November 20, 2014

Taste of Home Online Cooking School Review

For over a year now, I have had the honor of partnering with Taste of Home as Taste Ad Network Publisher and Taste of Home editorial partner.  I've been a long time fan of Taste of Home, so I am thrilled be a part of their network of Bloggers!  Pretty cool, right?  I think so.

I'm sure that you know Taste of Home is all about delicious recipes, but did you know that there are Taste of Home's Cooking School events happening nationwide?  At the LIVE Cooking School shows, Culinary Specialists engage with participants and share their favorite home cooking tips and tricks while demonstrating step-by-step recipes for the season’s best dishes.  Sounds like lots of fun to me!  You can check out to see if there's a Cooking School Live Event in your area here.


If you can’t make it to a live show or if online school is more your thing, well, I have good news for you!  On October 1st Taste of Home launched their new Taste of Home Cooking School ONLINE!

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November 19, 2014

The Best Homemade Egg Rolls

These are the BEST Homemade Egg Rolls made with seasoned ground pork and fresh vegetables tightly rolled up in egg roll wrappers, then fried to crispy delicious perfection.

The Best Homemade Egg Rolls | thetwobiteclub.com

I've never been much of a fan of Chinese take-out.  I know for some people Chinese food night is just as frequent as pizza night.  But, since I'm not a fan, we don't eat Chinese very much at all.  Which is a shame for my husband because he quite likes it.

I found a recipe for egg rolls a while back when I was browsing on the internet planning my menu for the week.  I seldomly venture into the realm of making Chinese at home, and if I do it's some kind of stir-fry or fried rice.  Not beautiful, golden, crispy egg rolls.

But, I thought I'd give them  a go because I knew my husband would love them.  The recipe I was inspired by didn't look too tough!
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November 17, 2014

Asian Broccoli Stalk Salad

Asian Broccoli Stalk Salad is a crunchy and fresh salad that features thinly sliced raw broccoli stems topped with soy sauce, sesame oil, toasted sesame seeds and crushed red pepper.

Asian Broccoli Stalk Salad | thetwobiteclub.com | Shaved raw broccoli stems drizzled with soy sauce, sesame oil, toasted sesame seeds and crushed red pepper.

Okay, guys.  I know that this recipe might sound a little strange to some of you.  Bear with me here because this recipe will change the way you look at broccoli forever.

Yes, this salad is made with just broccoli stalks.  Mild, crunchy, fresh, delicious broccoli stalks.

You know, the part you usually throw away.  So many people throw them away (including me), but did you know that broccoli stalks are 100% edible and hold just as much nutrition as the crowns?  Because I did not know that until I saw it in a magazine.

I mean, I guess I should have assumed they were tasty, because I've seen hunks of stems in soups before.  I suppose I thought they had to be cooked to be yummy.  I was so wrong.  The stems have a milder broccoli flavor than florets and are fresh and very light tasting.  If you're a broccoli fan, never throw away the stalk again.  You're going to love this salad!
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November 12, 2014

Best Ever Crock Pot Cowboy Beans

Crock Pot Cowboy Beans are a hearty and filling side dish made with a pound a beef, a pound of bacon, and three kinds of beans, all slow-simmered in a sweet and tangy brown sugar molasses sauce.

Best Ever Cowboy Beans | thetwobiteclub.com

You'll have to forgive me for the quality of this photo.  I took it on the fly and never bothered to check if the image was totally in focus.  Apparently I was moving a liiiittle too quickly in my rush to take a last minute shot that I shook the camera, as you can obviously see.  Shame on me.  I am not being a very good food blogger when I take crappy photos.

Every time we have a party or when we host holiday celebrations, I always have the best of intentions to photograph my new recipes, I swear I do.  This time was just like all of the others.  I get all wrapped up in last minute cleaning, getting myself and the kids ready, and making sure all of the food is plated, that I forget to take pictures.  I usually remember when the party is in full swing and people are chowing down.

I have a bunch of awful party food photo shots.  Check out this one of my Caramelized Onion Dip with Bacon.  Or how about this one of my Baked Buffalo Chicken Wings with Kicked-Up Ranch.  Embarrassing.  Ah, well.  Maybe one of these days I'll get to planning a little better and get better shots of my party food.

Awful photograph or not, these beans were so yummy.  And indulgent.  Usually when a recipe calls for a pound of bacon, I say, "Where do I sign up?"  They were the talk of my little guy's second birthday party!
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November 10, 2014

Bow Tie Sausage Lasagna and an Easy-Off® Oven Cleaner Review

This post is sponsored by Easy-Off® Oven Cleaner. Bow Tie Sausage Lasagna is a twist on the classic Italian favorite that features bold Italian sausage and farfalle pasta in place of lasagna noodles.


