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Food

10 Easy to Make Toddler Meals That Are Sure to Be a Hit

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Feeding a toddler three meals a day, EVERY. SINGLE. DAY., can be overwhelming. When you feel. overwhelmed, here are 10 easy to make toddler meals that will help you and your toddler have a stress-free meal. My key to a great meal is to keep it simple. The way I handle toddler meals is that every meal has three parts, a main and two sides. The two sides are generally a fruit and veggie, that way there is balance in the meal no matter what the main is.

10 Easy to Make Toddler Meals

  1. Sausage and Cheese Quesadilla
    • Breakfast sausage is my preferred choice for this quesadilla.
    • My daughter prefers pepperjack cheese which gives an extra kick to this meal.
    • To make, heat your griddle to medium/low heat. Add a small dab of butter and let melt, add your small soft taco shell and sprinkle the cheese on top. Let the cheese start to melt and then add your cooked sausage on top of the cheese. Once cheese is fully melted fold the shell into a quesadilla and cut into 4 sections. This makes it easier for your toddler to grab and eat.
  2. Spinach, cheese, and shredded Chicken Quesadilla
    • To make, heat your griddle to medium/low heat. Add a small dab of butter and let melt, add your small soft taco shell and sprinkle the cheese on top. Let the cheese start to melt and then add your cooked chicken and spinach on top of the cheese. Once cheese is fully melted fold the shell into a quesadilla and cut into 4 sections. This makes it easier for your toddler to grab and eat.
  3. Scrambled Eggs with Shredded Cheese and Sausage
    • Take your favorite pan and heat over medium/low heat and spray generously with Pam Spray.
    • In a separate bowl, break the eggs and add about 1 tbsp of water per egg in the bowl. Whisk together until pale yellow. Add a touch of salt and pepper to the egg mixture and then add it to your pan. Let the eggs sit for a minute and cook and then start scrambling them together.
    • Once they are about 80-90% cooked, add in your preferred shredded cheese and allow the cheese to melt while your eggs finish cooking. (you can add small bits of already cooked breakfast sausage with the cheese if your toddler likes meat).
  4. Shredded Chicken and Rice
    • I make sure the rice has butter on it to help make it appealing. I’ve also tried rice and veggies like green beans so feel free to substitute the chicken for your toddlers favorite veggie.
  5. Chicken Bites with Chick-fil-a Sauce
    • Chicken bites, are cooked chicken breasts lightly seasoned with salt and pepper, then cut into toddler size bites. Once cut into bite size pieces use the at home Chick-fil-a sauce bottle and add sauce on top of the chicken. Toss to combine and serve. The sauce is key, I don’t put a ton on, but it makes all the difference!
  6. Butter pasta with/without ground beef
    • Butter pasta is easy to make and my daughter loved it. I add salt and pepper to help with the flavoring as well.
  7. Ham & Cheese Sandwich (slightly toasted and cut into 4 squares)
  8. Cut up Meat – Simple but a fan favorite!
    • Deli Meat – My daughter’s absolute favorite
    • Breakfast sausage
    • Chicken
    • Ground beef/turkey
  9. Pot Roast with Potatoes and Carrots
    • Make sure they are soft and the pot roast is broken into small sections.
  10. Macaroni & Cheese
    • Don’t feel bad about this one, kids love it, and it makes for an easier meal for you! I highly recommend only putting in about half of the packet of cheese flavor, still tastes good without all the artificial flavors.

Side Ideas

  1. Oven Roasted Broccoli – Cut into medium/small bites, toss in a bit of olive oil and salt and place on a baking pan at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes.
  2. Avocado/Guacamole -If you haven’t offered your toddler this, you need too! They actually make guacamole in individual small containers so you can keep them longer. They are the perfect size for a toddler meal and taste great. Here is a link to an example: Single Serving Guacamole
  3. Fresh or Canned Fruit – Here me out on this one, I prefer fresh fruit. I tend to give my daughter fresh blackberries, strawberries, watermelon, etc. However, on busy days, or when I’m out of fresh fruit having canned fruit options is a huge blessing. She still gets fruit servings and its easily available whenever I need.
  4. Cottage Cheese -sprinkle a little salt and this is a big crowd pleaser!
  5. Yogurt -You can freeze this into popsicles they can enjoy as their ‘dessert’ or you can offer yogurt as a side option. Either way its healthy and an easy side to add on to their meal.
  6. Cucumbers (peeled and cut into circles) -My daughter LOVES cucumbers, and they are the perfect side especially if you are on the go.
  7. Oven Roasted Sweet Potatoes – To make them even better coat them in butter and brown sugar before baking (400 degrees F, about 20 min or until tender)
  8. Roasted carrots –Make sure these are well cooked, easily mashed between two fingers. I add a touch of butter to make them more appealing.
  9. Boiled green beans – Similar to carrots, just make sure they are easily mashed between two fingers.

