©Life of a Foodie and Her Family 2008-2013, Lynn Tabor



Sausage Rolls

I am making Sausage Rolls for dinner tonight.

Makes 2

2 pounds of pizza dough
1 lb Italian Sausage
1 (4 oz) "pizza cheese", can be any kind of cheese that you like
1 tsp garlic salt
1/2 cup breadcrumb
1 tbs italian seasoning
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 375

Spray one big or two small cookie sheets with cooking spray.

Break sausage into pieces and cook until no longer pink, drain and cool.

Mix all the ingredients.

Roll out the pizza dough making two rectangles.

Press 1/2 the sausage mixture on each rectangle.

Roll up and seal the seam.

Put a light coating of olive oil on the top of the bread and sprinkl with extra garlic salt.

Split the top a bit.

Bake for 34 to 45 minutes

Topsy Turvy

Topsy Turvy...

We spotted these at Home Depot on Friday night and we had to get one. The problem was we can't hang it outside because the darn rabbit eats everything. Last year Victoria planted tomatoes, squash and strawberries and the rabbit ate everything.

So we looked row after row and finally we found an adjustable plant hanger.

Now I wonder if the plant will grow???



Flower cupcakes

I shamelessly stole this idea from of my iVillage girls, Gina.

Victoria asked for funfetti cupcakes, those are her favorite "homemade" flavor. We talked about what color sprinkles she would like and pulled them out from my "baking" cabinet. BUT she had one request, she wanted a red one like a rose.

Last night I baked the cupcakes and let them cool. Then it hit me I don't have anymore green food gel coloring!! ACK!! I will have to play with Royal Blue and Golden Yellow.

This morning while the birthday girl was eating and getting ready for school I mixed up the frosting and finally got it to a pretty green color and started on the petals. All the petals are, cut up marshmellows. It takes extra time, but so worth it if you wash off your knife after each marshmellow. That way the knife isn't sticky and won't have ragged edges.

For the center I used pastel M&M's and a small marshmellow for Victoria's.

So here are the pretty cupcakes.


Victoria's very special cupcake.



And the winning cake was.....

And the winning cake was.....



Close up of Remy's dessert.


There were 2 votes for Ratatouille, please let me know if you were the ones who voted for them.

Double Chocolate Banana Muffins

Double Chocolate Banana Muffins

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated Sugar
1/4 cup baking cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1-1/3 cup mashed ripe bananas
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1 cup (6 ounces) miniature semisweet chocolate chips


In a large bowl, combine the first six ingredients. In a small bowl, combine bananas, oil and egg; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in chocolate chips. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until muffins test done. Yield: about 1 dozen.


Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies

Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies, from my new Martha Stewart Cookies cookbook.

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, plus more for pan
2 ounces good-quality unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
4 ounces good-quality semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a buttered 8-inch square baking pan with foil or parchment paper, allowing 2 inches to hang over sides. Butter lining (excluding overhang); set pan aside.
Make batter: Put butter and chocolates in a heatproof medium bowl set over a pan of simmering water; stir until melted. Let cool slightly.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl, and set aside.
Whisk granulated sugar into chocolate mixture. Add eggs, and whisk until mixture is smooth. Stir in vanilla. Add flour mixture; stir until well incorporated.

Make filling: Stir together butter, confectioners' sugar, peanut butter, salt, and vanilla in a bowl until smooth.

Pour one-third of batter into prepared pan, and spread evenly with a rubber spatula. Place dollops of filling (about 1 tablespoon each) about 1 inch apart on top of batter. Drizzle remaining batter on top, and gently spread to fill pan. Place dollops of remaining filling on top.

With a butter knife, gently swirl filling into batter, running knife lengthwise and crosswise through layers. Bake until a cake tester inserted into brownies (avoid center and edges) comes out with a few crumbs but is not wet, about 45 minutes. Let cool slightly in pan, about 15minutes.

Lift out brownies; let cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into squares.

I didn't have anymore parchment so I sprayed the pan with cooking spray with flour.

3/26 PICTURES!!! (First one is just for Michelle ::wink:: my double boiler)

Chocolate all melted...


1/3rd of the batter and some of the peanut butter mixture


Ready to go in the oven


All done and VERY YUMMY!!


Vital Wheat Gluten

YAY! I found some Vital Wheat Gluten, by Hodgson Mill at Walmart, now I don't have to wait for it to come in stock online. (It was in the food section near the flour and yeast)

I think I feel a loaf of whole wheat bread needs to be made today!!

3/26 Update: use the gluten for the whole wheat bread and it did rise more. The texture is a bit lighter too. Flavor was the same at the first time. The top of the loaf was a bit funky, which happens sometimes with my bread machine.



