Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Perfectly refreshing!!

Oh, my gosh, you guys, I have to share this!!

Growing up, my siblings and I would clamor for the chocolate section of the Neapolitan ice cream my Mom would buy (probably thinking, "3 flavors, 1 carton = economical!") resulting in a carton of 1/3 strawberry, 1/3 vanilla, 1/3 empty. My dad, however, was a mint-chocolate-chip fiend, but, of course, if it wasn't chocolate, no one else would eat it! He had that gallon of M-C-C all to himself!

Also, if it wasn't ice cream, forget it! No frozen yogurt, sherbet or "sorbet" for us; our tastes only varied as far as the soft serve machine! If we had heard of gelato, we probably assumed it was an off brand of Jell-O...

Now, I have not (yet) been to Italy, so, according to friends who have, I don't really know what gelato IS. HOWEVER. This review last summer in Real Simple magazine of different brands of sorbet pointed to Ciao Bella as having the most realistic, and therefore delicious, tasting Mango Sorbet. I was hankering for some fruity dessert that would cool us down, so I bought a pint of the Mango at our local co-op. (Unfortunately, I was less than impressed, but that's not the point of the story!)I also picked up a pint of Espresso Gelato and Mint Chocolate Chip Gelato by the same maker, the former for me, the latter for Matt. As I opened the carton of M-C-C to dish some up for my dear husband, I was taken aback by the smell! Heavenly! It smelled like MINT! It didn't smell milky and...well, kinda green, like your standard M-C-C ice cream; it smelled like I had just sat down in a field of fresh mint with a favorite bar of chocolate. So I tried some. Oh, my, goodness. It is amazing. And it's perfect for these warm afternoons, when it's too hot to stay inside, or for those cold afternoons when you're wishing for a taste of spring!

There is a store locater on the website; if there isn't one near you, start lobbying for it TODAY!

P.S. The Espresso was also delicious, and my girlfriends vote unanimously for the Chocolate Hazelnut!

Just a Bookmark

for me.

You can use it too, though.


Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Curried Egg Salad - Mayo replaced with Yogurt! Genius!

What is it about cooking and baking that excites me so? It's necessary for survival and can be as repetitive as doing laundry. So many people I know hate taking the time and effort to cook or bake. Thank you Lord that you have graced with me this "necessary task" as being a pleasureful, meaningful and education life-long experience.

I found this recipe on

It's pretty flipping delicious and healthy and full of flavors and crunch!

Curried Egg Salad Recipe
adapted from

5 good quality eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder (your favorite)
3 tablespoons plain yogurt
2 big pinches of salt

1/2 small onion, chopped
1/2 medium apple, chopped
1/4 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
1 small bunch of chives, minced

First off, you need to boil the eggs properly (the key to good egg salad!). Place the eggs in a pot and cover with cold water by a 1/2-inch or so. Bring to a gentle boil. Now turn off the heat, cover, and let sit for exactly seven minutes. Have a big bowl of ice water ready and when the eggs are done cooking and place them in the ice bath for three minutes or so - long enough to stop the cooking.

While the eggs are boiling/cooling, combine the yogurt, curry powder and salt in a tiny bowl. Set aside.

Crack and peel each egg, and place in a medium mixing bowl. Add the curried yogurt, onions, apple, pecans, and chives. Now mash with a fork. Don't overdo it, you want the egg mixture to have some texture. If you need to add a bit more plain yogurt to moisten up the mixture a bit, go for it a bit at a time. taste and add more salt if needed. Enjoy as-is, or served wrapped in lettuce or between two slices of good, toasted bread.

Serves 3-4

Notes: I did not use the onion, and I didn't mince the chives, I just chopped them with a scissors.

Apple Scones

Those of you who read my other blog as well, this will be a double post. Sorry. :(

Today it’s so cold and gloomy and rainy out that I felt like baking while sipping my Earl Grey. So I scoured my cookbook and found a lovely little recipe of which I had all the ingredients: Apple Scones. They are great because not only is everything in the recipe most likely already in your pantry, but they are easy to make and taste wonderful and make your kitchen smell wonderful too.

My simple nutritious cup of tea quickly turned into a calorie-fest. But, on the other hand, I’m not cold anymore!

