"Sometimes I wonder about my life. I lead a small life - well, valuable, but small - and sometimes I wonder, do I do it because I like it, or because I haven't been brave?" - Kathleen Kelly (You've Got Mail)

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Microwave Sweet Potato Chips

Maybe you're like me, and you've tried and failed many a time with getting your sweet potatoes to crisp up. I had almost given up until my friend introduced me to this method. You make them in the microwave! And it actually works! And a plus is, you don't have to turn your oven on and heat up the house. I can't get enough of these! My kids love them too. It's so hard to resist eating the entire batch at once. I hope you'll give them a try :)

Microwave Sweet Potato Chips

1-2 pounds sweet potatoes 
Olive oil 
Salt & pepper to taste
Any other seasoning of choice (I used paprika and garlic powder) 

Thoroughly wash your potatoes, leaving the skin on. Using a mandolin set with the thinnest blade or crinkle cut blade, slice the potatoes and place them in a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil, just enough to lightly coat them. Don't use too much! There should be no oil sitting in the bottom of your bowl afterwards. Using your hands, gently toss the sliced potatoes until evenly coated with oil. At this time, spinkle with salt, pepper and any other seasonings you desire.
Grab a large plate or platter that will fit in your microwave and line it with parchment paper. Arrange your potato slices in one even layer and place in the microwave for 4-5 minutes. Flip them over and microwave another 4-5 minutes, until they begin to brown lightly. Remove from the parchment paper and allow the chips to cool completely before eating, at least 10-20 minutes. They will crisp even more as they cool. You will need to do this multiple until all your chips have been cooked. 
Each pound of potatoes will make about 2 servings. So make as much or as little as you want! They shrink up quit a bit as the cook. Enjoy!!

A couple other helpful notes:

-If you're able to change the settings on your microwave, put it in the very lowest setting! You want to give the chips plenty of time to dry out without burning them. 

-If you don't have a mandolin, go get one! I don't think this recipe is doable without one. I found mine at Ross for $5.99. 

Monday, February 24, 2014


Ever get tired of having beans and rice with your Mexican food? I sure do! This is a fresh, easy and healthy alternative side dish to go with any Mexican meal. 


Drizzle of olive oil 
1 small yellow onion, diced 
3 small/medium zucchini
3 small/medium summer squash 
3/4 c. corn kernels (fresh, frozen or canned)
4 oz. can diced green chilies 
1 c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese 
Salt and pepper to taste 

Drizzle some olive oil in a large skillet and heat over medium. Add the diced onion and sauté until tender-crisp, about 5 minutes. 
While onion is sautéing, wash and cut all your squash. Cut each in half lengthwise and then slice into half moon shapes, about 1/4 inch thick. Add to the skillet and sauté another 3-4 minutes. Be careful not to over cook or else the squash will become mushy. 
Add the corn kernels and green chili and cook just until heated though. Lastly, season with salt and pepper to your liking and stir in the shredded cheeee until melted. Makes 8-10 side servings. 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Easiest Stuffed Acorn Squash

I couldn't resist trying one more new squash recipe before we are completely out of the cold months! I found something similar to this one on Pinterest a while ago and just got around to trying it out. I ended up tweaking it quite a bit and came up with something we loved! There was a comment that they didn't look very appetizing (resembling big beetle shells) but that didn't stop them from getting scarfed down. We had them with a side of wild rice and they were super delish!  

 Easiest Stuffed Acorn Squash 

2 acorn squash, cut in half with seeds removed 
Olive oil, for drizzling 
1/2 c. finely diced celery 
1/2 c. finely diced onion 
2 cloves garlic, minced 
6 oz. box herbed stuffing mix
2 c. chopped fresh spinach 

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Drizzle the cut sides of the squash with a little olive oil and place cut side down on a baking dish. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, until flesh is easily pierced with a fork.
While the squash is baking, drizzle a little olive oil in a large skillet, heated over medium. Add the celery, onion and garlic and sauté until tender. I did mine about 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Next, make the stuffing mix in the skillet with the vegetables, according to the package directions.
Once the squash is soft, remove from the oven and scrape out the flesh with a spoon and add to the skillet with the stuffing and vegetables. Add the spinach as well and stir to combine. You'll want to leave about 1/4 inch of flesh inside the squash skins so they can hold the filling. 
Fill each shell with 1/4 of the stuffing mixture and pop back in the oven (cut side up of course!) for another 10 minutes. Makes 4 servings. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Four Cheese and Spinach Lasagna

Everyone loves a good lasagna! It's such a comforting food. I've made many a lasagna in my day but have never followed a recipe and it never quite turns out the same. This time, the vote from he hubby was that this is the best I've made. Plus it was super quick and easy. So I thought I'd better write it down for future reference :) I hope you'll give it a try too! 

Four Cheese and Spinach Lasagna

16 oz. lowfat cottage cheese 
1 small container skim ricotta cheese 
1 c. freshly grated parmesan cheese 
4 c. shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
2 eggs, lightly beaten 
10 oz. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained 
2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. garlic powder
Sprinkle of salt and pepper to your liking 
1 package no boil lasagna noodles  
26 oz. marinara sauce (our favorite comes in a can from Trader Joes!)

