Friday, December 19, 2014

Double Peanut Butter Cookies

If you are a peanut butter fanatic, you will love these Double Peanut Butter Cookies. A classic peanut butter cookie is loaded with lots of peanut butter chips for ultimate flavor. Delish! 

Double Peanut Butter Cookies

There are two kinds of peanut butter people, a) you like peanut butter (how can you just like it?), and b) you are a crazed peanut butter lover (like me). I've never met a person who does not like peanut butter. I know they exist, but they are few and far between.

Have you ever been disappointed in a peanut butter cookie? Your anticipation is high, mouth is watering. You take a bite only to be met with a dry, crumbly cookie that tastes faintly of stale peanut butter. Ya. It's happened to me too. I used to think I just didn't like peanut butter cookies (how was this possible!?), but then I found that I'd been fed/eating the wrong PB cookies.

Double Peanut Butter Cookies

I'm a soft, chewy, melt-in-your mouth cookie kind of girl. So, of course, this cookie is just that. Soft, flavorful, chewy and moist, and most importantly, peanut buttery.

Double Peanut Butter Cookies

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Peppermint Bark Pretzels

A sweet and salty combo, spiked with a hint of peppermint! These Peppermint Bark Pretzels are incredibly easy to make and beyond delicious. Share at a party or potluck and they will disappear quick!

Peppermint Bark Pretzels

Since fall began, I've been talking about making Peppermint Bark. Guess what, I STILL HAVEN'T MADE ANY! This upsets me, however, these Peppermint Bark Pretzels were a spur-of-the-moment, off-the-cuff, impromptu (lots of words that all mean the same thing) magic happening. We had pretzels to use and I wanted something minty. Voila!

Peppermint Bark Pretzels

Let me break down what happened in my kitchen last weekend. I baked. For 10+ hours straight. I wanted a baking day with my mom and sister, and boy, did I get one. We made countless dozens of cookies. Three batches (one batch made approx. 30 cookies) of peanut butter cookies, three batches of White Chocolate Cranberry Walnut Cookies (coming soon!), these Peppermint Bark Pretzels and I'm pretty sure one other thing, but I just can't remember what it was.

By 11:00 p.m. I was exhausted, but that exhaustion turned into excitement as I brought in these pretzels. I let them sit outside in the cold, Kansas air to chill because my fridge was full. Don't judge. Bugs are dead by now, they were fine.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Pick 6: Vol. 2

In this Pick 6, we share six of our favorite Pins of all time. From food to crafts and beyond! 

So it seems like you guys really like when we share other recipes that we've enjoyed. We always get a really positive response from that and wanted to start sharing on a more regular basis.

In this Pick 6 series we are sharing six recipes, crafts, ideas, etc. that we have found on Pinterest. It was incredibly hard to only pick 6, so you better believe there will be more posts like this to come.

Pick 6 Vol 2 - Favorite Pins Ever

Bourbon Ham - We used this recipe for Thanksgiving, but tweaked this a bit: bake for one hour, then apply glaze every 20 minutes for remaining two hours. The glaze gave the ham a wonderful smoky flavor, bold, but still sweet. I'm sharing it in case you want to make ham for Christmas.   :)

Dollar Store Cake Stands - I've made several of these because they are so cute and I feel that I need one in every color! Make sure to use paint that is made for glass, clean and fully dry your pieces before painting and always hand wash. For a few bucks, you can't go wrong.

Strawberry Yogurt Cake - This cake is sinful. It's so fresh! It was one of the very first things I ever pinned on Pinterest. I've made this cake several times and absolutely devour it. Remember, I don't usually eat too many of the treats I bake. This is one of those exceptions. Obviously it's a good spring/summer dessert, but maybe winter needs a splash of fresh strawberries too?

Kitchen Cheat Sheet - Anyone who spends time in the kitchen needs on of these. I love how thorough this one is. All in one printable. You might have to crop it to get it to print nicely. I just pull mine up on my phone when I need it.

Rainbow Peanut Noodles - I'm lucky to have a hubby who will join me in meatless dinners some nights. I just get sick of meat sometimes, ya know? We cook mostly chicken and sometimes you need a break, but you still need substance. That's where this recipe comes in. We usually make a bigger batch and eat off of it for the week. We've made it countless times and it's one of Dave's favorite meatless meals. Ali at Gimme Some Oven takes some pretty amazing photos too.

Washi Tape Spatulas - I'm going to make some of these this coming week. I LOVE them. How cute. I thought they would make nice gifts.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Cherry White Chocolate Almond Scones

These delicious scones are made with butter, thus creating a wonderful crust and tender, flaky center. Then, they are sweetened with a touch of almond extract (my fave!). Throw in white chocolate chips, dried cherries and almonds to add a sweet, tangy, nutty and wonderful flavor.

