Sandwich on Holiday

Today is the LAST day to enter the homemade cookie giveaway!

 

vegan BLTT

 

Ever since I started kindergarten, I’ve packed my lunch to bring to school (and now work) every single day. I’ve only left my lunchbox at home a handful of times in nearly 20 years for the occasional classroom pizza party or catered meal by Boss.

 

Shockingly enough, I still enjoy biting into a simple sandwich. Normally it’s just a few slices of meat between my bread with a squeeze of mustard for moisture. Recently, I started getting fancy by adding crisp shredded lettuce. (A real splurge, I know!) But I almost always skip out on adding any more toppings, especially if they’ll turn my sandwich wet and soggy while it sits on my desk all morning.   Continue reading for recipe.

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February 22, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Midweek Meals. 6 comments.

Lots of Lemons

Quick reminder: the homemade cookie giveaway ends this Friday! Post a comment on my new URL to enter!

 

lemon dill biscuits

 

Complaining rarely works this well. After grumbling about my lack of a lemon tree, I opened up emails from three different friends offering me lemons the very next day! Since I have yet to incorporate “no” into my vocabulary, piles of lemons now occupy half of my kitchen countertops.

 

Although lemon cake is probably the most popular dessert in my family, I wanted to use the lemons in a more savory application too. I nixed the traditional option of a marinade for fish—too many picky eaters—and settled on buttery biscuits instead.   Continue reading for recipe.

February 20, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Baked Bliss, Satisfying Sides. 14 comments.

A Mother’s Magic Touch

Quick reminder: the homemade cookie giveaway ends this Friday! Post a comment on my new URL to enter!

 

blueberry almond flat-cakes

 

I tried mixing up a batch of just-like-Mom’s blueberry pancakes last week. After burning the first plate and chucking it in the trash, I realized I really should have paid closer attention to Mom’s cooking in the kitchen as a 5-year-old instead of banging on pots and pans with a wooden spoon…

 

But I was just too picky of an eater! The moment that Mom flipped my plain pancakes onto my plate, I’d smother them in syrup and happily munch away, completely ignoring Mom as she stirred fresh blueberries into the remaining batter. (I hated things mixed into my pancakes. No fruit, no nuts, no oats… Well, I might’ve been okay with chocolate chips or sprinkles.)  (more…)

February 18, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . Baked Bliss, Midweek Meals. 14 comments.

Giveaway: Homemade Cookies!

homemade cookie giveaway

I’m giving away a batch of homemade cookies to 3 lucky readers! Here’s the scoop…

 

My blog is moving to a new URL next week (http://foodsforthesoul.net). While I can transfer all of my pages and posts, I can’t transfer any of your subscriptions! Because I enjoy reading every comment you leave and smile at all of your heartfelt words, I consider you my friends—and I’d hate to end our friendships just because I change addresses!

 

I wish I could mail each and every one of you a package of homemade cookies, but I don’t have quite enough stamps… It’ll be hard to give away only 3 sets of sweets, but here’s how you enter:

 

  1. Follow my blog at its new address by either email or RSS.
  2. Follow the Foods for the Soul Facebook page.
  3. Follow me (@FoodsForSoul) on Twitter.
  4. Follow me (Foods for the Soul) on Pinterest.
  5. Refer a friend to an email or RSS subscription—and be sure they sign up! (This actually counts as two entries: one for you AND one for your friend. And you can refer as many friends as you like to increase your chances of winning cookies!)

 

Post a separate comment here at the blog’s new address for each way you enter. (Each comment counts as a separate entry!) The giveaway will end at 11:59 pm on Friday, February 22, and I’ll post the winners the following day. Each winner will get to choose what kind of cookie I make and mail, so start thinking of your favorite recipes!

 

You have a week to enter as many times as you want—ready, set, go!

 

homemade cookie giveaway

 

February 15, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , . Giveaways. 21 comments.

Mailboxes and Marshmallows

chocolate-dipped Valentine marshmallows

Throughout elementary school, I begged my mom for a shoebox on every February 13th and asked her to cut a slit in the lid. I then pulled out pink construction paper, red glitter glue, and shiny white sequins to decorate the sides. I even pressed on sparkly heart stickers for good measure!

 

The next morning, I carefully held my homemade Valentine mailbox on my lap as Mom drove across town. At school, I placed it on my desk just like the rest of my classmates.

 

After lunch, we walked around the room, dropping paper cards into each person’s mailbox while the parents set up for our classroom party. Although I dreaded the politics of handing out those little Valentines—you had to make sure the sappy ones didn’t go to any of the boys!—I always loved the sugar cookies and conversation hearts that the parents brought in. It was probably a good thing they never made these chocolate dipped marshmallows… I would have eaten every last one and refused to share, even with my crush!   Continue reading for recipe.

