Friday, November 26, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

I posted the recipe for our gravy and the icebox cake below (thanks Aunt Nancy!)


Icebox Cake

  1. Beat cream with mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form. Gently stir in vanilla.
  2. Spread 1-1/2 tsp. whipped cream onto each wafer; stack, then stand on edge on platter. Frost with remaining whipped cream. Sprinkle with garnish if desired.
  3. Refrigerate 4-6 hours. Cut into diagonal slices to serve.

White Wine Gravy

  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  1. While the turkey rests, place the roasting pan on the stove across two burners (if using a disposable roasting pan, scrape drippings and browned bits into a medium saucepan). Heat drippings over medium-high, scraping up browned bits, until thickened, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add wine; cook, stirring constantly, until syrupy, 5 to 6 minutes. Gradually whisk in flour, and cook, whisking constantly, until incorporated, about 1 minute. Gradually add 1 cup broth; cook, whisking, until flour is a deep caramel color, 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Gradually stir in remaining broth and 4 cups water. Bring to a simmer; cook, stirring occasionally, until gravy reaches desired thickness, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove neck and giblets, and strain gravy through a fine-mesh sieve; discard solids. Season generously with salt and pepper.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Holiday Cookies!!!

I made three batches of my favorite cookies to send out to family and friends for Thanksgiving... I'm pretty sure they'll arrive late but I figure better late than never!


Butter Pecan Cookies

Ingredients: **I double this recipe as it's a small batch.
  • 3/4 cup pecans
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup sugar, plus more for coating
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a baking sheet, toast pecans until fragrant, about 6 minutes. Let cool completely; finely chop.
  2. With an electric mixer, cream butter and 1/3 cup sugar until light, about 1 minute. Beat in vanilla, salt, and flour, scraping down sides of bowl, just until dough comes together. Fold in pecans.
  3. Separate dough into 12 pieces; squeeze dough to shape into balls. Roll in sugar. Place, 3 inches apart, on a baking sheet. Gently flatten with the bottom of a glass (reshape sides if necessary). Sprinkle with sugar.
  4. Bake until golden brown, rotating sheet halfway through, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle with more sugar. Cool cookies on a wire rack.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) Milk Chocolate Chocolate Morsels

  1. Preheat oven to 375° F.
  2. Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.
  3. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Coconut Macaroons

  • 1 pkg. (14 oz.) Angel Flake Sweetened Coconut (5-1/3 cups)
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 6 Tbsp. flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 tsp. almond extract

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease and flour baking sheets; set aside. Combine coconut, sugar, flour and salt in large bowl. Stir in egg whites and almond extract until well blended.
  2. Drop coconut mixture into 36 mounds, 2 inches apart, on prepared baking sheets, using about 1 tablespoonful of the coconut mixture for each mound.
  3. Bake 20 min. or until edges are golden brown. Immediately remove from baking sheets to wire racks. Cool completely. Store in tightly covered container at room temperature up to 1 week.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Amazing Pumpkin Bread

Ok, I think it's safe to say I found the most bad ass pumpkin bread recipe ever! I did break my favorite santoku knife while cutting the pumpkin so at least it was worth it, lol. I'll post the original recipe and note the changes I made at the bottom.

Pumpkin Bread

  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree *
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 3 cups white sugar
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour **
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda ***
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
* I baked then mashed a fresh sugar pumpkin, please see directions below.
** I increased the flour amount by 1/4 C. due to high altitude.
*** I used 2 tsp. baking powder

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour three 7x3 inch loaf pans.**** In a large bowl, whisk together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, water and sugar until well blended.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended. Pour into the prepared pans.
  3. Bake for about 50 minutes in the preheated oven. Loaves are done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
**** Please note: I don't have 7x3 pans so I used two 9x5 in. and increased the time to 65-75 minutes. The bread is very moist but the center should be set and not "goupy" before you remove it from the oven.

