Monday, September 6, 2010

Goodies From Our Garden--Annika and Michelle Sept 2010

Michelle and Annika hosted yet another fabulous gourmet club! I love that they took advantage of all the yummy fruits and vegetables and made "Goodies from our Garden" their theme for the dinner. It was held in Michelle's backyard in Riverton and was such a perfect night!

Here's the Menu

The take home table
Michelle and Annika made these "Harvest Blessings" signs for each of the girls to take home. They had 4 photos of fresh vegetables hanging from them. I need a cute fall decoration, and this is perfect. P.S. How cute are these red irrigation boots filled with sunflowers!?
Nothing says garden like corn stalks and a pitch fork!

In addition to the cute fall decoration we took home, we also were given a brown paper bag filled with fresh veggies. Yum!!

The beautiful flowers, zinnias, came from Michelle's Mom. These are my favorite flowers, I can't wait to plant them in my own yard (and can't wait until the landscaping is actually finished!)

The Table

Isn't this the most amazing centerpiece? I don't think I could ever make veggies look so pretty!

The Place Setting

Appetizer Table
Strawberry-Watermelon Slushie
This was such a yummy drink--the perfect amount of sweetness. It's a great way to utilize fruit that needs to be eaten

Marinated Cucumbers--super easy and light

I totally have a crush on this fruit salsa with cinnamon chips. It's so tasty and I love that it presents so well. Total keeper!
Fresh Garden Bruschetta...can I say AMAZING!! I wanted to eat the whole plate and had to use some major self-control to resist going back for seconds.

Aged Gouda and Roasted Portabella Salad-the gouda was the perfect touch for this delicious salad. The dressing was flavorful, but not heavy. At least it didn't taste heavy... :)


Delicious Pork Tenderloin
Mashed Potatoes with Caramelized Onions
Sauteed Carrots
Everything was so good. The pork tenderloin was my absolute favorite. They grilled it, and it had the most amazing flavor. I can't wait to try this again!

Fresh Peach Delight

Rhubarb Pie
(Michelle' Mom's recipe)

All the gourmet Gals
Kristie, Julie, Amber
Shelly, Judith, Sunny, Kim, Holly
Heather, Lindsay, Annika, Michelle

We welcomed Julie, Sunny's new partner, to the group. She was super nice and such a cute gal. We are excited to have her join us!

The dynamic duo! You gals never cease to amaze us! Thanks for a wonderful evening!

Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Chips - click HERE

Strawberry-Watermelon Slushie
2 cups cubed seedless watermelon
1 pint fresh strawberries, halved (I actually used a little less than a pint. Maybe 3/4 of it)
1/3 C. sugar
2 ½ Tbs. fresh lemon juice
3 Tbs. fresh lime juice
2-4 C. ice cubes

In a blender, combine the watermelon, strawberries, sugar and lemon juice; cover and process on high until smooth. With blender running, gradually add ice cubes until desired consistency is reached. Pour into chilled glasses and serve immediately. Yield: 5-7 cups

If you have any leftover, just pour it in some Popsicle molds. Makes some of the best Popsicle we've ever had!

Recipe courtesy of Taste of Home

Marinated Cucumbers
3-5 cucumbers – (partly skinned and striped with a fork then sliced)
2/3 cup water
2/3 cup vinegar
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
½ red onion sliced
Add fresh chopped parsley if desired

Dissolve sugar and salt in water and vinegar, add onion and parsley. Pour over cumbers. Refrigerate.

Fresh Garden Bruschetta
6 oz. fresh grape tomatoes, chopped into quarters
3 cloves minced garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
2 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 French baguette
8 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
Preheat the oven on the broiler setting. In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, basil, salt, and pepper. Allow the mixture to sit for 10-15 minutes. Cut the baguette into 3/4-inch slices. On a baking sheet, arrange the baguette slices in a single layer. Broil for 1 to 2 minutes, until slightly brown. Divide the tomato mixture evenly over the baguette slices. Top the slices with the mozzarella. Broil for 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

