Friday, December 30, 2011

2011: My Favorites

I am hopping on the "favorites post" bandwagon.  (Even though I didn't blog all year, I can still have favorites, right?)  I have noticed quite a few blogs doing it and I wasn't sure I would until we ate breakfast this morning and realized these pancakes would make the list for sure.  I then started formulating the rest of the list in my head.  These aren't in a particular order and I was having a hard time picking favorites.  I love all of the posted recipes, that's why I shared them.  I finally whittled it down to 11 and I tried to keep it 11 that weren't already featured in the "popular posts" (on the right hand side).

Pancakes with Buttermilk syrup is one of the most eaten breakfast foods at our house.

Broccoli Salad

I realized the other day that I warned everyone on Facebook that I was most likely done posting until after Christmas, but I failed to mention it on my blog.  I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas.   We changed plans at the last minute (which I should have expected) and ended up doing massive amounts of driving.  I think it was all worth it in the end.  Everyone had a great time together and there weren't any massive catastrophes.  I just wish we could come up with a way to teleport places.  The 14 hours of driving home with our 2 kids about killed us all.  They were actually really good considering they were in such a confined space for practically the whole day, and I was too.  I didn't tantrum once.  I was really trying to be adult about it.  

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


About 3 years ago, my friend, Lynae, brought me a Christmas treat. Okay, I think she might have brought it for the whole family, but they never saw it.  So I am just going to say it was for me.  She dropped these off in a little Christmas candy dish, wrapped in cellophane and I really didn't know what hit me.  I thought I would just eat one or two before sharing with the rest of my household, and then found myself eating the last one.  They were so good.  I had never had these before then, but I have made them plenty of times since.   The hardest thing about them is unwrapping all the Hugs. 
Enter elves.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Last year, I didn't make baklava.  Because the year before I had spent several batches of phyllo dough and time trying to find "my favorite recipe," and then when we moved, somehow this recipe got boxed up in storage instead of making the journey with me.  FAIL.  Seriously.  Yay for a blog that will make it so that will NEVER happen again!  I was overjoyed to find that it didn't get swallowed up by all things in storage, never to be found.  Sometimes if we have a little faith, everything turns out okay.  Now if I could somehow call Bon Jovi and make sure he is, in fact, alive and well, life would be bliss.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Crab Rangoon (Cream Cheese Won tons) with Sweet and Sour Sauce

I LOVE CHINESE FOOD!  It might be weird that I am posting about this, right now, with Christmas right around the corner.  Maybe you are having people over for a get-together and this would be the perfect addition to your party.  Or maybe not, but here it is anyway!  

Friday, December 16, 2011

Eclairs with Egg Nog Cream

I mentioned our church party when I talked about the sparkling cider.  Another thing I volunteered to bring was a dessert.  I went back and forth when I was trying to decide what to take.  I landed here.  I don't drink a lot of egg nog, but it's like a big deal this time of year, ya know?  

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Sugar Cookies, the pretty kind (sort of)

I know I said that I didn't care if my sugar cookies were shaped like butterflies or not.  But I guess I lied.  Because I was looking at Annie's blog and decided I needed to try it.  (Yes, we are on a first name basis, pretty much BFFs.)  If she can do it, I can do it, right?  And if I can do it, you can do it, for sure.  I am basically an idiot, really.  This attempt was far from perfect.  I am not even showing you the finished candy canes because they don't even deserve a post.  The Christmas trees turned out okay but I think it's like anything in the kitchen; there is a learning curve.  I shouldn't expect myself to be perfect the first time I try something, should I?  Truth be told this was the second time, I tried to make some last week, but it didn't go well at all.  I learned a thing or two from my mistakes, as usual.  Hopefully, you can learn from them too.  That's why we are here right?  And so next time I go to make these cookies I can read this and not make the same mistakes myself.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Homemade Sparkling Cider

We had a church get together tonight and I was in charge of a couple of things.  One of them was sparkling cider.  When we were initially talking about it, we were trying to decide how to make our own since we didn't have a budget that would include buying the fancy bottles for our party.  I started thinking about how we could do that.  It has to just be juice and carbonated water, right?  Right.  I went to the store and bought all the ingredients with the intention of trying it before the party to make sure it was good.  Today rolled around and I hadn't tried it yet.  I really did think it would work though.  And for once, I was right.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Gingerbread Houses

