Saturday, December 27, 2014

Peppermint Crunch Brownie Bites

After making these for a cookie exchange at Tim's office, I had leftover peppermints. I love a quick and easy dessert.  To save even more time, you could (and yes I did) use a boxed brownie mix. 

Peppermint Crunch Brownie Bites

Yield: 48 brownie bites
Cook Time: 12-15 minutes
Chocolate brownie bites dipped in white chocolate and sprinkled with candy cane pieces. These mini treats are perfect for gift giving or for serving at holiday parties.


1 cup (2 sticks) butter
2 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
4 large eggs
3/4 cup cocoa (I used dutch processed)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups white chocolate chips
10 large candy canes, crushed


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray mini muffin pan with non stick cooking spray or line with paper cups. Set aside.
2. Place butter in medium saucepan on the stove. Heat over medium heat until butter is melted. Remove from heat and stir in sugar, vanilla, and peppermint extract. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well with spoon after each addition. Add cocoa; stir until well blended. Add flour, baking powder and salt; stir until combined.
3. Fill each muffin cup slightly more than halfway full. Bake in preheated oven for 12-15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center of a brownie bite. Allow the brownie bites to cool for 5 minutes before removing from the muffin tin.
4. While the brownie bites are cooling, melt white chocolate in the microwave, in a microwave safe bowl, or by using a double-boiler. Dip the tops of the brownie bites in the white chocolate. Set on a wire cooling wrack and sprinkle with crushed candy canes. Continue until all of the brownie bites are dipped and sprinkled. Let white chocolate harden before serving.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Peppermint Meltaways

Tim's participates in a cookie exchange at his office during the holiday season.  Why not make something with one of his favorite flavors?  Tim loves all things peppermint.  Me, not so much.  I can take or leave mint flavored desserts. These are the perfect treat to enjoy with a cup of hot chocolate or tea.

Peppermint Meltaways
Adapted from The Cooking Channel
1 cup powdered sugar
2 sticks unsalted butter (1 cup), softened
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
3 tablespoons of milk
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup finely crushed peppermint candies or candy canes
24 chocolate teardrop candies (I like using Hershey's Kisses)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer, combine 1/2 cup of the powdered sugar and the butter and mix until light and fluffy. Add the peppermint extract, milk and mix to combine. Next, slowly add the flour and salt, mixing until just combined.

In a separate mixing bowl, combine remaining 1/2 cup powdered sugar and the peppermint candies.

Roll the dough into twenty-four 1 1/2-inch balls. Insert 1 chocolate morsel into each ball and re-roll to ensure that the cookie dough encases the chocolate. Next, transfer to the bowl with the powdered sugar and crushed candies rolling each to coat.

Place the balls on an ungreased baking sheet, spacing them about 1-inch apart. Bake until they start to turn golden brown on the bottom, about 20 minutes. Remove and transfer to wire cooling rack. Cool until they are just cool enough to handle, 5 minutes. Return the cookies to the bowl with the powdered sugar and crushed candies and toss gently until each cookie is coated.

Store in an airtight container.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Holiday Vanilla Pudding Cake Cookies - SRC

As a bonus this month, the Secret Recipe Club is having a cookie carnival!  Nice!  Who doesn't need a few more cookie recipes to add to their holiday baking list?  Nothing says the holidays for me like baking cookies. One of my earliest baking memories is baking Spritz cookies with my Mom, green Christmas trees with red sprinkles.  Today I still use the cookie press from my childhood.  What's your favorite Christmas baking memory?

For this special Cookie Carnival, I was assigned Mom's Test Kitchen. The blogger behind this great blog is Jaime.  A little bit about Jaime, she says, I’m a child of God (who requires ALOT of forgiveness),wife to an automotive genius, momma to a Princess that changed my life
daughter to some pretty alright parents."  You can read more about her story here!  You'll find lots of great recipes on her blog as well, drop by and check it out, you won't be sorry!!!

I did a quick search and immediately found my choice for the Cookie Carnival, Holiday Vanilla Pudding Cake Cookies.  What I loved most about these cookies is how easy they are.  My dream is to write a cookbook of nothing but easy recipes, you know when you need that quick dessert for company that's dropping by at the last minute or that quick dinner when you just don't feel like cooking?  Maybe someday!  These cookies are perfect for last minute treats for the office or how about cookies for Santa?  This recipe would be great to make with the kiddos!

Holiday Vanilla Pudding Cake Cookies
Recipe Courtesy of Mom's Test Kitchen
1 box (16.25 ounces) white cake mix
1 box (3.5 ounces) vanilla instant pudding & pie mix
2 eggs
2 tablespoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons milk
red & green decorating sugars

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, dry vanilla pudding, eggs, butter and milk – it will be VERY thick
  3. In a small bowl, combine equal amounts of the red & green sugars. You can also do two separate bowls of each color & make all red or all green cookies. Or do a little of each & go for a tye-die look :)
  4. Scoop the dough into tablespoon sized balls. Roll the dough in the decorating sugars, being sure to fully coat the dough. Place the coated dough on the baking sheet about 2 inches apart.
  5. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the cookies are set.
  6. Cool for just a minute or two on the baking sheet and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

    Sunday, December 7, 2014

    Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies - Secret Recipe Club

    It's Secret Recipe Club  time and this is a bittersweet post for me.  Ever since starting in SRC in May 2011, I've been a member of group B.  Our leader was looking to move a few bloggers around and I volunteered.  No SRC for me in January, Group B is taking January off.  Beginning in February, I will be a member of SRC Group C.   I wanted to say a big thanks to our SRC B leader, Camilla.  She works tirelessly to make sure we all have our assignments and there are no orphans each month.  Thanks, Camilla for all you do!

    Now on to the real focus of this post, my assigned blogger and chosen recipe!  This month I was assigned,  Pale Yellow.  Tracy says she an "Informal science educator/curriculum specialist,science teacher by day, baking blogger by night, former Michigander, current Rockaway Girl".  She has two pet turtles, how fun it that?  Even more fun, her former coworkers, with whom she had shared all of her delicious baked goods, bought her a Kitchen Aid mixed.  Wow, those must have been the best baked goodies!!! 

    Speaking of baked goodies, Tracy's Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies caught my eye.   I am obsessed with brown butter!  Brown butter adds such a depth of flavor to recipes, sweet or savory.  Brown butter is easy to prepare.  Just don't look away, the butter can quickly go from delicious brown to burned.

    These could be my new favorite bar cookie recipe.  As usual, I sent them to Tim's office.  I could have eaten the whole pan. 

    Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
    Recipe Courtesy of Pale Yellow
    Yield – 20 bars
    3/4 cup unsalted butter
    3/4 cup packed brown sugar
    1/4 cup sugar
    1 egg
    2 teaspoons vanilla
    2 teaspoons cornstarch
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    2 cups flour
    10 ounces dark chocolate chips
    fancy sea salt for sprinkling
    1. Preheat the oven to 350 ˚F and generously grease a 9 x 13” pan.  Cut parchment paper to fit the bottom of the pan.  Grease the paper as well.
    2. Add the butter to a medium saucepan and heat until browned.  The butter will smell nutty; stir the whole time.  Let cool for 5-10 minutes.
    3. Whisk the sugars into the butter and then whisk in the egg and vanilla.
    4. Stir in the cornstarch, soda, and salt.  Sprinkle the flour over the mixture and stir to combine.  Stir in the chocolate chips.
    5. Press the dough evenly on the bottom of the pan and sprinkle with sea salt.
    6. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the top begins to brown.
    7. Let cool completely before cutting into squares.

    Monday, December 1, 2014

    Sparkling White Cranberry Sangria

    We celebrated Thanksgiving in Palm Springs with my son and his girlfriend, Lily.  Palm Springs temperatures in the upper 70's and low 80's were  perfect for this beautiful glass of sangria.

    We couldn't find plain white cranberry juice, so we chose to go with White Peach Cranberry juice.
    The combination was perfect for this cocktail.  The sweetness of the peach made up for the 1/4 of sugar we didn't bring along.  Lily brought along some cinnamon sticks to add to the sangria.  They added a nice hint of spice that paired beautifully with the other flavors in the sangria.

     I may will not be waiting for summer to try this cocktail again.

    Sparkling White Cranberry Sangria
    Adapted from The Kitchen

    Serves 6 to 8

    1 cup rum, like Selvarey or another high-quality white rum
    1 cup diced red apple
    1 cup diced green apple
    1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
    1 bottle Chardonnay, un-oaked or lightly oaked, chilled
    1 cup white peach cranberry juice, chilled
    Cinnamon Sticks
    2 cups club soda, chilled
    Lemon twist for garnish
    In a large pitcher, combine the sugar and rum and stir to dissolve. Add the apples, cranberries, Chardonnay, and white cranberry juice. Refrigerate overnight.
    When ready to serve, add the club soda and stir to combine. Pour into ice filled glasses and scoop in some of the fruit. Top each glass with a lemon twist.

    Saturday, November 22, 2014

    Slow Cooker Corn and Potato Chowder

    What's your favorite kitchen appliance? Mine is the Slow Cooker.  I just read an article about a new slow cooker that can be turned on and off via your smart phone.  This may go on my Christmas list.

    After a busy day at work, especially those occurring on Monday's, nothing is better than coming home and dinner is ready.  Corn Chowder is one of my favorite soups.   When I saw this recipe, I was thrilled to find a recipe designed for the slow cooker!

    The original recipe calls for heavy cream.  I learned a trick (I think from Pioneer Woman?) to add cornmeal as a thickening agent, no heavy cream needed.  Equally as rich with much less calories and fat.

    Slow Cooker Corn and Potato Chowder
    Adapted from Mama Loves Food!

    • 8 ounces (1/2 pound) bacon, cooked until crispy and crumbled
    • 2 1/2 pounds Russet potatoes (approximately 5 medium sized potatoes), NOT peeled, diced in 1/4 inch cubes
    • 8 cups (about 2 pounds) kernel corn
    • 1 medium/large sweet yellow onion, finely chopped
    • 1 cup chopped celery
    • 6 - 8 garlic cloves, crushed
    • 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
    • 32 ounces (4 cups) chicken stock
    • 1/2 cup cornmeal
    • salt & pepper
    1. Combine all ingredients except cornmeal in the slow cooker.
    2. Cook on low for 10 hours or high for 6 hours.
    3. Blend about half the soup using an immersion blender or just scoop it into your upright blender then return to slow cooker).
    4. Mix 1/2 cup cornmeal with a cup of the broth from the soup, stir into soup and cook on high for 15 - 20 minutes.  This acts as a thickening agent, no cream needed.
    5. Salt and pepper to taste.

    Tuesday, November 11, 2014

    A Special Veteran

    On this Veterans Day as, we pause to remember and thank our Veterans. I'd like to pay tribute to my late Father who served in Pearl Harbor!

    Sunday, November 9, 2014

    Lime Mad Madelines - SRC

    It's my favorite Monday of the month, Secret Recipe Club reveal day!  If you're not familiar with Secret Recipe Club, you can read all about it here!  It's so much fun.  I am proud to be a member.  For the month of November, I was assigned Jane's Adventures in Dinner.  Jane's blog is one of those, you could spend hours looking through.  She has so many wonderful recipes and beautiful photography. Jane lives in Canada, in addition to having a fabulous blog, she loves to cook and drink wine! 

    Do you have any baking pans that you rarely use?  When browsing to decide my post for this month's Secret Recipe Club, I was reminded that I do, my madeline pan.  Actually the problem is, I need a larger kitchen (are you reading Tim?), a few of my specialty baking items are stored in a big tote in the garage.  I often forget to use them. Sounds logical doesn't it?  Reminded of my pan in the garage by Jane's recipe for Lime Madelines, I decided to give that pan some use!

    If you're looking for a just slightly sweet yet delicious cookie, give these a try.  Perfect to serve with afternoon tea or a dish of ice cream.  This recipe goes together quickly and results in a beautiful treat.

    Sunday, October 19, 2014

    Red Cabbage Slaw

    Do you have a go to cole slaw recipe? I do, this one!  I think I made it at least 5 times this summer.  When my CSA basket contained a beautiful head of red cabbage, I decided to branch out and find a new recipe.   This recipe was so easy using my newest kitchen "toy", a Vitamix.  I've been eying them for a couple of years and finally took the plunge.  For those of you who are QVC shoppers, you'll know what I mean when I say it was on easy pay.  Those purchases never seem to sting quite as bad or at least so I tell myself.

    What beautiful colors and great flavors!  The cranberries and nuts make a delicious addition to this tangy cole slaw.

    Red Cabbage Slaw

     1 small head red cabbage, thinly sliced and chopped
     1/2 cup grated carrot
     1/2 cup mayonnaise (I used greek yogurt)
     1/4 cup dried cranberries
     1/4 cup chopped walnuts
     1 tablespoon milk, or more as needed
     1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
     1 teaspoon white sugar, or more to taste

    1. Combine cabbage, carrot, mayonnaise, cranberries, walnuts, milk, cider vinegar, and sugar in a bowl; stir well. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, about 4 hours.

