Wednesday, December 22, 2010

classic pumpkin pie

Made this for Thanksgiving and again tonight-- it was delicious both times.

  • 1 recipe Pastry for Single-Crust Pie
  • 1 15-ounce can pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup half-and-half, light cream, or milk


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare and roll out Pastry for Single-Crust Pie.

2. For filling, in a medium bowl combine pumpkin, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Add eggs. Beat lightly with a fork just until combined. Gradually add half-and-half; stir until combined.

3. Place the pastry-lined pie plate on the oven rack. Carefully pour filling into pastry shell. To prevent overbrowning, cover edge of the pie with foil. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove foil. Bake about 25 minutes more or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Cover and refrigerate within 2 hours.

Friday, November 19, 2010

cranberry-pear-walnut cake

My mom and I made this yummy cake while the kids were napping yesterday. We subtituted pecans for walnuts, cut back a bit on the sugar and skipped the caramal sauce alltogether. It was a great combination of textures and flavors- tart and not too sweet- all rolled into one. You can find the recipe here.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

butternut squash soup with thai gremolata

I love soups this time of year, and this recipe sounded tasty, so I gave it a whirl-- so good, and so easy. We had ours with bread topped with pecan pumpkin butter.

butternut squash soup with thai gremolata

2 lb. butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1 inch pieces
2 cups vegetable broth
1 14 oz. can unsweetened coconut milk
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 Tbsp. packed brown sugar
1 Tbsp. fish sauce (or soy sauce)
1 tsp. Asian chili sauce (Sriracha sauce or crushed red pepper) (I skipped this)
2 Tbsp. lime juice

1. In a 4 qt. slow cooker stir together squash, broth, coconut milk, onion, brown sugar, fish sauce, and Asian chili sauce.
2. Cover; cook on low for 4 to 5 hours (or on high for 2 to 2 1/2 hours).
3. Use an immersion blender to carefully blend soup until completely smooth. Stir in lime juice. Ladle into bowls and top with Thai Gremolata. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Thai Gremolata:
In a bowl stir together 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil or cilantro, 1/2 cup chopped peanuts, and 1 Tbsp. finely shredded lime peel. (i didn't have peanuts or limes, so i did without those, though peanuts would have been an excellent addition).

Sunday, October 24, 2010

pumpkin sausage pasta

We first had this at the Wards' almost two years ago, I believe. It's from Simply in Season. And it fit the bill for a healthy and delicious fall produce meal. Pumpkin is one of my favorite cabinet staples this time of year. You can switch it out for winter squash too. We had salad with cranberries and almonds along with it.

From 10/24/2010 (by Eye-Fi)

Pumpkin Sausage Pasta

1 lb chunky pasta-- cook, drain and set aside
1 lb sweet italian sausage- brown on med. high in a deep frying pan. remove meat and set aside. drain fat from fry pan and return to stove

1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, minced
add both to pan and cook until tender, about 3-5 min.

1 bay leaf
2 TBSP fresh sage (cut into very thin strips)
1 cup dry white wine or vegetable (or chicken) broth
add and cook until half of liquid evaporates (~2 minutes)

1 cup veg. or chicken broth
1 cup pumpkin or winter squash (cooked and pureed)
mix in. continue stirring until sauce starts to bubble. add sausage and reduce heat.

1/2 cup evaporated milk
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
coarse salt and pepper to taste
stir in milk. add seasonings and simmer 5-10 minutes to thicken. remove bay leaf. pour sauce over cooked pasta and toss over low heat for 1 min.
garnish w/ freshly grated romano or parmesan cheese and fresh sage leaves (opt)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Applesauce Bread (for the Wilsons)

We hosted our friends, Matt & Erica Wilson a few weeks ago and served this as one of our go-to company breakfasts. I love this recipe because it works well with or without raisins or nuts and is basically made with all pantry staples. It's perfect if you're not sure guests' taste preferences. And there's nothing like the smell of cloves and cinnamonin the oven.

Next time we'll make an extra loaf for their newborn son Johnny to enjoy!

