Monday, June 29, 2009

Product Review

Keith and I made a pact awhile ago to try new things. Every week we attempt to try one new thing we have previously never had, or been scared to try or whatever. And it's been awesome, we've been enjoying so many things that we've been missing out on, and Mairi of course loves anything LOL so she benefits from it as well.

A few weeks ago while grocery shopping, I spotted this jar of Tikka Masala. I was like, hmm, that looks good and healthy and nice to have for the times I don't want to cook or whatever. I grabbed it, bought and promptly threw it in the back of my cupboard.

Keith busted it out tonight, and made a FABULOUS chicken and quinoa dish (we are obsessed with quinoa, did you know it's like BREASTMILK? and you all know how i feel about that :P It's a complete protein with an essential amino acid balance close to breastmilk!) and wow. Now I want to make it, and so shortly I'll be trying out a recipe for it, but in the meantime, if you come across this, great to have in your cupboard. Next time I'm going to use it to grill out kebobs, mmmm.

There are a bunch of other simmer sauces from this line too and I can't WAIT to try more!! Which one should I try next? Madras? Probably too spicy for me, but maybe I'll try it (should have when I was preggo with Eli and he made me love all things spicy!) I'm leaning towards Korma, coconut curry sauce-I'm a big fan of coconut lately! OH but Jalfrezi is coconut too, just a bit spicier, hmm.

Seeds of Change Simmer Sauce, Tikka Masala

Product Details:

Certified organic. With tomatoes & cream. A mild curry sauce that's top-of-the-charts in the UK. USDA organic. Founded in 1989, Seeds of Change directly contributes 1% of net sales to advance the cause of sustainable organic agriculture worldwide. Some say it was the work of Pakistani chefs in England, others that it was the unintended consequence of an irate cook in Glasgow, and still others that it's a shining example of post-colonial fusion cuisine. Whatever the truth behind the invention of Tikka Masala, we say it's simply delicious - one of the world's most popular Indian curries. Served up here with an artful blend of the finest organically-grown spices, sourced and selected as only Seeds of Change can. So call it post-colonial fusion cuisine. Call it a happy accident. Whatever the case, just don't call us late for dinner. Certified organic by QAI.


Tomato Puree (Organic) [Water, Tomato Paste (Organic)], Tomatoes in Juice (Organic), Water, Onions (Organic), Heavy Cream (Organic) [Milk (Organic)], Sunflower Oil (Organic), Evaporated Cane Sugar (Organic), Tapioca Starch (Organic), Cilantro (Organic), Sea Salt, Cumin (Organic), Garlic (Organic), Coriander (Organic), Lemon Juice (Organic), Ginger (Organic), Paprika (Organic), Cayenne Pepper (Organic).

Thursday, June 25, 2009


Made this today and mmm it was GOOOOD. Not cornbread for REAL, per se, but a really nice bread anyway.

2 1/2 c. bread flour
1/3 c. cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons shortening (i used butter)
2/3 cup milk
2 tablespoons water
1 large egg
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
Put all ingredients into bread machine or follow your user's manual. Select correct bread cycle and crust color, then press start.

Bready Bread Bread

We are having quite a love affair with breads, dough, rolls-it it can be made in our breadmachine, we are addicted.

However as always, I'm striving to make our carb-intake one filled with nutrition without compromising taste.

So far I've been using bread flour, just to get the hang of the machine. However it's pretty nutritionally useless, and so the time has come to kick it to the curb.

Here is what I found in my research of all things bread, I hope it helps some of you out as well.

What matters in making bread is the protein content of the bread. Anything lower than 11% isn't recommended. (The brand I am referencing from here on out is King Arthur-while I assume most flours would be roughly the same, do your own research if you prefer a different brand to make sure)

Bread flour: 12.7%

All Purpose: 11.5%

White Whole Wheat: 13.2%

Cake Flour:
7.0% protein

So I am very excited to try my beloved organic white ww flour and see what happens :) Not to mention some flax, wheat germ, sunflower seeds, and any other whole grain goodies I can get my hands on, mmm.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Summer Frosting

For Father's Day we made Keith chocolate cupcakes. I wasn't in the mood for the heavy buttercream frosting though, I wanted something a little lighter.

So I tried whipped cream frosting, and it was really, really delicious. Def. very light and summery!

Whipped Cream Frosting

1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup chocolate ganache
Cocoa powder, to dust

mix up your ganache, then beat your cream till it almost reaches firm peaks (if you beat it till it reaches firm peaks, it will take on a curdled appearance as you work in the chocolate.)

Chocolate Ganache Filling

1 c. semisweet chocolate chips

1/4 c. heavy cream

1 tsp. vanilla extract

(i made all this ganache and then filled the cupcakes with what I didn't use for the frosting-otherwise maybe halve this if just using for frosting)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Neapolitan Cupcakes

I made these when preg with Eli, and they were a big hit with my family. I thought they were pretty easy to make and very different, but overall I'm just a plan vanilla cupcake kinda girl ;) or double chocolate. It's gotta be extreme, HA!
Neapolitan Cupcakes

(for the cupcakes)

*makes 12

1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup whole milk

For Chocolate Cupcakes: Reduce flour to 1 1/4 cups, and add 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder.

(for the frosting - Strawberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream)
*i did NOT use this frosting-I used my other strawberry frosting*

4 large egg whites
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup unsalted butter(2 sticks)
1/3 cup strawberry jam


(for the cupcakes)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a standard 12-cup muffin pan, or use paper liners.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
3. With an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition; add vanilla, and mix until combined.
4. On low speed, beat in half the flour mixture, followed by milk; end with remaining flour mixture. Mix just until incorporated (do not overmix).
5. Fill muffin cups with 3 tablespoons of each batter, side by side.. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a cupcake comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Cool cupcakes in pan, 5 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

(for the frosting - Strawberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream)

1. Put egg whites and sugar into the top of a double boiler over a pan of simmering water. Whisking constantly, cook until sugar has dissolved and mixture is warm (about 160 degrees).
2. Pour heated egg whites into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat egg white mixture on high speed until it forms stiff (but not dry) peaks. Continue beating until fluffy and cooled, about 7 minutes.
3. Switch to the paddle attachment. With mixer on medium-low, add butter two tablespoons at a time, beating well after each addition. Increase speed to medium-high; continue beating until frosting appears thick, about 3 min
4. Reduce speed to low; add strawberry jam and continue beating 2 minutes to eliminate air bubbles.

Sugared Violets

This is kind of a random recipe, but I thought I'd share.

A while ago a friend told me about doing this and so Mairi and I did as well. It was so easy, and really fun, and half craft/half cooking, LOL. They tasted sweet, Mairi loved the sugar, hahaa and we put them on cupcakes.

Sugared Violets

All you need is egg white, and superfine sugar. You just dip the violet in the egg white, (you can also use a little brush, to paint it on, as the violet sometimes folds up on itself when you dip it.) Then dip it in superfine sugar, (or sprinkle it) and voila

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Chicken Bruschetta Bake

Another WW recipe. Really good, basic, comfort food. I don't LOVE this, I find it kinda boring actually, but Keith and Mairi ask for it all the time.