Aged Gouda and Roasted Portabella Salad
3/4 pound sliced portabella mushrooms
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
3 Tbs. red wine vinegar
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
10 cups mixed spicy greens (such as mustard, arugula, tatsoi, mizuna, and watercress)
1 cup coarsely grated aged Gouda cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degrees with rack in the middle or oven. Toss mushrooms with 3 Tbs. oil and ¼ tsp. each of salt and pepper in a bowl. Roast in 1 layer in a 4-sided sheet pan, turning once, until golden-brown and tender, about 15 minutes. Cool mushrooms. Whisk together vinegar, mustard, 1/4/ tsp. salt, 1/8 tsp. pepper, and remaining 5 Tbs. oil in a bowl until combined. Toss mushrooms, greens, and cheese with enough dressing to coat.
*Note: Mushrooms can be roasted 4 hours ahead and kept at room temperature.

Delicious Pork Tenderloin
2 to 3 pork tenderloins
8 oz. sliced fresh mushrooms

1 ¼ cup vegetable, canola or olive oil
¾ cup soy sauce
¼ Cup Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbs. dry mustard
1 Tbs. pepper
½ cup of red wine vinegar
1 ½ Tbs. parsley
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp of brown sugar (optional)

Blend the above marinade ingredients in blender. Pour over tenderloins and marinate for 3 to 4 hours. RESERVE MARINADE! Grill pork on the barbecue at medium heat for about 20 minutes, turning and basting occasionally. Add mushrooms to remaining marinade and heat. Slice tenderloins and pour marinade over top to serve.
Recipe courtesy of Favorites
Sautéed Carrots
2lbs. carrots
1 tsp. kosher salt
¼ tsp. fresh ground black pepper
2 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 ½ Tbs. chopped fresh dill or parsley

Peel carrots and cut diagonally in ¼ inch slices. (About 6 cups) Place carrots, 1/3 cup water, salt, and pepper in a large (10 – 12 inch) sauté pan and bring to a boil. Cover the pan and cook over medium-low heat for 7 to 8 minutes, until the carrots are just cooked through. Add the butter and sauté for another minute, until the water evaporates and the carrots are coated with butter. Off the heat, toss with the dill or parsley. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Mashed Potatoes with Caramelized Onions
2 lb. Yukon gold potatoes, cubed (can use Russets)
1 Tbs. olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped (about 2 cups)
¼ tsp. salt, plus more to taste
7/8 cup milk (I use half and half)
1 ½ Tbs. butter, cut into bits
pepper to taste

Place potatoes, unpeeled, in a large pot and fill it with cold water to cover. Bring to a boil; cook until the potatoes are very tender. Drain. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the onions and ½ tsp. salt, and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until onions are golden brown and soft. Return drained potatoes to the pot; mash with the milk and butter. When potatoes are the desired consistency, stir in the onions. Add salt and pepper to taste.
*You can prepare the potatoes in the morning. Place in a casserole dish coated with cooking spray, loosely drape with foil, and refrigerate. Reheat in oven.

Fresh Peach Dessert
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 pkg. graham crackers; crushed
15 medium peaches; peeled & sliced
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 pt. whipping cream

Mix cracker crumbs, powdered sugar, & butter. Press into the bottom of a glass 9 x 13 pan. Reserve some of the crust to sprinkle on top. Whip cream and add a little vanilla and powdered sugar until set. Mix the sweetened condensed milk with lemon juice. Then place the peaches on the crust and pour the milk/lemon mixture on top. Spread the fresh cream on top and sprinkle with remaining crust.
*This is so light and fresh, but you have to share it or half it because it is best if enjoyed in the first 24 hours!

Rhubarb Pie
Pie Crust:
2 cups flour
1 cup shortening
1 tsp salt
5-7 Tbs. cold water

Mix flour and salt together cut in shortening. Add enough cold water to make a soft dough. Roll out and place inside pie tin. Bake at 450 for 10 min or until golden brown. Recipe makes 2 shells or 1 two crust pie.

