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Monday, November 7, 2011

Lady Bug Cake and Cupcakes....so cute!!






This weekend was my friends daughters first birthday. I consider myself to be her Auntie Grandma!! I consider myself too young to be a grandma....so I threw the Auntie in front of it to 'young' it up a bit!! I just love me some Bailey Grace....she is just a cutie with a great personality and the cutest face ever!!! Although I don't want it to happen anytime soon.....I cant wait to be a grandma!! Shhh.....don't tell anyone I said that!!

The above pic is of Bailey's own personal cake. I stacked to 8" rounds and cut and shaped it to look like a lady bug. Then I frosted it with butter cream and used fondant for the face and spots. For the cupcakes I didn't do anything special really. Just made the cupcakes and butter cream (homemade of course) and then I made mini fondant pink lady bugs to top each cup cake with. All I did for those was roll a ball of pink fondant for the body and a way smaller ball of black fondant for the face. I made a line down the center of the 'back' and used a tooth pick to dot on the black spots.





I thought they turned out super cute but very simple!! And it wasn't even hard to make the lady bug cake.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Cheddar Cheese Stuffed Carmelized Onion Bacon Burgers on Pretzel Rolls

So my Blue Cheese Burgers With Bacon Jam were such a big success that I wanted to venture out this time. I made these Homemade Pretzel Rolls and added a variety of fun items to the burger to create this very long titled but tasty burger!! For some reason using a green tomato just felt right!! I think it was because of the sweetness of the caramelized onions and bacon, coupled with the spicy bite of chipotle mayo that made it all ok!! ;)

2 lbs ground beef
6 2x2x1/4" pieces of cheddar cheese
1 lg onion sliced thin, and caramelized
12 slices of cooked bacon
1 1/2 cups arugula
6 slices of green tomato
1/2 cup chipotle mayo (1/2 cup mayo with 1 mashed canned chipotle pepper mixed in)
6 pretzel rolls

Divide hamburger meat into 6 equally sized balls. Then divide each of the 6 burger balls in 1/2 and form patties. Top 6 of the '1/2' patties with the cheddar cheese and top with the other half of the burger patties. Press to seal the edges. Bake or grill until desired doneness.

Assembly
Slice the pretzel buns in half and spread chipotle mayo on bottom bun. Place burger, caramelized onions, bacon, tomato, and arugula and top with bun. Eat and enjoy!!

Homemade Pretzels

So....it was late one night and I couldn't sleep.....so I was doing what I usually do when I can't sleep.....I was watching Food Network. ;) All time favorite channel!! Whoop whoop!!

K.....I'm done. Dine'rs, Drive-in's and Dive's was on.....man I LOVE that show!! I like it because you get to 'go' to such a wide variety of restaurants and semi-experience their menu all be it a tease...you still in some way experience it!! So there was this bar that had the raddest menu......yeah I said it.....RADDEST.....what??? I'm a product of the 80's and 90's.....I can't help it!! Their burgers looked u-mazing and variety was AWESOME!! (another 80's word) They served all their burgers on pretzel rolls that they made! So I said to myself......"self....if a bar can make pretzel rolls....so can you" and I did!!

Now I know my salt doesn't look all pretty on the top, but that's cuz all I had was kosher :) With this recipe I made pretzels and rolls for my burgers that I will post next!!

2 tsp. active dry yeast
3/4 cup lukewarm water
3/4 cup lukewarm milk
2 Tbsp. canola oil
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
coarse sea salt, for sprinkling

Boiling solution:

2 Qts water
1 Tbsp. salt
4 Tbsp. baking soda

In the bowl of your stand mixer with dough hook  attachment mix in about half of the water (measure it, then just pour a bit into the bowl to make sure the yeast is active); let it sit for about 10 minutes. If it’s not foamy, toss it out and buy fresh yeast.

Add the rest of the water, milk and canola oil to the yeast, then add about 3 cups of flour and the salt. Turn mixer on low and mix about 2 min. Add about a cup more flour, and mix for another min. Once all the flour is incorporated mix on med speed for about 6 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic. Cover with a towel and let rest for an hour.

Cut the dough into 10 pieces and roll each into a ball, or a rope if you want to make pretzels. Cover the balls, or shape the pretzels, then let rest for 15 minutes while you bring 2 qts of water to a rolling boil with the salt and baking soda. Preheat the oven to 425°F.

Boil about 3 at a time, so you don’t crowd the pot (they will swell) and bring the temperature down, and simmer for a minute per side. Remove from the water with a slotted spoon and place on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with nonstick spray. Sprinkle with coarse salt as soon as they come out of the water, so that it sticks, and if you’re doing buns, cut Xs on their tops.

Bake for 20 minutes, until golden. Makes 10 pretzels or pretzel buns.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Spinach & Swiss Stuffed Chicken Breasts w/ Marinara and Pasta

This was another one of those shot in the dark recipes. I used what I had available. I usually make marinara in big batches and freeze it so I have it on hand. This chicken actually came out sooooooo tender just by cooking it in the sauce!! I must say I was pleasantly surprised!!

We really enjoyed this meal....I hope you will too!!

