Monday, August 23, 2010

Deb's Dill Dip

My BF's mom makes this great dill dip for family get-togethers. She kindly shared the recipe with me so I could make it for her son whenever he wants it. Here it is right from her recipe card... my changes are in red :)

Deb's Dill Dip
2/3 cup mayo - I used Kraft Olive Oil Mayo
2.3 cup sour cream
1 Tbsp dill weed
1 Tbsp parsley flakes
1 Tbsp minced onion flakes - I used a light sprinkle of onion powder to taste
1/2 tsp seasoned salt

Combine all ingredients and refrigerate overnight. Serve with rye and or pumpernickel breads.

Deb's additional variations:
Use an 8oz (1 cup) container of sour cream then use the empty sour cream container to measure an equal amount (1 cup) of mayo. Since this is 50% more mayo and sour cream, increase the other herbs and onions to 1 1/2 Tbsps and increase the salt to 3/4 tsp.

I made this and let it sit over night in the fridge. The BF loved it the next day, even with my changes :)


Sunday, August 22, 2010

Stuff to try out....

Here's some stuff I want to try soon. I hope school isn't going to tie me up as much as it did the last few months....

If you try any of these, let me know how they turn out :)

Friday, August 13, 2010

Crayon Roll

When my BFF's son was about to be a big brother, I decided to make him a cute crayon roll to keep him busy at the hospital :) I think it turned out sooo adorable :)

What do you think?

My First Hat

I made my first hat a little while ago :)

What do you think?

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

I have a get together to go to tomorrow so I decided to make cupcakes since everyone likes cupcakes. However, since I have a 20 page paper that is due Sunday, I decided to take the easy way out and just use box mix and canned frosting (GASP). I know its blasphemy but - hey - I'm busy.

Well of course I had to find some way to make it time consuming so I decided to get some cake decorating tips and make them pretty looking. But since I'm scatterbrained, I forgot that using fancy cake decorating tips to frost cupcakes would require a lot of frosting. I OBVIOUSLY didn't get enough to cover 48 cupcakes. So instead of running out at 10:30pm to try to find frosting I made my own - YAY ME!

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup butter (one stick), softened
4-5 tbsp cocoa powder
4 cups sifted powdered sugar
2-3 tbsp vanilla extract
3-5 tbsp water (can use cream or milk as well)

Cream the butter and shortening until smooth. Add 1 cup of powdered sugar at a time, making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl often. Add cocoa powder, making sure it blends well. Frosting will look a bit dry. Now add the vanilla and the water. You can add more depending on how stiff you want the frosting to be.


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Pepperoni Rolls

I totally copied this recipe from Suzanne. It's delicious and can be grabbed as a snack or you can pack 2 for a lunch. I only made minimal changes. Check out her website - it's awesome and she has step-by-step pics of this yumminess.

Pepperoni Rolls


1 1/2 cups warm water

1 teaspoon yeast

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1 egg

1/3 cup oil

1 cup chopped pepperoni

1/2 cup shredded mozzarella

4 cups flour (approx)


pepperoni slices or sticks

mozzarella or pepper jack cheese (approx. 2 cups)

In a large bowl, combine water, yeast, salt, sugar, minced garlic, egg, oil, chopped pepperoni, and the 1/2 cup of cheese. Let sit five minutes. Stir in the first cup and a half of flour with a heavy spoon. Add the next cup of flour a little at a time as needed, stirring until dough becomes too stiff to continue stirring easily. Add a little more flour and begin kneading. The amount of flour is approximate since dough can be temperamental.

Continue adding flour and kneading until the dough is smooth and elastic. Let dough rise in a greased, covered bowl until doubled. (Usually, about an hour. Mine took about 2 hrs to rise enough.) Uncover bowl; sprinkle in a little more flour and knead again before dividing in half into two balls.

Working with one half of the dough at a time, roll each ball of dough out onto a floured surface into a rectangle (approximately 8×12 inches). Sprinkle flour over the dough to keep from sticking as you roll. Make one slice lengthwise down the dough. Slicing from the other direction, make a slice down the middle, then again, until you have eight pieces. Sprinkle with cheese. Place about 3 pepperoni slices or sticks on each piece. Roll up, pinching seam to seal.

