Wednesday, October 29, 2014

healthy treat

1 egg 1 banana 1/2 c organic peanut butter 3 TBLS pure maple syrup 1 TBLS vanilla 1/4 tsp salt Spray muffin tin, bake for 10 minutes at 400

Friday, October 24, 2014

PIonono with Dulce de leche

Ingredients: 6 eggs 5 tablespoons of flour 5 tablespoons of sugar A teaspoon of Vanilla A pinch of salt Method: 1. Line a jelly roll pan with wax paper. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 2. Separate egg whites from yolks. Put whites in a bowl and beat with electric mixer until hard peaks form. 3. Add sugar, flour and vanilla to the yolks and mix well. 4. Fold the whites gently into the egg yolk mixture until blended. 5. Spread batter evenly into the prepared jelly roll pan. 6. Bake for 10-12 minutes until it is golden and starts to spring back to your touch. Do not over-bake, or it will be difficult to roll. 7. Loosen the edges of the cake by running a knife around them, then turn cake out onto a dish cloth and let it cool. Spread Dulce de Leche (or any filling of your choice) and roll up the cake. 8. Cover with melted chocolate or powder sugar, fruit, make it your own! Read more at

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Chicken fajitas

Very very tasty! Go to for fajitas! Used slightly less chile powder. 1 teaspoon pure chile powder 1 teaspoon kosher salt 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin 1/2 teaspoon onion powder 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder 1 tablespoon cornstarch 1/4 cup water 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 1 whole skinless, boneless chicken breast (about 1 pound), cut into 1/2-inch strips 1 green bell pepper—cored, seeded and cut into thin strips 1 medium onion, thinly sliced 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, plus lime wedges for serving 8 flour tortillas, warmed in the microwave Shredded lettuce, shredded cheddar cheese, salsa and sour cream, for serving   1. In a resealable plastic bag, combine the chile powder with the salt, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, cornstarch, water and 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the chicken, bell pepper and onion, seal and knead gently to coat. Refrigerate for 15 minutes. 2. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in a large nonstick skillet until shimmering. Empty the contents of the bag into the skillet and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are crisp-tender and the chicken is cooked through, about 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the lime juice. 3. Transfer the chicken and vegetables to a large bowl and serve with the warmed tortillas, lettuce, cheese, salsa, sour cream and lime wedges.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Chocolate Cake

Ingredients 3 cups all-purpose flour 2 cups sugar 1/3 cup baking cocoa 2 teaspoons baking soda 1 teaspoon salt 2 cups water 3/4 cup vegetable oil 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 2 teaspoons white vinegar CHOCOLATE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING: 1 package (3 ounces) cream cheese, softened 1/4 cup butter, softened 2 cups confectioners' sugar 1/3 cup baking cocoa Dash salt 3 tablespoons milk 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract Directions In a large bowl, combine the first five ingredients. Add the water, oil, vanilla and vinegar; mix well (batter will be thin). Pour into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool completely. For frosting, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until © Taste of Home 2014 2 of 2 Homemade Chocolate Cake (continued) Directions (continued) fluffy. Add the confectioners' sugar, cocoa, salt, milk and vanilla; mix well. Spread over cake. Store in the refrigerator. Yield: 12-15 servings. Nutritional Facts: 1 serving (1 piece) equals 413 calories, 17 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 15 mg cholesterol, 385 mg sodium, 64 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 4 g protein. © Taste of Home 2014 Read more:

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Perfect Potato Soup

from the Pioneer Woman Ingredients 6 slices Thin Bacon, Cut Into 1-inch Pieces 1 whole Medium Onion, Diced 3 whole Carrots, Scrubbed Clean And Diced 3 stalks Celery, Diced 6 whole Small Russet Potatoes, Peeled And Diced 8 cups Low Sodium Chicken Or Vegetable Broth 3 Tablespoons All-purpose Flour 1 cup Milk 1/2 cup Heavy Cream 1/2 teaspoon Salt, More To Taste Black Pepper To Taste 1/2 teaspoon Cajun Spice Mix 1 teaspoon Minced Fresh Parsley 1 cup Grated Cheese Of Your Choice Preparation Instructions Add bacon pieces to a soup pot over medium heat and cook bacon until crisp and fat is rendered. Remove the bacon from the pot and set it aside. Pour off most of the grease, but do not clean the pot. Return the hot to medium-high heat and add the onions, carrots, and celery. Stir and cook for 2 minutes or so, then add the diced potatoes. Cook for 5 minutes, seasoning with salt, pepper, and Cajun spice. Pour in the broth and bring it to a gentle boil. Cook for 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are starting to get tender. Whisk together the flour and the milk, then pour into the soup and allow the soup to cook for another 5 minutes. Remove half to 2/3 the soup and blend in a blender/food process until completely smooth. Pour it back into the soup pot and stir to combine. Let it heat back up as you taste for seasonings, adding more of what it needs. Stir in cream, then stir in parsley, reserving a little for garnish. Serve in bowls garnished with parsley, grated cheese and crisp bacon pieces. **This soup was wonderful! Rob had seconds. I will definitely be making it again. I didn't have cajun spice but I looked up this recipe and I just sprinkled a little of each of the ingredients, leaving out the cayenne and red pepper flakes entirely. Also, i didn't have heavy cream so I substituted with 1 to 3 parts melted butter to milk. (The recipe for a cup of heavy cream is 3/4 C milk mixed with 1/4 C melted butter.) I also left out the celery and didn't really measure spices.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Maple Walnut Blondie

Ingredients 1 cup flour 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 1/8 teaspoon baking soda 1/8 teaspoon salt 1/4 cup chopped walnuts 1/3 cup butter, melted 1 cup packed brown sugar 1 large egg 1 tablespoon vanilla extract 1/2 cup white chocolate chips Sauce: 1/4 cup butter, softened 1/4 cup powdered sugar 1 ounce cream cheese (2 tablespoons), softened 1 tablespoon maple syrup Directions Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8x8 pan with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray. In a bowl add flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and walnuts. Whisk to combine. Set aside. In a large bowl, mix the melted butter and brown sugar with a mixer. Add the egg and vanilla and mix well. Add the flour mixture a little at a time until combined. Stir in white chocolate chips. Spread into the 8x8 pan and bake for 20-25 minutes or until center passes the toothpick test. I like mine a little on the gooey side. Remember right out of the oven they may seem gooey but once they cool they set up more. Serve warm with ice cream and Maple Butter Sauce. For the Maple Butter Sauce: In a small bowl add the butter, powdered sugar, cream cheese, and maple syrup. Blend with a mixer until smooth. When ready to serve, heat the maple butter sauce for about 30 seconds in the microwave and pour over warmed blondie and ice cream. Recipe adapted from These were AMAZING!!!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Honey Lemon Chicken Breasts

Ingredients Juice and zest of 1 large lemon (3 tablespoons juice) 3 tablespoons honey 2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin 1 teaspoon dried oregano 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 4 bone-in chicken breast halves, skin on (about 2-1/4 pounds) Salt and freshly ground pepper Directions Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Line a baking sheet with foil. In a medium bowl, whisk together the lemon juice and zest, honey, garlic, cumin, oregano and 1/2 cup of the olive oil. Place the chicken breasts in a glass dish that holds them snugly in a single layer and add the marinade. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours in the refrigerator, turning over the chicken occasionally. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Pat the chicken dry, season with salt and pepper and place, skin side down, in the skillet. Cook until the skin is browned and crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer the chicken, skin side up, to the prepared baking sheet. Bake until cooked through and the juices run clear, about 20 minutes.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Yellow Chicken Curry

