Tomato Basil Blender Soup


8-10 tomatoes, halved

2 medium onions, quartered

4 cloves garlic

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1/3 cup sliced fresh basil

Salt and pepper, to taste



Place halved tomatoes, quartered onions, and garlic cloves into a large bowl.  Add oil and season with salt and pepper. Stir well to coat.


Pour the vegetables onto a baking tray and roast at 400°F for 30 minutes. Remove tray from oven and let it cool for 5 minutes.


Place roasted vegetables in blender along with sliced basil and blend until smooth.


Add more salt and pepper if necessary and/or heat soup on stove.


Makes 4 one-cup servings.


*Can be frozen in Ziploc bags or containers.


via Recipe Diaries


Boiled Cider


Boiled cider is  a thick, syrupy, apple-scented secret ingredient that brings your favorite apple desserts from good to "how on earth did you make this?!"


1 gallon fresh cider  (A gallon of cider will reduce down to about 2 cups. Since the cider takes up to 6 hours, it is recommended to start with at least a gallon to make it worth your time.)


Select a large, sturdy pot designed for long-term stove-top cooking, such as a cast iron pot or Dutch oven. (If using 1 gallon of cider, use a pot that holds at least 5 quarts.)

Bring the cider to a boil over medium heat. Once boiling, turn the heat to low and let it simmer for 5-6 hours, giving a couple of quick stirs twice every hour. Starting around hour five, stir more frequently — every 15 minutes or so.

Note: The cook time will vary depending on your stove and which pot you choose. In testing, the boiled cider made in a metal pot took five hours; in a cast iron pot, six.

There are a few ways to test if it's done:

1. Bubble Color - It's done, when stirred, dark copper-colored bubbles form, covering the entire surface.

2. The Chopstick Test: The cider will boil down to about 1/8 of its original volume. The easiest way to track this is to place a skewer or chopstick into the cider before turning on the heat. Mark the height of the cider on the chopstick before you start boiling it. Repeat once every hour, marking the new height until it's about 1/8 the original height.

3. Consistency: Boiled cider has a similar viscosity to honey; when hot it behaves like hot, runny honey. Once cooled, it mimics thick, room-temperature honey.

 What about temperature? Just as water does, apple cider has a boiling point: 219°F. The temperature won't change once it begins to boil. Because of this, the temperature isn't a good indicator of doneness.

Be careful of overcooking boiled cider beyond that copper-bubble stage. It'll become too thick to easily pour or bake with. It also becomes unpleasantly bitter and sour.

Slightly over-cooked cider has the thick consistency of molasses. Sour, but still usable. VERY over-cooked cider  is firm and sticky like taffy. It's mouth-puckering and liable to rip out your fillings. 

To make your batch truly one of a kind, infuse your cider with other flavors. Simmering on the stove for several hours gives you the perfect opportunity to add a little something special. Cinnamon sticks, your favorite spice blend, a sliced vanilla bean, or orange peels will make your homemade boiled cider extra special. If you're going to add spices, we'd do so in the last hour of the process for the best flavor.

Run the finished cider through a coffee filter or cheesecloth to remove any impurities, if desired. Store your finished homemade boiled cider in the refrigerator.

Boiled cider-fanatics say it will keep indefinitely in the fridge, but it will probably not be around long enough to test that theory.

If this seems like a present you might like to give to friends and family, include a note with a  few ways to use the boiled cider.

You can boil it hard for about 5 minutes at the beginning and it seems a lot of the impurities rise to the surface as a foamy scum, then just skim it off with a fine small wire sieve.

To avoid sticky steam on your walls, be sure to use the range hood fan.

