Monday, October 22, 2018

Sweet potato Waffles

Molly like Erin loves a big hearty breakfast. Over the years we have found that waffles work well. Make a mix for the week, then in the am heat the waffle iron, pour batter in and wait for a hot crispy waffle.  We have done regular and usually every fall we have a spell of pumpkin waffles but this year we found a sweet potato one that is a winner. The recipe also says that you can make ahead and reheat in the toaster. 

1 cup whole wheat flour 
1 cup all purpose flour 
2 TBSP sugar 
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3 eggs
1 1/2 - 1 1/3 c milk 
1 cup mashed orange sweet potatoes
4 TBSPS butter, melted 

1) In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.

2) In a separate bowl whisk together the eggs, milk, sweet potato and butter. 

3) Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mis until just combined. 

4) To make waffles:  Heat a waffle iron and brush with high-heat oil. Ladle the batter into waffle iron, being careful not to overfill. Cook until golden brown. 

5) To make pancakes- add a little extra mils to thin the batter. Heat a large cast iron pan or griddle over medium - low heat. Add a small amount of high-heat oil just to coat. Spoon batter into the pan. cook until bubbles begin to form in the center of the pancakes. Flip the pancakes and cook until brown.  While trying to find a waffle Maeve might enjoy, I found a peanut butter one that was also very good. 

Ice Cream Social

Somehow this never posted. I wanted so save amounts. While planning an ice cream social graduation open house I found the site that lays out how much you need for an ice cream social for 200 or 250. We were not planning that many but this called for scooping to control portions and we were not. Katie also was able to provide me with the figure of 10 - 15 oz of ice cream per person. So I'm sharing our plan and what we had left over. 
I was able to get Kemp's ice cream in gallon tubs on sale for $4.99 and had the freezer space to store it so I got. 
2 gallons vanilla
2 gallons chocolate 
1 vanilla frozen yogurt
1 cookies and cream
1 chocolate chip
3 mint chocolate chip (1 ahead of time and then night before it was on sale for $3.99 the girls love mint ch chip I got 2 more) 
2 quarts sherbert 
4 quarts non dairy ice cream 2 vanilla 2 chocolate (one of each soy or coconut milk) 

Erin said it was all about the toppings. 
So I started buying in after easter sales and putting away 
2 big bags M& M, 
1 regular bag of peanut M&M
3 bags Hersey Kisses 
2 bags Recess Peanut butter cups
1 bag mini kit kats 
1 bag mini snickers 
1 bag coconut 
1 big container peanuts
2 pints ice cream sprinkles (one rainbow & one Chocolate ) bought from Grand Old Creamy 
2 packages Oreos 
1 bag marshmellows
2 packages mint Oreos 
3 bunches Bananas 
10 cans Whipped Cream 
5 jars of cherries 
4 bottles of chocolate sauce (store bought) 
4 boxes of waffle bowls
3 boxes of waffle cones
2 boxes of sugar cones
1 large box of cake cones
1 box of sample cones
Homemade toppings 
1 quart strawberries topping (Grandma's recipe) 
We served homemade cookies Grandma made Peanut butter, Sophia Haley - snickerdoodle and chocolate. 
Ice tea, lemon aid and pop. I had hoped to have L shaped tables on the porch but it did not work so we has wash tubs of ice set up on the counter and rotated ice creams out (did I mention it was 90 degrees out) . Most toppings were on a round table. I had a big bin with ice for toppings to stay cool - whipping cream, store bought chocolate, strawberries and butterscotch toppings.  And then we had a separate table for all the peanut stuff. 

We had a lot of food left over. The only things to go completely were the chocolate chip ice cream and the 5lbs of gummy butterflies. Would do 1/2 the homemade toppings next time or less store bought. 

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Mom's Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

I have 3 versions of Chocolate Peanut Butter Bar recipes.  One is from here Katie added to a comment under a Choc PB bar Eileen posted.  One is in my hand writing, from Mom's house before I got married (1 1/2 sticks butter, 18 oz PB, 1 pack Graham crackers, 1 LB confectioners sugar)  and then I have a 3rd off of a Nestle's chocolate chip package.  As a non chocolate lover, I don't make them often however, whichever one I've used in the past (2 or 3 times) they came out very crumble.  The bars didn't hold together, I was quite disappointed with the results.  Therese has requested them and I'd love to bring them with us next Saturday for Parent's weekend.  Can someone who makes them regularly confirm the recipe? 

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Smoky Maple-Mustard Salmon Recipe (Low Sodium)

Last night, I made this salmon dish with the mustard maple sauce from eating, Smoky Maple-Mustard Salmon Recipe. It was simple and delicious. Everyone enjoyed it. We are carefully watching sodium in my house, so this coming in at 276 mg of sodium is great!