3 cups rhubarb (cut into pieces)
2 eggs
1 ½ to 2 cups sugar
3 Tbs. flour
Beat egg, sugar and flour together. Add rhubarb mix well. Place in un-baked pie shell. Cover with pastry. Bake at 450 for 10 minutes then 350 for 40 minutes

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Girls Can Grill--Holly & Kim

We had another wonderful Gourmet Club hosted by Holly and Kim.
It was an amazing barbecue themed, "GIRLS CAN GRILL". 
Of course it was amazing,
but honestly it was some of the best BBQ I have had in a long time.

The place setting.

The table. The colors were so fun and bright! They accented with big glass jars of lemon heads.

They did these fun pin wheels as name cards and bigger ones all over the yard and accenting down the rock stairway into the backyard.

Appetizer table (minus the grilled pizza)

They served the appetizers with a Lemon Spritzer that was really refreshing!

Holly our host

Hot Girls!
Stacie, Sunny, Lindsay, Judith, Kristy, Michelle
Appetizers -

Grilled Cajun Pizza

Grilled Bruschetta with Strawberries and Mascarpone
Salad - Basil Cous Cous Salad

This was AMAZING!!! Seriously, you have to try it! And so different, a great take to any BBQ.
Main Course -
Honey/Lime Flat Iron Steak
Orzo with Roasted Veggies, Basil, and Feta
Grilled Pineapple and Raspberries on a Sugar Cane Skewers

This is the best steak I have ever had!!! So TENDER and the flavor was spot on!!!
The veggies and fruit were a perfect accent and left me feeling full but not stuffed. 
Also really fun twist on traditional sides.
Dessert - Grilled Pound Cake with Raspberry Sauce

Another favorite of the evening and really pretty. 
The pound cake had a great fresh flavor and I loved that they had grilled it!

Our take home was a pink basting brush and a jar of "Best BBQ Rub Ever". Can't wait to try them both out!

Michelle and Annika
Surprisingly it got a little chilly after the sun went down so we had to bust out the jackets, but other than that it was a perfect night for a BBQ.

I forgot to take a shot from up above before it got dark, but they had hung this darling white and yellow striped fabric canopy over the table. Fun idea girls!
Here is the inspiration photo of the canopy, and it turned out looking very similar.  They hung it like you would the old-school tarp canopy's with poles, rope and stakes.

And the whole clan, all 12 of us! This was Stacie's last night with us, so SAD!! She got put in a YW's President and along with her job, family, and life it was just a little to crazy. We will miss her like crazy! Hopefully she won't kill me for this photo, but she is the one who is busting up laughing. I love hanging out with these girls and just enjoying our variety of personalities. I always walk away fully recharged for life! Thanks ladies for another great night!

Check out all the YUMMY recipes below....

 The Menu

Grilled Bruschetta with Strawberries & Mascarpone
Grilled Cajun Pizza

Lemon Spritzer
Raspberry-Mint Lemonade

Basil Cous Cous Salad

Main Course
Honey-Lime Flat Iron Steak
Orzo with Roasted Vegetables, Basil & Feta
Grilled Pineapple & Raspberries on Sugar Cane Skewers

Grilled Pound Cake with Raspberry Sauce

The Recipes

Grilled Bruschetta with Strawberries & Mascarpone
1 baguette, thinly sliced on an angle
3 tablespoons butter at room temperature
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup (120g) mascarpone cheese
1 pint (300g) strawberries, washed, dried, and sliced
Butter one side of each slice of bread. Mix together cinnamon and sugar, and sprinkle on top of the butter. Place the bread, cinnamon and sugar side down, in a nonstick skillet (or a grill) set over medium heat. Watch them carefully to ensure the sugar doesn’t burn. Remove from pan when the cinnamon and sugar caramelizes. Allow to cool slightly on a cooling rack. Spread each cinnamon toast with 2-3 teaspoons of mascarpone cheese. Garnish with 3 slices of strawberries.

