Saturday, November 6, 2010

Baby it's cold outside!

Cold weather has finally hit Florida and I'm not happy. I love my flip flops and sundresses. I don't want to wear shoes and jackets but on the bright side I do love cold weather food! Not sure if that's a good thing though. There is just something comforting about cold weather foods. So I've kinda been on a pumpkin "thang" even though I haven't been crazy about it in the past. Usually I have my Thanksgiving piece of pumpkin pie and I'm pretty much content until next year but something has happened this year and I'm digging my new found love for the little orange guy! Doesn't hurt that the little girl in the house loves her some pumpkin too!

Today is our first real cold morning so I wanted to make something warm and yummy for the kiddo's. The boy just became an official "brace face" so his mouth has been pretty sore the last few days and only soft food will do. Gotta love oatmeal! Add a little brown sugar and cinnamon and you've got something yummy for your tummy. Then the girl found a recipe for Pumpkin Hot Chocolate in her American Girl magazine. It sounded good but was made with instant hot chocolate and the recipe called for even more added sugar so I decided to make up my own recipe compiled from a few that I had found online. This is what I came up with and it even taste great in some coffee for us grown ups!!!

Spiced Pumpkin Hot Chocolate

3 cups of reduced fat milk
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
2 tablespoons of cocoa
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cloves
2 tablespoons maple syrup (the real stuff, not Aunt Jemima even though there is nothing wrong with her)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon brown sugar

In a saucepan whisk together all the above ingredients over medium low heat. You don't want to scald the milk. Just heat until it starts to steam and then drink up! If you want an adult version add some coffee and you've got yourself a Pumpkin Latte. Add some rum and you've got a really good drink! Want to make it a Spiced Pumpkin White Hot Chocolate? Just replace the cocoa with 4 ounces of chopped white chocolate or white chocolate chips.

Notes; my kids are spoiled rotten so they also got a dollop of homemade whipping cream on top that was sprinkled with cinnamon. You could also make some maple whipped cream if you want to make it really special. Shaved chocolate wouldn't hurt either. Also the 1/2 cup of pumpkin was pretty subtle in my opinion. If you would like more of a pumpkin flavor I would add 3/4 to 1 cup pumpkin and you'll have a stronger pumpkin flavor.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Put a little pumpkin in your life!

This time of year is pumpkin overload! I'm not a huge pumpkin fan but there are a few baked pumpkin goodies out there that rock my world. Here's one of them.

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
Ingredients: Pumpkin Cookies

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups light brown sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil ( I used a mix of vegetable & canola)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extact
  • 1 can of pumpkin (15-ounce) or the fresh stuff
  • 3 cups of flour (I always use a mixture of white and whole wheat)
  • 1 tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice ( I never have this so I mix cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. You can also add ginger if you'd like but I don't.)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
Cream Cheese Filling
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened (I use 1/3 less fat cream cheese)
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened ( I use the real stuff here, it makes a difference)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 to 5 cups of powdered sugar (I didn't use anything near this amount! Talk about sugar high. I used about 3/4 to 1 cup. I added the sugar in small amounts until I got the consistency I wanted. I personally think that 4 cups of sugar is way too much but go for it if you like it super duper sweet.
  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl beat the eggs, brown sugar, oil, and vanilla extract until smooth. Add pumpkin and stir until combined. In a separate bowl combine the flour, pumpkin spice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt with a whisk. Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture a 1/2 cup at a time. Blending each time until mixture is smooth.
  2. Drop heaping tablespoons of batter onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Using your finger or the back of a spoon, slightly flatten each cookie mound. Bake the cookies for 12 minutes then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
  3. While cookies are baking make frosting. Beat together cream cheese, butter, and vanilla in a bowl until light and fluffy. Mix in powdered sugar a half cup at a time until frosting is the consistency and sweetness you like. You want the frosting to be spreadable but not too runny.
  4. **To assemble pies turn half of the cookies bottom side up and spread a generous amount of cream cheese filling on each one. Top with remaining cookies and enjoy!
**NOTE: Make sure cookies are completely cooled so the filling does not melt when you assemble them.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Chicken Tikka What??

