Monday, November 25, 2013

Stained Glass Gingerbread Cookies


3-1/4 c. flour
1 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
1 t. ground ginger
1/2 t. all spice
1/2 t. cinnamon
3/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup molasses
2 t. water
9 cinnamon hard candies, crushed in food processor


Combine all dry ingredients; set aside.
Mix together butter and sugar until creamy.
Gradually add molasses and water alternately with flour mixture.
Divide into 6 equal portions wrapping in plastic wrap.
Refrigerate overnight.

Roll out dough to 1/4" thickness on a floured surface.
Cut out using an cookie cutter about 3"- 4". I like to use apple-shaped.
Place on foil-lined cookie sheet or use Silpat baking pads for ease in removing the cookies.
With a smaller cookie cutter about 2" - 3" cut out the center of each cut-out and place on a regular cookie sheet - no need to line the center cookies.

Fill the center of the apples with crushed cinnamon candies being careful not to spill outside the outer edge.

Bake in a pre-heated 375 oven for 5-6 minutes until candies melt in center.

Allow cookies to cool before removing to wax paper.

Makes 3 - 4 dozen.

Posted by Debi

Photo Credit:

Pumpkin Dip


2-8 oz. packages of cream cheese, softened
1-30 oz. can pumpkin pie filling
1 t. ginger
2 t. cinnamon
4 cups powdered sugar


Mix all ingredients together and serve in a hollowed out pumpkin. Great with ginger snaps or these gingerbread cookies.

Makes a lot, so you can use it all during the holidays.

Posted by Debi

Photo by Calee on

Big Mama's Cornbread Stuffing


Aunt Jemima self-rising buttermilk corn meal
Pepperidge Farms herbed stuffing mix, small
1 stick of butter
3 onions, chopped
6 celery stalks, chopped
3 eggs
32 oz. box of chicken broth + more as needed
16 oz. bulk pork sausage
1 T. Sage
Salt and Pepper to taste


Make 9 x 9 pan of cornbread according to package directions. Let it cool completely, then break it up into crumbs in a large bowl. Add herbed stuffing mix, sage, salt and pepper. Stir to combine.

In large skillet brown the sausage, breaking it into small pieces as it cooks. In same skillet saute' onions and celery until tender. Add to cornbread mixture along with sausage and stir. Whisk eggs in separate bowl and add to cornbread mixture. Stir with your hands to thoroughly mix adding chicken broth a ladle at a time. The goal is to reach a consistency like thick oatmeal.

Pour into a 13 x 9 greased pan. Bake at 400 degrees for an hour to an hour and a half until browned and cooked through. If you make a day ahead, pour an additional cup of broth over the stuffing before baking.

Posted by Debi

Photo Credit:

Friday, October 4, 2013

Simple Penne ala Vodka

I love this dish and order it whenever I find it on a menu. I've discovered a simple way to make it at home, and I must admit it rivals what I've ordered out. Try it for yourself and see if you don't agree!

Penne ala Vodka


1 32 oz. bottle Muir Glen Organic Cabernet Marina sauce (see photo)
1 32 oz. bottle Bertolli Alfredo Sauce (see photo)
1 15 oz. can organic diced tomatoes
3/4 cup Sky Vodka
1 pkg. penne pasta
2 slices bacon, cut in small pieces
1 Tbsp. olive oil (not EVOO)
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. Italian seasoning


Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside. Do not rinse.
Pour olive oil in large pan. Heat over medium heat. Add onions, bacon and garlic. Cook over medium heat until translucent. Add marinara sauce, diced tomatoes, Italian seasoning and stir. Cook over medium low heat for 10 minutes. Add Alfredo sauce and vodka. Stir until thoroughly blended and continue cooking covered over medium low heat for 15 minutes. Stir as needed.

Add pasta to the pan and stir. Cover and simmer over low heat for 15 minutes, stirring often.

