Sunday, August 28, 2011

Spiced Pumpkin Waffles

 We all really enjoyed these waffles.  My 4 year old had 3 waffles.  They were light but still filling and the spices were so fragrant cooking and tasted great. Wonderful to bring in the fall season!

adapted from

  • 2 cups Flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • heavy pinch salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ginger
  • 1 tsp nutmeg or grated nutmeg
  • 1 cup pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 TBSP melted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups milk

Mix dry ingredients except brown sugar.  Mix all wet but butter and then whisk in brown sugar and melted butter.  Add dry ingredients to wet and whisk until combined.  Ladle onto hot waffle iron and cook until crisp on outside. Some of mine I removed too early and while they were still very tasty were a bit floppy.  Others I left longer got the nice waffle crunch to them.

Could add some pumpkin pie spice instead.

S'mores Bars

I saw these sometime last week and knew I had to make them.  These are gooey and just awesome!  A seriously great cookie bars.  I made a variation of these before, from my friend Cristine's blog we loved them.  These are a little different because they use marshmallow creme instead of marshmallows, but both are wonderful.  I never posted the other recipe because I was not blogging yet.  So here it is!  If you like s'mores, you will love these!

from Lovin' from the oven
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature 
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 king-sized Hershey's milk chocolate bars (if you want a more subtle chocolate flavor use regular sized chocolate bars; enough to fit)
  • 1 1/2 cups marshmallow creme/fluff (7 1/2 oz jar)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light. Beat in egg and vanilla. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder and salt. Add to butter mixture and mix at a low speed until combined.    
Divide dough in half and press half of dough into an even layer on the bottom of the prepared pan. Place chocolate bars over dough. 2 king-sized Hershey’s bars should fit perfectly side by side, but break the chocolate (if necessary) to get it to fit in a single layer no more than 1/4 inch thick. Spread chocolate with marshmallow creme or fluff. Place remaining dough in a single layer on top of the fluff. This part can be tricky. 
After making all my patties, it looked like this.
I made little disks with the dough and pieced them together over the marshmallow creme. 
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool completely before cutting into bars.
Makes 16 cookie bars.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Pasta Salad

This is an oldie, but goodie.  My mom's recipe.  I made this for my brother and sister in law's wedding in massive portions and as I mingled with the crowd, I heard one person say, "I don't even like pasta salad, but this is delicious!".  Quite honestly, I find many pasta salads are a bit bland and uninteresting.  This has so much flavor and you get a bit of cheese in every bite.   This is great for picnics and BBQ's.  A great pasta salad!

adapted from Ann Czyz, my mom

  • 1 box of  Rotini (spirals)
  • 1 large bunch broccoli (or 2 small)
  • 1 cup small cubed cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar
  • 1 can pitted black olives drained
  • 2-3 carrots grated
  • 2 TBSP. Salad Supreme (spice)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 can chick peas (garbanzo beans) drained and rinsed
  • Italian dressing (I make good seasons w/ balsamic vinegar and olive oil)
  • (OPT.) sundried tomatoes, pepperoni and other veggies)


Cook pasta.  Cut broccoli in bite size pieces and boil broccoli until just tender.  Took about 4 minutes for mine.  Drain and put on ice to cool. In a big bowl mix everything together.  Sprinkle cheese carefully to help it separate as it will tend to clump together.  I use an entire bottle of dressing and if I make it a day ahead, I need to add more right before serving as the pasta will absorb the dressing and it will be dry. 

Turtle Brownies (aka- Knock You Naked Brownies)


I saw these and knew I had to make them.  These were really easy and really rich and gooey and just great!  A must have milk moment for sure.  I love a little sea salt in my caramel, but you can leave out if you desire.  That was my addition.  Not sure who these will knock naked...  but they are great. We all loved these and will make them again!



