3 ingredient cobbler! Say what? Nothing is that easy…, well it is, and it is really awesome. Delicious doesn’t always have to be complicated. It is super easy to make; you don’t even have to mix it. It simply consists of frozen berries (blueberry, blackberry, or raspberry), a white cake mix, and soda. I did add a little extra water… so maybe I should say 4 ingredients.
I was spending the day with one of my favorite people (my dad), and I wanted to make something with him from some spoils of his garden. I took out 3 cups of frozen raspberries he had picked for me back in the summer and made a couple super easy cobblers. One we took one to a friend on her baby’s predicted due date, and she tells me that between her and her husband, they knocked it out in 24 hours. Success! A few days later, the baby arrived healthy and beautiful! I am not saying the cobbler had anything to do with it, but I may just have to eat cobbler all the time if I am ever expecting. Heck, I think I would like to eat this cobbler everyday just because. If only it had the same nutritional profile as a carrot.
It is almost Christmas, and that means it is time for the annual sugar cookie baking event. It is a wonderful festive tradition for me to bake sugar cookies around this time of year, and I decided to put a little twist on the icing. Instead of adding food coloring, I added a little extra flavor and color with powdered green tea, also known as Matcha. Green tea icing!
It was a success! My husband had one bite, silently chewed with his eyes closed for a few long seconds (in which I was thinking uh-oh, is it not good), and then he said, “this is the best sugar cookie I have ever had in my life.” I must add though, that he is an avid green tea drinker and lover, and he had not eaten anything for hours and was super hungry when he tasted the cookie. I also shared these cookies with my grandparents, aunt, dog sitter, and even wrapped some up in saran wrap and tied it with ribbon to put in friends’ Christmas gifts. Everyone loves them, but then again, who doesn’t love a good cookie.
It tastes like a normal sugar cookie with a hint of earthiness from the icing. I made these sugar cookies with smart balance instead of butter, which I was worried about because it is so much softer. The dough was super sticky, but I refrigerated it for a couple hours then rolled out big handfuls at a time on a mound of flour.
Cookie decor station
And here is a close up of the most adorable thing I have ever tripped over in the kitchen…
Sugar cookies made with smart balance butter and green tea icing. Makes 60 cookies.
For the cookies:
1 cup Smart Balance Butter
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
3 cups all purpose flour
1 cup all purpose flour (for rolling out dough)
1½ tbsp vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
For the icing:
2 cups powdered sugar
1tsp matcha (green tea powder)
1 tsp meringue powder
3 tbsp water
Beat smart balance butter, regular sugar, vanilla and egg until consistent
In separate bowl, combine 3 cups all purpose flour, baking powder and salt, mix then slowly beat into wet ingredients.
Refrigerate dough 2 hours.
With extra cup flour, pour out about ⅛ cup on surface to roll out dough, adding more with each new batch and as needed.
Take out ⅛ dough, pat down on small flour mound on rolling surface, flip it over pat down in flour, and then roll out to about 1 cm thickness. Cut dough with cookie cutter(s), transfer to un-greased baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees F, for 12 minutes.
Make icing by combining powdered sugar and meringue powder, then in separate bowl mix matcha with water, then stir both mixtures together thoroughly.
Once cookies have cooled, ice cookies with knife and top with sprinkles if you wish.
Spring is here! The birds are tweeting, the sun is shining, and pollen is EVERYWHERE. Our cars are covered and I can literally see clouds of pollen floating from the trees with every gust of wind. I didn’t want to inhale all that yellow stuff so I decided to stay indoors and celebrate the arrival of spring with a smoothie
Actually this smoothie, has the consistency of soft serve ice cream, which is just how I like it. It feels like I am indulging in on icecream when in reality I am eating veggies and high protein greek yogurt. One of my favorite flavor combinations is chocolate and raspberries so I decided a nutella and raspberry smoothie would be perfect. I added a banana too, to get a creamy consistency, but the banana flavor is overtaken by the raspberry and nutella. I couldn’t help but put a little whip topping and chocolate syrup on top but that part is totally optional.
I love to make smoothies because they are so easy to make, easy to clean up, and are delicious. I have a dishwasher safe blender so I just throw my ingredients in the blender, blend, eat, and then the dishwasher cleans up for me. I love it.
Today is cause for celebration. Not only do I get to go see some family from Georgia this weekend, but I also didn’t have to work today! There were too many nurses on the schedule and I happily volunteered to go home. ..and make pie for everyone
Don’t get me wrong, I like my job. However, I also love family. And pie.