Chicken Bruschetta Bake

  • 2 boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup mozz cheese shredded
  • 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 (6 ounce) package chicken stuffing mix
preheat oven to 400
Saute chicken with spices, onion and garlic until lightly browned, but not cooked through.
Place chicken in a casserole dish and sprinkle with cheese.
In a bowl, mix tomatoes and stuffing mix, until stuffing mix is moistened.
Spread stuffing and tomato mixture over chicken and cheese.
Bake for 30 minutes.

Perfectly Chocolate Frosting


1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
2/3 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Melt butter.
Stir in cocoa.
Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency.
Add small amount additional milk, if needed.
Stir in vanilla.
About 2 cups frosting.

Hershey's Perfectly Chocolate Cake

I've tried quite a few cake/cupcake recipes, and this continues to be the best one ever, so I'm sticking with it. I don't usually make cake-esp since discovering silicone muffin cups :D Also, again, I use the dark chocolate cocoa.


  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water

Heat oven to 350°F.
Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.
Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl.
Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes.
Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin).
Pour batter into prepared pans (cupcake tin/cups)
Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost with "PERFECTLY CHOCOLATE" CHOCOLATE FROSTING. 10 to 12 servings

CUPCAKES: Line muffin cups (2-1/2 inches in diameter) with paper bake cups. Heat oven to 350°F. Fill cups 2/3 full with batter. Bake 22 to 25 minutes. Cool completely. Frost. About 30 cupcakes.

If making cupcakes, this makes a LOT, so I always halve it. Too many cupcakes=bad. :P

Chocolate PB Hearts

So a while ago I ran into a dilemma. At first I was discouraged by this challenge, but once I embraced it fully, I was pleasantly surprised.

The dilemma was this. I am a food lover. However my tastes were never cultivated much beyond crap. Esp as I became aware of exactly how much crap is in "mainstream" food, and what it does to your body. There was no way I was going to put it in my children's bodies, and thus I had to change my habits as well. I never want to be a "do as I say not as I do" type of parent, or person in general.

The GOOD news is that there is not ONE product I have discarded b/c of crap ingredients that I have not found a better, more natural/whole alternative to, that is so far superior in nutrition, health and TASTE that I think I must have been crazy to ever even enjoy the substandard version.

But the bad news is that sometimes it takes a while (and a lot of attempts!) to find the ONE THING that is the aforementioned.

One of my life long love affairs has been with reese's peanut butter ANYTHING. I did not like any other kind of knock off pb chocolate growing up-not palmer's, not uncle scooter's, nada. Always and only reese's.

So when mainstream candy bars went off our lists, I was worried. Holidays were marked by the arrival of reese's limited edition candies. PB pumpkins, PB heart, PB christmas trees...Reese's even came out with a PB BAT in honor of Dark Knight O_o. Keith and I almost couldn't handle it the day we saw a Reester Bunny at Walmart. (I still like to say that though, hehe)

I tried a lot of pb organic chocolate stuff. Newman's. Endangered Species. Other tried and true brands that just could NOT fill the void left in my heart (and thighs...) by the removal of Reese's from my life.

And then one day, something magical happened. Someone posted a recipe and I wrote it down and thought "eh, that's too simple to be that great, i'll try it someday". I finally tried this recipe, and I almost swooned. FANTASTIC, and I have no more love for Reese's, ever. I can use cookie cutters and make my own holiday shapes, thankyouverymuch.

I realize this is a very long-winded intro to this recipe, but really, if y'all KNEW how tight Reese's and I were at one point, well, then I guess you'd know ;)

Without further ado, the most delish chocolate pb candy recipe ever. And it's easy too. Life is good, no? :D

Chocolate Peanut Butter Hearts

1/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

Mix it all together with your hands.
scrape your hands clea
Press the mixture into a heart-shaped cookie cutter...
Put them in the freezer for ten or fifteen minutes, until they're nice and firm.
Meanwhile Melt some chocolate. I used maybe half a bag of 60% cacao chocolate chips, and melted them in the microwave at half power in thirty-second intervals, stirring in between, until they were smooth.
Dip just the bottom half of the heart, sort of gently scraping off the excess on the edge of the bowl as you lift it out
stick them back in the freezer for a couple of minutes. Give the chocolate another 30 seconds in the microwave so it stays nice and fluid.
Dip the top halves of the hearts.
Ta-da! Put them in the fridge for a bit this time, just to set up a little.

Chili DIP

I absolutely have to follow my chili post with the recipe for chili dip, if you can even call it a recipe LOL. It's so freaking good though, it's usually how we eat our chili :) And it's great to take places b/c it is so easy-you can obviously buy canned chili or wendy's chili (not that i have ever done that...) and it's under 5m to make a yum dip.

Chili Dip

8oz cream cheese
1 jar chili, or homemade chili
8oz shredded cheese (cheddar, pepperjack etc)

spread room temp cream cheese on bottom of casserole dish
cover with chili-if using homemade, use as much as you like :)
cover with grated cheese, again to your taste
put in oven 350 til warmed through, ~15-20 and cheese is melted
serve with chips, pitas, whatever!


I love this recipe. I think we eat it weekly. It's cheap, nutritious, easy and most importantly, DELISH!!! I actually found this as a WW Core recipe a while ago. I tweak it to death, so I'll start out with the straight up recipe for those of you that roll like that, then I'll share what I usually do :)


4t olive oil
2 chopped onions
2 chopped peppers
3-4 cloves minced garlic
3/4lbs ground meat
1T chili powder
2t cumin
1t oregano
1/2t coriander
15oz diced tomatoes
1 can pinto beans
1 can kidney beans
1/2t salt
pinch pepper

heat oil
saute veggies, and garlic ~15m
add meat ~5-7m
stir in spices
add tomatoes, beans, salt and pepper
reduce heat
simmer ~20m

so easy, no?

first of all, this makes a LOT. so i usually scale it down. however it only gets better a day or more old, as chili usually does.
i do not make mine with meat anymore. Keith and I are trying to eat vegetarian a few days a week-healthier and cheaper :) Win win! and it challenges me to be creative too, in terms of taste and nutrition both!

When I make it, I use 2 onions (the whole onion whore thing, remember?) and 1 pepper.
I don't measure the OO. I just drizzle it in the pan.
I cook the spices with the veggies, it makes them tastier IMO. I also don't use 2 cans of beans, just one can of organic "chili beans", as seen above. No measuring of the spices either, heh. I just shake away. I also add a dash of cayenne b/c I'm a freakbag like that :P I still add a whole 15oz can of tomatoes-good for you!

Product of the Week

Tonight Keith brought me home something new to try from Weg's, and I fell in love. I used to be a big iced tea drinker (snapple, etc) until we stopped eating junk aka HFCS. I am also a HUGE fan of acai ANYTHING, it has such a different taste that is so good and refreshing. BUT I am not a green tea fan, so I wasn't sure about this. However it is amazing and I"m hooked. Try it and lmk what you think!

Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas

This has been one of our most fave recipes for a long, long time. Mairi loves it too. We are big fans here of onion, pepper, and sour cream :) I also am a big fan of recipes in which you just throw it all together, mix it up and have a meal. So easy. One thing I will say is that we are kind of afraid of Velveeta. We used to make it with Velveeta, but now we use an organic salsa con queso on top instead and it's just as good and easier than melting velveeta LOL

Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas

***Filling: ***
4 skinless boneless chicken breast, cooked and diced
3/4 cup mild salsa
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1/2 large yellow onion, diced
2 cups mexican blend shredded cheese (cheddar/jack)
1 cup sour cream
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon paprika
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon dried cilantro
1 cup cubed velevetta cheese (or other processed cheese)
1/2 cup milk

in Large bowl mix: filling ingredients thoroughly Fill 8 large flour tortillas with this mixture, roll them up and place Iin sprayed/greased casserole dish


In microwave safe dish combine cheese and milk.

