Sunday, July 31, 2011


I got this recipe from Pioneer Woman.  I love the fact that I can go to her website, choose a recipe, and know that it will be delicious.  Ree never lets me down!  I don't make salsa very often but this recipe just might motivate me to make it more.  It was a cinch to throw together and, really, what's better than homemade salsa!   

Restaurant Salsa

1 28oz can whole tomatoes
2 cans Rotel tomatoes with green chiles
1/4 onion
1/2 bunch cilantro
1/2 jalapeno
1/2 lime
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. sugar

Put all ingredients, except lime, in a blender or food processor.  Squeeze lime over the top.  Give it a few pulses until blended but still a little chunky.  Chill in refrigerator and serve with tortilla chips.

Friday, July 29, 2011


I adapted this recipe from a Williams-Sonoma recipe. I changed a few things and directions (sometimes they tell you to do things in a harder way--my opinion). With all the fresh zucchini coming out of gardens, this is a yummy way to use it. I made it for dinner and even my picky husband liked it!

Serves 6
For the pastry:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces and chill again
1/4 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup ice water
1 large or 2 small zucchinis, sliced into 1/4 inch thick rounds
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
1 medium garlic clove, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup (about 1 ounce) grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup (1 ounce) shredded mozzarella
1 tablespoon slivered basil leaves

1 egg yolk beaten with 1 teaspoon water

Make dough: Whisk together the flour and salt in a large bowl. Sprinkle bits of butter over dough and using a pastry blender, cut it in until the mixture resembles coarse meal, with the biggest pieces of butter the size of tiny peas. In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream, lemon juice and water and add this to the butter-flour mixture. With your fingertips or a wooden spoon, mix in the liquid until large lumps form. Pat the lumps into a ball; do not overwork the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Make filling: Spread the zucchini out over several layers of paper towels. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon sea-salt and let drain for 30 minutes; gently blot the tops of the zucchini dry with paper towels before using. In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil and the garlic together; set aside. In a separate bowl, mix the ricotta, Parmesan, mozzarella, and 1 teaspoon of the garlicky olive oil together and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Prepare galette: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a floured work surface, roll the dough out into a 12-inch round. Transfer to an ungreased baking sheet (though if you line it with parchment paper, it will be easier to transfer it to a plate later). Spread the ricotta mixture evenly over the bottom of the galette dough, leaving a 2-inch border. Shingle the zucchini attractively on top of the ricotta in concentric circles, starting at the outside edge. Drizzle the remaining tablespoon of the garlic and olive oil mixture evenly over the zucchini. Fold the border over the filling, pleating the edge to make it fit. The center will be open. Brush crust with egg yolk glaze.

Bake the galette until the cheese is puffed, the zucchini is slightly wilted and the galette is golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with basil, let stand for 5 minutes, then slide the galette onto a serving plate. Cut into wedges and serve hot, warm or at room temperature.

**I think next time I make this I will double the cheese filling. It LOVED it and would have liked to have more in it.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Key Lime Fruit Salad

We can thank the original Betty...Betty Crocker herself...for this recipe.  I won a cookbook at a family reunion auction and it is like a little treasure box full of tasty treasures.  What tastes better than a fruit salad in the dead of summer?  Fruit salad with a yummy yogurt sauce and coconut sprinkled on top.
Fresh pineapple, cut into chunks
Fresh strawberries, cut in half
Green grapes
Cantaloupe, cut into chunks
1 (6 oz.) key lime yogurt
2 Tbs. orange juice
Shredded coconut

*Layer fruit in a bowl in the order it is listed.  Combine yogurt and orange juice and spoon over the fruit.  Sprinkle with coconut.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour or so before serving.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Rebecca's Snickerdoodles

I think we have a couple of snickerdoodle recipes on here, although I am too lazy to actually check.  But we don't have this exact recipe on here and it's a good one so there you have it.
I am an assistant den leader in cub scouts and I work with one of my favorite friends, Kamarah.  She introduced me to this recipe at one of our activities.  It's quick and easy and makes just the right amount of cookies.
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1/4 tsp. baking soda
2 Tbs. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon

*Beat butter for 30 seconds on high.  Add half of the flour, the 1 cup sugar, the egg, vanilla, baking soda and cream of tartar.  Mix well and then add the remaining flour.  (It says to cover and chill for one hour but we didn't do that).  Shape dough into 1 inch balls.  Combine the 2 Tbs. sugar and the cinnamon.  Roll dough balls in sugar/cinnamon mixture.  Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes at 375 until edges are golden.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Guiltless Guacamole

I got this recipe from one of my friends here in Albany.  She made it for a girl's night and it was sooo good!  I knew I had to have the recipe.  The beans give some added protein and fiber.  That way you can feel a little better when you can't stop eating it!

