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

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Homemade Macaroni and Cheese

This is a recipe given to me by my aunt. She has made it for years, and I have no clue where she got the recipe. It's a favorite of mine, but for obvious reasons, I don't make it too often. My kids love it, then again, what kid doesn't love mac and cheese?


1lb box of large pasta shells
1/2 cube of butter
1/4 cup of flour
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
2 cups of warm milk
8 oz block of Tilamok medium cheddar cheese (I do 4 oz medium 4 oz sharp - up to you)
1/4 teaspoon tabasco sauce
Pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 350*. Grate cheese. Cook noodles according to package. Warm milk in microwave for about 2 minutes or until warm. Drain noodles when done.

In a medium sauce pan, melt butter, add flour when frothy. Stir. Add milk and stir. Add cream, stir for a couple minutes. Add desired amount of pepper, tabasco and grated cheese. Stir until everything is well combined, thick and hot, but not bubbly.

Put noodles in a shallow casserole type dish, pour cheese sauce over noodles and mix well. Cover with foil and bake at 350* for 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.

Stir and enjoy.

Chef's notes: This is one of those recipes you can easily play with. I add more then 8 ounces of cheese. I probably do more like 9 oz, I love cheese and think the cheesier the better! I also add closer to 1/2 tsp of tabasco. My kids don't mind spicy, but its easy to over spice this with the tabasco, so just be careful. You can taste it to see how the spice is and add as you like.

Bon Appétit


Jello Cake

This cake has probably shown up at cookouts long before I was born, so I apologize if everyone already has the recipe tucked away somewhere. The cake is new to me though and I think it's the perfect summer cake.


Package of white cake mix (2 layer style)

4 oz. package of Jello Gelatin- I think Strawberry is the best

1 cup of boiling water

1/2 cup of cold water


4 oz. Jello Vanilla Pudding Mix

Tub of Cool Whip (thawed)

1. Make cake mix as directed, in a 13 x 9 pan. Let cake cool, completely.

2. Mix the gelatin package with boiling water until dissolved. Pour in cold water.

3. Using a fork, poke holes all over the cake- I usually poke every half inch. Pour the gelatin mixture all over the cake.

4. Refrigerate the cake for at least 3 hours.

5. Prepare the Vanilla Pudding mix as directed and mix it into the entire tub of cool whip. Frost the cake with the mixture.

Make sure to serve the cake chilled. Sliced fruit also makes a great topping!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Citrus Chicken Fajitas

I was at a loss on what to make (happens to most of us, right? Right?) with chicken. We eat a lot of chicken. It's a staple here. I go to Sam's and buy the chicken breasts in the huge bag. Multiple bags, actually. ;)

Anyway, here's the recipe for an easy, fast, Mexican dinner. It's not a perfect recipe as I just threw it together one night.

Chicken Breasts, sliced into thin strips
Orange Juice
Lemon Juice
Minced Garlic
Red and Green pepper sliced into thin strips

Put the chicken breasts in a container covered with orange juice, lemon juice, cumin, salt, and pepper. Cover and refrigate. Overnight is best, but you can also do it for a few hours, at least 3.

Heat a large skillet pan over medium to high heat. Spray with nonstick whatever you use. Stir fry garlic, then add chicken. Cook chicken, then add peppers. Add the rest of the marinade, until it's almost gone.

It goes great with rice, beans, and fresh pico de gallo.



Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Taco Pizza: Shocking Toddler Favorite

The grown ups liked it too :)

I used a pillsbury pizza crust...just rolled it out.
Cooked the dough at 400* partially (like 8 minutes) before layering it with:

1st layer: Refried Beans
2nd layer: Diced tomatoes
3rd layer: Taco Meat (ground beef and a taco seasoning packet)
4th layer: Shredded Cheese
5th layer: Diced Olives

(I added a 5th layer of pizza sauce but honestly I did not like it, I would rather have left it what you want...if you do add it then put more cheese on top!)

Cooked it for 10 minutes until the cheese was melted

While it was still warm I dropped dollops of sour cream on top, once they sort of melted with the warmth of the pizza I spread it around lightly (so as to not mess up how pretty it all was)
Then I added a layer of shredded lettuce.

Options: add salsa, a dollop on each slice. add broken up frito's to the top.

Here's a picture of my 14mo old son devouring it. I expected him to turn up his nose but he ate two slices!


Jamie (and Judah)

Baking with Blueberries

I've been baking a lot. With blueberries.
Without further ado...the recipes:

Blueberry Scones:
2 cups all-purpose flour1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt2 tablespoons sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut in chunks
1 cup heavy cream, plus more for brushing the scones
1 cup fresh blueberries
Lemon Glaze:
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 lemon, zest finely grated
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.Sift together the dry ingredients; the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Using 2 forks or a pastry blender, cut in the butter to coat the pieces with the flour. The mixture should look like coarse crumbs. Make a well in the center and pour in the heavy cream. Fold everything together just to incorporate; do not overwork the dough. Fold the blueberries into the batter. Take care not to mash or bruise the blueberries because their strong color will bleed into the dough.Press the dough out on a lightly floured surface into a rectangle about 12 by 3 by 1 1/4 inches. Cut the rectangle in 1/2 then cut the pieces in 1/2 again, giving you 4 (3-inch) squares. Cut the squares in 1/2 on a diagonal to give you the classic triangle shape. Place the scones on an ungreased cookie sheet and brush the tops with a little heavy cream.Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until beautiful and brown. Let the scones cool a bit before you apply the glaze.Technically you should make this simple lemon glaze in a double boiler (i.e. over a pot of simmering water with a heatproof bowl set on top) but it's even simpler to zap it in the microwave. Mix the lemon juice and confectioners' sugar together in a microwave-safe bowl. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Add the lemon zest and butter. Nuke it for 30 seconds on high. Whisk the glaze to smooth out any lumps, then drizzle the glaze over the top of the scones. Let it set a minute before serving.

