Saturday, December 20, 2008

Hazelnut Espresso Cookies

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
16 T (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 eggs
3 T instant espresso powder
2 cups (10 oz) hazelnuts (skins removed), coarsely chopped
--preheat oven to 275 degrees, to remove skins, place raw, shelled hazelnut in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet, bake until skins crack, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer to a clean kitchen towel and roll up. Let steam 5 minutes. Rub the nuts in the towel between your hands until most of the skins have come off.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt.
With an electric mixer, beat butter and both sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Beat in espresso powder.
With mixer on low, beat in flour mixture until incorporated. With a rubber spatula, stir in hazelnuts.
Drop heaping tablespoons of dough onto three baking sheets, 1-1/2 inches apart. Bake, first two sheets together, until golden about 12 minutes. Rotating sheets halfway through. Repeat with remaining sheet. Cool cookies on sheets 2 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.

Makes 3 dozen
Prep time: 20 minutes
Total time: 50 minutes

everyday food magazine, holiday 2007

Friday, December 19, 2008

Icebox Butter Cookies

  • 3 cups (spooned and leveled) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut in pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Egg wash, (optional): 1 large egg white, beaten with 2 teaspoons water
  • Decorating sugar and sprinkles, (optional)

  1. Place flour, sugar, butter, and salt in the bowl of a food processor; process until mixture is the texture of coarse meal.
  2. In a small bowl, lightly beat egg yolks and vanilla; with motor running, add to food processor. Process just until a dough forms.
  3. Divide dough in half; form into two 2-inch square logs, each approximately 5 1/2 inches long. Wrap logs in waxed paper; refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice dough crosswise, 3/16 inch thick; carefully transfer slices to baking sheets.
  5. If decorating, brush with egg wash, then sprinkle with sugar or sprinkles. Bake until edges are firm (not brown), 10 to 15 minutes. Cool 1 to 2 minutes on baking sheets; cool completely on a rack.
  6. Store finished cookies in an airtight container, up to 2 weeks.
everyday food magazine, holiday 2007

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Chocolate Streusel Bars

here's another one of my GG's recipes:

In a large bowl combine:
1-3/4 cup flour
1-1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup fine coconut
1/2 cup cocoa

Cut in 2 cubes butter until crumbly.
Measure 2 cups and set aside.
Press remaining mix in a greased 9x13.
Bake 15 minutes at 350 degrees.

In a large mixiing bowl:
Beat 1 - 8 oz cream cheese, softened, until fluffy.
Gradually beat in:
1 can sweetened condensed milk until smooth
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla - Mix well and pour over crust.

Combine 1/2 cup chopped nuts with remaining mix and sprinkle on top.

Bake 25 minutes 350 degrees or until bubbly.
Cut and store covered in refrigerated or freezer.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Quick Chocolate cookies

These are super easy and yummy. If you cook them less time they have a brownie like consistancy.. either way, really good. Makes about 32 normal sized cookies (not as many as the recipe stated)
1 box Betty Crocker SuperMoist devil's food cake mix
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
1/4 cup sugar
1. Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, mix cake mix, oil, vanilla and eggs with spoon until dough forms.
2. Shape dough into 1-inch balls; roll in sugar. On ungreased cookie sheets, place balls about 2 inches apart.
3. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until set. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheets to cooling racks. Cool completely, about 30 minutes. Store tightly covered.
betty crocker

Touchdown Chocolate Bars

This is my Grandma Grace's recipe - I tried to relay it to you as uncomplicated as possible, but if you come across something you don't understand, leave a comment and I'll try to figure it out for you!

Combine in a medium bowl:
1-3/4 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa

Cut in 1 stick butter or shortening. Mix until crumbly.

Add 1 beaten egg. Mix.

Set aside 1-1/2 cups of the mixture and add 1 cup chocolate chips.

Place the remainder in a greased 9x13 dish.

Bake 10 minutes.

In a sucepan combine 1 can sweetened condensed milk, 1 cup chocolate chips. Heat and stir until melted and smooth.

Spread over crust.

Sprinkle on chopped nuts (as desired).

Sprinkle on the remaining flour and sugar mixture.

Bake about 25 minutes at 350 degrees or until center is set.

