{light} French Toast with Greek Yogurt and Berries


I LOVE breakfast. It’s my favorite meal of the day. I could eat breakfast for every meal if I had the time. I especially love anything bread-y like pancakes, waffles or French toast.

I have been obsessed with making something I call “Greek Yogurt Fluff.” I mix Greek Yogurt with a bit of cool whip and some sugar substitute to get a slightly sweeter version of the protein powerhouse. I’ve primarily been eating the fluff with berries but I got to thinking about other ways I could incorporate it into foods and I thought about it in terms of a dense whipped cream sort of topping. So then I thought … well what would you top with whipped cream and of course pancakes, waffles and French toast came to mind.

I tried out this recipe on one piece of bread as that’s about all I need for a mini-meal. The recipe below should feed two to four people (but could feed one very hungry person!), depending on appetite(s).

ingredients.

  • 4 slices whole wheat bread
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 T. lowfat or nonfat milk or nondairy milk
  • 1/2 to 1 T. sugar or sugar substitute
  • Greek yogurt
  • Cool whip lite or fat free (optional)
  • berries

directions.

  1. Make your Greek Yogurt Fluff. Combine Greek yogurt, cool whip and sugar or sugar substitute to taste. You can use a general rule of 2:1 (Greek yogurt: cool whip) if you don’t know where to start.
  2. Over medium heat, heat a frying pan large enough to fit the amount of bread you’re using. Coat the inside of the pan with cooking spray.
  3. In a shallow dish that is wide enough to fit at least one piece of bread, whisk together the eggs, milk and sugar substitute. A pie plate works well for this step.
  4. Place bread in the egg mixture and let saturate for about 30 seconds; flip over and repeat. Place saturated bread pieces in the heated frying pan and cook on each side for 1 to 2 minutes a piece or until the bread has browned.
  5. Top with Greek Yogurt Fluff, cinnamon sugar and berries. Serve immediately.

This lightened up version of French toast with berries and whipped cream tastes fantastically light and refreshing. With the combination of whole wheat bread, Greek yogurt and a sugar substitute, you can enjoy indulging in French toast with all of the satisfaction and none of the guilt.

Recipe rating: 

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Fruit and Greek Yogurt Fluff Parfaits


I have always been a bit ambivalent toward Greek yogurt. I love how much protein is in it but it basically just tastes like sour nothing to me. If you add fruit to Greek yogurt, it slightly sweetens it up to make it a bit more palatable but there’s still room for improvement. You can still make it dessert-y tasting without adding a bunch of sugar, fat and calories. And it’s really simple to do. Just mix with cool whip, cool whip lite or fat free cool whip.

I was checking out each of the tubs at the grocery store the other day and noticed not much of a difference in sugar between the three varieties, if any at all. They may have all been 1 gram of sugar per serving. I think the calorie count and fat may increase slightly when you go from fat free, to lite to the regular flavor. So depending on your nutrition needs you should choose appropriately. I grabbed cool whip lite.

This recipe is going to be sort of vague because I think you should make the fluff according to your taste. I used a ratio of 2:1, Greek yogurt: cool whip lite. But if you like it sweeter, add more cool whip.

ingredients.

  • Greek yogurt
  • Cool Whip
  • berries of your favorite variety
  • Cinnamon sugar

directions.

  1. Make the Greek Yogurt Fluff. In a large bowl, mix together the Greek yogurt and Cool Whip. You can make just enough for one portion or make a big batch for later use. I made enough for three portions.
  2. In a bowl, cup or jar, layer the berries and the Greek yogurt fluff, starting and ending with the berries. If you want it a bit sweeter sprinkle some cinnamon sugar over the yogurt layers. I used a sugar substitute to make sugar-free cinnamon sugar. Fir an eye-appealing dessert, use a glass dish so you an see the layers.
  3. Eat immediately or cover and refrigerate up to 48 hours.

Aside from making a berry parfait, I think this Greek Yogurt Fluff has multiple uses. You could make other sorts of parfait, like Granola. Or you could top your overnight oats with this fluff and some berries. Probably anywhere you would use Greek yogurt in a sweet-type of recipe would be a great place to try the Greek Yogurt Fluff!

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Recipe rating: 

{low-fat} Lasagna



I’ve become one of those people that I hate. One of those people I said I would never become.

I’ve become someone who cooks low-fat meals (instead of full-fat). Sigh. What’s happened to me? Well, let’s make a list: age, weight gain, stress, high cholesterol and wrinkles. Yep. I have wrinkles around my eyes that seem to be getting more pronounced with time.

It takes kids a long time to grow up these days. That’s my theory anyway. It took me an extra long time to become an adult and do adult-like responsible things. My career really only “started” in my 30s. I bought a condo when I was 35. I started regularly contributing to my 401K at 37 (instead of the hodge podge amounts I had been saving over the years). Not that it matters, but I’m single and childless. Most of my friends who got married/had kids did that years ago. I’m turning 40 soon (in a few years) and it occurred to me a few days ago that I need to start taking better care of myself.

Despite everything I’ve listed about myself in the second paragraph above. I’m one of those people who looks deceptively healthy. I look like I workout. That’s what I’ve been told anyway. (I don’t think I look like I workout!) My workouts usually consist of walking around the city buying coffee, groceries and cupcakes. Sometimes I go hiking. Also, I look about 10 years younger than I am. I’m told that as well. I’ve been told that since my late 20s.

I’d like to hang onto my faux-youth as long as I can as 40 starts knocking on my door. And thus here I am. One of those people I used to hate. And loving it. I have fallen in love with low-fat cooking. Why didn’t I decide to grow up years ago?

Once I learned that low-fat foods are actually palatable I began thinking of classic high fat dishes that I could healthify. Or that others have healthified. I came up with a long list. One of the first things on my list? A low-fat version of my mom’s family-famous lasagna.

meat sauce ingredients.

  • 2 lb. lean ground hamburger (I used 92% lean)
  • 1 12 oz. can tomato paste
  • 2 15 oz. cans plum tomatoes
  • 2 15 oz. cans tomato sauce
  • 1 15 oz. can pizza sauce (I could only find “jar” sauce but have seen canned pizza sauce before)
  • 2 T. dried parsley
  • 1 or 2 cloves garlic crushed or minced (or ¼ tsp. garlic salt)
  • ½ T. dried basil
  • ½ T. dried oregano
  • ½ T. kosher salt salt
  • 8 oz. fresh mushrooms
  • large yellow onion, chopped

meat sauce directions.

  1. In a large stock pot, brown hamburger, onions, garlic, and mushrooms; drain well.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients. Bring to a slight boil then turn the heat to low, cover and simmer at least 1 hour. Let cool. Refrigerate overnight.

cheese sauce ingredients and directions.

  • 2 c. non fat cottage cheese
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 T. dried parsley
  • ½ tsp. ground black pepper
  • ½ c. Reduced Fat Kraft parmesan cheese (I only had the full-fat version)

Mix all above ingredients together. Refrigerate overnight.

*I ran out of the cheese sauce mixture too early during the layering process and would suggest multiplying the recipe by one and a half or doubling it.

remaining ingredients.

  • 1 box whole grain lasagna noodles, cooked and drained well (put on wax paper to keep from sticking
  • 16 oz. Reduced fat shredded mozzarella cheese

remaining directions.

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray pans with cooking spray. I like to use glass pans. (Makes two 8 x 10 pans or one 8 x 10 glass and two 8 x 8 glass pans).
  3. Layer sauce on bottom of the pan, then noodles, cheese sauce, meat sauce and mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers.
  4. Cover with foil; Bake 350 45 minutes then take off foil and bake 10 to 15 minutes longer until the cheese melts.
  5. Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes before serving. (Even better the following day!) Can freeze unbaked. To do so, cover with Saran wrap, then foil.

I reason that the two pans of pasta I got from the recipe should be enough for about 15 portions. By my calculations, each portion is about 320 calories, 10 g fat, 33 g carbohydrates, 35 g protein, 6 g fiber, and 9 g sugar.

Here’s to something healthy for your family on Father’s Day!

Pork Yum Bowl


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When I lived in Portland, Ore., I worked out in the suburbs. There wasn’t much around us in the way of food in the immediate vicinity. There was an awesome coffee shop, a Subway, a conveyor belt sushi restaurant and a restaurant called Cafe Yumm. Cafe Yumm was popular with many of my coworkers but I only ate their once simply because I almost never went out to eat for lunch during the work week. I still don’t. I think it’s a colossal waste of time and, more importantly, money. I did thoroughly enjoy the bowl I had their, which was comprised of brown rice and chicken (with other ingredients I fail to remember) and was topped with their famous Yumm sauce. No clue what’s in the Yumm sauce but it was slightly reddish or pinkish in color and just tasted GOOD. You wanted Yumm sauce on your bowl. Everyone got the Yumm sauce. I think they even sold the Yumm sauce in bottles.

