Monday, April 26, 2010

CSA Farm Share

I'm so excited! I received my first email newsletter from Treasured Haven Farm about my CSA share! I sent my check last week so I'm all ready to receive my bounty of vegetables and fruits in June. Yay! I'm anxious to experiment with the different vegetables I'll receive and make some great recipes. Each box will have 7-15 varieties and I'll pick up my box every other week this season to try it out. The farmer lady I spoke with said this was a great way to begin, this will allow me to visit farmer's markets on my off weeks.

Here's what I can expect in my CSA share box:

    Early Season (mid June - mid July):
    Lettuce Blends; Mixed Greens; Arugula; Spinach; Broccoli; Green Onions;
    Radishes; Peas; Beet Greens, Baby Beets; Baby Carrots; Turnips; Summer
    Squash, Zucchini; Wild Edibles, other crops as available.

    Mid Season (mid July - August):
    New Potatoes; Beets; Green Beans; Carrots; Summer Squash, Zucchini;
    Lettuce, Mixed Greens, Swiss Chard; Peppers - sweet and hot; Eggplant;
    Tomatoes - cherry, plum, grape, heirloom, paste, slicers; Sweet Corn;
    Onions; Broccoli; Cauliflower; Cabbage; Cantaloupe, Watermelons; Parsley,
    Chamomile, Sage, Chives, other crops as available.

    Late Season (September - October):
    Tomatoes; Peppers; Eggplant; Cabbage; Carrots; Potatoes; Lettuce, Mixed
    Greens, Swiss Chard, Arugula, Kale; Onions; Beets; Okra; Rutabaga;
    Cantaloupe, Watermelon; Sweet Corn; Turnips; Winter Squashes -
    Spaghetti, Butternut, Buttercup, Acorn, Delicata, Sweet Dumpling, more;
    Pumpkins - Pie, Carving, Decorative, Mini; Ornamental Corn; Gourds;
    Parsley, Chives, other crops as available.

Yay for supporting local farmers!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Ginger Ale

We've enjoyed great homemade tasting ginger ale at one of our favorite restaurants Big Bowl (Asian/Thai). Ginger ale from the grocery store- Canada Dry, etc.- just doesn't taste the same. We found a recipe online for home brewed ginger ale using yeast, grated ginger, sugar, water, and lemon juice.

Wow! My husband did good! I didn't have a part in this recipe so really and truly this is all stolen! I am just enjoying the beverage :)

Jim needed to strain the ginger ale from the bottle to keep the ginger and yeast residue from our glasses.

It was a fairly easy process (I heard) and my husband just couldn't wait for it to be done. It needed to sit for 24-48 hours to carbonate or ferment, or whatever it did.

Click here for the stolen recipe for ginger ale!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Cookie Monster cupcakes

I made these Cookie Monsters for my son's birthday. He didn't really have a favorite character so I just chose a theme that was easy and I had these cupcakes on my list of treats to make so it was a perfect opportunity to experiment.

I was not and am still not an expert with pastry tips and frostings but these were surprisingly easy with this tip:

The bottom tip has tiny little holes to make the "fur". It was simply squeeze and lift, over and over again.

And guess what Adia, you have a surprise coming to you in your mailbox soon so that you can make the same cupcakes and more!

I can't find the original link to the technique that I used but I did find TONS of pictures of other Cookie Monster cupcakes. You can make the fur frosting but you could also use blue sanding sugar to just color the cupcake tops. Well, check out the link.

I made the cupcakes as usual and after they were cooled I cut a slit in the side of each cupcake, to insert the mini cookie (in the mouth). I piped the fur frosting all around the cookie. I used white candy melts (flat discs, found at Michael's or any crafting store I think) for the eyes and used black icing (tube I bought at the grocery store) for the eye pupils.

I think they turned out very cute!
Click here for the stolen recipe for Martha's One-Bowl Chocolate cupcakes.
Click here for the stolen recipe for Martha's Swiss Meringue Buttercream frosting.

