Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Cake Pops!

I haven't posted on here forever! I've been neglectful! However, I did just do a fun Cake Pop post on my personal blog. But I'm lazy and I'm not going to redo it, so if you want to see it, you're welcome to check it out right here!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Favorite Macaroni and Cheese

I originally found this recipe in The Barefoot Contessa cookbook, but I have altered it for our tastes. (Note: the original makes a large 9x13 dish, while mine makes a nice 8x8 or similar size.)

1/2 pound large elbow macaroni, or pasta of your choice
2 cups milk
3Tbsp. butter
scant 1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 cups grated Gruyere cheese
1 1/2 cups extra sharp Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup mozzarella
1/4 tsp. pepper
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. nutmeg (optional)
2-3 small tomatoes (I use Roma)
1 cups fresh bread crumbs
olive oil

Preheat oven to 375.

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

Heat the milk in the microwave for about 2 minutes; set aside. On stovetop, melt butter in a large pot and add flour. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. While whisking, stir in hot mild and cook for a minute or two longer, until thickened and smooth. Remove from heat and add cheeses, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Fold pasta into mixture and pour into 8x8 baking dish.

Slice tomatoes and arrange on top. Combine fresh bread crumbs with a little drizzled olive oil; sprinkle crumbs on top of macaroni. Bake 20 minutes covered with tin foil. Remove foil and bake another 15 minutes.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Simply Recipes' Tomato Pie

Elise at Simply Recipes is one of my favorite food bloggers. When I saw her picture and recipe for Tomato Pie I knew I had to try it. The reviews last night seemed really good and my mom couldn't keep quiet this afternoon as she finished off the last piece. (It's on her menu this week.) I think the extra step of caramelizing the onions was certainly worth it as well as the splurge on Gruyere cheese--I love that stuff.

1 9-inch pie shell,
1 yellow or red onion, caramalized
3-4 tomatoes, chopped and juice squeezed out, approximately 3 cups chopped tomatoes
1/4 cup sliced basil 2 cups grated cheese (combination of sharp cheddar and Monterey Jack, or Gruyere or Mozarella) (splurge on the Gruyere)
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon (or more to taste) of Frank's Hot Sauce (or Tabasco)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


1 Preheat oven to 350°F. Place pie shell in oven and cook for 8-10 minutes or longer until lightly golden.
2 Squeeze as much moisture as you can out of the chopped tomatoes, using either paper towels, a clean dish towel, or a potato ricer.

3 Sprinkle the bottom of the pre-cooked pie shell with caramalized onion. Spread the chopped tomatoes over the onions. Sprinkle the sliced basil over the tomatoes.

4 In a medium bowl, mix together the grated cheese, mayonnaise, Tabasco, a sprinkling of salt and freshly ground black pepper. The mixture should be the consistency of a gooey snow ball. Spread the cheese mixture over the tomatoes.

5 Place in oven and bake until browned and bubbly, anywhere from 25 to 45 minutes.

Serves 6.

Tuscan Tomato Soup

This recipe is from Chef's Table Restaurant. The soup is best made with fresh garden tomatoes; second choice would be canned diced tomatoes (which is how I make it all winter long). I have also used a combination of both.

3 Tbsp. olive oil
2 large onions, small dice
5 cups diced, seeded tomatoes, drained
3 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup basil pesto (Costco has a large bottle)
salt & pepper

Heat oil in a large soup pot. Add onions and cook over moderately low heat until completely translucent.

Add tomatoes and allow to warm to a simmer. Add chicken stock. Bring to a simmer and allow to simmer for 15 minutes.

Add whipping cream and pesto.

Working in batches, pour the soup into a blender and blend until desired consistency.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

**To easily peel tomatoes: heat a pot of water to boiling, turn heat down a bit, and drop the tomatoes into the pot. Remove them after about 1 minute, and place them immediately into a bowl of ice water.

**I usually use the pesto from Costco. You can also make your own by placing in a food processor the following ingredients: fresh basil leaves, pinenuts, parmesan cheese, and a little olive oil.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Lemon Cupcakes

For cupcakes use vanilla cupcake recipe changing out the vanilla for lemon oil.

Lemon Frosting
1/2 cup butter, softened
zest of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp lemon extract
juice of half lemon
3/4 - 1 tsp lemon oil (a must if you want a really good lemon flavor)
6-7 cups powdered sugar

Mix above ingredients and add small amounts of milk to make desired consistency.

