I bought a couple of those super adorable mini loaf pans back before the holidays because I had grand plans of fruitcakes and gingerbread loaves and who knows what else, but for some reason I never used them. I pulled them out yesterday and was determined to use them by the end of the day.

I went with a blueberry-orange bread because well, we only had blueberries and oranges. Made my decision pretty easy.

So how good was the bread? I pulled it out of the oven at noon, my husband came home at 12:30, the bread was gone by 12:40. Seriously. Two loaves of bread. Gone.

Blueberry-Orange Bread
Ingredients
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons butter melted
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 3/4 cup blueberries fresh or frozen
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan (or 2 mini ones).
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In a small bowl, combine egg, orange juice, melted butter, and orange zest. Add egg mixture to flour mixture. Stir until just combined. Fold in blueberries. Spoon into prepared loaf pan making sure the top is even. Bake for 65 to 70 minutes (50 to 55 for the mini ones) or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in pan and then turn out onto a wire rack.
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One of the scariest things for me is cooking for my family (which is probably why I waited until I made tart crusts out of cocoa puffs for BettyCrocker.com to tell anyone I know about my blog) but I’m trying to get over that fear and these stuffed mushrooms were a good start.

We had our final holiday celebration today because my cousin Michael (who’s 10 and has a food blog!) and his family came into town. My grandmother did the traditional black eyed peas and greens and asked the rest of us to just bring some appetizers. I’m not sure why but I immediately thought of stuffed mushrooms.

I’m happy to report that I came home with a clean plate (seriously clean because my grandmother even washed it for me after all the mushrooms were gone!). Most of us did agree that a little bacon would’ve made them even better but I’m happy with how they turned out.

Stuffed Mushrooms
Ingredients
  • 24 whole fresh button mushrooms
  • 3-4 cloves garlic coarsely chopped
  • 2 tsp. vegetable oil
  • 8 oz. cream cheese softened
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • Bread crumbs and minced fresh herbs for garnish (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Lightly grease a baking sheet with cooking spray. Clean mushrooms with a damp paper towel. Carefully remove the stems from the mushroom caps, setting the caps aside for later. Add the stems to the bowl of a food processor and pulse in brief bursts until them mushroom stems are finely chopped.
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped mushroom stems and garlic and cook until all the moisture has disappeared, about 5-7 minutes. Lower the heat to medium-low. Stir in the cream cheese, Parmesan cheese and spices. Stir together until the mixture is smooth and creamy; remove from the heat. Using a small spoon, fill each mushroom cap with a generous amount of filling. Arrange the mushroom caps on the prepared baking sheet. Top with bread crumbs, if desired. Bake for 20 minutes or until the mushrooms are hot and liquid starts to form under the caps. Transfer to a serving platter, garnish with fresh herbs if using and serve immediately.
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2009 was a good year for my blog. I went into 2009 feeling a little burnt out but early in the year I bought my own domain and upgraded to a beautiful Nikon DSLR and my whole attitude changed. Food blogging was suddenly fun again.

So in honor of the great year that was 2009, I thought it would be fun to look back at some of my favorite (and YOUR favorite) posts of the year.


My Sticky Chinese Chicken Wings are still a favorite among all of our friends. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve made them in the past year but every time, they’re always the first thing to go.


It doesn’t get any easier (or tastier) than this Rootbeer Pulled Pork. It’s good on buns or by itself. And did I mention just how easy it is?!


This Peppery Cheese Bread is a nice change from the usual sweet quick bread. We usually prefer yeast breads but this one became an instant favorite.


Believe it or not, blueberry curd is one of the top things that brings people to my blog.


I love biscotti anyway I can get it but this healthified whole wheat chocolate & walnut biscotti was superb.


Oh yeast rolls, how I love you. The parmesan pull-aparts graced our table many times.


The avocado feta salsa is my all time favorite snack food. My entire extended family loves it and I even saw that my mother-in-law had the recipe hanging on her fridge last time I was over there. It’s that good.


My strawberry, blueberry, & peach cobbler was the highlight of my summer.


The blueberry buttermilk cake was the softest, most delicious cake ever. It was perfect for breakfast!


I made these zucchini fritters for my zucchini loving husband and was shocked when both me and my toddler loved them.


The pumpkin turtle cupcakes were ridiculous. Sweet pumpkin cake with whipped cream cheese frosting, caramel, and candied pecans. Does it get any better?


My husband’s surprise favorite this year was the butter chicken. This was the last thing I ever expected him to love but he’s requested it a couple time since then.


And lastly, my most favorite slow cooked goodie. This little guy. I know he’s your favorite too. ;)

And before we enter the new year, I want to say thank you! Thank you for reading, for commenting, for emailing (even though I’m awful about responding. Hello resolution!), for everything. You guys are awesome and I would be so bored without you.

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Baked potato soup, otherwise known as the best soup ever. We aren’t generally soup people, I tend to think that I only like French onion and my husband has to have a really meaty one to be happy. This soup, however, was perfect for both of us. It was so rich and creamy and I like just enough potato chunks for them to be obvious.

The soup was beyond easy. Four ingredients, that’s it. Potatoes, chicken broth, evaporated milk, and seasoning salt. I use Lawry’s seasoning salt because I have a deep love for the stuff and find that it makes everything better but use any combination of spices that you enjoy.

Slow Cooker Baked Potato Soup
Ingredients
  • 3 large baking potatoes
  • 1 14.5 ounce can of chicken broth
  • 1 10 ounce can evaporated milk
  • 1 teaspoon Lawry’s seasoning salt
  • cheddar cheese bacon, and green onions (as garnish)
Instructions
  1. Peel and cube potatoes. Place them in slow cooker and cover with chicken broth, evaporated milk, and Lawry’s. Cook on low for about 6 hours or until potatoes are fork tender. Use a slotted spoon to scoop most of the potato chunks out and place in a bowl. Mash with a potato masher or fork. Transfer back to slow cooker and stir to combine everything. Serve with cheddar, bacon, and green onions if desired.


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A few months back I worked outside of the house very briefly leaving my husband in charge of all the cooking. It probably wouldn’t have been so tough for him if I hadn’t been pregnant and hadn’t been requesting pancakes at midnight when I got off work. Pancakes were the one thing that he couldn’t make and we still laugh about his flat, rubbery pancakes.

So I’m the official pancake maker around here which kind of sucks because pancakes are hit or miss with me. I always start out with what I think is a good recipe (you’d think you could trust Martha but no) and by the end I’ve added so much flour, milk, whatever that it’s a completely different recipe. That’s what happened with this recipe. The original recipe gave me super thin batter that made super thin pancakes so I adapted it to get the big fluffy guys that I love.

Want more pancake recipes?

Whole Wheat Pancakes
Blueberry Pancakes

Chocolate Chip Pancakes
Ingredients
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 large eggs lightly beaten
  • 3 cups buttermilk
  • 2 cups chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter for brushing the pan
Instructions
  1. Heat a nonstick pan over medium heat.
  2. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add eggs and buttermilk and whisk everything together. There should be small lumps in the batter. Gently stir in chocolate chips.
  3. Use a 1/3 cup measure to pour batter onto preheated pan. Let cook until bubbles form on top of the batter, 2-3 minutes. Flip over and cook an additional 1 minute or until golden brown. Repeat with remaining batter.


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