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What I've been eating!

M&M Cookie Girl
I have given myself a new title, The M&M Cookie Girl!  My goal is to take each seasonal M&M flavor and make a delicious cookie!  This week I made chocolate chip coconut M&M cookies!  They were divine and any coconut lovers dream cookie!

Chocolate Chip Coconut M&M Cookie
2 sticks (1 cup) of unsalted butter (at room temp) 
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs (at room temp)
2 tsp coconut extract (or vanilla if it's all you have)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
2 cups shredded coconut
6 oz chocolate chips
1 bag coconut M&M
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a stand mixer mix together butter and sugar until fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time.  Add coconut extract and mix well.  Scape sides of bowl. Add salt, baking powder and baking soda and mix.  Add flour all at once and mix until just incorporated.  Mix in oats and coconut until just incorporated.  Add chocolate chips.  Scoop dough on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  Top each cookie with 3 or 4 M&M depending on the size of the cookie.  Bake for 9 minutes or until edges just start brown. Allow to cool on cookie sheet for 5-7 minutes.  Enjoy!

Cheddar Corn Chowder with Bacon Croutons and Chives

Cheddar Corn Chowder with Bacon Croutons and Chives
2 tbsp olive oil
6 slices of peppered bacon
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 yellow onion (diced)
1 jalapeño (diced and seeds removed)
1 shallot (diced)
1/3 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp turmeric
6 cups chicken stock
3 white potatoes (diced in small cubes)
6 ears corn (kernels removed from ears)
1/2 cup 1/2 1/2
1.5 cups Beecher’s Marco Polo cheddar cheese (or other cheddar)
5 sprigs chives

In a stock pot cook bacon in olive oil until crisp. Remove with a clotted spoon and save for later.  Add onion, shallot, jalapeño, and butter and cook until translucent.  Add flour, salt, pepper and turmeric and cook for 2 minutes.  Add chicken stock and potatoes and bring to a boil. Cook until potatoes are tender (about 15 minutes).  Blanch corn in salted boiling water for 3 minutes. Drain and add to stock pot. Add 1/2 1/2 and cheddar cheese and cook a few minutes until cheese melts. Serve chowder with crisp bacon, homemade croutons and chopped chives. 

Homemade Croutons
Essentials Baking Company Focaccia bread (sliced in small cubes)
Olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Toss sliced bread in olive oil, salt and pepper until well coated. Place in oven until crisp.  Watch closely because it goes fast!
More Cookies!!

Cookies for order! I'll make any kind you want! $10 for a dozen!

 peanut butter chocolate chip cookie with dark chocolate M&M


"Amy's Cookie" 

Peanut Butter M&M Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 sticks of butter (1 cup) softened
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 3/4 cup flour
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup chocolate chip
1 bag peanut butter M&M
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a stand mixer cream butter and sugar together until fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time then vanilla and mix well.  Add baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Add flour and oats and mix well.  Mix in chocolate chips and remove bowl from mixer.  Add M&M by hand so they don't break.  Bake on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 10 minutes and remove from oven when still slightly gooey.  Let sit on pan for a few minutes.  

 these cookies are hearty, peanut buttery and so chewy!

Enjoy these cookies with a glass of milk!

Wonder what I have been making and eating lately?!?!

I have taken on a new adventure!  I am the author of a new blog! I will still have my family blog of course but I am started a dedicated food blog for Harbor Greens Market! There is a little blue icon that will take you to the blog or you can find me cooking here... !! Please check back often for awesome recipes, product reviews and fun ideas from items found in the market!!

Summer Squash Spaghetti

Carol, from the office, gave me 3 MASSIVE yellow squash from her garden so I needed a few recipes to get rid of them before they went bad.  Tonight I decided to try spaghetti with squash noodles.  They actually turned out really good and Brett even said they were delicious! Plus, it was super easy and quick to make.  The perfect meal after a long day at work.  

I told you they were massive.... :)

 as the squash sits water will accumulate.  mop up with a paper fowl just before serving.

Summer Squash Spaghetti
1 large yellow squash or green zucchini
1 shallot
4 cloves of garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
your favorite red sauce (I make my own: recipe below)
parmesan cheese
fresh basil

Using a box grater slide squash over the side with the large holes to create long ribbons of "pasta."  Let ribbons rest on a paper towel to absorb some moisture.  Sauté squash with garlic and olive oil until tender (about 3-4 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper).  Dress with red sauce, fresh basil and freshly grated parmesan cheese!  

