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



Cuban Panini

I LOVE Cuban sandwiches!

1 Loaf of Cuban bread, can't find it you can use Italian or French (not a baguette)
yellow mustard
dill pickle slices (the long ways)
1/2 lb Swiss cheese, thinly sliced (make sure you get a good aged cheese)
3/4 lb ham, thinly sliced
1/2 lb pork roast, thinly sliced (Boar's Head makes a great roast pork deli meat)
1/3 lb Genoa salami, thinly sliced
2 tbs unsalted butter

Preheat panini press.

Cut bread in half lengthwise.

Spread inside top and bottom with mustard and mayonnaise.

On bottom half, layer pickle slices, Swiss cheese, ham, roast pork and salami.

Cover with top half of bread.

Cut the loaf into 4 equal portions.

Lightly butter top and bottom of each sandwich and press on the grill until the bread is crusty and browned and the cheese is melted.

Slice each sandwich into 2 or 3 pieces.

If you don't have a panini press, you can use a George Foreman Grill or a heavy skillet. If you use a skillet make sure you press the sandwich down hard.

We had this with salad and fruit salad. It was a great summer meal.


Ben & Jerry's Fudge Ice Cream

I love copycat recipes! I found a great one for Ben & Jerry's Fudge Ice Cream. My sous chef said that she would like me to add some mini chocolate chips too.

4 ounces Unsweetened Chocolate
1 cup Milk
2 large Eggs (I use eggbeaters if the recipe doesn't call for cooking)
1 cup Sugar
1 cup Heavy Cream
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1 pinch Salt

Melt chocolate in double boiler over hot (not boiling) water. Gradually whisk in milk, stir until smooth. Remove from heat; let cool. Whisk eggs in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy, 1-2 minutes. Gradually whisk in sugar, then continue whisking 1 minute longer until completely blended. Add cream, vanilla, and salt; whisk. Add the choclate mixture; blend well. Cover, chill, and freeze according to ice cream maker's directions.

Since Victoria is asking for chocolate chips too, I am going to put 2/3 cup of mini chocolate chips.


Pasta Sauce Overload!

I just put dinner in the crock pot. Tonight is what I call Pasta Sauce Overload!

1 pound of homemade meatballs (recipe below)
2 pounds of Italian sausage links (any kind, but I like sweet)
3 jars of Newman's Own Marinara
2 small cans of diced tomato


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. Put one layer on the bottom of your crock pot.

Next I put a jar of Newman's Own Marinara and a can of diced tomatoes.

Now a layer of italian sausage links. I like to take the skin off and pinch off pieces about the size of the meatballs. Put on top of the sauce.

Next another layer of meatballs. Pour another jar of Newman's Own Marinara.

Layer another package of italian sausage skin taken off and pieces pinched off the size of the meatballs.

Pour one more can of diced tomato ontop of the sausage.

Lastly another jar of Newman's Own Marinara.

Cover and cook on high for 5 1/2 hours.

Breakfast cookies

1 cup unsalted butter or butter flavored crisco
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/4 cup flour (you can use a mix of wheat and all purpose)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups rolled oats
2 cups Rice Krispies (you can use a "healthier" cereal)
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup raisins (or chocolate chips)

Preheat oven to 375.

Cream together butter and sugars until creamy. Add eggs one at a time until well mixed. Add vanilla.

Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add dry ingredients to your butter mixture.

Gently stir in the oats, cereal, coconut and raisins.

Drop by heaping cookie scoop onto an ungreased baking sheet.

Bake for 13 to 14 minutes.

Makes about 2 1/2 dozen big cookies.


Ben & Jerry's Heath Bar Crunch Ice Cream

I love love love Ben & Jerry's, I mean who doesn't???? I found a copycat recipe for their Heath Bar Crunch ice cream. This makes 1 quart.

25 mini Heath Bars
2 large eggs (I use egg beaters if the ice cream base isn't cooked)
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
2 tsp vanilla extract

Use a sharp knife to cut the candy bars into small bits. You should end up with about 1 cup. Place the bits in the freezer.

Whisk the egg until light and fluffy, about 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in the sugar a little at a time. Continue to whisk for another minute. Pour in the cram, milk and vanilla and whisk to blend.

Transfer the mixture to your ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturers directions. After the mix gets to be about soft serve consistancy, add in the chopped Heath Bars and continue mixing for 2 minutes.

Transfer mix to snack size Gladware and put into your freezer.

