Friday, December 23, 2011

Orange Bread

This recipe comes from the book titled "Just Deserts and Other Treats for Kids to Make," by Marilyn Linton.

1/3 cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
rind of 1 orange, grated
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 cup orange juice

1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/3 cup orange juice

Heat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a loaf pan. In a large bown cream the butter and sugar. Stir in the orange rind and beat in the eggs one by one with a wire whisk or wooden spoon. Sift together the flour, salt and baking powder into antoher bowl. Mix the dry ingredients and the orange juice into the egg mixture bit by bit. For best results, begin and end with the dry ingedients. Pour the batter into a loaf pan and bake for 50 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
For the glaze:
Put the sugar and orange juice into a small saucepan and cook, stirring, over low heat until the sugar dissolves and the glaze is hot. Pour the orange glaze over the loaf while it is still hot or warm. Allow it to cool before removing from the pan and slicing. Makes one loaf.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Friday, December 16, 2011

Fun Tips for Making Life a Little Easier from

I love these ideas! The whole list can be found by clicking here.

Posted on November 01, 2011 in Bed, Bath & Kitchen, Decor & Furniture, Organise & Personalise by Simone

Clever ideas: hull strawberries with a strawVia:

Why didn’t I think of that?! We guarantee you’ll be uttering those words more than once at these ingenious little tips, tricks and ideas that solve everyday problems … some you never knew you had!

Clever ideas: use a walnut to heal furniture scratches Via:

Rubbing a walnut over scratches in your furniture will disguise dings and scrapes.

Clever ideas: keep a cut apple from going brownVia:

Stop cut apples browning in your child’s lunch box by securing with a rubber band.

Clever ideas: store bedlinen sets inside their pillowcasesVia:

Overhaul your linen cupboard – store bedlinen sets inside one of their own pillowcases and there will be no more hunting through piles for a match.

Cleaver ideas: wet wipe dispenser as plastic bag storageVia:

Re-use a wet-wipes container to store plastic bags.

Clever ideas: baby powder to remove sand from feetVia:

Add this item to your beach bag. Baby powder gets sand off your skin easily – who knew?!

Clever ideas: gift wrap storage on cupboard ceilingVia:

Look up! Use wire to make a space to store gift wrap rolls against the ceiling, rather than cluttering up the floor.

Clever idea: stocking over vacuum to pick up lost itemsVia:

Gotcha! Find tiny lost items like earrings by putting a stocking over the vacuum hose.

Clever idea: box lid cupcake holderVia:

Make an instant cupcake carrier by cutting crosses into a box lid.

Clever idea: how to fold a fitted sheetVia:

For those who can’t stand the scrunching and bunching: how to perfectly fold a fitted sheet.

Clever idea: magnetic bobbypin storageVia:

Forever losing your bathroom essentials? Use magnetic strips to store bobby pins (and tweezers and clippers) behind a vanity door

Clever idea: use shower caps to hold shoes when packingVia:

A tip for holiday packing. Store shoes inside shower caps to stop dirty soles rubbing on your clothes. And you can find them in just about every hotel!

Clever idea: muffin pan craft storageVia:

A muffin pan becomes a craft caddy. Magnets hold the plastic cups down to make them tip-resistant.

Clever idea: bread tags as cable labelsVia:

Bread tags make the perfect-sized cord labels.

Clever idea: cook cupcakes in ice cream conesVia:

Bake cupcakes directly in ice-cream cones – so much more fun and easier for kids to eat. Definitely doing this!

Clever idea: microwave your own popcorn in a plain paper bagVia:

Microwave your own popcorn in a plain brown paper bag. Much healthier and cheaper than the packet stuff.

Clever idea: use a tension rod to hang spray bottlesVia:

Brilliant space-saver: install a tension rod to hang your spray bottles. Genius!

Clever idea: how to make heart-shaped eggsVia:

Win friends at breakfast with this heart-shaped egg tutorial. Aww shucks!

Clever idea: use upside-down muffic pan to make cookie bowlsVia:

Turn your muffin pan upside down, bake cookie-dough over the top and voila – you have cookie bowls for fruit or ice-cream. Click here for recipe.

Clever idea: egg cartons for Christmas ornament storageVia:

Use egg cartons to separate and store your Christmas decorations.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Cranberry Cinnamon Chip Bars from Our Best Bites

1/2 C (1 stick) real butter, melted
1 1/2 C graham cracker crumbs
1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/4 C shredded coconut
1 C cinnamon chips
1 C white chocolate chips
1/2 C chopped pecans
1/2 C dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour butter into a 9×13″ pan and spread with spatula to cover the entire bottom of pan. Sprinkle graham cracker crumbs over butter and spread into an even layer. Press down gently with fingertips. Pour sweetened condensed milk evenly over graham cracker crumbs. Continue with the remaining ingredients: coconut, cinnamon chips, white chips, pecans, and cranberries, sprinkling each in an even layer. Press down gently with fingertips over entire pan.

Bake for 25-30 minutes until bubbly and slightly golden on top. Let cool completely before cutting.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Chocolate-Orange Swirls From Southern Living

Note: I love these cookies. They could use a little glaze on them either powdered sugar or orange.

