Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Around The World Cookbook

The girls and I are working our way thru their Around The World Cookbook. But rather than posting all the wonderful delights we've seen so far (pavlova, mandu, bourekas...), I thought I'd send you these instead. Enjoy :)

2 medium potatoes, boiled for 5 minutes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound vegetarian sausage crumbles
1 onion, chopped
1 teaspoon chile powder
3/4 teaspoon round cumin
Salt and pepper to taste

Frozen puff pastry, thawed (Just easier that way)

Chimichurri Sauce (optional)

For filling:
(This can be made in advance and refrigerated until ready to use.)

Grate the potatoes and set aside. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the ground beef and brown, breaking up as it cooks. Add potatoes, onion, spices and salt and pepper to taste. Cook until ingredients are soft. Cool.

For pastry:
Mix flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Cut in shortening and butter until mixture resembles a coarse meal. Add enough cold water for the dough to come together and form a ball. Knead until smooth. Let rest 10-15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. On a lightly floured board roll pastry to 1/8-inch thickness. Using a 5 to 6 inch cutter, punch out rounds. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the filling in center of each. Fold pastry in half and seal edges, crimping with a fork. Bake on ungreased sheet for 15-20 minutes. Serve with chimichurri sauce, or eat as is.

Chimichurri Sauce
You can mince the ingredients by hand or use a food processor, which is faster and easier. There are many variations on this condiment, and it is served with everything from empanadas to grilled steak.

1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup minced fresh parsley
1 clove garlic
2 minced shallots
1 teaspoon minced basil, thyme or oregano, or mixture
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients and let set for at least 2 hours before serving.

More cheese, please :)

Nutritional Yeast Cheese Sauce

1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/4 cup flour
2 T. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1 cups water
1 T. margarine
1/2-1 tsp. mustard

Place first 5 ingredients in a small saucepan.
Add water and cook over medium heat, stirring consistently until the sauce thickens (5-10 minutes).
Remove from heat and stir in margarine and mustard.

This recipe is easily doubled, and keeps covered in the fridge for days.
Great for mac & cheese, grilled cheese sandwiches, casseroles, stuffed shells or enchilada toppings, pizza, etc.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Who needs Girl Scouts....


Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies

Things You'll Need:

* 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
* 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 cup butter, softened
* 1/2 cup peanut butter
* 1/2 cup white sugar
* 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
* 1 egg
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1 cup quick cooking oats
* 3 tablespoons butter, softened
* 1 cup confectioners' sugar
* 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
* 2 1/2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

1. Get a large bowl and combine the cream, 1/2 cup butter, 1/2 cup peanut butter, both the white and brown sugars and the vanilla. Add the egg and beat the mixture well.

2. Get out another big bowl and mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and the salt. You will then pour these dry ingredients into the creamed mixture in the first bowl. Stir until both mixtures are well combined. Once it's mixed, add the oatmeal and stir until the oatmeal is evenly distributed throughout the mixture.

3. With a teaspoon, drop the cookie batter onto a greased baking sheet, then press each of the mounds down with a fork, forming approximately 1/4 inch thick cookies. Put the cookies into a 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) oven for 10 minutes, or until cookies the are a light brown color.

4. While the cookies are baking, you need to make the filling: Cream 3 tablespoons of butter with confectioners sugar, 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter, and cream. Sit the filling aside until the cookies have finished baking and are completely cooled. Then, spread the filling on half of the cookies, then place another cookie on top to form sandwiches.

Or we could always just do the old stand by go-to.....


* 3/4 cup butter, soft
* 1 cup granulated sugar
* 1 egg
* 1/2 cup ripe banana, mashed (2-3 bananas)
* 1 1/2 cups flour
* 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, ground
* 1 3/4 cups oatmeal
* 2 cups of peanut butter chips

Preheat the oven to 400°.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour,
baking soda, salt and nutmeg. Set aside.

Mix together the butter and egg until creamy.
Slowly add sugar; mix well. Add bananas; mix well.

Add flour mixture to the banana mixture. Mix until
just combined.

Add oatmeal and peanut butter chips.

Using small ice cream scoop, drop cookies onto baking
sheet space cookies 2 inches apart.
Bake 13-15 minutes.

Cool 2 minute than transfer to rack and cool completely.
Store in air tight container to keep fresh.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

DIY Spa soak

Doesn't this sound nice? Quiet cup of tea, some quiet candles... nothing but QUIET. My toes started wiggling as soon as I saw this. I think they're actually giddy! :)

Makes one soak


• 1 teaspoon honey
• 2 tablespoons sliced almonds
• 1/2 cup coconut milk
• 1 lemon, cut in half
• Coarse salt or coarse raw sugar


In a small bowl, combine the honey, almonds and milk. Pour the mixture into a bowl large enough to soak both feet and add hot water. Soak your feet for a few minutes, then dip the lemon halves in the salt or sugar and rub them on your feet to exfoliate. Soak your feet for 10 minutes more.