So today I was trying to come up with a healthy lunch. I found some pork loin on sale at the grocery store and I had brown rice in the back of my mind. I wanted some sort of stir-fry like dish … or maybe a Mexican rice bowl. I couldn’t decide. So I decided to combine the two. The below recipe makes one bowl; multiply the ingredients if you are serving more.

ingredients.

  • 1/2 c. cooked brown or wild rice (mine was a combination)
  • 3 oz. cooked, sliced pork loin, fat trimmed off
  • 1 tsp. avocado oil
  • 1 tsp. sriracha sauce
  • 1 tsp. soy sauce
  • 1 c. fresh baby spinach leaves
  • 1/2 small avocado, diced
  • 1/2 T. Sriracha Mayo (mix low-fat may with sriracha sauce and lime juice to taste; it should be a bit runny in texture)

directions.

  1. In a Wok or medium-sized saute pan over medium heat add the avocado oil, sriracha and soy sauces. Stir to combine.
  2. Add pork and rice and stir until heated through. Add spinach and stir until spinach has wilted.
  3. Top with avocado and sriracha mayo. You could also top with cilantro, diced tomatoes, black beans, corn, etc. Really whatever your heart desires.

This dish is spicy, light and satisfying and clocks in at just over 300 calories, if my calculations are correct.

Recipe rating: 

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{low-fat} Cheesy Tuna Casserole


Folks, I never thought I would be doing this. Honestly. When I started this blog I pledged (in the back of my mind) to only make good-tasting and (for the most part) completely unhealthy recipes. There was a time when I would take healthy recipes and make them unhealthy. (Recipe calls for low-fat milk? I’ll substitute with half and half! Use olive oil to sauté some vegetables? Why do that when I can use butter.)

Alas, as this blog grows old so do I. And so does my metabolism. And thus the need for change. I have tried doing high fat and low carb. And it worked. For a while anyway. But I just don’t see high fat/low carb as something many people can sustain for life. Not to mention my cholesterol levels sky-rocketed after starting a high fat diet. So I went back to the drawing board at the suggestion of my friend who swears by a balanced low-fat diet and (strange concept these days, right?!) and one “free” day of eating each week.

The concept behind this eating style is that you eat six small meals/snacks a day, every two to three hours. Your meals are low fat and have balanced carbohydrates and protein. Because you’re eating so often, you never get overly hungry. And the constant eating is supposed to rev up your metabolism. (Crossing my fingers for that one.) So I present to you (drumroll please!) a low-fat version of my mom’s classic cheesy tuna casserole made in the spirit of the Body for Life concept.

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ingredients.

  • 16 oz. whole wheat pasta, bite sized, such as penne
  • 12 oz. canned albacore tuna, drained
  • 8 oz. white mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 T. minced dry onions (you could also do fresh onion, minced)
  • 2 14.5 oz can reduced fat cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 c. low-fat or nonfat milk
  • 3 hard boiled eggs, sliced
  • 8 oz. reduced fat cheddar cheese, shredded
  • salt and pepper, to taste

directions.

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Meanwhile, spray an extra large sauté pan with cooking spray and cook mushrooms and minced onions over medium-low heat until mushrooms are cooked through.
  4. Add the condensed soup, milk and tuna and mix to combine. When the noodles are done cooking, drain and add to the tuna mixture.
  5. Pour mixture into a 15×11 glass pan prepared by coating with cooking spray. Top with sliced hardboiled eggs and shredded cheese. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Cook for 20 to 25 minutes, uncovered, or until cheese has melted and sauce is bubbling up at the edges.

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I was practically salivating as I was trying to portion out this dish prior to digging in. It looked good with all that melty cheese on top but still I was afraid that removing the fat from the dish would remove the taste. My biggest fear with cooking “low fat” has always been that the food will not be palatable. To me fat=flavor. Today I proved myself wrong.

This dish may have been missing the fat but it was missing none of the flavor. And on top of that, I barely noticed the whole wheat taste of the noodles (which I normally find very pronounced).  I didn’t really notice much of a difference when using reduced fat cheese or low-fat milk. I’m assuming that if you didn’t advertise this dish as “low-fat” to your dinner guests, none would be the wiser. I would definitely recommend this dish to any of the calorie or fat conscious folks who may be looking for something that tastes indulgent but isn’t won’t ruin your waistline.

I got 10 portions of this pasta most of which I packaged up for reheating for another lunch or dinner. Each portion weighs in at approximately 315 calories, 9 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 40 g carbs, 6 g fiber, 4 g sugar and 23 g protein! (Note: I used low-fat 1% milk.)

Recipe rating: 

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Bacon Cheeseburger {low carb} Meatloaf


A few weeks ago I made the most amazing low-carb meatloaf. It had bits of fresh Mozzarella, mushrooms and Italian Seasoning. I honestly didn’t think it would be that amazing and didn’t think I would want to blog it so regrettably did not take pictures during the process. It took me about two weeks to eat all the meatloaf. I had to freeze half of it so that it would carry into the second week. At work we have a little toaster oven so I would use that to heat it up for lunch. One day one of my coworkers was commenting on how amazing it smelled so I gave her an extra piece I happened to have with me. She thought it was amazing too.

This recipe is inspired by the last low-carb meatloaf I made. Instead of mushrooms and mozzarella I added bacon and white cheddar cheese.

ingredients.

  • 1 1/2 lb. ground beef
  • 1 1/2 lb. ground pork
  • 1 lb. ground Italian sausage
  • 1/2 lb bacon ends and pieces, chopped and cooked
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 c. grated Parmesan (like Kraft or a generic version)
  • 1/4 c. almond meal
  • 1 large diced onion
  • 1 T. Salt
  • 1 tsp. ground pepper
  • 1 T. garlic salt
  • 6 oz. cheddar cheese cut into bite-sized pieces


directions.

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a large bowl, mix all of the ingredients until incorporated.
  3. Place mixture into a lightly sprayed large oven safe dish. Form into a meatloaf shape. You can also put the loaf in a bread pan or a deep-dish oven-safe dish. I have a square pan that’s about six inches deep that is oven safe and non-stick. I used that.
  4. Bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes or until cooked through and beginning to brown on top. I let cool completely and then cut into individual serving slices and reheat as I eat. But if you’re eating immediately, let it cool for about 10 or 15 minutes before slicing into it. You’ll likely have to drain the grease from your pan before cutting and/or serving.


Mom’s Hot Taco Dip


I grew up in the Midwest where summers were long, hot and humid. Barbecues and outdoor parties were frequent. People (legally) set off their own fireworks. The huge Fourth of July fireworks celebration occurred over the lake front on the night of July 3rd at a massive outdoor music festival and everyone was hung over at their family’s get together on July 4th. For me, as a child, summer involved food, food and more food. No surprise I turned into a foodie as an adult!

This dip is one of those quintessential Midwest dishes. Anyone who knows me and knows that I grew up in the Midwest would eye me carrying this dish and just know that it was one of those Midwest dishes that I grew up on. Like Stroganoff or cheesy hash brown casserole.

I was convinced I had blogged this family favorite years ago until I tried to find the post today to update it with recent photos and came up with nothing. Nada. Zilch. No matter! There’s no time like the present to share this recipe; it’s the perfect dip for any picnic, barbecue or party. And as it’s Memorial Day today, may I suggest you bring this dish to your Memorial Day plans? It’s easy to put together and you may even have all of the ingredients already in your pantry/fridge/cupboards. I did!

When I was growing up, for about the first 10 years, we lived in a house that had an underground pool in the back and a yard so big in the front you could set up a full-sized volleyball court. We often hosted parties with family and friends; especially in the summer. This dish was a constant presence at my family’s summer parties and one that I always asked for on my birthday. (Along with brats, cheesy hash brown casserole and red velvet cake).

It’s about the easiest dip you’ll ever make. My mom called it Hot Taco Dip, which seems like a bit of a misleading name. We ate it with Doritos instead of tortilla chips because, well, we lived in the Midwest. The only time I remember eating tortilla chips was at our neighborhood Tex-Mex restaurant (Chi-Chi’s). Even though there’s nothing really taco-isn about dip, I’m going to stick with the original name because this recipe goes back so long in our family that it’s too late to change it now.

Everyone I’ve ever shared this dish with has gushed over it. If you like chili and you like cheese and you like Doritos (and who doesn’t?) you’ll love this dish.

ingredients.

  • 1 8 oz. block of cream cheese, softened at least slightly
  • 1 15 oz. can chili (I used Hormel brand, no beans)
  • 1 small onion, peeled and chopped fine
  • 4 oz. shredded cheese (I used a mixture of Colby Jack and Monterrey Jack)

directions.

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In the bottom of an 8×8 square dish, spread the cream cheese. Top with the canned chili, chopped onions and shredded cheese.
  3. Bake for 15 to 25 minutes or until cheese is bubbling. (Alternatively, you can store in the refrigerator until you’re ready to bake; you’ll need to bake longer.) Serve with Doritos, the way my family ate it. Or tortilla chips, if you must.

