Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Breakfast Burrito

Recipe from Taste of Home Best of the Holidays magazine


  • 1 lb bulk pork sausage
  • 1-1/2 cups Southern style hash brown potatoes
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 1/4 cup diced red or green peppers
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 12 flour tortillas (8 inches),
  • 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar Cheese

  1. In a large skillet cook sausage over medium heat until no longer pink, drain. Add the potatoes, onion and pepper, cook and stir for 6-8 minutes or until tender.
  2. Add eggs; cook and stir until set.
  3. Spoon filling into center of each tortilla, sprinkle with cheese. Fold sides and ends over filling and roll up.
To Freeze and Reheat:

  1. Wrap each burrito in wax paper and foil. Freeze for up to 1 month.
  2. To reheat, remove foil and wax paper. Microwave on high for 2 minutes.
Review: This recipe is so easily adaptable to your tastes! We love it done following this recipe, but we've also adapted it a little bit at times; adding seasoning, bacon and other vegetables. It is so handy having these in our freezer! We triple the recipe and stock our freezer.
We have made these with the larger tortillas and put a bit more filling in them. With the 8 inch we need to eat two each to be full. With the larger size we only need one each.

Oven Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Recipe from here - I loosely followed it.

  • 11/2 lbs Sweet Potato
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • Peel and cut potatoes into fries.
  • Preheat oven to 425 F (if you do it before peeling the oven will be heating for a very long time!!) Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  • Put fries, oil and seasonings into a bowl or zip lock bag. Stir or shake to coat fries.
  • Spread onto baking sheet in a single layer.
  • Cook for 30 minutes, turning every 10 minutes.
Review: I added way more salt and paprika to mine, and a little bit more cinnamon. I love the flavor! The ones I made for the freezer I did not season at all. Just cut the Sweet Potato and stuck it in the freezer. I cut my fries pretty thin and they were done after 20-25 minutes, so make sure to watch your fries during the last ten minutes of cooking!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Eggless Eggnog

  • 1/2 gallon cold milk, divided
  • 1 package (3.4 ounces) Instant French Vanilla Pudding
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract*
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon*
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg*
*I added more of these because I like them :)

  1. In a bowl whisk 3/4 cup milk and pudding until smooth.
  2. Add remaining ingredients.
  3. Refrigerate until serving.
Review: A delicious, non eggy alternative to eggnog! This tastes so festive!! I made it up two hours before serving, and it tasted MUCH better after having been in the fridge, so I'd suggest making it ahead of time so it has time to sit in the fridge.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Hot Chocolate


1/3 cup + a tiny bit more sugar
1/3 cup cocoa (I used Hershey's dark)
Pinch of salt

1/3 cup boiling water

3 1/2 cups milk

1 cap full vanilla
sprinkle of cinnamon


  1. In a saucepan add first three ingredients to boiling water. Stir consistently for a minute or two.
  2. Add milk and stir until hot. Make sure to keep stirring so as not to burn!
  3. Just before serving add vanilla and cinnamon.
  4. Serve hot!
Review: Delicious rich, hot chocolate! Makes two very generous servings :)

Monday, October 6, 2008

Mixed Berry Muffins

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 bag frozen mixed berries
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease muffin cups or line with muffin liners. If you use fresh berries raise the temperature of the oven to 400 F.
  2. Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 3/4 cup sugar, salt and baking powder. Place vegetable oil into a 1 cup measuring cup; add the egg and enough milk to fill the cup. Mix this with flour mixture. Fold in blueberries. Fill muffin cups right to the top, and sprinkle with crumb topping mixture.
  3. To Make Crumb Topping: Mix together 1/2 cup sugar, 1/3 cup flour, 1/4 cup butter, and 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon. Mix with fork, and sprinkle over muffins before baking.
  4. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until done.
Review: These muffins are incredible. Moist, sweet, delicious! Paul doubled the recipe and made six jumbo muffins. Jumbo Giant muffins! He did not double the crumb topping, as the amount called for makes plenty. We got the recipe from www.allrecipes.com and slightly tweaked it to work with our frozen mixed berries we had on hand.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Jessica's Made-Up Thai Dish

You'll have to forgive the lack of preciseness in this recipe =) I made it up with all the things that looked or smelled yummy to me! And it turned out great!

