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Friday, February 20, 2015

Burrito with Homemade Chipotle Adobo Sauce


It's amazing how much a sauce can affect a dish.  Looking through different recipes, I came across this one- Chipotle Adobo Sauce.  Having never used the chili peppers, I was a little hesitant at first.  However, realizing it only took a few ingredients, and understanding if it was nasty, we could resort back to our stand by of sour-cream and salsa, I decided to move forward.  Very glad I did.  It made just our standard burrito reach another dimension.  We will definitely be exploring new homemade  condiments on future dishes.   

1/2 c coconut yogurt
1 chipotle in adobo sauce, deseeded
1/2 tsp. adobo sauce
1 1/2 - 2 cloves garlic
1 T. fresh lime
1/8 tsp. cumin 

Start by gathering all your ingredients for the sauce. 

1.  Start by cutting the adobo chili in half and and carefully scraping the seeds out.

2.  Next, in a 1 serving blender (or whatever you have on hand) add the greek coconut yogurt.

3.Throw in your coarsely chopped garlic. 

4.  Next, squeeze fresh lime juice. 

5.  Add to mixture.

6.  Lastly, add your cumin. 

7.  Blend until creamy. 

8.  Looks yummy. 

9.  Prepare rice per box instructions. 

10.  Rinse black beans. 

11.  Chop up any veggies you would like to use.  We did pepper, tomato, avocado, lettuce, chives, cilantrol, and corn.  We also spread hummus on the burrito shell which was great. 

Pile how you would like and enjoy!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Aunt Sue's Brownies

This is my Aunt Sue's recipe My mom makes these on special occasions. My family loves the moistness of these yummy brownies!  We love it when Mom lets us help her bake. It is so fun, and yummy, because we get to sample the goodies! This time we thought it would be fun to use cookie cutters to make them into hearts because it was Saint Valentine's Day!

This recipes makes a LARGE cookie sheet pan.


3 c. melted butter
1 1/2 c. cocoa
4 c. sugar
8 eggs
2-3 tsp. vanilla
3 c. flour
6 TBS. oil


Preheat your oven to 350.

1. Mix together sugar, cocoa and melted butter.

2. Then beat in eggs one at a time.

3. Add vanilla, flour and oil.

4. Then pour mix on lightly greased cookie sheet.

5. Bake for 25 to 28 minutes, do not over bake.


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Spiced Slowcooker Applesauce

"Mom, can I please have a snack?"
Please assure me that I am not the only one that hears that approximately 42 times a day?  With six kids, I am constantly being asked for a snack.....Aw, the joys of motherhood!  :)
So this post is a tribute to one of our (EASY) homemade snacks. 
5 pounds of peeled, cored, and sliced apples
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup real maple syrup (yum!)
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cloves
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
A Slowcooker
A Blender

Start by peeling, coring, and slicing your apples. If you have one of those handy apple peeler/corer/slicer contraptions. ..please use it. It will be your best friend.  My ten year old used mine and did all my apples for me. :) After they are all peeled and sliced put them in your slowcooker. You want there to be 5 pounds after they are all sliced and ready. If you don't have a scale, it ends up being a very full 5 quart slowcooker. 

Note: You can use whatever apples you have on hand. But keep in mind that different apples will result in different flavors. Pictured here I used Hidden Rose apples, hence their beautiful, pinkish-red color.

Yep. That full.

Now measure out your spices.....2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves, and 1/4 teaspoons nutmeg.

Measure out 1/2 cup packed brown sugar and a 1/2 cup maple syrup.
You can easily adjust your sweetness level by decreasing or increasing your sweeteners.
I found this amount to be perfect! :)

Sprinkle your spices and brown sugar on your apples. Drizzle with your maple syrup. 
Turn your slowcooker on high for 4-6 hours or until the appled are fully cooked and soft. If you think of it,  you may give your apples a stir halfway through cooking time to distribute your spices and sugars. When they are all done unplug your slowcooker, remove the lid, and let cool for 15 minutes or so.

Now it is time to puree all your delicious smelling apples.
Now, let's be real. This is the real reason I decided to make apple sauce. It would give me, yet another, reason to use my new favorite toy....My Ninja blender!  :)
If you don't have a ninja...don't panic.  You can easily use a different blender, or an immersion blender if that's what you have. But seriously,  if you are debating over a Ninja purchase, you won't be sorry after you make the purchase!  :)

Blend until you reach your desired consistency. 

Now time to Enjoy! I prefer my applesauce cold but it is fantastic warm, too!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Parsley Potatoes

It's no surprise that my husband and I like potatoes. Oddly enough, we very rarely eat them mashed. Usually only around the holidays. On Easter Sunday and at Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. I'm not really sure why. We both like mashed potatoes, but I guess we like the variety of making them differently with each meal.

