Thursday, July 31, 2008

Blueberry Cookies

I wanted to bake something that said "summer" and Blueberry Cookies seemed perfect! This recipe couldn't be more simple! It's basically just a butter cookie but with blueberries in it! For my version, I added about twice as many blueberries so they were moist tasted like a Blueberry Muffin!

Ingredients: (24 cookies)

2½ c all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 pinch salt
½ c butter
1 c white sugar
2 eggs, beaten
½ tsp lemon extract
½ c milk
2 c fresh blueberries


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease cookie sheet.
2. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt.
3. In a large bowl, cream butter or margarine with sugar. Beat in eggs and lemon flavoring. Mix in milk and flour mixture alternately in three parts, starting with the milk. Gently mix in blueberries.
4. Drop batter by tablespoons onto prepared sheets 1½ inches apart.
5. Bake 12 to 15 minutes.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Back from Sunny SoCal!

We're back from our mini-vacation to SoCal and I wish I was still there! We started the weekend at Dana Point, where Greg was attending a health conference. Then we drove to his parents' house on Friday afternoon but only after stopping to get a LOT of Chilean Seabass at Whole Foods! Greg had been bragging about this Chilean Seabass for a while now and we thought we'd better prove his point. We did NOT disappoint! We just pan-seared the fish for about 10 minutes on each side (with skin on) and topped it with my HOMEMADE Hollandaise Sauce! It came out SO yummy and tender. Priscilla also made us some Roasted Veggies and Risotto on the side, that were just PERFECT!

Saturday was spent watching the Dark Knight and shopping! We got to watch the movie on IMAX but I really wasn't too impressed. Maybe it just wasn't my type of movie...BUT we did manage to get some GREAT deals so that made my day!

Here we are at The Yard House happily enjoying our late lunch!

It was SUCH a nice and relaxing weekend, JUST what we needed! Thanks Priscilla and Jon for having us over! We can't wait to have you visit us in SF! :)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Good Old Peanut Butter Cookies

No I'm not running out of cookie ideas! I had a special request for PB Cookies and haven't made them for a LONG time! In fact, I don't think I've EVER made just plain PB Cookies! I remember making them with Oatmeal and Raisins a while back and they were a hit! Well, I guess I can't call these just PLAIN since I did use CRUNCHY PB, which added little pieces of peanuts to the cookie's texture. They were YUMMY! (Yes I know it's Thursday but I'm taking off on VACATION for the weekend and didn't wanna disappoint my buddies!)

Ingredients: (48 cookies)

3 c all-purpose flour
1 c granulated white sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 c Crunchy PB

1/2 c (1 stick) butter, softened
1/4 c vegetable oil


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt until evenly mixed. Add peanut butter, oil and butter. Using a mixer, blend on medium speed until crumbly, about 3 minutes. Mix until thoroughly combined. Mixture will be very crumbly.
3. Roll dough into balls about 1-inch in diameter and place 2 inches apart on baking sheet.

4. Bake 10 to 12 minutes, until edges are lightly browned. Let baked cookies cool 10 minutes, then remove to racks to cool completely.

Superfood Combinations

I found this article in Fitness Magazine on combining healthy foods for an even MORE benefits!

1. Salsa + Avocado = Lower Cancer Risk
Why? The fat in avocado helps you soak up 4 times more cancer-fighting lycopene and almost 3 times more immune-boosting beta-carotene.

2. Iron-Fortified Cereal + OJ = More Energy
Why? OJ increases the amount of iron absorbed by your body sixfold.

3. PB + Milk = Stronger Bones
Why? The fat in PB helps you absorb as much bone-building Vitamin D as possible.

4. Cantaloupe Wedge + Yogurt = Immunity Boost
Why? Yogurt is high in zinc, which ensures that your body utilizes almost 100% of the Vitamin A in cantaloupe.

5. Spinach, Carrots, Tomato, Olive Oil + Marjoram = Healthy Skin
Why? Veggies need fat in order for the body to absorb many of the antioxidants and marjoram ups that capacity by 200%.

