May 23, 2011

million dollar muffins revised

the original version of these muffins are great. i just experimented with them to see if i could create a just-as-tasty but slightly more healthy and lower calorie version. i was pleased with the result.


1 C all-purpose flour
1 C whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 C sugar
2 t cinnamon
1/2 t salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 T flaxseed meal, plus 3 T water
1/4 C oil
1/4 C applesauce
1/2 C undrained crushed pineapple
1/2 C raisins
2 C shredded carrots


combine dry ingredients in one bowl; egg, flaxseed mixture, oil and applesauce in another bowl; and remaining ingredients in another bowl. add the wet to the dry then the rest. bake @ 350 for 20 minutes. and it's infinitely better if you use muffin cups.

May 21, 2011

Cafe Rio Salad

Cafe Rio Pork
Place 3 lbs pork roast in crock pot with 1 1/2 cans of Coca-Cola Classic mixed with 1 cup of brown sugar. Cook on high. Heat overnight or for about 8 hours until tender. Shred with two forks. Season with 1 tsp. garlic salt, 1/4 c. barbecue sauce, and 3/4 cup ketchup.
Creamy Cilantro Salad Dressing

3 fresh tomatillos cut into quarters
1 pkg Ranch Buttermilk dressing mix
1 cup mayonnaise*
1/3-1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup fresh cilantro
2 cloves crushed garlic
1/4 tsp. crushed cayenne pepper

Combine all ingredients in a blender and refrigerate at least one hour. (*For a thicker dressing, reduce mayonnaise to 1/3 cup and add 1/2 cup sour cream to the mixture.)

Note: dressing is best if used in the first few days after making it.
Other ingredients (in order of how to assemble it.) You can leave out anything you may not like (or have on hand.)

8 flour tortillas
2 cups cooked Spanish rice
2 cups cooked black or pinto beans
Shredded pork
2 heads Romaine lettuce (or you can buy 2 bags of Sweet Baby Greens)
Pico de Gallo
Lime Wedges
Corn tortilla strips
Creamy tomatillo dressing

Chicken Chinese Salad

Chicken Chinese Salad

2 chicken breasts - cooked and diced
1/2 head of cabbage - chopped
1 pkg. Top Ramon

1/4 c. salad oil
1 Tbsp. white vinegar
1 1/2 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 Tbsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 seasoning packet from Top Ramon

Crush Top Ramon noodles and spread on a cookie sheet. Bake at 400 until lightly browned (approx. 10 min.) Cool.

Combine chopped cabbage, cooked, diced chicken, and cooled noodles.

Mix thoroughly or shake together ingredients for dressing. Pour over cabbage, chicken, noodle mixture and toss.

Side notes:
*Easy to double if needed.
*My husband's favorite thing is the crunchy Ramon noodles. I do an extra package of the noodles and put them in a bowl so we can add them to our liking at the dinner table.
*Other bonus: my kids LOVE it!

Chocolate Angel Food Cake

Chocolate Angel Food Cake
(This is a favorite and a must have at every birthday party on my side of the family. It is super easy to make, and if you like chocolate, you will LOVE this.)

Sift 2 Tbsp. cocoa powder into a packaged Angel Food cake mix, and prepare, bake, and cool as usual.

Top with Chocolate Whipped Cream, made the following way...
Stir thoroughly into 1 pint whipping cream:
3 Tbsp. sifted cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup sugar

The trick with getting good, thick whipped cream once you have added those ingredients is to put the mixture in the freezer until it crystallizes around the edges and then whip it.

May 20, 2011

shawn's sugar cookies

so pleased to get the secret to the locally famous sugar cookie. if you like the traditional sugar cookie (not the overly large and overly fluffy grandma's pink cookies) then you will like these.


