Monday, November 5, 2012

Little Things - Baked Tortilla Chips

So the other night, I was really craving chicken nachos.  I was getting my ingredients together...chicken - check, avocado - check, cheese - check, beans - check, tortilla chips - nope...How could I make nachos without chips...time to make homemade tortilla chips out of the 5 pounds of white corn tortillas that I have stored in the freezer!  It was beyond easy, here's what I did.

Baked Tortilla Chips:

Corn tortilla - cut into triangles or strips ( I used a pizza cutter and cut them into fourths)
Olive oil

 Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Cut tortillas and place on baking sheet.  Spray with olive oil (or brush on before cutting) and sprinkle with salt.  Bake for 6-8 minutes, check on them half way through and stir.  That's it, super easy!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Yellow Salsa

Life has been busier lately, and I've had less time to update the blog...but I'm still passionate about my food and sharing it with others, so I'm not saying goodbye yet!

Here it is October, and I'm still getting tomatoes, and lots of them!  I still have jalapenos too, so I was thinking that I should can salsa, then I thought about it and realized that may be more work than I'm willing to do right now.  So, I've been making this quick and easy salsa with my yellow pear tomatoes.  I love the color, and using tomatoes freshly picked out of the garden makes the tastiest salsa!

Isn't it pretty?!?!
Yellow Salsa

2 cups yellow pear tomatoes
1/4 of a white onion (diced)
2 cloves garlic (minced)
2 tsp lime juice or squeeze half a lime
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp sugar
1/8 tsp pepper
1-2 jalapenos (depending on your desired heat level, and I usually make two batches, one for us and a smaller one for the little guy, sans jalapenos.

Place all of your ingredients in a food processor and pulse a few times until it's the consistency you like.  Taste and add more spices if you need to.  Enjoy!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Lemon Zucchini Cornmeal Cookies

This is a recipe I found in an old issue of Everyday Food, and these cookies are delicious!  They have quickly become my favorite Summer treat. They are super easy to make, and help make sure I use up all of the extra zucchini I have laying around.  I have all of the ingredients on hand, even the lemon zest needed stored in my freezer.  I did make one addition to the recipe, I replaced half of the vanilla extract with lemon extract, just to make it a little more lemony.  Here is the recipe:

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon lemon extract
1 teaspoon packed finely grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 cup all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)
1/2 cup fine cornmeal
1 medium zucchini, grated on small holes of a box grater (about 1 cup)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a large bowl, mix butter and sugar with a wooden spoon until pale and fluffy. Stir in vanilla, lemon extract, lemon zest, and salt. Add flour and cornmeal and mix until mixture is crumbly. Add zucchini and stir until a thick dough forms.  Drop dough by rounded tablespoons, 2 inches apart, onto two parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake until cookies are light golden brown at edges, 25 to 30 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Let cool completely on wire racks.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Whole grain (mostly) healthy Zucchini muffins

This is a whole grain muffin recipe, filled with yumminess of all sorts, but without all of the sugar.  If you are looking for a sweet, buttery, sugary muffin...this recipe is probably not for you.  However, if you are looking for a healthy muffin for breakfast on the go, or a mid afternoon snack, then you will love this recipe.  You can change up the ingredients a bit if you want, you can add carrots and raisins instead of the zucchini and apples, or substitute the zucchini and apples for blueberries.  This is a versatile, hearty muffin recipe, and has quickly become my go to recipe for muffins.

Zucchini Muffins (makes 12-15 muffins)

3/4 cup flaxseed meal
1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 (heaping) tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
1 cup chopped dehydrated apples

2 eggs
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups zucchini

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and grease muffin tins.  Combine the dry ingredients and set aside.  In a small bowl whisk together the eggs, milk, brown sugar, and vanilla, then stir in the zucchini.  Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.  Scoop batter into muffins tins and bake for 15-20 minutes.  Cool on wire rack.  Enjoy!!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Whole Wheat Garden Pizza

I'm calling this my garden pizza because almost all of the ingredients were grown at home, in my garden, which makes me very happy!  It's a (mostly) whole wheat crust, the sauce is a homemade pesto with garden vegetables on top. This was a particularly fun pizza for me to make, because I used a new method in cooking it.  Normally, after stretching out the pizza dough I put it directly on my pizza stone and it goes into the oven.  This time, I heated up the stone in the oven and made up the pizza on a pizza spatula, then transferred it to the hot stone (it makes the crust crispier).  It was crisp and fresh and really tasty! 

