Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Squash and Chicken

2 cups pasta
8 oz cooked chicken
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup white cooking wine
3 garlic cloves
1 small onion
1 lg squash
1 small zucchini
1 Tbsp bacon
1/4 cup fat free half and half
1/2 can fire roasted tomatoes, drained

Monday, November 21, 2011

Puxa Vida Tilapia

Here's a recipe for tilapia that I found here. It sounds amazing, so will try it soon!


1 red bell pepper
1/2 onion
1 jalapeno, seeds removed
5 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 (13.5 ounce) can coconut milk
2 (15 ounce) cans fireroasted diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons honey
Juice of 1 lime
2 pounds tilapia
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
4-5 cups short-grain brown rice, cooked

3 (15 ounce) cans black beans
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup diced onions
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Finely chop the red bell pepper, onion, jalapeno, and garlic in a food processor. Drizzle the olive oil in a large saucepan and cook the chopped vegetable mixture in the oil until softened, about 4-5 minutes. Add the coconut milk, diced tomatoes, and honey to the mixture. Bring sauce to a boil, then reduce heat and allow the sauce to simmer until it thickens, about 8-10 minutes. Add lime juice to the sauce and remove from heat.

Place the tilapia in a deep baking dish. Pour the sauce over the fish, making sure it's all well coated. Bake in preheated oven for 40-45 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily when pulled with a fork. Serve over brown rice with black beans on the side. Garnish with chopped cilantro. Enjoy!

Combine all ingredients in a small slowcooker and cook on low heat for 6-8 hours.

Baked Pumpkin

This is a recipe from my friend, Jenn Harrison...haven't tried it yet, but planning on trying it out tonight!

¼ C Butter

¼ tsp Salt
2 Eggs – beaten
¼ tsp Vanilla
1 C Sugar
1 C Milk
1/3 C Flour
2 C Pumpkin
¼ tsp Baking Soda
Cinnamon to taste

1. Preheat oven to 425F.
2. Melt butter in a 9x11 dish.
3. Mix 1/3C of the sugar and cinnamon together, set aside. Beat all other ingredients until fluffy (a minute or so). Pour batter into buttered dish. Weave a knife around the top to distribute the butter (it will pool at the edges when you pour the batter in). Sprinkle with reserved cinnamon/sugar.
4. Bake 30 minutes or until set (do the “wiggle” test!!). Serve warm!!

Gingersnap Ham

This was the most tasty, amazing ham I've ever had! And the kids couldn't get enough of it! This is going down as a family tradition meal for sure! Thinking Christmas Eve!!!!

I got the idea from www.closetcooking.com, and changed it up a bit...added the soda (I've had coke on ham before, but we were out, so I tried Dr Pepper, and it was awesome!)

1 large pre-cooked spiral sliced ham
1 cup brown sugar
2 -3 Tbsp dijon mustard
1/2 cup dr pepper
2 cups gingersnap cookies, crushed

1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
2. In bow, combine brown sugar, dijon mustard and Dr Pepper. Mix completely.
3. In large baking dish (at least 1-2" tall), lay ham cut side down. Add about 1/2 a cup of water to bottom of dish. Pour mixture over ham, covering completely. Top with crushed gingersnaps, again, covering as well as you can. Some can run down into the sauce to flavor it too!
4. Bake for about 7-10 minutes per pound of ham.

Note - the gravy that forms is outstanding! Great on mashed potatoes!!!!!!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Asian Tuna

Chris has been a long time fan of tuna steak. Unfortunately, given my only experience with tuna growing up (aka tuna salad sandwiches...yuck)...I have been very hesitant to jump on board. I've had blackened tuna a few times and liked it, but never think "Hey, I want tuna!"

But, I went ahead and got some at the store tonight, and cooked up just 2 little pieces, along side our regular spicy tilapia! :) That way, if we like it, we can cook again for a meal, if we don't, n0 worries, because we have tilapia! LOL!

It was so good! I need to make this a lot more often!

The original recipe said to broil on high for only 3 minutes per side, but I prefer mine cooked a little more than that...don't want to eat fish that is sushi inside! So, I'd probably go for 5 minutes on each side next time, as I had to recook these once we started eating b/c they were too underdone, even for Chris!

But man, the flavor was awesome!

Asian Tuna
4 tuna steaks, about 1 inch thick (2 lbs. total weight)
Salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
4 sprigs fresh thyme, chopped or 1 tsp. dried
1 tsp. fresh grated or dried powdered ginger
1 sliced clove garlic
2 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp. olive oil

In a mixing bowl blend the salt, pepper, ginger, garlic, thyme, soy sauce, lemon juice and olive oil. Brush the mixture all over the tuna steaks. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand 1/2 to 1 hour until ready to broil.

Broil on rack under broiler about 4 inches from heat source, about 3 minutes per side, or grill on high (cover closed) 3 minutes per side. Leftover marinade can be heated and served over steaks.

Super Squash!

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 large garlic clove
1-2 Tbsp white cooking wine
1 small zucchini
1 medium squash
1/4 small onion
1 tsp fresh basil
1 tsp fresh parsley

1. Heat oil over medium high heat. Add garlic and onion. Cook for 1 minute. Add wine. Add zucchini, squash, basil and parsley. Toss occasionally, cooking until lightly browned.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Blueberry Milk

We finally were able to switch the kids from soy milk to regular milk (they never used to be able to drink regular). Anyway, of course they liked the vanilla soy, and don't like plain old milk. So, in an effort to get them to drink their milk, I tried this...and it was a big hit!

Blueberry Milk
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 cup water
4-5 teaspoons sugar

1. In saucepan, bring all 3 ingredients to a boil for about 5 minutes to fully soften blueberries.
2. Pour mixture through a sieve into a storage container, smashing blueberries to push out as much flavor (and vitamins!) as possible.
3. Cool in the refrigerator before serving.

To serve, pour a glass of milk and add desired amount of blueberry syrup!

Cake Batter Pancakes

I found this recipe here...and they were SO good!

I didn't have yellow cake mix (which I think would be delightful!), so today I used a Duncan Hines chocolate fudge cake mix. All 3 of my kids ate 3 pancakes and wanted more! :)
I topped with a touch of butter and a little sprinkle of powdered sugar.

And, since mine were chocolatey brown, I didn't bother adding sprinkles, but will try that next time with the yellow cake mix. These were such a big hit!

Cake Batter Pancakes
1 1/2 cups flour
2/3 cup yellow cake mix
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 Tbsp sugar (I omitted this!)
pinch of salt
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 - 2 cups milk
assorted sprinkles (optional)


1. Combine flour, cake mix, baking powder, sugar and salt in a bowl and mix. Add 1 cup of milk, egg and vanilla extract and stir until smooth. You want the batter to look like regular pancake batter; not too thin, not too thick. This will vary greatly on the brand of cake mix you use. Start with 1 cup of milk and add more if needed. I suggest a small taste test as well to see if the pancakes are flavored enough.

