Friday, September 6, 2019

Banana Bars with Sour Cream Icing

Fall is here!  Not a pumpkin spice fan?  Me either.  Try these delicious banana bars instead!

Banana Bars with Sour Cream Icing
Serves 24

Bar Ingredients:
3/4 Cup Brown Sugar
3/4 Cup White Sugar
1/2 Cup Butter, Room Temp
2 Eggs
1 Cup Sour Cream
3 Large, Ripe Bananas
2 Teaspoons Vanilla
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
2 Cups Flour
Jelly Roll Pan (15x10x1)

Step 1:  Prepare your pan by greasing and flouring.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. 
Step 2:  In a large bowl, add the butter and both sugars.  Cream until well blended.  Add remaining ingredients and mix until well blended.
Step 3:  Pour into prepared pan and bake for 20-25 minutes.  Cool completely before applying the icing.

Icing Ingredients:
1/4 Cup Butter, Room Temp
2 Cups Powdered Sugar
3 Tablespoons Sour Cream

Icing Instructions: Add all ingredients into mixing bowl and combine until smooth and well blended.  Slather on the bars before serving.

Friday, August 30, 2019

Butter Rum & Coconut Flour Muffins

I'm a sucker for muffins.  I'm also a sucker for all things butterscotch and butter rum.  Coconut?  Yes, please!  This recipe can be changed up by using different pudding mixes.  I have made the recipe with banana pudding mix and used vanilla extract and almonds.  Very yummy as well!  Please note, this recipe could be considered gluten free.  The coconut flour is gluten free - and the pudding mix is typically gluten free as well.  It likely will not say it on the box . . .so it depends a little bit on if your a purist or sensitivity level.  Most puddings are gluten free according to the ingredients, but may be manufactured in a factory that also handles glutenous products.  So, you can decide on whether these are gluten free or not.

Butter Rum & Coconut Flour Muffins
Serves 12

1/2 Cup Coconut Flour
1 Box Instant Butterscotch Pudding Mix (3.4 oz - the kind that makes four servings)
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
6 Eggs
6 Tablespoons Butter, melted
3 Tablespoons Honey
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/2 Teaspoon Butter Rum Extract
1 Cup Chopped Pecans (or nut of choice)

Step 1:  Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line your muffin tin with cupcake papers.  

Step 2:  Into a bowl, add the coconut flour, butterscotch pudding mix, baking powder and salt.  Mix until well blended.

Step 3:  In a separate bowl, add the eggs, butter, honey, salt, and vanilla and butter rum extracts until mix until smooth.

Step 4:  Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until there are no lumps. Add the pecans and stir until just combined.

Step 5:  Scoop and divide the batter evenly into the prepared muffin cups.

Step 6:  Bake the muffins for about 16 to 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. 

Friday, August 23, 2019

Cauliflower with Capers and Lemon

This is a lovely side dish that we accompanied with our Veal loaves.  It's a great dish with a pop of acidity from the lemon and capers.  It's a great way to change-up your cauliflower routine!

Cauliflower with Capers and Lemon
Serves 6

1 Pound Bag Frozen Cauliflower or Fresh Cauliflower (prepared/cut into bite-sized pieces)
1 Teaspoon Oregano
1/4 Teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
Zest from 1/2 Lemon
Juice from 1/2 Lemon
3 or 4 Tablespoons of Capers (drained)
1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese, Grated
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

Step 1:  Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. 
Step 2:  In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except the cauliflower.  Blend well.
Step 3:  Add in the cauliflower and stir to combine.  
Step 4:  Place ingredients in a greased 2-quart baking dish.  Place in oven and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until desired tenderness is achieved.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Veal Loaves (Individuals) with Sage

This individual loaves are cooked on the stop top and then finished off in the oven.  They are so incredibly tender and delicious.  We served them with a cauliflower side dish, which I will post later.  So, so tasty!!!

Veal Loaves (Individuals) with Sage
Serves 6

1 and 1/2 Pounds Ground Veal
1 Egg
1/2 Cup Breadcrumbs
1 Cup Parmesan Cheese (grated)
1 Tablespoon Ground Sage
1 Teaspoon Chopped Garlic (or one large clove, minced)
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

Step 1:  Mix all ingredients together in a bowl except the olive oil.  Divide into six portions and shape into mini-loaves.

