Monday, December 22, 2008


I think this blog died.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Pumpkin Tortilla Soup

Since I adore pumpkin I gave this yummy recipe a try. I found it on Apartment Therapy.

Pumpkin Tortilla Soup
Serves 6

12 (6-inch) corn tortillas
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium white onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup finely chopped cilantro, plus more sprigs for garnish
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Chile pequins, other dried hot peppers, or cayenne pepper to taste*
1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree or canned pumpkin
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
5 cups unsalted vegetable stock
1/2 teaspoon salt
Vegetable oil for deep-frying*
1-2 ripe avocados, peeled, pitted, and cubed

Cut 6 of the tortillas into 1/2-inch squares.

Heat 4 tablespoons olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onion, garlic, cilantro, and chopped tortillas and cook, stirring frequently, until onion is soft.

Add cumin and crushed peppers or cayenne and sauté for another minute.

Add pumpkin, tomatoes, vegetable stock, and salt and stir to combine. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for one hour.

While the soup is simmering, cut the remaining 6 tortillas in half and then into 1/4-inch-wide strips. Heat 1/2 inch of vegetable oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat until very hot but not smoking. Fry tortilla strips in two batches until crisp and light golden (about a minute). Using a slotted spoon, transfer tortilla strips to towels to drain.

To serve, ladle soup into bowls and garnish with tortilla strips, avocado, and cilantro.

*You can tailor the type and amount of hot pepper to your own tastes. We usually make this with a couple of crushed chile pequins but have also used cayenne pepper, which is more readily available. If you're not sure how much to use, start with 1/8 teaspoon of cayenne, taste the soup after it has simmered for awhile, and then add more if desired.

* I just baked my tortillas to cut the fat.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Pasta Something with Asparagus and Artichokes

Here is a pasta recipe that my mother-in-law printed from online the last time she was down to visit. The name isn't printed on the paper, so I don't know the name. You can make up your own name for it. :) I have this recipe several times with a few variations of what I want to add to it (balsamic vinegar instead of a dressing, extra bacon, add can of diced tomatoes, etc.), leaving out what I don't have(asparagus).
Ok here are the ingredients:

6 slices bacon
10 asparagus spears, ends trimmed
1/2 (16oz) package Rotini, elbow, or Penne pasta
4 tablespoons low fat mayonnaise
3 tablespoons balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 (60z) jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and coarsely chopped
1 cooked chicken breast, cubed
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 toasted sliced almonds
salt and pepper to taste

Place bacon in large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble and set aside. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to boil. Add asparagus and cook until tender, about 1 minute. Strain asparagus out of water and immediately plunge into a bowl filled with ice water; let sit in ice water until completely cold, then cut into 1 inch pieces. Next. add pasta to boiling water and cook until al dente; drain, rinse with cold water until chilled, then drain well.
Stir together mayonnaise, balsamic vinaigrette, lemon juice, and Worcestershire sauce in a large bowl. Fold in artichoke, chicken, cranberries, almonds, crumbled bacon, and asparagus. Season to taste with salt and peeper, then fold in cooked pasta. Refrigerate for at lest 1 hour before serving.

The times I've made it, I added the mayonnaise, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, or balsamic vinegar to taste, without measuring. I don't know what it tastes like with those exact measurements, but I really like it. Hope you try it and like it too!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Ricotta & Chocolate-Hazelnut Calzones

3/4 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
1/4 cup mascarpone cheese
1 large egg yolk
2 tablespoons powdered sugar, plus more for dusting
8 ounces frozen strawberries, thawed
2 tablespoons sugar
2/3 cup chocolate-hazelnut spread (recommended: Nutella), at room temperature
3 tablespoons whipping cream, at room temperature
6 (2-ounce) pieces homemade or purchased pizza dough, cold
1 large egg, beaten to blend

Blend the ricotta, mascarpone, egg yolk, and powdered sugar in a food processor until smooth and creamy. Transfer the ricotta mixture to a small bowl, then cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, blend the strawberries and 1 tablespoon of sugar in a clean food processor until smooth. Transfer the strawberry sauce to a small bowl and set aside.

Whisk the chocolate-hazelnut spread and cream in a medium bowl to blend.

Position the oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 450 degrees F.