Microwave on high, stopping to stir often, until cheese is melted and sauce is smooth (it has a tendency to boil over) pour cheese sauce over enchiladas covering completely spread a little more salsa over cheese sauce cover in foil and bake at 325: for 45-60 minutes, remove from oven and remove foil and allow to stand for 10 minutes

Wegman's Meatloaf

This was something I made that keith hated. doesn't happen often, LOL, but he hates meatloaf. normally i'm not a fan either, but mairi and i tried a sample of this @ weg's one day and loved it. so they had the recipe there, and i got it and made it. it was good, mairi really enjoyed it and she's not a beef fan (me neither, i usually use gr.turkey for everything, but meatloaf felt like it needed meat LOL)

Wegman's Meatloaf

1 lb Lean Ground Beef
2 Large Eggs
1/2 cup Chopped Onions
2 Tbsp Basting Oil (could just use OO IMO)
4 1/2 Tbsp Memphis Style BBQ Sauce, divided
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 1/4 cups Panko

preheat oven to 350

Combine beef, eggs, onion, basting oil, 2 1/2 Tbsp BBQ sauce, salt, and pepper in large bowl. Add panko crumbs. With clean hands, combine beef mixture well and form into loaf shape. Center on baking sheet.

  1. Bake 30 min; remove from oven and top with remaining 2 Tbsp BBQ sauce. Return to oven. Bake 25-30 min or until internal temp reaches 160 degrees. (Check by inserting thermometer halfway into thickest part of meat.) Serve with warmed gravy.

I did not use gravy.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Peanut Butter Icing

I had never made this before, but I'm not a fan of the usual vanilla icing, so I thought I'd try this and DELISH!!!

Peanut Butter Icing

  • 4 teaspoons water
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter
Stir together the water, sugar, and peanut butter until smooth.

"Oreo" Cookie Bread

This was so amazing. We took it to Mairi's school for the end of the year party today and it was gone in like 5 seconds LOL We made icing to go with it (vanilla and pb, though the pb was def. the best IMO) We used newman o's not oreos though (the organic version of oreos)

Oreo Cookie Bread

3/4 cup milk
1 egg
3 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups bread flour
1 1/2 teaspoons yeast
3/4 cup Oreo cookies (crushed)

Bake according to manufacturer's instructions.
Adding the Oreos during the raisin-bread cycle.
Or five minutes before the final kneading is finished (this was after 40m for me)
Slice and serve with ice cream, or coat individual pieces with icing and store in refrigerator.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Strawberry Ice Cream

Basic, yummy, quick

Basic Strawberry Ice Cream

1C milk or half and half
1C cream
1/2C sugar
1/8t salt
1t vanilla
1C mashed strawberries

combine, follow ice cream maker directions

Chocolate Ice Cream

For ice cream makers, my basic no cook chocolate ice cream. When I first got my ice cream maker, we tried some of the recipes that require you to "cook" the batter, and use eggs and stuff. Too involved, takes too much time etc.

This is a great recipe, fast, easy, good a variety of ways (esp with peanut butter on the side...:D) I use dark cocoa b/c i don't like milk/regular chocolate much anymore-and did you know when you eat dark chocolate, you only need a tiny amount to satisfy a craving? But eating any other kind intensifies your craving and you need a lot more. It took a little bit to "change" my tastes to really love dark chocolate, but now there is no going back!

Chocolate Ice Cream

3T cocoa (i use dark)
3T sugar
1C cream
1/2C half and half
1t vanilla

whisk together, pour in, follow ice cream maker directions

Pumpkin Muffins

Mairi is a huge fan of pumpkin. So on the weeks I don't make pie, I make these :)

Pumpkin Muffins

1 1/2C flour
1t baking powder
1 1/4C pumpkin
1/3C oil
2 eggs
1 1/2t pie spice
1 1/4C sugar
1/2t baking soda
1/2t salt

mix pumpkin, oil, eggs, spice, sugar, soda and salt til smooth
mix flour and baking powder
add to pumpkin mix
mix til just combined
pour in muffin tins
bake @ 350 ~20m

Pumpkin Pie

More from Andrea :P This is mairi's fave thing in the entire world, i usually make her every couple of weeks, and she devours it. I use a premade organic whole wheat crust.

Pumpkin Pie

3 large eggs
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 1/4 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups pumpkin

Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees.
** After putting pie into oven turn heat down to 350 degrees
I pour all ingredients into my food processor and blend for 2-3 minutes. Pour into unbaked pie crust. Bake for 60 - 70 minutes or until knife inserted halfway between center to edge comes out clean.
Simplistic isn’t it! Definitely healthy and it comes out beautifully every time.

* How to cook a pie pumpkin: Cut pumpkin in half - stem to bottom, scoop out seeds. Pour 1/2 cup of water on baking sheet, set pumpkin halves in water - cut side down. Bake at 350 until very soft. Scoop out flesh.

original recipe:

Morning Glory Muffins

I'm on a roll-another Andrea recipe :D

Morning Glory Muffins

1 cup sugar
2 1/4 cups flour ( I do 1c. white and 1 1/4c. whole wheat)
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 cup molasses
1 cup grated carrots
1 apple grated
8 oz. crushed pineapple - drained
3 eggs
1 cup oil
1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup pecans broken into small pieces -optional


Sift together the first six ingredients in a medium bowl.

In a separate bowl whip eggs, oil, and vanilla.

Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Add the carrots, apple, pineapple and nuts. Mix well.

Pour into greased or papered muffin tins. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. The muffins might need a few minutes longer to bake should you use a muffin tin with an over-sized cup.

original recipe link:

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yet another Andrea recipe-she swore these would be the best ever, and after I tasted them, I realized she was amazing, LOL.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cream together:

1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
(I use all turbinado, but you could use half white/half brown)

Add and then beat until fluffy:

2 eggs
2 Tablespoons hot water
2 teaspoons vanilla

Sift together and add:

3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda

Now, add that whole bag of chocolate chips

Bake at 375 degrees for 11 minutes, add time if you like your cookie more done. I prefer mine a bit undercooked.

original recipe:

Taco Bake

Another Andrea recipe, so easy, so yum.

Taco Bake

1 pound ground beef or turkey
1 package of taco seasoning
3 cups baking mix
1 cup milk
1 small green pepper - diced into small pieces
2-3 tomatoes - thinly sliced

Mix together and set aside:

1 cup sour cream
1 cup shredded sharp cheese
2/3 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup onion finely chopped ( 1 small onion)

Cook the meat along with the taco seasoning and 1/2 cup water. Set aside when done.
Mix the baking mix with the 1 cup of milk and press into a 9×13 greased pan. Make sure to press up the sides a bit with the dough
Spread the seasoned meat over the dough.
Sprinkle the green peppers over the meat,then lay the tomatoes over top of the peppers.
Spread the cheese topping over the tomatoes evenly.

Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes, or until edges start to brown slightly.

original post

Cream Puffs

Another Andrea recipe. Delicious.

Cream Puffs

First you need to make the Pastry Cream because this needs to chill.

In your mixing bowl beat on high speed until thick and pale yellow (about 2 minutes):

1/3 cup sugar

2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 Tablespoons cornstarch

4 large egg yolks

While your eggs etc. are getting a good whipping combine in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer (you’ll be adding the egg mixture into this pan so make sure it’s big enough):

1 1/3 cups milk

1 vanilla bean ( I skip the v. bean)

Gradually pour one-third of the hot milk into the egg mixture, stirring to combine. Scrape the egg mixture back into the saucepan and cook until custard is thick. Stir constantly!! Cook until for 45-60 seconds after the mixture is thick and bubbly. Remove from heat. Add in:

1 teaspoon vanilla (can add a little more if you like vanilla!)

stir the pastry cream for a few minutes to cool it down a bit. Once it isn’t piping hot anymore, lay a piece of saran wrap over the top to prevent that nasty skin from forming. Chill.

Okay, now you need to work on the Choux Paste

Put into a medium sized saucepan:

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup water

8 tablespoons butter , cut into 8 pieces

1 Tablespoon sugar

3/4 teaspoon salt

Bring this mixture to a full boil, stir frequently. As soon as the butter is melted, pour in:

1 1/2 cups flour

Stir vigorously until the flour is completely incorporated. Keep stirring for another 30 - 45 seconds until the dough forms a ball and the bottom of your pan has a light crust. Remove from the pan and place in your mixing bowl.

Immediately add in, one at a time, 5 eggs . Mix on low speed until incorporated and then add the next one. When you are finished you should have a shiny, smooth dough.

Place this dough in a pastry bag with a 1/2 inch tip - or if you don’t have one - use a ziploc bag that you cut the corner off to make a half inch hole. Shape your dough into puffs on an ungreased baking sheet.

Bake for 15 minutes at 400 degrees. Reduce your oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 10-20 minutes more - the puffs should be golden and very firm to the touch.

Remove and cool on a cooling rack.

Now the chocolate sauce. This sauce absolutely makes the Cream Puffs.

In a double broiler (or a metal bowl atop a pan with a couple inches of boiling water in it) combine:

6 oz bittersweet or semi sweet chocolate (Use something good - you won’t regret it!)
6 Tablespoons water, milk, or fresh coffee

Remove from the heat once this is melted and smooth. Stir in:

6 Tablespoons unsalted butter (Don’t use the salted kind. Blech!)

1/4 cup powdered sugar - or until it’s sweet enough for you

Continue to stir until perfectly smooth.

Okay… the putting together of your Cream Puffs.If you don't have a pastry bag, then cut puffs in half, fill with cream, and then put the puff back together. If you had a pastry bag you could pipe the cream into the puff.

Once you’ve filled the puffs and placed them on your serving platter, drizzle the chocolate sauce over the top. Absolute deliciousness!

original recipe on Andrea's site with awesome pics:

Flour Tortillas

MANY of my most fave ever recipes are courtesy of my friend Andrea-we've known each other since preschool, and the girl can COOK!!! I automatically know if she posts a recipe, it's kick ass, she's that awesome.

Here is her flour tortilla recipe, which was a bit time consuming but YUM. Feel free to visit her blog @

Flour Tortillas

1 batch makes around 8 tortillas - I always do a double batch because, why not?)

Two cups flour (I use 1 cup whole wheat and 1 cup of white)
1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon of salt
2 teaspoons of vegetable oil
3/4 cups of warm milk


Flour, baking powder, and the salt in a medium size bowl.

While you are mixing the dry ingredients together, warm up the milk and oil over a medium heat.

Slowly add the warm milk mixture to the flour mixture.

Stir until a loose, sticky ball is formed.

Knead on a lightly floured surface until dough is firm and soft.

Place dough in a clean bowl and cover with a clean towel. Let rest in a warm place for 20 minutes.

After the dough has rested, break off sections, roll them into balls, place on a clean surface (make sure they aren’t touching) and then completely (seal them off) cover the dough balls with plastic wrap for 10 minutes. (It’s very important to let the dough rest, otherwise it will be like elastic and won’t roll out properly.)

After the dough has rested, one at a time place a dough ball on a well oiled surface.

Use the heel of your palm to gently press it into a circle, and then roll with a rolling pin from the center until it’s a thickness you like.

Mine are about 10+ inches in diameter. The smaller you roll the tortilla the chewier it will be.

I re-oil the counter about every third tortilla - otherwise they tear when lifting them off.

In a non-greased cast iron pan or a stainless steel pan, heated to a medium temperature (mine is perfect at around “4″)(make sure your pan is fully heated before you place your first tortilla in, otherwise it will tear), cook the tortilla for about 15 seconds on each side.

It should start to make puffy bubbles when it’s ready to be flipped.

Using a metal spatula start at an edge, lift carefully, and gently flip the tortilla. Go slowly to avoid ripping the tortilla

Make a stack on a cookie sheet and cover with a clean towel until all tortillas are cooked.

You can store the tortillas in a ziploc bag, refrigerate for up to 3-4 days.

see the original recipe on her blog, with play by play pictures. i'm not that cool, no pics here LOL

Skillet Lasagna

Another WW recipe, one of my fave things to eat EVER, I make it all the time.

Skillet Lasagna

lb ground meat (i use only ground turkey)
1 small onion chopped (i really use a couple onions b/c i am an onion whore :D )
3 cloves of garlic, minced (i use the minced jarred garlic b/c i’m lazy like that)
1 can diced tomatoes, undrained (i usually use the 28oz big can)
1 1/4C water
8oz tomato/pasta sauce ( i tend to put a bit more in, b/c i use extra veggies etc)
1T parsley
1t basil
1t oregano
1t salt
2 1/2C whole wheat pasta (i use whatever i have-usually a mix of penne and the curly kind LMAO)
1C FF ricotta (but if you aren’t doing weight loss, feel free to use regular ricotta LOL)
1/4C parm cheese
dash of basil and pepper (optional)
1 egg
shredded mozzarella

1) in large skillet, brown meat with onions and garlic, drain if you need to

2)add diced tomatoes, water, pasta sauce, parsley, basil, oregano and salt

3)stir in uncooked pasta

4)bring to a boil, stir occasionally.

5)reduce heat, cover and simmer 20 minutes or until pasta is done

6)combine ricotta and parm cheese

7)sprinkle in basil and pepper to taste

8)drop cheese mix by rounded T onto pasta mix.
****i do not “drop”, i just mix it into the pasta.
****i also do not use the egg, you can mix it into the ricotta cheese mix, but i don’t like that idea, so i never do it LOL

9)cover and cook for 5min more

10)sprinkle with mozz cheese and serve. i personally just mix a bunch of mozz in b/c i love cheese :D

Brownie Frosting

amazing frosting for brownies or eating by itself on a spoon, whatever :)

Brownie Frosting

3T butter
3T cocoa
1T honey
1t vanilla
1C confectioner sugar
1-2T milk or cream

beat softened butter til fluffy
add cocoa, honey, vanilla
beat in sugar and milk gradually, adding milk for desired consistency/taste

Best Brownies EVER

These are amazing, that's all I can say.

