy them, I’ll let them sit out for a bit to defrost, then warm them up to eat, or throw in a pot to cook alongside the pasta sauce.

Baked Kale Meatballs

COLOURBOX1047713

Baked Kale Meatballs
Print
Ingredients
  1. 4 cups uncooked chopped fresh kale
  2. 1 pound ground turkey
  3. 1 pound ground beef
  4. 2 pinches each of dried rosemary, parsley and oregano
  5. 3 tablespoons olive oil
  6. 6 cloves garlic
  7. 2 eggs
Instructions
  1. Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil to a pan over medium high heat. Add kale and spices. Cook until your kale is wilted.
  2. Put kale mixture and garlic into a food processor and chop it up. Add your turkey and egg and pulse until it's combined. Depending on food processor size you might have to do 2 batches.
  3. Form this mixture into 1-2 inch balls.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  5. Line 2 cookie sheets with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick spray.
  6. Put meatballs on foil and cook 35-40 minutes or until the internal temperature is 160 degrees.
  7. Enjoy right away, or freeze for later.
Notes
  1. Makes 30 meatballs.
Brooklyn Farm Girl http://brooklynfarmgirl.com/
Have a great weekend everyone!
How’s the weather where you are?  Is it finally Spring?

Glazed Carrot Cake Donuts

The Best Carrot Cake Glazed Donuts!  These homemade baked donuts are made with carrots (healthy!) so they taste just like carrot cake!  This recipe is easy to make and the donuts are moist and full of flavor!  These donuts are perfect for breakfast or dessert – they’re so yummy!

This Winter we got very lucky with our carrots.  We didn’t have high hopes for them but upon one Spring cleanup day we were surprised to find pounds of carrots hiding under the soil waiting for us to find them.  It was a giant surprise and it created some giant garden smiles
Fresh Garden Carrots

Aren’t they just beauties?  I just can’t get enough of fresh carrots.  There’s nothing like the taste of a carrot that was just picked.  Sometimes I nibble on one as soon as I pick it, I just can’t help myself.  So I took the carrots down to the kitchen and pondered… What to make?  I was craving carrots for dinner so I made some brown sugar glazed carrots that were delicious but I wanted to make a dessert with them too.  
Fresh Garden Carrots

I had a real craving for carrot cake but I didn’t have everything on hand.  Then I thought to myself: DONUTS!  Then I thought..

CARROT CAKE DONUTS!

The Best Carrot Cake Glazed Donuts! These homemade baked donuts are made with carrots (healthy!) so they taste just like carrot cake! This recipe is easy to make and the donuts are moist and full of flavor! These donuts are perfect for breakfast or dessert - they're so yummy!

These donuts taste just like carrot cake with a sweet sugary glaze on top.  Think of a bakery glazed donut + a carrot cake…. all as fresh as possible.   The freshness of the carrots really make these donuts something special and you really get a nice taste of the carrots with the sweetness of the donuts.  

These donuts are definitely a keeper in my garden notebook now. I can’t wait for our next carrot harvest to make (and devour!) some more Carrot Cake Donuts!

The Best Carrot Cake Glazed Donuts! These homemade baked donuts are made with carrots (healthy!) so they taste just like carrot cake! This recipe is easy to make and the donuts are moist and full of flavor! These donuts are perfect for breakfast or dessert - they're so yummy!

The Best Carrot Cake Glazed Donuts! These homemade baked donuts are made with carrots (healthy!) so they taste just like carrot cake! This recipe is easy to make and the donuts are moist and full of flavor! These donuts are perfect for breakfast or dessert - they're so yummy!

The Best Carrot Cake Glazed Donuts! These homemade baked donuts are made with carrots (healthy!) so they taste just like carrot cake! This recipe is easy to make and the donuts are moist and full of flavor! These donuts are perfect for breakfast or dessert - they're so yummy!

The Best Carrot Cake Glazed Donuts! These homemade baked donuts are made with carrots (healthy!) so they taste just like carrot cake! This recipe is easy to make and the donuts are moist and full of flavor! These donuts are perfect for breakfast or dessert - they're so yummy!

Glazed Carrot Cake Donuts
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1 egg
  2. 1/2 cup orange juice
  3. 1/4 cup melted butter
  4. ½ teaspoon vanilla
  5. 1/4 cup brown sugar
  6. 1 cup flour
  7. 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  8. 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  9. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  10. 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  11. ¼ teaspoon allspice
  12. 1 ¼ cup shredded carrots
For the glaze
  1. 2 tablespoons milk
  2. 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  3. 1 cups confectioners powdered sugar
For the donuts
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Beat egg in large bowl. Add orange juice, butter, vanilla and sugar, beat well.
  3. Stir in flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and allspice and mix till moistened.
  4. Gently fold in shredded carrots.
  5. Fill donut pan up.
  6. Bake for 9-11 minutes. Let cool for 2 minutes.
For the glaze
  1. Combine milk and vanilla in a saucepan and heat over medium heat.
  2. Stir in confectioners powdered sugar into milk mixture. Whisk slowly, until well combined.
  3. Remove from heat and dip each donut into glaze.
  4. Set on rack until cool enough to eat.
Notes
  1. Makes 12 donuts.
Brooklyn Farm Girl http://brooklynfarmgirl.com/
The Best Carrot Cake Glazed Donuts! These homemade baked donuts are made with carrots (healthy!) so they taste just like carrot cake! This recipe is easy to make and the donuts are moist and full of flavor! These donuts are perfect for breakfast or dessert - they're so yummy!

