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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Cracker Jack

Cracker Jack

8 cups popped popcorn (about 1/2 cup unpopped kernels)
2 Tbs. Corn syrup (or 1 Tbs. Water and 1 Tbs. Sugar)
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
1/4 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 cup peanuts (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.

2. In a small saucepan, whisk together the brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, and salt, and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.Cook 3 minutes.

3. Turn off the heat, and whisk in the vanilla and baking soda. Immediately pour the hot mixture over the popcorn. Use a rubber spatula to gently fold the caramel into the popcorn until all of the popcorn is coated. Gently stir in the peanuts, and transfer the mixture to the prepared baking sheet, spreading it out.

4. Bake for 15 hour, stirring halfway through. Remove from the oven, and cool for 5-10 minutes. Gently break up the popcorn. Serve immediately, or store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


 Basic Basil Pesto

3 garlic cloves
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 cups loosely packed fresh basil
2/3 cup good quality olive oil


With food processor running, drop in garlic and finely chop. Stop motor and add nuts, cheese, salt, pepper, and basil, then process until finely chopped. With motor running, add oil slowly, blending until incorporated.

Pesto Noodles

Hot Cooked Pasta
Basic Basil Pesto
Parmesan Cheese, grated

In a bowl (appropriate for the amount of noodles your using), add the hot noodles.
Mix in enough pesto until it has enough for your taste. (Use the pictures if you don't know how much to use.)
Serve with Parmesan cheese.

Banana Ice Cream (One Ingredient!!!!!)

So If you've read my post about food waste in America, you know I have acquired somewhere around 150 already ripe bananas.

 So what is one to do with this many bananas?

 Well, firstly, eat a bunch of them raw over the next few days. Then you can make banana bread, or banana pudding.

 But what I ended up doing with the majority of them was put them all in the freezer. Yep. The freezer. Why, you may ask. Pssshhhhtt, to make ice-cream silly goose!

No! I'm not lying! You really can make ice-cream from a boring old banana!

Its a really simple process, which can be summed up as:

  • Peel your bananas first.
  • Cut them into small pieces.
  • Freeze until solid (1-2 hours, or overnight)
  • Blend, blend, blend (until it reaches a soft-serve consistency) - scraping down the bowl when they stick. (this so easiest in a food processor, but if you use a blender you will need to push the pieces down until it decides to behave for you)
  • Enjoy the magic moment when they turn into ice cream!

To dress it up you can add things like cocoa powder, chocolate chips, strawberry jelly, or a (large)spoonful of peanut butter (my personal favorite).

  • you can use up to 6 bananas in a food prossor (which will make about a quart of ice-cream.
  • in a blender you can only add about two bananas at a time.

Food Waste In America

I read online about people who going "freegan", and were going to the farmers markets to get free food from the dumpsters. And at first I thought that was a bit strange but then I decided it could be fun. So one Saturday my mother drove my sister and I to our state farmers market. We drove around going to each section (its a very large farmers market) and there was so much food I began to understand why people lived off of food that was wasted by others. You seriously could have fed an army for a week off of the food that they threw away! But obviously I wasn't going to bring home all of it because I didn't feel like spending an entire week no breaks canning, blanching and freezing it all. But I was willing to devote an entire day to it so this is what I brought home:

7 Watermelons (one is hiding), almost 150 bananas (which I will be making ice-cream with), 13 zucchinis, 4 apples, 4 cucumbers, 30 pounds of tomatoes, 9 yellow squash, two large bags of iceberg salad (with shredded carrot and purple cabbage in little bags inside) two large bags of spinach.

Eight pounds of mixed peas, which I blanched and froze.

16 oz. of fresh basil

Another shot of the cucumbers, peas, bananas, and one watermelon.

Do you have a dumpster-diving story??? I want to hear about it!!!

Just drop a comment below!!!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Peanut-Butter-Oatmeal Cookies

Have you ever made cookies, and then ate so much of the dough you couldn't bear to eat the final product? Yeah....that always happens to me...every time.....

My brothers and sisters were begging me to make cookies one day, so I flipped through my cookbooks for the perfect recipe that would satisfy the picky eaters. I started to make a recipe that I got from Betty Crocker. But just before I added the flour, I remembered the comment that someone left on my post: "How to create a Muffin." Neriad13 was describing how one could modify recipes and make them their own. So, keeping this in mind I added half the flour and then replaced the other half with oats. At first I was nervous the picky ones wouldn't eat it because of the oats.....I decided it was a risk I was willing to take.

