February 11, 2014


 I’ve wanted to make these for a while now. I just never took the time to make them until Sunday night.  They were super easy to make, and they came out great despite the fact that I didn’t use real butter or granulated sugar. As usual, I modified the ingredients a bit. You may visit Express and Cream (link below) for the original recipe.


  • 1 ½ cups almond flour (I used almond and walnut flour blend)
  • ¼ cup butter, softened (I used nature balance.)
  • ¼ cup sugar (I used organic brown sugar)
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ cup carob chips (I used organic carob nibs that I purchased from the farmer’s market.)
  • ¼ cup raw pecans


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper (a definite plus!). Use an electric mixer to cream sugar and butter together. Blend in egg, followed by salt, vanilla and baking soda. Stir in flower, until just combined. Add pecans and carob chips. The dough will be soft, not the usual consistency of chocolate chip cookies. So, don’t be alarmed. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto the cookie sheet. Bake 10 minutes. Transfer from cookie sheet to cooling rack. Yields 12 cookies. Enjoy!

*Original recipe from Express and Cream.


  • 1 cup apple juice
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce (low sodium prefereably)
  • 2 teaspoons raw honey
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice (preferably fresh)
  • 1 lb ahi tuna steak (enough for 2 servings)
  • Sesame seeds for sprinkling


  • Whish together the sherry, ginger, soy sauce, honey, garlic and lime juice in a bowl.
  • Place the tuna in a small dish or Ziploc bag. Pour 1/2  cup of the mixture over it (reserve the rest for the glaze after cooking)
  • Heat a pan or grill (I used an indoor grill b/c of the icy/rainy/snowy weather in Atlanta today. While the grill is heating, pat the tuna steak dry with a paper towel. Brush all sides of the tuna steak with olive oil or vegetable oil.
  • Put the remaining marinade in a pan and cook until it has a syrupy consistency (about 10 minutes).
  • Sear tuna steak for 2 – 4 minutes on each side (if you are using a traditional grill or a pan. I used a double sided grill, so I cooked it for 4 minutesbecause I am not a fan of fish that is too rare.
  • Brush the tuna steak with the glaze, slice and serve immediately.

 I served this dish with sautéed kale and organic brown coconut rice.

*I discovered this recipe on Phenomenal Foods, and I altered the recipe, as usual. 🙂 

December 31, 2013


This morning I made crawfish cornbread, which is basically dressing with fish stock (instead of chicken broth) and crawfish. Tomorrow, I am making seafood gumbo instead of the traditional New Year’s Day Meal. I washed too many collards for Christmas to even think about washing more for tomorrow. 🙂 Here is a picture and my recipe.


2 cups corn meal
1 can creamed corn
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup fish stock (recipe to be posted with Gumbo recipe)
1/2 cup celery – diced (about 1 stalk
1 bell pepper – diced
1 medium onion – diced
1 1/2 cups of cheese – shredded
1 1/2 tsp – baking soda
1/2 cup vegetable oil
Salt, pepper, garlic powder, red pepper flakes (and any other favorite seasoning) to taste
1 tsp sage
1 lb peeled and cleaned crawfish tails (I always add these and the eggs last so that I can taste the recipe as I go)
3 eggs


1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees
2) Grease a 15 x 10.5 inch baking dish with Crisco or oil (I like it thin.) But, if you prefer a thicker version, use a 9 x 13 inch pan.
3) Mix all ingredients (reserving eggs and crawfish until the end)
4) Pour the mixture into the pan and bake for 50 minutes. If you use ramekins, grease them as well. But, you only need to bake them for 25 – 30 minutes. Allow to cool 10 minutes before serving.

October 28, 2013

Wine & Dark Chocolate (Brownies that is)

I have been making brownies for such a long time.  They are the first dessert I ever made.  Now, I either make them from scratch or tweak a store bought mix. I’ll share my recipe, but if it seems too daunting, there is an alternative for you at the end of the recipe.


  • 1 1/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter – room temperature
  • 3/4 cup red wine
  • 3 large eggs – room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 – 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Grease and flour an 8×8 or 9×13 (depending upon how thick you like your brownies).Set it aside.
  • Melt chocolate and butter in saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently until smooth. Remove from stove and allow to cool 3 – 5 minutes.
  • Mix eggs, sugar, vanilla, baking powder and salt in a large bowl with a spoon.  Add wine and the chocolate and butter mixture. Mix until combined. Add the flour until you don’t see any white streaks.
  • Pour the batter into the pan you prepared.
  • Bake for 25 – 30 minutes (depending upon your oven).
  • Remove from oven when fork inserted in center comes out clean.
  • Allow to cool for about 15 minutes before slicing and serving. This pairs well with vanilla or red velvet ice cream. 🙂

An easier version of these brownies is using any red wine in place of the water to Ghiradelli (or any brand) Dark Chocolate Brownie Mix.  Don’t for get the nuts!!

September 2, 2013

Yesterday morning I woke up with a hankering for strawberry banana pancakes.  So, before I got out of bed to walk Ivori I found a recipe on a food blog – Can You Stay for Dinner? –that I modified, of course. 🙂 My modified recipe is below. Click here to view the original recipe. The cupcakes were delicious. More importantly, they were easy.  So much so, that I made more this morning before church.


  • ½ cup almond flour
  • ½ cup wheat flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • ¾ – 1 cup of milk (I used 1 cup because I like my pancakes thin/flat and crunchy around the edges)
  • 1 egg
  • Tsp of vanilla
  • 3 dashes of cinnamon
  • 1 banana – mashed (or blended with the milk in a food processor)
  • ½ cup strawberries – sliced

Mix all ingredients, EXCEPT strawberries. After ingredients are blended together, gently stir in strawberries. Pour desired amount of batter into an oiled frying pan or griddle. Cook for 3 minutes and then flip, cooking 2 more minutes. I don’t particularly like fluffy pancakes, so I omitted the baking powder.