Grace Folkertsma

(sidenote: one year, right after thanksgiving, my GG (grandma grace) invited my sisters and mom over for a cookie making day. we made trays and trays of different kinds of cookies. she hand wrote 5 of each of the recipes for each of us. there had to have been 7 different kinds, too. as i read this card i truly appreciate the work that went into each card. and now i have a little bit of her each time i make them! thanks, GG)

Monday, December 15, 2008

Chewy Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies

Because of some refrigeration time, you'll need a few hours for this recipe, but it is worth it!

7 oz semi-sweet chocolate, roughly chopped
1-1/2 cups, plus 1 T flour
1-1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 T cocoa powder
8 T unsalted butter
1 T fresh grated ginger
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup sugar (for rolling the cookies in)

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and cocoa. Set aside.
Beat together butter and ground ginger until whitened (about 4 minutes). Add dark brown sugar. Add molasses.
Dissolve baking soda in 1-1/2 tsp boiling water. Beat half of the flour mixture into butter mixture. Beat in baking soda mixture, then remaining flour mixture. Mix in chopped chocolate.
Place on plastic wrap and roll out to 1 inch thickness. wrap completely with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Heat oven to 325 degrees. Roll dough into 1-1/2 inch balls and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
Roll in granulated sugar, bake until the surfaces crack slightly, 10-12 minutes. Cool 5 minutes. Transfer to wire cooling rack to cool completely.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Soft Biscotti Cookies

5 cups flour
4 ts. baking powder
1 1/4 c. sugar
2 sticks soft butter
6 eggs
2 ts. vanilla or 1 ts. almond extract

Cream butter, sugar. Add eggs, beat. Add vanilla or almond. mix together. Add flour and baking powder a little at a time, mix.
drop by spoonfuls
350 degrees, until light brown (8-11 min?)
I like to frost these with a powdered sugar glaze (powdered sugar and water, or milk). When glaze is still wet, sprinkle on top crushed almonds.
recipe from my grandmother

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Wine Cookies

This is a recipe from my Italian Grandmothers cookbook. We had these often around the holidays and they are sooooooo good. They are a lot of work, but worth it.
I'm going to post in the odd order the recipe was written by her.
2 cups white wine
1 cup sugar
1 ts. cinnamon
pinch of ginger
Boil these ingredients together a couple of minutes until sugar is disolved. Cool
*must be cool!!
Add 4 eggs and enough flour to make a soft dough -about 7 cups.
Roll dough into long strips as big around as your thumb. Cut pieces 1 1/2 inch long
Fry in about 1 cup oil until golden brown. When cool dip in honey or sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Makes a ton (?)

Friday, December 12, 2008

5 layer bars

1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 cup butterscotch morsels
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup semisweet chocolate morsels
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine graham cracker crumbs and melted butter. Press into bottom of a 9 by 13-inch baking dish. Sprinkle remaining ingredients of mix over crumb mixture. Pour sweetened condensed milk over the layers. Bake for 30 minutes. Allow to cool and cut into bars.

Food Network- Paula Deen

12 Days of Cookies

It's time for me to start making my holiday cookies. I am hosting my very first Christmas day lunch for my family and inlaws!! I better get it right.. so I have decided to break out all my fav cookie recipes and post them for you.

Friday, November 21, 2008


There must be 100's of versions of this casserole, but its always a favorite. Here is mine.

1 package frozen hash browns (you can also use Potatoes O'Brien)
2 cups cheddar cheese
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 can water
3/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup onions (omit of using Potatoes O'Brien)
1 stick butter (melt and save 1/4 for top)
1-2 cups cornflake crumbs

Preheat oven to 350. Place potatoes in 9x13 greased pan. In a separate bowl, mix together: cheese, soup, water, sour cream, onions and butter. Pour over potatoes. Cover with layer of cornflake crumbs. Pour remaining butter over the top and bake 350 for 1 hour.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


