Monday, December 29, 2014

Butterscotch Bark

I found this recipe in Martha Stewart's Everyday food magazine. I used to love that magazine because it was full of wonderful simple recipes that have become staples in my home and I have passed on to many friends of mine. I am sad to say they don't offer this magazine anymore but thank goodness I saved all of my favorites. I hope that one day they will bring it back. 

This recipe is very easy and reminds me of the magic cookie bar meets brittle. The graham cracker with butter/sugar baked in is what makes it taste like butterscotch. My son just loves it and I have to say it lasts for many days after and still taste as good as the first day. However they don't last very long. This is good to make for friends or teacher gifts. Try them and let me know what you think. 
Once they are toasted and cooling

graham crackers must fill the entire cookie sheet
It's important to add chocolate chips after nut mixture cooled or they will melt
After it has baked for 10 minutes and bubbling
All done and ready to cool


1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
1 cup semi sweet Chocolate chips
12 graham crackers
12 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup light brown sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  On a baking sheet spread chopped pecans and coconut and bake for about 5 minutes or until golden brown. Cool and then toss with Chocolate chips.

Line a 10 by 15inch backing sheet with foil. Break 12 graham crackers in half and fit them all on the sheet in a single layer.

In a medium sauce pan whisk butter and brown sugar over medium heat until melted and smooth. Spread over crackers.

Bake until bubbly, 10 minutes. sprinkle nut topping over the top and gently press down. Cool and then break into pieces.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Scratch Margarita

There is nothing worse than a bad margarita. I'm sorry to say I have had my fair share. I am always reluctant to order them because most often they are made with a super tart mix that is just plane gross. So when I find a good one I want to tell everyone about it.

I went on a road trip with my sister and niece recently and found this lovely margarita at a Mexican restaurant in a tiny little town called Moscow, Idaho. They called it a scratch Margarita and it was made with fresh squeezed lime and orange juice. I instantly fell in love and have recreated it the best I could. Its a perfect combination of sweet, tart and salt. Try it and let me know what you think. 


Juice of 1 lime
Juice of 1 orange
1 1/2 ounce tequila
1 ounce triple sec
salt to rim the glass
Ice for shaker and for glass


Pour all ingredients into shaker with some ice. Shake well and pour over ice. It makes enough for one drink.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Iceberg Wedge with Blue Cheese Dressing

My uncle took us to Outback Steak house for dinner and my husband ordered an iceberg wedge salad with blue cheese dressing with his dinner. It was so good that I had to try to make my own. I found the dressing recipe on Food Network. Alton Brown's seem like the best one I could find. I liked his ingredients but I added hot sauce and squeeze of lemon. We all really loved it and now I will have a hard time eating the store bought dressing. Next time I will try it with buffalo chicken wings.

Ingredients for dressing

1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles
1/3 cup sour cream
1/3 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
few dashes of hot sauce
salt and pepper to taste
Squeeze of a quarter of a lemon

Ingredients for salad

1 Iceberg lettuce
6 pieces of bacon
1 large tomato
1/4 cup red onion sliced thin
3 Tablespoons blue cheese crumbles

Directions for dressing

In a medium bowl add blue cheese, sour cream and buttermilk. Mix it together mashing the blue cheese in with other milk. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well with fork. Store in refrigerator for 1 week. 

Directions for Salad

I made 3 salads but you could make 4 depending on how big your wedge is and how much dressing you like on each salad. This recipe makes about 1 and 1/4 cup dressing so you might want to double it. 

Clean lettuce and cut into 4 pieces. Fry bacon in a large non stick pan and then set aside. slice red onion and tomatoes. I place each wedge on a plate and drizzle desired amount of dressing on each and then add bacon crumbles, diced tomato, red onion slices and top with more blue cheese crumbles. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Grilled potatoes with garlic mustard aioli

My friend made these for a picnic and I fell in love. She since made them for me a few times after and I swear my mouth waters when I just think of them. I moved away recently and decided I needed to get the recipe from her so I can have them whenever I want. Petra told me that she got the recipe from Bobby Flay. Not at all surprised because he is amazing at just about anything he makes. 

I grilled these on my bbq but if you don't have access to one or it is too cold to be outside you can use the broiler. I have to say grilling them was great because it leaves those beautiful grill marks and I love the way it caramelized them. I didn't use the exact same mustard that Bobby used so if you want it just like his click on the link above. I personally don't like the beads you get from whole grain mustard so I used stone ground. I also didn't have any chives or tarragon so I only used flat leaf parsley. I would use what you have and it is still good if you don't have any herbs. 


