August 27, 2015

Starbucks Lime Refresher (CopyCat)

Summer isn't over yet, although I wish I'd found this drink at the beginning of summer.  There is still time to enjoy it!

Easy to assemble and tastes for refreshing on a hot day.  It's fresh, not too sweet and there's the little hint of cucumber flavor that makes people go "oh, yum".  Perfect for a day by the pool or after a long day of yard work.  Kids love it and grown ups do too.

Starbucks Lime Refresher (CopyCat)
Recipe from Herbamum

  • 1/4 cup mint leaves, finely chopped or mint tea in a bag
  • 3/4 - 1 cup cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • 3 cups water
  • 3/4 cup sweetener (I used sugar but you can use anything)
  • 2 cups fresh lime juice
  • lime slices for garnish if desired. 
Cooking Directions
  1. Add the chopped cucumber and finely chopped mint (or tea) to the 3 cups of water. Stir around and then use a fine mesh strainer to remove the mint leaves and cucumber pieces. Add the cucumber flavored water to a large pitcher.
  2. Add the lime juice and sweetener to the pitcher and stir in an additional 4 cups of water. Stir well until your sweetener has been incorporated.
  3. Chill and serve with a lime wedge for garnish, if desired.

August 19, 2015

Kid Friendly Salmon

It's been a little hard to work on my blog this week.  School has started here and I do a online public school with my daughter and that equals very little time for myself.

That being said, this is a great dinner if you're trying to get your kids to eat more fish like I am.  This makes the salmon sort of sweet and savory at the same time.  My husband isn't the biggest fish eater either and he really loved this recipe.

It's easy to throw together and cooks in no time.  No super strong flavors and no spice so it's very kid (and husband) friendly. Great to add to the weekly menu!

Kid Friendly Salmon
Recipe from Tomorrow Farm Fiber Arts

  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 lb fresh salmon, cut into 4 pieces
Cooking Directions
  1. Mix the soy sauce, oil, brown sugar and garlic together.
  2. Place the salmon in a baking dish and pour the sauce over the top. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  3. Grill or broil over medium heat for 3-4 minutes per side until fish is flaky.

August 14, 2015

Oatmeal-Fig Bars

This cookie bar was in the latest issue of Food Network Magazine.  There were so many to choose from, it was hard to settle on just one to make.  I told my husband that he would have to pick, there were just way too many choices for me.

I think he picked this one because it does have the "healthy" factor since there is oatmeal, wheat flour and figs in it.  I'm pretty sure that they can't be considered health food though.

The bars are perfect for a breakfast on the run, or a snack.  Very satisfying with a yummy fig taste and soft chewy texture.

I froze mine and I just pull a couple out as needed.  I'm happy with all the bar recipes that were in the magazine and I can't wait to try more. 

Oatmeal-Fig Bars
Recipe from Food Network Magazine Sept 2015 page 68

  • 2 sticks butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups rolled (Old Fashioned) oats
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups chopped dried figs
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
Cooking Directions
  1. Line a 9x13 inch pan with tin foil so it hangs over the edges, then oil the tin foil with either non-stick spray or use your hands or a napkin to spread oil over the surface.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350º
  3. In a food processor, add the softened butter and both sugars and pulse to combine.
  4. Add the oats, both flours, baking powder and salt and pulse to combine.
  5. Next add the figs, eggs and vanilla and pulse until clumps form.
  6. Press the mixture into the prepared pan and then bake for about 35 minutes until the edges are set but the middle is soft.
  7. Cool before cutting.

August 5, 2015


Here's a cookie I'm just getting around to, amazingly, since it's a classic. I haven't been in a hurry to make it because I've always thought cinnamon and sugar were more breakfast flavors so I haven't jumped on the bandwagon to make these cookies. 

My bad. 

They're great.  They are like a shortbread cookie that's rolled in cinnamon sugar before you bake it.  You can keep them soft or bake them longer and make them crunchy.  Either way, they are totally delicious and they make a great "hot weather" cookie because there isn't anything melt-y in them. 
Recipe from King Arthur Flour

  • 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/3 cup bread flour
  • 2 Tbsp granulated sugar + 1 tsp cinnamon (for coating)
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 375º
  2. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper, silicone cookie mat or grease with non-stick spray. Set aside. 
  3. In the bowl of your stand mixer, mix the butter and sugar together until smooth.  Add the egg and vanilla extract and mix until smooth. 
  4. Add the baking powder and salt and with the mixer on low, add the flour and mix until well incorporated. 
  5. In a zip lock bag add the sugar and cinnamon. 
  6. Use a 1 inch cookie scoop to make a ball and then drop in the bag and shake it slightly until fully covered by cinnamon sugar.  Place on the prepared cookie sheet and place balls about 1 1/2 inches apart.  Before baking, take the bottom of a drinking glass and smooth the dough ball down to about 3/8 inch thick. 
  7. Bake for 8 minutes for softer cookies or 10 minutes for crunchier cookies. 
  8. Let cool slightly before moving to a cooling rack. 

July 30, 2015

2-Ingredient Pizza Dough

Pizza isn't one of those things I can wrap my mind around ahead of time.  I think that's the reason frozen pizza's are so popular, they're a last minute thing.  Well, this recipe solves that problem.  If I can just remember to have plain Greek yogurt in my refrigerator I'll never need to buy frozen pizza again.

