Monday, February 28, 2011

big cedar

Spencer and I decided in an effort to save money that we would take a few weekend vacations to places close by this year.  We have been to Big Cedar several times and never tire of the place and the boys love it as much as we do.

They offer a lot of outdoor activities like swimming, boating, fishing, horse back-riding, hiking etc...because of the cold weather we swam in the indoor pool and played games and watched movies.  Which was perfect!

For lunch we went to Devil's Pool Restaurant.  Isn't it funny how after you have kids your expectations change?  The things that I liked best about the Restaurant were the speedy service,  the waitress brought kids cups with lids and she talked to the boys as well as us. :)

Devil's Pool is decorated to look like an old rustic lodge much like the rest of Big Cedar.  We sat by a big fire place and had a view of the Ozark Mountains and Table Rock Lake.

We started with a big bread bowl that had cheese biscuits, corn muffins, and multi-seed crackers. Yum!  We also ordered the fried green tomatoes with Parmesan garlic aioli.

I ordered a salad with grilled salmon and Spencer got the wild mushroom pasta, both of which we so good that we forgot to take a picture!

We are already talking about when we can go back!  As much as I love my boys I'm ready for an adult weekend out...maybe in April or May. :)

Question of the Day:

Where is your favorite place to vacation?  Do you like to take small weekend trips?  Do you vacation without the kids?


Sunday, February 27, 2011

cookbook giveaway winner

We spent a lovely, long weekend at Big Cedar.  Just the four of us and it was the perfect getaway.  An extra bonus was we came back home to a clean house because I had the forethought to tidy everything up before we left. :)

So today was just a few extra loads of laundry and that's it.

The boys are close enough in age to play well with each other.  And just different enough in temperament to not want the same toys, or games or food.  It's a sweet age.  And pretty much a sweet life.  We count our blessings.

I will share more tomorrow about our trip.  But for now I wanted to find out who won the cookbook from our giveaway.  So I yelled to Spencer in another room "give me a number between 1-12"  his answer was 7.  That's pretty random, right?

#7  Manni won with her comment:  wow Amelia!! This looks so good and its vegetarian!!woohoo! Thanks for sharing, I'm going to look into the book:)

Congratulations Manni! You are going to love this cookbook.  I will email you soon to get your shipping information.


Friday, February 25, 2011

a guest brings chocolate molten cakes

I have a special treat for you all today :) It is my pleasure to introduce you to one of my bloggy friends Lisa!

Hi there!  I’m Lisa from Shine Your Light and I’m so happy to be visiting Savory and Sweet today!
Amelia has become a wonderful friend to me through blogging and I never cease to be inspired by her delicious recipes.

Thanks so much for having me over, Amelia!

I’d like to share with you one of my husband’s all-time favorite desserts:  chocolate molten cakes.  The center of these cakes is pudding-like, rich and dreamy.  This surprisingly easy recipe came to me many years ago from a friend who was in culinary school at the time and since then I’ve made these little cakelets countless times for my family of five or when having friends over for dinner.  The cakes are easy to prepare, can be made a day in advance, and absolutely wow the recipients.  If you don’t have individual ramekins, you can also use an 8x8 baking pan and increase baking time to 25-30 minutes.  I half or quarter this recipe frequently as needed.

I hope you enjoy them!

Individual Chocolate Molten Cakes


12 oz. semisweet chocolate
8 oz. (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 cup white granulated sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
6 whole eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter and sugar 12 (4 oz.) ramekins.

Slice butter, combine with chocolate chips and microwave on 30 second intervals until butter is melted.  Set aside until chocolate has melted and stir to combine.
Whip together eggs and sugar on medium-high speed until light, fluffy and triple in volume.  If you don’t have a mixer you can do this by hand with a whisk and get a great upper-body workout at the same time!
Add flour and fold in gently by hand or with mixer on slow, then fold in chocolate mixture.
Fill prepared ramekins 3/4 full.  (May be prepared in advanced and chilled until ready to use.)