I make my pizza dough in a bread maker, I like that it's hands off and super easy.

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough

1/2 tsp salt
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup white flour
1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
1 cup water
2 tbsp olive oil

Place all of the ingredients in your bread maker.  Keep in mind that each bread maker is different, so there may be a particular order to place in your ingredients.  After the dough is made (it takes about 1 1/2 hours), form into a ball and either roll it out, or stretch it out gently (if you know how to make pizza dough that way, if not, you could probably look it up or just roll it out).  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and place your pizza stone in the oven to heat up.  I made my pizza on a pizza peel (spatula) covered with corn meal, to prevent the dough from sticking and then transferred it to the hot pizza stone.  You could also just make up the pizza on the pan or baking dish you are going to be cooking it on.  Then for the sauce, I made a pesto with fresh basil from my garden.

Garden Fresh Pesto Sauce

3 cups basil
1 cup parsley
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup almonds
salt and pepper to taste
 1/2 cup olive oil

In a food processor, blend together everything but the olive oil, until it forms a paste.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and with the processor running slowly pour in the olive oil.  Taste to see if you need more salt or pepper.

Top with fresh, seasonal veggies (I used zucchini and peppers) and shredded mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.

Bake for about 15 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and cheese is melted.   Enjoy!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Instant Oatmeal packs

We are camping this weekend, and while I was trying to figure out what to bring for breakfast, I remembered a blog post I'd seen about making instant oatmeal packs.  These will be perfect for camping, all we'll need to do is boil water (yay for easy camping meals).  They were super easy to put together, and I had all of the ingredients in my pantry, so no additional cost or time spent at the store.  Also, you can play with the ingredients and add more or less of what you would like or different dehydrated fruit.  I think I'll keep a couple of packs made up in the pantry too for busy mornings. 

Apple Cinnamon Instant Oatmeal Packs
Recipe adapted from

2/3 cup instant oats
2 tsp milk powder
2 tsp brown sugar
pinch of salt
3/4 tsp cinnamon
3 tbsp dehydrated apples (finely chopped)

Assemble ingredients in a small sandwich bag.  When you are ready to eat the oatmeal, pour dry ingredients into a bowl and boil 1 1/3 cup of water.  Add water to bowl and let sit for one minute, enjoy!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Grilled Zucchini

Well, it's mid-August, and the most prominent vegetable in my garden is zucchini, loads and loads of it.  I am picking one or two a day.  If I go too long without checking on my zucchini it gets a little out of hand.

One lemon cucumber, two normal sized zucchini, and one ridiculously large zucchini.

I'm always looking for ways to use up my zucchini before it gets either too big, or gets too old in my fridge.  The next few posts, I'll have ideas for how to use up your zucchini.  For today's post, grilled zucchini!  This is an incredibly easy way to use up your fresh from the garden (or grocery store) zucchini. 

Grilled Zucchini

1 large zucchini or 2 medium zucchini (cut into 1/2 thick slices)
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese (optional)

Slice zucchini lengthwise, and try to get uniform slices so they cook evenly.  Either spray or brush on olive oil and coat both sides.  Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper.  Place on the grill, and cook for about 3-4 minutes, flip over and cook for an additional 3 minutes.  Remove from grill and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, enjoy!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Healthy Peanut Butter Brownies

Healthy brownies?!?!  If you are craving a yummy dessert, and want to skip the flour and processed sugar, then these light and chewy and ridiculously tasty brownies are for you.  They are sweetened with honey and are gluten free.  Next time you get the hankering for brownies, instead of reaching for the overly processed box of brownie mix,whip up a batch of these, you probably have the ingredients in your kitchen already. 

