Tuesday, December 27, 2011


How to eat no more than three pancakes:

Pile them high with cream cheese icing and fresh fruit or fruit topping.

Cream cheese icing: mix cream cheese and powdered sugar to taste.


Friday, December 23, 2011


Somehow or other this idea popped into my head last semester at college. I bought some pierogies for something simple to cook when I didn't want to eat in the cafeteria (which was actually all the time).
I was cooking in a dorm kitchen, which was really nice, but not well stocked. So, I was looking through the cabinets to see if there was anything I wanted to toss on my pierogies and onions (you can't have pierogies without onions), then I spotted the cinnamon.
Yes, I put cinnamon on my onions and pierogies.
Yes, it's a weird idea.
But it tasted good.
So here's how you do it.

1. Buy pierogies.

2. Sautee onions in butter and cinnamon.

3. While you're sauteeing the onions, place a pot of hot water on the stove to boil. Place frozen pierogies in the water and leave them there until they float to the top.

4. Remove onions from pan. Move pierogies from pot of water to frying pan and cook to brown. I tend to almost burn things, usually on purpose. You don't have to make them as dark as mine are. You have my permission.


PS. In case you didn't know, a pierogie is basically some pasta stuffed with mashed potatoes and cheese. I can never taste the cheese, though, so if you'd prefer not to have the cheese in it, don't worry. You can't tell it's there.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Seasonal Beverages: Take One

It's Autumn. The perfect time for hot, spiced drinks.
Now, in times past, I've had friends comment on how excited they are that spiced pumpkin lattes will soon be available. I've never tried one before, but when I found a recipe for them online, decided it was time to try it.
I am so glad I did.

Now tell me: Doesn't that just look amazing?!
I used this recipe.
It was fairly simple. The worst parts were waiting for the milk to steam (I'm very impatient) and when I accidentally unscrewed the blender wrong and leaked some of the milk out of the bottom.
The only thing I would do differently next time, aside from not being so messy, would be to use some french vanilla creamer in place of some of the milk. It wasn't very sweet at all, so I added a lot to mine before drinking it.
Of course, I'm the type that prefers coffee with her sugar, instead of the other way around.

Hope you like it!


Sunday, October 2, 2011

Cold Weather Food!

It's official. I love soup. But not just any soup - I'm very particular. I like hearty, vegetable soups. I realized that it's very seldom that I like a soup with meat in it (Oh...does chili count as a soup?). My most recent favorite soup? Butternut squash soup. Specifically, butternut squash soup with apples. I saw a recipe for it in a magazine once and was inspired to check it out. It's very easy - always a good thing in the cooking world.

I used this recipe.
Some pointers:
First, start out by peeling and cutting up your squash, because that might take a while. Then cut up the onions, start them cooking, and move to the apples.
Second, I used chicken broth instead of water to give the soup a more full flavor. I imagine vegetable broth would also work well, but we didn't have any.
Last, don't be afraid to throw in some extras - I used fresh thyme and some cayenne pepper. I really like the cayenne because it adds a bite to the soup, which is more on the sweet side of things. I'm a fan of opposite flavors.

Good luck!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Favorite Food Blogs

Since lately I haven't been very good at posting...ever....I decided I should share some of my favorite food blogs with you! Half of my recipes come from them. The other half comes from my cravings and google searches. For instance, one time I decided that I wanted to have raspberry chicken for dinner, so I searched and found *this* amazing recipe, along with several others that I have not yet tried.

First on the list: Pioneer Woman.
This lady is incredible. She does everything - writes books, blogs, homeschools four kids, has a television show...You get the picture. Her recipes generally include wonderful things like heavy cream and copious amounts of butter. She cooks for a cowboy, so her meals are generally very thick, rich, and filling. However, she also has "chick food" on there - some of her favorite meals, many of them from her vegetarian days.

