White Cheddar Beer Bread

When I originally tagged this recipe and saved it to make, I read the original blog post from my absolute favorite blogger (Jessica @ How Sweet It Is ).  The recipe comes with a warning, to sum it up:  If you’re going to make this bread, just know you’re also going to eat the entire crunchy topping yourself.  It’s impossible to share.  It’s just so crunchy and  buttery and delicious!

I decided to give it a whirl and planned to serve the bread along with a batch of chili for the week.  I could just set myself up and cut the bread ahead of time so I would split it between Dave and I, each of us having enough for the week.

But then something happened-  the bread came out of the oven and as it was cooling, I couldn’t help but to try a little snitch off the corner.  That would be all I’d taste.  Until I tasted it.  Holy moly, is this stuff good!  Jessica was not lying.  This was the start to the end of me.

I was sneaky enough to thinly slice off the crusty end of one side of the loaf so Dave wouldn’t notice, and devoured every last crumb while cooking the chili.  So. Freakin’. Good.

Crunchy crusty delicious bread

Crunchy crusty delicious bread

Now, I’m sharing with you, because I mean, who doesn’t want to eat an entire loaf of cheesy beer bread?  I know I did!  I also have to mention that this recipe only takes SIX basic ingredients.  Doesn’t get much easier than that.

The bread was perfect for a bowl of chili, or if you check out Jess’s post, she makes a homemade apple compound butter to slather ontop that looks divine.  And, as I mentioned earlier, you could totally just gobble it up warm out of the oven… ENJOY!

White Cheddar Beer Bread
Recipe slightly adapted from:  How Good It Is Blog

Ingredients:
3 cups All Purpose Flour
3 teaspoons Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Salt
6oz White Cheddar Cheese, freshly grated
12oz Beer, any beer! (the more flavor the better!)
6 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, melted

Directions:
1.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9×5 loaf pan with nonstick spray.

2.  Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Stir.  Mix in the grated cheddar and pour the beer in until a thick batter comes together.  It will be very thick!  Spoon the batter into the prepared loaf pan.  Pour the melted butter right on top.

3.  Bake in the preheated oven for 50-55 minutes, or until the bread is golden brown and set in the middle.  Remove from the oven and let cool for about 30 minutes.  Slice and enjoy!

3.  Bake Over a large bowl, sift together the all-purpose and whole wheat flours. Stir in the baking powder and the salt. Stir in the grated white cheddar. Pour in the beer and stir until a batter forms. It will be thick. Spoon the batter in the greased loaf pan. Pour the melted butter over top. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until the bread is golden brown and set in the middle. Remove the pan from the oven and let cool for about 30 minutes.

Take a second to check out a few of my other favorite quick breads!

I suppose the melted butter helps :)

I suppose the melted butter helps 🙂

Nommmm

Nommmm

Eat it plain, or even with chili like we did :)

Eat it plain, or even with chili like we did 🙂

Buttermilk Skillet Cornbread

I am seriously SO over all of this snow!  We have now had the third snowiest winter of all time in Philadelphia… ew ew ew ew ew!!  All last week while stuck inside because of the terrible weather, all I could think about was soup.  I was looking at recipes of soup that I’ve made before and ones that I’ve saved for a rainy day.  I didn’t even care what kind… I just really wanted soup.

And honestly, what better soup to make on a snowy day than one that cooks in a crockpot and makes your house smell all sorts of delicious?!  I decided to spend some time on Sunday making a new chili recipe with Dave.  We like to experiment and try new things, so this time around, we made a lamb chili.  It was so delish!  Stay tuned because I’ll be posting about that recipe soon 🙂

We decided to make this amazing cornbread to go along with the chili, which was a fabulous idea because it was so freakin’ easy and so yummy!

I have actually always wanted to try a baking recipe in my cast iron skillet, so this was the perfect opportunity.

This recipe is from the super popular blogger, Michelle, from Brown Eyed Baker.  This is the first recipe I’ve made from her site, and I am so excited to try others… this one was great!  Check out her blog and instagram… she has two adorable Golden Retrievers and posts so many pictures of them, I just love it!

