Friday, November 18, 2011

Peanut Butter Cookies

So I came home today and decided I wanted cookies after a long day of work. Though really, I think its an after thought from yesterday. I was going non-stop yesterday! I woke up went to work, taught for two periods then went and did a cycling class then ran to the temple then did genealogy for an hour or so then went and tutored for two hours and then showered went to dinner, had a book club meeting then came home to prepare a test for the next day then went to sleep and woke up and went to work, then did some genealogy, then came home and made cookies. Wow... what a past two days. But I feel like right now is such a nice time to just sit and eat a delicious peanut butter cookie.

Soft and Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies
Makes: 4 to 4 1/2 dozen

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup peanut butter
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Beat together butter and peanut butter until well combined.  
  3. Add sugar and brown sugar, beat until fluffy.  
  4. Mix in egg, milk, and vanilla extract until smooth.  
  5. Add flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt and mix just until blended.  
  6. Roll balls of dough about the size of walnuts then roll in white sugar before placing on a baking sheet.  
  7. Bake at 350 degrees F for 10 to 12 minutes.  Do not over bake.  Cookies will be puffy, soft and slightly brown on the edges. Let cookies cool on the baking sheet for at least 3 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely (here is where they will continue cooking).  Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Mashed Potatoes

 Here is the recipe of mashed potatoes I used to go along with the sugar snap peas. They were delicious. Simple but good.

Mashed Potatoes
Serves: 6

6 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/2 cup warm milk
1/4 cup butter or margarine
3/4 teaspoon salt
Dash pepper

  1. Place potatoes in a saucepan and cover with water. 
  2. Cover and bring to a boil; cook for 20-25 minutes or until very tender. 
  3. Drain well. 
  4. Add milk, butter, salt and pepper; mash until light and fluffy. 

Chicken with Sugar Snap Peas

So this is a recipe I actually made a little while ago for dinner group - but it is delicious. I looked at a website that my mom suggested to me a while ago,, and I found this recipe. Mmm... I wish I had written more about it right after I finished making it though because my memory is not that great. But I do remember that the sauce was delicious.. the chicken was moist. It tasted great with mashed potatoes. I didn't use the sprouted beans just lots of sugar snap peas and chives for my fresh herb. Very simple but oh so very yummy. (so as a little side note - since I don't remember a lot of the specifics of this meal, I left a lot of the instructions the same as they are originally - so I give all credit of writing this to :) )

Chicken with Sugar Snap Peas
Serves: 4
1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
2 teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon flour, divided
1 pound thin-sliced chicken breast cutlets
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
8 ounces sugar snap peas, cut in half (2 cups)
1 14-ounce can quartered artichoke hearts, rinsed
1/4 cup sprouted beans, (see Note), optional
3 tablespoons minced fresh herbs, such as chives, tarragon or dill
2 teaspoons champagne vinegar, or white-wine vinegar
  1. Whisk broth, mustard, salt, pepper and 2 teaspoons flour in a small bowl until smooth.
  2. Sprinkle both sides of the chicken with the remaining 1 tablespoon flour. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken in two batches, adjusting heat as necessary to prevent burning, until golden, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a plate; cover with foil to keep warm.
  3. Stir the broth mixture and add to the pan along with snap peas, artichoke hearts and sprouted beans (if using). Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook until the snap peas are tender-crisp, 3 to 5 minutes.
  4. Return the chicken to the pan, nestling it into the vegetables, and simmer until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in herbs and vinegar.
  • Note: Sprouted beans, not to be confused with bean sprouts, are beans that have just barely sprouted—they look like a bean with a tiny fiber attached (rather than the more fleshy-looking sprouts commonly used in Asian cooking). Eat raw in salads or add to cooked dishes; they're an excellent source of fiber and protein. Look for them in the produce section near other sprouts.


Per serving: 248 calories; 6 g fat ( 1 g sat , 4 g mono ); 63 mg cholesterol; 19 g carbohydrates; 29 g protein; 7 g fiber; 605 mg sodium; 603 mg potassium.
Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (35% daily value), Magnesium (20% dv), Potassium (17% dv), Iron (15% dv).
Carbohydrate Servings: 1
Exchanges: 4 very lean meat, 2 vegetable, 1 fat

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Guacamole and Chips

Mmmm.. avocados... after church today I decided to make guacamole! So I decided to try Alton brown's recipe.. it was amazing!