You will need:
Chicken (I used 1 boneless skinless chicken breast)
Rice Noodles (I used an entire package)
Bamboo Shoots (I used one 1 can - I suggest using half a can.)
Chow Mein Noodles (I used about 1/3 of a tin)
Water Chestnut (I used 1 can - I suggest using half a can.)
Other vegetables (I used peppers)
Soy (about 1/4 cup)
Sesame Oil (1 TBSP maybe)
Garlic (no idea - do it to preference!)
Basil (no idea - do it to preference!)
Chili Pepper (no idea - do it to preference!)

This is what I did:

  1. Cook the chicken with salt. Cube.
  2. Prepare Rice Noodles as directed on package.
  3. Add everything except Chow Mein noodles. Let everything heat up.
  4. Add Chow Mein Noodles and serve immediately.
I prepared everything (except the chicken) in a Wok. I don't know if I did it right, but I had fun, and it came out tasting yummy!!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Rice Pudding


3/4 cup uncooked white rice (I used Jasmine)
2 cups of milk, divided
1/3 cup white sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten
Sprinkle of cinnamon
1/8 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon butter (I used coconut oil)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. In a medium sauce pan bring 1 1/2 cups of water to a boil. Stir in rice and reduce heat, cover and let simmer for 20 minutes.
  2. In another saucepan combine the cooked rice, 1 1/2 cups of milk, sugar and salt. Cook over medium heat until it is thick and creamy, about 15-20 minutes. Make sure to stir frequently.
  3. Add in remaining 1/2 cup of milk, beaten egg, cinnamon and brown sugar. Cook 2 more minutes, stirring constantly.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in butter (or coconut oil!) and vanilla.
Review: I adore the store bought rice puddings in those little containers, and can never get enough of it - this stuff is SO MUCH better than that!! I doubled this recipe and it made a ton!
It is great warm or cold!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Onion Rings


  • 1 large onion, cut into 1/4 inch slices
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon seasoning of choice such as Tony Chacheres Creole seasoning (optional)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk, or as needed
  • 3/4 cup dry bread crumbs or cracker crumbs
  • seasoned salt to taste
  • 1 quart oil for frying, or as needed

  1. Heat the oil in a deep-fryer to 365 F
  2. Seperate the onion slices into rings and set aside. In a small bowl stir together the flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. Dip the onion slices into the flour mixture until they are all coated; set aside. Whisk the egg and milk into the flour mixture using a fork. Dip the floured rings into the batter to coat, then place on a wire rack to drain until the batter stops dripping. The wire rack should be placed over a sheet of aluminum foil for easier clean up.
  4. Spread the bread crumbs out on a plate or shallow dish. Place rings one at a time into the crumbs and scoop the crumbs up over the ring to coat. Give it a hard tap as you remove it from the crumbs. The coating should cling to the onion ring. Repeat with remaining rings.
  5. Deep fry the rings a few at a time for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to paper towels to drain.. Season with seasoning salt and serve.
Review: Simply put - the best! Paul made these, so I'm not sure how much work they are - they didn't take him too long to make though, so it can't be that bad :)
These taste incredible! If you make extra then you can freeze them and reheat for another time.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Chai Tea Cookies

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 4 bags chai tea bags*
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon strong chai tea (brewed and cooled)
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
* I used Sweet Coconut Thai Chai tea bags.


1. In a medium bowl, mix together the butter and honey until smooth. Empty the contents of the tea bags into the mixture and discard the bags. Mix until well blended.

