Saturday, April 30, 2011


Freeze Dried Tropical Fruit Package--A Screamin' Deal!

Here is a special on Thrive you can only get through me. The Tropical Fruit Package comes with the following fruits in #10 (or gallon. size) cans:

Banana Slices freeze dried
Mangoes freeze dried
Pineapple Chunks freeze dried
Mandarine Oranges freeze dried
Apricots freeze dried
Pears freeze dried

This package retails at $240. If you were to purchase each can separately through me you'd pay $155.74 plus tax and shipping. This package right now is only $118.70. I can't imagine it staying at this price for long. It's a great gift for Mother's Day. The best part is, all the fruit is freeze dried, so its a healthy snack with no additives. Plus it stores for over 25 years in the sealed can. Once you open a can of the freeze dried fruit you have one year to eat it.

Contact me to get this screamin' deal on Thrive freeze dried fruit, the finest on the market!

Friday, April 29, 2011

A Treat For The Office


 So I decided to treat my husband's co-workers, as I sometimes do (they work in a very high-stress environment), by making Snickerdoodle Bundt Cake. My sister passed this recipe along to me through another blog she follows called "Jamie Cooks It Up!". I encourage you to check it out; there are some really great recipes to be found.

Thursday, April 28, 2011



Thought you might like to see the finished product for the Pesto. 
I chose to serve it with Angel Hair Noodles with Parmesan sprinkled on top. 
It was, of course, accompanied by the french bread from the day before, 
which I made into garlic toast.
It was delicious!

Final Call


Final call for the sale on strawberries! 
The additional savings is $4 per #10 can and $7 per can when you purchase a case. This is huge!

New Changes


You may notice some changes to my site as I try to better organize things. 
Here are a couple recent changes.

-The "Contact Me" link is now at the bottom of the screen.
-There is now a tab at the top for "Weekly Menu Wednesday"

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A completely random recipe


So this is completely random, I know, but as I was doing laundry today I realized I am about out of laundry soap. I was given the following recipe by my cousins' wife (thank you Brooke); since then I have not purchased store-bought laundry soap. This recipe averages about $10 and lasts 3-6 months doing 6 loads of laundry per week. A HUGE savings over pre-made detergents-I hope you enjoy the savings as much as I do. And yes, this recipe can be used in front-loading machines because it does not create suds. The other thing I love is that I determine my own fragrance based on the bars of soap I choose to use. My babies tend to have sensitive skin at birth so I use Dove soap to help with the sensitivity. Enjoy!

Homemade Laundry Detergent

76 oz. box Borax
2 55-oz. boxes Arm and Hammer Washing Soda (not baking soda)
2 bars Soap, grated (I use my food processor with the grater attachment)
1/3 c. Oxi Clean

Use one tablespoon per load.

Check out the savings


Check out all the things you can save on when you buy and use  

Shelf Reliances' THRIVE products instead of buying from the Supermarket.

A Fun Promotion


I'll have the Weekly Menu Plan up as soon as I can go through the Supermarket ads for the week. In the meantime, I thought I'd run a fun promotion for all of you so I can get some new leads. 

  • Schedule to host a Shelf Reliance class or web class (I would send you everything you need, and teach your class via Skype) for the month of May, and I will give you a pouch of THRIVE Macaroons or Brownies (your choice) on the day of your class.
  • Refer someone to me to host a class in the month of May and you and the host EACH receive a pouch of THRIVE Macaroons or Brownies (you choose) on the day of the class.

Here's the link to the form on my Shelf Reliance site. 
You can also e-mail me or give me a call. 

Follow-up to the Beef Jerky



  So about the beef jerky; the meat was incredibly tender and the whole process was very simple and very satisfying; the marinade...not my fave. There was just way too much Worcestershire for any other flavors to come through. I will certainly attempt making my own jerky again, but next time I will create my own marinade. For now, we have some very expensive doggie treats (of course the family pet's not complaining).

My Shelf Reliance Store


 My Shelf Reliance Site is up. Check it out!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Stromboli Tonight


Here are photos of tonight's dinner. Remember that for your efforts you are already one step ahead for tomorrow night's meal.

