Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Easy Pumpkin Snack Cake

I love all things pumpkin. This cake is easy and delicious.
Thanks to Kitchen Meets Girl for this wonderful recipe
  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 15-ounce can pumpkin
For the Frosting:
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F and spray a 9x13 pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, salt, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine eggs, sugar, oil, and pumpkin. Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture, and beat at low speed until combined and the batter is smooth.
  4. Spread batter into pan and bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow cake to cool completely before frosting.
  5. To make the frosting, beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth. Add in the sugar and milk and mix at low speed until combined. Stir in the vanilla and mix again. Spread over cooled bars. Dust lightly with cinnamon, if desired.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

60 Second Chocolate Chip Mug Cookie

This is perfect when you are craving a cookie, but don't want the temptation of an entire batch

Thank you to Mel's Kitchen Cafe

60-Second Chocolate Chip Mug Cookie
Little update: I realized after I posted this (and tried it with this variation) that if you are making more than one at a time, try using a whole egg, whisking it, then splitting the egg mixture between the two recipes/mugs. That way you aren't wasting two egg whites. It works just fine that way - give or take, it's about a tablespoon of egg per mug.
Also, to avoid the batter being crumbly (thanks to the commenters who stumbled upon this), mix all the wet ingredients first: butter, egg yolk, sugars and salt. Then gradually add the four and stir in the chocolate chips.
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter or coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons chocolate chips (regular size or mini)
  1. Very lightly coat the inside of a 6- or 8-ounce mug or ramekin with a smidgeon of cooking spray, butter or coconut oil. Mix all the ingredients together in the mug (to avoid the batter being crumbly, mix the butter, egg yolk, sugars and salt first before gradually stirring in the flour and adding the chocolate chips). 
  2. Microwave for one minute at 80% power (I have a 1,000 watt microwave; if your microwave has more or less watts, you may need to adjust the time a bit). The top will look light and yellow and may even seem undercooked but if you gently press the top and it lightly springs back, it's perfect (don't overcook or it will be dry and tough in spots).
  3. Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, if desired.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Best lentil soup

Thank you to My Material Life blog for posting this recipe
My Favorite Lentil Soup, from Jane Brody’s Good Food Book
  • 2 T olive or vegetable oil
  • 2 c chopped onions
  • 3 carrots, coarsely grated
  • 3/4 t marjoram, crumbled
  • 3/4 t thyme leaves, crumbled
  • 1 28-oz can tomatoes with their juice, coarsely chopped
  • 7 c broth (beef, chicken, or vegetable)*
  • 1 1/2 c dried lentils, rinsed and picked over
  • 1/2 t salt
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 6 oz dry white wine
  • 1/3 c chopped fresh parsley or 2 T dried parsley flakes
  • 4 oz Cheddar, grated
  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan, and saute the onions, carrots, marjoram, and thyme, stirring the vegetables for about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the tomatoes, broth, and lentils.  Bring the soup to a boil, reduce the heat, cover the pan, and simmer the soup for about 1 hour or until the lentils are tender.
  3. Add the salt, pepper, wine, and parsley, and simmer the soup for a few minutes.  Serve with cheese sprinkled on each portion.

* In place of homemade broth, you can use 3 bouillon cubes with 7 cups of water or 3 1/2 cups of canned broth and 3 1/2 cups of water.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

This is quick and easy and quite good, considering it all comes from cans.

In Ghana, I modified a bit - no tomatoes with green chillies so I added some extra red pepper flakes and mexican spices to regular canned diced tomatoes

Canned chicken broth is expensive so I used "Better than Bouillon" that we brought from home - plus water.

and frozen corn was easier to find

Recipe from Allrecipes.com

Six Can Chicken Tortilla Soup

  • Prep
  • Cook
  • Ready In

Recipe By:Terryn
"Delicious and EASY zesty soup recipe that uses only 6 canned ingredients! Serve over tortilla chips, and top with shredded Cheddar cheese. Throw away the cans and no one will know that it is not from scratch!"


