Sunday, November 20, 2016

Perfect Fall Salad

This was gone before I even had a chance to take a picture of it, so this stock one will do and its pretty dang close.  But, while I was preparing it, I did think "this is the prettiest salad I have ever made" because the colors are so gorgeous and perfect for Thanksgiving (or anytime!).  It was absolutely delicious too!  You could easily add chicken to make it a full meal.
google images

The Perfect Fall Salad

8-10 cups assorted greens (kale, romaine, mixed greens)
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese (could sub goat cheese)
6 green onions, thinly sliced
1 large red-skinned apple, diced
1 large sweet potatoe, peeled, diced and roasted with EVOO,salt, and pepper

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt
dash Tabasco sauce
2 Tbs. sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil

Whisk together dressing ingredients.

Spiced Pecans: 
3 Tbs. butter
1 1/2 Tbs sugar
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 tsp. salt
1 cup chopped pecans

Over medium heat, melt butter in a pan and add sugar, spices, and salt.  Add pecan pieces and stir until well-coated.  Continue to cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sugar caramelizes and pecans darken slightly in color.  Transfer mixture to a paper bag or parchment paper to cool.  Toss or shake occasionally to break up pieces.

Assemble salad ingredients.  To avoid browning, apples can be added directly to dressing or dice just prior to serving.  Toss salad altogether and serve.

Friday, November 18, 2016

One Pot Butternut Squash Soup

Loved this soup and its amazing flavor.  The apple, pepper and coconut milk combine to make it really delicious, different and totally fantastic.  You could easily skip the butter on this and make it vegan.  I love it when I find a healthy, easy and delicious meal!
One Pot Butternut Squash Soup

Cook time
Total time
Serves: 10 servings
  • 1 tablespoon canola or Olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter (optional- sub EVOO if vegan)
  • 6 cups cubed butternut squash (about 1 small or buy the pre-cut at Trader Joe's)
  • 2 teaspoons salt and pepper to taste
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • 1 small apple,( I like Gala’s for this recipe) cored, cubed, skin on
  • 1 medium onion, chopped, about 2 cups
  • 32 oz chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup half and half or coconut milk ( I used coconut milk)

  1. Place oil and butter in a large pan over medium high heat. Add squash, salt and pepper and saute for about 5 minutes, uncovered.
  2. Add garlic, chopped apple, onion and saute for 5 additional minutes.
  3. Add about 2 cups of broth and bring to a boil. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes or until squash is fork tender.
  4. Add remaining broth and bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce heat to medium. Using an immersion blender, blend until smooth, or add soup in small batches to a blender.
  6. Add remaining broth and coconut milk. Simmer until ready to serve.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

The MOST AMAZING Peanut Butter Cookies

"These cookies are the BEST peanut butter cookies I've ever eaten" said Dad when he first bit into them.  As someone who isn't short on opinions, but will also be totally honest, I'm going to have to agree.  These are absolutely amazing.  Soft and chewy and addictive.  The dough is also incredible so try not to eat it all before you stick it in the oven!

courtesy google images
The MOST AMAZING Peanut Butter Cookies
Gotorecipes (on Instagram)

1/2 cup butter, room temperature

1 cup crunchy peanut butter

1 cup dark brown sugar

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking soda 

White chocolate chips (optional, but man they really knock these things out of the park)

Cream together the butter and peanut butter. Add sugars and beat until smooth, then beat in eggs one at a time, then vanilla. Sift dry ingredients and slowly add them to the mixture just until incorporated. Add white chocolate chips.

Preheat oven to 350ยบ. Scoop dough (about 2 Tablespoons) onto Silpat or un-greased baking sheet. Make hatch marks by pressing a flour-covered fork down on the down twice - one way, then across the other way (optional- we didn't do this at the Crofts home). Bake for 10 minutes until barely starting to brown, puffed and beginning to crack. Allow to cool on the baking sheet. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Sweet Potato, Kale, and Goat Cheese Frittata

I've been on a sweet potato and goat cheese kick lately (hello, these flavors also scream Fall!) so when I came across this recipe, I knew I had to make it.  It was really easy to assemble and a cinch to make- plus its a show-stopper meal for almost no work!  It turned out really pretty and really tasty (caveat- my kids didn't love it but I think goat cheese is a mature flavor).
Sweet Potato, Kale and Goat Cheese Frittata


