Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies

Hannah made these cookies for a few of her activities at the end of her 2017 school year. They were a hit!


2 ½ c all purpose flour
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 c (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
1 c packed brown sugar
½ c granulated white sugar
2 large eggs
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
2 cups semisweet chocolate chip cookies


In a medium bowl mix together flour, baking soda and salt.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together butter and both sugars on medium speed until yellow and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Add eggs and vanilla and mix an additional minute.  Scrape down sides of bowl.

With the mixer on low speed, gradually add all the flour mixture, stopping just before completely mixed up to add the chocolate chips.

Cover bowl and refrigerate for at least one hour, but overnight is best.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Remove dough from refrigerator.  Scoop out small rounds of dough (about 1 ½ tsp each) onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet.

Bake for 15 minutes, turning tray halfway through until cookies are lightly browned.  Cool on wire rack.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Salted Caramel Apple Cake

Salted Caramel Apple Cake


6 tablespoons cold butter

1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar

1 teaspoon sea salt

4 Gala apples (about 2 lbs), cored and peeled, each cut into 8 wedges

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extractg

1/2 cup half-and-half

Whipped cream (optional)


1.    Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter the bottom of a 10-inch round cake pan with 4 tbsp of the butter. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup of the brown sugar and the sea salt.

2.    Heat remaining 2 tbsp cold butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add apples; saute 13 to 15 minutes, until tender. Cool.

3.    In a large bowl, whisk flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder and salt. In a second large bowl, beat softened butter and remaining 1 cup brown sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then vanilla. On low speed, beat flour mixture into butter mixture, alternating with half-and-half. Scrape down sides of bowl; beat for 1 minute.

4.    Fan apples over bottom of prepared pan. Spread batter over apples. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes.

5.    Run a small knife around edge of pan. Place a serving plate on top of pan and turn plate and pan over together. Carefully remove pan. If any apples remain in pan, place on cake.
Serve warm or at room temperature with whipped cream, if desired

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

TEXAS Style Cornbread

Preheat oven to 350.

Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl:

3/4 c flour
3/4 c corn meal
3 Tbsp sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1 3/4 tsp salt

Mix wet ingredients in a medium bowl:

4 eggs, beaten
1 c sour cream
16 oz can creamed corn
1/2 c vegetable oil

Add the following to the dry ingredients:

2 c sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 c green pepper, chopped
1 c onion, chopped

Mix wet ingredients to the dry.

Place into greased 9x13 baking dish and baked in preheated oven for 25 - 30 minutes.

Note - ages very well, make a day or two ahead of time.  You may also brown the top in the broiler.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

White Cake

from Better Homes and Gardenc,New Cook Book, 1989

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1 1/3 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup shortening
1 tsp vanilla
4 egg whites

Oven 350

In a bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, bakins soda and salt.

Add buttermilk, shortening and vanilla.

Beat with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds, scraping the bowl.  Beat on medium to high speed for 2 minutes, scraping the bowl.

Add egg whites and beat for 2 miutes more, scraping bowl.

Pour into 2 greased and floured9 x 1 1/2 inch round baking pans.   Bake at 350 for 30 to 35 minutes.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Oatmeal on the Go


2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups applesauce, unsweetened
½ cup or 1 banana, mashed
6 packets of Sweetleaf Stevia or 1½ teaspoons stevia powder or use ½ cup honey
5 cups, Old Fashioned rolled oats 
2 tablespoons flaxseed meal
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
3 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2¼ cups milk (I used almond)
Optional toppings: raisins, walnuts, chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix eggs, vanilla, applesauce, banana and Stevia together in a bowl.  Add in oats, flax, cinnamon, baking powder, salt and mix well with wet ingredients.  Finally pour in milk and combine.

Spray a 12 and 6 capacity muffin tin with cooking spray or use cupcake liners. Pour mixture evenly into muffin tin cups.

If using toppings add them onto the tops of muffins now. If using fresh or frozen fruit, drop it right into the batter.

