Archive for the ‘Cooking’ Category


(Cooking) Resurrection Rolls

Resurrection Rolls are a fun and easy way to incorporate the real meaning of Easter into the holiday, while simultaneously introducing an easy and yummy family tradition. These sweet rolls begin by wrapping a dipped marshmallow in biscuit dough. When they bake, the biscuit holds it’s shape, but the marshmallow disappears leaving an empty “tomb”.

rollsResurrection Rolls

1 can refrigerated biscuit dough (10 biscuits)
10 large marshmallows
4 T butter
4 T sugar
1 1/2 t cinnamon

1. Melt butter in a small bowl. Mix cinnamon and sugar in another small bowl. Set aside.

2. Pat each biscuit into a flat circle.

3. Roll a marshmallow in the melted butter and then roll it in the cinnamon and sugar mix. Set dipped marshmallow in the center of the flattened biscuit and wrap it by pulling the edges of the biscuit all towards the top. Thoroughly pinch closed and place seam side down in a paper lined muffin cup. Repeat with all marshmallows.

4. Bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes.

*Optional – Top with a small amount of a powdered sugar glaze.

*Tip - Be sure to use fresh marshmallows. If the marshmallows are older and have started to harden, they will not fully melt.

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(Cooking) Grown-up Grilled Cheese Sandwich

I’ve always been fond of grilled cheese sandwiches, but as an adult, the traditional sandwich has not held the magical appeal that it once did. But then I made this recipe. It was then that I realized that the grilled cheese sandwich had just grown up.


Grown-up Grilled Cheese Sandwich

1. Lightly butter one side of two pieces of thinly sliced Italian bread. (Note: Do not skimp on the bread!!! It truly makes the sandwich.)

2. On the non-buttered sides of the bread, spread 1/2 T basil pesto.

3. Put 1/4 c. Italian cheese blend on the pesto side of one piece of bread. Layer 2 thin slices of salami on top of the cheese. Then add 1/4 c. Italian cheese blend on top of the salami. Top with the second slice of bread (pesto inside).

4. Cook on a griddle over medium-low heat until the bread is golden brown and the cheese is melted, flipping halfway through cooking.



(Cooking) Chocolate Cream-Filled Cupcakes

I have tried a lot of chocolate cupcakes in my day, but this one hands-down, takes the cake. They are amazing. The assembly for any filled treat requires a bit of time and patience, but trust me when I say this recipe is worth it.

Chocolate Cream-Filled Cupcakes

1 c flour
1/2 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
1/3 c cocoa powder
3/4 c sugar
1/2 c sour cream
1/2 c oil
1/2 c boiling water
2 eggs
1 t vanilla extract

3 T water
3/4 t unflavored gelatin
4 T butter, softened
1 t vanilla extract
1/8 t salt
1 1/4 c marshmallow cream

1/2 c semisweet chocolate chips
3 T butter

1. Mix flour, baking soda, and salt.

2. Whisk (boiling) water, cocoa, and chocolate chips in a separate bowl until smooth and the chocolate chips are melted. Add sugar, sour cream, oil, eggs and vanilla to chocolate mixture and blend.

3. Fold the flour mixture into the chocolate and egg mixture. Stir until moistened.

4. Pour batter into 12 greased muffin cups. Bake at 325 degrees for about 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool slightly and then remove from muffin cups. Cool completely.

5. Filling: Mix water and gelatin and let it stand for 5 minutes. Microwave for about 30 seconds or until the gelatin dissolves. Add butter, vanilla and salt. Cool for about 5 minutes before mixing in the marshmallow cream. Blend until smooth. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until set. Set aside 1/3 c. Put the rest of the filling into a pastry bag (or us a ziploc bag with a corner clipped off).

6. Once the cupcakes have cooled, cut a cone shape out of the top of the cupcake, about 2 inches deep. Remove cone and cut off the tip (to create space for the filling). Fill the cupcake with about one tablespoon of the filling and then replace the circular top.

7. Glaze: Melt chocolate and butter in a bowl (30-60 seconds) and stir until smooth. Let the glaze cool (10-15 minutes) and then top each cupcake with about one tablespoon of the glaze. Let sit for 15 minutes and then use the remaining filling to pipe decorative curlicues across the top of the cupcakes.


(Cooking) Enchiladas

This is one of my family’s favorite enchilada recipes. It is quick, easy, and packed with rich Mexican flavors without being too spicy. I have made it with ground meats and also with chicken before – both are delicious!


1 lb ground beef, ground turkey, or shredded chicken
1 onion, chopped
1 t minced garlic
1 T Worcestershire sauce
1 8oz can tomato sauce
1 t paprika
2 t chili powder
1/2 t cumin
1/4 t salt
1/4 t black pepper
3 c shredded Mexican cheese blend
1 10oz can enchilada sauce
Tortillas, flour or corn (if making gluten free) (quantity will vary between 6-12 depending on tortilla size)

1. Cook onion in a little bit of oil until tender. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add cooked meat, tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, salt, black pepper, chili powder, and cumin. Simmer for 10 minutes.

2. Pour 1/3 of the enchilada sauce into the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish.

3. Fill each tortilla with a scoop of the meat mixture (amount depends on size of the tortilla) and cheese. Roll up tortilla and place it into the baking dish seam side down. Repeat with all tortillas. Top enchiladas with remaining enchilada sauce and cheese.

4. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until bubbling.

Garnish with sour cream and cilantro.


(Cooking) Dipped Oreos

Every holiday season, I look forward to those fudge dipped Oreos gracing the grocery store shelves. And every holiday season, I buy the overpriced box of only twelve dipped cookies and savor every bite.