Blueberry Pie

3/4 cup white sugar - or less depending on the sweetness of your berries
4-5 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
a dash of lemon juice
5 cups fresh blueberries
1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch double crust pie
1 tablespoon butter
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (220 degrees C).
Mix sugar, cornstarch, salt, and cinnamon, and sprinkle over blueberries.
Line pie dish with one pie crust. Pour berry mixture into the crust, and dot with butter. Cut remaining pastry into 1/2 - 3/4 inch wide strips, and make lattice top. Crimp and flute edges.
Put tin foil around edges of crust.Bake pie on lower shelf of oven for about 50 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.

Crockpot Mexican Chicken

I'm almost ashamed to post this for my first post on this blog because it's so easy, but it's really that good. When I was telling Katie about this, I told her that it's so easy that Audrey could pretty much make it - aside from the can opener... I really don't know what this is called, but I got it from a friend and it's amazing! We'll call it Crockpot Mexican Chicken for now...

Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts (4-6)
1 Can of Black Beans
1 Can of Corn
1 Jar of Salsa (I used Pace Picante in Medium, but for kids you may want to use Mild)
(see, it's that easy!)

Throw all the ingredients in the Crockpot.
Turn on High for 3 hours.
When done, chicken is easy to shred or cut with a fork.

I usually serve it as a soft taco, so I get cheese, tortillas, tomatoes, sour cream, guacamole, etc.

We also had Spanish Rice on the side and chips and guacamole.


Chicken with Green Bean Casserole

A yummy, cheesy, and simple comfort-food casserole.


4 Chicken Breast Halves (Boneless/Skinless) or a few tenderloins
1 (10.5 oz) can of condensed cream of chicken soup
3/4 cup of mayo- I always use the Olive Oil kind (could substitute sour cream)
1 tsp. garlic powder or fresh garlic if it's available
Bag of grated Parmesan Cheese (I don't use exact measurements)
2 cans of French-style Green Beans (drained)

~ Preheat oven to 350
~ Heat oil (I use olive oil) in a skillet and brown the chicken on each side. You do not need to cook them through.
~ In a small bowl mix together the soup, mayo, garlic, and some of the cheese (I use about 1/4 the bag).
~ Pour green beans into casserole dish or 13 x 9 glass pan. Line chicken on top. Pour mixture all over dish- covering chicken and green beans. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top. (I use the whole bag of cheese, but you can use less to make the dish a bit healthier.)
~ Bake uncovered around 35-45 minutes until chicken is cooked through. The cheese will be brown and bubbly.

I normally serve over brown rice, but mashed potatoes would be good as well.

Enjoy, Sarah

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Cheese Tortellini Salad

Cheese Tortellini Salad

Cheese Tortellini (I used the double pack from Costco)
Bernsteins Italian dressing
Olive Oil
Julienne sliced Sun Dried Tomatoes
Fresh Basil
Crushed Red Pepper
Parmesan Cheese

Cook the Tortellini per instructions on the package. Strain it. Once the Tortellini is room temperature add Bernsteins Italian dressing (I used the whole bottle for my double pack of Tortellini), a little Olive Oil (helps keep the pasta from sticking to each other), Salt & Pepper, Sun Dried Tomatoes, Fresh Basil, a little crushed Red Pepper, and some Parmesan Cheese. Refrigerate until ready to be served.

* I do not have exact measurements. Just put in how much you want and what looks good. It is really simple and great for summer BBQs!



Thursday, June 3, 2010

Simple Pork Chops

10 pork chops
salt and pepper
honey barbecue sauce
one large onion finely chopped,
large pan for baking.

Put about one inch of water in bottom of pan, add a layer of chopped onion in water, then salt and pepper pork chops on both sides. Place pork chops on top of onion, then add a few onions on top of pork chops. Add water to cover.
Bake at 450°F about 1 hour. When nearly done, remove from oven (I poured the water out at this point...) and pour honey barbecue sauce over meat evenly. Return to oven for about 3-5 minutes on broil or long enough to brown barbecue sauce.
Serves 8-10 people.

I used this recipe and only cooked 2 pork chops, they were VERY thick...and they were Grass Fed CSA Pork Chops...which means there is no preservatives/salt in the meat which means you don't need to cook it nearly as long as store bought meat. I cooked them for about 40 minutes and they were plenty well cooked. I think cooking them in the water was a good way to go since they were so thick. I used a meat thermometer and made sure they got to about 160degrees...I didn't want to over cook them since it was my first time cooking grass fed meat.

This was a simple recipe and super delicious. The meat was tender and moist and the flavor was great cause I used Sweet Baby Ray's Honey BBQ sauce and that stuff is divine!