blueberries and cream bake! {delish and easy!}

I made this recently to take to a friend who just had a baby and I LOVED it! So much that I had to write it down here to make sure I could find it again.  AND blueberries are in full swing here, all the more reason to try every new blueberry recipe I can find!  This is an easy recipe that comes together quickly and you can make it the night before you need it!
Here's the recipe!

Blueberries and Cream Bake!
1 loaf cubed french bread

8 ounces softened cream cheese
1/3 cup sugar

two large handfuls of blueberries {or more if you like}, tossed lightly with flour

8 eggs

1 1/2 cups milk

3/4 cup maple syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla
6 tablespoons melted butter

Spray a 13 by 9in dish with non-stick spray.

Layer one half of bread cubes in baking dish.

Cream together sugar and cream cheese and spread over layer of bread.  A bit tricky but doable! Add blueberries over cream cheese.  Add remaining bread.  Sprinkle with cinnamon to your liking.  
Mix remaining ingredients and pour over bread; press bread with spatula to saturate. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 45 to 50 minutes or until set and golden.

super yummy and delish egg cups {glamorous egg salad}

These egg cups are great to make the night before, in fact, I think some time in the fridge makes them even better!  Even if you don't like egg salad, TRY these! They are pretty amazing and their simplicity makes them an even better treat!  They were a huge hit with friends, Doug and the church crowd!

Delish Egg Cups 

12 hard boiled eggs, Peeled And Chopped
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar
1 package of bacon, fried and crumbled
1 tbl of dijon mustard
1/2 tsp garlic powder
3 shakes of worcestershire sauce
6 english muffins {cut in half and opened making four servings per whole muffin}

Combine all ingredients and top muffins accordingly.  Refrigerate overnight.  When ready to serve, pop under the broiler for 2-3 minutes.

Serve immediately and refrigerate the leftovers, no need to reheat when you eat them again. I actually prefer them cold!


Peach Blueberry cake! {easy and yummy!}

This cake is SO delicious!! I could just eat the whole thing with a jug of coffee!  You will want to add more peaches than the photo shows because I was legitimately sad that I didn't have peach in every bite.  This cake will be a summer favorite for sure and you won't find an easier cake to make. 

Fresh Peach and Blueberry Cake

1 1/2 cups of flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 stick butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup plain greek yogurt (one of the individual cups)
2 peaches
large handful of blueberries
1 TBL sugar

Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Grease the sides and the bottom of a springform pan with cooking spray and line the bottom with parchment paper. 

Combine flour, soda and powder, set aside.  With a mixer beat butter, sugar and eggs until light and fluffy 2-3 minutes.  Add in vanilla and yogurt and beat for another minute or so.  Slowly add in flour mixture until combined. 

Pour into pan and spread evenly.  Add sliced peaches covering the entire top of the cake, even more so than the photo shows because you will want peaches in every bite.  Sprinkle on blueberries.  Sprinkle sugar on top. 

Bake for 45-60 minutes depending on your oven.  You will want the cake to be a deep golden brown and for a toothpick inserted into the center to come out clean.  

That's it! Make it the day of serving or at the very least the day before.  Dust with powdered sugar before serving. 


no fail pizza dough

Our latest adventure in cooking is pizza.  Though, admittedly, it's not that much of an adventure.  It's just that I've only recently been able to make anything with yeast successfully.  My new trick that never fails me?  When tempering the water/liquid for the yeast think about a baby bottle.  Is it too hot to feed to a baby?  Or too cold for a baby to eat?  Choose a temp that you would make the perfect baby bottle at and it will work every time!  With that in mind, we made pizza this weekend.  I gave the boys each a ball of dough and they made their own versions as well.  I also make my own sauce {1 can of tomato sauce, 2 scant tsp of onion powder, 2 tsp of garlic powder and 2 tsp of oregano}.

Doug, a NJ native and pizza snob, approved of this dough.  It was pretty tasty and relatively simple.  I made the dough before church and put it in the fridge (covered with a damp cloth) before we left for the day). 

I hope you will enjoy it as much as we did! :)

No Fail Pizza Dough {from Bobby Flay}
3 1/2 - 4 cups flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1 envelope of instant dry yeast
2 tsp of salt
1 1/2 cups of warm water {think baby bottle temp.  Would you give it to a baby to be warm enough and not too hot?}
Olive oil

Combine dry ingredients in a mixer.  Slowly add water and oil until dough ball forms.  Add flour 1tbls at a time if dough is sticky.  Turn out into an olive oil greased bowl and allow to rise and double in size.

To make pizza.  Preheat oven to 500.  Divide dough into two equal parts.  I greased the pizza pan/stone with olive oil and sprinkled with corn meal.  Make two pizza crusts, brush with olive oil.  I also sprinkled mine with garlic salt.  Bake until it begins to brown watching closely (maybe ten minutes or so).  Removed from oven, top with sauce and your favorite toppings and bake until cheese begins to brown.

Deep fried pickles {and other fried goodness}

I mentioned in my last post about how we are becoming food snobs and about how we are no longer eating out as part of our lifestyle.  With that, however, brings some foods we may miss a bit.

I'm willing and ready to learn how to make new things {fried chicken for example is my favorite food of all time but I've never made it} but it will be slow road.  This weekend we decided to try to recreate our favorite fried pickles and the results were AMAZING!  I am so glad we tried because they are so easy and SO good!