3 avocados halved, seeded and peeled
1 lime, juiced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 medium onion, diced
2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
1 clove garlic, minced
  1. In a large bowl place the scooped avocado pulp and lime juice, toss to coat. (I used much less lime juice then they asked, but I thought it was good and I didn't need to drain it or add it later - I just used a few drops.)
  2. Drain, and reserve the lime juice, after all of the avocados have been coated. 
  3. Using a potato masher add the salt, cumin, and cayenne and mash. 
  4. Then, fold in the onions, tomatoes, cilantro, and garlic. 
  5. Add 1 tablespoon of the reserved lime juice. 
  6. Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour and then serve. (I ate it right away - it was delicious)
So I talked with my roommies about this lovely dish and one said that they thought it was a 9.9/10 out of the guacamole's she's tried. It was really good. We were critiquing it and decided it was delicious because of the slight chunkiness of the avocado with the creaminess, the cool freshness of the tomatoes, the spices added really good flavor - it was a little spicy but not too much.

But I should warn you that I did cut this recipe by a third. So it was hard to get a 1/6 of a teaspoon.. so my measurements may have been a little less than it was asked for.

not only did I make guacamole but I also made chips! Only.. the tortillas I had were thick.. so when I cooked them they were a little hard. But they were pleasant. The ones I cooked longer were better because they were more crispy they were a hard first crunch but they weren't chewy at the same time.

Corn Tortilla Chips

Corn tortillas
Olive oil
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.
  2. Brush both sides of the tortillas with oil
  3. Stack the tortillas and cut them into 1/6s or 1/4s.
  4. Place on cookie sheet in one layer, sprinkle with salt and bake for 15-18 minutes till golden brown and crispy. 

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Watermelon Sorbet

One day I was craving a watermelon like nobody's business - so I bought one. It was huge, like twenty pounds and the next thing I new I'd eaten a quarter of it! But sadly even though I'd eaten that much our fridge was too full and I wouldn't be able to store all of it. What a dilemma. Then I realized our freezer wasn't that packed.. so I googled frozen watermelon treats and found this delicious recipe. 

Watermelon Sorbet
Serves: estimated 10-12 half cup servings

5 cups of cubed and seeded watermelon
1 cup sugar
2 envelope unflavored gelatin
2/3 cup fruit juice

  1. Place watermelon cubes in a food processor, or a blender. Cover, process or blend until smooth. You should end up with about 5 cups of pureed watermelon.
  2. Stir in sugar.
  3. Combine the gelatin and juice in a small saucepan.  Let it stand for 5 minutes. Stir  the cranberry juice and gelatin mixture over low heat until the gelatin is dissolved.
  4. Pour dissolved gelatin into the pureed melon and stir.  Then, pour entire mixture into an 9x13-inch baking pan. Cover and freeze two hours until firm.
  5. After two hours, break up frozen mixture and place in a chilled mixing bowl. Beat with a mixer on medium to high speed until it is fluffy. Return it to the pan. Cover and freeze about 6 more hours until firm.
  6. To serve, let stand at room temperature for 5 - 10 minutes. Its a little nicer to eat when its a little softer. 
It was so delicious! I loved just nibbling at it. Not to mention it was so light but had such a yummy sweet flavor. One of my favorite things about making this was probably working with the unflavored gelatin. I had never done that before and it created such an interesting texture before you warmed it up. I would definitely make this again. (Only next time I would get a seedless watermelon, it took a while to pick out all the seeds)

Friday, September 16, 2011


First.. I know, its been forever. Basically summer and blogging just didn't work out this year. But hopefully now that I'm on a better schedule I'll do a little more. 

