Thursday, December 23, 2010

Buttermilk Panna Cotta with Fresh Berry Compote

This is a very fun recipe. It can be found under the category of dessert or brunch (we indulged and had it for breakfast). So quick and easy I love the recipe for it's simplicity. Every person in our family gave it a 4+ rating (scale of 1-5). Ryan said he would give it a 4.79 ;) When I told him that my recipe software only could handle whole numbers he said definantly a 5!

As I was looking for variations of this recipe; I stumbled across the meaning of Panna Cotta- Italian for "cooked cream".

  • 1/4 C. water
  • 2 Tbs. sugar
  • 1 1/2 C. fresh raspberries or other ripe berries

  • 1 3/4 C. buttermilk
  • 2 tsp. powdered gelatin (1 envelope)
  • 1 1/4 C. heavy cream
  • 1/4 C. sugar
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

  • Fresh mint sprigs or fresh berries, for garnish


First, make the Fresh Berry Compote: In a small saucepan, combine the water and sugar. Stir over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Add 1/2 C. of the berries. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring and smashing the berries, until the mixture has a jam-like consistency. Remove the pan from the heat and gently fold in the remaining berries. Divide the compote evenly among 6 large martini glasses. Put the glasses in the refrigerator to chill.

For the Buttermilk Panna Cotta, pour the buttermilk into a medium mixing bowl. Sprinkle the gelatin powder evenly over the buttermilk and leave it to soften for 1 minute; then, stir the gelatin into the buttermilk. Set aside. In a small saucepan, stir together the heavy cream and the sugar. Over medium heat, bring the mixture to a boil, then remove immediately from the heat. Pour the hot cream mixture over the buttermilk. Stir to combine.

Stir in the lemon juice and the vanilla extract. Leave the mixture to cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally. Remove the martini glasses from the refrigerator. Spoon the room-temperature panna cotta mixture evenly among the glasses. Return them to the refrigerator to chill until set, at least 2 hours. Garnish with fresh mint sprigs or fresh berries before serving.

Some other serving suggestions for Panna Cotta that I found included drizzling syrup or flavored liqueur (like creme de menth and orange caracao) or serving along side fresh sliced fruit.

This can be modified in many ways - substitute milk or cream for buttermilk, omit  lemon juice, increase vanilla or other flavorings, stir in chocolate, espresso, liqueurs, eliminate berries, etc.

Enjoy!! We sure  loved it :D


Wolfgang Puck is attributed with this recipe.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Fruited Roast

This is one of my favorite holiday foods. We have this usually during Hanukkah. It sounds a bit odd but it's a wonderful combination.



4-5 lb roast

1 ½ C. beef broth

2 medium onions

2 C. mixed dried fruit (I like raisins and apricots)

1 C. wine

Salt and Pepper to taste


Season the roast with salt and pepper. Brown on all sides in a large pot.  Add the onions and cook over medium low heat until softened and lightly caramelized, about 10-15 minutes.

Add the wine, broth, and dried fruit; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 2 ½ hours or until fork tender.

Remove roast from pot to cutting board and allow to set for 5 minutes before slicing.

Meanwhile, skim fat from gravy.

Arrange roast on a serving platter and ladle the fruit and gravy on top.


*White dry wine was the recipes original recommendation. I've made it with everything including cooking wine and it's still fabulous no matter which type.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

whole Baked Pumpkin

This is a fun and somewhat unique recipe to add to your fall menu. This makes a great side dish or dessert. Absolutely wonderful scooped out while warm with vanilla ice cream!

A whole baked pumpkin makes for a fun way to present and serve this dish.


1 medium pumpkin

6 Granny Smith apples- peeled, cored and chopped

1 C. chopped walnuts

1 (16 oz) can cranberry sauce

1 (20 oz) can pineapple chunks, drained (I have yet to add this so tell me if you try it how it tastes)

¾ C. packed brown sugar

½ C. golden raisins

½ C. dark rum (optional) (I added a little rum flavoring instead- a tsp. to a Tbsp.)

2 tsp minced fresh ginger root

1 Tbsp. freshly grated nutmeg

1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Position rack in the center of the oven.

Cut out top of pumpkin, and set aside. Scoop out seeds.

In a large bowl, stir together the apples, walnuts, cranberry sauce, pineapple, brown sugar, raisins, and rum. Season with ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon, and mix well. Spoon the mixture into the cleaned pumpkin and replace top.

Set pumpkin directly on a baking stone or baking sheet. Bake for 1 hour in the preheated oven, or  until the pumpkin begins to soften. Remove from heat and stir, scraping the sides gently, so that the pumpkin falls into the apple mixture.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Comfort Food Chicken Pot Pie (Homemade :D) and Cream Biscuits

This is one of my favorite comfort foods to make. I love it when fall and winter come back around and I can start making all the meals that warm the kitchen as well as those who share in dinner.

One of the reasons that this is my favorite to make is that it is a quick dinner. This recipe can be doubled or tripled to easily feed a crowd.