Cherry White Chocolate Almond Scones

Cherry, white chocolate, almond scones. Say it three times fast! It might seem like a mouthful, but you won't complain once a bite of these tender, flaky, flavor-packed scones hits your taste buds. In fact, the only thing you will be able to do is stuff your mouth FULL of them.

I became very addicted to scones when I worked in a bakery/ice cream parlor during high school. Thank goodness for cheerleading and the sweet (and missed) metabolism of a teenager. I have no idea how I stayed in shape while eating baked goodies and ice cream for dinner four times a week....

 The local bakery I worked for was a cheat though. They didn't make their scones from scratch. Yet, they were still delicious. However, after experiencing homemade scones from much higher quality bakeries, I became determined to create my own perfect scone recipe.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Caramelized Onion & Garlic Green Beans

Caramelized red onion and garlic add robust flavor to sweet, sauteed green beans. This dish comes together quickly and can be eaten as a side, or served with steamed white rice as a light meal. 

Carmelized Onion & Garlic Green Beans

Growing up I was an extremely picky eater. I have to admit that I am still a little guilty of being unreasonably picky. Vegetables were one of my biggest NO's as a child. I really didn't care what it was, I wouldn't eat it, simply because it was not bread or meat. Don't even get me started on peas. I have strong memories of gagging on them at the kitchen table. I never had to clean my plate, but my mom always encouraged a "no-thank-you" bite. I'd let my veggies sit until they were cold and icky, then choke down a bite. Uck.

Fortunately for my taste buds, I never grew out of my carb obsession. It's just a rather unfortunate obsession for my pants...

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Fudgy Reese's Chip Cookies

Butter and cocoa pair to make a decadent, fudgy cookie. This recipe is easy, and the cookies are an absolute favorite, featuring crispy edges with fudgy centers, and dotted with Reese's peanut butter chips. Yum!

Fudgy Reese's Cookies

These cookies, oh these cookies. I've made these fudgy cookies a gazillion times, and they always come out delicious. This is my most requested baked good. My neighbors can attest for how wonderfully chocolatey they are and just how often I bake them.

I also don't typically eat many of the baked goodies I make. Usually, I have a sample to see how it came out, then force the remainders on my husband. Mean, I know. But seriously, we share a lot of food. We have to. There's no way we could eat everything my kitchen produces. However, these Fudgy Reese's Chip Cookies are my kryptonite. I always have a few straight from the oven. And, since they store well, I always have several more in the following few days.

Fudgy Reese's Chip Cookies

Countless, countless batches of these Fudgy Reese's Chip Cookies have come from my kitchen. I give them as birthday gifts, make them for potlucks, or make them so I can eat them for breakfast. They are soft and chewy, with a slight crisp on the edges. The texture of the center of the cookie reminds me of a brownie, and then there's the peanut butter chips....

Monday, November 24, 2014

Slow Cooker Kalua Pig

This Slow Cooker Kalua Pig recipe has been passed on to my husband from his friend's Hawaiian family. The pork in this dish is absolutely divine, smoky in flavor, tender and juicy, while the crunchy cabbage adds a nice texture. Even better, it only takes five ingredients and a slow cooker to make at home.

Slow Cooker Kalua Pig

The first time my husband said he was making me Kalua Pig, I cringed. I've never been much of a pork fan, and using the word "pig" in the name of my entree totally grossed me out. However, we were still newly dating and my man was cooking me dinner, you better believe I was going to eat it.

What I didn't expect was to LOVE it. This dish is frequently made in our house. One, because it's easy; the slow cooker does most of the work, and two, because it is ridiculously delicious.

Kalua Pig is considered a Hawaiian dish. The original recipe for this Kalua Pig was passed down to my husband from a friend, whose family happens to be Hawaiian. We only recently started adding shredded cabbage to our version of the recipe when we got a taste of the crunchy goodness while honeymooning in Hawaii. Kalua Pig + dining with an ocean view = heaven. If you ever go, hunt down this dish at a local restaurant.

Slow Cooker Kalua Pig

So let's break down this recipe. It's only five, yes 5, ingredients: pork roast, liquid smoke, sea salt and cabbage, plus rice for serving. Boom! That's it. I promise everyone in your family will fall in love with this seriously simple, ridiculously easy, absolutely delicious recipe.

The liquid smoke is what gives the pork roast all the flavor. After 12 hours of cooking on low in the slow cooker, your roast will literally fall apart. As we all know, pork and salt go hand in hand. A tiny bit of sea salt goes a long way, add some cabbage, heat and dinner is served.

Slow Cooker Kalua Pig
Because of the 12 hour cooking time, and the need to chill this recipe to separate the fat, meat and liquids, make sure you plan this meal ahead. We always cook our roast the night before we want to eat it.

