Category Archives: Wanna Be Foodie

Lumberjack Party

Lumperjack Party

Its a total winter wonderland here in SLC this week. So I figured its the perfect time to revisit Olivers Lumberjack party for his 1st birthday. Originally posted January 28th, 2016.

My little Oliver Jack is a winter baby, which was great when I was 9 months pregnant and a burning inferno, but not so great when planning a 1st birthday party.  The freezing temperatures outside really limited my options for a birthday party.  But I decided to embrace my inner hibernation mode and what better way than with Cozy flannel and comfort food; the key ingredients to a Lumberjack themed party.  It was a truly special day surrounded by our loving family and friends to Celebrate Oliver.  He slept through half of it because naps never work out the way you hope on party day.  But watching him with his cake was delightful.

 

How to throw a lumberjack themed party

I fell in love at first site with these invitations from Lauren Haddox designs on Etsy, she also made a gorgeous set of printables that I couldn’t resist.

Invitations

I loved that she has matching address labels that made these invites crazy cute from start to finish.

Decorations

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A couple of weeks before the party we took a little trip to the park to collect pine cones.  Which saved me about $20. But If you just want to buy pinecones, you can here. (Amazon affiliate link)

For the burlap runner you can find it here. (Amazon affiliate link)

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You can find this lantern here.(contains Amazon affiliate link)

You can find wood platters here. (contains Amazon affiliate link)

 

 

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Decorations ideas:

  • Pine cones
  • Wood stumps
  • Flannel
  • An axe or two
  • Flannel bunting
  • Lanterns
  • Mini pine trees
  • Kraft paper
  • Burlap

Food

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Chili Bar Toppings:

  • Cheddar cheese
  • Sour cream
  • Jalapenos
  • Fritos or corn chips
  • Hot sauce
  • Corn bread muffin
  • Tater-tots

 

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Waffle Bar Toppings:

  • Chick-fil-a party platter, perfect for chicken and waffles.
  • Strawberries
  • Bananas
  • Raspberries
  • Pineapple
  • Blueberries
  • White and milk chocolate chips
  • Whipped cream
  • Toffee bits
  • flavored syrup
  • Peanut butter
  • Bacon bits

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Dessert Bar:

  • Stout Chocolate Cupcakes, complete with mini ax
  • Assorted sugar cookies
  • S’more Pops
  • deconstructed Chocolate Covered Cinnamon Bear

Drinks

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Beverages:

  • Hot Chocolate Bar complete with “adult add-ins”
  • Iced Tea and Lemonade for my fave: an Arnold Palmer
  • Mimosa punch
  • Water
  • You can get these paper straws here. (Amazon affiliate link)

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You can find this to die for cake stand here. (Contains Amazon affiliate link)

Baby bear cake topper here. (Contains Amazon affiliate link)

Lego Lumberjack cake topper here. (Contains Amazon affiliate link)

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Oliver’s cake didn’t turn out like I had hoped, but that is what happens when you leave things to last-minute. I had a vision of delicious cream cheese whip layered between gorgeous fluffy giant pancakes.  To save myself time I ordered the pancakes from local breakfast joint we love. On the day of the party we picked up the to-go order and headed to the venue.  I was really sad to find that they gave me their small pancakes instead of their large.  I had to improvise and the good news is, Oliver Jack didn’t mind.  It tasted amazing!

I loved this party theme so much I want to throw a lumberjack party every winter.

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xoxosarah

Credits

photographer: Anissa Vegh PhotoNV

Printables:   Lauren Haddox designs on Etsy

Balloons: John with Balloon Architects 

Savory Oatmeal with Ham Bacon and Peas

Savory Oatmeal is Amazing

Savory oatmeal is amazing, I PROMISE!!! Dont be afraid! Its not weird!  It’s satisfaction in a bowl.

While I was making this recipe for the first time, my cousin April popped in. I said to her “PERFECT TIMING! You can try my carbonara inspired oatmeal. It has bacon, ham, peas.”  April replied with a very quick “that sounds weird.”  I had to laugh because her words are the quintessential reaction I get when I tell people about savory oatmeal.  But every person who has been lucky enough to try savory oatmeal at my house has changed their mind.