6. Green Tea + Lemon = Heart Help
Why? Vitamin C slows the breakdown of catechines, a heart-healthy antioxidant, in the digestive system so that your body can use them.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Mexican Stuffed Shells

Cheesy Beefy Taco Mixture stuffed inside Shells...hum...could it get any better? I doubt it! I came upon this recipe here and knew I HAD to make it! I used a Mexican Cheese Blend instead of Cheddar and Monterey because we ALWAYS have it on hand and I knew it'd be perfect! This was SO yummy...all Ooey Gooey and CHEESY! Fork required though!


1lb ground beef
1 pkg taco seasoning
1 (4 oz) pkg cream cheese
12 large pasta shells
1 c salsa
2 c Mexican cheese blend (shredded)
3 green onions (chopped)


1. In a fry pan cook ground beef and add taco seasoning and prepare according to package directions. Add cream cheese cover and simmer until cheese is melted. Blend well. Set aside and allow to fully cool.
2. While burger is cooking cook the pasta shells, drain and let cool.
3. Pour salsa in the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Stuff each shell with the meat mixture. Place the stuffed shells in the baking dish.
4. Cover and bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
5. After 30 minutes, uncover, and sprinkle cheese and green onions on top. Cook for about 15 more minutes. Serve with sour cream, additional salsa, black olives or whatever you think goes good with tacos!

Ricotta + Berries = Cheesecake-Like Muffins!

Ricotta Cheese really should come in smaller containers because most recipes only call for about 1 cup, NOT 2! So for that reason, we always seem to have half a container left over in the fridge and about 3 days to use it up. I also had some frozen mixed berries in the fridge and was SO excited when I found this recipe! They taste like mini CHEESECAKES but SO much healthier! The berries kinda melt into the cake and the sugar makes them not so tart. I brought some to my mom and she thought they were super yummy too! I'm sure between these, the Cheerio Muffins and Cookies, her breakfast is taken care of for at least 2 weeks! hehe

Ingredients: (6 cakes)

1 c all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c sugar
2 Tbsp butter, melted
1/2 c ricotta cheese
½ c milk
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 c frozen mixed berries, thawed


1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.
3. In a medium bowl, stir together melted butter, ricotta, milk, eggs and vanilla until smooth. Pour into dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Fold in berries.
4. Distribute batter evenly into prepared muffin cups.
5. Bake for 25 minutes, until a tester inserted into the cake part comes out clean.
6. Refrigerate in an airtight container. Cakes will stay moist for about a week.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Peppermint Patty SURPRISE!

I bought 2 bags of York Peppermint Patties on at Safeway and had NO idea what I was gonna do with them! (They were on SALE.) I Google'd all morning and could only find recipes for BROWNIES with the patties inside. I really don't like baking brownies because they're such a hassle to carry to work SO I decided to be creative! I used a very basic Cocao Cookie recipe and hid the Patty in the middle. They took a while to make since I had to mold the dough around each candy but they turned out SO awesome! They look like normal cookies on the outside but as soon as you bite into them, the Peppermint inside OOZES out...YUM! These cookies were huge too! :)
Ingredients: (24 cookies)

1 c granulated sugar
½ c butter, softened
½ c Baking Cocoa
1 large egg
1½ tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
1½ c all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
24 York Peppermint Patties (unwrapped)


1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
2. Beat 1 c sugar and butter in large mixer bowl until well mixed. Add cocoa, egg, vanilla extract, baking powder and baking soda; beat until well mixed. Gradually beat in flour.

3. Shape dough around the Peppermint Patties so that it covers the entire candy. Place 2-inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.
4. Bale for 15 minutes or until set. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Bacon Bacon Bacon!

