Wednesday, April 28, 2010

dark chocolate raspberry brownies

boy howdy are these some dark chocolate brownies. the recipe, dark chocolate cherry brownies, i found in the cooking light annual of 2008, as well as online. i knew i wanted to make them immediately, but i didn't have cherry, oh well, improvise. i also didn't have natural processed cocoa, only dutch, oh well, deal with it. also, only big jumbo ghiradelli bittersweet chocolate chips, oh well, not a bad thing. i made them. these brownies are good, a tad sweet, but very good. they are moist, chewy and full of flavor, super dark chocolate flavor. so dark, that the brownies scared my family at first, but once they got rolling they couldn't and haven't stop eating them. one more thing, make sure you used seedless jam, my one real, oh well, boo-boo. enjoy.

Monday, April 26, 2010

$14 steaks

if you have not seen food inc., see it. you will then understand why i paid $14 for two grass fed beef steaks. we both felt the need to pay the difference to taste the difference and they were definitely different. i only salt and peppered the meat which was very lean with a stronger, gamey-er taste, much like deer. i will buy more. we liked it. anybody want to cowpool?

Sunday, April 25, 2010

harvest grain pancakes w/wo blueberries

this is the only picture i have of this morning's pancakes, the very last one i made and no blueberries added. we have a new ihop in town and my kids wanted to give it a try, so we did. jamie and i had the harvest nut&grain pancakes with bananas. guess what? they were good, very good. i went online and did a search and came across quite a few recipes that claimed to be "copykats". i incorporated them all to come up with a simple tasty recipe. i added frozen blueberries to the hub's and mine, just dropped a few in as they were cooking in the pan. the kid's i left plain. these pancakes were gobbled by everyone in my house, which is a rarity. these babies are a keeper in my book. next time, i plan on adding chopped walnuts and top with some sliced 'nanners. enjoy.

beth' knockoff ihop harvest grain pancakes

first, process 3/4 cup rolled oats till fine like a flour, mix with 3/4 cups whole wheat flour, two tbsp. all purpose flour, 2 tsp. baking soda, 1 tsp. baking powder and a 1/2 tsp. kosher salt.

in another bowl, beat an egg, 1/4 canola oil, 1/4 sugar, 1 1/2 cups lowfat buttermilk

mix the dry into the wet, just till well combines and griddle 1/3 cup of batter at a times, as usual. i added frozen blueberries as the batter was starting to bubble slightly. the heat will defrost the berries. you certainly could stir in any nuts or even dried fruit. ihop adds chopped walnuts, but i bet pecans and almonds would be great, too!

ps-sorry for the super, duper, pooper picture!! they were goooood.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

lemon sunshine cake

i swear, and i shouldn't, since this recipe came from a group of church ladies, but this is the easiest, moistest, tastiest cake i think i have ever made. it is down right delicious. this cake was recently served at a church function i attended with my cousin. it was a woman's fellowship group teaching you how to gift wrap. yep, gift wrap. you laugh. i did too, but i can't make a bow. can you? i can sorta make one now as well as fluff tissue paper, thank you very much. i have been to quite a few of these functions and although this particular one wasn't high on my list, i knew the refreshments and company would be worth it. i get quality time with my cousin and a few hours away from my kids. i always enjoy myself, whether we are adorning gift bags with zots/zaps or blowing eggs, we are always laughing. anyway, they served this cake the other night and i fell in love. i am not suppose to eat it i know, the whole diabetes thing, but i did take a bite, a rather big bite. holy moly! they gave us all recipe cards to take home. how did they know? divine intervention? ptl. enjoy.

lemon sunshine cake

mix and bake

one duncan hines lemon cake mix
one small package of instant lemon pudding
1/2 cup of oil
4 eggs
1 cup water

preheat oven to 350 degrees. pour into greased and floured tube pan(i used a bundt). bake for about 40 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.

while cake is baking make the glaze and set aside(i made a half recipe of glaze) which is four lemons juiced mixed with 2 cups powdered sugar.

