I am...

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Orem, Utah, United States
I am a lover of my husband, adorable children, and last but not least food. I first started baking when I was just a little girl. My mom always had an amazing home-cooked meal on the table and she always encouraged me to help. Much of what I know has come from watching her in the kitchen. I used to love to pretend I owned a restaurant and cook things up for my siblings and their friends. Not much has changed :) Now my sweet husband and kids get to be my taste testers. I love exploring new ingredients and am always looking for the best of the best when it comes to recipes. I hope you enjoy the site as much as I do. Through this blog I will share just a few of my favorite things- my passion for child development, my wonderful family, and my love for food :) Happy blogging!

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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Greek Island Pitzas

Long time no post huh??!?! I have been a little crazy with life. My husband had a very intense shoulder surgery, I have been tending a little girl full-time and I was preparing for a Child Life internship interview at Primary Children's Medical Center. Things have calmed down a lot, so I am back! So! Let's just say that I LOVED this meal. It was delicious. I added some lemon-pepper grilled chicken to our pitzas and added a side salad of romaine lettuce, berries, green apples, and walnuts. I topped it with a maple balsamic dressing. YUM! Also for the pitzas I ended up buying 100% Whole Wheat "Earthgrain Thin Buns" because pitas were nowhere to be found in the store I was at. They turned out PERFECT! I think I might almost prefer them this way, but you decide :) I have been trying to cook a little more lightly with a trip to Maui coming up.... so I went to a Weight Watchers cookbook I own called "Pizza, Pizza"! So not only is this meal delicious, but there is little guilt involved :) I will post my version here along with nutrition facts. Enjoy!

Greek Island Pitzas

1 can quartered artichoke hearts, drained & coarsely chopped
1 small zucchini, peeled and grated
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 tsp. oregano
3 100% whole wheat EarthGrain Thin Buns, split in half
9 cherry tomatoes, halved
6 lg. kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
1/4 c. basil-tomato feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 c. shredded mozzarella
1/2 c. sliced red onion
1 lemon-pepper grilled chicken breast, chopped (optional)
Salt & Pepper (optional)

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Spray non-stick skillet w/ nonstick spray and set over med. high heat. Add artichokes, zucchini, garlic and oregano. Cook, stirring frequently, till zucchini is tender, about 2 min. Place thin bun halves on a baking sheet. Spread artichoke mixture on top of each. Top with remaining ingredients. Bake till heated through, about 10 min. Serves 3

Nutrition Facts (w/o chicken or salt & pepper)

Serving Size: 2 Thin bun halves
Calories: 320
Fat: 5 g
Cholesterol: 16 mg
Sodium: 730 mg
Carbohydrates: 53
Fiber: 10 g
Protein: 16 g
Calcium: 197 mg

Weight Watcher Points: 5

Friday, May 13, 2011

Favorite Spring Cleaning Products!

Because we all know that a good old "Spring cleaning" never lasts all year... Here's a list of my favorite cleaning products, TRIED AND TRUE, to get you through Spring, Summer, Fall, whatever :) There's no reason to beat around the bush, cleaning can be no fun. Especially when all of it is left to YOU! Although cleaning stinks (literally!), here are some things that will save you time and energy and leave your house looking and smelling fresh!

1. Lysol Power Toilet Bowl Cleaner w/Lime & Rust Remover- This stuff will tackle anything! And with very little scrubbing!

2. Febreze 30 hr. candles- My favorites are Apple Spice & Delight, and Winds & Springtime. These candles really do last 30 hrs. and make your whole house smell amazing. I think I would take them over any other candle or warmer anyday.

3. Mr. Clean w/Febreze Multipurpose Cleaner- I use this in a spray bottle for everyday messes and also LOVE pouring a little bit in with super hot water to mop my floors. It cleans like a charm and leaves everything smelling better too :)

4. Mr. Clean w/Febreze Disinfecting Bath Cleaner- This really gets at the soap scum that I HATE!

5. Good old LIME AWAY!- Nothing is better at making handles, sinks, and faucets crystal clear again. I love this stuff.

6. Lysol Antibacterial Kitchen Cleaner- This is another kitchen cleaner I use for everyday messes that gets the job done.

7. Clorox Anywhere Hard Surface daily sanitizing spray- You can spray this stuff anywhere! This is great for cleaning up any mess because you don't have to worry about spraying something you shouldn't.

8. Pledge Multi Surface- This stuff is awesome! It cleans anything from metal, wood and glass to electronics. I love using it on our tv, dvd player, and computers. Although I still prefer regular pledge on our wood when available... I have used this. It is great at cleaning up dust and dirt, but it lacks the greasy shine of regular pledge :) So I guess it depends what you're going for.

