Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Shortbread tarts

As promised, here is the recipe...
1 c. butter
1/2 c. powdered sugar
2 c. flour

1 pkg. cream cheese
1 c. powdered sugar

Lots of fresh berries

For the crust, you are going to cream the butter and sugar, then add the flour. You can use one large tart pan or lots of little ones. I think I had about 10 smaller tart pans, that I greased and then pressed the crust into the bottom and edges, about 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. I put them all on a cookie sheet and baked at 375 for about 10 -15 minutes. I don't like my crust crunchy or brown so I under cook it just a bit, but you do want a little bit of color to show up before you take them out so they stay together. Let cool before you fill.

For the cream cheese filling, cream the cheese and powdered sugar, and keep at around room temperature. Fill the crusts the appropriate amount, so its about level with the tops of the crusts. I used 3 different sizes of tart pans so the amount varies. Wash, cut and dry you fresh fruit and place on top however you would like. Keep refrigerated before serving.

It was the fourth of July so I went with a flag theme for these ones. They're so delicious, I can't believe I've never attempted to make anything like this before! I hope you enjoy!


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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Apricot Cobbler

**this recipe can DEFINITELY be made dairy free/vegan.  I have used coconut oil instead of butter and almond milk instead of cream and it still makes for a lovely cobbler!  :)

12-14 apricots (depends on the size)
3/4 c. sugar
3 T. flour
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. nutmeg
dash of clove

1 1/2 c. flour
2 t. baking powder
3 T. sugar (plus more for dusting)
1/2 t. salt
1/2 c. cold butter
3/4 c. cream or half and half

Peel and slice apricots, place in a 9x13 pan (or a similar size).  In a separate bowl or measuring cup, add all the dry filling ingredients and mix; sugar, flour, spices (which can vary, I like a lot of nutmeg, you could also do no spices and just add a little vanilla or almond extract).  Add the dry ingredient mix to the apricots in the pan, and lightly toss (just enough to cover all the apricots), and even out in the pan.
For the biscuit topping, mix flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt in a bowl.  Slice the butter into tablespoons, add to the dry ingredients and cut in (I use a pastry cutter), until all pieces are smaller than a pea.  Add the cream, or half and half (I use milk if I have to), and only mix until combined.  If it's too sticky, add a little flour, and fold dough (knead) a few times.  If you want perfect biscuit shapes, you can roll it out (about 1/2 inch thick) and use a cookie cutter (or something round) to make your biscuits.  I separated my dough into 10 even pieces, pat into circles and evenly placed in the pan over the apricots.  Use a pastry brush and lightly brush the dough with cream (or whatever you used).  Sprinkle with sugar.  Bake at 375 for 45-50 minutes.  Fruit filling should be bubbling all around, and the biscuits should be golden and cooked through.  Let cool for about an hour, serve with vanilla icecream!

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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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Saturday, February 27, 2016

Parmesan herb crusted salmon with cheesy creamy polenta

Our salmon dinner nights are by far my favorite.  Not only is it the easiest meal the I make, but it's the most delicious!  It reminds my husband that maybe we shouldn't eat out so much, too. At home you get a much larger portion size AND you feed the whole family for about the price of ONE salmon entree in a restaurant!

First, for the cheesy polenta, you can basically follow the instructions of what brand of polenta you have.  I had a medium coarse corn meal (I guess you are not supposed to use fine corn meal) and that worked great.  I found a recipe, it looked as though all the recipes follow a 1 part polenta to 4 parts water rule, which made about 4 servings.  Normally with a salmon dinner I bake or mash potatoes, the polenta takes a little more work, but so very much worth it. 

Creamy Cheesy Polenta
1 cup polenta corn meal (a medium coarse corn meal)
4 cups water
1 t. salt
3 T. butter
3/4 cup cheddar cheese grated
1/4 parmesan cheese grated

Bring your water to a boil and add the salt.  With a whisk or wooden spoon stir in the polenta.  You want to keep a steady and continuous stream of polenta into the water and stir quickly, keep stirring until the polenta thickens up (keeps its hold instead of settling back down into the pan after being stirred).  On a low heat, cover the polenta.  It's going to cook 30-35 more minutes.  Stir for about a minute, every 5-10 minutes.  At this point it should have a pretty thick consistency but cooked through (soft).  I added water and continued stirring until it reached the creamy consistency I wanted. Then added the butter and cheese, and stirred until combined.  Serve immediately or  keep on the lowest heat until you serve.

Parmesan Herb Crusted Salmon
Salmon steaks or large fillet (I generally have a 2 lb fillet)
Olive oil
4 T. Parsley finely chopped
sprinkle of any herb (I like dried oregano, rosemary and sage; you could use an italian seasoning too)
1/4 c. finely grated parmesan

I use a cookie sheet drizzled with olive oil.  You can you any pan, you can also cover the pan with foil (for an easier clean up), drizzle with olive oil and place fillet on top.  Drizzle the salmon with olive oil, rub to distribute evenly.  Salt and pepper.  Sprinkle herbs and cheese across the top and flatten down/pat with your hands.  Broil on hi (on the 2nd to top rack) for about 10 minutes.  I like my salmon cooked through so completely opaque, and I also like a good crust on the top, so I will cook it for another 5 minutes.  And that's it!!

