Monday, June 30, 2014

Braided Pesto Bread

This was a great tasting bread that really was easy to make.  Roll the bread up tightly so that it will be easier to slice(ask me how I know this)  I had frozen pesto from last year, so thawed that and used it.  YUM!

Braided Pesto Bread

1 1/4C water
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1 tsp granulated sugar
1 1/2C all purpose flour **Beth needed over ½ c more
1C white whole wheat flour
1 tsp fine sea salt
3 Tbsp Parmesan cheese*** For after rise

2C packed fresh basil
2 cloves garlic
1/2C Parmesan
3-4 Tbsp olive oil

Heat water to 115°F. Dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water. Allow yeast to proof.

To the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with dough attachment, add flour and salt. With mixer running on low, slowly add yeast mixture. Increase speed to medium high, mixing until dough comes together in a clean ball. Shape dough into a smooth ball, transfer to a lightly greased large bowl. Cover and allow to rise for one hour or doubled in size.

Meanwhile, prepare pesto sauce in a food processor. Blend together basil and garlic. Add cheese, blending quickly. With lid on and food processor running on low, slowly drizzle in olive oil.

Roll out dough on a silicone counter mat into a 10 x 20-inch rectangle. Spread pesto sauce out to 1/2-inch from edges. Starting at one of the shorter sides, tightly roll up dough, pinching edges as you go. Using a sharp knife, carefully slice completely through dough, end to end. Braid dough. Carefully transfer to a lightly greased 10-inch loaf pan. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Lightly cover and allow to rise for an additional 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake for 40 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 190°F.

Cool on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Monkey Butter

After reading reviews on this recipe on a few different sites, I decided to greatly reduce the sugar and use splenda, especially since I used sweetened coconut.  I loved this!  I made mine as freezer jam.
Monkey Butter
adapted from

5 medium-size perfectly ripe bananas (no brown spots)Beth mashed with potato masher
20 oz. can of crushed pineapple, not drained.
1/4 cup coconut (I prefer ground coconut)**Beth used sweetened and put it in a blender to make it fine.
3 cups of white sugar **Beth used 1 c Splenda
3 Tbsp lemon juice (use bottled for uniform acidity)

Peel and slice bananas, then add all ingredients to a heavy saucepan.

Bring to a boil, stirring often, and then reduce to a simmer. Cook until thick. As the mixture thickens, stir constantly until desired thickness is achieved.

When thick, spoon mixture immediately into hot sterilized jars, apply heated lids and rings, and process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes or put in fridge or freezer.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Better than Starbucks Lemon Pound Cake

Kathleen made this recipe and put it in 2 loaf pans.  DELICIOUS!
Better Than Starbucks Lemon Pound Cake


4 small lemons, organic if you can find them (
3 cups cake flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, that is completely softened
3 cups superfine, or caster sugar
6 eggs, warmed for 10 minutes in hot tap water before using
1 cup full-fat sour cream, all natural at room temperature

2 lemons
2 cups fresh powdered-sugar, sifted

Preheat oven to 325F. Grease a 16-cup tube pan and dust with cake flour; tap out any excess. Be sure to grease and flour the center column too. You can also use Pam with Flour (I do).

Scrub the lemons with hot soapy water. Rinse really well and dry completely. Carefully zest four of the lemons, being careful to avoid the pith (the white part that live right below the yellow part of the lemon).  

With a very sharp paring knife, cut the tops and bottoms off of each lemon. Put the cut-side down on the cutting board, trim the pith off the lemon, working vertically, going all the way around, exposing the pulp of the lemon.

Over a bowl, cut segments from membranes, letting fruit and any juice fall into the bowl, being sure to discard the seeds and the remaining membranes.  With a fork, break segments into 1-inch pieces.  

In a separate bowl, combine the sugar and the lemon zest. Work the sugar and zest together between your fingers until the sugar is moist, grainy and very aromatic. (Sooo yummy!) Set aside.
Sift the flour, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl and set aside.

Beat the butter for 2 minutes at medium speed in the electric mixer. Add half the sugar and mix for 2 more minutes, then add the rest of the sugar and mix again for 4 minutes, stopping once to scrape down the bowl and the beater blade.

