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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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!