Friday, December 5, 2014

Hot Chocolate Cookie Recipe

Baby it's cold outside and you want some hot chocolate, right?  It's that time of year again where we all roll up our sleeves and fight the great fight against time to produce as many awesome cookies we can before Santa comes down our chimneys!  Why not have your hot chocolate in cookie form?  These wonderful cookies are sure to please any chocoholics out there.  Proceed with caution, you can't have just one!

One note I might add is that this recipe is going to be difficult for people just starting out with baking as these take a particular process.  The time and effort on these are so worth it!


1/2 C Butter
12 oz bag Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1 1/4 C Brown Sugar
3 Eggs
2 tsp Vanilla
1/4 C Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 1/2 C Flour
1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Salt
8 oz Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate split into 1 inch pieces for 32 cookies, plus more grated to top with
16 large Marshmallows, cut in half

In a medium saucepan, melt Butter and Chocolate Chips and stir often.  Just when everything is melted through, take off the heat and set aside for 5 minutes to slightly cool.

Meanwhile, beat Brown Sugar, Eggs and Vanilla.  Beat in slightly cooled chocolate mix.  Add Cocoa Powder, Flour, Baking Powder and Salt.  Once combined, cover bowl and refrigerate for 2 hours.  This would be a good time to grate the extra chocolate, store in fridge until use.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees f.  Line cookie sheets with parchment paper to prevent burning.  Scoop cookie dough with a spoon onto cookie sheet at least 2 inches apart from eachother.  Dough drops will be slightly larger than walnut size.

Bake for 12 minutes.  Place 1 piece of Baker's Chocolate in the middle on top of each cookie.  Place 1 Marshmallow half on each chocolate piece on the cookie.  Return to oven and bake for another 4 minutes.  Take out, dust with grated chocolate and cool by leaving on pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to cooling racks.  Let cool long enough for chocolate to harden back up (maybe 2 hours).  Store in airtight container.

Recipe found via Pinterest from Holly Lofthouse at  The grated chocolate on top of these make it extra special.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Pumpkin Pie Recipe

Who wants Pumpkin Pie?  I sure do!  Thanksgiving is next week and I know some of you have been just dying for this wonderful dessert to be set right before your eyes.  As for the significant delays in between posts, I apologize.  My husband and I moved to a house with a much better kitchen now.  It is a lot to take care of!

I wanted to make the best pumpkin pie recipe I could make.  I've had the filling recipe for many many years from the family.  My mother had this recipe in her big cookbook and it was always a winner.  Not sure who in the family she got this from.  This is the best pie filling I have ever come across.  However my mother wasn't good about making pie crusts.  She insisted on buying pre-made pie crusts all the time.  Although this is a very good filling recipe to use in the pre-made crusts, I tend to prefer everything homemade if it's not too much of a pain.  I thought about the best pie crust recipe I've come across and it comes from none other than my mother in law.  She's ridiculously good at apple pie.



2 eggs
1 can Pumpkin Puree (about 1 3/4 c)
1 C. Brown Sugar
1 Tbsp. Flour
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 3/4 C. Evaporated Milk
1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
1/2 tsp. Nutmeg
1/2 tsp. Ginger
1/4 tsp. Cloves


1 1/4 C. Flour
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/3 C. Shortening (lard is ok too)
3-4 Tbsp. COLD Water

Mix all ingredients well  for pie filling together in a medium bowl.  Set aside for preparation of crust.

Stir Flour and Salt for Crust recipe in a medium bowl until well combined.  Cut in Shortening (or lard) until the pieces are the size of small peas.  Add 1 Tbsp of Cold Water to the mix and toss with a fork, push to the side of the bowl until it is all moistened.  How much water you actually need will depend on the humidity level around you.

On a lightly floured surface, flatten dough with hands and form a disc shape.  Roll dough from center to edge until about 12 inches in diameter.  Transfer dough to a greased pie plate.  Lightly press dough into place, paying attention to the edges.  Be sure to fill holes with extra dough.  Trim dough and flute edges.

