Category Archives: Recipes I’ve Tried

Valentine’s Day Brownie Cookies

I love Valentine’s Day. In my younger years, I would carry a bag of Hershey’s Kisses to work and leave chocolates on desks and in mailboxes while no one was watching. When I realized how much I loved baking, the Hershey’s Kisses evolved into a homemade treat that would be delivered to friends and families. Each year I try to come up with a new idea that will add a touch of sweetness to the day; this year I found the perfect recipe through one of my favorite bloggers, Shutterbean.

brownie cookies

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Peanut Butter Cookies… with Sriracha?

Remember when I told you I was in a food rut? Well, my quest for recipes to break out of this cycle led me to a strange little cookie that had me intrigued. With a raised eyebrow, I read through the ingredients; I admit that I was skeptical. Finally, I dug out my mixing bowl and set to work, I had to see what a peanut butter cookie with Sriracha tasted like.

sriracha peanut butter cookies

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Waking Up With Breakfast Barley

I’ve been in a food rut lately and desperately needed to try something new. There were caveats though. Since I haven’t been to the grocery store this week, the recipe had to be made with ingredients in my pantry and it had to be easy. It sounded like it was time to drag out the crockpot! After flipping through my cookbooks, I landed on the perfect recipe to try – I had everything but the pecans!

Orange-Flavored Breakfast Barley with Cranberries and Pecans

breakfast barley with coconut milk
Breakfast Barley with Vanilla Coconut Milk

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Healthy No-Bake Brownies

For those of you trying to reduce the refined sugar in your diets, this is the recipe for you! Straight from the test kitchen of the Best-Good Friend, she whipped up a batch of these No-Bake Brownies last weekend and gave them two thumbs up.  Not only are these little bites gluten-free and vegan – and they’re also ready in 10 minutes!
no-bake brownie bits

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It’s A Spicy Enchilada Skillet!

When you find a recipe on a blog called Damn Delicious, you know that you’re in for a treat.

When I saw Chungah’s recipe for a Cheesy Enchilada Rice Skillet, I started to drool. As she promised, this truly is the easiest enchilada that you’ll ever make – and it’s the fastest too!
enchilada rice with cheese in a bowl

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Kicking Off the New Year with Vegetarian Hoppin’ John

I am a superstitious person. Often times the superstitions that I adhere to are things that just make good sense. I don’t hold open umbrellas over my head indoors, I don’t walk under ladders and I like to eat Hoppin’ John on New Year’s Day.
vegetarian hoppin john

Eating Hoppin’ John is a southern tradition that is believed to bring a year filled with luck and prosperity. The peas in the dish symbolize pennies or coins and including greens in the meal represents money. Who wouldn’t want to add a little good fortune to a new year when you only have to eat a delicious meal?

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Day Five: Dog Treat Cookies

On the fifth day of Christmas Cookie recipes, my doggie gave to me… a big wet kiss in return for the homemade dog cookie!

This year when The Annual Cookie Bake Extravaganza yielded 11 different kinds of cookies to share with friends and family, I decided their dogs needed a treat too. How can you forget woman’s best friend during the holiday season? I looked through several doggie treat recipes and finally landed on this household favorite. Feedback from pet parents was unanimous that their dogs LOVED these homemade Carrot Apple Oatmeal Flax dog treats :
dog treats

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Day Three: Bourbon Balls

On the third day of Christmas Cookie recipes, my friend Emily gave to me… her family’s favorite recipe for Bourbon Balls!
bourbon balls

Emily’s grandma was a military wife and this recipe originally came from the Officer’s Wives Club of Okinawa. Emily said that her family waits for these treats every year – her dad talks about them for at least six months leading up to the holiday. That must be some cookie!