Best Brownies Ever

2 sticks butter
3oz cream cheese
2C sugar
1t vanilla
1C flour
3/4C cocoa (i use dark)
1/4t baking powder
1/2t salt
3/4C nuts

cream butter, cream cheese and sugar til fluffy
add eggs and vanilla
combine flour, cocoa and salt in small dish
gradually add BY HAND to wet ingredients
stir in nuts

325 ~30 min

let cool, frost with brownie frosting if so desired

Blueberry Muffins

great recipe, we sub all variety of fruits with good results.

Blueberry Muffins

2C flour
1 1/2t baking powder
1/2t salt
2C blueberries
1 stick butter
1c sugar
1/2C milk
2t vanilla
1/4-1/2C vanilla yogurt (this is optional, i add it to make the muffins more moist)

preheat oven to 350
mix flour, powder and salt
toss blueberries w/ 1T flour mix
beat butter and sugar 3-5 min
add eggs one at a time, then vanilla
gradually add flour mix
add milk/yogurt til *just* combined
add blueberries

bake for ~15m

Oreo Bread

I'm making oreo bread tonight (well, newman o bread really, b/c we don't eat oreos :D)

I am very excited about this, but not quite as much as mairi is, haha! not sure if i'll ice it or pair it with some homemade cookies and cream ice cream. hmmm.

if it is good, i'll share the recipe :D


Another hold-over from our Atkins days. Carb-free meatballs, and I love them more than any other meatball recipe I've ever tried. Mairi eats about 4-5 at a time, LOL. Great for meatball sandwiches, spaghetti and meatballs, whatever. They also freeze wonderfully. I have some in my freezer at all times for something quick and easy and nutrious for Mairi.


2lbs ground meat (we only use gr.turkey)
1/2C diced onion
2t garlic powder
1T parsley
2 eggs slightly beaten
1/2C parmesan cheese
4T water
2T oil
2t salt
1/2t pepper
1/2t nutmeg (optional)
2t italian seasoning
2C stock

fry onions in oil
mix all ingredients BUT stock
let sit 10 min
roll into 2T sized balls
bring stock to boil
reduce heat to medium
put meatballs in stock, cover
simmer 30min, turning every 10min

Buffalo Chicken Chili Mac

This was a staple when pregnant with Eli. It's a Rachel Ray recipe that Krysten intro'd me too, THANK YOU. So, so much.

Buffalo Chicken Chili Mac

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 2 pounds (about 4 to 6, depending on size) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into small bits
  • *note, I use precooked Wegman's frozen grilled chicken breasts, so that cuts down on work LOL*
  • 1 large onion, chopped (I use like 4 onions b/c we love them so very, very much)
  • 5 large cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika(i used regular if I don't have smoked, I also sometimes use 1T all seasons salt, that's my FAVE way!)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup hot sauce/buffalo wing sauce, depending on how hot you like it
  • 1 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 pound whole wheat elbow macaroni(i use any fusilli)
  • 1/2 cup pepper jack cheese
  • 1/2 cup blue cheese

  • Preheat broiler and place a large pot of salted water over high heat to bring up to a boil for the whole wheat macaroni.

place a large pot over medium-high heat and add EVOO, about 2 tablespoons.
Add the chicken and brown them, about 5-6 minutes.
Add the onion,, garlic, paprika or all seasons salt, bay leaf and some salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Cook the veggies, stirring frequently, until tender, 3-4 minutes.
Add the chicken stock and scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pot.
Add the hot sauce and crushed tomatoes, and bring up to a bubble.
Simmer the chili for 8-10 minutes to let the flavors come together and thicken it slightly.

While the chili is simmering, toss the pasta into the boiling salted water and cook until al dente according to package directions.
Once cooked, drain the pasta and toss it into the chili, then transfer everything to a casserole dish.
Sprinkle the cheeses evenly over the top and place it under the broiler until the cheeses have melted and the top is golden brown, 2-3 minutes.

Serve w/bleu cheese on the side (my fave is Wegman's Bleu cheese yogurt dressing, low in calories and fat and DELISH)

Pasta Carbonara

Oh this is evil, just so you all know. Very addictingly evil, to be quite clear. Don't say I didn't warn you. This recipe I got from Keri.

Pasta Carbonara

1 pound spaghetti
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 slices bacon, diced (I used one pound)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced (I used 1 tablespoon of minced garlic)
1/4 cup dry white wine (optional)
4 eggs
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 pinch salt and black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup heavy cream (optional)

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta.
Drain well.
Toss with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and set aside.

Meanwhile in a large skillet, cook chopped bacon until slightly crisp;
remove and drain onto paper towels.
Reserve 2 tablespoons of bacon fat;
add remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, and heat in reused large skillet.
Add chopped onion, sliced mushrooms, and cook over medium heat until onion is translucent. Add minced garlic, and cook 1 minute more.
Add wine (and cream) if desired;
cook one more minute.
Return cooked bacon to pan;
add cooked and drained pasta.
Toss to coat and heat through, adding more olive oil if it seems dry or is sticking together.
Beat eggs and cheese together.
Add beaten eggs/cheese and cook, tossing constantly with tongs or large fork until eggs are barely set.
Add salt and pepper to taste (remember that bacon and Parmesan are very salty).

Serve immediately with chopped parsley sprinkled on top, and extra Parmesan cheese at table.

Chicken Nuggets

We eat these at least once a week. This is just something I throw together, and it's impossible to mess up :D

Chicken Nuggets

cut as much chicken as you want into bite sized chunks, tenders, whatever.
pour panko or breadcrumbs into a bowl, with parm/romano cheese, and spices to your taste (i use garlic, parsley, oregano, whatever)
pour milk in a bowl

dip chicken in milk, then panko, put on greased cookie sheet
cook @ 35o for ~15m
I also sprinkle all-seasons salt on top

Honey Mustard

This is the most amazing Honey Mustard EVER. I so love it. It calls for lemon juice, not sure if that's to help make it last longer or what, but I have never used it. If you do, lmk the difference!

Honey Mustard

1/4C mayo
1T honey
1T whole grain mustard (i just use annie's organic regular)
1/2T lemon juice

mix all together, i usually triple it and mmm good on ANYTHING esp chicken nuggets that are homemade ;)

Deluxe Mac and Cheese

This is one of the most amazing things I've ever made. It's SO SO good, albeit LONG to make, but so worth it. And I am pretty sure it's one of those recipes that becomes easier the more you do it, I'll let you know ;)

Macaroni and Cheese with Caramelized Onions and Bacon

  • 1 (16 ounce) package elbow macaroni
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
  • 4 cups grated Asiago cheese (i used parm/romano)
  • 4 cups grated Vermont Cheddar cheese
  • 4 slices bacon
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large onion, sliced thin
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon brown sugar (i used raw sugar)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce ( i did not use this)
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil, add macaroni and cook for 8 minutes (noodles will still be slightly hard).
Drain noodles and transfer to a large bowl with 1/4 cup of butter and toss to coat.
Whisk together the sour cream, egg, and cream cheese; add to the pasta and mix well.
Stir in 3 cups of grated Asiago and 3 cups of grated Cheddar cheese, reserving the remaining 2 cups of cheese for the topping.

Place the bacon in a large, deep skillet, and cook over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until evenly browned, about 10 minutes.
Drain the bacon slices on a paper towel-lined plate and chop into small pieces.