Buttermilk Skillet Cornbread

Ingredients:

1¼ cups Yellow Cornmeal
1¼ cups All-Purpose Flour
2 Tablespoons White Sugar
1½ teaspoons Baking Powder
½ teaspoon Baking Soda
1½ teaspoons Kosher Salt
1¾ cups Reduced Fat Buttermilk
1 large Egg
1/2 can Creamed Corn

4 Tablespoons Butter, cut into 4 pieces

Chives

Directions:

1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.  In a large bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and kosher salt.  Measure your buttermilk in a large measuring cup, then add the egg and stir.  Add the buttermilk mixture and the creamed corn to the dry ingredients and stir using a rubber spatula until the mixtures are completely combined.  Chop or snip some chives into the batter as well if you’d like.

2.  Put the four pieces of butter in a cast iron skillet (10-12 inches) and then place the pan in the preheated oven until the butter is melted (about 3 minutes).  Remove the skillet from the oven and swirl the pan so the butter coats the bottom and partially up the sides of the pan.  Add the batter to the skillet and smooth the top with the rubber spatula.  

3.  Cook in the oven for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick entered into the middle comes out clean.  Let cool slightly then cover the pan with a cutting board and flip, removing the cornbread.  Slice and serve warm.

Recipe Adapted from:  Brown Eyed Baker

Ready to go in the oven...

Ready to go in the oven…

all done :)

all done 🙂

I sliced mine like a pie :)

I sliced mine like a pie 🙂

 

I was literally in shock when this recipe turned out right.  I’m not very good at baking (I rarely follow instructions the right way) and could not believe how perfect this cornbread came out of the skillet!  What a relief.

The only change I would make to this recipe for next time would be to add either a little bit more sugar or kosher salt… or even jalapeños!  The good thing about cornbread is that the opportunities are endless… you can add whatever you’d like.  This cornbread was so delicious and was the perfect accompaniment to our lamb chili!

photo 5 (2)

cornbread

 

White Bean & Pomegranate Salad : BA Cleanse 2014

Anyone following on Instagram knows about “the cleanse”. (and if you aren’t … go follow now!)

At the time of the last post I wrote, Dave and I were starting a little new year challenge to follow Bon Appetit’s “Food Lover’s Cleanse“.  Now that we’re almost done, I will have some time to tell you all about it!  I cannot wait to share some of the new recipes I’ve learned with you.  It’s been a week and a half full of prepping and cooking but it was worth it.  Both of us have really enjoyed the cleanse, and after the first two days and the re-discovery of clementines, we really never felt hungry.

The first cleanse recipe I want to tell you about is for an amazing side that was made by DAVE!  He has been such a big help during the cleanse since it involves so many recipes and a ton of time in the kitchen.  I had to share this side dish with you, I was SO impressed!

This bean salad is very easy to make- it’s light and fresh with the parsley and crunch of the pomegranate arils but hearty and full of fiber!

I never get a chance to make interesting sides, so this one has to get some special recognition!

White Bean & Pomegranate Salad

Ingredients:

1 (15oz) can Cannellini Beans, rinsed

1/3 cup Pomegranate Seeds*

1 Tablespoon Fresh Lemon Juice

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

1/4 cup Scallions (thinly sliced whites and pale green parts only.  Cut on a diagonal)

2 Tablespoons fresh Flat-Leaf Parsley, chopped

1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt

1/4 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper

Directions:

Toss beans, pomegranate seeds, lemon juice, oil, scallions, parsley, and ½ tsp. salt together in a medium bowl; season with salt and pepper. (Doesn’t get much easier than that, does it?!)

*Here’s some help on how to de-seed your pom!

Recipe from:  Bon Appetit

This side would be great with really anything, but we ate it on our cleanse along with some pan-roasted chicken topped with a Red Pepper-Walnut Relish- the recipes for those are found below!  I was super psyched about the chicken- the recipe called for some pan frying on the stove and for the chicken to be finished off in the oven… this meant I was able to use one of our new pans!  YAY!

photo

Red Pepper Walnut Relish:  Recipe Here

Pan-Roasted Chicken:  Recipe Here

End of Summer Thai Slaw

Well my friends… it’s about that time.  As far as I’m concerned, as of last night, Summer 2013 is over!

I hope you all had a fabulous summer!  Dave and I spent our final summer weekend at the shore house with the fam.  It was such a great way to end this crazy summer we’ve had.

A cute photo from our date night in Atlantic City :)

A cute photo from our date night in Atlantic City 🙂

I wanted to make one last summery side dish before my mind starts wandering off in pumpkin land!  The recipe for this slaw was from the Food Network’s 50 Slaw Recipe booklet.  The Thai version stood out to me since I was able to use my brand new SPICY peanut butter from Peanut Butter Co!  I love the Food Network’s 50 recipe booklets, they always inspire me… I want to make so many more too!

