Saturday, June 6, 2009


I'm a little bit blue this weekend. My hubby is out of town on business and won't be home until Monday. A whole weekend without my best friend!

Little munchkin and I have been trying to keep busy, so we made blueberry muffins this morning. This is another of my original recipes, dating back to high school foods class. This recipe can be made into muffins or coffee cake.

(Mindi Original)

1 ½ C. fresh or frozen blueberries
¼ C. butter
1 C. sugar
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla
1 t. lemon peel
2 C. flour
1 t. baking powder
½ t. baking soda
1 C. sour cream

1. With an electric mixer on medium speed, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, vanilla, and lemon peel.
2. On low speed beat in sour cream, flour, baking soda, and baking powder.
3. Gently stir in blueberries.
4. Line cupcake pans with paper liners or spray with non stick spray.
5. Spoon batter into pans (makes 24 regular size muffins).
6. Sprinkle with crumb topping. (recipe below)
7. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

To bake as a coffee cake; spoon batter into greased 10 inch microwave safe dish. Sprinkle on topping. Cook on high for 10 minutes, rotating dish one quarter turn every 2 minutes.

1/3 C. brown sugar
1/3 C. flour
1 t. cinnamon
2 T. butter
½ C. finely chopped nuts

In a small bowl combine brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon; mix well. With a fork or pastry blender, cut in better until mixture resembles course crumbs; stir in nuts and set aside.

Thursday, June 4, 2009


When I lived in downtown Salt Lake, I never missed the Annual Greek Fest. I mean, how could I, you could practically smell the Slovakia from my apartment.

I love the fresh clean flavors of Greek cuisine. Ripe tomatoes, cucumbers, a full and fruity olive oil, feta mouth is watering. I'll never forget the taste of my first Gyro from a street vendor in Athens when I was 14, and I'm hoping that one day my husband will acquire a taste for Calamata olives.

That's why I love this Greek version of potato salad. It's a summer favorite and a whole heck of lot healthier than your classic American potato salad. Try taking this to your family and neighborhood barbeque's this summer. It's sure to be a hit.

When I want to make this salad a meal, I add a little shredded chicken or grilled chicken.

(Recipe adapted from Cuisine At Home)

1 ½ lb. red potatoes, cubed
1 C. cherry tomatoes, halved
1 C. cucumber, seeded, diced
½ C. pitted Calamata olives, sliced
¼ C. red onion, diced
1 T. chopped fresh oregano
1 C. shredded grilled chicken (optional)

½ C. feta cheese, crumbled
1/3 C. fresh lemon juice
¼ C. olive oil
2 T. plain yogurt (or Greek yogurt)
1 t. sugar
Salt & Pepper to taste

1. Boil potatoes in salted water until tender, 12-15 minutes; drain.
2. Mix all the ingredients for the vinaigrette in a blender.
3. Combine tomatoes, cucumber, olives, onions and oregano.
4. Add potatoes, chicken and vinaigrette.
5. Lightly mix until vinaigrette is evenly distributed.
6. Chill the refrigerator before serving.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


Ok, I know it's hot outside and it's not exactly soup weather...but I came across this recipe and really wanted to try it. It was well worth it. In my little brothers words, "This is probably the best soup I've ever had!" What can I say, my brother is always a fan of my cooking. When you're 31 and single, a free meal is always a good meal. But I also got a big thumbs up from my husband, so it must be a keeper.

The original recipe called for shrimp instead of chicken. I substituted chicken because my husband hates shrimp. If you would like to try the shrimp, don't add it until the last 5 minutes of cooking. If you cook shrimp too long, it will become very rubbery. Enjoy!

