Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Margarine/Butter to Olive Oil Conversion Chart

Butter/Margarine = Olive Oil

1 teaspoon = 3/4 teaspoon
1 tablespoon = 2 1/4 tsp
2 tablespoons = 1 1/2 tablespoons
1/4 cup = 3 tablespoons
1/3 cup = 1/4 cup
1/2 cup = 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons
2/3 cup = 1/2 cup
3/4 cup = 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon
1 cup = 3/4 cup


Soft Whole Wheat Sugar Cookies


1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup butter flavored shortening (I used olive oil)
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon apple pie spice ( I used Pumpkin Spice Mix)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons white sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (did not use)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
In large bowl, combine first 10 ingredients and blend well. Stir in whole wheat flour.
Shape into 1 inch balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet, 2 inches apart. Flatten each cookie slightly with a fork.
Combine sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over each cookie.
Bake in pre-heated oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until light golden brown.

Dirty dozen: is your healthy diet a deadly chemical cocktail?

The Dirty Dozen: The 12 Most Contaminated Fruits and Veggies


Bell peppers



Imported grapes





Red raspberries



The 12 Least Contaminated Fruits and Veggies






Corn (sweet)





Peas (sweet)



Washing with water and even peeling your produce can get rid of some residues, but not all. Some chemicals seep into the flesh of the item, while others are designed to cling to the surface, unable to be diluted or washed away by rainstorms. Peeling the skin off fruits and veggies may get rid of more chemicals, but it also gets rid of vital nutrients as well.

This is an excerpt from an interesting article I found today.
Read the entire article here: http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0XUK/is_1_3/ai_n17213445

Monday, October 29, 2007


Today I decided to make Whole Wheat Cinnamon Swirl Bread. I ground the wheat and began. I was so proud and so hopeful. Then the phone rang. I took time to talk to an old friend. When I hung up I then called my father and talked to "papa". After a long talk with him I felt I needed to call my sister. Sometime in that process I noticed that the bread was not rising. Then I remembered no cream was added. By now I had already put cinnamon and sugar and butter. Oh well it won't be any worse you guessed it. Back in the bowl the whole MESS went. I add the cream remixed added a little more flour and left. When I came home later the bread had risen some. I thought why not bake it. So I have two loaves cooling. Actually the bread is tasty. I bet if done correctly it would make awesome bread if the flop is this good.

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Swirl Bread

1 pkg. quick-rise yeast
1/2 c. warm water
1/2 c. sugar
1 stick (unsalted) butter (1/2 cup), softened
5 oz. evaporated milk or light cream
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 c. whole wheat flour
2 c. white (all-purpose) flour
3 tbsp. cinnamon
2 tbsp. sugar
Softened or melted butter
Dissolve yeast in a small measuring cup with the warm water and allow to proof in a warm place. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, cream butter and sugar. Then add beaten eggs, milk or cream, and proofed yeast mixture; mix well. Stir together flours and salt in a separate bowl, then stir about one-third of the dry mixture into the creamed mixture. Stir in another one-third; dough will begin to appear stiffer. Dump dough onto floured board and knead gently. Use what you need of the remaining one-third of flour mixture for working on the dough while kneading (you may not need it at all). Knead for 5-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap; allow to rise in a warm place until doubled. Once doubled, punch down and roll out to about 1/4 - 1/2" thick. Spread with some softened butter, then sprinkle with a mixture of the cinnamon & sugar. Roll up the dough from the longest side. Cut into 3 equal parts. Tuck and round edges and form into 3 small loaves. Place into 3 greased small loaf pans and allow to rise. Bake at 375 degrees in regular oven about 30 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool on wire rack, then place in plastic bags. May be frozen.

Original recipe: http://bread.betterrecipes.com/wholewheatcinnamonswirlbread.html

Whole Wheat Pita Pockets

7 whole pita pockets (or 14 halves)
1 1/4 cup warm water (110-115 degrees)
1 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
2 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons dry yeast or 1 package of dry yeast

1. In a large bowl, combine first 4 ingredients. Add 1 cup of the flour, along with the yeast, and stir to mix. Add remaining flour and knead to make a soft dough. (Add additional flour if necessary during kneading.)

2. Put your dough into a bowl, lightly oil the top, and cover. Set in a warm place to rise, until almost double (about an hour).

