Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Old Fashioned Oatmeal Cookies

Old Fashioned Oatmeal Cookies

Time for some sweets!  When I told the DIY guy I was making cookies... well, he was pretty thrilled.  With just the two of us at home, I don't tend to make many sweet goodies because I would probably over indulge!  But he loves his sweets and I figured he could take some to work and get them away from me (well I did keep a few at home).

Who uses steel cut oats?  This was a first for me and I was quite surprised how the oats looked - I am used to the Quaker Oat Man's round container.  The oats and recipe came from a person who I did a foodie pen pal exchange with a couple months ago and glad I finally got around to making them.  I was really impressed with the texture and may even just cook some up to eat!  Healthy too!

Grab a bit of milk and you are good to go...

Other cookie recipes you might enjoy - Chewy Red, White and Blue Oatmeal cookies

Monster Cookies

Old Fashioned Oatmeal Cookies Makes: 4 dozen cookies Calories: na Prep Time to Table: 45 minutes
Recipe : a friend

 - ½ cup Steel Cut Oats
-2 ½ cups flour
-1 cup water
-1 ½ cup raisins
-3/4 cup soft butter
-1 ½ cup sugar
-1 egg
-1 tsp vanilla
-1 tsp baking soda
-1 tsp salt
-1 tsp cinnamon
-1/4 tsp nutmeg
 -1/4 ground cloves
 -3/4 chopped walnuts

1. Place oats and water in a small saucepan, bring to boil, simmer for 10 minutes, remove from heat and add raisins.
2. Preheat oven to 375 and line cookie sheets with parchment paper
3. In a large mixing bowl cream together the butter and sugar. Add egg and vanilla beating well and it becomes smooth.
4. Combine all the dry ingredients then add slowly to the butter/sugar mixture and mix well.
5. Stir in the oat/raisin mixture until mixed well. 6. Place on cookie sheet (~ 1 ½ Tbl) and bake for 10-12 minutes until light brown. Cool on wire rack.


Sunday, April 28, 2013

Grilling Out...

Sunday, April 28, 2013

After spending all day yesterday working on our chores in the beauty of the day we had, it was great to have the following items on hand for an easy cookout.  The asparagus was grilled on a smaller type grate with a bit of oil olive and S&P.  The potatoes were nuked for a bit then finished off wrapped in foil and placed on the top rack of the grill.  The main event - our favorite steak ribeye -  seasoned with just a bit of S&P and about 6 minutes on each side for a medium finish... It really hit the spot!

One thing happened we hadn't planned on - our grill ended up with a grease fire - luckily it occurred just as the steak were coming off... whew, would have been a bummer if those burned.  Apparently the tray under the grill must be cleaned out periodically - quick go check yours!

Hope you had a good weekend.  Between yesterday and today we got so much done around the house - it feels great!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Lemon Blueberry Ricotta Pancakes

Lemon Blueberry Ricotta Pancakes

Good Morning! Well, I guess it is almost noon here but it has been a lazy morning for me.  Though I am itching to get outside... we will be in the 70's today and lots of sun!

The DIY Guy has many chores on his list today so I wanted to start him out with a good breakfast.  I'm not sure about you but our breakfasts tend to be quite boring.  I'm mostly a cereal girl (my fav being Bare Naked Triple Berry Crunch or Cheerios with banana).  He does the same with an occasional egg or bagel thrown in.  So going outside the box today! I think a similar recipe was made for me by the kids for Mother's Day a few years ago and I remembered how light and fluffy these were plus I love lemon and blueberries.

These really hit the spot today and now we are fueled and ready to go... let's see my list includes washing screens and windows, washing my car and finishing up the laundry.  I think lunch will be a delivery from Jimmy Johns and for dinner I have rib-eye steak planned for grilling!

I hope you have a great weekend!!

Another pancake recipe you might enjoy -Cinnamon Role Pancakes with Glaze

Lemon Blueberry Ricotta Pancakes Serves: 4-6 Calories: NA Prep Time to Table: 15 minutes
Recipe : Adapted from Williams Sonoma

- 1 cup whole milk ricotta
-1 cup whole milk
-3 eggs, separated
-1/4 cup sugar
-zest and juice of one lemon
-1 ½ cups cake flour
-1 T baking powder
-1/4 t salt -blueberries (up to a pint)

Put the ricotta, milk, egg yolks, sugar, lemon zest and juice in a large bowl and whisk until smooth.
Combine the flour, baking powder and 1/8 t salt and then sift it over the ricotta mixture. Use a wooden spoon and mix until just combined.
In a separate bowl combine the egg whites and the remaining salt. Beatuntil soft peaks form. Using a rubber spatula take 1/3 of egg mixture and combine with above mixture then gently fold in rest of eggs. Heat your griddle and use either some butter or spray.
 Place 1/3 cup of batter on griddle then place some blueberries on top of batter… cook until bubbles form around edges then flip. Serve with your favorite syrup!


