Sunday, March 28, 2010


  • 1 1/2-2 Sticks unsalted butter, clarified and cooled
  • 1 lb fresh baby spinach
  • 1/2 lb feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 4 Tbs fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 Tbs fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Pkg Phyllo dough, thawed (1 8oz pk)
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • olive oil
1. Wilt your spinach with a tablespoon or two of olive oil, you'll most likely need to work in batches.  Allow the spinach to cool, squeeze out as much liquid as possible, rough chop and put into a medium sized bowl.
2. Sauté chopped onion and parsley in olive oil until onions are translucent, about 3 minutes.  Add to spinach, along with egg, lemon juice, feta and nutmeg, combine until all ingredients are well mixed.
3.  Lay out 1 piece of Phyllo dough, brush with  butter, overlap with one more piece of Phyllo, brush again with butter.  Using a sharp knife (or a pizza cutter), cut your Phyllo into 3 strips, (picture below to help give you a visual).
4. Place about 1 1/2 Tbs of spinach mixture at the end of each strip of Phyllo.  Roll into triangles, like you would the American Flag :)
5.  Continue until you've used all of your spinach mixture.  Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes, or until they're nice and golden.  Sprinkle with a little salt while they're still hot. 

1. Keep your Phyllo under plastic wrap and a damp towel while you're working with it.
2. You can make these ahead (about 3-4 days), freeze before cooking, then when you need them, just pop them in the oven frozen!
3. If you aren't interested in all this work, make a pie in a baking dish instead.  Bake for about 40 minutes, cutting into slices about half way through.

Saturday, March 27, 2010


Pretty colors make me happy!
Well it's finally grilling season and you just have to have either a pasta or a potato salad when you grill out!!!

1 pound small pasta shells, cooked and drained
6 ounces medium or sharp cheddar cheese, cut in small cubes
2 cups baby peas, fresh or frozen
1 medium red pepper, chopped
1/2 medium onion, chopped (I used green onion)
1/3 cup sweet pickle relish
1/2 cup mayonnaise
3/4 cup (6 ounces) plain yogurt
2 Tbsp lemon juice
Salt and Pepper to taste
(I also used about a Tbsp fresh dill weed) 

In a large bowl, mix together all the ingredients. Refrigerate, covered, for at least 1 hour to develop the flavors.This salad keeps well for several days in the fridge.

Recipe adapted from Susi's Kochen

Friday, March 26, 2010

Salmon Mousse

Salmon Mousse
  • 8 oz. smoked salmon, flaked with a fork
  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 1 tsp. dried dill weed
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • a pinch of chipotle
  • Tomato for garnish

Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor.  Pulse repeatedly until all the ingredients are blended and smooth.  Transfer to a serving dish, cover with plastic wrap and chill at least one hour.  (Alternatively, pipe the mixture onto crackers and garnish)

Friday, March 19, 2010

My 2nd EVER fondant cake....

I'm very excited about my 2nd EVER fondant cake. It turned out very nice. It had the smooth all over finish that a fondant cover should have. I used THIS recipe for the fondant again.

The cake I made was an Ida Garten Chocolate Cake from the Food Network and it can also be found by clicking here.VERY rich but good and much better then the 1st cake I made!

  • Butter, for greasing the pans
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cups good cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk, shaken
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
Chocolate Buttercream, recipe follows
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter 2 (8-inch) round cake pans. Line with parchment paper, then butter and flour the pans.
Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.
Place 1 layer, flat side up, on a flat plate or cake pedestal. With a knife or offset spatula, spread the top with frosting. Place the second layer on top, rounded side up, and spread the frosting evenly on the top and sides of the cake.

Chocolate Frosting:

  • 6 ounces good semisweet chocolate (recommended: Callebaut)
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 extra-large egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee powder
Chop the chocolate and place it in a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir until just melted and set aside until cooled to room temperature.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed until light yellow and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and continue beating for 3 minutes. Turn the mixer to low, gradually add the confectioners' sugar, then beat at medium speed, scraping down the bowl as necessary, until smooth and creamy. Dissolve the coffee powder in 2 teaspoons of the hottest tap water. On low speed, add the chocolate and coffee to the butter mixture and mix until blended. Don't whip! Spread immediately on the cooled cake.

Ice cream anyone.....