9. Mr. Clean Magic Erasers- Great for getting shoe scuffs and crayon marks off of just about anything.... Need I say more? :)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Grilled Potatoes & Onions

I found this recipe on allrecipes.com today. I made pork chops tonight and was looking for a way to use up some of the potatoes I have. I am not a huge baked potato fan, so I thought this would be good and different. I adapted the recipe for convenience... I put mine in the oven on broil and placed them on the second rack from the top. I turned them once halfway through and broiled them in foil for a total of 30 minutes. Instead of using butter, I drizzled olive oil on top. They were perfect! I served them with Sage Pork Chops and Strawberry Spinach Salad. The meal was delish! Enjoy :)


4 potatoes, sliced
1 red onion, sliced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 T. butter


1.Preheat grill for medium heat.
2.For each packet, measure out 2 or 3 squares of aluminum foil large enough to easily wrap the vegetables, and layer one on top of the other. Place some of the potatoes and onion in the center, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and dot with butter. Wrap into a flattened square, and seal the edges. Repeat with remaining potatoes and onion.
3.Place aluminum wrapped package over indirect heat, and cover. Cook for approximately 30 minutes, turning once. Serve hot off the grill.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Cinco de Mayo!

El Cinco de Mayo is fast-approaching! Here are some of my favorite Mexican dishes. I will admit that I pretty much just usually use this holiday as an excuse to make a delicious mexican feast! Enjoy!

Let's start with the basics....No mexican meal could be complete without a good salsa, pico de gallo, or that fattening and delicious guacamole. Here some I've tried and loved....


This recipe serves 4, so if you're havin' a party, ya better ATLEAST double it up :)


3 avocados - peeled, pitted, and mashed
1 lime, juiced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup diced onion
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 roma (plum) tomatoes, diced
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 pinch ground cayenne pepper (optional)


1.In a medium bowl, mash together the avocados, lime juice, and salt. Mix in onion, cilantro, tomatoes, and garlic. Stir in cayenne pepper. Refrigerate 1 hour for best flavor, or serve immediately.

Seven Layer Dip

This is the family favorite recipe. I'm not quite sure it's actually seven layers... but we can pretend!


2 (16 ounce) cans refried beans
4 avocados (somewhat soft)
2 pkg. guacamole mix
1 (1 ounce) package taco seasoning mix
1 (16 ounce) container sour cream
1 large tomato, chopped
1 (6 ounce) can sliced black olives, drained
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese


1.Spread the beans into a 9x13" pan. Make your own homemade quacamole or make guacamole using the 4 avocados and 2 guacamole mixes. Spread over the refried beans.In a medium bowl, blend the taco seasoning mix and sour cream.
2. Spead the sour cream mixture on top of the guacamole.
3.Top the layers with tomatoes, olives and cheese.Refrigerate and enjoy!


My husband and I tried this out for the first time about a month ago. I LOVED it and so did everyone else that scarfed it down! I went home with nothing left! I used my blender rather than a food processor and it worked just fine.


2 (14.5 ounce) cans stewed tomatoes(drained)
1/2 onion, finely diced
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 lime, juiced
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup canned sliced green chiles, or to taste
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro


1.Place the tomatoes, onion, garlic, lime juice, salt, green chiles, and cilantro in a blender or food processor. Blend on low to desired consistency.

Pico de Gallo

Most of the time I would be completely content with this, and only this, and a bag of chips. YUM!


1 medium tomato, diced
1 onion, finely chopped
1/2 fresh jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
2 sprigs fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1 green onion, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper


1.In a medium bowl, combine tomato, onion, jalapeno pepper (to taste,) cilantro and green onion. Season with garlic powder, salt and pepper. Stir until evenly distributed. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Black Bean Enchiladas
submitted by Brittany from www.www.thesisterscafe.com

I made these for us about 2 months ago. I loved them! They were a good change from my regular chicken enchiladas. Enjoy!

Flour tortillas
shredded Colby Jack cheese

1 cup sour cream
1 can (10.5 oz) cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup shredded cheese (or more if desired…which I usually do!)
juice from canned tomatoes and chilies

Mix in separate bowl:
2 cups cooked chicken, cubed or shredded
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes and chilies, drained
1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed

Spread a spoonful of sauce onto a flour tortilla. Top with chicken mixture and another spoonful or two of sauce. Roll up and line in 9×13 inch baking dish that has been lightly sprayed with cooking oil spray. Top enchiladas with rest of sauce and desired amount of cheese (I use about 1 1/2 cups). Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes.

Ashley's Oatmeal Cookies

So... I know that we are over the whole oatmeal cookie thing but I decided to make some for my father-in-law last night and decided to combine a few of my favorites to create one that he in particular would love! Flint is funny with cloves and since I KNEW he would be sneaking more than a few.... I decided to cut down on the cloves and add a little nutmeg. These were AMAZING! I overbaked mine a little so I would stick to 10-11 minutes if you are making cookies using a rounded tablespoon. Enjoy!


