Friday, December 23, 2011

Taco Pizza

This was super easy and fast to make.

1 lb ground beef
1 envelope taco seasoning
2 (8 oz) cans crescent rolls
1 (16 oz) can refried beans
2-3 c shredded cheddar cheese or mexican blend
1/2 c chopped tomatoes
1/4 sliced black olives
3 green onions chopped

Heat oven to 375. Brown ground beef and drain. Add taco seasoning to beef according to package directions. Unroll crescent rolls into rectangles. Place in ungreased 11 1/2 by 16 1/2 inch cookie sheet. Bake for 11-13 minutes.

Microwave beans for 1 minute. Spread over warm crust. Top with cooked beef mixture. Sprinkle with cheese, tomatoes, olives and green onions. Return to oven for 3-6 minutes until cheese is melted.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Lasagna in a Stew Pot

A long time ago my mom bought one of those recipe booklets from Quilted Bear.  This recipe comes from one titled "Soup from a Can" by Jackie Gannaway.  If you don't feel like making lasagna, whip up this lasagna stew instead.  You get all the flavors of lasagna without all the layers! :)

1 lb. ground beef
1 medium onion, diced
1 (28 oz.) jar Spaghetti sauce
1 (28 oz.) jar of water (fill the sauce jar with water)
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 ½ tsp. Italian seasoning
1 (8 oz.) pkg. grated mozzarella cheese, divided
1 (15 oz.) carton cottage or ricotta cheese (I use cottage cheese)
1 (8 oz.) package extra wide egg noodles, uncooked

Cook ground beef and chopped onion in large sprayed nonstick soup pan 4 minutes over medium heat, stirring constantly.  Drain off fat.  Add spaghetti sauce, water, tomato sauce and Italian seasoning.  Mix well.  Bring to a boil.  Lower heat, cover and simmer 30 minutes.  Add half the mozzarella and all the cottage or ricotta cheese.  Stir until well blended.  Add uncooked noodles.  Bring to a boil.  Lower heat, cover and simmer 10 minutes (until noodles are done to your liking), stirring often.  Sprinkle remaining mozzarella on top of servings.  Makes 7, 1 ½ cup servings.

Lion House Chili

I think just about everything from the Lion House recipe collections is worth trying out.  This is no exception.  I also call this recipe "Lori's Award Winning Chili" because my friend has won our ward chili cook-off for three years in a row with this recipe.  My sister won her ward's chili cook-off in New Orleans with it too!  I think it is a keeper for sure.

1 lb. diced lean beef (use ground beef if you want to make it easier - it is still great)
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (use less if you don't want it very spicy)
1 ½ Tbs. chili powder (again, use less if you are concerned with spice level)
1 tsp. powdered garlic, or 2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. crushed black pepper
1 ½ tsp. Kosher salt
½ tsp. cayenne pepper (you can use less here too if you want)
1 Tbs. canola oil
2 cans (8 oz. each) diced tomatoes
1 can (4 oz.) diced green chilies
4 cups canned kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups tomato soup
1 cup tomato juice
1 cup brown sugar
Sour cream
Cheese, grated
Onion, finely chopped

Preheat large heavy skillet or Dutch oven. Brown beef, bell peppers, onion, and spices together in canola oil. When beef is browned, add remaining ingredients and simmer 45 minutes, stirring occassionally. Garnish with dollop of sour cream, grated cheese, and finely chopped onion. Serves 8 -10.

Cheese and Garlic Buttermilk Biscuits

This recipe came from TheSistersCafe website.  Maybe not a super healthy option but SO YUMMY!  My kids gobble these up really fast - goodness, so do I! :)  I make them in my food processor to make it even easier since I really don't like cutting in the butter by hand.

1/2 cup butter (1 stick), cold
2 cups flour
1 Tb sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
about 3/4 cup buttermilk
2 Tb butter, melted
1/4 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp parsley flakes

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Cut butter into flour mixture using pastry blender or crisscrossing 2 knives, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in cheese then stir in enough buttermilk so dough leaves the sides of the bowl. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface and knead very lightly until dough forms a soft ball, about 10 times. Do not overwork the dough! The less you handle the dough, the more fluffy your biscuits. Roll or pat 1/2 inch thick. Cut with floured 2 1/2 inch biscuit cutter. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Mix together melted butter, garlic salt and parsley flakes. Brush the tops of the warm biscuits with the garlic butter and serve hot.

Cauliflower Soup

This soup is one of my favorites (and the rest of my family really likes it too).  It comes together pretty quickly so it can be ready if I only have an hour before dinner.  I love to make cheddar and garlic biscuits to go with it (like the ones from Red Lobster - see my other post from today).  So when cauliflower is on sale, pick one up and make this yummy soup!

4 Tbs. margarine
2 med. onions, chopped
2 med. carrots, grated
2 celery ribs, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 lg. head cauliflower, chopped (I chop mine really fine so it is similar in size to the other veggie chunks)
6 cups chicken broth
¼ cup dried parsley
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
½ tsp. dried basil
½ tsp. dried tarragon (I never have this so I leave it out)
6 Tbs. Butter
½ cup flour
1 cup milk
¼ cup sour cream (optional)

Sauté onions, carrots, celery and garlic in 4 Tbs. margarine (I saute in the pot I will be using for the whole thing).  In a 4-quart Dutch oven or stockpot, simmer chopped cauliflower, sautéed vegetables, chicken broth, parsley, salt, pepper, basil and tarragon for 20 minutes, covered.  Make a medium white sauce by melting 6 tablespoons butter in a small pan and stirring flour into butter.  Gradually add milk.  Cook until thickened.  Add to soup.  Right before serving, stir in ¼ cup sour cream, if desired.  Do not boil.  Makes 4 quarts soup.

**Notes:  For a lower calorie version, omit the white sauce part of the recipe.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

two-ingredient ice cream (no machine needed!)

Maybe I'm the last person on earth to find this recipe, but just in case you've never seen it before, I thought I'd share.