4 lg boneless skinless chicken breasts, sliced in half long ways and pounded thin (so it looks like one becomes two)
4 cups marinara
4 cups fresh spinach
8 slices swiss cheese, or whatever kind you want
salt and pepper to taste
1 lb of cooked pasta of your choice

Once chicken is pounded thin, place your slice of cheese and 1/2 cup spinach. Then roll chicken over to cover spinach and cheese, then fold each side over to close in spinach and cheese. Finally continue rolling chicken the rest of the way. You can insert toothpick to hold together. Continue with remaining chicken breasts. Once you have completed that, heat a large saute pan and add about 2 T of olive oil. Brown chicken breasts on all sides. Once that is done add marinara sauce. While these are cooking you can boil your pasta. The chicken should simmer on medium for about 20 minutes. Serve with sauce over pasta.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Chicken Thigh, Kale, and Marinara topped Whole Wheat Pasta

This.......well this was just one of those nights. You know the night I'm talking about....where you defrosted chicken thighs.....but really had no plan for them. This was that night!! I looked in the frig and I saw pizza dough  and marinara sauce left over from the night before,  and half a bag of kale. So....I thought....I'll make bread sticks out of the dough and cook the chicken thighs in the sauce. Then for some greens I will throw in the kale!! And wha la.....a dish is born!!

6 Chicken thighs
3 cups marinara sauce
4 cloves garlic, grated on micro plane
2 cups kale
3 T olive oil
1 med onion diced

In a very large dutch oven heat olive oil. Add chicken thighs and brown on both sides. Add onion and saute while chicken is browning. Add marinara and simmer for about 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. At the last 5 minutes add kale and grated garlic. Check for seasoning, but mine needed not salt because of the flavor in the marinara sauce. Serve over pasta and with bread sticks or garlic bread.

Mushroom Risotto

Well hello.......Ive missed you all!! Where have I been you ask........well......its been summer.....and gorgeous outside.....I've been in the sun, on the boat, at the lake, at bbq's, at friends houses, to Vegas, camping, and several other places that I can not recall!! But I must say Ive had an amazing summer!! I have been cooking, and taking snap shots.....just didn't have the time to sit down in front of my computer long enough to edit photos and blog!! Sorry!!

But......I'm here now, all though I am slightly overwhelmed with the amount of blog posts I have to do!! Hopefully through the winter I will stay on top of things considering it is just going to rain and rain and rain!! What else is there to do but cook and blog right???

Now for the topic of this post.....Risotto......it really is a beautiful thing....creamy, warm, delicious, rich....so many possible adjectives!! I've only been making it less than a year now....but I'm addicted. This one is a mushroom risotto. I used button, crimini and portabello......ahhhh......so good!! I think my favorite would have to be butternut squash, with pumpkin being a close runner up!!

Mushroom Risotto

1 c arborio rice
1/2 c good quality white wine
3-4 c heated chicken stock
2 c chopped mushrooms of your choice (or all one kind, whatever you like)
2 T olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic grated on microplane
1 T chopped chives
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

In a separate small stock pot heat chicken stock and keep warming on burner. In a pan heat olive oil and add diced onion. Saute for about 5 minutes until translucent and tender. Add rice and saute for 3-5 minutes Stirring frequently. Add wine and stir well. Now add one cup of hot stock and stir. Let simmer until almost cooked out, then repeat steps until all stock is gone. When you add the last bit of stock add your garlic in. Once last bit of stock is absorbed add chives and Parmesan cheese. Serve. Should be very creamy!!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Sausage and Egg Dish

This dish can be made for breakfast obviously but also makes a lovely dinner alternative!! It's not a super complicated dish either and typically it's ingredients are ones that you have on hand!! Well.....ok maybe not the loaf of french bread......but there are many substitutions available!!

This is also a good pot luck dish or brunch dish!! It can serve a lot of people and you walk away full!! Not to mention it's super tasty. ;) It's very similar to the Sausage and Egg Minis I posted, just baked in a 13 x 9 instead of a cupcake tin!!

12 eggs, beaten
2 cups milk
1 tsp season salt
1 tsp ground mustard
1 small can of diced green chile's
1/2 loaf of french bread, cut into cubes (you can sub sandwich rolls, slices of bread, sourdough or no bread at all if you are following a low carb diet)
1 lb ground sausage, cooked
2cups grated cheese, (you can use cheddar, jack, pepper jack, colby, swiss or whatever kind you'd like)



Preheat oven to 400 and spray baking dish with pam cooking spray. Arrange bread in bottom of 13 x 9 baking dish and sprinkle cooked sausage over top of bread. Now sprinkle green chile's evenly over sausage and bread. In a large bowl crack eggs and beat with milk, salt and ground mustard. Pour over bread and sausage mixture pressing bread into eggs so that it soaks in. Sprinkle top with grated cheese and bake for 45 to 60 minutes until eggs are set in center.

You can literally substitute ANY ingredients with the sausage or add things like spinach or mushrooms or bell peppers. You can use ham intead of sausage or you can use bacon or all three. The possibilities are endless!! Be creative!!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Mocha Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Peanut Butter Frosting


15 Years ago, on July 22nd, I gave birth to my second and last son. All I can say is.....time flies!! So for all you moms out there....take advantage of every moment you have with your babies, because before you know it they are gonna be all grown up!! I know this because my oldest just graduated from high school this year too!!

I can't believe how fast the time has gone!! It feels so weird. Who am I? I am a mom and a wife. Though, no matter what, I will always be a mom, even when they move out. I cant imagine life without taking kids here and there, and having their friends over and cooking large meals for our family. I'm not quite ready (even though my youngest is only 15 and I have 3 more fantabulous years with him at home) for this family and kids at home thing to be over.

But.....I can't stop time....so I have to just accept what it is!! The best advice I can give as a parent love your children, give your self to your children, but don't forget discipline. They need that too. Teach your children morals and values, if you tell them not to do something.....tell them why!! Teach them to be responsible, caring, and compassionate human beings.

