Category Archives: RECIPES

The recipes on this page are my own. If you Pin them or copy them, that’s great. Just try to give me credit. Thanks in advance. Likewise, if there are recipes I have copied from others, I’ll let you know where they came from. It’s called respect. Thank you. That is all.

Blackberry, Apple, Coconut Cake

Blackberry Apple Coconut Cake

Blackberry Apple Coconut Cake

I will mention again that I love to cook. I like to invent new things and create my own recipes. Add a little of this, a little of that… but baking? I’m a mess. I cannot make up my own recipe. I’m not sure how much baking powder or baking soda to use, nor do I understand the difference. And if I use cake flour? Ugh. Then what? What’s in cake flour that’s not in all-purpose flour?

So, my desserts will either be NON-BAKING ones, that I can play around with, like chocolate drizzled over popcorn or graham cracker peanut butter sandwiches dipped in chocolate. That’s what I can make up. The following recipe is not something I can make up. It’s divine though so I thought I’d share it. It’s a great dish to take to a brunch, or give as a gift to a friend that had a baby. If that’s your thing.

While this was baking Adrian, my five-year-old, ran to the kitchen to see if it was ready to eat. I can hope he discovers a new love for blackberries or I can hope he doesn’t like it and I can eat what is left on his plate.

Just kidding.

Not really.

Blackberry, Apple, Coconut Cake

From: http://www.nourishmagazine.co.nz/29/apple-blackberry-coconut-pudding/

(measurements are a bit odd because it’s translated from metric – just go with it.)

  • 2-3 apples, peeled and sliced – I usually make recipes like this when my apples need to be eaten. So I don’t have a recommendation on what kind of apple to use. Just use what you have. A tart apple like Granny Smith would be great but really, whatever you have will work.
  • 1 cup blackberries, rinsed and drained
  • 1 & 2/3 cups flour
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 & ¾ cups sugar
  • 1 cup coconut (I used sweetened)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 stick, plus 2 Tablespoons of butter, melted
  • 1 & 1/3 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Grease an 8×8 baking dish and spread the sliced apples and blackberries over the base. In a bowl, mix all the dry ingredients together before adding the butter, lightly beaten eggs, milk and vanilla. Stir till well combined and then pour over the fruit.

Bake in a pre-heated 350F oven for 35-40 minutes. Serve warm with a dollop of ice cream or yogurt. Or in a bowl with milk, which is how I always eat my cakes and bread puddings.

Just to follow up, Adrian poked at it, said it was too hot & then ran away. Later he came back to try it and declared he didn’t like the “stained bread”. I told him he didn’t have to eat the blackberry but the apples and coconut and the rest of it was really yummy. Oh well. I ate it. My wish came true.

Adrian's Empty Plate

Adrian’s Empty Plate.

Leftovers should be refrigerated. Not that you will have any. And if you want to double it and freeze a pan, you can do that, too. It’s a very freezer-friendly cake.

Sweet and Spicy Sticky Sauce

This recipe is for the sauce. It’s all about the sauce, baby. You don’t have to limit yourself to chicken and broccoli as I have done here. You can grill shrimp skewers and top the shrimp with this sauce. You can make chicken wings and toss them in this sauce. Topped with some toasted sesame seeds and red pepper flakes – forget about it!
I made this meal one night, just for myself, because I was craving Chinese take-out. I pigged out. OINK OINK. This portion size was probably too big for one but since the family was gone I put on my pj pants and went for it! The sauce keeps well in the fridge for another drizzle over something a day or two later. You can adjust the spice to your liking. For me, I wanted that sticky, sweet sauce that had a bit of heat in the back.

sweet and spicy chicken and broccoli

Sweet and Spicy Sticky Sauce

Ingredients:

1/2 Cup apricot preserves

1 T ketchup

2 T soy sauce

2 T rice wine vinegar

1 tsp toasted sesame oil

2 tsp sweet chili sauce

1/4 tsp finely diced jalapeno, seeds and vein removed

1 or 2 pinches of hot pepper flakes

s&p to taste

Directions:

Place all ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine. Dump it in a non-stick pan and cook over low heat until preserves are melted and combined. Now taste. If it needs more heat, add another pinch of pepper flakes. That’s it. Toss your favorite food in this sauce and enjoy.

