Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Green Smoothie

photo from lindawagner.net

Never thought I would be a morning smoothie girl but this is my new favorite go-to breakfast.  I like to add about a teaspoon or orange juice concentrate...
Green Smoothie 
From lindawagner.net
This recipe is super simple. All you need is a blender and the following ingredients:
§  1-2 bananas
§  1/2 cup frozen peaches
§  1/2 cup frozen mango
§  a couple handfuls of spinach
§  water
§  ice (if desired)
Add enough water to blend and enjoy, that’s it! Forget the dehydrating morning latte and get the glow with a Green Smoothie instead.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies

We had a dessert recipe exchange for  young women's the other night and we all brought the dessert for everyone to try. Another leader brought these chocolate chip cookies which are the copy cat recipe from the Levain bakery in NY. I don't remember the last time I bit into a cookie and thought.. "this is the best cookie i've ever had" but i sure did with this one. They are amazing! I made them last night and they were again..amazing! i know there are a lot of chocolate chip recipes on here but this one is worth a shot.

i didn't want to make giant cookies like it calls for so i made them smaller and adjusted the time. but i also learned that you can't do them too small either. they don't spread out very much so be generous in their size. also they taste better when they're a little bigger rather then little bite size cookies.

·         2 sticks ‘cold and cubed’ good quality unsalted butter
·         3/4 cup granulated sugar
·         3/4 cup brown sugar – not packed too hard. Just spoon it in the cup(s) and press down lightly when full, sweeping off any extra that runs over.
·         2 eggs (room temperature)
·         3 1/4 to 3 1/2 cups All Purpose flour – Spoon and Sweep method. (feel the dough, it should be moist, kind of like cold cookie dough in a tube . . . but not super sticky, so you can portion the cookies with your hands)
·         3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
·         3/4-1 teaspoon baking powder ( I don’t fill the tsp fully, hence the 3/4 tsp)
·         1/4 tsp baking soda
·         1 T cornstarch
·         1 cup Guittard brand milk chocolate chips
·         1 cup Guittard brand semisweet chocolate chips
·         1 cup walnuts (Toast the nuts for more flavor, if desired and/or use any kind of nut you like.)- i usually don't like nuts in my desserts but they add an amazing flavor and there are already enough chunks that it doesn't ruin the texture either. add them!!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
1.        In bowl of electric mixer fitted with paddle, cream together butter and sugars until well blended and fluffy.
2.        Add eggs, one at a time and beat until well incorporated.
3.        In a separate bowl, sift together flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cornstarch. Add slowly to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined.
4.        Gently fold in chocolate chips and nuts
5.        Transfer dough to clean work surface and gently mix dough by hand to ensure even distribution of ingredients. Divide into 12 equal portions, **about 4 oz each.
6.        Place each on sheet pan lined with parchment paper and bake in the preheated oven 16-23 minutes depending on how gooey and raw’ish you like the middle. Bake until lightly browned, taking care not to overbake. Let cool on rack and store what you don’t immediately eat, in an airtight container. To freshen them after a few days (if they last that long), give them a quick nuke in the microwave for 5-10 seconds.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

White Chicken Enchiladas with Green Chile Sour Cream Sauce

photo from danellemphotography.com

Hold up. Let me wipe the drool from my chin.  Yeah, these were good.  I mean really good.  I mean, let's have these leftovers the next night and they even taste better good.  I liked them.

White Chicken Enchiladas with Green Chile Sour Cream Sauce

From letsdishrecipes.blogspot.com


8-10 soft taco size flour tortillas

2 cups shredded Monterrey jack cheese, divided

2 cups shredded cooked chicken

3 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons flour

2 cups chicken broth

1 cup sour cream

1 (4 oz) can diced green chiles

Chopped, fresh cilantro for garnish (optional)


Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Mix together 1 cup of the cheese and the chicken. Place an equal amount of the chicken mixture into each tortilla.  Roll up and place seam side down in a lightly greased, 9 x 13-inch pan.

