21 September 2009

pumpkin chocolate chip squares

even though we are hitting record high temperature in southern california, i couldn't resist. fall baking is the best. these filled the house with the smell of sweet spice. recipe adapted from peacocks on my porch.
pumpkin chocolate chip squares
2 cups flour
1 T pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup canned pumpkin
12 oz. chocolate chip (i used the big kind)

preheat oven to 350 degrees. line bottom and sides of a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with foil, leaving an overhang on all sides. in a medium bowl, whisk together flour, pie spice, baking soda and salt. set aside. with an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar on medium-high speed until smooth; beat in egg and vanilla until combined. beat in pumpkin (mixture may appear curdled). reduce speed to low, and mix in dry ingredients until just combined. fold in chocolate chips. spread batter evenly into prepared pan. bake until edges begin to pull away from sides of pan and a toothpick comes out clean, about 35-40 minutes. cool completely in pan. lift cake from pan (using foil as an aid). peel off foil and use a serrated knife to cut into 24 squares.

can't find pumpkin pie spice? use 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 3/4 tsp ginger, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, and 1/8 tsp each allspice and ground cloves.

this was a quick, easy and clean recipe - the foil makes clean-up so much easier! delicious, moist and perfect. xo.

17 August 2009

zucchini bread

have had an abundance of fresh zucchini around the apartment, thanks to some trips to the farmers market in santa monica {a must-do for those living in southern california}. zucchini bread is still a vegetable..

this left a sweet, sweet aroma in the apartment all day.

healthy twist on zucchini bread

2 cups shredded zucchini (about 2-3 medium zucchini)
2 1/2 cups whole wheat (or white, unbleached) flour
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon real salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup plain, fat-free yogurt
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted

preheat oven to 350 degrees. spray a 9x5 loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray (or, i used 4 mini loaf pans).

spread shredded zucchini onto several layers of heavy duty paper towels. cover with additional paper towels, and press down firmly to remove excess liquid.

in a large bowl (or bosch!), whisk the flour, brown sugar, flaxseed, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, baking soda and nutmeg. in a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, yogurt, oil and vanilla; stir in zucchini.

add zucchini mixture and walnuts to flour mixture, stir until well-combined. pour batter into prepared pan(s). bake 55-60 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. cool in pan for 10 minutes on wire rack. remove from pan, cool some more or serve warm!

31 July 2009

no-bake cookies

had a major sugar craving this afternoon, but it was just too hot to bake, so i got an idea from this sweet girl and went with some no-bake-cookies. there are a lot of adaptations of this recipe, but i kept it simple on the ingredients and they were delicious. i changed mine up a little bit and used some of the ingredients i had on hand... 

click here for a more traditional recipe

no-bake cookies
1 1/4 cups white sugar
1/2 cup rice milk
1/4 cup butter
4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup crunchy almond butter
3 cups oats
1 teaspoon vanilla 

in a medium saucepan, combine sugar, milk, butter and cocoa. bring to a boil and cook for 1 1/2 minutes. remove from heat and stir in almond butter, oats and vanilla. drop by teaspoonfuls onto wax paper. let cool until hardened.

27 July 2009

oatmeal chocolate chip cookies

sunday nights usually call for me to break out the bosch and some form of chocolate. i was craving something grainy and sweet, and these hit the spot. adapted from the food network. 


  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chocolate chips


preheat oven to 350°F. coat 2 baking sheets with cooking spray.

grind oats in a blender or food processor. transfer to a medium bowl and stir in flour, baking soda and salt. Beat butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer until fluffy. add oil, granulated sugar, brown sugar, egg and vanilla; beat until smooth and creamy. with the mixer running, add the dry ingredients, beating on low speed until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips.

drop the dough by heaping teaspoonfuls, at least 1 inch apart, onto the prepared baking sheets. bake cookies, 1 sheet at a time, until firm around the edges and golden on top, about 15 minutes. cool the cookies for 2 minutes on the baking sheets, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

13 July 2009

mexican hot chocolate cupcakes

chocolatey. vegan. perfection.