  • 1 box (18.5 Ounce) German Chocolate Cake Mix
  • 1 cup Finely Chopped Pecans
  • 1/3 cup Evaporated Milk
  • 1/2 cup Evaporated Milk (additional)
  • 1/2 cup Butter, Melted
  • 1 14  oz. bag whole Caramels, Unwrapped
  • sprinkle of sea salt
  • 1 cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 1/4 cup Powdered Sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, mix together cake mix, chopped pecans, 1/3 cup evaporated milk, and melted butter. Stir together until totally combined. Mixture will be very thick.
Press half the mixture into a well-greased 7x11 inch baking pan. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove pan from oven and set aside.
In a double boiler (or microwave) melt caramels with additional 1/2 cup evaporated milk.   If using microwave, use 30 seconds-1 minute increments. When melted and combined, sprinkle in  a bit of sea salt if desired (maybe 1/2 tsp?) and then pour over brownie base. Sprinkle chocolate chips as evenly as you can over the caramel.  You can chill here or if you are inpatient like me, turn out remaining brownie dough on work surface. Use your hands to press it into flat pieces and set on top.  Piece the flat pieces together like puzzle until caramel layer is covered.
Bake for about 25 minutes. Remove from pan and allow to cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate for several hours. When ready to serve, generously sift powdered sugar over the surface of the brownies. Cut and carefully remove from the pan.
*Adapted from the standard/classic "Knock You Naked Brownies" recipe.

Pasta with Sun-dried Tomato Cream Sauce and Parmesan Chicken

My cousin was talking about a dish she loves at a restaurant that had sun-dried tomato cream sauce on it.  I was about drooling thinking about it.  So, I set to work to make my own.  It was delicious!  Not sure if it can compare with the one she loves from her restaurant, but we sure loved it.  Pretty easy dish too!


  • box of pasta, cooked
  • small sweet onion or half of a large, diced fine
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 TBSP butter
  • 1/4-1/3 cup cognac or brandy
  • 1 cup cream
  • 1/3 cup jarred spaghetti sauce
  • 1/2-3/4 cup julienned sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained (I eyeballed it)
  • 4 slices provolone cheese, torn into small pieces
  • 1/3-1/2 cup fresh chopped basil
  • couple TBSP fresh chopped parsley
  • good parmesan cheese
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • salt and pepper

Place onion, 1 TBSP olive oil and a TBSP butter in a large saucepan and cook over med. heat until onion is very tender and sweet, about 10 minutes.  Add minced garlic, and let cook another minute.  Deglaze pan with brandy/cognac and let simmer for a minute.  Add cream and jarred sauce.  I patted my sun-dried tomatoes with paper towels and then added them.  Turn heat to low or med low.  You want it to steep and get very warm but not boil.  Let it hang out over the heat while you cook the chicken and pasta. 
Cook you pasta and while it is cooking, cut chicken in bite size pieces and dip it in some parmesan cheese.  In a skillet, over med-high heat place another TBSP olive oil and place parmesan covered chicken.  Season with salt and pepper and add some more garlic if you want.  Cook chicken until browned lightly and cooked through.  Will cook up pretty quick.  If needed, deglaze with some more brandy/cognac or white wine.  Turn heat to low.  Back to the sauce.

Add the provolone pieces to cream and mix constantly until it is melted in.  Add a handful of parmesan cheese and the basil and parsley and pepper.  Toss pasta in with chicken and the sauce over the top in the skillet.  Mix, and let sit for a minute to let all the glorious flavors meld.  Top with more parmesan cheese and serve with a crusty bread. 

Banana Oat Pancakes

These pancakes were devoured by the family and stick to the ribs because they are full of oats!  They are heavy to lift, yet surprisingly light on the palette.  They are full of banana flavor.  The texture was nice and we all enjoyed them.  I will be revisiting these a lot when my boys are teens and eating me out of house and home!

yield: about 15 large pancakes

  • 2 2/3 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups oats
  • 1/8 cup sugar
  • 4 tsp. baking powder 
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 3-4 TBSP butter
  • 2 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cup mashed banana

