Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

Sorry for the bad photo- I had to snap it on my cell phone. I made these tonight after my friend brought them over to our Mom's Night In the other night and they went faster than our wine! They are so good.
* note- These are so soft and yummy- I think the secret is not smashing them down with a glass as stated in the recipe. I just dropped balls in the sugar/cinnamon coating and let them bake for 8 minutes exactly.

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

Yield: about 3-4 dozen cookies


For the cookies:

3¾ cups all-purpose flour

1½ tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. salt

½ tsp. ground cinnamon

¼ tsp. ground nutmeg

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup granulated sugar

½ cup light brown sugar

¾ cup pumpkin puree

1 large egg

2 tsp. vanilla extract

For the coating:

½ cup granulated sugar

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

½ tsp. ground ginger

Dash of allspice


In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Whisk to blend and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugars on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Blend in the pumpkin puree. Beat in the egg and vanilla until incorporated. With the mixer on low speed add in the dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated. Cover and chill the dough for at least 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Line baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper. Combine the sugar and spices for the coating in a bowl and mix to blend. Scoop the dough (about 2½ tablespoons) and roll into a ball. Coat the dough ball in the sugar-spice mixture and place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough to fill the sheets, spacing the dough balls 2-3 inches apart. Dip the bottom of a flat, heavy-bottomed drinking glass in water, then in the sugar-spice mixture, and use the bottom to flatten the dough balls slightly. Recoat the bottom of the glass in the sugar-spice mixture as needed.

Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes, or until just set and baked through. Let cool on the baking sheets about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining dough. Store in an airtight container.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Warm Skirt Steak Salad


1 pound skirt steak or flank steak
12-15 cherry tomatoes
12-15 sweet yellow tomatoes
1 bunch asparagus, cut in half
2 shallot, finely chopped & divided
3-4 garlic cloves, smashed and roughly chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup blue cheese or gorgonzola cheese
a Bag of you favorite salad mix


Preheat the oven to broil. 
Place the steak on a parchment-lined baking sheet along with the tomatoes, asparagus, shallot and garlic.  Cover everything with olive oil and salt and pepper.  Place the steak and veggies on the top rack of your oven.  

After about 7 minutes, flip the steak over and continue to cook for another 5-7, depending on how you like your steak cooked.  
Remove from oven and let rest for 15 minutes or so.  You want it to cool slightly more than a normal "resting" time, so the lettuce doesn't completely wilt.  
While that is resting, fill a serving bowl with the bag of salad.  Dress with your favorite oil and vinegar or other salad dressing.  I used a balsamic vinegar and the other shallot, along with some salt and pepper. 
Slice the steak against the grain, and place on top of the salad.  Add tomatoes and other veggies.  Top with the blue cheese/gorgonzola.  


adapted from a recipe I saw on pinterest, cheeky kitchen

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Tortilla Meatball Soup


2 jalapeño peppers
1 red bell pepper
2 ears corn on the cob
4 (6-inch) corn tortillas, cut into 1/2-inch-thick strips
Cooking spray
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
6 garlic cloves, minced and divided
1/3 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1 pound ground sirloin
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 chipotle chile, canned in adobo sauce, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups chopped onion
2 cups (3/4-inch) cubed red potatoes
1 cup (1/2-inch-thick) slices carrot
3 cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
2 cups water
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/4 cup (1 ounce) shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro


1. Preheat broiler.

2. Cut jalapeños and bell pepper in half lengthwise; discard seeds and membranes. Place pepper halves, skin sides up, on a foil-lined baking sheet. Arrange corn on baking sheet with peppers. Broil 4 to 6 minutes or until blackened, turning corn once. Place peppers in a paper bag; fold to seal. Let stand 15 minutes; peel. Mince jalapeños, and coarsely chop bell pepper. Cut corn kernels from cobs. Set aside.

3. Place tortilla strips in a single layer on a baking sheet; lightly coat with cooking spray. Broil for 3 minutes or until golden brown, turning after 2 minutes. Set aside. *Watch these! I burned 300 of  them*

4. Combine 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1 garlic clove, panko, and the next 3 ingredients (through chipotle chile) in a large bowl, and gently mix until just combined. With moist hands, shape the meat mixture into 24 meatballs (about 2 tablespoons each).

5. Place a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add meatballs to pan; sauté for 8 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Remove from pan. Add onion, potatoes, and carrot to pan; sauté 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add remaining 5 garlic cloves; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add peppers, broth, and 2 cups water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 20 minutes or until vegetables are almost tender, stirring occasionally. Return meatballs to pan. Add remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and corn; return to a simmer. Cook 10 minutes or until meatballs are done. Ladle 1 1/2 cups soup into each of 6 bowls; top each serving with 4 teaspoons Monterey Jack cheese, 2 teaspoons cheddar cheese, and 4 teaspoons cilantro. Top evenly with tortilla strips.

