Cake, Batter, and Bowl http://cakebatterandbowl.com Inspiration to get in the kitchen and make some noise with your pots and pans! Tue, 12 Aug 2014 03:10:01 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 Blackened Chicken Sandwiches with Pesto, Tomato, Bacon, and Cheese http://cakebatterandbowl.com/blackened-chicken-sandwiches-pesto-tomato-bacon-cheese.html?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=blackened-chicken-sandwiches-pesto-tomato-bacon-cheese http://cakebatterandbowl.com/blackened-chicken-sandwiches-pesto-tomato-bacon-cheese.html#comments Tue, 12 Aug 2014 03:10:01 +0000 http://cakebatterandbowl.com/?p=5917 The post Blackened Chicken Sandwiches with Pesto, Tomato, Bacon, and Cheese appeared first on Cake, Batter, and Bowl - Inspiration to get in the kitchen and make some noise with your pots and pans!

One of the perks of our new place is that we’ll be closer to Costco. Yes, I consider that a perk! We’re going to try heading over during the week after we move, in hopes that it will be less crazy than during the crowded weekends. I figure we can pick up a pizza on the […]

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blackened chicken sandwiches

One of the perks of our new place is that we’ll be closer to Costco. Yes, I consider that a perk! We’re going to try heading over during the week after we move, in hopes that it will be less crazy than during the crowded weekends. I figure we can pick up a pizza on the way out for dinner too!

Speaking of Costco, it seems like torta roll samples are almost always up for grabs. No complaints here about that; they are pretty tasty! I particularly like toasting them up for breakfast sandwiches, but I also recently used them for these delicious sandwiches. The title of this recipe says it all. I nestled blackened spiced chicken pieces between crispy bacon, juicy tomatoes, Swiss cheese, a dollop of pesto, and the toasted rolls. I don’t make sandwiches at home often, but these definitely hit the spot!

chicken sandwich3

Blackened Chicken Sandwiches with Pesto, Tomato, Bacon, and Cheese
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:

For the Blackened Chicken:
4 large boneless, skinless, chicken breasts, cut in half lengthwise so you have 8 pieces of chicken
1/2 tablespoon ground thyme
3/4 teaspoons ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
8 slices Swiss cheese

For Assembly:
8 torta rolls, split and toasted
8 slices cooked applewood smoked bacon (I roasted mine in the oven!)
8 beefsteak tomato slices
8 tablespoons prepared pesto

Directions:
To make the chicken, heat oven to 350°F. Mix thyme, allspice, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a small bowl. Sprinkle chicken evenly with seasoning mix and rub into both sides of each chicken breast. Place chicken breasts on a large greased cookie sheet and bake at 350˚F for 13 to 17 minutes or until cooked through and no longer pink in the center. Place a slice of cheese on top of each chicken breast and heat for 1 additional minute or until cheese melts.

To assemble the sandwiches, place chicken pieces with cheese on top of the bottom buns and top with bacon and tomato. Spread pesto evenly on the cut side of the top half of the buns and top each sandwich with this bun. Makes 8 sandwiches.

Nutrition: 528 calories, 26.6g fat, 2.0g fiber, 43.3g protein per sandwich
Cost: $2.02 per sandwich

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Mexican Zucchini Boats http://cakebatterandbowl.com/mexican-zucchini-boats.html?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=mexican-zucchini-boats http://cakebatterandbowl.com/mexican-zucchini-boats.html#comments Tue, 22 Jul 2014 03:53:40 +0000 http://cakebatterandbowl.com/?p=5909 The post Mexican Zucchini Boats appeared first on Cake, Batter, and Bowl - Inspiration to get in the kitchen and make some noise with your pots and pans!

I’ve been inspired by all the fresh summer produce to cook a little more often during the week. I know I’ve mentioned this before, but I love zucchini and yellow summer squash and can’t wait until we have a garden overflowing with them! Miss Greta likes them too. While I was picking out the zucchini […]

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mexican zucchini boats

I’ve been inspired by all the fresh summer produce to cook a little more often during the week. I know I’ve mentioned this before, but I love zucchini and yellow summer squash and can’t wait until we have a garden overflowing with them! Miss Greta likes them too. While I was picking out the zucchini for this recipe at the store, she managed to get her hands on a summer squash and took a little bite at the top. So, the summer squash went into our cart as well!

This is the kind of meal I make when we’ve indulged a bit too much over the weekend or when I know I have a pint of Ben and Jerry’s in the fridge that needs to be polished off. These Mexican Zucchini Boats are flavorful, packed with protein, and very filling. They are definitely a keeper to put in our summer dinner rotation!

mexican zucchini boats

Mexican Zucchini Boats
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
10 zucchini, ends cut off and cut in half lengthwise
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 red onion, chopped
Kernels from two ears of corn
1.5 pounds ground turkey
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
2 14.5-ounce cans fire roasted diced tomatoes
1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
3 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend (mine was a blend of cheddar, Monterey jack, asadero, and queso blanco), divided

Directions:
Heat oven to 350°F. Use a teaspoon to hollow out each zucchini half, leaving 1/2-inch shells. Discard zucchini pulp and place zucchini, hollowed out side up, on several large greased cookie sheets. Heat canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion, corn, and ground turkey to the pan and sauté 5 to 8 minutes or until turkey is almost cooked through. Add garlic, chili powder, paprika, oregano, cumin, and salt and stir well; sauté for 1 to 2 additional minutes or until turkey is cooked through and no longer pink. Drain off liquid. Stir in tomatoes, black beans, and 1 cup cheese until well mixed. Spread mixture evenly in the hollowed out zucchini and sprinkle remaining 2 cups cheese evenly on top. Bake at 350°F for 20 to 25 minutes or until cheese is melted and zucchini is tender. Makes 10 servings.

Nutrition: 330 calories, 12.8g fat, 8.2g fiber, 27.4g protein per serving
Cost: $2.40 per serving

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Blueberry Lemon Cake with Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting http://cakebatterandbowl.com/blueberry-lemon-cake-whipped-cream-cheese-frosting.html?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=blueberry-lemon-cake-whipped-cream-cheese-frosting http://cakebatterandbowl.com/blueberry-lemon-cake-whipped-cream-cheese-frosting.html#comments Tue, 15 Jul 2014 03:11:20 +0000 http://cakebatterandbowl.com/?p=5904 The post Blueberry Lemon Cake with Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting appeared first on Cake, Batter, and Bowl - Inspiration to get in the kitchen and make some noise with your pots and pans!

Is anyone else in denial that July is already half way over? I suppose I should attempt to post some of the summer recipes I’ve made lately, before it’s time to start baking with pumpkin…so, here we go! Today’s recipe is a lovely blueberry lemon cake that is a perfect way to enjoy fresh ripe […]

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blueberry lemon cake

Is anyone else in denial that July is already half way over? I suppose I should attempt to post some of the summer recipes I’ve made lately, before it’s time to start baking with pumpkin…so, here we go! Today’s recipe is a lovely blueberry lemon cake that is a perfect way to enjoy fresh ripe berries. We haven’t been berry picking yet this year, but I will keep this recipe in mind when we do.