Ok.....mushiness......done!! Now for the sweet part!! My son LOVES CHOCOLATE!!! He would have double chocolate cake with fudgey chocolate frosting and double chocolate brownie ice cream. But this year I made his step out of his comfort zone a little and I threw some peanut butter in the chocolate frosting!!

Unfortunately I can't share my cake recipe, but I would love to give you my frosting recipe!! And you can drool while you look at the picture of how the cupcakes turned out!!

1 stick of butter, room temp
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla
4 cups powdered sugar
3 T heavy cream
4 T cocoa powder

Put all ingredients in the bowl of a kitchen aid mixer or a large bowl. Beat on med-high until creamy and smooth. Spread on cake or cupcakes.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Fried Apples and Buttermilk Biscuits

This dish brings back memories from my high school years and spending the night at my friend Debbie's house. I used to love to spend the night over her house because she was an awesome friend and.....her mom always cooked the best food!!

I remember thinking how not fair it was cuz her mom used to make her lunch for school and she made her the best sandwiches!! But this breakfast.....this was my all time favorite!! Fried Apples and Biscuits!! Oh man......this is good stuff!!

So this is my tribute to Luana Parker!! One of the people who inspired to me to cook!!

2 cups ap flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup lard or butter
3/4 cup buttermilk

Sift together dry ingredients. Cut in butter or lard. Stir in buttermilk until just combined. Turn onto floured surface and knead 10-12 times. Roll out to 1/2" thickness and cut with a 2" round biscuit cutter. Place on greased cookie sheet and bake at 450 degrees for 12-15 minutes.

Fried Apples

3 large apples or 5 small apples, thinly sliced into wedges
3 T butter
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 - 1/2 cup of brown sugar, depending on your taste

Melt butter in frying pan and add apples. Fry for 5 minutes and add cinnamon and brown sugar. Fry for 5 additional minutes. Top biscuits with fried apples.

Chicken Pad Thai

This dish is AMAZING!! It is so fresh and light and delicious but filling. It is a perfect summer meal. I could literally make it and eat it everyday for lunch!! Making this dish is the first time I have used tamarind paste and who knew that stuff was sooo tasty??

It's interesting that tamarind is used in Hispanic and Asian cooking. My hubby grew up in El Salvador and he remembers his grandma making juice out of the tamarind and also just eating it raw. So on our hunt for tamarind paste (which we found at our local Asian market) we also visited one of our local Hispanic markets and bought some whole tamarind pieces so we could taste that too. Not gonna lie....it was pretty yummy!!



  • approx. 8 oz  rice noodles




  •  4 boneless skinless chicken breast, cooked




  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced thinly




  • 1 stalk celery, sliced thinly




  • 3 spring onions, sliced thinly




  • 2 to 3 cups bean sprouts




  • 1 cup fresh cilantro, lightly chopped




  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, lightly chopped




  • 1/3 cup dry roasted unsalted peanuts, lightly chopped






  • DRESSING:




  • 1/2 cup hot water




  • 1 +3/4 Tbsp. tamarind paste




  • 1/4 cup (packed) brown sugar




  • 1/4 cup fish sauce




  • 1-2 Tbsp. chili sauce




  •  4 cloves garlic, minced


  • 1 thumb-size piece ginger, minced





  • Cook noodles according to package direction. Drain and cool. In a large bowl place all ingredients.  Make dressing and pour over your noodle mixture. Toss until everything is coated in dressing. Serve.

    Chicken Pot Pie

    If you look up comfort food in the dictionary there is a picture of chicken pot pie. Seriously!! It is definitely on the comfort food top ten list, along with fried chicken, mashed potatoes, meatloaf, mac and cheese, egg rolls......ok....well maybe not egg rolls......but they are good!!

    I used the pie crust recipe that I posted with the Blueberry Pie you can find it here in case you missed it. This was probably the best pie crust I've ever made!! I will use it again and again!!
    I put so much love into this pot pie and there were just layers and layers of flavory goodness!!

    I roasted my veggies in the oven before mixing it with my roux that I added sage to. I also used mini potatoes whole. But I must confess it wasn't all fresh veggies....I used frozen corn, peas and pearl onions. It's just so much easier to add them frozen at the last minute before pouring into your pie dish and baking.

    2 whole bone in chicken breasts (or precooked rotisserie chicken or 2 boneless chicken breasts)
    1 lb mini potatoes
    4 carrots, diced in 1" pieces
    1 pkg frozen pearl onions
    1 cup frozen peas
    1 cup frozen carrots
    6 fresh mushrooms, sliced
    3 Tbls flour
    3 Tbls butter
    1 cup milk
    1 1/2 cup chicken stock
    salt and pepper to taste
    1/8 tsp nutmeg
    3 fresh sage leaves, minced fine
    Pie crust

    Place chicken breasts on baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper and place in oven on 400 and roast until cooked through. Cool chicken for 10 minutes then remove from bone and dice in 1" pieces. Place whole potatoes and diced carrots on baking sheet. Sprinkle with olive oil and salt and pepper. Roast on 400 til veggies are tender. In a large sauce pan melt 3 Tbls of butter, once butter is melted add flour. Whisk together and let 'fry' for 1-2 minutes. Then add milk, chicken stock, salt and pepper to task, sage leaves and nutmeg. Allow sauce to simmer and thicken for about 10 minutes. Taste to make sure you salt levels are good. Mix in chicken and all veggies. Once everything is coated in the sauce pour into pie plate. Top with pie crust and shape it to look pretty. Bake until golden brown on top. About 30 minutes.

