Thursday, December 30, 2010


This is a great basic recipe.  Add additional garlic or spices to give it a twist.


1 can (or 2 c) chickpeas, drained
1/3 c tahini
3 T lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp salt
1 T olive oil
pinch of paprika

1) Combine chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, garlic and salt in food process; blend until combined.
2) With the food processor running, drizzle water until the hummus reaches the desired consistency.
3) Garnish with olive oil and paprika.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Baked Chicken Taquitos

These are a great easy dinner.  They would also work well as appetizers.

Baked Chicken Taquitos

1/3 c (3 oz) cream cheese, softened
1/4 c salsa verde
1 T fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 clove garlic
3 T fresh cilantro, chopped
1 green onion, chopped
2 c cooked, chopped chicken (or black beans)
1 c pepperjack cheese, grated
12 small corn tortillas
sea salt
olive oil

1) Preheat oven to 425 deg; spray baking sheet with oil.
2) In a medium bowl, mix together cream cheese, salsa, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, onion powder, garlic, cilantro, green onion, chicken, and cheese.
3) Working with a few tortillas at a time, heat tortillas in microwave for 20-30 sec; cover with damp paper towels.
4) Place 2-3 T of mixture on lower third of tortilla; roll tightly.
5) Place seam-side down on baking sheet; don't allow taquitos to touch.
6) Spray tops lightly with oil; sprinkle with sea salt.
7) Bake for 15-20 mins or until crisp.
8) Serve with more salsa and sour cream.

Homemade Whipped Cream

Homemade Whipped Cream

1 c cream
1/4 c sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Combine ingredients; beat until mixture reaches desired consistency.

Hot Fudge Brownie Cake

My friend Carrie was the person who introduced me to this kind of cake.  Her recipe was a secret, so I had to google to find this one from Southern Living.  This cake HAS to be served warm with ice cream.

Hot Fudge Brownie Cake

1 c flour
1/4 c + 2 T unsweetened cocoa, divided
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 c sugar, divided
1/2 c milk, room temperature
3 T oil
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 c packed brown sugar
1 1/2 c boiling water

1) Preheat oven to 350 deg.
2) Stir together flour, 2 T cocoa, baking powder, salt, and 3/4 c sugar in a large bowl.
3) Stir in milk, oil and vanilla; spread batter in a lightly greased 8-in square pan.
4) Combine brown sugar, 1/4 c cocoa, and 1/2 c sugar in a small bowl; sprinkle over batter.
5) Using a spoon, drizzle boiling water over batter (do not stir).
6) Bake for 45 mins or until a cake layer forms on top and layer springs back when touched.
7) Let cool on wire rack for 25 mins; serve immediately.


Chocolate-Cherry: Thaw 12 oz. frozen dark, sweet pitted cherries; drain and pat dry.  Sprinkle over batter.

Mocha: Sub fresh brewed coffee for boiling water.

Caramel-Pecan Monkey Bread

I cut this recipe out of Taste of Home magazine a long time ago but never got around to making it...until now.  I wish I hadn't waited so long!

A couple of tips...I stirred 4 3/4 c flour into the dough and then spread the remaining 1/4 c on the counter for kneading.  Once that was absorbed, I had to put down a bit more.  Also, between the rising and baking, my bread was overflowing the pan.  Next time, I plan to wedge the dough balls in a bit more firmly.  Also, the recipe notes that you can refrigerate the dough overnight (after kneading) and then let it sit on the counter for 30 mins before continuing with the recipe.

Caramel-Pecan Monkey Bread

2 1/4 tsp (1 pkg) active dry yeast
1/4 c warm water (110-115 deg)
1 1/4 c warm milk (110-115 deg)
1/3 c butter, melted
1/4 c sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp salt
5 c all-purpose flour

2/3 c packed brown sugar
1/4 c butter, cubed
1/4 c heavy whipping cream

3/4 c chopped pecans
1 1/2 c sugar
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 c butter, melted

1) In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in water.
2) Add the milk, butter, sugar, eggs, salt and 3 c flour; beat on medium speed for 3 minutes.
3) Stir in enough remaining flour to make a firm dough.
4) Turn dough onto floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes.
5) Place in a greased bowl, turning once; cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
6) For caramel, bring the brown sugar, butter and cream to a boil in a small saucepan.
7) Cook and stir for 3 minutes.
8) Pour half into a greased bundt pan; sprinkle with half of the pecans.
9) Punch dough down; shape into 40 balls (about 1 1/4 in. diameter).
10) In a shallow bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon.
11) Dip balls in butter, then roll in sugar mixture.
12) Place 20 balls in the tube pan; top with remaining caramel and pecans.
13) Top with remaining balls; cover and let rise until doubled, about 45 mins.
14) Bake at 350 deg for 30-35 mins; cover loosely with foil if top browns too quickly).
15) Cool for 10 mins before inverting onto a serving plate.  Serve warm.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Jason's Adaption of Aunt Theresa's Potato Soup

The title says it all...  Jason is very proud of himself.

