Sunday, November 18, 2012

Shane's Pancakes

Showed these off on my main blog, but thought I'd give them a place here as well.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Homemade Tomato Soup

After my latest Bountiful Baskets acquisition and a delivery from a nice neighbor, I had a ton of tomatoes. Couldn't let all these beauties go to waste, so I thought to myself, "What would Ina Garten do?" And you know what Ina would say? Get some of that chicken stock out of the freezer and make some SOUP! I remembered there was one of her soup recipes I hadn't tried. Sacrilege!

We also picked up the children's book Soup Day at the library and the kids and I have made soup three times already this week.

But this soup tops them all. Oh my. It was incredible. I photographed my culinary journey.

  • 3 pounds ripe plum tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups chopped yellow onions (2 onions)
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 (28-ounce) canned plum tomatoes, with their juice
  • 4 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 quart chicken stock or water

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Toss together the tomatoes, 1/4 cup olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread the tomatoes in 1 layer on a baking sheet and roast for 45 minutes. I used parchment paper for easier clean up.

Poor basil plant. I picked it clean.

In an 8-quart stockpot over medium heat, saute the onions and garlic with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the butter, and red pepper flakes for 10 minutes, until the onions start to brown.

Add the canned tomatoes, basil, thyme, and chicken stock. Add the oven-roasted tomatoes, including the liquid on the baking sheet.

Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered for 40 minutes. Pass through a food mill fitted with the coarsest blade. (I used a food processor.) Taste for seasonings. Serve hot or cold. I ended up thinning it with extra stock. It was just a tad too thick for me.

In the spirit of Ina, I made some homemade croutons, but I always think they get too soggy in soup. I recommend crusty bread instead.

And, just for fun, I added sauteed zucchini, yellow squash and grilled chicken to a batch.
Made it much more "man" hearty.
I can't wait for tomorrow's leftovers. Ooo, Fall is my favorite time cook. And eat.
Shane made his famous hot chocolate for the family tonight. (Collin's was dairy free of course.)
We drank it in our jammies. And then we had to change the kids into new jammies before bed.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Grilled prosciutto wrapped figs stuffed with goat cheese

Was pleasantly surprised to find figs in my Bountiful Basket last week. Went out and bought some prosciutto and goat cheese to make...

(I added walnuts, but candied pecans would have been even better.)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Fruit Tart

Just another reason to always have a package of puff pastry in the freezer. Fastest fruit tart ever. Even though the recipe is from the Pioneer Women, I have to admit, I don't read her blog. (It just fills up my reader so fast!) But I did read her book and it made me laugh. Great summer read.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Sour Cream - Lemon Pound cake

I wish I had taken a photo when it first was frosted, but it was so good, we didn't even wait for it to cool fully before diving in. Served with whipped cream and raspberries.

  • YIELD: 18 servings (serving size: 1 slice)
  • Cooking spray
  • 3 tablespoons dry breadcrumbs
  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup butter or stick margarine, softened
  • 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons lemon extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons grated lemon rind (about 2 lemons)
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, divided
  • 1 (8-ounce) carton low-fat sour cream
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Coat a 10-inch tube pan with cooking spray, and dust with the breadcrumbs.
  • Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl; stir well with a whisk. Beat the butter in a large bowl at medium speed of a mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually add the granulated sugar and lemon extract, beating until well-blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add grated lemon rind and 2 tablespoons lemon juice; beat 30 seconds. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture alternately with sour cream, beating at low speed, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
  • Spoon batter into prepared pan. Bake at 350° for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack. Combine 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and powdered sugar. Drizzle glaze over top of cake.
via cooking light.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Lamb Burgers

Serve these with pita bread and yogurt tahini sauce. YUM!


1/4 cup sunflower seeds

1/4 cup rolled oats (not instant)

1 teaspoon fresh oregano leaves, or 1/4 teaspoon dried

1 teaspoon fresh mint leaves, or 1/4 teaspoon dried

Grated zest of 1 lemon

1 pound ground lamb

1 tablespoon tahini

1 garlic clove minced

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Yields 4 servings.

In the work bowl of a food processor, place sunflower seeds, rolled oats, oregano, mint and lemon zest. Process until ground, but not mushy or pureed.

Place the lamb in a large mixing bowl, and add sunflower seed mixture along with tahini, garlic, salt and pepper.
Use your clean hands to gently combine. Form the mixture into four (3 1/2-inch) patties and place on a plate.