    Tres Leches Cake

    Oh man do I LOVE this cake!!! It is sooooooooooooo moist and delicious!! I get tons of compliments when I make this cake!! You will be overwhelmed with the ease of making it too!! Then pleasantly surprised at how good it is!!

    Don't ever pay $40 to buy one again!! Make it yourself!!

    1 1/2 cup flour
    1 tsp baking powder
    1/2 cup butter, softened
    2 cups sugar, divided
    5 eggs
    2 tsp vanilla, divided
    1 cup milk
    1/2 can evaporated milk
    1/2 can condensed milk
    1 1/2 cup heavy cream

    Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 13 x 9 baking dish and set aside. Sift flour and baking powder together and set aside. Cream butter and 1 cup of sugar until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time then 1 tsp of vanilla. Beat well. Add flour mixture slowly beating until light fluffy mixture. Pour into baking dish and bake for 30 minutes.

    Mix together milk, evaporated milk and condensed milk and pour over cooled cake. The three milks will soak into the cake.

    Using heavy cream and remaining remaining sugar and vanilla, place into a large bowl or kitchen aide mixer and beat until stiff peaks form. Frost cake with whipped cream. Top with berries if you want or eat without!! :)

    Blueberry Pie

    Blueberry pie......mmmmmm.....blueberry pie........I <3 blueberry pie!! I didn't know I liked it....until I made it for the very first time........oh how I love blueberry pie! Sooooooo easy to make and I have a yummy pie crust recipe that I'm gonna share with you too!!

    If you remember in the peach crisp post, I mentioned how I loved to decide what I'm making by the fresh ingredients I buy at the store. Well....this was one of those situations. I new I wanted to make a pie and I had the freshest sweetest blueberries......so the choice was easy!!

    For the crust:
    12 oz Ap flour
    5 oz very cold unsalted butter cut into very small pieces no bigger than ¼ inch- making them very small is SUPER important.
    3 oz very cold lard crumbled into tiny pieces
    ½ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
    7 tablespoons ice water
    1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar


    Dissolve sea salt in the ice-water and add the apple cider vinegar to the mix. 
    Scatter butter and lard pieces evenly across the flour and begin gently working the butter and the flour together with your fingertips. This should be a gentle and easy process.
    Once most of the butter is broken down into pieces, you can start working in a short rocking motion with the pastry cutter around the bowl- for maybe 10 or so strokes
    The final product will look like coarse corn meal.

     Add five tablespoons of the liquid being very careful not to get any chunks of ice in the dough. Also, make sure it is distributed very equally over the surface of the dough. Begin gently working the water into the dough with your hands. You should be able to tell quickly if there is enough liquid for the dough to stick together. If not, add more, and work that in. If the 8 tablespoons of ice-water/vinegar is not enough, add more cold water to the ice I prefer to have a slightly moist dough to a dry one. Your dough will be kind of a shaggy mess- not pretty and completely smooth. It should just stick together.

     Work your dough into a rough ball and turn out onto a well-floured rolling surface. Cut into two equal halves and form each into a ball. Form each ball into a 5 inch disc. Wrap each disc tightly in plastic and place in the refrigerator for at least one hour (two hours is even better) to rest. This allows the gluten to relax so that you’ll have a tender crust. You can leave the dough up to five days, but if you’re leaving it overnight or longer, place the plastic-wrapped discs inside of a ziptop bag to prevent moisture loss.

    Pull dough from frig and place on a well floured surface. Roll out the size or your pie dish. Bake according to your pie directions.

    Blueberry Pie:
    3/4 cup sugar
    1/3 cup flour
    1 T lemon juice
    5 cups fresh blueberries

    *Now if you want to do a double crusted pie you can....I didnt I just put the crust on the top cuz that's how I roll....

    Place one crust in the bottom of the pie dish (If you doing that) In a large bowl mix blueberries with lemon juice, flour and sugar. Pour blueberries into pie dish. Top with pie crust and shape and make it pretty. Cut an x in the center of the top pie crust. If you like to brush it with milk and sprinkle with sugar you can.

    To prevent overbrowning cover edge of the pie with foil. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil. Bake for 20-25 more minutes or until top is golden. Cool on a wire rack. Makes 8 servings.

    Saturday, July 23, 2011

    Chicken and Sweet Potato Curry

    Well not much to say about this little number. This is a regular dish that I make at my house. I usually try to make some homemade naan when I make this dish.....but this time all I had was pita!! Throwing in the sweet potatoes was just an idea I had that worked well!!

    Then I just make some white rice and a veggie and serve the curry chicken over the rice. Good stuff and so is homemade naan!!

         3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 3 tablespoons curry powder

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon paprika

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger root

  • 1/2 teaspoon white sugar

  • salt to taste

  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cut into bite-size pieces

  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste

  • 1 cup plain yogurt

  • 3/4 cup coconut milk

  • 1/2 lemon, juiced

  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  •  

    Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Saute onion until lightly browned. Stir in garlic, curry powder, cinnamon, paprika, bay leaf, ginger, sugar and salt. Continue stirring for 2 minutes. Add chicken pieces, tomato paste, yogurt, and coconut milk. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove bay leaf, and stir in lemon juice and cayenne pepper. Simmer 5 more minutes.

