Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Red Velvet Cake

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
2 ounces red food coloring
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon white vinegar

Grease two 9 inch round pans. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Make a paste of cocoa and food coloring. Set aside.
Combine the buttermilk, salt and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Set aside. In a large bowl, cream together the shortening and 1 1/2 cups sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the cocoa mixture. Beat in the buttermilk mixture alternately with the flour, mixing just until incorporated. Stir together baking soda and vinegar, then gently fold into the cake batter.
Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

I just made  NY cheesecake for the middle layer, I will post that recipe later. It is from my Juniors cookbook.


I just throw my frosting together

 2 8oz cream cheese
1/4 cup butter
1 t vanilla
Powder sugar

Cream butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add vanilla and enough
powder sugar to your taste.

Herb StuffedPork Roast

1 Pork rib with six ribs
3 cups fresh parsley
3 T Olive Oil
1 T fennel seed, rushed
3 cloves garlic
1/3 c golden raisins
2 T flour
2 1/4 cups chicken broth
1 T grainy mushroom seed

Let pork sit at room temp. 30 minutes Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a food processor, puree parsley,oil, fennel seed and garlic until smooth. Add raisins; pulse until finely chopped. Season with salt and pepper.I asked my butcher to butterfly my pork to save me a little time. Butterfly pork being careful not to remove bones. Spread herb mixture evenly over pork and roll up tightly towards bones, secure with twine between bones season wth salt and pepper. Place pork in a heavy bottom roasting  pan.Roast until a instant thermometer inserted in center reads 145 about 60 minutes.

Transfer pork to a cutting board, tent with foil, and let rest 30 minutes. Pour the drippings into a measuring cup and skim off fat. Add 1/4 cup chicken broth into pan scraping  up brown bits with a wooden spoon cook until reduced in half. Whisk in flour, then slowly wisk in remaining 2 cups broth, whisking until gravy is thicken about four minutest . Stir in mustard and seasonn with salt and pepper. Cut pork and serve with gravy.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Gumdrop cookies

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup shortening
1 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 tea nutmeg
1 tea cinnamon
1/2 tea cloves
2 cups flour
1/2 cup uncooked quick oats
1/2 cup coconut
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup gumdrops
1/2 cup pecans

Heat oven to 375°. Lightly grease cookie sheets.
In a large mixing bowl, combine sugars, butter, shortening, egg and vanilla. Beat at medium speed until light and fluffy.
Add remaining ingredients, except gumdrops, and beat until a soft dough forms. Then add gumdrops and nuts 
Drop dough by heaping teaspoons 2-inches apart on prepared baking sheet.  Bake 7-10 minutes or until golden brown. Cook

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The True Olive Connection

Today my husband and I went downtown for lunch and decided to walk around a little. Across the street from Cafe' Gratitude is a The True Olive Connection and a nut place, sorry can't remember the name of the nut place, we did buy some great pumpkin sugar almonds though. But back to the Olive Connection, you are able to sample all the olive oils and balsamic vinegar, I was so full from lunch that I could not try anything else so I had my husband try them. The oils where good and I will be going back to get some before Christmas. I also had my husband try some of the balsamic vinegar I am not sure which ones he tried but I tried the black cherry one.....oh my! I could just drink this out of the bottle it was so good. I was thinking of using it on salad and also as a marinade for chicken. I bet it it would be great on pineapple. I rarely write about something I buy but it you live in the Santa Cruz area you need to go check them out. I can't wait to go back in there and buy some more.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Turkey Pot Pie 2012

Turkey Pot Pie for dinner tonight. Need my fridge back so I need to get the turkey used up.

2 cups left over turkey, chopped in big pieces (or small, I was too lazy to chopped it up small.)
2 cup frozen mixed vegetables
1/2 cup sliced celery
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
2 bouillon cubes
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
2/3 cup milk
2 (9 inch) unbaked pie crusts

Preheat oven to 425 degrees
In the saucepan over medium heat, cook onions in butter until soft and translucent. Stir in flour, salt and pepper. Slowly stir in chicken broth, cubes and milk. Simmer over medium-low heat until thick. Remove from heat and set aside.
Place the turkey mixture, vegetables and sauce in a large bowl, mix well. Pour into bottom pie crust. Cover with top crust, seal edges, and cut away excess dough. Make several small slits in the top to allow steam to escape.
Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Banana Split Cake Delight.

Oh my, I can’t believe I found this recipe. I use to make this when my kids were little.

