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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Chocolate Dotted Peppermint Kisses

Being the recipe addict that I am, I requested some recipes from my aunts on my dad's side. I didn't know my Grandma Kimble at all as she passed away when I was about two. Having her recipes and cooking them myself makes me feel a bond with her, and my dad as I know these are the meals he was raised on also. Weird how food does that. Recipes are timeless and can be passed on from generation to generation so easily. Thank you to my sweet aunts for sharing recipes with me. They have already make a great impact on me and will be part of my family forever. I felt my dad and my grandma were with us this Christmas as the sweet peppermint goodness melted in our mouths.
Chocolate Dotted Peppermint Kisses
Irene Kimble

2 egg whites

¾ cup sugar

1/8 tsp salt

1 (6 oz pkg.) chocolate chips

1/8 tsp cream of tarter

½ tsp peppermint extract

Beat egg whites, salt, cream of tartar, and peppermint extract until soft peaks form. Add sugar gradually, beating until stiff peaks form. Set aside 2 dozen chocolate chip pieces for toppers and fold in remaining ones. Cover cookie sheet with wax paper. Drop cookie mixture by the teaspoonful onto paper. Top with chocolate chip pieces. Bake at 300 degrees for 25 minutes or until done (light brown on bottom). Remove from paper while slightly warm. Makes 2 dozen.

"Memories: This was one of Mom’s Christmas recipes and my favorite at Christmas time. They are really simple cookies to make if you are good at whipping egg whites to the meringue stage and just melt in your mouth! I try to make these every Christmas, but I am not the best at getting the egg whites just right, but they are still good. Every year all the Saturdays of December were spent making candy and cookies for the holidays. The kids usually worked on the fondant and cookies and Mom made the fudge, pfeffernuts (your dad’s favorite), peanut brittle, divinity, fruitcakes, glass candy, and I am sure there are more that I am not remembering. We loved the fondant cause it was made in three colors, white, pink and green and we could make into shapes. We always put up our Christmas tree the Sunday before Christmas and took it down the Sunday after Christmas. Mom always took us kids shopping on the day after Thanksgiving so we could show her what we wanted. I don’t think she would even think of doing that now the way that day has evolved into “Black Friday.” Marilyn

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Old-Fashioned Sage Stuffing Casserole

This is a moist and flavorful stuffing recipe that I found in "Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook," by Beth Hensperger and Julie Kaufmann. Best of all it frees up oven space on Thanksgiving Day by utilizing your crock pot!

Makes 6 LARGE servings

Cooker: Medium round or oval
Settings and Cook Times: High for 1 hour, then Low for 5-6 hours.

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, or ½ cup olive oil
2 large yellow onions, minced
4 ribs celery, chopped
1 tart apple, peeled, cored, and chopped; or 1 large carrot, chopped
1 small loaf French bread, cut into small cubes
One 7-ounce package seasoned stuffing mix, or 2 cups crumbled day-old cornbread
½ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 ½ teaspoons dried sage
1 ½ teaspoons dried thyme
1 ½ teaspoons dried marjoram
1 teaspoon salt
A few grinds of black or white pepper
1 large egg (optional), beaten
1 ½ to 1 ¾ cups turkey or chicken broth, as needed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1. In a large skillet, heat the butter until melted over medium-high heat. Add the onions, celery and apple (or carrot) and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes.
2. Put the bread and stuffing mix in a large bowl. Add the parsley, dried herbs, salt, and pepper and toss to combine. Pour the sautéed vegetables over the bread cubes and mix together. Add the egg, if using and enough of the broth, stirring until the ingredients are evenly moistened. Taste to adjust the seasonings.
3. Coat the slow cooker with butter, olive oil, or nonstick cooking spray. Pack the stuffing lightly into the cooker. Dot with the butter pieces and sprinkles with a few more tablespoons of chicken broth. Cover and cook on HIGH for 1 hour.
4. Reduce the heat to LOW and cook until puffy and nicely brown around the edges, 4 to 5 hours. The dressing can sit in the cooker, covered, on KEEP WARM for 2 to 3 hours before serving. Serve hot right out of the crock.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Pumpkin Angel Food Cake with Ginger-Cream Filling

My mother-in-law got this recipe from a quilting class and I decided to try it out. It was a big hit! The ginger flavor is subtle while the pumpkin is light and airy. A different twist for using pumpkin.

Makes 12 servings


For Cake:
1 box (1-lb) Betty Crocker white angel food cake mix
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
1 cup cold water

For Ginger Cream Filling:

2 cups whipping cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons finely chopped crystallized ginger

1. Move oven rack to lowest position. Heat oven to 350F. In extra-large glass or
metal bowl, beat cake ingredients with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds. Beat on medium speed 1 minutes. Pour into un-greased 10-inch angel food (tube) cake pan.

2. Bake 37 to 47 minutes, or until crust is dark golden brown and cracks are dry. Immediately turn pan upside down onto heat-proof funnel or glass bottle. Let hang about 2 hours, or until cake is completely cool. Loosen cake from side of pan with knife or long metal spatula. Turn cake upside down onto serving plate.

3. In chilled large bowl, beat whipping cream and powdered sugar with electric mixer on high until stiff. Fold in ginger. Cut cake horizontally in half to make two even layers. Spread half of the filing on bottom layer; replace top of cake and spread remaining filling on top of cake. Sprinkle with additional pumpkin pie spice, if desired.

Mini Cheddar and Bacon Frittatas

Mini Cheddar and Bacon Frittatas

recipe by Stephanie (Stephanie's Kitchen)
makes 8 mini frittatas

4 eggs
2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 cup cheddar cheese
1/4 cup parmasan cheese
3 strips cooked bacon, chopped

1. Beat eggs in a medium bowl. Add remaining ingredients.
2. Grease a mini muffin tin. Fill cups with egg mixture until almost to the rim. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until centers are set.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Bubble Pizza

Versatile, fun, and easy. Great one for kids to help make and they will actually help eat!

Bubble Pizza

4 cans buttermilk refrigerator biscuits, quartered and shook in cornmeal
1 1/2 cups pizza sauce
2-4 cloves garlic
3 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded

Toppings: onion, ham, mushroom, olives, green pepper, bacon, pepperoni, whatever you like on your pizza!

Preheat oven to 375.