Red Sauce
1 can of diced tomatoes no salt added with herbs (Trader Joe's)
1 can whole tomatoes no salt added with basil (Trader Joe's)
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 shallot
4 cloves garlic
1 tbsp fresh oregano
1 tbsp fresh chopped basil
3-4 tsp salt (more if needed)
2 tsp papper
1 tsp chili powder (more if desired)
1 tbsp honey (more if needed)
2 rinds of parmesan (I keep these in my freezer when I finish a block for a creamy cheesy flavor)

Saute garlic and shallot with olive oil in a large stock pot until tender.  Add cans of tomato, paste, seasonings and honey and bring to a slow boil.  Blend ingredients in pot with an immersion blender (or regular blender or food pressor) until desired texture.  I like smooth with a few lumps!  Add parmesan cheese rinds.  Allow to sit at a low temperature for at least 30 minutes or up to a few hours. 

Freezes well and store in fridge for up to a week.  Use on pasta, squash "pasta," meatball subs, pizza, etc.
Chicken Potpie

As I was making lunch I noticed I had everything in my fridge for a potpie so I decided to make a quick chicken potpie for Brett! He said it was a delicious which I consider a win! 

carrots, onion, celery, black beans, chicken, cream sauce, star pasta, broccoli and garlic.  

Topping: I used a store bought pie crust which I would never again do.  Making your own crust is so much better and really quite easy so take my advice and make your own.  Either way the filling was delicious and the topping had the potential to be flaky and buttery! However, Brett ate every last bite so it must have still been decent!
 Cinnamon Vanilla Coconut Popcorn

Fluffy white air popped popcorn topped with cinnamon, vanilla and coconut... whoa!!! This satisfied my late night craving very well thank you very much!  Sweet from the coconut and a little warming from the cinnamon made this popcorn sweet but not rot your teeth sweet!

Cinnamon Vanilla Coconut Popcorn
  • air popped popcorn
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp coconut extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut

Pop desired amount of air popped popcorn into a BIG bowl! Make a lot because it will be gone in no time!  In a sauce pan over medium heat melt 2 tbsp coconut oil.  Don't let it get too hot.  Add 1 tbsp brown sugar, 1 tsp coconut extract, 1 tsp vanillas extract and 1 tsp cinnamon.  Mix until the sugar is dissolved.  Pour over popcorn and mix well.  Top with shredded coconut and dig in!!

Another session at Mini Cooking School
I love spending time with Trevi in the kitchen because she is a good little helper, she loves to watch me prepare all the ingredients, help create, taste along the way and devour the final product! Yesterday we made homemade olive flatbread to go with our spaghetti dinner.

brushing the dough.

I am in love with the recipes in Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a Day because it allows our family to have a fresh loaf of bread, a pizza or flatbread in minutes whenever we want it! Check out this book so your family can have fresh bread everyday too.

 into the oven she goes....

 check out those toppings
(olive oil, salt, pepper, dried oregano, kalamata olives, capers, salt, pepper and fresh basil)

of course I forgot to get a picture of the yummy bubbly crust when finished because we were too busy eating it!
It was delicious, I assure you!
Some yummy recipes as of late!

 chocolate peppermint covered bananas

 using up the last of the roasted chicken means a yummy lunch for Brett

 duffins, monuts... call them what you will but these are donut muffins and they are delicious!

 delicious snack, dessert, breakfast, dinner, whatever!

4th of July Pizza Cook Off Winner!

We have a fun pizza cookoff tradition with our friends each 4th of July! We each bring toppings and then after tasting each pizza we vote and declare a winner! This year Brett and I WON!!!!

The pizza is topped with crispy bacon pieces, potato and onion roasted with rosemary, salt and pepper.  It is then topped with shredded fontina cheese, fresh arugula and lemon juice.  Last but not least the crispy crust is brushed with garlic infused olive oil!!

the potatoes and onion prior to cooking!

 all crispy and delicious!

bacon cooking... the house will smell wonderful!

 prior to the 800 degree pizza oven

in the midst of cooking!

Roasted Chicken

I finally did it... I roasted my own chicken! I have been hesitant because the task seemed so daunting for many reasons.  1. I don't eat meat.  2. I don't love the idea of a whole bird (raw for that matter) in my kitchen. 3. It seemed complicated.  I was proved wrong today on all accounts.  It was easy to do, Brett said it was delicious, Trevi ate it right out of the oven and it didn't cost a fortune.  ($12 for an organic 5 pound chicken)

Here's how...
everything you need... minus the bird!

 the veggies are optional but really help for a few a reasons.  1. the bird can sit on top of them so it doesn't burn. 2. it makes the stock you make taste better later. 3. they would be delicious to eat!

look how pretty she is!