Good luck Adia! I hope the package will arrive soon and you can bake away!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Oatmeal Raspberry Scones & Clementine Curd

I combined two recipes that didn't excite me. Together they were good! The scones needed some sweetness. My curd hadn't thickened up but it made a great little sauce. I'm trying to find some other use for it...

Click here for the stolen recipe for the Oatmeal Raspberry Scones.
Click here for the stolen recipe for Clementine Curd.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Easy Week

I have proclaimed today the start of Easy Week. I do like to cook but I made my weekly menu so that I don't have a whole lot of that this week. Sometimes it's just nice to relax and not fuss.

Tonight we had brownie sundaes to celebrate Easy Week. Okay, I did. I bought Ghiradelli brownie mix, Vanilla Bean ice cream, and hot fudge sauce. It was delicious and I didn't make ANY of it homemade. That sundae does end the desserts for the week. I also need a break from those!

The only recipe I'll be making is trying to make homemade ginger ale. We have all of the ingredients, we are anxious to try!
  • Sunday- Rotisserie chicken, Annie's Mac n cheese, salad
  • Monday- French dip sandwiches (whole wheat hoagies, deli sliced roast beef, provolone cheese- broiled for a few minutes), Au jus, and broccoli slaw
  • Tuesday- No dinner planned! My husband goes to his pool league and maybe we'll just have PB&J for dinner :)
  • Wednesday- Salad for dinner! (salad greens, red onion, orange bell pepper, carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, hard boiled eggs, blue cheese, bacon?)
  • Thursday- No dinner planned! My husband has a work happy hour and I have a late day at work too. I'm planning on making breakfast for dinner for myself and my son. He loves his pancakes so he won't have a problem with this.
  • Friday- Spaghetti (jarred sauce with added green bell pepper and ground turkey), multigrain dinner rolls, salad
  • Saturday- My husband wants to grill some steaks, the rest we'll plan that morning.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Chocolate Ice Cream

David Lebovitz. He is known as the ice cream expert. He has this amazing book called The Perfect Scoop and it has the BEST ice cream recipes. I've made a few now and they haven't disappointed. I will need to make some of the more exotic flavors like Olive Oil or Fig Ice Cream, and also make some of the add-ins like the fudge ripple or the homemade cones/vessels. Oh yum. I think the Summer of Ice Cream is coming up!
I own The Perfect Scoop but this recipe is found online in many, many places. He is the expert after all, and you can't go wrong with his ice cream recipes!

Apple Butter

My son was very excited to go apple picking and hit the pumpkin patches in the fall. I also LOVE fall. It's my favorite time of year. It's usually my favorite eating time too- pumpkins, apples, Thanksgiving, etc. We had plenty of apples because of the apple orchard visits and I had heard of making apple butter and I had dreams of making it and spreading it on toast and bagels, and maybe finding some other creative use for it.

Well, I made it. It was good. And I still have some of it in the freezer!! I need to use it up. I'm sure it's not good for much longer.

Click here for the stolen recipe for Apple Butter.

Apple Cranberry Cake-Pie

Oh man. This is one of my favorites. Now why haven't I made this one multiple, multiple times?? I need priorities in my life, people! Okay, well the recipe is really a pie crust, filling, but in a cake pan. No fussy crust making or fluting. It was all very easy and it was just wonderful tasting with a little ice cream on top. Oh yum.

Turkey Cookies

These cookies were my first experience with piping and flooding cookies with royal icing. I was so excited! I had a plan and a great cookbook for guidance, and I thought I could do it.

I did it! And then I made the big ooops of misjudging their doneness. I mean, when I transported them to my sister's house for Thanksgiving I put them on a pretty serving tray and then put Press N Seal wrap on top. Ugh! The wrap stuck to the cookies and ripped off all of that hard work. The hours of carefully piping the borders and then squeezing the thinned icing in the middles, spreading with a toothpick, and then adding the swirls of colors. I let them dry overnight but it wasn't enough. I know better now. I don't count this as a failure because of the silly mistake. They were fabulous cookies for about an hour :)

There is not a stolen recipe for these cookies. I used the sugar cookie and royal icing recipes from Cookie Craft.