Makes 2 pancakes – 1 for breakfast and 1 for lunch or dinner.

The dressing recipes below are variations of the dressing I make for my kale salad. I got the recipe at my job’s wellness fair and have been using it ever since.


  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can cannellini beans
  • 1 can red kidney beans
  • 1 can garbanzo beans
  • 1 can northern beans
  • ½ red onion
  • 1 tbsp of fresh rosemary
  • ½ green bell pepper


  • 1/3 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Honey (you may use sugar instead)
  • 4 dashes Salt (more or less depending upon your preference)
  • 3 dashes of Pepper  (more or less depending upon your preference)

Drain and rinse all beans. Pour the beans into a bowl.  Add chopped onion, chopped bell pepper and rosemary.

Shake up dressing ingredients in a jar or whisk in a metal or glass bowl.

Pour the dressing over the beans.  Toss to coat. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours to allow beans to absorb the flavors.


  • 1 bag of frozen organic white corn (Trader Joe’s)
  • ½ bell pepper
  • ½ red onion

Cook corn according to package instructions.  While corn is cooking make dressing. Rinse corn with cold water and pour into a bowl. Add chopped bell pepper and chopped onion. Pour dressing over corn salad. Stir salad to coat contents with dressing, then refrigerate for at least two hours before serving.

  •  Dressing
  • ¼ cup White wine vinegar
  • ½ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 clove Minced Garlic (a tbsp of minced garlic from a jar works too)
  • 2 tbsp Honey
  •  1 tbsp Dijon Mustard
  • 2 or 3 dashes of hot sauce
  • Salt – to taste
  • Pepper – to taste

Optional:  add sliced cherry tomatoes and tomato basil feta cheese

 It is best to make both of these salads the night before you serve them.  This gives the corn and beans a chance to absorb the seasonings.

August 22, 2013

Potato, Corn and Broccoli Chowder

(a modification of Karen Ehman’s Cheesy Corn Chowder)

I read a devotion from Proverbs 31 Ministries almost every morning.   Monday morning, I wandered to the blog of that day’s writer – Karen Ehman. She had posted a recipe for Cheesy Corn Chowder.  It sounded good and looked easy.  On top of that, I had almost all of the necessary ingredients in my pantry and freezer.  So, Tuesday when I got home from work I endeavored to make the Chowder.  My taste testers liked it!  I modified the recipe a bit.  If you are interested in seeing how it differs from Karen’s click here.

Combine the following in a large pot:

  • 5 cups of vegetable broth
  • 5 cups of Yukon Gold potatoes – peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 onion – chopped
  • 3 celery stalks – chopped finely
  • Cook covered for 45 minutes.

Puree (in a blender or food processor):

  • 1 16oz bag of steamed Broccoli
  • the other half of the onion
  • 2 cups of soup mixture
  • 1 can of broccoli and cheese soup

Pour the mixture back into the pot and stir. Then add:

  • 3 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 – 16oz bag of frozen corn
  • 1/4 cup parsley
  • 1 can cream of celery
  • 1 can cream of mushroom
  • 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup of shredded havarti cheese

Simmer for about 1 and a half hours (stirring occasionally). Then add:

  • 1 8 ounce container of sour cream
  • Salt, pepper and garlic seasoning  to taste

Stir well and serve.

July 24, 2013

These recipes have been a long time coming. But, I’m finally posting them. These were both very easy to make and everyone tasted them liked the tastes.

I’m not good at following recipes – sometimes because an ingredient is not something I will use a lot, other times because I don’t have it (because I did a poor job of planning my grocery list) and don’t feel like going back out to buy it and still other times because I just think my way would taste better. 🙂




  • 6 Peaches – washed, peeled and sliced
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 4 tsp Butter
  • 1/4 cup Peach Bourbon – optional
  • Flour to thicken peach juice – optional

Place butter, sliced peaches, sugar and cinnamon in a boiler.  Bring to a boil and let simmer until most the juice is gone (about 15-20 minutes). If peaches are still too soupy, add flour (1 tsp at a time) to thicken the mixture.

While peaches are in the boiler, make the crust.

Crust* – a store bought crust works fine too (:-)

1 cup Crisco at room temperature
1/2 Flour
1/4 cup Ice Water
1 tsp Sugar (my addition :-))

Combine all ingredients by hand in a bowl (my favorite) or in a dough mixer.  Sprinkle flour on your dough mat or the clean counter. Put the ball of dough on the mat or counter. Use a rolling pin to get the dough to your desired thickness. Use a knife to cut the dough in the shape you need – square, rectangle or round.

*Double the recipe since you will need a crust on the top and bottom of the cobbler.

Spray dish with canola oil and press crust into the dish
Pour peaches 2/3 of the way of the dish.

Add top layer of crust.  If you want to be fancy, you can do the lattice crust.  I like crust, so a lattice style crust would not be something I’d ever do (when making a pie or cobbler that I plan on serving at my event.  The crust is the best part.  🙂

Sprinkle a tablespoon of sugar on the top of the crust. If you are using agave or honey, wait until you remove the cobbler from the oven before drizzling it with honey or agave.