Thai Slaw w/ Spicy Peanut Butter

Ingredients:

1/2 cup Peanut Butter

1/3 cup Rice Vinegar

Juice from 2 Limes

1 Tablespoon Grated Ginger

1 Tablespoon Low Sodium Soy Sauce

1/4 head of Napa or Green Cabbage

1/2 cup Shredded  Carrots

1/2 cup Fresh Cilantro, chopped

2 Green Onions, chopped

1/4 cup Dry Roasted Peanuts, chopped

Directions:

1.  Stir or puree the peanut butter, rice vinegar, lime juice, ginger, and low sodium soy sauce.  

2.  In a separate bowl, combine cabbage, carrots, herbs, and peanuts.  Mix the dressing into the slaw and toss when ready to serve.

Recipe from:  Food Network Magazine

Ready for the dressin'!

Ready for the dressin’!

The star of the show!

The star of the show!

MMM!

MMM!

Thai Slaw

I love love loved this slaw!  I’m not a huge cole slaw fan because of the mayo that’s normally in it, so I really enjoyed this variation!  And I do have to tell you how delicious the spicy peanut butter made it.  There was nothing else spicy in the slaw and boy did it have heat!  It’s amazing how much flavor the spicy peanut butter brought to the table.  I might have to buy myself another jar already!

Well here’s my goodbye to you Summer 2013!  Excited to see what the fall will bring us 🙂

Tex-Mex Pasta Salad

It’s finally summertime again!  

Well, not officially, but once Memorial Day is here… it’s summer as far as I’m concerned!  What types of food remind you of summer?  For me, it’s Watermelon, Peaches and Plums, Ice Cream, and of course Grilling.  Last week, we fired up our grill and made an amazing BBQ spread with tons of veggies and juicy chicken covered in our Homemade BBQ Sauce.

Dave really wanted pasta salad for a side dish but I wasn’t interested in getting  all Mayo-ey.  I adapted this Tex-Mex Pasta Salad from Cooking Light to make it into a side-dish.  The pasta salad turned out fabulous, we all really liked it.  It was a nice light side that went along perfectly with our grilled veggies and chicken.  I’d love to try this with ground turkey as the original recipe calls for to make a complete meal next time!

Tex-Mex Pasta Salad

Ingredients:

1/2 box Short Pasta (I used Pipette)
1 teaspoon Olive Oil
1 clove of Garlic, minced
1 packet of 40%-less-sodium Taco Seasoning or 1-2 Tbsp pre-made seasoning
1/2 cup Shredded Reduced-Fat Cheddar or Mexican Blend Cheese
1/2 pint Grape Tomatoes, sliced
1/2 Bell Pepper, diced
1/4 cup – 1/2 cup Fresh Cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup Green Onions, chopped
1 small can Sliced Black Olives, drained
1/2 can (15.5oz) Black Beans, rinsed and drained
1 Lime, Juiced
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt & Black Pepper
1/4 teaspoon Cumin

1 Jalapeno, chopped, for topping optional

Directions:

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water. Drain; set aside.
  2. Combine the garlic, tomatoes, bell pepper, cilantro, green onions, olives, and black beans in a bowl.  Carefully stir to combine.  Add the pasta and stir again.
  3. Add the oil, lime juice, taco seasoning, salt, pepper, cumin and stir until combined.  Add extra taco seasoning if desired.  

Recipe inspired by:  Cooking Light

We grilled Zuchs, Onion, Bell Pepper, and Tomato Halves (which is my new fav thing)

We grilled Zuchs, Onion, Bell Pepper, and Tomato Halves (which is my new fav thing)

So many pretty colors!

So many pretty colors!

photo 3 (31)

photo 3 (30)

The original recipe not only included ground turkey, but the sauce was made with sour cream and topped with salsa.  I was planning on using some fat free sour cream to keep it healthy, but when I tasted the pasta salad just using the seasonings, oil, and lime juice… I loved it so much that I just left it alone.  If you prefer a creamy pasta salad, go ahead and add some sour cream.  OR, if you want it to just be a little less dry, you could always add the salsa.

Do you have an awesome pasta salad recipe?  Please share!!

Mediterranean Orzo Salad

I’m finally back on track with the blog people.

I’ve been running around like crazy (as always) but this time, I was getting ready for my first vacation with Dave in a year and a half!!  We just returned late last night and I cannot wait to tell you all about it soon.  Our trip took us to Seattle and Vancouver… and was full of lots of fun sightseeing, exploring, family time, and of course good food & drink.