Chicken Pot Pie

6 Tbsp. butter
1/2 C. chopped onion
7 Tbsp. flour
1/4 tsp. dried rosemary (I like it with more)
S & P to taste
3 C. chicken broth
3 C. cubed cooked chicken (or turkey, Thanksgiving leftovers anyone?)
1 10-oz package frozen mixed vegetables
1 batch SECB (below), also can use refrigerated biscuits

In a large saucepan melt butter. Add onion and cook till tender. Stir in flour, salt, rosemary, and pepper. Add broth; stir to mix well. Cook and stir till thickened and bubbly. Stir in chicken and veggies; heat till bubbly. Meanwhile make biscuits and bake them.
When chicken mixture is hot and bubbly pour into individual serving dishes or one large casserole serving dish. top with biscuits and serve.

Sarah's Easy Cream Biscuits

1 3/4 C. flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 c. heavy cream

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a large bowl mix dry ingredients. Stir in just enough whipping cream so that the dough leaves the side of the bowl (note: this may be less or more than the recipe calls for). Fold dough over a couple of times in the bowl till well mixed. Drop by spoonfuls onto baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes.

These biscuits are amazing and amazingly simple. The above recipe is how I make them for Chicken Pot Pie below are some other variations or uses.

For cut biscuits after adding the cream turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead about 10 times and then roll and cut.

Another fun thing to try is to add a 1/2 cup to a full cup of cheese and a sprinkle of seasoning.

The chicken pot pie is a variation from one I found in the BHG cookbook. Every time I make it I make it differently. This is a great way to use up extra tidbits of meat and vegetables in the fridge. It is also good when you don't have chopped chicken or turkey. I just add extra veggies. Also instead of rosemary you can use poultry seasoning or any other seasoning you love in chicken dishes.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Rhubarb Pie

This is an amazing dessert with or without a pie crust. I like to make it without crust and serve it with Ice cream. It becomes more of a souffle this way :). Another reason I love this dessert (besides the fact that I love rhubarb) is that the hands on time is so short.

Rhubarb Pie

3 eggs                                    1/4 C. flour
1 1/4 C. Sugar                         2 1/2 C. Chopped rhubarb
1/4 C. butter (softened)             1/4 tsp. salt
1 10-inch pie shell (optional)

Preheat oven to 375. Separate yolks from egg whites. Beat whites and slowly add 1/4 cup sugar until stiff; set aside. In a blender or food processor mix egg yolks, butter, salt, remaining sugar, and flour. Add rhubarb and pulse until it is mixed well (should still have lots of chunks). Fold together the rhubarb mix and the egg whites (gently). Pour into a buttered dish or pie shell. bake for 15 minutes then reduce heat to 325 and bake for 30 minutes more.

Enjoy :D one of my favorites!!


Sunday, October 3, 2010

Blackberry Cream Cheese Pie

This pie is to die for! Made it today with my mom's fresh blackberries, it was so incredible. You may want to make two pies when you make it. It is a delightfull summer pie.

5 cups blackberries
1/2 cup water
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2/3 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 packages (3 ounces each) cream cheese, at room temperature
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 baked 8-inch or 9-inch pie shell
Whipped cream and/or additional berries, to garnish (optional)
In a medium-size saucepan, combine 3 cups of the berries with the water. Bring to a boil. Let cool, then strain to remove the seeds. Return the syrup to the saucepan. Stir in the cornstarch, sugar, and lemon juice. Bring to a boil, stirring, and boil for 2 minutes. Cool.

When the syrup is cool, blend the cream cheese, milk, and lemon zest until smooth. Spread evenly in the baked pie shell. Top with the remaining 2 cups uncooked berries. Pour the cooled, thickened syrup evenly over the berries. Refrigerate for 1 hour or more.

~Amie Michelle~

Monday, September 27, 2010

Apple Caramel Pie

My family and I have really enjoyed this recipe. Now that it is fall, it is a great time to try this!

1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch double crust deep dish pie
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
5 cups thinly sliced apples
2/3 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon lemon juice
20 caramels, halved
2 tablespoons milk


1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
2) To Make Taffy: In a small bowl combine brown sugar, melted butter or margarine, and 1/3 cup flour. Mix well and set aside.
3) To Make Apple Filling: Place apples in a large bowl. Add white sugar, 3 tablespoons flour, cinnamon, and lemon juice. Toss until all ingredients are mixed well and apples are thoroughly coated.
4)Spoon half of apple filling into pastry-lined deep-dish pan. Top with half of caramels and half of taffy mixture. Repeat process with remaining apple filling, caramels and taffy mixture. Place top pastry over filling and seal well (this is very important--if edges are not sealed, caramel will leak out all over). Cut steam vents and brush top crust with milk or light cream.
5)Cover pie with foil and place on a baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil from pie and bake for another 20 to 25 minutes, until crust is golden. Serve warm.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Everyday fun, New Twists on Old Favorites

Grilled Cheese Supreme
Instead of your normal everyday grilled cheese try these additions for a switch up and gourmet feel to an old favorite.

-sauteed onions, bell peppers, and tomatoes
-Meat slices/ bits. Turkey ham is especially good.

Mac n' Cheese

-Take your finished mac and place in baking dish add small layer of cheese and a layer of bread crumbs drizzle with butter and bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees.
- Mix in broccoli or other vegetables.
- Try new cheeses or combinations of cheese. My favorite mac is with Monterrey cheese and a little bit of pepper.