Yield 2 1/2 dozen


1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon grated orange rind
1 1/2 teaspoons orange extract
2 (1-ounce) squares semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled


Beat butter at medium speed of an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add sugar, beating well. Add egg and vanilla; beat well.
Combine flour, baking powder, and salt; stir well. Add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating at low speed.
Remove half of dough from bowl. Add orange rind and orange extract to dough in bowl, and mix well. Remove orange dough from mixing bowl, and set aside. Return plain dough to mixing bowl; add melted chocolate, beating well. Cover and chill both portions of dough 1 hour.
Roll each half of dough to a 15" x 8" rectangle on floured wax paper. Place orange dough on top of chocolate dough; peel off top wax paper. Tightly roll dough, jellyroll fashion, starting at short side and peeling wax paper from dough while rolling. Cover and chill 1 hour.
Slice dough into 1/4" slices; place on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake at 350° for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool.
Chocolate-Cherry Swirls: Substitute 1/2 cup drained minced maraschino cherries for orange rind and orange extract. Add 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour to cherry dough if it is too soft.
Note: To prevent flat-sided cookies, turn dough rolls halfway through the second chilling time. Dental floss makes cutting the dough easier.

Christmas with Southern Living 1999, Oxmoor House

Friday, November 11, 2011

Sweet Potatoes from Taste of Home

I love the orange juice in this.

10-12 ServingsPrep: 15 min. Bake: 40 min.15 40 55 Ingredients

5 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cooked
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon Spice Islands® pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Dash salt
In a large bowl, mash sweet potatoes. Add eggs, orange juice, butter, sugar, vanilla, nutmeg and salt; mix well. Transfer to a greased 3-qt. baking dish.
Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes or until set. Top with marshmallows; return to oven until they just begin to puff and melt, about 5-10 minutes. Yield: 10-12 servings.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Helpful Hints - Alcohol Substitutes

by: Natalie Mitts

If you are ever stuck on what to use instead of white wine or vodka in cooking, find the answers with this list of common alcohol substitutes. As alcohol is used in cooking to either add flavor or help marinade, many of these substitutions will yield similar results.

Amaretto - almond extract, marzipan or orgeat flavor Italian soda syrup
Beer/Ale - beef broth, chicken broth, ginger ale, mushroom broth, nonalcoholic beer or white grape juice
Bourbon - vanilla extract, sparkling apple cider, sparkling cranberry juice or sparkling grape juice
Brandy - apple cider, apple juice, apricot juice, brandy extract, peach juice, pear juice, raspberry extract, water or white grape juice
Champagne - champagne extract + soda water, ginger ale, sparkling apple cider, sparkling cranberry juice, sparkling grape juice or sparkling white grape juice
Orange liqueur - marmalade, orange juice, orange juice concentrate or orange zest
Red Wine - apple cider, balsamic vinegar, beef stock, chicken stock, clam juice, Concord grape jelly, cranberry juice, grape juice, mushroom stock, nonalcoholic wine, pomegranate juice, red wine vinegar, rice vinegar, tomato juice, vegetable stock or water
Rum - almond extract, apple cider, apple juice, molasses, pineapple juice, rum extract, vanilla extract, water or white grape juice
Sherry - apple cider, orange juice, peach juice, pineapple juice or vanilla extract
Tequila - cactus juice or cactus nectar
Vermouth - apple cider, apple juice + lemon juice + water, balsamic vinegar, grape juice, nonalcoholic white wine, white grape juice or white wine vinegar
Vodka - apple cider + lime juice, lime juice + white grape juice or water
Whiskey - the ingredient can be eliminated if the recipe only asks for a small amount
White Wine - apple cider, apple cider vinegar, apple juice, carrot juice, chicken stock, clam juice, ginger ale, mushroom stock, nonalcoholic wine, rice vinegar, vegetable stock, water, white grape juice or white wine vinegar

In general, when substituting extract or vinegar for an alcoholic beverage, use about half the amount because these liquids are more concentrated. Use water for the remaining amount when substituting with vinegar. Also add a tablespoon of sugar to decrease the bitterness of the vinegar. Extract is fine by itself in half the amount. When using nonalcoholic wine, add a tablespoon of vinegar to decrease the sweetness. If syrups are too sweet, dilute with water. For all others (juice, stock, water, etc.) substitute an equal amount of liquid. Small amounts of alcohol can always be omitted, but the dish may lack some flavor.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Candy Corn Sugar Cookies from Our Best Bites

1 batch sugar cookie dough
yellow and orange food coloring

Sanding sugar, coarse raw sugar, or sprinkles
almond bark or white chocolate, melted


Divide prepared sugar cookie dough into three equal portions. Leave one as is and color one other portion yellow and another portion orange.

Line a standard loaf pan with plastic wrap. Gently press layer of uncolored dough into bottom of pan and smooth flat, keeping it at least 1/2-3/4 inches high (you don’t have to use the whole pan if you have a small batch of dough) or larger if desired. Layer orange dough on top of previous layer and smooth. Finally layer yellow dough and smooth on top. Wrap plastic over dough and chill until firm, 30-60 minutes in freezer or 1-2 hours in fridge. Or you can store the dough in fridge for 2-3 days before baking.