2. Stir in the egg yolk and brewed chai tea. Blend in the flour and baking powder.

3. Divide into 3 sections, roll into 'snakes', wrap in waxed paper or plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1 hour.

4. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Slice the cookies and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.

5. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, until the tops are dry, and the edges begin to brown lightly. Transfer to wire racks to cool.

Ice the cookies using icing sugar and strong, brewed chai tea. I couldn't tell you the ratio to make the icing, but play around with it :) If you make too much you can eat it! Mmm!

Review: I made up these cookies when I couldn't find a recipe for chai cookies that used up the ingredients I had on hand. These cookies are a bit different as they have the contents of tea bags in them. I would suggest blending the tea bags in a coffee grinder to help make it finer. The flavor of chai is strong, and for a Chai addict - I'm in love :)

Monday, July 28, 2008



  • 1 (19 ounce) can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup fine dry bread crumbs
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cracked black peppercorns
  • 1 cup vegetable oil for frying

1. Mix the garbanzo beans in a food processor. Add in the onion, garlic, cilantro, parsley cumin, turmeric, baking powder, bread crumbs, salt and pepper.

2. Shape the mixture into 1 1/2 inch balls; you should get 18 to 24. If the mixture does not hold together, add a little water.

Heat the oil in a frying pan. Carefully drop the balls into the hot oil, and fry until brown. Be sure to turn frequently so they brown evenly.
Alternately, I have put these in a shallow dish with oil and placed in the oven under broil, turning on occasion.

Enjoy with hummus and homemade pitas!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Lemon Cookies


3/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup colored nonpareils

Lemon Icing
1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel

1. In a small mixing bowl, cream butter and confectioners' sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in lemon peel. Combine flour and cornstarch, gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for one hour or until easy to handle.
2. Shape into a 1 3/4 inch diameter roll, roll in nonpareils. Wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours or until firm.
3. Unwrap and cut into 1/4 inch slices. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 375 F for 9-11 minutes or until set and edges are slightly browned. Cool for 1 minute before removing to wire rack to cool completely.
4. In a small bowl combine icing ingredients. Spread over cookies.

Review: These cookies are so refreshing and delicious! I think they look so pretty with the lavender sugar I used to roll them in - they make me want to host a tea party and serve them at it :) You can use any color of sugar that you want.
When I told Paul I'd made these cookies he asked if they were healthy cookies. My response? "Why yes, they are. They have fruit in them."

Tip: You will need to buy one large lemon - that will give you enough lemon peel and enough juice for these cookies.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Big Mo's Bread


2 Tbsp Yeast
2 Tbsp Sugar
1 tsp Salt
1 and 7/8 cup Warm Water*
4 Cups Flour
2 Tbsp Oil


Preheat Oven to 350 degrees.

Mix yeast sugar and water and let stand to the side to rise and bubble.

Mix flour, salt and oil then add yeast mixture.

Knead dough until well mixed, it will be sticky -oil your hands to handle dough cleanly.

Place dough in oiled bowl, cover and let sit until doubled in size.

Punch dough into two separate loaves and place on well oiled tray to resume rising.

Brush top with egg white and sprinkle with desired seasoning.

Let bake for 30-40 minutes at 350 degrees, until crust is a rich golden brown.

*2 cups water can be exchanged for:
1 cup water and 1 cup milk and 1 extra tbsp oil. Cheese can also be added for addition flavor.

Review: The fact that we finished off one loaf of bread in five minutes should tell it all :)

Friday, June 13, 2008

Curried Carrot Spread

Curried Carrot Spread


3 cups sliced carrots (I used whole baby carrots, worked fine, less work!)
3/4 cup chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. curry powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 15 oz can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained*
3/4 tsp. salt

*Without googling it does anyone know what cannellini beans are? I didn't. And neither did three different people at the grocery store. A quick google search revealed that they are just white kidney beans, but since I didn't have those I used Purple Hull Peas since I had them in my pantry. I don't know what difference cannellini beans would make, but the Purple Hull Peas taste good :)


1. In a medium saucepan cook carrots until tender. Drain.
2. Meanwhile, in a small skillet cook onion and garlic until tender. Stir in curry powder and Cumin.
3. Transfer carrots and onion mix to food processor, add beans and salt. Process until smooth.
4. Transfer to a serving bowl and refrigerate at least 4 hours and up to 3 days.