Let rise approximately 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Bake for 20-30 minutes. (Watch carefully–the size of your rolls will vary the baking time–they’re done when they’ve browned.) Makes 16 rolls.


Thursday, July 1, 2010

Life happens

SonyaAnn told me to post something so here I go....

I have been in school for last semester (2 classes) and this summer (2 classes) and working full time with extra responsibilities. I am still cooking - I even just got a pressure canner off of Craigslist for $50 :). I even took pictures of the stuff I cooked so that I can post about them later. Right now, I'm cleaning my apartment and trying to finish homework because tomorrow I get to have all 4 of my wisdom teeth extracted (and I'm not even getting knocked out to have it done). Then, I don't even get to have Monday off (observed 4th of July) because I have to be at work at 4am for International coverage.... maybe at 4am I'll have time to post something more substantial :) with pictures of yumminess.

Well wish me luck with the teeth thing.... maybe I'll lose a few pounds since all I can eat is applesauce, yogurt and jello :)


Thursday, January 28, 2010

Shrimp Burritos

My BF wanted me to try to make a mexican dish with shrimp. So I opted for shrimp burritos. They turned out pretty good. I would just make the rice a little different next time.

Shrimp Burritos

15-20 shrimp
1 tbsp butter
3-4 tbsp chopped onions
splash of lemon juice
light sprinkling of garlic powder and cilantro

First, prepare the rice. I made mine like a Chipolte knock-off. Boil rice with a dash of salt, a splash of lime juice and a generous sprinkling of cilantro. When the rice is almost done, melt the butter on a frying pan and saute the onions until they are translucent. I liked mine fairly browned. Add the shrimp, lemon juice, garlic powder and cilantro. Cook until shrimp are pink. I made my slightly browned. Remove from heat and wait for them to cool a little. Cut into little pieces.

Serve the shrimp and onions with your favorite burrito toppings. We had black beans, salsa verde with corn, sour cream and shredded cheese.

Makes roughly 4 medium sized burritos.
They were yummy :)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

S'more Topped Brownies

Last weekend the BF and I met up with some friends to play some video games and hangout. I decided to make this to bring along. Eaten by itself or with some vanilla ice cream, it's delightful, as you can tell by my friends' face....

S'more Topped Brownies: adapted from Kate

3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1-1/2 cup chocolate chips
3 eggs
1-1/2 cup flour
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking soda (use 1/4 tsp if you like fudgey brownies)
1 1/2 cup broken graham crackers
3 tbsp butter, melted
2 cup mini marshmallows
1 Hershey bar, broken into individual pieces

1. Heat sugar and butter in a medium pot over low heat until butter is completely melted, stirring often. Remove from heat, stir in 1 1/2 c. chocolate chips until melted, and let cool to room temperature.

2. In a small bowl, briefly whisk the eggs. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of chocolate mixture to the eggs and stir to combine, just to temper the eggs. Then pour all of eggs into the pot with the melted chocolate. Stir to combine.

3. Stir in flour, vanilla and baking soda until well blended. Pour into a greased 13×9 casserole dish.

4. In a small bowl, combine the graham crackers and butter and sprinkle over the brownies. Add the marshmallows and the chocolate pieces.

5. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

Enjoy :)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Egg Bread

Mmmm. Yummy egg bread :) We were out of sammich bread so I pulled out my recipe book and made this delightful egg bread. It's almost like a challah but the texture is a bit different.

Heres my version:

Egg Bread
2-1/4 tsp yeast
3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp brown sugar
4 tbsp nonfat dry milk
2 tbsp butter
1 cup water
1-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 medium eggs
1 tsp lemon juice

Add all items to bread machine in order for your model. You can bake it on white bread setting or you can remove it from the machine and place in a greased bread pan. Punch down the dough and let rise for another 10-20 mins in a warm place. Bake at 350* until top is golden - about 20 minutes. Quickly slice off the end of the loaf while it's still warm and slather with butter.

~Enjoy :)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Chicken Quesadilla

A few weeks ago, I had a craving for a Taco Bell quesadilla but didn't feel like going out because there was a ton of snow out. Luckily, I came up with this recipe. It's delicious and comes together in about 15 minutes.