*I added an additional chipotle pepper, chopped, in the soup as well as the meatballs*

Julianna Grimes, Cooking Light


Monday, October 10, 2011

Menu #73

Monday: Grilled Turkey Breast with Peanut Sauce
Brown Rice
Steamed Vegetable

Tuesday: Chicken Cilantro Enchilada's
Black Beans
Spanish Rice

Wednesday: The Works Pizza
Green Salad

Thursday: Spinach Lasagna
Garlic Bread

Friday: Out

Monday, September 19, 2011

Menu #72

Monday: Angel Hair Pasta with Broccoli & Bacon in Alfredo Sauce

Tuesday: Chicken Cilantro Enchilada's
Black Beans
Spanish Rice

Wednesday: Beef Kebabs
Wild Rice

Thursday: Spinach Lasagna
Garlic Bread

Friday: Honey Pecan Chicken
Fresh, Steamed Green Beans

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Menu #71

Monday: Macaroni & Cheese
Cut up Fruit

Roasted Potatoes

Wednesday: Blackened Cajun Chicken Pasta
Garlic Bread

Thursday: Pork Chops


Sunday, September 11, 2011

Chicken and Mushroom Goulash with Gnocchi

I am back posting for a second time to share one of my favorite recipes from Rachael Ray. I have tweaked it a little bit over the last few years but I have mainly kept it the same. My whole family loves it and the kids always gobble it up. I brought this to a recipe exchange earlier in the year and it won first prize, so you know it is good!

  • Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1/2 pound white mushrooms, sliced
  • cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika, 2/3 palm full
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup sour cream or reduced fat sour cream
  • 1/2 cup parmesean
  • 1 package fresh gnocchi, in refrigerated section of market, 12 to14 ounces

Heat the extra-virgin olive oil and butter in a large, deep skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Add the ground chicken. Brown the meat 3 to 4 minutes, push it off to the sides of the pan then add mushrooms, garlic, onions and peppers to the center of the pan. Cook the vegetables 10 minutes then mix them together with chicken and season with smoked paprika, salt and pepper. Stir in stock and tomato sauce and bring to a bubble. Reduce heat to low, simmer and cook 20-25 minutes then stir in sour cream and turn off heat. Add parmesean. Adjust seasonings, to your taste.
While chicken goulash cooks, bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Salt boiling water and cook gnocchi until they puff up like pillows and float, 5 minutes or to package suggestions. Drain gnocchi and add to chicken just after you stir in the sour cream.

Here's Rachael Ray's picture, I will take a better picture on Tuesday when
I make it for our family. :)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Menu #70

Monday: Rotisserie Chicken
Pasta Salad with Goat Cheese & Arugula

Tuesday: Cricket Burgers
Sweet Potato Salad

Wednesday: Turkey Cutlets
Romaine Salad
Wild Rice

Thursday: Chili Chicken
Black Beans & Rice

Friday: Meatball Sliders
Green Salad

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Spaghetti a la Jayden

One hot, summer day, my oldest wanted to help make dinner 'for me'. He planned what he wanted to make, shopped for it, and the result was delicious! I am so pleased that he wants to learn to cook and show love through the meals we make for others.

Browning the ground turkey - most of the meals that call for ground beef anymore, we make with ground turkey. But you can use ground beef or pork, or sausage... 
Whatever sounds good to you!

Our neighbor sent some basil over that very morning. And fresh basil makes everything better!

The final product! It was delicious!
Here's our kid-friendly recipe, in case you have kids who would like to cook 'for you'!

Spaghetti and Meat Sauce

1 lb ground turkey
1 jar favorite pasta sauce
Salt & Pepper
1 bunch basil leaves, chopped
12 oz spaghetti noodles, or favorite pasta
parmesan cheese

1. Brown your seasoned ground turkey, add pasta sauce and let simmer for 20-30 minutes. My son added a special ingredient to add more flavor (he peppered the ground turkey a little more than I would have).

2. Prepare your noodles according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.

3. Plate your pasta and sauce, however you love! Top with parmesan cheese. Serve!

4. Make sure your child cleans up the dishes, too... It's not a labor of love without the clean-up!!
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Blueberries, Blueberries, Blueberries!!

