Thursday, January 31, 2013

Superbowl Round Up

Superbowl Sunday is in a few days! I have no earthly idea which teams are playing, but I know there will be balls and sweaty men wearing tight uniforms playing catch. Football is not my thing, but eating yummy foods at Superbowl parties is! I've compiled several recipes, both sweet and savory, that I've made over the years that are simple and great for feeding crowds. Here they are in no particular order. 

One-Bowl Brownies- Basic homemade brownies, with or without nuts that come together in s snap.  

Goldfish Bowl Bites- These goldfish crackers are coated in butter and Ranch seasoning. Addicting and great for snacking. 

Cheesy Spinach and Artichoke Dip- Gooey, cheesy and warm form the oven. Tasty with crackers, chips or veggie dippers. 

Soft Pretzels- I could eat these everyday. I love a warm, chewy pretzel. These are versatile and can be made  into a sweet or salty treat. 

Rolo Stuffed Ritz Crackers- Two ingredients. Ready in 10 minutes or less. Sweet and salty- yes, please!

Motherload Cookie Bars- These bars have something for everyone. 4 layers of cookie dough, together in one bar, then drizzled with chocolate. mmm!

Pepperoni Pizza Puffs- These pizza puffs are the most popular recipe on my blog, thanks to Pinterest. Pepperoni not your thing? Use sausage or veggies. 

Cap'n Crunch Peanut Butter Bars-  No bake and fuss free. marshmallows combine with creamy peanut butter to coat crunchy cereal. 

Aunt Nette's Scramble Dogs- My blog friend Jeanette used to make these scramble dogs. It's like a decomposed chili dog with the crunch of oyster crackers, served in a bowl. Messy man food!

Sopaipilla Cheesecake Bars- If you love cinnamon sugar and cheesecake, these are for you! Make them the day before you need them. 

Baked Corn Dog Muffins- I love corn dogs but don't eat them often because they're deep fried and no so healthy. These use cornbread and your favorite wieners and are baked in muffin tins. 

Bruschetta Burgers- Probably one of my favorite burgers ever. The garlicky tomato topping and the pesto mayo make these special. 

Buffalo Chicken Dip- The name says it all. Buffalo chicken flavors in a dip!

Cheesy Ranch BLT Dip- Cheese. Ranch Dressing. Bacon. Spinach. Tomato. On warm crusty bread. I could eat this hot dip as a meal. 

Crockpot BBQ Pulled Pork- Let the crockpot do the work for you! Juicy, spicy shredded pork sandwiches.

Ham and Swiss Sliders- These are fun and simple and both kids and adults like them. Toast them in the oven to melt the cheese and the buttery mustard topping soaks into the bread. Ohhh! 

Chocolate Sybil Cake- Also known as Texas Sheetcake. Chocolate cake, topped with rich chocolate frosting them sprinkled with pecans. Heaven help me. 


Hope you guys eat well this weekend. What are you planning on making?

Saturday, January 26, 2013

An Exciting Announcement

Hi Everyone, 

I've been MIA lately on my blog, but I am baking. I'm baking a lot actually. In December, I signed a contract  with Skyhorse Publishing to write my own cookbook. I am so very grateful for the privilege because I know many people work their butts off for an opportunity like that, and here it was just handed to me. Yes, I have worked hard on this blog to get where I am and I know I am deserving, I just don't want to take this experience for granted. I have a humble heart and I am so appreciative that the people at Skyhorse believe in me and have faith in my abilities as a self taught baker. That being said, I wouldn't be where I am without each and every one of you and all the encouragement and support that comes my way. 

My blog has changed over the years and I went from taking pictures of food at night, with the flash on to using props and daytime lighting and pretty linens. I strive to be better and I try to not only make the food look appealing, but more importantly taste good. I want what I put out on this blog to be achievable and something that you can be proud to serve your friends and family. That is my ultimate goal. With that in mind,  I will do my very best and put all those efforts into the cookbook. I am on a time crunch and I'm baking and photographing about 3 recipes a week. I'm tired y'all and I've only just begun. It's a good tired though and I welcome the challenge. I will try and post as often as I can on Lick The Bowl Good, but please bear with me  as I may be scarce at times. 

I wanted to share with you a few photos today. I baked two pies yesterday- one to be photographed and another to be hacked into pieces, until I found the perfect slice! Some might say, I'm somewhat of a perfectionist. :-) Who wants a piece?!

You have to do this....
...To get to this!

And you get a picture of Hayden, just because I think the look on his face is hilarious! Something tells me he is going to be as opinionated and expressive as his momma. Watch out world! 

