Why a salad is $7 and a Burger is $1


I share a lot of recipes and talk about food. But today I’m sharing something a little bit different. Today my husband is going to share some information in response to a question he was asked on his Facebook feed.
Why is a Burger cheaper than a Salad | Just Rhonda

I’m not a food policy expert but since it was brought up I thought I’d look into the question of why it’s generally more expensive to eat healthy (or put another way – why salads are $7 and a burger is $1). This question isn’t technically accurate – while it’s not hard to find a $1 burger you can also find salad’s that are much cheaper than $7 but the idea of cheap burgers vs. expensive is reasonable.

As I looked around for information on this topic much of what’s out there applies to American food situation – but I suspect the information applies to Canada if not for our own food policies but because a significant portion of our food would come from or is heavily influenced by the U.S. (especially when considering cheaper food options).

Here’s the first interesting chart.


This graph “shows the price of different foods and beverages over the last three decades. The price of each food or beverage is set equal to 1 in January 1978, and the chart then shows how the price has changed since then.”[i] Most items are relatively cheaper with the obvious exception of fruit and vegetables – basically this confirms what we all assume, healthier foods are getting more expensive while unhealthy foods are getting cheaper.


Next up this chart, which seems fairly ready made to answer the question under consideration.

This would suggest that, contrary to what some might think, capitalism may have little to do with the high costs of some food and the relative lower costs of others. Yes, the U.S. government provides significant financial incentives to meat and dairy industry and relatively little to the fruit and vegetable industry.[ii]   To put that in dollar figures the U.S. government spent about $23 billion in 2005 on farm subsidies while the total pretax farm profit in the U.S. was $72.6 billion.[iii] So of that $23 billion less than 1% (or about $85 million) of that government money was spent on fruits and vegetables.

I don’t know that I can say all the reasons why the government would do that. Some of the reason may be historical – the foundation of farm subsidies goes back to the early 1900s and made sense at the time to protect farmers and support foods that were more easily stored and shipped but there is inertia against change which leaves dated policies still functioning and even newer policies having unintentional effects that seem to entrench the status quo.[iv] One article has suggested a political aspect to this, “Few politicians are inclined to vote against farm subsidies: though farmers make up only a small number of voters, even in agricultural states, they are loud and organized enough to punish lawmakers who vote against a farm bill. Opposition to spending is muted; few voters realize how much of their money is given to farmers and even fewer would change their vote because of it.”[v] While the why is really complicated so is the how. There’s a lengthy article[vi] that gets into the intricacies of the system (which is apparently changing anyway) of how the government provides food subsidies. The government doesn’t just give money to corn growers (which is actually a grass not a vegetable and while we do eat corn it ends up being used for so much else – see below) it’s an insurance system whereby producers of corn and soy (which account for about half of the planted land in the U.S.) can rely upon an insured income or a fixed price where they’ll be topped up above market price. The author of the above referenced article makes the apt analogy of “farmers, at least to some extent, farming to the (farm) bill the way teachers teach to a test.”

It should be recognized that the relatively higher costs of vegetables are not simply due to misguided governmental regulation. As a simple example in the spring of 2015 the costs of lettuce went up because of a blip in the weather in California – warm temperatures in January and February that pushed some winter vegetables to peak harvest way too early, leaving gaps in the supply chain now that are pushing up prices.[vii] More recently we’ve seen weather changes along with increased interest cause the cost of cauliflower to go up.[viii]

The relative lack of governmental help does explain why the ingredients we put in salads can be more expensive. However, to go a bit deeper – there’s a few reasons to consider why a hamburger is so cheap. Some of that reason has to do with corn. The American industrial food complex has decided that it is easier to use one ingredient for many things. That ingredient is corn. For example, corn is actually a significant ingredient in the chicken nugget which, “’piles corn upon corn: what chicken it contains consists of corn’ (because the chickens are corn-fed), as does ‘the modified corn starch that glues the thing together, the corn flour in the batter that coats it, and the corn oil in which it gets fried. Much less obviously, the leavenings and lecithin, the mono-, di-, and triglycerides, the attractive golden coloring, and even the citric acid that keeps the nugget fresh can all be derived from corn.’”[ix]

I’m often amazed at how cheap pop is (except for Orangina) and part of the reason for that is corn, specifically corn syrup, is a main ingredient. As a side note the mere fact that Coca Cola sponsors a website call, the beverage institute for health and wellness that touts the benefits and minimizes the negative impacts of high fructose corn syrup should cause us to question our intake this processed substance.[x] Corn is the most heavily subsidized crop in the U.S. and becomes a significant food source for livestock (it’s cheap even if not the healthiest to feed corn to cows). Thus when we buy burgers we’re eating corn because that’s what cows are eating.

The final point to make is that not all burgers are equal. We often laugh at hotdogs for the mysterious provenances of their ingredients but these cheaper hamburgers are likely not much different. Although it was in the Guardian where policies may differ somewhat there was an article that explains the tricks these burger manufacturers will play to get to the mandated 47% of content of cow. Of course, even the high class burgers will have some non-meat ingredients (i.e. eggs) so the beef holds together but the article refers to protein added to burgers that, “might be extracted from boiled-up bits of animal even the French wouldn’t eat, such as hide or gristle and other offcuts, which are then dried and ground down to a power that does into a ‘seasoning’ mix.”[xi]

People do write books about these sorts of things but hopefully this give some food for thought (yup, intentional) about why eating healthy can be more expensive. Now let’s get back to talking about obesity in America.


If you have any other questions about  health, we’d love to hear them.

Just Rhonda Footer


[i] Leonhardt, David, What’s wrong with this chart? NYT, May 20, 2009;

[ii] Rampell, Catherine, Why a Big Mac Costs Less than a Salad, NYT, March 9, 2010; 

[iii] Farm Subsidies Over Time, Washington Post, July 2, 2006,; this link does have a great graph that shows these financial details from 1960 to 2005

[iv] Grist

[v] The Economist

[vi] Haspel, Tamar, Farm bill: Why don’t taxpayers subsidize the foods that are better for us? Washington Post, Feb 18, 2014; 

[vii] Parsons, Russ, Why lettuce is getting so expensive, LA Times, April 27, 2015,

[viii] Cauliflower Prices

[ix] Flannery, Tim We’re Living on Corn (reviewing Michael Pollan’s – The Omnivore’s Dilemma); New York Review of Books, June 28, 2007

[x] The beverage institute for health and wellness 

[xi] Lawrence, Felicity; The secret of the ‘special offer’ economy burger, Guardian; 24 January 2013:


My Next 5 Pinterest Recipes

5 Pinterest recipes to try

I love finding great recipes on the internet. So many places to find great food. 5 recipes that I REALLY want to try out!

1. Don’t these look SO tasty!!!! Averie Cooks Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookie Bars. Yum, Yum. I want to make these soon!!

2. I have a real love of pork. It’s sooo tasty! And this with the cherries and the grilled meat. As soon as the weather is better and it’s BBQ time, I’m totally trying this lovely looking meat from Sweet Pea and Saffron.

3.  Oh man doesn’t that look AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yes, yes, yes. I’m making this next time a cake is in order.

4.  I made something similar to this not long ago. I didn’t know that this recipe existed but had done something similar with some buns that didn’t quite work out. But these sandwiches look fantastic. And I’ll be trying them soon too.

5. Dumplings. Yes, yes, yes. I want to make these. All kinds of these.

Anything you’ve found that you want to make lately on Pinterest??

Just Rhonda Footer

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Lately in my kitchen

There are so many yummy things to make and eat. And lots on Pinterest. I’ve pinned lots that I want to cook and haven’t gotten around too. Here is a list of recipes I plan to try.

  1. Prosciutto Wrapped Four Cheese Stuffed Jalapeños.
  2. Greek Style Quesadilla
  3. Black Berry Brie Bites Blackberry-Brie-Bites-title
  4.  Orange Chicken orange_chicken5
  5. Apple Pecan Feta Spinach Salad with Maple Cider Vinegar
  6. Fresh Mozzarella and Basil Bites

Have you found any great recipes on Pinterest lately?

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5 Pinterest Recipes from Lately

If you don’t follow me on Pinterest you might not know that I kind of have a bit of a pining ….. problem. I love finding new recipes. I’ve always loved that so now it’s just online and I can access them easily later! Anyways, I do try and use a lot of the recipes of there. I mean that’s the point! So here are 5 different ones we’ve eaten lately.


1. Philly Cheesesteak Stuffed Peppers. We had these last night and they were amazing!! Loved them. My kids didn’t really. But both me and Regan loved them a lot.

2. Macaroni Grill inspired Teriyaki Salmon. Alden loves, loves, loves, salmon. And this was a big hit with him. Served with a side salad and rice. Perfect!

3. Monterey Chicken. My SIL introduced me to this dish first and then I went and found it on Pinterest. I looooove it. It’s one of my new favorites.

4.  Churo Muffins. Love them and so do the kids.

5. Lemon Chicken Pasta. So yummy and fresh!!! The kids all really liked this one too!

Any recipes you’ve tried off Pinterest lately that you loved?

Just Rhonda

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Fruity Summer Slush

This post was originally on Lolly Jane where I contribute a monthly recipe. ______________________________________________________________________________________________

For three years my husband and I have been in a group we call Our Dinner Club. We meet together once a month and enjoy food. We have different themes each month and we all love it! The host always gets to pick the theme and for the last one our friends the Edwards’ picked Iron Chef as the theme. They had little baggies with slips of papers. One the papers were different ingredients and the course. We ended up picking drink with kiwi and grenadine. So I decided the make something cold and fruity for the summer. It is super easy and quick.


You blend all the fruit together and then freeze it. And the scoop it out into your cup.


Yup. Yummy, cold goodness.


Then add a little grenadine.


And a whole bunch of Sprite or 7-up. Whatever floats your boat.


Give it a little stir. And enjoy!



Easy Fruit Summer Slush


  • 6 cups of watermelon
  • 8 kiwis, peeled
  • 6 peaches, peeled & pitted
  • 1 19fl oz can crushed pineapple
  • Sprite
  • Grenadine


  1. Combine all your fruit into a Vitamix or blender and blend it really well. If your blender doesn't fit it all, do it two parts.
  2. Pour it into a freezer friendly container.
  3. Freeze overnight.
  4. Scoop slush into a cup, add about 2 Tbsp of Grenadine (or more if you like it lots!) and fill it up the rest of the way with pop!



Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies

This post was shared first over on Lolly Jane where I contribute recipes once a month!


I love making cookies. In fact our cookie jar is pretty much always full. Most kids who live by us know that and even will check the cookie jar for cookies when they come over.

Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies | Just Rhonda

One of my favorite things was a summer or two ago someone pulled out a bag of cookies from the store and Eli said to her looking at the bag “Cookies come in a bag???” He had no idea you could buy them. 😉

Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies | Just Rhonda
I have cookie recipes that I have gathered from friends and other places that I love when I am looking for a certain kind. I love chocolate chip cookies. I love Christmasy cookies like these and these. Or even fruity ones like grapefruit or lemon or orange.  Really I’d called myself a cookie-a-holic.

The other day I found some leftover Easter bunnies that were white chocolate. My kids wouldn’t eat them since they weren’t “normal” chocolate. So I chopped those suckers up and made up some cookies. Now you might not have random white chocolate easter bunnies around your house, but you can use blocks of white chocolate or even you can buy chunks of white chocolate. I was just being resourceful so I could eat some more cookies.

Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies

15 minutes

10 minutes

25 minutes

3 dozen cookies

Bake them only until the edges just turn slightly brown. If you over bake them they will dry out.


  • Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies
  • 1 cup softened butter
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp Baking soda
  • 2 1/2 Cups all purpose flour
  • 3 cups mixed milk chocolate and white chocolate chunks*


  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Cream your butter and sugar in a large mixer bowl.
  3. Add in eggs and vanilla and mix well.
  4. Add in your salt, baking soda and flour and mix until combined. (Dough is pretty soft!)
  5. Stir in your chocolate chunks.
  6. Drop onto prepared cookie sheets and bake in your preheated oven for 8-10 minutes.
  7. Let them finish cooling on the hot cookies sheets to firm up.