Cook as you like on an outdoor grill. Or heat a large cast-iron or other heavy-bottomed (not nonstick) skillet over medium heat. When the skillet is hot, add the burgers and cook for 5 to 6 minutes. Then turn with a spatula. Cook for another 5 or 6 minutes. For any cooking method, USDA recommends that burgers be cooked to an internal temperature of at least 160 F.

Serving suggestion: Good served on toasted buns with a mixture of cucumbers, plain yogurt and freshly ground black pepper as a topping.

— "The Master Your Metabolism Cookbook" by Jillian Michaels (Crown, $26).

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

It's Greek to Me Greek Salad

By Chef Susan Irby,
Author of Substitute Yourself Skinny: Cut the Calories, Keep the Flavor with Hundreds of Simple Substitutions!

it's greek to me greek salad

Substitutions such as reduced-fat or nonfat feta cheese save on calories and fat; however, cutting back on the amount of extra-virgin olive oil in dressings is another key factor in keeping your recipes slimming.

½ head red leaf lettuce, washed, dried, and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 English cucumber, diced
2 large tomatoes, diced
¼ cup chopped red onion
¼ cup chopped red bell pepper
¼ cup chopped pitted kalamata olives
½ cup reduced-fat feta cheese crumbles
1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano leaves
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Sea salt to taste
Black pepper to taste

1. In a large mixing bowl, toss together the lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, onion, bell pepper, olives, and cheese. Separately, in small bowl, whisk together the oregano, oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Pour over the lettuce mixture and toss well to coat.

2. Serve on salad plates as an entrée or side dish.

Serving size: ¾ cup
Original recipe: 440
SYS recipe: 177
Fat: 15g
Carbohydrates: 8g
Protein: 4g
Sodium: 469mg

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Super Easy Key Lime Pie

  • 9" graham cracker pie crust
  • 14 oz. can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 egg yolks (whites not used)
  • ½ cup Nellie & Joe's Key West Lime Juice
Combine milk, egg yolks and lime juice. Blend until smooth. Pour filling into pie crust and bake at 350º for 15 minutes. Allow to stand 10 minutes before refrigerating. Just before serving, top with freshly whipped cream, or meringue, and garnish with lime slices.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Perfect Alfredo Sauce

I've been working on making the perfect alfredo sauce and I think this is it. I can't tell the difference between this and Olive Garden's, and neither could anyone I've served it to. Great on a white pizza. Enjoy!



  1. 1
    Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium/low heat.
  2. 2
    Add the garlic, cream, white pepper and bring mixture to a simmer.
  3. 3
    Stir often.
  4. 4
    Add the Parmesan cheese and simmer sauce for 8-10 minutes or until sauce has thickened and is smooth.
  5. 5
    When sauce has thickened add the Mozzarella cheese and stir until smooth. STIR FREQUENTLY.
  6. 6
    While the sauce cooks, boil noodles.
  7. 7
    Place pasta on serving plates and spoon sauce over pasta.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Spring Salad

This is on my menu to try this week. Looks so good!

Equal parts romaine lettuce and spinach and spring mix
blue berries
purple onion
swiss cheese

Sweet Dressing:
2/3 cup rice vinegar
1 ½ cup oil
¾ cup sugar
2 tbls dried onion flakes
1 ½ teaspoons salt (I use kosher salt)
2 teaspoons dry mustard
2 tablespoons poppy seeds

Blend in a blender and serve

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Valeria’s Coconut Cake

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup shortening

2 cup sugar

5 egg yolks

2 cup flour

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp soda

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup buttermilk

1 cup walnuts

1 cup coconut

5 egg whites (beaten stiff)

Cream shortening and sugar; add egg yolks and soda mixed with vanilla. Add buttermilk and flour alternately. Add nuts and coconut. Fold in beaten egg whites last. Bake layer 30-35 minutes in 350 oven. Oblong 9x13 40-45 minutes.


1 (8 ounces) package cream cheese

1 cube margarine/butter

2 cups powdered sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup nuts

Friday, January 1, 2010

Natalie's 10 minute Chow Mein

I attempted Chow Mein without a recipe.

I sliced carrots, celery and scallions. Stir-fried them in veg oil until they started to brown. (But still crunchy)

I had my super hot husband shred the chicken for me. I added the chicken to the veggie mixture and added a TBS of hoisin sauce, and several drops of sesame oil. Stirred until heated through.

Made $1 worth of Chinese noddles.

Finally I mixed everything together and added soy sauce to taste. hǎochī!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Natalie's Sugar Cookies

Cream together:

1 C shortening

1 C butter

1 C powdered sugar

1 C granulated sugar

Beat in:

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla


4 C flour

1 tsp cream of tartar

1 tsp soda

1/2 tsp salt

Mix to blend. Shape into balls (1 inch) roll in sugar or roll out and cut into shapes.