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter, chilled
1 apple - peeled, cored and shredded
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons white sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Measure flour, sugar, baking powder, soda, and salt into a large bowl. Cut in butter or margarine until crumbly. Add shredded apple and milk. Stir to form a soft dough.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead gently 8 to 10 times. Pat into two 6-inch circles. Place on greased baking sheet. Brush tops with milk, and sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Score each into 6 pie-shaped wedges.
Bake at 425 degrees F (220 degrees C) for 15 minutes, or until browned and risen. Serve warm with butter.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Bloggy Hoggy

This recipe is too good not to share right away! It’s a delicious, easy, slow cooker recipe and Friday-friendly, too. Honestly what more could you want? Plus I think it’d be easy to leave out some of the veggies if you didn’t like a certain one.

Scalloped Potatoes and Beans
from Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook

1 15 oz can red kidney bean, rinsed and drained
1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 c chopped onion
1 c sliced celery
1 c frozen peas
1 c chopped green pepper
1 10 ¾ oz can condensed soup of your choice*
(suggested: cheddar cheese, cream of potato, cream of mushroom)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 t dried thyme
¼ t pepper
3 medium potatoes, sliced ¼ inch thick
1 c shredded cheddar cheese (optional)

1. In large bowl combine everything but the potatoes and cheese. Spoon half of the mixture into the slow cooker. Top with potatoes and remaining bean mixture.
2. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours** or on high for 4-5 hours. If desired*** top individual servings with cheese.

* I bet the cheddar cheese soup would be delicious with this!! We only had cream of celery and cream of mushroom, so I opted for the mushroom which tastes just fine, but I’m totally using cheese or potato next time. I picked up one of each while shopping this afternoon.
**I just ate some of mine after 5 hours on low (to test it for you guys of course) and it was perfect. I don’t like all my veggies and beans completely smooshy, so this was just right.
***If you’re at my house, this part isn’t optional, unless of course, you’re allergic to dairy.

And finally, I actually have pictures of this but my computer won't cooperate. I'm about to reboot though, so maybe I'll come back and add them.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Good and Ready

I relax so much better when my responsibilities are already taken care of - which is why this is sitting in my fridge ready to be popped into the oven this evening. Throw some potatoes in water to boil, and dinner is ready. Thanks, Jill. I'm excited to try it!

Now during Charles' next nap, I can really relax.

P.S. Erin, what do you serve for dinner in place of chicken since your hubby doesn't like it? Peter doesn't like it either, but I don't want to serve red meat all the time...

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Unique Pancake Toppings - Submit Yours!

This morning in our fridge, I discovered that there was leftover blueberry pancakes and sausage from The Pancake House Restaurant. It was my mom's, but she said I could eat it for breakfast. I'm not really a big pancake/waffle fan because it's too much carbs at once for me, and syrup isn't really my thing anymore. Don't ask me why, but this morning I was hungry enough to eat it. My mom has a belgian waffle maker and last time she made them, I ate them with an unusual assortment of toppings. So today I did the same. I thought it would be fun for us to give each other some ideas, just for the sake of something different (and maybe more healthy).

On my blueberry pancakes, I smeared peanut butter and smashed some raspberries onto it. seriously. it's awesome. i dont miss butter or syrup at all with this concoction.

ok, now you!

This is what I did in the kitchen yesterday...

Can you tell what it is?

Baby food!

Pears, broccoli, parsnip-carrot blend, and peas.

Yes, my son loves parsnips. We found that out kind of by accident, but it's a works.

This should last him about a week. I can't belive how much this kid eats! That cup of pears - that's one meal for him!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Chicken Casserole

We had my grandparents over for dinner yesterday to celebrate Grandma's 74th birthday. I foolishly decided to try a new dish, but as I suspected from the recipe, it was simple enough that everything turned out fine.
Campbell's Cheesy Chicken and Rice Casserole
1 can cream of chicken
1 1/3 cup water
3/4 c uncooked regular long-grain rice
1/2 tsp onion powder*
1/4 t black pepper
2 c frozen mixed veggies
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 c shredded cheddar cheese

1. Stir everything but chicken and cheese together in a 11x8 (or 2 qt) shallow baking dish.
2. Top with chicken. Season chicken as desired**. Cover.
3. Bake at 375 degrees for 50 minutes or until chicken and rice are done. Top with cheese. Let casserole stand for a few minutes before serving. Remove chicken and stir rice before serving.

