My birthday falls in the month of July (I was an early firecracker as my Mom likes to say still to this very day, and I gotta admit, the description still fits). I’m one of those people that really digs birthdays and tend to celebrate it for at least a week if not more. Doesn’t everyone? I also really dig chocolate and COFFEE so it was only natural that I made a celebration worthy cake that would make chocoholics and caffeine addicts rejoice right along with me. I am super duper pleased with how this one turned out. So much so it might become my yearly birthday cake tradition. If it didn’t take a hot minute to pull together it might be my every time I’m craving a chocolate cake recipe but this one is firmly in the special occasion category.
While this may look like mayonnaise, Aioli isn’t mayonnaise. What’s the difference you ask? Mayonnaise is basically an emulsion of bland neutral flavored oils (think canola), egg yolks, vinegar and/or lemon juice. Aioli, on the other hand, hails from the southern French region of Provence, and traditionally begins by using a mortar and pestle to bash cloves of garlic into a paste. Once you’ve got yourself a nice chunk of garlic paste, it’s then blended together with egg yolks, lemon juice and olive oil (for a more robust flavor). It magically thickens and transforms right before your eyes and Boom you’ve got Aioli! What do you do with this new spreadable edible goodness? While I think it’s great spread on sandwiches like it’s cousin mayo, try serving your Aioli as a dip for crudité (fancy for vegetable tray) or as an accoutrement to shellfish (hello crab cakes).
These are pretty much my version of homemade Shake and Bake pork chops in grown up form. I would seriously get excited for shake and bake night growing up. There is something oddly exciting about shaking things up in a gallon zip top bag. Who knew? Well that’s unless you got too into it and the bag burst and then you were on clean up duty. Sigh. Maybe I was the only one?
I have a lot of little quirks with food. For instance, I’m not a fan of cucumbers (I will totally pick them out if they’re in let’s say a salad) but I’m all about the PICKLES. I know, I know, it makes ZERO sense but try telling that to my taste buds. My all time favorite pickle is the bread and butter pickle. My Mom has made Bread and Butter pickles every single year she’s had a garden and that’s like well my whole life. Strange name for a pickle yeah? I can’t imagine eating them on buttered bread but whatever floats your boat.
Sometimes a girl just wants a big fat juicy burger. One that doesn’t require fourteen napkins or a bib around my neck would also be nice. This is that kinda burger. We’ve packed a lot of flavor into that all beef patty by using a few secrets. Well it won’t be a secret any longer since I’m sharing it with y’all now will it? But good food is meant to be shared with good people so here goes.
Sweet. Spicy. Tart. No need to pick one, nope. You’re going to get all of that in every spoonful. If you like mangoes you’re going to love this supped up mango ice cream. Just like every summer in our house, our ice cream maker bowl stays in our freezer. We like it to be ready when we are to mix up a batch of frozen fabulousness. Which is quite often if the number of ice cream recipes posted on our little site is any indication. Go ahead and search ice cream or gelato here on our little neck of the interwebs, right up there at the top in the search box. See it? We’ve got something for everyone. I’m pretty sure we could open up an ice cream beach caddy but eh who has time for that.
Oh Shishito! I first had a taste of these babies in Austin a few years back at a seriously swoon worthy restaurant called Swift’s Attic. I’ve been dreaming of these peppers forever. They’ve been alluding me in my markets here ever since until now. This year when I was grabbing my garden plants there they were with a spotlight on them and the angels were singing, OH SHISHITO! I bought 4 plants and they’re now producing like my tomatoes should be. I’m not going to complain because hello shishito peppers. Once you have a taste you’ll understand my obsession with these little green goddesses of goodness.
We hit the hills! I think hills probably isn’t the best word but it flows better so I’m going with that. Last month we took a two wheeled road trip to the mountains of Georgia for a rally. While I am and will always be a beach girl I have to admit the mountains definitely don’t suck. Especially with views like that. This was by far, to date, the longest I’ve been on a bike. We broke the trip up into two days (because North Carolina to Georgia on a bike). Stopping in Cherokee North Carolina the first night and then finishing the last leg the following morning.
I’m sad to report that my garden tomato plants aren’t doing so hot this year. I think all the rain we’ve had is the culprit. While I’m extremely sad about the state of tomatoes in the bell’alimento household, the silver lining is my fresh herbs are going CRAZY. I have more fresh herbs than I can use. I’ve been garnishing ALL the things and I’ve made more bouquet garni’s than I can shake a rosemary sprig at. I’m thinking if I have this problem (if you can call it that) then maybe YOU do too! Because sharing is caring, I’ve put together a few of my favorite things to do with all those herbs.