Jason's Adaptation of Aunt Theresa's Potato Soup

6 T butter, plus 2-3 T for sauteing
1/4 c flour
4 c chicken broth
3 tsp chicken bouillon
2 c heavy cream
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp basil
4-5 c diced potatoes
1 large sweet onion, chopped
1 T garlic
bacon, fried and crumbled
cheddar cheese, shredded
green onion, chopped

1) In a large saucepan, melt butter, whisk in flour and cook for 2-3 mins.
2) Whisk in stock, cream and bouillon.
3) Add basil, salt and pepper.
4) Add potatoes; simmer for 15-20 mins.
5) In the meantime, saute onions in butter until soft; add garlic and saute for an additional 30 sec.
6) Add onion/garlic mixture to soup; simmer until potatoes are fork tender.
7) Lightly mash potatoes to achieve desired consistency (optional).
8) Serve with bacon, cheese and green onions.

Lentil Vegetable Soup

This is a very tasty, hearty soup.  Fantastic with a crusty grilled cheese sandwich!

Lentil Vegetable Soup

1 1/4 c green lentils
2 large sweet onions, diced
3 leeks (white part only) diced
1/4 c olive oil
1 T kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp cumin
3 stalks celery, diced
4 carrots, peeled and diced
1 T minced garlic
4 c chicken stock
3 tsp chicken bouillon
1 small can tomato paste

1) In a large saucepan, cover lentils with boiling water; cover and let sit for 15 mins; drain.
2) In a large skillet, saute the onions, leeks and seasonings in olive oil for 20 mins.
3) Add celery, carrots and garlic; saute an additional 10 mins.
4) In the meantime, add stock, bouillon and tomato paste to the lentils; bring to a simmer.
5) Add the vegetables to the stock mixture; bring to a boil.
6) Reduce heat; simmer for 35-45 mins or until lentils are tender.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Vegetarian Moroccan Stew

This is the perfect fall dish (adapted from Taste of Home) -- lots of seasonal orange veggies!  We did not have any coriander or allspice, so we just omitted those ingredients.  This would be excellent with naan

Vegetarian Moroccan Stew

1 large onion, chopped
1 T olive oil
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp salt
3 c water
1 small butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1 medium potato, peeled and cubed
4 medium carrots, sliced
1 large tomato, chopped
1 can chickpeas, rinsed

1) In a large skillet, saute onion in oil until tender.
2) Add the spices and salt; cook 1 minute.
3) Stir in the water, squash, potatoes, carrots and tomatoes; bring to a boil.
4) Reduce heat; simmer uncovered for 15-20 minutes or until potatoes and squash are almost tender.
5) Add chickpeas; return to a boil.
6) Reduce heat; simmer uncovered for 5-8 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

German Chocolate Cake

This cake is a lot of work but definitely worth it.  The cake is very light and moist and the coconut-pecan filling is amazing.  I recommend making the filling first and then the cake to give the filling plenty of time to cool.  While the cake is baking, whip up the chocolate frosting.

German Chocolate Cake
Adapted from Make My Cake

Coconut-Pecan Filling

1 1/2 c evaporated milk
5 egg yolks, slightly beaten
1 c granulated sugar
1 c brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 c butter
2 1/2 c flaked coconut
2 c toasted chopped pecans

1) Combine milk, yolks, sugars, vanilla extract and butter in a large saucepan over low heat.
2) Once butter melts, increase heat to med - med-high.  Cook -- stirring frequently -- until mixture thickens a bit, about 10-15 mins.
3) Remove from heat; stir in coconut and pecans.
4) Set aside to cool.


4 oz Baker's German Sweet Chocolate
1/2 c water
2 c cake flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 c granulated sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
4 eggs, separated
1 c buttermilk

1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2) Melt the chocolate and water in a double boiler; set aside.
3) Sift together flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl; set aside.
4) In large mixer bowl, cream butter, sugars and vanilla extract.
5) Add egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition.
6) Mix in the melted chocolate.
7) Add flour and buttermilk, alternating, until just combined.
8) In small mixer bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form.
9) Fold egg whites into batter.
10) Pour the batter evenly into three 9" cake pans (greased and floured).
11) Bake 25-30 mins until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
12) Allow to cool completely.
13) To assemble, alternate cake layers with coconut-pecan filling; finish with filling on top.
14) Frost sides of cake with chocolate frosting.
15) Decorate with pecan halves.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Black Bean Burgers

This is a really excellent recipe, courtesy of Diana.  The burgers reminded us of a veggie burger I had at Tuscarora Mill, one of our favorite restaurants.  I had to adapt the recipe slightly in order to scale it down.  My version made 4 patties.

Black Bean Burgers

approx. 1 c black beans (or 1/2 of a can, rinsed)
1/4 c chopped green pepper
1/4 c chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 egg
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp hot sauce
1/4 c + 2 T bread crumbs

1) In a bowl, mash the black beans.
2) Add the pepper, onion and garlic; mix well.
3) Add the egg, chili powder, cumin and hot sauce; mix well.
4) Stir in the bread crumbs.
5) Form 4 patties.
6) Pan fry until golden brown on both sides.
7) Serve on a bun with the usual fixins. 

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Mexican Stuffed Peppers

This recipe is such a great take on a basic taco.  Instead of stuffing a taco shell or tortilla, you stuff a pepper.  This was also a great way to clean out the pantry and refrigerator in preparation for our move.  I'm posting the original recipe below (with some minor changes), but I made several substitutions based on what I had on hand.  I used ground chicken, a can of great northern beans and whatever frozen corn was in the freezer.  Instead of salsa, I diced up a fresh tomato.  I topped the peppers with extra sharp white cheddar.  All in all, pretty tasty, and these reheat well.

