Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Cut-Out Cookies

I'm pretty convinced that these are the best cut-out cookies you can make.
They aren't sugar cookies, so they don't puff up when you bake them -
creating cookie blobs instead of cookie shapes.

Butter Cut-Out Cookiesfrom Susan Branch

2 cups butter -- softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 1/2 cups unbleached flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. With an electric mixer cream together butter and sugar. Add egg yolks and vanilla and mix well. Sift flour and salt together and beat into butter mixture until well mixed.

Roll dough into a ball and refrigerate, covered, for about an hour.

When ready to bake, use an ungreased cookie sheet and place cookies 1 inch apart. Bake for about 10 minutes, but do not brown them. Remove cookies from cookie sheet after cooled. Decorate, if you like. Makes 6 to 8 dozen.

For the frosting we just mix confectioners sugar with milk until we get the consistency we want. It takes a whole lot of sugar and just a bit of milk (you can use water instead if you want).
recipe also posted here.


Saturday, December 18, 2010

My Mom's Apple Crisp

So my mom is a really good cook...the only problem is, she doesn't use recipes and I need a recipe to I have implored my mom to write out a recipe here and there that I am just desperate to have...

Her Apple Crisp is here is her recipe and a couple pics of when I made it! It is a great treat!

"Apple Crisp ala my own made up Recipe"

Peel lots of apples and slice (put in cold salt water so they don't turn brown- 1 tbsp salt to 2 quarts water) This means enough apples to cover the bottom of your pan (9 X 13) at least 1 1/2 inches thick. 10-12 big ones maybe

In a medium sized bowl combine:

1 1/2 cup flour (I use rice flour but whatever)
1 1/2 - 2 cups of quick oats
1 1/2 cup brown sugar. I use dark brown.
1 stick salted butter melted
Mix together to a crumbly


Drain apples and cover bottom of pan and put 1 Tbsp Cinnamon on top
Add 1/4 cup of apple cider or leftover juice of any kind in the fridge
Sprinkle the juice of one lemon over the top. You may use 2-3 Tbsp of Cider Vinegar (Organic) instead of lemon.

crumble the topping over the apples and add another good sprinkle of cinnamon over the top/
Bake 45 minutes at 350 degrees (preheated)


Serve with Vanilla bean or Cinnamon Ice Cream

Thanks Mom!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

a request for readers/contributors

okay ladies and gents...I am in need of a pizza sauce recipe...does anyone have one? I keep making home made pizza and my attempts at sauce are just not good. So if someone has a recipe and could either post it or leave a comment with the recipe or a link or something, I would SO appreciate it...



Okay People....prepare yourself for this one. It will make your mouth happy. So So So Happy.

This is a picture of them right when I started cooking them...they were devoured before I could take an "after" pic...

So here's the of my besties lives in NC and I was staying with her for a mutual friends wedding weekend. We were crazy busy, but the first night I arrived, she made these delicious little delights for dinner and I demanded the recipe! Turns out it is her moms recipe...and her mom is one of my favorite people because once upon a time she was the only mom we could get ahold of on a major holiday when we needed help figuring out how to get the stupid turkey's legs apart...but that is a whole other story ;-)

So here is the recipe..and I will have you know...I quadrupled the recipe so I would have left overs. And this recipe is really only enough for one person...double it and it's good for 3 people...quadruple it and it's enough for a couple meals and it is just as good reheated :)

1/2 lb ground beef

1/4 cup uncooked white rice (I used minute rice)

1/4 cup milk or water (I used milk)

2 Tbsp chopped onion (I use the equivalent amount of dried minced onion, instead)

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp celery salt

1/8 tsp garlic salt or powder

dash of pepper

Sauce 8 oz can of tomato sauce (You can never have too much)

1/2 cup of water for every 8 oz of tomato sauce

1 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

Mix first set of ingredients together and form into balls about golf ball size or a little smaller. Should make 4-6 balls. Mix sauce ingredients in a deep covered saute pan or frying pan. Put meatballs in sauce and spoon sauce over them. You want to have enough sauce to come up at least halfway on the porcupines.

