Baklava Cups

Baklava Cups Recipe

Baklava; the word alone evokes thoughts of warm, gooey honey drizzled over roasted nuts enveloped in a flaky, crisp, delicate layered crust. <sigh> I am a fan and have made it a time or two here in the kitchen the traditional way. It is time consuming but worth the extra effort it takes to make it.

When I came across this Baklava Cups Recipe I knew I had to try it.  Same concept only a lot easier. It took me 15 minutes from start to finish. I halved the recipe, since there are only 2 of us and made 8 of the Baklava Cups. Needless to say these tasty little cups of yum disappeared in no time flat. They were a sinful, decadent end to a very good dinner. They will make regular appearances at our dessert table. I can also see these little honey drizzled cups of roasted nuts making rounds at our holiday gatherings this year too.

I used a mixture of unsalted slivered almonds, pecans and walnuts. I did not change anything about the recipe other than to cut it in half. Next time I may try adding some melted drizzled chocolate over the top of the honey.

Cheers! Amy

Pork Schnitzel and Spaetzle

Weekly Menu Plan 8/10/2014

As the seasons change so does our Weekly Menu Plan. The last few days here have been cooler and rainy. Brad and I have enjoyed the cooler weather and the less humid days.  We are both anticipating Fall, our favorite time of year. Vacation time is approaching in a few weeks and we are both exited and looking forward to enjoying some outings and trying some new experiments in the kitchen. Generally we take vacation in September-October when cooler weather starts and the crowds are not as big.

There are a few new recipes on the menu this week and of course some old favorites. We travel to a few other countries with a few of our recipes and throw in some comforting casseroles with this Weekly Menu Plan.

Brad has a brew day planned on Monday so I plan on fixing the Chicken, Leek and Mushroom Cobbler on Sunday and we can have leftovers on Brew Day. This particular recipe has been on the top of my to try pile for a while and since cooler weather is here and it’s rainy, now is a good time to make it. Plus I have part of a roasted chicken that needs to be used up. I will post pics and update on how the recipe turned out this week.

Here is the Weekly Menu Plan for this week:

Stuffed Shells with salad (we are going to use ground chicken breast and make some homemade Italian Chicken Sausage to use in these)

Chicken, Mushroom, Leek Cobbler NEW Recipe

Seafood, baked potatoes, salad

Cheeseburgers, Brad’s Potato Wedges

Pork Schnitzel with dill sauce , Homemade Spaetzle with gravy and sauteed kale


Open night

What’s on your menu plan this week?

Cheers! Amy

A Peek into our Week

We have been busy doing our thing. Here’s a peek into our week.

Brad’s brewing and making pizza.

Pizza Dough on Pizza Peel

Pizza Dough on Pizza Peel

Brad rolling out homemade pizza dough

Brad rolling out homemade pizza dough

We’re both trying out new beers and ales. This one is a Wild Wheat Ale with Passion-fruit and Hibiscus. It was like a Rose` wine and quite nice with a funky after taste. Brad’s Blackberry Saison should be done later this week and and I’m looking forward to trying this new style brew of his.

Wild Wheat Ale

Wild Wheat Ale

Brad is brewing me a Pine Fruit Riwaka Pale Ale (Pine Fruit a new experimental hop and the Riwaka is a New Zealand Hop). I am excited and will keep you updated on the progress of my pale ale.

We continue to visit the local farmers market and stock the freezer for the upcoming months. This weekend I froze 25 lbs of tomatoes and a ton of colored sweet peppers (red, yellow, orange, purple). Isn’t that purple pepper in the picture below beautiful! It looks almost black. We bought several of them and what we did not eat as is, we froze in our color mix of peppers for stir fries, omelets, fajitas, etc.

82014 Produce 2

82014 Produce 2

72014 Produce


These little baby potatoes are about the size of golf balls and make the best herbed sauteed potatoes. Love fresh potatoes!

Baby Potatoes

Baby Potatoes

Are you enjoying the bountiful produce this time of year brings? What is your favorite fresh vegetable or fruit for this time of year?

Cheers! Amy

banana nut pancakes

Banana Nut Pancake Recipe

This Banana Nut Pancake Recipe was born one Saturday morning when I wanted something different and slightly sweet. It is not often that I eat pancakes, waffles or french toast for breakfast but I woke after a busy week and wanted something decadent, fairly healthy and different from my regular breakfast fare. Brad does not eat pancakes, waffles or french toast at all, so I try to fix them (which is very seldom) when he is working and I am home alone.

I looked in my treasured mother’s recipe book and found a base recipe that with a few tweaks would work and I could make it healthier. But I was in a food snob mood and wanted different not just plain ole pancakes. I perused the fruit basket and had some pretty ripe bananas that needed to be used and some baking walnuts in the freezer. Banana Nut Pancakes were born.

Banana Nut Pancake Recipe

Makes 12 pancakes (recipe can be halved successfully)
Serves 4 (3 each)

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon honey or sugar
2 teaspoons of baking powder
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups milk (I used 2%)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 chopped ripe banana
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 handful of chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans, almonds)
*You could sub in chocolate or peanut butter chips for the nuts)

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl, until a nice batter forms.
Add oil to a nonstick skillet and let heat
Pour batter by 1/4 cup into heated skillet
Once the batter begins bubbling, flip and cook 1-2 additional minutes on other side
Serve warm with your choice of toppings.

