Gorilla Bread

Delicious. Divine. Dangerous. 
Basically, this sums up how wonderful this recipe is! I skipped monkey bread all together this year and tried out Paula Deen's delicious Gorilla Bread. I love the taste of cinnamon, brown sugar, nuts, & butter all mixed up together with a touch of cream cheese! Now you know why I call it dangerous. The New Year hadn't quite rang in yet, so I didn't feel quite as guilty. It's simply irresistible! Easy to make and smells heavenly. 


1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 (8-ounce) package of cream cheese
2 (12-ounce) cans refrigerated biscuits (10 count)
1 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts


Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Spray a bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray. Mix the granulated sugar and cinnamon. In a saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar over low heat, stirring well; set aside. Cut the cream cheese into 20 equal cubes. Press the biscuits out with your fingers and sprinkle each with 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and sugar. Place a cube of cream cheese in the center of each biscuit, wrapping and sealing the dough around the cream cheese. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the nuts into the bottom of the bundt pan. Place half of the prepared biscuits in the pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, pour half of the melted butter mixture over the biscuits, and sprinkle on 1/2 cup of nuts. Layer the remaining biscuits on top, sprinkle with the remaining cinnamon sugar, pour the remaining butter mixture over the biscuits, and sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of nuts. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes. Place a plate on top and invert.


The Classic Christmas Cake

When my husband and I lived in South Africa one of our favorite holiday desserts was Fruit Cake. Pamella Mitchell-Innes would begin baking months ahead and feed the cake with brandy until Christmas. It was moist and delicious! Several times I found myself having to fight my cravings and cut another piece! This Christmas Tyler and I wanted a bit of South Africa with us here in Oklahoma, so Pam was kind enough to send the recipe and I started baking! It turned out great - now to find people to share it with! Fruit Cake is much too large for two people :)

*Note: All ingredients are UK and might need to be converted.

I realize the post is quite late for anybody to do anything with it! But there is always next year - besides, fruit cake is never out of season. :)

6 oz raisins
2 oz glace cherries, rinsed, dried and finely chopped
2 oz mixed and candied peel, finely chopped
3 Tbsp brandy
8 oz plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground mixed spice
8 oz unsalted butter
8 oz soft brown sugar
4 eggs
2 oz almonds, chopped
1 tsp black treacle
the grated zest of 1 lemon
the grated zest of one orange
4 oz whole blanched almonds
(only if you don't intend to ice the cake)

1 lbs 2 oz icing sugar, sifted
3 large egg whites
1 tsp glycerine 

Cake Directions:

You need to begin this cake the night before you want to bake it. All you do is weigh out the dried fruit and mixed peel, place it in a mixing bowl and mix in the brandy as evenly and thoroughly as possible. Cover the bowl with a clean tea cloth and leave the fruit aside to absorb the brandy for 12 hours.
Next day pre-heat the oven to gas mark 1, 275°F (140°C). Then measure out all the rest of the ingredients, ticking them off to make quite sure they're all there. The treacle will be easier to measure if you remove the lid and place the tin in a small pan of barely simmering water. Now begin the cake by sifting the flour, salt and spices into a large mixing bowl, lifting the sieve up high to give the flour a good airing. Next, in a separate large mixing bowl, whisk the butter and sugar together until it's light, pale and fluffy. Now beat the eggs in a separate bowl and add them to the creamed mixture a tablespoonful at a time; keep the whisk running until all the egg is incorporated. If you add the eggs slowly by degrees like this the mixture won't curdle. If it does, don't worry, any cake full of such beautiful things can't fail to taste good!
When all the egg has been added, fold in the flour and spices, using gentle, folding movements and not beating at all (this is to keep all that precious air in). Now fold in the fruit, peel, chopped nuts and treacle and finally the grated lemon and orange zests. Next, using a large kitchen spoon, transfer the cake mixture into the prepared tin, spread it out evenly with the back of a spoon and, if you don't intend to ice the cake, lightly drop the whole blanched almonds in circles or squares all over the surface. Finally cover the top of the cake with a double square of silicone paper with a 50p-size hole in the centre (this gives extra protection during the long slow cooking).
Bake the cake on the lowest shelf of the oven for 4½-4¾ hours. Sometimes it can take up to ½-¾ hour longer than this, but in any case don't look till at least 4 hours have passed. Cool the cake for 30 minutes in the tin, then remove it to a wire rack to finish cooling. When it's cold 'feed' it – make small holes in the top and base of the cake with a cocktail stick or small skewer, then spoon over a few teaspoons of brandy, wrap it in double silicone paper secured with an elastic band and either wrap again in foil or store in an airtight container. You can now feed it at odd intervals until you need to ice or eat it.