If you are interested in more from Cultivate Confidence, check out our recipe reviews here: Cultivate Confidence Recipe Reviews.

3 Aldi Dinner Recipes You Need to Try

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With today’s inflation being out of control and everyone looking to shop on a budget, I wanted to share 3 Aldi Dinner Recipes that you need to try! These are recipes you should be able to pick up at any Aldi grocery store (or grocery store near you). Aldi is a budget grocery store where I live which is why I am referencing it. Below are my three tried and true recipes that are perfect for any weeknight dinner. You can customize the stir fry listed with any meat of your preference; the kielbasa is a cheap but great option which is why it’s one of my staples.

1.) Ham & Cheese Sliders

Ham and Cheese Sliders are without doubt one of my favorite recipes to make and its simple and quick to assemble and bake! I highly recommend you try it. This recipe makes 12 sliders, which feeds my husband and I easily. However, if you are feeding more than two (or are really hungry) I would double the recipe.

  • Hawaiian Rolls
  • 1 pound of Ham
  • Pepper jack Cheese Block (cut into thin slices)
  • Mayo
  • Hot Sauce
  • Worcestershire Sauce
  • Olive Oil
  • Black Pepper
  • Salt
  • Optional: Pepperoncini (Cut into slices)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Gently cut your Hawaiian Rolls in half horizontally. Be as even as you can be. Place the top to the side and place the bottom on an ungreased baking sheet.
  3. Spread your mayo mixture on the bottom layer of rolls. The Mayo Mixture is 3 parts mayo, 1-part hot sauce and about a 1/2 tsp of Worcestershire sauce.
  4. After your mayo sauce is on, layer on the entire pound of ham as evenly as you can.
    1. Optional – Add pepperoncini slices here if you desire
  5. Cut your pepper jack cheese into thin even slices. Place your cheese evenly on top of the ham.
  6. Place the top half of the Hawaiian Rolls on top of the cheese
  7. Mix 3 tbsp of olive oil, 1/2 tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp of black pepper together and using a brush; brush the mixture on top of the rolls.
  8. Place the rolls in the oven and cook for 10 minutes until cheese is melted and rolls are golden brown.
  9. Slice the rolls into individually sandwiches and serve immediately. Enjoy!

2. Kielbasa & Veggie Stir-fry

Kielbasa is almost always available and reasonably priced. One of my go to dinners is chopping up a Kielbsa and veggies together, its a quick one pan dish perfect for busy weeknights.

  • 2 tbsps Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Kielbasa
  • 1/2 Yellow Onion
  • 1-2 Peppers (Orange, Yellow or Red)
  • 1 Zucchini
  • 2-3 Whole Carrots
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Prep your veggies. Chop your onion into small pieces and set aside. Cut your peppers into long thing strips, I find they cook better and are easier to eat evenly with your meat. Chop your zucchini into fourths and then into smaller sections, not as small as your onion but not too large that they won’t cook evenly. Peel your carrots and chop into small circles as evenly as you can. Set all your veggies aside.
  2. Prep your meat. Cut your kielbasa in half and then cut that into about 1/2-inch half-moons to make them able to evenly cook.
  3. Heat your cast iron (or cooking pan) over medium heat and then add your extra virgin olive oil. Once heated throw in your kielbasa and allow that meat to sear on one side, once its seared flip to the other side and add in your onion and carrots. Once the other side of the meat is seared and your onion is slightly translucent.
  4. Then add your peppers and zucchini and cook until veggies are tender but not falling apart, between 8-10 minutes depending on your stove and preferences.
  5. Add salt and pepper and stir to combine.
  6. Serve warm and add hot sauce or other condiments based on your preference.

3. Traditional Fettuccini Alfredo

I’ve made this alfredo several times and it is SO different than alfredo in the states. I really love this type as its lighter and easy for your stomach to handle. It’s very easy to make, it just requires doing things a bit different than your traditional pouring canned alfredo into your pot. If you’re interested in pictures from the time I made it, check out our post here: Traditional Alfredo.