    Blue Cheese Burgers with Bacon Jam


    There truly are no words to describe the utter deliciousness, the wonder and amazement of a giant juicy burger stuffed with blue cheese and then slathered in bacon jam. If I don't have your attention and your mouth is not watering.....you should schedule an appointment with a therapist..........cuz you got issues!! ;)


    Please don't be intimidated......there is nothing to making this burger or the jam!! And we all know that bacon goes good with anything. I'm surprised there's not like Lucky Charms with bacon or something?? Hey......maybe I should contact the cereal company....I might be on to something!! Oh......and btw......that's a whole wheat bun.....for the healthyness factor.....hahahahaha!!

    For the Burgers:
    2 lbs ground beef
    1 tsp salt
    1-2 tsp pepper
    6 Tbls blue cheese

    Mix ground beef with salt and pepper. Divide meat into 6 equally sized balls. Divide eat meatball in half and flatten out. Spoon 1 Tbls of blue cheese into the center of the flattened beef patty. Place the other half of the flattened meat patty on the one with blue cheese and push sides together so you don't see any blue cheese. Repeat until you have made 6 patties. BBQ or bake in the oven until desired doneness. Top with your favorite burger toppings and the bacon jam recipe below!!


    Bacon Jam:

    1 lb good-quality bacon
    1 small onion, finely chopped
    3-4 garlic cloves, chopped
    1/2 cup packed brown sugar
    1/2 cup coffee, cola or beer (I used Dr Pepper and it was AWESOME!!)
    1/4 cup maple syrup or honey

    Roughly chop the bacon and cook it in a heavy pot; transfer to a bowl using a slotted spoon, draining off most of the drippings. Saute the onion and garlic cloves in the rest for 5 minutes, until soft and starting to turn golden.
    Return the bacon to the pan, add the brown sugar, coffee soda or beer and maple syrup. Cook over medium heat for half an hour, or until deep golden and thickened to the consistency of jam.

    Peach Crisp

    Do you wanna know what I love most about cooking......well besides the pure adventure of it all........that what I make depends on what I buy that is great and fresh at the store!! That's what I LOVE!!

    I mean come on let's face it.....would I make peach crisp in the middle of winter......no probably not....because I wouldn't walk into Trader Joes and see the most gorgeous box of fresh organic peaches!! But that is what happened and that is why I made peach crisp!!

    Ahhh.....and it was heavenly!!


    Ingredients:

    • 4 -5 cups fresh peaches, sliced
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 3 tablespoons sugar
    • 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons flour, divided
    • 1 cup old fashioned oats
    • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
    • 1 cup butter, cold
    • Optional: Whipped or ice cream

    Preparation:

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease 9 x 13 glass baking dish. Mix peaches, cinnamon, sugar and 3 tablespoons flour. Add to dish.

    Mix rest of flour, oats and brown sugar. Cut in butter. Sprinkle butter mixture over peaches. Bake uncovered for 45 minutes.

    Best served warm with homemade whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

    Fruit Topped Waffles

    Ok so I was shopping one day and came across some coconut flour. I had been doing research on coconut flour for a while and had come to the conclusion that I would have to order it online because there was NO WAY that I would find it in my town..........but then randomly there it was!! Yeah me!!

    So I bought it....then it sat for like a week in my pantry.....because I had NO IDEA what do make with it!! Until one lovely Saturday morning when I felt like making breakfast for the fam.......and alas......a coconut flour breakfast was born!!

    Hello.......waffles....duh.....that would totally work....right?? It did work although there was a slightly different texture to the waffles they were very tasty!! I love the way you get the slightest hint of coconut taste with the flour.......well and of course I did use coconut oil too. Instead of a light crispy waffle these were more of a cake like waffle, but equally delicious!! This version is going to be the super low sugar version. You will see the substitutions if you don't want the low sugar version!!

    Then all I did was chop up fresh strawberries and mix with blueberries and top with homemade whipped cream that was also sugar free!!


         
  • 1 cup coconut flour

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour (or 2 cups all purpose)

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 3/4 cups  almond milk (or regular milk)

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil

  • 1 tablespoon xylitol (or sugar)

  • 4 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract



  • Directions
    1. Preheat your waffle iron. Beat eggs in large bowl with hand beater until fluffy.  Then add  in flour, milk, vegetable oil, sugar, baking powder, salt and vanilla, and beat just until smooth.
    2. Spray preheated waffle iron with non-stick cooking spray. Pour batter onto hot waffle iron. Cook until golden brown.

    Thursday, June 16, 2011

    Whole Wheat Lasagna with a Pesto Twist

    So......I was at one of my favorite stores.....Moore's Mill.....where they grind their own flours and grains......I love that place. I bought lots of stuff, including whole wheat lasagna noodles!! I love the cheesey gooeyness of lasagna.  I especially love how lasagna tastes better the second day than it does the first day!!

    I used my standard marinara sauce, then added ground beef, zucchini and mushrooms to the sauce. Oh......then I added pesto sauce to the ricotta cheese......and can I just tell you how lovely that little addition was. I wish I was eating this again. Its been a few weeks since I made this and am just getting around to posting it. But I want to eat it.

    Have you ever had months go by in your life that seemed sooooooo busy while you were living them....but when you think back to what you did or accomplished......your not quite sure?? Yeah.....that's how my life has been......