Serve with crackers or vegetables.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Finnish Pasties

3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup coconut oil (called for lard)
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vinegar
5 tablespoons cold water

- just before rolling it out I had to add a little bit of milk to it to make it roll-able!

3/4 lb ground beef
2 cups diced potatoes
1 cup diced carrots
1 celery stalk, diced
1/4 cup diced onion
1/4 teaspoon cumin*
1/2 teaspoon chili powder*
1/2 teaspoon salt*
dash of pepper*
2 tablespoons barbecue sauce**

* I added way more than it called for, and I think it could've had way more added to it!
** The barbecue sauce didn't do a whole lot for it - it worked well in a meatloaf I made last week, but in this it didn't blend well, so I wouldn't add it again. I'm not sure what should replace it tho!

1. Combine pastry ingredients. Chill dough.
2. Combine filling ingredients in another bowl.
3. Roll out dough into circles - I used a bowl to get my shape. Make sure it's rolled flat!
4. Put a bit of filling on one side of each circle - you don't want to over stuff them.
5. Fold over the other side of the dough circle over the filling.
6. Dip a fork in water and seal the edges by pushing the fork down. Cut away any extra dough.
7. Prick the top with the fork to let steam escape.
8. Place on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 375 F for about 40 minutes.

Paul and I both loved this! I was impressed with the pastry dough - I wasn't sure how it would work using coconut oil instead of lard, but they turned out just fine.
As I noted above the BBQ sauce really didn't work, although it wasn't bad either. When I make it again I am going to be looking for something else to add.
I used about half the dough and made 5 pasties. Then I got lazy and decided not to finish making any more :) But I think there is more filling than there is dough, so you may want to cut down on the dough, or plan something else to do with the filling. I am trying to think of a way to make it into supper tonight :)

Friday, May 23, 2008

Tomato & Mozzarella Pasta

Tomato & Mozzarella Pasta

Grape Tomatoes
Mozzarella Cheese

1. Boil pasta. When cooked drain and place in a dish.

2. Add butter, salt and pepper to pasta.

3. Add cubed mozzarella and halved tomatoes to the top.

4. Sprinkle with oregano.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnabon-like Cinnamon Rolls


1/2 cup warm water
2 pkg dry yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
3 1/2 ox package vanilla pudding mix (and milk to make it)
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
6+ cups flour*

*I needed to add almost a cup extra of flour!

1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
4 teaspoons cinnamon


1. Mix water, yeast and sugar together until dissolved. Set aside.

2. In a large bowl prepare pudding mix according to package directions. Add butter, eggs and salt; mix to blend well.

3. Add yeast mixture and blend. Gradually add flour.

4. Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead dough until smooth. Place in a greased bowl and let rise until double. Punch down and let rise again.

5. Roll out on a floured surface. Take 1 cup of butter and spread over surface.

6. Mix brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl, sprinkle over top of buttered dough. Roll up tightly and cut every two inches with a sharp knife.

7. Place on a lightly greased cookie sheet 2 inches apart, lightly press each roll down. Cover and let rise again until double. Bae at 350 F for 15 - 20 minutes. Remove when they start to look golden - don't over bake!
Frost warm rolls with a cream cheese frosting.

REVIEW: These are truly amazing!! My best friend discovered this recipe when we were like 14 years old ... we were convinced they were the way to a mans heart. Must be true - we're both married :)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Iced Cafe Mocha

Iced Cafe Mocha
Combine 1/2 cup ground coffee with 2 Tablespoons cocoa powder. (I used the Special Dark Chocolate)
Using a coffee maker brew with 4 cups of water.
Stir in 1/4 cup* sweetened condensed milk, then refrigerate.
Serve over ice.

