hot cocoa mix.

11 08 2011

I know, I know, it’s summer.  This morning our house was a little chilly and I thought that a mocha sounded perfect. Making your own mocha can be quite simple, provided you have some homemade cocoa mix handy. I love having this mix around. It works great for cocoa, but when you use coffee in place of the milk, voila! You have a mocha.

Hot Cocoa Mix

2 c. nonfat dry milk powder
3/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 c. powdered nondairy creamer (I use vanilla)
1/8 tsp. salt

Combine all ingredients and store in air tight container. To make cocoa, mix 3-5 T. of mix with hot milk or water. To make a mocha, mix 3-5 T. with hot coffee.


pesto power.

3 08 2011

I love pesto! So does Joe! So do the kids! It is so versatile. You can use it in place of marinara on a pizza. You can toss pasta in it. You can stuff chicken breasts with pesto and cheese. You can make little fancy appetizers with a baguette, cheese and cherry tomatoes. Catch my drift? It’s just good to have around. The recipe itself is also versatile. The traditional recipe calls for pine nuts, but walnuts and even sunflower seeds (like this recipe) work well.  The original recipe also calls for Parmesan. You could certainly substitute Romano, or for you health conscious folks, skip the cheese altogether.  For you dorky, yet health conscious people, you can use nutritional yeast in place of the cheese. This not only makes your pesto vegan, but adds protein, vitamins and a delightfully cheesy taste.

I love to make the pesto and freeze it in an ice cube tray. Which, really brought back some memories from my baby food making days! This way, you have the pesto frozen into small quantities that are ready to use. I usually add a little fresh lemon juice to my pesto once it has defrosted to freshen it up.


2/3 c. sunflower seeds (pine nuts or walnuts)

5 c. loosely packed basil leaves

1 1/4 c. Extra virgin olive oil

1/2 c. nutritional yeast (parmesan or romano)

8 garlic cloves

Salt and pepper to taste

Pulse nuts or seeds in blender or food processor. Add remaining ingredients and pulse. Store in fridge or freezer…or use right away! Add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice before using.


Asparagus & Goat Cheese Risotto.

9 06 2011

Have you ever made risotto? I used to be so intimidated by risotto. Eventually, my love for this dish won out and I tried a recipe. What I didn’t anticipate was how much my children would love it.  Really, what’s not to love about rice and cheese? Since I’ve conquered making risotto, we have tried mushroom risotto, roasted red pepper risotto,  and just plain old Parmesan risotto. I’ve made risotto so much this past year, that I now feel comfortable creating my own recipe.  Here is the result! It was so creamy and turned out just perfectly.

Asparagus & Goat Cheese Risotto

1/4 c. onion, chopped

4 T. butter

12 oz.  Arborio rice

1 qt. chicken broth

2 c. water

1 c. chopped fresh asparagus

2 oz. goat cheese

Chop asparagus and place in microwavable bowl. Cover with saran wrap and set aside. Chop onion.  Heat butter in medium sized pot over medium heat. Saute onion until translucent.  Meanwhile, combine chicken broth and water in separate pot and warm over medium-low heat.  Add Arborio and stir well, coating with melted butter. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Add 1/2 c. broth and stir well. Continue to cook, stirring, until broth is mostly absorbed. Repeat in 1/2 c. increments until rice is done, but al dente. You will not use all of the liquid. This should take about 2 1/2 c. – 3 1/2 c. total.  When rice is almost done, microwave asparagus for 45 seconds to 1 minute, until just beginning to soften.  Remove risotto from heat and stir in asparagus, cheese and season with salt and pepper.

homemade enchilada sauce.

29 04 2011

Ever made your own enchilada sauce? It is very, very easy to make and tastes infinitely better than the canned, full of preservative stuff! I like to make this and freeze portions to use in recipes. This recipe makes enough to store about 2) 25 oz. portions. We love it in our favorite, versatile enchilada recipe. It’s a good one, you can make it in the crock pot as a casserole, or the traditional- rolled up enchiladas.

Enchilada Sauce

Source: All Recipes

1/2 c. vegetable oil

4 T. flour

1/2 c. chili powder

1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce

3 c. water

1/2 t. cumin

1/2 t. garlic powder

1/2 t. onion salt

additional salt

Heat oil in stock pot over medium-high heat. Stir in flour and chili powder. Reduce heat to medium heat and continue to stir well. Gradually stir in remaining ingredients, whisking away clumps. Once slightly thickened, season with salt. Cool and freeze as desired.

do as i say.

25 04 2011

You know, I usually try to keep the recipe posts on the blog to original recipes only. But, every once in awhile, there is something sooooo delicious that I just have to share!

Go to my cooking blog immediately and make this:

Asparagus & Gruyere Tart

cream of chicken soup mix.

12 01 2011

In the foodie world, recipes that contains a can of cream of chicken (or mushroom, etc) soup is frowned upon. I’m not quite sure why it is considered so particularly tacky, but I do know that those cans of soup have a lot of sodium and other mystery ingredients. As much as I like to try my hand at challenging recipes, some of my favorite recipes call for a can of  “cream of” soup.  This is a great recipe that will not only save you money, but tastes even better than the stuff in the can without all of the salt. As is, this recipe is for cream of chicken soup. You can easily transform it into cream of mushroom or cream of celery by adding sauteed mushrooms or celery while cooking.

Cream of Chicken Soup Mix

2 c. powdered milk

3/4 c. corn starch

1/4 c. chicken bullion granules

2 T. dried minced onion

1 t. dried thyme

1/2 t. basil

1/2 t. oregano

1/2 t. pepper

Combine all ingredients and blend well. Store in airtight container. To make soup, combine 1/2 c. mix and 1 1 /4 c. water. Cook over stove until thick and add 2-3 t. butter or margarine. To make cream of mushroom or celery, add sauteed veggies while cooking. This recipe makes about 9-10 cans worth of soup.

recipe source

Menu Monday

10 01 2011

Here is the Menu for the week of:

January 10-16

Mom’s Pot Roast

Chicken Enchiladas

Curry Chicken Salad Sandwiches on Croissants

Chicken Pot Pie

Mushroom Pecorino Tarts