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Note: You can easily adapt this recipe to make a bigger serving. My mom’s original recipe is for a 9×12 dish. It calls for two packages of cream cheese and one can of chili. The beauty of this recipe is that you can cater it to your taste. You can go heavy on the cream cheese or heavy on the chili or even-steven with both. If you want a bit of shredded cheese on top or you want your dish swimming in melted cheese … you can choose! So please take the above recipe and adapt it to your own tastes. It won’t be bad. I promise!

If you want a super simple way to dazzle party goers, make this appetizer and Easy Dirt Cake for dessert along with some brats, burgers and hot dogs and your guests will be more than pleased.

Happy Memorial Day and have a great summer in 2017!

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Southwest Chicken Pizza Rolls {low -carb}


I used to be a bit judgmental about people who ate low-carb. I thought they were weird. Sad. Obsessive. Crazy. Crazy because who doesn’t want to stuff themselves full of carbs??? But now that I eat mostly low carb I get it. You lose weight when you turn to a low-carb lifestyle. Your stomach feels flatter. You feel better about yourself. And most importantly, for me, you can eat food that’s considered really bad for you. All the time. So you’re always satisfied.

A couple years ago I was moving from California to Arizona and trying to get rid of food items in my fridge/freezer. I’ve been going through my freezer recently realizing I have a lot of food in there and needing to purge the aging food. I found a couple packages of chicken thighs I’d bought during a spell when I was feeding my diabetic dog chicken only. I thought about making some sort of a southwest pizza with chicken, salsa and cream cheese – all ingredients I have on hand.

For some reason I got stuck on the idea of pizza rolls (because they are so cool looking) so I decided to make those instead. I found a recipe to model my rolls after at the website ketogasm.com.

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dough ingredients.

  • 12 oz shredded mozzarella cheese (low moisture, part skim)
  • 2 T. cream cheese
  • 3/4 c. almond flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic salt

filling ingredients.

  • 4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 to 1/2 c. southwest salsa
  • 6 oz chopped boneless skinless chicken breast (cooked, seasoned to taste)
  • 8 oz Monterey Jack cheese, shredded

directions.

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lay out parchment paper on a flat surface and spray with cooking spray.
  2. Melt the mozzarella and cream cheese in the microwave for 60 to 90 seconds. Stir in almond flour, garlic salt and egg with the melted cheese mixture to form the dough. The dough will be sticky.
  3. Place the dough on the prepared parchment paper and cover with a second piece of parchment paper. With a rolling pin, roll out the dough in the shape of a rectangle. You want the dough to be relatively thin. Remove the top parchment paper and place the dough on a cookie sheet. Bake for 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, mix the cream cheese and salsa together with a fork in a small bowl. You can do this in a mixer but it’s a relatively tiny amount to dirty your mixing bowl and whisk.
  5. Remove the crust from the oven. Spread the cream cheese mixture evenly across the hot crust. The heat from the crust will help the cream cheese melt a bit which will make it easier to spread the sauce. Sprinkle the chicken across the top and then the cheese. You want all ingredients to be distributed as evenly as possible. It’s OK not to take the ingredients all the way to the edge.
  6. Starting with one edge of the crust, gently roll into a log (the long way). Using a sharp knife, cut into even slices. I got about 16 huge pizza rolls that got smoothed when I cut them. So I decided to individually re-roll each of the rolls. This ensured the rolls were more round instead of oblong and the ingredients were held tight against the crust.
  7. Lay slices flat (and evenly spread out) on a cookie sheet. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes and remove from oven; flip rolls over. Return to oven and bake for 10 to 15 more minutes.

The directions above are written as what I would have done had I known better. While I think it would be wise to use a cooking spray when baking the rolls, I’m not sure parchment paper is necessary. I found it hard to remove the paper from the bottom of the rolls. Also, I crowded my rolls together which meant that the inner rolls didn’t really get done on the sides. I baked the rolls for about 25 minutes total. I noticed that the bottoms were nice and golden brown and the tops looked cooked in spots and undercooked in spots. For that reason, I would flip them over halfway through baking. I believe these will reheat very nicely, especially on my pizza pizzaz.

I swear you almost cannot tell the difference between the dough in these rolls and normal pizza rolls. I could eat low carb pizza or pizza rolls every day of the week and not get sick of them.

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Strawberry Shortcake Layer Cake



I have a coworker who loves to bake as much as I do. Maybe more. We talk shop (baking shop) frequently. Like what kind of flour works best in biscuits. Or how macarons turn out one out of every three times you make them. So when I found out she was turning 30 (such a young’n!), I volunteered to make her a cake. It was a great excuse to try a new recipe. So I asked her what type of cake she wanted and she started out talking about a white cake with some sort of fruity filling. I’m not sure why but my mind immediately went to strawberry short cake turned into a layer cake. I found a great looking recipe at Go Bold with Butter. So I sent the recipe to the birthday girl for approval. I got a thumbs up and a suggestion for a sturdy whipped cream if I was looking for something that would hold up on the cake. Considering that the cake probably had to last a few hours before we could dig into it, I decided the sturdy whipped cream was the perfect option. Thus, a star was born.

cake ingredients.

  • 1 c. (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
  • 2 c. granulated sugar
  • 3 c. cake flour, sifted
  • 1 T. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/4 c. half-and-half, whipping cream or milk
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract

strawberry filling ingredients.

  • 1 quart fresh strawberries, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

frosting ingredients.

directions.

  1. To prepare the cake, preheat oven to 350°F (or 325°F for a convection oven). Grease the bottom of the of two 8- or 9-inch round cake pans and line with parchment paper. Grease the bottom (again) and sides and dust with flour to keep the cake from sticking to the pan.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar on high speed until pale and creamy, about 3-4 minutes, scraping down the bowl as necessary.
  3. Add the vanilla and then the eggs one at a time beating over medium speed until incorporated.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine cake flour, baking powder and salt. Add the flour mixture to the bowl, alternating with milk mixture and ending with flour mixture. (So three flour, two milk.) Scrape down bowl between each addition.
  5. Divide the batter between two prepared cake pans and bake until tops are barely golden brown and spring back when lightly touched. Begin checking the cake at about 30-35 minutes. If you’re baking in an 8-inch pan it will take longer. I used 8-inch pans and it took about 45 minutes.
  6. Cool the cakes in the pan 10 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool to room temperature. Cover cake layers with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 2 days. Or you can freeze the cakes right in the pans until you are ready to use. That’s what I did!
  7. When ready to assemble the cake and serve, prepare the strawberries. Toss sliced strawberries, sugar and vanilla extract in bowl and let sit for 20 minutes.
  8. To prepare the filling, combine the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla extract and almond extract in a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Fit the mixer with the whisk attachment and mix on medium speed until smooth. While the mixture is still whipping, slowly pour in the heavy cream. You may want to bump the speed up a notch or two. Stop and scrape the bottom of the bowl a couple of times while you continue whipping until the cream can hold a stiff peak.
  9. Remove chilled cake layers from refrigerator (or freezer, but you’ll need to thaw slightly first) and use a small knife to score each layer in half horizontally. Then use a large serrated knife to slowly cut all the way through each layer, using scored line as a guide.
  10. Place one cake layer on cake plate or stand. Cover with whipped cream and one quarter of strawberry mixture. Here I would lay the strawberries out flat and even to try to cover the entire layer. Repeat with remaining cake layers, whipped cream and strawberries. Garnish with additional strawberries, if you’d like.
  11. Serve cake immediately.

I baked the cake and made the frosting two days before I planned on serving it. This morning at 4 am I sliced the strawberries and assembled the cake. The pretty cake you see in the pictures was nearly destroyed by the 710 and the 405 freeways. I didn’t think I was driving that fast but as soon as I got on the 710 I glanced at the cake and saw that most the strawberries hand flung themselves off the top and landed on the serving plate. The top two layers were leaning dangerously to one side as though any sudden movement would topple the entire thing. I drove with one hand on the steering wheel and one finger on the top layer of the cake propping it up. And on top of that I drive stick shift!

When I got to work I had to wash off the whole strawberries, wipe away some of the filling that was all over the plate and generally rearrange the cake. One side looked acceptable. I faced that side forward for everyone to see.

This cake was a huuuuuge hit at work. Multiple people said it was the best cake I’d ever made. And I’ve made a lot! The cake is moist. The filling is perfectly delicious and the strawberries were (thankfully!) in season. We ate the cake for breakfast at 8 am

Death by Chocolate Cake



An updated version of an old favorite; six layers of chocolate cake topped with six layers of chocolate icing dotted with chocolate chips.

cake ingredients.

  • 6 1-oz square unsweetened chocolate
  • 4 1/2 c. sifted cake flour
  • 4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 4 1/2 c. firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 4 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 c. sour cream
  • 2 c. boiling water

icing ingredients.

  • 3 12 oz. package semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 5 c. sour cream
  • 1 T. vanilla extract

cake directions.