*I used garlic powder because I didn't have any onion.
**I used poultry seasoning, which I had never used before, but was quite tasty.

Oh, P.S. that's not my photo. It's campbell's. I'm sure you all guessed that. But mine looked pretty good, too. Honest. ;o)

Cold Weather Comfort Food

Here's a recipe that I've been thinking about ever since I woke up to a cold, grey, foggy day.

This recipe originated (in my family, anyway. I don't think he actually invented it.) from my firefighter Grandfather, who either learned it at the station, or at least made it for the guys a lot. After he retired, he made it for us kids even more!

Kids love the concept, and no one can get enough of...

Grandpa's Upside Down Pizza


1 1/2 lb ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 can or jar (15 oz) pizza sauce
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp oregano (dried)
8 oz grated mozzarella cheese

2 eggs
1 c. milk
1 tbs oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 c. flour
1/2 c grated parmesan cheese


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Brown the beef with the onion on the stovetop. Pour off the fat. Blend in the pizza sauce, garlic salt and oregano. Place mixture in a greased 9x13 pan and sprinkle with the mozzarella.

In a small bowl, mix the remaining ingredients, EXCEPT for the parmesan, and pour it over the meat mixture. Sprinkle with the Parmesan, and bake 30 minutes.

(You can also add mushrooms, bell pepper strips, sausage, or any of your favorite pizza toppings! But I haven't heard of anyone trying it with anchovies...yet!)

My favorite part of this dish is the Parmesan cheese making that salty, slightly crunchy crust on top. The ACTUAL crust is more cake-y than a regular pizza crust, though.

I haven't made this since Matt and I were first married four years ago, but I think today is the day to un-retire this old favorite. I'll try to post a picture when it's done.

(Of course, making this means I have to go to the store first, since I'm out of ground beef, and today is such a GREAT "sit at home and read with a cup of tea and a blanket" day...wish me luck!)

ETA: I just HAD to come back and tell you guys...I made it to the store. When I got home, I realized I forgot to get the ground beef. This is not an uncommon thing in this household. :)

National Food Day/Week/Month Website (with recipes to boot!!)

Although, maybe not exactly health related, BUT this site lists EVERY national food day/week/month EVER and each day has a link to a recipe for that particular food. SO COOL!! this could result in some really clever ideas, ladies.

I found this while dabbling in the index of Nikki's Crazy Delicious blog (

Without further ado:

Monday, February 18, 2008

Healthy Food Website

A friend of mine sent me this site. Check it out!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Success or Failure?

I'm not sure if this recipe was a success or failure... Did it look pretty? No. Did it taste good? I thoroughly enjoyed it, but my husband (unlike myself) is not a fan of plain old bread and butter, not even warm freshly home-baked bread apparently, so I have no other opinions to consult. I liked it. I will make it again and probably play around with the length of cooking until I get it just right. The special thing about this recipe? It's "baked" in the slow cooker.

Healthy Whole Wheat Bread from Fix It and Forget It daily calendar
Makes 8 servings
2 cups warm reconstituted powdered milk
2 T vegetable oil
1/2 c honey or brown sugar
3/4 t salt
1 pkg. yeast
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/4 cups white flour

1. Mix together first 5 ingredients with half of the flour in electric mixer bowl. Beat for 2 minutes. Add remaining flour and mix well.
2. Place dough in well greased bread or cake pan that will fit in your cooker. Cover with greased tin foil. Let stand 5 minutes. Place in slow cooker.
3. Cover cooker and bake on High 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Remain pan and uncover. Let stand for 5 minutes. Serve warm (with butter)!

N.B. I did not use powdered milk when I saw how expensive even the off-brand was. I just warmed up two cups of regular skim milk; it seemed to work fine.
The top of my bread does not look beautiful and golden brown like bread baked in the oven. I liked this recipe for it's simplicity - especially for homemade bread - but I think I'll keep messing with it until I get what I want...

