Thursday, January 26, 2012


My husband picked the dinner menu
this evening and he chose stromboli.
I googled stromboli to see how the
Italian folks made stromboli.
I grew up on Mennonite stromboli,
which is delicious also. It's stuffed with salami,
ham, sausage, mozzarella cheese and american cheese
and often has a layer of mustard on the bottom.
I wanted to try the original stromboli
and we really enjoyed this kind too.

Mix together dough and let rise until almost doubled.

Roll out and top with salami, sausage, pepperonis,
fresh mushrooms, black olives, onions, and jalapeno peppers.
Use your own discretion on the amounts there is no
right or wrong way. Add toppings as you please.

Pour on the cheeses... mozzarella, feta and fresh grated parmesan.

Fold in sides and ends and brush with egg wash
and sprinkle with oregano.

Sliced and ready to be dipped in marinara sauce.


1 cup water, warm
1 Tbsp. yeast
1 tsp. sugar
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. oil
A few shakes of
parsley flakes

10 slices of salami
1 lb. sausage, browned
fresh mushrooms, sliced
onion slices
1 small can of black olives
1/2 jalapeno pepper, sliced thin
mozzarella cheese
feta cheese
fresh Parmesan cheese

1 egg, beaten with a little water

marinara sauce for dipping

Combine warm water, yeast, sugar and oil. In another bowl
mix together flour, salt and spices. Make a well in your flour
mixture and pour in the yeast mixture. Mix together with fork until
it starts sticking together and then knead together with hands and
form into a ball. You may need to add a little more flour
while kneading. Place in your mixing bowl and cover. I usually turn
the burner on very low for a little until it's warm and then turn it off.
Set your bowl on warm burner (that's off) and this helps hurry
up the raising process. Let raise until almost doubled.

Sprinkle flour on the surface where you will be rolling out the dough.
Knead the dough a little and sprinkle the top with flour.
Roll out into a 12" x 20" rectangle. Top with
meats, vegetables and cheeses. I used mostly mozzarella
and sprinkled a light layer of feta and parmesan. 
Sprinkle with pepper. Fold in one side and wet the edges
with water. Fold the other side over top and seal ends.
Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with oregano.
Bake at 400 for 20 minutes. Cover with foil for 
a few minutes after removing from the oven.
This helps soften the dough. Slice and serve.


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Cream Cheese Icing

Any cream cheese icing lovers out there?
I love cream cheese icing but I am
not fond of most recipes that
call for 2 cups of 10x sugar
and a 1/2 cup of butter.

This is a recipe I make often from
memory and thought I would share
it with you. It does have a whole cup
of whipping cream but to me it's
a 'good fat' meaning it's not processed
to be kept fresh in a plastic tub for weeks.

Here is some Cool Whip education for you from Wikipedia:

Cool Whip Original is made of water, hydrogenated vegetable oil 
 skim milklight cream, and less than 2% sodium caseinate (a milk derivative),
and beta carotene (as a coloring).[5] In some markets, such as Canada and the 
United States, Cool Whip is available in an aerosol can using nitrous oxide 
as a propellant. Cool Whip was formerly marketed as non-dairy, but in 
 Jewish dietary traditions, Cool Whip was classified as dairy rather than parve 
(non-meat and non-dairy) because of the sodium caseinate (which is derived from milk).
Cool Whip now contains milk and cream.

Hydrogenated Vegetable (or any) oil – In a nutshell, are transfats
They lower HDL (good) cholesterol and an increase LDL (bad) cholesterol. 
They are added to foods in order to make them solid at room temperature and to
extend their shelf life. The problem is they turn to sludge in your body for the same 
reason, and transfats clog arteries and lead to high-blood pressure, 
circulation problems, and heart attacks!

