Wednesday, May 26, 2010


I have been slacking a little on putting up the recipes I've been making. It seems like I have been really busy, and once I got a little behind, it just gets harder to update. I have been making a lot of new things, and I will try to get it all posted in the next couple of days. I think my recent favorites have been Homemade Taco Shells, Tortellini Alfredo Casserole, and Zucchini Cheeseburger Pie. things coming soon!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Chocolate-Covered Strawberries

I had to share this, just because it was so simple and SO GOOD! My husband and I celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary last week, and part of what I did for that was make these chocolate-covered strawberries. I am so happy that strawberry season is upon us here! I tried to make them look a little gourmet, but regardless, they were tasty! Little B's favorite part of helping was eating the chocolate chips (and the final product)!



1 lb. fresh strawberries

approximately 12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips (or use whatever kind you want!)
desired toppings, ie sprinkles, crushed nuts, mini chocolate chips, etc.


Wash and completely dry strawberries, leaving stems on. Using a double boiler (or, if you don't have one like me, in a small pot, boil about a cup of water over medium heat and place a glass bowl over, completely covering the top). Melt chocolate completely, stirring constantly. Place wax paper on a cookie sheet. Once chocolate is melted, dip strawberries, holding by the stems, a turn to coat completely. Dip chocolate-covered strawberry in topping(s) of choice (on only one side of strawberry), and place on wax paper topping side up. If you would like to melt another kind of chocolate to drizzle over top (in the picture I did butterscotch chips), melt about 1/2 cup of chips the same way you did the chocolate and drizzle it over your chocolate covered strawberries (you can do this before or after the chocolate has hardened). Place completed strawberries in the refrigerator until chocolate has hardened.


Sweet Potato and Red Pepper Pasta

I found this recipe on You can use their recipe, or my slightly modified recipe below. Healthy, sweet and delicious. You could serve this up as a vegetarian dish or add a little grilled chicken in with it or on the side. My side of steamed asparagus, fresh from the garden, was the perfect thing to top off the meal.



8 ounces whole-wheat angel hair pasta (I used thin spaghetti)

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

4 cloves garlic, minced

3 cups shredded, peeled sweet potato, (about 1 medium)

1 large red bell pepper, thinly sliced

1 cup diced plum tomatoes
(I just cut up 2 Romas)
1/2 cup water

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon

1 tablespoon white-wine vinegar, or lemon juice

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese (or Parmesan)


Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook pasta until just tender, 4 to 5 minutes or according to package directions. Meanwhile, place 1 tablespoon oil and garlic in a large skillet. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is sizzling and fragrant, 2 to 5 minutes. Add sweet potato, bell pepper, tomatoes and water and cook, stirring occasionally, until the bell pepper is tender-crisp (I like mine softer), 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from the heat; cover and keep warm. Drain the pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Return the pasta to the pot. Add the vegetable mixture, the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, parsley, tarragon, vinegar (or lemon juice), salt and cheese; toss to combine. Add the reserved pasta water, 2 tablespoons at a time, to achieve the desired consistency.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Sinfully Rich Fudgy Brownies

Another family recipe that comes from a very old dessert cookbook. It is now out of print, but I was able to find a used one when I moved away from home. If you want to know, it's titled Cookies by Natalie Hartanov Haughton. I remember making these brownies with my Grandma for my class when I was in elementary school. They are probably SO unhealthy, but they are very very good. I had to make a dessert for a church activity so I decided on these. I hadn't made them in years, because when I do, I eat too many. The title pretty much describes them perfectly...



4 oz. unsweetened chocolate (1 oz.=3 Tablespoon cocoa + 1 Tablespoon oil)
1 cup butter
4 eggs
2 cups granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour

*Chocolate-Marshmallow Frosting-
4 oz. unsweetened chocolate (1 oz.=3 Tablespoon cocoa + 1 Tablespoon oil)
1 cup butter
2 eggs
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1 (1-lb.) pkg. powdered sugar (3-3/4 cups)
4 cups miniature marshmallows


Brownies- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 9x13 in. baking pan. In a large saucepan, combine chocolate and butter. Heat over low heat until melted and smooth, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Beat in eggs, granulated sugar, vanilla and salt until thoroughly blended. Stir in flour, blending well. Spread evenly in bottom of greased baking pan. Bake 25-30 minutes; brownies should be moist. Do not overbake! Cool in pan.

Frosting - Meanwhile, prepare Chocolate-Marshmallow Frosting. In a medium saucepan, combine chocolate and butter. Heat over low heat until melted and smooth, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Add eggs, vanilla and powdered sugar, beating until smooth. Stir in marshmallows. While frosting is slightly warm, spread over the cooled brownies. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Cut chilled brownies into bars. Store in refrigerator.

I did not prepare mine soon enough in advance, so the frosting was a bit runny, but still good.


Thursday, May 6, 2010

Mmm Mmm...Banana Bread

Anytime I go into the kitchen and start making something, Ben grabs a chair from the kitchen table and pulls it over to me. He wants to hold any measuring cup and pour everything in. Today was no exception and he was a really good helper. It was a fun morning in the kitchen.

