Category: Recipes

Bittersweet Walnut Grove Review and Giveaway

Food Recipes

Bittersweet Walnut Grove Review and Giveaway

Winter Thyme

Meet the Authors

“Growing up, we were always at the end of mom’s apron looking to see what she was whipping up next. Mom was never afraid to let us experience creativity. Our projects began with fabric scraps and leftover pie crust. From simple beginnings to ballet slippers, tap shoes, balance beams, batons, french horn., paint brushes and basketball to sewing machines and cameras. Kristy and Tiffany now share their projects and passions across the globe.  Mom is with us every step of the way sharing advice and encouragement. For us publishing Bittersweet Walnut Grove is not as important as the experience we hope to share with you.” The sisters over at Bittersweet Walnut Grove have created a cookbook series reflecting the seasons and life on the farm. Part of the book’s description says “Cranberries, cinnamon, vanilla, peppermint and nutmeg……bring the flavors of winter onto the table with Bittersweet Walnut Grove’s Winter Thyme.” I do believe this book takes you to the farm on a chilly winter’s day and wraps you in like talking to a good friend.

What I love.

I had the opportunity to review Bittersweet Walnut Grove’s Winter Thyme Cookbook. I loved the feel of this book from the moment I looked at the cover. It looks inviting and full of some homecookin’. I am a sucker for comfort food. I cook simple yet delicious recipes at home and am always on the hunt for more. This cookbook says comfort from cover to cover. This isn’t only a cookbook it is also filled with crafts and stories. The stories the sisters share are very inviting and rich with life on the farm. Throughout the whole cookbook you will feel like you are talking to family and swapping recipes around the table. I love the little added tips they call “Sister Secrets” these just add an extra little touch to each page. The crafts are very simple to make. You can make most with things you already have lying around your house. The added extras in the back of the book were a nice surprise. You can cut these out and attach them to mason jars to attach to the gifts you have made from the book. The easy to read layout makes it perfect for navigating from page to page. Large, clear font makes it easy to stay with the recipe while cooking and the pictures are just mouth-watering. Each recipe has a Gluten Free option. This is so great so you don’t have to try to make your own adjustments, it is already provided for you.

What I didn’t love

This book is sold for $25.00 UPDATE* (You can purchase the autographed book which includes shipping or you can purchase a copy for $19.00) and is 71 pages +6 front and back pages of added craft and gift tag extras. In those 71 pages there are 20 recipes and 10 craft projects and gift ideas. Although I loved each one printed I would have liked to have seen more recipes throughout the book for the price.  The only other thing I would change would be that some of the craft and gift tags were not front and back so you didn’t have to choose on which one to use. Update* (You can photocopy or print these printables from Bitter Sweet Walnut Grove.)

Overall

This was a great cookbook with recipes and crafts for all levels. Nothing was too difficult for the novice home cook and everything was delicious enough for the more seasoned chef. I loved the pictures, stories and tips presented and I think the Sisters did a wonderful job putting this cookbook together. If I could change anything it would be the $25.00 price tag. If you enjoy a cookbook that will take you to the farm with good stories, recipes and crafts this is a great choice.  

Click here to download your FREE  Measuring Match Up Printable

Enter our giveaway

Want to win your own copy? Enter the giveaway  here a Rafflecopter giveaway   Giveaway ends January 28th at 11:59pm Purchase  Bittersweet Walnut Grove Winter Thyme For more recipes and inspiration follow Bittersweet Walnut Grove on Pinterest Like Bittersweet Walnut Grove on Facebook I received this cookbook from Bittersweet Walnut Grove in exchange for writing my honest review. Please refer to Disclosure Page.

 

Meatloaf

Meatloaf

I have tried many plates of meatloaf in my life. Most had their strong notes but many of them were lacking that PIZZAZ. Meatloaf can totally have pizzaz right? Well, if any recipe can have it is this one can. MMM MMM delicious guys. Seriously it just hits every note of a good moist meatloaf. My kids eat seconds and thirds of this stuff. Can I get an amen?

Some how pictures got away from me this morning. Could it be because I had 2 kids doing school and 1 trying to undo school? All 3 kids whining about…..well I can not even tell you what crises they were going through but they were apparently thought to be life altering. Although I do not think the red crayon breaking will have much weight on the future of humanity. I will add what little pictures I got to help you along. Enjoy!

Start by chopping up an onion and bell pepper. Add them to a sauté pan with olive oil and cook over medium heat. Do not skip this, the soft veggies make this over the top good.

Next beat 2 eggs together in a large bowl. Then add the ground meat, chicken broth, bell pepper, onion, sleeve of crackers, ketchup, salt, pepper and garlic powder. I really like to use the chicken broth (or beef broth) to add flavor. The 2 eggs will give you the binding you need to keep this together. After you get all of it in the bowl, mix together. You can use your hands or a Mix-N-Chop. I personally do not like the feel of meatloaf all up in between my fingers so I cheat a little with a mix-n-chop tool.

 

this crazy mess will turn into mouthwatering flavor

After you have mixed it all up. Put in ungreased casserole dish. If your kids see it they will probably ask “How something so disgusting looking will come out soo yummy” I don’t know children, its pure homecookin’ magic.

When you get it all spread out its time to make the sauce topping. Let me tell you this is the special touch. Ohhh man, my mouth is watering just thinking of it now. Mix together the tomato sauce, apricot preserve, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce and apple cider vinegar.

oh the goodness

 

Spread all over your meat mixture in your casserole dish. What is a meatloaf without bacon? I mean honestly we need all the bacon. So just spread as many of those strips on top as you can fit.