Preheat oven to 375 and spray a 13x9 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the four cheeses (reserving 2 cups of mozzarella for topping), eggs, spinach and all seasonings until well combined. 
Coat the bottom of the pan with a thin layer of marinara, add a layer of lasagna noodles and then top with 1/4 of the cheese mixture, spread evenly over the noodles. Next, add another thin layer of sauce, followed by more noodles. Repeat 4 times until all the cheese mixture is gone, ending with a layer of sauce on top. 
Cover and bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle the remaining 2 cups of mozzarella evenly over the top and bake uncovered for 15 minutes longer. Let stand at least 10 minutes before cutting and serving. Serves 8-10.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Super Soft Snickerdoodles

A couple years ago, I posted a snickerdoodle recipe on this blog. But I never found myself going back to make it a second time. You know why? They weren't soft! And I'm not a fan of crunchy cookies. The softer, the better, in my opinion! If you're the same way, this recipe certainly will not disappoint. I can guarantee, I WILL be making these again! Everyone in the house loved them. Even the dog wanted a taste :)

Super Soft Snickerdoodles

1 c. unsalted butter, room temperature 
1 1/2 c. white sugar 
2 eggs
2 3/4 c. all purpose flour 
2 tsp. cream of tartar 
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt 

For Rolling
1/3 c. white sugar 
1 tbsp. ground cinnamon  
(mix together in a small bowl and set aside)

Preheat oven to 375 and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or spritz with cooking spray.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter, sugar and eggs until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt. Mix until dough comes together. 

Roll dough into walnut-sized balls and then roll in the cinnamon sugar mix. Place on prepared cookie sheets and bake in the preheated oven for 9-11 minutes. Pull out while still slightly doughy in the centers and allow to cool on the pans for several minutes and then transfer to cookie racks to cool completely. Makes 2 1/2 dozen cookies. 

Recipe found here: http://seattleflourchild.wordpress.com/2014/01/11/seahawk-doodles-also-known-as-snicker-doodles-cookies-for-game-day/

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Brown Butter Sweet Potato Alfredo

I came across this recipe on Pinterest (where else??) and it looked too interesting not to try. I've always been an alfredo fan, but I just can't bring myself to eat it with all the sticks of butter and loads of heavy cream that go into it! So I loved that the puréed sweet potato takes the place of those heavy ingredients in this recipe. The end result was amazing! I may even love it more than the classic sauce. I hope you'll give it a try too.

Brown Butter Sweet Potato Alfredo

2 tbsp. unsalted butter, browned*
2 small or 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed 
2 tbsp. all-purpose flour 
1 c. milk (I used 2%)
1 3/4 c. water, divided
1 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese 
1 clove fresh garlic, minced 
1/8 tsp. nutmeg 
Salt and pepper to taste 
1 lb. dried angel hair pasta, cooked according to package directions 

Bring a pot of water to boil and add the cubed sweet potatoes and cook until easily pierced with a fork. Drain and place cooked sweet potatoes into a blender with 1 cup of water and carefully purée until smooth. 
To brown the butter, place in a skillet heated over medium and immediately whisk until it begins foaming, about 2-3 minutes. Brown bits will start showing at the bottom, at this point, remove the skillet from the stove and swirl the butter around in the pan so it doesn't go from brown to burned. 
Place the skillet with the butter back over medium heat and whisk in the flour for 30 seconds. Next, slowly add the milk, whisking as you pour, until mixture thickens, about 3-4 minutes. 
Next, add the sweet potatoes and remaining cup of water. Let simmer for about 5 minutes. Then add the Parmesan cheese, garlic, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Stir well to combine and turn off the heat once heated through. If sauce is too thick, you may add more water to thin it out. Serve over prepared angel hair and enjoy! Makes 4-6 servings. 

Original recipe found here: http://www.tablefortwoblog.com/2014/01/08/brown-butter-sweet-potato-alfredo

It's been a while!

Hello, friends! It's been almost exactly 14 months since my last blog post....and I've really missed it! The main reason I haven't kept up with it is time...or lack thereof. But I got a handy new Blogger app for my iPhone so I'm going to see if I can stay on top of posts using that. Don't hold me to it though! I'm going to try it out and see how it goes :)

So let me give you a quick update on life. I'm now working as a part time assistant to the accounting manager at a title company, and I absolutely love it! I work 30 hours a week. Randy is no longer at Lowes. He works about 15 hours a week as the worship leader at our church, going on his 6th year there. He's also Mr. Mom these days, which works out really well. We've been in our new house for almost 2 years and have redone all of it but the kitchen and bathrooms.

Margot is 4 1/2 and learning to read, do math and science, and she's all about anything Disney princess. She's super goofy and sweet, tall and skinny, and lots and lots of fun! Amelia is 2 1/2 and has turned out to be our strong-willed, outgoing and talkative one. And she has the biggest eyes you've ever seen! She loves animals and singing more than anything, and makes us laugh a lot with her crazy dance moves she comes up with.