  • 1 Stick Unsalted Butter (Diced)
  • 4 oz Parmesano Reggiano (or Parmesan) Cheese (Grated)
  • 1 pound Fettuccine Pasta
  • Salt

Instructions:

  1. Bring a pot of salted water to a rolling boil.
  2. Add fettuccine pasta and cook until al dente. DO NOT DRAIN!!
  3. In a separate large bowl, dice the butter and add the grated cheese
  4. Using tongs add the pasta on top of the butter and cheese.
  5. Add a half cup of the pasta water to the pasta, butter, and cheese bowl. Mix with tongs until combined and creamy. Add more pasta water if you want a creamier texture.
  6. Add salt and pepper to taste. Grate some extra parmesan on top and serve immediately! Enjoy!

I hope you enjoyed my 3 Aldi Dinner recipes and if you have your own suggestions/favorite Aldi recipes leave them below in the comments for us to try! xoxo-Kayla

How to Make Blackberry Lavender White Chocolate Scones

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One of my favorite bakery treats to go with my morning coffee is scones. They are the perfect complement to a piping hot cup of joe. My mom sent me this Blackberry Lavender White Chocolate Scones recipe from Half Baked Harvest and I knew I needed to try it ASAP! I think the hardest part of these scones was finding the dried lavender. I went to three different stores with no luck so I ended up ordering some on Amazon. Just an FYI as you go into this recipe and try to find all the ingredients. Additionally, the recipe isn’t hard to make but there are a few more steps than some of the other scones I’ve tried. I’d highly recommend reading through all the instructions once before starting so you know what the plan is.

My favorite part of these Blackberry Lavender White Chocolate Scones is that there are so many flavors in every bite. The tartness of the blackberry is offset by the white chocolate chips and the lavender glaze really brings all the flavors together. The original recipe calls for additional butter once the scones are done, I felt that the scones didn’t need butter with all the other flavors that are present. Of course, you are free to add anything to your scones, but I recommend leaving them as is, at least for the first bite!

Overall Review: 5/5

These scones were a huge hit with my husband and his co-residents! My husband is not a huge lavender fan, and the balance of flavors was absolutely perfect. The lavender is not overwhelming, and you can easily adjust how potent the lavender taste is based on your preference. If you love scones, I would highly recommend you make these Blackberry Lavender White Chocolate Scones. You will not be disappointed!

If you enjoyed this recipe review, check out the rest here: Cultivate Confidence Recipe Reviews.

Blackberry Lavender White Chocolate Scones

Recipe from Half Baked Harvest
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 19 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Servings 9 People

Equipment

  • Fine mesh strainer
  • Baking Sheet
  • Saucepan
  • Parchment Paper

Ingredients
  

Scone Mix

  • 2 1/2 cups All-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp Granulated Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 12 tbsp Cold Salted Butter Grated
  • 3/4 cup Cold Cream or Buttermilk
  • 1 Large Egg Beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups Blackberries
  • 1/2 cup White Chocolate Chips

Lavender Glaze

  • 1/4 cup Whole Milk
  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • 1 tbsp Dried Lavender
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1-2 cups Powdered Sugar (I only needed 1)

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  • In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Add grated butter and toss in with the flour, doesn't have to be perfect, large crumbs is perfect. Add the cream or buttermilk and egg. I combined the beaten egg and cream first and then added to flour mix. Mix until just combined, DO NOT OVERMIX. Fold in the blackberries and white chocolate chips, expect blackberries to burst as you do this.
  • Put dough on floured surface, pat into a 1-inch-thick square. Cut into 9 squares which will be your scones sizes. Place each square on a baking sheet and then brush a bit of cream on each scone. Do not overcrowd your baking sheet, do in batches if needed. Bake for 20-22 minutes until golden brown. You can test with a toothpick as well to be sure they are baked completely.
  • For the glaze.
    Warm milk and butter in a small saucepan that's set over medium (low-medium) heat. Heat until steaming about 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the lavender. Then cover and steep for 5 minutes. Strain the milk through a fine mesh strainer and then discard the lavender. Stir vanilla and powdered sugar into your lavender mix.
  • Serve warm with glaze drizzled on top. You can add a bit of butter, but these are great on their own!

Mia’s First Birthday – How to Get a Perfect First Birthday Cake Smash

By Food No Comments

My perfect, beautiful daughter just turned one! It’s crazy how fast time flies by! There was one thing that I promised myself I would do and that was a first birthday cake smash photoshoot. As with most women I knew I went straight to Pinterest for inspiration and found all of these adorable teepee cake smash photos! That was when I knew that was the route I wanted to take. Our photographer was completely on board (she even had a tent already) and boy did she deliver! I’ve listed all the items that you will need for your own first birthday cake smash below, as well as all the links I could find.

