Foodie Friday | Rachel Hodge

Hello! Welcome to The Digital Press blog today for another fun edition of our always-popular Foodie Friday series!

I’m Robin, and this week we are featuring TDP Designer Rachel Hodge, and peeking into her kitchen to learn a few of her favorite recipes. This is actually Rachel’s third feature on The Digital Press blog (if you want to learn even more about her, you can find her first feature article from April 2016 HERE, and her second feature article from March 2017 HERE).

Rachel has some amazing recipes to share with us this week. Take a peek…

So, what are these delicious things you see pictured above?

  • Scalloped Potatoes
  • Afghan Cookies
  • Spiced Treacle Gingerbread

Scalloped Potatoes

About this recipe, Rachel says, “I love me a good scalloped potatoes recipe! This one is super easy and super tasty… and it’s a family favorite in my house.”

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 large potatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced finely
  • 1 cup grated cheddar (for those who are also in Australia, I use the dairylea block)
  • 1-1/2 cups cream
  • 2 teaspoons chicken stock

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Preheat oven to 180 C (350 F)
  • Arrange a layer of potato slices in a baking dish and then top with a layer of the sliced onions.
  • Set aside half the grated cheese (this will be for the top layer) and then sprinkle some of the remaining cheese over the onion.
  • Continue this layering until all the potato and onion is used.
  • In a separate bowl gently mix the cream and chicken stock together then pour over potato and sprinkle with the rest of the grated cheese.
  • Cover and bake for 40 minutes, or until potato is tender.

Afghan Cookies

When I asked Rachel about this recipe, she replied, “Oh my gosh, these are the best! This is a favorite I love to have with a coffee or cup of tea. This is sweet, crunchy, and chocolatey… what’s not to love?”

INGREDIENTS

  • 220g butter (at room temperature)
  • 90g caster sugar
  • 185g plain flour
  • 30g cocoa
  • 60g crushed cornflakes

FOR THE ICING

  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • 1 heaped tablespoon cocoa (approx. may need a bit more or less, depending on how rich you like the icing)
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • Water
  • Flaked almonds

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Grease an flat oven tray and preheat oven to 180 C (356 F)
  • Beat butter and sugar till pale and fluffy.
  • Add the flour, cocoa and cornflakes and mix together.
  • Scoop a small amount (around a tablespoon’s worth) onto tray, repeat till mixture is gone and then bake for around 15 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and cool
  • ICING: While cookies are cooling, make the icing. Mix the icing sugar and the cocoa together, add the butter and enough water to make a thick paste consistency.
  • Ice with the chocolate icing and place flaked almonds on top.

Spiced Treacle Gingerbread

While describing these cookies, Rachel wrote, “This is my favorite gingerbread recipe because it’s not a hard recipe (like a lot of them can be), and the flavor is spot on — especially with some chocolate M&M’s added on.

INGREDIENTS

  • 140g unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 treacle
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1/4 cup self raising flour
  • 3 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 3/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate soda

FOR THE ICING

  • 1 egg white
  • 1/3 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • Food coloring

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Lightly grease two baking sheets. Beat the butter and sugar with electric beaters until light and creamy, then beat in the treacle and egg. Fold in the flours, spices and baking soda. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, knead for 2-3 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 10 minutes.
  • Divide dough in half and roll out first half in between two sheets of baking paper to about 4mm thick. Repeat with 2nd half, and lay each on a tray to chill for 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 340 F.
  • Use cookie cutters to cut out desired shapes, place on trays and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool before icing.
  • ICING: Whisk egg white till foamy. Add the lemon juice and sugar and beat till glossy. Add desired food coloring, then place in piping bag (or a small plastic bag with the tip cut off in one corner), and ice away…

Don’t all of these goodies look delicious?! After simply seeing these pictures, my youngest son has asked to make them this weekend. I’m sure he will love these as much as Rachel does!