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray 3 8-inch round cake pans (three inches deep) with non-stick spray or grease the bottom of the cake pans, line with parchment paper (only the bottom) and grease the parchment paper then dust with flour.
  3. Melt unsweetened chocolate in small bowl over simmering water (or in microwave). Set aside to cool slightly.
  4. Sift flour, baking soda, and salt, set aside.
  5. In large mixing bowl beat butter and brown sugar until smooth and creamy.
  6. Beat in eggs and vanilla until light and fluffy. Beat in chocolate.
  7. Stir in sour cream and dry ingredients, alternating and ending with flour mixture.
  8. Mix with wooden spoon until smooth. Stir in boiling water. (Batter will be thin).
  9. Bake 50 to 60 minutes (check at 50 minutes.)

icing directions.

  1. Melt chocolate chips, set aside
  2. Whisk sour cream and vanilla, whisk together.
  3. Spread between cake layers and over cake.

Le Food Snob


I copied this recipe out of a magazine (I wish I could remember which magazine!) a few years back, tried it out for my mom’s 50th birthday cake and last year for my coworker Karen’s 50th birthday. It was a huge success both times. Since then it’s become a cake we make at least once a year (like the red velvet cake we make every year for my birthday).

cake ingredients.

  • 3 1-oz square unsweetened chocolate
  • 2-1/4 cup sifted cake flour (= 2 cup regular flour)
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 2-1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup boiling water

icing ingredients.

  • 1 12 oz. package semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1-2/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

cake directions.

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray 2 9-inch round cake pans with non-stick…

View original post 238 more words

Low-Carb Pancakes


A few weeks ago I bought a low-carb baking mix from Bob’s Red Mill thinking it would be a disappointment. The terms “low-carb” and “pancakes” have never really jived with me. I’d always assumed if you ate a low-carb lifestyle you were destined for a life of eggs, bacon, cheese, red meat and high cholesterol. I have had good success eating a high-fat, low-carb diet 6 days a week. I don’t necessarily crave bread or carbs; I eat that crap on Sundays. But still it would be nice to change things up every once in a while with dishes that were previously thought to be off-limit. So when I saw a baking mix that would allow me to try pancakes that were supposed to be low-carb, I’ll admit I was intrigued.

Also because I did the math and one serving of these high fat beauties deliver 10 grams of fiber. Unheard of on a low-carb diet!

I’m a bit of an unusual person in that I grew up eating only butter on pancakes. I never cared for syrup. It was too sweet. (I also ate noodles with butter instead of marinara, plain cheese pizza and peanut butter sandwiches, no jelly. I didn’t start eating vegetables until my 20s!). To this day I still eat pancakes with butter only. Every once in a while while eating at a restaurant, I’ll dunk them in maple syrup–usually when pancakes are too dry/I don’t have enough butter. When I’m at home, I pour golden syrup over my pancakes.

Anyone who eats low-carb knows that butter is basically your best friend. And syrup is out. Golden, maple, whatever. It’s not your friend when you’re eating low carb. Luckily for me it’s no big thing to ditch the syrup and go with butter. It’s preferred!

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The recipe below is based on the recipe on the back of the Bob’s Red Mill low-carb baking mix package.

ingredients.

  • 3/4 c. heavy cream
  • 1 T. melted butter, cooled
  • 1  T. brown sugar, white sugar or sugar substitute
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 c. low-carb baking mix (Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder

directions.

  1. Heat griddle to 350 degrees Fahrenheit or a large burner on your stove to medium-low heat.
  2. Lightly coat griddle or large pan with vegetable oil, spray, butter, etc.
  3. Combine cream, eggs, vanilla and melted butter in a bowl and mix well with a whisk. Add the dry ingredients and mix with a whisk until all dry ingredients have been incorporated. Do not over-mix. If you think the pancake mix is a bit too thick you can add more cream or some water to thin it down.
  4. Pour batter onto heated griddle or pan. Cook until bubbles form on raw side. Flip and continue to cook until steam stops rising from pancake. Approximately two to three minutes per side.
  5. To keep this low carb, serve with butter.

I was delightfully thrilled to discover these pancakes tasted like real pancakes to me. A bit healthier maybe because you can taste the different grains or flours but I don’t mind a “healthy” taste; I like wheat bread and multi-grain anything. I truly don’t think anyone would know these are low-carb. They came out pretty thick and I noticed that the batter seems to thicken as it stands so you’ll probably want to make them all at once before the batter becomes too thick to work with. The recipe only made about six pancakes anyway so making them all at once shouldn’t be an issue. You may want to eat them all at once too! If you have restraint, you should get two servings of three good-sized pancakes from this recipe.

If you are eating low-carb but missing pancakes or waffles, you should try this recipe. You will not be disappointed.

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Bacon-wrapped Filet Mignon and Brown Butter Asparagus


I found some pre-packaged bacon-wrapped filet at the grocery store this morning at what seemed like an amazing price. So I promptly searched how to cook these babies and found a standard recipe that everyone seems to use with maybe some slight variation. I had some asparagus in the refrigerator that needs to be used so I decided to make it a meal of steak and asparagus. I almost threw the asparagus into the pan with the steak but instead decided to cook it on the stove top with butter over medium-low heat.

If you’re not aware of brown butter or you’ve never made it on purpose I will let you know that if you cook butter over medium-low heat it will begin to bubble and hiss and turn brown. This technique gives the butter a slightly nutty flavor (and tastes amazing in any dish but really enhances baked goods). I figured asparagus would taste amazing swimming in the stuff  and I was right!

You can make this delicious dinner in under 20 minutes. Some people choose to allow their filet to come to room temperature before cooking. I’ve never been that thoughtful and/or patient. I tried leaving it out for about an hour or two tonight but it still seems fairly cold to me. The recipe, based off one found at food network.com worked perfectly.

steak ingredients.

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 beef filet steak, 8 to 10 ounces, 2 inches thick
  • 1 piece thin bacon (or use pre-packaged filet wrapped in bacon)
  • 1 T.  butter, more if needed
  • 1/2 T. olive oil

steak directions.

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Generously salt and pepper both sides of the steak. Wrap the steak with the bacon and secure with a toothpick or cooking twine.
  3. Heat an ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add the butter and olive oil. When melted and sizzling, add the steak to the skillet and sear on both sides until a really nice color, about 1 or 2 minutes per side.
  4. Remove the skillet from the stovetop and place into the oven to finish cooking. Cook until medium rare, 7 to 10 minutes, flipping halfway in between. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

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asparagus ingredients.

  • 9 asparagus stalks
  • 1 T. butter
  • Kosher salt

asparagus directions.

  1. Snap the bottom of the asparagus off and rinse off the stalks; pat dry.
  2. In a small saute pan, melt butter over medium-low heat until it browns. Add the asparagus and a pinch of salt and cook through to desired doneness; approximately 6 to 10 minutes.

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Fat Head Pepperoni Pizza


I have been wanting to try the recipe for Fathead Pizza for a long time. Basically since I realized you can lose weight eating a high fat diet. I mean who doesn’t want to be able to eat pizza while on a “diet”?

While I messed up considerably on the crust by putting too much cream cheese in it, I still loved the concept of the pizza and liked the pizza a lot. The crust is super thin so if you’re a fan of thin crust pizza you would like this crust. I found the pizza even better the second time I heated it up on my Pizza-pizzaz because the crust got even crispier. You want a crispy crust because otherwise your slices will wilt considerably.

If you’re trying a high-fat or low-carb diet this recipe is highly recommended. I mean it’s good regardless but fare warning: it’s highly caloric! Below is the Fathead Pizza Crust recipe plus the toppings I used.

ingredients.

  • 6oz shredded mozzarella or fontina cheese 
  • 3oz almond meal/flour
  • 2 T. cream cheese (I accidentally used two ounces!)
  • 1 egg
  • pinch salt to taste
  • dried rosemary, Italian seasoning garlic or other seasonings to taste
  • 1/2 c. tomato sauce
  • 5 oz. fontina cheese, shredded
  • 2 oz. provolone cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 oz. parmesan cheese, shredded
  • pepperoni

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directions.

  1. Mix the shredded/grated cheese and almond flour in a microwaveable bowl. Add the cream cheese. Microwave on HIGH for 1 minute. (Here I added the seasonings.)
  2. Stir then microwave on HIGH for another 30 seconds. (I skipped this extra step because I found I didn’t need it.)
  3. Add the egg, salt, rosemary and any other flavorings, mix gently to form a ball of dough. My dough seemed slightly shapeless which could be because I put in too much cream cheese.img_3290
  4. Place in between 2 pieces of parchment paper and roll into a circular pizza shape. Remove the top sheet of parchment paper. If the mixture hardens and becomes difficult to work with, pop it back in the microwave for 10 to 20 seconds to soften again. Don’t reheat too long or you will cook the egg.img_3289
  5. Make fork holes all over the pizza base to ensure it cooks evenly. I found this difficult because my dough was sticky.
  6. Slide the pizza base with parchment paper on a baking tray, pizza pan or pizza stone, and bake at 425F for 12 to 15 minutes, or until brown.
  7. To make the base really crispy and sturdy, flip the pizza over once the top has browned. (Here I would bake again before topping; I did not do this and I felt as though my crust could have been crispier had I done so.)
  8. Once cooked, remove from the oven and add all the toppings you like. Make sure any meat you’re using is already cooked. Bake again at 425F for 5 to 10 minutes or until cheese is bubbling.