This is about the size of the pumpkin I used. I cut it in half, removed the stem, seeds and pulp, then wrapped the two halves separately in foil and baked at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 hours. You'll have to wait until it's cooled completely before you can peel the skin off. After you've removed the cooked portion of the pumpkin, mash it. This pumpkin is also known as a "Pie Pumpkin" so you could see either or at the grocery store.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Easy and Delish Lasagne!

Ok so I admit it, I totally suck at making lasagne, but the other night I found an awesome super easy recipe and it came out totally delish!!! I didn't take a photo of the dish until Joe had already devoured most of it so here's a generic lasagne photo to go with the recipe... enjoy!

No Boil Lasagne

  1. 1 Box, Barilla Lasagne No Boil Noodles
  2. 2 Large jars of Marinara sauce (I think it's 24 oz., I also used one with extra basil and garlic in it, try different flavors)
  3. 2 eggs
  4. 15 oz. Part skim Ricotta cheese
  5. 4 C. Part skim Mozzarella cheese, shredded
  6. 1/2 C. Parmesan cheese, grated
  7. 1 lb. 90% lean ground beef, cooked and crumbled
  8. 1 tsp. Basil seasoning
  9. 1 tsp. Oregano seasoning
  10. 1 tsp. Minced garlic

  • Preheat oven to 375°F and spray a 9x13x3-inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Brown the meat in a skillet over medium heat, drain.
  • Beat eggs in a medium bowl; stir in ricotta, 2 cups of mozzarella, Parmesan, garlic, and seasonings.

To Assemble:
  • Overlap sheets slightly when layering Lasagne. Lasagne will expand to the edges during cooking. Spread fillings to edges to seal in and cook the Lasagne during baking.

Layer in the following order:
  1. Spread 1 cup sauce on bottom of baking pan.
  2. Layer 4 uncooked Lasagne sheets, 1/3 of ricotta mixture, 1/2 of the browned meat, 1 cup mozzarella and 1 cup of sauce.
  3. Layer 4 uncooked Lasagne sheets, 1/3 of ricotta mixture and 1 1/2 cups sauce.
  4. Layer 4 uncooked Lasagne sheets, the remaining ricotta mixture and browned meat and 1 cup of sauce.
  5. Layer 4 uncooked Lasagne sheets, the remaining sauce and 1 cup of mozzarella.

  • Cover pan with foil and bake until bubbly, approximately 50-60 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 160°F.
  • Uncover and continue cooking until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes. Let stand 15 minutes before cutting.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Birthday Guacamole...

I got a local cookbook from my Dad and Step-mom for my birthday this year and one of the first recipes I tried was guacamole. It's now one of my favorites!

I figured I'll post the recipe since it's so yummy! I don't really measure anything, the recipe is pretty forgiving and you can't really mess it up. I also used cayenne pepper instead of Tabasco as I never keep Tabasco in the cabinet. Enjoy!


  • 4 Ripe Haas avocados
  • 3 Tbls. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper (depending on how spicy you'd like it - or 8 dashes of Tabasco sauce)
  • 1/2 C. red onion, diced
  • 1 Lg. garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 Lg. tomato, seeded and diced
  1. Cut avocados in half; remove pits and scoop flesh into bowl.
  2. Add lemon juice, cayenne, onion, garlic, salt and pepper to avocados.
  3. Using sharp knife, cut through avocados to dice.
  4. Add tomatoes mix well.
  5. Serve with blue corn chips for dipping.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Creamy, Cheesy Kale

My first time having kale and all I have to say is YUM! I found this recipe at our local grocery store and decided to try it out.... we paired it with some Trader Joe's Stuffed Salmon Belle Mer and it was totally yummy!!! Please give it a try, you won't regret it. I didn't have any cream on hand so I used all milk instead and it still came out pretty darn good.

