Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Easy Maple Pumpkin Pie

The day before Thanksgiving and I would not want to be doing ANYTHING but baking on this rainy and dreary day. This is my recipe, originally found in Real Simple Magazine, but with a few alterations. This pie will be taken to Mark's family Thanksgiving :)

1 Pre-made crust
2 large eggs
1 15 oz. can pumpkin puree
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup maple syrup
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt

Mix all ingredients
Set rack at lowest point
Heat oven to 350
Bake for 60 minutes

I hope everyone has a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving! There are so many things to be thankful for.

Friday, November 19, 2010

A Holiday Breakfast

As the holidays are approaching I thought I would provide my recipe for a great quiche! Hope you enjoy it :)

This is for the crust:
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup olive oil or 1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup ice water (make sure it's really cold)

1. Mix flour and salt with fork.
2. Beat oil and water with whisk or fork to thicken.
3. Pour oil mixture into flour and mix with fork.
4. Press into 9" pie crust.

Quiche Mixture:
2 cups milk
4 eggs
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese (i used the stuff in the green can)
1 cup spinach (i used baby spinach and tore into pieces)
1 cup ham/turkey/pruchiotto torn into pieces. (Whatever is easiest)
4 ounces shredded Cheddar cheese
4 ounces mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
In a large bowl, beat together milk, eggs, butter and parmesan cheese. 
Stir in spinach, meat of choice, cheddar & mozzarella cheese. 
Pour into prepared quiche dish.
Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes, until eggs are set and top is golden brown..

Friday, November 12, 2010

More simplicity for your busy lifestyle

If you are anything like me, I enjoy a delicious homemade dinner that takes a small amount of effort and time to make. I don't like eating at restaurants, unless it's Bonefish, and try to cook at home as much as I can. Here are a few simple and delicious recipes that I made this week.

Flank Steak Fajitas

-Good Housekeeping


  • 2 clove(s) garlic, chopped
  • 1 pound(s) beef flank steak
  • 1 bunch(es) (10 ounces) radishes, trimmed and cut into quarters
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 limes
  • 1/2 cup(s) reduced-fat sour cream
  • 8  (6-inch) fajita-size flour tortillas
  • 2 teaspoon(s) vegetable oil
  • 3  poblano peppers, stems and seeds removed, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium (6 to 8 ounces) onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup(s) water
  1. Rub garlic all over steak, and let stand at room temperature. In small colander or sieve, toss radishes with 1/8 teaspoon salt. Place colander over bowl, cover, and refrigerate. Into small bowl, grate peel from 1 lime and cut lime into quarters; set aside. Stir sour cream into lime peel. Cover bowl and refrigerate.
  2. Preheat toaster oven to 300°F. Wrap tortillas in foil, and heat in toaster oven 15 minutes or until warm and pliable.
  3. Heat 12-inch cast iron or other heavy skillet on medium-high until hot. Brush garlic off steak and discard. Squeeze juice from lime quarters all over steak, then sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper to season both sides. Add 1 teaspoon oil to skillet, then add steak. Cook 10 minutes for medium-rare, or until desired doneness, turning over once. Transfer steak to cutting board; reduce heat to medium.
  4. Add remaining 1 teaspoon oil to skillet, and add peppers and onion. Cook 2 to 3 minutes or until onion browns, stirring occasionally. Add 1/4 cup water and cook 5 minutes longer or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally.
  5. Cut steak across the grain into thin slices. Cut remaining lime into wedges. Divide steak and vegetables among tortillas; top with lime sour cream. Serve with radish salad and lime wedges.
Mediterranean Angel hair
-Good Housekeeping