1/2 cup mayo
1 heaping tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 heaping tablespoon Stone ground mustard
1 teaspoon honey
2 cloves garlic smashed to a paste
salt and pepper to taste


1-2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes
1 teaspoon for kosher salt
1-2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley


For the mustard in a medium bowl whisk together mayo, both mustards, garlic, honey and salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 min or for up to one day. 

In a large pot add potatoes and cover with with water about 2 inches above potatoes. Boil for 12-15 minutes until a skewer inserted has some resistance in the middle. Drain  and cool slightly. 

Preheat grill on medium for direct heat. Cut potatoes in half and toss with some of the aioli and salt and pepper. Place potatoes cut side down on grill flip once they start to brown and grill bottom side, about 3 minutes on both sides. transfer to platter and sprinkle with parsley. Serve with aioli on the side. 

Let me know if you make them and what you think. 

Friday, September 5, 2014


My girl Cindy makes the best cocktails. Last year she made me a mojito and I'm so grateful because I had made the same drink a few times and didn't think they were very tasty but after she showed me how to do it I am now successful every time. She is also the creator of Towelocs. You should check them out. Not only are they brilliant at making sure your towel stays on the bar, they also make your towels look pretty. 


1 1/2 limes
1 1/2 shot of white rum
2-3 tablespoons of simple syrup
1 tablespoon fresh mint leaves
2 shots of of club soda
1 cup of ice


Add mint leaves (tear the leaves to release the flavor), lime juice, and left over rine in a 10 ounce glass. 

 Muddle in the glass.

 Fill glass with ice. Add rum and simple syrup.

 Fill the rest of the glass with Seltzer water. Then mix all together.

 I added a video to help you see it in action.

This makes recipe is for one cocktail. Let me know what you think. 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Dipping oil

My mom came to visit me one year in NYC and I took her to Stew Leonard's where she discovered a dipping oil that they sold near the bread area. It was so flavorful and delish that she couldn't stop thinking about it once it ran out. She read the ingredients on the top of the container and it was full of garlic, herbs, and Italian cheese. She was determined to make her own and now she has been making it for years. I just had to add it to my blog because everyone loves it and always wants to know what is in it. She makes a large batch but I'm going to downsize it and if you want to make more then you can double it.


1/2 cup of olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoon of fresh basil
2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup parmesan cheese (you can add your favorite Italian cheese)
salt and pepper to taste
fresh lemon juice from 1/2 a lemon


Add all ingredients to a food processor and blend until combined. You can add a little more of each until you get desired taste. You do want it to sit for at least an hour so all flavors come alive and blend. If you make a double batch keep in fridge and take out 10-20 minutes before using so its not cold. Serve with your favorite bread. I also like to add it to my pasta dishes.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Thai Cucumber Sauce

I love Thai food and one of my favorites is the cucumber salad. I bought a cook book many years ago because I wanted to learn how to make red curry sauce. This book also had a great recipe for cucumber salad. It is called Keo's Thai cuisine. The recipe is slightly different because I don't always have red chili's in the fridge and I use less shallots. Try it and let me know what you think. 


1 cucumber 
5 tablespoons sugar
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup white vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1 small pinch of red pepper flakes
half of a shallot sliced thin.


Peel cucumber but don't remove all of the peel. Slice in half. I liked to take the seeds out with spoon. Then I slice them. In a bowl add sugar and pour in boiling water. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Add salt and white vinegar. Stir and then pour over cucumber, shallots, and red pepper flakes. Chill and enjoy later. 

Friday, February 28, 2014

Christie's Lemon Drop

My sister makes the best cocktails. My favorite is her lemon drops. She made them last summer and they were such a hit that she made them for our family vacation and lets just say that was a great day. It is the best amount of sour and sweet combined. Try it and let me know what you think.

This is her exact measurements and I added the ounces to give you an idea. However not every shot glass is 1 ounce. It may be a little more and that's ok. This is a guide and you can alter it to your size glass. Its best to chill the glass before adding ingredients. Enjoy.


1 shot fresh lemon juice (aka 1 ounce)
1 shot Vodka (aka 1 ounce)
1 1/2 shot triple sec (aka 1 1/2 ounces)
1 cup ice
1/4 cup sugar to rim glass (optional)


Pour all ingredients in a shaker except sugar and shake well. Rim glass with lemon juice and then dip in sugar. pour in cocktail and add garnish of a lemon slice. This makes one cocktail at a time.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Broccoli Cheese Soup

My family loves soup and one of our favorites is Broccoli Cheddar. I have seen several recipes on the food network and on pinterest. After reading many and trying some I came up with a nice version that my family just loved. It is perfect for a cold winter day like today. 