Bake 30 minutes until a toothpick in center comes out clean.
Cool and enjoy or freeze them in gallon freezer bags.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014


  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten with fork
  • 1¾ cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup quick cooking oats*
  • 1¾ cups boiling water
  • 1 12 oz bag chocolate chips, divided (go for the Ghirardelli*)
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 6 tablespoons milk
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • ½-3/4 cup chocolate chips (Ghirardelli again, please)
  • ½-3/4 cup mini marshmallows*
  1. Preheat oven to 350. With an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugars. Add the eggs and mix well.
  2. Add flour, soda, salt and cocoa and mix until just incorporated. The batter will be very thick.
  3. Add water to oatmeal and let stand for a few minutes. Once oats are soft, add oats/water mixture to the batter and mix well. Stir in half of the bag of chocolate chips (6 ounces).
  4. Pour into a greased or buttered rectangular 9×13 cake pan. Sprinkle the top of the cake with the rest of the bag of chocolate chips (6 ounces).
  5. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes or until the surface springs back lightly when touched and your house smells amazing. Do not overbake. Let cool completely.
  6. For the frosting, melt the butter, sugar, and milk in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Bring to a boil and boil for 30 seconds.
  7. Reduce heat to low and add chocolate chips and marshmallows. Stir or whisk until frosting is smooth. Pour immediately over the cooled cake. The frosting crystallizes almost immediately as it cools so it’s important to get it on the cake while it’s still piping hot. Allow the frosted cake to cool for 5 minutes before serving. Or… not.
*You can substitute rolled oats for the quick cooking oats, but they should be soaked in the boiling water for at least 10 minutes. Also, if you use rolled oats, the texture of the cake will be different as the oats will be more noticeable. *Any chocolate chips will work. *Regular size marshmallows work, too. They just take longer to melt.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Beef Stroganoff - Slow Cooker

1 lb cubed stew meat
1 10 3/4 oz. can condensed mushroom soup
4 oz fresh mushroom, halved (canned will work too)
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 c beef broth
Worcestershire sauce to taste
red wine to taste
dash paprika
1/2 c sour cream
1 Tbsp flour
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 pkg egg noodles

Combine soup, mushrooms, onion, garlic, broth, Worcestershire sauce, wine, and paprika in slow cooker.  Add meat.  Cook on low for 7-8 hours or high for 5 hours.

Combine sour cream, flour and mustard and add to slow cooker for 15 minutes on low at the end.

Cook noodles separately.  Top with beef stroganoff and garnish with parsley.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolatechip Cookies

1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon light corn syrup
4 1/2 cups uncooked regular oats
1 cup semisweet chocolate morsels
1 cup (6 ounces) candy-coated chocolate pieces
2 teaspoons baking soda

Beat sugars and butter at low speed with an electric mixer until creamy.  Add eggs and next 3 ingredients, beating until combined. Stir in oats and remaining ingredients.

Drop by tablespoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets.

Bake, in batches, at 350° for 15 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Crispy Slow Cooker Carnitas

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours
Yield: Serves 6-8
A flavorful and easy way to make crispy carnitas using your slow cooker!
1 Tbsp. canola or vegetable oil
1 (4-5 lb.) lean boneless pork roast, excess fat trimmed, cut into 3-inch chunks
8 oz. beer
1 large white onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. chipotle powder (or 1 chipotle in adobo sauce)
2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the pork and sear on each side until browned (about 2 minutes per side). Transfer pork to the slow cooker.
Add remaining ingredients, and give the mixture a careful stir to combine. Cook on low for 6-8 hours until the pork is completely tender and shreds easily with a fork.
Once the pork is cooked, preheat your broiler to high heat and prepare two baking sheets with aluminum foil. Use a fork to shred the meat into bite-sized pieces, and then use a slotted spoon to transfer it to the prepared baking sheets, spreading it out evenly in a single layer. Reserve the remaining broth from the slow cooker.
Place one sheet under the broiler for about 5 minutes, or until the edges of the pork begin crisping up. Remove the sheet, and use a spatula or tongs to carefully toss the pork. Then ladle about 1/4 cup of the remaining slow cooker broth over the pork. Broil for an additional 5 minutes to get the meat more crispy. Then remove and ladle an additional 1/4 cup of broth over the crispy pork.
Repeat with the other baking sheet of pork.

Serve immediately in tacos, burritos, salads, or whatever sounds good to you! Or cover and refrigerate or freeze.