1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup butter flavored shortening
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups rolled oats
1 cup chopped walnuts
2 c. milk chocolate chips


1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2.In a large bowl, cream together the butter, butter flavored shortening, brown sugar, white sugar, eggs, and vanilla until smooth. Combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and salt; stir into the sugar mixture. Stir in the oats, nuts, and chocolate chips. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
3.Bake 10 to 12 minutes until light and golden. Do not overbake. Cookies may look a tad underdone. Let them cool a minute before removing from cookie sheets to cool completely. Store in airtight container. Makes 6 dozen small cookies or 3 dozen big ones! YUM!

Friday, April 29, 2011


We threw this on the grill tonight. YUM!


2 cloves garlic, minced
6 tablespoons light olive oil
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
2 (6 ounce) fillets salmon

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Cinnamon Rolls

I made these last night for some friends that were packing up and moving this morning. These were AMAZING! I adapted this recipe from allrecipes.com because I don't have a bread machine. I just used my Kitchenaid and everything worked perfectly. My house is generally pretty cold, so for a warm place for the dough to rise, I turned my oven on for one minute and then turned it off before covering the dough and placing it in there. I have one other recipe I love for really gooey, sticky rolls. These are a little less messy. I will post both. For these I doubled this recipe and it filled a cookie sheet & one other round pan. YUMMM!!!


1/4 cup warm water
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 (3.4 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
1 cup warm milk
1 egg, room temperature
1 tablespoon white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 cups bread flour
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast

1/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 cup chopped pecans

1/2 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons milk


1.Combine water, melted butter, yeast, and sugar in a bowl. Cover with a plate and let set 10 minutes. Meanwhile mix vanilla pudding, warm milk, and egg.

2.When the yeast has set, combine yeast mixture with pudding mixture in mixer. With mixer, need in flour and salt. You may not need all of teh flour. Add enough flour for the dough to pull away from the sides of the bowl and form a ball, but still a tiny bit sticky to touch.

3.Place dough in oiled bowl. Cover and let rise 1 hr.

4. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll into a 17x10 inch rectangle. Spread with softened butter. In a small bowl, stir together brown sugar, cinnamon and pecans. Sprinkle brown sugar mixture over dough.

5.Roll up dough, beginning with long side. Slice into 16 one inch slices and place in 9x13 buttered pan. Let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

4.Bake in preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes. While rolls bake, stir together cream cheese, softened butter, confectioners' sugar, vanilla and milk. Remove rolls from oven and top with frosting.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Green Grape Salad

I had a BBQ for Flint's birthday last weekend. Although it was a little stressful getting all of the food ready with little Allie on my hip, the food was a success! I am going to post a few of the favorites. Because I like to experiment, most of the recipes were first-timers for me. Enjoy!

Green Grape Salad

This was my sister's favorite. I doubled it for the BBQ and everyone took what little was leftover! I am thinking of adding granny smith apples next time. I think it would be PERFECT! Delicious and addicting as is.


4 pounds seedless green grapes
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
1 (8 ounce) container sour cream
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 ounces chopped pecans
2 tablespoons brown sugar


1.Wash and dry grapes. In a large bowl, mix together the cream cheese, sour cream, sugar and vanilla. Add grapes and mix until evenly incorporated. Sprinkle with brown sugar and pecans, mix again and refrigerate until serving.

Monday, April 25, 2011

No Bake Cookies & A Winner!

And the winner of the Easter Giveaway is..... BRITNEY BRENT! Please choose one of the following prizes and shoot me an email at flintandashley@yahoo.com with your mailing address. Congrats!..

1. Ben & Jerry's Homemade Ice Cream & Dessert Book
2. O'Keefe's Working Hands Creme
3. Cookie Scoop by Wilton

Now back to oatmeal cookies... Last but not least No Bake Cookies!! Who can resist these simple little pieces of heaven? Here's my favorite recipe found on allrecipes.com

No Bake Cookies III


2 cups white sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup margarine
1/2 cup milk
1 pinch salt
3 cups quick cooking oats
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1.In a saucepan bring sugar, cocoa, margarine, milk, and salt to a rapid boil for 1 minute.
2.Add quick cooking oats, peanut butter, and vanilla; mix well.
3.Working quickly, drop by teaspoonfuls onto waxed paper, and let cool.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Oatmeal Cookie #3

Today is the last day to enter into the Easter Giveaway! Become a follower of my blog and you will automatically be entered to win your choice of 3 awesome prizes! Best of luck! I will announce the winner tomorrow. Now back to Oatmeal Cookies... Here is another Ray family favorite...

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies

I found this recipe on allrecipes.com. I post it in honor of my husband that lives for chocolate & peanut butter. I started making these during the wrestling season and he got mad when I gave most of them away. I was only trying to help.... He says that they are the best cookie he has ever tasted. I add milk chocolate chips to mine and use real butter rather than margarine.


1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup margarine, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
1 cup peanut butter
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup quick-cooking oats


1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2.In a large bowl, cream together shortening, margarine, brown sugar, white sugar, and peanut butter until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time until well blended. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; stir into the creamed mixture. Mix in the oats until just combined. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
3.Bake for 10 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until just light brown. Don't over-bake. Cool and store in an airtight container.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Oatmeal Cookie #2....