Now, we don't haul out the deep fryer very often.  Usually it's only to make my husband wings once in a blue moon.  Deep frying on a regular basis would surely kill us quickly but since we had it out, we decided to play "can you deep fry it?".   

The foods we tried are pictured above.  Some items we used pancake batter and some we used the batter recipe below in addition to an egg wash. 

The deep fried oreos were much better than I expected, dipped in pancake batter, they tasted like oreo flavored funnel cake.  The pancake batter drenched bacon {that was already cooked} tasted like an all on one breakfast food, not too bad.  The pickles - AMAZING, recipe below.  Deep fried bananas - a fail, the banana melted away.  And then mozzarella sticks. The recipe below plus some salt and an egg wash made a pretty tasty stick.
But like I said, the pickles were my favorite.  So here's how you make those.  I ate them with some homemade ranch dip that I added Old Bay to and that was pretty perfect, too!

Deep Fried Pickles
1/3 cup of cornmeal
2/3 cup of flour
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp garlic powder
Pickle slices {kosher dill}

Canola oil for frying.

Combine all ingredients but pickles.  Coat pickles in cornmeal mixture, deep fry until golden brown.  Now I have a "fry daddy" so I deep fried them that way but you could do them in a frying pan and flip them as needed. 

Serve hot with dip and that is it! :) Amazing and easy and definitely a treat!

Enjoy making some!


On becoming food snobs.

I mentioned on Instagram a bit ago that we {Doug and I} were well on our way to becoming food snobs.  I think there might have been some assumption that we had jumped onto some dieting bandwagon like Whole 30 or something like that but no, I meant something else entirely.

First of all, I don't believe in any diet that requires me to read a book or look up foods to see if I am "allowed" to eat them.  The appeal for me just isn't there.  I waited my whole childhood to eat whatever I wanted and by golly, that's what I am going to do

Secondly, restrictive diets are not generally successful because of the above reason.  I start to feel punished in some way, like I've done something wrong and have been sentenced to a life of gruel and unappetizing foods.  I have no desire to live my life long term like that.  

No, we don't do either of those things.  Our food snobbery has been years in the making.  It's more of a lifestyle than anything else and the results are that we remain trim and still get to eat foods that feed our emotions, both important things.

Like I said, it started years ago.  I thought I would share some of our guidelines for food snobbery.

1.  We mostly shop the perimeter of the store.  This is an easy one.  All the fresh foods are on the outside and the processed junk is on the interior.  I will visit the canned goods on rare occasion, the baking aisle often and the cereal aisle as well.  Other than that, we buy almost no processed foods on a regular basis.  Mac and cheese is an exception, but we will buy Annie's {see rule 3 below}. 

2.  We don't eat fast foods.  This is an easy one for me, fast food has zero appeal.  It's terrible for you {even the "healthy" options} and leaves you feeling like garbage anyway.  Part of our snobbery is recognizing how foods make us feel...and if they make us feel terrible, we don't eat them.  Easy.  Now, I will occasionally eat waffle fries and sweet tea from ChickFilA but my kids have never had a happy meal, they call McDonald's "the clown restaurant" and they never ask for fast food.
3.  If we are going to eat something, it needs to be the very best version of that something we can get.  Take donuts for example, I LOVE donuts but ONLY from my favorite local place.  They are the best and I know that, Krispy Kreme does not hold a candle so I won't compromise and eat one, I wait for the best option and it makes it all the better.  We try to do this with all of our foods.  We are not even kind of strictly organic BUT if it's close in price we will buy the organic variety, we just don't go out of our way to do so.

4.  We will not eat at any restaurant with the word "buffet" in it.  This is an obvious rule no?  No good things come from food sitting around all day that dozens of other people have the option to touch or who knows what.

Now the above rules we have had in place for as long as I can remember.  But recently, we've expanded on our snobbery with something that many may find drastic...

We don't eat out {as a general rule}.  And if we do eat out, we won't do so at a big chain restaurant.  A couple of months ago we got to a place where we were just TIRED of going out to eat, being served meh food and then paying too much for something that I could cook ten times better at home!  So we stopped.  And we decided that if and when we ate out, we would take advantage of locally owned restaurants that served good food.  The only exception to this rule is if we are invited by friends for a celebration or one of the boys makes a request for their birthday {they usually choose Red Robin}.  

Instead, I am cooking at home.  And the results have been pretty awesome.  Being committed to this "rule" means I have to be prepared to cook every meal at home but it has been well worth the effort. We have more time together, we eat better food and we are no longer bleeding money for terrible foods that are terrible for us. 

The best part of our snobbery, is that we are all happy with our food choices, we get treats and goodies and there are no "never" foods.  We don't feel punished or deprived in any way because we get to eat the things we want.  And because this has been such a slow process that is constantly evolving, we don't need a book to tell us what we are allowed to have. :) 
While you are here, I have three different ways for you to win $100!  Someone has to win, might as well be you!  Read about Spring and gardening a leave a comment to enter HERE.  Read about Goldfish and why we love them and leave a comment to enter HERE.  AND finally, find the good in Mother's and Father's day and leave a comment HERE to enter! :) 
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