  • 3 tablespoons whole-grain or Dijon mustard 
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup 
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika or ground chipotle pepper (see Notes) 
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper 
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt (*obviously could be omitted, but because it is so low even with this, I kept it in.)
  • 4 4-ounce skinless center-cut wild-caught salmon fillets (see Notes) 


  1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Line a baking sheet with foil and coat with cooking spray.
  2. Combine mustard, maple syrup, paprika (or chipotle), pepper and salt in a small bowl. Place salmon fillets on the prepared baking sheet. Spread the mustard mixture evenly on the salmon. Roast until just cooked through, 8 to 12 minutes. (*I turned the broiler on for the last minute or two of cooking which gave the sauce a really beautiful look and tasted great!) 

  • Notes: Smoked paprika is made from smoke-dried red peppers and adds earthy, smoky flavor. Look for different types of paprika at some large supermarkets or at or 

  • Chipotle peppers are dried, smoked jalapeño peppers. Ground chipotle chile pepper can be found in the spice section of most supermarkets or online at 

  • Wild-caught salmon from the Pacific (preferably Alaskan) is considered the best choice for the environment because it is more sustainably fished and has a larger, more stable population. Farmed salmon, including Atlantic, should be avoided, as it endangers the wild salmon population. For more information, visit Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch at 


    Per serving: 148 calories; 4 g fat (1 g sat, 2 g mono); 53 mg cholesterol; 4 g carbohydrates; 3 g added sugars; 23 g protein; 0 g fiber; 276 mg sodium; 434 mg potassium.
    Nutrition Bonus: Omega-3s 
    Carbohydrate Servings: 0 
    Exchanges: 3 lean meat

I served it with brown rice and steamed asparagus with balsamic glaze. Both of those dishes had no sodium, so the total count  was the 276. 
Side Note: The brown rice without salt or butter or being cooked in broth (as I often do) was really bland and boring, so we'll play with that a little more. I did find a no salt added broth so perhaps we'll try that next time. If anyone has a great flavor, low-sodium rice recipe, please share. I do like cilantro, lime and garlic mixed into my rice, but that only goes with certain dishes. I guess I'll have to play with it. 

One of the biggest lessons we are learning is to check every label, because not only are we surprised by what ingredients have a lot of sodium, we have also been pleasantly surprised by the ones that are very low or even 0. Those are the things we will focus on having on hand to perk up things that seem a bit more boring. 

Overall, this one is a keeper!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Butternut Squash Lasagna

Dig in to this delicious Butternut Squash Lasagna

I love cooking with the seasons. And fall is all about comfort food for me. I love the colors, taste and feel of the root vegetables that are so prevalent. We received a butternut squash from our CSA last week and I was determined to do something fun with it. 

I have had lasagna noodles in my pantry for ages that I hadn't used, so I decided to do a butternut squash lasagna. I looked up a few different recipes, but none of them seemed just right to me. Also, I had no ricotta in the house and I didn't want to go to the store. So, I chose 3 of my favorite recipes and combined them, and played with them, and voila, created a new favorite Butternut Squash Lasagna recipe. It was a huge hit! 

Side note, as my husband was eating leftovers of the lasagna for lunch, he said to me, "I could eat this everyday. Forever." Pretty high praise!

  • 1 Butternut Squash
  • 1 Box lasagna noodles
  • 1 cup marinara sauce (homemade or jarred)
  • 1/4 c. roasted red pepper, pureed (homemade or jarred)
  • 1 handful of basil leaves, chopped
  • 6 sausage links
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 6 Tbsp Butter
  • 1/4 c Flour
  • 6 cups milk
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste


Step 1: Make Butternut Squash Puree

Cut Butternut Squash in half.
Brush with olive oil.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Bake face down at 400 degrees for 1 hour. 
When done, let cool enough to be able to handle.
Scoop insides out, place in bowl and mash.
Set aside.

Step 2: Cook Lasagna Noodles

Boil one box of lasagna noodles according to directions.
I really find spreading out the cooked noodles on a baking sheet or parchment paper drizzled with olive oil makes a huge difference in the finished product.

Step 3: Make Roasted Red Pepper Marinara Sauce

Blend marinara sauce with roasted red peppers.
Mix in chopped basil.
Set aside.

Step 4: Make Filling

In a hot pan over medium-high heat, sautee garlic and onion in olive oil. 
Remove sausage from casings and add to pan. 
Once cooked, remove to a bowl and mix with butternut squash. 
Set aside.