Remove plastic and slice loaf into 1/4 inch slices. Trim top of slice to make straight line. Cut each slice into triangle shape and dip top side in sugar if desired. Bake according to sugar cookie directions. Cool completely and then if desired, dip ends in almond bark or white chocolate and decorate with sprinkles.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Oat Pan Rolls

20 servings

2 cups quick-cooking oats
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, cubed
1 tablespoon salt
2-1/2 cups boiling water
2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
5-1/2 to 6 cups all-purpose flour
Additional butter, melted

In a large bowl, combine the oats, brown sugar, butter and salt; stir in boiling water. Cool to 110° to 115°. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water; let stand for 5 minutes. Add oat mixture and 2 cups flour; beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide into 20 pieces. Place in a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.
Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan to a wire rack; brush with melted butter. Yield: 20 rolls.

Nutrition Facts: 1 serving (1 each) equals 205 calories, 3 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 6 mg cholesterol, 381 mg sodium, 39 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 5 g protein.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Crock Pot Applesauce

(I usually triple this)

4 large apples (it's nice to use a variety: fuji, granny smith, gala etc.)

Juice from 1 lemon
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla
1 T. brown sugar
1/4 c water

Peel and core apples. Cut into large chunks. Place apples and rest of ingredients on low for 4-6 hours. I like to add more cinnamon, more brown sugar and some nutmeg. You can taste it after it cooks and adjust the spices to your liking.

I like to can this applesauce, but it does make a small batch. So to do a large amount of apples borrow some crock pots and get them all working to make a larger batch to can.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Coconut Bread

(from my sister)

4 eggs, well beaten
2 cups sugar
1 cup oil
2 tsp. coconut extract
3 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup coconut, shredded

Combine eggs, sugar, oil and coconut extract and mix well. In separate bowl sift together flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder and mix with wet ingredients. Stir in buttermilk and coconut. Pour into well greased loaf pans and bake at 350 degrees for 50 min. Makes two loaves.

(pour over bread after baking)

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
2 T. margarine
1 tsp coconut extract
Combine the sugar, water and margarine in a pot and heat til boiling. Then add the coconut extract. Prick top of loaves with a fork and spoon glaze over top. If you put the loaf on a plate, the sides and bottom of the break will absorb the excess glaze that runs off.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Chocolate Nutella Cookies

Recipe from Two Peas and Their Pod


1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, lightly spooned into measuring cups and leveled with a knife
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt (omit if using salted butter)
2/3 cup Dutch-process unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon hazelnut extract (you can substitute 1/2 teaspoon vanilla if you can’t find or don’t like hazelnut extract)
1/3 cup Nutella
1/3 cup milk


Preheat oven to 325°

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder. Set the mixture aside. In a large bowl, beat together the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed for about 2 minutes or until smooth. Add the extracts and beat for another 30 seconds or so. Add the Nutella and beat until smooth.

With the mixer running, add half of the flour mixture and mix until combined. Add the milk, mixing until combined completely, then add the remaining flour mixture and mix completely. Cover and refrigerate the dough for at least 15 minutes (and as long as 2-3 days).

When you’re ready to bake the cookies, line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll tablespoons of dough into balls and place them on the lined cookie sheet, allowing about 2″ between the dough balls.

Lightly press the dough balls with the bottom of a drinking glass and then bake for 10-12 minutes or until the cookies are crackly on top and soft, but starting to set. Remove from the oven and allow them to stand for about 5 minutes and then transfer the cookies to a cooling rack and allow them to cool completely. Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya


*Note: for the smoked sausage, you can use smoked kielbasa or similar type smoked sausages. If you choose a leaner sausage, like turkey or chicken, you may need to add one tablespoon of olive oil to the pot in the first step when cooking the chicken and sausage together since the lean sausage won't render as much fat.

*Serves 6

1 pound smoked sausage, cut into 1/4-inch slices

1 pound chicken (about 2 average-sized boneless skinless chicken breasts or the equivalent of another kind of cut, like thighs), cut into bite-size pieces

2 tablespoons flour

2 tablespoons butter

1 large yellow onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely minced

3 ribs celery, chopped

1 medium bell pepper (red or green), chopped

1 teaspoon dried basil

1/4 teaspoon Creole or Cajun seasoning (use a light hand with this if you don't want it overly spicy)

1 can (10-ounces) Rotel tomatoes

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth

2 cups hot, steamed rice

Just a tip: start cooking the rice while you prepare the rest of the jambalaya so it is ready to add in during the last step.

In a 4-6 quart pot, cook sausage and poultry over medium heat. Drain the grease (you may only need to do this if you aren't using a lean sausage), scrape the meat onto a plate and set aside. Melt the butter in the same pot. Stir in the flour and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, for one minute. Add the vegetables, basil and Creole (or Cajun) seasoning, and the Rotel tomatoes and sugar. Stir well. Simmer the mixture over low or medium-low heat for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are mostly tender (they'll continue to cook a few minutes longer in the next step). Add the sausage and chicken back to the pot, and cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the chicken broth and simmer 5 minutes longer. Stir in the hot, steamed rice until you achieve your desired consistency.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

BYU Mint Brownies

BYU Alumni, this one's for you.
From the Sugar-n-Spice
Cougareat Food Court

PREP AND COOK: 90 min. COOL: 1 hr.