Soft Sugar Cookies
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla or almond extract
  • 6 cups flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 350. Combine sour cream, sugar, butter, eggs, and vanilla. Mix well. Add dry ingredients until everything is mixed together. Let the dough chill in fridge for 20 minutes or until firm. Roll it out and use cookie cutters or whatever you want. Bake until LIGHT golden brown-no more than 10 minutes. When you take them out they will seem underdone but aren't. Let them cool on the pan and they will be perfect and moist. It you like them harder and more crunchy just bake them a little longer.This recipe make A LOT of cookies so divide it in half if you do not wish to bake cookies all day!

  • 3 1/2 - 4 cups confectioners' sugar (depending on how sweet you want it)
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 5-8 Tbsp (or more) evaporated milk (or regular milk), until you reach the desired consistency
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • red food coloring (optional)
In a large bowl, cream together the confectioners' sugar and shortening until smooth. Gradually mix in the evaporated milk and vanilla with an electric mixer until smooth and stiff, about 5 minutes. Color with food coloring, if desired.
NOTES: I also used sprinkles and for the cone part I dipped the baked and cooled cookie in coating chocolate which I melted in the microwave. For about a cup of chocolate I used 2 tablespoons of shortening to thin it out so that it would not be too thick. I did not want to loose the detail of the criss-cross cookie cutter by coating it with tooooo much chocolate. 

Monday, March 15, 2010

Left over dough....

I had some leftover dough from yesterdays bread bowls so I made a pepperoni cheese roll bread thing. To find the recipe for the Artisan bread you can either look at my previous post or click HERE!

Roll out the dough or just stretch it like you would pizza dough!
Place your stuffing on top of the dough. I used Mozzarella cheese Sharp Cheddar Fresh basil and pepperoni. Then I rolled it up and Baked it at 450° for 30 minutes.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Bread is my weakness....

Broccoli Soup in a bread bowl!!! Ohhh yummmm!!! It tasted just like Panera Broccoli soup in a bread bowl. I love the crusty outside and Neal liked the gewey soggy center .....ohhh I can barely move I ate so much. It's a good thing I went running today. Try it you won't be disappointed.

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 lb fresh broccoli, chopped
  • 1 cup carrot, shredded and chopped
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom
  • 8 ounces grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 4 ounces grated colby jack cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • First, prepare the bread bowls. To make two bread bowls, I took half a batch of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day (*See below) dough out of the container in my refrigerator and divided it in half again. I let the dough rest on a floured pizza peel on my counter for about 40 minutes. While you’re waiting, make sure your baking stone and broiler pan are in the oven, and preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  • For the soup, sauté the onion and garlic in the butter over medium heat.
  • add in the flour, stirring constantly. Add in the half and half, milk, and chicken stock. Bring to almost a boil.
  • add the broccoli and carrots. Simmer on low heat for about 20 minutes.
  • While the soup is simmering, bake the bread for 30 minutes, and then remove to a wire rack to cool. When the bowls are still a little warm, cut out the centers. 
  • Season the soup with the salt, pepper, nutmeg, and cardamom. Stir in the cheeses (and you can play around with the amounts; use however much or little you like) and let simmer for 10 minutes longer before serving. Pour the soup into the bread bowls, and enjoy!
Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day


  • 3 cups  lukewarm water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated yeast
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher or other coarse salt
  • 6 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  •  Mix with a spoon in a food-safe bucket, let it rise at room temperature for 2 to 5 hours, then into the fridge too two weeks.  Tear off chunks, shape, rest, and bake as needed. I shaped  mine after about 2 hours then let it rise another 45 minutes. Only used half the recipe the rest I stuck in the fridge for another recipe.
 Broccoli Soup recipe found HERE and Artisan Bread HERE!

    Friday, March 12, 2010

    Pie please....

     I was inspired by THIS recipe for this creation. It was really really good....actually a little surprised how good it really was and pretty simple to make as well.


    1 ready to bake pie crust (*see notes below)
    1 Tbsp butter
    1 small onion, chopped
    2 cloves garlic, chopped
    1 pound ground beef
    1/2 tsp black pepper
    1/2 packet of taco seasoning
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/2 pint salsa ( I used my own salsa that I caned last fall)
    1 can black beans
    1/2 cup of olives
    1 cup of shredded cheese
    lettuce, tomatoes and sour cream for garnish

    I did not have a ready to bake pie crust so I made my own since it was much easier than bundling both kids up and going to the store....yeah I'm lazy like that. 

    pie crust recipe:
    3 cups flour
    2 tsp salt
    2 tsp white vinegar
    1 cup shortening
    2/3 cup milk

