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



Chocolate Mud Pie

Miss V also picked this recipe out from her Disney's The Magic Kitchen Cookbook.  It did NOT look good, but tasted pretty good.

Non stick cooking spray
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tbs cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 cup fat free milk (used whole milk)
1 tbs canola oil
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
3 tbs packed brown sugar
2 tbs cocoa powder
2/3 cup water

Fresh raspberries (if you like)
Vanilla frozen yogurt (if you liked)

1.  Turn on the over to 350.  Lightly coat a 9 inch pie pleat with cooking spray.  Save until step 3.

2.  Put the flour, sugar, 1 tbs cocoa powder, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.  Stir with a wooden spoon to mix.  Stir in the milk, oil and vanilla and nuts.

3.  Pour the batter into the pie pan.  Put the brown sugar and the 2 tbs cocoa powder in a small bowl.  Stir with a small spoon to mix.  Put the water int a 1 cup glass measure cup.  Put it in the microwave and cook on high for about 1 minute or until bubbly.  Us the hot pads to remove the glass measuring cup.  Carefully stir the water into the brown sugar mixture.  Slowly pour brown sugar mixture over the batter in the pie pan.

4.  Put the pie pan in the oven.  Bake for 20 minutes.  Turn off the oven.  Use the hot pads to remove the pie pan from the oven.  Put the pie pan on a wire rack.  Cool for 20 minutes.  Serve warm.  If you kike, serve with raspberries and coops of frozen yogurt.  Makes 6 servings.

Fiesta Taco Pizza

This recipe Miss V picked out from her Disney The Magic Kitchen Cookbook.  It was ok, a little bland for our tastes.

1 medium tomato
1 medium onion
12 oz lean ground beef
2/3 cup purchased salsa
6 tostada shells
1 cup shredded reduced fat cheddar cheese (we used a full fat fiesta blend)
1/2 to 1 cup shredded lettuce
Light dairy sour cream (again used full fat, I would prefer to have a little full fat that tastes good instead of reduced fat that doesn't taste so good)
Purchased salsa

1.  Turn the oven on to 375.  Put the tomato and onion on the cutting board.  Use the sharp knife to chop the onion and tomato into small pieces.  Save the tomato until step 5.

2.  Put the ground beef and onion in a large skillet.  Break up the meat with a wooden spoon.  Put the skillet on the burner and turn the burner to medium high heat.  Cook until the meat is brown and the onion is tender, stirring now and then with a wooden spoon.  This will take 8 to 10 minutes.  Turn off the burner.  Remove the skillet from the burner.

3.  Place a colander over a bowl.  Spoon the meat mixture into the colander and let the fat drain into the bowl.  Spoon the meat back into the skillet.  Put the fat into a disposable container and throw away.  Stir the 2/3 cup salsa into the meat in the skillet.

4.  Arrange the tostada shells on the baking sheet.  Spoon meat mixture onto the shells.  Sprinkle with the cheese.  Put the baking sheet in the oven.  Bake about 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted.  Turn off oven.

5.  Use hot pads to take the baking sheet of he oven.  Set baking sheet on a wire rack.  Sprinkle the pizzas with the lettuce and tomato.  If you like top each pizza with sour cream and additional salsa. 

Makes 6 servings.

BLT Salad

Victoria picked this out of her Williams Sonoma Cooking Together Cookbook.  In theory it sounds wonderful.  BUT...we both agreed that the dressing for it was not very good.  It would have been better without dressing or with what ever our favorite dressing is.

8 bacon slices, cut into bite-size pieces

1 baguette, cut into bite-size cubes
2 Tbs. olive oil
1/2 cup sour cream
2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
2 Tbs. grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 tsp. salt
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
1 pint mixed red and yellow cherry tomatoes, halved

Preheat an oven to 400°F.

Spread out the bacon pieces on a rimmed baking sheet. Spread out the baguette cubes on a second rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle the olive oil over the baguette cubes. Using clean hands, toss the cubes to coat them evenly.

Put both baking sheets in the oven. Bake the baguette cubes until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Bake the bacon pieces until crisp, about 15 minutes.

When the baguette cubes are ready, remove them from the oven and let them cool. Then, when the bacon pieces are ready, remove them as well and transfer to paper towels to drain and cool.

To make the dressing, in a blender, combine the sour cream, lemon juice, cheese, salt and garlic. Blend until smooth.

In a large salad bowl, combine the lettuce, tomatoes, bacon and baguette croutons. Drizzle with the dressing, toss to mix and serve immediately. Serves 4.


Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies

Miss V and I made these a bit earlier today.  The recipe came from her Williams Sonoma Cooking Together Cookbook.

3/4 cups butter
8 oz semisweet chocolate chopped
4 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup sugar
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
6 tbs creamy peanut butter
3/4 cups chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350.  Line a 9 inch square baking pan with parchment paper.

Combine the butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl and place over (not touching) barely simmering water in a saucepan.  (I just used the microwave)  Heat stirring frequently, until melted and smooth, about 5 minutes.  Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.