In a saucepan, heat milk, oats and butter to be hot, turn off and let sit to steep while preparing other ingredients.  Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.  Mix mashed bananas into oatmeal mix.  Add vanilla to egg yolks and temper egg yolks with oatmeal if it is still hot  (Add a spoonful of oatmeal mix to eggs, whisk and repeat until egg yolks are warm).  Meanwhile, beat egg whites to a stiff peak.  Mix oatmeal mix into flour mix.  Add a bit more milk to thin if needed.  Fold in half the egg whites then the other half.  Cook on griddle on med to med low heat.  Serve with butter and maple syrup and fresh strawberries, if desired.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Mama's Homemade Sauce and Meatballs


This is my mom's sauce and meatballs.  It is the best!  So good and we all love it!  Anyone can make fresh sauce and meatballs and once you make real meatballs, you will never go back to buying the frozen variety again.  Believe me, I tried and found them inedible. 

Adapted from: my mom, Ann Czyz
feeds: a small army

  • 1 onion, diced
  • olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3-4 large 29 oz cans tomato sauce (I use 3)
  • 1 large can tomato paste
  • fill tomato paste can with water and dump in
  • 14.5 oz. can petite diced tomatoes
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • dash of cinnamon
  • 2 bay leaves
  • few baby carrots (takes out bitterness)
  • 3 TBSP basil or 1/3 cup fresh minced


Place tomato sauce in crock-pot for 30 minutes.  (At least 5 quart crock pot is needed)  Dice onion and drizzle some olive oil in a skillet.  Saute onions until tender.  4-6 minutes.  Add garlic and cook until fragrant.  Add to sauce and add all other ingredients.  Simmer for several hours.  The longer the better.  Add meatballs and sausage if desired.  (cook and drain all meat before adding).

from my mom
yield: a whole lotta meatballs!

  • 3 lbs. ground beef or turkey (85/15 on turkey) (or pork, beef, veal mix)
  • 2 cups Italian breadcrumbs
  • 1cup good parmesan cheese (locatelli)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup(ish) milk
  • 3 TBSP garlic powder (NOT garlic salt)
  • 2 tsp. onion powder
  • 4 TBSP dried parsley or 1/3 cup fresh chopped fine

Mix all ingredients with a wooden spoon then with your hands.  Roll into 1.5"-2" inch balls.  Broil, bake or fry (need a bit of olive oil if frying to prevent sticking) until brown on all sides.  Don't worry if they look even a bit burnt.  Cooking them first helps them stay together in the sauce.  Drain on paper plate lined with paper towels.  Cook in sauce for at least 2-3 hours.  Longer won't hurt them one bit! 

Better-Than-Crack Brownies

My cousin is a terrible influence.  She keeps sending me these recipes that are delicious, but are so naughty.  But then my taste buds thank her because they are so pleasing to the tongue.  Ah well, guess a few more laps at the pool will have to be done.  
These brownies are excellent.  They are not as sweet as one would expect, but VERY rich and full of chocolate and peanut butter flavor.  I downed the PB in the rice krispies layer a tad to 1 1/4 cup.  
Have a glass of milk standing by, you will need it with these babies.  And make sure you have someone to give half the pan away to (I sent some home with a friend and some to work with the Mr.) and be prepared to eat them for all three square meals of your day. Because trust me, you will.  

  • 1 batch brownies (boxed mix or your fave)*
  • 1/2 cup salted peanuts (if don’t have salted, add sea salt)
  • 1 cup chopped Reese’s peanut butter cups
  • 1 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter (up to 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/2 tablespoon butter
  • 1 1/2 cups Rice Krispies Cereal
Mix brownies according to directions, and bake for 20-25 minutes in a 9 x 13 baking dish. Remove and top with peanuts and peanut butter cups, and bake for 4-6 minutes more.
While they are finishing baking, melt chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter. Stir in cereal. Remove brownies from oven and evenly pour chocolate mixture over top.
Refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.