We love vegetables over here, so I always add a side of veges.  Zucchini sautes up in about 6-8 minutes, and I just season with a little salt and pepper.  Top the meal with any left over grated cheeses or parsley.  So delicious.  One of the best meals I've made this year, and so easy!!
Happy cooking!

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Monday, February 15, 2016

Wonderfully Raw Macaroons!

So, I will confess that this cookie is a 100 % knock off of the Wonderfully Raw Coco-Roons that I love oh so much, but are too pricey to buy in bulk.  Although my sweetheart of a husband said they were better :) I've been searching for a couple weeks with foodgawker/google/pinterest and other places for similar-looking recipes, and I think I found/created a winner.  I've only made them once (I stupidly made a huge batch so I couldn't justify make more the next day, even though I wanted to, just so I could make some tweaks to the recipe).  Obviously things can end up different depending on the brand of the ingredient you use, or your specific oven and things like that, so don't be made if it doesn't come out perfect :/

Raw Vanilla-Maple Macaroon

1 1/2 cups almond flour
3 cups coconut flakes (dried and unsweetened)
3/4 cup maple syrup (real maple syrup)
1/2 cup melted coconut oil
1 1/2 Tablespoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Mix the dry ingredients (flour, coconut, and salt) thoroughly.  Add the wet ingredients (syrup, oil, and vanilla), and mix.  If for whatever reason it feels to dry to roll into a ball and stay intact, add a little more coconut, but this mix should work fine.
On cookie sheets lined with parchment paper I scooped/formed the cookies, using a small cookie scoop.  You could roll them if you want, if you don't have a scoop, but that made it the easiest for me.  The size of the cookie doesn't really matter, but you will have to change the cook time accordingly.  If you had a dehydrator, you could use that, which would make this cookie truly raw, but I don't.  One recipe I found that used a dehydrator said 8 hours, but it really just depends on how you want the cookie to turn out.  So try it out half way through!  I used my oven at 200 degrees, with the door open.  This took almost 2 hours.  Yes, this very simple recipe has a painfully long finish time.  I checked the cookies at the hour and a half mark to make sure they had not dried through the middle and the bottom was still quite moist (not easy to handle) so I let them stay in longer.

vanilla-maple coconut macaroons


This recipe made about 2 dozen, maybe a little more (I forgot to count darnit).  You only need one pan because they don't expand, you can place them right next to each other.  Let them cool and store in an airtight container.  I didn't refrigerate them and they lasted just fine for a week.

Wonderfully Raw, has an amazing assortment of these cookies!  We've tried the lemon (my favs), vanilla-maple (martin's fav), and the chocolate brownie one (I'm not the biggest choco fan).  I'm trying the apple pie next!  You should try them first and then you really know how to create this perfect little cookie.  My next flavor to make will be lemon :)  This is the basic recipe so I would assume I'll use this and add to it.
Bob's Red Mill is the brand I use for most of my flours/grains and other things.  I buy my almond flour and coconut flakes in bulk on amazon :)  They really have everything, especially if you have to do gluten free, which I'm obviously going for.  We just love their gluten free pancake mix.

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Sunday, February 14, 2016

Avocado Pesto Pasta

Avocado Pesto Pasta

1 ripe avocado
1/2 cup pesto - make your own or buy it!
Cooked pasta - I used a brown rice pasta (spaghetti)
Sauteed veges - we used zucchini, kale, and swiss chard
grilled/sauteed chicken breasts (or shrimp would be great, and so easy)
chopped basil
parmesan cheese

The chicken takes the longest, so I seasoned my chicken breasts and got them cooking.  I season with salt, pepper and garlic powder, and let them saute in a little olive oil over medium heat, about 7-8 minutes on each side (for larger/thicker pieces of chicken you can add a little water and cover with a lid, after you saute, until they are cooked through).  
In a large pan, I cooked my pasta (follow instructions for your specific pasta), drain and rinse in a colander and set aside.  While the pasta cooks I chop my vegetables.
Saute the vegetables (about 5-10 minutes depending on how crisp you like or don't like them) in a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  (I use the same pan I cooked my pasta in).  When they're done, put in a bowl and set aside (I use the bowl I will eventually serve in).  In the same pan, add the noodles to a little olive oil and saute for a minute, then add the pesto and avocado (which you can mix ahead of time, so it's creamy all the way through or put the avocado in chunks, which end up mostly dissolving anyways).  This only takes a couple minutes until everything is evenly distributed on the pasta.  Add your veges back in, and toss.  
Add the chicken to the pasta mix or serve on top, garnish with fresh chopped basil and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese!
So easy!

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Saturday, February 6, 2016

Etta wants to show you how we do sweet potatoes!

Easy Savory Sweet Potatoes

4 medium sweet potatoes
4 T. butter (we use coconut oil sometimes too, only 2 T.)
salt and pepper to taste
granulated garlic
sprinkle of dried sage or an italian seasoning

Peel and chop sweet potatoes.  Boil in water for 20-30 minutes until a spoon can mash a pieces easily on the side of the pan.  Drain and place in a bowl to mash (I use a potato masher, not a mixer/beaters).  Add butter and seasonings and mix!

For the sauce..
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup pineapple juice
granulated garlic
salt/pepper to taste
1 T. honey

After the meatballs were cooked, I added the sauce (combined) into the pan and let saute for about 5 minutes until it cooked down.

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