GARLIC PARMESAN BREADSTICKS

I have spent the summer enjoying family time,  exploring Utah with my husband and kids, and trying lots of new recipes!  I’ve been perfecting these garlic breadsticks for a few years now and I think these are pretty darn near perfect. Homemade bread used to scare me (and sometimes it still does) but I think using instant yeast makes things pretty easy-peasy.  It’s also easiest if you have some sort of mixer with a dough hook, but this could be made by hand as well.  I have  been trying to cut down on the amount of butter and I think this is the least amount possible. They are still indulgent, but they do use a lot less than when I first started making them. They go perfectly with so many meals. One of our family’s favorite is spaghetti and we love to have these and a side salad.

The best twisted garlic parmesan breadsticks. Perfect side for any dinner, especially spaghetti! A family favorite, find the recipe at everydayjenny.com

The best twisted garlic parmesan breadsticks. Perfect side for any dinner, especially spaghetti! A family favorite, find the recipe at everydayjenny.com

The best twisted garlic parmesan breadsticks. Perfect side for any dinner, especially spaghetti! A family favorite, find the recipe at everydayjenny.comGarlic Filling

6 tablespoons melted butter
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese (the green bottled stuff works great)
1 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp dried parsley

Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.

Breadsticks

1 1/2 cups warm water (105 – 110 degrees F°)
1 Tablespoon instant yeast
1 1/2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Add warm water, instant yeast, sugar, salt and olive oil to a large bowl or stand mixer.  Stir to combine, using the dough hook if using a stand mixer.

Add 2 cups flour and allow to mix after each addition. Slowly add in the rest of the flour until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and is still slightly sticky. You only want to add the flour a little at a time because too much flour will make the breadsticks not soft and fluffy! Do not add more than 3 1/2 cups, but you may not need all the 3 1/2 cups depending on how your flour was measured.*

Cover the dough and let it rise about 30 minutes or until doubled in size. Remove the dough from the bowl and place on a lightly-floured surface.  Roll dough into a large rectangle and spread garlic filling (recipe above) over all the dough. Using a pizza cutter, cut into about 12 equal strips.

Starting from the bottom of each strip, carefully twist the dough so that the filling is inside the twist. Put on the baking pan lined with parchment paper. Repeat with all the breadsticks.

Cover the baking pan with a cloth and allow the breadsticks to rest about 30 more minutes.

Preheat oven to 425° F and bake 11 to 12 minutes or until golden.

 

Breadstick recipe adapted from- Life in the Lofthouse

 

*I was taught to shake my flour a little bit before measuring so it’s not as compact. This helps not to put too much flour in your recipes.

CHICKEN TERIYAKI BOWLS

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I really love plants and I am always trying to grow them. Every single one of the houseplants I have ever been given or purchased have died. All of them. Even succulents which were supposedly a no-fail plant. I definitely have a black thumb 🙁 I have always dreamed of having beautiful garden boxes, and when we finally purchased our house a few years ago it seemed like we could finally make that a reality. But with all the other house projects we have, a garden is still on the “to-do” list.  Fortunately, I have the best neighbors and they always have tons of yellow and zucchini squashes to share. Sometimes too many! Last summer,  I made all the zucchini bread I could handle, used it as a side for lots of dishes and then was running out of ideas. I have always enjoyed eating at Rumbi’s Island grill. They serve a chicken teriyaki bowl with chopped vegetables that is fresh and delicious. I found a teriyaki sauce recipe I loved and this meal came together.  It is super quick to make and it’s a great way to use all those summer zucchinis and yellow squashes. It’s also relatively healthy and my kids will eat it if I give them enough of the “sweet sauce” (teriyaki). You can even just use a store bought teriyaki sauce to make this meal faster, but I do think this sauce is particularly delicious. Now you won’t have to leave all your garden squashes on your neighbor’s porch and run. Instead cook up this meal!Easy chicken teriyaki bowls. Use up your summer squash and zucchini in this quick family friendly meal. Recipe at everydayjenny.com Easy chicken teriyaki bowls. Use up your summer squash and zucchini in this quick family friendly meal. Recipe at everydayjenny.com

Teriyaki Sauce 

½ c. white sugar
½ c. soy sauce
¼ c. cider vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
½ tsp. ground ginger
¼ tsp. black pepper

1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 Tbsp. cold water

In a small saucepan, mix together all the ingredients except the cornstarch and water.  Bring to a full boil over medium-high heat. In a small bowl mix together the cornstarch and water and stir into the sauce until it is thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Serve over the chicken teriyaki bowls.

Recipe Source- Our Best Bites 

Chicken Teriyaki Bowls

2 cooked chicken breasts cubed
1 yellow squash, sliced into quarters
1 zucchini squash, sliced into quarters
1 head broccoli chopped
2-3 medium sized carrots chopped
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt (or to taste)

In a large pan, heat the sesame oil over high heat. Add the vegetables and seasonings. Cook for 3-4 minutes constantly stirring so the vegetables do not burn.  Then add 1/4 cup water and place a lid on the pan. Allow the vegetables to steam for 4-5 minutes, checking to make sure there is still enough water in the pan.  Vegetables should be tender-crisp when done. Remove the lid, lower the temperature to medium and add the cooked chicken and cook until warmed through. Serve over white or brown rice and the above teriyaki sauce. Enjoy!

