2017 - Buttered Side Up

6 Spreads That Will Elevate Your Sandwich Game!

Do you know what I consider to be a crime? Serving a sandwich without a good spread!  There's nothing worse than biting into a beautiful sandwich, only to realize that it's as dry as the Gobi Desert because SOMEONE neglected to put a spread on it! I've had this happen far too often when dining out.

Just say no to dry sandwiches!

Overnight French Bread + A Care Package with Bob's Red Mill

Thank you Bob's Red Mill for sponsoring this post. Create a care package for a loved one today and don't forget to include some baked goods made with Bob's Red Mill products!
Overnight French Bread
There's just something about bringing a care package to a loved one that makes you feel happy. The knowledge that you've made someone's evening that much easier is so satisfying. So when Bob's Red Mill gave me the challenge to create a gift basket for someone special, of course I jumped at the idea!

I decided to make a spaghetti dinner care package for my little sister. Not only does she take care of her little girl (who's not quite a year old) all day long, she also volunteers at a local pregnancy care center once a week. As anyone that has ever cared for a baby knows, just existing is a full-time job! She definitely deserves a break from cooking supper.

A delicious, fresh-from-the-oven treat is the perfect addition to a gift basket. One of the most enduring ways to show that you care about someone is to bake something special for them. Baking requires time, skill and love. It's a way of saying, "I appreciate you enough to give of my energy," without uttering a word.

But let's get into the knitty-gritty of how I put this basket together...

What I Ate Wednesday (8-23-2017)

What I Ate Wednesday
Hey friends! Welcome to What I Ate Wednesday, where I show you everything I ate on a Wednesday!

This week I decided to include a little more of our life in the video at the end of this post, so it's kind of like my first ever vlog! I hope you enjoy getting a little peek into our day. :)

Lemon Curd Ripple Ice Cream + Summer Fun

If you're going to make one dessert to celebrate the last days of summer, let it be this Lemon Curd Ice Cream. Even if you're a lemon skeptic, please give it a try. It's so rich and creamy and tangy and flavorful. 

Reuben is in love with this ice cream. I think he was pretty happy that I had to test the recipe several times to get it just right.

To make it even better, this has a no-cook ice cream base - less time in the kitchen! AND there's a no-churn option if you don't happen to own an ice cream maker.

Head over to The Pioneer Woman's blog to grab the recipe for this Lemon Curd Ripple Ice Cream!

Now I'd like to share some of the summer fun we've been having:

How to Make Croutons Over the Stove

How to Make Croutons Over the Stove
Let's be honest: croutons really elevate a salad. Those crunchy little cubes of bread are just satisfying.

But I have a conundrum surrounding croutons. First, most store-bought croutons are full of junk: icky oils and flavorings and chemicals. Second, I don't want to heat up my oven in the summer to make my own croutons.

So of course I devised a method of toasting croutons over the stove. It's really easy - let me show you how!

Easy Homemade Ranch Dressing

Homemade Ranch Dressing Recipe
I used to believe that ranch dressing was one of those things that was too difficult to reproduce at home. I mean, if you take a look at a bottle of store-bought ranch dressing, the list of ingredients is long and complicated: MSG, artificial flavors, calcium disodium EDTA...what?!

I threw up my hands at the idea of a homemade ranch dressing and opted for homemade vinaigrettes and the like. But, having grown up on ranch dressing, of course I still loved it.

Homemade Ranch Dressing Recipe
But then I saw recipes online for homemade ranch dressing. Still skeptical, I decided to experiment. I threw some ingredients together, and to my surprise, it actually tasted quite a bit like the commercial stuff! And the list of ingredients wasn't super long and unpronounceable. Cha-ching!

My recipe only contains 10 ingredients, and you most likely have all of them in your kitchen already! And if you're missing an ingredient or two, you can always make a substitute (more on that in a bit).

Creamy Green Smoothie

It took me a loooong time to hop on the green smoothie band wagon. For some reason I imagined that it would taste like a wilty salad all blended together. Not too appealing.

