Tuesday, January 31, 2012

{ one of my FAVORITE kitchen items }

Good evening friends.  Sorry it's been so long since I've posted.  As most of you know I have 3 young children at home and well, blogging cannot be a priority at this point in my life.  Although I have baked in the recent, I haven't taken any photos and if you are like me, you prefer recipes with photos vs. none.  Hopefully in the next few weeks I will have some new recipe ideas to share with you. 

I wanted to share one of my favorite kitchen items with you...  The Vitamix blender.  There is no better blender out there, I'm just sure of it!  Now I know this is pricey, but it has been worth every dollar in my humble opinion.
This machine is amazing!  Not only does it make smoothies (which seem to be all the rage right now), but it also makes hot soup, ice cream, blended drinks, salsa, bread dough, and peanut butter.  Plus, a ton of other recipes.  Not sure if they still use, but in the past I know Starbucks used for their blended drinks and you know how yummy those are!  Of course they used the professional size, but I promise this machine is just as good.  We use to make fruit/vege smoothies at least 5 out of 7 days per week.  I love broccoli cheese soup done in the vitamix as well.  My son was allergic to eggs for a few years so we always made our ice cream in this because the recipe was egg free and takes 45 seconds from start to finish for yummy ice cream!  We purchased ours from QVC.com, but they are currently sold out and tend to stay that way except when they have as their special value of the day.  The Vitamix has a 5 year warranty and is made right here in the great state of OHIO!  And be forewarned that this sounds like a small plane taking off in your kitchen!  The motor is that powerful!  Here is their website if you would like to check them out:

They have a lot of great recipes on their website, but you will also receive a great cookbook with the purchase of the Vitamix.  I know they sell refurbished machines on their website as well and still offer a warranty on them, which may be more cost effective.  QVC is great because when they have as their special value of the day, they offer on an easy-pay plan, which makes it more affordable for most people.  There are a ton of reviews on their website as well the will reassure you of just how great this blender really is! 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Crock-pot Apple Butter

Happy 1st official week of Fall!  This past week we made apple butter, apple jelly, and marshmallow fluff to prepare for the upcoming holiday seasons.  Today's recipe is super simple and one of my favorites.  Do you have any favorite fall recipes?  If so, please share!

{ Crock-pot Apple Butter }


3 lb apples- I used Honey Crisp, but original recipe calls for Granny Smith
4 cups sugar
1 tbs cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg


Peel, core, and chop apples until equals 3 lbs weighed.  Place in crock-pot.  Should fit in a 6 qt. or larger crockpot.  Add sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Stir until mixed through.  Cook on high for 3 hours.  Reduce crockpot to low heat and cook an additional 6-7 hours.  Make sure you stir throughout the day or you may burn it.  About 10 minutes before butter is done, wash your jars in hot, soapy water.  When done rinsing put directly into a heated 300* oven to get nice and hot for about 10 minutes.  Boil your lids (must be new, cannot be used or may not seal properly).  Remove hot jars from oven, put hot butter in hot jars, put lids and rings on, and screw tight.  Then flip for 1 minute and then flip upright and wait for the ping. 

Cover with a towel over night and  make sure you let sit for 24 hrs.  Yum!

Here is the link to original recipe:  http://www.ehow.com/how_4734966_crock-pot-apple-butter.html
Any questions, just ask. 

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

{ Zucchini Bread Sandwich Cookies }

Good morning friends!  It's been a while...  Sorry for the laps in blogging.  Did you plant a garden this summer?  We did, but ours didn't do so great.  One crop that seems to always survive, though, is the zucchini.  We have tried a few different new recipes this summer with the zucchini and this one turned out great.  I actually found this recipe in an old issue of "Martha Stewart Living" magazine.  It's kind of a variation on a "Little Debbie" cookie.  I hope you enjoy!  My kids all loved and I think my husband liked too.

Zucchini Bread Sandwich Cookies


1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Coarse salt
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup finely grated zucchini
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts (We didn't add these due to nut allergy)
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature (I used reduced fat)
1 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted (I'm lazy and don't sift)


1.  Preheat oven to 350*.  Sift flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon salt into a bowl.  Beat 1 stick butter and the sugars until pale and fluffy.  Beat in egg and vanilla.

2.  Beat flour mixture into butter mixture.  Mix in zucchini, oats, and walnuts.  Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.

3.  Using a 1 1/2-inch ice cream scoop (about 2 tablespoons), drop dough onto parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing about 2 inches apart.  Bake until edges are golden, about 17 minutes.  Let cool on a wire rack.

4.  Beat together remaining 1/2 stick butter, the cream cheese, and confectioners' sugar until smooth.  Spread 1 heaping tablespoon filling onto the flat side of 1 cookie, and sandwich with another cookie.  Repeat with remaining filling and cookies. 

Have a great day!