Cowboy Cookies

vegetable oil cooking spray
parchment paper
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
8 oz (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 c granulated sugar
3/4 c light-brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 c old-fashioned oats
6 oz semi-sweetened chocolate, cut into 1/4 in chunks (1 cup)
3 oz (3/4 c) pecan halves
1/2 c shredded unsweetened coconut (I substituted rice crispies)

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Coat baking sheets with cooking spray, line with parchment and spry parchment.  (only need to do this once)

2.  Sift flour, baking soda, salt, and baking powder in a medium bowl.

3.  Beat butter and sugars in mixer on medium-high until pale and creamy, about 3 minutes.  Reduce speed to medium and add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Add vanilla.

4.  Reduce speed to low, and slowly add flour mixture, beating until just incorporated.  Beat in oats, chocolate, pecans and coconut until combined. Dough can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

5.  Using a 1 1/2 inch ice cream scoop or small spoon, drop dough onto baking sheets, spacing about 3 inches apart.  Bake for 11 to 13 minutes, until edges of cookies begin to brown.

6.  Transfer baking sheets to wire rack to cool for 5 minutes.  Transfer cookies to rack and let cool.  Cookies can be stored up to 3 days... if they could even make it that long!

Monday, May 13, 2013


Here are two ways to make play dough.

1.  Combine in a medium saucepan:
1/2 cup salt
1 cup water
2 tsp Cream of Tartar
2 Tbsp oil
food coloring
2. Add 1 cup flour and stir over medium heat until mixture congeals and pulls away from sides of pan.  Mixture may still be lumpy and that's ok.
3.Knead the dough on the counter until the lumps come out.
4. Store in airtight container.

All Natural Play Dough
1.  In a medium sized bowl, combine 1 cup flour and 3/8 cup salt.
2.  Pour in 1 Tbsp vegetable oil and natural dye chosen from chart below, and stir well.
3.  Knead dough on floured surface.  If clay is too soft, add more flour.
4. Store in airtight container in the refrigerator.

Brown - 3/8 cup plus 1 Tbsp hot water and 4 Tbsp cocoa powder
Fushsia - 3/8 cup hot beet juice From 15 oz can of beets
Orange - 3/8 cup hot water and 1 Tbsp paprika
Yellow - 3/8 cup hot water and 1 tsp tumeric

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Homestyle Chocolate Chip Cookies

These are vegan and verrrry yummy!

DOUBLE RECIPE:   (Single recipe… see below)

4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (see note)
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup unrefined sugar

1 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon blackstrap molasses
4-6 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (add almond extract too!)

1 cup canola oil (a little generous)

1 1/3 cup non-dairy chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C).

In a bowl, Sift in the flour, baking powder, and baking soda.
Add the sugar and salt, and stir until well combined.

In a separate bowl, combine the maple syrup with the molasses and vanilla, then stir in the oil until well combined. Add the wet mixture to the dry, along with the chocolate chips, and stir through until just well combined (do not over-mix). Place large spoonfuls of the batter on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and flatten a little.

Bake for 11 minutes, until just golden (if you bake for much longer, they will dry out). Let cool on the sheet for no more than 1 minute (again, to prevent drying), then transfer to a cooling rack.

Mini size scoop:     9-10  minutes

Note: Unbleached all-purpose flour or spelt flour produces a more classic cookie taste and texture, but you can use whole-wheat pastry flour and still get a delicious cookie. For a wheat-free version, use spelt flour, but add an extra 2-4 tablespoons of the spelt flour to the dry mix (the amount needed varies with brand of spelt flour and whether you are using a refined spelt flour versus a less processed spelt flour.)

Note: If, as you are mixing together your batter it appears quite floury and thick, simply mix together a couple of teaspoons more canola and maple syrup and incorporate it into the batter. Sometimes humidity, type of flour used, and other factors can affect the density of the batter and so a touch more liquid may be needed.

Single recipe

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (see note)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt
1⁄2 cup unrefined sugar

1⁄2 cup canola oil (a little generous)
2/3 cup pure maple syrup
1⁄2 teaspoon blackstrap molasses
2 – 3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2⁄3 cup non-dairy chocolate chips

© Copyright 2005 Dreena Burton

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Sweet Sage Cookies Recipe

Fresh herbs give flavor to these cookies, a specialty of The Inn a Jackson in Jackson, New Hampshire. Reprinted with the permission of the Mount Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce and Visitor's Bureau.

