Thursday, August 29, 2013

Herb and Citrus Oven Roasted Chicken (with Quinoa)

I saw this recipe on a friend's Facebook page and liked it immediately!   It had fun ingredients, and looked super easy and delicious!

...and it was.

I also loved that, even raw, it already looked pretty! =)

and even better after it was cooked!

This was Really easy and was a big hit with the whole family!   Will definitely be making this pretty often! =)

1/4 cup olive oil

4 cloves of garlic, minced

2 tablespoons brown sugar or honey

2 whole lemons, one juiced and one sliced

2 whole oranges, one juiced and one sliced

1 tablespoon Italian seasoning

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon onion powder

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

10-12 pieces (about 4 1/2 lbs.) bone-in chicken parts (thighs and legs are best), pat dry

1 medium onion (any kind), thinly sliced

1 teaspoon dried thyme, or fresh chopped

1 tablespoon dried rosemary, or fresh chopped
Chopped fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme, parsley), for garnish, optional

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a small bowl whisk together olive oil, garlic, sugar, lemon juice, orange juice, Italian seasoning, paprika, onion powder, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper.

Place chicken in a rimmed 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Place parts skin side up and spread them out evenly in the pan. Pour olive oil mixture all over chicken, turning pieces to coat all sides. (If you marinated the chicken in this mixture, still add it all in). Arrange slices of lemon, orange and onion around and under the chicken. Sprinkle all over generously with thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper.

Bake uncovered for about 1 hour, or until chicken is cooked and juices run clear. Remove parts to a serving platter and garnish with additional chopped fresh herbs, if desired.

For the quinoa - measure out two parts water to two parts quinoa (I used 1.5 cups of quinoa for our family).   Boil the water, add three chicken bouillon cubes (or one for every cup of water), then add the quinoa.   Let it come to a boil again and then turn it down to medium and put the lid on until all of the moisture has cooked out.    Serve chicken over quinoa.


Saturday, August 24, 2013

Cheesy Potatoes

This is obviously not a dessert, but a favorite dish in our house and I've been making it for years, and I don't know why I never shared it on here before!

Philip's side of the family in Michigan make this for holidays and he LOVES it (and asked me to get the recipe).   Here it is:


One 2 lb bag frozen hash browns partially thawed
1 pint sour cream
small  onion minced
3 cups of shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
2 cans cream of potato soup (I actually prefer Cream of Chicken in this)
Mix all ingredients together.  Put in lightly greased 9 X 13 pan and sprinkle top with grated parmesan cheese.  Cover with foil and bake 1 1/2 hours at 325 degrees.  I usually take the foil off for the last 10 - 15 minutes to let it brown.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Snickers Fudge!

HOW did I not know this existed??  I came across the recipe on Pinterest and knew I would be making it SOON!!

It takes a little time, just because there are four layers, but it is Very simple!  

* Make sure you get evaporated milk, not sweetened condensed milk!  (I seem to make that mistake every time!!)

  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  •  1 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 4 tbsp of butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 1/2 cups marshmallow creme
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup of salted peanuts
  • 14-oz. bag caramels, unwrapped
  • 1/4 cup evaporated milk

Coat a 9x13 pan with cooking spray and set aside.
In a small bowl, combine:
1 cup milk chocolate chips
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
Heat in the microwave in two 30-second intervals, stirring after each. Stir until creamy and then pour the mixture in an even layer into the bottom of the prepared pan. Place the pan in the freezer.
In a medium saucepan, melt 4 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. 
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup evaporated milk
Stir and bring to a boil. Boil for 3 minutes, stirring constantly.
Remove from the heat and add:
1 1/2 cups marshmallow creme
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
Stir until combined.
Add 1 cup of salted peanuts.
Stir until combined. Remove the pan from the freezer and pour the mixture in an even layer over the chocolate layer. Place back in the freezer.
In a small saucepan, add:
14-oz. bag caramels, unwrapped
1/4 cup evaporated milk
Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the caramel is melted and smooth. 
Remove the pan from the freezer and pour the caramel over the top in an even layer. Place back in the freezer.
In a small bowl, combine:
1 cup milk chocolate chips
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
Heat in the microwave in two 30-second intervals, stirring after each. Stir until creamy. Remove the pan from the freezer and pour the mixture in an even layer onto the top. Make sure the caramel layer is firm before doing this.
Refrigerate for one hour.  Cut into small squares and serve! Store the uneaten fudge in the fridge. Or the freezer, depending on how addicted you become.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Cream Cheese Banana Bread with Lemon Glaze