Then along came Jim, who absolutely refused to eat his green vegetables. Not wanting him to miss out on all the nutrients from eating greens, I devised a way to incorporate them into some of the foods that he eats every day.

My kids adore smoothies, so it was a no-brainer to add some pureed greens. Helen was a bit taken aback with the color of the smoothie at first (not her usual pretty pink strawberry smoothie), but now she's used to it.

How to Prep Your Greens for the Week (and get your kids/husband to eat them)

As I've discussed before, green leafy vegetables are packed with vitamins and minerals. Most of us know that it's important to incorporate them into our diets.

But convincing your kids or husband to eat them can be a bit of a challenge.

I can coerce Helen into eating greens by having her finish them before she gets a favorite food (such as fruit). But James is another matter: he spits out greens as soon as they hit his tongue. I don't feel like fighting that battle with him every day. So I came up with a way to sneak them into his food in a way that he can't spit them out. 

Let me show you what's working for us:

Thrive Market Haul

I recently made a fairly large purchase from Thrive, and I though y'all might be interested in what I got!

I'm a bit addicted to watching other people's healthy grocery hauls, so of course I wanted to make one myself. :) Hope you enjoy watching!

You can read more of the details about what I got below.

3 Easy + Healthy Weeknight Meals!

I'm not sure if you were aware of it, but I've been doing a series of posts over on The Pioneer Woman's Food & Friends section: Easy Weeknight Meals!

It's been fun to come up with ideas for meals that are easy to prepare, healthy, and completely delicious. 

Here are the first three installments: 

2017 Buttered Side Up Reader Survey

It's time for the 2017 Buttered Side Up reader survey!

Last year I conducted a survey, and it really helped me to know what to focus on to help you all out on your cooking journey!

I learned that your favorite types of posts are recipes, life updates, and tutorials. Your favorite types of recipes are healthy recipes, main dishes, and baking. And the biggest thing you wanted me to improve on was more recipes posts!

Please take the time to fill out the survey below so I know what kind of content to create for you:

How to Brown Butter

What is brown butter?

Brown butter is simply butter that has been cooked long enough so that the milk solids turn brown.

What does brown butter tastes like?

Browning butter gives it a beautiful flavor: a bit nutty and kind of like caramel. It takes the flavor of butter and enhances it.

How can you use brown butter?

Any time a recipe calls for melted butter, you can use browned butter instead! You can also pour it over popcorn, mashed potatoes, rice, etc. I might have to do an entire post about uses for brown butter!

How do you make brown butter?

Making brown butter is pretty similar to making ghee, except you don't strain out the lovely browned bits! It's super easy to make brown butter. BUT it takes a little bit of attention. Follow my step-by-step guide to learn how:

What I Ate Wednesday (6-7-2017)

What I Ate Wednesday - come see everything I ate/drank in a day!
Hey, friends!

So for this week's What I Ate Wednesday, I thought I'd try something different and make a vlog-style video for y'all!

Let me know if you like this format. Don't worry - I still included the photos with all the info below:

Caramelized Onion, Bacon, and Arugula Mac and Cheese

Thank you so much to the Vidalia Onion Committee for sponsoring this post! All opinions are completely my own, of course!

Caramelized Onion, Bacon, and Arugula Mac and Cheese
Are you ready for a recipe that will knock your socks off? 'Cause this caramelized onion, bacon, and arugula mac & cheese will do just that. It basically takes all of my favorite foods and packs them into one amazing bowl.

Caramelized Onion, Bacon, and Arugula Mac and Cheese
Butter, cream, cheese, bacon, pasta, Vidalia onions, arugula...I mean, how could you possible go wrong with these ingredients?!

Individual Lemon Soufflé Pudding Cakes


If you're looking for a recipe to impress the lemon-lover in your life, look no more: here it is.

These Lemon Soufflé Pudding Cakes look all fancy-pants, but they're actually pretty easy to whip up. AND they're delicious warm, room temperature, or cold. Totally not finicky.

