Category Archives: Tasty Food

Chocolate Chip Scones

A little over six years ago I found this recipe for Cinnamon Chip Scones on the How Sweet Eats blog. With a tiny swap (to dark chocolate chips), these are my favorite scones!

Chocolate Chip Scones (1)

Chocolate Chip Scones

Ingredients:

3 1/4 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar-in-the-raw
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 cups cold butter
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup dark chocolate chips

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 425.

2. In large bowl combine dry ingredients. Cut in butter until it forms coarse crumbs. Stir in buttermilk and vanilla. Fold in chocolate chips. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently.

3. Divide in half and pat into 7 inch round circles. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Cut into 6 or 8 wedges.

4. Bake at 425 for 13-15 minutes.

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I recently made a batch of these to pop in the freezer for after Baby arrives. I stored them in gallon size bags with wax paper separating them. They reheat from the freezer so well! Just pop however many you want in the oven while still frozen at 350 for 10-12 minutes and they are delightful!

Speaking of Baby’s arrival… we are SIX DAYS AWAY!! Less than a week. It is truly amazing to me (and my high risk OB, ha!) that she has stayed safe and sound right where she is all the way to this point. So thankful for so many answered prayers!

Love Rach

A Healthier Cake-in-a-Mug

So this isn’t a healthy snack. Don’t read the title above incorrectly. It’s a healthier version of the traditional cake-in-a-mug recipe (you know, the one that includes oil and sugar). But this isn’t exactly like having a sliced apple for a snack. 😉 Now that we’ve got that out of the way, I want to share with you guys our favorite way to make cake-in-a-mug!

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A Healthier Cake-in-a-Mug

Ingredients:

4 tbsp all purpose flour
1 tbsp granulated Stevia
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
2 tbsp Egg Beaters (or 1/2 of a whisked egg)
4 tbsp unsweetened almond milk
3 tbsp no sugar added applesauce
splash vanilla
3 tbsp dark chocolate chips

Directions:

Add ingredients to mug and mix together. We have a tiny whisk that we use for this and it’s perfect for making sure everything is combined perfectly. Microwave on high for 1 minute or until middle of cake is set. Enjoy!

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Speaking of mugs… apparently I have an affinity for them. Which means we have a bunch of them. And I love them all. Want to see?

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Travel related mugs! All but one of these were gifts from friends and family over the years. The only one we actually bought was the blue one right in the middle which we found at a thrift store. It’s from the Cinque Terre which was one of our favorite places we’ve traveled. From Left to Right: Wuhan, China (where I spent my teen years), Tupelo (where we filmed a commercial), Rome, Cinque Terre, Prague, Czech Republic, and Disneyland Tokyo (where I visited as a teenager, but apparently have never blogged about).

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The mug on the far left was the first set of mugs that we ever owned as newly weds. We ended up giving a couple of them away over the years and as our random mug collection grew I realized that I didn’t feel strongly about having all matching mugs so we gave the rest away as well. The rest of these are a mix of gifts and ones I found on sale at Target and thrift stores.

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The three on the left were gifts, but the two on the right were Target discount finds. I just love them so much!

So yes, we have 18 mugs. For 2 people. And I’ve had to slow myself waaaay down on purchasing them over the years (even when they are the cutest ever and super cheap) since we’ve been given so many as gifts. But I have to tell you guys, we use them for everything! Sometimes I use them in place of anything I would put in a bowl (like soup, cereal, or oatmeal). Obviously we use them for cake-in-a-mug and of course we drink from them as well. So while we probably don’t need this many mugs, we certainly use them! 🙂

Do you find yourself drawn to cute mugs?

Have you ever had cake-in-a-mug?
Love Rach

Lemon Poppyseed Muffins

A few years ago I shared a recipe on this blog for lemon poppyseed muffins. I’m not sure where I initially got this recipe, but I’ve been making it again lately and it is such a winner! So I wanted to share with with you guys. 🙂

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Lemon Poppyseed Muffins

Ingredients:

2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tbsp poppy seeds
1 egg
1/2 cup sugar in the raw
2 tbsp lemon zest (2 large lemons)
1/4 cup melted butter
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla

Directions:

1. Zest the lemons over a small bowl of sugar. Rub the sugar and zest together until the sugar is slightly moist and fragrant.

2. Add egg, melted butter, buttermilk and vanilla. Mix well. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add liquid ingredients to the dry slowly and stir just until moistened. Be careful not to over-stir. Fold in poppy seeds.

