Thursday, November 29, 2007

I am so proud of myself girls!! I actually created my own recipe based on a soup I had tried before. It turned out yummy!! I used leftover turkey from Thanksgiving but otherwise I guess I would just use chicken (cooked already and chopped up). No pics but it is a cream based soup.

Megan’s Turkey and Wild Rice Soup

1c. Onions chopped
1c. Finely chopped mushrooms (in food chopper/processor)

2-3T Flour
1 ½ c. cooked wild rice
2c. Vegetable stock or chicken stock
1c. Water or stock
Salt & pepper
1-1.5 cups heavy cream (or evaporated milk)

Saute onions and mushrooms in oil on low for till golden and carmelized-about 15 minutes. Add flour and cook for 2 minutes. Add stock and wild rice and boil on low for 10-15 minutes. Add 1 cup of water and continue to cook. Add cream, salt and pepper and cook for another 15 minutes. Serve with a nice crusty bread. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

ginger molasses cookies & pumpkin dip

i've posted our family's amazing ginger molasses cookies before--the perfect combination of crunchy, chewy, soft, salty, spicy, & sweet. my absolute fave in the fall. the next best thing to chocolate!

ginger molasses cookies:
1 1/2 c. crisco
2 c. sugar

2 eggs
1/2 c. molasses

mix & add:
4 c. flour
2 t. salt
4 t. b. soda
2 t. ginger
2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. cloves

shape in balls, roll in white sugar, bake at 375.
i like to let them stay kind of puffy and not flatten out too much.
always seem to taste better the next day!

Elin's Pumpkin Dip
[great with gingersnap cookies!]
  • 1/2 big can of pumpkin
  • 8 oz. of cream cheese
  • 1 c. powdered sugar
  • cinnamon
  • ginger
Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add in p. sugar, then pumpkin & spices to taste.
[An attractive way to serve this is to carve out a small pumpkin and place the dip inside it. Serve on a festive plate with the pumpkin in the middle and the gingersnaps around it.]

Happy T Day!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Megan's Thanksgiving Menu

Hey everyone! Here's whats cooking at the Smith house for Thanksgiving. Most things I am making atleast part of it ahead of time. Today I'll get the pies in the freezer, and make the ice cream. If you want any of the recipes I am using, let me know and I'll email them to you. What are you all cooking?

Maple Oat Dinner Rolls, Gravy,
Roast All Natural Turkey, Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes,
Cornbread & Sausage Stuffing, Green beans with red peppers,
Sweet Potato Casserole, Homemade Pumpkin Pie,
Chocolate Mousse Cake, Pumpkin Ice Cream & Peppermint Ice Cream

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Italian Sausage and Pasta Soup

1 lb. hot Italian sausage (or mild, if your family prefers ... we like spicy)
2 (14.5 oz.) cans diced tomatoes with garlic and basil (I think some brands call this "Italian diced" -- check the can. Remember that tomatoes are a commonly contaminated crop and it's worth the effort to look for organic!)
1 qt. broth or stock of your favorite variety
1 cup small whole-grain pasta (such as macaroni or shells)
1 bunch kale, stemmed and chopped

In a soup pot, brown sausage, using a spoon to break up. Add tomatoes, broth, and pasta. Simmer until pasta is tender. Add kale and simmer until bright green and wilted, about 2 minutes. Serve with crusty bread, salad, and a garnish of shredded cheese and/or shredded fresh basil if you choose. (We always omit the garnishes.) Enjoy!

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Hey Carrie--Here is a Mexican dish recipe that you could possibly use. It has veggies but maybe she'll go for them if they are diced up small :) I'll keep an eye out for more. Good luck, that has to be very tough!

chicken tenders or cut up chicken breast
onion, garlic, red bell pepper, oil
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp salt
1 can corn, drained (optional)
1 can black beans, rinsed & drained (optional)
1 lime
# Instructions
Saute chopped onion, garlic, and red pepper a few minutes in vegetable oil. Add chicken tenders or cut up chicken breast chunks. Saute until chicken is almost done, then add chili powder, ground cumin, and salt. Stir and simmer a few minutes.

If using, add drained corn and black beans.

Squeeze fresh lime juice and serve.
Hi Girls...
Any ideas for feeding a SUPER picky 2 year old. Ani has a lot of fruit and vege allergies, in additon to sugar and wheat. Recently she is refusing to eat vegetables or meat. She loves anything with dairy, ie: cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt, sour cream, cheese and cheese. She will eat fruit, but is allergic to apples and pears so the fall season is challenging. Any ideas for getting more nutrients into her, especially veges?

Crockpot Braised Sage Chicken with Stuffing
Crockpot Chicken

Set this meal to cook early in the day and you won't have much to do for dinner in a hurry. Sage and stuffing satisfy that craving for holiday flavors any time during the season.

* 1 organic yellow onion, halved lengthwise and sliced
* 3 cups Whole Fields™ Organic Petite Carrots
* 1/2 cup organic chicken broth
* 1/2 cup dry white wine
* 1 clove organic garlic, minced
* 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
* 6–8 (1 1/2–1 3/4 pounds) bone-in, skinned chicken thighs
* 1 tsp 365 Everyday Value™ Paprika
* sea salt, to taste
* freshly ground pepper, to taste
* 1 package (10-oz) 365 Organic Everyday Value™ Stuffing Mix with Cranberries

Place onion in a lightly greased 6-quart crock pot/slow cooker and top with carrots. Combine broth, wine, garlic and sage and pour over vegetables. Generous season chicken thighs with paprika, salt and pepper and arrange on top of vegetables. Cover and cook on LOW heat setting 8 hours or until chicken and vegetables are tender. Prepare stuffing according to package directions and serve.