Bacon, Load it up please!

 

If you are making this ahead, now is the time to slap some foil over it, stick in the fridge and run out to get your errands done. I made this in morning, came home a few hours later and it was ready to pop in the oven. Actually my sweet hubby put it in the oven for me for me since I was running behind. (heart eyes) I like to leave this for Keith to pop in the oven for him and the kids when I will be gone and don’t want them eating applesauce all day.

So when you are ready put it in the oven and get ready for the longest 1.5 hours of your life waiting for this to be done! It makes the whole house smell like straight up comfort. Serve up with some Easy Crockpot Mashed Potatoes (recipe for mashed potatoes coming next week) SOOOOO good!

This was inspired by a recipe I stumbled upon on Pinterest. You can check it out here.

 

Print Recipe
MM MM Meatloaf
Best meatloaf ever!
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 min
Cook Time 350 1 hour
Passive Time 15 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Meatloaf
Sauce Topping
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 min
Cook Time 350 1 hour
Passive Time 15 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Meatloaf
Sauce Topping
Instructions
  1. Finely chop onions and bell peppers. Sauté in olive oil over medium heat.
  2. In a large bowl beat 2 eggs. Add ground meat, chicken broth, bell pepper, onion, sleeve of crackers, ketchup, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Mix together. Use your hands or my preferred method of the Mix-N-Chop. Do not over mix
  3. Put in 13x9 casserole pan.
  4. Top with sauce mixture. Lay bacon strips on top
  5. Cook on 350 degrees for 40 min. Remove from oven and drain off grease. Return to oven for 15-20 more minutes until cooked through. Remove from oven and drain excess grease.
  6. Let rest 15-20 minutes before serving.
Sauce Topping
  1. In separate bowl mix together tomato sauce, apricot preserve, Worcestershire, brown sugar and apple cider vinegar together
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Perfectly Loaded Potato Soup

Food Recipes

Perfectly Loaded Potato Soup

Friday is food day! We are starting our recipes out with one of my favorite comfort foods. Perfectly Loaded Potato Soup. MMMM. MMMM.  Who doesn’t love a good creamy potato soup? It always hits the spot if you ask me, add some crispy bacon on top and all the cheese…..I may be hitting up some leftovers for breakfast! This recipe is so simple and turns out so delicious you will want to eat two bowls full, and you probably will!

Perfectly Loaded Potato Soup

Guys, really I love this stuff! You can make it on a busy weeknight or a laid back weekend. It doesn’t matter when, it will hit the comfort spot!

This is all the ingredients minus salt, pepper and garlic.

 

Start by peeling and cutting 5lbs of Russet Potatoes. Cut them into smaller cubes for a faster cook time. Then dice the onion. Usually I would have some bacon frying but since I used my last package for breakfast this morning we were fresh out so we are using bacon pieces. If you fry your bacon keep some of that yummy grease and brown up the diced onion. If you don’t have or want to use the bacon grease use butter for browning.

Possibly in the middle of dicing a crisis may arise, such as a child with a bloody nose. You may have to explain that when you choose to horseplay you are open to getting a busted nose. You may look around and wonder if you just entered an episode of Dexter, OMG how is there so much blood spatter from one little 7 year old nose? Clean up, calm everyone down, wash your hands and  return to your peaceful place of cooking. This probably won’t happen to you but just in case you will be prepared.

Throw the potatoes into the pot and your chicken stock until it just covers the potatoes. Add salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste. Cover and let boil until potatoes are soft and mushy. Do the happy dance while you wait or in all reality say 1000 times that dinner is almost ready and get out of the fridge for about 15-20 minutes.

Drain a little of the chicken broth, now it is time for the good stuff. Add about 1/4 cup milk, the cream cheese, butter, and sour cream.  You can also substitute the sour cream with plain Greek yogurt. Use a potato masher or submersion blender to get all this blended together and creamy. You can add some flour to thicken it up if you would like. This is the perfect texture for our family so I don’t thicken it any. Put this delicious goodness in your favorite/largest bowl, top with cheese, bacon and green onions and MMMM MMMM eat up!! Let me know when you try it.

Let’s be real, can you even wait to eat this??

 


Perfectly Loaded Potato Soup

Ingredients

5lbs Russet Potatoes

1 small onion

Bacon

Chicken Broth

8oz  Cream Cheese

1.5 sticks butter

1/4 cups Sour Cream or Greek Yogurt

1/4 cup milk

salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste

Top with 

Bacon Bits

Cheddar Cheese

Green Onions

Instructions

  1. Cut bacon into pieces and cook in soup pot until crispy. Remove the bacon pieces leaving the fat. (If you do not want to use bacon add butter to pot.) Add onions to the pot to brown. Add cubed potatoes to pot and cover with chicken broth. Add salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste. Cover and boil for 15-20 minutes until potatoes are mushy.
  2. Drain a little of the chicken broth. Add the milk, cream cheese, butter, and sour cream.  (You can also substitute the sour cream with plain Greek yogurt.)
  3. Use a potato masher or submersion blender to get about half of the soup blended together and creamy, leaving a few small chunks of potato You can add some flour to thicken it up if you would like.
  4. Top with cheese, bacon bits and diced green onions and enjoy!