1/2 c. canola oil
1 c. brown sugar
1 egg
1 c. unsweetened applesauce
1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves (I usually at least double that amount)
1/2 tsp all spice
1 cup. raisins and/or walnuts

In large bowl, beat oil, sugar, egg, and applesauce. In another bowl, combine flour, salt, baking soda, and spices. Slowly add to applesauce mixture. Add raisins and stir just until combined. Pour into greased bread ban. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes.

nutty pumpkin bread

From 09/14/2010 (by Eye-Fi)

Nutty Pumpkin Bread

1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup wheat germ
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 tsps baking soda
2 tsps ground cinnamon (opt)
1/2 tsp each ground ginger, nutmeg, cloves (opt)

Mix above ingredients together in a large bowl and make a well.

2 1/2 cups pureed pumpkin or winter squash
4 eggs (lightly beaten)
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup pecans or other nuts (chopped)
1 cup raisins or dates (chopped; opt)

Add into the well and mix just until all of the dry ingredients are moistened. Pour batter into 2 greased 9 x 5 inch loaf pans. Bake at 350 until toothpick inserted in center of loaves comes out clean, 50 minutes. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Loosen edges and turn the loaf out onto the rack to cool completely before slicing.

Muffin variation: Pour batter in greased mini-muffin tins; bake about 10 minutes.

From Simply in Season.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Glazed Pork Loin with Blueberry Salsa

My August meal for meal exchange. Our meal group was so excited for another way to use Michigan blueberries and the combination of flavors sounded interesting. I would say the result was good, but not great. The pork very easily dried out and my husband claims I should at least double the amount of salsa. Maybe we'll just stick to the blueberry salsa with chips for next time.

18 oz. fresh blueberries
1 medium diced red pepper
1/3 cup diced red pepper
1/3 cup finely chopped cilantro
2 TBSP lime juice
3 TBSP plus 1/4 cup blueberry jam
2 1/4 tsp coarse salt
1 tsp chili powder
1 center-cut boneless pork loin (3 1/2- 4lbs)
2 TBSP olive oil
1 TBSP each cumin and coriander
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup water

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2. Coarsely chop 1 pkg. berries. Stir in whole berries, pepper, onion, cilantro, lime juice, 3 TBSP jam, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp chili powder.
3. Place pork in roasting pan and rub with oil. Combine cumin, coriander, remaining salt, remaining chili powder, and cinnamon. Rub over pork.
4. Roast 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees. Add water to pan. Lossely cover. Roast 20 minutes.
5. Remove from oven. Combine 2 TBSP pan juices with remaining 1/4 cup jam. Brush over pork, return to oven. Rosat 5 min. LEt sit 10 minutes before slicing. Serve with salsa.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

zucchini bread

I've made a lot of these loaves lately-- four are in the oven as I type. We had it a lot growing up. It's yummy and easy, and the kids love it.

Zucchini Bread

Preheat oven to 325

Beat 3 eggs until foamy
Add 2 cups sugar
a little more than 1/2 up oil
2 tsps vanilla
2 cups grated zucchini

In separate bowl:
3 cups flour (opt-- 1 c. whole wheat, 1 c. soy, 1 c. reg.)
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup raisins

Add two bowls together. Pour into 2 greased loaf pans. Bake 1 hour.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Sassy Hawaiian Pork Burgers

My meal exhange meal for August...a nice change from typical burgers

1 1/4- 11/2 lbs lean ground pork (the butcher at D&W offered to grind it for me)
1 8oz can water chestnuts, drained and finely chopped
1 large egg, beaten
1 bunch scallions, minced
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
6 TBSP seasoned breadcrumbs
4 TBSP teriyaki sauce
1 8oz can pineapple rings, drained

Combine the pork, water chesnuts, egg, scallions, ginger, salt, pepper, breadcrumbs, and 2 TBSP of the teriyaki sauce: mix well.

Wet your hands and form the meat mixture into 8 patties.

Cook the patties in a large skillet over medium-high heat for aobut 10 minutes per side, basting occasionally with the remaining 2 TBSP of the sauce.