Today we made one of my favorite family recipes. It is hand written in the recipe binder my mom has had for as long as I can remember. The page is stained from years of getting dough on it. You can tell flipping through that it is one of our favorites. It is the best banana bread recipe, in my opinion. I have tried others, but I always come back to this.


3-4 ripe bananas
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup oil
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
2-3 eggs (use 2 with 3 bananas and 3 with 4 bananas)
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup nuts and/or chocolate chips, if desired

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In large mixing bowl, mash bananas. Add sugar, oil, vanilla and eggs, and mix well. Add in flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Mix until well blended. Add nuts/chocolate chips, if desired. Pour into two well greased loaf pans. Bake for about 35 minutes or until the top in golden and a toothpick comes out clean. Do not overbake. Let cool on rack for 5 minutes and then take loaves out of pans. Enjoy immediately or sometime later. (These loaves freeze really well too.)


Tater Tot Casserole

This dish hit the spot. It is definitely a comfort food. After a really long day, this was really easy and tasty. I changed the traditional Tater Tot Casserole a bit, but the result was a success. Both Hubby and Little B ate it without complaints. There's not meat in this recipe, but could be easily added or could be used to replace the chili. Try it, let me know what you think.



1 bag frozen tater tots
16 oz. frozen vegetable of choice (I used corn this time)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup shredded cheese

Meatless Chili -
1 can light red kidney beans, rinsed and coarsely mashed
1 can tomato paste + 1 can water
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon curry
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

In medium bowl, mix together chili ingredients. Pour in bottom of greased 9x13 baking dish. Spread so it covers the bottom evenly. Spread cream of chicken soup evenly over chili. Sprinkle vegetables evenly over that and then place tater tots on top in a single layer. Bake in preheated 325 degree F oven for 45 minutes, or until cooked through. In last 10 minutes of baking, sprinkle cheese evenly over the top.


Win a Beaba Babycook

Wouldn't this be an awesome thing to have in the kitchen! I spent way too much buying baby food with Little B and I have a goal this time to try and make it this time around. That way it's healthier, among other things, for baby #2. I found this awesome giveaway by Willete and thought I'd share!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Salmon Patties

I was excited about this recipe because it looked easy and I'd never tried making anything like it before. Plus, I love fish. They were really good, but getting the salmon separated from bones and skin in the can was terrible. I was afraid I'd miss some bones and I think I threw out just as much as I used. Next time, I'll probably use frozen salmon instead. After I got that done, they were done pretty quickly. Little B ate every bite of his, which is an amazing thing. It seems like ever since I started this blog, he has been eating better at dinner. I got this recipe off of this blog. They have some easy dinner ideas that toddlers will eat. Here's the recipe...

Salmon Patties

1 can salmon (or about the equivalent of frozen or fresh)
2 eggs
1/2 c. onion, chopped
1/2 c. bread or saltine cracker crumbs
Salt and pepper


Drain salmon and remove any bones. Mix all ingredients together
in a medium-sized bowl. Form salmon mixture into patties and fry
in a hot skillet with a little vegetable oil. Brown on both
sides, about 5-6 minutes each side.


Sunday, May 2, 2010

Chicken Alfredo Pizza

We love pizza around here. I hate forking out the money to buy pizza, and so we usually just make it. I have to say that my pizza crust recipe is the best I have ever had. I originally got it from my friend Kim when we were in college and would get together and make pizza and watch chick flicks with our other friends. Ever since then, I haven't used anything else. I have made Chicken Alfredo pizza before, but never completely from scratch, and I have to say, it was one of the best chicken alfredo pizzas I have ever had. I had leftover cooked chicken and bacon from previous meals this week, so the preparation was really easy. Here is my recipe.



Dough -
1 cup warm water
1/4 + 1/2 Tablespoon sugar, separated
1 Tablespoon yeast
1/2 Tablespoon olive oil
1/4 Tablespoon salt
about 2 1/2 cups flour

Sauce -
2 Tablespoons butter
1/8 teaspoon salt
dash ground black pepper
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Toppings -
1 cup chicken, cut in cubes, sprinkled with salt and pepper, and cooked.
1/2 cup bacon, cooked and chopped
1 large tomato, chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
about 1 cup of your favorite cheese, grated
(plus whatever else you'd like to top it with)

1. Prepare the dough - In medium bowl, mix warm water, 1/4 Tbsp. sugar, and yeast. Proof for 5 minutes. Add 1/2 Tbsp. sugar, oil, salt, and flour. Stir and knead until well blended, adding more flour if too sticky. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise for at least 30 minutes.

2. Prepare the sauce - Once the dough is about done rising, start to prepare the sauce. Melt butter in small saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in salt pepper and flour. Immediately add milk and whisk until mostly smooth. Add Parmesan cheese and stir until sufficiently melted.

3. Assemble the pizza - Roll out pizza dough to the appropriate size for your pizza pan. Place on greased pizza pan. Spread sauce evenly over dough, leaving about 1/4 inch around the edges. Sprinkle about 1/2 of cheese lightly over sauce. Sprinkle all the other toppings, ending with the remainder of the cheese. Note - if you like more cheese, add more. Bake in preheated oven at 450 degrees F for about 12 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbling, and/or the crust is a light brown.

My Little B loved it and picked all the toppings off before eating the crust.