Sometimes cooking can be messy. There have been so many times when my kitchen looks like a bomb has gone off after I finish preparing a meal. Over the years I've gotten better at keeping the counters tidy as I cook by putting ingredients away as I use them and utilizing a garbage bowl if I've got a lot of vegetable prep to do.

While I try my best to keep the countertops in order so my perfectionist brain doesn't explode due to kitchen chaos, there's one place in the kitchen where the mess is out of my hands, so to speak. That messy corner of my kitchen is the inside of my oven. Once I close the door and leave the oven to do it's work, the messes that occur during the cooking process...you know, like bubbling over pies or casseroles, dripping sweet potatoes, oozing pizza toppings...those kinds of messes? They're the ones that make my oven a mess.

My oven's an old girl, but boy does she have character. Let me introduce you to my avocado green 1979 Magic Chef oven.
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November 5, 2014

Homemade Crunchy Baked Fish Sticks

Homemade Crunchy Baked Fish Sticks are made using fresh fish fillets that are cut into strips, coated in seasoned panko breadcrumbs, then baked in the oven until they are perfectly crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.

Homemade Crunchy Baked Fish Sticks | thetwobiteclub.com

When I was growing up, frozen fish sticks were one of the regular meals in our family's dinner rotation.  Occasionally my Mom would make fresh catfish nuggets, but the frozen guys were the norm.  While I wasn't a seafood fan at the time, there's something very kid-friendly about foods in stick or nugget form, so I ate them happily dunked in ketchup.

Now that I'm a mom, I started buying bags of frozen fish sticks when they would go on sale for quick lunches or dinners for my kids.  They, just like their momma, scarffed them right down with no complaints.

It wasn't until the other day that it dawned on me to make my own fish sticks at home.  My step-dad is an avid fisherman and catches boatloads of fish on his excursions through the flats of the Intracoastal Waterway.  Sometimes, when I'm lucky, he shares some of the fillets from his fresh catches.  I ususally freeze what he gives me to make for myself, since my hubby's not a big fan of seafood.  The other day he gave me a gorgeous fillet and my mom suggested I make fish sticks with it.  I thought to myself, huh....why haven't I done that before?  So I made them.

Holy delicious homemade crispy baked fish sticks, batman.  I mean they were good good.  The best part?  They took like 10 minutes to throw together and the kids LOVED them.  Bye bye frozen, hello fresh!  My daughter couldn't get over how they were super crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside.  Perfect!  You will love these, guaranteed!  I can't wait to make them again.
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October 31, 2014

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcakes

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcakes are moist yellow cupcakes with creamy peanut butter buttercream frosting and a sweet jelly center.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcakes are moist yellow cupcakes with creamy peanut butter buttercream frosting and a sweet jelly center.

Ever year for my kids' birthdays I make cupcakes.  My mother-in-law makes the big cake for the official birthday party, but on most years, the party isn't actually on their birthday.  On their birthday we stay home and I cook their favorite dinner and then we have the cupcakes so that they we can sing and blow out the candles on their special day.  Then they get to do it all over again with Grandma's cake at the big party with all of our family and friends.

This year my little guy turned two and I decided to put a twist on his cupcakes.  His favorite sandwich is PB&J, so I figured I would make him PB&J cupcakes!  I knew they'd be perfect for him.
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October 27, 2014

Cheeseburger Mac and Cheese

Cheeseburger Mac and Cheese is a cheesy and filling casserole that is a mash up of two all-American favorites: the cheeseburger and baked macaroni and cheese.

Cheeseburger Mac and Cheese | thetwobiteclub.com

I get a lot of magazines in the mail and they're one of my favorite places to get recipe inspiration.  Honestly, I wasn't so sure about this recipe when I first saw it in Family Circle.  I kind of think macaroni and cheese is one of the greatest things on earth, so the idea of messing with classic cheesy mac and cheese is a bit unsettling to me. Getting too crazy with add-ins and toppers is like messing with perfection, know what I mean?

I decided I'd try this version though, more for my husband than anyone else in the family.  The kids and I like my Momma's Baked Mac & Cheese.  And sometimes when I'm feeling like a super creamy version, I'll make this recipe.  But the hubs is a meat and potato man and would prefer a carnivorous meal as opposed to the vegetarian route.  So I'd thought I'd give it a go for him.
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