2. Preheat a skillet on medium heat (I use an electric grilled and turn it to 250 degrees). Fold desired amount of sprinkles into batter. Pour batter in 1/4 cup measurements onto skillet and let cook until bubbles form on top, about 2-3 minutes. Flip and cook for 1 minute more. Serve with vanilla glaze.


1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 Tbsp milk
assorted sprinkles

1. Mix milk, extract and powdered sugar until glaze forms. You may need to add a little more sugar or water/milk to reach desired consistency. Mix into glaze and drizzle on pancakes.

Friday, September 16, 2011

swiss chicken casserole

from stacey wallace

Sssooo easy, but takes 50 min to cook. You need a pyrex dish. Spray it w/ Pam. Lay 1 lb chix breasts in pan. I cut mine in cubes. Top with Swiss cheese slices -about 6-8 slices (I sometimes use provolone). Mix 1/4 cup white wine w/ 1 can of cream of chix soup. (sometimes I use 1/4 c of milk or chix broth depending on what i have. Also cream of mushroom is a good alternative.) pour mixture over cheese slices. Top w/ one box of herb stuffing mix (or 2 cups). Cut up 1/4 cup butter pats and lay on stuffing.
Bake at 350 for 45-50 min.
You can make the day before and have it ready to bake. Pretty sure you can freeze it too but I've never done that.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

15 Minute Pepperoni Rolls

My husband is from West Virginia, where "pepperoni rolls" are actually one of the major food groups! I am from Maryland, just an hour away from where he grew up and I had never ever heard of them!

But, he got me addicted! :) There is just something so good about pepperoni wrapped in bread and baked into a yummy surprise treat!

But I never have time to make these...it involves making bread dough...and that is one thing that I WILL do, but I hate it, so I try to avoid when possible! :)

Enter Pillsbury Crescent Rolls...ready to bake, in the refrigerator section of the grocery store! I had never thought to use these until I saw it on the internet! And so, I of course grabbed a tube of dough today and made these for lunch, and served them with a side of pizza sauce...what a HUGE hit! The kids loved them! And begged to have them for dinner too!

I hate that there are so many preservatives, fat, etc in this dough, but at least they have a reduced fat version now (which I used)...will probably break down and actually make from scratch soon, but for a quick, no fuss lunch, these are perfect!

1 can crescent roll dough
40 pepperoni slices
pizza sauce, if desired

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Unroll dough. Pull apart rolls. In each roll, lay out 5 pepperoni slices, and roll up. Bake for approximately 11 minutes, or until lightly golden brown.
3. Allow to cool slightly, serve with warm pizza sauce!

Change It Up!

I am always buying bread. PLAIN bread. And it's so boring!

So I started recently, trying to buy a different kind of bread every time I go shopping, just to give us variety!

I found these pumpernickel bagels (which we all LOVED) and these pretzel rolls at Giant's bakery. I will be buying both of these so much! What a great, simple way to change up our regular eats!

Something so simple can really make a boring sandwich seem gourmet!

Sandwich Sushi

The bread was a bit dry today, so they didn't turn out like usual...so I'll have to add a new picture soon...but the kids love this! :)

Simply make your kids their favorite sandwich, only instead of using 2 pieces of bread and stacking, use one piece of bread. Lay it flat and roll flat with a rolling pin. Remove crust if desired. Put meat and cheese on top and then roll up like a jelly roll. Cut into bite-sized pieces!

Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies

Oh. My. Goodness! These were SO good!

To make these, double the Nestle Tollhouse Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe, but instead of butter I used regular crisco (and I added a bit of butter flavoring). I also added some semi-sweet chocolate chips and some dark chocolate/mint chips mix! The other trick was using a medium sized scoop (not a small one, like I usually use!). It gave them enough dough to be nice, thick cookies that didn't fall when baked! PERFECT!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

My Yummy Salsa

My Yummy Salsa

2 Red Tomatoes, diced
2 Yellow Tomatoes, diced
1 small red onion, diced
1 jalapeno, diced
1 small can crushed pineapple, drained
1 can black beans
2-3 cloves garlic, minced

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Red Chili Enchilada Meat Loaf

1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup salsa
2 Tablespoons chili powder
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pound ground beef
1 8.5oz package corn muffin mix
2 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, sliced
salsa (optional)
tortilla strips, fried (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl combine egg, onion, sasla, chili powder, garlic, and salt; add meat; mix well. Shape into a ball. Place mixture in a 9-inch pie plate; push to flatted all the way out to the sides of the dish.
2. Prepare corn muffin mix according to package directions. Spread corn muffin batter over meat in pie plate. Bake 50 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into side of meat loaf registers 160 degrees. Remove from oven. Halve cheese slices and arrange on top of corn muffin mixture. Cover loosely; let stand 10 minutes before serving. If desired, serve with additional salsa and fried corn tortilla strips.

Quick Chicken Tortilla Bake

2 cans cream of chicken soup
10 oz can diced tomatoes with green chiles, undrained
12 6-inch corn tortillas, cut into thin strips
3 cups cubed cooked chicken
1 cup shredded monterey jack and/or cheddar cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine soup and undrained tomatoes; set aside. Sprinkle one-third of the tortilla strips over the bottom of an ungreased 3-quart rectangular baking dish. Layer half of the chicken over the tortilla strips; spoon half of the soup mixture evenly over top. Repeat layers. Sprinkle with remaining tortilla strips.
2. Bake, covered, about 40 minutes or until bubbly around edges and center is hot. Uncover; sprinkle with cheese. Bake about 5 minutes more or until cheese is melted.

Caramel Apple Cream of Wheat

Mexican Pork

This was VERY GOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!! TONS of flavor packed in!

2 teaspoons ground chile pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
2 Tablespoons orange juice
1 Tablespoon adobo sauce (from canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce)
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon lime juice
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
3 pound pork shoulder (bone in or boneless)

1. In a small bowl; combine chile pepper, salt, oregano, coriander, cumin, black pepper, cinnamon, and allspice. Stir in orange juice, adobo sauce, garlic, lime juice, and oil until a paste forms.
2. Trim fat from roast. Using a small knife, make small slits all over the roast. Rub paste all over meat. If possible, place in a large ziploc bag and let marinate in the refrigerator for 4 to 24 hours. If not, place in large baking dish. Pour about 1/2 cup water into the dish. Cover with foil, and cook at 350 degrees for approximately 4 hours, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in center of meat should register at least 170 degrees.

We made this into tacos with black beans, rice, tomatoes, cheese, and sour cream...SO GOOD!!!!