1 C butter
1 C sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 t almond flavoring

measure and fold in:

3 C flour
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt

mix together and roll out the dough between 2 sheets of waxed paper. put on a cookie sheet and chill for 30 minutes. take out, peel the top layer of waxed paper off, cut out cookies and place on ungreased cookies sheet. the secret to a great sugar cookie is to not touch the dough and don't add any more flour. hence, the waxed paper roll out! bake at 350 for 8-12 minutes.

if you want it chewy--8-9 minutes. a little more crispy--10-12 minutes. the tops will not get brown.

whip up butter cream frosting with a little almond flavoring in it.

edamame, corn and tomato salad

recently i attended an event and this was served. i don't want to give you high expectations so that you're disappointed, but it was probably the most refreshing and tasty dish i have had all year. i loved it. everyone around me was going back for seconds...and, in some cases, thirds.

3/4 C frozen corn kernels
1 1/2 C frozen shelled edamame
12 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 large avocado, cubed
2 T fresh lime juice
1 t salt
1/8 t pepper
1 T canola oil
2 T chopped fresh cilantro

1) bring a saucepan of water to a boil and have ready a bowl of ice water. add the corn and edamame and cook for 3 minutes. drain and transfer to the bowl of ice water. let sit for a few minutes. drain and add tomatoes and avocado.

2) in a small bowl whisk together the lime juice, salt and pepper. slowly whisk in oil. pour the dressing over the salad and gently toss to combine. garnish with cilantro.

wild rice salad

i recently attended an event and this salad was served. again, tasty (super) and healthy. yum!

3/4 C wild rice
salt and pepper
1 large celery stalk, chopped
1/3 C dried cranberries
1/3 C walnuts, chopped (i must say that this is the one time i actually prefer the walnuts to pecans)
1-2 oranges, preferably navel, peeled and chopped
1/4 C fresh orange juice
1 T canola oil
1/4 C pomegranate seeds

1) in a large saucepan, place the rice, 3 C water and 1/2 teaspoon salt. bring to a boil over med-high heat. reduce the heat to med-low, cover and simmer until the rice is just tender, about 40 minutes. drain and place in a bowl.

2) add the celery, cranberries, walnuts, oranges and juice to the rice. add the oil and stir with a fork to combine. season to taste with salt and pepper. sprinkle with pomegranate seeds.

cucumber tea sandwiches

recently my friend had a royal wedding party and served these sandwiches. i had to try them myself. my friend had not added the watercress, but i did when i made them and really liked it...but i did leave the radishes out because i don't like them! the recipe comes from


8 ounces cream cheese
5 ounces Garlic and Herb Boursin
2 - 3 tablespoons fresh chives, sliced plus extra for garnish
1 English cucumber
1 bunch radishes
1 bunch watercress
white sandwich bread
pumpernickel sandwich bread


In a small food processor, combine the cream cheese and boursin, pureeing until well blended and combined. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and stir in sliced fresh chives. Set aside.

Slice the cucumber and radishes into 1/8 inch thick slices. If you have a mandoline that helps speed the process here.

Cut crusts off the bread (you can save the crusts to make homemade croutons for another use). Spread one side of each slice with the cream cheese mixture.

Top with sliced cucumber, radish, and a few watercress leaves. Then top with another slice of bread. Cut into triangles and skewer with a toothpick.

bread machine pumpernickel bread


  • 1 1/8 cups warm water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa
  • 1 tablespoon caraway seed (optional)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1 cup rye flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vital wheat gluten (optional)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons bread machine yeast

wild rice and almond pilaf

healthy and tasty. the fresh parsley makes it, so don't leave it out. i found it at


  • 5 1/2 cups chicken broth, divided
  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • 6 tablespoons butter or margarine, divided
  • 1 cup uncooked wild rice
  • 1 cup uncooked brown rice
  • 1 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper


  1. In a small saucepan, bring 1/2 cup broth to a boil. Remove from the heat; add raisins and set aside (do not drain). In a large saucepan, bring 3 cups of broth and 2 tablespoons of butter to a boil. Add wild rice; cover and simmer for 55-60 minutes or until the rice is tender (drain if necessary).
  2. Meanwhile, in another saucepan, combine the brown rice, 2 tablespoons butter and remaining broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 35-40 minutes or until rice is tender (drain if necessary).
  3. In a skillet, saute the almonds in remaining butter until lightly browned. In a serving bowl, combine the wild rice, brown rice, raisin mixture, almonds, parsley, salt and pepper.