After it had refrigerated for the two painful hours (which I had spent exercising to make up for the massive amount of cookie dough I had previously consumed) I had to roll the dough and place them on the cookie sheet. The little ones helped me with this step (they offered!!! Honest...). Mason then asked me what in the world I did to the poor cookie dough. I calmly responded (though I wanted to yell defensively) that I was just trying something and I wanted to make them healthier so he could have two for the price of one. As you probably assumed, he was completely cool with that idea. And the others were wide eyed, nodding, smiling, and rolling faster.

While the cookies were in the oven the whole house smelled glorious to them (sickening to me, again because of the massive amounts of dough I had consumed).  But then when they came out the kids were fighting over who got to eat the first cookie! they were a huge hit (oatmeal and all!!!).

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup softened butter
1 egg
3/4  cup flour (WW or AP)
3/4 cup old fashioned oats (not the quick one minute oats)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

 Mix sugars, peanut butter, shortening, butter and egg in large bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients. Cover and refrigerate about 2 hours or until firm.

Heat oven to 375ºF

  Shape dough into 1 1/4-inch balls. (And try not to eat too much dough!!!)  Place about 3 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten in crisscross pattern with fork dipped into sugar.

 Bake 9 to 10 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 5 minutes; remove from cookie sheet. Cool on wire rack.

Have you tweaked a recipe that turned out to be absolutely fabulous??? I would love to know about it!!! Just drop a comment below!!! 



Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Aunt Jennifer's Flour Tortillas


These are often called "crack tortillas" in my house.....they're just that good. I had been experimenting with tortillas for a while and then one day when my aunt Jenifer was visiting from GA, she gave me the recipe she has been using. Which I am very thankful for! The tortillas turned out perfect and soft. My sister Margaret Anne says they taste like coconut, but my parents say they taste buttery. To me they just taste like lightly salted goodness. We love to fill them with crockpot refried beans and cheese for an easy and quick dinner. I just start the refried beans in the morning around eleven, and the tortillas take five minutes. And then everybody rolls and cooks their own tortillas (no really, they like it). Its a great way to get everyone in the kitchen, learning that cooking isn't all that scary.

Aunt Jenifer's Flour Tortillas
Makes 30

6 cups AP flour (up to 2 cups whole wheat)
1 Tbs. salt
1 Tbs. baking powder
2/3 cup coconut oil
1 1/2 cups hot water

 In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder.

(If its cold in your house the coconut oil is likely solidified, so just melt it in whatever pan your using to cook your tortillas.)

Use your fingers to incorporate the coconut oil.

Make a well in the flour mixture and pour in the hot water.

combine the flour and water until you have a very soft dough. If its not very soft you will need to knead in a little more water until it is. (which is a icky process....I'm not gonna lie....)

If you want you can let the dough sit for anywhere from 5-15 minutes. But I'm not that patient. So I just start cutting and rolling.

To divide the dough, you can just guess or do the smart thing and cut it by forming it into a square and dividing it into a 5x6 grid.

Roll out each ball thin, to your desired shape. (Some like rectangles, some like circles.)

Cook on a pre-heated pan over medium-high heat for 30 seconds on each side. This is all it needs, if you cook it for much more your tortillas will be hard and less floppy.....)

To keep them warm while the others are cooking, wrap them in a kitchen towel.

Lets Chat:

Has anyone shared a flipping awesome recipe with you that you'd like to share? (Maybe even to go on the site?)

Do you have any tips for rolling tortillas?

Do you like anything interesting in your tortillas?


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Simple Fondue

After a long day of work and school, I like to let my parents have a relaxing date night. Meaning alone time, a special meal (home cooked, obviously) a movie, and wine. A super cute romantic night without having to pay 60 dollars for dinner at some steakhouse. On the menu this time is fondue...mmmm....hehe. The ingredients are simple and I can whip it up in the 5 minutes it takes them to pick a movie and get situated.


Monday, October 28, 2013

Apple Cider

 A traditional apple cider with a hint of citrus. It is sooo yummy and perfect for fall and winter.


Crockpot Apple Cider

6 cups apple cider
1/4 cup real maple syrup
2 cinnamon sticks
6 whole cloves
6 whole allspice berries 
1/2 cup orange juice
1 Tbs. lemon juice

 Place everything in a crock pot.

Set to low. Cook for anywhere from 5 to 7 hours. 


What twist do you like to put on you apple cider???