    Marinara Sauce
          3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped yellow onion 

  • 2 tablespoon sugar

  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic (about 6 cloves)

  • 2 teaspoons salt

  • 2 teaspoons dried basil

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano

  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme

  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed

  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

  • 1 1/2 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth

  • 1/2 cup good red wine

  • (28-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes

  • 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes

  • Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion to pan; cook 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Add sugar and next 7 ingredients (through fennel seeds); cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in vinegar; cook 30 seconds. Add broth, wine and tomatoes; bring to a simmer. Cook over low heat for 55 minutes or until sauce thickens, stirring occasionally.

    marinara sauce (with ground beef, sliced zucchini and sliced mushrooms)
    1 lg tub ricotta
    1/2 cup pesto sauce
    1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
    1 egg
    3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
    2 lbs whole wheat lasagna noodles, cooked according to pkg directions

    Mix ricotta, pesto, egg and Parmesan in small bowl. Grease 13 x 9 baking dish and preheat oven to 350. Spoon enough sauce to barely cover bottom of baking dish. Layer noodles to cover bottom of dish, spoon 1/3 of ricotta mixture and spread evenly over noodles. Pour 1/3 of sauce over that and top with 1 cup of cheese. Repeat until all ingredients are gone. Topping with remaining cheese. Bake for 30-40 minutes. Enjoy and serve with garlic bread and salad.





    Wednesday, May 25, 2011

    Hello Cream Puff....come to mama

    Well....what is there to say about cream puffs other than.......OMG!! It's funny too cuz I made so many that I shared with all my neighbors and they all thought I was baking all day and did all this work....but really....they are soooooooo easy to make!! Not complicated AT ALL!! I even made homemade whipped cream to fill them with. I also doubled my recipe which is why I had enough to feed the whole neighborhood!! ;)

    I know some people put pudding or custard inside too, but I like whipped cream!!

    Homemade Whipped Cream

    1 qt whipping cream or heavy cream
    1 tsp vanilla
    1/2 cup sugar (more or less depending on taste, I used xylitol you can use regular or powdered)

    Put all ingredients in stand mixer and beat on high until stiff peaks form.

  • 1/2 cup butter

  • 1 cup water

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • 4 eggs

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees



  • In a large pot, bring water and butter to a boil, making sure all of the butter is melted. Stir in flour and salt until the mixture forms a ball. Transfer the dough to a large mixing bowl. Using a wooden spoon or stand mixer, beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each. Pipe cream puffs or drop by tablespoonfuls onto an ungreased baking sheet lined with parchment paper.



  • Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, until golden brown. Centers should be dry.



  • When the shells are cool, either split and fill them with the whipped cream, or use a pastry bag to pipe the whipped cream into the shells. I split mine and spooned in the whipped cream.

  • Whole Wheat Banana Bread (Sugar Free)

    Ok....just because I made it sugar free doesn't mean you have to too. I am just always searching for sugar free alternatives! :) Adding cinnamon to this bread really takes it to a new level!! Next time I make it I'm gonna add a crumbly oatmeal topping too cuz I just think it would make it even more perfect!!

    I've ordered some almond flour so next time I make this I'm also going to use that instead of whole wheat!! Oh and another substitution I used was coconut oil.....oh man...can I just tell ya you get that subtle taste of coconut in there....and it is sooooo good!!

    • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
    • 1/2 cup honey, agave, sugar or xylitol (I used xylitol)
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 cup mashed bananas
    • 1 3/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, plus more to swirl on top
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/4 cup hot water
    Directions
    1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees
    2. In a large bowl, beat oil and whatever sweetener you decide to use together.
    3. Add eggs, and mix well.
    4. Stir in bananas and vanilla, then stir in flour, salt and cinnamon.
    5. Add baking soda to hot water, stir to mix, and then add to batter. This part is like a science experiment cuz it gets all fizzy and bubbly!!
    6. Spread batter into a greased 9×5 inch loaf pan.
    7. Sprinkle with cinnamon, and swirl with a toothpick for a pretty marbled effect.
    8. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes. Be sure to check that the bread is done baking by inserting a toothpick in the top. It should come out clean.
    9. Cool on wire rack for 1/2 hour before slicing if you can wait that long.....I couldn't and sliced it after like 5 minutes. Oh well it was worth it!!

    Semi-Homemade Seafood Enchiladas

    Call me old fashioned....but I wouldn't call these enchiladas homemade because I used imitation crab meat and canned enchilada sauce. They were still good though and I dolled up the canned enchilada sauce to make it more creamy and luscious!!

    I was surprised at how easy these were to make and fast too since all I had to do was cook the shrimp and veggies a little bit before assembling the enchiladas. I have a question though.....do you prefer corn or flour? That is a big question in our house!! Ohhhhh......I just thought of another question....have you ever made enchiladas with whole wheat tortillas?? I haven't cuz I just thought of it right now while typing......but now......I need to!! So......back to tortillas traditionally enchiladas are made with corn tortillas mostly, but I have often made them with flour tortillas. Then I realized calorie wise you get more bang for you bite with corn so I made corn with the exception of about four flour for my youngest son cuz he LOVES enchiladas with flour tortillas. But as I mentioned before.....I'm gonna have to give whole wheat a try just for kicks.

    For this recipe it was just me and Tattoo man so I just made these with all corn tortillas. Which was fine with Tattoo man cuz that's what he prefers anyways.