Quarter biscuits and shake in cornmeal. Place in a large bowl. Mix pizza sauce, garlic, and any other toppings. Stir with biscuits. Put in a 9x13 pan. Top with cheese and other toppings. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Dairy Free Cream Soup Replacement

Kristin's post reminded me of a cream of soup replacement that I use quite often in place of Campbells. The perk with this one is that it uses no dairy, yet is still creamy, and uses your food storage! Shriveled, hard, old beans work great for this. Just grind as you would in your wheat grinder (after cleaning and sorting of course!).

4 Cups Water
4 tsp chicken or beef base/bouillon
1 cup fine white bean flour

Heat 2 cups of water on stove. Combine 2 cups cold water and bean flour and mix until smooth. (This can also be done in a blender). Add to heated water (not boiling) and simmer on stove until thickened, stirring occasionally.

Store in refrigerator for up to a week; or freeze for up to six months.

Use in casseroles in place of cream of soups, or as a base for cream of broccoli, celery, mushroom etc

*If you grind a lot of bean flour to keep on hand be sure to keep it in an airtight container, in the freezer, to keep it from going rancid.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Homemade Cream Soup Mix

Cut the fat and keep the convenience with this cream soup mix.

2 cups powdered nonfat milk
3/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup instant chicken or beef bouillon
2 Tbsp. dried onion flakes
2 tsp. basil leaves
1 tsp. thyme leaves
1/2 tsp. pepper

Combine all ingredients. Mix well. Store in an airtight container until ready to use. Makes equivalent of 9 cans of creamed soup.

To reconstitute: 1/3 cup of cream soup mix with 1 1/4 cups cold water in a saucepan. Cook and stir until thickened. Substitute for 1 can of soup.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Please Pass The...

Applesauce! Taylor, I believe you had a good recipe. Whoever made the bottle you gave us for our baby shower, can you share your secret? :)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Curried Chicken and Brown Rice

Found this here. Easy. Quick (especially if you have the rice cooked beforehand). Good flavor. Could easily be made a vegetarian dish by omitting chicken and/or adding beans, perhaps.

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 (8 ounce) can stewed tomatoes (or two large fresh, chopped)
  • 3/4 cup quick-cooking brown rice (I used regular brown rice that I had in the fridge)
  • 1/2 cup raisins (golden work really well)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 cube chicken bouillon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bay leaf (optional)
  • 3/4 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cut into 1 inch pieces
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a skillet, stir together water, stewed tomatoes, brown rice, raisins, lemon juice, curry powder, bouillon, ground cinnamon, salt, garlic, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil; then stir in chicken. Transfer mixture to a casserole dish.
  3. Cover, and bake in the preheated oven 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until rice is tender and chicken juices run clear.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Whole Wheat Bread

This is that "Mom's-homemade-warm-from-the-oven" bread that we all remember from childhood. While this is not my mom's recipe (have to give credit to Jodalyn for that), it IS a recipe that I love. With its 'no-fuss' process, it gets a thumbs-up from me, and with its perfect texture and yummy flavor, it gets a thumbs-up from all who eat it. It's a must make for the baker in us all!

*2 1/2 cups warm water
1 Tbsp yeast
1/3 cup honey (or brown sugar)
1/3 cup oil
1/3 cup wheat gluten
1/3 cup powdered milk
1 Tbsp salt
6 cups whole wheat flour

In a large bowl combine the water, yeast and honey. Allow 10 or so minutes for the yeast to proof. Add the oil, gluten, and powdered milk. Mix until combined and clumps are gone. Add the salt, along with 2 cups of flour and mix well. Add the remaining cups of flour one at a time while mixing the dough. Allow the dough to knead for several minutes. To check for flour content, the dough should pull away from the sides of the bowl, but the dough should remain slightly sticky.

In an oiled bowl topped with a clean towel, allow the dough to rise until doubled in size (the time required for this will vary depending on factors such as the warmth of the room, etc). Punch it down, divide in half, and shape loaves. Place in bread pans, cover with towel and allow the loaves to double in size. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Again, bake time could vary due to oven temperature. Play around until you find what works for you.

Cool on a wire rack, but make sure you cut a few thick slices while it's still warm. Enjoy!

*I used to feel intimidated by the pressure to make sure the 'warm water' is just the right temperature. Too hot, you kill the yeast; too cold, you have hard-as-a-rock bread. My recommendation (since I HATE the thought of hassling with a thermometer every time I want to make bread) is to turn your faucet as hot as it goes and pour it right in. My faucet gets VERY hot and I've never had a problem with yeast breads. So long as you can still stand to stick your finger in it, don't be scared to have it hot.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Cheryl's Veggie Sandwiches

Elliot raves about these, and now I do too. They are really simple, healthy, and delicious. Basically, chop/grate some raw veggies of your choice (I used carrots, cucumbers, squash, etc.). Mix in some mayo (homemade or otherwise) like you're making tuna. Layer this on some bread (toasted, if you like) with slices of onion, tomato, lettuce and sprouts (or whatever you have). Season as you desire. Enjoy.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Couscous Salad with Raw Veggies

For those of us trying to eat more raw foods, this is a quick and easy one that doesn't take long to prepare and is actually quite yummy and filling. If you're like me and have trouble finding healthy foods that are filling, this one is. I love it now.

1 Cup of Water
1 Cup of Couscous
3 Tbsp Olive Oil (I sometimes use flaxseed oil or half of each)
3 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
2 Tbsp Braggs Amino Acids (soy sauce substitute - this is optional or you can just salt it)
Juice and Zest of one Lime
1/4 tsp Pepper
1 Can of Corn (slightly drained - some of the water adds a nice flavor)
1 Beefstake Tomato diced
1 Red Bell Pepper diced
1 small cucumber diced
1/2 small yellow squash diced
1 small onion diced
2 Cups of Spinach somewhat shredded or torn
1 Small handful of Cilantro

Bring water to a boil. Take water off heat and pour couscous in. Fluff with a fork and then transfer to a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, take next five ingredients and mix together well, then pour over couscous to keep it from sticking and getting too dry. Pour can of corn in and the remaining ingredients. Toss until well blended. This is a super healthy, light, and filling meal by itself. Enjoy.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Blueberry Cinnamon Frozen Yogurt

Blueberries are in season and James had a great idea to try blueberry frozen yogurt. This recipe turned out wonderful. The cinnamon adds a twist to your normal fruit frozen yogurt. The original recipe is found Here.
I did change it up a bit and the following recipe is with my changes.