Meanwhile, it wouldn’t be a designer feature week without a fantastic sale and a special Free-with-Purchase offer… so you’ll be excited to see what Rachel has in store for you! Not only is her entire shop marked down 30% OFF throughout her entire feature week (sale prices will be valid through 11:59pm ET on Thurs 2/1)… but she also has the following awesome deal available in her shop all week long, as well! Spend $10+ in Rachel Hodge’s shop at The Digital Press and get the following bundled collection completely FREE…


Robin

About the author  Robin is a member of the creative team here at The Digital Press. A wife of 25 years and a mom of 4 crazy children (3 in college and 1 still at home), she says that her life occurs mostly in the car as she transports said crazy kids to their many, many homeschool activities. When not driving, Robin loves to make her family cringe by pulling out her camera again (and again, and again…).

Foodie Friday | Dunia Designs

Hey gang, and welcome to this week’s edition of our Foodie Friday series on The Digital Press blog. Have you guys been trying the recipes so far this year? I’ve definitely found a few gems that have made it into the permanent rotation at our house. And it’s always nice to get easy fresh ideas at the end of a week, right?!

This week I talked with Dunia of Dunia Designs, and together we came up with a couple of our favorite recipes. We each have a favorite “lighter meal” recipe we’d like to share — both of these could work for either lunch or dinner — and then I wanted to share my very favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe, as well! I know, I know, chocolate chip cookies have been done. But these seem to come out perfect every single time, and I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve searched for ways to ensure that happens (I think the secret of this recipe lies in the different types of flour that are used)!

This is actually Dunia’s third feature here on the blog; if you’d like to learn more about her, check out her previous articles from September 2016 and from April 2017.

Today, however, we’re all about the food (!)… and so without further ado, here’s a look at what we’re cooking up…

[ photo credits: [1] & [3] TDP creative team member Shannon Collier, [2] TDP designer Dunia Acuan ]

So, what are these delicious things you see pictured above?

  • Salmon Nicoise Salad
  • Sonoma Chicken Salad
  • Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

SALMON NICOISE SALAD

This is a recipe that I (Shannon) found on cookinglight.com but I’ve adapted it to include one more element — roasted potatoes. Since I like to make a meal that will last for a couple of days, I make of the “pieces” of this recipe separately, and store them separately in the fridge, and then when it comes time for another meal, I’ve got everything I need ready to assemble. I hope you like it!

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 (8-oz.) pkg. French green beans (I’ve also used fresh)
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 (12-oz.) salmon fillet, about 1 in. thick
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 head butter lettuce, torn (about 6 cups)
  • 3/4 cup chopped English cucumber
  • 1/2 cup fresh yellow corn kernels
  • 1-1/2 ounces pitted kalamata or Niçoise olives (about 1/4 cup)
  • 4 small radishes, cut into 1/2-in. wedges

FOR THE POTATOES (I revised the recipe & added)

  • 2 cups chunked red potatoes (about 2 medium potatoes)
  • 1 tablespoon Penzey’s Northwoods seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

FOR THE DRESSING

  • 2-1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 3/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard

INSTRUCTIONS

  • I start with the potatoes since they take a bit of time and can been cooking while you prepare everything else. Preheat oven to 375 F. Leaving the skins on, cut potatoes into bite sized pieces. Toss the potatoes and onions with the seasoning until well coated. Then toss with the oil. Pour the potatoes into a 13×9 baking dish and place in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes during that first half-hour. Then, bake uninterrupted for an additional 30-40 minutes (or until potatoes are nice and brown).
  • While the potatoes are cooking, bring a medium saucepan filled with water to a boil. Carefully add eggs to pan; cook 6 minutes. Add green beans; cook 2 minutes. Drain; plunge eggs & beans into a bowl of ice water. Let stand 3 minutes; drain. Peel eggs, and cut into quarters.
  • Heat 1-1/2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Sprinkle fish with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Add fish, skin side down, to pan; cook 7 minutes. Turn, and cook 3 minutes. Remove fish from pan; break into large flakes with a fork.
  • To make the dressing, combine remaining 2-1/2 tablespoons oil, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper, vinegar, parsley, and mustard in a bowl.
  • Divide lettuce among 4 plates; top evenly with eggs, beans, cucumber, corn, olives, radishes, and fish. Drizzle with vinaigrette.

 


SONOMA CHICKEN SALAD

This one is from Dunia’s kitchen, and is one of her favorites. She told me that it is actually one of the recipes that Whole Foods uses and she was really excited to discover the recipe for her own use at home.  I’m so excited to try it, as well!