3. Punch dough down and turn onto a lightly floured surface. Using a sharp knife, cut dough into 8 equal pieces. Form each piece into a ball. On a lightly floured surface, roll each ball into a 6- or 7-inch circle.

4. As you roll the rounds, set them aside on a lightly floured counter top or table, and cover loosely with a towel. Let rise for about 25-35 minutes, until slightly puffy. (The rounds will still be thin though!

5. Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Place 2 rounds, side-by-side, onto a wire rack, such as is used for cooling things. Place rack in the middle of the oven. Bake for 4-5 minutes, until puffy and just slightly browned. (If bread is too browned, it will be dry and not pliable.)

6. Remove rack from oven and immediately wrap/layer pita breads in a damp towel, to soften (I used damp paper towels). Continue baking the remaining breads, layering them between damp towels as soon as they're baked. Allow breads to completely cool.

7. Cut pita breads in half, or split the top edge, and fill as desired.

Original recipe:


Sunday, October 28, 2007

Ultimate Cinnamon Roll with Vanilla / Maple Frosting

Ultimate Cinnamon Roll with Vanilla Frosting


1-1/2 packages (about 3-1/4 teaspoons) dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1/2 cup shortening
1/3 cup sugar
1-1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 egg
4 to 5 cups sifted flour
melted butter
brown sugar
raisins (optional)
Vanilla Frosting
2 cups powdered sugar (I used much less. I added 1/4 cup at a time until it became thick)
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 Tablespoon of 100% Pure Maple Syrup
milk or cream (2 to 4 tablespoons)

Add the warm water to the yeast and soak 10 minutes.
Scald milk; pour over the shortening. Add sugar and salt and cool to tepid. Add the dissolved yeast and beaten egg. Add 4 cups flour adding one at a time beating after each addition.
Dough should be soft yet firm enough to handle.

Knead on floured board until elastic and smooth. Avoid too much flour. Turn dough into well oiled bowl. Let rise for 1-1/2 hours.
Press dough down and divide into workable size. Roll dough out into a rectangle. Cover with melted butter. Layer with a generous thick layer* of brown sugar. Sprinkle on cinnamon* as desired. If you like raisins, layer on a layer of raisins. Roll up jellyroll fashion.
Cut off slices about 1 to 1-1/2 inches thick. Place slices in an 8 or 9 inch round greased cake pan. Place one slice in the middle and other slices around it. Press rolls down to even out and fill pan. Let rise until rolls fill the pan generously...about another hour.
Bake in a 350 degree F oven about 15 - 20 minutes. If rolls get too brown, cover with a piece of tine foil until the end of baking. Do not over bake rolls.
Remove immediately from pan by inverting onto a plate and then tip over onto another plate to right the rolls. I left them in the pan and they did fine.
For the Frosting:
In a medium bowl, place sugar, butter and vanilla and 100% Pure Maple Syrup. Then stir in enough milk or cream to reach a thick, hardly-able to stir consistency.
Spread over warm rolls as soon as they are placed on a plate to let the frosting melt and run into the rolls.

Tip: I made these the night before and let them rise. Then I cover them and put them in the refrigerator. In the morning I set them out for about an hour and let them come to room temperature and then baked. These would taste great all whole wheat. Here is a great web site with pictures of how to make cinnamon rolls.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies
1/2 cup rolled oats, ground to a fine powder in a blender
2 1/4 cups unbleached bread flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 cup butter (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature (resist the urge to microwave)
3/4 cup organic sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (preferably authentic)
1/2 tsp lemon juice
2 eggs
3 cups or one standard package of milk chocolate chips

1. Grind the oats in a blender or food processor.

2. Measure the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon into the blender jar (or food processor) and pulse to thoroughly combine all the dry ingredients.

3. Cream together the butter and both sugars. Add eggs, lemon juice, and vanilla, stirring well after each addition.

4. Combine the dry ingredients with the wet stuff, and mix until fully combined.

5. Add chocolate chips and stir by hand to evenly incorporate the chocolate.

6. Refrigerate the dough for an hour or overnight.

7. Drop the dough by large spoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Leave plenty of room for the cookies to spread as they cook.