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Cheesy Garlic “Bread” Sticks {made w/almond flour}


I had an argument with my coworker the other day about low-carb pizza. He oftentimes eats the low-carb lifestyle but doesn’t believe you should bother trying to make pizza low-carb. He’s a pizza purist.

I have been intrigued by the recipes and the pictures I’ve seen on the internet. Also I’m more along the lines of the philosophy of … I’ll try anything once. So I decided to give it a whirl and see how it turns out. I started with a recipe for garlic bread instead of pizza because I didn’t feel like worrying much about toppings and sauce. I found a good looking recipe at Butter is Not a Carb. My recipe below is pretty closely based on that one.

ingredients.

  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 6 ounces shredded provolone cheese
  • 1 extra large egg
  • 2 c .almond flour
  • 2 T. melted butter
  • 1 T. minced garlic
  • salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, garlic powder
  • 4 ounces shredded white cheese (such as fontina, mozzarella, romano, etc.)

directions.

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with non-stick spray.
  2. The original instructions say to soften the cream cheese and 3/4c shredded mozzarella in the microwave until slightly melted, approximately 45 to 60 seconds. My microwave kind of sucks so after 60 seconds I had some melted cheese, some cheese still in tact and the cream cheese was a big brick. I microwaved a bit longer and then went on with the show.
  3. Add almond flour and egg; mix until a dough ball is formed. I started with one cup of almond flour which wasn’t nearly enough. By the time I added another cup the “dough” was sort of ball-like, but not really. It was also really sticky. At this point I was kind of pissed thinking I’ve just wasted a bunch of cheese and almond flour but I carried on.
  4. Spread the dough out across the baking sheet. This will be difficult because the dough is sticky. I just tried to pound it down a bit with the heel of my hand. You want the dough to be as thin as possible. The parts that aren’t thin will taste slightly rubbery after being baked and won’t be as crisp. You can ignore the rubberiness but … just make it really thin, OK? Sprinkle with Italian Seasoning, some garlic powder, salt and pepper.
  5. Bake for 12 minutes until golden brown on the edges. (I thought mine could have baked longer than the 12 minutes, just an FYI.)
  6. Stir minced garlic into melted butter and brush the butter mixture over the crust.
  7. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake an additional five or so minutes. You may wish to broil it a bit to get the cheese to brown.

I actually thought this recipe was pretty fantastic considering it’s basically fake crust. You almost can’t tell it’s not pizza dough but for the slight rubberiness every once in a while with the thicker spots within the crust. I’d say it’s a great substitute if you are living the low-Carb life. Even for pizza purists. 

Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies


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I have tried a lot of chocolate chip cookie recipes in my day in search of the perfect chocolate chip cookie. So when I recently signed up for emails with America’s Test Kitchen and promptly got an email for the Perfect Chocolate Chip cookie, I knew I needed to try it.

The recipe is based on the classic Nestle Tollhouse recipe but changed drastically. I will warn you that it’s labor-intensive especially when compared to a regular ‘ole cookie recipe. But I will also tell you that it’s totally worth it to go the extra mile. The cookies are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Just really damn good.

I simplified the recipe a bit (below) but you should really read the whole recipe plus all the tips and tricks on the America’s Test Kitchen website. It talks about measuring flour (I weighed mine) and why it’s so important to have the right amount of flour in the recipe. It also talks about common problems and what you could do to fix them, as well as high altitude baking.

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ingredients.

  • 1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 14 T. butter
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 extra-large egg
  • 1 extra-large egg yolk
  • 3/4 c. packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. white sugar
  • 1 14 c. chocolate chips, plus more for garnish (use your favorite chip, I used bittersweet)

directions.

  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees and adjust oven rack so the rack is in the middle. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk flour and baking soda together in medium bowl; set aside.
  3. Heat 10 tablespoons butter in a pot over medium-low heat until melted and bubbling. After a while flecks of brown will rise from the bottom of the pan; the butter will still be bubbling. Swirl the pan a bit. The butter should smell nutty and be a golden brown. Don’t let the butter brown too much; you don’t want it to get too dark or it will burn. Remove skillet from heat and transfer browned butter to the bowl of a stand mixer (if you have one). Stir remaining 4 tablespoons butter into hot butter until completely melted; your browned butter will bubble and fizz when you add the cube.
  4. Add both sugars, salt, and vanilla to bowl with butter and whisk until fully incorporated. Add egg and yolk and whisk until mixture is smooth with no sugar lumps remaining, about 30 seconds.
  5. Here comes the labor intensive part: Let the mixture stand 3 minutes, then whisk for 30 seconds. Repeat the process of resting and whisking 2 more times until mixture is thick, smooth, and shiny.
  6. Stir in flour mixture until just combined, about 1 minute. Stir in chocolate chips.
  7. Divide dough into 16 portions, each about 3 tablespoons. Arrange 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets, 8 dough balls per sheet. Dot cookies with additional chocolate chips. This will make sure you have a pretty cookie with chips facing upward/outward when the cookie bakes. I do this with all my cookies for picture-taking purposes.
  8. Bake cookies 1 tray at a time until cookies are golden brown and still puffy, and edges have begun to set but centers are still soft, 10 to 14 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through baking. Cool cookies completely before serving.

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Cheesy Creamed Brussels Sprouts



Whenever I decide to start eating more vegetables I go overboard in my buying. Which usually means I usually end up wasting too much. I randomly purchased a one-pound package of brussels sprouts last week with no real concept of how to cook them. Since I had bacon and heavy cream in my refrigerator that I planned to use for a different recipe (creamed spinach), I decided to stick with the same general theme. I found a recipe for “Over-the-Top-Creamed-Brussels-Sprouts” and realized I needed to modify it because I had less than half the amount of Brussels Sprouts called for in the recipe. No matter. Here’s my modified recipe below.

ingredients.

  • 1/4 lb bacon ends and pieces cut into good sized chunks (make them small enough where they can fit in your mouth)
  • 1 T. butter
  • 1 lb. Brussels sprouts, split in half
  • 1 medium shallot, finely minced (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1. c. heavy cream
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 ounces shredded cheese (I used a combination of Gruyère and Fontina)

directions.

  1. Heat butter and bacon over medium-high heat in a large straight-sided sauté pan or Dutch oven. Cook, stirring frequently, until well browned, about 8 minutes. Add Brussels sprouts and cook, stirring, until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Add shallots and cook, stirring, until softened and fragrant, about 1 minute. Add heavy cream and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.

  2. Adjust heat to maintain a bare simmer. Cook, stirring frequently, until cream has reduced by about half and has a consistency that coats each sprout, about 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer mixture to a casserole pan and cover with shredded cheese (for make-ahead instructions, see note above).
  3. Adjust oven rack to center position and preheat oven to 425°F. Transfer casserole to oven and bake uncovered until bubbly around the edges and cheese is melted and spotted brown, about 20 minutes. Serve immediately.

My excitement about this dish waned within the 5 days that I prepared the dish prior to me baking it to the point where it seemed like a bit of a chore to consume it. I had other yummy competing foods in my fridge that I thought would be better. But I had to bake the Sprouts because, per the recipe, I was at day five.

One bite of these beauties and I was bowled over. I’ve made creamed Brussels sprouts in the past and was less than impressed so perhaps my PTSD was tainting my anticipation of the tastiness of this dish. I baked the Sprouts for 5 extra minutes because the dish was cold when I put it in the oven and at 20 minutes the cheese was not browned. I accidentally doubled the cheese. Three ounces of cheese is probably sufficient but I would still recommend the full six ounces as there’s no such thing as too much cheese.

 

Cauliflower Fried Rice {with ahi tuna}


 

The first time I tried substituting “cauliflower” for rice in an Asian dish, I liked it enough but didn’t love it. There was something about the texture that didn’t thrill me. It was a great substitute and a great way to make a dish healthier but it was missing something.

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About a week or so I bought a bunch of veggies intending to veggie-it-up a bit in life and a week went by and I realized most my veggies were still in my fridge! I hate, hate, hate wasting food so tonight I stepped to it and began prepping for some veggie dishes for tonight’s dinner and the next few days.

I continue to buy riced cauliflower from Trader Joe’s with no real concept of what I want to do with it. It basically just seems like a good idea at the time and then it sits in my fridge staring at me. About a month or so I actually tossed out a package that had gone bad. I would not let that happen to this new package So I found a recipe that looked somewhat intriguing that I thought would pair well with the last ahi tuna steak in my fridge: fried “rice.” The recipe called for bacon (bacon makes everything better, right?) and several other recipes I have on tap also called for bacon, so I decided to fry up all the bacon in my fridge (approximately 1 1/2 pounds) in an effort to motivate myself to eat all the veggies that are slowly dying in my fridge.

The recipe I based my recipe on is a low carb one found at Ruled Me.

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ingredients.