If you like to make homemade bread or rolls here are a couple of additions to take it from everyday to special occasions ( home made rolls and bread are always excellent whether spruced up or not).

-Fennel or a mix of the same spices you would put in your pizza sauce (fennel, parsley, basil)
-Rosemary and sage.
- Cheese :)

Well that was on my mind for tonight. Thinking about some of the things that Amie and I like to play around with :)

~ Sarah ~

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Waldorf Astoria Cake

½ C. shortening

2 eggs

¼ C. red food coloring

1 C. buttermilk

1 tsp. soda

1 ½ C. Sugar minus 2 Tbsp.

2 tsp. cocoa

2 ¼ C. sifted cake flour +2 Tbsp.

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. vinegar

Cream together shortening, sugar, and eggs. Add the cocoa, food coloring, and flour. Beat in the remaining ingredients. Bake in two round (9") cake pans at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes then remove from pan. Cool and split each layer. Frost and stack (frosting below)



1 C. milk

1 C. butter

1 tsp. vanilla

3 Tbsp. flour

1 C. sugar

Cook the milk and flour until very thick. Let cool (this step is important because if it isn't both thick and cooled your frosting will be glaze). Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla together. Slowly add the milk mixture and beat until light and fluffy.


The frosting is really what makes this cake come alive. I think I could eat the frosting by itself. I will try and refrain J

Enjoy! ~Sarah~

Friday, September 10, 2010

Sour Cream Pancakes

4 eggs

½ C. flour

1 C. sour cream

1 Tbsp. sugar

1 tsp salt

¼ tsp. baking soda

Beat eggs well. Add sour cream, flour, salt, sugar, and soda. Blend until smooth. Cook on hot, lightly greased, griddle until bubbly on top. Turn and cook till brown.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Simple Pleasures, Garlic-y Beans and Marinated Mushrooms

Here are two recipes that I absolutely love! They are both so simple but dress up a dinner so nicely.  Both are adjusted as you like it :)

Garlic-y Beans

Green Beans
Garlic (minced)
Parmesan Cheese (grated)

Steam green beans first. Melt a couple of Tablespoons of butter in a pan. Add beans and garlic and saute for a few minutes. When hot sprinkle well with parmesan and serve.

Marinated Mushrooms

Montreal Steak seasoning

Saute Mushrooms in butter till nice and brown. Sprinkle with Montreal and serve.

Wonderful flavor in both dishes. Adjust the ingredients as you like them. Delicious, quick, and yet still feels like a gourmet side!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Banana Smoothie

All right, I'm not a big fan of bananas or using bananas in things (other than banana bread) but this smoothie is amazing. I loved it! And it is so incredibly easy too!

1 banana
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 pinch ground cinnamon

In a blender, combine banana, milk, vanilla, egg and sugar. Blend until smooth. Pour into a tall glass and top with a pinch of cinnamon.


Thursday, August 26, 2010

All Purpose Crepes

2 eggs

1 cup milk

2/3 cup all-purpose flour

1 pinch salt

1 1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil

  1. In a blender combine eggs, milk, flour, salt and oil. Process until smooth. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour.
  2. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and brush with oil (or butter for a better flavor). Pour a ladle full of crepe batter into pan, tilting to completely coat the surface of the pan. Cook 2 to 5 minutes until golden (lightly). Repeat with remaining batter.

These crepes are amazing because they can be used with any type of dish- dessert (of course), dinner, side, etc. They are not overly sweet like most crepes and can be dressed up or down to fit the occasion.

Some of the ways I like to serve these:

For breakfast- cook some fresh or frozen berries with a tiny bit of sweetener and cornstarch to make a thick fruit sauce, roll in crepe, top with whipped cream and sugar.

For dessert- fold in quarters and drizzle with cinnamon sugar. Or drizzle with chocolate sauce :D Yum.

Some tips for cooking crepes:

Thinner is better ;) drop enough batter to fully coat the bottom of the pan and rotate the pan so that the batter runs around and fills out the pan. I keep circling the pan till the batter stops moving and is partially cooked to the bottom of the pan.

Crepe pans should be hot but not too hot. When you put your batter in the crepe should immediately start cooking to the pan and solidifying. If it's to hot the edges of your crepe will brown to fast.

Have a cooling rack on hand and turn your crepes out on top. Do not stack crepes until they are cool.

I like to butter my pan almost every time. Have a pastry brush and melted butter on hand and give it one swirl of butter before adding batter. It should sizzle when you add the butter. If your pan is not hot enough you can leave it on the burner for a few seconds between turning out your crepe and moving on to the next one.

Non stick pans work best (crepe pans work even better :p lol, now you know what you can get me for my b-day) and I usually have three or four going at the same time.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Best Pizza Crust Ever.... And Easy Too!!!!

1 C. warm water (110-115 degrees)          
1 Tbsp sugar
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 C. flour

Stir water, sugar and yeast together until dissolved. (I let my yeast get excited before continuing to the next step). Add the olive oil and the salt. Stir in the flour until well blended. Let dough rest for 10 minutes (very important for the right texture, you have to let the gluten form). pat dough onto pan or pizza stone using fingers dipped in olive oil. Top and bake for 15-20 minutes in a preheated 425 degree oven.

