Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Magic bars

To be honest, I think they might just be magic.  This delicious bars are so easy I think my girls could have made them all by themselves.

Magic Bars

1 1/2 c. graham cracker crumbs
1/2 c. butter (melted)
1 1/2 c. chocolate chips (I like to mix white and milk chocolate)
1 c. chopped/sliced nuts (almonds, pecans or walnuts, really anything)
1 1/2 c. flaked coconut
1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk

Mix the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter in a bowl until combined then press into a 9x13 greased pan.  You can mix the dry ingredients and then evenly place them over the crust or one by one add them.  We sprinkled the chocolate chips over, then the nuts, then the coconut on top and slightly press/flatten down.  Open the can of sweetened condensed milk, and drizzle evenly over all the toppings (you can use a spoon or just pour straight out of the can).  Just make sure to keep a slow drizzle so that you evenly distribute it.  Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.  The top and edges should start to brown.  Let cool before you cut them.  

My photo shoot buddy :)

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Monday, April 4, 2016

Blueberry Mango Pie

My new favorite, especially for spring.  

For an 8 or 9 inch pie
For a 9 inch pie I have to adjust the recipe so that I still have a full pie.  Also, for a lattice crust, or if you want extra dough for braiding or any add ons, you will need more dough.

Pie Crust Recipe:
2 c. flour
½ t. salt
¼ c. sugar
2/3 c. shortening
8-9 T. cold water

For detailed directions of my 
pie crust.

Fruit Filling:
5 c. berries/mangos (1-2 cups mango, 3-4 cups blueberries)
1 c. sugar
2 T. flour
3 T. cornstarch
1/4 t. salt

For the fruit, I use frozen, but let it sit out for a little while (maybe 30-45 minutes) before using it.   In a separate mixing bowl, mix the sugar, flour, cornstarch, and salt. Mix in the fruit.  I like to mash some of the berries (maybe ½ c.) to help absorb and mix the sugar mixture.  If you were using blackberries, which is what I originally used this recipe for, the berries break while you mix it and you don’t have to worry about it, but you want it to incorporate.   Add the berry mixture to the empty pie crust, and spread evenly to the edges.
Cover pie with top rolled out crust. Roll the edges in to seal in the berries and design the edges however you prefer. The top should have some kind of an opening to allow air to be released, use any design you prefer for that as well, with a knife, just deep enough to cut the crust.  You can use an egg wash over the crust if you would like and sprinkle it with sugar, or just leave it dry. 
Bake at 375 for about 50-60 minutes. The edges of pies have a tendency to burn, so you may need to use a pie crust saver, or just foil will work fine. You can cover almost the entire top and edges with foil, just as long as you cut a hole in the center, to allow air to flow. The pie is almost done once the filling begins to bubble through the cut made in the crust (let bake for 5-10 minutes after you notice a bubbling edge).

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Saturday, April 2, 2016

Lemon Meringue Pie

I need to give my mother credit for a majority of this recipe, as well as the pie crust. I'm not sure where she originally got it from, but she's been using it for years and I owe my love of pie making to her :)

Lemon curd:
1 1/2 c. sugar
4 T. cornstarch
3 T. flour
dash of salt
1 1/2 c. hot water

3 egg yolks
2 T. butter
1 t. lemon zest
1/3 c. lemon juice

5 egg whites
1/4 t. cream of tartar
6 T. sugar
1 t. vanilla


From my pie crust recipe (only use half because this is for one lemon meringue pie) cook the crust on 425 for 10-15 minutes, until edges are slightly golden. Before cooking you will need to fork the bottom of the crust a few times, and also either fill with pie beans or use a few pieces of foil to use as a form for the pie. The crust will collapse if there is nothing keeping it up around the edges.

For the Lemon Curd: In a saucepan, mix sugar, cornstarch, flour, and salt; gradually add hot water, stirring constantly, over high heat. Cook until mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat; cook and stir 2 minutes longer. Remove from heat. Slightly beat egg yolks and stir a small amount of hot mixture into them. Add spoonful at a time of the hot mixture to the egg yolks, stirring the whole time. Now mix the egg yolk mixture into the hot mixture. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 more minutes, stirring constantly. Take off heat; add butter and lemon zest. Slowly add lemon juice, mixing well. Pour into cooked pastry shell.

For the Meringue: In a mixer, beat egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks from, about 5 minutes. Add sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Add vanilla and mix until completely combined, just a few more seconds. Spread meringue over filling. Use a spoon to seal the meringue to the edge of the crust and to create a wave over the top. You don't want to have a peaks to high, because they could possibly burn.

Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes, until the meringue is golden brown. Check about midway through and make sure the tops of the meringue peaks are not getting too brown, if so, take down the temperature of the oven to about 320.