I brought this cake in for a birthday celebration for my colleague who loves cream cheese frosting. I wanted something a bit lighter and summery though, so I stirred up a version of this addicting Mascarpone Whipped Cream with cream cheese instead of mascarpone. I think it really complimented the cake well!

blueberry lemon cake with whipped cream cheese frosting

Blueberry Lemon Cake with Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:

Blueberry Lemon Cake:
3 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
Zest of 2 lemons
2 pints blueberries, divided (dust 1 pint with extra flour to go into the cake so the berries don’t settle at the bottom of the pans and use the other pint for decorations)

Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting:
16 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions:
To make the blueberry lemon cake, heat the oven to 350˚F. Mix together cake flour, baking soda, and salt and sift the mixture into a large bowl. Beat butter and sugar with a mixer in a large bowl until creamed. Add in eggs and vanilla extract and mix until smooth. Slowly mix in half the flour mixture, followed by half the buttermilk, until smooth. Repeat with remaining flour and buttermilk. Stir in lemon zest and fold in 1 pint blueberries dusted in flour. Pour batter into two greased 8-inch cake pans lined with greased and floured parchment paper. Bake cakes at 350˚F for 24 to 28 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes in the pan, flip over onto a wire rack, and cool cakes completely, about 30 minutes.

To make the whipped cream cheese frosting, place the cream cheese, heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla extract in a well-chilled bowl and whisk on high speed until stiff peaks form, about 3 to 4 minutes. Assemble and frost the layer cake and decorate with remaining 1 pint blueberries, as desired. Makes 20 servings.

Nutrition: 430 calories, 27.3g fat, 1.7g fiber, 6.5g protein per serving
Cost: $0.94 per serving

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Mediterranean Couscous with Chicken Sausage http://cakebatterandbowl.com/mediterranean-couscous-2.html?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=mediterranean-couscous-2 http://cakebatterandbowl.com/mediterranean-couscous-2.html#comments Sat, 21 Jun 2014 02:00:22 +0000 http://cakebatterandbowl.com/?p=5894 The post Mediterranean Couscous with Chicken Sausage appeared first on Cake, Batter, and Bowl - Inspiration to get in the kitchen and make some noise with your pots and pans!

Today I’m sharing a recipe for a mouth-watering 30 minute meal! We have a lot of moving parts that will hopefully all be coming together this summer, so I’ve been all about quick and easy meals lately. Most of our weekends this spring were spent at open houses, and the last several weeks we’ve been […]

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couscous1

Today I’m sharing a recipe for a mouth-watering 30 minute meal! We have a lot of moving parts that will hopefully all be coming together this summer, so I’ve been all about quick and easy meals lately. Most of our weekends this spring were spent at open houses, and the last several weeks we’ve been busy meeting with contractors and checking out appliances at Home Depot, because we’re going to close on our first house in July! The housing market in the Boston area is a little crazy, so it’s been quite the process. We have a number of renovation projects to work on, but the house is large enough to be our forever home and is in a lovely town on an acre lot, so we are very excited to be taking this step!

Anyway, this couscous has been one of my favorite meals lately. It is so flavorful and reheats beautifully the next day for lunches. Yum, just writing about it makes me want to whip up another batch!

couscous2

Mediterranean Couscous with Chicken Sausage
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
3 cups chicken stock
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 cups whole wheat couscous
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound chicken sausage, chopped
3 large shallots, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
5 ounces frozen spinach
1 cup chopped roasted red peppers
1 cup chopped sun dried tomatoes
1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 cup crumbled feta

Directions:
To prepare couscous, bring chicken stock and butter to a boil in a large saucepan over high heat. Remove from heat, pour in couscous, and stir well. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff couscous with a fork and place in a large bowl; stir in lemon juice and salt.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a nonstick pan over medium high heat and sauté chicken sausage and shallots for 6 to 8 minutes or until sausage is browned and shallots are softened; add garlic and sauté 1 additional minute. Stir in frozen spinach and sauté 2 to 3 minutes or until spinach is heated through. Place chicken sausage mixture in the bowl with the couscous. Add roasted red peppers, sun dried tomatoes, chickpeas, and feta to the bowl and stir well. Makes 6 servings.

Nutrition: 683 calories, 20.8g fat, 8.3g fiber, 31.1g protein per serving
Cost: $2.93 per serving

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Coconut Cupcakes with Nutella Cream Cheese Frosting http://cakebatterandbowl.com/coconut-cupcakes-nutella-cream-cheese-frosting.html?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=coconut-cupcakes-nutella-cream-cheese-frosting http://cakebatterandbowl.com/coconut-cupcakes-nutella-cream-cheese-frosting.html#comments Tue, 27 May 2014 02:03:43 +0000 http://cakebatterandbowl.com/?p=5861 The post Coconut Cupcakes with Nutella Cream Cheese Frosting appeared first on Cake, Batter, and Bowl - Inspiration to get in the kitchen and make some noise with your pots and pans!

I recently heard that Top Chef will be filming their next season in Boston this summer! So, to all the producers out there – I wanted to officially let you know that I’m up for sampling food at any challenge…haha. Seriously though, I love the show and can’t wait to watch! I read this exciting news […]

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coconut cupcakes with nutella cream cheese frosting

I recently heard that Top Chef will be filming their next season in Boston this summer! So, to all the producers out there – I wanted to officially let you know that I’m up for sampling food at any challenge…haha. Seriously though, I love the show and can’t wait to watch!

I read this exciting news on twitter. I usually consider myself a little ahead of the foodie curve due to twitter and all the food blogs I follow. Apolinaras surprised me a couple months ago though when he requested I pick up some coconut oil from Trader Joe’s. I had been meaning to try baking with coconut oil for a few years now, but he somehow beat me to it!

I used some his coconut oil for these cupcakes that I whipped up for Easter. They are delightfully packed with coconut and not overly sweet. The Nutella frosting was also inspired by Apolinaras, since he goes crazy when I combine coconut and Nutella. Nutella is pretty much always an excellent choice though, right?

Coconut Cupcakes with Nutella Cream Cheese Frosting
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:

Coconut Cupcakes:
1 1/2 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup coconut oil, at room temperature
3/4 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 cup shredded sweetened coconut

Nutella Cream Cheese Frosting:
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup Nutella
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups powdered sugar

Directions:
To make the coconut cupcakes, heat the oven to 350˚F. Fill 12 cups of a 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake liners. Mix together flour, baking soda, and salt and sift the mixture into a large bowl. Beat coconut oil and sugar with a mixer in a large bowl until creamed. Add in eggs and vanilla extract and mix until smooth. Slowly mix in half the flour mixture, followed by half the buttermilk, until smooth. Repeat with remaining flour and buttermilk. Stir in the coconut. Evenly distribute cake batter into the 12 prepared cupcake liners, filling each about 3/4 full, and bake at 350˚F for 20 to 24 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of each cupcake comes out clean. Let cool 5 minutes in the pan, then remove cupcakes and place on a wire rack to cool completely, about 30 minutes.

To make the frosting, add the cream cheese, Nutella, and vanilla extract to a large bowl and beat with a mixer until smooth. Slowly mix in the powdered sugar, scraping down sides of the bowl, as needed, until the frosting is smooth. To assemble the cupcakes, place frosting in a decorating bag with a 1M decorating tip and frost the cooled cupcakes. Makes 12 cupcakes.

Nutrition: 389 calories, 22.6g fat, 1.4g fiber, 5.7g protein per serving
Cost: $0.83 per cupcake

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Quadruple Berry Pancakes http://cakebatterandbowl.com/quadruple-berry-pancakes.html?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=quadruple-berry-pancakes http://cakebatterandbowl.com/quadruple-berry-pancakes.html#comments Mon, 14 Apr 2014 03:22:03 +0000 http://cakebatterandbowl.com/?p=5853 The post Quadruple Berry Pancakes appeared first on Cake, Batter, and Bowl - Inspiration to get in the kitchen and make some noise with your pots and pans!