Normally, we turn to a version of Baked Garlic Potato Wedges but we've been on a kick lately to try new things. I threw some seasoned baked potatoes in a frying pan one night and we found another favorite. These potatoes are perfect served just as they are, but are even more amazing with a dollop of sour cream. (Because everything is better with sour cream!)

We tried a recipe for Tuscan Baked Fish last week and these potatoes were the perfect accompaniment to our meal. They are very easy to make and full of flavor!


6 small yellow potatoes, scrubbed
4 Tbsp. olive oil
2-3 Tbsp. parsley
1 tsp. garlic powder
salt & pepper, to taste


Fill a large pot with the potatoes and enough water to cover the potatoes by an inch or two.
Bring to a boil.
Boil until potatoes are tender when pricked with a fork.
Immediately remove potatoes.
Start heating a skillet over med-high heat.
Carefully dice potatoes into about 3/4 inch cubes.
Place in a bowl and drizzle with 2 Tbsp. of the oil.
Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and parsley.
Cover bowl and gently shake to coat.
Add remaining oil to the hot skillet and add the potatoes.
Let them sear for about 3-5 minutes, turning occasionally to get a crisp searing.
Remove from heat.
Serve plain, with ketchup, or with a good dollop of sour cream!


When choosing your potatoes, don't worry about making sure they are 6 small potatoes.
Ours just happened to be very small so I used up the rest of what we had.
This recipe is very flexible. I would say to use your best judgement. You know what you like. :)

Bring to a boil. Boil until potatoes are tender when pricked with a fork.

Immediately remove potatoes.

Start heating a skillet over med-high heat.
Carefully dice potatoes into about 3/4 inch cubes.

Place in a bowl and drizzle with 2 Tbsp. oil.
Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder and parsley.
(If they seem too dry, add a little more oil and toss them again.)

Cover bowl and gently shake to coat.
(You want them very well seasoned. If they look pretty plain, add some more!)

Add remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the hot skillet.

Add the potatoes.

Let them sear for about 3-5 minutes, turning occasionally to get a crisp searing.

Remove from heat.
Serve plain, with ketchup, or with a good dollop of sour cream!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Tuscan Baked Fish

There are countless ways to prepare fish for dinner. First off, there are so many different types; then with all the options you have to cook, fry, or bake it! It seems endless in possibilities. I have tried different approaches to the way I prepare fish, but I feel like there are still so many alternatives that I'm missing out on. I try to switch it up and try new ways of preparing it and this recipe for Tuscan Baked Fish may have weaseled its way onto my 'favorites' list.

Though it may not look that pretty, this savory fish tastes delicious. I used pink salmon fillets because that is what I had on hand. It was great, but my husband and I agreed it would probably be even better with a large fillet of white meat fish. I would like to try flounder or tilapia next time. Maybe even cod.

Use your choice of fish. Adjust oven time depending on size & type of fish.

2-4 fish fillets
1 tsp. olive oil
1 medium red or yellow onion, chopped
14.5 oz. fire-roasted diced tomatoes
2 Tbsp. capers, drained
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp. ground oregano
2 tsp. fresh basil, chopped
salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In an oven-safe pan, heat oil on stove-top over medium heat.
Add the onion and saute until translucent and slightly brown.
Add the tomatoes, capers, garlic, and seasonings.
Continue cooking for about 3-5 minutes to let it reduce a bit.
Add fish fillets.
Transfer to the oven and bake, uncovered, for 8-12 minutes or until the fish flakes when you pick at it with a fork. (Don't overbake.)


The best part about this Tuscan fish? It's so easy!

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
In an oven-safe pan, heat the oil on the stove-top over medium heat.
Add your onion.

Saute until translucent and a little browned.

Add the tomatoes, capers, garlic, and seasonings.
Stir it up for about 3-5 minutes, letting the juices reduce a bit.

Add your fillets.
(Sorry the photo is so foggy. That steam is a bugger to get through!)

Transfer to the oven and bake, uncovered, for 8-12 minutes or until the fish flakes when you pick at it with a fork. Be sure not to overbake it.

Top it with a helping of the nummy tomato sauce and serve it up!

Stop back soon for the scoop on how to make those Parsley Potatoes, too!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Hot Cocoa Mix

This year my mom painted our kitchen so my sister could come decorate....
She made it as a coffee shop theme! So we wanted to make hot cocoa for the kids since the adults always have coffee to drink.

Sugar: 3 1/2 cups
Cocoa: 3 cups
Salt: 6 dashes
Powdered Milk: 8 cups
Miniature Marshmallows

Pour cocoa, sugar, salt and powdered milk in large bowl.

 Mix together...

Add marshmallows. 

I used a funnel to put it in a large jar.
We stored the rest in an airtight container.

Hope you enjoy!!! :)

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Honey Oat Bread

I wouldn't consider myself an experienced bread baker, but I do think I have the potential to be a professional homemade bread taste-tester. I love homemade bread. Although I haven't been the one to always do the baking, I rarely pass up the opportunity to eat the deliciousness that is homemade bread.