Anyway, today I checked the mail and found this cute Halloween Pillsbury Cookbook (Copyright 2011, p.3). As I glanced through it the only thing that really caught my eye was their fun s'more ideas. I didn't want to keep the whole book just for that, so I thought I'd just record them here :) 

S'more Makeovers: 

Midnight Ginger = Gingersnaps + Marshmallows + dark chocolate

Caramel Apple = Cinnamon graham crackers + Marshmallows + caramels + apple slices

Chocolate Mint = Chocolate graham crackers + Marshmallows + chocolate covered mints (like Andes) 

Peanut Butter Banana = Graham Crackers + Marshmallows + sliced bananas + peanut butter

Since i haven't actually tried this one, if you do make sure that you comment! One that sounds absolutely delicious to be is the Midnight ginger and the chocolate mint. I bet this would be super fun to just bring a whole bunch of innards and make all sorts of different kinds of s'mores. Let the imagination run wild! 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Strawberry Avocado Smoothie

On a random note, I was perusing through foodgawker, one of my favorite sights and saw a picture of oatmeal and blueberries. One of my favorite memories of my mom making me a special yet healthy breakfast. I had to click on it and it was this description of why breakfast is so important to eat ( I think I've forgotten that. I wake up with barely enough time to brush my teeth and run out the door. I think it is time for a change. I need to get to bed earlier so I can wake up and actually eat something better than a few cheep breakfast bars. I would love it if I could spend time and eat a yummy avocado smoothie, or fruit oatmeal, or toast and yogurt.

So I decided to try an avocado/green smoothie. As I looked around at tons of recipes there were lots that looked really good. One that I liked was Enzo's Green Smoothie ( because it didn't have dairy in it (because even though you may not have guessed I am lactose intolerant). So this one was my inspiration though its not really a lot like it. I also have watched my roommates make them a bit. There's typically didn't have avocado in them, or I don't think they did. But I remember trying it and being surprised at how tasty they were! Now, I did go through and look at some of the nutritional values for this lovely drink. I went onto and looked up each ingredient. I found that this drink is probably about 560 calories! So, this is something to eat on its own and is its own meal. I ate it after I got home from doing a cycling class and it felt great. I think the good thing with this is all the vitamins. If you use water instead of orange juice and cut back on some of the honey it would help also. But I was mostly going for for flavor and seeing what happened with an avocado smoothie.

So, this particular one tastes like strawberries. Its delicious! It does have a healthy flavor to it, in that its not overly sweet, but especially for breakfast this would be wonderful.

Strawberry Avocado Smoothie
Serves: 1

1/2 avocado
1 c frozen strawberries
1/2 c spinach (mine was frozen but I don't think it needs to be) 
4 baby carrots (or equivalent)
3 tbsp honey
1/2 c orange juice

      1) Blend all the ingredients together in a blender. 
      2) Add more orange juice till desired consistency. Then drink! 

Nutritional Facts: Calories about 560, Fat: all from avocado - 10.5 g, click on the links for all the vitamins and such. Cuz there are lots!
Orange Juice:

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Focaccia bread

I remember my sophomore year in college when one of my roommates, Lydia, would make focaccia bread. I have been craving it for about a week or so. So for dinner group I decided it was time. I googled and looked around for a good recipe and found one on (i love that website) and read through the reviews to make sure that I wouldn't end up with something nasty.  I added some veggies on top, added in a little wheat flour (cuz basically I'm obsessed) and it was delicious!

It took me a while to figure out what I wanted to serve with it. I thought pasta, but then I thought that is too many bread like food. So I started thinking Chicken and decided to do a breaded chicken of some sort. At first I wanted to coat the chicken and then dip it in some shake n' bake like recipe. When I went into my kitchen, I found that I had italian bread crumbs so I just decided to use those. But I think that if there was a little more salt or something in them it would have been better. So, I did all this research to see which moistener/adhesive would be best - olive oil (, mayonnaise (, or egg white ( Typically recipes I've seen use one of these. So, in the end it seems as though egg white is the healthiest (ha ha.. surprise surprise.. but I wanted fact not just my thoughts). But whats funny, is that I ended up just using water! I had thawed the chicken in a bowl of hot running water and it was moist and so I just dipped it in the bread crumbs and put them on the pan. Sprinkled some Parmesan on them Baked 'em for like 20 minutes. Delicious. Then I also served it with an apple salad with lemon dressing.

