Thursday, March 16, 2017

Chili Mac and Cheese

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 1/2 Tbsp ground red pepper or cayenne
  • 1/2 Tbsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 15 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 2 8 oz cans tomato sauce
  • 15 oz can black beans
  • 15 oz can pinto beans
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups uncooked macaroni noodles
  • 1.5 cups shredded cheese
  1. Saute the onion and garlic with olive oil in the bottom of a large soup pot over medium heat for 5-8 minutes, or until the onions are soft and transparent.
  2. Add the flour and peppers to the onions and garlic. Continue to stir for about two minutes, or just until the flour and chili powder begin to coat the bottom of the pot.
  3. Drain and rinse the beans. Add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, all the beans, corn, and vegetable broth to the pot. Stir to combine and to dissolve any flour and chili powder off the bottom of the pot. Turn up the heat to medium high.
  4. Add the uncooked macaroni noodles and stir to combine. Place a lid on the pot and let the pot come up to a boil. Stir every other minute or so to loosen the noodles from the bottom of the pot as it heats up.
  5. When the pot reaches a boil, turn the heat down so it continues to gently simmer. Let the pot gently simmer for 10-12 minutes, or until the pasta is tender and the liquid is thick and saucy.
  6. Once the pasta is tender, add the shredded cheddar and stir it in until melted.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Roasted Garlic Oil


  • Two heads of garlic, cloves separated and peeled
  • Up to 1 cup olive oil
  1. Place the garlic cloves in a small saucepan. Cover the cloves with olive oil until they all are completely submerged. No need to use more than the amount required to cover the cloves.
  2. Over medium heat, bring the oil to a simmer. Stirring frequently, let the oil simmer for 20-30 minutes. The garlic is done when the cloves are golden brown, but don't let them burn. 
  3. Remove from heat. When the oil and garlic cools, pour into a mason jar and store in the refrigerator. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Cinnamon Bun Popcorn

  • 12 C popped popcorn (about 2 bags of microwave popcorn)
  • 1 cup pecan halves
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 oz almond bark
  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees
  2. Place popcorn in a large bowl, a bigger bowl than you think you need. Top with pecans and do not stir. Let the pecans sit on top of the popcorn. Set aside.
  3. Combine brown sugar and cinnamon in a 2 liter capacity microwave safe bowl. Mix well. Chop butter into chunks and place on top of sugar mixture. Pour corn syrup over the top of everything. Microwave on high for 30 seconds and then stir to combine. Return to microwave and heat for 90 seconds. Remove, stir, and then microwave for 90 seconds more. If you microwave it too much your popcorn will turn out really hard.
  4. Remove from microwave and add in vanilla and baking soda. Stir to combine. Mixture will foam and rise. 
  5. Drizzle half of the caramel mixture over popcorn and pecans and stir well. Repeat with the other half of the caramel. Stir more than you think you need to.
  6. Spread popcorn mixture onto a foil-lined rimmed pan. Place in oven and bake for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven and stir. Melt almond bark according to package instructions. Drizzle over popcorn mixture. When almond bark is hardened and popcorn is cool, break into chunks and enjoy!

Monday, October 31, 2016

Pizza Hummus

  • 6 cloves garlic, preferably roasted
  • 1 (15 oz) can chickpeas – drained, but liquid from can reserved
  • 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 Cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 Cup Ricotta Cheese
  • 2 tsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp onion Powder
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3/4 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  1. Pulse the garlic in the food processor until roughly chopped, about 5 pulses.
  2. Add in all the remaining ingredients, except the olive oil and reserved bean liquid. Process until combined and almost smooth in consistency, about 1 minute. stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl if necessary.
  3. With the food processor running, slowly pour in the olive oil through the opening at the top of the processor and process until smooth. Add in the reserved bean liquid, 1-2 tablespoons at time. Process until desired consistency and thinness is achieved.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Skillet Brownie

  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and coat a 6-inch cast iron skillet with non-stick spray.
  2. Place the sugar, cocoa, and salt in a small mixing bowl and whisk to combine.
  3. Stir in the melted butter, followed by the egg.  Once the egg has been fully incorporated, stir in the flour and vanilla extract.  Fold in the chocolate chips and transfer the batter to the prepared skillet.
  4. Bake for 28-33 minutes, or until the edges are set. The center toothpick test may not come out clean, but it will continue to cook when removed from the oven.  Cool for 20 minutes, top with ice cream and enjoy!