Icing Directions:

Place the egg whites in a bowl, then stir in the icing sugar, a spoonful at a time, until the icing falls thickly from the spoon. At this stage, stop adding any more sugar and whisk with an electric whisk for 10 minutes or until the icing stands up in stiff peaks, then stir in the glycerine.

Now spread the icing all over the top and sides of the cake as evenly as possible using a palette knife. Switch to a broad-bladed knife (or smaller palette knife) to 'spike' the icing all over to give a snow-scene effect. Leave the cake overnight for the icing to dry out before placing it in a container till needed.


Gingerbread Cake with Caramel Sauce

Last week I was able to spend time with family back in Utah. The one thing on my mind was baking something delicious for everybody - unfortunately the night I picked hardly anybody was home, more goodies for the rest of us! This Gingerbread Cake was scrumptious! I absolutely loved it and it has become my new favorite, year-round, recipe!


1 3/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
6 tablespoons butter
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup boiling water

Grease an 8 inch square pan. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Mix the flour, baking powder, soda, salt, and spices together. Cream the butter, gradually add the brown sugar and cream thoroughly. Stir in molasses.
Beat egg until thick, and beat into the creamed mixture. Stir in the vanilla.
Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture a third at a time, mixing well after each addition.
Gradually add boiling water, stirring after each addition. Turn into prepared pan.
Bake for about 50 minutes. Serve warm with lemon sauce.

Caramel Sauce
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup cream
pinch of salt
2 teaspoons vanilla

Mix all the ingredients together in a sauce pan and simmer for about 5 or 6 minutes. Serve over warm gingerbread, and butter pudding, apple pie, ice cream, and more!


White Chocolate Oreas with Peppermint

Christmas came too fast this year! I found myself running up against the clock with a fun, cute, yummy treat to give to friends and neighbors & was so relieved when I came across this great idea, dipping oreo cookies into white chocolate and sprinkling with crushed candy canes! I dipped a whole pan in about five minutes and had them bagged and ready to deliver. Merry Christmas!

Ingredients Needed:

White Almond Chocolate Bars
Oreo Cookies
Crushed Candy Canes

Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil.
Melt the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl for two minutes. Remove and stir. Put back into the microwave for 12 second intervals, stirring after each one. Once chocolate is liquid enough to dip, start dipping the oreos.

Place Oreo's on a cookie sheet and sprinkle with candy canes. Place in the freezer for one hour.


Fried Ice Cream

I've always wondered how fried ice cream was made and always thought about someday attempting to try. Finally, I felt I needed some challenge and variety to my desserts, so I went searching and came across this amazing recipe! The first time around I learned the hard way - my oil wasn't hot enough and my ice cream started to melt! Disaster. The second time around was a success and absolutely a blast to make! AND it's delicious. So, learn from my mistake and make sure your oil is hot, hot, hot. You will come out with amazing results and a very fun recipe for friends/family. Good Luck!

Fried Ice Cream

Prep Time: 2 hours, 10 minutes
Cook Time: 3 minutes
Serving Size: 1 fried ice cream ball

1 quart vanilla ice cream, slightly softened
4 cups CornFlakes cereal, crushed
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 eggs, beaten
1 Tablespoon milk
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
caramel and chocolate syrup, or honey, for topping (optional)


Spoon four ice cream scoops onto a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Place the pan into the freezer and allow to firm up for 1 hour. Meanwhile, place the crushed CornFlakes cereal into a bowl and mix with the cinnamon. Mix the eggs and milk in a separate bowl; set aside.