1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
½ cup butter, softened.
1 cup powder sugar
1 egg
4 bananas, cut in half lengthwise
1 (8oz) can crushed pineapple
1 (8oz) cream cheese, softened.
Cool whip
½ cups chopped nuts
                In a small bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs and ½ cup butter; mix well. Press in bottom of a 9x9 inch baking pan. Bake @ 350 degree oven for 5 minutes. Cool.

                In a small bowl, combine powder sugar, egg and remaining ¼ cup butter; beat until smooth. Spread sugar mixture on top of cooled crust. Place banana halves over sugar mixture. Drain pineapple. Reserve ¼ cup liquid. Sprinkle pineapple over bananas. In a small bowl, combine ¼ cup reserved pineapple juice and cream cheese; beat until smooth. Spread over pineapple. Top with cool whip and nuts. Chill over for a few hours or over night.

Island Fruit Punch

I cannot believe I found this recipe, I LOVE this punch. I use to make it for birthday’s and holiday’s.  It is sooooooo good.

1 (29 oz) can pear halves, chilled
1 (12 oz) can frozen lemonade concentrate
3 cups unsweetened pineapple juice, chilled.
1 (28 oz) bottle (3 ½ c) 7-up, chilled
1 quart pineapple, lemon or orange sherbet.  (I like orange, I use lime for Saint Patty’s day)

                Place undrained pears and frozen concentrate in a blender; cover and blend until smooth. Combine with pineapple juice and 2 cups cold water. Pour mixture into a large punch bowl, slowly pour in 7-up and add sherbet  on top, or top each cup with a scoop of sherbet.



Clara’s Caramel Corn (the best caramel corn)

About 30 years ago my Mother-in-law bought me a cookbook from a church fundraiser in Orville, Ca.
All these years it has had some of my favorite recipes, some are lost because the book was so well used.  I know once it had a green cover and that is also long gone. I would love to find another one to replace all my missing pages. This recipe for caramel corn I believe is the best one I have ever had. This will shock all those who know me, I did not change the recipe at all I just added almonds to it.
1 ¼ cup butter
2 cup brown sugar
½ cup white Karo syrup
1 t salt
½ t baking soda
1 t vanilla
2 cup almonds or pecans
6 quarts popped popcorn

                Stir butter, brown sugar, Karo and salt until it starts boiling. Boil 5 minutes without stirring. Remove from heat and stir in baking soda and vanilla. Pour over 6 quarts popcorn in a non-stick pan. Stir well. Place on 2 or more cookie sheets and bake at 250 degrees for one hour. Stir often.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Eggnog Coffee

This is a really good recipe. I use to make this for my girls when they were  teens, I don't think they remember it though.
1-1/2 teaspoons instant coffee granules
1 tablespoon hot water
4 cups eggnog
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract In a bowl, dissolve coffee in water. Add eggnog, brown sugar and cinnamon; whisk until sugar is dissolved. Chill. In a mixing bowl, beat cream, confectioners' sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form. Pour eggnog mixture into glasses; top with whipped cream. Yield: 4 cups.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Bean Soup with a kick


1 tablespoon olive oil


2 cups canned garbanzo beans, drained
1/3 cup tahini
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
2 cloves garlic, halved
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pinch paprika
1 teaspoon minced fresh parsley 
Place the garbanzo beans, tahini, lemon juice, salt and garlic in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Transfer mixture to a serving bowl.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Pumpkin bread

I doubled this recipe and it made three loaves. It would make four but I have a long bread pan that I baked one in and it was the one that turned out the best. I also put pumpkin seeds on one and salted pecan on the long one and it was really good. I loved the sweet and salty flavor combination.

1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
4 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup water
2 cups white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
11/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon allspice 
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.Grease and flour three 7x3 inch loaf pans.
In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, water and sugar until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger and allspice. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended. Pour into the prepared pans.
Bake for about 50 minutes in the preheated oven. Loaves are done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


This is a Alton Brown recipe. Might be my favorite for tamales so far.
I have to confess...I go to the little Mexican Market here in town and order my masa since I make so many at a time I don't want to deal with it. I tell them they are for Tamales and I want the dough a little on the dry side so I can mix in the wonderful liquid from what my meat was cooking in. I also add more garlic and jalapeno peppers.
1/4 cup chili powder
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
2 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon freshly toasted and ground cumin seed
2 pounds Boston butt meat, untrimmed
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced

For the wrappers:

4 to 5 dozen dried corn husks

For the cornmeal dough:

2 pounds yellow cornmeal, approximately 6 cups
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
7 1/2 ounces lard, approximately 1 cup
3 to 4 cups reserved cooking liquid