"Chicken Tikka what?" you say...Yes, Chicken Tikka Masala! It's one of our family favorites in this house. Never heard of it in your home? Well then you need to try it! Like tonight. It's pieces of tender chicken in a lightly spiced cream sauce with tomatoes. It is served over rice and originates from India. So there you have it, now go make it and enjoy! Oh and don't forget the Naan bread it's great for scooping up all the sauce.

Chicken Tikka Masala

  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt (the thick stuff)
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper ( I only use 1 teaspoon of cayenne and sub the other teaspoon with paprika. You can even use 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne if you think it will be too hot)
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of minced fresh ginger or 3/4 tablespoon of ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into large chunks (like if you were going to skewer the chicken for a kabob)
Combine all ingredients except chicken in a large bowl then add chicken and refrigerate for one hour or longer. I have also done this recipe last minute and did not let it marinate and it still turns out great. Now you can either throw it on the bbq or do like I do and just broil the chicken in the oven. Be sure to put some foil down on the broiling pan because the yogurt sauce will burn.
Discard marinade. When chicken is done, cover and set aside.

  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper finely chopped (divided evenly) If you want it really spicy keep the seeds in, if you just want the flavor make sure to remove the seeds. That is usually what I do.
  • 2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 8-oz can of tomato sauce
  • 1 cup of cream
  • 1/4 chopped cilantro (optional and I usually do not use)
Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Saute garlic and 1/2 of jalapeno for one minute. Season with cumin, paprika, and salt. Stir in tomato sauce and cream. Simmer on low heat until sauce thickens, about 20 minutes. Add grilled/broiled chicken and simmer for about 10 more minutes or until heated through. At this point I set aside part of the Chicken Tikka Masala for girl who doesn't like her food as spicy as the rest of the family. I sometimes add more cream and tomato sauce to her pan too. Once I've done that I will add the other 1/2 of jalapeno to ours and even throw in some Garam Masala spice mix (McCormick makes it). Serve over hot rice and with some yummy naan bread!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Fill me up and roll me like a Chicken Taquito!

I have been searching for a really good taquito recipe and I think I've finally found it! They are baked not fried and filled with yummy, creamy goodness. Enjoy.

Baked Taquito's
1/3 cup (3 oz.) cream cheese (room temp or nuked for 20 sec.)
1/4 cup green salsa (I used green enchilada sauce)
1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon cumin (I used more)
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder (I used fresh)
3 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
2 Tablespoons sliced green onions
2 cups shredded cooked chicken (I used a rotisserie picked up from Publix)
1 cup shredded pepperjack cheese (I used about 1/2 cup of pre-shredded Mexican 4 cheese)
pack of small corn tortillas (room temp)
kosher salt
EVOO or cooking spray

  1. Heat oven to 425 and line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. I prefer parchment but if you use foil make sure to lightly spray it with cooking spray so the taquitos don't stick.
  2. In a bowl combine cream cheese, green salsa or enchilada sauce, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, onion powder, and garlic. At this point I also added some chopped jalepeno (seeds removed) and an 1/8 teaspoon of ground red pepper. The jalepeno adds a lot of flavor but with the seeds removed not a lot of heat. As with any recipe just leave out what your family doesn't like. Stir all these yummy ingredients together until nice and creamy. Next add the cilantro (I used a little less) and green onions (I used a little more), stir until combined and then throw in the chicken and cheese. You can prepare this ahead of time and keep in fridge or be like me and do everything last minute.
  3. If you forgot to take out the tortillas don't worry just nuke them in the microwave in small batches until they are slightly soft. Using a damp paper towel helps too.
  4. Place about 3 tablespoons of the chicken mixture on the lower part of the tortilla. Don't go all the way to the edge or it will leak out when you cook them. Carefully roll them up as tight as you can and place seam side down on baking sheet. As you add more make sure they do not touch each other so they can get nice and crispy on all sides!
  5. Once all your lovelies are on the cooking sheet spray them with cooking spray, mister, or lightly brush on some EVOO and sprinkle some Kosher salt on top.
  6. Bake in over for about 15-20 minutes or until crisp and golden brown.
  7. Take those babies out and enjoy!
Serve with salsa, sour cream, guacamole, queso, or ranch dressing for the kiddo's. Everyone in this house loved them and we are pretty picky when it comes to Mexican food. Served this one with some Mexican Street Corn and yellow rice.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Cottage Pie Baby

