Harry & David $60 {giveaway closed} | The Friday Fifteen: March 22, 2013

Peanut Butter Molasses Ginger Chews | www.foodiewithfamily.com

This week feels like it has gone almost as quickly as that stack of cookies up there disappeared. Is it just me? We’re bustling around to get the house ready for the arrival of the many family members and friends who will be joining us for a Celebration of Life service next week for my beloved bonus mom (stepmom), Valerie. This week’s Friday Fifteen has food to feed a crowd, books that I love for quiet time, and a woooonderful giveaway to cap off our week.

Let’s do this thing!

Main Dish Madness

Thai Chicken Tacos by Gimme Some Oven Whoa. Can everyone agree with me? Just whoa. Tender chicken on slaw with Thai peanut sauce drizzled over it. I want it badly.

Kale, Mushroom, and Cheddar Bake by Simply Recipes Word. I want a pan of this and a spoon and a comfy chair. Clearly, I am in need of comfort food. This looks like the thing to do the job.

Garlicky Greens and Chevre Hand Pies by Starting Fresh Recipes It’s pretty safe to say that I am totally, 100% obsessed with these right now. As a born-Yooper, I have a hand-pie birthright (Hello, Pasties!) and I am eminently qualified to judge hand pies. I declare these to be crave-able. I also declare these to be on my to-do list.

Easy Chicken Green Chili Tacos by My Life as a Mrs. YES, baby!!!! I think tacos and pizza are the perfect foods. They’re the right ratio of meat/cheese/tacos/crunchy goodness. Rawr. RAWR. I could use a half dozen of these right now.

Thai Chicken Pizza by Seeded at the Table Didn’t I just say pizza and tacos are perfect foods? Heck to the yes. I will stick my face in the pizza very, very soon. Mark my words.

Appetizing Appetizers and Snacks

Nutella Brie Bites by Bev Cooks Seriously, Bev. You need to stop doing what you’re doing or I’m going to weigh 500 pounds. These are little tiny rectangles of puff pastry baked with thin slices of brie on top so it gets melty and bubbly as the pastry gets puffy. When they come out of the oven they’re drizzled with warm Nutella. Dear heavenly Father. I’m totally making this for the houseful of guests I have this week. I guarantee my sisters will be parked in front of the tray as it comes out of the oven. I’d better get a big honkin’ wheel of brie.

Pickled Avocados by La Fuji Mama I am all over this like brine on a pickle. It’s a well known fact that I am obsessed with pickles. Also well known is my fixation on avocados. This is happening here and soon and probably getting served on top of a rice bowl with a fried egg and some pickled carrots. That’s all I have to say about that.

Beautiful Breads

Fabulously Fluffy Buttermilk Butter Biscuits by Fields of Cake Biscuits are the instant gratification baby of the bread world. I know biscuits and these biscuits look fantastic. Can’t you just imagine a plate of these fresh from the oven slathered with marmalade? I know I can.

Deadly Desserts

Ho Ho Cake by La Fuji Mama Fuji Mama hit my Friday Fifteen twice this week and for good reason. Lemme tell you, I was talking to my aunt who’s flying up to our area from Florida for the memorial service and I asked what she wanted me to make for her food-wise. She said, “Honey? Just comfort food. Lots of it.” I would say this cake qualifies with a capital Q. It’s a ho-ho cake, people. I think I’ll make three.

Jello Blood Worms by The Idea Room I made this with a cooking class I taught for kids last year. It went over like gangbusters, people. They actually looked like REAL worms after being tossed with Oreo crumbs. In fact, someone came to me and asked if I was really and truly letting the kids eat worms. You’d like photographic evidence? Absolutely. That’s my boy!


I do have one piece of advice: have people handy to help you squeeze the jello worms from the straws. Your hands get slippery and it ends up (*wimpy alert*) kind of hurting your hands a bit.

Knock You Naked Brownies by The Pioneer Woman Well, I don’t know about THAT. I mean, I want those brownies more than I want my left foot right now, but I think I’d keep my clothes on. I’m kind of neurotically modest like that. Well, aside from the time that I actually lifted my shirt to prove to Ree that I was wearing Spanx (the one time I actually WORE Spanx because they’re EVIL) when I was visiting her for the Bush’s Beans event. But that’s another cup of coffee. And the point remains: I want these brownies, but I will eat them clothed. In lots and lots of clothing.

Ā Beautiful Breakfasts

Oatmeal Brulee with Maple Cinnamon Cream by Very Culinary Oatmeal rocks my husband’s world. I’m pretty fond of the stuff myself. I’m pretty sure this beautiful concoction from Amy at Very Culinary is one of the best looking oatmeals I’ve ever seen. And I’m also equally certain that the heavy cream in it is offset by the whole rolled oats and fruit in the recipe. Heyyyyyy. I didn’t get to the pinnacle of food bloggerhood without some serious rationalization. It’s my gift to you.


Books, books, books!

The Code of the Woosters by P.G. Wodehouse. Many years ago, Val gave me my first Wodehouse collection. I had never read anything by him before and I didn’t know what to think about them. It was daughterly duty that made me crack that first cover but -oh my goodness- once I was two pages in, I was hooked. Wodehouse does situational slapstick unlike anyone else I’ve ever read. The Jeeves and Wooster stories are so lighthearted, so sweet, so ridiculous and so endearing that I re-read them nearly every year. They’re the perfect summer read and they do not tax your emotions while still remaining smart and quick. These have my absolute recommendation!