*This is the brownie I used.  Can't vouch for how good by itself, but pretty darn good in the above recipe.*
Yield: 24 brownies
Prep Time: 30 minutes | Bake Time : 30 minutes

  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons dark unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 11 ounces dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 5 eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the sides and bottom of a 9×13-inch glass or light-colored baking pan. Line the pan with parchment paper.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, salt, and cocoa powder together.
3. Put the chocolate, butter and instant espresso powder in a large bowl and set it over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and smooth. Turn off the heat, but keep the bowl over the water and add the sugars. Whisk until completely combined, then remove the bowl from the pan. The mixture should be room temperature.
4. Add 3 eggs to the chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. Add the remaining eggs and whisk until combined. Add the vanilla and stir until combined. Do not overbeat the batter at this stage or your brownies will be cakey.
5. Sprinkle the flour mixture over the chocolate mixture. Using a rubber spatula (not a whisk), fold the flour mixture into the chocolate until just a bit of the flour mixture is visible.
6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake in the center of the oven for 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out with a few moist crumbs sticking to it. Let the brownies cool completely, then lift them out of the pan using the parchment paper. Cut into squares and serve.
7. Store at room temperature in an airtight container or wrap with plastic wrap for up to 3 days.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Crock Pot Chicken Salsa


This is a super quick, healthy and delicious meal.  Can throw over rice or in tortillas with some sour cream, cheese and guacamole.  My kids all loved it and my husband really did too. 


  • 1.5-2 lbs. of chicken, halved to thin
  • 2 cups salsa (I used fresh from Sam's Club)
  • 1 can reduced sodium black beans, rinsed and drained

Put chicken and salsa in crock pot.  Can add beans if need to (because leaving) or can add after an hour or 2.  Cook 3-4 hours on high, 4-6 on low.  Chicken will be very tender and should shred easily.  Shred for tortilla, leave whole if desired to put over rice.  Will seem like a lot of sauce but once you shred it, the juices will reabsorb. 

Cherry Limeade Pound Cake

My friend Cristine posted a picture of this from her blog   I asked her to post the recipe because I had some cherries in my fridge that were about to go bad.  So, what to do with cherries that are going to go bad?  Make cherry limeade pound cake, of course!  This cake is very moist and just a very tasty pound cake.  We all enjoyed it!  The lime is subtle (I like a lot of citrus so would add more zest next time) but present and the glaze is wonderful.  This cake is even great a few days later!

Cherry Limeade Pound Cake
Recipe adapted from RecipeGirl

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup greek yogurt drained for 30 minutes over cheese cloth
  • 3 cups granulated white sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated lime zest
  • 5 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup Cherry 7-Up (*see tips below)
  • 2 cups pitted and quartered fresh sweet cherries

  • 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 Tablespoons Cherry 7-Up
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated lime zest


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour a 12-cup bundt cake or tube pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and salt
 In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to cream together butter and sugar. Add lime zest. Beat in eggs one at a time, until each is well incorporated. Mix in 1/3 of the flour mixture at a time, alternating with the 7-Up. Stir in cherries.
Scoop batter into the prepared pan. Tap the pan on the counter several times to rid the batter of any air bubbles. Bake 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until sharp, thin knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Place the pan on a wire rack and let cool for 20 minutes, then place a serving plate over the top and gently flip over. Give the bottom of the pan a few taps if you need to loosen the cake from the pan. Let cake cool completely on the serving platter before topping with the glaze.
 Prepare glaze: in a medium bowl, whisk together the glaze ingredients until smooth. Drizzle over the cooled cake.

*If you only have regular 7-Up, Sprite, or even generic lemon-lime soda on hand, (I only had ginger ale, added some lime juice) go ahead and use that- but add in a splash of maraschino cherry juice to make it a cherry flavored soda- and make sure it still comes out to 3/4 cup. For the glaze, use 1 1/2 Tablespoons of soda + 1/2 Tablespoon juice.