For the meat filling:
In a small bowl, combine the chili powder, kosher salt, paprika, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, black pepper and cumin. Divide the mixture in half and reserve 1 half for later use.
Cut the Boston butt into 6 even pieces and place into a 6 to 8-quart saucepan. Add half of the spice mixture and enough water, 3 to 3 1/2 quarts, to completely cover the meat. Set over high heat, cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and simmer until the meat is very tender and falling apart, 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Remove the meat from the cooking liquid to a cutting board. Leave the cooking liquid in the pot. Both meat and liquid need to cool slightly before making dough and handling. Remove any large pieces of fat and shred the meat into small pieces, pulling apart with your hands or using 2 forks.
Place a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat and add the vegetable oil. Once shimmering, add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are semi-translucent, approximately 3 minutes. Add the garlic, jalapeno, and remaining half of the spice mixture and continue to cook for another minute. Add the meat and cook until heated through, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat.
For the wrappers:
While the meat is cooking, place the husks in a large bowl or container and submerge completely in hot water. Soak the husks until they are soft and pliable, at least 45 minutes and up to 2 hours.
For the dough:
Place the cornmeal, salt, and baking powder into a large mixing bowl and combine. Add the lard and using your hands, knead together until the lard is well incorporated into the dry mixture. Gradually add enough of the reserved cooking liquid, 3 to 4 cups to create a dough that is like thick mashed potatoes. The dough should be moist but not wet. Cover the bowl with a damp towel and set aside until ready to use.
To assemble the tamales:
Remove a corn husks from the water and pat dry to remove excess water. Working in batches of 6, lay the husks on a towel and spread about 2 tablespoons of the dough in an even layer across the wide end of the husk to within 1/2-inch of the edges. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of the meat mixture in a line down the center of the dough. Roll the husk so the dough surrounds the meat, then fold the bottom under to finish creating the tamale. Repeat until all husks, dough and filling are used. Tie the tamales, around the center, individually or in groups of 3, with kitchen twine.
To cook the tamales:
Stand the tamales upright on their folded ends, tightly packed together, in the same saucepan used to cook the meat. Add the reserved broth from making the dough and any additional water so the liquid comes to 1-inch below the tops of the tamales. Try not to pour the broth directly into the tops of the tamales. Cover, place over high heat and bring to a boil, approximately 12 minutes. Remove the lid, reduce the heat to low, to maintain a low simmer, and cook until the dough is firm and pulls away easily from the husk, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Serve the tamales warm. For a 'wet' hot tamale, serve with additional simmering liquid. Store leftover tamales, tightly wrapped in plastic wrap, in the freezer, for up to a month. To reheat, remove the plastic wrap and steam until heated through.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Caramel Corn

1/2 cup butter
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
teaspoon vanilla extract
5 quarts popped popcorn

Preheat oven to 250 degrees Place popcorn in a very large bowl.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in brown sugar, corn syrup and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil without stirring 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in soda and vanilla. Pour in a thin stream over popcorn, stirring to coat.
Place in two large shallow baking dishes and bake in preheated oven, stirring every 15 minutes, for 1 hour. Remove from oven and let cool completely before breaking into pieces

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Sweet and Spicy Chicken and vegetables Stir-Fry

I got this recipe out of my Cooking Light magazine. I seen it while I was on luch at work (I have a hour lunch so I bring things to read) anyhow, I knew I was going to make it because it looked so good. I have not owned a wok in at least 25 years, I just use a large pan.

3 T dark brown sugar
1 1/2 T lower-sodium soy sauce
1 T fish sauce (I had to sneak this in because my son hates anything to do with fish) he did ask   
                          if  had oyster sauce in it. I told him no, but failed to say it had fish sauce in it.)
1 T rice wine vinegar
1 T sambal oelek
1 t dark sesame-oil
3/4 t cornstarch
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces
8 ounces sugar snap peas
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1/2 medium red onion, cut into thin wedges
1/4 sliced green onions
1/4 unsalted dry-roasted peanuts

Combine the first 7 ingredients, stirring well; set aside.
Heat a large wok (or large pan) over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon canola oil to pan, swirl to coat. Add chicken, stir-fry for 4 minutesor until brown and done. Remove from wok. Add remaining 1 T oil to pan. Add snap peas, bell peppers and red onions. Stir-fry for 3 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Stir in brown sugar mixture cook one minute or until thickened. Stir in chicken onions and peanuts.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Apple Donuts