Dough divided into two equal portions                                         

Add your toppings leaving room on the ends. Fold ends in, sides up; pinch seams to seal.

French bread loaf

Fold ends in

Roll french bread dough into a large snake-like form.

Resulting Stromboli with pizza sauce dip and french bread for tomorrow.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Weekend


Hope you had a wonderful weekend. I know my family and I sure did. Unfortunately with all the excitement I neglected to get pictures of Easter dinner. I did, however, get a picture of the delicious cheesecake!

The crispy treat adorning the top is a "Honey Lace Cookie". 
The recipe is courtesy of Martha Stewart. I do have a word for the wise; only put about 6 cookies per baking sheet because they really spread! The topping is homemade blackberry syrup.

Sadly in all the commotion I somehow mixed up my days. The baby shower cupcakes that I thought were for Easter Saturday are actually for this coming Saturday the 30th. So, after baking 2 dozen cupcakes I frosted them for our family get-together on Saturday and served them to my in-laws. They were delicious, but not the Dulce de Leche cake I had promised my husband. I must find a day to make the cake for him so he can get his "fix". I will post pictures of the baby shower cupcakes after this coming weekend.
I tasked myself today with trying a new recipe I found; homemade beef jerky. My meat has marinated and is now in the oven for the drying process. About 5 hours from now we should have some 'hopefully delicious' home made jerky (I'll let you know how it turns out). Here's the recipe I found. Take a look around the blog; there's some really yummy-looking recipes.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Crazy Weekend

Let's play a game of 
"How many things can be crammed into a single weekend?"


Make two dozen cupcakes that have been ordered for a baby shower.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Raspberry-White Chocolate Mousse Filling 
and Whipped Cream Frosting

Raspberry-White Chocolate Mousse:
1 Tbsp. cold water
1/2 tsp. unflavored gelatin
1/2 c. heavy whipping cream
3 oz. white chocolate
1/4 c. pureed raspberries (or raspberry jam)

  In a small pan, combine water and gelatin; let stand 1 minute to soften. Add 2 tablespoons heavy cream; stir over low heat until gelatin dissolves. Add white chocolate and stir until melted. Chill until cool, but not set, about 10 minutes.
  In a small, chilled bowl, whip remaining cream to full volume. Fold whipped cream into cooled chocolate. Add pureed raspberries and fold in. Chill for 1 hour.
  Spoon filling into a piping bag fitted with a large round tip. Poke tip into the top center of the cupcake and begin to fill just until cupcake starts to bulge. Continue filling remainder of cupcakes. (Note: This recipe should fill 12 cupcakes.)

Whipped Cream Frosting:

1 tsp. unflavored gelatin
4 tsp. cold water
1 c. heavy whipping cream
1/4 c. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. clear vanilla extract (or regular if you don't have clear)

  Combine gelatin and cold water in a small saucepan; let stand about 1 minute. Place over low heat, stirring constantly just until gelatin dissolves. Remove from heat and cool slightly. 
   Whip cream, sugar and vanilla until slightly thickened. While beating slowly, gradually add gelatin to whipped cream mixture. Whip at high speed until stiff. Yields 2 cups.

Teach a Shelf Reliance Web Class

Attend a Wedding Reception

Prepare dinner and dessert for my husband's family's monthly get-together.

My interpretation of "Costa Vida's" Sweet Pork Burritos:

Pork Roast (4-5 lbs), thawed if frozen
3 c. Coke (I use caffeine-free)
1 can tomato sauce
1/2 c. sugar
2 Tbsp. (heaping) brown sugar
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. powdered garlic
3 large carrots, peeled and grated
1 (smallish) serrano pepper, seeded and diced
1 medium yellow onion, chopped

  Cut away any obvious fat portions from the roast. Place all ingredients in a crock pot and cook on high for 6-7 hours. Remove pork to cutting board.
  Add an additional 1 cup coke to the liquid in the crock pot. Stir.
Shred the pork, removing excess fat and bones; return to the crock pot. Stir. Reduce to low and cook an additional 3 hours.
   Serve in tortillas with cilantro rice, black beans, cheese and other desired toppings.

Homemade Tortillas: Care of Chef Rick Bayless

Dulce de Leche Cake: (This recipe is my version of a favorite my husband found while living in Argentina)

1 recipe your favorite Yellow Cake
1 1/2 qt. Peaches, drained well and sliced
1 can Dulce de Leche (found with the Mexican foods at most supermarkets)
2 pints Whipping Cream

  Prepare yellow cake according to recipe directions. Divide cake between two greased and floured 9x13 pans. Bake according to recipe directions, decreasing bake time by about 10 minutes to account for the cakes not being as thick. Let cakes cool completely in pans.
   In a mixing bowl, beat whipping cream until soft peaks begin to form; slowly add 3/4 cups sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Continue whipping until cream is slightly more stiff than you would normally use for topping a dessert (be careful not to turn it to butter, though).
  Scoop the Dulce de Leche into a mixing bowl. Add 1/2 cup of the prepared whipped cream and beat it in. Add another half cup of whipped cream and fold in.
  To assemble the cake, spread half the Dulce de Leche mixture on one of the cooled cakes; top with the sliced peaches and half the whipped cream. Place the remaining cake upside-down on the whipped cream and press lightly to level (you may want to slice off the dome that forms on the cake so it is more level). Spread the remaining Dulce de Leche on top of the cake and top with the remaining whipped cream. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  Note: Because this cake has so many components to it, it does not store well for long. I would recommend serving within 3 hours of assembling. You can store the left-overs in the fridge and it will still taste good, but won't look very pretty. 

Easter Sunday: 

1 10 pound smoked ham with rind, preferably shank end
1 cup unsweetened apple juice or apple cider
1/2 cup whole grain Dijon mustard
2/3 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
  Preheat oven to 325°F. Place ham in large roasting pan. Pour apple juice over ham. Cover ham completely with parchment paper, then cover ham and roasting pan completely with heavy-duty foil, sealing tightly at edges of pan. Bake ham until instant-read thermometer inserted into center of ham registers 145°F, about 3 hours 45 minutes. Remove ham from oven. Increase oven temperature to 375°F.
  Remove foil and parchment from ham. Drain and discard liquids from roasting pan. Cut off rind and all but 1/4-inch-thick layer of fat from ham and discard. Using long sharp knife, score fat in 1-inch-wide, 1/4-inch-deep diamond pattern. Spread mustard evenly over fat layer on ham. Pat brown sugar over mustard coating, pressing firmly to adhere. Drizzle honey evenly over. Bake until ham is well glazed, spooning any mustard and sugar glaze that slides into roasting pan back over ham, about 30 minutes. Transfer ham to serving platter; let cool at least 45 minutes. Slice ham and serve slightly warm or at room temperature.

1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, quartered 
3 garlic cloves    
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature, cut into pieces  
1/2 cup chopped mixed fresh herbs (such as basil, parsley, and chives)  
  Cook potatoes and garlic in large saucepan of boiling salted water until tender, about 25 minutes. Drain well. Return potatoes and garlic to pot.
  Using handheld electric mixer, beat potato mixture at low speed until smooth. Add butter; beat until melted and smooth. Increase speed and whip potatoes just until light and fluffy. Stir in herbs. Season with salt and pepper; serve.
Country-Style Sourdough Bread: Care of Alton Brown on Bon Appetit

Sparkling Apple-Almond Punch: (Thank you Erin for one of our new favorites!)

1 can Apple Juice Concentrate-thawed
1 cap-full Almond Extract
1 bottle 7Up (I got Ginger-Ale on sale, so I'll be using it.)

Combine juice and extract in a large picture. Pour soda into pitcher and stir just to combine.

Cheesecake: (I come from a family of "foodies"; my younger brother created this fabulous cheesecake by combining some of his favorite parts of several recipes; very gutsy considering cheesecake is so temperamental. This recipe goes against a lot of the strict rules governing cheesecake-making; but it works, and the results are jaw-droppingly delicious!)

3/4 c. sugar                                                                       1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 (8-oz.) pkgs. cream cheese, room temperature         1 c. sour cream
3 large eggs                                                                      1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 c. whipping cream, whipped to soft peaks

  Make a graham cracker-vanilla wafer crust and press into a 10" springform pan going halfway up the sides. Bake at 350 degrees about 10 minutes; remove from oven and allow to cool. 
  In a large bowl, with mixer on medium speed, beat sugar, cream cheese, eggs, vanilla and salt until creamy (about 3 minutes). Add sour cream, beat 30 seconds; fold in whipped cream. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake 20 minutes. Remove cheesecake from oven and allow to rest 3 minutes (do NOT skip this step). Return to oven; bake 10 minutes longer. Turn oven off, leaving cheesecake inside for 1 hour. Remove cheesecake from oven and allow to sit on the counter 20 minutes; refrigerate over-night. Run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen cake from sides. Remove cheesecake from pan and slice to serve.
  I will be serving this with a homemade raspberry-blackberry sauce over the top.

 So...looks like I better get to work! 
No worries, I will post pictures for you all to drool over!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Raspberry Crumb Bars



Here's a picture of the finished Raspberry Crumb Bars from yesterday. They were delicious!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Raspberry Crumb Bars


  Some of you may have noticed that I deviated from the Weekly Menu Plan by having Quiche last night. The reason for that...I didn't think my swollen tonsils would allow me to swallow a crispy sandwich. Part of cooking from scratch though, means going with the flow and not letting life's circumstances throw you totally off course.
  After looking at my schedule this week, it looks like most of what I planned for the week will not be eaten on the night I originally planned for. We will be having Burgers tonight, that much I know. As for the rest of the week, we'll have to take each day as it comes.
  I am attending a women's meeting tonight, for which we are supposed to bring cookies and the recipe. So, for all you women attending tonight; drum roll please...Raspberry Crumb Bars. Yes, I realize they are not a cookie per say, but they're in the same family. Besides, after making cookies last night I'm in the mood for something different. I will have pictures up once the bars are made. For now I'll let you drool over the recipe.

Raspberry Crumb Bars

6 Tbsp. Unsalted Butter melted, plus 1/2 c. room temperature Butter (plus more for pan
1 3/4 c. All-Purpose Flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for pan 
1/2 c. packed Light-Brown Sugar 
1/2 tsp. Salt 
1/2 tsp. Baking Powder 
1 c. Powdered Sugar 
1/2 tsp. Vanilla Extract 
2 large Eggs 
1 container (6 ounces) Raspberries
  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan. Line bottom with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on two sides; butter and flour paper, tapping out excess. 
  Make topping: In a medium bowl, whisk together melted butter, brown sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt; add 1 cup flour, and mix with a fork until large moist crumbs form. Refrigerate topping until ready to use. 
  In a medium bowl, whisk together remaining 3/4 cup flour, baking powder, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt; set aside. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat room-temperature butter, confectioners' sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy; add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Reduce speed to low; mix in flour mixture. Spread batter evenly in pan; sprinkle with blackberries, then chilled topping.   Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs attached, 40 to 45 minutes. Cool completely in pan. Using paper overhang, lift cake onto a work surface; cut into 16 squares. 
  Note: While you prepare the cake, refrigerate the crumb topping. This will help give it a nubbly texture once baked. To store, keep in an airtight container at room temperature, up to 3 days.

Save $4 per #10 Can and $35 per Case


the Q Club


THRIVE Triple Berry Pie

Serves 8  •  Prep time: 30 min  •  Total time:  1 hour 10 min

Pie Crust
cups THRIVE® White Flour
1 Stir together THRIVE Berries and lemon juice.  Set aside.  Mix sugar, four, and mace.  Add to berry mixture.  Set aside.

2 Sift together flour and salt.  Using a pastry blender, cut in shortening until pieces are pea-size.  Sprinkle water in 1 Tablespoon at a time, until the dough is moistened.  Divide in half.  Form each half into a ball.  Roll one ball into a 12-inch circle and transfer to pie dish.

3 Pour berry filling into the bottom crust.

4 Roll remaining dough into a circle.  Place on filling.  Crimp edges and cut slits to allow the steam to escape.

5 Bake at 450 for 10 minutes.  Reduce heat to 350 and cook for 30 minutes or until golden brown. 

teaspoon THRIVE® Salt
cup shortening
tablespoons cold water
teaspoon THRIVE® Iodized Salt

cups rehydrated THRIVE berries (mixture of blackberries, blueberries and raspberries or strawberries)
teaspoon lemon juice
cup THRIVE® White Sugar
3 tablespoons THRIVE® White Flour
teaspoon mace

Monday, April 18, 2011

Family Night


  Monday night is "Family Night" in our home which includes, what else, but a "Family Night" treat! Despite having somehow come down with a case of tonsillitis, my children insisted we could not go without our traditional treat. So, I find myself now sitting in my kitchen waiting for the last batch of cookies to come out of the oven so that our Quiche dinner can go in.
  For those of you who may be cooking along with me my Quiche tonight included many of my THRIVE veggies-Freeze Dried Spinach, Onions and Mixed Bell Peppers (I would have used freeze dried mushrooms, but I have a pound of fresh in my fridge needing to be used.) Also included in my dish is diced ham, bacon crumbles and way more cheese than any person should ever need in a single Quiche (I got a little over-zealous. But hey, what doesn't taste better with a little extra...or a lot extra cheese!)
  If you're looking for a quick and easy (and in my opinion absolutely divine pie crust recipe), the following is my mother's recipe which I have used since I first began making pies at the age of 12. You will only need half this recipe for the Quiche and do not pre-bake the crust.
   As for our treat...a new recipe-Chocolate Crinkles. Yes, I did try one already; and yes, they are wonderful. The recipe is courtesy of Real Simple. I included a picture of my finished product along with the recipe. My only improvement might be to add 1/2 cup chocolate chips to the batter. Mmmmm!

Pie Crust

2 c. flour
1 c. shortening
Dash salt
Ice water (about 4-8 T. depending on the humidity of the day)

  To a mixing bowl add; flour, shortening, sugar, and salt. Stir ingredients with a fork or cut in with 2 knives until it becomes coarse crumbs. Add ice water in small amounts, stirring gently, just until dough comes together (Remember, it’s not Play-dough). Divide dough into two portions and roll out on a well floured surface. This recipe yields a double-crust. 
  If making a pie that calls for a pre-baked crust, bake the crust at 350 degrees 20-30 minutes (depending on how browned you like it). Note: This is a very flaky crust that is great with any pie.

Chocolate Crinkles

Makes 36 cookies| Hands-On Time: 35m | Total Time: 2hr


  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch process)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • large eggs
  • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar


Heat oven to 350° F. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.
    With an electric mixer, beat the butter and brown sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs. Reduce speed to low and gradually add the flour mixture, mixing until just incorporated.  
    Form the dough into balls (each equal to 1 level tablespoon). Roll the balls in the confectioners’ sugar and place on parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing them 2 inches apart. Bake until the cookies are firm and the tops crack, 13 to 15 minutes. Cool slightly on the baking sheets, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

    Sunday Dinner and Dessert


    Last night's meal consisted of Roasted Chicken with Red Potatoes and Pavlova for dessert. I got inspired to make this dessert when a friend brought it to a get-together; it tasted wonderful then and equally as wonderful last night. Here are the recipes:

    Roasted Chicken with Red Potatoes

    1 fryer Chicken (3 pounds)                                  4 sprigs fresh Parsley
    1/4 tsp. Thyme                                                  8 small Red Potatoes, cut in half
    2 tsp. Salt, divided                                            4 Carrots, peeled & cut into 1-inch chunks 1 large Onion, cut into eighths                            1 can Chicken Broth
    2 Celery ribs, cut into 4-inch pieces                    1/4 c. fresh Parsley, minced
    Sprinkle inside of chicken with thyme and 1 teaspoon salt; stuff with onion, celery and parsley sprigs. Place in a greased dutch-oven; cover and bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Sprinkle remaining salt over chicken; add potatoes, carrots and broth. Cover with the lid and bake an additional 30 minutes. Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees; bake un-covered for 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender and a meat thermometer inserted into the thigh reads 180 degrees. Sprinkle with minced parsley; serves 4.


    4 room-temperature Egg Whites                               1 1⁄2 cups Heavy Cream
    Pinch Salt                                                               2 Bananas, peeled and sliced
    1 c. plus 2 tbsp. Sugar                                              2 Kiwis, peeled and sliced
    2 tsp. Cornstarch                                                     3 c. Strawberries, hulled & quartered
    1 tsp. White Vinegar                                                Pulp of 2 Passion Fruits
    Few drops Vanilla Extract

      Preheat oven to 350°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, then trace a 10" circle on the paper. Put egg whites and salt in the clean bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a whisk and beat on medium-low speed until frothy, about 2 minutes. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until whites form stiff but not dry peaks, 2–3 minutes. Gradually add sugar while whisking, then increase speed to high and beat until stiff and glossy, 3–5 minutes. Sprinkle cornstarch, vinegar, and vanilla over whites, then gently fold in.
      Fill traced circle with meringue, smoothing top and sides. Put meringue in middle of oven and reduce heat to 300°. Bake for 1 hour. Turn off oven and leave meringue inside until completely cool, about 4 hours.
      Remove paper and place meringue on a cake plate. Whip cream to soft peaks, then pile on top of meringue. Arrange cut fruit over whipped cream, then spoon on passion-fruit pulp. Slice pavlova into wedges to serve.

    Note: Finding Passion Fruit in this small town is impossible,
    so my Pavlova in sans Passion Fruit.

    Friday, April 15, 2011

      I will not be cooking for us tonight; my husband is taking the afternoon off to spend some time as a family. I will, however, be making dinner this morning to take to my in-laws. My mother-in-law is coming home from the hospital after having knee replacement surgery, and as wonderful as my father-in-law is about taking care of things, he should only have to worry about her today. So, I'm off to make my Grandmother Davis' homemade Chicken Noodle Gravy over Mashed Potatoes.

    Chicken Noodle Gravy 

    3 qt. Water                                             4-6 T. Chicken Bouillon
    5 boneless, skinless Chicken Breasts           diced Carrots, Celery and Onion
    Salt and Pepper to taste

      Bring water to boil in a large pot. Add chicken breasts and cook 30 minutes (while chicken is cooking prepare noodles). Remove chicken and dice, then return to pot. Add remaining ingredients and noodles; bring back to a boil and cook 30 minutes. Serve over mashed potatoes. Note: If you like your gravy a little thicker, dissolve 3 tablespoons flour in 1/3 cup cold water and slowly pour into the soup; cook until thickened.

    Egg Noodles:
    1 c. Flour                                                  1-2 Tbsp. Milk
    1 Egg, lightly beaten                                   1/2 tsp. Salt

    Combine all ingredients until dough forms a smooth ball. Roll out to 1/4" thickness on a floured surface. Cut into fat noodles with a pizza cutter or knife. Let rest on the counter for 30 minutes. 



      The Eggs Benedict tasted wonderful and looked beautiful (Sorry there are no pictures, my children's impatience for dinner won out). I cut the Hollandaise recipe in half because I knew I'd have way too much sauce if the recipe worked, and didn't want to waste all the expensive butter if it didn't. My husband and I were both in agreement, however, that next time I need to cut the lemon juice at least by half (the lemon over-powered the sauce). And yes, there will be a next time! I don't know why anyone would choose to make Hollandaise any other way when it was so darn easy doing it in the blender.
      I'm an artichoke-lover, so the next time I make this sauce it will be accompanied by some beautiful green vegetables!

    Thursday, April 14, 2011


      Thank you to my children for their help with the cookie project. -Somehow we managed to get by without the house looking like a tornado of powdered sugar blew through it!

      The English Muffins rose better and turned out tastier than the last time I made them, so they were totally worth the effort (half of them will be going in the freezer for on-the-go breakfasts.)

      A couple things regarding the cookies...can I just say "WOW"! They are absolutely delicious (my guess is the homemade jam knocked them over the edge). 
      Don't worry about refrigerating the dough (It didn't make a bit of difference in rolling them out and I just don't have that kind of patience. When you want cookies it's now, not 4 hours from now!).
      And if you don't have parchment paper...not a problem either. When the first batch went in the oven I realized I had forgotten to line the pan with parchment. When they came out, however, they looked great and slid right off the pan, so I decided not to waste my $4 a roll parchment paper for the other pans.
    Now to tackle the Hollandaise!

     I may be asking for it by attempting Eggs Benedict and a new cookie recipe in the same day, but I figure if I have the motivation...Besides, I have a meeting tonight and it was one of the ladies birthdays this week so I am making these cookies as a birthday treat for her!
      I'm a sucker for Pepperidge Farms cookies and this recipe looks vaguely similar to one of my favorites...don't they look delicious?

    Raspberry-Almond Linzer Cookies


    Update: The Hollandaise had way too much lemon juice. Cut the lemon juice to 1-3 teaspoons (according to taste) and it will be perfect! Here's the link to my results with it.

      I have been dying to try a recipe for hollandaise sauce based off Julia Childs "Blender Hollandaise" recipe. The first time I tried to make hollandaise it was a disaster. I had the typical problem of the sauce curdling while the butter was being whisked in-as a result, I have not attempted the sauce again. Julia promises however, that her "Blender Hollandaise" recipe is "within the capabilities of an 8-year-old child". So, it is with slight hesitation that I attempt Eggs Benedict for only the second time in my life. I will be making the English Muffins from a recipe I came across a while back, poaching eggs, topping with slightly crispy pancetta and...the dreaded Hollandaise. My family loves breakfast for dinner so I like to go all out when I do it. The Eggs Benedict will be served with homemade hashbrowns and Orange Julius.

    Hollandaise- Courtesy of Saveur

    1/2 lb. unsalted butter
    6 egg yolks
    4–6 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
    1/2 tsp. salt
    1/4 tsp. freshly ground white pepper

    Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat until it begins to foam, 15–20 minutes. Meanwhile, put egg yolks, lemon juice, salt, and pepper into the jar of an electric blender. Cover, and blend on high speed for 2 seconds; then, with the motor still running, gradually add melted butter in a slow, steady stream through hole in blender lid, leaving milky solids behind. Adjust seasonings.

    How to Poach an Egg -Care of Wikihow

    English Muffins- This recipe is virtually fool-proof and the results are fantastic.
    Homemade Hashbrowns-

    Peel and dice or shred 4 potatoes. Place potatoes in a collander and rinse well under cold water; let hashbrowns drain completely. Pour about 3 tablespoons canola oil into a hot cast-iron or other skillet; add hashbrowns and cook over medium heat, flipping occasionally. When hashbrowns are cooked through and browned (about 30 minutes) salt and pepper to taste.

    Orange Julius-

    6 oz. frozen Orange Juice concentrate
    1 c. Water
    1 c. Milk
    1/4-1/2 c. Sugar
    1 tsp. Vanilla
    10-12 Ice Cubes

    Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. 

    Wednesday, April 13, 2011

    Welcome to the Blog!

      Well I'm finally up and running, thanks to a wonderful cousin of mine! BTW if anyone is looking for a blog designer...she's your gal. Her name is Shanna and her "shabbyblogs" link is at the top of my blog.
      I hope you find everything you need to create fantastic meals and delicious desserts for your family. How grateful I am for the gift of's the one really great talent I am blessed to have. I can't guarantee everyone will like every recipe I have to offer. I do hope you will find some you and your family enjoy and, if nothing else, find a passion for providing healthy, and often times inexpensive, meals for your family.