  • 2 pints fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 6 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 cups of sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 1/2 cups full fat plain or vanilla yogurt (if using low or non-fat yogurt, add 4 Tbsp cream)
  • 1 cup whole milk

1. Place the lemon juice, sugar, salt, and cinnamon in a medium saucepan. Heat on medium heat, stirring, until all of the sugar has dissolved. While the mixture is heating, blend blueberries to desired consistency, depending on how smooth you want the result. When all of the sugar has dissolved, remove from heat and let cool. Add pureed blueberries to sugar mixture. Make sure mixture is completely cool before the next step - if you're in a hurry use a cold water bath or stick in the freezer for a little while.

2. Stir in the yogurt and milk until completely incorporated. Chill the mixture in the refrigerator for several hours (or overnight) until completely cold.*

3 Process the blueberry yogurt mixture in your ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions (usually about 25 minutes). Serve immediately (it will be VERY soft) or let it firm up a bit by freezing it for several hours.

Make about 2 quarts.

*James and I skipped this step because we thought it was cool enough. It still turned out great, just took a lot longer to freeze in the ice cream maker. Next time, I'll follow this step, especially if I'm afraid I'll run out of ice!

Berry Lemonade Slush

This drink is one of my favorites to help me cool down during those hot summer days! The lemon to berry ratio is just perfect for me (I like my lemon!).

1/2 Cup Country Time Lemonade (dry mix)
1/2 Cup Water*
3 Cups of ice cubes
1 Cup of frozen strawberries, blueberries, or raspberries

1. Put dry mix into blender and add remaining ingredients.
2. Cover and blend on High, until smooth.

*If you have a high-impact blender, such as a Vita-mix, add at least 1/2 cup more water.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Filipino Pancit Sotanghon Noodles

This recipe was given to me by my good friend Pam. I love it sooo much, that I just HAVE to share it. Pam is from the Philipines, and has lived in the States for about 10 years. She makes this dish constantly even now. I hope you all enjoy. She did tell me it is one of the "official" meals of the Philipines. I like it best with Chicken, Shrimp, carrots, celery, and snow peas. This is what she sent to me:

  • 1 boneless skinless chicken breast, sometimes I use rotisserie chicken, beef, pork or any combination
  • 1/2 lb. cooked shrimp (optional)
  • 1 lb. Sotanghon Vermicelli Noodles (1package), soaked in warm water for 5 minutes – asian store
  • ½ pkg flour sticks(pancit canton-no soaking) – asian store(optional)
  • 2 cups reserved chicken broth
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 1 cup green onion, cut into ¼ inch (optional)
  • 2-3 small carrots (sliced in long narrow strips)
  • Cabbage, celery, green beans, snow peas ( you don’t have to put everything – just the veggies you like)
  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • 1-2 tbsp of soy sauce
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Lemon wedges (optional)


  1. Boil chicken breast until cooked. Drain chicken and slice into strips. Reserve chicken broth. For rotisserie, boil the bones to make broth
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet. Saute garlic and onion until cook
  3. Add the carrots and other veggies except cabbage, salt, pepper. Saute for a few minutes.
  4. Add chicken & shrimp if using. Cover and cook for 2 minutes then add chicken broth, soy sauce. Cover until it comes to a boil.
  5. Add the sotanghon noodles mixing well to distribute the color and flavor, add the flour sticks if using.
  6. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the noodles are soft, add cabbage last. Taste and adjust seasoning to desire taste.
  7. Before turning off the heat, sprinkle the green onions on top or before serving.
  8. Serve with lemon wedges

- Pam Poquita

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Tuna Waldorf Salad

This is the tastiest tuna sandwich I've ever had. You might know that if you had been there when Taylor and I enjoyed it for lunch . . . and again an hour later for a second lunch! It can also be quite healthy with it's lean meat, fruit, and veggies. That's if you cut back on the mayo. It would also be delicious with canned chicken.

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise (I used half this - you can also use cottage cheese or yogurt)
  • 1 tablespoon prepared Dijon-style mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon curry powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 (6 ounce) can water-packed tuna (I doubled this)
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped (I used green onion)
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, cored and diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1 teaspoon sweet pickle relish
  • 4 large croissants (or other bread or crackers)
  • 4 leaves lettuce
  • 4 slices Swiss cheese
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, mustard, curry powder, salt and pepper. Add tuna, shallot, apple, walnuts, celery and pickle relish and toss until all ingredients are coated with dressing.
  2. Lightly toast the croissants. Split in half, place a lettuce leaf on the bottom half of the croissant and fill with tuna salad. Top with a slice of Swiss cheese and the top half of the croissant. Serve with a dill pickle and potato chips. Bon appetit!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Raspberry Jello Salad

I'm not a huge Jello fan, but I really like this one. The pudding makes it thick and smooth. This is sweet so we usually have it for our dessert. The frozen fruit helps it set up quick.

1 large package Vanilla pudding (non-instant)
1 large package Raspberry Jello
2 cups frozen raspberries
2 cups water
cool whip or whipped cream

1. Whisk vanilla pudding and water together in small saucepan. Boil until thick.
2. Add raspberry jello to hot pudding. Stir until dissolved. Let cool while preparing pan.
3. In desired dish, spread fruit in the bottom. I like to use a glass pyrex dish that's 4x7x1.5".
4. Pour jello over fruit. Cover and refrigerate until set.
5. Top with Cool whip or whipped cream.

*Different fruits/flavors of jello can be substituted; we really like the tartness of raspberries.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Watermelon-Strawberry Soup

This is kinda like a smoothie. In fact, Elliot thought I was silly for calling it a soup and serving it in bowls for our first course of dinner. haha. Either way, it's good and refreshing.

4 cups watermelon, chunks seeded
2 tbsp sugar
2 cups strawberries, stems removed
1/2 cup nonfat plain yogurt
1/2 tsp lemon juice
  1. Add the melon and sugar to the container of a food processor or electric blender.

  2. Process until smooth and pureed; pour mixture into a large mixing bowl.

  3. Add berries to the container of a food processor or electric blender; process until smooth and pureed; pour into the bowl with the watermelon puree.

  4. Add the yogurt and lemon juice to the watermelon-strawberry puree; stir well to combine.

  5. Chill until ice cold.

Pretty, huh? I think this would be fun to serve at a little girl's party...or a big girl's party. Hey, how about baby or wedding showers?