Items Needed for the Perfect First Birthday Cake Smash

  • Smash Cake – Mine was $7 at my local bakery. I got mine from Oakmont Bakery in Pennsylvania.
  • Birthday outfit – Mias Outfit is from Bailey’s Blossoms
  • White Teepee- Mine was provided by our photographer, but here is a great option on Amazon! White Teepee option
  • Chalkboard & Easel – Target $5 Section Find!
  • Kick Butt Photographer – Victoria Isabel Photography just KILLED THIS CAKE SMASH!
  • Wood and flowers – Items I had at the house. I encourage you to repurpose as much as you can for these shoots, but if you need to buy them, here are the links.

How to Make Your Photos Go Off Without a Hitch

Once you have all the items for your photos, you need to ensure that your day of photos go off without a hitch. That means, choosing the right time of day, and preparing in advance. Below are my five tips to getting your baby prepared for these photos!

  1. Eat First! I made sure that we fed Mia dinner before we headed to the park that way, we didn’t hit any hungriness before the photos.
  2. Arrive 10-15 minutes early so that your kid can get out and move around before the photos. Give your baby some time to decompress so they are ready to have fun and pose for photos.
  3. Change diapers, have snacks and milk ready and available during the shoot. Be okay with taking breaks to help keep your baby happy.
  4. Don’t put the cake down until all of your decorations are up, the photographer is ready, and all family photos are done. The cake smash should be the last thing you do (if you do family photos). As soon as the cake smash is over, be prepared for your baby to be tired, overstimulated, and on a sugar high. We got her cleaned up and, in the car, and she was out like a light, trust me it went so smoothly you will want to leave right away!
  5. Have fun! The more fun you are having, the more fun your baby will have. In the first two pictures below, I am jumping up and down make a fool of myself to make Mia happy and ready for the photos.

Remember to have fun with this! The entire goal of this shoot is to remember your baby at this age and to watch them eat cake. Even if everything doesn’t go the way you imagined, it will be the perfect first birthday cake smash because its your baby. If you did a first birthday cake smash, comment with a picture so we can all enjoy the cuteness! Can’t wait to see all their adorable faces! xoxo- Kayla

How to Make Chicken Florentine – Magnolia Table

By Food No Comments

Chicken is a dinner staple in my household, so finding new and more flavorful chicken recipes is a must. This Chicken Florentine from the Magnolia Table cookbook is one of my new favorites and was instantly added into our dinner rotation. The biggest and best part about this recipe is the sauce. The use of white wine is what really brings it over the top and makes for a great dinner for guests or just for yourself. I used a cheaper dry wine that I found at the grocery store, but this is a dinner that will be enhanced by a better wine. So don’t skimp if at all possible!

One negative that I will say about this Chicken Florentine recipe is that the recommended way of cooking the chicken in this recipe does require quite a bit of time. You could definitely cook the chicken earlier and then heat it before you serve dinner. The sauce itself won’t take you long so I would prepare that right before you are about to eat. We ate the entire thing in one sitting so I’m not sure how it tastes reheated but my guess is it would be just as good if not better so you could make both pieces ahead of time and then combine and heat right before heating. This Chicken Florentine would be great paired with some roasted broccoli, carrots and asparagus to add some veggies into your meal.

Overall Review: 5/5

This Chicken Florentine was a huge hit! My parents and sister were over when I made this, and everyone loved the flavors and how great the dinner tasted! Was definitely worth every spare minute in the kitchen. There are far less pictures of me making this recipe than normal, that would be because I was busy talking to family while making it and we devoured it too quickly to take a lot of photos! If that tells you anything it should tell you that it’s an amazing dish!

I hope you enjoyed this recipe review and if you are interested in more reviews, check out our page here: Recipe Reviews.

xoxo-Kayla

Chicken Florentine

Recipe from Magnolia Table by Joanna Gaines
Servings 4 Servings

Ingredients
  

  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 4 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • 2 3/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 cup All-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp Unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup Minced Shallots
  • 3 Garlic Cloves
  • 1 cup Dry White Wine
  • 1 cup Heavy Cream
  • 4 cups Baby Spinach
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Parsley
  • 1/2 Lemon cut into wedges