1-3/4 cups of all purpose flour
2 Tbsp. Snipped fresh sage or 2 tsp. dried sage or lemon thyme or rosemary, crushed
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter (no substitutes)
1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
3 Tbsp. Milk
1 egg white


Stir together flour, sugar and cornmeal in a medium mixing bowl. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender until mixture resembles fine crumbs and starts to cling. Stir in snipped or crushed herbs. Add milk and stir with a fork to combine. Form mixture into a ball and knead dough until smooth.

Divide the dough in half. Roll half of the dough at a time on a lightly floured surface to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut out dough using a 2 1/2-inch round or oval cookie cutter. Combine egg white and 1 Tbsp. of water in a small bowl. Brush cutouts with the mixture. If desired, place one or two small, fresh sage leaves on each cutout, and brush the leaves with egg white mixture.

Sprinkle cutouts with sugar, and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in a 375-degree oven about 7 minutes or until edges are firm and bottoms are very lightly browned. Transfer cookies to wire racks and cool. Makes about 32 cookies.

Why sage recipes?  Our neighbor has been passing along the herbs he is growing in his garden and I needed  few recipes to try.

Pork Tenderloin Scaloppine Perugina

Original Recipe Yield 8 servings

20 ounces boneless pork tenderloin, cut into slices about 3/4 inch thick
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed and drained
2 ounces very thinly sliced prosciutto, cut into 1/4-inch strips
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon flour
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
1 1/2 tablespoons grated lemon rind
1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage
4 cups hot cooked fettuccine pasta

Place each piece of pork between 2 sheets of heavy duty plastic wrap, pound each piece to 1/2 inch thickness using a meat mallet or rolling pin. Combine 1/4 cup flour and pepper in a shallow dish. Dredge pork in flour mixture and set aside. 

Heat 1 tsp oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Add capers, prosciutto, and garlic. Saute 3 minutes. Combine broth and 1 tsp flour, stirring well with a whisk. Add broth mixture, wine, rind and sage to the pan and cook 10 minutes, stirring on occasion. Pour sauce into a bowl and keep warm. Wipe pan clean with a paper towel. 

Heat 1 Tbsp oil in pan over medium high heat. Add pork to pan; cook 2 minutes on each side or until done. Add sauce to pan; cook 30 seconds or until thoroughly heated, stirring constantly. Remove pork from pan. Add pasta to pan and toss well to coat. Place pork back in pan, combine and plate. 

Note:  Thought this also might go well with roasted potatoes and a side of green beans instead of pasta.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Amish Six Layer Dinner

Every once in awhile Ryan forwards me the email he receives from Recipe Lion. After having this recipe taped up to our kitchen cabinets for week, I finally made it yesterday. I cooked it in a crock pot on low for four hours. I served it with a slice of bread and butter on the side to sop up the extra juices... it's a cross between a soup and a stew. It's a keeper!

Make an old-fashioned casserole with six layers of delicious flavor with this simple casserole recipe. This is one of the best easy casserole recipes out there. Treat friends and family to this great casserole recipe.

Cooking Time: 2 hr


2 cups raw potatoes, sliced
2 cups celery, chopped
2 cups raw hamburger
1/2 cup onions, diced
2 teaspoons salt or less
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup green pepper, diced
2 cups canned tomatoes
1 medium onion, thinly sliced fro top of casserole (optional)


Grease a casserole dish. Sprinkle each layer with salt and pepper before adding the next layer.

Place potatoes in the bottom of the casserole Add the layer of celery. Add the layer of hamburger. Add the layer of onions. Add the green pepper. Pour the tomatoes over the mixture.

Bake for 2 hours at 350 degrees F.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Country Potato Soup

I got this recipe from by Lydia Beiler on October 4, 2011: Tasty Tuesday: Country Potato Soup. It's our new favorite soup... except for Alyssa. I's easy... Hannah has already helped me make it and has asked to have it for dinner every week.

