Saturday, October 13, 2012

Pablano Chowder

This recipe is originally from Paula Deen. As I was making it, I realized my pot was not quite big enough (and we did not want that much food), so I adjusted it a little. This is the recipe with adjustments. You can find the original here. I made it a second time and substituted eggplant for the chicken. It was still good. Best of all, the kids (especially Josh) gobbled it up!

Chicken Pablano Chowder

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 large carrots, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 2 large onions, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 5 stalks celery, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/8 cup minced garlic
  • 1 poblano pepper, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, or more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, or more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon chicken bouillon granules
  • 8 c. chicken broth
  • 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro leaves, minced
  • 3 cups diced (large pieces) grilled chicken, or 1 small eggplant peeled and diced*
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 c. milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce, or more to taste
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Tortilla chips
Heat the oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the carrots, onions, celery, garlic, poblano peppers, salt, white pepper, cumin, and thyme. Saute for 7 to 8 minutes, or until the vegetables begin to soften. Stir in the chicken bouillon. Add the chicken broth and cilantro, and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the carrots are tender. Stir in the chicken and cook, stirring frequently, until the chowder is thick and the chicken is heated through. Shortly before the chowder is done, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the flour and stir to combine. Cook, stirring frequently, for 3 to 4 minutes to cook the flour. Do not allow the mixture to brown! Add the milk gradually (whisking constantly) and cook until thickened.
Pour the mixture in the skillet into the stockpot, whisking to blend. Cook, stirring frequently, for 3 to 5 minutes longer, or until the mixture begins to thicken. Remove the pot from the heat. Stir in the hot sauce, then the cream, and serve with tortilla chips.

*I added the eggplant towards the end of cooking the veggies. (Before adding the broth.)

MMMM...It's lick the bowl good!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Pumpkin Biscuits

We love these pumpkin biscuits my mother-in-law introduced to us. Perfect for fall! We love to eat them with soups, for breakfast, and as a side to pretty much any dish.

Pumpkin Biscuits

2 3/4 c. flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2 c. pumpkin puree (or sweet potatoes or butternut squash)
3/4 c. sugar (we've done as little as 1/4 c. and it was still great)
1/2 c. melted butter
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 450°. In a medium bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. In a separate bowl combine pumpkin, sugar, melted butter, and vanilla. Combine wet mix with dry ingredients. You can either roll them out and cut them with a biscuit cutter (or a cup...if you don't have one) or you can do drop biscuits (I'm lazy. That's what I do). Put them on to a greased pan. Bake for 12 mins. Enjoy!

 Eat 'em with Peanut Butter for a yummy lunch!

He really, really wanted some! They are that good. Tantrum good. :)

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

These were heavenly! So light and fluffy and flavorful!

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

1 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup milk (I used almond, but whatever is fine)
3 large eggs, separated
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 1/2 cups cake flour*
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup sugar

Sliced Strawberries
Lemon Curd

*You can substitute 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespons all-purpose flour plus 2 tablespoons of cornstarch per 1 cup of cake flour.

Combine the ricotta, milk, egg yolks, lemon zest and lemon juice in a large mixing bowl. Whisk to combine. Add in the cake flour, baking powder and salt and mix just until incorporated. In another clean, dry mixing bowl, beat the egg whites on medium-low speed until foamy. Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and continue to beat, adding the sugar gradually, until medium-soft peaks form.

Fold one third of the egg white mixture into the ricotta mixture with a spatula until completely incorporated. Add in the remaining egg whites and fold in gently until the mixture is smooth and light.

Heat a griddle or skillet over medium heat. Grease as needed. Ladle a 1/4 cup of batter onto the cooking surface for each pancake. Allow to cook until bubbles begin to form on the top surface. Use a large spatula to carefully flip the pancake and cook the other side until light golden and cooked through. Repeat with the remaining batter.

Source: Sweet Luvin' in the Kitchen

Favorite Lemon Curd

I love lemon curd! It goes with most everything and is SO delicious! I can't wait for lemons to be in season again. Mmmmm!  

Lemon Curd:
    2 eggs
    1 cup sugar
    6 tablespoons butter, melted
    1/4 cup lemon juice
    2 tablespoons grated lemon peel

In a heavy saucepan or top of a double boiler, beat eggs and sugar. Stir in butter, lemon juice and peel. Cook and stir over low heat or simmering water for 15 minutes or until mixture reaches 160° and is thickened. Cover and refrigerate until chilled (may be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week).