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Yucatan-Style Chicken, Lime and Orzo Soup

Yucatan-Style Chicken, Lime and Orzo Soup

>Printable Recipe Here
    {from Cindy @ Everyday Insanity}

Back to reality... our long weekend in Treasure Island, FL is over.  We had a great get-a-away and just loved being in the sunshine state!  Our trip was quite interesting.... we left last Thursday in snow (the plane had to be de-iced before we left) and came back to a snow storm!  Normally it would have taken us about 75 minutes to get home from the cities but it ended up being double that.  The roads were horrible and we could have used some of that Florida sand on our path.  But I have it on good authority that the 60's are coming this weekend - I'm holding our local friend and meteorologist to that!

With coming home to an empty refrigerator, I knew I had to venture out after work to get some groceries.  I found this recipe at one of my fav sites and knew it would hit the spot.  The soup along with some corn bread made a great meal.  I've linked up her recipe above - stop by and tell Cindy I said hi!

Participating in:

Monday, April 22, 2013


Monday, April 22, 2013

Today is the last day of our vacation in w-a-r-m Florida!  We've done quite a bit of relaxing, family visiting, eating, tasty beverages, beach time, pool time, jet skiing, and relaxing (oh, I already said that but worthy of a second mention!)

Back to reality and back in the kitchen soon....but until then...

I'll try to bring back some of this sun and warmth to the midwest!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Chicken Marsala

>Printable Recipe Here
    {adapted from Copy Cat Recipes}

Have you ever eaten at Carrabba's?  I don't think I ever have but I saw this recipe on pinterest from one of those copy cat sites and knew I wanted to give it a try.  I've made other versions of this but this one gets my top vote!  It came together quite easy - from start to finish about 25 minutes.  I'm a fan of Marsala wine but if cooking with alcohol is not your thing, substitute a cooking sherry.  The taste won't be exact but it will still provide a nice flavor.

The chicken and its yummy sauce (with my fav, baby bella mushrooms) is served over a bed of fettuccine - a complete meal and not too many pots and pans.  I lucked out this night though because the DIY Guy cleaned up so I could watch one of my favorite shows.  What a guy! 

Hope you enjoyed this recipe and give it a try!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Chili with Jalapeno

Chili with Jalapeno

We are still on a roller coaster weather ride in the midwest.  One day I'm trying to grill out and the next day I'm looking for some comfort food.... what's up with that?  Ugh - we are leaving for FL in T minus 1 day (not that I'm counting or anything!)  I'm really looking forward to some warmth and seeing something shiny in the sky...

But let's get back to dinner....  What I did like about this recipe is after browning the meat, all ingredients can be tossed in the slow cooker and left to do its thing for about 4-5 hours.  Also, The DIY Guy and I really like corn bread so I bought a mix and made us a batch along with some honey butter (just take some soft butter and swirl some honey in---I love this!)  Great meal and perfect for the chilly weather we have been having.

Chili with Jalapeno Serves: 12 Calories: na Prep Time to Table: 20 prep plus slow cooker time
Recipe : adapted from Taste of Home

- 1 lb ground pork
-1 lb ground beef
-2 cans of dark red kidney beans
– rinsed and drain
-1 can tomatoes with garlic and onion, undrained
-1 can tomatoes with lime and spices, undrained
-1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
-1 can beef broth
-1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
-4 T chili powder
-1 T cumin
-1 Tsp salt
-1 jalapeno pepper diced

1. In large skillet, cook beef and pork until no longer pink, drain and add to slow cooker
2. Add remaining ingredients and cook on high 3-4 hours Notes: may top with cheese, sour cream if desired

Monday, April 15, 2013

Picture this...

Happy Monday!!!  Today I'm participating along with 20 other fab gals, in a really nice giveaway that one of you lucky people could win!  I would love it to be one of my followers so be sure to enter....

I know I love to take pictures - whether it is for capturing family memories or taking pictures for my blog.  I know I am dating myself but my first camera was a Canon AE-1.  It was my first 'big' purchase with my first 'real' job.  It was great (well unless of course you didn't load your film right or somehow the back opened and you exposed your film).  Then came the waiting part for the film to be developed and you had to cross your fingers they turned out... so flash forward to current technology where you can click away, see instantly what you took and send to your family in a snap.  We've come a long way baby!

Here's a complete list of the sponsors... You can enter starting today until April 30th.