Potato Wedges

  • 4 large russet potatoes, rinsed
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 3/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  1. Cut potatoes into wedges by cutting lengthwise in half then slice each half into 4 wedges.
  2. Place potatoes in a very large bowl of water with about 2 cups of ice cubes. Let them stand for 30 min. then pat dry with paper towels.
  3. While the wedges soak, in a small bowl, mix the rosemary into the olive oil and set aside.
  4. Remove the wedges from the ice water, pat dry, and place them in a large ziploc bag.
  5. In another small bowl, combine the salt, garlic powder, paprika, and black pepper. Stir, then pour over the wedges. Close the bag and shake until evenly distributed.
  6. Next, add the olive oil mixture to the bag and toss until potatoes are coated.
  7. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Place potatoes on the lined sheets and bake at 450˚F for 30-35 min, flipping midway through, until the potatoes are browned and crispy.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Strawberry Apple Jam


  • 2 pints of strawberries, tops removed and quartered
  • 2 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  1. In a large pot, combine strawberries, apples, and lemon juice. Over medium-high heat, bring to a boil, stirring constantly. 
  2. With a potato masher, gently squish the mixture to break down the pieces of fruit until they are small enough to your liking. 
  3. Add in the sugar and stir until dissolved. Boil gently until the mix reaches 210 F, roughly 15 to 25 minutes. 
  4. Follow the steps in this link on how to can. Directions here. There may be steps you want to do in parallel to the jam making. Makes roughly six half-pint jars. 

Friday, July 29, 2016

Gingerbread Biscuits


  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp sugar

  1. Preheat the oven to 375F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to cream together the butter and the brown sugar until fluffy. Then, beat in the honey and the egg.
  3. In a different bowl, sift together the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet in two batches.
  4. With the sugar in a shallow dish, form golf ball sized balls and roll in the sugar to coat. Place on the parchment paper and do not flatten the balls. 
  5. Bake 10-12 minutes, until the tops start to crack and the bottoms darken. Cool on the baking sheets 5 minutes then transfer to a rack.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Sweet Potato and Potato Gratin

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 tsp dried thyme 
  • 1 tsp dried sage
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 tsp finely grated nutmeg
  • dash cayenne pepper
  • 8-12 oz Swiss cheese, sliced
  • 2 cups finely grated Parmesan
  • 3 large white sweet potatoes
  • 3 large Russet potatoes
  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  2. Whisk the cream, milk, salt, pepper, garlic, thyme, rosemary, sage, nutmeg, and cayenne in a big bowl. Set aside.
  3. Peel the sweet potatoes (and Russets if so inclined), then using a food processor, slice the potatoes into thin rounds. If you don't have a food processor, use a mandolin or sharp knife by hand. Combine all slices in a large bowl and toss, mixing the two types of potatoes.
  4. Pour 1/2 cup of the cream on the bottom of a Dutch Oven to prevent the potatoes from sticking to the bottom. Then layer 1/4 of your potato mixture evenly on top. 
  5. Drizzle 1/3 of the cream mixture on top, then sprinkle 1/2 cup Parmesan and top with a thin layer of Swiss.
  6. Top with potatoes and repeat for another three layers. 
  7. Cover with the Dutch Oven lid or foil and bake until bubbly, 15 minutes. If using foil, be carfeul to not let it contact the top cheese layer. 
  8. Remove the lid, reduce the heat to 400°F, and bake until the top is golden and bubbly, 45-50 minutes.
  9. Let cool slightly, then serve hot or at room temperature