So let me calm your concerns about savory oatmeal and walk you through it.  Do you like Rice or polenta? Both are grains and usually served as a savory dish.  I dream of the polenta topped with marinara and cheese that I order at a local brewery called Redrock. It is so freaking good.  And I wowed my co-workers one day when I made them a creamy bowl of polenta topped with bacon and a slightly yokey fried egg on top.  I also grew up with my mom making chicken and rice with cream of chicken soup added in.  To this day it is on my top five comfort foods.

Oatmeal easily replaces the polenta or rice in any of these examples

Try it. And get back to me with “you were totally right!”

Carbonara Inspired Savory Oatmeal with Ham, Bacon, and Peas

I have attempted to make pasta carbonara a few times and I have to say its a little complicated.  Since I try to make my oatmeal as easy as possible, for this recipe I “dummed it down” for myself and for you guys too. Because who has a ton of time in the morning? I definitely do not.

This recipe is super easy and so satisfying.  I simply make savory oats in the Instant Pot, replacing water with Chicken stock. 

While the oatmeal is cooking, I sauteed ham, bacon crumbles and frozen peas until the meat sizzled and the peas were nice and tender.

Once the oatmeal is finished I added a turn of my salt and pepper grinders, butter, and mozzarella cheese.

Put 1 cup of oats in a dish, top with the ham, bacon, and peas. Then sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

My mouth is watering just typing this.  So without further ado her is my carbonara inspired savory oatmeal with ham, bacon, and peas.

Carbonara Inspired Savory Oatmeal with Ham Bacon and Peas

Ingredients

  • 1 c steel cut oats
  • 3 c chicken stock
  • 8 oz ham, cubed
  • 4 oz bacon crumbles
  • 6 oz frozen peas
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1/4 c mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 c Parmesan cheese, shredded

Instructions

  1. I simply make savory oats in the Instant Pot, replacing water with Chicken stock.   While the oatmeal is cooking, I sauteed ham, bacon crumbles and frozen peas until the meat sizzled and the peas were nice and tender. Once the oatmeal is finished I added a turn of my salt and pepper grinders, butter, and mozzarella cheese. Put 1 cup of oats in a dish, top with the ham, bacon, and peas. Then sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
  2. Place steel cute oats and chicken stock in Instant Pot. Set to steam for 10 minutes.
  3. While oatmeal is cooking, saute ham, bacon crumbles, and peas on medium heat until peas are tender.
  4. Allow the Instant Pot to naturally vent for an additional 10-15 minutes. Then turn vent to "venting." Once Instant pot has completely vented, remove lid. Add in butter and mozzarella cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. top oatmeal with ham, bacon, and pea mixture and sprinkle with Parmesan.

If you want to try other savory oatmeal check out my Bacon and Gouda Oatmeal recipe here.

White Chocolate Oatmeal Recipe

About This Recipe

Happy Friday! or more accurately HAPPY FLOAT MY OATS FRIDAY! Im so excited to share with you this White Chocolate Oatmeal Recipe. I haven’t posted an oatmeal recipe for a couple of weeks because I have been complete obsessed with my Hot Cocoa Oatmeal. So obsessed, that I couldn’t bare to make any other kind of oatmeal for weeks. You can find my hot cocoa oatmeal recipe here.  You are welcome in advance.  In a couple of weeks, when you too are finally over your inevitable hot cocoa oatmeal love affair, come back here.  Because creamy, light, white chocolate oatmeal is the perfect rebound.

Oatmeal for Dessert

Yesterday I started telling my friend about this little gem of a recipe. She said “sounds like a dessert.”  For the record, a lot of my recipes do border on dessert.  I mean hot fudge Sunday oatmeal isn’t even border line, its a full on dessert.   Since I love dessert, oatmeal is a better way to satisfy my sweet tooth than with say a cookie or brownie.  Steal cut oats are a good source of protein, soluble and unsoluble fiber, and vitamins and minerals.   One cup of cooked oatmeal has about 170 calories.  The white chocolate cocoa mix adds about 90 calories.  Then add in the toppings and you still have a meal under 500 calories. A meal that stays with you longer and satisfies that sweet tooth.