Instructions
 

  • In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium high heat. Sprinkle the chicken with pepper and 2 teaspoons of the salt. Cover the chicken in flour and shake off any extra.
  • Work in batches and place chicken in skillet to cook. Turn once until golden brown and a thermometer inserted reaches 165 degrees. Transfer to a plate to cool and set aside.
  • Reduce heat to medium and melt the butter in the skillet. Add shallots and garlic and sauté. Stir often until everything is softened. Add wine and scrape up any bits from the bottom of the skillet. Simmer until liquid is reduced by about half. Add cream and cook, stirring frequently, until mixture coats the back of a spoon.
  • Remove the pan from heat, add spinach and remaining salt. Stir until spinach is wilted.
  • Cut chicken against the grain into diagonal strips about an inch wide and 2-3 inches long. Return to the skillet and sprinkle with parsley and serve with the lemon wedges.

5 Reasons Why You Should Learn to Cook

By Food No Comments

Le’ts start out with the fundamental question, why should you bother learning to cook? There are meal kits that can be sent to you with the easiest of instructions, there are microwave and oven ready meals that require no time, and there’s always take out. So why should you bother to learn how to cook? I would argue it’s because when you learn to cook, you gain more than you would believe. Below are 5 reasons that I believe you should learn to cook; I hope that they encourage you to give it a try!

1. Cooking from Home is Healthier

Let me preface this by saying that of course you can make unhealthy things at home! What I am saying is that by cooking from home, you are more inclined to choose and make healthier foods. When you make your food at home you are aware of what is being put in your food and you will slowly start to lower the number of unhealthy items as you see how much you are actually consuming. A good example of this is baking, shortbread cookies are melt in your mouth good but the reason for this is the insane amount of butter that’s involved. When you make shortbread cookies yourself and see how much butter you have to put in it helps you put in perspective how much you should eat and how often. I’ve lowered the amounts of butter and oils I cook with too as I have learned over time I don’t need as much to still get a great taste! Healthy cooking doesn’t happen overnight but it will happen the more you choose to cook at home.

2. Brings Families Together

Cooking and eating at home has a way of bringing families together. It leads to more family dinners and more quality time spent together. I don’t know if its because someone slaved away cooking the meal and everyone feels obligated to sit together or if its just something about a home cooked meal that brings people together; regardless it’s always done the trick. Home cooked meals bring us together and in my opinion, bond us together in ways we couldn’t have imagined. If you are wanting to find a way to spend more quality time with your loved ones, get out a pan and cook a meal!

3. Saves Money

With todays inflation this may not seem true, but it is in fact still true! You will inevitably save more money by going to the store and buying the ingredients to make dinners at home. That’s because you can use many of the ingredients for several meals, leftovers and more. In general I spend around $100-$120 a week and that covers all our dinners, lunches and breakfasts for the week. When my husband and I go out it’s almost always a minimum of $20 for a meal, for a week that would be well over $140 just for seven meals. That doesn’t include snacks, breakfast or lunch. Yes going out to eat is more convenient and less time consuming, but it is rarely the cheaper option.

4. Creative Outlet for You and Kids

This is one of my favorite parts of cooking and baking, trying new recipes and putting your own twist on the recipe. The more I cook the more confident I am changing ingredients or trying a recipe in a new way. I am also thrilled to introduce my daughter to cooking as I hope it’s a great way for her to express herself as well as learn a lifelong skill. You can incorporate your kids by letting them decorate, help measure or stir ingredients together. It bonds you together as a family and also let’s your kid learn new skills that they will always take with them. Get creative with your ingredients and make cooking and eating a fun experience!

5. Stress Reliever

This is one of the main reasons I started to get into cooking, it was an outlet for me to relive my stress. I naturally have a lot of stress and anxiety and cooking helps me to detach and relax. There’s also a long of banging, mixing, and other things that you can do when cooking that are helpful stress relievers. I also love that’s it’s a hobby that you get immediate rewards from. As soon as your item is done cooking, you get to try it! You get a stress reliever and a treat all in one go. I’ve tried so many crafts and other hobbies and lost interest immediately. Cooking is the one thing I have continued to do and enjoy and it’s one of my go-to stress relievers.

Learning to cook takes time and can be challenging, but its worth taking the time to learn. It’s a skill that will always come in handy.

If your interested in some recipes I’ve reviewed and love, head to my Recipe Review page here: RECIPE REVIEWS.