* You can use whatever combo of while or milk chocolate chunks. I used more white one time and more milk chocolate the next.


Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies | Just Rhonda

They are really yummy still warm out of the oven with a glass of milk.

Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies | Just Rhonda



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101+ Birthday Gift Ideas for your Friends: Crispy Crunch Pie

I’m excited to share today 101+ Birthday Gift Ideas for your Friends, including my Crispy Crunch Pie. I am joining forces with Kristen Duke in her Birthday Celebration Week along with over 100 talented bloggers sharing lots of inexpensive ideas and free printables! All week long, Kristen is sharing birthday tips and giveaways so be sure to check out her Party.

When I first read what Kristen wanted I was thinking of a few gift ideas and even had one to do (I’ll share my other idea soon) but then I thought more about what I would give as a gift. And when my friends have a birthday, I take food!! I always take food! (Well sometimes I take flowers too!) So with that thought in mind here is a new recipe creation with a printable.

Crispy Crunch Pie Gift

As for the other creative ideas, a lot of these gifts are versatile for any occasion, and can be a to gift to your friends, family, or even that gal that you’d like to get to know better. Even more fabulous–most gifts are under $5, and have coordinating printables to make it super simple!

101 Birthday Ideas for Friends

{Blog Hop Birthday designs by C {dot} love}

But first, I wanted to add a Happy Birthday to Kristen! 😉

HappyBirthdayfriend Now, on to the treat. I was at Bulk Barn not long ago and got a bag of mini crispy crunch bars. Now these bars are truly Canadian chocolate bars. So if you live somewhere else you can substitute for a different kind or you can order them from here.

 I was thinking about these tasty little morsels and then I was thinking about pie. So I came up with this little number….

Crispy Crunch Pie

Crispy Crunch Pie


  • One baked cooled Pie Crust
  • 4 Crispy Crunch Chocolate Bars, crushed
  • For the Carmel Layer
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • For the Chocolate Ganache Layer
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 pound semi sweet chocolate, chopped
  • For the Chocolate Mousse Layer
  • 1/2 block 8 oz. of cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup icing sugar
  • 1 cup of whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup chocolate


  1. Bake your pie crust and cool it.
  2. Using a microwaveable bowl, combine the butter, corn syrup, brown sugar and sweetened condensed milk. Mix well together.
  3. Boil on high in the microwave for 1 minute. Take it out and stir.
  4. Microwave again for 2 minutes and take out and stir.
  5. Do it again once more. Then let carmel sit for 5 minutes until it has cooled a little bit.
  6. Then pour the caramel on top of the pie crust.
  7. Add the crushed crispy crunch bars on top of the carmel.
  8. Combine the chopped chocolate and heavy cream into a clean microwaveable bowl.
  9. Microwave for 1 minute at a time, taking it out to stir well.
  10. When the cream has come to a boil, pour over the chopped chocolate, and whisk until smooth.
  11. Allow the ganache to cool slightly before pouring over the pie. Let pie cool.
  12. Cream the cream cheese and add icing sugar.
  13. In separate bowl melt the chocolate. Mix into the cream cheese.
  14. In a separate bowl mix whipping cream until stiff and then fold into the cream cheese mixture.
  15. Spread the mousse layer on top of the pie.
  16. Keep the pie in the fridge until just before you serve.

You can use a different kind of crushed chocolate bar if you can't get a hold of Crispy Crunch bars.


Crispy Crunch Pie Cut

It’s super sweet. Just like Kristen 🙂

Crispy Crunch Pie

If you want to print out the printable for the pie you can download it here.

CrispyCrunchPieAre you ready for some inspiration? Join in on the BLOG HOP! Click on each of links below each collage to see the gift idea and printable closer, along with instructions on how to make them, like mine above. I like to open a bunch of new tabs, and Pin my favorites for later. Don’t forget to follow the Birthday Gift Ideas Pinterest Board as well, to save future great ideas.

>>>>>>>Important info! Blog Hops often have glitches the first day. If the link has an ERROR, simply click on the HOME button for each site, or google the blog name next to the link, and you should see their gift post there. Links will be updated as soon as possible.<<<<<<<<<<<<

free printable blog hop

1. Birthday Balloon Gift + matching free Print by Capturing Joy with Kristen Duke
2. Stamped Cocktail Napkin + Printable by Delineate Your Dwelling
3. Buckets of Fun gift idea+Free Printable by Craftiness is Not Optional
4. 7 Candy Bar Love Notes to say “Happy Birthday” by The Dating Divas
5. Have a Flippin’ Awesome Birthday by Dessert Now Dinner Later
6. Fishtail Loom Bracelet by I Should Be Mopping the Floor
7. Lemonade Lip Balm by Pretty Handy Girl
8. Hair Tie Birthday Gift & Printable Tag by Wait Til Your Father Gets Home
9. Gift of Sunshine Idea + Free Printable by Sweet Charli
10. I hope your birthday is a whole “lotto” fun by C.R.A.F.T.
11. Chicken Spice Rub w/ Printable Tags by Over the Big Moon
12. Birthday in a Bag Gift Idea by Seven Thirty Three
13. Quick Note for your Birthday Printable by Liz on Call
14. Otter Pop Gift with Printable Gift Tag by Somewhat Simple
15. {you} Series Magnets Printable by Ruffles and Rain Boots
16. Tea Cup Succulent by Your Homebased Mom
17. Pretty Pincushion + Printable by Let’s Eat Grandpa
18. Lemon Bath Salts & Free Printable by See Vanessa Craft
19. Diet Coke Birthday Kit by Pink Peppermint Prints
20. Chocolate Filled Insulated Tumbler Gift by The Girl Who Ate Everything

free printables blog hop

21. Easy Funfetti Cake Balls with Printable by Salt and Pepper Moms
22. Hands Down Best Friend Around by Eighteen25
23. Berry Happy Birthday Printable by Stuffed Suitcase
24. Whisk Birthday Gift with Free Printable by Cupcake Diaries
25. Paper Plate Gift Idea by Crafting in the Rain
26. Popcorn Gift Printable by Breezy Bakes
27. Life Saver: Birthday Gift in a Jar by Here Comes the Sun
28. Decoupage Wooden Pendant by Twin Dragonfly Designs
29. Have a coffee on me: Funky Coasters by Funky Junk Interiors
30. Swanky Black & Gold Cosmetic Bag by A Prudent Life
31. DIY cocktail napkins by kojodesigns
32. Nail Polish Gift by Southern Hospitality
33. Banana Cake by Whats Cooking with Ruthie
34. Paparazzi – the PERFECT friend gift by Sugar Bee Crafts
35. “latte” fun birthday gift by Our Thrifty Ideas
36. Homemade Funfetti Cupcakes + Printable by Tastes Better from Scratch
37. Pearls are Always Appropriate by Mommy Envy
38. Girls Just Want to Have Fun Birthday Gift by A Little Tipsy
39. Manicure Kit Birthday Gift with Printable by Blooming Homestead
40. Orange you Glad Cup by Artsy Fartsy Mama

free printables

41. Donut Gift Tag by Pretty Providence
42. Rainbow Inspired Birthday Gift + Printable by Thirty Handmade Days
43. Drink Topper and Tag by LandeeLu
44. DIY Bath Salts using Essential Oils by Unskinny Boppy
45. Friends are Like Chocolate Chips by Delightful Deets
46. Paint Can Succulent Planters by East Coast Creative
47. A Bundt Cake Gift & Printable by Dukes and Duchesses
48. Jam Birthday Gift & Printable by Happiness is Homemade
49. Jazzed up Frames by House for Five
50. Favorite Things Gift Ideas by inkhappi
51. Toe-tally Cool Nail Polish Gift Idea + Free Printable by Simply Designing with Ashley
52. Quote Book by Reasons to Skip the Housework
53. Iron On T-Shirt Gift by Becoming Martha
54. DIY Humorous Girlfriend Gift by Brassy Apple
55. Tea-riffic Birthday Gift Idea & Printable by Mom Endeavors
56. Turn Today Into A Celebration by Dolen Diaries
57. You’re A Lifesaver Printable by Live Laugh Rowe
58. Happy Birthday Jar {free printable} by Kiki and Company
59. Mason Jar Flower Vase + Printable by R & R Workshop
60. Easy $5 Wooden Charm Bracelet by Craftily Ever After

free printables

61. Polka Dot Mason Jar Vase by The Cards We Drew
62. Free Printable Mini Notes by Confetti Sunshine
63. Bath Bomb Easy Birthday Gifts by Tried and True
64. Ball Jar Printable Tags by The Country Chic Cottage
65. Eat More Cake Birthday Gift Idea and Printable by Play. Party. Pin.
66. Have a “berry” happy birthday by The Contractor Chronicles
67. Merci Chocolates + Hey Birthday Girl french girl printable by Handmade in the Heartland
68. Five Minute Leather Necklace Tutorial + Birthday printables by Delia Creates
69. Ah-Mason Birthday Gift Idea by Lolly Jane
70. Simple Dangle Earring Tutorial by Bombshell Bling
71. Symphony Bar Brownies by Among the Young
72. Wishing you an E “straw” diary Birthday by Ginger Snap Crafts
73. DIY Washi Tape Cacti by Fry Sauce and Grits
74. State Pride Cheese Board by Addicted to DIY
75. Reusable Monogrammed Solo Cup by Mom 4 Real
76. go-to gift…EARRINGS! by A Girl and A Glue Gun
77. Embroidered Mixed Media Bookmarkers by The Creative Goddess
78. Beyond Measure Birthday Printable by Like Mother Like Daughter
79. Birthday Facial Kit Gift by The Benson Street
80. DIY Jewelry Bookmark by Design Dazzle

blog hop free printables

81. Birthday in a Jar – Birthday Printable Tags by A Pumpkin and a Princess
82. Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Party Cookies by Crazy Little Projects
83. You are the Bee’s Knees by Love the Day
84. Birthday Candy Jar by Inside BruCrew Life
85. Hip Hip Hooray, today is your birthday!” printables by The Crafted Sparrow
86. Treat Yo Self Printable by Girl Loves Glam
87. Chocolate Facial with printable by TidyMom
88. Happy Birthday Sweets by A Night Owl
89. Quick & Easy Hydrangea Cake by Sweet C’s Designs
90. Sweets for the Sweet by Simply Kierste
91. Citrus Whipped Honey Butter Jars by Sand and Sisal
92. Diet Coke Gift for a Friend with Printable by Sweet Treats and More
93. A Latte for Two + printables by One Krieger Chick
94. Cookie Monster Birthday Gift Tag by I’m Topsy Turvy
95. Root Beer Float Cake in a Jar by Giggles Galore
96. Treat Yo’Self Printable Watercoloring Box by Persia Lou
97. Fruity Body Scrub with Printable by Mad in Crafts
98. Magnetic Necklace Charm by Sowdering About
99. Happy Bee Day with Printable by Just Another Day in Paradise
100. Manicure in a Jar by That’s What {Che} Said…
101. UBER lucky to have you in my Life by Maybe I Will
102. Free Happy Birthday Printable by NoBiggie
103. DIY Wine Bag & Charms Gift by Sypsie Designs
104. Crispy Crunch-y Pie with Printable by Just Rhonda
105. “You’re the Silver Lining” Friendship Nail Polish Gift by The Happy Housie
106. Tie One On for Your Birthday (Hair Tie Gift Free Printable) by illistyle

Did you have a gift idea that stuck out to you? Go ahead and visit your favorites and let them know you love it!

Follow the Pinterest Gift Board now!