Friday, February 15, 2008

Baked Shrimp with Lemon Garlic Crumbs

Due to the Lenten season and not being a huge fish fan, I am always trying to come up with ways to spruce up shrimp. I also am allergic to handling the raw shrimp, so I buy the shrimp that has already been cooked. That way too, it's not as gross to handle! haha.

Here is what the Watsons are having this evening:

Baked Shrimp with Lemon Garlic Crumbs
1 1/2 lbs large shrimp
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs (approx 1 slice bread)
3 teaspoons parsley
1 teaspoon fresh lemon rind
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons lemon juice
4 teaspoons butter

  1. With food processor running, drop garlic cloves into top feeder tube and process until finely minced.
  2. Add 1 slice of cubed bread pieces, parsley and lemon rind and process until fine crumbs.
  3. Remove mixture from processor bowl and stir in salt,, lemon juice and melted butter and mix lightly.
  4. Spray four individual gratin dishes with nonstick cooking spray and divide shrimp evenly between the dishes.
  5. Sprinkle bread crumbs over the shrimp and bake at 400° for approximately 15 minutes or until shrimp are done and crumbs are light brown.
I don't have any garlic bulbs on hand, just the already minced garlic, and I have a jar of breadcrumbs, so that is the tweaking I did to the usual recipe. I will either server on top of hot steamed rice or on top of pasta.

I will try and post pictures while I am cooking. But, here is the recipe for now!


Two recipes for you tonight.

Squash Puff (from my MIL)
3 cups cooked squash
1/4 cup milk (evap, cream, milk, whatever)
2 T flour
1/4 tsp salt and pepper
1 T orange rind, grated
2 beaten eggs
2 T melted butter
1 T brown sugar

Mix all together. Place in buttered 1 qt casserole dish. Place casserole dish inside another pan with hot water. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes or until firm in center.

I add extra brown sugar because we like things sweet around here. I even put some on top.

Next up, also meat-free:

Herbed Rice Pilaf from Gooseberry Patch: What's For Dinner?
1 T butter
1/2 c long-cooking rice, uncooked
1 T onions, diced or minced
1/4 t salt
pepper to taste
1/8 t each dried tarragon, thyme, basil, parsely
1/2 liquid (broth of some sort)

Melt butter in a small saucepan. Cook and stire rice and onion until onion is translucent. Stir in seasonings and cook for 1-2 additional minutes. Add broth; bring to a boil. Simmer, covered, until rice is tender and liquid absorbed. Serves 2.

I would recommend following the directions on the rice that you're using for the liquid to rice ratio. For example, I used to 1 cup of liquid to 1/2 cup rice. Also the rice directions should give you some idea of how long your rice will simmer. This was my first time making this. It's so simple and really quite tasty.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


I always get the impression that meatloaf is one of those things that no one likes, like fruit cake. Is this true, or is it just me? Now, I've always liked meatloaf, and i think that's because my mom made it so well. But I'm not going to post her recipe here, because I found another one that may be even better than hers (although my sister would call that heresy). Here is some serious stick-to-your-ribs comfort food, people:

Melt-in-your-mouth Meatloaf
(serve with mashed potatoes and you're in heaven)

1/2 cup ketchup
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tsp. dried mustard
2 lbs. ground beef
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
3 slices bread, broken into small pieces
1 egg, beaten

1. Preheat oven to 375.
2. In a small bowl, combine the ketchup, brown sugar, 1 tbsp. of the lemon juice, and dry mustard.
3. In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, onion, bread, egg, remaining lemon juice, and 1/3 of the ketchup mixture from step#2. Mix well and place in a greased loaf pan.
4. Bake in 375 degree oven for 1 hour, drain any excess fat, coat with remaining ketchup mixture and bake another 10 minutes.
Makes 6 servings.

Powdered Eggs?? What What?

Has anyone ever heard of these??? Apparently they are are pasteurized, so you can really eat your cookie dough.

I saw it on this website:

Scroll down to the second entry, it's for Peanut Butter Cookies (one of my favorites) in the paragraph underneath the picture of the cook with her hands in the cookie dough.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

My Introductory Post

I am so excited to be a new member here in the Barefoot Kitchen! With the weather here lately, I am MORE than happy to eschew shoes and socks while puttering around.
But I know that there are others out there still enjoying the winter weather, and maybe wouldn’t mind another soup recipe to keep them warm!

