Saturday, September 13, 2014

Sourdough Hamburger Buns

We love a good burger every now and then, but really limit how often we eat them because I had not been able to find a bun I felt good about. All that ends with this recipe, which results in the most wonderful homemade sourdough buns. They work really great for hamburgers and we have also used them for breakfast sandwiches and sloppy joes (and more). I cannot imagine a better bun than this.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Maple Bourbon BBQ Sauce

So right about now I am swimming in tomatoes, which is a blessing of course, but also has me trying to come up with creative ways to use the summer's bounty. After canning 20 pints of salsa, 20 cups of diced tomatoes, and making numerous Caprese Salads, Tomato Soups, and Marinara Sauces, I decided to give BBQ sauce a try. The result was fantastic! My husband smokes briskets and ribs nearly all year long so we definitely use a lot of BBQ sauce.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Shrimp Scampi

A few of my favorite memories from childhood revolve around Shrimp Scampi. It was a meal my grandma cooked for me when I would visit her. And it was something she always included on her Christmas Eve menu, with lots of other wonderful fish dishes. Also, I remember eating lunch at Red Lobster with my dad and sister when I was in high school. We would order the shrimp scampi for lunch and dip those yummy little Cheddar Bay biscuits in the sauce. I love shrimp scampi, which can be a very nourishing and healthy meal if you make it at home.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Salmon Patties

These crispy little patties pack in a lot of flavor and are a delicious and fun treat. You will enjoy them on their own, as a salad topper, or even in a sandwich.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Sourdough Biscuits

A reliable recipe for soft and flaky sourdough biscuits had eluded me for many months. However, I finally got it right with this one. The biscuits are very easy to throw together and result in exactly what you are looking for in a biscuit--soft and flaky on the inside with a traditional taste.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Pizza with Sourdough Crust

We haven't made pizza at home in a long time. It seemed like a hassle to try to make a no-guilt crust so we just skipped it altogether. However, now that I keep a sourdough starter the door has re-opened to many recipes I had previously passed over, including one for homemade pizza. If you have a sourdough starter, you too can make a nutritious pizza that the whole family will love!

If you don't have a sourdough starter yet, it is easy to keep one! Read my quick start guide for more information.

Monday, June 2, 2014


My husband loves coleslaw and we wanted a nutritious go-to version to use in fish tacos. This recipe is perfect because it uses only fresh ingredients and tastes much better than anything you can purchase. One of the ingredients is a citrus (lemon and orange) infused white vinegar that I found on the blog LittleOwlCrunchyMomma. Her exact recipe is called Orange Vinegar (follow the link). You could use plain white vinegar instead, but the infused vinegar makes it really special.

This is an awesome way to use leftover lemon and orange rinds. I use my citrus vinegar for cooking and cleaning. This recipe is one of my favorite finds of the year. I use up a lot of lemons drinking Warm Lemon Water in the mornings and also a lot of oranges drinking orange water in the evenings. I am so happy to have found such a versatile recipe for my leftover lemon and orange rinds.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Sourdough Croissants

I just can't seem to stop baking things with my sourdough starter to my family's delight (read this if you would like to get a starter of your own going). I got it in my mind somehow that it would be fun to try to make sourdough croissants. However, either I could not really find the kind of recipe I was looking for, something more traditional, or I couldn't find a recipe with complete instructions or a full set of ingredients. So I set off on a mission to develop a complete sourdough croissant recipe, which includes step-by-step instructions. I researched several recipes for information to develop this recipe including this one by the Sourdough Companion, which gave me the starting point for some of the ingredient amounts.

I have learned a lot about my starter and baking breads in general through the development of this recipe - it has been an interesting and challenging journey to say the least! This is not a quick throw it together recipe. There will need to be a little planning involved as you prepare and care for your dough on and off during a 2-day period. The entire process includes lots of waiting and then more waiting and then some kneading (three of my least favorite things), but the end result is so worth it.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Awesome Rice Pudding

Years ago, I used to get rice pudding from this little Lebanese restaurant in town called N&J's. I loved it so much that I would buy several containers and keep them in the refrigerator at home for easy snacks. When I moved back here, the restaurant was still there but they sadly no longer sold their rice pudding.

