Sunday, April 26, 2009

Orange French Toast

I made this french toast with Challah bread that I got at Great Harvest. It was really really good. The orange zest is awesome. You have to be a little careful not to let all the orange pool at the bottom when you dip the bread or the last few will be really really orangy. The recipe is from

French Toast Stars
8 thick slices white bread
2 eggs
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons butter
1. Place a slice of bread on a cutting board. Align a star-shaped cookie cutter in the center of the slice. Push the cookie cutter through the bread, rocking it gently back and forth. Once the cookie cutter makes it all the way through bread, remove bread outside the cutter. Hold the cutter down on the bread during this step to prevent the star from tearing. Use a sharp knife to trim any bread that lingers outside the cookie cutter. Gently remove the star from the cutter and put aside. Repeat on all slices of bread.
2. In a medium bowl, beat together eggs, whipping cream, honey, salt, cinnamon, orange zest and vanilla extract.
3. In a griddle or frying pan, melt the butter over medium high heat.
4. Dip both sides of the stars in the egg mixture and carefully transfer to the hot griddle. Brown on both sides and transfer to a warm plate while remaining stars cook. Serve hot.

Classic Pancakes

This is a good classic pancake recipe from I made them for breakfast yesterday. For the syrup I got the idea from a recent throwdown with Bobby Flay on the food network. I melted 1/4 c butter with about 2 cups of real maple syrup and cooked it until it was all melted together. It was really good.

Good Old Fashioned Pancakes
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon white sugar

1 1/4 cups milk
1 egg
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Make a well in the center and pour in the milk, egg and melted butter; mix until smooth.
2. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Strawberry Spinach Salad

This is my new favorite favorite favorite salad (yes, 3 favorites!). I'm sure many of you have had versions of this salad. It's has such great flavor! The first time I made it I loved it so much that I served it to friends 3 times that week, just so I could make them try it and so I could eat some more! It came from a fun book my mom gave me called The Essential Mormon Cookbook, by Julie Badger Jensen.

Strawberry Spinach Salad

1/4 c sugar (I leave this out, I don't think it needs any extra sugar)
1 quart fresh strawberries, sliced
1 (10-oz) package washed baby spinach greens
1 c sliced almonds, toasted
Honey Celery Seed Dressing

Lightly sprinkle strawberries with sugar and toss with spinach greens just before serving (I didn't do this. I just sliced the strawberries and put them in the salad. I think the dressing is sweet enough already). Top with desired amount of toasted almonds and dressing and serve.

Honey Celery Seed Dressing

3/4 c sugar
1/2 c honey
1 t paprika
1 t mustard
1 t grated onion
1/2 c lemon juice
1 c vegetable oil
1/2 t celery seed

Mix all ingredients except oil and celery seed in a blender. Gradually add oil and celery seed and continue blending. Keeps for 3 weeks.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Baby Oatmeal

My very very thoughtful older brother got me a book called Organic Baby & Toddler Cookbook a couple of years ago for Mother's Day. ( I know, so thoughtful...sorry gals, he's engaged (he lucked out too, she's amazing!)! Sadly this book sat in my kitchen unused until now. I've always just bought baby food at the store. I'm really careful about only buying things that don't have additives & chemicals, but I just thought making the food would be so time consuming and stressful. Boy was I wrong! A couple of weeks ago I thought, I should try to make some of Ty's baby food. So I pulled out this book and read through some of the recipes & I was immediately hooked! I've been making his food ever since. It's been so nice to know exactly what he's eating & it's definitely a money saver surprisingly. My favorite recipes are for breakfast oatmeal. I must admit, after I made the first batch of oatmeal I told Ty, there's a strong possibility I will cry if you don't like this. :) No worries though, he loved it. I usually double or triple the recipe and save the rest for another meal. I will share one of the recipes with you.

Fruit Compote - Baby's First Christmas Oatmeal

1/3 c water
1/2 T oats
1/2 small apple, peeled, cored & finely chopped
1 peeled fresh apricot or 4 dried apricots finely chopped (I love adding dried apricots, figs, prunes & other dried fruit to the cereal)
1/2 dried fig chopped
pinch cinnamon
2 t golden raisins

Place all ingredients in a small band and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and then cover and simmer for about 5 mins, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.

Puree the fruit mixture by pushing through a sieve or by using a blender (I use a blender). Add a little more water or a little juice if a thinner consistency is preferred.

When I have my next baby (I'm not announcing anything) I would love to get this thing, it looks awesome!

Ginger glazed Mahi Mahi

I made this recipe from for dinner this week and it was really good. I served it with mashed sweet potatoes, roasted asparagus and roasted fresh beets topped with feta. I haven't had beets for years and years. I remember when I was little and one of my aunts made me eat beets at her house and I hated them. She made me eat a lot of them and I was not very happy about it. I was probably 6 or 7 at them time & ever since then I've hated them. I'm sure I've eaten them a few times since then to be polite, but they taste kind of like dirt to me. But I know they're really good for you, so I decided to find a recipe that would make me like them. I was watching Paula Deen a few weeks ago & she made a roasted beet salad where she topped the salad with feta. I love feta, so I thought I would try it. I just roasted the beets and asparagus together at 400 with some olive oil until tender & then topped the beets with some herbed feta &...I liked them! Yeah!