8. Bake at 350° F for approximately 16 minutes, or until barely golden and still slightly raw. You'll have to do this in batches, so keep the extra dough in the fridge while the first batch is baking, and make sure the pan is completely cool before you spoon on the next round of dough.

9. Cool the cookies on the pan for five minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely before packing the finished cookies into an air-tight jar or sealed zipper baggies.

If you take the cookies out of the oven when they really look done, they end up overdone and hard as little rocks.

Tip: Make several cookies small. This will help with potion control for children.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

In The Kitchen

My daughter entered this photo in a contest. The theme of the contest is " I can make a difference". She said she can make a difference by eating healthy. Hopefully the healthy food changes we make will be life long changes or a way of life for our children.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

What's for supper

Tonight's supper was pulled BBQ chicken sandwich on a whole wheat bun. I served it with homemade humus and organic blue corn chips. This is a simple supper but very yummy.

Five Easy Ways to Go Organic


This is a good article from The New York Times

Pumpkin Butterscotch Muffins

2 1/2 cups flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups brown sugar

2 teaspoon cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1 3/4 cups pumpkin

4 eggs

1/2 cup oil

2 cups nuts, optional

2 cups butterscotch chips/morsels


1. Combine all dry ingredients. Add pumpkin, eggs, and oil. Mix until smooth. Add nuts if desired and the butterscotch chips.

2. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until done.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Healthy Lunch Box ideas

Today's lunch includes.

100% Apple Juice
A bottle of water
Holiday Seedless Grapes
A whole grain tortilla with all natural peanut butter and a low sugar fruit spread

Snack: An all organic granola bar

Monday, October 22, 2007

Jane's Pasta with Lemon Butter Sauce

In honor of a good friend and with her help this recipe was created. This is my dear friends favorite meal at a local Italian restaurant. I decided to see if I could duplicate her favorite meal. This meal received great reviews from my family. My oldest child decided she likes mushrooms and sun dried tomatoes which is a big deal. My husband is taking the leftovers to work and has requested to have this meal again. I guess we have a winner.


bow tie pasta
fresh mushrooms
pine nuts
sun dried tomatoes
fresh spinach

grilled chicken or shrimp
lemon butter sauce 

cook pasta according to package directions

Saute mushrooms and pine nuts in olive oil

Add spinach and allow to wilt

make lemon butter sauce combine all ingredients.

Lemon Butter Sauce

4 ounces lemon juice

2 ounces white grape juice

4 ounces heavy cream

1 lb Butter

1. To make the sauce: Heat the lemon juice and white wine in a saucepan over medium heat.
2. Bring to a boil and reduce by one-third.
3. Add cream and simmer until mixture thickens (3-4 minutes).
4. Slowly add butter until completely incorporated.
5. Season with salt and pepper.
6. Remove from heat and keep warm.
7. Cook pasta and drain.

combine lemon juice, wine in a small saucepan, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 7 minutes. Reduce heat to low and whisk in the butter, two-tablespoons at a time. Let each addition of butter melt before adding the next. Season with salt and pepper. 

Holiday Seedless Grapes

Recently a local grocery store has had Holiday Seedless Grapes for sale. Each grape is the size of a gum ball. I think these are some of the juiciest grapes I have ever eaten. I think this would be a good grape to slice and add to chicken salad. I also found a small bag of chocolate cookies with pumpkins on them. I thought the combination would make a nice after school snack and surprise for my children.

Lunch Box Ideas

This one of our favorite snacks on a Saturday afternoon. Today I used it for the children's lunches. I take one loaf of french bread sliced and top with thin sliced turkey and "shaved" Loraine Swiss cheese. If you put them in the microwave and heat for 20 seconds the cheese will melt nicely. This is almost like an appetizer but several will make a meal.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Mini Biscuits

1 cup flour,
2 teaspoons baking powder,
1/2 teaspoon salt,
2 tablespoons fat, (I used 2 tablespoons unsalted butter)
1/2 cup liquid (I used milk)

Baked at 325 for 6 min

Friday, October 19, 2007

Using Leftovers

I do not intend to bore you with photos of pizza each week. If you have not made this recipe you need to. My husband request this meal once a week now. To make the pizza in the picture I used the extra pizza topping I had made the week before. This idea worked out well. I did notice that some of the larger pieces of turkey dried out some. This was a very quick and easy meal. I had a hot family favorite meal cooked under 30 min.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/2 cup rolled oats, ground to a fine powder in a blender
2 1/4 cups unbleached bread flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 cup butter (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature (resist the urge to microwave)
3/4 cup organic sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (preferably authentic)
1/2 tsp lemon juice
2 eggs
3 cups or one standard package of milk chocolate chips

1. Grind the oats in a blender or food processor.

2. Measure the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon into the blender jar (or food processor) and pulse to thoroughly combine all the dry ingredients.

