Archive for the ‘food’ Category

Mini Mince Pies

Friday, November 21st, 2014

To me, Christmas isn’t Christmas without mince pies.

I know lots of you American’s have a bad impression of these little yummies, but I’m here to tell you they are a must try, and not scary at all!

Topped with a healthy amount of whipped cream, they are to die for. A perfect, rich treat for a festive evening.

boxwood clippings_mini mince pies

 

To make, simply whip up a batch of your favorite pie crust (l like an all butter one like THIS).

Roll, and cut out the pastry. I used a large glass to cut the base. Then gently place in greased cup cake tin.

Add a teaspoon or so of filling (I used THIS one). Then use a smaller glass or mold for lid. Top with an egg wash.

Cook until golden brown.

 

boxwood clippings_mini mince pies

For decoration I used some pastry cutters similar to THIS, left some plain, and some a basket weave effect. This is the fun part, so it’s nice to have an extra minute and have some creative fun. I loved it when my mum would recruit us for this job when we were little.

The smell alone will convince you they are the ultimate dessert for this season.

Ummmmm!

Festive Meringues

Friday, November 14th, 2014

The season of food is here, and we already can’t get enough.

We’ve posted about THIS meringue recipe several times, but we just love how simple and to-die-for delicious they are.

This time we topped them off with the usual whipped cream and seasonal pears + peaches. We added just a light dusting of ground cinnamon, which really gave a festive zing

boxwood clippings_festive meringues

We swear by meringues because they are the perfect light dessert after a big meal. We’re even having them as part of the Thanksgiving line up this year.

But the really good part is that they can be made up to a week or more in advance and stored in a tin, so there’s very little prep day of consumption…LOVE THAT!

(PS. They are naturally gluten free too, which is a double win win for us!)

 

Gluten-Free Caramel + Chocolate Oat Bars

Friday, November 7th, 2014

We are so addicted to these amazing oat bars…

boxwood clippings_gluten-free caramel, chocolate and oat bars

INGREDIENTS

Butter (and lots of it! 1 cup)

2 c flour (depending on your gf mix you may need more, we used THIS)

3/4 c brown sugar

1 1/4 oats (we used THESE ones)

2 eggs

1 cup chocolate chips (our fav HERE)

1 cup caramels (THESE ones are GF)

DIRECTIONS

Stir together softened butter, brown sugar, flour, oats and eggs until mixture looks like crumbs. This is when the amount of flour can fluctuate. If mixture is too sticky and won’t crumb, just add a tbsp of flour at a time until it will.

Use half of the mixture to press into a greased baking dish (we used a 13×9) and cook at 350 for about 15 minutes until golden brown.

Sprinkle chocolate and caramels over cooked base and top with remaining crumb mixture and cook for 30 mins until golden brown again.

Refrigerate for 2 hours to set before serving.

Jane’s Blessing Day: 5 Easy Tips for Entertaining a Crowd!

Monday, November 3rd, 2014

Last week we blessed Jane, which is a special prayer to put her name on the records of our church and bless her with things to help throughout her life.

Here’s Jane in her little white dress and bonnet, doesn’t she look hilarious?!

boxwood clippings_an elegant fall party

It was a great day with some of our special friends and family and was the largest party we’ve planned in a while.

Here are five ways we kept it super easy!

boxwood clippings_an elegant fall party

1. KEEP DECOR SIMPLE AND SEASONAL

We spent nothing on decorations and pulled items around the house that were white, brown and gold. We used gold Christmas paper as a table runner, a simple bronze Christmas garland draped by itself, hung pine cones from the chandelier and personalized the chalkboard and banner.

boxwood clippings_an elegant fall party

2. CHOOSE AN EASY FOOD THEME

We chose a soup and bread bar which turned out perfect for this time of year. I asked a few people to bring a soup and the variety ended up being amazing. We had chili, Italian sausage, mushroom (pic below), cauliflower and spicy carrot. Soups can be prepared ahead, aren’t too expensive, and can easily be transported.

boxwood clippings_an elegant fall party

3. USE DISPOSABLE ITEMS

We rarely use disposible items when entertaining, but when entertating a large crowd it is a must!! We headed to Gygi to pick up items that were clear and white so disposable bowls (above) etc would just blend and not distract. How cute are these little cups we used for milk to serve with cookies for dessert?

boxwood clippings_an elegant fall party

 4. MAKE SOMETHING ORDINARY, SPECIAL!

We picked up a tin of shortbread cookies from Costco and garnished them with chocolate. This was a huge hit and literally took 30 mins. We used our favorite chocolate, Guittard that is available in bulk at Gygi.

boxwood clippings_an elegant fall party
5. PREP AHEAD AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE

We wanted to serve another fall favorite, caramel apples. Although these are super easy, they are a little time consuming, so we made sure to schedule prep time before the party. We were thrilled with how they turned out. See directions HERE.

boxwood clippings_an elegant fall party

Honestly, with these tips this event was zero stress! The soups were warmed, and everything was ready to go for when guests arrived. No fussing about food and washing dishes etc.