Triple Decker Taco Bake

15 oz canned beans (I used refried black beans)
1 cup salsa
12 - 6-inch corn tortillas
3/4 cup frozen corn
1/2 cup shredded monterey jack or cheddar cheese
avocado, as desired
1 Tablespoon cilantro, (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Lightly coat a 9-inch pie plate with cooking spray; set aside.
2. Spoon 1/4 cup salsa into bottom of prepared pie plate. Layer ingredients in the following order: three of the tortillas, half of the beans, 3 more tortillas, all of the corn, 1/4 cup of cheese, 1/4 cup salsa, another three tortillas, the remaining beans, the remaining tortillas, and the remaining 1/2 cup salsa.
3. Cover with foil; bake about 12 minutes or until heated through. Remove foil. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup cheese.
4. Bake, uncovered, about 3 minutes more or until cheese melts. Top with avocado, and cilantro (if desired).

Huevos Rancheros

We had this in a restaurant in Guatemala (at the Men's Bible study)...it was so good!
The kids needed to be talked into this a lot, but Belle and Derek ended up eating every bite! Julie ate about half of it, but she's still having issues with egg allergies (although the doctor insists she is no longer allergic...she has a rash and eczema today) :(

3 Tablespoons olive oil
5 6-inch corn tortillas
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, drained
1 or 2 chile peppers from can of chipotle chile peppers in adobo sauce
2 Tablespoons snipped cilantro
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
8 eggs
1 Tablespoon water
1/2 cup shredded monterey jack cheese or queso fresco

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a large skillet, heat 2 Tablespoons of the oil over medium0high heat. Dip tortillas, one at a time, into oil just until hot. Drain on papertowels (do not stack), reserving oil in skillet. Keep four of the tortillas warm on a baking sheet in oven. Set aside remaining tortilla.
2. For salsa, add onion and garlic to the skillet; cook over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes or until tender. Stir in tomatoes, chile peppers, cilantro, and cumin. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Transfer mixture to a blender or food processor. Tear reserved tortilla into pieces; add to blender. Cover; blend or process until mixture forms a coarse puree. Keep warm.
3. In the same skillet, heat the remaining 1 Tablespoon oil over medium heat. Carefully break eggs into skillet. When whites are set and edges turn white, add the water. Cover skillet and cook eggs to desired doneness (3 to 4 minutes for soft-set yolks, or 4-5 minutes for firm-set yolks).
4. To serve, place a warm tortilla on each of four serving plates. Top each with two fried eggs. Spoon warm salsa over eggs; sprinkle with cheese. If desired, garnish with green onions.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Zucchini and Corn Tortitas

These were so good! I made them for lunch yesterday and served with a little sour cream and salsa mixed together!

OH, and I didn't have any zucchini's from the garden yesterday, so I made with yellow squash...so good!

And I bet these would be great with jalapenos too!

1 large zucchini (or squash)
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups Monterey Jack cheese
2/3 cup flour
1/3 cup chopped green onions
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup corn
1/4 - 1/2 cup canola oil

1. Coarsely shred zucchini (you should have about 1 cup shredded zucchini). Drain on several layers of paper towels, patting dry.
2. In a large bowl, stir together eggs, cheese, flour, green onions, cumin, oregano, and salt. Stir in zucchini and corn.
3. In a large skillet, put enough oil to cover bottom. Heat over medium-high heat. Take large spoonfuls of batter and make it into a hamburger shape. Carefully drop into hot oil; cook for 4 minutes or until golden brown, turning once. Drain on paper towels. Repeat with remaining zucchini mixture, adding oil as needed.

Caldo de Pollo (Chicken Soup)

It's Mexican Week at our house! :) We're eating only meals that they eat in Hispanic cultures for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! Trying to get the kids to not only eat less sugar (i.e. - American breakfasts!), but also to expand their food preferences and see that the rest of the world is a lot different from us!

So, on today's lunch menu? Caldo de Pollo (Chicken Soup...or I believe "Soup of Chicken")

It's still cooking, but it's AWESOME!

I actually cooked chicken tacos last night, so I cooked up a rotisserie chicken in the crock pot, changing up the spices by only using garlic powder, garlic salt, and cumin, and then made all the chicken into the chicken lime taco recipe...and am using that chicken in the soup today!

1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 large tomatoes, peeled (if desired), and chopped
2 32-oz boxes low sodium chicken broth
1 pound cooked chicken, pulled apart
15 oz canned beans, drained
(recipe called for garbanzo, but I used Great Northern...would try black too)
1 Tbsp lime juice
1 pepper from can of chipotle chile peppers in adobo sauce, finely chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1 medium avocado, chopped (I didn't have any today)
8 medium radishes, thinly sliced (optional)
1/2 cup shredded Cotija cheese or anejo enchilado cheese (I used monterey jack)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro (optional)
6 corn tortillas (optional)

1. In large soup pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cook for about 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in tomatoes; cook for 5 minutes more or until tomatoes are soft and mixture begins to thicken, stirring constantly. Add broth; bring to boiling.
2. Add chicken. Return to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, about 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through (if using raw chicken breasts). If needed, remove chicken from soup, wait til it cools enough to handle, and remove bones and pull apart.
3. Add shredded chicken back into soup. Add beans, lime juice, chile pepper, cumin, and salt to soup. Heat through.
4. If desired, cut corn tortillas into strips. Heat in 400 degree oven until toasted.
4. Top each serving with avocado, radishes (if desired), cheese, and cilantro (if desired). Add toasted tortilla strips if desired.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Mexican Kiss Cocktail

Spicy Shrimp & Scallop Tacos

We made these to celebrate our 10 year anniversary and they were AWESOME

1 pound shrimp
1 pound scallops

guatemalan style black beans
cheddar cheese, shredded
sour cream mixed with little lime juice

Guatemalan style black beans

I know, I know...these are not from scratch...I plan to do that eventually, but life's too crazy right now :)

1 can refried black beans
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 - 2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 Tbsp lime juice

1. In small skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat. When hot, add garlic, and saute until just starts to brown. Add beans. Mix through until well blended and hot. Add cumin and lime juice. Stir. Serve as side dish or as part of a taco/buritto

Homemade Corn Tortillas

I FINALLY broke down and made homemade corn tortillas last night, to celebrate our 10 year anniversary! They were SO easy and very yummy! Just like the ones we eat in Guatemala! :)

2 cups masa harina (make sure it only has corn and lime - the lime is important!)
1 1/4 cup water

1. Mix together masa harina and water until dough starts to form. I ended up having to add a lot more water than this...not sure why...but I just kept adding water until the dough came together.
2. Pull dough together into disk/ball shape. Let dough sit for 15 minutes.
3. For each tortilla, pull off handful of dough, roll between two pieces of wax paper, and heat on skillet over high heat for about 30 seconds to 1 minute for each side, until it starts to lightly brown.