Nutella Biscotti

These are completely heavenly!
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1 cup sugar
½ tsp vanilla
1/2 cup Nutella
1/2 cup Ghirardelli White chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped and toasted hazelnuts

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.

Beat eggs in a large bowl until light and creamy.

Add sugar and continue beating on high for 2 minutes. Then add vanilla.

Stir in Nutella.

Add flour mixture to egg mixture and mix until well combined.

Stir in Ghirardelli White chocolate chips and hazelnuts.

Divide dough into 2 logs with hands and arrange on a parchment lined baking sheet. Press logs into rectangles approximately ¾ to 1 inch thick.

Bake at 350F for 20 minutes.

Remove from oven and place on cutting boards.

Turn down oven heat to 300°F.

Using a serrated knife, cut logs into 1/3-1/2 inch slices. Place sliced back on the baking sheet and return to oven.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, turn biscotti over and bake an additional 10-12 minutes (12 minutes worked best).

Remove to a wire rack to cool. Store in an airtight container.

Looks yummy and tastes yummy!

Peppermint Stick Ice Cream

3 cups heavy cream
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp peppermint extract
40 hard peppermint candies (Starlights)

In a glass measuring bowl (I used a big 4 cup), whisk the cream and sugar together until the sugar dissolves. Add the vanilla and peppermint and stir.

Put in the fridge for about an hour.

In a large food processor, grind the peppermint candies by pulsing 5 or 6 times. Some of the candies will be more finely ground than others; small chunks of candy will add some texture to the ice cream.

Pour the cream mixture into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's directions.

When nearly frozen and the consistency of soft serve ice cream, add the ground peppermint candies. Churn just until mixed.

Transfer the ice cream to a snack size Gladware containers.


Ravioli Lasagna

I picked up another Taste of Home magazine. This one is called Picnics, Potlucks & barbecues.

1 pound ground beef (I used ground turkey)
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1 (25 oz) frozen ravioli (filling of your choice)
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese.

In a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. In a greased 2 1/2 qt baking dish layer a third of the sauce, half of the ravioli and half of the beef and 1/2 cup of cheese; repeat layers. Top with remaining sauce and cheese.

Cover and bake at 400 for 40-45 minutes or until heated through.

Makes 6-8 servings.


Key Lime Pie Martini

I found this recipe a while ago and knew I had to try it.

1 oz vanilla vodka
1/2 oz Licor 43
1/2 oz Ke Ke Beach Key Lime Liqueur
1/4 oz Key Lime Juice, I used Nellie & Joe's Lime Juice

Crushed Graham Crackers

Fill a shaker with ice.
Add vodka, Licor 43, Ke Key Liqueur and lime juice
Wet the rim of your martini glass and rim with cracker crumbs.
Strain the mix into your glass

I took pictures, but will add them tomorrow.


Peach Ice Cream

OK so I am a little late for National Peach Ice Cream day. Yesterday went a little to quickly. Anyway here is my peach ice cream recipe. I had to use white flesh peaches since they were much more ripe than the yellow flesh ones.

3 large eggs
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups whole milk
2 cups peaches, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

In a large bowl, beat the eggs to blend. In a 3-4 quart saucepan, whisk flour, 1 cup of the sugar and milk until smooth. stir often over medium-high heat until boiling, about 8 minutes. Whisking rapidly, pour hot sauce into eggs. Strain through a fine mesh sieve into a clean bowl.

In a blender, smoothly puree peaches will lemon juice and remaining 1/2 cup sugar. Stir into cooked mixture and chill, covered, until cold, at least 2 hours

Stir in cream and vanilla.

Freeze peach mixture in a regular or self refrigerated ice cream maker according to manufacturers directions.

Serve when softly frozen or package airtight and store in freezer up to 2 weeks, let soften at room temperature about 10 minutes before scooping.

Makes 1-1/2 quarts.


Fun Food Holidays

I have been having way to much fun with Food Holidays. Since a couple people asked me what food holidays will be coming up, I will give you a heads up.

July 17: National Peach Ice Cream Day
July 18: National Caviar Day (one word ewwwww)
July 19: National Daiquiri Day (what is your favorite kind of daiquiri?)
July 20: National Lollipop Day (what is your favorite kind of lollipop?)
July 20: National hot dog Day
July 20: National Ice Cream Soda Day
July 20: fortune Cookie Day
July 21: National Ice Cream Day (what is your favorite brand/flavor?)
July 21: National Junk Food Day
July 22: National Penuche Fudge Day
July 23: National Vanilla Ice Cream Day
July 24: National Tequila Day
July 25: National Hot Fudge Sundae Day
July 26: National Coffee Milkshake Day (hmm? I see a trip to Steak & Shake that day)
July 27: National Creme Brulee Day
July 27: National Scotch Day
July 28: National Milk Chocolate Day
July 29: Cheese SacrificePurchase Day
July 30: National Cheesecake Day
July 31: National Raspberry Cake Day
July 31: Cotton Candy Day
July 31: Jump for Jelly Beans Day (what are your favorite Jelly Beans?)