I love Autumn all the scents and flavors that go with it. I love the Fall recipes, the colors, just about everything. I have a lot of wonderful memories with my kids when they where little and they are all center around Autumn. Some of the places we went were Casa de Fruita, pumpkin Patch, walks to the park and rolling down the hills together, trips to the library (OK, that took place all the time) but there was just something special about going in the Fall. Maybe it was because the books we would get to read together and the planning for Thanksgiving and then came decorating for Christmas. Most of the kids are grown up and on their own now and every time the weather changes I miss them being little again. I think what started it was I seen a little girl who came into the store skipping with braids and she reminded me of my girls when they were little, which made me make the remark to my husband that we should adopt a little one. I think he just thinks I have lost it. We have six kids, two are still at home but time is moving really fast the older we get and I have to say these two are pretty boring, they only like to  play Xbox and computers. :o) But there are times I can drag them out and believe me it feels like I am dragging them sometimes.

Well back to my post. My house smells like a crisp cool Autumn day with these donuts in the oven. I would say between our strange weather and the smell of these baking has got me really thinking about Autumn. Well to be honest with you I have been thinking a lot of about Autumn these past few weeks.
I seen this recipe on Barbara Bakes and knew I was going to change it a little, one thing I did not do and wished I did was either grate the apples or just left them out all together. But my boys are eating them up so they must not be too bad, my 16 year is the one who said I should had left the apples out. I think he is just glad I opened the apple sauce and apple cider so he could have some.

1 cup  apple cider
1/2 cup very finely chopped or better yet grated dried apples
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup applesauce
1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

In a small saucepan, simmer the apple juice and dried apples over medium heat until all of the liquid has been absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
Preheat oven to 325º. Lightly grease two 6 count donut pans with cooking spray or vegetable oil.
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat together sugar and egg until well combined. Whisk in vegetable oil, applesauce and vanilla extract. Stir in cooled apple mixture. Add dry ingredients and stir just until combined.
Divide batter evenly into 12 donut cups, filling each about 3/4 full. (Use a pastry bag or plastic bag with corner cut out to make filling the cups easier.)
Bake for 10-15 minutes, until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
While donuts are baking, in a small bowl combine remaining sugar and cinnamon for topping.
When donuts are done, cool for a few minutes in the pan, remove from pan and dip donut top in cinnamon sugar mixture. Cool on a wire rack.
Makes 12 baked donuts.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Blueberry Bars


I cooked some of the berries this time with a T water and spread them on top of the cooked bottom layer, then I added some fresh berries on top, added my top crust and baked. I then added orange juice to powder and while the bars where warm drizzled the mixture on top of the bars.

Cooking with my boys

Got off work a little early today so I decided to take my 16 year old clothes shopping. He is such a funny kid. He only wears red Converse high-tops, blue shirts and either black or denim pants. Now if I can only get him to wear a jacket this year. He also hates long sleeve shirts. Next week it will be my youngest I take shopping, I think I will have to take him shopping on a day I have the whole day off work because he is more of a shopper.
Anyhow, my son Jacob has been asking to make pretzels so over a month now so today I bought some french bread dough from work (because I knew I would not feel like making the dough) did you all know you can buy dough from most grocery stores. I stick it in the freezer and pull it out and let it rise when I need it. Anyhow, back to my pretzel. We don't just make plain pretzels,  we like to  stuff them. We had pepperoni, cheese (I put string cheese in mine) and pizza sauce. Brushed the top with an egg wash and added some salt and grated Parmesan cheese to the top. Baked then in a 400 degree oven until golden brown. I have to say they were really good.
Well I have been up since 1:45 so I think I am going to drag this tired body off to bed. Good night all.

*I hope you can understand my post, I am so tired I gave up trying to understand what I wrote.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Quinoa Mango Salad

I went to our new farmers market at our mall the other days. It is still small and trying to catch on, I really wish more people would go visit it. Not only are the peopl e there super sweet but the stuff is really good. My husband got a burger there with jalapeno honey on it and it was so good. They have a few different types of infused honey that I cannot wait to buy the closer it gets to Christmas. I want to make gift baskets this year and add some of the honey to it.
Well back to the reason behind this post. I bought some dried mango there that was so good I had to go back and get a second bag before I went home so it would last me the whole week. She gave me a recipe to go with it and I am in the middle of making it now. So far the dressing taste really good, I just changed out the sugar to stevia.