For recipes I love and food videos I’ve done, check out my Pinterest page here: Cultivate Confidence Pinterest

How to Make Ovaltine Cheesecake

By Food No Comments

There are very few desserts as widely celebrated as a good cheesecake! I have been wanting to expand my husband and I’s palette this year, so I asked for a few new cookbooks for Christmas. One of them was this book of Hawaiian Recipes and this Ovaltine cheesecake was one of the dessert options. My parents and sister were coming for Christmas, and I wanted to do something special. If you’d ever watched the movie, A Christmas Story, theres a part that says “Don’t forget to drink your Ovaltine”. I thought this would be the perfect way to blend a new recipe in with the holidays. My family got a kick out of it when I told them I had bought Ovaltine especially for this cheesecake! However, they were pleasantly surprised by how good it turned out.

The Ovaltine is present in two parts of this Ovaltine cheesecake, the crust and the topping. The crust is the perfect place for the Ovaltine because all it really does is give it a chocolate taste. You would never know that it was Ovaltine in there. The topping of this Ovaltine Cheesecake is powdered Ovaltine and that’s a bit more of a giveaway. If you’ve never had Ovaltine before, I would compare it to something like powdered Nesquik.

Overall Review: 5/5

I loved this Ovaltine Cheesecake, it was honestly so good and different. I like that it was unique but also still had the classic cheesecake feel as well. Sometimes its just a few changes that make all the difference. Don’t be scared off because Ovaltine is an older brand that is not as widely used today. Take the chance on this recipe and bake this cheesecake for your next get together. You’ll be shocked at the positive response you get back!

xoxo- Kayla

For more of our recipe reviews: Recipe Reviews

To order your copy of Cook Real Hawai’i, click HERE.

Condensed Milk Cheesecake with Ovaltine Crust

From: Cook Real Hawai'i

Ingredients
  

  • Butter For greasing
  • 1 1/4 cups Vanilla Wafers Finely crusted
  • 1/2 cup Ovaltine powder, plus 2 tbsp for garnish
  • 8 tbsp Unsalted Butter
  • Salt
  • 3 tbsp Sugar
  • 16 oz Cream Cheese Room Temperature
  • 1/2 cup Sour Cream
  • 1 (13.5oz) can Sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 Large Eggs
  • 2 tbsp Lemon Juice

Instructions
 

Crust

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease your 9-inch pie pan with butter
  • In a large bowl, mix your wafer crumbs, 1/2 cup Ovaltine powder, melted butter, and a pinch of salt until moist crumbs form. Move to the greased pan and press evenly into the bottom and up the sides as much as you can. Bake until lightly browned. Should take about 10 minutes. Remove and cool but do not turn off the oven.

Cheesecake Filling

  • While your crust bakes, mix the cream cheese & sour cream using a mixer, until smooth and fluffy. Slowly fold in the condensed milk until fully incorporated. Add in the eggs and lemon juice and combine. Pour mixture into your cooled crust.
  • Place your cheesecake in the oven and bake until center is set (only a small circle in the center should jiggle). You can stick a toothpick in and if it comes out clean your cheesecake is ready to be taken out. Remove and cool for an hour. Dust with your 2 tablespoons of Ovaltine powder and then serve.

How to Make Philly Cheesesteaks – Magnolia Table

By Food No Comments

We have lived in Pennsylvania for almost two years and I still haven’t been to Philadelphia to get an authentic Philly Cheesesteak! Don’t ask me how that has happened, but it has! So, when I saw this recipe in the Magnolia Table cookbook, I had to give it a shot. These weren’t hard to make at all, but did take a bit of time. The area I struggled with the most was finding the right buns at the grocery store! I mean who is making all the philly cheesesteaks out here and hogging the buns! I ended up having to use what’s called a sausage bun instead because there weren’t any other options. Very annoying, but you do what you got to do.

These philly cheesesteaks were easy to make and were extremely tasty. Definitely worth the time and money to make! This isn’t the cheapest recipe because I had to buy ribeye and that can get very expensive for just a single dinner. The rest of the ingredients aren’t expensive but that cut of meat can be, so just be aware when you go shopping. I don’t think it would be a big issue to swap for a cheaper meat if you are on a budget.

Overall Review: 5/5

I thought these philly cheesesteaks were very good and I loved how easy it was to customize it for my husbands allergies. The cheese is the last step which makes it easy to leave off and accommodate his allergy. He didn’t complain either that they didn’t taste good, even though his weren’t technically ‘cheesesteaks’. Mine had plenty of cheese and were so tasty! Completely worth the time to cook, assemble and broil them!