INGREDIENTS

Dressing

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 4 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 5 teaspoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons poppy seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

Salad

  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 3/4 cup pecan pieces, toasted
  • 2 cups red seedless grapes, halved
  • 3 stalks celery, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

  • In a bowl, combine mayonnaise, vinegar, honey, poppy seeds, salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to use. This can be prepared up to 2 days ahead.
  • Preheat the oven to 375 F. Place chicken breasts in one layer in a baking dish with 1/2 cup water. Cover with foil, and bake 25 minutes until completely cooked through. Remove cooked chicken breasts from pan, cool at room temperature for 10 minutes, then cover and refrigerate until cooled.
  • When the chicken is cold, dice into bite-size chunks and transfer to a large bowl. Stir in pecans, grapes, celery and reserved dressing.

 


PERFECT CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

As I mentioned earlier, these tend to come out perfectly for me every time… not too flat, perfectly soft, and chewy… ooooh I could eat a whole plate of them! Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups minus 2 tablespoons cake flour
  • 1-2/3 cups bread flour
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1-1/4 cups unsalted butter
  • 1-1/4 cups light brown sugar
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
  • 1-1/4 pounds bittersweet chocolate disks, at least 60 percent cacao content
  • Sea salt

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside.
  • Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars together until very light, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Reduce speed to low, add dry ingredients and mix until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds.
  • Drop chocolate pieces into batter and incorporate them without breaking them. Press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. Dough may be used in batches, and can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours.
  • When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside.
  • Scoop six 3-1/2 ounce mounds of dough (the size of generous golf balls) onto baking sheet, making sure to turn horizontally any chocolate pieces that are poking up; it will make for a more attractive cookie. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and bake until golden brown but still soft, about 13 minutes.
  • Transfer sheet to a wire rack for 10 minutes, then slip cookies onto another rack to cool a bit more. Repeat with remaining dough… or reserve dough, refrigerated, for baking remaining batches the next day.

 


Both Dunia and I hope you enjoy these recipes! Let us know if you give them a try.

And of course, because Foodie Friday is also a designer feature, Dunia is throwing a fantastic sale in her shop and also offering a special Free-with-Purchase item for all purchases of $10+ from her store. Her entire shop is marked down 30% OFF throughout her entire feature week (sale prices and FWP offer will both be valid through 11:59pm ET on Thurs 1/25).

If you spend $10+ in the Dunia Designs shop at The Digital Press you’ll get the following product completely FREE!


ShannonAbout the Author  Shannon has been completely addicted to digiscrapping since she began in early 2016 (though she’s been a scrapper since 2000). Her early morning ritual of a few quiet hours of scrapping while sipping a chai tea is her favorite part of each day. She is also the owner of a web design company, and when she’s not at the computer designing websites or digiscrap layouts, she’s probably hiking one of the local mountains in her hometown of Phoenix, Arizona. 

Foodie Friday | KimB

Welcome to another edition of our Foodie Friday series here on The Digital Press blog!

This week, we are featuring KimB, and peeking into her kitchen to learn a few of her favorite recipes. This is Kim’s third feature on The Digital Press blog (if you want to learn even more about her, you can find her first feature article from June 2016 HERE, and her second feature article from February 2017 HERE).

According to Kim, “ These are totally South African recipes and family favourites that are used when we have guests over who end up staying for dinner.”

[ photo credits: [2] Rhodesquality.com, [3] Lovingitvegan.com ]

So, what are these delicious things you see pictured above?

  • Lasagna Soup
  • Sweetcorn Bread
  • The Don Pedro

LASAGNA SOUP

This recipe is one that I, Erin, recently found via a friend on Facebook.  It is perfect for warming up on a cold winter day, or enjoying al fresco on a breezy summer evening.

