Thursday, September 25, 2014

Recipes for all!

Oh my! I haven't written in so long. I would apologize, but let's face it, not many people are looking at this blog. Oh well, for those who want recipes that are tried and true, you've come to the right spot. I have had a blast this summer. It was so fun to pick so many Oregon berries. Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries. I really over did it, when it came to the u-pick farms. And I had my three kids with me, but they were surprisingly happy, chipper little helpers. My oldest was a drill sergeant! DON'T STOP PICKING!!! I got a little frightened. haha. Then of course it was time to pick peaches, apples, pears, and I even got a sweet bundle of Italian prune plums.

This summer was filled with everything from blueberry muffins to peach and blackberry cobbler to triple berry cobbler to apple pie, plum crunch cobbler, and of course apple fritters. I have lost about 75-80 lbs, so to try and keep that off I had to share my treats, which was good for me to get feedback from friends and my family. So I have gathered my favorite recipes from this summer and I will also post some great recipes to kick off Fall.

First up,
Blueberry Muffins: I found a great recipe on Pinterest and it is so good!

*Feel free to use any berries you want in this recipe.

Next up:
Peach and blackberry cobbler:

I just love The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond. She has so many wonderful recipes. I was visiting my mother-in-law a few years ago when she showed me this recipe. Ree's recipe is for blackberry cobbler only, but I love the peach added in and of course a triple berry cobbler is perfect too! So, here are the adjustments to make to her recipe. Add whatever berries or fruit you want. Ree says to pour the batter down first and then put the fruit on top. But because I use more fruit I will toss my fruit in a tablespoon of flour, and then I will pour 1/4 of the batter down, then the fruit, and then the rest of the batter and follow the rest of the directions from her recipe from there. 
Try putting them in individual ceramic dishes. Super cute for a party.

Now for Cake!
Lemon Cake with raspberry sauce:

2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 eggs
2/3 cup oil
2/3 cup lemon juice
3/4 cup sour cream

Lemon Curd
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 1-2 lemons)
2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
1/3 cup sugar
4 egg yolks
3 tbsp butter (I used unsalted)

Lemon Buttercream
1 1/2 cups butter
1 1/2 cups shortening
12 cups (3 lbs) powdered sugar
3 tsp finely grated lemon zest
6 tbsp lemon juice
3/4 tsp vanilla
1-2 tsp water - plus more to the consistency you want


1. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl and whisk together.
2.Add eggs, oil and lemon juice. Beat until smooth.
3. Add sour cream and beat until smooth.
4. Bake at 350 degrees in two 8-inch pans for about 25 minutes or until done.

Lemon Curd
1. Combine all ingredients in a double boiler (or in a metal bowl over a pot of simmering water, like I did).
2. Heat while stirring constantly with a whisk.
3. It is done when it's thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. You will be able to tell it has thickened, but I wouldn't say that it's "thick."
4. Refrigerate until cool and thick.

Lemon Buttercream
1. Beat butter and shortening together until smooth.
2. Add 6 cups of powdered sugar, one at a time, beating to combine.
3. Add lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla and combine.
4. Add the remaining powdered sugar and beat to combine.
5. Add water to get the consistency you want, starting with 1/2 tsp, beat to combine.

To assemble the cake:
1. Divide the cake into four layers by slicing each cake in half.
2. Fill two layers with lemon buttercream and the other two with lemon curd.
3. Frost the outside of the cake.
4. Drizzle the raspberry sauce over each individual piece or add the sauce to each layer of the cake as you assemble it. You can't go wrong either way!

Raspberry Sauce:
12 oz frozen unsweetened raspberries, thawed
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
2 heaping tablespoons cornstarch

1. Thaw raspberries.
2. With a fine wire strainer, use a spoon to press the raspberries so that the seedless pulp falls into a bowl below.  Strain enough pulp to get between 1/3 - 1/2 cup of pulp (I usually get close to the 3/4 cup). (You can skip this step and just use the whole berries, but people at weddings and parties don't like to pick seeds out of their teeth). Add enough water to equal 3/4 cups.
3. In a small saucepan, combine raspberry juice/water, sugar, lemon juice, and cornstarch.  Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until mixture bubbles and thickens (remember it will continue to thicken as it cools).  Remove from heat, set aside.
4. Cool and place in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Turkey Sausage and Kale soup

I love the Fall season. Everything is crisp and cool outdoors and leaves begin to change. I love the warm candles burning in my home, filling every nook and cranny with a wonderful cinnamon smell. But I of course love this season because I get to make all my favorite soups. Starting with this one, my turkey sausage and kale soup.

