Monday, March 29, 2010


Okay, here are my 2 most favorite icings. ;)

Cream Cheese Frosting

8oz cream cheese (softened)
Cube of butter (softened)
2 tsp. vanilla
1 box of confectioners sugar

Combine all ingredients, mix using hand or standing mixer until soft and of spreadable consistency.

Vanilla Icing

3 cups of confectioners sugar
Cube of cutter (softened)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-2 tsp of whipping cream

In a standing mixer fitted with whisk attachment, mix together butter and sugar. Mix on low speed until well blended, then increase speed to medium and beat for 3 minutes. Add vanilla and cream and continue to beat for 1 minute (medium speed) adding desired amount of cream in small increments, until desired spreading consistency is reached.

Bon Appétit


Asparagus for dummies

I am kind of assuming everyone knows this but I just learned this tonight. I am 33 yrs old and I just learned this. (shakes head) And of course I learned it from my sister and she informed me that our mother taught her...which means she probably taught me but I was probably day dreaming or something at the time... (shakes head again)

Once you buy your asparagus and bring it home and get ready to cook it...

Take 2 or 3 stalks at a time and gently "bend" them near the bottom...the bottom of the asparagus will then break off at a natural breaking point. The remainder top part of the asparagus is ready for you to cook up however you like.

This eliminates that tough bottom of the asparagus that is soooo hard to eat.

Seriously people. How did I not know this before?!

PS. I read in an etiquette book once that asparagus is the only veggie you can eat with your fingers and it is not considered rude.

How we cooked it tonight:

Covered the bottom of the pan in Olive Oil
Medium Heat
Put the Asparagus in and toss it in the Olive Oil until they are covered.
Cook till they look good. We made ours really al-dente (is that a pasta word or can I use it on asparagus?).
*depending on the thickness of your asparagus the cooking times will vary...ours were really thin and didn't take long at all
About half way through add cut up Honeyed Almonds (I had some in a pouch already cut up from the grocery store)
At the very last we added diced tomatoes (minus the seeds/slimy part) in and gently cooked them for a minute or two...long enough to warm them up.
Add salt and pepper to taste.

I have to say...this was A-Maze-ing!

I hope you try it and I hope you learned something new too!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Quesadilla- Patty's way.

1 medium flour tortilla(s)
chopped onion (to taste)
chopped, seeded jalapeno (to taste)
2oz low-fat Montorrey cheese shredded
1/4 cup grilled chicken breast

5 points on Weight Watchers*

In a heavy skillet, heat one flour tortilla. Spread shredded cheese on the tortilla and top with 1/2 the chicken mixture. Sprinkle another 1/4 cup cheese over the chicken and top with another tortilla. When bottom tortilla is lightly brown and cheese has started to melt, flip quesadilla and cook on the opposite side.

You can serve it with guacamole or pico de gallo on top. I'll share a recipe for both soon.


*I forgot to add in my introduction post that I am currently battling weight loss. I'm on the Weight Watchers program so my recipes will have the Weight Watchers points on them for those looking for some new low fat recipes.

The belly rules the mind. ~Spanish Proverb


I'm Patty. I'm married (4 years this Easter!) and a mother to two boys, my first born is 3, my youngest is 10 months. We currently live in Los Angeles, Southern California. I say currently because my husband is in the military.

No matter how hectic our lives are (moving, living out of suitcases at times, not knowing what's next) we always enjoy a home cooked meal, sitting at the dinner table. I love to cook, but I'm not one of those fancy chefs. What I make is easy, and something you will usually have in your kitchen already. Not those hard to pronounce ingredients that you will likely not use again. ;)


oh yeah, I can cook...kinda :)

So I'm the least likely to be apart of a cooking blog...I am okay with a recipe and I learn fast but it does not come natural. So when I do accomplish something in the kitchen it is kind of a big deal...