3. Cream together the butter and both sugars. Add eggs, lemon juice, and vanilla, stirring well after each addition.

4. Combine the dry ingredients with the wet stuff, and mix until fully combined.

5. Add chocolate chips and stir by hand to evenly incorporate the chocolate.

6. Refrigerate the dough for an hour or overnight.

7. Drop the dough by large spoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Leave plenty of room for the cookies to spread as they cook.

8. Bake at 350° F for approximately 16 minutes, or until barely golden and still slightly raw. You'll have to do this in batches, so keep the extra dough in the fridge while the first batch is baking, and make sure the pan is completely cool before you spoon on the next round of dough.

9. Cool the cookies on the pan for five minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely before packing the finished cookies into an air-tight jar or sealed zipper baggies.

This is not my origianl recipe. It can be found at http://www.flickr.com/photos/ruthieki/94736971/in/set-1209208/

Blueberry Buckle Coffee Cake

Read the entire recipe first before baking. I did not notice the note about not adding all the flour. Oops. So to fix the problem I added extra milk. This fix made the cooking time much longer. The bottom overcooked a little.

Blueberry Buckle Coffee Cake

1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine

2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup milk
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries, well drained

First: Preheat your oven to 375°F.

Making the Topping: Mix the sugar, flour and cinnamon in a small bowl. Cut or rub in the butter or margarine with the side of a fork, two knives or your finger tips until it reaches a crumbly state. Set aside.

Making the Batter: Blend the flour, baking powder and salt together in a medium sized mixing bowl. In a large bowl cream together the sugar, butter or margarine, egg and vanilla. Alternately add the milk and the flour mixture to the creamed mixture, ending with flour. Stir only enough to blend. Fold in the blueberries.

Assembling & Baking: Pour the batter into a well-greased and floured, 9-inch cake pan. Sprinkle the topping over the batter and bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until a cake tester or knife comes out clean.

Let the buckle cool for 10 minutes. Loosen the sides with a knife or spatula. Holding the cake pan in your left hand, gently tip the cake out onto your right hand, remove the pan, and gently right the cake onto a serving dish.

©2006 The King Arthur Flour Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Baked "Chips"

Baked "Chips"
2 large baking potatoes, unpeeled
2 tablespoons good olive oil
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary leaves

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Scrub the potatoes, cut them in half lengthwise, then cut each half in thirds lengthwise. You'll have 6 long wedges from each potato. Place the potatoes on a sheet pan with the olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, and rosemary. With clean hands, toss all the ingredients together, making sure the potatoes are covered with oil. Spread the potatoes in a single layer with 1 cut side down.
Bake the potatoes for 30 to 35 minutes, turning to the other cut side after 20 minutes. Bake until they are lightly browned, crisp outside, and tender inside. Sprinkle with salt and serve immediately.
Yield: 2 servings

Original recipe:

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Japanese Cheesecake

This taste similar to flan. We liked it better without a topping or with some sugar caramelized on top. This would also possibly taste better doubled.

7 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup whole milk
1/2 cup superfine sugar (caster sugar)
3 eggs, separated
1/4 cup cornstarch (don't use flour)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 1/2 cups boiling water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spray a 9-inch cake tin with cooking oil spray.

Beat cream cheese with milk to soften.
Add half of the sugar, egg yolks, cornstarch and lemon juice.
Beat until smooth.
Beat egg whites in a separate bowl until foamy.
Gradually add remaining sugar and cream of tartar, beating on high speed until soft peaks form, about 8-10 minutes.
Gradually fold beaten egg whites into the cream cheese mixture, stirring gently.
Pour into cake pan and smooth the surface.
Place cake pan into a larger roasting pan and place in lower rack of oven.
Pour enough water into the roasting pan to come half way up the side of the cake pan.
Bake 35-40 minutes, until a pick inserted in the middle of the center comes out clean.