INGREDIENTS NEEDED

  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 2 28 oz cans of organic fire roasted tomatoes
  • About 4 TBSP organic tomato paste
  • About 4 cups chopped yellow onion
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic or 4 cloves minced
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 4 tsp oregano
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 8-12 cups chicken stock
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • fresh basil
  • 1 package of your favorite pasta

FOR THE TOPPING

  • One small bag Italian cheese mix
  • 1- 15 oz container ricotta
  • Italian seasoning
  • Salt pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Heat olive oil in a large stock pot
  • Add onions and garlic and sauté until nice and fragrant
  • Add beef and cook until brown (drain if needed)
  • Add seasonings and tomato paste and cook on medium stirring until the paste turns a nice rusty reddish brown color
  • Add tomatoes,  broth, bay leaves, salt and pepper to taste
  • Bring to a boil and then let simmer 30 mins
  • Cook pasta separately until al dente
  • Mix together the cheese topping ingredients in a seperate bowl
  • Build each bowl with some pasta covered in broth and topped with a huge dollop of the cheese mix!
  • Add fresh chopped basil as a tasty garnish.

SWEETCORN BREAD

About this recipe, Kim says, “I cook this when I need to whip up something quickly without having to worry about finding or following a recipe as it is quick and easy and a super delicious crowd pleaser! ”

INGREDIENTS NEEDED

  • 500 g (4 C) self-raising flour
  • 5 ml (1 t) salt
  • pinch of smoked paprika
  • 60 ml (4 T) melted butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 375 ml (1½ C) plain yoghurt
  • 1 x 410 g can Cream Style Sweetcorn
  • 125 ml (½ C) grated cheddar cheese

INSTRUCTIONS

  • In a large bowl, sift together the flour, salt and paprika.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk the melted butter, eggs and yoghurt together and stir in the tin of Cream Style Sweetcorn.
  • Pour the sweetcorn mixture into the flour mixture and mix with a wooden spoon to bring together into a soft batter.
  • Spoon the batter into a loaf pan that’s greased and floured, and sprinkle the cheese over the top.
  • Bake in a preheated oven at 170°C for 30 – 45 minutes or until baked through.
  • Serve warm

 VARIATIONS

  • Add 2 Tbls chopped chives/spring onions(green parts) or any herbs of your liking/ cooked bacon or ham / chillies or jalapeños
  • Or serve with JAM for a sweet version.

THE DON PEDRO

Kim says “Nobody is exactly sure where the ‘Don Pedro’ originated from, but it’s one that all South African’s love to drink and it’s so easy to make.  It’s a grown up milkshake/ dessert cocktail usually served in a stemmed wine glass but any glass will do. Some call it a cocktail and others a dessert.. I can drink it anytime! LOL”

INGREDIENTS NEEDED

  • 1 cup good quality vanilla ice cream
  • 2 shots Kahlua
  • 2 tablespoons cream (or milk for a less richer version)
  • Grated chocolate or flake for garnish
  • Short straw

INSTRUCTIONS

  • In a Blender – Blend the ice cream until soft and creamy
  • Add the liqueur and cream/milk and blend until smooth.
  • Pour into a stemmed glass/ or jam jar for a modern twist.
  • Grate chocolate over top for garnish and serve with a short straw

 VARIATIONS

  • Add a swirl of chocolate syrup around glass inner for a ‘sexier’ look… or …replace the chocolate with sprinkled cinnamon.


Well I don’t know about you, but I am ready for a good meal!

Meanwhile, it wouldn’t be a designer feature week without a fantastic sale and a special Free-with-Purchase offer… so you’ll be excited to see what KimB has in store for you! Not only is her entire shop marked down 30% OFF throughout her entire feature week (sale prices will be valid through 11:59pm ET on Thurs 1/18)… but she also has this awesome deal in her shop all week long, as well! Spend $10+ in the KimB shop at The Digital Press and get her brand-new (just released today!) TA DA : Kit completely FREE!


Erin is an artsy crafty kind of girl who is currently dabbling in far too many things, but is working hard to enjoy every moment of it, while avoiding the rain, which is difficult due to living in the land of many rains. She is slowly learning to use her smart phone to capture all the fun little bits of life that would otherwise go unremembered in the busy craziness that is raising a family!

Foodie Friday | Sherry Ferguson

Welcome to another edition of our Foodie Friday series here on The Digital Press blog!

Due to our 10 Holiday Tips & Tricks series in December 2017, it’s been quite a while since we ran one of these Foodie Friday posts on the blog… but if you remember this series from last year, it is a combination of our weekly designer features along with some food and recipe fun in the kitchen! Every week on Foodie Friday, you get the chance to peek into the lives (and kitchens!) of some of your favorite TDP designers and creative team members.

