Some Things You Should Know

I started this blog a long time ago as when it was "What's Cooking at My house" and before my mad photography skills kicked in and before we went gluten free. With that said you never know what you might find here. There's a little something for everyone I believe. But my hope is to provide more recipes with better photos to tempt your tummy. *smile*

Monday, December 7, 2009

Shepherd's Pie

Before I realized how good this was, it was gone and I didn't have a picture to show!
I'll post one the next time I make it.

5 large potatoes
1 TBS. butter
1 TBS. finely chopped onion
1/2 c shredded cheddar cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste

1 can of cream style corn
5 carrots chopped
1 TBS olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 1/2 lbs ground beef or turkey
2 TBS all purpose flour
1 TBS ketchup
3/4 c. beef broth
1/2 shredded cheddar cheese

1. Boil potatoes until fork tender. Drain and mash. Mix in butter finely chopped onion and 1/2 cup cheddar cheese. Salt and pepper to taste. Set aside

2. Boil carrots until fork tender. Drain and mash. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

3. Heat oil in a large frying pan. Add onion and cook until clear. Add ground beef or turkey and cook until well browned. Pour off excess fat, then stir in flour and cook 1 minute. Add ketchup and beef broth. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

4. Spread the ground beef in an even layer on the bottom of a 9x13 casserole dish. Next, spread a later of mashed carrots, then the cream style corn. Top with potato mixture and sprinkle with remaining cheese.

5. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

My Thanksgiving Menu Plan

Since the week of Thanksgiving is mostly prepping for the big day, I thought I would post my Thanksgiving Menu instead as I probably won't have big elaborate meals this week. I hope you find something you might want to try. If not go check out I'm an Organizing Junkie to see other menus.

Thanksgiving Day Menu

Roasted Turkey
Sweet Potato Casserole
Butternut Squash
Fresh Corn w/ Wild Rice
Mashed Potatoes
Homemade Stuffing
Creamed Onions
Homemade Cranberry Sauce
Dinner Rolls/ Or Pumpkin Biscuits

Chocolate Cream Pie
Pumpkin Pie
Apple Pie
Pumpkin Roll
Pecan Pie

Sunday, November 15, 2009

And the winner of the giveaway is.....

.....Jamie from Dear Diary...
Congrats Jamie. I hope you enjoy the Gooseberry Patch Booklets!
Thanks everyone for the recipes. I will be putting the E-book together, hopefully this week!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Tried and True Thanksgiving Recipes! The Memories!

Oh my friends, it's been a fun week! Thank you all for linking up your favorite recipes. I will pick a winner for my giveaway this weekend and post it. Give me a week to put the E-Book together and then I'll have it on my side bar here and probably at my main blog.

Well today you are to link up your favorite Thanksgiving memories and/ or traditions. Just have fun with it.

Well my story is kind of humorous. (Go figure right?)
Growing up I wasn't really interested in learning how to cook. My Mom did it all. She would do all the Thanksgiving Dinner and I wouldn't think twice about all the hard work she put into it. All I knew was when it was ready to eat, I was first at the table. (Not something I'm proud of!)
She did this for as long as I could remember.

Well, my Mom got her payback! The very first Thanksgiving I was married my Mom said, "It's all yours! I'm done. It's your turn to take over. I'm tired."
So I thought "Okay, what's the big deal?" Mind you, I wasn't the best of cooks. YET!
I made a list and set out to the grocery store. No worries, I got this. This is going to be cake. After all Mom always made it look so easy. Did I mention Mom had been cooking for a gazillion years and I had been cooking for about 6 months? LOL! But I was up for the challenge. Have I mentioned I'm competitive? Anyway, the day came and I was up at 6 am ready to get the bird dressed and in the oven. At 6:10 I was in tears calling my Mom because I couldn't get the bird to cooperate! Stupid bird. I finally got everything under control but it didn't help that I could hear my Mom laughing under her breath!

Fast forward 14 years. I actually do have it down. I am also blessed to have my Mom and Dad here during the holidays and because they are staying in our cottage in the back yard, she is a big help to me. It's actually fun being able to make Thanksgiving Dinner together.

What fun memories do you have?
Link them up below or leave them in the comments area!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Tried and True Thanksgiving Recipes! The Desserts!

Hasn't this week been fun? I have seen some really great recipes. Remember my little giveaway. You are entered for each recipe you link up.

I am so excited about today. I can only imagine the yummy dessert recipes that are going to come in. Because if you are like me you have to make EVERYONE'S favorite dessert on Thanksgiving.

My husbands favorite is Maple Pecan Pie.
My Dad's is Mom's Apple Pie.
Kathy's and Kelsey's is Pumpkin Pie
Mine and Mike's and Kaye's is Chocolate Cream Pie (so I make 2).
I think my Mom likes a little of each.
And the kids will eat whatever! LOL!

I think this year I am going to add a Pumpkin Roll to the mix, because in reality I LOVE cake more than pie. I know I know it's horrible but I just love cake and not so much pies.
So here is the addition to my Thanksgiving Dinner this year.

