Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Time for a change

Hey everyone, well, I've decided that it's time to move on I just wanted to let everyone know that I won't be posting here anymore. I love cooking as much as ever, but life is just too full for me to blog about it. I'll be leaving up my posts here, but I won't be posting any new recipes. I would rather use time used for blogging exploring other blogs and trying new recipes.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Trail Mix recipe

Hey there everyone! I am sorry for my long absence - but between living my life, and running four blogs, there are times when some of those blogs get posted on less!
We are getting ready to head out on the road for a family vacation, and we are really trying to limit the ammount of food we buy at convenience stores, and how much we eat out, and also trying to eat healthier than we usually do while traveling - so I am busy right now making food for the trip! I just made up my own trail mix recipe, so I thought I post it, even though it's super simple, and you can do pretty much anything you like, I'll go ahead and share how I made mine! I'm not a big nut person, but I need a lot of protien in my diet, so I try to eat the ones that don't make me gag ;) I chose peanuts and cashews, but do what you prefer! I also like dark chocolate better than milk, and it's better for you!

Trail Mix

1 cup salted Peanuts
1 cup salted cashews
1 cup dark chocolate M&Ms
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup plumped raisins

Mix all ingredients, and enjoy!

I might be back later today or tomorrow with a few more recipes I'll be making for the trip!


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Cheddar Scones

When I mentioned these scones in my last post, I went to link to them and discovered I hadn't posted the recipe yet, so here they are! These are a delicious savory scone, and go perfectly with soup and italian dishes!

Cheddar Scones

1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup cold butter
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 Tblsp grated Parmesan cheese
1 large egg
1/2 cup milk

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Put flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, dry mustard, and salt into a large bowl; mix well. Cut butter into chunks, and cut into flour mixture with a pastry blender or rub in your fingers, until the mixture looks like fine granules.
Add cheese and toss to mix.
Break egg into milk and beat with a fork to blend well. Pour this over flour mixture and stir with a fork until a dough forms. Turn out dough on a lightly floured board and give 10-12 kneads. Form dough into a round, and cut into wedges. Seperate the wedges a bit so the inside will cook properly
Place on an un~greased cookie sheet.
Bake 12-15 minutes or until golden brown


Monday, February 21, 2011

Old Fashion Banana Bread

Hello everyone, sorry I've been rather absent of late, not much time for blogging recently, but I'll try to update periodically. I made banana bread today, so I thought I might post the recipe, this is a nice easy recipe, one of those that you can memorize quickly and whip out in just a few minutes.

For the flour, we prefer to use freshly ground pastry wheat or Kamut, but feel free to use just plain ol' all purpose, it turns out fine either way! Make sure your bananas are nice and ripe, if you have ripe bananas, but aren't ready to use them, just put them in the freezer, and use them when you're ready. If the batter turns out too thick, you can thin it down with a bit of milk or cream, but take it easy, a tablespoon or two should do!
This recipe make 1 loaf - since we often can eat a loaf in a day or two, I usually double or triple the recipe and make bread, muffins, and banana chocolate chip muffins


Old Fashion Banana Bread

1/2 cup butter softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1-2 teaspoons vanilla
3 ripe bananas
1 generous teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 350* spray loaf pan** generously.
Put all ingredients into a large mixing bowl, and mix until thoroughly combined, Thin with milk or cream if too thick. Spoon into greased pan and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Cool slightly before removing from pan.

**If you have pans that you can double up, it's a good idea to do so with banana bread so the sides and bottom don't get burnt while the insides cook.


I hope you all enjoy the recipe, be sure to tell me if you try it out, right now I'm going crazy smelling it in the oven, I can't wait to have a warm slice smothered in butter with a nice cup of tea!

So what's on your menu for the week? Tonight we're having goulash and cheddar scones. I may possibly try to start back up with the weekly menu thing that I was doing last year, so be sure to check back soon.

Have a fantastic week!!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Pie Crust leaves - a tutorial!

With Thanksgiving just a short three days away, I thought I would finally put up my pie crust leaves tutorial! I've these pictures for about two months now, but to be perfectly honest, I had completely forgotten about them until I was making pumpkin pies earlier. (For my dad's work potluck) The pies are in the oven right now, so I thought I would take the opportunity to post this tutorial. Pies are my thing. I love to make them, I have all kinds of knifty gadgets for them, I collect pie plates, and pie birds, and I've been making pies alongside my grandmother and mom since I was about 3 years old. For me pies aren't just about the taste. Texture quality and presentation are also hugely important. I have spent many hours perfecting my pie crust recipe and technique to create a tender flaky crust. My grandma taught me as a toddler how to flute the edges of the crust to give it that extra touch of love. My mom taught me this next trick of presentation. Colored Pie crust leaves! I recently took this pie to a potluck, and you would not believe how astounded people are at the presentation, and honestly, though it does take a bit of time, they are really easy to make. So, without further ado, the tutorial. The amounts I've specified only make enough for one pie, so bear that in mind if you are making more than one pie!