Peanut Butter Brownies:
Recipe adapted from Fly through our window

16 oz of peanut butter (I use natural peanut butter)
2 eggs
1 cup honey or agave
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
5 ounces dark chocolate bar , chopped, or chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350.  Mix peanut butter, eggs, & honey. Add in cocoa powder, salt, & baking soda. Fold in chopped dark chocolate/chips.
Spread into a greased  9×13 pan.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool before cutting.


Sunday, August 5, 2012

Peas for Fall

I haven't had a garden post in a while, actually I haven't had many posts this Summer at all, we've been having way too much fun for me to find the time to post recipes and gardening adventures.  Sowing peas in late Summer for a Fall harvest though, is one that I would like to document and record.  I've dabbled a bit in Fall and Winter gardening, but I'm excited to venture out a little more this year.  So, last week the peas were pulled, compost was added, and I planted seeds today (with high hopes for a Fall harvest).  Can't wait to see how they do!!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Asparagus with Dijon Vinaigrette

Asparagus can be tricky to cook without getting overdone.  I've prepared asparagus many ways....steamed, roasted, sauteed, and blanched.  The easiest and most fool-proof way, at least in my opinion, is to blanch it.  It stays bright, slightly crunchy and is super flavorful.  After blanching you can add it to a stir fry, in a salad, or eat it as a side.  I like it as a side dish with a vinaigrette on good!

Blanched Asparagus with Dijon Vinaigrette:
1 bunch asparagus
bowl of ice water
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
pinch of sugar
salt and pepper to taste (couple shakes of each)

In a small bowl whisk together olive oil, vinegar, mustard, sugar, salt and pepper.  Trim ends off and then cut asparagus into bite size chunks.  Place in medium sized pot with water and a pinch of salt.  Bring water and asparagus to a boil and only boil for 30 seconds (asparagus should be bright green).  Take asparagus out of the pot and put immediately into the ice bath.  Once cooled, transfer to bowl and pour vinaigrette on top of asparagus, toss and serve!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Red Velvet Cupcakes with White Chocolate Frosting

I made these cupcakes for a good friend's baby shower a couple of weeks ago, and I have to say, they were so good!  I used beet puree for the red color in the cake batter instead of using artificial food dye, and the white chocolate frosting was to die for!  I also got to use my new cake decorating kit, there is definitely a learning curve to using the tips....usually by the last five or six cupcakes I finally have it figured out.  Guess I'll just have to keep baking in order to keep up my cake decorating skills :).

Red Velvet Cupcakes (makes 24)
recipe adapted from Food Network - Paula Deen

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 tablespoons red beet puree (or red food coloring)
1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 (12-cup) muffin pans with cupcake papers.

In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. In a large bowl gently beat together the oil, buttermilk, eggs, beet puree, vinegar, and vanilla. Add the sifted dry ingredients to the wet and mix until smooth and thoroughly combined.

Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake tins about 2/3 filled. Bake in oven for about 20 to 22 minutes.  Test the cupcakes with a toothpick, if it comes out clean they are done.  Remove from oven and cool completely before frosting.

White Chocolate Frosting:

1 stick of butter, at room temperature
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 ounces of good white chocolate (melted)
1-2 tablespoons milk or half and half

Cream butter in an electric mixer until fluffy, then add vanilla. Slowly add in powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time with the mixer on low speed. Add in melted white chocolate and beat until incorporated. To reach desired consistency, add in milk 1 teaspoon at a time with mixer on low speed.  I've learned if you are piping the frosting on the cake, thicker is better, if you add too much milk, just add a little more powdered sugar.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Chicken Pesto Bake

I am starting to realize that I may have an addiction to pesto sauce, but I can't help it, I LOVE it!  It's so versatile, it can be plain, creamy, mixed with pasta, used as a pizza sauce, in a sandwich, so why not in a casserole?  I had some bell peppers that needed to be used up and my pesto sauce in the freezer, so I went for it!

