Category Archives: Food

Hello Dollies!

 

I have been out travelling for work like crazy and I am so happy to be home now from now until mid-January when I leave again. After only three days at home in two weeks, I couldn’t wait to get back to West Virginia to settle in to enjoy the last two weeks before Christmas.

The first thing I had to do was put together my Food 52 Secret Food Swap Box. Food 52 is a unique hybrid of an online cooking community and a kitchen/houseware shop. You can connect with any member and see what they are cooking, and also purchase some of the most useful cooking tools around. I love it.

Each year the website puts together a secret food swap in December. All you have to do is donate $5 to No Kid Hungry, a non-profit whose mission is to end child hunger in America. Once you do that ans sign up for the swap you wait patiently until you get an e-mail telling you who your recipient is. This year I was lucky (unlucky?) enough to actually get the editor-in-chief of Food 52 as my recipient!

As I said earlier, I have been travelling quite a bit, so I had to buckle down on Sunday and finish her box so she would get it before she left town for the holidays. I was in Chicago last week, so I made sure I stopped at the Christkindlmarket in Chicago where I was in German candy heaven and picked up some German chocolate and a marzipan pig. Then I had a stop over in Cincinnati where I stopped at my favorite brunch spot, Taste of Belgium and scored some macaroons.

Each holiday swap box should have something in it that is homemade, so I included a container of Sue’s Chex Mix, which has been a huge hit around here lately. Can’t stop, won’t stop. I also made some of my famous Salty Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookies. I haven’t shared this one on the blog yet, but I plan to. It’s a solid winner, and my specialty.

Hello Dolly

Then I added a batch of Hello Dollies! These sweet, gooey bars are an easy addition to your holiday dessert table, as they look festive, taste amazing and best of all can be whipped up in no time.

Here’s what you need:

1 cup graham crackers, crushed (I put in my food processor)

1/4 cup melted butter

1 cup chocolate chips

1 cup chopped walnuts

1 cup shredded coconut

1 14 oz. can of sweetened condensed milk

Here’s what you do to make these Hello Dollies:

1. Mix the graham cracker crumbs with the melted butter to form a thick mixture. Press in the bottom of a lightly greased 8X8 glass pan.

2. Layer the chocolate chips, walnuts and coconut evenly on top of the graham cracker mixture, making sure to add the coconut last (so it looks pretty!)

3. Pour the entire can of sweetened condensed milk over top. Put in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes.  Wait for it to cool completely before you cut into squares. Voila! You are a dessert hero.

Eat hello dolly

I’m going to try and check back in with the blog next week and review a beauty item I received in the mail- look out for that. Happy holidays!

Holiday Chex Mix for a crowd

Holiday Chex Mix

We are all about snacks lately over here at Wild and Wonderful Me! Today I am bringing you an absolute must have holiday recipe for the best savory Holiday Chex Mix you have ever tasted. Growing up in New Jersey and then Norway, Chex Mix was never ever something that my family had on the table during the holidays. Maybe we should have since I remember hanging around the kitchen bothering my Mom waiting for the food to hit the table.

When I moved to West Virginia, my good friends Sue and Hans always had Mark and I over (even before we were married) for holiday get-togethers. Sue always had this Holiday Chex Mix on the table to snack on in her cozy kitchen as we chatted so she could prepare dinner. It kept the hunger at bay as we waited, and probably also kept us from getting too tipsy off the delicious cocktails!

A few weeks ago I asked Sue if she would mind sharing the recipe with me and she happily obliged. I have been so excited to make it this weekend to have on Thanksgiving, and to share with you!

Chex Mix TabascoChex Mix Seasoned salt

Sue’s Holiday Chex Mix

You’ll need:

  • 1/2 box Rice Chex
  • 1/2 box Corn Chex
  • 1/2 box Crispix
  • 1 1/2 sticks melted butter
  • 3 Tbs Worcestershire Sauce
  • Tabasco to taste
  • Lawry’s seasoned salt or garlic salt

Put cereals in a very large bowl or pan and stir. Combine the butter with Worcestershire Sauce and tabasco. Drizzle some of the melted butter over cereal. Shake on Lawry’s Seasoned salt or garlic salt. Add small pretzels or pretzel sticks, drizzle more butter, then add potato sticks, drizzle more butter mixture and sprinkle with seasoned salt. Add peanuts or mixed nuts, Cheez-its, goldfish, and whatever else you like. Continue to drizzle butter and sprinkle with seasoned salt.