Don't let the numerous number of steps freak you out:
1. rinse the bird inside and out
2. pat dry with paper towels
3. generously salt and pepper the cavity
4. stuff the bird with the garlic, lemon and thyme
5. tie the legs together and wings if you desire
6. place on baking sheet (on top of veggies if using)
7. salt and pepper the outside of the bird
8. brush the bird with melted butter and salt and pepper again
Bake at 450 degree for 1 1/2 hours or until juices run clear (5-6 pound bird)
 Cilantro Lime and Jalapeno Roasted Corn

I made this spicy yet sweet corn for a salad and it turned out so delicious. It was spicy from the jalapeno, sweet from the lime juice and very fresh tasting from the cilantro! 

Creamy Butternut Squash Macaroni 

I have decided that while macaroni and cheese is a great dinner staple I have also decided that it can be made at home with fresh ingredients which makes it so much better for my family! That being said, I made T a butternut squash macaroni for dinner a couple of nights ago.  I had some leftover butternut squash that I pureed and added a little parmesan cheese.  Lastly, I tossed the pasta in the sauce and fed it to T! She loved it!

Raw kale salad.... yes, another one!!! 1. My garden is overflowing and 2. I can't stop craving these salads! So here goes....

3-4 kale leaves (stems removed and chopped)
2 tbsp chopped parsley
2 tbsp chopped cilantro
1/2 cup black beans
1/4 cup fresh bluberries
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds mixed
1 avocado
salt and pepper to taste
juice of 1/2 lemon
juice of 1 lime

In a bowl add kale, cilantro, parsley, avocado, salt, pepper and lemon and lime juice. Mix well by massaging the avocado and juices into the greens with clean hands.  It should sort of wilt the greens.  Add remaining ingredients and enjoy!

The sour, sweet, salty and fresh combination is unbeatable!!!! Plus, it's awesome for you!

I have an abundance of kale in my garden and that makes me a happy girl! I decided to make a yummy raw kale salad for dinner tonight and it was so fresh, crunchy and delicious! The dressing is easy to make and the salad can be modified with anything you have on hand!

Kale and Roasted Veggie salad with a Citrus Ginger Dressing

Salad ingredients:

2 cups fresh raw kale chopped
1 cup roasted veggies (I used carrots, sweet potatoes and broccoli) *see tip on roasted at end of post
1 inch piece of zucchini chopped
8-10 kalamata pitted olives
1/2 cup black beans
1/4 cup pan fried spicy tofu
1 tbsp sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds

Citrus Ginger Dressing ingredients:
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
pinch of salt and pepper
juice from half lemon
1 inch piece of fresh grated ginger

Combine all ingredients and pour desired amount over salad!!!!

Ok, my hungry friends, I have two yummy recipes for you!

Recipe #1:

Chicken and Green Pepper Enchiladas
( I have adapted this recipe from The Pioneer Woman's cookbook! Her dishes are delicious and comforting!)

I made this dish for a family in our church so I had to mindful of who I was feeding.  The couple just had their 3rd child and I knew I wanted to make something the other two kids would like. I decided that enchiladas would be great because they are familiar, comforting and most kids like them! Let's hope the family enjoys them!

These enchiladas were yummy, comforting, rich and oh so creamy! I made my shredded chicken in the crock pot with chicken stock to make it moist.  I love the crock pot because it takes the hard work out of cooking chicken and you can leave it and come back to later! I also used yummy fresh tortillas from Costco that you make fresh on the stove top! Once you try them you can't go back! So, all that being said here are the stars of the show:

 here are all the ingredients... hearty brown rice, moist shredded chicken, fresh tortillas, smokey green peppers, creamy cheese and so much  more!

 the flavorful filling: chicken, corn, roasted green peppers, onion, garlic, chicken stock, paprika, cumin, heavy cream, salt and pepper.

 I filled the tortillas with the chicken mixture and brown rice

the creamy yummy sauce!

 check out that yummy creamy sauce!

 I had to put a little cheese on top to create that yummy, cheesy topping!