Preheat an oven to 400 degrees F

Stir 2 tablespoons butter, the onion, and garlic into the bacon drippings in the pan and cook and stir for 2 minutes.
Reduce the heat to medium-low, and add the brown sugar.
Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 to 15 minutes until the onions are very soft and golden brown. Mix the cooked bacon, parsley, and panko breadcrumbs into the onions, transfer mixture to a small bowl and set aside.

Return the skillet to the heat and melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter over medium-low heat. Whisk in the flour, and stir until the mixture becomes paste-like and light golden brown, about 5 minutes.
Gradually whisk the milk into the flour mixture and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
Cook and stir until the mixture is smooth and thickened.
Stir in the ground mustard, paprika, salt, pepper, and hot sauce.
Remove sauce from heat and let cool for five minutes.

Pour the sauce over the macaroni mixture, stirring well.
Transfer to a greased 9x13 inch pan and sprinkle with the remaining 2 cups of Cheddar cheese. Top cheese with the onion breadcrumb mixture.

Bake in preheated oven until bubbling, hot and golden brown on top, about 30 minutes.

Chicken Cordon Bleu

Another fave recipe around here, we are big chicken fans if you haven't noticed ;)

Chicken Cordon Bleu

  • 6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 6 slices Swiss cheese
  • 6 slices ham
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
Pound chicken breasts if they are too thick. (i just slice reg. chicken breasts in half length-wise)
Place a cheese and ham slice on each breast within 1/2 inch of the edges.
Fold the edges of the chicken over the filling, and secure with toothpicks.
Mix the flour and paprika in a small bowl, and coat the chicken pieces.

Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat, and cook the chicken until browned on all sides.
Add the wine and bouillon.
Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes, until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear.

Remove the toothpicks, and transfer the breasts to a warm platter.
Blend the cornstarch with the cream in a small bowl, and whisk slowly into the skillet.
Cook, stirring until thickened, and pour over the chicken. Serve warm.

Stuffed Mushrooms

This was a fave when we did Atkins (no breadcrumbs/carbs) and continues to be a fave even long after Atkins :)

Stuffed Mushrooms

  • 12 whole fresh mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.
Clean mushrooms with a damp paper towel.
Carefully break off stems.
Chop stems extremely fine, discarding tough end of stems.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
Add garlic and chopped mushroom stems to the skillet.
Fry until any moisture has disappeared, taking care not to burn garlic.
Set aside to cool.

When garlic and mushroom mixture is no longer hot, stir in cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, black pepper, onion powder and cayenne pepper.
Mixture should be very thick.
Using a little spoon, fill each mushroom cap with a generous amount of stuffing.
Arrange the mushroom caps on prepared cookie sheet.

Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the mushrooms are piping hot and liquid starts to form under caps.

Onion Rings

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 egg
  • 1 cup milk, or as needed
  • 3/4 cup dry bread crumbs (PANKO!)
  • seasoned salt to taste
  • 1 quart oil for frying, or as needed
Heat the oil in a deep-fryer to 365 degrees F
***I do not fry things. I bake them and finish them off with a minute under the broiler, and you'd never know the difference IMO. So I baked these at 350 for about 15-20m and then broiled 1 min.***

Separate the onion slices into rings, and set aside. In a small bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt.

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 may be placed over a sheet of aluminum foil for easier clean up. 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 very well. Repeat with remaining rings.

Deep fry the rings a few at a time for 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove to paper towels to drain. Season with seasoning salt, and serve.


Just in case I didn't mention it previously, every recipe on here is one that I have personally made and tried. I am only going to share "tried and true" recipes-they are my fave. I hate just googling something and taking a risk if it's good or not. I far prefer to get recipes from people and their take/changes/tweaks etc.

Buttermilk Cornbread

Buttermilk Cornbread

  • 1/4 pound butter
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F . Grease an 8 inch square pan.
Melt butter in large skillet.
Remove from heat and stir in sugar.
Quickly add eggs and beat until well blended.
Combine buttermilk with baking soda and stir into mixture in pan.
Stir in cornmeal, flour, and salt until well blended and few lumps remain.
Pour batter into the prepared pan.
( as usual, i make corn muffins instead)
Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. (15-20 for muffins)

Garlic-Lemon Double Stuffed Chicken

This is one of our all-time fave recipes. It is so delicious, and really easy to make esp once you've made it over and over and over :) Also sometimes I make chicken nuggets with the breading recipe, just no filling. Also we only ever use panko (japanese breadcrumbs) and just spice our own.

Garlic-Lemon Double Stuffed Chicken

  • oil, for greasing pan
  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, cut into 1/2 inch slices
  • 1 (8 ounce) package Cheddar cheese, cut into 1/2 inch slices
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cups Italian seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated Romano cheese
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat a large, shallow baking dish with oil.

Butterfly each breast by slicing in half horizontally through the center, cutting almost but not completely through. Place one slice each of Cheddar and cream cheese in the center of each breast. Close again as if placing between the pages of a book. Set aside.

Pour milk into a shallow bowl. In a separate bowl, combine breadcrumbs and Romano cheese. Carefully dip each breast first in milk, then in breadcrumb mixture, patting lightly to firmly coat. Place breasts side by side in a single layer in pre-oiled baking dish, tucking edges under to seal.

Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in lemon juice and garlic, and drizzle evenly over chicken. Season breasts with garlic salt and paprika, if using. ( i use all seasons salt)

Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until no longer pink in center and juices run clear.

Tomato Basil Soup

This is yet another recipe where you can follow it exactly (I know a lot of people are most comfortable doing that) or you can play around with it, which is what I usually do. either way it's delish.

Tomato Basil Soup

  • 4 tomatoes - peeled, seeded and diced
  • 4 cups tomato juice
  • 14 leaves fresh basil
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • salt and pepper to taste
***Here's what I do differently: 1-2 28oz cans of diced tomatoes instead of the fresh tomatoes and juice. 1C water. 1/2 jar tomato sauce. also some onions and garlic.***

Place tomatoes and juice in a stock pot over medium heat. Simmer for 30 minutes. Puree the tomato mixture along with the basil leaves, and return the puree to the stock pot. (or canned tomatoes, water and sauce)

sautee onion in garlic ~15m
add to tomato mix
puree tom mix and basil
put it back in the pan w/butter and cream, salt and pepper. DO NOT BOIL.

Freezes wonderfully btw.

Sausage Gravy

Keith's a big fan of this. I think it's a PA thing, LOL. It's pretty good. I use Jones sausage, all natural, no funk and junk.

Sausage Gravy

  • 1 (12 ounce) package maple flavored sausage
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • salt and pepper to taste

  1. Place sausage in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until evenly brown. Remove sausage with a slotted spoon, leaving the drippings in the pan. Stir in the butter until melted. Add flour, and stir until smooth. Reduce heat to medium, and cook until light brown. Gradually whisk in milk, and cook until thickened. Season with salt and pepper, and stir in cooked sausage. Reduce heat, and simmer for 12 to 15 minutes. If gravy becomes too thick, stir in a little more milk.
  2. Make biscuits to go with it :)

Almond Joy Ice Cream

best thing I've eaten in my life, for serious. Mmmm. I usually halve the recipe, and it's a nice portion size for me, keith and Mairi.

