Pinteresting Tuesday – Old vs. New

Yikes! I’m a day late again on my Pinteresting Monday, so we’ll just call it Pinteresting Tuesday this time. We’re still in St. Louis on our house hunting trip, and we just put an offer in on the house we want. Now we’re waiting on pins and needles waiting for “the call”. Fingers crossed! I’m sitting here in our hotel room with the little guy watching Sesame Street, while I try to get this post up. I didn’t have to think too long about the theme I wanted for this Pinteresting post.  Since we’re moving to St. Louis, home of some very tasty local dishes, and moving from Springfield – also home of some very tasty local dishes. I thought Old vs. New would be perfect!

Anyone from Springfield will be able to guess the number one dish we’re known for…Springfield Cashew Chicken!  Another yummy treat that’s lesser known is our Pineapple Whip. As soon as the weather warms up, I’m impatiently waiting to see the little yellow trailer stands that go up in a few select locations around the city. People, this stuff is heavenly nectar. If you come to Springfield for no other reason, come to try this delicious concoction. I’m not really sure how they make it, and I don’t care, my main concern is how fast I can shovel it into my mouth. It’s not really ice cream, not custard, not really yogurt, and not sherbert, but kind of a hard to explain mixture of all four. It’s dairy free, but really creamy, and when it starts to melt a delicious puddle of pineapple juice forms in the bottom of the cup. THIS is my favorite part. Enough said.

Now onto St. Louis! Of course you have your Ooey Gooey Butter Cake, this stuff is sinful and oh-so-worth it. I love all the different variations you can try. Another local St. Louis dish is Toasted Ravioli. Generally, some type of meat or cheese is wrapped in ravioli, then breaded and deep fried until the shell becomes slightly crispy and golden brown, this is the reason for the toasted name. Add a bowl of tangy marinara sauce for dipping and you have a finger licking good meal!

Note: I've just started having these annoying text enhance links show up in my posts, and I can't figure out how to remove them. Bear with me while I get it taken care of. :)
Enjoy!

Amber

Pinteresting-Mondays-collage-st-louis


Photo Credits:
1. Springfield Pineapple Whip via Amber on Pinterest. Pineapplewhip.com
2. St. Louis Ooey Gooey Butter Cake via Amber on Pinterest. Source pauladeen.com
3. Springfield Style Cashew Chicken via Amber on Pinterest. Source Tasty Kitchen.
4. St. Louis Toasted Ravioli via Amber on Pinterest. Source Recipe.com


Lemon Blueberry Crunch Muffins– A Tasty Kitchen Recipe


Lemon Blueberry Crunch Muffins
I brought home a pint of tasty little blueberries the other day, and had a very specific purpose in mind for them. These Lemon Blueberry Crunch Muffins. Just the name of these tasty sweet treats has my taste buds watering, and the crunchy topping really pulled me in. 

This is another great Tasty Kitchen recipe that didn’t fail to impress me. They are perfectly moist and delicate (the use of cake flour helps with this), and so packed full of blueberries it’s almost ridiculous….almost.  If that isn’t enough, they’re then dipped in lemon butter and rolled in a shameful amount of sugar. The regular granulated sugar gave a really pretty, delicate crunchy exterior. I’m sure using a coarser sanding sugar would make these a little more rustic looking, but just as delicious.

Lemon Blueberry Crunch Muffins

For the printable recipe, go check out my full post on the Tasty Kitchen blog. Smile

Enjoy!

Amber
Lemon Blueberry Crunch Muffins

Lemon Blueberry Crunch Muffins


Pinteresting Monday– A Day Late

I know it’s not Monday, but better late than never right? Things are a bit hectic for us right now, we finally got our house sold and now have to begin the process of house hunting. A have to admit, this part of the relocation process will be much more fun than the last few months of trying to sell our home. I like a clean house, but always being paranoid about every little crumb or messed up pillow gets verrrry tiring. I have decided I am on a cleaning strike now, at least for a couple days. Smile

For those that are wondering what the heck I’m talking about, my husband accepted a promotion within his company, so we are moving to the Saint Louis area. I’ll have to restart my photography business once we move, but I’m glad this happened before the little guy starts Kindergarten this fall. The good thing about a blog is you can take it wherever you go!

Well, to get back on topic, I picked a theme for this week’s Pinteresting Monday. Yellow! With spring right around the corner, the color yellow just screams spring is in the air. So here are a few of my favorite “yellow” picks. Enjoy!
Pinteresting-Mondays-collage



Source: indulgy.com via Amber on Pinterest


Source: caribeeanmissionarywife.blogspot.com via Amber on Pinterest





I know I can’t wait to try this Meyer Lemon Pasta out, yum!
lemon pasta yellow post



Sugar Cookie Bar Pops– Hello Spring!

sugar-cookie-pops
I’m a sucker for anything on a popsicle stick – no pun intended! Okay, maybe a LITTLE bit intended. I was wracking my brain trying to figure out what I wanted to do for my next post, and a tiny idea formed that turned into a decidedly tasty outcome.