Slow Cooker Kalua Pig

Printer Friendly Recipe

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 13 hours
Yield: 10 servings

3 lb. pork roast* (we use whatever is on sale; butt roast and pork tenderloins work well)
3 tablespoons of liquid smoke*
1/2 - 3/4 tablespoon of sea salt*
2-3 cups shredded Napa cabbage (add as much or as little as you prefer)
6 cups of steamed white rice

Step 1: Place roast into the base of a crockpot, and pour the liquid smoke over the roast. Cover with lid, and cook on low for 12 hours. (Again, we cook ours overnight.) After 12 hours of cooking, carefully pour the juices into a glass bowl, cover and store in fridge. Place the ceramic crockpot bowl and the roast in the fridge to chill. Make sure to place a trivet beneath the crockpot on your refrigerator shelf.

Step 2: After the roast has completely chilled, about 6-8 hours, remove the crockpot and bowl of juices. Skim the fat off the top of the juices, and discard the fat. Using your hands, or two forks, shred the roast, discarding any large pieces of fat. This step is easy, but messy. Keep paper towels and a trash bag nearby to limit the mess.  

Step 3: Once all the meat is shredded, place it back into the crockpot, cover with the reserved juices, add the sea salt and heat on high for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, shred your cabbage. After 30 minutes of cooking, add the shredded cabbage to the crockpot, stir to combine, and heat another 30 minutes. While the Kalua Pig is cooking, prepare your steamed rice. Once the meat is heated through, serve hot on top of fresh rice.

*If you buy a larger roast, note that the ratio of liquid smoke is 1 tablespoon to 1 pound of meat.

*We typically add just under 3/4 tablespoon sea salt, and add more to taste if desired. You never want to over-salt your meat, best to play it safe and add more if you feel that it needs the flavor.

© Two Food Lovers. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use our images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

Slow Cooker Kalua Pig

Friday, November 21, 2014

Fancy Friday: Vol. 1

Friday Friday will feature a list of things that have recently caught my fancy. I hope you enjoy vol. 1. 

Honestly, I've been feeling very inspired this week, and I wanted to share that inspiration with you. I compiled a list of things that have caught my fancy here recently. Get it? Fancy Friday.  :)

Friday Fancy Volume One

From food to pens, wanderlust to random videos, I hope you get some inspiration from this very list.

Fancy Friday: Volume 1

  • Sharpie Pens - Who else puts office supplies on their Christmas lists?
  • Stuffing in a freaking bundt pan - Who'da thunk?
  • M&M Cookies - Can't. Kick. The. Craving. This recipe from Picky Palate is good. 
  • Copper Cookware - GOREGEOUS! I want it all. Here is a reasonably priced set.
  • This pie dish - First saw it on Sally's Baking Addiction. Love the pretty edges.
  • Plaid scarves - How stunning is this one at Nordstrom Rack? I saw it on La Petite Fashionista (fashion blog you should check out). 
  • Cape coats - So chic and vintage. I recommend this cape from Nasty Gal. It won't keep you warm in the snow, but you will look adorable. That's all that matters, right? My high heels say "yes." 
  • Goat cheese - Creamy, rich and delicious. I really want to try this penne, butternut squash and goat cheese recipe
  • Pitch. Freaking. Perfect - Ahhhh! Can't wait for this movie. Did anyone else recognize Flula in the trailer? If you don't know who that is, you HAVE to watch this hilarious video.
  • Munich & Prague - Dave and I are adventuring there in December 2015 for their Christmas markets. I might burst from excitement, that or the dangerous cocktail that happens when you mix my excitement with my impatience. 
  • Other movies I'm excited to see, from Disney, Into the Woods and Cinderella. Heck ya!
  • Cake. Batter. Cookies - Trust me, just make them. Sally (Sally's Baking Addiction) can rock a cookie. 
  • All things pumpkin - I know, you're probably thinking "still?" But, it's fall. I love baking with cinnamon and pumpkin. I can't get enough. Have you tried my Cinnamon Chip Pumpkin Cookies
  • Damn Delicious - I know I have said it before, but this girl is awesome. I'd pinned some of her recipes before, but seriously, her photography is incredible and her recipes are easy and unique. 
  • The Skinnytaste Cookbook - Christmas present? Yes, please! 
  • Funny cat videos - When you have a bad day, just give these a watch. 
  • The Originals on the CW - A guilty pleasure. I never miss an episode. Bring back Rebekah!
  • White kitchens - This white kitchen's backsplash is stunning. 
  • AND lastly, Kathryn Elise Studio - A friend recently launched her website and it is just gorgeous. It made me feel very inspired. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Thanksgiving Things & Pumpkin Pasties

Are you in need of some Thanksgiving inspiration? I've compiled a few Thanksgiving tablescapes that I like and shared the plan for our Thanksgiving menu + the recipe for these delightful Pumpkin Pasties. Pumpkin Pasties are like pumpkin hand-pies. They are wonderfully spiced, crispy on the edges and they melt in your mouth. 

The Pumpkin Pasties recipe can be printed here, or you can scroll to the bottom of the page.