Place ramekins on baking sheet and set in center of oven.

Bake 15 minutes or until set on top.  Do not over bake or the result will be a brownie-like cake instead of a pudding center.

Let cool slightly.  Run a knife along the sides of the ramekins to loosen the cakes.  Use a dishtowel to handle.  Place individual serving plate on top of ramekin and invert.

Garnish with fresh berries and powdered sugar, or add a dollop of fresh whipped cream or vanilla ice cream if desired. 
Serve warm.  Prepare yourself for gushing love and adoration from family and friends!

That’s it – you are a rock star in the kitchen!

Thanks again for having me, Amelia!
I hope you all have a wonderful day; it’s been so nice to meet you over here at Savory and Sweet!


Thanks so much Lisa!  I want everyone to go on over to Shine Your Light and say hello.

Have you entered the Giveaway yet?  It ends Sunday night!


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sweet Potato Gnocchi

Ever since Giada made this for her Thanksgiving day line up I have been thinking about it.

You know how some ideas grab you and won't let go?

This was one for me.

Spencer gets to come home for lunch almost every day. We live in a very small town and our house is practically across the street from work.

Living in a small town does have perks. It has drawn-backs too but I try not to dwell on those for the sake of my sanity. :)

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with a Maple Brown Butter Sauce

It was just as good as I imagined it would be and surprisingly easy to make. The brown butter sauce with sage and maple syrup just took it to the next level.

Definitely something that I could make for a dinner party.

If you want the recipe go here.

We are getting ready to leave on a much needed family vacation. I am so excited to be getting away for awhile!

I will have a guest post scheduled for later this week and I will be back next Monday with some new recipes that I have been working on.

Enjoy the rest of your week and have a great weekend. :)


Sweet Potato Gnocchi

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


I added a new page to Savory and Sweet!

Be featured

My friend Lisa gave me the idea.

Anyone interested?


Banana Nut Bread

My two favorite things for breakfast are oatmeal and granola but occasionally I like to have a special treat.

Look what I had for breakfast!

I made it the night before. Baking and I are not friends early in the morning. In fact, most mornings see me staggering into the kitchen and groping blindly for the coffee pot. Coherent speech optional. :)

This turned out really well. Moist and delicious, with a satisfying crunch from the nuts and a hint of chocolate.

Banana Nut Bread with Dark Chocolate

2 ripe bananas
1/3 c. butter softened
3/4 c. sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1.5 c. flour
1/4 c. chopped walnuts
1/8 c. chopped dark chocolate

cream together bananas, butter and sugar. Then add egg, vanilla, cinnamon, and baking soda. Stir until well combined. Slowly sift in flour. Then add walnuts and chocolate and pour into greased 9x5 pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 60 minutes.

Enjoy with scrambled eggs, fresh fruit and a nice strong cup of black coffee.

Have you entered our Giveaway yet?


linky party

Sunday, February 20, 2011

tapenade with red wine

My wife came up with an idea for date night. She wanted to cook a spaghetti squash and top it with tapenade. I myself love tapenade and have made it several times, so she asked me if I would make the tapenade for her.

Tapenade is traditionally and olive based dish with capers, anchovies, and olive oil. I am a big fan of capers but not such a big fan of anchovies. I usually substitute portobello mushrooms for the fish. Though this night we were out of shrums so I used a bit of chopped roasted red pepper. Tapenade is also traditionally finely chopped or pureed, but I like mine chunky.