Hearty Turkey Noodle Soup

Hearty Turkey Noodle Soup
An after-Thanksgiving tradition in some homes, this is a smart and satisfying way to use leftover turkey. Our version is loaded with antioxidant-rich ingredients to help keep you healthy during this stressful season.

* 1 organic yellow onion, chopped
* 2 cloves organic garlic, sliced
* 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
* 2 teaspoons dried thyme
* 3 1/2–4 cups 365 Organic Everyday Value™ Chicken Broth
* 1 (14.5-oz) can 365 Everyday Value™ Sliced Carrots, drained
* 1 (15-oz) can 365 Everyday Value™ Cannellini Beans
* 2 cups fresh organic baby spinach
* 2 cups (1/2–3/4 lb) cubed leftover turkey meat*
* 1 1/2 cups uncooked wide egg noodles
* sea salt, to taste
* freshly ground pepper, to taste

In a sauce pot over medium-high heat, sauté onion and garlic in oil 3 minutes. Add thyme and stir to blend. Add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer about 15 minutes or until noodles are tender. Check seasoning and serve.
*Okay to substitute leftover chicken, or season and bake about 3/4 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast at 375º for 20–25 minutes until cooked through.

Spinach and Cheese Lasagna

Spinach and Cheese Lasagna

This recipe serves 6–8 for when you need to serve more than four or want leftovers for lunch the next day. It's sure to become a family favorite.

* 2 cups (15–16 oz) ricotta cheese
* 1 cup grated 365 Everyday Value™ Mozzarella Cheese, divided
* 1 cup Whole Creamery™ 3-Cheese Blend, divided
* 1 egg
* 1 (16-oz) bag frozen 365 Everyday Value™ Spinach, thawed, chopped and well drained
* sea salt, to taste
* ground pepper, to taste
* 2 teaspoons dried oregano
* 1 (25-oz) jar organic pasta sauce
* 9–12 no boil lasagna noodles, uncooked

Preheat oven to 350ºF. In a large bowl mix ricotta, 1/2 cup mozzarella, 1/2 cup 3-cheese blend, egg, spinach, salt, pepper and oregano. In another bowl, combine the remaining cheeses. In a 9x13" non-reactive baking pan, layer one cup sauce, then a layer of noodles, layer of ricotta/spinach mixture and repeat. Top with sauce then sprinkle with remaining cheeses. Pour 1 cup water around the edges of pan. Cover with parchment paper, then very tightly with foil and bake 1 1/4 hours. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Hi everyone! Thanks so much for inviting me Megan to this blog. I'm excited about sharing recipes. I love to cook, especially new recipes. Here is a great coffee cake recipe Justin and I found online at allrecipes.com. I wanted a coffee cake for my birthday and Justin was making it. His first cake ever! :) This recipe is so easy and very delicious. He did a fabulous job! My mother-n-law is making it for me again this weekend :)

Cinnamon Coffee Cake II


1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix (Duncan Hines or cake mix without pudding in ingredients)
2 (3.4 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
4 eggs
1 cup water
½ cup vegetable oil
½ cup of applesauce
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13 inch baking pan.

2. In a medium bowl, stir together the cake mix, vanilla pudding mix, Add the eggs, oil,applesauce, and water, mix until well blended. In another bowl, stir together the brown sugar, cinnamon and nuts. Pour half of the batter into the pan, spread evenly. Sprinkle with half of the nut mixture. Cover with the rest of the batter, and sprinkle with the rest of the nut mixture.

3. Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven, then turn the oven down to 325 degrees and bake for an additional 35 minutes. Check the oven though to not overcook.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Creamy Broccoli Soup:
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup diced zuccini and or squash
1/2 cup diced onion
3 tbs oil
2 cans chicken broth
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 cup instant white rice
2 cup milk
4 1/2 cup broccoli florets
1/4 cup parmesian cheese

Sautee vegetables(not broccoli) in oil. Add broth and pepper, bring to a boil. Add broccoli and rice cook until broccoli is tender. Transfer to a blender or food processor and blend together. (I use a hand mixer, I like to leave some chunks of vegetables). Return to pot, add milk and cheese. Cook until heated through.

Great whole-wheat pumpkin cookies with cream cheese frosting.
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
16 oz can pumpkin
2 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350'. Cream butter and sugar. Add egg, vanilla, and pumpkin. Add all dry ingredients. Mix together. Add chocolate chips. Drop onto cookie sheet with spoon.
Frosting: Cream together 3oz cream cheese and 1/2 cup butter. Stir in 1tsp vanilla. Slowly add 2 cups powdered sugar, beating until creamy. (I like to add a little almond extract to my frosting-great flavor)

Friday, October 12, 2007

Cold Noodle Salad

1/2lb. to 1lb. - Linguine or thick Spaghetti, cooked and drained
1 large to medium - Cucumber, seeded and cut into strips
2-4 carrot stalks - Carrots, peeled and cut into strips
2 tbsp. - Sesame Seeds, toasted

Whisk the following together in a bowl or pour into blender to blend:
1 cup - Vegetable Oil
¼ cup - Rice Vinegar
1/3 cup - Soy Sauce
1 ½ tbsp. - Sesame Oil
1 tbsp. - Honey (optional)
¼ cup - Brown Sugar
2 cloves - Garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp. - Ginger, grated
1/2 cup - Peanut Butter
1 tsp. - Salt
1 tsp. - Black Pepper

Pour sauce over noodles and gently stir in vegetables.
Top with Sesame Seeds.
Serve cold or room temperature.
Great dish for a potluck.