Remove the eggs from the warm water and dry them. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating just until combined after each addition (about 30 seconds). On the lowest setting, mix in the dry ingredients, then the sour cream. Lastly, gently fold in the lemon juice and segments. Transfer batter to prepared pan.

Bake cake until tester inserted near center comes out clean, about an hour and a half. Note: Your bake time may vary! Every oven is different! Set your timer for 60 min and check to see how far it has to go. Adjust the bake time accordingly. Keep checking every 5-15 minutes or so until the top is browned and a toothpick put into the center section (between the edge of the pan and the tube center) has no batter on it.

Let the cake cool in the pan on a rack for 15 minutes. Cut around the cake in the pan, turn out the cake. Carefully turn cake right side up on rack.

While the cake is cooling, juice the remaining 2 lemons. In a small bowl, slowly add the powdered sugar to the and stir until smooth. It should look thick, opaque, and should be thin enough to it should be pourable. If it's too thin, add more powdered sugar. If it's too thick, add more lemon juice. Poke small holes all over the top of the cake using a fork or toothpick. Carefully pour about 1/2 the glaze over the tops and the sizes of the cake. Let the glaze harden for about 2 hours or overnight. Cover the remaining glaze and keep at room temperature. About a half hour before you're ready to serve, pour the remaining glaze over the cake.

Store in a covered container, either in the fridge or at room temperature.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Skinny Funfetti Cake Batter Oatmeal

This was a nice breakfast choice.  I would suggest making it on the stove top, since I had the joy(?) of cleaning up a mess in the microwave after finding all the oatmeal and milk OUTSIDE of the bowl after cooking.  I found the sprinkles to make the oatmeal sweet enough and didn't add any sweetener.

Skinny Funfetti Cake Batter Oatmeal

1/3 c old-fashioned oats (gluten-free if necessary)
2/3 c skim milk
¼ tsp butter extract
1-2 tsp rainbow jimmies (the long, thin sprinkles)
sweetener, to taste

Add the oats and milk to a bowl and cook on HIGH in the microwave for 2 ½ to 3 minutes, or until most of the liquid has been absorbed. (Alternatively, cook on the stovetop over medium-low heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently until most of the liquid has been absorbed.) Stir in the butter extract, and let the oatmeal sit for 1-2 minutes to thicken. Sprinkle the jimmies on top and serve immediately.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Milky Way Brownie Cups

I made these as part of our dessert for Father's Day.  They were a HIT!  I made the brownies the night before and stored them in Tupperware.  I then put them together just after lunch and put them in the fridge.  Perfect for dessert at 6 pm!
Milky Way Brownie Cups
Yield: 24 mini brownies**Beth got 48

1 brownie mix
1/2 c. caramel ice cream topping
1 (8 oz.) container Cool Whip
2 c. chocolate chips

  1. Follow directions for brownies on box. Spoon 1 teaspoon into greased mini muffin tins. Bake for 12 minutes at 350*. Let the brownies cool in the pan for 2 minutes, then use a wooden tart shaper or spoon to push the centers in. Let cool 2 more minutes in the pan, then remove to wire rack and cool completely.
  2. In a small sauce pan over low heat, melt the chocolate chips. Stir until completely smooth. Beat with mixer for 1 minute. Add Cool Whip and beat another minute.
  3. Spoon a small amount of caramel into each cup. Pipe chocolate whipped topping on top of caramel. Refrigerate until set. Store in a container in the refrigerator.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Soft pull apart wheat rolls with sourdough starter or active dry yeast

I made these for Father's Day dinner.  They turned out light and airy.  I used the recipe with yeast.  I made 28 rolls and they were quite large.  Next time I will do half the recipe since we had quite a few leftover.