Creamy, Cheesy Kale

  • 8 C. cleaned and chopped kale (about 2 bunches)
  • 3 Tbls. butter, divided
  • 2 Leeks, trimmed, cleaned and sliced
  • 2 Tbls. flour
  • 1/2 C. cream
  • 1/2 C. milk
  • 1/2 C. chopped Havarti cheese
  • 1/4 C. seasoned bread crumbs
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Lightly coat 1 qt. casserole with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Cook kale in lightly salted boiling water 3 minutes or until tender; drain and run under very cold water.
  3. In a saucepan, melt 1 Tbls. butter, add leeks and cook 5 minutes on medium-high.
  4. Add remaining 2 Tbls. butter, flour, cream and milk. Cook until thick, stirring often; remove from heat.
  5. Stir in kale and cheese, season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Spoon into prepared casserole; top with breadcrumbs.
  7. Bake 15-20 minutes, until golden and bubbling.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Yummy Banana Bread!

Banana Bread


  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature, plus more for pan
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup mashed very ripe bananas (aprox. 2 banana's)*
  • 1/2 cup fat free plain Greek Yogurt (or sour cream)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 1/4 cup milk chocolate chips
  • Cinnamon sugar mixture
*I freeze my banana's when they get too old to eat, when I'm ready to use them I defrost them and just throw them in the bowl, no need to mash after they've been frozen!


    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar; set aside. In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, and beat to incorporate.
    2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to the butter mixture, and mix until just combined. Add bananas, sour cream, and vanilla; mix to combine. Stir in nuts, and pour into prepared pan. Top with Chocolate chips.
    3. Lightly sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on top.
    4. Bake until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 1 hour 10 minutes. Let rest in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool.

    Sunday, July 25, 2010

    Valerie's Chipotle Chicken Salad

    There is a local grocery store here in town called Kaunes and they have the yummiest Chipotle Chicken Salad... which I have no idea how they make and at $10 for a half cup I set out on my own to make something similar and for much cheaper!

    Well it's not the same but it's pretty darn close and yummy! Here is my recipe for:

    Chipotle Chicken Salad

    1. 2 - 12.5 oz canned white chicken, drained (or 3 C. fresh roasted chicken)
    2. 4 oz can of diced green chiles
    3. Juice of one lime
    4. 2 celery stalks, diced
    5. 1/4 tsp. minced garlic
    6. 1/2 med. red onion, diced
    7. 1/8 tsp. black pepper
    8. 10-12 Tbls. mayo
    9. 1 tsp. chipotle seasoning**
    • Empty chicken into large mixing bowl and break up large chunks of meat into smaller pieces.
    • Add to chicken: green chiles, lime juice, celery, garlic, red onion and pepper; mix until combined.
    • Add mayo to chicken mixture, when well combined sprinkle and mix in chipotle seasoning.
    Makes Aprox. 3 1/2 cups salad

    **I use North of the Borders, Montezuma Chipotle Seasoning, it's slightly smoky with a mild spice. Ingredients are: Chipotle, red chile, garlic, salt, sugar, dextrose and citric acid.

    Thursday, June 10, 2010

    Pizza, Pizza!

    So I finally found a yummy homemade pizza crust recipe!

    I made this pizza a few weeks ago and wanted to post the recipe here so I don't have to worry about loosing the scrap piece of paper it's written on. The crust recipe is below plus what I put on this particular pizza in the photo, although you can use whatever combo you'd like. I really like red onions, gorgonzola cheese, walnuts and pears (no sauce) YUM!

    Margarita Pizza

    • Pizza crust (recipe below)
    • 1 ball of fresh mozzarella
    • 1 pkg. fresh basil, chopped
    • Basil - Tomato canned sauce
    • 1 fresh tomato thinly sliced
    1. Spread sauce onto pre-baked pizza crust.
    2. Top with sliced mozzarella, chopped basil and sliced tomato.
    3. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

    Pizza Crust


    • 1 pkg. dry active yeast
    • 1 C. warm water (110 degrees)
    • 2 C. bread flour
    • 2 Tbls. olive oil
    • 1 tsp. salt
    • 2 tsp sugar
    1. Mix yeast and warm water, set aside for 10 minutes.
    2. Beat flour, olive oil, salt and sugar into yeast mixture.
    3. Let rise for 30 minutes.
    4. Roll dough out on floured surface, place on pan and bake at 350 degrees for 5 minutes.
    5. Remove dough from oven and cover with your favorite toppings, bake for an additional 20 minutes until crust is lightly browned and toppings are cooked.