Taco Salad

This was my own little creation...and we love it so much we've had it twice in the last week! :)
Super quick and easy and really tasty!

1 pound ground beef
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 small onion, diced
1 packet taco seasoning
15 oz can diced tomatoes (no salt)
15 oz can black beans, rinsed
bagged salad (or make your own!)
1 avocado, diced
jalapeno flavored tortilla chips
cheddar cheese, shredded
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped
Ken's ranch dressing

1. In large skillet, brown ground beef, garlic, and onion. Pour off fat. Add taco seasoning, tomatoes (with juices), and black beans. Heat through.
2. To serve, put salad on each plate. Top with beef mixture, avocado, crushed tortilla chips, cheddar cheese, jalapeno pepper, and ranch dressing.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Chili Nachos

1 pound ground beef
1 small onion, diced
1 large can chili beans
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
2 cloves garlic
1 jar cheeze whiz
1 bag tortilla chips
1 jalapeno pepper, diced (optional)
sour cream (optional)
salsa (optional)

1. In large skillet, brown ground beef and onion over medium high heat. Drain fat. Add chili beans, tomatoes, and garlic. Cook on low heat for about 20 minute until warmed through and flavors come together.
2. Heat cheese whiz in microwave.
3. Serve tortilla chips with chili mixture poured over top, and top with cheese. Sprinkle jalapeno peppers on top, if desired. Serve with sour cream and/or salsa if desired.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Horchata - Guatemalan

This was a drink we got to have in Guatemala, and it was SO good that I had to find a recipe for it! It turned out great! Super easy, and the kids loved it! They were all unsure of it when I first offered it to them, but they all asked for more! :) I'm not sure if it tastes EXACTLY the same as what we had, but it's very good! I can't remember how the other one tasted...other than amazingly good!
I got this one from Better Homes and Gardens Special Issue called Ultimate Mexican...funny that I had this recipe for a year or so! LOL!

1/2 cup long grain white rice
1 1/4 cups warm water
1 cup blanched almonds or raw cashews (I left this out b/c of nut allergies)
3 inches stick cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon finely shredded lime peel
4 cups water
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
ground cinnamon, optional

1. Place uncooked rice in a blender; cover and blend until powdery (some of the rice will look finely chopped). In a medium bowl combine blended rice, the 1 1/4 cups warm water, almonds, stick cinnamon, and lime peel. Cover and let stand at room temperature over night.
2. Transfer mixture to a blender. Add 2 cups of the 4 cups of water. Cover and blend until mixture is smooth.
3. Line a fine-mesh strainer with 2 layers of 100 percent cotton cheesecloth. Pour rice mixture through cheesecloth. When liquid has passed through, gather up the cheesecloth and squeeze remaining liquid into the bowl. Discard solids.
4. Transfer strained liquid to a pitcher. Stir in remaining 2 cups water, sugar, and vanilla. Serve immediately over ice. If desired, garnish with extra ground cinnamon (I added whipped cream). To serve warm, omit serving over ice and transfer to medium saucepan; cook over medium heat until heated through.

Can make and store in fridge up to 3 days before serving.

Makes 4 servings.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Super Healthy Spinach!

This was sooooo good!
I decided to eat some spinach with my lunch today, and wanted to make it jam-packed with nutrients and things that I'm trying to add to my diet with this whole Fat Flush Diet thing...
It was the best spinach I've ever eaten! :) So cool when ingredients come together like that!

1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil (with Omega 3 added)
2-3 Tablespoons LOW SODIUM chicken broth
3 fresh garlic cloves, sliced
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
3/4 bag fresh spinach

1. In large skillet, heat oil and chicken broth over high heat. Add garlic and cook until boiling. Add apple cider vinegar and lemon juice. Let cook over medium heat for a few minutes to let the flavors come together. Add spinach and continue cooking until all the spinach is wilted.

NO SALT or PEPPER needed! :)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Spicy Chicken Veggie Soup

This is my own creation...trying to stick with the Fat Flush Diet for two weeks, as best as I can...and now after this soup I think I might be able to do it! LOL! :)

You are supposed to eat apple cider vinegar, flaxseed oil and ground flaxseeds...the seeds are barely tolerable in a drink...and I mean BARELY! And the oil is just gross! BUT, to my bowl, I added the 2 tsp of apple cider vinegar that I am supposed to have daily, and it made it really tangy and awesome! I added about 1 Tbsp of flax seed oil and about 1 teaspoon of flaxseeds, and you couldn't even tell! :)

It's really good!

3 pieces chicken with bone - I did two breasts and one thigh
sprinkle of garlic salt
12 cups or so of water
2-3 cups lowest sodium/sugar tomato juice you can find
1 large can petite diced tomatoes
1 large can NO sodium diced tomatoes
5 cloves garlic
1 small onion, diced
1 large jalapeno, seeded and diced
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil with omega 3 added
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1 large squash, diced
2 large bell peppers, any color
4 small carrots
1 bag baby spinach
salt, to taste

1. In large soup pot, bring water and chicken to a rapid boil. Add sprinkle of garlic salt. Turn heat down to medium-low and cook for about 30 minutes.
2. In skillet, heat olive oil. Add garlic, onions, and jalapeno. Cook until slightly browned. Add cayenne.
3. Add garlic mixture to soup pot. Add carrots. Cook for about 15 more minutes.
4. Remove chicken (if cooked completely). Pull chicken meat apart, removing any and all bones and skin. Add meat back to pot.
5. Add squash and peppers to pot and cook for about 10 more minutes. Add spinach and cook until it welts.
6. Add a tiny bit of salt to taste in each serving bowl.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Kickin' Eggs

I read through a book this morning about the 50 best things to eat when trying to lose weight...it's part of the Fat Flush Dieting program.

Anyway, it had a lot of really useful information that I'm going to try to incorporate into our meals. I always want to eat/cook healthier but never know exactly what to use. (Although, I'm pretty sure that our fondue pot full of hot melted cheese won't work for this diet! LOL!)

In the book, it talked about how cayenne pepper and a few other seasonings are really good to add to foods because it raises your core body temp and your metabolism, causing you to burn fat quicker than without it! COOL, huh?! Just sprinkle some cayenne on top of your food and now you're burning fat like 20% faster!

And, it mentioned something about putting cayenne or cumin on eggs...so I thought I'd give it a try...so I used that and my own veggie ideas, and this is what I came up with...and Chris and I both LOVED it! Even the kids went from screaming at me when I told them I wanted them to just taste it (love the drama of ages 7, 4, and 3!), to telling me that it was actually pretty good!