Ginger Glazed Mahi Mahi

recipe image
Rated: rating
Submitted By: DECODIANA
Photo By: Allrecipes
Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Cook Time: 12 Minutes

Ready In: 37 Minutes
Servings: 4
"This Ginger Glazed Mahi Mahi is bursting with flavor and combines both sweet and sour taste sensations. The 30 minute prep time includes 20 minutes to marinate. This recipe is a snap and so delicious. You'll love it!"
3 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger root
1 clove garlic, crushed or to taste

2 teaspoons olive oil
4 (6 ounce) mahi mahi fillets
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1. In a shallow glass dish, stir together the honey, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, ginger, garlic and olive oil. Season fish fillets with salt and pepper, and place them into the dish. If the fillets have skin on them, place them skin side down. Cover, and refrigerate for 20 minutes to marinate.
2. Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Remove fish from the dish, and reserve marinade. Fry fish for 4 to 6 minutes on each side, turning only once, until fish flakes easily with a fork. Remove fillets to a serving platter and keep warm.
3. Pour reserved marinade into the skillet, and heat over medium heat until the mixture reduces to a glaze consistently. Spoon glaze over fish, and serve immediately.

Excellent meatballs!

My new favorite show on the food network is Secrets of a Restaurant Chef with Chef Anne Burrell. She's also an assistant to Mario Batali on Iron Chef. I can't say enough great things about her. She has such a fun personality on her show. She makes me feel like I can cook like a restaurant chef! I saw her make these meatballs a few weeks ago and they looked so good, I knew I had to try them. I make pretty good meatballs, but they're not the best ever & I like to make things over and over until I feel like I have the best recipe ever! These were really really really good. The most surprising ingredient to me was the water. She said it would make the meatballs more moist and it definitely did that. I didn't use her marinara sauce, but I will next time when I have the ingredients, it looked delicious.

Excellent Meatballs

Recipe courtesy Anne Burrell

Prep Time:
40 min
Inactive Prep Time:
hr min
Cook Time:
43 min


18 to 20 meatballs


* Extra-virgin olive oil
* 1 large onion, 1/4-inch dice
* Salt
* 2 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped
* Pinch crushed red pepper
* 1/2 pound ground beef
* 1/2 pound ground veal
* 1/2 pound ground pork
* 2 large eggs
* 1 cup grated Parmigiano
* 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
* 1 cup breadcrumbs
* 1/2 cup water
* Marinara Sauce, recipe follows


Coat a large saute pan with olive oil, add the onions and bring to a medium-high heat. Season the onions generously with salt and cook for about 5 to 7 minutes. The onions should be very soft and aromatic but have no color. Add the garlic and the crushed red pepper and saute for another 1 to 2 minutes. Turn off heat and allow to cool.

In a large bowl combine the meats, eggs, Parmigiano, parsley and bread crumbs. It works well to squish the mixture with your hands. Add the onion mixture and season generously with salt and squish some more. Add the water and do 1 final really good squish. The mixture should be quite wet. Test the seasoning of the mix by making a mini hamburger size patty and cooking it. The mixture should taste really good! If it doesn't it is probably missing salt. Add more. Add more anyway.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Shape the meat into desired size. Some people like 'em big some people like 'em small. I prefer meatballs slightly larger than a golf ball. Coat a large saute pan with olive oil and bring to a medium-high heat. Brown the meatballs on all sides. Place them on a cookie sheet and bake them in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked all the way through. If using right away, add them to your big pot of marinara sauce. If not using right away, they can be frozen for later use. Serve with pasta and sauce or just eat them straight out of the pot! YUM!
Marinara Sauce:

* 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
* 1/4 pound diced pancetta
* 2 large Spanish onions, cut into 1/4-inch dice
* Kosher salt
* 4 large garlic cloves, smashed and chopped
* 4 (28-ounce) cans Italian plum San Marzano tomatoes

Coat a large saucepot with olive oil and add the pancetta. Bring the pot to a medium-high heat and cook the pancetta for 4 to 5 minutes. Add the onions, season generously with salt and stir to coat with olive oil. Cook the onions for 6 to 7 minutes stirring frequently. The onions should become very soft and aromatic but have no color. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes stirring frequently.

Pass the tomatoes through the food mill. Be sure to pass all of the pulp through the holes leaving only the stems and the seeds, and be sure to scrape the pulp off of the bottom of the food mill. That's all of the big money stuff! Add the tomatoes to the pot and rinse out 1 of the empty tomato cans with water and add that water to the pot (about 2 to 3 cups). Season generously with salt and TASTE IT!!!! Tomatoes take a lot of salt. Season in baby steps and taste every step of the way. Cook the sauce for 2 to 3 hours, stirring occasionally and tasting frequently.

Use the sauce right away on pasta or for any other tomato sauce need. This sauce can also be cooled and stored in the refrigerator for a few days and freezes really well.

Yield: 2 quarts

Spaghetti Pie

This was a family favorite growing up. After I got married I made it one time when I had some left over spaghetti and Matt loved it! Spaghetti is not one of his favorite foods. He likes it ok, but doesn't love it, but he LOVES spaghetti pie. It's really easy to make and a nice way to use left overs. If I make this using left overs I don't make the red sauce in this recipe. I just use the meat sauce from the left overs.

Diana's Spaghetti Pie

6 oz spaghetti (cooked & drained)
1/3 c Parmesan cheese
1 lb hamburger (sometimes I dice up left over meatballs)
1 8 oz can tomatoes cut up
1 t sugar
1/2 t garlic cloves, crushed
2 T butter
2 well beaten eggs
1/2 c chopped onion
1 6 oz can tomato paste
1 t oregano
1 c cottage cheese
1/2 c mozzarella cheese, shredded

Stir butter, parmesan cheese and eggs into cooked and drained noodles in a bowl. Form this mixture into a crust in a buttered 9 x 13 pan. In skillet cook beef, add onions and garlic and cook until cooked through. Stir in tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, oregano and garlic salt. Heat through. Spread cottage cheese over the top of the spaghetti crust. Put meat mixture on top of cottage cheese. Bake at 350 uncovered for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with mozzarella and bake for 5 more minutes or until completely cooked through.