  • 1/2 box(es) uncooked Dreamfields Angel Hair
  • 1 tablespoon(s) olive oil
  • 5 clove(s) garlic, chopped
  • 2  anchovy filets (optional), mashed
  • 1 can(s) (14-ounce) artichoke hearts, drained, halved, patted dry
  • 2 cup(s) bell pepper strips (1/4-inch wide, assorted colors)
  • 2 tablespoon(s) capers (optional), rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup(s) pitted Kalamata olives, sliced lengthwise into quarters
  • 1/2 cup(s) reduced-sodium, fat free chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon(s) chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon(s) chopped fresh oregano leaves
  • Feta cheese (plain or Mediterranean flavor), crumbled
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain; rinse in cold water or in ice water until completely cooled and drain well.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add garlic; stir to coat with oil. Cook about 1 minute to soften, stirring constantly. Stir in anchovies, if desired. Add artichokes; cook 2 to 3 minutes until heated through, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add bell peppers and capers, if desired. Cook and stir about 2 minutes until peppers are just crisp-tender. Stir in olives.
  4. Add broth and pasta to skillet. Toss and heat through until liquid is absorbed. Stir in thyme and oregano. Sprinkle with feta cheese, as desired.
Baked Slow Cooker Chicken


  • 1 whole chicken (2-3 pound)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
1 cup pearl onions
1 cup baby carrots
4-5 red skin potatoes
1 cup chopped celery


  1. Wad three pieces of aluminum foil into 3 to 4 inch balls, and place them in the bottom of the slow cooker.
  2. Rinse the chicken, inside and out, under cold running water. Pat dry with paper towels. Season the chicken with the salt, pepper and paprika, and place in the slow cooker on top of the crumbled aluminum foil.
  3. Set the slow cooker to High for 1 hour, then turn down to Low for about 8 to 10 hours, or until the chicken is no longer pink and the juices run clear.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Hello Everyone. As many of you know my life is like a whirlwind right now so I am doing my best to keep you updated with recipes, tips, ideas and nutrition information. is running an excellent offer on Kodiak Cakes. I ran out of mine a little over a week ago, after eating them every single Saturday morning for months, I can't wait to get my shipment in! They are THE BEST pancakes and waffles you will ever eat and they're so healthy! Whole grains baby :)

You can order a 6-pack of Flapjack and Waffle mix for $26.00!! FREE SHIPPING TOO!!
These usually cost $26.00 + shipping for 2 boxes. Can you tell I'm excited?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Bonefish Salmon Asparagus Salad

My all time favorite meal is Bonefish Grill Salmon Asparagus Salad. Since I can't afford to dine at Bonefish when I am craving a salad I decided to make my own! It turned out great, I was ecstatic!! It was fairly simple too.

Grill Salmon (seasoned in basil and Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
Steam Asparagus
Mix spring baby greens in Citrus Vinaigrette (orange, lemon, olive oil)
Top with goat cheese and pine nuts

I also love Bonefish Pomegranate Martini! So I found the recipe for that too and whipped on up! This turned out REALLY REALLY GOOD!
2 oz. vodka
2 oz. POM Pomegranate Kiwi
1 oz. Simple Syrup

For dessert and weekday snacks I made Pumpkin  Chocolate Chip Granola Bars, smell and taste heavenly. I found the recipe here:

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Granola Bars
3 1/4 cups rolled oats
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
¾ cup brown sugar
½ cup pumpkin puree
¼ cup applesauce
¼ cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an 8 by 8 baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, whisk oats, spices, and salt together. Set aside.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk brown sugar, pumpkin, applesauce, honey, and vanilla extract until smooth. Pour over oats and stir well, until all of the oats are moist. Stir in chocolate chips.
4. Evenly press oat mixture into prepared pan. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown. The pumpkin keeps the bars moist, so make sure they are golden and set-you don’t want them to be under baked. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes.
5. Using a sharp knife, cut into bars. Remove from pan and let cool completely.
Makes 10-12 granola bars

Molasses Cookies
Original Martha Stewart Recipe made healthy

  • 1 1/2 cups (spooned and leveled) whole wheat pastry flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar

  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

  • 1 large egg

  • 1/4 cup light unsulfured molasses

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt; set aside.

  • In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat sugar and butter until combined. Beat in egg, then molasses, until smooth. On low speed, gradually add flour mixture until a dough forms.

  • Drop rounded measuring teaspoonfuls of dough onto two ungreased (or parchment-lined) baking sheets, about 1 1/2 inches apart. Sprinkle dough with sugar.

