Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Updated What I have eaten!

 Strolling through my blog I found this posted a few years ago.. shoot I think it was even more like 5+! I do believe I can cross a few more off the list now!

1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras ( I hate it!!! haha)
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake

1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.

There are very few things that I would not at least be willing to try once.. and I admit a few on this list I Have no idea what they are but heck.. why not.. worst that could happen.. I puke LOL

Monday, April 28, 2014

Coconut Cake..

So the very first recipe posted was a coconut cake and I was very excite because I really do love a good coconut fan.  I also thought oh no problem, I got this cause well damn it I can bake! I put it off and put if off. I decided I could do it for Easter, I ended up with Saturday and Sunday off and knew it was gonna take some work but I was sure I could do it.. I assumed of course!

Little notes, I could NOT find a can of coconut milk anywhere!! So I bought a box in the nutrition section of my local grocery store. Whether it was correct or not omg the flavor was unbelievable and well anyone who can drink coconut water.. High Five cause I choked it down and never will again! 
Now this cake has 4 steps before even putting it together; and reading the recipe I would say you should be a little familiar with each step in order to successfully make this cake. I have experience and still had a few issues!

The cake for instance, it is a very different way of mixing it together but it was pretty nifty. I think because of the wording of the recipe I was afraid to over mix the batter but now I think I lost building volume from my egg whites because I didn't mix it long enough.  The reason I think this is because once baked both cakes fell in the center. I spoke with the host of the recipe and she made cupcakes out of the recipe and all of her cupcakes fell as well. It could just be the recipe but perhaps one day I will test my theory and mix it longer. I also was not a huge fan of the cake layers themselves, though great flavor they were a bit like Genoise and that was a sponge cake I simply never truly liked. In the end chose to remake my layers with my favorite lazy cake mix adding coconut extract and moving on!

Next the syrup.. so easy and smells amazing! no tricks or problems there!!

The pastry cream.. this pastry cream could be the best thing EVER!! I fully intend to remake it and use it to make a coconut cream pie in the near future! My only issue was I think I needed to cook it longer just to thicken up a little bit more but I admit.. I licked many spoons.. had a few bites.. so on and so forth.. pretty sure you get my point ;).. I do think part of the flavor was that coconut milk. I will use it every time now!
Now.. the biggest issue.. the damn Swiss Buttercream.. ugh. I have gotten lazy yes.. but man why do I need to cook sugar to a degree and added it and beat it forever and hope it works! Obviously since this is the last note.. mine obviously did not work the first time.. see I started out with it and it was beautiful..
I do not deny just how proud I was that I got the sugar to the right point and my egg whites were whipping up beautifully. I whipped them for the 8 min to 10 min.. felt my bowl. It was barely warm and I thought I am ok.. right.. I think.. I hope. And I dropped literally half a tablespoon of butter in.. and 2 minutes later my beautiful egg whites were no longer beautiful.. The above picture is what you want and my next picture is definitely Swiss Buttercream failure!
Half a tablespoon!! Can you believe that!! I wanted to cry!!! Instead.. I washed my bowl and started over.. mostly because I happened to have 6 dozen eggs in my fridge and well.. what the hell.. I had the rest of the damn steps done why stop now! So.. I went through all my steps and this time.. I let those damn sugar syruped egg whites beat for 40 min lol.. they were gonna be damn cool by the time I added that butter! then.. finally it all came together and well. I was just too tired to take a picture of the bowl of icing. I wanted it put together and done ha-ha..

So I will stop running my mouth and give you the recipe! I am not sure where she got the recipe from but I do want to give someone credit so the name of the host of the recipe is Megan Herreid Pires and in the end.. as I still have cake to enjoy I am glad she posted it for our first challenge! I lied haha if I had read further I would have seen this:

"Recipe by: adapted from Zoƫ Bakes (coconut pastry cream), The Way the Cookie Crumbles (perfect white cake), SAVEUR (inspiration for assembly)" So that is where she got everything from! I feel better being ever to post at least some form of credit for this seriously coconut cake!

The Ultimate Moist, Fluffy, Ridiculous Coconut Cake  

Yield: 9-inch 4-layer cake
This is it. The ultimate coconut cake. Perfect white cake is drizzled with coconut syrup, filled with rich coconut pastry cream, and slathered with coconut Swiss meringue buttercream. If you love coconut, this one’s for you.

Perfect White Cake Ingredients:
2¼ cups cake flour (9 ounces)
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons whole milk, at room temperature
1/2 cup coconut milk
6 large egg whites (¾ cup), at room temperature
1 teaspoon coconut extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or 1 inch vanilla bean seeds)
1½ cups + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar (11.35 ounces)
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon table salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1½ sticks), softened but still cool

Coconut Pastry Cream Ingredients:
1 can (14 fluid ounces) unsweetened coconut milk
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
pinch kosher salt
3 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons corn starch
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
1/2 cup whipping cream

Coconut Syrup Ingredients:
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup coconut water

Coconut Swiss Buttercream Ingredients:
1 cup sugar
4 large egg whites , at room temperature
24 tablespoons (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon coconut extract
3 cups sweetened coconut flakes

*NOTE ON TIMING: This cake has many steps, but none of them are particularly hard. For convenience, I’d split it up over 2-3 days. On the first day, bake the cake layers and let them cool before wrapping and freezing them. Make the coconut syrup and leave it covered in the fridge. On the second day, make the coconut pastry cream and frosting. Assemble the cake. Serve it then or on the third day.
Make the cake: Set oven rack in middle position. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease or butter/flour two 9-inch cake pans very well. Add a parchment paper circle in the bottom of each and grease that too. You don’t want your layers to stick! Pour milk, egg whites, and extracts into a small bowl and whisk gently until blended.

In a large bowl, whisk together cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the butter and continue beating until mixture resembles moist crumbs, with no powdery streaks left.
Add all but about 1/2 cup of milk mixture to crumbs and beat at medium speed for 1 1/2 minutes. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of milk mixture and beat 30 seconds more. Scrape down the sides of bowl before beating just a little longer.

Divide batter evenly between two prepared cake pans and smooth the tops with a spatula before dropping it from about 3 inches high to eliminate any bubbles in the batter. Arrange pans on middle rack. Bake until a thin skewer or toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs, 23 to 25 minutes. If you wait until the toothpick comes out totally clean, your cake might’ve gone too long and could be dry; be careful not to overbake! Check early and often.

Let the cakes rest in pans for a few minutes before running a knife around the edges of the pan and inverting the cakes onto wire racks. Invert them again so they’ll be right-side up and let them cool completeley, about 1 1/2 hours, before wrapping in wax paper and plastic wrap to freeze until pretty firm, about 30 minutes.
Make the coconut pastry cream: Heat the coconut milk, sugar, salt and vanilla bean or extract in a medium saucepan over medium heat. In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and corn starch. Once the cream is hot, remove the vanilla bean (if used), scraping out any remaining seeds and returning them to the cream. Add 1/2 cup of the hot cream slowly to the yolks, whisking as you add, to temper the eggs so they won’t cook into an omelette in the middle of your pastry cream. That would be a bummer. Then pour the yolk mixture into the pot of hot cream and whisk. Continue to whisk with heat on medium-high for 3 more minutes. The mixture will turn thick and bubble. You need to continue to whisk for the full 3 minutes or the pastry cream will separate once it is cool. After the 3 minutes, whisk in the butter. Add the coconut flakes. Pour into a shallow dish to cool.

Cover with plastic wrap pressed right against the pastry cream. This will prevent a thick skin from forming on the surface. Refrigerate for at least an hour or freeze for 30 minutes. Once it is cold, stir the pastry cream to loosen. Whip the 1/2 cup cream to medium peaks. Stir in 1/3 to the pastry cream to lighten. Fold in the remaining cream until the pastry cream is nice and light. Avoid eating entire bowl of pastry cream with a spoon.

To make coconut syrup: Combine the sugar, water, and coconut water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer until the sugar has dissolved, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the syrup to cool completely, about 20 minutes.
Make Coconut Swiss buttercream icing: Combine sugar and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Boil without stirring until syrup reaches 240° on a digital thermometer, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a stand mixer with whisk attachment, beat egg whites on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. With mixer on medium speed, gradually pour in hot syrup in a thin stream; avoid pouring syrup on whisk. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until stiff peaks form and mixture is cool, about 8 minutes. Reduce speed to medium and add butter 1 tablespoon at a time, beating after each addition. (If at any time buttercream appears curdled, beat on high until smooth, then reduce speed to medium and continue beating in butter.) Once all butter is added, beat on high speed until buttercream is smooth and fluffy, about 1 minute. Beat in vanilla and coconut extract.

Assemble the cake: Carefully slice each cake layer in half with a long serrated knife. Drizzle a couple tablespoons of coconut syrup over the “inner” side (the one that seems most porous) of each layer. Spread 1/3 of the coconut pastry cream filling onto the first cake layer. Spread it almost to the edge, but pipe a thick bead of buttercream around the very outside edge of each layer to ensure no spillage. Sprinkle with flaked coconut. Repeat with the other layers. Frost the cake with a very thin crumb coat and set it in the freezer to set for about 15 minutes. Bring it out and continue frosting the rest of the cake generously. Carefully push handfuls of fluffy coconut all over the sides of the cake and on top. Keep the cake in the refrigerator, but let sit out for about 30 minutes before slicing and serving so the frosting will be soft.

This is one hell of a cake and will feed an army no doubt! Oh and I didn't get it made for Easter. When the cakes disappointed me, I remade the layers and waited til my next day off to make it lol.. either way I definitely am enjoying every slice I eat!

Chocolate Banana Cream Cake..

The main reason I started this little group is to try some new things and help others step out of their boundaries. I am not gonna lie, when this recipe popped up as the second recipe I thought eww. Which is weird considering I love banana's and love chocolate and well love frozen chocolate covered banana's so why am I just saying eww?!  I set out to just go with it and hope for the best! It is very easy to make and I did change a couple of things. The recipe calls for vanilla pudding and banana extract I opted to just use banana cream pudding. I use it when I make banana pudding so why not here. I also bypassed all the sugar free stuff just because ha-ha. I used Hershey's Hot Fudge sauce as well. I am not a fan of gelatinous hot fudge and I will tell you that the Hershey's sauce is pretty bomb! It was perfect drizzle and spreading consistency and well I am definitely a fan of it and have a bit left over of something else.. or perhaps to just remake this! The recipe is also found at and My husband and I ended up loving the end result! We ate the whole thing over the span of 5 days and when I planned to take it to work he said "you aren't taking it all are you!" so.. yea a slice was taken and that was it. The rest was all for us! I would definitely say try it because it was so good and I was pleasantly surprised. We will definitely have it again!!

Chocolate Banana Cream Cake 

Crisco® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray
1 (18.25 ounce) package Pillsbury®
Reduced Sugar Devils Food Cake
2 large eggs
2/3 cup CRISCO® Canola Oil
1 3/4 cups milk, divided
1 (1 ounce) package sugar free, fat free
instant vanilla pudding mix
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese,
1 teaspoon imitation banana extract
1 (8 ounce) container sugar free frozen
whipped topping, thawed
1 (11.75 ounce) jar Smucker's® Sugar
Free Hot Fudge Spoonable Ice Cream
2 large bananas
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray bottom of a 9-inch round springform pan with no-stick cooking spray.
2. Blend cake mix, eggs, oil and 3/4 cup milk in a medium bowl until moistened. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes. Spread batter evenly into prepared pan. Bake 38-42 minutes. Cool completely.
3. Blend pudding mix with 1 cup cold milk. In another bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Mix in pudding and banana extract. Blend in whipped topping. Remove 1 cup and reserve. Stir 2/3 cup fudge topping in small bowl until of spreading consistency. Slice bananas 1/4-inch thick. Dip 3 slices in lemon juice. Cover and reserve for garnish.
4. Remove cake from pan. Cut in half horizontally. Cover bottom layer with fudge topping. Top with sliced bananas and remaining 3 cups pudding mixture. Cover with top cake layer. Spread 1 cup reserved pudding onto center of cake. Place 2 tablespoons fudge topping into a corner of a 1-quart resealable bag. Knead. Cut small corner off bag. Drizzle fudge topping over top of cake. Refrigerate at least 1 hour. Garnish with reserved banana slices just before serving.
 I do think next time I may just use to 8 in round cakes instead of a spring form pan; It may just be easier. But I will say that every day that it sat it got better and better. We loved the filling and well the whole cake!!

Mini Tacos

I started a group in hopes that I could keep up on and get back into my blog.. instead I made 4 recipes and have only posted one of them! Bad Tina!!!! So here is the next in the mix. One of the recipes gives was one that our member makes pretty regularly and takes to gatherings. The recipes is called Mini Tacos and is found at I have to say that when I first make a recipe I rarely change much then later see what I could do to tweak it, 11 people made it and each made it to suit them! I was so happy and proud to see such creativeness coming out, which was definitely something I was hoping to see eventually! Either way. I would say the only thing I did different was use my favorite salsas and taco seasoning. Aside from that I made my recipe as is.
We definitely loved this and they will be made again, especially with almost a whole package of Wonton wrappers in the freezer! Next time I will jump on board with others and top with some lettuce and tomatoes!
They are super easy, give them a try!!

Mini Tacos

24 wonton wrappers
1 pound lean ground beef
1 (1.12 ounce) package Pace® Dry
Taco Seasoning Mix
2 tablespoons Pace® Picante Sauce
1/2 cup Pace® Chunky Salsa
1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
2. Press wonton wrappers into mini-muffin cups.
3. Cook beef in skillet until browned. Drain off fat. Stir in taco seasoning mix and picante sauce.
4. Spoon beef mixture into wonton cups. Top with salsa and cheese.
5. Bake about 8 minutes or until wontons are golden brown.
6. Serve immediately with additional salsa. Garnish with sour cream and sliced ripe olives if desired. Makes 24 appetizers.
So much easier than I imagined and so tasty!

Thursday, April 3, 2014


I am on Facebook and well I once was in a very fun baking group. After about a year and a half I simply couldn't afford to participate and their rules involved being removed if you missed so many challenges. I am addicted to recipes and baking definitely used to be my passion; I decided to try to make my own group on FB and attempt to find that passion again. I named us Foodies Unite and wanted it to be more fun than strict. It rolled out rather chaotically on April 1st. We decided that there could be more options if we give the group more to choose from. Four recipes were listed, 2 sweet and 2 savory, and the members can choose which to make.  I love the idea and am going to try to make all 4. The one I really want to make is a coconut cake but the ingredient list is quite extensive and I am not quite sure if I will be able to afford to make it; but then that is why we have 4 recipes to choose from! It just happened that I took out chicken breasts yesterday for dinner and one of the recipes was for Chicken Spaghetti by the Pioneer Woman.  As I looked at the recipe I realized heck yea.. I can actually make this with what is on hand! Part of the rules of our group is that we can tweak it as we see fit, leave out things we don't like or are allergic to.  I am not a fan.. no I hate green bell peppers and well I can't say I am a fan of pimentos so looking at the recipe I figured screw it I can just leave it out! I also just used boneless skinless chicken breasts and halved the recipe because there are only 2 of us at home. This recipe is fantastic and it is so good!!!!! The hubby and I are already plotting on what we can add to it to play with it; and it will be made as is again for sure!
Our Cousin Darlene hosted the recipe because it has become a staple in their home; The Pioneer Woman gave it to us and I am sure we are all thankful for that!

Chicken Spaghetti: 

Ingredients per The Pioneer Women:

1 "Cut Up Fryer" (Basically, one chicken that’s been cut into pieces)
 Thin Spaghetti
2 Cream of Mushroom soup
1 onion
1 green pepper
1 4 oz jar pimentos, drained
2 c sharp cheddar cheese
Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
cayenne pepper


1. Rinse chicken and put into a pot of water to boil. ( I used 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts; because of the lack of flavor because of there are no bones or skin. I added onion powder, sage leaf, garlic powder, salt and pepper to add flavor as they boil.)  Boil chicken until cooked through, about 30-45 min.
2. Remove chicken and let cool enough to handle. Reserve 2 cups ( 1 for me) of the cooking liquid. Bring that water back up to a boil. While boiling break spaghetti into 2 inch pieces to equal about 2 cups of pasta.  Cook the pasta in the cooking liquid ( I added frozen chopped onions to the pasta while it cooked as I did not have fresh onion to dice and add to the pasta later). If using dice 1 fresh onion, 1 green bell pepper and 1 4 oz jar of drained pimentos, set aside.
3. While pasta cooks, shred chicken into bite size pieces. Drain pasta and place into a large boil. Add shredded chicken, diced onions, pimentos and bell pepper. To this mixture add 2 cans of cream of mushroom soup ( I used 1 again, halved the recipe) and the cooking liquid. Stir all this together. Add shredded cheese, and seasonings to taste.
4. I used an 8x8 pan sprayed with non-stick spray, pour the mixture into prepared pan and top with a sprinkling of shredded cheese. Bake in a 350 preheated oven for 35-45 minutes or until bubbly.

So good!!! I was very surprised, I admit before when I say anything that said Chicken Spaghetti I thought.. omg eww! Now it will become a regular in our home! Super good!!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

A couple of Cakes....

We were asked to do a couple of cakes this year. One being a wedding cake for this past Sunday. Our friends Daughter and Partner were married and I had the pleasure of doing their wedding cake.
It was a simple 3 Tier White and Chocolate cake decorated in their favorite colors, Green and Purple.  I have not done a wedding cake in several years and though there are definitely things I wished I had done differently I am still quite happy with it! Will I do more.. well they stress me out and I am extremely limited on space so unless I am begged and paid well it could be some time before I do it again lol

The other cake we were asked to make is definitely a we project. My Hubby and I did his son's 7th Birthday cake in February! Similar to a wedding cake.. oh yes.. yes it was lol. He chose to have the Winter Olympics as his Birthday party theme and we had to figure out what to do. We came up with skiing and snowboarding!
It was quite the huge cake but in the end it was quite awesome! He loved it and several times we found him just gazing at it!
Erik and I were quite proud at how well we worked together and just how well it came out. It was a monster of a cake and it was loved! Our little man turned 7 and he had a blast!

Playing with Brownies...

I like to keep a handful of simplistic things on hand. I am all about from scratch but now and then I do not mind the use of convenience foods either. Brownie and cake mixes are one of them. I was scrolling through Pinterest not long ago and seeing all these fantastic brownies I had a craving. I had brownie mix on hand and my hubby loves PB cups so why not combine the two! This was super easy. I didn't want the cups mixed in but more like a layer on top. I can definitely see doing this with any other kind of chocolate candy.. especially Snickers or Peppermint Paddy's.. oh so yum! Either way here is my simple PB Cup Brownies!

PB Cup Brownies:   


Your favorite box of Brownie Mix plus the ingredients to make it
12-16 regular sized PB Cups

1. Mix brownies following directions on package. Bake in a 8x8 pan and bake for the lowest time suggested. I baked mine for about 20 minutes. You want the brownies just almost done.
2. Place PB Cups upside down  and push them gently into the soft brownies.
3. Place brownies back into the oven of the last 5 maybe 10 minutes until brownies are just done (you want them slightly under done, on the fudgy side) and the PB Cups are melting. Because of the PB in the center the will not completely melt. When removed gently use a knife to spread the PB Cups a bit to make an icing. Be very careful!
4. Roughly chop about 4 more PB Cups and sprinkle on top of the brownies and let cool. I liked doing it this way because they melted slightly and adhered to the brownies.
5. Let the brownies cool completely, this is important. I put mine in the fridge to help.
6. Dig in!

They are quite rich so I cut them into about 12 pieces and I definitely had milk with each one. They are quite the indulgence and oh so good!!!!

Cold Winters day and Cheeseburger Soup!

I warned my husband of some very specific things if I was to move back to Indiana. Those things were that he was guaranteed that I would bitch abut snow, humidity and bugs lol. So of course it has been a horrible Winter and I have made sure to whine about it as much as I can. Yea yea yea.. it is pretty.. so pretty.. until of course you have to walk in it, dig  your car out of it and deal with idiots that are on the road. So personally snow is very highly overrated!
Either way on this particularly snowy day I was off and decided that it was the perfect day to make this soup I had found on a different blog. Chocolate, chocolate and more had this recipe and it sounded amazing! So I jumped on board and busted out my favorite Le Cruset dutch oven and set to making this awesome soup. As usual I made tweaks to fit either what I had on hand or what I like so they are as follows: I used fake Velveeta ( I am on a budget and it was cheaper and the same as the real thing.. wait Velveeta is not exactly real but you all get my meaning!), I left out celery.. honestly in soup I am fine with it but I forgot to buy a stalk since I generally hate it. That is basically the only thing I changed. The author of this blog definitely said it was easy and it was! I have linked her blog in the title of it above and I will also link it in the title of the recipe. She deserves full credit; it was a great find!

Cheeseburger Soup:  

  • 1 pound ground beef, cooked
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2-3 large potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 cup velveeta cheese, cubed ( or any other processed cheese)
  • 1 cup milk ( I used skim milk)
  • salt and pepper to taste

1. In a large soup pot, melt butter. add in carrots, celery and onions, Cook over medium heat until onions become translucent. About 5-8 minutes.
2. Add chicken broth, potatoes and parsley, let come to a low boil and cook for 10 minutes, make sure potatoes are fully cooked.
3. Turn heat down to low, stir in ground beef, cheese and milk, add salt and pepper to taste. Once cheese is melted and all ingredients are blended.

 On a cold, snowy day this soup will hit the spot and it is quick! Next time I will have some crusty bread to go along with it!

Tuna Casserole!

One of many things I had been looking forward to when it came to finally getting married and getting to be with my Hubby is getting to cook for him! We both like just about anything and he is willing to eat anything I make. How awesome is that!! It just happens that we both love Tuna Casserole and I came across a for 2 and figured this was the perfect recipe for us! Being that we like leftovers, or more like I do, I did double the recipe and baked it in individual casserole dishes.  I also changed a few things like no pimentos and the addition of peas. I didn't have chives so I left that out and I just used my shredded Colby cheese blend that I had on hand. This is a fantastic recipe! We have it at least once a month and there is almost never anything left! If you like Tuna Casserole this is definitely the recipe to try! The title will be linked to the original recipe, definitely check out Taste of Home!

Tuna Casserole:


1 3/4 c  uncooked wide egg noodles
6 teaspoons butter, divided
4 teaspoons flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
dash of pepper
3/4 c 2% milk
1 package (3 oz) cream cheese, softened
1 pouch (2 1/2 oz) Albacore white tuna in water
2 teaspoons diced pimentos
2 teaspoons minced chives
2 slices Munster cheese (3/4 oz each)
2 Tablespoons soft bread crumbs


1. Cook noodles according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, melt 5 teaspoons butter. Stir in the flour, salt and pepper until blended; gradually add milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until thickened. Reduce heat; add the cream cheese, tuna, pimientos and chives. Cook and stir until cheese is melted.

2. Drain noodles. Spread 1/4 cup tuna mixture into a 3-cup baking dish coated with cooking spray. Layer with half of the noodles, 1/2 cup tuna mixture and one slice of cheese. Repeat layers.

3. In a small microwave-safe bowl, melt remaining butter; stir in bread crumbs. Sprinkle over top of casserole. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until bubbly. Yield: 2 servings.

Seriously a great recipe. The cream cheese adds an amazing level of creaminess we love! Hope you all enjoy! 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

I am Back!!

Not so sure I was all that missed BUT I know I missed my blog!
Since my last post I have been married, finished school and moved BACK to Indiana! Only this time I am down south in Lafayette and oh so happy about it :D.
I am looking forward to getting my cooking and baking on and getting my blog back up and going! Woohoo!!!!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Bacon Mac and Cheese!

I had this sudden urge to make home made mac and cheese. I have never made it before; yes crazy I know.. degree in Culinary and Pastry Arts and I have never made mac and cheese! Anyway.. it just sounded so good and here my family just loves that damn little addictive blue box of mac and cheese. I went on line looking for Cooking Light recipes because well I love Cooking Light and if I am gonna make it I may as well pick a semi healthy recipe to try! I came across a list of 12 mac and cheese recipes from Cooking Light and sponsored by; I picked out 3 I wanted to try and Mom picked from there.  It was decided on Bacon Mac! How can we go wrong with bacon and mac and cheese!
First let me tell you how so easy it was to make!!! I was expecting so much more work! It was wonderfully simple to make; even grating the cheese cause well yay for a food processor ;).  My only issue was the green onions.. they were a bit strong and almost.. almost overpowered the awesomeness of the recipe.  Either way it was an amazing recipe and I fully expect to make it again most likely once I am moved and can make it for my future husband ;).

Bacon Mac:
  • 3 1/4 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 12 ounces strozzapreti or penne pasta (I used corkscrew as I was feeling screwy!)
  • 4 teaspoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups skim milk, divided
  • 2 cups finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided (I used an 8 oz block of sharp and long horn cheese)
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce (I left this out.. mom was being picky)
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 slices center-cut bacon, cooked and crumbled (I used 3 because well bacon is awesome)
  • Cooking spray 

1. Preheat broiler.
2. Bring 6 quarts water and 1 tablespoon salt to a boil. Add pasta; cook 8 minutes or until al dente; drain.
3. Combine flour and 1/2 cup milk in a saucepan over medium heat. Gradually add 1 cup milk; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; let stand 4 minutes or until it cools to 155°. Stir in 1 1/2 cups cheese. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt, onions, hot sauce, pepper, and bacon; stir. Add pasta; toss. Spoon into a 2-quart broiler-safe dish coated with cooking spray; top with 1/2 cup cheese. Broil 7 minutes.

I would definitely follow the directions as is.  I stirred the pasta and cheese sauce together and let it sit a bit while I finished my chops and the 7 minutes under the broiler didn't heat up what had cooled down. So I would next time put directly under the broiler or just mix and put in a heated over for a good 30 min. or so.  I also took the cheese that went on top and mixed it with some bread crumbs so that I could have a little extra crunch.. mmm So damn yummy!!! 

Pan Cakes........

So every now and then I get this craving for pancakes... but I am one lonely person and well I do not want to make a huge batch for just me. Yes I know there is the ability to freeze and heat up later and so on and so forth but.. nope I just don't wanna do that. So I went on a search and came across this little blog and there were tons of pancakes just staring at me! I clicked the blueberry picture and looked at the recipe... YAY serves 1!!! Well.. I didn't have any blueberries but I did have strawberries so thought what the heck lets test this out!

I have since made three variations using this wonderfully simple recipe; a recipe that will be my mainstay as a single serving forever! Super glad I came across her blog!  I have made my strawberry pancakes, I have thrown in mini chocolate chips and today I poured the batter over some lefter over bacon! I definitely will not cook the bacon to crisp when planning to reuse it in bacon pancakes ;) but it was damn tasty!

Enjoy this super easy recipe for a single serving of pancakes, again I thank you Chocolatecoveredkatie!

The recipe as was in the blog/site:

Blueberry Pancakes
(Serves 1)
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1/3 cup flour (ww pastry, white, spelt, or even Bob’s gluten-free)
  • 2 tbsp rolled oats
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2/3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp sugar or 1 packet stevia (omit if you don’t want sweet pancakes)
  • 1/3 cup milk of choice
  • Unless you like the taste of fat-free pancakes, add 1 tbsp oil and reduce milk by that amount.
Combine dry ingredients in a bowl, then add wet. Mix, but don’t overmix. Cook on an oiled (or sprayed) pan, on low-medium, flipping each pancake once.

I left my pancakes fat free and Mine did not come out nearly as tall as hers, but They are extremely tasty and I am grateful for having the recipe!  I used a few sliced strawberries in my first batch, a handful of mini chocolate chips in the next batch, and 3 slices of bacon in the 3rd.  I have made them as just basic pancakes as well.. love that I have a basic single serving recipe!!!!

Sunday, April 28, 2013


I have never actually grilled or well cooked swordfish ever.  Though I love fish I just do not get to play with it all that often.  Mom brought it home and I thought sweet! I instantly went to the grill! It was a pretty basic night, a simple salt free herb seasoning and the grill. 
I generously seasoned the swordfish steaks and heated my grill to medium high, about 350 degrees.  Having no idea how long to grill them for I started with about 5 minutes per side.  It took closer to 7 with a carry over cooking time of about 10 min.  They were awesome! Super tasty, moist and flaky! I was so happy and can't wait to make them again!
Don't be afraid of the grill or of fish! Well.. firm fish at least!