  • 1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans chicken broth
  • 1 (10 ounce) can chunk chicken
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans
  • 1 (10 ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chile peppers, drained


  1. Open the cans of corn, chicken broth, chunk chicken, black beans, and diced tomatoes with green chilies. Pour everything into a large saucepan or stock pot. Simmer over medium heat until chicken is heated through.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

German Apple Puff Pancakes

Delicious recipe from Kittencal

I made these this morning and they were gooooood



tablespoons butter, divided (one more tablespoon butter won't hurt)
large apples, peeled and sliced
cup flour
cup milk (or use half and half cream)
teaspoon salt
teaspoon baking powder
tablespoon sugar (optional or to taste)
large eggs
cup sugar (can use 1/2 cup sugar)
teaspoon cinnamon (or to taste)

                  Set oven to 400 degrees F.
                  Spray two 8-inch round cake pans with cooking spray (or one larger pan)
                  Place 2 Tbsp butter in each of the pans.
                  Place the pans in the oven and bake until the butter has melted; remove from oven.
                  In a bowl, beat the flour, 1/4 teaspoons baking powder, sugar (if using) salt, milk and eggs until smooth, then allow to stand for 30 minutes.
                  Arrange the apple slices into the two pans onto the melted butter.
                  Re-whisk the flour/egg mixture again then divide the batter evenly between pans, over the apple slices.
                  Mix the sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over the batter in each pan.

                        Bake until puffed, and golden brown, about 20-25 minutes.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

French Onion Soup - slow cooker - easy

This is delicious!

from allrecipes

Slow Cooker French Onion Soup
recipe image
Rated: rating
Submitted By: Chandrav
Photo By: twilightgrove
Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Cook Time: 4 Hours 35 Minutes
Ready In: 5 Hours 5 Minutes
Servings: 8
"Beefy French onion soup is made in the slow cooker, then topped with the traditional slice of toasted French bread and a savory mixture of four cheeses, then broiled until browned and bubbling. It's fun to let people assemble their own bowls, too."
6 tablespoons butter
4 large yellow onions, sliced and
separated into rings
1 tablespoon white sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup cooking sherry (or fruit juice)
7 cups reduced-sodium beef broth
1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
8 slices of French bread
1/2 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
1/3 cup shredded Emmental cheese
1/4 cup freshly shredded Parmesan
2 tablespoons shredded mozzarella
1.Heat butter in a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat; cook and stir onions until they become translucent, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle onions with sugar; reduce heat to medium. Cook, stirring constantly, until onions are soft and browned, at least 30 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
2.Stir sherry into onion mixture and scrape bottom of pot to dissolve small bits of browned food from the pot. Transfer onions into a slow cooker and pour in beef broth. Season to taste with sea salt; stir in thyme and bay leaf. Cover cooker, set on High, and cook 4 to 6 hours. If desired, set on Low and cook 8 to 10 hours.
3.About 10 minutes before serving, set oven rack about 8 inches from the heat source and preheat the oven's broiler. Arrange bread slices on a baking sheet.
4.Broil bread slices until toasted, 1 to 2 minutes per side.
5.Combine Gruyere, Emmental, Parmesan, and mozzarella cheeses in a bowl, tossing lightly. Fill oven-safe soup crocks 3/4 full of onion soup and float a bread slice in each bowl. Top with about 2 tablespoons of cheese mixture per serving.
6.Place filled bowls onto a baking sheet and broil until cheese topping is lightly browned and bubbling, about 2 minutes.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Slow cooker black beans

These are good! I made them yesterday and ate them today

Recipe is from Cafe Johnsonia

Slow Cooker Black Beans

Substitute any dry bean in this recipe. Variations included below the main recipe.


1 lb. black beans, picked over to remove broken or wrinkled beans or small stones
6 cups water
1 onion, halved or diced
2-3 whole garlic cloves
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon salt (this seems like a lot, but is fine with this much water, you can use less if desired)


Place the beans in a big bowl, cover with water, agitate the beans a few times to remove any dirt, drain in a colander and rinse again.
Place black beans, onion, garlic cloves, and bay leaf in a slow cooker. Add water.
Cook on high for about 3-4 hours, testing after 3 hours. To test doneness, spoon out a few beans and blow on them. If the skins peel back, they beans are ready. Taste just to make sure. If all of the water has been absorbed, add more. Beans must stay completely covered to prevent them from burning. If cooking on low for 6-8 hours, test the beans at the 6 hour point.
Add the salt and let cook, or sit with heat off for another 20-30 minutes, to absorb the salt. Remove the bay leaf, garlic cloves, and onion before using, if desired.
Use immediately, or allow to cool before transferring beans and some of the cooking liquid to a zipper-lock freezer bag or airtight container and refrigerate for up to 1 week, or freeze up to 3 months. If freezing, flatten bag in freezer–it makes for easier defrosting. Defrost in warm water.