You can see some amazing add-ins at the website Kevin & Amanda. I know it's cold and nobody's in the mood for ice cream, but I saw it on Our Best Bites several months ago and just got around to trying it finally. I was amazed at how easy and tasty it was!

2 Ingredient Ice Cream
Recipe from Eagle Brand

2 cups heavy whipping cream
14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons vanilla extract

Combine sweetened condensed milk and vanilla in large bowl. In a separate bowl, pour 2 cups heavy cream into bowl and whip until soft-medium peaks form. Slowly fold whipped cream into sweettened condensed milk mixture in 3 additions. Add-ins can be mixed in at this point. Fold until well combined. Pour into container and freeze for at least 6 hours or until firm.

I thought that one small cream carton and tiny can of condensed milk can looked too tiny, so I doubled it. Obviously the cream puffs up after being whipped, so it trippled in size and I ended up with a ton of ice cream (which I'm not complaining about...). I was also lazy and didn't do 3 additions, but mixed it all in at once. It still worked, but it would probably be even better if you follow the directions :)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Super Easy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies (or Muffins)

OurBestBites posted this as an easy pumpkin chocolate chip muffin recipe.  The muffins were great, and this is the cookie form that was just as good.  I've changed it just a bit from their recipe to work with ingredients I usually have on hand (i.e. a yellow cake mix instead of a spice one).  I've even made it with a gluten free cake mix for my sister-in-law and they turned out fabulous too.  With only four ingredients, you will be done in no time.  Plus, before adding the chocolate chips, a large cookie (or one muffin) only has 1 weight watcher point (not that I'm doing weight watchers, but I thought that inquiring minds might like to know that tidbit of info that was on the ourbestbites recipe.)  The original recipe called for a 30 oz. can of pumpkin and two spice cake mixes.  I half the recipe and use yellow cake instead with some pumpkin pie spice added in.  If you choose to make muffins, you can fill the cups almost full as the muffins will not rise very much.  Also, to make the muffins prettier you will want to smooth out the tops - a finger dipped in water works as a great tool for that.

15 oz. can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
1 yellow cake mix
1 to 1 1/2  teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (add 1 tsp and then taste the batter to see if it needs more - since there are no eggs in the batter it is safe to try it) - if you don't have pumpkin pie spice, to get about one teaspoon you can substitute: 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp ginger, 1/4 tsp allspice, and 1/8 tsp nutmeg
6-8 oz. chocolate chips (as many as you would like - I think I added about 1 cup)

Preheat oven to 350.  Mix pumpkin, cake mix, and pumpkin pie spice together until well blended.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Scoop rounded tablespoons onto greased (or parchment lined) cookie sheet.  Bake for 20-25 minutes for large cookies, or 15-20 minutes for smaller ones.  To make sure they are done inside, you may want to break one open to check for doneness (and then pop it in your mouth and enjoy!).  What a great way to welcome Autumn!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Peanut Butter Whole Wheat Waffles

Yum Yum. I made these this morning and they were REALLY GOOD!! A friend in my ward gave me the recipe. For those of you who have a wheat grinder she also gave me a really good tip. You can freeze your ground wheat to keep it fresh. So every time I make bread now I grind a bunch of extra wheat and keep in the freezer. That way I have it on hand for cookies, WAFFLES, pancakes... or whatever I need it for. I don't like grinding wheat just for a cup or two.


2 1/4 cups whole wheat flour (I used my frozen home ground hard white wheat, but I am sure you can use whatever you have)
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 1/4 cups whole milk ( I am sure you can use whatever you have though)
1/4 cup vegitable oil
1/4 teaspoon salt

Combine all ingredients and whisk until smooth.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Kneaders Chunky Cinnamon French Toast

I made this for Alex's birthday breakfast and it was so good!

1 loaf kneaders chunky cinnamon bread cut into 8 slices or you could use any store bought cinnamon swirl bread
8 eggs
3 c milk
1 TBS brown sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1 TBS vanilla
2 TBS butter

Butter a 9X13 glass baking dish generously. Place the bread flat in to baking dish. Mix all remaining ingredients, reserving the butter and pour over the bread. Cut butter into small pieces and dot over top. Refrigerate overnight or at least one hour. Bake 45-50 minutes at 350.

Kneaders Caramel Syrup

1 c brown sugar
1 c heavy whipping cream
1 c light karo syrup

blend together and heat on stove top until sugar is smooth

Thursday, September 29, 2011

pasta and bean soup

This soup was really good, even though it was a little too hot in my tiny kitchen as I cooked it. It will be great in the winter! I adapted this from a Family Fun recipe.

3 14-oz cans reduced-sodium broth (I used two veggi, and one chicken, since that's what I had)
6 cloves of garlic, peeled
4 4-inch sprigs fresh rosemary, or 1 Tbsp dried (I only had dried, but wished I had fresh because it was hard fishing the rosemary out later)
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1 15-oz can white beans, rinsed
1 14-oz can diced tomatoes
1 cup medium pasta shells (I only had spirals, and it worked fine)
2 C individually quick-frozen spinach (I only had fresh baby spinach, so that's what i used)
freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1. Combine broth, garlic, rosemary and crushed red pepper in a 4 to 6 quart soup pot, bring to a simmer. Partially cover and simmer over medium low-heat for 20 minutes to intensify flavor. Meanwhile, mash 1 cup beans in a small bowl (I was going to skip this step, then decided "what the heck" and just did it. I'm glad I did, it made the soup a little creamier)
2.Scoop garlic cloves and rosemary from the broth with a slotted spoon (I had a mesh scoop that worked great). Add mashed and whole beans to the broth, along with tomatoes; return to a simmer. Stir in Pasta, cover and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until pasta is just tender, about 10-12 minutes (I actually put my spinach in here, too, but whatever).
3. Stir in spinach, cover and cook just until spinach has thawed, 2-3 minutes. Ladle soup into bowls and serve with a sprinkle of parmesan.

