Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Northwood Soup

This soup is easy for a cozy day at home - any time. It takes about 30 minutes to make. Very easy and healthy - about 250 caloried for 1.5 cups. Serves 5 so I have enough for lunches throughout the week. I got this recipe from

3 regular carrots - peeled and sliced in 1/2 inch slices
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic (I always grate mine now with my zester grater)
1/2 pkg turkey kielbasa, sliced
oregano, pepper
1 box low sodium chicken broth
2 cans great northern beans
1/4 cup celery leaves (from celery stalks)
6 oz spinach leaves

Saute for 4 ingredients in olive oil for 3 minutes. Add in everything to greens and bring to a boil. Let boil for 5 minutes, simmer for 5. Then mash soup with potato masher (to make it thicker by breaking down some of the beans). Bring to simmer for 5 more minutes. Add in spinach and celery leaves. Serve with some parm cheese. Easy, cheap, good. My three requirements for soup!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

2009 Cooking Resolutions

I heard someone say this weekend that they categorize their resolutions. So, that is what I'm doing this year. Since this is my food blog - these resolutions will have to do with cooking. There are three of them.
1. I get to cook one new recipe a week. A week is Monday-Sunday. This week I will at least be doing 5 new recipes - it won't be like this every week though. In my menu blog at the beginning of the week - I'll tell you which one is the new recipe.
2. Since I collect cookbooks, I must start using them. So I counted all mine up (not including magazines) and I have about 60. That means I have to cook one recipe out of each cookbook this year. That will be fun, but also hard. It will also give me a chance to hopefully work with some new ingredients!
3. For the healthier end of things - I would like to start cooking with more legumes, whole grains, fish, and veggies.
What are your cooking or food resolutions this year?

Monday, December 29, 2008

Menu: Last week of 2008

I'm already starting this health(ier) eating thing even though we aren't quite into the New Year. This week also holds my birthday - so we'll see how that goes. More on 2009 Food Resolutions in a coming blog.
Monday - Asahi sushi for lunch (I had 4 of the california roll, 4 of the Spicy Crab Roll - that was amazing, some of the hibachi veggies, and a salad). Dinner will be veggies and an egg white omelette.
Tuesday - Progressive dinner with friends. I'm making a pear/gorgonzola/cherry/pecan salad with honey mustard vinaigrette. Laura is making meatballs. And Beth has desserts. This will be fun!
Wednesday - no clue yet. I'm making a hummus platter to take to a NYE party.
Thursday - Orange Cranberry muffins, Tilapia with citrus vinaigrette and veggies.
Friday - Brunch with Reed's: ham, grits/greens/eggs, cinnamon rolls, citrus salad
Saturday - Dinner at Joneses'
Sunday - Lunch with Lilly somewhere for my birthday!

Egg Cuties

To build relationships among the secretaries here at Southern, we have an administrative secretary birthday breakfast once a month. My friend, Bonnie, always seems to be in charge of the egg casserole dish. Its kinda become a tradition. And she's a great cook, so none of us mind leaving that task to her! She made a these a while back and I claimed the recipe for a brunch last week. They were very good. We sent some of the leftovers to the grandparents and had some of the leftovers for Christmas breakfast. My parents are making them again this week. These are a great thing to make the night before if you are going to be rushed in the morning, but I would still prefer them hot out of the pan the first time.

Egg Cuties (by Bonnie Myers)
1 lb. Sausage - this adds to much flavor - the pork fat stuff, not turkey stuff.
1 medium onion- chopped
2 cups shredded frozen hashbrown potatoes
1 tsp. Lawry’s season salt - we didn't have any, so we made up our own
6 oz. Shredded cheddar cheese - we used 2% sharp cheddar
6 eggs
3 tbsp. Flour
½ cup milk
1 cup ranch dressing - we used Walmart brand light Ranch

Grease muffin tins and set oven to 325 degrees.
Brown sausage and onion and drain.
Add potatoes, cheese, and flour to sausage and onion
In another bowl, beat eggs, dressing, and milk. Add to potato mixture.
Add seasonings. Fill muffin tins ¾ full.
Bake for 30 minutes.
Yields 24 muffins.

Homemade Cinnamon Raisin Bread French Toast

This whole recipe came about because my Mom got a brand new bread machine for 8$ at a church yard sale. She bought it to give away, but we had to make sure it worked first. So, we made some bread on Wednesday night and decided to make French Toast with the leftovers of it for Christmas morning.
It turned out very well - even if we had to make do without syrup. (the other in the picture is a fruit salad with blood oranges from the back yard and leftover Egg Cuties from another post).

For bread: (1 lb loaf)
5/8 cup buttermilk
1 egg
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups bread flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 cup raisins
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons rapid rise or bread machine yeast
Put all in machine in that order and turn on regular setting.

French Toast (6 slices)
2 eggs
2 egg whites
3/4 cup milk
1 T vanilla
2 tsp sugar
1/2 t cinnamon
1/4 tsp fresh ground nutmeg (my Mom actually had the nutmeg, we ground it - so good fresh)
Mix up in a big enough bowl for bread to fit in. Line cookie sheet with foil and spray well with pam. Turn over on to 500.
Dunk bread till well coated and lay on pan. Cook for 5 minutes, flip, 3-4 min on other side.
Dad topped his with light corn syrup. I topped mine with 1 tsp brown sugar and 1 T heavy cream, cool whip, and raisins. Mom topped hers with cool whip. It was very very yummy!

North Carolina Pecan Pie

My Mom's side of the family is pecan growers. Tons of pecan trees in south Georgia - loved tasting the pecans on family trips.
When I saw this recipe in my Farm Bureau Insurance magazine in October - I saved it to make for Thanksgiving. This would be my first pecan pie. We thought we had bought a pie shell, but didn't - so mom pulled together a great shortening crust (use one that you have or buy a regular crust). I also added chocolate chips to this one. It was great.
a crust of your choosing (9 in regular)
4 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup EACH light and dark corn syrup
1 1/2 T butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1 cup pecans, arranged on top in a circular fashion
Beat eggs, add rest. Pour into pie pan. It will go almost to the top. Sprinkle chocolate chips. Arrange pecans on top. Bake for 40-45 minutes at 350.
We made ours early Wednesday for eating on Thursday. I liked how it had plenty of time to completely set. It was yummy with cool whip!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Roasted Fruit Arugula Salad with Panettone Croutons

I had a very special fmr teached and dear friend over for a holiday brunch at the house. It was a sweet time of catching up and hanging out with her and my parents. I enjoy watching people eat what I have made. We all really enjoyed this first course salad. Thanks to Giada!
1 pkg arugula or mixed greens (I really liked the flavor the arugula brought to the table).
2 pears
1 cup grapes
1 cup cranberries (fresh preferably)
6 oz (2 small) Panettone, cubed
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons lemon juice, plus 1/4 cup (about 2 lemons total),
1/2 lemon, zested
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup orange blossom honey
1/4 cup canola oil
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 300 and brown the cubed bread until crispy - about 35-40 minutes. We did these the night before and put them in a baggy. Cut the pears into 8ths, peeled, mix fruit on sheet with sides and drizzle the butter, juice, zest, and sugar over the top. Roast at 425 for 25-30 minutes. Mix the dressing right before serving. Plate it and serve!

Pork, Apple, and Sweet Potato Bake

My friend, Sarah, made this for the first time I met her. I loved it then, I loved it today. I made it for my parents for a light(er) lunch during this holiday week of baking and big dinners. My cousins in Cullman, AL grow sweet potatoes, and give our family TONS of them every fall. This was a perfect dish. You can bake it in the oven for about an hour but I put it in a crock pot since we needed the oven to bake!

