Tuesday, August 7, 2012


(For those of you at Mom's before reunion, this is the salsa/salad that was sitting around. We really like it!)

Roasted Corn

1 (1 pound) pkg. Frozen extra sweet whole kernel corn, thawed
2 to 3 T. oil


1 T. kosher or salt
¾ tsp. cumin
6 T. fresh lime juice
5 T. oil
2 T. cider vinegar


1c. chopped fresh
½ chopped red onion
3 Italian plum tomatoes
2jalapeƱo chilies, seeded and chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped (1 cup)
1 tsp. minced garlic
2 (15 oz.) cans of black beans, drained and
rinsed 2 large avocados, cut into 1A inch


red leaf lettuce
fresh cilantro sprigs

Heat oven to 450°. In medium bowl, combine corn and 2-3 T. oil; toss to coat.
Spread corn in ungreased 10-by-15 inch baking pan. Bake 18-22 minutes or until
corn begins to turn light golden brown, stirring every 5 to 10 minutes. Cool 10

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Breakfast Casserole

Adapted from Food.com (http://www.food.com/recipe/breakfast-casserole-supreme-35775)
1 sweet onion, chopped
1 (24 oz) bag frozen hashbrowns (cubed not shredded)
12 eggs beaten
1/2 - 1 lb sausage, ham, or bacon, crumbled or cubed and cooked
2 C cheese, shredded
salt and pepper to taste

Spray a 9x13 pan.
Spread frozen hashbrowns on the bottom of the pan.
Sprinkle chopped onions on top.
Add salt and pepper.
Sprinkle meat on top.
At this point you can continue or put the casserole in the fridge overnight.
Pour beaten eggs over top.
Sprinkle cheese over top.

Bake at 350F for about an hour or until the eggs have set.  Serve with salsa or ketchup.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Brazilian Limeade Slush


2 limes
1/2 c sugar
3 T sweetened condensed milk
Water to taste (1 cup or so, depending on how slushy vs. smooth you'd like it)


Wash limes. Cut and squeeze lime juice into blender. (Some variations of the recipe add the limes a wedge at a time, but this requires you to strain it later and... I prefer things as easy as possible.) Add sugar, sweetened condensed milk, water, and ice (start off small and add more ice/water to reach the level of sweetness you like). Blend by pulsing to consistency you like, and enjoy!

(If you want to be fancy, wet the rim of the glasses you'll be using and then dip upside down onto a plate with sugar to coat the rim. Place a lime wedge on the rim.)

again, not my picture. but from a blog with a pretty similar recipe.

Lettuce Wraps

Ingredients (can't remember where I got this recipe from...)
  • Iceberg lettuce leaves
  • 1 pound lean ground beef/pork
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • Chile pepper sauce to seasoning (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons minced ginger
  • 1 (8 ounce) can water chestnuts, drained and finely chopped
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  1. In a medium skillet over high heat, brown the ground meat, stirring often and reducing the heat to medium, if necessary. Drain, and set aside. Cook the onion in the same pan, stirring frequently. Add the garlic, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, ginger, vinegar, and chile pepper sauce to the onions, and stir. Stir in chopped water chestnuts, green onions, and sesame oil, and continue cooking until the onions just begin to wilt, about 2 minutes.
  2. Arrange lettuce leaves around the outer edge of a large serving platter, and pile meat mixture in the center. To serve, allow each person to spoon a portion of the meat into a lettuce leaf. Wrap the lettuce around the meat like a burrito, and enjoy!

(not my picture, but they do look like this!)

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Lighter Too Much Chocolate Cake

Adapted from All Recipes
1 (18.25 oz) package devil's food cake mix
1 (5.9 oz) package instant chocolate pudding mix
1 cup low fat sour cream or yogurt or half of each
1/2 C vegetable oil
1/2 C applesauce
4 eggs
1/2 C water
2 C semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a large bowl, mix the cake mix and pudding mix.  Add all other ingredients except chocolate chips and mix until everything is mixed in.  Stir in the chocolate chips.

Pour into a 12 C bundt pan or lined muffin pans (makes 24 muffins).

Bake bundt 50-55 minutes and muffins 20 minutes or until the cake springs back when lightly touched.