This year as I indulged in my delectable holiday cookie, it dawned on me how easy and much cheaper they would be to make. And an added bonus? I could use double-stuffed Oreos! As you may have seen in my Photography 365 – 2010, I was not disappointed.


To make this yummy treat, all I did was melt Almond Bark/Vanilla Candy Coating (you could also splurge and use real white baking chocolate, but I found this cheaper alternative did nicely) in the microwave for 30 seconds, stirred it, and continued to cook and stir in 15 second intervals until it was melted. Then, using a pair of tongs, I dipped each cookie until it was completely coated. The cookies were then set on parchment paper until they hardened.

Eat and enjoy!

*Tip – For a decorative touch, you can drizzle the dipped cookies with melted dark chocolate and/or add a slice of strawberry to the top.


(Cooking) Cooking Potatoes

Mashed Potatoes are a holiday staple. Who can imagine a Thanksgiving table without a bowl overflowing with the fluffy goodness??

Making mashed potatoes, though, is an involved and messy process. Scrubbing, peeling, chopping, boiling, mashing….and then all of the dirty dishes that follow! By adopting a slightly different cooking technique, you can efficiently remove the messiest and most time consuming steps.

Bake your potatoes (either in the microwave or oven) instead of chopping and boiling. After they have cooled slightly, scoop out the potato flesh with a spoon or gently pull back the peel with a knife. Mash the potatoes like normal, just add slightly more milk (This is because the potatoes do not absorb water during the baking process like they do when boiled). You will actually find the potatoes to be smoother and creamier than when made through boiling!

*Note – Making mashed potatoes this way also affords you some extra flexibility in timing! While you normally have to mash the potatoes immediately after boiling, it is much easier to keep baked potatoes warm until you are ready to mash and serve them.


(Cooking) Crepes

Crepes are often viewed as a delicate gourmet dish, but they are actually no more difficult to make than pancakes. They are simply bigger and are made from a thinner batter. Crepes make a fabulous breakfast, brunch, or even dinner. You can fill them with berries, bananas, cream cheese, applesauce, or even just butter and cinnamon sugar or a dab of melted chocolate. However or whenever you serve them, they are a fresh and light dish.


3 T butter, melted
2 c milk
6 eggs
1 c flour or GF Flour mix*


Melt butter. Add milk and eggs. Beat with a whisk until mixed. Add flour and beat until smooth.

Pour one ladle full of batter onto a lightly buttered skillet over medium heat. Cook until the top side is mostly dry or the bottom side is lightly browned. Flip and cook the opposite side until it is also lightly browned.

Remove from the skillet and fill with desired fillings. Top with confectioner’s sugar or cinnamon sugar if desired.

*Gluten free flour mix: 6 c. brown rice flour, 2 c. potato starch, 1 c. tapioca starch


(Cooking) Salsa Chicken and Black Bean Soup

I discovered this recipe on the Crockpot 365 blog and it has become one of our cold weather favorites! It is packed with flavor and the avocado slices add a cool and creamy (and healthy!) touch. This is a recipe your whole family will love.

Salsa Chicken and Black Bean Soup

soup1 lb chicken tenderloins

2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed

4 c chicken broth

1 c sliced mushrooms

1 c frozen corn

1 jar (16oz) prepared salsa

1 ½ t cumin

½ c sour cream

shredded cheddar cheese, avocado slices, cilantro (opt)

1. Drain and rinse beans. Add to the a 4qt or larger crockpot. Put in the chicken and add the broth and salsa. Add corn, mushrooms, and cumin. Stir, but don’t disturb the beans – let them stay at the bottom of the pot, closest to the heating element.

2. Cover and cook on high for 4-5 hours or on low for 6-8 hours.

3. (Opt) To thicken the broth, use an immersible blender to blend some of the beans and chicken. Or scoop out 2 cups of the soup and blend in a traditional blender. Add blended soup back into the crockpot.

4. Stir in the sour cream before serving and garnish with shredded cheese and avocado slices.


(Cooking) Chocolate Satin Pie

If you are craving something light and chocolaty, then you will fall in love with this creamy, chilled, chocolate delight.


Chocolate Satin Pie

1 cup sugar

3/4 cup butter

3 oz unsweetened chocolate, melted

1 tsp vanilla extract

3 eggs

1 Oreo pie shell

Cream the butter and sugar in a mixer for 4 minutes or until light and fluffy and the sugar has dissolved. Add chocolate and vanilla and mix one more minute. Add the eggs one at a time, beating on high for at least 1 ½ minutes after each egg. Scrape down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Transfer to the pie shell and chill 5 to 24 hours in the refrigerator, or 15 minutes in the freezer.

Top with whipped cream.


(Cooking) Cooking Magazines

We all go through phases of being tired of our recipe rotation. Recipes that were once favorites and fresh can seem unappealing and bland after cycling through them too many times. Cooking becomes more of a mundane chore and you either come to dread it or spend more money eating out.

Cooking magazines are a fabulous way to spice up your menu. For less than the cost of one dinner eaten out, you can get an entire year’s subscription to a cooking magazine or two. This puts fresh new recipes and inspiring ideas in your mailbox every month. When you are menu planning, incorporate one or two of the new recipes into each week. Your recipe collection will gradually take on a new face and it will give you something to look forward to cooking. A few new ideas can have a big impact on dinnertime.


*Tip #1 - The “Cooks Country” magazine pictured above is my all-time favorite cooking magazine! Their recipes are always delicious and they walk you through (in an upbeat and simple format) the cooking experimentation process of most of the recipes so that you also learn technique! To start finding your favorite cooking magazines, spend some time in the magazine section of your local bookstore. You can also send off for a free trial of most magazines.

*Tip #2 – When you cook up a new family favorite, be sure to add the recipe to your file so that you don’t forget it!