Thursday, 31 May 2012

Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes & Carrots

This is a seriously yummy recipe. I know, we're getting into summer but for those colder days this is a great option, and well, I think it's always a great option! 

6 large potatoes, sliced 
4 carrots, cut diagonally into thin slices
2 onions, sliced, separated into rings
3 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. flour
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1-1/2 cups milk
1-1/2 cups shredded Old Cheddar Cheese

HEAT oven to 375°F.

COOK vegetables in boiling water in large saucepan 8 to 10 min. or until tender. Meanwhile, melt butter in medium saucepan on medium heat. Add flour and seasonings; mix well. Cook and stir 1 min. Gradually stir in milk until well blended. Bring to boil on medium heat; cook 5 min. or until thickened, stirring constantly. Stir in cheese; cook on low heat 1 min. or until melted, stirring constantly.

DRAIN vegetable mixture; spoon half into 13x9-inch baking dish sprayed with cooking spray. Cover with half the cheese sauce. Repeat layers; cover.

BAKE 45 min. to 1 hour or until vegetable mixture is heated through, uncovering after 30 min.

Adapted from here

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Baking Goal: Red Velvet Roll Cake

Red Velvet Cake Roll

Doesn't this look wonderful!? Great for a summer time BBQ! Check out the recipe here.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Baking My Way: Chocolate Macadamia Cookies with White Chocolate Chunks

Seriously, bake these cookies!! I didn't do them exactly as directed (I added chocolate chips, took out the nuts and added more cocoa) but I got the jest of how they were supposed to taste like and just like the recipe or my way these cookies are a must!! It's a rainy cold day so these were a perfect warm up....Also the cookie dough is amazing! I think before I even baked them I had 2 cookies worth of dough (blushing) before I even tried one of the baked cookies. A must have for in the freezer when you want that little chocolate delight (and the hint of almond is a wonderful treat in the mouth). 

3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup margarine or butter, softened
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 egg
2 cups Flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 oz. white chocolate baking bar, cut into 1/2-inch chunks, or 1 cup white chocolate chips
1 (3 1/2-oz.) jar macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped

Heat oven to 375°F. In large bowl, combine brown sugar, sugar and margarine; beat until light and fluffy. Add almond extract and egg; blend well.

Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup; level off. Add flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; mix well. Stir in white chocolate chunks and nuts. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake at 375°F. for 8 to 12 minutes or until set. Cool 1 minute. Remove from cookie sheets.

Monday, 28 May 2012

Baking My Way: White Chocolate Chunk Cookies

 These cookies are seriously tasty! Great for a a picnic or camping. I love all the coconut, it makes it nice and fresh. A great recipe for summer time.

3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup shortening (I used butter)
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups flours
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup coconut
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
12 oz. white chocolate chunks (or chocolate chips)

Heat oven to 350.

In a large bowl combine sugar, brown sugar, and butter; beat until light and fluffy. Add one egg at a time, beat well after each addition.

Add vanilla; blend well. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, mix well. Stir in all remaining ingredients. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake at 10-15 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheet.  

Baking My Way: Apricot Snowcaps

So I baked these....and they really didn't turn out....I found this (at the bottom of the post) picture which gives a great image of what they're supposed to look like and they tasted great! I will likely give them another go and I know if they turned out they would have been fantastic! (not sure why you didn't turn out but I think I just was doing too much at once) Going in the oven (above) they looked great...coming out...not great...


1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup margarine or butter, softened
1/4 cup shortening
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
1 cup All Purpose or Unbleached Flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
1/2 cup prepared apricot filling

1 (6-oz.) white baking bar, chopped
2 tablespoons shortening

Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, beat sugar, brown sugar, margarine and 1/4 cup shortening until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and egg; blend well. Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup; level off. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; mix well. Stir in rolled oats. Shape dough into 1-inch balls; place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Make a small indentation in each cookie; fill with 1/2 teaspoon apricot filling.

Bake at 350°F. for 9 to 13 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheets. Meanwhile, in small saucepan over very low heat, melt glaze ingredients. Spoon or drizzle over warm cookies. Cool completely.
Apricot Snowcaps

Caramel Corn Flake Bars

We were at some friends for New Year's Eve and they had these bars, and they are amazing!!

