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Philly Cheesesteak Stuffed Peppers

I blame Pinterest for many things. Off the top of my head, here are a few. I can never again guiltlessly purchase the little tear apart Valentines and send my children to school with them. Every minor holiday must be celebrated as an over-the-top extravaganza with special breakfast food and remarkably adorable after school snacks. Supplies for more crafts than I ever imagined existed are now cluttering up my house. Let’s be real. The craft supplies are relegated to my closet after I realize post-purchase that I am not now, nor will I ever be crafty. I despise everything in my closet because none of it is perfectly coordinated down to shoes, bag and belt. I obsessively want to work out and try the twelve cleaning tips I found this morning. There are at least ten things I do wrong as a mother every single morning before school (according to all the amazing parenthood books Pinterest has introduced me to). And don’t get me started on the change in my children’s birthday parties since Pinterest took over my life. That being said…. that darn red swirly P holds my heart forever because it gives me recipes like this one.
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Chicken With Curried Cream Sauce

This recipe originally called for turkey, which immediately conjured up a quote from  Bridget Jones’ Diary in my head. “Once again I found myself on my own going to my mother’s annual turkey curry buffet.” But you have to say “buffet” like Renée Zellweger does…”boo-fey”. I have adored Renée since Jerry Maguire, but am I the only one who thought she seemed a little…um, tipsy during her stint as an Oscar presenter last night? I was thinking about her on stage appearance as I sat to do my menu planning for the week this morning – and this turkey curry recipe leapt off the page at me. I wanted to dress like an old couch when making it. I used chicken instead as I already had some out waiting to be turned into something delicious and bumped up the curry (could have even done more), but left the original recipe otherwise intact. It was delicious and easy but a little out of the ordinary. Yummy.

Chicken with Curried Cream Sauce - Bakerlady

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Beer Battered Shoestring Carrots

The only people I know who consider carrots a snack food are practically vegetarians. Sure, they are crunchy and pair perfectly with hummus. But really? I’d much rather be noshing on pretzels or chips. Carrots are not my first thought when deciding on a snack. You also probably never thought of them as pub (sorry, there’s my English roots showing) food. But I’m telling you, carrots made with a perfectly seasoned beer batter are both deserving of munching and would totally fit in on your favorite bar counter while you down a few brewskies.

Beer Battered Shoestring Carrots - Bakerlady

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Baked Mashed Potatoes

Otherwise known as “The Most Awesome Potatoes Ever”. Let me just say that I’ve tried to find a substitute for the gloriousness of potatoes. It just never works out. Kudos to you if roasted cauliflower has found a place in your heart where french fries used to live. I’m in awe of those who think a mashed veggie with just the right seasoning can replace the creamy goodness of softened potatoes mixed with butter and milk. It just isn’t going to happen for me. True love lasts a lifetime, and I truly love potatoes.  I’ve made my peace with it. You can too. Come join me on the dark side. A magical place where we embrace the carb-soaked starchy goodness of the potato.

Baked Mashed Potatoes - Bakerlady

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White Vegetable Lasagna

There are times in life when the only thing you can do for someone is feed them. When no words can soothe, a warm favorite food meal may provide some measure of comfort. Packing a casserole with goodness and love because it’s all you can do is occasionally part of this thing called life. The sucky part of life. This lasagna is perfect for such a time. It is also great for a weekday dinner for your family. Who, you should hold close. And tell them you love them. Give your kids an extra hug today while you’re at it. Because life is precious.

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Samoas S’more Rolls

It’s Girl Scouts cookie contest time!! I’m cooking with cookies! I feel I have crossed a MAJOR milestone in my life. I had a box of Girl Scouts Samoas in my cupboard for a week and managed not to consume the entire thing. In my opinion, Samoas are the perfect food. Shortbready cookie, caramel, coconut and chocolate. Oh glory.