It’s time for pancakes! I’ve been whipping up these berry pancakes almost every weekend for a few months now, and I finally got around to taking a few pictures! This recipe makes the perfect amount for our family of three, and Greta always enjoys helping me stir the batter and flip the pancakes. I have […]

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quadruple berry pancakes

It’s time for pancakes! I’ve been whipping up these berry pancakes almost every weekend for a few months now, and I finally got around to taking a few pictures! This recipe makes the perfect amount for our family of three, and Greta always enjoys helping me stir the batter and flip the pancakes. I have very fond memories of helping my mom make pancakes growing up, and I’m so happy to continue the tradition with my daughter!

This may actually be the recipe I’ve made the most number of times on my blog. They are delicious and fairly healthy. Be sure to add the almond extract, since it gives them a little something special you can’t quite put your finger on!

Quadruple Berry Pancakes
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups berries (I used a mix of frozen strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries. I thawed them first, drained all the juice, and cut up the strawberries into smaller pieces.)

Directions:
Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a medium bowl. Stir in the egg, buttermilk, melted butter, vanilla extract, and almond extract until just combined. Stir in the berries. Pour 1/3 cup scoops of batter onto a greased nonstick skillet over medium heat. Flip the pancakes when bubbles start to appear on top, after about 3 minutes. Cook the other side until golden brown. Makes 7-8 pancakes. Makes 3 servings.

Nutrition: 316 calories, 9.6g fat, 8.2g fiber, 10.5g protein per serving
Cost: $1.90 per serving

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Chicken over Pumpkin, Mushroom, and Spinach Risotto http://cakebatterandbowl.com/chicken-pumpkin-mushroom-spinach-risotto.html?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=chicken-pumpkin-mushroom-spinach-risotto http://cakebatterandbowl.com/chicken-pumpkin-mushroom-spinach-risotto.html#comments Tue, 25 Feb 2014 04:12:26 +0000 http://cakebatterandbowl.com/?p=5842 The post Chicken over Pumpkin, Mushroom, and Spinach Risotto appeared first on Cake, Batter, and Bowl - Inspiration to get in the kitchen and make some noise with your pots and pans!

Whenever we’re out and about north of the city, we try to squeeze in a visit to Wilson Farm in Lexington. It’s a very popular farm stand that is so large it’s more like a market in a huge barn. They always have beautiful local produce, a wide selection of lovely artisan cheese, a bakery, […]

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chicken over pumpkin risotto 2

Whenever we’re out and about north of the city, we try to squeeze in a visit to Wilson Farm in Lexington. It’s a very popular farm stand that is so large it’s more like a market in a huge barn. They always have beautiful local produce, a wide selection of lovely artisan cheese, a bakery, and tons more. I love just wandering around. In the fall, they have a really fun pumpkin patch and delicious fresh apple cider and donuts. They also host cool foodie events. For example, next weekend is Grilled Cheese Weekend, where you can make a small donation to sample a variety of creative grilled cheese sandwiches and all the proceeds benefit the Pan Mass Challenge for cancer research. How fun is that?

Last fall, I noticed an advertisement for a fall dinner featuring a dinner with three courses of pumpkin. The main course especially caught my eye, Herbed Chicken over Pumpkin, Mushroom, and Swiss Chard Risotto. Unfortunately, we couldn’t make it to the event, but I was recently inspired to create something similar to enjoy at home.

My Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese Risotto with Pancetta is one of my very favorite dishes, so I knew pumpkin would also work really well in risotto. The mushrooms added a lovely earthiness and the healthy spinach was a welcome addition. I used spinach since Trader Joe’s was out of Swiss chard. This was such a satisfying meal!

chicken over pumpkin risotto 1

Chicken over Pumpkin, Mushroom, and Spinach Risotto
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:

Chicken:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
4 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts
1/2 teaspoon salt

Pumpkin, Mushroom, and Spinach Risotto:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 10-ounce package sliced baby bella mushrooms
6 ounces frozen spinach
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
3 large shallots, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup Arborio rice
4 cups low sodium chicken stock
1 15-ounce can pure pumpkin puree
1/2 cup freshly shredded parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon salt

Directions:
To make the chicken, heat olive oil and butter over medium heat in a large nonstick skillet. Place chicken breasts in the skillet and sprinkle with salt. Sauté the chicken 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until cooked through and no longer pink in the center.

To make the risotto, heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat and sauté the mushrooms for 5 minutes; add spinach to the pan and sauté 3 to 5 minutes or until veggies are tender. Meanwhile, melt butter over medium heat in a large stockpot. Sauté the shallots for 5 to 7 minutes or until tender; add garlic and sauté for an additional minute. Add the rice and stir until well-coated and translucent, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium low and stir in 2 cups of chicken stock. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the stock has been absorbed; add another cup of stock and continue in this way until all the chicken stock has been absorbed, for about 30 minutes. Stir in the pumpkin puree and parmesan cheese and simmer an additional 5 minutes or until desired consistency is reached; stir in the red wine vinegar and salt. Stir in the cooked mushrooms and spinach. Serve chicken over the risotto. Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition: 664 calories, 24.5g fat, 4.1g fiber, 67.4g protein per serving
Cost: $3.75 per serving

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Chocolate Cherry Oatmeal Bars http://cakebatterandbowl.com/chocolate-cherry-oatmeal-bars.html?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=chocolate-cherry-oatmeal-bars http://cakebatterandbowl.com/chocolate-cherry-oatmeal-bars.html#comments Sun, 16 Feb 2014 02:51:19 +0000 http://cakebatterandbowl.com/?p=5833 The post Chocolate Cherry Oatmeal Bars appeared first on Cake, Batter, and Bowl - Inspiration to get in the kitchen and make some noise with your pots and pans!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Valentine’s Day! We went out for sushi, and Greta and I made the cutest Valentine’s Day cards with her footprints in the shape of hearts. Of course, we also had more wine and chocolate than usual! I used to bake a huge oatmeal cookie for Apolinaras every year in […]

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chocolate cherry oatmeal cookie bars 2

I hope everyone had a wonderful Valentine’s Day! We went out for sushi, and Greta and I made the cutest Valentine’s Day cards with her footprints in the shape of hearts. Of course, we also had more wine and chocolate than usual!

I used to bake a huge oatmeal cookie for Apolinaras every year in a heart-shaped pan. I always spelled out cheesy messages on top with raisins too. It was a cheap pan though and got scratched up really quickly, so I had to get rid of it a few years ago, booo. Actually, I bet heart-shaped pans are on sale right now, so I should look for a replacement tomorrow! Anyway, I still like to make Apolinaras oatmeal cookies every year, and this year I made bars with chocolate, cherries, and walnuts. They were a hit!

chocolate cherry oatmeal cookie bars

Chocolate Cherry Oatmeal Bars
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
3/4 cup butter, at room temperature
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups instant oats
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped dried cherries
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Directions:
Heat oven to 350˚F. Place butter and sugar in a large bowl and mix until smooth. Mix in egg and vanilla extract. Stir in all-purpose flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix in oats; stir in chocolate chips, dried cherries, and walnuts. Press cookie dough evenly in the bottom of a greased 8×8-inch square pan. Bake at 350˚F for 24 to 28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool and cut into squares. Makes 16 bars.

Nutrition: 268 calories, 14.0g fat, 1.7g fiber, 3.0g protein per bar
Cost: $0.40 per bar

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Mediterranean Turkey Meatloaf http://cakebatterandbowl.com/mediterranean-turkey-meatloaf.html?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=mediterranean-turkey-meatloaf http://cakebatterandbowl.com/mediterranean-turkey-meatloaf.html#comments Thu, 06 Feb 2014 02:19:27 +0000 http://cakebatterandbowl.com/?p=5822 The post Mediterranean Turkey Meatloaf appeared first on Cake, Batter, and Bowl - Inspiration to get in the kitchen and make some noise with your pots and pans!

