Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Homemade Enchilada Sauce


So I've been trying  to stay away from as much processed foods as possiable. In some case you cannot avoid them, but in most cases you can. Today I made homemade enchilada sauce. It was so easy and to be honest it so much cheaper making it at home than it would be buying a can on the ready made. So this mommy, will not be buying the canned stuff again.

Also great thing about this recipe is that you can make a larger batch and freeze the sauce for another time. Nothing more helpful when rushing to put something together last minute.

Like always....Happy Cooking!

Inspired by: Emeril Lagasse



  • 3 tablespoons of Vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 10 ounces tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


In a medium saucepan heat oil and then add flour and stir with a wooden spoon.  Cook for 1 minute.

Add chili powder and cook for 30 seconds.

Add stock, tomato sauce, suagar, salt, and cumin. Stir to combine.

 Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cook for 15 minutes.

The sauce will thicken and smooth out.

 Serve atop your favorite enchiladas. 


Easy Turkey Enchiladas

I've always taken pride in making healthy meals for my family. When I went back to work after a year and a half, buying a new house, and then having a second child. I found myself looking for shortcuts and not always making the right food choices, because "I didn't have enough time". Over the past year, and not getting all the "baby weight" off as fast as I did with Jonathan. I took a good look at the foods that I was making, and in some cases the carry out I was bringing home. And all I could think was no wonder it's been a long road. The processed foods, the lack of veggies, it's all affecting our health, and in the time that it would take me to make a "ready-made meal”, or use my short cuts, I could make something at home which was better for us.
And this recipe just happens to be one of the many new quick meals that I have come to use a lot.
Inspired by: Guy Fieri
· 1 pound lean ground turkey
· 1 1/2 cups diced onion
· 1 1/2 cups finely diced zucchini
· 12 tortillas
· 2 1/2 cups enchilada sauce, you can buy the canned sauce, (try this homemade Enchilada Sauce it's so much better than the canned stuff.)
· 3 cups cheddar- jack shredded cheese
· 1 cup shredded lettuce
· 1 sliced avocado
· sour cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9x13-inch pan with nonstick spray.
Heat oil in a large skillet. Add ground turkey and break apart to crumble the meat.
Sauté the meat on medium heat until browned.
Once meat it browned, remove cooked meat to a bowl and set aside.
Return pan to medium heat and add onion and zucchini. Saute until just softened.
Remove the vegetables from the pan and add to the meat mixture.
Add 1/2 cup of sauce to the prepared pan and spread it around so it coats the entire bottom evenly.
Place tortilla on a work surface. Spoon 1/4 cup of the meat mixture down the middle.
Add 2 Tablespoons of cheese on top of the meat. And then top with 1 Tablespoon of sauce.
Wrap the tortilla around the filling tightly and place it seam-side-down in the pan.
Repeat the steps above with remaining tortillas and filling until you have finished filling until you are out of tortillas.
Place the tortillas side-by-side in the pan. It is recommended that they are snuggled in tightly so that they do not open when baking.
Pour remaining enchilada sauce over the top of the stuffed enchiladas and top with remaining cheese.
Bake for 30 minutes and then serve immediately with desired condiments.

Like always happy cooking!


Friday, November 1, 2013

Cinnamon Crumble Scones

This month's What’s Baking Challenge was Scones. I have to be honest I've been putting off making scones because it’s just one of those things that doesn't always come out looking like a true scone, but

this month I had no choice but to get it done, no excuses, no putting it off. I just had to roll up my sleeves and get it done.

I think the main thing holding me back was the fear that they wouldn't look like a scone. We all know that we eat with our eyes Frist. So if it didn't look like a scone then it wouldn't taste like one either.

The best way that I came up with to ensure that it looked like a scone was to bake them in a around dish. Which I'm happy to say was the best idea I had.

What I did was bake it until it was half way done then I took it out of the oven cut it triangles and then baked it on a cookie sheet unit they were completely baked.

Reicpe adpated from http://coffeetea.about.com/od/foodmeetsdrinks/r/Cinnamon-Scones-Recipe.htm


2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup oatmeal, quick or old- fashioned, uncooked
1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick chilled salted butter, cut into pieces
3/4 cup 2% milk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (like always use the real stuff, you'll thank me later)
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
3 to 4 teaspoons nonfat milk


 Preheat oven to 425°F. Spray 12x 18-inch round pan with nonstick spray.

