It has been awhile since I have done a “What I’m Loving” post, but I have missed it!  I love finding good round-ups to learn about new blogs and recipes.  I will be choosing a theme to bring to you with each of these posts and the theme to kick us off is avocados!

Sweet or savory, I can’t get enough of the creamy, dreamy texture of avocados and they lend such a subtle flavor to so many dishes.  One of my favorite lunches is mashed avocado on toast with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a sprinkle of chili flakes, salt and pepper.  Here are a few dishes that feature avocado that I cannot wait to try!

Avocado Bacon Pasta Salad from Host the Toast Blog:  Smooth creamy avocado with crispy salty bacon might be a flavor combination that ranks right up there with chocolate and peanut butter for me.  And that is saying a lot.

Baked Avocado Fries with Chipotle Ranch Dipping Sauce from Eat Drink Love:  I can just imagine the crispy breaded outside of these fries contrasting the creamy inside of avocados, yum!

Avocado Banana Bread from Crazy for Crust:  Can you imagine how moist this bread is with that avocado used as the primary fat source??

Stovetop Avocado Mac & Cheese from Two Peas & Their Pod:  This takes creamy to a whole new level…..

ABCT (Avocado, Bacon, Cheese, Tomato) Sandwich from One Lovely Life:  I much prefer my BLT’s with avocado and the addition of pepperjack cheese would add a nice kick of heat.

What is your favorite way to enjoy avocados?  Links to recipes welcome 🙂

Any theme recommendations for the next edition of What I’m Loving?

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It still feels unreal to me that it has been one year already since I published my first post on Satisfy My Sweet Tooth.  I have enjoyed the whole blogging experience so much and you all are truly the best part.  I love the community of bloggers that I have met that feel like friends even though we have never met in person.  And I love all of the kind and thoughtful comments that you readers leave on my posts.  I could have never imagined how much time I would spend taking photographs and baking and how much I would continue to love to write.  Thank you for your support and continued reading.

I thought that in honor of Satisfy My Sweet Tooth celebrating it’s first birthday, I would share some of my favorite posts and the most popular posts according to readers.

In no particular order:

Coffee-Spiked Chocolate Caramel Bars

Peanut Butter Pretzel  and Chocolate Chip Cookies

Coconut M&M Cookie Bars

Profiteroles

Brownie Pie

Babybel-stuffed Meatballs

Caramel Pecan Turtle Bars

Chewy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

Fresh Spring Rolls

Ginger Molasses Cookies

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream and Peanut Butter Cups

My favorite Chocolate Chip Cookie

Is there anything in particular you would like to see on Satisfy My Sweet Tooth in the future?

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Jan 03
2012

Top 11 of 2011

When Satisfy My Sweet Tooth came into existence this past summer, I had no idea where this adventure would take me.  What I started as something to share recipes with friends and family and hone my photography skills has slowly developed into a full-time obsession that I just can’t get enough of!  Experimenting, writing, taking photos and sharing all of it with you has been such a pleasure and I thank you sincerely for following along with my on my culinary adventures!

I thought I would sum up my first 6 months of blogging with some highlight of my favorite recipes and yours.

1.  Possibly my most popular recipe are these Coffee-Spiked Chocolate Caramel Bars.  Rich and buttery graham cracker crust topped with homemade caramel, chocolate ganache and sea salt.  Need I say more?

On another note, did you know that “espresso” is one of the most commonly mispronounced words?  I read a list of words in the newspaper this week.  People usually stick a “c” in there to make it “ek-spress-oh”.  Just thought you would want to know.

2.  I was surprised how gaga you all went for these sweet and salty beauties.  I mean don’t get me wrong, I drool over these Peanut Butter, Pretzel and Chocolate Chip Cookies, but I am so happy at how many of you lovelies have let me know that you have made and enjoyed these as well.

3.  Next are these Coconut, M&M Cookie Bars.  These bars combine two of my favorite ingredients:  chocolate and coconut.  The flavor of these cookies is almost like the Samoas Girl Scout cookies and they are just so chewy and addicting.

4.  One of my favorite savory recipes that I have shared with you is this pasta with Red and Green Pesto.  I can’t believe I have only made it once and I also just realized that this would be a very festive Christmas recipe!  I really should start making a list for next year’s holiday season already…..

 

5.  And of course, my all-time favorite pasta, Grandma Suzy’s Fettucini Freddi.  This sauce is so clean and simple, yet every time I eat it, I cannot stop oohing and aahing over it.  And especially now that I received the pasta maker attachment for my mixer, I cannot wait to make homemade noodles with this silky, delectable sauce!

6.  I was so thrilled when I stumbled upon this Crock Pot Apple Butter this fall!  Talk about an easy food gift to share with others.  This will be a staple that I make every fall when friends and family give me apples from their fall harvests.