these were fun to make, and a hit (with myself). the husband ate quite a few as well though. looking for more vegan recipes that are do-able and delicious. turns out, most of them are. this particular recipe came from this book. i made them mini, because everything is more fun bite-size.

mexican hot chocolate cupcakes


1 cup coconut milk

1 Tbsp ground flaxseeds 

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 Tbsp corn flour

1/4 cup almond meal*

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

3/4 tsp salt

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper 

1 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup canola oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp almond extract


1. preheat oven to 350 and line muffin pan with cupcake liners

2. whisk together coconut milk and flaxseeds and allow to sit for 10 minutes

3. in another bowl, sift together all-purpose flour, corn flour, almond meal, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and cayenne.

4. whisk sugar, oil, vanilla, and almond extract into coconut milk mixture. gently add wet ingredients to dry. fill cupcake liners three-quarters of the way. bake for 22-25 minutes until a knife or toothpick inserted through the center of one comes out clean. transfer to a colling rack to cool completely.

5. sift a layer of confectioner's sugar onto the tops of the cooled cakes. then sift on cocoa, then lastly sift on a layer of cinnamon.

*I made my own almond meal, because i couldn't find any at the store. to learn how, click here.

30 June 2009

veggie chili

another vegetarian recipe, but i love it and couldn't help it. and i could eat it every night. you can try it with toast. or add a dollop of sour cream. but it is perfectly perfect on its own. my meat-eating husband gobbled it up as well.

1 medium sized yellow onion, chopped
2 heads broccoli, washed and chopped (enough to make 2 cups)
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 28-oz. can of crushed organic tomatoes
1 16-oz. can salsa (organic, natural...no sugar)
2 15-oz. cans organic black beans (or 3 1/2 cups cooked beans)
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander

put oil in pot on medium heat. when hot, add onions, cumin and coriander. cook for 2 minutes or until onion gets soft. add broccoli and salt and cook for two minutes more, stirring frequently. add tomatoes, salsa, black beans, and stir. cook on medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. the broccoli should cook through but not get overly soft. add additional salt to taste. serve with a modest sprinkling of part-skim organic mozzarella or soy cheese.

22 June 2009

grilled vegetable kebabs

my poor husband. i told him yesterday that i was cutting down his meat consumption. you should have seen his face drop. it's not that i'm not going to make it for him anymore, but for my own conscience, it has to be free-range, which equals more expensive. i'm also trying to get a little more simple with my cooking, limiting the amount of ingredients i use, trying to go as natural as possible. if you are a carnivore like my husband, you can easily add chicken or beef to this recipe, marinating in olive oil, lemon and orange juice (and zest). 

grilled vegetable kebabs
-local, seasonal, organic veggies
-olive oil
-sea salt
-wooden skewers (soaked in warm water for 30 minutes)

-dijon mustar
-balsamic vinegar
-olive oil

cut green, yellow and red peppers, zucchini, asparagus stalks, onions, tomatoes (or any seasonal vegetable) in thick slices. toss with a sprinkling of extra virgin olive oil and place on skewers. sprinkle with sea salt and spread on a grill, or in a 450 degree oven. cook until slightly golden - just a few minutes. squeeze a lemon over the veggies and serve a generous portion with a modest side of soba noodles, or my favorite, brown rice. for a light, mustard vinaigrette, combine dijon mustard, balsamic vinegar and a little bit of olive oil. serve warm or cool. 