Pumpkin Roll

3 Eggs
1 c. sugar or Sucanat
1 can Pumpkin
1 TBS Lemon Juice
3/4 c. White Wheat Flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1 c. chopped pecans

1 c. plus 2 to 4 TBS powdered sugar, divided
2 3oz packages 1/3 fat cream cheese, softened
4 TBS butter, softened
1/2 tsp vanilla

Beat eggs on high speed for 5 minutes. Gradually add sugar; stir in pumpkin and lemon juice.
Set aside.
Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt in mixing bowl; fold into pumpkin mixture.
Line a greased jelly roll pan with parchment paper; spray with non-stick spray.
Spread pumpkin mixture over paper and top with nuts.
Bake at 325 degrees for 15 m ins. or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Turn out onto a clean towel sprinkled with 2 to 4 TBS of the powdered sugar; set aside.
Combine 1 cup powdered sugar with remaining ingredients; spread over cake. Gently roll up cake as for a jelly roll. Cool and serve chilled.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Tried and True Thanksgiving Recipes! Main Dish!

I am loving all the recipes that you all are sharing already. This is going to be a loaded E-Book by the time we are done this week.

Today we are talking about the Main Dish!
Now I have to be honest with you, I'm hoping to benefit from this today because I really don't have anything to offer.
My main dish goes something like this

Extremely LARGE Turkey

Stick in bag until popper pops out of turkey!

Yeah, I know! YAWN....Boring! What do you all do? I admit that we won't stray from having turkey for our main but I'm all for kicking it up a bit.
Do you have ham?
Do you have a roast?
Do you kick up your turkey?

Don't forget, you can always go back and link up your recipes if you missed the last couple of days. The more the better!
And remember each recipe linked is an entry to my giveaway. So link on up!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tried and True Thanksgiving Recipes! Side Dishes

Okay we are into day two and I want your side dishes. I'll be honest with you. I could eat sides and pie and call it a day on Thanksgiving. LOL. To me, sides make it or break it.

Here are is a tried and true side that we have made every year since I can remember. My Mom used to make it and now I do. It may sound weird but these are soooo good.

Creamed Onions

1- 3lb. bag of small sweet or yellow onions (if you can afford the pearl onions it's even better)
1/2 stick of butter
1/2 -1 cup of half and half

Peel onions and cut in half. Place in a pot and fill with water just enough to boil without drying out. Cover with lid and bring to a low boil. Keep a watch out to make sure you don't cook up all your water, you don't want burnt onions. Cook until fork tender.
Drain off excess water and put back over low heat.
Add your butter and stir to melt.
Add enough half and half that you don't quite cover your onions.
Add a bit of salt and pepper to taste.
Heat through and enjoy.

Okay and I couldn't leave without posting this one again. It's my Grandmother's recipe that she made all the time up until she passed away. It's just not Thanksgiving without it!

Mamie's Cranberry Mold

1 Package of cranberry gelatin
1 c. of hot water
1 can whole cranberry sauce
1 sm. can crushed pineapple, drained
1 small package of cream cheese 4 oz.
1 c. sour cream
1/2 c. finely chopped walnuts

Dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Stir in fruit and nuts.
Pour half of mixture into your mold or pretty dish. Place in fridge until firm.
Blend cream cheese and sour cream.
Spread over chilled gelatin.
Add remaining gelatin and chill until firm.

And don't forget that each recipe you link is going to be included in the FREE E-Book that I put together when this is all over. And each recipe enters you for my giveaway too!

Two Gooseberry Patch Booklets with recipes for the over abundance of apples and canned pumpkin you have!Bring on the recipes!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Tried and True Thanksgiving Recipes Week! APPETIZERS!

I have to tell you that I am really excited about this week. Be sure to read this too the end as I have a surprise for you. I think it's going to be fun and I'm sure we are going to see some wonderful recipes on here. If you need to update yourself on the breakdown of what recipes to post each day, go here!

Today we are sharing our APPETIZERS!
What's the little something something you snack on while the bird is cooking. If you're like me you don't like to eat a whole lot right before you have your Thanksgiving dinner, so share that snack, dip, finger food or whatever it is that holds you over while you wait for the most wonderful meal of the year!
I usually like to snack on chips and dip while I am cooking Thanksgiving dinner. It's usually either homemade salsa or hummus of some sort. But this year I'm going to try a new recipe. Yes I know it's not tried and true yet but it sounds so good that I can already tell it's going to be yummy. I also like simple and easy since I'm going to be super busy.

Baked Feta with Marinara


1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 can diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano, drained
1 4oz. package of crumbled feta cheese. (It's cheaper to buy the block and crumble it yourself)

32-1/2 inch thick slices of French Bread baguette, cut diagonally, toasted

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
2. Combine the first 4 ingredients in a bowl. Sprinkle feta evenly into a small shallow baking dish coated with cooking spray. Top with tomato mixture.
Bake for 20 mins.
Serves as a spread with bread slices.

I plan on throwing this in right before I throw the turkey in the oven so I have something to snack on while I get all the other things ready to go. That way you're only heating up your oven once.

Oh and just for fun I'm having a little giveaway. I'm going to give away two Gooseberry Patch booklets at the end of the week. They are perfect for this time of year.