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sweet and spicy chicken and broccoli with wine

If you are craving Chinese take out like I was… this is what I did.

I placed 2 cups of frozen broccoli florets in a pie plate and tossed them with olive oil, a sprinkle of fresh lemon juice, salt and pepper. I baked at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes.

At the same time the broccoli was roasting I had a bunch of chicken tenders sizzling away on a baking stone.

When the chicken and broccoli was finished I doused the chicken in the pan of sauce and piled it on top of the broccoli.

 

Spicy Southern Style Stew

Years ago I found a recipe on All Recipes called Sunday Gumbo. I never made it exactly as it was written because I never had the right spices and I didn’t use okra. But it helped guide me when I was venturing out to bigger and better one-pot meals. I have written a recipe all my own but I am not calling it Gumbo or Jambalaya. I’m calling it a stew. Spicy Southern Style Stew… because I don’t want to insult anyone by calling it something it is not.

Spicy Southern Style Stew

Boom! Spicy Southern Style Stew!

Boom! Spicy Southern Style Stew!

  • 1 pound package of sweet Italian sausage links
  • one small sweet onion
  • 2 Cups of chopped cooked chicken
  • 1 T Worcestershire sauce
  •  2 T Ketchup
  •  1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves
  •  1/2 tsp cumin
  •  1 tsp red pepper flakes
  •  1 tsp garlic powder
  • 4 cups of chicken stock
  • 2 small bay leaves or one large leaf
  • 1/2 C uncooked instant brown rice
  • 1 Cup peeled, thawed shrimp

Before you start, if you have frozen shrimp with the shells on, place about 1 cup of shrimp in a single layer on a plate with cool water. It will thaw by the time you need it.

1 pound package of sweet Italian sausage links  cut into bite size pieces and browned in a large cast iron skillet or dutch oven or just a heavy bottomed pan. (You can use hot Italian sausage if you’d like even MORE spice)

Remove the sausage from the pan and drain most of the fat.

Add one small sweet onion, diced, to the pan.

Place sausage back in the pan with the onion and sautee and scrape the brown bits off the bottom of the pan.

Add 2 Cups of chopped cooked chicken and toss around with the sausage and onions. (If your chicken is raw cook it with the sausage and onions. I just happened to have leftover cooked chicken.)

Here comes the flavor:  1 T Worcestershire sauce, 2 T Ketchup, 1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves,  1/2 tsp cumin, 1 tsp red pepper flakes, 1 tsp garlic powder

stir to coat the chicken, sausage and onions with these flavors

now add 4 cups of chicken stock and 2 small bay leaves or one large leaf

Add 1/2 C uncooked instant brown rice and stir.

cooking the stew BEFORE adding the shrimp

cooking the stew BEFORE adding the shrimp

Turn your attention to the shrimp. If you have cheesecloth you can place the shrimp shells in the cheesecloth and tie it up and place it in the stew. It adds flavor! If you don’t have cheesecloth, it’s no big deal to just skip this step.

shrimp shells in cheese cloth allow the flavor to permeate the stew.

shrimp shells in cheese cloth allow the flavor to permeate the stew.

Add the 1 Cup peeled, thawed shrimp to the stew and push down into the broth to cook. It will only take about 5 minutes.

raw shrimp added

raw shrimp added

It doesn’t take long for the shrimp to turn pink. You don’t want to overcook the shrimp so go. Eat some. Eat some now.

shrimp are done!

shrimp are done!

Remove the cheesecloth and squeeze it out to get all the yummy shrimpy broth out of it. Then put the leftovers in a container and put it in the fridge and eat it again tomorrow. It’ll be even better!!!

Sausage and potato soup from Homemade Ham Stock

Find the recipe for Sausage and Mixed Potatoes here.

Take leftovers of that meal and add ham stock to it. Voila. Soup. Seriously. That’s it.

