The Feastie Blog

Feastie Friday: 19 Ways to Celebrate World Nutella Day Every Day!

Okay so we missed World Nutella Day by a few days - but that doesn't mean you shouldn't celebrate World Nutella Day every day. You don't need an excuse or a holiday to eat Nutella - it's the kind of thing that deserves to be celebrated and eaten every day. The sheer fact that something as amazing as that delectable and addictive chocolate hazelnut spread exists on this earth and is jarred and sold at stores for our convenience - you should eat it with wild abandon. So we've rounded up 19 ways for you to celebrate Nutella every day! Nineteen recipes that highlight the spread in creative ways like pancakes, shakes, crepes, coffee, and more. And although we didn't include it in the list, using a spoon to just get your groove on straight from the jar is also completely acceptable. So get your jar of Nutella and join us as we shamelessly scream from the rooftops, "WE LOVE NUTELLA!" 

1. Nutella S'mores Pulls from Plain Chicken
Nutella S'mores Pulls from Plain Chicken
Photo from Plain Chicken

 

Vegan Peanut Butter Cups with Peanut Butter Mousse

More "stuff in a jar". It's an epidemic, I tell you. But these peanut butter cups with peanut butter mousse - OMG. OMG OMG OMG. I can't even handle it. I guess I shouldn't have been surprised after I made these healthy vegan salted peanut butter cups from Oh She Glows - I should have KNOWN that anything that Angela makes is pure gold. I should have known that I'd need to double the peanut butter mousse portion of this recipe because I was going to EAT half of it before it even made it into the jars. I should have known that anyone who created this sinless sticky toffee pudding (my very favorite dessert of 2012) was capable of blowing my mind a THIRD time. And these mini peanut butter cups in a jar from Oh She Glows did just that - BLEW MY FREAKIN' MIND. Don't let the ingredient list put you off - yes, there is tofu in this recipe. And no, you can't taste it. All you taste is peanut butter magic. Every single person I gave this to (and I was very selective - keeping most of them for myself) was blown away, too. It's not just me. I wish I had a more eloquent way of describing these peanut butter cups but I don't - they're just friggin' awesome. Make them. 

21 Super Superbowl Snacks

Did you know that the Superbowl is the second largest eating day, after Thanksgiving? Whether you're a hard core football fan or you're there just for the commercials, there's one thing we all have in common: food! There's so much more to Superbowl food than pizza and wings. This year, why not try some mini tacos, baked poppers, or loaded tater tots (also known as totchos). We even have some healthier options here like quinoa pizza bites or roasted buffalo cauliflower. There's something for everybody at your superbowl party on this list. Enjoy!

1. Captain's Table Superbowl Mini Rum-Glazed Shrimp Tacos With Boozy Tropical Salsa from Katie at the Kitchen Door
Captain's Table Superbowl Mini Rum-Glazed Shrimp Tacos With Boozy Tropical Salsa from Katie at the Kitchen Door
Photo from Katie at the Kitchen Door

 

BBQ Ranch Chicken Salads in Mason Jars

I know, I know - another "salad in a jar" post. They're all over Pinterest, and they're all the rage on the food blogs - I get it. It's overkill. HOWEVER - trendy cuteness aside - this is the best way to prepare lunch salads for an entire week at once and ensure that you'll have a crisp, perfect salad every single day. Because storing these salads in air-tight glass jars does just that - keeps the lettuce and all of the other ingredients as crisp and fresh as the day you made them. It's magic, I tell you. Mostly this is just a great way to ensure that The Mr. gets a healthy lunch every afternoon - on Sunday evenings I make up enough salads for the entire week, and each morning he just grabs a jar (and some accompanying treats, of course) and sticks it in his briefcase for work. Refrigerate until lunch time, then just pour into a bowl, give it a little toss, and you've got a fresh salad with absolutely no effort whatsoever. Seriously - this is even easier than a salad bar! This past week we've been enjoying BBQ ranch chicken salads, but the options here are absolutely endless - you can pretty much put anything you want in this jar (besides avocado - unfortunately that doesn't stand up too well) as long as you follow the rules and add the ingredients in a specific order. Namely - dressing at the bottom, other wet or semi-wet ingredients that don't get soggy (i.e. beans) next, then the rest of your ingredients, ending with lettuce on the top with a bit of croutons. That way your lettuce stays nice and fresh and doesn't get soggy or wilted - and the beans (or chicken, or tomatoes, or lentils, whatever you've got in there) basically marinate in the dressing and get even more delicious and zingy. I use the wide-mouth 24 oz (pint and a half) sized Mason jars and they're the perfect size for a medium/large lunch salad. It won't look like much when it's stuffed into the jar, but once you pour it into a bowl, it's a substantial salad. 

