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Thursday, September 24, 2015

Mango Lemonade

Over the past several days I have had the opportunity to taste two different versions of Mango Lemonade--one at Outback Steakhouse, and one at Applebee's.  They were both good, but the Outback version was OUTstanding!  I tried to replicate that at home.

Mango syrup, nectar or fresh puree
Lemonade, tangy

1.  Pour desired amount of lemonade in glass.  Add mango to taste.  Add ice.

The quantities you use are according to your taste.  Make sure your lemonade is tart, and if you have carbonated water try using that.  I didn't have any and I think that would be closer to the Outback version.  So good.  And you get more than one free refill if you make it at home!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Breakfast Tostadas

I am currently in a breakfast funk. It's hard to come up with healthy choices when you are used to just throwing some milk and Cheerios in a bowl.   Anyone else out there grow up with cold cereal for the first meal of the day?  I would bet there are a lot of us.  Nothing against Mom--she did the best she could for her kiddos.  I can even remember a time when she was trying to get creative with some healthier options, but we just didn't cooperate very well, except with the frozen banana with peanut butter and wheat germ.  That is STILL a winner!  Maybe that should be a future post!  Stay tuned.

Anyway, as I was scouring my Pinterest folders for some ideas for my post this week, I found this gem and thought it would be a great recipe to share, plus maybe I will love breakfast again.  Plus, their picture looked so colorful and amazing.  By the way, this dish is so easy to prepare and you can do it with the messiest of counters. I had just gotten back from work and the store, plus as I was putting food away I noticed how nasty the fridge looked.  Took all the stuff off the shelves and out of the drawers and that was also on my counters, and I was able to make my tostada amidst the chaos.  Score!  And after my tostada, I cleaned/reorganized the fridge.

1  16-oz. can of re-fried beans
6 tostada shells
6 eggs
1/4 cup crumbled queso fresco
1 avocado, sliced
hot sauce

1.  Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.  Place tostada shells in a single layer on baking sheet.  Bake 6-7 minutes or until crisp.

2.  Place re-fried beans in a small saucepan.  Heat over medium heat until warmed through. For those using freeze-dried beans, follow the directions on the package/can.  Mine was super easy and I made only as much as I needed.

3.  Cook eggs according to preference--I like slightly under cooked.

4.  Assemble the tostadas--put equal amounts of re-fried beans on each tostada and spread evenly.  Top each with queso, a few avocado slices.  Place an egg on each one and season with salt and pepper.  You can also use cilantro and some hot sauce or salsa, if you like.  I used hot sauce because, unfortunately, I did not have any fresh salsa ready.  Serve warm.

Source:  Taste and Tell via Pinterest.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Fudgy Flourless Chocolate Cake

I have a couple of dinner guests tonight--sweet missionaries from my church--and there is some gluten and dairy intolerance.  Makes for a lot of fun figuring out something to prepare for dinner. Fortunately (or not) the world seems to be going gluten- and dairy-free so there is a plethora of recipes out there.  I found this one via Facebook and thought I would give it a whirl.  It's a little bitter for my taste, but I am going to use a berry compote to sweeten it up.  Hope it works!  By the way, that is not a giant fork on the plate, but I did serve small wedges of the cake.

1 15-oz. can black beans, drained & rinsed
1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 c. (about 4-5 large) egg whites
1/3 c. unsweetened applesauce (I used regular Cinnamon applesauce because that is what I had in my pantry)
1/3 c. canned pure pumpkin (I used fresh from my freezer)
1/4 c. Truvia spoonable calorie-free sweetener
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1 t. vanilla extract
1/4 t. salt
3 T. mini semi-sweet chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. line a 9" round cake pan with foil and generously spray with nonstick spray.
  2. Place all ingredients, except chocolate chips, in a food processor.  Puree until completely smooth and uniform.
  3. Fold in 1 T. chocolate chips (hmm...this could be why mine wasn't sweet enough.  I dumped 2 T. before I looked back at my recipe.)
  4. Spread mixture into the baking pan and smooth out the top.
  5. Evenly distribute the remaining chocolate chips over the top and lightly press into the batter.
  6. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 35-40 minutes.  I used convection bake for about 28 minutes.
  7. Let cool completely, about 1 hour.
  8. Makes 8 servings.  Top with fresh fruit, compote, whipped cream--use your imagination.
  9. Refrigerate leftover cake.  I will be serving mine chilled.  I think it will taste better.

SOURCE:  Hungry Girl via Facebook.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Reese's Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Dip

Love cookie dough?  Love peanut butter?  Love mini chocolate chips and Reese's cups?  Look no further!  You have the exact recipe you need!  This sweet dip is so yummy, it can be eaten as a finger-food appetizer, or as a dessert.