Almond Poppyseed Bread

I found this recipe while blog surfing and couldn't wait to try it. It tastes more delicious than I would have imagined. I could eat a whole loaf in one sitting. Wait a minute, I think I did . . . and Taylor ate the other! Recipe from "Our Best Bites"

Almond Poppyseed Bread
Yeild: 5 mini pans or 2 regular loaf pans
3 c. all-purpose flour
2 1/2 c. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/8 c. canola oil
3 eggs
1 1/2 c. milk
2 tsp. poppy seeds
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 tsp. butter flavoring
1 1/2 tsp. almond flavoring


3/4 c. white granulated sugar
1/4 c. orange juice
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. butter flavoring
1/2 tsp. almond flavoring

Preheat oven to 350.
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, salt, and baking powder. In a large mixing bowl, combine eggs, oil, sugar, and flavorings and beat for 2 minutes. Alternate adding in flour mixture and milk and then mix until just combined. Add poppyseeds and mix until just combined.
Pour into prepared pans (5 mini pans or 2 regular loaf pans) and bake (35-40 minutes for mini pans, 1 hour for large pans; keep an eye on them). When done, place on a cooling rack for 10 minutes and then remove from pans and allow to cool completely on a cooling rack.
While cooling, prepare glaze by combining all glaze ingredients. Drizzle over loaves and allow to harden.

If wrapping in cellophane or other sealed container, try not to package these until ready to deliver because after awhile, the moisture will condense in the bag and the glorious sugary crust on the bread will liquefy and soak into the bread. Which, don't get me wrong, tastes great, but the slightly-crispy texture on top of the soft bread may just be the best part.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Mango Peach Green Smoothie

So, I've been experimenting with quite a few of these smoothies for a lot of reasons. We've gone Vegan for a while and so they're dairy free and for anyone who has finicky eaters like my son, it's a great way to sneak in a lot of greens and they don't even care. My son thinks it's yogurt. I don't care what he calls it so long as he drinks it. It looks pretty and is super good for you. The blending process breaks down the leaves for you so your tummy doesn't have to work as hard and you actually get more enzymes this way than if you were just to chew on the leaves in a salad. They're full of antioxidants and you may go into a slight detox healing crisis if you drink a lot of them so just be aware. But it's all good for you. I can definitely say I'm a big fan of green smoothies. This particular recipe is my favorite but I'll be sure to post others if I think they're really good too.
-1 Handful of Fresh Kale (Make it a hefty handful cuz this stuff is so good for you)
-1 Handful of Arugula or Baby Spinach
-1 Handful of Parsley
-1 Handful of Green Grapes
-1/2 of a Medium Cucumber diced
-1 Peach with skin
-1 Mango (cut up as much of the fruit from the pit as possible and squeeze in the remaining juice)
-1 Kiwi
-1 small Banana
-1 small scoop of Soy Ice Cream
-4-6 Ice Cubes (Whatever fits)
-Water to blend easier. (Or if you want a little more flavor, you can do soy or rice milk or a little bit of Mango Peach V-Fusion Vegetable Fruit juice)
-1 Mint leaf to garnish
Toss into blender and blend. Super easy.
Yields about 4 very filling smoothies. The more I have them, the more I want them. I recommend using a Vitamix or a really good blender because this will make them smoother and they're better that way so if you don't have one, I would invest in a good blender cuz you won't want to stop after making just one of these. I'd love a Vitamix but I have a Cuisinart blender and it does the job very well.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Raw Squash Salad

We've been eating a lot more raw foods lately, and we tried this salad tonight. It was light and refreshing--and healthy to boot. Plus, it's a creative way to use up some of that zucchini that's overtaking your garden! (Why is this underlined? Don't ask me.)

  • 2 summer squash or zucchini (or one of each)
  • 1 tomato
  • bunch of red spring onions or scallions (I used 4 and it was plenty!)
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2Tbs olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2-3 leaves of minced fresh basil
  • cheese (feta, romano, etc.)
  1. Cut zucchini and squash into thin slices;chop tomatoes and red spring onion or scallion. Combine in one bowl.
  2. Add olive oil,salt,pepper and lemon juice into separate bowl and whisk together. Add basil
  3. Drizzle dressing over vegetables. Sprinkle cheese on top to taste.
  4. Store in fridge until ready to eat. It's nice if it has a bit of time to marinate.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Croissant Egg Boats

This is a recipe by Rachael Ray. She calls it a fancy fake out inspired by fast food. Serve it with fruit or a salad for a delicious breakfast or brunch. Watch Rachael make it here.

  • 2 store-bought bakery croissants
  • 8 slices deli ham
  • 4 slices Swiss cheese
  • 2 large plum tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 4 eggs
  • Salt and ground black pepper


Preheat oven to 350ºF.

Slice the croissants in half lengthwise. Lay them cut-side up in a greased muffin tin.

Line 2 pieces of ham into the cavities of each half and top them all with a slice of cheese and a few slices of tomato. Crack an egg into each “pocket” and sprinkle them with a little salt and pepper.

Bake until the eggs have set, about 15 minutes for a slightly runny yolk (I found it needed about twice that long). Serve with a side salad for a super simple brunch.

Yields: 4 Servings

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Chile Verde Burritos

I found this recipe on Recipezaar. Kellen said it's better than a restaurant Chile Verde Burrito. I liked that it's Oh So Easy!


  • 3 lbs boneless pork shoulder cut into chunks (carnitas meat)
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano (Mexican if you can find it)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced onion flakes (or fresh onion)
  • 1 teaspoon minced dried garlic
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons beef bouillon
  • 16 ounces salsa verde
  • tortillas
  • desired toppings
  1. Mix all seasonings together in small bowl (except Salsa Verde).
  2. Mix Beef Boulion with water and pour in crock pot first.
  3. Rub meat with seasoning, place in crock pot, (for best results, I rub meat with seasoning the night before, let it sit in refrig to marinate).
  4. Cover and set on low for 6-8 hours. (Usually cooked within 6 hours).
  5. One hour before serving, drain pork drippings out leaving about 1/2 - 1 cup with meat. Pour Salsa Verde on top and stir to break up meat. Continue to cook. Just before serving I add a cornstarch slurry to thicken it up. (1 Tbsp cornstarch, 1 Tbsp water).
  6. Serve with Spanish rice, refried beans, cheese, and any other toppings you like and enjoy!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Sugar Free Chocolate that actually tastes good!

