Saturday, September 30, 2006

Cream Cheese Thingy (Danish)

No pictures - but I thought I'd give you the recipe for a great breakfast or brunch treat
As I've been calling it today
Cream Cheese Thingy (really danish would be a good word here)

2 cans crescent rolls
1 egg - separated
1 cup sugar - separated
1 tsp vanilla
12 oz cream cheese - softened (I used 1/3 less fat)

in 9x13 pan, roll out one can of crescent rolls. Press into bottom of pan. Mix together cream cheese, egg yolk, vanilla, and 3/4 of the sugar. Pour into pan. Top with other can of crescent rolls. Top with egg whites and 1/4 of sugar. Bake for about 20 minutes until middle is set and top is brown and shiny (due to the egg white and sugar).

This is very good warm out of the oven. Let it sit for about 10 minutes and it is great!
This is from a lady that works next door to me in the offices. It was delicious - I had 3 bites of it

I also made maple pecan waffles, real whipped cream flavored with maple extract (Steph made that while I was making waffles). Laura brought fruit. I made the waffles healthier - using applesauce instead of oil. Terah brought drinks. It was a lot of fun just chilling with my girls!

Love you girls - we're gonna bake soon! :)

Carolina Cafe

I really liked the one in Chapel Hill. The atmosphere and people are nicer than the one in Cameron Village in Raleigh.
I went with one of my girls last night. Had a coupon, but then she treated - how cool was that?
The best part about half of my sandwich (I'll have the other half tonight) was the bread.
The wheat sunflower bread was so moist and fluffy. The sunflower seeds you could taste were toasted just right to bring out all the flavor. I could almost feel like I was watching a baseball game eating sunflower seeds in the spring on bleachers - but then flash back to a cool Friday night in Chapel Hill.
Hats off to the Cafe for having such delicious bread.
My friend cooks bread now all the time but I'm still scared of yeast - maybe one of these days. I stick with quick breads - which I love to make! :)

Wednesday, September 27, 2006


I promised sugar cookies - so here is the recipe. These are some ones we decorated for Christmas when Michelle was here. This is her recipe. I was always scared of sugar cookies - and she made them so good - (I enjoyed them all the way through seminary).
So here ya go:
Old Fashioned Sugar Cookie
1 cup softened butter
1 1/2 cups sugar2 eggs (room temp)
1 tsp vanilla (I add a little more)
1/4 tsp salt2 tsp cream of tartar (no more or you get a funky taste) - I just learned from Alton Brown that they put this stuff on the bottom of wine corks.
2 3/4 cup all-purpose flour

Michelle uses an almond icing - fantastic
1/2 cup butter - softened
1 tsp almond extract
2 1/2-3 1/2 cups 10x sugar
3 tbsp milk

I find the icing makes a lot, and you can play with the sugar and milk a little bit till you get the consistency you want. Mix butter, then add sugar and beat till fluffy. Add in everything but the flour. Then add the flour. Cover and chill dough (or freeze for about 30 minutes). Roll out for shapes or use melon baller to round out dough balls. Cook at 375 on an ungreased cookie sheet for 8 minutes - do not over cook. Let cool before frosting.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Chunky Minestrone Soup

I made another new soup tonight. I love soups and chilis. It is something very comforting to eat out of a bowl with a spoon. I don't know what it is - but I like it.
This recipe I adapted quite a bit from Sara Foster's book Fresh Every Day. She is the owner of Foster's Market in Chapel Hill and Durham. Great place for lunch but - their scones are really the best thing they serve especially when they are fresh. First time I went there I had a black bean breakfast burrito - one of the best breakfast things I've ever had. you can see the steam is still coming out of the bowl - great a nice cool evening or cold night for winters in NC (or the one rare night it gets below freezing in Central FL) HAHAHAHA

Chunky Minestrone
(serves a lot)

Olive Oil
1 large yellow onion - sliced and chopped
10 baby carrots - cut in half
1 colored pepper (I used some orange and red b/c I had them) - seeded and chopped
1 large can (28 oz) of diced tomatoes
2 small zucchini, sliced, then cut in half
4 garlic cloves - chopped
8 cups chicken broth (I used low-sodium, ff kind)
3 cups shredded chicken (I cooked a whole chicken and seasoned it with oregano and garlic)
salt and pepper to taste (salt a little while cooking then save most for table)
1/2 cup small uncooked pasta
8 oz frozen green beans - thawed
1/4 small head cabbage - shredded
3 handfuls of baby spinach leaves

Saute onion in oil over medium heat until a little bit of color is on the onions. Then add carrots, zucchini, peppers and tomatoes - let cook for about 5 minutes (low boil). Add garlic (don't brown them). Add chicken, broth, salt and pepper. Cook for about 10 more minutes. Add pasta, green beans and cabbage. Cook for about 15 minutes at a low boil or until pasta and carrots are tender. Right at the end add spinach just till wilted.

Enjoy! I served mine with torn French bread and the pear crisp. It makes a lot so you'll definitely have leftovers.

Its pear-baking season!

Fall is the season for baking with pears. Last weekend I made roasted pears - which were ok. This weekend I made a healthier version of Pear Crisp - very yummy. Serving it tonight for Bible study at my house. This is adapted from a Cooking Light recipe...Enjoy it!

Harvest Pear Crisp
(I baked mine in a deep-dish 9-in pie pan)

6 Bartlett pears - peeled, cored, sliced in strips, then cut in half
Lemon juice
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 tbsp chilled butter - cut into small pieces
1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup walnuts

Toss cut pears with lemon juice (to prevent browning). Add sugar, starch, and cinnamon - toss with pears. Mix flour, salt, brown sugar, cinnamon together - cut in butter. Then add oats and walnuts. Sprinkle over pear mixture. Bake at 375 for 40 minutes. Serve warm with ice cream and sprinkled with walnuts and pinch of cinnamon (for presentation of course).
I added more oats and walnuts then it called for and I used the Bartlett pears solely because they were on sale. With crisps - it is all about the warmth - I love these warm out of the oven served with light ice cream (using dulce la leche tonight) and then sprinkled...with whatever.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Food is more than...

Food is always more about the people you are entertaining or celebrating with than actually the food itself.
Tonight is a great example. I went with Laura to celebrate her birthday that was 1 month ago - and we went to Panera. Now, Panera is great, but they didn't have the soup that I wanted - so I settled for veggie soup. Good, but I've had better. The baked Lays were fantastic! You can't mess up those.
This picture was taken back in December when we were baking sugar cookies. These are great sugar cookies by the way - I'll be happy to share the recipe.

But, with my cooking - I always enjoy cooking for people. I want others to enjoy it - I think most people who like to cook are that way. I will be cooking this weekend and baking so I'll fill you in how that goes.

The new chapter

This is my first post in a new blog - all dedicated to food. I love to cook, experiment, eat healthy, try new things. So, I would like to record those culinary finds and treats. Check back here...
If you would ever like a recipe or more information that isn't posted, just ask in the comment section