- - -
the recipe above came from my co-worker's mother-in-law, who is Chinese and a very good cook! it's delish.

sorry i haven't been posting, but i no longer have a kitchen. B & I are living with my parents, while I finish a dreadful grad school semester. we are so grateful God gave us a place to live while we are rent our primary residence, plus our 3 investment residences, during this real estate market meltdown. in a nutshell, right now my mom is my gourmet cook, so i just print recipes like these out and request them!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Well girls, haven't been blogging since I lost my paper with passwords on it. But, since Megan is growling at us I thought it would be easier to just get a new password than to hear her complain! HA! Just giving you a hard time Megan! You know I love you! Hey, you get no pictures with my bloggs so hope you have good imaginations.

Megan called me for this recipe so I thought I would just share it with all.

Granny Mag's Stack Cake
3 1/2 C. flour (or more) 1/2 Tsp soda
1/2 C. Lard or shortening 1/2 Tsp salt
2 eggs 1/2Tsp. vanilla
1/2 C. buttermilk 1 1/2 Tsp. ginger (or more according to taste)
2 Tsp baking powder 1 1/2 C. sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream together shortening, sugar and eggs. Sift together dry ingredients and add to sugar mixture alternating with buttermilk. Mix well. This should be a stiff dough like cookie dough. If not gradually add flour until it is. Knead in a container of flour or on a floured board until smooth. Pat into 3- 9in round cake pans or iron skillets and bake until who knows how long, my granny just says,'until it's done hunny'. You should probably go with about 30 minutes just so that it is starting to brown and completely firm. Just watch them closely and you should be able to tell. It's just like cooking a big gingerbread cookie, which is in essence what you are doing. Back to the recipe: Once the cakes have baked, let them cool...completely... I would dare to say overnight even, if at all possible. Then, stack them with either cooked dried apples or apple butter(this is what my Granny Mag used).

Let me share with you my screw ups when attempting this recipe so that you don't do the same. First of all, when the batter started getting thick, I stopped adding flour, thinking the batter should look like cake batter instead of cookie dough. Mistake! Second of all, I did it in a rush, as I do most things. So, I took the cakes out of the oven when they were cooked as a moist cake would be, not a cookie. Finally, I did not let the cakes cool enough because I wanted them for dinner that night and didn't start them until probably 5:00. Ha! My result was a cake that tasted great but was about the ugliest thing that you have ever seen. It completely fell in the middle and I couldn't cut it but had to scoop it out like a pudding. Rather interesting!!! Well, good luck Megan. Learn from my mistakes and let me know the results. A picture would be nice too, since you are a bit more computer savvy than I.

Go Hannah--way to try to keep this thing going :)
Now that we are headed into fall, I'd love to start getting some ideas for meals from everyone. We went apple picking last weekend and I have been making homemade applesauce in the slow cooker. No sugar. Just apples, a bit of water, and a sprinkling of cinnamon. It is so yummy!
We've been eating alot of beans and rice lately. Tonight I am making homemade chicken pot pie since it is 50 degrees outside and I am in need of some warming up!
I'll try to be more faithful at posting. I am in the kitchen all the time with the boys but just have been slacking when it comes to sharing our food ideas with you all.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Hi Ladies,
How are things in your kitchens? Well, I have been in a slump with cooking lately. We've been eating cereal, quesadillas, frozen pizza and other "convenient" foods lately. So I have nothing fun or exciting to share. Hopefully things have been going better in your kitchens. Pass along some menus and dishes!
love, Hannah

Friday, August 31, 2007

Canaan's created dessert

Canaan wanted me to share this with you all. It is his very own creation. An apple with chocolate and marshmellows, put in the oven. I didn't try it but he said it was good! :)

Tuesday, August 07, 2007


a Smith household favorite...

This is a great way to get your little guys (or big guys) to eat their veggies. I make ground turkey with taco seasoning. In a bowl I start with lettuce which I cut thinly, add all sorts of veggies like corn, green peppers, red peppers, etc... Top that with crushed chips. Then add salsa, sour cream, cheese,and a bit of ranch dressing. Yummy!!!
Parmasean Crisps......
really easy and really yummy. Make ahead for your next party!

1 1/2 cups finely grated fresh Parmesan (about 1/4 pound)~ I used store bought
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
3/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper plus additional for sprinkling the
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into bits
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons water
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

In a bowl stir together the Parmesan, the flour, the zest, and 3/4 teaspoon of the pepper and with a pastry blender blend in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Make a well in the center, add the water and the lemon juice, and combine the mixture with fork until it just forms a dough. On a work surface knead the dough until it is just combined, transfer it to a sheet of wax paper, and using the wax paper as a guide form it into an 11- by 1 1/2-inch squared-off log. Chill the dough, wrapped in the wax paper, for 1 hour, or until it is firm enough to slice. (The dough may be made 2 days in advance and kept wrapped well and chilled.)
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Cut the dough into 1/4-inch-thick slices, arrange the slices 1 inch apart on baking sheets, and bake them in batches in the middle of the oven for 10 minutes, or until they are golden around the edges. Transfer the crackers carefully with a spatula to a rack, let them cool, and sprinkle them with the additional pepper.

Makes about 44 crackers.