This is not your typical Cook and Tell post, but this sugar free chocolate is soooo good, I had to share it. It's called Amber Lyn Chocolates... and it's sugar free, gluten free, and low in carbs. The sugar free truffles and sugar free dark chocolate with cocoa nibs bar are to die for.

This chocolate is even better than your standard chocolate with sugar. Godiva, Hershey's, Dove and other major chocolate makers have put out sugar free products that are subpar at best and Amber Lyn literally puts them to shame with their wide selection of sugar free chocolate bars, gourmet truffles and chocolate covered almonds.

7 Reasons why you should try Amber Lyn Chocolate:

1. It's Sugar Free
It's sugar free. Amber Lyn uses a sweetener called maltitol that tastes as good as sugar, but with a fraction of the calories and carbs. It's safe for diabetics and anyone else looking to cut down their sugar intake.

2. Low in Carbs

Amber Lyn Chocolates are low in carbs, just 2 net carbs. Some people have even used Amber Lyn Chocolates to lose weight. With its no sugar and low carbohydrate properties is acts as a great craving killer without killing your waste line.

3. Gluten Free
Amber Lyn Chocolates are gluten free and safe for anyone with a gluten intolerance or celiacs disease.

4. Diabetic Friendly
Amber Lyn's sugar free candy snacks are safe for diabetics and have a negligable affect on glucose levels.

5. It's Belgian Chocolate
All of the Amber lyn products are made from premium Belgian chocolate, not the fake stuff. No preservatives and all natural.

6. Best Sugar Free Chocolate...Guaranteed!
It really is the best chocolate I've ever tasted and I prefer it over regular chocolate. Amber Lyn guarantees that you wont be able to tell their chocolate is sugar free. They'll even give you a 100% refund if you don't agree.

7. 10% Discount
I found this coupon code that gives you 10% off your order at the Amber Lyn Chocolate store.
Just enter this code at checkout and you get the 10% discount. I think that's a pretty good reason to try Amber Lyn Chocolates. Here's the code: IHEARTCHOC

So, if you're looking for some great tasting chocolate, but still want to maintain a healthy lifestyle, Amber Lyn is for you.

Check out their website:

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Mom's Potato Salad

10 lbs potatoes, peeled and boiled in salt water
1-2 large onion, chopped
10 hard boiled eggs, diced

1 jar Miracle Whip
1 can evaporated milk
1-2 tsp mustard
1-2 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt

Cook potatoes and eggs and let cool completely before dicing. Combine potatoes, onion, and eggs. In a separate bowl mix dressing ingredients and pour over potatoes. Stir gently to coat. Best if let set a few hours or overnight to let the dressing be absorbed and the flavors mingle. Taste before serving and adjust seasonings and liquids to taste.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Crock Pot Baked Beans

I would never make a different baked bean recipe!

1 lb ground beef, browned and drained
1 lb bacon, browned, drained, and crumbled
2 cups chopped onion, cooked with bacon in last few minutes
1 (15 oz) can pork and beans
1 (15 oz) can blackeyed peas, rinsed and drained
1 (15 oz) can garbonzo beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15 oz) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15 oz) can buttered lima beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp liquid smoke
3 Tbsp vinegar
1 tsp salt
dash of pepper
1 tsp dry mustard
2 cloves garlic, minced

Mix all ingredients together. Cook in a large crock pot on low for 4-6 hours. Best if made the day before. Reheat before serving.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Crisps

I would like to first apologize that I do not have a picture of this recipe at the moment. However, I hope to be making it soon, so I'll edit this post and add one then.

This is one of my recipes that is one of those dishes I used to save for Munch N Mingle or Picnics in the Singles Ward before I got married, you ladies know what I'm talking about ;). Now I make it when strawberries are in season, or just on sale. I usually at least double this recipe, it goes quickly!

Friut Salsa:
1 pint strawberries, chopped
1 large banana, chopped
1 Red Delicious apple, chopped (I have used Gala, and it was great)
1 kiwi, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (I use bottled)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Combine first 4 ingredients. Stir together lemon juice, sugar, nutmeg, and cinnamon; toss with fruit. Chill.

Cinnamon Crisps:*
4 (7 1/2-inch) flour tortillas
Vegatable cooking spray (I used cooking oil in one of those pump sprayers, pampered chef makes one)
2 tbsps sugar
3/4 tsp cinnamon

Cut each tortilla into eighths. Arrange pieces on baking sheets. Lightly coat with cooking spray. Combine sugar and cinnamon, sprinkle over tortillas.

Bake at 350 degrees for 6 to 8 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve with fruit salsa.

Yeild: 4 servings

*Note: these cinnamon crisps are soo good with just plain vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt. We also use them for sundaes, or with cooked apples. They are very very good with lots of desserts the more I think about it, and they only takes a couple of minutes to make!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Egg Shaped Cake- Carrot Version

This recipe is my most favorite for Carrot Cake, it's from the Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book (the one that looks like a tablecloth for a picnic). However, any cake recipe will make this, even a store bought. To make this cake you need the Pampered Chef Classic Batter Bowl, pictured below, or any large bowl that is oven-safe.

I really wanted to decorate mine like a painted Easter Egg, but I only have one tip for frosting bags, and wasn't 100% sure how much of each color I wanted to do. Since I made it a carrot cake, I figured make it more simple and just do carrots on it. But, the possibilities for decoration are endless!!

So, this post isn't so much about the recipe itself, but how to get the egg shaped cake! I made 2 recipes of the carrot cake, giving me 2 pieces of bowl-shaped cake.

After making and completely cooling the 2 cakes, you will need to cut a small layer off the widest part of the cake (the top while baking) to make it level thus enabling it to sit more flush together.

Next, cut one of the cakes across through the middle, cutting the "top" or narrower part off, set the "top" aside. (This enable the cake to sit flat on the plate, and give the whole shape more of an egg look since eggs don't look the same on both ends.)

Then, you will place the remainder of the cake that you have cut in half on your serving plate with the narrower part on the bottom. Frost the top of the cake. Then, place the other cake on top of this piece, with the narrower part upwards, and TA-DA you have an egg shape.

Continue to frost the outside of the cake, and decorate accordingly! Enjoy.

