Sweet Potato Fries
Once you go sweet potato … You never go back!
Sweet potato fries are a delicious and nutritious alternative to regular old french fries. This version is seasoned and baked in the oven. Once I tried these I became a french fry snob!
The best part, they are only 89 calories per serving!
The recipe and tips on preparing them are located after the pics …
Tip #1 : For fries that are crisp on the outside and soft on the inside, flip the fries halfway through cooking. This way they get an even cook on both sides.
Tip #2 : We use ancho chile powder. It’s got a perfect flavor for this recipe
Tip #3 : Try the turkey burgers listed in this recipe. They are delicious!
Grilled Cheese with Prosciutto, Basil, and Dates
With the holidays behind us now, I have to say that I have had my fill of turkey, mashed potatoes, and casseroles. It’s time for something different!
How about a grilled cheese with a twist …
We were a little leery of mixing all these ingredients together, but the combination of flavors was fantastic! It’s also a great way to get power packed nutritional dates into your diet.
You can find the recipe Here
Toasted Marshmallow Milkshake
Recently, I was at a farm spending time with family and roasting marshmallows over an open fire. The sunset that night was breathtaking. It was cloudy and windy that day and the way the vibrant colors bounced off the fluffy clouds would make anyone stop in their tracks just to soak it all in.
Shortly after the sun went down, another amazing thing happened. The sky cleared up and I was again drawn upwards. Living in a city, I’m rarely given the opportunity to see a sky filled with millions of stars. It’s incredible how many are actually visible from the countryside.
As we were roasting marshmallows, carefully selecting the best area of the fire and rotating them at the perfect speed to get the oh-so-desirable “browned” look, I was reminded of a milkshake that I made last year.
It is the perfect fall treat and there’s no need to gather up logs. It can be made with a blender and oven.
Look for the recipe after the images…
We made the following adjustments to the recipe:
1. We found the recipe to be way too runny, so we started with 1 cup of milk and added more milk by the tablespoon and more ice cream by the scoop as needed. (We prefer a thicker shake)
2. We substituted the sour cream for creme fraiche
3. We lined the pan with aluminum foil for an easy cleanup.
Perfectly Rich White Hot Chocolate
As we enter into the holiday season I catch myself daydreaming about a perfectly rich, perfectly sweet drink for a cold night. A White Hot Chocolate is the ultimate caffeine free end to a winter night.
Snuggled up on the couch, under a warm blanket, watching a great flick with your loved one, next to a crackling fire….. sipping on a cup of white hot chocolate. As a favorite comedic character of mine would say, “Could there be anything better?!”
I use skim milk because I feel that paired with the half & half it gives the perfect amount of richness. You may substitute 2% or whole milk for a richer flavor.
Perfectly Rich White Hot Chocolate
4 to 5 servings
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup skim milk
4 cups half & half
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine the white chocolate chips and skim milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring continuously until chips have melted. Add the half & half and vanilla, stirring periodically until heated through.
* You may wish to add whipped cream or a sprinkle of cinnamon for some added flare
Reeses Peanut Butter Cupcake Surprise!
Last year I made the amazing discovery of peanut butter buttercream icing. In one word : A-mazing! Ever since, I’ve been trying to think of the best ways to make use of the delightfully, delicious treat. So, without further ado - I introduce to you -
Reeses Peanut Butter Cupcake Surprise!
Most of the recipes that I’ve seen for Reeses Peanut Butter Cup cupcakes called for chocolate cupcakes. I am a huge fan of chocolate, but in this instance I feel that the chocolate cupcake overwhelms the dish. In my mind, the star of this recipe is the peanut butter buttercream, and the chocolate cake takes away from this. So, for this recipe I used a basic vanilla cupcake (you could also purchase a box of vanilla cupcakes if you’re in a pinch) and a basic vanilla buttercream recipe, substituting peanut butter for the vanilla.
Prepare the cupcakes according to the above recipe. Fill the liners about 1/4 to 1/2 full with batter. Place a reeses peanut butter cup upside down into the batter. Fill the liner to 3/4 full, covering the peanut butter cup.
While the cupcakes are baking, prepare the icing.
Prepare the icing according to the recipe above, deleting the vanilla. Once mixed, add creamy peanut butter 1 tablespoon at a time, to taste.
Allow cupcakes to cool completely before icing them. If desired, sprinkle crumbled peanut butter cup bits on top of the icing to add a little extra punch and give hint to the secret inside the cupcake.
BBQ Chicken & Goat Cheese Pizza
My mouth started watering just thinking about this deliciously magnificent pizza! It’s quick, it’s simple, it’s not frozen, and it belongs on your menu this week!
