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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

2 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups solid pack pumpkin puree
2 eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/2 tablespoon ground ginger
1/2 tablespoon ground cloves

1 egg white
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar
3/4 cup shortening

For the cookies:  Combine oil and brown sugar.  Mix in the pumpkin and the eggs, mix it well.  Add flour, salt baking powder, baking soda, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger and cloves.  Mix well.  On a lightly greased or parchment paper lined cookie sheet, drop by heaping teaspoons or the smallest Pampered Chef cookie scoop (pictured above is the medium scoop).  Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes.  Let cookies cool then ake sandwiches from two cookies filled with the filling!

For the Whoopie Pie Filling:  Beat egg white and mix with the milk, vanilla and 1 cup of powdered sugar.  Mix well then beat in the shortening and the remaining cup of powdered sugar.  Beat until light and fluffy.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Raspberry Jam For Sale

So after posting to my facebook that I had just finished 33 jars of fresh raspberry jam with two of my girlfriends, I almost immediately had requests to purchase them!  My initial reaction was, no way.  They take a lot of TLC and then as I got more requests, I started organizing my thoughts.  I've decided to sell raspberry jam because you're worth that "TLC." :)  So many of my friends and family from back in the midwest also always wish they could take part in my bake sales or food prep, and I've checked into a way in getting this stuff back to you all in the midwest.  So, the pricing is as follows:

Option 1 - $4/jar - LOCALLY here.
Option 2 - 5 jars SHIPPED to you anywhere is $30.  Each additional jar is $5 up to 10 jars.

This pricing above for shipping includes bubble wrap that each jar is wrapped in and the cost for me to ship!  Cheapest way for me to ship is Priority Flat Rate which arrives in 2-3 days.
Many are asking how long they last.  If SEALED setting in your pantry/cupboard, they will last 6-12 months!  Once they have been opened, you will need to keep them in the refrigerator and they can be in there for 2-3 months.

If you have any other questions let me know!  I will need to know by Thursday at midnight so I can get more supplies Friday if I need to!  Hoping to get these made this weekend and mailed off or delivered!  I am taking payment via paypal.  I will touch base with you specifically on your order in a few days once I get everything else figured out. :)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Turkey Black Bean Chili

This is a really yummy chili.  Easier and not so heavy on the tummy! :)  I first had this when my sister (another amazing chef) cooked it for me when I was back a few Octobers' ago with my boys.  IT HIT THE SPOT!

1 T. olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. turkey breast
3 (15 oz) cans black beans
1 (14 oz) can crushed tomatoes
1 1/2 T chili powder
1 T dried oregano
1 T dried basil
1 T red wine vinegar

Saute onion and garlic in oil; add turkey. Cook through. Add beans, tomatoes and spices. Bring to boil, stir, reduce heat to low and simmer.
Note:  This can also be done in a crockpot.  Only change is to throw all of the cooked turkey and beans and spices into the crockpot and let simmer on low all day.  Can also be frozen and thawed later to eat.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Salami Pasta Salad

Dear, DEAR friend of mine gave me her recipe for this AMAZING pasta salad!  LIKE NO OTHER I've ever had.  There is something about FRESH herbs used in this that just makes it over the top! 

1 box tube pasta
1/2 lb bulk hard salami or summer sausage, cubed
1/2 c minced fresh parsley
4 green onions, sliced
1/2 c olive oil
1/4 c apple cider vinegar
4 t. minced fresh oregano
4 t. minced fresh basil
2 minced garlic cloves
1 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
1/2 c shredded parmesan cheese

In saucepan, cook pasta according to package directions; rinse in cold water and drain. Place in a large bowl; add salami, parsley and onions. In a small bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar and seasonings. Drizzle over pasta mixture and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Just before serving, stir in parmesan cheese.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Breakfast Sausage

While I haven't gone "extreme" in "natural" things, I have just recently REALLY grown tired of the absolute garbage that Jimmy Dean puts in the sausage we cook and eat because of "convenience."  I was FED UP and so comes this following recipe for some AMAZING pork breakfast sausage! 