Chocolate and mint is one of the greatest flavor combinations of all time. Chocolate and raspberry is the other greatest dessert flavor combination, but since it is St. Patrick’s Day weekend we will stick to minty green for now. There are dozens of variations of grasshopper pies out there, some get pretty complicated and complicated doesn’t necessarily mean more delicious. This version is easy and there is no use of the stove top or baking needed! Just some stirring, chopping up cookies, and pouring. This pie has the creaminess of a minty cool whip layered on chocolate pudding and a crunch from a cookie crumb crust and chopped up mint chocolate cookies. I am not sure why it is called grasshopper pie; my best guess is the green color. I try to sneak veggies in recipes sometimes but I promise I did not sneak any grasshoppers in this pie.
The first time I made this was for my in-laws and they LOVE IT! I also love it, obviously, but surprisingly my hubby does too. He tends to be a chocolate purist and doesn’t like his chocolate tainted with other flavors. I mean the man passes up Reese’s for crying out loud! Nevertheless, this pie is just too good to pass up, even for him. Mm-mm, success.
I usually try to take pictures of food before I eat it, but this pie had already chilled in the freezer for a couple hours and the creamy minty cool whip, chocolate pudding, and crunchy cookie crumbs just called out to me. Sooo, I ate a bite or two between pictures.
All of a sudden my slice was gone, but it was all for the sake of the delicious looking pictures above, so of course I had to help myself to a second slice for more delicious looking pictures. And then eat that slice too
When you think of Valentine’s Day, what is the first thing that pops into your head?
Is it cupid flying around shooting little love arrows? The sweetheart candies? A couple holding hands? Red roses?
One of the first thing that pops in my head is chocolate! Sorry Scott, I love you everyday anyway so you are not necessarily the first thing that pops in my head 😉
So when Valentine’s Day rolls around every year, the craving for rich decadent gooey chocolate hits hard.
When only the best of the best will do, I make these brownies. They are intensely chocolate with semi sweet mini chocolate chips in every bite, a nice crumbly crust on the top (thanks to a little baking powder), and drum roll please……… rich chocolate fudgy goodness in the middle (thanks to not letting them cook quite all the way). Toothpick should come out almost clean when judging for done-ness.
Dark Chocolate brownies with a nice crust, fudge inside, and mini chocolate chips in every bite.
1 cup cocoa powder
2½ cup white sugar
1½ cup all purpose flour
1 tsp sea salt
¾ cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
½ tsp baking powder
1 cup butter
1 tbls vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 F
Mix dry ingredients together: cocoa powder, sugar, flour, baking powder, mini chocolate chips, and salt
Melt butter and mix with other wet ingredients: eggs and vanilla
Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir well
Line muffin tin with cupcake liners and pour in batter almost to the top of each. About 1-2 cm away.
Bake at 350 for 20-24 minutes.
Yields 14-16 brownies, using regular size muffin tin.
Brownies are done when toothpick comes out mostly clean or according to your preference for how fudgey or done like your brownies. For me, it took 22 minutes in a silicone muffin tin with cupcake liners. Alternatively, bake for 30-35 minutes in buttered casserole dish.
I love my night sift coworkers, not just as team members, but as unique, fun people that I enjoy being around. At work we are all about patients first, so we decided we needed some time together when we are not scheduled for work. That means Girls Night!!! (We have no males on our night shift, so you see I am not excluding any guys). I am so excited because that means a few awesome things that are necessary in life; lots of laughs and cutting up, wine, and SNACKS. I just love snacks and being able to taste and discover new flavor combinations. I’m also a serious sucker for a buffet; putting tiny bits of everything on my plate to taste. Love IT! But, what snack to bring?! There are so many good ones in this world. After some thought and mental drooling over all those decadent Valentine’s Day desserts posts I’ve been seeing lately, I decided if I am going to be grazing, I may as well bring something on the healthier side. Fruit salad!
I am not sure why it is called a salad; it is all fruit with none of the leafy green stuff I mentally associate with salad. Nevertheless, this fruit salad is where it is at. It requires no cooking and only has 7 ingredients, a few of which are key to this recipe: cinnamon and a can of dark sweet pitted cherries in heavy syrup. I know, I know, heavy syrup?! That is so much sugar! But really, it is the only necessary non-fruit sweetener in this recipe, and it becomes diluted by all the other ingredients. Adding a dab of cool whip on top is really good too, though it knocks the healthy factor down a bit more. The syrup coats all the other fruits giving it a wonderful flavor and keeps the bananas and apples fresh for a good 3-4 days in the fridge. In case you are wondering, these dark sweet pitted cherries taste nothing like those candied maraschino cherries, which I don’t care for much. They taste more like those big dark cherries in the produce section. You cannot leave this ingredient out, and if you are having a hard time finding them in the grocery store, they are in the baking aisle by the pie fillings.