Use a 50-50 mix of boiled cider with Dijon mustard as a glaze for pork tenderloin or on a spiral sliced ham.

via King Arthur Baking


Crock Pot Enchilada Soup

2 tsp. olive oil
1/2 cup onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2-1 cup diced sweet peppers (optional, not part of the original recipe)
3 cup low sodium fat-free chicken broth
8 oz, can tomato sauce
1-2 tsp. Chipotle chili in adobo sauce (or more to taste)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro (plus more for garnish)
15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained (use 3 cans if doubling recipe)
14.5 oz can petite diced tomatoes (we prefer fire-roasted or w/ green chiles)
2 cup frozen corn or drained canned corn
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
2- 8 oz skinless chicken breasts (16 oz total)
1/4 c. chopped green onions, for topping
1/4 c. chopped cilantro
1-2 diced avocados
3/4 cup shredded white cheddar cheese
Sour cream or plain Greek yogurt (optional)
6 corn tortillas, cut into strips (Optional, not part of the original recipe. I used this rather than the recommended tortilla chips to make it healthier and we all enjoyed it.)
OR Tortilla strips found in the salad topper section.
Heat oil in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onion, garlic, and peppers and sauté until soft, 3-4 minutes. Slowly add the chicken broth, tomato sauce and Chipotle adobo sauce and bring to a boil. Add cilantro and remove from heat. Pour into Crock Pot.
To the Crock Pot, add drained beans, diced tomatoes, corn, cumin, oregano and stir. Add the chicken breasts; cover and cook on low heat for 4-6 hours.
Remove chicken and shred. Add chicken back into the soup, adjust salt and cumin to taste. (I added the tortilla strips at this point. You could also add them to each bowl while it is still hot.) Serve in bowls and top with fat free sour cream, cheese, scallions and cilantro. You can also top with avocado or crushed tortilla chips. Enjoy!
via Mary Starr


Easy Fresh Peach Cobbler


1¾ pounds fresh peaches (about 4 cups)

½ cups salted butter (4 oz.)

1 cup self-rising flour

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup whole milk

1 tsp. vanilla extract



Preheat oven to 350°F.


Gently rub the peaches under running water to remove fuzz, and slice peaches.


Place butter in an 11x7-inch baking dish; place dish in oven until butter melts.


Stir together flour, sugar, milk, and vanilla in a bowl and pour onto melted butter. (Do not stir.)


Spoon Peaches over mixture. (Do not stir.)


Bake until brown and bubbly; about 45-50 minutes.


via Southern Living


Roasted Garlic Zucchini and Tomatoes


2 zucchini cut in half lengthwise, then cut into ½-inch half moons

2 cups ripe tomatoes

½ onion minced

3 cloves garlic, minces

½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes

¼ cup olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

½ cup grated parmesan cheese

1 Tbsp chopped fresh basil



Preheat oven to 450°F. Lightly grease a 9/13-inch baking dish.


Combine the zucchini, tomatoes, onion, garlic, and red pepper flakes in the prepared baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and mix well.


Place in preheated oven. Roast until vegetables are tender and slightly golden, about 18. minutes. Remove from oven, sprinkle with parmesan cheese and basil.


via allrecipes



Zucchini with Onion & Tomato


3 Tbsp. olive oil

4 small zucchinni

½ medium onion

1 medium tomato

¼ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (to taste)

Fresh basil or dried basil (to taste)


Parmesan cheese



Cut the zucchini into bite-size pieces.


Chop the onion.


Heat the olive oil in a heavy skillet.


Sauté the zucchini and onion until tender and lightly browned (about 20 minutes)


Add the rest of the ingredients and cook until the juices thicken a little (about 5-10 minutes)


Serve with grated parmesan cheese.


via Food.com



Easy Yummy Squash

1. Wash and slice squash thin.
2. Layer in baking dish
3. Sprinkle with ranch
4. Sprinkle with Parmesan 
5. Layer more squash repeat Ranch and Parmesan. Keep layering  
Until your out of squash.
6. Add several spoons of butter 
7. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes



Magic in the Middle Cookies


Ingredients for Cookie Dough

1½ cups unbleached all-purposed flour (King Arthur)

½ cup unsweetened cocoa (Dutch-process or natural)

½ tsp. baking soda

¼ tsp. salt

½ cup granulated sugar (plus extra for dredging)

½ cup brown sugar, packed

8 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened

¼ cup smooth peanut butter

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 large egg


Ingredients for Filling

¾ cup peanut butter (crunchy or smooth)

¾ cup powdered sugar



Preheat oven to 375°F, and lightly grease two baking sheets, or line with parchment.