Soft pull apart wheat rolls with sourdough starter or active dry yeast
By smargot on
Serves 30

 Using Sourdough Starter (100% hydration, or 1:1 flour:water)

1 cup refreshed sourdough starter
1 cup milk
3 cups all purpose or bread flour
2 1/3 cups whole wheat flour
3 teaspoons kosher salt
1/3 cup honey
¼ cup melted butter, plus a little more for greasing the pan
1/4 cup canola oil or other neutral cooking oil, plus a little more for coating the bowl
3 eggs (2 in dough, 1 for brushing)

Using Active Dry yeast

2 packets active dry yeast (4 1/2 t.)
1 2/3cup warm milk (100-110F)
1 tablespoon white sugar
3 2/3cups all-purpose or bread flour
2 1/3 cups whole wheat flour
3 teaspoons kosher salt
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup melted butter, plus a little more for greasing the pan
1/4 cup canola oil or other neutral cooking oil, plus a little more for coating the bowl
3 eggs (2 in dough, 1 for brushing)

1. If using active dry yeast, heat the milk in the microwave or saucepan. If you don’t have a thermometer, test it by dabbing a bit on your wrist—it should feel hot to the touch, but should not burn. Whisk in the sugar and yeast and let sit 5-10 minutes or until frothy.

2. For both: Combine all of the ingredients except the 1 egg reserved for brushing and stir until the dough begins to come together.

3. Knead for 10-15 minutes. If the dough is too sticky to knead, let it rest for 10 minutes underneath the mixing bowl to let the flour absorb more of the moisture. Then, continue, adding bread flour 1/4 cup at a time just until it sticks to itself more than it sticks to you.

4. Coat a mixing bowl with oil. Place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a towel and let rise for 1 1/4 hrs (active dry yeast) or between 4-12 hrs (sourdough starter). You can tell when it's risen when it's roughly doubled in size and you can make an indentation in the surface and it doesn't heal automatically.

5. Butter two 9x13 pans. Divide dough into two equal pieces, and divide each of those into 15 equal pieces. If you have a kitchen scale, you can weigh the dough and divide. For me, each roll usually ends up being between 50-55 grams (1.75-2.00 oz). Cover the dough you're not working with a piece of plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out.

6. Once you've divided the dough into 30 pieces, shape each one by pressing it onto a clean surface to form a small disk. Then, gather the edges together to form a ball and pinch them together to seal it. Place each ball, pinched-edge down, in the prepared pans about 1" apart. They should be arranged in rows--3x5.

7. Cover the pans and let the dough rise for another 1 1/4 hrs (if using active dry yeast) or 2-9 hrs (if using sourdough starter). Again, they should double in size and when fully risen, an indentation will not "heal" automatically.

8. Preheat the oven to 375 for 20 minutes. Just before placing the rolls in the oven, beat the last egg slightly and use it to brush the tops of the rolls.

9. Bake for 20 min, or until the tops are golden brown and the interiors are between 190-200F.

10. Let cool on wire racks for 5-10 minutes. Then, turn the rolls out of pans gently, leaving them attached. Serve warm or let cool completely on wire racks (at least 3 hrs) and store in a an airtight container--supersized (2 or 2 1/2 gallon) zip-top bags work well.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Spinach and Artichoke Dip

 Kathleen had been hungry for this and finally made it.  It is delicious and makes quite a bit.

Spinach and Artichoke Dip

8oz cream cheese (reduced fat is ok)
16 oz light sour cream
1 stick (8 tbsp) unsalted butter
1½ - 2 cups shredded Parmesan cheese
14 oz quartered artichoke hearts, drained and coarsely chopped
4 oz can diced jalapeños, drained
10 oz frozen spinach (thawed and drained)
2-3 garlic cloves, pressed

In a medium pot over medium heat, melt together 8oz cream cheese, 16 oz sour cream, 1 stick butter and 1.5-2 cups parmesan cheese, stirring frequently until melted and an even consistency. It should start to bubble.

Stir in coarsely chopped artichoke hearts, your drained jalapenos and drained spinach (I used my hands to squ
eeze spinach over the sink to remove excess water). Finally, stir in 2-3 pressed garlic cloves.
Serve hot with chips or crackers or toasted baguettes.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken with Pineapple and Peppers

This is by far the BEST sweet and sour chicken I have ever made. We all loved it. We used 2 chicken breasts from Sams(can you say HUGE)and it filled a 9x13 pan. We all LOVED this recipe.

Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken with Pineapple and Peppers

Chicken Breading
3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (1 ½ pounds), cut in bite-size pieces
3 eggs
½ cup flour
1⅓ cup cornstarch
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon ginger powder
¼ teaspoon onion powder

Sweet and Sour Sauce

½ cup pineapple juice (from 20 oz. pineapple tidbits can below)
1 cup red wine vinegar
1 ½ cups sugar
¼ cup + 2 tablespoons ketchup (6 tablespoons)
1 small onion, diced
2 tablespoons soy sauce
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
½ teaspoon ginger powder


1 (20 oz) can pineapple tidbits
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 cup carrots, sliced as THIN as possible (2-3 carrots)
**Beth's addition:  1 large onion , chopped large

1. Add "Sweet and Sour Sauce" ingredients to a medium/large saucepan, stir and bring to a boil then reduce to a gentle simmer. Allow to simmer while you prepare the chicken and dice the vegetables, stirring occasionally (turn off if longer than 20 minutes). Note, the sauce will not thicken, simmering is to soften the onions and blend flavors.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a 9x13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.

3. Whisk eggs together in a large bowl, set aside. Add ½ cup flour to a large freezer bag; set aside next to eggs. Whisk cornstarch, garlic powder, salt, pepper, ginger powder and onion powder in medium bowl; set aside next to flour.

4. Add chicken to eggs and coat, then remove, allowing excess to drip off, then add to freezer bag with flour. Toss until evenly coated then discard any extra flour. Add cornstarch/spices to the chicken in the freezer bag and shake until evenly coated.

5. Over high heat, heat enough oil (any kind) to generously cover the bottom of a large skillet until hot and rippling. Add chicken and cook 1-2 minutes per side, or until browned but not cooked through. (You may need to cook in 2 batches depending on size of your skillet). Transfer chicken to prepared 9x13 baking dish.

6. Add carrots pineapple, peppers and onions to the sweet and sauce and mix until well combined. Pour sauce over chicken and stir until sauce/chicken/vegetables are evenly combined. Cook, uncovered for 50 minutes or until sauce thickens, stirring occasionally.

7. Serve over rice. Enjoy!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Sweet and Sour Sauce

Kathleen made this one night to go with store bought egg rolls.  Very good flavor. 
Sweet and Sour Sauce

3/4 cup white sugar
1/3 cup white vinegar
2/3 cup water
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon ketchup
2 tablespoons cornstarch ***we didn't need this much

Place the sugar, vinegar, water, soy sauce, ketchup and cornstarch in a medium saucepan, and bring to a boil. Stir continuously until the mixture has thickened.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Chili Coke Roast

I have had this recipe in my files forever!   I woke up before 5 one Sunday, so I put this roast on low in the crockpot and it was perfect after church for lunch.  This roast makes excellent sandwiches, too!

Chili Coke Roast

1 beef roast, 3-4 lbs.
1 can Coca-Cola
1 package onion soup mix
1 bottle chili sauce

1. Place all ingredients in crock-pot and cook for 7-10 hours depending on size of roast.
2. The meat will flake apart when done. Serve over mashed potatoes.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Alice Waters' Coleslaw

I was looking for a different coleslaw recipe and this one was great!



Zest and juice (about 4 tablespoons) from 2 fresh limes
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1-1/2 teaspoons salt (or more to taste)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper (or more to taste)
Large pinch of sugar (or more to taste)
1/4 cup olive oil

3-pound green cabbage, outer leaves and core removed
1 large jalapeño pepper, seeds removed and finely chopped
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
1 cup finely chopped cilantro, stems and leaves

DRESSING Whisk together lime zest and juice, vinegar, salt, pepper, sugar and olive oil in a container. Taste and adjust seasonings. Set aside.

VEGETABLES Cut large chunks from cabbage and chop finely with a sharp knife. Place in a large container. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Taste and adjust seasonings again. Cover and refrigerate for an hour or more, stirring occasionally to distribute dressing.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Asian Pork Roast

I was cleaning out my pantry and came across some Orange Marmalade that I had bought for a different recipe(though I can NOT remember what recipe)  I have had this recipe in my files since 2004, so I thought I would try it.  The pork turned out moist and  flavorful and very tender.
Asian Pork Roast
3- 4 lb Pork Roast
1/4 cup Soy Sauce
1/4 cup Orange Marmalade or Apricot Preserves
1 T. Ketchup
1 or more crushed garlic cloves
Combine soy sauce, marmalade, ketchup and garlic.  Brush all over 
Place roast in crockpot and pour remaining sauce all over it.  Cook on 
low all day, 10 - 12 hrs.


