Monday, November 4, 2013

Carmel Pecan Pound Cake


1 cup butter
2 1/2 cups brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
5 eggs
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
1 cup whole milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 cups flour
2 /12 teaspoons vanilla

1 stick butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup milk

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In electric mixer, cream together butter and sugars until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time until completely incorporated. Mix in vanilla. 
2. Mix together flour, baking powder, and salt. 
3. Add to creamed mixture to flour mixture. Mix in milk slowly. Beat on low until completely combined.
4. Pour into greased pound cake pan. Bake for about 1 1/2 hours. Stick toothpick into cake to make sure it is baked through. Let cool for 10 minutes. 
5.  To make carmel glaze: combine butter, sugar and milk over medium heat. Bring to boil stirring constantly. Let cool then drizzle over pound cake. 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Oreo Rice Krispie Treats

Rice krispie treats have been my favorite sweet for as long as I can remember. There is nothing like that marshmallowy and buttery crunch. My cabinets are always stocked with a bag a marshmallows and a box of cereal, ready for my frequent rice krispie treat cravings. Normally you would find me eating my treat straight out of the pot with a giant spoon, but for the sake of pretty pictures, I cut them nicely into their classic square shape. Your welcome. 


5 1/2 cups rice krispie cereal
15-20 oreos (your preference)
3 tablespoons butter
6 cups mini marshmallows

1. Crush oreo cookies in large plastic bag then mix with cereal. 
2. Melt butter and marshmallows together over medium heat, stirring constantly until completely combined.
3. Take off heat then mix cereal and oreos into melted marshmallow until completely combined. 
4. Butter a large dish then pour in mixture, spreading evenly with a spatula. 
5. Let cool for about 30 minutes then cut into squares.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Quinoa Spinach Salad

I fell in love with a quinoa spinach salad from Whole Foods years ago but, like everything else from Whole Foods, it is ridiculously expensive.  Sooo....I recreated it in my own way! It's just as delicious and about half the price. 


1 cup quinoa
1/2 cup sliced black olives
1 1/2 cups spinach
2 carrots chopped
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup olive oil

1. Rinse and drain quinoa twice in pot.
2.  Bring one cup of quinoa with two cups of water to a boil over medium high heat. Once boiling, turn heat to low and cover with top.  Let sit on lowest heat for about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit for another 5 minutes. Let cool.
3. Add spinach, carrots, olives, and tomato.
4. Add salt, pepper, and olive oil. 
5. Stir it all up and enjoy. Tastes delicious cold or warm. 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Cookies

I love pumpkin everything. From lattes to muffins and soups, if it's pumpkin, I'm all over it. On the first day of October, I had to make my first of many pumpkin recipes. These pumpkin snickerdoodle cookies are a quick and easy October treat. You can make them in bulk, store them in the freezer, and have cookies for weeks. 


3 3/4 cups flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 sticks of room temp butter
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 egg
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

1. In a bowl, combine flour, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and baking powder. 
2. In another bowl, whisk together butter and sugars until completely combined. Then add pumpkin on medium speed until just combined.
3. Add egg and vanilla. Whisk until just combined. 
4. Lastly, add dry ingredients and whisk until just combined. 
5. Cover dough, and refrigerate over night. 

6. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray cooking sheet with nonstick spray. 
7. In a small bowl, mix together sugar and cinnamon. 
8. Roll dough in golf ball sizes and roll in sugar and cinnamon mix. 
9. Place on cookie sheet and bake for about 15 to 20 minutes.
10. Take out and let cool for 5 minutes.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

 Peach Cobbler

This is my first attempt at a peach cobbler and I must say, it turned out pretty damn delicious. My peaches might not be from Georgia but I doubt anyone could tell the difference. Enjoy!


5 ripe peaches
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 1/2 cup flour
3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons very cold butter
2/3 cup buttermilk

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cut peaches in half, slice into 1/2 inch thick slices, then half again. In a bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup sugar, cornstarch, peaches, and lemon juice. 
2. Pour into 2-quart baking dish. 
3. In your electric mixer, mix together flour, baking powder and soda, 3 tablespoons sugar, and salt. 
4. Chop cold butter into small squares then whisk into flour sugar until it resembles coarse meal.
5. Add buttermilk and stir until dough forms. 
6. Spread dough mixture evenly over peach filling. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon sugar on top. 
7. Bake about 40 minutes or until crust is golden brown. 
8. Serve with vanilla ice cream. 

Friday, September 20, 2013

Avocado and Cilantro Hummus

Avocados are available year round in Santa Barbara, but the typical "avocado season" begins in March and ends in early to mid-September.  If you have an avocado tree, you are probably overwhelmed by the number of avocados dropping in September and don't know what to do with them all. Here's an idea...make some avocado hummus! You can whip it up in large batches and it lasts for a pretty long time in your refrigerator. Not to mention, it's delicious. 