This week, we are featuring Sherry Ferguson, and peeking into her kitchen to learn a few of her favorite recipes. This is Sherry’s third feature on The Digital Press blog (if you want to learn even more about her, you can find her first feature article from July 2016 HERE, and her second feature article from February 2017 HERE).

According to Sherry, “I cook a lot for my younger daughter who has so many food allergies she can’t eat out. Here are some things I find myself making for her over and over. The girls and I are carb lovers so not a lot of meat in these recipes… but you can always add your own meat to the pizza or the macaroni.”

Here’s a peek of what she’s been cooking up for us…

photo credits for [1] [2] and [3] to TDP designer Sherry Ferguson

So, what are these delicious things you see pictured above?

  • Easy Baked Mac & Cheese
  • Quick Homemade Pizza
  • Banana Cake

EASY BAKED MAC & CHEESE

Sherry says, “I swap in homemade breadcrumbs on the top instead of Panko.”

INGREDIENTS NEEDED

—1 (16 oz.) package elbow macaroni or shell pasta
—8 tablespoons butter, divided
—2 cups heavy cream or half and half, warm
—2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
—1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese,
—1 cup shredded Monterrey Jack cheese,
—8 ounces Velveeta, cubed
—1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
—Salt and pepper, to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

—Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook pasta according to package directions for 8-10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
—Meanwhile, melt 6 tablespoons of the butter.
—Transfer pasta to a large bowl and toss with melted butter. Stir in cream.
—Add shredded cheese and Velveeta and mix well. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
—Pour pasta mixture into a greased, 9×13 baking dish (cheeses will not be melted yet).
—Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and stir into the breadcrumbs. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the macaroni.
—Bake for 30-35 minutes or until cheese is hot and bubbly and topping is golden brown.

[recipe adapted from Let’s Dish Recipes ]

QUICK HOMEMADE PIZZA

About this recipe, Sherry says, “We always skip the sauce on ours… but the beauty in making your own is you can add whatever you like!”

INGREDIENTS NEEDED

—1 tablespoon yeast
—1 cup warm water (use hot water from the tap)
—1 teaspoon honey
—1 teaspoon salt
—1-2 Tablespoons olive oil
—2-1/2 cups unbleached flour (I usually add 1 cup whole wheat)
—cornmeal (optional)
—sauce and toppings of choice

INSTRUCTIONS

—Add yeast to a mixing bowl and pour the 1 cup of hot tap water over it and mix.
—Add the remaining ingredients and let the mixer run at medium speed until the dough clears the side of the bowl (you can do this by hand: beat vigorously for 30 strokes).
—Let dough rest in the bowl 15-20 minutes while you preheat the oven and prep the toppings.
—On a large baking sheet or pizza pan/stone, sprinkle a bit of cornmeal. With oiled hands, remove the dough from the bowl and pull/shape into a general rectangle or circle (depending on your pan), then lay it on top of your cornmeal coated pan. Using a rolling pin or your hands, flatten and stretch the dough to fill the pan.
—Bake the dough for 10 minutes in a 425 degree oven (you don’t have to, but it ensures a fully cooked center crust, no matter how many toppings you add).
—Remove prebaked crust from the oven and spread with your toppings: sauce, shredded cheese, cooked meat and chopped vegetables.
—Place topped pizza back into oven and bake for 10-15 minutes more, or until cheese is melted and toppings are browned.
—Slide the whole pizza from the pan to a cutting board and slice into pieces.

[recipe adapted from An Oregon Cottage ]

BANANA CAKE

Sherry says, “This is such an easy cake to make, and the bananas themselves help bind it since there are no eggs.”

INGREDIENTS NEEDED

—1-3/4 cups ripe banana, mashed (about 4 medium bananas)
—1/2 cup oil
—2 cups flour
—3/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
—1 tsp baking powder
—1 tsp baking soda
—1/2 tsp salt
—vegetable cooking spray

INSTRUCTIONS

—Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat bundt pan with vegetable cooking spray and then set aside.
—In a large bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir well and then set aside.
—In another bowl, combine banana and oil. Stir well.
—Add banana and oil mixture to the dry ingredients, stirring just until moistened.
—Spoon all of the batter into the bundt pan.
—Bake 40-50 minutes* or until a cake-tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
—Cool in pan for 10 minutes first, and then remove from pan and cool completely on a wire rack.
—Cake can be served plain for breakfast… or topped with chocolate glaze and served for dessert… etc.