Harry Potter Pumpkin Pasties

Holy cow! You guys, Thanksgiving is only one week away. I'm hosting for the first time ever, in our tiny little duplex's kitchen. Eeek! Is anyone else hosting this year? I just want to share some of the thoughts, plans and inspiration I have had in my head for the last 6 months.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Homemade Cinnamon Chip Bread

Sweet, yeast bread with nuggets of cinnamon scattered throughout. This Homemade Cinnamon Chip Bread is delicious and great for breakfast or a snack. 

slices of cinnamon chip bread

I. Love. Bread. But seriously you guys, this bread. Oh my. I ate a good 2/3 of the loaf by myself. It was so moist, lightly sweetened and just so darn delicious. The bread was still warm when I took this shot (above). Mmmm...I can still smell and taste it. Heaven.

Would anyone else want to join me in starting a Carb Lovers Anonymous group? I think I have a problem. Every time I think about a meal, my brain instantly goes to carbs.
"What will my carb be?"
"I'm having a salad for lunch, I'm going to need crackers."
"I had rice for lunch, is it ok to have pasta for dinner? Yes,"

Maybe instead of a support group I should just start a Bread of the Month Club. I bet there's tons of men and women who crave carbs as much as I do. I bet Dr. Oz has something to say about my carb cravings, but I don't want to know what it is.

Loaf of Cinnamon Chip Bread
The dusting of flour on top of the loaf is from the kneading process. Don't worry, it didn't dry the bread out.

But back to this Cinnamon Chip Bread. Just make it. Please. I know that for some, breads are intimidating, but I promise they are not hard. Patience with the yeast is the biggest part to successful breads and rolls.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Harry Potter Chocolate Frogs

Straight from the stories, Harry Potter Chocolate Frogs added the perfect whimsical touch to a party, and look like they came straight from Honeydukes. The candies are easy to make and the box template is free! Hand them out as party favors, your guests will love them. 

Close up of chocolate frog

November means endless hours spent watching the Harry Potter movies. Who else looks forward to those ABC Family marathons in November and December? If they aren't on TV, my sister and I play them in the evenings. No matter how many times I've seen the movies or read the books, they never get old. When we lived at home we would make beds on the living room floor, take over the TV (Sorry Dad!), and watch movie after movie.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Eat Local: Longboards Wraps & Bowls

A little Asian-infused Hawaiian flair makes Longboards Wraps & Bowls a standout in Kansas City. Their "surfer" style cuisine is downright delicious, and put them on our list of favorite restaurants in Kansas. 

We walked into Longboards Wraps & Bowls, and walked straight into the back of a line. The place was packed! As we neared the window to place our order, panic set in. Where would we sit? There was not a single table or chair open in the entire dining area. Fortunately my husband has hawk eyes and nabbed us a table the second a poor family's tooshies left their chairs. The panic and wait were well worth it because Longboards is one Kansas City restaurant you don't want to miss.

Longboards hang loose sign
I think this sums up the essence of their atmosphere. Hang loose, my friends. 

Has anyone else tried Longboards Wraps & Bowls? This place had been on my restaurant list for a very long time. I first became aware of Longboards after I saw a trending story on Facebook about Hillary Swank visiting the joint. After reading their menu, I jotted it down and stored it away in my file of "must-try" restaurants in Kansas City.

Unfortunately, it took some time before I got a taste of their laid-back food, but they finally opened a new location in Mission, KS, and Dave and I hopped on the opportunity!

Longboards' Cabo Grilled Wrap
Meet the Cabo wrap.

About their food, their wraps are LOADED. Like, Chipotle-size loaded. You can get grilled, hot wraps, or cold ones. We opted for grilled, but my bets are that either way, they are delicious. The ingredients are fresh. I would know because their restaurant has an open kitchen and I could see the refrigerator stacked full of tubs of fresh, chopped veggies.

The wraps were bomb. E-specially that Cabo Chicken wrap. It doesn't sound fancy (chicken, guacamole, pepperjack cheese, pico de gallo, rice and chipotle ranch), but holy moly does that thing taste awesome. My husband ordered this, and I wound up eating more of his than I should have. :)  Luckily he loves me and shares better than I do.

I wanted to go for something more Asian inspired, so I ordered the grilled Teriyaki Chicken wrap. It was definitely delicious too, but maybe a little on the saucy side. Teriyaki is one of those sauces that can get too runny and it soaked in to the wrap, making it a little soggy. I guess that just means eat faster, right?

If you visit, our friends who dined with us also highly recommend the grilled Thai Chicken wrap.

Now that I have you drooling, we can move on to the sides. And let me tell you, I am one picky person when it comes to potato salad. I haven't encountered many that I love, or even like, except for my momma's. Longboards knows how to do potato salad. In fact, it's a Garlic Potato Salad. Garlic anything is great, but this potato salad was super great.