Almond Joy Ice cream

  • 1 cup milk or 1/2 and 1/2
  • 1 (14 ounce) can cream of coconut (MUST be cream of coconut, NOT coconut milk, etc)
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups sweetened flaked coconut (i toast mine for max flavor, a few minutes)
  • toasted almonds (optional) i grind mine up in my magic bullet
  • dark chocolate chips, melted (maybe 1/4C)
Combine the milk and cream of coconut in the container of a food processor or blender, and mix thoroughly. Stir in cream and flaked coconut.

Pour into the container of an ice cream maker, and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions.

I pour the nuts in about 1/2 way through, and the chocolate too. I've done both ways-just drizzled the chocolate on top, and poured some in while it was making the ice cream. It hardens instantly, making kind of like chocolate "ribbons" in there. If you prefer liquid, drizzle chocolate syrup on it @ the end. So versatile and AMAZING.

Bread Machine Calzone

This was really good, Keith esp loved it, and Mairi as well-she made a mac and cheese calzone LOL and we had veggie ones.


  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon powdered milk
***i used 1T regular milk instead of powdered milk***
***make sure to put it in your bread machine with liquids first, covered by flour, then yeast last, liquid and yeast can't mix when measuring it out!***

To Make Dough: Place water, yeast, sugar, flour, salt and powdered milk in the pan of the bread machine, in the order suggested by the manufacturer. Select Dough cycle. After cycle is completed, roll out dough on a lightly floured surface.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Shape dough into a 16 inch by 10 inch rectangle. Transfer to a lightly greased cookie sheet, and spoon pizza sauce lengthwise down the center of the dough, followed by whatever ingredients you want and the cheese. Make diagonal cuts 1 1/2 inches apart down each long side of the dough rectangle, cutting to within 1/2 inch of the filling. Criss-cross cut strips of dough over the filling and seal edges with water. Brush top of calzone with melted butter.

Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 35 to 45 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes, then slice and serve.

*** i made 3 individual calzones instead of one big one***

Twice Baked Potatoes

This is a WW Core recipe that I LOVE, even though I'm not doing WW anymore.

Twice-Baked Potatoes
Serves 4

4 medium baking potatoes
1 tsp garlic powder
1/3 cup butter
1 onion, minced
½ cup sour cream
½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 tsp parsley

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Poke a few holes in potatoes with fork.
Bake potatoes 40 mins or until tender.
Slice off to ¼ of potato and discard.
Scoop out pulp of potato, leaving a thin layer of potato on skin.
Mash potato pulp.
Add Butter, garlic powder, and parsley and mix.
Saute onion until soft in skillet and add to potato mix.
Add sour cream and cheese (or reserve cheese to place on top of potato.)
Spoon mixture into potato shells and bake 15-20 minutes or until potatoes are heated through and cheese is melted.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Favorite Banana Bread

This is my tried and true go to recipe for just about anything. It's versatile, quick and GOOD. I usually make it into muffins, I'm not a loaf kind girl ;)

Quick Banana Nut Bread

1/3cups mashed very ripe bananas (2 large)
2/3cup sugar
1/4cup milk
3tablespoons oil
1/2teaspoon vanilla
2 2/3cups baking mix
1/2cup chopped nuts

Heat oven to 350ºF. Grease bottom of 9x5x3-inch loaf pan or I use muffin cups.
.Stir bananas, sugar, milk, oil, vanilla and eggs in large bowl. Stir in baking mix and nuts. *i usually add some chocolate chips at this point LOL* Pour into pan.
Bake 50 to 60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean; cool 10 minutes. Loosen sides of loaf from pan; remove from pan and place top side up on wire rack. Cool completely, about 2 hours, before slicing. Wrap tightly and store at room temperature up to 4 days, or refrigerate up to 10 day.

***less baking time for muffins of course, ~15min at most, watch them after 10min I'd say.

Filled Cupcakes

Ok this was kind of long and involved, although nice for a treat. I am going to link you directly to the original recipe, b/c it's got all sorts of nice pics and stuff. It's on the Food Porn community on LJ that I belong to, but you don't need a LJ acct or anything to check it out.

Strawberry Cupcakes

These are a Martha Stewart creation I believe. I didn't love them, Keith and Mairi did, but they love sweet no matter what LOL so take that for what it's worth ;)

For best results.... let butter and eggs come to room temperature before using and use pure vanilla extract.

Strawberry Cupcakes

3/4 cup fresg strawberrues, sliced in half
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspooon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 large egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


3 tablespoons fresh strawberries, pureed
1 cup unsalted butter
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 dash salt

  • Preheat oven to 350'.
  • In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt and set a side.
  • In a food processor or blender add strawberries and process until pureed.
  • Empty pureed strawberries into a 1/3c measuring cup and set aside. Add rest of strawberry puree to a small bowl and set aside to use in the frosting.
  • Using a electric mixer with bowl, cream butter on medium high speed until lightly fluffy.
  • Gradually add sugar and continue to mix until well blended. Reduce speed to low and slowly add one egg and egg whites and mix until lightly blended.
  • Add vanilla extract if using.
  • Mix together milk and 1/3c strawberry puree.
  • Alternate flour and milk mixture to mixer slowly ending with flour. Scrap down sides of bowl and continue to blend well.
  • Using a ice cream scoop or tablespoon, add batter to prepared muffin cups.
  • Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until lightly browned.
  • Cool cupcakes completely on a wire rack before adding the frosting.
To Make Frosting:

  • Using a electric mixer with bowl, add 1 cup butter (soften) and salt and blend on medium high until fluffy.
  • Reduce speed to low and add powdered sugar and blend well.
  • Add vanilla extract and 3TBS of the strawberry puree, blend well.

Chicken Wing Dip

Seems like there's many varieties and ways to make this-this is what I do, and Keith loves it-I think it's pretty good too, but I can only eat so much of it, it's kinda greasy and I don't know...good but I like it in a buffet eating it with a LOT of other stuff, not as a main course or anything. Keith disagrees :) Thanks to BETH for introducing us to this magical dip LOL

Chicken Wing Dip

2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup wing sauce of your choice (we use Frank's)
1 cup bleu cheese
2 cups diced cooked chicken
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

preheat the oven to 350
In a medium bowl, stir together the cream cheese and sauce until well blended. Mix in the bleu cheese, chicken and Cheddar cheese. Spread into a 9x13 inch baking dish
Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven. If oil collects on the top, dab it off using a paper towel. Serve with tortilla chips.

Turkey Club Bake

This is old school, I made this often when Keith and I were first married.

Turkey Club Bake

2cup baking mix (I use Arrowhead Mills)
1/3cup mayonnaise
1/3cup milk
2cups cubed cooked turkey
2medium green onions, sliced (1/4 cup)
6slices bacon, crisply cooked and crumbled
1/4cup mayonnaise
1large tomato, chopped (1 cup)
1cup shredded Colby-Monterey Jack cheese (4 ounces)

Heat oven to 450ºF. Grease cookie sheet. Stir baking mix, 1/3 cup mayonnaise and the milk in medium bowl until soft dough forms. Press dough into 12x8-inch rectangle on cookie sheet.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown.

Mix turkey, onions, bacon and 1/4 cup mayonnaise. Spoon over crust to within 1/4 inch of edges. Sprinkle with tomato and cheese. Bake 5 to 6 minutes or until mixture is hot and cheese is melted.