We LOVE hot stuff, so it was a no-brainer for me...but if you don't love heat, just sprinkle a tiny bit. It adds a wonderful smoky flavor, brings out the flavors of the veggies and meat, and makes the need for salt nearly vanish completely! It was so awesome!

This is enough for lunch for one...just multiply ingredients for more people.

Kickin' Eggs

drizzle of olive oil
1/8 cup onion, diced
handful frozen spinach
1/4 red bell pepper, diced
1 very small tomato, diced
2-3 slices very thinly sliced deli ham (mostly fat free), diced
2 eggs
tiny sprinkle of salt
pepper to taste
sprinkle of cayenne, to taste

1. In skillet, heat olive oil, onion, and spinach over medium high heat, stirring occasionally until spinach has thawed completely. Add bell pepper, tomato, and cook for a minute or two. Add ham, and stir until well blended.
2. In small bowl, whisk eggs. Add to veggies. Stir constantly until fully cooked.
3. Remove from skillet onto serving plate. Sprinkle with a very small amount of salt (with the ham and cayenne, it doesn't need hardly any!), pepper, and then as much cayenne as you can tolerate.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Bacon, Egg, and Toast Cups

I haven't made these myself yet, but Jodie Zorbaugh made them for our worship team and they were SO good! One of the best breakfast dishes I think I've ever had! I can't wait to make them! So thankful my kids will be able to eat them now!!!!

The original recipe came from here

12 slices of bacon
6 slices of bread
Shredded cheese
6 eggs
green onions, chopped (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 400° F. Grease 6 paper muffin cups for a muffin pan with cooking spray. In a frying pan, cook bacon about 3-5 minutes, until partially cooked but not completely crispy. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Cut out rounds of bread (I used a 3.5-inch round cookie cutter, but a drinking glass would be fine.)
2. Press the bread rounds into the greased muffin wells. Curl 2 pieces of bacon around the periphery of each piece of bread, positioning it between the bread and the muffin tin to help keep it in position. Sprinkle a small amount of shredded cheese in the center of each piece of bread.
3. One at a time, crack an egg and drop it over a piece of bread, being careful not to break the yolks. Once all the bread pieces have been topped with eggs, sprinkle with green onions and bake until eggs are cooked through to your liking (about 6-10 minutes) and bacon is crispy.
4. Run a knife around the edge of each muffin well and pop the egg cups out. Serve immediately.

Grilled Pizza Sandwiches

Want a quick and super tasty lunch or dinner idea for the kids? Give these a whirl! Our kids absolutely LOVE these sandwiches and they are so easy!

Ingredients (per sandwich):
2 slices sandwich bread
1 teaspoon butter
2 or 3 slices salami (thinly sliced)
small handful shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup pizza or spaghetti sauce

1. Spread butter on one side of each of the two pieces of bread.
2. Assemble sandwich on hot griddle. Place one piece bread, butter side down, onto griddle. Add salami and cheese, and top with second slice of bread, butter side up. Cook until bottom bread is golden brown. Flip sandwich over and cook until bottom is golden brown again.
3. Heat pizza sauce in microwave until warm.
4. Serve sandwich with sauce to dip!

Rice Cooker Mexican Rice

This was such a quick and simple recipe with lots of great flavor! Will definitely be another keeper!

This goes great with the Chipotle Lime Fish Tacos!


rice (I used jasmine rice)
2 1/4
chicken broth

.5 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1 Tablespoon butter
1/2 cup onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 ounces (1/2 small can) diced green chilies (use other half for these black beans!)
dash pepper
dash cayenne pepper

1. Combine all ingredients in rice cooker.
2. Cook according to rice cooker instructions.
3. Stir and let sit for a few minutes before eating to thicken up.

Quick and Tasty Black Beans

These are super quick and simple, and are packed with lots of tasty goodness! A perfect side dish to the Chipotle Lime Fish Tacos!

tablespoon olive oil

1/2 onion,
chopped garlic cloves
(8 ounce)
cans black beans, rinsed and drained
jarred chunky salsa
1/2 teaspoon cumin
taco seasoning
1/2 small can diced green chilies (use other half for mexican rice!)

1. Heat oil in small pan. Add onions and garlic and saute for few minutes until onions are soft.
2. Add rest of ingredients and cook until heated through.

Chipotle Lime Fish Tacos

I've been saying "ew, gross!" about fish tacos for YEARS! Never willing to try them. But lately I've really, REALLY started loving spicy tilapia dishes. So, when I saw this recipe I knew I'd have to try it. I finally got around to doing it last night for our first night of summer dinner themes...Mexican Mondays. And it was a GIGANTIC success! Not only did I love them, but the kids did too! They each at THREE tacos! This will become a new regular part of our diet here!!!

Oh, and we did try with flour tortillas too. I figured we could have some corn and some flour so that we weren't having as many corn (with oil)...but TOTALLY worth the extra calories to do all corn tortillas! They were fantastic!

I made these tacos with these black beans and this mexican rice. Great sides for the fish tacos!
1 pound white fish such as tilapia, cod, etc. 2 tablespoons oil 1 lime, juice 1 tablespoon chipotle chili powder 1 teaspoon cumin, toasted and ground salt and pepper to taste 12 (4 inch) corn tortillas
Optional toppings: sour cream, lettuce, tomatoes, salsa, cheddar cheese, etc.

  1. Mix together chili powder and cumin in small bowl. Preheat grill until it is hot. Place foil on grill, and drizzle with olive oil (so fish does not stick to it!). Place fish filets on hot foil. Drizzle with olive oil and lime juice. Sprinkle half of the seasoning mixture onto filets. Grill the fish over medium-high heat until cooked, about 4-6 minutes per side. When you flip the fish over, sprinkle with the rest of the seasoning mixture. The fish will be cooked when it flakes easily and it is no longer translucent.
  2. Heat about 1/2 cup canola oil in small skillet over medium-high heat. Place one corn tortilla in skillet. Cook for approximately 10-12 seconds. Flip tortilla over and immediately fold in half. Cook for another 10-12 seconds, flip, and cook another 10-12 seconds. You want them firm but not hard. Remove from skillet, allowing extra oil to drip off. Lay out upside down on paper towels, spreading open a little (so easier to fill later). Sprinkle with dash of salt. Repeat with remaining tortillas.
  3. Flake the fish and serve in tortillas garnished with your favorite toppings.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Homemade Chinese Dumplings

I got to spend the afternoon with my neighbor Shea, who is from Taiwan...and she taught me how to make homemade Chinese dumplings...like the REAL deal! :) They were so easy and fun to make, and I can't wait til the kids are old enough to sit around the kitchen making dumplings with me! :) OH, and they are amazingly good!!!!!