These are not homemade, but next year I don't see why I couldn't make them ahead of time for my wonderful son to decorate. I consider this one of our best projects because it was one of the first Mom/Son baking projects ever! My son had THE BEST time decorating his Gingerbread Boys. He had been reading a book about The Sweet Smell of Christmas and he was pumped about gingerbread boys. They are definitely a part of Christmas for us now :)


Its very rare that a recipe doesn't turn out for me. I always find recipes on trusty blogs or cookbooks that I know and love. Well, this cake was inedible. Like I literally spit it out of my mouth!
I had all of these clementine oranges that were sitting around, about to be wasted because my son lost his enthusiasm for eating them. I did a search in my Google Reader for "clementines" and the wonderful Smitten Kitchen had this cake recipe. I was excited but then a little hestitant after I read that it was made with ground almonds- no flour. I do like flourless cakes but this was a lot of effort for an experiment- boiling the clementines for two hours? Not hard but I was then obligated to hang around and wait for them. Anyway, the texture was grainy and the taste was like mush. I have texture issues, I know, so maybe I was hasty in throwing out the entire cake. It also stuck to the bottom of my pretty cake pan, so I was beyond frustrated. Yeah, maybe I should have used the suggested springform pan but I don't have one at the moment. Whateva.
Anyway, failure is okay. It happens! Just not in this kitchen often :)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Red Velvet cupcakes

I made these for a staff potluck at work. I also made them because my husband has always wanted me to make them :) He had red velvet once at a restaurant and thought I could make it better.

I know what he really likes is the cream cheese frosting. I had to make the cream cheese frosting. Of course.

And so pretty!

This was really my first experience with Red Velvet so I don't know if I really did make it better! Well, it was good.

Christmas Cookies

I love Christmas baking! First, here is my final tray of cookies.

I made:
Gingerbread cookies
Roll-out sugar cookies
Almond candy
Peppermint marshmallows
Chocolate Peanut Butter Blossoms
Mexican Wedding Cakes

My assembly line of sugar cookie decorating. The squeeze bottles contain the thin "flooding" icing- it squeezes out very thinly and will harden eventually. The pastry bags have my coordinating colors of piping icing.

I found that making a true red icing is very difficult. I remember that I gave up the year before when I started to mix the colors. I got so frustrated by my failure that I didn't even decorate or finish the cookies!

My Christmas trees are pretty wild looking. I remembered that I had christmas light bulb and candy cane decorations from the year before, so we decorated using those. I still had a lot to learn about the piping and flooding techniques!

The swirled candy canes were my favorites! Especially the ones with the green and red.

Marshmallows are surprisingly easy to mae. I would not do the swirls again though. The food color clumped and looked like something unpleasant- blood. The peppermint flavor was nice though. That's all it really needed anyway!

Marshmallows are cut into squares and tossed with powdered sugar to prevent them from sticking together. Mmmmm... imagine these bad boys in some hot chocolate!

Click here for the stolen recipe for Chocolate Peanut Butter Blossoms. These cookies were an accident. I asked Jim to print out the recipe for the regular Peanut Butter Blossoms, he mistakenly printed CHOCOLATE Peanut Butter Blossoms, with cocoa in the peanut butter cookie dough. It ended up being a very nice mistake!

Click here for the stolen recipe for Martha's Mexican Wedding Cake Cookies. I actually got the recipe from my Martha Stewart Cookies cookbook, but the recipe is online.
There is no stolen recipe for the sugar cookies YET. I still need to type this out from my cookbook Cookie Craft.
There will never be a stolen recipe for the Almond Candy. I am sworn to secrecy on that recipe. For real!
Click here for the stolen recipe for Gingerbread Cookies. These are AWESOME. I did make the mistake of leaving these out overnight (to dry) and if they are on the thin side, again, they get stale. I made them thicker the next time and they were much better. Actually they didn't really get stale but crispy. I think they are much better soft.
I think Christmas cookies are my best baking experiences. I love it :)

Notes on sugar cookies

I iced them on Tuesday for Thursday. I think giving myself the extra day was a good idea. They wouldn't have dried enough overnight, not enough to risk stacking them or putting plastic wrap on top of them in the morning for transport. Also, making them a thick cookie really helped with not getting stale. At Christmas my thin cookies were stale pretty fast because you need to leave them out and uncovered until they dry- overnight or a day.