2 sticks of butter (at room temperature)
2 cups of sugar (OR 1 cup of agave nectar or honey)
3 cups of almond flour (you can use all purpose or cake flour if you don’t have almond flour)
6 peaches peeled and sliced (2 cups canned peaches)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup sour cream
6 eggs

Grease and flour a bundt cake pan.
Spread 1 cup of almonds in the bottom of the pan (will be the top once the cake is baked and turned out)
Mix the butter and sugar until if is soft and fluffy.
Add the eggs, 1 at a time.  (So, add and egg and mix well.  Add another egg, and mix well.  Repeat until all eggs have been added.)
Add flour, 1 cup at a time. Mix well.
Add sour cream. Mix well.
Add extracts. Mix well.
Add salt and baking soda. Mix Well
Fold peaches in with a spatula or spoon
Pour batter into the cake pan.
Place on middle oven rack.

Original Recipe from the Taste of Home.


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Fried Green Tomatoes and Garlic – Cheese Grits


I have been on t his green tomato kick since the 4th of July. Since then, I have fried green tomatoes 3 times – The most recent time being last night for dinner.


I have also discovered the ease and beauty of paper plates.

April 23, 2013

I made both of these recipes for a birthday party that I decorated for this past weekend.  I made two versions of the lime bars.  I version had tequila and a vanilla wafer crust.  The non-alcoholic version had a graham cracker crumb crust. Both were good, but I liked the tequila/vanilla wafer version better.  But, the people who only had the non-alcoholic/graham cracker version said those were really good too. You be the judge!




8 avocados (1 avocado for every 3-4 people/servings)
1 can of white corn (drained and rinsed)
1 can of black bean (drained and rinsed)
1 large tomato, diced (reserve 1/4 for garnish)
1/3 cup lime juice
Salt, pepper and JD’s Vegan Bacon Salt to taste
Cilantro (optional)



Cut avocados in half, lengthwise.
Remove the meat of the fruit with a spoon and put into a bowl.
Mash the avocado until you achieve the texture you want (lumpy or smooth). lumpy as you would like.
Add all seasonings. Use less seasoning if you will be using seasoned chips.  Mix well.
Add lime juice.  Mix well.
Add corn, tomato and black beans. Mix.
Refrigerate for about 4 hours (less, if you are making a smaller batch) before serving.
Garnish with tomatoes in the center.


My favorite seasoned chips for guacamole.



1 12-ounce box vanilla wafers
1/2 cup walnuts, pine nuts or macadamia nuts
3/4 cup unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), melted
1/3 cup Lime tequila
1/2 cup fresh lime juice (juice of 3 limes)
5 large egg yolks, plus 2 egg whites
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 tablespoon sugar
Agave nectar for drizzling
zest of 2 limes


Preheat oven to 350°. Pour box of vanilla wafers and walnuts in the food processor and pulse.  Reserve 1/3 cup of graham cracker crumbs to use as garnish.
Press the graham cracker crumbs into the bottom of a 9×13 pyrex dish.  Bake for 15 minutes. Cool.
In a medium bowl, whisk tequila, lime juice, lime zest, egg yolks and condensed milk.
In another bowl, use a hand mixer to mix egg whites and sugar.  Gently fold the egg white mixture into the tequila mixture.
Pour mixture over the cooled cracker crust and spread evenly.
Bake in oven for about 25 minutes; cool.
Drizzle top with agave nectar, then sprinkle crumbs.
Chill in refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving.


The original recipe is from The Novice Chef Blog.

Variation – LIME BARS:


2 cups of graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup walnuts
3/4 cup unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), melted
1/3 cup Water
1 cup fresh lime juice (6 lime)
5 large egg yolks, plus 2 egg whites
1 14-ounce can whole milk
1 tablespoon honey
Agave nectar for drizzling
zest of 2 limes

I made two batches of these.  The first batch was for a birthday party, the other was a variation that I took to church.


Preheat oven to 350°. Mix graham cracker crumbs and melted butter in food processor or by hand. (I used the ninja dough mixer)
Put nuts in food processor until they are ground up.  Mix the ground nuts with the graham cracker crumbs.   Reserve 1/3 cup of graham cracker crumbs to  use as garnish.
Press the graham cracker crumbs into the bottom of a 9×13 pyrex dish.  Bake for 15 minutes. Cool.  It was cold and rainy the day I made these, so I set them out side to speed up the cooling process.
In a medium bowl, whisk water, lime juice, lime zest, egg yolks and whole milk.
In another bowl, use a hand mixer to mix egg whites and honey. Gently fold the egg white mixture into the water and lime juice mixture.
Pour mixture over the graham cracker crumbs and spread evenly.
Bake in oven for about 25 minutes; cool.
Drizzle top with agave nectar, then sprinkle crumbs.
Chill in refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving.


April 11, 2013

I found a Do – it – Yourself – Lara Bar Recipe on Test Kitchen Tuesday, a site I stumble upon googling “ninja recipes.”  The owner has a Ninja, and she posts some really interesting recipes.  This recipe seemed easy enough, and if the results were good it would prove cost effective.  So, I gathered the necessary ingredients and went to work.  I’d never had a Lara Bar until 2 days ago (Tuesday); I have been buying Clif Bars.  The authentic Lara bars have chunks of nuts in them.  But, with the Ninja, I left the nuts in a few seconds too long, which results in almond and cashew flour.  (As it turns out, I actually prefer the texture of the bars made with the pulverized nuts over the real Lara Bars.)   The results were great; my taste testers liked them.  I’ll definitely be making more this weekend.  If you prefer the texture of chunks in the bars, just crush the nuts and chop the dates by hand (or pay attention to the food processor setting). 🙂

In addition to being cost effective, you can make bars that have the exact ingredients you like.  The most expensive thing will be the medjool dates;  but, your local farmer’s market should sell them more cheaply than the supermarket.