3 med or 6 small sweet potatoes
3-4 small-medium apples
1 lb pork sausage

Peel and slice potatoes and apples. Cook and drain pork. Put all in crockpot (or 9x9 pan). I put about 1/4 cup flour, 2 T sugar, 2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp salt. 3/4 cup water. But, play with it all. I liked how it turned out today - it had a little more liquid, but then after it cooled it had set up a bit. Yummy! The pork sausage gives it great flavor - even though its not the healthiest for you - but turkey sausage doesn't quite cut it!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Menu: Christmas Week

There are a lot of big meals this week, but then eating out and little ones too! :) I'll enjoy cooking with my Mom this week in a big kitchen! Going to FL tomorrow!
Monday - traveling (airport food), taco soup
Tuesday - Brunch: arugula salad with fruit and panettone croutons, egg cuties (from Bonnie), cinnichip scones (already on here), ambrosia salad with vanilla yogurt and homemade granola (already on here) and washing it down with Citrus Punch. Then dinner at Alan and T's: ribeyes, shrimp, rolls, salad, sauteed shrooms, garlic roasted onions, roasted brussel sprouts, nanaimo bars and deep chocolate torte.
Wednesday - Sweet potato, apple, and sausage bake (recipe from my friend Sarah that I had a few weeks ago) and then a grilled chicken salad for dinner (something light to counter the eating together days!
Thursday - Smoked mullet, ham, cornpudding casserole (from BGC), applesauce for granny, sweet potato casserole, cauliflower au gratin, sour cream biscuits (from Lindsay), lemon glazed lemon cake, apricot sandwich cookies, broccoli salad.
Friday - Sonnys and probably Barnicle Bills
Saturday - hotel breakfast, lunch with Robshaws, airport food
Sunday - eating with Sarah and Cheryl while shopping for NYE outfits!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Coconut Cream Pie

This was my first time making a coconut cream pie. The only reason I did was because I had leftover cream of coconut from the Coconut Cream cupcakes I had. This was really good. I took it to a dinner and baking session I went to - and we all ate a piece and it was yummy - sugar overload!

1 ready made graham cracker crust (this time of the year, short cuts are grand!)
1 block of 1/3 less fat cream cheese - softened
1 cup cream of coconut (NOT coconut milk) - this is found in the drink/mixer section
1 small pkg of cheesecake pudding mix
1 6 oz bag of coconut
1 8 oz container of Fat Free Cool Whip
1 cup heavy whipping cream
vanilla extract
sugar (both of these are optional if you wanted sweetened whipping cream, I don't like it plain)
coconut to garnish

Cream cheese and cream, then add in dry pudding mix, then add in coconut, fold in cool whip. Pour into crust. Let chill for 2 hours. Before serving whip heavy whipping cream till medium peaks form - add in 1 1/2 tsp vanilla and 1 1/2 T sugar. Spread on top. Top with coconut for garnish if you want to.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Friday Night Dinner In and Pear Cranberry Crisp

I had some great new friends over for dinner tonight. It has definitely become my love language to cook for people (acts of service if you follow the Gary Chapman guideline). I just love sharing my love for food with others.'s the menu:
Pear/Cherry/Gorgonzola/Spinach Salad with Honey Mustard Vinaigrette (1 pear, spinach, 1/2 cup dried cherries, 1/4 cup gorgonzola cheese) - Vinaigrette was out of the Butterfly Garden Cafe cookbook (honey, dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, and olive oil)
Flat Iron Steak with Marsala Reduction and Sauteed Onions (3.5 lbs of flat iron - s/p/garlic/thyme). 1 1/2 cup each of beef broth and marsala wine - reduced 3/4 to a glaze. 2 onion sauteed in olive oil and 3 T butter). Chris actually finished off the steak and it was so yummy - thanks to his cooking it to perfection (medium or medium rare). It was so tender. The reduction was so good and how can you go wrong with the onions!
Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Bacon and Lemon - 2 lbs brussel sprouts, cleaned and halved. 425 with olive oil, s/p and lemon zest for 18 minutes, stir, 12 minutes, crumble bacon and add some lemon juice.
Creamy Parmesan Orzo. This was good but the only thing that wasn't to my definite liking just because it had sat too long by the time we ate it. Find this recipe on
Pear Cranberry Crisp - (Fosters, yes the cookbook I use for everything!) - what I liked about this. It was a warm way to end the meal and it cooked while we were eating our dinner.

6 pears - peeled, cored, sliced thin
1 cup fresh cranberries
1/2 cup apple juice
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 T vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
pinch salt
1 tsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp all-spice
Mix all together and pour into deep dish pie pan or 9 in pan.

1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
4 T unsalted cold butter
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1 t vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
Crumble together and put on top.
Bake at 375 for 40 minutes or until fruit is bubbly. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream!
YUMMY. The sauce mixes with the melted ice cream - oh I love warm desserts in the winter!
It was fun getting to cook for a change (instead of just bake). Glad my guests enjoyed it. And glad I have some leftovers (I sent the dessert to the drum session down the road).

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Peanut Butter Brownies...Take 2

I made these about 2 years ago - and this time made them again, took pictures, and changed 2 things. Instead of using the mini baking reeces cups - I used just the miniature ones (about 2/3 of a bag) and cut them in half. That way they are chunkier. I also sprinkled about 1/2 cup reeces pieces to give them some color.
These were more moist than they were back then!
I'll take some to the office tomorrow and most of the to community group. Very good and easy - better than from a box and didn't take much more time. I will usually take homemade over boxed!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Menu Week: Dec 15

This is my last week up here before I go to FL for Christmas (leaving Monday, excited to have some warm weather hopefully and cooking with my Mom).
I actually have a slower week than last, so we shall see what this week holds:
Cyclers Cafe
Peanut Butter Brownies (made in 2006 on here, found, have all the ingredients, and don't have to make them from a box for small group - very excited about that!)
Flat Iron steak with shallots
Roasted Brussel Sprouts with bacon, parm, and lemon
Pear/Gorgonzola Salad
Cream Parmesan Orzo
Pear and Cranberry Crisp
Candy Cane Fudge
Dark Chocolate Pistachio Apricots
Rocky Road Bark
La Vida Java

Will have fun baking brownies for small group and the office, eating meals with friends, cooking for friends, taking girls to my fave coffee shop, eating and making candy with friends. This time of the year is so cool for hang out time and cooking!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Christmas Baking Fun

Last night I went over to a friend's house, Brandi, of Bites with Brandi, and had a great time baking with some fun ladies. Only one had I met before - so we got to know each other better, but it was just baking with people.
You had to bring a favorite holiday recipe, all the ingredients, and give the finished product to the other ladies. So I left with 8 things last night in a little goodie bag! And a butterfly (I know not Christmas, but fun) cookie cutter. We had pizza and roasted red pepper hummus and veggies - and then nibbled of course while we were baking.
We made: chocolate macaroons, no bakes, chocolate covered pretzels, pupmkin bread, brown sugar chews, pistachio craisin white chocolate biscotti, rocky road bark, chocolate peanut butter bars. My Mom will love the rocky road bark (Brandi's), you can't go wrong with white chocolate, I woke up hungry about 4.45 this morning and had a bite of Sarah's pumpkin bread - very moist.
All in all, it was fun and we had a great time baking. The guys were watching Elf and Narnia and the kids.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Taste of Louisville: Butterfly Garden Cafe

Even though my lunch time was really hurried - this place was excellent - the soup definitely made everything worth it. Butterfly Garden Cafe is down on Bardstown, only about 3-4 miles from the seminary. Only problem with Bardstown Rd is it is very difficult to find parking places and there is tons of traffic.
But, once inside - its all good. We all had the tomato tuscan soup (broth based, fresh tomatoes, basil, onions, etc) - it was worth everything. So yummy and warm - especially with flurries coming down outside! The chicken salad was ok. I like chunky chicken salad and this was shredded. But, I loved the bread. It came with some sun-chips and a square of a corn casserole of some sort. That was very good too.
I sampled the Raspberry Chai while waiting for our table. That was very yummy - with just a hint of raspberry. Lilly and I ended up buying the cookbook from there - and Lauren already had both of them.
All in all - very good, poor parking, about a 1/3 higher than Panera - very nice servers, cozy place. Very thankful for Lauren who suggested it! Thanks!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Taste of Louisville: Shiraz

Dwon a couple miles from the school is a great district called Clifton - with tons of little restaurants in it. One the most affordable and also tasty and quick is a place called Shiraz. I had been there once before, but today I went again and had a much better experience.
I got a Shiraz Panini - flat bread warm with avocado and quinoa and jack cheese in it. Very very good. And some of their lentil rice: basmati rice with seasonings and lentils. This I will heat up this weekend to enjoy with some chicken or just some hummus from Whole Foods.
The people I was with enjoyed it as well. So - go, great for mediterranean food - and cheap on the wallet!

