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Crispy Sweet Potato-Green Onion Cakes
Serve these savory little numbers with a dollop of sour cream and a squeeze of lime as a crunchy appetizer or a dish to accompany roasted or grilled meats or fish.

4 medium-size sweet potatoes (about 2 1/4 lb.)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup flour
2 red jalapeño peppers, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions, divided
1/4 cup canola oil
Lime wedges

1. Pierce 1 sweet potato several times with a fork. Place on a microwave-safe plate; cover with damp paper towels. Microwave at HIGH 8 to 10 minutes or until tender. Let stand 5 minutes. Peel potato, and place in a medium bowl; mash with a fork. Peel remaining sweet potatoes, and grate, using the large holes of a box grater. Stir grated potatoes into mashed potato. Gently stir in eggs, next 3 ingredients, and 1/4 cup green onions just until combined.
2. Pour oil into a 12-inch cast-iron skillet, and heat over medium heat to 350°. Carefully drop mixture by tablespoonfuls, in batches, into hot oil, pressing lightly to flatten. Cook 5 to 6 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Place drained sweet potato cakes on a wire rack over an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet. Keep warm in a 200° oven up to 30 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup green onions just before serving. Serve with lime wedges.


1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
1 green onion, minced
2 teaspoons chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1 (8-oz.) package assorted mini sweet peppers
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Heat a 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat 5 minutes. Whisk together feta cheese, yogurt, minced green onion, mint, 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice, and 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil in a small bowl. Stir in salt and pepper to taste. Let stand at room temperature until ready to use. Toss mini sweet peppers with 1 Tbsp. oil; sprinkle with desired amount of salt. Cook peppers in hot skillet over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, 8 minutes or until charred and slightly wilted. Transfer peppers to a plate; drizzle with 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice. Serve with feta mixture.

Jalapeno Bites

10685488_10154737013450055_551268053339777953_nI am highly addicted to jalapeno poppers but may never make them again after realizing how much easier these bites are to make.  And right now, easy is kind of necessary.  Next time I make them I am going to add some chopped, cooked bacon.  My hubby even suggested crab….with seasonings to taste like crab rangoon.  It is a great base that you could change up easily.

1 8 oz. package of softened cream cheese

2 c. grated Parmesan cheese

1 egg

4 jalapenos chopped (I remove the seeds and veins)

Combine all ingredients and roll about a tablespoon into a ball.  Roll in bread crumbs (I use Panko for the extra crunch).  Place on a greased cookie sheet and bake 10-15 minutes at 350 degrees.  (I was not at home so I didn’t have parchment paper and even with spraying the pan they stuck a little so be careful removing them from the pan)  Cool just a little but serve warm.  They are AMAZING.

Note: because I didn’t have fresh jalapenos I used a jar of Tamed Jalapenos.  It wasn’t quite flavorful enough for me so I added Pensey’s Sandwich Sprinkle seasoning.  You could really add any seasoning you want to the basic cheese mixture.

Crab Rangoon bites

Use the same recipe above but instead of jalapeno use the following ingredients:

  • 1 clove garlic, minced

    1 (6 ounce) can crab meat, drained and flaked

    2 green onions with tops, thinly sliced

    2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

    1/2 teaspoon light soy sauce

  • Combine, roll in a ball, roll in bread crumbs and bake 10-15 minutes at 350 degrees

Now I’m wondering what other options would be good.  I saw the original recipe on Trisha Yearwood’s Food Network show.


Two-Ingredient Pumpkin Cake with Apple Cider Glaze

For the Cake:
1 Yellow Cake Mix ( I used a Spice cake mix and really liked the flavor)
1 15 ounce can of pumpkin puree

For the Glaze:
1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 Tablespoons apple cider
3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Empty the contents of the boxed cake mix and pumpkin puree into a large bowl.  Using a hand-mixer or stand mixer beat until well incorporated.  The batter will be very thick, but will come together nicely.

Pour batter into a greased  7 x 11 X 2 pan.  This is the small, rectangular-sized pan from your Pyrex set.  You know, the set you had to have when you got married and rarely ever used all the pieces.  Finally, you have a use for it.

Bake at 350 degrees for 28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Do not overbake.

Let cool for 5-10 minutes in the pan, then flip onto a platter.

Make the glaze while you’re waiting.

Combine powdered sugar, apple cider and pumpkin pie spice.  Glaze should be thick but pourable.  Add more sugar or cider if needed.  Pour over the cake while still warm.  Reserve some to pour over each slice when served.

Serve warm or room temperature.

Broccoli Sandwich

Broccoli Sandwiches
by Angela Gaines
Serves 2

1 head broccoli
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
Fresh-ground black pepper
4 slices country-style bread
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature
½ cup shredded Gruyère
½ cup aged cheddar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cut florets from head of broccoli, halving the larger ones lengthwise, and arrange on a sheet pan with garlic. Drizzle with 1 Tbsp. oil, season with salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Roast broccoli for 7-10 minutes, or until it begins to brown.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Spread one side each of two slices of bread and place them in skillet, buttered sides down. Sprinkle Gruyère on top of one slice and cheddar on the other. Place roasted broccoli on top of cheddar slice.

