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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Baseball Nut Ice Cream (a copycat Baskin-Robbins recipe)

Copycat Baseball Nut Ice Cream
You know how certain foods, just like certain songs, can transport you back to a certain moment in time? For me, Baseball Nut ice cream is one of those foods. I didn't plan such a perfectly round number, but it was exactly 20 years ago this summer that I didn't go home from college for the summer for the first time. It was the summer after my sophomore year, and really, the next step in exercising my independence.

I rented the tiniest room known to man in a house rented by some of my friends who were already living out of the dorms. Seriously, it should have been a closet. My twin bed was just able to squeeze in between 3 of the walls, my other stuff in boxes stacked high against the fourth wall. I didn't have any room to walk, only enough room to open and close the door. After about a week or two, there was no hot water in the house and it was filthy (my housemates were all guys)—but I was on my own.

I didn't have a car, but it was the mid-90's, which meant that I rollerbladed everywhere. I lived in East Lansing, but worked in Okemos, which was about a 3 mile treck. I had pretty much the same meal every day: a sleeve of saltines, a tin of tuna fish, and an orange. Once a week I'd walk to Subway and order a Subway Club with light mayo and salt and pepper. And every once in a while I'd treat myself by popping in to Baskin-Robbins and ordering a double-scoop of Baseball Nut Ice Cream. Only that, never anything else.
Monday, June 29, 2015

Slow Cooker Baked Beans

Slow Cooker Baked Beans
Lately I've talked a fair deal about grilling, cold cocktails, and frozen treats as ways that I like to beat the heat during the hot summer months, but I also like to take advantage of my slow cooker(s). It's great to have that comforting scent of food cooking without melting every time you walk into the kitchen. So, when my friend Leslie suggested that we plug in our slow cookers for this month's edition of she made, ella hace, I thought that was a brilliant idea.

Last week I shared Apple Barbecue Grilled Ribs and Old Fashioned Creamy Potato Salad recipes that were both part of the same meal. Well, guess what else went along with that meal? You guessed it—baked beans. While the ribs were parbaking in the oven and the potatoes were cooling, I poured a few different kinds of canned beans into my slow cooker, along with some smoky bacon, some veggies, and some classic baked bean flavorings like ketchup, molasses, vinegar, mustard and more.
Friday, June 26, 2015

Blueberry Peach Pie w/ Cornmeal Streusel and Crust | #FridayPieDay

Blueberry Peach Pie w/ Cornmeal Streusel and Crust
'Tis the season to snatch up all the ripe, juicy fruits and berries I can get my hands on! Seriously, I go a little nuts when I hit the farmers market and see stacks and cartons piled high with beautiful jewel-toned orbs, big and small. My thinking switch turns off, and my impulse switch gets stuck in the on position. That's all fine and dandy until I get home and realize what I've done.

We do our best to eat that bounty before it gets too ripe, but oftentimes, I still find myself wondering how to use it all. Kidding! I'm making pie every time. Fruit pies put smiles on people's faces and sunshine in their souls. Duh.

And, since today is the last Friday of the month, that means it's time to celebrate Friday PieDay here at All Roads Lead to the Kitchen. I'm not sure if you noticed or not, but I neglected to share a pie with you last month; don't even get me going on May again (aka hell month). I think this blueberry-peach pie will make up for that.
Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Old Fashioned Creamy Potato Salad

Old Fashioned Creamy Potato Salad
Every time I post a potato salad recipe, I note that I tend to choose a vinegar-based one over a mayo based one. But every once in a while, I get a craving for some good old fashioned creamy potato salad, the kind my grandma used to make. Well, that feeling hit me hard about a month ago, and I knew it wouldn't go away until I made a batch. It actually took two batches to quiet the craving.

If you're looking for a good all-American style meal to serve on the Fourth of July this year, it doesn't get much closer than some tender grilled barbecue ribs, baked beans, corn on the cob, and some potato salad. Although, adding some classic macaroni salad would also be a nice touch. That's my next craving...I can feel it stirring just under the surface. Oh, and don't forget to top it off with a bomb pop.

All you'll want to do after eating this meal is watch some awesome fireworks and listen to some patriotic tunes. Sounds like summer in the U.S.A. to me.

Tilapia and Sardines in Creamy Asparagus Sauce over Confetti Couscous #FFFMysteryBox

Tilapia and Sardines in Creamy Asparagus Sauce over Confetti Couscous
FYI, this basket would have gotten me chopped.

Today I'm sharing a recipe with you a bit reluctantly. It's actually the result of a mystery box challenge that I'm doing with a few other bloggers, "Chopped" style. The way it works is, we drew names out of a hat (well, one of us did - we arranged it virtually), then mailed our assigned blogger a box of three (or four) random ingredients. We then had to take our ingredients and turn them into one cohesive dish.