Cover and simmer over medium low heat for 40-45 minutes. Flip them over about halfway through the cooking time and add some water if the sauce has cooked down too much, but resist the temptation to uncover them more than once. When they're cooked when get firm and the rice should be soft. I usually break one open to see if the rice is cooked. Chef's prerogative to taste test. ;)

Serve with egg noodles or mashed potatoes to soak up all the sauce.

You are Welcome.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Pumpkin Bread

It's FALL! I love the leaves changing, cooler weather, and I am definitely ready for the holidays!!! I love holiday baking. So I decided to start with Pumpkin Bread to start off my holiday baking kick.

Pumpkin Bread

4 Eggs
3 c. Sugar
1 c. Oil
2/3 c. Water
2 c. Pumpkin
1 tsp. Ground Cloves
1 tsp. Cinnamon
1 tsp. Nutmeg
3 1/2 c. Flour
1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
2 tsp. Baking Soda
1 1/2 tsp. Salt
Nuts (optional)

Beat eggs until lemon colored. Add Sugar, Oil, Water & Pumpkin and beat well. Add dry ingredients. Mix Well.

Makes 2 loaf pans. Grease pans. Bake at 325º for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Happy Fall!!!


Monday, October 11, 2010

Corn Chowder

Corn Chowder

6-8 slices bacon - cooked and crumbled
1 large onion, chopped
3-4 diced potatoes
2 cups boiling water
12 oz corn, frozen, canned or fresh
2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper

Cook the bacon and remove all grease from pan except about 2 Tbsp. Add onion to the pot and cook in bacon grease until soft. Add potatoes and water, cover and simmer about 10 minutes until potatoes are fork tender. Add corn, salt and pepper, milk and bacon. Heat well over low heat.

Makes 6 servings.

So easy and satisfying in the Fall. Especially if its served with a thick slice of this:


Sunday, October 10, 2010

Banana Bread

Here is the banana bread recipe I use.  There very well may be other banana bread recipes on this site already, it didn't occur to me until I was typing this very sentence that I probably should have looked if there was.  But, hey, nothing wrong with variety, right?

This recipe is from  It's pretty good, I've made it a bunch of times.  Today, I used my Fall Icon Cakelet Pan from William's Sonoma.  Adorable little bites, aren't they?


  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter a 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan, or follow the directions for baking with a specialty pan, such as the one I used.
Cream the sugar and butter in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
In a small bowl, mash the bananas with a fork. Mix in the milk and cinnamon. In another bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Add the banana mixture to the creamed mixture and stir until combined. Add dry ingredients, mixing just until flour disappears.
Pour batter into prepared pan and bake 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Set aside to cool on a rack for 15 minutes. Remove bread from pan, invert onto rack and cool completely before slicing.
Bon Appétit

Monday, October 4, 2010

Beer Battered Fish Tacos with Baja Sauce

These are a huge hit here at home. Now, I'm not a fan of fish. I hardly touch it. But when made this way? I'm licking my fingers. Not the healthiest (okay...not healthy at all) but so good. Enjoy!


4 tilapia fillets
6 tablespoons of flour
Tablespoon of cumin
Pinch of salt
Cayenne pepper (Depending on how spicy you like your food, I use about 2 tsp)
2/3 cup of beer (I use Blue Moon but it doesn't really matter)
Canola Oil

Cut up tilapia fish into 1 inch cubes.
Mix all ingredients (except oil) together. It should feel thick and goopy (yes, a word!) so it can coat the fish nicely while frying. Chill for at least an hr.
Pour oil to depth of 1 1/2 inches into a deep skillet
Cook fish about 4 minutes or until done. Drain on paper towels.

Baja Sauce

1/2 cup of sour cream
1/2 cup of mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon of oregano
1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 cup of lime juice
Pepper to taste

We put the sauce on a warm corn tortilla, add the fish, then add fresh salsa and guacamole. Delish!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Mimi's Cafe Buttermilk Spice Muffins

One of my favorite things is the Buttermilk Spice Muffins at Mimi's Cafe. You can find the recipe here along with some other great recipes. I am also anxious to try the Spinach and Artichoke dip and the Corn Chowder! I attempted the Buttermilk Spice Muffins and they turned out great!