    Sunday, October 12, 2014

    Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting - SRC

    October?  Is it really October already?  I love all things October except for what comes after October in the midwest, winter!  One of my favorite things about October is pumpkin!!

    For October's Secret Recipe Club (SRC), I was assigned The Hobo Kitchen.  If you're not familiar with what SRC is all about, you can read more about it here.  The blogger behind The Hobo Kitchen is Ellie.  Ellie was  born and raised in Nassau, Bahamas and lived there until she was 16. She moved to the US back in the late 90's resides in Hoboken, NJ.  She's been a blogger since 2008!  There's so many great recipes on her blog, check it out!!!

    Not sure what it says about me but when browsing Ellie's recipes, I was immediately drawn to her Boozy Cupcakes section.  I guess it's because booze and cupcakes happen to be two of my favorite things, don't think bad of me Ok?!!.    Since it was October, her Pumpkin Beer Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting, seemed like the perfect recipe. 

    Ellie said the recipe wasn't quite as sweet as she would have liked, so I added 1/2 cup more white sugar.  I found the sweetness just right, not too sweet and the spices were perfect.  I was really excited about the Maple Cream Cheese Frosting.  Like Ellie, I wish the frosting had a bit more maple flavor but it was still delicious.

    Pumpkin Beer Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

    1 teaspoon cinnamon
    1 teaspoon all-spice
    3/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
    1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
    3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    1/2 cup sugar
    3/4 cup light brown sugar
    4 large eggs
    1 cup pumpkin puree
    12 ounces (1 1/2 cups) Sam Adams Octoberfest beer (or a similar seasonal beer)
    1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
    2) Combine the cinnamon, all-spice, nutmeg and cloves in a small bowl or contain
    3) In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt together, then set aside.
    4) Use an electric mixer to cream the butter for several minutes, until white and fluffy.
    5) Beat in sugars and spices and mix for about 3 minutes. It will look grainy at first, but just keep beating.
    6) Add the eggs one at a time, beating for ~1 minute after each addition.
    7) Beat in the pumpkin puree.
    8) Add the flour mixture in three additions and the beer in two additions. Alternate between adding the flour mixture and the beer. Beat after each addition.
    9) Beat the batter on high speed for 30 seconds. The batter will be loose and smooth.
     10) Pour the batter into cupcake liners and fill about 2/3 of the way.

    11) Bake 18-20 minutes.

    Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
    • 1/4 cup maple butter (I used regular butter)
    • 1/4 - 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
    • 2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

    1) Using a mixer, beat the butter for several minutes until white and fluffy.
    2) Add cream cheese and beat until incorporated with the butter.
    3) Add the maple butter and maple syrup and beat until incorporated.
    4) Slowly add the confectioner's sugar. You can add more or less sugar depending on how sweet you like your frosting. Beat until fluffy.

    Sunday, October 5, 2014

    Individual Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cheesecakes

    Whoever is responsible for starting this salted caramel trend, thank you!  I love all things salted caramel, it's that perfect combination of sweet and salty.  Caramel can be very sweet and the addition of salt makes it just about perfect.

    I was looking for a dessert for my monthly BUNCO group.  Individual Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cheesecakes?  Perfect! 

    The original recipe called for an oreo cookie crust.  When I did my grocery shopping, I spaced off getting the oreo's.  I used a chocolate graham cracker crust instead. 

    Individual Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cheesecakes
    Recipe adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction

    Chocolate Graham Cracker Crust
    1/3 cup butter, melted
    1/4 cup brown sugar
    1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
    1 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs

    Cheesecake Filling

    16 oz (448g) full-fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature
    3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
    1/4 cup (60g) yogurt*
    2 large eggs
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 cup (180g) mini semi-sweet chocolate chips (or regular size)
    Salted caramel sauce (I used a jarred sauce or you can make your own)


    Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line two 12-count cupcake pans with 18 liners.

    For the crust: In a food processor or blender, pulse the whole graham crackers  into a fine crumb. Stir the cookie crumbs and melted butter, sugar and cocoa powder together in a medium sized bowl. Press 1 heaping Tablespoon of mixture into the bottom of each liner.   (I used a juice glass to firm up the crust in the liner) You should have enough for 16-18 cups. Bake for 5 minutes and allow to slightly cool as you prepare the filling.

    For the filling: In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until completely smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the sugar and yogurt and beat on medium speed until combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating on low speed after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the vanilla extract and mini chocolate chips.

    Spoon batter into the crusts until nearly full. Bake for 20-23 minutes. The centers will still be slightly jiggly, that's OK. The centers may also have risen up quite a bit, but they will deflate as the cheesecakes cool. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely at room temperature, at least 1 hour. Transfer to the refrigerator and allow to chill for at least two hours.

    Right before serving, top each cheesecake with salted caramel and additional chocolate chips, if desired. Cover cheesecakes tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Store cheesecakes (without caramel) in the freezer for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
    *Sour cream OR nonfat, low fat, vanilla, plain, Greek or regular yogurt is OK.

    Sunday, September 14, 2014

    Layered Greek Dip

    If you live in the Midwest, chances are you are familiar with the Hy-Vee grocery store chain. They're slogan is "a helpful smile in every aisle" and it's so true. They're associates are so helpful and often I find great ideas for a meal or side when I am in the store. Today's post is a recipe they were sampling one Saturday while I was doing my weekly shopping. This is a take on everyone's favorite layered dip. The difference with this one is it's healthier. It's fresh, delicious and did I mention healthier? I tried this a few weeks ago when we had friends over for dinner and it was a hit!

    Layered Greek Dip
    Recipe Courtesy of Hy-Vee

    2 (8 oz) each containers flavored hummus
    3/4 cup chopped cucumbers
    1 plum tomato, chopped
    1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
    1/4 cup sliced black olives
    3 T green onions

    Organic Blue Corn Chips

    Spread hummus on platter. Top with cucumber, tomato, feta cheese, olives and onions. Cover and refrigerate at least one hour. Serve with chips.

    Sunday, September 7, 2014

    Eggplant Bake

     It's Secret Recipe Club (SRC)  time again and closing in on Fall.  Where has this year gone?  If you're not familiar with SRC, you can find the details here.  I look forward to receiving my assigned blogger each month.  Big kudos to our leader, , for getting us our assignments so quickly.  After I receive my SRC assignment, I spend an evening browsing my assigned bloggers website.  This month, I was assigned Sid's Sea Palm Cooking.  She likes to cook, entertain and have fun in the kitchen. She hosts a monthly Tapas Night in her home and shares the dishes and recipes on her blog!  How fun is that?  I narrowed it down to three recipes, Eggplant Bake, Hot Dog Corn Muffins and Elberskivers.