Yellow Curry with Chicken and Potatoes Makes 3-4 servings Yellow Curry with Chicken and Potatoes Ingredients 1 14-ounce can of coconut milk 2 tablespoons yellow curry paste 1 large chicken breast 1-2 cups water 2 medium potatoes 1/2 of a large onion 1 14-ounce can of baby corn 1 teaspoon fish sauce 1/2 teaspoon sugar Instructions Prepare your ingredients. Slice the onion, baby corn, and chicken into bite-sized pieces. Peel, cut, and parboil the potatoes for ~5 minutes. Set aside. Open the can of coconut milk and scoop the top thicker cream part into a pan. Heat this cream over medium heat until the oil just starts to separate from the milk. Then add the yellow curry paste and saute with the cream until it becomes fragrant. Add the chicken, coat in the curry paste, and cook until it's done. Then add the rest of the coconut milk and water and bring to a boil. Let cook until the consistency of the curry is what you prefer. You can use less water if you want a shorter cooking time. Add the potatoes, onions, and baby corn and cook until just done, but still firm. Adjust seasonings with fish sauce and sugar to taste. Garnish with thinly sliced kaffir lime leaves and red peppers. Serve with jasmine rice.

Veggie Bake

Spread an assortment of chopped veggies on a lightly greased cookie sheet or pan. Sprinkle with healthy dressing from previous post and bake at 350 til veggies are tender. Sprinkle mozarella on top and warm.

Healthy Dressing

Mix: 1 tsp olive oil 1/2 tsp maple syrup 1 tbsp lemon juice 1/4 tsp dijon dash sea salt and pepper

Skillet Lasagna

ingredients: 1 lb ground beef 2 1/2 C penne or rotini pasta 1 (24 oz) jar pasta sauce 1 C ricotta cheese 1 1/2 C mozzarella shredded cheese Cook ground beef on medium high in large skillet, stirring frequently, until no longer pink, drain. Add pasta, sauce, and fill jar with water and add to skillet. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, 15 minutes, stirring halfway through. Add ricotta in 6 dollops to top. Sprinkle with cheese. Cover and simmer 5 more minutes until cheese is melted.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Whole Wheat Honey Banana Muffins

Yes!!! These are great will be making them again! Ingredients 3 1/2 C whole wheat flour 2 tsp baking soda 1 tsp salt 2/3 cup olive oil or canola oil 1 C honey 4 eggs 2 C mashed bananas 1/2 C hot water Directions Stir together dry ingredients Beat oil and honey together; add eggs and beat well. Add bananas and beat to combine Add dry ing to wet, alternating with hot water, mix well after each addition Spoon batter into 24 greased muffin cups; bake at 325 for 15 minutes or until muffins are golden brown and test done. Remove from oven and cool on rack.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

chicken curry

DirectionsIn a medium size frying pan, heat 4 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the parsley and spinach and fry until wilted. Set aside.Heat the other 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot. Add the onion and saute, stirring occasionally, until tender. Add the chicken breasts and brown both sides of each breast. Add the salt, turmeric, fried parsley/spinach, water and tomato paste. Bring all to a boil and let boil for 10 minutes.Add the cubed potatoes. Cover and let cook over low heat for 1 to 2 hours. Add the lemon juice, bring to a boil and let boil for 10 more minutes. Serve with steamed rice if desired. gredients3 tablespoons olive oil1 small onion, chopped2 cloves garlic, minced3 tablespoons curry powder1 teaspoon ground cinnamon1 teaspoon paprika1 bay leaf1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger root1/2 teaspoon white sugarsalt to taste2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cut into bite-size pieces1 tablespoon tomato paste1 cup plain yogurt3/4 cup coconut milk1/2 lemon, juiced1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Mexican Casserole

1 lb ground turkey or lean ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
1 packet taco seasoning mix (1/4 c)
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
1 can cream of mushroom soup
8-10 corn tortillas (12 oz package)
3-4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
avacado, sliced
sour cream