Clementine's Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

I found this recipe years ago on the back of a bag of Ghirardelli chocolate chips. I LOVE these cookies. So when you're in the mood for oatmeal cookies and need some chocolate too.... whip up these babies. I use milk chocolate chips myself. SO GOOD! Don't overbake.

Yield: 5 dozen 2-inch cookies

12 ounce(s) Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1 cup(s) butter, softened
3/4 cup(s) packed brown sugar
1/2 cup(s) sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon(s) vanilla
1 cup(s) unsifted flour
1 teaspoon(s) baking soda
1/2 teaspoon(s) salt
1 teaspoon(s) cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon(s) nutmeg
3 cup(s) oats, uncooked
1 cup(s) walnuts, chopped


Preheat oven to 375°F. In a large bowl, beat butter with sugar and brown sugar at medium speed until creamy and lightened in color (about 4 minutes). Add vanilla and egg, and mix on low speed until incorporated. Stir flour with baking soda, salt, and spices; add to creamed mixture, mixing well. Stir in oats. Fold in chocolate chips and walnuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake 8 to 9 minutes for a chewy cookie, 10 to 11 minutes for a crisp cookie. Cool 1 minute on a cookie sheet; remove to wire cooling racks. Store in tightly covered container. Makes about 6 dozen 2-inch cookies.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Oatmeal Cookie Madness! (and a GIVEAWAY!!)

Just 3 more days to become a follower and be entered into the Easter GIVEAWAY drawing! The winner will choose from 1 of 3 prizes... Now how about oatmeal cookies?! Yesterday afternoon we got a hinkering for those good old No Bake Cookies. Can you really go wrong with chocolate and peanut butter? The were delish and got me to thinking about all of my favorite oatmeal cookies. So here you have them! It's hard to choose a favorite. So try... and enjoy! :)

Mom's Oatmeal Cookies

These always come out so moist and fluffy. Not to mention they make your house smell like heaven!


1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup butter flavored shortening
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups rolled oats
1 cup raisins


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). In a large bowl, cream together the butter, butter flavored shortening, brown sugar, white sugar, eggs, and vanilla until smooth. Combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt; stir into the sugar mixture. Stir in the oats and raisins. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 10 to 12 minutes until light and golden. Do not overbake. Let them cool for 2 minutes before removing from cookie sheets to cool completely. Store in airtight container. Makes 3 dozen.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Garlic cheesy Artichoke Dip

My sister-in-law made this dip for us a few times over the holidays last winter and I LOVED it. I could not stop eating it. You can either slice up a bagette or use tortilla chips to dip in. You can serve it as is or scoop it into a bread bowl. Both are delicious. Easy and AMAZING. Enjoy :)

2 T butter
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans artichoke hearts, cut up
16 oz sour cream
2 8oz cream cheese, softened
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese
1 bread bowl with the top cut off and hollowed out

Saute the garlic in the butter for about a minute on med-high heat. Thoroughly mix all the ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Put the dip in a baking dish, cover the top with foil and heat in the oven for 1 1/2 to 2 hours at 375. Serve with sliced french or sour dough baguettes or tortilla chips.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Mom's Cherry Dessert

I am not a cherry pie fan, but I could never turn down this dessert made by my mother. I tried to make it the other night for some friends. I was avoiding a trip to the store and made it without having all of the right stuff. It was still delicious, but I promised I'd post the real recipe soon. So here you go! Enjoy :)

1 yellow cake mix
2 21 oz. cans cherry pie filling
1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. slivered almonds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour cherry pie filling in the bottom of a 9x13" pan. Sprinkle cake mix on top. Top with butter shavings. Last, top with almonds. Bake about 50 minutes or until golden. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream. YUM! Thanks Mom :)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Mango-Berry Salad

This is my latest salad creation. A friend of mine has been requesting the yogurt-mango dressing recipe from Zupa's so I thought I'd come up with something like it. YUM! You are going to love it.

2 pkgs. romaine lettuce
1/2 c. strawberries, chopped
1/2 c. blueberries
1/2 c. raspberries
1/2 c. mangos, chopped
1 1/2 c. candied walnuts
yogurt-mango dressing

Toss to combine & enjoy!

Yogurt-Mango Dressing

1 c. vanilla yogurt
1 c. chopped mango
1 tsp. lemon juice

Blend in blender or food processor. (I ended up using about 2/3 of the dressing)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Sisters Cafe: South Beach Muffins

I have made these muffins a few times now. They are so great and my husband LOVES them! They are full of all that's good for you too :) Enjoy!