7.  Nothing really satisfied my craving for crunch like these Heath and Macadamia Nut Blondies.  Chocolate, toffee and nuts are such a rich combination and all of the textures together makes these bars particularly drool-worthy.

8.  I took my first cooking class in 2011 with Emily.  The recipe that I have made the most often from that evening of learning is these Fresh Spring Rolls.  I love how diverse they are because of all of the possible fillings and the sauce is so perfect that I do not even want to order them out at restaurants anymore!  And they are a perfect healthy recipe to start off 2012 right.

9.  I never realized how starting my own blog would lead to an obsession with other blogs!  There is just so much inspiration to be found by browsing through other people’s creative ideas.  No ingredient was more prominent in the blog world during the fall than pumpkin.  I have a few pumpkin classics that I make each year and possibly my favorite is this Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cake.  It is so moist and incredible.

10.  Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola Bars.  These bars are a perfect example of how i see a recipe and then brainstorm about how I can change it to fit my preferences.  These are chewy, nutty, filling and healthy.  A breakfast treat or snack that you can really feel good about.

11.  And finally, one of my favorite combinations, chocolate and peanut butter combined in these soft and chewy Chocolate Cookies with Peanut Butter Cups and Sea Salt.  Cookies are my absolute favorite dessert!  I’ll take a perfect cookie over a rich chocolate tart or cake any day.  They are also very dangerous though because I can never eat just one!  This is a cookie that you could easily put your own spin on with several different ingredients.  Let your creativity shine!

I am not big on resolutions, but a new year does make me think about what improvements I would like to make in my life.  As always, I know that I want and need to exercise more.  I actually feel excited about it after lounging non-stop and eating way too many holiday delights.

I have an email folder, Pinterest board and cookbooks full of recipes that I cannot wait to try this year.  I hope that you will continue to join me on my adventures in the kitchen.  I do so appreciate your readership and support.  I always love hearing from you and please let me know if there is anything special you would like me to share with you in 2012.  Happy New Year sweet teeth!

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I’m declaring a savory week here on Satisfy My Sweet Tooth.  A few weeks ago, I made Vegan Gluten-free Brownies and then a few hours later proceeded to make Babybel-stuffed meatballs.  I love all food.  I don’t discriminate.

I grew up eating my grandmother’s to-die-for Italian red sauce with meatballs.  Since she is gone 🙁 no one can quite replicate the amazing flavor of her “gravy” but I am able to take myself back to sitting around her table with these meatballs.  My grandmother did not stuff meatballs with cheese but Giada does, so I figured combining two of my favorite cooks versions of meatballs could only result in a small meaty miracle in the shape of a ball.  And I was right.

Pasta is easily my single favorite savory food and while I do not feel the need to add a protein to top my noodles, my husband is never quite content with a meatless dinner (Waah).  So, as I mentioned after experimenting with vegan gluten-free baking during the first part of the day and watching his nose turn up with the addition of each “weird” ingredient, I knew that a meaty meal was the way to his heart.

Babybel cheese wheels are a favorite of mine.  I can remember my mother packing them in my lunchbox as a child and even now when I am hungry for a snack I love to eat a couple of the Babybel Lights for a low-calorie high-protein snack.  I wasn’t sure how the Babybel would melt in the cooked meatballs, but I was pleasantly surprised when I cut into a meatball and was met with a gooey string of cheese.  Cook up some pasta with your favorite red sauce and whip up a batch of these meatballs and you will be satiated and comforted in no time.

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dry ingredients

quarter Babybels

combine all ingredients, roll into balls and make indentation into each ball

stuff quarter of a Babybel into each ball and roll to seal

bake


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As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program, I received some great products from Newman’s Own.  I really like the Newman’s Own products that I have tried and I appreciate that they use natural ingredients.  One staple that is always in my refrigerator is Newman’s Own Lighten Up Italian Dressing with Lemon.  Their dressing is one of the key ingredients of the Antipasto Pasta Salad that I am sharing with you in my video debut!  It’s a recipe that is very customizable to the tastes of you and your family which you know I love!  I hope you enjoy it!

Antipasto Pasta Salad

by Mercedes Porter

Keywords: appetizer entree pasta

Ingredients

  • 1 pound tortellini
  • 3/4 cup Newman’s Own Italian Dressing
  • 1/2 cup pitted black olives
  • 1 whole roasted red pepper, chopped
  • 1/3 cup pepperoncinis, sliced
  • 1/2 cup boccaccini (miniature mozzarella balls)
  • 1/4 pound genoa salami, sliced into strips
  • 1/4 cup red onion, sliced

Instructions

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add tortellini and cook until al dente.

Drain pasta and place into serving bowl. Immediately toss with 1/2 cup of the dressing.

Combine all other ingredients with pasta.

Pour remaining 1/4 cup of dressing over pasta salad and toss to coat.

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Try to settle down.  The American Academy of Motion Pictures will be accepting Oscar nominations for several months yet.  😉

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