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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Coconut Lime Chocolate Chip Muffins

These muffins are so good!  They are moist, with major coconut and lime flavors!  The chocolate chips are a nice touch too!  As the weather warms up, you should try these tropical-tasting breakfast treats!

Ingredients List:

2 c. all-purpose flour
1 T. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. shredded sweetened coconut flakes
1/2 c. mini semisweet chocolate chips
2 large eggs
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. 1% milk
2 tsp. grated lime zest
1/4 c. fresh lime juice
1/2 c. vegetable oil
1 tsp. coconut extract

Streusel Topping:
1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. sugar
1/3 c. cold butter, cut into pieces
1/2 c. shredded sweetened coconut flakes
1/4 c. mini semisweet chocolate chips


1. Line 18 muffin cups with paper liners; set aside.

2. In a large bowl, stir together the 2 c. flour, baking powder, and salt.  Stir in 1 c. coconut flakes and 1/2 c. chocolate chips.  Make a well in the center; set aside.

3. In a medium bowl, combine eggs, 1/2 c. sugar, milk, lime zest,  lime juice, oil, and coconut extract.  Add egg mixture to flour mixture.  Stir just until combined.  Do not overmix; batter will be lumpy.

4. Scoop batter into each prepared muffin cup, filling each 3/4 full.

5. For the Streusel Topping: In a medium bowl, stir together the 1/2 c. flour and 1/2 c. sugar.  Using a pastry blender, cut in cold butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Stir in 1/2 c. coconut flakes and 1/4 c. chocolate chips.  Sprinkle muffins evenly with topping. 

6. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

7. Cool in muffin cups on wire rack for 5 minutes.  Serve warm.  These stay good for about 3 days and freeze well.

Yield: 18 muffins

Nutrition Information, per Muffin: 263 Calories, 14.5 g Fat, 0.5 g Fiber, 3.1 g Protein

Source: The Girl Who Ate Everything

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Low Country Beef & Rice

Have I ever told you how much I love one dish meals?  Seriously.  They just find me and I love to make them.  I found this one in a great cookbook that I have already shared.  It's called Saving Dinner.  So Sunday was a good day to throw this one together since I had been on church assignment 1 1/2 hours away for half the day.  And just a little note, I left out the fresh, chopped tomatoes when I first made this.  They were right there in the dish drain but we were in such a hurry to eat, I forgot about them.  I added them in the next day and reheated the dish for my supper and believe me it was even better!

3/4 lb. extra-lean ground beef (I used a whole pound and it was fine.)
1 stalk celery, chopped fine (used my re-hydrated Thrive celery, already chopped.)
1 large onion, chopped (or re-hydrate some Thrive chopped onion, no tears.)
1 small green pepper, chopped (what do you think?  Yep, freeze-dried green peppers)
1 t. Cajun seasoning
1 cup oats (recipe did not specify, so I used quick oats)
3 cups brown rice (I had some Sushi rice to use up)
3 medium tomatoes, chopped--don't forget!!
2 11.5-oz. cans V-8 juice

1.  In a skillet, over medium-high heat, cook beef, celery, onion, bell pepper, and Cajun seasoning about 4 minutes, stirring frequently, until beef is brown and vegetables are tender.

2.  Blot any excess grease with a paper towel.  I didn't have any grease.

3.  Stir in oats and mix well.  Add remaining ingredients.

4.  Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to simmer, uncovered, for about 5 minutes.

Source:  Leanne Ely, "Saving Dinner: The Menus, Recipes, and Shopping Lists to Bring Your Family Back to the Table," p. 148.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

White & Dark Chocolate Cream Cheese Cake Bars

These cake bars combine so many good sweet tastes together--chocolate cake, semisweet chocolate, white chocolate, and cream cheese.  Yum!

Ingredients List:

1 box Devil's food cake chocolate cake mix
1/2 c. butter (softened)
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1-2 T. water (if necessary)
3/4 c. semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 c. white chocolate chips
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 c. (4 oz. total) cream cheese (softened)
1/2 tsp. clear vanilla extract


1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cake mix, butter, egg, and 1 tsp. vanilla.  Mix well; the batter will be very thick.

2. Add the water, as necessary, while stirring.

3. Spread the dough into a sprayed 9 by 13" pan.  The dough will be sticky.

4. Sprinkle the white and semisweet chocolate chips evenly over the top.

5. In a clean mixing bowl, combine the sweetened condensed milk, cream cheese, and clear vanilla extract; stir until well combined.  Pour evenly over chips, using a spatula to evenly and gently spread it.

6. Bake at 350 degrees for 24-27 minutes until edges of bars begin to barely brown and pull away slightly from the sides of the pan.  The middle will be barely set and will not seem done.  This is normal, as the bars will continue to set up after they are removed from the oven.

7. Allow bars to cool completely before slicing. 

8. Store in fridge for up to 1 week.

Yield: 20 bars

Source: Averie Cooks

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Roasted Baby Red Potatoes with Garlic & Thyme

So how many great recipes have you gotten off of a food package?  Yeah, me too!  This one came in really handy.  I had to come up with a meal on the fly while in the meat section of Walmart.  I decided to get small red potatoes because they would cook fast and I did not have a lot of time after work to put this meal together.  As I was preparing to boil the potatoes--and I hate waiting for the water to boil--I saw this recipe on the bag and thought that roasting would be so much quicker.  And there you go--a tasty side dish that was not a lot of work.