This recipe is so easy and flexible that I’m going to be very loose with the amounts on the ingredients.
Chicken breast (1 to 2) - we buy the rotisserie chickens for this to take advantage of the seasonings that they have already cooked the chicken with
BBQ sauce (a few tablespoons of your favorite!)
Goat cheese (a small log of it will do)
Green onion, chopped (1 to 2 stalks)
Salt / Pepper to taste
Store bought thin pizza crust (ready for baking)
Put a thin layer of BBQ sauce on the pizza crust
Pile on the ingredients
Cook the pizza according to the directions on the store bought crust
Here is a quick and easy summertime sandwich for those lovely cucumbers that you plucked from the garden.
1 Plain bagel
5 to 6 cucumber slices
2 Tb. Veggie cream cheese (I use the Light version)
1 tsp. Dill
Pinch of Salt & Pepper
1 Slice swiss cheese
Lightly toast the bagel
Slice cucumber into 1/4” slices
Assemble Your Sandwich!! Spread a thin layer of cream cheese on both bagel slices, add a pinch of salt & pepper, sprinkle with dill, add cucumber slices, and swiss cheese
BLT sandwich with roasted tomatoes and basil mayo
Nothing screams Midwestern summer night more than fresh peaches, corn on the cob, and a BLT sandwich! For this dinner I decided to give the BLT a flashy make-over by roasting the tomatoes and adding basil to the mayo.
The key to a good BLT sandwich is getting fresh, tasty tomatoes and right now is the perfect time to pick your garden fresh tomatoes or buy from a local farmer’s market. If you can’t find that perfectly delicious tomato the answer is……. roast them! Roasting a tomato will bring out it’s natural flavors and provide that strong tomato flavor that you are looking for. One of my favorite KC lunch spots does this very same thing with their BLT sandwiches during the winter months and it is delicious!
The length of time for roasting a tomato can vary. You can slow roast them for several hours on a lower oven temperature. I was in a hurry so I roasted mine for about 30 minutes at 425 degrees. They turned out great!
BLT sandwich with roasted tomatoes and basil mayo (yields 2 sandwiches) :
4 medium sized tomatoes (the tomatoes shrink substantially when roasted so we like to use 2 tomatoes per sandwich)
4 to 6 slices of bacon
4 slices of bread
2 to 4 tablespoons of Mayo
4 to 6 fresh basil leaves
EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) - we have a bottle of evoo that is infused with garlic
garlic (you can use olive oil infused with garlic, a diced garlic clove or garlic salt)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees
Cover a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil
Slice tomatoes into rounds
Shred basil leaves
Place tomatoes onto baking sheet and sprinkle with EVOO, salt, pepper, garlic, and shredded basil
Bake for approximately 30 minutes (check the tomatoes occasionally to make sure that they are not drying out or burning)
fry the bacon strips in a pan (remember to soak them on paper towels when you are done)
Mix mayo and shredded basil in a small bowl
toast the bread
Assemble your sandwich! Spread the basil mayo on both sides of the toast, add one large lettuce leaf, tomato slices, and bacon
Grandma’s Homemade Chocolate Pudding
For all of the chocolate lovers out there. A small bowl of this treat is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth. No trip to Grandma M’s house was complete without a pot of this family tradition.
Our wide eyes were glued to the stove as we watched the spoon go round and round, anxiously awaiting the moment when the spoon stopped and the splash of vanilla went in.
As we got older we tried to be a little more inconspicuous, finding a reason to conveniently “pass through” the galley kitchen hoping to catch a glimpse at the progress of the thickening pudding.
To top it off, a dollop (or three) of homemade whipped cream.
The essential ingredient in this chocolate pudding dish is patience. From the time the ingredients go in the double boiler to the moment it is done, you must stir continually. This is what will keep the dessert smooth and lump free. It is generally around 30 minutes so switch on some good music, put a glass of wine in one hand, round up your family or friends for some good conversation and get to stirring!
Grandma’s Homemade Chocolate Pudding :
2/3 cup sugar
3 heaping tablespoons of flour
1 tablespoon of cocoa powder
1 pinch of salt
1 pint of milk
1 teaspoon of vanilla
In a double boiler, Mix together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, salt and milk on low to medium heat.
*Stir continuously until the pudding thickens (approximately 30 minutes)
Once the pudding is to your desired thickness, turn off the stove and add the vanilla. (Another small pinch of salt may also be added if desired.)
Homemade whipped cream
2 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
*Chill your mixing bowl, beaters, and heavy cream until cold.
Using an electric mixer or whisk, beat the heavy cream just until loose peaks form.
Add the sugar and vanilla and beat until soft peaks form. Do not over whip.