July 29, 2012

Banana Cherry Nut Muffins

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I have been buying a lot of bananas lately. This also means that I have had a lot of bananas getting over ripe on me a lot lately. I made some Banana Crumb Muffins about a week or so ago. I had to admit, that is the best banana muffin I have found on allrecipes.com. However, since I had must made that recipe I decided I wanted to do something different with my next batch of banana muffins.

July 22, 2012

Fried Butternut Squash Agnolotti with Honey Chipotle Dipping Sauce

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Since I still had some of the yummy Butternut Squash Agnolotti that I received from Buitoni, I decided I would also try breading and frying some.  I thought for days about what I could do for a dipping sauce and finally decided on a Honey Chipotle Sauce.  This is a great appetizer and the Agnolotti turned out so crispy.  I could eat them without the sauce I loved them that much!
I don't fry foods too often so this was a definite yummy treat to have and Grumpy and I both enjoyed these immensely.  The sauce had a perfect sweet heat that went really well with the slight warm spice from the butternut squash in the Agnolotti.  This is so easy to make you could easily impress some friends by inviting them over for a few drinks and appetizers to share with them and serve these!


I also want to share with you the winner of the giveaway sponsored by Buitoni.  The winner, chose by random drawing was the entry made by Jamiee.  I know you will enjoy your win Jamiee!  Thank you to all who entered the contest and I hope you will try the new Buitoni products!



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Fried Butternut Squash Agnolotti with Honey Chipotle Dipping Sauce
Crispy fried agnolotti served with a slightly sweet, spicy, and smoky chipotle sauce!
Ingredients
  • 1 package Buitoni Refrigerated Butternut Squash Agnolotti
  • 2/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup refrigerated egg product
  • Olive Oil for Frying
  • Sauce:
  • 1-1/2 tablespoon Mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon Fat Free Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 1 teaspoon Honey
  • 1 tablespoon Chipotle sauce from canned chipotles
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Instructions
Place panko crumbs, nutmeg, and cayenne pepper in food processor and process until crumbs are fairly small.  Transfer to a plate.

Pour egg product into a wide bowl.  Dip Agnolotti in egg product and allow excess to drip back into bowl.  Place Agnolotti in panko crumb mixture and press to coat.  Turn over and coat other side.  Transfer to platter.  Do this with all the agnolotti.

Heat oil in a shallow skillet.  (Approximately 2 inches oil).  Test oil by dropping a tiny bit of panko into the skillet.  If the panko starts to sizzle the oil is ready.  Place agnolotti in skillet and cook until browned on one side (about 2 minutes) then turn and cook the other side (about another 2 minutes).  Transfer to a paper towel lined platter to drain.

Make sauce by combining the Mayonnaise, sweetened condensed milk, honey, chipotle sauce, and cayenne pepper.  Stir well.  Serve with Agnolotti.Cook times are approximate and will depend on how many agnolotti you place in your oil at a time and how many you cook all together.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: Serves 7 (2 each) as appetizer

July 21, 2012

Shelby's Take on the Bacon, Egg, and Cheese

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Its Saturday morning and the weekend is the time I think about breakfast and what I can share with you!  I eat this sandwich, or one similar to it about 2-3 times a week.  I found I can handle just egg whites or the egg product without getting that sick to my stomach feeling.  When I go with just the egg whites or egg product, I'm also reducing the fat and calories in my meal!  Getting bored with the mini bagel?  Go with the Thomas 100 Calorie English Muffin instead.  Love it with those too!  This is a 220 calorie sandwich, so if you feel like another 200 calories mid morning, its not going to hurt you!  I'm sure I'm not the only one who does this - I'm sure there are a lot of people out there that do similar things at home.

July 15, 2012

Happy Birthday Justin!

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I wonder.  I wonder if my children realize just how much I think about them?  I wonder if they realize just how much a part of me they are, that I would not be me if I didn't have them?  
Today is Justin's birthday.  Since I have started this blog, Justin has celebrated 5 birthdays and 5 wedding anniversaries.  I love my Justin.  I am so lucky to have such a sweet little boy turned man in my life.  I'm so proud of him.  This year Justin and Kristina became first time home owners.  They have a nice home with their two "puppies" and a happy successful life.  He's a happy boy and that makes me happy.  Happy Happy Day to you my little boy all grown up.  I love you so much, I miss you and I can't wait to hug and kiss you again!  Below are posts that I did on Justin's birthday in the past.  I didn't put one up last year....go figure.  Must be getting old myself.  ;-) Sure doesn't mean he wasn't on my mind... because I think about him every single day, several different times of the day.  XOXO Love you son.