In a skillet or saucepan, melt the butter. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Add the chicken broth, whisking until smooth. Cook over medium heat until thick and bubbly. Stir in the sour cream and green chiles. Pour sauce over the top of the enchiladas; sprinkle with remaining shredded cheese. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro, if desired.

Friday, May 18, 2012

The Ultimate Marinade

photo from howsweeteats.com
I don't know if it's because of the amazing Costco steak, or the amazing marinade-but HOT DOG! this stuff was good.  Seriously, I don't need to go out to eat if Jake can grill me up an amazing slice of beef like this!

The Ultimate Marinade

Recipe from howsweeteats.com

1/3 cup soy sauce

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 cup sherry wine

1-2 tablespoons brown sugar

2-3 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 teaspoon ginger powder

Combine all ingredients together and mix in a large bowl or baking dish. Whisk until sugar has disolved and pour over meat, seafood or veggies.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Vegetarian Quinoa Chili

Before you scream and run in the other direction, give me a moment to tell you that this meal was very delicious, extremely satisfying, and I felt like such a good mom after I made it.  We all need a little bit of that every now and then, right?  :)  Did I mention that its healthy? (as if I needed to..."Quinoa" is in the title).  There are eight, EIGHT different kinds of veggies in this meal.   You know they say you consume less calories when you have less to choose from at the dinner table, aside from the main course.  No need for fancy sides, this one has it all built in.  If you're nervous to try quinoa, this is the perfect meal to take a baby step in the right direction.

Vegetarian Quinoa Chili

1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
1 cup water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, diced
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 medium zucchini, chopped
2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15 ounce) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
3 (15 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
2-3 tablespoons chili powder, depending on your taste (we used 3)
1 tablespoon ground cumin
Salt and black pepper, to taste
Optional toppings: green onions, avocado slices, cheese, sour cream, Greek yogurt, chips, crackers, etc.
In a medium saucepan, combine quinoa and water.  Cook over medium heat for 10-15 minutes, or until water is absorbed. Set aside.  In a large stockpot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add onions and cook until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.  Stir in garlic, jalapeƱo, carrot, celery, peppers, and zucchini. Cook until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.  Add the beans, tomatoes, and tomato sauce.  Stir in the cooked quinoa and all of your seasonings.  Simmer chili on low for about 30 minutes.  Serve warm with desired toppings.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Oreo Truffles

photo from yourhomebasedmom.com
I know these have been a 100 times or more but here's why I like this recipe: no dipping involved!  I am averse to dipping things.  It never works for me and it never looks pretty.  These were awesome because they were so quick.  I just rolled them in crushed oreos after.  Oh, and they are so good, and yet so bad!

Oreo Truffles

1 16 oz. package of Oreos, divided.  Total of 45 oreos

1 8 oz. package of cream cheese, softened

Crush 9 Oreos in blender and set aside.  Crush remaining 36 Oreos.  Beat cream cheese until smooth and add 36 crushed Oreos.  Beat until well mixed.  Form into 1 inch balls and then roll in remaining crushed Oreos.  Refrigerate until firm.  Enjoy!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Ham and Potato Soup

We've been having unusually cold weather this week, so I wanted to make some soup to warm us up a bit.  This one was the highest rated soup on Allrecipes.com and for good reason.  It was easy and delicious.  If you have leftover ham, this would work perfectly.  You could also sub the celery for sweet peas- or just use both.
courtesy allrecipes.com

Ham and Potato Soup
Adapted slightly from allrecipes.com

4 cups diced red potatoes
1/2 cup diced celery (add more veggies of your choosing, if desired- corn, carrots, etc.)
1/2 cup diced onion
3/4 cup diced, cooked ham
3 1/2 cups water (or enough to just cover all of the vegetables)
2 1/2 Tbs. chicken bouillon
1 tsp. salt, or to taste
1 tsp. ground white pepper (or black pepper)
5 Tbs. butter
5 Tbs. all purpose flour
2 cups milk 