Serves 6 - 8

Posted by Debi

Baked Ziti


Cheese mixture:
2 lbs. Ricotta Cheese (lowfat)
3 eggs
1/4 cups Shredded Romano cheese (or Parmesan, if you prefer)
1/4 tsp. Salt
1/8 tsp. Pepper
Pinch of sugar
2 tsp. parsley

Meat mixture:
2 lbs. ground lean beef
1 large onion, chopped
Large jar of Ragu with extra chunky tomatoes, garlic and onions

2 lbs. Penne Pasta
4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Parboil penne and drain.
Combine all ingredients for cheese mixture and set aside.
Brown beef. Drain extra fat. Add onions and stir until cooked through. Pour sauce over meat and stir.
In extra large bowl combine pasta and cheese mixture stirring just enough to combine evenly. Put half of pasta in greased lasagna pan (you can divide the pasta into two 13 x 9 pans too). Pour 1/2 of meat sauce over pasta. Sprinkle half of shredded mozzarella cheese over sauce. Repeat. Cover loosely with sprayed foil to prevent sticking. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Remove foil and continue cooking for 15 minutes or until nicely browned.

Allow to set for 15 minutes before serving. Yield: 16 servings

Posted by Debi

Mexican Beef Salad


1 lb. lean ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 pkg. taco seasoning mix
1-16 oz. can kidney beans, drained
1-8oz. can tomato sauce

1-1/2 cups crushed Tostido chips
2 cups shredded lettuce
1 cup tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Sour cream
Jalapeno peppers (optional)


Brown beef and onion with taco seasoning. Stir in beans and tomato sauce. Cook for 10 - 15 minutes on simmer, stirring occasionally.

Place in layers on each plate in the following order:

  • corn chips
  • lettuce
  • tomatoes
  • meat mixture
  • cheese
  • salsa
  • sour cream
  • jalapenos
Posted by Debi

Chicken Pot Pie or Ala King


3 Tbsp. butter
1/4 cup flour
1-1/4 cup chicken broth
1 cup milk
2 c. cubed, cooked chicken
1-2/3 cup cooked peas and carrots or mixed veggies
1-1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. poultry seasoning
1/8 tsp. pepper
Flaky Pastry or biscuits


1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2. tsp. salt
1/3 cup shortening
3 Tbsp. ice water


Melt butter in large, heavy saucepan. Blend in flour. Cook over low heat until bubbly, stirring constantly. Gradually add broth and milk. Cook until thick, stirring constantly. Stir in chicken, peas and carrots, and seasonings. Heat. Pour into 1-1/2 quart casserole and top with pastry, pressing firmly to rim. Cut slits in top.  Bake at 400 for 30 minutes or until brown. NOTE: If using biscuits, bake them separately and top them on each bowl as it is served.

Serves 6

Posted by Debi

Organic Corn Chowder


  • 2 slices, nitrate-free bacon
  • 1/2 c. organic, diced onion
  • 1 c. organic frozen corn
  • 1 c. diced, organic potatoes unpeeled
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic salt
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper
  • 2 c. water
  • 1 c. undiluted evaporated milk
  • 2 Tbsp. flour

Cut bacon into small pieces. Brown lightly over low heat in 2-quart saucepan. Add onion. Cook over low heat for 5 minutes. Add corn, potatoes, seasonings and water. Cover and cook over medium heat until potatoes are tender, 20 - 30 minutes. Slowly add milk to flour and stir until smooth. Add to chowder. Heat to boiling.  

Serves 4

Posted by Debi

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Rustic Peach Galette


1 1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter cut into cubes, chilled 
4 - 6 Tablespoons ice water (more or less as needed)


3 large, not overly ripe, yellow peaches, pitted, sliced into 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices
1/2 cup sugar
3 Tablespoon flour
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 Tablespoon almond paste (optional)
1 teaspoon butter
1 egg
A sprinkling of coarse sugar


1. Make the crust dough. In a food processor, pulse the flour, sugar and salt, until well mixed. Add the cubed butter, and pulse 8 times. The butter should still be the size of peas in the mixture. Slowly add the ice water, a tablespoon or two at a time, pulsing after each addition, until the dough just begins to clump. Turn out onto a clean surface. Use your clean hands to form into a disk. Do not over-knead. Work the dough only enough to bring it barely together into a disk. Sprinkle with a little four on all sides, wrap with plastic, and place into the refrigerator to chill for an hour. 

2.  Preheat the oven with the rack in the middle position to 425 F. Place the peach slices in a bowl and sprinkle with the flour and sugar. Toss gently to coat. Sprinkle vanilla extract over the peaches.

