Sunday, August 28, 2011

Garlic Parmesan Orzo

Garlic Parmesan Orzo
Orzo is just rice-shaped pasta and cooks up just like pasta. I bought a bag for the first time and tried out a recipe called Garlic Parmesan from allrecipes and paired it up with some chicken breasts that were marinated in Kraft's Zesty Italian (low calorie) dressing. All you need to do is just follow the directions on the bag of orzo (this recipe calls for 2 cups) and then rinse it and add it to the frying pan. The frying pan should have the butter and garlic all set to go and then add the rest of the ingredients. This makes a pretty big portion so you will have leftovers! It tastes great and is the perfect side dish. Try it out! 


  • 2 cups uncooked orzo pasta
  • 3 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup butter, cubed
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper


  1. Cook orzo according to package directions; drain. In a large skillet, saute garlic in butter until tender. Add the orzo, Parmesan cheese milk, parsley salt and pepper. Cook and stir until heated through.


Saturday, August 27, 2011

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
We eat a lot of bananas in this family. My hubby also on occasion will bring some home from his work place and I will get requests from his co-workers for some banana bread. His co-workers actually get treated to a lot of my goodies and I always send extra in my hubby's lunch for him to share! With these ripe bananas that we had sitting around, I decided to make some banana muffins. But these muffins needed some chocolate and a drizzle of frosting. Here is the recipe for these moist banana muffins and I also added some mini chocolate chips and a peanut butter glaze for the top!

Banana Crumb Muffins -


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 bananas, mashed
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon butter


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease 10 muffin cups, or line with muffin papers.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together 1 1/2 cups flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, beat together bananas, sugar, egg and melted butter. Stir the banana mixture into the flour mixture just until moistened. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, 2 tablespoons flour and cinnamon. Cut in 1 tablespoon butter until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Sprinkle topping over muffins.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean.

  • 4 teaspoons water
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter


  1. Stir together the water, sugar, and peanut butter until smooth.

"To Die For" Blueberry Muffins

Blueberry Muffins
This is my no fail recipe when it comes to blueberry muffins. You can add the crumb topped or just choose to do some brown sugar and cinnamon. They always turn out great!


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


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease muffin cups or line with muffin liners.
  2. Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 3/4 cup sugar, salt and baking powder. Place vegetable oil into a 1 cup measuring cup; add the egg and enough milk to fill the cup. Mix this with flour mixture. Fold in blueberries. Fill muffin cups right to the top, and sprinkle with crumb topping mixture.
  3. To Make Crumb Topping: Mix together 1/2 cup sugar, 1/3 cup flour, 1/4 cup butter, and 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon. Mix with fork, and sprinkle over muffins before baking.
  4. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until done.

Biscuits & Gravy

Biscuits and Gravy
Another quick meal I wanted to share was 'hot from the oven' biscuits that were topped off with cooked up ground pork and a white sausage gravy from a package I bought stateside. Unfortunately, the package made it to the garbage before I got a picture of it. This can be the norm when trying to feed hungry mouths! This was tasty and a tad heavy feeling, but I really wanted to try this combination since it's such a Southern thing to eat. I bought a package of biscuits and threw them in the oven and fried up the ground pork in a frying pan until it was cooked. Then I made the gravy in a small pot and combined it with the pork. I poured it over the hot biscuits and topped it off with some pepper and dried parsley.

Garlic Dill Salmon w/ Alfredo sauce & Pasta

This is just another way of enjoying salmon with some minced up fresh garlic and dill on top (baked in the oven at 350 degrees for about 10 mins or until the salmon is cooked through). You really don't want to over power the flavor of the fish but just to enhance it a bit. I was all out of lemon juice but this was just as good without it. For a side I did up some whole grain pasta and added some Alfredo sauce from a jar. This was a quick and easy meal and one I would call comfort food in our family!

German Chocolate Cupcakes

German Chocolate Cupcakes

I love shopping stateside and had the opportunity to get away with my sister in law for a night to Bangor, Maine. I slowly went up the baking aisle at Walmart and grabbed a few unique items that we wouldn't have at our stores here at home. One was a cake mix for German Chocolate and the matching Coconut Pecan frosting. What a treat! Of course you could make this cake all from scratch, but in my busy life I liked this option much better. They tasted great and I had to share!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Carrot Cake Cookies

Carrot Cake Cookies
 I was looking at children's books at The Christmas Tree Shoppe and stumbled on this cute cookbook by Sesame Street. It's filled with some great cookie recipes that are toddler friendly and fun for kids to help out in the kitchen too! These cookies were super easy to make and tasted great too. Can't wait to try some of the other recipes, but for now here is the recipe for Carrot Cake Cookies:

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup grated carrots (about 2 medium)
1/2 chopped walnuts
1/2 cup raisins or chopped dried pineapple

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 2 cookie sheets.
2. Stir the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowel. Beat the brown sugar and butter in a large bowel with a mixer until creamy. Add the egg and vanilla until well blended.
3. Stir in the flour mixture. Stir in the carrots and raisins. Drop the dough by tablespoons onto cookie sheet.
4. Bake 12-14 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.

Looking forward to when my boys are a little older and can help me out more in the cookie making process rather than just the eating! My youngest just turned 1 and I also have a 2 year old who loves to watch me make all his favorites. Lots of fun times ahead for sure!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Marshmallow Fluff Icing!

Chocolate Cupcakes w/ Fluff Icing
What do you do with a tub of Marshmallow Fluff? I decided to make some icing to go on top of some chocolate cupcakes. This icing is very rich and sweet in flavor but easy to make. Here is the recipe and this site also has video to watch on how to make it:

Marshmallow Icing
1 c. butter
1 - 1 1/2 c. icing sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
8 oz. fluff (1/2 to whole jar)

Mix all together.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Cinnamon Pancakes w/ Caramelized Peaches & Blueberries

Cinnamon Pancakes w/ Peaches & Blueberries
Peach season is upon us and there is nothing better than the smell of fresh peaches. I decided to caramelize a couple of peaches in a frying pan with about 2 tablespoons of margarine, about a half a cup of brown sugar, a tsp. of vanilla, and some dashes of cinnamon on medium heat. Then just before the peaches were done and soft, I added some frozen blueberries and it made a wonderful sauce with the peaches. Here is the recipe I used for the thin cinnamon pancakes which makes around 8-10 small size pancakes. You can top them with some whip cream or plain yogurt! This would be great for breakfast or dessert.

  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour or whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar or honey, or to taste ( I used honey ) 
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil or applesauce
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon 
  • 1 egg

Pulled Pork on a Bun

Pulled Pork
Pulled Pork is a lot easier than it may seem. All you need is your trusty slowcooker and a bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce. My husband made this delicious pork supper by using a whole bottle of Diana Sauce - Chicken and Rib and put the pork tenderloin in the slowcooker for 4-5 hours. Once it was done, he toasted up some fresh buns with shredded cheese before adding the pork. This was such a treat! Can't wait to try it again with a different BBQ sauce and make some pulled pork sliders!