Monday, April 18, 2011

BLS (and I am not talking about Zakk Wylde's band)

About a week ago I was sent to the store to pick up dinner.  Tired of take-out, I was on a mission to feed my family an easy Friday night dinner.  So I packed Lil up and headed to Publix to see what easy food fare I could find.  As we walked around the store in a haphazard manner, I was struck uninspired.  Most of the convenience foods are packed with nasty chemicals that I try to avoid and I was at a loss; til I saw that vine-ripened tomatoes were on sale.  This is when the foodie synapses in my brain started firing: what can I make to utilize these ruby-red savory fruits.  Inspiration struck and I realized I could make bacon-lettuce-spinach sandwiches with soup.

The basic BLT is always a winner in my house, even if my husband and daughter refuse to eat raw tomatoes.  I like classing it up by using baby spinach in lieu of lettuce.  And even though I was looking for easy food fair, I knew plain old bread wasn't going to cut it for these sandwiches.  Even if it is an easy favorite, I wanted to make it special.  So after grabbing my tomatoes and spinach, I raced over to the bakery department fervent with inspiration to grab a loaf of fresh-baked sourdough bread, then onto the meat section for center-cut bacon.  Heading back to the produce section, I grabbed some herbs to make herbed mayo as the condiment.  The vision of my dinner was forming fast and I was almost done with my shopping trip til I realized I was clueless as to what soup I could make as an accompaniment.  Hitting a peak of inspiration, I grabbed fresh tortellinis and chicken stock to make tortellini soup, a favorite of mine growing up that I now make for my family (Hi Mom!).

Simple and easy, this dinner was definitely a crowd pleaser.  Perfectly grilled sourdough bread complemented the fragrant basil-chive mayo, tender baby spinach, salty bacon and earthy tomatoes. Accompanied by the tortellini soup, this made for a dinner which shined in it's simplicity.  The tortellini soup was such a hit that my daughter begged me to save her left-overs for next-day's lunch.

Next time you go grocery shopping, allow yourself to be inspired by whatever tickles your fancy and let your creativity be your guide when you are creating your menu.  You just might surprise yourself with what you come up with!

Saturday, April 16, 2011


2 + weeks since my last post.  I apologize for that.  Sometimes life just gets into the way and these past two weeks have surely been busy.  Between soccer practices, doggy pack walks, parties and even adding a new member to our pack (Marla, an 18 month old bully mix who is sweet as pie) I kind of let my blogging slack.  I have had good intentions about blogging, taking photos and mental notes about certain recipes to be tucked away for a less hectic day where the blogging would roll freely. (Un)fortunately that day is today.  We all know what they say about the road of good intentions and where it leads...

to rice krispie treats?

I figured I would ease my way back into the blogosphere with a treat recipe that I made this week for my daughter's easter party at school.  It is easy and tasty and you can't buy a box of Rice Krispies without finding the recipe printed somewhere on the box.  I chose to make rice krispie treats for her class because I have been craving them.  The processed treats you can buy in the store taste like the chemicals used to preserve them so I never buy them. There is nothing like a homemade Rice Krispy treat.  It's warm and gooey and tastes of home (well, at least for me).  I googled various holiday inspired treat recipes and found the perfect one for the upcoming spring holiday: Rice Krispie Treat shaped eggs.  I sprinkled pastel colored sugar on the top of the eggs and voila, I had the piece de resistance of the goody bags for my daughter's school party.

The best part of the recipe is that the cooking part takes place in the microwave.  You don't even need to light the stove!

Rice Krispie Treat Eggs (recipe makes 20 eggs. If you need less then just halve the recipe)
1 box Rice Krispie cereal
2 bags of Jumbo marshmallows
6 Tbsp butter
Pam cooking spray
egg shaped cookie cutter
colored sugar or other edible embellishments.

  • In a large, microwavable bowl, add 1 bag of marshmallows and 3 tbsp of butter (this recipe is made in 2 batches).  Melt on high for 2 minutes.  Take bowl out of microwave, stir, and microwave for another minute.
  • Add 6 cups of Rice Krispies to marshmallow mixture and combine.
  • Allow to cool for a minute or too.  
  • Take your egg shaped cookie cutter and spray with Pam.  Spray your hands with Pam too so the Rice Krispie treats don't stick while you are molding the eggs.
  • Take enough Rice Krispie treat mixture to fill the cookie cutter.  Using your hands, mold the egg in the cutter so it takes on the shape of the egg, making sure to flatten out the broad sides (top and bottom) of the egg.
  • Place on cooling rack.  Sprinkle with candies, colored sugar etc.
  • Enjoy!