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I know I’m not alone. Samoas make up about 20% of the total cookie sales by those sweet little sugar hocking scouts. These babies are second only to Thin Mints, which I contemplated using for this contest, but knew I could only stretch my willpower so far. My task for this contest was to create something incredible using Girl Scout cookies. And The Girl Scouts of Western Washington GAVE me 5 boxes to play with. My life is so grand! My very first thought was that Samoas could only be made more perfect by one thing. Marshmallow. With that plan in mind, this is what I came up with. Samoas S’more Rolls.

Samoas S'more Rolls I Bakerlady

These three ingredient rolls are absolute heaven and the most time-consuming part is waiting for the oil to heat up.

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It’s a simple chop, fill, roll and fry. But the result is just amazing.

Samoas S'more Rolls - Girl Scout Cookie Heaven from Bakerlady

I consumed the first two rolls fresh out of the fryer, burning my fingers getting the molten chocolate and caramel into my mouth. Where, I also toasted my tongue just a little. The smell was overpowering – I could not resist long enough to allow them to cool. The filling was divine. Melty mallow goodness wrapping around sweet caramel and rich chocolate with a hint of buttery coconut. All of that gorgeous deliciousness wrapped in a crispy roll. Oh gracious these are good.

Samoas S'more Rolls

I cooked up a few more batches, fed some to my kids and then ran the rest over to my neighbors because once there was caramel and chocolate dipping sauce on the plate, these were not long for the world at my house. Little envelopes of perfection. Mmmmmm.

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Girl Scout Cookies go on sale to the public March 1-17! There is an awesome cookie locator, as well as an app, that tells you exactly where girls are selling cookies in your neighborhood!  Head over to the Girl Scouts of WW facebook page and give them some love! As soon as cookies go on sale, get yourself a box of Samoas and whip up some of these rolls. Your taste buds will sing thanks to me but the rest of you may hate me for giving you the idea!

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You can vote for the finalists from February 19 – March 1 by clicking HERE. I hope you’ll see these Samoas S’more Rolls on the list!

Samoas S’more Rolls
a Bakerlady original

1 box Girl Scouts Samoas Cookies (you may have a couple left for eating)
12 egg roll wrappers
1/2 cup mini marshmallows

In a deep pot, heat oil to 380 degrees F.  (I used my frydaddy)

Cut Samoas into 1/4-inch chunks. Take an egg roll wrapper, and brush edges with a little water, and lay on a work surface, water side up, with a point facing you, not a straight edge. Place about 1 chopped cookie 1 or 2 inches from the edge, and top with 4 mini marshmallows.

Fold the corner closest you up and just over the filling, press lightly, then fold in the sides, making a little pull or tuck to keep the roll right. Then roll away from you and press to seal tightly. (Take care not to tear the egg roll wrapper. This can cause roll to leak while cooking. If tear occurs, pinch dough together until it reseals or discard wrap and use a new one.) Repeat until all egg rolls are formed.

Fry egg rolls 2 at a time, turning almost immediately, cooking on all sides to just golden brown, about 1-2 minutes. (Make sure not to overcook filling. If you see marshmallows start to ooze out before both sides are golden, filling will be overcooked and egg roll will appear hollow inside) Remove to a paper towel-lined plate and repeat until all cooked. Make sure to check your oil temperature between additions.

Fish Tacos with Tequila Lime Avocado Creme

I’ve tasted my fair share of fish tacos. It’s my favorite tropical vacation food. These are the best ever. The thing that puts them on a different level from all others? The absolutely gorgeous and delicious avocado creme. Light with a hint of tequila and lime, it is the perfect base for deliciously seasoned Mahi Mahi. Absolutely glorious.

Fish Tacos with Tequila Lime Avocado Creme

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Mango Guacamole

The title says everything you need to know. Say it slowly with me. Mango. Guacamole. Feel the words as they bounce from your lips. Mango. Sweet, light, tropical. Guacamole. Rich, creamy, delicious. Now put them together. You know it’s going to be unbelievable.