May 1993

** I made the log ahead of time and put it in the fridge wrapped really well. Then just as the friends arrived I cut it into super thin cuts and popped them in the oven. They were so yummy! I served them with a cream cheese layered dip. Super easy!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Blackened Salmon from Jael Robitaille

Here is that salmon recipe - there really is none better than this!!!

Blackened Cajun Salmon

4 8 oz. salmon fillets
2 T. margarine (I use Can't believe it's not butter)

Cajun Blackening Seasoning

1 T. paprika
1 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. cayenne
3/4 t. ground black pepper
1/2 t. ground thyme
1/2 t. oregano
1/2 t. dried basil
1 t. onion powder
2 t. salt

Mix all the seasonings together. Sprinkle liberally over salmon fillets.
Place seasoned fillets with 1/2 T. of margarine each in a very hot cast-iron
skillet (we grill). Sear for 2 min. then turn and blacken for another 2
min. Old cholestrol cookbook says, "This is a spicy dish and goes best with
a cold glass of beer." Serve with rice and carrots. Produces a lot of

Thursday, July 19, 2007


Our summer meals sometimes consist of either a layered yogurt parfait or a smoothie (which is all the parfait ingredients blended in a blender :)
Not a whole lot of "gourmet" in that but it is so stinkin simple and yummy!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

**Ok Gals-- this is the recipe from Epicurious that I originally used.
BUT It turns out GREAT in the slow cooker. I just saute the onions and add in the
cilantro and chilies. Then I dump it all in the slow cooker with the meat (the pork is good but I like boneless chicken breast as well). Then I just let it cook all day. Serve it as it states on the recipe. It is super moist and delicious. Give it a try!

Pork and Chipotle Tacos
(as revised by Megan)

1 2 1/2-pound bone-in pork butt (works great with chicken too!!)

2 tablespoons corn oil
2 large onions, chopped
1 1/2 cups chopped fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons chopped canned chipotle chilies

12 5- to 6-inch-diameter corn tortillas
2 15- to 16-ounce cans black beans, rinsed, drained

1 1/2 cups chopped green onions
2 avocados, pitted, peeled, diced
Purchased tomatillo salsa
Lime wedges

Preheat oven to 350°F. Place pork on baking sheet; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast until brown and very tender, about 2 hours. Cool. Shred pork.

Heat corn oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions; sauté until tender, about 10 minutes. Add shredded pork, cilantro and chopped chipotle chilies with their sauce; stir until heated through. Season with salt and pepper.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Wrap tortillas in foil. Heat in oven 10 minutes. Stir beans in saucepan over medium-low heat until heated. Coarsely mash beans.

Arrange tortillas on work surface. Spread mashed beans over. Top with pork. Sprinkle with green onions and avocados. Serve with salsa and lime.wedges.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Here is a recipe my cousin sent me. I tried it today. Not too bad, not my favorite banana bread, but not bad. Very healthy, though. It didn't call for splenda, Les, but you might wanna give it a try. Hannah
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 cup mashed bananas (I put in 3 bananas)
1 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2tsp baking soda
1/4 cup hot water
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In large bolw beat oil and honey together. Add eggs and mix well. Stir in bananas and vanilla. Stir in flour and salt. Add baking soda to hot water-stir to mix and then add to batter. Add nuts. Spread batter into greased 9x5 loaf pan.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Request for healthy recipes?

Anyone have any tried&true recipes with whole wheat flour and splenda together?
I keep trying some but they aren't worthy of repeats.
Please post them.
Food Adventures: introducing your children to flavors from around the world
...for those of you with children, looked like a neat cookbook.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Hey Ladies, Just wondering what everyone is cooking for their warm summer evenings. We've done a lot of bbqing of chicken, hamburgers and carne asada. We do veggies on the grill too:sliced zucchini, tomatoe, green onion, bell peppers, white onion, all wrapped in aluminum foil with olive oil and Mrs. Dash seasoning. Tonight we went Thai-thanks to Marisa sending me all those fabulous recipes and season packets. We had stir fry veggies, Jasmine rice, and stir fry chicken with the Holy Basil paste. Wow, it was HOT, but the flavor was incredible! Even my kids tried it and liked it, but it was too spicey for them to eat much. When my aunt and uncle from Thailand were here, she fixed us a couple of Thai meals using the seasoning packets you sent me. So thank you again, Marisa for the fabulous flavor you sent my way!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Ok, we are at Sondra's house and have to run so we are going to let her type some stuff now. bye

Okay, so Mike and Megan had to hog tie me to get this picture. I haven't been willing to do this on my own because I haven't brushed my hair in months. So, do enjoy!! I love the apron! It matches all of my summer entertaining stuff. So, can't wait to entertain in it. So, thanks again Hannah!!

Friday, April 13, 2007

Trenette with Pesto, Potatoes, and Green Beans

This is a great FAST side dish. I use premade pesto from the store but go for it if you are inspired to make your own! Its super yummy and good for you too. Canaan loved it as well.


2 days ago, our fantastic friend and pastor, Kevin, came over for coffee. Reminded by Mike that Kevin is watching his weight, I was clueless as to what little treat to make to go along with coffee. Looking through a cooking light magazine at the dr.'s office this week I came across this recipe and decided to give it a go.......
It was YUMMALICIOUS for sure! It was very low fat and INCREDIBLY EASY and INCREDIBLY DELICIOUS! I am serious girls, very easy and very good. Try it.