Country Potato Soup

3 c. diced, peeled potatoes
1/2- 1 c. carrots
1/2 c. onion, chopped
2 c. water
2 chicken bouillon cubes*
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. chopped chives
1 c. sour cream
2 Tbsp. flour
2 c. milk

Combine potatoes, carrots, onion, water, bouillon cubes, pepper and salt in a large saucepan. Cover and cook for about 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender but not mushy. Add 1 cup milk and heat. Mix sour cream, flour, chives and stir mixture into soup gradually. Lastly, add remaining 1 cup milk. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until thickened.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Blackened Tuna Steaks with Mango Salsa


2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 tuna steaks

1 fresh mango - peeled, pitted, and chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1/2 Spanish onion, finely chopped
1 green onion, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil

2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon garlic powder
4 tablespoons olive oil


Whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, and garlic in a bowl. Rub the tuna steaks with the mixture. Place the steaks in a sealable container and chill in refrigerator 3 hours.

Combine the mango, bell pepper, Spanish onion, green onion, cilantro, and jalapeno pepper in a bowl; stir. Add the lime juice and 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil and toss to combine. Chill in refrigerator 1 hour.
Stir together the paprika, cayenne pepper, onion powder, salt, pepper, thyme, basil, oregano, and garlic powder in a bowl. Remove the tuna steaks from the refrigerator and gently rinse with water and then dip each side of each steak in the spice mixture to coat.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Gently lay the tuna steaks into the hot oil. Cook the tuna on one side for 3 minutes; remove to a plate. Pour the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil into the skillet and let it get hot. Lay the tuna with the uncooked side down into the skillet and cook another 3 minutes; remove from heat immediately.
Spoon about 1/2 cup of the mango salsa onto each of 4 plates. Lay the tuna steaks atop the salsa and serve immediately.

***Warning. This recipe is pretty hot! Reduce the Cayenne Pepper if you can't stand the heat.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Alison's Chicken and Broccoli Casserole

1 box Stove Top/Pepperidge Farm/Trader Joe's stuffing.
2 frozen chicken breasts
1 bag broccoli, frozen
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/3 c milk

Make the stuffing in the bottom of a casserole pan. Add broccoli layer. Place boneless, skinless frozen chicken breasts over broccoli with a little space between, so plan your pan size to serving ratio accordingly. Sprinkle with a little salt, pepper, and paprika. Mix a can of cream of mushroom soup with 1/3 cup milk and pour over chicken breasts.

Bake COVERED (thawed first if frozen) at 350 for 45 minutes until chicken breasts are cooked through.

Friday, February 17, 2012

The BEST White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookie Recipe

Makes about 3 dozen cookies (somehow I got more than three!)

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoons baking soda
10 ounces white chocolate (chips or bars cut in chunks)
1 cup macadamia nuts, chopped into chunks


Heat oven to 375 F.

In large bowl, beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt with electric mixer until creamy. Add eggs, beat well. Stir together flour, and the baking soda; gradually add to butter mixture,beating until well blended. Stir in white chocolate chips and macadamia nuts.

Drop by rounded teaspoons onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until set. (Edges are golden brown and center is set.) Cool slightly, remove from cookie sheet to wire rack to cool completely

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Baked Penne with Chicken, Broccoli, and Smoked Mozzarella


*Note: See the asterisk below the recipe for make-ahead directions.

*Serves 6-8


3/4 cup bread crumbs (store-bought or make your own)

2 tablespoons butter, melted


1 bunch broccoli (about 1 ½ pounds), stalks cut off, florets trimmed into 1-inch pieces

12 ounces penne pasta

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion, minced

6 medium garlic cloves, finely minced or pressed through a garlic press

1 teaspoon dried thyme

¼ cup all-purpose flour

2 cups low-sodium chicken broth

1 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

1 ½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 3), trimmed and cut into bite-size pieces

3 ounces smoked mozzarella, shredded

8 ounce jar oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped into pieces

In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs and butter and set aside. Lightly grease a 9X13-inch baking dish and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and make sure the oven rack is placed in the middle of the oven. In a large pot, bring the water for the pasta to a boil. Stir in one tablespoon salt and the broccoli. The broccoli cooks quickly so stay close! Cook the broccoli for 1 minute, until it is bright green. Quickly remove the broccoli with a slotted spoon to a plate. Return the water to a boil and add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 1-2 minutes less than how you would eat it normally (it will cook a bit more in the oven while baking). Drain the pasta in a colander and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Leave it in the colander and set it aside.

