Thursday, November 24, 2011

Homemade Bloody Mary Mix

Bloody Mary's have always been a favorite drink of mine. Who would not love the option of a cocktail with breakfast?!? While honeymooning in Jamaica they had a make-your-own bloody mary station. While I will not divulge how many bloody mary's I consumed in the course of 10 days, I will tell you how to make your own mix at home. I can not tell you how many mixes I tried over the years looking for the perfect one. I never did find it. It just struck me that I should obviously make my own. I am not quite sure what took me so long to realize that, but the result is fantastic. I should note that I like a very spicy and smooth bloody mary. Some are made with big chunks of horseradish, celery seed, black pepper, etc. and I have never enjoyed that. I ran mine through the blender to eliminate anything of the sort. We will be enjoying these on Thanksgiving morning while we stuff Turkey and prep food for the day. I hope you enjoy these as much as we will! Try garnishing this with the Maple-Chipotle Candied Bacon, you wont be sorry!

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Maple-Chipotle Candied Bacon

I love bacon, thats no secret, so when I was out to brunch and saw "candied bacon" on the bloody mary menu I knew I had to have it. Bacon? Candied? What could be better! Out comes my beautiful bloody mary with a piece of crisp bacon stuck in it. Oh. My. Goodness! The heavens opened, angels sang! I am pretty sure those candied bacon pieces were made with a mixture of brown and white sugar. I knew I wanted to make these for my own homemade bloody mary's, but I also knew white and brown sugar were out since we do not use either routinely. Maple syrup seemed like a better option for us for use on special occasions. I also decided to add a little kick with the chipotle spice. The result is a sweet and savory masterpiece. Use in your own bloody mary, or as a topping for salads or soups!

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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

No Added Sugar Cranberry Sauce

What is Thanksgiving without the delicious cranberry sauce? I have to admit that I love the cranberry sauce from a can - what can I say, I just do! This year I am trying to avoid said jellied cranberry sauce. It is easy enough to make your own so I thought I would give it a shot this year. I used fruit juice and stevia to sweeten and was very pleased with the results. If you are looking for a cranberry sauce with no refined sugars, this is one to try.

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Monday, September 19, 2011

Simple Pleasures : Busy, Busy, Busy!

I have been neglectful of my blog as of late. My family has always been (and will always be) my first priority. We very recently welcomed a new baby girl into our family and thus my blogging time has been reduced to zero. Hopefully as life settles down I will be able to go back to cooking more new things and posting a bit more. As far as simple pleasures go, there is absolutely nothing better than holding your newborn baby as she sleeps on your chest. Feeling her warmth and listening to her breathe is the most beautiful and wonderful simple pleasure of all.

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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Simple Pleasures : Spring has Sprung!

Simple Pleasures : Spring has Sprung!

It's spring time out in the country. This is our first spring living here and we are finding it delightful.  This week we had the lawn mowed for the first time this year. The back lawn was overgrown with these pretty little purple flowers, that my husband later informed me were actually weeds. Oh well, weeds or not it was pretty. I wanted to get some pictures of my two sons sitting in said weeds (They were pretty, what can I say!) but as you can see from the pictures below, neither of my boys were very interested!

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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Coconut Scented Brown Rice with Tomatoes and Green Chilies

A twist on the ordinary, brown rice made with slightly sweet coconut milk and then kicked up a notch with tomatoes and mild green chilies. Again, quick and easy and best of all delicious!

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Tandoori Spiced Split Chicken Breasts

Since I found out I was pregnant, easy has become the name of the game around here. This is one of those dishes that tastes so good, it is hard to believe it was so simple. My husband is not a huge chicken fan, but even he was a big fan of this chicken. This is also a good dish to make if you are on a budget and shopping Organic, as the skin on and bone in split chicken breast is much cheaper than boneless, skinless chicken breast.  Also, when you are done you can use the bones for chicken broth.

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Roasted Zucchini and Yellow Squash

Simple, beautiful and colorful. A very simple side dish that will compliment pretty much anything that you can think of!

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Cauliflower, Broccoli and Cheese Soup

I love broccoli and cheese soup, it is so filling and delicious. However, what I don't love is that most recipes are made with processed cheese and white flour for thickening. After making the Cauliflower Au Gratin, where I used pureed cauliflower as a thickener I got the idea to try using that to thicken other dishes. Broccoli and Cheese Soup came to mind. Cauliflower goes nicely with broccoli so I thought I would give it a shot! The result is a thick and rich soup without processed cheese or white flour, and the added nutritional bonus of a head of cauliflower! I am very pleased with this recipe, in fact I ate only this soup the entire day. I started this soup in the morning to be ready by lunchtime. Enjoy!

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Monday, February 14, 2011

Butternut Squash Ravioli with Caramelized Onions and Brown Butter Sauce

Ah! Fresh ravioli. So delicious, but also time consuming. That is why this is in my file of special occasion dishes. Thankfully, it is Valentines Day! Make this dish for your sweeties.  The sweetness of the roasted butternut squash and caramelized onions, the tender ravioli and the nutty browned butter sauce are a winning combination. Sublime.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

BLT - With a Twist!

Last week I made a delicious BLT on Sourdough Bread. Nothing special, but it was delicious. Today I had a craving for another, but wanted to try something a little different. A ripe avocado was calling my name so I knew that had to be included. The result is a quick, easy, filling and absolutely delicious  sandwich. I served this on homemade toasted oat bread (recipe coming once I perfect the recipe).

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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

French Dip Sandwich

This sandwich was inspired by my cousin, Tina. She was making a french dip sandwich for dinner and had the roast in the crock pot. I thought that sounded great, but decided to roast the beef instead of slow cook it since it was already later in the day. These sandwiches are very easy and quite delicious. Homemade sourdough, thinly sliced roast beef, good quality cheese and homemade au jus make the perfect french dip sandwich! I think next time I might try the slow cooker version to compare.

