How it works

How it works...On the tool bar you will find categories of menus I have put together. If you would like to try one out, email me or comment on the most recent post and I will send you the recipes, along with a shopping list (see sample menu). Please remember to include your email. Or just enjoy the recipes I have posted!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Cookie Bowls

These delectable treats were an inspiration from pinterest. The actual recipe is more of a shortbread cookie, but I just used my chocolate chip cookie recipe
These are great treats for birthdays, special events, or for your personal enjoyment. 
So good as ice cream bowls.

Cookie Bowls

  • Cookie dough- I don't know if all cookie dough recipes will work. I error on a little more flour so the dough isn't quite so runny when making these.
  • Muffin tray
  • Non-stick spray
Cooking Directions
Generously spray the bottom of your muffin tray, make sure you cover all sides. If you want, sprinkle flour as well. Form the cookie dough around the back side of the muffin cup. I usually use only enough cookie dough to go half-way down the cup as the dough will fall during the baking process.  Bake at 350 about 8-10 min. Each time I make these, I start out by baking only two the first time to gauge how the dough will react on the muffin tray. Allow to cool a few minutes, then carefully slide each individual cookie cup off. Cool Completely.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Roasted Potatoes

I discovered these a while ago off one of the food blogs I follow. We love them.
My husband says, "You've made potatoes good again." He's not a huge fan of potatoes.
Gaby bakes hers in a dish but I prefer baking them on a cookie tray, they get nice and crispy.
These make great leftovers, I just throw them in my toaster oven and they are just as good.
You really need to try these potatoes.

Roasted Potatoes

  • 4-5 c. potatoes, cut into chunks. I've made it with a variety of potatoes, all equally good
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 2 tsp paprika- I add more for more kick
  • 1 tsp Rosemary (I added this b/c you just need Rosemary on potatoes)
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/3 c. Parmesan cheese, and then some
  • Dash Salt
Cooking Directions:
In large bowl, pour olive oil over potatoes. Throw in garlic salt, paprika, rosemary, salt and pepper. Stir to coat well. Line a cookie sheet with tin foil, spray with Pam. Pour potatoes on tray. Bake at 425 for 20 min. Stir potatoes and add Parmesan cheese. Bake an additional 10 min, or until potatoes are done. Broil for 30 seconds to one minute. Sprinkle with extra cheese and salt as desired. Stir and serve.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

An explanation

I've been absent for a while. From many things. But I'm not the only one who's been absent. My husband has been too- for two months! He was doing a rotation in Baltimore. 
As a result, I haven't been cooking much. 
I'm planning on jumping back on the train.

Me and my girls in our humble kitchen. Lasagna for a week!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Craisin Bran Muffins

I got this recipe from my sister-in-law, she brought some to me in the hospital after I had my first baby. Now, I give them to all my friends after they have babies. These are by far the best tasting bran muffins I've ever had.
I added a few things to tailor to my liking. If you don't like craisins, they are also so delicious with dried apples, probably any fruit for that matter.
For a real treat, I top them with cream cheese frosting, but that just makes them too good.

The best part about this recipe is that it makes a ton. I usually make a dozen at a time and keep the batter in the fridge for about two weeks.

Craisin Bran Muffins


  • 3 c. sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 c. shortening
  • 5 c. flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 qt buttermilk (can mix milk with 4 Tbsp lemon juice or vinegar)
  • 4 c. bran flakes
  • 1 to 2 c. craisins
  • 2 c. boiling water
  • 2 c All-bran
  • Cinnamon & sugar mixed together
Cooking Directions:
Mix boiling water and All-bran, set aside. In large bowl, cream eggs, sugar, and shortening. Add buttermilk. Combine flour, salt, soda and cinnamon and mix into muffin batter. Stir in bran mixture and mix well. Fold in bran flakes and craisins.

Fill muffin tins and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Bake at 320 for 20 min until toothpick comes out clean.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Cinnamon Pot-stickers

Any time we make Gyoza, we have extra wontons and so naturally we make something sweet.
These are quick and so scrumptious.

