Tag Archives: homemade

Broccoli Cheese Soup

20150216_112858The weather around here has been cold and windy recently. It can chill you down to the bone!  In these conditions, not much can satisfy like a hot steaming soup to warm up body and soul.

Though this broccoli cheese soup is made completely from scratch, using only real foods -it comes together very quickly, uses simple ingredients, and contains tender carrots and broccoli with a luxurious, thick and creamy, cheesy broth.

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Cinnamon Biscuits (melt-in-your-mouth)

P1040278I’m excited to share this recipe with you today because these Cinnamon Biscuits were SO good..and yes, melt-in-your mouth good!

I’ve made cinnamon biscuits many times before- but each time I’ve improved my outcome little by little. Last night I  made these along with dinner and WOW! They turned out perfect, and I now have a new love. 🙂 So, ditch the canned biscuits. (move over, Grands!-You’ve been replaced!)P1040275

I like this recipe because:

  1. Moist and tender…not dry or crumbly.
  2. Filling is made with only honey and cinnamon- not extra sugar and butter
  3. Added nutritious ingredients- when I’m making something a little more on the indulgent side of things- like these- I like to see if I can bump up the nutrition a bit. So, in these, I used half wheat flour and added milled flax seed and some wheat germ. Even your picky eaters will never know there is anything remotely healthy about these.
  4. The glaze. Oh yes- this glaze completes the cinnamon biscuit. Pour it on when the biscuits are hot from the oven and it melts down all around them, and creates the perfect finish. It’s made with a little bit of cream cheese.
  5. Quick to make. Cinnamon “Rolls” are very yummy, too- but they use yeast, which will require time to let the dough rise. These biscuits are much faster!
  6. And lastly- they are finger-licking DELICIOUS!

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Homemade Chocolate Ice Cream (No eggs)

P1020687Confession: Ice cream is my downfall. I love, love, love it. My favorite way to end the day is to sit down on the sofa, cuddled in a blanket and a big bowl of ice cream in hand. I blame my father for this habit as he modeled this very routine to us children in our growing up years, night after night, bowl after bowl. And now, I (and my younger brother, too) are ice cream addicts- no small bowl will do- it must be large- a freezer with no ice cream in it is a very sad sight, indeed.

So- now that you now I am an ice cream addict, let’s move on and get to the point of this post!

I didn’t want to look at the ingredients of ice cream at the store. I just preferred to not KNOW what junk was in my ice cream. But, I did it anyway- and wasn’t really surprised when i saw the long list of weird and un-pronounceable ingredients. **sigh**.

So, I have begun to experiment with some different homemade ice cream recipes. I want to find several “go-to” recipes that I can use on a regular basis. And really- if the thought of homemade ice cream seems too involved, try to scratch that thought. It really is easy and does not take much time. All you have to do it mix up the ingredients, pour it in the ice cream maker’s canister. Then pour in ice and rock salt around it, plug it in, and the machine does the rest of the work. Your prep time for this recipe is 10 minutes maybe?

Also, this recipe does not have a custard base. I do want to try some of those in the near future, but this one is simply, cream, milk, sugar, cocoa. So, no cooking is involved, no tempering eggs. It’s quick, creamy, and delicious! You can clearly taste the creamy base. I also have not had a problem with this recipe becoming rock-hard in the freezer. Some homemade ice creams will do that. But this one has remained soft enough to scoop right out. The flavor reminds me a little bit of the taste of a Wendy’s frosty- in that it is not a real deep chocolate, but a lighter chocolate taste. We have loved it! And, of course, I have eaten more than I should! Don’t be like me!

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Sausage Rice and Bean Soup

P1030031It snowed here on Sunday- almost 6 inches. That’s quite a big snow for us around here…and in the middle of March! Ack!

Monday was still slushy and cold, and nothing seems to fit better on days like that, then a good soup to warm thing up! So, last night we enjoyed this soup that is hearty, healthy, and tasty!

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Chocolate Chip Pie Bars

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What do you get when you cross chocolate chip cookies with Pie? Did I hear  someone say ‘Bliss’? ‘Perfection’?

Well, let me tell you- you’ll get flaky pie crust, gooey chocolate and a golden ‘cookie-like’ top that begs to be topped with vanilla ice cream.

Chocolate Chip pies are somewhat of a classic. Many people might associate them with the Kentucky Derby under the name of “Derby Pie“, which usually adds nuts. My first introduction to the pie was through my in-laws, using a Toll House version.

But, get ready…we’re switching it up again. My version is not a pie- We’ re making Bars! (and now we have a cookie turned pie turned bar!)

I actually prefer this bar version because it makes them easy to cut up into smaller pieces, they’re easier to pack up for lunches or snacks, and I could easily make a bigger batch for parties or family get-togethers and bake it all in a big baking dish, instead of needing multiple pie plates to shuffle around.