    Having an eggplant in the fridge that needed to be used, helped make the decision.  Tim doesn't like eggplant, perfect for me because that will leave leftovers for my lunch!  I love Eggplant Parm.  This recipe reminds me of eggplant parm but the addition of tomatoes and mushrooms add another depth of flavor.  I decided to use portabella mushrooms, they're so rich and "meaty".  If you're an eggplant lover and are looking for a delicious side or even a meatless main, give this Eggplant Bake a try, you won't be sorry!!!

    Sunday, August 24, 2014

    Watermelon, Basil & Feta Salad

    As a kid, I always put salt on my watermelon.  Not sure who I learned it from but I love the combination of sweet and salty.  This feta cheese creates the same sweet and salty flavor in this delicious summer salad.  I added a drizzle of balsamic vinegar glaze.  Yum!

    Watermelon, Basil & Feta Salad

    1 small seedless watermelon (or 1/4 of a large one)
    1/2 of a red onion (I omitted this)
    16 leaves fresh basil
    1/4 cup (2 ounces crumbled Feta
    2 tablespoons e.v. olive oil
    1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
    1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
    1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
     Balsamic Vinegar Glaze

    Cut the watermelon in half. Using a large spoon, scoop out bite-size pieces of the watermelon and add to a large bowl or platter (you should get about 8 cups).
    Slice the onion into thin half moons and scatter over the watermelon. Then scatter the basil leaves over the top.
    Crumble the Feta over the salad. Drizzle with the oil, lime juice, balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with the salt and pepper (about 6 turns on pepper mill).

    Wednesday, August 20, 2014

    The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

    Say what you will about social media.  You either love or hate it.  Either way, it's amazing what it's done to promote the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

    ALS  hits close to home at our house, my husband lost his Father to ALS.  I'd given little thought to whether or not I would take the challenge .... until Monday morning.  I received an email with an urgent subject line from the administrative assistant for the COO where I work.  Those are the ones you open quickly.  Turns out our COO had been challenged by a couple of companies to take the challenge and he was looking for some associates to join him.  Luckily for us, it was a hot August day in Nebraska and we were taking the challenge at 3:00 in the afternoon.  Unluckily for us, the ice water was being dispensed by a firetruck.  As it turns out the water wasn't that cold but it went on for what seemed like FOREVER!!  Despite being soaked, it was fun and I'm glad I did it.


    I challenged my husband and three good friends.  It's been a fun week watching everyone pass it on.  
    In addition to the challenge and the fun, it's important to not to forget to donate. 

    Sunday, August 17, 2014

    Pasta with Brown Butter and Kale

    I wish we lived somewhere where fresh local veggies were available year round.   Unfortunately Omaha, Nebraska is not that place. We've been members of a CSA for the past four years. As the time nears, I look so forward to our first basket and the season draws to a close, I am sad.

    For the past two years our CSA basket has come from Camp Creek Acres. Matt and Matt are the farmer's behind this great farm. They practice chemical free farming.  Each year their operation grows.  This year they paired up with a local dairy farm, Chisholm Family Farm and offered a cheese share to go along with our produce. 

    I like to cook from the fridge this time of year.  What to do I have and what can I make?  Kale, feta cheese and always pasta.  Whenever I can make a pasta dish without using a heavy sauce, I do so.  How about nutty brown butter, a little pasta water and the feta cheese? The end result, a delicious summery pasta! 

     Pasta with Brown Butter and Kale
    • 8 ounces uncooked pasta (I used penne)
    • 1 cup boiling water
    • 3 cup packed kale, stems and ribs removed
    • 4 tablespoons butter
    • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
    • 1/4 cup pasta water
    • salt and pepper
    1. Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil, add pasta then cook according to package directions. Once there is 3 minutes left until the pasta is done, add the kale. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup for the sauce.
    2. Add butter to a heavy-bottomed frying pan and melt, while occasionally swirling the pan, over medium-low heat. Continue to swirl the pan until the butter starts to darken in color. You are looking for a light brown, the butter will smell nutty. Watch the butter closely, the butter can burn quite easily.
    3. Once the butter has browned, add pasta and kale, toss with the crumbled feta cheese. Serve warm.

    Sunday, August 10, 2014

    Spicy Zucchini Stix

    Can you believe it's August?  Where did summer go?  And how about the year?  Don't you wish we had a way to slow down time?  One event that I'm glad comes around each month is Secret Recipe Club.  Not familiar with SRC?  You can find the details here!

    This month I am honored to be assigned Miz Helen of Miz Helen's Country Blogspot.  Miz Helen has 7 children, 12 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren.  She is a cookbook author, former business owner, art and Bible teacher.  Check out her blog and her Full Plate Tuesday party!!!

    Zucchini season is here and who doesn't love Zucchini Stix?  I was tempted by Miz Helen's addition of cumin and chipotle powder to the crumbs in these Spicy Zucchini Stix!  Instead of traditional marinara sauce for dipping, you use salsa!  I used some of my salsa for dipping but you can the link to  Miz Helen's recipe below!

    Spicy Zucchini Stix
    2 to 3 medium Zucchini cut into strips
    2 egg whites
    1 whole egg
    1/2 cup all purpose flour
    1 cup Panko Crumbs
    1/2 teaspoon cumin
    1/2 teaspoon Chipotle chili powder
    1 teaspoon garlic powder
    1/2 teaspoon black pepper
    1 teaspoon salt
    Olive Oil
    Preheat oven to 400 degrees
    Wash the Zucchini and cut into 1/2 inch X 3 inch strips
    Place the strips onto a layer of paper towels and generously sprinkle with salt, set aside
    This process will allow the extra moisture to be pulled out of the Zucchini
    Next, in a medium bowl  mix the flour, Panko crumbs, cumin, Chipotle chili powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper together
    In a medium bowl whip the egg whites and the whole egg with 1/4 cup water until mixed well
    With a paper towel pat the tops of the Zucchini strips until the moisture has been removed
    For the breading process, take just a few at a time so you get really good coverage on all sides
    Drop several strips into the egg mixture and then into the flour and panko mixture
    Generously oil a baking sheet with olive oil 
    Place the breaded strip onto a well oiled baking sheet making sure that each strip has room and is not touching the other strip
    Bake uncovered for 20 minutes then turn the squash strips and continue to cook another 15 to 20 minutes until lightly browned
    Remove from the oven and let cool for 30 minutes before serving
    Serve with Salsa



    Sunday, August 3, 2014

    Outrageously Easy Corn on the Cob

    Nothing says summer like an ear of corn on the cob.  Here in the Midwest we are lucky enough to enjoy the bi color variety of this summer treat.  The traditional way to prepare corn on the cob, boiling on the stove,  is the best but creates a lot of heat and humidity into the kitchen.  Sometimes we leave the corn in the husk, soak it in water and put it on the grill.  To me this way is never as juicy as the traditional method.  When I saw this method of cooking it in the crock pot, I was skeptical but decided to give it a try.