To make the dough: In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. In another medium-sized bowl, beat together the sugars, butter and peanut butter until light and fluffy.  Add the vanilla and the egg, beating to combine. Stir in the dry ingredients, blending well.


To make the filling: In a small bowl, stir together the peanut butter and powdered sugar until smooth. With floured hands or a teaspoon scoop and roll the filling into 26 one-inch balls.


To shape the cookies: Scoop 1 Tablespoon of dough (a lump about the size of a walnut), make an indentation in the center with your finger and pace one of the peanut butter balls into the indentation. Bring the cookie dough up and over the filling, pressing the edge together and covering the center. Roll the cookie in the palms of your hands to smooth it out. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling. Roll each rounded cookie in granulated sugar, and place on the prepared baking sheets, leaving about two inches between cookies. Grease the bottom of a drinking glass, then use it to flatten each cookie to about ½-inch thick.


Bake the cookies for 7-9 minutes, or until they’re set, and you can smell chocolate. Remove them from the oven, and cool on a rack.



The most reliable way to make sure you have equal amounts of filling and dough is to use King Arthur’s teaspoon scoop and tablespoon scoop.


If doubling the recipe, add an extra egg to the chocolate dough (3 total).


If you’re making the dough ahead of time, add two tablespoons of milk to the dough. It tends to dry out as it sits, and the extra moisture will keep the outside dough from cracking as you form the cookies. 


via King Arthur


Sourdough Starter


½ cup flour

¼ cup non-chlorinated water



Mix together the flour and water in a large mason jar.

Cover with cheese cloth and let it grow on the counter.

Every 24 hours, discard half of the mixture and add the same ingredients above.

After a week, you will have starter you can use.



Silly Chili Macaroni


12-16 ounces elbow macaroni

3-4 cans chili (Nalley’s chili)

1-2 cups shredded cheese

Sliced hot dogs or ham (optional)



Cook the macaroni noodles according to instructions.

Drain the noodles and add the chili, stirring to warm.

Add cheese as desired and stir until melted.

Add hot dog slices or ham if desired.


via Tiffany@SavingTalents


Easy Chicken Divan


2 cans cream of chicken soup

1 cup mayonnaise

1 tsp. ground curry powder

3-4 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

2 packages (12 oz.) frozen broccoli

2 cups chopped or shredded cooked chicken

2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese



Preheat oven to 350°F.


Combined soup, mayonnaise, curry powder and lemon juice and set aside.


Steam or microwave broccoli until warm and place in a 9x13 pan. Top with chicken and then spread sauce on top. Top with grated cheese.


Bake for about 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly throughout. Can be served alone or with rice.



Preheat oven to 350°F.


Combined soup, mayonnaise, curry powder and lemon juice and set aside.


Steam or microwave broccoli until warm and place in a 9x13 pan. Top with chicken and then spread sauce on top. Top with grated cheese.


Bake for about 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly throughout. Can be served alone or with rice.


via Our Best Bites


Cinnamon Egg"less"nog


1 package (3.5 oz) instant French vanilla pudding Mix

2 Tbsp. sugar

½ tsp. nutmeg

½ tsp. cinnamon

1/8 tsp. ginger

1/8 tsp. allspice

5 cups milk (whole or 2%)

¾ cup heavy cream

4 Tbsp. pure maple syrup

½ tsp vanilla extract

¼ tsp. rum extract (optional)



Combine dry pudding mix, sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, and allspice. Whisk together until well blended.


Combine milk, cream, maple syrup, and vanilla, in a large bowl. Slowly, hand whisk the dry ingredients into wet ingredients until mixed thoroughly. (Do not use a blender.)


Refrigerate for at least one hour thicken. (Two or three hours is better). Stir well. If the consistency is thicker than desired, add ½ to 1 cup milk to thin. Also good with a little added 7 Up or ginger ale.


Pour into cups, garnish each with a spoonful of cinnamon whipped cream, sprinkle with freshly ground nutmeg, and enjoy! Makes 6-8 servings.