Guiltless Guacamole

1 can white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 Tbs. lime juice or more for taste
1 jalapeno chile, seeded
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
1/4 cup sweet onion, chopped
2 ripe avacados, halved and pitted
2 plum tomatoes, diced

In blender or food processor, puree beans and 1 tsp. lime juice until smooth.  Transfer to medium sized bowl.  Place jalapeno, cilantro, onion and 1/2 tsp. salt in blender or food processor.  Pulse until juicy and thick.  With spoon, scoop avacado from peel into bowl with beans.  Mash with fork until blended but still a bit chunky.  Add diced tomatoes and onion mixture to avacado/bean mixture and stir.  Stir in additional lime juice to taste.  Serve with baked tortilla chips.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Homemade Twix bars

My husband is so sweet. I am 7 1/2 months pregnant and one of my common cravings this pregnancy has been Twix candy bars. I could eat one every single day and still want more. My husband came across this recipe in his work newsletter and came home and made it for me. Cute, huh? These are even better than the real thing and you will see why when you see what they are made of.

Homemade Twix Bars

2 c. flour
1/2 c. sugar
1 c. butter; room temp
1 c. butter
1 c. brown sugar
4 Tbsp. corn syrup
1 can sweetened condensed milk

Crumble crust ingredients together. Pack into 13x9 inch pan that has been sprayed, lined with foil and sprayed again. Bake on 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.
Combine caramel ingredients in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil 5 minutes, stirring constantly as it burns easily. Remove from heat. Stir with spoon slowly until it shows signs of thickening. Pour over crust and let cool a little.

Top layer:
Melt approximately 1 cup semi sweet and 1 cup milk chocolate chips with 1 tbsp. oil over low heat or in the microwave. Pour over caramel layer and spread carefully. Chill. Cut into bars.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Pastor Ryan's Monkey Bread

You probably already have a Monkey Bread recipe that you love.  I think most families do.  It's such an easy and delicious treat that nobody can resist.  I saw this recipe on Pioneer Woman's blog and could not pass it up since it uses a cup of butter.  I'm a sucker for anything involving cinnamon and sugar and throw a cup of butter in there...well that's just pure Heaven.  I literally felt my love handles getting bigger as I was eating this last night.  Definitely a once-in-a-great-while kind of a treat.  But oh so good.
I know this second picture is a little close for comfort but I wanted you to get a sense of just how gooey this is once you turn it over onto a plate.  Goo city.

3 cans buttermilk biscuits (I used two large cans)
1 cup sugar
2-3 tsp. cinnamon (depending on how much you like)
2 sticks butter (1 cup)
1/2 cup brown sugar

*Open up biscuits and cut each one into quarters.  Combine sugar and cinnamon in a big plastic bag.  Dump the biscuits in bag and shake to coat each piece really well.  Pour biscuits into a bundt pan.  Melt butter and brown sugar on stove over medium heat, stirring for a few minutes, until it's combined well and it's one color.  Pour over the biscuits and bake for 40 minutes at 350.  Let cool for 15 minutes before turning over onto a plate and devouring.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Magnum Ice Cream Bars

I've had my eye on these for months.
Every time I pass them in the freezer section, I stop and stare.
Finally, I couldn't take it anymore.  I had to try them.
I went with the "vanilla bean ice cream dipped in Belgian milk chocolate and covered in almonds."
Three in a box.  Such a rip-off.
That's what I thought until I ate one last night.  Holy cow.
Can't wait to try the other flavors.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Creme Brulee French Toast

