Monday, June 20, 2011

Pumpkin Pie Brownies

Pumpkin Pie Brownies
Here is a great recipe if you have any canned pumpkin kickin' around in your pantry. I love eating pumpkin all year round. It's such a comfort food and the smell of nutmeg and cinnamon always makes me feel relaxed. I gave these Pumpkin Pie Brownies a whirl and they turned out fantastic. Mind you, they are quite high in sugar and butter but it's the perfect treat and it tastes just like a slice of pumpkin pie. So thank you Lisa at Sweet As Sugar Cookies for stopping by and for the inspiration! 

Pumpkin Pie Bars (or Pumpkin Brownies) - Brown Eyed Bakerand Bite by Bite

2 c. flour
2 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt (omit if using salted butter)
1 c. butter, melted
2 c. dark brown sugar (I used light brown)
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin

For the top:
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350F. Butter a 9x13 pan and line with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on both sides. (I didn't use any paper, just cooking spray and they came out fine). 

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar and butter. Add the eggs and vanilla and whisk until combined. Add the pumpkin and whisk until thoroughly combined. Add the flour mixture and, using a rubber spatula, gently stir or fold the flour into the pumpkin mixture until just combined.

Scrape the batter into the pan and smooth the top. In a small bowl, stir together the sugar and cinnamon, then sprinkle evenly over the top of the batter. Bake for about 30 min., or until a thin knife inserted into the center has just a few moist crumbs on it. Cool completely and then, using the parchment as handles, lift out of the pan and cut into 24 squares. Store at room temperature in an airtight container.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Chewy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
These cookies do not disappoint by any means. They are soft and chewy and the perfect combination when you need something sweet. I froze most of them in baggies for my hubby's lunches for when he heads back to work at the end of the week.

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups chopped semisweet chocolate


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, peanut butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the corn syrup, water, and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; stir into the peanut butter mixture. Fold in chocolate chunks. Drop by 1/4 cupfuls 3 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheets.
  3. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges are golden. Allow cookies to cool for 1 minute on the cookie sheet before removing to wire racks to cool completely.

Poached Salmon

Another great way of doing salmon is poaching it. This was my first time trying this method out but I really enjoyed the flavor. I used this recipe to make the salmon (didn't have any wine so I just did a cup of water and I also used fresh parsley from my herb garden): 


  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 pounds salmon fillets, cut into 4 pieces
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste

I added the poached salmon to the top of my soup. This soup was made up as I went but it's carrots, peas, corn, chow mien egg noodles in a soya sauce broth which is just soya sauce and water. I also added some VH General Tao stir-fry sauce which is made with 'hints of garlic, sesame, and ginger to give it a little kick. It was the perfect balance with the poached salmon. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Blueberry Buckle

Blueberry Buckle
What do you do with fresh blueberries? First, you do a search for the most top rated blueberry recipe on and see what comes up! Blueberry Buckle has actually been a childhood favorite of mine which I could have called my mother and got her recipe, but I enjoy the hunt of finding my own recipes too. It's actually fun to think that not too far down the road I will be able to share this food blog with my sons, which to me is almost like a food diary, and they will be able to learn and read all about how fun it can be in the kitchen and teaching yourself new things.

My favorite part of the buckle is the topping. I used brown sugar instead of white and also added about a 1/2 cup of quick oats too. Enjoy a slice of this with a nice cup of coffee and squeeze in some time to relax if you can!

  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup cold butter


  1. In a small mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat in the egg. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk. Fold in the blueberries. Pour into greased 9-in. square baking pan.
  2. For topping, combine the sugar, flour and cinnamon in a bowl; cut in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over blueberry mixture. Bake at 375 degrees F for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

Pizza Omelette

Pizza Omelette
Another great recipe from the Mennonite Girls Can Cook blog: Pizza Omelette. We love making omelettes and this was the perfect one to use up the rest of our sliced pepperoni. You can adjust this recipe by adding whatever toppings you want. The kicker is the sauce and cheese to make it taste like pizza!

  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • Pinch basil
  • Pinch Italian seasoning
  • Pinch cayenne
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons pizza or spaghetti sauce
  • 1/4 cup (rounded) mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 1/4 cup tomatoes, diced
  • 1/4 cup green peppers, diced
  • 1/2 cup cooked ham, diced or you can use bacon, sausage or pepperoni
  1. Whisk eggs, milk and spices along with salt and pepper.
  2. Melt and heat butter in a non stick frying pan on medium high heat, I used my cast iron pan.
  3. Pour egg mixture into the pan. When it starts to set lift up sides with spatula, tip pan and let the uncooked egg mixture slide beneath the cooked part.
  4. When eggs are almost set, spread the pizza sauce over the top. Sprinkle on the tomatoes, green pepper and ham. Sprinkle cheese on top.
  5. Place under a preheated broil setting in the oven, watching closely just until cheese is melted and golden in color. If using a non stick pan and you can't place it in the oven, just cover with a lid and cook for another minute or two to allow cheese to melt.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Old Fashioned Chocolate Molasses Cookies

Old Fashioned Chocolate Molasses Cookies
A great 2 in 1 cookie recipe combining chocolate and molasses with a vanilla icing! They curb any craving that you might have and the icing is a must. The "Mennonite Girls Can Cook" blog has lots of cookies recipes with a little family history to go along with it. Try these cookies out and taste some down home family cookin'.