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Saturday, March 19, 2016

Chow Mein

This is such a favorite meal of ours now, and it's one of those things that you can really through anything in, the best.  You can buy a bag of frozen mixed veges, which works great, and saves on the prep time!  But I really just use whatever I have in the fridge. :)

Chow Mein
serves 3-4
1 onion chopped
2 cups chopped bok chow
1-2 cups broccoli florets
1 cup spiralized or julienned carrots
6 ounces pasta (I used brown rice spaghetti noodles)
15 fresh/raw/cleaned shrimp 
soy sauce, ginger, garlic, scallions

In a pot of water cook the pasta as directed, drain it, rinse it with cold water and set aside.  Saute your vegetables in the same pot, on a high heat, with a drizzle of olive oil, season with salt and pepper.  I like my vegetables a little crispy still, but cook as desired.  Transfer your cooked veges to your serving bowl and set aside. 
 In the same pan, on high heat, with a drizzle of olive oil, place all your shrimp (hopefully they all fit in the pan).  Salt and pepper your shimp, and if using fresh garlic or ginger you can add it now, but you can use dry garlic/ginger as well.  About 2-3 minutes on each side should give you a nice sear.  Transfer your shrimp to your serving bowl with the vegetables.  
In the same pan, on high heat, with a drizzle of olive oil, add your cooked and drained pasta. Get a good sear on your noodles before tossing, it should only take a few minutes to do the whole pan.  Add a few tablespoons of soysauce, toss, and add veges and shrimp to your pan.  On high heat, toss a few times, just to re-heat everything, and serve!  Top with scallions and serve with sriracha!

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Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Dreamy Lemon Bars


This is a recipe that my family, friends
and I have used and loved for years;
hope you enjoy it!

Lemon Bars

1 c. butter
½ c. powdered sugar
2 c. flour

3 eggs
2 c. sugar
8 T. lemon juice
Zest from 1 lemon
4 T. flour
1 t. baking powder


  • cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, add flour
  • press into a 9x13 buttered pan
  • bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes, until slightly golden, not brown
  • beat eggs, sugar, lemon juice, and zest completely; gradually add in flour and baking powder
  • pour over crust, bake at 350 for about 20 minutes; the edges should be golden not brown
  • let the bars sit for about 5 minutes, then sprinkle with powdered sugar, cut once cool
Kristin's Tips
  • The most important part of this recipe is cooking time, all ovens and pans are different, so it's really hard to tell someone how long to cook something; the best thing I can do is to tell you what to look for. Make sure when you're only cooking the crust that you don't let it get too dark (it will take away from the flavor if it cooks too long) and if its undercooked, they'll be harder to keep intact, and they'll be more gooey than anything. Same thing goes for when you're cooking the bars with the filling; you want a golden color around the edges, nothing too dark, or they'll be too stiff, and if undercooked, too gooey. Hope I've helped!
P.S. Yes you have seen this recipe before. I cheated a little by reposting it, but it's because I now have beautiful pictures and I had it posted to foodgawker. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!!!!

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Sunday, February 28, 2016



6 lasagna noodles (make 7 just to be on the safe side, we like a gluten-free version)
1 lb Italian sausage
1/2 lb ground turkey
1 small onion (chopped)
1 jar of tomato sauce
1 T. crushed red pepper
1 bunch of fresh basil (chopped)
1 bunch of spinach leaves (washed and without stems)
1 (16 ounce) container of cottage cheese
1 egg
1 16 ounce package of mozzarella cheese
1/2 c. grated parmesan cheese

Cook the lasagna noodles according to the package directions. In a large pan saute the sausage, turkey and onion. Cook the meat mixture thoroughly; I like to brown the meat quite a bit, but you just need to be sure it is cooked through. Add crushed red pepper and salt and pepper to taste. I like a lot of pepper, and if you like things spicy feel free to add more red pepper. With the heat off, add the tomato sauce (any kind will do, I don't usually like anything with garlic in my lasagna), I love Newman's anything; set aside. When the pasta is done, drain and set aside until ready to assemble. Mix the egg and cottage cheese together thoroughly. Grate both cheeses in the same bowl and mix, set aside.

Now to assemble. This is how I layer my lasagna from the bottom up...

tomato meat sauce (3 layers)
noodles (2 layers)
cottage cheese (2 layers)
mozzarella cheese mixture (3 layers)
basil (2 layers)
spinach (2 layers)

and to eliminate some of the pasta I do not do a final pasta layer,
I end with the tomato meat sauce
(I like to use big spinach leaves and lay them out flat, so it completely separates these layers)

Make sure to note how many layers of each you will need. You don't want to use all your cheese and then not have any for the top!

Bake at 350 for about 50 minutes (until all the edges are bubbling). Top with the rest of the cheese, and bake 5 more minutes or until melted. Let cook for 10 before serving.


Happy Cooking!

with love,
kristin ann :)

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Brownies... no bake and delicious!

I love easy, raw desserts.  Being someone that bakes a lot and loves the culinary aspect of that, I will probably never give it up completely, but I do like to switch it up, because I very much promote healthy living!

This is such an easy recipe and so delicious.

Raw, easy, healthy Brownies!
1 1/2 c. pecans
3/4 c. dates
1/2 c. cocoa powder
honey or maple syrup

With a food processor, blend your pecans, until they will not blend anymore (should be very fine).  Add the cocoa, pulse a few times until blended.  Add the dates (they should be pitted), and blend completely.  Now here is the only tricky part.. The recipe I used didn't call for honey or maple syrup, but it did say to use soft dates, which mine were not, they were more dry.  So after the first 3 ingredients were combined, they didn't form a "dough" which it was supposed to.  I added a drizzle of maple syrup and it did the trick.  While mixing, it should come together to form a ball of dough.  In a 8x8 pan I cut a piece of parchment paper to fit the pan but lay over the edges.  Press the dough into the pan, and refrigerate for at least an hour.  You can lift the paper out to cut the brownies on a cutting board or leave them in the pan.  Serve cold!  So yum.

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