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Apple Cinnamon Scones

These are "yummy delicious!" as Heather would say. We have been on a no sugar/lo-sugar kick lately. This was the perfect recipe for us. Very little sugar, and delicious!

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons white sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon 
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter, chilled
1 apple - peeled, cored and shredded
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Measure flour, sugar, baking powder, soda, cinnamon, and salt into a large bowl. Cut in butter or margarine until crumbly. Add shredded apple and milk. Stir to form a soft dough.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead gently 8 to 10 times. Pat into two 6-inch circles. Place on greased baking sheet. Brush tops with milk, and sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Score each into 8 pie-shaped wedges.

Bake at 425 degrees F (220 degrees C) for 15 minutes, or until browned and risen. Serve warm with butter or applesauce. 

Source: Allrecipes

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Split Pea Soup

There just really isn't a way to make this soup look good, so I wont post a photo. Let's face it. No one ever wants to eat split pea soup at first glance. I mean, judging by the color alone, no one in their right mind would want to eat it. That dull green color just doesn't look appetizing.   BUT, let me tell you: this is the best split pea soup you will ever have. (At least it's the best split pea soup anyone in my family, or anyone that has had this soup has had.) 

1 lb. split peas
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery sticks, chopped
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 c. ham, diced
4 c. chicken broth
2 c. water
1 Tbs. parsley
3 dashes hot pepper sauce
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

Throw it all in the crockpot on low for 6-8 hours. Enjoy!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Banana Cream Oatmeal

Oh man! Who needs Banana Cream Pie when you can have banana cream oatmeal for breakfast?

I don't know the exact measurements I used, but I will give it a go:

Banana Cream Oatmeal
1 1/2 c. oats

1 1/2 c. water

1 1/2 c. milk

Sweetener, to taste (I have used sweetened condensed milk, but if you are going to be using that you might as well be having pie, and I have used white sugar. You can also try honey, and artificial sweeteners.)

3 bananas, sliced, and divided

Cool Whip (optional)

Cook oats in water and milk until desired consistency is reached. Add sweetener and two bananas. Separate into bowls (about 4) and garnish with bananas and cool whip.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Allspice Cranberry Surprise Muffins

You would not believe how long this recipe has haunted me to post it. Oh, maybe it's not that hard. Yeah, I made these with the leftover Cranberry Relish from Thanksgiving. And then again for Christmas. And I still have a bag of frozen cranberries that I am seriously thinking about opening and using just for this purpose. These are SO good. They hit the spot every time!

Allspice Cranberry Surprise Muffins

For the Streusel:
½ cup all-purpose flour
3 Tbs. light brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
3 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into bits

For the Muffins:
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup granulated sugar
1 Tbs. baking powder
1 tsp. ground allspice
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
¼ tsp. salt
¼ cup light brown sugar
1 stick (8 Tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 large eggs
¾ cup whole milk
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Cranberry Filling:

Cranberry Relish recipe

Center a rack in the oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Butter or spray the 12 molds in a regular-size muffin pan or line with paper cups. Place the muffin pan on a baking sheet.

To make the streusel, put the flour, brown sugar, and spices in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Add the bits of cold butter and toss, pinching the mixture between your fingers, until you have pea-sized crumbs. Set aside in the refrigerator. (The streusel can be made up to 3 days ahead and stored, covered, in the refrigerator.)

To make the muffins, in a large bowl whisk together the flour, granulated sugar, spices, baking powder, and salt. Stir in the brown sugar, making certain there are no lumps. In a large glass measuring cup or another bowl, whisk together the melted butter, eggs, milk and vanilla extract until well combined. Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and with the whisk or a rubber spatula, gently but quickly stir to blend. The batter will be lumpy; that is how it should be.

Fill each muffin cup 1/3 full with batter. Add a spoonful of cranberry relish. Fill the remainder of the muffin cup with batter (only until about 3/4 full).

 Sprinkle streusel over each muffin, then use your fingertips to gently press the crumbs into the batter.

5. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the tops are golden. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and cool for 5 minutes before carefully removing each muffin. Cool completely on the wire rack. Muffins can be stored, in an airtight container, at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Source: Adapted from

Saturday, April 28, 2012

White Chocolate Peppermint Popcorn

We love popcorn at our house! Usually its just air popped with salt and butter, but this one is for special occasions. Like when you need to use up the leftover candy canes that have been sitting in your cupboard for who knows how long! ( Actually, I made this recipe in January or February, but who knows, maybe someone else still has candy canes sitting around?) This is SUPER delicious. Next Christmas I am buying a pack of candy canes especially for this!

White Chocolate Peppermint Popcorn

16 oz. white chocolate (can use white chocolate baking morsels) or almond bark

1 cup finely crushed (like sand) peppermints (about 10-12 candy canes or 40 mints) I crushed my peppermints in my food processor.

4 quarts popped popcorn (about 1/2 cup  corn kernels) I used this to pop my corn, so it had salt. If you are using air popped corn, throw in a pinch of salt when you sprinkle in the crushed peppermints.

Slowly melt white chocolate or almond bark in the microwave or on stove-top with double boiler. Stir often to keep chocolate from burning.  Stir  1/2 cup crushed peppermints into the white chocolate.  Place popped corn into a large bowl.  Pour melted white chocolate and peppermint mixture over the popcorn. Gently stir to coat popcorn while sprinkling remaining crushed peppermints over the popcorn.
Pour out onto parchment paper and allow coating to harden.


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Bacon and Corn Griddle Cakes

We had these delicious "griddle" cakes for dinner on International Pancake Day on February 28th (yes, February that's how far behind I am). Mmm, mmm, these are to die for. I think I might make them tonight for dinner...

 Bacon and Corn Griddle Cakes

8 slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/3 cup finely chopped sweet onion
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2/3 cup milk
1 large egg, beaten
1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil
1 cup frozen, canned or fresh corn
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
warm maple syrup, for serving

 In a medium skillet, cook the bacon pieces until they begin to brown. Add the onion and continue to cook until the bacon is crisp and the onion is softened. Scoop out a heaping tablespoon of the bacon mixture for topping the griddle cakes upon serving- and set it aside.

 While the bacon is cooking, combine the flour, chives, baking powder, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Stir in the milk, egg and oil, just until moistened. Stir in the bacon mixture, corn and cheese. The mixture will be thick. If you'd like the griddle cakes to be slightly thinner than those pictured, add a little more milk to thin out the batter.

Heat and grease a griddle or large skillet. Pour a heaping 1/4-cup of the batter onto the griddle and cook until it is golden brown- 3 to 4 minutes per side. Repeat with the remaining batter.

Serve stacks of griddle cakes topped with a sprinkle of the reserved bacon/onion and a good dose of warm maple syrup.


Monday, March 5, 2012

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

Mmmm, mmm, I love me some nice hot oatmeal on a cold morning. One of my favorites is pumpkin pie oatmeal.

I'll be honest and say I didn't write down exact proportions, but here's the list of ingredients. In the parenthesis next to the ingredients are my guesses to measurements for a family of four. Portion sizes, family sizes, and personal preferences are different. That's why I am just doing a list.

Oatmeal (1 1/2 c.)
Pumpkin puree (either from a can or homemade) (1/2 - 3/4 c.)
Cinnamon (1 1/2 tsp.)
Nutmeg (1/2 tsp)
Water or Milk (3 c.)
Nuts (4 Tbs.)
Maple syrup, to taste
Whipped cream, a dollop  (optional)

The technique: cook desired amount of oats in milk or water. Add pumpkin puree, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Serve with nuts, maple syrup, and whipped cream.

Go ahead, experiment and figured out what you like!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

I know this post is late...really late. I had planned on posting it around Christmas as a way to use up extra candy canes. Ahem...but maybe you still have candy canes lying around. If not you can use regular mint candies. Regardless, these cookies are good any time of year! The original recipe was from Woman's Day. But I changed it up a bit and used the Reese's cookie chocolate base, and the Womans Day ganache and technique. The Reese's cookies are so much more soft, and I'm a sucker for soft, moist cookies! So, I hope you enjoy this delicious recipe!

Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies
For the cookie:

2 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 c. cocoa
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/4 c. butter or margarine
2 c. sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350° F. Stir together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Set aside. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl with mixer until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Gradually add flour mixture, beating well. Stir in peanut butter chips.
Drop by rounded teaspoon-fulls onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8-9 mins. (Do not overbake, cookies will be soft. They will puff while baking and flatten while cooling.) Cool slightly, remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely.

For the Ganache:

3/4 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
6 Tbs. heavy cream

In a medium microwave-safe bowl, microwave the heavy cream on high until simmering, about 30 seconds. Add the remaining 3/4 cup chips to the cream and let stand for 1 minute. Stir until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. 

Put it all together:

8 candy canes (or other mint candies), about 3/4 cups, smashed
Spread the chocolate mixture on top of each cookie (about 1/2 tsp each); top with the candy canes. Refrigerate until set, about 20 minutes.


Monday, February 27, 2012

South-of-the-Border Macaroni & Cheese

We love this super easy, super yummy, crock pot mac and cheese! It is perfect for "one of those days!"

South-of-the-Border Macaroni and Cheese

5 c. cooked rotini pasta
2 c. (8 oz) American cheese, cubed
2 c. milk
1 c. (4 oz)shredded cheddar cheese
1 can (4 oz) diced green chilis, drained (I have used 1 jalepeƱo to replace this before. Spicy, but I like the heat.)
2 tsp. chili poder
2 med. tomatoes, seeded and chopped
5 green onions, sliced

Combine all ingredients, except last two, in slow cooker, mix well. Cover, cook on HI 2 hours, stirring twice.

Stir in tomatoes and green onions, continue cooking until hot. 

Monday, January 23, 2012

Rocky Road Ice Cream

We had some cream we had to use up, so we tried another ice cream. It was yummy!

Rocky Road Ice Cream

  • 2/3 c white sugar 
  • 1/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 c mini marshmallows 
  • 1/4 c chopped pecans 
  • 1 3/4 c heavy cream 
  • 1/4 c milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract 
In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar and cocoa powder until well combined.  Stir in the marshmallows and pecans.  Whisk in the heavy cream, milk and vanilla.
Pour the mixture into your ice cream maker and process according to manufacturer's directions. 


Friday, January 6, 2012

Caramel Apple Pancakes

Ahem...this was supposed to be posted just after Halloween with some clever...something about needed to get rid of your surplus of Halloween candy. But, it's been sitting on my desktop since then haunting me. Don't read too much into that! They are really good, and I don't know why I haven't taken the time to post them yet.

Caramel Apple Pancakes

2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups milk
1 tbsp. canola oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 apple, peeled and grated
1/2 cup caramel bits

Mix flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a bowl. Add beaten eggs, milk, oil and vanilla. Mix well. Peel apple and grate over a separate, smaller bowl.

Fold in apple and caramel bits. Spoon onto a hot, greased griddle and flip when the edges begin to get dry, cooking on both sides.

Source: Baking Serendipity

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana

Sometimes I think I could totally be a vegetarian...and then I make something like this.! Talk about a party in my mouth! If you need a recipe to use up some kale or some half and half or any other ingredient below, make this soup! You will love it! (Unless you don't like sausage or that case, skip this recipe cause the meat is the star of this dish.)

Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana

1/2 lb. italian sausage (the original recipe calls for 1lb, but I don't think it needs that much)
2 large potatoes, pealed and cubed
1 large onion, chopped
6 slices bacon, crisped and crumbled
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 c. kale
4 c. chicken broth
2 c. water
1 c. half and half

Cook and drain sausage and onions. Add bacon and garlic, cook 1 minute. Add chicken broth, water, potatoes, and simmer 15 minutes, until potatoes are cooked. Add kale and cream, simmer additional 4 minutes. Enjoy!

Source: Someone at church left some kale and this recipe in the kitchen. I don't know who, but  I picked some up and I am SO glad I did!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Pumpkin Pancakes

We love pancakes at our house! My sister introduced me to this recipe from I like to add chocolate chips, but the pancakes are moist and delicious with out them!

Pumpkin Pancakes

1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 egg
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt

In a bowl, mix together the milk, pumpkin, egg, oil and vinegar. Combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, allspice, cinnamon, ginger and salt in a separate bowl. Stir into the pumpkin mixture just enough to combine.
Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. (These are pretty thick, so you may need to spread it out a bit.) Brown on both sides and serve hot.