White beans (Great Northern, Cannelini, navy, black eyed peas)
*add to the slow cooker: chopped vegetables (carrots, fennel, celery), rosemary, sage, thyme, garlic, onion.
*use in salads, soups, purees, braised (side dish)
*add to the slow cooker: a few sprigs fresh cilantro, dried oregano, a diced chile (serrano, jalapeno, etc), ground cumin, onion, garlic, bay leaf.
*use in chili and soups, salads, refried, etc.
*cook the same way for pinto or black beans
*for use in Italian soups–proceed as for the white beans
Of course there are other flavors you can infuse, these are the most basic ways we use them in our house

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Indian Lentils and Spinach

I found this on allrecipes

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 white onion, halved and sliced into 1/2
-inch rings
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup lentils
1/2 cup water
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon salt (decrease salt if you use salty broth)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (quite spicy - maybe decrease a bit)
1 bay leaf
1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped
spinach (I used fresh and stirred it into the hot lentils
1/4 cup water
1.Heat oil in a heavy pan over medium heat. Cook and stir onion in the hot oil until beginning to turn golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add minced garlic to onion; cook and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute more.
2.Mix chicken broth, lentils, 1/2 cup water, crushed garlic, coriander, salt, cumin, chili powder, ginger, cinnamon, turmeric, cinnamon, cloves, cayenne pepper, and bay leaf into onion mixture; bring to a boil. Cover pan, lower heat to medium-low, and simmer until lentils are soft, about 35 minutes.
3.Place spinach in a microwave-safe bowl and add 1/4 cup water; heat in microwave for 5 minutes. Stir spinach and continue cooking in microwave until heated through, about 5 minutes more. Let spinach cool, about 5 minutes; drain water and squeeze excess water from spinach.
4.Mix spinach into lentils; cover pan and simmer until heated through, about 10 minutes.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Sicilian Chocolate Gelato

This is my absolute favorite homemade ice cream recipe

3 cups milk
1/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup good quality cocoa powder (cocoa powder quality is important - I like sharffenberger - but best of all my local Ghana Goldentree cocoa)
1 1/2 Tbs cornstarch

In medium saucepan bring 2 cups milk to a simmer. Meanwhile whisk the remaining cup of milk with the sugar, cocoa and cornstarch.

Scrape the cocoa mixture into the hot milk.

Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and bubbles a little at the edges. Stir and cook for one minute longer.

For extra smoothness, strain though a wire mesh strainer. Cover with plastic wrap and chill overnight.

Freeze according to ice cream maker instructions.

Makes 1 quart.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Homemade syrup

It's hard to find pancake syrup here in Ghana

This recipe actually tastes better than store bought syrups at home (but not better than real maple syrup)

1 cup water
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
maple flavoring (optional - or use any flavoring you like)

combine and boil for a few minutes until just slightly thicker than water.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Healthiest cereal ever!

This recipe is from Reeve Neild - she's one of three totally amazing LDS professional golfers. Here's an article about them,

I don't thing amounts really matter - just make a nice mixture that looks good to you.

Mix it up and store it in ziplock bags.

Reeve's Cereal Mix Recipe 
(Bulk items purchased atWinCo Grocery Store’)

Bran Flakes 
Bran Sticks (All-Bran) &
Bran Buds
Multi-Grain Cheerios 

Cracklin' Oat Bran
Sesame Seeds 

Sunflower Seeds 

Flaxseed (ground) 

Almond (chopped)

10 Grain Cereal (more of a powder)

5 Grain Cereal  (Crunchier/Whole Flakes) 

Coconut (unsweetened) 

Wheat Germ 

Oat Bran

Wheat Bran

Banana Chips (break them) 

Pumpkin Seeds (green)


Regular Old-fashioned Rolled Oats (And ANYTHING else healthy & delicious that you might like to add!)

Monday, January 19, 2015

Lettuce wraps

without the lettuce :)

we are in Ghana

I found this recipe on Pinterest and tried it the other night. It's a delicious way to eat chicken and rice (or quinoa).

I modified by cutting the chicken in strips, using rice instead of quinoa, and ate it salad style, rather than wrapped in lettuce.

