Monday, September 28, 2009

Teddy Bear Cake

There's a hilarious old lady who lives across the street from Jesse's house. We love her.
Her birthday is tomorrow and Jesse's mom asked me to make a cake for her with two specific directions: make it low sugar (she's diabetic) and have some sort of teddy bear theme.

Piece of cake, right?!

I thought so! Here's my low sugar, diabetic friendly, teddy bear cake.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Pasta Sauce from scratch

I haven't gotten to cook very much lately becasue school is taking over! I've been living off canned beans and sandwiches. Blah!

I was planning on making this last week, but I slept in the day I was going to, and that's kind of how the whole week turned out. Good news: I got to make this yesterday! Yay!And, I loved knowing exactly what was in my pasta sauce.

I got the idea from my favorite blog, thanks!


--handful of sundried tomatos, chopped
--1/2 onion, chopped
--2T garlic
--2T capers, drained
--1T basil (or Italian seasoning)
--1/2 cup frozen peas

Start Cookin':

Put everything except peas in the crockpot and cook on low for about 4 or 5 hours. About 30 minutes before you want to eat, add the peas and cook the pasta.

Serve over pasta.
I used the leftovers on top of a veggie burger for my lunch the next day. It was great on that as well.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Tortilla Pizza

My boyfriend's family 'invented' these. I love them, along with everybody else that tries them. After they're done cooking, you can't even recognize the crust as a tortilla. It turns into a great Chicago style thin-crust pizza.


Large flour tortillas (one per pizza)
1 jar pizza sauce
2 c. shredded cheese
butter (completely melted)
Italian seasoning
Garlic seasoning (we have Garlic Gharni, we bought it at an art fair, it's amazing) Buy it here: Garlic Festival
Pizza toppings (peperoni, olives, ham and pineapple...)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Spread some melted butter on the outside of the tortilla, about an inch wide.
Spread sauce, cheese and toppings on pizzas.
Sprinkle Italian and garlic seasonings on top.

Place straight in oven until the cheese bubbles and the tortilla has morphed into Chicago-style, thin-crust pizza.

Bon Bons

My mum always used to joke about watching soap operas and eating bon bons while I was at school. I never knew what a bon bon was--until now. Now I know why this used to be her fantasy. Yum.

1 1/2 c. rice krispies
1 1/4 c. peanut butter (smooth)
1 c. graham cracker crumbs (process them in a blender/ food processor or buy the pre-smashed kind; they need to be very fine)
1/2 c. powdered sugar
dark chocolate to melt and dip bon bons in

Get Cookin'

Mix cereal, peanut butter, graham cracker crumbs and powdered sugar together. Refrigerate as long as possible (min. one hour).

Shape mixture into small, round balls. I used a round tablespoon to do this. Tip: spray with cooking oil before so they don't stick.

Melt the chocolate in a double broiler and dip each ball. Place on wax and refrigerate for another hour.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Bruschetta Grilled Cheese

It's pretty basic today. But, you can't beat it.

2 slices of bread
Cheddar cheese slices
tomato slices
sliced, fresh basil
balsamic vinaigrette

Make sandwich then grill on George Forman.

Chicken Salad Panini

I love chicken salad. I love panini sandwiches. This is the best of both worlds.

2 1/2 c chopped, cooked chicken breasts
1/4 c light mayo
2 T bacon bits
1 green onion
1 T ranch dressing
8 slices of bread
1 tomato, sliced
4 cheddar cheese slices

Mix first 5 ingredients and spread onto 4 bread slices. Top with tomatoes, cheese and other bread slices.

Use good old George Forman to grill the sandwich until golden.

Italino Spread

I love elegant appetizers. This is a bonus--it's really easy, too! You can do this on the grill or in the oven. I made mine on the grill. Thanks, Kraft Foods for the recipe!

1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese
1/4 c pesto
1 plum tomato, chopped
1/4 c shreadded italian five cheese blend
Crackers to spread cheese on (I used Triscuits)
Heat grill (or oven).

Place unwrapped cream cheese on a square of foil; top with pesto, tomatoes and shredded cheese. Place foil on grill (or oven to 375) for about 8 minutes (oven about 12 minutes). The shredded cheese should be melted, but the cream cheese shouldn't loose it's shape.

Berry Good Salad

I eat salad for lunch everyday. Each week I try to find new ways to make my salads more interesting. Here's last week's salad.

Manderin oranges
Fresh raspverries
Shredded mozzarella cheese
Sliced almonds

Put over salad greens and drizzle over vinaigrette dressing.