Garlic Potato Salad

And lastly, I have never been so in love with a chip. These. Are. Awesome. I tried to find them online to share with you, not order more for myself. Just kidding, I looked to order some for myself, but had no luck! Wah! If someone finds these, let me know, mail them to me, anything. I just want these chips. I guess I will have to go back to Longboards and buy out their stock.

I give you, Sweet Maui Onion kettle chips. Cue the Hallelujah. These are crunchy, sweet and salty, and just darn delicious. Even better, they go perfectly with your wrap of choice.

Sweet Maui Onion Kettle Chips at Longboards

Give Longboards Wraps and Bowls a try. They have three locations: Mission, KS, Liberty and North Kansas City, MO. I will be going back for a yummy noodle bowl, chips and many other options on their menu. It's a great place for lunch. Mahalo, Longboards!

Zucchini Nut & Streusel Muffins

Crispy on the edges, moist, tender and sweet on the inside, plus the lovely crunch of walnuts, these Zucchini Nut & Streusel Muffins are scrum-diddly-umptous! Warm leftovers up for the perfect breakfast on a cold, fall morning. 

Zucchini Nut & Streusel Muffins
The brown sugar makes the muffins extra golden-brown colored.

I have to thank my friend Journey for challenging me to come up with a not-so-ordinary zucchini muffin. You might want to thank her too; because of her, this muffin recipe was born. After falling in love with some muffins at Sweet Tomatoes, she requested that I create a recipe for something with a little "crunch." Well, I happen to like challenges. So I embarked on this zucchini lead quest to create something divine, full of texture and flavor, and...I conquered.

After writing that line, I have Jay-Z's Encore playing in my head. "I came, I saw, I conquered." Maybe, because I like to work out to the Jay-Z and Linkin Park Collision Course album. Maybe, because I like to stay stuck (musically) in the 90's and early 2000's. Anyways, moving on to the muffins.

Bitten Zucchini Nut & Streusel Muffin
I couldn't resist and nabbed a few bites of these fresh muffins while shooting some photos.  :)

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Pineapple Stir-Fry Sauce

This tangy stir-fry sauce spices up your favorite stir-fry, or can be used as a marinade for your meat. With a hint of pineapple and brown sugar, plus savory garlic and soy sauce, this sauce is perfectly sweet and flavorful.

Pineapple Stir-Fry with Chicken Sausage

Asian dishes are among our favorite to cook. We LOVE anything flavored with soy sauce or teriyaki, and can never get enough white rice. Stir-fry dishes are a staple in our house, however it had actually been a while since we had made a stir-fry, I think we were trying to be good and lay off the rice, but we just wound up making pasta based entrees instead. We. Love. Carbs.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Pick Six: Favorite Food Bloggers

Saturday mornings. Nostalgia sets in as I remember the days when I used to watch Saturday morning cartoons at my grandma and grandpa's (hi, Grandma!) house. My sister and I would spend the night and stay up late eating and watching/shows on what seemed like a gazillion channels.  (They had satellite and we had basic cable.) Saturday morning was THE best because grandma would make pancakes or biscuits and gravy, or both, if that's what we wanted. She would extra-fry the bacon, to the point of almost black, which is just how I liked mine too. Then we'd watch cartoons. However, she always liked the "boy" cartoons like Transformers and X-Men. Don't get me wrong, I love them, now.

Flash forward to my life now. EVERY Saturday, starting in August, you will find ESPN's coverage of college football on in our house. I love football, but I love my husband more. From the moment he wakes up, he turns on football, and it makes me smile. Fortunately he isn't glued to the TV the entire day. He's missed watching many games so that we could go to a birthday party, or antiquing, or anything else I plan for us to do. But during the season, Saturdays are almost like a holiday for us; we celebrate our teams' wins, our rivals' losses, and the fact that we can literally watch football from dawn to dusk.

SO, in the spirit of College Football Saturday, I give you our first Pick Six.

Six of our favorite food blogs. This was really stinkin' hard to narrow down. I clearly have a love for food, and it's like these other women who love food share a part of my soul.

The women behind these blogs do some seriously amazing things. I tried to pick a few bloggers who are very popular, a few somewhat popular and one you may have never heard of. I hope you check them out and enjoy!

Eat It Kansas City: Shanley writes about restaurants in the Kansas City area, reviews food and shares some of her own recipes. She's cute and fun to follow. Her blog is also a great way to keep up on food happenin's in KC.

Sally's Baking Addiction: Baking is my favorite. Thus, Sally stole my heart. I love her fun photography and enthusiastic personality. She is a sprinkle lover, which means her blog is adorable.

Averie Cooks: Averie's recipes are very "everyday." They are delicious, and something you could easily  make. I've pinned many of her recipes for weeknight dinners, etc. Plus, she has a cookbook all about peanut butter. Uh, we were meant to be friends!

Damn Delicious: On this blog you will find "simple ingredients" and "elegant dishes." I'm always truly inspired by the recipes that Chungah puts together. She is creative and fun in the kitchen. Her recipes are also easy to create, which makes cooking them doable. My favorites are her Asian dishes.