Step 2:  In a skillet, add the olive oil and heat over medium-high heat.  Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 3:  Add the loaves to the skillet and brown evenly on all sides.  Once you have thoroughly browned the loaves, they will go into the oven.  If you used an oven-proof skillet (such as a cast iron skilled) - you put it into the oven.  If you did not use an oven-proof skillet, gently transfer the loaves to a baking dish and then place in the oven.

Step 4:  Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a thermometer reads 160 degrees Fahrenheit.  Cool slightly before serving.

Friday, August 9, 2019

Honey Butter Chicken

This is my new obsession:  honey, butter, soy sauce . . .goooooooooood stuff.  It's sweet.  It's savory.  It's addicting.  I've enjoyed this as dictated in the recipe below - and I've also used just the sauce and glazed chicken wings with it.  Also great on carrots.  Just sayin'.

Honey Butter Chicken
Serves 4-6

Ingredients for Chicken:
1.5 Pounds of Boneless Chicken
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/4 Teaspoon Black Pepper
2 Eggs
1/4 Cup Flour
1/4 Cup Cornstarch
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
Oil for Frying

Ingredients for Sauce:
1 Tablespoon Low Sodium Soy Sauce
1 Tablespoon Honey
1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
1/4 Cup Butter, Melted
1 Tablespoon Minced Garlic

Step 1:  Prepare the sauce by adding all ingredients into a bowl.  Mix until combined.  Set aside for later.

Step 2:  Cut up your boneless chicken into strips or bite-sized pieces. Add to a large bowl, sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Toss to combine.

Step 3:  Next, add the eggs, flour, cornstarch and baking powder to the chicken bowl.  Mix well with your hands.

Step 4:  In a large deep skillet or dutch oven, add enough cooking oil to make it about an inch deep.  Heat over medium to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 5:  Add the chicken in a single layer.  You may need to do this in batches.  Cook until well browned on all sides.  Remove and drain on paper towels.  Cook any remaining chicken in the same fashion.  Be sure to temp the chicken to make sure it is thoroughly cooked to 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 6:  Once all the chicken is cooked, let's cook up the sauce!  In a clean, large skillet - add the sauce you mixed up in Step 1.  Heat over medium-high heat until it bubbles.  Then, add the cooked chicken and coat in the sauce.  Serve hot.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Chocolate Coconut (flour) Mug Cake - Single Serve

Hellooooooooooooooooooo Nurse!  I just took my recipe for Vanilla Coconut (flour) Mug Cake - Single Serve and turned into a chocolate one.  Truth be told, I may never go back to vanilla!  

Chocolate Coconut (flour) Mug Cake - Single Serve

1 Tablespoon Coconut Flour
1 Tablespoon Cocoa Powder
1 and 1/2 Tablespoons Milk
1 and 1/2 Tablespoons Butter
1 Egg
1 Teaspoon Stevia (or any alternative sweetener of choice)
1/8 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1/8 Teaspoon Salt
Splash of Vanilla extract
1 Oz Chocolate Chips 

Step 1:  In a large coffee mug, melt the butter in the microwave.  
Step 2:  Once melted, add the milk and vanilla and stir with a fork until well combined.
Step 3:  Add the egg into the mug and stir until well combined.
Step 4:  Add the remaining ingredients (Stevia, coconut flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt) - mix until well combined.  Add in the chocolate chips and give a good stir.
Step 5:  Microwave for roughly 2 minutes.  If you pull it out and it's under-cooked in the center, cook for 30 more seconds.

Let cool a bit before eating.  This gives a good dark flavor - depending on your tastes, you might want to up the sweetener if you prefer a sweeter chocolate flavor.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Maple Cake with Maple Frosting

Here is one for the maple lover's out there!  This cake was delightful:  not too heavy, not overly sweet - but a nice balance of spongy cake with a delicious maple frosting.  I think they key to the texture is beating the butter/sugar/eggs really, really well.  And, the cake uses buttermilk too - which helps to keep it moist as well as flavorful.  Everyone loved this cake, I will definitely be making it again soon!  This isn't the best photo - but I just had to post about this cake!