Bowl One:
2 c. whole grain oats
2 ½ c. lowfat buttermilk
1 c. unsweetened applesauce
1 c. or one 6-oz bag of dried cranberries

Bowl Two:
2 ½ c. whole wheat flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/3 c. chopped walnuts
1 scant tsp. salt

Bowl Three:
2 eggs, beaten
2 c. sugar (or splenda, although I’ve never tried it)
4 tsp vanilla
2/3 c. canola oil

Preheat oven to 375°. Add bowl one to bowl three and mix well. Add bowl two and mix just enough to moisten. DO NOT OVERMIX. Fill muffin tins 2/3 full and bake for 20 or so minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean or with defined moist crumbs on it. Makes 2 dozen.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Maple Apple Blueberry Salad

YUM! This salad is amazing to me. I had something like it at Zupas recently. Zupas can get pricey.... so I thought I would come up with something I could make at home! This tastes almost exactly like it. You can experiment with the dressing but I will list the one I found at our local grocery store.

1 bag romaine lettuce
1 cup blueberries
1 granny smith apple (chopped)
feta cheese
candied walnuts (recipe below)
Maple Balsamic Dressing (I used Stonewall Kitchen's)

Toss to combine! Enjoy!

Candied Walnuts:

1 c. chopped walnuts
3 T. sugar
1 1/2 T. orange juice
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 T. sugar

Bring 3 T. sugar and orange juice to simmer in frying pan. Add walnuts and cook and stir until orange juice is absorbed & mixture starts to carmelize. Combine nuts with cinnamon & 1 1/2 T. sugar in a bowl. Toss to coat. Spread nuts onto lightly greased baking sheet and bake @ 350 degrees for 5 minutes or until sugar begins to crystalize. Let cool before adding to salad.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Peach Crisp with Maple Cream Sauce

I found this on Sisters Cafe but this recipe is from the book "The Pioneer Woman Cooks". As you know I have been making lots of crisps and cobblers lately. Well let me tell you, to me, this blows any peach cobbler out of the water. We topped ours with the maple cream sauce and added a small scoop of ice cream. Not exactly low cal.... but hey, it sure was delicious :)

1 cup flour
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. (one stick) butter, cut into bits
5-6 cups, peeled, sliced fresh peaches
Juice and grated zest of ½ lemon
2 T. maple syrup
Maple cream Sauce (recipe below)

Preheat oven to 350. Combine flour, sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in medium bowl. Cut in butter with fork or pastry blender until mixture is the consistency of coarse meal. Place peaches in 9-inch square baking pan or smaller baking dish. Gently mix in lemon juice, rind and maple syrup. Top with crumb mixture. Cover tightly with foil and bake about 15 minutes. Remove foil and bake20 to 30 minutes more or until top is crisp and brown. You might want to broil fora couple of minutes to ensure good color. Serve warm with maple cream sauce.

Maple Cream Sauce
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
5 T. maple syrup
3 T. light corn syrup

Combine all ingredients in heavy sauce pan; cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly until thickened and reduced by 1/3, approximately 20 minutes. Chill until thickened. Drizzle generously over Peach Crisp.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Sisters Cafe: Freshly Baked Wheat Bread

We were out of bread so I thought I would give this recipe a shot. WONDERFUL! I just made myself a delicious sandwich using a couple slices of this bread. DIVINE :) A couple quick notes... I only used 4 c. flour and it was perfect. Our house is always pretty chilly so for a warm place I turned the oven on broil for 1 minute and then turned it off and stuck the dough (covered with a towel) in there to rise both times. It worked out perfect. After baking both loaves I popped one right out of the oven into foil and stuck it in the freezer. Once it was frozen I wrapped it all in plastic wrap. Wrapping it in foil immediately and sticking it in the freezer helps lock in the moisture. Enjoy!

2 cups whole wheat flour, sifted
4 to 5 cups bread flour, sifted
2 Tbs granulated sugar
1½ tsp salt
1 Tbs yeast (a rounded Tablespoon)
2 ounces honey (1/4 cup)
1 2/3 cups water
2/3 cup milk
½ stick butter (1/4 cup)

1. In a large mixer bowl, whisk together flours, sugar, salt and yeast.
2. In a medium bowl, combine honey, milk, water and butter, and heat to 105 degrees in the microwave. (About 60 seconds - I used a candy thermometer. It worked great.)
3. Stir liquids to melt the butter and add, all at once, to the dry ingredients in the mixer bowl.
4. With the dough hook installed on your stand mixer, mix dough. Add more flour by the Tablespoon, as needed, until the dough comes together and clears the bowl. Mix for 8-10 minutes with the dough hook until no longer sticky, adding flour as necessary.
5. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.
6. Remove from bowl and divide dough in half. Make each half into a 10 x 12 rectangle and roll each up from short end. Pinch the seams. Roll on the countertop to make a uniform log and place in an oiled breadpan seam-side up. Shake the roll to oil the bottom, turn the pan over, catch the dough and reinsert it into the pan, seam-side-down. (or just spray your plastic wrap with oil before covering so it doesn't stick. I don't like to use a towel to cover because it can dry out the dough.)
7. Return to warm place and let rise an additional 30 minutes or until at least 1 inch above the pan top. Bake in a preheated 400°F. oven for 25 minutes. Remove from pans and cool on rack.

