Archive for the 'recipes' Category

Crack Sauce

my favorite food to eat is mexican and one of my favorite meals is the taco salad.  i’ve experimented with many different “dressings”.  straight salsa. avocado ranch. but alas!  i present you with “crack sauce”!  It is simple to make and sugar free.  (you decide how much oil to add if you are calorie counting)  i use this not only for salads, but as a topping for tacos as well rather than sour cream, and a dipping sauce for tortilla chips!  it is more flavorful and adds a special “zing”…

In your food processor puree half an onion, a hand full of cilantro and the juice of 1 lime.  add one avocado.  as that is blending add EVOO (extra virgin olive oil).  i usually eye ball about 2-3 tablespoons.  then add water to achieve your desired consistency (about 1/2 cup for dressing).  finally throw in there 1/2 teaspoon of coarse pepper and 1/2 tablespoon of kosher salt.  

Sweet Dinner Rolls

Ohhh… these are goooooood!

  • 1/2 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 1/2 cup warm milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  1. Place water, milk, egg, 1/3 cup butter, sugar, salt, flour and yeast in the pan of the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select Dough/Knead and First Rise Cycle; press Start.
  2. When cycle finishes, turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide dough in half. Roll each half into a 12 inch circle, spread 1/4 cup softened butter over entire round. Cut each circle into 8 wedges. Roll wedges starting at wide end; roll gently but tightly. Place point side down on ungreased cookie sheet. Cover with clean kitchen towel and put in a warm place, let rise 1 hour. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until golden.

Black Bean And Corn Salad

I swear I could eat this everyday and be very happy… I even adapted it for a party salsa contest… I won 3rd place…


  • 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels
  • 1 avocado – peeled, pitted and diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 6 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)



  1. Place lime juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, and cayenne pepper in a small jar. Cover with lid, and shake until ingredients are well mixed.
  2. In a salad bowl, combine beans, corn, avocado, bell pepper, tomatoes, green onions, and cilantro. Shake lime dressing, and pour it over the salad. Stir salad to coat vegetables and beans with dressing, and serve.


So Tatsy!  I serve it with BBQ chicken on the patio for a fresh, light summer meal, and my kids will even eat it!

Tuna Salad

Fab new tuna salad recipe… it made me feel like we were having gourmet tuna melt panini’s for dinner, lessening the guilt of sandwiches for dinner… I know I have issues…
  • 1 (7 ounce) can white tuna, drained and flaked
  • 6 tablespoons mayonnaise or salad dressing
  • 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried minced onion flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill weed
  • 1 pinch garlic powder

In a medium bowl, stir together the tuna, mayonnaise, Parmesan cheese, and onion flakes. Season with curry powder, parsley, dill and garlic powder. Mix well and serve with crackers or on a sandwich.

FAV new desert

Have you ever had a molten cake? Do you know how easy they are to make? I bought a new cooking magazine last month called “Food and Wine” that had a recipe for these fabulous little cakes. I thought, “I can do that!” and what a great way to make dinner guests feel special… Here is the recipe…


  1. 1 stick plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, plus melted butter for brushing
  2. 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  3. 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  4. 6 ounces dark chocolate (70 percent cacao), chopped
  5. 3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  6. 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar, plus more for sprinkling
  7. 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  8. 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  1. Preheat the oven to 425°. Brush four 6-ounce ramekins with melted butter. In a small bowl, whisk the cocoa powder with 1 tablespoon of the flour; dust the ramekins with the cocoa mixture, tapping out the excess. Transfer the ramekins to a sturdy baking sheet.
  2. In a medium saucepan, melt 1 stick of butter with the chocolate over very low heat, stirring occasionally. Let cool slightly.
  3. In a small bowl, blend peanut butter with 1 tablespoon of confectiones’ sugar and remaining 1 tablespoon butter
  4. In a bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the granulated sugar with the eggs and salt at medium-high speed until thick and pale yellow, 3 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the melted chocolate until no streaks remain. Fold in the 1/4 cup of flour.
  5. Spoon two-thirds of the batter into the prepared ramekins, then spoon the peanut butter filling on top. Cover with the remaining chocolate batter. Bake in the center of the oven for 16 minutes, until the tops are cracked but the centers are still slightly jiggly. Transfer the ramekins to a rack and let cool for 5 to 8 minutes.
  6. Run the tip of a small knife around each cake to loosen. Invert a small plate over each cake and, using pot holders, invert again. Carefully lift off the ramekins. Dust the warm cakes with confectioners’ sugar and serve immediately.

Family Dinner

We have a lot of family coming in town from Ohio and Illinois for the upcoming wedding.  I asked the in-laws if I could have the pleasure of having them all over for dinner this evening.  I decided to serve Mexican food, obviously inspired my our neighbors to the south.  And I’ve been told good Mexican food in Chagrin Falls Ohio is hard to come by!

My menu?  I thought you’d never ask!

I decided to do ceviche for a sit down appetizer, being as it was such a BIG hit with my family just weeks ago, plus it is different and quite easy!  Then I will set up a buffet where the guests can serve themselves when ready.  I decided on street tacos, which include slow cooked tri-tip and a topping of white onion and cilantro.  As an alternative, we will also have taco salad.  (** side note, did you know that Del Taco sells their taco salad bowls for @50¢?  They are FAB!)

I am also serving fresh salsa, guacamole, refried beans and rice.  Dessert is apple cinnamon “enchiladas” with vanilla ice cream.  I made the beans yesterday so I have had the chance to sample them.  They were so good I decided to share the recipe with all of you.  I left out the jalapeno, since no one is selling them right now!  Instead I added a can of diced green chilies and substituted half of the water with chicken broth.  They were SUPER easy, and yes, fresh and free of preservatives!  Next time I will make them in bulk and freeze them.  

(Are  you seeing a theme here?  I estimate it will cost me @10-15¢ for a 16 oz serving which depending on where you shop will cost you 70¢ to $1.25)

Refried Bean Without the Refry


  • 1 onion, peeled and halved
  • 3 cups dry pinto beans, rinsed
  • 1/2 fresh jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 5 teaspoons salt
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin, optional
  • 9 cups water


  1. Place the onion, rinsed beans, jalapeno, garlic, salt, pepper, and cumin into a slow cooker. Pour in the water and stir to combine. Cook on High for 8 hours, adding more water as needed. Note: if more than 1 cup of water has evaporated during cooking, then the temperature is too high.
  2. Once the beans have cooked, strain them, and reserve the liquid. Mash the beans with a potato masher, adding the reserved water as needed to attain desired consistency.

Spaghetti Sauce

One of my goals in cooking is to be as “body friendly” as possible.  Meaning low fat, good portioned, homegrown, and to cut down on the amount of preservatives we intake.  

Yesterday afternoon I made Spaghetti Sauce.  I “winged” it… here is what I used:

2 x 28 oz crushed tomatoes

2 x 6 oz tomato paste

1 tbsp. garlic powder

1 tbsp. oregano

1 tbsp. basil

1 tbsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

1/4 tsp. red pepper

1/2 cup parmesan

1 1/2 cups water

Threw it all in the big pot and simmered it for about an hour.  I now have 5 meals worth of sauce (will use one more serving in this weeks meal plan and freeze the rest in meal sized portions), with no nasty preservative, it didn’t come out of the jar, and it cost me $3.40, that is 68¢ per meal.

Try it, it will help save money in your grocery budget and was SO EASY!!