Coconut Cream Cupcakes

I love coconut at Christmas time. We had our Community Group Christmas dinner last night and I brought these. I thought they were good, fluffy cupcakes, icing had little more than a hint of coconut, and the top was festive! This is a Southern Living recipe.
1 (18.25-oz.) package white cake mix with pudding
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Mix all together in a mixer. Line cupcakes tins with festive cupcake liners (I had just gotten some from my secret sister). Fill 2/3 full and bake at 350 for 20 minutes - don't overbake.

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 (3-oz.) package cream cheese
1 (16-oz.) package powdered sugar
1/4 cup cream of coconut
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Sift sugar into mixture to not get lumps. There is plenty leftover. Just dunk the bowl in some water so you don't lick it clean!
Green food coloring (3 drops to a baggy full of coconut) and fruited cherries.

These are my new winter/Christmas dishes I got at Kohls - love them!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Menu Week: December 8

Tis the season of many parties, dinners, games - anything to make you eat more - right? I'm glad this week holds time for me to cook, socialize, fellowship, enjoy others, bake, eat, and exercise!
The menu outside of these parties will be very simple and nothing extraordinary about them, but here is what I'm making this week:
Jack Corn Casserole (under vegetables)
Coconut Cream Cupcakes that I'll decorate in the colors of the season
Pistachio Cranberry White Chocolate Biscotti
I'll eat at least two meals out and will comment on those if they are rave-able.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Foster's Granola

Well, by the name of this you should know by now that it is Sara Foster's recipe (Durham). Again, another great recipe out of this cookbook (Fresh Every Day). I'll be ordering her first one here pretty soon - can't wait to get it!
I honestly was a little worried about this granola. It looked too wet and then too burnt. But, you know, once it was completely cooled and broken up - it is very good, very crunchy and maple-y tasting. What good granola should be! This recipe is time consuming because you have to stir it so it doesn't burn and then work it off the pan while its cooling - or it will all stick.

2 cups rolled oats (Quaker Old Fashioned)
1 cup sweetened flake coconut
1 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup canola oil
3/4 cup quality maple syrup
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup craisins or dried cherries
1/2 cup dried apricots, cut into pieces with scissors (I found this easier than chopping them)

mix first three with a pinch of salt on a cookie sheet with sides. 275 for 12 minutes. Take out and mix with the wet ingredients. Spray pan very well. Bake again 20-25 minutes (slightly shorter time than Sara says, but ovens cook at different temps) at 350. Stir every 5 minutes or so. Then let cool completely, breaking up pieces as it is cooling. Once cool put all in a big bowl and add fruit. (You can play with the fruit to whatever you like). This makes 4 cups.
I'm using it for our women's gift exchange tomorrow at church. Should be fun and I hope people like it.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies (from Durham)

This recipe is for a special lady I work with. She has been my "secret sister" this fall semester and this is her favorite cookie. So, tomorrow for our reveal - she is getting a big container of them.
Earlier this fall I found this recipe in Fresh Every Day from Foster's Market in Durham. My favorite place to hang out in Durham and I so love the cookbook. It is my go-to cookbook because I know its going to be great! Everytime I make these I can just imagine myself sitting there on 15/501 eating, chilling, maybe seeing Sarah herself!
So, the dough is phenom and the cookies are great too - nice and warm and chewy, just watch oatmeal cookies should be - with chocolate all the way through them. You can't go wrong.

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 cup each light brown sugar and white sugar
3 eggs, one at a time
2 tsp good vanilla (I used some from Trader Joes)
3 cups oatmeal (I use old fashioned Quaker Oats)
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp cinamon and baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips

Cream butter, sugars, eggs, and vanilla. Mix dry and spices. Fold in chips.
Lightly spray cookie sheets. Oven at 350. Big cookies (about 1/4 cup). Bake for 13-17 minutes depending on how you like your cookies. Mine were a little smaller and I let them cook for 13 minutes.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Menu Week: Dec 1

Here we are: the holidays are definitely already in full swing. That means, you bake and take, eat healthy when you aren't at parties, and eat wisely when you are at parties - remembering that there is usually another party to go to.
So...this is the week ahead of me:
Fall Pork Stew (cooking now)
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies (Sarah Foster recipe)
Peanut Butter Blondies
Wintermint Brownies
Granola (Sarah Foster Recipe) are parties:
SBTS Secret Sister Secretary Luncheon (Tuesday)
CBMW Christmas party
Gift Exchange Brunch for Crossing Women

Happy first week of December! :)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Hot Cheesy Corn Dip

Got this recipe from closet cooking and also Emeril - but changed it a little. This was great served with Tostito Gold chips - and hot while the cheese is still gooey!

1 bag frozen corn (12 oz), thawed
2 T butter (1 each)
1/2 large onion, chopped
1/2 red onion, diced
1 green onion (white and green), chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeno, chopped
s/p to taste
1 block monterey jack cheese
1/3 cup light mayo
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 1/2 handfuls of grated 2 % sharp cheddar cheese.

Saute the corn in 1 T butter for about 5 minutes. Set aside. Saute pepper and onions about 2 minutes in other pat of butter. Add rest of veggies, for another 2 minutes. Mix all together with the rest of everything - topping it with the cheddar cheese. 8x8 pan, lightly sprayed with pam. 20 minutes at 350. Yummy - and definitely has a kick!

Deep Dish Crunchy and Sweet Sweet Potato Bake

Ok - a long name for sweet potato casserole. I got this recipe from my friend Beth - her in-laws make this. I tweaked it to not make it so rich and sweet because i like it better medium on the sweetness. But, this is so yummy! And I had to use real sweet potatoes.

5 large sweet potatoes (bake, take out of skins)
1 stick salted butter, melted
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
2 T cornstarch
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp all spice
1/2 cup milk

Bake in a deep dish baker (round, Pampered Chef). Spray, 400, 20 minutes.

1 cup cornflakes, crushed with your hands
1 stick salted butter, melted
1/c cup chopped pecans
2 handfuls coconut (how can this stuff get any better?)

Melt butter, stir in rest. Spread on top of casserole. Bake at 350 for another 18-20 minutes or until browned.
So creamy and then crunchy and sweet on top. I'd rather have it crunchy and sweet than with marshmallows.

Orange Cranberry Sauce

This is a Cooking Light recipe. One thing on the Thanksgiving table has to be somewhat good for you - right?

