Monday, June 25, 2012

German Chocolate Brownies

This isn't a recipe.  I guess it's permission.  I'm not a cake person.  I'll eat it in social situations, but you will never find me eating cake by myself on purpose.  One time I made a coconut bundt cake because all the ingredients sounded SO GOOOOOD, but when I put them together....meh...I'll pass.  The other day I was pinning away on pinterest and stumbled across a recipe for German Chocolate Brownies.  Yes, you heard me correctly.  Perhaps I've been self-defeating, but I've never put in the logical effort to resolve the tension I feel between my love for Coconut Pecan frosting and my distaste for chocolate cake.  Thankfully, someone else put their thinking cap on for me and came up with German Chocolate BROWNIES.  Say what???!!!!  Brownies have a special place in my heart, and luckily, paring them with my favorite frosting turned out to be a marriage of la gloria celestial.

German Chocolate Brownies:

Favorite Brownie Mix
Favorite Coconut Pecan Frosting

Follow box directions and spread on the the frosting and....


Or you can follow the aforementioned recipe.  

Monday, June 18, 2012

Andy's Favorite Oatmeal Raisin Bars

Jackson and I made Andy's favorite oatmeal raisin bars today.  The great thing about this recipe, is that I always have the ingredients on hand. (Maybe that's why this recipe is a favorite.;)   I should also mention these little, crunchy, goey numbers are  D.E.L.I.C.I.O.U.S.   I found the recipe on a few years ago and have made various alterations since.

Andy's Favorite Oatmeal Raisin Bars
Adapted from
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup unbleached white flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups quick cooking oats
  • 1 cup raisins 

  1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease an 8 X 8 inch pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar and white sugar, until smooth. Beat in the egg then stir in the vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt: stir into the creamed mixture. Fold in the quick oats and raisins. Spread evenly into the prepared pan.
  3. Bake for about 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges are starting to brown. Let cool in pan before cutting into bars.  (Make sure to not brown the bars too much because they'll become dry on the inside.)    

(My fantastic helper just turned 4!  What a big boy!)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Bountiful Baskets Weekly Dinner Plan 9/10/11

The bounty this week wasn't as bountiful as last week.  Oh well.

The goods:
  • large bananas
  • 2 heads of cauliflower
  • 8 oz. California fresh figs
  • 1 head spinach
  • 1 head romaine lettuce
  • 1 bag seedless green grapes
  • 6 sweet potatoes
  • 4 peaches


  • Salad
  • Leftovers

Monday: Joey D's Perfect Chinese Chicken Salad (Off the back of a salad dressing bottle I need to use.)

Tuesday:  Maple Glazed Chicken with Sweet Potatoes

Wednesday:  Primal Sheperd's Pie

Thursday:  Costco Turkey Burgers and Corn on the Cob

Friday:  Chicken Tortilla Soup

Saturday:  Cashew Sweet and Sour Pork

Sunday:  Crispy Coconut Chicken Fingers  and salad


Avocado Chocolate Mousse

    Sunday, September 4, 2011

    Bountiful Baskets Menu Plan 3/3/11- Paleo Style

     The above picture is of Jackson before the BYU vs. Ole Miss game.  I made "Cougar Tails" and "Cougar Paws" and he was thrilled.  Lately, Jackson has been quite the jokester.  As he helped me in the kitchen he said:  "Mommy, maybe you should make Cougar bums...Hahahahaaaa."  Love that kid.  I haven't posted a menu plan in ages.  I stopped getting a Bountiful Basket for awhile because the quality seemed to be dwindling, but I decided to get one yesterday and I was happy with my offering.  Yeay!

    Here's what I got:
    • 2 heads of romaine lettuce
    • spinach
    • celery
    • cauliflower
    • potatoes
    • mangos
    • green grapes
    • pears
    • tomatoes
    • plums 

       I chopped up my lettuce and mixed it with the spinach.  Then I put it into gallon storage bags so the mix would last longer.  We're going to be eating a lot of freaking salad in these parts this week! Lately I've been sort of obsessed with Mark's Daily Apple.  It's a website that promotes living and eating like our hunter/gatherer Paleolithic ancestors.  There are a myriad of reasons I'm interested in this approach, but maybe I'll explain that in another post. Just wanted to explain why I have a bunch of Paleo recipes on the menu for the week.