Mexican Stuffed Peppers

3 large bell peppers, halved and seeded
1 T coconut oil
1/2 lb ground meat
1 red onion, diced
2 c black beans (1 can)
1 1/2 c corn
taco seasoning
16 oz jar salsa
grated cheese

1) Steam peppers for 5-10 minutes, until softened.
2) In the meantime, brown the meat and onions in oil.
3) Add beans, corn, taco seasoning and water (following package directions for 1 lb of meat).
4) Stir in salsa; heat through.
5) Arrange pepper halves in a 9x13 pan; fill with taco meat.
6) Top with cheese; broil or bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Homemade Tortillas

I never imagined that making homemade tortillas would be so easy.  We have not used store bought tortillas in months now.  The first recipe I tried produced dry pita-like tortillas, but Diana's recipe turned out to be just what I was looking for - thin, soft and flexible. 

Be careful when adding the water in this recipe.  You may not need the same amount every time -- maybe it has something to do with the weather?  I also recommend rolling out the next tortilla while the previous one is cooking.  I tried the assembly line thing where I rolled them all out and then cooked them all with disastrous results.  The heat in the kitchen made them too warm and sticky and they were very difficult to handle.

Homemade Tortillas

2 c flour (optional: sub 1/2 c of whole wheat flour)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 tsp olive oil
about 3/4 c warm water

1) Mix together all dry ingredients.
2) Add olive oil and some of the water; mix.
3) Continue adding water until the dough comes together but is still a bit sticky.
4) Knead for about 1 minute on a floured surface.
5) Divide the dough into 10 balls.
6) Roll out the first ball; try to get the dough as thin and circular as possible.
7) Cook in a hot skillet for 30-45 seconds on each side.
8) Repeat with the remaining dough balls.

Corn, Rice & Bean Burritos

I don't know why it's taken so long to blog this recipe.  We've made it at least 4 times now, but last night's version was the best yet.  The mix was looking a little dry, so we added in a can of stewed tomatoes.  It added a ton of flavor and made the salsa unnecessary.  If you don't use the stewed tomatoes, I highly recommend preparing the rice with chicken broth.   

Corn, Rice & Bean Burritos

1 c fresh or frozen corn, thawed
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium bell pepper, chopped
1 T coconut oil
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1 can black beans or the equivalent of prepared dry beans (about 2 c)
1 1/2 c cooked rice or quinoa (optional: prepare with chicken broth instead of water)
1 c chopped fresh or stewed tomatoes (optional)
flour tortillas
cheddar cheese, shredded
green onion, chopped
sour cream

1) In a large skillet, saute the corn, onion and peppers in oil until tender.
2) Add the garlic, chili powder and cumin; cook 1 minute longer.
3) Add the beans, rice and tomatoes; heat through.
4) Spoon onto tortillas; top with cheese, green onion, sour cream and salsa.

Sunday, August 15, 2010


We've been enjoying this granola on top of our yogurt recently.  I've had some trouble figuring out the correct cooking temp and time, so use the below as a guideline but keep a close eye on your granola so it doesn't burn.  I accidentally bought salted sunflower seeds, so I've been leaving out the additional salt.


1 1/2 c rolled oats
1/2 c chopped nuts
1/4 c unsalted sunflower seeds
1/2 T wheat germ
1 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch of salt
1 T unsalted butter, melted
1/4 c pure maple syrup (honey would probably work too)
1/2 c dried fruits

1) Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
2) Butter a cookie sheet.
3) In a medium bowl, combine oats, almonds, seeds, wheat germ, cinnamon and salt.
4) In a small bowl, combine butter and maple syrup.
5) Pour the butter mixture over the dry ingredients and mix well.
6) Spread the mixture evenly on the prepared baking sheet.
7) Bake for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
8) Break up any clumps while still warm.
9) Let cool; stir in dried fruits.
10) Store in airtight container.

Brown Sugared Carrots

So..I'm not a huge fan of carrots, so anything to make them taste better is appreciated.  I suppose the sugar in the recipe offsets some of the health benefit of eating carrots, but I'm not going to worry about that.  These make a nice side dish for a roast chicken.  I scaled the recipe way down since it's just the two of us, and I just eyeballed most of the ingredients.

Brown Sugared Carrots

2 T coconut oil
1 - 1 1/2 lbs carrots (with tops on, if available)
Kosher salt
Black pepper
2 T dark brown sugar
1 T molasses
1/2 - 1 c water
2 T butter

1) Cut off carrot tops and set aside; peel and quarter the carrots lengthwise.
2) Heat the oil in a large skillet (make sure that it's big enough for the carrots to fit in!).
3) Add the carrots to the skillet; season with salt and pepper; stir to coat all the carrots.
4) After the carrots have cooked for a few minutes, add the brown sugar and molasses.
5) Add a little water (to allow the carrots to steam) and stir occasionally.
6) Cook until tender, about 8-10 minutes.
7) Add more water as needed, but the sauce should be pretty thick and bubbly.
8) Once the carrots are fork tender, add the butter; stir until melted.
9) Remove the carrots to a serving dish and garnish with chopped carrot tops.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Key Lime Pie

After having Key Lime Pie at one of our favorite seafood restaurants Hooked, we decided to make one ourselves. I decided to go with a recipe with eggs in it in an attempt to replicate Hooked's almost cheesecake-like pie. This turned out more like a traditional key lime pie but delicious nonetheless. Uncharacteristically, I used a store bought crust-- but only because my pie pans are all 10" and we don't need that much pie :-) Next time, I will try this recipe. We couldn't find any key limes, so we used bottled juice (3/4 c). I'm still looking for a use for the remaining 3 eggs whites...