I Should Be Mopping the Floor Kitchen Meets Girl Food Babbles Thriftary Smart School House Dwell on Joy Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker Wine & Glue I Love My Disorganized Life This Gal Cooks The NY Melrose Family Vegan Mother Hubbard Setting for Four Cupcakes and Kale Chips Cooking on the Front Burner Mom on Timeout Miss Information White Lights on Wednesday Lemon Tree Dwelling Alderberry Hill The Tasty Fork Image Map

Sunday, April 14, 2013


Today I am happy to share some exciting news.  Our oldest daughter, Kristina, and her husband, Benj, are expecting their first baby.... and it is our first grandchild!  The due date is the middle of August.

We've known for quite awhile and have been waiting for the FBO announcement (meaning facebook official!) and that happened a couple weeks ago.  But I was able to tell my co-workers back in February and to announce it I brought in some fun cupcakes to celebrate.

I have a cute little story about the buggy ornament - I saw this at a JoAnn's store in November and just thought it was so pretty (I like sparkly things) so I bought it thinking that maybe it would come in handy in the future then lo and behold we found out before Christmas the happy news!  I might have ESP!

K&B are a very cute couple....

The night after this picture was taken (we were in FL for my nephew's wedding in Clearwater FL), they got engaged on the beach.

Then about 15 months later, the wedding....

And about 22 months later they will have their little bundle of joy and someone for us to spoil!

Though we do have one concern.... hehehehehe...

Go Vikings :-)

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Four Layer Coconut Cake

Four Layer Coconut Cake

Here's the last of the desserts I made for Easter Sunday.... It's a delightful 4 layer yellow cake, with cream filling, and frosted with a marshmallow type frosting and then covered in coconut.  Everything is made from scratch.  A little lot putzy but worth every bite (and calorie!).  And, of course, you must like coconut!

The cake should be made at least a day ahead and then covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated.  I think it even tastes better with 2 days of sitting - the flavors really meld well then.  We had a great Easter Sunday and pleased everyone liked the desserts I brought.   I liked getting asked to bring them and have fun looking for some new desserts to try... until next year...

• 1 cup milk (or use milk from coconut)
• 2 tablespoons butter
• 2 cups flour
• 3 teaspoons baking powder
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 4 medium eggs
• 2 cups sugar
• I teaspoon grated lemon peel
• 1 teaspoon coconut extract Filling:
• 2 cups milk
• 1/3 cup sugar
• 3 tablespoons cornstarch
• 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1/2 cup heavy cream, whipped

Frosting: •
 2 medium egg whites
• 4 tablespoons light corn syrup
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
• 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
• 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
• 1 package grated coconut, to sprinkle onto cake

For cake: Preheat oven to 350'F. Grease and flour two 8- or 9-inch round cake pans and then line bottom of each pan with waxed paper. In small pan, heat milk with butter until bubbles form around edge of pan and butter is melted. Remove from heat and let it cool slightly. Sift flour with baking powder and salt and set aside. With an electric mixer at high speed, beat eggs until thick and lemon-colored. Add sugar 1/4 cup at a time, beating until thick and smooth, about 5 minutes. Stir in the lemon peel and coconut extract. With the electric mixer at low speed, blend in flour mixture, beating just until smooth. Add warm milk mixture, beating just until blended. Pour batter into pans. Bake for 30 to 35minutes. Cool in pans for 10 minutes. Then remove to cool completely on racks. Carefully peel off paper. Using a sharp knife, split each layer in half horizontally to make even layers.

 For filling: In small saucepan, heat milk slowly, just until bubbles form around edge. Combine sugar and cornstarch, and stir into hot milk. Cook over medium heat, stirring until mixture boils and is thick. Continue to boil for 1 minute. Beat a small amount of hot mixture into egg yolks. Pour egg mixture back into saucepan. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat. Stir in almond extract and vanilla. Place waxed paper on surface to prevent film from forming, and refrigerate for a hour until well chilled. Then fold in cream. Place first cake layer, cut side up, onto a serving plate, and spread with 1/3 of the filling. Top with another layer, cut side down, and spread with 1/3 of the filling. Top with third layer, cut side up, and spreading with remaining filling. Top with last layer, cut side down. For frosting:

In top of large double boiler, combine egg whites, corn syrup, sugar, salt, and cream of tartar. Cook over rapidly boiling water, beating constantly with an electric mixer, just until soft peaks form, about 4 minutes. Remove from boiling water. Add coconut and almond extracts and continue beating until frosting is thick enough to spread, about 2 minutes. Frost top and sides of cake. Cover top and sides with grated coconut. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until serving

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Asian Salad with Chicken

Asian Salad with Chicken

I don't know about you but I'm so in the mood for some non-winter food.  Like grilling and salad.  So when the temps hit 50 on Sunday I knew it was time to dust off the grill cover and take it for a test drive.