Let me know if you try this recipe and what you think! xoxo-Kayla

Magnolia Table Cookbook- Buy it HERE

For more recipe reviews, head to our page HERE

Philly Cheesesteaks

From Magnolia Table Volume 2
Servings 6 Servings

Ingredients
  

  • 2 pds Rib eye or Strip Steak
  • 3 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 tsp Fajita Seasoning
  • 1 tbsp Unsalted Butter
  • 1 Yellow Onion medium
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 Yellow Bell Pepper cut into 1/2 inch wide strips
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper cut into 1/2 inch wide strips
  • 2 Poblano Peppers (seeded) cut into 1/2 inch wide strips
  • 6 Hoagie/Steak Rolls or whatever you can find!
  • Pepper Jack Cheese Slices

Instructions
 

  • Freeze thawed steak for 10 minutes to make steak easier to cut. After slice against the grain into 1/4 inch wide strips
  • In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp of oil over high heat. Add half the steak and season with 1/2 tsp of fajita seasoning. Stir occasionally until browned. I found it took about 5-6 minutes total. Transfer to a plate and cover with foil (I place in microwave to help keep warm). Repeat the process for the second half of the uncooked steak. Once cooked place with your other cooked steak to keep warm.
  • Reduce the heat of the skillet to medium/medium-high and add butter and remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Heat until the butter starts to bubble. Add onion, salt and black pepper and cook until onion is softened and translucent. This takes about 6-7 minutes.
  • Add bell peppers, poblano peppers and 1 tsp of fajita seasoning and saute. Stir often until peppers and onions are carmaelized. I found this takes at minimum 20 minutes if not a bit longer.
  • Turn your broiler on high and have a rack a few inches from the heat. Prep a baking sheet with foil.
  • Add steak to the skillet and toss to combine. Heat through for about 5 minutes and then remove from heat.
  • Open rolls and set on the baking pan. Divide the steak and pepper mixture amont the rolls and cover with slices of cheese. These are open faced sandwiches so the cheese can melt appropriately.
  • Broil until cheese begins to bubble, about 3-4 minutes. Watch carefully so they don't burn. Serve immediately and enjoy!

How to Make Peanut Butter Brownies – Magnolia Table

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Is there anything better than chocolate and peanut butter? It’s one of my favorite dessert combinations! I decided to make these Peanut Butter Brownies when we were headed to a friends for dinner. They are very rich so a little goes a long way, but they are AMAZING. The only obstacle of note is that each layer needs to set before you can continue, so be sure to make these the night before or plan accordingly.

My failures: I definitely did NOT add enough powdered sugar to the final layer. I was in a hurry because I was running out of time before we needed to leave for dinner. Don’t rush that last layer!! It needs to be a lot thicker than I made it and it needs the full amount of time in the freezer. Because I didn’t add enough powdered sugar it wouldn’t set right. So please be aware and cautious when you make it, don’t skimp on the powdered sugar! 🙂

You also want to make sure you heat your knife before cutting the brownies. They have been in the freezer for a while so this will make it easier for you to cut. I just run the knife over warm water and then wipe off excess water before cutting. Repeat as necessary to make cleaner cut brownies.

Overall Review 4.5/5

These peanut butter brownies are amazing! They are fudgy, with the perfect balance of chocolate and peanut butter. This recipe makes plenty because they are a very rich brownie. They would be perfect for a get together, party or if you wanted to hand out treats to friends. A little goes a long way with these brownies! I do think that if you are in a time crunch and don’t want to spend the time making the homemade brownies, you could do a box brownie and still get a good taste. The homemade brownies are fr superior in my opinion, but getting that top layer correct is more important!

For more recipes from Magnolia Table Cookbook Volume 2: CLICK HERE. For more recipe reviews head to our page: HERE.

Lucy’s Peanut Butter Brownies

From Magnolia Table Cookbook Volume 2
Servings 24 Brownies

Ingredients
  

Brownies (bottom layer)

  • 1 cup Unsalted butter 2 sticks
  • 1/2 cup Unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups Granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups All purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 4 Large Eggs

Topping (Middle Layer)

  • 1 16 oz Jar of Creamy Peanut Butter

Frosting (Top Layer)

  • 8 tbsp Unsalted Butter 1 stick
  • 10 Large Marshmallows
  • 4 cups Powdered Sugar More for thicker frosting
  • 1/3 cup Whole Milk
  • 1/4 cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

Instructions
 

Brownies (bottom layer)

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×13 pan with cooking spray
  • Heat a small saucepan over low heat and add butter. Wait until butter has melted and whisk in the cocoa. Remove from heat and set aside to cool for a few minutes.
  • In a separate bowl, using a hand mixer, combine granulated sugar, flour and salt. Add the cooled cocoa butter mixture and mix on medium speed until well mixed. Add the eggs and vanilla slowly and mix until well combined.
  • Spread your brownie mixture evenly over your prepared baking pan. Bake for about 20 minutes until a toothpick inserted only comes out with a few crumbs. (if your oven runs hot, watch carefully so it doesn't over bake)
  • Let brownies cool completely. This can take anywhere from 30-40 minutes.