I had a tube of crescent rolls in the fridge I was trying to figure out what to do with. So I logged on to and I found this recipe, tried it and thought it was very good. It only took me 20 minutes to cook dinner! Awesome!
1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
1 lb lean ground beef
3/4 cup salsa
2 tablespoons taco seasoning mix
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (4 oz)
Shredded lettuce, as desired
Diced tomato, as desired
Sour cream, as desired
Heat oven to 375°F. Unroll dough; separate into 8 triangles. Place in ungreased 9-inch square pan or 10-inch pie plate (I would grease the edges because mine stuck) press over bottom and up sides to form crust. (Bake crust for 10 minutes)
In 10-inch skillet, cook beef over medium heat 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thoroughly cooked; drain. Stir in salsa and taco seasoning mix; simmer 5 minutes. Spoon meat mixture in crust-lined pan; sprinkle with cheese.
Bake 10-15 minutes or until crust is deep golden brown and cheese is melted. Served topped with lettuce and tomato.
I would also add black beans, olives, green chili's..or jalapeno's. The original recipe said to fill the crust unbaked and bake for a total of 20-25 minutes. Mine came out brown at crust, but uncooked at bottom. So next time I will bake it for 10 minutes or so before I fill it.

Monday, November 17, 2008


4 chicken breasts
1 (12-14 oz) jar marinated artichoke hearts, chopped (reserve 1 T of the marinade)
4 T fresh thyme
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
2 T extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
1-2 cups brown rice (depends on how much rice you like!)

cook the brown rice.

heat oil in a large saute pan. season chicken with your favorite poultry seasoning (i like the mccormick montreal seasoning, the label says it's for steak, but i use it for every meat...) cook chicken breasts until done.

meanwhile, combine chopped artichoke hearts, marinade, thyme, parmesan cheese and salt and pepper (to taste) in a medium bowl. set aside.

once chicken is cooked through, set aside, covered. in the same saute pan, heat the artichoke mixture until cheese starts to melt.

after the chicken has rested for about 5 minutes, place on a bed of rice with the warmed artichoke mixture on top.

for variations, try mixing up the fresh herbs - you could use rosemary or sage. or add mushrooms or kalamata olives. and instead of brown rice, try wild rice -

a jamie busch original


10 cups coarsely shredded cooked chicken (from about 3 purchased roasted whole chickens)
2 cups roasted red and yellow bell peppers, drained, patted dry, and coarsely chopped
1 1/4 cups paper-thin slices red onion
3/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
3/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1/2 cup drained capers
1 1/2 cups (about) Red Wine Vinaigrette, recipe follows
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
24 butter lettuce leaves (from about 3 large heads)
1 (4-ounce) piece Parmesan, shaved with vegetable peeler
Toss the chicken, bell peppers, onion, parsley, almonds, and capers in a large bowl with enough vinaigrette to moisten. Season the chicken salad with salt and pepper, to taste.
Arrange 1 large lettuce cup and 1 small lettuce cup on each plate, overlapping slightly. Spoon the chicken salad into the lettuce cups. Drizzle more vinaigrette over the salads. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and serve.
Do-Ahead Tip: The chicken salad can be prepared 4 hours ahead and refrigerated. Just before serving, spoon the salad into the lettuce cups.
Red Wine Vinaigrette:
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup olive oil
Combine the vinegar, lemon juice, honey, salt, and pepper in a blender. With the machine running, gradually add the oil and blend until emulsified.
Yield: 1 3/4 cups
Giada DeLaurentis, the Food Network

Friday, November 14, 2008


I had this dip at a party last night and it was so good. Not at all healthy, but a good party dip.

1 (10 oz) can chunk white chicken in water ***
1 clove garlic, minced
2 packages cream cheese, softened
1 (10 oz) can cream of chicken soup
3 tbs chopped jalapeno
1 small can chopped green chili's

*** Canned chicken kinda scares me, so I would use 2 decent sized chicken breasts, cooked and shredded or chopped.

Preheat oven 350. In a bowl combine all ingredients, mix thoroughly. Pour into your casserole dish and bake for 30-45 minutes until warm and bubbly.
Serve with Tortilla chips, Frito's, Crackers, Veggies.
You can also put this in a crock pot!

Thursday, November 13, 2008


2 small heads Boston lettuce, torn into pieces
4 stalks celery, sliced on the diagonal
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
2 cups (about 1/2 pound) green grapes, halved
small blue cheese wedge, sliced thin
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
2 chicken breasts, cooked and sliced thin

In a large bowl, combine the lettuce, celery, onion, grapes, and blue cheese.

In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, vinegar, oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Divide the salad and chicken among individual plates. Serve with the vinaigrette.

adapted from a recipe by:
Kate Merker
Real Simple, AUGUST 2007

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


My family (and I!) love this recipe! it's so easy, so flavorful, and great for entertaining. the cleanup is a snap, because you cook almost everything in one pot/pan. I also make extra bread crumbs, I love to snack on it while I'm cooking!!