I'm not gonna lie, I was pretty pumped to tackle my basket—until I actually received it, that is. I was stumped. It's a good thing I didn't have only 20 or 30 minutes to create something, or I would have turned in an empty plate. I kid you not, I went round and round and back and forth with this. My three ingredients just did NOT want to play nicely together. Curling up in a ball and rocking back forth sounded better than anything I could come up with.
Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Apple Barbecue Grilled Ribs

This post is sponsored by the National Pork Board in conjunction with One2One Network. All opinions are my own.
Apple Barbecue Grilled Ribs
A couple of months ago, I teamed up with the National Pork Board to kick-off grilling season with these Sweet and Sour Pork Burgers with Pineapple Slaw, and today we're back with a little Fourth of July inspiration! I'm making one of my family's favorites, pork back ribs (also known as baby back ribs).  As a nod to our great country, I decided to flavor my ribs with the flavors of apple pie—because it doesn't get any more American than apple pie.

I initially toyed with the idea of using apple pie filling as a glaze for the ribs once they hit the grill, but instead decided to make a unique rub by combining apple pie spice with some savory flavors, and then mopping them with an apple barbecue sauce. From the oven to the grill, the smells that permeated the air were intoxicating. Is it apple pie? Is it pork? No, it's apple pie-spiced pork!

Aside from being delicious, this recipe is super quick and easy to put together. Aside from the pork ribs and pepper, there are only FIVE ingredients—all of which are readily available at any Walmart, the ultimate source for barbecue essentials and great pork deals, including ribs!
Thursday, June 18, 2015

No-Churn Butter Pecan Ice Cream inspired by Butter | #FoodnFlix

No-Churn Butter Pecan Ice Cream
I will state the obvious before I go any further. I made ice cream as my Food 'n Flix inspiration two months in a row. I don't know why that makes me feel a wee bit guilty; both are rooted in the particular movie and both were too delicious to let that guilt weigh too heavy on my mind. So, on to this month's inspiration...

This month's Food 'n Flix pick is Butter, as chosen by our hostess Evelyne of Cheap Ethnic Eatz. Here's the thing—I picked up a copy of the dvd when it was first released...and didn't really like it. There were funny bits, and the opening scene of movie said it was "...the cut-throat story of greed, blackmail, sex, and butter." I had high hopes, but it just didn't connect.

I think it was just that I could not stand the racist, elitist snob that was Laura Pickler (played by Jennifer Garner). When I think about it, it's funny that a single character could overshadow (in my mind) the great characters played by Ty Burrell, Olivia Wilde, Alicia Silverstone, Rob Corddry, and Yara Shahidi. But, I gave it a second chance. Wiped the slate clean and decided to watch it as if it were the first time.
Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Muesli Rolls | #BreadBakingBabes

Muesli Rolls
I'm quite sure that I have no idea how we've hit the midway point in June already. But somehow today is the 16th, and that means it's time for another Bread Baking Babes challenge reveal! This month, Karen from Bake My Day! told us that it was "time to get rolling" with a breakfast roll of champions that is packed full of seeds, dried fruit, and chocolate; it also has oats, and when combined, those are the components of Muesli—hence, Muesli Rolls!

Here's the thing, though—these rolls don't scream breakfast to me. Like, at all. I do love a good muesli in the morning, but when deconstructed and put into a substantial roll? Not feeling it. That being said, I actually loved the rolls...but I'd rather eat them with lunch or dinner. They actually seem very "harvest-like" to me, as if they'd be perfectly at home on my Thanksgiving table. Split in half, they make one heck of a perfect vessel for a turkey sandwich.

Are you with me, or are you sitting there wondering how a roll with chocolate in it could possibly taste the way I'm describing it? Here's the thing—I left out the chocolate. I'm not one for chocolate in my muesli. Instead, I used some pepitas (pumpkin seeds) that are tossed and roasted in cocoa, giving a nod to the flavor profile without having to bite into actual chocolate bits. But, do you know what's funny? When I told the other BBBabes what I did, a few mentioned that even though they used chocolate, it wasn't all that noticeable anyway. So, take that and use it as you will.
Sunday, June 14, 2015

Lemon-Lime Margarita Creamsicles

Lemon-Lime Margarita Creamsicles
This one's for all the adults out there, doing their best to survive the hot summer sun. Whether you're having a cook-out, relaxing by the pool, or doing some sweaty yard work, you deserve a little frozen glory on a stick that's made just for you.

In case you're wondering what "frozen glory on a stick" is,'s an icy cold popsicle that is sweet and creamy and tangy and boozy ALL AT THE SAME TIME! Kids shouldn't be the only ones running around with sticky chins, hands, arms and permagrins without a care in the world. You know, for at least a solid five minutes...because that's about how long it takes before those cares come rushing back full-force. It's a magnificent five minutes, though.

These boozy pops feature the new Sandra Lee Cocktail Time™ Margaritas. What are these margaritas I speak of? Well, after doing her research (aka testing all of the pre-made and ready-to-serve margaritas and cocktails on the market) and finding it hard to name one that consistently tasted great, Sandra Lee decided to develop her own line. Available in key lime and strawberry flavors, they are infused with real fruit, pure cane sugar, premium blue agave silver tequila, triple sec liqueur, and other natural flavors.
Saturday, June 13, 2015

Satisfy your sweet tooth on the go with #OREOmultipack!