1 to 2 ripe avocados
16 oz can of chickpeas
2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon lime juice
1 1/2 cup cilantro
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more!)

1. Put all ingredients into your food processor.
2. Chop until all ingredients are combined and it's as smooth as you want. 
3. Serve with your choice of chips or slap it on a sandwich!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Apple Spice Muffins

I made these yummy apple spice muffins in honor of the beginning of fall, my favorite season. The warm cinnamon and apple flavors make me want to snuggle up on the couch and watch the leaves fall from the trees. I have tried several different apple muffin recipes and this one wins! They are deliciously moist with just the right amount of a buttery cinnamon topping. 


1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt 
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 green apple
1/2 cup milk
3 tablespoons canola oil
3 tablespoons apple sauce
1 egg

2 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon melted butter
2 tablespoons oats
2 tablespooon flour

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In your electric mixer combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon. 
2. In a different bowl combine milk, oil, apple sauce, and egg.
3. Peel and chop your apple into smallish pieces.  Over medium heat, melt your 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon brown sugar together. Stir in chopped apple and cook for about 4 minutes.
4. Mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Add cooked apples leaving the butter and brown sugar liquid in your saucepan. Turn off heat.
5. For your crumble topping: Add 2 tablespoons oats, 2 tablespoons flour,  and 1 tablespoon brown sugar into your butter and brown sugar liquid left over from cooking your apple. Stir together until small crumbly clumps form.
6. Sprinkle on top of your muffins and cook for about 20-25 minutes or until your crumble topping turns golden brown. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Coconut Oil Chocolate Chip Cookies

Coconut oil is great because it has many health benefits and can be used as an alternative to higher calorie and less healthful ingredients. It is loaded with healthy fatty acids, can improve blood cholesterol levels, and increase your metabolism.  It also doesn't hurt that I am a huge fan of anything coconut flavored. Although this recipe is still a sugary treat, it's definitely a great alternative to your classic chocolate chip cookie and just as delicious!


1/2 cup coconut oil 
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
1 cup chocolate chips

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat coconut oil and sugar together. Beat in egg and vanilla.
2. In another bowl combine flours, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.
3. Slowly combine wet ingredients with dry ingredients. Fold in chocolate chips. 
4. Scoop tablespoon sized balls of dough onto baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for about 15 minutes. 
5. Let cool and enjoy.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Pear and Chicken Grilled Cheese

Grilled cheese sandwiches are great because there are so many different cheeses and combinations that you can experiment with.  I recently watched an episode of "The Chew" dedicated to grilled cheese sandwiches.  Michael Symon made a bacon, blue cheese, and pear grilled cheese.  I am not a fan of blue cheese but the rest of the sandwich sounded delish.  Here is my version...

Ingredients for 1 sandwich

1 grilled chicken breast
handful of spinach
2 slices of Asiago cheese
2 slices of ripe pear
1 tablespoon of room temp. butter
1/2 teaspoon Balsamic Vinegar
2 slices of whole wheat bread (or whatever bread you prefer)

1. Preheat your grill pan over medium heat.  In a bowl, mix together butter and Balsamic Vinegar. 

2. Butter one side of both pieces of bread with Balsamic Vinegar and butter mixture.  Lay out bread and layer with cheese, pear, chicken, and spinach. 

3.  Place sandwich on the grill.  Press sandwich down on grill (Michael Symon uses a brick to press) until bread is golden brown. Flip and continue to cook other side until golden brown. 

Friday, September 6, 2013

Berry Turnovers

This was my first experience using puff pastry and it was wonderful.  No need to get out the electric mixer and slave over a dough recipe! Just whip up some berry filling, plop it on puff pastry, and stick it in the oven.  It's pretty much that easy! 


1 sheet of puff pastry
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoon cornstarch
1 cup blueberries
1 cup raspberries
2 tablespoons melted butter
pinch of salt

3/4 cup confectioner's sugar
juice from 1/2 lemon

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and let 1 sheet of puff pastry thaw. 
2. Combine berries, sugar, corn starch, a pinch of salt, and a tablespoon of water.  Cook over medium heat until berries soften and it thickens. 
3. Cut your puff pastry sheet into six squares.  Drop a dollop of berry filling into the middle of each square (not too much and not too don't want there to be too much oozing out the sides). Fold over, creating a triangle and pinch ends together with a fork.
4. Melt the butter and brush the tops of each turnover. 
5. Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.
6. Add the confectioner's sugar to the lemon juice and drizzle over each turnover after cooled.