1 cup quinoa
3-5 re-hydrated mango petals cut into small pieces
1/4 cup tamiari roasted almonds
2 Tginger (I only added a teaspoon, I like ginger but not to where it takes over the taste)


1/8 cup sesame oil
1/8 cup olive oil
1 1/2 t stevia (I added three small packs)
1/2 t salt
dash dry mustard

Cook quinoa and cool. Add diced almonds, mango's and grated ginger. Add dressing and toss. Chill and serve

Note * I would do a little less dressing because I don't like my quinoa really wet. Maybe after it sets it will not be as wet. Also I think I would add a little Cilantro or italian parsley to it to give it a little more color. The taste is good so far and should be better after it has a chance to blend more.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Fresh Mozzarella veggie salad

I added the points and a large serving of this is 6 points. I think next time I am going to leave the cheese and avocado out of it and drop it down to

2 points.
6 plum tomatoes
1 seedless (hothouse) cucumber chopped
2 (8oz) cartons fresh mozzarella cheese pearls (I bought the small round ones and cut them in 1/4)
1/3 cup minced fresh basil
1/3 cup parsley
2 t minced fresh mint
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
2 medium ripe avocados, peeled and chopped.
Combine all the veggies, herbs and cheese. In a small bowl, whisk the lemon, olive oil, salt and pepper. Pour over veggie mixture and toss to coat. Cover and chill for at least one hour before serving.
Just before serving the salad, stir in the chopped avocados.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

South West Chicken Roll up


wanted to type this recipe here so I would remember to make it. Once I do I will post the photo. This is another old Weight Watchers recipe, I would say I started making it about 28 years ago. It has been a long time since the last time I made it. I do remember it being really good. Since I joined WW again I will be making it very soon.
I have it in a book I use to write recipes in over the past 31 years and I have it listed as one of my husband's favorites. If you make it come back and let me know what you think about it.
It is funny to see after all these years I still do not write the amounts that I put into stuff. I try to write them down now as I cook since I post them for others, but just add to your taste on here. I would say I used 1 T of chili powder per cup of bread crumbs.

Boneless Chicken Breast
Can whole green chilies, sliced open and cut in half.
Sliced mozzarella cheese
bread crumbs
Chili powder
Flatten out chicken breast between wax paper or plastic wrap. Place green chili and cheese on chicken and roll up, keep closed with a tooth pick. Rinse in water and roll in chili powder bread crumb mixture.

Bake at 350 for 1 hour.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Buttermilk Biscuits

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/3 cup butter
1 cup Buttermilk           
Preheat oven to 425
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Cut in the shortening until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Gradually stir in milk until dough pulls away from the side of the bowl. 
Turn out onto a floured surface, and knead 15 to 20 times. Pat or roll dough out to 1 inch thick. Cut biscuits with a large cutter or juice glass dipped in flour. Repeat until all dough is used. Brush off the excess flour, and place biscuits onto an ungreased baking sheet. 
Bake for 13 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges begin to brown.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 (20 ounce) can sliced pineapple
 maraschino cherries
1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix           
Melt the butter over medium high heat in the iron skillet. Remove from the heat and sprinkle the brown sugar evenly to cover the butter. Next, arrange pineapple rings around the bottom of the pan, one layer deep. Place a maraschino cherry into the center of each pineapple ring. Prepare the cake mix as directed by the manufacturer, substitute half of the pineapple juice for some of the half of the water in the ingredients. Pour the batter over the pineapple layer.
Bake as directed by the cake mix directions. Cool for 10 minutes, then carefully turn out onto a plate. Do not let the cake cool too much or it will be stuck to the pan.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Cranberry, Pecan Quinoa

I love Quinoa. Every time I make it I keep saying I am going to save some to make a breakfast cereal with. When Gracious Pantry left a link for this recipe I knew I was going to have to try it. I eat my oatmeal with dried cranberries and pecans so this is going to be perfect. Can't wait to try it.


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Chocolate Chip Toffee Pecan Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cups sugar
3/4 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chip
1 bag toffee bits
1 cup chopped pecans


Preheat oven to 350  Grease cookie sheets.
In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt; stir into the creamed mixture. Stir in the milk chocolate and semisweet chips, toffee bits, and pecans. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto cookie sheets.Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Jessica Seinfeld Baked Ziti

I am  having  a Racheal Ray day. I plan on making this dish some time this week. This is a Jessica Seinfeld recipe. If you wanted to get more veggies in your family this is the way to go. She has some great cookbooks out there.
I am lucky my kids love veggies, most would rather eat veggies then meat.
I will post a picture as soon as I make it.

  • 14 ounces whole-wheat ziti
  • 2 cups jarred tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup carrot purée
  • 1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup cauliflower purée
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella, divided
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • (For the veggie purée, steam trimmed carrots/cauliflower for 10-12 minutes or until tender, and run through a blender or food processor with a couple teaspoons of water until smooth.)