My cookies today were soft and chewy, with a hard crust of icing. Yeah! They look sort of matte, not shiny like last night which is too bad, but they are intact! This wasn't the case at Thanksgiving. I put the cookies on a tray the day after I iced them and put plastic wrap over it. Duh. Too soon. The icing stuck to the plastic wrap and came off in clumps.

Make a mistake, learn from it!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Flower Power Sugar Cookies

I made roll-out sugar cookies on Sunday, freezing them until tonight. I whipped up some royal icing and colored it bright bright purple and blue. I knew I didn't want realistic looking flowers because my son was going to help me decorate them. He didn't really get into it but he did like dropping the "paint" and then I rushed to get it smoothed out with a toothpick, into every little corner. I think I would normally be more precise but I could barely keep up with my little man. I figured they are for his daycare teachers, so they will appreciate the effort!
Daycare teacher appreciation day is on Thursday and so they are encouraging the parents to bring in flowers for each of the teachers in our child's classroom. I figured the teachers would like a cookie flower. I know I would!

I have some work to do if I ever want to master this royal icing thing. I have this amazing book called Cookie Craft and it goes into so much decorative detail and creativity. I just need to spend the time.

Click here for the stolen roll-out sugar cookie recipe. This blogger did a comparison of sugar cookie recipes and actually made FIVE doughs. I used the first recipe, which she considered the best.

I used the royal icing recipe in my Cookie Craft book- basically two cups of powdered sugar, 4 teaspoons of meringue powder, 3 T warm water, 1 T lemon juice. Beat for five minutes until smooth and the consistency of toothpaste. The piping (border) is that proportion of ingredients, the "flooding" icing is thinner with more water.

You can read about the icing technique here. Cookie Craft goes into so many more beautiful details but the basics are on that blog.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Chocolate Mousse

Yum. Chocolate goodness! I thought at first that it needed a little sugar (the recipe doesn't have ANY) but as I kept eating it I realized that it's just all about the chocolate anyway. It was rich and melt in your mouth good. I topped it with a little homemade whipped cream (whipping cream, powdered sugar, vanilla).

Sunday's dinner

Red Wine Balsamic Grilled Chicken, French Mashed Potatoes, and grilled asparagus with olive oil, garlic and sea salt.

The chicken was very flavorful! It should have been- it marinated for the entire day in a wonderful smelling blend of vinegars, thyme, garlic, orange juice, and honey; then I grilled it on my grill pan. As I ate the chicken I kept thinking it would be great tasting even cold on a salad later in the week. I made plenty of extra chicken, thinking they could be my dinner when hubby is out of town.

The mashed potatoes were the creamiest I've ever had- with lots of melty cheese and just enough garlic and butter. They were made mostly in my food processor. I think I would make half the recipe next time- we are left with way too many potatoes for two people! Or maybe we should invite guests next time? :)

The asparagus was made in my favorite way- tossed with olive oil, garlic, and sea salt and then grilled quickly on my grill pan. Man, I love my grill pan! {Constance, get a grill pan!)

Click here for the stolen recipe for Red Wine Balsamic Grilled Chicken.
Click here for the stolen recipe for Aligot (French Mashed Potatoes).

Pan Dulce (Mexican Sweet Bread)

My family is from Calfornia and I remember growing up with Mexican sweet bread from the local Mexican bakeries. What a treat! I loved the sugar topping, always in neat square shapes on the top. They were always so perfect and delicious.

This is what I remember, image from online:

I saw this recipe in my Google Reader (blog reader) and I knew I'd have to try. I knew I would try to recreate my childhood treats :) I mean, you can find Pan Dulce in Minnesota and it's probably just as good but it's not readily available to me out here in the Northern suburbs.