Cafe con Leche Cream Pie

3/4 cup chocolate wafers crumbs (I used choc. graham crackers)
4 teasp. butter, melted

3/4 c. extra strong brewed coffee
1 1/4 teasp. unflavored gelatin
1 (8 oz) block 1/3 less fat cream cheese
1 (8 oz) block fat free cream cheese
1 (14oz) can fat free sweetened condensed milk
3 cups frozed fat free whipped topping, thawed
1/2 t unsweetened cocoa

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. COmbine chocolate wafer crumbs and butter, tossing with a fork until well combined. Firmly press into the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan (ok...at this point, don't worry about springform. It is something you can just scoop out at the end so use what ever 9 inch pan you have)
Bake at 350 for 10 minutes, cool completely
3. Pour brewed coffee into a medium microwave safe bowl. Sprinkle the gelatin over coffee, let stand 10 minutes. Combine cheeses and milk in a food processor (or with beaters); process till smooth. Microwave coffee mixture at HIGH for 20 seconds. Add coffee mixture to the cheese mixutre, and process until well combined. Pour mixture into prepared crust. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Spread the whipped topping evenly over filling; sprinkle cocoa over pie. Chill 1 hour before serving.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Such a fabulously fast and easy cookie recipe, if you love chocolate!
1 box chocolate cake mis
2 eggs
1/2 Cup oil
1 Cup chocolate chips

Mix altogether and drop onto cookie sheet. Bake at 350' for about 8-10minutes
we all love these and they don't last long.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Happy Easter! The kids and I spent the afternoon baking and decorating cupcakes to pass out to our neighbors, and of course enjoy a few for ourselves!

HOpe you all have a wonderful Easter!!

Monday, April 02, 2007

I absolutely love my Thai apron!!! Thank you so much, Marisa! You did a fabulous job. So my 6 year old took this picture. So it's not real good!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Kristie thank you so much for the apron! I love it! It goes perfectly with my style and my kitchen. This picture is not very good of me... can you tell I love to cook?!? Thanks so much for all the little goodies, too. I was so surprised. The glass measuring spoons are so cool! Thanks so much for all the thought and time you put into making this quite a special package. I can hardly wait to dig into those brownies!

Megan, this was a really great idea! Thanks so much for putting this together and for enabling to send each other a blessing. Have a great time in Florida.
I LOVE my apron! Thanks Megan . . . it is absolutely perfect and so "me". Sorry girls, but I really think I got the best one. :) The colors are great and the pattern is so fun. (you might not be able to tell what it looks like, cuz I just discovered my husband isn't the greatest photogrpher!) I just love it! Oh Megan, you have got to tell me where you got those family cards --- I want some too! Collin, my 2 yr. old, insisted on being in the pics with me. :)
I'm trying to show the full skirt on the bottom of the apron. It's so cute. There also is a ribbon/trim of white around the bottom of the skirt. Can you tell from these pics that we're in the tropics? Chiang Mai, Thailand --- and we're now in the HOT HOT season.


Ok, I hadn't done my hair or my make up so it is a "from the waist down" photo (ha!)
Mindi did an amazing job crocheting this fun apron. I totally love the black and white!! Thanks Mindi!!
Portobello Mushroom Burgers
4 servings

Oh my gosh, hubby and I inhaled these! Kind of an elegant twist on a burger or steak. AND OH SO YUMMY! I served mine up like a steak (minus all the fixings and cheese) and with a side of my new creation: Festive Spinach Salad (see below for recipe), and sliced tomatoes.

4 portobello mushroom caps
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon minced garlic
salt and pepper to taste
4 (1 ounce) slices provolone cheese

Place the mushroom caps, smooth side up, in a shallow dish. In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, oil, basil, oregano, garlic, salt, and pepper. Pour over the mushrooms. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes or so, turning twice.
Preheat grill for medium-high heat.
Brush grate with oil. Place mushrooms on the grill, reserving marinade for basting. Grill for 5 to 8 minutes on each side, or until tender. Brush with marinade frequently. Top with cheese during the last 2 minutes of grilling.

Festive Spinach Salad
4 servings

2 red bell peppers sliced thick
2 yellow bell peppers sliced thick
4 green onion stalks chopped
1 Tbs. minced garlic
1 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
2 Tbs. Flaxseed oil (or olive oil)
1-1/2 large bunches of spinach, rinsed & drained with stems removed

Place all the above ingredients (except for the spinach) in a wok on medium-high heat. Saute' no more than 4 minutes. (Note: do not add water. Veggies should be somewhat dry). Throw spinach in on top, stirring to coat with oils, till wilted. Remove from heat. Serve immediately.

Hello ladies.

Well, I am happy to announce that I am the proud new owner of an adorable apron. Sondra, thank you SO much. I really do love it. It's bright and cheerful, and as you can see, it totally matches my kitchen. It was just what i was hoping for. She even added my name for an extra special touch!

Megan, thanks for gettin this going. I had fun getting mine together and out the door as well. I can't wait to see the rest of these apron creations, so make sure you post pictures once you get yours in the mail!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Tomato-Potato-Leek Soup
Yesterday I opened the fridge and thought - what to do, what to do with leftover canned tomato, two potato's and two leeks that all need to be eaten asap. With little effort and no recipe I made a fantastic soup. Here's how I did it.
Cut the leeks and brown them in the pot that your going to use. Add a clove of crushed garlic. After the aromas have warmed and blended nicely, add the canned tomato. Let that simmer with 2 vegetable bouillon cubes, adding a couple of cups of water along the way. Prepare and add a spice ball with 10+ whole black pepper, a sprinkle of star anise and a bay leaf. Cube the 2 potato's and add them as well. Let it simmer together for awhile (over an hour probably). Salt and pepper to taste.
I thought it looked very appetizing as well, although I'm not sure that came across in my photo!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Apple Custard Tart

I also made this apple tart. Email me for the recipe.
Chocolate Nut Tart

This weekend I pulled out one of my favorite cookbooks. It is a book called "Once Upon a Tart". I don't remember how I ran across it but I really enjoy this cookbook. It is written by 2 guys that have a shop in NYC called "Once Upon a Tart." Anyhow, of course it has tarts but it also has wonderful salads and sandwiches and scones that they make in the shop. I highly recommend this one for your cookbook collection!
The crust for this tart is so perfect. It turns out wonderfully each and every time.