Chicken Pesto Bake

3 cooked chicken breasts (chopped or shredded)
2 bell peppers (chopped)
1/2 onion (chopped)
2 cloves garlic (minced)
1 cup pesto sauce (homemade or prepared)
4 tbsp butter
4 tbsp flour
3 cups milk
1 cup Parmesan or Romano cheese
salt and pepper
1 lb pasta

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cook pasta according to directions (if I'm baking the pasta in a casserole, I usually cook it one minute less than the directions call for to avoid soggy pasta), drain, but don't rinse.   While the pasta is cooking, saute bell peppers and onion in olive for about five minutes, then add the garlic in for about a minute, remove from heat.  In a sauce pan melt butter and add flour, cook for about one minute and then slowly whisk in the milk.  Cook until the sauce thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon, then add the cheese, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper.  Add the pesto sauce, chicken and veggies, stir and pour over pasta.  Pour mixture into a large baking dish and bake for about 20 minutes.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Black Bean Soup

I made some fantastic black bean soup a while back and thought I'd share the tasty recipe.  I adapted this recipe to suit our family's needs (mainly I left out the chiles, because spicy food makes my two year old cry). 

Black Bean Soup:

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 red onions, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 teaspoons ground cumin
1 16-ounce package dried black beans
1 tablespoon chopped canned chipotle chiles (optional, leave them out if you don't want spicy)
7 cups hot water
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons  salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Heat olive oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and both bell peppers and sauté for about 8 minutes. Add garlic and cumin; stir 1 minute. Transfer mixture to 6-quart slow cooker. Add beans and chipotles, then 7 cups hot water. Cover and cook on high until beans are very tender, about 6 hours. Transfer 2 cups bean mixture to blender; puree until smooth. Return puree to remaining soup in slow cooker. Stir in lime juice, salt, and pepper.  Top with a dollop of sour cream and serve with tortilla chips.  Enjoy!

Thursday, June 28, 2012


We are loving our little strawberry patch.  We are picking about 30 strawberries a day from our 20 square foot bed.   Right now we are picking mostly Hood variety, but we are also getting some Seascapes and Tristars.  The Hoods are June bearing, smaller and sweeter strawberries.  The Seascapes and Tristars are bigger and will produce all Summer long.  So, what are we doing with all of these strawberries?  If they make it into the house, we are slicing them up and topping our granola, french toast, and puffed oven pancakes with them.  I've also made strawberry shortcake and strawberry rhubarb muffins. I have plans to make strawberry lemonade and I want to try a strawberry salad too.  Hope you're enjoying strawberry season as much as we are. If you don't have your own patch, check out for a local farm to go pick your own.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies

I made these cookies after a friend put the recipe on Facebook.  They are gluten-free, and possibly the quickest cookie to make in the entire world, mainly because of the lack of ingredients.  They are also super fun to make with kids!  Enjoy!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  

Whip the first five ingredients together until thoroughly mixed.  Add the peanut butter and mix until creamy.  Mix in chocolate chips (I used dark chocolate, but any kind would do).  Bake for 12-15 minutes. 

Friday, June 8, 2012

Little Things - Lemon Cubes

 I don't know about you, but I find that I am often in need of fresh lemon juice in recipes.  I use lemon juice and lemon zest in sauces, vinaigrettes, and for baking.  I also don't usually have fresh lemons on hand, and with two little ones at home, running to the store in between naps, snacks, dishes, and laundry isn't always an option.  I have the bottled lemon juice in my fridge, but nothing beats fresh lemon juice.

I don't know about you, but I find that I am often in need of fresh lemon juice in recipes.  I use lemon juice and lemon zest in sauces, vinaigrettes, and for baking.  I also don't usually have fresh lemons on hand, and with two little ones at home, running to the store in between naps, snacks, dishes, and laundry isn't always an option.  I have the bottled lemon juice in my fridge, but nothing beats fresh lemon juice.  I like to stock up on lemons, zest the rind, and juice the lemons.  Then I pour the juice and zest (in separate) ice cube trays, and I always have fresh (while frozen-fresh) lemons on hand.  Easy peasy!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Strawberry Rhubarb Muffins

With my rhubarb going crazy, and the first of my strawberries ripening, I knew I had to make some kind of strawberry rhubarb combination.  I was thinking of incorporating these two into an overnight baked french toast, which I'll still try at some point, but I decided on muffins...just because they are super easy.  These are not very sweet, and have quite a bit of tartness due to the rhubarb, so if you like a sweeter muffin, you can replace the agave with brown sugar. 