Greta has been insisting on using a fork to feed herself lately.  She’s successful about half the time now, which is a big improvement from when she first started.  She finally understands the food falls off the fork if she flips it over!  If I try and help her in an attempt to speed things […]

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Mediterranean Turkey Meatloaf

Greta has been insisting on using a fork to feed herself lately.  She’s successful about half the time now, which is a big improvement from when she first started.  She finally understands the food falls off the fork if she flips it over!  If I try and help her in an attempt to speed things up, I get the stink eye and/or shrieks of protest.  It’s pretty cute.

Anyway, she takes after her tete (daddy in Lithuanian) and loves my meatloaf.  I’m always up for it as well because it’s such great comfort food and it only takes about 20 minutes to prep.  Plus, leftovers are even better the next day!  This version has a Mediterranean twist.  I packed it with sautéed onions and garlic, roasted red peppers, feta, and oregano.  Greta immediately dug in and gobbled it right up!

Mediterranean Turkey Meatloaf
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 pounds ground turkey
1/2 cup chopped roasted red peppers
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 large egg
3/4 cup bread crumbs
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt

Directions:
Heat oven to 350˚F. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add onions and sauté for 8 to 10 minutes or until soft; add garlic and sauté one additional minute.

Mix onions, ground turkey, roasted red peppers, feta cheese, egg, bread crumbs, oregano, and salt in a large bowl with hands until well combined. Form meat into a loaf and place in a greased pan. Bake meatloaf at 350˚F for 50 to 60 minutes or until cooked through and no longer pink in the center.  Makes 6 servings.

Nutrition:  319 calories, 16.5g fat, 1.4g fiber, 28.7g protein per serving
Cost:  $1.35 per serving

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Pumpkin Apple Crumble Coffee Cake http://cakebatterandbowl.com/pumpkin-apple-crumble-coffee-cake.html?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=pumpkin-apple-crumble-coffee-cake http://cakebatterandbowl.com/pumpkin-apple-crumble-coffee-cake.html#comments Mon, 20 Jan 2014 05:13:54 +0000 http://cakebatterandbowl.com/?p=5811 The post Pumpkin Apple Crumble Coffee Cake appeared first on Cake, Batter, and Bowl - Inspiration to get in the kitchen and make some noise with your pots and pans!

Well, hello, and Happy New Year! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season! We met my parents in Orlando for Christmas, where Greta had a blast being spoiled by her grandparents, splashing around in the pool, visiting the Magic Kingdom, and meeting Santa in Downtown Disney. Greta takes after her parents and already […]

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pumpkin apple crumble coffee cake

Well, hello, and Happy New Year! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season! We met my parents in Orlando for Christmas, where Greta had a blast being spoiled by her grandparents, splashing around in the pool, visiting the Magic Kingdom, and meeting Santa in Downtown Disney.

disney

Greta takes after her parents and already loves Disney. She was a trooper and took a few naps in Apolinaras’ arms while we waited in lines for some of the rides since we were there all day. It was soo cute watching her reaction to flying on the Dumbo ride and spinning around in the Teacups. Her favorite ride was definitely It’s a Small World, where she sat in the front of the boat and clapped her hands the entire time!

Our little Minnie Mouse also loved the Winnie the Pooh and friends character breakfast we went to at the Crystal Palace. I think she thought the characters were all giant stuffed animals because she leaned in and hugged them all. She also kept trying to chase after them at the restaurant! Piglet was her favorite.

piglet

Greta is learning so much every day now. She is talking more and more and mimicking everything that we do! Every morning she says “Wooooow!” when she sees the Christmas tree (um, yeah, it’s still up….) and “Oh no” when she drops something.

I think she would say “Wow!” if she tasted this coffee cake too. It’s pretty enough for company with the crumble on top and so good with the layer of soft apples and yummy pumpkin cake! I hope you enjoy it too if you make it!

pumpkin apple crumble coffee cake slice

Pumpkin Apple Crumble Coffee Cake
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:

Apple and Streusel Layer:
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tart apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced

Cake Layer:
1 15-ounce can pure pumpkin puree
2 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk

Directions:
To make the streusel, mix the melted butter, flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl until crumbly.

To make the cake, heat the oven to 350˚F. Grease and flour a 9-inch springform pan. Place pumpkin puree in a small nonstick pan and simmer over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes or until reduced to 1 cup. Cool completely.

Meanwhile, mix together flour, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, baking soda, baking powder, and salt and sift the mixture into a large bowl. Beat butter and sugars with a mixer in a large bowl until creamed. Add in eggs, vanilla extract, and cooled pumpkin puree, and mix until smooth. Slowly mix in half the sifted flour mixture until smooth. Mix in the buttermilk and then the remaining flour mixture.

Pour the cake batter into the greased and floured 9-inch springform pan. Fan apple slices in two concentric circles on top of batter and top evenly with streusel layer. Bake at 350˚F for 65 to 75 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes in the pan and then remove the cake from the pan to cool completely. Makes 12 servings.

Nutrition: 389 calories, 16.6g fat, 2.7g fiber, 4.8g protein per serving
Cost: $0.88 per serving

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French Onion Risotto http://cakebatterandbowl.com/french-onion-risotto-2.html?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=french-onion-risotto-2 http://cakebatterandbowl.com/french-onion-risotto-2.html#comments Tue, 03 Dec 2013 14:36:46 +0000 http://cakebatterandbowl.com/?p=5787 The post French Onion Risotto appeared first on Cake, Batter, and Bowl - Inspiration to get in the kitchen and make some noise with your pots and pans!

This post is brought to you by Campbell’s and BlogHer. We’re lucky that Greta has been enjoying almost everything that we’ve given her to eat, although I know this may change as she gets older. If her palate does become hard to please, it’s good to know that the Campbell Soup Company, which has been […]

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This post is brought to you by Campbell’s and BlogHer.

Ingredients

We’re lucky that Greta has been enjoying almost everything that we’ve given her to eat, although I know this may change as she gets older. If her palate does become hard to please, it’s good to know that the Campbell Soup Company, which has been making meals fun and delicious for 144 years, has two recipe destinations which are packed with fun and quick meal ideas for picky eaters. The meals on Campbellskitchen.com and WisestKid.com look simple and delicious, and are designed to make meal time easier for busy parents. Many of the recipes feature a fresh twist on classic dishes, which always inspire me in the kitchen. I recently had the opportunity to create a recipe with a Campbell’s product and decided to put a little spin on a traditional favorite, French Onion soup, and turn it into this French Onion Risotto!

I tried to incorporate all the layers of flavor in French Onion soup into my risotto. I started with shallots and garlic, and then I used Campbell’s beef broth to plump up the rice since beef broth is the base of French Onion soup. Then I stirred in just the right amount of a creamy fontina and lovely gruyere. The gruyere was quite addictive, and I may or may not have kept shredding off more of the block for many taste tests! Finally, I added a hefty amount of caramelized onions to finish the dish, which turned out just how I hoped it would – soo good! I think serving it in French Onion soup bowls with some croutons and melted cheese on top would make it perfect for a dinner party, too.

Oh, and caramelizing onions does take a bit of time, but it’s mostly hands off since all you have to do is give them a quick stir every 10 minutes. I made them the night before dinner in this case to save even more time. Check out my YouTube video with step-by-step instructions on the easy way to caramelize onions!

french onion risotto

French Onion Risotto
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 large yellow onions, sliced (9 cups)
1/2 cup chopped shallots
2 cloves garlic, minced
2/3 cup Arborio rice
2 10.5-ounce cans Campbell’s Beef Broth
1/2 cup shredded gruyere cheese
1/2 cup shredded fontina cheese
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

Directions:
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil and butter over medium low heat in a large nonstick skillet. Add onions, cover, and cook 50 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Remove lid and cook an additional 10 minutes, or until caramelized.