  • 1 16 oz. package of riced cauliflower (I used Trader Joe’s)
  • 2 ounces bacon ends and pieces chopped into large chunks (or regular bacon will work too)
  • 1 extra-large egg
  • 2 scallions, sliced thin
  • 3 to 6 T. bacon grease
  • 1 T. fish sauce
  • 1 T. soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp. garlic, minced

directions.

  1. Spread cauliflower out onto a baking sheet and bake at 450 degrees until cauliflower starts to turn brown and crisp. Stir occasionally. This took me at least 30 minutes. May have been closer to 60. I wasn’t paying oodles of attention to the time.
  2. Fry bacon until very crisp. Drain grease if there is a ton but try to keep around 3 tablespoons, if possible. I can’t remember how much bacon grease I used. I had my grease in a mug and began pouring more into the pan when I thought I needed it. Add baked cauliflower and stir into the bacon and grease. Let fry for a few minutes as you slice the scallions and get your egg and sauces prepared.
  3. Add garlic and scallions to the pan and stir to combine. Add sauces and let the rice cook through a bit.
  4. After a few minutes, push your cauliflower to one side of the pan, adding your slightly beaten egg and allow the mixture to cook.
  5. Mix everything in well, chopping the egg up to form smaller pieces as you mix.
  6. Top with your favorite protein. I used Ahi Tuna but that’s because I had it on hand. It was delicious though!

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I actually think this recipe could make one big bowl of fried rice but I could not power through the whole thing. There’s so much fat in this dish I got full about less than half-way through. I ate about half the dish though because it was so freaking good! I don’t know if baking the cauliflower helped my case or not (I was trying to avoid mushy “rice”) but I believe that cooking the rice in bacon grease at least helped to cover up that skunky cauliflower taste that clings to cauliflower no matter how you try to hide it.

I had intended to cook the rice in a hot sesame oil but was disappointed to learn that I’d used all my sesame oil the last time I’d made cauliflower “rice” when I went to make this dish tonight. That being said, the bacon grease probably worked out as good if not better. I’d like to try a mixture of bacon grease and sesame oil next time, maybe.

Spaghetti and Meatball Stroganoff


The concept of having stroganoff in it with anything other than beef didn’t occur to me until rather recently when I began googling stroganoff and finding all the different options that existed. Years ago I had made Lamburger Stroganoff, at my sisters suggestion, when we had extra lamb after a holiday meal. I’d thought her idea was a novelty and quite genius but hadn’t thought much about other types of stroganoff recipes.

A few weeks ago I made Bacon Stroganoff to use up some really good, expensive bacon my dad had purchased. I’d seen recipes for meatball stroganoff on Pinterest but I wanted my recipe to be specific to the combination of spaghetti and meatballs as I was using some frozen meatballs my mom had made on one of her recent visits to California. If you don’t have any meatballs lying around in your freezer, try Trader Joe’s. They have a decent turkey meatball option.

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ingredients.

  • 4 T. olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 8 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 1/2 lb. pre-cooked meatballs (I used some my mom had made and frozen last time she was here but you can easily find some frozen ones at your local grocery store)
  • 2 T. butter
  • 2 T. all-purpose flour
  • 2 c. dry white wine
  • 1 14.5 oz can beef, chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 10.5 oz. can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 c. sour cream
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 lb. spaghetti noodles

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directions.

  1. Make the sauce: In a large pan over medium heat cook the onion and mushrooms until onions are golden and mushrooms have shrunk down, 5 to 8 minutes. Add the meatballs and brown on two sides. Make a well between meatballs and add the butter and flour and stir to incorporate. Stir in the wine and broth and cook over high until the mixture has reduced greatly, approximately 10 or so minutes. Remove from the heat, and stir in the condensed soup and sour cream. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Cook the pasta: While the sauce is cooking, bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of salt and the pasta to the boiling water. Cook, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, until al dente, according to the package instructions. Reserve a bit of pasta water, just in case.
  3. Add the pasta to the sauce and toss to combine. Warm briefly over low heat to blend the flavors. Add pasta water if needed to loosen the sauce, garnish with shaved parmesan cheese, if desired, and serve immediately. Makes 4 to 6 generous portions.

img_3028My recipe is based on one I found at Williams-Sonoma for Mushroom Stroganoff. I wanted something that used sour cream and wine because I had opened a bottle of white wine a few weeks back, got extremely sick, and wasn’t able to finish it. It was probably past it’s prime for drinking but I figured it was still OK for cooking. Plus it had been given to me as a gift and I didn’t want to waste a gift!

One of the things I love about stroganoff is how easy it is to make. You make the sauce and then toss in the noodles and voila. You have a yummy pasta/casserole dish that sticks to our ribs.img_3027

Peanut Butter Bars


When I was in high school The Back Street Cafe was one of my favorite hangouts. It was right down the road from me, in Eagle, Wisc., before it moved to a bigger location in Delafield, Wisc. It’s since closed its doors, sadly. They had amazing food and always made my list of restaurants to visit on my visits “home.” My favorite foods to get at the Back Street Cafe were the Lovers Lane sandwich and fried cheese curds. Both came with the delis homemade ranch dressing. I also tried about every dessert and pastry they offered. The peanut butter bars were one of my go-to choices. So when my mom said she had tried them recently and also sent me the recipe, I was inspired to give them a go myself.

I made two different batches after I wasn’t totally satisfied with the first batch. The bars turned out extremely thick. They didn’t really remind me of the bar I used to buy in the deli so I wanted to try to recreate the bars as I remembered them, flatter (not nearly as thick). For the second batch, in re-reading the recipe, I noticed that the recipe states that the bar sold at the deli is a different shape than the bar you can get if you purchase them through the catering business.

You can find the original recipe published on the Milwaukee-Journal website. My tweaked version for a thinner, flatter bar is below.

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ingredients.

  • 2 2/3 c. flour
  • 1 T. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp.baking soda
  • 1 c. (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
  • 2½ c. peanut butter (divided; see note)
  • 2 c. firmly packed brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 c. powdered sugar
  • Pinch or two of salt
  • 1 c. heavy whipping cream
  • 1 bag (12 ounces) chocolate chips (about 2 cups)

directions.

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 15-by-11-inch pan or large rimmed cookie sheet.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda.
  3. In another bowl, cream butter and 1 cup of the peanut butter. Add brown sugar and mix until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well. Gradually blend in flour mixture until well blended. Spread into prepared pan.
  4. Bake in preheated oven 15 to 20 minutes or until batter does not jiggle. Remove from oven. The bars will fall after baking. Remove from oven and cool completely. If desired, bars can be refrigerated overnight, then covered with the peanut butter and chocolate layers the next day. If you want to make it all in one day or night, stick the bars in the freezer or refrigerator to cool while you make the filling and topping.
  5. For filling: In medium bowl, mix remaining 1½ cups peanut butter, salt and the powdered sugar until well blended. Spread over cooled bars.
  6. For the topping: In small, heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat cream over medium heat until scalding, then pour over chocolate chips in a bowl and let stand 5 minutes. Stir until smooth, then pour over top of bars.
  7. Refrigerate overnight. Best if eaten a day after making; allow the bars to come to room temperature.

Note: Do not use natural or crunchy peanut butter.

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The trick with these bars is that you need to make them a day before you plan to serve them. Just as the directions say. I’m not sure why but the magic happens when you cut them and let them sit in the refrigerator overnight. The peanut butter filling seeps into the cookie-like base making the base super moist. I cut them in large squares and brought them to work on a Friday. My boss ate five of them that day!

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The Perfect Grilled Cheese



I’ve had a lot of time to contemplate and practice making grilled cheese sandwiches this week. I stayed home sick from work all week and mainly ate toast and grilled cheese. I had no taste so I didn’t want to waste my food/meals/calories on something new or super tasty. Plus I had zero energy to cook. In fact making grilled cheese required too much energy on some days.

One of my favorite grilled cheese sandwiches is made with chipotle mayo and tomato. I tried to reblog my old post but apparently I’ve previously reblogged it and WordPress only allows you to reblog a blog once.


But it doesn’t really matter because the point I’m trying to make in this blog is less about the ingredients and more about the technique. I’ve been making grilled cheese for many, many years. Sometimes they turn out great. More often than not, the bread cooks too quickly as the cheese takes forever to melt. So I’ve compiled some tips that will allow you to make the perfect grilled cheese. See below.