1 small loaf French or Italian bread, torn into small pieces (about 2 cups)
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon capers, roughly chopped
6 cloves garlic, unpeeled
1 1/2 pounds strip steak (I usually buy a NY steak)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets

Heat oven to 400 ° F.

Toss the bread in a bowl with 1 1/2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake until slightly golden and crispy, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and toss with the parsley and capers; set aside.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil and the garlic in a large skillet (preferably cast-iron) over medium-high heat. Season the steak with the salt and pepper and cook until browned, 2 minutes per side. Transfer the steak to a baking dish and roast to the desired doneness, 6 to 8 minutes for medium-rare. Let rest at least 4 minutes before slicing.

Add the cauliflower and 1/2 cup water to the skillet and cook, covered, until the cauliflower is tender and the water has evaporated, about 7 minutes. Divide the steak, cauliflower, and garlic among individual plates. Spoon the bread crumb mixture over the top.

Tip: Cooking the garlic in its peel flavors the cooking oil and leaves you with a tender, roasted clove inside. Eat it with the steak or spread it on toast for a quick, delicious hors d'oeuvre.

Kate Merker, Real Simple, APRIL 2007

Sunday, November 9, 2008


1 10-ounce box couscous
1 pound ground beef
Kosher salt and pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 tablespoons dried oregano
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 scallions, trimmed and sliced
4 Roma (plum) tomatoes, quartered
1 seedless cucumber, sliced into half-moons
3 tablespoons tablespoons fresh lemon juice
(i also added feta)
1 8-ounce container hummus (optional)

Place the couscous in a medium bowl and pour 1 1/2 cups hot tap water over the top. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes before fluffing with a fork.
Form the beef into 12 small 1/2-inch-thick patties. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, the cumin, and oregano.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the patties and cook to desired doneness, 4 minutes per side for medium.
Combine the couscous, scallions, tomatoes, cucumber, lemon juice, 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and the remaining oil in a large bowl.
Divide among individual plates. Serve with the burgers and hummus, if desired.

4 servings

Sara Quessenberry
Real Simple, APRIL 2008

Saturday, November 8, 2008


I make this salad all the time. Its really, really good. I cut the sugar in the recipe by 1/2. I also add a tbs or so of cranberry juice in the dressing if I have it. I also do not use the butter, but buy already toasted almonds. I use baby spinach in the bag..
This is a dish I always bring or make for Thanksgiving.

1 tablespoon butter
3/4 cup almonds, blanched and slivered
1 pound spinach, rinsed and torn into bite-size pieces
1 cup dried cranberries
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1/2 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons minced onion
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup vegetable oil

In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Cook and stir almonds in butter until lightly toasted. Remove from heat, and let cool.
In a large bowl, combine the spinach with the toasted almonds and cranberries.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the sesame seeds, poppy seeds, sugar, onion, paprika, white wine vinegar, cider vinegar, and vegetable oil. Toss with spinach just before serving.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


I bake this cake around this time every year. Its great for Thanksgiving.. or Mommy groups served with coffee.. its super easy, yummy and looks amazing!
1 pkg. (2-layer size) yellow cake mix
1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin, divided
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup oil
4 eggs
1-1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice, divided
1 pkg. (8 oz.) Cream Cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tub (8 oz.) Whipped Topping, thawed
1/4 cup caramel ice cream topping
1/4 cup Chopped Pecans
HEAT oven to 350°F. Grease and flour 2 (9-inch) round baking pans. Beat cake mix, 1 cup pumpkin, milk, oil, eggs and 1 tsp. spice in large bowl with mixer until well blended. Pour into prepared pans.
BAKE 28 to 30 min. or until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 min. Remove from pans to wire racks; cool completely. Beat cream cheese in small bowl with mixer until creamy. Add sugar, remaining pumpkin and spice; mix well. Gently stir in COOL WHIP.
CUT each cake layer horizontally in half with serrated knife; stack on serving plate, spreading cream cheese filling between layers. (Do not frost top layer.) Drizzle with caramel topping just before serving; sprinkle with nuts. Refrigerate leftovers
Tip: I use DENTAL FLOSS to cut through the cake(s) creating the 4 layers.
Just pull off 12-14 inches of floss. Wrap around your fingers to make taught. Place the floss at the edge of the cake, making sure it is as close to being in the middle as possible and pull! It cuts clean and slow and you can really see where you are going.

