5th blogiversary Juggling with JuliaApril 26th, 2016. The 5th blogiversary for my little hobby :)

That doesn’t seem possible. I’m having a hard time comprehending that it’s been five whole years. In my mind, that sounds like a lot of work. A lot of time.

For sure, it has been. I’ve poured immeasurable amounts of time, thought, and creative energy into Juggling With Julia for the past five years. Perhaps because I still love doing it so much, it just doesn’t seem so. And it doesn’t seem to matter to me that it’s just a small-time blog with a modest audience. I constantly use my own recipes from the site, fondly re-read old posts, and continue to make plans for future improvements. I’m probably the most frequent visitor (and certainly my own #1 fan!) :)

So, shall I continue on this quest? Definitely. At worst, it’ll forever be my own online cookbook/storyboard. At best, it’ll be something like that for those that stop by now and again. And, every once in a while I’ll get that encouraging email or comment from a reader, and that makes it even more worth it :)

Speaking of encouragement, I do get a ton of it from my kids and husband. They are, truly, my guinea pigs for all these kitchen experiments, and they are generous with feedback – so (excruciatingly) generous! So, today, as I’ve done on my Juggling With Julia Facebook page, I’m sharing here each of my family members’ favorite JWJ recipes. From the 10-year-old all the way up to the 50-year-old, they all have a different favorite. Check them out below, and if you have your own JWJ favorite, please leave a comment to let me know!

Georgia JWJ -- Juggling with JuliaGeorgia, 10 years old
Georgia loves being in the kitchen. However, she never ate a single cooked vegetable (besides corn) until she was about 4 years old. That was a tough nut for a dietitian/foodie/mom to swallow, I tell you. Thankfully, though, because of all our kitchen quests, she’s gotten much more adventurous with food. There’s very little she won’t at least try.

Her pick for #1 JWJ recipe? This Easy Rosemary Lemon Chicken, preferably when there is fresh rosemary in our garden for her to pick. Sure, it’s not a vegetable, but the yummy sauce makes the cooked carrots on her plate easier to choke down ūüėČ
Rosemary Lemon Chicken - Juggling With Julia

Casey JWJ -- Juggling With JuliaCasey, 15 years old
Casey is definitely a foodie. He naturally craves wholesome foods like nuts, salads, and whole grains, he is fearless in the kitchen, and has a thing for grain/veggie salads. He’s made various versions of his favorite – this Brown Rice and Edamame Salad with Lime Vinaigrette –¬† countless times in the past year. It’s a nice break from his twice daily cereal habit :)
Brown Rice and Edamame with Lime Vinaigrette -- Juggling With Julia
Zach JWJ - Juggling with JuliaZach, 16 years old

It’s fun to feed teenage boys because they’re always hungry.¬† Zach loves to eat. Unfortunately, he’s not as motivated to be in the kitchen. He’d rather take six granola bars to school than make his own sandwich! He has mastered a few dishes, though, including egg muffins and pasta, and also makes a killer peanut butter/Nutella/banana sandwich.

Zach’s favorite JWJ recipe is this slightly spicy Spanish Brown Rice and Beans. It’s got a bit of a kick and a great savory flavor, and manages to fill him up, at least temporarily. While he’s not quite ready to tackle this recipe himself, he does sometimes take the leftovers and add it to a flour tortilla with cheese, lettuce, and hot sauce. All by his own self. Bueno!
Spanish Brown Rice and Beans with Sausage - Juggling With Julia
Mark JWJ - Juggling With JuliaMark, 50 years old

While I’m lucky that Mark, is a big fan of pretty much everything I make, he is not as wild about all the greens as I am (ie., shaved Brussel sprout salad, sauteed greens, spinach in everything, kale chips, etc.) So it does make me happy that his #1 fave recipe is green, green, green. This Guacamole with Feta is a fantastic twist on traditional guac, and goes great not just with tortilla chips and a beer (and the New England Patriots), but as a spread on sandwiches, too.
Guacamole with Feta -- Juggling With Julia
What’s that? What’s MY favorite JWJ recipe? I thought you’d never ask :)

Juggling Julia - Juggling With JuliaJulia, 48 years old
While it’s true that “I could no sooner choose a favorite star in the heavens” than choose a favorite recipe, I could certainly narrow it down if you absolutely pressed me to do so. The go-to, comfort meal that I make most often, not only because I love the flavor, but because it’s gorgeous, is this:

Breakfast Nachos with Egg, Spinach, and Spicy Fried Onions
Breakfast Nachos - Juggling with Julia

It’s got flavor, crunch, kick, warmth, and creaminess all at once. Never boring, always satisfying, easy to make, and impressive on the plate. That’s my pick!

Thanks to all who regularly drop by here to read, laugh, find recipes, and share. You’ve made this ride all the more worthwhile! Have I got 5 more years in me? We’ll very much have to see :)

{ 12 comments }

Real Strawberry Buttercream Frosting

by Julia Robarts on March 31, 2016

in Dessert, Nutrition

Real Strawberry Buttercream Frosting - Juggling With JuliaHello, my dear ones! As we approach the final day of National Nutrition Month, I encourage you, as always, to enjoy your food.

Enjoy every bite, every morsel, every crumb, and every calorie…fruits that sweeten your day, vegetables that fill you up, energizing grains, and power-packed proteins.

