Sunday, November 29, 2009

Wintermint Wafers

Just another yummy Holiday cookie recipe that my family and friends could never go without. I am always asked to bake Winter-mint cookies. What i like about them is that I am able to bake them in advance, allowing them to be in the freezer for a month and when eating them they still taste as if they were freshly baked.

Makes 3 dozen cookies

1 Cup of unsalted butter softened
1 cup of confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
1 teaspoon of salt
1 cup unsweetened coca powder
1 1/2 cups flour

1lb semi sweet chocolate chopped
1 teaspoon peppermint extract


In large bowl, beat butter and sugar with electric beater until light and fluffy. stir in peppermint extract followed by salt and cocoa powder. Add flour and mix together.

Divide dough in two pieces and place each on large sheet of plastic wrap. Flatten dough to about .5 inches thickness. Wrap and refrigerate until it becomes firm enough to roll out. (this can take anywhere between 30-60 minutes)

Preheat oven to 350. Remove chilled dough and place between two sheets of parchment paper. Roll out dough into 1/8 inch thickness. Use your favorite cookie cutters to cut into desired shapes and place on parchment lined baking sheets.

Bake for about 5-6 minutes. Remove cookies from oven, cool pan 3-4 minutes and remove cookies onto a wire rack to cool completely.


Place chocolate into a large dish and microwave for 30 seconds on high, stir and continue to microwave in 10-20 second intervals, stirring after each time until chocolate is melted and smooth. Stir in peppermint extract.

To frost cookies place one cookie on slotted spatula and dip into chocolate making sure to coat cookie completely. Lift cookie out and allow excess chocolate to drip off. Sprinkle with you favorite holiday candies if you so desire. Place cookie onto wire cooling rack to set chocolate set.

Place cookies in freezer for 1 hour to set before storing or serving. Best if stored in airtight container for up to one week or freezer up to one month.

Baked Mac and Cheeses w/ Ham and Broccoli

I have never been a huge fan of Mac and Cheese, however my husband lived on the blue boxed Mac and Cheese throughout college and until this day he can never get enough. After reading the label on the box I told him that I would never buy that stuff again. I decided that I would try to create something a little more "healthy" without all the additives. I think I have become successful and coming up with a recipe that will satisfy my husband's "cravings" and also satisfy me in the fact that I found a way of getting him and my son to eat extra veggies.

1 lb box of elbow mac you can use wheat or white pasta (I only use whole wheat)
5 Tbls of unsalted butter
5 Tblp of flour
5 cups of milk (I use 2% and it comes out great)
2 Tbls salt
1 Tbls of cracked black pepper (optional)
1 lb grated cheese (I used 2% cheddar)
1 8-10oz Ham steak with fat trimmed off and chopped into small bite size pieces
2 large crowns of Broccoli
1/3 cup bread crumbs


Preheat over to 350

Cook pasta according to boxed directions. once cooked drain, and rinse under hot water. Put pasta back into stockpot and set aside.

In medium skillet brown chopped ham steak. Once cooked place in stockpot with pastas and set aside.

In a steamer steam broccoli for about 4 minutes (broccoli should still be firm) once time is up remove from steamer and cut into pieces and place in stockpot.

Over medium heat melt butter in large sauce pan. Once butter is melted add flour. Let cook until mixture becomes slightly browned. Add milk and stir until it is boiling and has thicken.

Mix in salt and add cheese in slowly keep stirring until cheese is fully melted and smooth. Once this is done add all the cheese mixture into the stockpot and mix together well.

Pour mixture into a 13x9 SPRAYED glass baking dish and top with bread crumbs. Bake for 30 minutes and until bubbling around the edges.

Let mac rest for 2-3 minutes before serving.

Almond Butter Buckeyes

In the mist of the Holiday season I find myself looking up recipes for sweets. I guess it is the only time of the year that we can be naughty and not feel so bad about it. This recipe almost reminds me of a truffle. I love the fact that it is a not baking recipe and the fact that it isn't complex like some other recipes that I have come across over the years. I got this recipe from one of my good friends, I'm not sure where she got it from being that she doesn't seem to cook or bake anything but I decided to give it a try seeing that it doesn't seem to take much effort and time. They came out so good that they made their way into my Thanksgiving platters for my next door neighbors.

Thanks Joanna for sharing this recipe!

Again if you try this recipe let me know how it comes out. I welcome all feedback good or bad. ENJOY!