  • 1/4 cup cashews
  • 1 scoop protein powder
  • 8 Medjool Dates



  • Pour nuts into food processor (or chop by hand).
  • Once chopped to your satisfaction, add to small mixing bowl.
  • Cut dates in half, and put in food processors.
  • Pour dates into bowl; add protein powder (optional).
  • Mix, using your hand; it will turn into a lump.
  • Put mixture on wax paper to flatten and shape it ( I did a rounded square).
  • Cut into three bars, wrap individually and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator (at least for an hour or two).  

The coldness helps the ingredients bind together.  But, as long as the bars are in an airtight container, they don’t have to remain in the refrigerator.  I have one in my desk drawer now.


Finished Product – your recipe will yield 3 bars about this size (depending upon the desired thickness).


* Recipe obtained from Test Kitchen Tuesday.



  • 1/4 cup almonds
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 6 Medjool Dates
  • 1 scoop protein powder

I like the idea of adding protein powder because I need more protein in my diet.  Since I’m a pescatarian, I have to be intentional about adding protein to every meal and snack.

If you use a food processor, you can drop the cranberries in with the dates.


  • 6 dates and 1/4 cup of any type of nut will get you a basic bar.
  • If you want to add protein powder, add 2 – 3 additional dates per scoop of protein powder.



If you’d like to add more dry items (nuts, powders, etc.), you will have to use more dates or dried fruit similar to dates (dried cranberries, raisins, prunes, etc.) so that the ingredients will mix well and hold together.

Recipe from Test Kitchen Tuesday.

March 25, 2013


My aunt picked these greens for me from her garden.
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1 bunch (or bag) of Collard Greens
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Pepper
1 tsp Seasoning Salt
1/4 cup Olive Oil
Sugar (optional)

Wash Greens

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Rinse Greens ( I rinse them twice)

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Remove Stems

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Roll Greens (4 or 5 leaves at a time) and cut into strips (skip this step if you use bagged greens)

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Place in a large pot and cover with water.
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Add Oil and Seasonings
Cook on medium – high heat for 20 minutes
Cover and cook over low heat for another 30 minutes (more if you have a large amount of greens) or until greens are tender.
Add more seasoning as desired.

This was my first time cooking greens without sugar.  I must say, they were delicious, even without the sugar.

1 cup Corn Meal
1/2 Red Bell Pepper
1 cup Pepper Jack Cheese
1/2 cup creamed corn
1/4 tsp Salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk

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Preheat oven to 400°. Mix all ingredients until well blended.  Pour mixture into an oiled cast iron skillet. Place in preheated oven for 30 – 40 minutes (or until a knife is inserted and removed clean from the center).

I usually use Jiffy for to make cornbread.  But, since I’m trying to be healthier and remove unnecessary refined sugar from my diet, I decided I would make the cornbread from scratch.

*Original Recipe from Country Living
My original plan was to use this recipe to make cornbread balls  to go with the chili I made for my Super Bowl party, but I ran out of time.  I made a pan of cornbread because I didn’t feel like shaping and frying individual balls.  You can also add beer (1/2 cup or so) to this recipe, just reduce the amount of liquid by omitting the corn and reducing to only 1 egg.

8oz. can albacore tuna
15 oz.  can white kidney beans
1/2 diced red onion
1/4 cup salad cubes
Bread of your choice (I used whole wheat)
1/2 cup Mayo or Plain Greek Yogurt (more or less, depending upon the desired creaminess)
Salt and Pepper to taste
Sliced Tomato – for sandwich
Havarti Cheese – for sandwich

Drain and rinse beans
Mash beans with a spoon
Mix in tuna
Add onion, salad cubes, mayo, mustard, salt and pepper
*Recipe from Better Homes and Gardens

Lightly toast bread in toaster or in frying pan before putting on sandwich press (saves a little time). This recipe was very filling.  Also, the beans really stretched the can of tuna.


photo 4
1 1/2 cups Strawberries (chilled)
1 cup Pineapple (chilled)
1 1/2 cups Mango (chilled)
1 1/2 cups Blackberries (chilled)
3 Kiwi (chilled)
Canned pizza crust
1 small tub of reduced fat Philadelphia strawberry cream cheese (or strawberry greek yogurt)

Grease a cookie sheet
Open canned pizza crust
Use a rolling pin to roll the dough out (the thinner the dough, the more crispy the bread)
Bake according to package instructions
Remove from oven and allow to cool for about 20 minutes
Flip the bread over so that you have a smooth surface for application of the cream cheese.

photo 1                                photo 3 photo 2
You can mix all the fruit together and spread it evenly over the cream cheese OR, if you are like me and like each bite to taste the same, you can place the same amount of fruit on each section (if you choose the latter, decide whether you will slice it into 9, 12 or 16 pieces before beginning to place the fruit on the cream cheese).

Initially, I thought the pizza wouldn’t be sweet enough and that I’d have to drizzle honey on top.  But, the taste was perfect. I forgot to get a package of blackberries.  That would’ve given it more color.

Next time I will use Greek yogurt (lots more protein and no fat – depending on the brand you use).  This treat was my dessert last night.  But, I will definitely  make this for breakfast the next time I have overnight guests.  It will pair perfectly with coffee.  I’ll also add powdered sugar for visual effect. There are many of variations on the fruit pizza recipe.

* I adapted my recipe from one I found on .  I opted for a pizza crust botoom instead of the sugar cookie.  You could even substitution cream cheese for whipped cream. 