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Mediterranean Cous-cous


  • 3 cups prepared cous-cous (1 box)
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 Tbsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups chickpeas (1 15oz can), drained
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
  • 1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 4oz feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  1. Prepare the cous-cous according to the packaging
  2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Once hot, add the red onion. Saute for 5-8 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic, oregano, and black pepper to the pan and saute for 1-2 minutes.
  4. Stir in the chickpeas and cook for 6-8 minutes until the chickpeas start to brown.
  5. Turn off the heat. Stir in the olives and sun dried tomatoes. Add the cous-cous, feta, and lemon juice to the pan and stir. Once everything is evenly warm, serve. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Slow Cooker Potato Corn Chowder

  • 24 oz red potato, diced
  • 16 oz frozen corn, or 2 ears fresh
  • 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 6 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3 Tbsp milk
  1. Place potatoes and corn into a slow cooker. Stir in flour and gently toss to combine. 
  2. Stir in chicken stock, thyme, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper.
  3. Cover and cook on low heat for 7-8 hours or high heat for 3-4 hours.
  4. Once fully cooked, stir in butter and heavy cream.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

S'mores Cookies

  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 extra large egg whites
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans (or chopped teddy grahams)
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows
    1. Line two sheet pans with parchment paper.
    2. In a large bowl, sift together the powdered sugar and cocoa powder. Whisk in salt, egg whites, and vanilla and whisk until combined. Fold in the chocolate chips and pecans.
    3. Scoop out small mounds, roughly 2 Tbsps, on to the parchment paper then top each cookie with 4-5 marshmallows. Pop into the freezer for 5 minutes to chill slightly (this prevents them from spreading too much in the oven).
    4. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 
    5. Bake for 12-13 minutes, rotating the trays 180 degrees midway through. You'll know they're done while the entire surface of the cookie is lighter in color. Let the cookies sit on the paper for a few minutes to set, before moving them to a wire rack to cool.

    Sunday, April 24, 2016

    Apple Cinnamon Steel-Cut Oatmeal


    • ½ cup Steel Cut Oats (dry)
    • 1 Green Apple peeled and diced
    • 1 1/2 cups water
    • 1 cup Milk
    • 2 Tbsp honey
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
    • 1 tsp cinnamon
    • ⅛ tsp salt
    • 2 Tbsp apple sauce
    1. In a medium saucepan, bring water, milk, honey and vanilla to a boil.
    2. Mix in apple and oatmeal and stir well. Turn down to medium heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
    3. Add in cinnamon, brown sugar, and salt. Continue cooking for 3-5 minutes.
    4. Remove from heat, stir in apple sauce, and let sit five minutes before serving.

    Thursday, April 21, 2016

    Honey Wheat Bread

    Bread Machine Wheat Bread Recipe

    • 1/2 cup warm milk
    • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp warm water
    • 1 egg
    • 3 Tbsp honey
    • 2 Tbsp butter, at room temperature
    • 1 1/2 tsp salt
    • 2 cups bread flour
    • 1 cup whole wheat flour
    • 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
    1. In bread machine pan, place in all ingredients. Select basic bread setting. Choose crust color and loaf size if available. Bake according to bread machine directions.

    Mexican Rice

    • 1 cup uncooked rice
    • 2 cups vegetable broth
    • 1 Tbsp butter
    • 1/2 cup salsa
    • 1 tsp garlic salt
    • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
    1. Combine all ingredients into a medium, non-stick pot. 
    2. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 25 minutes. 
    3. Remove from heat and let rice stand with lid on for 10 minutes. Remove lid and fluff rice with a fork.

