Friday, November 20, 2015


Next week is already Thanksgiving!! What a wonderfully delicious time of year.  I LOVE Thanksgiving. Unfortunately this year, I'll be working on that day.  Photographing Football players and missing out on a delicious Turkey dinner.  But the biggest thing I'll miss out on is the leftovers. So today I'd like to share a post on a delectable take on reusing leftover mashed potatoes.  Homemade Gnocchi. 

This is an easy recipe and please feel free to add the Gnocchi to any pasta sauce or toppings that you might like.


30 minutes Prep time
2-3 minutes Boiling per batch of pasta
9 Servings

·       1 Eggs
·       2 Cups Mashed Potatoes
·       2 Cups Flour w/extra for rolling
·      1 tsp. Salt
·      1 Cup Flour

In a large bowl mix together your egg, salt, mashed potatoes, and flour.  You want the dough to come together but not be too sticky. So feel free to add extra flour if you need to.

Cut the dough into quarters.  Roll out each quarter with the extra flour, and cut into small pillow like shapes.

Take a fork and press down on the pillow and then roll up.  The shape isn't super important, it just make them look like gnocchi and allow tomato sauce to get into each nook and cranny.

Start your water boiling.  Take batches of the gnocchi, and boil each batch 2-3 minutes or until they float to the top of the water.  Put cooked gnocchi aside as you work through each batch.

I then added the cooked gnocchi to some veggies and homemade tomato sauce. You can dress up yours with anything from fresh tomato sauce to brown butter sage sauce. 

Friday, November 13, 2015

Get Baked!

We're in the middle of fabulous apple season.  A time of year that I absolutely love.  Apples are super cheap and there is a huge variety of them.  Everything from Gala to Honeycrisp to Pink Lady Apples.  We went to a farmer's market where my husband thought it would be a great idea to buy a half bushel of apples.  They were $3 for the whole thing, but now we have a lot of apples.  So be on the lookout for additional apple recipes coming your way.

This week's version is Baked Apples.  An easy to make dessert or breakfast dish that you can whip up in very little time.

 My husband was a huge fan of this recipe.  I walked downstairs with the baby and saw him pilfering these out of the fridge to eat cold. 

Baked Apples

5 minutes of Prep
25 minutes of Bake time
4 Servings

·       1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
·       3 Tbsp. Melted Butter
·       3 Tbsp. Oatmeal
·       2 Tbsp. Flour
·      4 Apples (I used Honeycrisp)
·       Whipped Topping (Optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Peel and core your apples.  Then slice your apples length wise. 5-6 times per apple.  It allows the topping to get into the apples and makes them every more delicious.  Place each apple in the baking dish.

Take a bowl and add the sugar, butter, oatmeal, and flour and mix together. Top each apple with some of the mixture.

Bake in the oven 25-30 minutes.  Serve with whipped topping.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Zebra Stripes

I love cupcakes.  But I also get bored very quickly with the options for them.  So I began looking at ideas to jazz up boring cupcakes.  I found this recipe and thought it would be an awesome option. 

This took a little time to put together but the end result was amazing.  I only made enough for 9 cupcakes.  If you double the recipe it easily becomes 18.

Zebra Cake Base

20 minutes Prep time
15 minutes Bake time
9 Servings

·       2 Eggs
·       1/2 Cup Sugar
·       1/2 Cup Milk (I used 1%)
·       1/2 cup Vegetable Oil
·      1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
·      1 Cup Flour
·      1 and 1/2 Tbsp Cocoa Powder
·      1/4 tsp. Salt
·      1/2 tsp. baking powder

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl mix together your eggs and sugar.  Beat together until mixture is light and creamy.  Then add milk, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract.

In a different bowl add together flour, baking powder, and salt.  Whisk together to mix.  Slowly add your dry ingredients to the bowl of wet ingredients and whisk to combine.