Maple Cake with Maple Frosting
Yield – one cake

½ Cup Unsalted Butter, room temp
1 and ½ Cups packed Dark Brown Sugar
3 Large Eggs, room temperature
1 Tablespoon Maple Extract
1 Tablespoon Maple Syrup
2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
1 Cup Buttermilk

Frosting Ingredients:
2 cups unsalted butter, softened
½ Tablespoon of Maple Extract
1 Tablespoon of Maple Syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 cups powdered sugar
1/4 Cup Buttermilk

Cinnamon (optional)

Directions for Cake:
1. Preheat oven to 350°.  Prepare your cake pan of choice (one 9x13 cake pan, two rounds or a bundt pan) by spraying with PAM or other nonstick spray.  If using a cake pan where you will remove the cake (such as rounds to stack later or the bundt) – grease and flour the cake pans instead.
2. Cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy – this can take a few minutes depending on the temp of your butter.  Add 1 egg at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in maple extract and syrup. 
3.  In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
4.  Alternating, add part of the dry mix to the butter/sugar mix well – and then add part of the buttermilk.  Mix well after each addition and repeat until all is incorporated.
5. Transfer to prepared pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Roughly, 40 minutes for a bundt pan, 25-30 minutes for a regular 9x13 pan or 10-15 minutes for round pans. Cool completely before frosting
Directions for Frosting – this is a generous amount of frosting.  It should be enough to frost a layered round cake...
In large bowl, beat butter until creamy. Add the maple extract, maple syrup and salt.  Beat until well blended.  Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar and buttermilk.  If the frosting is a little thick, add a little more buttermilk.  If frosting is too thin, add a little more powdered sugar (1 tablespoon at a time).

Once cake is frosted, sprinkle with cinnamon.  

Note:  Because this frosting is made with all butter (yum!) – be mindful of the heat.  If it’s summer outside, it may melt at a picnic!  Otherwise, it should be fine.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Sweet Pepper Slaw

Here is a fun twist on a cole slaw.  It uses traditional cabbage blend plus sweet bell peppers and a sweet onion.  The dressing is a combination sweet/sour reminiscent of the dressing used for a classic three-bean salad. 

Sweet Pepper Slaw
Serves 8

7 oz Cabbage, Shredded (I use a 1/2 bag of classic preshred with carrots included)
1 Medium Sweet Onion - diced fine
1/2 Pound Sweet Bell Peppers - diced fine.
2 Tablespoons White Vinegar
2 Tablespoons White Sugar
1 Tablespoon Oil (canola, olive oil . . .your choice)
1/8 Teaspoon of Ground Black Pepper

1. For the peppers - I used a combination of red, yellow and orange mini bell peppers. 
2. To dice, I actually ran the (cleaned) onion and (cleaned) bell peppers through my food processor.  Use a course chop.

1.  Combine the cabbage, onion and peppers in a large bowl.
2.  Prepare the dressing by mixing together the vinegar, oil, sugar and black pepper in a small bowl.   Whisk until well combined. 
3.  Pour the dressing over the slaw mix and toss until well combined.  Cover and let sit in the fridge for at least an hour to let the cabbage soften and the flavors marry. 

Friday, April 12, 2019

Mint Cookie Bars

These cookie bars are a perfect addition to any dessert buffet or for a sweet treat after dinner.  It is a classic sugar-cookie dough for the base and then minty nonpariels are added into the dough before baking.  And the colors of the non-perils are just sooooooooo pretty and springy!

Mint Cookie Bars
Yields 24 Cookie Bars

3/4 Cup Unsalted Butter, room temperature
1.5 Cups Granulated Sugar
3 Eggs
2 Teaspoons Vanilla
3 and 3/4 Cups Flour
3/4 Teaspoon Salt
1/4 HEAPING Teaspoon Baking Soda (or 1/4 and 1/8th teaspoon)
2 Cups Mint Nonpariel Candies (small size)


1.  Preheat the oven to 375F.

2.  Cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy. 

3.  Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. 

4.  Meanwhile, mix the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl. 

5.  Add the vanilla to the creamed mixture and then slowly add the dry ingredients.

6.  Stir in the minty candies.

7.  Press into a greased 9x13 cake pan and bake at 375F for 10-15 minutes.

Friday, April 5, 2019

Creamy Lime Pie

The name of this pie isn't too fancy . . .but the taste is beyond amazing.  If you love lime, you will really enjoy this.  It is different than a key lime pie . . .much creamier and not as zingy, but still crazy delicious.  This has been one of my most requested desserts over the years.

