Amazing Steak and Cob Salad

I made this cob salad recipe up when I was shopping in the fresh section of the grocery store.  I love cooking with seasonal ingredients and love getting inspired by seeing what is at the grocery store. It happens to be the time of year again for corn and peppers.  I chose an orange pepper to give a little color to the salad and ham instead of bacon because ham is not as crunchy, but provides the same pork flavor in the salad. The egg creates a nice softness and adds a nice flavor to the salad. 

We have really come to enjoy cooking steaks around here since we learned how to cook them. With steaks and roasts being about the same price as ground beef we have been cooking them a lot more. My local grocery store was having a sale on steaks for the 4th of July so I picked them up and saved a ton.  I have included some of the tips I have learned cooking steaks.

Cob Salad
1 corn on the cob
1 boiled egg
2 slices of ham
1 orange pepper
1 head of lettuce
  1. Fill a pan with enough water to cover a corn on the cob, but do not put it in yet.  Heat the water to boiling and put in the corn on the cob for 10 minutes.
  2. Put an egg in a pan and fill with water 1 or 2 inches over the egg.  Heat the water to boiling over medium heat.  When the water is boiling remove from heat, cover for 12 minutes.  Remove the water and fill the pan with cold water to stop the egg from cooking more.
  3. Add oil to a pan over medium heat.  When the oil is hot add the ham.  Brown slightly on both sides.  Chop up the ham.
  4. Slice the orange pepper.
  5. Chop up the lettuce.
  6. Combine the ingredient and toss the salad.
  7. I like to dress this salad with Buttermilk ranch.
Seasoned Steak
1 steak, any cut will do
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
  1. Leave the steak out 30 minutes before seasoning.
  2. Combine the salt and pepper in a bowl.
  3. Spread the salt and pepper mixture on the steak.  Press the mixture into the steak.  See above picture.
  4. Turn the over to 375 degrees F.
  5. Heat oil in the pan.
  6. When the oil is hot place the steak in the pan with meat tongs. Do not touch the steak in the first 4 minutes.  When the steak has achieved a nice brown sear turn the steak over with the tongs.
  7. Sear the other side.
  8. Place in the over until the desired doneness is achieved.  It will be anywhere from 2-10 minutes.  Do not over cook.
  9. Let the steak rest for 5-10 minutes.
Seasoned Steak
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Fresh Raspberry Greek Yogurt

My dietitian recently told me to eat more yogurt.  She recommended Chobani Greek yogurt.  I bought the fruit flavors for a few months. It was okay, but I found the fruit flavors lacking, the fruit didn't taste right. I had a thought to make my own yogurt from fresh fruit and see how it compares.  And let me tell you I bet this yogurt is better than any of those flavored yogurts out there.  It would win in a yogurt tasting contest hands down. It is super simple to make too.

Fresh Raspberry Greek Yogurt, Printible Version
  • 3-4 fresh raspberries
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon sugar or to taste
  • 1 plain Greek yogurt
Crush and stir the berries with a fork to release the juices.
Add the yogurt and sugar and stir.
Enjoy the freshest yogurt ever!
*You can put in other fruit besides raspberries, strawberries, pineapple, kiwi, whatever you have in the house.  I have also made it without any fruit and it tastes pretty good plain, with a little sugar too.

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Magnolia Bakery Vanilla Cupcakes and Chocolate Icing

I used to live in New York, whenever I would visit the city I would stop at Magnolia Bakery and get a cupcake.  I was super sad when I moved away.  No more cupcakes :(  I put the Magnolia Cupcake Bakery cookbook on my Amazon wishlist and my husband got it for me for mother's day last year.  I've made several recipes from the book since then.  The recipes usually turn out amazing, especially the frosting, but the cupcakes are a little dry at times.  This time I put in a little less flour and they turned out great! I made the cupcake pictured below for a baby shower.  They tasted amazing. Now you can make them too!

PS. You will want to eat everything the icing touches, the real chocolate in the recipe gives this icing a very real delicious edge.