    Thursday, May 27, 2010

    Summer-ish Pumpkin Pie!

    I can't help it, I LOVE pumpkin pie and I simply can't wait until fall! So I caved in and made one tonight... yum! I posted both the crust and filling recipe below. Don't over mix the dough and it should be pretty easy to roll out. Add whatever designs you'd like with the extra dough, **I also usually precook the dough after rolling it out in the pie pan at 425 degrees for 5 minutes... this helps prevent the middle of your pie from having raw dough. Enjoy!

    Single Pie Crust

    1. 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
    2. 1/4 teaspoon salt
    3. 1/3 cup shortening
    4. 3-4 Tbls. cold water

    • In medium bowl stir together all-purpose flour and salt. Using hands, crumble in shortening until pieces are pea-size. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon cold water over part of the flour mixture; gently toss with a fork to mix. Push moistened pastry to side of bowl. Repeat moistening flour mixture, using 1 tablespoon of water at a time, until all of the flour mixture is moistened. Form dough into a ball.
    • On lightly floured surface, use your hand to slightly flatten pastry. Roll pastry from center to edges into a circle about 12 inches in diameter, lightly dusting with flour as needed.
    • To line pie plate: Wrap pastry around rolling pin. Unroll into a 9-inch pie plate or pan. Ease into pie plate without stretching the dough. Trim edges of crust to 1/2 inch beyond pie plate. Flute edge a desired.
    • **Bake in over for 5 minutes for 425 degrees.
    Pumpkin Pie

    1. 1 - 15 oz. can of pumpkin
    2. 1 tsp. cinnamon
    3. 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
    4. 1/4 tsp. ginger
    5. 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
    6. 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
    7. 1 - 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
    8. 2 eggs, slightly beaten
    9. 1 - 9" deep dish pie shell
    • Mix pumpkin and spices together.
    • Add remaining filling ingredients.
    • Mix slowly just until thoroughly mixed, pour into pie shell.
    • Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes, then reduce temperature to 350 degrees for an additional 35 minutes.
    • Thoroughly cool pie before serving.

    Tuesday, April 27, 2010

    Updated Meatloaf Recipe

    I've updated the previous recipe for meatloaf from January by changing the meat to a blend as it tastes so much better than just all beef. Plus my Mom use to make it with a blend and it was always oh so yummy. Also, make sure you use a meat thermometer since this recipe uses raw pork the entire meatloaf has to be fully cooked!

    Here's the recipe, let me know how you like it! I usually make it ahead of time and leave it in the fridge until I'm ready to bake.

    Momma's Meatloaf

    Ingredients -
    1. 1 1/3 lb ground meatloaf mix (even amounts of beef, pork and veal)
    2. 1 egg
    3. 1/3 C milk (I used 1/2 creamer and 1/2 skim)
    4. 1/3 C ketchup
    5. 2 Tbls. chopped scallions
    6. 1 Tbls. chopped garlic
    7. 1/2 C Italian bread crumbs
    8. 1 Tbls. chili powder
    9. 1/2 tsp worcestershire
    10. 1/4 tsp. pepper
    Directions -
    • Preheat over to 325 degrees.
    • Mix egg, milk and ketchup in a large bowl.
    • Mix scallions and garlic into the same bowl.
    • Crumble meat into mixture.
    • Add bread crumbs, worcestershire, chili powder and pepper, blend with hands.
    • Press mixture into bread pan and bake until thermometer reaches 160 degrees, approximately 45-60 minutes.