Our little pioneer baby with Nanny and Grandma.

boxwood clippings_an elegant fall party

A big thanks to Gygi and for everyone who made this such a special day to remember!

We are being featured on Gygi’s blog today talking about all of their products we used! Please hop over to see us HERE.

Butternut Squash + Potato Side Dish

Friday, October 31st, 2014

Happy Halloween everyone!

Today we’re sharing this delicious side dish for when you want to take your taters up a notch!

boxwood clippings_butternut squash + potatoes

What You’ll Need:

2 lbs potatoes

2 lbs butternut squash

2 c cheddar cheese

2 c cream (half and half would work too)

4 large sage sprigs

3 cloves of garlic (smashed)

Directions:

First makes your sauce by slowly bringing cream, garlic cloves and sage sprigs to a boil over medium heat. As soon as it starts to bubble remove from heat and set aside. Next peel and slice potatoes and butternut squash, toss with 1 cup of cheese and salt and paper and place in greased baking dish.

boxwood clippings_butternut squash and potatoes

Remove sage and garlic cloves from sauce and pour over potatoes and squash. Top with remaining cheese. Bake at 400, for 45 mins until veggies are tender.

boxwood clippings_butternut squash and potatoes

Two words: COMFORT FOOD!

We love this for a special occasion like today, a Sunday meal or Thanksgiving. Hope you love it too!

…………………

  Adapted from THIS Rachael Ray recipe.

No-Fuss BBQ Shreded Chicken

Friday, October 24th, 2014

There is nothing as tasty on a brisk autumn evening than a warm, slow-cooker meal .

This BBQ shredded chicken is as simple and delicious as it gets.

No-Fuss BBQ Shreded Chicken

Ingredients:

4-6 chicken breast (depending on size)

20 oz barbeque sauce (our favorite is Sweet Baby Ray’s)

20 oz original Coke

Directions:

Put all ingredients in crock-pot and cook on low for 6 hours. Shred chicken. You can drain the liquid before shredding if you like, but we like to keep it saucy.

Serve on a roll, salad, rice…the possibilities are endless. This is such an easy and inexpensive meal, we love it!

Recipe adapted from HERE.

The 5 Minute Stewed Apple

Friday, October 10th, 2014

One of our go-to desserts this time of year are delicious stewed apples…

boxwood clippings_5 mintues stewed apple

Ingredients:

apples (any type)

1 tbsp brown sugar

sliver of butter

dash of cinnamon

dash of ground cloves

Directions:

Core your apple and place in microwavable dish.

Blend sugar and spices. Play around with amounts and different spices, to make your own special blend.

Layer inside cored apple teeny dabs of butter and sugar blend.

Microwave 4-5 mins and allow to cool a little before serving.

This is a perfect and warm dessert that isn’t too heavy or calorie-ridden. Although…you could always serve with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream for extra deliciousness ;)

The Easier and Tastier S’more!

Friday, October 3rd, 2014

Did you know that in England we don’t have Graham Crackers?

Our husbands think it’s nuts that we grew up without this simple cookie, but we don’t feel deprived because the English equivalent is much better! The Digestive. The name really doesn’t do it justice but trust us…they’re delish.

Anyhow, the milk chocolate version are perfect for s’mores because the chocolate melts fast and is the perfect amount paired with the roasted marshmallow.

boxwood clippings_the cheating way to make a delishous s'more!

boxwood clippings_the cheating way to make a delishous s'more!

I’ve been craving a campfire up the canyon all summer but it didn’t happen. However these little babies made at home over my stove where honestly just as great.

YUM!

Luckily, you can find Digestives at Walmart for about $3, and also at World Market.

Enjoy!

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip + Crasins Granola

Friday, September 26th, 2014

Our sis-in-law, Kimberly is the most impressive cook. She makes things from scratch whenever possible and is always spoiling us with her yummy treats.

One of our favorites, is THIS Ina Garten granola recipe:

boxwood clippings_yummy chocolate chip and crasin granola

Ingredients:

4 cups old fashioned oats (we used these GF ones)

2 cups sweetened shredded coconut

2 cups sliced almonds

3/4 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup honey

craisins (amount to taste)

chocolate chips (our variation! amount to taste)

Directions:

Toss dry ingredients together, then in a separate bowl whisk oil and honey. Pour the liquids over the oat mixture and stir until coated. Pour onto a 13×18 inch baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees. Sir occasionally until the mixture turns a nice even brown, 30-45 minutes. A lighter brown will result with a chewy granola with more clumps, a darker brown will by more crunchy.