Feastie Friday: 21 Creative Pizzas for Your Next Pizza Night

If the anticipation of pizza night no longer fills you with excitement - you're stuck in a pizza rut. Because few things in life are as satisfying as a good pizza - unfortunately, more often than not quick takeout pizzas are mediocre at best. Canned mushrooms and rubbery cheese, too-sweet sauce and shriveled up veggies - not too appetizing. The solution: make your own pizza at home! It's easy, inexpensive, and you get to make the pizza exactly the way you like. If you're intimidated by yeast breads/crusts, buy ready-made dough - simply roll it out, top with some sauce, cheese, and your favorite toppings, and stick it in the oven while you set the table. We've rounded up 21 creative pizzas for your next pizza night - pizzas that are sure to get you out of your pizza rut and back in the "OMG IT'S PIZZA NIGHT!" mindset once again. With everything from pulled pork pizza (no, seriously!) to sweet potato, kale and brie slices, you're sure to find something to satisfy both carnivores and herbivores. 

Apple Pecan Bread with Cinnamon Streusel

Although the winter holidays have come to a close, I'm still not giving up the tastes and smells of the holidays. Namely, cranberries and apples - I still can't get enough of either fruit. I've made this cranberry pecan bread with orange glaze a few times - it's absolutely delicious every single time I make it - but I was in the mood for something a little bit different. I decided apples and pecans would be good in this bread - so I switched a few things up and came up with this version. It's just as good as the cranberry bread, but a tad less sweet since the bread isn't glazed. This went quickly at our house - we snacked on it in the evening with cups of tea and coffee, and enjoyed warm slices in the morning for breakfast. It's a quick and easy recipe - and I promise that your house will smell incredible while this is cooking!

Feastie Friday: 27 Decadent Mac & Cheese Recipes for Grown-Ups

If the first thing that comes to mind when you hear "macaroni & cheese" is the blue box with the bag of powdered "cheese"...well then clear your mind. Prepare yourself for some of the most ridiculously decadent, grown-up, non-powdered-cheese-food macaroni and cheese recipes that you've ever seen. We've rounded up 27 of the most decadent, cheesy, grown-up, creative, yummy mac & cheese recipes around - we're not talking your average noodles in goopy cheese sauce. These recipes feature decidedly grown-up cheeses - bleu cheese, gruyere, havarti, pecorino, goat cheese - as well as deliciously creative add-ins like bacon, buffalo sauce, veggies, lobster, even crab cakes! These recipes elevate mac & cheese from run-of-the-mill comfort food to gourmet cuisine - and no bags of powdered or processed cheese in sight! 

1. Gruyere Mac And Cheese With Bacon from Food Wine Thyme
Gruyere Mac And Cheese With Bacon from Food Wine Thyme
Photo from Food Wine Thyme

 