3.  In a small bowl, whisk the egg until smooth. Set aside.

4.  On a lightly floured, clean, smooth surface, roll out the dough to about a 12 inch diameter. Gently lift up the rolled out dough and place it on a rimmed baking sheet.

5.  If you are using almond paste (not necessary, but a nice addition if you have it), dot the middle 6-inch circle of the dough with the almond paste. (If you can spread it, great. Otherwise, just dot with little bits). Arrange the peach slices in an overlapping pattern in a single layer in the center of the dough, forming about a 7 or 8 inch circle. Dot with a little butter.

6.  Fold the outer edges of the dough round over the filling, by about 2 inches all the way around, in an accordion fashion. Use a pastry brush to coat the exposed dough with an egg wash, and sprinkle with coarse sugar.

7.  Place in the oven and cook for about 15-20 minutes, until nicely browned. Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet, over a rack for about 15 minutes.

Great served warm with vanilla ice cream.

Makes 8 Serving.

Posted by Debi (recipe from

Monday, August 5, 2013

Spicy Elk Burgers

These Elk Burgers get a dose of heat from chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. This cuts the gamy flavor a bit without detracting from the great venison flavor. This burger recipe calls for two chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. If you're not a huge fan of spicy things, you can alter the recipe to tone it down.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Yield: Makes 4 burgers
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground elk meat
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 onion, minced
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • olive oil
  • hamburger buns
Place meat in a large mixing bowl. Add minced onion, garlic, ketchup, chopped chipotles, and salt. Mix well and form into 4 large patties. Preheat grill for medium heat. Brush patties with olive oil and place onto grill. Cook for 5-6 minutes per side. Remove from heat and serve on burger buns with favorite condiments.

NOTE: I'm not a huge wild game fan, but this burgers is one of the best I've ever had. Be careful not to overcook or they'll dry out.

Posted by Debi

Friday, March 29, 2013

Rainbow Chard and Sausage Jack Quiche

I'm making this one tonight:

Start to finish: 40 minutes (20 minutes active)
Servings: 6

1 prepared uncooked pie crust
8 ounces sausage,cooked until crumbly
1 small yellow onion, diced
6 cups chopped rainbow chard (about ½ bunch)
5 ounces monterey jack cheese, shredded
8 eggs
⅓ cup milk or fat-free half-and-half
2 teaspoon chopped fresh sage
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

Heat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Unroll the pie crust and set into a pie pan, crimping and trimming as needed to form an even edge. Set aside.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, combine the sausage, onion and chard. Cook until the chard has wilted and released water, about 6 minutes.

Let the sausage mixture cool slightly, then use a slotted spoon to transfer it to the crust, arranging it in an even layer. Scatter the cheese evenly over it.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, sage, salt and pepper.

Pour the egg mixture into the tart shell, then bake for 25 minutes or until puffed and set at the center and lightly browned at the edges.

If the crust browns too quickly, use strips of foil to cover the edges.

Posted by Debi 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Warm Tuscan Farro Salad

Calories 373
Makes 6 Servings (about 7 cups)
Total Time: 35 minutes

3 1/4 cup water
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
2 cups semi-pearled dry farro, rinsed (12 ozs.)

1/2 cup sliced shallots
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
5 cups chopped kale (5 ozs.)
1/4 cup water
2 cups halved grape tomatoes
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 cup shaved pecorino (1.5 ozs)
Minced zest of 1 lemon

1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
Black pepper to taste

For the farro, boil water and salt in a saucepan. Add farro, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until tender, 15-20 minutes; remove from heat and drain any excess water.

Saute shallots, garlic and pepper flakes in oil in a saute pan over medium-high heat, 1 minute. Stir in kale and 1/4 cup water; cook until softened, 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, vinegar, and salt. Stir in farro, pecorino, and zest.

For the vinaigrette, whisk together basil, 1/4 cup oil, and lemon juice; season with 1/2 tsp. salt and black pepper. Toss salad with vinaigrette to coat.

I give this recipe 5 stars. It's great warm, and even better cold the next day!