Brown meat with diced onion over medium heat. Add chili powder

Friday, April 18, 2014

Hamburger Soup


2-1/2 pounds Ground Chuck
1 whole Large Onion, Diced
2 stalks Celery, Diced
3 cloves Garlic, Minced
1 can (14.5 Ounce) Can Whole Tomatoes
3 cups Beef Stock Or Beef Broth, Plus More As Needed
1 whole Yellow Bell Pepper, Seeded And Diced
1 whole Red Bell Pepper, Seeded And Diced
1 whole Green Bell Pepper, Seeded And Diced
4 whole Carrots, Peeled And Sliced On The Diagonal
5 whole Red Potatoes, Cut Into Chunks
3 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt (more To Taste)
1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper, More To Taste
2 teaspoons Dried Parsley Flakes
1/2 teaspoon Ground Oregano
1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper (more To Taste)

Preparation Instructions

In a large pot over medium-high heat, brown the meat with the onion, celery, and garlic. Remove the pot from the heat and drain off as much fat as you can. (Discard the fat once it cools.)
Return the pot to the heat and add the rest of the ingredients. Stir to combine, then bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, then cover the pot and simmer the soup for 15-20 more minutes, until potatoes are tender but not overly mushy.
Soup should be somewhat thick, but if you'd like it to be more "soupy," add 1 to 2 cups more broth OR hot water and heat through. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more salt if needed.
Serve with crusty bread!

This was a winner! I only used half the beef and it was plenty. Also added more salt and broth and left out peppers and liked it with a can of diced tomatoes instead of whole.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Spaghetti Sauce


5 pounds Ground Beef (I Used Ground Round)
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 whole Large Yellow Onions, Diced
2 whole Green Bell Pepper, Seeded And Diced
6 cloves Garlic, Minced
1 cup White Wine (or Low Sodium Beef Broth If You Prefer)
2 cans 28 Ounce Crushed Tomatoes
1 can (14 Ounce) Crushed Tomatoes
1 can (small, 4-ounce) Tomato Paste
1 jar Good Storebought Marinara Sauce (can Use Another Jar If You Like The Sauce To Be More Saucy Than Meaty)
1 teaspoon Ground Oregano
1 teaspoon Ground Thyme
4 whole Bay Leaves
2 Tablespoons Sugar
2 teaspoons Kosher Salt
1/2 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper (optional)
1/4 cup Finely Minced Fresh Parsley (or 3 Tablespoons Parsley Flakes), More To Taste
1 whole Rind From One Wedge Parmesan (optional)
1/2 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese (optional)
2 pounds Spaghetti, Cooked Al Dente And Tossed With Olive Oil
Extra Minced Parsley, For Serving
Extra Parmesan Cheese, For Serving

Preparation Instructions

IMPORTANT: This recipe can easily be halved! I just like to make a ton so I can freeze it.
In a large pot over medium-high heat, brown the ground beef until totally browned. Remove meat from pot with a slotted spoon and put into a bowl. Set aside.

Discard any grease in pot, but do not clean the pot. Drizzle in olive oil. When it is heated, throw in the diced onion and diced bell pepper. Stir it around for 1 1/2 minutes, then add the garlic. Stir and cook for an additional minute.
Pour in the wine and allow it to bubble up and reduce for about 1 1/2 minutes.

Add crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, and marinara sauce. Stir to combine, then add oregano, thyme, sugar, salt, bay leaves, and crushed red pepper (if using). Stir, then add cooked ground beef and stir to combine. Place the lid on the pot and allow to simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Add a little water or some low-sodium broth if it needs more liquid

After an hour, add the minced parsley and the rind from a wedge of Parmesan (or grated Parmesan if you prefer--or both!) Stir to combine, then put the lid back on and allow it to simmer for another 30 minutes or so. Discard bay leaves before serving.

Serve a big bowl of oiled noodles and spaghetti sauce so guests can serve themselves. Top each serving with minced parsley and grated Parmesan (or Parmesan shavings) and serve with a big piece of garlic-cheese bread.