My sister is the queen of throwing anything and everything together and having amazing meals. My mom is pretty much the same. Me...not so much. The last time I just "threw" things together it was bad. Very very bad. So needless to say I will stick to recipes that work and I will glean from those around me and find more ideas and ways to keep my family well fed. (my husband claims to enjoy the taste of burnt bread and is to kind)

All that to say....if I post a can bet it's easy and will be hard to mess up :)

Here we go!


Friday, March 26, 2010

The Spaniard Salad

There seemed to be a theme of mexican foods going so I thought I would continue it with a salad. Easy and very low calories, only 319. This is another recipe you can adjust the ingredients to make for 2 or for a large party.

3 Corn Tortillas
1 pd chicken (or you may use ground beef)
1 pkg taco seasoning mix
2 tomatoes, diced.
6 cups shredded lettuce
2 green onions sliced
1 can black olives, drained
1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup fat free thousand island dressing

Optional: If you want to add some spice, you can add hot chilies of your choice.

Oven set to 350.
Cut the tortillas into strips and place on a cookie sheet. I would recommended using butter or cooking spray before placing them on the sheet as they will stick as the brown and will break easy. Cook strips until lightly brown. You may have to shift them on the sheet to get all sides.

Cook chicken and add taco seasoning mix according to the packet. Combined separately lettuce, tomatoes, green onion, olives and kidney beans. Add chicken, tortilla strips and thousand island. Toss altogether and its ready to serve.


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Cake recipe.. sharing one and in need of one..

So, Nova's birthday is coming up and I am expecting somewhere between 40 and 50 people. I have decided to make three cakes:

1. Traditional Danish birthday cake - will share my recipe below

2. Red Velvet cupcakes - In desperate need of a good Red velvet recipe

3. A Lightning McQueen cake - as he is having a Car's themed birthday, I hate themes, but my sister started it and I don't see any other way now.. I also need a good recipe for the inside of this cake

so anyone feel like sharing their favorite Red Velvet recipe and base cake recipe..In return ill share the Danish version of a birthday cake..

Danish Layer Cake

First you need to prepare the layers, you need:
8 eggs
8 tbsp sugar
8 tbsp flour
2 tsp baking powder

Separate the eggs and whip the egg whites until they form peaks. Whip the egg yolks with sugar until creamy. Add the whipped egg whites and the flour and baking powder gently to the egg yolks. Bake the mixture in a springform on 350' for 40-45 minutes. Take it out turn it upside down and leave to cool. Slice the cake in 3 slices.

Now for the filling:
there is really artistic freedom when you make this layer cake I will share our favorite:

1 small pack of pudding
Whipping cream ( some people mush up raspberrys through a sieve and add to the whipped cream to make it pink.
Vanilla essence
Bananas (change for any fruit you like)
Chocolate chips
Marzipan or almond paste

Prepare the pudding as per package, whip the cream with a little vanilla essence and a dash of sugar, cut the banana in slices and the pineapple. Roll the Marzipan into a sheet to cover the first layer.

We usually do this configuration:

Bottom layer:

Middle layer:

Chocolate chips

Top layer:
Whipped cream
Choc chips and bananas



Nova's first birthday cake - I kept it simple..

Wanted to show you the inside of it..

A cake I made for my sister last year..

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Quesadilla - Katie's way

We all make quesadillas. So, this is nothing special, just my quick and easy way to make them. It's a favorite of mine for a quick lunch.

Here are my ingredients:

Mission flour tortillas
Kraft or Sargento Mexican blend shredded cheese
La Victoria green taco sauce (medium)
La Victoria red taco sauce (medium)
Tapitio hot sauce (if you're brave)
A container of the Just Chicken - breast strips from Trader Joes cut into small pieces

And here's how it goes together:

Microwave on high for 1 minute to 1 minute 10 seconds...or until cheese is nice and melted. You can peek between the tortillas to check.

I do think it would be fun if we all shared how we make quesadillas, just to see how different we all are. So, if you're inclined, please share!

Bon Appétit!