Now, I'm not the type of person to load up on pre-sliced loaves from the grocery store. Yes, they are usually pretty tasty (especially when you get the loaves filled with nutty goodness!), but I don't crave it like I crave heartier loaves of bread. The thought of a fresh loaf of Mom's Homemade Bread coming out of the oven, or buttering up a crusty slice of Artisan Bread is like food heaven.

Which brings me to my post for today. This recipe for Honey Oat Bread is one of my new found favorites. I came across it a few months ago and haven't looked back. Not only does it smell divine while it is in the oven, it has the perfect amount of "bready-ness" with a slight sweetness that makes you want more than one slice. (Or maybe half of the loaf, but let's not talk about that...) Inside, it is soft and chewy while the crust has a coat of baked honey and oats that is absolutely irresistible.

I like to have everything set out so it's ready when I need it. This recipe is a bit different than the normal bread recipes where you dissolve the yeast before adding additional ingredients. It may seem strange and throw you out of your bread-making comfort zone, but give it a shot. At least once. You will be surprised at the outcome.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, oats, yeast and salt. (Yes, I know it's weird. Just go with it.)
In a separate bowl, warm the milk and butter.

Then add the water and honey to the milk.

Pour the milk and honey mixture into the flour mixture.

Stir until you have a rough dough.

Transfer dough to a clean, dry counter.

Knead the dough for 10 minutes.

When you first start out, the dough will be rather sticky. Just keep working it and you will see it transform into a smooth, elastic dough. It seems excessive, but kneading it for the full 10 minutes is very important for this bread. (You could use a Kitchen-Aid mixer with a dough hook instead if you have one.) I usually set a timer and get a rhythm going. Ten minutes gets to feeling like a long time, so it's best to make it a little more fun. Maybe crank up the music, too. :)

Turn the dough over in a large, well oiled bowl. 
Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm place to rise until doubled.

While it's rising, line 2 loaf pans with parchment paper.

Divide the risen dough in half. Using your hands, press one half into a rectangle (about 9x12 inches).

Begin tightly rolling the dough into a log. Pinch and tuck the ends underneath.

Transfer to prepared loaf pan and repeat with the other half of the dough.

Cover and let rise 30 minutes.

Warm the honey in the microwave and scoop up some oats.

Set an empty loaf pan on the bottom rack of the oven. Turn the oven on to preheat to 350 degrees. On the stove top, bring about 2 cups of water to a boil.

Drizzle the warmed honey over the tops of the loaves.

Gently brush them to coat.

Sprinkle the oats over the honey.

Place the loaves in the oven and carefully pour the boiling water into the empty loaf pan that is on the bottom rack of the oven.
Quickly close the oven door and bake the loaves for about 40-50 minutes or until they are golden brown and the internal temperature is 190 degrees.
Remove from the pans and transfer to a cooling rack.
Once cooled, store in a large ziploc bag.


6 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 c. oats (I have used quick and old fashioned, both work great)
4 1/2 tsp. yeast (instant or active dry)
3 tsp. salt
2 c. milk (almond milk works, too)
1/2 c. lukewarm water
4 Tbsp. butter, softened
1/2 c. honey

For topping:
4 tablespoons honey, warmed
1/4 c. oats


In a large bowl combine the flour, oats, yeast, and salt. Set aside.
In a small bowl, warm the milk so that it’s hot enough to melt the butter, but not boiling. Add the butter, stirring until melted, then stir in the warm water and honey.

Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture, mixing with a dough hook or wooden spoon, until it just comes together to form a rough dough. 

Knead the dough on a clean, dry surface for 10 minutes. Dough will be very sticky at first. Just be patient. :)
(If the dough is still very wet and sticky after 5 minutes of kneading, add a little more flour until the dough is barely tacky. If the dough is too dry, add just a bit of water to soften it up.)

Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover, and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

Line two loaf pans with parchment paper and set aside.

Once doubled, divide the dough in two. 
With your fingers, flatten the dough into a 9 by 12-inch rectangle. Tightly roll the dough into a log. Flatten each end and tuck underneath. Transfer to a prepared loaf pan and repeat with the other half of the dough. Cover the loaves and allow to rise again for 30 minutes.

Place an empty loaf pan on the bottom rack of the oven and preheat it to 350 degrees. 
Bring 2 cups of water to boil on the stovetop.

When the loaves are done rising again, brush the tops with the warmed honey and sprinkle the oats on top.

Place the bread on the middle rack in the oven and carefully pour the boiling water into the empty loaf pan on the bottom rack of the oven. Quickly close the oven door.

Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until the bread is deep golden brown and the internal temperature is about 190 degrees. 
Transfer to a wire cooling rack and allow to cool completely before serving.

*If you don't need both loaves right away, I have been known to freeze this bread. It works wonderfully!
I wrapped the completely cooled loaf with 3 layers of plastic wrap, then a layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil. When you need to take it out of the freezer, just set it on the counter and let it thaw overnight.

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