Wipe the pot dry. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and return to medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion and cook until softened and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and thyme; cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until golden, about 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the broth and cream; bring to a simmer, whisking often. Add the chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, until cooked through, about 6-7 minutes. Stir in the sun-dried tomatoes and smoked mozzarella.

Add the cooked pasta and broccoli to the sauce; stir to combine. Transfer the pasta mixture to the prepared baking dish and sprinkle with the bread crumb topping. Bake until the casserole is bubbling and the crumbs are lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Serve immediately.

*The casserole can be prepared in advance with the following steps: after the broccoli is removed from the boiling water, plunge it into a bowl of ice water and cool completely. Assemble the casserole following the directions in the recipe. After the casserole is spread in the prepared baking pan, let it cool for 5-10 minutes before covering with plastic wrap and refrigerating for up to 8 hours. To bake, preheat the oven to 375 and bake uncovered for 30 minutes.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Gluten Free Chicken Piccata

2-4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (1½ pounds total)
½ cup blanched almond flour
½ teaspoon celtic sea salt
½ teaspoon all purpose chef's shake
5 tablespoons grapeseed oil
5 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup lemon juice
1 cup chicken stock
¼ cup brined capers
¼ cup fresh chopped parsley

1) Cut the chicken breasts in half horizontally, butterflying them open --if the pieces are large, cut them each into two pieces after you cut them in half

2) Put chicken pieces between two pieces of parchment paper and pound them with a heavy skillet until ¼ inch thick

3) Mix together flour, salt and chef's shake

4) Rinse the chicken pieces in water, then dredge thoroughly in flour mixture, until well coated

5) Heat olive oil and 2 tablespoons of grapeseed oil in a large skillet on medium high heat. Add half of the chicken pieces and brown well on each side, about 3 minutes per side

6) Transfer from skillet to a plate, add the other breasts and cook, then remove from skillet

7) Place plate of chicken breasts in the a warm oven while preparing the sauce

8) Add lemon juice, chicken stock and capers to the skillet and use a metal spatula to loosen the browned bits and incorporate them into the sauce

9) Reduce the sauce by half then whisk in the remaining 3 tablespoons of grapeseed oil

10) Plate the chicken, pour the sauce over it and sprinkle with parsley


Serves 4 to 6

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Mommy Girl's Mack n Cheese

My friend Raeanne's macaroni and cheese... a much simpler recipe and oh so good!

1 lb. elbow macaroni
1 quart milk
8 T. butter
½ c. flour
22 oz. sharp cheddar cheese (roughly 7 c. grated)
1 T. Dijon mustard
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
S&P to taste

Cook macaroni according to the box directions in salted water, set aside. Heat milk over med. Heat (don’t boil). Melt butter in a pan, add flour and cook until nutty. Pour in hot milk and take off the heat. Wisk. Add almost all the cheese (save some for the top) and stir until melted. Add the mustard, Worcestershire and S&P. Fold in the macaroni. Place into a large, buttered, glass baking dish and cover with remaining cheese. Bake at 375 for 30 min to get a nice crust on top. Enjoy!

White Bean-Tomato Risotto

I found this recipe at and adapted it a bit.

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 can (19 oz) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup arborio rice
1 can(14 oz)vegetable broth, heated
1/2 cup water or dry white wine
1 can (14.5 oz)diced tomatoes, drained
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
3 Tbsp chopped Italian parsley

In a 3 qt sauce pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook until tender. Add rice and cook while stirring for 1 minute. Add beans and water or wine and stir until liquid is absorbed. Add broth one cup at a time, adding more as liquid is absorbed. Reduce heat and simmer, covered for 20 minutes.

Add tomatoes, cheese and parsley. Remove from heat and let stand, covered for 10 minutes before serving.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue

Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue, Disneyland Park

Serves 4 to 6

1 1/2 cups Citrus Roundup BBQ Rub (recipe follows)
1 (4-pound) rack pork spareribs, trimmed of excess fat
1/2 cup water
1 cup favorite barbecue sauce

1. Sprinkle Citrus BBQ Rub on both sides of ribs, rubbing the meat to adhere. Cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 8 hours, or overnight.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place ribs in a roasting pan or on a baking sheet, and pour water into pan. Cover with foil and roast for 1 hour.

3. Remove the pan from oven and uncover. Pour off any excess water. Evenly coat top of ribs with barbecue sauce. Return pan to oven and roast for 30 minutes more.