Gimme Some Oven: First, the name is just so cute, and Ali really seems to be a genuine person. Her photography is stunning and full of vibrant colors, and her recipes are unique. She also shares personal and professional posts, which I really enjoy. What's even better? She's local!

Joy the Baker: Joy's photography skills are incredible. Just take a look at her blog and you will see. She is also a very talented baker, but it's her humor that I love most about her blog. The marketer in me really loves her branding too. It's so subtle, but present. You know it's Joy when you see a photo. Make sure you check out her podcasts too.

Homer Simpson Donuts

Mmmmm. Doh-nuts! These Homer Simpson Donuts are adorable and delicious! The cakey doughnut is light and fluffy, while the glaze adds extra sweetness. Each bite is full of vanilla flavor. 

Homer Simpson Doughnut

Is it doughnut or donut? Neither! It's doh-nut! Let me start by saying that I have no idea what made me want to make Homer Simpson donuts. I have been craving donuts, I had sprinkles in my cupboard and wanted to make something fun and cute. Pink + sprinkles = fun and cute, right?

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Butterbeer Blondies

These rich and chewy Butterbeer Blondies are flavored with sweet butterscotch chips, rum & butter extracts and brown sugar. They have the most perfect crispness on the edges, with a soft and chewy inside that literally melts in your mouth. 

Butterbeer Blondies

If you know me, you know I'm a huge fan of anything and everything Harry Potter. I have been wanting to throw a Potter themed party for a long time, and this last weekend I finally did! Our Harry Potter Halloween Party was a huge hit. It was a blast dressing up, but I may have had more fun creating the decorations and treats. My friends will understand. Love you guys!

Butterbeer Blondies up close

These Butterbeer Blondies were my absolute favorite treat of the night, and I don't even like butterscotch. Obviously I had to try one of my creations, but I couldn't stop at one. I'm still snacking on these blissful Butterbeer flavored brown sugar bites. A blondie has the texture of a brownie, chewy, gooey, crispy edges, but uses no cocoa and a brown sugar base. The consistency of this recipe is divine. Like perfect. I will forever use it. I found the original recipe on the Food Network site, but had to throw in rum and butter extracts to achieve the Butterbeer flavor.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Eat Local: B&G Tasty Foods

B&G's signature Loose Meat Sandwich is made from fresh Angus beef, smothered in cheese and topped with onions, pickles and a squirt of mustard. They are DE-LISH! Wash them down with a basket of crispy french fries and your favorite shake. 

B&G Tasty Foods Loosemeat Sandwich
Bear with us on the photos, everything was taken on my phone.

This is the first of our Eat Local series. We will be sharing our favorite grub spots across the great states of Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska.

Nebraska. Land of corn and beef. While those two staples are enough to make one want to visit, add in the city of Omaha and it becomes a "can't miss" stop. Dave quotes it as a "foodie lovers paradise." He says many other things ("it's the Promiseland"), but we won't get into that.

For its size, Omaha has a large amount of eateries and drinkeries. Yes, that's a word. I made it. But seriously, Omaha is bustling with many undiscovered, underrated restaurants.

We recently had a wonderful trip to Omaha . In addition to cheering on the Huskers, eating Valentino's Pizza at the football game, we also made a pit stop at B&G Tasty Foods. Their famous Loose Meat Sandwich was on the top of my "to-do" list. Forget chores. I have food lists.

B&G Tasty Foods Napkin Holder
I loved this napkin holder.   :) 

The atmosphere of this diner is adorable. It's the perfect balance of 50's retro diner decor, without being over the top. However, I have heard I missed out on all the clown paintings. Not sorry. There was only one clown painting in the restaurant, and it has history behind it, so I can respect that. The staff was incredibly friendly and efficient. Between the food and the atmosphere, the overall experience was fabulous! Don't expect to be waited on. It's a casual walk-up counter and very family friendly. This definitely makes our top Omaha restaurants list.

So, what is a Loose Meat Sandwich? Think of it as a sloppy-joe, minus the sauce, but still messy. You may wind up with meat in your bracelet (don't ask), on your pants, sleeve, in your teeth, etc. Who cares? Bring a bib and chow down. These sandwiches/hamburger-hybrid are SO worth it.

B&G Tasty Foods Loosemeat Sandwich

The anatomy of their sandwich is: bun + loosemeat + American cheese + onions + pickles + mustard + bun. It all equals one delicious, juicy, mouth-watering experience. I have no idea what they season that meat with. I honestly couldn't put a finger on the seasoning, but it tastes perfect. Not overly seasoned, you almost think it's not seasoned, but then it is. What happened? Mind blown.

Bee Gee Sandwich
Get your bib ready. 

