Falafel Burgers {Vegan}

by amy on 25 January 2015

Simple Falafel Burgers {Vegan} | www.FearlessHomemaker.comSimple Falafel Burgers {Vegan} | www.FearlessHomemaker.comToday, I’m participating in a fun blogger event — the Secret Recipe Club. How does it work? Every blogger is secretly assigned another blog + chooses a recipe from that blog to make. On reveal day (today!), all of our posts go up at the same time, + everyone gets to see who was assigned to their blog, which recipe they chose, + how it turned out. Fun, huh?

This month I was assigned Shockingly Delicious, a wonderful blog full of scrumptious, budget-conscious, healthy, family-friendly foods + decided to make these Vegan Falafel Burgers. And y’all, I don’t think I can adequately explain how amazing these were. SO fantastic. They are simple to prepare, but packed with complex, impressive flavor. After making these for dinner recently, my husband told me that, honestly, he hadn’t had terribly high expectations for these burgers (as he’s not a huge meatless meal lover), but his mind was blown by their deliciousness. He actually said, “I do not miss the meat one bit – these are AMAZING. Can we please have these again within a few weeks?” You bet we can! I like serving them in pita pockets with lettuce, tomato, cucumber, onion, and a little tzatiki sauce. Perfection!

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Mexican Pulled Pork (Carnitas)

by amy on 20 January 2015

Carnitas (Mexican Pulled Pork) | www.FearlessHomemaker.comHere in the Southern USA, we eat a lot of pulled pork. In our family, it’s one of the go-to meals for a group dinner or party, as it’s easy to make a big, tasty batch for a crowd. In the South, it’s traditionally smoked + served with barbecue sauce. And while I love the Southern version, I’m equally enamored with the Mexican version, called Carnitas. With Carnitas, generously-seasoned pork is slowly-braised-until-tender (traditionally in lard, but this recipe uses water + citrus juice instead to cut down significantly on fat), then served with warm tortillas. Yum! While this version is leaner than the traditional version, it absolutely does not lack for flavor – it is truly amazing.

Despite the short ingredient list + fairly simple preparation, the pork is bursting with delicious, bright, citrusy flavor. After cooking in the oven until fall-apart-tender, the pork is shredded + popped under the broiler for a few minutes. The end result is super tender pulled pork with a wonderful, slightly-crisp, caramelized exterior. Swooooon. I like to serve mine with warm corn tortillas, beans, rice (either this Mexican Rice or this Cilantro-Lime Rice), + my favorite taco toppings. It is also great in burritos, quesadillas, and on nachos. Mmmm. It always gets hugely rave reviews, + gobbled up by both the adults AND the kiddos. Y’all have to give this recipe a try – I know you will love it! And in fact, it’s already on our dinner menu plan (again!) for later this week.
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Veggie-Packed Macaroni + Cheese

by amy on 13 January 2015

Kid-Friendly Veggie Mac + Cheese - www.FearlessHomemaker.comVeggie Mac + Cheese (with broccoli, peas, + carrots) - www.FearlessHomemaker.comAs a mom to a toddler, one of my ongoing goals is to get her to eat a diet that is (relatively) balanced + healthy(ish). While she doesn’t hate vegetables, like many children, she prefers to fill up on the other stuff, + sometimes leaves the veggies behind. So, I figured a good way to squeeze a few more veggies into her diet was to mix them into meals that she already loves. Namely, macaroni + cheese! In this recipe, I cook the carrots, peas, + broccoli right in the water with the pasta, then toss everything with a homemade cheddar sauce, top it with some seasoned bread crumbs, + bake it until golden and bubbly. Mmmmm.

And how is it? Truly wonderful! This is one of those dishes that gets gobbled up by both the children at the table AND the adults. It’s rich enough for the adult palate, while familiar enough to be appealing to little ones, too. While my little girl loves this as her main dish, I prefer it as a side dish, alongside turkey burgers, grilled chicken, or meatloaf. And while I chose to use her three favorite vegetables – peas, carrots, + broccoli – you can get creative and substitute whatever veggies are the most popular in your household. However you make it, and whatever you serve it with, I’m confident that you + your family will love this mac and cheese!

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Spiced Hibiscus-Ginger Tea

by amy on 6 January 2015

Spiced Hibiscus-Ginger Tea | www.FearlessHomemaker.comHappy 2015! I hope your year is off to a fabulous start. =) After a break from blogging in December to maximize my family time during the holidays, I’m excited for a new year of cooking, crafting, photographing my creations, + sharing them with you. First up? This AMAZING Spiced Hibiscus-Ginger Tea. As some of you may know, I’m a HUGE lover of herbal beverages + teas. I even belong to a Tea Of The Month Club where I get to try a new blend every month. Surprisingly, I rarely experiment at home with making teas and herbal drinks, though. That will definitely now change, because this recipe turned out so delicious + was surprisingly simple to make.

This tea has amazing spicy, earthy, belly-warming notes from the ginger, allspice, + cinnamon, a tangy-tart bite from the hibiscus, some brightness from the lemon, + a hint of honey sweetness. This drink is wonderfully versatile – you can serve it hot or iced, and non-alcoholic or boozed-up with some bourbon. I actually loved this SO much as a non-alcoholic drink that I didn’t try the boozy version, but one of my friends who also has made this recipe assures me that the bourboned-up twist is wonderful. Since it’s caffeine-free, I’ve been enjoying a hot mug of it right before bed, which is such a nice, homemade treat.