Roasted Blueberry Cupcakes with Chocolate Fudge Buttercream

My cousin Michelle wants to make me fat.  She is pregnant and has an uber-fast metabolism when she is preggers and sent me this recipe.  She is so mean.  At a glance I thought, "interesting" but did not know how good they would actually be.  I am always up for a food adventure, so I decided to go for it!
OH....  MY....  GOSH!  We all loved these!  The combination of the flavors was amazing and I will be making these again and again! Purple people eater meets wonderful chocolate fudge buttercream and made a confection that will have even blueberry haters eating these.  All the kids loved these.  Even my friend's little girl who hates blueberries was eating it, enjoying it thoroughly until she discovered what made the cupcakes purple.   It was a dense, rich, delicious cupcake and wonderful. Start your own little cooking adventure and make these!

recipe from:
makes 12 cupcakes (and 6 mini's)
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries + a few additional ones rubbed with sugar for garnish
  • 2-3 tablespoons milk, if needed (I used 2.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Spread blueberries on a baking sheet (with sides) and roast for 20-25 minutes, or until berries start to burst. (I used silicone liner for easy clean-up.) Remove from oven.
Meanwhile, beat butter and sugar together in the bowl of an electric mixer until fluffy, about 4-5 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla extract and mix until combined, another 2-3 minutes. Add flour, baking powder and salt with the mixer on low speed, then gradually increase speed. Scrape in blueberries (mine were fresh out of oven so they burst quickly in batter) and beat on medium speed until the berries break down – about 2-3 minutes. At this point, the berries most likely have enough liquid that you only need to add a small amount of milk to the batter. Begin adding 1 tablespoon of milk at a time and beat with the mixer until the batter is smooth. You definitely want it to be cake batter and not dough.
Pour into cupcake liners, filling 2/3 of the way full, and bake for 18-22 minutes or until cake is set. Let cool completely, then frost.



  • 1 cup of unsalted butter (2 sticks), softened
  • 3-4 cups of powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder (reg. or dark, it’s what I had)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup hot fudge sauce (at room temperature or cold, and using store bought is fine)
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk, if needed

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter until smooth. Gradually add in powdered sugar about 1/2 cup at a time with the mixer on low, increasing it to medium-high speed once all the sugar has been added. Add the cocoa, vanilla and hot fudge, and mix until completely combined (while scraping down the bowl every few minutes) for about 5-6 minutes. If the frosting seems very thick, simply add some milk 1 tablespoon at a time and mixer for another minute or 2 until it comes together.
Note: this makes enough frosting for me to frost 12 cupcakes with a pastry bag. If you use a spatula for frosting, you will most likely have frosting left over. If you use a pastry bag and add a lot of frosting, you may not have enough. I add about 1/4 cup of frosting on my cupcakes when piping (still had leftover.  Sandwich between some graham crackers!) If you have some leftover, simply store it in an air-tight container in the fridge (a few days) or the freezer (3-4 months!).

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

French Chicken Broccoli Supreme

This was a fantastic casserole.  Lick your plate, go back for fourths, good.  The original recipe has 1 2/3 sticks of butter.  I cut it down to 1 stick.  Didn't miss it.  I also cut the ritz crackers down to 1 roll, which was originally 2.  Two rolls, no doubt would be better, in which case you need another 1/2 stick of melted butter, but 1 roll was satisfying. UPDATE:  I compromised and did 1 1/2 rolls the last time I made it, and added 2-3 more TBSP of melted butter.
I had a blond moment and added my lemon juice to the milk as it was thickening which of course caused the milk to curdle terribly.  I strained the nastiness and continued and the sauce still came out fabulous!  Loved the hint of lemon with it.
The kids all ate this heartily, and my husband went back for more after his first plateful.  It was just plain delish. 