Remove the granola from the oven and pour into a large bowl, allow to cool and then stir in anywhere between one to 4 cups of craisins and chocolate chips. Makes about 12 cups. Store in an airtight container.

boxwood clippings_homemade granola gift

This is the epitome of decadence, and the perfect way to start an autumn day!

It would make a perfect present for this time of year too!

Chocolate for breakfast is so not diet friendly, but is so very good for the soul!

Three words…nom, nom, nom!

A Perfect Fall Panini

Friday, September 19th, 2014

With fall in the air we had this perfect panini for lunch the other day…

boxwood clippings_fall panini, brie and apple with chicken

First, we spread the brie over our bread, then layered thin slices of granny apple and rotisserie chicken and grilled as normal in the panini press.

We loved the combination of the creamy cheese and crunchy apple…the perfect comfort food on a slightly chilly day.

Sar added a little brown mustard on hers for a little kick.

Playing around with such simple ingredients is fun! What are your fall faves?

Lemon and Poppy Seed Bundt Cake

Friday, September 12th, 2014

Bundt cakes always look so beautiful don’t they?

Last month when Downeast had their tent sale I was lucky enough to find THIS Williams and Sonoma pan for only $5, holler! I’ve been dying to give it a try so I whipped up the recipe that was on the packaging, and added some lemon and poppy seeds.

It was so delish, and picture perfect!

boxwood clippings_lemon and poopyseed bunt cake recipe

You Will Need:

3 cups of flour

1 1/2 tsp of baking powder

3/4 tsp of salt

2 1/4 sticks of unsalted butter

1 2/3 cups of sugar

4 lightly beaten eggs

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/4 cups of milk

4 drops of lemon extract

3 tbsp of poppy seeds

powdered sugar for dusting

How To:

With all ingredients out at room temperature, prep the oven by placing rack in lower third of oven, and preheat to 325 degrees. Grease and flour pan generously.

In a bowl, sift together flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In another bowl beat the butter on medium speed until creamy (about 30 seconds). Add sugar and continue beating until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes). Add the eggs a little at a time, and then the vanilla, and mix.

Add the flour mixture gradually in three sessions, followed by a bit of milk mixing well after each. Be sure to scrape down edge of bowl and mix everything well.

Spread batter into prepped pan, and bake until cake begins to pull away from the sides and passes the toothpick test! 65-70 minutes. Move the pan from oven to wire tack and let cake cool for 15 minutes in pan. Tap the pan gently to loosed the cake and turn upside down onto cake stand. Cool for at least two hours and dust with powered sugar or glaze right before serving.

For The Glaze:

powdered sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest.

I can’t remember the exact measurements, but it’s all preference anyhow. Start with a cup of powdered sugar and mix in a little lemon juice until the desired consistency. Remember once drizzled on cake, it always seems runnier than in the bowl! Sprinkle lemon zest over the top!

The Perfect Fall Salad

Friday, September 5th, 2014

September is here and we couldn’t be happier for the next few months. We made the most delicious salad, which just seems perfect for this time of year!

Butternut Squash, Beet + Goat Cheese Salad

boxwood clippings_butternut squash, beet and goat cheese salad

Ingredients:

Roasted Butternut Squash

Beets

Goat Cheese

Spring Mix

Balsamic Vinegar

Directions:

We assembled salad with beets and squash first, added a large serving of greens on top, and garnished with goat cheese, pepper and balsamic vinegar.

Absolute perfection on a crisp afternoon, we hope you like it too!

Victoria Sponge Cake

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

No summer is complete without a ‘Vicky Sponge’.

If you want to feel British, whip up this cake!

boxwood clippings_victoria sponge

It’s the most basic of recipes and has us once again believing that simple is always best!

We followed THIS recipe

boxwood clippings_victoria sponge

Ooooh I’m off for seconds, anyone want to join me?!

Lunch For a Working Gal

Friday, August 15th, 2014

I find my day goes so much smoother (and healthier) when I pack a lunch for work. Eating out every day gets really expensive, takes a lot of time and often ends up with an overworked tummy and a sluggish afternoon. :(

Instead, I leave work lunches for special occasions and bring from home a protein-packed salad that helps get me through the day strong!

boxwood clippings_lunch for a working girl

This salad is just arugula and spinach greens topped with rotisserie chicken, cucumber, grapes, craisens, sunflower seeds with one of my favorite GF dressings, see HERE. Another favorite salad is THIS ONE…it never gets old!

I also pack a piece of fruit or handful of nuts for a mid-morning snack, and a little treat for mid-afternoon. And although I haven’t kicked my soda habit completely, I also sneak in a can of diet pepsi. This is my little treat mid-day and is so much better for me than running to the gas station for a 44oz!