Key Lime Pie

1 9" graham cracker crust
1 egg white, beaten
4 egg yolks, beaten
1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 - 3/4 c key lime juice (about 20 key limes)
whipping cream
sugar, to taste
vanilla extract, to taste
sliced limes, optional

1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2) Brush prepared crust with egg white; bake for 5-7 minutes.
3) In the meantime, combine egg yolks, milk and juice (in that order) until smooth.
4) Pour batter into pie crust; bake for 15 minutes.
5) Remove pie from oven and let cool.
6) While the pie is cooling, combine whipping cream, sugar and vanilla in a small bowl.
7) Beat until stiff and refrigerate until needed.
8) Once the pie is cool, spread whipped cream over the top.
9) Garnish with limes, if desired.

Recipes to try

After coming across a recipe I wanted to make and then forgetting where I saw it (for the umpteenth time), I've decided to start a post dedicated solely to recipes that pique my interest. Then, the next time I can't think of anything for dinner, I can come here and try something new.

Sweet Corn Pancakes

Chicken Stock

Roast Chicken/Chicken Stock/Chicken Soup

Potato Flautas

Steak, Potatoes and Carrots

Brisket Chili

Alex G. Breakfast

Zucchini Casserole

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Southwestern Bean and Rice Salad

We made this as a side dish for fish tacos. I also think it would be a nice alternative for the typical potato or pasta salad at a BBQ.

Southwestern Bean and Rice Salad

1 1/2 c cooked white rice, cooled
8 oz kidney beans (either canned or prepared from dry beans)
1 small green bell pepper, diced
1 can sliced black olives, drained
2 T lime juice
2 T chopped green onions
1 T olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cumin
fresh cilantro, minced

1) Combine rice, beans, bell pepper and olives in a medium bowl.
2) In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients.
3) Pour dressing over the rice mixture; cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Oatmeal-Raspberry Bars

I think this is a good basic recipe for fruit bars as you could use any combo of jam/fruit. I used Trader Joe's seedless raspberry jam. I found the final product just a bit too sweet, so next time I will probably cut down on the sugar.

Oatmeal-Raspberry Bars

10 T cold, unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 c flour
1/2 c sugar
1/4 tsp kosher salt
3/4 c rolled oats
1/2 seedless raspberry jam
1 c fresh raspberries

1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2) Butter an 8-in baking pan.
3) In a food processor, pulse together flour, sugar and salt.
4) Add the butter and pulse just until the dough comes together.
5) Transfer to a bowl and gently knead in the oats.
6) Set aside 1/2 c dough; press remaining dough into the prepared pan.
7) Spread the jam evenly over the dough leaving a 1/4 inch border around the edges.
8) Scatter the raspberries over the jam; sprinkle with reserved dough.
9) Bake 25-28 minutes until the edges are golden; let cool at least 10 minutes before slicing.

Sour Cream Pound Cake Cupcakes

The cupcakes are a bit heavier than the typical cupcake but are very tasty.

Sour Cream Pound Cake Cupcakes

1/2 c butter, softened
4 oz cream cheese, softened
2 c sugar
4 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 c flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
8 oz sour cream
Buttercream Frosting

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2) Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed until creamy.
3) Beat in sugar until light and fluffy.
4) Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition.
5) Stir in vanilla.
6) In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
7) Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, alternately with sour cream, beating until blended.
8) Spoon batter into lightly greased muffin pans, filling 2/3 full (approx. 24 cupcakes).
9) Bake for 22-24 mins.
10) Cool and decorate.


Salted Caramel-Chocolate Cupcakes

1) Prepare cupcakes as above substituting 3/4 c firmly packed dark brown sugar for part of the sugar.
2) In a double boiler, mix 8 oz chopped semi-sweet chocolate and 1/4 c whipping cream until smooth. Whisk in an additional 2 T cream.
3) Dip tops of cupcakes in chocolate mixture, and let stand until chocolate is set (about 30 minutes).
4) Spread Salted Caramel Buttercream onto cupcakes; garnish with sea salt flakes and caramels, cut into quarters.

Vanilla Buttercream

This is a recipe from Southern Living. There are several suggested varieties. So far, I've only made the Salted Caramel Buttercream.

Vanilla Buttercream

1/2 c butter, softened
3 oz cream cheese, softened
2 tsp vanilla extract
16 oz powdered sugar
3-4 T milk

1) Beat butter, cream cheese and vanilla until creamy.
2) Gradually add powdered sugar, alternating with milk. Beat at low speed until blended and smooth after each addition.