From pioneer woman--love this recipe
I usually half it and it makes enough for two spaghetti dinners for our little fam or give it to someone frozen with a package of noodles.

Korean Beef

Korean Beef

1 lb lean ground beef
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 Tablespoon sesame oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 - 1 teaspoon crushed red peppers (depending on how spicy you like it)
salt and pepper
1 bunch green onions, diced
Rice, cooked

Heat a large skillet over medium heat and brown hamburger with garlic in the sesame oil. Drain most of the fat and add brown sugar, soy sauce, ginger, salt and pepper and red peppers. Simmer for a few minutes to blend the flavors. Serve over steamed rice and top with green onions.

Jess made this for us--we all loved it!!!

Easy Garlic Chicken

About This Recipe
"A quick, easy chicken recipe for days when you don't want to spend time in the kitchen. Even finicky people will eat it. Goes great with traditional potatoes or rice. As it bakes, the garlic and sugar will melt into a sweet glaze. Customize with your favorite herbs or spices. After many comments, I have reduced the temperature at which to cook the chicken. I have also added instructions to wrap your baking sheet or casserole dish in aluminum foil for easier clean-up."


4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon olive oil
additional herbs and spices, as desired


Preheat oven to 450°F Line a baking dish or cookie sheet with aluminum foil and lightly coat with cooking spray or lightly brush with oil.
In small sauté pan, sauté garlic with the oil until tender.
Remove from heat and stir in brown sugar. Add additional herbs and spices as desired.
Place chicken breasts in a prepared baking dish and cover with the garlic and brown sugar mixture.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Bake uncovered for 15-30 minutes, or until juices run clear. Cooking time will depend on the size and thickness of your chicken.

Meatballs Stroganoff

I'm giving you fair warning, this is NOT a 'measure everything out' recipe. Instead, its one of those things you throw together after work on a busy day because it works and its delicious and your kids love it, and its super fast.

Frozen Italian style meatballs (1/2 oz each)
generally, enough to cover the bottom of the pan. Depends on who is home.
Extra virgin olive oil
1+ Tbsp - just enough to brown up the meatballs.
2 cups beef broth
use more for more meatballs... just go with this recipe. Don't over think it.
kosher salt and black pepper to taste
dried herbs (probably at least 1 - 1 1/2 tsp each) - parsley, oregano, basil
it will look like a lot of seasoning, but in the end, it will be great!
1 cup sour cream
4 oz reduced fat cream cheese (optional)
1 cup heavy whipping cream
or a slurry of whole milk + a bit of corn starch
Wide egg noodles
enough for whomever is there
optional garnishes - fresh oregano leaves, Italian seasoning

Written Method:

I start off with our favorite brand of frozen Italian style meatballs (my kids LOVE the Rosina brand). I brown them in a little olive oil in a black iron skillet. This is where you get all the good flavors - from the fond (the brown bits that stick on the bottom) that gets stuck in the skillet. [I don't think this would work as well in a non-stick skillet b/c it releases too much of that goodness.]

After they are browned up nicely, deglaze the pan with about 2 cups of beef broth (I like Swanson's brand). Bring to a boil. Season generously with salt and pepper, dried herbs (parsley, oregano, basil). When it starts reducing, add about 2/3 cup sour cream (I use Daisy light) and about a cup of heavy whipping cream. These will make the sauce creamy and silky and also act as a thickener.

Meanwhile, boil water in a separate pot and add the wide egg noodles (I use No Yolks). Boil until they are still just a bit al dente, drain briefly and add to the simmering sauce. They will finish cooking in the sauce and also soak up a lot of that goodness.

The result is a nice, creamy sauce - slightly tangy from the sour cream, a little herbaceous from the nice green herbs, a little beefy from the stock. Yum! Loved this recipe! Will definitely be making it again!