Best-Ever Carrot Cake

4 beaten eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
3 cups finely shredded carrots (lightly packed)
3/4 cup cooking oil
1/2 cups finely chopped pecans, toasted (optional- I usually leave these out)
1 recipe Cream Cheese Frosting (below)

Allow eggs to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, grease and flour your Batter Bowl that your cake will bake in, and set aside.

In large mixing bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and baking soda.

In medium mixing bowl combine eggs, carrots, and oil. Add egg mixture to flour mixture; stir until combined. Pour batter into the prepared Batter Bowl.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for about an hour, or until a wooden toothpick intserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 10 minutes, remove from pan, and cool completely on racks.

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
2 tsp vanilla
6 cups sifted powdered sugar

Beat first 3 ingredients with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually add 2 cups powdered sugar, beating well. Gradually beat in additional sugar to reach spreading consistency.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Resurrection Cookies

While in search of Easter traditions to start in our family, I came across this wonderful idea. I love this because it helps children learn the meaning of Easter in a way that will keep their attention and curiosity. Each step of making Resurrection Cookies is symbolic to the Easter Story. Willow is too young to understand this year but these cookies will become a teaching tool and tradition in our family from now on.

Easter Cookies
Make these cookies the night before, just before bedtime.


1 cup whole pecans

1 tsp vinegar

3 egg whites

pinch salt

1 cup sugar

zipper baggie

wooden spoon



Heat oven to 300*. Place pecans in the baggie and close. Let the children beat it with a wooden spoon to break into small pieces. Explain that after Jesus was arrested, He was beaten by Roman soldiers. (John 19: 1-3)

Let each child smell the vinegar. Put 1 tsp into a mixing bowl. Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross. He was given vinegar to drink. (John 19:28-30)

Add egg whites to the vinegar. Eggs represent life. Explain that Jesus gave His life to give us life (John 10:10-11)

Sprinkle a pinch of salt into each child's hand. Let them taste it. Put the rest into the bowl. Explain that this represents the salty tears shed by Jesus' followers, and the bitterness of our own sins. (Luke 23-27)

Add 1 cup sugar. Explain that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because He loves us. He wants us to know and come unto Him. (Psalm 34:8, John 3:16)

Beat with a mixer on high speed 12-15mins until stiff peaks form. Explain that the color white represents the purity in God's eyes of those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus. (Isaiah 1:18, John 3:1-3)

Fold in broken nuts. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto a waxed paper covered cookie sheet. Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus' body was laid. (Matthew 27:57-60)

Put the cookies in the oven, close the door and turn the oven OFF. Give each child a piece of tape to seal the oven door. Explain that Jesus' tomb was sealed. (Matthew 27:65-66)

Go to bed. Explain that the disciples felt sad to leave Jesus in the tomb just as they may feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven overnight.(John 16:20-22)

On Easter morning, give everyone a cookie. Notice the cracked surface. Take a bite-they're hollow!! The disciples were amazed to find the tomb empty! (Matthew 28:19)


Happy Easter

Sweet and Spicy Vegan Curry

*4 potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp. curry powder
2 tsp garam masala
1/2 to 1 inch fresh ginger root, peeled and minced
1 tsp salt
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 package frozen petite peas
1 can coconut milk (cream of coconut)
Rice of your choice (white probably tastes best)

Boil potatoes until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and allow to air dry.
Heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes.
Add rest of seasonings, incorporate, and cook for about 2 minutes.
Add remainder of ingredients and simmer for about 15 minutes.
Serve over hot rice.

*I adapted this recipe from "Spicy Vegan Potato Curry" on Because I suggest putting this over rice, the potatoes may be redundant. Judge for yourself.

Note: if you don't do the potatoes, feel free to add additional beans or peas--or whatever you imagine up might be good! If you like it more spicy, by all means add more spice. Just be warned that it gets a little more spicy the more you eat.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Omelet Roll

In need of a creative brunch idea? How about your favorite omelet toppings wrapped pinwheel style? I used the recommended ingredients from this Taste of Home recipe, but next time plan to adapt the fillings more for my family's preferences. The options are limitless, so get creative and have fun!

4 ounces cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup milk
2 Tbsp flour
1/4 tsp salt
12 eggs

Suggested fillings, but use what YOU like:
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2-1/4 cup shredded cheddar or swiss cheese, divided
2 cups finely chopped, fully-cooked ham
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions

Line the bottom and sides of a greased 15-in x 10- in x 1-in baking pan with parchment paper; grease the paper and set aside. In a small mixing bowl or food processor, beat cream cheese and milk until smooth. Add flour and salt; mix until combined. In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs until blended. Add cream cheese mixture; mix well. Pour into prepared pan.

Bake at 375 for 30-35 minutes or until eggs are puffed and set. Remove from the oven. Immediately spread with mustard and sprinkle with 1 cup cheese.

Sprinkle with ham, onions and 1 cup cheese. Roll up from a short side, peeling parchment paper away while rolling. Sprinkle top of roll with the remaining cheese; bake 3-4 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.

Yield: 12 servings.

**Unfortunately my egg layer ended up cracking and breaking, so the 'pinwheel' effect is not completely there for the photo. I may try using a larger pan next time to create a thinner layer that will roll better and stay in tact. Just a thought.**

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Easy Teriyaki Sauce

This is a simple sauce that's great for marinades, salads, etc.


1 Tbsp cornstarch
1 Tbsp cold water
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp black pepper


1. In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, ginger, and black pepper.

2. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.

3. Meanwhile, combine cornstarch and water to make a slurry.

4. When the sauce comes to a full boil add the cornstarch slurry and stir until sauce has thickened and is bubbly.

5. Remove from heat.

6. Store in the refrigerator for two weeks, or freeze for a later use. Makes about 3/4 cup.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Spinach, Chicken and Pasta Salad

This salad takes a bit of prep work, but is definitely worth it! The different flavors mesh together well to create a salad you won't forget.
This makes a big salad - great for parties.

Serves 10-12 people


16 oz bowtie pasta, cooked al dente

For the Dressing:

1 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup Teriyaki sauce
2/3 cup white wine vinegar
6 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

For the Salad:
1 (10 oz) bag fresh spinach
1 (6 oz) bag Craisins
3 (11 oz) cans mandarin oranges, drained
3 (8 oz) cans sliced water chestnuts, drained *
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1/4 cup sesame seeds, toasted
6 oz honey roasted peanuts or cashews
2 cups cooked chicken, cut into small pieces


1. Blend dressing ingredients together.

2. Mix dressing, cooked pasta, and chicken in large bowl and marinate for two hours.

3. Combine rest of salad ingredients in large salad bowl. Add pasta and dressing; toss.**

* I omitted these and the salad was great without them.