17 May 2009

banana crumb muffins

sometimes i'm just in the mood to bake something...anything. to see something through from beginning to end. from scratch. the husband and i came home yesterday from a nice little hike in malibu and i was craving the kitchen. i found this recipe on my fellow blogger friend, krista's blog, and i couldn't help but try it. it sounded delicious. turns out, it was. serve these babies warm and they are mouth watering good.  i'm not ashamed to say that the whole muffin tray was gone by this morning. i want to make more today.

banana crumb muffins

muffin ingredients:
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3 bananas, mashed
3/4 cup white sugar
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
1 egg

crumb topping ingredients:
1/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp. flour
3 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tbsp. butter, softened

preheat oven to 375 degrees. line muffin pan with muffin papers (also works for mini muffins!).

in a large bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. set aside. in another bowl, beat together sugar, butter and eggs. add bananas and vanilla.

slowly add the banana mixture into the flour mixture until moistened. spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.

in a small bowl, mix together sugar, flour and cinnamon for topping. add butter and combine until mixture resembles course cornmeal. sprinkle over top of muffins.

bake for about 18 to 20 minutes (13-15 for mini muffins). let cool for 5 minutes before taking out of pan **.

**cort and i have never made it the 5 minutes for anything. the smell was too inviting and they were delicious scorching hot, even though they burnt our fingers. enjoy! xo. 

11 May 2009

sliders with chipotle mayonnaise and sweet potato fries

this isn't one of the healthiest meals i've ever made, but it seemed kind of fun, and i justified it by making some of the burgers with bison (which is surprisingly lean and healthy), and the fries out of sweet potatoes. adapted from the food network, this is a fun, fast and easy meal.

sliders with chipotle mayonnaise

chipotle mayonnaise:
1 cup mayonnaise
2 chipotles in adobo sauce (found near the salsa/mexican food aisle)
1 tablespoon adobo sauce
1/2 lime, juice
salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 to 1 1/2 pounds ground beef, bison or turkey (your preference)
salt and fresh ground black pepper, for seasoning
cheese slices
mini burger buns

burger bar:
chipotle mayonnaise
red onion slices

chipotle mayonnaise directions:
add all ingredients in food processor and puree. season with salt and pepper.

slider directions:
preheat grill over medium high heat (medium low for bison).

form the meat into 2-3 ounce portions, pack tightly. season with salt and pepper. if using bison, wait until after meat is cooked to season. 

place the sliders on grill. wait until they are nice and crusty on the first side, about 4-5 minutes and then flip to cook another 4 minutes. when the sliders are about done, top with cheese slice and close the grill to let the cheese melt. ** if using bison, flip at about 3 minutes (bison should be slightly pink inside).

place the slider on the mini bun and top with chipotle mayonnaise and other desired toppings.

sweet potato fries

2 pounds sweet potatoes
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or if you can't find this seasonal item, use some cinnamon and cumin)
1 tablespoon low-sodium chili seasoning mix
salt and pepper

preheat oven to 400 degrees F. line baking sheet with aluminum foil. set aside.

use peeler to peel sweet potatoes. cut potatoes in half length-wise, then cut into 1/2 thick fries.

place sweet potato fries in a large mixing bowl. add oil and spices and mix until they are thoroughly coated with spices.

spread fries in a single layer over prepared baking sheet. place in preheated oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, turning once to ensure even cooking. remove from oven and serve hot.

**these were also great dipped in the chipotle mayonnaise. thanks patti! xoxo.

03 May 2009

ravioli with balsamic brown butter

    Giada of Everyday Italian from the Food Network is by far one of my favorite people to watch. I want to eat her, she is so adorable and classy. I made this for sunday dinner and it was a hit. pasta, cheese, balsamic vinegar? you can't go wrong with this combo...

    ravioli with balsamic brown butter
-18 to 20 ounces store-bought ravioli (cheese, mushroom or squash)
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/3 cup toasted, chopped walnuts
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan

bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. add the ravioli and cook 4 to 5 minutes, until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally. drain ravioli onto a large serving platter. 

meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, cook the butter over medium heat, stirring occasionally. when the foam subsides, and the butter begins to turn a golden brown, about 3 minutes, turn off the heat. let cool for about 1 minute. stir in the balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.

transfer the ravioli to the pan saucepan with the balsamic brown butter. sprinkle walnuts and parmesan over the top. 
serve immediately.

enjoy! xo.