5 lbs porkloin, ground (your butcher or meat dept should be able to do this for you)
4 t salt
4 t sage
4 t thyme
1 t rosemary
2 T brown sugar
1 t nutmeg
1 t cayenne pepper
1 t red pepper flakes
3 T oil

Grind pork loin with meat grinder.  In a food processor, combine the spices listed.  Make them powder.  In a large bowl hand mix everything until well blended.  Divide out into 1 lb packages and freeze until ready to use. 

Notes:  I use this for lasagna, chili, etc.  It's so yummy!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Pumpkin Roll

Well, I suppose if Starbucks has officially started offering their Pumpkin Spice Latte that it's time for me to post my first "fallish" recipe! :)  Lots more to come, this is only the beginning. 

Pumpkin Roll

This is what it looks like on the end!

Ready to serve! :)  Isn't that pretty!

Cake Roll:

3/4 c flour
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1 t pumpkin pie spice
1/4 t salt
3 eggs
1 c sugar
2/3 c Libby's 100% Pure Pumpkin (one can will make 3 cake rolls)

12 oz cream cheese, softened (1 1/2 pkgs)
3/4 c powdered sugar
3 T butter, softened
1 t vanilla

For the cake: Preheat oven to 375. Line a jelly roll pan with foil. Grease corners to prevent sticking. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and salt in a small bowl. Beat eggs and sugar in large mixer bowl until thick. Beat in pumpkin. Stir in flour mixture. Spread evenly into prepared pan.

Bake for 13-15 minutes or until top of cake springs back when touched. While cake is still hot, just out of oven, lift it from the pan by the corners of the foil and flip it over onto a cheesecloth-type towel (NOT terrycloth), sprinkled with powdered sugar. Carefully peel off foil. Roll up cake and towel together, starting with narrow end. Cool on wire rack till no more warmth is felt.

For filling: Beat cream cheese, powdered sugar, butter and vanilla in small mixer bowl until smooth.

Carefully unroll the cooled pumpkin roll and spread filling evenly over cake. Roll it up again peeling away the towel. Wrap the roll first in plastic wrap making sure everything is completely sealed. Wrap again in a layer of foil and store in the freezer. When ready to serve, slice the cake into 1 inch pieces or whatever thickness you desire, and allow to thaw for about 20 minutes before serving.
This recipe makes ONE pumpkin roll.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

P-U-M-K-I-N P-I-E!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

FOR SALE!!  $8/pie

Well, it's that GREAT time of year that I think most everyone loves!  FALL!!!  It's most definitely my favorite season ever, and with Fall come lots of fun things!  ONE being FRESH Pumpkin Pies!  There is just NOTHING like them!  Wouldn't you agree?  Who is with me!?

My sister-in-law's family, traditionally, EVERY YEAR gets together to make TONS of Pumpkin Pies.  Ummmmm.....they are AMAZING!  Since marrying into our family, Aubrey has graciously shared her secrets and we have gotten together a few times to make them and I won't EVER do it any other way. 

That said, we've decided we are going to be SELLING our fresh pumpkin pies starting RIGHT NOW until the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, November 24.  These will be "made to order" so if you are interested, e-mail me at and I'll get you hooked up. 

These are great for:
  • Dinner Parties
  • Just for YOU.
  • Work Parties/Potlucks
  • Church Potlucks
  • Holiday Meals
  • GIFTS!!!!!
  • Teacher Gifts
  • Etc.
These DO freeze.  They are fully baked when you pick them up and we literally do everything from scratch all the way from the PUMPKIN to the CRUST!

We are selling them for $8/ea.  PLEASE tell your friends and family also.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Wisconsin Cheese Soup

OH MY!  About all I have to say about this soup!  DEFINITELY going to be a regular on our menu!  LET FALL EATING BEGIN!!! :)

1 1/2 cups diced carrots
1 1/2 cups diced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 t hot pepper sauce
1/2 t salt
4 c chicken broth
12 oz beer
1/2 c butter
1/2 c flour
4 c half and half
8 c SHARP Cheddar Cheese, shredded
1 T Dijon mustard
1 T Worcestershire sauce
1/4 c cornstarch
1/2 c half and half
bread bowls, optional