Ingredients List:

1/2 c. unsalted butter
1/2 c. light brown sugar
1/4 c. creamy peanut butter
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
3/4 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. mini semisweet chocolate chips
8 oz. package Reese's mini peanut butter cups (chopped or whole, 1 1/2 cups)


1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter.  Whisk in the brown sugar and heat until sugar dissolves.  Remove from heat; add vanilla.  Allow to cool to room temperature.

2. In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese with powdered sugar and peanut butter until creamy.  On low, add in brown sugar mixture.  Mix until combined.

3. By hand, fold in chocolate chips and Reese's cups.  Serve immediately or store in the fridge until ready to serve.  Best if chilled overnight.

4. Serve with pretzels, animal crackers, graham crackers, apples, etc.  I like to serve them with these pretzels, in Everything flavor!   The sweet and salty combination is delicious!  Yum!

Servings: about 3 cups

Source: all over Pinterest, but I found it here: Shugary Sweets

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Aggression Cookies

Hey everyone! I am just bringing back and oldie but a goodie--literally.  Due to a busy week ahead, I thought it would be fun to repost this yummy cookie recipe.  Hope you enjoy.  Maybe you could even whip up a batch and have ready for those school lunches or after school "cookie talks" with the kiddos!

Do you ever just want to stick your hands down into something squishy and just work it until you've gotten rid of all those pent-up complaints/murmurings/naggings/why-can't-you-put-the-toilet-paper-on-the-holders/pick-up-your-clothes-I-am-not-your-maids?  Yes ma'am, this is your kind of recipe.  Check it out.  I apologize for not having a picture of me mixing my dough, but I am no good at selfies and I was by "myselfie" at the time.

3 cups brown sugar, packed
6 cups quick cooking oats
3 cups flour
6 sticks butter, very soft (almost melted)
1 T. baking soda

1.  Put all ingredients in a huge bowl and mix by hand until well incorporated, or until the smile returns to your face.  LOL...
2.  Form dough into small balls (smaller than a walnut in the shell) and place on ungreased cookie sheet (I like to use parchment paper on the sheets.). 
3.  Butter the bottom of a small glass, dip into granulated sugar and press each cookie ball.  Re-dip glass in sugar each time.
4.  Bake at 350 degrees F for 10-12 minutes.
5.  Makes about 11 dozen cookies.

Source:  Pat Brew, Brew Family Cookbook, Vol. 2.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Maple & Blueberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Here's a recipe for yummy, delicious cookies with only 5 ingredients! 

Ingredients List:

1/4 c. unsalted butter, softened
1/2 c. pure maple syrup
1 1/2 c. Krusteaz blueberry pancake mix
1 c. white chocolate chips
1 c. blueberries (fresh or frozen; just make sure they are fully thawed)


1. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter until light and fluffy.  Stir in syrup.  Add pancake mix.  Stir in chocolate chips by hand; stir until combined.  Gently stir in blueberries.

2. With a medium cookie scoop, place dough onto cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for 13 minutes, until done.

3. Let cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Yield: 23 cookies

Nutrition Information, per Cookie: 107 Calories, 4.4 g Fat, 0.5 g Fiber, 0.8 g Protein

Source: Picky Palate

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

I have collected so many recipes over the years, but the ones I have kept the longest were from college--from  roommates or classes or church homemaking activities.  This is a favorite every time I make it--which isn't often enough.  Everyone raves about it.  I had never even heard of rhubarb until Mom Metzger made it for Sunday dessert when I went home with my roommate, Cindy, over break.  I was like, "That looks like celery, but it's red.  Is it a fruit or a vegetable?" (that's probably not what I actually said.  It was 1980.  Who remembers?) was amazing.  I made the pie a few days ago and decided I needed to know what kind of food this was.  Check out the collage below for the answer.

1 qt. rhubarb, cut up into 1/2" little chunks 
3/4 - 1 cup sugar
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 cup tapioca
3-oz. strawberry Jell-O
about 1/4 - 1/2 cup of water

1.  Mix everything but the Jell-O together in a large saucepan and bring to a boil.
2.  Add the Jell-O and stir to evenly combine.  
3.  Pour into prepared pie crust. Dot with butter, if desired.
4.  Place top crust over pie and flute the edges to seal.
5.  Cut slits in top crust to vent.
6.  Bake 40 minutes at 425 F.
7.  Cool in refrigerator.

*Note:  the filling may boil over a bit so be sure to have something under your pie to catch any drippings.

Source: Cindy Wilson's Mom in Buhl, Idaho, 1980.