Of course, if you want to know how to make a delicious ham stock you can do this:

Baked Spiral Ham and Ham Stock Recipe

Place a seven to eight pound spiral sliced ham (with bone) into a roasting pan. Drizzle the ham with 1/4 cup of honey and smear dijon mustard all over the outside. Add 1/2 cup of water to the base of the pan. And about 1/2 cup of white wine (water, beer or lemon lime soda would work too). You need one cup of liquid. Seal the pan with heavy duty aluminum foil and baked at 275 degrees Fahrenheit for 2 hours. (Usually it’s 15 minutes per pound of meat.) Check the label. Make sure you are reheating a ready-to-eat ham and not cooking a RAW ham. If it’s a raw ham, I can’t help you. I’ve never made one of those. Follow the directions. ;-)

Once it comes up to temp you are ready to EAT the ham. Or pull the ham from the bone and freeze for future meals. Pour the broth from the roasting pan into a fat separating measuring cup and pour the broth into a large stock pot (discarding the fat) and add 4 cups of water. Stir and simmer for 15 minutes with the lid off. Taste it. It could be REALLY salty. If so, add more water and stir and simmer again for 15 minutes. There ya’ go. Ham stock.

Allow to cool a bit and place into quart size canning jars (leaving a full one inch of space from the top of the liquid to the rim of the jar) and place in the fridge. Once completely cooled you can place in the freezer for up to a year. I made the ham the same day I made the Sausage and Mixed potatoes so I used the broth and the leftovers and made soup. It’s a very loose broth. Crackers are this soup’s best friend.

Baked Rice Pudding with Cinnamon

Baked Rice Pudding

Not the prettiest picture. But pretty tasty.

This recipe was adapted from a cookbook I have called: Cheap Fast Good by Beverly Mills and Alicia Ross. It’s one of my favorite cookbooks because it has a lot to read and not just hoity toity recipes that require you to make a special trip to the store.

The other day I made pesto fish. Tilapia marinated with pesto and baked in the oven and then served over white rice. Served with pineapple wedges. Pretty looking dinner. Very easy on a busy night. Anyway, when I make rice I make way more than I have to so I can make leftovers with it. Namely RICE PUDDING. It’s one of my favorites.

So this recipe was adapted because I never have whole milk. I often have skim milk and I always have sweetened vanilla almond milk. So I adjusted the sugar, vanilla, and  rice because of the almond milk substitution.

Here’s MY recipe. The original follows below. By all means, if you have whole milk, follow the original.

Ingredients:

Butter or cooking spray for preparing the pan

1 1/2 cups already cooked rice

3 large eggs

1/4 cup sugar

2 cups vanilla almond milk (sweetened)

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

pinch of salt

1. Preheat oven to 325F. Lightly butter or spray an 8×8 square pan

2. combine rice in saucepan with 1 cup of water and heat over medium heat until the rice is rehydrated; about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool.

3. Whisk eggs, sugar, milk, vanilla and cinnamon and salt in medium bowl until thoroughly mixed. Add the drained plumped rice and stir well. Pour into prepared pan.

4. Bake the pudding, uncovered, until the center is just jiggly and a knife inserted about an inch from the edge comes out clean. (About 45 minutes) Serve warm, room temp, or chilled.

I ate mine with Adrian standing at the stove with the steam billowing off the spoonful of rice pudding thinking, “I’m sure this is going to burn my mouth.” So right before we ate it I told Adrian I had to put something in it. He pointed his finger up at me and said, “I know! ICE!” I said, “Oooh, that might not be the right choice. Let’s try some milk.” So after adding a touch of milk it was just the right temperature. He ate two helpings. I had two helpings. And then scraped some more right out of the pan with a big wooden spoon.

Here is the exact recipe from the cookbook.

Ingredients:

Butter or cooking spray for preparing the pan

1 cup already cooked rice

3 large eggs

1/2 cup raisins (if desired)

1/2 cup sugar

2 cups whole or 2% milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 325F. Lightly butter or spray an 8×8 square pan

2. combine rice and raisins in saucepan with 1 cup of water and heat over medium heat until the rice and raisins are rehydrated; about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool.

3. Whisk eggs, sugar, milk, vanilla and cinnamon in medium bowl until thoroughly mixed. Add the drained plumped rice and raisins and stir well. Pour into prepared pan.

4. Bake the pudding, uncovered, until the center is just jiggly and a knife inserted about an inch from the edge comes out clean. (About 45 minutes) Serve warm, room temp, or chilled.

ENJOY either way.