Pizza Dough
Everybody Grills Cookbook

¼ cup cold milk
½ cup hot water
2 ¼ tsp active dry yeast
Pinch sugar
2 ¼ tsp kosher salt
1 T extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup cornmeal
2 ¼ cups flour

Combine milk and water in a large bowl. Add yeast and sugar; set aside until yeast foams. Stir in salt, oil and cornmeal. Gradually stir in flour until soft dough forms. Turn dough out onto floured surface; knead until smooth and shiny, about 10 minutes. Return dough to greased bowl; cover tightly with oiled plastic wrap; and let rise about 2 hours or until doubled in size.
Press dough down gently and proceed with your favorite grilled pizza or grilled bread recipe. Yields two pizzas.
TIP: be sure to work on a well-floured surface and to flour rolling pin to prevent dough from sticking. Shape pie as evenly and thinly as possible but not so thin that holes appear in dough. When set on grill, dough firms up immediately and thickens slightly. Not all pies will conform to a perfectly round shape. Free-form shapes are completely acceptable when making homemade pizza.

Grilled Cajun Pizza
Everybody Grills Cookbook

1 pizza dough recipe
1 clove garlic, minced
2-3 Tablespoon butter
1 pound Andouille sausage (or hot ground sausage, cooked)
2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
½ cup scallions, grilled chopped
1 cup roasted peppers, chopped
½ tsp. ground thyme
½ tsp ground coriander
½ tsp paprika
½ tsp cumin
1 T dried parsley
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Tabasco sauce to taste

Prepare pizza dough. Sauté butter and garlic. Transfer pizza crust to grill. Grill uncovered over high heat for 1 to 1 ½ minutes. Flip crust onto baking sheet, cooked side up. Brush with half the butter garlic mixture. Top with half of sausage, mozzarella, scallions and roasted peppers. Mix next six dry ingredients together in a small container, shake well to blend. Sprinkle half of seasonings on top of first pizza. Top with a few drops of Tabasco sauce to taste. Transfer pizza back to grill and cook for another 3 minutes or until cheese melts. Repeat process for second pizza.

Raspberry Mint Lemonade
1 12-ounce package frozen unsweetened raspberries (about 3 cups)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 cup fresh lemon juice
1 1-liter bottle (33.8 ounces) chilled sparkling water or club soda
Ice cubes
Mint sprigs
Fresh raspberries (optional)

Combine frozen raspberries, sugar, and 1/2 cup water in medium saucepan. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves and berries thaw. Increase heat and boil 3 minutes. Strain raspberry mixture into bowl, pressing on solids to extract as much liquid as possible; discard solids in strainer. Chill until cold. Stir raspberry syrup, lemon juice, and sparkling water in large pitcher to blend. Fill 6 glasses with ice cubes. Pour raspberry lemonade into glasses. Add fresh raspberries to each glass, if desired.

Lemon Spritzer
5 quarts water
2 cup sugar
1 tsp. lemon extract
1 tsp citric acid (*found at any pharmacy)

Add all ingredients and mix well.

Basil Cous Cous Salad
3 c. spinach/Euro mix lettuce
1/3 c. dried craisins
1/3 c. grated Asiago cheese
1/3 c. toasted pumpkin seeds or pine nuts
2 c. white corn
1 pkg. couscous, olive oil & garlic flavor (prepared per package instructions)

1 c. fresh basil leaves (roughly chopped)
1 c. mayonnaise
½ shallot, chopped
1 c. buttermilk
2 Tbs. red wine vinegar

Add ingredients in a blender and blend well. Salt & pepper to taste.
Toss with salad just before serving.

Honey-Lime Flat Iron Steak
Adapted from Serious Barbecue: Smoke, Char, Baste & Brush Your Way to Great Outdoor Cooking by Adam Perry Lang
& Huntington Beach 4th Ward Recipe Book

2 lb flat Iron, flank or skirt steak
5 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 T. grated fresh ginger
3 T. fresh lime juice
¼ c. soy sauce
¼ c. olive oil
2-3 T. honey
2 T. kosher salt
½ tsp. pepper

Finishing Dressing ingredients
Olive oil
Lemon zest
Freshly squeezed lemon juice
Finely chopped chives
Fleur de sel (or any sea salt)

In a bowl, mix together garlic, ginger, lime juice, soy sauce, olive oil, honey, salt & pepper. Pour over steak and let it marinate in the refrigerator for at least an hour. Place steak on grill rack or broiler pan coated with cooking spray for 5 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness, basting frequently with marinade mixture. Drizzle olive oil on a cutting board. Add the zest, juice, chives, and fleur de sel. Top with the meat and let it rest for 5+ minutes. Cut steak diagonally across the grain into thin slices, dredging them in the dressing. Sprinkle with fleur de sel (or any sea salt).