Cinnamon Pot-stickers
  • Wonton wraps
  • Cream cheese
  • Vegetable oil
  • Cinnamon & sugar mixed together

Cooking Directions:
Place a small amount of cream cheese in the middle of the wonton wrap. Fold over wrap and pinch two sides together to close seams. Heat small amount of oil in fry pan over medium heat. Add wontons and fry until golden, turn over. Remove from oil and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar on both sides. Enjoy this delightful treat!

Monday, March 5, 2012

My Marinara Sauce

Almost anything tastes better when made by scratch. I started experimenting with homemade marinara sauce when I got into freezer foods. Now the stuff out of the jar is bland and not worth my time (although I still have it in my food storage).
This stuff is so dang good, every time I make it, I scoop some into a little bowl for myself, sit down with some Italian bread and devour the whole thing.

And it freezes so well!

Marinara sauce
  • 2 cans whole or diced tomatoes
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 1/2 to 1 c. water- depending on desired consistency
  • 2 large carrots, finely diced
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely diced
  • Olive oil
  • Basil, 1 c. fresh, 2 tsp dried
  • 1/2 tsp of each: Oregano, rosemary, parsley- more or less to taste
  • Dash of sugar
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
Cooking directions:
Combine canned tomatoes, tomato paste, basil, oregano, rosemary, and parsley in a blender. Chop to desired consistency. Set aside. Heat about 1 tablespoon olive oil in large sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add carrots, onion, and garlic and stir-fry until softened. Pour tomato sauce into sauce, stir and heat through. Add salt, pepper, and dash sugar. Add water small amounts at a time to desired consistency. Taste and add additional spices as desired.

Cool completely before freezing.

*Additional ingredients to add variety: red pepper flakes for spice, sausage, hamburger, meatballs, chopped spinach, 1/2 to 1 c. heavy cream.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Gyoza, aka Pot-stickers

As I've said before, my parents lived in Japan for a while so we ate a number of Japanese meals in our house on a pretty regular basis. Gyoza is one of our favorite treats that we didn't get so regularly. They are pretty involved but worth every second.

  • Wonton wraps
  • 1/2 - 3/4 lb ground Pork
  • 2 Tbsp Soy Sauce, more to taste
  • 1 c. scallions, chopped
  • 1 c. cilantro, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp ginger, grated or minced
  • Pepper, dash to taste
  • Garlic Salt, dash to taste
  • Vegetable oil
Cooking Directions:
(Set up: One cup with a little water. Two fry pans, one with vegetable oil. Another with a little water and a lid to cover it)
  1. Brown the pork, drain liquid. In large bowl, mix in all ingredients except wonton wraps and vegetable oil. Set aside.
  2. Cut wonton wraps into circles. The best way to do this is by place a cup upside-down on a few wraps and cutting around the edges to make a circle.
  3. Place a spoonful of pork mixture in the middle of wonton wrap.
  4. Using your finger, use water to slightly wet one side of the wonton wrap, this helps the two sides of the wonton stick together.
  5. Fold the wonton wrap so that it makes a semi-circle. Fold small creases along the top edge and press with finger to close two sides together.
  6. Heat vegetable oil over medium heat. Add a few gyoza to the pan.
  7. Fry on each side until golden.
  8. Heat water in a simmer, transfer gyoza to fry pan with water and cover until gyoza are slightly softened. *This step is optional if you would like them crunchy*
  9. Eat and enjoy, dip in extra soy sauce.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Become an organized cook- Step 3

By now you should have your list of meals divided into categories, right?

Step Three
Assign the categories to days of the week. For example:
  • Sunday: From Any category
  • Monday: Soups, Salad, or Sandwich
  • Tuesday: Italian or other
  • Wednesday: Asian or Mexican
You get the idea.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Chicken and Rice Soup

I have tried a number of chicken and rice soups. This one has been our families favorite. Cumin, cilantro, and oregano give it a different flavor than a chicken broth based soup.
Its perfect with left over rice and relatively easy for a soup.

