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Berry Frozen Yogurt Bites with Honey Granola

Greek yogurt, honey granola, and berry jam combine to make these cool, creamy Berry Frozen Yogurt Bites, the perfect afternoon treat!

Berry Frozen Yogurt Bites are like a fruit and yogurt parfait in frozen form. They're a great healthy snack or breakfast kiddos and adults will both love.

I’m beginning to think the next big foodie TV hit won’t include Gordon Ramsey, but instead star a panel of picky, whiny, hangry toddlers. You thought pleasing the great Chef Ramsey was hard? Try coming up with something to suit that bunch. They’re harsh, have no filter, and have a palate that seems to be different every day. You never know if you’re going to get a sweet and gentle Paula Abdul or a crabby, critical Simon Cowell with these guys. Anyone who can please a trio of toddlers deserves all the awards. Give the winners a vacation to a tropical island, and make sure it includes a lot of back rubs, glasses of wine, and long bubble baths. They’ll have earned it.

In all truth, little P isn’t the pickiest eater, but I’ve still found it challenging to come up with things that he’ll like that are also wholesome and convenient. Most foods seem to hit two of those criteria, but it’s tough to find something that hits all three. My Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins were one of those rare finds, and I’m happy to report these Berry Frozen Yogurt Bites with Honey Granola fit the bill as well.

I started making these little snacks a few weeks ago, and I’ve found them to be the perfect snack for that strange time in between nap and dinner. Really, this is just a classic fruit and yogurt parfait in a convenient, fun new delivery system. These bites start with a layer of granola sprinkled in the bottom of a mini muffin tin. I’ve included my favorite simple granola recipe below. It’s bare bones–just a combination of oats, nuts, coconut oil, and honey–but it’s absolutely delicious and can be made in about 20 minutes.

On top of the granola is a layer of Greek yogurt sweetened with a quick mixed berry jam. Normally jam is made with fruit and sugar, but honey is actually a wonderful substitution in jam. Not only is it all natural, but it also contains trace amount of minerals, vitamins, and amino acids. I used honey to make bacon jam for my Breakfast Burgers with Bourbon Bacon Jam, and discovered it works equally well for a quick, fruit-based jam. You can use any fruit you like here. I used a frozen mix of berries, but feel free to experiment!

Berry Frozen Yogurt Bites are an easy and healthy treat kids love! They're the perfect cool, creamy snack on a hot day.

I like to gently fold the jam into the Greek yogurt so it has a nice swirl throughout, but if you’re short on time or patience, feel free to just blend them together. A final sprinkling of granola tops off the bites before they’re sent to the freezer to firm up. After a few hours, they’ll be perfectly poppable bites you and your kiddos will love! I like to pull these out of the freezer about 10 minutes before snack to let them thaw a bit before serving. They are a great cool, creamy treat on a hot afternoon, and they’re definitely little P approved!

I understand the thought of making homemade granola and jam can feel really overwhelming on a crazy day. I’ve been there. If it’s one of those days, feel free to sub in your own favorite store-bought granola, and keep things really simple with  plain Greek yogurt sweetened with honey to taste on top. Just three ingredients and about 10 minutes of time will yield a big batch of frozen treats. Trust me, you’ll feel like you’ve won the greatest competition of all when you pull these out of the freezer. And if we can’t get our all expense paid vacation for winning at life, know that I’m over here giving you a giant fist bump and a high five. We’re moving on to the next level, friends!

Berry Frozen Yogurt Bites are a great healthy, easy snack to have on hand on a hot day!

To learn more about the many benefits of honey and find more recipes, visit the National Honey Board’s on honey.comFacebook, Pinterest, TwitterInstagram and YouTube. When you’re shopping for honey, be sure to check the ingredient list. Honey is only one ingredient-honey! The color and flavor may vary from light golden to dark brown, depending on the nectar source of flowers visited by the honey bee, but any variety should work well in this and other honey recipes on NeighborFood!

Berry Frozen Yogurt Bites with Honey Granola

Cook Time 30 mins 2017-06-24T00:30:00+00:00Prep Time
Preparation 10 mins 2017-06-24T00:10:00+00:00Cook Time
Total Time
Serves 24     adjust servings

Get your fruit and yogurt parfait in frozen form! These granola, fruit, and yogurt bites are a perfect cool, creamy treat on a hot day.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Greek yogurt (I use whole milk yogurt)
  • 1/4-1/2 cup milk
  • 3 Tablespoons honey

For the jam

  • 2 cups mixed berries (I used a frozen mix)
  • 1/4 cup honey

For the granola

  • 2 cups old fashioned rolled oats (certified gluten free if needed)
  • 3/4 cup chopped nuts of your choice
  • 3 Tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 3 Tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pinch salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, mix together the oats, nuts, cinnamon, and salt. Stir in the oil, honey, and vanilla extract until well combined. Spread the mixture out onto a baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, then stir. Return to the oven and bake another 7-10 minutes or until granola is golden brown. Scrape the pan as soon as it gets out of the oven, then leave on the baking sheet to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, make the jam. Combine the berries and the honey in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to an active simmer, and continue to cook for 8-10 minutes, or until berries are thickened and jam-like. Cool to room temperature or refrigerate overnight.
  3. To make the bites:
  4. In a bowl, whisk together the greek yogurt, milk, and honey until the texture is pourable but not runny. Gently fold in the jam so a swirl remains throughout the yogurt, or, if you prefer, mix completely together.
  5. Line 2 mini muffin pans with 24 liners (foil liners work best, but paper works in a pinch). Place a couple pinches of granola in the bottom of each one. Spoon the yogurt mixture over top, filling each one nearly to the top of the cup. Sprinkle the tops with a little more granola. Cover with saran wrap and freeze for at least three hours or overnight. We've found these taste the best when they're removed from the freezer about 10 minutes before eating.

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This post is sponsored by the National Honey Board. As always, all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands who help keep NeighborFood afloat!

Berry Frozen Yogurt Bites swirled with berries and granola make a great healthy treat for summer!
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Philly Cheese Brats

Philly Cheese Brats bring your favorite Philly sandwich to the grill!

Philly Cheese Brats turn the classic philly into a great meal for the grill! This 30 minute meal will definitely be a hit at your summer cookouts!

A few weeks ago, on a balmy spring evening, the whole family decided to take a trip to Kroger. We left the house without coats, assuming it would be a quick run. The air was humid and still, and I remember commenting on what a lovely evening it was. We arrived at the store and were only five minutes into the produce section when the eery sound of dozens of emergency tones going off sliced through the air. Everyone gave their phone a quick glance, noting we were now under a tornado warning.

Nothing about this situation was particularly strange, except that I seemed to be the only one who really cared that WE MIGHT BE IN THE PATH OF A KILLER TORNADO. Tornadoes are one of my biggest fears, and one of the only recurring nightmares I have. I glanced around at the other shoppers, who continued to pick out apples and bag asparagus like nothing was happening. Meanwhile, I was anxiously checking the windows for tell tale signs of a storm and wondering if there was enough room in the deep freezers for the deli workers plus a mom and her baby. Of course, then I remembered we didn’t have coats, which started an internal argument about which would be more dangerous–chancing a tornado running through the store or hanging out in a deep freeze without a coat.