Turkey Meatloaf with glaze


Units: US | Metric
2 tablespoons butter (or margarine)
1 cup onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/4 lbs ground turkey
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1 egg (or 1/4 cup egg substitute)
3/4 cup catsup
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper


1 Melt butter in a skillet.
2 Cook onion and garlic in melted butter for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3 Place mixture in a large bowl to cool for 5 minutes.
4 Combine turkey, bread crumbs, egg, 1/4 cup of the catsup, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper with onion mixture.
5 Press meatloaf into an 8x4-inch loaf pan.
6 Spread remaining catsup on top.
7 Bake in a 350 degree oven for 50-55 minutes. (Internal temperature should reach 165 degrees.)
8 Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Glaze (from Jess)

1/4 C water
1/3 C honey
about 1 cup tomato soup undiluted

put this on for the last 20 minutes or so

Friday, February 21, 2014

Root Beer

2 cups sugar
1 oz. of root beer extract (found in spice section of select grocery stores)
1 gallon of cold water
2 lbs. of dry ice (it’s best to buy the dry ice on the day you plan to use it)

**Use a plastic container & never put a lid on it.

Start by pouring one gallon of water in a large container (or plastic cauldron), followed by two cups of sugar and one ounce of root beer extract.
Once the sugar is dissolved, add two pounds of dry ice, broken into smaller pieces. The bubbling mixture will become carbonated and ready to serve when all the dry ice has fully vaporized.  

Add ice cream for a special root beer float that kids of all ages will love.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Chicken Tetrazzini!

This was very tasty--Rob approved and the boys even ate it, the noodly part at least. :) It makes two so you can freeze one. this is adapted a little..


1 tbsp unsalted butter
cooking spray
1 cup finely chopped onion (I use about a half tsp onion powder)
2/3 C finely chopped celery
3/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp salt
2 (8 ounce) packages presliced mushrooms
1/2 c dry sherry
2/3 c all purpose flour
3 (14.5 oz) cans chicken broth
2 1/4 C parmesan cheese
1/2 c cream cheese
7 cups hot cooked vermicelli or angel hair (about 1 lb uncooked pasta)
4 c shredded cooked chicken breast
bread crumbs


1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Melt butter in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery, black pepper, salt, and mushrooms; sauté 4 minutes or until mushrooms are tender. Add sherry; cook 1 minute.
3. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Gradually add flour to pan; cook 3 minutes, stirring constantly (mixture will be thick) with a whisk. Gradually add broth, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat.
4. Add 1 ¾ cups Parmesan cheese and cream cheese, stirring with a whisk until cream cheese melts. Add pasta and chicken; stir until blended. Divide pasta mixture between 2 (8-inch-square) glass or ceramic baking dishes coated with cooking spray.
5. Place bread in food processor; pulse 10 times or until coarse crumbs form. Combine breadcrumbs and ½ cup Parmesan cheese; sprinkle evenly over pasta.
6. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until lightly browned and bubbly. Remove casserole from oven; let stand 15 minutes.
To freeze unbaked casserole: Prepare through Step 5. Cool completely in refrigerator. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing to remove as much air as possible. Wrap with heavy-duty foil. Store in freezer for up to 2 months.
To prepare frozen unbaked casserole: Thaw casserole completely in refrigerator (about 24 hours). Preheat oven to 350°. Remove foil; reserve foil. Remove plastic wrap; discard wrap. Cover casserole with reserved foil; bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 1 hour or until golden and bubbly. Let stand 15 minutes.

Monday, January 20, 2014

THE BEST Lasagna!

I will never make a different lasagna again. Rob and I were blown away by deliciousness. In fact, the only thing I might change is use a few more noodles! There's that much meaty, juicy, cheesy goodness!