Chicken and Rice Soup
  • 2 c. shredded or cubed chicken
  • 1/2 to 1 c. rice, cooked, any kind (wild rice mix is great in this soup)
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 1 c. cilantro, chopped
  • 6-8 c. chicken broth
  • 1 Tbsp cumin, more for taste
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 3 tsp oregano
  • Dash Crushed red pepper, optional for spice

Cooking Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a large pot. Bring to boil then simmer on low for about 20 minutes.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

And the Winner is...


*Please email me at to make arrangements

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Give Away

I decided it is time to have a give-away on my blog and what a better to day to share the love, right? I will be giving away...

One custom three-month menu calendar with the corresponding shopping lists

If you would like to enter, please leave a comment with your name and the type of cook you are; spur of the moment, what ever is in your pantry, do you purchase the same things every week and make the same things, plan weekly, plan at the grocery store, or completely organized?

You can receive extra entries if you
  • Post this on your blog
  • Share a link on facebook
just comment with a link to your post.

*The winner will be announced on Tuesday, Feb 21.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Crafty Sprinkles

Some holidays I make a variety of treats, some easy and some difficult.
This year our Valentine's Day is looking pretty basic. Frosted sugar cookies and cupcakes.
Here's a little tip to fancy up the basic.

Place a cookie cutter on the frosted cookie or cupcake and fill with sprinkles. Remove cookie cutter. Easy and just a bit more festive.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Become an organized cook- Step 2

So now you should have a list of all the meals you make and rotate through.

Step Two
-Divide your meals into different categories.

For example, I divide my meals into these categories:
  • Soups
  • Salads
  • Sandwich
  • Chicken
  • Mexican
  • Asian
  • Italian
  • Other meats

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Peanut Butter Bon Bons

These might just be the perfect treat to give to someone you love this Valentine season.
The best part is this makes a ton so you can throw a bag of them in the freezer and have one, or two, or more for the yourself the rest of the month.

I think they taste like Recess if you use milk chocolate.

Peanut Butter Bon Bons
  • 1 stick butter
  • 3 cups peanut butter
  • 1 lb powdered sugar
  • 1 medium box (12 oz) Rice Krispies,
  • Chocolate to dip, can use almond bark, chocolate chips with shortening, candy melts, etc.
Cooking Directions
Melt butter in large sauce pan. Add peanut butter and sugar until well blended. Remove from heat. Stir in Rice Krispies- this will be difficult so you may need to use your hands. Roll into small balls. Set on cookie sheet lines with wax paper and freeze about an hour.

Melt chocolate. Dip balls into chocolate using a fork so the excess chocolate drips through. Place back on cold cookie sheet until dry.

Optional: Drizzle chocolate on top using fork.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Become an organized cook- Step 1

I've had many inquires as to how I go about making my three-month calendar. I think I'm a pretty good cook, I like all my food but more importantly, my family and husband like it too. But a lot of people are good cooks. My strong point is the organized part. The whole point of me starting this blog was to help others become more organized with meal planning. I know a lot of people really dislike doing this.

So over the next month or so I'm going to give you tips or steps to follow to creating a meal plan. Once you get the hang of it, its actually quite easy.

First step:
  • Write down a list of all the meals your family enjoys eating. The ones you cook regularly, and the ones you might not use so regularly. Don't include any that you want to try or that you haven't cooked by yourself.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Oatmel Cookies

I've learned that cookies are very delicate, in order to bake the perfect cookies, you have to know your oven and be able to eye the dough for the right consistency. With every new house, I've made adjustments to my cookies recipes or baking times.
To be honest my chocolate chip cookies are pretty dang good- I get a lot of compliments on them. I had a few people email me after I posted the recipe saying the cookies didn't turn out. I think it's just a learning process.

