A Quick Update: I had started the Fiction Diner series as a way to document and share recipes as I challenged myself to try a new recipe every week of 2017. While I’m having loads of fun cooking up new food and sharing the results with you, I just don’t have the time to keep up with the blog series right now.
Besides trying to wrap up edits and publish my 3rd novel, finish the 1st draft of 4th novel, plot 3 additional novels, I also have 2 birthday parties and a wedding to provide cake for, a teenager in football and youth for the first time, 3 other active children, and a laundry pile–much like my reading pile–that never disappears. Lol
Needless to say, the additional work of the weekly Fiction Diner series is an added stress that I don’t need.
New Plans: However, I plan to bring it back later in the year. But it’ll most likely return as an occasional post instead of a weekly post.
FOOD CHAT!!!: But I didn’t just bring you here to listen to me whine about my workload, let’s talk food!!
Name a recipe that you’ve always wanted to try to make but haven’t done it yet?
How about a recipe that you’ve always wanted to master, but have been unsuccessful at so far?
As for me, I’ve always wanted to try to make Fried Ice Cream. Those words don’t even belong together so it MUST be good. Lol
And I’ve always wanted to master pie crust and biscuits, but so far my attempts aren’t worth bragging over.
Book Quote: It wouldn’t be Fiction Diner without a quote from a fiction novel. Enjoy this lovely graphic and beautiful words from Katie Ganshert’s latest release, Life After.
I ran across these on Pinterest and just had to give them a try. I even have a couple of tips for you. I give them 10 stars because they are simple, delicious, and fun.
These are as simple as they look. No long list of ingredients or tedious directions to follow.
Select fresh bell peppers and slice.
Place a slice of pepper into a HOT non-stick pan.
Crack egg into the center of the pepper.
Season and let cook.
Remove from pan and sprinkle with cheese.
I made it two ways: with yolk and just egg whites. So feel free to pick your favorite.
The egg tried to escape from under the pepper. I had to hold the pepper down on the pan while pouring the egg in. It’s best to crack your egg into a small bowl so you can pour it into the pan with one hand.
“God owes you nothing, and yet He made you His daughter. You are a child of the King; it is His image you bear. King Louis marked you with judgment, but the King of Kings covers you with grace. Whose mark will you now display?” ~ The Mark of the King
Wow! Just wow!
This Alfredo Meatball recipe was inspired by my pantry and two hours of Pinterest scrolling. My mouth waters every time I come across a recipe for Swedish meatballs. I’ll have to gather the ingredients to give this a try later in the year, but, for now, I’m working with what I have on hand.
Frozen meatballs (or your favorite recipe)
Your choice of pasta (I’m using elbow)
Jar of Alfredo sauce (or your favorite recipe)
Broccoli (optional, although I don’t know why someone would dare to leave it out. lol)
It doesn’t get any simpler than a quick throw together recipe! I’ll even share two variations with you.
On Pot Wonder: You’re welcomed to throw your pasta, (cooked) meatballs, and broccoli together in one pot of water and cook until pasta is done and broccoli is tender. Then drain and add your sauce, warming it up until the sauce is brought up to temp. Season to taste and call it done!
Three Pots a Charm: Or cook pasta separately. At the same time, warm meatballs and sauce together, and cook the broccoli solo. When all is cooked and ready, drain and season the pasta and serve it on the plate dry. Top the pasta with the meatballs and sauce. Drain and season the broccoli and top the sauce with a healthy spoonful. It makes for a prettier dish this way. Tastes all the same once you put your fork into it, though. So you decide if you want to dirty one pot or three. 😉
*I cooked my pasta and broccoli separate. Why? Because it hurts my heart to see broccoli break down in the pan as I stir it with the other ingredients. Lol Plus I can better control how long it cooks. We can’t have the pasta and broccoli finishing at different times while in the same pot. 😉
*When I work with frozen meatballs, I like to pop them in the microwave for a couple of minutes to help them thaw. Then cut them either in half or in quarters. I like bite-sized meatballs and don’t appreciate trying to cut them on my plate or in my soup while I’m eating. This habit comes in handy when you’re cooking for children or trying to spread the meat a little further.
“Beneath hollowed cheeks and bruises, beauty sleeps.” ~ For Such a Time by Kate Breslin
Sometimes you just have to stop and pause after reading a line. This was one of those times for me.
I ran across this delightful recipe on Pinterest and knew that I had to give it a try. You’ll find the author of this recipe, originally titled Downtown Abbey’s Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies, and the story behind it here.
Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies:
There are few roll out cookie recipes easier than this one! I was a little skeptical at first about making cookies without any wet ingredients, but they turned out perfect. Who knew?! These cookies practically melt in your mouth and the Earl Grey flavor is a nice addition. For those that don’t drink tea, Earl Grey has a slight citrus flavor that tastes so beautiful. I’m happily rating this recipe with 10 stars.
1 cup of butter, soft
1/2 cup powder sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 or 2 tea bags of Earl Grey tea leaves
Cream together the butter and sugar. Add in the rest of the ingredients and mix until dough forms. Roll out onto a lightly floured surface and cut out with a cookie cutter.
Bake at 350 on a lined cookie sheet for 20-22 minutes or until edges are slightly brown.