Line a heavy large baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll out each piece of pizza dough into a 7-inch-diameter round. Spoon the ricotta mixture atop the center of the lower half of each pizza dough. Spoon the chocolate-hazelnut mixture atop the cheese mixture. Brush the lower edges of the dough with egg wash. Fold the plain dough halves over the filling, forming half circles. Pinch the edges of dough firmly together to seal. Using a pastry wheel, trim the edges. Transfer the calzones to the prepared baking sheet, spacing evenly.

Brush the tops of the calzones with more egg wash. Bake until the calzones puff and become golden brown, about 10 minutes. Transfer the baking sheet to a rack and cool for 15 minutes. Transfer the calzones to plates and dust with the powdered sugar. Drizzle the strawberry sauce around the calzones and serve

Chocolate- Hazelnut Ravioli

16 wonton wrappers
1 egg, beaten to blend
1 cup chocolate-hazelnut spread (recommended: Nutella)
Vegetable oil, for frying
16 fresh mint leaves
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
Granulated sugar, for dredging
Powdered sugar, for dusting

Line a baking sheet with plastic wrap. Place 1 wonton wrapper on the work surface. Brush the edges of the wrapper lightly with egg. Spoon 1 tablespoon of chocolate-hazelnut spread into the center of the wrapper. Fold the wrapper diagonally in half over the filling and press the edges of the wrapper to seal. Place the ravioli on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining wonton wrappers, egg, and chocolate-hazelnut spread.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. Add enough oil to a heavy large frying pan to reach a depth of 2 inches. Heat the oil over medium heat to 350 degrees F.

Working in batches, carefully add the ravioli to the hot oil and cook until they are golden brown, about 45 seconds per side. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the ravioli to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Then, transfer the cooked ravioli to another baking sheet and keep them warm in the oven while frying the remaining ravioli. (The fried ravioli can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cool them completely, then cover and refrigerate. Before serving, place them on a baking sheet and rewarm in a preheated 375 degrees F oven just until they are heated through, about 7 minutes.)

Spray the top side of the mint leaves very lightly with nonstick spray. Working with 1 leaf at a time, dredge the coated side of the leaves in sugar to coat lightly.

Arrange 2 fried ravioli on each plate. Dust the ravioli with powdered sugar. Garnish with the sugared mint leaves and serve

Mascarpone & Dark Chocolate in Whit Chocolate Cups

8 ounces good-quality white chocolate, chopped
4 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup whipping cream
3 tablespoons sugar
8 ounces mascarpone cheese
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
White chocolate curls, for garnish

Line 8 muffin cups with paper liners. Melt the white chocolate in top of double boiler over simmering water, stirring until smooth. Spoon 1 tablespoon melted chocolate into each paper liner. Using a pastry brush, coat the chocolate evenly over the bottom and up the sides of the liners. Freeze until the chocolate is firm, about 30 minutes. Remelt the white chocolate in the bowl. Spoon 1 tablespoon into each cup and brush over the bottom and up the sides, forming a second coat. Freeze until completely set, about 1 hour.

Melt the bittersweet chocolate in top of a clean double boiler over simmering water, stirring until smooth. At this point, set aside to cool completely.

Using an electric mixer, beat the cream and sugar in a large bowl until soft peaks form. Set the whipped cream aside.

Using an electric mixer, beat the mascarpone cheese, melted bittersweet chocolate, orange peel, and vanilla in a large bowl just until smooth and glossy, about 30 seconds (do not overmix). Fold the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture in 2 batches. Transfer the mousse to a pastry bag fitted with a star tip. Pipe the mousse into the white chocolate cups. Sprinkle the white chocolate curls over the mousse and serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate overnight, and then let stand at room temperature 1 hour before serving.

Monday, August 25, 2008


Working at a grocery store now, I have come across a lot of produce and wondered how it is prepared. I never thought I would have interest in eating a beet, but I bought one! Now I'm trying to figure out the best way to prepare it so it tastes good.
So, I have a challenge for all of you! Go buy a beet. Cook it. Boil it. Bake it. And post what you do to make it delicious!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Double Chocolate Banana Cookies

3 to 4 extra-ripe medium Bananas
2 cups rolled oats
2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups margarine, melted
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

•Puree bananas in blender; measure 2 cups for the recipe.
•Combine oats, sugar, flour, baking soda, and salt until well mixed. Stir in bananas, margarine and eggs until blended. Stir in chocolate chips.
•Refrigerate batter 1 hour or until mixture becomes partially firm (batter runs during baking if too soft).
•Preheat oven to 350 F.. Measure 1/4 cup batter for each cookie; drop onto greased cookie sheets. Flatten slightly with spatula.
•Bake 15-17 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool.
Makes about 2 1/2 dozen e inch cookies.