4 cups flour
1 1/4 - 1 1/2 cups ICE COLD water

2 cups bok choi
1 teaspoon salt
1 pound lean ground pork
1/2 pound shrimp, peeled, deveined and finely chopped (optional)
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
2 Tablespoons cooking wine (preferably rice cooking wine)
2 Tablespoons green onions, chopped
1 Tablespoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, shredded or chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced (optional)
1/2 teaspoon white pepper

3 Tablespoons canola oil
1 1/2 cups water
1 Tablespoon flour
1 Tablespoon cornstarch

Dipping Sauce:
1/4 cup soy sauce
2-3 Tablespoons sweet chili sauce

1. In large mixer bowl, combine flour and water to make dumpling dough. Knead dough (by hand or with dough hook in mixer) until it forms a nice dough. Cover dough with plastic wrap and let sit for about 20-30 minutes. While waiting, prepare filling.
1. Sprinkle salt over shredded cabbage and let stand for about 5 minutes. Squeeze out as much liquid as possible. (this softens the cabbage!)
2. If using shrimp, squeeze out any extra liquid.
3. In small saute pan, heat ginger, garlic, and green onions in sesame oil for just a few minutes to combine the flavors.
4. In large bowl, combine pork, shrimp (if desired), cabbage, ginger/green onion/garlic mixture, soy sauce, white pepper, and rice cooking wine. Using hands, mix all ingredients until well combined.
5. Pull off about half of the dumpling dough. Roll out dough until thin like cookie dough (use flour on your rolling surface to keep from sticking!). Cut out large circles from dough (about 3-4 inch circles).
6. Pick up one cut dumpling and put a teaspoon of filling inside. Using both hands, seal the two sides in the center, then make one or two seams on either side and finish the end. (I will post pics of this at some point!!!). Really you just need to seal the edges. You can even do that by just folding over one side and just pushing together. OR, you can seal it just in the center and leave the ends open. There is great freedom here...just make them however you want! :)
7. After filling and sealing the dumpling, place on a floured cookie sheet. Continue making dumplings until you have finished using up the first half of the dough.
8. When you finish making half of the dumplings, you can start cooking them. First you are going to fry/saute lightly, then steam. In a large skillet heat about 1-2 Tablspoons of canola oil over high heat. It does NOT need to cover the bottom of the pan! Add as many dumplings as you can fit into the pan. Cover with lid and cook for about 3-5 minutes, or until bottoms of dumplings are just starting to get crispy. Meanwhile, combine water, flour and cornstarch, whisk together to combine.

9. After they start to get crispy on the bottom, open lid and add about 1/3 of the water/cornstarch/flour mixture. Add enough of the water mixture to cover the bottom 1/8 - 1/4 inch of the dumplings. Cover and turn temperature down to medium-low. Continue cooking for about 10-15 minutes, until all the water has just evaporated and bottom of dumplings are just crisp. When it's done you should see the cornstarch and flour as a crispy coating on the bottom of the pan and dumplings.

10. Repeat dumpling process with other half of the dough.
11. Whisk together soy sauce and sweet chili sauce for dipping sauce.

**Note: If you don't add flour and cornstarch to the water when steaming, the dumplings will not crisp up and will be soggy. Will still taste GREAT, but won't have a nice firm texture.

**Note: You can use any veggies you want in this...if you don't like bok choi, you can use any cabbage or spinach.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Cherry Almond Cupcakes

Thai Drunken Noodle - Attempt 1

This is our absolute favorite meal we eat out! And it seems that no matter where we've eaten it, it is always amazing! Although, just like Spaghetti with sauce, every restaurant and cook has their own version of this dish. So, we're working on trying to make it taste exactly like the dish they serve at our new favorite restaurant, the Blue Koi in Hanover!

I was a bit intimidated (not sure why), but I thought it was going to be difficult to make...I was so wrong! SUPER quick and easy!

One note though, definitely chop all the peppers and onions, and cut up the chicken FIRST, and set aside. Also, if you make the sauce up at the very beginning, it makes the whole dish come together very quickly.

Although it's called "Drunken" Noodle, there is no alcohol in this dish. It got it's name because in Thailand after a late night of drinking, men would go to the street vendors and order this spicy filling dish before going home to get sober...

Thai Drunken Noodle - Attempt 1

2-3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
1 shallot, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 egg, whisked
generous sprinkling of white pepper
14 oz Thai rice noodles (I used ones in a packet that were NOT dry, so no soaking required - I
bought these at Giant Hanover/Martins' Maryland)

2 Tablespoons Oyster sauce
1 Tablespoon white rice vinegar
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon coconut palm sugar (I bought at Wegman's)
1 Tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoon red chili paste (I bought at Wegman's)

Large Handful of thai basil (very different flavor, but could use regular sweet basil)
1 jalapeno, diced into very tiny pieces
1-4 Tablespoons Chili Oil

1. In small skillet, scramble egg. Chop into tiny pieces.
2. In small bowl, whisk together sauce ingredients; set aside.
3. Heat wok til hot, add vegetable oil and swirl around pan.
4. Add shallots and garlic, cook over medium-high heat for about a minute, then add chicken and brown chicken. Add onions, red bell pepper, and scrambled egg. Mix thoroughly over the heat. Add noodles and sauce that you made in step 2. Continue mixing until noodles break apart.
5. Add jalapeno and thai basil at the very end, allowing to get warm, but not cook. The thai basil will lose a lot of it's flavor if cooked through. And you want that flavor to come through!!!
6. If you want some additional heat, add chili oil til it's your liking.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Pretzel Dogs, take 1

So Belle's gotten obsessed with the show Chopped on Food Network. She is now insisting on us doing this same idea, where the kids pick out random ingredients and we put them together to make something...it's actually fun!

So tonight the kids picked out:
hot dogs
pretzel dough (we made pretzels the night before)

So, Chris rolled out the pretzel dough, cut it into rectangles, added a hot dog and some cheese in each square, rolled up, and cooked at about 375 degrees for about 15 minutes, or until fully cooked. Served with guacamole and ketchup. The kids LOVED it! Oh, and he sprinkled it with some type of seasoning...don't know what it was, Montreal Steak seasoning maybe?

We ordered some of these at the Pennsylvania Dutch Market recently, and not only do they do the hot dogs with cheese, but they also do ones that have mozzarella cheese and pepperoni inside the pretzel dough, and they serve it with pizza sauce! We'll have to try those soon!

Mom's Pork Chops

These were such a staple during my whole childhood! When my mom went back to work when I was in the 6th grade, this was one of the meals that I learned to cook so I could fix dinner before she got home! They are so good, and such a comfort food for me!