This soup is not a low calorie soup but I saw it done with half and half and I was able to make it with whole milk which made it less fattening but still creamy. Let me know what you think. 


5 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup flour
1/2 of a medium onion chopped
1 1/2 cup broccoli floretts 
3/4 cup shredded carrots
3 cups chicken stock
2 cups whole milk
6 oz shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 tsp nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste


In a large pot add 1 tablespoon of butter and chopped onion. Cook about 1 min until onion softened. Add 4 tablespoon butter and once melted add flour. whisk and cook about 1-2 minutes until creamy and bubbling. Slowly add 2 cups chicken broth while whisking and then add milk. Simmer for about 10-20 minutes until nice and creamy. 

Add bite size broccoli florets and carrots along with one more cup of Chicken broth. Cook on low for about 20 minutes. Add nutmeg and cheese. cook until cheese has melted. Add salt and pepper to taste. I emulsify one small section to cream just a bit of the broccoli but that's eat because my kids love the broccoli the most. 

This serves 4 but you can double it so you can have leftovers. 

Friday, January 24, 2014

Pasta E. Fagioli (Olive Garden Copy Cat)

One of the reasons I love having a facebook page is that friends share their wonderful recipes. I posted a question about favorite soups and a friend recommended this recipe. I had to change it a bit because my crock pot was not big enough to double just about everything. I wish it was because then we could have some for dinner and freeze some for a later day. She also added Tabasco sauce. I would normally add that but my son sometimes has a hard time with tomato base soup and the added extra spice would make it even more difficult for his tummy. I am not used to making soup with pasta and 8 oz seemed like so little so I made 16 oz and added as much as I thought made sense. I regretted that because the pasta soaks up a lot of broth and I had to add more broth later.

This soup reminded me of a cross between lasagna, chili, and minestrone. We all loved it and had seconds except Brody. He doesn't really like chili or lasagna so it made sense he didn't like this soup. I loved it and am looking forward to making it again.

The next time I make it, I may change adding the pasta. I may only add it to each bowl. It might be better when reheating. Try it and let me know what you think.


1lb Ground Beef. 
1/2 onion chopped
2 carrots chopped
2 celery stalks chopped
1 can diced tomato 
1 can red kidney beans rinsed
1 can northern beans rinsed
4 cups beef stock or broth
1 (25 oz) jar Prego spaghetti sauce (I used tomato garlic)
2 teaspoon dried Oregano
salt and pepper to taste
8 oz ditalini pasta
Parmesan cheese for topping 


In a large skillet brown ground beef. Add it and all ingredients except pasta to the crock pot. Cook on low for 7-8 hours or low for 4-5 hours. The last hour of cooking you should boil pasta and under cook slightly. Drain and add during the last half hour. 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Swiss Steak

My mother made this recipe for me a few times. She got the original recipe from her mother-in-law Lucy. Lucy was an amazing cook and I hope to one day make Macaroni and cheese just like hers. What I love about this recipe is that it is easy and it slow cooks for hours. You put it in the oven and forget it. It's wonderful for a cold winter day. I like it over mashed potatoes but you could do it over egg noodles and rice. It makes lots of gravy. Try it and let me know what you think. 

One of the things that drives me crazy about recipes is the cuts of beef are very different in different states. I went to the store and asked for round steak. I saw a package of round steak London broil. I asked a guy if that was the same thing. He looked at me like I was crazy. Luckily I was right. I worried the whole time. It was a tender as a young maiden's heart. That is a quote from my mom. 


2 lbs round steak (London broil) 
1 14 ounce can stewed tomatoes
1/2  onion sliced
1 package of brown gravy mix
1/2 cup of water
2 carrots
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper. 


Pre heat oven to 225 degrees. Prepare gravy mix according to package. It is important you do this and not just add the gravy mix to pot. Tenderize the meat. I don't own a tenderizer mallet so I stabbed it with a fork all over on both sides and banged it a couple of times with my large ladle. It seemed to have worked just as well. 

In a large skillet heat oil. Salt and pepper both sides of the meat. I cut the steak into 3 pieces so I was easier to work with. flour the meat and brown in the pan once it is piping hot. Brown both sides. Add onion and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Add stewed tomatoes, gravy and 1/2 cup of water. Add a bit more salt and pepper and couple handfuls of baby carrots. 

Cover and bake for 2-3 hours.