Step 5: Make Bechamel Sauce

Melt flour in a sauce pan over medium heat. 
Whisk flour into melted butter. Continue cooking over low heat, while whisking. You do not want to let the flour brown.
Slowly whisk in milk, raise heat to medium. 
Continue to cook over medium heat, whisking continuously until thickened (about 10 minutes). Add salt and pepper to taste, reduce heat to low and continue cooking another 5-10 minutes. When complete, set aside.

Ready to Assemble (from left): Butternut Squash Sausage filling, cheeses, red sauce, bechamel, lasagna noodles.

Step 6: Put the Lasagna Together

In a 9x13 dish, place a thin layer of Bechamel Sauce.
Add about 5 lasagna noodles on top of sauce, slightly overlapping.
Top with 1/2 of the Butternut Squash Sausage filling.
Top with 1/4 c each cheese
Top with a thin layer of Bechamel Sauce
Add another layer of noodles, Butternut Squash Sausage filling, cheese, Bechamel Sauce.
Top with an additional layer of noodles, Bechamel Sauce, Roasted Red Pepper Marinara Sauce and remaining cheese. 

In the midst of layering: Bechamel, noodles, Butternut Squash Sausage filling

Cover with foil. Bake at 375 for 30-35 minutes. Uncover for the last 5-10 minutes. Let sit for about 10 minutes before cutting. Serve hot.

It was a multi-stop process, as lasagna tends to be, but so worth it! You can easily prep this in stages and can make up to a day ahead to have it ready to pop in the oven for when you need a delicious, hearty meal. You can also bake it ahead and store in smaller serving containers to be available for dinners on the go. 

Monday, October 5, 2015

Fall Dinners from the Slow Cooker

Every fall with back to school and the return of fall sports schedules I struggle with dinners. I do love to use my crockpot, both for the sake of convenience, and for the comfort food meals that we all love as the weather begins to change. 

I just saw this post for 15 Fall Dinners from the Slow Cooker from and thought I'd share. 

It looked like some new ideas, as well as some new twists on old favorites. 

The recipes included in the post are:
1. Curried Vegetable and Chickpea Stew
2. Slow-Cooker Vegan Pumpkin Curry
3. Slow-Cookier Chicken Burrito Bowls
4. Slow-Cooked Bolognese Sauce
5. Slow-Cooked Brisket & Onions
6. Slow-Cooker White Chicken Chili
7. Slow-Cooker Sausage & Spinach Lasagna
*the only time I tried lasagna in the slow cooker, I did not love it. Not sure I'll try it again.
8. Slow-Cooker Chicken in Milk
*Hmmm.... We'll have to look at this one a bit. Sounds a little bizarre to me.
9. Slow-Cooker Black Bean Enchiladas
10. Slow-Cooker Korean Short Ribs
11. Slow-Cooker Tuna Noodle Casserole
*I enjoy a tuna sandwich, but have never made a tuna casserole. Not sure I'm up for this one either. Plus, the picture has peas. (YUCK!) I'll probably pass on this one.
12. Slow-Cooker Pork Carnitas
*This picture looks so good to me! And I love, love, love pork carnitas!
13. Slow-Cooker Celery Soup with Bacon
14. Slow-Cooker Chicken Enchilada Soup
15. Slow-Cooker Coconut & Green Curry Pork

I'll be sure to let you know what I try and what we think. Please do the same if you try any!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Mom's Chocolate Decadence Party

My Daughter's School does a silent auction each year where the big deal is what we call Great Gatherings. So I hosted a Mom's Chocolate Decadence Party, Thanks Bridget for the name. It was a 4 course chocolate meal. It was a lot of fun to search for recipes, try them out and come up with the finial menu. Of course I was luckily enough to have Katie and Regina to consult. Katie also created the Beef Tenderloin En Croute with chocolate- port sauce, she used her beef en croute recipe and the chocolate - port sauce from, the cheese and chocolate plate ideas came from canada but I used local cheeses. I had originally planned dipped bacon, but found snap guide with the chocolate bacon roses, they looked great but were hard to get the middle of the bacon cooked all the way.  The only recipe I really created was the Balsamic Chocolate Brussels Sprouts.A week before the party Molly asked for Aunt Katie's Balsamic Brussels Sprouts, while make them I thought of the party and decided to melt white chocolate with the butter and coat them.


Salad/pasta course

Main dish

Beef Tenderloin En Croute with chocolate- port sauce (see above) 
Balsamic Chocolate Brussel Sprouts (see above) 




Chocolate Fudge
Chocolate for dipping served w/fruit