1 c. margarine
1/2 c. cocoa
2 Tbsp. honey
4 eggs
2 c. sugar
1 3/4 c. flour
1/2 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. chopped walnuts
12 oz. chocolate icing (Use your own icing recipe or purchase some chocolate frosting. You can also search the Internet for chocolate icing recipes.)

5 Tbsp. margarine
dash of salt
3 Tbsp. milk
1 Tbsp. light corn syrup
2 1/3 c. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. mint extract
1-2 drops green food coloring

1. Melt margarine and mix in cocoa. Allow to cool. Add honey, eggs, sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix well. Add nuts. Pour batter into a greased 9-by-13 baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Cool.

2. Prepare mint icing: Soften margarine. Add salt, corn syrup, and powdered sugar. Beat until smooth and fluffy. Add mint extract and food coloring. Mix. Add milk gradually until the consistency is a little thinner than cake frosting.

3. Spread mint icing over brownies. Place brownies in the freezer for a short time to stiffen the icing. Remove from the freezer and carefully add a layer of chocolate icing.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Baked Sweet Potato Fries

I love these! Our Best Bites has a great recipe for these. I cheat and buy a bag of plain frozen sweet potato fries. I put them in a big bowl and toss them with oil and the spices in the recipe and bake them.

Baked Sweet Potato Fries with Honey-Lime Dip
Recipe by Our Best Bites
1 lb peeled sweet potatoes cut into 1/4″ match-sticks
2 T extra virgin olive oil
1/2 t cumin
1/2 t oregano
1/2 t coriander
1 t kosher salt
1 t parsley
1/8 tsp black pepper
*you want 1lb sweet potatoes after they are peeled, sliced, etc. If you weigh them at the store make sure you have a little more than a pound to allow for the peeling, and tossing of small pieces.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a small bowl combine cumin, oregano, coriander, salt, parsley, and pepper.
Place sweet potatoes in a pile directly on baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Use hands to toss until all pieces are well coated. Sprinkle seasoning mixture on top and toss again with hands to coat.
Arrange sweet potatoes in a single layer so that pieces are not touching each other. Place pan in oven and bake for 15 minutes. Use a metal spatula to gently flip fries and then return pan to oven. Cook for an additional 15-20 minutes or until fries are starting to lightly brown and crisp. Remove pan from oven and cool 5 minutes. Serve immediately.

Honey-Lime Dip
6oz container plain, low-fat yogurt
1 T mayo (low cal is fine)
1/2 T honey
1 Tbs fresh lime juice
1/4 t cumin
1/8 t oregano
1 t parsley
1/2 t onion powder
1/2 t kosher salt

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Sorry for the lack of posts. We're in the process of moving. :)

Friday, June 10, 2011

Bread Sticks

This recipe is from Becky Stevens:

1 1/2 c warm water
1 T dry yeast
1 T malted milk- this is type of powdered milk (or can substitute powdered milk)
1 T honey
1 tsp. salt
3 1/2 - 4 cups flour
Salad Supreme seasoning (sold in the spice aisle)

Dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Roll out dough on floured surface to about 3/8 in thickness. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with salad supreme seasonings. Cut into 1 1/2 strips. (I use my pizza wheel)The length is up to you. Place on greased baking sheet. Let raise for 20 minutes. Bake for 15 minutes at 400 degrees. Brush with melted butter while warm and serve.

* I use instant yeast that does not need to be proofed in water. So instead of dissolving the yeast in water, I just mix it in with the flour, salt, and milk. I mix the warm water and honey together then add them to the dry ingredients.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Easy Grilled Chicken

This is so easy, I'm not sure it counts as a recipe. Take chicken breasts and poke several times with a fork and put into a large ziploc bag. Then pour zesty Italian dressing in the bag and squeeze the air out of the bag and seal. Marinate chicken overnight in fridge. Then cook on an outdoor grill. The thinner the chicken breast, the more evenly they cook. I cut my chicken breasts horizontally in half to make two thinner pieces. This is best when grilled on an outdoor grill.

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Spice of Life

Just a quick suggestion for organizing all those little spice bottles- lay them flat in a drawer. I love being to see them easily when I pull out my drawer. Bigger jars of spices and cellophane bags are stashed up on my cupboards.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

What I Add to Chocolate Chip Cookies

#1 I like soft chocolate chip cookies that are not flat. Adding a approx 1/2 cup of flour to a chocolate chip cookie recipe makes them soft and more of a mound than a flat disk. Bake a couple of trial cookies and if the texture isn't what you want, add a little more flour and bake a couple more til you get what you want.

#2 Cinnamon- oh it's so good. I never would of thought of adding this til I saw in it a recipe. I add about 1/2 tsp to 1 tsp of cinnamon. Gives the cookies a little more umph.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Dad's Limeade

I have fond memories of my dad making limeade while we waited with our cups in our hands. We loved it.