    2 cups imitation crab meat
    2 cups peeled and deveined shrimp, chopped
    4 mushrooms, sliced
    4 green onions
    1/2 of a green bell pepper, diced
    1/2 cup cilantro, minced
    1 large can green enchilada sauce
    3 T flour
    3 T butter
    1 cup sour cream
    4 cups shredded cheese (cheddar, jack, colby, pepper jack etc)
    15 corn tortillas

    In a frying pan saute shrimp with a little olive oil and mushrooms, 1/2 of green onions, and bell pepper until bell peppers are tender and mushrooms are cooked through. Then add cilantro and crab meat until crab meat is heated through. Remove from heat. In a medium saute pan, cook butter and flour for about 2 minutes, add enchilada sauce. Stir with whisk until thickened, about 3 minutes. Add 1 cup of cheese and stir until melted. Add sour cream and stir until dissolved. Pour about 1 cup of sauce in seafood veggie mixture and stir until well mixed.

    Assemble enchiladas by first pouring about a 1/4 cup of sauce into bottom of 13 x 9 baking dish and coating bottom. Next heat tortillas in micro or on hot frying pan for a few minutes until tender. Place a spoonful of seafood mixture and a small handful of grated cheese into each tortilla and roll as tight as possible. Place side by side in your baking dish. Once all tortillas are rolled pour remaining sauce evenly over enchiladas. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and top with green onions. Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown on top.

    Tuesday, May 24, 2011

    What to call this??? How about.......Egg Pizza

    Ok.....so it's not secret that I'm a Food Network junkie, I'll admit it. So I've watched a ton of food shows and seen a pizza with an egg on top a ton of times. Well Saturday mid afternoon Tattoo Man and I had just gotten home from a long morning of yard saling and we were starving. You know when you just go back and forth from the frig to the freezer to the pantry and nothing is jumping out at you?? Well this is what happened to me that day.

    Well then I opened the freezer for like the tenth time and I notice the whole wheat pita just sitting there staring at me. So I'm thinking.....ok....pita....now what?? And different things go through my mind...hummus.....egg salad....tuna....pizza....hey back the truck up....PIZZA!!! But I didn't have any sauce.....so I'm thinking some more and I had a flash back of Triple D where they put an egg on the pizza and I thought....eeeehhhh.....lets give it a whirl.

    So I threw together this little number and I ate it again today cuz I love it sooooo much!! I hope you give it a try because it really is delicious!!

    1 whole wheat Pita bread
    4 slices of fresh tomato
    1/4 cup grated mozzarella cheese
    1 tsp grated Parmesan cheese
    1 egg
    pinch of season salt
    pinch of italian seasoning

    Preheat oven to 350. Place pita on baking sheet. Next place tomatoes and then cover the whole pita with mozzarella cheese. Now crack egg carefully in the center of pizza. Sprinkle with remaining ingredients. Bake for 10-15 minutes depending on how done you like your egg. I like mine with the yoke still runny. These are very tasty!!

    Monday, May 16, 2011

    Strawberry Banana Whole Wheat Scones

    These made me happy!! Sometimes you just need something sweet and warm and these surely took care of that for me!! I also made these sugar free, because I used xylitol. I also used fresh berries because I just like to do that rather than use frozen. :)

    I hope you enjoy these as much as my family and I did!!

    2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
    1/2 cup brown sugar (I used xylitol)
    1 1/2 T baking powder
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/2 cup rolled oats, plus more for tops
    11 T cold butter
    6 T milk (I used almond milk)
    1 mashed ripe banana
    3/4 cup diced fresh strawberries
    1 egg, beaten
    sugar to sprinkle on top

    In a large bowl combine flour through oats then cut in cold butter with pastry blender. (or fork or your fingers or food processor) When well blended and looks sandy, add milk and banana until mixed well. Fold in Strawberries. Pour dough onto floured surface and flatten into a rectangle about 1"thick. Cut into four sections and then in half. Cut each square into triangles. Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with sugar and oats. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.

    Sunday, May 15, 2011

    Jerk Chicken with a Chipotle Twist

    Good stuff!! Jam packed full of flavor and the spices.....well...they are wonderful!! I served this with cilantro rice and the jicama apple slaw which I posted the recipe for yesterday. What an amazing dinner!! You should definitely marinate this for at least 6 hours, makes a huge difference in the flavor that absorbs into the meat!!

    I actually have only made jerk chicken once before and it was literally like 8 years ago and that recipe was a dry rub recipe. I think this recipe was better because it was a liquid marinade and I think it was sooo flavorful!! Of course I changed things up to make it my own!! Instead of jalapenos or scotch bonnet like most recipes called for I used chipotle (jalapeno) peppers which created a lovely smokey spice. Good idea!!

    2 chipotle peppers, minced
    2 T chipotle pepper sauce (from can)
    1 medium onion, rough chopped
    8 cloves garlic, rough chopped
    3 green onions, cut into 6 pieces each
    1 T allspice
    1 T thyme
    1 1/2 tsp black pepper
    1 tsp sea salt
    3/4 tsp nutmeg
    3/4 tsp cinnamon
    1 T honey
    1/4 cup olive oil
    1/2 cup gf soy sauce or coconut aminos
    1/2 cup red wine vinegar
    1/2 cup orange juice
    zest of one orange
    1 lime zested and juiced
    3 lbs chicken

    Put all ingredients except chicken into blender and puree until all spices are well blended. Place chicken in a zip loc bag and pour sauce over it. Marinate for minimum 6 hrs and up to 24 hrs. Bake or bbq to cook.

    Saturday, May 14, 2011

    Jicama Apple Slaw

    For the love of food....if you do nothing else tomorrow....take your self to the store and buy some jicama and whatever else you don't have from this recipe and MAKE THIS SALAD!! Salad slaw whatever you want to call it......it's U-STINKEN-MAZING....it's fresh, it's light, it's refreshing, it's filling and wonderful.