Follow Capturing Joy with Kristen’s board Birthday Gift Ideas on Pinterest. footerMore posts like this:

Crockpot Sage and Cherry Pork

I wanted to share an easy summer meal that is made in the crockpot and is super simple. You need a can of sour cherry jam. I bought this at Superstore but you can get any brand! (In reality you can change it for a different fruit name too but it would change the flavor of it!)  It’s a very simple recipe with 6 ingredients.


Crockpot Cherry Pork


  • 1 jar sour cherry jam
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • Handful of fresh Sage (or use 3 Tbsp of dried)
  • 1/4 cup water or chicken stock
  • 6 boneless pork steaks or pork chops


  1. In a medium sized bowl, combine the jam, brown sugar, water and cornstarch and mix well.
  2. Place your pork steaks into crockpot.
  3. Pour the mixture over top. Add fresh sage on top. (If using dried mix in with the jam mixture.)
  4. Turn on low and cook for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours.


We served it with rice, steamed carrots and fresh buns.


It’s a super easy summer dish and You can make it with chicken too.


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Mini Lemon Cheesecakes with fresh Strawberries

I was trying to think of a dessert that was Canadian to share this week with Canada Day coming up. So my mind went to Red and White Desserts. These little cuties are perfect for Canada Day. Red and White (and yellow….)  You could leave off the lemon curd and have them be less lemony with the strawberries on top. (But then you wouldn’t have lemon curd on them….)


I had helper in the kitchen when I was making these.


I love to have my kids help but somedays I just want to do it myself. Oliver and Eli both REALLY like doing the mixing. The only problem (besides them fighting over it) is that sometimes Oliver decides he’s “done” and just lets go of the mixer. Yup, while it’s mixing. That can be…..messy.  I don’t recommend it.


Mini Lemon Cheesecakes with fresh Strawberries

25 minutes

15 minutes

40 minutes

24 mini cheesecakes


  • 2 (250 g) blocks of cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 Tbsp all purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp of finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 3 large eggs
  • Nilla Wafers
  • Fresh Strawberries, washed and diced
  • For Lemon Curd
  • 8 large egg yolks
  • Finely grated zest of two lemons
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp of freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 sticks (10 Tbsp) unsalted butter, cold, cut into pieces


    For the Lemon Zest (from Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook)
  1. Combine yolks, lemon zest, lemon juice, and sugar in a heavy bottom saucepan; whisk to combine. Cook over medium high heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon (be sure to scrape the sides of the pan), until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon, 8 to 10 minutes.
  2. Remove saucepan from the heat. Add salt and butter, one piece at a time, stirring until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly to the surface of the curd to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until chilled and set, at least 1 hour or up to 1 day.
  3. For the mini Cheesecakes:
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  5. Line 24 muffin tins with liners and fill with Nilla Wafers.
  6. Combine cream cheese and sugar and mix well with hand mixer. Combine until smooth.
  7. Add in sour cream, flour, zest and juice and mix well.
  8. Add in each egg, beating just until each egg is combined.
  9. Pour cheesecake mixture evenly into each prepared muffin tin.
  10. Bake in preheated oven for 15-18 minutes or until tops of cheesecakes lightly browned and firm.
  11. Cool.
  12. After they are cool, cover tops of each mini cheesecake with 1-2 tablespoons of lemon curd (depending on how lemony you want them!)
  13. Add diced strawberries on top and a little lemon zest if desired.


If you don’t want to make your own lemon curd you can buy it (I think I’ve seen it in a store before…. maybe by the jams?). But just give it a shot! It’s soooooo tasty! I looove lemon. The lemon in these adds a nice bright spot on top of the tasty cheesecake base. And the Nilla Wafer provide the “Crust” for them. I actually could just eat lemon curd with a spoon. Or on ice cream. Or a shortbread cookie. Hmmm, now my mind is wandering to think of all the things lemon curd goes on…..


Iff it wasn’t Canada Day and you weren’t going for Red and White (and yellow) then you could add blueberries instead and it’ll be tasty too!



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Easy White Cake

There are lots of basic recipes that I think are handy to have on hand. And one is an easy and quick white cake. Maybe you don’t have a cake mix and you still wanted to make cupcakes. Or make a trifle that has a white cake in it. Or layered cake. This is that kind of recipe. It’s one that comes from my grandma. She made it up a few years ago.


It is quick and easy and makes a moist cake with a nice crumb.


Easy White Cake


  • 2 2/3 cup cake flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup sugar + 1/2 cup
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 3/4 cup milk + 1/4 cup milk
  • 5 eggs separated
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Combine cake flour, baking powder, salt and 1 cup sugar in a mixing bowl and mix well.
  3. Add in oil and 3/4 cup milk. Beat together. It'll be really stiff.
  4. Add in egg yolks and 1/4 cup milk and vanilla. Beat that until smooth. (Should be quite thin.)
  5. In another bowl beat up your 5 egg whites until stiff and slow add 1/2 cup sugar and beat until it turns to a stiff meringue. The fold the cake flour mix into the egg whites. (Don't beat it - just fold it in.)
  6. Bake in a preheated oven until top is golden brown or a toothpick into the middle comes out clean. Works well for cupcakes (13-15 minutes) or round cakes (20-23 minutes).



For these ones I added a lemon butter meringue icing and a single lemon jelly bean.


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Naan Bread

Even though most of my kids have gone through picky eating stages I like to try new things. We try new things a lot. One day Regan was laughing about how I was lamenting again that my kids weren’t enjoying the crazy thing I made for dinner. He told me I should just give in and make “normal” meals. No way 🙂 I love food and there are so many tasty things to try. One way that I get my kids more interested in eating other foods is try add a bread with the meal too. So when I made butter chicken I added in some Naan Bread too. None of these pictures are anything fancy… I did them all on my phone.


This recipe is adapted from the cookbook Mastering the Art of Baking by Anneka Manning


Naan Bread

45 minutes

15 minutes

6 - 10 inch


  • 2/3 cup lukewarm milk
  • 2 tsp white sugar
  • 2 tsp dried yeast
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil, plus extra for greasing
  • 2/3 cup + 2 Tbsp plain yogurt
  • 1 egg, lightly whisked


  1. Combine the milk and sugar in a small bowl, sprinkle over the yeast and set aside for 5 -6 minutes or until foamy.
  2. Sift the flour, salt and baking powder into a large bowl. Add the yeast mixture, oil, yogurt and egg. Stir with a wooden spoon to form a coarse dough.
  3. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Shape into a ball and place in an oiled bowl, turning to coat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm, draught free place for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
  4. Preheat the oven 475 degree. Preheat a large, heavy-based baking tray in the oven.
  5. Knock back the dough with just one punch to expel the air and divide it into 6 portions. Roll each portion into a ball, place on a lightly greased baking tray and over with plastic wrap. Working with one ball at a time, use a rolling pin to roll out onto a lightly floured work surface into a rough oval, about 10 inches long and 5 inches wide.
  6. Working quickly, remove the hot baking tray from the oven and slap 2 naan onto it. Immediately place in the oven and bake for 3 minutes or until puffed. Transfer to a large dish towel to keep warm. Repeat to cook the remaining naan.

Naan are best eaten on the day they are made.



The recipe sounds a little ing but it is pretty easy! Just give it a shot!!



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Mini Galettes

Yesterday I posted over on Simple As That  an easy summer dessert recipe. Today I just wanted to share some other combos for the easy recipes.

Other easy combos:

  • Apple and dark chocolate
  • Pear and White chocolate
  • Apple and Cranberry
  • Rhubarb and Strawberry
  • Blueberry and pecans
  • Peach and Raspberry


Go check out the really easy recipe over at Simple As That 

Ham and Swiss Tart

I have a slight love affair with puff pastry. (You can see other recipes I’ve used it in here and here. ) A few weeks ago I was making supper and came up with this easy number.



It is a real easy supper and it looks fancy too. All you need is one box of puff pastry, one package of Ham, some Swiss Cheese and some Dijion mustard.


Inside that box of puff pastry there are two long packages of puff pastry. You need both.


First up chop all that ham up.

RLS_0822Roll out one of the packages.  RLS_0823

Sprinkle on the ham, trying to keep it off the edges.


Cover with cheese.

RLS_0825 Spread a little mustard on the top.RLS_0828

Pull out the other puff pastry and stretch it a tiny bit while laying it on top of the other one.


Using a fork, crimp the edges with the fork. RLS_0832

Just like that.


Add some slits in the top for steam.


Then bake it at 475 degrees for 15 – 20 minutes or until it’s golden brown.RLS_0896

I’ve made it a few times and often serve it with salad.


Ham and Swiss Tart


  • 1 Box of Puff Pastry
  • 1 pkg. of Ham
  • 1 pkg of Swiss Cheese
  • Some Dijon Mustard


  1. Inside that box of puff pastry there are two long packages of puff pastry. You need both.
  2. First up chop all that ham up.
  3. Roll out one of the packages.
  4. Sprinkle on the ham, trying to keep it off the edges.
  5. Cover with cheese.
  6. Spread a little mustard on the top.
  7. Pull out the other puff pastry and stretch it a tiny bit while laying it on top of the other one.
  8. Using a fork, crimp the edges with the fork.
  9. Add some slits in the top for steam.
  10. Then bake it at 475 degrees for 15 - 20 minutes or until it's golden brown.


RLS_0898That’s it. Easy, quick supper.


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Aloha Muffins

We recently going to Hawaii for the first time, I fell in love with it! It is amazing! The scenery – wow. Mountains, rivers, waterfalls, the coast line, snorkeling, the warm wind. All of it was just lovely. Since coming back home I wanted to try and  bring some of the flavors home.

They are sweet but not too sweet and the pineapple and juice really adds moisture and flavor. I feel like they bring back a little bit of the flavor of Hawaii.

Aloha Muffins

10 minutes

12 minutes

22 minutes

24 muffins


  • 3/4 cup softened margarine
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup chopped macadamia nuts
  • 2/3 cup coconut
  • 1- 14 oz can crushed pineapple, juice and everything


  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and prepare 2 muffin tins with muffin liners.
  2. Cream the margarine and sugar. Add in eggs and beat well.
  3. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir in flour mixture into creamed mixture.
  4. Gently stir in pineapple and macadamia nuts.
  5. Scoop muffin mix into prepared pans.
  6. Bake for 12 - 15 minutes or until the edges are browned.


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Hawaiian Chocolate Chip Cookies

One of the things that come to mind when you think about food and Hawaii is Macadamia Nuts. (Which until I tried to type this, I always thought it was mac-a-dame-e-in nuts.) We saw some growing over there and in my mind that is something truly Hawaiian. Funnily enough, the first trees actually came from Australia. They were brought to Hawaii and planted in the 1920s and that is when they started to gain international attention. Australia is still the biggest exporter of them (40% of the world’s macadamia nuts). Some how they are still often thought of as a Hawaiian thing.


Well I wanted to have some more of this Hawaiian-but-actually-Australian-thing in my life here in Southern Alberta. So I went on the look out to find some and had success at the bulk barn. I brought home a big bag and then a few days later I was looking through an old  cookbook and found this recipe in one of the first cookbooks I bought when Regan and I got married. I’ve had this book for over 12 years. It is literally falling apart. I had never made this recipe until now and I loved it!!


My hubby and kids all loved it too!


Hawaiian Chocolate Chip Cookies

12 minutes

7 minutes

20 minutes

2 1/2 dozen


  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup flaked coconut
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup coarsely chopped macadamia nuts


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine sugars, butter, egg and vanilla.
  3. Beat at medium speed of electric mixer until light and fluffy.
  4. Add flour, coconut, baking soda and salt.
  5. Beat at low speed until soft dough forms. Stir in chips and buts.
  6. Drop dough by heaping teaspoons 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets.
  7. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes, or until edges are light golden brown.
  8. Cool completely before storing.

Recipe Source: Cookies: A Cookie Lover Collection by Janice Cauley




They are perfect  for sharing with a friend.