3/4 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cups milk
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp cocoa
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

Cream shortening, sugar and molasses together.
Add egg and vanilla.
Sift flour, cocoa, salt and baking soda together.
Stir into the creamed mixture alternately with the milk until well mixed.
At this point you can make drop cookies by dropping rounded teaspoonfuls of the dough on a baking pan lined with parchment paper or add enough flour to make a dough that can be rolled, then cut with a cooky cutter.
Bake at 375ยบ for 10 to 12 min.
Frost with a plain vanilla icing.

Vanilla Icing:
2 cups icing (powdered) sugar
1 1/2 to 2 tbsp softened butter
1 tsp vanilla
3 to 4 tbsp milk
Combine and stir till smooth and well blended. If necessary add more icing sugar or milk for spreading consistency.

Inside Out Lasagna

Inside Out Lasagna 
My first thought his morning when I took my hamburger out to unthaw was to make a lasagna for supper. But I traded in prep time for some 'Momma and Dadda' time while the boys napped and sat outside on our deck enjoying the sun, coffee, and a few cooking magazines. My hubby had to work a night shift this evening and I noticed I would be cutting it short if I made a lasagna since they take about 50 minutes to bake so I came up with another idea instead. I made up my lasagna filling (fried up the hamburger, drained the fat, then added some pasta sauce, onion powder, dried herbs as well as fresh parley and basil, and some leftover mashed sweet potato for the 'sneaky' ingredient) and boiled up some egg noodles. Egg noodles are great because they are low in fat and cholesterol. Once both were ready I combined them then added it to an 8" x 8" baking dish (or bigger depending on how much hamburger you used). On top of that I added some cottage cheese (I used 50% less sodium), parsley, Parmesan cheese, and shredded cheese. Then it went into a 350 degree oven for about 10-12 minutes (until the cheese is melted and the cottage cheese is not cold). It was such an easy and quick meal for my family and so I named it the "Inside Out Lasagna" since all the insides were on the out!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Toddler Muffins - Low Sugar

I've recently become more conscientious about the amount of sugar that can be found in toddler snacks. That's not to say I won't ever buy them, but I want to do my best to feed my kids less sugar when I have the choice to do so. Less sugar for toddlers means less chance of cavities too! I enjoy making homemade snacks because I know what the ingredients are that goes into what I am making. Here is a great site I found that has some information about sugar and  limiting your toddler's intake of it.


Gradually Reducing Sugar

  • Cereal- If your toddler has grown accustomed to sweetened cereals you can slowly wean her off of them, while adjusting her tastes, by gradually diluting the cereal with a non-sugared alternative.
  • Juice- Slowly dilute juices until they a ½ juice and ½ water mixture. Juices do count as a fruit serving but most contain a lot of sugars. Your toddler shouldn’t drink any more than 4-6 ounces of juice per day.
  • Jams & Jellies- Trade in your favorite preserves for an all-fruit spread.
  • Yogurt- Fruit yogurt is a surprising source of sugar for many parents. Opt for plain yogurt and add your own fruit to sweeten it up.

Healthier Choices to Satisfy a Sweet Tooth

Fruit is a wonderful and diverse way to satisfy a sweet tooth. Fresh fruit can be cut up and served in a bowl for a quick snack. It can be dried and mixed into cereals, yogurt, and cottage cheese and even paired with steamed veggies. Fruit can be sliced or blended and frozen for a healthy alternative to popsicles and frozen treats. Fruit purees can be added to hot cereals and baked goods.
If you do make baked goods, prepare them without frosting or a glaze.

When to Have Sweets

When you serve sweets is just as important as the type of sweets you serve. Having sugar first thing in the morning can cause a “sugar high” followed by a sudden drop, which leads to a tired cranky toddler. The best time to have a sweet treat is after a well-balanced meal, which has plenty of protein and fiber to temper the sugar levels in the body. Also, on a full tummy, your toddler is likely to have a smaller portion.
While sugar can’t be completely eradicated from your toddler’s diet—it is necessary for all that energy that keeps your toddler busy—it can be kept to healthy and appropriate amount without depriving your toddler of some of life’s sweetest pleasures.

Here is a healthy low sugar muffin recipe that I found and you can basically substitute the fruits and veggies for whatever you have. I replaced the zucchini with blueberries and they came out great. Perfect for our breakfast and for a snack! Give them a try! 


Prep Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 40 mins
  1. 1 Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).
  2. 2 In a large bowl, whisk together oil and sugar. Beat in egg, then applesauce. Stir in carrots and zucchini.
  3. 3 In another large bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
  4. 4 Fold dry ingredients into wet, until just mixed. Grease muffin tray. Spoon batter to the very top of muffin cups and bake 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean when inserted in a muffin.

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