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Eric A. Strata

Let me warn you right up front that for the next week or so, you’ll be hearing a whole lot about my best friend Bethany. You may remember her from these Salted Caramel Chocolate Cupcakes I made to say goodbye when she (sob) left me to move to Maui. Obviously there are benefits to her living there. Namely, we have a place to stay for the very reasonable price of free. Actually, Bethany does requires one thing…that you allow her to Martha Stewart you while visiting. She’s a meet you at the airport with a lei, basket of chocolates and lotions on your bed, act as your chauffeur/chef/activity coordinator, wash and fold your clothes, play with your children, pack a cooler and a bag of goodies for the beach, provide you with rockin’ sunblock, and set up an umbrella so your pale freckly skin is protected kind of friend. Being with Bethany is, in a word, ah-mazing. Bonus, we have equally out of control hair and manic smiles when being blown off the edge of the world on top of Haleakala. It’s always a good thing to have friends who are equals on the crazy train of life.

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Broccoli Beef

Who knew homemade Chinese food was so simple and delicious? I’m a big fan of the little boxes take-out Chinese comes in, but I generally stick to chicken dishes when ordering out because the “steak” always looks a little off to me. I’ve had a hankerin’ for some broccoli beef for a while now and decided to give it a whirl. So. Easy. Mouthwateringly good too.

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Just a few simple ingredients to get started. We got a Kindle Fire for Christmas – it’s my new go-to on-the-counter recipe book. Love it!

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Start by slicing up a boneless round into thin strips. I totally felt like a Benihana chef while I was doing this. Sharp knife is a must, and be sure to cut across the grain.

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I used real fresh ginger in this recipe because I think fresh is just so much better than dried. If you aren’t familiar with ginger, here’s what you’re looking for.

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You peel off the outter (ugly) part with a paring knife and you’re left with something like this.

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Then you grate it up over a microplane zester. It comes out almost like a paste.

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Add the ginger to some soy sauce, brown sugar and garlic (and if you want, some red pepper flakes for heat). Then we get the meat soaking in a the marinade – just for a few minutes while you chop up the rest of your ingredients.

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A whole load of broccoli and an onion, sliced into wedges.

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Get a big pan hot with a little oil, and using tongs, drain as much liquid as you can from the meat before getting it all into the pan to cook. Keep the bag with the marinade liquid in it – we’re going to use it later. It’s very important that you don’t over do the meat. Just a little “hi there, how are ya’?” to the heat, and then off to a bowl covered in some foil to stay warm. Your steak is cut really thinly, so it doesn’t take more than a couple of minutes.

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Put all the broccoli and the onion into the same pan (there will be some liquid left from the meat, leave it in there!). Cover and let it steam for about 4 minutes.

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Add some cornstarch and water to the remaining marinade and dump it into the pan along with the warm meat. Stir it around until it’s all covered and the sauce has thickened slightly. Serve over rice.

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Mmmmmmm. Better than any take-out ever! Full of flavor, tender steak and perfectly steamed veggies. Yum yum yum!

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Broccoli Beef
adapted from Food.com

1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon water
1 lb boneless round steak or 1 lb charcoal chuck steaks, cut into thin 3-inch strips
1 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 cups broccoli florets
1 medium onion, cut into wedges
2/3 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
4 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons grated ginger (about a 1 inch piece of fresh ginger)
2 cloves garlic, grated
hot cooked rice

  1. In a ziplock bag, combine soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger and garlic.
  2. Add beef and allow to marinade 20 minutes.
  3. In a large skillet or wok over medium high heat, stir-fry beef in 1 tablespoon oil until beef reaches desired doneness; remove and keep warm.
  4. Add broccoli and onion, cover and allow to cook for 4-5 minutes.
  5. Return beef to pan.
  6. Combine cornstarch and water and add to remaining marinade in the bag. Then add to the pan.
  7. Cook and stir for 2 minutes.
  8. Serve over rice.
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