Cottage Pie

  • 4 to 5 potatoes
  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 1lb of beef
  • 1 teaspoon Worchestershire sauce
  • 1/2 bottle of beer (I use Guinness)
  • Frozen peas and carrots (I just add them until I like how it looks)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder (or fresh)
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder (or fresh)
  1. Boil potatoes (I just cut the in chunks then peel them after they are done)
  2. Crumble beef into hot pan and cook until done.
  3. Add Worchestershire, beer,garlic powder, onion powder, salt/pepper and veggies. Let simmer so all ingredients take on flavors.
  4. When potatoes are done mash them with the 4 Tablespoon of butter or more if you like.
  5. Place beef in a 9x9 pan and top with potatoes.
  6. Cook @ 400 degrees for about 20-30 minutes or until top is browned.
I like to serve this with a nice baby spring salad topped with strawberries, pumpkin seeds, and goat cheese. Enjoy!

Almost Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

I usually do not enjoy baking anything that has the ingredient yeast in it but the boy has been begging me to use the box of Pillsbury Hot Roll Mix. There is a recipe on the side of the box for Cinnamon Rolls and the front of the box says Scratch Baking Made Easy! How could I say no? He had been gone overnight for a sleepover and I missed him so giving in was pretty quick. I have to say that it was pretty easy. I did forget to add the egg and sugar but after pounding, I mean kneading it into the dough all was good. The dough was pretty easy to work with, not very sticky at all and the whole recipe came together in about 20 minutes.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Cheezy Kale Chips

Recipe coming soon!

Chocolate Chip Banana Cookies

Sorry. I don't have a picture of the actual cookies.... We ate them all. They were that good. Especially right out of the oven when the chocolate chips are still melted inside the cookie and they get all over your chin when you bite into them!


2 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour (I used whole wheat)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup of white sugar (I used about 1/2 cup brown and 1/4 cup white)
2/3 cup butter, softened
2 eggs ( I only used 1 egg and a tablespoon of applesauce)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup mashed bananas (about 2 ripe bananas)
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Sift dry ingredients together through baking soda and set aside.
  3. Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy then add eggs and vanilla.
  4. Mix in mashed bananas.
  5. Add mix to dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
  6. Add chocolate chips and nuts if using.
  7. Drop by the tablespoon onto cookie sheet. I use my Pampered Chef scoop.
Bake for 10-12 minutes
Makes approx. 2 dozen cookies

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Carrot Yumminess!

The recipe calls it a cupcake but I'm calling it a muffin with cream cheese, I think it sounds better. It's packed full of carrots (a whole pound that I hand shredded!), plain fat free yogurt, some chopped walnuts and whole wheat flour. I say it's healthy enough to call a muffin. This little guy is moist and he makes a great snack!

  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup lightly packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup canola oil (I used less oil and more yogurt)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup plain fat-free yogurt
  • 1 lb carrots, grated
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. You'll need two bowls, one for dry ingredients and one for wet ingredients. In first bowl mix together the dry ingredients and set aside.
  2. In the second bowl mix brown sugar and canola oil together for approx. 5 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each one. STIR in yogurt and carrots. Add to dry ingredients until just combined. At this point I added a 1/2 cup of walnuts to the mixture (optional), you could also chop them and add on top of the cream cheese frosting.
  3. Spoon batter into paper lined muffin tin (I use an ice cream scoop). Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. These don't rise too much so I filled them to the top of the paper liner. 20 min. was perfect.
  4. Let them cool completely on a wire rack.
Cream Cheese Frosting*
  • 4 oz. light cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar (I only used about 1/3 cup)
  1. Mix cream cheese and powdered sugar together until creamy. Spread on muffin!
* I was only able to frost half of my muffins so I recommend making twice the amount of frosting if you want all your muffins frosted.

Makes about 20-24 muffins. Approx. 220 calories per muffin.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Food, Fun, Family, and Friends

I really enjoy cooking.. Well most of the time. I didn't used to. In fact the best thing I could cook when I met my husband who was at the time my boyfriend was macaroni and cheese. I think I've come a long way and now enjoy sharing what we eat. We also enjoy trying new restaurants and prefer the small owned places over a chain restaurant any day!

I decided to start this blog because of friends and family who enjoy the pictures that I post on Facebook. Now I can share my pictures, recipes, and love of food in one place!