 In a large bowl, combine flour, oatmeal, 1/4 cup sugar, baking powder and salt; mix well. Cut in butter with pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

In a small bowl, combine milk, egg and vanilla; blend well. Add to dry ingredients all at once; stir with fork or rubber spatula just until dry ingredients are moistened.

In another small bowl, combine remaining 2 Tablespoons sugar with the cinnamon; mix well.

Drop dough and spread in round dish.  Sprinkle cinnamon crumble mixture evenly over dough.

Bake half way and then cut into even triangels, then place on a cookie sheet and bake until golden brown.

Remove to wire rack; cool 5 minutes.

To make glaze: In small bowl, combine powdered sugar, vanilla and enough milk for desired consistency; mix until smooth.

Drizzle over tops of warm scones. Serve warm.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Round up for Childhood Treats with a Modren Twist

Guess what time it is...

It's my turn to host the What's Baking Project! I was super excited to have the opportunity to host once more. I put a lot of thought into what I wanted to do, and decided that since it's September and it's back to school, it would be neat if we baked a childhood treat with a modern twist. I had a few ideas that I wanted to do, but  to be honest this month has been very stressful and busy that I didn't get around to making what I was really planning on making.  I'll just have to save that one for another time.  

So the next best thing was going with Twix bars.  I remember as a kid getting a Twix bar every Sunday after church. It's just one of those childhood memories that I'll never forget.

Kate from Kate recipe box mixed up a batch of Pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, which reminds her of the cookies that her mother would bake for her as a child. 

Heather from hezzi-ds books and cooks Zumbaed her way into creating Caramel filled Chocolate chip cookies.  So easy I can't wait to try this. 


Eva from Eva bakes was able to relive a moment of her childhood when she baked up a batch of oatmeal cream pie cupcakes.  Which look amazing!

Angela from The Tiny Tyrant's Kitchen recalls her favorite childhood treat as being chocolate cupcakes.  Angela was able to Jazz them up by making them into salted Carmel cupcakes. 

Nicole from Seven ate nine Tried to save everyone’s waist line by baking up a batch of healthy leman squares.

Ok everyone now last but not least we have Jaida from Sweet Beginnings who transformed her childhood treat of chocolate chip ice cream,  into a Mint Chocolate Cheesecake Brownies.  OMG!  This is going on my baking bucket list. 


Thank you to all the took part in this month's What's baking.  Next month our host will be Jaida from Sweet Begginings and we'll be baking up batches for scones sweet or savory.  Time to start thinking on which direction I want to go with that one. 
Like always happy baking!





Twix Bars

Guess what time it is....It's my turn to host the What's Baking Project! I was super excited to have the opportunity to host once more. I put a lot of thought into what I wanted to do, and decided that since it was September and it's back to school, it would be neat if we baked a childhood treat with a modern twist. So I decided that I would make me some Twix bars. I remember as a kid getting a Twix bar every Sunday after church. It's just one of those childhood memories that I will never forget =)
I remember a while back I had come across this recipe for homemade Twix bars about, and I knew that I had to try them. With that said, I did make them , however I never had a chance to create a blog post for them. Time kept passing me by, and I just needed the right time to make them again. Lucky for me the right time just happened to be when I needed something for my What's Baking submission this month
This recipe does take a while from start to finish, but it was so worth it! I even ended up make a second batch because they were just that good. My family and I loved them so much that they disappeared within a matter of a few days.
Stay put my recap on all the submissions for this month's whats baking.  Like always happy baking.
Recipe source: King Arthur Flour


Shortbread layer

1 cup salted butter, at room temperature
1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups of Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

Caramel layer

2 cups caramel, cut into small chunks
3 tablespoons heavy cream

Chocolate layer

3 cups chopped milk chocolate or dark chocolate, melted
1 tablespoon vegetable shortening (optional)


Preheat your oven to 300°F. Spray a 9" x 13" pan lightly with cooking spray, and line with parchment paper, and set aside.

In a stand mixer, beat together the butter, sugar and vanilla.

Add the flour.

The mixture may seem dry, but will come together as you continue to beat at medium speed.

Once combined take the dough and press it evenly into the pan.

Prick the crust all over with a fork. The holes will allow steam to escape and the crust will bake evenly with fewer bubbles.

Bake the crust until it's lightly golden brown on top and the edges are deeper golden brown, about 35 to 45 minutes.

Remove from the oven and immediately run a knife around the edges to loosen the crust.

Set it aside to cool completely.


Melt the caramel and cream over low heat in a small saucepan.

Pour the caramel over the cooled crust and put it in your freezer while you prep the chocolate layer as it makes it easier to cut the into bars once it's harden up.


Melt the milk chocolate slowly in a double boiler.

If it seems very thick, add a tablespoon of shortening to thin it.

Once melted take off the heat and set aside while you cut the cookie/carmel layer.

After the caramel layer has chilled firm, cut down the length of the pan, splitting the bars into two long, narrow bars.

Then cut each long strip into "fingers".

Dip the chilled bars into melted chocolate and place on parchment paper to set for several hours.

Pour yourself a tall glass of milk and enjoy!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Blueberry Lemon Greek Yogurt Bread

Introducing: Blueberry Lemon Greek Yogurt Bread!  Yes, it's true three of my favorite things all in one bread.  Blueberries, lemon, and Greek Yogurt, what more could a girl ask for?

This summer,  I took Jonathan blueberry picking, and of course we ended up with a lot more  than a family of three could eat before they went bad.  So while surfing pinterest, I came a across a recipe for a Greek yogurt and banana bread, and my first thought was I could do that!  All I have to do is switch out the bananas (which I hate) for blueberries (which I love).

Hence the Blueberry Lemon Greek Yogurt bread was created.  Did I mention that it's healthy?  I have to say that having this loaf in the frig on a morning when I'm trying to get out the door, has been a lifesaver. 

FYI, You're going to want to store this in the frig as it will go bad if left out too long. 

This was inspired by the original recipe posted here, I hope you all enjoy this as much as we did.

  • 1.5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup cane sugar
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp vanilla (please use the real stuff!)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Start by combining flour, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl
  • In a separate bowl, Add eggs, sugars, Lemon zest, and vanilla.  Once combined add the Greek Yogurt.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and mix until just combined. Your batter will be a little lumpy.
  • Next fold in the blueberries.
  • Pour batter into a greased loaf pan and distribute evenly.
  • Pop into the oven and bake for one hour, the top is golden brown and a toothpick should come out clean.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Pear and Peach Bake for My Little Chubbarella

This has to be the easiest thing to make.  All you have to do is peal your fruits, add water, place in the oven to bake, and then puree.  Could making baby food be any easier, I think not!
Here is yet another one of Emilie's favorite meals.  You'll notice that in the second picture the puree looks a nice pale yellow, please note that while this freezes well.  The mix could have some browning, you might want to consider adding a little lemon juice to puree prior to freezing.  I have not done this, as did not notice much a change in color, and even if it did down there is not change in taste.  Therefore, I didnt feel that it was that big of a deal. 
Happy baking for your little one.

  • 6 pears, I recommend Bartlett pears
  • 6 sweet peaches
  • Peal pears and peaches and place in baking dish.
  • Pour just enough water to cover the bottom of baking dish
  • Place dish into over at 350 degrees and let bake until pears and peaches are soft and have turned mushy.
  • Allow fruits to cool, the transfer to blender to puree, use leftover water, to thin if necessary. 
  • Transfer your baby food to ice cube tray and allow to freeze. 
  • Each cube equals one ounce of baby food.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Chicken and Sweet Potatoes for Baby

Have I mentioned Yams is one of the easiest things to make and so good for babies.  Well that still hasn't changed.  Neither has my need to make my own baby food.  While on vacation last week I had to stop and buy a couple of jars of baby foods and I couldn't believe how much 1- four ounce jar was.  If you're looking for a cost affective alternative for feeding your baby making your own is the way to go. 
So at Emilie's 6 month appointment I was asked if Emilie has gotten any proteins.  Which I had started giving her yet, I really thought that came at 8-9 months, boy was I behind with the times.  I decided that I would give her pureed chicken combined with one of Emilie's favorite meals, sweet potatoes, (AKA yams).  I tried to make all my baby food once a week so I'm not making it during the week.  This will take about 3 lbs of yams and  1 to 1.5 chicken breast  to make a weeks worth of food, if your little one is eating 4ounces daily.
Steamed Sweet Potatoes
Pureed Chicken Breast and Sweet Potatoes

Like always, Happy cooking!

  • Large stock pot
  • Steamer basket
  • 3-4 lbs of Sweet potatoes
  • 1-1.5 Chicken breast
  • Wash the yams and split them length wise.
  • Place yams in steam basket and let steam until yams are squishy when lightly squeezed.  Once sweet potatoes are done, allow to cool, then scoop out sweet potatoes into blender
  • In a second pot, pooch chicken breast until fully cooked, once done let cool before added to blender. 
  • Use some of the water use to steam the swett potatoes to get desired thinness.  (Due to the added protein, this might require more water than what you expect.)
  • Once puree has cooled transfer to ice cube tray and freeze.
  • Each cube equals one ounce of baby food.
I hope your little ones enjoy it as much as mine does.

Chimichurri Sauce

About a year ago while traveling for work I stopped one night at one of the local restaurant's and while looking over the menu I came across a steak that was covered in a Chimichurri Sauce.  I had no idea what that was and the waitress said I had to tried it.  It was one of the best items on the menu, she even went as far to say if I didn't like i, then dinner would be on her.  How could I turn that offer.
So the steak comes out, and the sauce was on the side and I dig in to one of the best steaks I ever had.  She was right.  That was one delicious sauce.  One night while watching the food network, someone was making this and my husband was like OMG!  "I want that steak right now!"  apparently she had, had this before and loved it as well.  So next time I grilled some steaks, what do you think I drizzled over it?  That's right this amazing sauce. 
This really is a great and easy sauce to make.  I suggest making it next time you grill some nice steaks. 
Recipe adapted from the food network
Like always, Happy Cooking, or in this case Happy Saucing!


  • 2 cups fresh parsley firmly packed
  • 1/4 cup fresh oregano leaves
  • 8-9 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons chopped onion finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2tablespoon lime juice 
  • Kosher salt and red pepper flakes to taste


  • Pulse the garlic and onion in the food processor until finely chopped.
  • Add the parsley and oregano and pulse briefly, until finely chopped.
  • transfer mixture to a separate bowl.
  • Add the olive oil, lime juice, and vinegar, and stir. (Adding the liquids outside of the blender gives the chimichurri the correct texture. You don't want the herbs to be completely pureed).
  • Add salt and red pepper flakes to taste.
  • Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Do not heat up before serving. 

Yams for My Little Ham!

Wow! Can you say MIA, oh my! I actually thought that having a second child would be easier, boy was I mistaken. So quick update as to where I've been.  I went back to work 8 weeks after Emilie was born, and with that I've been doing some last minute travel for work.  So when I am home, my focus has been on the kiddos. Jonathan is going to start school in less than a month. Here he is on his 5th birthday.
And my little Emilie, is no longer my tiny baby, she's 10 months old and crawling all over the house.  The husband and I will surely have to keep an eye that one. Here she just a month ago with her brother.
OK, now that we got that all out of the way here's some good news.  I haven't given up on cooking or baking, and I've been trying new things, but I have been slacking in getting things posted, but I hoping that will all change since I do have a bunch of recaps for you all.  Setting a new goal of posting at least one a week. 

As of late I have turned my focus to baby foods.   Yes I'm still making my own baby food. Let me say this before I continue, I am not knocking any one's choice when it comes to what you give their baby.  There are many jar foods that are good your babies. I just prefer to make my own because not only do I know what goes into the food, it's also cost affective.

Yams is one of the easiest things to make and so good for babies.  This is one of Emilie's favorite meals. I tend to make a big batch every time I make this, it takes about 3 lbs of yams to make a weeks worth of food, if your little one is eating 4ounces daily. 

Like always, Happy cooking!  

  • Large stock pot
  • Steamer basket
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Wash the yams and split them length wise.
  • Place yams in steam basket and let steam until yams are squishy when lightly squeezed.
  • Allow to cool, then scoop out yam meat into blender.
  • Added any needed water to get desired thinness.  (if this is a first food then I would add about half cup of water.)
  • Once puree has cooled transfer to ice cube tray and freeze. 
  • Each cube equals one ounce of baby food. 
 I hope your little ones enjoy it as much as mine does.