Thursday, January 14, 2010

French Bread FAIL

When I made the decision to start this blog I also vowed to post pics of successes and failures! This bread was not a total failure just not a "beautiful" soft loaf of French Bread. The kids liked it and it did have good flavor, it went well with the eggplant dish with gnochi. I have always struggled with yeast breads, my confidence is rather low after years and years and years....of super fails! I am happy to say I have not given up and just yesterday found the PERFECT recipe for sandwich bread! I am making more today and will post pics and recipe, it was absolutely amazing. I am now ready to take on my grandmothers recipe for "grammie bread", it is a nice dark bread with molasses, whole wheat and other goodies. I wanted to give it to family members for Christmas but alas that did NOT happen. I am not sure I should post the recipe for this failed French Bread, I have not given up, when I can get it to turn out I will post recipe I suppose. :)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Eggplant and Zucchini Stew with Gnochi

This is one of my FAVORITE things to make, I seem to always have the ingredients in the house, I either serve it with pasta, rice or gnochi! I had some eggplant and zucchini to use up so decided to post it on my blog and share this easy healthy "comfort food" meal. I also ended up making Sweet and Sour Chicken for the kids, no way would my 11 year old eat this..:( I cook all kinds of food and yet my son lives on pb&j, I just don't get it..I don't think any of my kids actually ate this, Maggie was here and LOVED it (shes a veg).
This makes a ton and freezes nicely, I typically always have some in the freezer to grab for a quick dinner, if I can get eggplant and zucchini on sale...well I start cooking! The red color does not show too well in the photo but, its a beautiful red sauce...


  1. 1 large or 2 small eggplant
  2. 4 zucchini
  3. 1 large onion
  4. 1 container of button mushrooms
  5. fresh basil and oregano, dried works fine
  6. salt to taste
  7. 16 oz can tomato sauce
  8. olive oil
  9. 2 cloves garlic chopped

I used my electric skillet for this but you can use a large frying pan as well. Over high heat I added the olive oil and garlic, saute for a minute or two. Add Onion and cook till golden brown, add zucchini, eggplant, mushrooms, salt and herbs, cook until veggies carmelize and have a bit of color on them (this enhances the flavor of the sauce) Last step is to add the tomato sauce, I add a tad bit of water too..use your own judgement on this.

I provided a pic of the gnochi I used, you can find it in the pasta section of most large supermarkets..I DO know how to make my own but, it is very time consuming and had to cheat this time. I plan on a gnochi making day sometime soon, they are great to have in the freezer to pull out as needed.

ENJOY...I love this meal and hope you do too

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Pear Cake..Its not pretty but it sure is good!

I had a ton of organic Bartlett pears and I wanted to use them up so, I made this delicious Pear Cake! There are quite a few steps with this cake but trust me its worth it, the flavor and texture is amazing. The only thing I would do different is use a different pan. I am thinking a 9x13 would be better, trying to get it out of the cake pan was a disaster and it totally fell apart,it did not change the taste though. My middle daughter loved it as a quick breakfast while heading out the door for school, yes its cake but healthier than pop tarts or Fruity Pebbles!! I found this recipe at


  • 4 cups finely chopped pears
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


In a bowl, mix pears with sugar and nuts; set aside and let stand for 1 hour, stirring frequently. Add dry ingredients to the pears; stir to combine. Add oil, vanilla, and beaten eggs. Stir to blend. Pour batter into a generously greased and floured tube pan. Bake at 350° for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes,or until a wooden pick or cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. This pear cake can be baked in a 9x13-inch rectangular pan for about 45 to 55 minutes.

Roasted Chickpeas

OK These are amazing! I have managed to bypass all the recipes I have seen on this delicious treat and finally in a effort to find a healthy quick snack for the kids, I gave in and gave it a try.
Amazingly easy and if you are like me you will always have the ingredients in the house. It hard to judge bake time as I like mine SUPER crunchy, if they are not done right they will have a funky soft middle, not good. I have them on the kitchen counter in a bowl, kinda like nuts..:)

2 Cups Garbanzo Beans (cooked or canned)
2Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Clove Garlic (crushed) I love Garlic and use 4 cloves
1tsp. Kosher Salt
Cayenne Pepper to taste (I like mine spicy)

  1. Preheat Oven to 375
  2. Pat Dry Garbanzo Beans
  3. Heat Garlic and Oil in skillet, be careful not to burn
  4. Add Salt and Cayenne or other seasons that you like
  5. Add beans and cook 2-4 minutes
  6. Spread evenly on baking sheet and cook 35-45 minutes, keep an eye on them, you dont want them to burn, they will taste bitter..BUT, you want them crunchy like nuts.
  7. ENJOY...these are healthy and addicting

Wish List

  1. Kitchenaide Pasta Extruder
  2. Potato Ricer
  3. Food Mill
  4. All Clad Electric Griddle
  5. Raclette
  6. Kitchenaide Ice Cream Maker Attachment
  7. Breville Counter Top Convection Oven
I am sure I can add more to this list as times goes on! :)

Friday, January 8, 2010

Dirty Martini...My favorite cocktail! :)

OK...So I LOVE olives, LOVE LOVE LOVE them! I found a great recipe for my favorite cocktail on my new Android (this phone could be true love for me)

I got a fancy foo foo shaker that I use to make these, once I have it on my mind that I want one of these yummy drinks I think about it all day. Did I mention I LOVE olives?

OK so enough of my ramblings on my love for olives and my new true love Android.

3 oz. Vodka (Grey Goose Please)
1 oz. Dry Vermouth
1/2 oz. Olive Brine (ummm I use 2 oz. brine, I LOVE OLIVES)

Put all ingredients in your shaker filled half way up with ice...shake shake shake, strain over your best martini glass and garnish with OLIVES..:)

Great...guess what I want to make tonight now??

Old Fashioned Coconut Macaroons

OK These are perhaps the most delicious and EASY cookies I have ever made. Ken and Emily LOVE Coconut Macaroons, I usually get them from Sprouts as a special treat, NOT ANY MORE!

Surprisingly these cookies are pretty healthy, other than the buttered baking sheet they are pretty low in fat...My next try will be dipping them in chocolate, you know where I am going with this I am sure...Mounds candy, can you say YUMMMMM

SO are you ready for this?

1 1/3 Cups Flaked Coconut
1/3 C. Sugar
2 T. Flour
2 Egg Whites
1/2-1 Tsp. Vanilla

Preheat oven to 325 degrees
Mix together, coconut, sugar, flour, vanilla and egg whites (in that order)

Drop by spoonfuls onto well greased baking sheet, they will look messy but, believe me they come out great.

Bake at 325 for 15-20 minutes

Let cool and enjoy!! :)

THE BEST Cut Out Sugar Cookies EVER

I love Bakers Sugar, if you have not used this before in your baking projects give it a try, its worth the extra $$

I made two batches of these sugar cookies this year, they were a huge it! I have an OLD recipe of my grammies I used for years but have been looking for a more "fluffy" cookie, this is it!!

I have made cut-out sugar cookies every year since I was old enough to remember, either with my mom, sister or grammie, it is one of the only real traditions I remember as a child. I am happy to say my kids now have that tradition as well, even though two of them are teens they still LOVE to frost and decorate. I have a bit of a cookie sprinkle and food coloring obsession..LOL

This Recipe is from

1 1/2 C. Butter (softened)
2 C. Sugar
4 Eggs
1 tsp. Vanilla
5 C. Flour
2 tsp. Baking Powder
1 tsp. Salt

Preheat Oven to 400 degrees
Cream Sugar and Butter together until fluffy, add Eggs and Vanilla
Stir in Flour, Baking Powder and Salt
Cover and place in refrigerator for a minimum of 1 hour
Take out 1/4 of the dough out of fridge at a time, lightly flour surface and roll out with rolling pin.

Place cookies on baking sheet 1 inch apart, bake for 6-8 minutes, watch closely so they dont burn.

I found this dough to be pretty easy to work with, it can be a little sticky, but if you lightly flour in between rolling you will be fine.

I use a simply frosting of powdered sugar and water..I don't have exact measurements, just make sure its not too thick or runny.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Woohoo now I can blog from my Droid
What will I make in 2010? Below is my list and I promise to do a better job of posting..:)

  1. Tamales
  2. Beef Wellington (have made it before but, time for a re-d0)
  3. Tiramisu
  4. Perfect pie crust
  5. Korean Short Ribs
  6. Marshmallows
  7. Homemade Pasta
  8. Meringues
  9. Grandmothers recipe for brown bread
  10. Doughnuts