Each recipe you enter is an entry. So go get those scrumptious, go to Thanksgiving recipes and link them up to share with all!
Spread the word and share the fun!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Coming Soon!

Most of you that follow this blog follow my main blog but just in case you don't I wanted to give you a heads up on this fun week coming up.
Just click on the picture on my side bar and it will take you to where I explained all the fun!
I hope you can join me!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Easy Smeasy Burritos!

I threw this together the other day for lunch and it was so easy and it taste sooo good.

2 cans refried beans (I use Amy's Organic)
1 can Rotel petite diced tomatoes with green chilies
1 small can of sliced black olives
1 8oz. sour cream
2 cups cheddar cheese

2 packages small flour tortillas (I use the fat free kind)

Spray a 9 x 13 inch pan with cooking oil.
Layer ingredients in order given ,starting with the refried beans and ending with cheese.
Heat in a preheated 350 degree oven for 15 mins or until cheese is melted and ingredients heated through.

Then all you do is scoop some onto your tortilla and roll it up and you got yourself a tasty little burrito!
This will feed a family of 6 two burritos a piece, approximately!


Thursday, October 8, 2009

Basic Breadmaker Pizza Dough

I don't use my bread maker for much but it is great for when I want to make homemade pizza crust. All I have to do is plop the ingredients in the bread maker and walk away until done. It does take some pre-planning as it takes a little over an hour to make and rise. But I get a lot done in that hour instead of doing it all by hand.

This will make 2- 14 inch thin crust or the equivalent of 2 pizza stones (Highly recommend cooking on pizza stones for even baking)
Or one really thick crust pizza!12 oz. water (room temp.)
3/4 tsp. salt
3 TBS. Olive Oil
3 cups All purpose flour
1 cup White/Wheat flour
2 tsp Active Dry Yeast
Optional Herbs- Garlic Powder, Italian Seasoning, Parmesan Cheese etc.

Combine all ingredients into bread pan in order starting with water. Select the Dough setting and press start. Walk away and come back when peeping goes off LOL. Divide dough in half and roll out onto stones. I put a little corn meal down to prevent sticking.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Put toppings on pizza and bake 20-25 mins. or until crust is golden brown.


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Pumpkin Biscuits

I don't know why I don't have a picture of these. Just trust me on this one, they're GOOD!

Oh don't these sound like they would go perfect with your Thanksgiving dinner?
Give them a try.

2 cups all purpose flour
3 TBS. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 cup cold butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup milk or buttermilk
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
Cooking Spray


1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine the flour and next 6 ingredients; cut in butter with a pastry blender or you can use 2 knives, until mixture resembles coarse meal.
3. Combine milk and pumpkin; add to flour mixture, stirring just until moist. Turn the dough onto a slightly floured surface and knead lightly 5 times. Roll the dough to a 1/2 inch thickness. Cut into 12 biscuits with a 2 1/2 inch biscuit cutter. Place the biscuits on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake for 11 mins. or until golden.


Monday, September 7, 2009

Crockpot Spicy Chicken Pumpkin Soup

This recipe is fantastic. Such a wonderful array of flavors bouncing around your mouth. It'll make you happy, trust me.

Spicy Chicken Pumpkin Soup

6 boneless skinless chicken breasts halves, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 sweet onion, halved and thinly sliced
3 cloves of fresh garlic, minced
1 TBS minced fresh ginger (worth it)
1/2 to 3/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (Here's where you heat comes in so adjust to your liking.)
2 stalks celery, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 can 15oz pumpkin
1 can mango nectar (Asian food isle)
1/2 fresh lime juice
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup minced cilantro
1/2 heavy cream
1 TBS cornstarch
2-4 cups of hot cooked rice (jasmine or basmati)
3 green onions, minced
1/2 cup unsalted peanuts chopped (optional)


1. Heat 1 TBS of oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add chicken and cook , stirring occasionally, about 3 mins. Add onion, garlic , ginger and red pepper flakes; Cook 1 or 2 minutes longer or until mixture is fragrant. Remove from heat.

2. Place the chicken mixture in a Crock Pot. Add celery, carrot, pumpkin, mango nectar, lime juice, peanut b utter, broth and 2 c ups water; stir to combine. Cover and cook on LOW 8 hours or on HIGH 4 hours.

3. Mix cream and cornstarch together in small mixing bowl. Stir mixture into soup. If soup was cooked on the LOW setting, turn setting to HIGH . Simmer, uncovered 10 minutes or until soup thickens. To serve, mound rice in soup bowls and ladle soup around the rice.

4. Sprinkle cilantro, green onions, and peanuts on top.

Serve with my homemade Pumpkin Biscuits! YUM!
This recipe is featured in the Gooseberry Patch cookbook Slow-Cooker Fall Favorites. (affiliate link)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Gingerbread Cake

I made this for dessert last night and it was a hit.

Wet Ingredients:

1/4 of butter, softened
1/4 cup of coconut oil
1 egg
1/2 c. of molasses
3/4 c. honey

Dry Ingredients:

2 1/2 c. white/ wheat flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt

1 cup hot water


Preheat oven to 325.
Whisk together the wet ingredients.
In a separate bowl whisk together the dry ingredients.
Slowly add dry ingredients to the wet and blend thoroughly.
Add your cup of hot water and blend.
Mixture will be soupy. I was a little concerned here but trusted that all will be well and it was! Don't freak out! LOL.