I made these during my Christmas break. I appreciated this recipe a lot. I mean, it was good. I ate tons of them. I didn't think they tasted quite the same as the Pan Dulce of my youth but it was a good attempt. I guess they tasted more homemade? And I didn't even attempt to make the fancy squares on top, I wouldn't know where to begin with that!

I also don't work with yeast much. I think this might have been my second attempt ever. I was happy that they worked out!

Click here for the stolen recipe.

Yeah, I need to make these again. They would be lovely with coffee!!

Chocolate Molten Cakes

This was a perfect New Year's Eve treat. My husband and I have a tradition of staying at home on NYE and making a nice (but not elaborate) dinner and dessert. We open our bottle of champagne at around 9-10pm because we don't stay up until midnight. We're parents, we need our sleep!

I found this recipe online a few years ago after my husband bought me the Willams Sonoma molten cake mixes for Christmas one year. They were SO GOOD. I couldn't justify spending the money to buy more so I did a search, thinking I'd find something similar and definitely not something that would compare. I was surprised to find that the WS chef had the recipe online that inspired the mixes at WS! It's not online anymore so I'll type it out below.

This recipe comes together pretty quickly and only takes 10 minutes to bake. It is heavenly.

The stolen recipe is below.

Chocolate Molten Cakes
Makes two individual cakes

2 oz. bittersweet chocolate
4 1/2 T butter
2 eggs
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour

Melt the chocolate and the butter together in the microwave. Beat in the 2 eggs and sugar. Fold in the flour. So simple!

Divide the batter into 2 ramekins, sprayed with Pam. Bake at 450 degrees for 10-12 minutes. I put the ramekins on a baking sheet for easy transfer. Those little ramekins are hard to handle when very hot!

Let the cakes cool for 1-2 minutes and then invert on to plates. Dust with cocoa powder or powdered sugar. Enjoy!

Adapted from the Chef who created the Williams Sonoma molten cake mixes, whoever he is!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Sweet and Sour Chicken

Mmmmmmm. This is better than take out and how great that you know exactly what is going in the recipe. It's a lot of sugar in the sauce and then lots of cornstarch to coat the chicken but it's so good.

Really. Try it.

Click here for the stolen recipe. Within this link there are a lot of reviews/comments from others who commented on the original post. A lot of the comments said that they reduced the amount of sugar successfully but also the chicken needed double the amount of sauce. I agree with both changes. I reduced the sugar to 1/2 cup.

Candied Cranberry Orange Sangria

Nice weather deserves a cool drink.
Yeah, that's a good reason to make sangria!

I have a Sangria cookbook that I don't use often and I have a lot of cranberries still in the freezer (they last many months) so it seemed like a great opportunity to make this recipe.

There is no stolen recipe online.

Candied Cranberry Orange Sangria
1 1/2 cups whole cranberries
3/4 cup simple syrup (see note below)
1 bottle red wine
2 oranges, cut into half wheels
1/2 cup cranberry juice

In a saucepan, combine the whole cranberries with the simple syrup over low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the cranberries soften and the syrup starts to thicken. Remove from the heat and set aside. Let cool. Combine the wine, oranges, and cranberry juice in a large ceramic or glass container. Add the cranberry mixture and stir well. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Serve over ice. Garnish with additional orange half wheels.

Note: This simple syrup is made by combining 1 cup hot water and 1 cup sugar, until the sugar dissolves. Let cool.

Serves about 7
Adapted from 101 Sangrias & Pitcher Drinks

I didn't, I couldn't wait four hours. I am enjoying a small glass right now. Yum! I love anything cranberry so I am a bit biased.

Linguine with Shrimp, Lemon, and Garlic

I have a goal of trying one new recipe a week, at least. This week I have THREE planned- two meals and one dessert :)

Here is the first recipe of the week. I have lifted this from my The Best Light Recipe cookbook, from the editors of Cook's Illustrated, one of the best cooking sources I know. A recipe from these people is almost guaranteed to be great or foolproof. I started subscribing to the magazine years ago, let the subscription go, and just recently have found my way back to it. I'm so glad. My sister gave me two of their great cookbooks for my birthday one year, the other cookbook is Baking Illustrated. I really need to make more from these cookbooks! And I just realized I have a third cookbook, The Best 30 Minute Recipe. I'm a lucky girl! This makes me more determined to use these cookbooks.