Cinnamon Whipped Cream

In a small bowl, mix together 4 Tbsp. powdered sugar, 1 tsp. cinnamon, ½ tsp. nutmeg. In a separate bowl, whip 1 cup of cream with beaters while slowing adding the dry ingredients. Whip until soft peaks form. Don’t over-whip.


via Christmas by Accident


Lemon Curd


3 large eggs

1 cup sugar

½ cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)

¼ cup butter, cubed

1 Tbsp. lemon zest



In a small, heavy saucepan (not copper or aluminum), over medium heat, whisk eggs, sugar and lemon juice until blended. Add butter and lemon zest. Cook whisking constantly, until mixture is thickened and coats the back of a metal spoon. Transfer to a small bowl and cool for 10 minutes. Refrigerate, covered, until cold. Store in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks. Can also be frozen in plastic freezer bags or mason jars u to a year. 


via Taste of Home


Healthier Cookies



3 mashed bananas (ripe) 

1/3 cup apple sauce

2 cups oats

1/4 cup almond milk

1/4 cup raisins or nuts

1 cup good chocolate chunks

1 tsp. vanilla

1 tsp. cinnamon


 Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake for 15-20 minutes. 



Roasted Brussels Sprouts


1 pound Brussels sprouts

2 Tbsp. olive oil*

1/2 tsp. Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Fresh lemon juice (optional)


Preheat oven to 450°F.

Trim ends of Brussels sprouts, and halve them lengthwise. In a medium bowl, toss the sprouts with olive  oil, salt, and a few grinds of pepper until completely coated with oil.

Arrange on a baking sheet with cut sides down. Roast until sprouts are tend and browned, about 15-20 minutes. Serve warm and season to taste.

*You can rub the sprouts with 1 Tbsp. bacon grease instead of olive oil, and when they are done toss them with a little balsamic binegar and chopped, cooked bacon.


Soft Gingersnaps with Sweet Orange Cream Cheese



¾ cup unsalted butter, softened

¼ cup canola oil

¼ cup molasses (not blackstrap)

1 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

1 tsp. grated ginger

2¾ cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp. baking soda

½ salt

1 tsp. ground ginger

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

Sugar for coating cookies


Sweet Orange Cream Cheese

12 ounces cream cheese, softened

½ tsp. vanilla extract

½ tsp. orange zest

½ cup powdered sugar




Heat oven to 350°F. In bowl of an electric mixer with a paddle, beat together butter, oil, molasses, and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in egg and fresh ginger. Add flour, baking soda, salt, ground ginger, and cinnamon. Mix at low speed to combine completely.


Roll dough into ¾-inch balls (about 2 teaspoons each) and then roll balls in granulated sugar to coat. Bake in in batches on ungreased cookie sheets until edges are crispy and center is soft but starting to set, 8-10 minutes. Cool.


When cookies are completely cool, use Sweet Orange Cream Cheese to frost the underside of one cookie with 2 teaspoons of filling and sandwich with another cookie. Repeat for all cookies.


Cookies can be stored in an airtight container up to 1 day or refrigerated up to 3 days.


Sweet Orange Cream Cheese

In the bowl of an electric mixer with a paddle, beat cream cheese with vanilla and zest until smooth, about 1 minute. Add powdered sugar and beat until smooth.


via LDS Living/Tara Bench


Ground Beef Bulgogi


1 pound grass-fed or lean ground beef

10 cloves garlic, chopped

1 medium onion, small diced

4 Tbsp. soy sauce

2 Tbsp. mirin

1 Tbsp. plum extract*

2 Tbsp. sugar

½ tsp. black pepper

1 Tbsp. cooking oil

3-5 green onions chopped

1 tsp. sesame seeds

1 tsp. sesame oil

Warm cooked rice



In a bowl, combine well the ground beef, garlic, onion, soy sauce, mirin, extract, sugar, and pepper.


Heat a wok or skillet over high heat, then add the cooking oil and swirl it around to coat the whole pan. Cook the meat until there is no moisture. Add the green onions, sesame seeds, and sesame oil just before serving. Serve over warm cooked rice.