Sunday, November 2, 2008


These are my favorite cake like pumpkin bars. Yummy!

4 eggs
1 2/3 c. sugar
1 c. oil
1 16 oz can pumpkin
2 c. flour
2 ts. baking powder
2 ts. cinnamon
1 ts. salt
1 ts. baking soda

Preheat oven to 350. Beat eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin until creamy. Add flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and baking soda. Pour into greased cookie sheet or baking pan. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes. Cool and frost with cream cheese frosting.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


Heavenly. Thats all I can say about these. This recipe was sent in by Aubrey- one of our cousins and a wonderful contributor to our site. Aubrey is fantastic.. she happens to be one of my favorite people.. she made these brownies "for the blog", yeah.. ok.. anyway- look at this picture? She just finished her degree.. she is a stay at home mom to a toddler named Jackson, works part-time, paints BEAUTIFUL artwork (check out her newest in the background) and bakes brownies. Super mom.. super chick! Thanks Aubrey!! (These brownies are sooooo, SO delicious she made them for me 2 times now. The first time I was pregnant and I think I ate most the entire batch. Ugh. The second time I brought them home from San Diego they are so yummy)
Nonstick vegetable oil cooking spray
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons espresso powder
1 (19.8-ounce) box brownie mix (recommended: Duncan Hines)
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9 by 13-inch baking pan with nonstick spray. Whisk 1/3 cup of water, oil, eggs, and 2 tablespoons espresso powder in a large bowl to blend. Add the brownie mix. Stir until well blended. Stir in the chocolate chips. Transfer the batter to the prepared baking pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, about 35 minutes. Cool completely.
Meanwhile, dissolve the remaining 2 teaspoons of espresso powder in the remaining 2 tablespoons of water in a medium bowl. Whisk in the vanilla. Add the powdered sugar and butter and whisk until smooth. Pour the glaze over the brownies. Refrigerate until the glaze is set. Cut into bite-size pieces. Arrange the brownies on a platter and serve.

Giada De Laurientis- the food network

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Its getting cold outside, I love the fall. Here is my favorite Italian soup recipe. I serve this with fresh, warm crusty bread. Don't skimp on the cheese in this recipe. If you can find it, a good quality parmigiano-reggiano cheese is key. I usually make my own meatballs for this. Small meatballs are better. You can use beef, turkey, chicken.. whatever you like. Or you can use frozen meatballs too!

1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
5 1/2 cups- (42 oz) good quality chicken stock
2 1/2 cups water
20 meatballs- cooked
2 cans (14 oz) small white beans. I use cannellini beans (white kidney beans), drained and rinsed
1 (5-6 oz) bag fresh baby spinach
1/2 cup (or more!) finely grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in a 5-6 qt pot over med high heat. Add onions, garlic, celery and carrots. Cook about 4 minutes until veggies are soft and onions are pale golden. Stir in broth and water. Bring to a boil, covered. Add meatballs to soup along with beans. Bring to a brisk simmer, covered.
Stir occasionally and simmer until veggies are tender and meatballs are heated through, about 15 minutes.
Stir in spinach, cheese, salt and pepper -(add cheese first because the cheese is salty).
Simmer, uncovered until spinach is wilted, about 2 minutes.
I add more cheese to each bowl and serve.
Makes 4 servings

This is how I make my meatballs. Warning- I leaned how to cook using a handfull and a pinch. I also learned there is no such thing as too much cheese! So tweak as you see fit.
1 pound each of ground beef and ground pork (or turkey and chicken.. any combo you want)
Add 2 medium or 1 extra large egg. Add 2 small chopped or grated garlic cloves. Add 2 generous handfulls of seasoned, Italian bread crumbs. Add 1-2 generous handfulls of grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese. Add salt and pepper usually about 1 ts salt and 1/2 ts pepper. Combine all ingredients with your hands, just until mixed and absorbed. Dont over mix. Form into balls. I spray my broiler pan with nonstick spray and line the pan with the meatballs. That way, the grease drops down.
Cook 375-400 for about 30 minutes. They will finish cooking in the soup, if they arent completely cooked already.