Luckily, my husband was there to talk me down from my panic, and convinced me to wait out the storm in the relative safety and comfort of the climate controlled grocery store. Within 20 minutes, the warning had passed, and our cart was full of all the ingredients we needed to make some killer Philly Cheese Brats. We made it home unscathed, though slightly damp, and I vowed to fire up the grill, just as soon as it wasn’t torrentially down pouring.

Philly Cheese Brats are a great 30 minute meal you can make almost entirely on the grill! Perfect for summer cookouts!

Thanks to the incredibly mild winter we had this year, our grill never went fully into hibernation. We managed to cook out at least once in January, but by April grilling becomes a main stay in our weekly meal plans. You can’t beat the easy clean up, quick cooking, and time enjoyed outdoors that grilling affords. These Philly Cheese Brats were inspired by a desire to turn one of my favorite sandwiches into an easy grilled meal we could enjoy al fresco. For my summer-time friendly version, I start with Honeysuckle White turkey bratwurst, which has all the juicy, savory flavor of traditional bratwurst with only 9 grams of fat.

Everyone seems to have a different opinion about what exactly goes on a Philly Cheesesteak, but my favorite variations always include onions, green peppers, and mushrooms. Luckily, it’s easy to throw all of the veggies on the grill right alongside your brats. If you have a grill pan, they work great, but you can also just toss them on a large sheet of heavy-duty foil. The veggies take on the wonderful charred and caramelized flavor that can only come from the grill.

Of course, no Philly is complete without cheese sauce! I tried a couple different recipes for the cheese sauce before settling on this one, which combines the smoky flavor of provolone with the mild creaminess of white American cheese. It strikes the right balance between flavor and texture and helps bring all of this char-grilled goodness together. We like to serve these with a side of Greek Pasta Salad or a nice, light Summer Berry Salad.

Philly Cheese Brats are a quick 30 minute meal perfect for grilling! Juicy brats with bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, and a creamy cheese sauce!

You can find Honeysuckle White in your local grocery store, or if you’re on the East coast, look for Shady Brook Farms. Juicy bratwurst, fresh grilled veggies, and creamy cheese sauce…this is the prescription for one great summer meal!

Philly Cheese Brats

Cook Time 30 mins 2017-06-24T00:30:00+00:00Prep Time
Preparation 5 mins 2017-06-24T00:05:00+00:00Cook Time
Total Time
Serves 5     adjust servings

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 green pepper, sliced thin
  • 1 large or 2 small yellow onions, sliced thin
  • 8 ounces sliced mushrooms
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 5 Honeysuckle White Turkey Brats
  • 5 brat buns

For the cheese sauce

  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 Tablespoon flour
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 ounces cream cheese, cut into small chunks
  • 1 cup shredded smoked provolone cheese
  • 1 cup shredded white American cheese
  • Salt and Fresh Ground Black Pepper

Instructions

  1. For the grill:
  2. Preheat the grill to medium high heat. If you don't have a vegetable basket, spread a sheet of heavy duty foil over half of the grill.
  3. Toss the green pepper, onions, and mushrooms with the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Place the vegetables in a grill basket or spread them out over the foil on the grill. Add the brats directly to the grill grates. Grill with the cover closed for about 6-7 minutes. Check the vegetables. If they're getting browned, flip them over. If the bottoms of the brats are browned, flip them as well. Cover, and continue to grill, checking every few minutes, until the veggies are softened and starting to char and the brats reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees.

For the cheese sauce:

  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and cook until thick and fragrant, about a minute. Remove from heat and slowly whisk in milk. Add the cream cheese cubes. Return to heat and bring the mixture to a boil, whisking constantly. Turn the heat to low and stir until cheese is melted and cream cheese is completely smooth. Remove from heat and season to taste with salt and pepper. I usually don't need much salt, but like a lot of fresh cracked pepper in mine!
  2. To serve, place the brats in the buns and top with the grilled veggies and sauce!

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This post is sponsored by the wonderful people at Honeysuckle White Turkey. As always, all opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands who keep NeighborFood running!

Philly Cheese Brats are loaded with green peppers, mushrooms, onions, and a smoky cheese sauce. The perfect grilled summer meal!
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Smoked Salmon Egg Salad Sandwiches

Traditional egg salad is kicked up a notch thanks to grainy mustard, capers, and chives in these springy Smoked Salmon Egg Salad Sandwiches.

Smoked Salmon Egg Salad Sandwiches take traditional egg salad up a notch! Topped with capers and red onions, this recipe is great for spring brunches or showers!

Got leftover eggs? ME TOO. I love the tradition of coloring eggs for Easter, but it’s easy to get carried away. This year, I experimented with natural dying for the first time. To be honest, I had a hard time believing a bunch of onion skins, cabbage, leaves, and panty hose were going to make beautiful dyed eggs, but I was wrong. The eggs were lovely. The only problem was they were so lovely (and time consuming), that I had a hard time peeling them to eat them.

I also couldn’t resist trying some of my friend Emily (of Jelly Toast)’s fun painted, striped, and marbled designs. Needless to say, I’VE GOT HARDBOILED EGGS. And one can only eat so many Jalapeno Popper Deviled Eggs before an intervention is required.

Egg salad is, of course, the go-to for leftover hardboiled eggs, but I quickly tire of traditional egg salads. This year, I knew I wanted my egg salad to have a little extra oomph, something to make me feel like I wasn’t just eating hardboiled eggs for the millionth time this week.

Smoked Salmon Egg Salad Sandwiches are perfect for spring brunches or showers. Made with capers, grainy mustard, and chives, these sandwiches are packed with flavor!

The answer came in the form of smoked salmon, briny capers, and an herby egg salad all piled high on rye bread. Egg salad is one of those dishes I almost never make the same way twice. I love that you can taste as you go, adding a pinch of sugar or another squeeze of mustard to get it just to your liking. Some days I like a lot of tangy mustard, other days I load up on the herbs. For this version, I used Greek yogurt and mayonnaise, swirled with a generous amount of whole grain mustard and fresh chives. Whole grain mustard is the darling of my condiment collection right now. More complex than yellow or dijon mustard, I love the subtle heat it brings to this egg salad. Of course, you can feel free to substitute with dijon or yellow mustard to your liking.

My favorite way to serve this egg salad is platter style, with plenty of sliced red onion, arugula, and tomato for topping. This would make a great lunch for a baby or wedding shower. Allow guests to make their own sandwiches, and mix and match the toppings themselves. They’ll love the hearty flavor of the smoked salmon paired with the creamy egg salad, and you’ll love how easy it was to throw together this lovely and tasty platter.