March 2, 2013

Crock Pot Yellow and Zucchini Squash Soup


4 Yellow Squash
3 Zucchini
4 carrots
1 bag Early Peas
Tomato Soup (recipe below)
1 cup Spinach (optional)
1/2 cup Mushrooms – sliced (optional)
1/2 Onion (optional)


Wash and slice squash and zucchini
Add spinach,grated* carrots (photo above),  mushrooms and frozen sweet peas to the tomato soup to create a vegetable mixture. (I had spinach and mushrooms left from a dish I made on Monday night, so I threw those ingredients in.)
Spray crock pot with olive oil cooking spray
Add a layer of yellow squash. Season with a few shakes of salt and pepper.
Add a layer of zucchini. Season with salt and pepper.
Add 1/2 of the veggie mixture. Repeat process with squash, zucchini and veggie mixture.
Put the top of the crock pot and cook on high for 3 – 3 1/2 hours or on low 6 – 7 hours.  I didn’t make this until about 10:00 on Wednesday night, so I let it cook on LOW overnight until I got up to go to the gym around 5:30 the next morning.

*Wash Carrots, remove the outer layer with a carrot peeler; rinse the carrots again and then grate them (or you can dice them if you prefer).



Tomato Soup


10 tomatoes
1/2 cup olive oil
1/8 cup oregano
1/8 cup Basil
1/8 cup Sugar
2 tsp Salt
1 tbsp Pepper


Wash, peel and cut tomatoes.
Place the tomatoes, oil and all seasoning in a large pot.  Bring the tomatoes to a boil and then reduce the heat.  Let them simmer for about 30 minutes. Pour 1/2 the mixture in a blender or food processor.  Puree’.  Pour the puree’d tomatoes back into the pot. Remove the pot from the heat.

I didn’t take step by step photos of this recipe because I was just experimenting and didn’t really know if the recipe would turn out ok. The photo below is the soup with grated carrots, mushrooms and spinach in it.

Leftover squash, zucchini and onion (sautee’d with olive oil) turned into lunch the next day.  I seasoned with ground pepper and sea salt.image

Kale Salad
1 bag of Kale
1 cup of Red Cabbage – I made fish tacos last week, and I had leftover red cabbage, so I added it for some color.
1/4 cup Sun Flower Seeds
1/2 cup raw Walnuts
1/2 cup dried cranberry seeds
1/2 cup EVOO
1/4 cup diced red onion (optional)*
Juice of 4 Lemons (or 1/2 cup of lemon juice)*
salt and pepper to taste

I adapted this recipe from the kale salad sold at Whole Foods. They use pine nuts, which are expensive. So, I use walnuts.  I haven’t made this salad since September probably. For the first time, I added sunflower seeds and red cabbage. I usually add diced red onion, but I had red cabbage left over from the fish tacos I made last week and didn’t want to waste it.  I hate throwing food away.

Wash kale and remove stems.
Massage kale for about 1 minute. It will become less voluminous and softer.  This will allow it to absorb the flavors of the other ingredients better.
Place 1/2 of kale in the bowl you will store or serve it in.  Pour a bit of the olive oil and lemon juice over that portion. Add a few shakes of salt and pepper. Mix it.  Repeat this process with the remaining kale, lemon juice and olive oil. You can use a salad tosser to mix everything together, but I prefer to use my hands. Garnish with red cabbage, sun flower seeds, walnuts and dried cranberries

* Use more EVOO and lemon juice if you like a more moist salad.


February 12, 2013


I served all of these foods  at my Super Bowl Party.   From the responses, I think everything was tasty.


My recipe made enough for my 16 party guests and me, plus I had lots of leftovers, which I froze and gave away.  So, I adapted the recipe below to make 1/3 of what I made for Sunday. I used the slow cooker setting on my roaster to make the chili. Everyone thought I used ground beef! So, I think that is a testament to the taste, if I do say so myself. 🙂



  • 1 bag of meatless crumbles/vegetarian ground beef (use more if you want meatier chili)
  • 1 can of pinto beans
  • 1 can of black beans
  • 1 can of ranch beans
  • 1 can of white kidney beans
  • 1 can of dark red kidney beans
  • 1 can of whole kernel corn
  • 2 cans of diced tomatoes
  • ½ onion
  • ½ green bell pepper
  • ½ red bell pepper
  • 3 whole tomatoes, washed and sliced in half
  • 1 packet of chili powder
  • 1 tbsp Basil
  • 1 cup Masterpiece barbecue sauce
  •  1 cup beer (use whatever you have on hand; I used Bud Light Platinum)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Saute’ the meatless crumbles in a pan for 5 – 10 minutes over medium heat.  Put meatless crumbles and all other ingredients in slow cooker and let cook on low for about 4 hours or high for 1 ½ – 2 hours.  If you use a soup pot, cook on medium heat until it bowls, then cover and reduce heat for 1 hour. Serve with diced onions, sour cream and shredded cheddar cheese.

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  • 2 packages of fresh spinach (or 1 package of frozen)
  • 1 can artichokes (drained, rinsed and chopped)
  • 1 package cream cheese (softened)
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 package of spinach dip seasoning
  • 2 cups Parmesan cheese



Wash spinach, put it in a microwave safe bowl and heat for about 1 ½ minutes (or until leaves begin to wilt). Remove from microwave, roll up several leaves at a time and chop. Drain and rinse artichokes, then chop them. Mix sour cream, cream cheese, 1 cup of Parmesan cheese and seasoning packet.  Mix in chopped spinach and chopped artichokes. Pour mix in several buttered ramekins (4 – 4 inch)or 1 large dish. Sprinkle the top with the remaining cup of cheese. Bake in oven at 350° for 10 mins (multiple ramekins) or 20 minutes (1 large dish).



  • 1 can refried beans
  • Taco Seasoning
  • Brown Rice – 1 serving
  • Salsa
  • Guacamole
  • Sour Cream
  • Mexican Cheese

Garnish : 1 roma tomato –  diced, black olives – chopped, and green onions – chopped



Mix taco seasoning with can of refried beans.  Layer the ingredients in whichever order you prefer, but my suggestion is heavier ingredients on the bottom.