I have been wanting to make gingerbread houses for a couple weeks now. I thought it would be kind of a fun tradition to start with my kids.  Since it was something I wanted to start doing every year, I thought I would invest in a cookie cutter set (Jonas House and Castle Cookie Cutters) to cut the shapes and make it a bit easier every year.  Little did I know, the cookie cutter set was going to be quite flimsy.  I had to reinforce it with popcicle sticks because I was afraid it would bend and every shape I cut would be different.  I also didn't really want to buy the kits with everything included since we are on a pretty fixed budget and plan to be for the next few years.  Even though I was a little disappointed in the cutters, we made them work.  I found a recipe on Epicurious that I changed a little and we used a royal icing recipe (Annie's Eats via Good Things Catered)  that worked really well.  All in all, I think the project was fun and pretty catastrophe-free.  It took some

Monday, December 12, 2011

Creamy Corn (Slow Cooker)

I posted not long ago about slow cooker mashed potatoes and still can't get over the genius of it.  I have since been in love with the idea of side dished in the crock pot.  Especially for special occasions.  The recipe for Candied Yams with Apples and Cranberries was also a bit hit.

I told you guys we went to Arizona for Thanksgiving to spend time with Jenni and her family.  Her mom cooked an AMAZING Thanksgiving dinner.  Seriously, amazing.  Part of dinner was a creamy corn that everyone loved.  Tyler seemed to think it was gravy and put it on top of everything on his plate.  It reminded me of a slow cooker recipe for creamy corn that I made a few years ago.  I couldn't remember the actual recipe so I just added some stuff to the crock pot and I liked the result.  I don't think it's exactly the same as what we had for Thanksgiving, but it's still delicious and would go great with Ham or Turkey or probably any holiday meal.  And the best part is, it's super easy.  It makes me want to get a few more slow cookers.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Chicken and Broccoli Puff Pocket

 I realized the other day that I only had 3 chicken tenderloins in the freezer and usually it takes 6-8 to feed my family.  I was trying to decided how I could dupe them into thinking they had their full meal while only using half the meat.  Whenever I am in this predicament, I always land on something wrapped in bread, some kind of soup or gravy type meal.  I had been eyeing the puff pastry recipe and wanting to try it anyway.  And what's better than something wrapped in bread?  Something wrapped in puff pastry.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Quick Puff Pastry

I will be making this AGAIN!  I want to make it again today; it was (SERIOUSLY) so worth the effort.  This was my first attempt at puff pastry and it won't be my last!  I didn't find it to be as hard as I thought.  Of course this a 'quick' version of puff pastry.  It was very similar to the croissants and I guess they weren't as hard as I thought they would be either. hmmm, I wonder what else I can do.  Days like yesterday get me excited for the possibilities and then very soon, I will have a day that will make me never want to cook again!  Let's enjoy this feeling though, shall we?  

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Brownies II

I mentioned when I posted my favorite brownie recipe that I had a close second I wanted to share.  While the other recipe entails melting chocolate and butter and using the mixer, this one does neither.  No stove top work or mixer necessary (seriously, the only way these could be easier is if you have someone make them for you!), which makes this one all the more appealing.  This recipe has been my favorite for so long, I feel bad replacing it some of the time with the other recipe but it just has to be done.  

Monday, December 5, 2011

Crêpes with Strawberries and Nutella

(updated photo: 2/14/2013)
My family has a tradition involving these crêpes.  If you ask any of them they might say they came up with the idea.  But seriously, don't listen to them.  It was all me.  I was in San Francisco for a work conference a billion years ago (it sounds better for the story that way but it was really probably 9 years ago) and we went to an outdoor mall with a bunch of little shops; including a crêpe shop.  I wish I could remember the name of it.  That place changed my life.  

Friday, December 2, 2011

Turtle Cheesecake

This was another dessert we made in Arizona.  Are you starting to feel like I need an intervention?  Too much cheesecake?  Is there really such-a-thing as too much cheesecake?  Really?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Honey-Soy Glazed Chicken (Slow Cooker)

 I recently joined Pinterest but I don't know what I am doing.  It is a bit intimidating for me.  I kind of feel like I need to hurry and pin a bunch of random things from websites so it looks like I have interests other than cooking.  I have pinned a few things and instead of overwhelming myself decided to just wait until I come across something I like on a website and then I will pin it.  I also wish everyone couldn't automatically see everything.  What if I want to have a private board?  And pin a bunch of weird stuff I don't want people to know about?  I might be a closet weirdo.  Or maybe I want to pin gift ideas and don't want people to see them.  Can you make a board private?  I just don't know enough about the whole situation to feel comfortable I guess.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Whole Wheat Bread (Guest Post)

MY FIRST GUEST POST!!  I'm so excited!