Yield: 2 loaves

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Sisters Cafe: Pesto Chicken Pizza with Pinenuts and Feta

We made this pizza for dinner last night and LOVED it! We are big pizza people so anytime I get a new recipe I've got to try it. The only things I did differently were that I did not make HOMEMADE pesto (because I sadly don't yet own a food processor), and I cooked our pizza at 425 degrees for 12 minutes. This makes our pizza perfect every time. I just bought a pesto mix that was like $1 at the grocery store. You just add water and oil and voila! I used the Grilled Lemon Chicken & Pizza Dough recipes from their site as well. I will make sure I post them next. Hope you love this pizza as much as we did.

Preheat Pizza Stone in 400° oven. Roll out prepared pizza dough and place on preheated pizza stone. Top pizza dough with the following ingredients in order:

1) Pesto (LIBERALLY spread pesto over the pizza, so you can’t see the dough through it, and up on top the edges so the crusts will have pesto on them as well.)
2) Feta cheese (about 4 oz)
3) Red onion slivers (about 1/3 onion -I like lots of red onion and tomatoes)
4) Chicken pieces (about 1 1/2 Grilled Lemon marinated breasts, diced and cooked)
5) Tomato slices (1-2 tomatoes, bite-sized slices)
6) Mozzarella cheese (to your liking)
7) Pine nuts (sprinkle over top)

Bake in 400° oven for 18-20 minutes.

Calphalon - Apple-Cranberry Crisp

I know it isn't anywhere close to being Fall, but I have been in a cobbler/crisp mood lately. I was checking out some new cookware at Calphalon (which is AMAZING!) and came across this recipe on their site. SO GOOD. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Sisters Cafe: Spinach Pasta Salad with Toasted Pinenuts and Feta

All I can say is YUM! All of my favorite ingredients in one dish! Enjoy.

2 c fresh spinach, chopped
1/2 lb penne pasta, cooked
1/2 cucumber, chopped
20 pitted calamata olives, halved length-wise
3/4 c feta cheese, cubed or crumbled
1 roma tomato, chopped
1/2 c pinenuts, toasted
1/2 lb bacon, cooked crisp
1/4 red onion, sliced thinly in wedges

First chop all the veggies while the pasta is boiling. Then toast the pinenuts in a pan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. (Watch them carefully to avoid burning) Slice the bacon in 1/2 inch pieces then cook until very crisp. (Slice the bacon when it is half frozen- it works great) Let pasta and bacon cool. Toss all ingredients together with Greek Vinaigrette (I used Good Seasonings Light Greek Vinaigrette) and serve immediately.

Overview Medicaid Program - General Information

Although the government is nowhere near perfect, they have set up some great programs to help low-income families. Staying at home with your children is amazing, but it is a sacrifice in the money department. When I left work to be home with my daughter, we were dropped from a great insurance plan. Because we needed to be insured but individual plans are usually outrageous, I checked into medicaid. Through medicaid my daughter is completely covered for just about anything. I have been able to take her to the doctor with no hassle and fill all of her prescriptions at no charge. You have to be pretty broke to qualify, but if you are "starving students" like us then you just might :) Check it out.


My husband and I would probably be put in the "starving student" category. Because of this we gratefully qualify for many government assistance programs. This has been extremely helpful while we have both been trying to finish school. One program that is highly underused is called WIC. It is a health program for women, infants, and children. WIC assists pregnant or breastfeeding women, and children with groceries each month. You are given vouchers for specific food items that they see as important in your healthy eating plan. They are huge advocates of breastfeeding, but can also aid in the purchasing of infant formula. Many people qualify and just don't know it. Check it out.

Chocolate Revel Bars Recipe - Allrecipes.com

I made these once in my teenage years and sort of forgot about them...until I had them at a wrestling tournament about a month ago. I had to restrain myself from eating the whole plate! They are SO good. I have never made them with walnuts but I'm sure either way you can't go wrong. Enjoy!


3 cups quick cooking oats
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups packed brown sugar
2 eggs
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking pan.
In a large bowl, beat together 1 cup butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Mix in eggs and 2 teaspoons vanilla. In another bowl, combine oats, flour, baking soda, and 1 teaspoon salt; stir into butter mixture. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan, heat sweetened condensed milk, chocolate chips, 2 tablespoons butter, and 1/2 teaspoon salt over low heat, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat. Stir in walnuts and 2 teaspoons vanilla.
Pat 2/3 of the oat mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Spread chocolate mixture evenly over the top, and dot with remaining oat mixture.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes in preheated oven. Let cool on a wire rack, then cut into bars.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Strawberry Spinach Salad

This is a family fave. We eat it a lot at our house because it is a yummy way to get both a fruit and a veggie into the meal. Enjoy!

1 bag baby spinach
1 pint strawberries, sliced
1/2 c. sliced almonds
1/2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
Brianna's Blush Wine Vinaigrette Dressing (found in most grocery stores)

Toss to combine just before serving! Easy and delicious.

{Tuscan Garlic Chicken}

This recipe comes from my sister-in-law's blog. Last time I cooked this for my husband he was in heaven. DELISH!