Serves: 12
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 to 25 minutes


Muffin Batter:
1 cup Sugar
½ cup Butter or margarine
3 Eggs
2-½ cups Flour
2 tsp. Baking soda
1 tsp. Nutmeg
½ tsp. Cinnamon
¾ cup + 1 tbsp. Buttermilk

Nut Topping:
½ cup Sugar
1 cup Walnuts (finely chopped)
½ tsp. Cinnamon
½ tsp. Nutmeg

  1. Preheat oven to 375°. In a mixing bowl, cream the sugar and the butter together with an electric mixer. When they are thoroughly mixed, add eggs and beat one more minute.

  2. Sift the flour into a separate bowl, together with the baking soda, nutmeg and the cinnamon.

  3. Add the flour and the buttermilk to the first mixture, mix at low speed until smooth. To avoid lumps in the batter, add the wet and dry ingredients alternately, in small amounts.

  4. Make the nut topping: Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl.

  5. Grease muffin tins with butter or margarine. You can also use paper baking cups. Fill each cup 3/4 full of batter. Add a full, rounded tablespoon of nut topping on top of each muffin cup of batter. Bake immediately or the topping will sink to the bottom of the muffin.

  6. Bake at 375° for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown. A toothpick inserted in the middle of the muffin should come out dry. Home ovens heat differently from commercial ovens so you may need to adjust the temperature or the baking time accordingly.

  7. Recipe yields 12 standard-size muffins, or six Mimi's-size muffins. If using the jumbo muffin pans, reduce the oven temperature by 25° and increase the baking time 5-10 minutes.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Divine Meatloaf...two words I never thought I would combine...

I got this recipe from the delicious Pioneer Woman's Blog...if you want to see way nicer and more detailed pictures of the process then go to her blog and check it out!

But if you are here and interested in how someone who is NOT a professional cook made this dish and how it turned out...then you are in the right spot!

This dish definitely took some time to prepare and cook. But it was SO worth it. The best meatloaf I have ever had. It was heavenly. I served it to my own little family and some dinner guests and it was a hit. We decided that calling it meatloaf was inaccurate and a misrepresentation of it's divine deliciousness...we decided "beef cake" might be a better term. which made us giggle. which made the food taste even better :) eating food with fun friends and laughing makes any meal a hit.

Here's how I did it!


1 cup Whole Milk (I used skim...)
6 slices White Bread
2 pounds Ground Beef (I used 2 1/2 lbs)
1 cup (heaping) Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese (I used 1 1/2 cups heaping)
¼ teaspoons Seasoned Salt
¾ teaspoons Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
⅓ cups Minced Flat-leaf Parsley
4 whole Eggs Beaten
10 slices Thin/regular Bacon

1-½ cup Ketchup
⅓ cups Brown Sugar
1 teaspoon Dry Mustard
Tabasco To Taste

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour milk over the bread slices. Allow it to soak in for several minutes.

Place the ground beef, milk-soaked bread, Parmesan, seasoned salt, salt, black pepper, and parsley in a large mixing bowl. Pour in beaten eggs.

With clean hands, mix the ingredients until well combined. Form the mixture into a loaf shape on a broiler pan, which will allow the fat to drain. (Line the bottom of the pan with foil to avoid a big mess!)
*I didn't have a broiler after it was done cooking, I set it on a cookie rack to drain some of the fat off, before placing it on the serving dish...

Lay bacon slices over the top, tucking them underneath the meatloaf.

Make the sauce: add ketchup, brown sugar, mustard, and hot sauce in a mixing bowl. Stir together. Pour 1/3 of the mixture over the top of the bacon. Spread with a spoon.

Bake for 45 minutes, then pour another 1/3 of the sauce over the top. Bake for another 15 minutes. Slice and serve with remaining sauce.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Breakfast Casserole

This recipe is a family recipe. We make breakfast casserole every Christmas & Easter. I most recently made it for my friend's baby shower. It's great because it feeds a lot of people.