Last week, my friend, Tiana, introduced me to this perfectly delicious french toast.  I am forever changed.  I have been thinking about this amazing breakfast dish since I left her house.  I texted my sisters about it and have been raving about it to my husband over and over.  Yes, folks, it is that good.  Just make it already.  Alright?  Alright.
photo courtesy of Sarah's Cucina Bella

Creme Brulee French Toast

1/2 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
2 Tbs. corn syrup
1 loaf French bread
5 large eggs
1 1/2 cups half and half
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt

In a small saucepan, melt butter, brown sugar and corn syrup over medium heat.  Stir until smooth.  Pour into a greased 9x13 pan.  Cut bread into thick slices and trim crusts.  Arrange slices in pan, squeezing them to fit.  In a bowl, whisk together eggs, half and half, vanilla and salt.  Pour evenly over the bread.  Cover with foil and chill in refrigerator overnight or at least 8 hours.  Let french toast come to room temperature before baking.  Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes, until puffed and edges are golden.  Serve with fresh whipped cream and berries.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Apple Syrup

Brett's mom was making this syrup one day when we were over there swimming.  She told me to taste it and see if it tasted good.  I am always available to be a taste-tester, but I honestly didn't think I would love it because I don't usually like things that involve a warm fruity taste.  But I grabbed a spoon and gave it a try and holy cow it was so good I couldn't believe it.  Next thing you know, we are all gathered around the pot with our plastic spoons, inhaling this amazing syrup.  I came home and made it for BC and he loved it on his waffles.  Next time we're going to try it on ice cream.  Or maybe we'll combine ice cream, waffles, and the syrup.  The possibilities are endless!

1 cup sugar
2 Tbs. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
2 cups apple juice (I used Trader Joes)
2 Tbs. lemon juice
1/4 cup butter

*In a saucepan, warm the apple juice and then add the combined sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and nutmeg. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly.  Boil for one minute or until thick.  Remove the pan from the heat and add butter and lemon juice.  Stir until butter is melted.  Serve over pancakes, waffles, ice cream, cake, etc.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Artisan Bread

I'm so excited about this recipe. This will be a go to recipe for our family for years to come. It is CRAZY GOOD! And seriously the easiest yeast bread recipe I have ever made. No kneading or forming and you can make it in advance and store the dough in the fridge for up to two weeks. I actually heard about this recipe through the grape vine before I recipe stalked to get it. So glad I did. I made the rosemary and thyme version but I can't wait to try different kinds. Here is the recipes and the directions from my friend Kathryn:

I have been baking mine on a cookie sheet with parchment paper. When you mix it up, it's quite wet, so in the second rise I just let it rise on the parchment paper, then move the whole paper to the cookie sheet when I'm ready to bake.

I've been mixing in whatever I want to add (rosemary, thyme, garlic, olives, craisins, walnuts, etc) just after the flour. The one you asked for was rosemary and thyme, probably about 1Tbl rosemary to half the recipe and bit less thyme, maybe 1/2Tbl (Sorry, I don't always measure)

I also feel like getting 4 loaves out of it is too small, I usually do 3.

Sometimes I do part whole wheat, up to about a third of the flour whole wheat seems to work ok, not as well, but ok.

Have fun! - Kathryn

The Master Recipe- Boule (Artisan Free-Form Loaf)

Makes four 1-pound loaves. This recipe is easily doubled or halved.

3 cups lukewarm water
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated yeast (1 1/2 packets)
1 1/2 tablespoons salt
6 1/2 cups unsifted, unbleached, all-purpose white flour
cornmeal for pizza peel

Mix all together until moistened. Don't knead or overmix. Cover loosely and let rise 2-5 hours at room temperature. You are then ready to make bread - or store mixture in refrigerator up to 2 weeks (covered loosely).

On baking day, cut a grapefruit-sized piece of dough with a serrated knife. Sprinkle heavily with flour and form into a ball - do not knead. Pinch edges underneath and place on baking parchment or on a pizza peel sprinkled with cornmeal. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Let it rise (and warm up) for 40 minutes. Place on baking stone, cookie sheet or pizza pan and put in oven. Pour 1 cup water inbroiler pan to create steam. Bake for 30 minutes.
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