Pour out a Cup or so of vanilla batter into a different bowl.  Add Cocoa powder to this and whisk to combine.

Begin to create your cupcakes by first adding the papers to your cupcake pan.  Add 2 tbsp. of vanilla batter first then 2 tbsp. of chocolate batter on top.  Continue this with each cupcake paper until each one is 3/4 of the way full.  Bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees.

Allow to cool before frosting.

Chocolate Ganache Frosting

10 minutes Cook time
9 Servings

·       2 Cups Chocolate Chips
·       1 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream

If you have a double boiler, this is a great moment to break it out.  If not, do what I did.  Add a bowl on top of a pot of boiling water.  The water shouldn't touch the bottom of the bowl.  Melt the chocolate chips in this.  Whisk to make them super smooth.

Take off of heat and add cream to chocolate.  Stir gently to combine.  Spoon out frosting on top of each cupcake while still warm.

 I added eyes, using marshmallows and chocolate chips to my cupcakes to make them festive.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Lamb Chops with Roasted Garlic

My husband is a carnivore.  So every once in awhile, I look for a recipe to really wow him and this was a big hit.  This started with me asking him if he would pick up some meat for me to make for dinner. And ended up with me creating a whole new recipe because he brought home a particularly delicious looking piece of lamb loin.
Lamb is very easy to make.  The trick is to add complex flavors like roasted garlic and fresh herbs to it.   It's also very easy to overcook.  Be careful and feel free to utilize your meat thermometer with it.

Lamb Chops with Roasted Garlic

1 hr 15 minutes Cook time
4 Servings

·       2.5 lbs Lamb Chops or Lamb Loin
·       16 oz Red Wine
·       1 tsp. Sea Salt
·       2 heads of Garlic
·      3 Stalks fresh Rosemary, chopped
·      1/4 tsp. Pepper
·      4 Tbsp. Olive Oil
·      3 Tbsp. Flour

First ready your Garlic.  Chop the tops off of each head of garlic and pop into the oven at 425 degree for 30 minutes.

Then take a look at your lamb, carve it into chops if you need to.  Set out while you ready the Olive oil mixture.

Add Olive oil, salt, pepper, chopped rosemary, and the roasted garlic to a small bowl.  Mix together and then top the lamb with it.

Ready a saute pan and a roasting pan.  Keep oven at 425 degrees and heat up the saute pan.  Brown the chops on both sides in the saute pan and then add to the roasting pan.  After the meat has been browned on each side, roast in the oven for 15 minutes. This made the meat about a medium rare.

Take that saute pan and add the red wine to it, gently scraping up the browned pieces of a meat with a spoon.  Simmer while the meat roasts in the oven.  Add flour to it when the meat comes out. While the meat rests, whisk in the flour and continue to simmer until it thickens.

Serve immediately.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Salads for Everyone!!

I love salads, but they can get super boring.  So I found a couple of new salad recipes and were super delicious.

To jazz up your salads, get creative and think outside of the box. Ingredients can be paired in numerous ways.  It doesn't just have to be lettuce and tomato dabbed with thick dressing.  Here are three colorful recipes that are easy to pop together. This time I tried to stay away from lettuce. 

Avocado and Citrus Salad

10 minutes of Prep time
3 Servings

·       3 Navel Oranges
·       1/2 Avocado
·       2 Tbsp. Balsamic
·       2 Tbsp. Lemon Olive Oil

Layer and slices of navel orange and avocado.  Drizzle with Olive Oil and Balsamic. Serve Immediately.

Barbecued Pineapple Salad

10 minutes of Prep
10 minutes Cook time
10 minutes Refrigerate
8 Servings

·       2 Cups of Pineapple
·       1/2 Cup Barbecue Sauce
·       3 Cups Baby Spinach
·       1/3 Cup Olive Oil

First start your grill. I used charcoal, but it's up to you. Grill the Pineapple for 5-10 minutes until you see marks on either side.  Then add barbecue sauce to the pineapple and allow to refrigerate for 10-15 minutes. Add the pineapple, with remaining olive oil to baby spinach, toss together before serving.