    The end result?  A delicious, sweet and juicy ear of corn.  Perfect for a hot summer night or  a summer BBQ.   

    8-10 Cobs of Sweet Corn, Husked
    1/3 Cup Water
    Butter to taste
    Pour water in bottom of large slow cooker.  Butter cobs thoroughly, place in slow cooker.  Cover and cook on low for approx. 3 hours.

    Sunday, July 27, 2014

    Lemon Blueberry Trifle

    Weren't lemon and blueberries just meant for each other?  I think so!  In search of a light dessert for a summer evening, I chose this Lemon Blueberry Trifle.  My favorite part of this dessert is the addition of the grated white chocolate chips.  Oh and in case you're wondering, how to grate chocolate chips? Use a hand crank grater that is often used for cheese, it works perfectly!

    The original recipe was designed for a trifle dish, I used individual glasses instead.   This is a light yet, delicious summer dessert recipe!!

     Lemon Blueberry Trifle

    • 1 loaf (16 Oz. Size) Frozen Prepared Pound Cake (I used angel food)
    • 1 whole Lemon, Zested And Juiced
    • 8 ounces, weight Sour Cream (I used greek yogurt)
    • 1-½ cup Milk
    • 8 ounces, weight Cool Whip, Thawed And Divided
    • 2 packages (3.4 Oz. Size) Lemon Instant Pudding
    • 2 pints Fresh Blueberries
    • ½ cups White Chocolate Chips, Divided


    Cut pound cake into 1-inch cubes. Place in a large bowl. Zest lemon and set aside zest. Juice lemon over the pound cake, stirring and watching for seeds.
    In a medium bowl, combine sour cream, milk, half of the whipped topping and reserved lemon zest. Whisk until smooth, then add pudding mixes. Blend until mixture begins to thicken.
    Wash and dry blueberries, setting aside 20 or so for garnish.
    To assemble, in your trifle bowl layer 1/3 of the cake, 1/3 of the blueberries. Grate white chocolate chips generously over the blueberry layer.  Top with 1/3 of the pudding mixture. Spread evenly and repeat layers 2 more times. Reserve 1/4 cup white chocolate chips for garnish.
    Pipe remaining Cool Whip onto the top of the trifle and decorate with reserved blueberries. Grate a bit more white chocolate on top, then sprinkle with remaining white chocolate chips, left whole.
    Refrigerate 30 minutes or more before serving. This trifle can be made the day before.  

    Sunday, July 20, 2014

    Spent Grain Dog Biscuits

    We've started brewing beer here at our house.  Along with our neighbors, we attended a beer brewing class and decided to take the plunge.  Our first brew, a Summer Ale .

    One of our favorite breweries here in town serves pizza and the dough is made with the spent grain.  Spent grain is the leftover grains used in brewing their beer.  We had four cups from our first batch.  Curious if I could freeze the grains?  A google search showed, yes freezing is an option. That's a good thing,  because after brewing, trust me, you're too tired to bake.  I divided it into four one cup packages and put it in the freezer.

    There's lots of recipes out there to use the spent grain.  I do want to make a loaf of bread but on this particular day, I was making a loaf of bread already.  (Which by the way, was somewhat of a fail, so no post about the bread).  I decided to give Spent Grain Dog Biscuits a try.

    These were quick and easy to make.  Baking them takes the longest.  If you don't mind a softer dog biscuit, you don't have to bake them quite as long.  The original poster said, she wasn't responsible for the dogs who go crazy about the biscuits!!  I did a half recipe and it still made a lot of biscuits.  We shared them with some friends and Tim shared them with his coworkers.  Our dog Copper loves them and is thrilled about the new hobby of his owners.

     Spent Grain Dog Biscuits
    Recipe courtesy of 17 Apart

    • 4 cups spent grain
    • 2 cups whole wheat flour ( I used white flour)
    • 1 cup natural peanut butter
    • 2 eggs
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Meanwhile, combine and mix each of the ingredients thoroughly until a thick dough forms:

    The mixture is very sticky at this stage, but added flour as needed to help roll into a ball. It will stick to your fingers but will harden up and become easier to work with the more you work with it

     Roll out the dough on a generously floured surface and cut out shapes with cookie cutters, lining them up on baking sheets. No greasing was necessary for the baking sheets.

    If you don't have cookie cutters or want a more natural shape you can cut the dough with a knife, or use spoons to create drop cookies.

    Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, then reduce temperature to 225 degrees and continue baking for 2 hours. Cooking them the additional time at the lower temperature will help ensure they dry completely, extending their shelf life.  The treats will keep about two weeks at room temperature, longer if frozen. 

    Sunday, July 13, 2014

    Blueberry Thumbprint Cookies - SRC

    Why is it summer always seems to fly by?  I always have a list of things I want to do during the beautiful summer time and seems I never have enough time to do them!!  Hard to believe it's mid July already and Secret Recipe Club time again!!  This month, I was assigned Suzanne of Thru the Bugs on My Windshield.  Don't you just love her blog title?  Suzanne posts a lot of recipes she makes while traveling with their 5th wheel, through the bugs on her windshield!  :)

    Thumprint Cookies are a favorite at our house but normally the peanut butter and Hershey's kiss variety.  The idea of a jam print thumbprint cookie just seems healthier than Hershey's kisses, doesn't it?  The addition of coconut to these cookies caught my eye and sealed the deal that this recipe was my choice for this month.  These are a delicious thumbprint cookie, perfect with a cup of afternoon tea.  As with most sweets I make, I sent all but a couple to work with Tim.

    Blueberry Thumbprint Cookies
    Makes 6-7 dozen cookies
    2 sticks softened unsalted Butter
    1 1/4 cups Sugar
    1 large Egg Yolk
    1 tsp Vanilla
    2 1/2 cups all purpose Flour
    3/4 cup shredded Coconut
    1/2 tsp Baking Soda
    1/2 tsp Himalayan or Sea Salt

    Your favorite Jam (I used a good blueberry)

    Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy – about 3-4 minutes.  Add egg yolk and vanilla and beat until incorporated.