You can eat like this, or you can put jam on top of it.
Put the jam in a sauce pan with the water on a low heat and warm up until it's melted.
Then spread the glaze on top of the cake.
If the surface becomes too dark while baking cover with a piece of tin foil, but be careful not to open the oven door until it has been in the oven for at least 20 minutes.

Original recipe at: http://www.recipezaar.com/90032

Amish Basic White Batter Bread

This recipe is from "Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread" cookbook. Favorite recipes from the Belle Center Amish Community.

2 pkg. active dry yeast
2 1/2 cup warm water
4 Tbsp. shortening ( I use olive oil)
2 tsp salt
6 cup white all purpose flour ( I use 2 cups whole wheat and 4 cups unbleached bread flour)
1/4 cup honey

Dissolve yeast in water. Stir in honey. Add shortening (olive oil) and salt and 2 cup flour. Mix well. Stir in remaining flour and let rise (approx. 45 min.) until double in bulk. Punch down well. Let rise again. Roll out and put in pans. I let it rise again. Makes 2 large loaves or 3 small ones. Bake at 375 for 30 - 35 min.

The Amish lady that sold me the book gave me this tip. When your bread comes out of the oven coat the tops of the bread in butter and place a cloth on them to cool. This will make your bread crust soft. It works!

Spinach Orzo

I think that I could get hooked on this. The spinach is so tasty with the orzo. The children like the addition of pine nuts the best. Tonight I added heirloom tomatoes. At the end I added feta cheese and extra balsamic vinegar.

A look in the Slow cooker

We had BBQ chicken tonight. This time I add extra hot sauce and the flavor improved. I also cooked whole chicken legs and a chicken breast. We noticed that the dark meat is much jucier.

Friday, October 12, 2007

A look at supper

A simple quick supper that gets great reviews from the family. Definitely better than eating out.

Making Extra

Tonight we once again had homemade Pizza. This has become a family favorite and often requested by daddy. I doubled all the ingredients for the topping and cooked extra. I placed the extra toppings in a bowl and placed in the freezer. Next time someone asks for Pizza all I will need is cheese and crust. A meal in under 30 minutes. Wow. Since we use all natural Pizza Sauce, turkey, chicken sausage, gluten free cheese and fresh onion and bell pepper this is a healthy Pizza.

Watermelon again

My children love these small watermelons. This has been a good way to get them to eat more fruit.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Chocolate Chip Biscotti


1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons real vanilla extract (forgot to add but still tasted good)
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (used bread flour)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Cream butter and sugar at medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one a time, and blend until smooth. Add vanilla, flour, baking powder and salt. Mix until just blended (do not overbeat). I added 1 cup of semi sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325F.

Divide dough in half. On a lightly floured surface, knead dough a few times then shape into two long, slightly flattened, logs, about 2 inches wide and 12–14 inches long. Place both on a non-stick baking sheet a few inches apart. Bake for 25 minutes or until barely golden.

Let cool for 10 minutes. Slice logs on the diagonal about 1/2-inch thick. Place slices on baking sheet and bake again for 20 minutes, turning halfway through baking, until golden brown. Let cool.

Original recipe at: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipes/dessert/biscotti_wc.html

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

White Chili

3 cans drained and rinsed cannellini beans
1 onion diced
3 tsp garlic
2 Tablespoons butter
4 cups chicken broth more as needed
1 small can green chilies

1 full chicken breast
1 chicken drumstick

boil and shred chicken

Saute onion and garlic in butter.  Add chicken broth and canellini beans.  

1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. cilantro

In a large heavy pot saute onion and garlic, Add the beans, the 4 cups broth, chilies, oregano, cayenne and cilantro and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer gently, adding more broth as needed, until the beans are very tender, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Add the shredded chicken and continue to simmer. Serve with tortilla chips, Monterey Jack cheese and sour cream. I think a squeeze of lime would also go well with this Chili. We also added Louisiana Hot sauce to taste to our bowls.