*NOTE: Sherry bakes hers for just 35 minutes; it likely depends on your oven, etc.

[recipe adapted from The Food Allergy News Cookbook ]

We’re betting that you’re hungry just reading through these recipes, and that you can’t wait to try them out!

Meanwhile, it wouldn’t be a designer feature week without a fantastic sale and a special Free-with-Purchase offer… so you’ll be excited to see what Sherry has in store for you! Not only is her entire shop marked down 30% OFF throughout her entire feature week (sale prices will be valid through 11:59pm ET on Thurs 1/11)… but she also has this awesome deal in her shop all week long, as well! Spend $10+ in the Sherry Ferguson shop at The Digital Press, and get her “A Tranquil Life” Kit completely FREE!


Laura Passage

About the Author  Laura Passage is the owner of The Digital Press, and also the designer behind Wishing Well Creations by Laura Passage (WWC). She works now as a graphic designer in both the digital and paper scrapbooking industries, but previously spent over a decade working as a college soccer coach. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and two young sons (affectionately referred to as The Tiny Terrorists), and will rationalize eating coffee ice cream for breakfast to anyone who questions it.

Foodie Friday | Tracie Stroud

Welcome to another edition of Foodie Friday here on The Digital Press blog!

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, I can almost taste all of the deliciousness that the holidays brings! This week, we have a special treat for you scrappy food lovers… Tracie Stroud and I are here to share some delicious Thanksgiving recipes and tips that will have you looking forward to Turkey Day!

Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite holiday, and Tracie loves it too! There is something so special about family and friends gathering to share delicious food and appreciate all they have. When I asked her about her favorite Thanksgiving dishes, Tracie said, “I grew up in South Louisiana, and for Thanksgiving we always had a few must-haves: Cornbread Dressing, Green Bean Casserole, and Jambalaya. All three are still favorites in our family.”

And seriously, don’t these dishes look amazing?…

photo credits: [1] All Recipes [2] French’s and [3] Louisiana Cookin’

So, what is all of this deliciousness you see above?

  • Cornbread Dressing
  • Green Bean Casserole
  • Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya

Cornbread Dressing

About this recipe, Tracie says, “The key to authentic cornbread dressing is to use day-old cornbread. I don’t know why, but it makes all the difference. When the dressing is done, we always add some of the Thanksgiving turkey into it.”

My favorite tip for cornbread dressing is to add some jalapeños. It gives the dressing a little kick that can cut the richness a bit.

INGREDIENTS NEEDED

—2 tablespoons butter
—1/2 cup chopped celery
—1 small onion
—2 eggs, beaten
—2 cups chicken stock
—2 tablespoons dried sage
—salt and pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

—Prepare the dry corn bread mix according to package directions. Cool and crumble.
—Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease one 9×13 inch baking dish.
—In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter and saute the celery and onion until soft.
—In a large bowl, combine the celery, onions, 3 cups crumbled corn bread, eggs, chicken stock, sage and salt and pepper to taste; mix well.
—Place into prepared dish and bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 minutes.

[ recipe adapted from All Recipes ]

Green Bean Casserole

The classic side dish! About this dish, Tracie says, “This is my very favorite dish from my childhood. My mom had this one down to an art, and she would always give me a few of the extra “crunchies” to munch on. She always used the French’s recipe, and it was always perfect. My kiddos aren’t crazy about green beans, so sometimes I make a smaller batch of this just for me.”

My own tip for delicious green bean casserole — it is the perfect make-ahead dish. On Thanksgiving, I am always running around like a crazy person. To save some time, I prep the green bean casserole the day before… just leaving off the fried onions on the top. By doing that, you can save yourself some time on the big day and give all the flavors in the casserole a chance to come together.

