Guess what? For this month’s Secret Recipe Club assignment, I FINALLY got one of my favorite blogs and one that I’ve been waiting for well over three years to be assigned. It has been a party at our house as I have made a ton of recipes from Shelby’s blog, The Life and Loves of Grumpy's Honeybunch. Going out with a bang here, but I’ve made the decision to not be part of the Secret Recipe Club anymore. I have been with it from the day Amanda created it more than three years ago. I have never missed one month. It has been so fun, such a great time, and I have made some great friends along the way. I’ve been feeling for a number of months now that it will be time to move on once I finally get Shelby’s blog. That has been what has kept me going, the excitement of waiting and wondering when I’ll finally get THE assignment.
Shelby, Shelby, Shelby—what a wonderful woman! We’ve “known” each other (haven’t met in person yet) since way back in about 2008 when we were both involved with Tuesdays With Dorie and baked our way through Dorie Greenspan’s Baking From My Home To Yours in a huge weekly-posting group. Those were the days, weren’t they?!
Throughout this last month, I have had the fun and pleasure of seeing how many of Shelby’s recipe from her blog I can make. I have not been disappointed with a single one! I loved the brownie biscotti and made it gluten free and used organic cane sugar to make myself a treat. Can’t wait to make them again!
Way back when she posted these unique chocolate chip cookies, I made them. I looked back through all my photos and my blog and never did put them on the blog. But I did find where I wrote some notes after making them that Kevin really liked them. This recipe, that Shelby posted back in 2009, was one she found on a handwritten recipe card that her family believes was from her Grandmother Lottie. They have no butter and are made with cream instead, which is probably because cows’ milk/cream was more at hand back in those days than butter. I made these to take to a get together we were having with some friends along with a couple other goodies and they were gobbled up.
I didn’t want to only make treats or desserts from her blog, so I have turned to it for dinner inspiration over the last month. I made a great chicken recipe weeks ago that was well liked here at my home. I will not hesitate to make it again. Just like when Shelby made it, I served it with rice (and for me quinoa).
My family LOVES cinnamon rolls, which Shelby has mentioned she can’t resist either. It only seemed right to make the recipe she has pictured at the front and center of her blog. These just might replace my cinnamon roll recipe, which I’ve used for years because the boys all really liked them. How could you not like a giant cinnamon roll that is similar to Cinnabon?! (Wish I could have had one!) This recipe, which is similar in size of ingredients to mine, makes EIGHT rolls. They are huge, and I think I rolled them the wrong way (from the long side of the dough instead of the short side, which would make each roll bigger).
I really enjoyed looking all through Shelby’s blog and ended up having to make another recipe from her family file and settled on these date treats made by her Aunt Helga. I changed up this recipe for candied date balls so I could eat them (no one else here will eat anything with dates!) and made the recipe with coconut sugar and raw honey instead of sugar and coconut oil instead of butter. I also used some organic brown rice crisp cereal instead of Rice Krispies. I enjoyed making some different with unsweetened coconut, chopped walnuts and even adding a little chocolate to some.
Another awesome recipe I made were a quick-change version of Shelby’s Peanut Butter Caramel Swirled Brownies. I had the brownies all ready to make and was getting out the ingredients for the peanut butter caramel, which called for smooth peanut butter and found that we were out. Staring at me in the cupboard was some nice, smooth Nutella. So I made the caramel sauce (which came from a Bobby Flay recipe) with Nutella! After making the caramel and once it cooled, I will have to admit I tasted a little bit, for quality control purposes, you know. It was good! The caramel was swirled in to the brownies. They made for a yummy dessert with ice cream on top. It seemed necessary to take a bite of the one photographed here, so I can really attest to their deliciousness. I’m a bad, bad girl, I know. ; )
The 9x13 inch pan of brownies lasted a few days around here. One of Kevin’s 18 year old nephews was over and had one of the brownies and said they were SO good. He asked for another. Then he said I definitely had to make those for the next family get together.
Nutella Caramel Swirled Brownies with ice cream
Wait, there’s more! It has been strangely cool and quite rainy for an August in the Utah dessert here, so I was recently in the mood for chili. Shelby to the rescue! She has a great, simple White Chicken Chili on her blog!
Another night for dinner, I had some more chicken I wanted to use. Our dinner that night was Apricot Glazed Grilled Chicken from The Life and Loves of Grumpy’s Honeybunch. Mmm, it was good!
I made the glaze with some apricot jam my friend gave me that was made with agave instead of sugar! I’m so blessed to have friends that care about my dietary needs. My dinner included some sauteed sweet potato and portabello mushroom hash and a caprese salad. Delicious dinner!
I saw Shelby’s post for Spicy Mango Lime Salsa with Pears and just like she said she had to when she saw it posted somewhere and had to make it, I did, too! I also made homemade tortilla chips. I made some with flour tortillas (not pictured) and some with corn tortillas, which I loved! The boys couldn’t eat the flour tortilla chips fast enough and want more soon! The salsa was supposed to be made with finely chopped red onion, but since I knew I was the one who was going to eat most of it (Kevin doesn’t like fruit in salsa), I left out the onion and added chopped jalapeno instead. Yum!
Are we there yet? You know, how when you’re on a long trip and the kids complain and ask if we’ve arrived at our destination yet? I’m almost done. But aren’t you starving now? Yeah, get over to Shelby's blog for all these delicious recipes. Finally, I ended the month recently with another biscotti, which is the same thing I made first when I got my assignment (the brownie biscotti). Since Shelby is from upstate New York and they love their maple syrup there, I wanted to make something with maple syrup, so I settled on her Maple Walnut Biscotti. I have simply loved having so many treats this month, a lot of them I have adapted to gluten free and refined sugar free when it was something I wanted to be able to eat, like the biscotti. I will spend the next month or so sharing individual posts for my adaptations for all these recipes. For now, all the links to the recipes I used from Shelby are under each photo.
Shelby dipped her biscotti in a white chocolate glaze, I added some Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips to some of mine. I’m not a coffee or tea drinker and don’t dip my biscotti in anything, but sure love it!
This Sunday night for dinner, I planned ahead and made one more recipe from Shelby’s blog—Pot Roast and Onions. While I don’t like onions, my family does and I knew I’d be okay putting an onion in the slow cooker with a roast. Loved this simple recipe and the gravy it made. When it comes time to eat, my family is not happy to wait for pictures, so I got them all eating, then snapped this quick one of my dinner. (They had mashed potatoes, but I don’t eat potatoes anymore, so I had a sweet potato.)
Is it over? I mean this “era” in my blog life of being part of the Secret Recipe Club? Let me just say that I’ve sure been torn from one day to the next, even one hour to the next throughout this last month. I will still be checking in on reveal days as much as I can. One of the reasons I feel like it’s time to let it go is because I just can’t seem to get around to as many blogs as I’d like and it doesn’t seem fair. I’ll definitely still be here in food blog land, so never fear! Peace out! And we will meet someday, Shelby, my sista from another mista!