Bake in a 275 degree oven for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.

Recipe notes: I had to use 3 large pans to fit all the Chex mix in the oven, and it was a tight fit. I also had no idea how much tabasco to add, so I dumped some in. While it was baking, I opened the oven a couple times and the it made my eyes burn! Yaasssss!!!! This is a hard recipe to screw up too bad, so just go with your instincts.

Holiday Chex in oven

Also- if you are wondering what the potato sticks are all about, here is a picture of the container. They were hard to find, but a friend of mine found them at Walmart and even delivered them to my house.

Potato Sticks

Update: I made this on Sunday and today I had to go home from work for a bit. I munched on this stuff for a full 45 minutes. it’s highly addictive!

Oh yeah, also….

From around the Web:

Perfect Stocking Stuffers, Bombas Socks- for 25% off your first order!

For more snacks, check out my post about Cinnamon Peanut Butter Popcorn!

Golden Turmeric Milk

With the weather changing I am prone to switch to a cup of tea or other hot drinks in the evenings. Last year I started looking for a recipe for Golden Turmeric Milk since I had heard of all the benefits of turmeric and also wanted to switch things up a bit.

Turns out this stuff is delicious. It’s creamy golden goodness in a cup. Best of all? It’s so good for you. Let me count the ways. (For more specific info, check out this article.)

Golden Milk Ingredients

  • Turmeric’s main compound is curcumin,which is not absorbed very easily into the body. Eating black pepper with your turmeric with significantly enhance absorption.
  • Curcumin has extremely powerful anti-inflammatory effects and is a very strong anti-oxidant. I am still dealing with some major swelling on the toe where I had surgery in July, so I’m hoping drinking Golden Milk can help. I have so many cute shoes that don’t fit anymore!
  • Since turmeric helps fight inflammation, it also helps fight low-level inflammation diseases like heart disease, metabolic syndrome and even cancer.
  • I did a little research and found that studies of the compound curcumin have found it to be more effective in the treatment of arthritis then actual anti-inflammatory drugs use to treat the illness. That’s pretty badass!
  • Last but not least this wonder-spice can be helpful in treating depression.

But guys… in addition to all this, keep in mind that Golden Milk is so damn good I’d drink it if it were bad for me.  I guess I’m trying to say that this stuff is a win-win.

Turmeric with recipe

You can whip up a cup in just a few minutes. Here’s how:

1 can coconut milk (I like the light version)

2-3 teaspoons of turmeric

1 teaspoon raw honey

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 dash of black pepper

1/4 fresh ginger, peeled (I also use ground ginger if I don’t have fresh on hand)

1 pinch of cayenne

Blend everything in a blender really well until completely incorporated and smooth. Add to a small saucepan and heat on low until hot but not boiling. Enjoy!

Golden Milk in a cool mug

I can’t wait to bring you guys some awesome posts next week, as I have HUGE weekend plans! Check my Instagram stories if you are curious!

 

 

 

Easy Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

Hey friends! It’s that time of year again. The weather has gone from over the top heat wave to crisp fall coolness in a matter of two days. Fall in West Virginia happens overnight, and just like that pumpkin spice season is upon us!

Personally I am a huge fan of anything pumpkin, but I am not the sort to run out to Starbucks as soon as I see a couple leaves change color. I prefer to add my own spin on it, like adding a dash of pumpkin spice to my morning smoothie, or adding organic pumpkin to a cup of coffee.

Well today you guys are about to hit the jackpot, because I have the easiest recipe on the planet. Time for some Pumpkin Cupcakes!

clip_image001 Continue reading

Wine in a Can

Yeah, you read that right. I wanted to check in today just to tell you guys about some wine that I am loving lately that comes in a can. I know this blog centers on beer, but sometimes there is nothing better than coming home from work, throwing on some Sylvan Esso and a pair of sweatpants, cracking open a can of red, and cooking up dinner. So relaxing.

IMG_0795 Continue reading

Ice Box Cake for Father’s Day

Because of the fact that I lived in Norway, I tend to migrate towards the Norwegian side of my heritage, but my Dad’s side of the family is Italian. Growing up we called our spaghetti sauce “gravy” and waved our hands around a lot when we talked. Oh wait… I still do that.