Shred carrots and cook in microwave for 5 minutes with a little water.  Drain water and add to a medium saucepan.  Add onions, garlic, hot pepper sauce and salt. Mix so everything is coated with hot pepper sauce.  Saute just slightly.  Add chicken broth and beer to the vegetable mixture and boil for 15 minutes.  In a large stock pot, melt butter.  Add flour all at once and whisk into the butter until it gets a little thick, this is making "roo" if you've heard this and wondered what that meant! :)  SLOWLY add the half and half, about 1 c at a time and the flour mixture will be come very thick and pasty.  This is what you want it to do.  By the last cup of half and half, it will be a bit thinner, but still thick.  Add the shredded SHARP (has to be sharp for this recipe to turn out right) 1 cup at a time until melted over medium heat.  Once it's all melted, add the Dijon and worcestershire sauce and mix.  Add the already boiled chicken broth mixture then into the cheese mixture and stir continuously over medium heat.  Don't leave for long as it will start to scorch on the bottom.  In a small bowl mix 1/4 c cornstarch with 1/2 c half and half until it's smooth and pour into the soup quickly continuing to stir.  This will thicken your soup!

While I didn't have bread bowls, this soup would be heavenly served in a bread bowl!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte

As promised! :)  Never actually had a Starbucks, but after making this, I suspect it comes pretty darn close to the way it tastes at Starbucks! :)  They are just SOO expensive and I made this with stuff I already had! :)  Super cheap! :)  And if you know me, if there's a way to "do it myself" I'll be doing it! :)

This recipe calls for "vanilla syrup."  They can be purchased in bottles at World Market I know, or someone informed me they are at the general grocery stores, but cost an arm and a leg!  So, I found a recipe for the vanilla syrup!

Vanilla Syrup:
2 c water
2 c sugar
2 T pure vanilla extract

Boil sugar and water together until sugar is dissolved.  Once simmering, let it lightly boil for about another 5 minutes and it will thicken.  Take OFF the burner and add the vanilla.  Let cool to room temperature and store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Pumpkin Spice Latte:
3T pureed pumpkin
2 T vanilla syrup
1/4 t pumpkin pie spice
1 c milk/cream
3 ounces espresso (1-2 shots)

In a small saucepan, whisk pumpkin and milk over medium-high heat.  Stirring regularly.  Add vanilla syrup and pumpkin pie spice and continue whisking.  Heat and stir until steam and foam begins to appear.  Usually about 5 or so minutes.  Pour this milk mixture into your mug and top with the espresso shots, stirring to combine.  Top with whipped cream and more pumpkin pie spice!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Dinner Club


WHO only wants to cook a meal ONCE a week M-TH and have the other three days already PREPPED? If that's you, read ahead.

You're asking, "WHAT IS THIS?" In short, you basically have FOUR families that work together to prepare meals for dinner. So, example, I will take Mondays (I will ALWAYS have Mondays) and prepare FOUR of the one meal and distribute to the other three families on that day by 4:00PM. There will normally be some "cook time" that you'll have to manage, but the prep will all be done. The idea is to have four families that either live in the same neighborhood, or have kids that go to the same school that pick up at the same time, etc. This way its little or NO running around for you. This DOES take a committment, and by that I mean, you can't just try for a week and drop out. There is an initial small out of pocket cost (approx. $20 or so) to buy enough pans, but if you drop out, you will get that money BACK once another person is found to replace your spot in club.

What are the benefits? You only cook ONCE for days Monday - Thursday. Save LOTS of money as you are not having to cook 3 out of 4 days your main meal. LESS DISHES! :) (Huge one for me! :))  The other benefit is that you will get to try different recipes that you probably wouldn't have tried otherwise!

So, to begin, you have to have 6 Pyrex glass 9x13 WITH LID, and 6 Pyrex glass 8x8 pan WITH LID, allowing for every one's meals to be brought and served in those same pans over and over and over. If you start out with this many pans, no one will be “running their pans” to some one's house, if coordinated correctly, they should trickle through each family in need that day perfectly. You can choose to do your meal in the 9x13 or the 8x8. But if you don't use one or the other, you will still circulate the pans every time you bring a meal. This is where you pay $25 for a pan set, EVEN IF YOU ALREADY HAVE SOME.