29 April 2009

grilled fish with pesto


  • 1 16-ounce package of whole wheat spaghetti
  • 1 cup toasted pine nuts, a small amount reserved for garnish
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 cups basil leaves, washed, one reserved for garnish
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese (optional), plus a small amount reserved for garnish
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup vegetable stock or water
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 6-ounce filets of fish (i used halibut)

boil water and cook the pasta. meanwhile, toast the pine nuts in a frying pan with a pinch of salt. when they turn lightly brown put them in a blender with the garlic, basil, parmesan cheese and olive oil. add a ¼ cup of vegetable stock or water and blend until smooth. you may need to add a bit more stock or water to get the consistency that you like. add plenty of salt and pepper to taste (i use sea salt). serve topped with toasted pine nuts, a basil leaf and parmesan cheese.

lightly brush four 6-ounce filets of fish (halibut, cod, salmon, or sea bass) with olive oil, lemon and salt.  grill for three to five minutes per side depending on how rare you like it. place the grilled fish on top of a plate of spaghetti. top with the pesto sauce, some toasted pine nuts, grated parmesan and shredded basil.

this was the first dinner i made as a wife...enjoy!

12 April 2009

easter frog eye salad

i'm not sure why i called this "easter" frog eye salad, other than today is easter, and I made it for easter dinner. this is pretty much a holiday staple around the Campbell household, and one of my all-time favorites. everyone i know has their own adaptation of this famous side dish (actually more of a dessert than side dish), but i got this particular recipe from my new favorite cookbook that my new sister Erin gave me for my birthday - peacocks on my porch {a collection of recipes from the dna cycling widows}. thanks erin! 

frog eye salad
step 1
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1 tsp. salt
1 1/4 cups pineapple juice
2 eggs
1 tablespoon butter
1 pkg. acine noodles (i used organic, whole wheat acini noodles - Mmmm...)

in a sauce pan, combine sugar, flour, salt and pineapple juice. heat until thickens. beat eggs in a bowl. add a little bit of the cooked sauce to the eggs and then stir. repeat, adding a little again. (do this so when you add the eggs to the sauce the eggs won't cook and make it lumpy). add egg mixture to sauce. whisk as you pour. add butter. stir as it melts. cook noodles according to package directions. mix together noodles and sauce. let cool.

step 2
2 cans mandarin oranges
1 (20 oz) can pineapple chunks
1 small can pineapple crushed
1 large cool whip
1 cup mini marshmallows (i did almost 3!)

add oranges, pineapple, cool whip and marshmallows. mix all together. refrigerate a few hours (although, i feel that it is the BEST the day after).

enjoy. xo.

09 April 2009

eggplant, mint and feta sandwich

i'm trying to expand my tastebuds, and venture into some unknown territory. i adapted this recipe from a yummy website. normally, not the biggest fan eggplant, but this sandwich looked pretty good, especially with the cheese - and i jump at the chance to use olive oil. eggplant is a good protein source. thick and "meaty". such is the life of a vegetarian...

eggplant, mint and feta sandwich

1 medium eggplant, sliced into 1/2 inch thick rounds
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper, to taste
8 slices wheat bread (i prefer ezekiel bread)
1/2 cup hummus
12 slices feta cheese, about 1/4 inch thick
1 cup mint leaves, julienned
4 pieces of red leaf lettuce

prepare eggplant: preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
in a small bowl, combine olive oil and vinegar and season with salt and pepper.
lay eggplant rounds on a baking sheet and, using a brush, coat each piece with the olive oil mixture, flip the eggplant and brush the remaining sides.
bake the eggplant for 20-25 minutes, turning once.
remove and let cool.

23 February 2009

cashew butter chicken stew

after being bed-ridden all week with the flu, this comfort food really hit the spot. i loved it because it was fast (only took 30 minutes) and it was really easy to make. made with all natural, organic ingredients (including the chicken), i would eat this a couple times a week...