    Mix flour, coconut, soda and salt together in a medium bowl then, with mixer on, add slowly to the creamed butter mixture until well incorporated.  Removed the dough from the mixer and shape into a ball.  Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes.  This dough can be refrigerated longer, but you’ll need to let it sit out for a while to soften just enough to form into balls.
    Form dough into about 1″ balls.  Optionally, you may roll in chopped nuts, additional coconut or lime zest at this point.

    Place dough balls on an ungreased baking sheet and put into a 350 degree oven for 13-14 minutes.  Remove from oven and press your “thumbprint” into the middle of each ball.  Spoon jam into the thumbprint.  Place back into the oven and bake for another 10 minutes.  Transfer cookies to a cooling rack to cool completely.

    Saturday, July 5, 2014

    Antipasto Platter

    Last Fall we began a neighborhood dinner group.  We gather every 6 weeks or so and enjoy an evening of wonderful food and friendship at one of the members home.  The hostess is responsible for the theme and choosing the menu.

    For our most recent dinner,  one of our members who is full blooded Italian chose what else but Italian for the theme.  I was assigned an Antipasto Platter.

    A smaller antipasto platter with only 4–8 ingredients is a great starting point to a full meal. It's also the perfect size for a nice relaxing lunch on the patio or to take along to your next picnic. Include some of these tasty foods:
    • Meats. Mortadella, prosciutto, capicollo, Genoa salami and sopressata are all perfect choices.
    • Cheeses. Always include chunks of Parmigiano Reggiano, but others to try are aged provolone, smoked Gouda, ripe brie, bocconcini, spiced havarti, marinated mozzarella, Asiago and fontina.
    • Jarred or marinated veggies, such as sun-dried tomatoes, roasted red peppers, pepperoncini, mushrooms, artichoke hearts and eggplant.
    • Assorted olives. Kalamata, garlic-stuffed green olives or a marinated mix are all a nice addition to your plate. Consider adding capers as well.
    • Fresh whole basil.
    • Breads. Sliced baguettes, crusty Italian bread or rosemary crackers are favourite breads to include.
    A larger platter will include not only more of every ingredient, but also more ingredients altogether. Plan on at least 8–12 different foods. This will make a wonderful platter to serve at a large party or as a relaxing summer meal to enjoy on the patio.

    Include a wide assortment from the simple plate section, but consider adding some of these extras to pump it up a bit:
    • Grilled vegetables, such as asparagus, zucchini, peppers, tomatoes or spring onions.
    • Seafood, including sardines, anchovies or grilled shrimp.
    • Fruits, like fresh melon pieces, figs, grapes and raspberries, or dried fruits such as apricots, dates or cranberries.

    Plating your platter

    • Assemble your ingredients. With any antipasto platter, the quantity of each food to be added is a personal choice and is dependent on the number of people that are to be served. Use your best judgment to create a balanced and interesting platter.
    • One large tray makes a nice visual impact, but one or more smaller plates will also work.
    • Consider using small bowls placed on the tray for marinated condiments or vegetables.
    • Roll or fold sliced meats for a nice presentation.
    • Cut, shave or chunk pieces of cheese.
    • Place bread away from moist veggies and pickles.
    • Refrigerate your platter, but then bring it back to room temperature for serving.
    • Keep sea salt and a pepper grinder handy for seasoning.
    • Have extra-virgin olive oil and aged balsamic vinegar ready for drizzling.
    Antipasto Platters make a beautiful appetizer and there's so many choices for the ingredients.  I served mine with olives and hard breadsticks. 

    Sunday, June 29, 2014

    DIY Wedding Ornament

    Are you attending a wedding this summer and looking for a unique and fun gift?  When I pinned this idea last year, it was one I wish I'd thought of!!  There's lots of  ideas out there, where I say Why didn't I think of that??!!!

    I wish I had taken better pictures while assembling this but I didn't.  Here's my finished ornament and a link to the original post.

    Such a unique idea, you could also do this with graduation announcements, baby shower invitations or announcements!!  Cute and it's easy to do!!

    Sunday, June 22, 2014

    Brown Butter Salted Caramel Rice Krispie Bars

    I am not a fan of Rice Krispie Bars, at least not the original, they're just too sweet for my taste.  There's no shortage of Rice Krispie bar recipes that are variation of the original.  I've tried several, these using everyone's favorite biscoff, these using red hots or these from cake batter. 

    When I'm in the mood to bake, I check the pantry for that ingredient I bought and didn't use.  This time, it was a bag of caramels.  Not sure why I bought them but unwrapping each one sure is a pain!  How about Salted Caramel Rice Krispie Bars?  Just so happens there was a partial box of rice krispies in the pantry.  I found a recipe I liked and decided to step it up a notch and brown the butter.  Caramel, brown butter and sea salt make an amazing combination of flavors.  The nuttiness of the brown butter, sweetness of the caramel combined with the salt make for an oh so good treat!  Fortunately, I was taking these to a party or I could have eaten the whole pan. 

     Brown Butter Salted Caramel Rice Krispie Bars
    Recipe Adapted from Redbook
    • 1 bag(s) (14-ounce) caramels (about 50), unwrapped
    • 1 can(s) (14-ounce) sweetened condensed milk
    • 1/4 cup(s) unsalted butter
    • 1/4 cup(s) unsalted butter, browned
    • 1 bag(s) (10 1/2-ounce) miniature marshmallows
    • 1 1/2 teaspoon(s) vanilla extract
    • 3 teaspoon(s) sea salt flakes (such as Maldon)
    • 8 cup(s) toasted rice cereal (like Rice Krispies)

    1. Prepare caramel: Stir ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat until melted and smooth. Remove from heat.
    2. Line a 13x9-inch baking pan with nonstick foil, extending foil 2 inches beyond the edges.
    3. In a 6-quart pot, brown the butter.  (You could easily skip this and just melt the butter.)
    4.  Add marshmallows and stir with a rubber spatula until almost melted.
    5. Stir in vanilla, 1 tsp of the sea salt, and 1 cup of the caramel mixture. Continue to stir until mixture is blended and smooth.
    6. Remove from heat. Stir in cereal until it’s evenly coated with the marshmallow mixture.
    7. Press mixture into pan in an even layer and cool completely.
    8. Spread the remaining 1 cup of the caramel mixture over cooled cereal. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tsp of the sea salt.
    9. Remove from pan and peel off foil. Cut into 24 squares. Store in an airtight container.