Spencer's Chunky Tapenade with Red Wine

2/3-1 cup coarsely chopped olives (I combined Italian, black, and green olives)
2 tbsp capers (I don't chop them, but you could)
1/4 cup chopped roasted red pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
1/3 cup red wine
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp cavenders greek seasoning
1 tsp onion powder
black pepper to taste (no salt in this, the olives and capers got you covered)
1 tbsp goat cheese (optional)

Heat a skillet to medium heat and add olive oil. Then add in the olives and red pepper, allow to cook in the oil for 2 minutes. Then add the capers with just a bit of the juice for flavor. Follow this with the wine and cook until the wine is reduced (roughly 7-10 minutes). Place on warm spaghetti squash, top with goat cheese and dig in. Tapenade is also great with crackers or pita bread, or really anything you can come up with!


Have you entered our Giveaway yet?


linky party

Saturday, February 19, 2011

tomato and portobello torte + a giveaway!!

We just had a big chili cook-off fundraiser for our school. Since I am on the fundraising committee I have been working like mad on it for about 4 months.

As you might guess it is stressful and a major time commitment. But the money that is raised goes directly to the school to help pay our wonderful teachers.

When you look at it that way, it is definitely worth the sacrifice. :)

Today I am free.

The chili cook-off is over, the boys are with their grandparents and Spencer is at work!

We just ordered several books from and one of the books is The Balanced Plate by Renee Loux.

When you open packages from the mail doesn't it feel like Christmas Morning? :)

There are many delicious sounding recipes in the book, the first one I tried was this:

Tomato and Portobello Torte
with some adaption by me

3 Tbs. olive oil
1 medium sweet onion
2 tsp. aged balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. honey
4 c. chopped baby bello mushrooms
1 tsp worcestershire sauce
2 Tbs. red wine
1 sheet puff pastry
1 tsp. dried oregano or 1 Tbs. fresh oregano
3 tomatoes, sliced 1/4" thick
salt and pepper to taste
fresh basil

Saute onion in olive oil until tender 3 to 4 minutes then add the balsamic vinegar and honey and continue to cook for a few minutes. Add the chopped mushrooms, worcestershire sauce, and red wine. Cook until all veggies are soft and aromatic.

Meanwhile, rub olive oil on 9 inch pie pan and lay one sheet of your puff pastry into the pan tucking into the corners.

When mushroom mixture is done pour out onto puff pastry shell and sprinkle with oregano, salt and pepper. Layer the tomatoes on top. Tuck any excess pastry onto tomatoes or onto itself whichever you prefer. Bake covered at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, uncover and bake for 20 minutes more.

When it comes out of the oven sprinkle with freshly chopped basil. I also added a dollop of goat cheese. :)


We accidentally ordered two of the cookbooks. So I'm going to give one away in celebration of 1. the conclusion of the chili cook-off, and 2. a free, lazy day at home.

(How To Enter)

Mandatory: you have to leave me a comment about why you want to win, or what your favorite cookbook is, or if you like to get packages in the mail.

(Extra Entries)

One extra entry if you follow my blog and for every way you share about the giveaway. You can blog about it, facebook it or tweet it. Then come back and let me know. Leave a comment each time you do something. :)  The giveaway is closed!!

Giveaway ends February 27 at 8:00 pm central time.

Good Luck.


Thursday, February 17, 2011

almond butter chocolate crispies

I was browsing through food and fitness blogs the other day. I love all of the creativity and inspiration that you can get from people that you don't even know. :)

One of my favorites is oh, she glows. She makes amazingly delicious vegan fare, she is a runner (which is inspiring for this wanna be runner), and she has an online bakery.

She created the treat that you see above. I only made a few alterations to it and mainly because I didn't have all the ingredients on hand.

Here is my version.

Almond Butter Chocolate Crispies

1/2 c. crunchy almond butter

1/2 c. rice syrup

2 tsp. vanilla

1/4 c. almond milk

1/2 c. sifted cocoa powder (I used Hershey's Special Dark)

1/2 c. chocolate chips

In a medium sauce-pan combine first 4 ingredients, stir until melted then add the sifted cocoa powder and salt and stir a few more times. At this point you will add the rice crispies and chocolate chips stir until rice crispies are evenly coated (I like to use a wooden spoon for things like this).