Molten Chocolate Cakes

These were SO GOOD! Mine turned out perfect. I cut the recipe in half and just divided the batter between two 10 oz. ramekins. I greased them with a tiny bit of shortening. I cooked mine @450 degrees for 14 minutes. I flipped them right out onto dessert plates and served thm immediately topped with vanilla ice cream. YUM.


1 cup unsalted butter or unsalted margarine*
8 ounces semisweet chocolate chips, or bars, cut into bite-size chunks
5 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
4 teaspoons flour (or matzo meal, ground in a blender to a fine powder)
8 extra-large paper muffin cups (or use regular paper muffin cups, which will make 12 cakes)


1 (6 ounce) container raspberries, barely moistened and rolled in about
1/2 cup sugar right before serving


Melt butter and chocolate in a medium heat-proof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water; remove from heat. Beat eggs, sugar and salt with a hand mixer in a medium bowl until sugar dissolves. Beat egg mixture into chocolate until smooth. Beat in flour or matzo meal until just combined. (Batter can be made a day ahead; return to room temperature an hour or so before baking.)
Before serving dinner, adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 450 degrees. Line a standard-size muffin tin (1/2 cup capacity) with 8 extra-large muffin papers (papers should extend above cups to facilitate removal). Spray muffin papers with vegetable cooking spray. Divide batter among muffin cups.
Bake until batter puffs but center is not set, 8 to 10 minutes. Carefully lift cakes from tin and set on a work surface. Pull papers away from cakes and transfer cakes to dessert plates.
Top each with sugared raspberries and serve immediately.

Last Minute Valentine Dinner Ideas

Valentines Day is always a fun time for me to make my husband extra special meals and treats. And you know what they say- "The way to a man's heart is through his stomach" :) Here's what I've got going tonight for my special someone :) Tuscan Garlic Chicken over Fettuccine with a side of Strawberry Spinach Salad, followed by Molten Chocolate Cakes with a dollop of vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Tres Leche Cake

-I am visiting some friends that I previously nannied for. They used to ask for this cake a lot, so while I'm here I thought I'd whip out the recipe and fix one up! This cake never fails to satisfy. Great topped with fresh sliced strawberries! Enjoy :)


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup white sugar
5 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups whole milk
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk

1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour one 9x13 inch baking pan. Sift flour and baking powder together and set aside. Cream butter or margarine and the 1 cup sugar together until fluffy. Add eggs and the 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract; beat well. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture 2 tablespoons at a time; mix until well blended. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 minutes. Pierce cake several times with a fork. Combine the whole milk, condensed milk, and evaporated milk together. Pour over the top of the cooled cake. Whip whipping cream, the remaining 1 cup of the sugar, and the remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla together until thick. Spread over the top of cake. Be sure and keep cake refrigerated, enjoy!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Spinach Stuffed Chicken Breasts Recipe - Allrecipes.com

I made this last night for dinner. I served it with lemon-thyme rice and a greek salad. Yum! I did change a few things. I fried up the bacon before (leaving it soft enough to wrap around the chicken). I chopped up fresh spinach because it was what I had on hand. I sprinkled olive oil and lemon pepper on the outside of the chicken too. I baked mine at 425 for 20 minutes. This always bakes my chicken perfectly (keeping it nice and moist!). My husband loved it! Enjoy!


4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
4 slices bacon


In a medium bowl, mix mayonnaise, spinach, feta cheese, and garlic until well blended. Set aside.
Carefully butterfly chicken breasts, making sure not to cut all the way through. Spoon spinach mixture into chicken breasts. Wrap each with a piece of bacon, and secure with a toothpick. Place in shallow baking dish. Cover.
Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 1 hour, or until chicken is no longer pink.

Absolutely the Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

I have had many great chocolate chip cookies in my lifetime. None top this one. They are as close to my mom's recipe as I can come up with. Make sure you get butter-flavored shortening. Using regular vanilla extract is fine. Cheap chocolate chips are too. But.... if you want some super good cookies go for the real mexican vanilla and grab a bag of ghiradelli milk chocolate chips. YUM!!!!! My mom always has a bag on hand for cookies.... or to just hide from everyone else and eat by the handfuls :)


1 cup butter flavored shortening
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons Mexican vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). In a large bowl, cream together the butter flavored shortening, brown sugar and white sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well with each addition, then stir in the vanilla .Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; gradually stir into the creamed mixture. Finally, fold in the chocolate chips. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 10 minutes in the preheated oven, until light brown. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Makes about 4 dozen.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Chocolate Frosting

I will admit that I'm a huge fan of canned frosting ready-made from the store.... but when I get ambitious or just in a bind... I whip out this fabulous recipe. I have never tasted better homemade chocolate frosting.