1-1/2 pound Ground Beef
1 pound Hot Breakfast Sausage
2 cloves Garlic, Minced
2 cans (14.5 Ounce) Whole Tomatoes
2 cans (6 Ounce) Tomato Paste
2 Tablespoons Dried Parsley
2 Tablespoons Dried Basil
1 teaspoon Salt
3 cups Lowfat Cottage Cheese
2 whole Beaten Eggs
1/2 cup Grated (not Shredded) Parmesan Cheese
2 Tablespoons Dried Parsley
1 teaspoon Salt
1 pound Sliced Mozzarella Cheese
1 package (10 Ounce) Lasagna Noodles
(add 1/2 Teaspoon Salt And 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil To Pasta Water)

Preparation Instructions

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet or saucepan, combine ground beef, sausage, and garlic. Cook over medium-high heat until browned. Drain half the fat; less if you’re feeling naughty.
Add tomatoes, tomato paste, 2 tablespoons parsley, basil and salt. After adding the tomatoes, the sauce mixture should simmer for 45 minutes while you are working on the other steps.
In a medium bowl, mix cottage cheese, beaten eggs, grated Parmesan, 2 more tablespoons parsley, and 1 more teaspoon salt. Stir together well. Set aside. Cook lasagna until “al dente” (not overly cooked).

To assemble:
Arrange 4 cooked lasagna noodles in the bottom of a baking pan, overlapping if necessary. Spoon half the cottage cheese mixture over the noodles. Spread evenly. Cover cottage cheese with a layer of mozzarella cheese. Spoon a little less than half the meat/sauce mixture over the top.
Repeat, ending with meat/sauce mixture. Sprinkle top generously with extra Parmesan.
Either freeze, refrigerate for up to two days, or bake immediately: 350-degree oven for 20 to 30 minutes, or until top is hot and bubbly.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Granola Bars

From Kitchen Stewardship


1 C butter, softened
1 C honey
1 tsp vanilla
4 1/2 C rolled oats
1 1/2 C whole wheat or spelt flour
1 tsp baking soda

2 C add-ins: I use mini semi sweet choc chips and coconut

Lightly butter a 9 x 13 in glass pan. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter, honey, and vanilla.
Add the oats, flour, and baking soda. Beat well until combined. Stir in add-ins by hand. Press mixture hard into pan.
Bake at 325 degrees for 15-22 minutes. I usually do about 17.
They'll seem underdone. Cool for 10 minutes. Store at room temp or freeze.

I want to try this trick for making them stick together better:
Melt the butter, honey and vanilla i a saucepan and cook on low for 5 minutes after the butter melts, then mix the liquid ingredients into the dry.

Sopapilla Cheesecake


2 packages crescent rolls
8 oz. cream cheese
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 stick melted butter

Press one package of crescent rolls in the bottom of a greased 9 x 13 casserole dish to form the bottom crust. Mix the cream cheese, 3/4 cup sugar and vanilla together and spread on top of the crust. Press the second package of crescent rolls on top and pat thin to cover everything. Mix the rest of the sugar, cinnamon and melted butter together and pour over top, spreading to the edges to cover everything. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes. Serves great hot, cold, warm--or right out of the dish with a fork.

This is so easy and it is always a hit. I'm going to half the recipe and freeze a bunch to take to neighbors. It freezes great. This is totally my go-to now!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

The BEST chocolate chip cookies

The Only Chocolate Chip Cookie I Will Ever Need to Know How to Make For The Rest of My Life
by Shirley Hendrickson, adapted from Jacques Torres (Kate: I totally had this link and recipe wrong before, sorry about that!)

Secret 1: The use of a mix of cake flour and bread flour. Cake flour is finer, and bread flour has gluten, both important. Use them and no other.

Kate: I’m fairly certain this is one of the keys to this recipe being so great. It took me ages to find cake flour at my huge grocery store as it’s not super popular and they hid it on the top shelf that I had to have someone help me get down, but dig dig dig as it’s necessary!

Secret 2: Chilling. This is key — KEY! — to cookie texture success. The reason is that letting the dough rest allows all the eggs and the butter and the liquids to ooze and soak and hydrate into all the dry goodness. 24 hours is minimum, 36 is preferable (and noticeably better).

Also, the flavor gets crazy! Deep, caramel-y, toffee-y, and they bake up so much more deliciously brown. Plus, it lets the outside get crisp and crackly and keeps the middle almost underdone when you pull them out — they set up and turn into soft, chewy heaven.