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup agave nectar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup oats
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup chopped fresh rhubarb
1 cup chopped fresh strawberries 
2 tbsp finely chopped hazelnuts (just because I had them, you could use pecans or walnuts or nothing)
powdered sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 425F. In a large bowl whisk together flour, sugar, barking powder, salt and cinnamon. Stir in oats. Gently mix in the egg, milk and oil until just combined. Stir in rhubarb and strawberries.  Pour into a greased muffin tin, and sprinkle with chopped hazelnuts. Bake for 12-15 minutes.  Enjoy!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Homemade Play Dough

I wasn't actually planning on putting anything crafty on this blog, it was more for food and gardening, but when we made this the other day, I realized that I love homemade anything.  I love finding out how easy it can actually be, I love the process, and I love to give it away as watch out my friends with toddlers, I see homemade play dough in their future, especially if they are having a birthday soon. 

Play-Dough Recipe:

1 cup white flour
1/2 cup salt
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 cup water
Food coloring

In a medium-sized saucepan, combine 1 cup of flour, 1/2 cup of salt, and 2 teaspoons of cream of tartar.  Then gradually stir in 1 cup of water, approximately 1 teaspoon of food coloring, and your tablespoon of oil.

  Stir constantly for 3 – 5 minutes until the dough begins to form one large clump. 

 Stir constantly for 3 – 5 minutes until the dough begins to form one large clump.  Once it’s ready, take it off the stove and let it cool for about 20 minutes.  Then kneed it a bit, and hand it over and let them play, or lets face it some kids will eat the dough, and it will be gross, but at least you know exactly what's in it.  We store our play dough in round Tupperware, and it's been almost a month, and it's still soft and play dough-y.   

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Peas and Beans and Cucs, Oh my!

We ate the first of our peas yesterday!  I love when my peas are ready, it's the perfect kick-off to harvest time.  I love that we can go out and pick and eat right off the plant, and still have enough for steaming or stir frying for dinner. 

Aside from the snacking on peas, I've been busy sowing in my garden too!  Last week, I planted my tomatoes starts, and sowed Black Beauty zucchini (which popped up a couple of days ago).  Yesterday I planted Lemon Cucumber seed, more broccoli seed, and my Kentucky Blue pole beans (which by the way, look just like Good N Plentys).

 My columnar apple trees have a few apples on them and look great, and a friend dropped off a Meyer Lemon plan for me yesterday, with two lemons on it...which I am incredibly excited about...hopefully I can keep it alive!

It's time to get out there and get your plants and seeds in the ground and play in the dirt and enjoy the fruit of your labor!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Chewy Lemon Sugar Cookies

If you like lemony desserts, you will LOVE these cookies!  I generally don't even really enjoy lemon desserts,  just leaves less room for the chocolate.  However, these were so good, they will definitely be going on regular cookie rotation in our house.  They are light and chewy, and pretty much just melt in your mouth.  Here is the recipe:

Chewy Lemon Sugar Cookies

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 tsp lemon extract
Zest of one large lemon, finely minced
4 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar for rolling cookies

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper, I used a Silpat.   In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside. Using a mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until smooth and fluffy. Beat in egg, vanilla and lemon extract, lemon juice and lemon zest.Gradually blend in the dry ingredients.  Refrigerate mixture for about 30 minutes.  Roll dough (about a teaspoon) into balls and roll in sugar. Place on lined cookie sheets about 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until lightly browned.  Let stand on cookie sheet two minutes before removing to cool on wire racks. 

Recipe adapted from

Friday, May 25, 2012

Black Bean Hummus

I had planned on making some hummus the other day, and was really looking forward to it.  I started to get out all of my ingredients, and I realized that I had no garbanzo hummus for me....but then I realized that I had an entire pantry of black beans.  So it ended up being a black bean hummus kind of day for me, and I think I liked it better than my garbanzo bean hummus, at the very least it was just as tasty!