Salted Caramel Buttercream

1) Prepare buttercream as directed above using only 3 T milk and adding 1/4 tsp kosher salt.
2) Melt 15 caramels with 1 T milk in a small bowl and microwave for 1 minute or until smooth.
3) Fold caramel into buttercream, creating swirls.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Vegetarian Korma

This is a really tasty recipe! I cooked it much longer than the original recipe suggested. Although the vegetables were cooked, they were not as tender as I like. I plan to use the below cooking times next time. I also found it just a tad salty (perhaps my curry powder includes more salt than most?), so I cut the salt in half. We served this over basmati rice with naan on the side.

Vegetarian Korma

1 1/2 T oil -- I used coconut oil.
1 small onion, diced
1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 potatoes, cubed
4 carrots, cubed
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
4 T ground unsalted cashews
4-6 oz canned tomato sauce
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 T curry powder
1 c frozen green peas
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1 c coconut milk
1 bunch cilantro, chopped

1) Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat; stir in the onion and cook until tender.
2) Add the ginger and garlic and cook for 1 minute.
3) Add in potatoes, carrots, jalapeno, cashews, about 4 oz tomato sauce, salt and curry powder.
4) Cook, stirring frequently, for 25-30 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Add in additional tomato sauce as necessary.
5) Stir in peas, pepper, and coconut milk.
6) Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes.
7) Garnish with cilantro and any remaining cashews.

Indian Naan

So good! I cut the original recipe in half, hence the wonky measurements.

Indian Naan

1 1/8 tsp yeast
1/2 c warm water
2 T sugar
1 T plus 1 1/2 tsp milk
1/2 egg, beaten
1 tsp salt
2 1/4 c flour
1 tsp garlic, minced (optional)
2 T butter, melted

1) In a medium bowl, dissolve yeast in water; let sit 10 minutes until frothy.
2) Stir in sugar, milk, egg, salt and enough flour to make a soft dough; knead for 6-8 minutes on a lightly floured surface.
3) Place dough in a well-oiled bowl; cover with a damp towel; let rise 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in volume.
4) Punch down dough and knead in garlic.
5) Divide dough into 8-10 pieces and roll into balls.
6) Place dough balls on cookie sheet; cover with a damp towel and let rise for 30 minutes.
7) Heat cast iron skillet over medium heat (add a small bit of oil, if necessary).
8) Roll one ball of dough out into a thin circle, about 5 inches in diameter.
9) Place dough in skillet and cook for 2-3 minutes; brush uncooked side with butter.
10) Flip dough and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes; brush cooked side with butter. Set aside.
11) Repeat until all the dough is cooked.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Quick Yellow Cake

I whipped this up last night because we were craving cake. It tastes like pancakes which is odd but good. Mainly I liked this recipe because it was so quick and easy. I used a half recipe of chocolate frosting to top it off.

Quick Yellow Cake

1 c flour
2/3 c sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 c butter
1/2 c milk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 egg

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2) Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl.
3) Add butter, milk and vanilla; beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.
4) Add egg; beat for an additional 30 seconds.
5) Bake in greased 8x8 pan for 25 minutes.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Chive Risotto Cakes

I saw these made on Barefoot Contessa and knew that we had to try them. The original recipe made way too much risotto, so I've cut everything in half below. This should make about 5 or 6 good-sized cakes. They are very rich, so you need a salad or other light side to round out this meal.

Chive Risotto Cakes

3/4 tsp kosher salt, divided
1/2 c uncooked arborio rice
1/4 c greek yogurt
1 large egg
1 1/2 T chives, minced
3/4 c (2.5 oz) fontina cheese, grated
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/3 c panko bread crumbs
3 T olive oil

1) Bring a pot of water to boil over med-high heat (you will need about 3 times as much liquid as rice).
2) Add 1/4 tsp salt and the rice; cook, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes.
3) Drain the rice in a sieve and run under cold water until cool; drain well.
4) Meanwhile, whisk together yogurt, egg, chives, cheese, pepper and 1/2 tsp salt in a medium bowl.
5) Add the cool rice and mix well; refrigerate 2 hours or overnight.
6) Form the rice mixture into about six 3-inch patties.
7) Spread panko in a shallow dish; place patties in panko, turning to coat.
8) Heat oil in skillet over medium heat; cook patties about 3 minutes on each side or until nicely browned.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Angel Food Cake

I wanted to use this recipe for a strawberry shortcake-like dessert, so I cut it in half and made cupcakes. I baked them for 20 minutes at 350 degrees (no cupcake papers). They turned out perfectly. Next time I will overfill the cupcake tins since these don't rise at all.

Angel Food Cake

1 1/2 c egg whites (10 - 12 eggs)
1 1/4 c confectioner's sugar
1 c all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/4 tsp salt
1 c sugar

1) Place egg whites in a large mixing bowl; let stand at room temperature for 30 mins.
2) Meanwhile, sift flour and confectioner's sugar three times; set aside.
3) Add cream of tartar, extracts and salt to egg whites; beat on high speed.
4) Gradually add sugar, beating until sugar is dissolved and stiff peaks form.
5) Fold in flour mixture 1/4 c at a time.
6) Gently spoon into an ungreased 10-in tube pan.
7) Cut through batter with a knife to remove air pockets.
8) Bake at 350 degrees for 40 - 45 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched.
9) Invert pan immediately; cool completely before removing cake from pan.