Pour into 9" greased square pan.
Bake for 50-55 mins or until knife comes out clean from center. It's best when eaten warm.
Top with freshly whipped cream and you have a wonderful dessert!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Taco Stuffed Shells

I made these for supper last night and I got 5 thumbs up and since there are only 5 of us, I'd say that was pretty good.

I admit there just wasn't getting a good picture as it is kind of an ugly dish! LOL

1 1/4lbs of ground beef or turkey
4oz of cream cheese
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. chili powder
1 box jumbo shells
2 TBS butter, melted
2 cup shredded cheese (Use Mexican cheese blend if you got it!)
1 1/2 c. crushed tortilla chips
sour cream
Sauce: I mixed 1 can of tomato sauce and about 1 cup of salsa together and it was really good


1. In a large skillet, brown meat until no longer pink, drain. Add cream cheese, salt, and chili powder. Mix well and simmer for 5 minutes.

2. Meanwhile cook your shells until al dente. Toss cooked shells with butter.

3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

4. Fill shells with beef mixture and arrange in a 9 x 13 pan. You may need another small one to fit them all in. Pour sauce over shells. Cover with foil and bake for 15 mins.

5. Remove dish from oven and top with cheese and tortilla chips, return dish to oven to cook for 15 more minutes.

6. Top with sour cream and onions. Serve!


Thursday, June 18, 2009

Dark Chocolate Coconut Brownies!

The Best Dark Chocolate Coconut Brownies!
I know everyone always says it but these truly are THE BEST!
If you didn't get a change to check out the guest post I did based on these brownies you can check it out here. I even Vlogged it!
Here's the recipe and yes it's the full fat version. You can substitute apple sauce for half the butter and it will still taste "good" but not "great" like with REAL butter!
½ cup butter – room temp
¾ cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
½ cup Whole White Wheat flour
1/3 cup Special Dark Cocoa
¼ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
½ cup sliced almonds
1 cup shredded sweet coconut
Handful of Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips (Optional)

Preheat oven to 350. Butter a 9x9 pan. Beat butter, sugar and vanilla. Add eggs; beat well with spoon. Stir together flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt, almonds & coconut. Add flour mixture to egg mixture & stir just until blended. Spread evenly into pan. Sprinkle with chocolate chips if desired.

Bake 20-25 minutes or until brownies begin to pull away from sides of pan. Cool completely in pan on rack.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Chicken Cheesesteak Phillies

These are so super yummy! Very easy to make. This made 6 sandwiches.
Enough hoagie rolls to feed your family
Enough chicken to feed your family (mine is going to differ from yours! LOL)
One Red Bell Pepper - Julienned
One Green Bell Pepper- Julienned
One Sweet Vidalia Onion- Julienned (as best you can)
Provolone cheese

Cook your chicken and cut into bite size pieces

While chicken is cooking. Saute' your onions and peppers in olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste.Spray a broiler pan with cooking spray and put your chicken and sauteed veggies on pan. Spread out evenly and then add slices of cheese over top.Put in oven on broil for about 5-7 mins or until cheese is fully melted.
Slice up your hoagies, slap on some mayo and spread your chicken mixture on there. Throw them back in the oven to heat up the rolls for about 3 mins.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Hawaiian Cake

I love this cake! Especially around Spring and Summer. It's so light tasting and I've had people that don't even "like" cake ask for seconds.
There are two ways to make it. The "EASY" way or "MY" way! LOL.
I'll give you the "EASY" way first.

1 Vanilla Cake Mix
1 8oz cream cheese softened
1 20 oz. crushed pineapple
1 3oz. package of vanilla instant pudding
1 cup cold milk
1 9oz container of cool whip
nuts and coconut for garnish

Prepare cake mix according to package directions, using the reserved pineapple juice and water for the liquid called for in the directions.
Split between 2- 8 inch round pans.
Bake at 350° F. for about 30 minutes
Cool in pans, set aside.
In a large bowl blend together cream cheese, pudding mix and milk until smooth. Fold in drained pineapple and spread half of the mixture over top of 1st cake. Place second cake on top of first and spread with remaining filling.
Cover with whipped topping and sprinkle with nuts and coconut.

Now the only difference between the "EASY" way and "MY" way is I make my cake from scratch and my vanilla pudding from scratch!
So if you feel like it here is the recipe for Vanilla Pudding. Just make sure you omit the milk in recipe above if making this from scratch. And here is a Vanilla Cake Recipe.
I've made it both the easy way and the "MY" way and it comes out delicious. My way is just a bit "healthier" LOL.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Cappuccino Smoothie!

I've been making this smoothie for about a week now and am loving it. So I thought I'd pass it along.

Makes One BIG serving!

3/4 cup Vanilla Yogurt
1/4 Milk
Handful of Almonds 1/4 cup?
1 Frozen Banana
1 heaping tsp of instant coffee
4 ice cubes ( I was just fixin to say frozen ice cubes! DUH!)