Posted by Debi
Source: Cuisine at Home magazine

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Irish Soda Bread


6 cups all purpose flour
1 T. baking powder
1.5 t. baking soda
2 t. salt
4 t. sugar
2.5 cups buttermilk
2 T. butter
1/2 cup raisins, optional*


Combine flour and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl. Set aside.
Combine buttermilk, butter and raisins*.
Add to flour mixture and mix with hands until combined well.
Turn dough onto well-floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.
Place on a greased baking sheet.
Press dough evenly into 1 1/2" thick circle.
Bake in a preheated 325 oven for 1 hour or until bread sounds hollow when flicked.

Posted by Debi

Irish Stew


1 - leg of lamb, or 2 - 3 chops
1 - 1 lb. boneless sirloin steak cut into cubes
1 T. - oil
2 - onions, chopped
1 - clove garlic, minced
1 - pint, stout beer, like Guinness
4 - bay leaves
1 - 10.5 oz. condensed beef broth
1 - tsp. salt and pepper
2 - cups water
3/4 lb. carrots, sliced
3/4 lb. new potatoes, cubed
2 -3 T. dried tarragon
3 T. flour
1/4 cup water


Brown all sides of beef and lamb in oil.
Add next 7 ingredients, including bones from lamb chops if used.
Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
Remove bones.
Add carrots, potatoes, tarragon.
Simmer 30 minutes.
Remove and discard bay leaves.
Combine flour and water. Stir until smooth and slowly add to stew to thicken.

Posted by Debi

Friday, January 18, 2013

Seth's Birthday Dinner

This meal was one to write home about :)  It was fantastic!  I did spend all-day in the kitchen, but that included several interruptions with 3 small children, a dog, and homeschooling.  I hope you enjoy these and try some for yourself.  

The Menu:

Feta cheese stuffed mushrooms
Chipotle rubbed pork chop (really spicy! but we like it that way)
Creamy polenta (So creamy and rich it could have been dessert! Paired perfectly with the spicy meat)
Garlic green beans
Fresh sweet rolls
Ice cream sandwich fudge cake

The Recipes:


My Changes:
*Only roasted 2 heads of garlic
*Used 30 baby Portobello mushrooms
*Used 8oz feta cheese
*Used Oregano for the spice


My Changes:
*Doubled the recipe
*Did not use butter, or any substitutes, it was already creamy enough!
*Did not add the extra half and half at the end
*Only used 1/2 c. shredded cheese, for the doubled batch!  It was super creamy!
*Put it in the slow cooker on low for 2 hours and then "keep warm" for 4.  Still stirred it every 30 to 45 minutes.  Added water here and there to keep it from burning.


My Changes:
*Used 11 pork chops
*Grilled them for 4 minutes on each side and then put the in the oven at 350, covered, for 10-15 more minutes.


My Changes:
*Doubled the recipe
*Instead of putting dough into a loaf pan I formed small rolls
*Bake at 350 for 24 minutes, rotating pans half way through.


My Changes:
*Used homemade fudge sauce
*Topped with crumbled heath bars

Hot Fudge:

My Changes:
*Used 2% milk instead of condensed milk

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

It's So Good You Could Eat It For Breakfast, Cookie. (and it's gluten-free!)

Preheat oven to 325.


3 ripe bananas
1/4 c. peanut butter
1/4 c. oil
1 t. GF vanilla
1 T. raw honey
3 T. brown sugar
2 T. ground flax seed mixed in 6 T. water OR 2 eggs
_____________________________________________In a mixer, combine all is mixed well.

In a separate bowl combine

1 1/2 c. GF rolled oats
1 c. coconut flakes
1/2 t. salt
1 1/2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. all-spice
1/4 c. almond flour or other GF flour
1/2 c. almonds, chopped
1 c. dried fruit, I used apricots, chopped
1/2 c. pumpkin seeds, chopped
1/4 t. baking soda

Stir to combine and then add to the wet mixture.  Mix until it is all incorporated.  Drop by the Tablespoon full onto a cookie sheet. I sprinkled pink and blue sprinkles on top just for fun :)  Bake for 20 minutes.  Remove and cool on a wire rack.  Store in refrigerator.