  • Cook open-face  and covered on a very low heat. You will probably have to experiment with your stove top but I set mine to “2” and it was perfect. In fact by the time the cheese had melted the bread seemed like it could go a bit longer so I cranked the temperature up to “6” for about a minute. I prepared everything and placed the sandwich in the pan. Then I turned the heat on, covered the pan and walked away for a little while. It takes longer, but I promise you it is well worth it. This is especially important if you’re lathering your sandwich in any type of mayonnaise. I’ve noticed that when I cook a grilled cheese sandwich over higher heat when using mayo, the mayo seems to evaporate or soak into the bread. I like to be able to feel and taste that layer of mayonnaise and cooking on a low heat will allow you to achieve that.
  • If you’re using sliced tomato, make sure to blot the slices with paper towel to try to get them as dry as possible.
  • Use shredded cheese, it melts faster.
  • Use a cheese that’s semi-soft and creamy, it melts faster. I love fontina, Muenster, Havarti, mozzarella or Tillamook’s Colby-jack. Harder cheeses are fine to work with they just don’t melt as well, in my opinion.
  • If you’re using cooked bacon (and I highly suggest this), I like to use smaller pieces of bacon. Have you ever bitten into a grilled cheese made with entire slices and in one fell swoop or bite accidentally removed all or most of your bacon slice because your teeth didn’t saw through the meat? It happens to me all the time. Also I don’t like when the meat is not evenly distributed across your sandwich. I like bacon in every bite. I’ve found that using smaller pieces of bacon makes a better eating experience for me.
  • Cover your entire piece of bread with whatever spread you’re using. I prefer butter, hands down, but I know some people use a butter spread. You can also use mayonnaise for grilling. I think it makes your bread softer, but you can use it. I’ve even used cooking spray before. You don’t need to gob on your desired spread, just make sure it’s completely covered. When I notice a dry spot of bread I’ll scrape at a spot of bread that looks like it’s thick with butter to get some of that butter over onto the dry area of bread.
  • Rotate your pan. Sometimes your stove top doesn’t cook evenly. Or maybe it’s your pan. Either rotate your pan or rotate the bread within the pan. Just make sure that your pieces of bread are as evenly cooked as possible.
  • Allow to cool a minute before cutting, if cutting. Otherwise your cheese goes everywhere on your plate!

By today I had run out of the Muenster I was using and instead had only Monterrey jack. It was fine, but I’m telling you that a semi-soft cheese makes all the difference. Don’t be afraid of piling on the shredded cheese. I hate to tell you this but grilled cheese is not low-fat. It never will be. So why skimp on the best part (the cheese)?

One thing I’ve never tried, but should, is using browned butter as the spread for a grilled cheese sandwich. I’ve never found a dish or baked good that didn’t taste better when using browned butter.

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Buffalo Chicken Tacos



The other day I bought the cutest little tortillas at Von’s. They are called Mission “Street Tacos.” They are tiny, flour tortillas – something you would see sold on the street. I love tortillas of any kind. Flour. Corn. Homemade. Low-carb. Even whole wheat. The only tortillas I don’t really care for are hard shell tacos. Unless you make your own hard shell tacos, which an ex-boyfriend of mine once did. Those were amazing! At any rate, I love most tortillas and most types of tacos.

I’ve been sick for longer than a week with very little taste buds so I’ve been dreaming about getting better enough to have the energy to cook something and I’ve been dreaming about eating something I could taste. I’ve been living off toast and grilled cheese and even the grilled cheese I really couldn’t taste all that much. Not even when it was slathered in chipotle mayo.

For some reason I got the idea in my head that buffalo chicken would make an excellent taco. I figured it would be spicy and hot enough that even if my taste buds still weren’t up to par that I would be able to taste them. So I found a couple of recipes on the internet for buffalo chicken tacos and kind of came up with my own really easy recipe. Really. It was really easy.

taco ingredients.

  • boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • buffalo sauce
  • tortillas (whatever kind you fancy)
  • blue cheese crumbles
  • garnish (cilantro, chopped tomato, avocado, buffalo sauce, onion, cole slaw, blue cheese dressing, shredded cheese – really the possibilities are endless)

buffalo sauce ingredients.

  • 6 T. butter
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 c. hot sauce
  • 2 T. white vinegar

directions.

  1. Make the buffalo sauce. In a small pan over medium heat, heat and stir all ingredients until butter is melted and sauce is uniform.
  2. Cut the chicken breast into tiny pieces. Think of what you would feed a very small child. If you’ve never fed a very small child, just make them smaller than bite-size. In a saute pan over medium-high heat, drop a little bit of canola oil. You don’t need to cover the bottom of the pan and we are not deep-frying the chicken. Just put some in there so your chicken doesn’t totally stick. Brown the chicken. To brown any meat you simply let it sit cooking, unstirred for a bit. For cubed meat you would brown on each side. For this chicken just let it cook until it’s browned a bit then stir it up and let it sit some more. You’re not going to get all sides browned.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare your garnishes.
  4. Once your chicken is browned toss it with some of the buffalo sauce. I didn’t measure.
  5. Serve hot over warmed tortillas with whatever garnish you like.

To be honest, I wasn’t overly enthused with this dish. To be fair, my taste buds are not fully back in business. I couldn’t really taste the buffalo sauce but could taste the blue cheese, which must have been really strong. And I could taste a sprig or two of cilantro What I really wanted to do was “bread” the chicken because I believe that buffalo sauce sticks better to chicken that’s breaded in some capacity. I just didn’t feel like futzing around with any breading so I opted not to but I do think that would have made a big difference in how I felt about this dish. If I could taste the food that would certainly help as well!

I plan to take the leftovers to work with me for lunch this week so hopefully one of these days my taste buds return in full and I can give a more accurate depiction of my thoughts on this recipe.

As an aside, I wasn’t overly thrilled with the tortillas. I like the size but these babies were thicker than normal flour tortillas. The texture seemed to compete with or detract from the meat.

Bacon Stroganoff


I searched high and low for a bacon stroganoff recipe on the internet. There aren’t that many recipes out there which surprises me because I think I’ve seen nearly every type of stroganoff you can imagine – even meatball! (Meatball Stroganoff should be my next try.) So I took my mom’s basic recipe for stroganoff and a pound of bacon and went from there. I had to wing it a little after I made a roux, added the cream of mushroom soup and got a curdled mess. So I poured in enough cream to give it a consistency of a cream sauce, like an alfredo or something. I almost didn’t bother with adding the sour cream, but sour cream is what makes stroganoff, no?

Plus my taste buds were a little off while I was making this dish (I was on the verge of full-blown sickness replete with zero taste buds) so I added some salt and then became terrified that I’d added too much but couldn’t even taste it. I figured the sour cream would help offset the saltiness if there were any.

I realized recently (because it seems like I’ve made so many variations of stroganoff) that I really do not care for egg noodles. In my opinion they are flimsy and I don’t enjoy the shape. So for this dish instead of egg noodles I swapped pappardelle noodles, which are like a very wide fettuccine. You could use any shape of noodle you prefer though. Or you could stick with the traditional egg noodle.

For some reason I always like to take pictures with the sauce on top of the noodles. I don’t know why. It doesn’t look any better in my opinion and I grew up where my mom mixed everything together. I did that again for this recipe but opted not to publish the sauce-on-top version because I don’t think it does justice. You can’t really see the bits of bacon that are the star of the show in this dish. So you’ll see pictures only of the noodles mixed with the sauce, but serve it as you prefer!

ingredients.

  • 1 lb. bacon, chopped
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 1/4 c. flour
  • 8 oz. mushrooms cleaned and quartered
  • 1 T. minced garlic salt or 1 clove minced garlic
  • 3 c. heavy cream, half and half or milk
  • 1 14.5 oz. can cream of mushroom or cream of chicken soup
  • 1 c. sour cream
  • 1/3 c. pasta water
  • 16 oz. wide egg noodles, cooked
  • salt and pepper, to taste

directions.

  1. In a large skillet over medium-low heat cook bacon, mushrooms and shallots and minced garlic until bacon is crisp, stirring occasionally. I began by cooking the bacon a bit on its own first, then added the mushrooms. I let the mushrooms and bacon cook a bit while I chopped the shallots. Then I added the shallots and garlic. It took a while but you want the bacon to be crispy. Do not drain the bacon fat. You need it to make a roux.
  2. Stir in flour. Cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. The flour will bubble up in the grease.
  3. Stir in condensed soup. The mixture will look curdled. Slowly add the cream/milk. Simmer 10 minutes, uncovered. Stir in sour cream. Add salt and pepper to taste, if necessary.
  4. Prepare noodles according to package directions. While the noodles are boiling, add 1/3 cup of pasta water to the bacon sauce.
  5. Serve sauce over noodles. Or mix sauce with noodles. Your choice!

Tex-Mex Chicken Enchiladas



I roasted two whole chickens for my diabetic dog and he turned up his nose at the meat. Hmph. What do do with all that cooked chicken? Got it. Re-make an old blog post and update the recipe and pics. Winner!

I love this recipe because it’s super fast. You literally mix all the ingredients together and slap the mixture into tortillas, top with more mixture, cheese and bake for 40 minutes. It’s fast and easy and looks impressive!

I changed the recipe slightly from when I last made this dish six years ago. I used low-carb tortillas because they weren’t egregiously priced at the grocery store this morning and I love how much fiber they contain. I swear they don’t taste any different than regular flour tortillas. I added a bit more chicken and a bit more salsa, plus added some garlic and cilantro to the mixture. I used eight tortillas instead of the recommended six and topped the dish with some fresh cilantro before cooking. After I pulled the dish out of the oven I topped my enchilada with pico de gallo and cubed avocado.


ingredients.