Which food holidays are you going celebrate this month?


National Pecan Pie Day

Today is National Pecan Pie Day, and I am skipping it. I only enjoy Pecan Pie at Thanksgiving time. I posted a great Chocolate Pecan Pie back in November 2008.


Blueberry Muffins

In honor of National Blueberry Muffin day, we had Breakfast for Dinner! Of course I had to make some blueberry muffins.

2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 stick of unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup whole milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup frozen blueberries, thawed

1 tbs sugar
1/4 tsp fresh ground nutmeg

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt.
In a mixing bowl cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and blend well after each one. Add milk and vanilla.
Stir in you dry ingredients just until moist. Do not over mix!!
Fold in blueberries.
Fill greased muffin cups 2/3rds full.
Combine sugar and nutmeg and sprinkle it over the muffin batter.
Bake on 375 for 20 to 25 minutes. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes then move them to a wire rack.

Did you know?

The other day I was looking for information on national food holidays for fun. I found a great site and had a few laughs.


The Month of July the following foods are celebrated all month long:

National Baked Bean Month
National Culinary Arts Month
National Grilling Month
National Hot Dog Month
National Ice Cream Month
National Blueberry Month

What are you going to do to celebrate these foods in July? Please take a moment to leave me a comment.

Also today is National Blueberry Muffin day! I didn't have time to make some this morning, but I think we might be doing Breakfast for Dinner.


Banana Bread Version 2

I had three very ripe bananas this morning and didn't want to toss them in the trash. Here is another version of banana bread.

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups mashed banana
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1 tsp vanilla
Pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease and flour one 9x5 inch pan.

Cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs, vanilla, then bananas. Add flour, salt and baking soda. Add the chopped nuts.

Pour into prepared pan and bake for about 1 hour.


July 4th

I totally forgot to take a picture before our friends came. So here is a couple pictures of after.

Amanda frosted and decorated the cupcakes in a cone for me and made cute little smiley faces on them.

Blueberry Tartlets, sorry I cannot share that recipe. It is from Young Chefs Academy and it is from my Kindercooks class. They make the BEST recipes, in my opinion.

These are Sand Trap Tarts, also a Young Chefs Academy from my Kindercooks Class. These are filled with a cheesecake pudding and the Hershey Kiss, was a Kiss filled with Cherry Cordial Creme.

S'mores Bars Version 2

I also made these for our July 4th party.

8 to 10 whole graham crackers
1 package fudge brownie mix (13-inch x 9-inch pan size)
2 cups miniature marshmallows
1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips (I used dark chocolate)
2/3 cup chopped graham crackers


Arrange graham crackers in a single layer in a greased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking pan.

Prepare the brownie batter according to package directions. Spread over crackers.

Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

Sprinkle with marshmallows, chocolate chips and chopped graham crackers.

Bake 5 minutes longer or until marshmallows are slightly puffed and golden brown. Cool on a wire rack before cutting.

Stars and Stripes Brownies

Again, more help from Betty Crocker,

1 box (1 lb 6.5 oz) Betty Crocker Original Supreme brownie mix (with chocolate syrup pouch)
Water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on brownie mix box

1 container (12 oz) Betty Crocker® Whipped fluffy white frosting
1 tube (0.68 oz) Betty Crocker® red decorating gel
1 tube (0.68 oz) Betty Crocker® blue decorating gel
1 tube (0.68 oz) Betty Crocker® white decorator icing
Betty Crocker® Decorating Decors stars

Heat oven to 350°F. Line 13x9-inch pan with foil so foil extends about 2 inches over sides of pan. Spray foil with cooking spray. Make and bake brownies as directed on box for 13x9-inch pan, using water, oil and eggs. Cool completely, about 1 hour.

Remove brownies from pan by lifting foil; peel foil from sides of brownies. Continue as desired with options below.