Creamy Lime Pie
Serves 8

1 Prepared Graham Cracker Pie Crust 
1 Cup Sugar
3 Tablespoons Cornstarch
1 Cup Water
1/3 Cup Lime Juice
2 Egg Yolks, Slightly Beaten
4 Oz. Cream Cheese - softened and cubed
1 Teaspoon Lime Zest
2 Drops Green Food Coloring
1 Cup Whipping Cream - split into 1/2 Cup and 1/2 Cup
1 Heaping Tablespoon of Powdered Sugar
1 Dash of Vanilla Extract

Step 1:  In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar and cornstarch and stir with a whisk;  mix well. Add in water, lime juice, green food coloring and the egg yolks.  Cook over medium heat until mixture boils and thickens, stirring constantly.  Let boil for 1 minute.  Add the cream cheese and lime zest, stirring until the cream cheese is melted and the mixture is smooth.  Let cool to room temp.

Step 2:  In a large bowl, beat 1/2 Cup of whipping cream until soft peaks form.  Fold into the lime mixture.  Then, pour the filling into the graham cracker crust.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.  

Step 3:  In a large bowl, beat the remaining 1/2 Cup of whipping cream until thickened.Then, add the powdered sugar and vanilla to the bowl.  Continue beating until soft peaks form.  Use this to top the pie immediately before serving.

Friday, March 29, 2019

Thai Chicken Pizza

Here is a tasty twist on pizza!  If you have never had sweet Chili Sauce, it is a translucent, reddish-colored sauce that is sweet with a mild hot pepper flavor.  It is not very spicy, but flavorful.  This is what is used for the sauce on this pizza.   Enjoy :)

Thai Chicken Pizza
Serves 3-4

1 Pre-Made Pizza Crust
1/3 Cup Sweet Chili Sauce*
1 and 1/2 Cups Mozzarella or Pizza Blend Cheese
1-2 Cups Chicken, Cooked and Cubed or Shredded
1/3 Cup Red Onion, Diced
1/3 Cup White Onion, Diced
1/3 Cup Green Onion, Sliced
1/2 Cup Chopped Peanuts
1 Tablespoon Cilantro

Step 1:  Prepare the crust as directed on the label.  If it needs to be pre-baked before adding the toppings, pre-bake it.  If not, move to Step 2.

Step 2: Assemble the Pizza!  Spread the Sweet Chile Sauce evenly over the crust - leave about 1/4 inch of naked crust on the edges. Sprinkle with cilantro. Top with 1 cup of the cheese.  Then, add the chicken and onions.  Next, sprinkle on the peanuts and top with remaining 1/2 cup of cheese.

Step 4:  Bake according to crust directions on the packaging.


*Note - we prefer Mae Ploy Sweet Chilli Sauce

Friday, March 22, 2019

Easy Cucumber Salad

People always think salads need to be so complicated all the time.  They don't need to be - really!  Here is a quick and easy yet delicious salad that your whole family can enjoy.

Easy Cucumber Salad
Serves 6

2 Medium Cucumbers, peeled and sliced
1/2 Red Onion, cleaned and diced medium
2 Large Roma Tomatoes, cleaned and diced
2/3 Cup Italian Salad Dressing (such as Kraft or Newman's)

In a large bowl, combine the cucumbers, red onion and tomatoes.  Add the salad dressing and gently stir until all is combined.  You can serve immediately or cover it and store in the fridge up to a day.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Magic Coconut Custard

I love this recipe from Land O Lakes.  It is so super easy to make!  The original recipe calls for you to place it in a pie pan, I like to make it in a square 9x9 pan .'s easier to cut and serve.  And because my family loves coconut, I add a bit of coconut extract to the batter as well.  You can view the original recipe here.  Below is my version.  I have also double this recipe before and baked in a 9x13 pan to serve a crowd on a holiday. 