**Don't finish putting salad together until close to serving time. The nuts will soften and the spinach will wilt.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies

I have never loved peanut butter cookies because I can't stand the dry, hard crunch that normally accompanies eating one. This cookie, however, delivers a subtle peanut butter flavor coupled with the soft, moist appeal of grandma's out-of-the-oven specialty. The only problem is trying to eat just one!

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla

1 1/3 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
4 (oz) chocolate bars, crumbled*

Preheat the oven to 335 degrees.

In a large bowl or food processor, cream the butter, peanut butter, and sugars. Once creamed, add the eggs and vanilla. Mix well.

In a separate bowl combine the dry ingredients. Stir dry mixture into creamed ingredients. Spoon onto cookie sheet and bake 11-13 minutes, depending on your oven. After briefly cooling on a wire rack, transfer to an air-tight Tupperware to maintain softness.

*I break up the chocolate bars in my Cuisinart to make chunks, but you could buy a bag of chocolate chunks if it's easier.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Shepherd’s Pie Stuffed Potatoes

This twist on twice baked potatoes is from one of my favorite TV chefs, Rachael Ray.

  • 4 large Russet potatoes, scrubbed clean (I used 6 regular potatoes for portion control and cost)
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), divided, plus additional for drizzling
  • Salt
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped, divided
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 pound ground sirloin or ground turkey
  • 1/2 pound button or crimini mushrooms, quartered
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/2 cups beef stock
  • 2 tablespoons spicy brown or Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup shredded smoked Gouda cheese, for sprinkling on top (I used whatever we had in the fridge)

Pre-heat the oven to 400ºF.

On a baking sheet, toss the potatoes with a hearty drizzle of EVOO and some salt. Bake in the oven until tender, about 1 hour. Let cool.

Turn the oven off and pre-heat the broiler.

While the potatoes are cooling, place a medium skillet over medium-high heat with one turn of the pan of EVOO, about 1 tablespoon. Add the bell pepper and half of the onion to the pan, season with salt and pepper, then cook until the veggies are tender, 5-6 minutes. Transfer them to a large mixing bowl.

When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut a thin slice lengthwise off of the top to expose the inside. Scoop out the potato flesh, taking care not to pierce the wall of the potato, and transfer to the bowl with the veggies (reserve the potato shells). Add the sour cream and paprika to the bowl and mash. Reserve warm.

Place a large skillet over medium-high heat with two turns of the pan of EVOO, about 2 tablespoons. Add the ground sirloin or ground turkey to the pan and cook until golden brown, 5-6 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook until they start to turn golden brown, 4-5 minutes.

Add the remaining onion and garlic to the pan and cook until all the veggies are tender, about 5 minutes more. Push all of the ingredients to the edge of the pan and add the butter to the skillet. Sprinkle the flour over the melted butter and cook for about 1 minute. Add the stock, mustard, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce and some salt and pepper to the skillet and stir to combine. Bring up to a bubble and simmer until thickened, 2-3 minutes.

Fill the potato shells with the beef and mushroom mixture, then top each of them with the reserved mashed potatoes. Transfer to a baking sheet and sprinkle with the cheese. (You really need to pile each of these three layer high! Pack it on!) Pop the potatoes under the broiler until the cheese is melted and tops are golden brown.

Serves 4-5

Monday, March 23, 2009

Overnight Asparagus Strata

This hearty, versatile dish is great served for breakfast, lunch, or supper. I love the flavors and make-ahead ease. This is a tasty way to sneak veggies into the kids. Throw in whatever your family likes, what's on sale, or what's in your fridge that day. Give it a healthy makeover without sacrificing flavor by using whole wheat muffins, skim milk, reduced fat cheese, and even turkey bacon/ sausage if you like.
1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
5 English muffins, split and toasted
2 cups (8 oz) shredded Colby-Jack cheese, divided
1 cup diced fully cooked ham
1/2 cup chopped red pepper
8 eggs
2 cups milk
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground mustard
1/4 tsp pepper

In a large saucepan, bring 8 cups water to a boil. Add asparagus; cover and cook for 3 minutes. Drain and immediately place asparagus in ice cold water. Drain and pat dry.

Arrange eight English muffin halves, cut side up in a greased 9x13-in. baking dish. Fill in spaces with remaining muffin halves. Sprinkle with 1 cup cheese, asparagus, ham, and red pepper. In a bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, salt, mustard, and pepper; pour over muffins. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 375 for 40-45 minutes or until a knife inserted near the edge comes out clean. Let stand for 5 minutes before cutting.

Yield: 6-8 servings.
(Recipe from Taste of Home April/May 2004)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Couple of Ideas...

I was wondering, since we are all either expecting or have a newborn (or almost all of us), are there any recipes that you guys usually make ahead to have a few ready meals once the baby comes??

I have these for my list so far:
2 Lasagna (regular kind)
2-3 Chicken Enchilada guts (so all I have to do is thaw and roll)
1-2 Chicken Pot Pie guts

After that, I draw a blank... What else freezes well that I can start getting these made?

Second idea: I was wondering if we could make a list, maybe not a true post so we could keep it visible on the website, of your opinions of "must have" cookbooks? Whether they are great for ideas, basic recipes that are easy to adjust, or whatever...

My must have's are: The Better Homes and Garden's Cookbook and the Ball: Complete Book to Home Preserving

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Grilled Bread with Zesty Lime Butter

This is a fun twist on traditional garlic bread.


  • 2 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons chili lime seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 loaf French bread, cut in 1/2 lengthwise (French Bread Recipe)


Preheat a grill pan over a medium-high heat.

Combine butter, chili lime seasoning and lime juice in a bowl and mix well to blend.

Using a butter knife lightly coat both halves of bread with the lime butter. Place on grill and grill about 4 minutes.