Next: Food Coma Blog.
This blog is run by Emma Flannigan, sister of Elsie Larson. On her blog, she reviews recent reads and shares recipes she's made up or found elsewhere. She's pretty honest about how things turn out, and definitely goofy. I think she's pretty funny and adorable, so I like to read her corny jokes. Her recipe box is also very neatly organized, so you can look at the pictures to find what recipe you want. At least, I think it's easier to look at the pictures for exactly what I'm thinking of than trying to dig through the ingredients or title of each recipe.

Lastly, Smitten Kitchen.
I. Like. This. Chick. She's funny. Now, I don't use her recipes very often because I don't always have the required ingredients. I almost always want to make them, though. Her photography is beautiful. This is the recipe I'm attempting today:
Glorified tomato soup. I mean, who doesn't find tomato soup comforting? And with all the grey, gloomy days we've had of late, it's the perfect time for comfort food. Her version of tomato soup requires fresh tomatoes and hot peppers. Fantastic. Anyway. Smitten Kitchen is fantastic because the recipes sound and look amazing, she takes pictures of everything, makes you laugh, and clearly explains the steps to the recipe.

So there you have it - my three favorite food blogs. If I remember any more, I'll be sure to share them with you later. I hope you enjoy them!

Peace out,

Pecan Pie [Tarts]

Boy, do I owe y'all some posts.

Last night I made pecan pie tart type deals. I randomly decided that I desperately wanted pecan pie tarts, so I made them. That's generally how I come upon all of my recipes.
[Note: If I already have random cravings for foods, I'm going to be very fun someday when I'm pregnant...]

I used this recipe for the crust - I wanted something spiced and flavorful, rather than just plain white crust. Instead of using a whole cinnamon stick or nutmeg...thing...I used about two teaspoons of cinnamon and one teaspoon of nutmeg. Let me tell you, the crust is amazing. Use it for all of your pies!

I used this recipe for the filling. Of course, when it said 1 3/4 cups of chopped pecans, I grabbed 3/4 cup of chopped pecans...and tossed them in a chopper and ground them finely. Why? Because my brain is like a flickering lightbulb - sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. After grinding them into a fine powder, I looked at it and said, I'm not supposed to be doing this. So then I continued making the filling, this time using 1 3/4 cups chopped pecans. I ended up tossing in the finely chopped pecans, too, because what else was I going to use them for? I figured it would just add extra flavor, anyway.

Because I wanted tiny pies, I put the crust in cupcake pans. I sprayed them with some sort of Pam substitute to keep them from sticking, but that didn't work to well. Instead, they stuck and I had to kind of dig them out. They were fudgy and crumbly, but delicious. I had one for brunch this morning.

The recipe was fairly easy. Your assignment: Go make them now! You'll thank me.

Bon apetit!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Bruschetta and a Reference to Poltergeist.

I'm baaaaaaaaaaaaaaack!
Didya miss me? No? Well...I'm back anyway.
I haven't posted in so long because a) we've had a ton of company so I haven't been doing very much cooking, b) I didn't have access to even my super crappy camera when I did cook, c) I haven't been experimenting much, just following recipes, most of them from Pioneer Woman, and...I think there were more reasons, but I forget them now.

Tonight we're making bruschetta! I still don't have pictures, but it was really good so I'm going to tell you what I did anyway.
First, I looked up recipes online. I wanted to try to make the kind made in the movie Julie & Julia. I found this recipe: click me! I read it and promptly decided I wanted to make up my own recipe.
1 loaf italian bread - I only used half because I wasn't making that much
some olive oil
one half onion, chopped
garlic, chopped - I used two cloves
tomatoes, chopped - I used four
fresh basil
fresh thyme
 First, I sliced up my bread, buttered both sides, and placed it in the oven to keep it from the flies that always find their way into our house. Stupid flies.
Second, cut up the tomatoes. The recipe I read said to de-seed the tomatoes, so I chopped them up and placed them in a strainer and stirred them around some, trying to squeeze out some extra juice. Then I chopped up the fresh herbs and placed them in a bowl with the tomatoes. Add salt and pepper. 
Third, chop up the onion and garlic and toss them in a pan with some olive oil. Put a lid on them and let them steam some so they get soft. Once they get soft, toss them in with the tomato mix.
Note: Fresh garlic is so much stronger than not fresh garlic. This is pretty obvious, but keep this in mind if you don't want a lot of garlic-y taste. I was surprised by how strong the garlic was because we never use fresh garlic, but I also really liked how strong it was.
Fourth, place the buttered bread in the pan and brown it. I read in a different recipe that they fried the bread in olive oil and I think that I might have liked that better.
Finally, scoop tomato mixture on your toast and enjoy.