Favorite Granola

This is our favorite granola recipe, adapted from Alton Brown's recipe here: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/granola-recipe/index.html.

3 cups rolled oats
1 cup slivered almonds
1 cup pecans
1 cup shredded sweet coconut
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup (I usually put in a little extra)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup raisins

1. Preheat oven to 250.
2. Combine oats, nuts, coconut, and brown sugar.
3. Mix maple syrup, oil and salt in separate bowl until well combined, then add to the other bowl and mix evenly.
4. Pour onto sheet pans and cook for an hour, stirring every 15 minutes until evenly browned.
5. Add raisins after baking and store in airtight container.

I love eating this with fresh fruit for breakfast with a little bit of milk.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Creamy Avocado Pasta

This is  an easy, vegetarian/vegan substitute for fettuccine alfredo and is ready in 15 minutes!

Adapted from here: http://ohsheglows.com/2011/01/31/15-minute-creamy-avocado-pasta/

1 medium avocado
lemon juice from 1/2 of a lemon + zest if desired
2 garlic cloves
kosher salt to taste
2 T extra virgin olive oil
6oz pasta of your choice -- I usually use whole wheat fettuccine or spaghetti
fresh ground black pepper

1. Prepare pasta to al dente.
2. To make sauce: combine garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and blend in food processor until smooth.  Add pitted avocado and salt.
3.  When pasta is cooked to al dente, drain and add sauce. Mix until combined.  Add black pepper and lemon zest.

Note:  It does not keep well, so make sure to eat it in one sitting!  This recipe serves 2-3 people.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Tuscana Soup

Tuscana Soup

1 lb hot sausage
½ lb chopped lean smoked bacon
3 c water
2 14.5 oz cans chicken broth
2 large potatoes, cubed
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 onion, chopped
2 c kale or swiss chard, chopped
1 c whipping cream (I don't usually put this in, but it's yummy when I do!)
salt and pepper to taste

  1. Break and cook sausage with onions, drain, and set aside.
  2. Cook chopped bacon, drain, and set aside.
  3. Place water, broth, potatoes, garlic, and water in a pot; simmer until potatoes are tender.
  4. Add sausage and bacon; simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. Add kale and cream to pot, season with salt and pepper as needed. Heat through.

Shrimp Sauce Pasta

Shrimp Sauce Pasta

The garlic and herb puree can be prepared days ahead (or frozen) of serving the dish. Just proceed with the remainder of the recipe right before cooking the pasta

1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
2 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 t. dried rosemary or 2 t fresh
1/2 t. dried oregano or 4 t fresh
1 t sweet or hot paprika (depending on how fiery you like it)
1/2 t salt
1/4 t cayenne pepper
8 medium cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
(freeze above ingredients, if desired)
1/4 cup butter
2 bay leaves
1/2 lb rock shrimp or small prawns shelled but uncooked
3/4lb fresh linguine or 9 oz dried chitarra (square spaghetti)
2 c. raw fresh spinach leaves cut into chiffonade
2 Roma tomatoes cut into 1/4 inch dice
Parmesan cheese freshly grated to top

In a food processor bowl equipped with steel blade, puree to a paste the olive oil, lemon juice, rosemary oregano, paprika, salt, cayenne, and garlic. Top the motor a couple of times, and scrape down the sides of the work bowl with a spatula to make sure garlic is getting finely minced.

Start here if using frozen puree:
In a large saute pan melt butter. Add olive oil mixture and bay leaves. Saute briefly over medium heat. Do not burn garlic. Add shrimp to the pan. Roll shrimp around in pan so each shrimp is coated with the hot sauce and cooks quickly. As soon as the shrimp are barely cooked (don't overcook), remove pan from heat while you cook the pasta. When pasta is cooked and well-drained, return saute pan to low heat, fold in spinach and tomatoes. Add pasta, and toss with the shrimp sauce to coat. Serve immediately, topped with Parmesan.

Serves 3 as a main course.