( As I began typing out the recipe, I realized its pretty long. So if you want it, email me and I'll send it along to you)

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Okay, so I can't eat any of this, but my kids still have to eat. So, today for lunch I got creative and made them a sure fire meal. Since my trip to Trinidad, the kids have fallen in love with Curry. They constantly beg me to make them "green eggs" and Roti (Trini flat bread). So today, being that it was a bone chilling 35 degrees out, when yesterday was 75 degrees!, I decided to make thier favorite soup... only with yet another twist... curry! Man, I wish I could eat this soup!!! Please note, I use all organic ingredients below.

Mindi's Curried Chicken & Noodle Soup

1 box of tri color rotini
1 chicken breast
6 large (huge) carrots, sliced
4 stalks of celery, sliced
1/2 half large onion, chopped
2 Tbs. dried rosemary
2 Tbs. Curry powder
8 cups water

In a sauce pan filled with about 2 cups water, cook chicken breast with a a sprinkling of curry powder until done. When cooled, chop the chicken into bits. Pour stock and chicken into a large soup pot. Add carrots, celery, onion, rosemary, curry powder, and water. Bring to a boil and let cook for 15 - 20 minutes. Add rotini, turn off heat, cover pan, and let sit for 5 - 10 minutes. Soup will cool while rotini cooks... perfect for serving to kids! Enjoy with homemade Indian Squaw bread (recipe coming soon) and butter! Mmm Mmm Good!
My husband and I are doing a detox that strictly limits the foods we can eat. For dinner tonight we decided to get creative with our fruits and veggies-- the only foods permitted to eat for the next 3 weeks. The following recipe is really yummy, filling, and satisfying too. Enjoy!

Organic Spring Green Salad with a Twist

2 large platefuls of organic spring greens mixed with 1 cup of chopped white cabbage
8 - 10 organic strawberries, hulled and sliced
1 package of organic portabello mushrooms, sliced-- about 14 slices
2 tablespoons organic balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoons organic flax seed oil

Sprinkle the sliced strawberries over each salad plate.
In a skillet on a gas stove, saute the mushroom slices, sprinkled with vinegar and oil, for no more than 2 minutes. Turn off heat, cover, and let mushrooms steam for a few more minutes. Remove from burner if using an electric stove.
Remove from pan and slice mushrooms into large chunks and sprinkle over salad.
Pour juices from mushrooms evenly over salads. Toss and enjoy!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

mushroom cheese stromboli

1/4 - 1/2 lb. mushrooms, sliced
1 T. butter
1 loaf frozen bread dough, thawed
3 oz. pepperoni, sliced
6 oz. mozzarella, sliced thin
4 oz. provolone, sliced
1 c. parmesan, grated
1/3 c. spaghetti sauce
1 T. parsley, dried
1/2 t. oregano, dried
1 egg yolk
1/2 t. water
extra parmesan

saute mushrooms in butter. roll out dough into 2 pieces (8"x16" rectangles). layer meat, cheeses, mushrooms, & herbs on the long side of each piece. fold over dough & pinch to seal. combine egg yolk & water and brush on. cut in 5 steam vents. place on greased cooking sheets or pans. sprinkle extra parmesan cheese on top. bake at 350 for 27-30 min. slice & serve warm. enough for 4 peeps.

*sorry, no pix. i got this from my mom who got it from cooking light or something. the beauty of this delish meal is that you can add whatever you have on hand. i used bacon instead of pepperoni, pizza/marinara sauce, and basil instead of the above herbs. i used all the cheeses they specified. it was amazing. i think i finally got my cooking mojo back with this recipe! it's a fun-friday-night-family meal.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

A different kind of meal

okay, seeing as my spare time the past few days has been spent making food for my 6 month old...i thought i'd post some pictures of his first batch of food...as well as a pic to show his sheer LOVE of real food finally. His favorites are the pees, along with butternut squash, sweet potato, green beans, and applesauce. i steamed most of the food and then pureed it in my food processor. i got the little glad containers from walmart and they are the perfect size for one feeding!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Simple Gourmet
It seems I've said 'yes' to everything that's come my way in the last few months. As a result, I've been relying on some very simple recipes to enjoy yummy dinners without a lot of work in the kitchen. By far my greatest culinary discovery in the past year has been these handy Thai curry pastes. I bought them at a Chinese grocery store for less than $5 each. Cheap and they will probably last for the next 3 years. On the container is an easy recipe calling for coconut milk, eggplant, a teaspoon of paste, meat of your choice, kaffir lime leaves and lemongrass (these last 2 can also be found at a Chinese grocer). With a little experimentation (aka - we don't have any coconut milk, what to do?!?!) we have discovered different variations that have all tasted good. Coconut milk can be substituted with a tin of tomatoes (which makes the curry way less spicy). Go veggie with Tofu. Add more liquid and you have soup. Mix and match your favorite vegetables. And then there is the lentil version.
A nice dish to serve with this would be a mango salad. To make it slice veggies (mango, celery, carrots, red onions) into long thin pieces. Mix with bamboo shoots, cilantro, crushed peanuts. Squeeze lemon over top.
And of course some lovely basmati rice on the side!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