Pasta & Meatballs

When I asked Victoria what she thought would be good for dinner she said pasta and meatballs. I don't have a real recipe for my sauce. I just dump a couple jars of spaghetti sauce, diced tomatoes, minced garlic, onion and all sorts of spices into the crock pot and let it go all day. Usually I have store bought meatballs in the freezer, this week I don't.

So here is the meatball recipe that I made this morning.

1 pound ground beef (or turkey)
1/2 cup bread crumbs (I like plain then add my own herbs and spices)
1/4 cup chopped parsley
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (the good stuff, not from a can)

In a bowl, mix the ground beef (or turkey), bread crumbs, what ever herbs and spices that you like, eggs, and cheese. Season with salt and pepper. I used my medium cookie scoop to make the balls, and drop into the sauce. Cook for 4 to 5 hours on high.

Serve over your favorite pasta shape.


Corned Beef & Cabbage

Corned Beef & Cabbage

1 box of Beef Stock
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 large onion quartered
5 medium potatoes peeled and quartered
5 medium carrots, cut into 2 inch pieces
3 pounds corned beef or beef brisket
1 head green cabbage, trimmed and cut into 6 wedges
(Bouquet Garni)

Stir the stock and vinegar in a large crock pot. Add the onions, potatoes, carrots, beef and cabbage. Submerge the Bouquet Garni in the stock mixture.

Cover and cook on low for 8 to 9 hours or until the beef is fork tender. Remove Bouquet Garni.

Bouquet Garni...I did not do this. I just put a handful of garlic cloves, a couple of bay leaves, tbs peppercorns, 1 tsp red pepper flakes, 1 tsp allspice berries, 1 tbs coriander seeds, 1 tsp dried mustard, 1/2 tsp ground ginger and a pinch of ground cloves and a 1/2 tsp salt and just put it all in the stock mixture.

Usually the corned beef package contains the pickling spice, but the one I bought the other day didn't. Oh well time to make a substitution!


Italian Bread

Italian Bread (makes 2 loaves)

4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 1/3 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
1 1/2 tsp bread machine yeast

1 egg
1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons cornmeal

Place flour, brown sugar, warm water, salt, olive oil and yeast in the pan of the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select dough cycle; press Start.

Deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Form dough into two loaves. Place the loaves seam side down on a cutting board generously sprinkled with cornmeal. Cover the loaves with a damp cloth and let rise, until doubled in volume about 40 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

In a small bowl, beat together egg and 1 tablespoon water. Brush the risen loaves with egg mixture. Make a single long, quick cut down the center of the loaves with a sharp knife. Gently shake the cutting board to make sure that the loaves are not sticking. If they stick, use a spatula or pastry knife to loosen. Slide the loaves onto a baking sheet with one quick but careful motion.

Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until loaves sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.


Chunky Peanut, Chocolate and Cinnamon Cookies

Here is another from my Martha Stewart Cookies cookbook, and they are very good. I used my smallest cookie scoop to make the cookies very small. I think next time I will use my medium scoop.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
2/3 cup roasted, salted peanuts, coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Put butter and peanut butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until combined, about 2 minutes. Add sugars; mix 2 minutes. Mix in eggs. Gradually add flour mixture; mix until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips, peanuts, and vanilla with a mixing spoon until well distributed. Refrigerate dough until it is slightly firm, 15 minutes.

Roll dough into 1-inch balls. Space balls 2 to 3 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Flatten slightly. Bake until just golden, about 13 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool.


Bagels take II

I made the bagels again and used only 4 cups of flour, not the 4 1/2 cups and the dough was much silkier.






Magic Blondies

This recipe is courtesy of my new Martha Stewart Cookies cookbook.

2/3 cup sweetened flaked coconut
2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2/3 cup chopped walnuts (about 2 1/2 ounces)
2/3 cup dried cherries or cranberries
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
9 tablespoons (1 1/8 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350. Line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners; set aside. Stir together coconut, chocolate, walnuts, and cherries in a medium bowl; set aside.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.

Put butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla; mix until combined. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture, and mix, scraping down sides of bowl, until well combined. Mix in 1 cup coconut mixture.

Divide batter among muffin cups, filling each about three-quarters full. Sprinkle remaining coconut mixture over tops. Bake blondies until a cake tester inserted into center comes out with a few crumbs but is not wet, about 25 minutes.

Blondies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 2 days.

All done!!

Of course I "needed" to sample one and it was fabulous!!!


Savory Pot Roast

Savory Pot Roast

1 can Campbells Condensed French Onion Soup
1 pouch brown gravy mix
6 medium potatoes, cut into quarters
6 large carrots, cut into 2 inch pieces
6 or 7 garlic cloves, peeled
3 1/2 to 4 pound boneless beef bottom round roast or chuck pot roast

Stir the soup, dry gravy mix, potatoes, garlic and carrots in a crock pot. Add the beef and turn to coat.