Chocolate-Ricotta muffins

Nonstick spray for the pan
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
6 to 8 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1 cup sugar
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 1/3 cups unbleached all-purpose (can add about 1/2 cup of soy-protein mix for 1/2 cup flour, or you can use 50:50 whole-wheat and AP flour)
1 cup ricotta
2 large eggs
1 1/3 cups milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted or oil

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly spray 12 standard-sized (2 1/2-inch-diameter) muffin cups with nonstick spray. Combine the flour, salt, baking powder, cocoa, and sugar in a medium-sized bowl.

Place the ricotta in a second medium-sized bowl, and add the eggs one at a time, beating well with a medium-sized whisk after each addition. Add the milk and vanilla, and whisk until thoroughly blended.

Pour the ricotta mixture, along with the melted butter, into the dry ingredients. Using a spoon or a rubber spatula, stir from the bottom of the bowl until the dry ingredients are all moistened. Don't overmix; a few lumps are okay.

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups. Fill them even with the top of the pan. Bake in the middle of the oven for to 20 to 25 minutes, or until lightly browned on top, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove the pan from the oven, then remove the muffins from the pan and place them on a rack to cool. Wait at least 30 minutes before serving.

Original recipe

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Maple Frosted Pumpkin Cake

This cake makes me feel cozy. I know that sounds funny but make the cake and tell me what you think. I am not a big fan of spice cake but this is an exception. The spice in this cake is very mild. The icing is a perfect combination. We have decided that this will be the cake we serve at Thanksgiving.

For the cake::

3 large eggs
2 cups light brown sugar
2/3 cup light olive oil ( I used vegetable oil)
1 15-oz can cooked pumpkin (or two cups of fresh cooked pumpkin)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Prepare a 10 x 13" baking pan
Beat the eggs in a large mixing bowl till light and frothy; add the brown sugar, beat till smooth; add the oil, pumpkin, and vanilla; beat to combine.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (the flour & sea salt). Add the dry ingredients into the wet mixture a little at a time and beat to combine- for two minutes.

Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan. Bake in a pre-heated oven for 30 minutes, or until the cake is firm and a wooden pick inserted into the center emerges clean.

Cool on a wire rack while you make your frosting.

Maple Cream Cheese Icing:

8 oz. softened cream cheese
3-4 tablespoons softened unsalted butter
3 to 4 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups powdered sugar (more, if needed)

Beat until the cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add 3 tablespoons of the maple syrup, and vanilla. Add in the powdered sugar a cup at a time; beat till smooth. Add another tablespoon maple syrup, if needed. Add more sugar, if needed.

When the cake is cool, frost with the Maple Cream Cheese Icing. Sprinkle with finely chopped pecans or walnuts, if desired.

Here is the original recipe. This is a great website.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken BBQ Sandwich

Sometimes you get it right. This is one of those times. I have been attempting to not eat pork. Living in the south and growing up on Pork BBQ sometimes you can have a craving. Yesterday I decided to attempt to cook pulled chicken BBQ. I placed 3 full boneless chicken breast in a crockpot. That equals 6 half boneless skinless breast. I then covered the chicken in homemade BBQ sauce. My crockpot cooks hot so I turned it on warm and let it cook overnight. The chicken cooked until supper time. It is important to note that the chicken was done this morning but allowing it to cook the rest of the day is what made it BBQ. The sauce during the day thickened and the meat turned from white to a deep pink. The chicken fell apart and had a wonderful flavor. I served the chicken on a whole wheat bun. One of my children said this is the best BBQ I have ever eaten.

Barbecue Sauce

1&1/2 cups brown sugar
1&1/2 cups ketchup
1/2 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2 cup water
1 TBSP worcestershire sauce
2 & 1/2 TBSP dry mustard
2 tsp salt
1 & 1/2 tsp black pepper
Hot pepper sauce to taste

Heat in a sauce pot until brown sugar has melted and ingredients have combined.
(pour over chicken and cook in crock pot on lowest setting for 8 to 12 hours. Longer is better)

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Pizza Night

We had a lot going on today so this was a quick easy supper. This pizza has become a new family favorite. Tonight's pizza was topped with onion, bell pepper, ground turkey and one italian turkey sausage. I added shredded cheddar and mozerella cheese and mild chilies. There were no leftovers.