You might consider sprinkling parmesan cheese on top of your bruschetta.
If you don't like the idea of vegetarian, fry up some bacon and crumble it into your tomato mixture. I'm pretty stoked to try that one.

Hope you enjoy! I'll be back later with some miscellaneous cooking tips.


Saturday, June 25, 2011

Low Sodium: Take Seven

Welcome back to Made Up Recipes with Scout! Today's meal: Lemon parmesan chicken, fried/steamed veggies, and buttered noodles.

Lemon Parmesan Chicken ingredients:
Almost every time I make chicken, I use boneless skinless chicken breasts, so when I put "chicken" in the ingredients list, that's probably the kind I mean.
Chopped onions
Olive oil
Lemon juice
Fresh thyme

Place chopped onions, olive oil, and garlic in a pan. Place chicken in next, pouring lemon juice on top of each piece. Toss in pepper and chopped thyme. Cover the pan and let the chicken steam. This will allow the chicken to absorb the flavors and the onions to sautee. When chicken is thoroughly cooked, take off the lid to let the moisture out and allow the chicken to brown. When the chicken is browned to your liking, place it on (or in) a serving dish and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. You'll want to be fast with this so it will get a little gooey. You could sprinkle the parmesan on the chicken before you place it in (on) the serving dish, but that might make for particularly unpleasant cleanup.

 The next thing I made was fried/steamed veggies. I cut up bell peppers, onions, and squash, and placed them in a pan with olive oil, garlic, and pepper. I covered it and let it cook on low to help soften the squash. Then, when I got impatient, I turned up the heat so it would go faster and also brown the veggies some.

I served the meal with buttered noodles. Everything else was very flavorful and I thought a simple side would go nicely with the rest. The only sodium in the meal came from the parmesan. I used half a cup for our dinner and it was more than enough (for 3 chicken breasts), but my family usually likes extra flavor, so it worked for us. The total sodium for all of the chicken I made was 900 something, making each serving only 240 mg.
Note: If you are using a low sodium diet, remember that there is sodium in meat, as well. Check the packaging to make sure you aren't getting something that was soaked in salt.

Peace out!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Some Favorite Music

You might already know, but I pretty much love the 60s and 70s, especially their music. Not disco type, though. Anyway, I'm playing hippie today so I'm listening to some of my favorite oldies all day, including the Beatles (duh) and this playlist, which I've shared before.

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones


Oh, Beatles.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011


Homemade Thin Mints

This is a low sodium recipe - a regular recipe that happens to not have lots of salt or need any adjusting to be a semi-heart healthy meal, at least concerning salt levels.

I've never been much of a cookie person. When it comes to desserts, I almost always want ice cream. Or my dad's homemade apple pie. Best. Ever.
But cookies have never really been my thing. When I'm throwing a pity party I like Oreos and peanut butter because it's such a huge indulgence. Maybe it makes me feel kind of rebellious - like i'm sticking it to "the man" (you know - the one that says I should eat healthy and not eat lots of cookies or throw pity parties. You know that's not a woman speaking). I mean, really. Do you even know how terrible Oreos and peanut butter are for you? But they are just so. darn. good.
But cookies have never been my favorite.
However, since there has always been a special place in my heart for mint anything, these cookies have definitely made it into my "Favorite Desserts" list. That list doesn't really exist yet, but...I'm a list person, so it probably will soon.
[For some reason I have this need to decide my favorite things - like it's absolutely necessary that I know my favorite (books/movies/television shows/desserts) at any given time.]