  • Bake until centers are dry to the touch, 12 to 15 minutes; rotate pans from top to bottom and front to back halfway through. Cool 1 minute on baking sheets; then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

  • Monday, October 18, 2010

    RT Internship Day!

    This weekend was everything I anticipated, relaxing! I was able to spend time with Mark, family, and friends after a very hectic week. I also made a wonderful breakfast Saturday morning. Here is the weekend recap:

    These are Banana Ricotta Pecan Pancakes (Yes, they are whole grain)
    I used Kodiak Cake Flapjack Mix as my batter. I smashed 1 whole banana and added 1/4 cup part skim ricotta cheese to the batter, let sit 5 minutes. Topped the flapjacks with 1 tbsp Chia Seeds. When they finished I topped the flapjacks with almond butter and a few more crushed pecans.

    What are Chia Seeds? Well they are referred to as "The Ancient Food of the Future". Here's a great link to find out just what is so great about Chia Seeds and why I use them in EVERY SINGLE breakfast.

    Interesting Facts: 
    --More than 50% of all deaths are caused from coronary occlusion, blockage of the blood flow to the heart and/or the brain. These are all preventable deaths according to the Journal of American Medical Association.
    --An excellent source of protein
    --High oil content and the richest vegetables source for the essential omega-3 fatty acid. 
    --Rich source of calcium
    --Reduce your blood pressure
    --Help weight loss. Chia seeds are popular for weight loss. They reduce food cravings by preventing some of the food that you eat from getting absorbed into your system. This blockage of calorie absorption makes them a great diet helper.

    For centuries this tiny little seed was used as a staple food by the Indians of the south west and Mexico. Known as the running food, its use as a high energy endurance food has been recorded as far back as the ancient Aztecs.

    On Saturday I attended my first College Football Game and first IU Football Game. We had a great time! We ventured out and found a really neat restaurant with an excellent view overlooking Lake Monroe!
    A spinach, turkey, feta, and artichoke wrap with sweet potato fries!
    Mark is an awesome photographer!
    My cousin Sydney home from college! We had a get together at Bonefish :)

    Today started at 6 a.m. because it was Internship Day at Methodist/Clarian Respiratory Care. Ohhh boy was it fun! I had a blast and learned so much, I am so thankful for the opportunity to be picked to represent IUPUI.

    Molasses cookies are on their way to my oven... and a really great Eggplant recipe straight  <-- I wish--from one of the best chefs in Italy! (Tyler's Ultimate featured today on Cooking Channel).

    Friday, October 15, 2010

    Coming up for air..

    It has been entirely too long since I have updated my blog. This saddens me because I find pure enjoyment and relaxation in blogging about my recipes and life. I have been very busy this last week and need time to come up for air! This weekends agenda is non existent, I am not planning ANYTHING. I am going to spend time cleaning, doing laundry, and cooking :) I enjoy cleaning, or should I say I enjoy a clean house. I am going to take some "me" time to relax, enjoy the beautiful weather, and have QT with Mark. I will have plenty of updates from the weekend! I have a rather large eggplant sitting in my refrigerator waiting to be eaten, any suggestions? I am going to make this guy tonight but want to find the perfect recipe! Confession, I'm not a huge eggplant lover because of the texture but I always find myself purchasing one at the grocery, along with 100 other things I don't need :)

    I am setting new goals for myself. I am going to start running for "fun" and not improvement. I find myself overwhelmed when trying to meet pace and distance goals. I will take the next few weeks to enjoy my run for what it is.

    I also started making "money envelopes". Many of you have probably heard of this strategy from the famous Dave Ramsey. I have complete confidence in his strategies and would like to get back on the wagon. I have fallen off and find myself spending entirely too much money on FOOD! I will now make myself an allowance at the beginning of the month and only put an alloted amount of cash in.

    After meetings and training I finally got to meet my "little buddy" Ariana. I am taking part in College Mentors for Kids! It's such a positive and fun experience and I can't wait to mentor Ariana and create a friendship. We made friendship bracelets ;) She insists on me calling her "Ari" and her calling me "Manda".

    Breakfast tomorrow will include a delectable recipe from Hungry Meets Healthy. More on this later...