I didn’t have that many meatballs left. So, I estimate that this recipe will feed about 20 people.  I used a slow cooker for these. I made my sauce the night before.


  • 1 bottle of favorite barbecue sauce
  • 4 drops of Natural Smoke (accidental, but it turned out well. I thought it was the Worcestershire sauce.)
  • 1 cup of grape jelly

Put 2 ½ pounds of meatballs in a 6 quart crock pot and cover with sauce. Place the top on the slow cooker, and let them cook on high for 3 – 4 hours.


  • I cooked three different flavors of wings – Hot, Lemon Pepper and Tequila Lime.
  • For the lemon pepper, I simply used lemon pepper seasoning, a little salt and oil.
  • To season the hot wings, I used McCormick Chicken Chili Seasoning, a few drops of hot sauce and some Cajun seasoning.
  • I used McCormick Mojito Lime Marinade, made with tequila instead of vinegar for the Tequila Lime wings.
  •  I let all the chicken absorb the seasoning overnight in gallon sized zip lock bags.


Place wings on a cookie sheet. If you are making a large number of wings, you will need multiple baking sheets and oven racks, if available). Bake at 375° for 10 – 15 minutes per side.

 My friend Tiffany cooked the chicken while I finished up last minute party preparation.  Thank God for friends who are willing to help!



  • Gold skinned/Yukon gold potatoes (1 potato per person)
  • Olive Oil
  • Crisco or other oil for frying
  • Salt
  • Italian seasoning
  • Dried Rosemary


Wash potatoes. Slice to desired thickness (with skins on).  Toss with salt, olive oil, rosemary and Italian seasoning. Fry about 2 – 3 minutes per side (longer if potatoes are thicker).


  • 1 package Betty Crocker Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix
  • 1 cup coconut
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1 stick butter (softened, NOT melted)

image image


Mix ingredients with hand (or in a dough mixer/food processor). Cook according to package instructions.  Makes about 24 cookies.


  • 1 bottle dry white wine
  • 1¼  cup pineapple juice
  • 1¼  cup orange juice
  • 1 can sprite or club soda (or 1 ½ cups champagne)
  • 4 cups pear or apple cider
  • 1 cup peach bourbon (or other flavored bourbon) – I used Midnight Moon Blackberry Moonshine. At Christmas, I used the apple pie flavor.


Make the sangria the day before you plan on serving it. Place fruit in the pitcher or bowl right before serving.  I typically use cranberries (if I can find them), pineapples, strawberries and apples.  This time I used black berries instead of apples.


I forgot to take a picture of the sangria in the punch bowl.  But, here is a glass of it. 


January 24, 2013

This week, breads and veggie burgers were on my list of things to make. Last Friday, I made lentil stew to freeze. All the recipes are below.

Enjoy in good health!


  • Ingredients: Raw Almonds
  • Equipment: Food Processor or Coffee Grinder and flour sifter


When I made the flour, I was tired, so I skipped a step – blanching the almonds.  Next time I decide to make almond flour, I will just buy blanched raw almonds.

Blanching Instructions

If you have raw almonds with the skins still on, you can blanch them to remove the skin. The process doesn’t seem to be that difficult.  It just seems time consuming.  Boil 2 cups of water for every cup of almonds.  Add almonds to boiling water.  Let them remain in the pot for about 1 minute.  Pour the almonds into a colander. Run cold water over the almonds to stop the cooking process.  Shake off the excess water and let them dry on paper towels or a cloth.  The almond skins will shrivel. Rub the skins off the almonds.  Let the almonds dry before grinding them.


This is the step I started with. 🙂 I rinsed the almonds and let them dry for about an hour.  I put ½ of almonds in the jar. Once the grinding started, I added the other half of the almonds to the jar. There were a few pieces that didn’t get crushed up very well, but I was able to pick those out with my hands.  Because I didn’t remove the skins from the almonds, the almond flour has dark brown specks, which various websites say doesn’t affect the taste of the products made with the flour.

image image  image


  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 package of instant yeast
  • 1 tbsp of sugar (or honey)
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp oil from tomatoes
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • ¼ cup chopped Sundried tomatoes

* I found this recipe on Tablespoon.

image  image 
           YEAST PACKET                                YEAST AND SUGAR
                                                                 The darker granules are the yeast.
 Dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water. When the yeast starts to foam it is active. 
Add the flour and all other ingredients to the bowl and combine. I mixed the bread with a spoon, until it got too tough. Then I had to use my hands.
  image  image
Place the bread in a greased loaf pan and cover it with a towel. Leave the bread for about 30 minutes.Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

imageThe bread rose, but it did not double in size. I stretched the bread to fill in the corners of the pan.

Bake approximately 30 minutes (until the crust is golden brown and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean).

Allow to cool completely before slicing. (I didn’t do this. I just has to cut a piece to taste it. :-))

This bread was delicious when it came out of the oven.  I ate a slice with olive oil and bread seasoning. I couldn’t believe how much it looked like real bread. It was not as airy and light as the bread you buy in the bread aisle at the grocery store, but it wasn’t heavy in any sense of the word.  I baked the loaf in anticipation of using it with my black bean burgers.

I have about 4 other bread recipes that I will be giving a try in the coming months.

image                                      Zucchini Bread                   Tomato Basil Loaf

Since I had zucchini some zucchini and extra almond flour, I decided to make zucchini bread too.


  • 2 cups almond flour
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp dried ground ginger
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup honey
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 ½ cups grated zucchini (approx. 5 baby zucchini) Grate zucchini without removing the dark green peel.
 I located this recipe on Comfy Belly. I love that name!
image  image 
Once the spices are added, the flour mixture gets darker


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Grease baking pan
  • Blend all dry ingredients
  • Add everything else (eggs, honey, olive oil and zucchini), blend well
  • Pour batter into baking pan and bake for 60 minutes.
  • Cool and slice. You can store it at room temperature for a few days. In the summer, I would suggest refrigerating it.

image image

I had extra zucchini, so I sliced it, drizzled it in olive oil, sprinkled it with sea salt and baked it for about 10 minutes while the bread baked.