It's pretty amazing how these cakes create a light cake on top and a lemon pudding on the bottom. Is it lame that I get ridiculously excited about that?

You can go grab the recipe over on the SoFabFood blog HERE.


Join my mailing list and get access to my free Healthy Junk Food Substitutes Guide!

Winner of the Vidalia Onion Giveaway!

And the winner is...

...drum roll please...

Dawn Castiglione!

She won by visiting the Vidalia Onion Facebook page.

I have emailed Dawn with further details about claiming her prize. She'll receive all the goodies shown above and a box of organic Vidalia Onions!

Thank you to all who entered the giveaway. And thank you to the Vidalia Onion Committee for providing the prizes!

Sneaky Peek
P.S. - Here's a sneak peek at what's coming next week...it's going to be good!

Homemade Strawberry Syrup for Strawberry Milk

Homemade Strawberry Syrup for Strawberry Milk
Last week was intense (as you know if you follow me on Instagram).

On Sunday evening I started not feeling well. I was generally tired and had a sore throat. I told Reuben to promise that he would stay home the next day, though I was only kidding. Surely I would be better by morning. Ha.

The next day I had a fever/aches/horrible sore throat. I hurt to swallow water. And I had a random pain in my foot that gave me a limp. I mean...???

I am so thankful that Reuben is able to get off of work easily. He was awesome, keeping us all fed and taking care of the kids. He even cooked us Stuffed Pepper Casserole for supper. What a guy.

Homemade Strawberry Syrup for Strawberry Milk
It was really frustrating to be out of commission for a couple of days. I had several shoots planned, along with writing/editing/recipe testing. BUT it forced me to slow down. On the days I was still recovering I did things that I usually don't have time for but love. And, as being sick always does, it made me grateful for good health. I don't know how moms with chronic pain/sickness deal!

A Tea Party with Helen

Tea Party with Helen
The other day, I decided to have a tea party with Helen. She was feeling under the weather, and I thought it would be a good way to get her to drink some healing tea. Besides, she had spotted my fine china teacups in the cupboard and was begging me to let her use them.

Tea Party with Helen
I decided that my collection of bone china teacups (relics of my tea party obsession) had been sitting in the cupboard collecting dust long enough. I swung open the door and asked Helen which cup she wanted. Of course she chose my favorite cup of all time, which I've had since I was a teen.

In Season NOW: Vidalia Onions

Thanks to the Vidalia Onion Committee for sponsoring this post! All opinions are completely my own, of course!

All About Vidalia Onions
You guys, I'm so thrilled to be working with Vidalia Onions! I've been a fan for years, and I'm excited to tell you all about this fabulous sweet onion:

Psssst...stay until the end for a giveaway!

What are Vidalia Onions?

The Vidalia was the original sweet onion. It has been grown for over 80 years: Back in Depression-Era Georgia, farmers discovered that the onions that they grew in the sandy Georgia soil weren't hot!
These days, to be labeled a true Vidalia, they must be grown in one of 20 counties in Georgia. The soil and conditions in Georgia are perfect for growing Vidalia onions: mild winters and low sulfur soil produce a sweet flavor. Basically, Vidalias are sweet onions, but not all sweet onions are Vidalias. I had no idea until recently that there was a difference! :)

6 Delicious Spring Recipes Perfect For The Season

Hey guys! I'd like to welcome Isadora Guidoni, who is a writer for homeyou. There she shares yummy-looking recipe roundups, and she has a lovely spring-themed one for us today. Take it away, Isadora!

With spring here and the warmer weather getting closer and closer, it’s time to try healthier recipes that will nourish you and your family while bringing an impressive party of flavors. These selected recipes celebrate spring with some delicious seasonal produce that makes every dish special and tasty. Check them out!

1. Spring Asparagus Quinoa Salad


To start this list, nothing says fresh produce like a tasty-looking salad! This colorful option from Garlic And Zest mixes quinoa, asparagus, radishes, peas, cucumber and olives for a flavorful salad dressed in a lemon shallot dressing. Doesn’t it sound delicious? Get the recipe!