Pasta al Gratin Macaroni and Cheese

“Hey quick, come over and check out this béchamel sauce” I yelled to Matthew.
“What?” he responded.
“Get over here, you have to check out this sauce.  It’s so beautiful!” I demanded.  Nicely.
Begrudgingly he arrived at the stove.  “What?”
“What? Did you just what this sauce? Look at it!”.  
“What?”
Am I married to a man who can’t see and appreciate the beauty of this white sauce?  “What?  What again?  Look at it! Look at how beautifully the milk has cooked making it oh so creamy.”
He nods.
“Get out of here.  Right now! No sauce for you!”

Italian Cooking Pasta al Gratin_6

Sometimes other people just can’t see the beauty in things, but what are you going to do?

I am obsessed with the béchamel sauce that holds together this macaroni and cheese dish.  You’d think by looking at it the dish is full of cheese, but there is only 1/4 cup of cheese in this dish!    The sauce is made slowly cooking the milk until it turns creamy, patience is key here.  The sauce is velvety and oh so rich making it hold together your elbow noodles perfectly.  

This recipe comes from one of my new favorite cookbooks “Italian Kitchen” by Anna Del Conte, published by Sterling.  Not only are the recipes in it amazing (because honestly, they are) but it’s one of the prettiest cookbooks I’ve ever owned in my life.  First of all, the book comes with no dust jacket which I love.  I always take off my dust jackets anyways hoping for a pretty cover inside, but this one is just straight up off the shelf beautiful.  Also the outside of the book cover is printed on a canvas that has the appearance of being worn, like you’ve been enjoying this cookbook with love for years.    I’ve had this cookbook lying around the house recently and whenever anyone sees it they always comment on how great it looks.  

Italian Cooking Pasta al Gratin_2

And then as soon as you open up the book you’ll be stunned by great the first opening spread is.  Whoever designed this cookbook needs a award, or maybe some dishes left at their doorstep.  Because I’m crazy I googled this and the design is by Anna crone and the Photography is by Jason Lowe.  I usually don’t list info like this here but it’s really one good looking book.
Italian Cooking Pasta al Gratin_3

When you get to the Table of Contents you’ll see a short list of categories.   I love that there’s only a few and the book focuses on what it’s intent is, Italian Cooking.  
Italian Cooking Pasta al Gratin_4

The pasta section is the key to my heart is full of so many recipes I’ve already made or am planning to  Again, don’t you love the rustic design?
Italian Cooking Pasta al Gratin_5

For you guys though, I really wanted to share the Pasta al Gratin Macaroni and Cheese recipe.  As many of you know I’m a big time mac and cheese lover but this one here is not your average recipe, it’s so rich and deep with flavor making it a real star in serving.   I love what the author of the book, Anna Del Conte, said about this recipe when she was discussing her favorite pasta dish with her husband.  After asking her what her favorite was she said “Pasta al gratin”.  “Oh really?” he said, and thought “What about that discerning palate she’s so proud of?”  But he was thinking of the macaroni and cheese of his school days, and I was thinking of the velvety, cheesey delight of Pasta al Gratin.  She goes on to say:  Although it (this dish) is made with a sauce with a French name, the dish is Italian.  it is made in many regions, with certain variations.  In the north, for instance, Parmesan is used, sometimes mixed with Emmental or fontina, while in Naples, a buffalo mozzarella is cut up and pushed here and there among the penne (or elbows).  

Italian Cooking Pasta al Gratin

And without further taunting you with pictures, I open up the cookbook and share you with this delicious Pasta al Gratin Macaroni and Cheese recipe.Italian Cooking Pasta al Gratin_8

Italian Cooking Pasta al Gratin_9

Italian Cooking Pasta al Gratin_7

 

Pasta al Gratin Macaroni and Cheese
Print
Ingredients
  1. 2 oz fontina, grated
  2. 2 oz Parmesan, grated
  3. 12 oz penne or macaroni elbows
  4. 3 cups whole milk
  5. 5 tablespoons butter
  6. 1/2 cup flour
  7. sea salt and black pepper
  8. grated nutmeg
Instructions
  1. To make the bechamel sauce, heat the milk until hot but not boiling. Remove from the heat.
  2. Melt the butter, remove the saucepan from the heat, and stir in the flour. Put the pan back on the heat and cook, stirring constantly, for about 30 seconds.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat an add the milk gradually. Return the pan to the heat and cook until the sauce comes to a boil. Season with salt and pepper and a generous amount of nutmeg. Cook for a few minutes, stirring constantly.
  4. To finish the sauce, leave cooking on low for 10-15 minutes, only stirring occasionally. This long, slow cooking makes it a rich sauce you would not be able to achieve if you cooked for a shorter time.
  5. Add the cheeses to the sauce.
  6. Cook the pasta in boiling salted water until al dente, as instructed on box. Drain.
  7. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
  8. Coat a shallow baking dish with a little of the sauce. Dress the pasta with about 2/3 of the bechamel and transfer to the prepared dish. Spread the rest of the sauce all over the top. Bake for 30 minutes.
  9. Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to blend while cooking a little.
Adapted from Italian Kitchen
Adapted from Italian Kitchen
Brooklyn Farm Girl http://brooklynfarmgirl.com/

Chicken and Cherry Tomato Toss Stir-Fry

 10 minute Chicken and Cherry Tomato Stir-Fry recipe.  Serve hot over rice, couscous or noodles.

This chicken and cherry tomato toss is a gardeners dream serving up a fresh and delicious stir-fry dish!  When tomato season hits I like to be prepared for recipes because once one it starts…. then it will start to rain tomatoes!    
 10 minute Chicken and Cherry Tomato Stir-Fry recipe. Serve hot over rice, couscous or noodles.

When tomato insanity hits we often have days where we are picking 10 pounds of tomatoes.  I make plenty of sauces to last us through winter, but I love to enjoy our cherry tomatoes super fresh for dinner!  This Chicken and Cherry Tomato Toss Stir-Fry is totally going to be a Summer time favorite!
 10 minute Chicken and Cherry Tomato Stir-Fry recipe. Serve hot over rice, couscous or noodles.