Remove the frozen ice cream scoops from the freezer and use your hands to mold them into uniform sized rounds. Working with one at a time, roll an ice cream ball into the crushed cinnamon cereal to coat and place back on the wax paper. Repeat with remaining ice cream.

Roll each round into the egg mixture, then coat again in the cereal and place back onto the wax paper lined baking sheet. Return to the freezer for about an hour.

Heat the oil in a heavy skillet to 365°F – 375°F. Remove the ice cream from the freezer and fry each coated ice cream round for 20 to 25 seconds, turning to fry evenly. Transfer to a paper towel then quickly place on individual plates and drizzle with caramel, chocolate or honey.


Magic Cookie Bars

There is nothing better than being able to put together an all time favorite dessert recipe in less than 5 minutes! Growing up my Dad always made these and substituted the graham crackers for oats. In keeping tradition, I love the yummy taste of these Magic Cookie Bars! They are good right out of the oven with ice cream or put them in the fridge and serve them cold later on - which is what I prefer. There are no tricks and no possible way you can mess up. Enjoy!

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs or oats
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1 (14-ounce) can Sweetened Condensed Milk
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/3 cups flaked coconut
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F. 
In a small bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs and butter; mix well. Press crumb mixture firmly on bottom of 13x9-inch baking pan.
Pour sweetened condensed milk evenly over crumbs. Layer evenly with remaining ingredients; press down firmly with fork.
Bake 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool. Chill if desired. Cut into bars. Store covered at room temperature.

Substitute 1 cup butterscotch flavored chips, peanut butter flavored chips or white chocolate chips for 1 cup semi-sweet chips and proceed as directed above.


Oatmeal Raisin Chocolate-Chip Cookies

Craving cookies tonight. After another long weekend I wasn't feeling up to it, but this recipe sounded worth it and after I threw in a few twists it was definitely satisfying. They are soft, fluffy, and melt in your mouth. It only took me max, 10 minutes, to have this whipped up and into the oven! You will love these!

3/4 cup butter, softened
2/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 teaspoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking  soda
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 3/4 cups rolled oats
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
*chocolate chips are optional, but will definitely do the trick if you're craving chocolate and the husband wants oatmeal raisin.


Preheat oven to 375° F. 
In a large bowl, cream together butter, white sugar, and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs and vanilla until fluffy. Stir together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Gradually beat into butter mixture. Stir in oats and raisins and chocolate chips. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake 8-10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown. Cool slightly, remove from sheet to wire rack. Cool Completely.

*I've found mixing with electrical mixing bowls tends to make the cookies less fluffy and soft. You beat out all the air. Mix with a wooden spoon or spatula and don't beat the ingredients to death - guarantee you'll have better cookie turnouts!


British Cooking 101

When my husband and I were living in South Africa one of our favorite Christmas desserts was the South African, Traditional Fruit Cake. Pam Mitchell-Innes, the mastermind behind this delicious dessert, is an amazing cook and we always looked forward to dining at her beautiful home on Blanerne Farm. Now that we're back in America, we've thought much about South Africa, especially this time of year, and wanted to have a taste of South Africa here with us this Christmas. Pam was gracious enough to send me the recipe and I've had a very good learning curve the past few days as I've tried to figure out what most of the ingredients are! Goodness, have I learned a lot. 

 Maybe I'm still new to this "cooking" world, call me nieve, but I had no clue what any of the things on this list were:

Mixed Candied Peel
Glacé Cherries
Black Treacle

So, the searching began and my education was heightened! I think in the end it was simply the different countries calling food my different names. 

Dried Fruits used in British Cooking

Raisins: dried, black grapes. They are dried to produce a dark, sweet fruit. 