    Thursday, April 22, 2010

    Pan Seared Scallops

    Pan Seared Scallops

    • 1 lb sea scallops
    • 1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs (approximately)
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1 tablespoon butter
    • 1 lemon
    • Freshly grated romano cheese

    1. Roll scallops in bread crumbs.
    2. Put olive oil and butter in a large skillet; stir and heat until hot (med. high heat.)
    3. Add scallops, turning once, until browned on both sides (3-4 minutes); remove from heat.
    4. Halve lemon and gently squeeze juice over scallops, then sprinkle with cheese.
    5. Cover with a lid and let steep for 5 minutes to allow the flavors to mingle.
    **I served these with roasted red potatoes and steamed fresh veggies.

    Friday, April 16, 2010

    Carolina Crab Cakes

    My Mom found this recipe in a local paper and cut it out for me; it's ended up being one of my favorite recipes!

    I use two cold packs of Blue Star crab meat, usually one 6oz pack of Lump Meat and one 6oz pack of Claw Meat (the lump is more expensive.) They sell these at our local Walmart in the seafood section, so they should be fairly easy to find... any crab meat would be good though, I usually stay away from canned as it tends to have a lot of cartilage you'll have to pick out. I also place the crab cakes on a toasted whole wheat english muffin with a little cheese melted on top. Although, you could place the cakes on any number of things, salads are yummy too! Enjoy!

    Carolina Crab Cakes

    • 1 lb crab meat, picked free of shells
    • 1/3 C. crushed crackers (Ritz)
    • 3 green onions, finely chopped
    • 1/2 C. finely chopped bell pepper
    • 1/4 C. mayonnaise
    • 1 egg
    • 1 tsp. worcestershire sauce
    • 1 tsp. dry mustard
    • 1/2 lemon, juiced
    • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
    • 1 tsp. salt
    • Dash cayenne pepper
    • Flour, for dusting
    • 1/2 C oil (peanut, vegetable or canola)
    1. In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients, except for the flour and oil.
    2. Shape into patties and dust with flour.
    3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When oil is hot carefully place crab cakes in batches in pan and fry until browned about 4 to 5 minutes. Carefully flip crab cakes and fry on other side until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Serve warm with desired sauce.

    I usually chop green onions and keep them in the freezer for when I need them. It's rare that I use a whole package of green onions at one time so why waste them?

    Monday, April 12, 2010

    Chicken Wellington

    Chicken Wellington

    • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped broccoli, thawed, drained
    • 1 package (5.2 ounces) garlic-herb spreadable cheese
    • 1 package (17 1/4 ounces) frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed
    • 6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (2 pounds total)
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 cup plain dry bread crumbs
    • 1 large egg, slightly beaten w/ 1 tablespoon water
    1. Heat oven to 425°F. In bowl, stir broccoli and cheese to combine. Set aside.
    2. On lightly floured surface, roll out each pastry sheet to a 14 x 12-inch rectangle. Cut each sheet into 4 (7 x 6-inch) rectangles.
    3. Season both sides of chicken with salt. Spread 1/4 cup broccoli mixture over pastry. Place chicken on top. Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons bread crumbs. Brush egg mixture onto edges of rectangle; fold pastry over chicken. Press the edges to seal. Place seam-side down on ungreased shallow baking pan. Repeat with each chicken breast.
    4. With remaining pastry, using a small cookie cutter, cut out decorative shapes. Brush egg mixture over pastry packets. Place decorations on top of packets; brush with additional egg mixture.
    5. Bake at 425°F for 25 minutes or until pastry is golden and instant-read thermometer registers 160°F.

    Thursday, April 8, 2010

    Taco Hot Dish!

    **UPDATED 5/17/11**

    Tonight I made Taco Hot Dish... the original recipe I posted was a lower fat version however, I felt this may have left the dish a little too dry. I've changed the fat free items to either reduced fat or full fat and switched the Doritos to TIAS! chips which are healthier for you but don't lack in flavor. I usually pair this dish with sour cream and taco sauce. Also, make sure when you place the dish in the oven it's on the lowest rack, this way the crescent rolls actually cook.