I wasn't able to find the recipe online so I typed it out below. There is no stolen online recipe. This is a LIGHT recipe.

Linguine with Shrimp, Lemon, and Garlic

1 medium onion, minced
1 tsp olive oil
8 medium garlic cloves, minced
2 c. low-sodium chicken broth
2- 8 oz. bottles clam juice
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tsp minced fresh thyme leaves
1 bay leaf
2 T cornstarch
2 T water
1/2 cup juice from 4 lemons
3 T light cream cheese
1 1/2 lbs extra large shrimp (21-25 per lb), peeled and deveined
1 lb linguine or spaghetti
3 T minced fresh parsley leaves
ground black pepper

1. Bring 4 quarts water to boil in a large pot for the water.
2. Meanwhile, combine the onion, oil, and 1/2 tsp salt in a 12 inch nonstick skillet. Cover and cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, until softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the broth, clam juice, pepper flakes, thyme, and bay leaf to the skillet, scraping up any browned bits. Bring to a boil and cook until the sauce measures about 2 cups, 7 to 10 minutes.
3. Whisk the cornstarch and water together, then whisk it into the simmering sauce. Continue to simmer the sauce until it has thickened, about 2 minutes. Off the heat, whisk in the lemon juice and cream cheese until smooth. Add the shrimp, cover, and let sit off the heat until the shrimp are firm and no longer translucent in the center, 7 to 10 minutes. Discard the bay leaf, cover and set aside.
4. While the shrimp are cooking, stir 1 T salt and the pasta into the boiling water and cook, stirring often, until al dente. Reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta water, drain the pasta and return it to the pot. Gently stir the shrimp-sauce mixture and parsley into the pasta. Cover and let sit off the heat until the shrimp are hot, about 1 minute. Add the reserved pasta cooking water as needed to loosen the sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide among six individual bowls and serve.

Recipe adapted from The Best Light Recipe

What did we think of the meal? My husband gave it the "really good" rating. When I cook he has a couple of things he says: "it's good" (so-so), "it's really good" (wow!), or "it's okay" (his nice way of saying that it isn't worth repeating). I agree that this was really good. I always can pick out a thing or two that I would do differently- for this one I might add just a bit more red pepper flakes or lemon juice. The shrimp were excellent. I don't know why I've never cooked with raw shrimp. Peeling and handling the shrimp really made me queasy, I felt like I was handling little aliens, but it was worth it in the end.

We will make this again!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Tuna and Artichoke Pasta Salad

Man, I can't rotate this picture to save my life. I don't know what's up with it!

Well, this is the Tuna Artichoke Pasta Salad that I make ahead when it's a hot day or I don't feel like cooking. It comes from a Cooking Light cookbook and I'm so glad I found it!

I've typed the recipe as I found it so many years ago but I tweak it to my liking whenever I make it. Some of my changes: I add more lemon juice and tuna. I also use whole wheat pasta or pasta with added protein. Oh, and I also use bottled ginger- actually a tube. We tend to use a lot of it in various recipes.

Tuna and Artichoke Pasta Salad

2 t. grated lemon rind
3 T fresh lemon juice
3 T olive oil
1 T peeled, minced gingerroot
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups cooked elbow macaroni (8 oz.)
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/3 cup flat leaf parsley
1- 6 oz can albacore tuna, drained
1- 14 oz can quartered artichoke hearts, drained

Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl. Add pasta and remaining ingredients; toss gently to coat. Cover and chill at least 1 hour.

South Beach Peanut Butter Cookies

Another South Beach recipe. Phase One of the SB Diet is so hard that we've needed to find a dessert, something sweet that we can "cheat" with. This has satisfied us in those situations. And just three ingredients!

I'm not a big fan of Splenda. I actually don't like the taste in anything else but these cookies. It's weird. I can't explain it.

My husband really is the one that bakes these.

Click here for the stolen recipe.