White Chocolate Oatmeal Recipe

This Instant Pot white chocolate oatmeal recipe is super easy and has the perfect hint of sweet, creamy white chocolate.

Ingredients

  • 1 c steel cut oats
  • 3 c almond milk
  • 1/2 c Stephens Gourmet White Chocolate Hot Cocoa Mix
  • 1/4 c whipped cream
  • 1/4 c berries
  • 2 tbsp. white chocolate chips
  • 1 tbsp. buttermilk syrup to drizzle
  • 1 tbsp. granola

Instructions

  1. In an Instant Pot / pressure cooker add oatmeal and almond milk. Lock lid in place. Turn vent to "sealing." Press the STEAM button and set timer to 10 minutes. Once finished, allow to vent naturally for about 10 minutes. Then turn vent to "venting."
  2. Stir cooked oatmeal, then add in white chocolate hot cocoa mix and stir.
  3. top with whipped cream, fruit, drizzle with butter milk syrup, and sprinkle with white chocolate chips and granola.

Let me know what you think in the comments below.

S’more Bites with Halloween Candy

Halloween Candy Smore Bites

Halloween candy s’more bites are a super quick treat to make and the perfect way to use up that Halloween candy. These are also a great treat to bring to a Halloween party.
What sets these s’more bites apart is the gourmet graham crackers I get from the Tulie bakery here in Salt Lake City, Utah. A world of difference in the taste and texture department!


Each cracker is about 3 inches square so I quartered them. Making each bite perfect for one marshmallow.


I then cut up an assortment of candy into smaller pieces. My favorite topping is Almond Joys.


You don’t need a fancy torch, I just lined a baking sheet with parchment, added the crackers and marshmallows, and toasted them in my over on broil. It took about 3-5 minutes to get a nice golden top.


Press the candy down into the toasted marshmallow, being sure to get it down in the gooey melted part!

You can serve these warm or cool like I did last night. I let them cool down for a few minutes, added a lid and took them to a party.

I want to hear about your s’more bites so leave a comment with your favorite S’more topping or where to find gourmet graham crackers in your area.

xoxosarah

 

Best Ever Brownies | Living Darling

Julia’s Best Ever Brownies Recipe

Julia’s Best Ever Brownies Recipe

Wow, there is a reason why everyone’s hero in the kitchen, Julia Child, called this brownie recipe BEST EVER BROWNIES!  Gooey, creamy, chocolate for days.  These are the brownies of my dreams.

I knew they would be good because every Julia Child recipe I have ever made turns out to be a winner but this was beyond expectation.  I’m totally in love with the fact that something so complex in both texture and taste came from just 6 simple ingredients.

The hardest part about this recipe is having patience while melting the chocolate and butter.  But other than that, it comes together very quickly.  Just remember to not over work the batter in the last few steps and they will turn out to be the most fudge like, creamy brownies you have ever had.

Ingredients

Melting the Chocolate and butter.

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Add in 1 cup of sugar and the vanilla.

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Whisk remaining sugar and eggs.

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Add half of egg mixture to chocolate mixture.

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Whisk remaining egg mixture till doubled in volume.

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Gently fold into chocolate mixture.

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Add dry ingredients. 

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Spoon into prepared pan and spread evenly.

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Bake

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Eat!

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Best Ever Brownies | Living Darling

Julia Childs Best Ever Brownies

Best Ever Brownies | Living Darling Wow, there is a reason why everyone's hero in the kitchen, Julia Child, called this brownie recipe BEST EVER BROWNIES! Gooey, creamy, chocolate for days. They are the brownies of my dreams.