Orzo with Roasted Vegetables, Basil & Feta

Serves 4-6
1 small red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 small orange bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
½ red onion, cut into 1/2 –inch pieces
6 thin stalks asparagus, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 pint red grape tomatoes, halved
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup orzo
1 1/4 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
2 tablespoons sliced fresh basil
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest

1. Preheat oven to 425°. Toss bell peppers, onion, asparagus, tomatoes, and garlic with 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large baking dish. Season with salt and pepper. Roast for 25 minutes, turning once or twice with a spatula. Vegetables may also be grilled until soft using a grill basket, skewers or tinfoil.
2. Meanwhile, heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat in a large saucepan. Add orzo and stir until lightly browned, 2–3 minutes. Add chicken/vegetable broth and season with salt and pepper. Lower heat, cover, and cook for 12 minutes, until liquid is absorbed.
3. Add roasted vegetables to orzo. Add lemon juice and toss lightly. Let cool to room temperature and add feta, pine nuts, and basil. Top with grated lemon zest.

Grilled Pineapple Kabobs on Sugar Cane Skewers
Adapted from
*6 Sugar Cane Swizzle Stix (found on
1 Pineapple, cut into large cubes
12 Raspberries
1 Vanilla Bean
1/3 cup Brown Sugar
1/4 cup Water
1 teaspoon Unsalted Butter

Preheat a grill to low heat. Peel, core and cut pineapple into large chunks. (May use other fruit, such as strawberries, bananas, nectarines, etc..) Split vanilla bean and scrape out the seeds. Add the seeds, pod, sugar, water and butter to a small saucepot. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly and simmer for 2 minutes or until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat. Place the fruit on sugar cane skewers alternating fruit, if desired. Baste with the vanilla sauce and grill on medium-low heat until you get nice grill marks, about 2-4 minutes on each side.
*Can also use traditional wooden skewers. Soak in water for 20 mins prior to grilling.

Grilled Pound Cake with Raspberry Sauce
1 c. butter
3 c. sugar
6 eggs
3 c flour
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 c heavy cream
2 t pure vanilla extract
Cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time, mixing as you go. Add dry ingredients and mix until well blended. Add cream and vanilla and mix. Pour in bundt pan. Don't preheat oven. Put in oven and bake at 325 for 1 hr 15 min or until toothpick comes out clean!!
Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium-low. Brush the pound cake slices with the melted butter. Grill until the cake is toasted, about 2 minutes on each side. Spread the warm sauce on dessert plates, place cake slices on each plate and top with additional sauce. Serve with cream and extra raspberries

Raspberry Sauce
2 heaping cup raspberries
Juice of ½ lemon (1 Tablespoon)
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 ½ teaspoons cornstarch
In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the berries, the lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of the sugar, the vanilla and 1/4 cup of water. Cook, covered, until the berries are softened, about 10 minutes. Stir the sauce, partially mashing the berries. Taste and add the remaining sugar if the mixture is tart.
In a small bowl, stir 1 tablespoon of water into the cornstarch, then stir the mixture into the berry sauce and continue cooking, uncovered, until thickened, 2 to 3 minutes more. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm.

