Archive for the 'Cooking' Category


Yogurt Blueberry Muffins

I just wanted to share this yummy recipe I tried this morning. We have lots of blueberries on hand right now (thank you, Costco!) and I was craving some yummy warm baked goods, so I browsed my pinterest boards until I found this one. I changed a few things around though so I’ll repost it with my alterations. I can’t vouch for how these taste when they’ve cooled as we always gobble them up right away! But I can say that straight from the oven they were extremely moist, almost to the point of seeming like a bread pudding type consistency. Maybe not everyone’s idea of a perfect blueberry muffin, but these really hit the spot!20130716-120830.jpg

Blueberry Yogurt Muffins

makes about 16 regular muffins

  • 2 c. all purpose flour
  • 3 T. ground flax seed
  • 3 T. wheat germ
  • 2/3 c. sugar
  • 1 t. baking powder
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1 1/2 c. full fat vanilla greek yogurt (I used Zoi)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 c. unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 t. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 c. fresh blueberries

Heat oven to 350°. Coat muffin tins with cooking spray.

Combine flour, ground flax seed, wheat germ, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl.

Combine yogurt, eggs, butter, and vanilla in a second bowl.

Fold yogurt mixture into dry mixture; stir to combine completely. Gently fold in blueberries.

Spoon into muffin tins.

Bake until top is golden and springs back when you gently touch it, 20-25 minutes.



Pancit Bihon (Stir-Fried Rice Noodles)

Pancit Bihon (Stir-Fried Rice Noodles)

Tried this recipe from Lemons and Anchovies today and fell completely in love. This is going to be a new staple meal in our home. Even my almost 11-month old son loved it!


(See the link above for the recipe and original ingredients. This list is how I altered the ingredients a to serve 2 adults and 4 children to our liking.)

  • 3 carrots, peeled and sliced thinly in 1 – 1½ inch pieces
  • 5 ribs celery, sliced thinly on a diagonal
  • ½ cabbage, sliced thinly
  • 4 Bok Choy stalks, sliced thinly on a diagonal
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 chicken breasts, poached in the stock
  • 4 cups stock  (vegetable)
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon fish sauce
  • 2-3 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 8-ounce package bihon noodles (rice stick noodles)
  • Lemon wedges
  • Ground white or black pepper for garnish



Port Infused Mushroom Bruschetta

Since having tasted Maialina‘s Funghi Pizza last week, I’ve been craving mushrooms. The goal today was to make a mushroom bruschetta for lunch that was crisp on the outside and moist on the inside.
Mission accomplished!


  • 1/2 c. unsalted butter
  • 5-8 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 vegetable bouillon cube
  • 1/3 c. port
  • 2 yellow onions, diced
  • 8oz white mushrooms, sliced
  • 5oz Aged Kerrygold Cheddar, grated (or other favorite aged Irish cheddar)
  • 2 small loaves of sourdough bread, sliced lengthwise (this recipe makes enough to top 3 halves, with the 4th, I spread broth over it and just topped it with the cheese and rosemary since my kids struggle with the texture of mushrooms)
  • 1 spring of rosemary


Combine butter, garlic, bouillon and port in a saucepan. Mush up the bouillon cube. I know these aren’t the healthiest, but they add a nice kick of flavor with virtually no work and don’t change the consistency like adding a liquid broth would have. On top of that, layer your onions and mushrooms. Cover and cook over medium high heat for about 10 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 400′. Place all four halves of bread on a cookie sheet, crusts down. Remove the saucepan from the stovetop and spoon the broth evenly over the bread. Return the onion and mushrooms to the stove, uncovered, and saute until the mushrooms are seared to your liking. Depending on how particular you are, you may wish to transfer them to frying pan to sear the veggies. Spread the bread with the mushrooms and onions and sprinkle the grated cheese and rosemary pieces over the top. You really could use any green herb. I was thinking cilantro, parsley or basil would bring a nice pop of flavor. Bake the bruschetta for about 10 minutes and then broil it on low for about 4 minutes (until cheese begins to brown slightly). Remove from oven and serve when slightly cooled.

Port Infused Mushroom Bruschetta


Caramel Apple Breakfast Rolls

These are great for Sunday morning because you can assemble them the night before and just bake them while you get ready for church. In a pinch, they wouldn’t be too messy to take on the go. 


  • 1 tin of large Pillsbury Crescent Roll dough
  • 1 granny smith apple, sliced into 1/2 wedges
  • 6 caramel squares (although I think marshmallows would work well or chocolate, of course)

Roll 1 apple slice and 1 caramel into each roll. Bake as directed. Makes 6 rolls.