Magic Coconut Custard
Serves 9


2 Cups Half & Half
1 Cup Sweetened Flaked Coconut
3/4 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup All-Purpose Flour
3 Tablespoons Butter, Melted
4 Large Eggs
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla
1/2 Teaspoon Coconut Extract

Step 1:  Heat oven to 325°F. Grease and flour 9x9 inch square pan; set aside.

Step 2:  Place half & half in 5-cup blender container; add all remaining ingredients.  Cover and blend at medium speed 1-2 minutes or until well mixed.

Step 3:  Pour egg mixture into prepared pie pan.  Bake 40-50 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.

Step 5:  Serve warm or chilled.  Store in the refrigerator.

Note:  My family enjoys this topped with whipped cream.  Land O Lakes suggests serving it with fresh fruit and a sprinkle of nutmeg.  

Friday, March 8, 2019

Asian-Inspired Turkey Meatloaf

Here is a great recipe for a Asian-Inspired Turkey Meatloaf?  This loaf . . .so moist and delicious with ginger, garlic and onion.  The glaze on top offers a nice little bit of sweet-heat to compliment the meat.  I could easily make this weekly.  Everyone in my family loves this one.  We serve it with a side oriental cabbage slaw, pea pods or green beans.  

Asian-Inspired Turkey Meatloaf
Serves 6

2 LBS Ground Turkey
4 Cloves of Garlic, Minced
4 Green Onions or Scallions - Cleaned and Sliced Thinly
1 Teaspoon Ground Ginger
3 Tablespoons Low-Sodium Soy Sauce
1 Teaspoon Sesame Oil
2 Large Eggs
1/2 Cup Breadcrumbs

1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
2 Tablespoons Ketchup
2 Tablespoons Chile Garlic Paste or Sriracha Sauce
1 Tablespoon Rice Wine Vinegar

Step 1:  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with non-stick spray.  Set aside.

Step 2:  Place the ground turkey in a large bowl along with the prepared green onions, garlic, soy sauce, ginger, sesame oil, eggs and breadcrumbs.  Combine everything together thoroughly. 

Step 3:  Place the meat mixture onto the baking sheet and shape it into a loaf.  I usually go a little wider and thinner than a traditional loaf - but that is up to you!  

Step 4:  Bake the loaf for 30 minutes.  Meanwhile, prepare the glaze.  In a small bowl stir together the brown sugar, ketchup, sriracha or chile garlic paste and rice vinegar.  

Step 5:  After the loaf has baked 30 minutes, remove it from the oven and spoon half of the glaze over the top. Bake for an additional 20 minutes. Add the remaining glaze and bake for another 10-15 minutes.  Check the temp at this point - when fully cooked, a meat thermometer placed in the center of the loaf should read 160 degrees Fahrenheit.  If it is not fully cooked yet - return to the oven for additional baking time.

Allow the loaf to rest for ten minutes before slicing.

FYI:  The glaze is great to toss with pea pods or green beans too.  I often make a double batch and reserve 1/2 for serving with the vegetables.

Friday, March 1, 2019

Basic Pudding Pie

Sometimes you just need something quick, simple and easy for a tasty dessert.  That's where your quick, easy and basic pudding pie comes in handy.  Only a view ingredients and viola!  And don't forget . . .Pi Day is on March 14th!

Basic Pudding Pie
Serves 8

1 Pre-Made Graham Cracker Crust or Cookie Crust
1 Package Instant Pudding of Choice (the instant kind that serves 4) - I used a 3.4 oz package of Essential Everyday Instant Pistachio Pudding
1 (8) oz Container of Whipped Topping such as Cool Whip
1 and 3/4 Cup Milk

Step 1:  In a bowl, combine the pudding powder and milk.  Whisk or stir for 2 minutes until well combined.

Step 2:  Into the pudding, fold in half the container of whipped topping.

Step 3:  Pour into pie shell.  Cover and refrigerate for 1-2 hours before serving.  

Step 4:  Before serving, top the pie with the remaining whipped topping.  Cut and serve.

Friday, February 22, 2019

Classic Pea Salad

Classic Pea Salad - served as a simple dish with many dinners for years upon years.  I love the simplicity of a good side salad . . .sweet peas, sharp cheddar cheese, crisp red onion . .easy peasy (all puns intended).  Great with almost anything, but truthfully - I'm serving it with fish tonight!