1/2 cup fresh lime juice
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups water
2 cups club soda

We usually make a double or triple batch.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Cheesy Pizza Dip

This one comes from Melisa Maxwell.

4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 tsp crushed oregano
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup pizza sauce
2 tablespoons sliced green onions
1/8 tsp minced garlic
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
3 tablespoons red pepper (optional)

french bread, pita bread or chips for dipping

In a medium baking dish, mix together all the ingredients (except for bread/chips). Bake in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes or until bubbly and light brown. Serve with cubed french bread, or pita bread/pita chips or tortilla chips.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Cinnamon Rolls from America's Test Kitchen

This is a long recipe, but it's totally worth it.

Basic Sweet Dough

3/4 cup buttermilk, warm (can use buttermilk powder and water)
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled until warm
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
4 1/4 c all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 envelope (or 2 1/4 tsp) instant or rapid rise yeast
1 1/4 tsp salt

1. Whisk buttermilk, butter and eggs together in a large liquid measuring cup. Mix 4 cups of the flour, sugar, yeast, and salt in a standing mixer fitted with a dough hook. With the mixer on low speed, add the buttermilk mixture and mix until the dough comes together, about 1 min.

2. Increase speed of machine to med-low and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic about 5 minutes. (if after 5 min. more flour is needed add the remaining 1/4 cup flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough clears the side of the bowl, but sticks to the bottom)

3. Turn the dough out onto a clean counter and knead by hand to form a smooth round ball, about 1 min. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm lace until doubled in size, 2 to 2 1/2 hours.

OR you can use the hand-mixing method (which I prefer)

Whisk the buttermilk, butter, and eggs together in a large liquid measuring cup. In a separate large bowl, whisk 4 cups of flour, sugar, yeast, and salt together. Pour the buttermilk mix into the flour mix. Stir with a rubber spatula until the dough comes together and looks shaggy. Turn the dough out onto a clean counter and knead by hand to form a smooth round ball, 10-15 min, adding the remaining 1/4 c flour as needed to prevent the dough from sticking to the counter. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl and let rise in a warm place til doubled in size, 2 to 2 1/2 hours.

3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cloves
pinch salt
flour for the counter
1 recipe of basic sweet dough
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted, plus extra for the pan
3 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons buttermilk or milk
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1. Mix the brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves and salt together in a small bowl. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter and press it into a 12x16 inch rectangle. Brush the dough with the butter. Sprinkle the brown sugar mix over the dough, leaving a 3/4 in border along the top edge. Press on the filling to adhere it to the dough.

2. Roll the dough into a tight cylinder and pinch the seam closed. Roll the cylinder over so that it is seam side down. Gently stretch the cylinder until it is 18 inches long. Pat the ends of the cylinder to even them.

3. Slice the cylinder into 12 evenly sized rolls using a serrated knife. Arrange the rolls, cut-side down in a greased 9x13 metal baking dish and wrap tightly in greased plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until the rolls have nearly doubled in size and are pressed against one another 1 to 1/2 hours.

4. Bake for 25-30 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Rolls should be golden and puffed.

5. Flip the rolls out onto a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes. Whisk cream cheese and buttermilk together in large bowl until thick and smooth. Sift powdered sugar over the mix and whisk til smooth. Flip the rolls upright and using a large spoon drizzle the glaze over warm rolls.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Breakfast in a Cookie

This recipe comes from Zonya Foco. I don't eat if for breakfast, but it's a nice snack to have around. This recipe makes 5 dozen cookies.

Preheat oven to 375 and spray cookie sheets with cooking spray.

Mix the following together in a small bowl and set aside to soak for 10 min.
1 cup oat bran
3/4 cup orange juice

Meanwhile combine the following in a large bowl and mix til smooth:
1 cup + 1 T applesauce, unsweetened
2 T canola oil
1 cup honey
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 T vanilla extract
1 T grated orange rind or 2 tsp orange extract

Measure the following into a sifter and sift over applesauce mixture:
3 cups whole wheat pastry flour (ground soft white wheat) or 1 1/2 cups white flour and 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 T baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
(I skip the sifting part)

Add the soaked oat bran and remaining ingredients to the large bowl and mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon. Drop by slightly heaping tablespoons 1 inch apart. Bake until light browned or 12 to 14 min.

1 cup nonfat dry milk
2 1/2 cups oats (quick or regular)
1 cup nuts
1 cup raisins
1 cup ground flax seed (optional)

Nutritional info for 2 cookies:
210 calories
4 g fiber
6 g protein
6 g of fat
22 mg cholesterol
17 g sugar
.6 g saturated fat
170 mg sodium

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Strawberry Cream Cake

(from America's Test Kitchen)


* 1 1/4 cups cake flour
* 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
* 1/4 teaspoon table salt
* 1 cup sugar
* 5 large eggs, room temperature (2 whole and 3 separated)
* 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
* 2 tablespoons water
* 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Strawberry Filling:
* 2 lbs fresh strawberries, washed, dried, and stemmed (medium or large, about 2 quarts)
* 4 -6 tablespoons sugar
* 1 pinch table salt