Moving on.
I found this recipe for homemade Thin Mint cookies. I made the batter and it came out perfectly. I froze it in two logs (that, to be honest, just didn't look too good). I made the first log later that day and - surprise! - I followed the recipe exactly. I didn't really like it. But I ate the cookies. I know, I'm a trooper. But they weren't great. They weren't very minty and I didn't like the dark chocolate too much.
So when I made the second cookie log yesterday, I changed it up a bit. I used milk chocolate chips instead of semi-sweet, and I added a teaspoon of mint extract to the chocolate.
I. Loved. Them. I can hardly stop eating them.

Make some. Right now.


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Cooking With Sodium

My dad is away for the night so we made it our goal to have a super salty meal for dinner.
This is probably the most unhealthy main course you will ever hear of.

Are you ready?
Chicken. Bacon. Blue cheese. Awesome.

Chicken breasts (trim the fat and tenderize with one of those fun hammer things)
Blue cheese dressing

First, fry and crumble the bacon - try not to "test" too many pieces because you really want it on the chicken, too.

Next, place the chicken in the pan with a tiny bit of bacon grease, toss in some chopped onions, salt and pepper, and fry until cooked. I covered the pan for a bit to help steam the onions.

When the chicken is done, put it in a separate dish. Turn the stove off and, in the still warm pan, mix in some blue cheese into the bacon grease and onions (Obviously you don't want too much bacon grease in the pan, but having a little bit in there makes the sauce even more awesome). Pour the sauce over the chicken and top with bacon. I still had some time before I was serving my meal, so I placed mine in the oven at 350 for five or ten minutes.

Pair your chicken with something healthy (we had spinach) to ease your conscience and enjoy!


P.S. I decided today that I wanted to make chicken with blue cheese and bacon, but I didn't have a recipe. I looked on Google and found this one and this one, and used them as inspiration, but I mostly made up this recipe. 

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Cooking With Sodium - and Fire!

Do you want to know what's in this baby?
Yes. Yes you do.
This, my friend, is a mountain pie. It's kind of like a grilled cheese sandwich, except you put anything you want in it and you cook it in a metal thing over a fire. I don't know what the metal thing is called, so don't even ask.
This sandwich includes: cream cheese, cherry jelly (raspberry would have been my ideal but we were out), pepperjack cheese, turkey, and crushed pecans.
I think you should try one.


Cooking With Sodium

A new favorite meal: Lentils and cornbread.

I've been reading a lot of cooking blogs lately and several of them are by vegetarian authors (namely Food Coma). These authors use a lot of lentils it seems, so I decided that I wanted to try them. I didn't have a specific recipe in mind. The one I found sounded too spicy.
So I made one up!

Black beans
Curry powder
Ground cumin
Chicken broth 

I soaked the beans (boiled them for a few minutes and drained them) then put them in a pan with a cup of chicken broth. Next I added about a tablespoon of cornstarch mixed into about an eighth cup of cold water to make sure it was plenty thick. I added some onion, curry powder, cumin, and a tiny bit of coriander to season it (to taste). Then I let it cook for a while while (whoa. that's confusing) I made the cornbread.

I used this recipe for the cornbread - it turned out great!

I pretty much loved the lentils. The only problem was that I didn't quite cook the soybeans long enough. Everything else was fine, but the soybeans were kind of...al dente (as my mom said).


Sunday, May 29, 2011


Hey, y'all! I'm spending this week at the beach with my extended family. I hope to get some photos to you soon. The first day was great! Lots of exercise and lots of eating to make up for it.


Saturday, May 28, 2011

Low Sodium: Take Six

Garlic Herb Bread

Note: Cooking with no sodium is hard. Sometimes the food tastes funny or bland and I can't tell if it's the recipe that's weird, my cooking, or the fact that I'm using substitutes for things that have lots of sodium (like...salt. And baking powder and baking soda). Because things taste different,  they don't get eaten like the foods I've made before. It's very disheartening.Oh well. I still like cooking and I some low sodium things taste good. Like the following recipe!

This recipe was taken from this site. I followed the recipe, except that I added more spices than they called for. The dough came out great and I was even able to braid it like it says! I was so proud of myself. It was huge, too! It looks so small when you start out, but it gets so HUGE when it rises. I didn't like it at first - I thought the crust seemed a little bit flour-y. However, I ate more of it today and I realized that it's pretty fantastic - especially slathered in butter (but then, most things are).