The combination of chicken stock, soy sauce and ginger root gives this a great “Asian” tasting meal.  I can totally see this being a Chinese dish served over rice.  In my case I served it over thick lo mein noodles which was a perfect compliment to the chicken and tomatoes.    After dinner I was declaring this delicious so next time you set your eyes on some cherry tomatoes, grab them and make this Stir-Fry!  

 10 minute Chicken and Cherry Tomato Stir-Fry recipe. Serve hot over rice, couscous or noodles.

 10 minute Chicken and Cherry Tomato Stir-Fry recipe. Serve hot over rice, couscous or noodles.

 10 minute Chicken and Cherry Tomato Stir-Fry recipe. Serve hot over rice, couscous or noodles.

 10 minute Chicken and Cherry Tomato Stir-Fry recipe. Serve hot over rice, couscous or noodles.

 

Chicken and Cherry Tomato Toss Stir-Fry
Print
Ingredients
  1. 3 tbsp chicken stock
  2. 1 tbsp soy sauce
  3. 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  4. 1 tsp salt
  5. 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  6. 1 tbsp coarsely chopped garlic
  7. 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger root
  8. 12 oz skinless boneless chicken breasts, cut into 11⁄2-inch
  9. 1⁄3 cup thinly sliced green onions
  10. 3⁄4 cup halved cherry tomatoes
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, combine chicken stock, soy sauce, dark soy sauce, if using, sugar and salt and stir well. Set aside.
  2. In a wok or a large deep skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and ginger and toss well, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  3. Add chicken and spread into a single layer. Cook, undisturbed, until edges turn white, about 1 minute. Toss well. Cook, tossing occasionally, until no longer pink, about 1 minute more.
  4. Add chicken stock mixture, pouring in around sides of pan. Cook, tossing occasionally, until chicken is cooked through and coated in a thin, smooth sauce, 1 to 2 minutes more.
  5. Reserve a generous pinch of green onions for garnish, and add remaining green onions and cherry tomatoes to pan. Cook, tossing once, for 1 minute more.
  6. Transfer to a serving plate. Sprinkle reserved green onions over chicken. Serve hot or warm over rice, couscous or noodles.
Notes
  1. Serves: 4
Brooklyn Farm Girl http://brooklynfarmgirl.com/
 10 minute Chicken and Cherry Tomato Stir-Fry recipe. Serve hot over rice, couscous or noodles.

Easy Cinnamon Roll Muffins

Easy Cinnamon Roll Muffins made ready in 12 minutes! Use refrigerated biscuits to make homemade Cinnamon Rolls with a powdered sugar icing that your kids will fall in love with!  These Cinnamon Rolls are quick and delicious – perfect for Saturday morning breakfast.

On a scale of 1-10 on the yummy scale, these cinnamon roll muffins are a 11.  Watch out.

One afternoon I was craving cinnamon.  It seemed like everywhere I looked I saw a cinnamon roll on twitter, on the street, in a window, and every time I closed my eyes.   All I wanted was a cinnamon roll, ok maybe I wanted two, but I wanted them quick. I didn’t want to wait hours for yeast to rise, my belly was singing “feed me cinnamon rolls” so I came up with this great Easy Cinnamon Roll Muffins which will get you delicious cinnamon rolls in less than 20 minutes! Dangerous, I know.

These Muffins use the same idea of my Monkey Bread Muffins by using refrigerated biscuits to quicken up the recipe.  After baking, then we make a creamy vanilla frosting to pour over them, which you’ll see will melt beautifully and just warm your heart with happiness.  

Enjoy friends… enjoy!

Easy Cinnamon Roll Muffins made ready in 12 minutes! Use refrigerated biscuits to make homemade Cinnamon Rolls with a powdered sugar icing that your kids will fall in love with! These Cinnamon Rolls are quick and delicious - perfect for Saturday morning breakfast

It only takes 12 minutes to make these Easy Cinnamon Roll Muffins! No yeast or rising needed! All you need is Pillsbury refrigerated biscuits.

It only takes 12 minutes to make these Easy Cinnamon Roll Muffins! No yeast or rising needed! All you need is Pillsbury refrigerated biscuits.

It only takes 12 minutes to make these Easy Cinnamon Roll Muffins! No yeast or rising needed! All you need is Pillsbury refrigerated biscuits.

It only takes 12 minutes to make these Easy Cinnamon Roll Muffins! No yeast or rising needed! All you need is Pillsbury refrigerated biscuits.

 

Easy Cinnamon Roll Muffins
Print
For the muffins
  1. 2 cans of 7.5 oz Pillsbury refrigerated biscuits (or other brand)
  2. 1/4 cup butter - melted
  3. 1/4 cup brown sugar
  4. 1/4 cup white sugar
  5. 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
For the frosting
  1. 2 cups powdered sugar
  2. 1 tablespoon butter - melted
  3. 1 teaspoon vanilla
  4. 2 tablespoons milk
For the muffins
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray a dozen muffin cup sheet with nonstick spray. Spray it good - on the bottom and sides.
  3. Mix melted butter, sugars and cinnamon in a plastic bag.
  4. Take each biscuit and rip it up into 6 pieces. Put the biscuit pieces in bag and shake to coat evenly.
  5. Place 8-10 pieces of biscuits into each muffin cup to evenly fill them up.
  6. Bake for 12-14 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven and let cool for 1 minute. Then remove from pan, the muffins should fall right out.
For the frosting
  1. Mix powdered sugar, butter and vanilla in bowl with hand mixer.
  2. Add milk and continue to mix until it reaches a "frosting" consistency.
  3. Pour frosting over warm muffins, enjoy!
Notes
  1. Makes 10-12 muffins.
Brooklyn Farm Girl http://brooklynfarmgirl.com/
Now I’m off to make another batch of these!

