Monday, December 5, 2011

Hot Chocolate Back to basics!

Hot chocolate is timeless! Folks young and old enjoy a cup of hot chocolate. I have never been a fan of the powdered mixes.
Well no more mixes...I found some inspiration!

Hot Chocolate Meltaway Squares
Adapted from Tokyo Terrace
Yield 24-30 servings
2 cups Bittersweet Chocolate
2 cups Semi-Sweet Chocolate
1/3 cup cocoa powder
2 peppermint candy canes (or flavoring of your choice - plain is great to)

1. In the top of a double boiler, melt chocolates together.
2. Once melted add the cocoa powder. Mix until fully incorporated.
3. Allow chocolate to cool slightly before putting in molds.
4. Portion chocolate into molds. Fill mold half way. Add a small amount of the crushed candy canes, fill with chocolate.
5. Allow to set - Set in refrigerator for 5 minutes.

Similar to the featured blogs above you can also place sticks in the chocolate which would give you something to stir the chocolate into the warmed milk. I tried this...but I found I like just the square of chocolate to drop in my pot with the milk.

Directions to prepare! The best part!
Using a small saucepan, heat 8 ozs of milk, once heated add 1 hot chocolate square. Using a whisk incorporate the chocolate into the milk. If needed, keep pan on a vary low heat. Add whipped cream and enjoy!


Sunday, May 15, 2011

Start the day right!

How do you start your day? My children love a good breakfast. Our main selection is a farm fresh egg, piece of toast and fruit. However, some days we change it up.
I am always on the look out for a fun idea. Anything to hep my children along on trying new and fun foods. I will save my favorite new item for last.... Mmmmmm!

Egg n' toast! I always loved this meal as a child. Thankfully, my children love it as well.

Banana Bread French toast! Pretty much anything with banana is adored in our household.

Fresh made English muffins! I was not over ally impressed with this formula. However, they did taste good.

Sooooo.... Here it is! By far this is my favorite new breakfast meal!

It is extremely simple to make as well. The roll is hollowed out. Fill with scrambled eggs and cheese. Place in a hot oven. Top with salsa and green onions. You can cook some bacon and add it to the eggs while cooking.

The original recipe I created this from cracked a raw egg into the roll. It was then topped with bacon, salsa, and green onions.

What is your favorite breakfast meal?


Monday, April 4, 2011

Having more than one...

If you have more than one child you will understand.... I love being with my children. It is rare that Hannah and I ever have time to be just us. Billy and I have regular one on one time, of which I/we appreciate and look forward to. He is the youngest, the baby really. I know he is six... but please keep that between us. Does he really need to know?!

So, on Saturday, Hannah and I had about an hour. What are we to do with an hour.... why not make cookies, right! So we did!

We teach our children lessons everyday! This day was not only about passing on the flavors... but it was about me letting my daughter learn and be a part of what I love to do! Cook.

In addition to making cookies... Hannah had a math lesson. How great is that? 1/2 cup here, 1/4 cup there, a teaspoon over there!

So, not only did we get quality one one one time, but we incorporated learning and having tons of fun!

Such a precious time with my daughter! We laughed and had lots of fun. As precious and sweet as she can be... believe you me... she is just like all other 7 almost 8 year olds. But it was great to leave all the drama out of the kitchen and just be us.

What a great time we had... and we get to enjoy the fruit of our labor!


Monday, March 21, 2011


No, this is not a post about St. Patrick's Day, but it is about lots of green.
With Spring arriving, I cannot resist the urge to start gardening. Hannah and I decided we would build the cold frame Sunday. So, off we went to scavenge the things we would need from our stock of well used, but not fully exhausted items.

We found......



And of course.......

Off to work we went......

And then the end result......

Now, patience must be found...... The soil has been stored outside all winter... so it was pretty wet and cold. We will wait, but I am ready to plant lots of greens to fill our need to eat fresh grown food. The soil needs to dry out a bit and of course warm slightly.

In the meantime, I will leave you with this......


Thursday, January 6, 2011

Vegetable Beef Barley Soup

I love vegetable soup! If only my children would love it as much as me..... someday!
The great thing about vegtable soup is it is very versatile. If you prefer potatoes to the barley, go for it! If you prefer different vegetables, go for it! Generally, this is a soup that always tastes better the second day.

1 pound cubed beef
1 medium onion diced
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 small zucchini
1 small yellow squash
3/4 cup diced carrots
3/4 cup diced celery
4 garlic cloves
1 quart chicken/beef/vegetable stock
1 quart water
1/2 cup red wine
1/2 cup tomato paste
salt/pepper to taste
3/4 cup barley
3 1/2 cups chicken/beef/vegetable stock

In a small saucepan combine the barley and 3 1/2 cups of stock, season with salt. Bring to a boil. Simmer till barley is tender.

In a large stock pot, add vegetable oil, heat, add beef and onions. cook for 5 minutes. Add red wine. Simmer and let the liquid reduce by half. Add remaining vegtables, tomato paste and salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes on medium heat. Stir frequently. Add remaining stock and 1 quart of water. When Barley is tender add to the soup (add cooking liquid as well). Continue to cook the soup until it reduces by 1/4 - 1/3.
If you prefer the broth to be thicker you can add cornstarch to thicken.


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Chicken w/ Cous Cous and Spinach Soup

Soup is a wonderful item to pack in our lunches each week. I made Tomato Bisque for Monday, a hearty beef Chili for Tuesday and for Wednesday Chicken w/ cous cous and spinach.

I literally just threw a bunch of things in the pot and let it cook!

1 quart chicken stock
1/2 quart water
2 cups chicken cooked and shredded
1/2 cup carrots small diced
1/2 cup onion small diced
4 garlic cloves
3/4 cup cous cous
3/4 cup spinach
1 tsp thyme
salt and pepper to taste

Heat chicken stock and water to boiling. Reduce heat and add remaining ingredients except spinach. When cous cous is cooked add spinach and season to taste.


Sunday, January 2, 2011

Maple Cinnamon Roasted Almonds

Okay, so my honey found this recipe for us to try. He absolutely loves the roasted almonds at carnivals and street fairs. I have made them...never do they taste or resemble what could be purchased elsewhere. But none the less... I would give it a try!

This is the original recipe

1 cup almonds
1/4 cup maple syrup
1-3 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt

Combine all ingredients. Line a baking pan with parchment paper or a silpat. Roast the almonds at 350*F for 5 minutes. Stir. Roast an additional 5 minutes. Be careful nuts will burn quickly. Once removed from oven transfer off of hot pan to cool.


The original recipe is wonderful. However, I (personally) need something else.

1. Once roasted- immediately after removing from the oven sprinkle with Damara sugar.
2. Add the zest of an orange (1-3 tsps) to the ingredient list.


This recipe is from Hannah at Bittersweet Also, the author of the My Sweet Vegan

Free! Smart School Time Recipes

I received a Nextbook for Christmas this year. Which by the way I really wish I could twitch my nose and my entire library of cookbooks would appear within the ereader. I know big wish! I will wait (patiently).

Of course, for most people they downloaded their favorite novel to read. I did not. I downloaded a FREE cookbook. This particular book is a collection of recipes that were developed by various women on their blogs. All brought together for our enjoyment.

I highly recommend this ebook. I downloaded the book from If you do not have an ereader, check with Borders or other bookstores for an app for your PC, phone, or IPad.

In addition to the fabulous recipes offered in this ebook. I have gained further knowledge of other food blogs dealing with various dietary constraints.

So go and enjoy, and along the way check out this book. Let's face it, a cookbook can be a quick read and it is FREE! :)