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Grilled Macaroni and Cheese

I needed a quick meal for Don one night and I made this up.  His comment was, "this is really different, but really, really good.  Could I have another one ?"  Try this and you will like it!
Grilled Macaroni and Cheese

Your favorite macaroni and cheese recipe.  This is ours.
little smokies, optional

Prepare your macaroni and cheese.  Butter two slices of bread.  Put one slice, buttered side down, in a fry pan.  Top with macaroni and cheese and sliced up little smokies, if desired.  Put 2nd piece of bread on top and grill.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Raspberry Kiss Surprise Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

I had some Hershey kisses in my stash in my pantry.  I made these to take to our Domino night in the neighborhood and then in rained.  Don really enjoyed these cookies.

Raspberry Kiss Surprise Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 stick softened unsalted butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 large egg
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cups mini chocolate chips
24 Raspberry Hershey Kisses

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat liner.

2. In a stand or electric mixer beat the butter and sugars for 3 minutes. This is a must. Add peanut butter, egg and vanilla mixing until well combined. Add flour baking soda, salt and chocolate chips, mixing to combine.

3. Place heaping tablespoons of dough onto baking sheet, about 1 inch apart. Place a Kiss on top of each mound of dough. Place another heaping tablespoon of dough over Kiss and with fingers press dough around edges to seal.****  Beth just formed a ball of dough around the kiss. Does not have to be perfect or tight. Bake for 14-16 minutes or until baked through. Let cool for 10 minutes on baking sheet before transferring to cooling rack. Serve and enjoy!

Makes about 2 dozen  Beth got almost 4 dozen

Monday, June 16, 2014

Whole Wheat Sesame Noodles with Spicy Peanut Sauce

This was a delicious recipe!  The girls and I loved it and will make it again.  For leftovers, add some teriyaki sauce for added flavor.
Whole Wheat Sesame Noodles with Spicy Peanut Sauce

1/2 lb. whole wheat spaghetti
generous amount of salt, added to water for cooking pasta
1/4 cup Tamari (or Soy sauce of your choice)
1/4 cup natural (low sugar) peanut butter
2 T rice vinegar (not seasoned)
1 T sesame oil
1-2 tsp. Sriracha or other hot sauce (Or more, use as much as your mouth can handle.)
2 cups shredded napa cabbage or cabbage (original recipe used coleslaw mix, which would be great in this)
1 cup (or more) sliced sugar snap peas Beth used 1 # stir fry frozen vegetables
1/4 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
3 scallions, cut in thin diagonal slices
2 T sesame seeds

Bring a big pot of salted water to a boil, then add spaghetti and cook until barely al dente (The spaghetti should still be slightly chewy. I cooked this pasta not quite 9 minutes.) Drain spaghetti into a colander placed in the sink, then rinse with very cold water and let drain well.

While spaghetti cooks, combine Tamari or soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, and hot sauce in a large plastic bowl. Heat peanut butter in microwave for 10-15 seconds, then whisk it into the other sauce ingredients in the bowl.

Thinly slice cabbage (or remove 2 cups coleslaw mix if using that) and slice snap peas, red pepper strips, and green onions. Put sesame seeds in a small frying pan on the stove, ready to be toasted when the dish is done.

When spaghetti is well drained, add noodles and veggies to the bowl where you combined sauce ingredients, and toss to combine and coat noodles with sauce. Toast sesame seeds for 1 or 2 minutes over high heat and sprinkle over noodles.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Butterscotch Oatmeal Brown Butter Cookie Bars

We made these the day the recipe came out on Picky Palate's blog.  We had all the ingredients on hand and they tasted wonderful.

Butterscotch Oatmeal Brown Butter Cookie Bars

1 stick unsalted butter (equals 1/2 cup)
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all purpose Gold Medal Flour
1/2 cup quick oats
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups butterscotch chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and line a 8×8 inch baking pan with parchment paper.
Melt butter into a small skillet over medium heat. Let bubble and cook until browned bits form at the bottom of pan and butter turns golden brown. Transfer to a heat proof bowl and let cool for 10 minutes.
Place browned butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar into a large bowl. Mix until well combined. Stir in egg and vanilla mixing well. Add flour, oats, salt, baking soda and butterscotch chips, mixing until just combined.
Transfer dough to prepared baking pan. Press evenly and bake for 25-30 minutes, until baked through. Let cool completely then remove bars with parchment paper and cut into squares. Serve room temperature.