1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup oj (fresh squeezed if possible)
1/8 cup honey (I got mine from Dr. Wilder when he harvested it down in GA this fall)
1/8 tsp all-spice
1 cinnamon stick
1/4 cup water
1 bag cranberries

Put all in a medium saucepan. Heat to boiling, then reduce heat. Stir occasionally. Cook until thickened and cranberries have burst. I like some still whole. It was pretty good - still tart. I doubled the recipe. And for 1/4 cup of it - 80 calories! Much less than a piece of pie!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Using Leftover Vegetables

This weekend I finally had some time to work on the kitchen - and the fridge. I realized I needed to use up some vegetables - so I went to work last night.

Egg White omelete with mushrooms, grape tomatos, and cheese
4 egg whites
3 mushrooms - sliced
5 grape tomatoes - halved
1 tsp butter
1 tsp olive oil
2 T 2% sharp cheddar cheese
cook over mid-high heat the veggies first, then add eggs - cook till done. Enjoy!

Roasted Potatoes and Mushrooms
7 large red potatoes
3/4 mushroom container,
Peel potatoes, cube
Wipe mushrooms and slice (not the stem)
2 T butter, 2 T olive oil - dot around - sheet pan, pepper
425 for 18 minutes, then toss, then cook for another 20. Enjoy!

Lemon Gingerbread Muffins

This recipe had already been tweaked by Noodle Nights and Muffin Mornings from a Cooks' Illustrated recipe - so I pretty much left it the same. It probably makes about 16 or so muffins because I made 12 and had extra batter. Sorry for no pictures - this one would have some good ones, but I need to get a new camera - mine quit working this weekend.

2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice, salt
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar
1 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup molasses
1 stick unsalted butter, melted & cooled slightly

Lemon Glaze:
3/4 cup powdered sugar
juice of a large lemon

375 middle rack, spray muffins tins, dry, wet, fold together till just mixed. Bake for 18 minutes. Lemon glaze while warm.
These were actually better than I thought they would be. I've been wanting to try them, but gingerbread is usually more dry than these muffins were. I was pleasantly surprised!

Monday, November 24, 2008

ManCube Chocolate Chip Muffins

The mancube is some guys who work in our copy center/mailroom/store here at Southern. They are very helpful and fun and all-around great guys! So, we had a huge project due last week and they were a huge help to me! Chocolate Chip muffins are great rewards.
This is one I got from Bake or Break - love the blog. These turned out a little too dark on top. Here is how I would adjust them for next time: use a regular not a dark muffin tin. Keep temp at 375, lower cooking time from 22 minutes to 20 minutes. Everything else would be good to go.

1 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 tsp powder, soda, cinnamon, salt (just realized I forgot the cinnamon in these, so you can leave out or put in)
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 stick unsalted butter, melted, cooled
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup mini semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips ( I like the difference in the chips)

375, lined, and lightly sprayed. Mix flour through salt. Mix eggs through vanilla. Combine, fold in chips. Bake 20 minutes.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Menu Week: Thanksgiving

Yes - the week of Thanksgiving. This one I will be staying here, housesitting, and eating at a professor's house just like I did last year - finishing off with the Florida Gator game against in-state rival - Florida State. This is what I'm cooking so far this week, but could add some things too. And, going out with people is in this week too. More on that later:
Orange Cranberry Sauce for T-day lunch
Pecan Topped Pumpkin Bread for Secretary B-day breakfast
Sweet Potato Casserole for T-day lunch
Chocolate Chip Cookies for just because
Chocolate Chip Muffins for the ManCube

Enjoy your Thanksgiving everyone. May you continue to know the grace of God in your life - and know that everything we celebrate comes from His Good hand and is ours because of the glorious Cross of Jesus!

Taste of Owensboro: Rolling Pin and Moonlite BBQ

Went to Owensboro this weekend to hang out with new friends, the Martins and Whitakers. Saturday morning tradition at the Martin's house is donuts from the Rolling Pin. I did have a little bit of a chocolate glazed no filling long john and a donut hole. The dough itself was so soft and tender - not tough like some donuts. Chocolate was more icing then glaze. Donut hold was amazing - good flavor. Better then KK donut holes. Thanks Kerry for going out in 15 degree weather to get them - I was very glad to distract Andrew while you got out the door!
For dinner we went to the famed O-boro BBQ joint - Moonlite BBQ Inn. Known for its buffet and home cooking - I was thankful to hang out with the family and enjoy bbq. They had bbqd beef, pork ribs, mutton, chopped pork, bbq chicken. I didn't get any of the beef or mutton, but out of everything - the only thing I didn't like was the bbqd chicken - it was dry and overcooked. Sonny's is much better. The sides were amazing - mac and cheese, corn, green beans, cheesy broccoli, yeast rolls - you can't go wrong with country cooking! The desserts were a buffet in themselves - everything you could think of. I had a little bit of carrot cake and a little bit of coconut cream pie. Full and satisfied with good company - I journeyed back to the ville.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Best of Fall Cookies

Made these for small group tonight - the best small group in the state of KY - they eat what I bake!
I got the recipe from my fave cookbook - Sarah Foster - from Foster's in Durham/Chapel Hill.
These were great cookies! Best of everything that makes fall good - almost!

2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup butterscotch chips
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 egg
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 cup oats
2/3 cup canned pumpkin
1 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts

Put flour and soda and butterscotch chips in a food processor and grind till chips are well-integrated. Cream butter, sugars, and egg. Add oats and pumpkin. Mix in flour till no more flour appears. Fold in chips and walnuts. Bake at 350 for about 13 minutes for bigger cookies on greased cookie sheet. Makes about 30. Enjoy with others and a glass of milk.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Menu Week - November 17

Ok - I'm a day late. But, today I actually have time to go grocery shopping. This week will be different and probably next week too, but will eventually get back in a routine. This week I'll just tell you what I'm going to be making - then will post the recipes when I make them:

Chocolate Chip Muffins
Three Cheese Chicken Penne Pasta Bake
Pumpkin White Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Chocolate Chip Cookies - these are a favorite of mine, so they are already on here
Curry Honey Mustard Chicken and Roasted Butternut Squash

I love baking - and have a rule - bake and take!
The two main dish recipes are for my dinner this week and next - since I am housesitting next week. Cookies are for small group - with milk of course. Cookies are for sundaes for our dessert with dinner and friends on Saturday in Owensboro.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Birthday Pumpkin Pie

Tomorrow is one of my professor's birthdays, so he wanted Pumpkin Pie. Thankfully - I had everything in my cupboards so I wouldn't have to pick up things in NC. And I love pumkpin pies because they are fairly easy! Happy Birthday Dr. Richardson - thank you for your love for your students and your famed b-ball skills.
I got this recipe from the lovely and talented Tina Wright yesterday while I ate dinner at their home in Raleigh. Its very yummy, creamy, and not very heavy as some pumpkin pies are.

1 9-in pie shell - I just use a frozen one. Its easy!
1 14 oz can Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk (this recipe is one of their's)
1 can pumpkin (15 oz)
2 eggs
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp each nutmeg, ginger, salt

Bake at 425 for 15 minutes. Turn down oven to 350 and bake for 37-40 minutes or until done. Take out and cool - serve with Cool Whip.
I didn't let mine cool before putting foil on it to bring it to work this morning, so it sweated some - but still tastes yummy!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Creamy Crumble Pumpkin Muffins

I have been wanting to make these for a while since I saw them on my google reader - finally made them for small group tonight (with leftovers for the office). This makes a ton of muffins. I made 24 and still had batter left over. They weren't as "cheesecakey" as I thought they were going to be - but everyone said they were good. you go...

3 cups flour
1 tsp cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, salt, soda
4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
2 cups canned pumpkin (1 1/4 cans)
1 1/4 cup canola oil

6 ounces softened cream cheese
3 T sugar
2 T heavy cream
2 tsp vanilla

1 cup flour
3 T brown sugar
2 T sugar
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
6 T unsalted butter, melted

350. Mix batter. Spray 24 muffin tins - fill 3/4 full. Mix cream cheese batter and put 1-2 tsp on top, stir in with a butter knife. Mix crumble topping and sprinkle generously on top. Bake for 20-22 minutes. Enjoy!