Pork Chops (1 for each person)
1 cup flour
salt and pepper
2 Tablespoons Olive oil
1/2 cup cold water
3 Tablespoons flour

1. Heat olive oil in skillet over medium high heat. Mix salt and pepper with flour, and completely coat each pork chop with flour mixture. Place in hot oil and brown on each side for about 2 minutes or until lightly browned.
3. Add enough water to fully cover pork chops. Simmer on low heat, covered, for about 45 minutes, making sure water does NOT boil away! If it does evaporate, add more water.
4. Gravy: Remove chops when fully cooked through. In small bowl, whisk flour and cold water together. Add to hot skillet with the water that the pork chops cooked in. Whisk until fully combined. Turn up heat to medium high, and heat until a light boil. Continue whisking and lightly boiling for about one minute, or until thickened.
5. Serve pork with gravy. Also we always serve this with rice and sauerkraut, also with gravy :)

Asiago Bagels

This was my first ever attempt at bagels, and they were so awesome, and so easy! Will definitely be making these regularly! So long Panera Bread bagels! :)

Italian Cream Soda

We were in Virginia somewhere, and went to a Johnny Carino's when I fell in LOVE with Italian Cream Sodas! I had to ask the waiter how to make them! :)

SO EASY! And isn't it pretty?!

Flavored Syrup (raspberry, strawberry, cherry, etc)
half and half

1. Fill cup up with desired amount of ice.
2. Fill glass half full with sprite. Add shot or so of flavored syrup and shot or so of half and half. Fill glass the rest of the way with sprite.

Chocolate Peanutbutter Cupcakes (Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes)


1/2 cup butter
3 eggs
2 1/2 cups flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup milk
4 ounces milk chocolate, melted
1 recipe of Peanut Butter Frosting
1 recipe of Chocolate Peanut Butter Frosting
shaved milk chocolate and/or bite-size chocolate covered peanut butter cups, halved

1. Allow butter and eggs to sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes. Line 30 muffin cups with paper liners. In medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt.
2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl beat butter with electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add peanut butter; beat until combined. Gradually add brown sugar and sugar, beating on medium speed until combined. Scrape side of bowl; beat about 2 minutes more or until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Alternately add flour mixture and milk to butter mixture, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined.
3. Place half of the batter into a separate mixing bowl; add melted chocolate. Beat with electric mixer on low speed just until combined.
4. Fill prepared muffin cups by alternating spoonfuls of peanut butter batter and chocolate batter, filling each cup about 2/3 full. (They WILL puff up a lot at end of cooking!)
5. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in muffin cups on wire racks for 5 minutes. Remove cupcakes from muffin cups. Cool completely on wire racks.
6. Fit a pastry bag with a round or star tip. Spoon Peanut Butter Frosting along one side of the bag; spoon Chocolate Peanut Butter Frosting along other side of the bag (frostings will be side by side in the bag). Pipe frostings in swirls onto cupcakes. Top with shaved chocolate and/or peanut butter cup halves.

Peanut Butter Frosting:
8 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
6 cups powdered sugar

1. Allow cream cheese to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. In a large mixing bowl beat cream cheese, peanut butter, and vanilla with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in powdered sugar. Add milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, until frosting reaches piping consistency. Divide frosting into two portions (if making Chocolate Peanut Butter Frosting)

Chocolate Peanut Butter Frosting
1/2 batch of Peanut Butter Frosting
4 ounces milk chocolate, melted and cooled
extra powdered sugar and/or milk

1. In a medium bowl combine one portion of the Peanut Butter Frosting and milk chocolate, melted and cooled. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until combined. If necessary, beat in additional powdered sugar or milk until frosting reaches piping consistency.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Squash Casserole

We finally set up a new garden this year (it's been 3 years since we moved from our old house, and thus 3 years since we've had a garden!)...and one of the things I'm most excited about is that this year Derek has outgrown his allergies to milk, wheat, and eggs!!!! And that means...we can make Dana's Squash Casserole!
Between this recipe and my grandmother-in-law's Squash soup recipe, I'm praying we get a super huge harvest of squash this year!!!!! :)
This is totally worth making! It's a-mazing!

3 lbs (or 10 medium-small) yellow squash and/or zucchini
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 cup butter, melted
4 eggs, beaten
3 Tablespoons sugar
salt and pepper
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 lb white crackers, crumbled
shredded cheddar cheese

1. Trim ends and thickly slice squash/zucchini. Boil in deep pot for 15-20 minutes; drain and press out as much water as possible. Finely chop.
2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Saute onion in butter. Add to squash and mix well. Mix in eggs, sugar, salt, pepper, and baking powder. Stir in cracker crumbs. Mix well. Place in buttered 2-quart casserole dish and bake for 25 minutes.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Cherry-Almond Butter Frosting

Allow 1/2 cup butter to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Gradually add 1 cup powdered sugar, beating well. Beat in 3 Tablespoons maraschino cherry juice and 1/2 teaspoon almond extract. Gradually beat in 3 cups additional powdered sugar. If necessary, beat in additional juice, 1 teaspoon at a time, until frosting reaches piping consistency.

Cherry Almond Vanilla Cupcakes

1/2 cup butter
4 egg whites
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup maraschino cherry juice
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
12 maraschino cherries, halved
1 recipe Cherry-Almond Butter Frosting
Maraschino Cherries with stems (optional)

1. Allow butter and egg whites to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, line 24 muffin cups with paper baking cups. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. In a 2 cup measuring cup combine buttermilk and cherry juice; set aside.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar, vanilla, and almond extract; beat until combined. Add egg whites, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk mixture to beaten mixture, beating on low speed after each just until combined.
3. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling each about 2/3 full. Press a cherry half into batter in each cup.
4. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly touched. Cool cupcakes completely on wire racks.
4. Using a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip, pipe Cherry-Almond Butter Frosting over cupcakes. If desired, top with cherries with stems.

Raspberry Lemonade Frosting


3/4 cup butter
7 cups powdered sugar, divided
3 Tablespoons milk
3 Tablespoons Raspberry syrup
2 teaspoons lemon zest

1. Leave butter out to soften for about 30 minutes.
2. In large bowl, beat butter with electric mixer on high for about 30 seconds. Gradually add 2 cups powdered sugar. Beat in milk and raspberry syrup.
3. Beat in remaining 5 cups of powdered sugar slowly.
4. Either stir in lemon zest or sprinkle on top of each cupcake after being iced.

Raspberry Lemonade Cupcakes

The recipe I found for these calls for raspberry liqueur, but I used some raspberry flavoring syrup I had on hand! It worked out great, and I didn't need to add any food coloring, as called for in the original recipe!