We all liked this soup a lot, and it was great as leftovers for lunch today!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

peanut butter cookie dough balls

I got this recipe from Oh She Glows and adapted it a little. It doesn't make a big batch, but they taste SO good, and they don't need to be cooked (and they're healthy, too!)

Peanut Butter Chocolate Crunch Cookie Dough Balls

Yield: 12 balls
  • 1/2 cup unsalted cashews (I used salted almonds because that was all I had on hand--then I just didn't add salt later)
  • 1/2 cup regular rolled oat
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp pure maple syrup (add gradually until desired consistency is achieved)
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup diced peanuts
  • 1/4 cup rice crisp cereal (I didn't add any cereal, and mine turned out fine.)

1. In a food processor, process the cashews and oats until very fine, like a flour consistency.
2. Add in the flour, salt, and sugar and pulse until combined. Now add in vanilla and maple syrup gradually until desired consistency is achieved. Process until a dough forms. Stop to scrape the sides of the bowl as necessary. Dough will be very sticky! If it is too sticky to make balls, you can add a bit more flour. The type of flour you use will alter the consistency so you may have to adjust it a bit.
3. Add chocolate chips and peanuts into processor and pulse. Scoop dough into a bowl and stir in the rice crisp cereal. Form balls with the dough (lightly wet fingers if necessary). Store in the fridge or freezer.
Note: If dough is too dry, add a bit more maple syrup. If too wet, add a bit more flour.

*Oh She Glows also added these cookies to a "blizzard" smoothie made out of banana. It was SO good!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Grilled Chicken Taco Pizza

Taco Seasoning:
2 TBS onion powder
2 TBS garlic powder
1 TBS chili powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp ground cumin

For pizza:
1/4 c oil
1 lb chicken
1 tube pizza dough
1 c shredded mozzarella cheese
1 c shredded cheddar cheese
1 avacado
juice of 1 lime
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 TBS diced red onion
1 c fresh salsa
1/2 c sour cream
1/4 c chopped cilantro

Make the taco seasoning. Prepare the pizza: Mix 2 TBS of the taco seasoning and oil in a small bowl. Pound the chicken between 2 pieces of plastic wrap to 1/4 inch thick. Add the chicken to the bowl, turning to coat, and marinate 30 minutes.

Preheat grill to medium high heat. Grill chicken until cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Let cool, then cut into bite-size pieces. Divide dough into 3 equal parts. Roll out each on a floured surface into an 8-inch round. Brush with oil, sprinkle with taco seasoning, and grill until crisp. Remove from the grill.

Mix cheese in a bowl, then sprinkle on crusts and top with chicken. Return pizzas to the grill, and cook until the cheese is melted, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, mix the avocado, onion, lime juice, chili powder, and cumin. Top the pizzas with the avocado mixture, salsa, sour cream, and cilantro.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Strawberry Vanilla Pancakes

We had these this morning and they were pretty yummy!

1 1/4 c flour
1 TBS brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 c buttermilk
1 egg
1 TBS oil
2 TBS vanilla
2 c strawberries, diced
1-2 tsp sugar
zest of 1 orange

In a small bowl, mix strawberries and orange zest with 1-2 tsp sugar. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, brown sugar, and baking powder. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk butter milk, egg, oil, and vanilla until combined. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Fold in strawberries.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Spicy Mexican Salad

More hot-weather recipes! We've become part-time raw-vegans :)  My kids seem fine with it (they asked for more 3 times...), Chris seems fine with it, and I don't have to turn on the oven. The best part is that I can chop the veggies whenever I feel like it and keep them in the fridge.

I got this recipe from the facebook page, Raw Recipe a Day.

3 tomatoes, chopped
2 ripe avocados, finely diced (I think I may have only used one?)
2 ribs celery diced (If you don't know what a rib is, it's one piece of celery)
1 large red, orange or yellow sweet pepper, sliced into matchsticks (I only had a green bell pepper and I diced it, and it tasted fine.)
1 can black beans, rinsed
1 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro, packed
3 green onions, sliced

To make the salad, combine all the ingredients in a large bowl.

Spicy Mexican Dressing:
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (one small lime)
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp flax seed oil (which I didn't have and therefore didn't add)
2 Tbsp tamari (I just used soy sauce)
1 Tbsp maple syrup
2 cloves garlic, minced (I didn't have fresh garlic, so just sprinkled garlic powder on it)
1 tsp minced red or green chile (I only had chile powder)
1/2 tsp ground cumin

to make the dressing, combine all the ingredients, add the dressing to the salad and serve or chill up to 2 hours.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Microwave Meatloaf

Okay, I know this sounds weird. I thought, "gross!" when I read the title. And Chris looked at me funny when I told him what we were having for dinner last night. But here's the deal. It's HOT in our kitchen, and there's no way I'm going to turn on the oven! So I've been searching for creative meals that are either no-cook, or microwave-cook. And it was actually good!

1 (8oz) can of tomato sauce (but I like to use bbq sauce in mealoaf instead)
1/4 cub brown sugar (I totally skipped this, but, whatever)
1 tsp mustard
2 eggs, lightly beaten (I was lazy and just used egg-white powder w/ a little water)
1 onion, minced (Once again, I was lazy and just sprinkled in a bunch of freeze dried chopped onions)
1/4 minced green bell pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 c saltine cracker crumbs (Once again, I was lazy and just threw in a bunch of already prepared italian-seasoned bread crumbs) (Man, I'm lazy...)
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
2 lbs extra lean ground beef (I used 1 lb, and it seemed like enough--and I even forgot to half the seasonings and it tasted fine to us)

mix it all together and put it in a 2-qt microwave-safe baking dish (I patted mine down into a glass casserole dish--not sure if I was supposed to pat it down or leave it in a loaf, but the edges of mine were slightly well-done, so it's probably supposed to be a loaf?). Spread a little extra bbq sauce on top, then cook for 15 minutes, (the recipe didn't say whether or not to cover it, so I left the glass casserole dish slightly open for air) or until thermometer reads 165* F.

It was fast, and tasty.