*Can substitute 1 Tbsp. apricot jam


Mom's Cinnamon Rolls



1½ Tbsp. yeast

3 cups warm water

⅔ cup sugar (I use honey)

1 cube butter, softened

3 eggs

⅔ cup sugar (I use honey)

1 cup powdered milk1½ Tbsp. yeast

1 can evaporated milk 

1 tsp. salt

9-11 cups flour (I use bread flour)

Cinnamon, brown sugar, softened butter

Nuts and raisins (optional)


In your Bosch or Kitchen Aid, put the water, yeast and sugar. Wait a few minutes until it gets foamy.


Add butter, eggs, sugar, powdered milk, evaporated milk, and salt.  Mix together.


Add flour to make a soft dough. Mix for 5 minutes. In the bowl, let dough double in size. Knead again by mixing. Let rise for about 15 minutes.


Divide dough in half. Roll out and spread butter on then sprinkle with cinnamon and brown sugar.


Roll up. Cut into 1-1½ inch slices. Place on cookie sheet and pat down. cover with plastic and let rise, nice and high (at least double). Bake at 350°F for 12-20 minutes. Frost.



½ cube butter, softened

½ package cream cheese (4 oz.), room temperature

1 tsp. vanilla

Dash of salt

2 Tbsp. of milk or cream (start with less)

1 bag powdered sugar (2 lb.)


Whip the butter, cream cheese, vanilla and salt together until fluffy. Slowly add powdered sugar and milk alternating until you get the desired consistency.



Ingredients for Rolls

¾ Tbsp. yeast

1½ cups warm water

1/3 cup sugar (I use honey)

½ cube butter, softened

1½ eggs

1/3 cup sugar (I use honey)

½ cup powdered milk

½ can evaporated milk

½ tsp. salt

4½-5½ cups flour (I use bread flour)

Cinnamon, brown sugar, softened butter

Nuts and raisins (optional)


Ingredients for Frosting

¼ cube butter, softened

2 oz. cream cheese, room temperature

½ tsp. vanilla

Pinch of salt

1 Tbsp. milk or cream (start with less)

1 lb. powdered sugar

via Jennifer Harper 


All-purpose Flour/Self-rising Flour/Cake Flour


• Self-rising flour is all-purpose flour with baking powder and salt added. 

To make your own, all you have to do is combine 1 cup of all-purpose flour with 1-1/2 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.

• To substitute self-rising for all-purpose flour, look for recipes that use baking powder: about ½ teaspoon per cup of flour, minimum. Self-rising flour will work just fine in recipes using about 1/2 teaspoon (and up to 1 teaspoon*) baking powder per cup of flour.

For every cup of cake flour called for in a recipe, measure out 1 level cup all-purpose flour. Remove 2 tablespoons flour from that measurement. (Return those 2 tablespoons to the bag of flour, you don't need them.) Add 2 tablespoons cornstarch to the (1 cup minus 2 tablespoons) measured flour.

One option for softer, more delicate cookies is substituting cake flour for all-purpose flour. Cake flour has less protein than all-purpose flour, so it does create more delicate textures. You can use it, but it might make some cookies a little crumbly since it doesn't give as much structure as the all-purpose.


Buttermilk Bisucuits with White Lily Flour


3½ cups White Lily all-purpose flour (438 grams)

2 Tbsp. granulated sugar (24 grams)

1 Tbsp. Kosher salt

1 Tbsp. baking powder (15 grams)

½ tsp. baking soda (2.5 grams)

1¼ cups cold unsalted butter, cubed (284 grams)

1 cup whole buttermilk, chilled (240 grams)

1 large egg, lightly beaten (50 grams)

Flaked sea salt, for sprinkling

Softened butter and honey, to serve



Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.


In a large bowl whisk together flour, sugar, kosher Salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Using a pastry blender, cut in cold butter until mixture is crumbly. Stir in cold buttermilk until a shaggy dough forms.


Turn out dough onto a slightly floured surface. Pat down into rectangle and cut into fourths. Stack each fourth on top of each other, and pat down into a rectangle again. Repeat procedure 3 more times. Pat or roll dough to 1-inch thickness. Using a 2½ round cutter dipped in flour, cut dough without twisting cutter, rerolling scraps as necessary. Place biscuits 2 inches apart on prepared pan. Freeze until cold (about 10 minutes. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with sea salt.


Bake until golden brown (about 15 minutes). Serve warm with softened butter and honey.


via Brian Hart Hoffman


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