Easy Cinnamon Roll Muffins made ready in 12 minutes! Use refrigerated biscuits to make homemade Cinnamon Rolls with a powdered sugar icing that your kids will fall in love with! These Cinnamon Rolls are quick and delicious - perfect for Saturday morning breakfast

Getting Ready for Game Of Thrones With Sweet Oatcakes

You guys, the season premiere of Game of Thrones is on this Sunday, are you excited as me?

You either have 2 responses:
YES!
I don’t watch Game of Thrones

If you say “YES!” then I slap you high 5, hug you and give you my love!
If you say “I don’t watch Game of Thrones” I still hug you because you’re nice, but I need to know why you don’t watch it!

If you haven’t been watching the last few seasons, then you need to catch up because it is my favorite show on television and I get so much thrill from Sunday nights that it’s hard to put into words.  Recently I finished reading all the Game of Thrones books which left me in sadness for about a week because I had no idea what to do with my life anymore without these books.   I’m also interested to see how this is going to change how I watch the show, as I know so so so so much, but the show likes to change things a bit.  

You want to know how excited we are? We just ordered HBO specifically for Game of Thrones.  That’s dedication.  And then once it’s done for the season, we’ll remove HBO.

To get in the spirit I wanted to make a sweet that would be the perfect treat to bring to a Game of Thrones party.   Along with your Cersei wig and your white cloak, I think you should totally whip up a batch of the Sweet Oatcakes!   You already know Sansa is obsessed with Lemon Cakes, so let’s stay in the cake family but give it a oat twist!  These oatcakes are sweet but have plenty of crunch making them the perfect and addicting snack! I dare you to eat one….! 🙂 If you eat more than one though, it’s ok, they’re only 113 calories a piece!

Even Jon Snow likes them. PS. Hi Jon Snow.  *Wiggles Eyebrows*. 
Sweet Oatcakes_5

I’m House Stark all the way, even though my Starks are disappearing. What House are you?

 Sweet-Oatcakes

Sweet Oatcakes_4

Sweet Oatcakes_2

Sweet Oatcakes_1

Sweet Oatcakes

Sweet Oatcakes
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup butter
  2. 1 teaspoon salt
  3. 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  4. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  5. 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  6. 1 1/2 cups flour
  7. 1 cup rolled oats, ground in a food processor
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Lightly grease two 9 inch round cake pans with nonstick spray.
  2. In a bowl cream together butter, salt, brown sugar and vanilla. Add in the baking soda, flour and oats and continue to mix.
  3. Divide the dough in half and press into cake pans, smoothing out so it takes up the entire base of the pan and is smooth on the top. Prick the dough on top with a fork in a pattern if you'd like.
  4. Bake the cakes for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown around the edges. My time is always 37 minutes.
  5. Remove from oven and loosen edges with a butter knife.
  6. Wait 5 minutes then carefully turn cakes upside down to get them out. Immediately after, using a pizza wheel, cut each round cake into 12 pieces.
Notes
  1. Makes two dozen oatcakes.
  2. One oatcake = 113 calories.
Brooklyn Farm Girl http://brooklynfarmgirl.com/

Mid Week Chat With Some Light & Airy Sugar Cookies

Happy Half Way During the week Friends!  

How’s your week been so far?

Mine has been one of those weeks where I just need a few cookies (we’ll get to that).   Matthew and I are currently hard at work on a new business venture, so there’s been lots of brain storming, strategy meetings and just out loud get it all out stress talks.   We have a big dream, and this isn’t going to be easy, but we’re trying to start our own virtual reality creative design agency.  Some of you guys already know we work as artists under Reed + Rader where we work in fashion and advertising creating fun videos.   Reed + Rader is still highly alive but there’s so many things we want to do outside of our style and aesthetic of what we create.    We’ve always taken on a strong art director role in our work, so it makes sense for us to try to push this to the next step outside of just what we do.  Right now we’re gathering a strong team of programmers and artists to start working on projects to get the buzz out there.  Matthew and I are extremely excited as we think this could be the next big step for us and we believe strongly in the idea and pushing this to the world.  It’s not going to be easy, and we know that, but we’re always up for a challenge!  I’ll be sure to share upcoming news to you guys! Wish us luck!

On the artist side of things, we recently just finished up 3D portrait videos for fashion magazine, V Magazine.  It’s a Spring fashion story so it’s full of floral patterns and soft colors.  Some of the clothing featured is:  MIU MIUDOLCE & GABBANATHOM BROWNECHRISTOPHER KANE, AND PRABAL GURUNG.
Here’s the video:

Besides that we’re working on some other projects that I can’t just share yet, but they’re all fun and we’re excited for them!  We’re also talking at the FITC Conference in Toronto at the end of the month.  I’ve never been to Toronto but we will be there for a  few days so any suggestions on what I should see (or more importantly what I should eat) please let me know! So work wise, between this and the new agency venture, we’re busy!

Then there’s the garden which is full swing with the start of Spring.  We had some important planting days we had to do, so keep a look out on those posts!  Many veggies are in the soil and more are on their way! We also found a surprise in the soil.. but I’ll keep that for a new post!  

And lastly, there’s Brooklyn Farm Girl, which I love because I love you guys!  Isn’t it amazing the friendships you can start with just leaving a comment on a cake recipe exclaiming you want to stuff it in your face, then next thing you know you’re pen pals and know how many fish they have.    You guys are real cool.  I don’t think I tell you enough but whoever reads this, it really means a lot to me.  Just to be able to share recipes and stories and receive so many smiles and laughs in return, you really know how to cheer me up sometimes.  Do you know what you deserve?

COOKIES! Let’s see your best cookie dance.  Oh yeah, to the right, to the left, now shake that cookie ookie ookie ookie! 