Top with pineapple rings and serve on rolls.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

peach cherry pie

From 07/17/2010 (by Eye-Fi)

We've had some very fragrant peaches lately, which reminded me that I wanted some peach pie. Required it. So peach pie I made. And we've been getting a ton of cheapo cherries lately, so in they went. So delectable. The smell around here is heavenly.

preheat oven to 425


2 cups flour (hold out a little)
a dash of salt

in separate bowl:
1/2 cup cooking oil
1/4 cup ice water
whisk together until well blended

add to flour mixture and blend
divide into two equal balls and roll out for crust


5-6 peaches, sliced
1-2 cups cherries, pitted
1/4 flour
1/4 cup sugar
some spices (cinnamon, nutmeg)
a little almond extract

heat all ingredients together in a medium saucepan over med. and fill bottom half of crust.

bake at 425 for 30 min. lower to 350 and bake additional 15 min.

Friday, May 28, 2010

lime chicken with cilantro cream sauce and roasted zucchini

Lime chicken with cilantro cream sauce and roasted zucchini

I greatly simplified this recipe as it looked a bit too complex for my time, but it was still delicious. I also did without the chicken, since it's Friday.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

lemon basil pasta salad

A very simple, clean taste-- just what I was wanting after cereal for breakfast and lunch (and a few apple slices and peanuts and raisins throughout the day). Recipe from

From 05/05/2010 (by Eye-Fi)

1 pound farfalle pasta
4 plum tomatoes, cut into 1 inch dice
20 basil leaves, cut into chiffonade
1 lemon, juiced
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Fresh basil leaves, for garnish


1. Boil pasta until al dente. Drain the pasta and rinse under cold water to cool down.

2. Put the pasta in a large serving bowl and add the tomatoes, basil, lemon juice, olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Toss well and garnish with fresh basil leaves.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Theological Question of the Day

Over lunch, Mali asks: Who can eat this avacado pit?

I respond, "No one eats the pits of avacados."

She thinks it over and then questions, "Can God eat the pit of an avacado?"

Monday, May 3, 2010

bbq yogurt marinated chicken

I saw this recipe on the back of our Brown Cow plain, cream top yogurt and thought I would give it a whirl- and it was a cinch-- and pretty tasty.

1 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup olive oil
2 TBSP lemon juice
1 TBSP rosemary
1 TBSP thyme
1 TBSP salt (seriously? i used 1 tsp)
1 TBSP pepper
4 chicken breasts (i made a couple extra for leftovers- there was plenty of marinade)

Mix all ingredients together and add chicken. Let marinate in fridge for at least 2 hours. Grill chicken on med. high. Serve with backyard bbq favorites (so suggests the Brown Cow container). We had ours with corn and baked beans and strawberries.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

(vegan) corn chowder

I have my sister to thank for recommending The Conscious Cook cookbook. Mike got it for me for my birthday. We had this delicious corn chowder tonight.

From 04/25/2010 (by Eye-Fi)

If you want the recipe, I'd be happy to pass it along-- I'll just say that it uses cashew cream for the cream- yummm.

Friday, April 23, 2010

po'boy sandwiches

From 04/23/2010 (by Eye-Fi)

I was going to make these last Friday, but we had no power from 3:50-9 pm or so, so cooking the fish was out (and I ended up having to throw out the fish fillets I had thawed). We tried it this week instead- served with canned peaches.

Fish Fillets

1/4 cup cornmeal
3 TBSP Old Bay Seasoning/other seafood seasoning
4 boneless firm fish fillets (~6 oz each)
1/4 cup vegetable oil


1/2 cup Tartar Sauce (I made my own with light mayo, relish and lemon juice)
1 TBSP minced red onions
3-4 romaine lettuce leaves, cut into rough shred

4 kaiser or sub rolls
1 tomato

Place cornmeal and Old Bay on plate and mix well. Press fish into it to coat it. Heat the oil in skillet on med. high heat, until hot but not smoking. Add fish and cook 3-4 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Place fish on paper towel to soak up excess oil.

While frying fish, in a bowl, stir together the Tartar Sauce and onions, add the lettuce and toss until evenly coated. Toast rolls and slice tomato.