My friend, Jenn, just started a food blog in preparation for our baking group.  A few weeks ago I saw a whole wheat bread tutorial and recipe on her blog.  I was also a little jealous when, in one her blog posts, she mentioned she hadn't bought bread from the store in THREE AND A HALF YEARS!!! I had never made my own whole wheat sandwich bread before or any sandwich bread for that matter.  In fact, I kind of had a bit of a bias toward homemade wheat bread.  One of our neighbors growing up (Tonita Crookston) used to bring my parents wheat bread that was delicious and later spurred my dad's bread making obsession.  The obsession didn't last very long and if I remember correctly he never thought his bread was as good as what she would deliver.  So I just figured you had to be one of those people that the heavens shined upon, bestowing the gift of wheat bread making.  I didn't think it was possible for me to be a wheat-bread-maker.  
I had also heard of people having great results with grinding their own wheat and making bread, but I don't have a wheat grinder and it sounded like a ton of work.  After reading Jenn's post, she said I could use wheat flour and she made it look way easier than I was picturing.  I have made the bread twice now.  Once without the flax (I didn't have any) and once with it.  I am officially converted.  I wanted to share this recipe with everyone in case there are others like me that Jenn can reform. ;)  
I did change a couple things according to what I had on hand and the bread was still wonderful!  I halved the recipe both times; I only have 2 loaf pans.  Isn't that just plain ridiculous???  I also don't keep powdered milk around so I substituted regular milk.  (If the recipe calls for 1 cup powdered milk, reduce the water content by 2 cups and add 2 cups of milk.)    Oh and here are my pictures as proof I can actually make whole wheat sandwich bread!!!  (I don't think you realize how excited I was about that.)  Proof that sometimes we don't even know ourselves. :)
100 times better than what we buy at the store and WAY better for us!  
I will now shut-up so you guys can read what you came here for. 
Here's Jenn:

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Udon Noodles with Shiitake Mushrooms in Ginger Broth

 I have been trying to keep up with my goal of 2 vegetarian meals a week.  I just haven't posted them either because they haven't fit into my blogging schedule or because we haven't liked them enough to share.  If you remember, a couple weeks ago, I was cooking out of a Martha Stewart (Martha Stewart Living Annual Recipes 2004) cookbook.  Of the recipes I tried, there was only one that I was 100 percent sure it belonged on the blog.  This dish was one of the others we tried and after dinner that night, my family wasn't all that impressed.  I thought they would love it.  I really liked it though and the more I have thought about it, the more I think it deserves a post.  I want to eat it again.  I wonder if I scaled back the ginger a bit next time if they would all be happier with the dish.  Either way, I am making it again and they are going to eat it.  Right?  Right!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Raspberry Pie

 My friend, Jenni, invited us to Arizona for Thanksgiving this year.  We were so excited to get to see our friends again we jumped at the chance.  She emailed me a couple weeks ago asking if we could make some desserts for Thanksgiving.  My response was, "Uh, YEAH!"  Isn't it always great to have an excuse to make desserts?  I think so.  I left the decisions up to her about which ones we would make because I figured she knew her family better and what they would like.  And because I will eat just about any kind of dessert so it didn't matter to me.  She did ask what Tyler's favorite pie was and I told her it was raspberry so she added it to her list.  She is so nice to Tyler.  I would have just let him make due with the other 50 dessert choices we had. 