INGREDIENTS NEEDED

—1 can (10 1/2 oz.) Campbell’s® Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup 
—3/4 cup milk 
—1/8 tsp. black pepper 
—4 cups cooked cut green beans or 2 cans (14.5oz each) any style Del Monte® Green Beans, drained
—1 1/3 cups FRENCH’S® Crispy Fried Onions 

INSTRUCTIONS

—MIX soup, milk and pepper in a 1 1/2 -qt. baking dish.

—Stir in beans and 2/3 cup Crispy Fried Onions.
—BAKE at 350°F for 30 min. or until hot. Stir.
—TOP with remaining 2/3 cup onions. Bake 5 min. until onions are golden.

[ recipe adapted from French’s ]

Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya

Says Tracie, “Jambalaya takes a lot of practice to get right, and it can be quite an undertaking, but it’s always worth it in the end.”

INGREDIENTS NEEDED

—2 pounds mild smoked pork sausage, sliced ¼-inch-thick
—2½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken, chopped
—1½ pounds onions, finely chopped
—1 cup finely chopped celery
—1 cup finely chopped bell pepper
—2 tablespoons minced garlic
—1 cup diced tomato
—1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
—1 tablespoon Creole seasoning
—1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
—2¼ teaspoons fresh thyme
—2¼ teaspoons chopped fresh basil
—5⅓ cups chicken stock
—1½ pounds long-grain rice

 INSTRUCTIONS

—In a large cast-iron Dutch oven, cook sausage on high heat for 3 minutes.
—Add chicken, and cook until browned on all sides, 15 to 20 minutes.
—Lower heat to medium, and add onion, celery, bell pepper, and garlic; cook until vegetables are soft, about 15 minutes.
—Add tomatoes, tomato paste, Creole seasoning, parsley, thyme, and basil. Simmer over low heat for 10 minutes.
—Add chicken stock, and bring to a boil over high heat.
—Add rice, and stir. When jambalaya returns to a boil, reduce heat to simmer.
—Cover and cook until rice has absorbed all liquid, about 25 minutes.

By Cafe Reconcile, New Orleans, Louisiana
[ recipe adapted from Louisiana Cookin’ ]

Don’t these recipes make you want to pop your turkey into the oven and start prepping your holiday feast right now?

What are your favorite holiday foods? We would love to hear what recipes your families likes best to celebrate the holidays.

Meanwhile, it wouldn’t be a designer feature week without a fantastic sale and a special Free-with-Purchase offer… so you’ll be excited to see what Tracie has in store for you! Not only is her entire shop marked down 30% OFF throughout her entire feature week (sale prices will be valid through 11:59pm ET on Thurs 11/23)… but she also has this awesome deal in her shop all week long, as well — Spend $10+ in Tracie Stroud’s Shop, and get the following brand-new FULL KIT (just landed in the shop today) completely FREE!


KatieAbout the Author  Katie is a member of the creative team here at The Digital Press. She lives in Central Florida with her husband and their four sweet but crazy boys. When she’s not dodging Nerf bullets or trying to dig out from under the never-ending pile of laundry, she enjoys photography, cooking, going to Disney World with her family, and, of course, digital scrapbooking.

Foodie Friday | Meagan’s Creations

Welcome to another edition of Foodie Friday here on The Digital Press blog!

Continuing our fun blog series that explores “what’s cooking in the homes of our designers and creative team members?” …I had fun chatting with Meagan Tuck of Meagan’s Creations to see what she has going on in her kitchen! It seems that as the weather is getting cooler here in the United States, we’re both reaching for comfort foods — pasta and warm cookies for Meagan, and beans, rice, and potatoes for me (love me some carbs!). Between the two of us, we’ve put together a main dish, a side, and dessert for you. If you like the combination of savory and sweet, you’re definitely in for a treat!

Doesn’t this all look yummy? I just had to make the cookie picture the biggest… because, well, cookies!

photo credits: [1] Kevin and Amanda, [2] TDP creative team member Kat Hansen, and [3] I Heart Nap Time

So, what is all of this deliciousness you see above?

  • Garlic Chicken Farfalle
  • Black Beans
  • Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Garlic Chicken Farfalle

About this recipe, Meagan says… “For a main meal, my family loves chicken farfalle — everyone enjoys this! For the garlic in this recipe, I use a spoonful of crushed garlic.