Creamy Potato Salad

I love potato salad, but hate the extra calories most of them have. Here's a healthier version, thanks to Kraft foods.

1 lb. red potatoes (about 4), cut into chunks
1/4 c Zesty Italian Dressing
1/3 c light mayo
1 1/2 t dijon mustard
1 hard boiled egg, chopped
4 green onions, sliced

Cook potatoes in saucepan of boiling water for about 15 minutes or just until tender; drain. Rinse with cold water and allow them to cool.

Mix the dressings and mustard in large bowl. Add potatoes, eggs and onions, mix lightly.

Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Berries with Maple Cream

I made this for a Mother's Day brunch I made last year. Everybody loved it. Next time, I would double the recipe because everybody wanted seconds. This is an elegant, easy side dish for a nice breakfast or brunch. Thanks, Rachael Ray!

1 c heavy cream
2 T pure maple syrup
3 c assorted berries (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, or strawberries)
grated peel of 1 lemon

In large bowl, beat the cream until soft peaks form. Add maple syrup and beat until the cream hold still peaks. Set aside.

In another bowl, toss the berries with the peel. Divide among bowls and top with the maple cream.

Blueberry Bars

I love organic blueberry oat bars from Starbucks. This is the closest recipe I've found. It was gone in two days.

1 c flour
1/2 c old-fashioned oats
1/2 c brown sugar, packed
1/2 c (1 stick) chilled butter, cut into cubes

1 1/2 c fresh blueberries (or 6 oz. unthawed frozen berries)
1/2 c blackberry preserves
1/2 T flour

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line an 8 inch metal pan with foil and spray foil with cooking spray. I just sprayed the pan the first time I made these, and it was messy. Use the foil.

Pulse the flour, oats, sugar, salt and cinnamon together in food processor bowl. Add butter and pulse until you get a coarse meal. Transfer 1 cup to a medium bowl. This will be the topping.

Press the remaining crumb mixture evenly onto bottom of the pan. Bake until golden until it is just firm to the touch. It should take about 12 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes.

Mix filling ingredients in medium bowl. Spread evenly over crust in pan, then sprinkle saved topping over.

Bake for 30 minutes or until the filling bubbles and the top is golden.

Banana Breakfast Bars

I can make this for breakfast and it lasts for the whole week. I like this because it doesn't have butter, like most recipes do. It also doesn't have any added sugar, which is another plus. This does make a lot--maybe even cut the recipe in half. But, it freezes well.

1/2 c applesauce
3/4 c honey
1 egg
1/2 t salt
1/2 t cinnamon
2 mashed bananas
4c Quaker oats
1/2 c raisins
1/2 c almonds
1/2 c sunflower seeds

Mix applesauce and honey; add everything else. Spray the pans.
Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

Caprese Salad

Another salad idea. I love caprese, so why not turn it into an entire lunch? Think about all the nutrients here--anti-oxidants and calcium.

Put mozzarella, tomatoes, fresh basil and oregano over mixed greens. Drizzle balsamic and EVOO on top.

Plantation Chicken Salad

There was a great coffee shop by my summer internship that I loved to go to on my lunch break. I ate this salad all summer and I've tried to recreate it. No measurements here, just a good mixture of foods for a salad.

Fire roasted chicken
Mandarin oranged
Candied pecans
Ground black pepper

Put ingredients on a bed of baby spinich and mix.


I love hummus. It's great to dip fresh veggies in, especially celery. I usually buy the ready made hummus, but found this recipe in the Arizona Republic.

15 oz. can cannelloni beans, drain&rinsed
1 1/2 T lemon uice
1 1/2 T olive oil
1 large garlic clove
3/4 t cumin
1/4 plain yogurt

Put everything in the food processor and puree. Eat. Yum.

Baked Snowball Granola Apples

I made these with my dad when my mum was on vacation. We loved them, and enjoyed them almost every night while mum was gone. She missed out.

I'm not sure where I got this recipe, if anyone knows, please let me know so I can give credit where credit is due.

4 large Macintosh apples
1 cup granola
1/2 cup maple syrup
Flavored or plain yogurt for topping

Core each apple and fill with granola then drizzle maple syrup on top. Place in slow cooker and add one inch of water to the bottom of the pan.

Cook on low for 3-4 hours. After removing, top apples with yogurt so the apple resembles a snowball.

Hot and Sour Soup

Another winning recipe from A Year of Slow Cooking. This really wasn't filling enough for a meal, but maybe adding some fried rice on the side or some other delicious Asian dish. The original recipe used water and chicken broth, but I think it needed a bit more flavor.

1 cup cubed firm tofu
4 cups chicken broth
1 package sliced mushrooms
1 can bamboo shoots
1 can sliced water chestnuts
2T soy sauce
1t sesame oil
2T rice wine vinegar
1/2t red pepper flakes
green onion for garnish

Add everything except the green onion. Cook on low for 7-9 hours or high 4-5 hours.
When finished, add green onion on top.

Honey Lentils

Another recipe from A Year of Slow Cooking! I love lentils. They're filling, good for you, and cheap! They also are very delicious in the crockpot. yummm. I didn't use the garbanzo beans or the ginger because I didn't have any, and I figured the lentils had enough protein for me.

1 1/2 cup lentils
3 cup water
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 can garbanzo beans
1/2 cup shredded carrot
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dried mustard
1/4 tsp ground ginger
2 T soy sauce
1/3 cup honey
1 dried bay leaf

Rinse of the lentils and put them in the crockpot with water, onion, carrots and the garbanzo beans. Add everything else too.

Cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for 3-5. I always like cooking things on low, if I have the option because it allows the flavors to amalgamate better.

Serve honey lentils by themselves, or over rice.

Hawaiian Crock Pot Chicken

This was my first crock pot meal, thanks to A Year of Slow Cooking!I love Stephanie's recipes! Anyway--here it is:


Enough chicken for 4 (it can still be frozen)
20 oz. can of pineapple chunks
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Plop the chicken into the crockpot. Drain pineapple, add the chunks, soy sauce and red pepper flakes.

Cook on low for 4-6 hours, or on high for 3-4.

Serve over rice, quinoa, or fresh spinach.

Chick Pea and tomato Curry

This is a great meatless curry that doesn't require a lot of funky ingredients. Most Indian food recipes require so many ingredients and spices, I skip them. I don't have room in my tiny apartment for a ton of spices! The Betty Crocker website has a variety of recipes, including dinner recipes--that's where I found this one! Who knew Betty Crocker could make Indian food!?

Warning: this took longer than expected. But, I think it could easily be converted to cook in the crockpot. YAY!


1 tablespoon EVOO
1/2 cup chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped gingerroot
1 tablespoon curry powder
2 cans (15 oz. each) chick peas
2 cans (15 oz. each) fire roasted diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2 chop finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
Hot cooked rice, (to put the curry on top of)
Plain yogert, (just a dollop for each serving on top of the curry)

1. In saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Cook onion, garlic, gingerroot and curry powder in oil for about 2 minutes, stirring frequently.

2. Stir in chick peas and tomatoes. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in cilantro, lemon juice and salt.

3. Serve over rice; top each serving with yogert.

Chicken Chickpea Curry Bowls

I love everything Rachael Ray and I love Indian food. What a great combination! I used brown rice instead of white and omitted the ground chicken she suggested. Other than that, I followed the recipe exactly. Enjoy!

1 cup brown rice
2 cups water
1 tablespoons EVOO
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons curry powder
1 cup plain yogurt
1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
1 14.5-ounce can chick peas
A handful cilantro, chopped

Get Cookin'

Cook the rice according to package directions.
Once the rice has started to cook (mine takes about 45 minutes), start cooking the onion in a skillet with some EVOO.
Sprinkle with the curry powder and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the yogurt and simmer gently for 3 minutes, adding a splash of water if it needs to loosen up a little. Stir in some salt, pepper, the tomatoes and chickpeas then remove from heat.
Divide the rice and chicken mixture among individual bowls and garnish with the cilantro.

Cheeseburger Chili Mac and Cheese

Crockpot Cheeseburger Chili Mac and Cheese

This was delicious! I actually modified it to cook in the crock pot all day from a Rachael Ray recipe that used the stove top. I also changed the spices to give it a real kick. Plus, the carrot gives us a little vegetable. At least it's something! Jesse and I loved this!


  • 1 1/2 pounds ground sirloin
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon cayenne pepper (this gives is a MAJOR kick, just use 2 Tbsp of chili powder if you don't like spicy foods) :)
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup yellow mustard
  • 2 cups beef stock (it will cook down in the crock all day)
  • Half a box of elbow macaroni
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded sharp yellow cheddar (the sharper the better!)
  • 1 shredded carrot
Yields: 4 servings

Add spices, ketchup, mustard, beef stock, carrot and beef in crockpot. You can put raw meat in the crockpot; it is safe! This saves a lot of time, too.

About 20 minutes before you'd like to eat, boil water and drop the pasta in. Cook to al dente and then toss in crockpot to mix with everything else for a little bit. Mix the cheese in too.