1/2 cup butter (softened)
2-1/4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup and 2 tablespoons cocoa
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup milk


Blend all with hand mixer. Enjoy! (frosted a regular 9x13" cake)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Thrush in babies | BabyCenter

My Baby's Bout With Thrush

A few weeks ago my infant began a nursing strike. When she did eat it would only be for five minutes at a time. She then became squirmy and fussy if I tried to force anymore. An hour later she would want to eat for another five minutes. This brought much frustration to the both of us. I finally took her into the pediatrician because her fussing was getting out of control. As soon as he spotted the white spots on the insides of her cheeks he had the answer. Thrush. It can be easily taken care of but can make you and your baby's life miserable. Check it out.

Thrush in babies BabyCenter

Friday, January 7, 2011

Pandora Radio - Listen to Free Internet Radio, Find New Music

Listen to your favorite music for free! With Pandora you can type in any artist genre or song and a playlist will automatically be created for you! You get 40 hours of free music each month. Great for easy listening when I am cleaning up the house. So grab your broom and ROCK OUT! :) Pandora Radio - Listen to Free Internet Radio, Find New Music

Homemade Oreos

-These are a family fave. They can be time-consuming so somehow I am the one who always ends up with the job of making them.... More for me to sample I guess! I have seen many variations of this recipe. TRY THIS ONE! You will not be disappointed. Enjoy! Makes quite a few.


2 (18.25 ounce) packages devil's food cake mix
4 eggs
1/2 c. butter (soft)
1 tsp. vanilla


1/2 c. butter (soft)
8 oz. cream cheese (soft)
1/2 bag powdered sugar (add to taste)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Blend cake mixes eggs 1/2 cup butter and vanilla in a standing mixer. Dough will be very thick and sticky. Grease your hands and roll in balls about the size of a quarter and place on grased baking sheets. Make an even number of balls. Bake for 7 minutes. Let cookies stand on cookie sheet a few minutes before removing them to cooling rack. After cookies have cooled, put Frosting between two cookies, putting bottom sides together. You can be pretty generous with the frosting so DOUBLE STUFF! :) These are addicting...

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Mom's Butterscotch Sticky Buns

-My mom makes these often for brunch get-togethers. I am having my in-laws over for the weekend and thought they would be a perfect Saturday morning treat :) I like to use Rhoades Texas Rolls rather than their regular dinner rolls. In this case use 12 rather than 18 because they fluff up a lot more. These are so addicting to me. As always.... Enjoy! :)


1/2 cup pecan halves (chopped)
18 frozen dinner rolls
1 (3.5 ounce) pkg. cook and serve butterscotch pudding mix
1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. brown sugar


Grease a bundt pan. Sprinkle half of the pecans in bottom of pan. Place half the frozen dinner rolls on top of pecans. Sprinkle half dry pudding mix over the top. Repeat all. Combine butter and brown sugar in a small saucepan. Heat until boiling then pour over rolls. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to stand overnight. In the morning, preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until golden brown.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Company Chicken-Artichoke Bake

-I first tried this while I was out nannying in Virginia a few years back. When the family was busy I would search through the mom's AMAZING cookbooks. I don't own the cookbook so it took me a while to relocate the recipe. Here it is! My husband and I LOVE this meal. The chicken is so tender and yummy! Enjoy!


-1/4 c. butter
-6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
-1 c. chopped onion
-1 clove garlic, minced
-3 T. flour
-1/4 tsp. salt
-1 1/4 c. dry white wine
-1 c. chicken broth
-1 (3 oz) pkg cream cheese
-1 (14 oz) can artichoke hearts, drained and halved
-1/2 c. sliced almonds


Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add chicken, and cook 5 minutes on each side or until browned. Remove chicken from skillet, reserving pan drippings; place chicken in a 2-quart casserole. Set aside. Saute onion and garlic in reserved pan drippings until tender. Add flour and salt, stirring until smooth. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Gradually add wine and broth; cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is thickened and bubbly. add cream cheese, stirring until cheese melts. Remove from heat; set aside. Arrange halved artichoke hearts over chicken. Spoon cream cheese mixture over chicken and artichokes. Top with almonds. Bake, covered, at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes or until bubbly.

Devil's Float

-My mom used to make this when we were kids. Usually on Sunday nights after church :) We are having some friends over Monday night so I was looking for a good dessert recipe. I remembered this and went searching the web for anything like it. I finally found it! This is a good change to your normal chocolate dessert recipe. Not too rich and nice and gooey :) Enjoy!


1 1/2 pkg. Marshmallows; quartered (small size packages)
1 c. Sugar (divided)
1 1/2 c. Water
2 oz. Chocolate (or you can substitute 6 T. cocoa & 2 T. shortening or butter)
2 T. Butter
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 c. Flour
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Baking powder
1/2 c. Milk
1/2 c. Chopped walnuts or pecans


Place marshmallows in square baking pan. Bring 1/2 cup sugar and water to a rolling boil; pour over marshmallows. Melt chocolate and butter in saucepan; add remaining sugar, vanilla, flour, salt, baking powder and milk. Drop batter by spoonfuls over marshmallow mixture. Sprinkle nuts over top. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.