Veggie Focaccia Bread
Source: Adapted from Terri McCarell at (
Makes: 1 cookie sheet sized foccacia

1 cup water
1 tsp white sugar
1 tbsp active dry yeast
1 tbsp salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (2 cups white flour, 3/4 cups wheat flour)
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried basil
1 pinch ground black pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tbsp chopped garlic
1 Roma tomato, thinly sliced
1/3 small zucchini, thinly sliced
2 tbsp onion, thinly sliced
1/4 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/4 c grated Parmesan cheese
  1. Take about a cup of warm water from the tap (roughly 110 F) and put it into the bowl, mix in the sugar, then add the yeast. Let it sit for about 10 minutes or till its all foamy. 
  2. Add in the 1 tbsp olive oil and salt. Stir and then add the dry ingredients - flour, oregano, thyme, basil, pepper. (I combined the dry ingredients first to make sure they were evenly mixed throughout the flour).
  3. Kneed dough till smooth and elastic on a floured surface. If it is dry you can add a little more water, I think I added about an extra 1/4 c. warm water at this point.
  4. Place in a bowl, turn to coat with a little oil. Then cover and let rise for about 20 minutes in a warm location. 
  5. While the bread is rising, make sure all the vegetables are prepared and ready to be put on the bread. 
  6. Preheat oven to 450 F. Put parchment paper down on the cookie sheet (this helps SO much with preventing the bread from sticking)
  7. Punch down the dough. Spread it on the parchment paper on the cookie sheet. Brush on about 2 tbsp of olive oil. Spread the garlic, tomatoes, bell pepper, zucchini and onions on top. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese
  8. Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown.
slicing the veggies!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Chocolate Banana Soup

Tonight was one of those fun girls nights. Watched Nacho Libre, made chocolate banana soup and ate pizza. We had decided we wanted to make something a little experimental. I was looking through one of my cookbooks that I love to just read. Its called "Dessert Circus" by Jacques Torres. Its basically fancy dessert cooking. I came across this soup and thought well this is interesting and has potential.

We made a few alterations to the original, number one we didn't soak the bananas in rum... but in a makeshift rum. Which is made through molasses, pineapple juice and almond extract ( Who knows if that's really what its like or not but it was tasty either way.We also wanted to eat the end product a little faster so I added a thickener to the chocolate soup portion, like 1/4 cup of flour, this way it would get thick enough for the meringue with just like half an hour of cooling instead of 2 hours. Yes... sometimes I'm a little impatient. We also made the dish in a souffle dish, next time I do think it would be better in smaller dishes, this way I think everyone would get a more even bananas to chocolate to meringue ratio.

We also attempted to caramelize the sugar about 5 times and every time it just didn't work. I've put the links to some youtube videos that will hopefully help you on your venture of caramelizing.The first one lets you see the whole process very nicely and the second seems very similar to what we want to do for this caramel since you add in the butter. We kept having the issue of the caramel becoming rock hard when we added anything into it. Now when I googled why it hardens, it seems as though we got the temperature to high. It shouldn't get above 250 degrees. I will have to try this again and see if I can ever really caramelize sugar!

Wow, it was so rich! (It tasted like something you should be eating at a restaurant!) Very yummy though. Especially when you are eating the bananas in the chocolate it tastes like a chocolate covered banana. It only gets better when the light fluffy meringue gets added in. :)

Banana Chocolate Soup
Source: Adapted from Dessert Circus by Jacques Torres. Copyrighted 1998. p.104
Makes: 8 servings

Caramelized bananas
4 large bananas, peeled and sliced
1/2 tbsp molasses
1/4 c pineapple juice
1 tsp almond extract
1/2 c granulated sugar
1 tbsp unsalted butter (optional)

4 c Whole milk
1/4 c flour
10 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped

7 large egg whites
1-3/4 powdered sugar
  1. Mix the molasses, pineapple juice, and almond extract in a mixing bowl. Here you are just diluting the molasses to get 1/4 cup of this mixture. 
  2. Mix the sliced bananas into this mixture till covered, let sit as you make the caramel. 
  3. Heat a pan on medium high heat. When it is warm add the sugar. Coat the bottom of the pan evenly.
  4. Shake and sift the sugar around (a good demonstration is in the first youtube video) till all is melted then add in the butter to add smoothness to the caramel. 
  5. Add in the banana mixture and mix the bananas and caramel. If there is a lot of extra liquid let it sit in the pan a little longer on heat till it evaporates a little then put into your dish/dishes. (I used a souffle pan)
  6. Mix the milk and flour in a sauce pan.
  7. Heat the whole milk in the sauce pan till boiling then add the chocolate. Stir till melted. Take off heat, Pour into your baking dish/dishes.
  8. Put dish/dishes into a 13 by 9 inch pan and place in the fridge till thick enough to support the meringue. Suggested 2 hours. (I probably only had it in there for a half an hour to an hour) 
  9. Make the meringue by beating the egg whites in a large mixing bowl till frothy. Then 1 tbsp at a time add in the powdered sugar till it creates stiff but not dry peaks. 
  10. Take the chocolate soup out of the fridge and top with the meringue in a decorative manner. If your soup has gotten cold inside (feel the outside of the dish on the sides) cover the sides of your dish as close to 1/3rd of the way up as you can with warm water and let it sit for 30 minutes to warm the soup. 
  11. Heat the oven to 450. 
  12. Remove the soup from the warm water bath and place on a baking sheet. Put in the oven for 3 to 5 minutes or until the meringue begins to brown. Then serve! 
The chocolate soup after cooling.. mmm.... 
Delicious toasted meringue topping

Monday, February 7, 2011

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Meringue Frosting

I borrowed a mini cupcake pan from a friend and decided I needed to make cupcakes! So I started my search for a delicious recipe and found this one by El at Her blog is so beautiful and these cupcakes were no exception. 

I decided to do an experiment - try half of the recipe with white flour and half with wheat flour and see if I could tell a difference -- verdict is no. So go for wheat flour!!

Secondly I thought that these cupcakes were so rich so it might be nice to add something fresh to them to kind of make them my own. I decided to dice up strawberries and sprinkled them into a meringue and put that on top of the cupcakes. That was divine! Like a chocolate strawberry shortcake! I also made that meringue with honey, to see if the natural sugar was still good. You could taste the honey a little in the meringue, but I found if you toasted the meringue once on the cupcakes, the honey flavor wasn't overpowering.

I also made a chocolate meringue frosting and a white chocolate meringue frosting. They were all delicious. These were both very yummy. Much like a mousse. I especially enjoyed the chocolate frosting. I felt the texture was very yummy and it was extremely chocolaty. In my pictures I accidentally flattened my white chocolate meringue so it doesn't look as fluffy, but originally it was fluffy. I just learned don't beat the meringue when you add the chocolate. Fold it in! Otherwise, all fluffiness leaves!

Ultimate Dark Chocolate Cupcakes 
Makes:50 mini cupcakes

1/2 cup plus 2 tsp. cocoa powder
1 cup plus 2 tbs. milk
2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/4 cups (whole wheat) all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
12 tbs. unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  2.  Mix milk and cocoa powder together in pan. Heat gently until well blended. Mixture should be warm but not hot. Turn off heat. Add vanilla and stir.Whisk remaining dry ingredients together and set aside.
  3. Beat butter in bowl fitted with paddle at medium high speed about 35 seconds. Scrape down bowl. Gradually sprinkle in sugar; beat until white and fluffy 3-5 minutes. Add eggs one at a time beating a full minute after each addition. Scape down bowl.
  4. With mixer on lowest speed add 1/3 dry ingredients mix until almost incorporated. Add 1/3 chocolate mixture mix until almost incorporated. Repeat process until ingredients are added. Be sure to scrape down bowl. Beat until mixture looks satiny about 15 seconds.
  5. Line cupcake tin. Fill 3/4 full of batter. Bake for 20 minutes.(For mini cupcakes, bake for about 13 minutes) Allow to cool before frosting.

Chocolate Meringue Frosting 
Makes: enough to frost 24 cupcakes

2 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tarter
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup sugar
3 oz semi sweet chocolate
1 tbsp heavy whipping cream (could probably just use milk)
  1. Separate the egg whites and put into a bowl add the cream of tarter and vanilla. Beat until frothy. 
  2. Add sugar slowly and beat until soft peaks form (they may never quite get there.. if not as long as really soft peaks form). 
  3. Melt the chocolate (best way is in a double broiler) and add the heavy whipping cream. Allow the chocolate to cool a little. 
  4. Fold in the meringue till combined and smooth. 
  5. Put a dollop onto each cupcake. 