3. Spray muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray. Divide muffin batter evenly into 36 mini muffin cups. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes.

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I made these recently for a group of friends and they were such a hit! I had forgotten  just how yummy they are and how amazing they smell as they bake!

Speaking of baking things… I will be baking today. Apparently the ridiculous number of freezer meals I have stocked up suddenly doesn’t feel like enough and I’m itching to bake and freeze some scones and waffles as well. And I’m planning to bake cookies for the nurses (to take in with us when I deliver) so I’ll pop those in the freezer until we head to the hospital. I’ve never actually frozen baked cookies before, but I’ve heard they thaw quickly at room temperature and are super delicious. So here’s to hoping!

Does anyone have experience with freezing baked cookies?

What was the last thing you baked?

Love Rach

Quick Pseudo Italian Dinners

I hesitate to call either of these “recipes” because they are more like meal ideas than anything else. But they are both super delicious and both always big hits with other people. So I wanted to share them with you guys! 🙂

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So first up, French Bread Pizza. Friends, this is simple. So simple. Slice a loaf of French or Italian bread in half length ways. Cut into “individual size” portions (3″-4″) and then take a heavy tray and attempt to flatten the bread as much as possible by pressing down on the bread and compressing it. I learned this tip from Serious Eats (see link for photos of what I’m talking about) and it makes a huge difference in keeping the sides of the bread from being too curled. Pre-bake bread at 350 degrees for about 7-8 minutes and then remove from oven. Top with your favorite sauce (our recipe here!), cheese, and any desired toppings. Bake for another 8-10 minutes or until cheese is melted. Bada boom bada bing! Dinner is served!

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If French Bread Pizza is simple, then Baked Spaghetti is practically effortless. Especially if you have leftover spaghetti and pasta sauce from a previous night. It’s really up to you how much trouble you want to go to. You can even use jarred sauce and pre-shredded cheese and this meal takes on new levels of simplicity.

For us, we usually make this with leftover spaghetti sauce (our favorite recipe here!) that we tossed in the freezer after a meal. I’ll pull it out of the freezer, let it thaw overnight and the next day all I have to do is boil my spaghetti noodles and shred my mozzarella cheese (I don’t know why, but I think the block cheese that you shred melts better than the pre-shredded stuff). I combine the cooked pasta with the spaghetti sauce and pour it into a 13×9″ pan then top with a little extra layer of sauce and then shredded mozzarella cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove foil and turn oven to broil. Put pan back in the oven and watch carefully so the minute the cheese begins to bubble and turn brown, you can pull it out. Or if you don’t like bubbly cheese, you can skip that last step.

So yes, two super simple meals. Neither of which are even really Italian. More Italian-flavor inspired. 😉 But they are delicious and simple and crowd pleasers therefore definitely worth sharing in my book! 🙂

Do you ever make baked spaghetti or French bread pizza?

Do you have a favorite meal idea that isn’t really a recipe, but is always a hit?
Love Rach

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough (can be frozen!)

Every Friday night that we’re in town, we make homemade pizza together and watch TV shows. We used to do pizza & a movie, but we’ve discovered a couple of TV shows that we both really enjoy so since we don’t typically watch TV on other nights, we watch our shows together on Friday nights. A few of the shows change out from time to time, but for those curious, three of our favorites are Big Bang Theory, Modern Family, and Brooklyn 99.

Anyway, I’ve shared our favorite pizza recipe on the blog before, but I realized just this week that I never shared the ultra thin whole wheat pizza crust recipe that we’ve been using almost exclusively for the past two years. Every now and then we’ll use a different dough recipe, but we like that this one (originally from Sally’s Baking Addiction) is a little healthier of an option. So I thought I’d share it with you guys!

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Whole Wheat Pizza Dough (3)This recipe makes enough for two balls of pizza dough. We usually freeze the second dough ball and use it for the next week.

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough (4)We like the crust to be ULTRA thin, but it’s also really good if you make it with a normal thickness.

Whole Wheat Pizza Crust

Ingredients:

1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp salt
3 1/4 whole wheat flour
Dusting of Cornmeal

Directions:

1. In a large mixing bowl (I use my KitchenAid mixer), combine sugar, yeast, and warm water. After the yeast begins to proof add olive oil, honey, and salt. Mix with whisk (or dough hook). Slowly add flour, 1 cup at a time until dough comes together.  Knead for 5 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic.