  • Preheat the oven to 450°F.
    Cook the pasta in boiling, salted water a few minutes less than the package instructions indicate so that it will still be firm when baked. Drain and set aside.
    Pour the tomato sauce into medium bowl. Add the carrot purée and mix until well-combined.
    In another small bowl, combine the ricotta, cauliflower purée, egg whites, 1/2 of the mozzarella, the garlic and pepper.
    Spread about half of the tomato sauce onto the bottom of a glass pan or casserole dish. Then add a layer with half the pasta. Spoon the ricotta mixture on top and cover with the rest of the pasta. Top it off with remaining sauce. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and remaining mozzarella. Bake for about 30 minutes, until the cheese starts to brown and the filling is hot. Or, cover with aluminum foil, refrigerate, and bake the next day.

    Racheal Ray Green Chili

    I had a day off and was watching the Racheal Ray show. I have to say out of all the recipes I have tried of those who are on the cooking shows we all seem to love her's the most. This looked really good.


  • 4 tablespoons EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
  • 1 2- to 3-pound pork shoulder/butt
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 medium yellow onions, 2 thinly sliced, 1 chopped
  • 1 bottle Negra Modela or other Mexican beer
  • Juice of 3 limes, divided
  • 4 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano, 1/3 palmful
  • 1 tablespoon cumin, a palmful
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander, a palmful
  • 2 cans or 12 fresh tomatillos, chopped, divided
  • 4 to 5 New Mexican green chilies or 3 poblano peppers, charred, peeled and seeded
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 3 tablespoons masa or cornmeal
  • 1 can pinto beans, optional
  • Toppings:
  • Cilantro
  • Raw red onions, finely chopped or pickled red onion rings
  • Fritos or corn tortilla chips
  • Queso Fresco, crumbled or other mild cheese, shredded

  • Preheat oven to 325°F.
    Step Heat a small Dutch oven over medium-high heat with two turns of the pan of EVOO, about 2 tablespoons. Season the pork liberally with salt and pepper, and brown on all sides until deep golden in color.
    Step Top the browned pork with a pile of the sliced onion, add the bottle of beer and juice of 2 limes to the pot. Cover and roast 2 to 2 1/2 hours until very tender. Shred pork with forks and set meat back into drippings.
    Step Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add remaining EVOO, 2 turns of the pan. To hot oil; add chopped onions and garlic, season with salt, pepper, oregano, cumin and coriander. Cook to tender.
    Step If using canned cooked tomatillos, add 1 can of them to a food processor with roasted chilies, the seasoned cooked onions and garlic, and honey. Purée, return to stove top, stir in remaining can of tomatillos and stock.
    Step If using fresh tomatillos, soften onions 5 minutes then add tomatillos and cook 10-12 minutes more until the color of the tomatillos pales and they have cooked down into thick sauce. Purée cooked tomatillo sauce with chilies, honey, return the purée to the pot and stir to combine with stock.
    Step Marry the pulled pork and its drippings to the chili base, stir in masa and pinto beans, if using. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook 45 minutes to 1 hour to thicken. Serve in shallow bowls with toppings of choice and wedges of lime

    Sunday, May 6, 2012

    Coconut cake make over

    This is the cake I made with the coconut

    1 (16 ounce) package white cake mix for two layer cake

    1 (14 ounce) can cream of coconut

    1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

    heavy whipping cream whipped
    fresh berries, I used Raspberries, Blackberries and strawberries.

    Prepare cake according to package directions. Bake in a 9x13 inch pan. Cool completely.
    In a small bowl combine cream of coconut and condensed milk.
    Poke holes in cake with a straw. Pour milk mixture over cake and spread with whipped cream, add slice strawberries on the bottom layer of cake. Add top layer and poke holes in this layer also. Pour on milk mixture, frost and decorate with whipped cream and decorate with berries.

    Serve chilled.