Strawberry Cupcakes

My mom has been experimenting a lot with cupcakes the last little while and came up with some yummy versions. Here's a couple that I made for my niece's birthday party.
Vanilla Cupcake (can be tweaked for any white based cake) Makes 24 cupcakes
1 cup canola oil
1 1/3 cup sugar
2 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 tsp baking powder
1/3 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp sea salt
4 extra-large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup buttermilk
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the oil and sugar until light, about 5 minutes
  3. In a bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  4. With the mixer running on low, add eggs one at a time, scraping the bowl after each addition.
  5. Add the vanilla
  6. In three parts, alternately add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the batter, beginning and ending with the dry.
  7. Line muffin pan with paper liners.
  8. Fill each cup 2/3 full using all the batter.
  9. Bake for about 16 minutes, turning the pan halfway through the baking time.
  10. Allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove to a baking rack and cool completely.
  11. Frost with your choice of frosting.

Strawberry Frosting

1/4 cup soften butter

1 - 8 oz cream cheese, softened

1 - 10 oz package frozen strawberries in syrup, thawed and pureed. Use 1/4 cup. OR 1/4 cup strawberry pastry filling (bought at your local bakery or cooking/candy supply store)

1/2 tsp strawberry extract

7 cups powdered sugar

  1. In a large bowl, beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy
  2. Beat in 1/4 cup of the strawberry puree and the strawberry extract. (the leftover puree can be used for ice cream or smoothies, etc.)
  3. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating until smooth.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Raw Tapioca Pudding

Another Elana recipe.

(Chia Seed) Raw Tapioca Pudding
1 cup cashews
3 cups water
2 tablespoons agave nectar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon almond extract
pinch celtic sea salt
¼ cup chia seeds

Place the cashews and water in a blender and blend on high speed until smooth

Blend in the agave, vanilla, almond extract and salt

Place the chia seeds in a large mason jar (½ gallon size), pour the cashew mixture into the jar and shake well (very well!)

Place in the refrigerator overnight

Serves 2-4 people

Update(from Elana): Per questions below, I have made this with a mixture of cashew and coconut milk and it is delicious. I have also used chia seeds to make my morning protein shakes more rich, creamy and nutritious. This chia pudding keeps in the fridge for 2-3 days. Enjoy!

Cobb Salad

Like Eden, this recipe gets all it's credit from Elana. Just make sure you use the Grapeseed Oil Vegenaisse and NOT regular mayo--it's not even close.

Lettuce: romaine and spinach
Cooked chicken
Hard-boiled Eggs

Dairy-Free Ranch Dressing
¼ cup grapeseed oil vegenaisse
1 tablespoon lemon juice, fresh squeezed
1 clove garlic, pressed
⅛ teaspoon minced scallionpinch
celtic sea salt

Combine all ingredients in a small mason jar

Shake well to serve over salad

Or to use as a dip refrigerate to chill and thicken

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Rosemary Apple Roast Chicken

I'm just going to acknowledge that most of the recipes I am posting are coming from one of my favorite food bloggers Elana at Check out her website if you want more great recipes. 

This roast chicken is simple and easy to put together. Then you put it in the oven for 90 minutes to bake and when it comes out you have a moist, delicious chicken that will wow your family. 

1 chicken (2 to 3 pounds)
1/4 cup grapeseed oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp. celtic sea salt
3-4 apples, cored and sliced
4 sprigs of fresh rosemary or 2 Tbsp. of dried rosemary

1. Rinse chicken, pat dry with a paper towel and place in a 9x12 glass baking dish.
2. Drizzle with oil and vinegar, then sprinkle with salt. 
3. Arrange the apples around the chicken in the baking dish. 
4. Place the sprigs of rosemary under the chicken or sprinkle the dried rosemary on top of the chicken. 
5. Bake at 350 degrees for 90 minutes, until browned on the outside. 
6. Serve. 

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The BEST Guacamole...

Matt and I tried this guacamole at Dos Caminos, a restaurant in Las Vegas.  It was sooooooo good that I asked my waiter for the recipe, and he gave it to me.  It is so fresh and so yummy, you will probably want to make it all summer's that good.  Enjoy!!