DANCING_COOKIE

These Light & Airy Sugar Cookies are going to hit the spot just right.  You guys know I have a thing for super soft cookies so these ones definitely fit that category.  They’re your typical delicious sugar cookie but these are so light and moist inside.  And even better.. are you ready? 51 calories a piece.  That means you can eat 10 of them, right?  Cookies = dinner, didn’t you know?  

So go ahead, kick your feet up and enjoy mid week with these cookies!
 Light-&-Airy-Sugar-Cookies_3

Light & Airy Sugar Cookies_4

Light & Airy Sugar Cookies_2

Light & Airy Sugar Cookies_1

Light & Airy Sugar Cookies
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
  2. 1/2 cup sugar
  3. 1/2 cup butter - melted
  4. 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  5. 1 egg
  6. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  7. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  8. 2 teaspoons baking powder
  9. 2 1/2 cups flour
  10. additional sugar to coat
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease two baking sheets.
  2. In a large bowl cream together sugars, butter and oil until smooth. Beat in egg, vanilla, salt and baking powder.
  3. Mix in flour and continue to mix until combined.
  4. Roll the dough into 1 inch balls and place on cookie sheet.
  5. Using the bottom of a glass dipped in sugar, flatten the balls to 1/4 inch thick.
  6. Bake the cookies for 10 minutes or until very light brown.
  7. Remove and cool.
Notes
  1. Makes 24 cookies
  2. 1 cookie = 51 calories
Adapted from King Arthur
Adapted from King Arthur
Brooklyn Farm Girl http://brooklynfarmgirl.com/

Leftover Spaghetti Casserole

Did you have spaghetti last night and now have leftovers? Don’t panic, I got a good meal coming up for you tonight! 

Do you like leftovers?  I am pretty picky about them.

Last week I made my favorite Crockpot Tacos and we had them 4 days in a row, and every single night I looked forward to them.  That’s one leftover I love!  Then there are those leftovers where you just don’t  know what to do with.  Usually I can talk Matthew into eating them for lunch, but sometimes there’s even still a few meals left over (I tend to cook for a army).   When I make spaghetti, there’s usually always leftover noodles.    I’d rather not have spaghetti two nights in a row, so I wanted to find something a little more exciting to do with the leftover spaghetti so I came up with this casserole.

How good was it?  Matthew asked if we could have it again, which made me feel pretty happy in having a meal requested from leftovers!

So next time you have leftover spaghetti, don’t you dare toss it.. make this Leftover Spaghetti Casserole!

Do you eat leftovers?  Are there any leftovers you won’t eat?  Do you also cook for a army? 

Leftover-Spaghetti-Casserole_4

Leftover Spaghetti Casserole_1

Leftover Spaghetti Casserole

Leftover Spaghetti Casserole_3

 

Leftover Spaghetti Casserole
Print
Ingredients
  1. 8 ounces leftover spaghetti noodles
  2. leftover pasta sauce (at least 1 cup)
  3. 1 egg, beaten
  4. 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  5. 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  6. 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
  7. 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
  8. optional: 1/2 cup shredded leftover chicken
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix leftover spaghetti noodles and pasta with egg, Italian seasoning, Parmesan cheese and shredded chicken (optional).
  3. Place spaghetti mixture into baking dish and bake uncovered for 30 minutes.
  4. Spread mozzarella cheese and mushrooms on top and bake for a additional 10 minutes until cheese is melted.
Brooklyn Farm Girl http://brooklynfarmgirl.com/

Sugar Puff Cloud Cookies

These cookies taste like clouds because they are that light and fluffy.   You will throw one in your mouth and it will melt away with sweet flavor.  Oh these cookies guys.

These cookies taste like if a sugar cookie got cozy with a butter cookie.  They have the taste of a sugar cookie, but the melt away in your mouth affect that a butter cookie has.  To me this is pretty much a match made in cookie heaven.

Matthew surprised me with the King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion cookbook and I’m pretty much obsessed with it.  One night while in bed I bookmarked way too  many calories in cookies, flipping through each page declaring “I must make this!”.    With that said, prepare for a bunch of cookie recipes in the next few weeks, but you guys don’t mind that right?

How I feel about all cookies:

Now onto these Sugar Puff Cookies!

Sugar-Puff-Cookies_2

Sugar Puff Cookies_1

Sugar Puff Cookies_3

Sugar Puff Cookies

Sugar Puff Cookies_4

Enjoy!

Sugar Puff Cloud Cookies
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
  2. 3/4 cup butter
  3. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  4. 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  5. 1/2 cup cornstarch
  6. 1 cup flour
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Lightly spray 2 cookie sheets with nonstick spray.
  3. In a bowl cream together sugar, butter, salt and vanilla with mixer.
  4. Add cornstarch and flour and continue to mix until combined.
  5. Form tablespoons of dough and place on cookie sheets, about 2 inches apart.
  6. Bake for 25 minutes or until slightly light golden brown.
Notes
  1. This makes 20 cookies.
Brooklyn Farm Girl http://brooklynfarmgirl.com/

Chinese Takeout General Tso’s Chicken

I’m back with another Chinese Takeout recipe!  If you haven’t noticed I have a crush on Chinese takeout, but not so much on the ingredients that sometimes can be added in the restaurant kitchen.

Some past recipes I’ve made that are Chinese inspired:

Chinese Takeout Chicken and Broccoli
Egg Drop Soup with Sugar Snap Peas and Greens
Chinese Vegetable Noodle Soup
Chicken and Broccoli In White Sauce
Homemade Chinese Pork Wonton Soup
Chinese Takeout Chop Suey
Hot and Sour Udon Noodle Soup

I love it!
I also love the comments that the Chicken and Broccoli recipe gets.  Nothing makes me happier seeing a new comment that someone made it for dinner and loved it.  It makes my Chinese Takeout loving heart so happy!  