Makes 12 Servings

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Nutella Krispie Treats

The girls and I were watching an old Pioneer woman show last week and saw these. We had a Dominoes game night in our neighborhood(Monday nights in the summer) so it was the perfect treat to make. Everyone loved them.

Nutella Krispie Treats

6 Tablespoons Salted Butter
10 ounces, weight Large Marshmallows
⅛ teaspoons Salt
⅓ cups Nutella
6 cups Rice Krispies
1-½ cup Miniature Marshmallows
1 cup Pecans, Finely Chopped
5 ounces, weight Semi Sweet Chocolate Melted

 Melt 4 tablespoons in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add marshmallows and salt and stir until melted. Halfway through the melting process, add Nutella. When Nutella and marshmallows are melted, add additional two tablespoons of butter and stir until smooth.

Meanwhile, melt semi-sweet chocolate over a double boiler until smooth. Remove from heat and let it cool quite a bit.

Add Rice Krispies to a large bowl and fold in the Nutella mixture. When it’s almost all combined, add mini-marshmallows to the bowl, then continue folding until everything’s combined.

Immediately press mixture into a thoroughly greased 9 x 13-inch pan. Sprinkle with half the pecans. Drizzle semi-sweet chocolate in zig-zags all over the top of the treats. Sprinkle the other half on top.

Allow to set, then cut into squares.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Chai Tea Smoothie

I had seen a few recipes similar to this, so I decided to make a slimmed down version.  This turned out quite tasty!  I used my homemade chai tea mix.
Chai Tea Smoothie

1/3 c fat free yogurt
1 c non fat milk
2 tsp powdered chai mix

Mix all together in a blender and serve.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Savory Taco Flour Tortillas

I made these one night when I didn't have any flour tortillas in the house. They got a thumbs up and I was asked to make them again!

Savory Taco Flour Tortillas

1 2/3 c. all purpose flour (8 oz)
1/4 t. sea salt
1/4 t. baking powder
1 t. taco seasoning
3 1/2 T. canola oil
1/2 c. hot water
1 t. tomato paste

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder and taco seasoning. In another bowl, mix together hot water, tomato paste and oil.

Pour water mixture over flour mixture. Knead by hand until a smooth ball is formed; do not knead longer than 3 minutes.

Cover ball with plastic wrap and let rest for 20 minutes.

Cut dough into 1.5 oz or into 9 equal portions. Shape into individual balls. Cover with plastic wrap.

Roll each ball into a 7-8” circle and cook in a non-stick skillet over med-hi heat till bubbles form; flip over and cook till light brown.

Flip over one more time; put in tortilla warmer or covered in a clean kitchen towel.

Makes 9 (7"- 8") tortillas

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Book Review on Somebody Like You

Not a recipe today, but a book review!

Somebody Like You
Beth K. Vogt
(Howard Books)
ISBN: 978-1476737584
May 2013/368 pages/$14.99

Can a young widow find love again with her husband’s reflection?
Haley’s three-year marriage to Sam, an army medic, ends tragically when he’s killed in Afghanistan. Her attempts to create a new life for herself are ambushed when she arrives home one evening—and finds her husband waiting for her. Did the military make an unimaginable mistake when they told her Sam was killed?

Too late to make things right with his estranged twin brother, Stephen discovers Sam never told Haley about him. As Haley and Stephen navigate their fragile relation­ship, they are inexorably drawn to each other. How can they honor the memory of a man whose death brought them together—and whose ghost could drive them apart.

Somebody Like You is a beautifully rendered, affecting novel, reminding us that while we can’t change the past, we have the choice to change the future and start anew.

My thoughts on this book:

Beth Vogt has done it again.  She once again took a subject that is dear to many of us and made the characters come alive. The story line was so intriguing that I could not put this book down!    Stephen and Haley have to come to gripes with their grief in their own way.  Beth just happens to have Stephen be a mirror twin to Haley's husband and this adds an extra twist to the story.  This is a must read for this summer --it is a Christian Fiction book.