Family Camp Menu: Desserts, Drinks & Snacks

Baked Chocolate Bananas

from Campfire Cuisine
serves 1

  • 1 banana
  • 1 tbsp chocolate
  • 1 tbsp shredded sweetened coconut

With the banana still in its peel, make an incision lengthwise through the length of the peel and the fruit, leaving the underside of the peel intact. Pull the sides of the banana apart and stuff your chocolate pieces inside. Wrap in aluminum foil and bake over high heat 10 to 15 minutes (we just put them in the fire), until the fruit it hot and soft and the chocolate is melted. Remove and discard the foil, and sprinkle the coconut over the top. Serve hot.

Adult Smores 

Just like regular smores (which are also happening), but instead of graham crackers try rice crackers with a melting cheese (we are using gouda this time). Roast a cube of cheese over the fire and then sandwich is between some chocolate and rice cracker.

Roasted Cream Cheese Stuffed Peppers
Serves 4

  • 16 mini bell peppers
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 tablespoon fresh herbs, such as basil, sage, or thyme
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  1. Cut a slit lengthwise in each pepper down 1 side.
  2. Combine cream cheese and herbs in a zip-top plastic bag. Cut off 1 corner of the bag. Pipe cheese mixture into each pepper to fill with as much of the cream cheese mixture as will fit. Alternatively, you can combine the cheese and herbs in a bowl and stuff the peppers with your fingers or a small spoon. Press the slit edges together.
  3. Center the filled peppers on top of a piece of foil, drizzle with a bit of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Fold over the foil to create a packet, making sure to seal the seams tightly.
  4. Place the foil packet on a grate over the fire or directly on the embers. Watch them closely, making sure to rotate the packets often. Roast the peppers until they’re lightly browned and the cheese is hot.

Red Wine Poached Pears
Serves 4

  • 4 pears, on the firm side
  • 1 bottle red wine
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup sugar
    1. Traveling with pears can be a bit tricky, especially when they’re very soft. Use firmer pears and don’t worry about any minor bruising since you’ll be peeling the skin off anyways.
    2. Peel the pears, but leave them whole and keep the stems on them. Slice a small amount of the base off if you’d like them to sit up straight up when served.
    3. Pour the wine, water, sugar, and spices into a large stockpot over medium-low heat. Gently add the pears to the poaching liquid.
    4. Let the liquid heat and slowly simmer for about 30 minutes or until until pears are deep red in color.
    5. Remove the pears from the poaching liquid.

You can serve the red wine poached pears immediately along with a glass of the poaching liquid, which is in essence a mulled wine. Alternatively, you can boil the liquid until it is thick and syrupy and drizzle over the poached pears.

Chocolate Biscotti
from Giada’s Kitchen
Makes 36 cookies
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup chocolate hazelnut spread, like Nutella
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 375′. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In another medium bowl, using an electric mixer, cream the butter, chocolate hazelnut spread and both sugars together, about 4 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until smooth, about 1 minute. Using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, stir in the flour mixture until just combined.
Using a tablespoon measure, drop spoonfuls of the cookie dough onto the cookie sheet, spacing the mounts about 4 inches apart. Use the tines of a fork to flatten each mound. Bake 10 to 12 minutes. Use a metal spatula to transfer the cookie to a wire rack and let them cool.
 Mint Juleps 
We make a large batch of Minted Simple Syrup, storing it in mason jars with fresh mint springs for up to 2 weeks. This is a great way to offer cocktails to dinner guests without having to make a mess or have a recipe handy. All you have to do is have your liquor of choice on hand (we use Old Crow whiskey), and mix to taste over ice. 🙂
We’ll also bring fixins for coffee, and bring milk and juice for the kids. 🙂

Family Camp Menu: Sunday

Sunday is just breakfast and a picnic lunch. We are having church at camp so breakfast needs to be filling and fast.


We are going for a simple eggs and bacon breakfast.


We are having a second round of Cucumber Salad and

Goat Cheese Quesadillas with Tomato and Corn Salsa
from Campfire Cuisine
Serves 4 to 6 as an entrée.