The view from our run in Vancouver.  Absolutely gorgeous!  Worth torturing myself for a few miles while on vacation...

The view from our run in Vancouver. Absolutely gorgeous! Worth torturing myself for a few miles while on vacation…

I just wanted to make you really jealous and give you a preview… this beautiful picture was taken on our run along the beach one morning in Vancouver.  How gorgeous?

Feeling selfish lately after basically neglecting you all, I thought it’d be only fair to give you a new recipe today… a really awesome one.  I saw this recipe on a blog that I’m just loving, it’s called Iowa Girl Eats.  Check it out!  I think Kristin’s pictures on her blog are absolutely amazing.  Anyway, I saw her Mediterranean Orzo Salad in March and realized that I had all of the ingredients at home… my favorite type of recipe.

Mediterranean Orzo Salad

Makes 4 Servings as a side dish

Ingredients:
4oz Orzo
1 handful Grape Tomatoes, halved
1 5oz container Reduced Fat Feta Crumbles
1/4 cup Olives, sliced 
1/4 cup Parsley, chopped (I used my handy dandy freeze-dried herbs again)
2 Tablespoons Capers
1/4 cup Lemon Juice (2 Lemons)
1 teaspoon Honey
1 Tablespoon Minced Garlic
Sea Salt, Black Pepper
1/4 cup EVOO or other Oil (grapeseed)
Directions:
1.  Cook Orzo in a large pot of salted water, boiling until al dente as the box instructs.  Drain, set aside.
2.  Make the dressing.  Whisk or blend the lemon juice, honey, garlic, salt, and pepper (pinches of each, taste test).  Slowly drizzle in the oil while pulsing the blender or whisking if you’re not using the blender.  
3.  Combine tomatoes, feta, olives, parsley, and capers in a large bowl.  Add cooked orzo and the dressing.  Toss to combine.  
*This can be served warm or room temp.  Also, if you’re planning on not eating right away, save some dressing on the side so you can top it off before you’re ready to eat it.  The pasta will probably have soaked up a lot overnight.*

Recipe slightly adapted from: Iowa Girl Eats

photo 1 (15)

I decided to make this to eat as a side for both lunch and dinner.  It was a delicious change of pace for us, since I rarely ever make pasta salads.  The pasta salad had such great flavor from the freshness of the lemon juice and the salty from the olives and capers.  Yummy, simple yet special.

You should be warned though that I don’t like my pasta salad drenched in oil, so I halved the oil that the original recipe calls for.  If you don’t like yours on the dry side, I’d recommend doubling the dressing.

Be on the lookout for my post in the next week or so about our trip!

 

Corn & Bean Salad

One of Dave’s favorite recipes and certainly the most requested by him is a Corn & Bean Salad that one of my co-workers, Valerie, shared with me a few years ago.  Val likes to make this salad in the summer but Dave and I can never seem to hold out all winter!
The most fun thing about this salad is that you can do a lot of different add-ins or spices to change things up!

Corn & Bean Salad

 Ingredients:
1 can No Salt Added Whole Kernel Corn, drained
1 can Dark Red Kidney Beans, drained & rinsed
1 large Jalapeno, seeded & diced
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil Mayo (reduced fat)
2 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
Seasonings: Garlic Powder, Sea Salt, Black Pepper, Cayenne Pepper
 Directions:
Combine all ingredients into a small bowl.  Stir and season to taste. Let sit for an hour or overnight & the flavors will intensify. 
 
Here are some ways I’ve spiced this recipe up in the past:
Add: Rotel, Diced Water Chesnuts, Chopped Celery, Chopped Onion
Switch Beans:  Black Beans, Small Red Beans, White Beans
Change flavors with different spices:  More Cayenne, Cumin, Smoked Paprika, Dill, Cilantro
… the options are endless!
 
If you divide the salad up into four separate tupperwares, each serving of this yummy side salad will only cost you about 160 calories!  I definitely recommend splitting it up or you might eat it all in one sitting!
I always think it's so pretty :)

I always think it’s so pretty 🙂

YUM!  This would be awesome in a taco... but we just eat it on it's own as a side!

YUM! This would be awesome in a taco… but we just eat it on it’s own as a side!

 
Corn & Bean Salad Nutrition
Makes Four Servings:
163 Calories
3 grams Fat
8 grams Protein
10 grams Fiber
30 grams Carbs 
(4 Points Plus per Serving)

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