Combine the first 5 ingredients in a large stockpot.  Make sure the water is just covering everything.  Bring to a boil, and then cook over medium heat until potatoes are tender, for 10-15 minutes.  Stir in the chicken bouillon, salt and pepper.  Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, melt butter and then add flour.  Whisk together until thick, about one minute.  Slowly stir in milk and whisk until thick- about 4-5 minutes.  Stir this mixture into the stockpot and cook soup until heated through.  Serve immediately.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Springtime Spaghetti

This recipe took about 20 minutes to make with ingredients I had on hand, and was one of the best dishes I've made in a long time!  All my kids loved it, too!

Springtime Spaghetti

from allrecipes.com


  • 8 ounces spaghetti
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large zucchini, julienned
  • 3 large carrots, julienned
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill


  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil, cook spaghetti for 8 to 10 minutes, until al dente, and drain.
  2. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat, and saute the zucchini, carrots, and garlic until tender. Stir in the heavy cream, Parmesan cheese, and dill. Cook and stir until thickened. Mix with the cooked spaghetti to serve.

Pasta with Pecorino Romano and Black Pepper

This is my new favorite pasta recipe- so easy, affordable, quick, amazingly delicious and vegetarian.  It affirms my belief that I could most certainly live off of eating pasta every day for the rest of my life.  Brian (not a pasta lover, and therefore the sole reason I can't make pasta every day) raved about this meal- ate seconds both nights we had it.  We absolutely and completely loved this recipe.  And, it makes a ton...hooray for leftovers!!
Pasta with Pecorino Romano and Black Pepper
The Best of America's Test Kitchen 2011

4 oz. Pecorino Romano, grated fine, plus extra for serving
1 lb. angel hair pasta (or your favorite pasta)
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbs. heavy cream
2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. fresh cracked black pepper

Add the grated cheese to a medium heatproof bowl.  Bring 8 cups of water to a boil in a large pot. Add the spaghetti and the salt, and cook, stirring frequently, according to package directions until the pasta is al dente. Before draining the pasta, reserve 2 cups of the pasta water and set aside.  A little at a time, whisk 1 cup of the pasta cooking water into the grated cheese. Once it's completely incorporated, add the heavy cream, olive oil and pepper. Whisk until combined - the sauce should be mostly smooth though mine had a few small bits of cheese that weren't melted completely. (Don't worry about it too much, those bits will melt in the next step.) Pour the cheese sauce over the pasta, a little at a time, tossing to coat. Once you've added all of the sauce, let the pasta rest for about 1 minute, tossing it frequently, and adjusting the consistency with the remaining reserved cooking water until it's to your liking. Serve garnished with extra grated cheese and freshly ground black pepper.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Oatmeal Pancake Mix

For all of the pancake recipes I've posted on this blog already, this is definitely my new favorite.  Mostly because its so easy, super healthy, and my kids LOVE it.  This is the best recipe for those crazy school mornings where everyone is trying to get out the door and you want a quick, hot breakfast.  I make the mix up when I have 10 extra minutes, store it in a ziploc in the fridge (where it will keep indefinitely) and then cook up these delicious pancakes when I need them-in less than 3 minutes.

images courtesy Mel's Kitchen Cafe
Oatmeal Pancake Mix
Mel's Kitchen Cafe

3 1/2 cups rolled (quick) oats
5 cups whole wheat flour (or 3 wheat + 2 white) 
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons baking powder
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 cup vegetable or canola oil

To Make the Mix:
In a blender or food processor, pulverize the oatmeal into a powder (optional- it makes a smoother pancake texture).  Then, mix all the dry ingredients together in a mixer with a paddle (or by hand). With mixer on slow speed (or gently by hand), drizzle the vegetable oil into the bowl slowly while the mixer is running. When all the oil has been added, stop the mixer and squeeze a clump of mix in your hand. If it stays together, it is just right. If it is still crumbly, add another tablespoon of oil at a time until the consistency is correct (I’ve never had to add additional oil). Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks at room temperature or indefinitely in the refrigerator or freezer.