2 Tbsp Cilantro Leaves, finely chopped
2 tsp yellow onion, finely chopped
2 tsp jalapeno peppers, minced
2 large ripe avocados, peeled and seeded
2 Tbsp Roma tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped
2 tsp freshly squeezed lime juice (bottled is just fine)
Kosher or Course Salt to taste

Place the cilantro, onion, and jalapeno in a medium sized bowl and mash it with the back of a spoon.  Add avocado, tomato and lime juice and mash all ingredients together, don't mash the avocado too much, I think it tastes yummy with some avocado chunks in it.  Adjust seasoning as necessary.  (When I made it last night, to be honest, I just threw all the ingredients together and mixed it all up, I don't think the two steps are necessary).

You can add more jalapeno if you want it a bit spicier, and I add about twice as much tomatoes because I love tomatoes.  I usually add just a little bit more cilantro too, it makes it taste so fresh.  YUM!!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Creamy Mushroom & Chicken Soup

I was so sad to miss Supperclub AGAIN this week! So I'm posting the soup I made that night and would have brought if I were there. It was yummy! Not really low fat....but yummy!

6 Tbsp butter
1 medium onion, chopped
3 Tbsp. flour
2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. salt
6 c. chicken broth
1 lb. mushrooms, sliced
3/4 c. sliced celery
3/4 c. chopped carrots
2 c.  quartered baby red potatoes
1 c. chopped yellow squash
1 1/2 c frozen corn kernels
2 tsp. thyme
2 c. light cream 3/4 c grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish if desired
2 c. chopped cooked chicken
(I added some elbow macaroni, I knew my husband and toddler would like it more with it. They did!) 

In a large pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until tender, about 6 minutes. Stir in the flour, salt, and pepper and mix until smooth. Gradually add the broth, then turn the heat up to edium-high and bring the soup to a boil. Add the mushrooms, celery, carrots, potatoes, squash, corn and thyme. Reduce the heat and simmer the soup, covered, until the vegetables are tender. About 30 minutes

Add the cream, Parmesan, and chicken. Heat the soup for an additional 10 min, but do not let it boil. To serve, ladle the soup into a bowl and sprinkle it with ore Parmesan, if desired. Makes about 15 cups.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Spinach Turkey Burger

This is a simple, easy, hearty, healthy turkey burger recipe that is a regular feature on my menu now. I just discovered it a couple of months ago and the first time I made the recipe, I said, "Wow!" Often I'm underwhelmed by a recipe or overwhelmed by the intricacies of the instructions, but this recipe is straightforward and simple. I love those kind of recipes.

Typically, I find myself at the grocery store stocking up for the week and unless I have my menus for the week mapped out I will return home having forgotten one essential ingredient for some recipe. This recipe is so easy though, I doubt I will forget anything.

My version is a variation on this recipe from There is something just right about the combination of red onion, garlic and spinach. Enjoy!

Spinach Turkey Burger
  • 2 teaspoons grapeseed oil, 1 turn of the pan
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus some for drizzling
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 box or bag, 5 ounces, fresh spinach
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano, lightly crushed in the palm
  • 8-10 thin slices mozzarella cheese (I use almond mozzarella)
  • 1 1/3 pounds ground turkey breast,
  • 1 tablespoon grill seasoning (recommended: Montreal Salt-Free Steak Seasoning by McCormick)

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. To one side, add a little grapeseed oil, add the chopped garlic and chopped red onion and cook 5 minutes. Transfer the onions and garlic to a bowl to cool. Return pan to heat. Add grapeseed oil to pan and then add fresh spinach without stems. Cook over medium heat until spinach wilts about 3-5 minutes. Add the spinach to the bowl with cool onions and garlic and season with 1 teaspoon of oregano. Add in ground turkey, grill seasoning and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil. Mix and form into 8 small to medium patties, 1-inch thick. Raise heat on pan to medium-high. Add patties and cook 6 min on each side. Or you can grill on an indoor grill for 5 minutes. Add mozzarella slices to top of patties and melt them for 1-2 minutes. Serve on buns or on a bed of greens.

Makes 8 small burgers.

Note: The original recipe said to cook the onions and garlic in extra-virgin olive oil over medium heat, but extra-virgin olive oil is not made for sauteeing things at high heat, so I use grapeseed oil to sautee the onions, garlic and spinach. Still adds a great flavor but grapeseed oil can withstand the higher temperatures. You could use an olive oil made for high heat temperatures, but you might want to try grapeseed oil and see if you like it too.