Ever since, I have been trying to find a way to make a delicious, super creamy, mildly sweet rice pudding recipe at home. I have lots of leftover rice, and I want to make something really great with it. Everything I have tried in the past comes out a bit dried out or has a strange flavor, or something is wrong with it. Well, I am beyond happy to report that I have found a delicious rice pudding recipe and I am going to share it with you all. This does not taste like the Lebanese version I used to get as it is not a Lebanese rice pudding, but I think I will use it as a starting point for a Lebanese version.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Sweet and Sour Chicken

Everyone in my household loves take-out "Chinese" food, but we do not love the mystery ingredients. This is a nutritious version of sweet and sour chicken that is so good you will not miss the take-out version.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Sourdough Pretzels

We just love this easy and quick recipe for sourdough pretzels that helps use up excess starter.

Monday, March 3, 2014

French Onion Soup

French Onion Soup is one of my very favorite soups. I remember eating it for the first time at a little restaurant on the Rhine River called Noah's Ark in Wiesbaden, Germany. I was around eight or ten years old and my sister and I would get the French Onion Soup every time we had dinner there. It was served in shallow metal "skillets" that were always too hot to touch. There was a thick layer of cheese covering a thin slice of German bread and the cheese was always bubbly and golden brown from the oven and overflowing down the sides of the metal bowls.

With winter just not letting go this year, I am back in a soup kick. It was -1 degree here this morning after all!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Amazing Beef Stew

This is the best beef stew we've ever had. I think you will really enjoy this recipe, which is adapted from the Classic Slow Cooker Beef Stew from the December 2013 issue of Cooking Light. My recipe does not use a slow cooker, but I've included those instructions in the comments if that is your preference.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Sourdough Starter - A Quick Start Guide

Since so many of my posts lately have included a starter, I thought I should include a quick guide to starting and maintaining a starter, mainly to show how easy it really is. This post is not an all-inclusive sourdough starter resource, but rather a general overview which includes links to other websites and blogs that can fill in the gaps. 

This is my starter and when I am using it, it sits right here on my stove.   

Here are the steps you will need to take to have a fully functioning starter in your kitchen (Yes, you can do this)!! Recipes included below too, see Step 3. :)

Monday, January 20, 2014

Sourdough Bierocks and Empanadas

My friend, LeAnn, shared a wonderful bierock recipe with me. The ingredients are very simple and the end result is so delicious. I did substitute my own recipe for the dough since I am trying to ensure all my grains are prepared to maximize their nutritional benefit. I was worried the substitution might change the taste overall, but it did not. In fact, this dough is really wonderful and very close in taste to my friend's original recipe.
It was so good that I started filling it with all kinds of yummy stuff. So, you'll find the recipes below for Bierocks and also for Bacon Cheeseburger Empanadas and a *bonus* for Breakfast Empanadas in the Comments. I am sure you will also come up with lots of delicious fillings for this wonderful dough - please leave your ideas in the comments.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Lemony Sour Cream Sourdough Crepes

This is a fabulous dessert or a decadent breakfast. I use a Parisian sourdough starter from Cultures for Health and it's worked out really great for me. It has a mild flavor and is very easy to maintain. I am incredibly happy with it. It is easy to keep a sourdough starter (I promise)! - please check out my Quick Start Guide for more information.

Banana Bread - More Awesome Version!

I have been making banana bread the same way for the past couple of years and I really like it, but my husband is not a huge fan. He says he likes banana bread, and then I make it, and I'm the only one that eats it. It's totally annoying. So, last week I tried a new recipe and it is AMAZING!! I liked the old recipe a lot, but we really loved the new recipe. And, I'm not the only one that eats it. In fact, I was lucky to get a slice! The new recipe is from the following link and I only modified it a little bit.

Ham & Swiss Sourdough Pancakes

This is a great recipe to use up excess starter and can easily be halved. It is easy to keep a sourdough starter (I promise)! - please check out my Quick Start Guide for more information.

Leftover Cranberry Sauce Muffins

We always have leftover cranberry sauce, which I think is amazing in these muffins.

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

My husband makes really delicious chicken enchiladas from scratch, but they are quite labor intensive and so we don't have them very often. I made this recipe to be able to enjoy all the flavors of chicken enchiladas with less work.

Sweet & Spicy Stovetop Beans

I created this recipe when my husband requested a side dish of beans to go with his lunchtime serving of grilled chicken. We had recently purchased roasted Hatch green chiles from our local garden center and I thought they would go nicely with the beans.

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