    Keep it Happy, Keep it Healthy, Keep it Sweet!

    Wednesday, October 6, 2010

    Lemon Dill Salmon & Sweet Potato Crisps

    Getting motivated to run today was difficult. I pushed through it and finished 2.5 miles in 20 minutes, a slow run but at least I kicked myself into gear. It's difficult for those who work all day/have school all day and get home around 6:00 to stay motivated. If you have a family, you have dinner to cook and a family to spend time with. Being the college student/part time Insurance Customer Service Rep it's difficult to make time for homework, dinner, exercise, and everyday needs. I believe in quick & healthy weeknight meals. Fast food makes my stomach turn. I never feel satisfied after eating fast food. This doesn't mean I don't like going out to dinner, I just can't stand fast food; unless it's Chick-fila (on occasion). Now that I'm done blabbing I'll give you the recipes ;)

    This meal literally took no time at all to prepare and bake AND it was nutritious & tasty!

    Lemon Dill Salmon
    1 serving

    1 4 oz. fillet of salmon
    1 tsp dill seeds
    1 tsp lemon garlic seasoning
    1 tsp sea salt
    1 tsp pepper
    1/2 tbsp

    Pop into the oven, bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes. Until Flaky.

    Sweet Potato Crisps
    1-2 servings

    1 Sweet Potato
    1 tbsp course sea salt
    1 tbsp pepper

    Spray pan heavily with non-stick oil. Slice sweet potato into thin discs, you can use a knife or mandolin if you have it. Spread evenly over baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-16 minutes. They will be slightly brown and crispy.

    Keep it Happy, Keep it Healthy, Keep it Sweet.

    Sunday, October 3, 2010

    Birthday Weekend

    This weekend was what I like to call my "birthday weekend." When your birthday lands on a Friday I think this should be allowed :) I enjoyed spending time with family and friends. We attended the going away party for a long time friend, Joe Fox; he is leaving for the Coast Guard! Good Luck Joe! This weekend was full of delicious food but I failed to take pictures, sorry! My consumption of sugar this weekend doesn't follow the "healthy" but it definitely involves "happy & sweet."

    I ran 4 miles on Saturday to make myself feel better but like I said before, it was my "birthday weekend!"

    Here are some pictures from the "Wine at the Line" marathon!

    Back on track tomorrow! Keep it Happy, Keep it Healthy, Keep it Sweet.

    Sunday, September 26, 2010

    During your lifetime...

    Did you know...
    During your lifetime you’ll about 60,000 pounds of food! That’s the weight of about 6 Elephants!

    Another weekend come and gone. We had beautiful weather in Indiana for the marathon on Saturday.
    Elann, Mark, and I geared up for the run Saturday by drinking our coconut waters, eating bananas, and a spoon full of peanut butter! We wanted to load our bodies with essential running nutrients to keep the cramps away, it worked beautifully for all 3 of us. They are now both believers in Coconut Water, hooray! I got to experience Mark and Elann's first marathon, we had a great time. Mark finished at 27 minutes and Elann and I came in at 31 minutes. After the marathon we enjoyed Mallow Run's wine, Bazbeuz pizza, and live music.

    -Marathon pictures coming soon!

    I try to get as much baking done on the weekends as possible. I have a passion for baking and a love for cooking. I made pumpkin spice cookies for the marathon on Saturday. I used a Martha Stewart recipe but made my own tweaks for a "healthier" cookie, still delicious! The smell of pumpkin filled my apartment immediately.

    Pumpkin Spice Cookies-

    1 cup all purpose flour
    1 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt
    1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    1 stick unsalted butter
    2 heaping table spoons Oikos 0% Greek Yogurt
    2 1/4 cups packed light-brown sugar
    2 large eggs
    1 1/2 cups canned solid-pack pumpkin (14 ounces)
    3/4 cup evaporated milk
    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

    Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg in a medium bowl; set aside.

    Put butter and brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix in eggs. Reduce speed to low. Add pumpkin, evaporated milk, and vanilla; mix until well blended, about 2 minutes. Add flour mixture; mix until combined.

