Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Feta Cheese Stuffed Lamb Burgers

February is National Lamb Lovers Month and to kick it off (and keep up with my 12 months of lamb recipes) I am making a lamb burger you can really sink your teeth into.  This recipe for Feta Cheese Stuffed Lamb Burgers is simple to make and the flavors of the cheese and mint really accentuate the lamb.  Bite into the burger and you won't be able to stop till it's all gone. 
To get more recipes for American Lamb be sure to check out their website and enter their Lamb Lovers Month Giveaways.

Monday, February 1, 2016

My New Coffee Bar

I have added a coffee bar to our kitchen and I love it.  Well actually... I've added two!  You see I know have an area for coffee, my grinder, mugs, sugar, stir sticks, etc. and I have a Ninja Coffee Bar. And I just have to say, the Ninja Coffee Bar has changed the way I drink coffee.  With so many size options and brewing methods, I tossed out my old coffee maker and am not looking back.
The Ninja Coffee Bar makes 4 different sizes of brewed coffee.  A full Carafe, half carafe, one cup size and travel mug size.  With your water ready to go in the reservoir, simply add your coffee to the reusable filter, select your size and go.  And here's the best part; selecting a brew to match your preference.  There's the standard classic brew that you could use for your daily morning cup.  Then theres Rich Brew for more intense flavors that can handle cream or sugar.  Then you can brew over ice.. This is a more concentrated brew to allow for ice, but still maintain its flavor.  And last but not least, the Specialty Brew to make Espresso or even your own Gourmet Coffee right at home like this recipe I blogged about earlier for a Cinnamon Graham Latte'.   The Specialty Brew is a significantly stronger brew with less volume.

Friday, January 29, 2016

The Story Box: Monthly Children's Book Subscription

I should warn you we have a bookworm at our house.  It goes through books page by page. Sometimes just for a couple of minutes and sometimes it will go through a whole stack of books for 20 minutes straight.  While it tends to lean towards childrens books, I've found it in newspapers, magazines, old college textbooks and high school yearbooks.  Nothing is safe, and there is no way to stop it's movement.  

Then again.... I'm not sure I want to.  

You see Little MacchiOTTo loves books.  So when I discovered The Story Box a monthly children's book subscription service, I knew I had to check it out just for her.   
I'm pretty sure MacchiOTTo imagination and pretend play has been fostered through reading books. She regularly likes to play dress up.  And anytime she can paint, draw, color or do a craft is pretty much her favorite part of the day.  As you can see in the picture below she was pretending to be a farmer the day our Story Box arrived.  

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

creamed carrot casserole

We eat a lot of carrots in this family.  But sometimes I get in a rut of preparing the carrots the same way week after week.  When I found this recipe for creamed carrot casserole in the Casserole Queens Cookbook, I knew I had found a new side dish that would be perfect for winter time meals along side a steak or pork chop. The cream sauce of this dish makes adds a rich flavor to the carrots and the bread crumbs give it a unique texture and extra bit of crunch.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

a Play Cafe': Fun for the Kids & Coffee for Mom

I have finally found the place where my enjoyment of fresh roasted coffee and the love of playing with my toddlers can come together.  A place where parents can enjoy an assortment of cafe' snacks, beverages and free Wifi while their kids play in an interactive space of toys and books.  Let me tell you about The Urban Chalkboard located in Carmel, Indiana.  This Play Cafe' concept offers programming and playtime for children up to the age of 5.  All of the toys, books and classes foster their creativity and challenge their developmental skills.  We were there for 2 hours and cannot wait to go back.  
First up let me tell you about the locally roasted coffee they offer.  Daily serving Single Origin Coffee from Liberation Roasting (located in Fountain Square) and is always roasted within a few weeks of brewing to ensure maximum flavor.  While I was there I had the Ethiopian Yirgacheffe. They also offered flavored coffee from Noble Coffee & Tea (located in Noblesville, In.) and had a Espresso Pastry Cream blend peculating. 