Place in blender in the order given and blend until smooth. I have a Vita-Mix so it really blends it nicely. If you don't have a super high speed blender you may have some "pieces" left over but I'm sure it will still taste delicious.
Tell me what you think if you try this. I LOVE it! Perfect for these coming summer months!

Friday, May 1, 2009

You got one?

This week I've been making my ol' standby's and haven't really posted many recipes. But I had an idea. Do you have a recipe that you love and don't mind sharing? Send it to me via email. I'll try it and if the family gives it 4 or more thumbs up, I will post it and send you some link love back.
I think that would be fun!
My email is


Saturday, April 25, 2009

Sloppy Joes

I love sloppy joes and these are quick and easy to make when in a hurry.

1 1/2 lbs. ground turkey or beef
1-1 1/2 cup of my homemade BBQ sauce
1 onion chopped
1 green bell pepper chopped

Cook meat, when half way cooked add onion and bell pepper and finish cooking meat completely until browned.
Add the sauce and mix well.
Serve with Hamburger Buns!

Quick and Easy!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Recipe Review- Baked Chicken Parmesan

For those of you who read my post on my other blog about the Sue Gregg cookbooks, well I thought I would review a few as I made them.
I made the Baked Chicken Parmesan and Brown Rice Pilaf from her book the other night and both were simply delicious. I'm loving these books so far.
If you want me to keep reviewing a few I will. If you are the least bit interested in these books I'd try out her sample recipes here.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

I've recently had the honor of receiving some Sue Gregg cookbooks and will be incorporating some of her recipes in my menu. I did a post about them on my main blog if you want to check it out.

MONDAY- Encharrito Casserole (family favorite)
TUESDAY- Baked Parmesan Chicken w/ brown rice pilaf and broccoli (Page 96 and 208 in the Main Dishes Sue Gregg Cookbook)
WEDNESDAY- Mexican Chicken Salad
THURSDAY- Molly's Chicken (No idea who Molly is) Broccoli-Carrot Medley and Brown rice (Page 126 in MD )
FRIDAY- Taco Pizza
SATURDAY- Spaghetti and Meat Sauce and Salad

For more Monday Menus hop on over to I'm an Organizing Junkie to check them out!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Healthier Carrot Cake

I admit that I made this in a rush, because my husband was leaving for work so it wasn't completely cooled and I left it in the pan and frosted. But it tasted so good warm!!! But wasn't as pretty as if you would have taken the time to let it cool, take it out of the pan and then frost it. But I'll leave that all up to you. To me this is just a way to get it in your mouth quicker! LOL.
Okay on to the recipe.

3/4 Agave nectar
1/2 coconut oil
1/2 unsweetened applesauce
2 tsp. vanilla
2 large eggs
2 cups White Wheat flour
1 3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
5 medium carrots, shredded (about 2-3 cups)
1 cup chopped walnuts (1/4 reserved)

Cream cheese frosting
1-80z. reduced fat cream cheese, softened
milk of choice ( I eye ball this)
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spray the bottom and sides of a 13 x 9 inch pan. Or use something equivalent.
Mix the agave, coconut oil, applesauce, vanilla and eggs until well blended.
Stir in dry ingredients. Mix until well blended.
Stir in carrots and walnuts.
Pour into pan.
Bake for 40-45 mins.

Beat cream cheese and about 1 1/2 TBS of milk and your vanilla on low speed until smooth.
Gradually beat in powdered sugar, until smooth and spreadable. Add more milk if necessary.
Spread over warm cake.
Sprinkle remaining walnuts over top.

To make this even healthier, I may not frost it next time. It was so good I may just sprinkle a little powdered sugar over the top and call it done.

Let me know what you think.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Cheesy Yummy Goodness!

Okay I just had to post this because my family just loves it when I make it. I can't say that it will go in the "healthy" category but it's definitely a comfort food and every now and again we need that. So I'm going to start a new label just for recipes like this! I came up with this based on what I had on hand at the time.

4 Organic hot dogs ( see it's starting out healthy already) LOL
About a cup and a half to 2 cups spiral pasta or whatever pasta you have on hand except for spaghetti ( I just kind of eyeballed it but make enough for 5 people.)
3 TBS. of butter
1/4 c. of flour
1 1/2 c. of milk
1 cup of cheese ( I used a Mexican blend)

Cook hot dogs according to instructions. Slice in half and then into bite size pieces. Set aside.
While your hot dogs are cooking make your pasta according to directions on box.
To make your cheese sauce first get a sauce pan and add your butter and melt over medium heat. When completely melted add your 1/4 flour and whisk until combined.
Slowly add your milk, while continuing to whisk. Sauce will start to thicken after a few minutes. Don't let boil. Keep whisking until you feel the sauce start to thicken reduce heat to low and add your cheese. Grab a wooden spoon to mix this together.
Now all you do is add your pasta, hot dogs and cream sauce together and mix well. Add a little salt and pepper to taste.

