Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Roasted Broccoli

 I've never been much of a picky eater, but as a child, I did not like broccoli. It's still not my favorite, but I've grown to appreciate these little trees. And, last week at Costco, while we were standing in front of a giant bag of broccoli, I discovered that Bradford loves it. So, we eat broccoli. 

This is my favorite, fool-proof and simple way to cook broccoli.

fresh broccoli 
olive oil
salt & pepper

Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Spread broccoli evenly on a baking pan. (For easier clean-up lay a sheet of foil on the pan first.) Drizzle broccoli with olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper on top. Using tongs or a spoon, mix broccoli until olive oil is evenly distributed.

Bake in the oven for 10 minutes.

*For a different variation: With 2 minutes left of baking, sprinkle broccoli with cheddar cheese.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Corn...the simple way

This summer I learned how to make corn. It's not grilled or roasted. I don't use an oven or a stove. I'm a little embarrassed to admit it, but this corn is cooked in a rectangular-shaped contraption that sits on my counter. It's called a microwave. I try not to use it often, but sometimes it just makes cooking so much easier. 

This may be an old recipe to many, but for me, it has transformed the way I think about corn. It has made summer cooking so much easier and it has also made for a healthier way to add a starch to each meal.


1 ear of corn 
wax paper
a tiny bit of butter
a tiny bit of salt
a tiny bit of pepper


Wrap the ear of corn into a sheet of wax paper. Twist the ends of the wax paper and tuck under. On a folded paper towel, place ear of corn in the microwave. Cook on high for 2-3 minutes. 

Remove corn from microwave, let cool and remove wax paper. Using a sharp knife, cut corn off the cob. While corn is still warm, add butter, salt and pepper. Mix until butter is melted and serve.

*This recipe may be doubled or tripled as needed. If cooking two ears of corn at one time, change microwave cook time to 5-6 minutes.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Cinnamon Bread

  There's something about the true simple taste of cinnamon. It's one of those nice, "home-y" smells. While I do not particularly care for cinnamon scented candles, I love the smell of real cinnamon baking in the oven. When I was a kid, I would often make myself a "treat" by buttering up some warm toast and sprinkling cinnamon and sugar on top. (Oh wait, I just did that the other night!) Let's get back on track. This bread is home-y delicious.

Adapted from

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk*
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 Tablespoons brown sugar
4 teaspoons margarine


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and sugar one 9"x5" loaf pan.

In a medium bowl, measure flour, 1 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda, 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon and salt. In a large bowl, beat oil, eggs and vanilla. Gradually add dry ingredients until just incorporated.

Pour into prepared loaf pan. Smooth on top.

Sprinkle topping over smoothed batter. Using a knife, cut in a light swirling motion to give a marbled effect.

Bake for 50-60 minutes. Bread is done when a knife inserted comes out clean. Let cool, serve and enjoy!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Mediterranean Guacamole

 In case you haven't noticed, I sort of have a thing for chick peas on this blog (these are more commonly known as garbanzo beans, but I prefer the more girly name of "chick" peas). I tend to use them a lot in my cooking and I always seem to have a handful of cans in my kitchen. There are many health benefits associated with chick peas. They are an excellent source of fiber and protein and they contain many key antioxidants, including quercetin, the key ingredient in FRS energy drink. In a recent study, participants reported higher satisfaction in their diet when chick peas were consumed. To top it all off, their taste is not overpowering which means that it mixes well with endless types of foods, like avocados!

This recipe can be served as an appetizer, or as a meal if you are looking for something small, quick and simple. It is satisfying, scrumptious and good-for-you.

2 avocados, pitted, peeled and diced
1 can chick peas, drained, rinsed and mashed slightly with a potato masher
1/2 cup feta cheese (may also substitute with goat cheese)
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon lemon pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika
dash red cayenne pepper


Mix all ingredients together. Serve with tortilla chips. Voila!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Fresh Strawberry Yogurt Cake

It is the season of strawberries and I love it. Bundt cakes are just so pretty and I love the slices they create. With a slight hint of lemon and the creamy texture of yogurt, this cake is fresh, moist, and it screams summer. You have to be careful with this cake, though. Similar to the white chocolate raspberry bread pudding, it makes a great breakfast!


1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
3 Tablespoons lemon juice, divided
Zest of 1 lemon (optional)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 oz. plain or vanilla yogurt
12 oz. (about 2 cups), fresh, diced strawberries
1 cup powdered sugar


Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a 10-inch bundt pan. 

Sift together 2 1/4 cups flour, baking soda and salt. Mix in the lemon zest and set aside.

Using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then add 1 Tablespoon lemon juice. Alternate beating in the flour mixture and the yogurt, blending until just incorporated. 

Toss the strawberries with the remaining 1/4 cup flour. Gently fold them into the batter. 

Pour the batter evenly into the bundt pan. Bake in pre-heated oven for 60 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.  

Allow to cool 10 minutes, then turn onto a wire rack and cool completely. Mix together the remaining 2 Tablespoons lemon juice with 1 cup powdered sugar. Drizzle over the top of the cake.