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Top 10 Recipes of 2014!

by amy on 30 December 2014

I hope you all had a wonderful 2014! For me, 2014 was a truly amazing year full of so much happiness. I watched my darling Fearless Baby grow from a little squishy baby into a joyful, active little girl. I celebrated three years of marriage to my wonderful husband. I traveled to Massachusetts + Florida + California + Georgia. We moved into a beautiful new home. I made countless recipes and crafts. And, most importantly, I spent tons of time with my fabulous family and friends. After such a great year, I’m so looking forward to seeing all that 2015 has in store for us!

Fearless-Baby-Christmas-2014-vs-2013So, what kind of a year was it for the Fearless Homemaker blog? A great one! The blog had tons of visitors from all over the world, and here are the top 10 most popular recipes from 2014.

CARAMEL APPLE CHEESECAKE BARS: I’m not surprised that these made it into the top recipes. They are incredibly delicious, with a buttery graham cracker layer, a divine cinnamon cheesecake layer, + a topping of tender cinnamon-sugar apples + sweet caramel. Plus, they’re surprisingly easy to create, + make for a beautiful presentation. Winner!

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars

RESTAURANT-STYLE MEXICAN RICE: I am so thrilled that this recipe made it into the top 10! It’s one of those super simple, crazy delicious recipes that I make ALL THE TIME. I almost always have all the needed ingredients in the house to make it – it’s a great last-minute addition to the table any time you’re making a Mexican or Southwestern meal. Scrumptious.

Restaurant-Style Mexican Rice

SLOW-COOKER BARBECUE CHICKEN:With the vast number of slow-cooker/crock pot recipes on my blog, I’m not surprised that a couple made it into the top 10, and this is a great one! It is amazingly tasty, kid-friendly, SO easy to make, and the leftovers are incredibly versatile. And with 170 calories, and a wonderful 17 grams of protein per serving, it’s pretty darn good for you!

Slow-Cooker Barbecue Chicken

PASTA WITH TOFU BOLOGNESE: I am pleasantly surprised that this recipe made it into the top 10, because tofu recipes aren’t always the most exciting to readers. =) But really, this recipe is FANTASTIC. And absolutely wonderful with spaghetti squash instead of traditional pasta, too, so if you’re intending to eat less meat (or carbs) in 2015, this one’s definitely bookmark-worthy!

Pasta with Tofu "Bolognese"

SPINACH + RICOTTA STUFFED PASTA SHELLS: I love that my Stuffed Shells recipes have been popular! When I first posted a picture of a Stuffed Shells dinner on social media, a bunch of you commented that it had been years since you had eaten them. Since Stuffed Shells are one of my favorite comfort foods, I’m glad so many of you decided to give these a try!

Spinach + Ricotta Stuffed Shells

PUMPKIN PIE BAKED OATMEAL: Ooh, I love this recipe! This was my first time making OR eating baked oatmeal, + it was even more delicious than I had expected. Full of pumpkin flavor + warming fall spices, kiddo-AND-adult approved, + super leftover-friendly – this is a great breakfast.

Pumpkin Pie Baked Oatmeal

CHICKEN BROCCOLI ALFREDO STUFFED SHELLS: Two stuffed shells recipes in the top 10? How cool! This is another recipe on frequent rotation in our household. Tender shredded chicken tossed with rich alfredo sauce, cheddar + parmesan cheeses, + chopped broccoli, then stuffed generously into jumbo pasta shells, and baked until bubbly and golden brown. Mmmmm.

Chicken Broccoli Alfredo Stuffed Shells

SLOW-COOKER CHICKEN AND MUSHROOM FARRO RISOTTO: This risotto (farrotto, actually!) still holds the spot as my favorite slow-cooker meal to date, and it’s on regular rotation in our kitchen! Juicy, fall-apart tender chicken, wonderfully flavorful mushrooms/onions/garlic, and cooked-to-perfection farro, all in a truly divine, amazingly creamy parmesan sauce.

Slow-Cooker Chicken and Mushroom Farro Risotto

SPICY SESAME + PEANUT NOODLES: These noodles are SO wonderful – perfectly balanced in both flavors + textures. They can be a vegetarian-friendly main dish, or, an awesome side dish alongside an Asian-inspired chicken, pork, or tofu entree. Serve ‘em hot, at room temperature, or even cold straight out of the fridge – they truly taste delicious all three ways!

Spicy Peanut and Sesame Noodles

SALTED CARAMEL CHOCOLATE COOKIES: This is my go-to cookie recipe. The cookies I make whenever I want a guaranteed-to-please-a-crowd sweet. Rich, heavenly, chocolate cookies stuffed with melty chocolate chips + gooey caramel, with a perfect burst of saltiness from sea salt sprinkled on top.

Salted Caramel Chocolate Cookies

So there you have it, folks – the top 10 recipes posted on Fearless Homemaker in 2014! I hope that your 2015 gets off to a fab start, and I can’t wait to share more recipes in the new year. Cheers!

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