  • Olive oil spray
  • 8 10-inch flour tortillas
  • 12 oz soft fresh goat cheese, crumbled (about 1 1/2 cups)

Tomato and Corn Salsa

  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 4 red or green jalapeno chilies, seeded and finely chopped
  • 4 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 cup corn kernels

For salsa: Place chopped onion in a bowl, sprinkle with the salt, squeeze the lime juice over and set aside for 15 to 20 minutes. Add the chopped chilies, tomatoes, and cilantro to the onion mixture and stir. Makes 2 cups

For the quesadillas: Spray a large skillet with oil and warm over medium-high heat on the stove. Place 1 tortilla in the hot skillet, and top with one-quarter of cheese and one quarter of the salsa. Top with a second tortilla. Cook about 3 minutes, until the bottom tortilla is golden brown. Turn over the quesadilla and continue cooking, about 3 minutes more, until the bottom is golden brown and the cheese is melted. Remove from skillet and cut into wedges. Repeat with the remaining tortillas, cheese and salsa. Serve immediately.


Family Camp Menu: Saturday


Pan-Fried Bread with Pears, Blue Cheese, and Maple Syrup
from Campfire Cuisine
Serves 1

  • 1/2 tbsp butter, more if needed
  • 2 slices whole wheat bread
  • 2 oz gorgonzola, cambazola or other soft blue cheese
  • 1/2 medium ripe pear, cored and thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup

Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat on a camp stove. Place the bread in a single layer in the skillet, and cook until the underside is browned, about 3 minutes. Turn the bread over (add a little more butter, if needed), top with the cheese, and continue to cook until the underside is browned, about 3 minutes more. Remove from the pan, top with the pear sliced, and drizzle with maple syrup. Serve immediately.


Asian Wraps with Peanut Sauce
Serves 4

  • 6 ounces extra-firm tofu or 2 chicken breasts, grilled & sliced
  • 1 cucumber, julienned
  • 1 big handful of cilantro with stems
  • 1-2 grated carrots (optional)
  • Romaine lettuce leaves
  • 4 large flour tortillas
Peanut Sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • sugar, to taste
  • room temperature water to adjust thickness
  • 3 tablespoons cilantro, minced
  1. For Wrap Filling: Do all the prep and cooking at home and package each ingredient in a plastic container or zip top back. Refrigerate or place in a cooler until it’s time to serve.
  2. For Peanut Sauce: Combine sesame oil, soy sauce, peanut butter and cilantro in a bowl and mix until all ingredients are blended. Add water in 1/3 cup increments if you want to thin out the sauce. Add sugar to taste for a slightly sweeter flavor. Put sauce in a plastic container with lid, zip top bag, or start with a bowl that comes with a lid. Refrigerate or place in a cooler until it’s time to serve.
  3. To Serve: Place all ingredients out assembly line style and let people create their own wraps. Make sure to have a spoon out for the peanut sauce and a fork to serve the noodle salad.


Orzo Stuffed Peppers
from Giada’s Kitchen
Serves 4-6

  • 1 (28 oz) can whole tomatoes
  • 2 medium zucchini, grated
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesean cheese, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups orzo
  • 6 sweet bell peppers (red or yellow)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil for garnish

Pour the tomatoes and their juices into a large bowl and break them into pieces using a pair of kitchen shears or your fingertips. Add the zucchini, mint, cheese, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Stir to combine.

Meanwhile, bring the chicken broth to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Add the orzo and cook for 4 minutes. The orzo will be only partially cooked. Drain the orzo through a sieve, reserving the chicken broth and add the orzo to the large bowl with the veggies. Stir to combine. Transfer the warm broth to a 3 qt baking dish.

Slice the tops off the peppers and remove all ribs and seeds. Cut a very thin slice from the base to help the peppers stand up.

Spoon the orzo mixture into the peppers. Place the peppers in the baking dish with warm chicken broth. over the dish with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil, sprinkle each pepper with cheese and continue baking until the cheese is golden, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and carefully transfer the stuffed peppers to serving plates. Garnish with basil.

Ok, I’m cheating a bit with this one. It could be done in a dutch oven, but since we are sleeping in a cabin that has electricity (I know, I know, I’m not camping, I’m glamping…I’m ok with that), we are going to use our crockpot. I’m planning on preparing the orzo mixture at home and instead of garnishing with basil, I’m just adding it in with the filling. I may add some sausage, too. Then all I’ll have to do on site is pour the broth into the slowcooker, cut and fill the peppers and let them cook while I’m out playing. 🙂

Cucumber Salad
from Campfire Cuisine
Serves 4

  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp Asian sesame oil
  • 2 large cucumbers, peeled, halved lengthwise, and thinly sliced

Combine the vinegar and sugar in a medium bowl or pot, and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Stir in the soy sauce and sesame oil. Toss the cucumber slices with the dressing and let stand 5 minutes before serving.