High fructose Corn Syrup – It extends the shelf life of processed foods and 
is cheaper than sugar (that’s why it’s found everywhere). It’s basically made by 
turning the natural glucose found in corn starch into fructose. Fructose contains no
enzymes, vitamins or minerals and robs the body of micronutrients in order 
to be assimilated into the body. Glucose, a natural occurring sugar found in nature, 
is easily digested by every cell in the body. But High fructose corn syrup is ONLY 
digestible by the liver, and too much of it causes it to be expelled back out into the body. 
Causing everything from gastrointestinal problems, to diahrrea. It also messes with 
the liver’s ability to produce insulin properly! (Diabetes anyone?)

Sorbitan monostearate -  is basically a wax. Waxes are used as an emulsifying agents. 
Sorbitan monostearate is also used in hemorrhoid creams, and creams to treat dry skin.

Polysorbate 60 – another type of emulsifying agent and member of the Sorbitan monostearate family that makes essential oils water soluble. Also found in lotions and creams.

Xantham Gum – a thickening agent and stabilizer derived from naturally occuring bacteria that functions similarly to gelatin in recipes, but it is completely vegan

Now back to the recipe...

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup 10x sugar
1/3 cup vanilla yogurt
1 tsp. vanilla

Whip cream into soft peaks. In another bowl beat cream cheese,
and 10x sugar. Beat until smooth. Add yogurt and vanilla.
Add to whipped cream and beat until combined.
This generously ices a 2 layer cake.
Refrigerate after icing.

Here are some rustic Valentine's Day or party ideas.
These flowers were for my sister, Faith's, birthday party.

Another fire wood creation of mine.
If you get tired of it you can just throw it in the stove.

The basket was my gift to her. I love chicken wire baskets.

I collect old glass bottles from thrift stores for vases.


Monday, January 23, 2012

Spicy Peach Glazed Chicken

It's January and I am getting the spring
fever... we grilled two times last week.

I had been wanting to create a peach
glazed chicken that wasn't too peachy and sweet.
I have made this recipe twice and we love it.
The peach is there but isn't overwhelming.

Chicken for me and steak for my hubby.

Spicy Peach Glazed Chicken

4 lbs. chicken tenders (can use chicken of your choice)
1 cup peach preserves
1 large garlic clove, crushed
6 Tbsp. olive oil
4 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/4 cup of Sweet Baby Rays BBQ Sauce
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped (add seeds too)
2 tsp. vinegar
1/2 tsp. salt
pepper to taste

Mix together and pour most of it over your chicken.
Leave a little out for basting while grilling.
Stir well to make sure all the chicken is coated. 
Let set for 3-4 hours. While grilling baste on
each side. Grill until done.

p.s. Don't be scared to add the jalapeno pepper, 
it wasn't too hot, if you like hot food add 
a half of another pepper.


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Parmesan and Chive Potatoes

Now that I have a clean and dust free
home, I can finally cook again.
It felt so good to cook again.
You can call me weird but it truly
made my heart happy.

Is there anyone else out there
who gets tired of making the same
potato recipes over and over again?

Here is a new one for you.
It's thin, it's crispy, it's delicious and easy!

Slice large baking potatoes a quarter inch thick.
Brush with butter and chives.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper and top with
fresh grated Romano or Parmesan cheese.

 Pick up with your hands and eat or be polite and use a fork.

Parmesan and Chive Potatoes

2 large baking potatoes
2 Tbsp. butter, melted
2 tsp. chives, dried
salt and pepper
fresh grated Romano or Parmesan cheese

Slice potatoes length wise about a quarter inch think.
Lay on tray sprayed with oil. Melt butter and stir in chives.
Lay potato slices on tray and brush with butter and chives.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grate cheese on top.
Bake at 400 for 35-40 minutes, or until starting
to brown and the skins wrinkle.


Monday, January 9, 2012

Yogurt and Dust

Sorry about the title,
but that is what I am feeling right now.
I want to tell you how good yogurt is
for you and I also want to show you
how much dust is in our house.