Meanwhile, heat 1 remaining tablespoon olive oil over medium heat in a medium stockpot. Sauté the shallots for 5 to 7 minutes or until tender; add garlic and sauté for an additional minute. Add the rice and stir until well-coated and translucent, about 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium low and stir in 1/2 of the first can of beef broth. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the stock has been absorbed; add more broth and continue in this way until all the stock has been absorbed, for about 30 minutes. Stir in the gruyere and fontina cheese and simmer an additional 3 to 5 minutes or until desired consistency is reached. Stir in red wine vinegar and caramelized onions. Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition: 449 calories, 27.6g fat, 2.0g fiber, 20.4g protein per serving
Cost: $2.50 per serving

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Curried Chickpea and Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash http://cakebatterandbowl.com/curried-chickpea-quinoa-stuffed-acorn-squash.html?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=curried-chickpea-quinoa-stuffed-acorn-squash http://cakebatterandbowl.com/curried-chickpea-quinoa-stuffed-acorn-squash.html#comments Wed, 20 Nov 2013 03:43:39 +0000 http://cakebatterandbowl.com/?p=5775 The post Curried Chickpea and Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash appeared first on Cake, Batter, and Bowl - Inspiration to get in the kitchen and make some noise with your pots and pans!

Have you started planning your Thanksgiving menu yet? I’m in denial it’s just over a week away, eek. How is November already half way over?! I always like to try a couple new recipes for Thanksgiving, but my one staple when we have vegetarian guests is to serve some version of stuffed acorn squash. Quinoa […]

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The post Curried Chickpea and Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash appeared first on Cake, Batter, and Bowl - Inspiration to get in the kitchen and make some noise with your pots and pans!

curried chickpea and quinoa stuffed acorn squash 1

Have you started planning your Thanksgiving menu yet? I’m in denial it’s just over a week away, eek. How is November already half way over?! I always like to try a couple new recipes for Thanksgiving, but my one staple when we have vegetarian guests is to serve some version of stuffed acorn squash.

Quinoa stuffed acorn squash are so satisfying and festive! And they’re also perfect to enjoy during the fall when you’re craving a healthy meal or having vegetarian friends over for a dinner party. I made this version, with curried quinoa, chickpeas, and spinach a couple weeks ago, and I’m already looking forward to making them again!

curried chickpea and quinoa stuffed acorn squash 2

Curried Chickpea and Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
4 acorn squash, cut in half with seeds and pulp removed
1 cup quinoa
2 cups vegetable stock
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Juice of half a lime
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 leek, white and light green parts only, chopped
2 tablespoons garlic ginger paste
8 ounces frozen chopped spinach
1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375˚F. Place squash cut side down on a large cookie sheet sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Bake at 375˚F for 35 to 40 minutes or until tender.

Meanwhile, place quinoa and stock in a stockpot over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer 10 to 15 minutes or until all water is absorbed. Stir in curry powder, cumin, lime juice, and salt.

Meanwhile, place canola oil and leeks in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat and sauté for 6 to 8 minutes or until leeks are tender. Add garlic ginger paste and cook one additional minute. Add frozen spinach and chickpeas and sauté 6 to 8 minutes or until spinach is tender. Stir mixture into the quinoa and evenly pile quinoa into the cooked squash. Makes 8 servings.

Nutrition: 235 calories, 2.1g fat, 7.9g fiber, 8.1g protein per serving
Cost: $1.42 per serving

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Wagamama Gift Card Giveaway http://cakebatterandbowl.com/wagamama-gift-card-giveaway.html?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=wagamama-gift-card-giveaway http://cakebatterandbowl.com/wagamama-gift-card-giveaway.html#comments Fri, 08 Nov 2013 02:13:43 +0000 http://cakebatterandbowl.com/?p=5766 The post Wagamama Gift Card Giveaway appeared first on Cake, Batter, and Bowl - Inspiration to get in the kitchen and make some noise with your pots and pans!

We cut a lot more culinary corners now that Miss Greta is a toddler and running all over the place. By the end of most days, I just want to sink into the couch instead of playing in the kitchen! I usually cook one meal each weekend, and Apolinaras sautés up some fish and quinoa […]

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We cut a lot more culinary corners now that Miss Greta is a toddler and running all over the place. By the end of most days, I just want to sink into the couch instead of playing in the kitchen! I usually cook one meal each weekend, and Apolinaras sautés up some fish and quinoa once during the week. Most of our other dinners are fast convenience foods (usually from Costco) or quick meals out (Greta and I love to share a big burrito from Chipotle!). So, when the lovely folks at Wagamama asked if I’d be interested in using a complimentary gift card to check out their new menu items, I happily accepted.

Wagamama serves causal Japanese-inspired fare at four Boston area locations. They have restaurants at Faneuil Hall and the Prudential Center, and just opened a brand new store at the Marketstreet Lynnfield Center last week. Apolinaras picked up Greta from daycare a few Wednesdays ago, and we met at the Harvard Square location.

Wagamama

Greta is starting to become a handful at restaurants. We try to go at off hours and bring lots of toys and snacks to distract her. The chopsticks at Wagamama were a huge hit! And, the staff was patient, which is always so appreciated.

baby

The food also really hit the spot. It was fast and fresh, and we both shared bites with Greta. Here she is with a soba noodle!

noodle

Apolinaras enjoyed the Chicken Raisukaree, chicken with a coconut and lime curry sauce, snow peas, and red peppers.

curry

I picked the Lemongrass Shrimp Soba Noodles with beansprouts, scallions, ginger, bok choy, and red chilies, which was quite tasty. The sauce was well balanced with lemongrass, mint, peanuts, and citrus ponzu sauce. I’ve never fried soba noodles before, but I’m going to try it soon, because they were delicious! The shrimp were also perfectly cooked, although I would have like some more veggies to round out the dish.

shrimp

I’m already looking forward to our next Wagamama date. And, I have a $25 Wagamama gift card for one lucky Boston reader! To enter to win, just leave a comment on this post. Entries must be in by 11:59 pm EST on Thursday, November 14. Good luck!

The fine print: The winner will be picked with random.org on Friday, November 15, and announced here shortly thereafter. I received a complementary $25 gift card from Wagamama but received no compensation for this post and all opinions are mind, of course.

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Summer Quinoa http://cakebatterandbowl.com/summer-quinoa.html?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=summer-quinoa http://cakebatterandbowl.com/summer-quinoa.html#comments Tue, 22 Oct 2013 03:51:01 +0000 http://cakebatterandbowl.com/?p=5741 The post Summer Quinoa appeared first on Cake, Batter, and Bowl - Inspiration to get in the kitchen and make some noise with your pots and pans!

We just celebrated Miss Greta’s 13 month birthday, but I thought I’d rewind today and do a quick recap. During her ninth month she was cruising all over and practicing standing on her own. Then she took her very first wobbly steps! She enjoyed a ton of new foods and started having scrambled eggs for […]

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The post Summer Quinoa appeared first on Cake, Batter, and Bowl - Inspiration to get in the kitchen and make some noise with your pots and pans!

We just celebrated Miss Greta’s 13 month birthday, but I thought I’d rewind today and do a quick recap. During her ninth month she was cruising all over and practicing standing on her own. Then she took her very first wobbly steps! She enjoyed a ton of new foods and started having scrambled eggs for breakfast every morning and eating off our plates at restaurants. She also really started getting into everything, did a little toy stealing at daycare, and started blubbering with her lips and making fun sounds. She also liked to climb into a book bin at daycare and “read” all the books.