Flag Brownies: Frost brownies. Using red decorating gel, pipe stripes onto frosted brownie. Add decors in upper left corner of brownie. 24 brownies

Firecracker Brownies: Using 1-inch round cookie cutter, cut out brownie rounds. Stack 2 brownie rounds together, spreading frosting between rounds and on top. Garnish with decors. 48 brownies

Star Brownies: Using 2 1/2-inch star-shaped cookie cutter, cut brownies. Place frosting in resealable food-storage bag; cut off one bottom corner of bag. Pipe frosting on star-shaped brownies. Sprinkle with decors. 13 brownies

Star Brownies

For our July 4th party, I took a lot of help from Betty! (Betty Crocker, LOL)

1 box (1 lb 6.5 oz) Betty Crocker Original Supreme brownie mix (with chocolate syrup pouch)
Water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on brownie mix box

1/2 cup Betty Crocker® Whipped fluffy white frosting (from 12-oz container)
Betty Crocker® Decorating Decors stars

Heat oven to 350°F. Line 13x9-inch pan with foil so foil extends about 2 inches over sides of pan. Spray foil with cooking spray. Make and bake brownies as directed on box for 13x9-inch pan, using water, oil and eggs. Cool completely, about 1 hour.

Remove brownies from pan by lifting foil; peel foil from sides of brownies. Using 2 1/2-inch star-shaped cookie cutter, cut brownies. Place frosting in resealable food-storage plastic bag; seal bag. Cut off one bottom corner of bag. Pipe frosting on star-shaped brownies. Sprinkle with decors.

Cheese-filled shortbread tartlets

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup butter, softened
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Fresh raspberries, kiwi and mint sprigs, optional

In a small bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Gradually beat in milk, lemon juice and vanilla. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.

In another small bowl, beat the butter, flour, confectioners' sugar and cornstarch until smooth. Roll into 1-in. balls. Place in greased miniature tart pans or muffin cups; press onto the bottom and up the sides. Prick with a fork.

Bake at 325° for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately run a knife around each tart to loosen completely. Cool in pans on wire racks.

Pipe or spoon 1 tablespoon cheese filling into each tart shell. Cover and refrigerate until set. Just before serving, garnish with raspberries, kiwi and mint if desired. (I could not find fresh raspberries so I subbed fresh blackberries)

Yield: 3 dozen.
Sorry about the picture, I totally forgot to take pictures of everything set up before our friends came. So half of the tartlets were already eaten when I snapped the picture.

Blue Soda

Not wanting to have a boring drink, Victoria likes festive drinks also. One of her favorites on July 4th is blue soda.

2 cups cold club soda
2 tbs Rose's Blue Raspberry mixer

Pour both ingredients in a cup and add ice.


What goes great with pulled pork? Coleslaw!! The only one that I like is KFC's coleslaw. So I googled it and found a recipe. It came out fantastic!! This is for a double batch. I actually bought the bag of coleslaw mix and made the dressing.

16 cups finely diced cabbage (about 1 head)
1/2 cup diced carrot
4 tablespoons minced onions
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup milk
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup buttermilk (I made my own, it is cheaper. 1/2 cup milk 1/2 tbs lemon juice and let it sit for about 5 minutes)
3 tablespoons white vinegar
5 tablespoons lemon juice **

Cabbage and carrots must be finely diced. (Use fine shredder disc on food processor) .

Pour cabbage and carrot mixture into large bowl and stir in minced onions.

Using regular blade on food processor process remaining ingredients until smooth.

Pour over vegetable mixture and mix thoroughly.

Cover bowl and refrigerate several hours or overnight before serving. (I made it late Friday night for our 4th of July cookout)

**Lemon juice, since I needed a lot of lemon juice for all my recipes this weekend, I bought Nellie & Joe's Famous Lemon juice. It is fabulous! So much better than the "real lemon". They also have lime juice which is incredible!!!


Chocolate Trifle

This is one of my favorite desserts to make for a party. I am making it again for our July 4th party.

1 (19.8 ounce) package brownie mix
1 (3.9 ounce) package instant chocolate pudding mix
1/2 cup water
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 (12 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 (1.5 ounce) bar chocolate candy (I love using Heath Bars or Skor bars)

Prepare brownie mix according to package directions and cool completely. Cut into 1 inch squares.
In a large bowl, combine pudding mix, water and sweetened condensed milk. Mix until smooth, then fold in 8 ounces whipped topping until no streaks remain.
In a trifle bowl or glass serving dish, place half of the brownies, half of the pudding mixture and half of the 12 ounce container of whipped topping. Repeat layers.

Shave chocolate onto top layer for garnish. (I sub chopped up Heath or Skor bars)

Refrigerate 8 hours before serving. (I like making this the day before the party, it makes it more yummy)

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