And when it’s time to indulge? GO BIG. Crazy big. Strawberry buttercream frosting made from real strawberries big! Why? Because life is too short for store-bought cookies or light ice cream, and certainly too short for canned (gack!) frosting.

My miniature sous chef and I made this gorgeous naturally pink strawberry buttercream frosting to put on cupcakes. We went a bit bonkers and added chocolate-dipped strawberries on top. When we go big, we don’t mess around :)

When you indulge, how do you GO BIG?

Real Strawberry Buttercream Frosting - Juggling With Julia

Real Strawberry Buttercream FrostingReal Strawberry Buttercream Frosting - Juggling With Julia
Yield: enough for 24 cupcakes
Adapted from Cooking Classy

Cook/Prep time: 20 minutes

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons strawberry puree
3/4 cup butter, at room temperature
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla

In a small uncovered saucepan, heat the strawberry puree over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. Allow the puree to simmer until it is reduced by about two-thirds. You will be left with 3 tablespoons of thickened puree. Transfer the puree to a small bowl and put in the freezer to chill. (It should cool quickly – stir a couple of times to speed the cooling).

Add the butter to the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat the butter on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Add 1 cup of the powdered sugar, along with the cooled strawberry puree and vanilla. Beat until well combined. Add the next 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, and continue beating until light and fluffy. If necessary , you may add 1/4 cup additional powdered sugar to get the desired consistency.

Pipe or spread onto cupcakes, layer cake, brownies, or directly onto your finger :)

Real Strawberry Buttercream Frosting - Juggling With Julia

 

{ 2 comments }

Savor the Flavor, Everybody!

March 9, 2016 Healthy Lifestyle
Savor the Flavor - Juggling With Julia

National Nutrition Month is upon us once again, and dietitians everywhere would like you to ‘savor the flavor.’ And on National Registered Dietitian Day (today!), I always take the opportunity to¬†remind everyone that a) I am a dietitian and I love bacon, and that b) above all,¬†food is meant to be enjoyed. I’ve said it […]

Read the full article →

Beating Misery

March 2, 2016 Blogging
Beating Misery -- Juggling with Julia

Happy Wednesday, friends! Normally I’d be here enticing you with some drool-worthy picture and new recipe to go with it. Not today. The past week has brought little to my life except the pain and suffering one can expect from strep throat. Fiery pain that intensified with the tiniest of movement¬†had me wincing and dreading […]

Read the full article →

Breakfast Nachos with Eggs, Spinach, and Spicy Fried Onions

February 22, 2016 Breakfast/Brunch
Breakfast Nachos - Juggling with Julia

Rise and shine! Time to make the…breakfast nachos. What? Start your day with nachos? In what galaxy is the favorite food of pub crawlers,¬†sports¬†fans, and margarita-infused shenanigan-makers considered a nutritious start to anyone’s day? In the Recipe Redux galaxy, my friends I’m so excited to be a part of the Recipe Redux, a monthly dietitian-inspired […]

Read the full article →

Shaved Brussel Sprouts and Kale Salad

February 2, 2016 Breakfast/Brunch
Shaved Brussel Sprouts and Kale Salad - Juggling with Julia

I’d like to keep a big bowl of this in my fridge to eat every day. That’s a direct quote, which got an enthusiastic nod of agreement from around the room. That makes Kale and Shaved Brussel Sprouts Salad hands-down the biggest foodie hit I’ve ever had with the book club pals. And that’s saying […]

Read the full article →

Warm Spinach Salad with Walnuts

January 27, 2016 Quick and Easy Meals
IMG_0853

Sharing with you today my go-to meal when I am craving something quick, veggie-filled and nutritious. Which begs the question, is there ever a time when I’m craving the opposite?? Of course – yes! – which explains this and most definitely this. Today, though, it’s about a tantalizing Warm Spinach Salad, a simple meal for […]

Read the full article →

Mini Lemon Poppyseed Cupcakes

January 18, 2016 Dessert
Mini Lemon Poppyseed Cupcakes - Juggling with Julia

Desserts in miniature are some of my favorite treats. These mini lemon poppyseed cupcakes, here modeled by Georgia, were 100% her call. Much inspired by her love of¬†Cupcake Wars and The Great British Baking Show, she was just dying to bake something. She researched flavor combinations and recipes before settling on lemon, one of her […]

Read the full article →

My Fake Restaurant Menu

January 10, 2016 Healthy Lifestyle
My Fake Restaurant Menu - Juggling with Julia

“Mum, you should open a restaurant. You could serve all the things you like to make.” This sweet comment from my 10-year-old came as I pulled out the ingredients for a very simple, but healthy, dinner. Me? Open a restaurant? While it is laughable from the viewpoint of my organizational abilities, I contemplated this thought […]

Read the full article →

Kale, Quinoa, and Pomegranate Salad

December 21, 2015 Appetizers & Snacks
Kale Quinoa Pomegranate Salad -- Juggling with Julia

Happy holidays, friends! Been busy wrapping, baking, shopping, and cooking? Same here. And drinking more iced coffee than is recommended by 4 out of 5 sleepologists. It was quite a productive week in the kitchen. I baked oodles of cookies (with help from my elves – Grumpy, Sneezy, and Sporty), and I even made a […]

Read the full article →