when cake is done, immediately remove from pan. while still warm, poke holes in it with knife or skewer and drizzle lemon mixture onto cake(i brushed mine on with a pastry brush). let cool. refrigerate until ready to serve.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

cinnamon/vanilla sour cream pancakes

so, it feels like i have not posted anything food related in ages. so here. i made these super dense pancakes, ummmm, well, ages ago? they were simple to make, moist, heavy, cake-y and gobbled up by my four year old. i can not remember where the recipe originated, because i have it scribbled down on a old legal pad, circa 1980's courtesy of the federal government(nasa/dad). truth is, i probably wrote it down with one of those government black pens, too. if you have any connection to nasa or the government, you will know exactly what i am talking about. any way, i digress, now to the recipe. enjoy.

beth's cinnamon/vanilla sour cream pancakes

mix dry ingredients in a bowl-

2 c flour
2 t baking powder
2 T sugar
1 t baking soda
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t salt

now mix wet together in a bowl-

4 t melted butter
1 c milk
2 beaten eggs
1 c sour cream( i used reduced fat)
1 T real vanilla

mix your wet into your dry and griddle away. this make a lot of pancakes. i had a stack leftover, wrapped in saran and heated the next morning. i believe this pancakes would be even better with blueberries or chocolate chips sprinkled in when cooking.

ps-notice my hint of chicken up top? it is a table runner. isn't it amazing the useless crap you don' t really need that you can find at big lots!

Friday, April 16, 2010

the tweens

the girls were three weeks old this past thursday, ahhhh, they grow up so fast....

they love their fresh spinach salad....

jamie oliver would be proud of them tucking into the fresh veg....

my girl lucy....oh and how they love their pasta, the video below!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

karly's granola bars

so, as many of you know i have been on a granola kick lately. i started making my own to satisfy my need to eat breakfast, but lack of desire to do so. it has been a great help keeping my blood sugar stable with no crashes mid-day. now, i am getting borred, so i started thinking granola bars. i went searching on the internet and found karly, her great blog, "buns in my oven" and her even greater granola bar recipe! what a beautiful blog chock full of delicious recipes and incredible photography. i want to be karly when i grow up. when i originally found her site/recipe, i wrote her telling her i had all, but one ingredient to make these and guess what? she immediately wrote me back, like we were long lost buds. that's what i love about my fellow foodies, we are long lost buds getting (re)acquainted. see, it doesn't even matter if you have a successful site like miss karly or a humble little blog like mine. we all can get along.

anywho, let's get back to the granola bars. they are easy, delicious, moist and full of flavor. move over quaker, there is no need to buy your bars ever again, really. these come together in a snap and bake up beautifully. i did make a couple of changes to karly's original recipe. i used a combo of dark chocolate chips, unsweetened coconut flakes and dried cranberries with a splash of almond extract. i was out of vanilla, oh the horrors! other than that, it is the same. i hope you will go pay "buns in my oven" a visit. i know i need to do some more prowling around there myself. i recall seeing a peanut buttery, chocolaty thingie listed. hmmmm....enjoy.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

girls first day out!

today was the first day my chicks have touched grass and they loved it!

caroline and travis had a great time feeding them dandylions, until they saw a bee!

they briefly freaked, then ventured back over to feed the girls some more....

my little cutie patooties....

chicken coop and run, making progress

the chicken run is coming along. it is hard when you work more than full-time and the weather is not always cooperative....

but when you have a diligent husband like i do, he'll get her done....

unless i keep interrupting....

the girl's pent house view....

the pent house itself, all ready except for their walking plank....

no lily, this is not for you....sorry.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

cooking light's chocolate mint bars

i love the library. i get to check out all sorts of books, but you know i head straight for the cookbook collection followed with a veggie tales vhs stop over. the other day i brought home cooking light's recipe annuals for 2008 and 2009. in the 2008 collection i found a make over recipe for these chocolate mint bars and just knew i wanted to give them a whirl. i did. my brother roger and his wife miranda came for supper on friday and this was dessert, along with a slab of leftover hummingbird cake. let me say, um, they were different. i wouldn't say they were "knocked out of the ballpark" good or anything, just different. i think they like the five day old cake better. if you like peppermint and fudge this is for you. the bottom is really chocolaty and dense topped with a layer of sweet, sugary peppermint filling smothered in semi-sweet chocolate. it is sorta like a girl scout thin mint cookie, but not. i can see me making them again, but not anytime soon. they are pretty rich and potent. i bet they would travel well though. you can find the recipe here. enjoy.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

look what i got!