Classic Pea Salad
Serves 4 as a Side Dish

1 - 15 oz Can Peas - I prefer Le Sueur Sweet Peas
1/2 Cup Diced Red Onion
1 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1/2 Cup Mayonnaise
1 Tablespoon Milk
Salt & Pepper

Step 1:   In a medium sized bowl, combine the diced red onion, shredded cheese, milk and mayonnaise.  
Step 2:  Drain the peas really well and discard the juice.  Add peas to the bowl of onion/cheese.  Stir very gently so you do not mash the peas!  Season with salt and pepper to your desire.

Serve!  Store in the fridge if you have leftovers.

Optional:  Add a half cup of cooked, crumbled bacon for a real treat!

Thursday, February 14, 2019

No Bake Peanut Butter Treats

This recipe is so simple, yummy and versatile.  It uses very few ingredients, requires no oven - but you can use a stove top or microwave.  If you love peanut butter or peanut butter candies - this recipe is for you!  Typically, I scoop this into balls and dip in chocolate like I would a truffle.  However, with Valentine's Day here - I thought I would use a heart shaped mold instead.  I also took some of the "dough" and rolled it out and then cut out hearts with cookie cutter and topped them with melted chocolate.  How you execute this is up to you!

No Bake Peanut Butter Treats

1/2 Cup Peanut Butter
1 Cup Powdered Sugar
3 Tablespoons Butter
1/2 Cup Chopped Peanuts (omit if using chunky peanut butter)
1 Cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

Step 1:  In a microwavable bowl, add the butter and peanut butter.  Place in microwave for 30 seconds and stir.  If not completely melted, go in 30 second intervals - always stirring in between each to combine.  You do not need this to be a liquid - but just well combined.

Step 2:  Add crushed peanuts if using creamy peanut butter.  Also add powder sugar and stir all of it until well combined.

Step 3:  Execution is up to you!  

Option 1:  Peanut Butter Balls.  Using a tablespoon or a small scoop, portion out the dough and roll into balls and place onto a wax paper lined cookie sheet.  Dip each ball into melted chocolate and place back onto a cookie sheet lined with wax paper to let the chocolate set up.  To expedite, you can place the tray into the fridge to harden the chocolate.  Once harden, you can place into a container to store.

Option 2:  Peanut Butter Cut-Outs.  Gather the dough into a ball and place onto wax paper.  Roll out to a 1/2 thick.  Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutter.  Place cut shapes onto a wax paper lined cookie sheet.  Drizzle or top with melted chocolate.  To expedite, you can place the tray into the fridge to harden the chocolate.  Once harden, you can place into a container to store.

Option 3:  Molded Chocolates.  Melt the chocolate.  Pour chocolate into mold cavities to cover the bottom.  Using a small food brush, cover the sides of the mold with chocolate.  Place mold in freezer for 10 minutes.  Then, pinch off some pb dough and fill each cavity with the dough, do not fill completely!  Leave a little space for the chocolate.  Once filled with pb dough, top with more chocolate - sealing each cavity.  Place back into freezer for 10 minutes to harden.  Remove from molds and store in container in a cool, dry place.  

Friday, February 8, 2019

Cherry Almond Fizz

Here is a fun little mocktail with a bright pink color (think:  Valentine's Day for the kids)  Personally, we have a Soda Stream and love it!  Therefore, we are never left without seltzer water in our household. 

Cherry Almond Fizz
Yield:  1 Mocktail

1 - 2 Tablespoons Maraschino Cherry Juice 
1 Teaspoon Sugar or Sugar Alternative (I prefer to use 1 Stevia packette)
1/2 Teaspoon Almond Extract
2-3 Tablespoons Half & Half or Cream
Club Soda or Seltzer Water
1-2 Maraschino Cherries for Garnish

Step 1:  In a tall glass, place 3-4 ice cubes and then add the Maraschino cherry juice, sugar and almond extract.  

Step 2:  Fill with club soda - but leave about a 1/2 inch empty from the top.  Do not fill to the top or you will not have room for the cream!

Step 3:  Stir gently.  Top the drink off with the cream and garnish with Maraschino cherries.