4. Remove the pan from the oven and cover lightly with foil. Let ribs rest for 10 minutes.

5. Slice the ribs between each bone with a serrated knife. Serve immediately.

Citrus Roundup BBQ Rub
Citrus Roundup BBQ Rub Ingredients:
2 1/2 tablespoons lemon pepper
2 tablespoons seasoning salt
2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1/4 tablespoon cayenne pepper

Citrus Roundup BBQ Rub Instructions:
Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Stir to combine.

Chef Mickey says: "BBQ Rub" is a mixture of finely ground dry seasonings that add extra flavor to the ribs. Depending how much you use it can also form a nice crust on the meat.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Apple Dessert

Cream together 1/4 cup shortening and 1 cup sugar. Add 1 egg and mix. Then add 1 cup flour, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. nutmeg, 1 tsp. soda, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Fold in 1 1/2 cups diced apple* and1/2 cup chopped nuts . (* I add about 1/2 cup blueberries, too.) Bake at 350 degrees in greased square pan 35-40 min. Cut into squares and serve with whipped cream or ice cream.

Peggy Jaffe

Friday, June 3, 2011

Spinach Frittata

This is Alyssa's favorite dish! The "official" recipe is from the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook from 1989:

6 eggs
1/4 c chopped onion
1 glove garlic
1 Tbsp butter (I use olive oil)
3/4 c chopped, cooked vegetable or meat (I don't chop the spinach, I just grab it out of the bag by handfuls and wilt it)
2 Tbps grated Parmesan or Romano cheese (I use shredded Parm)

In a bowl, beat eggs and 1/8 tsp pepper. Set aside.

In a 10 inch skillet cook garlic, onion in butter (I use olive oil) until tender. Add spinach and toss until as wilted as you want it.

Pour egg mixture over vegetables. Cook over medium heat. As the mixture sets, run spatula around edge of skillet and lift egdes to allow uncooked egg to flow underneath. Continue lifting edge until mixture is nearly set. The surface will still be moist.

If you use a broiler-proof skillet, put into broiler 1 -2 minutes to cook the top. Or, remove from heat, cover and let stand for 3-4 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese, cut into wedges and serve.

Note: I don't go the broiler route and sprinkle with Parm cheese before covering. I have also used asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces, which is also yummy!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Gluten-Free Pan Fried Catfish Recipe with Brown Rice and Baby Greens

One of my favorite simple dinners is pan fried catfish. So flavorful. The texture is lovely- flaky, and tender. Here I've made a crumb style coating with three gluten-free flours. The combo of almond meal, coconut flour and brown rice flour creates a light and delicate coating that fries to a crispy golden brown.


4 (6 to 8-ounce) skinless catfish fillets
1 beaten organic free range egg
1/2 cup almond meal
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup brown rice flour
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon dried dill
1 teaspoon dried oregano or parsley
1 teaspoon dried minced garlic
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/3 cup light olive oil or vegetable oil, for frying
Lime wedges, for serving
Fresh herb salad greens, for serving
Hot cooked brown rice, seasoned with olive oil and sea salt, for serving


Line a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper, and place it in a warm oven.

Rinse the catfish fillets briefly in cool water and pat dry.

Place the fillets in a shallow baking dish, in a single layer. Pour the beaten egg mixture over the catfish, and make sure each fillet is evenly coated on both sides. Set aside.

In separate shallow dish, whisk together the almond meal, coconut flour, brown rice flour, smoked paprika, dill, oregano, garlic, and sea salt.

Working with one fillet at a time, remove it from the egg mixture and dredge it in the gluten-free flour mixture to coat both sides. Transfer the coated fillet to a clean plate. Repeat for the remaining fillets.

Heat the light olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, carefully add two fillets to the skillet, and fry until the underside is golden and crisp, roughly 4 minutes. Using a thin, flexible spatula, gently turn the fillet over and continue cooking until it is crispy golden brown on the second side, about 3 to 4 minutes more.

Carefully transfer the cooked fillets to a parchment lined baking sheet in a warm oven. Repeat the process with remaining fillets.

Serve the catfish with a crisp, fresh herb salad and hot cooked brown rice. Garnish with fresh lime wedges and snips of fresh dill.