Like everyone does when they have an abundance of ripe bananas, I decided to make banana bread today.  I didn't already have a favorite recipe, so I checked pinterest for one that looked awesome.  I found this recipe (from

Since I also had cream cheese in my fridge, I was sold on this one immediately!
Cream Cheese Banana Bread from Southern Living
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 8-oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups mashed bananas about 4 medium
  • 2 cups of toasted pecans, divided  Toast nuts at 325 degrees in a rimmed pan for about 15 minutes.  Watch carefully they can burn easily!
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons  lemon juice
  •  1 teaspoon lemon zest
  1. Beat butter and cream cheese until creamy.
  2. Gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy.
  3. Add eggs, 1 at a time.  Beating well after each egg.
  4. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  gradually add to butter mixture.  Beating just until blended.  Do not overbeat.  You will make the bread tough if you overbeat the mixture.  
  5. Stir in bananas, 1 cup of chopped nuts, and vanilla.  
  6. Spoon batter into 2 greased and floured loaf pans.   I used 9×4 inch pans.  Sprinkle 1/2 cup of toasted pecans to the top of each pan
  7. Bake at 350 degrees.  Reduce temperature by 25 degrees if using dark  or glass pans.
  8. Bake for about 55 minutes.  Adjust your time according to what  type of pans that you are using.  Dark colored pans as well as glass pans cook faster.   I used dark pans.  Other types may take a longer cooking time. 
  9.   Cool in the pan for 10 minutes.
  10. Stir together 1 cup of powdered sugar, 3 tablespoons of lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon of lemon zest until blended.  Drizzle evenly over warm bread.
  11. Cool for 30 minutes on a wire rack. 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Red, White and Chew

This isn't really a recipe, since I just used a cake mix, but I thought I'd post it for fun.

I used a white cake mix and used only egg whites, so the lack of yolk would leave the batter as white as possible.   I divided the batter into three bowls and dyed the red and blue.   (The Wilton gel food coloring is the best, especially for red.  The liquid drops would use sooo much!)  Then I just used a spoon and added the colors one at a time, making sure to spread each layer around to the edges of the cupcake paper.  I wanted mine to be red, white, blue, starting from the top, so I started with blue as my bottom layer.

You cold also do red, white, red for Canada Day!

Batter layers at various stages in the pan

This dreamy icing is my mom's recipe:

1/2 cup of shortening
1/2 cup of butter or margarine
1 tsp of vanilla
4 cups of confectioner's sugar
Small amount of milk.


Mix together the shortening, butter and vanilla with an electric mixer until smooth and well combined.    Add confectioner's sugar a cup or so at a time, mixing in between.   Add small splashes of milk as it mixes until it reaches the consistency you want.  If you are decorating with it, you'll want to make sure you don't make it too soft.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The Best No Bake Bars

I like a no bake cookie as much as the next guy, but I think they are lacking something.  These ones have all the goodness of the regular ones - chocolate, peanut butter, oats, but also have honey, coconut oil, coconut (if you wish) and walnuts!  Yum
A recipe that doesn't need me to turn on the oven AND I already have all the ingredients?  Score!

  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 2 cups dry oats (instant is fine)
  • 1 C shredded coconut (optional - if you don't use it, just add some more oats)
  • 1/2 C chopped walnuts (optíonal)
  • 1 1/4 cups dark chocolate chíps (I used semi sweet)
  • 1 t vanílla extract
  1. Melt peanut butter, honey and coconut oíl over medíum-low heat.
  2. Once melted, remove from heat and add oats, shredded coconut, chocolate chíps and vanílla.
  3. Stír untíl chocolate ís entírely melted.
  4. Pour ínto a 9×13 pan and cool ín the frídge.
  5. When ít’s set, cut ínto bars and enjoy.
  6. Store ín the frídge. If they last that long!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Apple Galette

Apple Galette

I had never heard of a galette until a week or two ago, on a British food blog.   It looked delicious (and pretty easy) so I decided to bake one!   Hers was rhubarb, but you can use any fruit you want.  I chose apple just because I had some on hand. =)

I especially liked this because it's basically like pie, but you only have to make one crust, and there's no "fiddely work" making the edges all neat and making sure your top crust doesn't break during transition etc...

Here is the recipe I used: (from Country Living)

I didn't make the butterscotch sauce (since I didn't have any cream on hand), and instead, melted some leftover cream cheese frosting and drizzled it on top - which was quite delicious!
* I also brushed beaten egg on the crust before baking because I wanted it to get really golden.