To make sandwiches, place a fish fillet on the bottom half of each roll. Spoon on some topping, add tomato slices, and cap with top half of roll.

Recipe from Moosewood Restaurant Simple Suppers.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

grilled kielbasa with hawaiian salsa and sweet potatoes

I based this dinner roughly on the recipe found here for ham with Hawaiian salsa and sweet potatoes, but I mostly just threw in ingredients I thought would be tasty from what we had on hand. And it turned out very tasty indeed (all partakers agreed). I didn't have the recipe on hand at the time, but we had these oven fries at my parents' last weekend, and I was attempting a similar approach when making the sweet potato fries.

From 04/15/2010 (by Eye-Fi)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

sweet and sour tofu

From 04/12/2010 (by Eye-Fi)

The recipe looks kind of lengthy, but it was actually fairly simple. And it tasted like something off a restaurant menu- a lot of flavor. Recipe adapted from Laurel's Kitchen.

1/2 cup walnut pieces
2 blocks tofu
4 TBSP shoyu (soy sauce)
2 sherry or saki (I used some dark sesame oil- not really the same, but I was going from another recipe from Moosewood too)

1 large onion
1 large green pepper (I used orange)
1 stalk celery (I used 2)
1 large or two small carrots
2 tablespoons oil
1 heaped cup fresh pineapple chunks

1 1/2 TBSP honey
2 TBSP vinegar
1 1/4 cups veg. stock or water
1 1/2 TBSP cornstarch

Toast walnuts. Cut tofu into 1" cubes and marinate in 2 TBSP shoyu and sherry. Cut onion and pepper into wedges and celery and carrots into thin diagonal slices. Stir-fry in oil until crisy-tender, adding pineapple after first 2-3 minutes.
Combine honey, vinegar and 1 cup of veg. stock, and add vegetables, along with tofu. Bring to boil and simmer for a few minutes to thoroughly heat tofu.
Dissolve cornstarch in remaining 1/4 cup veg. stock and the remaining soy sauce. Stir into vegetabeles. Heat, stirring while sauce thickens and clarifies somewhat.
Top with walnuts. Serve with brown rice.

Monday, April 12, 2010

weekly meal plan 4/12-4/18

As mentioned in my other blog, I am going to start up with bi-monthly/monthly meal planning again. I have already planned out about three weeks+ worth of meals, but I'll just post them weekly. I prefer not to plan breakfast and lunches- unless we're all home, though we've been having a lot of leftovers for lunch, as Michael isn't taking them to work anymore (his work provides lunch every day).

weekly menu
April 4-April 10
Monday 4/12-- sweet and sour tofu with pineapple, onion, bell peppers, celery, carrots and walnuts, short-grain brown rice

Tuesday 4/13-- pasta with artichoke hearts, steamed carrots

Wednesday 4/14-- homemade wholewheat pizza with veggies, salad with cucs and peppers, fresh pineapple and strawberries

Thursday 4/15-- grilled kielbasa with hawaiian salsa and sweet potatoes

Friday 4/16-- po'boy sandwiches, peach brown betty

Saturday 4/17-- we'll be at our monthly teams meeting (Mike and I are bringing dessert- still haven't decided what to make)

Sunday 4/18
-- roasted ratatouille with crepes, baby greens with pecans and pears

If you'd like any of the recipes, let me know, though I may post some of our favorites here throughout the week anyway.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Chocolate sour cream cake with fudgy frosting

Made this (non-low-fat) cake for Easter (and Mike for his birthday, since I didn't make him a cake on Good Friday) today, with Jack's help.

  • 2 eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1-1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 oz. bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 1 8-oz. carton dairy sour cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 recipe Fudgy Frosting


1. Let eggs stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans. Set aside.

2. In small bowl combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In large bowl beat shortening and sugar on medium speed until combined. Beat in eggs and vanilla until combined. Beat in melted chocolate and sour cream. Alternately add flour mixture and milk; beat on low after each addition just until combined. Spread batter in prepared pans.