Best BBQ Rub Ever

1 2/3 cups sugar
¼ cup paprika
½ tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp chili powder
¼ cup salt
2tsp black pepper
1 tsp garlic powder

Directions: Combine all ingredients and use as a rub for any barbecue meats. Apply a thick layer on to each side of meat, about 1/8th of an inch should be sufficient. Rub and press the mix over the meat. Wrap meat in foil and store in refrigerator overnight, or for a minimum of 1 hour. Apply a second coat just before grilling. Great on steak, chicken, ribs, pork chops, etc…

Monday, April 26, 2010

Easter Modgepodge of Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner--Annika & Michelle--March 2010

 Our Hostesses, Annika & Michelle!
Thank you for all your hard work. It was such a perfect night! They hosted the event at Annika's mom's home, which is incredible.  I'm so envious of that beautiful kitchen--the granite, custom cabinets, double oven....I'm drooling as we speak! ;)

Seriously, who  looks this good after cooking, cleaning and decorating all day/night!?? Oh, Michelle and Annika do. My bad. :)

Back: Heather, Michelle, Sunny, Stacie, Judith, Lindsay
Front: Holly, Kim, Annika, Shelly, Amber

Aren't we a good looking crowd?!  We seriously laugh so much and SO hard when we are together. (Missed you, Kristy!)

The theme was "An Easter Mod Podge of Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner"
It was great  to get new recipe ideas for different meals for Easter day.
I love the crisp, clean color palate they chose.  Gerbera daisies are my favorite, and I love any kind of Spring flower bouquet.  The "grass" is actually a couple of grassy-type garlands just wrapped around the centerpiece.  LOVE this idea and will definitely be using it. 

Each place setting was simple and classy, yet each with a flair of Spring!  
The nametags were super cute--hung from rickrack tied around their glass.

Puffed French Toast with homemade Coconut and Butter Syrup
Spinach and Roasted Red Pepper Quiche
Strawberry Orange Julius

The puffed french toast are such a fun way to eat french toast. Really yummy, and adults and kids alike will love it (since it's a finger food and let's be honest, kids love dipping any kind of food in syrup!)

Sour Cream Poppy Seed Muffin with
Spinach, Strawberry, and candied Almond Salad.
Everything was soooo tasty, but I will say that the Sour Cream Poppy Seed muffin was definitely a favorite of the night--so flavorful and light and fluffy!

The main dish was Pineapple and Brown Sugar glazed Ham. This recipe was from Michelle's Great Aunt.  THIS IS AMAZING!!! The hostesses (with the mostess...) explained the process as simple, but time consuming.  Beautiful, huh!?  It pretty much melted in your mouth...

Pineapple and Brown Sugar Glazed Ham
Scalloped Mixed Potatoes with Red Onions
Creamed Corn

I'm not usually a sweet potato fan, but I LOVED the scalloped potatoes--it was mix or regular potatoes and sweet potatoes.

Homemade Sour Cream Raspberry Ice Cream
Lemonhead Cookies
Michelle and Annika always make incredible homemade ice cream, and this was no different.  I'm an icecreamaholic and this definitely hit the spot.  Such a good flavor! 

The girls take home gifts were a bag of the Lemonhead cookies (yummy!).  Also, a big thanks to Annika for making us these cute binders to put all our gourmet recipes in.  I love mine already!  (And I've nearly forgiven Annika for the fabulous photo of me that she included on the front cover!)

Here are all the fabulous recipes for you to try for ourselves! 

Mini Breakfast Quiches
4 eggs
1 C egg substitute*
3/4 C shredded low-fat sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 C shredded Parmesan cheese
1/4 C cottage cheese
5 oz frozen spinach (that's half a standard frozen box)
1/3 C roasted red peppers, diced
1 oz finely diced ham, Canadian bacon, or crumbled bacon (about 1/4-1/3 C)
1/4 C finely diced onions
1/4 t kosher salt
1/8 t black pepper
1/2 t hot sauce

foil muffin tin liners

*1/4 egg substitute = 1 whole egg, so if you're using all eggs, or some eggs and some egg whites, you can adjust accordingly.

Preheat oven to 350

Thaw spinach (you can nuke it in the microwave) and squeeze out all the liquid. Putting it in a clean kitchen towel and ringing the heck out of it works well. After it's drained of all the liquid, give it a rough chop.

In a bowl, combine all ingredients and stir well.