Cover and cook on low for 8 to 9 hours or until the beef is fork tender. (or on high for 4 to 5 hours)


Taco Tater Casserole

Taco Tater Casserole

2 lbs ground beef (or turkey)
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 envelope of taco seasoning (or homemade)
2/3 cup water
1 can whole kernel corn, drained
1 can condensed fiesta nacho cheese soup (I am using plain cheddar cheese soup)
1 package (32 oz) frozen tater tots

In a skillet, cook beef and onion over med heat until the meat is no longer pink. Drain. Stir in taco seasoning and water. Simmer uncovered for 5 minutes. Stir in corn and soup.

Transfer to a greased 13x9 baking dish. Arrange tater tots in single layer over the beef mixture. Bake uncovered at 350 for 30-35 minutes or until potatoes are crispy and golden brown.

Taco Seasoning

Homemade taco seasoning

1 tbsp. chili powder
2 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. each ground cumin, garlic powder, paprika, powdered oregano and sugar
1/2 tsp. salt

Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl. Makes 3 tablespoons of seasoning mix, which is equal in strength to a package of store bought seasoning mix.


Basic Bread Machine White bread (1 pound)

I am going to make a small loaft (1 pound) to go with dinner tonight.

2/3 cup warm water
4 tsp unsalted butter (softened)
3/4 tsp salt
2 cups bread flour
3 tbs dry milk powder
1 tbs sugar
1 1/2 tsp Bread Machine yeast

Add ingredients to bread machine pan in the order suggested by the manufacture.

Recommended cycle: Basic/white cycle medium/normal crust. Time bake feature can be used.



I treated myself to a new cookbook today!


Cookies are the treat that never disappoints. Whether you’re baking for a party or a picnic, a formal dinner or a family supper–or if you simply want something on hand for snacking–there is a cookie that’s just right. In Martha Stewart’s Cookies, the editors of Martha Stewart Living give you 175 recipes and variations that showcase all kinds of flavors and fancies. Besides perennial pleasers like traditional chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin, there are other sweet surprises, including Rum Raisin Shortbread, Peppermint Meringue Sandwiches with Chocolate Filling, and Lime Meltaways.



Courtesy of Breadworld

One dozen bagels

1 1/4 cup warm water

2 1/2 tsp salt

4 to 4 1/2 cups bread flour

1 tbs sugar

2 1/2 tsp Bread Machine Yeast


Measure water, salt, flour, sugar and yeast into bread machine pan in the order suggested by manufacturer.

Process in dough/manual cycle. When cycle is complete, remove dough to lightly floured surface. If necessary, knead in enough flour to make moderately stiff dough.

Divide dough into 6 (9, 12, as desired) pieces; shape into small balls. With a floured finger, poke a 1-1/2-inch hole in each ball. Place shaped bagels on greased baking sheet; cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 4 to 24 hours.

Remove from refrigerator and allow shaped dough to warm to room temperature, about 30 minutes.

In a deep pan, heat 2 quarts water over medium heat to a simmer. Add 1 tablespoon sugar and 2 teaspoons salt. Drop bagels into simmering water. Cook 1/2 minute, turn and cook another 1/2 minute.

Drain on paper towels.

Set bagels on a greased baking sheet. Mix egg white and 1 tablespoon water, brush on bagels.

Sprinkle with coarse salt, sesame, caraway or poppy seed if desired.

Bake at 425oF for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from sheets. Cool on wire rack.

PICTURES: (they aren't very pretty, but they are YUMMY!!!)

Dough is all done.
Ready to be portioned out into 12 bagels


All portioned out and holes poked in them


After a nice rest in the fridge (about 5 hours)


In the meantime, I toasted up some sesame seeds


Time for their quick dunk in the water


Egg washed and sesame seeds added


Fresh from the oven, I did bake them for almost 30 minutes, I like my bagels nice and brown and very crispy on the outside.


Not very pretty, but they are really yummy!!


Garlic Lime Chicken, with a kick

Garlic Lime Chicken, with a kick

Spice mixture:
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon dried parsley
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons garlic powder
3 tablespoons lime juice

In a small bowl, mix together salt, black pepper, cayenne, paprika, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, onion powder, thyme and parsley. Sprinkle spice mixture generously on both sides of chicken breasts.

Heat butter and olive oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Saute chicken until golden brown, about 6 minutes on each side. Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons garlic powder and lime juice. Cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently to coat evenly with sauce.

English Muffins

So I was in a baking kind of mood and all the Whole Wheat English Muffins were gone and the family was asking for more.

I made the Whole Wheat English Muffins that I had previously posted. But did not have enough whole wheat flour, so I subbed 1 cup of bread flour as noted in the recipe.

They also came out really well. I did cut them a bit bigger this time.

Doesn't this look really yummy???


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