    Fruit Salsa

    This is so good. We are having a pot-luck at church tomorrow so I thought I would make this salsa and chips to share. I also make Chulpa and salsa (see post below this one.) I bet pineapple would be really good in this

    The tortillas are baked not fried. When I was little my Mom's friend Nellie would make some of the best homemade tortilla and she would use the left over dough and fry it in oil and them put them in a paper bag that had cinnamon and sugar and shake them up. Nothing will ever taste as good as those did. It has been about 38 years since I had them but the memory is so vivid that it feels like it was only a few years ago. I also loved Nellie's Menudo I have tried a few over the years but once again nothing is as good as hers.
    I was born in Long beach and this is where Nellie lived, it was a wonderful time to live in Long beach because the pike was there. Now I live in Santa Cruz and let me tell you the Boardwalk is nothing compared to the Pike. When I was 12 I went back to Long Beach and could not believe they were taking it apart. I had some many wonderful memories there, well some not so wonderful either, but I can look back now and laugh about those also. I will never go on a high ride or a roller coaster to this day because of one crazy nine year old who loved to scare his seven year old sister. I hope you will try this salsa and let me know what you think. 

    2 kiwis, peeled and diced
    2 Golden Delicious apples - peeled, cored and diced
    8 ounces raspberries
    1 pound strawberries
    2 tablespoons white sugar
    1 tablespoon brown sugar
    3 tablespoons fruit preserves, any flavor
    10 (10 inch) flour tortillas
    butter flavored cooking spray
    2 cups cinnamon sugar
    In a large bowl, thoroughly mix kiwis, Golden Delicious apples, raspberries, strawberries, white sugar, brown sugar and fruit preserves. Cover and chill in the refrigerator at least 15 minutes.
    Preheat oven to 350
    Coat one side of each flour tortilla with butter flavored cooking spray. Cut into wedges and arrange in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Sprinkle wedges with desired amount of cinnamon sugar. Spray again with cooking spray.
    Bake in the preheated oven 8 to 10 minutes. Repeat with any remaining tortilla wedges. Allow to cool approximately 15 minutes. Serve with chilled fruit mixture"

    Somethings I learn over and over

    Something’s I have learned over and over and still forget every time. 

    I love jalapeno peppers. I use them in a lot of my cooking. There are a few recipes I make where I use a lot of peppers in. I can chop a small amount up with no trouble at all but when I chop up a lot of peppers I always have problems with my hands swelling and the sting is horrible, sometimes it takes a few days for it to go away. But I am willing to suffer for the cause of having fresh homemade salsa. .

    So here are a couple of things I have learned over the years, it is funny how I always forget these things until it is too late.  

    #1 use gloves when chopping jalapeno peppers
    #2 when chopping onions after chopping jalapeno peppers do not rub your eyes if the tear up from the onions.
    #3 When you do not wear gloves your hands will swell and sting all night long.
    #4 putting your hands in hot dish water only makes them sting more.
    Let’s hope I remember these things when I go to make my Jalapeno jelly.
    So once again I do not use a recipe for my Salsa/Pico de Gallo.

    Onions (I used white this time)
    Jalapeno (I used red and green this time)
    Salt and pepper
    Chop everything fine and mix together. Let sit for a few hours or over night.

    Thursday, May 3, 2012

    Quick throw together meal (Stir-Fry)

    I have one super picky kid, he hates just about everything besides white rice, pasta and veggies. So to get him to eat  I will make a quick stir-fry.
    Our favorite is beef with asparagus. You cannot go wrong with any veggies you want to toss in. It is such a fast weekday meal.
    (I get my rice started before I start my stir-fry.)

     Heat some oil in pan and throw in some cut up chicken breast and onions. Cook until just about done.
    Chop up some bell peppers


     and I like to add water chestnuts, bamboo shoots and baby corn. I toss all this in with my cooked chicken and cook until veggies are cooked juse a little. I like my veggies more on the crunchy side. Add a couple teaspoons cornstarch to the chicken broth and a few teaspoons soy sauce and mix well. Add to the veggie chicken mixture and cook a few minutes until the broth is thicken. Serve over brown rice if you like.


    Sunday, April 29, 2012


    1 cup butter, softened
    1 1/2 cups sugar
    2 eggs
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
    2 teaspoons cream of tartar
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    3 tablespoons sugar
    2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

    Preheat oven to 400
    Cream together butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar, the eggs and the vanilla. Blend in the flour, cream of tartar, soda and salt. Shape dough by rounded spoonfuls into balls.
    Mix the 2 tablespoons sugar and the cinnamon. Roll balls of dough in mixture. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.
    Bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until set but not too hard. Remove immediately from baking sheets.

    Sunday, April 22, 2012

    coconut Cake

    Oh my! This was so good an moist, I made it the might before and let it chill over night. yum, Yum. yum!!! YUM! It was so quick and easy also.