    Taco Hot Dish

    • 1 1/4 lb. lean ground beef, browned & drained
    • 1 pkg. taco seasoning
    • 3/4 C. water
    • 16 oz. low fat sour cream + extra to serve on the side
    • 1 pkg. reduced fat crescent rolls
    • 1 pkg. Kettle brand TIAS! chips, crushed (whichever flavor your prefer or Doritos if you can't find Tias!)
    • 3 C. cheddar cheese
    1. Brown ground beef, drain and add taco seasoning and water, mix. Add sour cream to beef mixture.
    2. Roll and pat crescent rolls in 9 x 13" pan, sprinkle half of the crushed TIAS! chips on top.
    3. Pour beef mixture on top of crescent rolls and TIAS! chips. Spread 2 C. cheddar on top and top with remaining TIAS! chips. Sprinkle remaining 1 C. cheddar cheese.
    4. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

      Time For Easter!!!

      We had a great Easter this year, Below are some pics of what we had... recipes are below the pics.

      Cookies for the Kids!

      Wednesday, March 31, 2010

      Spinach Quiche

      I made a quiche last night and adapted it to our taste. Here is the recipe according to how I made it. I used both sharp and mild cheddar with a touch of jack, although you can use any cheese you want. I also used a blend of skim and whole milk, you can use skim all the way and still keep it even healthier. Add whatever vegetables you want and adapt it to your taste, keep the ratios the same and it'll come out perfect.

      Oh, I also made my own pie crust, just because I always have the ingredients on hand and it always taste better when you make your own. You can find the pie crust recipe here: CRUST.


      Spinach Quiche

      • 2 Tbls. smart balance butter or extra virgin olive oil
      • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
      • 1/2 small onion, chopped
      • 1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
      • 3 slices of ham chopped
      • 2 (8 ounce) package shredded 2% cheddar cheese (leave some extra to top quiche)
      • 1 (9 inch) unbaked deep dish pie crust
      • 1 C egg beaters, or 4 eggs beaten
      • 1/2 C skim milk
      • 1/2 C whole milk
      • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
      • salt and pepper to taste
      1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
      2. Bake pie shell for 8 minutes.
      3. In a large bowl mix egg beaters, cheese, milk, salt & pepper and Italian seasoning, set aside.
      4. In a medium skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Saute garlic and onion in butter until lightly browned, about 7 minutes. Stir in spinach and ham and spoon mixture into milk and egg bowl.
      5. Pour into pie shell and bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Sprinkle top with remaining cheese, and bake an additional 35 to 40 minutes, until set in center. Allow to stand 10 minutes before serving.

      Tuesday, March 30, 2010

      Nummy Nummy Pancakes!

      Finally found a yummy pancake recipe, bye bye Aunt Jemima!

      Buttermilk Pancakes

      • 2 cups all-purpose flour
      • 2 teaspoons baking powder
      • 1 teaspoon baking soda
      • 1/2 teaspoon salt
      • 3 tablespoons sugar
      • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten *
      • 2 cups buttermilk **
      • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus 1/2 teaspoon for griddle ***

      1. Heat griddle to 375 degrees. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar in a medium bowl. Add eggs, buttermilk, and 4 tablespoons butter; whisk to combine. Batter should have small to medium lumps.
      2. Heat oven to 175 degrees. Test griddle by sprinkling a few drops of water on it. If water bounces and spatters off griddle, it is hot enough. Using a pastry brush, brush remaining 1/2 teaspoon of butter or reserved bacon fat onto griddle. Wipe off excess.
      3. Using a 4-ounce ladle, about 1/2 cup, pour pancake batter, in pools 2 inches away from one other. When pancakes have bubbles on top and are slightly dry around edges, about 2 1/2 minutes, flip over. Cook until golden on bottom, about 1 minute.
      4. Repeat with remaining batter, keeping finished pancakes on a heatproof plate in oven. Serve warm.
      * I substitute the eggs with egg beaters. I believe it's 1/4 C for each egg, check the packaging.