Egg Bake

This is a great make ahead breakfast, especially for those busy work weeks. I've always made this with the Canadian bacon that I find at Sam's Club. It is the best. And cheap!

We've especially made this breakfast food during our South Beach diets.

There is no stolen recipe online. I found this online so long ago that I can't find the link. I am copying this from my recipe card collection.

Egg Bake
1 1/2 cups diced veggies (any combo of mushrooms, green bell peppers, red onions, etc.)
1 1/2 cups reduced fat sharp cheddar (or any cheese you like)
4 oz. breakfast meat (bacon, Canadian bacon, cooked sausage, etc.)
8 eggs
1/2 cup low fat cottage cheese
salt, pepper, whatever you like

I've sauteed the veggies for a few minutes before adding to the egg bake- it releases some of its moisture and keeps the egg bake texture from getting too runny.

Spread veggies on the bottom of a baking dish (cake pan), top with the chopped meat and cheese. Beat eggs with cottage cheese and spices. Pour over the ingredients in the baking dish. Bake at 325 degrees for approximately 40 minutes or until set. Let it cool for half an hour. You can either slice the egg bake into portions or refrigerate and cut as needed.

We usually will have six portions. For the two of us, we eat it for three days and it's good heated up in the microwave.

It's really good with a bit of salsa on top!

Roasted Pepper and Artichoke Spread

This has been one of those recipes that we turn to for Superbowl parties or other gatherings with a bunch of guys. Guys just really like their dips!

See below for the stolen recipe.
Okay, it's not really stolen. It was given to me by my BFF Christa.

Warm Roasted Pepper and Artichoke Spread
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup mayo (I use light mayo)
1 eight ounce package cream cheese, softened
1 small garlic clove
1 -14 oz can artichoke hearts, drained and finely chopped
1/3 cup roasted red bell peppers, jarred, and finely chopped

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In food processor bowl with metal blade combine parmesan cheese, mayo, cream cheese, and garlic; process until smooth.
3. Place mixture in large bowl. Add artichoke hearts and roasted peppers; blend well. Spread in an ungreased 9 inch quiche dish or glass pie pan.
4. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes until thoroughly heated. Serve warm with crackers, bread, or veggies.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Thai Peanut Turkey Burgers

I guess it's safe to say that if I blog about it on here, it's going to be a food that we love to eat. We really enjoy these burgers because we're fans of ginger, peanuts, carrots, turkey, and cilantro. Yum. This is an easy recipe that my husband can throw together early in the day, and then I throw on our grill pan for a quick 10 minutes when I get home from work. The recipe includes a mayo sauce that really goes well with it. Oh and we really like the new "Sandwich Thins" bread instead of a burger bun.

Add a quick coleslaw (prepackaged broccoli or traditional cabbage/carrot mix with bottled dressing) to the meal and we're happy!

Click here for the stolen recipe.

Buttermilk pancakes

I made this simple recipe into pancake balls for my little boy but it's the best and simplest of all of the pancake recipes I've made. I've been making double batches and making tons of pancake balls at a time because they freeze well.

These were filled with chocolate chips!

I'm not able to find the recipe online but it came from my Better Homes and Gardens "New Baking Book", 1998.

1 cup flour
2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 beaten egg
1 cup buttermilk (or 1 Tbsp lemon juice and enough milk to make 1 cup, let sit for 5 minutes before using)
2 Tbsp cooking oil

Mix dry ingredients together. Mix wet ingredients in another bowl. Add wet to dry, stir just until moistened.

Cook pancakes as you would normally.

I made a fancier recipe not that long ago and we agreed this simple one was better- fluffy, tastier. Good ol' Better Homes and Gardens :)


I made this pizza in March. I received Pioneer Woman's book for Christmas and one of the recipes I knew I wanted to try was her pizza crust. We love to make a pizza around here but we always use the refrigerated, "fresh" (processed) crusts from the grocery store. I guess it is still better than Pizza Hut or somewhere.

The pizza crust was VERY easy to make with my electric mixer. I ended up freezing half of the dough for later use and made the other half the next day.