Smoked Salmon Egg Salad Sandwiches are a great quick lunch or spring shower idea. Perfect for using up hardboiled eggs!

If you didn’t go on an egg-dying spree and don’t have a few cartons of leftover hardboiled eggs in your fridge, I’ve included instructions for no-fail eggs in the recipe below. For easier peeling, I recommend using older eggs. Fresher eggs are much harder to peel. And if you still need help using up those leftovers, check out my Strawberry Cobb Salad!

Smoked Salmon Egg Salad Sandwiches

Prep Time
Preparation 15 mins 2017-06-24T00:15:00+00:00Cook Time
Total Time
Serves 6     adjust servings

Traditional egg salad gets kicked up a notch with capers, smoked salmon, and rye bread.

Ingredients

  • 8 hardboiled eggs, peeled *see note
  • 3 Tablespoons whole milk Greek yogurt
  • 2 Tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 Tablespoon small capers (if you buy the big ones, you'll want to chop them up first)
  • 2-3 teaspoons grainy mustard
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Dark rye bread slices
  • Thinly sliced red onion
  • Arugula
  • Sliced tomatoes
  • 8 ounces smoked salmon

Instructions

  1. In a bowl, use a pastry cutter to chop up the eggs until small pieces. Stir in the yogurt, mayonnaise, capers, 2 teaspoons mustard, and chives. Taste. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add additional mustard if desired. The egg salad can be served immediately, but tastes even better after being refrigerated for a few hours.
  2. To serve, place bread, red onion, arugula, tomato slices, and smoked salmon on a platter, along with extra capers and herbs, if desired. Allow guests to assemble the sandwiches to their taste, leaving them open face or making them into a regular sandwich.

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Recipe Notes

Note: To hard boil the eggs, place the eggs in a single layer at the bottom of a large pot. Cover with a few inches of cold water. Cover the pot, turn the heat to high, and bring the water to a boil. Turn off the heat, leave the pot on the burner, and set a timer for 10 minutes. At the 10 minute mark, check one egg for doneness, leaving the lid on for the remaining eggs. If it's not quite done, leave them for an additional 2-3 minutes. I recommend using older eggs for hardboiled eggs as they peel much easier. To peel, crack the egg on a countertop then roll it under your palm to crack all over. Peel under a small stream of cold running water.

This recipe was originally developed for Ohio Eggs. As always, all opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands who keep NeighborFood afloat!

These Smoked Salmon Egg Salad Sandwiches are perfect for spring brunches or quick lunches. Packed with protein and fresh, herby, smoky flavor, everyone will love these!
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Lemon Sandwich Cookies

These Lemon Sandwich Cookies are a lemon lovers dream! Soft and chewy lemon sugar cookies are sandwiched around a zingy lemon cream cheese frosting for the ultimate spring cookie!

Lemon Sandwich Cookies are filled with a fresh and zingy lemon cream cheese filling that's perfect for spring!

Every winter, I almost forget we have neighbors. Despite the fact that our homes are literally feet away from each other, we scarcely see our neighbors from December to February. Like bears, we all seem to hibernate for the winter, only coming outside for absolute necessities. In the dreariest months, a neighbor sighting is rare and only results in a quick wave before we each retreat to the warmth and coziness of our homes.

But, oh, how delightful it is on those first sunny days. Suddenly the sidewalks come alive. Mommas push their babes in strollers and dogs pull their owners along, determined to sniff every fresh blade of grass along the way. Everyone seems cheerier. We stand at fences and chat, wave across the street, and park ourselves on the front porch. The smell of grilled meats fills the air at dinner time, and the sound of mowers roaring to life joins the chorus of birds in the morning.

Lemon Sandwich Cookies are a bright and tasty way to welcome spring.

It’s the time of year when you’re likely to find me on your doorstep with a plate of cookies, the results of my latest baking adventure. It’s also the time of year when I’m likely to develop an insatiable craving for all things lemon, which means chances are really good the contents of that plate look something like these Lemon Cream Sandwich Cookies.

Though I have no authority to do so, I would like to declare Lemon Sandwich Cookies the official cookie of spring. Sure, I might get some push back, a few angry dissenters, but then I’ll show up at their door with a plate of cookies and win them over. These cookies are just so happy, I don’t know how anyone could resist their charm. The cookies themselves are a simple sugar cookie that’s triple infused with lemon from juice, zest, and extract. They’re chewy and zesty and sweet and, thanks to a little sprinkle of coarse sugar, even sparkly.

The cookies are extremely munchable all on their own, but they really shine when sandwiched around a dreamy lemon cream cheese filling. While these may look fancy, they’re actually quite easy to make, so they work equally well on an Easter table or at an informal neighborhood potluck. They are good immediately after making them, but they get even better after a few hours in the fridge. The cookies and cream meld together and become something greater than the sum of their parts. I actually love eating these straight from the fridge, but they’re also perfect for taking to a party (or a neighbor’s house), and will hold up well if left out of the fridge for a few hours.

Of course, good cookies need good neighbors to give them to. I recently had the pleasure of visiting and baking in a model home in a new M/I community in Westerville. Truth be told, I’ve always been a little wary of new homes. I had never really spent time in a newly developed community, and I imagined it would feel sterile, cold, and uninviting. The truth turned out to be quite the opposite. The home we visited was vibrant and welcoming. Rather than feeling like it was engineered by robots, it felt like it was thoughtfully planned, down to the last detail, to make you feel at home. It goes without saying that the kitchen was beautiful. Honestly, I hardly knew what to do with all the counter top space. The island was so expansive, I could make my entire recipe right there and leave the rest of the kitchen completely undisturbed. It was dreamy. But the thoughtfulness didn’t stop there. It was the perfectly sized mud room nook (complete with hooks and cubbies) and upstairs laundry room that made my inner mom squeal with delight.

Lemon Sandwich Cookies filled with a zesty cream cheese frosting are perfect for spring. Lemon lovers will LOVE these!

Of course, home for me has always been about more than just some shwanky countertops and a stunning fireplace. Home is family pictures hung on the mantle, a well-loved sidewalk worn out by strollers and dogs. It’s standing in the driveway chatting with your neighbors, and gathering at the fire pit with friends and family. What impressed me most about my time with M/I wasn’t the home itself (though it was stunning), but more about their commitment to building neighborhoods, not just homes. Most of their communities have almost 50% green space, many with walking trails, ponds, and wooded areas. They work closely with the surrounding neighbors to make sure their homes will integrate well into existing communities. They treat their neighbors well, and that’s pretty much what I’m all about here.

After all, what would a home be without neighbors? And what says welcome home better than bright and happy lemon cookies dropped off at your doorstep? If you’re in the Columbus area and interested in learning more about the new communities M/I is building in Westerville, be sure to visit their website, or even better, hop in the car and visit a model home! It’s really the best way to get a feel for what they’re building, not just in brick and mortar, but in making a house a home.

Lemon Sandwich Cookies are a lemon lovers dream! Soft and chewy lemon sugar cookies are sandwiched around a zingy lemon cream cheese filling for the ultimate spring cookie!