Break the eggs into a bowl.  Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the eggs until light in color, about 4 minutes.  Beat n the vanilla and sugar until well combined, then gradually stir in the cooled chocolate until blended.  Using a rubber spatula, fold in the flour and salt until evenly combined.

Scoop the chocolate mixture into the prepared baking pan and smooth the top.  Using a tablespoon, drop 6 tablespoon sized dollops of peanut butter evenly over the top.  Sprinkle with the chocolate chips.

Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean 25 to 30 minutes.  Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.  Cut into squares and serve.

Of course we needed to sample them before dessert and they get two thumbs up!!!


Fettuccine Alfredo My Way

Miss V picked this out of her Emeril's There's a chef in my family cookbook.

Oh it came out so rich and creamy.  It is a good thing that we don't eat like this all the time.

1 pound fettuccine
1 tbs plus 1 tsp salt
2 tbs unsalted butter
1 tbs olive oil
1/4 cup diced ham
1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion
1 tbs minced garlic
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup green peas defrosted
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

Add the pasta and tbs of the salt.  Return to a boil and cook the pasta until al dente, stirring occasionally to prevent the noodles from sticking, about 10 to 12 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt the butter and heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

Add the ham and cooking stirring for 1 minute.

Add the onion and cook, stirring for 2 minutes.

Add the garlic, and cook stirring for 30 seconds.

Add the heavy cream and bring to a boil.  Cook until the volume is reduced by half, about 5 minutes.  Add the peas 1 tsp salt and the pepper.  Stir well.

Using oven mitts or pot holders, drain the pasta in a colander set in the sink and place the pasta in a large bowl.

Pour the sauce over the pasta,  Add the cheese and toss to coat.

Serve immediately.


Candy and Rice Krispy Sushi

Last night was our Monsters Inc Dinner and Movie night.  We took it easy and had chinese take out and sushi.  Ok, so Marcel ate sushi and Miss V and I had dessert sushi.

You need a pan of rice krispy treats
gummy worms
swedish fish
fruit roll ups
chocolate syrup

Our left overs on on the left and Marcel's left overs are on the right.


Oatmeal Cinnamon Chip Cookies

Miss V decided today would be a good day to make some cookies.  Unfortunately my pantry needs to be restocked.  She did find a package of Hershey's Cinnamon Chips so we made the cookies from the back of the bag.

1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2-1/2 cups quick-cooking oats
1-2/3 cups (10-oz. pkg.) HERSHEY'S Cinnamon Chips
3/4 cup raisins

Heat oven to 350°F.

Beat butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar in bowl until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Combine flour and baking soda; add to butter mixture, beating well. Stir in oats, cinnamon chips and raisins (batter will be stiff). Drop by heaping teaspoons unto ungreased cookie sheet. We like using a cookie scoop or ice cream scoop for nice big cookies.

Bake 10 to 12 minutes on until lightly browned. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. About 4 dozen.  I found that 12 minutes was perfect!


Chocolate Chocolate Pie

For our Cars dinner & movie night I made this yummy pie.  No real recipe.

Oreo Pie Crust
1 (5oz box) Chocolate Jell-o cook & serve pudding prepared as directed on box
Fresh whipped cream

This does need plenty of time to chill and thicken.  So I made it early in the morning and made the whipped cream right before serving.


Back to Basic Ice Shaver

We used the Back to Basic Ice Shaver in Miss V's class for a snow cone party.  It worked very well and the kids loved them.  The best part, I got to take one home!

It comes with two ice molds that makes hockey puck shaped ice.  I had an accident with one and it cracked.  I have been making ice every day so we have a nice sized stash in the freezer.  I love that it can have fine shaved ice or a coarser grind.

Our favorite syrup to use are the Jelly Belly Syrups.  I first spotted them at Bed Bath and Beyond.  A few weeks ago I spotted them at our local Walmart in the seasonal section.  We stocked up on many of the flavors.  My personal favorite is the Pina Colada flavor.  Miss V loves the Tutti Fruiti and Green Apple.


Flip Flop Pinot Grigio

So a few weeks ago I was shopping at Sweetbay Grocery store in Venice and spotted a super cute bottle of Pinot Grigio from Flip Flop.  I have never seen it or tried it before.  The label is what attracted my eye.

The price also caught my eye at $7.00.  I really don't know how to pick out wines.  I do know that you are "supposed" to eat lighter foods with whites and heavier foods with reds.  I also know that I like lighter colored Pinot Grigio.  I like sweet but no to sweet and dry but not to dry.

Well I took a chance and picked up a bottle.  We had it with grilled chicken with pasta salad. It was very light and refreshing.

After trying it, I looked more into the company.  I was impressed that they have partnered with Soles4Soles.  I also found Flip Flop on Facebook. 