Baked Mashed Potato Casserole with Sour Cream and Chives

During the holidays, the Mr. and I were invited to Christmas Eve dinner at a friend's house - it was a small gathering, but really fun and special, and I was really looking forward to the dinner. When I asked what I could bring, I was told, quite enthusiastically, "Potatoes!!" Our host LOVES potatoes. L.O.V.E.S. potatoes. Now while I like potatoes as much as the next guy (well...maybe not quite as much...but I do like them), I really don't cook or eat them very often. I can dig into a sweet potato any time - but I just don't seem to eat potatoes very often. The Mr. has an intense dislike for anything with a mealy consistency, and I think he'd encountered one too many mealy potaotes in his life before we met - so it's not a food he requests very often (unless it's fries - in which case he can get them at a restaurant!). So I panicked for a split second, since I don't have any "family favorite" potato recipes in my files (unless you count latkes, which just weren't going to work for this meal). But I figured it couldn't be too difficult to find a tasty potato dish to make - I mean, potatoes + cheese + sour cream + butter = you really can't go wrong. I tossed around the idea of a gratin dish or something along those lines, but I don't own a mandolin, and didn't really feel like slicing a zillion potatoes. Someone suggested mashed potatoes - everyone loves mashed potatoes! But I didn't want to just do plain jane mashed potatoes. I wanted something a bit more decadent, a bit more special for our Christmas Eve dinner. So I came across this mashed potato casserole with sour cream and chives from The New York Times, and figured I'd give it a shot. Not surprisingly, it was absolutely amazing and delicious and a huge hit at the dinner - I mean, can you really go wrong with multiple sticks of butter, aged Parmesan cheese, sour cream, and bread crumbs?! I think not. So it's not like I took a huge leap here - but in the land of mashed potatoes, this casserole is kinda special. It's not an every day type of recipe - like I said, there are copious amounts of butter and sour cream at play here - but this is a perfect choice for a special dinner. It makes a LOT of potatoes - scale down the recipe if you're cooking for just a few people. But rest assured that if you need to impress with some potatoes, this is a great recipe to have in your arsenal. And yes, I realize that most of us (myself included) are attempting to detox from the holidays with some healthier, lighter meals, but I really did feel the need to share this recipe with you all, just in case the opportunity arose to impress some friends with a kick-ass potato casserole. So keep this recipe tucked away - you may not need it for a while, but the next time someone asks you to make potatoes you'll be glad you have it on hand!

Feastie Friday: 13 Reasons to Own a Donut Pan - Fun Baked Donut Recipes

So weigh in on the age old question: Is it "doughnuts" or "donuts"? However you spell it, donuts are amazing, they're delicious, they're sweet and sugary and everything else that is right with the world. Making traditional homemade fried donuts isn't impossible - but it can be messy, and it's definitely not as easy as picking up a bag of crullers from the coffee shop. But - what if you could make your own donuts at home - no frying required? You need a donut pan. You can make baked donuts that are just as good as the fried variety - and *usually* far healthier. We've rounded up 13 reasons why you need to own a donut pan - 13 recipes for easy, no-mess, homemade baked donuts that you can enjoy without the deep frying. So the next time you're craving a donut for your morning coffee, pull out your handy donut pan and whip up a batch of homemade baked donuts! 

1. Samoa Baked Donuts from Top with Cinnamon
Samoa Baked Donuts from Top with Cinnamon
Photo from Top with Cinnamon

 

Perfect Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Cream Cheese Sour Cream Frosting

Every year for his birthday, The Mr. requests the same cake - chocolate with chocolate frosting. And every year I offer up other suggestions - you know, just to mix it up a bit - and every year he says the same thing: CHOCOLATE. I'm not a huge fan of chocolate cake - I do love chocolate, but this is a chocolate explosion, like mass quantities of chocolate all at once. In other words - if you do like chocolate cake or chocolate desserts, this will make you pass out from happiness. I did have a slice at the party we brought this cake to, and it was good - very rich, not too sweet - but very, very chocolatey. The cake recipe is a classic - Hershey's "perfectly chocolate" chocolate cake - and it's a classic for a reason. This chocolate cake is perfection. It really is - it's the perfect combination of flavors and textures and just the right around of moistness and not crumbly or dry - Hershey's knows what's up. And I topped it with Martha Stewart's chocolate-sour cream frosting, which was unbelievable. I usually don't love buttercreams as they're tooth-achingly sweet, and I LOVE cream cheese and sour cream frostings, so this was a great choice for this cake. As far as my fancy shmancy cake decorating - let's just say I got ambitious and luckily things worked out okay! I used an awesome tutorial from The Hungry Housewife, and I will admit that this technique was way easier than I thought it would be! Not too shabby for my first try! 

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The Founder of Feastie.