Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Brussels Sprouts

Don't make that face, I can see you making the same face that Little Foodie makes when she sees that we are having brussels sprouts for dinner. Brussels sprouts are yummy, all they need is a little TLC and they turn into a fabulous side dish!! Now Little Foodie always makes the "yuck face" but once she tries them she is hooked and eats a ton but I am sure she will never admit that she likes brussels sprouts. I think the secret to good brussels sprouts is to cut them in half and cook them in a pan in a little butter and olive oil, add a good bit of salt and pepper and a little smoked paprika and yum they melt in your mouth!! Now stop making the face and go and cook up some brussels sprouts!!!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Potato Corn Chowder

I have this small obsession with soups, this is fairly new, I wasn't much of a soup eater in the past but now I really enjoy a big bowl of soup for dinner and as a bonus my hubby and Little Foodie enjoy it also. This is a super easy soup to make, I made ours using corn that I had frozen during the summer so it was like a little bite of summer in October!! Enjoy!
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups diced peeled potatoes
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 bag of frozen corn or you can use canned reg or creamed corn
  1. In a large saucepan add the margarine, potatoes, onion, flour and spices. Cook until onions are translucent.
  2. Add the milk, water and corn. Cook on low heat for 40 minutes to an hour. Season as needed.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


My hubby and I LOVE hummus, it is the perfect love fat dip to have with pita chips or veggies! Little Foodie on the other hand is not a hummus fan, we still insist that she try it each time we have it for a snack; just like avacados and tomatoes ( she didn't start liking them till this past summer) we are sure she will enjoy hummus one day! This is a great dip to make for snacking or to take to a potluck. I found this recipe at about.com. Enjoy :)
  • 1 16 oz can of chickpeas or garbanzo beans
  • 1/4 cup liquid from can of chickpeas
  • 3-5 tablespoons lemon juice (depending on taste)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons tahini (found in the international section of the grocery store)
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
Drain chickpeas and set aside liquid from can. Combine remaining ingredients in blender or food processor. Add 1/4 cup of liquid from chickpeas. Blend for 3-5 minutes on low until thoroughly mixed and smooth.

Place in serving bowl, and create a shallow well in the center of the hummus.

Add a small amount (1-2 tablespoons) of olive oil in the well. Garnish with parsley (optional).

Serve immediately with fresh, warm or toasted pita bread, or cover and refrigerate.

For a spicier hummus, add a sliced red chile or a dash of cayenne pepper.

Hummus can be refrigerated for up to 3 days and can be kept in the freezer for up to one month. Add a little olive oil if it appears to be too dry.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Chunky Monkey Pancakes

I love Sunday morning breakfasts, especially lazy Sunday mornings when you don't have to rush to get out and about. I had some bananas that were over-ripe and perfect for cooking/baking with so I searched for breakfast recipes and found a recipe on allrecipes.com that I adapted to fit our needs. The great thing about finding recipes online is that you can search for recipes that use ingredients you already have on hand. So Yummy!!
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup skim milk
  • 1/2 cup of applesauce (instead of oil or butter)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large banana, mashed
  • 2 heaping tablespoons of peanut butter ( I used organic creamy PB)
  • 1/2 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
  • cooking spray
  1. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Set bowl aside. In a separate bowl, whisk together the skim milk, applesauce, eggs, sugar, peanut butter and vanilla. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and stir in the wet ingredients, being careful not to over mix the batter. Gently fold in the banana and chocolate chips
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat, and coat with cooking spray. Pour 1/4 cupfuls of batter onto the skillet, and cook until bubbles appear on the surface. Flip with a spatula, and cook until browned on the other side.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Homemade Apple Pie

This pie turned out so YUMMY, it wouldn't win an beauty contests, but it tastes terrific!!! Here is apple recipe #4 (and can you believe I still have apples left!), Homemade Apple Pie. Yummy right out of the oven or chilled in the fridge! I adapted the recipe found on allrecipes.com.

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup ice water
  • 8 Granny Smith apples - peeled, cored and sliced
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  1. In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in water a tablespoon at a time until mixture forms a ball. Divide dough in half and shape into balls. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight. Roll one ball out to fit a 9 inch pie plate. Place bottom crust in pie plate. Roll out top crust and set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C.)
  3. In a large bowl, combine sliced apples, sugar, 1 tablespoon flour and cinnamon. Mix well and pour into pie shell. Dot with remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Cover with top crust, seal edges, and cut away excess dough. Make several small slits in the top to allow steam to escape.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 60 minutes, or until golden brown.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Grilled Apples

I bought some super yummy organic chicken apple sausage and I cooked them on the grill along with a few apples. Here is apple recipe #3, Grilled Apples. Core and slice 3 apples into thick slices, coat the apples with some honey and sprinkle on a little cinnamon. Place on the grill and grill on medium until the apples start to soften and they turn beautifully brown and caramelized!! Enjoy

Potatoes on the Grill

Little Foodie has a new LOVE, potatoes!! As a toddler she wouldn't eat them but we would continue to have her try them until one day she would eat them with out complaints, they weren't her favorite but she would eat them. Now at six years old she LOVES potatoes, especially oven baked with different herbs. After baking apple bread yesterday I didn't feel like putting anything else in the oven so I decided to use the outdoor grill for dinner. I placed a potato on a piece of heavy foil, sliced the potato and added olive oil, salt, pepper and smoked paprika. I wrapped the potato in the foil and placed it on a hot grill (set on high) for about 30 minutes. After I took the potatoes off of the grill I topped them with a little shredded cheese and Little Foodie was in heaven!! Ah, the joy of carbohydrates!!

Apple Breakfast Bread

I am continuing to restock my freezer with breakfast treats, so here is apple recipe number 2. We haven't tasted it yet but it looked yummy coming out of the oven and it smelled heavenly!!! I adapted the recipe from one found on allrecipes.com.

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup of milk
  • 2 apples - peeled, cored and chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease an 8x4 inch loaf pan.
  2. In a bowl, mix the butter and sugar until smooth and creamy. Beat in the eggs.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, vanilla and milk. Mix into the butter mixture until moistened. Fold in the apples. Transfer to the prepared loaf pan.
  4. Bake 1 hour in the preheated oven, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Homemade Applesauce

Little Foodie and I went apple picking over the weekend and came home with over 12lbs of apples. Let the apple cooking begin!!! I decided to start with an easy apple dish, homemade applesauce. Little Foodie LOVES it and she especially liked it warm right off of the stove, and asks me to heat it up each time she eats it. I adapted this recipe from one found on simplyrecipes.com.
  • 3 to 4 lbs of peeled, cored, and quartered apples. (tart cooking apples work best)
  • Juice of one lemon, about 3-4 Tbsp
  • 3 cinnamon stick
  • 3/4 cup of dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt

1 Put all ingredients into a large pot. Cover. Bring to boil. Lower heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes.

2 Remove from heat. Remove cinnamon sticks . Mash with potato masher.

Ready to serve, either hot or refrigerated. Delicious with vanilla ice cream or vanilla yogurt.

Freezes easily, lasts up to one year in a cold freezer.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Trinidadian Chicken Stew

Little Foodie and I have a small addiction to the the Food Network and we especially like to watch Giada!! Last week we watched an episode where she made Trinidadian Chicken Stew and Little Foodie said "I need you to make that mommy" as she licked her lips. I made it last night and it was yummy!! The hardest part was getting the brown sugar just right so keep an eye on it during that part of the recipe. We enjoyed our stew over some rice :) I found the recipe on Foodnetwork.com.
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 2 skinless and boneless chicken breasts, halved
  • 4 small skinless, bone-in chicken thighs
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
  • 4 whole peeled canned tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 3 carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 3 medium Yukon gold potatoes (about 1 pound), peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups water

In a heavy bottomed 4-quart saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the sugar and cook, stirring occasionally, until very dark, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the chicken pieces, ginger, 1 teaspoon of salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently until the chicken is brown, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and break up with a wooden spoon. Add the thyme, 2 tablespoons of parsley, carrots, potatoes, and hot water. Cover the pan and simmer until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender, about 40 to 45 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Transfer to serving bowls and garnish with the remaining parsley.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Cranberry Pumpkin Muffins

I needed to restock my freezer with breakfast treats so I used the canned pumpkin that I had leftover from the pumpkin cookies to make a batch of Cranberry Pumpkin Muffins, they are the perfect morning pick-me-up!!! I adapted the recipe from one found on allrecipes.com.

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil or you can you applesauce in place of the oil
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries, chopped (I keep a bag of cranberries in my freezer!)
In a bowl, combine the first four ingredients. In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs and sugar; add the pumpkin and oil and mix well. Stir into the dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in the cranberries. Fill foil-or paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full. Bake at 400 degrees F for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

I LOVE anything pumpkin and my love of pumpkin has finally worn off on Little Foodie. Today was a beautiful fall day so we decided it was time to break out the canned pumpkin and make a yummy sweet treat. This recipe was adapted from a recipe found on allrecipes.com.

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup quick cooking oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup apple sauce
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup coconut
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Combine the flour, oats, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and salt; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the apple sauce, oil, and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg and vanilla then stir in the pumpkin puree. Gradually stir in the dry ingredients until well blended. Mix in chocolate chips and coconut. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto greased cookie sheets.
  3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Everything but the Kitchen Sink!

If you are looking for a good way to use up leftover veggies and have a healthy budget friendly meal, making a stir-fry is the way to go!! Tonight I used thin sliced boneless pork chops (pork is very inexpensive!) that I cut into thin strips and then I sauteed them in a little sesame oil, with a little soy sauce and fresh minced garlic. Then I went to the fridge and pulled out some leftover green beans, and the leftover peppers and mushrooms from the make your own pizza party. I cooked the meat and veggies together, adding a little fresh ginger and some chicken broth. I cooked some rice in the steamer and I had a healthy quick dinner on the table in less than a 1/2 hour. When Little Foodie found out we were having stir-fry for dinner she was not thrilled but she knows that in our house there is only one meal prepared, no special kid meals, so she ate dinner without any further complaints.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Homemade Soft Pretzels

Today Little Foodie had the day off from school, so after we went to the movies we came home and made a batch of homemade soft pretzels. Our pretzels did not turn out as beautiful as the one in the picture but they did turn out super yummy, we made some with salt and some with cinnamon/sugar. I put the pretzels in the freezer in individual baggies and they will make the perfect after-school snack! I found this recipe in the Oct. issue of the Everyday with Rachel Ray magazine. Enjoy!!

  • 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
  • 1 package active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 4 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons table salt
  • 1 large egg, separated
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons baking soda
  • Coarse salt, for sprinkling


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. In a small bowl, whisk together the water and yeast; let stand for 5 minutes.

  2. Using a standing mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the flour, brown sugar and table salt. Mix in the egg yolk, butter and yeast mixture on low speed until the dough is smooth and elastic, 5 to 7 minutes. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes.

  3. In a large, shallow baking dish, combine the baking soda with 2 cups warm water. On a work surface, divide the dough into 6 equal pieces. Using your hands, roll out each piece into a rope about 42 inches long; dip in the baking soda mixture for 30 seconds. Using the prepared pans as a work surface, shape each rope into a pretzel.

  4. In a small bowl, beat the egg white with 1 tablespoon water. Brush the pretzels with the egg white mixture. Sprinkle with the coarse salt and bake until deep golden, 12 to 15 minutes.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Roasted Baby Potatoes

I made these potatoes as a side dish tonight and Little Foodie went crazy for them, she told me over and over how good they were!!! The outside of the potato is crispy and the inside has the texture of mashed potatoes, yum!!! I adapted the recipe from one found on Foodnetwork.com.

  • 1 pound baby red-skinned potatoes, scrubbed
  • 2 tablespoon herbes de Provence, plus extra for garnish
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Put the potatoes into a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk the herbs, garlic, and oil together until blended, and then pour over the potatoes. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Transfer the potatoes to a heavy large baking dish, spacing them evenly apart.

Roast the potatoes until they are tender and golden, turning them occasionally with tongs, about 1 hour. Transfer the roasted potatoes to a decorative platter and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and herbes de Provence, if desired. Serve hot or warm.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Apple, Walnut and Blue Cheese Salad

This is the perfect recipe for a fall potluck, I made it for a family reunion and it was a HUGE hit; it looks better in person, the picture doesn't do it justice . You could add grilled chicken or grilled steak (steak goes perfectly with blue cheese and walnuts) and it would make a great quick dinner.

1 bag of salad greens (I used a bag of organic butter lettuce)
1 block or container of blue cheese
1 bag of walnuts
2 Red Apples, sliced (pick your favorite)

Mix all the ingredients together and enjoy with your favorite dressing!!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Make Your Own Pizza Party

I was looking for a dinner idea to satisfy the palates of my VERY PICKY nieces, they are fans of very few foods. Then pizza popped into my head, everyone likes pizza, except I was sure that they would not be happy with the toppings so I decided to have everyone make their own mini pizza. I used the recipe below to make the dough and each person was able to press out their dough and add the toppings of their choice. I had a jar of pizza sauce and then small dishes of cut up red peppers, mushrooms, olives, hot peppers, cheese, pepperoni. After the pizza's were made I wrote each persons name on a piece of tinfoil and placed it with their pizza so there were no mix-ups. My oldest niece thought that making her own pizza was the most fun she ever had!!! I am definitely going to try this again!!! I found this recipe at www.greatpartyrecipes.com.

1 package active dry yeast (2 teaspoons)
1 cup warm water (105° to 115°, no more)
3 cups all-purpose or bread flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus a little for coating

How to make pizza dough from scratch:

Dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Set aside and follow the instructions below for the method you choose.

By hand: In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar and salt. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the olive oil and yeast mixture into it. Stir until it begins to form a ball, then turn it out onto a clean, floured surface and knead for about 4 or 5 minutes.

In a mixer: Using a dough hook, combine the flour, sugar and salt. Add the liquid ingredients and mix on low until the dough begins to clump around the dough hook. Remove and knead as above.

In a dough-capable food processor: Use a plastic blade, if possible. Place the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of the food processor and mix briefly. Add the liquid ingredients slowly and process the mixture low and slow for about 2 or 3 minutes, just until the dough begins to form a ball. Remove and knead as above.

In a bread machine: Set the machine for "dough" and follow the manufacturer's instructions; pick up the pizza dough recipe directions where the bread maker leaves off.

  • Whichever method and pizza dough recipe you've chosen, your pizza dough should be a smooth, elastic ball. Lightly oil the ball and the inside of a large glass bowl. Place the dough in the bowl, cover, and let it rise in a warm place until doubled, about an hour. For better crust, punch down the dough, reshape into a ball and let it rise again. You can refrigerate or freeze the dough at this point.
  • Divide the dough into 4 equal portions, about 6 ounces each. Roll each portion into a ball, then, working on a lightly floured surface, stretch the dough and work it with your fingers or a rolling pin to form an 8-inch circle. (Let your guests prepare their own.) The outer edge of the circle should be a little thicker than the body, forming a rim. Add toppings.
  • Transfer to a pizza pan or pizza stone. Bake in a 450° pre-heated oven until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is melted, 8 to 10 minutes for a regular size pizza and 5-6minutes for a mini pizza.
  • Thursday, October 1, 2009

    Blueberry French Toast Bake

    I am always on the lookout for new breakfast ideas since Little Foodie is not a fan of breakfast cereal. I found and adapted this recipe from one of my favorite food blogs, eatathomecooks.com. It is super yummy and we had enough for a few days worth of leftovers.

    • 1 loaf French bread, cut in cubes ( I used my homemade bread)
    • 6 eggs
    • 1 3/4 cup milk
    • 2 tsp. sugar
    • 2 tsp. cinnamon
    • 2 tsp. vanilla
    • a pinch of salt
    • 12 oz. frozen blueberries
    • 1/3 cup brown sugar

    Spray a 9×13 pan with cooking spray and place the cubed bread in it. In a bowl, combine the eggs, milk, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and salt. Pour over the bread. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

    Take the baking dish from the fridge and turn the oven to 350 degrees. Add the blueberries and brown sugar on top of the bread, cover with foil. Place on the middle rack and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Enjoy!