Santa Fe Chicken Salad

Santa Fe Chicken Salad

1 head iceberg lettuce
1 head romaine lettuce
3 lb. Tomatoes diced
1 can olives, drained & sliced
2 can corn, drained
2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 bottle salsa ranch dressing (or add jar of salsa to ranch dressing and sugar)
3 limes -sliced into quarters to squeeze over salad (I don't usually have these on hand to add)
1 package Mexican shredded cheese
4 chicken breasts, grilled & seasoned & sliced into strips (season with fajita seasoning before grilling)
tortilla strips or tortilla chips slightly crushed

Grill chicken and season to taste, then slice into thin strips. Throw together in a large bowl the following: shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, prepped olives, drained corn, rinsed & drained black beans. Toss ingredients. Add chicken breasts and shredded cheese into the salad and toss. Top with tortilla strips or crushed tortilla chips. Pour dressing on top. Serve with a side of lime for those who wish to drizzle it over salad.

This makes a lot of salad—I usually half the recipe for our family

Pumpkin Pancakes

Pumpkin Pancakes

2 c flour (I use 1 c white, 1c whole wheat)
3T brown sugar
2 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1 1/2 t ground allspice
1 1/2 t ground cinnamon
1/4 t ground nutmeg
1 t ground ginger
1 1/2 c milk (I find I need 2-2 1/2 c) mixed with 2 T vinegar
1 c pumpkin puree
1 egg
2 T oil
handful of chocolate chips (opt)

Mix dry ingredients, then add wet ingredients. Add chocolate chips if desired. It will be a fairly thick consistency (thicker than normal pancakes), but should be pour able—may need to add more milk. Heat on a lightly greased griddle, brown on both sides, and serve hot.

Makes about 18-6 inch pancakes

Spicy Eggplant

Spicy Eggplant

1 lb eggplant
2 t salt
3 T vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1-inch piece fresh ginger root, chopped
1 onion, halved and sliced
1 fresh red chili, sliced (I don't add this)
2 T soy sauce
1 T hoisin sauce
1/2 t garlic chili sauce
1 T brown sugar (I usually end up adding more)
1 T wine vinegar
1 t ground pepper
1 1/4 c vegetable stock

Cut the eggplant into cubes if you are using the larger variety, or cut the smaller type in half. Place the eggplant in a colander and sprinkle with the salt. Let stand for about 30 minutes (this removes the bitter juices, which would otherwise taint the flavor of the dish). Rinse the eggplants under cold running water and pat dry with paper towels.

Heat the oil in a preheated wok and add the garlic, ginger, onion, and fresh chili. Stir-fry for 30 seconds and add the eggplant. Continue to cook for 1-2 min.

Add the remaining ingredients to the wok, reduce the heat, and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until the eggplant is cooked. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Cook until the sauce has thickened slightly and is coating the eggplant completely.

Transfer the spice eggplant to a warm serving dish and serve immediately.

Sage Pork Chops and Dressing

Sage Pork Chops and Dressing

salt, or garlic salt
3-4 pork chops/steaks (as many as will fit comfortably in a 9x13)

4-6 slices of bread, cubed
1 T dried minced onion
1 T dried sage, or about 6 leaves of fresh sage

1/2 cube butter, melted
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 can water

Salt the pork chops. Place a little oil in frying pan and brown pork chops. Place in a 9x13 pan and add dressing.

Drizzle the half cube of butter over dressing. Mix water with mushroom soup. Pour over dressing. Cover with tin foil. Bake at 300 for 60 min.

Deluxe Chocolate Marshmallow Bars

Deluxe Chocolate Marshmallow Bars

3/4 cup butter or margarine
1-1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons baking cocoa
1/2 cup chopped nuts, optional
4 cups miniature marshmallows
1-1/3 cups (8 ounces) chocolate chips
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 cup peanut butter
2-3 cups crisp rice cereal

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla; beat until fluffy. Combine flour, baking powder, salt, and cocoa; add to creamed mixture. Stir in nuts if desired. Spread in a greased jelly roll pan. Bake at 350° for 15 – 18 minutes. Sprinkle marshmallows evenly over cake, return to the oven for 2 – 3 minutes. Using a knife dipped in water, spread the melted marshmallows evenly over the cake. Cool. For topping, combine chocolate chips, butter and peanut butter in a small saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until melted and well blended. Remove from heat; stir in cereal. Spread over bars. Chill.
Yield: about 3 dozen

Monday, July 16, 2012

Quinoa mac and cheese

Here's a great meatless meal - a healthier version of classic mac and cheese. I love taking this one to people who've had babies.  Talk about comfort food:
Serving Size: 8
  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • Veggies of your choice (optional) (I usually use broccoli)
  • good pinch of salt
  • a few grinds of seasoning salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup soy milk or non-fat milk
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Cheddar cheese, more for sprinkling
  • Optional- Crushed Red Pepper, Panko Bread crumbs for topping (I use gluten-free)
  • Toppings (optional)- salsa, hot sauce, sour cream, scallions (haven't tried any of these yet)
  1. Lightly saute any veggies you would like in this dish. 
  2. Cook quinoa to packaged instructions until fully cooked. (About 15 minutes)
  3. Preheat oven to 350 F. Coat 13x9 inch dish( or 8 individual ramekins) with cooking spray.Whisk together eggs and milk in large bowl. Fold in quinoa mixture and cheese. Stir very well and let some of the cheese melt.  Transfer to prepared baking dish and if using Panko Crumbs or Bread crumbs add now and bake 30-35 mins, until bread crumbs are browned. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Sweet pulled pork - Crock pot

1/3 c. ketchup
3 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 can root beer/cola
1/2 c. bbq sauce
2 t. ground mustard
2 t. brown sugar
salt & pepper

white onions
shredded cheese

Not optional
1 small-medium pork roast

Mix all sauce ingredients in a slow cooker.  Measure by eye and adjust to fit your preferences or what you have on hand.  Add pork roast, cook on low for at least 6 hours.  Sauce will thicken. 

Bread maker bagels

Total cook time
Dough: 90 mins
Active prep: 20 mins
Bake: 20 mins
Makes: 9 bagels

1 c. warm water
2 t. salt
2 T. sugar
3 c. bread flour*
2 1/2 t. yeast

Combine ingredients in a bread maker using the "dough" setting.

Remove dough promptly.  Break into 9 pieces.  Form balls, then break the center to form bagels.

 Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil while the bagels rise (about 10 minutes).

Boil bagels 2-3 at a time, for 2 minutes on each side.  They will expand.  Remove from water and let air dry for a minute or two.

Dip the bottom of the bagels in corn meal or flour.  Brush egg white on top, then add desired topping (we've used cheese, seeds, jam, etc.).

Bake for 15-20 minutes at 370. 

Let cool, then store in an airtight container/bag.  They will last 4-5 days.

*We use 50% white and 50% wheat flour.  The dough rises less as you add more wheat-- don't use more than 50% unless you plan to add gluten.

(Courtesy of Adam Luke, via the internet)

Spicy black bean quinoa salad

In a medium/large bowl, prepare dressing.  Toss in salad ingredients, chill before serving.  Makes about 8 side servings.

1-2 c. quinoa, cooked and drained
1 can black beans, rinsed
2 cups corn (or 1 bag frozen)
1 green pepper, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1 jalapeno OR 1/4 cup pickled jalapenos
1/4 fresh coriander OR 1/8 cup dried

3 small limes, juiced
1 t. cumin (optional)
1/4 c. olive oil
1/4 red wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Blueberry Muffins

Adapted from America's Test Kitchen

Makes 12 muffins.

2 C fresh blueberries, divided
1 1/8 C + 1 tsp sugar, divided
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 C flour
4 T butter, melted
1/4 oil
1 C buttermilk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs

Lemon sugar:
1/3 C sugar
1 1/2 tsp grated lemon zest

Preheat the oven to 425F.

In a small sauce pot cook 1 C blueberries and 1 tsp sugar over medium until the blueberries break.

In a bowl mix remaining sugar, baking powder, salt, and flour.  Add the remaining blueberries and carefully stir.  Melt the butter and add oil, buttermilk, vanilla, and whisk in the eggs.  Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir gently until combined.

Partially fill the muffin tins.  Top with a spoon of the cooked blueberries and add remaining batter.  Top with lemon sugar.  Bake 17-19 minutes.

Golden Sweet Cornbread

1 C flour
1 C yellow cornmeal
2/3 C sugar
1 tsp salt
3 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 egg
1 C milk
1/3 C veg. oil
1 T butter

Put a dutch oven pan or oven proof pan in the oven and preheat the oven to 400F.

Mix all of the dry ingredients in a bowl.  In a measuring cup measure out the milk and oil and whisk in an egg.

When the oven has reached temperature add the butter to the pan.  When the butter has melted add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well and then pour into the pan in the oven.

Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Shrimp Pasta

1/4 C olive oil
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 lb. shrimp, peeled and de-veined
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 C white wine
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
5 T butter
1/2 C fresh parsley, chopped
1 lb. pasta (angel hair or penne)

In a large saute pan heat the oil on medium and add the garlic and shrimp.  Add the red pepper and white wine.  Cook until the liquid is boiling and has reduced by about half.  Add the butter 1 T at a time.  The sauce should thicken.  Add the salt, pepper, and parsley.  Serve with cooked pasta.

If you like more sauce, you can take the shrimp shells and a little water to make a shrimp broth to add to the shrimp when adding the wine.

For a healthier option you can decrease the oil and butter by half, but depending on how you like your sauce you may want to add a tiny bit of thickener at the end.

Mushrooms and squash are good optional ingredients to add.  Just add them before the shrimp.

Mexican Rice

12 oz. chopped tomatoes
1 med. onion, chopped
3 med. jalapenos, chopped
2 C long rice, rinsed & drained
1/3 C oil
4 cloves minced garlic
2 C chicken broth
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 C cilantro, chopped

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a food processor, blend the tomatoes, onions, and jalapenos.

In a large dutch oven or oven proof pot, heat the oil and garlic.  Add the rice and stir until lightly browned.  Add the tomato mixture, broth, salt, and cilantro.  Bring it to a boil.  Cover and put it in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes.

The amount of heat can be adjusted by the number of jalapenos used.

Saturday, July 7, 2012


4 C quick oats
2 C rice krispies or other lightly crushed cereal
1/2 C brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 C honey or maple syrup**
1/3 C oil
1/3 C water
1 tsp vanilla
optional add ins like dried fruit or nuts

In a large bowl mix the oats, crushed cereal, brown sugar, and cinnamon.  In a small bowl mix the honey, oil, water, and vanilla well and then pour over the cereal mixture.  Stir gently to coat and pour onto parchment lined sheet pan.

Bake at 300F for 30 min, if you are adding nuts add them now and stir and bake for another 15 min.  You might have to adjust the time depending on your oven so keep an eye on it!  Allow it to cool, add other add ins and then transfer it into a storage container.

If you like clumps in your granola crush the extra cereal more finely and don't stir it too much while in the oven.

I've been making this with homemade maple syrup with great results.

**Maple syrup recipe
2 C sugar
1 C water
1 tsp maple flavoring

Mix all the ingredients in a small pot on medium and stir until sugar has dissolved.  Allow it to cool and then store it in a jar.  It will make approximately a pint of syrup.

Southwest Quinoa Salad

Adapted from Let's Dish Recipes
2 C cooked, cooled quinoa (approximately 1 C raw will equal about 2 C cooked)
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 C frozen corn, thawed
1/2 C chopped red bell pepper
1/4 C chopped red onion
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 C chopped fresh cilantro

1/4 C red wine vinegar
1/4 C olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp lime juice

Combine the ingredients for the salad in a medium bowl and toss together.  In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients.  Pour over salad and mix well.  Chill for at least 2 hours before serving.  Great with tortilla chips or in a wrap also!

I toasted the quinoa in a pan and then rinsed it well before cooking and it was delicious!

Green Beans and Pork

1 lb. green beans, ends trimmed
1/4 lb. ground pork
1 tsp. garlic, chopped
1 tsp. soy sauce
1 Tbs. oyster sauce
1 tsp. sesame oil
1/4 C water
1 tsp. cornstarch

Blanch the green beans until tooth tender and set to the side. This step can actually be done ahead of time and stored in the fridge up to a day in advance. In a pan, brown the pork and then add the garlic, soy sauce, oyster sauce and sesame oil. Mix the water and cornstarch and add to the pan. Cook until thickened (taste for seasoning). Add green beans and stir to coat them with the sauce and you're done!

I'm sure you could switch the pork with ground beef or sliced steak. You could probably omit the meat all together if you wanted it to be vegetarian.

Lo Mein

1 lb. noodles (fresh chinese egg noodles if you can find them)
1 tsp. sesame oil
1 Tbs. oil
1 Tbs. sugar
1 chicken breast, sliced
1 tsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp garlic, chopped
soy sauce
2 carrots, julienne (microwave for 1 1/2 minutes)
1 onion, sliced
3 baby bok choy bunches, sliced

3 Tbs. oyster sauce
3 Tbs. soy sauce
1 C chicken broth
1 1/2 tsp. cornstarch

Cook the noodles according to the package, drain, toss the noodles with the sesame oil, oil, and sugar and set to the side. Cut the vegetables and meat. I like to cut the vegetables and meat into slices (julienned) so that they are easier to pick up with the noodles, but feel free to do whatever you like. In a small bowl, marinade the chicken in cornstarch, garlic, and soy sauce. In another small bowl mix the sauce ingredients.

With a nonstick skillet on high fry the noodles to your liking and remove them from the pan. Then cook the chicken and remove it from the pan. Add a tablespoon of oil and cook the onions until done and then add the carrots and bok choy and cook until done. Then remove the vegetables from the pan. Cook the sauce until it thickens slightly, taste for seasoning, and then add the meat and vegeatables into the pan. Then add the noodles and toss to coat them with the sauce and mix everything together.

I Have A Dream Brownies

Your favorite brownie recipe
8 oz. cream cheese
1/3 C sugar
1 egg
1/2 C white chocolate chips

Mix up your brownie recipe in a bowl. In a separate bowl cream the cream cheese, sugar, egg, and chips. Put 2/3 of the brownie batter in the pan, dollop the cream cheese mixture over the top, then dollop the remainder of the brownie batter. Run a knife through the batter to make swirls. Bake according to your brownie recipe.

Tip: Line your pan with parchment and use a plastic knife to make the removal and cutting of your brownies a ton easier.

Chocolate Haupia Cream Pie

This pie reminds me of our life on the North Shore...
The only notes I would add are:
- Add a dash of salt to the crust (if you use unsalted butter)
- I actually didn't have to melt the chocolate chips in the microwave, I just added them to the warm pudding mixture (after reserving half of the pudding).
- Definitely use real whipping cream if you have it and forget about all the calories :)
- You might want to make an extra pie so you have something to enjoy after all the guest have devoured the first one.
 - I think the pie can be made the day before since the crust remained pretty crisp the next day, beyond that I can't say since ours didn't last more than 24 hours.

Chocolate-Haupia Cream Pie (from Katie)

1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust**
1 cup milk
1 (14 ounce) can coconut milk
1 cup white sugar
1 cup water
1/2 cup cornstarch
7/8 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Topping: (or you can use cool whip instead)
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup white sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Bake crust for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Set aside to cool.

In a medium saucepan, whisk together milk, coconut milk and 1 cup sugar. In a separate bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in water. Bring coconut mixture to a boil. Reduce to simmer and slowly whisk in the cornstarch. Continue stirring mixture over low heat until thickened, about 3 minutes.

In a glass bowl, microwave chocolate chips for 1 minute or until melted. Divide the coconut pudding evenly into two bowls. Mix chocolate into one portion. Spread on the bottom of the pie crust. Pour the remaining portion of pudding on top of the chocolate and spread smooth. Refrigerate for 3-4 hours. Whip cream with 1/4 cup sugar until stiff peaks form. Layer the cream on pie; if desired garnish with chocolate shavings.

**Shortbread-like pie crust
1 cup flour
1/2 cup butter (softened)
1/8 cup powdered sugar
1/3 cup chopped nuts (I used macadamia nuts, walnuts are good too.)
Mix ingredients together and pat into pie crust or 9x13 in. pan. Bake at 350F for 15 min.

Lamb, Apricot, and Olive Tagine

Truly one of the most unique and delicious things I've ever made. I'm hesitant to share this because people think I'm some sort of gourmet chef when I serve this... and now you all know how easy it is!
Serves 4Hands-On Time: 30mTotal Time: 8hr 30m


  • 1 1/2  pounds  lamb shoulder, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces *bet you could use beef stew meat to cut costs
  • carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2  cup  dried apricots, halved *Sometime I have used apricot puree instead of/in addition to halves. This thickens and intensifies the broth
  • 1/2  cup  pitted green olives
  • cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2  tablespoons  all-purpose flour *I use 1 T cornstarch to make it gluten-free
  • 1  teaspoon  paprika
  • 1  teaspoon  ground cumin
  • 1/2  teaspoon  ground cinnamon
  • 1/2  teaspoon  ground ginger
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1  cup  couscous *I serve over quinoa. You could also use potatoes or rice.
  • chopped pistachios, fresh cilantro leaves, and lemon wedges, for serving


  1. In a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker, mix together the lamb, carrots, onion, apricots, olives, garlic, flour, paprika, cumin, cinnamon, ginger, 1 teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper, and ½ cup water.
  2. Cover and cook until the lamb and vegetables are tender, on low for 7 to 8 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours (this will shorten total recipe time).
  3. Ten minutes before serving, cook the couscous according to the package directions. Serve the lamb on the couscous with the pistachios, cilantro, and lemon wedges.

Apricot Yogurt Popsicles

My kids are in heaven with this latest recipe. Apricots are ripe at our house now, so expect lots and lots of apricot recipes... I hope someone else out there can use them, too!

Apricot Yogurt Popsicles

2-1/4 cups apricot puree (
Recipe below)
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup greek yogurt
(An optional delight) 1/4-cup organic fresh & heavy cream
1. Whisk all ingredients together to make the apricot-yogurt mix.
2. Pour apricot-yogurt mix into individual popsicle containers. Fill container to about 1/4-inch from the top, leaving room for the popsicle mix to expand as it freezes.
3. Cover each popsicle container with a plastic wrap. Use a rubber ban to tighten the wrap. (I didn't do this step) Puncture a small hole for the popsicle stick. Place a popsicle stick through the hole. Place popsicles in the freezer to chill until solid.
4. When popsicles are frozen, run warm water over the container to loosen from the mold. DO NOT use boiling water, especially with glass containers, for the glass could break.

Apricot Puree

Ingredients Makes about 3-1/4 cups
2 lbs. Apricots
2 tbsp. to 1/4-cup honey (amount depends on the sweetness of the fruit and personal taste)*
1. Place apricots in a large pot of boiling water for 2 to 4 minutes, or until the skin begin to peel. Remove from the water and let cool enough to handle (place in the refrigerator to cool faster). Cut into the apricots to discard the seed and stem.
2. Place apricots and honey in a food processor to puree until smooth.
3. Set aside.
*Use any type of sweetener, but adjust amount according to a personal taste.

Original blog post: http://blog.sanuraweathers.com/2011/06/chobani-apricot-yogurt-popsicles-contest/

Soy-glazed Chicken with Stir-fried Vegetables

Here's a new crock pot staple at our house:
This has a flavorful asian sauce and is super easy. It's one of my favorites for days I want to put dinner in early and forget about it. I have also made it with boneless, skinless chicken breasts, although the meat was much drier than when we used thighs. I might try cutting the cooking time down to keep breasts more moist, but for best results, use thighs. They are cheaper, anyway. That's a little shout-out for YOU, Marion :).
Serves 4Hands-On Time: 30mTotal Time: 4.5-8 hours



  1. In a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker, mix together the sugar, soy sauce, lemon juice, fish sauce, ginger, and crushed red pepper. Add the chicken and turn to coat.
  2. Cover and cook until the chicken is tender, on low for 7 to 8 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours.
  3. Twenty minutes before serving, cook the rice according to the package directions.
  4. Meanwhile, transfer the chicken to a plate. Pour the cooking liquid into a large skillet and boil until slightly thickened, 4 to 5 minutes.
  5. Heat the oil in a second large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the snow peas, bok choy, bell pepper, scallions, and garlic and cook, tossing frequently, until the vegetables are tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Season with ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Serve with the chicken and rice; drizzle with the cooking liquid.
Original recipe link: http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/soy-glazed-chicken-stir-fried-vegetables-00100000074155/index.html