Spring Is Finally Here! - Kate's Kitchen Blog at Allrecipes.com - 325881

Kate's Kitchen

Spring is Finally Here! 
Apr. 20, 2014 10:22 pm 
Updated: Apr. 21, 2014 8:37 pm
Since my last entry, things have still been very busy.  These are some highlights from the last month.  My husband's birthday was at the end of March, so we had a nice day visiting Waterloo/Cedar Falls and going back to places where we used to go a lot when we lived there.  I also gave him a present that kind of went along with each place as a clue.  I think the best places we visited were Iowa Works where we used to work, Scratch bakery, Steamboat Gardens restaurant, and a park where we watched movies outside after dark.  Every place we went was fun though, and I'm glad we got to do this.  It was very special remembering memories from when we lived there and were first dating. 

We also had a couple of fun nights out lately.  We went to Winifred's here in Cedar Rapids.  This was a really fancy supper club style restaurant.  It was definitely a splurge place, but it is still nice to do that once in awhile.  We ate some really good steaks, and the homemade blueberry cobbler there is amazing!  We also went to a Wine and Dinner event at Shores Event Center presented by Hy-Vee grocery store.  This was a really nice event where we got to try five different wines during the courses, and we also got the recipes to take home, which was really nice.  I don't know a lot about wine, but I do like it in general.  Lastly, we went to the play "To Kill a Mockingbird" through Theater Cedar Rapids.  It was very good and all the actors did a really good job.  It was nice to be able to see the story acted out because it had been awhile since I had read the book.  I'm glad we got to do these things together. 

I feel like I haven't cooked as much recently, or at least haven't cooked anything new.  I think this is because my work is getting really busy this time of year, and Kelly is finishing up the school semester.  When we have eaten at home, we have done quicker things like brats or Hamburger Helper.  Plus it seems like if I don't get to the store over the weekend, it is really hard to get there during the week because I'm tired from the work day and don't know what to make.  However, this weekend, I thought I would try using a different cookbook every week for awhile to change things up.  I love all my cookbooks and I have a lot of them.  I like looking through them, especially if there are a lot of pictures.  This week, I am using Taste of Home Annual 2014 recipes.  I picked out what I want to make this week, and already went to the store, so I should be ready to go.  Tonight I made Slow Cooker Macaroni and Cheese and Italian Meatball Buns.

Italian Meatball Buns photo

Slow Cooker Mac & Cheese

Italian Meatball Buns

These both turned out really well.  The slow cooker mac and cheese can actually be done in about 1-2 hours in the slow cooker, so I think you could still put it together when  you get home after work, and eat it that night.  It had good flavor and I would definitely make it again.  It was very easy to put together. 

The Italian Meatball Buns are such a great idea!  Basically you wrap a meatball in bread dough, let it rise, and bake for about 15 minutes.  Then you can brush with oil and sprinkle with Parmesan and basil.  These tasted so good.  Very good appetizer idea or something different than garlic bread for pasta.  They also were very easy to put together and the dough easily wrapped around the meatballs.  I highly recommend both items. 

I'm hoping by having my meals planned out for the week, that this will help me write my updates more regularly.  I think this is about it for me for tonight, but I wanted to take some time to write an update.  Hopefully more to come this week with the rest of the Taste of Home 2014 menu - then a new cookbook featured next week.  Everyone have a good Monday! 

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Home Town
Cedar Falls, Iowa, USA

Member Since
Aug. 2009

Cooking Level

Cooking Interests
Baking, Slow Cooking, Mexican, Italian, Southern, Healthy, Dessert, Quick & Easy

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About Me
My favorite things to cook
My favorite things to cook would have to be dinner options. This is the main meal I cook most days and this is where I try the most new things. I absolutely love pasta or any Italian dish, and so does my husband. Macaroni and cheese is really becoming my favorite food, and there are so many ways to change it up! Pasta and macaroni are my go-to favorites!
My favorite family cooking traditions
My grandma is a fantastic cook, so I love going to her house for any meal, especially holidays. I love her ham balls, chicken casserole, and chocolate chip pudding cookies. Eating these foods always reminds me of being at her house. I love whenever I visit her that she always has afternoon tea around 3:00pm. I think this is a nice little tradition and want to keep it up myself.
My cooking triumphs
I think the best thing I ever made was BBQ beef brisket out of the Food Network magazine. Pretty much anything I make from this magazine I consider a triumph, but I could not believe that I made this brisket; it was that good. This is definitely one I would use to impress people, plus you cook it in the slow cooker, so it is really minimal work!
My cooking tragedies
I remember I made some kind of dinner casserole and I think I accidentally used condensed milk instead of evaporated milk - it was so sweet and just gross! The first time I tried to make homemade spaghetti sauce, the recipe just said to use ground beef and diced tomatoes and that the tomatoes would cook down. I'm not sure what I did wrong, but this did not work and I have found a new recipe since. I also remember burning some butter or something on a flat baking sheet; the smoke alarm even went off and I threw the pan away!
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