Eat up!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Citrus Basil Quinoa Salad

It's no secret.  I Love Quinoa.  Hot, cold, for breakfast... you name it.  I'm a huge fan of this "superfood" =)

I just came across this recipe when looking for cool, fresh foods to make for a dinner party... I hope you like it as much as I do! (recipe from

* The picture on her site actually had carrots in it, but they weren't in the ingredient list, so I forgot to add them.   I think they would be a good, and colorful addition, though)
For the Quinoa Salad:
1 1/2 cups dry quinoa
3 cups water
1 cup Orange Basil Dressing (recipe below)
1/2 cup finely diced red onion
1 cucumber, chopped
2 cups fresh spinach
1 red bell pepper, chopped
salt and pepper
For the Orange Basil Dressing:
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup tightly packed fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon honey
Combine the dry quinoa and water in a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce the heat, allowing the quinoa to cook for 15 minutes, or until all of the water is absorbed. Remove from the heat, and fluff with a fork.  (I did and would recommend that you allow to cool before adding the dressing and vegetables to keep the spinach from wilting).
To prepare the Orange Basil Dressing, combine all of the ingredients in a blender, and blend until completely smooth and emulsified. Adjust the flavor to taste, if desired.
Transfer the quinoa to a large bowl and toss with one cup of the Orange Basil Dressing and all of the chopped vegetables.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and allow to marinate in the fridge for at least an hour before serving. Serve chilled, or at room temperature.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Twice Baked, Egg-Filled Potatoes

 Filling holes in food with eggs seems to be all the rage now, squash, avocado.. and potatoes.  I think it's brilliant! =)


Bake potatoes however you normally do.  I do them in the microwave just because it's quickest.   It takes about 4 minutes (flipped halfway through) to bake two medium sized potatoes.

Preheat oven to 400.

When cool (ideally), cut and scoop out the insides of the potato (making sure you don't break the "walls" of the potato).   Place on greased foil on a baking sheet.

Sprinkle in chopped bacon, cheese, chives - whatever you want.  (Not too much though, there's not a lot of room in there), and top with an egg.   * When I added the egg, I placed the potato in a bowl, so any extra egg white would flow over in there and I could discard it, instead of it making a mess on the baking sheet (this isn't a crucial step, I just wanted mine to be pretty).

 Ready to bake!

Place in oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until the eggs are set.   Top with additional cheese, bacon, sour cream, salsa, avocado, etc.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Homemade Peanut Butter Cups!

Peanut Butter Cups

The blog where I found this recipe touted them as "Healthier Peanut Butter Cups" because they had no sugar, no gluten and no dairy.    I'll post her recipe, along with my own variations.  You're going to want to go ahead and just double this up to start. =)

Bottom Layer: 
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted (I had never used this before, but it's awesome and makes them very creamy - does not leave a coconut taste, though)
  • 1/4 cup smooth peanut butter 
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (can also substitute 3 squares of semi sweet baker's chocolate) melted until smooth
  • 8 drops of liquid stevia (or to taste) (I substituted sugar because I didn't have stevia, 3 tsp)
Top Layer:
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup natural smooth peanut butter
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • optional: unsweetened coconut for topping
Line a mini muffin tray with 12 cupcake liners. Stir all ingredients for the bottom layer together until smooth ( you may have to melt the coconut oil and peanut butter for 20 seconds to get them to mix well) and divide between the wells (each should be about half full). Put the tray in the freezer on a flat surface and freeze until solid (It took mine about 10 minutes). Meanwhile, stir all ingredients together for the top layer until smooth (again, you may have to heat the coconut oil and peanut butter for 20 seconds to get them to mix well) and divide on top of the set chocolate mixture. Return to the freezer and freeze until solid (it took me an additional 10 minutes). Store the treats in the freezer.
Yield: 12 peanut butter cups.

Yum. SO. Yum.

Reese's Peanut Butter Cups may never see the inside of my mouth again.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Whole Wheat Sweet Potato Pancakes

Wow, it's been a YEAR since I've posted on here!   And no, this recipe isn't a dessert, but it's amazing and I wanted to share it on here:

Whole Wheat Sweet Potato Pancakes
(found on

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
3 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4cup of brown sugar
1 1/2 cups of mashed sweet potato
2 eggs
1 3/4 cups of milk
1/8 cup of olive oil

Mix dry ingredients well. Mix wet ingredients until well blended. Add dry ingredients just til mixed. Drop by quarter cup onto hot lightly greased/sprayed skillet. Brown on both sides (about 1.5 minutes each.) Makes 18 four inch pancakes. 3 pancakes per serving. Serves 6. 

These were so flavorful that in the future, I don't think I will even use syrup!