We did a mini photo shoot in Harvard Yard on her 11 month birthday, and she was off and running! Her walking became very solid during her tenth month, and she had her first mac & cheese and bites of pizza! My parents visited and got a kick out of her new mobility. She began pointing and clapping her hands, and loved taking everything in and out of our kitchen cabinets. Her favorite toys were her shoes, so I guess she takes after her mama!

And here are a few pictures from her birthday! Her daycare teachers made her this cute crown and we got her a cupcake to enjoy.

bday

She loved banging on her xylophone and pointing to everything while saying dododododo. She became very fast at running and also started climbing up on the couch and then back down again, and then back up and then down again. Her favorite foods were fish, bananas, raspberries, and yogurt. She really loves fish and now Apolinaras makes it for us several times a week. Her favorite game was taking toys out of a bin and then putting them back in again, over and over. She also mastered giving a high five and loved to wave to everyone.

We also visited Lithuania during her eleventh month so Greta could spend time with her grandma. I’m not going to recap our visit since we visited many of the same places I’ve already talked about, and let’s face it, it would probably take me several more months to get the post up, haha, but it was so wonderful for Greta to see where her tete (daddy) grew up.

lithuania beach

She loved the beach and hiking in the forest, and not surprisingly, wasn’t a huge fan of the mineral water.

mineral water

On the culinary front, she picked her first edible mushroom there and tried smoked eel for the first time (which is amazing)!

lithuania

Phew, ok, I will recap her 13 month birthday next time! Today’s recipe goes perfectly with this post because it’s also from the summer…. Yep, I made this quinoa a few months ago and it has summer squash in it, but I think broccoli would a very tasty substitution. The delicious dressing, made with roasted red peppers, sun dried tomatoes, basil, and goat cheese makes this quinoa dish especially delicious, any time of the year!

summer quinoa

Summer Quinoa
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:

Quinoa:
6 cups chicken stock
3 cups quinoa
1 cup chopped roasted red peppers
1 cup sun dried tomatoes
1 cup packed basil (4 ounces)
8 ounces goat cheese
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons salt

Chicken and Veggies:
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
5 chicken breasts, chopped into bite sized pieces
2 summer squash, chopped
2 zucchini, chopped

Directions:
To prepare the quinoa, place chicken stock and quinoa in a large stockpot over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 10 to 15 minutes or until all stock is absorbed and quinoa is soft. Place quinoa in a large bowl.

To prepare the dressing, place roasted red peppers, sun dried tomatoes, basil, goat cheese, olive oil, red wine vinegar, and salt into a food processor and pulse for one minute or until smooth. Stir dressing into the bowl with the quinoa and mix well.

To prepare the chicken and veggies, place 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, add chicken to the pan, and sauté for 5 to 7 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and no longer pink in the center; place chicken in bowl with the quinoa. Add remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil to the pan and the squash and zucchini; sauté for 6 to 8 minutes or until veggies are tender and stir veggies in with the quinoa and chicken. Makes 10 servings.

Nutrition: 580 calories, 23.3g fat, 6.6g fiber, 44.9g protein per serving
Cost: $1.89 per serving

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Five Favorites – 2 (and a Cake Boss 24-Piece Cake Decorating Tip Set Giveaway!) http://cakebatterandbowl.com/five-favorites-2-cake-boss-24-piece-cake-decorating-tip-set-giveaway.html?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=five-favorites-2-cake-boss-24-piece-cake-decorating-tip-set-giveaway http://cakebatterandbowl.com/five-favorites-2-cake-boss-24-piece-cake-decorating-tip-set-giveaway.html#comments Tue, 15 Oct 2013 03:06:42 +0000 http://cakebatterandbowl.com/?p=5718 The post Five Favorites – 2 (and a Cake Boss 24-Piece Cake Decorating Tip Set Giveaway!) appeared first on Cake, Batter, and Bowl - Inspiration to get in the kitchen and make some noise with your pots and pans!

*Dusting off the blog* I can’t believe it’s been over a month since I’ve posted! The past couple of months have been hectic. We celebrated Greta’s first birthday with a Greta in ONEderland themed party, and I’m so excited to share a post with the details soon. I can’t believe our little girl is already […]

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The post Five Favorites – 2 (and a Cake Boss 24-Piece Cake Decorating Tip Set Giveaway!) appeared first on Cake, Batter, and Bowl - Inspiration to get in the kitchen and make some noise with your pots and pans!

*Dusting off the blog* I can’t believe it’s been over a month since I’ve posted!

The past couple of months have been hectic. We celebrated Greta’s first birthday with a Greta in ONEderland themed party, and I’m so excited to share a post with the details soon. I can’t believe our little girl is already a year old and in the toddler room at daycare! I couldn’t resist posting a picture of the beautiful birthday girl on her big day after enjoying her first bites of cupcake.

birthday

We also went to Lithuania so Greta could meet her paternal grandma in September. And, I’m teaching a class this semester, which is keeping me busier than usual at work. Finally, I’m happy to report we collected 13,166 diapers at our Somerville Diaper Drive! The diapers are already being distributed to families in need by the Somerville WIC office, which luckily hasn’t been affected by this government shutdown nonsense. Woohoo!

I thought it would be fun to ease back into blogging today with my second Five Favorites post today and a giveaway!

vitamix

1. I made the majority of Greta’s baby food and using my Vitamix blender made it a breeze. Apolinaras gave me the Vitamix for Valentine’s Day a few years ago, and I occasionally whipped up smoothies in it, but finally really started using it regularly to make baby purees. Greta’s favorites were sweet potato/spinach/black bean, pea/broccoli/quinoa, carrot/chickpea/spinach, mango/blueberry/strawberry, and blueberry/banana.

huller

2. Now that Greta has graduated to finger foods, I’ve been sending her some type of berry every day for her to enjoy at lunch. This adorable strawberry huller makes this task much easier. The stem comes right out without wasting any fruit! Love it!

ice cream sandwiches

3. These Sublime Ice Cream Sandwiches from Trader Joe’s are just amazing. You must try them! Two chocolate chip cookies are stuffed with just the right amount of vanilla ice cream and the sides are rolled in mini chocolate chips for the perfect amount of crunch.

iced coffee

4. Another recent Trader Joe’s find is this Cold Brew Coffee ConcentrateApolinaras gets up with Greta every Saturday morning, and I tackle Sunday mornings so we both get to sleep in one day each week. Even though we’ve been married almost 10 years, I’ve never learned how to use our coffee maker, because Apolinaras likes to spoil me by always brewing it for me. So, when I’m up early on my own and need a little caffeine, this cold brew concentrate has been my solution. I mix 1/2 cup coffee concentrate, 1/2 cup cold water, and 1/2 cup milk over ice and then add in a generous swirl of chocolate syrup to make myself a super quick iced mocha!

tips

5. I recently had the opportunity to review one of the new Cake Boss decorating products available at Michael’s, which has become one of my favorite stores. There’s a huge new one I can walk to in our neighborhood, and I probably went there half a dozen times to get crafty stuff for Greta’s birthday party. Here’s Greta checking out the new Cake Boss display when we were there last weekend to get a cake board for a top secret project I’m working on this week!

cake boss

Anyway, I chose the Cake Boss Decorating Tools 24-Piece Advanced Decorating Tip Set, which I love because the cute box keeps everything organized. The set contains a wide variety of useful tips, and all the ones I’ve tried so far have worked beautifully.

open tips

And I have an extra decorating tip set for one lucky reader! To enter to win, just leave a comment on this post. Entries must be in by 11:59 pm EST on Tuesday, October 29. Good luck!