I don't know about you but I've got a TON of blueberries right now. My M-I-L is a gardener and boy oh boy are my kids happy (and regular), thanks to her berry-growing-skills! My garden yielded about 5 peppers, 4 radishes, and enough lettuce for two salads. Yup, I'm not saving ANY money there yet. Husband says at this rate we should break even on the investment in 2030.
Anyhoo, I digress...
Here's the yummiest blueberry bars that I renamed for the excellent buttery flavor. I used good quality (in other words: double the price) butter that is actually YELLOW!
Worth. Every. Penny.
Here ya go, try to save some for the rest of your family:

Blueberry Butter Bars

1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup cold unsalted butter (2 sticks or 8 ounces)
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon salt
Zest and juice of one lemon
4 cups fresh blueberries
1/2 cup white sugar
4 teaspoons cornstarch
Preheat oven to 375 & grease a 9x13 pan.
Mix together the sugar, flour, baking powder, lemon zest, & salt. Cut in the cold butter with either a pastry blender or a food processor (pulse until crumbly).
Press half into the pan.
In a separate bowl, mix together the remaj ing 1/2 C sugar, corn starch, lemon juice, & blueberries. Pour on top of the uncooked crust, then top with the rest of the crumb mixture.
Bake for 45 minutes (this took 55 in my boo-tay oven).

-Courtesy to Smitten Kitchen

Friday, July 29, 2011

Candy Bar Chocolate Chip Sandwich Cookies via the Picky Palate

I'm always hunting for a new food blog to follow - or a new recipe to try.  I've come across the Picky Palate and have gained 15 pounds just looking at the yummy creations she makes.  
I've made candy bar brownies, brownie covered oreos, some gooey white chocolate bars and much more...  
For Father's Day I made my husband some Reese's Chocolate Chip Sandwich Cookies.  
Yeah, you get what I'm saying...
15 pounds, Baby.


Candy Bar Chocolate Chip Sandwich Cookies
2 sticks softened butter
1 Cup granulated sugar
3/4 Cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 Tablespoon pure vanilla
10 oz bag chocolate chips
Variety of snack size Reeses Peanut Butter Cups, Snickers and Kit Kat
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a stand or electric mixer, cream butter and sugars until well combined. Add eggs and vanilla until well combined.
2. Place flour, baking soda and salt in large bowl; mix then slowly add to wet ingredients. Add chocolate chips to combine. Using a cookie scoop take one scoop of cookie dough and place on top of snack size candy bar. Take another scoop of dough and place on bottom of candy bar. Seal edges together by pressing and cupping in hand until candy bar is enclosed with dough. Place onto a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet and bake cookies 9-13 minutes or until cookies are baked to your liking. Let cool for 5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack. Serve with a tall glass of milk, enjoy!
Makes about 24 LARGE Cookies
Here's a link to her cookies:
Collection of Picky Palate Stuffed Cookies

Monday, July 18, 2011

Pasta Salad with Goat Cheese and Arugula: revisited...

Nancy posted this recipe about a year ago.  While going through some of my menu's past, I found it.  
I made it again tonight...  and this time, I served it warm.  I let the warm pasta wilt the arugula and melt the goat cheese a little...  I also cooked up some bacon and chopped up a rotisserie chicken and threw that in.  I reserved some of the bacon grease and caramelized the red onion just a bit.  It was so good!  
The original post (here) also recommended you double the dressing.  I didn't, and I wish I had!  So, go ahead, double the dressing!  You don't have to use it all, if you don't think you need it as you taste it.

Serves 4
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 3/4 pound gemelli or other short pasta
  • 1 can (15 ounces) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3/4 cup crumbled fresh goat cheese (3 ounces)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 bunch arugula (8 ounces), torn
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced


  1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until al dente. Drain pasta and rinse under cold water. In a large bowl, toss pasta with beans and goat cheese.
  2. Make dressing: In a bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, and mustard and season with salt and pepper. (To store, refrigerate pasta mixture and dressing separately, up to 1 day.) To serve, toss pasta mixture with dressing, arugula, and onion.

Recipe and Photo,  Martha, Everyday Food, June 09

Menu #62-69

Menu #69
Monday: Cobb Salad
Hawaiian Bread

Wednesday: PW's Meatball Sliders
Green Salad

Thursday: PW's Ranch Chicken

Friday: Bulgur and Salmon Salad

Menu #68
Monday: Curry Chicken Salad Wrap
Homemade Potato Chips

Tuesday: Capellini with Tomatoes & Basil
Garlic Bread
Wednesday: Chicken Stuffed with Proscuitto & Fontina
over Arrugula