Mini Apple Spiced Glazed Donuts

credit to Sandra Lee

This is really just more of that method cooking that I love so much. Try omitting the pp spice and switching out the apple juice for fresh squeezed lemon juice.... sweet and tart! I'm so hooked on this glaze I've started using it on anything that calls for frosting. Light and deliciously easy alternative.


* 1 (7.5-ounce) can refrigerator biscuits
* 1 cup powdered sugar
* 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
* 2 tablespoons apple juice
* 3 cups canola oil


Remove the biscuits from the can and place onto a cutting board. Using a 1/2-inch biscuit cutter or the cap from a water bottle remove the center from each biscuit. Place both the donuts and donut holes onto a sheet pan and allow them to rest and come to temperature, about 15 minutes.

In a large bowl combine powdered sugar, pumpkin pie spice and apple juice. Whisk together until smooth and well combined. Set aside.

Heat the oil, in a medium pot over medium heat, to 350 degrees F.

Fry the donuts, 3 at a time, until golden brown, about 1 minute per side. Remove from oil and place on a sheet tray lined with a paper towel. Repeat with remaining donuts and donut holes.

Dip the top of each donut into the prepared glaze and place on a serving tray. Let glaze set about 5 minutes and serve.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Carb cravings

Currently in the mood for eggplant ravioli.... why can't I find any? Of course florentine garlic smashed poatatoes and stuffed mushrooms sound pretty good too. Hmmm... lotsa carbs in my cravings today. I wonder what that means.


Ask and ye shall receive: This explains why I shouldn't eat those fries from MickeyD's....

Carbohydrate Craving Syndrome
Have you ever noticed that the more carbs you eat, the more you crave them, especially when it comes to sweets? And why do we eat so many carbs in the first place? A lack of serotonin may be the answer. Simple carbs make up for the missing feel-good chemical in the brain, but they also leave us feeling drained, bloated and fat.

Because carbs and sweets temporarily relieve our emotions, we repeatedly turn to these foods rather than dealing with the issues that cause them. Carb cravings are commonly caused by low levels of serotonin, high levels of insulin resistance and low blood sugar.

Maybe just some hot tea and a garlic chicken melt instead.

1 sliced garlic seared vegetarian chicken
swiss cheese
grilled onions
Rye bread
sliced tomato on the side

Directions: Stack it up and grill it til it's nice and gooey. YUM!!!

BTS??? Really??

This is what I fed him last night. This is what he said, "This is way BTS!" And since the children were in the kitchen when he said it, he had to come up w something ummm... g-rated enough to answer. "Better than sunshine" is what he came up with. :) I can handle that.

We stuffed it inside warm pitas and drizzled with a light vinegrette. Sooooo good!!!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Zucchini Sandwiches

Grilled Zucchini Sandwich
Makes 4 sandwiches

1 1/2 pounds mixed zucchini and yellow squash

2 tablespoons olive oil plus more for grates
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

Coarse salt

2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint plus whole leaves

5 ounces herb and chive cream cheese

4 ciabatta rolls, split

2 ripe tomatoes, cored and thickly sliced

1. Heat the grill to medium. Trim tops and bottoms of zucchini and slice each 1/2 inch thick lengthwise. Place in a large bowl, add oil and thyme, and season with salt. Lift zucchini from bowl (reserve bowl) and grill until tender, turning the zucchini as it browns, about 3 minutes per side. Return to bowl, add mint, and toss.

2. Spread goat cheese on one side of each ciabatta. Top with zucchini, tomato slices sprinkled with salt, and whole mint leaves. Close.

To bulk this up, try adding fresh grilled portabellas! Might also be yummy with a little pesto sauce added for zing.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Scripture Cake

My plan for Mother's Day... cooking w my children.

Monday, May 4, 2009

CPK Brocolli and Sun−Dried Tomato Fusilli

Thanks, Dee!!

CPK Brocolli and Sun−Dried Tomato Fusilli

1 pound dry fusilli pasta
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chopped fresh garlic
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
About 12 oil−packed sun−dried tomatoes, drained and thinly sliced
1 quart blanched broccoli florets, drained (bite−size pieces)
1 1/4 cups grated parmesan cheese (reserve 1/4 cup for garnish)

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook pasta until
al dente, 8 to 10 minutes.

