August 18, 2014

Strawberry-Blueberry Freezer Jam {recipe}

I was recently inspired by my sis-in-law to make freezer jam before the bounty of amazing fruit disappears!

She posted a photo of her freezer jam on Facebook, and then told me how easy it was to make so I had to give it a try.  I've never made freezer jam before, although I did learn to can strawberry jam awhile back.
Blueberry-strawberry freezer jam!  #freezerjam #preserving #tasteofsummer

There are distinct benefits to each method.  Freezer jam is faster to make and doesn't require as many tools.  Canned jam will keep in the pantry anywhere from 1 to 2 years, but freezer jam will keep in the freezer for about 6 months.  That is not a problem for us since I don't think it will last the whole 6 months!

August 13, 2014

Fresh Strawberry-Banana Bread {Recipe}

It's summer and fresh fruit is in abundance, so I'm trying to take advantage of it!  And, My Oldest is thrilled with this because it means he's got fresh baked banana bread with different variations available for snacking and breakfast!

I picked up a couple of 1 pound packages of strawberries when I was at Costco last weekend.  Most of them were used to make a couple of batches of freezer jam (I'll be sharing that later this week), so I had some left and decided that if I was going to make banana bread, why not make strawberry-banana bread!

Fresh strawberry banana bread!  #baking #banana #strawberries

I shared this photo on Instagram last weekend, and it's really the only one I got since the bread has been inhaled!  Do you follow me on Instagram?  Check it out because I will share photos there that don't always make it into a blog post here... You can follow me at THIS LINK or the one in my side bar to the right.

August 10, 2014

Baked Vanilla Donuts (a.k.a. Homer Simpson Donuts)

Last week was My Husband's birthday and as it approached, My Boys wanted to know what they could get for his gifts.  This is always an interesting conversation since we don't let them buy us gifts, and always ask that they make us something.  It could be a card, a craft project, or something else that appeals to them.

My Oldest has tired of writing cards at 12 years old, but has a new interest in baking.  At first he wanted to bake him a cake, which was a great idea... pretty simple to find a recipe that he could make on his own.  As it got closer, he changed his mind to donuts.  The change is completely related to his fascination with The Simpsons - between the show that has been on for over 25 years to the comics he's collecting, he loves everything related to The Simpsons.  So, vanilla donuts with pink glaze and sprinkles became the creation for this year's birthday.

Baked Vanilla Donuts a.k.a. Homer Simpson Donuts

August 9, 2014

Restaurant Review: Koi Asian Fusion Lounge, Brick Township

We had family visiting from Arizona recently and while they were here we had the treat of trying a new restaurant in Brick Township, NJ - Koi Asian Fusion Lounge.

The restaurant is located in what used to be a Denny's, but there is no trace of the previous restaurant when you walk in since the decor has been overhauled.  It's a lovely place with good lighting (which helped tremendously with taking photos!), and beautifully plated dishes.

Koi Asian Fusion Restaurant

August 6, 2014

New Cookbook: Crazy for Breakfast Sandwiches

Disclaimer:  I received a review copy of the cookbook, Crazy for Breakfast Sandwiches.  All opinions are my own.
Crazy for Breakfast Sandwiches

What's breakfast like around your house?  At our house, it is a mish-mosh of everyone grabbing what they can eat quickly and easily.

Sometimes that means a bowl of cereal or yogurt, other times it's a quick scrambled egg and toast... and when the fridge is empty (read: been out all weekend and didn't get the food shopping done) reaching for a frozen waffle will do the trick.

I am a big fan of making sure we all have something to eat before we head out for the day.  You can't start the day off in the right frame of mind if you are listening to your stomach growl, right?

When I received a review copy of Crazy for Breakfast Sandwiches, I began paging through to see just what this cookbook had to offer that I wasn't already able to come up with on my own.  Because, seriously, how hard is breakfast?

This cookbook bases most of the recipes off of the use of a sandwich maker appliance. I do not own one of those, but the author does offer suggestions on how to adapt the recipes, so the cookbook could appeal to a larger audience.

August 3, 2014

Blog Tour

I was pleasantly surprised when I received a message from my friend, Sandy Smith, asking if she could feature FamFriendsFood on a Blog Tour post she was putting together last week over at Eat Real.

Sandy is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to pastries or running for miles!  A few years back, I had the pleasure of meeting her after I had taken a class at the Culinary Institute of America.  We spent a bit of time chatting over coffee and generally having a lovely time that afternoon.  I do wish we could have found time to get together so that we could bake together!

You've got to check out some of her fabulous recipes!  I've had her Cranberry Orange Nut Muffins bookmarked and am so glad I revisited my list for this post so that I can bump this one up to make as soon as I can get a hold of cranberries!

I rediscovered empanadas recently, and knowing that Sandy's recipes are tried-and-true I'm sure that I'll be able to recreate them at home!

July 31, 2014

Day Trip: Central Park, NYC

A day in the park sounds so inviting, doesn't it?  Especially, with some of the amazing weather we've been enjoying recently in New Jersey and NYC!

A day in Central Park

July 29, 2014

Restaurant Review: Churrasco Grill in Lake Hiawatha

One of the things I love about where I live is that we have a wide variety of cuisines we can sample depending on our mood.  Sadly, we have a tendency to keep going to back to our 'tried and true' favorites.  Lately, we have been working on changing that, and last week we had a date night with another couple and ended up trying Churrasco Grill in Lake Hiawatha.

Don't let the exterior dissuade you from venturing inside.  As with many of our favorite places, we find that being open minded has led us into some quaint and lovely restaurants.  This one included, as it had a warm and inviting atmosphere and is family-owned and run.

Dinner @ Churrasco Grill

July 27, 2014

Mushroom and Chicken Saute

Do you ever have one of those nights where you need to make dinner, but nothing is sounding all that appealing?  Well, that does happen here more often than I'd like... it's getting better lately, but I had a real drought when it came to cooking successes in the last few months.

I think I've finally got my creativity back and seem to be able to come up with something that will please most of the people who sit at my kitchen table.  Some days, they come to the table and have a quizzical look on their face and then the first taste it's gone and smiles are everywhere... other days, there will be someone who just doesn't enjoy the flavors and that one will end up having a sandwich or something to make sure they have enough to eat.  But, they do taste it before heading in that direction!

Mushroom and chicken sauté

July 24, 2014

Tasty Tidbits: Ice Cream!

This week, I've been talking a lot about ice cream... it all started with Carvel and their new ice cream flavor and a giveaway you don't want to miss out on! (You still have time to enter!)
Carvel and their latest flavor- Nutella.

Next up, was a Strawberry-Vanilla Topping... followed by Caramel Ice Cream!

This summer wasn't the first time I became infatuated with making my own ice cream... here are a few favorites from the past:


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