Monday, June 30, 2014


We have been frequently visiting the beach. Sometimes we pack a lunch. I really didn't want to care any condiments with the beach chairs, towels, kids, etc. Also, the kids do not all like the same kind of sandwiches. Since my sister told me that she thought my idea was clear, I figured I may just make your life a little easier. I placed a selection of condiments in a zip lock bag. If you don't want to carry scissors or a knife, then  cut the tip off at home and fold it up and placed it into another zip lock bag. When I tried this technique, it didn't make a mess and stayed in the bag. The kids thought this was great since they got to squeeze their condiments onto their sandwiches. 
BLT for lunch!
Sometimes with children, they want to demonstrate the incorrect way to use the condiment bags.

My daughter didn't even realize what her brother was doing. I'm glad since it would have gotten a little messy.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Cran Raspberry Drink

My daughter had this drink on the last day of school. She kept asking me to make it for her. When we first tasted it, it was very tart. Since my daughter said it should be sweeter, I made a simple syrup. I was informed I did it right that time. I may be adding vodka to mine by the end of the summer.
Cran Raspberry Drink
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup water
4 cup Cran Raspberry Cocktail
4 cup seltzer water
1 lemon
1 lime
slices of lemons and limes for garnish

  1. In a medium pan, add the sugar and water to make a simple syrup.
  2. Mix and bring to a boil.
  3. Allow the simple syrup to cool.
  4. In a large pitcher, add the Cran Raspberry cocktail with the seltzer water. 
  5. Add the juice of one lemon and lime. 
  6. Add the simple syrup to the pitcher. Mix well.
  7. Garnish with the lemon and lime slices.
Recipe adapted from a school recipe.

One year ago....................................I made Sugar Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches.
Two years ago..................................I made Vigins Bloody Marys.
Did you already know........................
-Seltzer water is water with carbonation added to it.
-Seltzer water derives naturally from the minerals springs in the German town of Selters. 
-No minerals are added to seltzer water like club soda.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Paint Splatter Cupcakes

Did you have a nice weekend? Anything exciting happen? My sister and I made these cupcakes for my nieces birthday party. My niece requested these cupcakes. These were a lot of fun to make. It was like having a food fight. We were really surprised we didn't hit each other since we were on opposite sides of the table. Since I knew we would be the ones cleaning up, I placed newspaper down on the table before we started flinging the frosting. We made a lot of cupcakes.
Paint Splatter Cupcakes
24 cupcakes cooled
3 cups of white frosting
black and other color food dye

  1. Place the cupcakes onto a cookie tray.
  2. Microwave 1 cup of frosting for 20 seconds. Stir and microwave for another 10 seconds.
  3. Separate half of the frosting into a separate bowl.
  4. Add black food dye to one of the bowls and stir well.
  5. Dip the cupcakes into either the heated white or black frosting.
  6. Set the dipped cupcakes onto the cookie tray to allow the frosting to set for 30 minutes.
  7. Once the frosting has set, microwave the rest of the frosting as before.
  8. Separate the frosting equally into other bowls for the different desired splatter colors. 
  9. Add several drops of dye to one bowl of frosting to create several different colors.
  10. Using a different butter knife for each bowl, dip the knife into the bowl and fling the frosting onto the cupcakes. 
  11. Alternate colors to create the splatter look.
  12. Allow the frosting to harden before serving.
Recipe inspired by Coco Jo Cake Design.

One year ago.............................I made Flag Cookies.
Two years ago...........................I made Sweet Cakes.
Happy Birthday to my beautiful niece!
Did you already know.....................
-Janet Sobel was one of the first artist to create drip painting.
-Jackson Pollock influenced the American artist Jackson Pollock.
-Last year, Jackson Pollock's No. 9, 1948 sold for over $58 million dollars. 

Friday, June 20, 2014

Steak Stir Fry with Mizuna

I have been receiving my CSA share for the last couple of weeks. The best part about receiving the fresh vegetables from the farm is the introduction to new vegetables. I received mizuna in my share. The sign recommended a stir fry so I thought it was a great suggestion. Besides the chopping, a stir fry tends to be a quick supper. The kids loved it but anytime we have a dish with steak then it is a winner.
Steak Stir Fry with Mizuna
8 oz. sirloin steak tips, sliced thin
salt and pepper, to taste
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp ginger, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup green bell pepper, chopped small
2 cups mizuna leaves
1 cup snow pea pods
1/2 cup teriyaki sauce
1 tsp toasted sesame seeds

  1. Season the steak with salt and pepper.
  2. In a large skillet, heat 1 Tbsp of vegetable oil over medium high heat. 
  3. Cook for about 5 minutes or until desired doneness. Set aside on a plate.
  4. Add the ginger, garlic, and the green pepper. Saute for 30 seconds.
  5. Add the mizuna leaves and snow pea pods. Cook for 1 minute.
  6. Stir in the teriyaki sauce. 
  7. Add the steak to the vegetables and toss.
  8. Serve with noodles or rice.
  9. Top with toasted sesame seeds. 
Recipe by Jen of Sweet Morris.

One year ago................................I made Radish and Potato Soup.
Two years ago..............................I made Red, White, and Blue Cupcakes.
Mituna? Spider Mustard? What?
Did you already know......................
-Mituna is a Japanese mustard green.
-Mituna is also called spider mustard, Japanese greens, and xue cai.
-Mituna is similar to arugula but not as strong. 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Peanut Butter Dipping Sauce

Kohlrabi is such a strange looking vegetable. I figure the best way for us to eat them are in a spring roll. My kids think it is cool. My son's friend wasn't going to be fooled into eating his vegetables. All the kids liked the dip. I asked my husband how I could get the dip thinner. He suggested that I should microwave it. I actually think the dip became thicker. It didn't affect the taste. I think the main problem was that I didn't want to measure the peanut butter so I estimated. I probably overestimated in the kids favor.
Peanut Butter Dipping Sauce
1/2 cup peanut butter
3 Tbsp water
3 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp vegetable oil
2 tsp rice wine vinegar
1/4 tsp ginger, minced

  1. In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients until well incorporated.
Recipe adapted from Aaron McCargo, Jr

Two years ago.....................................I made Mini Fruit Crostatas.
Did you already know................
-Kohlrabi originates from wild cabbage in Europe.
-It can be eaten raw or cooked.
-It can be grown in less than 60 days.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Lime Pie

Did you have a nice weekend? This is the first time this year we went to the beach. We almost forgot to bring chairs and sunglasses but we did remember the packed lunch. I would have brought some of this pie but I wanted to share some with my Mom. She appreciated it. My sister said she liked it since it wasn't so tart. It wasn't so tart because I had ran out of limes. I had many lemons but I didn't know how the citrus mix would turn out so I opted for less limes. Since I didn't use key limes, this is just lime pie. This is a fast and delicious dessert.
Lime Pie
3 Eggs
2 cans (14 oz. ) Sweetened Condense milk
3/4 cup lime juice
1 tsp lime zest
pinch of salt
1 graham cracker or vanilla wafer pie crust

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs until fluffy.
  3. Add the condense milk, lime juice, lime zest, and a pinch of salt. 
  4. Mix until incorporated.
  5. Pour the mixture into the pie crust.
  6. Bake the pie for 15 minutes. 
  7. Remove the pie and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
  8. Chill the pie in the refrigerator for a couple of hours before serving.
Recipe by Jen of Sweet Morris.

One year ago............................I made Steak Stir Fry.
Two years ago..........................I made Icebox Dessert.
Did you already know..............
-Limes turn yellow as they ripen. 
-Limes are native to Malaysia. 
-The Crusaders introduced limes to Europe.

Friday, June 13, 2014

White Chocolate Ice Cream

My husband loves ice cream. He could eat it with every meal. If he could, he would top his ice cream with some cereal and call it breakfast. He picked this ice cream. It is exceptional and creamy. My son said he doesn't like white chocolate but loves this ice cream. If you are making homemade ice cream this summer, this is the ice cream to make. Yes, we will be having ice cream this weekend.
Memo to self: do not photograph ice cream on a hot day unless you can eat it fast!
White Chocolate ice Cream
8 oz. white chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup milk
2/3 cup sugar
pinch of salt
5 egg yolks
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup half & half cream
2 oz. white chocolate, chips 

  1. Place the white chocolate in a large bowl and place a strainer over the top. Set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan, warm the milk, sugar, and salt. 
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks. 
  4. While whisking, add one spoonful of the heated milk into the egg yolks.
  5. Slowly, add additional heated milk to the egg yolks while whisking.
  6. Combine the egg yolks to the heated milk and add back to the saucepan. 
  7. Continuing to stir the mixture until the temperature reaches 170 degrees F.
  8. Pour the mixture over the white chocolate.
  9. Stir the white chocolate until melted and the mixture is smooth.
  10. Add the heavy cream and the half & half cream. Mix well.
  11. Refrigerate the mixture and allow to chill over at least 1 hour.
  12. Once chilled, freeze the mixture according an ice cream maker's manufacturer's instructions. 
  13. Stir in the white chocolate chips.
Recipe adapted from The Perfect Scoop. 

One year ago...................................I made Cheese Crackers.
Two years ago.................................I made Macaroni Grill Bread.
Did you already know...........................
-White chocolate does originates from the cocoa plant and contains cocoa butter.
-White chocolate does not contain any chocolate liquor or chocolate solids.
- White chocolate contains very little caffeine.

I hope everyone has a Happy Father's Day!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Popovers with chives and cheddar

One of the first things I learned to bake from scratch were popovers. They are an easy bread to make. I remember my younger sister made them a lot. To me, popovers are eggy tasting. I thought the kids would love them. I made 16 of these breads and I only had 2 left. The only reason why I had two left was because my kids told me they were going to have them for breakfast. Now, I will admit my popovers did not puff up with a dome top but it was due to the cheese topping. I may have added to much cheese.  I made a couple with no cheese and they weren't sunk in the middle like this first batch. We all agree that the cheese ones were the best. If you need a quick bread with your meal, then I recommend these rolls.
Popovers with chives and cheddar
2 cups milk
4 eggs
1/4 cup chives, chopped
1/4 tsp salt
pinch pepper
2 cups all purpose flour
4 oz. extra sharp cheddar cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Place a muffin tin into the hot oven to heat.
  3. In a small pot, heat the milk over medium for 3 minutes. 
  4. Stir the milk and remove from the heat. Set aside.
  5. In a medium bowl (or a large glass measuring up), whisk the eggs, chives, salt, and pepper.
  6. Slowly, whisk in one Tbsp of the warmed milk to the egg mixture.
  7. Slowly whisk the remaining milk to the egg mixture.
  8. Add the flour to the egg mixture and mix until incorporated. There may be some lumps.
  9. Carefully, remove the hot tin from the oven.
  10. Liberally, coat the tin with nonstick baking spray.
  11. Fill each tin about 3/4 full with the batter.
  12. Top the batter with a little bit of cheese.
  13. Bake the popovers for 24 minutes or until golden brown.
  14. Serve warm.
Recipe adapted from Better Homes and Gardens.

One year ago..............................I made Pizza Quesadilla.
Two years ago............................I made Peanut Butter Florentine.
Did you already know................
-Popovers derived from Yorkshire Pudding. 
-Popovers rise due to steam since there are no leaving agents used.
-There are special popover tins which would make a longer and larger popover than a muffin tin.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Pasta with Sausage and Gruyere sauce

Since my children were drawn to the free samples at the grocery store, we purchased some roasted garlic and gruyere cheese chicken sausage. I really couldn't decide what to do with it. I was leaning towards grilling it but what sides should I serve. In the end, I decided to make a pasta dish. It is always obvious when my daughter likes something since she will even eat it the next day. This recipe is one of those meals.
Pasta with sausage and Gruyere sauce
1 lb. shell pasta
12 oz. sausage
1 garlic, minced
1 cup spinach
1/8 cup red bell pepper, chopped small
1 Tbsp flour
2 cups milk
4 oz. Gruyere cheese, shredded
Topping parsley, chopped

  1. Boil the pasta until al dente.
  2. In a large skillet, brown the sausage.
  3. With a slotted spoon, remove the sausage onto a paper towel lined plate. Set aside.
  4. Add the garlic, spinach, and red bell pepper. Saute for 1 minute.
  5. Sprinkle the flour over the spinach mixture. Stir gently for 1 minute.
  6. Whisk in the 2 cups of milk and allow to cook for 10 minutes.
  7. Stir in the Gruyere cheese.
  8. Once the cheese has melted, add the pasta and sausage. 
  9. Mix to combine and allow to cook for one minute.
  10. Top with parsley and serve.
Recipe by Jen of Sweet Morris.

One year ago.............................I made BLT with aioli.
Did you already know.............
-General stores began with a clerk retrieving the desired products for customers.
-In the 1920s, the grocery store chains began to open.
-The first supermarket opened in the 1930s.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Double Chocolate Nutella Thumbprint Cookies

I love Nutella. I actually prefer Nutella over peanut butter. My husband thinks this is so wrong. These cookies have a nice filling in the middle so they are crunchy and soft. My youngest daughter kept bring them into school. I'm pretty sure they do not meet the healthy snack criteria but I saw her do it for a couple of days. I think she shared a couple with her teacher since it is the end of the year and she is trying for all the bonus points she can get. I guess the cookies may meet the healthy snack criteria if you share them with the teacher? I also brought some to my friend at work. They are a nice cookie to share or not share.
Double Chocolate Nutella Thumbprint Cookies
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups chocolate chips, divided
1 tsp milk
1 cup sugar
1 cup Nutella, divided
1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs

  1. In a small bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Set aside.
  2. Melt 1 cup chocolate chips with the 1 tsp milk in the microwave for 45 seconds. Stir and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, cream the sugar, 1/3 cup Nutella, butter, and the vanilla extract until incorporated.
  4. Beat in the melted chocolate.
  5. Add the eggs one at a time. 
  6. Slowly, add the flour mixture to the butter mixture. 
  7. Stir in 1 cup of chocolate chips.
  8. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
  9. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  10. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  11. Shape the cookie dough into 1 1/2 inch balls. 
  12. Place the cookie dough balls onto the cookie sheet, spaced 2 inches apart.
  13. Gently make a thumb indent into the center of each ball to make a 1/2 inch depression.
  14. Fill each depression with about 1/2 tsp of Nutella.
  15. Bake the cookies for 10 minutes or until the sides are set and the center is slightly soft.
  16. Allow the cookies to cool on the cookie sheet for 2 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. 
Recipe adapted from Tollhouse Nestle Cookies Cookbook.

One year ago...............................I made Dulce de leche cheesecake.
Two years ago.............................I made Skillet Lasagna.
Did you already know.................
-Teachers typically spend about 50 hours a week on teaching related tasks.
-Gene Simmons of Kiss was a teacher for 6 months.
-President Lyndon Johnson was a teacher in Texas.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Southwest Breakfast Wrap

Since I was making breakfast sandwiches, my son wanted a breakfast wrap. Every time my husband would go buy his cup of coffee, my son would ask his Dad for a breakfast wrap. So, I figured I should try making them. It would be a lot cheaper and healthier. I had some leftover Southwest Eggs from the breakfast sandwiches so I just used them. I like them. They aren't a big sandwich but filling. My son is so happy. I placed extra in the freezer so he can heat them up before school. Good job, Mom, good job!
Southwest Breakfast Wrap
4 large flour tortilla
6 egg whites
2 whole eggs
1 Tbsp milk
1/4 cup spinach, sliced thin
1/8 cup red bell pepper, sliced small
4 oz. pepper jack cheese, shredded
6 slices of bacon/Canadian bacon

  1. Using a large biscuit cutter or a large glass, cut out 4 circles from each flour tortilla. Set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 
  3. Spray a muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg whites, eggs, and milk. 
  5. Evenly pour a little of the egg white mixture into each muffin tin.
  6. Add a little spinach and red bell peppers to each egg mixture.
  7. Cook the eggs for 5 minutes.
  8. Rotate the eggs and cook for another 5 minutes or until the egg is cooked through. 
  9. Remove the eggs from the oven and allow to cool for 2 minutes.
  10. Lay one of the flour circles on a plate. 
  11. Sprinkle a little of the cheese over the tortilla.
  12. On one side, place 1/2 slice of the Canadian bacon. 
  13. Cut one of the baked eggs in half.
  14. Place 1/2 of the baked eggs on top of the Canadian bacon. 
  15. Return the breakfast wrap to the oven for one minute.
  16. Remove from the oven and fold in half. The melted cheese should hold the wrap closed.
Recipe by Jen of Sweet Morris.

One year ago............................I made Cherry Cheese Danish.
Two years ago..........................I made Mascarpone.

Did you already know..................
-Each day, Dunkin' Donuts serves over 3 million customers. 
-There are over 10,000 stores worldwide.
-Dunkin' Donuts is a subsidiary of Dunkin' Brands.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Breakfast Southwestern Egg Sandwich

I like a quick breakfast on weekdays. I love cereal but I want something I can grab and go. I have made breakfast sandwiches before but I just scrambled the eggs. For something quick, it is pretty messy plus if I'm dressed up then I really don't need it on me. I can only imagine what I would look like showing up to an important meeting corrected in egg. I would share but I'm not sure anyone (besides my husband) would take me up on it. When I saw baked eggs, I realized it was the way to go. I could freeze any extra and have them on other days. I like my eggs mostly egg whites so I made them this way. The kids never know the difference.
Breakfast Southwestern Egg Sandwiches
6 egg whites
2 whole eggs
1 Tbsp milk
1/4 cup spinach, sliced thin
1/8 cup red bell pepper, sliced small
12 slices of pepper jack cheese
12 English muffins (I used whole grain.)
12 slices of Canadian bacon

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray a muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg whites, eggs, and milk. 
  4. Evenly pour a little of the egg white mixture into each muffin tin.
  5. Add a little spinach and red bell peppers to each egg mixture.
  6. Cook the eggs for 5 minutes.
  7. Rotate the eggs and cook for another 5 minutes or until the egg is cooked through.
  8. While the eggs are cooking, lightly toast the English muffins.
  9. Top the bottom section of the English muffin with a slice of Canadian bacon.
  10. Toast the English muffin until the Canadian bacon is warm.
  11. Remove the English muffin and add a slice of cheese on top of the Canadian bacon.
  12. Carefully remove one of the baked egg sections from the muffin tin and top the English muffin.
  13. Close the English muffin with the other section to form a sandwich.
Recipe adapted from Jeff Mauro.

One year ago...........................I made Vanilla Buttermilk Cupcakes.
Two years ago.........................I made Savory Lobster Cheesecake.
Did you already know.............
-In 1971, Herb Peterson invented the Egg McMuffin.
-Herb Peterson modified the Jack-in-the-Box's Eggs Benedict Sandwich.
-Breakfast makes up about 15% of McDonald's sales.