    I've seen a bunch of different recipes with cabbage and jicama and I've heard of apple and jicama but usually with some sort of mayonaisey sauce on it....and who wants something light and crisp and delicious with mayo on it....not me!! So I came up with this the same way I come up with most things I make.....I read 1937 recipes then I put all the stuff I like together to come up with my own.

    Don't get me wrong....jicama is divine on its own.....but THIS....well.....oh....just go to the store and buy some jicama...if you like apples you will like jicama!!

    *chanting* must make this slaw....must make this slaw...you are getting sleepy.....must make this slaw.....*snap* now go to the store!!

    1 whole jicama (the size of a cantaloupe) peeled and sliced in long skinny strips
    1 large apple, peeled and seeded, cut into long skinny strips
    1/2 cup (packed) cilantro, diced fine
    1 orange, zested and juiced
    1 orange, diced
    1 lime zested and juiced
    3 T rice wine vinegar
    1/4 tsp salt
    1/4 tsp pepper
    2 T olive oil
    1 T honey

    Combine all ingredients in a bowl and toss well. Serve immediately or chill and let the flavors mingle and hang out with each other.

    Friday, May 13, 2011

    Chipotle Honey Lime Glazed Salmon

    Yum......I love salmon. I thought of this glaze yesterday when I wanted to make the salmon. I served this salmon with cous cous and a green salad with a homemade blue cheese dressing. It was a yumolicious dinner!!

    For the cous cous I first fried some tomato and onion slices in the pan with olive oil, then through in some fresh spinach leaves. Then added the cous cous water and chicken bouillon. It tasted quite lovely if I do say so myself!!

    1 1.5 lbs salmon
    1/2 of a chipotle chile, minced fine
    1 T chipotle juice
    2 cloves of garlic, grated on microplane
    2 T honey
    2 limes, juiced
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp pepper
    1 tsp spice blend

    Mix all ingredients (except salmon) in a bowl and whisk until combined well. Spoon half of the mixture over salmon prior to baking and the rest when salmon is fully cooked. It has a nice sweet and spicy taste to it.

    Sugar Free and Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

    My new favorite cookie!! Who knew a cookie could have no flour, no sugar and still taste.....SO GOOD!
    Well......I know it now!! And I'm super happy about it!! Then I topped these bad boys off with a little drizzle of sugar free chocolate......mmmmmm. I was surprised at how soft and moist these cookies turned out to be too!!

    1 cup peanut butter
    2/3 cup sugar, plus extra for rolling (I used xylitol to make them sugar free)
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1 egg
    Chocolate, for drizzling (optional) (I used sugar free chocolate)


    Preheat oven to 350 degrees

    In a medium mixing bowl, cream together the peanut butter and sugar. Mix in the baking powder and egg until evenly combined.

    Form small balls and roll cookie dough in extra sugar. Place evenly on a baking sheet and flatten slightly with a fork. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Cool on the baking sheet for at least 5-10 minutes before moving to a cooling rack to cool completely. The cookies will be very fragile and need to harden before they can be moved. Drizzle with chocolate, if desired.

    Thursday, May 12, 2011

    Sage and Bacon Infused Scalloped Potatoes

    Ok....I know it's been forever since I posted. I'm sorry!! I have had a lot going on in my life and will continue to have a lot going on until my oldest son......*sniff sniff* graduates from high school. I am having a really really hard time with this......idk why but its very gut wrenching and heart breaking to me!! The thought that my son....my baby....is graduating and could potentially move out of my house....is just a little over whelming. So I've been in a funk lately and then planning a HUGE party for him and he got a job so I've been driving him to yet another place. Let's just say.......I've been busy!! ;)

    Now you may notice that I'm posting a scallop potato recipe and my last recipe was a scallop potato recipe............BUT in my defense.....I was laying in bed one night thinking......I wonder what scallop potatoes would taste like with sage and bacon in the sauce?? Then I couldn't get that thought out of my mind until I tried it!! It was AMAZING the sage and bacon transformed the sauce/roux into something even more creamy and rich and extravagant....I can't even describe it enough to you, you will have to try it on your own to see what I'm talking about!!

    So you basically follow the exact same recipe as before only this time right after pouring the milk in you add 1 T of fresh minced sage leaves and 4 slices of chopped cooked bacon. You want to add it before the sauce thickens so it has time to infuse all its wonderful flavor into the creamy sauce!! Here is the recipe from the previous post to make it easy on you!!

    5 potatoes, sliced into thin slices
    3 T flour
    3 T fat (butter, oil, shortening, bacon fat...that's what I used)
    2 cups milk
    3 cups of cheese, any kind ie: cheddar, jack, pepper jack, swiss, mozzarella etc
    1/4 tsp nutmeg
    1/2 tsp season salt
    1 tsp dijon mustard
    1/4 cup panko bread crumbs

    Grease a 1 qt baking dish with butter and preheat oven to 425 degrees. It's not necessary, but I stuck my potatoes in the microwave for 7 minutes before putting the casserole together. Next, in a small saucepan, place the fat and flour and cook over medium heat for about 3 minutes stirring with a whisk. Whisk in milk and continue whisking for about 5 minutes, until the sauce thickens. Add 2 cups of cheese, nutmeg, season salt, and dijon mustard. Mix well until all cheese is melted. Begin layering your casserole with potatoes in a single layer. Top with 1/3 of the sauce and 1/3 of the remaining cheese. Continue two more times then top with the panko bread crumbs. Bake for 20-25 if you pre microwaved the potatoes and 50-60 minutes if the potatoes were raw.