When the cheese has melted, about 5 minutes, take the Gruyère slice and place atop other slice so the Gruyère meets the broccoli. Using a spatula, press down. Flip sandwich and press down again with spatula. (Both sides of the bread should be nicely toasted.) Repeat with the other bread slices. 

Remove from heat, cut in half, and serve immediately.


1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup Italian (flat-leaf) parsley leaves, minced
2 tablespoons fresh dill, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Dash hot sauce
1 to 2 chipotle peppers
1 clove garlic, smashed
1/4 to 1/2 cup buttermilk (as needed for desired consistency)
3 pounds carrots, cut into batons
3 packages celery, cut into batons
6 cucumbers, cut into batons


In a food processor or blender, combine the mayonnaise, sour cream, parsley, dill, chives, Worcestershire sauce, black pepper, vinegar, paprika, salt, cayenne, hot sauce, chipotle peppers and garlic. Add the buttermilk to the desired consistency and blend. Chill for a couple of hours before serving, thinning with more buttermilk if needed.

Serve the carrots, celery and cucumbers with the dip.
From The Pioneer Woman

 Sweet and savory breakfast rolls or dinner rolls….

this is an easy recipe and there are so many ways to bake them up




This recipe makes 2..  9×13 pans of cinnamon rolls.  You can also use the dough to make dinner rolls in any shape you want.

3/4 c. sugar 1/2 c. shortening (not butter)
cream together

Dissolve 5 tsp. yeast in 1 c. warm water (around 110 degrees)
Let sit for 5 minutes.
Add to the sugar/shortening creamed mixture.
Add 1 Tbsp. of salt and 2 more cups of warm water.

Then add at least 7 cups of flour…incorporate slowly…
IMPORTANT: the dough should still be VERY SLIGHTLY sticky….too much flour
will make them tough. I usually make it to 8 cups of flour…but start with 7.

Put dough in LARGE bowl, cover with a towel and let it rise. I turn my oven on to 170 degrees for a few minutes to warm it then turn the heat off. And I have no idea how long it takes it to rise…But it will get BIG and puffy.

The dough can be used as is to make dinner rolls…any shape you like. Or divide dough in half…roll it out to about a jelly roll size pan (11×17 I think)…mine is bigger sometimes.

I use 1 stick of butter for the entire recipe to be made into cinnamon rolls. So pour 1/4 c. of melted butter on the rolled out dough…sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon…add nuts or even fruit.
Place in a greased pan so they are touching and put back in warm oven, covered to rise again.

Bake at 375 degrees for about 15 minutes….sometimes they may need a little more time. It is kind of an art so you’ll figure it all out as you bake them. Depends how thick you cut your rolls.

ENJOY! I make a glaze with a little melted butter, powdered sugar and a little milk…then add vanilla or almond extract for flavor….no idea how much…do it by taste. I even added Pumpkin Pie spice once…..experiment. You could just use a bit of cinnamon with some sugar, grated lemon rind and blueberries.


UPDATE:  So it was my Friday to make breakfast for my hubby’s office and I thought about making one pan of regular cinnamon rolls and then because I was bored I decided to make the second 9 x 13 something different.  To add some protein to the breakfast I decided to make a savory breakfast roll.  I picked up some of our favorite pork breakfast sausage and some sharp cheddar cheese. I rolled out half of the yeast dough, spread it with some softened butter and loaded it up with a little over a pound of the cooked, drained sausage.  I patted the sausage down a bit to get any extra grease off of it, spread it around and sprinkled on the cheese. Then I just rolled it up and cut it like the sweet cinnamon roll instructions above and baked it.  It took the same amount of time as the sweet roll version and when it came out I realized I had to top it off with some of Penzey’s Sandwich Sprinkle…which is a heavenly blend of herbs.


Source: iStock


  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ cups old-fashioned rolled oats (not instant)
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • Nonstick cooking spray

Directions: Heat the waffle iron according to the manufacturer’s instructions. In a large bowl, whisk the butter and brown sugar until smooth. Whisk in the eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir in the oats and chocolate chips.

Coat the grids of the waffle iron with nonstick cooking spray. Use a tablespoon or small ice cream scoop to portion out a cookie onto each waffle square. Close the iron and cook until set and beginning to brown, 1-1/2 to 3 minutes, depending on the heat of your waffle iron. Use a thin metal spatula to transfer the cooked cookies to a wire rack and repeat with the remaining dough, coating the grids with spray as necessary.   Makes about 24 cookies


Brown Sugar Peach Cobbler (darn close to grandma Barbara’s version)

10 peaches, peeled and sliced

1/3 cup flour         1 heaping Tablespoon of cornstarch

1/2 cup white sugar         1/2 cup brown sugar       1/4 tsp Vietnamese Cinnamon

1/4 cup butter                    Pie crust enough for 3 crusts

1 egg and water….scramble the egg and add a tiny bit of water, then mix.  This is used to brush on top of cobbler.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Score an x through the skin on the bottom of each peach.  Bring a LARGE pot of water to a boil and gently drop each peach in and leave about 30 seconds.  Then move the peach into a large bowl of ICE water and the skins will easily peel after that.

IMG_5169The picture above shows the peaches post skinning.  You can see how much scoring I did on one of them.  Some were scored deeper than others.

Mix up the flour, cinnamon, cornstarch, white sugar, brown sugar and butter.  Mix to make a crumbly mixture.


To make it easy I use frozen pie crust.  I let three of them thaw and turn out one gently into the bottom of a large casserole dish.  It will break up a bit, but just smoosh it back together to make a kind of sort of pastry layer.  I baked it for 6 minutes in a 400 degree oven.  Then I turned out the next pie crust onto one of the parchment papers the pie crusts came with and smooshed it out to the same sort of size.  This time I baked it for 10 minutes.  I want it baked more so it doesn’t turn to gooey dough as the middle layer of the cobbler.   I turn out the third layer but don’t bake it before placing on top of cobbler for final bake.  (You can use any size pan you have for the amount of your peaches…or any fruit that you would like to use)

IMG_5168 IMG_5167The crusts smooshed out to fit the square dish are not pretty and that’s just okay. I use a fork to prick the crusts so they won’t bubble up while baking.

Once those two layers are partially baked I put one layer of sliced peaches on top of the bottom crust.  Then I sprinkle the peaches with half the crumb mixture.  Then gently place the 10 minute baked crust on top of the the fruit/crumb layer.  Then repeat with more peaches and the last layer of crumbs.  Finally gently lay the last pressed out pie crust on top.  Below is a picture of the frozen pie crust that I thawed turned over onto the parchment paper.  Then I just smoosh it out.

IMG_5175 IMG_5178

And on must use Trader Joe’s Cinnamon Sugar Grinder mix

on top of the egg washed crust before baking it.

And this is what it looks like when you transfer the prebaked middle crust onto the first layer of fruit.  IT BREAKS….but who cares, its not going to be seen and I don’t even care about pretty for the top crust.  Its the flavor people….and GLORY IS THIS A WONDROUS COBBLER.

IMG_5173 IMG_5180

Brush with egg/water mixture and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.

Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350 degrees for another 30 minutes.

And this is what comes out of the oven….this glorious messy peachy wonder.  It didn’t actually come out missing a big corner, but when a good friend comes over as its coming out of the oven you just HAVE to send some home with her.

IMG_5181For years my husband talked about his grandmothers cobbler and how amazing it was.  It took me some years of growing into being a baker to figure out my own version since there was no written recipe.  Two years ago I figured out how to prebake two of the crust layers so they weren’t a soggy NASTY mess.  Then I made a peach pie with some brown sugar, really GOOD cinnamon and some nutmeg and I do believe that I have matched the elusive “Grandma Barbara’s Cobbler”.  It has only taken me 32 years of marriage and really I gave up a long time ago trying to make what my husband remembered because I was no where near her version.  Bless my hubby’s heart, he loved what I made but would still talk about HER cobbler.  Its a good thing!



Chocolate Graham Cracker Cupcakes with Toasted Marshmallow


Cupcake batter:

  • 2¼ cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup plus 1 tablespoon cocoa powder (not Dutch-processed)
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1½ cups graham cracker crumbs (from about 20 squares)
  • ⅓ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped


  • 8 large egg whites
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two standard muffin tins with cupcake liners; set aside. Sift 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together into the bowl of an electric mixer. Using the paddle attachment, mix ingredients together on low speed.

In a large bowl, mix together eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla. Add to flour mixture and beat on medium speed for 30 seconds. Scrape down sides of bowl and continue mixing on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add boiling water and stir to combine; set cake batter aside.

Place graham cracker crumbs, remaining ¼ cup sugar, and melted butter in a large bowl; stir until well combined. Place 1 tablespoon graham cracker mixture into the bottom of each prepared muffin cup. Use the bottom of a small glass to pack crumbs into the bottom of each cupcake liner. Reserve remaining graham cracker mixture for topping.

Place 2 teaspoons chocolate in each muffin cup. Transfer muffin tins to oven and bake until the edges of the graham cracker mixture are golden, about 5 minutes. Remove from oven and fill each muffin cup three-quarters full with cake batter. Sprinkle each with remaining chocolate and graham cracker mixture. Return to oven and bake, rotating pans halfway through baking, until tops are firm and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer muffin tins to a wire rack and let cupcakes cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan and let cool completely.

To make the frosting, place egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar in the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer. Set over a saucepan with simmering water. Whisk constantly until sugar is dissolved and whites are warm to the touch, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer bowl to electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat, starting on low speed, gradually increasing to high, until stiff, glossy peaks form, 5 to 7 minutes. Add vanilla and mix until combined. Use immediately.

Transfer frosting to a large pastry bag fitted with a large plain round or French tip. Pipe frosting in a spiral motion on each cupcake. Transfer cupcakes to a baking sheet. Using a kitchen torch, lightly brown the frosting, taking care not to burn the cupcake liners. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container for up to two days.