Wanna make it healthier? Add broccoli as a side! LOL.
If you try it let me know what you think!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Healthier Alternatives to Sugar

Lately I've really been trying to cut down on my sugar intake and have been looking at natural, healthier alternatives.
It would be easy to adjust most of my recipes to some of these new sweeteners.
I personally use:
Raw Honey:
Real Maple Syrup
Stevia Powder

Xylitol: I've heard nothing but great things about this. Use 1:1 for sugar. Here is a website with a bit more information on using for baking. Cooking and Baking with Xyitol.

I hope this gives you a few alternatives to eating a little more healthy without having to pull your sweet tooth.


Monday, March 30, 2009

Broccoli Cheese and Potato Soup

This soup is so good. The perfect soup to serve with sandwiches.


1 medium onion, chopped
4 stalks of celery, chopped
3 TBS.butter
1/3 flour
4 cups diced potatoes ( I buy organic so I leave the skins on)
2 1/2 cups chopped broccoli, steamed until crisp tender
1 32oz. box of chicken broth
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 1/2 cups skim milk ( half and half or whole milk for a creamier soup)
dash of salt and pepper to taste
couple shakes of paprika
Garnish with chopped parsley.

1. In a large saucepan, saute onion and celery in butter over medium heat until tender.
2. Add flour, pepper, salt and paprika and stir until smooth.
3. Add broth, milk and potatoes, stirring constantly until it boils and thickens.
4. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
5. Stir in cheese and cooked broccoli and cook over low until cheese is melted and soup is heated through.
6. Sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately.


Friday, March 20, 2009

Alcoholic Substitutions

If you're like me you don't have a wide array of alcohol sitting around the house! LOL. So I thought that this list of substitutions would be a good thing to post.

  • For 2 TBS Amaretto, substitute 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. almond extract
  • For 2 TBS of sherry or bourbon, substitute 1 to 2 tsp. of vanilla extract
  • For 2 TBS Kahlua, coffee, or chocolate-flavored liqueur, substitute 1/2 to 1 tsp chocolate extract plus 1/2 to 1 tsp instant coffee in 2 TBS water.
  • For 1/4 cup or more white wine, substitute an equal measure of white grape juice or apple juice.
  • For a 1/4 cup or more of red wine, substitute and equal amount of red grape juice or cranberry juice.

Have a blessed day!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Homemade BBQ Sauce

I'm a label reader and I don't like what I see on the BBQ sauce labels. High Frutose Corn Syrup is usually first in line. So here is a more healthy alternative. That is if you use organic ketchup that doesn't have High Frutose Corn syrup in it. If you don't then don't bother! LOL.

1 cup Organic Ketchup
2 TBS. Sucanat or sugar
2 TBS. Molasses
1 TBS. Soy Sauce
1 tsp . Liquid Smoke

If you want to make a honey bbq sauce substitute the honey for the molasses!

Combine all ingredients together and use immediately. Well in other words don't store it. Make only what you are going to use. You can adjust things to your liking. Like maybe adding more molasses or less sugar. It's just trial and error but this is a great base BBQ Sauce.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Black Bean and Chicken Quesadillas

It's no secret that I LOVE Mexican food. So here is yet another addition to my Mexican food list of favorites. I made these yesterday and they were sooooo good and easy to make!

4-5 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 onion, chopped
1 can of organic black beans, rinsed
1/2 c. salsa
1 TBS of Mrs. Dash Southwest Chipotle Seasoning
2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese
10 flour tortillas (the large ones)

Cook chicken breasts until done. Chop into bite size chunks and saute' with onion about 5 mins.
In a blender add your black beans, salsa and seasoning. Blend until smooth.
Distribute the bean mixture evenly over 5 tortillas that have been placed on sprayed cookie sheets. I used 3 cookie sheets for these.
Distribute cooked chicken and onions over the beans and then sprinkle with cheese.
Place remaining tortillas over the other 5 and bake in a 350 degree oven for 15-20 mins. or until the tops and edges are slightly brown.
Remove from oven and cut each tortilla into 6ths with a pizza cutter.
Have extra salsa, sour cream, guacamole on hand to eat with your quesadillas.
Serve with a salad and you have a delicious meal!
I know you will love these.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Homemade Chocolate Syrup

Ok so if any of you love chocolate syrup as I do but don't like all the "stuff" they put in the store bought brand, here is a recipe (though not exactly healthy) that you make and you can pronounce everything in the ingredient list. Team it up with your homemade ice cream and yummo!!

If you substitute 1/2 n 1/2 or cream for the water, you end up with a hot fudge topping, but it won't keep as long in the fridge.

Chocolate Syrup
1/2 cup cocoa (I usually sift it for easier mixing)
1 cup sugar
dash of salt
1 cup water
1 tsp vanilla
Combine cocoa, sugar and salt in a saucepan. Add water, and mix until smooth. Bring to a boil, and allow it to boil for 1 minute - be careful it doesn't boil over. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Cool and refrigerate.


Monday, February 23, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Monday- Encharrito Casserole ( we haven't had this in awhile and it's being requested)
Tuesday- Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup (Easy Meal)
Wednesday- Chicken Wings with homemade baked fries and a green salad
Thursday- We are having a family of 10 over for dinner so I am keeping it simple and making Burgers on my George Foreman with celery salad and maybe potato salad.
Friday- Homemade Pizza!