Somehow we always seem to have left-over bacon in the house. SO...I thought...why not make Spaghetti Carbonara? I made the simple (and healthier!) version without the egg yolks and it came out super fast and yummy!
Ingredients: (4 servings)

1 pkg (7 oz) spaghetti
8 slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 c)
1 garlic clove, finely chopped

1 c mushrooms, sliced
1 c Mozzerella cheese
½ c grated Parmesan cheese
½ c whipping (heavy) cream


1. Cook and drain spaghetti as directed on package.
2. While spaghetti is cooking, cook bacon in 3-quart saucepan over low heat 8 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until crisp. Remove bacon from saucepan with slotted spoon; drain. Drain fat from saucepan, reserving 1 tablespoon in saucepan.
3. Cook onion, mushrooms and garlic in bacon fat over medium heat about 3 minutes, stirring frequently, until onion is tender. Stir in spaghetti, Mozzerella cheese and whipping cream. Cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through. Toss with bacon.

4. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top just before serving.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


My mom LOVES Cheerios and eats them for breakfast just about everyday. So when I saw a recipe for Cheerio Muffins here, I just couldn't resist! They're are SO healthy with APPLESAUCE instead of BUTTER and only a TINY bit of vegetable oil. I added some raisins and chopped walnuts because they're my mom's favorites and she ABSOLUTELY LOVED these muffins! What a way to start the morning right? :)

Ingredients: (6 muffins)

1 c Cheerios
3/4 c all-purpose flour
1/3 c packed brown sugar
1/2 c apple sauce
1/2 c raisins
1/3 c milk
1 egg
3 Tbsp vegetable or canola oil
1/2 chopped walnuts

1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Prepare 6 muffin cups with paper lining.
3. Crush the Cheerios into very small pieces, leaving about 24 to sprinkle on top.
4. In a large mixing bowl, sift together the crushed Cheerios, flour, brown sugar, baking powder and baking soda, Stir in all remaining ingredients just until moistened.
5. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups. Sprinkle whole Cheerios on top.
6. Bake about 20 minutes until golden brown. Use the toothpick test to see if they're done. A toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin should come out clean if they're finished. If batter sticks to the toothpick, give it another few minutes.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Veggie of the Week

I really wanna enjoy more varieties of veggies so I'm planning on trying a new one every week or 2 and learning why they're good for me. Here's my first one:

Green Beans
-Vitamin K: maintains bone health
-Vitamin A & C: antioxidants to prevent heart attacks & boost immune system
-Magnesium & Potassium: help lower blood pressure
-Iron & Copper: produces energy

Calories: 43.75 per cup

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Ricotta Pancakes???

I was watching Giada the other day (so what else is new?) and she made these pancakes with Ricotta Cheese that looked so yummy! We still had some Ricotta Cheese in the fridge so I thought I'd give them a shot. All you really have to do is add some Ricotta Cheese into the pancake mix along with a touch of Vanilla. The pancakes end up SO fluffy and moist! YUM!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Let's get WOKING!

My Wok came in the mail about a month ago and I wanted to try it out. I had some left-over canned pineapple so I decided to make Pineapple Fried Rice! It was so easy and the Wok kept the oil from splattering. I used slices of Deli Ham because that's all I had in the fridge but chicken or shrimp would work great too! Oh and the Trader Joe's frozen rice pouches were a total life saver!

Ingredients: (4 servings)

1 c ham, chopped into cubes
2 c long grain rice (cooked)
1 c chopped pineapples
3 green onions, chopped
1 c mushrooms, sliced
2 Tbsp canola oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp fish sauce
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
2 eggs


1. Heat wok on medium heat. Sauté ham, onions, mushrooms and garlic in oil for 1 to 2 minutes or until golden brown.
2. Stir in pineapples, rice, fish sauce, soy sauce, and sugar; cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes.
3. Beat the eggs in a bowl and pour into wok. Cook 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Happy Birthday JK and Jay!