Breakfast Casserole
Serves 12 – 15

Frozen hash brown potatoes (30 oz. bag of shredded potatoes)
3 cups milk
8 eggs
½ teaspoon salt
1 roll of cooked bulk breakfast sausage (Jimmy Dean’s hot is good)
*Green chiles, sliced mushrooms, chopped peppers (green, red, or orange),
sliced green onions or other onions (optional – use any or all as you prefer)
2 cups of shredded cheese (use more if desired)

Spray a 9 X 13 pan and spread frozen shredded potatoes to cover the bottom
of the pan. Sprinkle cooked sausage (or chopped ham) evenly over potatoes.
Spread optional veggies over top. Top with shredded cheese.

In a separate bowl use a whisk to beat the following ingredients together:
8 eggs
3 cups milk
½ teaspoon salt and pepper to taste

Pour egg mixture over the layers in the 9 X 13 pan.
Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes or until the egg mixture is well set. (It
often takes up to 60 minutes) (Insert a knife in the middle to check doneness)



Sunday, September 19, 2010

Egg Salad Sandwiches

I have never been a fan of egg salad. So I was shocked to find that I loved this recipe. I tried it out of desperation cause I haven't gone grocery shopping in ages and because of some drama, I couldn't get into my pantry. And now I think I will make this part of the regular rotation in my meal planning.

Here goes!

7 eggs (that is all I had)
1 1/2 TBS Miracle Whip (you can use mayo but I prefer the sweetness of MW)
2 TBS Hot Mustard (dijon)
1 Tsp Dried Dill Weed
1 Tsp Paprika
salt and pepper to taste
(you could add some chopped red onion or celery or both if you like a little crunch)

Makes enough for 4 sandwiches.

1. Place eggs in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring water to a boil; cover, remove from heat, and let eggs stand in hot water for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from hot water, cool, peel and chop. (I used my pampered chef chopper...super easy and fast)
2. In a large bowl, combine the egg, mayonnaise, mustard, dill, paprika and salt and pepper.
3. I served it on toast (I hate soggy stuff so toast is my solution with most sandwiches to avoid it) with a little more mayo on the bread and some crispy lettuce. It was out of this world delicious!

The ingredients!

My handy dandy chopper!

Vwala! dinner is served!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Fettuccine Alfredo

This is a truly delicious and incredibly easy recipe that I got out of the William's Sonoma Pasta cookbook.  I love fettuccine alfredo, but I'm super picky about my alfredo sauce.  I'd say 95% of the alfredo sauces I've had in restaurants, have been too bland or just not good.  This one, however, is divine.  I make it for my family probably once a month.  It's a household favorite!

The key to this recipe, is the level of freshness of the ingredients you use.  The fresher, the better.  At the bottom, you will see a picture of a box from the cookbook.  Take it seriously.  I do, and I am convinced it's the key to alfredo greatness. 

1 1/2 cups heavy cream
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Freshly grated nutmeg
1 lb fresh fettuccine

Bring a large pot of water to boil.  Meanwhile, in a large saucepan over high heat, bring the cream and butter to a boil.  Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 1 minute.  Add 6 tablespoons of the grated Parmesan and whisk over low heat until smooth, about 1 minute longer.  Remove from the heat and season with salt.  (Be judicious with the salt.  The Parmesan is itself salty, and too much added salt will throw this creamy, sweet sauce out of balance.)

Generously salt the boiling water, add the pasta, and cook until al dente, 1-3 minutes, depending on the freshness of the pasta.  Drain pasta well.

Put pasta in a warmed, large, shallow bowl.  Pour on the sauce and sprinkle with 6 more tablespoons of the cheese.  Toss well.  Serve immediately.  Pass the remaining cheese at the table.

Makes 4 main course or 6 first course servings.

Study this picture (you can on the photo click for full size):

-Bon Appétit

Friday, August 20, 2010

Hamburger Noodle Skillet

This was SUPER easy...and tasty too!