  • Prep Time: 25m
  • Cook Time: 25m
  • Total Time: 50m

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 c plain white flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 4 oz unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 2 oz bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1 c butter, cubed
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 c white sugar
  • 4 large eggs

Instructions

  1. Place rack in the center of your oven and preheat to 350 degrees.
  2. Lightly grease a 9 inch square pan and line with parchment paper, which makes it much easier to cut into perfect squares at the end.
  3. You have two options for melting the chocolate: Option A If you have really hot tap water you can use this method or skip down to option B. Place a medium glass bowl inside of a slightly larger bowl. Add hot water from the tap to the outside bowl. Add the chocolate and butter to the inside bowl and allow to sit for about five minutes while you prep the dry ingredients. It will have melted slightly, keep stirring often. Switch out the water if needed. Keep stirring until the chocolate and butter are fully melted and incorporated. I switched out the water twice and this took about 10-15 minutes. This method requires patience but ensure that this mixture doesn't get too hot for the next few steps. Option B In a medium glass bowl, add chocolate and butter. Place the bowl over a saucepan half full of water and bring to a very gentle simmer, reduce heat to low. Stir the chocolate and butter continuously to fully incorporate and avoid overheating.
  4. Remove the bowl from the water and wipe dry. Mix in 1c of the sugar and the vanilla.
  5. In a bowl, whisk the other 1c of sugar and the eggs until just combined. Gradually stir half the egg mixture into the chocolate mixture until just combined. Stir a few times during the next step to keep from thickening up too much.
  6. Either with a stand mixer or by hand whisk the remaining egg mixture until pailed, and doubled in volume. I did this step by hand and it took about 5 minutes. I will definitely use my stand mixer next time. Gently fold into the chocolate mixture.
  7. Once the eggs are almost completely folded in, gently fold in the dry ingredients.
  8. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  9. Bake 23-28 minutes, the batter will rise a little and the top will look dry. If you give the pan a gentle shake, it should have just a little movement but not look like batter.
  10. Let the brownies cool completely, then using the parchment paper, lift out of pan. With a large knife cut straight down into 16 equal pieces.

Here in Salt Lake, the first official weekend of Fall was a cold and dreary one. The perfect kind of weather to stay in, put up Halloween decorations, and bake.  This recipe really got me back into the baking mood after a really hot summer.

So get your fall baking on with this amazing recipe.

xoxosarah

Peanut Butter, Banana, and Bacon Dog Treat Recipe

forpinterest1I’m excited to share with you this awesome dog treat recipe with peanut butter, bacon, and  bananas.

But first, let me introduce you to our furry family members.  Gidget pictured below is a Black Shepard mix and a “daddy’s girl.”

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Blanca pictures below is our mystery prize since Juice saved her about a decade ago after being abandoned.  She is most definitely a “Momma’s girl!”

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A little over a week ago our two escape artists Shawshanked their way out of our backyard while we were away from home. Which lead me to briefly question why they would ever want to leave our little piece of paradise? Seriously, they live with two full-time “crumb monsters” a.k.a. my hubby and toddler, who leave a trail of delicious crumbs wherever they go. They have a big yard to try to destroy on the daily, dog beds at every turn. But I digress.  Luckily our neighbor saw them running the streets, lured them back into our backyard and secured our gate.
So I added “do something nice for your neighbor” to my to-do list.

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(On a side note, If a scowl could kill!…Oliver inherited this exact scowl from me. In his defense it was a really bright day.)

Then our friend Janell helped us out with our dogs on our last day of vacation and I again pondered what to do to say thank you.

I thought about baking human treats for both, but since I’m not familiar with my neighbors food preferences, the last thing I wanted to do was show up at her door with a dozen cookies only to find out she is diabetic or has a gluten allergy.  That is when it became obvious that I need to make doggie treats!  It was a perfect solution since they both have dogs, and while my own dogs haven’t exactly written up terms for surrender like better food, I figured a few yummy pupcakes might just keep them from trying to escape.  In the words of Michael Scott, it’s a WIN, WIN, WIN scenario.

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I found this great recipe on The Happy Foodie by Martha Stewart for Peanut Butter and Banana dog cupcakes but I decided to improve it immensely with one simple addition;  bacon. Your pups will thank you.  If you would prefer to weigh out your flour and oats into  grams you can use the recipe above but I doubled the batch and converted the recipe to the U.S. Cups.