  • 8 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 6 cups chopped kale, ribs removed
  • 1/3 cup crumbled goat cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the eggs and milk together. Season with nutmeg, salt, and pepper, to taste. Set aside.
  3. Place a large ovenproof skillet over medium high heat, preferably a cast iron skillet. Add the olive oil and heat until hot. Add the sweet potato and onion and cook until tender, about 8-10 minutes. Add the garlic, rosemary, and kale and cook until kale is wilted. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste.
  4. Remove half of the mixture from the pan and set aside. Pour the egg mixture into the pan, over the sweet potatoes, kale, onion, and garlic. Add the reserved mixture back to the pan, making sure you evenly spread out the ingredients. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until just set. Top with crumbled goat cheese.
  5. Place the pan into the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes or until eggs are firm and edges are golden brown. Remove from the oven and cut into wedges. Serve immediately.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Traditional Oatmeal Cookies


This recipe is another one of mom's! She said it was a family favorite for years! I tried it today and I loved it. I know shortening isn't "IN" anymore. Whatever!

1 c shortening (butter flavor)
1 c brown sugar
1 c white sugar
2 well beaten eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1.5 c flour
1 tsp salt
1 t soda
2 1/3 c uncooked instant oats

Mix all ingredients. Cook at 350 for about ten minutes. I added chocolate chips. They were delicious and pretty basic.

Creamy Grape Salad with Brown sugar and Pecan topping


This is actually mom's recipe that I am posting for her! :) I made this for a BBQ the other night and it was the only dish at the get together that was completely gone. It is so yummy! Its practically dessert.

1.5 lbs seedless green grapes
1.5 lbs seedless red grapes
8 oz light sour cream
8 oz  low fat cream cheese
1/4 c white sugar
1 tsp vanilla
for topping:
1/4 c brown sugar
1/2 c chopped pecans

Remove stems from grapes. Wash and dry grapes. Beat sour cream, cream cheese, sugar and vanilla.
It will be kind of lumpy. Fold grapes into creamy mixture. Combine topping ingredients and sprinkle on top. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Baked Taco Rollups

Baked Taco Rollups
I made these and thought they were delish! I froze leftovers in ziplocs and popped in microwave for lunches! They are great! I used only 1lb of meat and it worked!

Baked Taco Rollups
Adapted from Mommy I’m Hungry
print recipe
2 lbs extra lean ground beef (or ground turkey)
1 medium onion diced
1 small can diced green chilies, mild
1 recipe for homemade taco seasoning (below)
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (16 ounce) can refried beans (regular or fat free)*
2 cups shredded Colby-jack or cheddar cheese
flour tortillas, small to medium size
Suggested Condiments-
lettuce chopped
tomatoes chopped
sour cream

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
In a large skillet brown meat and onion over medium-high heat. Drain off any excess liquid. Add chilies, refried beans, tomato sauce, and taco seasoning. Mix well and cook for a few minutes until bubbly. Add a little water or tomato juice if the mixture seems dry.
Spoon about 3 tablespoons of the taco meat mixture onto a tortilla. Sprinkle with about a tablespoon of cheese. Roll up as you would a taquito, not filling the tortilla too full, but rolling fairly tight, so the tortilla will not come undone easily. Place filled tortillas in a single layer onto a lightly greased baking sheet, seam side down. Bake at 400 degrees for about 12-15minutes or until the cheese has melted and the tacos are heated through.
Remove from the oven and serve with optional condiments.
Makes about 12-15 medium tacos.
Taco Seasoning
1 tablespoon chili powder**
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
In a small bowl, mix all together. If making extra seasoning, store in an airtight container.
This is enough for one recipe of taco rollups above.
**less chili powder if you are serving to those who don’t like spice.
-*I used about 3/4 of a 16 oz can of refried beans. We liked the filling with less bean and more meat.
Another option is to add a can of drained pinto beans and smash them with a potato masher into the meat after the meat is cooked. Add about 1 tablespoon of canola oil while mashing beans.
-If serving to young children (who may not eat a whole taco) or using as an appetizer, cut the tacos in half, preferably on a diagonal.
-Heat up leftovers wrapped in a paper towel for about 1 minute in microwave.