Thursday: Shrimp & Tortellini

Friday: Tilapia with Green Beans, Corn and Pesto

Menu #67
Monday:  Pineapple & Chicken Quesadilla
Black Beans

Tuesday:  Rotisserie Chicken Wrap
Potato Chips

Wednesday:  Skirt Steak Salad
Crusty Bread

Thursday:  Kebabs
Hummus & Pita

Friday:  Roast Chicken
Red Potatoes
Green Beans 

Menu #66
Monday:  Garden Veggie Linguine with Cilantro Pesto

Tuesday:  Chicken Jambalaya
White Rice

Wednesday:  Pork Tenderloin with Pineapple & Papaya Salsa
Black Beans
Cole Slaw

Thursday:  Stacked Sweet Corn, Black Bean & Ground Turkey Enchilada
Spanish Rice

Friday:  Tortilla Soup

Menu #65
Monday:  Grilled Chicken & Pineapple Quesadilla's
Black Beans

Tuesday:  Tomato, Basil & Mozzarella Panini's
Potato Chips

Wednesday:  Bowtie Lasagna
Garlic Bread

Thursday:  Beef & Bean Burritos
Spanish Rice

Friday:  Mini-Meatball Sliders
Green Salad

Menu #64
Monday:  Lemon -Basil Pasta
Rotisserie Chicken
Green Salad

Tuesday:  Slow-Cooker Roast
Carrots & Potatoes

Wednesday:  Grilled Chicken with Pico de Gallo & Pepper Jack
Black Beans
Green Salad

Thursday:  Fish Taco's
Cole Slaw
Black Beans

Friday:  Turkey Burgers
Potato Chips

Menu #63

Monday: Rotisserie Chicken
Corn Salad (Corn, Blue Cheese, Bacon, Red Onion, Grape Tomatoes)

Tuesday: Shredded Beef Taco's

Beans & Rice

Wednesday: Pepper Jack Chicken

Thursday: Spaghetti & Garlic Bread

Friday: Warm Penne Pasta Salad
(Feta, Fresh Tomatoes, Basil, Chicken)

Menu #62

Monday: Meatball Sliders
Green Salad

Tuesday: Skirt Steak

Stir Fry Vegetables
Brown Rice

Wednesday: Grilled Chicken
Lemon-Basil Pasta

Thursday: Taco Salad

Friday: Caramelized Onion & Proscuitto Pizza
Green Salad

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Cricket Burgers and Sweet Potato Salad

This is my first post on TB&B and in honor of 4th of July week (which is almost over but I meant to do this post earlier in the week so instead of 4th of July week we can insert BBQ'ing in the summer) I thought I would start with my favorite hamburger and my sweet potato salad. I like to cook all kinds of things, but I always come back to my very favorite thing in the world...Hamburgers. Whenever my husband and I are out on a date, I tell him to not let me get anything besides a hamburger because I know that I will be disappointed.

I am going to start with the sweet potato salad. I came up with this recipe because it was my very favorite thing in the deli at New Seasons Market (a local Portland grocery store that I happen to work at). I came home one day and decided that I would make my own version of it and have never bought it since.

  • 5-6 small sweet potatoes
  • 4-5 hard boiled eggs
  • 2 large pickles
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 T. stone ground mustard
  • mayo
  • salt and pepper 
Cut up sweet potatoes into small peices and steam until tender.  Meanwhile cut up eggs, pickles, and red onion and add together in large bowl. Add the mustard and stir. When the sweet potatoes are done add them to mixture. Add mayo until desired creaminess is attained. I normally add a T. at a time until it is where I want it. The eggs add for some creaminess as well and I don't like to over mayo it. Add salt and pepper to taste and the put in the fridge for an hour or more so all the spices come together.

My Husband and I love to watch Man vs. Food. I could care less about the eating challenge but the food stops that he makes before gives me a lot of inspirations for hamburgers, pizzas,  hot dogs, and any other sort of food that is not very good for you. Anyways, this hamburger was inspired by man vs. food watching and it quickly became one of our favorites.

Here's what you need for yummy deliciousness: A good hamburger bun (not a cheap one because it will fall a part with all the juices),  jalapenos, cream cheese, bacon, hamburger, red onion.

The directions for this are pretty self explanatory but I will do a little explaining. 

First you need to grill up the jalapenos. You can scrape out as much of the white stuff that you want to determine how spicy you want it.

Side note: Did you know that it is the white part inside of the jalapenos that the spice comes from not the seeds. Go ahead and try it! I was skeptical at first too when my brother in law told me but I tried a seed and I found out that they arn't spicy at all.

Cook up the bacon and the hamburgers. I personally make my own hamburgers but if you don't have time to do this and just buy the pre-made ones that's fine too. The same brother-in-law that told me about the jalapenos also told gave me this tip when making your own hamburgers. Soak some bread in some milk and then add it into the hamburger mixture. This little step helps retain the juices in the burger. This has been such a good tip for super juicy hamburgers.

Once all three things are cooked it is time to layer. Here is what I do but you can do whatever you like:bun, red onion, bacon, hamburger, sliced cream cheese, jalapenos, and bun.

Add some extra ingredients like avacado or lettuce and the yumminess just continues to increase. You really don't need to have ketchup and mustard with this burger because it is so flavorful already. I personally think it interferes with the taste but I am not telling you what to do. :)

Here it is with the sweet potato salad: