Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Spicy Barbecue Skillet Chicken Recipe


It just so happened to be a Friday night when we didn't want pizza. I know, I can't believe those Fridays even exist. (I think it probably had a lot to do with the fact that I didn't plan ahead for the pizza dough and defrosting the frozen mozzarella, but let's not split hairs.) I had no idea what to make for dinner, despite my freezer and pantry full of food items. 

Suddenly, I had a desire for chicken and potatoes. Sounded plain and simple. But as I started defrosting the chicken this brilliant combination of spicy and sweet barbecue sauce occurred to me. PERFECT! Kevin and I loved this meal. It was fast and easy to prepare, and will have you to the table with 20 minutes. 

Spicy Barbecue Skillet Chicken Recipe
Serves 2

2--4 oz boneless skinless chicken breasts (or 4-6 chicken tenderloins)
2 Tbsp ketchup
2 Tbsp barbecue sauce
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp Sriracha hot sauce 
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp chili powder

Heat a large skillet to medium heat on the stove top.
Pound out chicken breasts to even thicknesses. 

In a small bowl, stir together remaining ingredients. Using a pastry brush, brush both sides of each piece of chicken with the barbecue sauce. Once the skillet is preheated, add chicken to pan and cook 5-7 minutes on each side, or until insides are no longer pink. 

Serve alongside skillet potatoes and steamed broccoli. 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Spinach, Pepper, and Onion Omelet Recipe


Omelets are perfect for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. They are totally versatile and customizable to your flavor preferences. They can include any variety of meat--ham, sausage, bacon--or vegetables--peppers, onions, spinach. I love this about omelets. 

This particular omelet is most certainly nutritious--loaded with protein and filled with fresh veggie nutrients. I omitted cheese and meat to keep calories low. 

Whether you're feeding your family or you're home alone, this is the perfect meal option. 

Spinach, Pepper, and Onion Omelet Recipe 
serves 1

2 large eggs
1 Tbsp milk
4 strips green pepper, chopped
2 Tbsp chopped red onion
1 cup fresh baby spinach, finely chopped 
1 garlic clove, minced

Heat a large skillet to medium heat. Spray with non-stick cooking spray. 

In a medium bowl, beat eggs until foamy. Beat in milk. Stir in vegetables and garlic. Check to be sure the pan is preheated by sprinkling with water. If the water sizzles, you're good to go. Pour the egg mixture into the pan, rocking the pan around to distribute eggs evenly. Cover with the skillet's lid or tin foil. Cook 3-5 minutes. Now, you have 2 options. Once the majority of the omelet is set, you can 1) flip the omelet over to finish cooking the other side or 2) lift an edge of the omelet and tilt the skillet to allow any remain liquid egg to run to the underside of the omelet. Cover with the lid or foil once again and cook until egg is no longer runny. Remove to your plate. Eat. 

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Sugar Free Cinnamon Applesauce Recipe


You may have seen the other applesauce recipes I've posted in the past. Those are all delicious, but this one takes the cake because it has the fewest ingredients and absolutely no sugar. It's fast and easy, and amazingly delicious--especially during apple season.

Sugar Free Cinnamon Applesauce Recipe
Makes about 7 cups 

10-12 medium apples (Ida Red are perfect
2 tsp cinnamon
2 cups water

Peel and core apples. Cut into quarters (or smaller for a faster cooking time.) Add to a 5 or 6 quart pot and stir in cinnamon and water. Turn burner to high and bring to a boil. Stir and reduce heat to medium. Stirring occasionally, cook 5-10 minutes. Begin breaking apart apples with a potato masher or spoon. Reduce heat to low and simmer for another 10-20 minutes, stirring now and again, continuing to break down apples. (Secret tip--Using a wire whisk will result in a smoother sauce. Love it.) Cook until your desired consistency is reached.   

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Chicken Imperial Recipe


This is one of those recipes that I can't believe I haven't posted. It is one of my favorite recipes my mom used to make. It was the first dish Kevin and I cooked together, on our first Valentine's day together, just three months into our dating relationship. It's fast, it's easy. It's so incredibly moist and flavorful. I can't imagine anyone not loving this chicken. 

And yet, it's been a few years since I made it for the two of us. I was so thankful to be reminded of this recipe when a friend was asking for good ideas for chicken. I hope you try it and love it as much I have all these years.

Chicken Imperial Recipe
recipe passed on from my mom and Mrs. S 
Serves 2 (easily multiplied)

2 - 4 oz boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp parsley flakes 
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a small baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. 

In a small bowl, stir together bread crumbs, Parmesan, parsley, garlic, salt and pepper. 
In a second small bowl, beat egg. 

Working in assembly line fashion, coat each chicken breast with egg, then dip into bread crumbs being sure to cover on all sides. Place in baking dish. 

Bake for 40 minutes, until juices run clear and no pink remains. Serve alongside baked potato and your favorite steamed vegetable.  

and yes...we served ours with Blue (purple) Potatoes! Fun!


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Whole Oven Roasted Turkey Recipe [The Best Turkey EVER]

photo taken November 27, 2011

Originally posted November 29, 2010.

Unfortunately, I have no photos of the perfectly roasted turkey. We were all a bit too eager to dig into it, to stop and think about photography. I snagged one snapshot of the platter of poultry, but that's as good as it gets. 

But seriously, I have never heard so many people oooh and ahhhh over turkey ever before. I have eaten a lot of turkey in my day and I have to be honest---it was THE BEST turkey I have ever eaten. The flavor was perfect. It was so tender. And I didn't know a turkey could be that moist. Melt in your mouth, people. 

Don't be afraid of the turkey. Conquer it. You'll be glad you did. 

Whole Oven Roasted Turkey Recipe 
serves 6-10 people 

13-15lb frozen turkey (defrosted in the refrigerator one week in advance)
1/4 cup softened butter
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp Italian seasonings 
2 whole onions 

These directions are specifically for a frozen turkey, as that's what I worked with and had enormous success with at Thanksgiving. I investigated brining (salt water) recipes, but they were all for fresh turkeys. Most frozen turkeys have been injected with a sodium solution for preserving it, meaning no need to soak in salt water. :) 

Defrost your packaged frozen turkey in the refrigerator one week prior to your dinner. The night before your event, remove the turkey from plastic packaging and pull out the bags of innards. (You may discard these.) Prepare your roasting pan (or 9x13 inch pan) by placing a roasting rack in it. Rinse your turkey under running water. Dry off thoroughly with paper towels and place in the roasting pan, breast side up. 

In a small bowl combine the dry seasonings. 

Using your hands, spread the softened butter over every surface of the turkey--and if you want it to be extra good, rub the butter underneath the layer of skin covering the breast meat. Then, using your hands again, pat the spice mixture onto the buttered turkey. Be sure to get the underside and the crevices around the legs and wings. 

Peel the onions and chop into half. Place onions inside the turkey. 

Cover with tinfoil and refrigerate. 

One hour prior to baking time, remove the turkey from the fridge to bring to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Bake time is 10 minutes per pound. (I had a 13 pound turkey, so it baked from 10:45am to 1pm.) THEN increase oven temperature to 375. Melt a few tablespoons of butter and brush over the surface of the turkey. Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh near the joint. Bake another 30 minutes or until temperature has risen to 170. (Note: if, at any point during baking time, skin is getting closer to over-browning, drape loosely with foil.) 

Once the turkey has reached 170 degrees remove from the oven and tent with foil, allowing it to rest for 30 minutes before carving (this will redistribute juices and make it melt-in-your-mouth delicious.) 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcake Recipe


Once again I sought out Annie's awesome cupcake collection for Kevin's birthday dessert inspiration. After giving him 5 or 6 to choose from, he immediately chose these pumpkin spice latte cupcakes. I was excited to try them! I had all of the ingredients on hand except the heavy whipping cream. About the whipped cream--1) it is so worth it to whip your own cream for these! and 2) I really don't enjoy making frosting so I was totally stoked about the simplicity of the whipped topping. 

Kevin brought enough cupcakes to his seminary class for everyone to enjoy one. They were a HUGE hit. (I even heard of someone eating three of them. wow. That's impressive.) 

Perfect for the fall holidays and birthdays or just because I love you and I love pumpkin spice latte days


Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcake Recipe
recipe from
Yield: about 2 dozen cupcakes

For the cupcakes:
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp espresso powder (or extra finely ground coffee)
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp grated nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp salt
1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin puree
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup canola or vegetable oil
4 large eggs
1/2 cup coffee or espresso, for brushing

For the whipped cream:
2-1/2 cups heavy cream, chilled
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

For garnish:
Ground cinnamon
Caramel sauce

To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350°F.  Line cupcake pans with paper liners.  In a medium bowl, combine the flour, espresso powder, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt.  Stir together and set aside.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, blend together the pumpkin, granulated sugar, brown sugar and oil. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  With the mixture on low speed, add the flour mixture in two additions, mixing just until incorporated.

Fill the cupcake liners about three-quarters full.  Bake until the cupcakes are golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 18-20 minutes.  Transfer the pans to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes, then remove the cupcakes from the pans.  While the cupcakes are still warm, brush them two or three times with the coffee or espresso, allowing the first coat to soak in before repeating.  Let cool completely.

To make the frosting, place the heavy cream in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  Whip on medium-low speed at first, gradually increasing to high speed.  Blend in the confectioners’ sugar gradually.  Whip until stiff peaks form, being careful not to over-beat.  Use a pastry bag fitted with a decorative tip to frost the cooled cupcakes.  Sprinkle with ground cinnamon and drizzle with caramel sauce.  Store in an airtight container and refrigerate.

Friday, November 18, 2011

How to {Pie Crust}

It's my favorite season of all--pie season! Ok, so maybe that's not an official season, but Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations usher in pies of every kind--pumpkin, apple, pecan. Pie, glorious, pie! 

A few weeks ago, a friend from college gave me a call and wanted a bit of pie crust advice as she was baking up my Apple Pie with Streusal Topping. It occurred to me that I had a large whole in my pie recipes--the step by step pie crust directions. The pie crust is what keeps many people intimidated by pies. I consider pies one of my specialty and certainly one of my favorite forms of dessert. Everyone always raves about my pie crusts, so I am excited to equip of all you with the confidence you need to make awesome pies this holiday season! 

First of all, check out my Never Fail Pie Crust recipe. It seriously lives up to its name. 

Now, pull out your flour, the rolling pin your grandma passed on to you, and the completed pie dough. Roll up your sleeves, and let's get started!

1) Dust your working space or (clean!) counter top with flour. You'll want your hands and rolling pin lightly dusted as well. 


2) If you made the full Never Fail Pie Crust Recipe, you'll want to divide the dough into four equal parts (the recipe makes 4 single-crust pies or 2 double-crust pies.) Form each dough ball into a round flat-ish disc. (see how scientific I am about this?! flat-ish.)


see?! everything (even the dough ball) is lightly dusted. You don't want too much extra flour or the dough will start falling apart. The perfect amount of flour, however, will keep the dough from sticking and tearing.


3) Gently begin to roll out the dough, working your rolling pin at every different angle to achieve a mostly-round pie crust. Don't be too freaked out if some of the edges begin cracking. You should have a wide enough circle to get rid of any mistakes. Roll out the dough to a 1/4 inch thickness.


4) Then comes the tricky part--the board to pie plate transfer. It's a risky move, but you can handle it, I promise! (and don't beat yourself up if it falls apart a time or two. It's good to have a few mistakes along the way to help you perfect your technique.)

There are two methods for transferring your pie crust. First, you can gently fold your crust in half, then in half again. (this is the way store bought crusts come.) Then, just pick up the little pie triangle and transfer it to your pie pan and unfold.

The second method that I prefer is the rolling pin transfer. It takes a bit more gentleness, but it keep those fold marks from occurring (more important in top-crusts than bottom-crust, of course.)

Lay your rolling pin at the edge of your crust and gently fold the crust over the rolling pin, peeling it slowly off of the rolling surface.


You can either roll the crust around itself OR just hang the crust over the rolling pin like this--


5) Once the transfer is complete, gently press the crust into the edges of your pie plate.




6) Now, work around the edge of the crust and remove the additional crust pieces (Save these for later--you can either bake them with a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar for a tasty snack OR make a small/mini pie crust out of the leftover crust pieces.) You should still have enough crust to cover the lip/edge of your pie plate and enough to flute.


7) Now for the fluting! (If you're doing a two-crust pie, return to step 1 with your top crust and flute once both crusts are in place.) Don't take this too seriously--just have fun! You can simply use a fork and press it into the edges of your crust or you can have some fun and give fluting a try.

I am 99% sure I don't flute the "right" way--but it works for me.

I fold the "rough" edges underneath and then use my though to press a small section of dough in between my index and middle fingers. Like so:


Work all the way around the pie.

flute, flute flute.


8) and VOILA! You'r done! Now fill your crust with your recipe of choice, bake and enjoy! (I don't bake my crusts before filling unless the recipe instructs otherwise.)


10) Now, this particular pie crust was an extra so I decided to freeze it. Very simple, and very awesome to find an already made crust when you want a last-minute pie. Simple cover the pie crust with aluminum foil and freeze. (For not much more than a couple months.)


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Strawberry Banana Apple Smoothie Recipe (no sugar added)


For an insanely healthy afternoon snack, a speedy breakfast, or even a tasty dessert, this frozen fruit combination is the perfect solution. 

Strawberry Banana Apple Smoothie Recipe (no sugar added)
Serves 2 to 4

1 whole frozen banana
2 cups frozen strawberries
1-2 cups apple juice 

In a powerful blender or food processor, combine all ingredients until smooth. Serve immediately. 


Monday, November 14, 2011

Caramel Peanut-Topped Brownie Cake Recipe


Talk about an indulgent birthday dessert! I always know where to look when I want a sweet treat that will WOW our guests--Annie's Eats. I mean, the girl is amazing! Most of the wish-list birthday desserts I've wanted to make are from her list of cakes. Yum!

This particular dessert was for an early-birthday celebration for Kevin & his brother Brian when his family came to visit us at the beginning of October. There were 7 in our family plus the 6 in the Pastor's family that we invited to join us--and there were still 2 pieces of cake leftover. I served the brownie cake with homemade vanilla ice cream--the perfect compliment.


Caramel Peanut-Topped Brownie Cake Recipe
recipe adapted from
Serves 14-16

For the brownie cake:
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
8 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
5 oz. bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
3 large eggs
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
3 Tbsp light corn syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

For the topping:
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
1-1/2 Tbsp light corn syrup
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup honey roasted peanuts

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350° F.  Butter an 8-inch springform pan, dust the inside with flour, tap out the excess and line the bottom of the pan with a piece of parchment paper.  Place the springform pan on a baking sheet.

To make the cake, combine the flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl; whisk together and set aside.  Add the butter and chocolate to a heatproof bowl set over simmering water.  Heat, stirring occasionally, until the ingredients are just melted – do not let them get so hot that the butter separates.  Remove the bowl from the heat and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugars until well blended.  Whisk in the corn syrup, followed by the vanilla.  Add in the melted butter and chocolate mixture, and whisk until combined.  Gently whisk in the dry ingredients, mixing only until they are just incorporated.  The batter should be thick, smooth and shiny.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan and jiggle the pan a bit to even out the batter.

Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a thin knife inserted in the center comes out almost clean.  Transfer the pan to a rack and cool for 15 minutes, then run a thin knife between the cake and the pan and carefully remove the sides of the springform.  The cake may have puffed up during baking, but don’t be concerned if it develops a crater in the center while cooling.  Allow to cool to room temperature.  When the cake is totally cool, invert it, remove the base of the pan and peel off the parchment paper.  Turn the cake right side up onto a serving platter.

To make the topping, combine the sugar, water and corn syrup in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, stirring just to combine the ingredients.  Place the pan over medium-high heat.  Heat, without stirring, until the caramel turns deep amber, 5 to 10 minutes depending on the size of your saucepan and the intensity of the heat.  As the sugar is caramelizing, wipe down any splatters on the sides of the pan with a pastry brush dipped in cold water.  To test the color of the caramel, drop a bit onto a white plate.  Don’t be timid about the color – if it’s too pale, it won’t have much flavor.

Lower the heat a bit and, standing back from the saucepan, add the cream and butter.  When the spatters are less vehement, stir to calm down the caramel and dissolve any lumps.  Stir in the peanuts and pour the caramel and peanuts into a 1-quart Pyrex measuring cup or a heatproof bowl.