Potato Leek Soup, with Zucchini


Trim 2 leeks, slice the usable parts and wash them.
Slice 2 Stalks of Celery.
Wash, score (peel strips off of; don’t peel entirely) and slice 1 ½ pounds zucchini.
Wash, peel and slice 1 carrot.
Wash, peel and slice 1 potato.
Chop 2 tbs parsley
Prepare 2 chicken* stock cubes/packets in 3 ½ c. water


Heat 2 tbs margarine or butter or oil (your preference) in a non-stick saucepan. Add the vegetables, except the parsley, and stir fry. Cover pan and cook over medium for five minutes. Add the water/stock, and a dash or two of pepper, bring to a boil and reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 15 minutes, until vegetables are tender. Stir in the parsley.

Allow to cool enough so that you can puree vegetables and liquid in a food processor. Return the puree to the saucepan, and add ½ c. plain yogurt**. Reheat gently, making sure not to boil.

Serve warm with a dash of cream.

I made this, along with two other creamy, veggie, nutritious soups, as a “Yay, you’re pregnant! (You must be starving, here, here’s some soup!)” gift for a friend. I allowed all three soups to cool completely, and then poured them into little canning jars (single servings! Convenient!) with pretty ribbon around them. Next, I’ll write out all three recipes on cute little cards and basket the whole thing up to deliver to her tomorrow!

(The Potato-Leek Soup is the one with the red ribbon. The others are Creamy Broccoli and Carrot Ginger.)

*Although this soup IS supposed to be served warm, I thought it might be kind of refreshing for me today as a chilled soup…and if I make it again this summer, to serve as a cold soup, I will use vegetable stock instead of the chicken, because cold soup made with chicken stock is a little…chicken-y. You know?

**Here’s where we get all substitute-y, because I forgot to buy plain yogurt: ½ c. sour cream went into MY batch!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Chicken Noodle Casserole Bake

With a sick hubby, nothing sounds better than chicken and noodles. This is a casserole recipe I've been making for years. It is delicious. I was lazy yesterday and did not photograph it, although next time I make it I will do just that.

Chicken Noodle Casserole Bake

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup sifted flour
1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 cup bite sized chicken dices
8 oz. thin cooked egg noodles
1 cup soft breadcrumbs ( i use about 3 slices of bread that i cut into cubes) mixed with 3 TBS melted butter

Preheat oven to 350. Melt butter in saucepan and blend in flour and poultry seasoning. Slowly stir in broth and milk. Add salt and pepper. Heat, stirrring until mixture thickens. Off heat, combine above sauce wtih remaining ingredients...the chicken and the COOKED egg noodles. Spoon into buttered 9x13 baking dish and sprinkle with topping. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes. YUM

To Our Dear Readers

If there are any regular readers out there who would like to join our kitchen, please leave an email address in the comments and we'll get an invitation sent out to you.

The more the merrier.

And also: welcome, welcome to Annie - the newest cook to join our crew.

Have I mentioned that I just love this place?!

Sunday, February 10, 2008


This was dinner tonight (and a couple weeks ago, too). We really like this stuff. It’s called Bounty Rice and I think it’s similar in taste to Hamburger Helpers meals…except better and better for you, too.

Bounty Rice from Simply in Season
½ - 1 pound ground beef or pork
1 cup onion, diced
1 cup green pepper, chopped
Sauté in large fry pan until meat is browned and veggies are soft.

4 cups canned tomatoes (I used diced)
4 cups cabbage (we don’t use this ingredient)
3 cups cooked rice
1 t salt
½ t dried oregano
½ t dried basil
½ t garlic powder
Stir in, cover and continue cooking until cabbage is crisp-tender, 10-15 minutes.

½ cup sour cream
1 cup mozzarella cheese (the first time we used cheddar, totally different taste, still delicious)
Stir in sour cream. Sprinkle cheese on top and cover until cheese is melted. Serve.