3. Bake 25 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly touched. Cool on wire racks 10 minutes. Remove from pans; cool.

4. Prepare Fudgy Frosting. Place one layer flat side down on plate. Spread top with 1 cup frosting. Stack second layer flat side down. Spread with remaining frosting. Makes 16 servings.

Fudgy Frosting: In large pan over low heat melt and stir one 12-oz. pkg. semisweet chocolate pieces and 1/2 cup butter. Cool 10 minutes. Stir in 8-oz. carton sour cream. Stir in 4-1/2 cups (1 lb.) sifted powdered sugar; stir until smooth. Makes 4 cups.

*recipe from

low-fat cinnamon rolls

We wanted to try out making cinnamon rolls, but not with all of the fat. This recipe uses applesauce and honey as a substitute, but you can't even taste the apple. They were super-easy to make, and they turned out delicious and doughy. We made the icing, but I personally thought they were better without.

From 04/04/2010 (by Eye-Fi)

From 04/04/2010 (by Eye-Fi)

From 04/04/2010 (by Eye-Fi)

From 04/04/2010 (by Eye-Fi)

From 04/04/2010 (by Eye-Fi)

From 04/04/2010 (by Eye-Fi)

Low Fat Cinnamon Rolls

adapted from allrecipes


  • 1 cup warm fat free milk (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup light spread, melted – I used Smart Balance Light
  • 4 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons bread machine yeast


  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 teaspoons honey


  • 1/2 package fat free cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  1. Place dough ingredients in the pan of the bread machine in the order listed. Select dough cycle; press Start.
  2. After the dough has doubled in size turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, cover and let rest for 10 minutes. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon.
  3. In another bowl, mix together honey and applesauce
  4. Roll dough into a 16×21 inch rectangle. Spread dough with applesauce mixture and sprinkle evenly with sugar/cinnamon mixture. Roll up dough and cut into 16 rolls. Place rolls in a lightly greased 9×13 inch baking pan. Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  5. Bake rolls in preheated oven until golden brown, about 15 minutes. While rolls are baking, beat together icing ingredients. Spread frosting on warm rolls before serving.
*makes 16 rolls, approx. 195 calories and 2.5 grams of fat per roll

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Hot Cross Buns

We will be traveling on Good Friday (the traditional day to make these) so my girls and I had our first adventure with yeast rolls today.

There were quite a few steps to this recipe, so we started early enough to still be in pajamas.

There was measuring.
And kneading.
Lots of kneading.
Voila! Hot Cross Buns.

Thanks to Family Fun for this idea!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Apple Puff Pancake

I posted on facebook the other day that I needed some new breakfast ideas. Lots of yummy suggestions came in, and here's one recipe that my old friend/coworker Jamie came up with. She was always good with supplying the break room with treats, so I'm excited to try this one.

From the Gooseberry Patch Farmhouse Christmas cookbook~

6 eggs 1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 cups milk 1 stick butter, melted (can definitely use less!)
1 C flour 3 Granny smith apples (golden delicious are great too), peeled and sliced
3 Tbl sugar 2-3 Tbl brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla powdered sugar (optional)
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In blender, mix eggs, milk, flour, sugar, vanilla, salt and cinnamon until blended; set aside. Pour butter into a 9X13 pan and add apple slices evenly into the dish. Return to the oven until butter sizzles. Do not let the apples brown. Pour the batter over apples. Sprinkle with brown sugar. Bake on the middle oven rack at 425 for 20 minutes or until puffed and brown. Dust with powdered sugar to taste. Serve immediately. Makes 6-8 servings.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Gigi's pound cake

I've made this several times, but it turned out best this time (no chunks came out when I removed it from the pan). And I didn't even capture it on camera. But here's Gigi's delicious pound cake recipe:

3 cups sugar
2 sticks butter softened
4 eggs
3 cups four
1/3 tsp. baking soda
pinch salt
1 cup buttermilk (I used the powdered kind- Saco brand- a white and yellow container with a red top-- more practical if you hardly use buttermilk)
1 tsp almond extract
1 tsp lemon juice

Beat all ingredients together as you add them until well blended. Grease and flour pan well. Bake at 350 for 55 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean (I baked it more like 75 minutes because our oven takes longer).

I used this glaze recipe to drizzle over the top.

Angela's Awesome enchiladas

I first had these at my parents' and knew I wanted the recipe. Looks like a lot of ingredients, but they were pretty easy-- Angela's Awesome Enchiladas.

They're great with salsa on them too. Served with rice, fruit, chips and salsa and corn. Yum.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

creamy corn-potato-ham chowder

Seems like we've been having a lot of chowders lately, but they're good when it's cold- and extremely easy when you can just throw a bunch of ingredients into the crock pot in the morning and dish it up at dinnertime. I tried this one last weekend since we needed to use up some ham that had been taken out of the freezer that we didn't eat all of a few nights prior. It turned out alright, but I think they could have cooked for a couple more hours. The carrots and potatoes were a little too firm still. Mike added some cream of mushroom soup later in the week and said that improved it some- that the veggies had softened a bit.
Nevertheless, I'm ready for some lighter foods. After being sick and sluggish for almost a week, my stomach has shrunk, and most foods seem too heavy or something. Maybe it's the warmer weather too. I'm excited about starting to cook with spring produce.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Kielbasa skillet

This was very good, very flavorful. Served with rice and mixed greens salad.

From 03/02/2010 (by Eye-Fi)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Greek Layer Dip

You know that typical taco dip that roughly half of the United States consumed last month? I think we've found one to top it. In this month's issue of the local magazine "Food for Thought" this dip was featured. My handy husband whipped up a version of it for our Superbowl Party. The kids and I finished it off at lunch the day after and Brinnly said that her imaginary friends would like it for their birthday party instead of cake. It's that good.

Here are the details:

2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 cup chopped cucumber
3 TBSP snipped flat leaf parsley
4 tsp fresh mint
2 TBSP lemon juice
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 1/2 cup hummus
2 cups finely chopped fresh spinach
1 1/2 cups olive tapenade (Trader Joe's does this well--but that's true for everything)
1 cup. crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cups green onions
1/4 cups olives
Fresh mint for garnish.

In a medium bowl, combine tomatoes, cucumber, parsley, mint, lemon juice, salt, & pepper. Set aside.

Spread hummus on a 12-inch serving platter. Arrange spinach atop spread, leaving a 1-inch border of hummus showing. Spoon tapenade over spinach, leaving a 1-inch border of spinach showing.

Drain and discard liquid from tomato mixture. Spoon mixture over tapendae layer, leaving a 1 inch border of tapenade showing. Sprinkle feta over tomato mixture, and top with additional ingredients.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

15 healthy muffin recipes

While we're snowed in here, I feel like baking- muffins, in particular. I found this site for healthy muffin recipes, of which we'll probably try a couple of in the next days. I really like the sounds of the yamberry muffins, but we don't have cranberries right now. They all sound yummy, though.

Sunday, January 31, 2010


I made a ton of these last night-- for a wedding Mike and I are going to today- and a bunch for ourselves. I've always liked them.

The recipe for just one batch--

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 tsps vanilla extract
2 3/4 cups flour
2 tsps cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp gran. sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400. Cream together butter, shortening, 1 1/2 cups sugar, eggs, vanilla. Blend flour, cream of tartar, soda, and salt. Shape dough into balls. Mix 2 tbsp sug. and cinn. Roll balls of dough in mixture. Place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake 8-10 min. or until set, but not too hard. Remove immediately from sheets to cool.

Friday, January 29, 2010

crock pot chicken jumbalaya

6 boneless, skinless chicken breats, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 lb kielbasa
1 can tomatoes, undrained (I added two)
1/2 bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp cajun seasoning- I made my own with cayenne pepper, oregano, salt, pepper and paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 onion, chopped
1 stalk celery (I used 3)

Put everything in crock pot and turn on low for 7 hours.

We served this tasty dish with short grain brown rice, bread and spinach salad. I was afraid the jumbalaya might be too spicy for the kids, but they all liked it (we had some friends over).