1 part softened cream cheese or sour cream
1 part mayo
1 tsp sugar
cayenne - to taste
paprika - to taste and for color

I usually do 3-4 tbsp cream cheese and 3-4 tbsp Kraft Mayo with Olive Oil

2-3 breasts cut into little pieces
season chicken with Old El Paso seasoning or a mixture of cumin, garlic powder, seasoned salt and paprika

Fry the seasoned chicken pieces until no longer pink. Put chicken in a large bowl. Pour the sauce mixture over the chicken and mix well.

Spoon the chicken/sauce mixture onto half of a large burrito shell on a pan on medium heat. Sprinkle fiesta cheese over the filling and fold shell in half. (I love my split pan for this recipe :))

Let it warm enough to melt the cheese - about 1-2 minutes per side. Remove to plate and cut with pizza cutter. Makes about 6 quesadillas.


Crocheted Dish Scrubbies

I got this idea and pattern from Suzanne. I haven't used them yet because they are too cute... I love the ruffles :)

I think they can double as trivets or pot holders. I've been using them to carry hot bowls of soup to the table/couch. They came together really fast too. I made the purple one at work while I was on break and lunch - total time about an hour and a half.


Custom Earrings

My friend Kerry started making custom earrings! I bought 2 pairs from her :)

Pretty pink pearls
Pretty blue trumpets with silver dangly bits

Aren't they pretty?!
If anyone wants a pair, check out her Etsy shop.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Garlic Pull-Apart Bread

I wanted to make bread to go with a pasta dish for a dinner party I was going to. I didn't want to make rolls and I didn't want to make a loaf. Then I found this recipe for garlic pull-apart bread. It got rave reviews!

Basically, make your favorite bread recipe but instead of baking it into a loaf, shape it into a rope and cut it into 1-2 inch pieces (15 to 20 pieces per loaf). Melt 1 stick of butter and add 1 beaten egg, 3 tbsps garlic salt and 1 tbsp dried parsley. Dip each of the bread pieces into the butter mixture and mush it into the pan. Pack them in fairly tightly and let it rise for another 30 mins. Bake for about 25 minutes. It's delicious!

The only change I would make to this recipe is to not make it in a silicone pan. The crispy parts were the best part. I think it would have been better in a regular metal pan.


Drop Biscuits

I've never had the courage to make my own biscuits. I don't have the room to spread out and really make a mess. Curse this tiny apartment! Anywho... Suzanne over at Chickens in the Road (one of my all time favorite blogs) had a recipe for drop biscuits!! I don't need lots of room for drop biscuits. I followed her recipe to the letter.

Drop Biscuits: recipe yoinked from Suzanne

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shortening, lard, or (softened) butter
1 1/3 cups milk

Place first 5 ingredients in a large bowl and work in the shortening, lard, or butter with a pastry cutter then pour in the milk. Drop biscuits are all about the extra milk.

Spoon biscuit dough into a lightly greased pan or onto a baking sheet. I used my large cookie scoop to drop them into little round balls into my cute little casserole dish.

Bake at 450 degrees for 15-20 minutes. These biscuits are moist, so they take a little longer to bake. Your actual bake time will vary depending on the size you make your biscuits and even the type of pan used. Always keep an eye on biscuits while they’re baking!
*Recipe makes one dozen biscuits.

These were delicious!! Even my BF liked them :) If you haven't visited Suzanne yet, you should check her out. She has delicious recipes and fun farm animals :)


Roasted Tomato (Sauce)

I like to make my own tomato sauce. It delicious, versatile and I like that I know what's in it. Here is my crude version of Val's recipe:

Roasted Tomato (Sauce)
a bunch of fresh tomatoes - enough to cut up and cover the bottom of a 9x13 inch pan
EVOO - a tew TBSPs to toss the tomatoes in
Italian herbs - to toss on the tomatoes

Preheat oven to 400*. Cut up the tomatoes and toss them in the EVOO. Don't bother taking the skins off. Sprinkle Italian herbs to taste. Bake in oven for about 40 minutes. Start checking on it when your kitchen starts to smell awesome :). You can use them as is in soups or other dishes. Or you can VERY CAREFULLY run them through a blender and make it into a sauce. Or you can even make your own soup. Next time tomatoes are in season, I'll do this and then can some of the sauce. It's really up to you :)