Topping (Middle Layer)

  • Take your peanut butter and place in microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 15 seconds to soften and make easier to spread. Stir heated peanut butter and spread on top of cooled brownies. Once this layer is on, put brownies in the freezer for 30-60 minutes.

Frosting (Top Layer)

  • In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and marshmellows. Once melted add powdered sugar, milk and cocoa. Stir until completely smooth. I recommend using more sugar to make it a thicker frosting (but this is up to you).
  • Spread this mixture on top of the peanut butter layer and freeze for another 30-40 minutes.
  • Once completed, heat a knife under warm water, wipe off excess water and cut brownies into squares. It's up to you how many you want and how big the squares are, but it should make at least 20-24 brownies.

How to Make Waffles with Strawberry Butter – Magnolia Butter

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“We need to remember what’s important in life: friends, waffles, work. Or waffles, friends, work, it doesn’t matter. But work is third.” – Amy Poehler

Who doesn’t love a good homemade waffle?! I always think that homemade waffles are much lighter than out of the box or freezer. Makes the waffles easier to eat and it doesn’t feel like they sit as heavy in your stomach. These waffles with strawberry butter are one of my favorite recipes from the Magnolia Table Volume 2 cookbook. I opted to try them for dinner one night and they ended up being exactly what we wanted.

These waffles with strawberry butter are very light and airy. The waffles have a very different consistency than ones that come out of a box, they are more like a sponge cake texture than the thick batter you are used to with waffles. I will say that pairing these waffles with the strawberry butter and vanilla maple syrup makes all the difference. The strawberry butter and vanilla maple syrup aren’t too sugary as to overpower the waffle. Don’t get me wrong, there is plenty of sugar in this recipe, but it doesn’t taste like a mouthful of sugar. Which is why I do recommend taking the time to make the butter and syrup even if you have regular butter and syrup at home.

Overall Review: 4/5

The only reason I would give this recipe a 4 instead of a 5 is because folding in the egg whites just wouldn’t work. I don’t know if it’s on my end and I did something wrong or what, but I couldn’t get it to cooperate. I ended up having to use a whisk to get the egg whites to incorporate at all, which I’m pretty sure is a cooking sin! ha! But I did what I had to do to make it work and it still ended up tasting great! These are very light waffles, so I did end up eating more than normal just because they weren’t sitting so heavy in my stomach. So be aware, these waffles with strawberry butter can cause you to eat more than you planned!

The strawberry butter and the vanilla syrup recipe can be found in her cookbook which you can find here: Magnolia Table Volume 2. If you are interested in more recipe reviews, head to our page here: Recipe Reviews.

Waffles with Strawberry Butter

From Magnolia Table Volume 2 Cookbook
Servings 6 Servings

Equipment

  • Waffle Iron

Ingredients
  

  • Cooking spray
  • 2 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 3/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/3 cup Sugar
  • 2 Large Eggs Seperated
  • 1/2 cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
  • Strawberry Butter (Magnolia Table recipe)
  • Vanilla Maple Syrup (Magnolia Table recipe)

Instructions
 

  • Prep your waffle iron with cooking spray, and heat to medium heat.
  • Using a sifter combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar into a medium bowl.
  • Using an electric mixer and a separate bowl, mix the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Stiff peaks take about 2 minutes and the peaks should stand straight up when you life the beaters.
  • In a third bowl, mix the egg yolks, milk, oil and vanilla extract. Once combined add the flour and mix just until incorporated. It's important not to overmix your batter.
  • Once mixed, fold in your egg whites. When I folded in the egg whites I found they wouldn't combine quite right, I ended up whisking them a bit to incorporate better. I'm sure that's a cardinal sin of cooking but they just wouldn't fold into the batter for me, so just be patient if you can!
  • Waffles need about a 1/2 cup of batter poured into the waffle iron. Cook until the waffle is golden brown and be sure to spray cooking spray between each waffle.
  • Serve with the homemade Strawberry Butter and Vanilla Maple Syrup.