If you’re looking for some other treats perfect for welcoming new neighbors, check out my Giant Bakery Style Chocolate Chunk Cookies, Old Fashioned Iced Oatmeal Cookies, or Brownie Cookies.

Lemon Cream Sandwich Cookies

Cook Time 8 mins 2017-06-24T00:08:00+00:00Prep Time
Preparation 40 mins 2017-06-24T00:40:00+00:00Cook Time
Total Time
Serves 20     adjust servings

Ingredients

For the cookies

  • 10 Tablespoons butter
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg + 1 egg yolk
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 teaspoon lemon extract
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Sanding sugar

For the filling

  • 1 8 ounce bar cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 4 Tablespoons (1/4 cup) butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2-3 teaspoons lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixture, cream the butter. Add the sugars and eggs and continue to beat until smooth. Beat in the lemon juice, vanilla, extract, and lemon zest.
  3. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and beat on low speed until well combined, scraping the bowl as needed.
  4. Place heaping teaspoons of dough on a parchment lined baking sheet and flatten a bit with the palm of your hand. Sprinkle with sanding sugar. Bake for 8-9 minutes, or until cookies are set on the edges and no longer jiggly in the center. Allow to cool on the pan for a few minutes before removing to a cooling rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting:

  1. Combine the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium high speed until smooth. Add the powdered sugar, beating on low speed and increasing the speed slowly as the sugar is incorporated. Add the lemon zest and juice, to taste. I like a lot of lemon flavor, so I always use the full 3 teaspoons.
  2. Pipe or spread the cream cheese frosting on a lemon cookie and sandwich with a second cookie. Store the finished cookies in the fridge. I love the taste of these cold directly out of the fridge, but they can set out at room temperature for several hours and be fine.

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Recipe Notes

You will likely have leftover lemon cream cheese filling. It makes an awesome dip for fresh strawberries or use it to make little fruit pizzas.

This post was sponsored by the wonderful people at M/I homes. As always, all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the companies who help keep NeighborFood up and running!

Lemon Sandwich Cookies filled with a dreamy lemon cream filling are the perfect spring dessert!
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Green Pea Soup with Candied Bacon

This Green Pea Soup with fresh basil and smoky sweet candied bacon is the ultimate spring appetizer. Bright and creamy, it’s a great reason to give peas a chance. (I know, I know. That was a serious dad joke, but how can you resist??)
Green Pea Soup with Candied Bacon is a gorgeous, easy, and refreshing soup that's perfect for Easter or any spring occasion.

Like all good parents, mine made me eat my vegetables growing up. I don’t remember struggling too much with this rule, except when it came to the most dreaded vegetable of all–the pea. Those tiny green dots gave me fits, and I made sure my parents knew exactly how much they were torturing me with each and every bite. In full dramatics, I would plug my nose and screw up my face, barely mustering a swallow before I came back for air, gasping and begging for mercy.

I’m sure today my parents are laughing triumphantly, because here is their afflicted daughter, writing a food blog, and dedicating an entire recipe to the despised green pea. I can only say I’m sorry, mom and dad. I’ve had a change of heart. It turns out that peas are actually pretty delightful after all.

My change of heart started at G. Michael’s, where I celebrated my birthday last year. I must’ve been feeling particularly adventurous, because for some reason I ordered the pea soup. The bowl placed before me looked quite lovely, although not quite like food. It was a vibrant green, with none of the yellowed hue I seemed to remember from my childhood. After my first bite, I was surprised first off to discover the soup was served cold, and secondly to realize I actually loved it.

Green Pea Soup with Candied Bacon is a light, creamy soup that absolutely screams spring. It's perfect for Easter or spring brunches!

Since that night, I’ve had pea soup on the brain. I’ve waited nearly a year for spring to roll around again and give me an excuse to make it. When it came to recreating the recipe, I knew I wanted something with minimal ingredients, allowing the bright sweetness of the peas to be the star. I found a recipe at The New York Times entitled Possibly The Best Pea Soup and decided that would be a good place to start.

When it comes to simplicity, this recipe rules the day. With nothing but shallots, garlic, water, peas, and a bit of basil, this soup is light, silky, and the essence of spring. A little cream stirred in at the end gives it just a touch of richness. I used frozen peas, because fresh aren’t readily available in our area just yet, and also because I’m lazy and opening up a bag of frozen peas is about as easy as it gets.

Green Pea Soup with smoky sweet candied bacon is a party for your tastebuds! Light, but creamy, sweet and salty, it's perfect for any spring meal!

On it’s own this pea soup is delightful, but what truly puts it over the top is a crumble of candied bacon, which melts into the soup, giving it a hint of maple and just the right amount of savory crunch. I’ve included the recipe for a whole pound of candied bacon. You likely won’t need all of that for the soup, but I trust you’ll have no issues polishing off the leftovers (stacking it on this Strawberry Bacon Goat Cheese Grilled Cheese seems like a very viable option).

Just like the soup that started it all, this one can be served hot or cold, though I prefer it hot. I ate it for lunch three days in a row. It pairs beautifully with a grilled cheese or a slice of buttered homemade Amish White Bread. While pea soup can certainly make for a week’s worth of delightful lunches, it’s also a lovely appetizer to serve before your Easter dinner. If you’re serving this up for a special occasion, swirling the cream on top and giving it a sprinkle of chives makes it look absolutely beautiful. So beautiful that you might even be able to convince the pea-haters in your life to give it a try.

Pea Soup

Cook Time 30 mins 2017-06-24T00:30:00+00:00Prep Time
Preparation 5 mins 2017-06-24T00:05:00+00:00Cook Time
Total Time
Serves 6     adjust servings

Frozen green peas, garlic, shallots, and basil come together to make a fresh and creamy spring soup. The candied bacon adds just the right amount of indulgent sweetness.

Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
  • 4 cups water
  • 24 ounce bag frozen peas
  • 5 fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 Tablespoon kosher salt
  • A few turns of cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 cup half and half or cream
  • 4 Tablespoons chopped fresh chives

For the bacon

  • 1 lb. thick cut bacon
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar

Instructions

    For the bacon:

    1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line two baking sheets with foil then top with wire racks. Place the bacon slices on the racks. Brush half the maple syrup and brown sugar on the top. Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Pull the bacon out of the oven and flip. Brush with remaining syrup and brown sugar. Bake for another 15-20 minutes or until bacon is crispy. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.

    For the soup:

    1. In a large soup pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and stir until starting to soften. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 20 minutes.
    2. Stir in the frozen peas, basil, salt, and pepper and return to a boil. Boil for about five minutes, then remove from heat. Transfer the soup into the blender in batches and puree until very smooth. I prefer to cover the blender hole with a paper towel to allow steam to escape. If desired strain the soup through a fine mesh sieve to remove any shells or lumps.
    3. Stir in the cream and reheat to serve warm or serve at room temperature or chilled. Top with candied bacon and chives.

    by

    Recipe adapted from The New York Times

    { 6 comments }

    Mushroom and Leek Quiche with Gruyere

    This Mushroom and Leek Quiche with melty gruyere cheese is a lovely recipe for Easter or any spring brunch!