It is so tasty. Every time I make this soup I find myself tweaking and changing a little ingredient here and there, or adding something new to the pot. I made this soup just yesterday and here is what I came up with:


Turkey sausage and kale soup:

1lb. lean ground turkey sausage
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 medium size onion, small diced
3 stalks celery, with leaves, small chop
3 large carrots chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
olive oil to coat the pan
1 bay leaf
1T. italian seasoning
2 cloves minced garlic
2 large boxes of favorite chicken stock. Broth is ok, but stock really has a greater flavor.
3-4 smallish red or yukon gold potatoes. not peeled. Diced in 1 inch pieces
1 bunch of Italian kale. regular kale is just great if you can't find italian. I find the Italian Kale holds up fabulously and doesn't get mushy. Washed and then remove the stem from the kale leaves. You can do this by cutting around each stem. But I find the quick and easy way to do it is grab the bottom of the stem between your first and second finger and hold onto the leaf and pull all the way down till it naturally comes off. Slice the kale into thin strips.
1 small box of dried cheese tortellini, frozen works well too.
2c. of whole milk, 1/2 &1/2, or 1c. cream
1c. heated through marinara sauce
1c. mozzerella/Parmesan cheese mix

Start by heating up a large pot over medium-med. high heat. Add a tablespoon or two of good olive oil to the pan and break the sausage into pieces into the pot. Cook the sausage till browned and cooked through. Then add in the onion, carrot, and celery. Let them saute for several minutes till translucent. Add in the salt and pepper along with the bay leaf, seasoning, and minced garlic. You add the garlic now and not before so you don't burn the garlic. Me no likey burned garlic. As my son says, "dats bleh mom!"

As the ingredients develop their full flavor, get your chicken stock ready. Then add the stock to the pot, turn the heat down to low, cover and let simmer for 2 hours. Then add your potatoes and let simmer on low for another hour, till tender.

Now you are ready for that healthy and delicious kale! Haha. Kale, it's good stuff, amiright? Even my kids ate it. I didn't even have to force them! And then grab your tortellini. You will cook these two last ingredients together in the pot because they take about the same amount of time. If it's dried tortellini it will be about 11-14 min. Once this is done add in your milk or cream to the soup. Stir and you are ready to serve it up!

Heat through some marinara sauce on the stove in a separate small sauce pot. Add a little bit of that extra italian seasoning to it too! Remove from the heat and pour into a small bowl. Serve each bowl of soup with a spoonful of the sauce and a sprinkle of the cheese.

There you have it! Delicious and somewhat healthy fall soup. The little addition of milk or cream gives the illusion that it's a rich soup, but the majority of it is broth! You can add or subtract any of the veggies you want/don't want. I love throwing in some zucchini or broccoli. But don't add them till you do the kale/tortellini otherwise it will be mushy. Mushy me no likey!

I hope you all enjoy this wonderful Fall season. I know I will!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Crockpot or Slow cooking meals:
Recently my cute pregnant sister in law asked me for some crockpot dinner recipes. We all are so busy whether it be with kids, going to work, cleaning the house, or doing all three! So of course everyone thinks of the crockpot. Oh crockpot, you are our good friend. Less mess, less work, and super tasty. What more could you ask for? More recipes! I love being able to take classic recipes that might be baked or grilled or in a casserole and putting it into a crockpot. So, for example, the Boyd family favorite of chicken and broccoli is done in a couple different stages and baked in a casserole dish. So with the crockpot recipe you can enjoy all the same flavors, but skip a number of steps and get dinner out of the way early so you can enjoy the rest of your know, cleaning the house and chasing toddlers. :)

Hopefully you will try and enjoy some of these recipes I post. Let me know if you are wanting to convert any type meal into crockpot style. Haha.