***I received this book free from Howard Books as part of a blog tour. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Beth K. Vogt

Image of Beth K. Vogt
Novelist Beth K. Vogt is a nonfiction author and editor who said she'd never write fiction. She's the wife of an Air Force physician (now in solo practice) who said she'd never marry a doctor -- or anyone in the military. She's a mom of four who said she'd never have kids. She's discovered that God's best often waits behind the doors marked "Never." Beth writes inspirational contemporary romance because she believes there's more to the happily ever after than the fairy tales tell us. She lives in Colorado with her husband and their 10-year-old "caboose kiddo." She and her husband enjoy any time their adult children come by for game nights, BBQs or just to hang out.


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Grandma Lily's Salsa

I decided to re post this recipe and put a picture up.  I made this batch of salsa last Wednesday with all fresh ingredients from my garden.  This is a favorite recipe.  I changed the name of the recipe since I could never find it and my grandma was the one to bring us the recipe at least 30 years ago.

Grandma Lily's Salsa

12 ripe tomatoes(I always use more-20-25)
3 onions chopped
3 sweet peppers chopped
1 c green and red hot peppers chopped(to your desired 'heat' level)
2 c sugar
2 c vinegar
3 T salt

Mix all together and cook for 2 hours. Put in jars and seal. I just have hot jars and hot lids. You can water bath, but I don’t always do this.(I turn the jars upside down for 10 minutes)

***I always use a lot more tomatoes, but never add more vinegar and sugar. The last few years I have added corn and black beans.m

Monday, June 9, 2014

Slow Cooker Jerk Chicken

I saw this recipe and really wanted to make it.  I had to sub some ingredients since I didn't have the right peppers and cardamom.  I think it would taste more authentic with skin on chicken.  I liked it, but it was a bit dry.
Slow Cooker Jerk Chicken

8 scallions, chopped coarse
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 habanero chilies, stemmed and seeded Beth used jalepenos
1 (1-inch) fresh ginger, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 tablespoons molasses
3 garlic cloves, peeled
1 tablespoon thyme
2 teaspoons allspice
1/4 teaspoon cardamom Beth used 1/8 tsp cinnamon and 1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 teaspoon coarse salt
4 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces (split breasts, thighs)Beth used 4 large boneless breasts
lime wedges for serving

1.  Place scallion, oil, habaneros, ginger, molasses, garlic, thyme, all spice, cardamom, and salt in a food processor or blender and puree. Transfer 1/2 cup mixture to slow cooker; reserve remaining mixture.

2.  Add chicken to slow cooker and coat evenly with scallion mixture. Cover and cook until chicken is tender, about 4- 6 hours on low.

3. Position oven rack 10 inches from broiler element and start broiler. Place a wire rack in a foil lined bake sheet and coat with vegetable spray. Transfer chicken, skin side down onto rack. Brush chicken with half of reserved scallion mixture and broil until lightly charge and and crisp, about 10-15 minutes.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Hi, it's Kathleen again! A craving I get while at college is chocolate chip pancakes, and of course I can't make them in a dorm room! So, I decided to search Pinterest for a good recipe. These are seriously the best pancakes I've ever had. They are so fluffy and delicious!

Chocolate Chip Pancakes

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/4 cups milk
1 egg
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup chocolate chips (I used about 3/4 cup of mini)

In a bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, egg and melted butter.

Mix the dry and wet ingredients together and whisk until incorporated.  Fold in the chocolate chips.

Warm a greased griddle or frying pan over medium heat.

Pour the batter onto the warm and greased griddle and brown on both sides. Rule of thumb: Once the pancake begins to bubble around the edge it's ready to flip.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Crisp Cucumber Salsa

I saw this out on facebook and had all the ingredients except fresh parsley.  It was a great crunch salsa that I ate as a salad!
Crisp Cucumber Salsa

2 cups finely chopped seeded peeled cucumber
1/2 cup finely chopped seeded tomato
1/4 cup chopped red onion
2 Tbsp minced fresh parsley
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped
4-1/2 tsp minced fresh cilantro
1 garlic clove, minced or pressed
1/4 c reduced-fat sour cream
1-1/2 tsp lemon juice
1-1/2 tsp lime juice
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp seasoned salt

In a small bowl, combine the first seven ingredients. In another bowl, combine the sour cream, lemon juice, lime juice, cumin and seasoned salt.  Pour over cucumbers mixture and toss gently to coat.  Serve immediately.