a vintage martha stewart chicken cake mold! a gift from my hip chick friend lisa. am i a lucky duck or what? okay, i am going a fowl with the poultry jokes. gotta fly.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

hummingbird cake

no hummingbirds were harmed in the making of this baked good. i promise. i saw this recipe in the latest issue of the foodnetwork magazine and thought it would be perfect for easter. it was. it was a big hit with the whole three adults who attended lunch. my kids, they were too busy stuffing their cake holes with candy. i tasted a small bite for reviewing purposes, only. it tasted like carrot cake, well sorta, except for the bananas. it was moist, dense and flavorful. the cake is chockful of toasted pecans, banana chunks and pineapple tidbits. the only changes i made the network's masterpiece was to use can pineapple rather than fresh. oh and fyi, the cream cheese frosting recipe listed makes a ton, delicious, but way too much. yes, sometimes you can have too much icing, hard to believe, but true. i ended up stashing the leftovers covered in the fridge. hmmmmm, do i sense red velvet cupcakes in the future, only time will tell.

anywho, this cake is a definite keeper and a do over, again and again. once you try it i think you will agree. enjoy.

Monday, April 5, 2010

easy vanilla granola

while on my never ending search to find something that i would actually like to eat for breakfast, i decided to give granola a try. i searched the net looking at hundreds, no thousands, no millions, no gazillions of granola recipes. holy cow, there are tons of them out there, so i just made my own. i love it! it has a slightly sweet vanilla flavor with lots of yummy crunchy clusters. i added coconut and dried cranberries, but you can add anything that you like. also, it can be thrown together and baked in about thirty minutes! you gotta love that. give it a try. enjoy.

in a large bowl mix four cups old fashioned oats, 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar, 1/2 -1 cup shredded coconut, 1/2 cup dried cranberries, 1/4 cup of flax seed, 1/4 tsp. of kosher salt and 1/4 tsp. of cinnamon.

in a saucepan heat a 1/3 cup of canola oil, 2 tbsp. of honey, and 1 tbsp of agave(i ran out of honey). heat till warm, whisk in 4 tsp. of real vanilla extract. pour this mixture over the oat mixture mixing thoroughly till everything is completely coated.

now spread this evenly on a parchment or silpat covered cookie sheet. bake at 300 degrees fahrenheit for about 25-25 minutes till slightly golden brown. now here is the trick for clusters, don't stir during baking. once done, cool completely and break into pieces. store in an air tight container.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

happy easter!

the kids were up bright and early to check out what the easter bunny had dropped off! hey, this ain't christmas, punks, what did you expect? i think candy, pj's and new video games is right generous of the ol'hare. anyway, here are a coupla pics of the funky deviled eggs i made for our easter lunch. kinda wild, huh? i just boiled eggs, peeled them and let them soak overnight in beet juice. then deviled as usual. i betcha no one will eat them, too funny. enjoy.

i hope everyone has a hoppy day!

oh and you can't have easter without chickies!

Friday, April 2, 2010

the purse of the chickens

i rarely, rarely buy my self anything. anything decent that is. if you could see my underwear drawer you would agree. i am cheep, but i cracked and recently ordered a purse from my favorite etsy shop-jp's accessories. i mentioned joyce and her handy work a few posts back. well, my chicken bag, that i custom ordered, is on its way! i wanted to post some pics here courtesy of joyce. isn't is adorable. i love it. the bad part, now i will be pacing the floor till it gets here. i found the fabric online, convo'd her and she whipped it up in a matter of days! you can't beat that for service. she is a good egg, that joyce pleasant.


Thursday, April 1, 2010

easy bird's nest cookies

three ingredients, only three-one bag of butterscotch morsels, one can of chow mein noodles and your eggs of choice whether it is jellybeans, malted robin's eggs, or in my case, little cadbury candy coated chocolate eggs.

zap the morsels in the microwave beginning with one minute, stir and keep zapping in 15 second intervals till it is melted, not scorched! watch it closely. stir in the chow mein noodles, folding and crunching till completely coated in butterscotch. spoon onto parchment/waxed paper or a silpat. shape like a nest with a little indention in the middle. place your eggs pushing them down slightly to make sure they stick when dry. let them air dry about thirty minutes and that's it. enjoy.

ps-i happened to have the large bag of chowmein noodles, so i just dumped what i thought was enough. i am thinking that the can will be a perfect amount. i used probably 2/3 of the bag.