      ** I make a healthier version of buttermilk by using skim milk. For every one cup skim milk mix in 1 Tbls. cream of tartar. Let sit 15 minutes.

      *** I also use a non-stick grill which allows me to eliminate the butter on the grill.

      Saturday, March 27, 2010

      Oh My Yummy Brie!

      So we've got two packages of brie in the fridge from various baskets we've received and I decided to try a new recipe using one of them. Oh my did it come out so yummy I thought my taste buds were going to explode!

      The original recipe is below, I didn't have puff pastry so I used approximately 8-10 sheets of phyllo with butter brushed on the inside and outside. I also didn't have any apples on hand and just served it with wheat pita bread. Although apples would be really yummy to pair with, I don't think I'd use a granny smith apple, those are fairly tart and the flavors of this dish are already pretty complete. Lastly, I didn't have pecans and used chopped almonds. Sheesh, should I bother posting the original recipe?


      Baked Brie with Pecans and Brown Sugar

      • 1-8 oz round of brie
      • 3 tbsp. brown sugar
      • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
      • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans
      • 1 sheet puff pastry (thawed)
      • Granny Smith Apples, sliced
      • Butter crackers or light crackers (for serving)
      1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
      2. Line a baking pan with parchment paper for baking. Spread out puffed pastry on a flat surface.
      3. In a separate bowl, mix pecans, sugar, cinnamon.
      4. Spread nut mixture onto the center of the pastry. Place brie atop the nut mixture. Fold pastry over the brie to enclose everything like a package and pinch the pastry closed so it is sealed. Flip pastry package over and place on baking tray with folds on the bottom.
      5. Bake in oven for about 20-30 minutes or until the pastry is browned and golden.
      6. Serve with crackers and sliced apples.

      Friday, March 26, 2010


      I made Gyro's for the first time last night and they came out pretty good. I used an Emeril's recipe for Greek Grilled Leg of Lamb... yum! We also got a little Easter present from my Dad and Val!!! Yummy cookies for desert!!! Thank you!

      Here's the recipe below... not to hard but takes some prep work... I already have the Essence in a small jar and keep in hand when grilling meat. I also paired the Gyro's with a baked potato.

      Greek Grilled Leg of Lamb: Gyros

      • 1 (4 to 5-pound) boneless leg of lamb, trimmed of visible fat
      • 5 cloves garlic, peeled and cut into 20 slivers
      • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
      • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
      • 4 cloves garlic, minced
      • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
      • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
      • 1/2 teaspoon salt
      • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
      • Essence, recipe follows
      • 16 pita breads
      • Tzatziki Sauce, recipe follows
      • Chopped tomatoes
      1. With a sharp knife, make 20 slits across 1 side of the lamb and insert the garlic slivers. Place in a large non-reactive dish.
      2. In a bowl, whisk together the oil, lemon juice, garlic, oregano, rosemary, salt, and pepper. Pour over the lamb and rub evenly across the surface. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate, refrigerated, for at least 2 and up to 6 hours, turning occasionally.
      3. Remove from the refrigerator and let come to room temperature. Season lightly on all sides with Essence. Brush a grill lightly with olive oil and preheat to medium heat.
      4. Remove the lamb from the marinade and place on the grill. Cook, turning occasionally until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees F for medium-rare, about 1 1/2 hours. Remove from the grill and transfer to a platter. Tent with foil and let rest for 12 minutes before carving.
      5. Thinly slice the lamb and place the meat in the center of the pita breads. Top with Tzatziki Sauce and chopped tomatoes, and serve.
      Essence (Emeril's Creole Seasoning):

      • 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
      • 2 tablespoons salt
      • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
      • 1 tablespoon black pepper
      • 1 tablespoon onion powder
      • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
      • 1 tablespoon dried leaf oregano
      • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
      1. Combine all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight jar or container.
      Tzatziki Sauce:

      • 1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and finely chopped
      • 1 cup plain yogurt
      • 1 tablespoon olive oil
      • 1 teaspoon lemon juice or white wine vinegar
      • 1/2 teaspoon salt
      • 1 teaspoon oregano
      • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
      1. In a medium bowl combine all the ingredients and chill for at least 1 hour to allow the flavors to marry.