I learned the dark sweet pitted cherries bit from the fruit salad my momma makes. She also uses peach pie filling in her fruit salad, but that is more than a bit too much sugar for me.
This apple pie is about as epic as apple pie can be. I was known for it in some circles around campus back in college; in fact I even snagged a husband with it. I made it for Scott way back when we were ‘simply friends’. He told me later he was thinking, “I could make that apple pie with you forever.” Not too long after that, we started dating and I ended up making it almost once a month for him and his coworkers at his campus job; grounds crew. After a hot day of hard work, a slice of apple pie with a scoop of ice cream just hits the spot. Everyone used to call it Christy Kyle’s apple piles, but my last name has changed. How about Christy Jean’s Apple Pie?!
It is a fairly simple recipe as far as apple pies go, after all, how much cooking supplies does one own in college? I didn’t have a bunch of fancy ingredients either so I kept it simple, and simple goodness was created.
Just get a pack of deep dish pie shells (1 pack comes with 2, and from having tried them all, Pillsbury is worth the couple extra cents).
Mix up some flour, sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla. Peel and cut up 3-4 golden delicious apples (the greener the better, & don’t try substituting granny smith, golden delicious is the way to go for this pie), and mix apples with sugar mix. Sandwich the goodness between 2 pie shells and pinch edges together.
Cut a couple slits in the top pie shell and bake with aluminum foil covering the edges.
Spread a mixture of butter and brown sugar over the top after 40-45 minutes then bake for 10 more minutes. BAM, you have yourself a dangerously delicious pie!
There is a little liquid in the bottom you will see after you cut into it, though it turns into a syrup texture after it cools to room temp. You can add a couple more tablespoons of flour or cornstarch to the recipe to reduce the liquid amount, but I don’t because I absolutely love it! I literally call it ooey-gooey-goodness. It is so good drizzled over a scoop of ice cream or simply eaten with the pie.
Mix sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Mix in vanilla, mashing into mixture as much as possible
Peel and cut up apples then mix in with sugar mixture.
Pour mixture into one of the pie shells.
Take other pie shell out of aluminum. This is easier if it has been out of the freezer 5-15 minutes. Too hard or frozen and it cracks, too thawed and it sticks. Put this shell on top of the other pie shell and cut 4-5 slits in the top to let steam rise out in the baking process.
Cover edges of pie with three, 3 to 4 inch strips of aluminum foil, folding over edges. Do not cover center of pie because steam needs to escape.
Bake for 45 minutes.
Mix butter and brown sugar together. After taking pie out of oven at 45 minutes, take aluminum foil off and spread butter/sugar mix over pie (I use my fingers or a spoon).
Bake for 10 more minutes, and done.
Use 3 apples for a lower apple to crust ratio.
This apple pie sure doesn’t last long. The hubby was threatening to commandeer it before I was finished taking pictures.
Green Tea Shortbread Cookies with Maple Vanilla Glaze
Today, the South froze, even all the way out here on the South Carolina coast…which never happens. I mean, a couple days ago, I was wearing shorts when taking my pup for a walk outside! Snow is a reason to celebrate and cancel everything since everyone knows there is chaos on the roads when southerners are forced to drive in snow. Unfortunately for many of my friends, snow days don’t apply to nurses, but as for me, I was not scheduled to work the following night and was able to celebrate the slushy ‘Snow day’ with trying out a new recipe and snuggles with the family.
Snuggling was necessary since 1–It was really cold and yucky outside and 2– I had worked the night before, 7pm-7am. Whew.
Once I had a few hours of sleep under my belt, I went to work on the recipe I’d been scheming up for the past week. You see, Scott and I are obsessed with tea. Several types of green tea, black tea, white tea, oolong, pu erh tea, blooming tea. The list goes on. Everyday we drink tea…..so why not bring some of those delicious flavors to food?! I once ate a green tea macaroon, and it was pretty good, so I thought I would bring the green tea flavor to another cookie. This tea experiment turned out ridiculously yummy so you can bet many more tea recipes are in store for this blog. This time, I specifically choose a short bread cookie so the green tea flavor could shine without being overpowered by sugar. Then, with a little maple syrup glaze and green tea powder on top, a really complex yet delicately flavored cookie was created. Oh yum. I think I ate a dozen. Maybe more.
If you love tea, or even if you kinda like tea, these cookies are for you.
Looking at a recipe I made a decade ago combined with quick google search of shortbread recipes, made me immediately think, ‘WOAH, that is way too much butter,’ so this recipe cut back on the butter and the sugar, and I made up for the losses with a little almond milk and a little vanilla to make the dough workable. So a little healthier, right?