You will have more caramel than you need, but you want to get all of the peanuts onto the cake, so spoon all of the peanuts out of the hot caramel and onto the top of the cake.   Pour or spoon enough caramel to cover all the nuts, drizzling a bit over the edges of the cake for presentation.  Allow the topping to set at room temperature, about 20 minutes, before serving.  Keep the leftover caramel at room temperature and save for another use.


Saturday, November 12, 2011

Butternut Squash Pancakes


I really am lucky that I married Kevin. There aren't a whole lot of guys out there who would be ok with (and even excited about) breakfast when I announced these "butternut squash pancakes." But my husband is a trooper and he dove in fork first. We both really enjoyed these pancakes. 

The butternut squash puree is so similar to pumpkin with a bit more sweetness, that no sugar is needed! With an abundance of butternut squash in the "cellar" and leftover puree in the fridge I thought these pancakes would be the perfect addition to a Friday morning brunch. I'm so glad I was right. ;) 

Note: I recommend making these pancakes after using squash puree for another recipe such as this pie or butternut squash soup. 

Butternut Squash Pancakes
recipe adapted from Tasty Kitchen
serves 4

2 cups flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger
1-1/2 cups non fat milk (I used Soy Milk)
1/2 cup butternut squash puree*
1 whole egg
1-1/2 Tbsp canola oil

to make the butternut squash puree: 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash butternut squash and place on a plate. Microwave 2 minutes or until just soft enough to run a knife through. Cut squash in half lengthwise. Place cut side down on a baking sheet and add a small amount of water. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until fork tender. Remove from oven and let cool completely--1 hour.

Scrap out the seeds of the squash and discard. Using a spoon, scoop out the flesh of the squash, getting as close to the skin as possible without breaking through. Spoon into a food processor. Process until pureed and smooth. (I didn't need to add water, but you can if the squash isn't moving in the food processor.) 

to make pancakes:
In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients and whisk to combine. In a small bowl whisk together the milk, pumpkin, eggs and oil. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir just until combined, being careful not to over-mix. The batter will be thick! Ladle batter in desired portions over a hot nonstick pan or griddle and flip when bubbles begin to break on the tops. Cook another few couple of minutes and remove from griddle.

Serve with butter, syrup and an extra sprinkle of cinnamon!


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Unstuffed Cabbage Soup


I had never cooked with whole, fresh cabbage before, and honestly my childhood experiences with cabbage made me want to run the other way. My grandma would make stuffed cabbage rolls on occasion and I distinctly remember how awful it smell as it cooked for what seemed like hours. I think my grandma would be proud of me for getting past my dislike for cabbage and trying this soup. And I'm certain she would love the tasty results. 

My husband and I have been eating this soup every day since I made the first pot three days ago. This is a big deal for Kevin because he normally doesn't request leftovers even if he enjoyed the meal the first time around. He tells me it's the rice. He loves what the rice does to this soup. There's hardly more than a cup of rice in 6 quarts of soup, but it makes a difference and adds the perfect thickness and consistency. 

There aren't any special seasonings or spices in this soup aside from salt or pepper, and I love it that way. I'm the one who adds spices to everything, but I'm glad I stuck to the recipe on this one--the delicate flavor combination of the cabbage, beef and tomatoes is just too perfect to cover with extra seasonings. 

Hearty, delicious and nutritious, I hope you love this soup as much as we do!

Unstuffed Cabbage Soup
recipe adapted from Tasty Kitchen
Serves 10

1/2 cups uncooked rice plus up to 2 cups water
1 whole onion
1 clove garlic, minced
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 pound ground beef or turkey
3 cans (14.5 Oz. Can) plain diced tomatoes
2 whole bay leaves
4 cups water
1/2 head cabbage, shredded
1 Tbsp tomato paste


In a small sauce pot combine rice and up to 2 cups water (depending on type or rice and specific package directions.) Bring water to boil, stir occasionally until fully cooked.  

In a heavy pot, saute onions until translucent. Add minced garlic and sliced celery. Cook until fragrant and tender. Add ground beef or turkey to the cooking pot, breaking up into small pieces, and cooking until brown and cooked through. Add cooked rice, diced tomatoes, bay leaves, 4 cups water, shredded cabbage, and tomato paste (can substitute with ketchup). Salt and pepper to taste.

Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for one hour, until cabbage is thoroughly softened. 

Store leftovers in airtight containers in the refrigerator. Soup will thicken after setting. Add additional water each time soup is reheated, to bring back to desired soup-consistency. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011



I have always always always loved gingersnaps. You know the know the old fashioned kind you could buy in a bag at your local grocery store? The kind my grandma used to keep in her pantry, perfect for dipping in her daily cup of tea. I loved those crunchy cookies something fierce. The flavor of the molasses and spices was spot on, but that crispness was really something special. 

I've made Spicy Molasses Cookies many many times and it is by far my favorite molasses cookie recipe. But the thing is, those are amazingly soft, chewy cookies. I wanted crunchy

I did some internet scouring and discovered the secret--a longer baking time. That's it! I could use my same trusty recipe and just bake them longer! Genius! 

These cookies turned out exactly like I imagined! For the crunchy cookie lovers in your life, this is your recipe! 

recipe by (originally adapted from
makes 3 dozen cookies

3/4 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1 egg
2 cups flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp cardamom
2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
extra sugar for coating

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

In a large bowl, beat together shortening, sugar, molasses and egg. In a second bowl combine dry ingredients with a whisk. Stir the dry mixture into the creamed ingredients and stir until thoroughly combined. 

Scoop out dough by the tablespoon and roll into sugar. Place on a cookie sheet, 1-2 inches apart. 

Bake for 12-14 minutes. Allow to cool for 2-3 minutes on the pan. Cool completely on a wire rack.
Note: The longer baking time achieves the crispy, crunchy characteristic of the true gingersnap. 


Sunday, November 6, 2011

Cinnamon Sunflower Seed Energy Bites


You all might be keen enough to deduce how slightly addicted I am to these little energy bites. I've made a batch a week since I first found the original recipe and each time I've tweaked it into something new. I love the versatility of the recipe, not to mention the amazing flavor, and the packed nutrients. If you haven't tried these yet, you must!

Cinnamon Sunflower Seed Energy Bites
recipe adapted from Smashed Peas and Carrots
Makes 24 bites

1-1/2 cup oats
1 cup flaked coconut
1/3 cup honey
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup ground flax seed

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix together until thoroughly combined. Refrigerate for 15-30 minutes then roll into walnut-sized balls. Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to a week. 


Friday, November 4, 2011

Sweetened Whipped Cream

I love me some Cool Whip and anything dairy that comes out of an aerosol can, but there is nothing quite like freshly whipped cream. Seriously. Friends, this is so fast and easy to make, you'd really be selling yourself (or your pie) short, without sweetened whipped cream.

Sweetened Whipped Cream Recipe
recipe from The Betty Crocker Cookbook

Makes 2 cups whipped cream

Note: Always start with cream right from the fridge, and if possible chill your bowl and beaters in the freezer for 10 minutes until cold to the touch. Recipe may be halved.

1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 Tbsp granulated or powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla

In chilled medium bowl, beat all ingredients with electric mixer on high speed until soft peaks form. Do not over beat.

Refrigerate until ready to use.

Prepare for deliciousness.

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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Super Spicy Three Pepper Chili Recipe


After a day of canning tomatoes with my good friend, we discovered one of the jars didn't seal and it needed to be used this week. With the cooler weather rolling in, I decided chili was definitely the way to go. Overflowing with fresh, spicy peppers, and hearty tomatoes and kidney beans, this chili is sure to please the spicy heat lovers in your life. 

Super Spicy Three Pepper Chili Recipe
Serves 6

1 medium onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 banana pepper, chopped
1/2 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp Italian seasonings 
2 --14.5 oz cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed 
1 quart stewed tomatoes 
1--8oz can tomato sauce
3-4 cups water 

Heat a large stock pot over medium heat and drizzle with oil twice around the pan. Once oil is hot, add onions, peppers, and garlic and cook until softened. Sprinkle with seasonings. Stir in beans and tomatoes, breaking up tomatoes as desired. Add in tomato sauce and water. Stir. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer at least 30 minutes--up to 5 hours (the longer the better!)