Actually, the mind blowing happened after the Peanut Butter Chocolate Shake. Holy heck. They brought that puppy out before my sandwich. Not a good idea. I still managed to eat everything though. There were many things I wanted to try, but my pants wouldn't allow it. Take the Cheese Frenchie for example. I absolutely wanted to stuff down a few bites of FRIED GRILLED CHEESE, but I just could not.

The Cheese Frenchie is almost as famous as its Loosemeat brother. Almost. It's a grilled cheese sandwich, breaded in the most wonderful, flaky batter, deep-fried to crispy, crunch perfection. Once you take a bite, you are taken down a river. A cheesy, flowing river. Melty, gooey, warm cheese. Inside fried bread. Gah. Better than a mozzarella stick. They even have a Banana Nutella Frenchie. We didn't have a chance to try it, but will the next time we visit!

B&G Tasty Foods Cheese Frenchie
 *In my best Homer Simpson voice*  Mmmmm....cheese.

If you are visiting Omaha, which I truly suggest that you do (more to come in a later post), you can't miss this restaurant. B&G Tasty Foods is inexpensive, delicious diner food wrapped in a 50's flair.

Have you visited this Omaha gem? Let us know in the comments, on Facebook or Twitter (#EatLocal)! Check out their website for location & hours. Even better, take a look at their menu.

Over and out, food lovers.

♥ Trisha

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Halloween Candy Bark

Candy corn lovers will devour this sweet & salty treat. Stuffed with Oreos, pretzels and candy corn, this crunchy Halloween Bark is so tasty!

These last few weeks have been incredibly busy. I'm always baffled at how women work full-time and have families, AND make time for things like a blog or hobbies. I already feel like I run around like a maniac. The mental to-do list in my head is constantly growing, and I'm tired. I'm tired all the time. Kudos to you mommies. Hopefully I can be like you one day, and not wear burn myself out.

We've been prepping for a Harry Potter Halloween party (pictures to come soon), trying to stick to our normal routine (work, come home, workout, cook dinner, clean kitchen, watch a show or movie), play volleyball once a week, PLUS work on this blog. In one day I baked a batch of muffins, homemade cheesy potatoes to go with the ham my dad brought over and made this Halloween Candy Bark to share with the neighbors. The next evening after work I made a huge pot of potato soup and the soft pretzel bites you saw last week. WHEW! But it's so worth it. My only wish: a kitchen cleaning fairy.

I have to admit, I'm not a candy corn fan. However, National Candy Corn Day is October 30. So, in the spirit of Halloween, I decided to make this festive treat. Now, let me admit something else, I loved it. Even the candy corn!

This is definitely a sweet treat, but the pretzel pieces add a nice touch of saltiness. Sweet and salty. You won't stop eating it. How can you not love something with Oreos in it?

Did I mention how easy this recipe is to make? You can literally whip it up in no time. It makes a great after school treat for the kiddos, or you can surprise your co-workers by bringing in "homemade" candy on Halloween. 

Each bite is crunchy, melty, chewy goodness! 

This recipe adapted from The Girl Who Ate Everything. 

Halloween Candy Bark

Prep time: 10 minutes
Chill time: 60 minutes
Yield: 10 servings

14 whole Oreos, broken into pieces (use Halloween Oreos if you can find them)
1 and 1/2 cups pretzel sticks, broken into pieces
3/4 cup candy corn
16 oz. white almond bark or white chocolate chips

Step 1: Cover a large cookie sheet with parchment or wax paper. Gently toss Oreo pieces, pretzel pieces and candy corn in a bowl to combine. Spread out on paper lined sheet in a 9x13 inch shape. 

Step 2: Place almond bark in a glass, microwave-safe bowl, and heat on high for 90 seconds. Stir and heat for 20 seconds. Continue to stir and heat until completely melted. 

Step 3: Use a rubber spatula to spread the melted almond bark over the mix on the sheet. It will take some maneuvering to get all the mixture covered evenly, but do not add additional almond bark. 

Step 4: Place cookie sheet in refrigerator and let set for 60 minutes to ensure it is hardened. Once set, remove from fridge. Lift the edges of the paper to cover your hands and break the bark into pieces. 

© Two Food Lovers, 2014All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use our images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe. 

Don't forget to tell us how you liked this Halloween treat in the comments below, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Sweet & Savory Soft Pretzel Bites

Warm, slightly crispy, bite-size, soft pretzels flavored with the sweetness of honey and a savory hint of garlic. These babies melt in your mouth. Fortunately this recipe makes a large batch because you eat them before they make it to the plate. 

Sweet & Savory Soft Pretzel Bites | Two Food Lovers

If you know me, you know I'm all about the carbs. I love bread. I think I could make it my main meal source. Naturally, I LOVE soft pretzels. Am I fan of the crunch kind? Eh. They are ok. But every time I go to the mall, Auntie Anne's is calling my name. Smother that puppy in butter. Dip it in cheese or mustard. Coat it in cinnamon & sugar. I like my pretzels a variety of ways, but...