Peanut Butter, Banana, and Bacon Pup Cake Dog Treats

A super easy dog treat recipe that your pups will love.

  • Prep Time: 15m
  • Cook Time: 12m
  • Total Time: 27m

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 c honey
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 2/3 cup peanut butter
  • 1 c rolled oats
  • 2/3 c whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 c bacon crumbles
  • 1/2 c water

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, mash ripe bananas, add honey and eggs, stir until combined.
  2. Add peanut butter and stir until smooth.
  3. Add rolled oats, flour and baking powder, stir until combined.
  4. Mix in bacon.
  5. Add water and stir gently till combined.
  6. Fill mini cupcake liners 2/3 full and bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Let cool completely.
  7. Store in air-tight container and refrigerate for up to 14 days.

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pupcake dog treat recipe peanut butter bacon

pupcake dog treat recipe peanut butter bacon

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I hope your fur babies love this treat as much as mine did.
xoxosarah

Dirty Shirley Temple Recipe

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I have been in love with Shirley Temples since the first time my dad ordered me one when I was a little girl.  I mean whats not to love, an adorable and sweet little 7-up , a splash of grenadine, topped off with a perfect little cherry.

Maybe my 35th birthday had me subconsciously reaching for something that made me feel young again. But as much as I wanted to make Shirley Temples, I found myself wanting to “adult” it up a bit with vodka.  Maybe I am ok with getting older, emphasis on maybe.

As I planned my birthday party I found several great recipes for a dirty shirley but most of them required way too much effort for this working momma. I wanted to try out my own recipe but all I had at home was a can of lemon Sanpellegrino and didn’t want to run to the store for 7-up. Man I am glad I stayed home. Sanpellegrino is pretty much the only soda I ever buy and that 17% lemon juice always makes it a great “mixer!”  The incredible bite of tart lemon really compliments the sweet grenadine and fruity vodka. Topped with a gorgeous cherry and you have a drink worthy of the title dirty Shirley.  This drink is crazy refreshing.

I hope you love like I do.
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Dirty Shirley Recipe

An adult take on a childhood favorite, a Shirley Temple. The darling sweetness of the pomegranate, cherry, and grenadine are perfectly complimented by the tart citrus in this delicious libation.

  • Prep Time: 5m
  • Total Time: 5m

Ingredients

  • 1 quarter lemon
  • 1 quarter lime
  • 1 oz pomegranate vodka
  • 1 oz cherry vodka
  • 12 7/48 oz can lemon (Limonata) Sanpellegrino
  • a splash or two, grenadine syrup
  • maraschino cherry

Instructions

  1. Fill 16 oz cup half way with ice, squeeze the juice from 1 quarter lemon and lime over ice.
  2. Add vodka.
  3. Add lemon soda.
  4. Add a splash or two of grenadine syrup.
  5. Garnish with maraschino cherry.

Cheers,

xoxosarah

Lets Flamingle- a Tropical Flamingo Themed Party

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In honor of my birthday week I though I’d share my 35th birthday party inspiration; a Tropical Flamingo party.

I have been obsessed with flamingos for almost a decade, it all started on a shooting party in an Arizona dessert. My stepmom Sheri had packed up a box of potential targets including a glorious pink lawn flamingo.  But as soon as I saw it, I knew I had to save it.  I smuggled him out of harms way and stashed “Felipe” in my suitcase.  Felipe the flamingo become my beloved mascot, I even named my apartment “the Flamingo.”
In 2008, Felipe was kidnapped and held for ransom. I unfortunately never saw him again.  But his memory lives on in my heart.

Here is what you need to throw a fabulous tropical Flamingo party.

Decor

Start with a whole flock of flamingos.  But not just any flamingos, go with the original Don Featherstone flamingos, they have the best details.
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I finally decided to try my hand at a balloon arch after drooling over several amazing arches on The House That Lars Built.  You can check out the one pictured above on Wedding Chick or there is a great tutorial on A Beautiful Mess.

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I am in love with this tropical flower backdrop on Blitsy.  Perfect for a D.I.Y photo booth.
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No tropical themed party would be complete without  a pineapple flower centerpiece.