As a side dish, I mixed some olive oil, dried basil, salt, pepper, and chopped tomatoes together, then spread it on top of some bread chips we had on hand. The kids really liked the meatloaf and bruschetta.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

3 Meat Pizza Casserole

This was great - kind of like an easier version of lasgana with a pizza taste to it. And to make it all even better - Jeremy liked it!

1 lb bow tie pasta

1 lb mild pork sausage

1 large onion, medium size chopped

2 (26 ounce) jars spaghetti sauce (I used a sauce I make for lasgana - I will post recipe later)

1 lb cubed cooked ham

1/2-1 lb of sliced pepperoni

3 (8 ounce) bags of shredded mozzarella cheese

6 tablespoons of grated parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons chopped garlic

1 teaspoon dried oregano



1. Cook pasta in boiling water until al dent é.

2. Cook sausage, garlic powder and oregano with onions until the juices run clear.

3. In a lightly greased 9x13x3 inch pan, pour a small amount of sauce to lightly coat bottom.

4. Layer ingredients in the order listed below.

5. 1st layer-1/3 of the pasta, 1/3 remaining sauce, 1 bag of mozzarella cheese, 2 Tablespoons parmesan cheese, sausage and onions.

6. 2nd layer-1/2 of the remaining pasta, 1/2 remaining sauce, 1 bag of mozzarella cheese, 2 Tablespoons parmesan cheese, ham.

7. 3rd layer-all remaining pasta, all remaining sauce, 1 bag of mozzarella cheese, 2 Tablespoons parmesan cheese, all the pepperoni(completely covering the entire top with pepperoni).

8. Bake at 375°F for 40 minutes.

9. Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Orange Chicken

YUMMM. I have been craving orange chicken this pregnancy and saw a recipe for it and thought I would give it a whirl. It tasted so good. Plus it is nice knowing you are using quality chicken, better oil than they probably fry things in at Panda, and the sauce was really tasty. And it wasn't very hard to make. This one is a keeper recipe for sure.

2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts (cut into 1-1/2” cubes)
1 ½ cups cornstarch
2 eggs (beaten)
1 cup panko bread crumbs
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
Oil (for frying)

Orange Sauce-
1 ½ cups water
1/4 cup orange juice (I used fresh squeezed - about the juice of one orange)
1/3 cup rice vinegar
2 ½ tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon orange zest (grated)
1 cup packed brown sugar
½ teaspoon ginger root (minced)
½ teaspoon garlic (minced)
2 tablespoons green onion (chopped)
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup water

Cooking Instructions:

Combine cornstarch, salt, and pepper. Prepare a bowl with beaten eggs, another with panko crumbs, and another with the cornstarch mixture. Dip chicken in egg mixture, dredge in cornstarch, then egg agaion, and finally in the panko crumbs. Deep fry chicken in batches at 375 degrees in a deep fryer (or use a wok) until completely cooked (I actually fried it a few minutes just to get the outside crispy, then put it on a baking sheet and baked at 375 for about 30 minutes. The chicken turned out perfect and the outside was super crunchy).

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan combine 1 ½ cups water, orange juice, rice vinegar, and soy sauce. Blend well over medium heat for a few minutes. Stir in brown sugar, orange zest, ginger garlic, and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil.

Combine 3 tablespoons of cornstarch with 1/4 cup of water and mix thoroughly. Slowly stir cornstarch mixture into sauce until it thickens. Pour sauce over breaded chicken, and garnish with green onions.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Jamiacan Jerk Pizza

We had some friends over on friday for pizza and we wanted to try something new. So we did a Jamaican Jerk pizza. It was REALLY good. It is a new favorite! I found the recipe at

Caribbean Sauce
1/2 Cup light brown sugar
1/4 Cup water
1/4 Cup ketchup
1/4 Cup light corn syrup
1/4 Cup minced white onion
2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 Teaspoon minced garlic
1 Teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 Teaspoon salt
1/2 Teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 Teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 Teaspoon dried thyme
1/8 Teaspoon ground allspice

Jerk Seasoning
2 Tablespoons light brown sugar
1-1/2 Teaspoons salt
1/2 Teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 Teaspoon ground paprika
1/2 Teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 Teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 Teaspoon onion powder
1/8 Teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
Pinch ground cinnamon

Top Pizza with:
1 red bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
2 Cups plus 4 tablespoons shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 Cup cooked thick bacon, crumbled (about 6 slices)
1/2 Cup thinly sliced white onion
2 Tablespoons chopped green onion (green part only)
Jerk Chicken

*After I cooked the chicken in the frying pan, I removed it and set aside. I then put the bell peppers cut up in the same pan so they grilled with the jerk flavor.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Blueberry Muffins with Lemon

Wow!  These were so yummy.  Another recipe I got from  They had just the right hint of lemon.  I used buttermilk instead of the milk called for because I needed to use it up, as well as fresh blueberries instead of frozen because that is what I had.  Also, I used butter, not shortening.  For the topping, I only made up about half of what is called for and that was plenty, with a little extra to spare.  Scott called these his new favorite muffin - although, he doesn't like blueberries so his were blueberry-less. :)  Totally worth giving a try!

2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
zest of one lemon
1 egg
1 cup milk
1/2 cup shortening (or butter*)
1 cup frozen blueberries

Topping (this makes extra – you can try cutting it down if you want):
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 Tb lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar

Mix dry ingredients and set aside. Beat egg, milk and shortening. Stir in blueberries. Add dry ingredients and lemon zest. Stir gently to combine. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Combine butter and lemon juice. While the muffins are still warm, dip the tops in the butter and lemon juice, then dip in sugar. Makes 12 muffins.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Asian Noodle Salad

Something cool to eat on a hot summer night.

1/2 C rice vinegar
2 T olive oil
1 tsp sesame oil
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp sugar

Combine all ingredients thoroughly. Let sit for at least 1 hour to let the flavors combine.