So after I completed the Chicken and Broccoli recipe I had one more on my “Must Master” list.  That was General Tso’s Chicken.  How do they make it so good? How does the sauce stay on so well? How do you keep the chicken crispy with the sauce?  How do you get a hint of spice?  I must have tried to make this dish a million times (ok not that much, but you get the idea) and every time it just didn’t turn out right.  Then finally I got it!  It was a beautiful moment. I cheered, I cried, I ate it, I made it again and ate more.  I love this General Tso’s Chicken!  Finally… you can have the takeout version at home! No wok required! 

Chinese-Takeout--General-Tso's-Chicken_4

Chinese Takeout  General Tso's Chicken

Chinese Takeout  General Tso's Chicken_3

Chinese Takeout  General Tso's Chicken_1

Chinese Takeout  General Tso's Chicken_2

Chinese Takeout General Tso's Chicken
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1 pound boneless chicken breast - cut up into bite size pieces.
  2. 3 eggs, beaten
  3. 1/2 cup cornstarch
  4. 6 teaspoons cornstarch
  5. 8 tablespoons rice wine
  6. 5 tablespoons sugar
  7. 9 tablespoons soy sauce
  8. 2 teaspoons chopped red chilies
  9. vegetable oil to fry
Instructions
  1. In a bowl mix 1/2 cup of cornstarch with eggs. Add chicken and mix to coat.
  2. In a small bowl mix 6 teaspoons cornstarch, rice wine, sugar and soy sauce.
  3. Heat 1-2 inches of vegetable oil in a large pan to medium heat (use a thermometer to get it to 350 degrees).
  4. Carefully add the chicken and fry just long enough until it's cooked.
  5. Remove the chicken carefully to paper towel to let sit and absorb grease.
  6. Leave two tablespoons of vegetable oil in pan, remove the rest.
  7. Add chopped red chilies to pan and fry until fragrant.
  8. Return the chicken to the pan and stir fry until crispy brown.
  9. Add sauce mixture and toss with chicken to coat and turn into a glaze (about 1 minute).
  10. Serve over rice with steamed broccoli.
Brooklyn Farm Girl http://brooklynfarmgirl.com/

Are you ready for Munch Madness?

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for Collective Bias and its advertiser.

This is the time of the year where basketball shines, you wake up everyday and check your bracket and curse to yourself because honestly how did that #12 seed beat that #5 seed?  North Dakota State, I’m looking at you.

So far as of today I already got 3 picks wrong:
North Dakota State
Ohio St.
Cincinnati

Come on the state of Ohio, can you be nicer to a girl?

And you might not think this bracket means anything but when you do brackets with family, they mean everything.  Weeks of pride and glory will continue.  So far, I’m tied in first with my father, but if my father is reading this, I’m coming for you!

As a kid, I loved basketball.  I played on basketball teams of all types, elementary, middle school, high school and AAU.   I wore the sneakers and the head band, I watched every game that was on TV and my room was covered in Startling Line Up Dolls from all my favorite basketball players. Actually, want to know what my first website ever was? It was a “Pamela2323” website dedicated to my favorite person, Michael Jordan.  I wish I could still find that website, I’m sure it’s a marvel to look at! Just today we were cleaning out the loft and I came across a big book of basketball cards that I collected as a kid, all organized by player and rookie season.  Of course the first page is all special Michael Jordan cards.

Basketball has continued to be a love although I don’t play often anymore.  We still occasionally play a pickup game at the playground where sometimes people watch us play and I get super embarrassed about. Fact: Matthew has never beaten me in a game of HORSE. I would like to state on that record.  I am undefeated throughout 11 years.  Girl’s got a shot.  And now that we live in a big city, we have access to many basketball games we can go to.  That’s why that when the New Jersey Nets became the Brooklyn Nets, we had to have season tickets.  This is the 2nd year they’ve been here and we’ve had season tickets for both years, it still blows my mind that we walk to a NBA basketball game from our house.    Speaking of, there’s a game tonight we’ll be heading to.  GO NETS.

Let’s take a quick look back.
Here’s me in the early years, my number was always 23.  I like how I paired my jersey with Chicago Bulls shorts.

And here’s when I won a shooting award and needed to wear my full Bulls warm up suit for the post celebratory picture.

The weirdest thing about this picture is that my style pretty much never changed after this. I need to find this hat again.  And that cardigan.

And then there’s AAU basketball, with my headband and giant Nike AIR sneakers.  Look at my massive muscles too. I think this picture was taken at Princeton, it was pretty cool to get to play there, even if I had to be number 14 that year due to sizing.

But what was my college team of choice? That was easy.
The love was strong for Michael Jordan so The University or North Carolina (UNC) Tarheels was always my team.  How much? Check out my birthday cake when I was 13.

And my UNC t-shirt. All I wore for a large part of my youth was basketball clothes. I still love those sneakers by the way.  

So I love basketball, but as a viewer, there’s something extra special that comes along with this time of the year.  SNACKS!

Thanks to #DRMunchMadness and #CollectiveBias I headed over to my local Duane Reade to pick up some Munch Madness snacks for the upcoming games. I had a few things in mind:
Chips
Pretzels
Sweets
Finger Food

Duane Reade Munch Madness_7

First, I was able to get the “Sweets” part pretty quick.  These cookies are called Dunkers, can they be more perfect?
Duane Reade Munch Madness_5

Then for snacks I got some Kettle Chips and my new obsession Honey Wheat Braid pretzels. Have you tasted these?  They are so good.
Duane Reade Munch Madness

For finger foods, I browsed the frozen food section and found both mini hot dogs and bbq chicken wings.  For the wings I got a few boxes because as a wing lover I knew I’d be back for more and more.
Duane Reade Munch Madness_1

I wanted to do something cute with the finger food, so I set them up on a board or plate with basketball themed cards in front of them. You can do this for all your snacks!  It’s fun coming up with names. I thought Slam Dunk Dogs and Pass The Wings were perfect for these finger foods.
Duane Reade Munch Madness_3

Duane Reade Munch Madness_2

https://twitter.com/DuaneReade
https://www.facebook.com/duanereade
www.duanereade.com
Instagram: @DuaneReadeNYC

 Duane Reade Munch Madness_4
See you on the court!