Justin's 22nd birthday
Justin's 23rd birthday
Justin's 24th birthday
Justin's 25th birthday


July 13, 2012

Buitoni Chicken Marsala Ravioli with Mushroom Marsala Cream Sauce

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I'm very excited to share another recipe with you that uses a Buitoni product today!  This is the second post in my giveaway for Buitoni.  Buitoni sent me 5 coupons for free pasta, a gorgeous wooden cutting board, a high quality dish towel, and an apron. In return, I created this recipe and a recipe for Butternut Squash Ravioli with Lobster Sage Cream Sauce and am sharing them with you! We enjoyed both recipes and are very happy Buitoni gave us the chance to try their new flavors. Grumpy really loved the both of these recipes and there were no complaints when I made the recipes more than once to perfect the recipe!

I had a great time creating the recipes for Buitoni and I hope you will give them a try. If you have difficulty finding the Chicken Marsala Pasta (I have not yet seen it in my store), you can always go with one of their cheese ravioli or tortellini, add some chicken tenders to the sauce and still have a Chicken Marsala type recipe!
If you would like to be entered in a drawing to win this gift package you can do the following (one entry per action and please leave me a comment here to let me know you did so).

  • leave a comment here on this post. 
  • If you would like an extra entry, hop over to my post for Buitoni Butternut Squash Ravioli with Lobster Sage Sauce and leave a comment there also! 
  • Like Buitoni on Facebook and while you are there share their post on this recipe (will be up 2:30 EST Friday, July 13, 2012) 
  • Follow Buitoni on Twitter
  • Like The Life and Loves of Grumpy's Honeybunch on Facebook
  • Follow The Life and Loves of Grumpy's Honeybunch on Twitter and tweet the following "Try Chicken Marsala Ravioli with Mushroom Marsala Sauce and enter Buitoni Pasta Giveaway! @GrumpyshoneyB http://tinyurl.com/79owu5m" 
  • Follow Buitoni on Pinterest
  • Follow Grumpy's Honeybunch on Pinterest

Giveaway will end on Friday July 20th, 2012 at 10 PM EST and winners will be announced on Saturday, July 21st, 2012. GIVEAWAY ENDED

Thank you Buitoni for inviting me to try out your pastas. My next ravioli recipe is coming up later this week and that one is a winner also so stay tuned! If you would like to keep up with Buitoni and their recipes, you can follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.



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Buitoni Chicken Marsala Ravioli with Mushroom Marsala Cream Sauce
Ingredients
  • 2 cups Half and Half
  • 1-1/2 cups Marsala wine
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 3 cups mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
  • 1 teaspoon Olive Oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 package (2 serving size) Buitoni Chicken Marsala Ravioli
  • 1 teaspoon fresh chives, chopped
Instructions
In a large non-stick skillet, over medium heat, cook mushrooms, onions and salt in olive oil until softened, about 7 minutes.  Add marsala wine, half and half,  Bring to a slow boil, then reduce heat and simmer until broth has reduced and thickened, about 20-25 minutes.While sauce is simmering, cook ravioli according to package directions.Serve sauce over top of pasta and garnish with chopped chives.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 2 servings

July 10, 2012

Buitoni Butternut Squash Ravioli with Lobster Sage Cream Sauce

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Don't go away without entering the Buitoni Giveaway!  Details at end of this post.
Oh yes my friends.  Some of our favorite seafood evah.  That lovely red crustation called the The Lobstah. Oh, so it's really Lobster, but something about it wants me to put an h at the end of my words where there is supposed to be an R.  Just so you folks know, I shot this photo, but Grumpy, he is the one who did the styling for it.  His words were, you know what goes best with Lobster?  Beer he says.  Well, beer may go well with lobster, but we also discovered that this delicious Butternut Squash Ravioli from Buitoni and this yummy sage cream sauce went very well with it also!

A few weeks ago I received an email from Sarah who is a representative for Buitoni Pasta.  Her email was one I was definitely not going to ignore!  If you are a regular reader here, or even if just occasional, you will know that we love our pasta!