La Vida Java

I'm not one of those people that just go hang out in coffee shops just for the fun of it - to kill time. Except maybe the Caribou on Franklin Street by the mall in Chapel Hill. I love that one! :)
But, I found a new place last night while bonding with a new friend. Her friends own this great place and it opened about a year ago.
Colors are comfortable and cozy, great leather couch big enough for two people to lounge on and not feel like they are encroaching into each other's personal space, games galore (including one on Louisville trivia). Quiet even with people in there. Well-priced (a huge mug of their gourmet Guittard hot chocoleche for 3.75). They even gave it to me in a red mug which is fabulous! They sell local things there (jewelry, notecards, etc) but its not overtaking the place. Very nice and talkative.
So, since this place is only about 10-15 minutes from campus in the Lyndon area, I will try to make this a regular stop of mine. At least in the winter when I love hot chocolate! :)

Chris' Apple Pie

Chris Flora turned 25 on Monday. I always joke with him about being so young - well...I guess not anymore. He is a life-saver to me in the office, because I pass off most students to him on questions that are not in my job description! :) He makes my life so much easier!
Chris - happy birthday - and I hope you and your wife enjoyed the pie and the caramel syrup!
Oh, and this is from a new cookbook given to me by Lindsay - Lindsay, great reviews.
Chris' thoughts on the pie: "Great crust (I can't take credit for it, I used pillsbury roll-out crusts), the apples were cooked just perfectly, tasted like a pie from the Pie Kitchen" - Thanks Chris.

Pie crust for 2 crusts (I used the Pillsbury rolled ones. I don't have room in my kitchen to roll out dough, and it is so much easier)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
3 T flour
7 cups apples (I used a mixture of granny smith, winesap, and baking gala apples) - peeled, sliced
1 T fresh lemon juice
2 T cold unsalted butter
2 T heavy cream
1 T sugar

9 inch pie pan, roll one dough out for the bottom, pack into pie pan. Mix the sugars, flour, spices. Toss the apples and lemon juice. Mix together. Pour and arrange into pan. Chop up the butter into small chunks and place over top. Cover with other roll of dough. Cut off excess and crimp edges. Cut slits in the top. Glaze with cream and sugar.
Move rack to bottom of oven, bake at 450 for 20 minutes. Move to middle rack and cut hear to 375 for 35-45 minutes or until apples are done. Watch crust edges so they don't burn. Enjoy either ice cream, cool whip, or caramel syrup (or all the above). Let cool first for a couple of hours so the apples have time to set.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Menu Week - November 10

This week's menu will be short as I am leaving for Raleigh on Thursday after work. Can't wait! :) But, here we go!
Monday - Lunch with Brandi at 60West here in the St. Matthew's area. I think I am going for the veggie wrap unless they have amazing soup since it is cold but sunny here in the ville. Dinner will be an egg white omelette and then on to baking an 3-apple pie for Chris' b-day.
Tuesday - Lunch will be a pbj with pear butter that my friend Rachael made me and some pretzels and fruit. Dinner will be a salad with salmon on it. I am meeting a new friend for coffee at La Vida Java here in the ville after pilates.
Wednesday - Lunch will hopefully be my yogurt parfait if Founders has any and some pretzels. Dinner is an egg white omelette and apple. I'm going to try some pumpkin cheesecake muffins for small group - we'll see how they turn out.
Thursday - Lunch is some leftover soup. Dinner will be a sandwich - something easy to take with me in the car as a friend and I start our trek to RDU by way of WVa.
Friday - Lunch is at the Tea Room in Wake Forest with my friend Charity. Dinner is grilled chicken and veggies with friends Kasey and Frank
Saturday - Lunch is a healthy fall meal at the women's conference I am speaking at in Apex. Dinner is with one of the coolest families in the world - the Bacons - in Durham.
Sunday - Lunch is at the Wright's in Raleigh and dinner is on the road back to the ville.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Menu Week - November 3

Well, this week will be kinda crazy too - due to housesitting - but will get in some cooking this week:
Monday - Lilly's clam chowder for lunch. She made some on Wednesday and brought it to me at work - I look forward to heating it up! Egg White omelet and steamed broccoli for dinner (gotta use up the broccoli before it goes bad).
Tuesday - I should do something red white and blue in honor of Election Day, hmmmmm... Soup for lunch (either Tyler's or Lilly's). Oatmeal with mixed berries (r, wh, and b) after voting.
Wednesday - Soup for lunch (whichever one I don't have on Tuesday). Dinner will be chicken tenders and fresh green beans. Small group baking is an apple pecan cake - unfortunately most of my golden delicious apples are gone.
Thursday - Yogurt parfait (from Founders if they have any, they've been slacking). Egg White omelette for dinner with some veggies.
Friday - both meals will be on the road to B'ham.
Saturday - Hotel breakfast, lunch at my cousins house
Sunday - breakfast at cousins house, then heading back to the Ville.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Caramel Apple Pecan Crisp

I love caramel and apples together - but I don't like caramel apples - odd, I know. So, today I took a regular plain Betty Crocker recipe and made it my own. I loved it. The big pan is going to my pastor's house who just welcomed Sophie Grace into the world.

Caramel Apple Pecan Crisp (9x13 pan)

6 medium golden delicious apples, peeled, cored, sliced
1/2 cup white sugar
2 T flour
1/2 cup scant brown sugar
1/3 cup cinnamon chips (or ground cinnamon) - I got mine from King Arthur - but I know Hershey's makes them too (just hard to find
1 cup flour
1 cup oats
1 cup brown sugar
10 T butter, chopped
1/2 cup (2 palm fulls) of chopped pecans

Grease 9x13 pan. Toss apples with ingredients up to and including cinnamon chips. Pour in pan. Crumble the rest (save pecans) together and sprinkle on top. Bake at 350 uncovered for 25 minutes. Add pecans to the top and bake for another 7-10 minutes, be careful not to let pecans burn.
I loved this! :) I'm glad the rest of it is going away so I don't eat it all! :)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Taste of Louisville - Lotsa Pasta

Oh the joys of living in this area of the ville. Everything is so close. Down the street (near Shelbyville and Lexington) is a specialty grocery store (a local Whole Foods) that has a great deli/cafe for lunch. Brandi and I decided to go there today.
I had the tomato/artichoke soup (only ate about 1/4 of it) and we split a chicken prosciutto panini - which was huge. I added water and baked ruffles.
The soup was nice and hot - being that it is cold outside today - it was a perfect compliment to the weather. Big chunks of artichokes, many tomatoes (but more of a creamy tomato).
The panini was shaved roasted chicken, prosciutto (which I took off because I couldn't chew it), sun-dried tomato pesto, and provolone. Their focaccia bread is amazing - not too tough or hard, heated through to melt the cheese.
So 2 soups, 1 large sandwich, chips, and 2 brinks (a Stewarts for Brandi and a water for me) was 16$ and we didn't have to pay tip. I thought that was pretty good. Soup was only 3.50 for a big container of it. And its always good to go with a friend - thanks Brandi!
I would really like to go back - build relationships with some of the younger ladies who work there. I don't think they are open on Sunday nights so maybe they would be interested in coming to Crossing which is out their back door too! It is all about Loving Louisville. Be intentional - even when you just go out for lunch!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Menu Week - October 27

Well - the next two weeks of menus will be really unusual for me, because I am housesitting for the next two weeks - so it will be lots of leftovers and cooking only for special occasions. But, gotta keep on track with this or I won't pick it up again (and its been a good way for me to budget my food money):
Monday - leftover Tyler soup, salad with leftover Outback steak (yum)
Tuesday - Lunch with Brandi somewhere (she hasn't told me yet). Dinner will be egg white omelet I think (as long as I have time to wash my little pan - I forgot to spray it the other day when I made an omelet - so it is soaking...)
Wednesday - yogurt and apple and granola bar for lunch. Community group dinner at night (I think I'm doing homemade apple sauce and pumpkin whoopie pies - if they turn out - if not, devil food cupcakes)
Thursday - leftover Tyler soup for lunch and salad with chicken tenders on it for dinner
Friday - granola yogurt parfait from Founders for lunch and who knows for dinner because I have to work an RA shift and then go walk the dog.
Saturday - homemade pizzas and whatever I bring at the Wilders for the largest tailgate party prior to the Gator/Dawg game.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Tyler Florence Minestrone

I love the new cookbook Tyler's Ultimate! Mom got it a few weeks ago and brought it up to me. This is the first recipe I flipped to and new I had to make it. Not only do I love soup - but I love watching Tyler's show - so how perfect is that!