2. Shape dough into a ball and place in a large greased bowl. Cover with clean kitchen towel and set in warm place to rise until doubled in size (about an hour). After the dough rises, punch it down to deflate and then cut dough in half. Shape into two balls and let each one rest in separate bowls for 20 minutes. Since I usually freeze the second ball, I skip this step with the one I’m freezing and just put it directly in a greased Ziplock bag and right into the freezer.

3. Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Grease baking sheet with nonstick spray. Sprinkle with cornmeal. Flatten dough ball into thickness of your choice. Traditionally a 12″ circle, but we like to do a 12″x17″ rectangle since that’s the size of our biggest baking sheet. We like a really thin crust! Use a fork to poke holes into rolled out dough to prevent bubbling.

4. THIN CRUST: Pre-bake crust for 7 minutes (to help prevent it from getting soggy after adding sauce). Remove from oven and add sauce and toppings of  your choosing. Pop back in the oven for another 7 minutes or until cheese is melted. We usually finish it off with about 30 seconds under the broiler to get our fresh mozzarella bubbling. THICKER CRUST: If you decide to go with a thicker crust then you will need to pre-bake for 8 minutes and then put it back in for 8 minutes as well.

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough (5)We typically use fresh mozzarella because we prefer the way it tastes and you can see that Baby Girl still has me craving hot stuff with those jalapenos on part of the pizza. 😉

Do you have a favorite pizza crust recipe?
Are there any TV shows you try to keep up with?
Love Rach

I love Mashed Potatoes!

When it comes to mashed potatoes, I am normally the peel-the-potatoes kind of girl. I love russet potatoes, gold yukon potatoes, red potatoes, and sweet potatoes. I like them with skins on and I like them peeled. I like them mashed with just a couple of additional ingredients (like the classic milk, butter, salt & pepper) and I like them with lots of add-ins as well. So when we first met our current group of friends back in 2011 and we kept seeing these AMAZING mashed potatoes show up at parties, I just knew I needed the recipe.

Imagine my surprise when I found out that these incredible mashed potatoes were made from a BOX mix of flakes. But you can’t argue with delicious. And these, my friends, are delicious. You can find the original recipe right here on the Hungry Jack website: Make Ahead Party Mashed Potatoes.

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Hungry Jack’s Make Ahead Party Mashed Potatoes

Ingredients:

1 (15.3 oz) package Hungry Jack Mashed Potato Flakes
No-stick cooking spray
6 cups water
12 tbsp ( 1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 tsp garlic salt
2 tsp onion salt
2 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, cubed and softened
2 cups milk
1 (16 oz) container sour cream
Paprika

Directions:

1. Heat oven to 350. Spray a 13 x 9-inch baking dish with no-stick cooking spray. Heat water, butter, garlic salt and onion salt to boiling in a 6-quart Dutch oven or saucepan. Remove from heat. Add cream cheese, milk and sour cream, stirring until cream cheese is dissolved.

2. Stir in potato flakes, mixing until all ingredients are well combined. Spread mashed potato mixture into prepared pan. Sprinkle with paprika and bake 1 hour or until bubbling around edges and golden brown.


These can, of course, be made with a different brand of potato flakes, but don’t get skimpy on the add-ins. There is a time and place for healthy mashed potatoes. This isn’t it. 😉

What is your favorite way to eat potatoes?
Love Rach

Sweet and Spicy

You know what we love? The combination of sweet and spicy. So today I have two delicious sweet & spicy recipes for you that are perfect for summer days!

First up, this recipe from Real Simple. I discovered this in 2011 and we have been making it regularly ever since. So yummy!

sweet and spicy chicken

Sweet and Spicy Chicken

Ingredients:

1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp oregano
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2lbs chicken pieces (legs, breast, thighs, etc)

Directions:

1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl combine oil, chili powder, brown sugar, oregano, salt, and pepper.

2. Rub spice mixture into chicken. Place on roasting pan and cook 45-50 minutes or until cooked through.

NOTE: This can also be made on the grill which is our favorite way to have it!

Another favorite is homemade sweet potato fries! There are so many different ways to make them, but our favorite is to add fresh rosemary, garlic, cayenne pepper, and salt. YUM!

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Spicy Sweet Potato Fries

Ingredients:

1 large sweet potato
Olive oil spray
Fresh rosemary, chopped
Cayenne pepper
Garlic Powder
Salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Slice sweet potatoes into thin slices and lay out in a single layer on greased baking sheet. Spray fries with olive oil spray and then sprinkle with chopped rosemary, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, and salt. Bake 15 minutes, then flip and bake another 15 minutes until fries are easily pierced with a fork.

Happy Friday, friends!
Love Rach