      Here's my plan:

      •  Eggs. sauteed zucchini, and turkey bacon
      •  Zucchini, Banana, Almond Smoothies (I have zucchini coming out of my ears)

          • Leftovers from dinner
          • Salads

            • Thursday:  I have class:  Leftovers
            • Sunday:  Souvlaki with veggies, (rice for Andy and Jackson)


              Monday, June 27, 2011

              Lebanese Scrambled Eggs with Potatoes and Onions- M'farraket Batatah wa Bassal

              Lebanese Scrambled Eggs with Potatoes and Onions
              Adapted from Lebanese Cuisine

              4 T. olive oil
              4 medium potatoes, peeled, washed and diced into 1/2-inch cubes
              2 medium onions, finely chopped
              6 eggs
              1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
              kosher salt to taste
              1 T. basil pesto (optional)

              Put olive oil in a large frying pan and place over a medium heat.  When the oil is hot (to test the heat drop in a cube of potato, and if the oil bubbles around it, it is read) put in the diced potatoes and saute until lightly golden.  Add the onions and cook until both potatoes and onions are golden brown.  In the meantime, break the eggs into a mixing bowl and whisk them lightly before pouring over the potatoes and onion.  Season with pepper and salt to taste and scramble until the eggs are done to your taste.

              Note:  Basil pesto isn't a part of Lebanese cuisine to my knowledge, but I often buy a big jar of it at Costco.  I've started adding pesto to this egg recipe and it's a great addition.

              Favorite White Bread...Ina Garten Style

              I think I've blogged before about my infatuation with Ina Garten.  I love how she uses mostly simple, quality ingredients and makes everything look and taste like Heaven.  Some people find her show boring, but I think her voice is kind of soothing.  She makes me want to go eat dessert in the bathtub or something. Her "Honey White Bread" recipe from her "Barefoot Contessa at Home Cookbook" is my go to white bread recipe.  It doesn't have a lot of sugar, which makes it less chewy than other recipes, but I still think it's super tasty.  I usually make one big loaf and a few mini loaves or two big loaves with this recipe.

              Honey White Bread
              From the "Barefoot Contessa at Home" Cookbook

              1/2 cup warm water (110 degrees)
              2 packages dry yeast
              1 teaspoon sugar
              1 1/2 cups warm whole milk (110 degrees)
              6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled (3/4 stick)
              1-1/2 tablespoons honey
              2 extra-large egg yolks
              5 to 6 cups all-purpose flour
              1 tablespoon kosher salt
              1 egg white, lightly beaten

              Pour water into mixer fitted with dough attachment.  Add yeast and sugar; stir and allow them to dissolve for 5 minutes.  Add milk, butter, and honey.  Mix on medium speed until blended.  Add the egg yolks, 3 cups of the flour, and the salt.  Mix on low speed for about 5 minutes.  With the mixer still on low speed, add 2 more cups of flour.  Raise the speed to medium and slowly add just enough of the remaining flour so the dough doesn't stick to the bowl.  Add the flour slowly; you can always add more but you can't take it out.  Knead on medium speed for about 8 minutes, adding flour as necessary.

              Dump the dough onto a floured surface and knead by hand for a minute, until the dough is smooth and elastic.  Grease a bowl with butter, put the dough in the bowl, then turn it over so the top is lightly buttered.  Cover the bowl with a damp towel and allow it to rise for 1 hour, until doubled in volume.  Grease two 9 X 5 inch loaf pans with butter.  Divide the dough in half, roll each laf into a loaf shape and place each in a prepared pan.  Cover again with a damp towel, and allow to rise again for an hour, until doubled in volume.  Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  When the dough is ready, brush the tops wit hthe egg white and bake the breads for 40 to 45 minutes, until they sound hollow when tapped. Turn them out of the pans and cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.

              Wednesday, June 8, 2011

              Lebanese Cannellini Beans and Meat Stew- Fassolyah bil-Lahmeh

              Nothing like a big bowl of beans, seasoned the Lebanese way...

              Lebanese Cannellini Beans and Meat Stew- Fassolyah bil-Lahmeh
              Adapted from:  'LEBANESE CUISINE- More than 250 Authentic Recipes from the most Elegant Middle Eastern Cuisine"

              • 2 cups dried cannellini or Great Northern Beans (can also use kidney, lima or navy)
              • 1 tsp. baking soda
              • About 1 lb. pork meat from the leg or shoulder or lamb meat from the shoulder
              • 2 or 3 bones (optional)
              • 4 T. unsalted butter
              • 1 large onion, sliced 
              • 5 cups water
              • 1 tsp. chicken bouillon
              • 5 oz. tomato paste
              • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
              • 1 tsp. ground allspice
              • 1/2 tsp. finely ground black pepper
              • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg 

                The night before:
                Put the beans to soak in three times their volume of water as they will double in size.  Stir in one tsp. baking soda.  This should soften them and help reduce their cooking time.

