Sunday, October 23, 2011

Lemon Poppyseed Cake

Lemon-Poppy Seed Cake
pic from Betty

Mix Lemon cake mix as directed on package and add 2 Tbs. poppyseed.
Bake as directed for bundt pan.
Drizzle either lemon or vanilla glaze/frosting over warm cake.


Sunday, October 9, 2011

Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup raspberry wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  1. In a jar with a tight fitting lid, combine the oil, vinegar, sugar, mustard, oregano, and pepper. Shake well.
Got this recipe from All
I halved the sugar and used spicy brown mustard instead of Dijon because that is what I had.
Yummy! and oh, so easy.
I just don't do Ranch on my salads if I can help it.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Cucumber Radish Salsa

Cucumber Radish Salsa

2 Cucumbers peeled and seeded and chopped
1 pkt radishes chopped
1 small onion chopped
2 Tbs. cilantro chopped (we use about 1/4 c.)
1/4 C. lime juice
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground red pepper (cayenne)

I chop everything in my food processor then dump in a bowl and add the rest of the ingredients. Enjoy!

**This came from our cousin Tiffany

I used 2 c. chopped radishes which was about half of a 16 oz. pkg.
I also used about half of a bunch of cilantro to get 1/4 c. chopped.
Instead of lime juice I used lemon juice because this is what I had on hand.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Nutella Sandwich Cookies

I adapted these from a Tasty Kitchen recipe and they are so delicious! I wish I would have taken a picture but we ate them up too fast!

For the cookies:

1 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup cocoa
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup Nutella
1/3 cup milk
Kosher or seat salt to sprinkle on top
Nutella for center frosting

1. Stir flour, baking powder and cocoa together in a small bowl.
2. In an electric mixer beat together butter and sugar.
3. Stir in vanilla and Nutella until combined.
4. Alternately add milk and dry mixture until smooth.
5. Place mixture in refrigerator for 15 minutes.
6. Roll dough into 1 inch balls. Flatten slightly and sprinkle with Kosher or sea salt.
7. Bake at 325F for 10-12 minutes or until they just start to set. Note: these really are a lot better if they are soft and not cooked for too long. The dough doesn't have eggs so it's okay if they're undercooked a little. One batch I baked was perfect and still a little gooey. The other batch baked too long and really wasn't as tasty.
8. Let sit on baking sheet for a few minutes and then remove to cooling rack to cool completely.
9. Spread a thin layer of Nutella between two cookies for a delicious sandwich. (You could also make a Nutella butter cream and have sort of a homemade Oreo).

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Quinoa and Black Bean Chili

1 c. uncooked quinoa, rinsed in cold water
2 c. water

1 T. vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 T. chili powder
1 T. ground cumin
1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
2 (19 oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1 T. minced chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
1 tsp. dried oregano
salt and pepper, to taste
1 c. frozen corn
1/4 c. fresh cilantro, chopped

Bring the quinoa (pronounced "keen-wa") and water to a boil in a saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the quinoa is tender, and the water has been absorbed, about 15-20 minutes; set aside.

Meanwhile, heat the vegetable oil in a large pot over medium heat. Stir in the onion, and cook until the onion softens and turns translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, chili powder, and cumin; cook and stir 1 minute to release the flavors. Stir in the tomatoes, black beans, green pepper, red pepper, zucchini, jalapeno pepper, chipotle pepper, and oregano. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer 20 minutes. After 20 minutes stir in the reserved quinoa and corn. Cook to reheat the corn for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the cilantro to serve.

My adjustments:
I didn't add a jalapeno pepper.
I did add a little extra chipotle pepper.

This has tons of heat. I liked it but my kids did not. If I made it again I'd probably half the chili powder and cumin amounts. We put sour cream and grated cheddar cheese on top. That helped with the kick. I served it with corn bread.

Corn Bread

1 c. butter
1 1/3 c. sugar
4 eggs
2 c. buttermilk
1 c. cornmeal
3 c. flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda

Melt butter and add sugar. Beat together. Add eggs and beat until well blended. Combine buttermilk and soda and stir into mixture. Add salt, cornmeal and flour and stir until just blended. Put in greased 9x13" pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until it's lightly brown on top.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Grilled Cheese Sandwich

(Makes 2 sandwiches)

1 T. Dijon mustard, to taste
1 T. mayonnaise, to taste
1 tomato, sliced
1 red onion, small, thinly sliced
4 slices mild cheddar
1 can (4 oz.) whole green chilies
4 slices provolone
4 slices Rye bread

Mix Dijon and mayo in a small bowl then spread a thin layer on each slice of bread. Place two slices of tomato on top of the Dijon on two pieces of bread and two slices of cheddar on the other two pieces. On top of the tomato place several slices of red onion followed by two slices of provolone. Open your can of green chilies (I used diced because I never have whole on hand) and lay one or two slices on top of the provolone. Now very carefully put a tomato half together with a cheddar half. Spread butter on the outsides of the sandwich and grill in a skillet over low heat. Cook each side for at least 5 minutes or until the cheeses are melted. Slice in half and enjoy.