Sarah wanted to know if I would be interested in trying out a couple of their new raviolis and creating a recipe for them.  There was no hesitation there!  I would LOVE to!  Sarah nicely treated me to 5 coupons for free pasta, a gorgeous wooden cutting board, a high quality dish towel, and an apron.  All donned with the Buitoni brand name.  If that wasn't enough, she sent me 6 packages each of their new ravioli flavors.  One of them being the Butternut Squash Ravioli.  I definitely had to make this one first as we are huge fans of butternut squash.  What better to go with it for a protein than a sweet meat lobster!  The lobster happened to be on sale that week at my favorite grocery store (that would be Price Chopper people!) so I grabbed some up and made this super flavorful shallot, sage, and lobster sauce to go over our ravioli.  Oh me, oh my, give me the ravioli and forget the pie!  We will definitely be keeping this on a regular menu.  The sauce was perfect in flavor.  I was in a little bit of a hurry and didn't reduce the sauce long enough for it to thicken but it was still yummy anyway.  If and when you try this recipe, definitely don't be so starved that you can't wait for your sauce to thicken.  Or if you are, grab a few crackers and a glass of wine and go blog surfing while you wait it out.  If you love the flavors in this recipe then I hope you will try this it out, you will not be disappointed.  I promise you that!

**Buitoni would like to send you some gifts like they sent me!  If you would like to be entered in a drawing to win this gift package you can do the following (one entery per action and please leave me a comment here to let me know you did so).

  • leave a comment here on this post.
  • If you would like an extra entry, hop over to my post for Buitoni Chicken Marsala Ravioli with Mushroom Marsala Sauce and leave a comment there also! 
  • Like Buitoni on Facebook and while you are there share their post on this recipe (will be up 2:30 EST Friday, July 13, 2012) 
  • Follow Buitoni on Twitter
  • Like The Life and Loves of Grumpy's Honeybunch on Facebook
  • Follow The Life and Loves of Grumpy's Honeybunch on Twitter and tweet the following "Try Butternut Squash Ravioli w/ Lobster Sage Cream Sauce and enter Buitoni Pasta Giveaway! @GrumpyshoneyB http://tinyurl.com/8ycw3er " 
  • Follow Buitoni on Pinterest
  • Follow Grumpy's Honeybunch on Pinterest
Giveaway will end on Friday July 20th, 2012 at 10 PM EST and winners will be announced on Saturday, July 21st, 2012.

Thank you Buitoni for inviting me to try out your pastas. My next ravioli recipe is coming up later this week and that one is a winner also so stay tuned! If you would like to keep up with Buitoni and their recipes, you can follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.


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Buitoni Butternut Squash with Lobster Sage Cream Sauce

Buitoni Butternut Squash Ravioli doctored up with a creamy and delicious sauce and chunks of Sweet Lobster meat!


Ingredients
  • 1 package Buitoni Butternut Squash Ravioli
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 8 sage leaves - 4 chopped, 4 crispy fried in butter 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • generous pinch of red pepper flakes
  •    3-1/2 cups half and half
  •    3 cups lobster meat, chunked
Instructions

Fry 4 sage leaves in butter until crispy. Remove from heat. Add remaining chopped sage, shallots, brown sugar, red pepper flakes and cook until shallots are caramelized.

Stir in half and half and bring to a slow boil. Reduce heat and simmer until sauce has begun to thicken. Add lobster chunks and cook until lobster has warmed through and sauce is creamy.

While sauce is reducing, prepare ravioli according to package. Serve lobster sauce over ravioli and garnish with crispy sage.

Prep time will vary depending on how you obtain your lobster meat. Grumpy and I used freshly steamed lobster, so it took us a little bit of time to pick the meat from the shells.

Details

Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 2 Servings





July 09, 2012

Circus Popcorn

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Kim Bee has a segment on her blog called "fun with jars".  I thought it would be cute to use a few jam and pint jars to display some of the popcorn in!  ;-)
It is time for The Secret Recipe Club reveal today and I'm so excited to share what I made!  I received the blog Cravings of a Lunatic, authored by Kim Bee as my assignment this last month.  I did a lot of searching of recipes and after drooling over so many things I finally decided to do something fun. Making this recipe brought the kid out in both Grumpy and I and as forewarned, we found it hard to leave the popcorn alone as it was spread out on the cookie sheets drying.  Oh. So. Very. Hard.  The recipe is for Pink Popcorn.  As you will find out, I found a way to make this popcorn different flavors and colors by using just one product.  I'm psyched about it - and what great fun for your kids birthday parties or any party for that matter!