My Dad tells me stories about my paternal grandfather sometimes, and one of the stories are about when he was a milkman. Apparently they had a lot of milk during that time, because my grandmother used to make a no-bake cake called Ice Box Cake. I have recently brought this cake back into my life, and despite the ingredients being something I would not normally eat, when you put this all together, its weirdly amazing.

IMG_0540

What you’ll need:

1 box of Graham Crackers

1 box chocolate pudding (Cooktop – not instant)

1 box vanilla pudding

1 box butterscotch pudding

milk

That’s it! Here’s what you do: Use a 3 quart glass or metal dish with high sides, add a layer of graham crackers on the bottom. Cook the butterscotch pudding according to the package directions. Pour it over the graham crackers. It’s OK that it still hot, that will soften the graham crackers and make it better! Clean out the pot, and cook the vanilla pudding next. Add a layer of graham crackers and pour the vanilla on top. Repeat this step with the chocolate. Crumble a couple of graham crackers and sprinkle them on top of the chocolate layer to make it look nice (this cake is not very pretty..) and pop it in the fridge. Don’t knock it till you try it, this cake is the bomb! Plus, you don’t have to heat up your kitchen in the middle of summer by fooling with the oven. It’s a winner.

IMG_0541

This cake is so easy, Maren made the entire thing. Then she ate it.

Ice Box

Happy Father’s Day! Since the kids are out of town, I am treating Mark to a day in Cincinnati full of beer and brunch. He deserves it for being such a loving Dad to our kiddos. I am also thinking of my Dad, Mike (this cake reminds me of him), my grandpa Lou and Mark’s Dad, Dick. We love you guys!

Quick Quinoa Salad

A while ago I did a search online for food that is good for your skin. My skin wasn’t feeling very bright, and instead of polishing, cleansing, masking, etc. I decided to eat my way to a brighter complexion. I stumbled across an article that talked about foods that might help, so I put them together into this bright, colorful salad. The best part? The quinoa can be made in advance so you can throw this dish together quick and be on your way!

IMG_0674

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cup cooked quinoa

1/4 cup cherry tomatoes or 1 small tomato (chopped)

1/4 cup chopped bell peppers

1/4 cup pumpkin seeds

1 tsp minced garlic

1/4 cup black beans

1/4 cup olives

Chopped parsley

1/2 tsp cumin

1 tbsp lemon juice

2 tbsp olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Cook the quinoa according to package directions. Chop the tomatoes, peppers, parsley and add to the  cooked quinoa. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Recipe notes: The great thing about this is that you can eat it right away while the quinoa is still warm, or you can whip it up, stick it in the fridge and eat it later. I also add a half squeezed lime juice to it, as I like the sourness of the lemon and lime together. I also omit the olives- I’m not a fan. Add what you like and take out what you don’t. ENJOY!

Heard this at Rhinegeist this past weekend and had to share with you guys: Today’s Jam

 

The World’s Best Cake

When I lived in Norway we used to visit my step-dad Harry’s Mom all the time. Her name was Hanna and I guess you can call her my step grandma. I loved her. She used to sing to her plants as she watered them and when I asked her why, she told me in broken English that it helped them grow. I feel like this describes her perfectly.

She also was a great cook and we looked forward to going to her house for dinner on Sundays. More exciting than the dinner was of course, dessert. There’s this cake she used to make that we considered her specialty called “Verdens Beste Kake”, or in English, “The World’s Best Cake”.

Cake batter

Whipped topping Continue reading

Side Dish Fit for a Cookout

Spur of the moment gatherings are the norm around here, so I (or my pantry) has to be ready for anything. I’ve had this side dish in my back pocket for a while now, and I pull it out when I need to get a large side dish together in a flash. The best part? Everyone loves it, and it goes perfectly with both burgers or chicken on the grill.

IMG_0414 Continue reading

My Most Used Recipe

It’s been a wild week with Mark returning home from Jackson Hole and the beginning of spring break. We aren’t travelling anywhere this year since we have rather large travel plans later this spring/summer, so it will be a regular week filled with work and the usual stuff. The only difference is that I’ll be teaching mad amounts of BodyPump due to the fact that I’m covering classes.

Last week when I was alone with the kids I managed to sneak in a little meal planning on Sunday and cooked up some quinoa and vegetables that I could use during the week for my lunches. In addition to that, I was able to make a batch of my favorite cereal. As I was making it, I started thinking how I needed to share it with you guys since it is, hands-down, the recipe I have made more than any other, like…EVER.

IMG_0250 Continue reading