Continue reading FIVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS… COOKIES! (Spiked Bites)


Day Two: Crockpot Christmas Crack

On the second day of Christmas Cookie recipes, Just a Pinch Recipes gave to me… the most amazing recipe for Crockpot Fudge!
crockpot fudge

This recipe wasn’t kidding when it said it serves “a LOT,” next year I will attempt a half batch. Even with three of us making it, we quickly decided that dropping the fudge by spoonfuls on waxed paper would take too long. Instead, we lined two cookie sheets with wax paper and poured the fudge in, spreading it with a knife to fit the pans. Once cooled, we dropped the cookie sheets on a hard surface to loosen and then broke the fudge into pieces.


Five Days of Christmas… Cookies! (Gingerbread)

Day One: Gingerbread Cookies Bars

On the first day of Christmas Cookie recipes, Mom Endeavors gave to me… the most amazing recipe for Gingerbread Cookie Bars!

gingerbread cookie bars

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A Basic Baked Ziti Recipe

The Husband and I have been watching The Sopranos lately. Aside from being a brilliant show, each episode has one thing in common – amazing food. I decided to channel my inner Carmela Soprano and try my hand at a Baked Ziti recipe.

baked ziti

Carol’s Recipe for Baked Ziti from All Recipes was delicious. Super simple and full of basic ingredients, I’m sure that Carmela Soprano would shake her head in disappointment, but we loved it and have moved this recipe to my “Favorites” list. I halved the recipe and served with sauteed spinach and a ciabatta roll.

Here’s Carol’s recipe with my notes:

1 (16 ounce) package ziti pasta (our little grocery store didn’t have ziti so we used a penne style pasta)
1 egg, lightly beaten (I used a whole egg even though I halved the recipe)
1 (15 ounce) container ricotta cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 (28 ounce) jar meatless spaghetti sauce, divided (I used Newman’s Own Marinara)
2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking dish.

2. Fill a large pot with lightly salted water and bring to a boil. Stir in ziti pasta and return to a boil. Cook pasta, stirring occasionally, until cooked through but still firm to the bite, about 11 minutes; drain.

3. Combine egg, ricotta cheese, and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese in a bowl. Spread 1/3 the spaghetti sauce in prepared baking dish. Top with 1/2 the pasta, 1/2 the ricotta mixture, 1/3 the spaghetti sauce, 1/2 the mozzarella cheese, and 1/2 the Parmesan cheese; repeat layers. Top with remaining spaghetti sauce and Parmesan cheese; cover baking dish with aluminum foil.

4. Bake in preheated oven until heated through, 45 to 50 minutes. I removed the aluminum foil halfway through the baking process so the cheese would get golden brown on top.

Does your television influence the food you eat?

Best Ever Pumpkin Pie

I love pumpkin pie. Seriously. I’m not exaggerating, I have been known to eat an entire pumpkin pie in one day. This love of pumpkin pie is one of the things that elevated my friendship with Gal Pal to the soul sister level. This year she went on a quest to find the perfect pumpkin pie recipe. Pies were baked, pies were eaten – she selflessly sacrificed herself to taste testing recipe after recipe until she landed on what she believes to be the best pumpkin pie recipe ever. Amusingly,  the recipe is actually named: Best Ever Pumpkin Pie.

pumpkin pie

Gal Pal found this recipe in Richard Sax’s Classic Home Desserts Cookbook and says it is by far the best pumpkin pie she has ever tasted. Here’s how she did it:

Richard Sax’s Best Ever Pumpkin Pie

– 15oz Canned Pumpkin
– 2/3 cup brown sugar
– 1/3 cup sugar
– 1 tbs all-purpose flour
– 1/2 tsp salt
– 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
– 1/2 tsp ground ginger
– 1/4 tsp ground allspice
– Pinch freshly ground pepper
– 1 cup heavy cream
– 1/3 cup milk
– 3T Rum
– 2 large eggs
– 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 400 F. Whisk together all the above ingredients in a large bowl until well blended. Pour mixture into an unbaked pie shell and bake until the filling is set but still slightly wobbly in the center (usually about 45 minutes). ** To keep crust from overbrowning, cover the pie edges with tin foil and remove about halfway through baking. **

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to get baking.