2 cups chopped red onion
1 red pepper, sliced into strips
1/2 tsp ground black pepper, divided
3 cups Pacific brand chicken broth (free range, vegetarian-fed)
1 lb free range chicken breast, cubed
1/4 cup fresh curly organic parsley, chopped
1 medium Granny Smith apple, cored and cubed
1 cup frozen or fresh lima beans
1/4 tsp Celtic sea salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 cup natural cashew butter, unsalted

1. in a large non-stick pan, saute onions, pepper and 1/4 tsp of black pepper for 4 minutes. Add broth, chicken breast and parsley. cover and bring to a boil. simmer until chicken is cooked through and remove from pot.
2. add apple, lima beans, salt, cayenne pepper and remaining black pepper to the broth. cover and simmer for 10 minutes. uncover and whisk in cashew butter until well blended. return chicken to pot.


18 February 2009

energy muffins

i'm trying to put a healthier spin on everything i eat lately...i love a good muffin - straight out of the oven and melt-in-your-mouth perfection. who said they can't be delicious and nutritious?

energy muffins
2 cups egg whites
1 1/2 cups oats or 1 cup instant oatmeal or 1 1/2 cups quick oatmeal
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup 1% cottage cheese
1/2 cup whey protein powder
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
25 almonds
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp or pinch of salt
1 cup strawberries 

1. preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. pour ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth
3. mix in fruit by hand, if desired, or include in blender
4. pour into regular-sized stick-free muffin cups
5. cook until toothpick comes out clean (about 40 minutes)

nutrients per muffin:
calories: 120, total fat: 2 g, sat. fat: 0 g, cholesterol: 5 mg, sodium: 125 mg, carbs: 17g, fiber: 3 g, sugars: 3 g, protein: 9g, iron: 1.20 mg

makes 16 muffins

06 February 2009

banana foster by lacey

this scrumptious dessert comes from my good friend, Lacey, who shared it with us last weekend as a superbowl treat. it was oh-so-delicious, melt-in-your-mouth kind of good....give it a try, it's so easy, it's worth it - you won't be disappointed....

banana foster
1 stick butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 bananas peeled and sliced
1/2 tbsp vanilla (replacing the usual rum)

1. melt butter in a large skillet
2. add brown sugar and stir together
3. add vanilla
4. add the bananas and cook until caramelized over medium-high heat.
5. 1 tsp cinnamon **is what Lacey uses**
5. serve over vanilla ice cream and/or crepes

thanks lacey!

29 January 2009

oreo truffles

i'm testing these sweet things out on my loved one's this valentines day...

oreo truffles

1 package oreo cookies (use whole cookie, including cream center)
1 8 oz. package cream cheese (softened)
white chocolate bark (i couldn't fine the "bark coating", so I used hershey's white chocolate, or any baking white chocolate will do just fine)

1. finely crush 7 cookies in a food processor or place them in ziploc bag and crush into a fine consistency. reserve for later.
2. crush remaining cookies and stir in softened cream cheese. use the back of a large baking spoon to help mash the two together.
3. roll the mixture into 1" balls and place on wax paper covered cookie sheet.
4. melt chocolate as directed on package and then dip balls into chocolate, tap off extra and set aside on wax paper covered cookie sheet to dry.
5. you can sprinkle the tops with the 7 crushed cookies for decoration.
6. once dry, refrigerate and enjoy!

notes: you can use a small cookie cutter to push the mixture through for heart shaped, v-day truffles. also, it helps to freeze the uncoated balls for a few minutes to keep the mixture from starting to fall apart in the melted chocolate. 

••get creative, use milk chocolate, mint oreos, etc...a fun valentine, or everyday treat!!

14 January 2009

blueberry and almond smoothie

as a part of my "2009 healthy living" campaign, i have been looking for tasty, easy recipes that are also great for the bod. this smoothie is used as a part of a detox diet i found, but I think it is great for an everyday snack.

this could easily be made with any fruit - raspberries, peaches, mango, etc. - also, feel free to substitute rice or coconut milk for almond milk (i prefer rice milk myself).

serves: 1
time: 5 minutes

1 scoop of complete nutritional, whey protein fortified powder (not soy protein)
1/2 cup blueberries
1 scoop of a ProGreens type of powder (preferably with probiotics)
1 1/2 cups almond milk

blend everything together. enjoy!