This took some time and dishes, but the results were yummy!

10 cups chicken broth (next time I'll use a little less)
5 cloves of garlic (cracked)
2 cups dry small rigatoni
2 carrots - chopped
2 celery stalks - chopped
1 small onion - chopped
2 garlic cloves, grated
olive oil
8 sage leaves
1 stalk rosemary leaves
1 pkg reduced fat pork sausage (this bring so much flavor, much better than turkey sausage would do)
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes - drained
3.5 cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
juice of 1/2 lemon

Cook pasta - set aside (cook al dente). Heat stock and garlic cloves - simmering for 15 minutes, discard cloves. Heat oil and heat sage and rosemary for 3 minutes, discard herbs. Cook veggies down for about 4 minutes. Take out. Brown sausage. Add tomatoes and veggies and cook for 5 minutes. Add in beans, lemon juice, pepper, and pasta.

I like the brightness the lemon brings, the little bite to the carrots and pasta and the flavor of the sausage. Soups usually only get better with age! :)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Blueberry Maple Pecan Muffins

My friend, Beth, is leaving us here at the seminary - so we had a going away breakfast for her. She's not really going anywhere - just not going to be working here any longer. I asked her yesterday what she wanted - blueberry muffins.
So, I wanted to do a little bit of a different blueberry muffin and found this one on Kevin's blog ( He usually has great recipes that are slightly off the norm. And I like that.
These have a great texture, chewy, and as a friend said "taste slightly like an oatmeal cookie". While the list may seem long - the only thing I didn't have on hand was the vanilla yogurt - I usually only keep flavored yogurt on hand.

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
3/4 cup vanilla yogurt
1 over ripe banana (mashed)
1/4 cup butter (melted) - salted
1 egg
3/4 cup rolled oats (ground in food processor)
1 cup flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup blueberries

Mix wet, then dry, then fold in berries.

1/4 cup pecans
1/4 cup flour
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 tablespoon cold unsalted butter

Crumble on top of muffins.

Fill 12 greased muffins tins, cook on 375 for 20 minutes. Serve warm.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Apple Pecan Cake with Brown Sugar Glaze

Yes - it is fall! And with fall comes baking with apples. I love it! Dad asked me to make something for the church dinner we were going to on Sunday, so I had everything on hand to make this cake - and I had a great food prep person here to help (Mom). I think I'll make this again for something I am going to on Thursday.
1 1/2 cup canola oil
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3 eggs
3 cups ap flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla
3 1/2 cups finely diced golden delicious apples, peeled
1 cup chopped pecans

First three, then eggs one at a time, then vanilla, then the dry, fold in apples and nuts. 325 for about 80 minutes in a flour and greased bundt pan. Let cool and sit for 2 days (preferred).
Brown Sugar Glaze
1/3 cup unsalted butter
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup light whipping cream
1/2 tsp vanilla
Heat all but vanilla over low heat till smooth, then add vanilla. Pour over cake. Serve with cool whip and a touch of cinnamon, maybe a dried apple ring for garnish...Cut with serrated knife.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Menu: Week of October 20

Leftovers and easy stuff since this weekend is pretty full for me. I hopefully will have sometime next weekend to cook some.
Monday - Lunch is taco soup and goldfish. Dinner is a cooking class with my friend Brandi - so it will be easy Thanksgiving Dinner. Looking forward to that!
Tuesday - Lunch is more taco soup and goldfish (easy for lunch at the office). Dinner is going to be late since I have to work at the housing office. So I'm going to do chicken tenders on a salad with cold mandarin oranges. Yummy! Also, baking a apple-pecan cake for Thursday.
Wednesday - PBJ and grapes and an apple. Dinner will be between working out and small group - so roasted sweet potatoes and fresh green beens.
Thursday - Tuna salad on wheatberry with veggies and fruit. Dinner is at the Jones' house for a colloquium dinner.
Friday - Yogurt parfait for lunch and egg white omelet for dinner.
Saturday - Panera for breakfast I think. Or maybe I'll find another great breakfast place in the ville (Blue Dog anyone) and then cooking and watching football and preparing for a talk in November. Sounds liks a great day to me! :)

Taste of Cincinnati: Montgomery Inn Boatside

When someone tells you they catered their wedding rehearsal dinner from this restaurant almost 2 hours away - you must go. And its bbq - it can't be bad (unless its all vinegar).
Mom, Dad, and I were in Cinci this weekend for a preaching conference at a church in Sharonville. We had Saturday dinner free so we picked this spot. Down right on the Ohio in the Bob Hope room - we enjoyed a great meal.
This restaurant has it all - great service, cloth napkins, plastic bibs, valet parking, great views, sports memorabilia all over the place, and fantastic food.
We had:
Ribs - these were no fat, full of flavor, fall off the bone, yummy ribs. Mom and I had the combo platter (with chicken) and dad just had a plate of ribs. We got the shrimp thai spring rolls for an appetizer. They were good with two sauces but more like egg rolls then spring rolls - but good thai flavor. Then our sides were broccoli (which was pretty raw but good flavor), jalapeno corn cakes (the only thing I didn't like - no flavor and very dry), and saratoga chips (their homemade potato chips you have to dip in the Montgomery Inn sauce). The bread they brought to the table (slices of sourdough and rye) would have been better if it was warm. But, oh well. Then we had a piece of carrot cake. It is in my top three of desserts - if it is good. This one definitely was. Three layers, with the little carrot on top with orange icing. Raisins, moist, not too much cream cheese frosting. Right on! We all split it so it wasn't too rich!
I really did like this place. While it was a little expensive - (about 20$ a person) - Dad said it was worth it.
Thanks Chris for the recommendation. And if you go on a Saturday night - call about 30 minutes ahead. We got there at 5 with our call ahead, but when we left shortly after 6 there was a 90 minute wait!

Taste of Eclectic Louisville: Lynn's Paradise Cafe

I have heard so much about this place - and it is only 3 miles from the seminary - so my Mom was in town and we had to try it. It has a dish that beat out Bobby Flay on Throwdown - so we knew the food had to be good.
The decor is loud and eclectic. Very colorful. Anything from used tea bags overalls to giant tea cups. We got to play Cranium while we waited for our food. We called ahead and made reservations for 9a on a Saturday morning, but it wasn't necessary on this particular day. We got right in and got our food quickly. We were in an out of there in 40 minutes.
Mom and I love to split our meals at restaurants so we can taste more stuff. I totally forgot to take pictures of the food. We both had water. First dish was cinnamon raisin french toast with chocolate and vanilla bourbon cream and sugared nuts. Very rich and yummy. These are the ones that beat out Bobby Flay. There were 4 of them, we each had 2. Then we went for a more healthy choice: granola, berries, bananas with honey vanilla yogurt. Very good - and a ton of it. Both were excellent and very different.
Here are two pics of the decor.
If you are in the mood for eclectic and good food - Lynn's is your destination near the Highlands part of the ville.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Fall Baked Oatmeal

Both my parents love oatmeal, so since they were here this morning, I whipped this up for our breakfast (after of course the return from Starbucks for my Dad's cup of coffee). It only has about 225-250 calories in it.