UNDER THE SEA CAKE/LIVING PLANET AQUARIUM PARTY

I made this cake a while ago but realized I hadn’t put the pictures on the blog. When I won a birthday party at the Living Planet Aquarium in Draper, Utah, I couldn’t wait to make a sea-themed cake. My son has always loved Finding Nemo, so I included him on the cake along with some other fun sea creatures- an octopus, crab, shark fin and a stingray. I used marshmallow fondant to cover the cake and make all of the creatures.

If you are thinking about having a party at the Living Planet Aquarium, it is awesome! You get a private party room  and the kids gets to play at Tui’s Playplace, which is a huge playground with slides and things to climb through. The staff were so friendly and the room is already decorated in a cute sea theme. They provide the food (pizza and soda) and the tablecloth and all the plates and utensils. They even clean up everything afterwards. After the party you can go explore the aquarium which has so many neat exhibits and displays. We really loved everything about it. Under the sea fondant cake. Finding Nemo, octopus and crab.

Under the sea fondant cake. Finding Nemo, octopus and crab. Under the sea fondant cake. Finding Nemo, octopus and crab.

ODYSSEO BY CAVALIA REVIEW

Show

I was able to attend a showing of Odysseo by Cavalia in Sandy, Utah. If you have driven on I-15 in Utah at all, then you probably have seen the billboards everywhere! I wondered what the show was about but didn’t quite understand after I visited their website. I went to the show pretty much only knowing that I would be seeing horses.

I attended during social media week so we were given VIP tickets which included a buffet dinner beforehand. There was a lot of different foods to choose from, but much of it was very different than what you typically expect at a buffet unless you are in southern France. Nothing was labeled and the lighting in the tent is dark so some things were hard to figure out what they were. I enjoyed the food and thought the variety was good. Plus, it was nice to have drinks and popcorn for the show and dessert during intermission.

Buffet food at Odysseo by Cavalier

After the buffet we enjoyed the show from front row seats.  Sitting front row was pretty spectacular and I have to warn you that you do get wet during one part of the show. Now, after having seen the show, I understand how it has been called “the most amazing show.” That is how I would describe it in one word-amazing. Its a little hard to explain what the show is exactly, but it’s a mixture of the horses performing, singing, dancing, acrobatics and aeralists. The horses are so beautiful and some of the scenes they set up are serene and peaceful for some parts and wild and action packed for others. I was tense during some of the tricks they performed because they seem so perilous! The performers are truly talented and they work with the horses so well. I loved watching their interactions together. From riding atop two horses in flowing, beautiful costumes, to jumps over poles and graceful aerialists performing after being lifted off the horses. Some of the acts were truly breathtaking.

The show runs for 2 hours with a 30 minute intermission. I felt like the time flew by, I was so engaged with everything going on. All of the seats seem to have a good view of the show, as it’s not that large of an area.  There is $10 parking available close to the tent, but we parked near Dillard’s and walked.  I noticed that the will-call line does get long and there are a lot of people around so I would suggest arriving at least 30 minutes before the show.

Cavalia is running through June 20th, and tickets can be purchased at cavalia.net

Odysseo by Cavalier

PERFECT PICO DE GALLO RECIPE

These two secrets will give you the perfect pico de gallo every time! Recipe and secrets at everydayjenny.com. Delicious on tacos, or just with tortilla chips!

I love a good pico de gallo. I think its delicious eaten alone with tortilla chips but it also adds the perfect flavor and acidity to tacos and other Mexican food.  Although most recipes are similar, I have a few tips to make this the perfect pico de gallo. The tricks are in the method of preparing the ingredients.

First, you want to make sure you pick the best ingredients. You will want Spanish or yellow onions that are nice and firm, no soft spots. Pick large limes, with a little bit of give when you squeeze them instead of ones that are rock hard.  Choose bright, fresh cilantro with no brown spots. Your tomatoes should be firm and vibrant red.

Okay, so now you’ve rounded up the perfect ingredients and are ready to make the pico!

First secret:  After you have removed the outside skin of the onion, slice off the top and bottom and cut the onion in half. Run both halves of the onions under cold water to rinse. This helps to take the “bite” out of the onion. You can also soak your onion in cold water to remove more of the bite, but I find rinsing works great for me.  Dice your onion small and put into a glass bowl.

These two secrets will give you the perfect pico de gallo every time! Recipe and secrets at everydayjenny.com. Delicious on tacos, or just with tortilla chips!

Second secret (and I think the most important):  Sprinkle the entire teaspoon of salt over the onions. Using the back of a large fork or spoon you are going to smash the onion down with the salt. Do this for a couple of minutes and your onion should start to look wet and glossy. Now add your lime juice, chopped cilantro and tomatoes. Allow flavors to mix for about 15 minutes before serving. Enjoy with tortilla chips or on your favorite taco or burrito! It is also excellent on this carne asada recipe.

These two secrets will give you the perfect pico de gallo every time! Recipe and secrets at everydayjenny.com. Delicious on tacos, or just with tortilla chips!

Perfect Pico de Gallo

1 large yellow onion diced
2 large hot house tomatoes (or your favorite tomato), diced
1 bunch cilantro, chopped finely (no stems)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 large limes, juiced

Rinse onion and dice. In a large glass bowl, add onion and salt. Using the back of a fork, smash onion pieces down, until wet and glossy. Add lime juice, pepper, cilantro, and tomatoes and stir to coat. Allow to rest for 15 minutes before serving. Taste and add additional salt and pepper as needed.

These two secrets will give you the perfect pico de gallo every time! Recipe and secrets at everydayjenny.com. Delicious on tacos, or just with tortilla chips!

These two secrets will give you the perfect pico de gallo every time! Recipe and secrets at everydayjenny.com. Delicious on tacos, or just with tortilla chips!