Oh that’s funny. I guess I never did read this recipe all the way through until just now. I always stirred the cheese in also instead of leaving it on top. Interesting. I hope you ladies try this one. It’s good.
We also had brownies for our Sunday dessert. But I'm not sharing that recipe because, though they were better than the last brownies I made, they were not dense like good brownies are supposed to be. And they definitely would've benefitted from some chocolate chips in the mix, but really what wouldn't be better with more chocolate?

Obviously, we managed to choke a few down!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Black Bean Burgers

Sorry to be hogging the bloglight...but i've also been feeling ambitious like jill has.

Amazingly delicious. 8 minutes to make. 3 minutes to cook.

Black Bean Burger
(adapted from Cooking Light & snagged from someone else's cooking blog)

2 cups rinsed, drained, canned black beans
1 clove garlic, minced
1/8 tsp salt
1 large egg white
1/2 cup shredded cheese of your choice (we had cheddar on hand)
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1/4 cup cornmeal

Place 1 1/2 cups beans, garlic, and salt in a bowl. Partially mash with a fork. Place 1/2 cup remaining beans and egg white in a food processor. Process 30 seconds till well combined. Add bean puree to mashed beans in bowl and stir till combined. Add cheese and onion and stir till combined. Divide bean mixture into four parts and shape into patties. Place cornmeal in dish (or plate) and dredge both sides of patties.

Add oil or cooking spray to a skillet and cook patties till brown or for 3 mintues.

Notes: I was too lazy to get the food processor out and have to clean it after so i mashed eveyrthing with a fork and was satisfied that it would still taste just as delicious.

I don't know what the point of the cornmeal is, but I think it sort of helped hold these guys together. They are very fragile. i don't think it would be lacking much flavor without them.

I am terrible at estimating how/when things are cooked, but they started to smoke a little so I figured they were done...I hope you all have better judgement than me. ;)

THESE ARE DELICIOUS!! I topped mine with sour cream, avocado and more cheese. mmm..
the picture is my dinner. (salad is not shown). I cut up some tomatoes and also some herbed artichokes. (in the dish).

Homemade Chicken Soup

My inner chef has been quite ambitious lately. It all started when I made Regis' roast chicken the other night. My friend Jamie told me to save the carcass and make chicken broth with it, which I've never done; I usually save the bones for awhile, never get around to making the broth, and then throw them out. So this time I decided to go for it. I used Ina Garten's recipe for chicken broth from one of her cookbooks, but scaled it down by two-thirds because hers called for three whole chickens, and I just had one.

So now I had all this broth. I've now made two big dinners and still have some leftover. Let me tell you, it is SO GOOD. It tastes amazing. Mom says it's because it's still got all the fat in it, which Swanson's takes out before they put it in a can. That may be, but I have to say it was worth the little bit of trouble it took to make this to get these results.

I decided to make Chicken soup, which seemed logical. I had all the stuff except the egg noodles,

and I was too lazy to go to the store, so I thought I'd try making some from scratch. Makes sense, right? It actually was pretty easy and it was really cheap. Here's the recipe I used:

1 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
2tbsp. milk

Combine flour and salt in a bowl. Beat egg and milk in another little bowl or a measuring cup. Make a little well in the middle and pour in the egg and milk.

Stir until it becomes a stiff dough.

Roll it out onto a floured surface until it's really really thin. I read online somewhere that if it's too elastic-y you can let it rest for 20 minutes to relax the gluten.

Then, cut it into little strips. (I had trouble getting the dough to get thin enough, and I ended up pressing each noodle flat individually. I didn't make that many, so it didn't take too long to do this. I would stress that the thinner the noodle, the better.)

Let the noodles rest and dry on paper towels for about 45 minutes. Drop them in your simmering soup and allow them to cook for about 8-10 minutes. (I put the noodles in after my veggies had simmered and cooked, and before I put in the cooked chicken pieces.)

Here's the final product. It was quite delectable. Definitely worth the little bit of extra effort!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Photos without the Recipes

Sorry, I'm being too lazy to post recipes at the moment. But here are some pictures of what I've cooked up lately:

This is the Crockpot Potato Soup, so there is a recipe for that!