Last night we came home from church. It was late and we were hungry. So we whipped up a batch of IHOP buttermilk pancakes. They are quick and easy and taste oh so yummy! I like to double the recipe and freeze the extras. Then we can take them out of the freezer in the morning and pop them in the microwave or in a skillet to heat. Make sure your baking powder is fresh too! It helps with the flufiness of the pancakes!
Here's the recipe

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 egg
1 1/2 c buttermilk ( or use regular milk )
1/4 c sugar
1 heaping teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup oil
1/4 teaspoon salt

1. Preheat sillet over medium heat. Use a pan with a nonstick surface or apply a little non stick spray. ( I use a cast iron griddle pan)
2. In a blender or with a mixer, combine allof the remaining ingredients until smooth.
3. Pour the batter by spoonfuls into the hot pan, forming 5" circles.
4. When the edges appear to harden, flip the pancakes. They should be light brown.
5. Cook on the other side for same amt. of time.
Makes 8-10 pancakes.

Monday, February 05, 2007


Try this hummus. It is super easy and really yummy. I have adapted this from an epicurious recipe. It always gets lots of compliments and Canaan can eat a whole batch! I serve it with chips and carrots.

4 garlic cloves (or minced garlic)
1 teaspoon salt
two 1-pound 3-ounce cans chick-peas, drained and rinsed
2/3 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, or to taste
1/2 cup olive oil, or to taste

On a cutting board mince and mash the garlic to a paste with the salt. In a food processor or blender (I like to use a blender for extra creaminess) purée the chick-peas with the garlic paste, the yogurt, the lemon juice, and 1/2 cup of oil, scraping down the sides, until the hummus is smooth and add salt to taste. Add water, if necessary, to thin the hummus to the desired consistency and transfer the hummus to a bowl. The hummus may be made 3 days in advance and kept covered and chilled. Sprinkle with paprika before serving.

Makes about 4 cups.
Here are the quiz results for the Apron Swap....( I am still waiting on a few more)

Marisa Foltz

What are your favorite colors? I'm really into brown these days, and that brown and light blue combination. Also love pink and red.

How have you decorated your kitchen? lots of red, and some tan. Right now we're in a temporary (5 months only) apartment . . . so its not how I would normally like to have my kitchen.

If you are at the airport waiting for the plane, which two magazines would you buy to read? (types or names) "Real Simple" and "People" or "In Syle"

What are your 2 favorite stores to shop at and why? Target (you can get everything there . . . love it!) and I love "Anthropology", but can't afford it! :)

Favorite meal? Anything Italian!

Mindi Jentes

What are your favorite colors? Bright Tropicals (any) and of course, black (it’s slimming!!!)

How have you decorated your kitchen? Italian Renaissance (mottled, antiquated tans & greens, stainless steel appliances, natural cabinets with black pulls, rustic floor tiles with tans, rusts, and greens)

If you are at the airport waiting for the plane, which two magazines would you buy to read? (types or names) People Magazine & Decorating Magazines

What are your 2 favorite stores to shop at and why? Banana Republic (love to buy their clothes for my honey) and Barnes & Noble (love to grab some coffee from SBUX and check out new reads)

Favorite meal? Almond crusted Mahi Mahi with a blueberry glaze, garlic mashed potatoes, wilted spinach w/ bournaise sauce served with a fantastic imported Italian Pino Grigio!

Hannah Johnson

> What are your favorite colors? Browns, creams, pinks, and reds
> How have you decorated your kitchen? the walls are "mudslide" chocolate brown with a "coffee" theme
> If you are at the airport waiting for the plane, which two magazines would you buy to read? Health & Fitness and some type of home decorating

> What are your 2 favorite stores to shop at and why? I love a store called "Home Goods" because they have a little bit of everything for the home, from bathroom towels to kitchen utensils. My other favorite is "Henry's" which is a whole foods grocery store, they have cheap produce, organic meats, essential oils, and homeopathic meds.
> Favorite meal? It's a close tie between anything Mexican, bbq pulled pork sandwiches and bbq ribs.

Megan Smith

> What are your favorite colors? Can I say, "all colors" :) I love black and white, shabby chic colors, browns, blues,...I'm useless at these things!
> How have you decorated your kitchen? We re renting so it isn't my "ideal" kitchen. Nonetheless, I like an eclectic look. Some antique, some new. I love white ironstone dishes.
> If you are at the airport waiting for the plane, which two magazines would you buy to read? People Magazine and Country Home (I also LOVE Domino magazine and Cookie)

> What are your 2 favorite stores to shop at and why? Anthropologie b/c of the funky housewares and great ideas for home decor. IKEA--because, who doesn't love IKEA :) These are 2 stores that Mike and I love to shop at together. He's a great shopper!

> Favorite meal? Boy this is hard....why did I come up with these!! I guess it would be a really simple pasta dish with a glass of red wine. Also a great lobster bisque is yummy!

Kristie Harris

What are your favorite colors? Coral/burnt orange, brown, greens, blues

How have you decorated your kitchen? I would say, “fresh.” Kind of on the bright side. I have orange and green in it.

If you are at the airport waiting for the plane, which two magazines would you buy to read? (types or names)
Any parenting magazine—since that’s my life these days, and I need all the help I can get, and after that I’d pick up a home decorating or creative/crafty ideas or organization magazine.