Black Bean Hummus:

1 can black beans(drained and rinsed)
2 tbsp  lemon juice
2 tbsp tahini (sesame seed butter)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2-3 cloves of garlic (depending on how garlicky you like your hummus)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 hot water

Combine all the ingredients in the food processor except for the water and blend until smooth.  With the processor running pour in the hot water.  Taste the hummus to see if you need to adjust the flavor.  Store in the refrigerator for up to a week.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Almond Maple Cookies

A friend made some yummy cookies the other day with basically just almond flour, oat flour, and maple syrup.  They were so good, I had to find the recipe myself.  I found a few recipes and went for it.  These are so good and gluten and refined sugar free (for those of you on special diets).

Here is the recipe:

1 cup almonds (whole)
1 cup oats (whole
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare cookie sheet by either greasing it or using parchment (I use a silicone mat).  Grind the almonds into flour in a food processor and set aside, then grind the oats into flour and add to the almond flour, add salt and mix.  Add maple syrup and vanilla and mix together.  Form the dough into balls, place on cookie sheet and flatten a little with your hand.  Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until edges are slightly browned.  Enjoy!!

Monday, May 21, 2012

BLTA Sandwich...Sweet Simplicity

Only one word is needed to describe the tastiness of this sandwich....yum!  I served this sandwich on Ciabatta bread, with mayonnaise and spicy brown mustard.  It's simple and seriously tasty.  All you do is cook up the bacon (I used Turkey bacon), slice a tomato, rinse and dry some lettuce, and slice an avocado.  Dinner is ready in about 15 minutes!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Berry Semifreddo

You CAN make ice cream without an ice cream maker, and it doesn't take forever!  This Italian dessert is decadent and so much easier to make than ice cream.   I've seen a few versions out there that use eggs, but this recipe is a bit more simple.  You only need a few ingredients, it's a perfect Summer treat!  You can make this with your favorite berry or a combination of all of them.

 Berry Semifreddo

4 cups berries ( I used strawberries)
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup heavy cream

Line a loaf pan with plastic wrap and set aside.  Place the berries, sugar, and vanilla in a food processor and puree.  Reserve one cup of the puree, cover and refrigerate, and put the rest in a large bowl.  In another bowl beat the cream until soft peaks form when you take the beaters out of the cream.  Gently fold the whipped cream mixture into the berry puree until all of the cream is mixed in.  Pour mixture into loaf pan and freeze for at least two hours.  When ready to serve, pull the semifreddo out of the pan onto a plate, and remove the plastic wrap.  Cut into slices and top with reserved berry puree.  Enjoy!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Slow Cooker Garlicky Lemon Chicken

Slow cooker, how I love thee...especially on crazy busy days like today.  Don't be alarmed when your rice soaks up all of the juice, it won't be like a normal slow cooker meal that's swimming in liquid. At the end, all of  the liquid should be absorbed.  So get outside, enjoy the sun, and take a day off from cooking....let your slow cooker do the work for you!


4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Salt and pepper
8 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup wild rice
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 1/4 cups water
10 fresh parsley sprigs or 2 tbsp dried parsley
2 tablespoons lemon thyme or 1 tsp dried thyme

Season the chicken breasts generously with salt and pepper. Place the chicken in the bottom of a slow cooker.  Add the garlic and rice. Add the lemon juice to the water and stir. Pour this mixture over the rice and chicken. Stir once to coat. Place the lid on the slow cooker and set on low for 8 hours or high for 6 hours. Serve chicken with rice on top.  So easy, so good...enjoy!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Patience is a virtue

Just a friendly reminder, to all my fellow Northwesterners, especially in the midst of all of this nice, sunny weather to wait to put in your tomatoes.  It's so tempting to get them in early, but it was freezing this morning (it was 32 degrees a few minutes earlier, I just wasn't up in time to get the picture).  I'll be putting mine in sometime between Mother's Day and the end of the month.  Have a great day and enjoy the sunshine!!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Rhubarb Crisp

This is my first dish made from food growing in my garden this year!  Unless you count the carrots that overwintered underground...but who's counting?  I'm so excited about my garden this year, can't wait to cook, bake, and preserve away as Summer is quickly approaching! 