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Comment #14
Jenn said...
Shared the caramel buttermilk syrup....and can't wait to try it myself!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!! My First GIVEAWAY!! (CLOSED)

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  I hope all enjoyed good food and good company today.  It has been just over 2 months since I started food blogging and I am loving it.   It seems like the perfect time to have my first giveaway, doesn't it?  Our baking group is starting up, just around the corner, so in honor of that I thought the giveaway should be something baking-like.  I couldn't decide between the book for our baking group and mixing bowls.  You can never have too many mixing bowls!  So the winner will get to choose between the two.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

If you have been reading, you have probably guessed that I will eat just about anything with pumpkin or cream cheese.  Would you believe I also love the combination of the two?  Weird, right?  I saw these muffins a couple months ago on Tracey's blog and I have been wanting to make them ever since. 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Caramel Apple Cheesecake

I really love cheesecake.  I know, it seems like I really love everything.  (Hence, the name of the blog) But it's really serious.  I mean, really.  I forget many details about my past, but a lot of times food memories stick with me.  I remember when I was working, probably 9 or so years ago, eating a caramel apple cheesecake at a restaurant once for lunch.  My co-worker and I embarrassed ourselves with pleasure noises while eating dessert that day.  We tried to go back, just for the cheesecake, many times and they NEVER had it again.  It's been in the back of my mind ever since.  

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Mashed Potatoes in the Slow Cooker

If you can't tell, this is a picture of mashed potatoes in my slow cooker. :)

This is genius.  I feel like the last 20 minutes before Thanksgiving dinner is always a mad dash.  There seems to be 30 different things to do in just those last few minutes.  The rolls need to be baked, the turkey needs to be carved, the gravy made, the potatoes mashed, things taken to the table...
  Maybe it's just me, but I always feel like I have dinner under control until those few moments and I start to feel like a lunatic.  When I saw this recipe a few days ago I couldn't help but share.  It says you can do all the prep the day before and then just put it in your slow cooker the next morning.  I am not sure I would do that since fridge space seems to be hard to come by, but I would definitely love to not worry about the mashed potatoes in those last few crucial moments.  I love that these are ready whenever you need them.  

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Candied Yams with Apples and Cranberries (Slow Cooker)

I know I usually lead with a photo of the dish all ready to eat.  However, we had company for dinner tonight and I didn't want them to think I was a weirdo for taking pictures of our food before we ate it.  I am sure Tyler thinks it's weird enough and we are trying to make friends here, not send people running for the hills.  Maybe I should just get a sign for my door that says, 'WE ARE NOT WEIRDOS.'  A little too defensive? Do you think?  Anyway, so I opted to try not to be a weirdo; at least while we had company.  

Friday, November 18, 2011

Turkey or Chicken Pot Pie

{photo updated 3/4/2013}
Every year after Thanksgiving, my mom would make turkey pie with the leftovers.  I never understood the brilliance of it until I was trying to shove a bunch of leftover turkey down the throats of my family.  Everyone loves it on Thanksgiving, but when it gets to be a couple days later, we are all kind of sick of turkey.  It's such a great idea to transform the leftovers into something that makes them forget they are eating leftovers.  I love this pie so much that I often turn it into chicken pot pie when we don't have leftover turkey on hand.  If you have leftover gravy, it's great to use that instead of the chicken broth in the recipe, just add broth to equal the cup and a half.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Pie Crust

I debated whether to even post this or not.  It seems like everyone might already have a "favorite" pie crust recipe that they use.  I also count grabbing a frozen one or can of dough at the grocery store.  Whatever your method, you probably think it's the best for you and your situation.   I am not going to say you are wrong.  It just occurred to me that maybe there is someone on the fence out there than I can try to add to my team.  You know, in case it ever comes to the point that we all get together and fight over which pie crust is best (with pastry cutters), there will be more on my team.   When that day comes, I really feel like there would be strength in numbers; so I will take a chance at trying to sway one or two people with this pastry post.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Caramel Pecan Pumpkin Pie

 If you are only going to listen to one thing I ever have to say, it should be this.  MAKE THIS PIE.  I really don't know how else to say it.  This is one of my favorite desserts in the world and that's saying a lot considering it's chocolate-free.  I have given this to people who supposedly don't like pumpkin and they like this.  People who supposedly don't like pecans, like this.  People who don't really like me, like me more when I give them this pie.  I like myself more when I make it.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Shrimp Scampi

 My relationship with Martha is a little love and a little hate.  I want to love everything about her, I really do.  I just get the feeling she doesn't think I am good enough for her.  I just get the feeling that if she were to have a conversation with me, she would just look at me like I was a speck of dirt on her couch or something.  I can't figure out how someone who has been to prison can make me feel like that.  She has bounced right back though, don't you think?