The first pizza- I made half with red sauce and half with pesto. The dough wasn't quite what I wanted. I thought it should have baked for longer but the toppings would burn.

So I decided that the next time I would prebake the crust for a few minutes and then add the toppings. Much better! I also brushed olive oil and salt on the crust before baking- it added a lot more flavor.

Click here for the stolen recipe.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Spinach and Cheese Strata

This was made for Easter brunch. I loved that it was make-ahead and this morning I just had to let it sit for half an hour on the counter before throwing it in the oven for 45 minutes.

We used a cheese that I'm not familiar with- Gruyere cheese. My sister told me it's a stinky cheese that melts well. It was good :) I also was not familiar with stratas. I read that it is similar to a bread pudding, which doesn't appeal to ME but I knew it would turn out well.

The verdict: everyone loved it. I saw second helpings.

We also had:
Honey Baked Ham
Juicy Strawberry Scones
Fresh fruit and dip (my Mom brought this, I'm guessing at the recipe)
Carrot Cake cupcakes
Caramel corn "carrots"

Click here for the stolen recipe.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Carrot Cake

Mmmm. Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting is one of my favorites. I knew that I would make carrot cake for Easter and I knew I'd bring out Baking Illustrated for the perfect recipe. My sister gave me this book for my birthday and I love it. I need to use it- often!

I turned the cake into cupcakes and then decorated for Easter. The cream cheese frosting was a disappointment (lumpy) but I didn't follow the recipe exactly, not making it in a food processor but with my stand up mixer. I added coconut that I dyed green to look like Easter grass and a Peep sits on top. The cupcake baskets I found at Michael's. This all just came together, I didn't know I'd use the Peeps, I didn't know about the coconut grass until a few days ago after I bought the cupcake baskets.

All this work just for a couple of guests but I love it. I love to bake and follow recipes!

Click here for the stolen recipe. I did follow the recipe in my cookbook but if figures that one of blogger greats also tried the recipe!


It occurred to me today that I am not the only online thief. The "greats" of the food blog world also borrow and adapt others' recipes for their own blogs. I am making Baking Illustrated's Carrot Cake (cupcakes) today. It is from a cookbook and I wondered how I would share the link here on this blog so I did a Google search and found the recipe on my very own favorite blogger's website- Annie's Eats. I guess it probably is very common to use others' recipes and maybe modify an ingredient or two and call it yours. These bloggers also very plainly site their sources, at the bottom of recipes. I guess I'm just being a little more obvious about it in my blog title and "Click here for the stolen recipe"!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Caramel corn

I've been wanting to make this caramel corn since I first saw it in the fall. Caramel corn does seem like a fall treat but with today's rain and cooler winds it seemed natural to have the oven on and the warm, sweet smell in the kitchen!

Click here for the stolen recipe. It made tons!

I bagged it up in these cute little carrot cellophane bags. I think maybe this is my centerpiece for my Easter table?

Monster Cookies

My dear bro-in-law requests these cookies. They freeze well and you can pull them out 1, 2, 3 or however many at a time. They are also great seasonal cookies because you can use Christmas, Easter, or Valentine's Day M&M's.

Click here for the stolen recipe.
My substitutions: I halved the recipe and then used 1/2 cup of peanut butter instead of 1/2 cup of margarine.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Juicy Strawberry Scones

This is technically my first post though I think I'll go back and post some other pictures/recipes from the past.

I'm going to start this separate blog just for food. I'm starting to become known as a foodie and I like the compliments but I feel like a fake. I love to follow a good recipe but I can't take the credit for it! I am a recipe thief, or a recipe ladrona! Most of what I make turns out really well and it's because of the great bloggers that I steal from- Good Things Catered, the Pioneer Woman, Annie's Eats, the Brown Eyed Baker, Cara's Cravings, Smitten Kitchen, the Way the Cookie Crumbles, and oooooh Bakerella! The other greats are listed in the side column of this blog.

Well, on to the scones! I tried these out today to see if they were worthy of an Easter brunch. I think they are :) I ate three of them! They were kinda small, so get off my back, okay? I had to make sure they were tasty.

Click here for the stolen recipe.