Sultanas: dried white grapes but from seedless varieties. They are golden in color and tend to be plumper, sweeter and jucier than other raisins. Also referred to as Golden Raisins in the US.

Currants: dried, black, seedless grapes. They are dried to produce a black, tiny shriveled - yet packed with flavor - fruit.

Candied Mixed Peel: is the thick peel of citrus fruits preserved in sugar

Glacé Cherries: cherries, again preserved in sugar solution, as the cherry usually loses color in the process, coloring is added making them a distinctive, bright red.

Black Treacle: any syrup made during the refining of sugar. Used chiefly in cooking as a form of sweetener or condiment.  
(I could not find any in the stores surrounding, so the substitute for Black Treacle is Molasses, Excellent! I have that). 

-There you have it! Hopefully everybody learned something new today. xoxo

Baked Fried Chicken

I was so excited when I realized this recipe didn't call for any deep frying - although we all know that can taste mighty delicious - but was baked in the oven! It quickly became one of my favorite recipes and tastes just like KFC, but far better. Thank you Amy Lindstrom from Your Life Uncommon for sharing this hearty recipe! She nailed it right on - baked instead of fried and you don't have to deal with the seasoning on the skin, which we all pull off anyway! You can enjoy all the flavors this recipe has to offer without worry about it being unhealthy. Enjoy!

Place thawed chicken breast tenderloin strips in a bowl of milk. Let soak for 20-30 min.

Mix a gallon size ziploc or large bowl:

1/2 tsp. Salt
1 Tablespoon Season All
3/4 tsp Pepper
1 cup Flour
2 tsp. Paprika

Preheat oven to 400° F. Cut 1/2 stick of butter into a few pieces and place in a 9 x 13 in pan. Melt butter in preheated oven.
Spread melted butter around the bottom of the pan. Lightly spray the pan, if needed, to make sure that there are no dry spots.
Shake excess milk off of chicken and completely coat each piece with the seasoning mix. You can either shake the chicken in the bag, until coated, or dip each piece in the bowl until coated.
Place each piece of chicken in the pan.
Cook for 20 min. Turn each piece of chicken and continue cooking for 20 more minutes, or until cooked through.


Buttery Homemade Rolls

I was assigned to bring rolls for Thanksgiving. Being informed that around 20 would be attending, I calculated around 3 rolls per person (you all know how we eat on Thanksgiving), which totals 60 rolls. Well, I ended up making 96! Oh my goodness that is a lot of rolls, I said the same thing. Turns out the rolls where a HIT and I was able to distribute them out to all the families - thank goodness! These are, by far, the easiest rolls I've ever made and the yummiest I've ever tasted! They aren't exactly on the healthy side side of the "roll" section, but they are delicious. Honestly, I've been too lazy to grind any wheat, which is usually what I cook with before white flour, oh well. Enjoy the savory taste! I found the recipe on How Does She dot Com - a very classy site and one of my favorites - and immediately fell in love with these rolls.

*Makes 48 rolls

1 1/2 cups of milk
3/4 cups + 1 Tbsp Sugar
1 egg
1 Tablespoon salt

2 Tablespoons yeast
2 cups warm water

9-10 cups all purpose flour
1 cup butter


*Keep Track Of How Much Flour You Add 

Scald 1 1/2 cups of milk, 2/4 cup sugar and 1/2 cup of butter, in a microwave safe bowl, for about 2 minutes. Cutting the butter into pieces helps it melt faster. There will probably be some little cubes of butter still floating in the hot mixture, they will melt. 

To cool down the mixture stir in 1-2 cups flour, then add 1 egg and 1 Tablespoon of salt, and leave it to cool for a couple of minutes. Meanwhile, in a measuring cup dissolve 2 Tablespoons o yeast in 2 cups of warm ater and 1 Tablespoon of sugar. Let it sit for a couple of minutes unti is it bubbly.

Make sure your milk mixture is just warm and add the yeast mixture.