~Monica h

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Playing Catch Up With Lots of Random Photos

I was going to share with you my top recipes of 2012 but I haven't gotten my act together and compiled that list yet. Instead I thought I'd share some pictures that I've taken over the last couple months of recipes that I've made, sunsets from my backyard and a few pics of Hayden thrown in for good measure. And a caterpillar- can't forget him! Sound good? Here we go!

I photographed this breakfast casserole for a holiday magazine. This time I made it with ham and cheddar. Looks good enough to eat! One of my favorite casseroles to eat for breakfast, lunch or dinner. 

This boy loves marshmallows and steals them out of the pantry every chance he gets. This particular time, it was for breakfast. Busted!

I made this pecan cheesecake pie for Thanksgiving but never got around to taking any more photos of the completed pie, then it all got eaten and there was nothing to take pictures of. It's a pecan pie with a layer of cheesecake filling in it. It was yummy served cold!

My little man stirring up something delicious. 

I searched high and low for the perfect pumpkin pie recipe. My brother absolutely loves it and every year he buys several pies from a BBQ restaurant here in town. To be honest they're really not that good. They're kind of dry and bland so I made sure to make an extra special pie for him. And you know what? It was delicious and spicy and creamy and tender. One of the best pumpkin pies I've ever eaten, actually. My brother said it was good but immediately followed it up with a criticism. That's pretty typical. Come to find out, he likes cheesecake and pumpkin pie to be hard and dry in texture. That's his personal preference, but if you like smooth and creamy and spicy pumpkin pie with a special ingredient, this pie is for you!

Fuzzy little guy!
I made these for Christmas as plate decorations for the neighbors to go along with their Christmas cupcakes. I also had a few with cocoa. :-) These are so easy to make. Just like your pan with wax, parchment or a Silpat. Put your mini candy canes together to form hearts, fill with melted chocolate and sprinkle with non-pareils. Allow to set up at room temperature and you're done. 


Didn't have time to get family photos done this year, so I took some of Hayden by himself in from of the tree to use on our Christmas card. He's a pretty handsome guy, if I say so myself!

Here we are Christmas morning, before opening gifts. I set the time on the DSLR and kept running back and forth to make sure the lighting and composition were set up correctly. About 50 pictures and a not-so-amused-husband later, I realized I didn't even bother to brush my hair. Oh well. Merry Christmas!

And lastly, my Aunt Mary's Sugar Cookies. Made with powdered sugar instead of granulated so they're extra tender. These really aren't the kind you top with icing, but they're still fun to decorate with colored sugar and sprinkles. I make these every year with different cookie cutters. 

Hope you enjoyed my catch up post. Have a great rest of the week!


Thursday, January 10, 2013

Souper Woman

Happy New Year! Yes, I'm a little late, with that greeting, but I've been on (a self awarded) winter break, lounging in my pajamas, hanging out with family and playing with my son. I haven't picked up my camera since Christmas except to snap a few photos of the sunset or Hayden and it's been quite nice. I'm ready to get back in the kitchen though and start playing with sugar and flour again-- so many recipes, so little time. 

I came up with this recipe awhile back and I've made it several times. My hubs is not a soup lover so we don't eat much of it, but he actually requests this one often. Sometimes, he doesn't even say anything, he just jots down the ingredients on our grocery list and I know he's having a craving. My 17 year old brother even liked it so much, he ate 2 1/2 bowls of it and kindly requested I write the recipe down for him (on his iPhone) so he could replicate it. If that's not a sign of a good recipe, I don't know what it. Of course, he had my mom make it and was no where to be found when she was in the kitchen, but he had the best of intentions :-).  There are few ingredients in this soup, but it's so flavorful. Served with crusty bread, this is a hearty, but healthy meal. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do. 

Sausage, Spinach and Tortellini Soup from Monica h

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  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • pinch of red pepper flakes, optional
  • 1 pound Italian sausage
  • 14.5 ounces diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 10 ounces frozen spinach, thawed and drained
  • 32 ounces chicken broth
  • 4 cups water
  • 9 ounces fresh Buitoni cheese tortellini
  • kosher salt to taste
In a heavy bottomed pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and red pepper flakes until fragrant. Add the sausage to the pot, breaking it up into crumbles; cook thoroughly. 

Add the diced tomatoes, spinach, chicken broth and water. Simmer over low heat for 30 minutes. 

Bring the mixture to a boil then add the fresh pasta. Cook according to package directions (5-10 minutes) or until pasta is tender. Season with salt to taste. Serve. 

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