    This Mushroom and Leek Quiche is loaded with cheesy gruyere for an indulgent spring brunch recipe!

    Way back in November we had our first snow storm of the season. It a was a little early for a first snow storm in Ohio, but it was lovely. Thick, fat flurries dotted the sky and stacked up outside our house. Being the first time mom that I am, I decided we must immediately go and purchase little P a snow suit. I mean, just think of all the wintertime fun we had ahead of us. Likely months of snowballs and sledding, snow men and snow ice cream. My momma heart was exploding imagining the tiniest and cutest snow angel ever made.

    So we went out and got it all–the boots, the snow pants, the hats, the gloves. We were ready.

    Then it proceeded to not snow for another three months.

    I can’t say we didn’t enjoy our warm winter. We had plenty of mid-January park visits that were positively glorious, but every time I saw the little snowsuit hanging in the back of P’s closet, I got a little heartsick.

    When March rolled around, I decided it was time. I dragged the snowsuit out of the closet, tags still dangling from the side, and took it back to the store. The next week, it snowed. Of course. The last two weeks have been cold, dreary, and speckled with a mix of snow, sleet, and rain. Typical February in Ohio. Only it’s not February, IT’S MID MARCH. You can’t be 60 degrees in January and 20 in March. It’s a cruel joke, Ohio, and I don’t find it amusing.

    Mushroom and Leek Quiche with Gruyere Cheese is the perfect recipe for all your spring brunches@

    Feeling helpless, I decided to protest the dreariness by making quiche. The cheeriness of a quiche cannot be thwarted by a relentlessly gray week. Its golden crust and fluffy, cheesy egg center warms the home, bringing to mind the lightness of spring and the glory of an Easter morning brunch.

    This Mushroom and Leek Quiche is particularly adept at turning around a sour mood. Pale, delicate leeks sauteed in butter, earthy mushrooms, and gobs of shredded Gruyere cheese make a quiche that is hearty and filling enough to stand up to the most dismal of days. I am loving this combination for an Easter gathering, but it’s also an easy and delicious way to get dinner on the table any night of the week.

    A few notes about this recipe. The filling ingredients are designed for a deep dish pie crust. Nothing wimpy about this quiche! It is thick, hearty, and luxurious. If you’re using a regular pie plate, you’ll likely want to halve the ingredients or just make two and freeze one.

    Usually, I make my own pie crust using the all butter recipe in my Ultimate Homemade Pie Crust Recipe post. However, there are certainly occasions (like when the kids are sick or the hubby’s working long hours or pretty much any Monday), where I would absolutely use a store bought crust. There’s no shame in my game! Quiche is fantastic, whatever wrapping it comes in.

    Finally, the recipe calls for 1/4 cup of flour whisked into the egg and milk mixture. I picked up this tip from Saveur, and I do think it gives the custard an extra silkiness. However, if you’re looking for a gluten free option, feel free to leave the flour out. It will still work just fine.

    This Mushroom and Leek Quiche is rich and filling, perfect for Easter or any spring brunch!

    I hope wherever you are, it’s warm and sunny, but if it’s not, I hope there’s at least quiche. If you’re looking for more mood-lifting springtime recipes, you might want to check out my Lemon Blueberry Crumb BreadPineapple Coconut Cake, or Lemon Raspberry Poppyseed Muffins.

    Mushroom and Leek Quiche with Gruyere

    Cook Time 1 hour 15 mins 2017-06-24T01:15:00+00:00Prep Time
    Preparation 25 mins 2017-06-24T00:25:00+00:00Cook Time
    Total Time
    Serves 8     adjust servings

    Ingredients

    • 1 deep dish 9 inch pie crust
    • 3 Tablespoons butter, divided
    • 3 leeks, white and light green parts only
    • 12 ounces sliced mushrooms
    • 8 eggs
    • 1 cup whole milk
    • 1 cup heavy cream
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 cup flour (optional)
    • 2 cups shredded gruyere cheese, divided
    • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

    Instructions

    1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
    2. In a large skillet, melt 2 Tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, undisturbed, for a few minutes, or until the bottom side is golden. Flip and continue to cook until mushrooms are golden on both sides. Season with salt. Remove to plate.
    3. In the same skillet, melt the remaining butter. Add the leeks and saute until softened, about 5-7 minutes. Remove the leeks to a plate.
    4. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, cream, salt, and flour.
    5. Sprinkle some of the gruyere cheese on the bottom of the pie crust. Pour half the egg mixture in followed by half of the gruyere cheese and half of the mushrooms and leeks. Pour the remaining egg mixture on top along with the rest of the mushrooms, leeks, cheese, and gruyere. Top with Parmesan cheese.
    6. Bake the quiche in the preheated oven for 60-80 minutes or until very golden brown and set in the center. If the pie crust gets too brown, shield the outside crust with tin foil. The quiche can be served hot or at room temperature and should keep for several days in the refrigerator. If you'd like to make this ahead of time, allow the quiche to cool, then refrigerate overnight. When ready to serve, heat the oven to 350 degrees. Slice the quiche and put the slices on a baking sheet. Heat for about 10 minutes or until hot throughout.

    by

    { 2 comments }

    Sweet Potato Black Bean Burrito (For the Freezer)

    Who knew leftovers could taste this good? These Sweet Potato Black Bean Burritos loaded with chicken, cheese, and rice, are perfect for using up your leftovers, and they make a great freezer burrito! I’ve also included plenty of other ideas for turning your leftovers into quick and tasty freezer burritos.

    Sweet Potato Black Bean Burritos are a great way to turn your leftovers into a protein packed freezer meal!

    The other day one of my good friends made my Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins. She has two little ones (one born the exact same day as little P!), and like the brave and courageous woman she is, she made the muffins while both kiddos were fully awake and zero other adults were around. After accomplishing this admirable feat, she texted me a little suggestion. Perhaps I should include a separate prep time that would let parents know how long the recipe takes if you’re making it while children are clawing at your legs, begging for snacks, and/or coloring on the walls in another room. A “parent’s prep,” if you will. Does the recipe say 15 minutes prep? Go ahead and double it. Have more than one kid? Triple it.

    I had to chuckle, because it’s so true. That’s just basic parenting math. What used to take minutes now takes a half hour. I want to weep when I think about my pre-kid grocery store runs. If I forgot a carton of sour cream, it was no big deal. I could run to the store and be back in 20 minutes. Now it takes us that long just to get out the door. Toddlers have many wonderful qualities, but efficiency is most certainly not one of them.