To check out more menus head on over to I'm an Organizing Junkie!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Protein Shake

Oh this is a good pick me up in the middle of the day!!

1 frozen banana (freeze the ones that are getting too ripe)
1/2 cup low fat vanilla yogurt
1/3 low fat organic milk
1 GIANT spoonful of peanut butter
4-5 ice cubes
1 scoop of whey protein powder (if you have it)

Add all this to your blender and mix until smooth.
It's so yummy and half the fat of a Peanut Butter Shake.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Chicken Bryan

I am linking up with Life as Mom today for the Ultimate Recipe Swap. The theme this week is - Your Ultimate Favorite Recipe! I have many recipes that I love but this one tops them all. It's a bit more work then most but it's oh so good. If you have a recipe to share head on over to Life as Mom for all the details.

This recipe is well worth the effort. I usually make it for a special occasion or something because it's kind of a fancy dish. And really it's not that difficult to make.


6 large boneless skinless chicken breasts

2 TBS. extra virgin olive oil

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

8 oz. goat cheese, (i buy the herb kind, it adds a nice flavor), soften to room temp.

Sun Dried Tomato Sauce

1 TBS butter

1 TBS finely chopped garlic

1 TBS finely chopped yellow onion

1/2 c. dry white wine

1/4 freshly squeezed lemon juice

3 TBS cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1 1/2 c. finely sliced sun-dried tomatoes ,without oil( I find these already sliced in the fresh veggie area, they come in a bag)

1/4 c. fresh basil

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp white pepper, ( I didn't have this so I just used black)


Prepare the Sun Dried Tomato Sauce: Place butter, garlic, and onion in a large skillet over medium heat and saute until garlic and onion are tender and transparent. Add white wine and lemon juice. Increase heat to medium high and simmer to reduce by half. Reduce heat to low. Add cold butter one piece at a time. Add sun dried tomatoes, basil, salt, and pepper and stir to blend ingredients. Set aside.

Prepare Chicken: Preheat grill, and brush chicken with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill Chicken approx. 15-20 mins or until cooked through. Divide goat cheese evenly between chicken breasts, placing some on each breast for the last two minutes of cooking. Place cooked chicken on serving platter and spoon Sun Dried Tomato Sauce over chicken.*Note I generally make the sauce while the chicken is cooking.

This recipe will make your taste buds sooooo happy. I usually double the sauce recipe because my family loves it. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!!


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Homemade Play Dough Recipe

Who doesn't love to play with playdough? This is a quick and easy recipe to make your own. The colors are only limited to your knowledge of color combinations! The best part is is that you probably have all the things already on hand!

1 1/2 C. Flour
3/4 C salt
1 1/2 C. water
1 TBS veggie oil
1/2 TBS. cream of tartar
Food coloring of choice or mix for more fun colors. A few drops goes a long way.

Mix all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium low heat, until dough comes away from edges of pan and becomes difficult to stir.In other words, it starts looking like playdough!
Remove from heat. Let cool until it can be handled.
Place on wax paper and knead 5-6 times.(This is very therapeutic!)
Store in airtight container.
Have fun!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Since I'm feeling a bit under the weather I'm going to try to make easy things.

Monday- Mexican Chicken in the crockpot
Tuesday- Spaghetti and Meat sauce
Wednesday- Crockpot Chicken Soup
Thursday- Organic Hotdogs and Salad
Friday- Homemade Pizza (hopefully I'll be better by then my family has been asking for this)
For more menus go check out I'm an Organizing Junkie!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Healthier Blender Pancakes

I love pancakes! I have recently been learning about soaking grains and how much more beneficial they are for you and easier to digest.
I've adapted this recipe from a Sue Gregg Recipe. This is my version.


2 c. buttermilk
2 TBS. coconut oil (if you can't find it Debra then use olive oil) ;)
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 c. uncooked rolled oats
1 c. brown rice

1. Place this all in a high speed blender and blend at highest speed for 3 minutes. Less than that for a Vita Mix. I have a Vita Mix and I blend it for about 1 minute. Keep the cover on your blender and let stand at room temp for 12-24 hours. The longer the better.

In the morning preheat your "griddle" or "skillet" depending on where you're from, on medium high heat.
Just before cooking add the following ingredients and reblend for 1-3 mintus, until smooth.
2 eggs
2 TBS flaxseed (optional)

At the last few seconds add:
4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Then cook em' up and enjoy! It's a little bit of a different taste then pancakes made with flour but we really really like them. Remember I don't put anything on here we don't like.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

I thought for a change I would start posting my Menu's on my cooking blog instead of my main blog. It kind of just made more sense.
Monday- Shepherd's Pie
Tuesday- Hamburger Minestrone Soup and biscuits
Wednesday- Encharrito Casserole
Thursday- Homemade Pizza
Friday- It's the monthly fellowship night and we are to bring our favorite family dish, so I'm not sure what that is yet. We have so many!

For more yummy menu's go check out I'm an Organizing Junkie.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Homemade Meatball Subs

I'm joining in this weeks recipe swap @ Life as Mom and the theme is beef.