•••Layla, if you remember when I made these they were super flat--that was because I didn't put oatmeal in the cookies, and didn't let them refrigerate for long enough. So, if you liked how they tasted then just don't add the oatmeal. :)

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Aunt Dorothy's Famous Mint Brownies!!

1 c. Flour
1/2 c. Butter softened
1/2 tsp. Salt
4 Eggs
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 can (16 oz) Chocolat syrup
1 c. Sugar
Mix flour, 1/2 c. butter, salt, eggs, vanilla, chocolat syrup, and suger together. Bake in greased pan at 350 for 30 min. Top will still appear moist. Cool.

1/2 c. Butter
2 c. Powdered sugar
1 tbl. Water
1/2 tsp. Mint extract
3 drops Green food coloring

Mix powdered sugar, 1/2 c. butter, water, mint and food coloring and spread on top of cooled brownies. Chill.

1 pkg. Semi-sweet chocolate chips
9 tbl. Butter

Melt chocolate chips and 9 tbl. butter together and spread on top of mint layer. Keep chilled before cutting and serving.

Jello Cake

I know that I've been posting a lot lately but I findthis fun to share recipes with everyone!! Here is another of my favorite cakes!!

1 yellow or white cake mix
6 oz. pkg. of jello
4 eggs
3/4 c. water
3/4 c. oil
2 c. powdered sugar
Lemon jucie

Combine cake mix, Jello, eggs, water, and oil. Pour into greased 9X13 pan. Bake at 350 for 30-35 min. Mix powdered suger and enough lemon jucie to make a smooth glaze. Immediatley after removing cake from oven, use a fork to poke holes all over it. Pour glaze over entire cake. Let cool before serving.

The picture just doesn't do it justice!!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Turtle Cookies

I love these cookies but i haven't been able to make them in a while due to the fact I don't own a waffle iron. They are so fun to make!!

8 tbl. Unsweetened Cocoa
1 c. Maragarine or butter
4 Eggs
1 & 1/2 c. Sugar
2 c. Flour
2 tsp. Vanilla

Melt chocolate and butter. Beat eggs and sugar. Add chocolate mixture. Add flour and vanilla. Drop by teaspoons on hot waffle iron and cook approximately 1 min. Frost.


4 tbl. Unsweetened cocoa
1/4 c. Maragarine or butter
3 tbl. Milk
2 c. Powder Suger

Melt chocolate and butter, stir in milk and powdered sugar to make a slightly thinner than normal frosting.

These are soooo good!

Texas Sheet Cake

This is my Moms recipe but it is the best cake ever so I'd thought that I'd share it. I know Diana will love it!!

2 c. Flour
2 c. Sugar
1 c. Butter or Margarine
1/4 c. Unsweetened Cocoa
1 c. Water
1/2 c. Buttermilk or Sour Milk
1 tsp. Baking Soda
2 Eggs
1 tsp. Vanilla

Mix flour and sugar in a large bowl and set aside
Bring butter, cocoa, and water to a boil. Pour hot mixture over flour and sugar. Mix until well blended. Add milk, soda, eggs, and vanilla and beat until well mixed. Pour batter onto a large cookie sheet with edges and bake at 350 for about 20. Frost while still hot.
HINT: Add 1 tbl. Vinegar to 1/2 c. Milk to make it sour! Easier than buying buttermilk!!!


1/2 c. Butter or Margarine
1/4 c. Unsweetened cocoa
5 tbl. Milk
1 tsp. Vanilla
4 c. Powder Sugar

Mix butter, cocoa, milk, and vanilla in a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and beat in the powdered sugar. This is not as thick as regular frosting. Spread over warm cake.

EZ Tuna Casserole!

I found that I never have time to bake my casseroles in the oven so I found a really easy way of making a fast and yummy cassarole.

2 6 oz. cans of tuna drained
1 can Cream of Mushroom soup
1 can Cream of Chicken soup
1/2 c. milk
Enough pasta to fill a medium pot

Cook the pasta all the way though and drain
Put soup, tuna and milk into the pot
Let the soup and milk mix together
Add the Pasta and mix it all together
Add as much cheese as you want.
Usually takes about 15-20 min to make!!

Crockpot Chicken=Dinner for 3 days!

