Friday, March 11, 2011

Fried Rice

3 Eggs
Salt & Pepper
2 Tb. Oil
1 cup Uncooked Rice
1 1/2 Tb. Soy Sauce
2-3 Green Onions (chopped)
Carrots (optional)
Peas (optional)

-Cook rice per directions.
-Beat eggs and add Salt & Pepper to taste. Scramble and set aside.
-In a frying pan, heat oil and fry the cooked rice until it starts to turn golden brown.
-Add Soy Sauce, Green Onions, Carrots, and Peas. Mix thoroughly. Serve Hot.

I've done this both with the carrots and peas, and without. I think it turns out great either way!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Sugar Cookies

Recipe from

1 C real butter (no substitutions!)
1 C sugar

1 egg

1 1/2 t almond extract (you could use vanilla instead)

3 C flour

1 1/2 t baking powder

1/2 t salt

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy- about 2 minutes. Add in eggs and extract and mix to incorporate.

In a separate bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt and whisk to co
mbine. Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix until completely combined.

Shape the dough into 2 flat disks and wrap in waxed paper and place in the fridge to chill for 1-2 hours. If you want your cookies to hold their shape well, the dough needs to be chilled properly. A great tip to speed things up is to immediately roll dough between 2 sheets of waxed paper and place on a flat surface in the fridge. It will chill super fast and be ready to go in no time.

When you're ready to roll out dough lightly sprinkle flour onto your work surface and roll out dough with a rolling pin.

Bake at 350 for 8-12 minutes. The baking time really depends on how you like them. If you like them really soft under-bake them. In my oven, about 8 minutes does it. However if you're making large cookies, or ones with small parts or heavy frosting, you might want to be careful because they might break when they're super soft.

About 8 minutes will get you a really soft cookie, a few minutes longer (when they start to just brown around the edges) and you'll get just a little crispiness around the edges and then a soft center, bake even longer (and roll thinner) and you'll get a buttery, crispy cookie that will just melt in your mouth. Any way you do it, they'll taste good. Remove onto cooling racks when you're done and let cool completely. I honestly think these even taste better the second day.

Alfredo Sauce

2 c. Low-fat milk (I actually used 1 c. 1% and 1 c. whole)
3 oz. Low-fat Cream Cheese
2 Tb. Flour
1 tsp. Salt
1 Tb. Oil
3 Garlic Cloves (minced)
1/2 c. Grated Parmesan Cheese
1/2 c. Mozzarella Cheese

Put the milk, cream cheese, flour, and salt in a blender and blend until smooth and set aside.

In a non-stick sauce pan, melt butter on med-high heat and add garlic. Let the garlic saute for about 30 seconds, you don't want to burn it.
Then add milk mixture to the pan. Stir constantly for about 3 or 4 minutes or until it just comes to a simmer. Keep stirring and let it cook for a few minutes more. It should be much thicker now.

When it's nice and thickened remove the pan from the heat. Add the cheese, stir it up and then cover immediately. Let stand for at least 10 minutes before using. It will continue to thicken upon standing.

I got this recipe from and made a few adjustments based on what I had on hand.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Spaghetti Sauce

This is a semi-home-made spaghetti sauce that I came up with...definitely not "Olive Garden Quality" but I like it way better than the stuff straight out of a jar.

1 Jar Spaghetti Sauce (I used Great Value Traditional and blended it)
1 28 oz. can of Crushed Tomatoes
2-3 Tb Fresh Italian Parsley (Chopped)
1/2 c. Fresh Onion (Chopped)
2-3 cloves Fresh Garlic (Minced)
3-4 Tb (ish) Sugar (Just enough to help it not be too acidic)
2 tsp Italian Seasoning
2 tsp Basil
1/2 tsp Black Pepper

Mix it all together and let simmer for as long as you want (I let it simmer for 30-60 min...but I'm sure it would turn out fine with a shorter or longer simmering time).

Monday, January 31, 2011


I got this recipe from

-3 tablespoons oil
-1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
-2 teaspoons fresh garlic (no more than that or the garlic will overpower the other
-1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
-1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
-4 ounces cream cheese, softened
-1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese (can use more)
-1 teaspoon italian seasoning
salt - to taste
-1/2-1 teaspoon black pepper (or to taste)
-1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach (cooked according to package directions, then hand-squeezed dry to remove excess moisture) -- I only used 1 cup
-10 manicotti, cooked and drained
-4 -6 cups marinara sauce (I did a semi-home-made....recipe coming soon)
-Parmesan cheese & mozzarella cheese, for topping (any amount desired)


- In a skillet, saute onion & garlic in oil for about 4 minutes or until softened
- In a mixing bowl combine the ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, cream cheese, 6 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning; beat with a spoon until smooth.
-Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Stir in onion mixture and spinach; mix well to combine.
- Spoon into cooked and cooled manicotti shells.
- Pour half of the pasta sauce into the prepared baking dish (greased 13x9)
- Arrange shells over sauce (at this point you may cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours, or continue with the recipe as follows).
- Top with the remaining sauce, use a spoon to spread the sauce over the shells (the sauce does not have to cover the shells completely).
- Sprinkle Parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese over the sauce.
- Bake for 25 minutes. @ 350 degrees

My Thoughts:

Simplicity: 3 out of 5
Ingredients: 3 out of 5
Taste: 4.5 out of 5 -- this is the best homemade manicotti I've had so far.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Train Cake

Here's my little guy's first birthday cake. I got the idea from looking at a bunch of pictures of train cakes on Google images. Anyway, here's how I did it:

Train Tracks:
I made chocolate cake cookies (recipe in previous post) and instead of making individual cookies, I made one giant cookie and then cut it into strips with a pizza cutter. I outlines the tracks with chocolate frosting (I just added baking chocolate to the buttercream frosting to turn it brown), and made the "dirt" from what was left of the cake cookie and bread crumbs. The light on the front of the engine is half of an oreo.

I will admit that I'm totally a cheater and used 2 Betty Crocker cake mixes. I baked them in mini loaf pans, and then froze them so that they would be easier to cut and decorate. The engine was made of 2 mini loafs and a barrel. For the barrel, I baked some of the cake batter in a chili can (greased really well). The animal cage just has pretzels for the bars, and an iced graham cracker for the roof.

Buttercream Frosting:

1 C unsalted butter
2 T vanilla extract
2 T milk
4 C powdered sugar

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Easiest Cookies Ever!

Ok, so have you ever wanted or needed to make cookies, yet didn't really have time? If so, here's the recipe for you!! I make these all the time. In fact, I rarely make any other type of cookie.

1 box Cake Mix -- Family Favorites: Party Rainbow Chip (Betty Crocker is better than Pilsbury), White, and Chocolate.
1/2 cup Oil
2 Eggs
1/2 bag Chips -- optional (Chocolate, Mint, Cinnamon, get the idea)

Mix together and spoon onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake @ 350 degrees for 9 minutes (these cookies harden quite a bit when they cool, so don't cook too long).

My Thoughts:
5 out of 5 -- so easy, and so fast!!
Ingredients: 5 out of 5
Taste: 5 out of 5