Pour mixture out onto a 8 inch square parchment lined glass dish and press down into pan. Then stick in freezer for a least 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the almond butter coconut fudge topping.

Almond Butter Coconut Fudge Topping:

1/2 c. chocolate chips

1 tsp. coconut oil

1 c. almond butter

1/3 c. coconut flakes

dash of salt

combine chocolate chips, coconut oil, and almond butter in a microwave safe bowl and heat in microwave for about 40 second. Take out of microwave and stir until smooth. Then add coconut flakes and salt.

Take chocolate/almond butter/crispies out of the freezer and spread the chocolate coconut fudge on top. Return to freezer for at least 45 minutes.

Cut into small squares and serve.

The combination of chocolate, almond butter, and rice crispies is perfection. :)

You won't be sorry you made this rich dessert, but a little goes a long way!

Question of the day:

Do you often change the ingredients of your recipes, seeing them only as "guidelines." Or do you follow recipes to the T?


linky party

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

kale chips to balance my over-indulgence of chocolate

The sweets have taken over our house lately.

With Valentine's Day parties and the recent Chocolate Lover's Festival I'm beginning to not feel so good.

I need some balance.

I'm not a big fan of kale in green smoothies or sauteed for that matter and I have always felt kinda bad about this. I feel like it's so healthy I should like it. :)

But I LOVE kale chips. In fact, my whole family does.

Kale Chips:

a bunch of kale cleaned and torn
2 tsp. olive oil
sea salt

toss the kale with the olive oil until leaves are coated well. Lay out onto jelly-roll pan (trying not to over-lap the leaves). Sprinkle with sea salt and bake at 350 for 7-8 minutes.

They are so good you won't be able to stop snacking on them!

You can also put them on a salad for a little crunch.

Question of the Day:

Do you like kale and if so how do you prepare it?


Monday, February 14, 2011

a lovely day

happy valentine's day. eat something chocolate. :)

banana smoothie boost

Usually by 10 or 10:30 I'm getting desperate for a "pick me up." I've never been able to skip meals or not snack between meals. If I do miss a meal I get really crabby and generally unpleasant to be around.

I saw an episode of Nigella Express a few days ago where she made a banana smoothie and with my new-found love of bananas, I thought it sounded like the perfect mid-morning boost.

Banana Smoothie Boost
alternate title: the anti-crabby smoothie
adapted from this recipe

one frozen banana
2/3 c. almond milk
1 tsp. honey
2 tsp. coffee
shaved chocolate

mix everything but shaved chocolate up in a blender. pour into glass and sprinkle chocolate on top.



Basic Banana Breakfast Smoothie

Saturday, February 12, 2011

nutella pretzel sandwiches

I spent the day making chocolates for a Chocolate Lover's Festival. With a name like that how could I not participate?

It's a great fundraiser that supports several organizations in the community. Unlimited chocolate for a minimal fee and for a good cause. I'm a sucker for a good cause, especially if there is food involved. :)

I seriously underestimated the time involved in making 100+ pretzel sandwiches. Or the mess. There is not a surface area in my kitchen right now not covered in chocolate!

Willy Wonka would be jealous.

But, it was definitely worth the effort.

They are delicious and bite sized which, turns out, is a lethal combination. Before I knew it, I had popped three or four of these little treats in my mouth!

Then we had to do quality control. :)

Want the recipe?

Nutella Pretzel Sandwiches
alternate title: bite sized deliciousness
1 large bag mini pretzels
jar Nutella (I used 2.5 jars)
chocolate melting wafers
unlimited free time
dishwasher and house-keeper would also be a wise investment;)

It's just as simple as it sounds. Smear Nutella between two pretzels. Do this x100...freeze for about 30 minutes to "set up."
Take them out of the freezer and dip in the melted chocolate. Place on parchment paper to dry.
This would be a perfect Valentine's Treat.
Question of the Day:
Is there such a thing as too much chocolate? I think I've reached my limit. Next week it's nothing but salads and green smoothies for me!
linky party

Friday, February 11, 2011

Spencer's Chili Ranchero

We acquired this dutch oven for Christmas, and we use it for everything.