    Thursday, March 31, 2016

    Savory Pecans

    • 4 cups (1 pound) pecans halves
    • 1/3 cup (5 1/3 Tbsp) unsalted butter, melted
    • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
    • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
    • 1/2 teaspoon Sriracha
    • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    1. Preheat oven to 300°F. 
    2. In a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter, Worcestershire sauce, salt, garlic powder, ground mustard, Sriracha, and cayenne. 
    3. Pour in the pecans and stir until well combined. 
    4. Arrange the pecans on a large parchment paper covered sheet pan and bake for 20-22 minutes until toasted and lightly browned, stirring halfway cooking time to prevent burning. 
    5. Remove from the oven and cool completely before transferring to an airtight container and storing in the refrigerator.

    Monday, February 29, 2016

    Sloppy Joe Casserole

    • 2-2.5 pounds of fake meat crumbles
    • 2 can of Manwich sauce
    • 2 tube packages of crescent rolls
    • 3 cups of shredded cheese

    1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9 x 13 pan with non stick spray. 
    2. In a large frying pan, cook your crumbles. Make sure you stir it often and break it up into little pieces.
    3. Once the crumbles are cooked to perfection you can add both cans of the Manwich sauce. Heat to a simmer.
    4. Open the first package of crescent rolls. Unroll it and place it in the bottom of the greased pan. Spread it out with your hands till it fits the bottom really well.
    5. Now take half the shredded cheese (1 1/2 cups worth) and toss it on the dough evenly.
    6. Carefully pour the Manwich mixture over top of the cheese. Spread it out with a spoon evenly.
    7. Take your remaining shredded cheese (1 1/2 cups) and toss it evenly over the Manwich mixture.
    8. Open the second package of crescent rolls and unroll it. Spread it out by hand in sections before placing on the top of the cheese.
    9. Place in the oven and cook for about 11 to 13 minutes, depending on your oven. You want the top to be golden brown.

    Saturday, January 2, 2016

    Caramelized Onion Dip

    Caramelized Onion Dip

    • 2 Tbsp olive oil
    • 2 large yellow onions, finely chopped
    • 3/4 cup low-fat sour cream
    • 3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
    • 3 tsp onion powder
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    1. In a large thick-bottomed skillet over medium-low heat, saute the chopped onions in the olive oil along with a couple pinches of salt. Stir occasionally with a wood or metal spatula and cook until the onions are deeply golden, brown, and caramelized - roughly 40 or 50 minutes. Set aside and let cool.
    2. In the meantime, whisk together the sour cream, yogurt, onion powder, and salt. Add onion powder to taste. Add a bit at a time until it tastes really good. Set aside until the caramelized onions have cooled to room temperature. 
    3. Stir in 2/3 of the caramelized onions, scoop into a serving bowl, and top with the remaining onions. It is best served at room temperature.

    Tuesday, December 29, 2015

    Candy Cane Christmas Cookies

    • 1 bag stripped chocolate candies (I used Hershey's Candy Cane Kisses)
    • 1/2 cup butter, softened
    • 1 cup granulated sugar
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • 1 egg
    • 2 cups all purpose flour
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 1/4 tsp baking soda
    • 2 Tbsp milk
    • Red and Green colored sugar
    1. Preheat over to 350 degrees F.
    2. Beat butter, sugar, vanilla, and egg in large bowl until smooth. Mix in flour, baking soda, milk, and salt.
    3. Shape dough into 1 inch balls. Roll in red and/or green colored sugar. Place on ungreased cookie sheet.
    4. Bake 9 - 11 minutes or until edges are lightly browned and cookies is set. Remove from oven; cool 2 to 3 minutes. Unwrap a candy and press into the center of each cookie. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. Yields approximately 35 cookies

    Friday, November 6, 2015

    Bonfire Treacle (Molasses) Toffee

    Bonfire toffee

    • 1/2 cup molasses
    • 1/2 cup margarine or butter 
    • 1 cup sugar
    • Several drops of lemon juice or a pinch of cream of tartar
    1. Line a 9x9 dish with parchment paper. Spray the paper with cooking spray. 
    2. Melt the sugar, molasses, and butter in a saucepan. Add the lemon juice and boil until a candy thermometer reads 120°c / 250°F. Pour onto the dish and leave to set on the counter overnight.
    3. Cut into squares with a knife or kitchen scissors when ready to eat.