1/2 C cilantro, chopped
1/2 C basil, chopped
2 green onions, diced finely
1/2 red bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
1/2 yellow bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
1 C shredded carrot
1/2 C honey roasted peanuts
1/2 Pound spaghetti noodles, cooked per instructions
Cooked, chopped chicken breast - optional - I cooked it in a little bit of the dressing

Prepare all of the vegetable, set aside. Once the spaghetti has cooked, rinse with cold water and drain. When the noodles are completely cool, add the vegetables and peanuts. Mix the dressing again thoroughly then add to the noodles and vegetables. Stir until well combined and serve!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Cornmeal Pancakes

This recipe was on the top of a big Dannon yogurt I bought and I was intrigued.  My kids love pancakes and they also love cornbread, so it was definitely worth a shot.  They loved them and I thought they were yummy too.  Just another way to change up breakfast a bit.

1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cornmeal
3 Tbs sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
(1/3 cup raisins, plumped - I did not use)
1 1/2 cups Dannon Light & Fit Vanilla Nonfat yogurt - recipe says you could also use strawberry - not sure how I feel about that :)
2 large eggs
1/4 cup canola oil

Whisk together dry ingredients.  Stir yogurt, eggs and oil with a fork in separate bowl, then stir into flour mixture until blended.  Heat a lightly greased skillet over moderately low heat until hot. (I did not grease my non-stick skillet and it was just fine without it.)  Pour 1/4 cup measures of batter onto skillet and cook about 3 minutes, or until golden, then turn and cook 1 minute more.  (It was important to have the heat lower than I would normally cook pancakes to make sure the middles got done.)  Serve with warm maple syrup.  I tried mine with honey butter and that was delicious too!  Makes appox. 12, 3 1/2 cakes.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Molasses Wheat Bread

I was going to try Rachel's recipe she posted on Sunday but I didn't have any dry milk. So I searched for another alternative to mix it up a little and found this recipe. It uses molasses so the bread looks a little darker, but it made it very moist and sweet. The recipe below will make 2 loaves.

1 envelope yeast
2 cups warm water
1/4 cup butter softened
1/8 cup molasses
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup orange juice
1 tsp salt
3 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups white flour
2 Tbl Dough Enhancer
1/4 cup Vital Wheat Gluten

1. Dissolve yeast in warm water
2. In large bowl, combine butter, molasses, honey and salt. Mix well. (I did it in my Kitchen Aid)
3. Add yeast mixture then gradually add flours, enhancer, and gluten
4. Knead for 10 minutes until smooth
5. Place in greased bowl and let rise until double
6. Punch down and let rest a few minutes
7. Divide into 2 loaves, place in greased pans and let rise for 1 hour
8. Bake at 375 for 35-40 minutes

Saturday, May 28, 2011

King Arthur Wheat Bread

Mom gave me this recipe years ago for wheat bread. It is honestly my favorite. It has really good flavor.


2 1/2 teaspoons yeast
1 1/3 cup water (warm)
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup oil

3 1/2 cups flour (if using store bought red flour use half wheat-half white. I use all wheat when I grind the hard white wheat with my wheat grinder)
1/4 cup dry milk
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
I also added Vital Wheat Gluten and Dough enhancer (just how much it says on the boxes)

Mix all dry ingredients together. In a separate bowl mix all wet ingredients. I let the yeast sit for a couple of minutes before I mix all the wet into the dry. Knead

Let rise for 1 hour, punch down. Form into a loaf, place in bread pan. Let rise for an hour (I let it rise longer because I wanted it bigger).

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Makes 1 loaf.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Tortellini Spinach Bake In Creamy Lemon Sauce


Picture and recipe - curtesy of Our Best Bites

12 ounces Bag Barilla Cheese & Spinach Tortelini (Find Them In The Dry Pasta Isle)
4 ounces Bacon Or Pancetta, (about 4 strips bacon)
3 Cloves Garlic, pressed in garlic press or finely minced
2 Tbs Flour
2 C Milk
¾ tsp Kosher Salt
⅛ tsp Black Pepper
1 ½ tsp Dry Basil
¼ tsp Red Pepper Flakes (½ Tsp Or More If You Like Spicy)
1 medium Lemon
2 C Loosely Packed Fresh Spinach,roughly chopped
¾ C Grated Mozzarella Cheese,divided
¾ C Grated Parmesan Cheese, divided

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Fill a large stock pot with water and bring to a boil. Add tortellini and cook according to package instructions.

Place bacon in a medium sized skillet on the stove-top at medium-high heat. Cook until crisp. Remove bacon from pan with slotted spoon and set on paper towels to drain. Reserve two tablespoons bacon drippings in pan and discard the rest. Add garlic to pan and cook until fragrant and tender, about 1 minute. Add flour to pan and stir with a whisk for about 1 minute. Slowly add milk and continue to stir with whisk until smooth. Add salt, pepper, basil, and red pepper flakes and bring sauce to a simmer.

While sauce is heating, use a microplane grater or a fine-holed cheese grater to zest lemon. Then cut lemon in half and remove juice. Add 2 teaspoons zest and 1 tablespoon lemon juice to sauce. Continue to stir until thickened, 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat.

Drain tortellini and place back in stock pot. Reserve 1 tablespoon of the cooked bacon and add the rest to the pasta mixture. Add spinach, ½ cup mozzarella cheese and ½ cup Parmesan cheese. Add sauce and gently stir to combine. Place pasta mixture in an 8×8 or 9×9 baking dish and top with remaining ¼ cup mozarella and ¼ cup parmesan and also crumbled bacon.