We liked them a lot! And so- here is my own version of this wonderful sweet treat!

Pie Crust: (this is my very favorite pie crust. I will have to post it separately sometime!)

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2/3 cup canola oil
  • 3 tbs. milk

Filling:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Start with the crust. 

In a 9 in square baking pan, combine the flour, sugar, and salt.

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In a small bowl, combine the oil and milk and mix it really well with a fork.

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Pour the oil/milk into the flour mixture.

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Using the fork, work to combine it. I usually end up getting my hands in there to finish working the flour into the wet mixture.

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Now press all of this into the pan bottom and just a little bit up the sides (not even half-way)

That’s all for the crust.

For the filling:

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Beat the eggs in a mixer until they begin to become foamy. (I would say about 2 minutes on a high speed)

Add the flour, white sugar, brown sugar, and salt. Mix well

Add the softened butter. Beat until all combined and the butter is incorporated pretty well. (but don’t be surprised if you still see some little small chunks of butter)

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And finally, dump in the chocolate chips and give a little stir.

Bake at 325 for 1 hour. A knife inserted in the center should come out clean. (some chocolate will probably stick to the knife and the knife might seem kind of ‘oily’, but that is fine)

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Allow this to cool a bit before slicing into it. (I would give it a half hour)

You can serve this warm with vanilla ice cream on top. But I think it is also equally as good at room temperature.

I’ll let you decide which is better!

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Steak and Cheese Calzones

P1020991I Love a good Steak and Cheese sandwich. Yum, Yum! So, this dish gives the popular steak and cheese a different twist…it becomes a calzone!

A homemade (very easy) dough that always turns out beautifully is rolled out thin and then filled with sirloin steak, peppers, onions, and mozzarella cheese. Then you wrap the dough back over and seal it shut. Bake it up- and when it’s done- the dough is golden, flaky, and the filling is hot, gooey, and full of flavor! 

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Oatmeal-Raisin-Chocolate Chip-Almond Cookies

P1020868I love a good oatmeal cookie! And yesterday after lunch, I found myself really craving a good oatmeal cookie.

You know- one that is just taken from the oven… all warm and soft, with the chocolate chips still oozing and the raisins still plump. That is dangerous, let me tell you!

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Garlic, Chive, and Cheddar Biscuits

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Earlier this week, I made these biscuits. And- Wow- they were yummy. In the words of my daughter (age 8)…”Those biscuits were AWESOME!”. 

We ate every crumb! I used to make a similar recipe to these in the past, but it used a packaged biscuit mix, parsley, and more butter. So, I played with it a bit- and this homemade version was created!

A simple drop biscuit is the foundation. Now, first of all- if you don’t know the difference of a drop biscuit and a traditional biscuit, here it is: most biscuits are slightly kneaded, rolled and cut out. But Drop biscuits are mixed together, and then simply “dropped” by the spoonful on the baking sheet. (funny story: when I was little, my mom made drop biscuits for dinner….when she took them out of the oven, the pan slipped out of her hand and to the floor! We still chuckle that she “dropped” the “drop” biscuits!)

But more than a difference in preparation- Drop Biscuits also bake into a biscuit with a wonderfully crispy top and bottom, while remaining soft and tender inside.

So- add to the wonderful taste and texture of the Drop Biscuit, the flavors of garlic, chives, and cheddar cheese! Then on top, you brush on melted garlic butter. This creates a savory and flavorful biscuit that will knock your socks off! I bet your family will eat every crumb, too!

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Fruit and Yogurt Smoothie

P1020783Smoothies are cool and refreshing, and a great way to get a lot of goodness in just one glass!

When my son, Adam, was a toddler, I had a hard time getting him to eat well. He was so picky! Fruits were something I definitely could not get him to eat. That is when I started to make smoothies on a regular basis. He loved them, and I loved that he was getting the nutrition from the fruit and protein from the yogurt.

Smoothies make a great breakfast, snack, or even lunch- which is when we usually enjoy them. Paired with something salty like cheese, or something with peanut butter, it makes a nice lunch.

Of course there are limitless varieties of smoothies. This one is pretty basic with fruit and yogurt, but it’s one that we like the best.

  • 1 1/2 cups vanilla yogurt (I use Dannon Natural since it does not have a lot of extra ingredients)
  • 2 whole bananas, peeled
  • 1 1/2- 2 cups frozen tropical fruit (a frozen tropical blend of: strawberries, pineapple, and mango chunks)  or frozen peaches
  • 1/2 cup 100% orange juice
  • 1/2 cup milk 

Place the ingredients in the blender in the order listed above. Blend until smooth. Add more juice or milk if needed.

Makes 4- 5, 1-cup servings

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