I got this idea from my cousin and it's wonderful! So I'll just copy most of her text. I love this, because Richard is not very good at feeding himself, unless it is 'ready to go'. And because I'm not home every night, this was a great way to have an actual dinner set aside, without very much effort at all.

It all began with a crock pot, a jar of salsa and a bag full of chicken breasts. I added them all together and cooked on low for 8 hours.

Then - I shredded the chicken and could make three different things:

Chicken Quesidillas
green peppers/yellow/red

I like to cook the onions and peppers in butter ahead so they are a bit soft. Then I butter a tortilla and layer it in a frying pan with a combo of any of the above toppings - add another buttered tortilla on top and cook on low! Turn only once. You dont want to burn the tortilla before you melt the cheese (it is what amateurs do). If you are an amateur - try putting them on a baking sheet and baking them in a 350 degree oven until the cheese is melted (about 14 mins). Serve with guacamole and sour cream.

Sunset Chicken Enchiladas
3 cups shredded skinned cooked chicken
2 cups sour cream
About 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese (8 oz.)
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup vegetable oil (I use way less)
12 corn tortillas
1 jar (16 oz.) salsa

1. In a bowl, mix chicken, sour cream, 2 cups shredded cheese, and the salt.
2. Heat oil in an 8- to 10-inch frying pan over low heat. Dip the tortillas, one at a time, in the hot oil just until limp, about 5 seconds. Let them cool in layered between paper towels. (Or I just use flour tortillas and skip this part because I have an aversion to corn tortillas).
3. Fill tortillas equally with chicken mixture, roll up, and arrange side by side, seam down, in a 9- by 13-inch baking dish. Pour salsa evenly over the top (I actually mixed 1/2 salsa and 1/2 green enchilada sauce and it was pretty good too).
4. Bake in a 350° oven until heated through, about 20 minutes. If desired, sprinkle more shredded cheese over hot enchiladas before serving.

Chicken Burritos
Beans of your liking
Shredded lettuce
Sour cream

Put out bowls of everything and let everyone create their own.

Yum, Michael is ready to eat! :)


This is a two part recipe. First is the cookies that make the bottom of the Tiramisu.

Savaidi a.k.a Ladyfingers

3 eggs seperated
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 c. sugar
1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder

Beat egg yolk until thick and lemon colored. Beat in almond extract. Set aside.

Beat egg whites until stiff but not dry and gradually beat in suger until whites are glossy and very stiff.

Fold egg yolks gently into egg whites

Fold in sifted dry ingredients

Drop batter by Tablespoons on ungreased cookie sheet forming finger in 3 inch long and 1 inch wide. Bake in moderate 350 degree oven for 10 min. or until light brown.

Remove immediatly from cookie sheet and cool on rack. Yeilds 3 dozen.

Now it is time for the actual Tiramisu:

3 egg yolks
1/4 c. white suger
2 tsp. vanilla
1&1/8 cups Mascarpone cheese (substitute Cream Cheese and it's just as good)
24 Ladyfinger
1&1/2 cup brewed coffee
1 tblsp. unsweetened cocoa powder

In a medium bowl, beat egg yolks with sugar and vanilla until smooth and light yellow. Fold cheese into yolk mixture. Set aside.

Dip Ladyfingers briefly in coffee and arrange 12 of them in the bottom of an 8X8 inch dish. Spread half the cheese mixture over the lady fingers. Repeat with remaining cookies and cheese mixture. Cover and chill for 1 hour. Sprinkle with cocoa before serving.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Taco Soup

* 1 pound ground turkey breast
* 1 pack of taco seasoning
* 1 pack of dry ranch dressing mix
* 1 onion, chopped
* cooking spray
* 2 cans of diced tomatoes (undrained)
* 1 can of Rotel tomatoes (undrained)
* 1 can of black beans (drained)
* 1 can of corn (drained)
* 1 can of pinto beans (drained)

Spray a large pot with cooking spray. Saute onions with meat, cook until browned and no longer pink. Add the taco seasoning and the dry ranch mix. Add the beans, corn, and tomatoes. Cook until completely warm. Makes 8 servings

You can serve the soup like this or top tortilla chips with the taco soup along with sour cream and some grated cheddar cheese.