Using a fork or wooden spoon, gradually sit in 9-10 cups of flour (counting the flour you have already added). These rolls turn out better when mixed by hand.

Be sure not to add too much flour. Then smooth the dough out and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Leave it in a warm place and let it rise until it has doubled in size.

Cover your working space with flour to prevent the dough from sticking. Dump your doguh out and divide it into 4 balls. Eyeball the sizes, then lift them up and feel the weight of each ball. Try to make them even, but they don't have to be perfect. Roll the dough into a circle ona  floured counter. Spread the top with butter from edge to edge. Cut the dough into quarters using a pizza cutter then cut each quarter into 3 pieces. you should end up with 12 triangles.
You will make 3 rows, with 8 rolls per row. This will give you 24 rolls per pan. Two balls of dough will fill 1 pan.. You will get a total of 48 rolls.

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Place the pans of rolls in a warm place to let them rise. When they are full in size, place in the oven for about 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.

Once you have pulled them out of the oven run a stick of butter over the tops of the rolls for a delicious buttery glaze!


Coconut & Chocolate Cream Pie

Welcome to Pie Day! I went against tradition this year and thought I'd bake a few pies that had a great story. My favorite restaurant to stop at, when I get the chance, is the Sun Glow Restaurant in Bicknell, Utah. Yes, small town and definitely worth the drive. They have the most fabulous pies there - Pickle Pie, Oatmeal Pie, Pecan Pie, Pinto Bean Pie, and Coconut and Chocolate Cream Pie. Who would have thought, right? And it's like you're going to be daring enough to try, but you're going to want to try, really bad. It's one of those "you walk away and you'll regret it" moments. Anywho, I was able to get the recipes and I so looked forward to sharing with you this Thanksgiving. Don't be afraid. They are delicious. Enjoy -


3 cups Milk
10 ounces instant vanilla pudding mix
2 cups milk
6 ounces Dream Whip
1/2 cup coconut
1/2 cup chopped pecans
3 Tablespoons cocoa


Mix together 3 cups milk and vanilla pudding mis; allow to set until firm.
Beat together 2 cups milk and Dream Whip until fluffy and firm. Comine with pudding mixture.
For Coconut Cream Pie, add coconut and pecans, blend thoroughly. Turn mixture into baked and cooled pie shell. Sprinkle coconut over top. Chill before serving.

For Chocolate Cream Pie, follow directions for Coconut Cream Pie and add cocoa.


Pickel Pie

Once again, thanks to Sun Glow Restaurant  in Bicknell, Utah, I received a fabulous "non-traditional" pie recipe. Now, I understand. Pickle Pie might seem a little far stretched, but it won't be that way once you take your first bite. I slathered the top of my pie with whipped topping, mixed with 1 cup of confectioners' sugar and 1 teaspoon of Pure Vanilla. Muah, it is delicioso! You will enjoy. Happy Thanksgiving!

*makes 2 pies

5 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon lemon extract
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup plus 2 tablespoon light cream
1/2 cup margarine, melted
12 ounces sweet pickles, drained and ground
2 unbaked 9-inch pie shells


Beat eggs and sugar until lemon-colored and thick; beat in cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon extract, cornstarch, cream and margarine. Stir ground sweet pickles into mixture.
Pour pickle mixture into unbaked pie shell. Bake at 350°F for one hour to one hour and 15 minutes, until a knife inserted in center comes out clean.  


Crock Pot Taco Soup

It was freezing today. Okay, maybe not that cold, but cold enough for Oklahoma and for myself and for my poor toes. I wanted something warm when I woke up so I started thumbing through old recipe collections and found the BEST Taco Soup recipe. It hit the spot! Once again, I invited the use of the crock pot and she worked wonders! Add in Frito's for a scooping supply and some additional flavors and we were set. Dinner was delicious!