Kate: I baked one batch after only four hours of chilling and they were great – like SO great people begged me for the recipe at the potluck. Then I tried 12 hours, 24 hours, and 36 hours. While 36 was DEFINITELY in-freaking-credible (so true about the caramel-y-ness), if you can only wait four hours, it won’t be the end of the world. This also makes SO many cookies that you could make half and then half later, like I did.

Secret 3: All ingredients. Room temperature. Do it. (Note: The misconception with room-temperature butter: it actually doesn’t mean letting it sit out until it’s supersoft and melty. You should be able to press a slice of butter with your finger and easily make a dent, and it should crack faintly.)

Secret 4: Did you know? People make their cookies way too small! It’s silliness! If you make them too small, they dry out too quick, and they get too crunchy. We want gooey and chewy! The way to achieve that is to scoop your dough out into golf-ball sized — or slightly larger — portions. I use a 1/3 c measuring cup for extra big cookies.

Secret 5: The chocolate. Sorry, Toll House. And don’t even think about the generic supermarket brand. I only use Ghiardelli 60% Cacao chips — they’re pretty widely available the best chips you can buy at a grocery store. However, if you run across anything that is 60% cacao, it’ll be good.

Secret 6: The sprinkle of salt on the top. Makes all the sweetness sing.

Secret 7: Wait. I mean, sure, have one piping hot out of the oven, but the flavors actually meld and deepen once they cool. These are definitely cookies that get better the next day.

Secret 7 1/2: Always err on taking them out too early rather than too late – also essential for middle-softness. They continue to cook on the sheet for a few minutes, so don’t overdo it – underdone is better than overdone, every time (and you can always pop them in for a minute more if you like).

Stick to these secrets, and you will ace chocolate chip cookies forever.

2 cups minus 2 Tbsp. cake flour (8 1/2 oz)*
1 2/3 cups bread flour (8 1/2 oz)*
1 ¼ tsp. baking soda
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
1 ½ tsp. coarse salt, such as kosher
2 ½ sticks (1 ¼ cups; 10 oz.) unsalted butter, softened
1 ¼ cups (10 oz.) light brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. (8 oz.) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 ¼ pounds bittersweet chocolate chips or chunks, preferably about 60% cacao content, such as Ghirardelli
Sea salt or kosher salt for garnishing

(* to those questioning the weight of the flours – they are indeed correct. Different flours have different weights, so just because you are weighing out the same oz doesn’t mean you are using the same amount, if that makes sense. Trust Shirley on this one.)

Combine flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Whisk well; then set aside.

Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars until very light and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Reduce the mixer speed to low; then add dry ingredients, and mix until just combined. (Unless you have a plastic guard that sits around the rim of the bowl, this will make a big mess at first, with flour flying everywhere. I found that carefully holding a dish towel around the top of the bowl helped a lot.) Add the chocolate chips, and mix briefly to incorporate. Press plastic wrap against the dough, and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. The dough may be used in batches, and can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours.

When you’re ready to bake, preheat oven to 350°F. Remove the bowl of dough from the refrigerator, and allow it to soften slightly. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat.

Using a standard-size ice cream scoop – mine holds about 3 fluid ounces, or about 1/3 cup – scoop six mounds of dough onto the baking sheet, making sure to space them evenly. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt, and bake until golden brown but still soft, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack for 10 minutes, then transfer the cookies onto the rack to cool a bit more.

Kate: my oven is a class-act pile of junk, so one batch was cooked at 400 for 15 minutes and I think it turned out the best! One was cooked at 300 for 25 and it was kind of mediocre. So, in my opinion, hotter and faster seems to be better. At least in my crazy oven.

Repeat with remaining dough.

Yield: About 24 (5-inch) cookies. Kate: Mine made more like 18. But I have a cookie dough eating problem.

Go forth and make cookies, people.

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