Cover pan with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes, until cheese on top is melted and pasta is bubbly throughout. Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Power Bars


1 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
1 ¼ cups Rolled Oats
1 ¼ cups Chopped Toasted Walnuts
½ cup Oat Bran
1 ½ cups Puffed Cereal You Like,pounded into smallish bits
1 cup Dried Cranberries, coarsely chopped
3 Pieces Of Dried Crystallized Ginger,finely chopped
1 cup Brown Rice Syrup
1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
½ tsp Salt

First grease an 8" x 8" baking pan with the oil. In a large bowl, stir together all the dry ingredients. Combine the brown rice syrup and vanilla together into a small bowl. Heat in microwave for 30 seconds or cook on stove in a small pot until slightly warm and a little thinner in texture. Pour onto dry ingredients. Press the mixture into the greased pan. Freeze for about 45 minutes, until hardened. Cut slices as big or small as you like. Store in the fridge.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Peanut Butter and Honey Granola


3 cups Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats
2 cups Shelled Roasted Peanuts
1 cup Hulled Raw Pumpkin Seeds
1 cup Wheat Germ
1 ¼ tsp Kosher Salt
½ tsp Ground Cinnamon
1 tsp Ground Ginger
½ cup Honey
½ cup Packed Dark Brown Sugar
1 cup Natural Peanut Butter, smooth or chunky
1 ½ tsp Vanilla
⅔ cup Vegetable Or Olive Oil
¾ cup Chopped Dried Dates

Heat the oven to 325°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, combine oats, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, wheat germ, salt, cinnamon, and ginger.

In a small saucepan, mix the honey and brown sugar. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly. Turn off the heat and stir in the peanut butter and vanilla until smooth. Pour over the oat mixture. Pour in the oil, and stir thoroughly. The mixture will be chunky and rough.

Spread the oat mixture evenly on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes, stirring twice while baking. Transfer the granola to a large bowl and add the dates, tossing to combine.

Additional Flavors & Add-Ins:
• Chocolate & PB: ½ cup chocolate chips, after the granola has completely cooled.
• Tropical PB: 1 cup unsweetened coconut, added before baking, plus ½ cup each dried pineapple and banana chips added after baking.
• PB & J: ½ cup dried cranberries and ½ cup raisins added after baking, instead of the dates

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Dinner Rolls

We had these the other night for dinner, and I think they are my favorite rolls now! Suzy-this is one of the best bites recipes that isn't on the blog.

  • 2 c whole milk

  • 1/2 c plus 1 tbs sugar, divided

  • 1/2 c butter

  • 2 tsp salt 2 package (4 1/2 tsp) yeast

  • 2/3 c warm water

  • 8-9 c flour

  • 3 beaten eggs

  • Combine milk, 1/2 cup sugar, butter, and salt in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium heat until butter melts.

  • Remove from heat, allow to cool to luke warm. I usually rub some ice cubes along the side of the pan, or pop the entire pan into the sink full of ice cubes to cool the mixture faster. This step is really important because if the mixture is too hot, it will kill the yeast.

  • While the milk mixture is cooling, disolve the yeast and 1 tbs sugar in warm water. Let stand about 10 minutes. If yeast hasn't bubbled, repeat this step with new yeast.

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine 3 c flour and milk mixture. Beat on low for 30 seconds scraping sides of bowl constantly. Add yeast mixture and beat on high for 3 minutes. Add beaten eggs.

  • Stir in as much of the remaining flour as needed to make a soft dough. This dough should be very soft. It will be coming away from the side of the bowl, but it will stick to your finger when you touch it. Don't worry it will firm up during the rising process.

  • Place bowl in warm place and cover with a towel. Allow to rise 1 hour.

  • Punch down dough, lightly flour your work surface and turn dough out onto surface. Divide in half. Spray two 9X13 inch glass pans with cooking spray. Roll first portion of dough into a rectangle. Cut into 12 equal size pieces. This dough should be very easy to work with, almost like playdough. Shape each piece into a ball and place into prepared pan. Repeat with remaining dough into second pan.

  • Cover with a clean cloth and allow to rise in a warm place for 30 minutes. When dough has 15-20 minutes to go, preheat oven to 375. Bake 15-18 minutes, or until golden brown.

Strawberry Lime Shortcake with Coconut Cream

Pound cake:

1 1/2 c flour

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/8 tsp salt

1/2 c butter, softened

1 c sugar

3 eggs, room temperature

2 tsp vanilla

1/2 c sour cream

Preheat oven to 350. In a small bowl, combine the flour, bakind soda, and salt. Set aside. Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Continue beating and add eggs one at a time. Add the vanilla and sour cream. Slowly add the flour mixture while beating, and beat just until combined.

Pour the batter into a greased 8-inch or 9-inch loaf pan and bake for 50-60 minutes or until skewer comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes and then remove from pan.


4 cups sliced fresh strawberries

1/2 c sugar

4 tablespoons lime juice

3/4 c toasted coconut

Mix sliced strawberries, sugar, and lime juice. Stir well and set aside. Stir occasionally over about 15 minutes. You want the sugar to dissolve and form a light syrup.

Coconut Whipped Cream:

1 c heavy whipping cream

1/2 c powdered sugar

2 tsp coconut extract

1 tsp vanilla

Pour cream into a bowl and beat with an electric mixer for about 1 minutes. Slowly add powdered sugar and both extracts. Continue beating until soft peaks form.

Cinnamon Honey Butter

  • 1 c real butter

  • 2/3 c honey

  • 3/4 c powdered sugar

  • 1-2 tsp cinnamon

1. remove butter fro the refrigerator adn allow to stand on the counter for about 20 minutes.

2. Place the butter in a medium mixing bowl. Add honey and powdered sugar and beat with an electric mixer for about 30 seconds or until everything is light and fluffy. Serve at room temperature.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Triple Chocolate Fudge Cake


  • 1 Pkg devils food cake mix

  • 3 eggs

  • 1 c water

  • 1/2 c sour cream

  • 1/3 c vegetable oil


  • 1/2 c butter softened

  • 3 1/2 c confectioners sugar

  • 1/2 c light cream

  • 2 squares unsweetened chocolate


  • 4 squares semi sweet chocolate

  • 3 tbs butter, softened

  • 2 tbs water

1. Cake: In a large mixer bowl, combine cake mix, eggs, water, sour cream, and oil. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Spread in prepared pans, dividing evenly. Bake 30-35 minutes. Cool 10 minutes in pans on wire rack, then remove layers and cool completely.