2 cups Quaker Oats
2 T brown sugar
1/2 cup raisins
1 T chopped walnuts (or pecans)
sprinkle of cinnamon
1 small to medium chopped, peeled golden delicious apple
1 1/2 cups skim milk
1 egg
2 T canola oil
1/2 cup homemade applesauce (see recipe further down)
1 T vanilla

Mix dry, combine wet - add together. Preheat oven to 375, spray 8x8 pan, bake for 20 minutes. Serve warm with cold milk over the top. Yummy! And not too sweet!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Roasted Acorn Squash with Fall Couscous

Tonight was a night of firsts for me. I had never had acorn squash and I had never made couscous - and I worked both into this dish. I got the squash from Huber's on Saturday and the couscous was a whole wheat organic from WF.
1 acorn squash, halved, scooped out
olive oil
s/p/rosemary (all to taste)
3/4 cup chicken broth (or veggie broth if you wanna go completely vegetarian)
1/2 cup couscous
2 T golden raisins
1 T walnuts
drizzle olive oil

Heat oven to 450 and roaste the acorn squash with seasonings and oil for about 30 minutes, or until desired doneness. When the squash is about done - boil broth and add couscous, turning pot over and covering for 5 minutes or until done. Add raisins, walnuts, and seasonings. Scoop some couscous into the open squash cavity to plate. Drizzle with olive oil.
To be honest, the couscous was better then the squash. I had just had an amazing experience with butternut squash, and I was a little disappointed it wasn't as tasty. It was good - maybe I'll try it a sweeter version next time (with honey and brown sugar).

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Menu - Week of October 13

I actually have had time to plan my menu for the week before Monday. Amazing! So, some eating out, and some random stuff. I spent a lot of grocery money on my day at Hubers on fresh produce, so not a lot left over for regular grocery stuff...
Monday - Lean Pocket (meatball and mozzerrella), carrots, and grapes. Roasted acorn squash with quinoa for dinner.
Tuesday - Veggie Wrap from Founders with baked chips. Pumpkin Pancakes (making on Sunday) and applesauce.
Wednesday - Yogurt, apple and pb for lunch. My parents will be in town so we are going to Mitchell's Fish Market (at Summit) for dinner. Really, we are going to eat in honor of my brother's 33rd b-day - although he won't be with us to enjoy the food.
Thursday - Mom is making her Taco Soup, and some mini corn cakes, and some pumpkin spice cakes (shaped like pumpkins) with Brandi. Dinner is Grape Leaf with Mom
Friday - Yogurt parfait from Founders. Egg white omelette and veggies for dinner.
Saturday - Lynn's Paradise Cafe in the ville for breakfast. Then Cincinnati for the meals on Sat and Sun.
Looking forward to fall foods this week and eating out with my parents - and cooking some with my Mom while she is here.

Hold the Mott's Applesauce

I love applesauce. Do I like Mott's - yes. But, 2 years ago, when I made my first applesauce from fresh apples and a food mill - I seldom return to the glass jars of Motts.
Tonight - my first batch of 2008 Applesauce. I used a more ingredients recipe this time and really liked it. Also, I didn't use my food mill, but left it more chunky.

8 large golden delicious apples, peeled, cored, and quartered (or thick slices)
1/2 cup (unpacked) brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
1 cinnamon stick
4 lemon peels (just take a veggie peeler to a lemon
juice of one large lemon
1 cup water
2 pinches salt

Boil, then simmer for about 25 minutes. Drain most of the water (a quick drain). Take out lemon peels and cinnamon stick. Mash with a potato masher.
I served mine hot with WW turtle ice cream on top - so yummy. Like an apple pie a la mode (without the fattening crust!)

Huber's Family Farm

About 30 minutes from Southern - there is a great little place (or big place) for fresh produce.
Today, Rayann, Lisa and I went to Huber's Family Farm to pick apples and other fall goodies, eat some good country cooking, and eat some pumpkin ice cream. We got there early and didn't have to wait for anything. The longest wait we had was standing in the apple orchard waiting for the tractor to come pick us up!
We picked many things. This is what I came home with: 1 bushel of Golden Delicious apples, 1/2 bushel of Staymen Winesap apples, 2 big handfuls of fresh picked green beans, 1 butternut squash, 2 acorn squash, 1 spaghetti squash, and 1 pumpkin (thanks Rayann).
For lunch we ate at the Family Restaurant. I had fried chicken, green beans, and half my sweet potato. Their chicken is amazing. Yes - it is fried. Everything in moderation! And one of their fried biscuits with homemade apple butter. Yum!
Before we ate lunch, we had dessert. I had three yummy bites of their homemade pumpkin ice cream. Almost as good as their homemade peach was this summer! Oh goodness - I'm glad I don't live close!
Anyway - go early, or reserve a place at the restaurant - you definitely don't want the buffet! Everything is better served warm.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Taste of Louisville: Asahi

There is a new sushi place down the road from the seminary. Two of my profs rave about it - so I figured I had to try it. And a friend of mine likes "unique cuisine" and loves sushi - so we tried it today. Now, it was raining, there was traffic (80 minutes for her) on 64, I had left my wallet somewhere else, so we were in a hurry - but we will go back to it for a real dining experience.
I got the Vegetable Hibachi - grilled hibachi style veggies (too oily for me, lots of onions, big flat carrots which are great for eating with chopsticks), steamed rice (fried was extra), and a house salad (just run of the mill salad - will eat tonight for dinner). And we split the Baja California Roll to share - rice, avocado, cuk, with shrimp on top with tempura flakes. Having the number one sushi chef in the area really makes a different. So much better then the sushi I get at Kroger and not that much more expensive.
When you walked in it didn't smell like fish - so that is always a good sign. Very fast service (we did get there after the lunch rush) - and your sushi is made while you wait. If you share a roll and get the veggies, it is 10$ - which isn't bad - and that will be dinner too, because I still have half a roll and 1/2 my veggies, rice, and salad for tonight.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Taste of Fall: Roasted Butternut Squash

First time for everything right? Well, immediately after these came out of the oven, I phoned my parentals and told them everybody needs to be forced to eat roasted butternut squash. It was so healthy and good for me - got a work out in preparing it - and yummy!

1 butternut squash
olive oil

Peel with vegie peeler. Cut in half, scoop out. Cut into chunks. Heat oven to 425 and put squash in shallow pan. Drizzle with olive oil and season well. Cook for 13 minutes and stir them. Cook for another 15 minutes - perfect!

Almond Cheesecake Bars

My friend Brandi likes cheesecake, so today for our lunch (yummy chili, thanks B) I made these for our dessert. I found them on a food blog, and tweaked slightly. They turned out very yummy and were all gone from the plate by the end of the day.
1 cup ap flour
1/3 cup brown sugar (packed)
6 T unsalted butter, softened
2 pinches salt
8 oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg, room temperature
4 T amaretto, or almond extract
1/2 tsp vanilla
4 T whole natural almonds, chopped

Blend first four ingredient, coursely. Take out 3/4 cup to save for topping. Press into greased and foiled 8x8 pan. Mix cream cheese mixture till all smooth. Chop almonds and combine with the rest of the topping - sprinkle on top. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes. Let cool completely. Cut into about 24 bars or so - however big you want them.