Recipe from Natasha's Kitchen

Chicken Quinoa Lettuce Wraps with Peanut Sauce
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
These are a meal in themselves. They are quick to make and easy to assemble. They’re really self serve and definitely encourage fun conversation at the dinner table. I love the addition of quinoa; making it a well-rounded meal and the quinoa keeps you full longer. About the sauce: we've tested other recipes for peanut dipping sauce and nothing compares to this one. This sauce is BOSS. It's creamy, easy, and has just two ingredients. It definitely induces serious cravings! P.S. the kiddos love these best with ranch.
Skill Level: Easy/Medium
Cost To Make: $20-$23
Serving: 6-8
For the Chicken:
  • 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, grilled or sautéed and thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated, or ¼ tsp dried ginger powder
  • ½ Tbsp sesame oil
For the Wraps:
  • 2 heads of Boston, Bib or Butter Lettuce
  • 2½ cups cooked Quinoa (*see notes below on how I made it)
  • 1 medium or 3 small cucumbers, thinly sliced
  • 1 large or 2 medium Carrots, sliced into matchsticks
  • ¼ bunch of fresh Cilantro
For the Easy Peanut Dipping Sauce:
(I put the recipe I used below - in case you can't find bottled dressing)
  • ¾ cup Newman’s Own Low Fat Sesame Ginger dressing (P.S. this dressing contains wheat so if you’re gluten free, try: Braggs ginger sesame)
  • 2 Tbsp creamy peanut butter (microwave 30 sec if peanut butter refrigerated)
  • ⅓ cup chopped peanuts, optional topping
How to Prepare the Teriyaki Chicken:
  1. In a small bowl, stir together all the ingredients of your marinade: 2 Tbsp olive oil, 3 Tbsp soy sauce, 2 pressed garlic cloves, 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated ( or ¼ tsp dried ginger powder) and
  2. /2 Tbsp sesame oil
  3. Place chicken breast in a medium bowl, add marinade and stir to coat the chicken evenly. Refrigerate for 20 minutes (prep your veggies in the mean time).
  4. Once chicken is marinated, heat a large skillet over medium heat, add the chicken along with some of the oil in the marinade and sauté until caramelized and browned on both sides and fully cooked. If chicken breasts are very large, you might cover with the lid when sautéing the second side for the chicken to cook through.
  5. Remove from heat and let chicken breasts rest on a cutting board 5 minutes before cutting into it, then slice into thin strips on the diagonal.
*How I Cooked Quinoa:
  1. Rinse quinoa in a fine colander until water runs clear to get rid of any natural bitterness. Quinoa is cooked similar to rice. The ratio is ¾ cup dry quinoa to 1½ cups filtered water. I cooked mine in the rice maker on the white rice setting without adding any salt or butter and it was done after about 20 minutes. Transfer quinoa to a bowl to cool. You want it to be room temp or cooler before using in lettuce wraps.
How to make the best peanut dipping sauce
  1. Combine ¾ cup sesame ginger dressing with 2 Tbsp creamy peanut butter and whisk together or shake together in a tupperware with a tight fitting lid. Transfer to a small bowl and top with chopped peanuts if using.
How to Serve:
  1. Place all prepared vegetables on a platter: lettuce, sliced cucumbers, sliced carrots and sprigs of cilantro. Add your bowls of chicken, quinoa, and peanut sauce to the serving platter.
  2. You can either pre-assemble the lettuce wraps or let your hungry folks assemble their own (my favorite method!). Start with the lettuce leaf, add a heaping Tbsp of cooked quinoa, a strip or two of chicken breast, sliced cucumber and carrots along with a couple sprigs of cilantro. Drizzle with prepared creamy peanut sauce and be prepared to love this.

Recipe from Allrecipes

Asian Ginger Dressing

recipe image
Rated: rating
Submitted By: DIETER_WEBER
Photo By: LynnInHK
Prep Time: 9 Minutes
Cook Time: 1 Minute
Ready In: 10 Minutes
Servings: 20
"Terrific salad dressing for all salads - especially great for use on cabbage salads. Everyone who has had the dressing wants the recipe."
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger root
3/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup water
1.In a 1 pint glass jar or larger, combine the garlic, ginger, olive oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce, honey, and water. Cover the jar with a tight fitting lid, and shake well. Remove lid, and heat jar in the microwave for 1 minute just to dissolve the honey. Let cool, and shake well before serving. Store covered in the refrigerator.