Holiday Playlist

My grandmother hasn't been doing well...to cheer her up, I rounded up a few of my musical friends and made an album of Holiday songs for her. I can't believe we threw this together in 48 hours, the results were amazing! Such a fun playlist that the whole family can enjoy.

So, I thought I'd share some Holiday tunes with all of you!
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!


Microwaveable Breakfast in a Mug

True confessions: I'm not a morning person.
But in the mornings I want something fast, easy, and that doesn't make a huge mess while I wake up.  I'm all about microwaveable breakfast yumminess in mugs.

This week I've been in 5th Grade teaching the kiddos some easy breakfast-in-a-mug recipes and ideas. 
Love seeing kids take initiative and learning some life skills.  I mean, what's not to love about Strawberry Chocolate Microwave French Toast?!

Download the recipe page I made HERE (or click the image below) and enjoy some French Toast, Scrambled Eggs, or Fruity Oatmeal in a Mug. Each one takes less than 5 minutes to make. Or better yet, teach your kids how to do it and maybe they'll bring you breakfast in bed! (a girl can dream, right?)


Perfect High Altitude Cookie Base

When we moved from 0 to 4,700 ft above sea level six years ago, it was a bit of a baking culture shock! Long story short, I spent a LOT of time reading, experimenting, calling foodie friends, swearing, you name it, and after a couple years got back on my game. 

As for cookies, I spent about two years tweaking my used-to-be-perfect-at-sea-level-cookie recipe so you don't have to go through the hundreds and batches and delicious calories that I did (hey, someone had to do it. You're welcome).  

I use this base all the time as a starter for cookies--add a 1 1/2 cups of your favorite mix-ins and you're ready to roll.  Current favorite is Raspberry Dark Chocolate Chunk!! (Just make sure you use dried raspberries instead of fresh, they'll ruin your cookie texture.  You can find dried raspberries at Trader Joe's or Wal-Mart).

No-Fail High Altitude Cookie Base
(I usually double the recipe, but I'm not the boss of you)
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup white granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract (I prefer vanilla bean paste if you can find it)
2 3/4 cups white flour
1 1/2 cups mix-ins (chocolate chips, dried fruit, nuts, etc)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Cream butter and sugars.  Add eggs, one at a time, mixing after each.  Add Soda, salt, and vanilla.  Add flour and mix well.  Add mix-ins. Drop by heaping teaspoon (or use cookie scoop) onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silpat mat.  Bake at 350 for 9-11 minutes, until edges are barely brown.  Remove from oven and let sit on cookie sheet for 3-5 minutes to cool and set.  

Notes: For Dark Chocolate Chunk Raspberry cookies, use 3/4 c. dried raspberries and 3/4 c. dark chocolate chunks.


Butternut Squash, Kale & Turkey Sausage Crockpot Soup

Here's a quick crockpot soup that's absolutely delicious and full of all kinds of good stuff.  I use my crockpot(s...I have six) all Fall/Winter long and this creation was a favorite with the entire fam.  Enjoy!  Feel free to make it vegetarian by substituting Vegetable Stock and omitting the Turkey Sausage.  But don't leave out my secret ingredient...just a bit of applesauce!  It gives it a tiny bit of sweetness that tastes amazing. This also makes a huge batch, feel free to halve this (but I like leftovers).
Butternut Squash, Kale & Turkey Sausage Crockpot Soup

3 cups chopped Butternut Squash (bite-sized pieces)
3 cups chopped Yukon Gold Potatoes
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 cups Kale, torn in small pieces
1.5 lbs Turkey Sausage
64 ounces Chicken Broth (homemade or storebought)
1/2 cup unsweetened Applesauce
1 Tablespoon fresh sage, diced
1 Tablespoon fresh rosemary, diced
1/2 cup Rainbow Quinoa, uncooked
Shredded parmesan, optional, for serving

Brown turkey sausage in a medium saucepan until cooked. (this is actually optional but I like to cook my sausage first).  Place  all other ingredients in a 6-quart Crockpot and cook on low  heat for 6-8 hours. Serve sprinkled with parmesan cheese and with crusty bread.  Serves 10.


Back to the Future Cake

Great Scott!!
Is it really 10/21/2015?
I haven't been posting much except on Social Media but couldn't let today go by without a Back to the Future Cake!  So, grab three (yes, THREE) ingredients and let's go on a culinary adventure...no need to put your shoes on, where we're going we don't need roads.

Doc's Tab Soda & Toffee Chocolate Dump Cake
1 Can TAB Soda (or any soda)
1/2 cup Toffee Bits
1 box Betty Crocker Triple Fudge Cake Mix
Icing (optional) or Whipped Cream, for garnish

I'm almost embarrassed at how easy this is.  Preheat Oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease a 9 x 13 cake pan.  In a medium bowl, combine cake mix and soda, pour into pan.
 Sprinkle toffee bits over cake batter.  Bake 35-40 minutes until set.
It's delicious served up just like this w/ a little whipped cream!
Since this was ridiculously easy, if you want to you can get crazy and frost the cake "Welcome Home Uncle Joey" style.