I’m sure you’ve seen the multiple sugar cookie bar recipes floating around the blogosphere, and since I hadn’t tried them yet myself (gasp!) I decided this was a great time to dive in. I wanted to add my own twist to it though – enter the popsicle stick.  After baking the cookie bars, I cut out flower shaped bars, impaled the poor little guys with a popsicle stick, and them drowned them in a candy coating.

My son and his friends LOVED these treats. Of course, what little boy doesn’t love something that’s green?

Note: I intended to use a shamrock shaped cookie cutter for St. Patrick’s Day treats, but I couldn’t find one, so let’s imagine they turned into more of a springtime themed treat.Smile

Sugar Cookie Bar Popssugar-cookie-pops
serves 8-10 pops | printable recipe


1 stick of butter, softened

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups flour

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp baking soda

candy melts

sprinkles/decorations

food coloring (optional)


Directions:
Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing after each. Add vanilla and mix well. In a separate bowl combine the flour, salt and baking soda. Add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture, mixing just until combined. Spread the dough onto a greased sheet pan (I used a 9x12 pan ).

Bake at  375 F for 12-15 minutes, until lightly golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool completely. Using a cookie cutter or knife, cut out your desired shape. Insert a popsicle stick into the bottom of each bar.

sugar-cookie-pops
In a microwaveable bowl, cook the candy melts on low until they are melted. If desired, add some food coloring to make them festive! Spoon the melted candy coating over your cooled sugar cookie bar, then sprinkle with your decorations. Allow the candy coating to set. You can serve as is, or for something a little different, pop the sugar cookie pops into the freezer for about an hour. Now you have a frozen sugar cookie pops. Yum!
Enjoy!sugar-cookie-pops
(recipe adapted from Anissa’s Kitchen)


Overnight Oatmeal In A Jar – Berry Crumble Style

overnight-oatmealHow does your morning start every day? Mine begins deeply snuggled in my comfy bed, trying to ignore the oh-too-friendly sun obnoxiously peeping in through my window. This usually lasts long enough for me to almost fall back to sleep, right in time for me to hear the familiar bounding footsteps of my 5 year old, running across the hall.

I am of the firm opinion that you can tell a child’s age without even seeing them. Just listen to them walk, or in the case of my child – zoom, through house. Gone are the days of little pitter patter footfalls, now it’s non-stop, no speed control, sound of herding elephants, pretty much all the time.

This house rattling noise is the only warning I have, before his little body comes hurtling through the air to land ungracefully on top of me. The first thing out of his mouth is ALWAYS, “Mama, I’m staaarving. will you make me some brefast?”  When asked to pick his poison, he ALWAYS asks for oatmeal.

I’m pretty sure if left on his own, he would eat oatmeal for every meal. Sometimes I try to change it up a bit, keep it interesting with eggs, pancakes or waffles, but he always comes back to his favorite. Lately, I've switched his regular oatmeal to steel-cut oatmeal. Since it can take quite a while to cook, I like to use the overnight method. This method is so simple, you just throw it together the night before and when you wake up you've have smooth, creamy steel cut oatmeal all ready to go. If you want a breakfast on the go, you can even divide up the oatmeal between half pint sized mason jars, and keep them in fridge for a week’s worth of ready made healthy breakfast! When you’re ready to eat once, just take it out of the fridge, pop it in the microwave for 2-3 minutes, then stir in your milk, sugar and whatever other goodies you want to mix in. Unlike regular oatmeal, steel cut oatmeal actually gets better after being in the fridge. So don’t worry about eating a soggy mess.


For a special occasion, it’s really easy to turn these oatmeal cups into oatmeal crumble cups. Like I did here. Crumble makes everything better. Doesn't it?

Berry Crumble Overnight Oatmeal
Yield: 6 cups   printable recipe

Oatmeal:
1 2/3 cups steel cut oats
4 cups water
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups mixed berries
3/4 cup milk
6 tbsp sugar (if desired)

Crumble:
3/4 cups all-purpose flour
4 tbsp butter, chilled
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp granulated sugar

Directions for Regular Oatmeal Cups:
overnight-oatmeal-collage-01
overnight-oatmeal-collage-02

1. Collect your jars. I used half-pint jars but you can use pint-sized jars for a larger serving.

2. In a large pot, bring the oats, water and salt to a boil. Simmer for about 3 minutes then turn off the heat.

3. Ladle the oats and water into the jars. I use a funnel because I have the worlds shakiest hands. Cover the jars tightly with their caps and rings. Leave on the counter overnight.