Here's the recipe details:
Chicken and Green Pepper Enchiladas
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Brown rice:
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup brown rice

1/2 green bell pepper (roasted)  (to roast pepper place whole green pepper until the broiler until all the skin is mostly  black. Remove from oven and place in a plastic bag for about 30 minutes. Peel off skin.)
½ onion chopped
2 garlic cloves chopped
2 cups shredded chicken (cook chicken in crock pot with enough chicken broth to cover raw chicken breast. Cook on high until chicken is fully cooked. Allow to cool and shred)
½ cup chicken stock
1 cup heavy cream
pinch paprika
pinch salt and pepper
pinch cumin
handful frozen or canned corn

Saute onion and garlic in large saute pan until onions are translucent. Add shredded chicken, chicken stock, heavy cream, cumin, paprika, salt and pepper.  Allow mixture to cook for a few minutes to thicken.  Add corn.  Cook tortillas.  Add about 1/2 cup of chicken mixture and 1/4 brown rice to each tortillas.  Roll up tortillas and place in your baking pan. 

3 tbsp butter
¼ cup flour
½ cup chicken stock
½ cup heavy cream
2 cups of cheese
pinch paprika
pinch salt and pepper
½ green bell pepper (roasted)
1 tbsp cream cheese

Melt butter in large saute pan.  Add flour and wisk until mixture is bubbly (about 1 minute).  Add chicken stock and wisk mixture until it is smooth.  Add heavy cream and allow mixture to mix well.  Add salt, pepper, cumin and paprika.  Mix in cheese and allow to melt.  Once mixture is well incorporated add roasted peppers and cream cheese.  Pour mixture over rolled enchiladas and top with cheese. 


Recipe #2:
Second Recipe is kid approved! 

I have been taking a nutrition class and learning so much about reading labels, ingredients and food in general.  I used to buy Trevi box mac and cheese as a quick and easy meal if we were pressed for time.  I would buy her the Annie's organic whole wheat pasta with a powder cheese.  I felt like I was doing the right thing by buying the organic and whole wheat option but after a few weeks in my class I am realizing that a ton (ok, almost all) packaged foods contain terrible ingredients and can be made at home with a little practice! I tested this tonight and I was so happy with the results! It even took less to make homemade mac and cheese than it would to make a boxed mac.

Recipe details:
Homemade Mac and Cheese
1 cup cooked organic whole wheat pasta
1 tbsp butter
1 tsp whole wheat flour
1/4 cup organic chicken broth
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 tsp herbed goat cheese
2 oz organic whole milk
handful of frozen veggies

Cook pasta according to box directions.  Add frozen veggies to the last few minutes of cooking the pasta. Melt butter in saute pan.  Add flour and wisk to cook out the flour taste.  Add chicken broth and milk and wisk until mixture is smooth.  Add parmesan cheese and goat cheese. Once the cheese is melted add pasta and serve to your hungry kids!

 see... kid friendly!
Trevi ate two bowls of this stuff! 

 delicious creamy and hearty pasta for the big and little kids! :)


I got home from my workout today and needed a little snack and since I had picked up my favorite item on the planet at the grocery store this morning I just had to find an excuse to eat some! Have you tried this stuff yet:

 this stuff is seriously addicting and oh so good! I eat by the spoonful as well as many other ways! 
I have traded peanut butter in for this stuff and in my world that is a BIG deal!!!

 here was my little post-workout snack!

I have a new best friend and his name is Ninja! He is fabulous, sleek, stylish, powerful, humble and he made me ice cream tonight! Not just ice cream from a tub but real homemade mixed berry coconut sorbet! It was delicious and tasted just like a sorbet from the store! Ninja is here to stay! Sorry Brett!


Mixed Berry Coconut Sorbet
1 cup frozen strawberries
1 cup frozen blackberry raspberry boysenberry blend
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp coconut extract
coconut milk to allow mixture to blend (about 1 cup)

Blend all ingredients in Ninja (or other high powered blender) until smooth. Freeze for 10 minutes or enjoy straight from blender!!!!

Holy Chocolate

I also ran across this little bar today! He may be my new boyfriend!!!! If you don't know me very well than you don't know that I have a serious dark chocolate obsession. I buy a new bar each time I am at the grocery store and slowly eat it out of the freezer! I picked this guy up today at Metropolitan Market and I was highly impressed and satisfied! Not only did it satisfy my darkchocolate obsession but my coconut one too!!!

 ps. I don't eat milk chocolate so if you ever wan to surprise me with a bar don't get a milk chocolate one.... :)

sorry it's a little blurry... I had to get a picture before I ate it all :)
Just kidding.... it's still in my freezer!

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