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40 Rotisserie Chicken Dinner Ideas



A month or so ago I was asked to teach a group of girls a cooking skill they could use when they moved away from home. I decided that I would teach them dinner ideas. I first thought of what you could do with a rotisserie chicken. It’s the perfect thing for a young woman to pick up at the store and then bring it home to make a meal. Sometimes I get excited about something and then I get a little overboard on it and this was the case. I collected a bunch of recipes from the internet and also some from my own cookbooks and files. First step for all of these is to get a rotisserie chicken from the local grocery store (You can roast your own chicken if you have one in your freezer too!) and then just pull all the meat off it.

rotisserie-chickenThere are lots and lots of recipes that you can easily just adjust to make meals work with the already cooked chicken. Some of these call for chicken breast that you cut up – but just substitute the shredded cooked chicken and keep on with the recipe. Easy peasy!

40-chicken-meals-2 Some of the recipes included are…..


The online recipes from these great sites:

I think sometimes dinner can be so overwhelming sometimes, but all these recipes make it easy!


To download the printable recipe book click on the image or You can go here to download it.


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Leftover Easter Ham Chowder

This post was originally  posted on Lolly Jane where I contribute food recipes once a month.


It seems there is always another holiday around the corner and certain foods get equated with certain holidays. Easter just passed and in my mind, Easter means ham. Not those boneless precooked ones, but the big, thick bone down the middle, marbled with fat, salty and strong flavored ham. When I was a kid my mom would make a sweet and a little bit sour mustardy pineapple sauce that i would happily smear all over each thickly cut piece. Yum!

Not long ago I was in the meat freezer section of the grocery store and I saw a big ham and those flavors and smells totally came back to me. I  bought it right then. Later that week I cooked a huge ham and some tasty scalloped potatoes in the middle of the week. It was awesome. 😉 As usually happens to me, there was lots left over. (I always cook for an army!) Those leftovers led to this soup. I actually saved the bones that had bits of the meat still stuck to the outside and a bunch of the crispy, tough skin. I added all that into the chicken stock and milk to add more flavor. It’s not necessary but if you’ve got it laying around, why not!


Leftover Easter Ham Chowder

  • 3 Tbsp margarine
  • 3-5 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 /2 chopped onion
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tsp thyme
  • 3 Tbsp flour
  • 5 cups chicken stock
  • 3 boiling potatoes, diced and peeled
  • 3 cups diced leftover ham
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup whole milk

In a heavy stock pot, melted the margarine and fry the garlic and onion until the onions turn clear. Add in the thyme and salt and pepper. Sprinkle the flour over top and whisk in until moistened. Turn up the heat Add in the chicken stock and milk and bring to boil. Add in 2 cups of the diced ham and the potatoes. Simmer for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are soft. Stir in the cheese. Pour half the soup into your blender (or use an immersion blender right in the pot) and blend it up and pour back into the bowl. Adding in  other cup of diced ham. Serve with more grated cheese.

Relearning how to make French Toast

A few months ago the cable company called and asked if we wanted to try out cable and a PVR for 6 months for free. I thought of Food Network for 2 seconds and said yes. I’ve set it up to record all my favorite Food Network shows and then at night when I am too tired to do anything but stare blankly at the wall, I watch Food shows. Regan had come home one night after the kids were in bed and found me snuggled up on the couch in my coziest pjs watching recorded cooking shows. He sat down beside me in the dark and watched for a few minutes, before asking “Don’t you ever think, why I would need to watch a show where she was talking about making a chocolate cake, when I could easily do that?”  He got bored relatively quickly and moved on to doing some of his never-ending doctorly paperwork. I kept watching and started a new episode that happened to have french toast in it. Well I watched, even though I know how to make french toast. Or so I thought!

I have never really loved french toast. It’s okay. In my mind, it’s just above cold cereal and way below good waffles and other tasty hot breakfasts. (To me cereal is like eating old, tasteless, soggy, cardboard….not to say that my kids don’t eat it pretty much every day….)  French toast is a I-don’t-want-cereal-but-i-dont-have-much-time kind of breakfast. The thing I don’t like about french toast is the sogginess and the egginess. When you cook the bread, but the inside is still a soggy, eggy sponge. No thanks. (I bet you can guess how I feel about bread pudding…)

Because I watched a Cooking show that showed lowly french toast, I will never make french toast my old way again!

3 things about this french toast:

  1.  The Bread matters. Thickly cut, old, dry Bread. Not that I’ve had this in my cupboard for 2 weeks and it’s got a bit of a green ting but I can’t quite see any green growth…. Not that bread. But maybe you’ve got a loaf in your freezer that’s been there a little too long and it’s a bit dried out. Or you made a rustic loaf a few days ago and you have some thickly cut slices. Yum.
  2. Lemon Zest. My first thought was “really…. isn’t that a bit over the top!” Nope. It’s not. I couldn’t believe the difference the little punch of lemon added. Do it.
  3. Just Yolks: One of the reasons I never really loved French toast was the fear of having one of the slices that ended up with the big clump of egg whites, know what I’m talking about? No thank you!

So. Give this recipe a try. French toast has officially climbed the taste latter at my house thanks to Ree Drummond!

The Pioneer Woman's French Toast


  • 1 loaf Crusty Bread: Baguette, French Loaf, Etc.
  • 4 whole Egg Yolks
  • 2 cups Half-and-half
  • 1 Tablespoon Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla
  • Zest Of One Lemon
  • Maple Syrup For Serving
  • Sifted Powder Sugar, For Serving (optional)


  1. To make the french toast, cut bread into slices 1/2 inch thick. In a dish, mix together egg yolks, half-and-half, sugar, lemon zest and vanilla. Whisk to combine. Dip bread slices in mixture, coating both sides, then remove from dish and set aside. Repeat until all bread is coated.
  2. Heat iron skillet or griddle over medium heat. Sizzle butter in the pan when hot. Cook French toast on both sides until golden brown, being careful not to burn.


You can find her witty-as-always original post here. 

How do you feel about french toast??

Katey’s “Fried” Ice Cream

I love getting together with other women, especially when we have food!  That makes it even better! I’m in a great ladies lunch group that gets together monthly. We rotate homes and get together and eat good food and chat. This last month we had this for dessert. The hostess told me what was in it and I went home and gave it a try! Here is my version of Katey’s Fried Ice Cream.

All you do is put 2 cups of Frosted Flakes, 2 tsp of cinnamon and 1 cup chopped (or grated) white chocolate into a food processor and chop it all up until it’s nice and small. Then you take one serving of ice cream (still frozen) into your hands and roll it into a ball. (Yep, it’s cold, just do it quickly!) Then roll the balls into the mixture. Place them on a cookie sheet and place them all back into the freezer.

To make some chocolate sauce, put 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa, 1 2/3 cup white sugar and 1 1/4 cup water in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and let boil 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.

When you serve them, add some yummy chocolate sauce on top. That’s it. So easy and soooo tasty!

Chocolate Syrup Recipe from All Recipes.


5 Star Bars

It’s funny how recipes get passed sometimes. This one I was at a church gathering and every single woman there was eating and then commenting, “who made these, did you? did you?” And no one could figure it out. They all kind of gave up and just were like man this are good. Not me. I kept asking and asking until I figured out who made them and got the recipe. Funny thing is, I got a different one first (which is also pretty good) but as soon as I read the recipe I knew it wasn’t the right one. So I kept asking around and finally success!


5 Star Bars


  • 2 cups coconut
  • 2 cups crushed graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 5 Aero Bars
  • 1/8 up oil


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix together coconut, cracker crumbs, vanilla, sweetened condensed milk and melted butter. Mix until well combined.
  3. Spread into 9x9 square pan and bake for 10 minutes. Let cool.
  4. Melt the aero bars and oil in the microwave.(Be careful not to burn it!)
  5. Spread evenly over cooled mixture.
  6. Cool, then enjoy.



Chocolate covered Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Eggs

Looking back at Easter when I was a kid I remember a few things. One, the Easter Bunny always came the Saturday before. Easter Sunday was about the real meaning, always. Two, I never remember actually believing in the Easter Bunny. We all knew it was my mom. And we were fine with it. We knew because she always made the same thing every year and it had our names on it. And she always hid them in the same spots. I supposed when there are 7 kids finding good hiding spots for baskets could get old. So she just used the same ones. You just looked in every spot each year to see which one had your basket. (The first one we all looked in was the oven. For some reason I found it hilarious that it was one of the spots.) Three, My mom always bought one of those hollow Easter eggs and handwrote our names in icing on the top and then added these eggs too. That was the fun of Easter at our house.

This year we’ll actually be in Hawaii on Easter (just me and Reg – and YES I am beyond excited!) So I thought I would share some of these with my kids a little early. SO easy!

All it takes is making regular Rice Krispie Squares except you add peanut butter to it along with the butter. I did find that you needed more marshmallows, so I added a recipe at the bottom adjusted.

And then form them into eggs. I found this was way easier to do on the counter than in my hand!

Let them cool and they’ll be ready to dip in chocolate. As I kid my mom always dipped them in chocolate and I remember them being quite crispy. So I instead made a chocolate ganache and dipped them in that. The only thing is you have to let it drip off all the way if you do that.

Then add some icing sugar and a tiny bit of water to make a thin icing and do some little designs on the top. That’s it. Easy!!

Fancy looking and easy. And cheap! If you used chocolate chips to melt to put on top, the whole thing is quite cheap!

Chocolate covered Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Eggs

5 minutes

30 minutes

35 minutes

Instead of dipping in dipping chocolate you can cover them in a chocolate ganache like this one. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/chocolate-ganache-recipe.html


  • 1/4 cup margarine or butter
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 6 cups mini marshmallows
  • 6 cups Rice Krispies


  1. Measure the rice krispies into a big bowl.
  2. Melt the Margarine and peanut butter in a heavy bottom pot. Add in the marshmallows and stir until they melt.
  3. Pour the melted mixture over top of the rice krispies.
  4. Form into eggs and let cool.
  5. Dip into melted chocolate and let hardened.


Add them to a bed of colored coconut “grass” and you’ve got yourself an Easter treat!

Did you parents do anything special for Easter that you specifically remember from when you were a kid?



Spinach and Feta Handpies

I love puff pastry. Like a lot. I’ve even taught a class about it, that’s how much I love it. I think it is the perfect thing because 1. You can make yummy things with it 2. You can make so so so many things that look fancy but in reality are so easy! 3. It is one of the only things that I say you should definitely buy instead of making it homemade.  I have made it from scratch and it is a lot of work and it is really really really hard to get thin and square.

I like it a lot. It makes a lot of the things I love. One time I was in the grocery story and the cashier was feeling chatty and she asked me what it was and what you do with it. And I had to stop myself from being a crazy person and giving her a ten minute rant about how wonderful it is and all the things you could do with it. I explained (briefly) what is was and two things you could make with it. She totally thought it was phyllo dough and I didn’t want to keep talking about it and weird the girl out. So I just walked away. I actually told Regan how proud I was of myself for not lecturing her 😉 See… I love it.

I was looking on Instagram the other day and someone had posted a picture of a spinach and feta pie that they had from some coffee shop. And the ingredients sounded super tasty to me. So when I went to the store I got some spinach and came up with these little biddies.

Spinach and Feta Handpies


  • 1/2 medium red pepper,chopped
  • 3 minced cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 3 handfuls roughly chopped spinach
  • 3/4 cup feta cheese
  • 1 Tbsp Greek Seasoning
  • 1 pkg of thawed puff pastry


  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, heat up your oil. Add in the garlic, onion and red pepper and sauté until the onions are soft. Sprinkle the greek seasoning over top.
  2. Add in the spinach and stir just until it wilts. Take off the heat and mix in the feta cheese.
  3. Let your filling cool to room temperature.
  4. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Cover a pan with parchment paper.
  5. Roll out your puff pastry. Cut into four strips the long way and then in half.
  6. On the top row of rectangles put 3 tablespoons of filling on each one, keeping to the middle of the rectangle. Then place another bit of puff pastry over top. Do with both rolls of puff pastry.
  7. Using a fork, go around and press down on the edges, sealing them together. Using a sharp knife, cut a few slits into the top of each pie for steam.
  8. Place pies onto parchment paper and bake in preheat oven for 13-15 minutes or until golden brown.
  9. Enjoy.