Place foil cupcake liners in the muffin tins and spray with cooking spray. Don't forget this step! And yes, they really do need to be the foil ones. If you have a silicone muffin pan, those work great and you don't need to line them. My silicone pan makes them taste like soap, so I don't go there. As you're dividing the egg mixture into the muffin cups make sure to keep stirring it so all of the ingredients are well-dispersed. My pan takes about 1/4 C in each hole and it fills them up perfectly. You want them to fill right up to the top.

Place in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes. The tops should be just barely set on top. Over-baked eggs get tough and spongy so don't do that! They'll puff up while baking and then sink down when cooled. You can store them in an airtight container in the fridge, or freeze them. When reheating in the microwave, make sure to take off the foil liner! And if you're reheating from frozen, I try to take them out the night before so they can thaw in the fridge. Then when you microwave them, set them on a folded paper towel to drain excess moisture. Place in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes. The tops should be just barely set on top. Over-baked eggs get tough and spongy so don't do that! They'll puff up while baking and then sink down when cooled. You can store them in an airtight container in the fridge, or freeze them. When reheating in the microwave, make sure to take off the foil liner! And if you're reheating from frozen, I try to take them out the night before so they can thaw in the fridge. Then when you microwave them, set them on a folded paper towel to drain excess moisture.

Eat them alone, or for a well-rounded breakfast crumble on top of a piece of whole grain toast along with a glass of milk and a piece of fruit. Makes 12.

Recipe courtesy of Our Best Bites

Butter Syrup
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 stick butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. baking soda

Melt together whipping cream, butter, and sugar over low heat.  Slowly increase heat until the mixture barely comes to a boil.  Add vanilla and baking soda.  Turn off heat while whisking continually until ready to serve.  Store leftovers in refrigerator.

Recipe courtesy of Becky Higgins
Coconut Syrup
1 cup sugar
1 cup light Karo Syrup
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup canned milk
1 tsp. coconut extract
1 tsp. butter extract

Stir sugar, Karo and water together in saucepan.  Bring to a boil and simmer 2 minutes.  Take off heat and let sit a minute.  Add milk, coconut extract and butter extract.

Puffed French Toast – Recipe courtesy of Our Best Bites

1 egg
1 1/4 Tbs. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup milk
1/2 cup flour
1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
6 slices Texas style toast, cut in half diagonally

In a large skillet, heat about 1/4” of vegetable oil over medium heat.  In a shallow bowl or pie dish, whisk together all ingredients.  Test oil heat by flicking some water into the frying pan.  If it pops, reduce the heat.  If it sizzles, it’s just right.  Working quickly, take each 1/2 slice of bread and soak both sides in the egg mixture.  If you leave it too long, it will get soggy, but you want to make sure enough of the egg mixture has soaked            into the bread.   Gently shake to remove excess batter     and place in hot oil.  Cook until puffed, golden brown, and a nice crispy crust has formed on each side (probably 3 – 5 minutes per side).  Remove from oil and drain on a paper towel.  While cooking remaining French toast, keep cooked pieces warm in a 200 degree oven.  

When ready to serve, roll each piece in:
            1/3 cup sugar
            2 tsp. cinnamon
Slice the bread into strips for great French toast dippers.  Serve with fresh raspberry jam and powdered sugar. 

Sour Cream Poppy Seed Streusel Muffins  - Recipe courtesy of Our Best Bites
2 c. sifted all-purpose flour
3/4 c. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 c. buttermilk
1/4 c. butter, melted
1 Tbsp. grated orange rind
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. almond extract
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 8-oz. container sour cream (light works great)
1/4 c. + 2 Tbsp. sugar
1/4 c. flour
2 Tbsp. butter, melted
2 tsp. poppy seeds

Preheat oven to 375. Prepare streusel by combining streusel ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. To prepare muffins, combine sifted flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Make a well in the center of the mixture. Combine buttermilk and remaining muffin ingredients in a small bowl and add to flour mixture, stirring until just moist. Spoon batter into 12 muffin cups or 24-36 mini muffin cups, either lined or sprayed. Sprinkle evenly    with streusel mixture.  Bake at 375 for 18 minutes or until golden brown. Remove muffins from pan immediately and place on a wire rack to cool.