                If you are using pork, cut in in chunky pieces.  If you are using lamb, strip the skin off, discard it, and get rid of as much fat as you can and cut as with the pork.  Met the butter in a saucepan over medium heat and brown the meat.  Remove to a plate.  Add the sliced onion and cook, sturring occasionally, until soft and transparent.  If you are using the bones, rinse them under cold water before adding to the onion.  Saute the bones until they lose all traces of pink.  Return the meat to the pan, add water, and 1 tsp. chicken bouillon.  Bring to a boil. 

                Drain the soaked beans and rinse them under cold water.  Add the meat and onion and boil gently, covered, for 45 minutes or until the beans are tender.  Dilute the tomato paste in a little water and stir into the broth.  Season with cinnamon, allspice, pepper, nutmeg and salt to taste.  Put the lid back on and simmer for 10 more minutes or until the sauce has thickened and the beans are cooked.  Taste, adjust seasoning if necessary.  Serve with homemade bread and fresh fruit.

                Turkey Taco Wraps- No flour, No Sugar

                After I made those coyote crap balls the other night, I decided if this healthy thing is really going to work out, I had to make food with flavors that I enjoyed.  I LOVE Mexican food, so I decided to make these taco wraps.  They were a winner!

                Turkey Taco Wraps
                Adapted from Dr. Gott's No Flour, No Sugar Cookbook

                1 pd. lean ground turkey
                1/2 to 3/4 package taco seasoning
                1/2 head iceberg lettuce, rinsed and dried
                1 medium onion, chopped

                Brown turkey in skillet.  Drain off any liquid.  Add taco seasoning with amount of water indicated on package.  (Don't forget to do this...I made these twice, once without added water and with water was much better.)  Spoon mixture onto lettuce leaves and top with tomatoes and onion.  Roll and serve. 

                Sunday, May 29, 2011

                Body/Life Change Menu Plan: Taking a Different Approach to Eating

                No, this isn't coyote poop.  These are the Peanut Butter Balls listed below from the website.  They were okay and they are definitely filling.  I don't think I would've made them though, if I didn't already have all the ingredients on hand.  Kind of a waste of natural peanut butter and honey in my opinion.  Money doesn't grow on trees in these parts...

                This week went pretty well with my goal to eat clean.  I messed up once, because  I bought some sweets for visitors and caved, but otherwise, it was a success.  What I've learned though, is that making an extensive post about what I eat every day is just too time consuming for me.  Consequently, I'll just menu plan once a week and post what I'm eating then.  After reading a bunch of nutrition related food blogs, I've decided that I'm not going to follow the tenets of eating clean exactly.  My main focus is to not eat refined flour and really limit my sugar intake.  I will mostly be using whole wheat flour, nut flours, and honey, maple syrup, and agave nectar as sweeteners to accomplish this.  I will not be drinking milk, (rice and almond milk will by my replacement,) but I will allow myself to eat Greek Yogurt.  I think these goals are more realistic than becoming Tosca Reno overnight. 

                Here's my menu plan for the week:


                Cream of Wheat
                Kashi Go Lean Crunch  (I bought this stuff last week and it was awesome.)

                (May add fruit, honey, and rice milk to all over these)


                Protein Shake- Six Star Professional Strength Whey Protein Elite Series "Triple Chocolate"
                Sliced Banana, Cottage Cheese, Nutmeg, Honey
                Apples with Natural Peanut Butter
                Fruit Smoothie with Rice Milk and Scoop of Whey Protein
                Peanut Butter Balls
                Protein Packed Pudding 
                (I'm going to see how the pudding is with rice milk, not skim milk.)

                Leftover Spaghetti Bake
                (The Spaghetti Bake wasn't bad but I have it coming out of my ears!)
                Taco Wraps (From Dr. Gott's No Flour, No Sugar Cookbook) 

                Baked Potato Extreme
                Chicken Mushroom-Spinach Quesadillas
                Chicken, Mixed Veggies, Brown Rice
                Turkey Tacos from "Lite Lion House Recipes"

                Saturday: Armenian Skewered Meat Kabobs

                Cooking with Jackson:  I'm going to try to cook or bake something with Jackson once a week.  This week we're going to make Williams-Sonoma Pretzels.
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