    An easy, time saving meal is worth more to me now than ever, which is why freezer burritos have become a regular part of our line up. Before P was born, I made and froze these Mexican Breakfast Burritos. They were a lifesaver in the first few months when I could barely remember whether I was wearing pants, let alone decide what to eat for lunch. Even though the newborn craziness is long gone, I’ve come to appreciate the ease of pulling a burrito out of the freezer, microwaving it, and having a great meal on the table in minutes.

    My burritos these days tend to be a little less planned and a little more a conglomeration of whatever leftovers we have in the fridge. In this post, I’ve included a recipe for my current favorite combination–Sweet Potato Black Bean Burritos–but I also wanted to leave you with plenty of ideas for making the most of whatever leftovers you happen to have on hand.

    Sweet Potato Black Bean Burritos are loaded with protein, melty cheese, spicy black beans, and smoky maple sweet potatoes. The perfect freezer meal!

    These particular burritos are a combination of rotisserie chicken, cilantro rice, Chipotle Black Beans, Maple Roasted Sweet Potatoes (with a little chili powder and smoked paprika added!), and a layer of monterey jack cheese that demonstrates my total lack of regard for skinny jeans. The combo is delicious, with great texture, and tons of protein to keep you full all day. At home, I like to serve them with a little salsa and sour cream. At work, my husband adds his desk stash of hot sauce.

    Pretty much everything in these burrito was made for another meal, then repurposed to stock our freezer with ready-made lunches or dinners. I LOVE when recipes can pull double duty like this, and really, your fridge is a treasure trove of burrito fillings just waiting to be discovered. The picture below was from a burrito making extravaganza I had a few months ago.

    Sweet Potato Black Bean Burritos are just one of the amazing meals you can make with my tips for turning leftovers into freezer burritos!

    Here are a few more leftovers you could repurpose into burrito greatness:

    The possibilities are endless. Use your creativity and your tastebuds to create your own favorite. My biggest tip? Make sure every aspect you’re putting into the burrito is well seasoned and tastes good on its own. Nothing makes for a bland burrito like plain white rice and a can of black beans with no seasonings. Also, save any wet fillings to be used as toppings. Salsa, sour cream, and guacamole are wonderful, but they can all make for a soggy burrito, and nobody likes a soggy burrito.

    The recipes I’ve included below should be enough to make around 10 burritos. This is enough for us to eat them for dinner one night and for me to stash some away for emergency meals. For folding, layer the ingredients a little right of center of the burrito, fold the bottom up and the top down, then roll from right to left to create a good seal. I like to wrap these in saran wrap then store in a freezer zip lock bag. When you’re ready to eat, simply remove from the package, cover with a damp paper towel, and heat for about a minute, flip, and heat an additional 30-60 seconds. If you have access to a toaster oven AND you don’t have hangry children whining in the background, you can send them through a toasted oven for a few minutes for a golden, crispy crust. Otherwise, grab some sour cream and salsa and dig right in!

    Sweet Potato Black Bean Burritos are my go-to freezer burrito for quick lunches or easy dinners. The post also includes loads of tips for turning your leftovers into freezer burritos!

    Sweet Potato Black Bean Burrito (For the Freezer)

    Cook Time 45 mins 2017-06-24T00:45:00+00:00Prep Time
    Preparation 45 mins 2017-06-24T00:45:00+00:00Cook Time
    Total Time
    Serves 10     adjust servings

    Sweet potatoes, black beans, chicken, cheese, and rice come together to make a protein packed burrito that's perfect for freezing!

    Ingredients

    For the rice

    • 1 cup long grain rice
    • 2 1/4 cups water
    • 1 Tablespoon butter
    • 1 bay leaf
    • Fat pinch salt
    • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves
    • Fresh lime juice, salt, and pepper to taste

    For the sweet potatoes

    • 2 very large or 3 medium sweet potatoes, chopped
    • 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
    • 2 Tablespoons coconut oil
    • 2 Tablespoons real maple syrup
    • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
    • 3/4 teaspoon chili powder
    • Salt and pepper

    For the black beans

    • 2 cans black beans
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • Fat pinch sugar
    • Salt and pepper, to taste

    For the burritos

    • 2 cups chopped or shredded rotisserie chicken
    • 2 cups shredded monterey jack cheese
    • 10 large burrito tortillas (I used spinach tortillas)

    Instructions

      For the rice:

      1. Combine the rice, water, butter, bay leaf, and salt in in a medium sauce pan. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer undisturbed for 18-25 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove to heat and keep the cover on for another 5 minutes. Transfer the rice to a bowl, fluffing with a fork. Stir in the cilantro and season with lime juice, salt and pepper to taste.

      For the sweet potatoes:

      1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. In a bowl, toss the sweet potatoes and onions with the coconut oil, maple syrup, paprika, and chili powder. Season generously with Kosher salt and a few turns of pepper. Spread onto one or two baking sheets, depending on the size. Roast for 15 minutes and stir. Return to the oven and roast for an additional 10-20 minutes or until sweet potatoes are soft and starting to caramelize around the edges.

      For the black beans:

      1. Combine all the ingredients in a sauce pan over medium heat. Cook until heated through, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.

      To make the burritos:

      1. Spread the burrito shell out. Layer the rice, sweet potatoes, black beans, and chicken a little right of center, leaving an inch on the bottom and the top. Cover with cheese. Fold the bottom part of the shell up and top part down, then roll the burrito from right to left. Repeat with remaining shells and fillings. Wrap in saran wrap then place in a zip lock freezer bag for storage. To reheat, remove from saran wrap, wrap in a damp paper towel, and microwave the burrito for 1 minute. Flip over, and microwave an additional minute, if needed. Place in the toaster oven for a few minutes, if desired. Serve with sour cream, salsa, guacamole, or hot sauce.

      by

       

      { 3 comments }

      Breakfast Burger with Bourbon Bacon Jam

      You know that song, “You were always on my mind”? That’s how I feel about these Breakfast Burgers with Bourbon Bacon Jam. 

      These Breakfast Burgers are smothered with cheese, a fried egg, and bourbon bacon jam for the ultimate breakfast sandwich.

      I’ve been wanting to make a breakfast burger for a looooong time. I first planned to make one last fall, but other recipes kept replacing it in the queue. Weeks turned into months, and the poor breakfast burger wallowed in my drafts folder as That Good Salad and Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins, and Cottage Cheese Lasagna all received their time in the spotlight.

      “If I made you feel second best
      Girl, I’m sorry I was blind
      But you were always on my mind
      You were always on my mind”

      Oh, sweet, patient breakfast burger. It may have taken longer than expected, but I never stopped dreaming of you. And luckily, all that dreaming and waiting led to a marvelous breakfast discovery: Bourbon Bacon Jam. I knew when I started planning a breakfast burger that bacon had to be involved, but I didn’t quite know how I wanted to incorporate it. No one’s going to complain about two plain slices of bacon on a burger, but I was looking for something that would add a little more flavor and interest to the burger. Something that would complement and enhance the savory elements of the burger without overpowering it.

      This is no ordinary Breakfast Burger! Piled high with melty cheese, a fried egg, and BOURBON BACON JAM (AH!), these will elevate your breakfast to the next level.