Friday, February 1, 2019

Coconut Kahlua Muffins with Chocolate Chips & Walnuts

Low Carb.  It's a thing.  Coconut flour - also a thing.  Kahlua - always my thing!  This recipe yields a tasty coco-nutty, chocolaty muffin with a hint of coffee flavor from the Kahlua.  I love the added crunch from walnuts too. 

Coconut Kahlua Muffins with Chocolate Chips & Walnuts
Yield: 12 Muffins

3/4 Cup Coconut Flour
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
6 Eggs
1/2 Cup of Butter
1/3 Cup Honey
1/4 Cup Kahlua
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/2 Cup Chocolate Chips
1/2 Cup Walnuts


Step 1:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare your muffin tin.

Step 2:  In a small bowl, mix together the coconut flour, baking soda and salt;  set aside. 

Step 3:  In a medium microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter.  Once melted, add in the honey, Kahlua and vanilla.  Mix thoroughly.  Then, add in three eggs and beat until combined.  Add in the other three eggs and and beat until all is well combined.  

Step 4:  Add dry ingredients to the butter/egg batter and mix well.  It will begin to thicken immediately - and that is normal.

Step 5:  Divide the batter among the muffin tin.  I like to use an ice cream scoop to disperse the batter.  Bake for 25 minutes.  

Let muffins cool before serving.  Store in airtight container in refrigerator.

Friday, January 25, 2019

Sauerkraut & Wiener Pizza

When was it that pizza became mainstream eats?  I grew up in a small town of the Midwest during the 80's . . .and we didn't have a major chain pizza place until I was almost out of high school.  Regardless of that pizza chain, my family ate pizza nearly every week . . .homemade pizza.  Pizza with from-scratch dough/crust with homemade sauce and the toppings varied.  But I can guarantee you this:  it was often leftovers from during the week.  And if there wasn't much for leftovers in the fridge . . .then for sure it was wieners on the pizza.  In this version of pizza, we used pre-made crust and my hubby and I decided that sometimes you just can't go wrong with wieners and sauerkraut.  I hope you enjoy this as much as we do!

Sauerkraut & Wiener Pizza

1 Pre-Made Pizza Crust
1 Cup Sauerkraut, well drained
1 and 1/2 Cups Pizza Cheese (Shredded Mozzarella or other Pizza Blend)
Tomato Sauce
1 Tablespoon Ketchup
1 Tablespoon Mustard
1/2 Cup White Onion, Chopped Course
3 Old Fashioned Wieners (such as Ambassador Old Fashioned Wieners)

Step 1:  Prepare the crust as directed on the label.  If it needs to be pre-baked before adding the toppings, pre-bake it.  If not, move to Step 2.

Step 2: In a small bowl, mix together the tomato sauce, ketchup and mustard.  Set aside.

Step 3:  Slice the wieners into bite sized pieces.

Step 4:  Assemble the pizza - pour the sauce onto the crust and spread out - leave about 1/4 inch of naked crust on the edges.  Top with 1 cup of cheese.  Then, add the wieners to the pizza top along with the sauerkraut and onion.  Top with remaining 1/2 cup of cheese.

Step 5:  Bake according to crust directions on the packaging.


Friday, January 18, 2019

Mexican Zuccini

Our family has made a few dietary changes over the past year or so . . .a little more low-carb than what we used to be.  We've cut out rice, breads and potatoes for the most part.  I'm not saying we never eat any of those anymore . . .but we have cut out most of it.  And when you are going that route - you find more creative ways to cook and serve vegetables.  This is recipe is one of them.  It is sooooooo good.  I really impressed myself with it.  We were making a green chile-type chicken and needed a side dish.  this is what I served and wow  . . .fantastic.

Mexican Zucchini
Serves 4

2-3 Small Zucchini's 
1/2 Cup Red Onion (coarsely chopped) 
1 TB Butter
1 TB Olive Oil
1/2 Teaspoon Chili Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/4 Teaspoon Cayenne Powder
1 Teaspoon Lime Juice
1/2 Cup Water
1/2 Cup Shredded Mexican Cheese (I used a Kraft blend)
Cilantro for Garnish

Step 1:  Wash the zucchini and remove the ends.  Cut into thick sticks.  I usually cut my zucchini in half.  Then, I cut piece in half again (now I have 4 pieces).  I take one of those pieces and cut it into either 4 or 6 pieces, depending on the size of the zucchini.  Repeat that step with remaining zucchini.