OREO 2-pack
I remember the days when summer break meant that I was in for a couple of months of semi-relaxation. Since my kids have gotten older, that's no longer the case. I actually think that my family is just as busy (if not busier) during "break" than during the school year. As a family who often finds themselves on the go, we often find our stomachs rumbling in the car, at an appointment, or on the sidelines at a sporting event.

Since nobody likes just going hungry, I've become a master at packing not only snacks and nibbles, but also meals on-the-run. It's hard to gauge one's level-of-hungry beforehand. Though I don't think that always eating while out is ideal, it has become a necessity in today's "GO!" world. So, when products come about that can make my life even a little bit easier, I usually grab on.

Such is the case with OREO. This past May, OREO launched a convenient 2-pack grab-and-go snack designed precisely for today's busy schedules. Each pack contains the perfect serving size to satisfy your sweet tooth when you're on the go! The 2-pack multipacks are sold in packages of 18 and can be found in the cookie section at grocery stores (also available in Nutter Butter).
Wednesday, June 10, 2015

(Almost) Nancy's Chopped Salad with Oregano Vinaigrette

Chopped Salad with Oregano Vinaigrette
It's the second Wednesday of the month, and that means it's time for another edition of the Blogger C.L.U.E. Society! Our theme this month is PICNIC FOOD, and my assignment was Authentic Suburban Gourmet. Authentic Suburban Gourmet is the creative expression of Lisa, a successful executive by day, who uses creativity and thoughts (authentic) and readily available ingredients (suburban) with an elegant and sophisticated touch (gourmet) for cooking, creating, and entertaining. To learn more about this born and bred Bay Area foodie, check out her about page.

It wasn't hard finding inspiration for a picnic at Lisa's place. I could see myself spreading out on a blanket under a shady tree to unpack a basket filled with everything from Oven Roasted Tomato and Goat Cheese Tarts to French Cheese Straws (alongside some fruit and other nibbles) to a Grilled Egg and Olive Sandwich. Oh, and of course a good bottle of wine to accompany everything, and these perfect little Apricot, Blueberry and Cardamom Hand Pies to finish things off.
Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Grilled Pineapple Whisky Smash

Grilled pineapple lends this whisky smash a distinctive summer twist. Thank you to for helping me share this cocktail with you.
Grilled Pineapple Whisky Smash
Although it may not say it on the calendar, summer seems to have officially set in. Bright, sunny days that beg for lake excursions, pool parties, impromptu sessions around the grill, and often beating a path to the nearest shade tree. What's one thing that can enhance each one of these options? A cold drink, glass sweating right alongside you in the heat.

But do you think whisky when you think summer cocktails? Perhaps not. I'd say it's most often considered a warming drink. I admit to wanting a nip of whisky to warm my bones on a cold day. But it also goes really well over ice, which opens it up and invites a host of flavors to drop by for a summer get-together.

Today I'm sharing a whisky cocktail made using George Dickel NO. 12® Tennessee Whisky. George Dickel chills their whisky before they filter it through sugar-maple charcoal, which filters out oils and acids, because they believe that whisky made in the winter is smoother than whisky made in the summer. No. 12 is aged longer than their Classic No. 8 blend, resulting in richer oak flavors. With subtle hints of vanilla, maple, and smoke, the resulting whisky is somewhat sweet and extremely easy to drink.
Thursday, June 4, 2015

How to Make Basic Simple Syrup (and a bunch of variations)

How to Make Basic Simple Syrup + a bunch of variations
Simple syrup is used to sweeten everything from coffee and tea to lemonade to cocktails. It's such a simple thing to make, and very handy to always have on hand. Today I wanted to share the basic recipe for making simple syrup with you, plus a couple of variations, using more or less sugar or a different sweetener all together.

Basic simple syrup is made using equal parts sugar and water, but sometimes you'll see a recipe that calls for a heavy (or rich) simple syrup, and from time to time, one that calls for a light simple syrup. Making either is only a matter of adjusting the sugar to water ratio.

While it doesn't get much simpler than dissolving sugar in water, sometimes you're looking for a little something different. Why not try using honey or maple syrup instead of granulated sugar? Plus, if you're looking to try some flavored simple syrups, I've got some suggestions for those, as well.
Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Malt Bread

Malt Bread
Believe it or not, today is the second day in June. I hardly believe it. I think it snuck on me because May was so insane. I stand by my reasoning that May is the busiest month. I even think it beats out December by a smidge. Truth be told, I was glad to turn the page on my calendar. My goal is to actually slow down a little this month.

Today is #TwelveLoaves challenge day, and our theme this month is "A Little Something Sweet". This means that we will be featuring breads with all levels of sweet in them. While some people made full-out sweet breads, others used just a hint of something sweet. It was all about our mood this month. I wasn't feeling all that sweet.

It pains this cinnamon roll lover to say this, but I'm really trying to cut back on sweet breads right now. I guess I should say especially "heavy" (aka fattening) breads. I've really packed on the pounds over the past couple of years, and something's gotta give. I just couldn't do it this time.