Heat olive oil in a large non−stick frying pan over high heat.
Add salt and garlic; when the garlic just begins to brown, add
thyme and sun−dried tomatoes. Toss and add broccoli. When broccoli
is heated through, add drained pasta (if pan is not large enough,
combine in a large mixing bowl while ingredients are hot). Add
1 cup parmesan cheese to all, sprinkling and stirring to mix.
Serve in warm bowls with a fresh dusting of parmesan cheese.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Oooey Gooey Butter Bars

When I was growing up, my sister and I used to stop by the Dainty Maid Bake Shop and grab those little butter cookies with dollups of frosting. They were my favorite then, and they're my favorite now. And now, my friend friend Bonnie has given me the recipe to have that little cookie in a BAR. YUM!!! The way I see it, this is just more of my favorite method cooking. We could swap the butter cake for a spice cake? We could add pumpkin or apple butter to the filling to make pumpkin butter bars or apple butter bars. Or we could use lemon to make lemon butter bars.

Oooey Gooey Butter Bars

1 - butter cake mix
2 - eggs
1 - stick butter

Mix together and press into 9x13 pan

1 - 8 oz softened cream cheese
1 - box powdered sugar

Beat together and spread over cake mix. Bake @ 300 degrees for approx
35 - 40 minutes

Friday, May 1, 2009

Peanut Butter Balls

Everyone probably already makes these, but I was telling Deb about them last night and realized they should be on here, too. Easy, fast, healthy, endless variations.


¼ C honey
½ c peanut butter
1 c powdered soymilk

Mix honey and peanut butter. Mix in milk. Knead in raisins, chopped nuts, dried apple bits, coconut, chocolate chips... anything you want. We usually use the raisins and walnuts.

Wanda's Tiramisu

It's been 2 weeks since my last posting and I have so much to share!! This one comes from my friend Wanda. Where she got it, I have no idea, but God love her for sharing the recipe. It is fat free and low sugar, and it is delicious. One of these days I'm gonna make it chai instead of cappucinno.

Wanda's Tiramisu

1 angel cake or pound cake
½ c cappuccino mix, divided
2 c cold skim milk
1 8 oz non fat cream cheese, softened
1 3oz sugar free vanilla pudding
2 c lite cool whip
½ tsp baking cocoa

Cube cake in 9x13 pan. Miz ¼ c cappuccino mix and ½ c milk and pour over cake. In new bowl beat cream cheese. In new bowl mix pudding, remaining cappuccino mix, and remaining milk. Whisk until smooth and thick. Add to crm chz. Spoon Cool Whip over cake. Fridge 3 hrs. Sprinkle with cocoa.

Grilled Eggplant Parmesan Lasagna

credit to Racheal Ray for this one
Grilled Eggplant Parm Lasagna

• 4 tablespoons EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
• 1 medium onion, finely chopped
• 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
• 1 28-ounce can whole plum tomatoes, such as San Marzano
• 1 cinnamon stick
• Salt and ground black pepper
• 5 to 6 leaves fresh basil, torn
• 4 medium eggplants, thinly sliced
• 2 cups ricotta cheese
• 1 1/2 cups grated Parmigiano Reggiano, divided
• 2 egg yolks
• 2 1-pound balls smoked fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
• Basil, for garnish
• 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
• 3 tablespoons dry bread crumbs

Place a medium pot over medium-high heat with 2 turns of the pan of EVOO, about 2 tablespoons. Add the onion and garlic to the pan, and cook until tender, 3-4 minutes. Add the tomatoes to the pan and break them up with a wooden spoon or potato masher. Add the cinnamon stick, salt, pepper and the basil to the pan, and simmer the sauce until thickened and aromatic, about 10 minutes.

While the sauce is simmering, brush the eggplant slices with the remaining EVOO and grill them until marked and tender, about 5 minutes per side.
Meanwhile, combine the ricotta, 1 cup Parmigiano Reggiano and egg yolks together in a medium bowl. Reserve.

When everything is ready, spread a thin layer of sauce over the bottom of a baking dish. Top with a layer of eggplant slices and spread half of the ricotta mixture over the eggplant. Top with another layer of eggplant and layer one third of the mozzarella over the eggplant. Top with some sauce and then more eggplant. Spread the remaining half of the ricotta mixture and top with another layer of eggplant. Top with another third of the mozzarella and sauce, and then with the remaining eggplant. Scatter the remaining mozzarella over top and sprinkle with the remaining grated cheese. Sprinkle the bread crumbs all over the top of the eggplant Parmesan. Bake in the upper third of the oven for about 45 minutes, until the top of the eggplant Parmesan is golden and the tomato sauce is bubbling. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving. Garnish with basil and serve.
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