White Chocolate Meringue Frosting
Makes: enough for 24 mini cupcakes

2 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tarter
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
4 tsp sugar
2 oz white chocolate (or vanilla almond bark)
  1. Separate the egg whites into a bowl. Add cream of tarter and vanilla extract. 
  2. Beat till frothy
  3. Slowly add in the sugar beating between each addition
  4. Beat till forms soft peaks
  5. Melt the chocolate, let cool slightly
  6. Fold the chocolate into the meringue till combined and smooth. 
  7. Top cupcakes with frosting.
Strawberry Honey Meringue
Makes: enough for about 24 mini cupcakes

2 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tarter
1/2 tsp vanilla
4 tsp honey
7 strawberries, diced
  1. Separate the egg whites into a bowl, add the cream of tarter and vanilla. Beat until frothy. 
  2. Add the honey slowly, beating between each addition until soft peaks form. 
  3. Add diced strawberries and fold in, then top cupcakes with the frosting.
  4. If desired, broil the tips of the frosting to toast the meringue.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Banana Cream Pie

So the other day my friends and I decided to celebrate Crisco. Now, I thought it was the 75th anniversary, but after further research I believe it was the 100th anniversary. 

So one of my favorite pies that I've been making recently is Banana Cream. At this lovely pie celebration we (friends from dinner group and me) made 6 pies! But the one we will talk about today is the Banana one. Sadly I didn't get any pictures of it before it was demolished.. but maybe next time I make it I'll take one and add it to the blog. But this particular recipe is delicious! I have found that I am a lover of meringue! It mixes perfectly with the bananas and pudding and is healthy (or healthier than cream :) ). At least I feel it is healthier than cream. I have also been converted to making homemade pudding. mmm... it is amazing...  (Is this healthier? probably not... but it tastes better!) We also put this in a vanilla wafer crust. It added an extra sweetness but didn't take away from the pie. You could do a normal pie crust, but I just really like it with the vanilla wafer crust.

Now this is my first non-healthy recipe... who would have thought. I really didn't think I would be doing a health food blog, but it is kind of turning into that. So just to mix it up I think I needed to add a pie recipe in here. Plus pie is my favorite dessert so it needs to be represented! 

Banana Cream Pie
Source: adapted from Rhonda at All Recipes and comments (
Servings: 8

Vanilla Wafer Crust

1-1/2 c crushed vanilla wafers
6 T melted butter and bake for 5 minutes at 350
  1. Mix ingredients till all is moistened. 
  2. Press mix into pie plate to form a crust
  3. Bake for 5 mins at 350

¾ c white sugar
3 tbsp cornstarch
¼ tsp salt
2 c milk
3 egg yolks beaten (save the egg whites for the meringue)
2 tbsp butter
1 ¼ tsp vanilla extract
1 (9 inch) pie crust, baked
4 bananas, sliced
  1. In a saucepan, combine the sugar, flour, and salt. Add milk in gradually while stirring gently. Cooking over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is bubbly. Keep stirring and cook for about 2 more minutes, and then remove from the burner. 
  2. Stir a small quantity of the hot mixture into the beaten egg yolks, and immediately add egg yolk mixture into the rest of the hot mixture. Cook for 2 more minutes; remember to keep stirring. Remove the mixture from the stove, and add butter and vanilla. Stir until the whole thing has a smooth consistency. 
  3. Slice bananas into the cooled baked pastry shell. Top with pudding mixture. 
  4. Chill for three hours and serve.
Nutritional Data:  Calories per serving: 303     Total Fat: 11.1 g     Cholesterol: 89mg


3 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tarter
1 tsp vanilla
3 tsp sugar
  1. Beat the first three ingredients until frothy.
  2. Gradually add the sugar and beat until soft peaks form.
  3. Spoon onto pie and decorate as desired, then toast it. (I use the broiler because I lack a cool cooking torch - but keep a close eye on it!)
  4. Put back into fridge till time to serve.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Light Brown Sugar vs Dark Brown Sugar

Tonight I was at a friends house eating some delicious pumpkin cranberry bread pudding (I believe it was from a weight watchers cookbook). It helped me to remember how wonderful it is to have small groups over to share in the yummy baked goods. I do this often with dinner group, but this was just a random small group of girls and it made my night to just sit and talk about life.