Triple-Chocolate Cherry Cake

1 box chocolate fudge cake mix
1 can (21oz) cherry pie filling
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 bag (12 oz) miniature semisweet chocolate chips
1 container whipped chocolate frosting (or you can use coolwhip with instant chocolate pudding)

1.Heat Oven to 350 degrees. (325 for dark/nonstick) Grease and flour, or spray with baking spray.
2. In large bowl, gently mix dry cake mix, pie filling, eggs, and chocolate chips with rubber scraper. Break up any undissolved cake mix. Carefully spread in pan.
3. Bake 15x10x1 inch pan 25-30 minutes. 13x9 pan 35-40 minutes, or until toothpick inswerted in center comes out clean. Cool completely, about 1 hour. Frost with frosting if desired.


Monday, July 28, 2008

Zucchini Tomato Bake

As We've been trying to eat healthier I've been struggling with ways to fit more vegetables into our diet. I've come across a wonderful combination. I've grown up with cooked zucchini & summer squash. I've added tomatoes on my own to it, but despite the salt my mother likes to add, it's still a bland sort of dish. Not this one though.Ingredients
* Zucchini
* tomato
* Mozzarella Cheese - Grated
* Basil
* Oregano
* Onion Powder
* Garlic Powder
* Pepper
* Parsley

350 degrees

Slice up zucchinis and tomatoes. Line Bottom of baking dish with all the zucchini. Sprinkle with each of the spices. Line tomatoes on top. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil, cover top with grated mozzarella and bake until cheese is melted.

*Note: I didn't put amount on because really it depends on if you like zucchinis and tomatoes at all. For a small 5x8 glass pan I've used 3 zucchinis 1 tomato and 1/2 cup mozzarella. For a large 9x13 pan I would use 7 zucchinis, 4 tomatoes, and 1.5 c mozzarella.

Serve hot.

You'll enjoy it I promise.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

I absolutely LOVE cookies. I make them quite often, and test out a lot of different recipes. They are all essentially the same-yet the end result can be flavorfully different. I tried this recipe last week and it has become my favorite.

1 cup Butter/Margarine
1 cup packed Brown Sugar
1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla
2 Eggs
2 Cups Flour
1/2 tsp Salt
2 tsp. Baking Powder
2 Cups Quick Oats
2 Cups Chocolate Chips (12 oz)
Preheat oven to 350 Far. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Mix in eggs and vanilla. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to creamed mixture. Blend thoroughly. Stir in oats and chocolate chips.  Drop onto ungreased cookie sheets and bake for 10-12 minutes.
Approx 3 Dozen Cookies

I don't suggest making this recipe without the oatmeal. It messes up the dough consistency if you do. 

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Mini Moltens

It only seems appropriate to share my all time favorite recipe as the first post on here.* 1/2 Stick unsalted butter at room temperature
* 1/2 Cup sugar
* 12 ounces of bittersweet chocolate
* 4 Large eggs
* 1/3 Cup flour
* 1 Teaspoon vanilla
* 1 pinch of salt
* 6 ramekins (ceramic molds) approx. 6-ounces in size, lined with parchment paper

1) Prepare the ramekins that you'll bake the moltens in: butter them and line the bottom with parchment. This step will insure that the moltens will ease out of the ramekin molds after baking.

2) To start melt the chocolate because it needs a chance to cool before you add it to the rest of the ingredients. To melt the chocolate start by boiling a pot that has about 3-4 inches of water in it - you want there to be enough water so that it won't evaporate quickly but you also want to be able to rest a glass or metal bowl over the pot without the bottom of the bowl coming in direct contact with the water. The idea is to melt the chocolate with indirect heat, i.e. the steam from the water. Once the water comes to a boil turn down the heat to medium and place a glass or metal bowl over it and add the chocolate to the bowl. If using bars of chocolate break them into small pieces so that they will melt faster. Once the chocolate melts take off the heat and and allow to cool. I find Ghirardelli's bittersweet chocolate works well in this recipe and their bars come in 4 oz. size so you need exactly 3 of them.

3) Cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl while the chocolate cools, just use a spoon to stir them together until totally incorporated. Then add one egg at a time and beat into the mixture. Once you've added all 4 eggs add a pinch of salt and the vanilla extract. The next step is adding the flour. And finally, mix in the melted chocolate.

4) Fill the ramekins with the batter evenly. You can either cover them with plastic wrap and refrigerate until you're ready to bake them or you can bake them immediately. If you cook them immediately bake for 10-12 minutes at 400F. If refrigerating them bake for 12-14 minutes at 400F. I recommend serving with your favorite vanilla ice cream.

Note: To more easily remove the moltens from their ramekins after they've baked, gently slide a knife around them to loosen and flip onto a plate.