Whipped Cream:
* 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
* 1/2 cup sugar
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1/8 teaspoon table salt
* 2 cups heavy cream


Prep Time: 2 hrs

Total Time: 2 3/4 hrs

1. 1 FOR THE CAKE: Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour round 9 by 2-inch cake pan or 9-inch springform pan and line with parchment paper. Whisk flour, baking powder, salt, and all but 3 tablespoons sugar in mixing bowl. Whisk in 2 whole eggs and 3 yolks (reserving whites), butter, water, and vanilla; whisk until smooth.
2. 2 In clean bowl of standing mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat remaining 3 egg whites at medium-low speed until frothy, 1 to 2 minutes. With machine running, gradually add remaining 3 tablespoons sugar, increase speed to medium-high, and beat until soft peaks form, 60 to 90 seconds. Stir one-third of whites into batter to lighten; add remaining whites and gently fold into batter until no white streaks remain. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake until toothpick or wooden skewer inserted into center of cake comes out clean, 30 to 40 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes, then invert cake onto greased wire rack; peel off and discard parchment. Invert cake again; cool completely, about 2 hours.
3. 3 FOR THE STRAWBERRY FILLING: Halve 24 of best-looking berries and reserve. Quarter remaining berries; toss with 4 to 6 tablespoons sugar (depending on sweetness of berries) in medium bowl and let sit 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Strain juices from berries and reserve (you should have about 1/2 cup). In work bowl of food processor fitted with metal blade, give macerated berries five 1-second pulses (you should have about 1 1/2 cups). In small saucepan over medium-high heat, simmer reserved juices until syrupy and reduced to about 3 tablespoons, 3 to 5 minutes. Pour reduced syrup over macerated berries, add pinch of salt, and toss to combine. Set aside until cake is cooled.
4. 4 FOR THE WHIPPED CREAM: When cake has cooled, place cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, and salt in bowl of standing mixer fitted with whisk attachment. Whisk at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes, scraping down bowl with rubber spatula as needed. Reduce speed to low and add heavy cream in slow, steady stream; when almost fully combined, increase speed to medium-high and beat until mixture holds stiff peaks, 2 to 2 1/2 minutes more, scraping bowl as needed (you should have about 4 1/2 cups).
5. 5 TO ASSEMBLE THE CAKE: Using large serrated knife, slice cake into three even layers. Place bottom layer on cardboard round or cake plate and arrange ring of 20 strawberry halves, cut sides down and stem ends facing out, around perimeter of cake layer. Pour one half of pureed berry mixture (about 3/4 cup) in center, then spread to cover any exposed cake. Gently spread about one-third of whipped cream (about 1 1/2 cups) over berry layer, leaving 1/2-inch border from edge. Place middle cake layer on top and press down gently (whipped cream layer should become flush with cake edge). Repeat with 20 additional strawberry halves, remaining berry mixture, and half of remaining whipped cream; gently press last cake layer on top. Spread remaining whipped cream over top; decorate with remaining cut strawberries. Serve, or chill for up to 4 hours.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Sensational Slush

This is a great punch to make for parties.

* 20 Servings
* Prep: 25 min. + freezing


* 1/2 cup sugar
* 1 package (3 ounces) strawberry gelatin
* 2 cups boiling water
* 1 cup unsweetened pineapple juice
* 2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
* 1 can (12 ounces) frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
* 1 can (12 ounces) frozen limeade concentrate, thawed
* 2 cups cold water
* 2 liters lemon-lime soda, chilled


* In a large bowl, dissolve sugar and gelatin in boiling water. In a blender combine pineapple juice and strawberries; cover and process until blended. Add to gelatin mixture. Stir in concentrates and cold water. Cover and freeze for 8 hours or overnight.
* Remove from the freezer 45 minutes before serving. For each serving, combine 1/2 cup slush mixture with 1/2 cup lemon-lime soda; stir well. Yield: 20 servings.

Nutrition Facts: 1 serving (1 cup) equals 151 calories, trace fat (trace saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 22 mg sodium, 39 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 1 g protein.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Enchilada Casserole from Taste of Home

I just tried this recipe and we really liked it. I used non-fat sour cream instead of reduced fat. The recipe calls for just setting the tortillas in the dish. It was a little hard to serve with the whole tortillas in there. Next time I would tear up the tortillas in pieces so it would be easier to serve. Also I would add the lettuce, cilantro and tomatoes to each individual serving instead of the whole casserole. Lettuce and cilantro don't taste very good reheated with the leftovers.

* 8 Servings
* Prep: 25 min. Bake: 30 min.


* 1 pound lean ground beef (90% lean)
* 1 large onion, chopped
* 2 cups salsa
* 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
* 1/4 cup reduced-fat Italian salad dressing
* 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium taco seasoning
* 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
* 6 flour tortillas (8 inches)
* 3/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
* 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded reduced-fat Mexican cheese blend
* 1 cup shredded lettuce
* 1 medium tomato, chopped
* 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro


* In a large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the salsa, beans, dressing, taco seasoning and cumin. Place three tortillas in a 2-qt. baking dish coated with cooking spray. Layer with half of the meat mixture, sour cream and cheese. Repeat layers.
* Cover and bake at 400° for 25 minutes. Uncover; bake 5-10 minutes longer or until heated through. Let stand for 5 minutes before topping with lettuce, tomato and cilantro. Yield: 8 servings.

