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Sunday, April 29, 2012

mangia mondays 60: culinary school

hey there, friends!
welcome to
a blog hop i co-host each week with
one of my favorite bloggers
lisa from shine your light!

this week, i thought i'd share a few pictures
from this past semester... since it just ended!
{yay!!}
i'm happy to say that i got a 96% in this lab
& all i have left to get my degree is 2 semesters
of baking labs
{which i'm ecstatic for!}.

culinary school
{sorry for the quality - they're all cellphone pictures!}

one of the first things we made - fondue!

that's me with my made-from-scratch mozzarella!
so much fun - & really hot on your hands.. but delicious!

this is 2 plates worth of midterm food.
on one plate, i had pork stuffed with spinach & mushrooms with a pan gravy, a sweet potato & apple hash, & sauteed broccoli with roasted julienne bell peppers.
on the second plate, i had grilled steak with an onion sauce & crispy onion strings, duchesse potatoes {a really fun, easy & different way to serve mashed potatoes!}, & grilled asparagus.

this was my favorite appetizer that i made.
a crostini topped with an avocado & pineapple chutney & grilled shrimp.
oh man, it was delicious.

we decided that cornish game hens look a lot like frogs...
& that it's fun to make them dance.

grilled cornish game hen with lemon risotto & squash with sauteed onions, mornay sauce & breadcrumbs.

sometimes, i kiss red snappers.

grilled oyster with a lemon butter sauce.

pan seared red snapper with an orange hollandaise & candied orange slices, orzo pasta & broccoli.

i had such a great time in that class...
met a lot of great people & learned a bunch of new techniques.
buuuutttt... i'm glad the semester is over & i can focus on
little baby charlotte.
i've gotta tell you, it got a bit tough to maneuver around the
kitchen toward the end.
& my chef pants were really tight. ;)

now it's your turn -
link up those recipes & food posts!

how mangia mondays work:
. add a link to your recipe or food post & visit some others who have linked up before you .
. link back to mangia mondays anywhere on your blog .
. thanks for not linking up to giveaways or items you're selling .
. help spread the word about mangia mondays by sharing this post with others .

until next time,
dowlings out!


Sunday, April 22, 2012

mangia mondays 59: italian hoagie rolls

hi friends!
welcome to
a blog hop i host each week with
the astonishing
lisa from shine your light.

this week i'm sharing a recipe i found on
italian hoagie rolls


2 1/4 tsp bread machine yeast
1 C + 1 TBS warm water
1 TBS sugar
1/8 C olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 TBS italian seasoning
1 tsp onion flakes
1 C whole wheat flour
2 C bread flour

1a. combine ingredients in the bread machine in the order listed by your machine. mine calls for all the wet ingredients first, salt, then all the dry ingredients, topped off with the yeast. set to dough cycle & let it do the kneading for you!

1b. alternatively, you can...
mix the yeast, water & sugar in a bowl & set aside until yeast is activated (you'll see it because it's foamy).

in a large bowl, mix together all of the ingredients but the flour & stir to combine. next, add 1.5 C of flour & mix well. add dry ingredients to the yeasty mix & stir well to combine. continue adding the remaining 1.5 C of flour until dough stiffens. when stiff, place dough on a lightly floured surface & knead for 5-10 minutes, or until smooth and silky.

lightly mist a bowl with oil/cooking spray & place the dough in the bowl. turn to coat the dough with the oil. cover with a towel & set in a warm place to rise until dough has doubled in size.
{this takes between 60-90 minutes, depending on the temperature of your kitchen.}

here's where you pick up the recipe if you've made the dough with the bread machine:

2. punch down the dough to release air. divide the dough into hoagie-sized buns (i.e., long, skinny log rolls) & place on a parchment lined cookie sheet spaced a few inches apart. cover with a towel & let dough rise again for 30-60 minutes, until doubled. 

3. bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or so, & allow buns to cool before splitting and serving. 

we LOVED these rolls - & they are SO easy to make
with a bread machine!

what did we put on them?
i cut up some steak & seared it in a hot skillet
then added it to a use-up-what-you-have-in-your-fridge marinara sauce
& let it simmer for a couple of hours.
we topped it with some mozzarella
& boy, oh boy, were they AMAZING sandwiches.
definitely adding this recipe to our rotation. :)

now it's your turn -
link up those recipes & food posts!

how mangia mondays work:
. add a link to your recipe or food post & visit some others who have linked up before you .
. link back to mangia mondays anywhere on your blog .
. thanks for not linking up to giveaways or items you're selling .
. help spread the word about mangia mondays by sharing this post with others .

until next time,
dowlings out!

Friday, April 20, 2012

baby bump: week 30


how far along:
30 weeks - we're in the home stretch! :D

baby size:
about the size of a head of cabbage.
almost 16 inches long & 3 pounds.

total weight gain/loss:
20 pounds.

maternity clothes?
 gap maternity jeans, lots of maxi dresses,
flowy tops and sweat pants when i'm at home!

stretch marks?
not yet.

sleep:
i've been waking myself up a lot
because it's so hard to turn over.

best moment this week:
just laying on the couch &
feeling her move all over the place.
she's having a dance party in there!

miss anything? 
seriously, all i can think about is
a tuna salad sandwich.
ALL I CAN THINK ABOUT.
*drool*

movement: 
all the time.
i love love love it.

food cravings:
tuna salad... which i can't have!
macaroni & cheese, strawberry doughnuts...
watermelon & cucumber!

anything making you queasy/sick:
nope!

have you started to show yet:
maybe just a smidge. ;)

gender:
baby girl!

labor signs:
no

belly button in or out?
still hangin' in there...
i don't think it'll pop out!

wedding rings on or off?
on but getting a bit tight.

mood?
happy happy happy!
so happy, i could cry!

looking forward to:
meeting my baby!
& loving her!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

mangia mondays 58: sometimes...

howdy folks!
welcome to
a blog hop i co-host each week with my sweet blog-friend
lisa from shine your light.

this week, i had planned on sharing
s'mores brownie bites.
notice i said "planned on."
sometimes, things definitely don't go according to plan, see:




*sigh*
first, i tried the mini-muffin pan.
i think they would have worked if i had used a regular metal pan
instead of this silicon one. :(
they still taste awesome, though...
as you can see by the fork!
;)
then, i tried a regular sized muffin pan,
but the brownies just weren't baking fast enough,
so the marshmallows melted and they caved in.
UGH!

i just wanted you guys to know that i have a lot of incidents like this,
but i never post about them... because, let's be honest,
i want to be awesome!
i need to start keeping it real, though...
especially with little charlotte on her way!
this is how we grow & develop & learn!
next time, i know what to do differently...
& maybe it'll work
{or maybe it won't}.

now it's your turn -
link up those recipes & food posts!

how mangia mondays work:
. add a link to your recipe or food post & visit some others who have linked up before you .
. link back to mangia mondays anywhere on your blog .
. thanks for not linking up to giveaways or items you're selling .
. help spread the word about mangia mondays by sharing this post with others .

until next time,
dowlings out!

Friday, April 13, 2012

baby bump: week 29


how far along:
29 weeks! i can't believe that we could have a little baby here in only 8 weeks!

baby size:
the size of a butternut squash;
about 2 1/2 pounds
and a smidge over 15 inches long.

total weight gain/loss:
20 pounds...
i feel like a whale with legs!

maternity clothes?
 just my jeans... which, i'm sad to say,
i have grown out of one pair! :(
i LOVE that it's warming up & i can just wear dresses.
THANK GOODNESS!

stretch marks?
not yet.

sleep:
sleeping is good...
i get up around 3 every morning to use the bathroom,
but other than that i'm not having trouble!
finally...

best moment this week:
when my sweet hubs saw his baby girl move from the outside.
that was exciting!
annnd... finding my glider!
it's been a huge struggle...
it seems like everything i've wanted for the nursery is being 
discontinued or it's on back-order for forever or something!
UGH!
i'm happy to report that the only things we still need for our nursery are:
1. curtains
2. frames

miss anything? 
ummmm...
tuna salad.
and coffee.
oh, coffee, how i love thee.

movement: 
she's so active!
feeling her kick & shift positions
& hiccup is just about the most amazing thing ever.