3 slices bacon
1/2 an onion chopped (my onion was kinda big)
1 pound lean ground pork/beef/turkey
1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
2 green peppers chopped
1/4 cup chili sauce
1 teaspoon salt
dash pepper
3 cups noodles, uncooked (we used tri-color rotini)

In a large skillet, cook bacon until crisp; eat bacon if you want or toss it :) I ate mine! Add onion to the bacon drippings; cook until tender. Add ground meat and brown. Stir in tomatoes, green bell pepper, chili sauce, salt, and a dash of pepper. Add the uncooked noodles. Cover and cook over low heat for 30 minutes, or until noodles are tender.

I am serving mine with some yummy french bread.

easy peasy!


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Improvising a Panini

Well, I don't own a panini press but I was really really really in the mood for a I improvised...

I used the cast iron frying pan as the press and the cast iron grill that you heat up on the stove top to get the lines and grilled panini effect I was desiring.

Basically, I cut up some amazing simple Focaccia bread, spread olive oil on the outside, pub cheese on the inside, added some fabulous pepper turkey breast and red onion and then grilled it to perfection.

It was amazing. Between my husband and I we ate every last bit of it up. I think it would have been even better if I'd added tomato...otherwise I was totally happy with this meal. And quite proud of my improvisational skills too :) I served some strawberries on the side and that was the extent of this meal...just perfect!

Thursday, July 29, 2010


Is the secret ingredient for this week. We are starting easy here, but garlic is an often used but overlooked ingredient. It is an essential minor part of lots of cuisines, but is also a wonderful ingredient on its own. I don't often use it as a main ingredient, but I have two recipes that really bring out the unique features of this herb. One I have already shared, the other will be linked to this post.

Garlic has many amazingly beneficial properties, amongst these are manganese, Vitamin C, Selenium, Vitamin B6 and on top of all that garlic also acts as a natural Anti-Inflammatory and an antibacterial and antiviral agent. Makes smelling a little garlicky a lot more attractive right??

So, here is what I would like you to do. In a separate post, write out a recipe featuring or just containing garlic. Link up this original post for easy tracking and label it Recipe Roulette. I will post the secret ingredient on thursdays.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Guacamole. Patty's Way.

5 ripe avocados
1 white onion, finely chopped
2 serano peppers, seeded and finely chopped
½ cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
3 ripe plum tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced

Salt and pepper to taste
A squeeze of lime to taste

Remember that much of this is done to taste because of the fresh ingredients. So just adjust to your taste!

Mash the avocado. Add the chopped onion, cilantro, lime, tomato, garlic, salt and pepper and mash some more. Depending on how spicy you want your guacamole to be, add half of a pepper at a time. We usually use two, but we like some spice in ours.

Cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface of the guacamole to prevent oxidation from the air reaching it. That makes for a not so pretty guacamole dip. Refrigerate until ready.


I usually put our guacamole in a Molcajete (Adobo Grill). It's the way my Mother always served it, and I like the look that it gives. Mine is currently in storage (it won't be out until February...booo)

I can't wait to move to a new place so I can serve my guacamole in it! Doesn't it give it an authentic look?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Green Beans with Pepper & Onion

I'm often looking for a new way to spice up vegetables, although we like them all just steamed too. I made these green beans last night, they were delicious!


1 lb fresh Green Beans
1 Tablespoon Butter And 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
2 cloves Garlic, finely chopped
1 cup Chopped Onion
1/2 - 3/4 cup Chopped Red Bell Pepper
1 cup Chicken Broth
1/2 - 3/4 tsp Kosher Salt (or 1/4 - 1/2 tsp Regular Table Salt)
Ground Black Pepper To Taste

1. Snap or cut the stem ends of the green beans.
2. Add oil and melt butter in a skillet over medium low heat. Add garlic and onions and cook for a minute. Then add green beans and cook for a minute until beans turn bright green.
3. Add the chicken broth, chopped red pepper, salt and black pepper. Turn heat to low and cover with a lid, leaving lid cracked to allow steam to escape. Cook for 20 to 30 minutes or until liquid evaporates and beans are fairly so3, yet still a bit crisp. (You can add more chicken broth during the cooking process, but letting it all cook away will help the onions and peppers caramelize.)


We had steak and roasted baby potatoes too. (Also salad, not pictured.)

(I can't take credit, this recipe is from the amazing PW.)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Avocado & Chicken Salad

This is one of my favorite summer lunches. I don't have an exact recipe.