I used only 1 tea bag when I tested the recipe. I found the Earl Grey flavor to be a light flavor in the background. It was good without being overwhelming. I could stand a stronger Earl Grey influence and expect to find a better balance with 1 1/2 bags next time. However, my husband who HATES tea ate half of my cookies…so I may just be leaving it well enough alone. 😉
“All the time I’ve known you, no one has made you happier, sadder, or angrier than Coop. I’m just in the background, a friend.” ~ In Perfect Time by Sarah Sundin
Awwww…I just loved the quote.
Get ready to warm up with this dish I found on a recent Pinterest search. You can read the original post here on Aunt Bee’s recipes.
Smoked Sausage and Black-eyed Pea Soup:
This was like heaven on a spoon. Seriously! Now, I’ve come to understand that not everyone appreciates the flavor of black-eyed peas. I can remember kicking against the yearly spoonful my mother insisted we eat on New Year’s Day. But as I’ve grown and my taste buds have changed, I’ve come to enjoy their unique flavor. Paired with smoked sausage and peppers and the black-eyed pea is even more dear.
Needless to say, I rate it 10 stars and look forward to the next pot.
16 oz bag of dried black-eyed peas
2 lbs smoked sausage, sliced
2 Tbsp bacon drippings or oil
1 onion diced
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 can of rotel, mild or original
1 quart chicken broth
3 cups water
Soak peas in cold water overnight. Drain the next day. In a dutch oven or large soup pot, brown smoked sausage in oil over medium high heat for 5 minutes. Add onion and cook for 5 more minutes, Reduce heat to medium and add jalapeno and garlic and cook stirring constantly for 2 minutes. Add soaked peas, rotel with juice, chicken broth and water. Bring to a hard boil. Reduce heat to medium/medium low and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally for 2 hours or until peas are tender. Salt and pepper to taste.
Note: I’m sharing the original recipe which has this soup being cooked on the stove top. I chose to work with my crock pot and tossed everything inside and cooked until the peas were soft.
Since I don’t like onions and I happened to be out of garlic, I exchanged both for onion and garlic powders. The flavor was still wonderful.
The original recipe also had you adding a whole diced jalapeno but since I didn’t use it, I chose not to include it in the ingredients above. But if you enjoy a little extra spice, toss it in!
This goes great with a side of corn bread!
“Promises are more easily made. I’m more interested in seeing them kept.” ~Flirtation Walk by Siri Mitchell
Great words to live by!
The story is, I had leftover chili and wanted to try something different. I remembered seeing spaghetti noodles topped with chili and cheese in various places. Sounded strange…but it was something new to try so I gave it a whirl.
I found it to be an interesting twist to two classic staples. I may make this again sometime. But it’s only getting 7 stars from me. At the end of the day, I prefer my spaghetti topped with tomato sauce and beef and I prefer my chili in a bowl or over a baked potato.
The recipe is as easy as it seems. Cook pasta and serve on plates. Top with warm chili and sprinkle with cheese. 🙂 Easy-peasy!
Show of hands: Who has tried this before? And who is wanting to?
What is your favorite way to eat chili? Frito pie? In a bowl? With crackers? On a baked potato? Or over spaghetti?
“You might spend the next four days working and striving, and it still won’t be good enough…but we can’t give up until it’s over. If we die on this field, we die as fighters, not quitters.” ~ Summer of Dreams by Elizabeth Camden
🙂 Now there’s a pep talk!! You’ll also find this novella for free on Amazon.
Fiction Diner is a new blog series that I’ll be doing this year. I’ve challenged myself to try one new recipe every week for 2017. I’ll post my experience here as well as a random quote from one of the books I’ve read. If you want to hear more about my 52 Week Challenge, check out last month’s post.
Homemade Ice Cream Cake:
This was simple and inspired by a collection of recipes I had viewed on Pinterest. I’m rating it 10 stars. My only complaint is that I’d like to find a way to keep the cookies crunchier like the Dairy Queen version.
2 boxes of ice cream. Any flavors. (I used chocolate and vanilla)
1 pack of Oreo cookies
1 jar of hot fudge
Whip Cream optional
Most of the recipes I found used a spring form pan. I chose to work with a 9×13 that I lined with freezer paper. I taped the freezer paper down so it didn’t slide as I layered my ice cream.
Set out one box of ice cream and let it get soft. Once soft, spread it in the bottom of your pan. Cover with foil and place in the freezer.
You can work with whole Oreos or remove the cream. I chose to remove the cream. Then chop your cookies. The finer the cookie crumbs the softer the cookie layer.
Take the ice cream cake out of the freezer. Layer on the fudge WITHOUT heating it. Then layer on the cookies. Cover and refreeze. Also set out your 2nd box so it can get soft.
Once soft, remove the cake and add the ice cream layer. Cover and refreeze.
If you’re using the whip cream layer, add it on after the cake has had time to harden up some. I didn’t have room for the whip cream layer.
My cake was still fairly soft unlike the DQ version so it didn’t need to sit out for 15 minutes before serving.
“I will always come for you.” ~ The Portrait of Emily Price by Katherine Reay
I think this quote would have to be my all time favorite from 2016. 🙂