These are homemade brownies with homemade chocolate frosting a first time for me, so I'm kind of proud of those. Even though they weren't as mushy as brownies should be...

And lastly, I must share this recipe sometime because this was very good. Peter liked it, too. I love when I find new dishes that he enjoys. This is called something like Easy Cheesy Hamburger Quiche. Quite good. From my La Leche cookbook, Food for the Whole Family (not that Charles can eat this yet).

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Cookie Dough Balls (Post No. 2 Today!)

I am noticing a pattern in myself...I am making lots of desserts lately which is bad because Lent is upon us. I do not give up sweets as there are other things that I sacrifice (enough high horse already!) but since most other people give up sugary goodness I should not add to their agony. BUT I did promise that I would post this recipe last week and I haven't done it yet.

In an effort to stop the dessert madness, I have chosen some other foods that I have been wanting to make: Look for recipes for Curried Egg Salad (mayo replaced with plain yogurt!), Black Bean burgers and Turkey Empanadas (that one will be a challenge).

So without further ado.

Oh, and THE NOTES that are with this recipe are NOT mine, they are the author's of the recipe I got it from...the blog which I cannot remmeber. :( sorry yo.

What I ended up doing was using my cookie dough scoop to form rough shapes on a cookie sheet. Then I placed them in the freezer for approximately 15 minutes. After chilling them, I was then able to roll them into balls. After rolling them out, I placed them back in the freezer for 15 minutes before dipping.
I found the best way to dip these was to use a fork. Place the rolled dough on a fork and immerse it in the chocolate; tap the fork against the edges of the bowl lightly to remove the excess chocolate. Invert the truffle onto a baking sheet - more likely than not, the top of the truffle will be slightly exposed since it was the side that was stuck to the fork. Drizzle some melted chocolate over the top and smooth it over

1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (I omitted these)
1-1/2 lbs semi-sweet chocolate candy coating, chopped (I used the same chocolate recipe for these as I did the chocolate covered pretzels)

In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add the flour, milk and vanilla; mix well. Stir in the chocolate chips and walnuts.

Shape into 1 inch balls; place on waxed paper-lined baking sheets. Loosely cover and refrigerate for 1-2 or until firm.

In a microwave safe bowl, melt candy coating, stirring often until smooth. Dip balls in coating; place on waxed paper-lined baking sheets. Refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes.

If desired, remelt remaining candy coating and drizzle over candies. (I drizzled white chocolate over mine - approx. 1/2 cup chips with 1/2 tsp shortening.) Store in the refrigerator.

Creme de Menthe Bars

Alllllrighty, story time!

When I was at Purdue, the dining hall of the dorm that I lived in (Windsor, for all you Boilermakers) would make brownies with creme de menthe frosting. They only made them maybe 2-3 times a month, but when they did, I would eat like 4 of them and then my roomie and I would sneak more out to devour later. Later being as long as we could possibly hold off. It was a well known fact on my floor that I was addicted to these. Not the brownie so much as the amazing creme de menthe frosting!! I love green mint. I even had floormates bring me brownies before I made it down to the dining hall to know that they were there!

Well this past weekend a friend had made creme de menthe bars and it was like being back in the dining hall again so I just had to have the recipe. I made it last night NOT EVEN THINKING about the fact that TODAY is ASH WEDNESDAY!!!!! ARRRGGGG. No snacking, small meals etc. So, what's a girl to do? I brought it to my office and all my minions are going to eat it for me...Of course, I did taste it...a few times last night pre midnight hour. It consists of one layer is graham cracker/chocolate, then a layer of creme de menthe frosting, then a layer of chocolate. It is delicious, but a tad too rich for me. I don't care too much for the graham cracker part. I think next time I would just make brownies or chocolate cupcakes or chocolate cake with the frosting. Now that I have an understanding of how to make it with the creme de menthe, the world is my oyster...or mint?

One point to note: the recipe doesn't say to grease the pan, but believe me there is enough butter in this thing, so I would recommend putting al ayer of wax paper down beforehand.

Creme de Menthe Bars
1 1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup cocoa
3 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
1 beaten egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup creme de menthe
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

1. In saucepan combine 1/2 cup butter and cocoa. Stir until well blended. Remove from heat. Add 1/2 cup powdered sugar, egg and vanilla. Stir in graham cracker crumbs. Mix well and press into a 13x9 in pan.