1.5 lbs. baby red potatoes, cut into bite-size pieces
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 t. freshly ground black pepper
8 cloves garlic, chopped (I just used whatever minced garlic I had in the fridge.  I need to buy some more)
6 sprigs fresh thyme, or you can use dried thyme.

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  
  2. Combine all ingredients in baking dish and mix well.
  3. Bake, uncovered, for 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender and browned.
  4. Stir gently a couple of times during cooking time.
  5. Remove from oven and serve warm.

NOTE:  I am going to add some chopped onion next time.  I think that would be really yummy.

SOURCE:  Melissa's Baby Red Potatoes, package recipe. Check out their site HERE.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Lemon Mashed Potatoes

When I was a kid, my mom used to make lemon potatoes. She would cut and par-boil her potatoes and then pour lemon juice over them and add some dried parsley. I decided to alter the recipe a bit and came up with this yummy version of lemon mashed potatoes. It is a great side dish to go along with fish and I like to make them with my halibut cakes. They have a lot of lemon flavor without being too sour.

Lemon Mashed Potatoes

2 lbs. Yukon gold potatoes
1 C. Milk
1/4 C. Butter
1/3-1/2 C. Lemon juice
2 tsp. Lemon zest
1 tsp. Salt
2 tsp. Chopped fresh parsley (or a little bit of dried parsley)
Pepper to taste 

1. Scrub the potatoes and cut them into chunks. Place in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and continue boiling until tender. 10-20 minutes.
2. Drain the potatoes, add in the butter and milk and mash with a masher until you reach your desired consistency.
3. Stir in the lemon juice, lemon zest, parsley, salt and pepper.


Serves about 6-8

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Was there a better match made than peanut butter and chocolate?  I can't think of any.  Mr. Reese was a genius.  I don't know if he came up with the combination, but whoever did, I thank you!

Ingredients List:

1 c. creamy peanut butter
1 c. packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 T. vanilla extract
1 tsp. baking soda
6 oz. (1 c.) semisweet chocolate chunks


1. Combine peanut butter, brown sugar, egg, and vanilla.  With a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat on medium-high speed until well combined and the mixture is no longer gritty or granular.

2. Add baking soda and beat to fully incorporate.

3. With wooden spoon, add chocolate chunks and mix until well combined.

4. Using a medium cookie scoop, place mounds of dough onto a wax-paper lined plate.  Flatten mounds slightly, cover with plastic wrap, and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours.  (If you bake with warm dough, the cookies will bake thinner and flatter.)

5. Once dough has chilled, preheat oven to 350 degrees.

6. Place chilled mounds of dough onto a sprayed cookie sheet, at least 2" apart.  Bake for 8 minutes, until edges and tops are barely set.  (Cookies may appear underdone, but this is OK, as the cookies will continue to bake while cooling.)

7. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

8. Store in an airtight container, for up to 1 week.  The original website also states that these cookies can be frozen, for up to 4 months.

Yield: 22 cookies

Nutrition Information, per cookie: 147 Calories, 8.2 g Fat, 0.7 g Fiber, 2.8 g Protein

Source: Averie Cooks

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Succotash Soup

This is a tasty, healthy soup but it does require some planning ahead.  If you are using fresh veggies, then I would prep them earlier in the day or the day before.  I used freeze-dried foods and just had to re-hydrate them during some of the cooking time.  I found this in a really cool cookbook called Saving Dinner by Leanne Ely.  You should check it out.  Lot's of good stuff, besides recipes.  I like the way the book is organized by season, so that you are eating foods that are available and better for you during certain times of the year.

1 10-oz. bag frozen lima beans
1 cup water
2 14.5-oz. cans of chicken broth*
1 T. vegetable oil (I used olive oil)
1 cup chopped onion*
3/4 cup chopped red bell pepper*
1/2 cup chopped celery*
3/4 cup chopped green onions*
2 1/2 t. dried whole thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
Dash cayenne pepper
1 14.5-oz. can whole tomatoes, drained and chopped (or already diced)
1 11-oz. can whole kernel corn*

1. Place lima beans in a large Dutch oven. Cover with water to 2 inches above the beans.  Bring to a boil, and cook for 2 minutes.  Remove from heat, cover, and let stand 1 hour.

2.  Drain beans; add 1 cup water and broth.  Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 40 minutes or until beans are tender.

3.  Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add onion; saute 2 minutes.  Add bell pepper and celery; saute 2 minutes.  Add green onions; saute 1 minute.

4.  Add onion mixture, thyme, and remaining ingredients to bean mixture and bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

*This is where I substituted freeze-dried veggies or other items from my Home Store.

Serves 10.  Freezes well.  Leanne suggests serving with a big green salad and whole grain rolls. Sounds like a good plan to me!

Source:  Saving Dinner, Leanne Ely, p. 133.