Tell me do you follow basketball?  What’s your team you root for?

Crispy Baked Ranch Chicken

CRISPY chicken made with RANCH dip and baked in the oven!  This easy Crispy Baked Ranch Chicken recipe only needs a few ingredients and makes a healthy dinner!  Serve with a salad or some fresh vegetables on the side!  I love making this recipe with chicken breasts and drumsticks so my entire family is happy!

This chicken is:

Baked – I always prefer this method!
Crispy – Thanks to some bread crumbs, it has a great crunch to it.
Moist – The meat is still juicy inside!
Flavorful – Thanks to marinating in Buffalo Ranch Dip this chicken is bursting in flavor boldness.

CRISPY chicken made with RANCH dip and baked in the oven!  This easy Crispy Baked Ranch Chicken recipe only needs a few ingredients and makes a healthy dinner!  Serve with a salad or some fresh vegetables on the side!  I love making this recipe with chicken breasts and drumsticks so my entire family is happy! 

And even better, I made this with assorted pieces, drumsticks and breasts, so everyone was happy at the dinner table. I’m a drumstick kinda girl, Matthew is a breast kinda boy (too easy, going to ignore) so when we both get our chicken of choice then it’s a happy night.
CRISPY chicken made with RANCH dip and baked in the oven!  This easy Crispy Baked Ranch Chicken recipe only needs a few ingredients and makes a healthy dinner!  Serve with a salad or some fresh vegetables on the side!  I love making this recipe with chicken breasts and drumsticks so my entire family is happy!

It’s such a simple meal to make, one that  I’ll definitely keep coming back to for dinner time.  I hope you enjoy!

Make sure to check out my dinner section for more dinner recipes!
 

Crispy Baked Buffalo Ranch Chicken
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup Buffalo Ranch Dip
  2. 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  3. 2 skinless boneless chicken breasts (can also do 1 breast, 2 drumsticks)
  4. 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  5. 1 cup dry Italian bread crumbs
Instructions
  1. Mix Buffalo Ranch Dip and brown sugar together in bowl. Add chicken and coat completely. Put chicken in refrigerator (covered) and let marinade for a few hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease baking sheet with vegetable oil.
  3. Dip chicken into bowl of Italian bread crumbs to coat. Press on chicken so bread crumbs stay attached.
  4. Arrange on baking sheet and cook 50-60 minutes or until the internal temperature of chicken is 165 degrees.
Brooklyn Farm Girl http://brooklynfarmgirl.com/
 CRISPY chicken made with RANCH dip and baked in the oven!  This easy Crispy Baked Ranch Chicken recipe only needs a few ingredients and makes a healthy dinner!  Serve with a salad or some fresh vegetables on the side!  I love making this recipe with chicken breasts and drumsticks so my entire family is happy!

Soft Dipping Bread Sticks

One of my fondest memories as a kid was Pizza Hut.  

Remember Pizza Hut’s BOOK IT program where they talked students into reading as a activity in return for free pizza?  If there’s one way to get kids into reading, it’s pizza. I’m totally serious.  When I found out the more reading I did meant more pizza, I turned into a library monster.  One of my life achievements is winning my city’s Winter Reading Contest.  I received a picture in the newspaper with my gold medal in one hand, a book in another.  Sounds pretty cool, right?  Well it was because it meant pizza!

My parents would sometimes surprise me while I was in middle school by picking me up when school was over and taking me to Pizza Hut for dinner on Fridays.  I was pretty pumped because this meant pizza and their bread sticks which I loved.  Also, total highlight but one time they picked me up and surprised me with a black velvet hat with a red plaid flower on it, just like my hero Blossom wore. 

blossom-hat-2
Wasn’t she just the coolest?

So back to bread sticks.  We are big pizza eaters in this house and always love a few bread sticks on the side to dip in additional marinara sauce.  Buying frozen bread sticks is quick, but one night I was craving home made bread sticks so I made these.   If you have any left over (good luck) they are equally delicious the following day.

Soft-Dipping-Bread-Sticks_3

Soft Dipping Bread Sticks_2

Soft Dipping Bread Sticks_1

Soft Dipping Bread Sticks

Soft Dipping Bread Sticks
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup lukewarm water
  2. 3/4 teaspoons salt
  3. 1 3/4 cup flour
  4. 1/2 tablespoon instant yeast
  5. 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
  6. 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  7. 1 teaspoon onion powder
  8. 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  9. 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus additional for drizzling
  10. garlic salt for sprinkling on top
Instructions
  1. Lightly grease parchment paper with non stick spray on a 11x7 baking sheet.
  2. Combine all ingredients together with a hand mixer at high speed for 60 seconds.
  3. Scoop the sticky batter onto your baking sheet, spreading it nearly to the edges.
  4. Use a pizza wheel or knife to score the dough into 6 1" wide strips.
  5. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature for 60 minutes.
  6. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  7. Drizzle bread sticks with olive oil and sprinkle with garlic salt.
  8. Bake for 25 minutes or until light golden brown.
  9. Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes. As soon as you can touch them, cut the dough along the score lines with scissors.
  10. Place bread sticks on their side edges on the pan now and return back to the oven for 10 minutes.
Brooklyn Farm Girl http://brooklynfarmgirl.com/

Peanut Butter Donuts With Vanilla Frosting

There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t wish I had a donut.  Are you that way too?