1 pound lean ground beef
1 sweet onion, diced
1 -12 oz can kidney beans
1 -12 oz can black beans
1 - 12 oz can whole kernel corn, drained
1 - 10 oz can tomato sauce
1 envelope taco seasoning
(homemade is better to avoid MSG)
3 Tablespoons ranch dressing
Salt & Pepper
Sour Cream (optional)
Cheddar Cheese (optional)


Brown the ground beef and onions in a pan with olive oil. Once it's finished, put it into the crock pot. 
Add remaining ingredients and stir. Turn on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for 3.
We love adding in some sour cream & cheddar cheese to our individual bowls than scooping it up with 
Frito's. Dipping Frito's in our Chili and Taco Soups was a family favorite growing up.


Crock Pot Orange Chicken

I've been on a Crock Pot kick lately. I love getting up early and putting dinner together knowing I don't have to pay any more attention to it until 6:00 dinner time rolls around. I can leave the house, go shopping, running, take a nap/shower. It's quite nice! And I LOVE the smells throughout the house all day long. I'm telling you, nothing beats a crock pot meal! So easy. 
In continuation with my asian cravings, for the first time I made orange chicken! Um, hello. Good?! Yes, it was. And so simple. Thank you Six Sisters Stuff. You MUST try this. I wasn't a huge fan of the ketchup amount this recipe calls for (then again I'm not a ketchup fan). I'm definitely going to leave a bit out next time, but that's a personal opinion. Have a go at it and let me know what you think!


boneless chicken breasts, chopped into small chunks (I used about 4)
1/3 cup flour
 olive oil
 1/2 tablespoons salt
 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
 3 tablespoons ketchup
 6 oz. frozen orange juice concentrate (thaw or throw it in the microwave for 45 seconds)
 4 tablespoons brown sugar


In a bowl, mix the orange juice, brown sugar, vinegar, salt, and ketchup.  Pour the flour in a small bowl.  Cover the chicken breast chunks in flour and shake off the excess.

Pour a small amount of olive oil in a skillet and brown the flour-covered chicken.
The chicken doesn't need to be fully cooked since it's going in the crock pot.

After the chicken is done cooking, pour the pieces into the crock pot. Then cover the chicken with your sauce mixture and give the pot a stir.

Cook on low for 5-6 hours or on high for 2-3.

Serve over rice and even add veggies if you want a healthier meal.


Beef with Broccoli

My favorite thing to eat is Asian food and I have been craving it so greatly the past few days I went against my husbands will (he is not such a huge fan) and made Beef and Broccoli. This recipe was a hit, especially for you Thai/Asian food lovers. I added in some peanuts, because they're awesome, which souped it up that much more. The beef was delicious and I still had some frozen broccoli I stored from this past summers harvest, equaling fresh, organic, broccoli. That much better. Don't forget to add in the "optional" rice, which we definitely used. Enjoy my friends. This meal made my day!


Meat Marinade

1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp sugar
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp water
2 tbsp vegetable oil (or olive oil)
1 1/2 lbs flank steak, sliced into thin strips

Whisk together the baking soda, sugar, cornstarch, soy sauce, water, and vegetable oil in a large bowl. Toss steak with the marinade to coat. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight. 

Remaining Ingredients:

1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
4 tbsp brown sugar
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp flour
1 tbsp sherry
3 tbsp vegetable oil (or olive oil)
2 heads broccoli 
I added in the whole stalk, but you can use the crowns only.

Mix together soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, flour, and sherry and set aside.
In a large wok or saute pan, heat 2 tbsp of oil over high heat until shimmering. Add the marinated meat and half of the sauce mixture and saute for 3-4 minutes, stirring often, until the meat is almost cooked through, not completely done. Stir in the broccoli and add 1 tbsp of oil and remaining sauce mixture. Saute until broccoli is soft and meat has no more pink left. 

Adapted from: www.rainydaygal.com


DIY Almond Milk

The story goes like this: My husband loves, loves milk. As for myself, I only use it with cereal or cooking, but the honey drinks it like it's candy!  We run out of milk quicker than I can keep track and this week I did not feel like driving all the way into town (20 minutes away) to buy more milk, so we pulled out the almonds and went for it. Tyler was anxious to see how it was going to turn out - turned out to be our new favorite! Especially with our morning green drinks AND it makes cereal taste much better. Result? A smashing hit! Now, if only I can find a way to buy almonds cheaper :) Enjoy!