You will need:
A half batch of pie dough (most recipes make enough for one double crust or two open faced pies
a rolling pin
Large and small leaf cookie cutters
Egg yolk
food coloring
a small pastry paintbrush
aluminum foil
Cookie sheet

1. Roll out pie dough fairly thin about 1/8-1/4 inch thick, and cut out 15-20 leaves. Cut both large and small leaves. This will give the pie a better appearance and the little leaves allow you to fill in where the big leaves leave gaps.

2. (Optional) If you'd like your leaves to have more detail and look more realistic, score veins into the leaves with a sharp paring knife (I know you can't really see the picture, but I am sure you can use your imagination! :) )

3. Take a length of aluminum foil and roll it into a log, crumpling it slightly as you go, varying the thickness and severity of your crumpling. (for the smaller leaves, it will have to be a lot tighter than this log!)

4.Take the yolks from two eggs and seperate evenly between three small dishes. (If you'd like your colors less vibrant, use whites instead of the yolk) Put two-three drops of food coloring in each dish. (I made yellowish orange, green and reddish orange for my colors)

5.Start randomly painting the colored egg yolk onto your leaves.

6. When you have finished coloring the leaves, drape them over the aluminum foil logs. Make sure you vary the direction the leaves are lying so they aren't all the same.

7. Bake the leaves at 350* for about 5 minutes to start, and then add time from there on. You will want to watch them carefully, because they can be rather finicky, depending on how heavily painted they are. You don't want them really crisp, just barely done (but not underdone) is how you want them.


Let your pie cool for about 15 minutes and the leaves for about 5 minutes before you put them on the pie. You want your pie to be slightly warm so the leaves will stay on the crust, but not so hot that the leaves will sink into the filling. So, just use your judgment, and don't rely on my times! Place the leaves carefully around the edge of the crust. For mine I tried to do large-small, large-small-small, but just do what works for you. Also save one or two leaves to place in the middle where the knife marks are from testing the pie!

I hope this tutorial helps you create a beautiful and unique pie for Thanksgiving this year! If you have any questions or if any of the steps leaves you puzzled don't hesitate to ask or email me, I'll try to get back as soon as I possibly can!


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A confession, and a few ramblings...

I just updated the Whole Wheat and Oat Waffles Recipe, and added a picture as well.
I have a little confession to make... when modifying the amounts of milk the first time I made the recipe, I actually didn't measure... (should I hide now? I think I just failed my home-ec course. It was forever telling me that "You are NOT Amelia Bedelia!")....
rather I "guesstimated" if you will... I added a bit more, and I thought it equaled out to two cups. Well, I made the recipe again last week, with my modifications, and it turned out a bit runny. So I adjusted the recipe here to 1 & 3/4 cups milk... I would suggest starting with that, and if it's still too thick, add a bit more, but maybe not a whole quarter cup more. :)
Well.. anyhow.. I just wanted to let you know, so if you want to try the recipe, you are now forewarned.

As a side note, can you believe that "guesstimated" is actually in Mozilla's dictionary? What is the world coming to?

Oh, and aren't my new cappuccino cups just adorable? I love em! They look like they're straight out of a quaint European Cafe don't they? I used them to bake up some chocolate cheesecake for my birthday - they worked beautifully. I'll be posting the recipe soon, if anyone's interested.

Just one more thing - do you prefer the layout with one sidebar or two? I usually prefer two, but I'm not sure about how it looks for this one - tell me what you think!

Well, anyway, enough ramblings for now, stay tuned for some new recipes!


Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Our neighbors brought over a huge bag of lemons and limes earlier today (They had had a wedding in the family, and one of the refreshments was lemon/lime juice, so they had more than they knew what to do with)
I decided to make a big batch of lemonade. Is there anything lovelier for a hot summer day than fresh squeezed lemonade? Especially when the lemons were juiced on a delightfully old fashioned vintage juicer...


2/3 cup sugar
1 cup water

3 large lemons
3 cups cold water

Add the sugar to the 1 cup water, and stir until dissolved. Set Aside.

Roll the lemons on the counter to release juice, then cut them in half. Juice the lemons, an pour through a mesh strainer to remove seeds and pulp. Pour the juice into the pitcher. Add sugar water and cold water, and stir. Taste it and see if it needs any more sugar. Add some ice if desired and serve with a slice of lemon as a garnish!

Strawberry Lemonade
Wash and hull about six strawberrys, mash them, and stir them into the mixed lemonade


Saturday, June 26, 2010

Whole Wheat Pizza Crust /Originally posted 6/20/08

Recipe Update 6/26/10
The original recipe didn't call for it, but this dough really needs to rise for about an hour and up to three hours. I've now included that in the recipe, but if you happened to save this recipe to try, you might want to update it! If you don't let it rise, the dough is tough and hard.