    Sunday, June 15, 2014

    Roasted Onions and Radishes

    Have you ever roasted radishes?  As with most vegetables, roasting brings out their sweetness.   It's CSA time and we had radishes from our own garden.  I wanted to do something else besides just serve them on salads.  These were sweet with just a little bit of crunch and a nice tang from the balsamic.

     Roasted Radishes and Onions
    • 3-4 bunches of radishes- trimmed, topped and tailed (about 20 radishes depending on the size, allow 2-3 per person)
    • 4-6 onions (I used large green onions) peeled, cut onion into 4 or 6 wedges (like a wedge of lemon)
    • 1/4 cup olive oil (approx.) to sprinkle over
    • salt to sprinkle (Kosher, Madon)
    • Drizzle of balsamic vinegar glaze


    Toss the radishes and onion wedges in olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Roast in a hot oven (400) for approximately 35-40 minutes, stirring a couple of times until the onions are crispy and the radishes fairly tender when tested with a sharp knife tip.
    Sprinkle over the balsamic vinegar.   Serve as a side dish or as a vegetable dish along side roast meat.

    Sunday, June 8, 2014

    Pink Lemonade Cupcakes - SRC

    In search of something to make for a co workers birthday, I began browsing, Hun What's for Dinner,   my assigned SRC blog for the month of June.  What's SRC you ask?  Secret Recipe Club is a fun monthly cooking group.  You can learn more about it here.

    Cindy of Hun What's for Dinner says she married a chef dreaming of 5 star dinners.  Only to become an accomplish cook and baker herself.  She's won several awards and cooking competitions. Her blog had so many great recipes to choose from.  I've bookmarked several, including this yummy recipe for Bananas Foster French Toast.    I was intrigued by the recipe for Pink Lemonade Cupcakes.  Who doesn't love pink lemonade?  Seems likely it would help make a delicious, moist cupcake.   The frosting was my favorite part of this recipe, it's tart and delicious. These would be fun cupcakes for a little girl's birthday party. 

    Pink Lemonade Cupcakes

    1 box Funfetti Cake mix
    3 eggs
    1/4 C oil
    1 C pink lemonade concentrate
    1/3 C butter
    5-6 C powdered sugar
    3 Tbs pink lemonade concentrate
    rainbow sprinkles

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tins with paper liners and set aside. In a bowl mix together the cake mix, eggs, oil, and 1 C of pink lemonade concentrate. Mix until well combined; then beat for 2 minutes. Fill each paper cup 2/3 full and bake for 12-15 minutes; until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool for 5 minutes, before removing to a wire rack. Cool to room temperature. In your mixers bowl, using the paddle attachment, cream the butter until light and fluffy. On the lowest setting, slowly add the powdered sugar, 1 C at a time, beating well after each addition. Once all powdered sugar has been added, increase to highest speed and slowly add in 3 Tbs of pink lemonade concentrate. Beat until very fluffy; about 5 minutes. Place a pipping bag, or large zip top bag, into a deep glass; folding over the top edge. Fill the bag with the frosting. Snip a fairly large hole in the tip of the bag. Using a circular motion, pipe the frosting on top of each cupcake. Sprinkle with rainbow sprinkles immediately.

    Saturday, May 31, 2014

    Compost Cookies

    I am always a little behind when it comes to trying those recipes everyone is talking about.  Like these cake pops, I know I was a couple of years late for that bandwagon!   The Compost Cookie trend began a few years ago with Momofuku Milk Bar Cookies, from NYC.  Having saved the  bottom of the bag from pretzels and tortilla strips,  I started my search for a recipe. 

    I love the ingredients in these cookies, including the coffee grounds .... just like compost!!!  In addition to the pretzel and tortilla strip crumbs,  I used butterscotch, peanut butter and chocolate chips.  As with most sweet recipes, I tried one and sent the rest with Tim for his office.  These cookies are the ultimate combination of a sweet and salty treat!!!!

    Compost Cookies
    Adapted from Erica's Sweet Tooth

    1 cup unsalted butter
    1 cup granulated sugar
    3/4 cup light brown sugar
    1 tbsp corn syrup
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    2 large eggs
    1-3/4 cups all purpose flour
    2 tsp baking powder
    1 tsp baking soda
    1 tsp salt
    1-1/2 cups baking ingredients (chocolate chips, coconut, toffee bits, etc.)
    1-1/2 cups snack foods (chips, pretzels, etc.)
    1 tbsp coffee grounds
    - In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together butter, sugars, and corn syrup on medium-high until fluffy and pale yellow in color, about 2-3 minutes.
    - On a lower speed, add eggs one at a time and vanilla until well incorporated
    - Increase mixing speed to high and let it go for 10 minutes — the mixture will become really pale and will almost double in size
    - In a medium sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt
    - When 10 minutes are up, add flour mixture slowly until just combined, about 45-60 seconds
    - Chop up and mix together all of your baking and snack ingredients in a small bowl, and fold into batter with a spatula until just incorporated
    - Using a medium-sized ice cream scoop, portion cookie dough on parchment paper-lined cookie sheet and wrap the entire thing tightly with plastic wrap
    - Refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour and up to 1 week
    - Heat oven to 400F and arrange cookies on cookie sheets at least 4″ apart
    - Bake 9-11 minutes, until they are golden in color and slightly brown along the edges
    - Cool the cookies completely on the sheet pan (or just eat them immediately…)
    Recipe yields 15 large cookies

    Sunday, May 25, 2014

    Cinnamon Swirl Banana Chocolate Bread

     I love banana bread...banana bread with chocolate chips ... even better!  The only problem is at my house we rarely have leftover bananas.  When we do, I can't wait to try one of the many banana recipes I have pinned on Pinterest. 

     The chocolate chips, cinnamon and bananas in this recipe make for a delicious combination of flavors.  The next time you have leftover bananas, I encourage you to give this one a try.