Avocado & Chicken Salad

1 Avocado
1 can of Chicken Breast
chopped Celery
Curry Powder

Chicken Salad:
Put 1 can of Chicken Breast in a bowl. Mix in a (2-3) of spoons full of Mayo. Mix in Curry Powder to taste. Add chopped Celery to mixture.

Place cut up Avocado on a plate. Top with Chicken Salad mixture. Add pepper to taste.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Pico de Gallo.

Pico de Gallo

1 white onion, finely chopped
4 ripe plum tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped
2 serano peppers, seeded and finely chopped
½ cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
Tons of lime juice
Salt to taste

This is the amount I use for dinner. It's pretty easy to make huge batches for pot lucks too. Pico de gallo is very popular in Mexican culture because it goes with so many dishes and because it is so quick and easy to put together. I love to put it on top of quesadillas, carne asada tacos, and just munch on it with tortilla chips. When Anthony gets home from work, he'll ask me to whip up a batch so he can have it pre dinner. It's his favorite appetizer. :)


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Recipe Roulette

I want to play a little game. Every week I will post an ingredient and I want all of the lovely ladies contributing a post with a recipe that they know or have created using this secret ingredient. Do you want to play?

Monday, July 5, 2010

Summer Salad

As I was looking in my almost empty fridge today I decided to make a salad. I don't often make salads - Honestly I think they are overrated. But maybe I should make an effort to try. This is what I made today and it was Great! Now, would you please share your favorite salad with me?

1 romaine - washed and roughly chopped
Handful of cherry tomatoes halved
Handful sweet peas
Handful frozen corn
1/2 green pepper diced
1 roasted red pepper thinly sliced
Carrot thinly sliced, I do this with my potato peeler
Handful of chopped cilantro
tbsp chopped basil
Handful chopped cashews

Small amount of Katie's recommended
Balsamic and it just turned out amazing.. I even had seconds ;)


Saturday, July 3, 2010

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Massive zucchini.
Throw it together with a little cocoa powder and flour...
a fabulously moist, not-too-sweet chocolate confection.
Oh, yes.

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups white sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
3 cups grated zucchini
3/4 cup chopped walnuts

DirectionsPreheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9x13 inch baking pan or bundt pan.In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Add the eggs and oil, mix well. Fold in the nuts and zucchini until they are evenly distributed. Pour into the prepared pan.
Bake for 50 to 60 minutes in the preheated oven, until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool cake completely before frosting with your favorite frosting.

Mrs. B.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Banana Bread

This recipe is fast, easy and very basic.
  • 3 or 4 ripe bananas, smashed
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
Optional: Walnuts

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F
  • With a wooden spoon, mix melted butter into the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the sugar, egg, and vanilla. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in. Add walnuts if you wish. Add the flour last, mix. Pour mixture into a buttered 4x8 inch loaf pan.
  • Bake for 1 hour.
  • As soon as I pull it out of the oven, I add brown sugar to the top just to give it a little extra sweetness.
  • Cool on a rack until you are able to remove from pan for easy slicing.

~ Kassandra

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Peach Cobbler.

Oh, baking. I love it. My family loves it. And boy does it make the house smell scrumptious.

We bought some organic peaches at Whole Foods the other day and I thought to myself, I've never made peach cobbler before! Googled a recipe, tweaked it a bit and voila! Here ya have it. It came out pretty amazing. I've never made homemade crust before. I'm kind of proud. :)

2 cups organic pastry flour
3 tablespoons white sugar
1 cup shortening
1 egg
1/4 cup cold water

3 pounds fresh peaches - peeled, pitted and sliced
2 cups of orange juice
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 tablespoon white sugar
1 tablespoon butter, melted

1.In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, 3 tablespoons sugar, and salt. Work in the shortening until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and cold water. Sprinkle over flour mixture, and work with hands to form dough into a ball. Chill 30 minutes.