A picture of my HUGE and massively prolific rhubarb plant. 

This is hands down the best recipe I've found for a Rhurbarb Crisp.  I found it here. The only change I made is tripling the topping.  That's right, I said husband likes a little fruit with his crisp!  Enjoy!

Rhubarb Crisp

Rhubarb Filling
  • 4 cups chopped fresh or frozen (thawed) rhubarb
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Place rhubarb in an 8×8 pan or divide between 6 ramekins.
  2. Mix together sugar and cornstarch in a small saucepan, stir in water. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Pour over rhubarb.
Crisp Topping
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch salt
  • 5 tablespoons butter, melted
  1. Mix together flour, oats, sugar, cinnamon, salt and walnuts. Stir in melted butter until even distributed. Crumble over filling.
  2. Bake at 350ºF for 45 min or until rhubarb is cooked through and filling is bubbly.
Makes enough for an 8×8 inch square (9 inch round) baking pan or 6 ramekins.
To Make Crisp Topping Ahead
  1. Mix together flour, oats, sugar, cinnamon, salt and nuts.
  2. Store in an airtight container or plastic bag. (If you’re worried about the nuts going rancid before use, you can store the mixture in the freezer)
  3. To use: Mix in melted butter and crumble over top of fruit.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Stove Top Chili - FAST

This isn't my normal "cook all day" chili, but it was a pretty tasty substitute.  I had to make a pretty quick dinner one night, and already had some ground beef thawing, so I whipped up some yummy chili using a few shortcuts in just about 30 minutes.  Here's what you'll need:

1 lb ground beef (or turkey)
2 cans Rotel (diced tomatoes and green chilis)
1 can tomatoes
2 cans beans ( I used pinto, but you can use whatever you'd like)
2 cups frozen corn
2 tablespoons dehydrated onions
1 tablespoon dehydrated garlic
2 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
2 tsp dried parsley
1-2 tsp salt (to taste)
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder (I know weird...but trust me)

Brown the beef (season with a little salt and pepper) and then add in the onions and garlic.  Cook for about 1 minute and add in the rest of the ingredients.  Simmer for about 20 minutes, taste and add any additional seasonings it may need.  Serve with sour cream and/or shredded cheddar cheese and enjoy!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Stir fry lettuce wraps

These were so good, even my two year couldn't get enough.  I just stir fried some meat and veggies added a little soy sauce and we had a tasty meal wrapped up in some romaine lettuce leaves (that's all I had, I would normally use butter lettuce).  Also, I just used whatever vegetables I had lying around, you could substitute with whatever you prefer.

1 tbsp olive oil
1 lb ground turkey
2 carrots (chopped)
3 green onions (chopped)
2 cloves garlic (minced)
2 cups chopped kale
1 green bell pepper (chopped)
1/4 tsp ginger
salt and pepper to taste
1-2 tbsp soy sauce
Lettuce for wraps

In a large skillet, add olive oil and turkey, season with salt and pepper. After the meat is cooked through, set aside in a bowl.  Add vegetables to the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes, add ginger and soy sauce and then the meat back into the pan.  Cook for another couple of minutes and take off the heat.  Fill the lettuce leaves and enjoy!

Slow Cooker Green Chicken Chili

This hands off meal, is so tasty and easy.  I serve it over rice, with sour cream and tortilla chips.  It's perfect for a busy day, when I don't really have the time to cook.

Green Chicken Chili over rice:


Whole Green chilis (28 ounce can)
1/2 onion
3-4 cloves of garlic
1 tsp cumin
1 tbsp chili powder
1 yellow tomato
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 1/2 frozen corn

Place chicken breasts in slow cooker and pour sauce on top.  Cook on low for six hours, with about 30 minutes left, shred chicken and add corn.  Serve over rice and enjoy!