Savory Dutch Baby Puff Pancake

Savory Dutch Baby Pancake
During the week, I basically make 2 breakfasts: some variation on eggs (scrambled, fried, omelette), or smoothies. The kids are usually starving when they get up and I have no time to dilly dally and make a fancy breakfast.

Savory Dutch Baby Pancake
(That's Jim's chubby little hand)

The weekend is another matter. I love spending a little extra time on breakfast and making something that I wouldn't have time for on a weekday. I'm willing to make the kiddos wait a bit for something special.

My favorite thing to make is Dutch babies (AKA German pancakes, oven pancakes, or puff pancakes). They make my heart sing because of the flavors, but they're a cinch to make. Win-win. 

Simply throw all of the batter ingredients into a blender and whizz it up, pour into a buttered pan, sprinkle on some toppings, pop it into the oven, sprinkle on some cheese, and wait patiently for it to be finished baking.

30+ Real-Food Mother's Day Brunch Ideas!

Mother's Day is right around the corner. If you're planning a brunch for the special day, I've got over 30 ideas for you!

Now, I definitely believe in indulging for special occasions: if someone is serving something completely unhealthy at a family gathering, I go ahead and enjoy it. You've gotta live a little. But I also enjoy real-food versions of unhealthy treats (e.g. pancakes from scratch vs boxed pancake mix). They generally taste better in my experience, and don't make you feel gross afterwards.

So without further ado, here are the recipes!

Einkorn Pizza Dough Recipe

Einkorn pizza dough is pretty easy to make, but it takes a few tricks to get it right.

This post contains affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I will earn a small commission. Thank you for your support!

Einkorn Pizza Dough Recipe
Before I tell you all about this lovely einkorn pizza dough, I have GOT to talk to you guys about my poison ivy...

A little background:

All along the border of the woods where we live the poison ivy is prolific. It has been a thorn in my side ever since my kids were old enough to run around outside and play. This year, Reuben decided to attempt to kill it off so we could have a larger yard. He tore up the ground and I helped him level it off in preparation for planting grass. I bragged about how I had done a LOT of yard work growing up (it was my dad's "thing" to have a nice lawn).

The next day, a couple of itchy bumps appeared on my wrist. Ah well, I thought. A few little patches won't be much of a bother. But then, oh THEN: it spread. On my arms, legs, neck, and even in my EAR! Reuben had it pretty bad as well. He even got it on his face.

We were pretty miserable for several days. SO. MUCH. ITCHING.

If you know of any natural (AKA no Roundup) way of getting rid of poison ivy, LET ME KNOW!

Einkorn Pizza Dough Recipe
Anyway. About this einkorn pizza dough:

Einkorn can be a little tricky to work with. It absorbs liquids more slowly than regular wheat flour. It likes a nice, looooong resting time. And it doesn't necessarily like to be kneaded a lot.

If you have the time, you can let the dough rise twice before using it. If you're like me and rarely have the time, just letting the dough rise until doubled is sufficient.

Mother's Day Gift Guide

The ultimate Mother's Day gift guide for the food-loving mom in your life. 

Note: Some links are affiliate. All opinions are my own. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I will earn a small commission. This has zero impact on the price you pay, and it helps to keep Buttered Side Up running. Thanks for your support!

Ultimate Mother's Day Gift Guide

Finding the perfect gift for your mom (or any mom in your life) can be time consuming and frustrating. Sometimes it's hard to even know where to begin to look! 

I've gotcha covered.

Whether your mom is a foodie, cooking enthusiast, baker, tea/coffee lover, or hostess, you're sure so find something on these lists she'll enjoy.

Easy Homemade Pizza Sauce with Tomato Paste

This homemade pizza sauce is super easy and very tasty. It's made with tomato paste to really cut back on the cooking time.

Easy Homemade Pizza Sauce with Tomato Paste | Buttered Side Up
Growing up, I actually didn't really like homemade pizza. My mom would make it with green peppers, which I despised at the time. I remember stealthily slipping a slimy green pepper onto the carpeted dining room floor, hoping that no one would notice. I can't recall if I was caught in my heinous crime.