I love me a good grilled cheese and this is definitely on my short list of favorites.

Originally seen HERE


3 T. olive oil
3 medium zucchini, diced
3 medium yellow squash, diced
1/2 tsp. crushed garlic (optional)
2 cups frozen corn
1 can tomato sauce (15 oz.)
5 cups lower sodium chicken broth
1 tsp. finely chopped or dried basil
1 tsp. thyme
1 can white northern beans (15 oz.), drained
1/2 tsp. garlic salt or celery salt
shaved parmesan
crusty bread

Pour olive oil into a large pot. Add garlic if you want. Simmer or "sweat" your squash on medium low heat for 5 minutes. Add chicken broth and corn, bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Add basil, thyme, salt, tomato sauce and white beans, then cook on medium low heat for another 15 minutes. Put parmesan on top of individual servings and serve bread on the side for dipping. Serves 6.

*I used a can of corn because I didn't have frozen and used celery salt instead of garlic salt because I added one clove of minced garlic to the olive oil. Yum!

Originally seen HERE

Monday, March 28, 2011

Black Beans

I made the black beans from Our Best Bites recently. They were so good!

Link here.

I served them with some lime-cilantro rice and cheese quesadillas. Yum!

Fried Plantains

I don't have an official recipe for these but they're a fun, something different sort of thing! We first had them at our friend's house in Pennsylvania. In case you don't know, plantains look like bananas but they're not sweet. You buy as many as you want (we usually get two for our family of five). Then you put about an inch of cooking oil in a pan. Peel and slice the plantain into 1/2" circles. When the oil is hot, put a few of them in at a time and cook until lightly browned on each side. Remove them from the pan and flatten with the bottom of a cup until they're about 1/8-1/4" thick. (They'll look sort of like banana chips.) Put them back in the oil and fry a little bit longer on both sides. Remove and place on a paper towel. Sprinkle with sea salt.

We went to a Caribbean restaurant recently and they served these with fry sauce. It was good, but I tend to like them best plain.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Barefoot Contessa Coconut Cupcakes

We had these for our RS birthday Party dinner and they were so AWESOME!  So much better than the chocolate cupcakes and that's saying something.  They just used buttercream icing instead of cream cheese icing.
Coconut Cupcakesfrom The Barefoot Contessa Cookbookmakes 12-16

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3 large eggs
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 7-ounce package flaked sweetened coconut, divided
Cream cheese icing (recipe to follow)

Line muffin cups with paper baking cups, and set aside. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the sugar and butter on medium speed for about 3 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Turn the mixer speed to low, and add the eggs one at a time, beating on medium high 1 minute after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and almond extract. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and beat again briefly.

Add the flour mixture and the buttermilk alternately to the butter mixture, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined. Fold in only 1 1/3 cups of the coconut.

Use an ice cream scoop to fill each muffin cup almost full with batter. Bake in a 325-degree oven for 22 to 28 minutes on the center rack, until the cupcake tops are golden and a wooden toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean.

If you bake 2 pans at once, switch them out (put the bottom pan on the top and the top on the bottom) halfway through cooking so they brown evenly.

Allow the cupcakes to cool completely, and then top them with cream cheese icing. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 days. If you want to freeze these, store them unfrosted in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 6 weeks. To serve unfrosted cupcakes that have been frozen, allow to thaw at room temperature for about 1 hour before serving, then ice and serve them. Makes about 16 cupcakes.

Cream Cheese Icing

Do not consider skipping the sifting of the powdered sugar or you will have unattractive white lumps in your icing.

2 - 3-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
2 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
Remaining coconut

In a mixing bowl, beat together the cream cheese, butter, vanilla extract and almond extract until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in 1 1/2 cups of the powdered sugar, beating well. Gradually beat in as much of the remaining sugar as needed to reach a comfortable spreading consistency.


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Chicken Pot Pie Soup

My friend Natalie made this the other day for our "ladies lunch" that we informally have every couple of weeks.  It was delicious!  And great for those cold days, which apparently are going to be never ending here in MN.

Chicken Pot Pie Soup

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Shortbread Chocolate Chip Cookies

I kind of forgot about this blog until I saw all the recipes posted today on my reader. They all look so yummy and I thought it was time to post another one again as well. By the way, the new look is so cute!

Shortbread Chocolate Chip Cookies a.k.a. my favorite cookie ever!
(very similar to those served at Flour Girls and Dough Boys in AF - I got this from a friend that used to work there).

Note: I usually half the recipe because it makes a ton!