food cravings:
sweets.
which is probably why i'm the size of a house.
;)

anything making you queasy/sick:
nope!
well... that orange drink for my glucose test made me feel really nauseous.
ew.

have you started to show yet:
for suresies.

gender:
she's a sweet little girl.

labor signs:
no

belly button in or out?
still hangin' in there...
but it looks so weird & is so shallow!

wedding rings on or off?
on

mood?
happy pretty much all the time...
:D

looking forward to:
my shower {which is in a little over a month}
& seeing my mommie!
...i haven't seen her since christmas...
she might not recognize me at the rate i'm growing!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

mangia mondays 57: spring trifle

hello friends!
welcome to another edition of
a blog hop i co-host each week with
lisa from shine your light.

this week, i'm sharing the easiest-peasiest spring dessert ever:
spring trifle


1 box vanilla cake mix
zest of 1 orange
juice of 1 orange + enough water to make 1 C of liquid
1/2 C vegetable oil
3 eggs
1 box instant banana pudding
2 C milk
lots of strawberries (or whatever berries/fruits you choose)
whipped cream or whipped topping, whichever you feel like using

1. combine cake mix, zest, juice + water, vegetable oil & eggs. bake as directed on box. let cool completely. crumble in a bowl; set aside.

2. beat together pudding mix & milk for 2 minutes, or until thick. set aside.

3. slice strawberries (or other fruit) & set aside.

4. start layering your ingredients in serving containers (like mason jars! :) cute!!) or a trifle bowl. start with a cake layer, then pudding, fruit, & top with whipped cream. repeat. garish with extra fruit (& maybe some mint leaves or basil!!)


i love baking, don't get me wrong,
but sometimes i just need a quick, easy, light & pretty
dessert that's fool-proof.
know what i mean?
i especially love doing individual servings in mason jars - 
how perfect would these be for a picnic or
outdoor party?
LOVE IT. :D

now it's your turn -
link up those recipes & food posts!

how mangia mondays work:
. add a link to your recipe or food post & visit some others who have linked up before you .
. link back to mangia mondays anywhere on your blog .
. thanks for not linking up to giveaways or items you're selling .
. help spread the word about mangia mondays by sharing this post with others .

until next time,
dowlings out!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

mangia mondays 56: turkey egg rolls

hey, ya'll!
welcome to


a foodie blog hop i''m proud to host each week with
lisa from shine your light.

this week i'm sharing
turkey egg rolls


{yield, approx. 20}

1/2 white onion, diced
1 TBS garlic, minced
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 lb. ground turkey
1 tsp minced ginger
2 C cabbage, finely chopped
1/4 lb. bean sprouts
1/2 C carrots, shredded
3 green onions, finely chopped
2 TBS sweet & sour sauce + more for serving
{recipe follows}
20 egg roll wrappers

1. stir fry onion, garlic, red pepper flakes, turkey, & ginger in a skillet over high heat until turkey is done.

2. add cabbage, bean sprouts, carrots, & green onions. cook 2 minutes.

3. stir in sweet & sour sauce. remove from heat & let mixture cool.

4. use about 2 TBS of the filling for each egg roll. 
* to fold: *
1. place filling diagonally on wrap.
2. fold bottom corner over filling; roll snugly half-way to cover filling.
3. fold in both sides snugly against filling; moisten edges of last flap with water.
4. roll wrap up & seal top corner; lay flap side down until ready to fry.

5. fry the egg rolls in a large skillet. heat oil to 350 f & place rolls flap down, a few at a time, turning occasionally, until golden, 2-3 minutes. drain on paper towels.

sweet & sour sauce
3/4 C white sugar
1/3 C white vinegar
2/3 C water
1/4 C soy sauce
1 TBS ketchup
2 TBS cornstarch

1. place the sugar, vinegar, water, soy sauce, ketchup, & cornstarch in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. stir continuously until the mixture has thickened.

these turned out really great!
a nice appetizer for the stir-fry i made. :)

now it's your turn -
link up those recipes & food posts!

how mangia mondays work:
. add a link to your recipe or food post & visit some others who have linked up before you .
. link back to mangia mondays anywhere on your blog .
. thanks for not linking up to giveaways or items you're selling .
. help spread the word about mangia mondays by sharing this post with others .

until next time,
dowlings out!