This dough turned out a lightly colored green, but the green tea flavor is unmistakeable. To flavor the dough I used a green tea called Matcha, a powdered green tea, and simply mixed it in. The dough turned out to be very easy to work with, no flour mess needed to roll it out, and no need to grease the cookie sheet before baking.
A green tea flavored shortbread cookie with a maple vanilla glaze. Makes 6 dozen 1x1 inch square cookies.
For the Dough:
3 cups all purpose flour
4 tsp Matcha (powdered green tea)
¾ cup sugar
4 tbls milk (I used original almond milk)
¾ cup butter (I used smart balance butter)
1 tsp vanilla
⅛ tsp salt
For the Glaze:
2 tbls maple syrup
½ cup powdered sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Cream butter with sugar.
Mix in milk, vanilla, salt, and Matcha
Add flour and knead until consistent.
Roll out dough on cutting board until about 1 cm thick and cut into 1x1 inch squares
Transfer squares to ungreased cookie sheet. The cookies don't spread out much so 1cm minimum between each cookie,
Bake each batch for 15 minutes
While cookies cool, mix maple syrup, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract for the glaze.
Spread a little glaze on the center of each cookie and let it set a couple minutes before stacking.
Since smart balance is a little less solid than regular butter, you may have to add a tadd more milk to make the dough less stiff if you use regular butter.
For an extra kick of green tea flavor, try sprinkling a tiny bit of matcha powder on the glaze before sets. Try this on one cookie and taste it before doing this on them all. The powder in raw form is an intense flavor.
I seriously didn’t think I liked pound cake until my mother in-law made Grammie’s pound cake recipe for my husband’s (then boyfriend’s) birthday. Chocolate has always been in first place for me, but one piece of this cake changed everything. It is so moist and rich and really I could go on and on. This is also my husband’s favorite dessert of ALL TIME. Of course I love to make it for him (and myself), but it is not the healthiest, so I only make it when we have the opportunity to share. It is so much fun to see the delighted smiles of others after just one bite, and inevitably someone always seems to want the recipe. Therefore; I bestow upon you the recipe to the most delicious dessert on the planet.
1 ½ cup butter (I use earth balance, it has less saturated fat than butter)
8 oz cream cheese
3 cups sugar
1 ½ tsp. vanilla
3 cup all purpose flour
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 cup powdered Sugar
1 container of cream cheese icing
1. Beat butter and cream cheese 3 minutes in a stand mixer (or use hand mixer)
2. Gradually add sugar, beat 5 minutes (no less!)
3. Add eggs one at a time, add vanilla, and slowly add flour and salt, beating on low until just blended. (The batter tastes AMAZING)
4. Grease pan, coat greased-pan with powdered sugar. Pour sugar on bottom and shake pan.
5. Pour mixture in bunt pan and put in COLD oven on upper rack. Put another pan of water on lower rack (keeps cake really moist). Turn oven on to 325 and bake for about 80 (plus 10 minutes depending on how fast your oven heats up). Cake is finished when light brown top.
6. Dump cake out of bunt pan onto plate within 5 minutes to prevent sides from sticking, then let cool completely on uncovered plate, about 2 hours.
7. Microwave cream cheese icing 15+ seconds, mix icing with knife until smooth and slightly runny, then pour over top of cake letting it run down the sides.
1 ½ cup butter (I use earth balance, it has less saturated fat than butter)
8 oz cream cheese
3 cups sugar
1 ½ tsp. vanilla
3 cup all purpose flour
⅛ tsp. salt
⅛ cup powdered Sugar
1 container of cream cheese icing
Beat butter and cream cheese 3 minutes in a stand mixer (or use hand mixer)
Gradually add sugar, beat 5 minutes (no less!)
Add eggs one at a time, add vanilla, and slowly add flour and salt, beating on low until just blended. (The batter tastes AMAZING)
Grease pan, coat greased-pan with powdered sugar. Pour sugar on bottom and shake pan.
Pour mixture in bunt pan and put in COLD oven on upper rack. Put another pan of water on lower rack (keeps cake really moist). Turn oven on to 325 and bake for about 70 minutes (plus or minus 10 minutes depending on how fast your oven heats up). Cake is finished when light brown on top.
Dump cake out of bunt pan onto plate within 5 minutes to prevent sides from sticking, then let cool completely on uncovered plate, about 2 hours.
Microwave cream cheese icing 15+ seconds, mix icing with knife until smooth and slightly runny, then pour over top of cake letting it run down the sides.