  •  1 15 ounce can of sodium free black beans (rinsed and drained)
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ medium yellow onion – chopped
  • 1 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 1/8 cup corn meal
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste ( I didn’t add any additional salt, just two rotations of the pepper grinder)
  • 1 tbsp EVOO or canola oil
  • Hot sauce to taste (I added 4 drops)
  • 1 tbsp of your favorite burger or steak sauce  (I used Heinz 57)

Since I was making a small batch, I didn’t use a food processor. The spoon proved too difficult, so I used my hands to mash up the beans and mix everything together. I read the comments section of the original recipe found on the Whole Foods Market website, so I decided to add an extra egg and a little cornmeal to help hold things together. It worked well.

Shape the mixture into about 6 patties, more or less depending upon the size of the bread you are making the burgers to fit. Fry the burgers in canola oil, about 5 minutes on each side.


photo 1image

This is the first veggie burger I’ve ever made, and I was quite impressed with myself! The taste was awesome!

Instead of a hamburger bun, I used a slice of the bread I made the day before. I ate the sandwich open faced and I added strips of zucchini on top. Also, a healthier option would be to bake the burger.  Next time, I think I will add corn or quinoa.

photo 2

A trial calendar is coming up in the courtroom I’m assigned to. I know there will be days when I want real food, but I don’t feel like cooking. So, last Friday night, I made a pot of lentil stem and froze it. The recipe is simple and fast.


  • A bag of lentils (any flavor)
  • 2 tomatoes (peeled and diced)
  • 2 carrots (peeled and chopped)
  • 2 stalks of celery (chopped)
  • ½ bag of kale (washed, with stems removed)
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp EVOO
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Rinse the lentils and all the vegetables off. Peel and dice the tomatoes and carrots. Chop celery.  Toss everything in the pot, and bring it to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat and let it simmer for about 30 minutes. This recipe makes a lot.  I froze 2 large containers and 2 individuals sized containers.

image  image

 Ingredients  (minus oil, onion and seasoning)  Finished Product Ready for Storage 

January 17, 2013

4 large leeks, cut lengthwise
2 tbsp butter
2 cups water
2 cups veggie broth (or chicken broth for meat eaters)
2 lbs potatoes, peeled, diced into cubes
1/3 cup dried parsley
2 tsp chopped fresh thyme (or ½ tsp dried thyme)
salt and pepper to taste
Tabasco to taste (I used 4 drops)

*Original Recipe from Simply Recipes

Accident & Soup 027Accident & Soup 039

– Rinse the leeks. Cut the dark green, leafy parts off the top. Cut the leek in half length wise.  Do not remove the root.  Give it a quarter turn before cutting it in half length wise again. Rinse between the pieces to remove any dirt that may have gotten inside. Dice the leeks like the photo below.

– Cook leeks in butter with salt and pepper in a medium sized frying pan.

– Cover pan, cook on low heat for 10 minutes. Check often. DO NOT BROWN. Browning leeks causes a burnt taste.

– Put leeks, water, broth and potatoes in a large soup pot.  Bring to a low simmer and cook for 20-30 minutes.

– Put about half of the soup mixture into a blender, puree and return to pot. (Pureeing the soup gives it a creamy texture without the use of milk, cream or cheese.)

– Add majoram, parsley and thyme.

– Add a few dashes of Tabasco ( I added 4)

– Add more salt and pepper to taste.


Add a tub of Philadelphia Cooking Cream (a cup of whole milk or heavy whipping cream) after pureed soup has been returned to the pot.  I used 1/2 a tub of cooking cream in the part that I kept out. The portion that I froze doesn’t have the added calories.

For fresher vegetable broth, cook a bag (or two – depending on the size) of mixed vegetables in 3 – 4 cups of water. Reserve the liquid.

Salad 003Accident & Soup 032Accident & Soup 035

Look at the center photo. The small circle near the hole in the upper left corner of the cutting board is the root of the leek. Cut down to that part.

This recipe made a lot of soup, so I froze most of it. I regret that because what I kept in the fridge disappeared in 2 days because I shared it with 3 people (including my taste tester). Everyone said it was really good. Because the soup was so good, it went really fast, and I didn’t think to take a picture of it until I was washing the pot that I made it in. 🙂 I’m sure I will be defrosting the other batch soon. I’ll post pics then.


This salad was delicious. I had it for dinner Tuesday, and I took it for lunch yesterday and today.

Salad 010 Main Ingredients

1 bag of Spring Mix

2 cups of Almonds (walnuts or pecans)

Dried Cranberries

Sliced Pears

Candied Almonds (recipe below)

Vinaigrette Dressing (recipe below)

To Candy Nuts:  Bring ½ cup of water, 1 cup of sugar, 1 Tbsp of cinnamon, ½ Tsp of cayenne pepper to a boil in a medium saucepan.

Stir in almonds, keep stirring and boiling until the liquid has evaporated and is very thick. Pour onto a sheet of wax paper, separate with a fork and let them cool completely. I still have a lot of nuts left. I will use them as my pre-workout snack for a few days until they are gone.

Salad 005  Salad 007

You may see pecans in the pot and on the wax paper. Your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you. I used most of my almonds making almond flour, and I forgot to buy more.  So, I opted for pecans since that was the only other suitable nut I had in my pantry.

