the baker upstairs: August 2017

8.18.2017

Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad

Yum
This delicious and zesty chicken caesar pasta salad is quick and easy to make, and perfect for a light summer meal!

This delicious and zesty chicken caesar pasta salad is quick and easy to make, and perfect for a light summer meal!

I mentioned earlier this week how excited I am for fall, but really I'm just stuck in the in-between, where half the time I want the summer to last forever, and half the time I can't wait for fall. I took the kids school shopping this week and bought them new jeans and t-shirts, sparkly notebooks, and squeaky clean shoes. And I spent the whole time thinking, "Wait! Slow down! Can't we just keep hitting up the splash pad and stopping by Sonic for a slush every day? Can't we just continue to sleep in and eat lazy meals, and soak up all the sun?" All too soon, the infamous nine-month-long rainy season will be here, and I'll be remembering (with longing) all these warm summer days. With that in mind, here's a tasty and summery meal for you, even though the summer is nearly over.

This chicken caesar pasta salad is simple and quick to make, and so delicious that you'll want to eat it all year round! If you use a rotisserie chicken, it can be ready in just fifteen minutes or so. It's the perfect dish to bring to a barbecue or potluck, or makes for a great main course with some crusty bread on the side. This salad is a huge favorite with my kids (who ordinarily are not great fans of salad), and I love that it's so easy to make! 

This delicious and zesty chicken caesar pasta salad is quick and easy to make, and perfect for a light summer meal!

Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad

1/2 pound bowtie pasta
2 cups chopped cooked chicken
1 romaine heart, chopped
1 medium tomato, chopped
2 cups garlic croutons
1/2 cup caesar dressing (I used Brianna’s Asiago Caesar)
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil (optional)

Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cool water. In a large bowl, combine the pasta, chicken, romaine, tomato, and croutons. Pour the dressing over the top and toss to combine. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and fresh basil. If you’re making the salad in advance, add the dressing just before serving.
This delicious and zesty chicken caesar pasta salad is quick and easy to make, and perfect for a light summer meal!

For more delicious salad recipes, check out some of my favorites below:



originally published on Somewhat Simple

This delicious and zesty chicken caesar pasta salad is quick and easy to make, and perfect for a light summer meal!

8.16.2017

Apple Cinnamon Baked French Toast

Yum
This deliciously sweet apple cinnamon baked french toast is the perfect breakfast for fall!

This deliciously sweet apple cinnamon baked french toast is the perfect breakfast for fall!

Who else is excited for fall? The weather around here has finally cooled down after some crazy high temperatures in the last few weeks, and I am totally looking forward to crisp fall days. My kids start school two weeks from today, and as much as I have enjoyed having them home over the summer (and I really have!), I'm excited to get back into our normal schedule. We spent the last school year kind of over-scheduled and stressed, and I am planning to scale back on some of our commitments this school year, and hoping that will leave more time for relaxing and having fun.

Fall is my favorite season, and I can't wait for rainy days, warm hot chocolate, and cozy sweaters. This apple cinnamon baked french toast is the perfect breakfast for fall! It's simple and easy to make, and it can be prepped the night before, so you can just pop it in the oven when you're ready to eat in the morning. It also holds up really well in the fridge, so it's easy to make a batch at the beginning of the week, and have a delicious breakfast on hand all week long. If you're making it for a crowd, you can use a full loaf of french bread and increase the other ingredients by half, then bake it in a 9 x 13 baking dish. This is definitely one to make this fall!
Apple Cinnamon Baked French Toast

2/3 loaf of french bread, cut into cubes (about 4 cups)
1 large apple, peeled and diced
5 eggs
1 1/4 cups milk
1/4 cup half and half
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
5 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons pecans, chopped

Place the bread cubes and apple pieces in a 8 x 8 baking dish. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, half and half, sugar, vanilla, and salt. Pour the egg mixture over the bread cubes and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours, or overnight.
When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Cut in the butter using a pastry blender or two knives. Stir in the pecan pieces, and sprinkle the streusel mixture over the french toast.
Bake 45-55 minutes, or until the french toast is golden brown on top and only jiggles slightly when shaken. Remove and let cool 5-10 minutes before serving. Top with maple syrup, if desired.
This deliciously sweet apple cinnamon baked french toast is the perfect breakfast for fall!