1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 cup shortening
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1-1/2 cups flour
2-1/2 cups oats
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cream together sugars, shortening, eggs and vanilla in a mixer.
Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in separate bowl.
Add slowly to sugar mixture.
Add oats.
Add chocolate chips.

Bake 9-11 minutes.

This recipe was given to me by my step-grandmother-in-law (we're an american family...stealing a line from You've Got Mail) Marion French.

adaptations: I usually only put in 2 cups of oats per batch, they come out a little less dense (no jokes, please!) and i always double it, sometimes triple it. The dough freezes lovely!

Monday, October 20, 2008


1 pkg refrigerated pizza dough
8 ounces deli ham, thinly sliced - or your favorite deli meat
4 ounces swiss cheese, or your favorite cheese
1/2 red onion, cut into rings
your favorite mustard, dijon, regular, whole-grain
2 tsps whole-grain mustard
2 T extra virgin olive oil
1 small head romaine, rut into bite-size pieces

heat oven 400 degrees.
roll the pizza dough out and cut into 8 triangles.
stack a piece of hame, cheese, and onion on the bottom of each triangle. spread your favorite mustard on top. roll the dough up around the filling. (some of the filling will stick out the ends.)
bake until golden and crisp, about 20 minutes.
combine the whole-grain mustard and oil in a medium bowl and toss with romaine. serve with the turnovers.

Aubrey (a blog-follower & contributor) wrote:
Turnovers were GREAT! Jeff thought that ham and cheese sounded too boring so I added marinated artichoke hearts and roasted red bell peppers. YUMMY!!! We also happened to have a really good Sierra Nevada Stone-Ground Stout Mustard and it was super good in the salad. What a simple and yummy dressing. I added pepper and parmesan cheese to the salad too. Seriously a wonderful and fast dinner. The best part is that we were all in the kitchen making it together. Thank you again for the wonderful recipe blog. We'll use it often.

adapted from a recipe found in real simple april 2008
kid friendly: omit onion and your favorite mustard in the turnover.


1 lb new potatoes, quartered
2 carrots, peeled and cut into match stick-size pieces
2 small zucchini, cut into match stick-size pieces
3 T extra virgin olive oil
3 T whole-grain mustard
2 T fresh rosemary, roughly chopped
salt & pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Heat oven 400 degrees.
Mix potatoes, carrots and zucchini in a bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together extra virgin olive oil, mustard, rosemary, salt and pepper. Reserve 1/3 of the mixture, and mix remaining 2/3 mixture with the vegetables. Place chicken into a pan sprayed with a non-stick cooking spray. Pour remaining 1/3 mustard mixture on top of the chicken. Pour vegetable mixture on top.
Roast for 15 minutes. Toss the vegetables and turn the chicken. Continue roasting until the chicken is cooked through, 10-15 minutes more.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


1 cup sliced, COOKED, and seasoned chicken
1 1/3 cups 1/2-inch cubes peeled Yukon Gold potatoes (about 2 medium)
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 1/3 cups (packed) coarsely grated hot pepper Monterey Jack cheese (5 to 6 ounces)
1 1/3 cups jarred salsa verde (tomatillo salsa)
4 2/3 cups coarsely chopped stemmed spinach/arugula (from 1 bunch), divided
4 8-inch-diameter flour tortillas
3 ounces chilled fresh goat cheese, coarsely crumbled
Olive oil

Steam/boil potatoes until tender, about 8 minutes. Place in large bowl; sprinkle with salt, pepper, and chili powder. Toss to coat. Cool potatoes 15 minutes. Mix in Jack cheese. Meanwhile, blend salsa and 2/3 cup (packed) greens in mini processor until greens are finely chopped.

Arrange tortillas on work surface. Divide remaining greens between bottom half of each. Top greens with sliced, chicken, potato mixture, then goat cheese and 2 tablespoons salsa mixture for each. Fold plain tortilla halves over filling, pressing to compact. Brush with oil.

Heat large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Place 2 quesadillas, oiled side down, in skillet. Brush tops with oil. Cook until quesadillas are brown, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to sheet in oven to keep warm. Repeat with remaining 2 quesadillas.