Monday, November 14, 2011

Vanilla Ice Cream (no cooking required)

I know I am not the only one who eats ice cream all year round.  Stop judging!  ;)

I haven't made a lot of ice cream in the past couple years.  It wasn't really conducive with Calvin's gluten/dairy free diet and my ice cream maker is one of the appliances that I have been separated from for a while.  After this ice cream though, I want to do nothing but make ice cream from now on.  It was super easy to make, only a few ingredients that I happen to already have in my house today and I just couldn't pass it up.  The kids had theirs with brownies and Tyler and I put frozen raspberries on top of ours and oh. my. goodness.  I will be making this again.  That's after I eat this whole batch by myself, anyway.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Online Baking Group: Bake 52

 We have a few friends together to start an online baking group.  I am really excited about it.  I think it's going to be fun to learn new things with friends.  Anyone can join.  Check out the Bake 52 page for more info.  We are going to be using this book.


 We have gone to Disneyland quite a bit in the last couple months.  Thanks to our annual passes, it's hard to come up with reasons not to go when we have the spare time.  I am usually so ready to get out of the apartment that I will go just about anywhere, including Disneyland.  It's not that I hate Disney, I don't.  It's just that there always seems to be 8 zillion people there and it makes me feel a bit claustrophobic and always frantic about where my kids are.  They always have such a great time and I guess that makes it worth wading through the hoards of people.  We always walk by 8 thousand churro stands and smell the cinnamon.  Sometimes we buy one, but they are 3 dollars each and I don't know if it's just me or if they aren't as good as they used to be.  Luckily, who needs the churro carts, we can do it ourselves, right? 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Cream of Asparagus Soup

 I had planned on making a different kind of soup yesterday but when I went to the grocery store they had asparagus on sale.  That is something I can never pass up.  I started thinking about making cream of asparagus soup for dinner and wondered if it would be a shame to use such a lovely vegetable in that way; but I went for it anyway because it's something I've wanted to make at home.  I looked up a few recipes but none of them seemed like what I was after so I just decided to wing it.  That might not have been the best idea because I have had a string of kitchen disasters lately.  (I will post more about that when it's not so painful to talk about.)  When things don't go well in the kitchen, it really affects my mood.  Luckily for everyone around here, the soup was a hit.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Herb and Cheese Bubble Loaf

Over 10 years ago, my husband had recently joined the air force and we were in San Antonio for a month.  He couldn't live with me for that month, but he could come visit for a few hours everyday.  After loading up our Pontiac Sunbird with whatever I could shove into it and driving for 2 days straight, I found myself in a city that I didn't know, without any friends and no possibility of a job because of the short duration of our stay.  What is a girl to do?  I really don't know what I did honestly, I really can't remember much of it.  What I do remember?  This bread. 

Monday, November 7, 2011

Caramel Apples

It has been too long since we have made caramel apples.  I don't think we will wait that long again!  We all love them.  Of course, we all love different versions of them.  I would prefer a Pink Lady apple for mine; some tartness but not as much as a Granny Smith.  Tyler and Hadlee would prefer the Granny Smiths and Calvin would probably eat any of them as long as there was caramel involved.  I love this caramel because it's not too tacky.  It's still soft and a bit gooey even after being in the fridge, but still stays on the apple.

Friday, November 4, 2011

4 Cheese and Spinach Ravioli

This is my second vegetarian meal for the week (unless you count the second night of pizza then it was 3 vegetarian meals for the me).  I am not surprised that I fell back on Italian food to help me in my time of need.  When I was trying to think of another vegetarian dish, of course, I came up with some kind of pasta.  I have mentioned previously that I have been seperated from a lot of my kitchen tools and recently reunited with them.  Since being reunited, I have been planning to use my ravioli maker.  Once I started thinking about pasta tonight, it didn't take long for my mind to wander right on over to ravioli.  My grandfather was Italian and when I was young we used to have homemade ravioli every Thanksgiving.  This is my take on what homemade ravioli should be (if we are talking about meatless, anyway).