Note: For an even easier time with your dough use cornmeal sprinkled on the bottom of the pan to make it easier to work with the dough and keep it from sticking.

This is one of my favorite pizza crust recipes and it is so quick and easy. Almost totally fool proof (except when you try to convert it to whole wheat) and super delicious!!!!! I'm working on the alterations to make this one healthier but haven't come up with anything quite as good as this!


Bonus recipe: Simple Sauce

2 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp oregano
1 Tbsp Basil
Can of tomato sauce

For easier mixing (and less dishes) add your seasonings to your tomato sauce, still in it's can, and stir with a knife. If you like your sauce on the thick side add a couple of tablespoons of tomato paste. Enjoy!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Italian-Cheese Dressing

1 1/3 C. salad oil (or canola, grape seed, or other light oil)
1/2 C. vinegar
1/4 C. grated parmesan cheese
1 T. sugar (or agave)
2 tsp salt
1 tsp celery salt
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp paprika
1 clove garlic minced

In a blender combine all ingredients and blend till well combined. If blending by hand combine oil and vinegar and beat parm. into it slowly then add all the spices.

This is one of our favorite dressings :)


Saturday, July 24, 2010

Roast Sticky Chicken-Rotisserie Style


4 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 onions, quartered
2 (4 pound) whole chickens


1. In a small bowl, mix together salt, paprika, onion powder,
thyme, white pepper, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and garlic powder.
Remove and discard giblets from chicken. Rinse chicken cavity, and pat
dry with paper towel. Rub each chicken inside and out with spice
mixture. Place 1 onion into the cavity of each chicken. Place chickens
in a resealable bag or double wrap with plastic wrap. Refrigerate
overnight, or at least 4 to 6 hours.
2. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F (120 degrees C).
3. Place chickens in a roasting pan. Bake uncovered for 5 hours, to
a minimum internal temperature of 180 degrees F (85 degrees C). Let
the chickens stand for 10 minutes before carving.

Yet another amazing chicken recipe!!! This may seem like a lot of time
to put into a chicken dinner but really, the hands on part is not that
difficult. Amazingly moist, and ridiculously delicious, rotisserie
style is the way to go for a nice weekday dinner or even a meal for

Have a blessed day!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Broccoli Salad, Anstett Style

One of my favorite non-lettuce salads. This recipe can be modified or
substituted with other ingredients for a different flavor or type of
broccoli salad. The recipe is how I normally like to make it, with my
favorite ingredients. I wrote other options or substitutes next to
them if you want to try some other ideas. Amie really likes toasted
soy nuts in this salad. I love pine nuts but they can be really


10 slices bacon
1 head fresh broccoli, cut into bite size pieces
1/4 cup red onion, chopped
1/2 cup dried cranberries (or raisins if you prefer)
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar (or whatever is on hand)
2 tablespoons white sugar (I use agave)
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup pine nuts (toasted soy nuts are good too)


1. Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat
until evenly brown. Drain, crumble and set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, combine the broccoli, onion and cranberries.
In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, agave (or sugar) and
mayonnaise. Pour over broccoli mixture, and toss until well mixed.
Refrigerate for at least two hours.
3. Before serving, toss salad with crumbled bacon and pine nuts.



Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Carrots in Dill Butter

This is an amazing side dish. If you love dill (which I do) I would
recommend doubling the amount of dill that goes into this recipe.

Carrots in Dill Butter

8 carrots, peeled and sliced into 1 inch pieces
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dill seed


In a medium-sized heavy saucepan, combine carrots, water, butter,
sugar, salt and dill seed. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover and
simmer 25 to 30 minutes, or until carrots are tender and most of the
liquid is absorbed.



Sunday, July 11, 2010

Pat's Carrot Salad

This is a recipe that I'm making today for/ with Oma. Hope you enjoy!

Pat's Carrot Salad

2 ½ # carrots, peeled 1 Can tomato soup
½ C. olive oil ¾ C. apple cider vinegar
2/3 C. sugar 1 ½ t. mustard
1 ½ t. worcestershire sauce ½ onion, diced
½ green pepper, diced Salt and pepper to taste

Boil carrots (whole) in lightly salted water. Drain, cool and slice.
In a large pot combine all ingredients except for the onion and
pepper. Bring to a boil stirring constantly. Add onion and pepper and
stir for a few minutes more. Add S+P to taste. Cover and refrigerate.
Can be made a week in advance and gets better with age.

Personally I thought it might be a bit to much vinegar. Maybe I will
add some thoughts as I experiment with this recipe. It's a huge hit
with my Oma and I am very blessed to be spending time with her :)

Thursday, July 8, 2010


This is a very fun, and light lunchtime sandwich.
Fill the two slice of bread with: Thin layer of mayo, sprouts, avocado, lettuce, bacon, turkey, cranberries, and cream cheese. This is absolutely delicious. My grandma doesn't like any veggies at all and she loved this. So it is great, light, and healthy(ish).


Curried Tea Chicken Sandwiches

This is a fabulous recipe for normal everyday cooking, entertaining,
and even traveling. Keep a couple of cans cooked chicken on hand and
you have a very nearly instant meal. Package the mayonnaise in a
separate container and mix it in right before serving and you have a
great meal for a picnic or car ride. Also as the name suggests have a
tea party!