I read 1/2 cup the first time I made it, so made it with twice the called for amount of sweetened condensed milk. Mmmm. I'd recommend you double it too ;) But I couldn't bring myself to lie to y'all and change the recipe.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Sliced Steak Gyros

2 pounds 1 inch thick sirloin steak (I just used some left over steak from earlier in the week... I don't know what it was. I think chicken would work well too.)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper

1 cup crumbled feta cheese
3/4 cup Greek-style yogurt (I just used reg plain yogurt)
Juice of one lemon (I used lemon juice from the bottle)
1 clove garlic
Oregano - a generous sprinkle
Cumin - a generous sprinkle
Coriander - a generous sprinkle
2 dashes hot sauce (very small dashes)
Salt and pepper - a dash

4 large pitas or other flatbread

Red Onion

1. Preheat the broiler or grill to medium. Drizzle the steak with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and cook to how you like it done. Let cool then slice thinly.

2. While the steak is cooking, using a food processor, puree all the ingredients for the dip. Transfer to a bowl and set aside, in the fridge if you'll be awhile.

3. Char the pitas under the broiler or on the grill. Top with the steak and your choice of toppings. Serve with yogurt sauce.

REVIEW: AMAZING!! The flavor of this is incredible! It is easy to make and is so, so GOOD! It is going to become a commonly used recipe now :)
I did follow the above quantities exactly and it made a TON of dip, so I would suggest half-ing or even quarter-ing the dip quantities for two people as I don't know how well it will save in the fridge and the feta is kind of expensive. Seriously tho, you must make this!

Asparagus Tempura

1/4 cup yogurt
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey

4 cups vegetable oil

3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup corn starch
1/4 cup sesame seeds (optional)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup seltzer, at room temperature

1 pound asparagus

1. In a small bowl stir together first four ingredients for the dip. Set in fridge

2. In a large saucepan heat the oil over medium-high until it registers at 375 F on a deep fry thermometer*

3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl mix together the first five ingredients for the batter. Whisk in the seltzer until smooth.

4. Add the asparagus to the batter and turn to coat.

5. Transferring one piece at a time add about one quarter of the asparagus to the hot oil and cook, turning, until golden and crisp.
Drain on paper towels. Repeat with remaining asparagus.

6. Serve hot with dipping sauce.

* I don't own a thermometer, so I guessed. It worked fine that way :)

REVIEW: I followed this recipe and quantities for a meal for the two of us ... it was WAY TOO MUCH food. Absolutely delicious tho!! Paul thinks it's the best tempura he's ever had, and it was the first time I've ever made it.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Caesar and Steak Salad

Thin cut steak

Bacon Bits
Parmesan Cheese
Croutons - I used some Parmesan seasoned toast crackers
Caesar Salad Dressing

Sprinkle Salt and Pepper on the steak and then cook the steak on a George Foreman Grill. Don't over cook!

Mix the salad together.
Top salad with steak.

Review - This salad is a delicious, complete meal and comes together quickly.

Italian Cream Cheese Chicken Over Pasta - my take

I was inspired to create this dinner after seeing this Italian Cream Cheese Chicken Over Pasta recipe.

What I did:

Take 2 (already cooked) chicken breasts and heat up in butter, salt, pepper and Italian seasoning. I did add apple juice too, as the original has that listed, and I had it on hand, so decided to use it.

Then I made a cream sauce with milk, cream cheese, more Italian seasoning and salt.

I made Broccoli, and had the Italian seasoning in the boiling water.

And then I made whole wheat and white pasta (because I didn't have enough of one kind, so I mixed!)

Then I layered it all on a serving dish and made some garlic bread and *voila* ! A delicious and easy supper.