      Monday, March 1, 2010

      Thai Night!

      So our new favorite restaurant here in town is called Thai Spice and oh boy is it good! They have amazing Coconut Cake and Masaman Curry... my favorite!!! So I went on a mission to try and find the best Masaman Curry recipe... this way I can bring one of my favorite parts of Wilmington with me wherever we go!

      So here is my best version at Masaman Curry Chicken, I recommend making it the day before, it tastes so much better after all the spices have soaked in and it reheats nicely. Pair with fresh Basmati rice.

      Masaman Curry Chicken
      **Mild Spice**

      • 2 Tbls. Extra virgin olive oil
      • 3 Tbls. Red curry paste
      • 1 (3/4 in. slice) Ginger, minced
      • 1 1 /4 lb. Chicken breast, cubed (1 in.)
      • 3 Tbls. Brown sugar
      • 3 Tbls. Oyster sauce
      • Juice of 1 large lime
      • 1-2 Tbls. Creamy peanut butter
      • 3-4 C. potato, peeled and cubed (1 in.)
      • 1 Large yellow onion, cubed (1 in.)
      • 1 Can lite coconut milk (13.5 oz)
      • 2 Bay leaves
      • 1/2 tsp. Ground cinnamon
      • 1/4 tsp. Ground cardamom
      • 1 C. Cashews
      • 1/2 tsp. Curry powder
      1. Heat oil in large sauce pan (enough to hold all ingredients) over medium heat. Stir in curry paste and minced ginger, cook and stir for 2 minutes. Stir in cubed chicken, cook until mostly white, about 3 minutes.
      2. Stir in remaining ingredients, bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low for 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked and potatoes are soft (not mushy.) Season with salt to taste.
      3. Let cool, store in the refrigerator until the next evening. This recipe is best served the next day and can be heated in the microwave or on top of the stove in the same pan.
      4. Serve with freshly made Basmati Rice.

      Sunday, February 21, 2010

      There's Always Room for Cupcakes!

      I found a recipe in an old Martha Stewart magazine today and decided to try it... OMG! They came out totally yummy!! Such a treat when the house is a mess from moving. I also made a pretty good Thai dish tonight as well and will post that later. In the meantime, try these and you won't be disappointed, they are super easy to make!!!

      Yellow Cupcakes

      • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
      • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
      • 1/2 teaspoon salt
      • 1/2 cup milk
      • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
      • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
      • 3/4 cup sugar
      • 2 large eggs
      • Sprinkles, for decorating
      • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
      • 3 cups confectioners' sugar
      • 1/4 cup milk
      • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


      1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees; line the cups of a standard (12-cup) muffin tin with paper or foil liners. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a liquid-measuring cup, mix milk and vanilla; set aside.
      2. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. With mixer on low speed, add half of dry ingredients, followed by milk-vanilla mixture, then remaining dry ingredients. Do not overmix.
      3. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups (a 2-ounce or 1/4-cup ice-cream scoop is good for this).
      4. Place tin on a rimmed baking sheet; bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a cupcake comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool cupcakes 5 minutes in tin, then remove and cool completely on a rack before frosting.
      5. Prepare frosting: in a medium bowl, with an electric mixer, beat unsalted butter, confectioners' sugar, milk, and vanilla extract until smooth. Mix in up to 1/2 cup more sugar or a few more teaspoons of milk as necessary to achieve a spreadable consistency. Makes enough for 12 cupcakes.
      6. Frost cupcakes; decorate with sprinkles before frosting dries to ensure that they stick. The frosted cupcakes are best eaten within 1 day.

      **I made the frosting a little thicker and put it in a ziplock baggie, cut off the corner and made swirls of icing on top of the cupcakes by squeezing it out of the corner of the bag.