Forget about mall pretzels. They can't touch the delicious taste of these bites, and nothing beats eating them straight from the oven. You don't even need dipping sauce. Yes, they are that good.

Sweet & Savory Soft Pretzel Bites | Two Food Lovers

Bread recipes tend to seem intimidating. Let me tell you, they are not. The trick to bread is following the instructions and practicing patience. I have no patience, unless bread is the end result. This pretzel recipe is one of the many that I have tried, and it is absolutely the best.

Bake these for a football party, as an appetizer for a dinner party, or to chow down on all by yourself. You know we don't judge. We found they went really well with a creamy potato soup I whipped up the same night.

Each bite has a slightly crispy bottom, and soft, chewy center. The butter and salt are all the topping you need. These little treats are perfect for baking on a cool fall or winter evening.

Dave has been enjoying these with his soup, or as a snack, the last few days. See my note at the end of the recipe on storing and reheating. Enjoy!  ♥ Trisha

Sweet & Savory Soft Pretzel Bites | Two Food Lovers

Sweet & Savory Soft Pretzel Bites

Printer friendly version

Prep time: 40 minutes + 40 minute rest time
Cook time: 10-12 minutes
Yield: 6+ dozen bite size pretzels

1 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons honey
1 packet active dry yeast (not quick-rise)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup bread flour
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2-3 small cloves of garlic, grated or minced ultra-fine*
1/3 cup baking soda + 3 cups hot water for the bath in Step 7
Sea salt
3 tablespoons melted butter

Step 1: Preheat oven to 200°F. In a small saucepan, heat milk, water, brown sugar and honey to 110°F over low-medium heat. Pour hot liquid mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer. If not using a stand mixer, pour into a metal bowl. Sprinkle the packet of yeast over the liquid and let stand for 10-15 minutes to allow yeast to bloom. Blooming = slight puffing of yeast

*Do not boil or simmer in this step. Liquid should be about the temperature of a hot bath. I simply use my finger to test the temperature of the liquid. It should not burn, but feel hot.

Step 2: Meanwhile, use a whisk to combine all-purpose flour and bread flour in a bowl. Stir well to ensure the flours are incorporated. Rinse and wipe out your saucepan. Return to burner; add the butter and garlic; cook over med-low heat for 2-3 minutes to melt the butter. The garlic should smell wonderfully fragrant. Remove from heat and set aside.

*To grate garlic, use a microplane. I find it easiest to mince (almost pulverize) my garlic with a Slap Chop. Those things are great.

Step 3: Attach the dough hook to your stand mixer. Add the flour mixture to the bowl with the blooming yeast (after it has rested 10-15 minutes). Give a quick stir by briefly turning mixer on low for a few seconds, and then add the melted butter and garlic. Turn mixer on medium and let the dough mix for about 5-7 minutes. The dough will start to pull away from the sides of the bowl, and the texture should be smooth and elastic. It will smell like heaven.

Step 4: Remove dough from bowl; use hands to shape into a ball. Use cooking spray to lightly grease the bowl of your stand mixer, and return the dough to the bowl. Dampen a light tea towel with warm water and place over the top of the bowl. Set your bowl of dough in the 200°F oven. You can leave the oven on (this is what I do), or turn it off. Let the dough rise for about 30-40 minutes. You will know it is ready when it has grown in size.

Step 5: Once dough has risen, remove from oven and turn oven to 425°F. Lightly flour a work surface, turn out the dough, and lightly knead. You shouldn’t need to do too much kneading. Your dough will be sticky at first and start to firm slightly. Do not over knead. If you are unsure, just give it a few good flips and tucks and call it good.

Step 6: Cover two or three cookie sheets with parchment paper. Pinch off small bits of dough, about bite size, roll into a ball, and place on cookie sheets ½ to 1 inch apart. These will not grow so what you see is what you get. Approximately 1-inch size dough balls are great. Start by filling one entire cookie sheet, set it aside and continue to fill a second cookie sheet, etc. until all dough is rolled.

Step 7: In a large bowl, add 3 cups hot water + 1/3 cup baking soda, whisk together to combine. Grab the first cookie sheet of dough balls that you rolled and begin dunking them in the baking soda bath. You can do more than one at a time, but they don’t need to sit in the water long. Remove and let some of the water drip off before returning to the baking sheet. Lightly sprinkle each damp pretzel with sea salt. Ensure that your oven is heated to 425°F (I like to use an oven thermometer) and bake each cookie sheet for 8-10 minutes until golden brown.

Continue the baking soda bath for the remaining pretzels and bake as instructed.

Melt 3 tablespoons butter and brush each pretzel with butter. Serve warm.   

*If you have leftovers, avoid coating with butter before storing. Store in an airtight container for 2-4 days. Pop in a toaster oven (or traditional oven) to warm. This helps add the slight crisp back to the outside of the pretzel and the warmth brings out the flavor. 

© Two Food Lovers, 2014. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use our images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

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