Review: This is a quick and easy meal to make, and yet it looks and tastes fabulous and like you've gone through a great effort to make it. It's a pretty no-fail recipe as you can add and subtract ingredients that you enjoy.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Spinach Salad with Pears and Bacon


8 ounces Fresh mozzarella, diced
4 cups Baby spinach leaves, washed and dried
2 ripe pears, washed, cored and sliced
4 strips bacon, cooked and diced

1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
pepper, to taste

1. Put spinach leaves, pears, bacon and cheese in a salad bowl

2. Mix vinegars, mustard, salt and pepper together in a separate dish.

3. Add oil and whisk until blended.

4. Pour over salad

Review: This is my favorite salad. Ever. And Paul's - and everyone who has tasted it. I have had salad haters tell me they love it.
Just make sure you buy Fresh Mozzarella, and don't leave out the pears. It totally makes the salad.

Ranch Pasta Salad


1 pound pasta cooked and drained
1/2 pound cheddar cheese (cubed)
5 pieces bacon (or more) cooked and crumbled
1 1/2 cups broccoli - cut small
1 bottle ranch salad dressing

1. Mix all ingredients in big serving bowl

2. Chill for 2 - 24 hours

3. Serve!

4. *see notes

Other ideas to add to salad:
Chopped Black Olives
Chopped Green Olives
Chopped Green Onions
Black Pepper
Sunflower Seeds

Review: This is an easy, make ahead salad. It holds great flexibility as you can add and subtract the ingredients you like, or dislike. :) I always make it up in a huge batch as it's a crowd pleaser.

Cracker Candy


1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 box soda crackers
Nuts (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 F

2. Line cookie sheet with tin foil and cover the bottom with soda crackers

3. Melt butter and sugar in sauce pan. Stir it until it boils then stir for one more minute.

4. Pour hot mixture evenly over crackers and bake for 5 minutes (should be bubbly) Remove from oven.

5. Sprinkle chocolate chips over crackers. When melted spread evenly.

6. Sprinkle on nuts if desired.

7. Place cookie sheet in the fridge until cool. Peel off foil and break into pieces.

Review: Nuts on this should not be optional ;) I have used walnuts and almonds and I think the addition of nuts really takes it up a notch. Or two, or three. It goes from being 'good' to 'can't keep my hands off this.' You're sure to gain pounds when you make this :) It is SO YUMMY.

Cheese Meatballs

1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 pound ground sausage
1 cup parmesan cheese
1 cup milk
1 egg, beaten
1 cup bread crumbs* see notes
1/2 cup chopped parsley*
1 clove garlic, minced*
1/4 Teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup butter

1. Combine all ingredients except the butter

2. Shape into meatballs, press firmly

3. Brown in butter in skillet over low heat

4. Drain

5. Eat as is or add to favorite spaghetti sauce

*Buy Italian seasoned bread crumbs and parsley and garlic are not needed.

Review: I have only ever made these as appetizers. They're kind of yucky to make - I hate raw meat. But they do taste good, and are simple to do.

Basic Cheese Fondue

2 cups milk
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons ground dry mustard
1 clove garlic - peeled and crushed
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
6 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1. In a medium saucepan over low heat mix together first five ingredients until almost boiling.

2. Gradually stir in cheddar cheese

3. Continue heating until all the cheese is melted.

4. Transfer to fondue dish - Keep the mixture warm and melted in the fondue dish.

5. Serve with bread or veggies

Review: Fondue is one of my favorite foods! This is a very basic recipe, but it tastes delicious. Be sure to have guests over as it's so fun to eat with friends :)

Friday, March 14, 2008

Cream Cheese Brownies

For brownies:

1 c butter (2 sticks), melted
2 c sugar
2 t vanilla
4 eggs
3/4 c cocoa
1 c flour
1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
1 c chopped nuts, optional

For cream cheese topping:

1/3 c sugar
8 oz cream cheese, softened or slightly warmed
1 egg
1/2 t vanilla

1. In large bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add vanilla, eggs, and cocoa, beating after each addition.