I’ll just show you how to fill them, cause I think the filling is easy peasy to make!  Unroll your dough and cut it into equal strips and then once down the middle in half.

On the top row of rectangles put 3 tablespoons of filling on each one, keeping to the middle of the rectangle. 

Then place another bit of puff pastry over top. Do with both rolls of puff pastry.

Using a fork, go around and press down on the edges, sealing them together. Cut a few steam holes in the top of each pie.

Place pies onto parchment paper and bake in preheat oven for 13-15 minutes or until golden brown.


Here’s a little peek to the inside of the yummy filling.


Leprechaun Loaf

When I was little one of my memories was of green bread for Saint Patrick’s day. Often there was green scrambled eggs too. This was pre Pinterest. (It was pre Internet…. hahahaha) Often lately I am more and more amazed at the things my mom did. So this year I’m sharing this fun little idea with my kids and with you too.

I have a bunch of mini loaf pans (they were my moms too… so she was probably using the same pans). I made one big loaf but most of the loaves were small. Just use your favorite bread recipe and add some green food coloring. I used the paste food coloring so I added it right into my liquid and then added the flour as usual.

 And we had enough to share so I made some little printable tags that could be attached, wrapped them in plastic and sent my kids off to deliver them to neighbors. I made these little printables you can download and attach to your loaves if you’d like.

Go here to download a page of them and then I just added some cute Washi tape along the bottom.

We really don’t celebrate St. Patrick’s Day usually. But this year, I thought it was fun to introduce something small but fun that my mom did for me when I was a kid. On the actual day I’ll send some sandwiches made out of the bread.

And what would a leprechaun have in their sandwich? Chocolate of COURSE!

I like doing things for my kids that my mom did for me. It makes it more special in my mind. 🙂

Do you do anything to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?

Caramelized Pears


Looking for a sweet topping to add to your breakfast?

Caramelized pears are just the thing! My favorite is actually caramelized bananas…. but I didn’t have any this day! So I did pears!


Put 1/3 cup of sugar into a frying pan on the stove and turn on some high heat.

Every few minutes swish the pan around to move the sugar. Not to hard. Just a little bit of a shake. Twist of the wrist. Tip the pan back and forth. Get my drift?

All of a sudden it turns carmeley…. (yep that’s totally a word…. right???) Add in 4 Tbsp of butter and let that melt (it’ll do it quick.) Shut of the heat.

Then pour in 4 Tbsp of cream and let it bubble.

Then add in your fruit. Turn the heat back onto a low simmer.

Mix it around and let the caramel cover over your fruit. If it was bananas it’d be all soft and ready but the pears needed a few minutes to soften up and brown.

Then pour it on top of your warm french toast.

Next time I’d peel them. The peel was okay. But it’d be better without I think.

Pizza Buns

I grew up with my mom making these pizza buns. She would make these and keep them in the freezer and then pop them into our lunches and they’d be thawed by lunchtime.

I used this sweet dough that is my staple for cinnamon buns, donuts, pizza crusts, etc…


Roll out the dough flat onto a greased counter top so it is about 2-3 inches thick and then cut it into 3 inch circles.

Take each circle out and flatten in in the middle with your hands.

Add some pizza sauce in the middle of the circle.

Add some cut up ham, pineapple and grated cheese in the middle.

Then pull the edges out and fold it together and pinch together the edges.

Keep pinching the edges together so that they stick together well.

Just make sure all the sauce and toppings are tucked up inside. Then roll it over and put the seems down.

Pop them into the preheated 350 degree oven on a greased baking sheet and bake them for 15 – 20 minutes or until they are golden  brown all over.  Then they end up like this.

You can fill them with ham and pineapple or pepperoni or my mom always did cooked ground hamburger mixed with pizza sauce and some marble cheese. You can keep them into the freezer and pop them out into your kids lunches and they’ll be thawed by lunch tine.

Butterscotch Pecan Blondies

Just in case your here looking for the giveaway, its down a couple posts. Or click here and get to it!!


I was thinking about butterscotch the other day. Yep. I think about random food at random times. I was also thinking about brownies. And then I moved onto Blondies. And then I played around in my kitchen and ended up with these suckers. Butterscotch Pecan Blondies. The first day they are made they are great.

But the second day, you warm it up in the microwave for 30 seconds, add a plop of vanilla bean ice cream like this or just get some of this and add some butterscotch sauce?! YUM!


Butterscotch Pecan Blondies

10 minutes

33 minutes

43 minutes

1 9x13 pan


  • Butterscotch Pecan Blondies.
  • 1.5 cups sugar
  • 1 cup margarine
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 bag butterscotch chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350. Prepare a 9x13 baking pan with parchment paper (or spray it really good with cooking spray.)
  2. Beat the sugar and margarine until fluffy. Add the vanilla. And one egg at a time, beating well after each.
  3. Add in the flour, baking powder and salt. Mix well. Stir in the pecans and butterscotch chips.
  4. Spread into prepared pan. Bake for 33-35 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
  5. Let them cool all the way before eating.


I think this one looks like he’s winking at you…. what do you think?

Easiest Mini Meatloaf EVER


So I was working in my kitchen a while ago with some hamburger and making plans for supper. And I had in my head to make meatloaf. But then I realized I didn’t have any breadcrumbs left. TRAGEDY. So I was rooting around in my pantry and found a great solution. This is it.

Kraft’s Shake n’ Bake has flavoring and bread crumbs all in it. And you can get it in different flavors! You can use it to make burgers too. Here’s how you do it.

1. Put your hamburger in a bowl.  Open your bags of shake n’ bake and take out 1/4 cup of it and set it aside. Pour the rest onto your hamburger and add one egg.

2. Mix it all together.

3. Roll the mixture into balls that will fit inside the muffin tins.

4. Sprinkle the leftovers on top of the mini meat loafs.

5. Then put them into the oven at 350 degrees for about 15 – 20 minutes. (Or until they are all golden brown.)

Options: You can add chopped up onions and celery or grated carrots. I also love adding a bit of grated cheese into the middle of them and then adding more meatloaf mixture on top to make a nice cheesy middle.

Easiest dinner ever!

Here’s a recap.

Kraft’s Shake n’ Bake has flavoring and bread crumbs all in it. And you can get it in different flavors! You can use it to make burgers too. Here’s how you do it.

Easiest Mini Meatloaf EVER


  • 910 grams of hamburger
  • 1 box of Kraft Shake n' Bake
  • 1 egg


  1. Put hamburger in a bowl.
  2. Open your bags of shake n' bake and take out 1/4 cup of it and set it aside.
  3. Pour the rest onto your hamburger and add one egg.
  4. Mix it all together.
  5. Roll the mixture into balls that will fit inside the muffin tins.
  6. Sprinkle the leftovers on top of the mini meat loafs.
  7. Then put them into the oven at 350 degrees for about 15 - 20 minutes. (Or until they are all golden brown.)


I’m linking this up at 30 Days and Six Sisters 


Banana Bread Waffles

I had a large pile of bananas on my counter this morning. (As I often do.) And I wanted something besides my favorite banana muffins (which I will still make too – there were THAT many bananas!). So I fiddled around and came up with these yummy waffles. My hubby and kids quite liked them. I hope you do too.

Banana Bread Waffles


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 5 large bananas
  • 5 TBSP oil


  1. Preheat your waffle iron
  2. In a large bowl combine eggs, brown sugar, milk, buttermilk, bananas and oil.
  3. Using a handheld mixer combine really well until the bananas are all mixed up.
  4. In a different bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
  5. Combine with the wet mixture just until the dry ingredients are incorporated.
  6. Spray or butter your waffle iron and cook your waffles like you normally would.
  7. Eat with powered sugar and syrup or whipped cream and buttermilk syrup or chocolate syrup!


Caramel Popcorn

One of my very favorite treats is caramel popcorn. Really, if it involves caramel… I like it. A LOT. This is my favorite recipe for popcorn. (There are many kinds of caramel  for many kinds of foods ;)) It comes from a family cookbook that I got from my friend Alysha. (It has lots of great recipes in it!)

Carmel Popcorn

Caramel Popcorn


  • 1 cup unpopped corn
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda


  1. Pop corn and put in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Bring butter, sugar and corn syrup to a boil slightly, only until sugar dissolves.
  3. Remove from heat and add vanilla and baking soda.
  4. Pour over popped corn.
  5. * If you want the caramel to stay soft and sticky, then take it off the heat immediately after the first bubbles. If you want it to be harder then let it boil a little bit longer!


Breakfast Chocolate Syrup

I shared a picture of this the other day on Instagram. It is totally from my childhood. My mom would make this on special occasions. And every single time I thought it was FANTASTIC that I got chocolate on my waffles or pancakes. 🙂 Perfect for these waffles.

Breakfast Chocolate Syrup


  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup cocoa


  1. Combine sugar, water & cocoa in a pot on medium heat in a heavy bottom medium sized pot.
  2. Let it boil for 2 minutes.
  3. And then use it! I love it warm!


Alden described it like hot chocolate on your waffles. This is how excited my kids are about it….



Pierogi Pizza

My lovely friend Jill just shared another recipe with me and it is FANTASTIC!!!

Pierogi Pizza

Pierogi Pizza


  • 1 pizza crust
  • 4 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 1 1/2 c mozza cheese
  • 1 c cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 8 bacon slices, cooked and cut into pieces
  • 5 TBSP sour cream
  • 2-3 green onion, chopped


  1. Place potatoes and spices in saucepan with 2 c water.
  2. Cook on med/high until tender.
  3. Drain excess liquid and place in bowl.
  4. Spread sour cream onto crust.
  5. Top with potatoes. Add cheeses. Add bacon.
  6. Bake at 400 for 20 min.
  7. Garnish with green onions and more sour cream.


You can prebake your crust if you want. I usually do, just for five minutes or so .

Seriously FANTASTIC!!! I love having friends who are good cooks!!!!

Baked Eggs with Cheddar & Potatoes


I was looking through my old pictures (well last years since I am editing (trying) them all so I can finish my 2012 project life) and i found these that I hadn’t shared. So i’m going to today.

This is a totally yummy filling breakfast that takes a few extra minutes.

Baked Eggs with Cheddar & Potatoes (recipe from Food tv kitchens cookbook)

1. Preheat the oven to 400. In a large well seasoned cast iron skillet melt the butter over medium heat.

Add the potatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and brown, about 15 minutes.

Add the parsley, garlic, salt and pepper to taste and remove from the heat.

Push the potatoes aside to make 4 evenly spaced shallow nests and break 2 eggs into each. (We only did 6 eggs on this one). Bake until the egg whites are cooked and the yokes are still runny, about 10 minutes.

Sprinkle the cheese over the eggs and continue baking just until it melts, about 1 minute. 

Serve immediately.


Here’s a printable one:

Baked Eggs with Cheddar & Potatoes


  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 lbs red skinned potatoes
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1 cup shredded extra sharp cheddar


  1. Preheat the oven to 400.
  2. In a large well seasoned cast iron skillet melt the butter over medium heat.
  3. Add the potatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and brown, about 15 minutes.
  4. Add the parsley, garlic, salt and pepper to taste and remove from the heat.
  5. Push the potatoes aside to make 4 evenly spaced shallow nests and break 2 eggs into each.
  6. Bake until the egg whites are cooked and the yokes are still runny, about 10 minutes.
  7. Sprinkle the cheese over the eggs and continue baking just until it melts, about 1 minute.
  8. Serve immediately.



Linking this up here and here 

Pizza Dough

One of the things I get asked for the most is a pizza dough recipe! I have two different ones that I like. One is more for a thinner crust and the other is more not so thin crust 🙂

Thin Pizza Dough


  • 2 1/2 tsp yeast
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 3 cups warm water
  • 6 cups all purpose flour (* approx.)