The fine print: The winner will be picked with random.org on Wednesday, October 30, and announced here shortly thereafter. I received a complementary set of decorating tips from Michael’s but received no compensation for this post and all opinions are mind, of course. ETA: Since the comments weren’t working on my blog for 5 days after I posted this, I have extended the giveaway for an additional week, as noted above.

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The First Annual Somerville Diaper Drive http://cakebatterandbowl.com/the-first-annual-somerville-diaper-drive.html?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=the-first-annual-somerville-diaper-drive http://cakebatterandbowl.com/the-first-annual-somerville-diaper-drive.html#comments Thu, 05 Sep 2013 21:29:39 +0000 http://cakebatterandbowl.com/?p=5699 The post The First Annual Somerville Diaper Drive appeared first on Cake, Batter, and Bowl - Inspiration to get in the kitchen and make some noise with your pots and pans!

Oops, it’s been soo long since I’ve posted.  I have a new quinoa recipe and five favorites post drafts that are close to being ready, but I have spent all my free time the past few weeks working on something near and dear to my heart – a diaper drive! I read this very sad […]

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somerville diaper drive

Oops, it’s been soo long since I’ve posted.  I have a new quinoa recipe and five favorites post drafts that are close to being ready, but I have spent all my free time the past few weeks working on something near and dear to my heart – a diaper drive!

I read this very sad article last month about the need for diaper donations. I had no idea diapers can’t be purchased with food stamps and are not provided by WIC. The thought of little babies sitting in dirty diapers for too long and moms trying to reuse dirty disposable diapers made me teary. I can only imagine how stressful it would be for both babies and parents. Having a little one is hard enough, without having to worry about where to find the over $100 a month it costs to buy diapers.

So, I decided to try and do something about it! I posted on the Somerville Moms Yahoo Listserv group, which is a popular parenting forum in my town, about my idea to organize a diaper drive and joined forces with another mom, Aimee. We’ve been working on the logistics of the drive ever since!

I’m so excited to share that our Our First Annual Somerville Diaper Drive will be held from Saturday, September 14 to Sunday, September 29! All donated diapers will be given to the Somerville WIC office, and the WIC personnel will screen applicants and make sure the diapers go to those who need them most.

We will have collection boxes manned by amazing Somerville Mom volunteers at several stores, library branches, and daycares in Somerville. You can check out more details on our website.

We have also created a diaper registry on amazon for those who would like to help but aren’t able to drop off diapers.

We’ve already collected over 1100 diapers and the drive hasn’t even officially started yet! I really hope our drive is a huge success and that we can make this an annual event. Thank you, thank you, thank you to all our volunteers and to those who have donated diapers!! We also really appreciate those who can help us spread the word about this event on blogs and/or social media!

Every baby deserves a dry and healthy diaper-rash free bottom!

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Rainbow Quinoa http://cakebatterandbowl.com/rainbow-quinoa.html?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rainbow-quinoa http://cakebatterandbowl.com/rainbow-quinoa.html#comments Mon, 12 Aug 2013 02:37:35 +0000 http://cakebatterandbowl.com/?p=5693 The post Rainbow Quinoa appeared first on Cake, Batter, and Bowl - Inspiration to get in the kitchen and make some noise with your pots and pans!

I’ve always liked the advice to aim to have a rainbow of colors on your plate. This is especially easy to do in the summer with all the gorgeous produce that’s in season! We’ve been trying to eat a bit healthier lately, so I’ve been mixing up a big pot of quinoa each Sunday for […]

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The post Rainbow Quinoa appeared first on Cake, Batter, and Bowl - Inspiration to get in the kitchen and make some noise with your pots and pans!

rainbow quinoa

I’ve always liked the advice to aim to have a rainbow of colors on your plate. This is especially easy to do in the summer with all the gorgeous produce that’s in season! We’ve been trying to eat a bit healthier lately, so I’ve been mixing up a big pot of quinoa each Sunday for several weeks now.

This version featured cumin and paprika spiced chicken along with red tomatoes, orange bell peppers, yellow corn, green zucchini, blue tortilla chips, and purple onion! All the colors of the rainbow! Of course, the blue corn chips aren’t exactly healthy, but they add an excellent crunch I just love. Make sure to add the chips on top of each serving as you go because they’ll get soggy if you mix them in and then store the leftover quinoa in the fridge.

Rainbow Quinoa
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
3 cups quinoa
6 cups low sodium chicken stock
1 12-ounce container salsa (I used Trader Joe’s Salsa Autentica)
Juice of one lime
2 teaspoons salt, divided
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons paprika
2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
6 chicken breasts, cut into bite sized chunks
1 red onion, chopped
2 orange bell peppers, chopped
2 zucchini, chopped
Kernels from 4 ears of corn
1 16-ounce container grape tomatoes, halved
1 15-ounce black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups coarsely crushed blue tortilla chips

Directions:
To prepare the quinoa, place quinoa and chicken stock in a large stockpot over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 10 to 15 minutes or until all stock is absorbed and quinoa is soft. Place quinoa is a large bowl and stir in salsa, lime juice, and 1 teaspoon salt.

To prepare the chicken, place cumin, paprika, and remaining 1 teaspoon salt in a small bowl and mix well. Place 1 tablespoon canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, add chicken to the pan, and sprinkle with spice mixture and stir until chicken is evenly covered with the spice mixture. Sauté chicken for 5 to 7 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and no longer pink in the center; place chicken in bowl with the quinoa.

To prepare the veggies, place 1 remaining tablespoon of canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat and place onion and bell pepper in the pan; sauté for 8 to 10 minutes or until veggies are tender; add veggies to the bowl with the quinoa. Add zucchini to the empty skillet over medium heat and sauté for 6 to 8 minutes; add corn to the pan and sauté an additional 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and sauté 1 additional minute. Place zucchini, corn, and tomatoes in the bowl with quinoa, along with the black beans. Stir all ingredients together well and place into servings bowls. Sprinkle crushed chips on top of each serving. Makes 10 servings.

Nutrition: 546 calories, 11.1g fat, 10.8g fiber, 46.3g protein per serving
Cost: $2.82 per serving

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Corn and Black Bean Salad http://cakebatterandbowl.com/corn-and-black-bean-salad.html?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=corn-and-black-bean-salad http://cakebatterandbowl.com/corn-and-black-bean-salad.html#comments Sat, 03 Aug 2013 03:18:16 +0000 http://cakebatterandbowl.com/?p=5688 The post Corn and Black Bean Salad appeared first on Cake, Batter, and Bowl - Inspiration to get in the kitchen and make some noise with your pots and pans!

It’s somehow already August, which means my baby will be one year old next month…I’m in denial, but also very excited about planning her first birthday party. I have a theme I’m pretty excited about and browsing ideas on Pinterest is rather addicting! Today I have a simple side dish that is perfect for your […]

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The post Corn and Black Bean Salad appeared first on Cake, Batter, and Bowl - Inspiration to get in the kitchen and make some noise with your pots and pans!

black bean and corn salad

It’s somehow already August, which means my baby will be one year old next month…I’m in denial, but also very excited about planning her first birthday party. I have a theme I’m pretty excited about and browsing ideas on Pinterest is rather addicting!

Today I have a simple side dish that is perfect for your next BBQ, picnic, or party. This Corn and Black Bean salad is also easy to whip up at a moment’s notice! Fresh corn and black beans are mixed with red onion, roasted red peppers, garlic, lime juice, and cumin to make a tasty salad. I think all the flavors complement each other perfectly. Time to get back to Pinterest!