INGREDIENTS NEEDED

—16 ounces Farfalle pasta
—1 cup heavy whipping cream
—3-4 chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)
—2-3 cloves garlic, crushed or garlic salt
—1/2 tablespoon pepper
—1/2 cup butter
—1 pound bacon, cooked and crumbled
—1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
—12 oz mesquite barbecue sauce mixed with 1/4 cup lime juice

INSTRUCTIONS

Place chicken and barbecue sauce with lime juice in a crock pot; cook on low for 6 hours.
—Pull marinated chicken out of the juices, allow to cool a little bit, and shred. Set this aside. Meagan’s tip — “I pull the chicken apart with two forks. For added barbecue flavor, I like to put the shredded chicken back in the crock pot with the juices until the pasta is cooked and then scoop out the chicken with a slotted spoon.
About a half-hour before serving, boil the pasta. In a small saucepan, melt butter, add garlic, whipping cream, pepper, Parmesan cheese, and crumpled bacon. Whisk together on low heat for 3-4 minutes. In a large bowl, pour over cooked, drained pasta, add chicken and stir through.
—Sprinkle a little bit more shredded Parmesan cheese on top, and serve!

[ recipe adapted from the Kevin & Amanda site ]

Black Beans

Beans are a staple in my pantry, and I just love black beans. By themselves, however, they can be a bit… blah. I love spices, so this is a recipe to jazz things up a bit and add an earthy, rich flavor (and it’s awesome to mix into rice, stews, or even chili). With the Liquid aminos in here, I don’t find the need to add any additional salt in the cooking, and I try to get low-sodium beans, too, if I can find them in the grocery store. If the beans sit for a while (re-heated the next day, even), the flavors really start to come through. This, literally, takes less than 10 minutes to put together!

INGREDIENTS NEEDED

—16 oz can black beans, drained
—1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
—1/4 teaspoon each chili powder, paprika and cumin
—1 tablespoons light soy sauce or Liquid Aminos (a soy derivative)

INSTRUCTIONS

—Combine all ingredients in a saucepan, mix well. Heat over medium heat for 3-5 minutes or until heated through. Serve immediately.

[ recipe adapted from Beachbody ]

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Says Meagan, “Quite simply, the BEST pumpkin chocolate chip cookies!

INGREDIENTS NEEDED
—1 cup canned pumpkin
—1 egg
—1/2 cup vegetable oil
—1 cup white sugar
—2 cups flour
—2 teaspoon baking powder
—1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
—1/2 teaspoon salt
—1 teaspoon baking soda
—1 teaspoon milk
—1 tablespoon vanilla
—2 cups chocolate chips (or 11 oz bag of chocolate chips)

INSTRUCTIONS

—Combine pumpkin, sugar, vegetable oil, vanilla and egg in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, ground cinnamon, and salt. Dissolve the baking soda with the milk and stir into the wet ingredients. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture and mix well. Stir until combined.
—Add chocolate chips and stir until combined.
—Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Drop cookies on by the spoonful about 2 inches apart. Bake at 350°F for 10-12 minutes, or until a toothpick comes clean.
[recipe adapted from I Heart Nap Time ]

Don’t these recipes all look delicious?! What is your favorite go-to comfort food in the cooler weather? We’d love to know!

Meanwhile, it wouldn’t be a designer feature week without a fantastic sale and a special Free-with-Purchase offer… so you’ll be excited to see what Meagan of Meagan’s Creations has in store for you! Not only is her entire shop marked down 30% OFF throughout her entire feature week (sale prices will be valid through 11:59pm ET on Thurs 11/16)… but she also has this awesome deal in her shop all week long, as well! Spend $10+ in the Meagan’s Creations shop, and get the following brand-new FULL KIT that just landed in the shop today — completely FREE!


KatAbout the Author Kat Hansen is a creative team member here at The Digital Press. A Director of Human Resources by day, she loves the opportunity to spend a few hours each evening being creative. Vacation memories feature pretty heavily in Kat’s scrapbooking pages, as do her son and “daughter” (of the four-legged furry kind). Kat has quite the sense of humor (she “blames” her father for this), which she incorporates into her journaling and memory-keeping.