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Pizza X 3 (thin crust)

We don't usually eat a lot of homemade pizza.  I have never really found a recipe that I loved and Tyler is more partial to the Papa Johns type of pizza.  We had dinner with some friends this week and I left feeling a little inspired.  She does most of her cooking without meat!  Not that they are vegetarian, but she said she doesn't really know what to do with it.  I was a bit baffled, because I feel like I, more often than not, plan my meal around the protein.  One of the reasons I wanted to start this blog was to have a reason to challenge myself and try new things.  Before I left her house, I told her I was going to try at least 2 meat-free meals this week.  I also recently bought a new cookbook that included a pizza section and it called to me.  I decided that my first meat-free meal was going to be a pizza. 
I am now in love. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Navajo (Indian) Tacos

Where I grew up, we always called them Navajo Tacos, but when we lived in South Dakota, they were Indian Tacos.  It doesn't matter what you call them, they are good.  This is my version of it.  I am not going to claim it's an authentic Navajo or Sioux Taco but it's delicious.  This last time I made them I decided to top them with Pico de Gallo and Guacamole, but I really didn't like the way it all came together.  I think the lime in the two sides really didn't go well with the chili.  In the end, I ended up eating mine with just diced tomatoes and avocados (and, of course, the sour cream, cheese and lettuce).  Sometimes the simpler it is, the better it tastes, I just have to be reminded of that every now and then.  Remember in the chili post when I talked about doubling the batch of chili and freezing half?  I think this would be a great use for the chili in the freezer.  If you don't want to make the scones, I have used frozen, thawed bread dough (Mrs Rhodes) before and they were almost as good. :)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Caramel Buttermilk Syrup

If you remember from the pumpkin pancake post, I mentioned making the buttermilk syrup with brown sugar instead of white to give it a caramel quality.  I finally tried it today.  We had pumpkin french toast, which wasn't nearly as good as the pancakes, but we made caramel buttermilk syrup with it.  Although I don't think the french toast was blog-worthy, the syrup definitely was.  I used sour milk instead of buttermilk, but I am sure buttermilk would make it even better.  Even though, it's probably not necessary, I am including the recipe.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Pork Chops with Mushroom Sauce and Parmesan Mashed Potatoes

I know it's Halloween.  I should be posting some kind of gruesome thing to eat.  Like those witches fingers or eyeball cupcakes or something.  But alas, I have no such post.  If it makes you feel better, it's a dead pig. ;)  
When I was growing up we used to eat pork chops with cream of mushroom soup over rice quite often and I loved it.  This is kind of a play on that but I think tastes a little fresher and is a bit healthier. We had it with Parmesan Mashed Potatoes but you could serve it with white or brown rice.  I had a pork roast in the freezer that I cut into pork chops but you could definitely buy them already cut.  This is a pretty painless recipe with few ingredients and not a lot of supervision.  I hope you like it as much as we did. :)

Saturday, October 29, 2011


As you can see, I am not talking about those biscuit things, I am talking about fried bread.   I didn't know there were two different kinds of 'scones' for a while, I thought this was the only one and it should be.  I love scones by themselves with honey butter but I also love them for a few other things.  I wanted to get this recipe on here so I could link to it when talking about the other things. :)  They really are pretty easy to make and so worth the effort.

Friday, October 28, 2011


I have been trying to make delicious cornbread, unsuccessfully, for at least 10 years.  I have always thought that things were better when made from scratch, until I tried making my own cornbread.  I have tried at least a dozen different recipes, with a huge array of ingredients including actual corn, but they all end up disappointing me.  Even recipes with rave reviews from others weren't quite what I was looking for.  Until yesterday.  I think this is the start of the rest of my life.  Either angels were shining down on my kitchen yesterday or I have finally found a cornbread recipe that was made just for me (and maybe you).  It is moist yet still somehow crumbly like cornbread should be, has an amazingly simple list of ingredients and it has the taste I have been searching for.  We had it with Chili last night and it. was. good.  Usually when I make cornbread with chili the only reason I eat it is because it has chili on it.  I would eat this cornbread by itself (and I did) or just with a little honey or butter, or honey butter.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


 A couple people have brought to my attention that I need more healthy recipes on the blog. So I thought I'd post a recipe for chili.  With sour cream and cheese on top. :)  You can leave it off if you find it offensive.  However, I don't find it offensive, I find it lovely.  I really like this chili recipe for a few reasons.  It's really easy, it really fresh tasting and delicious, it's really healthy (if you just eat the chili by itself), it doesn't take a ton of ingredients, and it keeps so well.  Leftover chili is just as delicious, or maybe more so than the first day.  Tonight, we served it with cornbread and can I just say that it's the first cornbread I have made from scratch that I LOVED, but more on that tomorrow.  Chili is the kind of thing that would be good to double the batch and freeze half.  And I think I have a recipe coming up that you can use the frozen half for. ;)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Bake Sale