Chocolate Pudding

This recipe is really easy, but it takes a while to make. I probably whisked for 10-15 mins before the mixture started to thicken. Good thing I had a book handy!

Chocolate Pudding

2 c milk
2 T cornstarch
1 c sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 oz unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
2 egg yolks
2 T butter
2 tsp vanilla extract

1) Dissolve cornstarch in milk.
2) In medium saucepan, combine sugar, salt, chocolate and milk mixture over medium heat.
3) Whisk constantly until chocolate melts and mixture thickens.
4) Temper egg yolks with 1/4 c of mixture then add to the main pot.
5) Cook (still whisking) for an additional two minutes.
6) Remove from heat; add butter and vanilla.
7) Chill before serving.

Sushi Rolls

These were surprisingly easy. We of course made way too much of everything, so I've tried to scale back the amounts below to reflect what I think we will need next time. We used all of the spicy tuna filling to make 3 rolls. We only made 2 philly rolls (because we just couldn't eat anymore), but we had more than enough supplies for another roll.

2 c sushi rice, dry
2 c water
1/4 c rice vinegar
1 T + 1 tsp sugar
2/3 tsp salt
3 sheets nori, cut in half
sesame seeds, toasted

Spicy Tuna Roll

1 T mayo
1 tsp sriracha
4 oz tuna, minced
3 green onions, chopped

1) Combine mayo and sriacha, to taste.
2) Mix in tuna and green onions.

Philadelphia Roll

4 oz salmon, cut into strips
several 1/4" square strips of cream cheese
several 1/4" square strips of English cucumber

1) Put rice in small bowl; add water and swish around; strain.
2) Repeat until the water running off the rice is clear.
3) Use rice cooker to prepare rice.
4) In the meantime, combine vinegar, sugar and salt in small saucepan over medium heat; stir until dissolved; let cool.
5) Once rice is ready, transfer to large bowl.
6) Drizzle vinegar mixture over the rice using the wooden spatula to disperse evenly.
7) Use the spatula to "cut" the vinegar into the rice.
8) Cover bowl with damp towel and allow to cool.
6) Cover sushi mat with plastic wrap.
7) Cut nori sheets in half; lay a piece of nori on the mat, rough side up.
8) Take a handful of rice and gently press onto nori.
9) Sprinkle sesame seeds over the rice.
10) Turn the nori over (now it's rice side down).
11) Put a line of filling across the middle of the nori.
12) Use the mat the mold the roll (see how here).
13) Cut into small, evenly-sized pieces.

Fish Tacos

We really enjoyed these tacos. I'm posting the recipe as we made it, but I definitely want to experiment with a few changes. I think the honey/cumin mixture should have a more prominent role -- maybe as the coleslaw dressing.

Fish Tacos

1 lb tilapia, cut into chunks
5/6 c lime juice, divided
2 T honey
1 T olive oil
1 tsp cumin
1/2 c mayo
2 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
1 T adobo sauce
1/4 tsp sauce
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
2 c cabbage, shredded
1 c cilantro leaves, minced
3 green onions, finely chopped
1/3 c flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 c panko bread crumbs
salt & pepper, to taste
1 c grapeseed oil, for frying
flour tortillas

1) Place the tilapia chunks in a flat dish and marinate (refrigerated) in 1/2 c lime juice for several hours.
2) Whisk together remaining 1/3 c lime juice, honey, olive oil and cumin in a small bowl. Set aside.
3) Place the mayo, chipotles, adobo, salt and cayenne in the food processor. Pulse until smooth.
4) Combine cabbage, cilantro, green onions and half of the chipotle mayo. Set aside.
5) Place the flour, eggs and panko in three separate bowls.
6) Season the fish with salt and pepper, to taste.
7) Dip the fish first in the flour, then the eggs, then the panko. Set the fish on a plate.
8) Pour grapeseed oil into heavy skillet until 1/4 deep. Heat to 365 deg over medium heat.
9) Cook the fish, turning on all sides, until golden brown.
10) Drain the fish on paper towels. Brush the fish with the honey mixture.
11) Assemble the tacos by placing several pieces of fish, 1 T chipotle mayo and coleslaw on each tortilla.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Pasta with Cream Sauce

This was extra tasty. We used fresh pasta (which comes in 10 oz packages), so I scaled the rest of the ingredients back a bit. Also, I was out of milk, so I used a little extra cream and made up the difference with water.

Pasta with Cream Sauce

1 lb dried pasta
1 1/2 c heavy cream
1/2 c whole milk
1 1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 c (4 oz) grated parmesan
1/2 c sliced mushrooms, sauteed
1/2 c frozen green peas
2 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

1) Cook the pasta according to package directions.
2) In the meantime, warm the cream, milk, salt and pepper in a saucepan over med-low heat.
3) Add the cooked pasta and cheese; stir until the cheese melts.
4) Add sauteed mushrooms, frozen peas and/or bacon crumbles.
5) Cook an additional 3-4 minutes until everything is warmed through and sauce thickens.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Potato Salad

This is a Mama K potato salad ever!