Vanilla cupcakes recipe (adapted Magnolia Cupcake's recipe used with permission)

1 cup unsalted butter
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups sifted self rising flour
1 cup sifted flour 
  1. Leave the butter, eggs and milk out for at least an hour before making the cupcakes.
  2. Preheat over to 350 degrees.
  3. Put cupcake wrapper in cupcake pans. 
  4. Sift the flours, measure, and combine.
  5. Beat the eggs until well blended.
  6. Combine the milk and the vanilla.
  7. Cream the butter for at least 3 minutes with mixer.
  8. Gradually add the sugar and cream for 3 more minutes.
  9. Add the eggs to the butter and sugar mixture, beating well.
  10. Alternate between add the milk mixture and the flour mixture.  Mix well but do not over beat.  
  11. Using a number 20 food disher scoop the cupcake batter into the cupcake wrappers.
  12. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out dry and the cupcake is spongy when pressed upon.
  13. Let cool and ice.

Chocolate Icing (Based on Magnolia's frosting recipe used with permission)

1 1/2 cups unsalted butter
2 Tablespoons milk
9 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 cup powered sugar
  1. Leave the butter, and milk out for at least an hour before making the frosting.
  2. Melt the chocolate using a double broiler method. Boil some water over the counter, place a heat resistant bowl on top.  IMPORTANT-Do no let any water get in the bowl or the chocolate will seize.
  3. Let the chocolate cool for 15 minutes.
  4. Beat the butter for 3 minutes, incorporating lots of air.
  5. Add the milk and mix well.
  6. Add the chocolate and beat for 2 minutes.
  7. Add the vanilla extract and beat for 3 minutes.
  8. Add the sugar gradually, beating on low. You may need more, you may need less depending on your desired frosting consistency and temperature of the butter.
  9. Spread on your cupcakes and enjoy!
*I use a Wilton straight spatula
*Sprinkles add a very nice touch
*If you do not have time to let the butter cool down, cut the butter into slices and leave on a plate for 5 minutes.  Put the milk in a wide bowl.
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The Perfect Kettle Corn

I love the kettle corn from Trader Joe's. I get some every time I go, unfortunately is not often because there isn't one by me. My husband bought me a popcorn popper for Christmas and I was excited to try to make some kettle corn. I picked up some kettle corn topping at the store, popped some popcorn and sprinkled on the topping. Alas is did not taste like kettle corn. So I looked online, found a recipe, tried it and failed, was going to give up, but decided to try one more time. I adjusted the recipe, cooking method and walla, it was perfect. I'll probably be making this several times a week. You don't need a special popcorn popper or a special seasoning just a pot and basic ingredients that you probably have on hand.


Perfect Kettle Corn, Printable Recipe

1/3 cup corn kernels 
2 1/2 Tbsp Trader Joe's canola oil
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
1/4 cup sugar

1. Heat oil and 3 popcorn kernels in a large flat pot over medium heat. 

2. Once one popcorn kernel has popped put in the rest of the kernels. 

3. Add sugar and salt evenly around the pan. Stir in with the kernels. Put the lid back on the pot. 

4. Wait for the kernels to start popping. When they start popping lift the pan and shake the popcorn side to side. Set down every once in a while for the pot to stay hot. 

5. When the popcorn starts to not pop as quickly immediately remove from the heat and lay popcorn on parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Use a spoon to spread out the popcorn. It will be a little sticky. And should not be discolored. 

6. Wait five minutes and enjoy. If you don't devour it all right away you can store in an air tight container for several days. 

*I used a clear lid. It was very helpful to see what stage the popcorn was at and that it wasn't burning. 
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Fettuccine Alfredo with Reheat Instructions

This is one of my favorite recipes. I make it all the time.The recipe is adapted from the Fettuccine Aldredo recipe in the Pillsbury complete cookbook.  I am so excited to share with you how to reheat it too!

Fettucine Alfredo, printable version
  • 1 package fettuccine
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • dash of pepper
  • 1 1/4 cups Parmesan or Romano cheese 
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
Cook fettuccine to desired doneness. I like mine slightly al dente.

Melt butter in a sauce pan over medium heat. Add the pepper and cream. Cook five minutes or until the sauce thickens, stirring constantly. If the sauce separates add a little more cream.