  •   1 – lb. fresh broccoli Break in pieces, and steam for 2 minutes. (was 2 heads for me)
  •  3 cups cooked chicken breasts  – Break up in small pieces
  •  3 cups Grated Cheddar Cheese divided
  • 1 tubes Ritz Crackers
  •  1/2 stick melted butter
  •  1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • zest of one lemon and squeeze of juice over broccoli and chicken
  •  1/4 C. Butter melted
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/4 C. Cornstarch, dissolved in cold milk
  •  1/3 C. wine or chicken broth (I used wine....  mmm!)
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt
  •  1/4 tsp Pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups of the above Cheddar Cheese


In greased 13×9 pan, layer the broccoli and chicken. Sprinkle the zest and juice over it and then set aside. In saucepan over medium heat, combine the melted butter, cornstarch dissolved in milk, wine or chicken broth, and seasonings. Stir well, and continue stirring until sauce has thickened. Turn heat down to low, and add 1- 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese. Stir until melted. Pour over the chicken and broccoli. Top with 1- 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese.

Melt the butter, and add the poppy seeds, and stir well. Crush Ritz crackers in large zip-lock bag with a rolling pin. Don’t crush too small. Add crumbs to the melted butter. Sprinkle crumbs over the top of the grated cheese.
Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until hot & bubbly.   Can serve over pasta or rice or by itself.
Eat and enjoy!

Vegetable Tian

This recipe is originally from Barefoot Contessa but I first saw it on and it was so pretty and looked so good.  It was so good.  I cut my potatoes pretty thin and they needed to be cut thin to get cooked through, so make sure you slice them very thin.  They cook slower than the rest of the veggies.  The onions and tomatoes were melt in your mouth tender the zucchini and summer squash were perfect.  Of course, my kids didn't love it, but they all ate it, and without complaining too.  It is such a pretty dish, packed with veggies and as my husband said, "uncommonly good".


  • 2 tbsp olive oil (divided)
  • 1 large sweet yellow onion cut in half and sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 russet potatoes, unpeeled
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 yellow squash
  • 3 large Roma tomatoes
  • Sea salt, freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
  • Dried thyme and/or rosemary, to taste
  • 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup shredded gruyere 
    Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Coat a baking dish with olive oil cooking spray. Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the onions and saute until translucent, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another 60 seconds. Spread the onion mixture on the bottom of the greased baking dish.

    Slice the potatoes very thin and the zucchini, squash and tomatoes in 1/4 inch thick slices. Layer them alternately in the dish on top of the onions, fitting them tightly into a spiral, making only one layer. Season with sea salt, black pepper and dried thyme and/or rosemary, to taste. Drizzle the last tablespoon of olive oil over the top.

    Cover the dish with tin foil and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Uncover and sprinkle the Parmesan cheese and gruyere on top and bake for another 25-30 minutes or until browned. Enjoy.

    Triple Berry Crumb Bars

    With berries being readily available right now, I wanted to utilize them.  These bars were great.  My husband had 2 huge ones the first night.  Now, some of you might wonder if my husband is 500 lbs...  No, he has the gift every woman wants, but barely any of us have...  fast metabolism. 

    Anyway, back to these bars.  The bars is sweet and the berries were a bit tart which I really liked and my husband loved.  Not a fan of tart?  Add another 1/4 cup of sugar to the berries.  These bars are totally worth making and I was a bit skeptical.  I find myself keep going back for more and unlike a lot of desserts, they are still great a few days later! 

    Adapted from
    • 1 cup white sugar
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 3 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 cup cold unsalted butter (2 sticks)
    • 1 egg
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • Zest and juice of one lemon
    • 4 cups mix of fresh blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries
    • 1/2 cup white sugar
    • 4 teaspoons cornstarch

     Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease a 9×13 inch pan.
      In a medium bowl, stir together 1 cup sugar, 3 cups flour, and baking powder. Mix in salt and lemon zest. Whisk egg with the vanilla and use a fork or pastry cutter to blend in the butter and egg. Dough will be crumbly. Pat half of dough into the prepared pan.
    In another bowl, stir together the sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice. Gently mix in the berries.
    Sprinkle the berry mixture evenly over the crust. Even the juice that comes from them.  Crumble remaining dough over the berry layer.
      Bake in preheated oven for 45-50 minutes, or until top is slightly brown.  Cool completely before cutting into squares.  Great chilled too!