Note: 1/4 cup is only 16 calories!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Herb Crusted Chicken in Basil Cream Sauce

Hello! It's Kathleen again. I pinned this recipe a few weeks ago and it looked so good! It didn't disappoint! We served it with mashed potatoes.
Herb Crusted Chicken in Basil Cream Sauce

2 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, pounded thin
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup Progresso Garlic & Herb Bread Crumbs
2 teaspoons 'Perfect Pinch' Roasted Garlic and Bell Pepper Seasoning (We used a Mrs. Dash Tomato Basil and some garlic powder)
1 teaspoon freeze dried chives
3 Tablespoons butter
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup Chicken Broth
1/4 can of Italian diced tomatoes, drained and finely chopped
1 cup heavy whipping cream (We used fat-free half and half)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese blend
2 Tablespoons freeze dried (or fresh) basil
dash of fresh ground black pepper
1/4-1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (because we wouldn't be Rachael Ray fans if we didn't add it to a cream sauce)

Place bread crumbs, Roasted Garlic and Bell Pepper Seasoning and freeze dried chives in a shallow bowl; mix thoroughly.

Place milk in a separate shallow bowl.

In a skillet, heat butter on medium heat. Meanwhile, pound chicken flat and thin for even cooking (if you haven't done so already).

Dip the chicken in the milk, then coat with crumb mixture.

Cook chicken in butter until browned and cooked through (about ten minutes). Remove and keep warm.

In the same skillet, add garlic and saute for approximately 1 minute.  Add chicken broth and bring to a boil over medium heat. Stir occasionally to loosen browned parts from the pan. Stir in cream and tomatoes; bring to a boil and stir for one minute.

Reduce heat to low; add Parmesan cheese, basil and a dash of pepper, stir sauce and cook until heated through and thickened. (about 5 minutes)

Serve by pouring the sauce over the chicken. For added flair, serve the chicken and sauce over cooked pasta.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Sour Cream Rhubarb Cake

Many people in Texas have never tasted rhubarb. Being from the Midwest, I grew up with eating this in desserts every spring. I saw this recipe and knew it would be a keeper. I took it to school and the teachers DID like it!

Sour Cream Rhubarb Cake

1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup melted butter
1 egg
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups rhubarb -- chopped


1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9 x 13 pan and set aside. In a mixing bowl, combine the sugar, butter, egg, sour cream and vanilla. Mix well.

Stir in the baking soda and flour. Add the rhubarb and mix to combine.   Spread the batter in the pan. In a small bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle over the batter and bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Chocolate and Caramel Marshmallow Fluff Brownies

These brownies are not for the faint of heart! They are delicious and highly addictive. You were warned, just saying!

Chocolate and Caramel Marshmallow Fluff Brownies

Your favorite brownie recipe for a 9 x 13 baking dish
1 cup marshmallow fluff
1/4-1/2 cup caramel sauce

for chocolate glaze:

1/2 cup chocolate chips
1 TBSP corn syrup
2 TBSP butter
1/4 tsp vanilla
Make brownies according to recipe. Remove from oven and let them completely cool.

Once cooled, spread marshmallow fluff evenly over the top of the brownies.

Prepare chocolate by melting all glaze ingredients until smooth.

Spoon caramel and chocolate glaze by spoonfuls on top of marshmallow fluff.

Swirl with knife to marble.


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Slow Cooker Southern Style Green Beans

I had some fresh green beans from our garden. This recipe was easy to put together and the beans were still crunchy and not 'mushy' after cooking.

Slow Cooker Southern Style Green Beans

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon freshly chopped basil
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 pounds fresh or frozen snap green beans, rinsed and strings removed
1 medium potato, peeled, diced
3 cups vegetable broth (or chicken broth), low-sodium, fat-free
Kosher or sea salt to taste

In a medium skillet saute onion and garlic on medium-low heat until tender, about 4 minutes. Add sauteed onion and garlic along with all other ingredients to the slow cooker. Recommend 5-7 quart slow cooker.

Cover and cook on low 8 hours. Cooking time may vary depending on how tender you like your green beans. Southern style green beans are typically cooked until they are falling apart.