    Sunday, October 18, 2015

    Chili Lime Almonds

    • 2 cups whole raw almonds
    • 2 tsp olive oil
    • 1 tsp chili powder
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
    • 1 tsp dried cilantro (or 1 Tbsp fresh, chopped)
    1. Heat a pan over medium heat, add almonds and oil. Sprinkle with chili powder and salt. Stir over medium heat for 5-10 minutes until fragrant and toasted.
    2. Remove the pan from heat, add lime juice and cilantro and stir. Transfer nuts to a plate or baking pan to cool. Store in airtight container.

    Friday, September 25, 2015

    Peach Pie

    For the crust:
    • 2 cups plus 4 Tbsp all-purpose flour
    • 2 Tbsp white sugar
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1 1/2 sticks (12 Tbsp) COLD, unsalted butter, cut into 1/4″ cubes
    • 6 oz COLD cream cheese, cut into 1/4″ cubes
    • 3 Tbsp milk
    For the filling:
    • 5-7 large peaches, pitted, peeled and sliced (~6 1/2 to 7 cups sliced)
    • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1/4 cup flour
    • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
    • 1/8 tsp salt
    For the egg wash:
    • 1 egg
    • 1 Tbsp water
    1. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar and salt.
    2. Cut the COLD butter and COLD cream cheese into 1/4-inch pieces. Using a food processor with dough blade attachment, cut the butter and cream cheese into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs with pea-sized pieces.
    3. Drizzle the milk over the dough and cut into the dough with a spatula until the dough forms moist clumps. Depending on your butter and cream cheese, you may not need to use any of the milk or the full 3 Tbsp.
    4. Divide the dough into 2 pieces, press into flat disks, cover each piece tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour. It stores well in the fridge up to 2 days.
    5. Once pie crust has cooled in the fridge at least 1 hour, and you are ready to use the pie crust, remove 1 piece of dough from the refrigerator and on a clean surface, roll it out into a 13-inch circle. Transfer the dough to a 9-inch pie plate. Refrigerate until ready to use. 
    6. Take the next piece of dough out of the fridge and roll it into a 12-inch circle, cover with plastic and refrigerate while you prep your pie filling.
    7. For the filling, combine all of the dry ingredients in a small bowl: 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 cup flour, 1/4 tsp nutmeg and 1/8 tsp salt.
    8. Blanch peaches by putting them in boiling hot water for 1 minute, then transferring to a bowl of ice water. Peel, pit, and slice peaches into 1/4″ thick slices.
    9. Transfer peaches to a large mixing bowl. Drizzle with 1 Tbsp lemon juice and 1/2 tsp vanilla and gently stir. Sprinkle with the dry ingredients and gently stir to combine.
    10. Transfer the peaches onto the crust in the pie dish. Lay remaining crust on top, trim off any excess dough, and crimp the edges. Cut some slices in the top crust to allow for steam to escape.
    11. In a small bowl, use a fork to beat together the egg and 1 Tbsp water to make your egg wash. Brush the top of your pie generously with egg wash.
    12. Place pie on the center rack and bake at 425F for 20 minutes then place cookie sheet lined with foil under the pie to catch an drips and reduce oven to 375F and bake an additional 35-40 min or until the filling is bubbling. Loosely Cover the pie with foil if it is starting to brown too quickly.
    13. Let the pie cool down ideally at least 2 hours so the filling thickens.

    Saturday, August 29, 2015

    Pesto Pull-Apart Bread

    • 1 can refrigerator biscuits, plain
    • 1/2 cup pesto
    • 1/2 cup shredded cheese
    • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
    2. Cut each biscuit into quarters. Place in a greased oven safe baking dish.
    3. Spread the pesto over the top of the biscuits, being sure to distribute evenly.
    4. Spread the shredded cheese on top of the biscuits and pesto. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese.
    5. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, until cooked through and cheese begins to brown.