Now a question was brought up while we were there. Is there a different between light and dark brown sugar. So I looked it up. According to Taste of Home, light brown sugar has a "delicate flavor" while dark brown sugar has a "stronger more intense molasses flavor." Does it matter which you use? They say its just depends on what you prefer. ( So sounds like the flavor/color will differ, but the texture/product will be basically the same which ever you use.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Stir Fry

So tonight I decided to make stir fry for dinner. If I had to eat one thing for the rest of my life.. stir fry would be it. This one turned out delicious. My roommate helped in this one though. I was making it and then she suggested to use this sauce that she likes. It was awesome. So I dumped it in! :) I enjoyed this recipe because it had so many different things in the stir fry. The only extravagant ingredient was the almonds which could be easily omitted - it was fun to have an extra crunch though. Adding cabbage is nice. I feel like it gives the meal more body - so kind of like a filler. I also served this with rice and as a side I had grapes and mini oranges.

Stir Fry
Source: adapted from Hailey and Bill at primal palate (
Serves: 4

1 lb Chicken  cut into bite size pieces
1/4 cup almonds, chopped
1/2 cup water chestnuts
1/4 cup green onion, chopped
1/2 of a red pepper, chopped
1/4 cup celery, chopped
1 tablespoon minced Ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 cups broccoli
2 cups shredded cabbage (about half the head)
Toasted sesame oil
Mr. Yoshidas Marinade and cooking sauce - original gourmet, sweet and savory
Sesame seeds to garnish (optional)
  1. Prepare the meat and vegetables by cutting them into bite sized pieces.
  2. Chop almonds, green onion, celery; mince garlic and ginger.
  3. Heat pan over high heat and add sesame oil and swirl so it coats the bottom.
  4.  Add meat and cook for 3-5 minutes until mostly cooked.
  5. Add in broccoli, water chestnuts, celery and pepper; cook for 2 minutes
  6. Add in almonds, cabbage, ginger, green onion and garlic. Add a splash of Mr. Yoshidas (2-4 tbsp or more if you want more sauce. just till it looks yummy). Cook 2-3 minutes, until cabbage softens a little.
  7. Remove from heat add sesame seeds if you wish and partake :)

Monday, January 24, 2011

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Buttermilk Pancakes

So yesterday I was thinking about breakfast and I thought, why not try to make whole wheat pancakes! Super healthy breakfast. I found a good looking recipe online and thought lets make this super healthy (ish)! I substituted the flour for whole wheat and then substituted the sugar for honey. How did they taste? They were okay. I feel like they would have tasted better with fruit on top or applesauce. The pancakes probably aren't my favorite, or... maybe I just have to get used to whole wheat pancakes. ha ha. These definitely feel hardy though. I had three little mini pancakes and was totally full! If you do the whole wheat this would probably feed like 6 or 8! 

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Buttermilk Pancakes
Source: Adapted from Joy the Baker (
Serves: 6 to 8

2 eggs
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tbsp honey
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 cups buttermilk (plus about 1/2 cup add slowly till right consistency at the end) 
4 tbsp butter (melted then cooled)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 c chocolate chips (about)
cooking oil or butter for cooking
  1. In a large bowl beat eggs. Add buttermilk, butter and vanilla and mix well. 
  2. Add flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix well until mostly smooth.
  3. Heat griddle or pan over medium heat. Add a teaspoon of oil to the pan or spray with cooking spray. You can test to see if the pan is hot enough by adding a few drops of water, if or when the drops start to dance its hot enough.
  4. Pour 2 tbsp of batter onto the griddle. Place about 3-5 chocolate chips in each pancake. Cook on the first side until starts to look brown (I didn't get the bubbles as I normally do with pancakes-may have been the whole wheat). You can also gently lift up the pancake to make sure the bottom is not overcooking, if it is the pan may be too hot and you will need to adjust the heat. Flip the pancake over with a spatula and cook until golden brown. Repeat until all the batter is gone. Let cooked pancakes rest on a heat proof plate in a 200 degree F oven until ready to serve
Note: If you don't have buttermilk. One way to make it is to put a little vinegar in the milk and let it sit for a minute. Then add it into your recipe.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Chicken Jerk Chili with Cornbread