Cut each quesadilla into 3 or 4 wedges. Serve with remaining salsa.

the idea came from a bon appetit march 2007 issue - i've revised it, added chicken and instead of mustard greens, i chose spinach or arugula.

Monday, October 13, 2008


This may be the simplest cookie recipe ever!
These were so easy and yummy- I cooked mine for about 7-8 minutes and they are soft.
What You'll need:
1 c. peanut butter
1 c. sugar, plus more for rolling
1 egg
Heat oven to 375. Stir together all ingredients. Roll dough into 1 inch balls. Put some sugar on a plate and roll balls of dough into sugar. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Press each ball with a fork to make crisscross design. Bake 10 minutes or until cookies just start to brown on the edges. Remove and let cool on wire racks. Made about 2 dozen.
Parents magazine, October 2008

Friday, October 10, 2008


This recipe was sent to me from Aubrey.. our cousin in San Diego~ between her and her husband Jeff, they are great in the kitchen.. food and drinks.
This is a wonderful appetizer/snack that Jeff makes several times a week when he gets home from work. We’re on a goat cheese kick and if you love it as much as we do, you’ll love this too!

2 roma tomatoes, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 or 4 large fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 ounces soft goat cheese
Sourdough flute, sliced crosswise about 1/2 inch thick

Preheat broiler
Mix tomatoes, garlic, basil, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a medium bowl
Place bread on baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and lightly toast under broiler, about 1-2 minutes
Spread about 1 tablespoon of goat cheese on each bread slice
Top with tomato mixture
Place on baking sheet and place under broiler another 3-4 minutes
Make sure it doesn't burn : )

Thursday, October 9, 2008


This is one of my favorite pork chop recipes. I don't really love pork chops, but my husband does, so this is perfect for us. The Dijon sauce really compliments the pork. I serve this with roasted new potatoes and green beans.

1 tbs. butter
1 tbs. olive oil
4 center cut or loin chops, about 1 1/4 inch thick
1/4 c. chopped green onions or shallots
1/2 c. dry white wine
3/4 c. chicken stock
1/2 c. heavy cream
1 tbs. Dijon mustard
1 tbs. chopped parsley (optional)

Melt butter and olive oil in a large, deep skillet over med-high heat. Season chops w/ salt and pepper and brown them, about 2-3 minutes on each side. Reduce heat slightly if chops brown too quickly.
Remove chops and pour off most of the fat. Add green onions or shallots and cook on med heat until softened- about 1 minute. Add wine and bring to a boil, scraping bits from the bottom of the pan. Stir in chicken stock and return chops to the pan. Bring sauce to a simmer and cook until chops are tender, about 15-20 minutes.
Remove chops to a warm platter; cover with foil to keep warm. Raise the temp of the pan to boil the pan juices, reduce by half (or 1/4). Add cream and boil 2 minutes more, until sauce thickens. Remove from the heat and whisk in mustard and parsley.
Spoon sauce over chops and serve.
Serves 4
Simply recipes: New York Times Sunday Magazine 2005

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


I made this recipe and found it to be very good. I love hummas, so you can use this recipe for hummas served with plain pita triangles or vegetables too. When I make just the hummas, I top it with a drizzle of olive oil, chopped tomatoes and chopped onions or scallions. So good.

1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
2 tbs. tahini (sesame seed paste)
1 garlic clove, peeled
Dash of crushed red pepper
2 tbs. lemon juice
1 tbs. olive oil
1 cup chopped tomato
3/4 cup chopped seeded English cucumber
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup chopped pitted kalamata olives
1/4 cup (1 ounce) crumbled feta cheese
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
4 (6-inch) pita bread rounds, halved

Drain chickpeas in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1 tablespoon liquid. Combine chickpeas, tahini, garlic, and red pepper in a food processor, and process until smooth, scraping sides of processor bowl once. Add lemon juice, olive oil and reserved chickpea liquid, process until smooth. Spoon mixture into a bowl; set aside.
Combine tomato and next 6 ingredients (tomato through cilantro) in a bowl. Spoon 1/4 cup hummus mixture into each pita half; top with 1/4 cup feta-olive salsa.