It's Thursday night and that means I'm baking up some new concoction for Friday! I'd been wanting to try out Kat's mom's Pineapple Cookies recipe for a while now and I thought they'd be GREAT as a summer treat! I tweaked them by adding some coconut flakes on top (I got the idea from Cookie Madness) and they were light and SUPER moist! Thanks Kat! :)

Ingredients: (4-5 dozen cookies)

1 c brown sugar
1 c white sugar
1 c butter or margarine
2 eggs
1 can crushed pineapple (15 ¼ oz), drained reserving 2 Tbsp juice
1 ½ tsp vanilla
4 c flour
½ tsp salt
1 ½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
Shredded sweetened coconut for topping cookies (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Cream sugars and butter. Beat in vanilla and eggs. Add flour mixture slowly. Stir in pineapple and juice.
3. Drop by teaspoonful onto ungreased cookie sheet. Sprinkle shredded coconut on top of each cookie.
4. Bake in 400 degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes.

With some left-over cookie batter, I baked 2 CUTE Pineapple Upside-Down Mini-Cakes for JK and Jay's birthdays! I just buttered the bottom of a small round Ramekin, placed a slice of pineapple on the, topped it with the, filling it almost to the top, and baked it for about 25 minutes. Then I flipped it upside-down into a container and stuck a Hershey's HUG in the middle. They were SO cute and yummy! :)

I Got It From My MAMA!

Ok so we all know that I'm a super nerd...I just wanted to prove to you just HOW much of a nerd I really am! Check out my Flash creation! :)

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The Candy I Can't Live Without

I've probably been sucking on these Baskin Robbins Candies for the last 5 years and I still LOVE them! Walmart used to be the only that I could find them, but over the last couple of years, I've seen them at Walgreen's, Safeway and now even Target! At 10 calories a piece, these are AWESOME! My favorite flavor is still Mint Chocolate Chip, but they now come in 3 other flavors. I've tasted the Prailines 'n Cream and Vanilla but haven't been able to find the Cookies 'n Cream, which I'd LOVE to try! You really can't beat ice cream flavored candies that are sugar free as well! :)

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Happy to be the HOSTESS with the MOSTESS!

It's Saturday night and we decided to host a little get-together for our friends to watch the UFC Fight on PPV. I found these Bacon Cheddar Pinwheels on the Pillsbury website and was totally excited make them! Of course, I also made some of my famous Spinach Dip with the addition of BACON and Sundried Tomatoes. But that's not all! There were also Parmesan Chicken Strips and Pita Chips with CHEESY Marinara Dipping Sauce! YUM-O!Ingredients:
1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
2 Tbsp ranch salad dressing
4 slices bacon, crisply cooked, crumbled
1/2 c shredded Cheddar cheese (2 oz)
1/4 c chopped green onions

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Unroll dough and separate into 2 long rectangles; press each into 12x4-inch rectangle, firmly pressing perforations to seal.
2. Spread dressing over each rectangle to edges. Sprinkle each with bacon, Cheddar cheese and onions.
3. Starting with one short side, roll up each rectangle; press edge to seal. With serrated knife, cut each roll into 8 slices; place cut side down on ungreased cookie sheet.
4. Bake 12 to 17 minutes or until edges are deep golden brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet. Serve warm.

Getting Better at them Waffles!

Look at how PERFECT these waffles look! I think I'm finally getting the hang of using our new waffle maker! I found these Krusteaz Belgium Waffle Mix at Safeway today and they're REALLY easy to use. I'm also gonna try some other variations by adding nuts and dried fruits...wish me luck!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

My New RED Mixer

My AWESOME boyfriend bought me a new RED mixer from Amazon! It's the perfect size and works great! I tested out today for my Patriotic Cupcakes and it's super easy to use and clean. Thanks HONEY! MUAH!

Oh Say Can You See...

Happy Independence Day! I decided to bake some Patriotic Cupcakes for our weekly Friday treat with the Red and Blue Sprinkles and Stars and Strips cupcake liners I found at Target. I cheated using the Pillsbury Confetti Cake Mix (Shh...) but I added my own sprinkles on top! :)


1 box Pillsbury Confetti cake mix
Water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on cake mix box
Red and Blue sprinkles


1. Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pans). Make cake as directed on box for 24 cupcakes--except fill muffin cups 2/3 full; top each with 1/4 teaspoon sprinkles. Top with remaining batter; sprinkle each with 1/2 tsp sprinkles.
2. Bake and cool as directed on box for cupcakes.
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