    1 (16 ounce) package white cake mix
    1 (14 ounce) can cream of coconut
    1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
    1 small container of heavy whipping cream whipped
    1 package flaked coconut


    Prepare cake according to package directions. Bake in a 9x13 inch pan. Cool completely.
    In a small bowl combine cream of coconut and condensed milk. 
    Poke holes in cake with a straw. Pour milk mixture over cake and spread with whipped cream and sprinkle coconut over cake.
    Serve chilled.

    Sunday, April 15, 2012

    Autumn Stew

    This is a Rachael recipe. I have never made a recipe of hers that was bad. My boys did not care for the potatoes and said there was something different about them. I did not tell them there was parsnips mixed with them, I just said there was cheese in it. :o)

    2 bulbs garlic
    Extra Virgin Olive Oil, for drizzling
    Salt and pepper
    1/4 to 1/3 pound bacon (not too smoky in flavor), cut into lardons (fat matchsticks) I did not use bacon in mine.
    1 stick butter, divided I only used 1/4 of a stick and a little more olive oil
    2 1/2 to 3 pounds beef chuck, cut into 2-inch cubes
    Flour, for dredging plus 2 tablespoons
    3 carrots, sliced in 2-inch chunks on an angle I wished I used more
    2 apples, such as Honeycrisp, peeled and chopped
    2 to 3 ribs celery, chopped
    1 large onion, chopped
    2 fresh bay leaves
    2 to 2 1/2 cups cloudy organic apple cider
    2 cans beef consommé
    Herb bouquet, a few sprigs each of thyme, parsley and sage tied together with kitchen string
    2 1/2 pounds (about 5 potatoes) russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
    2 to 3 large parsnips, peeled and cubed
    1 1/2 cups sharp white cheddar, shredded
    1 cup whole milk
    Freshly grated nutmeg I did not add nutmeg
    1/4 cup chives, finely chopped I added parsley on top of mine.

    Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut ends of garlic bulbs to expose cloves. Drizzle with EVOO, season with salt and pepper, wrap in foil and roast to tender, 40-45 minutes. Remove garlic and reduce heat to 350°F.

    Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add a drizzle of EVOO and bacon. Brown and crisp bacon then remove and reserve. Pour off some of the fat out of the pan and add a couple of tablespoons butter.

    Pat meat dry and season liberally with salt and pepper. Dredge in flour and add to hot pot in batches. Cook to crispy and deep brown. Add more butter as needed, 2 tablespoons at a time. Reserve browned meat with the bacon.

    Add carrot, apple, celery, onion, bay, salt and pepper to the pot and partially cover. Cook to soften vegetables for a few minutes then sprinkle with 2 tablespoons flour. Stir a minute then add cider, consommé, the roasted garlic cloves and stir to combine. Add reserved beef, bacon and herb bouquet to pan, bring to a boil then cover and transfer to oven. Braise meat for 2 hours, until very tender and the sauce has thickened. Let stand 20 minutes while you cook potatoes.

    Boil potatoes and parsnips in salted water until tender. Drain and return to hot pot; mash with 2 tablespoons butter, cheese and milk. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg; stir in chives.

    Serve stew in shallow bowls with potatoes alongside.

    Tuesday, April 10, 2012


    Fondue Night

    I think I will start with dessert, I mean how can you go wrong with dessert. :o)

    32 ounces milk chocolate, chocolate chips
    1 1/4 cups heavy cream
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 teaspoon white sugar
    1/3 cup hot coffee

    In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the chocolate with the heavy cream. Mix in the vanilla extract, sugar, and hot coffee. Continue to heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture is smooth.
    3/4 cups milk
    1 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, cubed
    3/4 cups grated Parmesan cheese
    1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
    1 (1 pound) loaf French bread, cube

    In a large saucepan, cook and stir the milk and cream cheese over low heat until cheese is melted. Stir in Parmesan cheese and garlic salt; cook and stir until heated through. Transfer to a fondue pot or mini slow cooker; keep warm. Serve with bread cubes
      Artichoke & Spinach Dip
    4 cloves garlic
    1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
    1 (14 ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
    1 (10 ounce) container Alfredo-style pasta sauce
    1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
    1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    1/2 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened

    Not sure what I thought about this one. I made it in the crock pot, maybe it would be better if I baked it.
    Preheat oven to 350
    Place garlic in a small baking dish. Bake in the preheated oven 20 to 30 minutes, until soft. Remove from heat. When cool enough to touch, squeeze softened garlic from skins.
    In an 8x8 inch baking dish, spread the roasted garlic, spinach, artichoke hearts, Alfredo-style pasta sauce, mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese and cream cheese.
    Cover and bake in the preheated oven 30 minutes, or until cheeses are melted and bubbly. Serve warm.