One of the biggest reasons I've missed blogging, is that I used to use it as my own personal cyber recipe box. And all the recipes we've tried over the last year plus have kind of been forgotten. I haven't had a place to store them and come back to them and make them again. So I'm kind of blogging for selfish reasons I guess :) but I'm ok with that! One big change that's happened in my kitchen is that I no longer incorporate meat in my meals. I do this for health reasons, cost cutting and some of my own personal convictions. Hopefully that won't bum you out or scare you away. I hope you'll stick around and find something you like here!


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Raspberry White Chocolate Scones

In all my years of baking, I've never made scones! They're one of my favorite pastries but I never got up the nerve to make them before. They seemed too messy and complicated. I finally sucked it up and gave them a try. They were indeed messy. But not complicated at all! AND they turned out amazing! I'm already making another batch today for some friends :)
Raspberry White Chocolate Scones

1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. sour cream
2 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. white sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. cold butter, diced
1 c. frozen raspberries*
1/2 c. white chocolate chips
1 tbsp. butter, melted
Sugar for sprinkling
Whisk together the milk and sour cream and refrigerate until needed. Stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium or large bowl. Add the diced, cold butter to the flour mixture. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until the size of small peas. Add the milk mixture and fold with a spatula until just combined.
Place the dough onto a liberally floured work surface (this is where it gets messy!). Using floured hands, dust the dough with flour and knead 6-8 times, until it holds together in a ball. Add flour as needed to prevent sticking.
Using a floured rolling pin, roll the dough into an approximate 12-inch square. Fold dough into thirds, like a letter, using a spatula to release dough if it sticks to the counter top. Lift short ends of dough and fold into thirds again to form an approximate 4-inch square. Roll into a 12 inch square again. Sprinkle raspberries and white chocolate evenly over surface of the dough. Using a spatula, loosen the dough from the work surface and roll up tightly into a log. Place seam side down and press log into a 12 by 4-inch rectangle. Using a sharp, floured knife, slice rectangle into 4 equal rectangles. Cut each rectangle diagonally to form 2 triangles. Transfer to baking sheet. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake in the preheated oven for 18-24 minutes. Transfer to cooling racks and let cool at least 10 minutes before serving. Makes 8 large scones.
Recipe found here
*I like to use frozen raspberries and break them into small pieces before adding them to the dough. It disburses them more evenly and you don't get big mouthfuls of raspberries when you bite into the scone.

Chewy Chocolate Almond Cookies (gluten-free)

It's been a while, guys! Life is very full (in a good way) and I just haven't had the time to sit and update my little blog. Honestly, I've been thinking about deleting it all together...we'll see. Anyways, I've been cooking and baking like crazy, as well as doing tons of house and craft projects but these cookies were just too good not to share! Even if you don't do the gluten free thing, these are definitely worth a try. Probably in my top 5 favorite cookies. The flavor and texture are out of this world!

Chewy Chocolate Almond Cookies

8 oz. semi sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
3 tbsp. butter, softened
2 eggs
1/3 c. white sugar, plus additional for rilling
1/2 tsp. almond extract
3/4 c. finely ground almonds

Melt the chocolate in a glass bowl in the microwave, 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between. Once melted, stir in the butter until thoroughly combined. Using a mixer, beat the eggs, sugar and almond extract until light and frothy, about 60 seconds. Fold the egg mixture into the the chocolate, then fold in the ground almonds.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 and line 2 baking sheets with parchment. Using a 1 tablespoon cookie scoop, portion out dough balls and roll in sugar. Place on prepared baking sheets and bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, just until cookies are set. Allow to cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes and then transfer to cooling rack to cool completely. Makes 2 dozen cookies.

Recipe adapted from here

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Toasted Coconut Rice Krispie Treats

Oh my gosh...these are like a little piece of heaven in your mouth! So simple, yet so delicious! I love rice krispie treats and a looooove coconut so I knew I couldn't go wrong mixing the two together. I may or may not have eaten these for breakfast today ;)

Toasted Coconut Rice Krispie Treats

3 tbsp. butter
10 oz. bag mini marshmallows
1 1/2 c. toasted shredded sweetened coconut*, divided
1 1/4 tsp. coconut extract
5 c. Rice Krispies cereal
Generously spray a 13x9 pan with cooking spray and set aside.  In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium/low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Stir in half the toasted coconut (3/4 cup) and the coconut extract. Remove from heat and stir in the cereal until well combined. Spoon into the prepared pan and press down with your fingers (it helps if you put a little cold water on your finger tips to prevent sticking). Sprinkle the remaining 3/4 cup of toasted coconut on top and press lightly. Allow to cool at least 30 minutes before cutting and severing.

*To toast coconut, heat a skillet over medium heat (no oil needed) and add coconut. Stir constantly until lightly browned and crunchy, about 5 minutes.