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

corn & kielbasa chowder


corn and kielbasa chowder

8 ounces kielbasa, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
2 onions, finely chopped
(I also added about three stalks of celery, chopped)
1 tablespoon butter
1 14.5-ounce can chicken broth
1 large baking potato (about 12 ounces), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 cup half-and-half
1 1-pound bag frozen corn, thawed
Salt and pepper
Chopped fresh dill, for garnish

Heat a deep skillet or a wide 4- to 6-quart pot over medium-high heat. Add the kielbasa and cook, stirring, until lightly browned, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Add the onions and butter to the pan and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 6 minutes. Add the broth and potato and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover with a lid and simmer until the potato is tender, about 10 minutes. Add the half-and-half and corn and cook, stirring, until heated through. Using a blender or food processor, puree 1 cup chowder until smooth. Stir the puree back into the chowder along with the browned kielbasa and season to taste with salt and pepper. Top with the dill.

Monday, January 18, 2010

chocolate chip oatmeal muffins

I found the recipe at They reminded me of the vegan chocolate chip cookies my sister and I used to make. Really good.

chocolate chip oatmeal muffins

1/2 cup butter or margarine (I used non-dairy earth-balance)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup applesauce
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat in egg. Combine dry ingredients; add alternately with applesauce to the creamed mixture. Stir in oats and chips. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin tins 3/4 full. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes.

Friday, January 8, 2010

salmon chowder

I love cooking hot soups on frigid snow days. It's been snowing for days straight now, with short let-ups here and there, but I'm tired of being home bound. I refuse to go out in this mess with the kids. Anyway, tonight, we had delicious salmon chowder, served with bread, salad and french beans. Here's the recipe. I haven't decided what to make for dessert yet, but I've decided we need something yummy to celebrate Mike finishing his very last day at Intel today. Congratulations, love!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Christmas Present Granola

A few years ago around Christmas we were visiting my parents' neighbors and their house had a wonderful baking smell. When I asked what it was, she gave me a small bag of her homemade granola. I snacked on it all afternoon and ended up calling her a few hours later asking for the recipe. I brought it back this season and used it as as easy-to-ship Christmas present as well as a stocking stuffer and had a few requests for the recipe. At the risk of giving away my secrets, here goes...

7 c. rolled oats
1 c. wheat germ
1 heaping cup brown sugar
6 cups nuts (I usually use a variation of walnuts, pecans, and sometimes almonds)
2 cups sunflower seeds (optional)
1/2 cup flax seeds

Mix together in a very large bowl.

In a glass measuring cup, mix 3/4 cup oil with 1 1/3 cup water and heat (covered!) in microwave for 3-5 minutes on high. Add 2 tsp. vanilla and pour over dry ingredients. (This may sound obvious, but the oil/water is hot! Be careful, especially if you have little "helpers") Spread mixture into 2 well-greased jelly roll pans. Bake at 250 degrees for 2 hours. Leave in oven until dry, possibly bake for 1/2 hour more if necessary. If desired add coconut, dried cranberries, or other fun mix-ins after baking.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

chili with vegetables

We had this chili last night, and it was tasty. I kind of went from a recipe, but I mostly made it up as I went along. It's all approximate- as it always is around here.

2 med carrots
2 celery stalks
1 large onion
a few garlic cloves
1 zucchini
1/2 cup white cooking wine
2-3 jars diced tomatoes
1/3 jar of steak sauce
6-8 slices bacon
1 1/2 lbs ground beef
*(I just eyed all of these and tasted, added more accordingly)
*chili powder
*red pepper (cayenne)
quite a few kidney beans- I added almost half of a 3-lb can.
*fresh parsley

Add first eight ingredients to large pot and let simmer for a while until all of the veggies are tender. While they are simmering, cook bacon in a large skillet. Add bacon to veggie mixture. Cook the ground beef in the bacon drippings (I had to drain quite a bit of grease first). Add to veg. mixture along with seasonings and let cook for a while so all of the flavors can blend together. Add beans and parsley and serve. We put cheddar on ours and served with a little bread. Really good for a super-cold day.