My only critique of this recipe is that it's too much butter, even for me, and I love butter. I would use 1 - 1 1/2 sticks of butter and it would still be plenty. Also, I didn't find chili lime seasoning so I used Baja Citrus and it tasted great so I'm sure anything similar would work. I don't have a grill pan so I broiled it in the oven for 4 minutes.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Curried Lentil Soup

I made this a while back and loved the earthy taste and the fact that it is super healthy. I've been very interested in getting good protein lately in forms other than meat. I am no vegetarian by any means, but I do believe good health can come from reducing our meat intake. I found it in a magazine called Family Circle. I just love lentils in any form. If you're looking for a healthy and very filling meal, this soup will definitely be enough. For someone looking for good-tasting food that is also good for you, this hits the spot.

-1 Tablespoon olive oil
-1 large onion, chopped
-1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
-2 teaspoons curry powder
-1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes, drained
-1 Cup dried lentils, picked over
-4 1/2 Cups low-sodium chicken broth
-1 Cup water
-1/2 teaspoon black pepper
-1/4 teaspoon salt
-1 bunch (about 3/4 pound) fresh kale, rinsed, tough stems removed, leaves coarsely chopped (about 8 Cups)
-1/4 Cup 2% Greek yogurt

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Cook onion and carrot, stirring occasionaly, 5 minutes. Stir in curry powder and cook one minute more. Add tomatoes, lentils, broth, water and 1/4 teaspoon pepper to pot. Bring to a boil, then partially cover. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 45 minutes or until lentils are tender. In batches, puree soup in a blender until smooth; return to pot and gently reheat. Stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, salt and kale. Cook 5 minutes or until kale is wilted and tender. Dollop each serving with 1 Tablespoon yogurt.

Makes: 4 servings
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 55 minutes

Per Serving: 314 calories; 4 g fat (1 g sat.); 22 g protein; 50 g carbohydrate; 11 g fiber; 1,028 mg sodium; 7 mg cholesterol

Friday, March 13, 2009


If you haven't noticed, all the authors on our blog are new moms or moms-to-be. April had Tate in December, Ligia had Chrysalis in February, Jami had Ella in March, Lyanna and Taylor are both due with little girls in June, and I'm due with a surprise in May. So at one point all six of us were pregnant at the same time! Congratulations to all of you and good luck with your growing families!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Valentine's Day Cake

So I've been wanting to post recipes for a while but am just now getting to it. Having a newborn around makes it difficult to get to the computer. But I would like to share this one that I made for my sweet hubby on Valentine's Day. It's super easy. I got the recipe from Alex's mom (Cheryl). I was quite fond of the frosting and adding the sliced berries was my own personal decorative touch. Hope you enjoy my first post. :o)

Valentine's Day Cake:

Cream until fluffy:
3/4 Cup butter
1 3/4 Cups sugar

Add and beat for one minute:

2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
(Danncy Mexican, if you can get it)

Combine separately:

2 Cups unsifted flour
3/4 Cup cocoa
1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Add dry mixture to batter alternately with 1 1/3 Cups very cold water, starting and ending with dry ingredients. Pour batter into a fun heart shaped cake pan (I got mine at Walmart for $6) and bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes until done. Cool completely before frosting.


6 Tablespoons butter
1/2 Cup cocoa
2 2/3 Cups unsifted powdered sugar
1/3 Cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla (Danncy Mexican, if you can get it)

Cream together the butter and cocoa. In a separate container, add the vanilla to the milk. Add the powdered sugar alternately with the milk/vanilla mixture. It's amazing how these few simple ingredients can make such a yummy frosting. Trust me.


I used strawberries because I love the strawberry and chocolate combo. You'll need about 8 medium sized strawberries sliced vertically. Then just get creative. I suppose you could use other fruit if you'd like too. I might try sliced pineapple or raspberries. Any fresh fruit goes well with chocolate. Have fun experimenting.

Crock Pot Chicken Cordon Blue

So, last night I was looking at my "monthly menu" and decided I needed to stray... Looking at what I had onhand that wouldn't last much longer, I can up with this. Annelyse told me about 15 times how great it was, she even said "Mommy, you should make this EVERY day!" That would be a bit much for me, but this one's definitely being added to the menu!

-1 lb. Chicken, cubed pretty small
-1/2 lb. Ham, I used a Ham Steak (I love those things), cubed smaller than chicken
-1 can Cream of Potato Soup
-2 cups Chicken Stock, or boullion, (I recently found "Kitchen Basics" Chicken Stock- BEST STUFF EVER!!!!)
-1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms
-3/4 to 1 cup chopped onion, I used sweet
-1 tsp fresh ground pepper

-1/2 cup heavy cream
-1/4 cup water mixed with 3 tbsp corn starch
-2 cups, and a little extra for topping, shredded swiss cheese
-about 1 cup bread crumbs or homemade croutons

-Egg noodles, enough to feed family (dish serves about 6 adults)

Put first set of ingredients in Crock Pot on High for 3 to 3 1/2 hours.

Add cream, water/corn starch mixture, and 2 cups swiss cheese to Crock Pot. Mix well and cook for about 20 to 30 minutes on Low, or until sauce is thickened.

Put onto egg noodles, top with bread crumbs or croutons, then cheese. Enjoy!

I served it with Steamed Broccoli and Whole Wheat Rolls.

Monday, March 9, 2009

French Bread

I got this recipe from my friend, Elise, and have been very pleased with the result. Her notes are in brackets. I would highly recommend giving this one a try!

2 cups warm water
1 tablespoon yeast
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt
5-5 1/2 cups bread flour


  1. Dissolve yeast in warm water (110 degrees) and sugar in large bowl; allow yeast to proof or foam (about 10 minutes).
  2. Add salt, oil, and 3 cups flour; beat for 2 minutes.
  3. Stir in 2 cups flour to make a stiff dough.
  4. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. [I do not knead by hand; I use kitchen aid on medium for approximately 5 minutes.]
  5. Place in oiled bowl, turn dough to coat all sides, cover and let rise until doubled.
  6. Punch down and divide in half.
  7. Shape dough into two long slender loaves.
  8. Grease and sprinkle with cornmeal either a french bread pan or large cookie sheet.
  9. Place loaves in pan and cut diagonal gashes on top of each loaf (I use scissors).
  10. Cover and let rise until doubled.
  11. Bake at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes.
  12. Note: You can sprinkle or spray water on the loaves during baking if you want a really crunchy crust. [Turn finished bread onto cooling rack to avoid soggy bottoms. And for a very soft crust, cover cooling bread with dish towel.]
  13. [It's hard to mess this recipe up. Try it. You will suddenly become a baker.]