If you want to download and print this DeLorean Time Clock, click on the image below or HERE.
Have fun and The Future is YOURS, make it amazing!!


Blondies, Turkey Meatballs and Insta

Hey Foodie Friends!

I know I haven't posted on here in forever. However, I love sharing food things with all of you and hearing from you!
To help keep the food ideas and conversation flowing, I've been posting more on social media sites, a ton of you are already there but if you haven't yet, come follow me on Instagram! It's fast, fun, and I'm sharing quick recipes and fitness ideas (and also I can multi-task by stalking my tween's friends;)). Or, you can find me on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.
Here are couple recipes we recently posted, come join the conversation and please share your own food photos/ideas that you'd like featured!

 Turkey Meatballs 

So easy to throw into pastas, soups, on top of salads, you name it.  I make up a batch of these bad boys almost every weekend!
-32 ounces ground turkey
-2 cups shredded veggies (whatever floats your boat--I used a combination of zucchini, yellow squash, orange bell pepper and onion)
-1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
-salt & pepper to taste
-and the secret ingredient: 1 Tbsp sugar free grape jelly!! (Do it, I swear it's good)
Mix all together, roll into 1-inch balls, place on baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 20 minutes. Makes 50. 

One-Bowl Blondies

 So easy the kids can make them while you get a Sunday nap. If you don't have this recipe in your go-to collection, give it a try! They're fantastic and a staple around this joint.

One stick (4 ounces, 113 g) Butter
1 cup (218 g) Brown Sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1 cup (125 g) white flour
1 cup TOTAL of your favorite mix-ins: chocolate chips, raisins, pecans, white chocolate chips, the possibilities are endless. (I used dark chocolate chunks and pecans for these)

Directions: preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 C). Grease an 8" x 8" square pan or a 9" round pie pan. Melt butter in microwave safe bowl for 60 seconds. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Pour into pan and bake for 20-25 minutes until center is set. Cool and cut into bars.

Notes: no, it wasn't a typo, there isn't any leavening (baking soda or powder) in these bars. Just sugary, buttery goodness.



 Is it a brownie...a cookie?....it's BOTH! 
Who says you can't have your cake and eat it, too?I tweaked my favorite triple chocolate brownie recipe to make it a more dough-like consistency, combined it with our favorite chocolate chip dough and voila!  Magic!
This recipe is for perfect for our Colorado high altitude, there are slight changes for the chocolate chip dough (see notes) if you're at sea level.  Enjoy!

Brookies Triple Chocolate Brownie Dough
8 oz semi sweet chocolate chips
8 oz bittersweet chocolate chips
4 tablespoons butter
4 eggs
1/2 c granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 c flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup (approx. 6 oz) Dark chocolate chunks
1 cup (approx. 6 ox) semi-sweet chocolate chips
In a medium microwave-safe bowl, place 8 oz semi sweet chocolate chips, 8 oz bittersweet chocolate chips and butter.   Microwave at 30 second intervals, stirring after each, until melted and smooth.
In a mixing bowl, beat eggs with sugar until light yellow and thick, about 3 minutes. Add vanilla and salt. Fold in melted chocolate mixture, then add baking powder and flour. Add dark chocolate chunks and semi-sweet chips (Note: If you can’t find dark chocolate chunks, substitute semi-sweet for all).  Place batter in the freezer to cool while you make the chocolate chip cookie dough.

Brookies Chocolate Chip Dough

2 sticks Butter (1 cup)
¾ C. Granulated Sugar
¾ C. Brown Sugar
3/4 tsp. Salt
1 Tablespoon Vanilla
2 Eggs
3/4 tsp. Baking Soda
2 ¾ C. Flour
1 ½ C. Chocolate Chips

Whip butter until creamy, then add sugar and beat. Add salt, vanilla & egg. Sift flour and soda then add to mixture. Add chocolate chips and stir well.  Note: This is for HIGH ALTITUDE. For sea level, increase baking soda to 1 tsp., reduce flour to 2 ½ c. and only add one egg.

To bake Brookies, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Scoop out heaping teaspoons of each dough then roll gently into a ball.   Place on Silpat baking sheet (or parchment paper) on a cookie sheet.  Repeat for each cookie. 
 Bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees.  Remove from oven and let cookies sit on pan for several minutes before removing to cooling racks.  Makes approx. 4 dozen large Brookies.

Holiday Playlist

My grandmother hasn't been doing well...to cheer her up, I rounded up a few of my musical friends and made an album of Holiday songs fo...