For more fantastic make-ahead breakfast recipes, check out some of my favorites below:



originally published on Somewhat Simple

This deliciously sweet apple cinnamon baked french toast is the perfect breakfast for fall!

8.14.2017

Honey Buttermilk Biscuits

Yum
These light and flaky honey buttermilk biscuits are melt-in-your-mouth delicious!

These light and flaky honey buttermilk biscuits are melt-in-your-mouth delicious!

I remember when I first discovered the joy of biscuits. I found a recipe in my mom's ancient bread cookbook when I was about twelve, and started whipping up biscuits weekly. I always over-mixed them (and overcooked them), and they were basically just hard little doorstops, but I loved them! At this point in my life, though, I have become a total biscuit snob. They have to be just right - crisp on the outside, and fluffy and flaky on the inside. The baking powder flavor can't be overpowering, and they have to be buttery and melt-in-your-mouth tender. I've developed what I consider to be the perfect biscuit recipe, and I make them all the time (at least twice a month, but sometimes twice a week!). These honey buttermilk biscuits are a fun twist on my favorite biscuits, made even more delicious with the addition of some sweet honey. They are so delicious that they will win over even the pickiest of eaters!

Honey Buttermilk Biscuits

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoons salt
5 tablespoons cold butter
3/4 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons honey

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Grate the cold butter into the flour mixture and toss to combine. In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the buttermilk and honey. Add the buttermilk mixture and mix just until the dough comes together. (Be careful not to over-mix!) Pat the dough out to an even layer, about one inch thick, on a lightly floured surface. Fold the dough into thirds, as though you are folding a letter. Pat the dough out again until it is about one inch thick. Turn the dough 90 degrees and fold it in thirds again. Pat it out into a rectangle that is approximately one inch thick. Cut into circles using a biscuit cutter or small cup. Bake 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown on top.
These light and flaky honey buttermilk biscuits are melt-in-your-mouth delicious!

For more melt-in-your-mouth biscuit recipes, check out some of my favorites below:



8.11.2017

Blackberry Lemonade

Yum
This sweet and refreshing blackberry lemonade is so easy to make at home!

This sweet and refreshing blackberry lemonade is so easy to make at home!

One of the things that made me excited about moving to Portland was the promise of a more temperate climate. I grew up in Utah, and I'm used to hot summers and cold winters, so I was really looking forward to milder weather. However, since we moved, we've experienced record snowfall, record rain, and now... record heat. Last week we had a huge heat wave, with temperatures well over 100 degrees, and it was melt-your-face-off hot outside. We spent an entire day in our basement (which is generally about 10 degrees cooler than our upstairs), with all the blinds drawn, watching movies. It was actually kind of a great way to spend the day (although not very productive), and I made this fabulous blackberry lemonade to keep everyone cool! I had already made the blackberry sauce earlier in the week, so I didn't even have to turn on the stove (win!). 

This blackberry lemonade is perfectly sweet and refreshing, and everyone in my family loves it! It's a delicious balance of sweet and tangy, and I love the combination of the lemon and blackberry flavors. It's a pretty unconventional method of making lemonade, and I love how simple it is to make. No squeezing required! 

This sweet and refreshing blackberry lemonade is so easy to make at home!
Blackberry Lemonade

2 large lemons, washed
4 cups cold water, plus enough ice to make 6 cups total
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup fresh blackberry sauce

Cut the ends off the lemons, then cut each lemon into eighths. Stir together the water and sugar, and mix until the sugar is dissolved. Add the lemons and the sugar water to a blender and pulse 8-10 times, until the lemons are broken up slightly. Pour the mixture through a strainer into a large pitcher and add the ice. To serve, add two tablespoons of blackberry sauce to the bottom of a glass. Top with additional ice (if desired). Pour lemonade over the top to fill the glass. Stir and enjoy.
This sweet and refreshing blackberry lemonade is so easy to make at home!

For more delicious lemonade recipes, check out some of my favorites below:



8.08.2017

Zucchini Fritters

Yum
These delicious and savory zucchini fritters are the perfect summer side dish!

These delicious and savory zucchini fritters are the perfect summer side dish!