4. The next morning, put all but one of the jars in the refrigerator. Take the cap off one jar and stir up the oatmeal inside. Microwave for 2 to 3 minutes, or until nice and warm. Add your milk, sugar, and any other goodies you want to mix in.  I love using fresh fruit and nuts, but the possibilities are endless. Serve and enjoy!
overnight-oatmeal
overnight-oatmeal-
Directions for Berry Crumble Oatmeal Cups:

1. Follow steps 1-3 above.

2. The next morning, cut the chilled butter into the flour until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the sugars, and then sprinkle a little cold water and stir until you get coarse lumps. Place the crumble in the freezer for about 10 minutes.

3. Take an oatmeal cup, stir the oatmeal a little and add a little milk (as desired) and some berries (as desired) and a little sugar to sweeten (as desired). Sprinkle a few spoonful's of the crumble over the top. Repeat as necessary. Place the oatmeal cups on a cookie sheet, and bake in a 400F oven for about 10-15 minutes, or until the crumble is pale golden and mixture is hot.


Recipe Notes:
You can also add your berries or other mix-ins to the rest of the jars before putting them away in the refrigerator. Then whenever you’re heading out the door just grab one.            

(adapted from The Kitchn)          




Pinteresting Monday’s - Re-Purposing

I love Pinterest, as I’m sure the rest of you do too. I have to carefully monitor my Pinterest browsing, or else I could easily get so caught up that my housework goes by the wayside, my kid never gets out of his pajamas, and we live on crackers until dinnertime. Seriously, it’s addicting.

One of my favorite categories to browse is the organizational section. There’s just something so fascinating about looking at beautiful images of perfectly stacked household goods, color co-ordinated shelves and neatly stored nick-knacks. I also love finding ways to repurpose things you have lying around.

So, to kick off the start of Pinteresting Monday’s, here are a few of my favorite finds. If you have some favorite re-purposing tricks of your own, I’d love to hear them!

Do I need to say much about this one? A genius way to re-use old bottles and a great, mess-free way to pour your batter.

Source: realsimple.com on Pinterest
Print off your recipe card, trim it to fit, and slide into the cover of a Cd jewel case. Now it’s propped up for easy viewing, and kept clean from messy spills and grubby fingers.

                                                 Source: realsimple.com on Pinterest

3. Spaghetti Frosting Protector
Use pieces of spaghetti to hold up plastic wrap, protecting your frosting.

                                                                   Source: realsimple.com on Pinterest



Most mason jars will fit a standard blender, allowing you to use it like your own magic bullet. I can’t wait to try this one!

                                                                   Source: realsimple.com  on Pinterest




Easy Cheesy Orzo

Easy Cheesy Orzo
If you’re like me, you may tend to get stumped when trying to find a side dish to serve with dinner.  With my house of picky eaters, we tend to get in a rut with the same old sides, so I’m always trying to find ways to spruce them up.

You may remember my love affair with orzo, from the Spinach Lemon Orzo Soup I made a while back.

I still can’t get enough of the stuff.

During the week I also want sides that are quick and easy to whip up, which is why I LOVE fixing this orzo dish.

Just simmer in a little broth, throw some of your favorite cheese in at the end and season with a little salt and pepper.  It’s also really easy to throw some herbs in while the orzo is simmering, to change the flavor up a bit.

This is pure comfort food for me!





Easy Cheesy OrzoEasy Cheesy Orzo
(Yield: 4 servings)   Printable Recipe

16(oz) chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup orzo pasta
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste

Add broth to a medium pan and bring to a boil. Add the orzo, cover pot and reduce heat to simmer. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until liquid is absorbed and pasta tender. Watch the pasta during the last few minutes, if too much liquid has evaporated, you can add a few tablespoons more of broth. When pasta is done remove the lid and stir in the cheese. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Tip: For added flavor, you can stir your favorite fresh herbs into the orzo while simmering.

Serve hot and enjoy!

Amber



Roasted Parmesan Asparagus

parmesan asparagus
I love asparagus. From their flowery little heads to their crunchy stalks, I could eat it all day long. My favorite way to fix it is really yummy and just as quick and simple. I’m all for quick and simple side dishes!
You just need a few pantry staples, olive oil, sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper….and the finishing touch a generous sprinkling of freshly grated parmesan cheese. Roasting it really brings out the delicious flavor!
Next time you need a quick side dish, try this one out, I’m pretty sure you’ll like it. Smile
parmesan asparagus

Roasted Parmesan Asparagus
(serves 2)    Printable Recipe

12-15 pieces of fresh asparagus
1 tbsp olive oil
sea salt (to taste)
fresh ground black pepper (to taste)
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese


1. Preheat your oven to 400 F.
2. Cut the ends off the bottom of the asparagus stalks and discard.
3. Arrange the asparagus on a baking sheet.
4. Drizzle about a tablespoon of olive oil over the asparagus.
5. Generously sprinkle with sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste.
6. Sprinkle the parmesan over the asparagus.
7. Roast in oven for 5-7 minutes, until the asparagus just begins to soften and the cheese has melted and starts to turn golden.



Serve hot and enjoy! Don’t forget to scrape the crunchy cheese goodies from the pan – that’s the best part. Smile
Amber
parmesan asparagus





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