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen. Oh sure, everyone knows Pride and Prejudice, and for good reason. Sense and Sensibility is the Jane Austen book that truly has my heart, though. The story -spun only as Jane Austen can- focuses on Elinor who is rational and sensible and her sister Marianne who is a wild, uncontrolled romantic and their suitors. The book isn’t some soppy romance, though, as Jane Austen managed to marry satire and romance. I adore this book.


Update: The “Pick a Giveaway Winner” plugin has chosen Barbara N. as our winner. Barbara, please check your email and send your mailing address so we can get your goodies out to you! Congratulations!

You know I love Harry & David dearly. They sent me a gorgeous Easter box of their best Royal Riviera pears to review this week. My review, in short, is that they are the best pears I’ve ever had. This is my fourth batch of Royal Riviera pears and they have all been equally wonderful. They’re so juicy and tender that you can eat them from the skin with a spoon. I hate to say it, but we’re ruined on other pears for now because the Royal Riviera pears are so darned good.

How to Enter the Giveaway!

Harry & David has generously offered to give an Easter gift to one very lucky Foodie with Family reader. Do your best Easter Bunny impersonation and hop on over to look at Harry & David’s Easter gift selection then hop back here and leave a comment letting me know which item under $60 you’d like. That’s it- you’re entered! One entry per person, please! We will use random.org to choose a winner Monday, March 25, 2013 and announce it here by noon on this post.



  1. Alane says

    I saw those worms before and I don’t know if I could eat them without gagging. Gummy worms no prob., but those look so real.

  2. Virginia says

    My husband and I are on a juice fast so I’d have to avoid all those fabulous Easter treats and choose the Bright Blooms Bouquet instead. Besides, I’ve had enough of New England winter and a bit of spring color would be wonderful!

  3. Allison Wible says

    the Freesia Garden Gift tote or Easter Gift Basket Classic.

    And I am going to have make either the Thai tacos or pizza very soon.

  4. says

    Thanks for the mention, my love! That oatmeal is seriously…just. So good. With the fruit and flavored cream, AND the surprise of raspberries at the bottom with every bite. I could eat it every single day of my life without complaint! Loving these round-ups and thrilled to have made the list šŸ˜€

  5. Heather says

    My little one was a bit too young for Easter festivities last year so I think she’d adore the Bunny Meadows Gift Basket!

  6. says

    So glad you liked the recipe! If you end up making it let us know how it turns out! (Those Thai chicken tacos look awesome as well)

  7. Jeanene says

    oh my! I want Ree’s brownies!! LOL

    from Harry & David it’s a 3 way tie: Easter Gift Basket Classic or Carrot Cake Cheesecake or Strawberry Lemonade Cake. YUM

  8. Karen says

    That classic Easter Basket is beautiful, but the Table Rock Turkey and Ham would make my Easter dinner making time so much easier!

  9. Michele W says

    My hubby breaks off the ears on the hollow bunnies and drinks his Easter O.J. Out of them. He has done this since he was a munchkin.

  10. Abby says

    My brothers would love those jello worms…
    Yes! Sense and Sensibility is one of the best Jane Austin books!
    As for the Harry and David giveaway I think I want the mini roses.

  11. Kathleen S says

    My waistline says fruit, but my heart says Carrot Cake Specialty Cheescake. It’s got veggies, right?
    Thanks for the Friday Fifteen. I am loving it!

  12. poohbah says

    The Birds’ Nest Cupcakes are so beautiful!! To eat or not to eat — that is the question….but I know the answer!

  13. LynnG says

    Harry & David has so many wonderful things – especially the pears!
    I would love to win the Mini Roses Plant Gift!

  14. jeri says

    The Easter Basket Classic; it has chocolate covered cherries! Everything else I’d be happy to share, but the cherries would probably be “lost” in a secret hiding spot.

  15. PAL says

    The spiral sliced ham would be my pick. Would serve the entire family and them some. Thanks for hosting this give a way.

    • PAL says

      opps just saw the limit and this is over so next choice would be the Birds Nest Cheesecake… this too would benefit the masses and a family pot luck. Thanks again!

  16. Peggy Nagy says

    Wow! What fun choices… love the classic basket and then the roses and the the gardenia wine chiller… oh the desserts and the chocolates. I am drooling. I guess the classic basket would have to be the first choice.

  17. Joan Wissert says

    The mini roses-beautiful now, while we wait for spring to REALLY arrive, then beautiful blooms each and every spring and summer to follow!

  18. Wendy M says

    Would love the Gold Spring Gift Tower! Especially love the pears, chocolate covered strawberries, and moose munch.!

  19. Kimberly says

    …and for other android users, Harry&David has a mobile friendly site. You can find it by clicking the link Rebecca has provided and then scrolling down to the bottom left corner of their page. It makes viewing the Easter gift choices much easier.

  20. Rachel says

    The Bear Creek Gift box looks perfect- pears and munchy things. Only problem I can see is the serving size seems off :)

    There is a H&D outlet near me but I don’t remember them having fresh fruit, just refridge/freezer and packaged stuffs.

  21. Erica says

    Hi, I’ve been following your site for years and never comment, but now wanted to say I’m sorry you lost your stepmom and wish you and your family all the best. Thanks also for years of great recipes, many of them are our family favorites now. And for the mad scientist mother in me (pickling, canning, baking, etc), your website is truly inspiring.

  22. AmyG says

    I think the Gold Spring Gift Tower would be lovely. I remember being a kid and seeing these boxes of yummy treats in catalogs and wishing we could have them.

  23. Lauren J. says

    Everything is so pretty! I think the “Big Harry Bunny Gift” is way too cute! Who wouldn’t love that!

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