Nutrition Facts: 1 piece equals 357 calories, 12 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 45 mg cholesterol, 864 mg sodium, 37 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 23 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 3 lean meat, 2 starch, 1 vegetable, 1 fat.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Southwest Pasta Salad from Our Best Bites

Southwest Pasta Salad
Recipe by Our Best Bites

1/2 lb bowtie pasta (I subbed in whole wheat penne)
1 14oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 roma tomatoes, diced or about 3/4 C or halved cherry tomatoes
1 large red, yellow, or orange bell pepper, diced
1/2 C sliced green onions
1/2 C frozen fresh corn
zest from 2 limes
optional: 8 oz diced cooked chicken (this is fantastic)
1/2 C Queso Fresco or Cotija Cheese (or you could sub grated jack, cheddar or pepperjack)

6 Tbs fresh lime juice (about 3 juicy limes)
1/4 C rice vinegar
4-5 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp kosher or sea salt
2 tsp sugar (add a touch more if your limes are extra sour/bitter)
3/4 C canola oil
1/2 C roughly chopped cilantro

To prepare dressing place Boil pasta in salted water until cooked. While it's cooking, prepare dressing.

First zest your limes and place the zest in a large salad bowl.

Place the lime juice, vinegar, garlic, chili powder, cumin, coriander, salt and sugar in a blender. (Basically everything except the cilantro and oil) Process until smooth. With the motor running slowly, add the oil in a steady stream until incorporated. Add the cilantro and pulse so it gets broken up, but some pieces still remain in tact.

When pasta is done cooking, drain and rinse immediately with cold water to cool. Place the pasta in the large salad bowl with the lime zest. Add black beans, tomatoes, diced pepper, green onions, corn (no need to thaw the corn), and chicken if desired. Toss with dressing. Taste, and add additional salt and pepper to taste. For best results, chill for 1 hour before serving. Right before serving, sprinkle cheese on top. Serve with extra lime wedges if desired.

Makes about 4-6 dinner sized servings or 10-12 side servings

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Bread Machine Dinner Rolls

This takes about 3 hours

I put the following ingredients into my bread maker in the following order:

3/4 c water (about 110 degrees)
1 egg
3 cups flour (either all white flour or 1 cup whole wheat flour and 2 cups white)
1 tsp salt
3 T. sugar
6 T. butter (temperature I like is somewhere between straight from the fridge and room temp)
3 T. instant fat-free milk
2 1/4 tsp instant yeast (there is a difference between active yeast-the kind you proof in warm water & sugar- and instant or bread machine yeast)

On my machine I select the dough option and it takes 1 hr and 40 minutes. After that cycle is done, take the dough out and let it rest, covered with a wet dish towel that has been wrung out for 20 min. Then you can shape the rolls how you like. I don't make very pretty round rolls so I either make knots (roll out "ropes" and tie in knots) or crescent roll shape (roll out in big circle and using a pizza cutter keep dividing the dough in half til you get 16 wedges, then roll up to form a crescent roll) Place on greased baking sheet and let rise til doubled in size- about an hour. Then bake in 350 degree oven for about 10-12 min. My oven browns them faster in the back so I like to take them out part way through baking and turn the sheet around.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Blueberry Oat Pancakes

I just made this recipe from Taste of Home and we really liked it.

* 5 Servings
* Prep: 20 min. Cook: 5 min./ batch


* 3/4 cup quick-cooking oats, divided
* 3 tablespoons orange juice
* 1 egg, lightly beaten
* 2/3 cup fat-free evaporated milk
* 1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
* 2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
* 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
* 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
* 3 tablespoons brown sugar
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 cup fresh or frozen unsweetened blueberries


* In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup oats and orange juice; let stand for 5 minutes. Stir in the egg, milk, sour cream, applesauce and vanilla; set aside.
* Place remaining oats in a small food processor; cover and process until ground. Transfer to a large bowl; add the flours, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and baking soda. Stir in the wet ingredients just until moistened.
* Pour batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto a hot griddle coated with cooking spray; sprinkle with blueberries. Turn when bubbles form on top; cook until second side is golden brown. Yield: 10 pancakes.

Kitchen Tools

My microplane zester is one of my favorite kitchen tools. It's great for garlic. I feel like I'm using all of the garlic clove with a zester versus my garlic press where a lot of the clove gets left behind. The zester is also wonderful for zesting citrus for recipes. I never end up with any of the bitter pith underneath the peel.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

What's for Dinner?

Before you set out to organize your meals, here are some things to consider:

* How many people are you cooking for?
* How many weeks are you planning for?
* Are you going to cook everyday?
* What meals are you planning for? (just dinner or others as well)
* Are you cooking side dishes with every meal/dinner?
* Where are you going to write down what you planned?