2 pkg. Pillsbury crescent rolls
1 lb.Ground Turkey (cooked)
1 Chicken Sausage (cooked)
1 jar Enrico's All Natural Pizza Sauce
8 oz. Mozzarella cheese
8 oz. Mild Cheddar cheese
1 Vidalia onion chopped
1 Bell pepper chopped

In a medium skillet cook 1/2 of the onion and bell pepper until translucent. Add turkey and sausage (removed from casing) and cook until brown. Drain off fat.
Meanwhile, Pat crescent rolls onto 12 x 16 inch cookie sheet. Pinch perforations to seal. Top with pizza sauce, cooked turkey and chicken sausage and cheese. Top with 1/2 of the uncooked onion and bell pepper. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.

Blueberry Scones

This is an easy recipe and the scones are delicious.

2 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 pinch salt
3 tablespoons sugar

5 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup fresh blueberries (you can use the frozen kind of you need to, but fresh are preferred)
heavy cream ( I used milk) (for brushing over top)
sugar, for top

First preheat oven to 425degrees.
Then take out a large baking sheet and grease it; set it aside.
In a large bowl, you will need to combine your flour, baking powder, salt, sugar.
Cut your butter into flour mixture making sure to cut it through until it looks crumbly.
Make a well in the center of this mixture and add the milk.
Beginning stirring mixture, then add your blueberries, and finish stirring until dough forms.
If you feel that it is not forming well, you can always add a tiny bit of milk to make it all come together, but be careful not to add much more milk, and do NOT overwork the dough.
Form the dough into one large round (like a ball), and flatten it out into a 10 inch disk.
With a sharp knife, cut the dough into 10 wedges; you can do so by cutting it exactly as you would cut a pie!
Slide disk of scone wedges on to baking sheet sheet (not necessary to seperate at this time) Brush tops with cream, and sprinkle sugar over the cream.
Bake scones for 15 minutes, or until golden brown.
Remove from baking sheet when done, and cut the wedges where you made your cuts earlier.

Original recipe at: http://www.recipezaar.com/59337

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Chicken and Rice Casserole

This is my husbands favorite casserole. His mother made this for him as a child.

In a casserole dish layer

1 box of chopped broccoli stemmed in chicken broth
2 cups of rice cooked in chicken broth
2 Chicken Breast boiled and shredded. ( Use the broth for the rice and broccoli)
Top with sliced mozzarella cheese
Top the cheese with Cream of mushroom soup
Bake at 350 until top is golden brown and bubbly

This is a good use for leftover roasted chicken

Monday, October 1, 2007

A look at supper

Here is a picture of last nights supper. We had Lemon Pepper Roasted Chicken, Green Beans with tomatoes, squash cooked with red onion. We also had German rye bread.

Sauted Green Beans with Heirloom Tomatoes

Tonight I sauted some green beans in a little butter and garlic. Then I added heirloom tomatoes fresh pepper and sea salt. I toped the beans with some fresh grated Parmesan Reggiano cheese.

Lemon Pepper Chicken

I roasted a Chicken again tonight. This time I tried using Lemon Pepper on the outside and an entire lemon on the inside. The Lemon was cut in half. I also cooked it breast side up this time. This chicken was once again a family hit.

Grapes "After School Snack"

Life is short... Drink good Coffee

Today was mommy indulgence. I bought a blueberry scone and some Kona Coffee. This has to be some of the best coffee I have ever had. If you are not a coffee drinker you will like that Kona Coffee is smooth not bitter. Sometimes mommy needs something extra special. Here is some info about Kona Coffee.

One of the world’s finest coffees, Pure Kona is grown for us on a family estate overlooking the Pacific on the western flanks of Mauna Loa. With the harvest on the island of Hawaii being a fraction of the size of most coffee-producing regions, Kona coffees are treasured for their extremely rich flavor, smooth body, and mild acidity.

Naturally High Quality and Extra Care Results in a Gourmet Coffee

Most Kona coffee is graded Prime or better because of the climate, the careful hand-cultivation, and the wet-method processing used throughout the region.

Like fine vintage wines, 100% Kona coffee is distinguished from commercial blends by the tremendous extra care taken throughout every step of the process. The end result is a coffee that carries the unique stamp of the Kona region - delicate yet flavorful and with a rich aroma - a product that is famous among coffee drinking societies throughout the world. This excellent quality has made Kona coffee one of the most highly valued coffees in the world.