Potato Salad

5 russet potatoes
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium bell pepper, chopped
2-3 stalks celery, chopped
3 eggs, hardboiled and chopped
1/2 c mayo
1/2 c sugar
3 T apple cider vinegar
salt & pepper, to taste

1) Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with salted water. Boil until fork tender, about 20 minutes.
2) Drain potatoes, let cool and cut into cubes.
3) Combine potatoes, onion, pepper, celery and eggs in a large bowl.
4) In a small bowl, combine mayo, sugar and vinegar.
5) Mix dressing into potato mixture.
6) Add salt and pepper to taste.
7) Refrigerate for several hours to allow flavors to meld.
8) If the potatoes absorb a lot of the dressing, make another half batch and mix in.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

This is my favorite mac and cheese recipe! You can try substituting part of the cheddar with another cheese to create a slightly different flavor.

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

6 T butter
1/4 c plus 2 T flour
4 c milk
1 1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
1 lb macaroni
3 c (12 oz) extra sharp cheddar cheese
1 1/3 c parmesan cheese, divided
1 c fresh bread crumbs

1) Melt butter over low heat; add flour and whisk for 3 mins.
2) Add milk, whisking, and bring to a boil.
3) Add dry mustard, cayenne, salt and pepper; simmer until thickened, about 2 mins.
4) In the meantime, boil macaroni for about 7 mins; drain.
5) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
6) In a large bowl, stir together cheddar, sauce, macaroni and 1 c parmesan; transfer to buttered 3-4 qt gratin dish or 9x13 pan.
7) In a small bowl, stir together bread crumbs and 1/3 c parmesan; sprinkle evenly over macaroni.
8) Bake for 25-30 minutes, until hot and bubbly.

Onion & Cheddar Biscuit

Another good recipe from Taste of Home magazine! I tripled this recipe for a party, and it made about 16 biscuits. Since I managed to burn the first batch of vinegar and onions, my second batch only had 1/4 c vinegar in it (although everything else was tripled). I could definitely taste the vinegar, so I'm hesitant about adding the full amount next time.

Onion & Cheddar Biscuits

1/4 cup sweet onion, finely chopped
4 T cold butter, divided
1/4 c white balsamic vinegar
1 c all-purpose flour
1 T sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 c cheddar cheese, shredded
2 green onions, chopped
1/4 c buttermilk

1) In a small skillet, saute onion in 1 T butter until tender.
2) Add vinegar; cook and stir until liquid is mostly evaporated (watch closely!). Let cool.
3) In a small bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and seasonings.
4) Cut remaining butter into flour until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
5) Add the onion mixture, cheese and green onions.
6) Stir in buttermilk, just until moistened.
7) Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead 6-8 times.
8) Roll out to 1/2 inch thickness; cut into 2 1/2 inch rounds.
9) Place 2 inches apart on a greased baking sheet.
10) Bake at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.

French Bread

This is a very easy homemade bread recipe from Taste of Home magazine. It makes two huge loaves. Next time I plan to cut the recipe in half to make two smaller loaves. I didn't have any bread flour so I used all-purpose flour, and it worked out fine. I'll try bread flour next time.

French Bread

2 T active dry yeast
2 c warm water (110 - 115 degrees)
2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
4 1/2 to 5 c bread flour
1 tsp cornmeal

1) In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water; let stand 5 minutes.
2) Add the sugar, salt and 2 c flour; beat until smooth.
3) Stir in enough remaining flour to form soft dough.
4) Turn dough onto floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6 - 8 minutes.
5) Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top.
6) Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about one hour.
7) Punch dough down and turn onto a lightly floured surface.
8) Divide dough in half; shape into 12 in long loaves.
9) Place seam-side down on a greased baking sheet.
10) Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 mins.
11) Sprinkle with cornmeal.
12) With a sharp knife, make four shallow slashes across the top of each loaf.
13) Bake at 450 degrees for 15-20 mins or until golden brown.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Banana Nut Bread

This is one of our breakfast stand-bys. We've started experimenting with the recipe to make it not quite so unhealthy :-)

Banana Nut Bread

1 c butter (slightly softened)
2 c sugar
2 c overripe bananas, mashed
4 eggs
2 c flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
1 c walnuts, chopped

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees; grease two 9" x 5" bread pans.
2) Cream the butter and sugar in the mixer.
3) Add the bananas and eggs; mix until smooth.
4) In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking soda.
5) Add the flour to the banana mixture; mix until combined.
6) Stir in walnuts.
7) Divide batter evenly between loaf pans.
8) Bake for 60-70 minutes.
9) Wrap cooled loaves in foil to store.

Healthier Alternative: Substitute 1/2 c applesauce for 1/2 c butter; reduce sugar to 1 c; substitute 1 c whole wheat flour for 1 c all-purpose flour.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Green Bean Casserole

This is a Mama K recipe. Remembering to prep these the night before is a bit of a pain. I think they'd probably be just as good even if you skipped that step.

2 cans french cut green beans, drained (or equivalent in fresh green beans)
1/2 lb bacon, chopped
6 T sugar
6 T apple cider vinegar
1 red onion, thinly sliced

1) If using fresh green beans, steam for 20 mins.
2) Fry bacon until crispy; remove from pan.
3) Add sugar and vinegar; simmer until combined.
4) In a baking dish, layer green beans, sauce, bacon and onions.
5) Refrigerate overnight.
6) Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Buffalo Chicken Dip

Buffalo Chicken Dip

10 oz can chicken, drained
8 oz package cream cheese, softened
1/2 c ranch dressing
1/4 c plus 2 T hot sauce
3/4 c cheddar cheese, shredded

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2) Mix together all ingredients in an 8x8 baking dish.
3) Bake for 25 mins or until hot and bubbly.