1 Cup butter soften
1 1/4 cups almond butter
3 tablespoons dark rum or 1 1/2 TEASPOON RUM EXTRACT
1 teaspoon almond extract
3 3/4 to 4 cups confectioners' sugar SHIFTED (I use 3 1/2 cups sugar)

12oz bittersweet chocolate chopped

In large bowl combine butter rum, almond extract and sugar using an electric mixer. Dough should appear to be smooth and firm. Shape dough into 1 inch balls and place them onto parchment lined baking sheets. Refrigerate until firm. this should take about 45-60 minutes

Coating melt chocolate in shallow dish in microwave. (I add a tablespoon of cream when melting the chocolate) Heat 30 seconds stir then continue process 10 second intervals stirring after each time, until chocolate is melted and smooth.

To dip ball inset a toothpick into ball. Dip into melted chocolate leaving a small circle of dough visible at the top. Place ball back onto parchment paper to dry until chocolate is firm. Best if consumed in 3 days from the time that they are made.


Mount Rainier Macaroons

One day my husband and I were at the store doing our grocery shopping and he picks up a box of macaroons... you know the ones there the bottoms are dipped in chocolate. Anyway I told him to put them back because they looked old, and that if he really wanted some then I would make it myself. His response was "you always say you know how to make it... but you never seem to make it for me". So this year I decided that I would bake him a batch just to prove him wrong.

I think the day that I baked them my husband was so happy, he finished them all within a 3 day span. This whole process does take some time BUT it is an easy recipe. I would recommended that you do not try to make it all in one day and break it up by making the mixture and baking the macaroons one day, then would make the topping the next day. If you do decided to make them let me know how they turn out. I would love to hear your feedback.

This recipe yields 3 dozen cookies!

3 Large eggs
1/2 Sugar (I use about a little less seeing that it is topped with chocolate)
1 cup butter melted and cooled slightly
14oz sweetened coconut flakes
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup flour
12oz bittersweet chocolate finely chopped
1 cup white chocolate chips

Whisk eggs and sugar together in large saucepan until mixture thickens. Add butter slowly, whisking to blend. Gently mix in coconut and vanilla extract with wooden spoon. Sprinkle flour evenly over mixture and blend well.

Place pan over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is thock and dry. (will take about 10 minutes) Transfer mixture to large bowl cover and refrigerate until cool. (this will take another 3 to 4 hours)

Preheat oven to 350 shape dough into small mountain shapes (I use my medium pampered chef scoop for this and it works great!) Place on parchment-lined cookie sheets. Bake 18 to 22 minutes, until lightly golden brown. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Melt bittersweet chocolate in small saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly. dip pointy ends of macaroons in chocolate leaving only a small area around the bottom exposed. Place cookies on wax paper and let stand until chocolate is firm. Melt white chocolate over low heat. Dip top points of each cookie in white chocolate to add the "snow cap" Allow white chocolate to set at least 3 hours.

After that enjoy!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Chocolate chip cookies

I am all about trying to give my son healthier alternatives for foods and treats, however there are times when I give him an occasional cookie. I have to admit that I hate when I look on the backs of cookie packages and see ingredients which are unhealthy or they have something in them that I never heard of or can't pronounce for that matter. Anyway I was looking to bake some cookies for my family and I was lucky enough to have Branny share her cookie recipe with me. Everything in her blog looks really good and I plan on trying a few of her other recipes but until I do, I have to say that her cookies were outstanding. To see more of her recipes go to

What your going to need:
2 FULL cups plus 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
12 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened (1.5 sticks)
1 cup brown sugar, packed
½ cup granulated sugar (I only used 1/4 cup since I was adding more chips)
1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 ½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used 1 3/4 cups I love chocolate chips!)

What to do next:
Whisk dry ingredients together in a medium bowl; set aside. Cream together butter and sugars until thoroughly combined. Beat in egg, yolk, and vanilla. Add dry ingredients and beat at low-speed until combined. Stir in chocolate chips.

Refrigerated dough for at least 2-3 hours, or if in a rush you may bake right away.

Using a pampered chef medium scoop (because it makes the perfect sized cookie), Scoop out dough and place formed dough onto cookie sheet, leaving 2″ between each ball. Bake at 350* until cookies are light golden brown and outer edges start to harden yet centers are still soft and puffy (approximately 12-13minutes).

***if you are using a stoneware pan cooking times may vary. Cool cookies on sheets until able to lift without breaking. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Pour yourself a nice tall glass of milk and enjoy your cookies.

Basic Blueberry Muffins

Before Jonathan was born I use to buy muffin mix and bake them just so I had something to eat on my drive into work. Once Jonathan arrived and began to eat regular foods I began reading labels. I was amazed by the things that go into boxed meals. I'm on a mission to make sure that I try to limit my son's intake on certain food items and if it's something that I can bake or cook then I going to try to make it.

So one day my mother gave me this recipe, I don't know where she got it from and after reading what went into it I didn't think they would be that good, but I tried it anyway. The end result was that they were lite, moist and fluffy and my son really likes them.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

2 cup of flour
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup of milk
1/3 cup oil
1 egg
3 tsp. baking powder
2 Tsp. cinnamon
1 cup frozen blueberries

In a mixing bowl combine all the above ingredients EXPECT blueberries. Mix all ingredients until blended together well. Once mixture is blended together well add in frozen blueberries with a wooden spoon.

Line muffin tin with liners pour muffin batter into each liner until 3/4 full. Bake in oven at 400 for 20-25 minutes. Remove from muffin pan let cool.

A Lighter Version of Crock-Pot Potato Soup

So I have been craving some potato soup and while looking for a recipe I was shocked at some of the ingredients that went into this soup so I decided that I would try to makeup my own recipe. The final outcome was that I was able to produce a great potato soup without using heavy cream and a brick of cream cheese. It isn't as creamy due to the substitutions but aside from that, it tastes just as good as the not so healthy version.

8 potatoes chopped into bite size chunks
1 large Onion chopped
2 can of fat free and low sodium chicken broth
1 cup of water
1 can fat free cream of chicken soup
1 large carrot diced
1 cup of lite cream
1/2 tsp of black pepper
about 3-4 slices of bacon crispy and chopped into small pieces.
cheddar cheese for topping (optional)
1 Tsp. of corn starch (to help thicken up soup)

Take all ingredients listed above put into crock pot and let cook on low for 8 hours. When done pour yourself a big bowl of soup top with some cheese and chopped up bacon. Serve with some crunchy bread. Great for those cold winter nights!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Sweet Cider Donuts

This has become on of my all time favorite treats I could eat them all in one sitting, that's how good they are. The best thing is I doesn't take that long to make. If you try this recipe you will have to let me know how it comes out.

Thanks to the JIFFY mixes recipes book =)

2 cups Jiffy baking mix
1 egg
1/4 cup sugar
1tsp. cinnamon (I like to add more)
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 cup apple cider (I use lite apple cider works just as well in this recipe)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup flour

Preheat oil in deep fryer to 375

Beat egg, sugar,cinnamon, nutmeg, cider and vanilla together. Add flour and baking mix. On floured surface, knead dough several times and roll into 1/2 thick. cut with donut cutter. (You could also do what i do and make them donut wholes if you do not have a donut cutter. Drop into hot oil. Cook until golden brown. Drain on paper towel. If you want to make them more evil roll in a cinnamon and sugar mixture. They are really good if eaten warm.

Jalapeno Corn Bread

So I'm on a mission of making yummy food that is simple and for the most part quick and easy. This just happens to be something that would go great with chili or any stews on a cold winter day.

Thanks to the JIFFY mixes recipe book for the easy recipe.

2 pkgs. JIFFY corn muffin mix (I know, I know, but it works great when your in a rush)
3 eggs
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup sour cream (I use fat free)
4 jalapeno seeded and diced
1 chopped onion
3 Tbsp margarine or butter melted

Preheat oven to 400 and grease 13x9 pan

Combine muffin mix, eggs, buttermilk, sour cream, and peppers. Saute onions in margarine until clear. Add to mixture. Pour into greased pan= and lte bak 30-45 minutes.

For best results serve warm.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Chicken Tenders for Toddlers

Chicken Tenders with Creamy Honey Mustard

This is fast food you can feel good about eating. Children and grown-ups alike will love not only the crispy chicken, but also dipping it (and some veggie sticks) in the sweet, tangy sauce.

Prep: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes

serves 4

* 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
* 1 large egg, lightly beaten
* coarse salt and ground pepper
* 4 cups crisp rice cereal
* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 1 1/2 pounds chicken tenders (tenderloins)
* 1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
* 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
* 1 tablespoon honey
* 4 medium carrots, cut into sticks
* 1 cucumber, halved lengthwise, seeded, and cut into sticks


1. Preheat oven to 475. Place flour in a shallow bowl, and egg in a second one; season both with salt and pepper. Pulse cereal and oil in a food processor until fine crumbs form. Season with salt and pepper; transfer to a third shallow bowl.
2. Coat chicken: first in flour, shaking off excess; then with egg, letting excess drip off; and finally in cereal mixture, pressing to help it adhere. Place on a baking sheet, and bake until light golden brown and cooked through, 10 to 15 minutes, turning over halfway through.
3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together sour cream, mustard, and honey; season with salt and pepper. Serve tenders and vegetables with creamy honey mustard on the side.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Stuffed Strawberries

This is easy and a great summer treat. My husband and Son would eat them all it I would allow it.

2lbs of large Strawberries
2 blocks of cream cheese at room temp (I use lite cream cheese)
3/4 cup sugar (I use a little less that 1/2 cup so that it's not too sweet)
1 tablespoon of vanilla
1 pint of blueberries (you will not use them all)
about 1oz of sliced almonds

cut a small piece of bottom of each strawberry so the will stand straight-up on their own.

scoop out the tops of strawberries (at the stem)

In a medium blow mix together cream cheese, sugar,and vanilla. Once combined put in Ziploc bag.

3) Cut tip of and pipe cream cheese mixture into the tops of strawberries.

4) then top with a blueberry and two slices of almonds so that it appears to be a flower.

All that is left to do is Enjoy!

Toddler Pasta

So my son loves his pasta and he loves his Veggies. I found myself always making the same thing so when I found this recipe on I just had to make it. Long story short my son really liked this pasta and I will continue making this for him. I hope your little one enjoys this as much and my little guy.


* 1 cup pastina
* 1/3 cup finely diced carrots (I used 1/2 cup son loves carrots)
* 1/3 cup finely diced red bell pepper
* 1/3 cup frozen baby peas
* 1/3 cup finely chopped broccoli
* 1/3 cup frozen whole-kernel corn
* 1/3 cup finely diced celery (I used 1/2 cup again son loves celery)
* 1 tablespoon olive oil
* 1/8 teaspoon pepper (I skip this, but i do add 1/2 a chicken bouillon)


Cook pasta in lightly salted boiling water for 7 minutes. Stir in veggies and cook 5 minutes; drain. Mix in oil and pepper.
Nutrition Facts

* Servings Per Recipe 6 toddler-size servings
* Calories 180,
* Total Fat (g) 3,
* Saturated Fat (g) 0,
* Sodium (mg) 18,
* Carbohydrate (g) 32,
* Fiber (g) 2,
* Protein (g) 6,

Coconut Bars

This recipe is so easy its ridiculous. All you will need is 5 ingredients, and everyone will think that it took you all day to bake this treat. What could be better than that?

What you will need:
4 Tablespoons of butter melted
8oz of chocolate chip
14oz bag of coconut
about 8-10 gram crackers
1 can of Condensed milk

Preheat over to 350 degrees
Line Pyrex glass dish with wax paper

Crumble gram crackers, once this has been done add butter and combined until mixture is moist. Transfer mixture into pyrex dish. Then layer with chocolate chips. On top of the chocolate chips over with coconut. Pour condensed milk over the coconut. Before placing into the oven let sit for about 10 minutes allowing the condensed milk soak into all the layers. After the 10 minutes are up. Place pyrex into oven and let bake for about 20 minutes until coconut is very lightly toasted.

Remove from over let cool before cutting. Place in refrigerator until ready serve.

P.F Chang's Szechuan Chicken Chow Fun

My husband and I love P.F Chang's and when I found this recipe I was so excited; yet I had doubts that it would turn out the same. Boy, was I happily surprised! It was so good, by husband thought I had went and picked it up at the restaurant and tried to pass it off as my own. LOL! You might need to make a trip to your local Asian market to get a few things. Hope you enjoy it!

* 4 ounce ground chicken, cooked
* 14 ounce chow fun noodles (wide rice noodles sold at most Asian markets)
* 2 tablespoon scallions, minced
* 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
* 1 teaspoon chili paste
* 1 teaspoon Szechuan preserved vegetables
* 2 tablespoon black fungus mushrooms, shredded


2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon oyster sauce
1 teaspoon mushroom soy sauce
2 tablespoons water

1. Separate the chow fun noodles and cover with plastic wrap until ready for service. Heat wok and add 2 teaspoons vegetable oil. Stir fry garlic and chill paste for 5 to 7 seconds. Add ground chicken sear with garlic and chill paste. Add black fungus mushrooms and sauce stir-fry briefly.

2. Separate the noodles and drop into the wok while you are mixing a handful at a time. Continue cooking until the noodles have absorbed all the flavors and are hot. Finish with sesame oil.

3. Serve into bowls or plates. Garnish with Szechwan preserved vegetables and minced scallions.

Turkey Chili

Now that it is getting colder in New England, I decided that it was time to pull out some of my favorite recipes for the Fall and Winter. My Husband is a meat and potatoes type of person, but he loves it when I make this chili on a snowy day. I hope you all enjoy it. You can also convert this reciepe to cook in the crock-pot.


2 tablespoons olive oil

2 pounds ground turkey (made white meat)
1/2 pound Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
2 tablespoons ground Chile Molido or ground red pepper
1 onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (16-ounce) can stewed tomatoes, undrained
1 package chili seasoning
4 cups chicken broth (I make my own)
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.

2. Add the ground turkey, turkey sausage, smoked paprika, and Chile Molido. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the meat is done.

3. Add the onion, celery, bell peppers, and garlic and cook until the vegetables are soft.

4. Add the stewed tomatoes, chili mix, and chicken broth, stirring well.

5. Allow the chili to simmer, stirring occasionally.

6. Season with salt and pepper. Delicious served with grated cheese, chopped tomatoes, and corn chips or in a bread bowl.