2 cups cooked diced chicken
1 medium unpeeled red apple, chopped
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup thinly sliced celery
2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions
3/4 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
2 teaspoons lime juice
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
12 slices bread
Lettuce Leaves


In a bowl, combine the first 5 ingredients. Combine mayonnaise, lime
juice and curry powder; add to chicken mixture and stir to coat. Cover
and refrigerate until ready to serve. Cut each slice of bread with a
3-in. heart-shaped cookie cutter (serving suggestion for tea party).
Top with lettuce and chicken salad.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Taco Soup

This is one of our family favorites. Quick and easy, great for rainy nights (hello Idaho!), and even better the second day this soup is a winner.

Taco Soup

1/2 clove Garlic (chopped/ minced)
1 Lb Ground Turkey
1 White Onion (chopped)
8 C. Chicken Broth
2 Cans Kidney Beans- 15oz
1 Can Pinto Beans- 15oz
2 Cans Stewed Tomatoes- 15oz
1 Sm. Can Diced Tomatoes
1 Bunch Cilantro
2 Cans Mexi-Corn

Shredded Cheese
Sour Cream

Brown Turkey and onion. Boil broth and if desired (we usually don't because I don't buy cilantro that often) cilantro.

Once boiling, add tomatoes, garlic, corn, beans and meat. Simmer on low for 20 minutes.

Serve with cheddar cheese and sour cream on top.



Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Cabbage Slaw

This recipe is one of our family favorites. It usually just debuts for the summer with every hamburger we grill, but sometimes shows up with other meals and occasions.

This is by far one of my favorite slaw/ salad recipes. Enjoy!!!!

Cabbage Slaw

4 cups shredded cabbage
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley or 2T. Dried
1/2 cup chopped onion
2-3 tbs sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tbs oil
3 tbs vinegar

1 In a large bowl mix cabbage and onion.
2 In a small bowl combine all other ingredients and whisk well.
3 Pour dressing on cabbage slaw and serve.

Preparation time: 15 minutes


Thursday, June 17, 2010

Blender Mayonnaise

Love this recipe. One reason is that the texture is fabulous. The other reason? Who doesn't love a recipe that you throw in a blender and serve?!


2 eggs
2 C. safflower oil (or grapeseed oil)
1 teaspoon salt
4 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder

Blend eggs, 2 Tbsp. lemon juice, and salt in blender. Gradually add 1 cup oil while still blending. Then add remaining lemon juice. Gradually add remaining oil and seasonings. As the mixture thickens you may need to scrape the sides occasionally.

Enjoy healthier and cheaper mayonnaise!


Friday, June 4, 2010

Balsmic potatoes

I loved potatoes like this. This is great for summer and bbq type meals. We will be have this a lot this summer. When I made this we had steak with it. YUM!

2 tablespoons olive or canola oil
2 pounds small red potatoes, quartered (I made it smaller then that. I used yukon potatoes, I think any would work.)
1 tablespoon finely chopped green onion
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1. In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add the potatoes, onion and garlic; toss to combine. Add the thyme, rosemary and nutmeg; toss well. Cook and stir for 2-3 minutes or until potatoes are hot.
2. Transfer to a 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan coated with nonstick cooking spray. Bake at 400 degrees F for 25-30 minutes or until potatoes are golden and almost tender. Add the vinegar, salt and pepper; toss well. Bake 5-8 minutes longer or until potatoes are tender.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Blender Hollandaise

This is one of my all time favorite sauce recipes! I tried and tried to make the hollandaise out of a book one night and the rest of the meal was getting cold and then I decided to stick with the reliable favorite recipe. In no time at all the meal was finished and the result was wonderful. Almost every time I make this I double the recipe. Leftovers can always be used to dress up some veggies or glam up a chicken dinner.


3 egg yolks

1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 dash hot pepper sauce (e.g. Tabasco


1/2 cup butter



In the container of a blender, combine the egg yolks, mustard, lemon juice and hot pepper sauce. Cover, and blend for about 5 seconds.


Place the butter in a glass measuring cup. Heat butter in the microwave for about 1 minute, or until completely melted and hot. Set the blender on high speed, and pour the butter into the egg yolk mixture in a thin stream. It should thicken almost immediately. Keep the sauce warm until serving by placing the blender container in a pan of hot tap water.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Lemon Herb Chicken

* 4 teaspoons Italian seasoning
* 1 teaspoon seasoning salt
* 1 teaspoon mustard powder
* 2 teaspoon garlic powder
* 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
* 1 (3 pound) whole chicken
* 2 lemons
* 2 tablespoons olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. Combine the seasoning, salt, mustard powder, garlic powder and black pepper; set aside. Rinse the chicken thoroughly, and remove the giblets. Place chicken in a 9x13 inch baking dish. Sprinkle 2 teaspoons of the spice mixture inside the chicken. Rub the remaining mixture on the outside of the chicken.
3. Squeeze the juice of the 2 lemons into a small bowl or cup, and mix with the olive oil. Drizzle this oil/juice mixture over the chicken.
4. Bake in the preheated oven for 1 1/2 hours, or until juices run clear, basting several times with the remaining oil mixture.
** COOK'S NOTE: I like to stick a stalk of celery in my chicken to make it more moist. Also I loosen the skin of my chicken with my fingers and instead of rubbing the spice on the outside I rub it in between the chicken and it's skin.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


This is the recipe:
1 pint heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese

I added:
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup romano cheese

In a medium saucepan combine whipping cream, butter or margarine, and grated Parmesan cheese. Cook over medium low heat until smooth. Remove from heat. Sauce will thicken upon standing.