Did you know August 8 is National Zucchini Day? It seems only fitting to have a day to celebrate such a delicious and versatile vegetable! We love zucchini at our house, and it is on my shopping list nearly every week. I love that it makes a great side dish on its own (we like to saute it in a little olive oil with salt, pepper, and garlic powder), but it's also great for baking. It's so mild that I grate it and add it to everything from soups to taco meat to scrambled eggs. It's a favorite with my kids, too! In honor of zucchini day, I made these delicious zucchini fritters to share with you. They're crisp on the edges, and so savory and delicious. We had them on the side with some chicken nuggets for dinner, and they were a fantastic and easy side dish!
Zucchini Fritters

2 medium zucchini, grated
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons canola oil

Place the zucchini in a colander in the sink and sprinkle with the salt. Let sit 5-10 minutes to drain. Wrap the zucchini in a kitchen towel and squeeze it to remove the excess water. Add the zucchini to a medium bowl, then add the flour, parmesan, garlic powder, pepper, and egg. Mix until combined. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Drop the zucchini mixture into the hot oil by spoonfuls, flattening slightly with the back of the spoon. Cook 3-4 minutes, then flip and cook an additional 2-3 minutes, or until golden brown on both sides. Serve warm with sour cream.
These delicious and savory zucchini fritters are the perfect summer side dish!

For more delicious zucchini recipes, check out these posts from some of my favorite bloggers below!


Cheesy Zucchini Tots from Life Made Simple
Butterscotch Zucchini Blondies from Creations by Kara
Vegan Pad Thai Zoodles from Namely Marly
Crispy Parmesan Zucchini Fries from Foodie with Family
Loaded Zucchini Skins from Real Mom Kitchen
Cheesy Grilled Zucchini Boats from Hey Grill Hey
Zucchini Crust Pizza from Baking with Blondie
Chocolate Zucchini Bread from Sweet C's Designs

And be sure to check out these awesome zucchini recipes from The Baker Upstairs:


8.07.2017

Fresh Blackberry Sauce

Yum
This homemade fresh blackberry sauce is the perfect topping for pancakes, waffles, ice cream, or shortcake. It's quick and easy to make, and so delicious!

This homemade fresh blackberry sauce is the perfect topping for pancakes, waffles, ice cream, or shortcake. It's quick and easy to make, and so delicious!

Why, yes, I DO have another fresh berry recipe to share with you today. You're going to be seeing a lot of them around here, since I have berries coming out of my ears at the moment. :) We are determined to pick every kind of fresh berry we can find, and preserve all the bounty for the cooler months when our fruit options are much more limited. Last week we took my six year old blackberry picking while her big sister was having a play date, and we had so much fun! We ended up picking eight pounds of fresh blackberries, and I couldn't wait to get them home and make them into something delicious. So far I've made a double batch of blackberry jam (recipe coming soon!) and a double batch of this lovely fresh blackberry sauce. 

This homemade fresh blackberry sauce is the perfect topping for pancakes, waffles, ice cream, or shortcake. It's quick and easy to make, and so delicious!

This sauce is simple and delicious, and so quick and easy to make! It's mostly just crushed blackberries with a little sugar and cornstarch, and it is perfect for topping everything from pancakes to ice cream. It keeps pretty well in the fridge, too, so it's fun to make a big batch and then enjoy it on EVERYTHING for the next week or two. I'll be sharing my very favorite way to use it on the blog on Friday, so be sure to come back and get the recipe! 

This homemade fresh blackberry sauce is the perfect topping for pancakes, waffles, ice cream, or shortcake. It's quick and easy to make, and so delicious!
Fresh Blackberry Sauce

3 cups fresh blackberries, crushed
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 tablespoon corn starch
2 tablespoons water

Add the blackberries, sugar, and lemon juice to a medium pot and stir well. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat. While the mixture is heating, dissolve the corn starch in the water and whisk until smooth. Add the corn starch mixture to the blackberry mixture and stir well. Let simmer 2-3 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Remove and let cool slightly before serving. Store in the refrigerator.
This homemade fresh blackberry sauce is the perfect topping for pancakes, waffles, ice cream, or shortcake. It's quick and easy to make, and so delicious!

For more deliciously sweet homemade sauces, check out some of my favorites below:



8.04.2017

Blueberry Muffins

Yum
These streusel-topped blueberry muffins are made with fresh berries and have the perfect tender crumb!

These streusel-topped blueberry muffins are made with fresh berries and have the perfect tender crumb!