I do not keep syrup on hand and made a simple syrup to eat with them and then on the 2nd batch (from the freezer) I drizzled them with honey. They would be good topped with fruit and a little whipped cream too.

They freeze well. I generally only make half of this recipe and freeze the uneaten ones for another pancake fix.

Cheers! Amy

Oven Fried Vegetable Recipe

Oven Fried Vegetable Recipe

It’s the perfect time of year to try this oven fried vegetable recipe. We all have loads of zucchini, squash, onions, green beans and various other vegetables lying around just begging to be fixed. This is a healthy alternative to the greasy fried vegetables that we sometimes like to eat. Brad and I came up with this recipe and have not looked back. Fried vegetables are a thing of our past and have been replaced with this tasty version.

This oven fried vegetable recipe is easy and versatile: you can use any veggie you like. Fried green beans anyone? This time around we used mushrooms and some yellow squash from our local farmer’s market. The Parmesan cheese is optional but adds a pleasant flavor. The recipe goes well with chicken, steak, burgers, pork just about anything. They make a great snack or appetizer too.

Dip the chunks of veggies or don’t they’re are good either way. We chose to use blue cheese and horseradish this time around. Did you know that mushrooms and horseradish are very tasty together? YUM!

With out further ado here is the recipe:

Oven Fried Vegetable Recipe
A healthy take on fried vegetables. Very versatile (mushrooms, onions, green beans, squash, zucchini, asparagus, etc.)
Oven Fried Vegetable Recipe
A healthy take on fried vegetables. Very versatile (mushrooms, onions, green beans, squash, zucchini, asparagus, etc.)
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Mix bread (cracker, panko) crumbs, Parmesan cheese and spices of choice in a storage/freezer bags.
  3. Beat egg (or 2 egg whites for lower cholesterol) in a bowl
  4. Dip veggies in egg and then place a few veggie slices in the crumb bag and shake to coat. Repeat process until all veggies have been covered in crumbs.
  5. Placed on cooking spray covered baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Flip and back 8-11 minutes more until lightly browned. Enjoy with favorite sauce or not! They're good either way. We used blue cheese and horseradish.
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Cheers! Amy

Web Grazing

We enjoy trying out new recipes regularly in the kitchen. Brad and I both love web grazing for potential recipes to try out. I try to post links to our favorites to try often so you can follow along with us.

I have some vacation coming up soon and will be off work for several days. We had planned on going out of town but due to conflicts with our work schedules and such we decided that some day trips, staycations if you will would fit our life better.

So needless to say I will have some days at home with just Smokey and myself. I am sure I will participate in the domesticated things we all love (laundry, cleaning, vacuuming, dishes, etc.) of course there will also be lots of fetch and puppy play time too.

However, I like to plan some cooking activities that are out of the normal for me. Exciting experiments, kitchen chemistry if you will. I will have the extra time to enjoy!

Here’s a tentative list of the kitchen chemistry that I would like to give a try:

Okay, this is not exactly a recipe. But it something you can buy, I plan on trying to make them homemade using a caramel recipe I found in my mother’s treasure trove of recipes using some of Brad’s nut brown ale. I am excited about this. This would make some great gifts if I can get them to turn out well.

Salty Beer Caramels

I have tried to make homemade crackers at home before and they smelled divine in the oven, Brad even commented those are going to be good. I let them crisp up in the oven while it was turned off per said instructions. Afterwards we tasted them and they tasted like seasoned cardboard. <laughing> I kid you not. I still have high hopes with some newer recipes I found. After seeing this advertisement I am going to try to incorporate some beer into the cracker mix. This should be good.

Beer Crackers

We eat a lot of chicken and this recipe was slightly different. Going to give it whirl possibly this week. I will sub Worcestershire sauce for the soy as we do not use soy sauce. It’s always good to have a variety of chicken recipes.

Chicken with Honey Beer Sauce

It’s HOT and HUMID in the south usually through the end of August. Sometimes you want a snack that’s cold, fruity and tasty. There sound good and I enjoy freezing yogurt cups anyway to eat like ice cream. Little Yogurt Nibbles would be a fun take on this and I have a Tiki Man Ice tray that would make these simply adorable. Fun Times!

Yogurt Nibbles

Do you have any kitchen chemistry ideas, recipes that you would like to try?

Cheers! Amy

French bread and rolls 7132014

French Bread Recipe

I have made a lot of French Bread Recipes during my bread baking journey and some disappoint and others knock it out of the ballpark. I am always searching for just the one, you know the one that is crispy on the outside and chewy and soft on the inside and stays that way. It’s not an easy  list of tasks to accomplish at home with a regular oven. To steam or not to steam, to spritz or not, to egg wash, water wash… I mean seriously. Can it really be that hard?

french bread 2014

YES! It can be that difficult to make the perfect French Bread Recipe. I ran across this recipe in my web searches and the reviews were good, pictures were excellent and I thought I would try it.

french bread rolls 72014

french bread rolls 72014

The process is slightly different than other recipes I have tried. However, the end result was very good. It makes a lot of bread. I got two nice size french bread loaves, 9 sandwich rolls and 6 cinnamon rolls. I froze the cinnamon rolls, 1 loaf of bread and the sandwich rolls after baking and they froze superbly. They stayed crispy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside. NICE!

Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon Rolls

This is definitely a French Bread Recipe to be reckoned with!

Cheers! Amy