Fill crust with filling, wrap edges with foil to prevent burning and bake at 425 degrees f for 15 min. Turn down oven to 350 degrees f and bake for another 35-40 minutes or until done.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Banana Mango Strawberry Coconut Chia Seed Bread

I'm so sorry to make you guys wait for another recipe from me.  I've been extremely busy the last few months.  I have still been making a lot of new things. Here, I have been wanting to try something new with my awesome banana bread recipe that has been in the family for several generations.  I came across a banana mango and strawberry bread recipe on Pinterest.  When I looked at the recipe, it had a few things that I didn't have on hand like coconut oil and almond milk.  I was up for the challenge and looked at 2 of these recipes and my own banana bread recipe and came up with my own.  This bread is so moist and flavorful that you don't even need to get the butter spread out!  And if you are lacking in an ingredient such as chia seeds, don't worry.  You can use something like poppy seeds in place or just get rid of the seeds in general.


1 C Sugar
1/2 C Butter, softened
2 Bananas
2 C Flour
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Vanilla
1/4 tsp Almond Extract
1/2 tsp Ground Ginger
2 Tbsp Chia Seeds
1 Whole Mango, diced
1/2 C Sliced Strawberries, slice extra for topping
1/2 C Coconut, keep extra for topping

Cream Sugar and Butter together.  Add Bananas and mix well.  In a separate bowl, mix Flour, Baking Soda and Salt.  Add to Banana mix.  Add Vanilla, Almond Extract, Ground Ginger, Chia Seeds and mix. Dough may be stiff but will loosen with the remaining ingredients.  Add Mango, Strawberries and Coconut and mix.  Transfer to a greased bread pan.  Smooth out the top with a scraper.  Add Sliced Strawberries on top and sprinkle with Coconut.  Bake at 350 degrees f for at least 1 hour.  Check every 5-10 minutes after and take out when done.  Mine took about 1 hour and 20 minutes.  Coconut will look toasted when done and the middle should be set.

Inspirations for this recipe came from: My family's Banana Bread Recipe,, and

Friday, January 10, 2014

Mushroom and Fontina Cheese Empanadas

Before this year, I have never had an empanada.  They seem to be the cat's meow these days so naturally, I had to try them out.  I was lucky enough to find this gem on Pinterest.  My favorite part of this is the raisins in it, as weird as that sounds.  The original recipe calls for using a dipping sauce such as aji criollo or spicy cilantro hot sauce.  We couldn't find that at the store and didn't notice the recipe for that, so we opted for a green salsa with cilantro in it.  I'm sure it's not as good as it could be.  I personally think these are great without that sauce.  I made some changes to the recipe as I saw fit.  This would be excellent to have with a fresh bean salad on the side.


20 Empanada Discs (about 5 inch diameter, found in the frozen section with ethnic foods so be sure to thaw before using)
2 Tbsp Butter
16oz Sliced Baby Portabello Mushrooms
2 C Sliced Shallots (about 7-8)
1/2 C Raisins
2 tsp Balsamic Vinegar
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 C Grated Fontina Cheese (or more if you love cheese like I do)
1 Egg, Yolk and White separated and lightly whisked

Melt butter in large skillet on medium heat.  Add Mushrooms and Shallots.  Cook until tender, about 15 minutes.  Add Balsamic Vinegar and Raisins and cook for 3 minutes.  Take off heat and set to the side to cool down.

To make the Empanadas, place a spoonful of mushroom mix in the center of the empanada disc.  Top with cheese. Brush edges of the empanada disc with Egg Whites.  Fold over one side and seal edges with a fork.  Curl up edges and pinch to look like pie edging.  This helps them to stay sealed in the oven.  Store the empanadas in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.  This also helps the empanada stay sealed.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees f.  Lightly brush empanadas with the Egg Yolk.  Bake in oven to start with 15-20 minutes or until golden.  I baked mine for about 26 minutes as it depends on what oven you use.  Serve warm.