When it comes to breakfast foods, blueberry muffins are one of my favorites! I like them sweet, light, and moist, full of juicy berries, and crisp on the edges. I especially love them topped with a buttery streusel. These blueberry muffins check all those boxes, and taste amazing! They're also super easy to make, don't require any ingredients I don't have on hand at all times, and are ready in about thirty minutes. This is one of my family's very favorite recipes, and we make these beauties at least once a month, if not more often. 

Since it's berry season here in the pacific northwest, we have an abundance of fresh blueberries at the moment (I think there are seven pounds of blueberries currently in my fridge), and these muffins were the perfect way to use some of them. I've got big plans for the rest, from homemade blueberry syrup, to a batch of these blueberry crumb bars. If you love blueberries like we do, you have got to try these delightful little muffins!

These streusel-topped blueberry muffins are made with fresh berries and have the perfect tender crumb!
Blueberry Muffins

for the muffins:
3/4 cup sugar
zest of one lemon
1 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup oil
1 egg
1/3 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries

for the streusel:
1/4 cup sugar
5 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons butter, cut into cubes
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 400. Line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper liners or spray with cooking spray. In a large bowl, rub the lemon zest into the sugar until the mixture is fragrant. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt, and mix to combine. In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the oil, egg, milk, and vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Gently fold in the blueberries. Scoop into the prepared muffin tin, filling 3/4 full.

To make the topping, whisk together sugar, flour, and cinnamon with a fork. Cut in butter using a fork or your fingers to form crumbly mixture. Sprinkle over the top of the muffins. Bake 15-20 minutes, or until lightly browned on top.
These streusel-topped blueberry muffins are made with fresh berries and have the perfect tender crumb!

For more tasty muffin recipes, check out some of my favorites below:



8.01.2017

Back to School Recipe Plan

Yum
Looking for easy back to school ideas? Try these easy recipes to get back into the swing of school, with a side of fun printables to get your kids in the mood!

Looking for easy back to school ideas? Try these easy recipes to get back into the swing of school, with a side of fun printables to get your kids in the mood!

I am totally in denial that it's time to get ready for back to school! My kids got out of school very late this year, and we have been packing so much fun into this summer that it has totally flown by. I am so not ready for school shopping, lunch packing, early wake-ups, and the endless paperwork that comes home from school. Like it or not, though, back to school time is on its way! This back to school recipe plan is full of easy weeknight meals, kid-friendly desserts, and printables and crafts to get ready for back to school. We've got everything you need to make back to school time extra fun (and delicious!).

This is the perfect Back to School Recipe Plan!


SLOW COOKER HONEY GARLIC CHICKEN from Your Homebased Mom

Looking for easy back to school ideas? Try these easy recipes to get back into the swing of school, with a side of fun printables to get your kids in the mood!

CHICKEN WHITE BEAN MOZZARELLA DIP by Reluctant Entertainer

Looking for easy back to school ideas? Try these easy recipes to get back into the swing of school, with a side of fun printables to get your kids in the mood!

CHICKEN SALSA MINI PIZZAS by The Cookie Writer

Looking for easy back to school ideas? Try these easy recipes to get back into the swing of school, with a side of fun printables to get your kids in the mood!

CHEESY BEEF & TOMATO SKILLET by Yellow Bliss Road

Looking for easy back to school ideas? Try these easy recipes to get back into the swing of school, with a side of fun printables to get your kids in the mood!

PEPPERONI PIZZA SLIDERS by Julie's Eats and Treats

Looking for easy back to school ideas? Try these easy recipes to get back into the swing of school, with a side of fun printables to get your kids in the mood!


Looking for easy back to school ideas? Try these easy recipes to get back into the swing of school, with a side of fun printables to get your kids in the mood!




Looking for easy back to school ideas? Try these easy recipes to get back into the swing of school, with a side of fun printables to get your kids in the mood!

PEANUT BUTTER & JELLY CUPCAKES by The Baker Upstairs

Looking for easy back to school ideas? Try these easy recipes to get back into the swing of school, with a side of fun printables to get your kids in the mood!


Looking for easy back to school ideas? Try these easy recipes to get back into the swing of school, with a side of fun printables to get your kids in the mood!




Looking for easy back to school ideas? Try these easy recipes to get back into the swing of school, with a side of fun printables to get your kids in the mood!

APPLE HOOP ART by Live Laugh Rowe

Looking for easy back to school ideas? Try these easy recipes to get back into the swing of school, with a side of fun printables to get your kids in the mood!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...