Disclaimer: I have received information, product and materials from McNeil Consumer Pharmaceuticals Co., the makers of PEPCID®, as part of the Mom It Forward Blogger Network. The opinions stated are my own. This is a sponsored post.
Heartburn. It’s something we’d all like to keep off of our menus whether we’re eating at home or out, right? I’m no exception. I have always enjoyed foods with a spicy kick to them. I’m not talking super spicy (I’m just not personally cut out for super spicy) foods that would make me cry (think Indian hot), just a little tingle thank you very much. Sometimes however, spicy and occasionally overly rich (read fatty) foods don’t necessarily agree with me. What am I left with when they don’t? You guessed it, heartburn. It happens to the best of us. When it does I want relief and I want it stat. Fun fact: did you know that heartburn has nothing to do with your heart, so why in the world do they call it heartburn?
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post on behalf of Mom it Forward and M-DISC. Opinions are my own. Always have been. Always will be.
I am what most people would call a shutter bug. Whether I have my big daddy DSLR or my iphone on me, I’m always snapping a photo of this or that. Of people and moments that mean a lot to me. Memories that I wouldn’t be able to access if they just disappeared. Do you ever worry about your data disappearing? Your precious family photos. Videos you’ve taken of vacations, your children’s recitals, graduations? I don’t have to worry about that any more since I was introduced to M-DISC. What is M-DISC you ask? “M-DISC is a unique storage solution that preserves photos, video, and important documents…practically forever. People use M-DISC to create a “hard copy” of their treasured memories, and important information. By hard copy we mean something they can hold in their hands, and have complete control over. This process is also called “archiving”, formerly only embraced by businesses and universities, it is not gaining traction among consumers. M-DISC is the brand leader in personal archiving because it’s economical, simple to use, and will preserve data for more than 1,000 years.” 1,000 years people. That means generations and generations to come behind us will be able to share and cherish our data.
I’ve always been one to love a good challenge. Heck, coming up with dinner every night can be a challenge. You know those nights when it’s you against the refrigerator and pantry. Opening the doors, staring inside and saying what in the world am I going to put together to feed all these people that live with me? Those are the times creativity comes into play. I’m putting that creativity to good use with today’s recipe challenge. “To celebrate the fifth anniversary of Dreamfield’s Pastapalooza summer promotion, we are calling upon bloggers to compete in five “Market Basket” challenges throughout the summer. Bloggers will be challenged to use the ingredients in the Market Baskets (plus up to 2 more of their choice) to create original pasta salad, side dish or summer entrée recipes. Fans and friends will vote for their favorite recipe from each Market Basket category, with the winning blogger receiving a $1,000 donation to their local food bank/pantry; a $200 donation will go to the food bank of choice of the remaining bloggers. One randomly drawn fan/participant who voted will win a family pack of Dreamfields + a $1,000 donation to their local food bank/pantry.”
It just so happens to be my birthday week! Yes I celebrate all week long, doesn’t everyone? My actual birthday isn’t until this weekend where I’ll be celebrating all things birthday cake as well as Independence. We like to celebrate the 4th of July with family, friends, fireworks and you guessed it … FOOD. While the grill is fired up we’ll be serving up these beautiful bites of grilled bruschetta, They’re the perfect start to any entertaining you may be doing. Piled high with creamy dreamy burrata, salty prosciutto, fresh basil (thankfully our garden is in overdrive at the moment) and the kicker? They’re topped off with a finger licking organic Blueberry Balsamic Sauce from Robert Rothschild Farm. What more could you ask for in an appetizer? Well other than another slice please.
Heroes. Everyone has one (if not more than one). They could be a neighbor, a police officer, a fireman, military personnel, your Grandma, your dog. Heroes come in all shapes and sizes. My first Heroes were my parents. My Mom who tirelessly made our school lunches, showed up to each and every single function we could sign up for, and believed in me with a fierceness that knew no bounds. I never really marched to the beat of a normal drum. When I put my mind to something (no matter how off the wall everyone else thought it was – and trust me that was often) she believed in me wholeheartedly. Priceless. My Dad was in the military while I was growing up. It’s not an easy job, but one he believed in. I have a deep respect for the military and the people who serve and for the freedoms they provide us with. Although he wasn’t always there because of serving our country, I always knew he loved me and believed in me. Last but not least, my husband is my Hero. He works hard all day to provide for our family. Despite his long work hours, he’s a hands on Dad and spends a great deal of time teaching and playing with our children. He is the best Father they could wish for and he puts up with my crazy. I am a lucky girl indeed. Those are my Heroes. I’d love to hear about YOURS.