Kim Bee has a special "popcorn" tag on her blog.  Kinda tells me this girl loves her popcorn!  You will find a recipe for Turtle Popcorn, Turtle Popcorn Gone Wild, and Chocolate Cake Popcorn on her blog.  Hmm, I wonder what 's next in the line of popcorn treats for her....I wouldn't be surprised to find it would be Pistachio Popcorn!  Oh, would Grumpy ever love that one, since he shares the love of Pistachio with her!  I must declare however, that I do not understand her abhorrence of pickles!  Grumpy has been known to ask me if I want some burger to go with my pickles.  Of course not Grumpy, I want a pickle sandwich!  (rolling my eyes!).  Her dislike of pickles aside, I think that Kim Bee is one "Lunatic" that I could hang out with.  She seems pretty darn cool and I would love to be her neighbor when she's making all those yummy recipes she posts about!
Now on to how I got the flavors for my Circus Popcorn!  Have you seen the Frosting Creations in the stores?  I've seen them advertised on tv and when I was looking at the packet in the store I read on the package that it was made to use with the Duncan Hines frosting made especially for the Frosting Creations packet.  Well, I immediately said "Oh yeah Duncan Hines.  I'll show you" and I used the Frosting Creations to flavor and color my popcorn!

I bought Cotton Candy, Bubble Gum, and White Chocolate Raspberry.  I figured I would try one packet on one batch of popcorn and if it didn't work out, well then it would be my loss.  I didn't have to waste anything after all because the Frosting Creations worked fabulously in this recipe and I found a way to flavor, color, and have fun with my popcorn at the same time!
I'm pretty darn pleased that these flavors came through for the candied popcorn, I'm also pretty happy that I rebelled against what they are supposed to be used for!  It is definitely a treat and will take you back to your younger years of bubble gum chewing, fair going, cotton candy eating, and all around summer time fun!



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Circus Popcorn
Ingredients
  • 2/3 cup fat free half and half
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 packet Duncan Hines Frosting Flavor Creations, any flavor
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions
Pop the corn in any way you prefer.  I used the air popper and measured 1/2 cup of unpopped corn for each batch.  The recipe on Cravings of a Lunatic calls for 12 cups.  If you use microwave popcorn, go with the light so you don't have so much salt and omit the salt from the syrup.  I put my popped corn in the largest tupperware bowl I had (the large Thatsabowl).  Set the popcorn aside and make your syrup.Combine half and half,sugar, corn syrup, and salt in a heavy bottom saucepan.  Bring to a slow boil over medium heat and cook until soft ball stage.  I use a candy thermometer for this however you can do the water test by drizzling some of the syrup into a small amount of cold water and if it will form a soft ball you are good to go.  I personally like the candy thermometer since its easier to get it right.Once your syrup reaches the soft ball stage, immediately remove from the heat.  Add your vanilla and the entire contents of the flavoring packet.   I then used a hand whisk to whisk the powdered flavoring in well. Pour hot syrup over popcorn and mix well.  Turn out onto large cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil and let cool until it hardens.Store in airtight container-ziploc bags work perfectly!Note:  If you find your popcorn is too sticky, it is likely you did not cook the syrup long enough.  Don't worry!  You can still save the recipe.  Just pop the cookie sheet into a 300 degree oven and bake for another 5-10 minutes stirring often.  If you see the syrup start to bubble on the popcorn when in the oven, take it out immediately otherwise it can burn.  Good luck and enjoy!Prep and cook time are approximate.  Please use candy thermometer for your syrup or have experience with gauging the soft ball stage with the water test.  Do not use the cook time listed below as a definite.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 12 cups popcorn














July 06, 2012

Black Forest Brownies

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I don't bake anywhere near as much as I used to.  Often times I will wish for something yummy like these Black Forest Brownies, but most times I just let the feeling pass.  We really don't need goodies lying around the house.  However, I had these fresh cherries in my refrigerator, a new Cherry Pitter (yes Kristina, I finall used my gift card!) and I had a craving for something fudgy and cherried.  I decided to make a half batch of my favorite brownie recipe and make them with freshly pitted cherries.
I contemplated frosting them but decided against it. I then contemplated turning them into brownie parfaits but decided against that also. After all, I really only needed a little bit to satisfy my craving and turning it into a full blown dessert with just more sugar and calories would only lend to making me feel ill after I had consumed it. I will definitely not hesitate to make this recipe again. I will save it for a special occasion though because I know these would be perfect as a parfait with some whipped cream and cherries!