The original recipe came from  I increased the amount of mushrooms and rasins I used.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Pecan, Squash and Cranberry Speckled Wild Rice

For the past year, my husband and I have been trying our best to eat healthier while trying new things.  The only way I ate squash before our adventures were to roast it and add butter and brown sugar.  I didn't know how awesome it would be to add squash in other dishes.  It made sense to try out this idea as squashes generally are very healthy for you.  We came across this recipe, again on Pinterest (my favorite cookbook).   I would like to note that this recipe wasn't the clearest and I think I got more rice than expected since I made mine from scratch.


1/2 C Brown Rice, dry
1/2 C Wild Rice, dry
2 1/2 C Water
1 Small Acorn or Butternut Squash, peeled and cubed (about 2 C)
2/3 C Pecan Halves
1/2 Shallots or Sweet Onions, chopped
1 Clove Garlic, minced
2 Small Carrots, peeled and sliced at the bias
2 Stalks Celery, chopped
1 Tbsp Fresh Thyme, chopped
1/2 C Dried Cranberries
A Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes
1 Tbsp Butter
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a rice cooker, prepare Brown Rice and Wild Rice with water.  It takes about 30-50 minutes to cook rice depending on your cooker.  I also like to butter the sides of the pan the rice goes in to cook so nothing sticks.  I add a little bit of sea salt as well to enhance the flavor.  When done cooking, add to a large mixing bowl.

In a greased jelly roll pan, roast squash in the oven at 450 degrees f for 20-25 minutes or until browned. When done, add to bowl with rice mix. While squash is cooking, heat a large skillet on top of the stove at low-medium heat.  Add Pecans and cook until aromatic.  Watch these closely as they go from a nice toast to burnt within a minute.  Transfer nuts to a chopping board and allow to cool.  Chop nuts and add to rice mix.

With the same skillet, turn the heat to medium-high heat.  Heat butter.  Add Shallots or Onions and Garlic and saute until soft. Add Celery, Carrots and Red Pepper Flakes.  Stir briskly and cook for 2 minutes.  Add to rice mix.  To the rice mix, add Thyme, Cranberries, Salt and Pepper and toss to combine.  Serve warm or at room temperature.  The flavors mix well with time so it gets better if you let it sit and then serve it slightly warmed.

Recipe from (suganya is the name?).  I made my own Wild Rice mix with Brown Rice.

Kiwi and Fuji Apple Applesauce

I got a new toy for Christmas.  I was so excited as I wanted a food processor for years!  Since I got it, I've been slicing, chopping and pureeing anything I can get my hands on.  The other day, I used it to make a marinade for some squash that I'd normally just chop everything up by hand and put it all together.  I told my husband that I just couldn't handle that and used that as my excuse to use the food processor.  He laughed.  When I got this food processor, I looked up some of the recipes that use a food processor.  I came across a kiwi and fuji apple applesauce recipe on Pinterest.  I made it like it said, only I doubled the recipe as it made a small amount.  I tried it and it was very tart and needed a little bit more kiwi flavor.  So I altered their recipe a little bit.  I added the sugar to calm down the tartness a little bit and I added the kiwi to give more depth to the flavor.  I hope to make a Kiwi Strawberry Fuji Apple Applesauce sometime.  I would just omit one of the kiwis and replace it with some strawberries.  The best thing about this recipe is that it's fast and tastes really fresh and doesn't take a whole lot of effort to make.  No cooking required!


3 Kiwis, peeled
2 Fuji Apples, cored, peeled and chopped down to big hunks for processing
Juice of 1 Lemon
Sugar to taste (I did about 2 tsp)

Put all together in food processor with chopping blade.  Let it go until it gets blended into a nice smooth applesauce.  Then it's ready to eat!

Original recipe came from Chef Haji on  I added a kiwi and added in the sugar.