  1. Mix the warm water, sugar, salt and yeast and let stand for 10 minutes.
  2. Then add the flour and knead for 5 minutes.
  3. Roll into a ball and let it rest for 20 minutes.
  4. Roll out into pizza pans.
  5. Top with favorite toppings and cook!


Thick Pizza Dough


  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1/2 cup melted margarine (or of oil)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp yeast
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Flour


  1. Put your water and salt in a large bowl and stir to let the salt dissolve. And set it aside.
  2. In a different bowl mix the eggs and sugar until frosty.
  3. Combine into the biggest bowl.
  4. Add 1/2 of the melted margarine (or oil). Stir well.
  5. Start adding flour until it gets hard to stir with a spoon.
  6. Sprinkle yeast on top and stir it in.
  7. Now start adding flour until the dough comes together and you can handle it.
  8. Knead it a bit with your hands.
  9. (If you are using a Bosch or a kitchen-aid it will start to pull away from the sides.)
  10. It should be a nice clean dough that you poke your hand into and it just leaves a dent that pops back out.
  11. Turn the dough over so the smooth side is on the top.
  12. Then pour the rest of the margarine (or oil) over top and grease the sides of the bowl with it too.
  13. Let rise in a warm spot until doubled.
  14. Roll it into your pans.



Our Favorite topping combos lately?

  1. Hawaiian and Pepperoni (my kids favorites and I make them every time plus some for us)
  2. Basil Pesto + chopped cooked chicken  mozzarella
  3. Fresh basil + fresh tomatoes + fresh mozzarella
  4. taco: hamburger (with seasoning on it) + cheddar + onions served with lettuce + tomato + sour cream
  5. veggie: fresh tomatoes + bell peppers + mushrooms + goat cheese
  6. Italian sausage + mushrooms + purple onions + mozzarella

Upside Down Pear Cake

There are not a lot of foods that I don’t enjoy. And funnily enough, pears is one of them. I just can not take the texture of them. I want to like them, but then I bite into one and gag. Can’t do it.

So this fall being the smart lady that I am, I got a case of pears. And my family just wasn’t eating them fast enough. (Maybe since I got a case of nectarines and 2 of peaches at the same time…..) Anyways, I was needing to use up some pears. And I wanted to it in a way that I’d enjoy too. (And I’d already canned my limit for the year….. my self imposed limit that is).

This dessert is a result of all these circumstances. 🙂

Pear Upside Down Cake

Upside Down Pear Cake


  • 2 ripe pears
  • 2 Tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 2 tsp + 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup sour cream


  1. Grease a 2 quart glass pan. Peel your pears and cut into slices and layer into the bottom of the pan.
  2. Sprinkle the brown sugar and 2 tsp cinnamon over top of the pears.
  3. Sift together flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.
  4. In a separate bowl, cream butter and sugar in a mixing bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each one.
  5. Add the flour mixture alternately with the sour cream, starting and ending with the flour.
  6. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 25 - 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
  7. Eat it warm with ice cream or vanilla bean whipped cream or let it cool to room temperature.





And here

Oliver’s Owl Birthday Party

We had a pretty low key party for little Oliver. With family. It was just right. But I did want to show you how I made his Owl cake. Am I a tad bit obsessed with owls and Oliver? Perhaps. When I get every thing done in his room you will see how true that really is (eek).

Anywho, here is the cake.
The finished product

To make it… this is what I came up with.

First I used my dome cake pan (that is actually for Barbie dress cakes)
The making of an owl cake

And made a stack of sugar cookie circles to use….
The making of an owl cake

And cupcakes. (Now the cupcakes and the cake are all from the same batch that I made from Martha Stewarts Baking Handbook (which if you’ve read my blog for a while you know I love!) It’s called the Yellow Cake.)

I cooled them all. And made my icing (made a chocolate buttercream.)
First added two cupcakes on the top of the cake. I added a wooden skewer in each just to make sure it was steady.
The making of an owl cake

Then covered the whole thing in icing – making the parts at the top a little pointy with the icing.
Owl cake Beginnings

Let that dry a bit then smoothed out the icing more. And added the cookie eyes.
The making of an owl cake

Then added some Oreo halves for the eyes, some broken Oreo halves for the eyebrows and one small orange smartie for the beak.
Another shot of the final

I decorated the rest of the cupcakes too….
Owl cupcake
A little flock of owls….
A plate full of cupcakes

All the treats together (had to ice the rest of the cookies too!)
All the treats

And here is Oliver with his cake… which he touched twice and then cried to be done 🙂
Oliver with his Owl Cake


Pumpkin Pound Cake with Buttermilk Glaze

This is one of my favorite topics! 🙂 I made this a couple days ago for a Pinterest lunch, where everyone brought something they had pinned. It was a tasty time! One of the things I made was this.

I may or may not have a LOT (as in an obscene amount) of food  pinned. I can’t help myself. I loooove recipes. I’ve collected recipes for years. I’ve always thought it would be cool to write a cookbook.  I’ve started making up my own recipes even and really have realized I loooove doing it. It has taken me years to say I could do that. I have always been in the kitchen but I always thought I couldn’t do that.

Pumpkin Pound Cake with Buttermilk Glaze

From Cooking Light

Pumpkin Pound Cake with Buttermilk Glaze


  • Cake:
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (about 13 1/2 ounces)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup fat-free buttermilk
  • Glaze:
  • 1/3 cup fat-free buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda


  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. To prepare the cake, lightly coat a 10-inch tube pan with cooking spray; dust with 1 tablespoon flour. Spread pumpkin over 2 layers of paper towels; cover with 2 additional layers of paper towels.
  3. Let stand about 10 minutes. Scrape drained pumpkin into a bowl.
  4. Place 3/4 cup granulated sugar, brown sugar, and 1/2 cup butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed 3 minutes or until well blended.
  5. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in pumpkin and vanilla.
  6. Lightly spoon 3 cups flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife.
  7. Combine flour and next 4 ingredients (through salt) in a bowl, stirring well with a whisk.
  8. Add flour mixture and 3/4 cup buttermilk alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
  9. Spoon batter into prepared pan. Bake at 350° for 55 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack.
  10. Remove from pan, and cool completely on wire rack.
  11. To prepare glaze, combine 1/3 cup buttermilk and remaining ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute or until thick, stirring constantly; remove from heat. Drizzle cake with glaze.



Now go check out these other ladies kitchens…..


Reese Mini Cookies

One of my very favorite treats are Reese Peanut Butter Cups. And then I found Reese Minis. And I love them even more!!

And the last bag I was enjoying made me think how great they’d be in cookies. So I got to work and came up with these little gems.

1. Dump out all your Reese Minis and chop them in half. Spread them out onto a plate or pan and pop them into the freezer for 15-20 minutes.
mmmmm tasty!

2. Meanwhile, Cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each. Add in salt, soda and flour and mix well.

3. Add in your frozen chopped Reese Minis and mix but not too much as it’ll chop them all up and you don’t want to do that 🙂
The dough

4. With an ice cream scoop, scoop out the cookies onto a pan prepared with parchment paper. The slip the pans into the freezer for about 10 minutes. Bake in a preheated oven for 12 minutes. Enjoy!!
Reese Mini Cookies

Reese Mini Cookies


  • 1/2 cup softened margarine
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 bag of Reese Minis


  1. Dump out all your Reese Minis and chop them in half. Spread them out onto a plate or pan and pop them into the freezer for 15-20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, Cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each. Add in salt, soda and flour and mix well.
  3. Add in your frozen chopped Reese Minis and mix but not too much as it'll chop them all up and you don't want to do that 🙂
  4. With an ice cream scoop, scoop out the cookies onto a pan prepared with parchment paper. The slip the pans into the freezer for about 10 minutes. Bake in a preheated oven for 12 minutes. Enjoy!!

If you skip the freezer steps your Reese Minis will just melt more.


Dixie’s Bread & Butter Pickles

One of the stories my mother looooves to tell about my childhood is about how every year in her canning she would do cases of these pickles and every year we would eat every jar. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I have hear her say it. And for all the times she’s said it, I really have no recollection of them specifically. Just her canning. A LOT.

This year a nice Hutterite man stopped by my house and wanted to sell me some pickling cucumbers. So I agreed (although Regan told me to be careful… hahaha). So when I called my mom she was SURE I had to make these. After all “every year in her canning she would do cases of these pickles and every year we would eat every jar.”….

Dixie’s (My Mommma’s) Bread and Butter Pickles

Canning B&B Pickles
Wash cucumbers and cut off the ends. Slice crosswise into 1/8-inch slices. Toss in a large bowl with the salt and onion slices;
Canning B&B Pickles
Cover with about 4 to 6 cups of ice cubes. Cover and let stand for 4 hours or refrigerate overnight.
Canning B&B Pickles
Prepare the boiling water bath. Add water to a large caner with rack and heat to about 180°. The water should be high enough to be at least 1 inch above the filled jars. I usually fill it about halfway and I keep a kettle or saucepan of water boiling on another burner to add to the canner as needed. Wash jars thoroughly and heat water in a small saucepan; put the lids in the saucepan and bring almost to the boil; lower heat to very low to keep the lids hot.
Canning B&B Pickles
Drain the cucumber mixture. In a large pot (nonreactive) over medium heat, combine the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.
Canning B&B Pickles
Add the drained cucumber mixture and bring to a boil. With a slotted spoon, loosely pack the vegetables in prepared jars.
Canning B&B Pickles
Ladle the liquid into jars, dividing evenly among the jars.
Canning B&B Pickles
With a clean damp cloth (I keep a little bowl or cup of the boiled water handy for this step), wipe away any drips around the rims of the jars then cover with 2-piece jar lids. A lid lifter comes in handy to get the flat lids out of the water, or you could use tongs. Adjust the screw on rings firmly but do not over-tighten. Place filled in the prepared boiling water bath, adding more hot water as needed to bring the water up to about 1 inch above the jars. Bring the water to a boil. Cover and continue boiling for 10 minutes. Lift the jars out of the water and place on a rack to cool.
Makes about 6 pints.
Canning B&B Pickles

That’s it. I did more than 6 pints :).
And now hopefully MY kids will eat them all and I will start telling THEM about how every year I made piles of these pickles and every year they ate them all up.


Dixie’s Bread & Butter Pickles

6 pints


  • 4 pounds pickling cucumbers
  • 1 large onion, quartered, sliced about 1/4-inch thickness
  • 1/3 cup kosher salt
  • 3 cups vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
  • 2 teaspoons yellow mustard seeds, or use half pickling spices
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional


  1. Wash cucumbers and cut off the ends. Slice crosswise into 1/8-inch slices. Toss in a large bowl with the salt and onion slices;
  2. Cover with about 4 to 6 cups of ice cubes. Cover and let stand for 4 hours or refrigerate overnight.
  3. Prepare the boiling water bath. Add water to a large caner with rack and heat to about 180°. The water should be high enough to be at least 1 inch above the filled jars. I usually fill it about halfway and I keep a kettle or saucepan of water boiling on another burner to add to the canner as needed. Wash jars thoroughly and heat water in a small saucepan; put the lids in the saucepan and bring almost to the boil; lower heat to very low to keep the lids hot.
  4. Drain the cucumber mixture. In a large pot (nonreactive) over medium heat, combine the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.
  5. Add the drained cucumber mixture and bring to a boil. With a slotted spoon, loosely pack the vegetables in prepared jars.
  6. Ladle the liquid into jars, dividing evenly among the jars.
  7. With a clean damp cloth (I keep a little bowl or cup of the boiled water handy for this step), wipe away any drips around the rims of the jars then cover with 2-piece jar lids. A lid lifter comes in handy to get the flat lids out of the water, or you could use tongs. Adjust the screw on rings firmly but do not over-tighten. Place filled in the prepared boiling water bath, adding more hot water as needed to bring the water up to about 1 inch above the jars. Bring the water to a boil. Cover and continue boiling for 10 minutes. Lift the jars out of the water and place on a rack to cool.