    Combine flour and salt, dice in the shortening and vinegar then add milk last. Knead till well combined!
    This is what it should look like.
    I used a glass baking dish lid to cut out the circles. 
    For the stuffing. Brown the butter garlic and onion till soft then add the meat salt and pepper let it brown up. Drain the meat well (this is important because you do not want much liquid in the pie) I used a strainer and just let it sit for a bit. Place it back in your skillet and add the taco seasoning and salsa let it cook for a couple more minutes till most of the liquid is gone. 
    It should look something like this. 
    You can then layer your pie. I kinda used bits and peaces of leftover cheese some shredded some sliced; Provolone, sharp cheddar.
    All ready for the oven. Poke holes with your fork on top to let out any steam. Bake @ 375 degrees for 45 minutes or till crust is lightly browned.
    Mmmmmmm....yum....that's right I will bite you!!!

    Thursday, March 11, 2010

    Butter Chicken....

     This was posted by PW but it was a tasty chicken recipe and you can find it HERE. I did my own similar version of the recipe. I had to improvise since I did not have all the same ingredients. 

    1/4 tsp chipotle
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp black pepper
    1/2 tsp cardomom
    1/2 tsp ground cumin
    1 onion chopped
    3 cloves of garlic, chopped crushed whatever you like
    1 whole lime
    1 Tbsp of butter
    1 can (14.5 Oz. Can) Tomato Sauce
    1 can (14.5 Oz. Can) Petite Diced Tomatoes
    1 Tbsp fresh basil
    1 Tbsp fresh parsley
    1 pint Whipping Cream

    Combine the 1st 8 ingredients in a bowl ( I like to do it in a zip lock bag) and let sit overnight or for a couple of hours so that the ingredients can combine and marinate. 
    I like to pound out the meat to tenderize it and this way it cooks evenly!!
    Next you want to brown the chicken on both sides and then add the onions to saute.
    When the chicken is browned on both sides and the onions are soft add your tomatoes and sauce (we do not like chunks of tomatoes so I just did the sauce) Then add the parsley and basil! Let it simmer for about 30 minutes!!
    AND while you wait you can pull your kids around the house in a laundry basket.....yup never a dull moment around here!!!

    Ok enough fun back to cooking!!!

    Then in the very end add your cream.
     We had rice with ours. I I like to brown the rice a little first before cooking. For a cup of rice I use a Tbsp of butter 1/2 tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp of black pepper and just saute it for 2 or 3 minutes then add the water.
    For our vegetable we had zucchini....nice and easy. Just sauteed it in some Olive Oil salt and pepper and just a little teryiaki (1Tbsp).

    The celebration continues....

    We also made tuna melts on our new griddle. This is my husbands cooking creativity shining through. We will never have a plain tuna melt again!!! I love that my husband likes to cook. Sorry but I forgot to take a picture of the finished sandwich.

    Tuna Melts
    1 favorite container of tuna
    2Tbsp mayo
    1/4 tsp salt
    1/4 tsp paprika
    1/4 tsp black pepper
    1/2 tsp teriyaki 
    pinch of chipotle
    favorite cheese we used sharp cheddar
    bread and room temperature butter

    In a bowl mix tuna, mayo, salt, paprika, pepper, teriyaki and chipotle. spread butter on one side of the bread and place face down on your skillet, cookie sheet or griddle * then place a peace of cheese on top of the bread then spread some of the tuna mixture and just for good measure place another slice of cheese on top of the tuna followed by another slice of bread with butter on the outside.

    *We made ours on the griddle and it took about 3-4 min. on each side @ 400 degrees. We have made them in the oven before it takes longer about 15 minutes and you have to flip them. You can also use a skillet to make them medium heat 4-5 min. on each side.

    New griddle....

    To celebrate the arrival of our new fancy electric griddle I decided to try a new recipe!!! They were different but delicious.

        Sour Cream Banana Pancakes

    • 1  1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 3 tablespoons sugar
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1  1/2 teaspoons salt
    • 1/2 cup sour cream
    • 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon milk
    • 2 extra-large eggs
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
    • unsalted butter
    • 2 ripe bananas diced, plus extra for serving
    • pure maple syrup

    In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Whisk together the sour cream, milk, eggs, vanilla and lemon zest.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones, mixing only until combined.
    Melt 1/2 tablespoon of butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat until it bubbles.  Ladle the pancake batter into the pan (I use a 1/4 cup measure per pancake).  Distribute a rounded tablespoon of bananas on each pancake.  Cook for 3-4 minutes or until bubbles appear on top and the underside is nicely browned.  Flip the pancakes and then cook for another 1-2 minutes, until browned.  Wipe the pan with a paper towel, add more butter and continue cooking the pancakes until all of the batter is used.  Serve with sliced bananas, butter and maple syrup.