Strawberry and Feta Salad with Cinnamon Candied Almonds
sliced strawberries
thinly sliced red onion

1/2 sup sugar
1/2 cup mayo
2 Tbs. rice vinegar
1/4 cup milk
Combine all ingredients in blender and mix well.

Cinnamon Roasted Almonds
1 egg white
1 tsp cold water
4 cups whole almonds or slivered
½ cup white sugar
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp ground cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Lightly grease a 10x15 jellyroll pan
2. Lightly beat the egg white: add water, and beat until frothy but not stiff. Add the nuts, and stir until well coated. Mix the sugar, salt and cinnamon and sprinkle over the nuts.  Toss to coat and spread evenly on the prepared pan.
3. Bake for 1 hour in the preheated oven, stirring occasionally, until golden.  Allow to cool, then store nuts in airtight containers. 
Scalloped Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Yams, & Red Onions

1 yam, peeled and sliced
3 potatoes, peeled and sliced
1 sweet potato, peeled and grated
1 red onion, sliced
1 Tbs. thyme
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 Tbs. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 cups cream or half and half
2 cups grated Swiss cheese

Slice yams, potatoes and onion about 1/8-1/4” thick.  Mandolin works great for this.  Mix and put in a greased 9x13 pan.  Combine the remaining ingredients and pour on top.  Cover with foil and bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour 15 minutes.  I like to uncover it for     the last 15 minutes to brown.

Pineapple Baked Ham

Buy a ham, either the butt end (more meat) or shank (less meat), that has not been sliced or seasoned (honey baked).  Cooks or John Morrell are the best brands.

Cut off the rind and fat from ham.  Place in large pan and cover as much ham as possible with water. Boil for 2 hours on stove top.  Drain water off and keep cool till ready to bake.  Pour at least  2 cups of pineapple juice over ham and bake for 2 hours with lid on or tinfoil covering at 325˚.  Remove ham from oven and score the ham in diamond shape as deep as possible.  Make a paste of brown sugar (1 cup) and prepared mustard (3 - 4Tbsp).  Spread paste over the ham.  Place rings of pineapple on ham and hold in place with toothpicks.  Return to oven and bake at 350˚ uncovered for 1 1/2 hours, basting every 15 minutes.   

Creamed Corn

2 pkgs. of frozen white corn (at least one package)
8 oz. whipping cream
8 oz. whole milk
1 tsp. salt
3 – 4 tsp. sugar (depending on how sweet of corn you use)
pinch of white pepper or cayenne pepper
3 Tbs. butter, melted
3 Tbs. flour

Mix together all ingredients in a sauté pan except flour and butter.  Simmer for 5 minutes.  Mix the butter and flour together and add to the corn mixture. 

Lemon Drop Cookies

2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups Butter Flavor Crisco
3 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. lemon extract
4 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 - 2 large lemons zest of and juice
1 (6 oz.) package of lemon heads, crushed
1 cup powdered sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a mixing bowl cream sugar, shortening, and eggs; add extracts.  Stir in dry ingredients, lemon zest, and crushed lemon heads.  Roll into 1 inch balls, flatten slightly and bake on parchment-lined or greased baking sheet or 9-11 minutes.  Let cool 1 to 2 minutes.  Mix powdered sugar and lemon juice to make glaze.  Brush over cookie tops.  Let cool completely. 

Sour Cream Raspberry Ice Cream

1 (10oz) pkg. frozen raspberries, thawed & mashed
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
2 1/2 tsp vanilla
3 beaten eggs
1/2 cup evaporated milk
2 cups heavy whipping cream


In a mixing bowl, combine berries, sugar, sour cream and vanilla. Mix it really well. Combine the berry mixture, eggs, evaporated milk and cream in freezer bowl.  Mix thoroughly; freeze.  Makes: 2 quarts.

Strawberry Orange Julius

6 oz. frozen orange juice concentrate
1 cup milk
1 cup water
1 cup sliced strawberries
3 Tbs. sugar
1/3 cup vanilla yogurt
1 tray of ice cubes

Put all ingredients in blender.  Mix until ice is all crushed.