These oatmeal cookies have thus far been fool-proof. It could be the hint I received from my sister-in-law to mix the baking soda with water...I don't know.
They are especially good with a mixture of white and milk chocolate chips, good.

*If you try them and they don't turn out, please let me know.

Oatmeal Cookies
  • 1 c. shortening
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 3/4 c. packed brown sugar + 1-2 Tbsp
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 c. flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon (if you don't like cinnamon, don't add)
  • 1 tsp hot water mixed with 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3 1/2 c. old fashioned oats
  • Chocolate chips- as many as you can handle
Cooking Directions:
Mix shortening and sugars. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix well. Add flour, salt, and cinnamon. Mix. Mix in water and soda mixture. Mix in oats, then chocolate chips. Loosely roll into balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 350 for 8-9 min, or until no longer shiny. Drop cookie sheet on counter to flatten cookies. Remove to cooling racks.

I haven't been cooking very much this week...

There's one thing that will keep me from cooking. Mice. Well, actually I don't cook when I'm pregnant and nauseous. So I guess there are two things.
Anyway, we had an invasion of mice. And she had babies. I just can't stand it. I seriously feel violated when I see those stupid little varmints.

I'm feeling a lot better today though- they've been gone (dead) for two days- knock on wood.
I even decided to turn on the oven and bake cookies.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Chicken Quesadillas

Any time I have extra shredded chicken, I throw these together.
This is one of our "weekend go-to" meals. Simple and very tasty.

Chicken Quesadillas
  • Chicken, cooked, shredded
  • Cilantro, chopped
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Corn, frozen white
  • Tortillas
  • Sour cream & Salsa
Cooking Directions
Layer cheese, chicken, cilantro, and corn on one tortilla in large fry pan. Top with second tortilla. Heat over medium heat until cheese is completely melted.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Chicken Lettuce Wraps- Easy!

These are the most basic lettuce wraps and still very tasty!

Chicken Lettuce Wraps
  • Oil for cooking
  • 2 chicken breasts, cooked & minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can water chestnuts, drained, chopped, I like a lot so I use an 8 oz can
  • 2 Tbsp Hoisin or Oyster sauce
  • 3 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 c. scallions, finely chopped
  • Lettuce leaves, washed and separated.

Cooking Directions
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in wok or large sauce pan. Add chicken and garlic, stir-fry until light brown and cooked through, about 3 minutes. Drain excess liquid. Reduce heat to low. Add water chestnuts, oyster or hoisin sauce, soy sauce, sugar, and scallions. Fill lettuce leaves and enjoy.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Mulligatawny Soup

I had my eye on this soup off of Pioneer Woman's blog for quite some time but was always a bit skeptical. Once I finally tried, I've been craving it on a weekly basis. It was delicious! And of course, since I lived in NYC and happen to love Seinfeld, Mulligatawny soup holds a dear place in my heart. Thanks to "Pdub" I can have a reminiscent city experience in the comfort of my own kitchen.
I changed a few things based on our preferences, surprisingly my kids loved it...but just to be safe, I woudn't say this is a kid-friendly dish.

Mulligatawny Soup
  • 14 oz extra firm tofu, cut into 1 inch cubes (can use diced, cooked chicken but tofu is so good in this soup)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 to 2 whole carrots, finely chopped
  • 1/4 c. flour
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp curry powder
  • 4 c. chicken bullion/broth
  • 2 c. half and half
  • 2 whole granny smith apples, peeled and diced
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • Ground pepper to taste
  • Dash lime juice to tatste
Cooking Directions:
In large pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, garlic, and tofu. Stir and cook until onions begin to brown. Sprinkle in the flour and stir until combined. Stir in curry and cook for one minute, stirring constantly.
Stir in chicken broth until combined and cook for five minutes. Stir in half and half, salt pepper, and sugar and cook another five minutes. Add diced apples and cook another five minutes. Turn off heat and let stand about 10 minutes. Dash lime juice in before serving.