I cut half chicken breast in small chunks. Salt and peppered it and cooked it in butter. Added it for Chicken fettuccine dinner. I served Garlic bread and an Italian salad, on the side. My family gave it a 4 to 4.5 stars.


Saturday, May 8, 2010


This is one of my families favorite vegetarian meals. Definitely a comfort food!! I always add a few extra cloves of garlic and caramelize my onions. Also good is to add an extra tomato and plenty more parm cheese. I use good old S&P to taste instead of just salt. That combination is used so much that I even made a 2 to 1 ratio of S&P and put it in a shaker!
2 Tbs olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp dried parsley
1 eggplant, cut into 1/2 inch cubes

salt to taste
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 zucchini, sliced
1 large onion, sliced into rings
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1 green bell pepper, sliced
2 large tomatoes, chopped
1 Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Coat bottom and sides of a 1 1/2 quart casserole dish with 1 tablespoon olive oil.
2 Heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Saute garlic until lightly browned. Mix in parsley and eggplant. Saute until eggplant is soft, about 10 minutes. Season with salt to taste.
3 Spread eggplant mixture evenly across bottom of prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle with a few tablespoons of Parmesan cheese. Spread zucchini in an even layer over top. Lightly salt and sprinkle with a little more cheese. Continue layering in this fashion, with onion, mushrooms, bell pepper, and tomatoes, covering each layer with a sprinkling of salt and cheese.
4 Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Marshmallow fondant

I refuse to buy fondant. Why? I mean doesn't it look so pretty? Well yes it does, but it is a flavorless, silky, preservative! If I wanted to preserve the inside of me I would eat a jar of maraschino cherries because I like the way those taste better :).

After playing with this recipe and putting my spin on it I think this is just as beautiful, much more flavorful, and healthier (as healthy as a bowl of sugar could get?).

Her notes said the recipe yield
was 2 1/4 pounds of fondant.... I didn't weigh it.


  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 (16 ounce) package miniature marshmallows
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 pounds confectioners' sugar, divided

Directions (as altered)

  1. Heat water in the bottom of a double boiler. Empty the bag of marshmallows into the top and place over heat.
  2. Melt marshmallows and cook for 1 minute more. Carefully stir the water and vanilla extract into the hot marshmallows, and stir until the mixture is smooth. Be sure that the mixture is very hot before transferring. If it is just barely melted it will be very hard to work with. I let mine sit over the water for a good 5 minutes or so.
  3. Transfer to a kitchen aid or mixer. Using the kneading hook, slowly beat in the confectioners' sugar (a cup/ little at a time) until you have a sticky dough.
  4. As you knead, the dough will become workable and pliable. Continue kneading until the fondant is smooth and no longer sticky to the touch, 5 to 10 minutes.This is the point where if you are going to add coloring you need to separate the dough into as many portions as there will be colors. If you wait till later it is still possible to add color but very messy and tedious.
  5. Skip this step if not adding color. Add the coloring a few drops at a time (I really like the paste coloring from the craft store, but regular food coloring works too) alternating with more powdered sugar. When you have the right color and a smooth dough that isn't sticky you are ready for the next step.
  6. Form the fondant into a ball, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight. (I'm impatient, I chilled it for an hour or two and it came out fine)(chilling is important though, I think it's because the excess liquid is soaked into the sugar making a more dough like product?) To use, allow the fondant to come to room temperature. Coat your hands in Crisco, I know, it's gross, but it works! Kneed/ work the dough until it is soft and pliable. Roll it out on a flat surface dusted with confectioners' sugar.
Just a few more thoughts or need to knows about this recipe:

If you want it to look right you still have to cover the cake/ cookies/ cupcakes with frosting to give the fondant a truly smooth appearance.

For an extra touch of gloss use your fingers dipped in Crisco to smooth out the fondant and give it a shine. Also good for touching up tears. Pull fondant together and smooth together with fingers dipped in Crisco.

For extra smoothness on a sheet cake I used a flat ruler to scrape gently against/ flatten out my fondant.

Also fun to use are the shimmer powders available at the craft store to add a nice sheen/ sparkle.

~~ Sarah ~~

P.S. The original recipe is on and has some very cool pictures of different creations using this recipe/ a modified version of this recipe.

P.S.S. I'm working on a party planner portfolio. Eventually, I will be a party coordinator and would love the experience.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Carrot soup

This week has been pretty crazy. Half of my family is on a diet thingy. So the only people eating is myself, dad, and Grandma. And out of those people I am the only one that can cook, but I am also sick. So last night, after dragging myself out of bed, I made a homemade soup that is really easy and good.