      Enter: honey. Honey is one of the most used ingredients in my cabinets. It’s versatile, has an extended shelf life, and makes a great substitute for other sweeteners in baking, dressing and marinades. I use it in savory and sweet recipes, for breakfast, dinner, or dessert. I love Honey Green Beans, and this Asian Honey Sesame Beef is a testament to the wonderful things that can happen when meat and honey get together. It’s a wonder I never thought to combine honey and bacon before. I mean, what could be better than bringing the bold, smoky flavor of bacon and the sweet, sultry flavor of honey together?

      Well, I guess one thing could be better, and that’s adding bourbon to the mix. Guys, this jam is something else. Crisp cooked bacon and caramelized onions are reduced with bourbon, honey, and balsamic until a rich, thick, jam forms. I like to add a pinch of cayenne so all the flavors are covered–sweet, salty, tangy, and a tad spicy, all in one perfectly spreadable condiment. I could eat this stuff by the spoonful.

      The first time my husband tried the jam, he promptly informed me I’d grossly underestimated the amount we needed. This stuff was going to be put on all.the.things. Grilled chicken. Toast. Crackers and cheese. Salmon. And most importantly, this epic breakfast burger.

      These Breakfast Burgers piled high with Bourbon Bacon Jam, melty cheese, and a fried egg are a breakfast game changer!

      Once the jam is made this burger comes together in a jiffy. I keep my burger patties simple, with just a hint of salt and worcestershire. I like to fry them up in a cast iron skillet if it’s too cold to grill. The patties are topped with a slice of sharp cheddar cheese (melted of course), a generous spoonful of bourbon bacon jam, and a fried egg sandwiched between a buttery toasted English muffin.

      I could take some time to describe to you just how amazing this burger tastes, but I’m pretty sure you’re already doing a great job imagining it. Instead, I’ll give you some sage advice, gleaned through experience. Don’t waste another minute not having this Breakfast Burger in your life. After all, you wouldn’t want to have to write a sad song about it someday.

      To learn more about the many benefits of honey and find more recipes, visit the National Honey Board’s on honey.comFacebook, Pinterest, TwitterInstagram and YouTube.

      Breakfast Burger with Bourbon Bacon Jam

      Cook Time 45 mins 2017-06-24T00:45:00+00:00Prep Time
      Preparation 15 mins 2017-06-24T00:15:00+00:00Cook Time
      Total Time
      Serves 4     adjust servings

      Ingredients

      For the jam

      • 1 1/2 pounds applewood smoked bacon, chopped
      • 1 Tablespoon butter
      • 2 small yellow onions
      • Salt
      • 1/2 cup bourbon
      • 1/2 cup honey
      • 1 1/2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
      • Pinch cayenne pepper (optional)

      For the burgers

      • 1 lb. ground beef
      • 1 teaspoons Kosher salt
      • 1 Tablespoon worcestershire

      To assemble

      • 1 Tablespoon butter
      • 4 eggs
      • 4 slices sharp cheddar cheese
      • 4 English muffins, toasted and buttered if desired

      Instructions

      1. In a Dutch oven or other heavy bottomed pot, cook the bacon over medium high heat, until the fat starts to foam and the bacon is crispy. Remove the bacon to a plate and then drain the fat through a colander into a bowl.
      2. Add 1 Tablespoon of the fat back into the pan along with the butter. Add the onions, season with salt, and cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes, or until softened and starting to caramelize.
      3. Add the bourbon and honey to the skillet, turn the heat up to high, and bring to a boil. Boil for about 2 minutes, stirring often. Stir in the vinegar and boil for another minute. Add the bacon back into the pot, reduce heat to medium low, and simmer for another 6-8 minutes or until mixture is thick and dark. Season with additional salt and cayenne pepper, if desired. Store in the fridge until ready to eat. Microwave briefly before serving.

      For the burgers:

      1. Using your fingers, gently mix the salt and worcestershire into the ground beef. Form into four patties and place a small thumbprint in the center of each one. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium high heat and melt a little oil or butter of your choice in the pan. Add the patties to the pan and cook until seared on the bottom. Flip and continue to cook until patties are cooked through, adding a slice of cheese and covering the pan for the last two minutes. Remove to a plate.
      2. Fry each of the eggs in a teaspoon of butter to your liking. (We prefer to cook over medium heat until the whites are almost set, then flip and cook for one additional minute for a nice, yolky over easy egg).
      3. To assemble, place the burgers on the English muffins and top with a generous amount of bacon jam. Place an egg on each burger and top with the other half of the muffin. Enjoy this meaty breakfast feast!

      by

      This post is sponsored by the National Honey Board. As always, all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands and products that help keep NeighborFood afloat!

      { 6 comments }

      Reuben Pull Apart Bread

      While feeding a toddler isn’t always the most rewarding job, it can lead to some pleasant surprises. One of those happy surprises involved this giant loaf of Reuben Pull Apart Bread.

      Make this Pull Apart Reuben Bread as an appetizer or dinner. Either way it will disappear fast!

      I made this bread on Valentine’s Day, because 1) We’re parents now so Valentine’s Day is really just an excuse to buy the little guy a shiny red balloon. Here’s hoping he’s always super excited about a $2 gift.

      2) Valentine’s Day was on a Tuesday, and babysitters are scarce, and restaurants are crowded, so going out was a non-option.

      and 3) The Mr. loves reuben sandwiches, and making a big loaf of reuben-y goodness seemed like the easiest way to let him know I’m still crazy about him even if I didn’t manage to get a shower all day.

      This Pull Apart Reuben bread is an easy appetizer everyone will love!

      If you’ve never made pull apart bread before, it’s almost embarrassingly simple to put together. I start with a nice round crusty loaf of bread (I managed to find rye bread at a local Jewish deli, but Sourdough can also work). The bread is scored in parallel and perpendicular lines, then stuffed with handfuls of cheese, meat, seasonings, or whatever else suits your fancy. Because this was a Reuben-inspired bread, I used gobs of shredded Swiss, thick slices of chopped corned beef, and a sprinkling of sauerkraut for good measure.

      The whole thing gets popped in the oven for a few minutes until the cheese is melty and the bread is hot and golden. While it’s baking, I whip up a quick homemade Russian dressing that has just the right balance of sweetness, tang, and heat. In no time at all, you have a lovely loaf bursting with stringy cheese and crisp corned beef.

      Get all the great flavors of a reuben sandwich in this easy to make Pull Apart Reuben Bread!

      I fully expected our sweet child would snub his nose at this concoction (I mean, who ever heard of a kid eating sauerkraut?), but the moment this came out of the oven, he was signing the word for “please” and not-so-patiently pointing and whining at the fragrant bread. I reached, down pulled a hunk off and handed it to him. He shoved the whole thing in his mouth, chomped away happily, and was begging for another piece less than 30 seconds later.