To Make the Pancakes:
Whisk together 1 cup of mix, 1 cup buttermilk (if you don't have buttermilk, you can pour 1 Tbs. lemon juice into a 1-cup measure and fill remaining 1 cup with milk and let sit for a couple of minutes), and 1 egg. The mixture may seem thin at first but the oats will soak up the milk as it stands while the griddle preheats. Heat a griddle and drop the batter onto it. When the edges look dry and bubbles come to the surface and don’t break, turn the pancake over to finish cooking on the second side. As a sidenote, buttermilk can be frozen indefinitely for future batches of pancakes, so it’s worth keeping it around!
*1 cup of mix will make about 6-7 4-inch pancakes.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Strawberry (or Raspberry) Cupcakes

photo from realmomkitchen.com
Okay, funny story.  I had my back turned when Jake first tried these.  The noise he emitted scared me.  I turned around, very worried, and asked if he was okay.  His eyes were shining and he had an ethereal look on his face.  Then  he cried.  No, I'm kidding.  But he did say these were it--I mean IT!  His favorite!  **I'm not a huge fan of strawberry as the original recipe called for so I did raspberry.  I'd do it again just to see Jake's face.

Strawberry Cupcakes

Recipe from realmomkitchen.com


  • 1 white cake mix

  • 1 (3 oz) box of strawberry gelatin

  • 2/3 cup canola oil

  • 1/2 cup of frozen sliced strawberries in syrup, thawed

  • 1/2 cup water

  • 4 eggs

  • 2/3 cup frozen sliced strawberries in syrup, thawed

  • 1 1/2 cups butter, softened

  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line muffin tins with 24 cupcake liners.

  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the cake mix, gelatin, oil, 1/2 cup of the strawberries, and water until combined.  Then beat in the eggs 1 at a time until well incorporated.

  3. Fill cupcake liners 2/3 of the way full with batter, do not over fill.  If you have extra batter then make a couple more cupcakes because if you over fill the liners the cupcakes will spill over the edges and you will have more of a flat top cupcake.

  4. Bake at 350 for about 16 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.  Allow to cool.

  5. Place the 2/3 cup of strawberries into a blender and puree.  Place the butter in a bowl and using a mixer beat until smooth.

  6. Add half the powdered sugar to the butter and beat until all combined and fluffy.  Then beat in the strawberry puree until well blended.

  7. Beat in the remaining powdered sugar until combined and fluffy.  Pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Cookies and Cream Cheesecake Cupcakes

photo from 52cupcakes.blogspot.com
Yes, Martha Stewart makes me want to pull my hair out too.  However, she does have some good recipes.  So putting aside that this comes from her, just think about oreos and cream cheese.  Then humble yourself and make these--for someone else, of course.

Cookies and Cream Cheesecake Cupcakes

From Martha Stewart's Cupcakes

Makes 30 (Note: I halved this recipe and it was very easy, 30 of these cupcakes would surely be the death of me)
  • Ingredients:

  • 42 cream-filled sandwich cookies, such as Oreos, 30 left whole, and 12 coarsely chopped

  • 2 pounds cream cheese, room temperature

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 4 large eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten

  • 1 cup sour cream

  • Pinch of salt

    1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Place 1 whole cookie in the bottom of each lined cup.

      2. With an electric mixer on medium high speed, beat cream cheese until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Gradually add sugar, and beat until combined. Beat in vanilla.

      3. Drizzle in eggs, a bit at a time, beating to combine and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in sour cream and salt. Stir in chopped cookies by hand.

      4. Divide batter evenly among cookie-lined cups, filling each almost to the top. Bake, rotating pan halfway through, until filling is set, about 22 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Refrigerate at least 4 hours (or up to overnight). Remove from tins just before serving.