Cook time: 8 min for the catfish

Yield: Serves 4

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Artichoke Chicken

This dish was brought to me by Kay Hughes after I had Hannah. I do not make this nearly as often as I should. I like to serve this dish with a side of rice.

6 chicken breasts
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 small onion
1 c chicken broth'
1 14 oz. can Italian peeled tomatoes
1 10 oz. can artichoke hearts
8-12 oz heavy cream
1 Tbsp chopped fresh basil (1/2 tsp dried basil)

Rinse chicken and pat dry. Season with 3/4 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper.

In a large pan heat olive oil over medium heat. Add chicken and cook 3-4 minutes on each side, until slightly browned. Drain excess oil. Add onion and chicken broth and simmer for 25 minutes or until chicken is tender.

Remove chicken from the pan. Boil pan juices until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 3-5 minutes. Add tomatoes, artichoke hearts to pan and cook for 1 minute. Add cream and basil and simmer until liquid is reduces to 2 cups, about 6-8 minutes. Season with remaining salt and pepper.

Return chicken to pan and heat together 5 minutes.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Barbecued Brussel Sprouts

Brussel sprout trimmed with an X cut in the stem.
Mix in a bowl some olive oil, balsamic & Dijon.
Whip it up and it will get a little thick and stop separating out.
Coat the sprouts then throw them on BBQ.
Once cooked, toss them in some more of dressing and throw in some goat cheese.
It will all melt together to make a creamy balsamic coating.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Charred Red Salsa Recipe from the Four Seasons in Phoenix

Best charred salsa that I have ever had.

1/4 Cup Olive Oil
3 large vine ripe tomatoes
1 yellow onion
2 jalapenos
1 bunch of cilantro
1 Chipotle pepper (canned)
2 cups V-8 juice
3 whole limes (juiced - no seeds)
1 tsp. dry oregano
1 tbsp. ground cumin
1 tbsp. onion powder
1 tbsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. dry thyme
1 tbsp. ground black pepper
Salt to taste

De-stem tomatoes and jalepenos as well as tips. Run with olive oil to coat skin. *Grill tomatoes and jalapenos until outer skin begins to blacken. Set aside to cool. Cut onion in half and discard outer skin. Lightly *grill the onion until soft, set aside to cool. When tomatoes, jalapenos and onion have been cooled, place all ingredients in blender. Lightly pulse until ingredients have been incorporated. Salt to taste.

Make 3-4 cups of salsa.

*If grill is unavailable, use a stovetop burner on low heat to attain the char method for tomatoes and jalapenos. Place onion in oven heated to 300 degrees for 15 minutes to allow to soften.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Cinnamon Friendship Bread

Do NOT use any type of metal spoon or bowl for mixing. Do NOT refrigerate. It is normal for the batter to rise, bubble and ferment. Burp Ziploc bag as needed.

Day 1: Do nothing.
Day 2: Mush the bag.
Day 3: Mush the bag.
Day 4: Mush the bag.
Day 5: Mush the bag.
Day 6: Add to the bag 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup milk. Mush the bag.
Day 7: Mush the bag.
Day 8: Mush the bag.
Day 9: Mush the bag.
Day 10: Follow the instructions below:

1. Pour entire content of the bag into a NON-METAL bowl.
2. Add 1 and 1/2 cups flour, 1 and 1/2 cups sugar and 1 and 1/2 cups milk. Mix with a wooden spoon.
3. Measure 1 cup batter into each of four 1 -gallon Ziploc bags labeled with the date. Keep a started for yourself and give the other three bags to friends, along with a copy of the recipe.
4. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
5. To the remaining batter add the following:
3 eggs
1 cup oil
2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 and 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 cups flour
1 large box instant vanilla pudding mix
1/2 tsp salt
6. Grease two large loaf pans or place cups in muffin tins. Muffins bake in 30 minutes.
7. In a small bowl mix together 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 tsp cinnamon. Dust the greased pans the mixture. Use remaining mixture to top batter once in pans.
8. Pour batter evenly into the two pans and top with remaining sugar and cinnamon mixture.
9. Bake for 1 hour. Cool the bread until it loosens evenly from the pans (about 10 minutes).
10. Serve warm or cold.

If you keep a starter for yourself, you will be baking every 10 days.