2 cups butter, softened, (make sure it is not melted at all)
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cup chocolate chips


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Cream the butter until light and fluffy. This is very important in order to keep the cookies from being dry and/or hard.
3. Add the powdered sugar and cream again until light and fluffy.
4. Add the vanilla and cream again, until light and fluffy.
5. Add the salt, then slowly add the flour a little at a time, stirring at a slow speed. If you mix the flour at a higher speed, it will activate the gluten in the flour which makes a tough cookie.
6. Roll the dough into 1 inch balls and place them 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.
7. Flatten with a fork.
8. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the bottom edge is just barely starting to brown. Do not cook too long or the cookies will be hard.


Monday, February 21, 2011


Melt together in microwave using microwave-safe bowl and lid:
1 c. shortening
4 T. butter or margarine

Sift together in another bowl:
1 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
3/4 c. cocoa
1 tsp. salt

In another bowl:
Beat 4 eggs until fluffy. Slowly add 2 cups sugar, beating all the time until light and fluffy. Add 2 tsp. vanilla and melted shortening/butter mixture while beating. Add the flour mixture and combine. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes in a greased 9x13" pan.

Chocolate Icing:
3 T. powdered cocoa
2 dashes salt
3 c. unsifted powdered sugar
1/2 c. butter
4-5 T. hot water
1 tsp. vanilla
Spread over brownies almost immediately after they come out of the oven so the icing melts into the brownies, then try not to eat the whole pan!

Baked Chicken Nuggets

7-8 whole chicken breasts, boned
2 c. fine, dry bread crumbs
1 c. grated parmesan cheese
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 T. + 1 tsp. dried whole thyme
1 T. + 1 tsp. dried whole basil
1 c. butter or margarine, melted

Cut chicken in 1 1/2" pieces. Combine bread crumbs, cheese, salt & herbs; mix well. Dip chicken pieces in butter and coat with bread crumbs mixture. Place on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until done.

Pesto Chicken with Mozzarella

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 T. Basil Pesto
1 1/2 c. Classico Tomato & Basil pasta sauce
1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
2 T. shredded parmesan cheese
salt & pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Rinse chicken and pat dry, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat pesto in a large skillet and cook until starting to melt. Add chicken and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes to lightly brown each side. Spread half of the pasta sauce in the bottom of an 11x7" baking dish. Add chicken to the dish and pour remaining sauce over the top. Bake for 20 minutes then sprinkle with cheeses and bake for 5 more minutes. Serve over hot, cooked pasta. (Makes 4 adult-sized servings.)

Crock Pot Mexican Chicken

1 can black beans
1 can chili beans
4 chicken breasts, boned & skinned (I used 8 chicken tenderloins)
1 pkg. taco seasoning

Combine all in crock pot and cook on low for 4 hours. Shred chicken and continue cooking for another 2 hours. Serve over rice or chips. Add cheese and any other toppings you like.

*The first night we had this over rice with sour cream and cheddar cheese on top. My oldest declared it "the best dinner EVER!" The next night we tried it on Doritos Salsa Verde chips with cheese and salsa on top. Both were scrumptious.

A New Look

The look of this blog was a little outdated, huh? Thanks to those of you who have posted in the last year--which I don't think includes me! Stay tuned for some good ones though...

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies (& wheat free version)

This recipe originally came from my sister Shauna--not sure where she got it, but these are the best chocolate chip cookies as far as I'm concerned.  We like them soft and chewy, not hard and crunchy.

YIELD:  3 dozen cookies

Cream together:
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 c. butter, softened, not melted
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar
  • 3/4 c. sugar  (sometimes I do 1/2 c. each of the sugars)
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 pkg. instant vanilla pudding (3.4 oz box, add the dry mix only)
  • 2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 pkg. chocolate chips (12 oz. bag)
  • 1 c. nuts (optional)
Drop by spoonful onto cookie sheet. 
***I use my 1-1/2" diameter Pampered Chef medium scoop

Sometimes I use the bottom of a cup, lightly floured, and flatten out the dough a bit before baking.

Bake at 375ºF for 8-10 minutes.
***I find that using stoneware pans I bake the cookies more like 10-12 minutes.

For bars:
Spread in 9 x 13 pan and bake for 20-25 minutes.

Updated Feb. 2012

Instead of using AP flour substitute WonderFlour™ straight across and then add 1 tsp. Xanthum Gum.
I don't think you'll be able to taste a difference.

To make your own WonderFlour™ go here. It is a combo of spelt, pearled barley and brown rice.

We're linked up with the above site. 
(Click on pic)
They've got some tasty goodie recipes to try also.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole

I got this recipe from Devin's family. It's super easy and really good!

4 Chicken Breasts, Cooked & Cubed
2 Cans Cream of Chicken Soup
1 Cup Sour Cream
3/4 Row Ritz Crackers, Crushed
2 T. Poppy Seeds
1/2 Cup Margarine, Melted

Mix together Chicken, Cream of Chicken Soup and Sour Cream. Cook rice and put it in the bottom of a casserole dish. Top with chicken mixture. Mix together Ritz, Poppy Seeds and Margarine then put it on top of the rice and chicken mixture. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.