There is an organization here, at the university, for the dental wives.  I am a bit anti-social so I haven't really been involved thus far.  I have gotten to know a couple of the other wives and one of them was in charge of getting people to bake goods for the bake sale.  I guess they were having trouble getting volunteers, so I started feeling a little guilty after the third or fourth email.  I really should be better at being involved.  And they are trying to raise money to make blankets for sick children (or something like that).  I caved and called her today to tell her I could bake something.  
The treats needed to be individually wrapped and each bag had to be worth a dollar.  I am just glad I don't have to sit at the table and sell them because what I think is worth a dollar and what someone else thinks is worth a dollar, might be very different.  I decided to make pumpkin chocolate chip cookies and sugar cookies, with orange frosting, of course.  I tried to make them festive without being cheesy.  (I always feel cheesy next to these professional people)  I am pretty happy with how they turned out.  I think they look like fall, but maybe a little simple and elegant?  Yeah, that's a question.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Apple Struesel Bagels

 Let me just tell you, I started out on this bagel quest with the idea of making a pumpkin bagel.  There are a few recipes out there for pumpkin bagels, but apparently, they aren't for me.  There were 4 attempts made, and none were successful enough to make me crave them or even share the recipe.  And that was my lesson.  Just because I am in a pumpkin craze right now, doesn't mean everything needs to be pumpkin.  Some things just aren't meant to be pumpkin (for me anyway).  I did add a pumpkin crumb topping to some of these bagels, and they were good, but the pumpkin flavor wasn't particularly strong and I liked the apple crumb better after taste testing.  I did do some messing with the cream cheese that was very successful, but that's another post.  And these bagels are good enough, you don't even need the cream cheese.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Fudge Covered Frozen Bananas

Okay, before you get all judgmental with the frozen bananas in the Fall, let me just tell you, it's still been 90 degrees here during the day!  I really keep thinking fall is on it's way.  I am really ready for sweaters and hot cocoa and soup (which we have been having anyway), but Mother Nature is not cooperating.  That being said, I would probably eat a frozen banana even if I was frozen.  I love them.  So even though it's fall, maybe there is someone else out there like me who might enjoy this post. (fingers crossed)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Bread Machine: White Bread

 My bread machine and I have been separated for about a year and half.  I had forgotten how much I missed her.  Even though I have a mixer, I still use my bread machine enough that I miss her when she's gone.  I love the convenience of it.  The other day I wanted to have soup and bread for dinner, but also had to take Hadlee to a dentist appointment and wouldn't be home to complete all the steps of making bread.  I almost picked up a loaf of french bread when I went to the store that morning, but then realized, I can just use my bread machine.  It is so nice to be able to put the ingredients in, press start and know that when I get back from wherever, we can walk in to the smell of fresh bread.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

I have been wanting to make a potato soup for a couple weeks.  It's been rolling around in my mind and today when I was at the grocery store, they had 10 lb bags of potatoes on sale.  I think it was a sign that tonight was the night.  I went into my kitchen, annoyed by the thought of trying to find a recipe, and decided to just go for it.  I wanted a potato soup that was good and cheesy and comforting.  Some days, when I go into my kitchen without a plan, it can end up being disastrous, but today, luckily, was not one of those days. I asked Tyler after we ate if he thought the soup was blog-worthy and he didn't hesitate at all before saying, "Yes!"  (I thought it was, I just wanted a second opinion.)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal with Crumble Topping

I have been waiting to make this for about a week now.  My sister-in-law sent me a link with the recipe, knowing that I am as in love with pumpkin right now as she is.  
I woke up this morning, freezing in my bed with a little bit of a sore throat and this was the perfect breakfast to start off the day.  There is something soothing about baking and the smells that come with it.  This smelled delicious, like fall in my oven.  And a warm, yummy breakfast was just what my scratchy throat needed. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Oh, Brownies (Truffle Brownies)

{Photos updated 4/9/2013}
I am a bit of a brownie connoisseur.  I love brownies.  Especially these brownies.  I think some days I might leave my husband for them.  That's how much I love them.  I have another recipe that is a close second to this little gem.  It was my tried and true recipe for a few years until I found this one just a couple months ago.  The recipe calls for bittersweet chocolate.  I've used both bittersweet and semi-sweet with amazing results.  They will still turn out decadent and fudgey and lovely.  That's how I like my brownies, super chocolatey and fudgey and delicious. 
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