    Original recipe found HERE.

    Friday, March 5, 2010

    Fondant cake

    Well it's coming along but I'm rather disappointed.
    All finished playing with sugar play dough :) Not too terrible for the 1st try but man there is LOTS of room for improvement I really did not get the smooth affect....very uneven I think that's because my butter cream frosting was too soft?!?! the cake was not quite cut evenly. The top layer turnedout much better probably because I kinda new a little more of what to expect. I think the next time it will be much better looking :)

    Wednesday, March 3, 2010

    Blueberry muffins

    The Awesome-est Blueberry Muffins
    3 cups minus 2 tablespoons flour
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    Heavy pinch of salt
    Dash of Nutmeg
    1 cup sugar
    1/2 cup vegetable oil
    1 egg
    1 generous cup plain, unflavored yogurt (throw in extra if you want)
    2 cups fresh blueberries
    Vanilla Extract
    Softened Butter, for muffin tins
    Turbinado sugar (optional)
    Preheat oven to 385 degrees.
    In a large bowl sift flour, baking soda, nutmeg, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
    In another large bowl whisk together sugar, oil, cap-ful of vanilla, egg, and yogurt. Add the dry ingredients and stir to a count of 10.
    Add blueberries, reserving 1/2 cup, to mixture and stir 3 times.
    Add mixture to well-buttered muffin pans. Sprinkle remaining berries on top and press down lightly. Sprinkle turbinado sugar over top. (Brown sugar can be used instead.)
    Bake 20 to 25 minutes and allow to cool completely.
    Yogurt-Blueberry Sauce:
    In small saucepan over medium-low heat, stir together 1 cup frozen or fresh blueberries (if using fresh, add 2 tsp water) and 1 tsp sugar. Cook until berries pop and liquid begins to thicken. Dump in heaping 1/4 cup plain yogurt and stir to combine. Drizzle on muffins.

    Pumpkin muffins


    1 spice cake mic
    1 can of pumpkin
    1/2 cup of water

    mix together divide in muffin pan and bake 20-25 min @ 375*

    Brown sugar cream cheese frosting

    3 ounces softened butter
    4 ounces softened cream cheese
    1/4 cup dark brown sugar
    You want to dissolve the brown sugar a bit, so let this go for 3 or 4 minutes
    Beat in
    2 cups confectionery sugar, 1 cup at a time
    Then add
    1 tablespoon half and half
    Beat well and add more half and half a tiny bit at a time, until it is of spreadable consistency.



    8 cups tomatoes, chopped
    5 stalks celery with leaves, chopped
    3 medium onions, chopped
    2 green peppers, chopped
    12 Jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
    12 oz tomato paste
    4 t salt
    1/4 cup lemon juice
    1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
    3/4 cup sugar
    2 1/2 Tbs cilantro

    Combine together in a large pot. Bring to a boil then pour hot into jars.

    NOTES: This is what I made with the goodies I got from my mom and dad and my sister....thanks guys!!!! So that's the recipe and here is what I did different. Instead of using the store bought celery I used about 3 tablespoons of the stuff from my mom and dads's celery but just leaves and much stronger but sweeter taste. I used 10 Jalapeno peppers 4 seeded 6 unseeded next time I would cut back some more on those. I also used 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, lime juice instead of lemon and I used 2 WHOLE HEADS of roasted garlic I think that REALLY made it for me. Ohh and I used only one red pepper instead of green because that's all I had on hand. Next time I make this and I will for sure I will also roast the red peppers 1st.

    It was fun to make because I like chopping and it's always so rewarding to have something completely home made :)


    This is my childhood favorite. I wish Conner would try them but as usual he is being stubborn I know that he would like them. I would make them every day!!!
     Nalesniki or Crepes

    2 cups whole or skim milk
    4 eggs
    1 tbs. melted butter
    pinch of salt
    1 cup flour

    Beat eggs and milk till well blended. Add melted butter and salt then add the flour. (Batter should be much thinner consistency then for ordinary pancakes) Pour by spoonful of batter on a hot non stick pan tilting the pan to spread evenly. Brown then turn and brown the other side. Fill with your favorite preserve and dust with powder sugar....yummm. My mom used to make a cheese filling but Polish farmers cheese is hard to come by :)

    Roast Beef

    This is also a Pioneer Woman recipe and you can find it here. I found that this is by far our favorite way to make roast and do splurge on the fresh herbs and wine they do make a difference :)


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