Even though it takes a little prep the night before, I’m always so much happier with my day when I’ve planned my meals. Do you have any good tips for thrifty and healthy lunches?

5 Minute Pita Pizza

Friday, August 8th, 2014

I’m such a fan of fast, fresh, yummy dinners.

This one has been my go-to lately, because it’s sooooo yummy!

boxwood clippings_5 minute pita pizza

I simply pop a pita in the oven on broil and let it lightly toast one side as I rummage through my fridge for ingredients.

As you know, personalizing a pizza is lots of fun, but it’s also a great way to use up odds and ends from your week of cooking.

For this Pizza I used:

1 pita bread

bbq sauce

mozzarella cheese

tomato

red onion

chicken breast

pepper, basil and parmesan to finish :)

Once the one side is nice and toasty, pop on your toppings and place back in the oven for another couple of mins until the cheese is bubbling.

……………

I’ve been promising our nephews a sleep over for some time.

One day we’ll get around to it,

and I think this will be the perfect dinner that they can help make.

Very fun don’t you think?

 

Simple Soloution: Recipe Book for Printed Recipes

Monday, August 4th, 2014

Browsing through a beautiful recipe book is inspiring and motivating,

but a lot of the time I turn to the web for spur of the moment recipes and ideas.

.

It’s no surprise that many of these recipes become favorites and need a home,

and I’m really proud that I have found the perfect one!

.

These portfolios (see HERE) are perfection.

boxwood clippings_simple solution recipe book

The plastic sleeves not only protect from flying ingredients,

but also make it really easy to flip through the recipes.

boxwood clippings_simple solution recipe book

I added tabs and made it even more user friendly. :)

boxwood clippings_simple solution recipe book

Now that this problem is fixed, I can see I’m going to go ‘print crazy’.

Maybe I’ll need a book for each category soon.

Oooh I think I like that idea!

Chicken Pesto Panini

Friday, August 1st, 2014

We are so excited to share with you the most delicious, easiest and affordable panini recipe ever.

Honestly, we think it is restaurant worthy!

boxwood clippings_panini

Ingredients:

Sandwich bread (we used Udi’s gluten-free)

Rotisserie chicken

Store-bought Pesto

Cheese slice (we like Harvarti)

Tomato slices

Spinach

Red onion

Olive oil or butter

Directions:

Start with spreading Pesto like you would mayo or mustard on you bread. Layer ingredients, as much or as little as you would like and sandwich bread together. Brush olive oil on sides of bread that will be toasted (or just spread butter). Last use your panini press or grill on a frying pan until cheese melts.

We’re telling ya, this is amazing! Hope you likey!

Homemade EASY Peanut Butter Ice Cream

Friday, July 25th, 2014

We can not get enough ice cream this time of year.

And homemade is even better than store bought, it’s sooooo easy but you do need an ice cream maker.

We loooove ours, see HERE.

boxwood clippings_homemade peanut butter ice cream

 

 

You Will Need:

1 1/8  cups of peanut butter

3/4 cups of granulated sugar

1 1/4 cups of milk

2 cups of heavy cream

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup of mini peanut butter cups

To Make:

Mix peanut butter and sugar in a bowl with a hand mixer until smooth. Add milk and mix slowly until the sugar is dissolved (about 2 min). Add cream and vanilla and stir. Pour into freezer bowl of ice cream maker and mix for about 30 mins until thickened. Then add the peanut butter cups and mix until all blended. By this time your ice cream is like  soft serve, if you want it thicker like our photo above, place in an air tight container and pop in the freezer for a couple of hours.

Be prepared to taste ice cream at perfection!

Enjoy!

Easy Chicken and Pineapple Kabobs

Friday, July 18th, 2014

Don’t we all try to get a little fancy when it comes to the grill?!

Marinades and seasonings sure are fun, but sometimes it’s also great to stick with delicious basics.

We have been loving these simple skewers this year:

boxwood clippings_easy pineapple and chicken kebabs

Ingredients:

One Pineapple

1/4 c brown sugar

squirt of lime juice

Four chicken breasts

Seasoning salt

Directions:

Core and cube pineapple and toss with brown sugar, and lime juice. Cube chicken breasts and add seasoning salt or even just salt and pepper to taste. Arrange cubes on skewer and grill for 15 mins, turning occasionally.

The juice of the pineapple, as well as the sugar and salt combo make this one yummy and easy, easy meal! Serve with a side salad and barbeque sauce, for your whole family to enjoy!

Holler Dollar: BBQ Kettle Chips

Thursday, July 17th, 2014

 This is a yummy Holler Dollar, BBQ Kettle Chips from the Dollar Tree.

Need I say more…trust me, they’re amazing!

boxwood clippings_bbq chips

Go get some.

Nom nom nom!!!!