2.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Roll out half of dough to 1/8 inch thickness. Place in a 9x13 inch baking dish, covering bottom and halfway up sides. Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

3.In a large saucepan, mix the peaches and orange juice. Add 1/2 cup butter, and cook over medium-low heat until butter is melted. In a mixing bowl, stir together 1 1/2 cups of sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cornstarch; mix into peach mixture. Remove from heat, and pour into baked crust.

4.Roll remaining dough to a thickness of 1/4 inch. Cut into half-inch-wide strips. Weave strips over peaches. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar, and drizzle with 1 tablespoon melted butter.

5.Bake in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until top crust is golden brown.

Please, enjoy! A nice gallop of vanilla ice cream makes this recipe to die for. ;)

I couldn't get a picture after it came out of the oven because everyone attacked it. Hehe.

Honey Chicken Kabobs.

(A.J at 18 months first time eating chicken kabobs )

This is A.J's favorite thing to eat. He loves to eat kabobs, he will ask for seconds, and thirds until there's none left! It's a super easy recipe, and I've made mass quantities of it for BBQ's.

Honey Chicken Kabobs


1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
8 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cut into 1 inch cubes
2 cloves garlic

In a large bowl, whisk together oil, honey, soy sauce, and pepper. Before adding chicken, reserve a small amount of marinade to brush onto kabobs while cooking. Place the chicken and garlic in the bowl, and marinate in the refrigerator at least 2 hours (the longer the better).
Preheat the grill for high heat.
Drain marinade from the chicken and discard marinade. Thread chicken onto skewers. Lightly oil the grill grate. Place the skewers on the grill. Cook for 12 to 15 minutes, until chicken juices run clear. Turn and brush with reserved marinade frequently.


Cheese & Pepper Dip

Cheese & Pepper Dip

  • 1 cup of dry lima beans
  • 1-2 serano peppers
  • 1 medium sweet red pepper
  • olive oil spray
  • 1/4c of onfat plain Greek-style yogurt
  • 1/4 part skim ricotta cheese
  • 1c feta, crumbled
  • 1tbsp fresh oregano
  • 1tsp lemon zest

1/4tsp black pepper (or to taste)

Cook lima beans until soft and tender, measure out 1 cup.

Preheat oven to 400*. Place hot and sweet peppers on a baking sheet misted with cooking spray. Bake in oven for 20-25 minutes, until soft but not black. Let cool, then peel off skin and chop. In a large bowl of a food processor add 1cup of beans, roasted peppers, yogurt, ricotta and 1/2c of fetta.
Puree for 30 seconds until smooth. Transfer to medium bowl. Add oregano, lemon zest, and black pepper.
Fold in remaining feta. Serve at warm or at room temperature.

I love to eat these with Pita chips. It's too spicy for the boys, but perfect for us!


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Steak Fajitas With Peppers & Onions

Hello Fellow Chefs!

Last month (I think) I was reading through one of my favorite publications....Parenting Magazine. Weird? Maybe but I adore that magazine. Anyway, I came across a couple recipes that looked good, I ran them by my super picky husband and he said he'd be willing to guinea pig it with me, and that is where this recipe comes in.

It was surprisingly good. I really liked it. Super picky husband even liked it. He wasn't too keen on the bell peppers (what a weirdo, haha), but did say he would eat it again. Woo!

Here's the dirty details:

Prep time: 30 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 45 minutes (1 hour resting)
Serves: 4


1/4 cup fresh lime juice*
3 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
4 teaspoons dark brown sugar
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced, divided
2 teaspoons finely chopped cilantro
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 lb skirt steak, cut crosswise into 3 to 4 pieces
8 (8-inch) flour tortillas
1 large red onion, thinly sliced
1 large red bell pepper, cored, seeded and sliced in 1/3 inch strips
1 large yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded and sliced in 1/3 inch strips
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Optional toppings:
Salsa, sour cream, sliced avocado or guacamole, lime edges, cheese

What to do:

1. Whisk together the lime juice, 2 Tbsp olive oil, soy sauce, brown sugar, half the garlic, and cumin. Pour into zip lock bag, add the steak, and marinate at room temperature for 1 hour, turning the bag occasionally.