2. Filling: Beat all ingredients together on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add more confectioners sugar or cream to make it a soft, creamy spreading consistency.

3. Assembly: Place 1 cake layer top-side down on a serving plate. Spread with generous amount of filling. Place second layer on top. Spread remaining filling on sides of cake, leaving top unfrosted. chill 30 minutes.

4. Glaze: In a small saucepan over low heat, melt chocolate and water, stirring until smooth. remove from heat. Gradually add butter, stirring until smooth. Spread over top of cake letting it drip down sides.

Cabbage Salad

We ate this salad at Tanner’s cousin Britney’s wedding. His aunt Anita gave us the recipe and it is totally our new favorite.

  • 1 Bag Shredded Cabbage (I used the coleslaw mix)

  • ½ Cup chopped green onions

  • ½ Cup Sliced Almonds (toasted)

  • 2 Tablespoons sesame seeds (toasted)


  • 1 pkg chicken Ramon flavoring

  • 2 Tablespoons sugar

  • 3 Tablespoons vinegar

  • 1/4 Cup Oil

  • Sesame Oil to taste (she uses 5-6 shakes)

The salad tastes best when it has marinated for a couple hours at least. Even better... make it earlier in the day and have a yummy salad to go with dinner. :) It was really good the next day as left overs too.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Lemon Buttercream Frosting

  • 1/2 C Solid Vegetable Shortening

  • 1/2 C Butter Softened

  • 2 tbs Lemon Juice

  • 1 tsp Lemon Zest

  • 4 C Powdered Sugar

  • Additional Lemon Juice or Milk (opptional)

In a large bowl, cream shortening and butter with electric mixer until light fluffy. Add lemon juice and zest; beat well. Gradually add sugar 1 cup at a time. When all sugar has been mixed in, if icing is dry, add additional juice or milk. Keep covered with a damp cloth until ready to use. For best results, keep icing bowl in the fridge when not in use. Re-whip before using.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Wheat Bread

Mary, sorry it took me a few days to get around to posting this. I've been making all of our bread for the last month and a half or so and this is the recipe that I use. It makes 4 loaves. I use about 2/3 whole wheat flour and 1/3 white flour, but you can vary this ratio however you choose. This bread has turned out soft like store-bought bread every time I've made it. Even when I didn't let it raise quite long enough, it was still very good, just a little bit more dense. I got the recipe off of a forum on and it was titled "Dad's Bread". It was posted by dougjenevans, who posted a bunch of other whole wheat recipes too that I am slowly getting around to trying - I'll post those too if I find any great ones. :)
10-12 cups flour (any combination of wheat & white flour will do)
1/2 cup vital wheat gluten (I get this at Macey's - I'm not sure where else they sell it)
2 Tbs dry yeast
4 cups warm water (120-130 degrees)
1/3 cup olive oil (I use light tasting olive oil, NOT EXTRA VIRGIN, or sometimes canola oil)
1/3 cup honey
1 Tbs salt
  • Preheat oven to 150 degrees.

  • Place 6 cups flour into mixer bowl with kneading arm attached. (I do all whole wheat for this part)

  • Add 1/2 cup wheat gluten and 2 Tbs dry yeast and mix well.

  • Add 4 cups warm water and mix for 1 minute. (Be careful that the water is not too hot or it will kill the yeast and your bread won't rise)

  • Cover and let sit for 10 minutes.

  • Add 1/3 cup oil, 1/3 cup honey, and 1 Tbs salt. While mixing these, quickly add remaining flour 1 cup at a time just until the dough cleans itself from the sides of the bowl. (This is where I often just use white flour, but I've used more wheat flour too and it is great. IMPORTANT: YOU PROBABLY WON'T USE ALL 10-12 CUPS FLOUR. I USUALLY ONLY NEED ABOUT 9-10 CUPS TOTAL - also, the sides of my mixer bowl tend to become "clean" too easily I think, so I usually add flour until the dough is soft and just barely sticky)

  • Knead for 10 minutes.

  • Shape and place dough in 4 non-stick bread pans and put in preheated oven. (I spray my pans with PAM just to make sure the bread comes out easily. Also, if the dough is a bit too sticky to shape, spray your hands quickly with PAM too and that should make it easier. My oven only goes down to 170, so I preheat it to that and then turn it off when I put the bread in.)

  • Let bread rise in oven until double in size. (The recipe says this should take about 15 minutes, but mine always take between 30-45 minutes. I seem to have a better result too if, when I check and they look ready, I wait an extra 10-15 minutes. Another way you can tell is if the dough is just above the top of the bread pans - you'll just have to experiment the first time with what works with your pans and your oven.) :)

  • With the pans still in the oven, turn the heat to 350 degrees and bake for about 25 minutes or until golden brown. (When I think the bread is ready, I take one out of a pan, turn it over, and test through the bottom of the bread with a meat thermometer - that way the hole is in the bottom, not the top - I let it get to about 195 degrees before I take it out.)Take bread out of the oven and remove from pans immediately by turning onto cooling racks.
Since this makes a lot of bread, I usually freeze 2 of the loaves for later. I've read (and tried) that the best way to freeze fresh bread and have it taste good later is to slice it before you freeze it. Then, if you don't want to defrost the whole loaf, you can just take out a slice or two, heat in the microwave for 20 seconds or so and it tastes like it just came out of the oven. Good luck! I hope you try it out!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

spinach dip

I found this recipe on Facebook, a site called Raw Recipe a Day. She has some great recipes on there. I just made this one and everyone liked it:

Spinach Dip

4 cups spinach
1 large avocado or 2 small avocados
1/2 Tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon herbs or herb seasoning (I used mrs. dash's table blend)
(I also added a sprinkle of parmesan cheese, but her recipe didn't call for it because it's not raw)

Blend all ingredients in a food processor until smooth.
Eat with cut up raw veggies.