What are your 2 favorite stores to shop at and why? For practicality, it’s Target. I can find just about anything there. It’s clean, nicely laid out, Sydney loves it—and I can splurge once in a while and drink a peppermint mocha from Starbucks while I shop. I love Anthropologie too—but I’m not quite cool enough to shop there or pull it off. J

Favorite meal? Oh my goodness… I love everything, but my all time favorite is TACOS.

Sondra Clark

* My favorite colors are red and yellow
* Haven't really decorated but the walls are squash and when the counter tops are refinished they will have browns, creams, coppers and yellows. I have a few funky little clay veggies with faces that Mike hates because he thinks they are evil or something, and a few copper pots.
* In the airport, I would read Southern Accents and Traditional Home to dream about the house that I would have to win the lottery to have, Travel for the same reason on vacations and Gourmet to get some new ideas.
* For home, I like to window shop at For Friends because I really can't afford real shopping there, and at My Favorite Things I love to by presents and pottery. For clothing I like AJ's Casuals (but only during a sale) and Peppermint Palm because I like the nice beachy colors and styles since I spend a lot of time at the pool and at swim meets all summer.
* My favorite meal is a hard one.......I like so many, so much... lets see...summertime on the berry farm: a picnic of baked chicken on bread with brie and some of the warm farm berries; dinner on the patio: calamari slaw and a glass of Riesling; summer Sunday dinner: fries chicken breast, farm fresh corn, garden tomatoes that are still hot from the sun, with sweet tea and peach cobbler for dessert (can't tell I'm from the south, Ha); Fall: baked turkey and dressing and stack cake for dessert....I could go on and on but I will spare you.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

I don't remember where I found this recipe online, but I've also had it at our local Ohio's best seafood restaurant: R.J. Snappers. This is my very favorite dish on the planet!!!

Macademia Nut Crusted Mahi Mahi with Blueberry Glaze
1.5 lbs. Mahi Mahi fillets, cut into 4-8 servings
1.5 cups diced Macadamia Nuts (you can use pecans or almonds too)
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. fine sea salt

Mix macadamia nuts with ginger in small flat bowl. Pat fish dry. Coat each piece of fish completely in remaining olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roll fish in nut mixture coating entire piece of fish. Place fish fillets on sheet pan and bake at 380 degrees F for 20-30 minutes until nuts are golden brown and fish is flaky. Drizzle blueberry glaze (below) over each filet, when serving.

Blueberry Glaze:
Leave plenty of time to make this glaze!

1 pint (2 cups) blueberries
1 cup red wine
1 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup Dijon mustard

Bring ingredients to a boil in a medium saucepan.
Reduce heat and simmer for up to 1.5 hours.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007


A couple months ago I mentioned doing an apron swap. Because of the hectic schedules of the holidays, most of you couldn't participate.
Since then some of you have mentioned that you'd still like to do one...so we'll give it another try!
Here's the idea.... you'll either make or buy an apron to send to another GG member. Along with the apron you could send a couple of your favorite recipes and anything else you may like. In return you will receive an apron and recipes as well!
Lets try to have the packages mailed out by the first week of March. This gives everyone a month to assemble a package and get it shipped off.
Please let me know by THIS WEEKEND who is interested in doing the swap. I will get you a name and address of someone by next week.
I think this will be so much fun. I love giving and receiving fun things in the mail.


I made a batch of carrot cake muffins to send to our friend Peter Brunton for his birthday this Friday. I made muffins as opposed to a cake since they will be traveling to Orlando in the mail. I think I may try to freeze them this afternoon and then transfer them to a tupperware box to ship them. Hopefully they will be tasty when they arrive.
I started munching on one of them this morning. They are super moist and yummy! The only change I made was I used about 1 1/2 cup of sugar as opposed to 2 cups. And half of that was brown sugar. Not the most healthy recipe but yummy, nonetheless!

The recipe is :

2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups canola oil
4 large eggs
3 cups grated peeled carrots
1 1/4 cups coarsely chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons minced peeled ginger

For cake: Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter two 9-inch-diameter cake pans. Line bottom of pans with waxed paper. Butter and flour paper; tap out excess flour. Whisk flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in medium bowl to blend. Whisk sugar and oil in large bowl until well blended. Whisk in eggs 1 at a time. Add flour mixture and stir until blended. Stir in carrots, walnuts and ginger. Divide batter between prepared pans.

Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Cool cakes in pans 15 minutes. Turn out onto racks. Peel off waxed paper; cool cakes completely.

(Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover with cake dome; chill. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes before serving.)

Makes 12 servings.

Bon Appétit
September 1999

Monday, January 29, 2007

All Day Chicken Stock

Do you ever buy those rotisserie chickens from the store? Or roast your own? We find that we do this quite often. I love to use the chicken for panini sandwiches or we take one on an impromptu picnic with cheese and french bread. At any rate, after we've eaten them I save the bones, etc... and freeze them until a day like yesterday.
Yesterday was a COOOOOLLLLLDDDD and nasty day out. We came home from church and ate a pot of beef stew and just settled in for a cozy day indoors. Perfect time to make some stock! I pulled out the bones I had been saving, along with some celery, carrots, onion, black peppercorns, and bay leaves, and filled it to cover with water. Then I just let it simmer.....all day long..... By the end of the day I had a rich, gorgeous stock that I will now divide into freezer bags in 2 cup batches and freeze for the times that I need chicken stock or broth (which is quite often). It is way cheaper and is so easy. Plus it makes the house smell yummy.