We have a big fund raiser for our school each February that is a chili cook-off and auction. I have entered my vegetarian chili the last 2 years and taken 3rd place against all those serious meaty contenders. This year I decided I had to make a change and see if I could move up from 3rd!

I have been racking my brain on what to do with my chili that could really improve the flavor. Then it hit me while reading my wife's blog. Our ranchero sauce! The recipe that follows was smokey and spicy. I hope it will get me that coveted first place prize!

Spencer's Chili Ranchero

1 Tbs. olive oil
1/2 medium onion chopped
1 tsp cumin
2 tablespoons dried oregano
2 bell peppers chopped (I used a red and yellow for color)
2 4 oz. cans of green chilies
1 package of veggie crumbles (I use morning star)
1 32 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1-2 16 oz. cans of diced tomatoes per your preference
1/4 cup chili powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
salt to taste
1 can red kidney beans (rinsed)
1 can pinto beans (rinsed)
1 can black beans (rinsed)
1 package frozen corn
Spencer's Ranchero Sauce (I halved the recipe this time, it makes a lot.)

I cooked this in our dutch oven, it works great to prevent sticking to the bottom while you simmer.
Cook the onion on medium heat with the oil until it is translucent, then add cumin, oregano, and salt. Mix in the bell peppers and the green chilies, cook until peppers our tender, I like to cover the dutch oven for this step to cook the peppers faster. Add the crumbles and cook for 5 more minutes.

Now its time to add your tomatoes, chili powder and black pepper, and about a cup of water to help simmer (I used some of the water I saved while cooking the veggies for my ranchero sauce).

Stir in all the beans and simmer for 35-45 minutes depending on your preference. I added the corn in the last five minutes and stirred in the ranchero sauce at the end until I reached the heat and flavor I wanted.

We usually enjoy our chili with corn chips and sour cream.

To see where I am taking my chili today go here.


Wednesday, February 9, 2011


it's been snowing almost all day.

my mom said we haven't seen this much snow here since 1977.

i was 3 years old...and i remember it!!

all my boys are home today, they braved the elements for a little while...


we spent a lot of time in the kitchen making this

if it doesn't warm up soon.

i won't be able to fit into my skinny jeans. :)

what does it look like where your at?


Monday, February 7, 2011

wonderful homemade bread

Look what I just bought from amazon.

I can't wait to get my hands on it.

Question of the Day:

Do you bake bread and if so what is your favorite?


spinach lasagna rollups

the freshness of the basil.

the light creaminess of the ricotta.

the spice of tomato with garlic and oregano.

the beautiful presentation of the lasagna rollup.

want the recipe?

i will be cooking over here today. won't you join me?

To see where I am linking up go here.


Saturday, February 5, 2011

butterscotch breakfast bars

I've been trying to think of something different for breakfast. We have been in a bit of a breakfast rut lately.

I was thinking of making some scones or biscotti but Spencer brought home 2 big cans of old-fashioned oats that his boss gave him (his boss's mother is going into a nursing home and they are cleaning out her pantry).

What can I make with oats?

Butterscotch Breakfast Bars
(adapted from this recipe)

1/2 c. almond butter
1/4 c. brown sugar (packed)
1/4 c. honey or agave nectar
1/4 c. butter (I used earth balance)
1 Tbsp. coconut oil
2 c. old fashioned oats
1/4 c. coarsely chopped cashews
1 Tbsp. flax seed
1/3 c. butterscotch chips

Combine first five ingredients in a pan and heat on medium heat until dissolved. Stirring constantly. Put the oats, cashews, flax seed and butterscotch chips in a large bowl. When butter/sugar mixture is dissolved pour onto oats and stir until evenly coated.