Summer Corn Salad

Yes I know it's not Summer anymore, but corn is still in season and this is a yummy recipe to incorporate leftover corn on the cob. 
10 minutes of Prep
10 minutes Refrigerate
6 Servings

·       2 Cups of Corn
·       1 Yellow Tomato
·       1 Red Tomato
·       3 Tbsp. Chopped Basil
·       1/3 Cup Olive Oil
·       Juice of 1 Lime
·       1/4 Cup Red Onion Chopped

Add all ingredients together and refrigerate for at least 10 minutes prior to serving. 

Friday, October 9, 2015

Chipotle Beef Tacos

I do not yet have a school-age children, but I've been told by various family members and friends that the slow cooker is an indispensable tool during the start of school.  You add your ingredients early in the day and allow them to slowly become more and more delicious.  In my case, I have a squirmy 7 month old and not a lot of time on my hands.  SO slow cooker it is.

Tacos are such an amazing dinner. So versatile and easy to whip up for the whole family.  You can prep everything early in the day and have it ready to go by the time the first family member asks you "Whats for dinner?"  

Chipotle Beef Tacos

10 minutes of Prep
30 minutes of Cook time
10 minutes of Bake time
8 Servings

·       2 lbs. Chuck Beef
·       1 tsp. Salt
·      8 Corn Tortillas
·      1 7 oz Chipotle Pepper in Adobo Sauce can
·      1/2 Large White Onion
·      1/2 Large Red Onion
·      Sour Cream
·       1 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
·       1 tsp. Salt
·       1/2 tsp. Pepper
·       1/2 Cup Red Wine

First brown your beef until it's cooked on both sides.  Add to slow cooker.

 Then take your red and white onions, slice thinly. Add on top of the chuck roast.
Then take this bad boy right here. 

Add that on top, with the garlic powder, salt, and pepper.  Pour red wine over everything to combine. Add top and turn heat to low.

Cook for 7-8 hours.

Add to taco shells and top with sour cream.  I also added some corn, extra red onion, and tomato on top.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Caramel Sauce

Heaven must have rivers of caramel sauce, because it is amazing.  Put away your phone, lock the
doors, and spend some time by yourself.  You need to concentrate on this.  It's hot boiling sugar which can stick and burn you over and over.  I left my husband and baby watching football, and spent some quality time in the kitchen.  It was worth it. 
I love Caramel Sauce, plus it's super easy to reheat and add to other desserts or just fresh fruit. I ended up adding this to brownies and drizzling the extra sauce on top.  You can check out my brownie recipe here.

Caramel Sauce

20 minutes of Cook time
12 Servings

·       1 Cup Granulated Sugar
·       1/4 Cup Water
·       1 Tbsp. Butter (optional)
·       Pinch of Salt
·      3/4 Cup Light or Heavy Cream
·      1 tsp. Vanilla Extract (optional)
·      1 tsp. Rum (optional)

Take out a trusty heavy duty pot.  I like this one.

Add the sugar and water to the pot and begin to heat it up on high heat.  DO NOT STIR IT. It'll crystallize and ruin.  Just leave it alone.  If you need to, pick up the pot with pot holders and tilt it to make sure it's evenly coated.

Watch it, when it's a dark amber, a little darker than this photo.  Pull it off onto a cool surface.  Take your cream and add it in and stir until it's evenly mixed.  

You can then add the pinch of salt and flavor it however you like.  I chose some butter and vanilla extract.  I think next time I'll go with the rum.

Then you end up with about a cup or so of Caramel Sauce.  You can use it however you like.

I made caramel brownies with it. Which were AMAZING.  You can find my brownie recipe here.  It was pretty easy to add some to the mix, bake it, and then top the brownies later with extra sauce.