Sorry for the lack of pictures. That's what happens when you have a lack of (digital, less expensive than film) camera. 


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Low Sodium: Take Three, Four, Five...

Oh, guys. I have been cooking a LOT. I like it :) Mostly. I've made dinners, breads, cookies, and there's so much more I can't wait to try!

Dijon chicken (based on this recipe).

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
dijon mustard
lemon juice

The recipe I based mine off of didn't give specifics, so I made mine up:
6 Tbs. lemon juice
3 tsp. dijon mustard
1/4 tsp. salt (we used salt substitute - sodium free!)
[I think] 3 Tbs. honey

Basically, you mix together the ingredients and marinate your chicken and...it's delicious. The recipe says to grill it, but I baked mine for 30 minutes at 350. I served mine with mashed potatoes and green beans.
Sodium count: only whatever is in the mustard.

White Chili (based on this recipe). 

I followed the recipe pretty closely (at least for me). Instead of canned beans, we used fresh beans, which is something I'm new at, so they weren't cooked fully. I used chicken broth from when I cooked the chicken. Also, instead of green chile peppers, I used pepperjack cheese and shredded it into the chili before adding the beans. Oh. I also added sour cream to the mix because I thought it was too spicy.
Maybe I didn't follow the recipe very closely...
This recipe was okay. Ours had too much chicken, not enough broth, and the beans weren't cooked all the way, so it definitely could have been better. I think a lot of it would have been different if we had used canned beans - it would have added to and thickened the broth. The seasoning was great, though, and the cornucopia of leftovers made great....

Made-up Burritos! 

Leftover chili (see above)
Black beans
Curry powder
Sour cream
Tortilla shells

To make the chili leftovers into something my family would eat, I added (thoroughly cooked) black beans, corn, and curry powder (to touch up the taste since adding more starchy types). Then we ate it in tortilla shells with rice, sour cream, salsa, and other taco type toppings. I didn't really want to make this (I wanted minestrone or baked oatmeal but my mom told me to use the leftovers), but I actually really liked it a lot. Sodium count: from chili, sour cream, and tortilla shells. 

That's all for now. More later, concerning herb bread and girl scout cookies.


P.S. Sodium count for the chili the way I made it was about 1400 ish (I forget now) for the whole pot. It came from the cheese and sour cream. I shaved a lot off on the sodium count by using no-sodium bouillon and non-canned beans.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Random Memories

Sometimes I remember obscure things that happened or that I did a long time ago. There's usually no reason for me to remember it, but it will just pop into my head. For instance, what inspired this post was me randomly remembering how several years ago I would play Neopets (y'all remember those?) and listen to Number One Gun.
Other random memories:
  • Sitting in the car and competing with my brother about who could remember more holidays. We would each take turns and whoever couldn't come up with one lost.
  • My fifth birthday cake was circle shaped and had pink icing. 
  • Trying to slide down the stairs at my cousins' house. They had this big board that we would put over the stairs and then we'd pull cushions from the couch and slide down. 
  • Pookaloknock (spelling is debatable). If you know this, you get 4 points for being awesome. 
I'd post more, but I feel like it's cheating to make myself remember random things. Anyway.
What are some of your random memories?


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Low Sodium: Take Two

"Pork chops and apple sauce!"

For dinner tonight I made honey grilled pork chops - with my dad's help (I can't work the grill). Really, the most eventful part of this cooking venture was trying to calculate the sodium content. The whole meal included: approximately 7.5 ounces of pork chops, some frozen vegetables from Birds Eye, sweet potatoes, and a tiny bit of applesauce. Approximate sodium content: 163 mg. for pork chops (note: we edited the recipe a tiny bit), 30 mg. for the veggies, unknown for the sweet potatoes and applesauce (I tried looking online for sodium amounts in sweet potatoes but I found incredibly varied answers).


P.S. Three cool points to whoever can guess where the beginning quote is from!