Strawberry Bread

This fabulous recipe is from my friend Jill.

She is SUCH a good cook. And so funny. Always lots of laughs to be had with Jill around!!! I am sure I will probably share some other recipes Jill has shared with me on here!


Strawberry Bread

15 minutes

1 hour

2 loaves


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 1/2 cup strawberries, chopped (can use fresh or frozen. If using frozen, thaw and drain beforehand)


  1. Mix flour, salt, sugar, cinnamon, and baking soda in large bowl.
  2. Make a well in centre.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix eggs canola oil and the strawberries.
  4. Add into well in centre of flour mix. Combine but not overmix.
  5. Grease and sugar two loaf pans, coating the inside. Bake at 350 for 1 hour.

You can sprinkle tops of loaves with sugar before baking to make it crunchy


I made this a couple weeks ago and I didn’t have any strawberries, frozen or fresh. But I did have some of these freeze dried strawberries from Thrive.

And they worked really well. I ended up letting them sit in water first and then draining them. And I added more like 3 1/2 cups. But worked out so good! So if you have
Thrive products in your home try some of those in this bread! Enjoy!!

Strawberry Bread


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Rhubarb Sourcream Pie

This is my friend Lonnie and her family:

Lonnie is an amazing person. Her and Shawn have a blended family with piles of kids. And they handle all of it so well. I look up to her in that way so much. She is so fun to be around and such a good cook. And she shares. So that makes her even better 😉 Over two years ago Lonnie brought me one of these pies. And I fell in love with it! SO GOOD!

Rhubarb Sourcream Pie

Anywho, on to the PIE! I think I need one now too….

Rhubarb Sourcream Pie

1 hour

1 pie


  • 4 cups rhubarb
  • your favorite pie crust
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup sourcream
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Roll out your pastry and put it in your pan.
  2. Fill with your rhubarb.
  3. Mix together the sour cream, sugar and 1/3 cup flour and pour over top the rhubarb.
  4. Cut together the 1/2 cup flour, butter and brown sugar and sprinkle over top the pie.
  5. Bake on bottom shelf for 10 minutes at 425 and then reduce heat to 350 and bake for 40-50 minutes until rhubarb is cooked and the top is brown.
  6. Enjoy!


Double Chocolate Brownie Cookies

Did you know that some of the BEST recipes come from the packaging? Those recipes are tested and retested. And because of that you can trust those recipes. This one comes from the Hershey’s Chipits White Chocolate Chips.

Double Chocolate Brownie Cookies


The first time I made these Alden was beyond excited about them. The next few times I made different cookies he kept asking why I didn’t make this kind again. He loooves them. And so do I! I love it when I find a recipe that my kids absolutely love. This is one.

Double Chocolate Brownie Cookies

Bakers Twine from Sweet Estelle

Double Chocolate Brownie Cookies

15 minutes

10 minutes

25 minutes

Makes about 4 1/2 dozen cookies.


  • 1 1/3 cups softened butter
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup cocoa
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 Tbsp milk
  • 1 pkg Hershey's Chipits White Chocolate Chips


  1. Cream butter, brown sugar and white sugar.
  2. Beat in eggs and vanilla.
  3. Combine flour, cocoa, soda and salt.
  4. Blend into creamed mixture alternatively with milk.
  5. Stir in white chocolate chips.
  6. Drop dough by tablespoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes.


Orange Cookies

Isn’t it funny how tasting or smelling something will bring us smack back in a memory. I am positive you have food smells and tastes that make you think of someone or a different time.

These are a flashback from my childhood. My mom baked a lot and these were one of the top choices. I love that they are so different from chocolate chip, love the orange icing and the softness in them. So tasty!

Orange Cookies
Cake platter from the Home Port and bakers twine from sweet estelle


2 cups white sugar
1 cup shortening
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
2 tablespoons grated orange zest

1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest
2 tablespoons frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1.Cream white sugar and shortening; add eggs and stir. Add sour cream and 1 teaspoon vanilla; stir and set aside. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add little by little to the creamed mixture and stir well. Add 3/4 cup orange juice concentrate, and 2 tablespoons orange zest. Drop onto greased cookie sheets by teaspoonfuls.
2. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for about 10 minutes. Frost cookies when they are cool.

To Make Frosting: Mix together 1/2 teaspoon orange zest, 2 Tablespoons of the thawed orange juice concentrate, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 4 Tablespoons of melted butter, 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar or enough to make frosting of spreading consistency.

Orange Cookies
Bakers twine from sweet estelle , Cloth white napkins from Pier One, Paper Napkin from Superstore, and cute cardboard box from Le Box Boutique


Disgustingly Rich Brownies

You know how sometimes people will stop eating a dessert and say, “Too rich for me, can’t finish it?” That does NOT make sense to me. Hello it’s dessert. The rich sugary delight of dessert. On a side note….every time I write dessert I think two s’ cause you want more dessert – instead of desert when you wouldn’t want seconds…

I have never met a dessert too rich. Nope. Ever. Love them all. Yum. I’ve met some I didn’t like. But really not to many of those either.

And I happen to think Brownies are one of the best kinds of desserts around. And such a great thing to learn to bake. If you are afraid of baking (don’t get that either…) or always screw up everything you bake, try these. Easy peasy. And hello…. they are called Disgustingly Rich Brownies. Translated that means perfect brownies.

I got these from my friend Alysha’s family cookbook and adjusted (made it easier) it a tad.

Disgustingly Rich Brownies

1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup cocoa
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a pan (9×13) or just cover it with parchment paper (easier clean up!). Melt butter in microwave. Add sugar and cocoa and mix well. Add eggs and mix well. Add flour and salt, mixing just until smooth (don’t mix too much). Add 1/2 cup chopped nuts if you want them. Spread in greased (or lined) pan, making an even batter. Bake at 350 until brownies start to pull away from the sides or when no batter sticks to a toothpick stuck in the middle.

I like to double the recipe and then cook it on a cookie sheet so they are thin. And they are perfect if you wanted to use cookie cutters and make them into shapes. (why would you do that?? In case you wanted to add a dob of carmel and then some chocolate mousse on top to make a REALLY yummy treat!)


OR just have them with ice cream and some butterscotch topping. Yum.
OR just eat them warm out of the oven.
OR just eat them all broken up on a chocolate sundae.

Or all of the above 😉

Banana Cupcakes

Two Sundays ago after we got home from church Lucy came into the kitchen and announced that we HAD to make some cupcakes. It was two people’s birthdays that she heard in Primary and we had to take them some treats. The two people are leaders – one in the Primary Presidency and the other a teacher – not her teacher. A different one.

Regan was on call, Eli had had a hard day and I was tired frankly. But she wanted to so badly. So we made some. And the kids watched me decorate them with the lovely Honey Cinnamon Frosting. They figured out how all three of them could have a beater (two with a beater each and one with a spoon. Lucy drew and wrote on a card for each of them and we all piled in the van. The first house no one was home so I just opened the door and set them inside (this is Raymond!) and the next house the kids (except Oliver 🙂 ) all ran up and delivered them. They were all so happy to have done it.

Obviously them getting to eat the left over cupcakes that day and in their lunches the next couple days sweetened the deal. But what made me the most happy, and I think them too (especially Lucy), is that they did some service for some one else. It was completely 100% her idea. In fact I tried to talk her out of it. I didn’t feel like. It wasn’t the easiest timing.

Sometimes, in fact I feel like a LOT of times, service isn’t convenient. But that isn’t the point. In doing things for other people we are made better and hopefully they are helped too. Reminds me of two sayings. One is a little more polite than the other 🙂

“God does notice us, and he watches over us. But it is usually through another person that he meets our needs. Therefore, it is vital that we serve each other.” – President Spencer W. Kimball

And “Service is like peeing your pants. Everyone can see what you’ve done, but only YOU can feel the warmth.” 🙂 HA!

Yep I know they were just cupcakes, but I am proud of Lucy for thinking of it and for insisting we do it. And hopefully all of them can start with cupcakes and continue on to helping in bigger ways as they age.

These lovely little cupcakes are a favorite. When you are tired of always making banana bread (although with this recipe I am not sure how that happens!) or just want to mix it up… try out these little beauties from Martha.

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups mashed bananas (about 4 ripe bananas), plus 1 whole banana, for garnish (optional)
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Honey-Cinnamon Frosting

Banana Cupcakes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Make a well in center of flour mixture. In well, mix together butter, mashed bananas, eggs, and vanilla. Stir to incorporate flour mixture (do not overmix). Dividing evenly, spoon batter into muffin cups.
Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a cupcake comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan; cool completely on a wire rack. Spread tops with Honey-Cinnamon Frosting. Just before serving, peel and slice banana into rounds, and place one on each cupcake, if desired.

Honey-Cinnamon Frosting
1 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon honey
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions : In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat confectioners’ sugar, unsalted butter, honey, and ground cinnamon until smooth, 4 to 5 minutes.

Grandma’s Buttermilk Donuts

There are two kinds of donuts in my life. My mom’s yeast donuts and these.
My Grandma’s Buttermilk donuts.
Grandma's Buttermilk Donuts

A lovely cake crumb interior with a golden brown coating. Cooled and rolled in icing sugar is my favorite way to eat them!

Grandma’s Buttermilk Donuts
2 cups white sugar
5 Tbsp Crisco (grandma says these do NOT work with a substitute!)
5 medium sized eggs
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp vanilla
2 cup buttermilk
2 cup milk
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda

Beat sugar, Crisco, vanilla and eggs with an electric mixer until frothy. Add salt, buttermilk, milk, baking powder, baking soda and flour. Add enough flour to make a soft dough. Roll and cut into doughnuts. Fry in hot oil until golden brown. Makes 41 doughnuts depending on how you roll the dough.

And yep… no measuring for the flour… this is straight out of Grandma’s cookbook that I posted about here.

The BESTEST Chocolate Chip cookies

These are easily my favorite chocolate chip cookies.
If I make them and take them somewhere guaranteed someone will ask for the recipe!
The BESTEST Chocolate Chip cookies

Three important things about them:
1. Make SURE you only have Chipits Pure milk Chocolate chips. (I love substituting no name brands in recipes but in this one it won’t fly!)
2. Do NOT overbake them. They are best when you take them out as soon as the edges just barely get brown.
3. You will eat a Lot of these. Soooo be prepared 🙂

The BESTEST Chocolate Chip cookies #2
(It’s true…. i love these cookies!)

2/3 cup melted butter
2 cups lightly packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 Tbsp hot water
2 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 package (270 g) Hershey’ Chipits Milk Chocolate Chips

How to:
Beat the melted butter, brown sugar, eggs and hot water well. Stir in flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add in chocolate chips. Drop with small spoon (or ice cream scoop) onto a ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 F for 8 minutes. Makes 5 dozen cookies.
The BESTEST Chocolate Chip cookies #3
Try them. And you can thank me later.

PS. I’ve decided I love food photography. Hence the three photographs of ONE kind of cookie 🙂 Ah the things that bring me pleasure!

PPS. After taking all these shots my kids and I ate a whole pile of these lovely cookies.

PPPS. I think it’d be fun to take pictures for a cookbook. Or a restaurant.

PPPPS. Which picture of the cookies is your favorite?

I’m linking up at these places:
i heart nap time, your talking too much, nifty thrifty, Under the table and dreaming, it’s a hodge podge life, simply designing, 30 Handmade Days and Two Yellow Birds.

Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

A recipe I have had FOREVER. A classic cookie.
Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

2/3 cup margarine, softened
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cup rolled oats
1 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
170 g dried cranberries
2/3 cup white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Beat margarine and sugar together in medium bowl until fluffy and light.
Add eggs and mix well.
Combine oats, flour, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl. Add margarine mixture in several additions, mixing well after each addition.
Stir in cranberries and chocolate chips.
Drop by rounded spoonfuls on ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake for 9 minutes or until golden brown.