Whole Wheat Pizza Crust
Makes two crusts

4 cups freshly ground whole wheat flour (or spelt or Kumut)
1 TB yeast
1TB olive oil
1 TB honey
1-1/2 tsp. salt
1 -1/2 cups very warm water (110*)

In a mixer add water, and then remaining ingredients, adding enough flour to clean sides of bowl. Knead dough 3-5 minutes or until gluten is developed. Cover bowl and let dough rise for at least an hour, and up to three hours.
Pre heat oven at 500 degrees. Remove from bowl. Use about one pound of dough per crust Make the pizza dough more stiff than normal bread dough so that it will be easy to roll out with out stickiness. Roll out on pizza paddle or pan (you can roll it out on cornmeal, but I just grease my pan) Brush crust with oil and prick with a fork. Prebake 5-8 minutes. After it's prebaked turn oven down to 350, to bake your topped pizza.

Crust variation
Herbed dough: (this is what we make)
While dough is kneading, add 4-10 TB minced fresh herbs or 2-6 TB dried herbs. Such as oregano, basil, tarragon, sage, rosemary, marjoram, or Italian Seasoning



Friday, June 25, 2010

Strawberry Kiwi Smoothie

Every summer for the past 2 or 3 years I try to go sugar free for at least two weeks, or as long as my sugar addicted self can possibly stand without having a nervous breakdown ;) I usually wait until after my birthday, but this year I decided to take the plunge a few weeks earlier. I'm doing things a bit differently this time though, for the first week (I started yesterday...) I'm just cutting out extra sugar - like cookies, ice cream, and snacks that are high in sugar, instead of just taking every single thing that has sugar out of my diet without easing myself into it.
A few sugary things I'm keeping this week are coffee and tea... next week I'll cut out coffee - I don't enjoy black coffee, and somehow honey-sweetened coffee doesn't sound appetizing ;) And I'll start putting honey into my tea instead of sugar. During these times I satisfy my sweet tooth with fruit, smoothies and sugar-less juices. Usually my smoothies are just yogurt, strawberries and bananas, but I wanted to try something different this time. I looked up a few smoothie recipes, and found one that looked pretty good, but needed a bit of modification. Here's what I came up with. Usually when I'm on a sugar free kick, I have to add lots of honey to my smoothies, but this needed no added sweetness, it was absolutely perfect, with just a touch of tartness. Makes a beautiful pale pink smoothie, that would be perfect garnished with a bright slice of kiwi or a small strawberry.


I use organic cream top yogurt - it's the closest store-bought gets to homemade. I also used pineapple and orange juices that had no water or sugar added, just pure juice. If you're using frozen strawberries, omit the ice at the end, I just added it to give the smoothie a bit more texture.

Strawberry Kiwi Smoothie
• 1/2 a banana
• 6 strawberries
• 1 kiwi
• 1/2 cup plain yogurt
• 1/2 cup pineapple juice
• 1/4 cup orange juice
• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
• handful of icecubes


1. Peel kiwi and banana, cut tops off strawberries. Place ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

This is our all time favorite Mac 'n' Cheese recipe. For years we ate either boxed stuff, or a velveeta base Macaroni, but when we started changing the way we cooked and ate, we started looking for a real cheese recipe. The problem was, every single recipe we tried was gritty... real cheese just didn't work nearly as well as processed for a nice smooth sauce. We were over at a friends house one day and they made a delicious baked mac and cheese that was creamy but not overly rich, no hint of grittiness and all around yummy. We've made this A LOT since then and I've made quite a few alterations, so here's my version! I've added a few notes below on the ingredients I use... do tell me if you try the recipe, and what alterations you make!
We try to eat meat with our Macaroni and Cheese, especially when I make it for dinner, add cooked (it can be cold) meat in as you stir the pasta and sauce together. Bacon Sprinkled over the top is my favorite, but my family prefers hamburger or smoked sausage.


The Cheese listed is just a guideline, you can use any combination you like (Last night I used sharp and colby jack, and I often use medium and colby). But after much testing of different cheese combinations, we found that Sharp and Monterey is by far the most flavorful combination. Also, feel free to use all purpose flour. I love the flavor the whole wheat gives the sauce, but it's completely optional.

A note on the pasta - Elbow Macaroni is obviously the most traditional choice, but I like to experiment with different types of pasta, and how they change the texture of the dish.
We have found the Bowtie (or Farfalle) is the best choice for this dish, simply because the sauce clings to the pasta better than traditional macaroni.
Cellentani is also a fun pasta to try, it's a larger twistier version of elbow macaroni, and great fun for kids. Two of my other favorites to use are shells and Rotini

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

3 ½ cups uncooked pasta of choice

½ cup butter

¾ whole wheat pastry flour

2 cups whole milk

1 ½ cups sour cream

1-2 tablespoons heavy cream (optional)

Garlic Salt, Onion Salt, Salt and Pepper

1 cup Sharp Cheddar

½ cup Monterey Jack

Cook pasta according to directions on package. Drain and rinse.

In a medium sauce pan melt butter an stir in flour. Gradually add milk, sour cream, cream, cheese and seasonings. Stir over low heat until mixture is thick and bubbly.

Place pasta in a 9 x 13 baking dish. Pour cheese sauce over the pasta, and stir. Bake at 350* for 30 minutes Add an extra handful of cheese over the top about 10 minutes before you serve.