The salad fixings were pretty basic but with an Asian flair.  I started with some romaine lettuce and added to it - diagonal sliced celery, chopped chives, sliced water chestnuts, mandarin oranges, chow mein noodles and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.  I wish I had some slivered almonds - I think those would have worked well too.

Next up I took about 12 oz. of boneless chicken, cubed and skewered  it and sprinkle lightly with a bit of Chinese 5 spices.  The chicken was grilled for about 15 minutes until done.

The complete meal was the salad above with the chicken on top.  Right now one of my favorite salad dressings is from Trader Joes' called Spicy Peanut Vinaigrette and it is only 70 calories for 2 tablespoons.

This light and refreshing meal was exactly what I was craving!

What have you been eating lately?

Sunday, April 7, 2013

New Blog Design

Hello - you are looking at my new blog design today...would love to know your thoughts!
I'll be back in the kitchen soon!!!
Have a great day...
Also, a special shout-out to my daughter Danielle who did the graphics for me!!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Cookie and Cream Push Pops

Cookie and Cream Push Up Pops
As you know, last Sunday was Easter and I wanted to share with you with one of the treats I made for the kiddos.  About a year ago I had ordered some of these push pop containers.  This is the second time I've used them (first time was here at the annual clambake we attend).  It is really easy to experiment with fillings - for these I just softened some vanilla ice cream and stirred in some crushed oreos.  Also, added bonus these containers are washable and reusable. 

They were hit...I trying to think of an adult version of pops... if you have any ideas, please send my way!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Wild Rice Burger Challenge

Wild Rice Burger
Have I got a tasty burger for you!  Really!  Before I get to the recipe, here's a little background - I first had a wild rice burger in Duluth MN at a restaurant called Fitger's Brewhouse many moons ago.  They are known for these burgers, so I knew I wanted to try one.  It did not disappoint - I really enjoyed the texture and flavor.  I guess I always wondered how to make these at home.... So fast forward to present time  - my friend Sue and her husband found a recipe pretty similar to these and have made them a few times.  She sent me their recipe and asked if I would take a look at it and see how I might tweak it so they held together better - it was a challenge that I was ready to take on!  I love a good challenge. 

I read the ingredients then decided to add others (walnuts, celery, a few more spices, increased the bread crumbs and eggs).  A few other things I did was to make sure every ingredient was cold or at room temp before mixing (you need to cook the wild rice so make sure it is cool or cold).  I made the patties my using my old tupperware burger press and really packed it tight, then whacked it upside down onto a piece of wax paper.  Next and probably the most important thing to remember is to be sure your skillet is pretty hot before adding the burger.  This will ensure it starts crisping up right away and it only needs to be cooked about 3-4 minutes on each side.

To assemble, you will need some swiss cheese, tomato, red onion and lettuce.  I think the ones in Duluth are also served with garlic mayo but I skipped this step - the other ingredients gave it a nice flavor.

Recipe Source:  adapted from a food co-op in the Twin Cities

As I mentioned before - these are delicious and very filling - you won't need to go back for a second!  Also, these freeze well... I would just slightly defrost before cooking.

Are you up for the eating challenge???

So Sue, how did I do????

Wild Rice Burger Serves: 5 Calories: na
Recipe : adapted from Twin Cities Natural Food

- 1 clove minced garlic
-1/4 cup chopped onion
-1/3 cup minced celery
-1/2 cup minced baby bella mushrooms
-2 T olive oil
-1 pkg Uncle Ben’s 90 second rice (Original) uncooked
-1 ¾ cups cooked wild rice (not instant)
-1/2 cup craisins, soak in boiled water then chop
-1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
-5 T Italian bread crumbs
-1/3 cup chopped walnuts
-2 eggs plus one yolk beaten
 -S&P -1/2 tsp paprika
-1/2 tsp red cayenne pepper
-swiss cheese, soft wheat buns, red onions, lettuce

1. In small skillet heat olive oil and sauté garlic, onion, celery and mushrooms until soft/cool
2. Cook wild rice and cool completely (or keep in refrigerator until ready to assemble)
3. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl – I found it is easy to use a hamburger form press to make the burgers. This made 5 thick burgers – pack in form and then turn out onto wax paper.
4. In a large skillet heat 2 additional T of olive oil until really hot
5. Flip burgers upside down into skillet and cook about 3-4 minutes until a nice crust is formed then flip, cook another 2 minutes; add swiss cheese until melted about another 2 minutes