*don’t over cook these as that will make them hard!*

Banana Bread

My current favorite banana bread recipe.

Banana Bread

Jen Wilde’s Grandma’s Banana Bread
3 TBSP butter softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg beaten
1/2 cup milk + 1 TBSP vinegar
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3-4 mashed bananas
1 TBSP lemon juice

Cream butter and sugar. Add egg and milk/vinegar mixture. mix dry ingredients and add alternately with bananas to sugar/ egg mix. Add lemon juice. Bake in floured loaf pan in 350 oven for 50-55 minutes.

I always add in a half cup of oatmeal and one half cup of coconut.

Grandma knows best

This is me and my Grandma Stasiuk.
My Grandma and Me
(Thanks to my brother Sean for taking this shot of us at my mom & dad’s.)
She is my mom’s mom.
She was a caterer for over 10 years.
She still loves to bake and cook.
She just turned 89.
She lives with my parents.
She had a bakery in her kitchen for about 40 years.
She has five kids, twenty one grandkids, forty five great grandkids and four great great grandkids.
She is very kind and sweet.
She loves with food and hugs.
Every time I find some recipe I think is cool to try, I call Grandma and she says “yep, i’ve done that before too”
A year ago I started a project that she had dreamed of for years.
And now it’s all done and printed.

It’s a bunch of recipes she loves.
Lots she’s made up.
I’ve used lots of them even before the book when I phone grandma and say I am doing this for this and I was kind of thinking of something that has these ingredients, does that exist and how to I make it and she always has the answers.
I love having her close and seeing her way more often!
And yes, I think my love of cooking came straight down the generations and hit me square in the face.
I had no chance 🙂

Salmon & Spinach in Phyllo

Salmon & Spinach in Phyllo

from Pampered Chef Cooking for Two & More

1 tsp olive oil
4 cups fresh baby spinach leaves, coarsely chopped
Salt & ground black pepper
8 sheets (9×14 inches) thawed, frozen phyllo dough
Cooking spray
2 skinless salmon fillets (4-6 ounces each) about 1 1/2 inches thick
2 Tbsp garlic and herb cream cheese spread

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Heat oil in Sauté pan while hot. Add spinach; season with salt and pepper. Cook and stir until spinach is wilted, about 1 minute. Remove spinach to paper towel lined plate. Squeeze out all excess moisture; set aside.

2. Lay one sheet of phyllo on large work surface and spray with nonstick spray. Place second sheet on top, pressing sheets together to sea. Continue laying down and spraying phyllo sheets to create a stack of four sheets of phyllo. Repeat with remaining phyllo and additional cooking spray to create another phyllo stack.

3. Season salmon fillets with salt and black pepper. Spread each salmon fillet with half of the cream cheese spread and top with half of spinach. For each phyllo bundle, place salmon, spinach side down, on phyllo stack 2 inches from bottom edge of short side. Fold long sides oh phyllo in toward center. Gently roll up phyllo from bottom to top . Place both bundles on a cookie sheet with seam sides down. Using a bread knife, make three diagonal slits across the top of each bundle. Spray bundles with cooking spray. Bake 11 -13 minutes or until centers of each salmon register 130 degrees and phyllo is golden brown. Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Makes 2 servings.

Some of my thoughts on this recipe:
1. I made this last week and it was soooo good. Even my kid ate it (well not Eli but he never eats anything so he doesn’t count in this instance 🙂 )
2. The Sister Missionaries loooved it
3. I made 5 bundles and we easily had 2 left over. We could split one bundle for 2 people.
4. I totally forgot about the slicing the 3 slits and it didn’t really matter 🙂
5. I think thawed out and drained frozen spinach would work just fine in a pinch
6. We had it with ancient grains and brown rice for a healthy meal.

Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

I looved this! It was so good and looks fancy but really easy to make!

It comes from Emeril Lagasse!

1/2 cup golden raisins
8 ounces farmer’s cheese
1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
1 tsp fresh chopped parsley
1 cup chopped toasted walnuts
2 tsp salt
One 4-pound boneless pork loin
1 tsp ground black pepper
2 tsp unsalted butter
1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs

1. Preheat oven to 400.
2. Plump the raisins in 1/4 cup hot water (the recipe calls for walnut liqueur but water works fine)
3. Saute raisins & left over water and cook for 3-5 minutes or until all water is gone. Transfer to a bowl. Add cheese, rosemary, thyme, parsley, walnuts and 1/2 tsp salt and mix well.
4. Cut the fat of the roast. Slice down the middle of the roast and fill it with filling. Tie shut with bakers twine.
5. Season all over with salt and pepper.
6. Melt butter in saucepan and add breadcrumbs. Cook until golden brown. Sprinkle on roast.
7. Roast in oven until thermometer registers 140-145, about 35-40 minutes. Allow to rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

I simplified the instructions. Try it out!

Linked 52: Breakfast

The theme this week is Breakfast. I love cooking. If you’ve never looked at my family blog you might not know that about me. But I do. Lots of recipes posted over there at various times. For this week I wanted to share one of my favorite breakfasts that I tried at Christmas this year. Real Belgian Waffles. Which means they are a yeasted batter. Soooo yummy.

from here
1 1/2 cups lukewarm milk
6 tablespoons butter, melted
2 to 3 tablespoons maple syrup, optional
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 large eggs
2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast

1) Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl, leaving room for expansion; the mixture will bubble and grow.

2) Stir to combine; it’s OK if the mixture isn’t perfectly smooth.

3) Cover with plastic wrap, and let rest at room temperature for 1 hour; the mixture will begin to bubble. You can cook the waffles at this point, or refrigerate the batter overnight to cook waffles the next day.

4) Preheat your waffle iron. Spray with non-stick vegetable oil spray, and pour 2/3 to 3/4 cup batter (or the amount recommended by the manufacturer) onto the center of the iron. Close the lid and bake for the recommended amount of time, until the waffle is golden brown. It takes us 5 to 6 minutes, using our 7″ Belgian-style (deep-pocket) waffle iron.

5) Serve immediately, or keep warm in a 200°F oven. Serve with berries and whipped cream, if desired.

Yield: about 4 Belgian-style (deep-pocket) 7″ round waffles.



Today on my family blog I posted about my children’s breakfast mealtime routines you can go see too if you’d like.
The other lovely ladies who are playing along are:
Let me know in the comments if you want to join too and I’ll add you to the link list!
Next week’s theme is winter.

Pumpkin Muffins

This recipe comes from a great cookbook all about baking from Sarabeth Levine called “Sarabeth’s Bakery”, From my Hands to Yours.”

It is a great cookbook that I want to buy now that I’ve made a few things out of it. A few recipes that have caught my eye already (besides the pumpkin muffins!) Pains au Chocolat, Chocolate Babka, Banana Streusel Muffins, Maple Muffins, Rosemary Focaccia, Mrs. Stein’s Chocolate Cake and Lemon Raspberry Cake.

Now on to the muffins! Here’s a snapshot of one in yesterday’s morning sunlight coming into my kitchen.
Pumpkin Muffins

3 2/3 cup pastry flour, sifted
1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
8 Tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes
1 1/2 cups superfine sugar
4 large eggs at room temperature, beaten
One 15- ounce can solid pack pumpkin (which is almost 2 cups)
1 cup seedless raisins
1/4 cup hulled unsalted sunflower seeds

Preheat over to 400. Brush insides of 12 muffin cups with softened butter, then brush the tops.
Sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger and salt together in a medium bowl. Beat the butter in the bowl of a heavy duty mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on high speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Gradually beat in the sugar and continue beating, scraping the sides often until the mixture is very light in color and texture, about 5 minutes. Gradually beat in eggs. Reduce the mixer speed to low, Beat in pumpkin, the mixture may look curdled. In thirds, beat in the flour mixture, scraping down the sides of the bowl often, and mix until smooth. Add the raisins. Increase the speed to high and beat until the batter has a slight sheen, about 15 seconds longer.
Fill muffin tins. Sprinkle with sunflower seeds.
Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temp to 375 and continue baking until tops of muffins are golden brown and a wire cake tester comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely.

Note: I shortened the writing (since I’m lazy and a slow typer) the the basics. And using lots of softened butter on the pans gave a nice crispy outside to the muffins!

Listography: list 44: the best desserts

I could make a LONG list here 🙂 Dessert is my favorite course! So I’ll just stick to categories of them.

Hiding inside the cupcakes....

1. Chocolate anything. Like these and these and this… I could go on but I’ll stop there!

2. Pumpkin anything. Like these (that I made last Saturday night but didn’t take a picture of) or these or these and a whole lot of all these

3. Carmel or Butterscotch. Like this and this and this

4. Cookies. I love them. All sorts and we usually have some around our house.

5. Ice cream. My very favorite is homemade vanilla bean. Y.U.M. (And look at this one!)

10 on Tuesday

1. It was Lucy’s birthday this past week. I did throw her a party which was lots of fun. I took lots of pictures. So I’ll try and do a post all about her party and one about her at six. I had planned on posting all about her on her birthday but I didn’t get around to it!

2. I did do a photo shoot with her though. It was last night. This is one of my favorite images from it. You can see the rest over here.
Lucy at six

3. Alden announced to me that he wanted to have a bake sale. I asked him what he wanted to raise money for. And he looks at me with a look of are you serious? and said “so I can have money mom.” I’m not opposed to helping him have a bake sale. But we’d have to donate some of the money and he’d have to help me bake some of it. I have no idea where I’d do it though, cause summer is gone and making a cute booth to go outside just isn’t going to happen.

4. Still doing my 30 photos of Oliver. Haven’t posted them up here yet.
day 13
day 14
day 15
day 16
day 17
day 18
day 19
day 20
day 21
day 22
day 23
day 24
day 25

5. We had a great Thanksgiving. Even hosted my family at our house. It worked great that we don’t have much furniture yet. 🙂

6. Speaking of furniture, we bought a couch. And I LOOOOOOOOOVE it. Its’ this one.

7. My brother in law is painting my living room wall for me this week and I am sooooo happy about it.

8. We are hosting dinner club this month and I am trying to come up with a theme. I wanted to go with Chinese but Reg thinks that is too boring soooo we are trying to think a bit more exciting. One time he picked the letter R as our theme 🙂

9. I love eating left over thanksgiving food.

10. Oh pinterest. You’ve got me. I need to make a goal to actually MAKE some of the lovely things I’ve pinned. BUT with a newborn, that frankly just isn’t going to happen any time soon. Wait. i did make some food I’ve pinned on there…. a few times. Like these lovelies for Lucy’s class.
rolo cupcakes Found right on my dessert pinboard.

Red’s Ultimate M&M Cookies

I made these tasty cookies a couple weeks ago for the First of July. And then again shortly after since Alden complained that he didn’t get any. Totally tasty!!

July 9 - Cookies
1 cup margarine
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1 package M&M chocolate mini bits

Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl, cream butters and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. In a large bowl, combine flour, soda and salt; blend into creamed mixture. Stir in M&M bits. Drop by heaping teaspoons about 2 inches apart onto a ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10-13 minutes or until edges are lightly browned and centers are still soft. Do not over bake (I baked mine 8 minutes!) Cool one minute on the cookie sheet, cool completely on wire racks.
M&M Cookies

Banana Blueberry Lemon Muffins

Banana Blueberry Lemon Muffins
Found here
2 1/4 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 large ripe bananas, mashed
2 eggs
2/3 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup blueberries
2 tablespoons grated lemon rind
3 tablespoons sugar

1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Lightly grease muffin tin.
2. Combine flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and 1 tablespoon of the lemon rind.
3. Beat together bananas, eggs, brown sugar, butter, lemon juice and vanilla until blended.
4. Stir in dry ingredients until blended. Stir in blueberries just until combined. Spoon into prepared muffin cups, dividing batter equally.
5. For the topping, combine sugar and remaining lemon rind in small dish. Sprinkle evenly over the muffins.
6. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden.