The Food Nanny
I’m speaking at the ultimate money-saving conference in January, MECCA: Making Every Cent Come Alive. This full-day conference is the fun way to learn all the tricks to simple budgeting & family finance, finding good deals on anything from beauty, fashion, DIY, travel, shopping, cooking, grocery shopping, meal planning, and more! Right now they are having a flash sale on tickets for 3 days only. Seats are limited so hurry to www.MeccaConference.com and use the code BLONDYSKITCHEN to get $13 off until 10/24! Hope to see you there! (Pssst…have no fear, the conference will be offered online for you out-of-towners so stay tuned for info by following @MeccaConference)
Banana Macadamia Nut Pancakes With Coconut Syrup
Serves 6 to 8
Time: 15 minutes
3 cups flour
½ cup sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup macadamia nuts, chopped
3¼ cups buttermilk
½ cup butter, melted
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 bananas, chopped
Oil for the griddle
1 13.5 oz. can coconut milk
1½ Tablespoons cornstarch
2 cups light corn syrup
½ cup sugar
½ cup shredded coconut
1. In a small bowl mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nuts together. Set aside.
2. In another small bowl whisk together the buttermilk, melted butter, eggs and vanilla. Add this to the dry ingredients. Mix until combined.
3. Stir in the chopped bananas.
4. Wipe the griddle or frying pan with a little oil and fry on a hot griddle about 360°. Turn the pancake when you see the little bubbles come up and start to break. Pancakes should be golden brown.
In a medium size saucepan, whisk coconut milk and cornstarch together. Add other ingredients. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. Store in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks.
Serve with: Serve with butter and coconut syrup.
These are the best pancakes ever!! They take me right to Hawaii when we visit and eat these for breakfast at our favorite place. These pancakes and syrup are better than any that I have had on the Islands. There is nothing like Coconut Syrup… These are yummy!!! Enjoy!
Thanks, Rachel, for the recipe. xo
After School Snacks
When our kids come home from school they are wanting a snack as soon as they walk through the door. You want to feed them something, but still keep them hungry for dinner! These are some of the foods we have found that work for our families. Of course small portions are always key too! A platter of Veggies, your kids might not normally want that as they their first choice in a snack, but if you leave them out on the counter you will be surprised how they keep coming back for more. A plate of fruit… with cubes of cheese and crackers! Switch it up sometimes give them a cup of hot chocolate or some home made cookies out of the oven! Keep it balanced! For more after school snack tips, refer to The Food Nanny Rescues Dinner Page # 272
The Food Nanny
Warm Pita Mushroom Melt
Time: 15 minutes
Plan Ahead: Make the dressing ahead of time. Slice the mushrooms, grate the cheese.
2 7-inch rounds of Pita bread
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 teaspoons unsalted butter
2 cups sliced (¼ inch) white mushrooms
⅔ cup mozzarella cheese, grated
½ to 1 Tablespoon Italian dressing (store bought)
1. In a medium size frying pan over low heat, sauté the mushrooms in the olive oil and butter about 3 min. Salt lightly. Add the mozzarella cheese just until it melts. Set aside.
2. Warm each Pita in a small frying pan over medium heat about 2 min. per side with a few drops of olive oil. Cover. Turn so both sides are warm. Divide the mushrooms and cheese between the 2 Pitas.
3. Pour ½ to 1 Tablespoon of the dressing on to each mushroom melt. Fold over. Serve immediately.
Serve with: Chips of choice. Basic Salad on page 258, Strawberry Days Salad on page 267 or Couscous Salad on page 269.
Variation: Use my French Baguette on page 242 for this sandwich.
This is one of my all time favorite sandwiches. It is easy and so delicious. Low in calorie and tasty! Great for Vegetarians. Eat this on Wednesday for a nice easy meal, or serve it for lunch to your friends. xo
Cake Platter: Horchow | Pumpkin: Crate and Barrel | Cups: Anthropologie | Plates: Pottery Barn, no longer available (similar style) | Napkins: West Elm | Glass Skull: Z Gallery | Almond Cake: The Food Nanny Rescues Dinner Again, page number 299.
We are big entertainers, we always have friends or family over. It’s something we love to do!! Right now it’s starting to feel like fall with the leaves and the weather changing. So we thought it would be fun to host a little “Fall Party” to start the season off with a bang! We love the cooler weather for cozier atmospheres. Make your party less formal and more inviting by just gathering around your coffee table or ottoman. You don’t always need to be sitting at your dining table or throwing a fancy party to invite people over. Be spontaneous and invite some friends or neighbors over and share a treat with them. One of our favorites at this time of year is our mom’s yummy Almond Cake! Trust us you’re going to love it!!
Lizi & Emaly
The Wedge With Homemade Blue Cheese Dressing
1 head Iceberg lettuce core removed, rinsed and drained. Wrap in plastic and chill until ready to use.
1/2 cup Blue Cheese crumbles
4-5 Tablespoons buttermilk
2 1/2 Tablespoons mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons sour cream
1/2 teaspoon white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Fresh ground black pepper
1/4 lb. bacon, cooked and diced (optional)
3 hard boiled eggs, chopped (optional)
1. On a small plate mash the blue cheese crumbles and buttermilk together with a fork. Place the blue cheese mixture in a small bowl and add mayonnaise, sour cream, vinegar, sugar, garlic powder, salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste. Mix with the fork until smooth. Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
2. Cook the bacon, drain and dice. Set aside. Boil the eggs, peel and dice. Set aside.
3. Cut the lettuce in half. Then half again. You will have 4 quarters. Cut the quarters in half. You will have 8 wedges. If you are making a meal out of this salad you will want to give each person 2 wedges. Place the wedge on a plate and spoon the blue cheese dressing generously over top. If desired, sprinkle on diced bacon and egg. Add more ground black pepper to taste. Serve immediately.
Serve with: Liz’s Crescent Dinner Rolls page 249. French Baguettes page 242, Peasant White Bread page 237 or Beer Bread on page 247. Serve this salad along side veggies, chicken, beef or lamb.
Variation: If I am making this salad as a main meal, I add the bacon and egg. You may need to double the dressing as well. If I am serving it as a side dish I usually serve this salad without the bacon and egg.
“When I am feeling like Blue Cheese I go straight to this salad. I was raised on Homemade Blue Cheese Dressing, even before Ranch dressing was a common household name. Dad and Mom used to take us girls to a special restaurant called “Freddie’s” just to order their Blue Cheese Salad in the 1950’s and 60’s. This salad was memorable then and still is. I love it.”
Blondy’s Essential Platter
Our mom ( The Food Nanny) has had a platter like this out on her counter by the oven for years!! Now we have all taken that amazing tip into our homes. It not only makes your kitchen counter look cute.. but is so functional!! We love to put on our platter what we use most while cooking!!! I promise something so simply like this will change your lives!!!!!
We started making these Grilled PB&Js when we were little kids! These are great on a lazy Sunday afternoon!! Have you ever tried one of these?? Trust us, THIS WILL BE YOUR FAMILY’S NEW FAVORITE!
1. Spread one piece of bread with peanut butter. Spread on the jelly or jam of choice. Top with the other piece.
2. To grill, butter the outside of each bread slice. Place the sandwich on griddle or frying pan on stove over medium heat. Grill both sides until the PB is melted and the bread is just barely golden brown. Serve immediately.
Serve with : Milk and chips of choice.
Variation : Use any kind of jelly or jam. Try using almond butter too!
America’s Best Sugar Cookies
1½ cups (3 sticks) salted butter softened at room temperature, not in the microwave
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons baking powder
5 cups all-purpose flour
Powdered sugar for dusting the counter and rolling pin
Cream Cheese Frosting:
½ cup (1 stick) salted butter softened at room temperature
8 oz. cream cheese softened at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4-5 cups powdered sugar
1. With a hand mixer on low, cream the softened butter and sugar together until it is smooth
and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time to the butter mixture still beating on low speed.
Add vanilla. Gradually add the flour and baking powder. Make sure that all the flour is mixed
into the dough.
2. Gather the dough together and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill the dough for 1-2 hours to stiffen
up the dough. (Very important step.) When the dough has been chilled for the allotted
time, preheat your oven to 400°.
3. Divide the dough into thirds. Generously sprinkle powdered sugar (not flour) onto a
clean counter top and begin rolling the dough with a rolling pin. Roll one third at a time.
Make sure to add some powdered sugar to your rolling pin and to the top of the dough
to prevent it from sticking. (Keep adding a little powdered sugar as needed throughout this
4. Roll the dough to ½ inch thick. Use cookie cutters to cut out desired shapes and set them
on an ungreased cookie sheet. Make sure there is at least 1 inch between each cookie.
5. Position the rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat oven to 400°. Bake for 6 to 8 min.
depending on the size of your cookies. If you have extra large cookies they will need
to cook for 8 min. DO NOT over bake. They may not look done, but they are.
Let them cool a bit before removing them from the pan.
6. Chill in the refrigerator before frosting or serving. This helps the cookies to be moist and
Cream Cheese Frosting
7. In a small bowl with an electric hand-held mixer, mix butter and cream cheese until soft. Add
vanilla. Beat until light and fluffy. Add powder sugar, one cup at a time. (I use 4½ cups.) Beat until
smooth. Add your favorite food coloring if desired.
Blondy’s Strawberry Pie
1 cooled 9 inch pie crust
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup + 1 T. corn starch
Add 2 cups cold water
1/2 cup white corn syrup
Bring all to a boil, turn the heat down and simmer for 10-15 min.
Add 3 oz. strawberry jello. Stir. Cool.
Pile the strawberries in the cooled pie crust.
Pour the strawberry sauce over the berries. Place uncovered in the fridge
and let set up for a couple of hours.
Serve with whip cream…
4 Tablespoons sweetened condensed milk
¾ cup sugar
1 cup water
3 cups ice
Garnish with a slice of lime or a sprig of fresh mint In a blender mix the juice, milk, sugar and water until well blended.
Blend in the ice on medium speed. Serve in small cups or glasses as desired.
Great with any Italian dish! Great for dessert or on a summer day.
2 Tablespoons butter
3¾ cups zucchini squash, peeled and cubed
3 cups chicken broth
⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
⅛ teaspoon salt
Dash cayenne pepper
½ cup Half and Half
½ cup cheddar cheese, grated
1. Clean, chop and cook onion in butter until soft and transparent but not browned.
2. Wash, peel and cube zucchini into about 2 inch pieces. Combine onion, zucchini and chicken broth in large saucepan.
Bring to boil, simmer 15 min. or until squash is tender. Add seasonings.
3. Using a blender or an immersion blender, puree mixture until smooth. Return to saucepan if using a blender.
Add Half and Half and adjust seasoning to taste. Reheat but do not boil.
4. Serve hot, garnished with grated cheddar cheese. Serve with: fresh tomatoes with olive oil and capers.
Variations: Pepper Jack Cheese or Colby Jack Cheese to garnish.
Upholstery in Kitchen
We love upholstery in the kitchen!! The kitchen is where we spend most of our time in a day! A great way to make a kitchen cozier and inviting is to have an upholstered furniture piece. Even if you have a small space, putting a little chair or a small bench…..whatever fits your space and style! You will be surprised how often you and others will use it. I promise it will become one of your favorite spots in your house!! XO
Bake the hamburger buns ahead of time
Cook bacon ahead of time.
1 pound hamburger, 80/15 mix, to make 12 slider-size 2-inch round hamburger patties
Fresh ground black pepper
3 slices bacon
2 Tablespoons real maple syrup
1½ Tablespoons brown sugar
¼ cup mayonnaise
1 heaping Tablespoon chili sauce
4 teaspoons sweet BBQ sauce
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon sweet pickle juice
12 Slider Buns, 2½ inches round. (Hamburger bun recipe Half/Wheat, Half /White page 253)
½ cup Colby or Jack Cheese, grated
¼ cup arugula (optional)
1. Form the sliders into 2 inch patties. Season both sides generously with coarse salt and fresh ground black pepper.
2. Preheat the oven to 425°. Place the bacon on a small baking sheet and bake for 10 min. Drizzle the bacon with maple syrup and sprinkle with brown sugar. Bake 10 min. more. Remove the bacon to paper towels to soak up the extra grease.
3. Make the sauce: In a small bowl put the mayonnaise, chili sauce, sweet BBQ sauce, Worcestershire and sweet pickle juice. Mix. Set aside.
4. When the bacon is cool, stack them and cut into 4 equal pieces. You will have 12 small pieces of bacon. Set aside.
5. Turn the oven to broil. Place patties on a broiler pan or in a black iron skillet. Broil the sliders on the middle oven rack for 5 min., turn and place a piece of bacon on top, a teaspoon of grated cheese on top of the bacon. Broil until cooked through about another 4 min. Remove.
6. Cut the slider buns almost all the way through. Lay out on a baking sheet. Quickly run the buns under the broiler and toast until light brown.
7. Put a dab of sauce on the bottom bun and then a hamburger patty. Top with a piece of arugula and serve immediately. Serve with: Potato Chips; Warm Orzo Salad with Chicken page 259, Spinach Salad page 265. Variations: Grill the Sliders instead of broiling. Instead of making your own buns use my French Baguette page 242. Cut 2-inch rounds, 1 inch thick. Use Blue Cheese dressing on page 264 in place of the hamburger sauce or just sprinkle on dry blue cheese. Add chopped sautéed mushrooms and Gruyere cheese. Sauté some mushrooms, add a little Gruyere cheese to the mushrooms until it melts and spoon a little on each Slider. Add Grilled Onions to the Slider: Melt 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add very thin slices of 1 red onion or 1 yellow onion. Cook slowly 15 to 20 min. stirring occasionally until the onions are caramelized. Sprinkle with coarse salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste. Mini Sliders for a party: Cut the hamburger bun dough 1½ inches round. Make the hamburger 1 inch round.