Menu Week - October 6

This week will be mostly boring and repitious - just because I'm housesitting most of the week and don't like to lug a bunch of stuff to where I'm housesitting.
Monday - Today is lunch with Brandi. She is making chili and I brought almond cheesecake bars (recipe and pictures will be up tonight). Dinner is chicken tenders and some roasted butternut squash (which will also be put up tonight.
Tuesday - PBJ, grapes, pretzels for lunch. Organic Butternut Squash soup (from WF) with green beans.
Wednesday - ASAHI with Hilary - it is a new sushi place down the street, so we are going to check it out. Check back Wednesday for a review. B-nut squash soup and tomato sandwich for dinner.
Thursday - Tuna Salad on Wheat with pickles and tomato (I'm eating lunch with Beth to go over Christmas goodies), pudding cup, carrots. Bnut Squash soup and a salad for dinner.
Friday - Yogurt parfait from Founders, fruit, pretzels. Egg white omelette for dinner.
Saturday is Huber's for lunch after we pick apples and pumpkins.
Sunday - maybe grab something out or make some pumpkin waffles.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Grape and Feta Salad

This salad is everything a salad should be: quick to prepare, healthy, every type of taste in it...
I found the idea for this salad on another food blog. And I was going to grill a chicken breast to put on it - but once my chicken thawed - I thought it had a funk smell to it (from when I was w/o power) so I threw it in the trash!
These are the ingredients - and then use how much ever you need for the size salad or amount of people you are wanting to feed:

bagged salad mix
feta cheese
raspberry vinegar
olive oil
(I did use Banquet Chicken breast tenders)

I loved the tartness from the vinaigrette, the saltiness from the feta and chicken, and the sweetness from the grapes. It was quick - less than 2 minutes. It was yummy to eat. All the different taste buds had a party tonight.

Question: now - what to do with all this leftover feta cheese? Suggestions?

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Taste of Louisville - Cycler's Cafe

Many friends here at Southern have raved about this place down the street from the seminary - so I went today with a friend. It was good, fresh, priced between 3-9$ with a drink and side item - so fairly reasonable - and you don't have to tip, so that makes it even cheaper.
This is a great place if you bike, come, get your bike fixed, build relationships with other bikers (not the motorcyle type), eat healthy food, and not break the bank (especially with the economy the way it is). The inside has tons of bikes on racks, riding gear you can purchase, a few tables (inside and outside), a drive-thru, and a cafe in the back.
They have burritoes, sandwiches, stuff like that.
I had a "Duff Field" The reason I chose this was because there was a baseball complex near my house called Duff Field - where I played softball in elementary and we went weekly to be at my brother's practice and games. Great times! It was a wheat tortilla, oven roasted turkey, avocado, cheese, mayo, and lettuce. I ate the first half as is (not all of the wrap), then for the other half I took off the wrap and ate it "naked". It was good. The avocado and mayo make it moist.
Kathy got the chicken burrito - and ate it "naked" to after it had been heated - so the cheese was melted. Had everything - including summer squash.
She even got to ask the owner (Joe) about how to get a bike to Zambia. See, more ways to share the glory of God at a cafe here in the ville.

Brownie Peanut Butter Cream Trifle

Went over to a couple's house last night for dinner. Lauren is a phenom cook of any kind - but great at Italian food since that is her heritage. She made a roasted vegetable pasta primavera using farfalle pasta, adding halved grape tomatoes and Heath grilled some fantastic chicken. We had a salad with strawberries, nuts, and cheese with a balsamic dressing, and some rosemary bread. It was all yummy - and I have some for tomorrow's lunch! Thanks Lauren and Heath.

I got to bring the dessert - so I wanted to try something new. And since I haven't gone to Huber's yet - it wasn't something fall-y. So, I headed on over to and found a recipe - and tweaked it to my liking.

This is very rich, creamy, chunky (due to what's in it) - get it out of my house!
5 oz pkg of vanilla instant pudding
3 cups milk
2 tsp vanilla
3/4 carton of Lite Cool Whip
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
9x13 pan fudge brownies (cooked according to directions) - I put peanut butter chocolate swirl chips in mine.
1/2 package of reeses cups - mini
Make cream (first 5 ingredients). Chunk up brownie mix and layer with cream and chopped reese's cups. Top with remaining cool whip and put edible goodness for decoration. This is really good!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Menu Week - Sept 29

This week's menu is definitely not planned since I was out of town all weekend, but we'll see how it goes! You'll notice a lot of salads this week - but I have to make up for eating a ton this weekend in Raleigh!
Monday - dinner with the Lamberts (friends at Southern). She is cooking the meal and I am bringing the dessert. It will be posted tonight, but it is a brownie pb vanilla trifle. I taste-tested some of the filling this morning while making it - yummy.
Tuesday - leftover Taco Chicken on salad (from last week) and then lunch with Kathy at the Bike Shop near seminary.
Wednesday - Banquet Chicken Tenders over romaine with honey mustard dressing

Thursday - Grape and Feta Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette and grilled chicken - I found this on one of my food blogs I had to catch up with from over the weekend. Sounds yummy. I'll add the grilled chicken for protein
Friday - PBJ for lunch and egg white omelet and veggies/fruit for dinner.
Saturday/Sunday is traveling, hiking, picnic with a friend, and Pappalenos in Berea!

Taste of RDU and Pumpkin Trifle

Thanks to my friend Laura who is a great photographer - this is what I made last week for our progressive dinner. Thanks Laura!
This weekend I was in the RDU area. I got to eat at some great places while traveling.
Sat am - the Manor House is the guest housing at SEBTS. They have a plethora of breakfast foods. The people I was traveling with ate there - but I ate with Nathan and Leah Finn and Georgia (and Baxter who wasn't born yet, but was born yesterday). I had a biscuit with pb and honey - yummy - thanks Leah!
Sat lunch was Las Margaritas! Amazing basement Mexican food place in dtown Wake Forest. Our food came about 7 minutes after we ordered it. I had the cream spinach enchilada - amazing goodness (and no spinach got stuck in my teeth). By the time I was done with that my cheese enchilada was cold - but I was so full I didn't need it anyway.
Dinner was at Southpoint at California Pizza Kitchen. We had the BBQ Chicken salad (wow, good salad!), the Jamaican Jerk Pizza and Mushroom Pizza. I think I liked the mushroom pizza slightly more - but both were good.
Breakfast was again at the Manor House - I had raisin bran crunch cereal and a banana. Loved the hospitality of Donna and Jeff Hagood! They were great and do a superb job running this place!
Lunch was Red Robin in Brier Creek. Best burgers hands down. I had a freckled lemonade with light minute maid, a bacon cheeseburger with Monterey jack, slightly pink, and bacon - yumm-y!, and their steak fries which I didn't eat all of.
Dinner was IHop in Knoxville at 9pm. I had their Heart-Nut and Oat Pancakes, and a bite or two of everything else on the plate. They were yummy but I was already full. Lorrie picked that place and it was a good choice!
Now - back to eating right and exercising! Just sick most of the weekend because I ate so much and was rarely hungry!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Fall Progressive Dinner

I had a great night eating dinner at three different places.Laura made a great fall salad. Romaine, pears, craisins, nuts, a Berry dressing, and nuts. It was yummy and light - a great starter course. She has such a cool water pitcher and gave us little baggies of candy corn! Yum! She also made the homemade bread with honey butter that we took to the next course...
Bonnie made a great full dinner. She roasted a chicken, roasted potatoes and carrots, green beans with a great seasoning from Aldi's, dressing with cheddar, craisins, and celery (from Taste of Home, I'll hopefully get the recipe). It was all so yummy!
I made a pumpkin butterscotch gingerbread trifle - individual so we could all enjoy our own! It is under the holiday link to the right.
What a great night. Thanks ladies - and I'm looking forward to a winter one!