(Recipe adapted from Cuisine At Home)

4 strips thick-sliced bacon, diced
1 C. onions, diced
½ C. celery, diced
½ t. garlic, minced
3 T. all purpose flour
3 C. chicken broth
2 C. cooked shredded chicken
2 C. fresh or frozen corn
2 C. red potatoes, diced
3 C. whole milk (you can also use half & half or fat free evaporated milk)
4 T. canned chipotles in adobo sauce, diced
2 t. fresh thyme (or 1 t. dried)
Salt & Pepper

1. Sauté bacon until crisp, in a large stock pot over medium-high heat.
2. Add onions, celery, and garlic and sauté for 3-4 minutes.
3. Stir in flour; cook 1 minute.
4. Add 1 cup of the chicken broth to deglaze the pan, stirring to scrape up the bits on the bottom of the pot.
5. Stir in remaining broth, chicken, corn, potatoes, milk, chipotles, and thyme.
6. Bring to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes, until potatoes are tender.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream...and sorbet!

We love homemade ice cream and sorbet around hear. When summer hits, the ice cream maker comes out of storage and works it's little heart out, for as long as the thermometer stays above 80 degrees.

I don't' have one of those fancy or expensive indoor machines either. I've actually tried them and returned them. Nothing works as well as my old fashioned ice and rock salt churner. It's a little loud and can be messy so we make it out on the back porch, but it makes the best ice cream.

Last weekend was our machines summer debut. We made strawberry banana ice cream and welcomed summer officially!


2 C. scalded milk
1 1/3 C. sugar
½ t. salt
1 T. vanilla
2 C. half & half
4 C. heavy cream
4 C. fruit or candy

1. Mix scalded milk, sugar, salt and vanilla until sugar and salt are completely dissolved.
2. Add half & half, cream and fruit or candy.
3. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
4. Pour into ice cream machine and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions.

Flavor ideas: Any favorite fruit pureed, or your favorite candy bar, nuts etc… You can experiment with all kinds of flavor combinations as well. One of my favorites is pineapple, coconut & walnuts. Have fun!

The following are some of my favorite sorbet recipes. I'm a huge fan of sorbet. It's a lot less fattening than ice cream and so refreshing on a hot summer day!


2 C. water
1 ½ C. sugar
4 C. strained apricot puree
Juice of 1 lemon

1. Bring water and sugar to a boil.
2. Add puree and lemon juice. Cool in refrigerator for 2 hours.
3. Pour into ice cream machine and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions.

1 C. sugar
½ C. water
9 large Kiwis, peeled, diced

1. Combine water and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat stirring constantly until the sugar has dissolved. Cool.
2. Puree the kiwis in a food processor. Set aside 1 C. puree.
3. Strain the remaining puree through a fine sieve.
4. Combine both purees and the syrup in an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions.

Melon & Mango
3 large mangoes, peeled and pitted
1 C. cantaloupe chunks
½ C. maple syrup
½ C. water
2 T. lime juice

1. In a blender, puree the mangos, cantaloupe, maple syrup, water and lime juice until very smooth.
2. Poor into ice cream machine and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions.

4 C. peaches, peeled, pitted and sliced
2 ¼ C. sugar
2/3 C. orange juice
1/3 C. lemon juice

1. In a blender or a food processor, puree the peaches.
2. In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, orange juice and lemon juice. Over medium heat, cook and stir until the sugar dissolves.
3. Remove from heat. Stir in peaches.
4. Refrigerate until cold.
5. Poor into ice cream machine and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions.

1 pineapple
Juice of 1 lemon
2 C. water
1 C. sugar

1. Heat 1 C. of the water and the sugar in a saucepan until dissolved. Bring to a boil, simmer 2 minutes and leave to cool
2. Puree the pineapple and work in through a sieve to remove the fibers.
3. Stir the sugar syrup, lemon juice, and the rest of the water into the puree.
4. Chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
5. Poor into ice cream machine and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions.

4 C. raspberries
Juice of 1 lemon
2 C. water
1 C. sugar

1. Heat 1 C. of the water and the sugar in a saucepan until dissolved. Bring to a boil, simmer 2 minutes and leave to cool
2. Puree the raspberries and work in through a sieve to remove the seeds.
3. Stir the sugar syrup, lemon juice, and the rest of the water into the puree.
4. Chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
5. Poor into ice cream machine and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions.