I have a bit of a sweet tooth that I’ve always battled, basically my eyes tell me to eat all sugar treats in front of me.   Most recently I broke open a bag of Halloween Oreos that I have been saving.  Do you want to know what is the most depressing thing about these delicious cookies? They’re 100 calories, a cookie.  My heart breaks just thinking about that.  These cookies are so good I’d like to eat 6, not 1.    And then there’s my middle of the night chocolate kisses I have been eating.  I found a bag of kisses in the back of my cabinet and suddenly I feel like I need to eat multiple ones when I wake up during the night.  Do you hear someone opening a plastic bag at 4AM in the morning?  Don’t worry, it’s just me, standing in the dark, eating kisses, while cats circle me because they think it’s time to play.   Then with chocolate melting in my mouth, I make my way back to bed.  Horrible, aren’t I?  Do you have a sweet right now that you are misbehaving with?

What else do I love? These peanut butter donuts with vanilla frosting.  I had it in my head I wanted to start baking more with peanut butter so these sweets were made.  I’m so happy I made this choice, the peanut butter is a great addition and it sure makes a filling donut. These would be pretty perfect for breakfast too.  Start out your day with a donut, talk about a reason to wake up in the morning!

 Peanut-Butter-Donuts-with-Vanilla-Frosting

Peanut Butter Donuts with Vanilla Frosting_3

Peanut Butter Donuts with Vanilla Frosting_1

Peanut Butter Donuts with Vanilla Frosting

Peanut Butter Donuts with Vanilla Frosting_4

Hurry before they’re all gone!

Peanut Butter Donuts With Vanilla Frosting
Print
For the donuts
  1. 1/3 cup chocolate peanut butter
  2. 1/4 cup sugar
  3. 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon milk
  4. 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  5. 1 egg
  6. 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  7. 1 cup flour
  8. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  9. 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  10. 1/4 teaspoon salt
For the vanilla frosting
  1. 1 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
  2. 2 tablespoons milk
  3. very small pinch of salt
  4. 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  5. 1 teaspoon melted butter
Optional
  1. Sprinkles
For the donuts
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees and spray a donut pan with nonstick spray.
  2. Mix peanut butter and sugar until fluffy. Add milk, oil, egg and vanilla and continue to mix.
  3. In separate bowl combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Then pour this dry mixture into your wet mixture. Mix until combined.
  4. Pour into your donut pan bake 9-10 minutes.
  5. Let cool for a few minutes.
For the vanilla frosting
  1. Add all ingredients together in small bowl and mix until creamy.
  2. One at a time, dip your donuts into the vanilla glaze. If you using sprinkles, then dip into bowl of sprinkles.
Notes
  1. Makes 6 donuts.
Brooklyn Farm Girl http://brooklynfarmgirl.com/

How to Make It Green for St. Patrick’s Day

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for Collective Bias and its advertiser.

So here’s the situation.  You were really busy with work this week, time got the best of you, your schedule got changed a few times, and you’re about to kick back for the weekend. Suddenly you realize it’s St. Patrick’s Day weekend which means that party that you totally agreed to bring a snack to a few weeks ago is happening.  You look on Pinterest and although those custom shamrock glitter icing cookies look great, you’re feeling a bit exhausted and now overwhelmed.  Take a deep breath, I got some Duane Reade seasonal ideas for you.

Let’s make it easy green for  St. Patrick’s Day.

St-Patricks-Duane-Reade_4

Not everything has to be complex or require a bunch of special ingredients for the holidays.  In fact I stopped by my local Duane Reade  and picked up multiple things that are totally in the St. Patrick’s Day spirit without any work needed. 

St Patricks Duane Reade

I haven’t had Rolo’s since I was a kid so picking up a bag made me feel pretty nostalgic quickly. What do these caramels in milk chocolate look like in their wrapper? Little pieces of gold!  What leprechaun can resist some treasure at the end of the rainbow?   Put these out on your table and watch people come collect their milk chocolate gold.
St Patricks Duane Reade_1

Need other candy options? The candy aisle has so many green gummy ideas too!
WP_20140314_006
This is such a easy trick! Get some chip dip, like this French Onion Dip, and throw a few squirts of green food dye (a little goes a long way) in it.
St Patricks Duane Reade_2

Mix it around a little bit and you’ll be left with a festive green chip dip that everyone loves! Arrange a bunch of different potato chips around the dip and let people dip away!  This is also a great idea for a small personal snack tray.
St Patricks Duane Reade_3

 Other Ideas thanks to #DRStPattys and #CollectiveBias:

Want a festive dinner for St. Patrick’s Day? Easy.  Instead of making your regular pasta, substitute spinach pasta for it. This will give you a nice looking green dinner dish.

Need a dessert? Get some Lime gelatin and create personal size cups of it, or be even more creative and get a clover mold to pour it into. 

Want a green drink?  Grab some Lemon Lime sparkling water. I love Nice! variety of lemon lime as it’s 0 calories and delicious.

 For more Duane Reade information:

 

Slow Cooker Peanut Butter Potato Stew

Just in time for St. Patrick’s day I bring you a delicious potato stew!
Slow Cooker Peanut Butter Potato Stew Finished 2

Even better? It’s a slow cooker recipe so relax for the day.
Slow Cooker Peanut Butter Potato Stew Finished 1

Even better better?  There’s peanut butter in it!
Slow Cooker Peanut Butter Potato Stew Ingredients 2

Head on over to Peanut Butter & Co to get my Slow Cooker Peanut Butter Potato Stew recipe!

Slow Cooker Peanut Butter Potato Stew Finished 4

Slow-Cooker-Peanut-Butter-Potato-Stew

Enjoy and have a great hearty dinner!

Slow Cooker Peanut Butter Potato Stew recipe can be found here.

For more information contact Pamela at pamela@pamelareed.com.    |     Privacy Policy