Recipe: Caramel Apple Cobbler

Baked Caramel Apple Cobbler

Baked Caramel Apple Cobbler

Sometimes I find myself getting antsy because I have a lot of miscellaneous foodstuffs lying around taking up space and, in the case of the fresh items, in danger of spoiling. This is often when a kitchen “creation” emerges in my house. In this case I had several aging apples- one golden and one gala- some of what we call “cajeta” (a thinner type of caramel), various spices, heavy whipping cream, and a tin of ready-to-bake, flaky biscuits. Throw it together and you have a delicious dessert. We thought it tasty enough in our house that we ate it after every dinner until it was gone. Give it a whirl and hope you enjoy! Continue reading


A Delicious Gift: Stew For Two

Today is #GivingTuesday ! There are lots of “gifts” that we can give those around us. I loved this post on “A Stew for You (or Two)” as it’s a unique gift, and one that shows the care and love you’ve put in to it. It could also be perhaps one of the most welcomed gifts of all to those who are shut-in due to illness, frailty, a new baby, etc. Enjoy!

The Domestic Man

Recently, I’ve been thinking about living a simpler life. The idea started when I visited Mickey Trescott’s new home in the Willamette Valley over the summer, but it really solidified when we moved all of our things from Maryland to Florida last month – over 14,000 lbs worth of belongings. As we started unpacking boxes, I couldn’t help but think that I just didn’t need so much stuff. The worst part about it? We’re still unpacking.

So for the holidays this year, we’re trying to not buy any objects for each other. Instead, we’re gifting experiences. So this week’s recipe is going to be a little different from your usual Tuesday post; I’m going to walk you through how to make gifts to hand out to people that aren’t stuff. A couple years back I made a few gallons of my barbecue sauce and gave it away as…

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Test Kitchen: Ham and Cabbage and Noodles

Cabbage & ham noodles w/ red smashed potatoes!

Cabbage & ham noodles w/ red smashed potatoes!

It’s been awhile since I last posted a recipe and this is one that I cooked oh…probably two weeks ago. It was SO good though! So I’ve kept this “finished product” picture on my phone, despite a horrific lack of space, because I knew I needed to post this recipe and share it with all of you.

This dish was very nostalgic for me. I can remember my grandma cooking cabbage when I was younger, and I can still see her in my mind’s eye stirring it over her old stove. -smile-

On the other hand, I wonder now, as I did then, why she was cooking it because very few people in our family like cooked cabbage (certainly not picky-eater me at that age) and it’s not really a part of our cuisine heritage or anything. (Though she grew up in the South and cooked cabbage with bacon is a Southern thing.)

Anyhow, in my old age I’ve started to like things like cabbage and beets and so forth so I had a craving for it and stumbled upon this hearty recipe.

The author, blogger Lazy Budget Chef, suggests this recipe to take care of leftovers and it certainly did make a pot large enough to feed an army. It was so good though that my husband and I gladly noshed on it repeatedly for lunches and dinners.

As you can see from the picture, I paired this with a bag of “steam in the bag” red potatoes which I then smashed in a pan, doused with shredded cheese, and baked for about 10 minutes more. Yum! (Yes, hello carbs!)

Here’s the recipe straight from the source. The only thing I switched up was using black lava sea salt and adding a few dashes of paprika for some added smokey kick! Plan on this for your leftover Turkey Day/holiday ham!

Test Kitchen: Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala

Slow cooker upgrade!

Slow cooker upgrade!

Chicken Tikka Masala

So over the Indigenous People’s Day holiday, I went to the outlet mall to get some exercise, fresh air, and one of my favorite things of all…a good deal! If you recall, I mentioned once before that I have been doing a lot more “nest” shopping. And though I adore my little slow cooker that I purchased many moons ago from Target, the ceramic is now starting to spider and it’s often too small for some of the roasts and other recipes I cook so the hubs and I have food in advance.

I went into Williams-Sonoma to get a new meat thermometer and saw a woman inside with two of these slow cooker boxes inside her cart. (Sometimes good deals require a bit of super-sleuthing!) I poked around until I found them stacked outside the front of the store and snagged the second-to-last one: $89.99 for an All-Clad, 4-quart slow cooker with aluminum insert that normally retails for $199.99! Wooo!!

Anyhow, I busted it out of the box almost immediately so I could try this Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala recipe I found on Pinterest, courtesy of The Lemon Bowl. I didn’t take too many culinary licenses with this because I don’t know anything about Indian cooking so I was concerned about messing it up. Continue reading

Test Kitchen: Lazy Sundays in the Kitchen

It's called Yum!