Pour the mixture into a greased 9x11 glass dish and pat down with a rubber spatula.

Bake at 350 for about 25-30 minutes.

This turned out really good. Everyone in the family approved.:) I think next time I make them I will try adding dried apples and cinnamon. Dried cranberries and white chocolate chips would also be a good flavor combination.



Go to my linky party page to see where I am taking these today.

Friday, February 4, 2011

stylish blogger award

I found this great food blog called Miz. Helen's Country Cottage. Her site is packed full of great recipes, she makes a mean pot of chili, and she hosts a weekly linky party Full Plate Thursday.

When Miz. Helen emailed me to let me know that she was giving me the stylish blogger award I felt a little bit like a rock star. As I sat in front of my computer in my sweat pants and tee...I felt pretty cool.

To Accept The Award Requirements Thank and Link Back to the Blogger Who Awarded You With The Award Share 7 Things About Yourself Award 15 Recently Discovered Great Bloggers Contact The Bloggers and Inform Them of The Award

Seven things about me:

1. I am married to my High-School sweetheart and best friend. We started dating at 17, married at 22 and had kids at 28.

2. I've been a vegetarian my whole life.

3. I feel most creative when in the kitchen and think food is my art.

4. I have always wanted to be a Mom and think its the coolest job ever.

5. I cry every time I hear "Amazing Grace."

6. I'm an RN and worked at Arkansas Children's Hospital for three years (and I loved it).

7. I love to be outdoors hiking, backpacking, camping and yet, I also love "girly" things like spa treatments and shopping. :)

Now it's my turn to make people feel cool.

All of these lady's are stylish bloggers. Please go check out their blogs, you'll be glad you did.

And remember lady's to pick up the stylish badge and go have fun with it. :)

1. Ostriches Look Funny she is always funny and thoughtful

2. the organic bird artist with a voice Andrea

3.The Marvelous Life go read her "about me"

4. eye see artist and new mama Randi

5. Apples and Twinkies meal planner and foodie Ann

6. C+C Marriage Factory artist with food & photo Christina

7. Simply...This.That. & the Other hostess extraordinaire Lisa

8. Relatively Unique Wendy, she can decorate and cook

9. Shine your Light could be my BFF if only we lived closer

10. Creative Outpour hometown creative chicks

11. Cottage Sisters can cook me a meal any day

12. the Sparacino Chronicles sweet SAHM Lenette

13. Inspired Nesting she can shop, decorate and organize Petie

14. Angie's Healthy Living Blog inspires me to good health

15. Capturing Simple Joys Amazing photographer, sweet Mama, my sister

I hope you enjoy reading these great blogs today. Have a good weekend.


Thursday, February 3, 2011

oh, good...another snow day

ya'll ready for school to start again? I am.


spicy zucchini fries

When I was a little girl my grandmother used to grow zucchini in her garden.

She would lightly bread it with cornmeal and seasonings and pan-fry it.

I think there will be pan-fried zucchini in Heaven.:)

I've been in the mood for zucchini.

I can't wait until I can pick it sun-warmed and vine-ripened from my garden.

For now I will have to settle for the store-bought variety.

But, I can make it interesting.:)

Spicy Zucchini Fries

3-4 medium zucchini

2 Tbs. chunky peanut butter

1 Tbs. almond butter

1 Tbs. olive oil

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

cut zucchini into "fries". In a medium sized bowl whisk together all other ingredients. Toss zucchini fries in nut butter mixture until evenly coated.

Spread fries onto parchment lined baking sheet, single file, making sure they aren't touching each other.

Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 45 minutes.


To see where I am linking up go here.


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

snow cream

wanna impress your kids today?

make them some snow cream

some healthier variations would be:

8 c. snow + 1 c. fruit juice

8 c. snow + 1 c. coconut water



snow day

go here for the recipe. go here to see where i'm linking up today.