Answering these questions has helped me to plan my menu for 4 weeks. I have a little index card with 4 columns- one for each week of the month. When it is time to plan meals for the week I look at my card, see which week I'm on and assign each day a meal from my list. I shop every week and I only use cash. Seems extreme, but it is one of the best tools for sticking to a budget. I cook Monday through Thursday. Friday and Saturday are leftovers, homemade pizza, or grilled cheese...etc. Sunday evenings we have pancakes or waffles, fresh fruit, and scrambled eggs. I keep track of my menu on my palm pilot. It's very frustrating to plan out the week only to lose my plan on a misplaced scrap of paper. I like to try new recipes and I'll just sub one of those in during the week. If we like it I work it into the rotation, if not it's one less recipe from the "recipes to try" stack. One other thing that helps me stay organized is well stocked pantry- based on my menu.

Friday, January 21, 2011


1 stick margarine, softened
1 c sugar
2 eggs
1 c yellow corn meal
1 1/2 c flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 c milk

Cream margarine and sugar. Add eggs and corn meal. Mix dry ingredients in separate bowl and add to corn meal mix alternately with milk. Bake at 375. Can bake in greased 8x8 dish( about 40 min)
or as muffins (about 20 min).

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Chocolate Chip Bar Cookies from

These are a tasty, healthier version of chocolate chip cookies.
Makes 2 dozen

"The instant pudding and applesauce replace the shortening entirely. (Use chocolate pudding for chocolate chocolate chip cookies.) Since these cookies
are so moist, I suggest storing them in the refrigerator or freezer. They freeze wonderfully." (from Zonya's website)

Preheat oven to 350°. Coat one 9" x 13" baking dish with cooking spray.

1 cup unsweetened applesauce
3/4 cup cups firmly packed brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla
4 egg whites
1 lg pkg (5.1 oz) instant vanilla or (5.9 oz) chocolate pudding
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour*
1 cup oats (quick-cooking or old-fashioned)
1/2 bag (12 oz) semi-sweet chocolate chips

* You can substitute 1 cup whole wheat flour and 1 cup all-purpose

Using a fork, mix applesauce, brown sugar, vanilla and egg whites well in a large bowl. In a medium-sized bowl, mix the pudding, baking soda, baking powder, and flour with a fork. Then add to the liquid ingredients and stir well. Add oats and mix.
Add chocolate chips and mix. Let dough sit about 10 min. Place dough in baking dish.
Lay a sheet of wax paper on top. Press dough out. Remove wax paper.
Bake 25 minutes. When you take the cookies out of the oven, they will look lightly
browned on top and be soft to the touch. They will firm up as they cool. Then cut into 24, equal-size bars. If keeping past 2 days, store cookies in refrigerator or

Nutrition information for 1 bar cookie:
135 Calories, Calories from fat 14%, 2 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 2 g fiber, 0 mg of cholesterol, 165 mg sodium, 3 g protein, 28 g total carbohydrates, 16 g sugar

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Chicken Noodle Soup

1 whole chicken (any extra parts inside removed)
4-5 ribs of celery, diced
6-7 carrots, sliced into coins
1 yellow onion, diced
1 Tablespoon salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

wide egg noodles- I usually use about 1 bag

In a tall stockpot put in the chicken and fill the pot with enough water to cover the chicken. Add in the celery, carrots, onion, salt and pepper. (I like to add as much water to the pot as I can without it boiling over once it gets boiling to make as much broth as I can) Boil chicken til done, about 1 hour. (the wing or leg joint should move easily when the chicken is done) Debone chicken- throw bones away and put the chicken in the fridge. Strain out the vegetables, but keep the broth and set both in the fridge. You can either let the broth set in the fridge til the fat forms on top and skim off the fat (this takes a while), or you can use a fat separator instead of putting it in the fridge. After the fat has been removed, cook noodles in the broth for about 10 min. While noodles are cooking, cut up chicken into bite size pieces. When the noodles are done, add the chicken and vegetables back into the broth & noodles. The heat from the broth will heat up the chicken and vegetables very quickly. At this point the soup still needs a little salt and pepper to taste, but I let each person season their portion individually.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Roasted Carrots- Cook's Illustrated

1 1/2 lbs. carrots, peeled, halved crosswise, and cut lengthwise if necessary to create even pieces
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Table salt and pepper

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. In large bowl, combine carrots with butter, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper; toss to coat. Transfer carrots to foil- or parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet and spread in single layer.

2. Cover baking sheet tightly with foil and cook for 15 minutes. Remove foil and continue to cook, stirring twice, until carrots are well browned and tender, 30 to 35 minutes.

*I haven't tried the sauce yet. We really liked the roasted carrots.

Optional Chermoula Sauce

1 tablespoon oil
1 medium garlic clove , minced or pressed through garlic press (about 1 teaspoon)
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
Pinch cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro leaves
2 teaspoons juice from 1 lemon

While carrots roast, heat 1 tablespoon oil, garlic, paprika, cumin, and cayenne in small skillet over medium-low heat; cook, stirring frequently until sizzling and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Transfer to small bowl and cool to room temperature, then stir in cilantro and lemon juice.

4. Transfer roasted carrots to serving bowl and toss with oil mixture. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.