This recipe is easy to throw together (I mean come one, two ingredients?) just keep at it until it becomes a smooth dough.  I heated my pizza stone in the oven prior to even starting the dough.

The crust became nice and crispy on the bottom.  I found that one dough ball was the perfect size for my large pizza stone and it turned out like a pretty thin crust.  Obviously you can roll it out to your desired thickness.

As far as taste goes, it was quite good.  I think that some of the longer crusts (that need to rise) have a better taste but this one was totally delicious especially when you consider it only took 10 minutes to prepare and roll out and top.  I baked mine for about 15 minutes.  It also made me feel good to know I made it with my own two hands and there weren't any pesky preservatives added.  It's homemade, but really really fast.  Great recipe to have on hand for those times you don't "plan" on having pizza.

2-Ingredient Pizza Dough
Recipe from The Food Network

  • 1 3/4 cups self rising flour
  • 1 cup full fat or 2% Greek yogurt
Cooking Directions
  1. Mix both ingredients into a shaggy dough, then dump onto a lightly floured work area and knead into a smooth dough. 
  2. Roll into one large round pizza or two smaller ones.  Top and bake on a stone that has preheated in your oven set to 500º. 
  3. Can be refrigerated for up to two days.  Let come up to room temperature before rolling out. 

July 27, 2015

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

You're looking at my daughters birthday "cake".  Best birthday cake ever for several reasons:

  1. It takes little to nothing to decorate (I'm a terrible decorator)
  2. It tastes amazing!  Soft inside, chewy edges, plenty-o-chocolate
  3. Easy to transport, because there was hardly any frosting and weren't any layers. The frosting that is on there is only so the candles I put on top would stay in place. 
  4. It won't melt much, and any chocolate chips that do get melty make it that much better. 
  5. Much easier to make than a cake.  I served this with regular sized cookies for the kids to take home with them. 
My daughter and I will both eat cake, plenty of it actually, but cake isn't necessarily our favorite.  This year for my daughters birthday she originally said she wanted cookies decorated like a peacock (one of her favorite birds) but I quickly talked her out of that.  Remember, I can't decorate.  Luckily it didn't take much convincing that a chocolate chip cookie would be loved by all.  And they were.  I'm such a good parent. 

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar, light or dark
  • 1 large egg + 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350º
  2. Spray a 9 inch round cake pan with non-stick spray
  3. In the bowl of your stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat the softened butter for 1 minute until light and fluffy.
  4. Add brown sugar and beat for another minute.
  5. Add in the egg, egg yolk and vanilla and beat on medium high speed. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides as needed.
  6. In another bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt.
  7. Slowly add the flour mixture into the mixing bowl and mix until incorporated.
  8. Add 1 1/4 cup of the chocolate chips and mix briefly.
  9. Pour the mixture into the prepared dish and press down until level. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
  10. Cover with aluminum foil after the first 15 minutes. Baking could take up to 30 minutes.
  11. After you remove from the oven, let sit for a few minutes until slightly cooled and then press the remaining chocolate chips onto the top.
  12. If you're going to remove it from the pan, use a butter knife to loosen the edges around the sides and then let cool before removing to another dish. Otherwise just serve it out of the cake pan.

July 21, 2015

PW's Burgundy Mushrooms

I've been meaning to post this recipe for some time.  I was going to do it before vacation.  Now it's two weeks after vacation and I'm just getting around to it.

So here's the thing.  I wasn't sure about this recipe.  I mean, I've heard The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond brag about this recipe for years.  She's never led me wrong before, but still I procrastinated. I did that because I like wine, but I don't love it.  I love it in recipes but I don't really sit down all that often and drink a glass of it. So I was afraid that this recipe would have this overwhelming taste of wine.  I mean, it's cooked in 1 quart of the stuff, now could it NOT taste like wine?

I don't know just doesn't.

I made this recipe for a gathering at a neighbors house.  Actually it was a birthday party, but it was an adults birthday party.  I was told they didn't need anymore desserts (my usual go-to party contribution). I knew that most of the people attending had a fondness for wine so I figured that this would be perfect.

Prepare yourself, this is an all day cooking process but it's oh so worth it. The flavor is hard to describe but there is both chicken and beef bouillon and you can definitely taste them.  There is a little hint of garlic and the butter makes the sauce that's leftover at the bottom is just silky and decadent. It's good to have a good loaf of bread to soak up all that tasty juice.

Also, I couldn't find burgundy wine so I used a cupcake red wine and it was wonderful.

Burgundy Mushrooms
Recipe from The Pioneer Woman

  • 4 pounds white button mushrooms
  • 2 sticks butter
  • 1 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 quart burgundy wine (or other red wine)
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 4 whole chicken bullion cubes
  • 4 whole beef bouillon cubes
  • 1 tsp dill seed
  • 5 cloves garlic peeled
  • 2 tsp salt
Cooking Directions
  1. Put all of the ingredients except the salt in a large stock pot. Stir together and heat to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat to simmer for 6 hours, covered.
  3. Remove cover and simmer for 3 more hours.
  4. Add salt before serving. Serve with some good crusty bread to suck up the juices.