1 C. sugar
½ C. water
¼ C. lemon juice
3 C. watermelon flesh

1. Place the sugar, water and lemon juice in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.
2. When the sugar is dissolved, remove the pan from the heat. Allow to chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
3. Prepare the watermelon by removing all the seeds from the flesh.
4. Puree in a food processor.
5. Add to the chilled syrup.
6. Poor into ice cream machine and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Monday Moment

When I first started this blog, I didn't want it to be a recipe blog alone. I do love to cook, but I love so many other things as well. I really want this to be a place were I can share my thoughts on all kinds of topics and interests. So I'm going to start "Monday Moments". Every Monday I'm going to share something that has nothing to do with cooking. It could be my thoughts on a book I'm reading,a favorite poem, something I learned that week, something I need to vent about, something I love, something I've discovered, something I think is funny etc... I'm sure you get the point.

My first Monday Moment is something that I read yesterday and that my husband and I were talking about. I had read this thought before, but it had been quite some time ago. I really love this parable and the message it convey's.

The Refiner's Fire

Some time ago, a few women met in a certain city to study the scriptures. While reading Malachi 3, they came upon a remarkable expression in the third verse:

"And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver" (Malachi 3:3).

One woman proposed to visit a silversmith and report to them on what he said about the subject. She went accordingly, and without telling the object of her errand, begged the silversmith to tell her about the process of refining silver. After he had fully described it to her, she asked, "But sir, do you sit while the work of refining is going on?"

"Oh, yes, madam," replied the silversmith. "I must sit with my eye steadily fixed on the furnace, for if the time necessary for refining be exceeded in the slightest degree, the silver will be injured."

The woman at once saw the beauty and comfort in the expression, "He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver." God sees it needful to put his children into a furnace. His eye is steadily intent on the work of purifying, and his wisdom and love are both engaged in the best manner for us. Our trials do not come at random, and he will not let us be tested beyond what we can endure.

Before she left, the woman asked one final question. "When do you know the process is complete?"

"Why, that is quite simple," replied the silversmith. "When I can see my own image in the silver, the refining process is finished."

Author Unknown

I find it comforting to know that our Father in Heaven gives us both blessings and trials specific to our "refining" process. That only he knows what experiences will make us the best spiritual beings possible. For each of us it will be different. We can not look at our neighbors, our family, or our friends and say, "It's not fair. Why is this happening to me? Why don't I have what they have?" Because we will all be tested, we will all be tried in a way that only we can grow from; in a manner that will refine us individually.

I like to define the word blessing as anything that brings us closer to our Heavenly father, and the word trial as anything that distances us from our Heavenly Father.  With these definitions the experiences that we might typically call blessings might actually be trials, and the experiences that we might typically call trials might actually be blessings.

Just something to think about.


So I've got a little money saving tip for everyone. I just recently thought of this and it's been working great.

I'm not a huge fan of can fruits, but I do seem to use a lot of can pineapple with my recipes. I'm always frustrated when I have to drain the juice. It seems like such a waist. I will usually try to keep it, thinking there must be something useful I can do with it. Well I've finally come up with a few good ideas.

As a side note, I always buy can fruits packed in their own juices. No sugar added. Then I drain the juice and do any of the following:

1. Freeze juice into popsicles. My daughter has recently found the joy of a yummy popsicles. In order to make them a little more healthy, I will make homemade popsicles. The juice from can fruits is perfect. Sometimes I will water down the juice a bit and add some cut up fruit for more nutrition.

The popsicles below are made from left over pineapple juice with a little pear juice added. I bought the popsicle molds for $1.99 at Walmart.

Other ideas:

You can also freeze the juice in ice cube trays. Remove and store in a freezer safe bag. Use the juice later in...

2. Any recipe that calls for juice.
3. Use instead of water in cake mixes to add a hint of flavor.
4. Add to any punch or mix drink for parties.

If any of you have other idea's on how to use drained juice from can fruit, I'd love to hear them.
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