      At dinner, we all dove in. Even the little guy got in on the dipping action. The Mr. loved it and told me he’d prefer this over a $50 steak and a wife in heels any day (Ok, ok, maybe those weren’t his exact words, but he did really love this bread!)  The winning flavors of a classic reuben are irresistible, even for a sometimes picky child. Unless you plan on eating the entire loaf, you might want to slice and plate the bread in appropriate serving sizes. Otherwise, you may keep going back for nibble after nibble until suddenly your tiny family has eaten almost an entire loaf of bread in one sitting. Not that I know anything about that. Ahem.

      This Pull Apart Reuben Bread is a cinch to make and always a hit at parties!

      Reuben Pull Apart Bread

      Cook Time 15 mins 2017-06-24T00:15:00+00:00Prep Time
      Preparation 15 mins 2017-06-24T00:15:00+00:00Cook Time
      Total Time
      Serves 6-8     adjust servings

      Ingredients

      For the bread

      • 2 cups thick sliced corned beef, chopped into strips
      • 2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
      • 1 can sauerkraut, drained
      • 1 round rye loaf (or sourdough in a pinch)

      For the sauce

      • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
      • 2 Tablespoons ketchup
      • 1 teaspoon worcestershire
      • 1 teaspoon prepared horseradish
      • 2 teaspoons sweet pickle relish juice

      Instructions

      1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. To make the bread, slice it in parallel and perpendicular lines, about an inch apart, being careful not to slice all the way through the bread. Place the loaf on a baking sheet.
      2. In a bowl, mix together the cheese, meat, and sauerkraut. Using your fingers, stuff the cheese mixture into each of the rows on the loaf of bread. Place the loaf in the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes or until cheese is melty and bread is golden.
      3. Meanwhile, whisk together all of the sauce ingredients. Serve the bread warm with a side of sauce for dipping.

      by

       

      { 10 comments }

      Maple Roasted Sweet Potato and Sausage Hash

      Whether you’re looking for an easy sheet pan dinner or a healthy breakfast idea, this Maple Roasted Sweet Potato Sausage Hash fits the bill. 

      This Maple Roasted Sweet Potato and Chicken Sausage Hash is a great healthy breakfast or easy sheet pan dinner.

      Many people have horror stories about their college roommates. My story is completely the opposite. Christina and I were placed together randomly our freshman year, and despite our awkwardness (or maybe because of it), we hit it off almost immediately. We lived together all four years of college, and she remains one of my greatest friends and biggest supporters. I’m pretty sure in the early days the only people who read my blog were my mom, my husband, and Christina. God bless her, she wasn’t daunted by camera phone pictures taken under florescent lighting. Truth be told I didn’t realize what a faithful blog evangelist Christina was until I went to her 30th birthday party this past weekend. Several people came up to me to tell me how much they enjoy the blog, and they all specifically mentioned one recipe–this One Pot Kale, Sausage, and Sweet Potato Soup. Christina told me she’s made and shared it several times, and apparently the recipe has continued to spread from there. I always appreciate getting feedback on recipes, but what I loved most about these particular conversations is that several people told me they loved the recipe even though it sounded really weird at first. 

      That’s pretty much my entire goal in life, folks. Surprising you with weird stuff that tastes darn good. On that note, let’s talk about another sweet and savory recipe I’ve fallen in love with: Maple Roasted Sweet Potato Hash.

      Maple Roasted Sweet Potato and Sausage Hash is perfect for a healthy breakfast or easy sheet pan dinner.

      Here, the combination of sweet potatoes and sausage gets a little refresher with apple chicken sausage, sweet bell peppers, and a fried egg. I’ll admit, this recipe really started as glorified leftovers. We have Maple Roasted Sweet Potatoes about once a week. They’re quick, healthy, delicious, and the whole family loves them. I usually make enough so I can have the leftovers in the morning with a runny egg. Yes, I am in the camp that believes nearly everything can be improved with a fried egg. REALLY.

      Well, one thing led to another, and soon I was taking my breakfast leftovers, tossing in some chicken sausage and bell peppers, and calling it dinner. This is a really easy and good-for-you sheet pan recipe. Loaded with protein and satisfying sweet potatoes, this is a dish you can make for any meal of the day. When I’m making it for dinner, I like to amp up the savory aspects of the sweet potatoes by subbing smoked paprika for the usual cinnamon and adding Nielsen Massey pure vanilla extract for an extra depth of flavor. I find focusing on quality of ingredients makes a big difference in healthy recipes like this one. A touch of paprika or hint of vanilla can really elevate a simple meal like this one, without adding any calories or fat.

      The potatoes, bell pepper, and sausage are all bathed in the same sweet and smoky maple glaze before roasting. You will likely pull this pan o’goodness out of the oven and think “Welp, dinner is served.” That certainly wouldn’t be the worst idea, but the real icing on top of this proverbial cake is a runny egg yolk dripping over the sweet potatoes and coating the sausages in its rich, silky sauce. This is what pulls it all together, bringing all these strange, wonderful ingredients together into one heck of a meal.

      A fried egg completes this Maple Roasted Sweet Potato Sausage Hash--an easy weeknight dinner or breakfast idea!

      Maple Roasted Sweet Potato and Chicken Sausage Breakfast Bowls

      Cook Time 30 mins 2017-06-24T00:30:00+00:00Prep Time
      Preparation 5 mins 2017-06-24T00:05:00+00:00Cook Time
      Total Time
      Serves 3-4     adjust servings

      This simple Maple Roasted Sweet Potato Sausage Hash topped with a fried egg is perfect for any meal of the day.

      Ingredients

      • 3 large sweet potatoes, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
      • 1 yellow or orange bell pepper, chopped
      • 1 package apple chicken sausages, cut into thick slices
      • 1 1/2 Tablespoons coconut oil
      • 3 Tablespoons real maple syrup
      • 1 teaspoon Nielsen Massey pure vanilla extract
      • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
      • Salt and pepper
      • 4 eggs

      Instructions

      1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. In a bowl, mix together the coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. Place the sweet potatoes on a baking sheet and toss with all but ½ Tablespoon of the oil mixture. Roast the sweet potatoes for 15 minutes.
      2. Remove the sweet potatoes from the oven, then add the bell peppers, chicken sausage, and remaining oil mixture. Sprinkle everything with the smoked paprika, and season with salt and pepper. Stir together well. Return to the oven and continue to roast for another 15-20 minutes. or until sausages are browned and sweet potatoes are soft and a bit crisp on the edges.
      3. For the fried eggs, add enough olive oil to a small non stick pan to coat the surface. Heat over medium high heat. Crack the eggs, one or two at a time, into the oil. Reduce the heat to medium. Cook until the bottom is cooked and edges are a bit browned. Flip, cook for an additional 20-30 seconds for an over easy egg or more for medium or hard cooked egg. Serve the eggs with the sweet potato mixture.

      by

      This post is sponsored by Nielsen Massey. As always, all opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands who help keep NeighborFood afloat!

      { 3 comments }

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