Almond Milk Recipe:

1 1/2 cups whole blanched almonds or other whole raw almonds
4 cups water
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tbsp maple syrup or honey
dash cinnamon


Cover the almonds with water and soak them for at least 4 hours, or overnight. This softens them and makes them much easier to blend. Strain the water from the almonds, and place the soaked almonds in your blender. Add 1 1/2 cups water. Blend for 1-2 minutes. Once it is a smooth puree, add the cinnamon and maple syrup or honey and the remaining 2 1/2 cups of water. Blend everything together for another 2-3 minutes, until it is completely smooth and frothy. adjust the vanilla, cinnamon, and sweetener to taste. 

If you're not up for the chunky texture, keep reading, or you can be done! 

Place 3 or 4 layers of cheesecloth over a metal strainer set over a bowl. Pour the almond milk through the strainer into the bowl. Once all of the milk has passed through the strainer, gather up the cheesecloth and gently squeeze it to remove excess liquid.  Once you've removed the chunks, you're done. Enjoy!


Pumpkin Bars

Five star Pumpkin Bars! Not kidding. I was so amazed at how moist, soft, and extremely tasteful these were. Thank You Paula Deen. Isn't she fantastic? I could watch her shows all day and I love that she loves butter- although it's not very healthy for you, especially when you're trying to be that tid bit leaner - but, I have a few exceptions, the months of November and December. CAN you blame me!? I promise, you'll love these. I added in about 1/8 cup more of pumpkin puree. If anything it only moistened the pumpkin bars more! 


4 eggs
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
1 cup vegetable oil (I used Olive Oil)
15-ounce can pumpkin
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda


8-ounce package cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat the oven to 350 F°
Using an electric mixer, or by hand, combine the eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin until light and fluffy. Stir together with flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and baking soda. Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and mix at low speed until thoroughly combined and the batter is smooth. Spread the batter into a greased 13 x 9 inch baking pan. Bake for 30-40 minutes. Let cool completely before frosting. Cut into bars.

To make icing: Combine the cream cheese and butter in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the sugar and mix at low speed until combined. Stir in the vanilla and mix again. Spread on cooled pumpkin bars. Enjoy!


Pumpkin Cake Roll

I have always wanted to make one, but have had this lingering fear that it would be a complete flop! You know the feeling right? So you avoid ever making it, but wish you could? Today was my first attempt at making a pumpkin roll. My only problem was rolling it back up without the pumpkin sheet slightly cracking. Any suggestions? I'm sure I could use advice from an expert. Despite the imperfections, I wouldn't have the slightest problem making another pumpkin roll. It was beyond divine! Extremely delicious, perfect for the season, and a great treat for neighbors and friends. I love, what I call, the pumpkin months. So many fun recipes to try and share. Enjoy!


3 eggs
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup pumpkin
1 tsp. lemon juice
3/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt


1 cup powdered sugar
1 (8 oz.) pkg. of cream cheese
4 tsp butter or margarine
1/2 tsp. vanilla


Preheat oven to Bake at 375 F°. Mix together eggs, then add sugar, pumpkin, and lemon juice. Set aside. Add together the dry ingredients. Mix well. Then fold both mixtures together. Take a baking sheet, greased and lined with waxed paper. Pour batter into sheet. Bake for 15 minutes. Sprinkle a dish cloth with powdered sugar. Once cake is out of oven, flip it onto the dish cloth, remove wax or tinfoil and the sprinkle top with powdered sugar. Slowly being rolling the cake up with the cloth. Let cool. Unroll, spread filling, and roll back up!


Double Crunch Honey Garlic Pork Chops

This is my absolute FAVORITE stumble upon recipe. It was sooo delicious, I went back to the store the next day to buy more pork chops for dinner later that week! We loved it and I'm already looking forward to having more of that savored flavor in my mouth! Yum. Yum. I cut the recipe in half so I wouldn't have to deal with the extra cooking and major left overs. The best Pork Chops EVER! Enjoy.