February 13, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Delicious Desserts. 26 comments.

Share the Love — Valentine’s Day Blog Swap

Today is our lucky day! Andrea from Mrs. Webb in the Kitchen is going to teach us how to make special truffle stuffed strawberries. Just in time for Valentine’s Day!

 

Andrea and I met in high school and bonded over cold nights marching around the football field for band and giggling our way through nasally accents in French class. Although we lost touch for a few years after graduation, I found out last fall that she now works in a bakery—my dream job! She has picked up lots of tricks and tips, especially in the cake decorating world, and I begged her to share some with us.

 

In exchange, I wrote a guest post for her with a recipe for heart-shaped french toast for two. Be sure to check it out after reading her truffle tutorial, as well as her dainty French macarons and moist gingerbread cake with molasses frosting!

 

truffle-stuffed chocolate covered strawberries

 

I’ll be the first to admit that I am a sucker for Valentine’s Day. Even before I had a sweetheart of my own, I adored a day dedicated to pink hearts, pretty flowers, and candy. In my elementary school years, I couldn’t wait to hand out silly and sweet paper valentines to my classmates- each of the pre-printed sentiments carefully sorted into classmate, crush, or friend-worthy categories!

 

This year, in lieu of passing out stale old conversation hearts, I thought I’d try my hand at some hand-crafted truffles. These strawberry truffles, however, are a fusion of two of the most classic heart day treats: truffles and chocolate covered strawberries! My original plan was to add a berry-flavored extract to ganache to make a traditional truffle interior. Instead, I decided to stuff the ganache inside a real, live strawberry.   Continue reading for recipe.

February 11, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Delicious Desserts. 6 comments.

Sweet Hearts

heart-shaped cranberry muffins

Every Valentine’s Day, my brother and I would stumble into the kitchen. After rubbing the sleep from our eyes, we’d sort through the little piles of chocolate kisses and conversations hearts on the table that Cupid’s fairies dropped off during the night. (If Christmas has Santa and Easter has the Bunny, why wouldn’t Valentine’s Day have its own candy-carrying character?)

 

Then Mom would sigh and reluctantly allow us each to eat one sweet treat before making us a special breakfast. She usually whipped up pancakes, waffles, or cinnamon sugar toast — practically a dessert itself! As soon as she set our plates in front of us, we’d inhale the food before rushing off to school.

 

But if February 14th fell on a weekend, we’d enjoy a more leisurely breakfast. Mom would bake Pillsbury croissants or even homemade muffins, if we promised not to sneak extra chocolates while the pastries cooled on the counter. And with such festive muffins waiting for us, we readily agreed!   Continue reading for recipe.

February 8, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . Baked Bliss, Delicious Desserts, Midweek Meals. 24 comments.

Pink is For…

pretty pink donuts

There must have been something in the water last year… Two weeks ago, the stork dropped off a bundle of joy to two different ladies at work! My boss and his wife received the little girl, and I was so tempted to decorate their doors with bright pink balloons and crêpe paper…

 

But that didn’t quite seem appropriate for our drab hallways and professional environment. (Probably a safety and productivity hazard too, with all of the attention it would attract!) So I settled on making them celebratory treats instead.   Continue reading for recipe.

February 6, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . Baked Bliss, Delicious Desserts, Midweek Meals. 33 comments.

Sourpuss Turned Sweet

My last post didn’t publish correctly… I was thanking you for all of the thoughtful comments you left on my sweet and sneaky veggie series! I also asked what vegetables you’d like to see in the next sequel series, so please leave a comment with your requests!

 

And now on to fruits

 

blueberry lemon yogurt cookies

 

Everyone I know owns a lemon tree. My coworkers, my parents, the mailman, the speedy grocery cashier, that one house on my morning running route… Everyone but me.

 

I sulked for a while over that fact. They were so lucky; they could walk outside and pick citrus any time a lemonade, lemon bar, or lemon meringue pie craving hit. Me, I had to plan ahead for my cravings to ensure I wrote “lemons” on my weekly grocery list.

 

But then the light bulb in my brain flickered on…   Continue reading for recipe.

February 4, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . Baked Bliss, Delicious Desserts. 32 comments.

The “Sweet and Sneaky” Summary

sweet and sneaky ways to eat your veggies

I was amazed by your responses to my mini series on sweet and sneaky ways to eat your veggies. I expected people to think my recipes were insane, or maybe imaginative at best, but you surprised me with many thoughtful compliments instead!

 

I smiled while reading each of your comments, and a few of them really touched my heart.   Continue reading.

February 2, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . Baked Bliss, Delicious Desserts, Midweek Meals. 16 comments.

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