6 c. of peeled and sliced Carrots
4 c. of Chicken broth
4 TBSP of butter
4 TBSPof flour
1 tsp of salt
1/4 tsp heaping of Cayenne
2 c. of Half and half

1. Cook carrots in Chicken broth. When broth begins to boil, set timer for 25 minutes. While waiting start step two.
2. Melt butter over medium heat. Then stir in flour. Cook flour and butter together for a couple of minutes. Then add salt and cayenne.
3. When carrots are done cooking, use a food processer or a blender to mix them. Be sure that the carrots and broth are smooth, with no chunks.
4. Add carrots and broth to the the flour mixture and add half and half. For a more liquidy soup add 1/2 cup more chicken broth.

This is such a great soup, especially when you are sick. :) My family doesn't really like Carrot soup, but they all love this one. It has a great chicken, creamy flavor to it, and the Cayenne adds just a little kick to it. This is definitely one of my favorite soups.


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Artichoke Garlic Pasta

I made this for lunch today. It took about 30 min. from start to finish. This recipe is for two, so be sure and multiply it by the amount of people. I served garlic bread and veggies along side of it. I added Parmesan on top, Sun-dried tomatoes, cooking wine, and salt to taste.

4 ounces small uncooked seashell pasta
2 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons butter
2 cloves garlic
1 sprig fresh basil, chopped (I used dried about 1 Tablespoon)
1 (8 ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered (If I made this again, I would add more)

1. Bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add seashell pasta, cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until soft, and drain. Start step two while waiting for water to boil.
2. Heat the olive oil and melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Mix in the garlic, basil, and artichoke hearts, and cook 5 minutes, until heated through. Toss with the cooked pasta to serve.

My family loved this recipe. We will be having this one again, for sure.

P.S. Sorry about us not posting for a while... we were at a debate/speech tournament. We didn't have internet at all last week.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

French Cooking Flop

A short while ago I had my first real flop since we started this blog. I tried to make a souffle. Because of this experience I decided that there are to many steps in French cooking for which I do not have the patience.

First off it was a layered souffle and therefore had many parts to assemble before placing it in the oven. I thought I could prepare the layers simultaneously. That didn't work so well. I couldn't get my egg whites to stiffen up and burnt the mix slowly cooking on the stove. Finally it was all assembled. It looked kinda sad going in and, as it cooked, didn't improve in appearance. The oven door was opened for a peek (letting out hot air and deflating the already flat souffle) and yet nothing seemed to get better.

Needless to say it came out looking rather sad and flat :(

Lol, reminded me of the Audry Hepburn movie Sabrina. "To flat" "To high" "Much to low"

It will be a while till I try souffle again.


Monday, April 5, 2010

Garlic-Herb Pasta

Tonight I made a meal from the April 2007 issue of Southern Cooking. It has a really fancy title, ready for this? Garlic-Herb Pasta. I know sounds complicated and fancy right? It was a wonderful light Spring pasta. I would be delighted to serve this to company and even more delighted to make some for myself.

The wonderful thing about this pasta was the fact that it is a quick meal. On the table in less than 30 minutes and with a definite plate appeal! This recipe could be made even heartier (and more restaurant like) with chopped chicken, or shrimp on top

8 oz. spaghetti

6 garlic cloves

2 Tbsp. olive oil

2 lb. tomatoes, diced

3 Tbsp. minced fresh parsley

3 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil

1 tsp. salt

¼ tsp. pepper

Freshly grated parmesan cheese

2 Tbsp. butter

Sauté garlic in hot oil in a large skillet over medium heat 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes and next 4 ingredients. Cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes our until thoroughly heated and tomatoes release juices.

While the garlic mixture is cooking drop your pasta into boiling water and cook for the recommended time on the package. Drain pasta and return to pot. Melt butter and pour over the pasta to keep it from sticking to itself and coat with parmesan (I didn't use freshly grated for convenience). Add the sauce and toss.

Serve sprinkled with parmesan and a sprig of parsley.



Sunday's brunch

This last Sunday, before service we had a church breakfast. I made a fruit pizza, that everybody loved. :) So I thought I would share the recipe with you all. We normally eat it for breakfast; although it can be eaten as a dessert. It is very healthy for you.
This makes a very small batch. For my family of six, I would triple it, unless served with other side dishes.

2 Tablespoon butter
1/4 cup honey
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats, uncooked
1/4 sesame seeds or flax seeds
1/2 whole wheat flour or red wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup finely minced walnuts
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

In a small saucepan melt butter and honey, set aside.

In a bowl combine oats, sesame, flour, salt, cinnamon, walnuts and vanilla. Add in butter-honey mixture, stirring until well mixed.

Press crust firmly and evenly into the bottom and around the sides of a 9 inch pie pan.

Cream layer:
8oz of cream cheese
2 tablespoons Maple Syrup

Mix these together till very creamy. The amounts is just a guess. Taste it before you spread it on the crust. Feel free to add more maple or cream cheese, do it till it taste right. Spread an even layer on the oatmeal crust.

Fruit Layer:
This is the fruit we like to have on ours, but feel free to experiment with your favorite fruit.
Strawberries thinly sliced long ways
grapes thinly sliced long ways
Kiwi thinly sliced long ways

This is a fun treat in the summer, especially to take to parties. There is such a variety in color in this plate that makes it truly beautiful. The great thing about this plate is it is so good for you. This is one of our families favorite recipe.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Iced Coffee Mousse in a Chocolate Case

Last night I made the most decadent mousse. I made it twice in fact. This dessert has to be timed just right or you don't end up with a pretty dessert. The first time I made it the coffee set up way to fast (the book said to do the coffee part first and then the egg part, not enough time) and so the final product looked like brown spots in a very soft tan pudding. I made it again... Changing the recipe the way I wanted.