    Transfer 1 1/2 cups batter to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain tip (such as Ateco #806). Pipe 1 1/2-inch rounds onto parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing 1 inch apart.

     Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through, until tops spring back, about 12 minutes. Cool on sheets on wire racks 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks; let cool completely.

    Here are the results! Some have icing, some don't.

    How about some Pumpkin Whoopie Pies?

    Sunday Cooking & Baking:

    I made my dad and I Kodiak Cake flapjacks this morning. Instead of 1 cup flapjack mix and 1 cup water I mixed 1 cup flapjack mix, 3/4 cup water, 1/4 cup Greek Yogurt, and 1 tbsp Chia Seeds. The Greek yogurt made the pancakes extra moist and the Chia seeds added the extra omega 3's and protein! Sorry I didn't snap a pic before we gobbled them down. I really suggest ordering these if you haven't had them...whole grain deliciousness!


    Lamb Burgers with Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

    I purchased ground lamb at the Farmers Market and finally got the opportunity to cook for more than 1 or 2 people! As you can tell, this makes me really happy when people want to try my food : D

    Ground Lamb Burgers-
    Ground Lamb
    1/3 cup diced white onion
    1/2 clove garlic
    1/2 tbsp olive oil
    1 cup bread crumbs

    Sauté onions in olive oil and garlic for 3-4 minutes on medium. Once brown, add to ground lamb, then add breadcrumbs.
    Form burger patties as you would a hamburger.
    Cook in same skillet on medium high until meat is thoroughly cooked.
    (I found this takes a little longer than hamburger does)

    Roasted Red Pepper Hummus-
    1 can garbanzo beans
    1 tbsp parsley
    1 tsp salt
    1 tsp pepper
    2 tbsp lemon juice
    2 cloves garlic
    1 tsp cayenne (optional)
    1 Roasted red pepper in oil

    Put all of this together in the food processor. Whirl around for about 3 minutes! You're DONE! Mmm..

    Next I made Walnut Pecan Cinnamon Butter for my dad to take home.

    1 cup Walnuts
    1 cup Pecans
    1 tbsp Coconut Milk
    1 tbsp honey
    1 tsp cinnamon

    Add walnuts and pecans to food processor, let it roll for 9-10 minutes scraping the sides as needed.
    Add Coconut Milk, cinnamon, and Honey; process for 1 more minute.

    For the Colts game I made an Apple Crisp.

    1/2 cup all purpose flour
    1/4 cup whole wheat flour
    1/4 cup light brown sugar
    1 tsp salt
    1/2 cup + 2 tbsp sugar
    1 stick unsalted butter cut into cubes
    1 cup old fashioned oats
    7 apples, cored and peeled
    2 tbsp lemon juice
    1/2 tsp cinnamon
    1/2 tsp nutmeg

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare your apples. In a large bowl, mix together flour, brown sugar, salt, and 2 tablespoons granulated sugar. Cut butter into flour, using a pastry blender or two knives, until mixture is the texture of coarse meal. Add oats, and use your hands to toss and squeeze mixture until large, moist clumps form. 

    In another bowl, toss apples with lemon juice, cinnamon, nutmeg and remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar. Transfer to a shallow 2-quart baking dish, and sprinkle with topping mixture. Place baking dish on a rimmed baking sheet, and bake until golden and bubbling, 55 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.

    I had mysterious roses on my dresser this morning...
    My dad bought me some Witch's Brew! I can't wait to try it :)

    I had an acorn squash that I bought at Fresh Market a week or so ago. I've never had it before but I thought today would be a good day to bake it. Oh myyyy goodness it's SO yummy!

    Cut lengthwise, scrape out all seeds and put face down on a baking sheet that has 1/2 inch water for moisture. Bake 375 degrees for 45 minutes.

    Garnish to your liking. I hear brown sugar and butter are good!

    I thought this was cute :) My taste testers at their finest!

    My dad was nice enough to let me use his Nikon D-70 this weekend...LOVE that camera. Until I can afford one of my own I can just use his on occasion ;)

    Keep it Happy, Keep it Healthy, Keep it Sweet.