Vinaigrette Recipe:  Combine 2 Tbsp of Dijon mustard with ½ cup of Balsamic vinegar; slowly add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil (from now on, I will use EVOO) while whisking the mixture as it thickens. Once mixed, it will be brownish in color. I added 1 rotation each from the salt and pepper grinder.

The original vinaigrette recipe called for ¼ cup of vinegar. There was a little too much zest from the Dijon mustard. It cleared my sinuses. 🙂  So, I ended up adding more vinegar and olive oil to calm things down a bit. Next time, I will just decrease the amount of dijon mustard I use.  I have enough dressing for another salad or two remaining from this batch of dressing.  A little goes a long way.

I came across this recipe when I was looking at a running blog – Rachael and Sophie Run. The original recipe can be found there.


January 7, 2013

I got a Ninja® kitchen system for Christmas, so I have been blending, mixing and juicing A LOT.  Three of these recipes were made using the Ninja® components. I am not vegan.  Nothing is wrong with veganism. It’s just not for me.  I like eggs, cheese, milk and butter – add bread and you have meal. 🙂  I tried these recipes out of curiosity. I made these desserts New Years’ Eve so that my New Year’s Day dinner guests could sample them. And, since I was going to be sharing with a friend who is sugar averse, I used honey. I also used buckwheat flour instead of all purpose white flour. I suspect that you can use any flour of your choosing. I used about ½ as much honey as the sugar that was required (the notations are below). The liquidity of the honey made the cookie dough soupy, which did not turn out to be much of an issue.  I made the cookies first. So, by the time I made the pound cakes I knew I had to add more flour to the recipe to thicken the batter. The vegan cookies weren’t bad (that’s not such a good description, huh?). They just weren’t what I am used to. Also, since sugar helps provide the crispness in cookies, the cookies made with honey were more like tea cakes, so I renamed them carrot tea cakes.  🙂

Of the three desserts, my vegan friend liked the tea cakes best.  Everyone else liked one of the two cakes (mango or vegan) best. Of those two, more people liked the pound cake. The pound cake was my favorite of the three.  My taste tester preferred the mango cake over the pound cake and the tea cakes. So, as you can see, preferences are driven by individual tastes.

While I was working on this post last night, I decided to whip up a batch of carrot cookies using the original recipe just to see the difference – much better results!  I was fortunate to have a friend (who tasted the first batch and renamed my taste tester from this post on) here to compare the tastes of the two recipes.  The second batch wins hands down. Since I’m working on removing unnecessary sugar from my diet, I took the cookies to the office with me this morning (see below). They were a hit!!

Vegan Carrot Tea Cakes*

½ cup of honey

1 cup of carrots

2 cups of flour

2 tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

*Adapted from the Ninja Inspiration Guide

Combined Ingredients

Blog 006

Preheat Oven to 325°. (If you use sugar, bake at 350 degrees.)  I mixed the dough in the Ninja ® dry measure bowl by adding all the ingredients and blending until everything was combined. I spooned the dough onto two lightly greased baking sheets and baked the cookies 15 minutes. The dough made 18 cookies.

 Sweet Carrot Cookies (Original Recipe)**

¾ cup sugar

2 eggs

1 cup of carrots

2 cups of flour

2 tsp baking power

½ tsp salt

** Ninja Inspiration Guide

baked cookies I mixed this recipe in my Ninja ®, but a bowl and spoon will do. I used 3 eggs because the dough was too dry. I baked them about for 12 minutes at 350°. This recipe makes 16 cookies.

Vegan Pound Cake***

¾ cups vegan butter, softened

1 cup honey (1½ cup granulated or raw sugar)

8 ounces plain or low fat silken firm tofu (blend or process first to assure no lumps)

3½ cups unbleached cake flour^

¾ cups water

3 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 teaspoon almond extract

3 ½ teaspoons baking powder

***Original recipe from Spark People Here

Blog 013

Preheat Oven to 350°.  Grease two (2) 5×9 loaf pans with Crisco (or other shortening) and flour. Combine butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy. Beat in tofu until well combined. With mixer on low, add 2 cups flour; mix just until unincorporated. Mix water and extracts. Mix in the remaining cup and a half of flour and baking powder. Increase speed to medium and beat for about 2 minutes. Spoon mixture into pans and lightly smooth the top. Place on the center rack of the oven and bake for an hour.

^ If you use sugar instead of honey, you only need 2 cups of flour, ½ vegan butter, 8 ounces of tofu, ½ cups water, 2, tsps vanilla extract, 1 tsp almond extract and 2 tsps baking powder . The honey made the batter soupy; therefore, I had to increase the other ingredients. I suspect that if you follow the original recipe, only 1 loaf pan will be needed.

Vegan Mango Bundt Cake****

1½ cups all purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

½ cardamom powder

1 ½ cups ripe mango puree (I pureed my mangos in my ninja)

1/3 cup neutral oil (substituted apple sauce)

2/3 cup granulated sugar (substituted ½ cup honey)

1 tsp vanilla

**** Original Recipe from Cooking and Me Here


Preheat oven to 325°. Grease and flour a bundt pan. Mix flour, baking powder, salt and cardamom powder together. In another bowl, whisk mango puree, oil, sugar and vanilla until well combined.  Add this to the flour mixture and fold until there aren’t any traces of flour left (mixture will be very light, almost spongy).  Use a spatula. Don’t overmix. Pour the batter into the pan. The recipe that I modified says to bake 40 minutes. The first time I made it, I baked it about an hour. When I made it most recently, I had to bake it for an hour and fifteen minutes (possibly because of the use of wheat flour, apple sauce and honey.

 This was my taste tester’s favorite recipe. The texture threw me off, but it still tasted pretty good.

These count toward the 30 new recipes I have to make before June 1st. Enjoy in good health!



12 thoughts on “Recipes

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