Bake 375 degrees 8 minutes on ungreased pan.

Caramel Popcorn

1 C. butter

1 pkg. brown sugar - 1 lb or 2 1/2 C. packed

1 C. Karo syrup

1 can Eagle Brand Milk

1 tsp vanilla

Bring first three ingredients to a boil - then add Eagle Brand Milk and bring to a soft ball stage. Add 1 tsp vanilla.

Add to 3 gallons of popped popcorn. Shape into balls and cover with plastic wrap. Or put into a Christmas tree mold and decorate with M&Ms or gum drops.


(You will need a candy thermometer)

4 C sugar

1 C Karo Syrup

1 C water

4 egg whites

5 TBS butter

2 tsp vanilla

2 C chopped nuts

Add half sugar mixture to 4 beaten egg whites. Cook remaining sugar mixture 256 degrees. Remove from heat. Add to egg white mixture. Stir by hand until it loses gloss. Then add butter, vanilla and nuts.

Drop by teaspoon full onto a greased cookie sheet.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Valeria’s Fudge

4 squares chocolate or 3 TBS cocoa

1 C cold canned milk

4 C sugar

2/3 C brown sugar

4 TBS butter

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup nuts (opt)

Add all ingredients except vanilla. Cook slowly, stirring occasionally. Cook until forms a soft ball in cold water. (About 5 minutes after it reaches the boiling point.)

Remove from heat, add vanilla and beat until it begins to granulate. Pour at once into a 8x8 buttered pan. Cool and cut into squares.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Dad’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

2/3 cup shortening

2/3 cup room temperature butter

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup packed brown sugar

2 eggs

2 tsp vanilla

3 cups flour 1/2 white, 1/2 whole wheat

1 tsp soda

1 tsp salt

1 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 to 1 tsp ground cloves

3/4 to 1 cup old fashioned oatmeal

Heat oven to 350. Mix thoroughly shortening, butter, sugars, eggs and vanilla. Stir in remaining ingredients.

Bake 8-12 minutes on ungreased baking sheet. Cool slightly before removing from sheet.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Chocolate Tort

Chocolate and hazelnut tart
Serves 6

1 1/2 cup plain flour
1/2 cup conf sugar
1/2 cup ground hazelnuts
1/2 cup, 125g cold butter, cut into small cubes
1 small egg yolk
2 tablespoons cold water
3/4 cup heavy cream
10 ounces good quality dark chocolate, broken in pieces

Place the flour, sugar, hazelnuts and butter in a large bowl.
Use your fingers and rub until a grainy texture.
Add egg yolk and water and mix the dough well with your hands.
Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Press the dough into a 12 inch tart pan.
Bake at 350F for 12-15 minutes or until golden.
Cool on a wire rack.
Bring the cream to a boil, remove from heat.
Pour into a bowl with the chocolate.
Stir well and pour the mixture over the tart.
Cool and serve.

via Sweet Paul

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Natalie's Pumpkin Muffins

1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup melted butter, cooled
1 egg
1/2 cup raisins (opt)

Mix all ingredients until batter is just lumpy. Do not over mix.
Sprinkle 1/4 tsp sugar on each muffin just before baking to create a crust.

Bake at 400 degrees for 18-20 mins.

Want something even better for fall? Check out Shane's pancakes over on my main blog!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Ina's Lentil and Sausage Soup


  • 1 pound French green lentils (recommended: du Puy)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, plus extra for serving
  • 4 cups diced yellow onions (3 large)
  • 4 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts only (2 leeks)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (2 large cloves)
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3 cups medium diced celery (8 stalks)
  • 3 cups medium diced carrots (4 to 6 carrots)
  • 3 quarts Homemade Chicken Stock or canned broth
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 pound kielbasa, cut in 1/2 lengthwise and sliced 1/3-inch thick
  • 2 tablespoons dry red wine or red wine vinegar
  • Freshly grated Parmesan, for serving


In a large bowl, cover the lentils with boiling water and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Drain.

In a large stockpot over medium heat, heat the olive oil and saute the onions, leeks, garlic, salt, pepper, thyme, and cumin for 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are translucent and tender. Add the celery and carrots and saute for another 10 minutes. Add the chicken stock, tomato paste, and drained lentils, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 1 hour, or until the lentils are cooked through and tender. Check the seasonings. Add the kielbasa and red wine and simmer until the kielbasa is hot. Serve drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with grated Parmesan.