It’s called Yum!

Honey wheat bread loaf

Honey wheat bread loaf

I’ve really been enjoying this three-day weekend! In fact, I’d be an advocate for work weeks that last only four days as a matter of course. I spent Friday just catching up on sleep and errands. Today I ran out for groceries early before the rush (blissful!), had brunch with a good friend, and then spent the balance of the day cooking.

This is starting to become a regular habit, this penchant for spending Sundays in the kitchen. I find that once Monday rolls around, I feel very little inclination to cook, even should I have the time. This makes for some very poor eating habits during the week, which doesn’t help me with my goal of living a healthier life.

So Sundays have become the day where I spend several hours indulging both my inner aesthetic and my inner chemist cooking meals that will last my husband and I throughout the entire week.

True to my word, I’ve been trying out recipes I’m finding on Pinterest. Today I made a chicken tikka masala in the crockpot (I’ll post the recipe and finished product soon) and the cheesy chicken and broccoli stuffed pasta shells pictured. I also used our breadmaker for the first time, but since that was a ready-made mix, I’m only posting a picture to show off. =o) Continue reading

Test Kitchen: Pot Roast…It’s What’s for Dinner!

Mmm...pot roast!

Mmm…pot roast!

Home made gravy.

Home made gravy.

It’s officially fall in my neck of the woods which has inspired a flurry of comfort-food cooking. I wanted to try something new so I found a recipe on Pinterest for “Crockpot Coca Cola Roast Beef with Gravy“.

Being the hapless cook that I am, I managed not to get all the ingredients, which there are actually very few, into the crockpot this morning as planned. So instead I had to switch to the oven-ready instructions kindly provided by the recipe author, which allowed me to cut the cooking time in half and still get dinner on the table. There were other incidents along the way (I am a very messy cook!) but my husband made sure to clean up my spills so that at the end of the day, both I and the pot roast survived!

Everything turned out absolutely delicious, by the way, and I was exceptionally proud of the home made gravy since I’d never attempted such a thing before. We steamed some broccoli and cauliflower to compliment this dish and will enjoy it as leftovers again later this week. The one thing that I did find exceptional was the price of the 3-pound roast…almost $20! I guess I should have paid more attention to the notices I have been seeing about the rising cost of many food items, including beef. I certainly will now.

Find the recipe here, courtesy of Deep South Dish, with ingredient list below. Hope you enjoy!

Recipe: Coca Cola Roast Beef with Gravy

Prep time: 10 min |Cook time: 7 hours | Yield: About 4 to 6 servings

1 (3-4 pound) beef roast (I used eye of round)
1 envelope of onion soup mix
1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme, crushed
2 cans of Coca Cola Classic
1/4 cup self rising or all purpose flour and water to make a slurry for thickening


Test Kitchen: Chicken Soup on a Rainy, Fall Day


My chicken lentil soup – sorry I’m not a food photographer. (Yet)

My cooking style is a complex mixture of Type “A”/ follow the recipe to the letter with…”Oh Crap! I don’t have/like that ingredient so hopefully this other one will work out okay”. This is much akin to my grocery-shopping style which is a blend of purchases such as the cereal, Spaghettios, and Doritos that I most often eat with things like a bag of lentils, which I think I probably should eat (being that it actually requires cooking). And two months later when my last bag of Doritos is nothing but orange dust on my fingers, I look in the cupboard and find the lentils…and thus a masterpiece is born!

The base of this recipe relied upon one that I found right on the bag (Safeway brand lentils). It was supposed to be a “Lentil Stew with Sausage” by cookbook author Marlene Sorosky Gray. Here’s a link to the latest book I could find by Marlene, circa 1994. However, I’m not a big fan of sausage- and I was missing things like dried sage and fresh kale/spinach- so I departed ways with Ms. Sorosky at that point.

Needless to say, it’s a rainy, fall day in my neck of the woods and this chicken, lentil version seemed like the perfect afternoon meal. Thankfully it actually is edible. (No, I hadn’t tasted it after it was finished. Turns out there were some Doritos left in the house after all!) Posted below is the recipe, with my substitutions noted. It makes a big pot…really hope the hubby likes this, otherwise yours truly will be noshing on it for quiet some time. That’ll learn me to buy lentils on a whim! Salud! Continue reading