Since I've mentioned loving meatball subs in a post over at my other blog I've had people asking for the recipe. You can make this as easy or as hard as you would like. But here is my recipe.

Ingredients for the Meatballs:
1 1/2 lbs. ground beef or turkey
1 egg
1/3 cup Italian Seasoned Bread Crumbs
1/2 tsp. sage
2 TBS. Grated Parmesan Cheese
2 TBS. garlic powder
2 TBS. onion powder
salt and pepper to taste

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees . Line a 9 x 13 inch pan with parchment paper and place in oven while preheating or coat with a couple of tsp.of olive oil.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the ground turkey, egg, bread crumbs and spices using your hands. Using an ice cream scoop if possible, form the meat into golf ball sized meatballs. Place about 1 inch apart in the hot baking dish. Press down to flatten the bottom just slightly.
  3. Bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven, then turn them over, and continue baking for about 5 more minutes, or until somewhat crispy on the outside.
Don't forget you can make these ahead and freeze them for a later time. So make a whole bunch at once.

Now what you do is take your favorite hoagie roll and split it down the center. Shove as many meatballs as you can down the middle, usually 3 or 4. Now you can make your own sauce, but to make it easy I buy the Bertolli Organic Spaghetti sauce and use it and it's delicious. So you are going to take your sauce and pour some over the meatballs. Don't go crazy because you don't want a big mess, plus you can save some for dipping. Then I add a half a slice of mozzarella cheese on top, place on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray and put under the broiler until the cheese is melted. Usually around 4-5 mins. Watch it carefully because it can burn quickly.

There you have it. I hope you enjoy!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Quick and Easy Mexican Dish

I love the words quick and easy when it comes to dinner. Last night out of desperation I made this Mexican type casserole thing. I'm not sure what to call it yet LOL. But it was some good and the whole family loved it.

2 lbs. ground beef or turkey, cooked
1 large jar of favorite salsa or the equivalent of 2 cups
1 small can of sliced olives
8 slices of Monetary Jack Cheese ( or shredded cheddar) Use what you got. That's what I did.
Tortilla Chips, crushed
Sour Cream

Brown your meat in a pan. Drain off fat and then add your salsa.
Simmer for about 10-15 mins.
Meanwhile spray a 13 x 9 inch pan with cooking spray
Add your crushed tortillas to bottom of pan to cover generously
Put your cooked meat mixture over the chips
Throw your olives over the top of that and then your slices of cheese to cover it all.
Baked in a 350 degree oven for about 20 mins.
Serve with a dab of sour cream and it's delicious.
A nice salad would finish this dinner off.

I hope you enjoy! It truly was quick and easy!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Easy Hummus

I love hummus and this is a very easy recipe to make.


15 oz. can organic chick peas (garbanzo beans), drained
1/2 cup raw sesame seeds
1 1/2 TBS. Olive Oil
Juice of 2 Lemons ( I squeeze them over a small mesh strainer)
1 clove of garlic
Salt and Pepper to taste


I have been blessed by a Vita Mix Machine and that is what I use for this sort of stuff but you can try your blender or even a food processor for this.
Place all the ingredients in the above order in your machine and turn on high for 1 minute.
If you don't have a Vita Mix with the tamper then you will probably have to stop and scrap the hummus down and blend periodically to get it all incorporated. Dump in a bowl. ( Don't you love how technical I am?)
Then just grab some chips or pita bread and enjoy!

For a tasty twist you can add roasted red peppers to this mix and it adds really great flavor.
Even a little dash of hot sauce can kick it up!
Do your own experimenting and let me know what you come up with.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Hamburger Minestrone Soup

This is a family favorite. Pair it up with some homemade biscuits.
I'm linking this up with Life as Mom for the Ultimate Recipe Swap and the theme is favorite soups. This is probably one of our favorites!

6 cups of water
5 tsp. of Organic Better than Boullion Beef Base (now you can use beef stock if you choose to equal 6 cups. Even chicken broth would be good.) Like I said use what you have.
2 lbs. ground beef or turkey
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
3/4 c. uncooked elbow macaroni
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
3 celery stalks, chopped
1 16 oz. can of diced tomatoes
1 can kidney beans, rinsed
1 cup frozen sweet corn
1 can green beans, drained


1. Cook beef, onion and garlic in large soup pot. Drain off grease when done.
2. Bring the 6 cups of water to a boil and add your 5 tsp. of soup base mix well; add to the meat.
3. Add remaining ingredients and simmer until macaroni is cooked through. Approx. 15-20 mins.

Serve with Biscuits!
So quick and easy and delicious!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Pecan Pancakes

These are so delicious and a family favorite.

2 1/2 c. flour (use your preference) I use organic white/wheat
1 1/2 TBS. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 c. Milk
2 eggs
4 TBS. melted butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. chopped pecans

1. In a medium size bowl mix together the dry ingredients.
2. In a small bowl mix together the wet ingredients.
3. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix only until blended. Don't over mix. Add more milk if too thick.
4. Add chopped pecans and mix just until incorporated.
Use a 1/3 cup measure and cook on hot skillet until it starts to bubble then flip and finish cooking on other side.
Makes about 12 pancakes!
Serve with real Maple Syrup!