Friday, September 28, 2012


Since Danny was born, I haven't been cooking much. Feeding Danny has suddenly taken precedence over feeding the husband and myself. But I do need to eat something, so I've been making one of my all-time favorite sandwiches for lunch nearly every day: Fluffernutter.

Do you know what a Fluffernutter is? It's a sandwich of peanut butter and marshmallow fluff. Preferably on white bread. I know I should be ashamed that I eat a "Candy Sandwich," as the husband calls it, almost daily, but I'm not. It's fast, easy, and it's got protein. There you have it.

Make yourself a Fluffernutter today. Let me know what you think about it. And then you can thank me for such a delicious sugar high.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Summer Harvest Bread

I recognize that it's officially fall, but don't let that stop you from making Summer Harvest Bread. It's the perfect way to use up the last of the zucchini in your garden or from the farmer's market.

And it's delicious. If you don't take my word for it, you can certainly trust the husband. I sent a slice of this bread with him to eat for breakfast when he was at work. That night he came home and let me know how tasty it was without any prompting from me. (I'm not above asking for compliments. "Wasn't that a yummy dinner I made, honey? Wasn't it?")

Summer Harvest Bread
Adapted from The Costco Connection

1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 egg
4 egg whites
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 1/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 cups shredded carrots
1 cup shredded zucchini (unpeeled)
1/2 cup golden raisins (Plump them by soaking them in boiling water for a few minutes.)
1 cup diced peeled apples
1 cup pecans, divided

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 8" x 4" loaf pans or one Bundt pan.

In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, applesauce, egg, egg whites, and vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients along with the shredded carrots, zucchini, raisins, apples, and 1/2 cup pecans.

Pour batter into prepared pans and sprinkle evenly with remaining pecans. Bake for about 1 hour (mine took 1 hour and 10 minutes), until a toothpick inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean. (If the pecans are starting to get too brown on top, tent the bread with foil while it finishes baking.)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Chicken and Brie Panini with Apricot Jam

This isn't really a recipe; it's more of a guideline. The amount of ingredients you need depends on how hungry you are and how big your bread is. So, go crazy.

Chicken and Brie Panini with Apricot Jam
Serves: 1

2 slices multi-grain bread
Brie cheese (about 1 ounce), preferably at room temperature
Thinly sliced cooked chicken (about 3 ounces)
Freshly ground black pepper
Apricot jam (about 2 tablespoons)

Preheat your panini press.* Schmear the brie cheese onto one slice of bread. (If your cheese is at room temperature, this will be easy. If it's not at room temperature, then just put thin slices of cheese on your bread. Attempting to spread cold cheese =  torn bread. And, yes, I know from experience.) Layer chicken on top of the brie and sprinkle with pepper. Spread the apricot jam on the second slice of bread.

Close up your sandwich and grill in the hot panini press for about 5 minutes, until bread is toasted and cheese is melted.

*Don't have a panini press? Don't let that stop you from making this delicious sandwich. You can wrap your sandwich in foil and cook it at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes. Another option is to heat it in a skillet like you're making a grilled cheese sandwich

Monday, September 17, 2012

Meet Danny

Sorry you haven't heard from me in a few days; I've been a bit distracted by a new man in my life. His name is Danny, and he's my son. 

 Richard Daniel ("Danny") was born on September 10 at 11:11 p.m., weighing in at 6 pounds 12.6 ounces. The husband and I are over the moon with happiness. 

P.S. Thanks for the onesie, Lucy!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Enjoy it while it lasts

This weekend was crisp and beautiful in Milwaukee, but it reminded me that summer is on its way out. Now, don't get me wrong, I love the fall. It's my all-time favorite season. But it's always a bit bitter-sweet when summer comes to a close.

Today I'm sharing a few of my favorite summertime recipes. Try them one more time before the season of farmer's markets, herbs growing on the back porch, and barbecue is over.

Goat Cheese and Tomato Sandwich

Quinoa with Corn and Black Beans

Grilled Peach Salad with Goat Cheese

Lamb Kabobs

 Therese's Corn and Tomato Salad

Beer Marinated Flank Steak

Herbed Quinoa

Pasta with Lemon Yogurt Sauce

Pudding Poke Cake

Strawberry and Blue Cheese Salad with Balsamic Glaze

Strawberry Peach Smoothie

Friday, September 7, 2012

Corn & Edamame Summer Salad

Just a couple weeks ago, I spotted it for the first time: Corn on the cob for sale at a side-of-the-road farm stand. Sweet mercy, I love corn. I always forget that corn season comes late in the summer, so when I see it for the first time, I'm tickled because I feel like I've been waiting forever.

I had to make a salad to bring to a barbecue recently, and it seemed like the perfect opportunity to highlight summer's bounty. The recipe is simple, so the flavors of the corn and tomatoes really stand out. Adding sugar and a hearty pinch of salt really brought out the sweetness of the corn.

I think you'll really like this one, guys. Give it a whirl while the corn pickin' is good!

Corn & Edamame Summer Salad
Adapted from
Serves: 8

4 large ears corn on the cob, husks removed*
2 cups frozen shelled edamame, thawed
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Juice of 2 limes
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
2 tablespoons olive oil

Heat 1" of water to boiling in a large skillet. Add corn, cover, and cook for about 5 minutes, until corn is tender, flipping the ears of corn halfway through cooking. Remove corn and set it aside to cool. Once it's cool enough to handle, use a sharp knife to cut the kernels off the cob.

In a large bowl, combine corn kernels, edamame, tomatoes, and cilantro. In a separate small bowl, whisk together vinegar, lime juice, sugar, salt, and olive oil. Stir dressing into vegetables. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.

*If it's not corn season, you can substitute 2 cups of frozen corn kernels, thawed.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Iced Tea

I hope you all had a wonderful Labor Day. Mine was particularly celebratory because I bid adieu to my twenties and turned the big 3-0. Yes, that's right...I'm thirty. 

I always thought that my thirtieth birthday would be traumatic and terrifying. But you know what's a million times scarier than turning thirty? Having a baby. Guess what I'm gonna do in, oh, a week. Have a baby. So the big birthday was nothin'. 

My fantastic husband hosted an end-of-summer/Labor Day/birthday/don't-have-a-baby-yet barbecue in our backyard in celebration of my special day. It was great. He planned everything so I could just enjoy myself. He even decorated with signs and balloons and a horse-shaped pinata.

Did I mention that I have the best husband ever? Yeah, I do.

Anyway, the husband ordered ribs and smoked pulled chicken sandwiches from my favorite BBQ restaurant. He bought my favorite cheesecake for dessert. But we were stumped when it came to a special birthday beverages for me. I'm off the hard stuff, so I let my friends enjoy the booze. Pop makes me too burpy, and no one wants that. So I decided to make iced tea. 

Lightly sweetened and refreshing, this iced tea was just what the birthday girl needed. 

Iced Tea
Adapted from Eating Well

12 tea bags (Use your favorite black tea. For decaf tea, I like Typhoo.)
4 cups boiling water
1/4 cup sugar
4-6 cups cold water
Lemon wedges, for serving

Steep tea in boiling water for 3-5 minutes. 

Remove the tea bags and pour tea into a large pitcher. Stir in sugar until it dissolves. Add 4 cups cold water and taste the tea to see if it's diluted enough. Add the extra 2 cups of water if necessary. (In case you were wondering, I steeped my tea for the full 5 minutes and used all 6 cups of water.) 

Refrigerate the iced tea until it's totally chilled, about 2 hours. Serve with lemon wedges.