1 pkg (170grams) Mckintosh Candies
2 tbsp Butter
2 tsp Milk
3/4 cup Aliced Almonds
3/4 cup Corn Flakes
1/3 cup Flaked Coconut
1/2 Chocolate Chips

Step 1: Over med heat cook toffee, butter, and milk stirring often for about 10 min until meted and smooth. Immediately add almonds, corn flakes, coconut, peanuts.

Step 2: Press mixture into buttered square pan

Step 3: Melt chocolate chips and drizzle over the bar.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Baking My Way: Cherry Chocolate Brown Sugar Shortbread Bars

This bar is seriously good! I sold a lot of it over Christmas and I will for sure be making it again! It's very soft and has a nice sweetness and of course cherries and chocolate? How could you go wrong!


1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/3 cup butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
3/4 cup All Purpose or Unbleached Flour
1/4 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup chopped/drained maraschino cherries

Cherry Glaze
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon maraschino cherry liquid

Chocolate Glaze
1/4 cup chocolate chips
1 teaspoon shortening

In large bowl, combine sugar, brown sugar and butter; beat until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and egg; blend well. Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup; level off. Stir in flour until well blended.  Add chocolate chips and cherries. Press into bottom of greased 8'' pan.

Bake at 350 for 17-22 minutes or until lightly golden. Cool for 15 minutes or until completely cool.

Meanwhile, make the glazes. For the cherry mix all cherry glaze ingredients until smooth. For the chocolate glaze melt the ingredients in a small sauce pan over low heat, stir constantly.

Drizzle glazes over the bars; let stand until set. Cut into bars.

Friday, 25 May 2012

Baking My Way: Oatmeal Carmelitas

Such a tasty bar! It works really well to just put down all of the base and then use the filling just as a topping too (use a little less caramel sauce though).

I was really annoyed with myself because today when I went to post this recipe I couldn't find a photo anywhere! I was sure I took a photo of this great bar (and how I did it differently) but no, can't find it anywhere! So, sorry guys, you'll have just to look at these photos, not mine, but they totally show how good things bar can be (I wish you could smell through photos)!

2 cups Flour
2 cups quick-cooking rolled oats
1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups margarine or butter, softened

1 (12.5-oz.) jar (1 cup) caramel ice cream topping
3 tablespoons Flour
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped nuts

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease 13x9-inch pan. Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup; level off. In large bowl, combine all crust ingredients; mix at low speed until crumbly. Reserve half of crumb mixture (about 3 cups) for topping. Press remaining crumb mixture in bottom of greased pan.

Bake at 350°F. for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in small bowl, combine caramel topping and 3 tablespoons flour; blend well.

Remove partially baked crust from oven; sprinkle with chocolate chips and nuts. Drizzle evenly with caramel mixture; sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture.

Return to oven; bake an additional 18 to 22 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 1 hour or until completely cooled. Refrigerate 1 to 2 hours or until filling is set. Cut into bars.

 (This is what it looks like on the Pillsbury website)

Cooking Goal: Slow Cooker French Dip Sammies

Doesn't this look wonderful? Oh man, I want it right now! Check out the recipe here!

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Health Tip of the Week: Our Skin

We expose our skin to harsh weather conditions and products containing toxic petroleum derivatives that are drying, irritating, and pore-clogging. Alcohols and solvents destroy the skin's pH balance, stripping away the skin's defence barrier to infection while contributing to wrinkles, fine lines, spots, red veins, or other discolorations. Skin is a living, breathing, blood-circulating organism that must be treated with the same care we'd give our heart, liver, and lungs. In fact, Chinese medicine considers skin to be the "third lung."

Contrary to previous beliefs that skin was impermeable, we now know that skin easily absorbs chemicals, hence the nicotine patch, nitroglycerine patch, and birth control patch. Toxic chemicals in makeup, personal care products, commercial, industrial, hobby, and household products are also absorbed into the bloodstream through dermal contact. Skin is a two-way membrane, and the body's largest organ of elimination via perspiration, which is why saunas are so healthful in ridding the body of unwanted toxins. 

Skin is composed of three layers: the epidermis, the dermis (cutis), and the subdermis (subcutaneous). The epidermis has no blood vessels, but contains many small nerve endings, and its outermost layer is constantly shedding and being replaced. The middle layer, dermis or cutis, is highly sensitive with a vascular layer of connective tissue containing blood vessels, lymph vessels, nerve endings, sweat and oil glands, hair follicles, arrector pili muscles, and papillae. The subcutaneous tissue makes up the third layer of skin. It is adipose (fatty) tissue, necessary for energy. The subcutaneous tissue acts as a protective cushion for the outer skin, hair, and nails.

Sebum is a complex oil released onto skin to slow down water evaporation while preventing excess moisture from penetrating into the skin. Exposure to wind and cold have a drying effect on skin. Mineral-oil based creams appear to be helpful, but eventually inhibit the skin's natural moisturizing process.

Exposures to toxic chemicals add up. According to a survey by the EWG and a coalition of health advocacy organizations, the average American adult uses nine personal care products daily containing a total of 126 unique chemical ingredients.

The survey also revealed the following:

12.2 million adults are exposed to known or probable human carcinogens through daily use of personal care products.

4.3 million women are exposed daily to toxic ingredients linked to fertility impairment and fetal development problems.

20% of all adults are exposed daily to the top seven carcinogens commonly found in personal care products: hydroquinone, ethylene, dioxide, 1,4-dioxane, formaldehyde, nitrosamines, PAHs, and acrylamide.
Information found at

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Baking Goal: Maraschino and Pineapple Bread

Wow right? I have only ever made banana bread and pumpkin bread so this would be a great change. I think it would nice and light for summer too!

Check out the recipe at Val So Cal

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Savory Sunday

I took a little walk around the yard to see how things were coming along and thought I'd post some pictures of all my pretties. (I shared this on my Green Girly blog but I thought I'd bring it and share it with you here as well!)

This is in our back lane, right by our tenants parking spot. It doesn't look to great right now but I'm hoping the plants will come in well soon. I think I may plant a few more things yet as well.

I was very excited to see my Larkspur come back. It's a pretty tender perennial so I wasn't too sure. 

This one is huge!! Most of my Chicks & Hens are doing ok but this one is seriously happy!! 

Here is my Larkspur a week later. I can't wait for all the flowers! 

The ferns are happy, and coming up well! There are 5 of them! (There were only 3 when winter hit)

The strawberries and raspberries are doing great.

I made a little green house type planter. We'll see if it really helps out my squash! 

My Clematis is coming in well. So far 3 more vines coming up then there were last year! It's nice to know what it is this year so I can care for it correctly!

This one is going crazy! It was tiny, did nothing all last spring and summer but after the snow was gone it was three times as big as it was before the snow! I've already taken pieces off and moved them here...

Three Flowering Aven. I can't wait until this fulls in, a lot! I love this plant! 

Sour Cherry tree. It's didn't bloom last year, that was sad, so I was even more excited about spring when I saw these flowers.

This wild fern is going crazy, it's spreading all over, which is great cause that's what I wanted in this space.

My new little gnome. I was so excited when I found him and his brother. Only $2 too!

The Hydrangea I planted last year. If I'm lucky I'll get some flowers this year. I'm not holding my breath though.

The Peony I got for $2 because it seemed dead. Not dead at all and I'm so happy to see it's coming up and doing well!
My new tulips. They are so beautiful and bright!

I transplanted this bush last year, I wasn't too sure if it took but I prepped it super well and I'm so glad to see life some to the branches.

I moved some Lamb's Ear over. They're still pretty droopy but they'll pop back up yet. 

Not too sure what these all are but I got them from a lady down the street that was splitting stuff up. I stopped to tell her how pretty her yard was and she gave me a few things! I love getting plants from ladies like that! They've been working on their yards for years and they're plants are so wonderful it's almost an honor to get something from them.

This is what the front yard looks like right now. Not all too exciting because there's a lot of new stuff in there and the leaves haven't filled out yet, but it's getting there. I just took out a big sad cedar on the left and I'm going to fill that space with another bush like the red tall one on the right and a peony bush. I'm excited to get it finished once and for all (but of course I'll always be playing around)

And this is my flower garden. Still not too exciting. I started it pretty late last year but things are growing so I can't wait to see it fill in and become vibrant with all the colors!

Here are my picks this week but I'd love if.....

Calling all summer salads! If you have something fresh, and full of veggies or fruit I'd love for you to share it! As many recipes as you like!!

Here's how it will work:

1) Link up to the link below (link as many as you want but try to link something savory if you can)
2) Grab the Savory Sunday button and put it in the post you are sharing
3) Leave a comment after you post
4) I'd love for you to become a follower if you're not but it's not a requirement :)

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