     Cinnamon Swirl Banana Chocolate Bread
    Recipe courtesy of Wives With Knives
    • 3 very ripe bananas, mashed (about 1-1/2 cups)
    • 1/3 cup melted butter
    • 3/4 cup sugar
    • 1 egg, beaten
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • dash of salt
    • 1-1/2 cups flour
    • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips, optional
    • 1/3 cup sugar
    • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 9" X 5" loaf pan. I buttered my pan and lined it with parchment paper. The paper sticks to the butter. This is a very tender bread and the paper helps getting it out of the pan.
    2. Mix bananas, butter, sugar, egg and vanilla together. Sprinkle baking soda and salt on top of the banana mixture, then gently stir in the flour. Add chocolate chips and mix until just blended. Be careful not to over mix.
    3. In a small dish mix together the 1/3 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon cinnamon.
    4. Add 1/2 of the batter to the loaf pan and then sprinkle half, or a little more than half of the sugar-cinnamon mixture all over the batter in the pan. Add the rest of the batter, and then sprinkle the leftover cinnamon-sugar mixture over the top. If desired, place banana slices along the edge of the loaf pan.
    5. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. If you are using a different loaf pan size be careful to watch it carefully so it isn't over baked.

    Friday, May 16, 2014

    Cheesy Chicken Pot Pie Cups

    It's been way too long since I cooked for a toddler.  I can't remember what I made for dinner when my now almost 35 year old son Justin was small.  Tim's grandson, Paxton,  stays with us at least one night a week.  He loves all things noodles and chicken.  Determined to find some new toddler friendly main dishes, I turned to what else? Pinterest and created a board,  Foods for Paxton. 

    Paxon, like all kids, loves cupcakes. These Cheesy Chicken Pot Pie Cups is a fun main dish that looks like a cupcake, yet contains the veggies kids need.  Tim and I like them, too and they made great leftovers for our lunches!

    Cheesy Chicken Pot Pie Cups
    Recipe courtesy of Call Me Mrs. Rapp

    Yields 8-16 pot pie cups (depending on if you split the biscuits in half)

    *8-count biscuits (I used Homestyle)
    *1 cup cooked chicken breast, diced
    *1 (10 1/2 ounce) can  cream of chicken soup
    *2/3 cup shredded  cheddar cheese
    *1 1/2 c. frozen veggies, thawed (I used mixed vegetables)
    *1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
    *1 teaspoon of minced onion
    *1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    *1/2 teaspoon salt

    *Preheat oven to 400 degrees.   

    *Separate biscuits and place each biscuit in a cup of a lightly greased 12-hole muffin pan, pressing dough up sides to edge of cup.

    *In a medium bowl, combine chicken, chicken soup, veggies, cheddar cheese, parsley flakes, and black pepper. Mix well to combine.

    *Evenly spoon chicken mixture into prepared biscuit cups.

    *Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown.

    *Remove from oven. Place muffin pan on a wire rack and let set for 2-3 minutes. Serve at once.

    Sunday, May 11, 2014

    Gooey Brown Butter Toffee Bars - SRC

    What time is it?  It's Secret Recipe time!  I love reveal day, it's so fun to see who had my blog and what recipe they chose.  Interested in participating, you can find the details here!

    This month I was assigned Smells Like Brownies!  Melissa is a stay at home mom of a toddler.  A self proclaimed picky eater who has a deliciously unique cooking style.  Although the title of her blog is Smells Like Brownies, there aren't as many dessert recipes as you might think. 

    Since her title was all about brownies, who could resist?  I certainly could not and chose a brownie recipe.  I love all things brown butter and add gooey, now that's an extra love!

    If you haven't browned butter before, here's some quick instructions.  The key is butter goes from nice nutty brown to burned really quickly, don't walk away.  I followed the recipe exactly, with one exception, I used all light brown sugar.

    These brownies will be going to work with Tim tomorrow.  As the saying goes, you can't eat just one.  The combination of the nuttiness of the brown butter and the sweetness of the toffee chips makes a delicious chewy, gooey brownie!

    Sunday, April 27, 2014

    Banana Zucchini Crumble Cake

      As we approach CSA basket time, I am trying to clean up everything I froze last summer.  We had lots of zucchini, which we all know makes great bread.  I wanted something just a little different than traditional zucchini bread.  With a couple of overripe bananas on the counter, I wondered about zucchini and banana bread.  With a search, I found this recipe.  Since frozen zucchini is pretty wet, I was concerned about this bread baking evenly.  Why not make a cake instead of a bread?  I am so glad I did, this was a moist and delicious cake. 

     Banana Zucchini Crumble Cake
    1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    2 bananas, mashed
    1 cup grated zucchini
    3/4 cup white sugar
    1 egg, lightly beaten
    1/3 cup butter, melted
    1/3 cup packed brown sugar
    2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1 tablespoon butter
    Pre heat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9x9 square pan. Set aside.
    In a large bowl, mix together 1 1/2 cups flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, beat together bananas, zucchini, sugar, egg and melted butter. Stir the banana/zucchini mixture into the flour mixture just until moistened. Spoon batter into prepared loaf pan.
    In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, 2 tablespoons flour and cinnamon. Cut in 1 tablespoon butter until mixture resembles a coarse crumble. Sprinkle topping over bread.
    Bake for 50-60 minutes or until an inserted toothpick come out clean. Allow cake to cool before serving!

    Sunday, April 13, 2014

    Strawberry Oatmeal Pancakes - SRC

     What does the second Monday of the month mean in the blogging world?  It's the day the members of Secret Recipe Club's group B reveal their assigned blogger.   This month, I was introduced to Jen of Jen's Journey.  Jen's been blogging since 2007, WOW!  She's a mom of two teenagers and is married to her high school sweetheart.  Be sure to take a minute and check out the variety of recipes on her blog.

    I don't post breakfast recipes very often.  Jen's recipe for Strawberry Oatmeal Pancakes caught my eye and made for a delicious Sunday morning breakfast.  I decided to use instant banana bread oatmeal.  This gave the already yummy pancakes a hint of banana.  Who doesn't love strawberries and bananas. 

    Strawberry Oatmeal Pancakes
     Recipe Courtesy of Jen's Journey
    • 1⅓ cups all-purpose flour
    • ½ cup whole wheat flour
    • ¼ cup old-fashioned oats (I used instant banana bread oatmeal)
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • ½ teaspoon baking soda
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • 2 cups nonfat buttermilk
    • 3 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
    • ¼ cup honey, divided  (I used agave)
    • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
    • 1 cup of strawberries sliced in half 
    1. Whisk together all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.
    2. In another bowl, whisk together buttermilk, melted butter, 2 tablespoons honey and egg in a medium bowl.
    3. Add buttermilk mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until moistened.
    4. Heat a nonstick griddle or large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat. Pour about ¼ cup batter for each pancake onto hot skillet; sprinkle with 4 to 6 strawberry halves.
    5. Cook 3 minutes or until tops are covered with bubbles; turn and cook other side. Repeat with remaining batter and berries.
    6. Top with any remaining berries, and drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons honey.