2. Melt another 1/2 cup butter. In a small bowl combine melted butter and creme de menthe. At low speed, beat in remaining 3 cups powdered sugar until smooth. Spread over chocolate. Chill 1 hour.

3. In small sauce pan combine 1/4 cup butter and chocolate chips. Stir over low heat until melted. Pour over mint and chill.

Let warm to room temp before cutting.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Flourless Nutella Cake

I made this cake for World Nutella Day (Feb.5th):

Chocolate Cake with Nutella glaze

For the cake:

1 pound Ghiradelli semisweet chocolate
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 teaspoons flour (okay, it’s almost flourless)
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon hot water
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 large eggs, separated

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Grease an 8-inch round cake pan.In a double boiler, or in a microwave, heat together the chocolate and butter till just melted. Stir in the flour, sugar, water, vanilla and egg yolks, mixing to combine thoroughly, but not beating.Beat the egg whites until stiff but not dry. Gently fold them into the chocolate batter. Turn the batter into a greased 8-inch round cake pan.Bake the cake for 15 minutes. Remove it from the oven; the middle won’t appear set — that’s OK. Turn the cake out of the pan, allow it to cool. Pour cooled ganache over top and refrigerate to set glaze.

For Nutella glaze:

1/2 cup Nutella hazelnut spread
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tbsp. butter

Melt butter with milk in saucepan over med. heat; bring to a boil and remove promptly; stir in Nutella and allow to melt, then whisk mixture together and let it cool completely.

Sunday, February 3, 2008


I'm planning on making these this week. But I'm just linking to them since I already typed up the recipe. This a delicious way to eat spinach AND a good lenten recipe.


Friday, February 1, 2008


Well, now I feel like a big idiot. I have posted that recipe before. I thought I had. What a dork! I guess my labels aren't sufficient enough. I forgot to label it as "soup" in addition to crockpot and potatoes...and I couldn't find potatoes on the Table of Contents earlier today.

So lose one's mind so young in life!

Oh and please add to my failure the fact that when I pureed the soup tonight, I completely forgot to add the milk. I thought it was pretty thick. Well, now you know: you can make this soup without the milk. My goodness.

We're eating Pizza Hut tonight anyway. And at least I can't mess that up!

Potato Soup

I cannot believe that I haven't posted this recipe yet...I guess because when we started this blog it was too hot for soup. That is not the case today. As the snow continues to fall up here in Chicago-land, I deemed it the perfect day for soup. Especially this super simple, delicious soup from our childhood.

Potato Soup
6-7 Idaho potatoes, peeled
2 large carrots, peeled, chopped
1 stalk of celery, chopped
3-4 buillion cubes, chicken or vegetable
1/2 stick butter
1 can evaporated milk
optional: cheese, bacon

1. Put first four ingredients in a slow cooker, fill with water until just covered. Place butter on top. Cook on low all day or until potatoes are tender. Add canned milk just before serving. Place in blender or food processor and puree. Top with grated cheese and/or bacon bits, if desired.

Recipe credit: my mom

This truly is a great slow cooker recipe for someone working outside the home because it really can cook all day, even 12 hours and it's still going to taste great!

Milk v. Condensed Milk : Something I learned last night

Do NOT fool around with baking recipes. How many times has my mother told me to always make a recipe exactly as it is the first time around. How many times have I not listened to her. Too many times. "You can fool around with cooking, but NOT with baking," she says. Tonight I'm going to a girl's night sleepover with my cousins and I promised to make cookie dough balls. I can't recall who's blog I got them from..I should really start tracking that, so I apologize to whoever's recipe I'm going to post eventually. Last night, my dinner obligation canceled on me due to inclement weather we are having so I thought I'd get a head start and make them. The recipe called for condensed sweetened milk, whwich we did not have so I used milk and added extra brown sugar...bad idea. The two cups of flour that the recipe called for gave the dough a pasty flavor that no amount of sugar could destroy. That was the whole purpose of the SWEETENED condensed milk.


So, tonight i'm trying again doing it the right way. I will let you know how it turns out.