Today at Sweetbay I picked up another bottle of Pinot Grigio and had it with grilled petite sirloin steaks and tossed green salad.  It paired very well with dinner.  I can't wait to see if I can find other varietals.  I think I would really love to try their Riesling.

So go and look up Flip Flop Wines, you won't be disappointed.

Shortbread tarts filled with cream cheese

I have made these a few times and they are really yummy!  The original recipe comes from one of my favorite sites called The Joy of Baking.

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt

Cream Cheese Filling:

1-8-oz. package cream cheese - softened
1-14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1/3 cup  lemon juice (used Nellie & Joes)
Zest of one lemon
1 teaspoon  pure vanilla extract


Any combination of berries (blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries) or other fruit such as slices of kiwi.

Shortbread Tarts: Lightly butter, or spray with a nonstick vegetable spray, 36 miniature muffin tins (approximately 2 inch (5 cm) in diameter). Set aside. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (170 degrees C) and place rack in the center of the oven.

In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar together (approximately two minutes). Beat in the vanilla extract. Add the flour, cornstarch and salt and mix just until incorporated. Divide the dough into 36 even pieces and place one ball of dough in the center of each muffin tin. With your fingertips, press the dough up the sides of the individual muffin tin so there is an indentation in the center. Once filled, place the tart pan, with the unbaked shells, in the freezer for about 10 minutes so the shortbread can become firm. (This will help to prevent the shortbread from puffing up during baking.)

Bake for approximately 18 - 20 minutes or until lightly browned. About halfway through the baking time, lightly prick the bottom of each shortbread, with the tines of a fork, if they have puffed up. Check again after another five minutes and prick again if needed. Once they are fully baked, remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. I like to use the end of a wooden spoon and press around the inside of the tart to make a nice well for the filling. When completely cooled, remove the tarts from the pan.
Cream Cheese Filling: In your food processor or electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until fluffy. Add the condensed milk, lemon juice, zest, and vanilla and process just until smooth. (Do not over process or the filling will be too runny.) Transfer the filling to a bowl, cover, and refrigerate until serving time. (It is best to make the filling at least a day in advance to give it time to become firm and for all the flavors to mingle).

To serve: Use a piping bag or ziploc bag filled with the cream cheese mixture, fill the tart shells with the cream cheese filling. The filled tart shells can be made several hours in advance and refrigerated. Just before serving top with fresh berries or cut up fruit.

Makes about 36 - 2 inch (5 cm) miniature tarts.

To make the cute little kiwi hearts, I sliced the kiwi and Miss V used a mini heart cookie cutter and cut them out.

These are a bit time consuming, but oh soooooo worth it!

BLT Club Tea Sandwich

Woops!!!  I totally forgot to take a picture of this one!

Mix 1/3 cup each mayonnaise and finely chopped cooked bacon; season with pepper.  Spread on toasted white bread.  Sandwich with sliced cherry tomatoes, baby greens and deli turkey.  Trim the crusts and cut into pieces.

This by far was the favorite of the night. 

Roast Beef & Horseradish Tea Sandwiches

This was the third sandwich that we made for our Alice in Wonderland Dinner & Movie night.  Again the recipe came from the pullout in Food Network Magazine.

Spread horseradish cream on rye cocktail bread.  Sandwich with sliced cucumber, roast beef and watercress; season with salt and pepper.

I used Boars Head Horseradish Sauce and I couldn't find watercress, I subbed arugula.

Miss V is a huge fan of roast beef, but not a fan of Horseradish, so she made a second sandwich without it.

Prosciutto & Fig Tea Sandwich

This was the second tea sandwich that we made for our Alice in Wonderland Dinner & Movie night.  This also came from the pullout from Food Network Magazine.

When I first picked this, I was a bet nervous about finding the fig jam in our area.  Luckily my local Publix had it.  I was hoping for a smaller jar though.

Spread softened butter and fig jam on the inside of a split baguette.  Fill with prosciutto, sliced pears and Bibb lettuce.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cut into pieces

So I couldn't find Bibb lettuce so I bought a very small head of Boston lettuce.  When I snapped the picture I didn't realize that I forgot the pear.  I used a Bosc pear.

My thoughts on this one.  It was good, but I think it should have been made on plain white bread not a baguette.  I really enjoyed the fig jam with the saltiness of the prosciutto and sweetness of the pear.

Cucumber Tea Sandwiches

This was the first sandwich we made for our Alice in Wonderland Dinner & Movie night.  The recipe came from a pullout in Food Network Magazine.

4 tbs softened unsalted butter

½ tsp lemon zest
1 tbs chopped fresh herbs

Mix the above. Spread on white bread and sandwich with sliced cucumber. Trim the crusts and cut into pieces.

This one was just "ok".  I don't think we would make it again.



A fellow Florida food blogger is looking for Salad Recipes.  She is having a month long link party, go on over and post your favorite salad recipe.

Seaside Simplicity, Wanted Salads

I personally can't wait to see what everyone else posts.  It is getting very warm here in SW Florida and having a salad for dinner sounds perfect.

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