Thursday, January 14, 2010

Kitty Hat

Another sewing project.... My other hat was getting a bit worn so I made this:

Isn't it adorable!! And the fleece is soooo soft and warm :)


Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Hi everyone! I just realized that I hadn't posted a recipe in a while.... so I'm going to get caught up on all my recipe postings from the past few months. For a holiday potluck at work, it was requested that I make my baklava. My supervisors love this stuff :) I grew up with a lot of greek food so I used that history and this recipe and modified it to make my own version. So here it is:

1 lb phyllo pastry, thawed if frozen
1 cup butter, melted at room temp
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3-4 cups chopped walnuts
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup honey
1 tbsp vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F(175 degrees C). Butter the bottoms and sides of a 9x13 inch pan.
  2. Chop nuts and toss with cinnamon and 1/4 c sugar. Set aside. Unroll phyllo dough. Cut whole stack in half to fit pan. Cover phyllo with a dampened cloth to keep from drying out as you work. Place two sheets of dough in pan, butter thoroughly. Repeat until you have 8 sheets layered. Sprinkle 2 - 3 tablespoons of nut mixture on top. Top with two sheets of dough, butter, nuts, layering as you go. The top layer should be about 6 - 8 sheets deep.
  3. Using a sharp knife cut into diamond or square shapes all the way to the bottom of the pan. You may cut into 4 long rows the make diagonal cuts. Bake for about 50 minutes until baklava is golden and crisp.
  4. Make sauce while baklava is baking. Boil sugar and water until sugar is melted. Add vanilla and honey. Simmer for about 20 minutes.
  5. Remove baklava from oven and immediately spoon sauce over it. Let cool. Serve in cupcake papers. This freezes well. Leave it uncovered as it gets soggy if it is wrapped up.


Sunday, January 10, 2010

Triple Berry Spread

My sister was visiting on her last day before she heads back up to school (shes such a smart cookie :)). We just got back from the Dutch Market up the street and I though it would be neat to send her back to school with something sweet that she can use. I had about 6 cups of frozen mixed strawberries, blueberries and raspberries. I didn't want to make jam because I'd have to chop everything a little more than it already was. So I decided we were going to make a mixed berry spread. I slightly modified the recipe that I was given by the sweet lady at the Dutch Market.

Here's the original recipe (I thought it had too much sugar):
Dutch Jelly/Jam
2 cups fruit
4 cups sugar
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup dutch jell (like Sure Jell or generic pectin)

Mix fruit and sugar and let it stand for 10 minutes. Boil water and dutch jell for 3 minutes. Add the fruit and sugar mixture. Bring to a full rolling boil. Stir for 3 minutes, bringing back to a full boil. Remove from heat. Ladle into prepared jars and process or let cool and refrigerate.

Here's my version:
Triple Berry Spread
6 cups fruit
8 cups sugar (I'll decrease this next time to 6 cups since I think it was too sweet)
2-1/2 cups water
1-1/2 cups dutch jell

Mix fruit and sugar and let it stand for 10 minutes. Boil water and dutch jell for 3 minutes. Put sugar and fruit through a food processor until its the consistency of a very thick smoothie (no big chunks). Add the mixture to the water/jell mixture. Bring to a full rolling boil. Stir for 8 minutes, bringing back to a full boil. Remove from heat. Ladle into prepared jars, let cool and refrigerate.

We put them in the jars and went to a movie. After we came back we noticed that the spread that was in the jars settled a bit and there seemed to be some liquid on the bottom (I think its because of the amount of sugar we used). The consistency after it cooled was almost like a thick mousse - very light and almost poofy :) very surprising.
I had her take 2 jars and give my brother and other sister 2 jars each. I kept the left over big jar.
I had the spread on wheat toast this morning :) It was delicious!


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Sewing Machine Cover

I was not happy with the yucky vinyl cover my sewing machine came with so I modified this pattern slightly and came up with my own reversible cover with a hole for the handle.


Upcycled Skirt

I found this tutorial and decided to make a cute little springtime purse. I went to the GoodWill and found a few adorable printed pleated skirts. Here's the first purse I made :)

I'm thinking of putting a clasp or something at the top to help keep it closed.