Monday, July 27, 2009


It's obvious at this point that I should have done a food blog! I'm sure after the baby is here, I won't have time to make all these wonderful treats, so maybe I'm overcompensating for that? Kind of like nesting (which I've never done by the way), but baking instead? I've been on the hunt for brownies that Danny will approve of. He prefers the box mix brownies...gasp. I make wonderful brownies by the way, but he claims my favorite recipe for brownies tastes more like cake (and they do, but I love them!). So really I just made these for him. Right.


photo and recipe via Cooking On the Side

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs
*1 1/4 cups Dutch-process cocoa
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9 x 13-inch pan.

In a medium-sized microwave-safe bowl, or in a saucepan set over low heat, melt the butter, then add the sugar and stir to combine. Return the mixture to the heat (or microwave) briefly, just till it’s hot, but not bubbling; it’ll become shiny looking as you stir it. Heating the butter and sugar a second time will dissolve more of the sugar, which will yield a shiny top crust on your brownies. Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl.

Stir in the cocoa, salt, baking powder and vanilla. Add the eggs, beating till smooth; then add the flour and chips, beating till well combined. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake the brownies for 28 to 30 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out dry (though it may have a few crumbs clinging to it). The brownies should feel set both on the edges, and in the center. Remove them from the oven, and after 5 minutes loosen the edges with a table knife; this helps prevent the brownies from sinking in the center as they cool. Cool completely before cutting and serving.

*I substituted Dutch-Process Cocoa with Nestle's Sweetened Cocoa using the following formula:
--3 tablespoons Unsweetened Cocoa Powder plus a pinch (1/8 teaspoon) baking soda. Eliminate the baking powder when making this substitution.

Monday, July 20, 2009


Okay, I had some ripe bananas to use up, so I had a decision to make. I had two new recipes I wanted to try out (sick of banana bread): Banana Bundt Cake or Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting! Which one do you think won out? Knowing I was making a bad decision, I asked Danny for a second opinion...didn't take long for him to decide either. Banana Cake it was! Excellent choice taste wise, bad choice for my already expanding behind! I was doing so well too. I had made it through half my pregnancy without baking sweets, and now...I've caved. But at least I'm making sweets that involve fruit right? Well here it is, truly scrumptious!BANANA CAKE WITH CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
via evilshenanigans

1 cup mashed ripe bananas
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 stick butter, softened
3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare two 9″ cake pans with non-stick spray.

Peel your ripe bananas and mash then with a fork until they are mostly mush. Pour the buttermilk into the bananas and mix well; set aside. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl; set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer cream the butter and sugar until well mixed and lighter in color. Add the eggs one at a time and then the vanilla. Mix well. Add the dry ingredients and the banana mixture in three installments, starting and ending with the dry ingredients.

Divide the batter between the two prepared pans. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the cake springs back when lightly pressed and pulls away from the sides of the pan. Allow the cakes to cool for ten minutes in the pans, then turn out to cool completely on racks.

While the cake cools, prepare the frosting by creaming the cream cheese with the butter, then add powdered sugar and vanilla. Fill and coat the cake; chill for one hour before slicing. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Here is a great summer meal. This was so simple to make, had very few ingredients, and tasted so good! This is a definite make-again meal. I halved this recipe and it was just enough for the three of us.

from "Everyday Food"

Makes 4 - 6 servings

Grilled tomatoes (recipe follows)
1 pound linguine
Coarse salt
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup finely grated fresh Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving (we used fresh Romano)

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 pound linguine. Cook according to package directions. Drain; return to pot.

Add oil, Parmesan, and grilled tomatoes. Divide among bowls, and serve immediately with more Parmesan.


3 pounds plum (Roma) tomatoes, cored and halved
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh chopped thyme, or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

Heat grill to high. In a bowl, toss tomatoes, olive oil and thyme. Season generously with salt and pepper.