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Taco Soup

Taco Soup

4 cans of Beans (be creative and choose your favorites - Black Beans, Kidney, Pinto, etc.)
1 can Tomato Soup
1 can Tomato Sauce
1 big can Chopped Peeled Tomatoes
1 packet Taco Seasoning
1 can Corn
1 1/2 lb Ground Beef browned (I like to cook with onions)

Do not drain any of the cans.
Mix everything together in a large pot.
Cook Ground Beef in a frying pan. Add browned Ground Beef to large pot.
Cook until soup is bubbling.

Tortilla strips

*You can also make it with Chicken instead of Ground Beef!


Friday, March 19, 2010

Easy Lemon Pork Loins

I learned this dish years ago and probably have made it well over 100 times. Its an extremely easy dish to make and you will never forget it. You can make it for 2 people or 10 or more. This is a recipe that I don't measure so you can adjust the ingredients as much as you like.

You will need:

Pork Loins (as many as you want to cook)
Lemons - 1/2 a lemon per loin and have an extra for juice
Onion - 2 rings per loin
Brown Sugar

Thats it!

Preheat oven to 425.
Place pork loins in baking dish. Cut lemons and onions into rings. Place lemon slices directly on top of loins. Squeeze extra lemon over entire dish to add some juice. Then stack onion rings on top of lemons. Sprinkle brown sugar over whole dish. And top with ketchup. I just make pretty lines about 1/2 inch apart over complete dish. Cover with foil. Place in oven for 45 minutes. Or until throughly cooked.

You can adjust the ingredients to taste after making this dish for the first time. If you want more lemon taste, add more lemons. You can do the same with onions. Add more or less. The taste of the dish will change with the adjustments. More brown sugar will give it a more intense taste. Feel free to try with chicken too.



"Cooking has always brought me a happiness that I didn't think was available. I just fire up the stove, and things start to fade away." - Paula Deen

I could not agree more with that quote. No matter how bad of a day I have had, getting in the kitchen and getting my hands dirty creating a dish seems to make all the bad things disappear. I have always found great inspiration in the kitchen. I am Kassandra, a 26 year old Southern California girl with Spanish and Irish heritages running through my veins. Currently engaged to be married this October to a wonderful man who has three daughters who are 17, 13 and 7. I love large families and cant wait to start adding additions to our family. Call me nuts. I grew up in a family that gathered in the kitchen to cook meals every day. My great grandmother was an artist in the kitchen. I don't recall ever seeing her measure out ingredients and her creations were to die for. As you will see in most of my recipes, I don't have an exact measurement for ingredients as I have taken on her inspiration but I will try my hardest to give you the exacts.
I make home cooked meals 5-6 times a week to keep my family healthy. I believe its the most health way to live nowadays. I am always looking to create and find new inspirations so I really hope you all enjoy this blog as much as us ladies.

Till Next Time....


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Nova's Pancakes

Nova is my son, he loves anything made of starch, when Eggo had their disaster last year I decided that something he eats every single day, should not come out of a box, but instead be crafted from scratch by his mommy.

These pancakes are very easy to make, come out delicious and are very low in fat..

You will need:

2 cups flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
3 tbsp sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups non-fat milk
2 tsp vanilla powder (can be bought at Ikea or substitute with 1 tsp alcohol free vanilla essence)

Dump everything into a bowl and whisk only to combine ingredients, maybe 30 seconds. Split batter into two batches and add nuts, berries, chocolate chip, or whatever you please to the second batch. Use a 1/8 cup or similar to measure out the batter for each pancake and fry on a non-stick pan with NO butter or oil used for cooking - they come out much better this way.

These pancakes freeze beautifully and can be reheated in a toaster-oven in 4 minutes from frozen.



A danish perspective..

When Katie told me she was creating this blog, I was overly excited! This is something that I have wanted to do be part of for some time.. My name is Stephanie, I am the mother of a two year old boy and the wife of a American husband with Sicilian roots, so lasagna is a big deal in our house. I came to this country almost 2 years ago from Denmark, a place that has a very different food culture than the US.