2. Add flour, baking powder, and salt. Add nuts if using. Pour batter into greased 9 x 13 pan.

3. In separate bowl, mix sugar and cream cheese until no lumps remain. Stir in egg and vanilla. Pour over brownie batter. Cut through batter with knife several times for a marbled effect.

4. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes until cream cheese topping is slightly browned.

5. Cool and store in refrigerator.

Origianally found HERE

Review: Before these brownies I was of the mindset that brownies from a box were the best tasting brownies ever. Now however, these are the best brownies ever.

Healthy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Healthy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

1 c. whole wheat flour
1 c. old fashioned oats
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 c. raw honey
1 egg
1/2 c. real butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 c. raisins
Cream the butter, honey, egg and vanilla with a mixer. Mix the dry ingredients in another bowl, then add to the butter mixture. Stir until moist. Drop by spoonfuls onto cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes.

These are *so* yummy, and healthy to boot!
Recipe from my friend Rachel.

Review: Despite the word "healthy" being in the name, these are good cookies!! They freeze well, which is nice, as we would otherwise finish an entire batch within a day or two. But they're 'healthy' - so that's ok, right?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted (make sure it is melted!)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 egg yolk
*semisweet chocolate chips
*Heath bits

*we don't measure these - we just dump them in.

1. Preheat oven to 325 F. Line baking sheet with tin foil (that way you don't have to wash anything!!)
2. Combine first three ingredients. Set aside
3. In another bowl combine remaining ingredients until creamy. Add dry ingredients until just blended.
4. Stir in chocolate chips and Heath bits.
5. Use a 1/4 cup measuring scoop to shape the dough into balls.
6. Bake for 15 - 17 minutes, and then let cool on the baking sheet.

These taste best when eaten the day they're baked.
If you plan on freezing them place the shaped cookie dough on a plate and place in freezer for a few hours so they can individually freeze. Once they have, you can throw them all in a zip lock bag. Then pull out however many you want and place in a pre-heated oven. I don't think we've ever timed how long they take from frozen, but it's not much longer than from a non-frozen state!

Review: The best cookies ever. Enough said.

Homemade Pita Pockets

1 cup warm water (110-115 degrees)
1 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons dry yeast

1. In a large bowl, combine first 4 ingredients. Add 1 cup of the flour, along with the yeast, and stir to mix. Add remaining flour and knead to make a soft dough.

2. Put your dough into a bowl, lightly oil the top, and cover. Set in a warm place to rise, until almost double (about an hour).

3. Punch dough down and turn onto a lightly floured surface. Using a sharp knife, cut dough into 8 equal pieces. Form each piece into a ball. On a lightly floured surface, roll each ball into a 6- or 7-inch circle.

4. As you roll the rounds, set them aside on a lightly floured countertop or table, and cover loosely with a towel. Let rise for about 25-35 minutes, until slightly puffy. (The rounds will still be thin)

5. Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Place 2 rounds, side-by-side, onto a wire rack, such as is used for cooling things. Place rack in the middle of the oven. Bake for 4-5 minutes, until puffy and just slightly browned. (If bread is too browned, it will be dry and not pliable.)

6. Remove rack from oven and immediately wrap/layer pita breads in a damp towel, to soften. Continue baking the remaining breads, layering them between damp towels as soon as they're baked. Allow breads to completely cool.

7. Cut pita breads in half, or split the top edge, and fill as desired. :)

8. Store pitas in a plastic zipper bag in the fridge for a few days, or place in the freezer for longer storage. To re-warm pitas, wrap them in a damp towel and then wrap in foil. Place in a warm (200-250 degree) oven for about 20 minutes.


Review: These are great straight from the oven or a day old (that's as long as they've lasted here!) Store bought pita doesn't even compete.