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100% Whole Spelt Sourdough Loaf

This loaf is so wonderful and easy to make it has become an absolute staple in out household. I got the recipe from this wonderful website called Breadtopia. This man is just the master of sourdough.  In fact, I ordered my starter from him when I first started baking bread. It is a wonderful starter and I have since shared it with several friends, all of us getting wonderful results. My favorite recipe from his site is the Whole Spelt Sourdough. This bread is so delicious, and always a pleaser. I cant seem to get mine to look quite as nice as his, but it is still awfully tasty!

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Simple Pleasures : Frilly Aprons

Simple Pleasures : Frilly Aprons

If you know me, you know I am a girly-girl. I love all things frilly and feminine. I love wearing dresses when it is warm enough. Now, why should my apron be any different? Until recently I was wearing a boring, normal apron. Well all of that has changed! Yes! This is actually my second beautiful apron, this one was a gift from my lovely mother. I think it is perfect. I love the color and I love the 3-tier ruffle. The red and white is mine, and the flowery one is my mothers which she is keeping here for her visits. Go get yourself a ruffle, frilly apron and enjoy being in the kitchen!

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Stylish Blogger Award!

This is a little late (I am so sorry!) but, on Friday Jackie over at Crest Cottage Creations very sweetly awarded me with a "Stylish Blogger Award"! My first award ever! Hooray! Here it is on her wonderful blog. I always enjoy reading about what she has been cooking, so I was extremely flattered that she thought of me!

Here is how it works:

  • Make a post linking back to the person who gave you the award.
  • Share 7 things about yourself.
  • Award 5 recently discovered bloggers with this award.
  • Contact these bloggers and let them know!

Ok! Lets get this party started. Here are 7 things about me that you may or may not know about me, Mrs. Scratch.Love!
  1. I started blogging to force myself to write down some recipes.
  2. I am one of four children, and I am the only girl.
  3. I live in a house filled with testosterone with 1 husband and 2 little boys.
  4. I talk too much.
  5. I have a hard time keeping my own secrets, but no trouble keeping them for others.
  6. Like Jackie, I also did crew in high school and I also loved the water but hated the running! Probably unlike Jackie, my mother signed my brother and I up and we had no choice!
  7. Most people think of me as a "city girl" but after living here in the country I would never want to go back if I can help it. 
So, there you go! 7 things you have learned about me today. And now, here are some bloggers that I think are deserving of this award. The original instructions said to pick 10, but I thought 5 was a more manageable number! These are blogs that I read often, and enjoy. I think these ladies are all special. 

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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Cauliflower and Caramelized Onion Au Gratin

I have tried cauliflower gratin before but I could never quite get it right. I think part of the reason gratin with potatoes is so good is because of how the cream combines with the starches in the potatoes. I knew I wanted this to be creamier, so I had the idea to blend half of the cauliflower to a smooth consistency and keep the other half of the cauliflower in florets. This was perfect! It tasted creamy, decadent and a little sweet from the caramelized onions. I will make this again and again. In fact, I have a head of cauliflower in the fridge to make another batch!

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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Spaghetti Squash Lasagna

Spaghetti squash is a staple in our home, it is so health and easy to make that I hope it becomes a staple in your household as well. This is a lasagna version where I replace regular noodles with layers of the squash. If you are low carb, watching your grain consumption or are gluten/grain free I think this dish will give you your pasta fix! This is very similar to my signature Scratch.Love Lasagna, and I think just as good!

Grain Free, Gluten Free, Low Carb Meatballs

This is my other version of Scratch.Love Meatballs. Often times I omit the breadcrumbs in my meatball if I am avoiding grains, or hosting people who are grain/gluten free. This is very close to my other recipe, and I think tastes just as great. In fact, no one ever notices (or at least no one mentions!) the difference here at my home.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Roasted Pork Sandwich with Broccoli Rabe, Roasted Red Peppers and Sharp Provolone Cheese

This post is for my little brother, David. He emailed me saying he had a great idea for my blog and suggested this sandwich. It just so happened that the day before I had picked up the Broccoli Rabe, which is not usually at the Whole Foods. It was meant to me! This one is for you, Davie Boy.

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Roasted Pork Loin

Roasted pork is kind of difficult to get right, if you cook it too long it has a tendency to become dry. To get it right I recommend searing the pork first and then cooking at a lower temperature.  This pork loin was tender and juicy - just the way pork should be. If you do not have a meat thermometer, I recommend that you get one. They are inexpensive and make it so easy to know when your meat is just the right temperature.

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Friday, January 14, 2011

Roasted Red Peppers

My Father loves Roasted Red Peppers. I remember him buying tons of red peppers whenever they were on sale to roast them. Once you know how to do these you will see how easy it is to make them! You can serve them alone, with crusty bread, on sandwiches, pasta - the list is endless! After making you can eat these right away or you can place them in the refrigerator for use later.  I think they always taste better the next day (if they last that long).

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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Broccoli Rabe (Rapini)

Have you ever had Broccoli Rabe? This is a very bitter green, which may be a little bit of an acquired taste. If you are from the North East there is probably a good chance you have had it before. It is usually not something I see at Whole Foods here in Central Virginia, so when I saw these I grabbed two.

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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Simple Pleasures : Love Edition

Simple Pleasures : Love Edition

My mother surprised my with these little goodies. 2 oven mitts, 2 potholders and 5 lovely dish towels. All with my favorite theme - love! I think these are just the sweetest little addition to the Scratch.Love Kitchen! Thanks, Mom!

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