Easy Homemade Pizza Sauce with Tomato Paste | Buttered Side Up
As a teen, I became obsessed with recreating my family's favorite junk food with more healthy ingredients. Frozen pizza was something I decided to tackle.

So of course I came up with my own pizza sauce. I wasn't aware that you could purchase healthy-ish pizza sauce. And besides, my mom wouldn't have stood for buying it.

How to Make Chicken Bone Broth (And Where to Buy It)

Learn how to get chicken broth 3 ways: Slow, Fast, or Instant!
Kettle & Fire sent me their chicken broth to try out for you guys. All opinions are my own, of course! If you click on an affiliate link, I will earn a small commission. Thank you for supporting Buttered Side Up!

One of my favorite things to make (and eat) in my kitchen is chicken broth. It just makes me feel good knowing I'm getting all the wonderful benefits of bone broth! 

Today I'll be showing you how to make chicken bone broth 2 ways, plus where to buy it!

Let's get started:

Where We Ate in the Twin Cities (Minneapolis and St. Paul)

What We Ate in the Twin Cities
Last weekend we took a shopping trip to the cities (that's what we Minnesotans call Minneapolis and St. Paul). It was our consolation vacation for not being able to go to Florida this fall (womp womp).

We went with my two sisters and their little families. Because it was a fairly large group, there were some *ahem* differences of opinion as to where we should eat. So we decided that the boys would choose some meals, and we girls would choose others.

Pinterest Tested: Easy Peel Eggs

I'm back with another installment of Pinterest Tested for y'all!

I thought this one would be perfect with Easter coming up this weekend. Let's get into the testing!

How to Cook a Roast Beef Dinner

Hey, friends! Today I'm working in collaboration with ButcherBox to share this Roast Beef Dinner with y'all. Hope you enjoy! If you click on a link and subscribe to ButcherBox, I will earn a commission. All opinions are, of course, my own!  Thank you for supporting Buttered Side Up.
How to Cook a Roast Beef Dinner
A roast beef dinner brings me back to my childhood. My grandma is a master of this comforting meal. With a deft hand she seasons and stirs and fidgets with ingredients to make them give the best of their flavor. My mom can also pull off an amazing roast beef dinner. It was one of my favorite meals growing up.

How to Cook a Roast Beef Dinner
I have always wanted to be able to recreate that nostalgic meal. But cooking large pieces of meat has always intimidated me. People that have done it a million times (I'm looking at you, Grandma!) insist that it's the easiest thing ever. I'm always skeptical of such claims.

But believe me when I say, this roast beef dinner is very easy to pull off. If I can do it, you most certainly can.

Which Grass-Fed Butter is the Best? - A Review of 5 Grass-Fed Butters

It's no secret to those that know me well that I'm a butter fanatic. And I'm a grass-fed butter fanatic in particular.  

I have been accused of having 5 different kinds of butter in my refrigerator at once. I took it as a compliment. And I bring my own butter when my family has me over for dinner - I don't like to be judged on the (massive) amount of butter I put on my potatoes...

Since I enjoy butter so much, I thought I'd share and compare some of my favorite brands with y'all and let you know which one I personally think is the best. 

We'll be looking at taste, color, ingredients, price, and more!

Let's dive in.

Korean Inspired Shrimp Rice Bowls

Hey friends! Today I'm joining forces with Sizzlefish to bring you this recipe! I'm working with them because they offer wild seafood, which is really important to me. They sent me this shrimp to share with y'all. Hope you enjoy!

Spicy Korean Shrimp Rice Bowl Recipe
Over the past few years, I have fallen madly in love with Korean cuisine.

The flavors are bold and spicy and exciting. There is a great variety and diversity of dishes, so you're bound to find something you enjoy, no matter your tastes.

After making some of the classic recipes such as bibimbap and japchae, I have started to experiment with adding Korean flavors to my everyday cooking. I like to add gochujang and other Korean ingredients to my scrambled eggs, soups, etc.