We are in the middle of re-painting our house.
We were just going to paint over our ceiling texture,
but it started to pull up when we rolled over it.
So we decided to scrape the texture off our
ceilings in the downstairs and upstairs rooms.
Dust is everywhere. My dear hubby worked
all day on it and is finally done scraping the texture off.
We also hired someone to help us with it.

My knight in shining white.

Our living room.

The plastic between the kitchen and living room...
it keeps most of the dust out but keeps our heat
from going upstairs to our bedroom.

This stuff is what is causing the problem.
We are just happy we are doing it now and getting it over with.

Need a healthy snack?

This is a great snack to help curb a sweet craving.
It's simply granola, homemade yogurt,
and fresh fruit drizzled with some honey.

The May issue of Mayo Clinic
Women's HealthSource covers the benefits:

- One 8-ounce cup of plain low-fat yogurt provides around 400
milligrams of calcium, more than the 300 mg in an 8-ounce glass of milk.

 - Yogurt also has as much potassium as a banana and as much
protein as an egg or ounce of meat.

- The live bacteria in yogurt help in digestion and protect
you against other harmful bacteria.

I also use yogurt in cream cheese fillings
so they are not as rich. Fresh whipped
cream also keeps it light.

I may not be posting as much this week,
due to circumstances of the dust.
I hope to post after photos of the house.


Saturday, January 7, 2012

Austy's 4th Birthday

When I asked Austin what kind
of cake he wanted for his birthday
I knew it would be Thomas.
It was one of Thomas's friends, Gordon.
So today he had another Thomas party.

I called the other day to ask who was
coming to his party, he politely replied,
"All of my little friends."
So a bunch of his sweet, little
friends came and we had a grand time.

His mom made these super-cool party hats.

The birthday boy and his mom.

This is Gordon, Austy informed me that it's not two
smoke stacks, one is to let the steam out.
He is a walking dictionary for Thomas and his friends.

All of his little friends.

Salty pulling a load of fruit.

Favor bags filled with goodies.

We drew on the table cloth and then...

... and played pin the tail on the donkey.

Happy 4th birthday Austy.


Thursday, January 5, 2012

Mexican Gumbo Soup

Well folks I'm back...
happy new year to all.

What are your new year's resolutions?
Mine is to eat healthier,
the first meal I cooked after my
new year's resolution was so healthy
my husband asked for barbeque sauce.
I guess I will have to find a happy medium.

I received my Christmas gift from Josh on Monday.
Somehow it was lost in the mail, and did not
come until a week after Christmas.
It was the newest Kitchen Aid food processor.
A beauty indeed. I've used it every night this week.

Tonight for dinner I tried to re-create Qdoba's gumbo soup.
I used a recipe online as a bounce board.
It tasted similar minus the cilantro- which I can live without.

Serve over brown rice and top with guacamole.

Mexican Gumbo Soup

3 large chicken breasts, cubed
2 T. butter
2 garlic cloves, minced or crushed
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 tsp. cumin
1- 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
1- 4 oz. can chopped green chilies
1/2 lime, juiced
1- 15.5 oz. can black beans
1- 15.25 oz. can whole kernal corn
1/4 tsp. chili powder
1 sprig of fresh parsley, minced
salt and pepper to taste

Melt butter in pot. Cube chicken with scissors and add to butter.
Top chicken with garlic, onion and cumin. Cover and cook until done.
Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
Serve over brown rice and top with guacamole.
Delicious and healthy at the same time.

Now for some food processor fun. Go here to see how cool it is.

 To make guacamole use 2 ripe avocados, 1/4 onion, 
a few cherry tomatoes, l/2 juice of a lime, salt and pepper.
Turn on high and taa daaa... you have nice, smooth guacamole.

Or if you like hummus you can quick make a bowl of that.


1- 15 oz. can of garbanzo beans, drained
1/2 juice of a lime
1 garlic clove
2 T. olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
dash of paprika

Add to food processor and turn on high until smooth.
Enjoy on pita chips or crackers.

Many more food processor recipes to come!