Corn and Black Bean Salad
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 red onion, chopped
Kernels from 4 ears of corn
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup chopped roasted red peppers
Juice of 1 lime
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt

Directions:
Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large nonstick skillet. Add red onion to the pan and sauté for 5 minutes; add corn kernels and sauté an additional 2 to 3 minutes, or until veggies are tender. Stir in garlic and sauté one more minute. Place veggies in a large bowl and stir in black beans and roasted red peppers. Place lime juice, cumin, and salt in a small bowl and mix; pour over salad and stir well. Makes 6 servings.

Nutrition: 182 calories, 3.8g fat, 7.5g fiber, 7.6g protein per serving
Cost: $0.97 per serving

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Cilantro Sesame Soba Noodles http://cakebatterandbowl.com/cilantro-sesame-soba-noodles.html?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=cilantro-sesame-soba-noodles http://cakebatterandbowl.com/cilantro-sesame-soba-noodles.html#comments Fri, 26 Jul 2013 03:47:28 +0000 http://cakebatterandbowl.com/?p=5680 The post Cilantro Sesame Soba Noodles appeared first on Cake, Batter, and Bowl - Inspiration to get in the kitchen and make some noise with your pots and pans!

It’s Thursday, but my parents are in town this weekend, so today is my Friday. I’m so excited to hang out with them and baby Greta all weekend, and I’m starting this mini-vacation off right – with a recipe post! I don’t think I’ve ever met a soba noodle dish I didn’t like. Soba noodles […]

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soba noodles

It’s Thursday, but my parents are in town this weekend, so today is my Friday. I’m so excited to hang out with them and baby Greta all weekend, and I’m starting this mini-vacation off right – with a recipe post!

I don’t think I’ve ever met a soba noodle dish I didn’t like. Soba noodles are especially perfect during the summer because you can stir in lots veggies and enjoy the dish straight from the fridge. Plus, they are pretty healthy, so I don’t feel like I’m undoing my time at the gym.

This version features a cilantro sesame dressing and grated carrots, shaved Brussels sprouts, thinly sliced red bell peppers, and chunks of tofu. I enjoyed every bite!

cilantro sesame soba noodles

Cilantro Sesame Soba Noodles
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
1 pound soba noodles
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
3 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon honey
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 ounce chopped cilantro (1/2 cup packed)
5 carrots, peeled and grated into strips (I used the attachment on my food processor to do this quickly)
10 ounces shaved Brussels sprouts (I bought mine from Trader Joe’s)
2 thinly sliced bell peppers
19 ounces extra firm tofu, cut into bite sized chunks

Directions:
Prepare soba noodles according to package directions, drain, and rinse with cold water; place in a large bowl. Mix soy sauce, rice vinegar, canola oil, sesame oil, honey, garlic, and cilantro in a food processor and pulse for a minute or until smooth. Pour dressing over soba noodles and mix well. Mix in carrots, Brussels sprouts, bell peppers, and tofu. Serve cold or at room temperature. Makes 6 servings.

Nutrition: 439 calories, 7.9g fat, 4.9g fiber, 26.0g protein per serving
Cost: $2.32 per serving

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Nutella Cheesecake http://cakebatterandbowl.com/nutella-cheesecake.html?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=nutella-cheesecake http://cakebatterandbowl.com/nutella-cheesecake.html#comments Sat, 06 Jul 2013 02:01:45 +0000 http://cakebatterandbowl.com/?p=5663 The post Nutella Cheesecake appeared first on Cake, Batter, and Bowl - Inspiration to get in the kitchen and make some noise with your pots and pans!

Our little girl is already 9 months old! I’m so happy I finally found a little time to post an update on Miss Greta (and a recipe for Nutella Cheesecake to celebrate)! During her seventh month her two middle bottom teeth popped out! She giggles away when we brush them so I’m guessing it tickles. It […]

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The post Nutella Cheesecake appeared first on Cake, Batter, and Bowl - Inspiration to get in the kitchen and make some noise with your pots and pans!

Our little girl is already 9 months old! I’m so happy I finally found a little time to post an update on Miss Greta (and a recipe for Nutella Cheesecake to celebrate)! During her seventh month her two middle bottom teeth popped out! She giggles away when we brush them so I’m guessing it tickles. It was also a really action packed month. She started sitting up on her own, crawling all over the place, and pulling herself up to standing in her crib. She also began blowing raspberries and babbling mamamama – so cute!

We took her on her first plane ride to Ohio for my cousin’s wedding, and we were very thankful she did fabulously on the flight. Her favorite toy on the plane was my bright orange straw from my Dunkin Donuts mocha (typical, huh). She got to meet my grandparents and aunts and uncles for the first time during the trip. Here we are with my parents, all dressed up.

wedding

We also finally got her on more of a nap schedule at daycare (9am and 1pm). My favorite way to make her laugh this month was pretending to…eat her hand! She also had fun trying the swings at the park for the first time.  Speaking of swings, here she is on her 9 month birthday. She was 30.5 inches long (100%), 22 pounds 13.5 ounces (90%), and wearing 18 month sized outfits! She practiced standing on her own a lot during her eighth month by letting go of furniture for a bit when we she was cruising around and testing her balance.

On Mother’s Day, I ran the MOM 5K with our neighbor Julia, and then a few weeks later Greta attended Julia’s daughter’s first birthday party! She had a blast playing with Sophia and trying watermelon for the first time. She even managed to keep her party hat on for the majority of the time.

We started giving Greta more table foods this month too. She started chewing more and we became less worried about choking. I’ve started making scrambled eggs for myself most mornings and sharing some with her. It’s definitely a work in progress because most still end up on the floor! And of course, we went to Maine for our nine year wedding anniversary! Greta loved playing in the pool both days at our hotel, and we visited some of our favorite spots from out last trip there, in addition to checking out the outlet mall and L.L.Bean.

maine

Whew, what a recap! Now, how about that Nutella cheesecake? I made this for Kelly, our incredible lab technician, the other week to celebrate her birthday. It has a chocolate sandwich cookie crust filled with layers of Nutella cheesecake and Nutella mousse.

Nutella Cheesecake 2

I garnished it with some fresh summer strawberries, but I think some dark chocolate shavings and chopped hazelnuts would be wonderful too. This is so perfect for a celebration!

Nutella Cheesecake 1

Nutella Cheesecake
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:

Crust:
24 Trader Joe-Joe Chocolate Sandwich Crème Cookies, pulsed in the food processor into crumbs (2 1/4 cups crumbs)
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

Cheesecake:
3 8-ounce packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup Nutella
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Nutella Mousse and Strawberries:
8 ounces mascarpone cheese
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoon powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup Nutella
2 cups sliced strawberries

Directions:
To make the crust, mix cookie crumbs and melted butter in a medium bowl. Transfer the mixture to a greased 9-inch springform pan, and press into a uniform layer over the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Bake crust for 10 minutes at 350˚F.

To make the cheesecake, combine the cream cheese and sugar in the bowl and beat on medium-high speed with a mixer for 3 minutes or until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Mix in Nutella and vanilla until smooth. Pour into prepared crust and bake at 350˚F for 45 to 55 minutes or until edges are set and middle is slightly wobbly. Cool to room temperature, about one hour. Place in the refrigerator for several hours or until chilled.

To make the Nutella mousse, place mascarpone cheese, heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla extract in a well-chilled bowl and whisk on high speed until stiff peaks form, about 3 to 4 minutes. Fold in Nutella until smooth. Spread Nutella mousse evenly over the cooled cheesecake layer and top with strawberries in a decorative pattern. Remove from pan and cut into wedges. Makes 20 servings.

Nutrition: 460 calories, 33.1g fat, 1.4g fiber, 6.4g protein per serving
Cost: $0.79 per serving

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