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Black Forest Brownies
A fudge brownie with fresh cherries - adapted from my favorite brownie recipe found on allrecipes.com
Ingredients
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) light butter, melted
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup Hersheys Cocoa Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup cherries, pitted then quartered
  • 1/3 cup milk chocolate chips
Instructions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 8x8 pan with tinfoil.  Spray with cooking spray.  Set aside.In a microwave safe bowl, heat butter for 30 seconds until almost melted.  Stir in sugar and vanilla.  Set aside to cool about 5 minutes.  Whisk in eggs.In a separate bowl combine flour, cocoa powder, and salt.  Add to wet mixture and stir until combined.  Fold in cherries and chocolate chips.  Pour into prepared pan and bake at 350 for 35 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool.  Note:  the measurement for the fresh cherries is before pitting and quartering.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 16 brownies

July 04, 2012

Picnic Perfect Lobster Rolls - a contribution to the Cooking Light Virtual Supper Club

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A few months ago Val contacted me and asked if I would be interested in joining the Cooking Light Virtual Supper club sometime as a past member guest.  I couldn't tell her no.  After all, it was Val and I who sparked the fire for a Cooking Light theme when we did a week of Cooking Light posts called 2 Gals Cooking Light a little more than 3 years ago.  It was from there that we created the Virtual Supper Club with some of our other Cooking Light Fans - Helene, Aggie, and Jamie.  Helene has joined us this month also, so 3 of our original group are together celebrating Canada Day with our virtual supper!

I may not be Canadian, and I realize that today is Independence Day here in the good ole USA.  I am very appreciative of the freedom our country is celebrating today along with respect and appreciation of those who have fought and continue to fight for our country's freedom.  I do feel a kindred spirit with Canada however, as I grew up at the border of US and Canada.  To me, Canada felt like home.  So out of respect for my Canadian neighbors, I celebrate their Canada Day with them also!  One thin Canada and the US has in common with their celebration is their fireworks.  I have seen many amazing fireworks in the US and I have also been to Ottawa on Canada Day and experienced their awesome fireworks.

I'm very excited to share with you our Virtual Supper with the following members of this month's supper club.  Come along and drool with me!

Val - More than Burnt Toast brought an appetizer of Marinated Mozzarella and Pepper Salad and Giz of Equal Opportunity Kitchen made a Thai Seafood Salad.


Up next with the main course was Sandi of The Whistlestop Cafe Cooking with Grilled Zucchini with Caprese Salsa and I brought the sandwich - a delicious Lobster Roll!


Jerry of Jerrys Thoughts Musings and Rants shared a yummy dessert of Strawberry Parfaits while Helene of La Cuisine d'Helene quenched our thirst with Freshly-Squeezed Lemonade.

Thank you to the current VSC member for inviting me back to your table this month!

A few notes about the Lobster Roll.  I have to tell you that it was an absolute success!  I was lucky to have Lobsters on sale at our Price Chopper the last few weeks so we had freshly steamed lobster to work with.  The sauce that flavors the Lobster is flavorful in every way and Grumpy felt it was even better the 2nd day (I sent the leftovers to work for his lunch one day - you can't tell me this man doesn't eat like a king!).  This will be my definite go to recipe for a Lobster Roll any time we feel the craving for one, it was perfect in every way.  I hope you will enjoy it too!


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Picnic Perfect Lobster Rolls
adapted from Cooking Light
Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons lowfat mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped celery
  • 2 teaspoons minced green onions
  • 1/2 teaspoon Lemon rind
  • 1 teaspoon tarragon, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped celery
  • 4 cups Lobster meat cut into bite sized pieces
  • 4 New England Style Hot Dog Rolls, toasted
Instructions
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.  Refrigerate at least 1 hour.  Serve on toasted New England Style Hot Dog rolls.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 4 rolls
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