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Menu

I have loved Shirley Temples since I was a little girl but since this is my 35th birthday, not my 5th, I decided to “adult” it up for my party by serving a Dirty Shirley.  Here is a great recipe from The Solstice Table. 

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For an appetizer try this tropical bruschetta.
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For the main course I will be serving Kahlua pork, coconut rice, and Hawaiian mac salad.
For Dessert try coconut cream pie shooters or a gorgeous coconut cake like this one.
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Invitations

Check out these adorable invitations from Carlson and Co on Etsy.

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Happy Flamingling!

xoxosarah

Easiest Tres Leches Cake Recipe

This is the story of how I created the easiest tres leches cake recipe of all time. With only 5 ingredients, this recipe is perfect for pot lucks, BBQ’s, and last minute desserts.

While preparing to make Tres Leches for my work “Cinco De Mayo” pot luck I had dreams of grandeur. I did the research and was mentally prepared to separate egg whites from their yolks. I was ready to beat egg whites into stiff peaks. It was going to be the damn Tres Leches anyone had ever tasted.

But then I got stuck in really bad rush hour traffic, got home late, realized I need to go to the grocery store before I could make dinner. I had a toddler saying “mom, mom, MOM” in increasing volume while begging for snacks that I knew would inevitably ruin his appetite for dinner.

And so in about the length of time it took Oliver Jack to get through his 3rd chorus of “mom, mom MOOOOOOOM” I let go of my dreams of grandeur and got real.

But I couldn’t show up to work empty handed. While throwing a handful of Pirate Booty in my little crooners direction,  I googled “tres leches + pound cake”  just to make sure it was a viable substitution. All while contemplating whether Pirate Booty counted as a vegetable?!  But Oliver’s Vegetable consumption was a problem for another day.

With very little encouragement I was running out the door to the store.

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Easiest Tres Leches Cake Recipe

  • Prep Time: 15m

Ingredients

  • 2 Loafs pound cake
  • 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 12 oz can evaporated milk
  • 1/4 c heavy cream
  • 10 oz container of Truwhip or whipped topping
  • 12 maraschino cherries

Instructions

  1. Cut each pound cake loaf in half lengthwise.
  2. Place bottom of each loaf in transportable container or lipped serving dish.
  3. Using fork, poke holes throughout layer of cake.
  4. Combine sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, and heavy cream in an easy to pour container. Then pour half of milk mixture over prepared pound cake. Place top layer of pound cake loafs on top and poke holes throughout layer with a fork. Pour the remaining milk mixture over top being sure to get the corners and edges. If there seems to be a lot of the milk mixture pooling in the bottom you don't have to use all of the milk mixture.
  5. Refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight.
  6. Top with whipped topping and maraschino cherries.

All things considered, I was totally surprised with how well this turned out and I have since made this recipe 5 times. The correlation between how easy it is and it’s deliciousness is totally bonkers. Nothing this easy should taste this good. I hope you enjoy!
xoxosarah

My favorite new cake trend: Drip Drizzle Cakes

Some call it a drip cake, others a drizzle cake.  I like to call it a drip drizzle cake, I must be conjuring up my inner Snoop Dog. Whatever its name, I am completely obsessed with this hot new cake trend.

I mean, whats not to love, you take an already amazing cake and then drip drizzle your way to beyond amazing. The best part of these gorgeous drip drizzle cakes is all the crazy toppings; donuts, Japanese pocky, bon bons, macarons, flowers, lollipops, fruit, marshmallow, meringue, cookies, truffles, candy, or mini bottles of Jack, the possibilities are endless.
new cake trend drip drizzle cakes

1.  Mudgeemade
2.  Sugar by J Cakes
3.  Fork to Belly
4.  Sugaretal
5.  LifeofPieAmsterdam
6.  Cakes by Cliff
7.  Dessert Stomach
8.  Lapechefraiche
I’m definitely going to have a drip drizzle cake for my upcoming 35th birthday.  Now how to pick a design?!

xoxosarah