Starting with cut sides down, grill tomatoes until soft and charred, 8 to 12 minutes per side.

Return tomatoes to bowl; cut into rough pieces.

Monday, July 13, 2009


If I lived in Missouri, I would buy it! My cousin Nicole has her house up for sale and she's done such a great job with it, I wanted to share...if anyone is interested, feel free to make an offer (maybe I can get a small percentage Nicole?). Here you can see more photos and check out all the specifics.
Great curb appeal and sweeping front porch - complete with porch swing and vintage craftsman-style front door!
Enter the large, open living and dining rooms to find original unpainted millwork, arched doorways, vintage hardware, gleaming refinished oak hardwood floors and newer lighting!
The renovated kitchen features a large open pass-thru to the dining room, maple cabinets, newer counters, stainless steel appliances and large pantry.
Photos and information from Circa Properties.

Thursday, July 9, 2009


It's fairly amazing that I don't weigh 500 pounds, but I don't. So I'm going to keep on cooking and baking to my heart's content! And of course exercising...ugh. This recipe would not be good for those with say, high cholesterol or dieters, but for those of us living dangerously...go for it! It satisfies all my pregnancy cravings in one shebang!
Recipe from The Pioneer Woman
2 cups cooked chicken, shredded (for ease buy a Rostisserie chicken)
2 cans Cream of Mushroom soup
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1/4 cup green pepper, finely diced
1/2 cup onion, finely diced
1 (4 oz) jar diced pimentos, drained
3 cups dry spaghetti, broken in half
2 cups reserved chicken broth from pot
1 tsp Lawry's Seasoned Salt
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup additional shredded sharp cheddar

Cook 1 fryer and pick out the meat to make 2 cups. Cook spaghetti in same chicken broth until al dente. DO NOT OVERCOOK. When spaghetti is cooked, combine with remaining ingredients, except the additional cup of cheese. Place mixture in casserole dish and cover with additional cheddar. Bake immediately at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until bubbly.

Number of Servings: 12

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Baked Red Potato Chips

This is my favorite go-to side dish when I need something fast and easy, that requires very few ingredients. I have made it about 10 times since finding it a few months ago. Love them!

Homemade Baked Red Potato Chips
Adapted Recipe from Aggie's Kitchen

6 to 8 medium red potatoes, sliced thin (3-4 for 3 people)
1 to 2 teaspoons olive oil
Salt and pepper (I use pepper and Season All)
Fresh dill

In a medium bowl, gently toss potatoes with olive oil, salt and pepper (or preferred seasonings). Place potato slices on baking/cooling rack placed into a cookie sheet**. Bake in 425 degree oven for approximately 15-20 minutes or until golden brown and crisp. Sprinkle with fresh dill (and more pepper) and serve with my personal favorite...ketchup!

**Using a baking/cooling rack placed into a cookie sheet is important for air baking and keeping both sides of potato slices crisp**

Hard Work U

We are just getting back from a little family vacation to Branson, Missouri. A place I had been several times growing up, but was able to look at it with fresh eyes as an adult. Upon our arrival, my Parents took us to an intriguing place for lunch at College of the Ozarks. This unique college is situated on a 1,000 acre campus overlooking Lake Taneycomo in Point Lookout, MO. College of the Ozarks has an extremely unique concept among American colleges and universities. Here, not one student pays for their education, rather they work for it. All students--totalling around 1,400--work 15 hours a week at campus jobs at one of the 80 plus work areas on campus (including culinary staff, agriculture, office staff, etc.).

We ate lunch at The Keeter Center, which was by far the most impressive building on campus. This rustic lodge is made up of 30 decorated suites, the William R. Dobyns Dining Room, and several conference and meeting rooms. The thought put into every little detail here was simply amazing! And the food was fantastic...I had the Signature Ham and Cheese with melted cheddar, grilled onions, hickory-smoked bacon and spicy apricot mustard on a soft pretzel roll for $8.95! Delicious!


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