Raspberry Lemonade Cupcakes

3/4 cup butter
3 eggs
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons fresh lemon zest
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
2 Tablespoons raspberry syrup
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 recipe Raspberry Frosting

1. Allow butter and eggs to sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes. Line 18 regular sized muffin cups with paper baking cups.
2. In medium sized bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter with electric mixer on high speed for about 30 seconds. Add sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and raspberry syrup; beat until fully combined, scraping sides of the bowl with spatula if needed. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour and buttermilk, alternating between the two, mixing with electric mixer on medium speed.
4. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling each one about 2/3 full.
5. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in muffin pan for about 5 minutes. Remove to wire rack and let sit until completely cool.
6. Spread Raspberry Frosting over cupcakes.

***If I were going to make this WEMP free, I would substitute these ingredients:

3/4 cup shortening for the butter
1 3/4 cups wheat free flour mix for the wheat flour
4 1/2 teaspoons egg replacer and 6 Tablespoons water for the eggs
2/3 cup soy buttermilk (make homemade using 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice, then fill the measuring cup up to the 2/3 cup mark with soy milk)

OH MY GOSH!!!!!!

So I feel like I need to post about our good news!
My son was retested 2 weeks ago, and a few days ago we found out that he is no longer allergic to eggs or milk! And is only BARELY allergic to wheat!
We've been giving him wheat and dairy foods over the last week or so now and so far so good!
SO, this blog will be going back to a regular cooking blog...
BUT, the things I learned over the course of the last year will be very useful because I have decided to compile an allergy cookbook!
More on that later!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

WEMP-Free Apple Parfait

Super quick and easy breakfast!
Sorry that the only picture I took was of my bowl, which I topped with whipped cream...omit that if dairy-restricted.

1/2 apple, sliced thin
2 teaspoons sugar in the raw
1 container dairy-free vanilla yogurt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1. Lay half of the apple slices at bottom of bowl. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon sugar in the raw.
2. Stir cinnamon into dairy-free yogurt (while in yogurt container). Spoon half of the yogurt onto sugared apples.
3. Repeat steps 1-2 with rest of the apple slices.

WEMP-Free Cheddar Garlic Biscuits

Here's the WEMP-Free version of cheddar garlic biscuits!


1 cup soy milk
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
2 cups wheat-free flour mixture
1 tsp xanthum gum
1 1/2 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 Tablespoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons shortening
3 tablespoons dairy-free margarine, cold
1-2 slices yellow dairy-free cheese, diced

3 Tablespoons dairy-free margarine
1/4 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
pinch of salt

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In small bowl, combine soy milk and lemon juice. Let sit for about 5 minutes, until it forms buttermilk.
2. In large bowl, combine flour mixture, xanthum gum, baking powder, baking soda, garlic powder and salt. Cut in shortening and 3 Tablespoons dairy-free margarine. Continue cutting in with pastry blender until crumbs are pea-sized. Stir in diced soy cheese.
3. Stir in buttermilk until dough is just moist.
4. Place spoonfuls of dough onto baking sheet. Bake for 12-14 minutes.
5. In small bowl, melt 3 Tablespoons dairy-free margarine in microwave. Stir in dried parsley flakes, garlic powder and salt.
6. When biscuits come out of the oven, brush each with melted margarine mixture.

Here's the side-by-side comparison! The ones on the white plate are the regular version, the ones on the black plate are the WEMP-Free ones!

Cheddar Garlic Biscuits

These are very similar to the ones you get at Red Lobster...only these are WAY better! We made these twice last week! I could literally make and eat them every single day, they are THAT good! And very quick to prepare!

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons shortening
6 tablespoons butter, cold, divided
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/4 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese

3 Tablespoons butter
1/4 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
pinch of salt

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. In large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, garlic powder and salt. Cut in shortening and 3 Tablespoons butter. Continue cutting in with pastry blender until crumbs are pea-sized. Stir in grated cheese.
3. Stir in buttermilk until dough is just moist.
4. Place spoonfuls of dough onto baking sheet. Bake for 12-14 minutes.
5. In small bowl, melt 3 Tablespoons butter in microwave. Stir in dried parsley flakes, garlic powder and salt.
6. When biscuits come out of the oven, brush each with melted butter mixture.

Wemp-Free Chocolate Buttercream Icing

This is the only WEMP-Free Chocolate Buttercream Icing you'll ever need! It's the ONLY one I use...although sometimes I make the WEMP-Free Vanilla Buttercream version. They are both delicious! And EASY to make!

3/4 cup Crisco
1/4 cup water
1 pound powdered sugar
1 Tablespoon egg- and dairy-free marshmallow cream
1 1/2 cups cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon powdered vanilla
1/2 teaspoon butter flavoring
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon clear vanilla

1. Blend all ingredients in mixer until smooth and creamy. (start SLOW then speed up as it comes together).
2. To reach desired consistency, add LITTLE bit of water at a time, or LITTLE bit of powdered sugar.

Chocolate Buttercream Icing

This is the only Chocolate Buttercream Icing you'll ever need! It's the ONLY one I use...although sometimes I make the vanilla buttercream version. They are both delicious! If you need the allergy-free version, check it out here!

3/4 cup Crisco
1/4 cup water
1 pound powdered sugar
1 Tablespoon marshmallow cream
1 1/2 cups cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon powdered vanilla
1/2 teaspoon butter flavoring
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon clear vanilla (to keep icing white!)

1. Blend all ingredients in mixer until smooth and creamy. (start SLOW then speed up as it comes together).
2. To reach desired consistency, add LITTLE bit of water at a time, or LITTLE bit of powdered sugar.

Vanilla Buttercream Icing

This is the only Buttercream Icing you'll ever need! It's the ONLY one I use...although sometimes I make the chocolate buttercream version. They are both delicious! If you need the allergy-free version, check it out here!

3/4 cup Crisco
1/4 cup water
1 pound powdered sugar
1 Tablespoon marshmallow cream
1/2 teaspoon powdered vanilla
1/2 teaspoon butter flavoring
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon clear vanilla (to keep icing white!)

1. Blend all ingredients in mixer until smooth and creamy. (start SLOW then speed up as it comes together).
2. To reach desired consistency, add LITTLE bit of water at a time, or LITTLE bit of powdered sugar.

WEMP-Free Buttercream Icing

This is the only Buttercream Icing you'll ever need! It's the ONLY one I use...although sometimes I make the WEMP-Free Chocolate Buttercream version. They are both delicious! And EASY!

3/4 cup Crisco
1/4 cup water
1 pound powdered sugar
1 Tablespoon egg- and dairy-free marshmallow cream
1/2 teaspoon powdered vanilla
1/2 teaspoon butter flavoring
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon clear vanilla (to keep icing white!)
few drops of gel icing color for color, if desired

1. Blend all ingredients in mixer until smooth and creamy. (start SLOW then speed up as it comes together).
2. To reach desired consistency, add LITTLE bit of water at a time, or LITTLE bit of powdered sugar.
3. Stir in color gel if desired.