Homemade London Fog (Earl Grey) Latte

Homemade London Fog (Lavender Earl Grey) Latte
I feel like there's something kind of posh about Earl Grey tea. It's most likely because of the name. It's just fun to say.

Homemade London Fog (Lavender Earl Grey) Latte
Early grey tea is a black tea that is flavored with bergamot orange oil. It has a distinct flavor which is better experienced than described.

Blood Orange Olive Oil Cake

Blood Orange Olive Oil Cake - a ridiculously easy dessert that is super flavorful.
Is it spring yet? Hmmm?

Northern Minnesota weather has been such a tease this year. It was sunny and in the 50s on Sunday, but the forecast this week is in the teens and twenties. Right now it's snowing and blowing outside.

I think my mind and body are just so done with the cold. I'm trying to stay grateful for it all, but I long for warm, bright spring days filled with woodsy walks and flowers.

Blood Orange Olive Oil Cake - a ridiculously easy dessert that is super flavorful.
Citrus fruits have become one of the highlights of winter food for me. Their tart-sweet flavor and bright colors make the dreary days more cheerful.

I have long heard of citrus and olive oil pairing well together, and I'll sometimes enjoy orange slices with extra virgin olive oil and fresh-cracked black pepper. Don't knock it 'til you've tried it. I have also seen olive oil cakes for years, and wondered if they were any good.

This winter Pomora sent me some of their olive oils to test out. It was the perfect excuse to pair winter citrus with olive oil in a cake!

How to Make a Matcha Latte + My Favorite Brands

When I first heard about matcha (and saw the price tag), I thought, “Well, shucks. I can make that myself by opening a bag of green tea and grinding it in the coffee grinder!”

I was severely disappointed. And for good reason.

Matcha powder is so much more than ground-up green tea leaves. It is delicately grown, harvested, and processed. The result is a beautiful, deep, rich flavor. Yes, it does have grassy undertones, but a good matcha isn’t overly bitter.

If you’d like to get into drinking green tea, I highly recommend starting with matcha. And a matcha latte is the ultimate treat.

If you'd like to learn how to make the most amazing-tasting matcha latte, head on over to the Pioneer Woman's blog to get my step-by-step directions.

Now, the thing about Matcha is you NEED to purchase the right kind if you'd like to avoid lead and pesticides. 

How to Take Better Photos with ANY Camera

Food Photography 101: How to Take Better Photos with ANY Camera!

You may think that if you don’t own a fancy, expensive camera, there’s no reason to even try to take better photos. Wrong, wrong, wrong! By making a few simple changes, you can improve your food photography, no matter what kind of camera you own: DSLR, point-and-shoot, or even a phone camera!

Back when my only smart device was my dinky iPod touch 4th gen, I actually preferred some of the photos I took with it to the ones I took with my Nikon D7000. Sure, the quality was pretty poor, but sometimes the overall feel of the photo I captured with my iPod just happened to be more in line with my vision.

One of the biggest factors that will determine the quality of your photo is the quality of your light. Of course cheap cameras can't handle low light very well, but if your lighting is horrible, your photos will reflect it, even if you use a DSLR.

To learn more about good lighting and get my 5 other tips for improving your food photography, head over to The Pioneer Woman: Food and Friends

NOTE: Some links are affiliate. All opinions are my own. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I will make a small commission. This has zero impact on the price you pay, and it helps to keep Buttered Side Up running. Thank you so much!

Homemade Honey-Sweetened Dark Chocolate Cocoa with Pink Whipped Cream

Homemade Hot Cocoa + Pink Whipped Cream
If I'm honest, we're not much of Valentine's Day people in this house. Which is a bit funny because our first date was on Valentine's Day...

Let's rewind to the winter of 2011.

Reuben had just asked my dad if he could court me (homeschooler lingo for dating). Of course I said yes (I had been crushing on him since I was about 12 or 13), and Reuben asked me out on our very first date for Valentine's Day.

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