Serves 4- serving size 2 stuffed pita halves each
Cooking Light Magazine

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


It's Fall.. time to start picking all those delicious apples.. This is a fantastic recipe for (in my opinion, and others who have tasted it) the best apple pie recipe ever! It was rated 5 out of 5 by 1600 people who have tried it! Delicious!
1 Recipe pastry for a 9 inch double pie crust
1/2 c. Unsalted Butter
4 tbs. All purpose flour
1/4 c. Water
1/2 c. White sugar
1/2 c. Packed brown sugar
8 Granny Smith Apples, peeled and cored
1 ts. Cinnamon
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Melt butter in a saucepan.
Stir in flour to form a paste.
Add water,white sugar, brown sugar and cinnamon. Bring to a boil. Reduce temperature and simmer.
Place the bottom of your crust in the pan.
Fill with apples, mounded slightly. Cover with a lattice work of crust.
Gently pour the sugar and butter liquid over the crust. (Reserve 1/4 of the sugar mixture to baste if using a full pie crust)**
Bake 15 minutes in the preheated oven.
Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees. Continue baking 30-45 minutes until the apples are soft.
** I used a full pie crust. After placing top of crust to top of pie, Save 1/4 of the sugar and butter mixture and baste the top of the pie crust. Bake as directed.
Allrecipes, Apple pie by Grandma Ople


2 oranges
1 head of red leaf lettuce, coarsely chopped
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced (about 1 1/4 cups)
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Using small sharp knife, cut off peel and white pith from oranges. Cut oranges crosswise into round slices, then cut slices in half. Toss red leaf lettuce, orange slices, and red onion slices in large bowl. Add oil and vinegar and toss to coat; season salad to taste with salt and pepper.

bon appetit march 2008 amy finley


If you know me, you know I love margaritas...
Here is my favorite recipe for Strawberry Margarita's.. tried and true!

2 1/4 c. Tequila
3/4 c. Triple Sec
1 1/2 lbs. Frozen or Fresh Strawberries
1 1/2 c. Limeade, thawed

In a Blender, blend ice (about 2 cups to start), Tequila, Triple Sec.
Add strawberries, and Limeade.
Blend to desired consistency. Add more ice if necessary.
Garnish with sliced strawberry and serve.

Serves 12


my 7 year old love helping me make this one!

1/2 pound white-meat ground turkey
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon sweet chili powder
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 can (15 ounce) diced tomatoes, drained
1 cup green or black olives, chopped
2 tablespoon chopped pickled jalapeƱos (optional)
Vegetable oil cooking spray
1 pound raw frozen pizza dough, defrosted in the microwave or overnight in the fridge.

Heat oven to 400°F. Sprinkle turkey with salt, pepper, cumin and chili powder. Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat. Cook turkey, breaking up with a spoon, until brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, olives and jalapeƱos. Cover; reduce heat to low. Simmer until turkey is cooked through and tomatoes are soft, 3 to 4 minutes.

Coat a large cookie sheet with cooking spray. Cut dough into 4 equal portions. Pull dough into 4 flat disks, each 8 inches in diameter. Top each round with 1/2 cup turkey filling. Fold dough in half and fold bottom edge over top. Press closed. Transfer to cookie sheet and coat empanadas with cooking spray. Bake until dough is firm and golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Store empanadas in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

kid friendly: leave jalapeno's out

budget friendly: use ground turkey with both dark and light meat

self magazine march 2008 Jennifer Iserloh

Monday, October 6, 2008


my kids love this version of chicken enchilada's with green sauce... a great stand-by in our house!

2 cups chopped, cooked chicken breast
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided
2 T grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp chili pepper
salt & pepper to taste
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro
1 (11 oz) can tomatillos, drained
1 (4.5 oz) can chopped green chiles, drained
12 (6 inch) corn tortillas

1. preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. combine chicken, green onions, 1/4 cup monterey jack cheese, parmesan, chili powder, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. place milk and next 3 ingredients (through chiles) in a food processor or blender; process until smooth.
3. pour 1/3 cup tomatillo mixture into bottom of an 11x7 inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. arrange 4 corn tortillas in dish, and top with half of chicken mixture. repeat layer with remaining tortillas and chicken mixture, ending with tortillas.
4. pour remaining 1-1/2 cups tomatillo mixture over tortillas; sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup monterey jack cheese. bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes or until bubbly.

serve with black beans and spanish rice for a complete meal!

budget friendly: use chicken thighs instead of breasts.
make ahead: you can even double this, freeze it and serve it another night down the road...

cooking light july 2007