First recipe! So I am a member of a dinner group, which is probably where a lot of my cooking will come from, and last Tuesday I made Chicken Jerk Chili. It was not quite what I expected but it was still good. I found the recipe on a blog - "Smells like Home" ( I read through it and was just so interested by the fact that it had chocolate and cinnamon in it AND the comments were all so positive, I had to try it. I was scared that it would be too spicy since this was one of my first attempts at chili so I made a few changes. However, I think that mine ended up a little bland and I would put in a little more spice next time. The chili had a cinnamon and allspice aroma that was very pleasant and it lingered more in the aftertaste I would say. I put a little fresh cilantro on top and it added a nice touch to the flavors as well. Overall this had a nice "chicken noodle soup" feel about it. Nothing too overpowering , settles well in the stomach and tastes good. 

I also served this with one of my favorite cornbread recipes. I did have a little of a mishap with it. but it still turned out good! I doubled the recipe and then realized I didn't have enough cornmeal. I had already done a ton of the recipe by this point and I had no time to run to the store. So.. I just substituted white flour. Then in addition somehow I miscalculated and didn't double the flour! So it ended up being a little dense, but still tasty. :) I love this particular recipe because it is sweet (I thought it went really well with this particular chili) but you can use whole wheat flour and its still moist and delicious. Personally I love using whole wheat flour because then you feel full in a more satisfying way and I usually don't have to go back for 5ths. I probably will still go back for 2nds or 3rds though. :)

Chicken Jerk Chili (my changes are in italics)

source: Tara, Smells Like Home
Serves: 8 (This is with the changes I made and its an estimation)

1 tbsp olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
3 tbsp chili powder
1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1 large rotisserie chicken, meat removed and shredded (about 6 cups)
4 cups chicken broth (3 cups)
1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes
1 can (15 oz) black beans, undrained or partially drained (2 cans)
1 can (15 oz) small white beans, undrained or partially drained
2 tbsp chopped pickled jalapenos (I used regular jalapenos, seeded them and probably 1 tbsp)
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 oz semisweet chocolate
2 tbsp cornmeal or 3 tbsp cornstarch mixed with 2 tbsp water (optional for thickening)
        (I used the left over chicken broth in the can for the liquid here)
  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.
  2. Add onion and bell pepper and cook, stirring until softened, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add chili powder, thyme, cinnamon, and allspice. Cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  4. Add chicken and stir to coat with spices. Add broth, tomatoes, beans, and jalapenos, bring to a boil, cover partially, reduce heat, and simmer to blend flavors, about 20 minutes.
  5. Stir in garlic, cilantro, chocolate, and either cornmeal or cornstarch/water slurry if desired.  If you add the cornstarch slurry, bring the heat up to medium-high and allow the chili to thicken.  Turn off the heat and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

Grandmother's Buttermilk Cornbread

Makes: 9x9 pan

1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup white sugar (1/2 cup)
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup (whole wheat) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease an 8 inch square pan.
  2. Melt butter in large skillet. Remove from heat and stir in sugar. Quickly add eggs and beat until well blended. Combine buttermilk with baking soda and stir into mixture in pan. Stir in cornmeal, flour, and salt until well blended and few lumps remain. Pour batter into the prepared pan.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Nutritional Information: (Amount Per Serving)  Calories: 284 | Total Fat: 12.2g | Cholesterol: 67mg

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Hello World!

So I am entering the world of blogging. Hello world. I am Stephanie. I think that coming up with the name for this blog was the hardest part! But finally I think I have something that is me. Yes, purple is my favorite color. I feel that it is such a peaceful color. And yes, frogs are wonderful. I believe I have loved them since the time in my life when it poured raining in Germany and frogs were outside everywhere, like the plague. I remember all over the towns they would have signs saying, "Watch out for Frogs!" (but it was in German).  I grew up in Washington and love trees.  I am a math teacher and find that helping those around me brings me the greatest joy.  Last but not least I am a cookbook addict. I hope that this blog will help inspire me to cook more of those delicious recipes I read about.