These cookies are healthy enough to eat for breakfast, but still sweet enough you feel like you are getting a treat! So bake some up and serve cookies for breakfast!  Your kids will thank you.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Paleo Spiced Raisin Muffins

A friend recently gave me this recipe and I must say it is amazing! Even if you are not gluten free you should try these! My 3 year old son, who is a very picky eater, scarfed down 2 in no time. That was huge for my little muffin lover who recently had to go gluten free. Happy Mommy dance! Next time I am going to play with the flavors and try adding apples or apricots :)


1/2 c. Sweet potato, mashed
1/2 c. Unsweetened coconut flakes
1/2 c. Raisins
1/2 c. Nuts (I used pecans) chopped
1/4 c. Raw honey
1/8 c. Carrot, shredded
2 eggs (or egg substitute)
3/4 c. Almond flour
1 t. Cinnamon
1t. GF vanilla
Pinch nutmeg
1 t. Baking powder

Mix all ingredients together, place in muffin tin and bake for 28-30 minutes. Makes about 10 muffins.

Here is the blog where she got the recipe:

Friday, January 11, 2013

Sage Butternut Squash Cakes


One small butternut squash, peeled and grated
Two medium carrots, peeled and grated
Half a red onion, finely diced
Two cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon of salt
Pinch nutmeg
2 tablespoons of fresh sage, chopped
1/4 cup +3 tablespoons of GF flour
1 tablespoon of ground flax
Pepper to taste
Two eggs beaten

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Form cakes and cook on a frying pan with a little bit of oil. Top with grated Parmesan cheese.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Lemon Cilantro Lentil Soup


Big handful chopped fresh cilantro
4-5 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon cumin
1 T. garlic, minced
1 cup brown lentils, picked over and rinsed
6 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


In a large pot heat olive oil. Add chopped onions and carrots and cook until tender,
about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Stir in spices and lentils,
pour in stock. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and cover. Cook for 30 minutes or until lentils are tender.

In a food processor blend 4 T. Oil, cilantro and 1 garlic clove until it is a purée. Set aside.

When the lentils are soft blend 2 cups of the lentils in a blender and return to soup. Stir in the cilantro oil and fresh lemon juice.

This soup is perfect with hot sauce on top and a nice piece of grilled chicken.

It is Gluten-free and dairy free too!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Soup's On

Szechwan Carrot Soup with Coconut Quinoa

I wanted a basic ginger carrot soup, but planned to kick up the heat -- I found this recipe at Epicurious, and made only a few modifications from the original version.  It is easy and delicious.  Later this afternoon, I started flipping through a new library gem, Bryant Terry's The Inspired Vegan and flagged his coconut quinoa recipe as a perfect side.  It, too, came together in a breeze and as I stared at the two pans side-by-side, I realized that they belonged together.  I ladled the spicy carrot soup over the coconut quinoa and a new favorite emerged - Mike and I scarfed down two bowls each.  So - enjoy!

Carrot Soup (about 6 cups)


2 medium yellow onions, chopped
4-6 cloves garlic, smashed or chopped
1 teaspoon coconut oil
2 tablespoons water
1 lb (unpeeled if organic) carrots chopped in 2-inch chunks
3 inch peeled piece of fresh ginger, chopped
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes (to taste)
2 teaspoons ground ginger
3 cups of chicken or veggie broth
1 cup of coconut milk
1 1/2 tablespoons of soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons of creamy nut butter (I used peanut)
1  tablespoon of fish sauce
1/2 lime, juiced
1/2 teaspoon sugar


Soften onions and garlic in coconut oil over low-med heat; after the mixture warms, you can add more fat or add a few tablespoons of water instead (the outcome works, either way).  Keep an eye on it so it doesn't burn and, once translucent, add the carrots, ginger, red pepper, and broth.  Bring to a boil and then simmer for 45 minutes or so, until the carrots are easily pierced.  Add the rest of the ingredients and lower heat.  Give it a few minutes to let the flavors come together. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup (or a regular blender, carefully).  Keep warm and enjoy.

Coconut Quinoa (4-6 servings) from The Inspired Vegan by Bryant Terry


1 cup water
1 cup coconut milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup rinsed quinoa 
2 tablespoons of dry (unsweetened) coconut flakes


Combine coconut milk with water and salt in a medium saucepan over high heat.  Bring to a boil and add the quinoa and dried coconut.  Lower the heat immediately (watch so it does not boil over), cover, and turn to "low."  Simmer for about 20 minutes.  Turn off the heat and steam with the lid on for five more minutes. Fluff with a fork, season to taste, and enjoy.