It’s no surprise to anyone who knows me that I dig pizza. I like it hot or cold (I blame college for my love cold pizza, but some habits die hard and cold pizza still works for me). Apparently I’m not alone in my obsession love for pizza. With tasty toppings and melty cheese, it’s honestly no surprise that pizza is America’s sweetheart. The makers of Freschetta® pizza know that is not the only thing that matters. If you are following a gluten-free diet, a crust you can trust is also important. You’ve got to #TrustTheCrust yeah? Freschetta® Gluten Free Pizza expands the range of options for consumers who are eliminating gluten from their diets with pizza that’s full of flavorful toppings, with a light, airy and crispy gluten-free crust that is certified by the Celiac Support Association. Gluten Free doesn’t mean flavor free. Gluten Free products have come a long way. We have two of the five in our family who have gluten sensitivities. It’s nice to have flavorful options that our WHOLE family can enjoy. This good looking (and yes tasting) cheese pizza that we’ve jazzed up with fresh basil happens to fall under that category. It comes with a perfectly thin and crispy crust just the way I like it.
Summer is hard work for a parent y’all (please tell me I’m not the only one). We’re week 1 (O-N-E) into our summer vacation and I’m already hearing “I’M BORED” “WHAT CAN WE DO?” “I’M HUNGRY” sideeye. Here’s hoping I make it through the summer. What is helping? These Watermelon Mojitos for one thing. Fun to say, fun to drink. Now you can make them with or without the rum depending on whom you’re serving them to. Mine will have da rum. Options, you know we love them around here.
June is National Dairy Month (and all the Dairy lovers stand up and cheer). To celebrate the occasion, our friends at Real Seal are hosting a pin to win sweepstakes. You could win a $100 VISA gift card just by re-pining your favorite dairy recipe in the Real Seal Pin to Win sweepstakes. If you’re anything like me you LOVE pinning all the things to Pinterest so this should be easy peasy yeah? Did I mention there’s a prize at stake? Thought that might get your attention (well that and the ice cream because she’s a looker too.)
I’ve decided to share a few more of my personal adventures here on my little corner of the world wide web. I’m not sure how many of my virtual friends out there are into motorcycles but here’s hoping that a least a few of you are (if not no worries, there’s plenty of food posts, diy/craft and travel related posts to keep you occupied for a very long time).
I’ve been riding on the back of a motorcycle since I was a kid. My dad rode a Kawasaki something or another with what I lovingly referred to as a banana seat on the back. Despite my Mother’s pleas that it was death trap and I should remain with my feet firmly on the ground, I braided up and jumped on holding onto my Dad and smiled the whole time. Once you’ve had that feeling of the wind in your hair and what I can only describe as flying there’s really no turning back.
Head’s up, this Sunday is FATHER’S DAY. Ah, Father’s Day, you know the day we celebrate the man that your Mom thought was a baller (totally saw that on Instagram and had to borrow it – hilarious). All year, Dad has been providing and caring for you, his dear family, while awaiting his special day. So this year, skip the omelets and extra ties that are just going to sit in the closet, and thank Dad by giving him what he really wants: wake him up on Father’s Day morning with a juicy, sizzling brat and his favorite beverage. That’s right Bratfest in Bed!
Introducing Bratfast in Bed, a new Father’s Day tradition from Johnsonville that makes all of Dad’s Father’s Day dreams come true. Get the grilling started early. Really early. Wake up Dad with a juicy, sizzling brat, then post a picture on our Facebook wall or tweet it @Johnsonville and help us start a new Father’s Day tradition. Make Dad’s dreams come true with #BratfastInBed. The tasty way to celebrate Father’s Day.
When my friends at Lucky Leaf, asked me to create a few recipes using their pie filling I started off with a Flourless Dark Chocolate Black Forest Cake. It’s made using Lucky Leaf’s Premium Cherry Pie Filling. The pie filling is both IN and ON that insanely delicious cake. If you’re into cherries I think you’ll really dig that. For my second recipe I opted for a simple summer treat the whole family will love. Strawberry Cheesecake Pops. It’s made using what else? Strawberry pie filling. These pops are as simple as can be to make. In a few hours time you’ll be fighting over who gets a second or third. Or maybe that’s just our family? We are passionate about food.