It's been awhile since we've shined the Gooseberry Patch spotlight on a favorite blogger...we're excited to bring back Featured Friday today!
We recently discovered Jamie's blog and since that very first day, we've been looking forward to the new recipes she shares. Lucky for us, there's a new one practically every day!
The food she makes is amazing, her photos make you feel like you're right there in the kitchen and her friendly and funny personality really comes through, especially in the posts about her kids.
Judging by her recipes, we'd say she's mastered family-friendly dinners, crowd-pleasing appetizers and quick & easy desserts...her weekend breakfast & brunch ideas make us wish we lived closer so we could drop in!
We love her monthly menu plans and how she can take flavors that are familiar and come up with a new way to enjoy them...a few clicks around her blog and you'll see just what we mean.
Without further ado, we're excited to introduce you
to this week's Featured Friday blogger...
We asked Jamie to share a little bit about herself, her blog and how
she got started...keep reading to hear from her!
Tell us about yourself, your family and where you live.
I’m a 37 year old mother of five. My kids range in age from 14 down to 5. My husband, children and I live in Herriman, Utah.
What or who originally inspired you to start blogging?
One day several years ago, I was searching for a recipe online. I had never seen a food blog before, but came across a very simple one that day. Wow! I thought. Food Blogging! That could be a lot of fun. I did a bit of blog hopping and could see that people were making money at it. I was interested in making a little extra money for my family and wondered if food blogging might be a way to do so. I did some research, took a few ugly pictures of some fabulous recipes and had my blog up and running just two months later.
I suppose I could best describe it as “here a little, there a little”. I’m always trying to sneak work time in around my family life. I try to cook and take photos for my blog a couple times a week, during the day before my older kids come home from school. I edit photos and write posts after the kids are in bed and then again in the early morning hours.
I have two sweet little twin boys who haven’t started school yet, and are home with me during the day. I try to include them in my cooking as much as possible. Some times they like it, and sometimes they’d just rather be running through the house like wild Indians. So, sometimes we cook, and sometimes we chase each other through the house. In the fall they will go to kindergarten and I’ll be left to cook in silence. Could be good, could be bad. It could be a little bit of both. It would be pretty weird to run through the house like a wild Indian by myself, right?
When I got married, the only thing I knew how to cook was Pioneer Taffy. I’m serious here! I had a job hosting birthday parties at The Lion House and was required to know how to cook taffy for the kids to pull. Once I started to have kids of my own, and stayed at home raising them, cooking became a creative outlet for me.
I’ve made a lot of REALLY average food in my life. (I’m serious again. Just ask my kids.) I’m always on the look out for ways to make recipes taste better, and better…and fabulously better. I only put recipes that taste “fabulously better” up on my blog.
Quick! You have 30 minutes to put dinner on the table...what do you fix?
My latest favorite “quick fix” meal is Roasted Tomato and Asparagus Tortellini.
With SO many recipes to choose from on your blog, which is your favorite?
Grilled Bruschetta Chicken
Time: 3 hours to marinate + 20 minutes grilling time
Yield: 5 servings
4-5 boneless skinless
1 C Kraft Light Zesty Italian
1 pint grape tomatoes
3 cloves of garlic
1 T olive oil
2 t balsamic vinegar
freshly cracked salt
1 1/2 T fresh basil
2 C mozzarella cheese, grated
1/2 C Parmesan cheese, grated
8 oz. spaghetti noodles
2 T butter
salt and pepper
1. Throw your chicken breasts and 1 C of the salad dressing into a gallon sized zip loc freezer bag. Carefully seal the bag and refrigerate for at least 3 and up to 24 hours. Then pat yourself on the back for getting your act together and having a plan for dinner....right in the middle of the summer. Good for you. I'm so proud to know ya.
2. Just before you are ready to grill your chicken, make the Bruschetta. Chop all the tomatoes in half and toss them into a medium sized mixing bowl.
3. Peel your garlic and chop it into rough pieces. Then chop up your basil. If you have some growing fresh in your garden....bless your beautiful hide. You are a better woman (or man) than I am. If you live within 25 miles of here, I sure hope you like to share.
4. Pour in your balsamic vinegar and drizzle the olive oil over the top.
5. Sprinkle some freshly cracked salt and pepper, stir it all up and then taste it. Yes...dig right in. If your tomatoes are lacking in sweetness then add just a bit of sugar. You don't want to kill it over with sweetness now. Just give it a bit of help if your tomatoes are lacking. Adjust the salt and pepper as well, if needed.
6. Get your mozzarella cheese grated.
7. Head out to the grill and cook your chicken up over medium high heat. While it's cooking boil some water and cook your spaghetti noodles.
8. When the chicken is cooked through, turn the grills temperature down to low. Place a disposable 9x13 pan onto the grill. Put your cooked chicken into the pan. Cover the chicken with the Bruschetta.
9. Sprinkle it with the Mozzarella cheese and then cover the grill. Let it cook for 7-10 more minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly and the cheese in nicely melted.
10. Toss your cooked pasta with 2 T butter and sprinkle it with salt and pepper to taste. Cover the pasta with this beautiful chicken and bruschetta. Be sure to get all of the yummy juices from the pan as well. Sprinkle it with Parmesan cheese and serve immediately.
Morning person or night owl?
Morning person, most definitely. The world just seems to be a bit clearer in the mornings.
Aside from family & friends, what 5 things couldn't you live without?
My faith, a good book to read, my camera, something to laugh about and something fun to cook.
Cake or pie?
If you could design your ideal kitchen, what would be in it?
We recently remodeled our kitchen. I love it every, single, solitary day. Plenty of room to make a big fat mess and plenty of room for people to visit me while I make a mess.
Tell us something that no one would guess about you.
I play the piano and have a degree in Choral Music Education, though some of my children act surprised when I sit down to play. They may, or may not have been heard saying things like “Holy cow! Is that our Mom playing the piano? Wow. Who knew?”
Thanks so much for sharing with us today, Jamie...we can't wait to see what you'll cook up next!
Visit Jamie Cooks It Up today and you'll find a fun party idea as well as a giveaway! Visit her blog ANY day and you're bound to find something tasty to share with YOUR family & friends. While you're there, you might as well subscribe...you won't want to miss a single recipe!
Have a great blog that you'd like to see featured here?
Leave the link in the comments...we're always on the hunt
for new favorites!