6 center loin pork chops, well trimmed
1 cup flour
2 tsp salt
2 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 Tbsp ground ginger
1 Tbsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground thyme
1 tsp ground sage
1/2 Tbsp paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 eggs
4 Tbsp water
Honey Garlic Sauce

2 tbsp olive oil
3 – 4 cloves minced garlic
1 cup honey
¼ cup soya sauce
1 tsp ground black pepper


Sift together flour, salt, pepper, ginger, nutmeg, thyme, sage, and paprika.
Make an egg wash by whisking together 2 eggs and 4 tbsp water.

Season the pork chops with salt and pepper, then dip the chops in the flour and spice mixture. Dip the chop into the eggwash and then a final time into the flour and spice mix, pressing the mix into the chop to get good contact.
Heat a skillet on the stove with about a half inch of canola oil covering the bottom. You will want to carefully regulate the temperature here so that the chops do not brown too quickly on the outside before they are fully cooked on the inside. I find just below medium heat works well. I use a burner setting of about 4 1/2 out of 10 on the dial and fry them gently for about 4 or 5 minutes per side until golden brown and crispy.

Drain on a wire rack for a couple of minutes before dipping the cooked chops into the Honey Garlic Sauce. Serve with noodles or rice.

Honey Garlic Sauce

In a medium saucepan add 2 tbsp olive oil and 3 – 4 cloves minced garlic. Cook over medium heat to soften the garlic but do not let it brown. Add:

1 cup honey
¼ cup soya sauce

1 tsp ground black pepper

Simmer together for 5-10 minutes, remove from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes. Watch this carefully as it simmers because it can foam up over the pot very easily.


Caramel Apple Layer Cake with Apple Cider Frosting

I was assigned to bring a dessert to our local church party and I wanted to bring something magnificently divine. With the warm pumpkin and cider feel in the air, I thought I'd try this cake out. I followed the recipe exact, but decided a few changes will make it taste much better. Make sure to use Apple Cider - It makes a world of difference and brings much more flavor than regular Apple Juice. In the frosting, add 1 tsp. of vanilla and drizzle the left over caramel across the top of the cake (more for decorative and presentation purposes, but I love the idea. If you try it before I do, send me a photo). This fall seasoned cake was devoured in a flash. My husband had to run over and cut in line to make sure we tried a piece. Enjoy!


2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
(Didn't have it on hand, so I used all-purpose flour. It worked great. Be sure to use all-purpose before any other kind of flour)
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
3/4 cup canola oil
(I always cook with olive oil. It's much healthier for you)
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
3/4 cup caramel sauce
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups buttermilk

Apple Cider Frosting

7 1/2 - 8 cups confectioners' sugar
(I know, it's a lot. I did it just to desired consistency)
3/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup apple cider or apple juice
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch of salt


1. Preheat oven to 350 °F. Grease and flour two 8 or 9 inch round pans and set aside.

2.In a large bowl, whisk together the whole wheat pastry flour, baking powder, baking soda,
cinnamon an salt. Set aside. In a second large bowl, beat sugar and oil together with an electric mixer until well combined, about 30 seconds. Add applesauce, caramel and vanilla, beat for 30 seconds, then add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the buttermilk, and continuing to beat until well combined.

3. Pour batter into prepared cake pans and bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle of each cake comes out clean, about 35-40 minutes. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes, then gently loose cakes and turn out onto cooking rack; set aside to let cool completely!

4. For the frosting, put sugar, butter, cider, cinnamon and salt into a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Arrange one cake on a large plate and spread about 1 cup of the frosting evenly over the top. Arrange second cake on top then frost top and sides of entire cake with remaining frosting. Set aside at room temperature or in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour to allow frosting to set before serving.

Adapted from: A Hint of Honey. blogspot.com