Blueberry Ricotta Coffee Cake

I haven’t baked a cake in a couple of weeks … maybe even months … and it was time to get back into the kitchen. I’ve been trying to be good and not have too many sweets around the house, but I’m so glad I made this cake. It was also nice to spend a little one-on-one time with my daughter. It’s been a rough couple of weeks with her – just the usual preteen stuff. Tantrums. Stopping up the stairs and door slamming. Making her life miserable. Needless to say, it’s been a bit stressful as she’s growing and learning about herself. Luckily, I caught her on a good day and she was back to her normal “happy, go-lucky” self. Hopefully that continues more!

The cake was amazing – the blueberries, cinnamon-sugar swirl and a moist cake. Plus you can’t forget the crumb topping. It was great to eat right out of the oven with a cup of coffee.

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Beef and Ricotta Meatballs

There’s nothing more I love than a bowl of meatballs and pasta. I don’t make it near as often as I’d like – trying to not eat pasta all the time and my husband is not a big fan of spaghetti. I know … his Italian grandmother would not be happy!!

These meatballs were moist and delicious. I really enjoyed the mix of beef and ricotta – plus they’re low carb since there is no breadcrumbs used. This is also a quick recipe that can be made during the week. You could easily speed it up by preparing the meatballs ahead of time. Then toss them in sauce while you’re cooking the pasta.

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Cod with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

I can’t wait until its brighter out in the evenings, as this picture does not do justice on how amazing this recipe is!

I’ve been trying to incorporate more fish into our lives and will definitely make this dish more often. I loved the creamy sauce – it was the perfect amount of red pepper and I bet you could use coconut milk to make it dairy-free. It would be delicious over pasta or grilled chicken. The fish is super flaky and went great with the sauce and veggies.

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Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

It’s time for the monthly Fantastical Food Fight and I’m so excited for this month’s theme – Mint Chocolate. I knew immediately I wanted to make ice cream – it’s one of my kids favorite flavors.

This ice cream is creamy and rich, plus packed full of mint flavor. My kids thought it was a little strong with their first bite, but after a few more bites, they were loving it! So much so, they ate it all and already asked me to make another batch. Ice cream is simple to make and I love that I can control what ingredients I’m using.

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Cinnamon Toast Crunch Chickpeas

I’m always looking for healthier snacks for my kids and these were so good. They’re easy to make and can be made in a variety of flavors. They’re one of my daughter’s favorite snacks!

This version takes just like Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal – a hint of maple followed up with the warmth of cinnamon. They’re crunchy and a great alternative to snacking on chips or pretzels.

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Tortellini with Sauteed Asparagus and Walnuts

Spring sports for my kids start in a little over a month and I’m always searching for dinners that I can make in less than 30 minutes. This quick and simple recipe is going to be one of my go-to meals for busy nights. It takes no time at all to make and it’s delicious … plus I can get my kids to eat green vegetables without complaining. They both inhaled a bowl and asked for second. Winning!!

I really liked the addition of the walnuts. They added a bit of crunch and texture to the pasta, plus they’re so good for you!

16 oz cheese Tortellini
3/4 lb asparagus, chopped into thirds
juice from one lemon
4 Tbsp butter
1/3 cup walnuts
Fresh ground pepper
4 Tbsp grated Parmesan

Cook pasta according to package instructions. When cooked, transfer to a large bowl; set aside. In a large sauce pan, melt the butter over medium heat until frothy. Add the chopped asparagus and toss to coat. Cover with a lid and cook for 4 to 5 minutes.

When asparagus is cooked, using a slotted spoon, scoop the asparagus from the pan into the bowl with the pasta. Keep as much butter in the pan as possible. Add the lemon juice to the pan and season with fresh ground pepper. Pour the sauce over the pasta and asparagus. Toss to combine. Mix in the walnuts and top with extra Parmesan cheese if desired.

Source: Green Valley Kitchen

Shoofly Cupcakes

Today is #FoodBloggerLove day and I’m excited to participate this year. The event had a couple of ways to participate and I chose to be assigned another blogger and show them some love.

I received Amanda’s blog, Crafty Cooking Mama and was excited to learn we have a lot in common. We live about an hour from each other (crazy, right!?), we both enjoy wine and have kids and bully breed dogs.

I decided to make her recipe for Shoofly Cupcakes. I love Shoofly pie and these cupcakes tasted just like it. They’re packed full of molasses flavor and topped with sweet crumble. I would love to figure out a way to make the centers gooey like wet-bottom pie.

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Maple Brown Sugar Oatmeal Muffins

Last week, the kids were home due to snow and extreme cold temperature. Of course they needed something to snack on, so I whipped up a batch of these delicious and easy muffins.

My daughter told me that they were her favorite muffins I’ve ever made. Wow! She’s been quite picky lately and I was happy to hear that. These muffins remind me of a bowl of hot oatmeal. I preferred to eat them warm with a smear of butter. Yum!!

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Beef Ragu over Papparedelle

We’re coming out of the Polar Vortex and I’m so glad I made this dish earlier in the week. It was the perfect thing for leftovers. I also love that it’s made in a slow cooker … throw it all into one pot and let it do it’s thing while cooking. All this cold weather is making me want to hunker down and eat comfort foods, and this sure hit the spot!

One of my kids loved it and other was “meh” on it. Those were her words…LOL! She’s been quite picky and outspoken lately. I guess that’s what happens when she’s almost 12. If you have any tips on how to deal with preteen and teenage girls, please send them my way. I don’t know if I’m going to make it with all the attitude and sass. I hope when my son gets to the be this age, he continues to be a sweet angel.

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Instant Pot Sweet Soy Chicken Thighs

Chicken thighs can be boring at times, but when you cook them in a sweet soy sauce, it makes them phenomenal! This recipe was quick and easy to make. I skipped the step of browning the skin before throwing everything into the Instant Pot, but it turned out great!

In about 30 minutes, I had a delicious dinner and enough for leftovers. The sauce is sweet, salty and a little sticky. I served the chicken with noodles and a side of green beans. My husband and I both loved this recipe, my kids weren’t 100% in love with it … but they ate it. Recently, they both have been complaining that everything is “chewy.” Oh the joys of being a parent!

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