We ate it today with my brother's new family (in-laws) and had a wonderful and relaxing day. I'm sharing the recipe as I changed it and also warning you in advance that this needs to be babysat in order to come out right ;).

2 Sachet powdered gelatin
8 Tbsp. very strong brewed coffee (I used coffee granules and reconstituted them with half as much water as called for, a) because we had instant coffee granules and b) because it was quicker than brewing strong coffee)
1 Tbsp. Coffee liqueur such as Kahlua or Troussaint (I used creme de Cocoa; again because we had it on hand and I wasn't buying another liqueur that we weren't going to use but once or twice a year...)
6 eggs, separated
1 C. minus 2 Tbsp. powdered sugar
1 1/3 Cup whipping cream

Plain (fair trade) semisweet chocolate chips (For the chocolate bowl)

Grease and line a deep (7 in.) cake tin with baking parchment. I used a large cooking pot. In a double boiler melt the chocolate. Using a pastry brush, brush a layer of chocolate over the base of the tin and about 3 inches up on the sides, finishing with a ragged edge. Leave the chocolate to set before repeating. Put in the freezer to harden.

Now for the mousse!

Whisk the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl over a pan of simmering water until thick enough to leave a trail. I stirred this for a very long time and never came to that point. I decided when it was semi thick that I had stirred enough and should call it good. When your egg mixture is thick remove from heat and whisk occasionally till cool.

Sprinkle gelatin over the coffee in a bowl/ small saucepan and leave it to soften for 5 minutes. Then place the bowl over the boiling water. Stirring until dissolved. Add the liqueur.

pour the gelatin mixture into the egg yolk mixture in a thin stream, stirring gently. Chill in the refrigerator for 20 minutes, or until just beginning to set. When I did this the first time it set up really fast but didn't quite get cooled off. The second time I tried this I stirred the mixture every 5 minutes or so and that worked quite well.

Meanwhile, lightly whip the whipping cream so that it is just about doubled in volume but not fully whipped. Then whip the egg whites until stiff.

Remove the chocolate shell from the freezer and peel it out of the tin (slowly so you don't break it) remove the lining and place shell back in pan.

Fold the cream into the egg mixture followed by the egg whites. Then pour into the shell. Return to freezer for at least 3 hours. To serve, remove from tin and place on a plate. allow to soften in the refrigerator for 40 minutes before serving. use a knife dipped in hot water and wiped dry to cut into slices to serve.

Next time I make this some things I might try....

I would like to try making mini cups for individual servings. I was thinking of using muffin cups to create the chocolate shell. This may add to the time but then you wouldn't have to cut it. The hotter the knife the better it worked.

Someday I would like to try it with the Kahlua for an even stronger coffee taste. Maybe I will see if the liqueur store has a small bottle of it.

Overall it was a very time consuming but beautiful dessert. I would make it again tomorrow if it wouldn't make me feel sick to eat so much dessert


Saturday, April 3, 2010

cake contest

My sister and I entered in a cake decorating contest a couple of months ago. The theme was "Valentines"
So the one on the bottom is mine. (Amie)
It is a very rich tasting brownie type cake, with a very creamy chocolate/whip cream frosting, with raspberry sauce in between the cakes, and topped with raspberries. Sarah's cake is on the top. It's your basic carrot cake with cream cheese frosting and a marshmallow fondant on top for design. Her title was "puppy love"

Friday, April 2, 2010

Salmon tips

This is our first meal to blog about. It was nothing fancy just your usual hashbrown and salmon dinner. (Well salmon is out of the ordinary for us, but we didn't do anything to special to it.) We would however, like to share some of the tips and favorites for our kitchen.

Tonight Sarah learned, when cooking a full salmon, you cut it down the back so you can lay it flat on your baking dish.

Also tonight, Amie tried to spice up our normal plain hashbrowns. So I added red onions, parsley, basil, and speper (salt and peper mixed, 2-1 ratio). It turned out delicious, for an out of the ordinary hashbrowns.

~Amie & Sarah

The Journey Begins

It all started when we took a trip to Borders. On the way in my sister's comment was "Don't let me buy any cookbooks." My sister has problem. She loves cookbooks and cooking. (well, I do too.) But recently, when she was doing her "Spring Cleaning", she found she had two boxes of just cookbooks!! So I left her for a few seconds at Borders.... bad idea, she found the discount table, but not just any discount table, the cookbook discount table. When I join her again she had two books in her hand and was drooling over the table. I grabed her hand and began to pull. Needless to say, the draw the books had on us was stronger then our will to leave. By the time we got out of there, our shopping bag held three books each containing no less then 300 recipes. This is the confession of a cookaholic.

Because of our passion for cooking and the friends and family that are interested in our recipes we deceided to start this blog. We would like to share with you our hilarious moments, best recipies, and ultimate failures. So here is to cooking beautiful and flavorful food!!