Step 2:  In a small bowl or cup, combine the water and lime juice.  Set aside.

Step 3:  In a medium to large size skillet, add the olive oil and butter.  Heat over medium until butter melts.  Add the zucchini,  chili powder, garlic powder and cayenne.  Stir to combine/coat the zucchini.  Cook until the zucchini begins to brown on the bottom.  Stir again and then add the red onion and diluted lime juice - stir everything in the pan to combine.  Cook for another five minutes or until the water is evaporated.

Step 4:  Remove from heat and sprinkle with the cheese and cilantro.  Serve and enjoy!

Friday, January 11, 2019

Mu Shu Pork

Mu Shu Pork or Moo Shu Pork?  Not sure which is correct, but I'm going with Mu Shu and I give this recipe all-my-thumbs up!  I love a good crockpot meal . . .and this one is pretty dang easy.  Typically, Mu Shu Pork is served with thin pancakes and you fill them with the pork mixture.  In this easy Americanized version, we'll use tortillas instead.  Flavor-wise, this is rich with garlic and uses hoisin sauce.  You can typically buy hoisin sauce in the Asian section of your grocery store and is a staple in many Asian dishes.  Combining that with the mushrooms (which I love) and with cabbage (which I love) and pork = yum.

Mu Shu Pork
Serves 4

1 Pound Boneless Pork Chops
1-8 oz Container of Fresh Mushrooms
1-16oz Bag of Shredded Cabbage 
1/2 Cup Hoisin Sauce
6 Cloves Garlic, Minced
2 Tablespoons Sesame Oil
2 Tablespoons Low-Sodium Soy Sauce
1 Tablespoon Cornstarch
Green Onion, Sliced - for garnish

Step 1:  In a small bowl, mix together the hoisin sauce, garlic, sesame oil, soy sauce and cornstarch.  Set aside.

Step 2:  In a crockpot, add the pork chops.  Place the mushrooms on top of the pork chops.  Pour the sauce from step 1 over the mushrooms.  Now add the cabbage.

Step 3:  Cook on low for 6 hours.  Your pork chops should be tender enough to shred with two forks - give everything in the crockpot a good stir before serving to combine.

Step 4:  Serve with tortillas and green onions to garnish.

Friday, January 4, 2019

Cheesy Polenta with Mushrooms

Here is a side dish that is hearty enough for a meal.  The original recipe is here.  However, we tweaked it a bit to fit our family tastes by adding more seasonings. Please note, it makes a lot.  And by a lot - I mean that we served it as a side dish along with lamb and another veggie dish for 3 people . . .and we ate it for three days as leftovers.  So, please note - it make a lot.  Feel free to cut the recipe in half.   

Cheesy Polenta with Mushrooms
Serves 8

4 and 1/2 Cups Water 
1 and 1/2 Teaspoons Salt 
1 and 1/2 Cups Coarse or Medium Cornmeal 
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil 
1 Teaspoon Dried Sage 
1/2 Cup Grated Parmesan 
2 Tablespoons Butter 
1 and 1/2 Pounds Mushrooms, sliced thin 
1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper
2 Teaspoons Garlic Powder
1 Teaspoon Onion Powder 
6 Oz Fontina Cheese, grated (about 1 1/2 cups)

Step 1:  Heat the oven to 350°. In a medium saucepan, bring the water and 1 teaspoon of the salt to a boil. Add the cornmeal in a slow stream, whisking. Whisk in 1 tablespoon of the oil and 1/2 teaspoon of the sage. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until very thick, about 20 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup of the Parmesan.

Step 2:  Meanwhile, butter an 8-by-12-inch baking dish or a 3-quart baking dish. In a large frying pan, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter with 1 tablespoon of the oil over moderately high heat. Add the mushrooms, the remaining sage, black pepper, garlic powder and onion powder.  Cook, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms are golden and soft, about 5- 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Step 3:  Pour half the polenta into the baking dish and spread in an even layer. Top with half the mushrooms, followed by half of the fontina and 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan. Repeat with the remaining polenta, mushrooms, fontina, and Parmesan. Bake until the cheese is bubbling, about 15 minutes.