Quiche Lorraine

I was craving this SO hardcore the other day, and I was given this recipe by a friend. It was so delicious, and I also made some random changes when I made it again, noted at the end.

Quiche Lorraine

9 inch pie crust
(I used a premade organic ww pie crust i had in the freezer)
6 slices of bacon
1 onion, chopped
3 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).

Line pastry with a double layer of aluminum foil. Bake in preheated oven for 8 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 4 to 5 minutes more, or until crust is set. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). (Or if using premade crust, cook according to package instructions.)

Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Remove bacon from pan, crumble and set aside. Reserve 2 tablespoons bacon grease in skillet. Cook onion in reserved drippings until tender; drain and set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together eggs, milk and salt. Stir in bacon and onion. In a separate bowl, toss cheese and flour together. Add cheese to egg mixture; stir well. Pour mixture into hot pastry shell.

Bake in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until knife inserted into center comes out clean. If necessary, cover edges of crust with foil to prevent burning. Let quiche cool for 10 minutes before serving.

I also love to make these crustless in my silicone cupcake things. Mairi adores them like that, so easy to freeze and pop in the microwave for a quick breakfast or snack on a busy day. I also used a dubliner irish cheese in this and omg it was amazing. Peppers and onions are another fave vegetable here.

Sweet Oatmeal Bread

So far this has been a favorite, it was a very nice bread overall. We enjoy adding a lot of flax and wheat germ and other randomness (seeds, nuts, etc) to our breads, and I don't have any specific measurements for those, just add as you like.

Sweet Oatmeal Bread
(1.5lb loaf)

1/2C old-fashioned rolled oats
3/4-7/8C water
2T molasses
1T sugar
1t salt
2C bread flour
1 1/2t active dry yeast

Place all ingredients in bread pan, using the least amount of liquid listed in the recipe. Select LIGHT CRUST setting
Press Start

Observe the dough as it kneads. After 5 to 10 minutes, if it appears dry and stiff or if your machine sounds as if it's straining to knead it, add more liquid 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough forms a smooth, soft, pliable ball that is slightly tacky to the touch.

***I used delayed timer on this, and the min amount of water, and it turned out fine. I also liked the light crust a lot, it was a good change from the med crusts I have been doing***

Cinnamon Rolls

These were so good, very easy and Mairi really enjoyed helping make them as well.

Bread Machine Cinnamon Rolls

1C milk
1 egg
4T butter
3T sugar
1 1/2t salt
3 1/3C bread flour
2t dry active yeast

add to bread pan in order listed
use dough cycle

When cycle is done, place dough on floured surface. Knead dough about 1 minute, then let rest 15 minutes. Roll dough into a rectangle, about 15 x 10 inches.

1/4C melted butter
1/4C sugar
2t cinnamon
1/3t nutmeg
1/3 cup chopped and lightly toasted nuts (optional, i did not use these)

Spread 1/4 cup melted butter over dough to within 1 inch of edges, Then sprinkle 1/4 cup sugar, the cinnamon, nutmeg, and chopped nuts evenly over dough. Roll dough up tightly on long side. Press edges to seal and form into a 12-inch long, evenly shaped roll. With a knife or 8 inch long piece of dental floss, cut roll into 1 inch pieces. Place rolls cut side down into a greased 13 x 9 inch baking pan. Cover and let rise in warm, draft free place until double in size, about 30 to 45 minutes.

***sidenote: i personally mixed the sugar and spices all together and shook it out via a shaker. I have also heard it's even better to mix the butter, sugar and spices all together. I will try that next time and let you know. ***

Bake in preheated 375 degrees F oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in pan on rack for 10 to 15 minutes, then drizzle with powdered sugar icing made by combining 1 cup powdered sugar with 1 to 2 tablespoons milk and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla. Blend until smooth. If too thin or too thick, add more powdered sugar or milk, respectively, until desired consistency is reached. Cut apart and remove from pan.

***i do not like this traditional icing, I prefer a buttercream or cream cheese-so i made a vanilla buttercream for them, just added some butter to the icing mix***

Peanut Butter Bread

This was different, but very good. We used some jam we made in the bread machine on it, and it was awesome, and we also put some melted dark chocolate on it which was REALLY awesome. It's not overwhelmingly peanut-buttery at all, it's a mild pb flavor and everyone liked it a lot. Raw sugar is pretty interchangeable for white or brown sugar, so I used it below.

Peanut Butter Bread

9oz water
1 1/4t salt
2 1/4T brown sugar
3C bread machine flour
2t active dry yeast
1/2C peanut butter, room temp

*this recipe cannot be done on the delayed setting b/c you have to add the pb later in the cycle*

add ingredients in the order they are listed except peanut butter
select basic setting
select crust setting (we used medium)
press start/stop
add pb 40 minutes into the cycle, when display reads 2:20.

Banana Bread

This was an interesting recipe-I thought it was going to be "real" banana bread. It was not. It was a sort of regular bread with a mild, very very subtle banana flavor-almost unnoticeable. Very moist, and GOOD, just not a "sweet" bread, per se.

Banana Bread

1C milk
egg yolk
2T Olive Oil
3/4t salt
1 1/2T sugar
3/4C banana sliced thin
3C bread machine flour
2t active dry yeast

add ingredients in order listed
select basic setting
choose crust setting (i did medium)
press start/stop

Bread Machine tips

Here are some tips/tricks/ideas etc that I've picked up so far for bread machine usage. Hope they are helpful!

  • sweeteners are interchangable-ie sugar, molasses, honey, etc. I do not know about artificial sweeteners, just the whole food sweeteners. We use raw sugar only.
  • for delayed setting, it's not recommended to use a recipe with liquid milk or eggs. I have heard people do it anyway, and I probably will, I'm not really afraid of that, LOL
  • if you use whole wheat flour instead of white, you may need to add vital wheat gluten for more of a lift (not ww BREAD flour, just regular ww flour)
  • you can switch out butter and oil for each other

Velvet White Bread

We don't usually eat white bread-other than using it for our french toast bake, I can't remember the last time we've had it in the house. I wanted to start out with something super basic and easy when learning the ropes with my machine though, so this was my very first recipe. It was really good, even if I'm not a huge white break fan. M and K gobbled it right up, they aren't picky bread eaters at all (though they too prefer heartier breads as a general rule) ANY kind of fresh bread pretty much rules though.

Velvet White Bread

9oz med warm milk
2T Olive Oil
1 1/2 T sugar
1 1/2 t salt
3C bread machine flour
2t active dry yeast

add ingredients to bread pan in the order they are listed
select basic setting
choose crust (I did mine on the recommended medium)
press start/stop to begin

Bread Machine!

I found a bread machine for $3 at a garage sale a couple of weeks ago, and I have been SO in love with it. If you don't have one, get one! Mine is just some random Magic Chef one, but it's fabulous! Look on craigslist, keep an eye out at garage sales, you don't have to pay a fortune for one!

I'll be sharing recipes I've tried and my thoughts/my family's thoughts on the various kinds.


Welcome to my new recipe blog. I'm always being asked for my recipes, and I think they kind of get lost in my main blog. I love to cook, and bake, and I'm kinda ok at it ;) so I hope I introduce you to some new recipes that you and your family will enjoy!