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Corndog Casserole

Having kids in the house means eating hot dogs.  But I found a way to jazz up the hot dogs a bit. (Well as much as you can jazz up a hotdog.)  This recipe is similar to those corn casserole recipes you are all familiar with but throw in some hotdogs and your kids are sure to love it.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Cinnamon Graham Latte

When winter weather approaches some people stock up on milk, bread, eggs, etc.  Me?!?!  I stock up on Coffee!  That's one thing I can't go through the cold and snow without.  So for those times that you can't get out to your favorite coffee shop, here is a recipe for a drink you can make for yourself, right at home.  This Cinnamon Graham Latte' has lots of flavor, rich froathy topping and a strong kick of coffee to get you through the winter season.   
If you follow me on Instagram then you know I have a new coffee brewing system to make gourmet coffee drinks with.  I will share more about that with you next week.  But in the meantime, don't worry if you don't have a milk froather, a hand mixer will work just as well to make your gourmet coffee drink.    

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Tilapia Casserole with Citrus Caper Sauce

If you are looking to eat healthier in 2016 or maybe wanting to add more fish to your diet then this Tilapia Casserole Recipe is for you.  I jazzed up this recipe from a heart healthy cookbook I have.  The fennel and sweet potatoes gives this dish that hearty down home flavor that you look for in a good casserole, while the citrus caper sauce compliments the fish perfectly and makes for beautiful balance of flavors in your mouth.  This is definitely one to try!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

crock pot lamb chops in red wine sauce

If Julia Child were to use a crock pot, this would be the recipe she would make.  

I'm going to let that statement simmer with you awhile and go on to explain that this recipe pairs red wine with lamb chops and slow cooks them to perfection.  It's really the closest thing to French Cooking you can do in a crock pot.  So save yourself the time by giving this recipe a try.  Add a few vegetables and some seasonings then pour your sauce over the lamb chops and 8 hours later, pour yourself a glass of the the wine you used in the recipe and you have got a very nice meal.  No one would even know you used the crock pot for this dish if you don't tell them. 
I have a bit of a New Year's Resolution in the kitchen this year... I'm going to make and blog about 12 new lamb dishes.  That's one new lamb dish each month that I'm going to share with you.  I still believe lamb should be as common in the family kitchen as chicken, pork and beef.  My hope is to prepare easy lamb dishes that look good, taste good and give any cook confidence to prepare lamb in their own kitchen.  You can do it... I know you can, so just give lamb a try.  The next time you our out at the grocery store/butcher shop, look for American Lamb.   

Monday, January 4, 2016

cut out coffee snowflakes

I notice lots of people using coffee filters for making snowflakes, but I haven't seen anyone cutting out their snowflakes to look like coffee.  I know I'm a little biased when it comes to coffee.... (cough obsessed cough...) So today I'm showing an Ott, A original snowflake I created on my own to look like a coffee mug and since they say coffee is good to the last drop... a drop of coffee as well.  Below you will see how I cut it out so you can make your own Coffee Mug Snowflake.  

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Indy's Fantastic Food Fest

The foodie in me is very excited about a new event in Indianapolis on January 16 and 17th. The Fantastic Food Fest will be held at the Indiana State Fairgrounds and will offer a large presentation of food, cookware and gadgets, food artisans, craft breweries, wineries, restaurants and purveyors.  Attendees can taste, sample & buy their way through the show with over 200 exhibiting companies.  Two different stages throughout the event will feature nearly 20 live demonstrations by world-renowned celebrity chefs and culinary professionals like Ted Allen from the Food Network series Chopped and Hugh Acheron from Top Chef.  
The Fantastic Food Fest is presented by the Indiana Grown initiative and highlights the diversity of Indiana Agriculture.  This festival will also feature some Indiana Artisian products as well.

Monday, December 28, 2015

5 cookies to dunk in coffee

While the holidays may be over.  Winter is not.   And nothing taste better than dunking a cookie in your coffee.  But there are some cookie recipes that are better to dunk than others.  You need a cookie that is firm, nothing to flimsy or soft that will break off after dunking. You need a cookie that has some sugar or spice on the outside to help flavor the coffee a little after it's dunk.  Nothing fancy or frou-frou, and I've rounded up a list of 5 cookie recipes that you will be happy to dunk in your coffee.