My relationship with American food is diverse, I love it, loathe it, am in awe at how courageous people are with experimenting with cooking and simultaneously disgusted at what I call the american way of assembling a meal from ready made products (Chili does not come out of a can - it comes out of a very yummy and delicious smelling pot on the stove..) I will contribute here with my take on some classic American dishes, my love for VERY spicy food - especially Thai inspired stuff, and with some low-fat versions of well-know dishes. I love hearing what people have done with my recipes and where improvements can be made!


- Stephanie

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Balsamic Chicken and Peppers

30 Minutes Start to Finish - and absolutely delish!

Balsamic Chicken & Peppers
Serves 4

4 Skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (about 1 1/2 lb.)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
4 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
1 Yellow bell pepper, seeded and sliced
1 Yellow onion, large thinly sliced
3 Garlic cloves, minced
3 Tablespoons Balsamic vinegar
1/4 Fresh basil, minced
1 Tablespoon Fresh thyme, minced

1. Cook the Chicken
Season the chicken generously with salt and pepper. In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, warm 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the chicken and cook, turning once, until golden brown, about 7 minutes total. Transfer to a plate.

2. Cook the Vegetables
Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil to the same pan over medium-high heat. Add the bell peppers and onion and sauté until softened, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute.

3. Finish the Chicken
Add the vinegar and half of each the basil and thyme and stir, scraping up the browned bits on the pan bottom. Return the chicken and any juices from the plate to the pan, spooning the peppers over the chicken. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the chicken is opaque throughout, 2-3 minutes. Stir in the remaining basil and thyme and season to taste with salt and pepper. Divide among 4 plates.

Great side dish with this entreé:
Roasted potato wedges. Cut russet potatoes into wedges, toss with olive oil, salt, pepper and a little garlic salt. Roast in a 375* oven until tender, about 30 minutes

Bon Appétit!

Welcome to Dishcraft!


I am Katie, a 29 year old, married (it'll be 4 years tomorrow!) mother of 2 toddlers living in the greater Los Angeles area of Sunny Southern California. I have a 3 year old daughter and a son who will be 2 in just as many weeks. I love to cook, I don't love the clean-up, but I love the consumption. Gathering around the kitchen table for a meal has been something I've done with my family since before I could remember. Both of my grandmothers are amazing cooks (no matter how much my grandma now says she hates to cook) I vividly remember eating their meals as a kid (even my grandpa's delicious green beans made with bacon, YUM). I learned a ton from watching my mother cook, I do credit her with being the reason I realize the importance of home cooked meals, and now I enjoy cooking for my family. I prefer to know where the food going into the bellies of the ones I love most, came from. Don't we all?

I've been working on my own "cookbook" on for the last 6 months or so. I say cookbook in quotes because I am not a creator of recipes, what I'm doing, is taking pictures of my meals and putting all of the recipes and photos, both ones I inherited from my grandmothers or my aunt, ones I've acquired over the years, and ones out of my many cookbooks. To make my life easier, I am putting every recipe I love and frequently use, into one cookbook, which should make my cooking life easier. I plan to pass my book down to my daughter in the future. I thought it would be fun for her to have all the recipes I made for our family as she was growing up. And so, I decided to name my "cookbook" Dishcraft. I've searched Amazon, there is no other cookbook out there called Dishcraft, so this is an original name for a cooking blog/recipe place, and I'm darn proud of it! There is a Dishcraft blog without the "its" in front of it, but it's dormant. Yay. Hope it stays that way. So that's the story behind the name.

So anyway, a few weeks ago I was asked to be a contributing writer of a cooking blog that another wonderful friend of mine put together and I thought that the idea of having multiple contributors was a great idea. I am not a talented enough chef to pull off a cooking blog on my own. I have run a message board, of wives and moms, most of whom love to cook, for the last year and a half, and we are always sharing recipes and meal ideas, asking for recipes and things to bring to a party, so I decided to put this blog together with a few of my lovely girlfriends who are scattered around the country and happen to not only be wonderful people, but have wonderful taste in food! Here, we will share recipes for anything and everything relating to the kitchen. From food to gadgets, anything that makes our lives as culinary goddesses as easy as possible.

Happy cooking!