YOU WILL PREPARE (NOT BAKE) THE MAIN DISH, AND DOES NOT INCLUDE SIDES. So what you bring to us will be for example, Lasagna “prepared” but not baked. We will do the baking.  If our family wants a salad or garlic bread to go along with the "main dish" we are responsible for providing that.

Staples will be a necessity. Example. If you prepare Chicken Cordon Bleu that is a “meal on its own” but your family likes it served over spaghetti, you will need to provide your own pasta for that meal. If, however, you make “Spaghetti,” that is a meal you HAVE to have pasta for and therefore if you're making spaghetti, you'll need to provide the pasta for all four families.

Our group has been using Google Calendar to do all of our menu planning.  We have our meals planned out usually a month in advance.  So at the end of August, we were putting in OCTOBER'S menus.  End of September we'll be putting in NOVEMBER'S mernus.  You get the idea.  Having a calendar that everyone can see/share makes sure no one is repeating the same meal in the same week.  At the end of every week, we go into the calendar and "rate" our meals anonymously in the "location" section on the calendar event. We rate ours with a 1 - LOVE this meal, please make it again; 2 - Meal was tasty, but not necessarily begging for it again; and 3 - Family didn't care for at all, would prefer not to have it again.  This is not meant to be hurtful, just an opportunity for ALL of us to express our opinions as spokes people for our family. Your group will also have some base “rules,” these will be like allergies for a family, this is not “picky” rules. If you don't like green peppers, pick them out. The more specific you get the harder it is to do the club.

Cheat Days! TO BE USED RARELY! My friend that's been doing this for 1 ½ years has only had ONE cheat day in all that time, and each of the other families have only done ONE! Cheat days are if you JUST CAN'T GET THE MEAL PREPARED and you want to bring us all pizzas, or whatever. If we're only cooking once a week, this really shouldn't happen often anyway, but we DO understand if something comes up that was completely out of your control.

So, I think I've pretty much covered all the bases.  If something doesn't make sense feel free to contact me with questions at

This is a picture of one of my meals ready to deliver!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Well, it's with great pride and excitement that I get to announce our new adventure that we are embarking on now.  For several months, we, along with another close family, have been making plans to start up a gardening business together.  Many of you know my husband, Ben, is an agronomist by education, a farmer, once by occupation on his dear families' farm, and is PASSIONATE about growing things.  Not to many months ago, we were visiting with some friends and were discussing the idea and our partner, David, and his wife thought Ben's idea was pretty cool!  So, the ball started rolling and Ben started doing some research and found another guy in California doing EXACTLY what Ben had been originally thinking!  A few phone calls later, we were figuring out logistics as to how we could get this type of thing going in Arizona! 

Harvest To Home Arizona was then born out of that.  In a nutshell, we deliver pre-planted, pre-fertilized organic gardens in a box to your place of interest.  You can pick from a menu of produce and herbs and we do the rest!  At drop off, we will hook it up to a water source available at your place and all you will need to do is WATCH the plants grow like crazy and when ready PICK your fresh produce RIGHT OUT OF YOUR OWN BACKYARD!  There are basically THREE "growing seasons" here in AZ.  Once your first season is through, we will come pick up your box(es) from your home and replant them for you with a new season!  These can be placed ANYWHERE at your home.  Front yard, back yard, if you live in a condo, you can put them on your deck, patio, etc.  Just need a water source and sun. 

Please visit our website (we're very soon going to be linked off of the California one) at to check out what we're up to!  Other contact info is as follows:

Specific Questions to AZ business -
David Pascador (Owner) -
Ben Baltzly (Owner) -
Harvest To Home Arizona Phone - 520-464-2300 (you'll hear my pretty little voice on that recording soon)
Facebook - (go check us out and request to be friends)

Check back for more information on upcoming events and specials in the future!

First Shipment of plants came today!

Just a few examples of what we can plant!

These are the Chocolate Beauty Peppers!

They are actually already producing!  Do you see the peppers?

Here is an example of the herbs that we have!

Berrgarten Sage