2. Preheat oven to 325*. Wrap stacked tortillas tightly in foil; warm for 15 minutes.

3. Heat a grill or grill pan to medium-high/ Remove the steak from marinade, and let excess drip off. Season with 1/4 tsp each of the salt and pepper. Grill to desired doneness. Transfer steak to a cutting board, tent with foil, and let rest for 5 minutes.

4. While steak is grilling, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil and the sliced peppers and onions. Sauté stirring often, 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly charred. Add the remaining garlic in the final minute, season with the remaining 1/2 tsp salt.

5. Thinly slice steak on the diagonal, across the grain. Transfer to one side of a serving platter an pile the veggie mixture on the other side. Arrange the toppings in small bowls, wrap the tortillas in a soft towel, and let everyone make their own fajitas at the table. Serve with black beans and rice.

I did take a picture, with my cell phone, of the platter (because it looked fab)....too bad it was very small and not at all worth sharing. This is a fantastic recipe though, I recommend everyone give it a try!

*Chef's note: I bought 3 limes and used 2 1/2 to get the 1/4 cup lime juice and the last 1/2 for the top of the fajitas. I have a citrus juicer that gets every drop out of the rind, so if you plan to squeeze by hand, you might get 4 or 5 limes.

Bon Appétit


Saturday, June 19, 2010

How To: Artichokes

Here's how I steam artichokes, a favorite vegetable of mine!

1. Remove discolored leaves; trim stem even with base.

2. Cut 1 inch off top and discard. Snip off points of the remaining leaves with scissors. Rinse with cold water. Optional: To prevent discoloration, dip into 1 quart cold water mixed with 1 tablespoon lemon juice.

3. Steam top down for 20 to 25 minutes or until bottom is tender when pierced with a knife.

4. Enjoy with something on the side. We prefer melted butter. My husband sometimes dips them in mayonnaise (ew, haha).

Bon Appétit


Friday, June 18, 2010

Chocolate Chip Banana Pudding

1 (14 oz) can of sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 cup of ice cold water
1 (3.4 oz) Jello Vanilla Pudding mix
3 cups heavy cream
1 (12 oz) Nabisco Nilla Wafers
5 bananas sliced ( I like mine slighty under ripe)
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

In a small bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat together the sweetened condensed milk and water until well combined, about 1 minute. Add the pudding mix and beat well, about 2 minutes more. Cover and refrigerate for 3-4 hours or overnight, before continuing. It is very important to allow the proper amount of time for the pudding mixture to set.

In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the pudding mixture into the whipped cream until well blended and no streaks of pudding remain.

To assemble the dessert, select a large, wide bowl (preferably glass - I didn't have glass) with a 4-5-quart capacity.
Arrange one-third of the wafers to cover the bottom of the bowl, then one-third of the bananas and one-third of the pudding sprinkle chocolate chips. Repeat the layering two more times. Sprinkle choc chips on top. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and allow to chill in the refrigerator for 4 hours. It will taste best within 4-5 hours of assembling it, but can most certainly be eaten the day after, the Nilla wafers will not be crunchy though.


Thursday, June 17, 2010

Hot Beef Sandwiches

3 lbs. beef chuck roast
1 large onion, chopped
1/4 cup vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1-1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4-1/2 tsp. pepper
2 tbs Lemon Juice
1 tbs Ketsup
1 tbs Worcestershire sauce

This is a crock pot meal. So warm her up! It takes about 8-10 hrs of slow cooking so start it early and relax, dinner will be ready later!

Place meat in crock pot and cover with the chopped onions.

Combine vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper, lemon juice, ketsup and worcestershire sauce.

Pour over meat. It won't seem like much liquid at first but once it gets cooking the juices from the meat will add to it. I repositioned the meat a few hours into the cooking process so most of it was submerged.

After about 8 hrs shred the meat (I had my DH do it cause I find shredding meat to be very annoying) and then place it back into the broth for another half hour or so.

Drain broth but save for dipping.

Serve on hamburger buns with broth on side. I added a little bit of parmesan cheese to the broth for a garnish and it melted in nicely...tasted great!

I got this recipe from a friend and added a few things. My DH thought it was amazing and so did I! It was relatively easy which was a bonus.


Jamie Willow