Combine with fettuccine noodles or serve on top of fettuccine and save the rest of the sauce for later.

Reheat Instructions
What is the worst thing about reheating a dish with butter and cream? The two separate. I have the answer to the problem below.

Put the Alfredo sauce in a sauce pan and heat slowly over low heat melting the cream and butter.

Stir constantly with a whisk.

When the mixture is completely melted add cream until the mixture is once again white in color.

Now you can have fresh Fettuccine Alfredo two days in a row.
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Homemade Oreo Cookies

Homemade Oreos are one of my absolute favorite cookies. I've made them three times this last month, and usually gobble them up within two to three days. They are so easy to make too!

Homemade Oreo Cookies, Printible Version
  • 1 package of Devil's food cake mix
  • 1/3 cup oil or 1/2 cup shortening, I prefer the taste of oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 can of cream cheese frosting
Mix all the ingredients together. You may have to mix with your hands. Roll into balls about 1 inch. Place on cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 9-11 minutes depending on desire of crispiness. Let cool.

Frost the cookies. Pick up one cookie and frost one side, place another cookie on top, and wala, homemade oreos. I let them sit overnight in a closed container on a paper towel. It makes them taste so good. Eat and enjoy!

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Strawberry Lemonade Concentrate

One of my favorite things to do is pick fresh food. Today I picked lots of strawberries and canned them into a delicious strawberry lemonade. This juice is great for a hot summer day.

Strawberry Lemonade Concentrate, Prntible Version
  • 6 cups hulled strawberries
  • 4 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 6 cups of granulated sugar
Makes about 7 pints.

1. Puree the strawberries in a blender. Fresh squeeze the lemon juice (a juicer makes it go faster).
2.Combine lemon juice, sugar, and strawberries, heat to 190 degrees Fahrenheit over low heat, this enables the sugar to melt.
3. Ladle into hot jars leaving 1/4" head space, wipe rim with damp cloth. Screw lid and band onto jar.
4. Process jars for 15 minutes in boiling water, making sure water completely covers the jars.
5. Let cool in place 24 hours, make sure it has sealed by pressing down on the top of the can, the lid should not pop back up. Label the jars.
6. When ready to serve mix concentrate with 1 pint water.

This recipe came out well for me. It tastes nice and fresh, but there are a few things I would do differently.
-I used half fresh squeezed lemon juice and bottled juice. I would recommend only using fresh squeezed lemon juice. The bottled juice leaves and aftertaste.
-I would try juicing the strawberries instead of pureeing them, leaving a little pulp for taste in the juice.
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The Best Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

These pumpkin cookies are so delicious!  I like to make this recipe every fall for the holidays.

I like to use real pumpkin, but canned pumpkin works too. I like to get my pumpkin fresh from a farm, cook it up and make the cookies. I even had enough extra this year to make pumpkin chocolate chip ice cream.

This is a sugar pumpkin, because it has black spots on the outer layer.  The smaller the pumpkin the better.

The following method may be used to prepare any winter squash. To prepare the pumpkin the pumpkin for cooking, cut the pumpkin in half, a butcher knife works well, put the pumpkin in a cake pan with about 1/2" of water.  Turn the oven to 375 and cook the pumpkin for 30-45 minutes, or until the pumpkin is fork tender.

Remove from the oven and let cool. Scoop out the inside of the pumpkin with a spoon and blend in blender. The recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups of pumpkin. If you don't use it all you can freeze the rest and save for more cookies, a soup, bread etc.

Pumpkin Cookies
The recipe is based on a recipe from Vicki at SunGold Farms.

Makes 4 dozen cookes

1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups or 15 ounce can of pureed squash or pumpkin
2 1/2-2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp ground allspice
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 bag of chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugars until fluffy. Beat in the eggs and squash. Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and spices; add to mixture, stirring until well blended. Stir in raisins and nuts. Spoon onto cookie sheets. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are golden.

*This recipe can be used with almost any winter squash. See instructions above on how to prepare.

*Baker's tip, the dough is pretty runny, but because of all the baking powder and soda, they rise up quite nicely.

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