It was really good, and super easy, so I thought I'd share with with you guys!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

pork sandwich

It’s a miracle! I’m posting a recipe J
This is from the Biggest Loser Family Cookbook (I know, I know, Marianne got rid of hers because the food wasn’t that good…but a lot of it IS). Every time I make this, Chris says it’s his favorite, so I decided I should share it with you, too.

First you make the herbed pork tenderloin, then you can make the coleslaw to go on the sandwich. Here’s my adaptation of the recipe:

Herbed pork tenderloin:
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary (or 1 tsp dried, but fresh is better)
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley (or 1 tsp dried)
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 pork tenderloin (the recipe calls for just a loin roast, but tenderloin is better)
2 teaspoons olive oil

Preheat oven to 350* then mix the ingredients together and rub it all over the tenderloin. You can either grill the tenderloin on each side until the outside browns, or you can brown it in a pan. I like to use a pre-heated cast iron grill. Once brown, stick the entire pan in the oven for 30 minutes. Slice into thin slices and put on bread or buns along with a scoop of coleslaw on top.

Coleslaw with orange-cilantro vinaigrette:
¼ cup plain yogurt
¼ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup 100% orange juice (preferably freshly squeezed or “not from concentrate”)
3 tablespoons white vinegar
1 ½ teaspoon honey
package shredded cabbage with carrots (about 10 oz)
½ cup slivered red onion
1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste

Mix it all together (it says to refrigerate for at least 3 hours, but I’ve used it immediately and it tastes fine) and scoop onto the pork sandwich.

enjoy J

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Asian Wonton Salad

2 heads romaine lettuce
3 chicken breasts, cooked and cubed or shredded (I marinated them in some of the Sweet Sesame dressing)
cherry tomatoes
1 red onion, sliced thinly
1 cucumber, sliced
1 package wontons
vegetable oil for frying
Sweet Sesame Dressing

Heat about 1 inch of oil in a pot on the stove top. Use pizza cutter or sharp knife to cut wontons into thirds (3 strips). You may not need the entire package, depending on how much salad you're making. I usually use about half of the wonton wrappers. You'll want the oil at about 375 degrees. Test by dipping a wonton in and seeing if it bubbles up quickly. Fry wontons a few at a time and set on paper towels to dry. These can be made ahead of time and kept in an air tight container.

Tear clean lettuce into chunks and place in a large salad bowl. Top with cherry tomatoes, sliced cucumber, and red onion. Add shredded chicken and top with Sweet Sesame Dressing. Toss salad together. Once everything is well coated, add wonton strips and gently toss to combine.

2/3 C rice vinegar
1 C canola oil
2 Tbs sesame oil
4 cloves garlic, pressed or very finely minced
2 Tbs soy sauce
1/2 C sugar
4 Tbs sesame seeds

Place all ingredients into a quart jar (or something equivalent) and shake vigorously. If desired, make ahead of time and store in the fridge

Carmel Apple Cheesecake

Hooray! I have been trying to re-find this recipe since I made it for Thanksgiving. Lesson I learned - never throw out the recipe you print online cause it might be really hard to find again. But anyways, here it is. One of the best cheesecakes I have made. Next time I will try it with a gingerbread crust.

Several large handfuls of vanilla wafers
6 tablespoons butter

Blend in food processor until it come together. Press into bottom of springform pan, and bake for 10 minutes or so until it's kinda firm and not going to float away when you add filling.

Apple Layer:
2 tablespoons butter
3 large apples, peeled, cored and sliced thinly
3 tablespoons brown sugar
glug maple syrup (I think this means a little bit :). I probably used 1 TB)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
a touch of powdered ginger
a touch of all spice
a touch of freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp cornstarch

Saute apples with butter, brown sugar, and maple syrup until there is liquid from the apples in the pan. Add spices and cornstarch, continuing to cook over medium heat until apples are soft but not mushy, and there is a nice syrup. Smoothly layer onto cooked crust.

3- 8 oz packages of cream cheese at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoons flour
1/4 cup cream
1 tsp vanilla bean paste

Whip cream cheese and sugar in electric mixer until smooth and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until fully incorporated before adding the next one. In a small bowl, combine the cream and flour, stirring until smooth. Add to cream cheese mixture, along with vanilla bean paste. Mix until smooth and well blended. Pour slowly on top of apples (be careful here so you don't dislodge the apples).

Bake in a water bath for about 55 minutes at 325. Center should be set but jiggly when you pull it out. Cool, the refrigerate until serving. Right before serving, top with caramel sauce.

Caramel Sauce:
6 tablespoons butter
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup cream

Melt butter and brown sugar together over medium heat, until it boils. Cook for several minutes until mixture is thick and fragrant (like, say, caramel!). Add cream, and stir until combined. If your cream is cold, it may seize the caramel mixture and bubble furiously. Just keep stirring over the heat until it comes together. Cool until ready to top cheesecake.

Butternut Squash Ravioli

They were sampling this at Costco the other day and I thought I would try it out on my own. Turned out pretty tasty but it was time consuming. I made the whole package of wonton wrappers and froze what we didn't eat to eat another time.

4 C Butternut Squash, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
2 tsp Brown Sugar
1 C Ricotta Cheese
2 T chopped fresh sage
3 T chopped fresh parsley
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 package wonton wrappers
olive oil
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toss squash with oil, salt, pepper, and brown sugar in a roasting pan. Add 1/4 C water and cover with foil. Roast 30 minutes until very tender.

Drain squash well, return to pan, and mash with fork. Return, uncovered, to the oven and bake for 10 minutes to dry out.

Add cheese, sage, parsley, cinnamon and nutmeg. Blend well. Distribute by tablespoons onto wonton wrappers. Moisten the edge of the wonton wrapper with water and carefully pinch together.

Cook in boiling water in batches until they float. To keep from sticking, toss in olive oil. Serve with Alfredo sauce.

Alfredo Sauce:

1/4 cup butter
1 cup heavy cream
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

1. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium low heat. Add cream and simmer for 5 minutes, then add garlic and cheese and whisk quickly, heating through. Stir in parsley and serve