  • 1 can (10-3/4 oz) Campbell’s Condensed Cream of Chicken soup
  • 1 c. sour cream
  • 1 c. salsa
  • 1 T. minced garlic
  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/3 c. fresh cilantro
  • 2 c. chopped cooked chicken
  • 2 c. shredded Monterey jack Cheese, divided equally
  • 8 flour tortillas (6”) warmed
  • pico de gallo (for garnish)
  • diced avocado (for garnish)
  • cilantro (for garnish)
  • sour cream (for garnish)

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 directions.

  1. Stir soup, sour cream, salsa, cilantro, garlic and chili powder in medium bowl.
  2. Stir 1 cup salsa mixture, chicken, and cheese in large bowl.
  3. Divide chicken mixture among tortillas.
  4. Roll up tortillas and place seam side up in a 2 qt. shallow baking dish.img_2761
  5. Pour remaining salsa sauce mixture over filled tortillas.img_2762
  6. Sprinkle more shredded cheese on top.  Cover baking dish with tin foil.img_2763
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until enchiladas are hot and bubbling. (Remove tin foil after 30 minutes so cheese melts better. Put under your broiler for a minute or two if needed.)
  8. Top with desired toppings.

I totally made this wrong and didn’t know it until I was re-blogging but the entire time I was making dish I kept thinking how the dish just seemed wrong. I have a tendency to not fully read directions which results in some interesting twists and turns at times. In this instance I mixed all ingredients together right from the star. So at the end I had to top the enchiladas with more sauce that contained chicken. Not a big deal … it’s just that in most enchiladas the meat is inside the tortilla not on top!

Le Food Snob

My mom sent me this recipe and though it’s far from traditional enchiladas, these really are amazing: rich and heavy with sauce and cheese, one enchilada will sustain you for hours. I decided we would make these for dinner tonight because Kiki saw the picture in my gallery and thought they looked good. These are super easy and super fast to make.

* Prep. 10 minutes * Bake 40 minutes * Makes 6 servings *

ingredients.

  • 1 can (10-3/4 oz) Campbell’s Condensed Cream of Chicken soup
  • 1 c. sour cream
  • 1 c. salsa
  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • 2 c. chopped cooked chicken
  • 2 c. shredded Monterey jack Cheese, divided equally
  • 6 flour tortillas (6”) warmed
  • 1 small tomato, chopped (optional)
  • 1 green onion, sliced (optional)
  • Lettuce chopped to sprinkle over Enchilada when eating (optional)

directions.

  1. Stir soup, sour cream, salsa and chili powder in medium bowl.
  2. Stir 1 cup salsa mixture…

View original post 189 more words

Pasta Bolognese


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I made this dish over six years ago and stumbled upon it recently when I decided to start remaking some recipes from blog posts past.

Like the last time I made it, my dad is visiting. When the sauce was simmering away on the stove my dad kept commenting how amazing it smelled and asked if I had ever made it before. I told him that I had, and that, in fact, he had been in town the last time I’d made it too. Interestingly enough when he dug into the pasta, he had the near exact same reaction as he did six years ago. (“This is good. This is good. No. You don’t understand. This is really good!”)

I changed the recipe slightly since the last time I made it. First of all, I doubled most of the ingredients (except for the cream). I wanted a huge pot of this stuff knowing how amazing it was last time. Plus, this time I wanted to use ground beef and ground pork (instead of ground turkey like I used last time I made this) and stores don’t sell ground pork or ground beef in half pound increments.

Because I doubled the recipe and was working with so much food, I needed a pot and a pan to make this recipe (versus one pot that I used last time). I also let the sauce simmer for a lot longer – six hours. I really wanted the sauce to reduce almost all the way down before adding the cream.

Also, I cut out the olive oil. I found that I could sauté the vegetables well enough using the bacon grease alone without having to add any olive oil. However, olive oil should of course be added to the dish if at any point the pan seems too dry. You don’t want your vegetables burning and/or sticking to the pan because there’s not enough fat in the pan.

ingredients.

  • 1 large yellow onion, minced
  • 4 carrots, peeled and minced
  • 4 celery stalks, washed and minced
  • 8 fresh tomatoes (on the vine), washed and cut in quarters
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced (or 1 T. minced garlic from the jar)
  • 6 pieces of thick cut bacon, minced
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 lb. ground pork
  • 2 28 oz. cans whole plum tomatoes, drained (juice reserved)
  • 1 c. reserved tomato juice
  • 1 c. white wine
  • 2 c. vegetable stock (I used homemade)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 c. heavy cream
  • freshly grated parmesan cheese

directions.

  1. Place the minced bacon in a large deep skillet and cook on medium-low heat as you mince the veggies. Add onions and garlic and cook for approximately 20 minutes until the bacon starts to crisp. Continue mincing your veggies. Add veggies carrots and celery and cook for 10 minutes longer or until all the veggies are tender.
  2. When you add the carrots and the celery to the pan, in large pot cook the meat over medium heat until cooked through. Add veggie mixture to meat pot. Add the reserved tomato juice and white wine. Raise the heat a bit. Cook, stirring occasionally until mos the liquid evaporates, about five minutes.
  3. Crush plum tomatoes with a fork and add to pot. Stir. Add fresh, quartered tomatoes. Add the stock. Turn the heat to low and cook at a slow simmer, stirring occasionally.
  4. Mash up fresh tomatoes as the sauce simmers and the tomatoes begin to get soft.
  5. After an hour add salt and pepper to taste. Cook another hour until most liquid is evaporated and the sauce is very thick.
  6. Add the cream and cook for another 15-30 minutes on low heat.
  7. Serve immediately over your favorite noodle.

Le Food Snob

My sister sent me this recipe about a year ago. The comment she made that she liked the smell of the sauce that infused the air in her apartment as it cooked for hours on her stove stuck with me and made me want to try it. I thought I’d lost it; but in moving my stuff from my apartment, I unearthed this treasure of a recipe. Instead of using a mixture of half ground pork and half ground beef as the recipe calls, I used ground turkey (because we had it on hand). I also doubled the amount of veggies called for and added minced garlic.

ingredients.

  • 4 T. olive oil
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and minced
  • 2 celery stalks, washed and minced
  • 4 fresh tomatoes, washed and cut in quarters
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 pieces of bacon, minced
  • 1 lb. ground turkey (or…

View original post 445 more words

Farm Cookies


“Nope. You don’t need to live on a farm to make or eat these cookies.”

That’s what I said about these cookies when I first published this post on June 14, 2010. Pretty clever, huh?

These cookies are not household in name (most people have never heard of this cookie when I bring it up), but they should be. These cookies are seriously rockstar. They rival Monster Cookies, which I usually ask my mom to make every year when she’s making Christmas cookies (especially if she’s visiting me or I’m visiting her.) Take your standard chocolate chip cookie recipe, add oats, coconut and cornflakes and that is what makes a Farm Cookie. Not sure the title is particularly representative of the cookie but it is what it is. Perhaps someone on a farm created the recipe.

These cookies are so jam-packed with ingredients you will need to stir the ingredients by hand toward the end. I guess unless you have an industrial-sized mixer. I have a pretty hefty one that would probably do the trick but I have it in storage. My old, battered Kitchenaid mixer with a 4.5 quart bowl can’t handle this recipe toward the end. Just a word of warning!

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ingredients.

  • 1 c. brown sugar
  • 1 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 c. butter or margarine
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/2 c. flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 c. oatmeal
  • 3 c. cornflakes
  • 2 c. coconut flakes
  • 1 heaping c. chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 12-oz. package chocolate chips

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directions.

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Using a mixer, cream butter. Add sugars and cream well. Add eggs and vanilla, mix.
  3. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix well. Add oatmeal, cornflakes, coconut, nuts, and chips.
  4. Roll into large balls and press onto greased cookie sheet. To give your cookies a pretty appearance, dot the top of the cookies with chocolate chips. These cookies will not spread so don’t worry about placing them close together.
  5. Bake 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool before removing from baking sheet.
  6. Makes approximately 3 dozen large cookies.


Here’s what I said about the recipe back in 2010:

“This is a recipe my mom discovered a few years back. It quickly became one of her most often used cookie recipes. I made these cookies using Blue Bonnet 53% vegetable oil spread (because it was on sale). I kicked in an additional cup of cornflakes and coconut (reflected in the recipe listed above).

“Note: When I add 1 c. ground flaxseed to the batter, I am able to convince myself that eating three or four cookies in a sitting is doing my body a favor.”

I did not add a cup of ground flaxseed today. I don’t know how I would have fit any additional dry ingredients into my mixing bowl. As is, I could barely get the slippery chocolate chips to adhere to the cookie dough! I didn’t say whether I added an additional cup of flaxseed or swapped ingredients but I would say you could easily swap ground flaxseed for the nuts in the recipe. I’m not usually a fan of nuts in cookies but I like them in these cookies. Plus they are chopped up so finely (for the most part) you almost don’t notice there are walnuts in there.

Recipe Rating: 