Pizza Sauce

This a great slightly spicy, slightly sweet pizza sauce. This makes enough for 3-4 nine-inch pizzas.

Pizza Sauce

1 6 oz can tomato paste
6 fluid oz warm water (110 degrees)
3 T parmesan cheese, grated
1 tsp garlic, minced
2 T honey
3/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp dried marjoram
1/4 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp dried red pepper flakes

1) In a small bowl, combine all ingredients, stirring until smooth.
2) Let sit for 30 mins.

Pizza Dough

This is our favorite pizza dough so far. We've been making it on a 9 in round pizza pan (has holes in the bottom), but as soon as I get a pizza peel, we will try it out with our pizza stone. This is half of the original recipe (but all I can make in my food processor at one time), and it makes two thin 9 inch pizzas. If I want to make enough dough for 4 pizzas, I make two batches and knead them together before putting the dough in the oiled bowl.  I have substituted 1 c whole wheat flour for 1 c of all purpose flour with good results.

Pizza Dough

1 1/8 tsp yeast
1 c warm water (105-110 degrees)
2 1/2 - 2 3/4 c all-purpose flour, divided, plus more for dusting
3/4 tsp sea salt
olive oil

1) Dissolve yeast in warm water in small bowl; let sit for 5 minutes.
2) Combine yeast mixture, 1 1/2 c flour and salt in the food processor; mix until smooth.
3) Add additional 1 c flour. Continue adding flour, 1 T at a time up to 1/4 c, until dough comes together but is still sticky. Process for an additional 1-2 minutes.
4) Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface and knead with lightly floured hands for a minute or two.
5) Shape dough into a ball and transfer to a lightly oiled bowl.
6) Turn the dough to coat with oil and loosely cover.
7) Let rise until doubled in volume (about 1 1/2 hours).
8) Punch down dough; re-form ball in bowl.
9) Cover; refrigerate overnight.
10) Preheat oven to 500 degrees; divide dough into two pieces.
11) Read Martha Stewart's directions for stretching out the dough.
12) Place dough on pizza pan; mist with olive oil.
13) Lightly spread sauce over the dough leaving a 1 in border.
14) Top sparingly with cheese and toppings.
15) Bake for 10-15 mins.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Spinach Artichoke Dip

This is Diana's recipe. I made it for the NYE party we went to last night.

Spinach Artichoke Dip

10 oz box frozen spinach, thawed
14 oz can artichoke hearts, drained
12 oz cream cheese
1/2 c (heaping) mayo
2 T garlic
2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 c parmesan cheese, grated
handful of shredded mozzarella cheese

1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2) Squeeze out the excess moisture and roughly chop both the spinach and the artichoke hearts.
3) Mix together all ingredients in a large bowl (using a mixer works best).
4) Spread evenly in an 8x8 baking dish and bake for 25 mins or until hot and bubbly.

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls a.k.a. Pigs in a Blanket

This was a great recipe with a few minor changes. The hardest part was peeling off the raw cabbage leaves. After removing the outer leaves, it is nearly impossible to remove any more leaves without mangling them. Next time, instead of boiling the raw leaves, I will try the suggestions of the reviewers on to either steam the entire head before removing the leaves or to freeze and then thaw the entire head. These were so good that I'm going to make more tomorrow (to use up my cabbage) and freeze them.

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

6 cabbage leaves
15 oz can tomato sauce
2 T brown sugar
2 T lemon juice
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp garlic powder, divided
1/2 c white rice, cooked (I used basmati.)
1/2 lb ground chicken (or turkey)
1/2 egg, beaten (I used 1 T cornstarch instead.)
2 T milk
1/4 c onion, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2) Boil cabbage leaves 2 mins; drain.
3) In a small bowl, combine the tomato sauce, brown sugar, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce and 1/2 tsp garlic powder.
4) In a large bowl, combine the rice, chicken, egg, milk, onion, salt, pepper, remaining 1/2 tsp garlic powder and 1/4 c of the sauce.
5) Divide mixture evenly between the cabbage leaves; roll up the leaves, tucking in the ends.
6) Place rolls in an 8x8 baking dish; pour sauce evenly over the top.
7) Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour.


One year for Thanksgiving I volunteered to bring cornbread. I was determined to find a good recipe, and I made 3 or 4 different batches and they were all dry and generally not that good. I recently tried a new recipe. Almost the entire 9x13 pan of it got tossed. Then I came across this recipe. Being cautious, I only made a half batch, and I incorporated a few of the changes recommended in the review section. I think I've finally found my go-to cornbread recipe. It was delicious with some honey butter (mix together softened butter, honey and salt, all to taste).


2 c cornmeal
2 1/2 c milk
1 1/2 c flour
1 T baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 c white sugar
1/2 c brown sugar (loosely scooped)
2 eggs
1/2 c olive oil

1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2) In a small bowl, combine cornbread and milk; let sit for 10 mins.
3) In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and sugars.
4) Mix in the cornmeal mixture, eggs and oil; beat on low for 5 mins.
5) Pour batter into a greased 9x13 pan.
6) Bake for 30 - 35 mins or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.