Chicken and Broccoli: serves 4-6
4-6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 cans healthy cream of chicken
1 block low cal cream cheese, room temp.
1/2c. grated Parmesan cheese
1c. low fat milk
1 14oz can chicken stock
1c. low fat sour cream
1/4c. finely diced onion
1/4c. finely diced carrot
4-5 cups fresh cut in pieces, broccoli
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic powder

Turn the crockpot on high, and place the cream cheese in side along with the soup, milk, stock, sour cream, and cheese. Combine and whisk together. Then add in the carrot and onion and the seasoning. Salt, pepper, and garlic. Place the chicken breast in and push down a little so the sauce slightly covers them. An hour to an hour and a half before done, toss in the broccoli. This way it wont be mushy. Bleh. If you are in a hurry, then leave the crockpot on high for about 4 hours. If you are putting it in and have plenty of time, then turn to low for 6 hours. You can eaither serve the chicken in whole or half peices. Or pull the chicken out and shred it. It takes an extra step, but I love it when it's shredded. Pour the mixture over some rice and yum! If you have left overs, I like to turn the rest into a soup the next day. Add in some stock and veggies of your choice and now you have 2 meals for one. Serve with a homemade biscuit and jam.

Friday, July 27, 2012

What to do on a Friday? Bake banana bread!

I adapted this recipe from the Southern Living cookbook. I just love all the classic recipes you can find from there. I came across this banana bread recipe and couldn't just make it how it said to. I had to put the "Emily spin" on it. So I came up with this version, and it happens to be my favorite so far.

Banana Walnut Bread: or muffins

Bake time for loaf: 50min-1hr.
bake time for muffins: start with 18min.-20min. time will depend on your oven, may need more or less time

2 cups self rising flour. If you don't have self rising, you can make your own.
          1c self rising= 1c. all purpose + 1 tsp. baking powder + 1/2 tsp. salt. Yahoo!
1c. white sugar
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4-1/2 tsp. cinnamon, depending how much you like
1c. chopped toasted walnuts
1/2c. butter melted, don't even think about using margarine. :)
3 very ripe bananas mashed. Now you have another use for that potato masher!
2 lg. eggs, lightly beaten
1/4c. low fat buttermilk
1tsp. vanilla extract

Now, this is the time to decide if you want muffins or a loaf. Or double the recipe and have both! I chose to do both this time because I was sending some to a friend or two and for my family there are people who like nuts, don't like nuts, and then there's my hubby who doesn't touch the stuff unless there be some chocolately chippies (that is, chocolate chips) in there. So when the mix is complete and before you add nuts, you can choose what you want to do.

Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl, unless you don't want nuts; make a well in the center of the mixture. After that, in a separate bowl, mix melted butter, banana, eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla. Once combined then pour the mixture in the dry. Stir with a wooden spoon till all the dry is incorporated.

At this point you can pour the batter into a 9 x 5 loaf pan, or you can line muffin tins with liners and make muffins. It will probably make 24 decent sized muffins. I like using an ice cream scoop to make sure each muffin is about the same so they cook evenly. Muffins will take less time and are fun for kids to eat. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Summer Time Meal

The other day I made a very yummy, and summer friendly salad for dinner. I thought I would post the recipe for those who wanted a low cal, easy, summer meal.
Asian Chicken Salad: serves 4

(chicken marinade)
2-3 lg. chicken breasts
1/4c. Ken's light olive oil vinegerete
1/4c. Newman's low fat ginger and sesame dressing
1 T. honey dijion mustard
1/2tsp. salt
1/4tsp. fresh cracked pepper

(Salad ingredients)
1 lg. head of washed, and chopped romaine lettuce
1 bag of coleslaw mix, no dressing (green and red cabbage, and carrot)
1 red bell pepper, julienned
 1 large can mandarin oranges, drained
2 green scallions, thinly sliced
2 T. fresh chopped cilantro
Simply add desired amount of Newman's low fat sesame ginger dressing. *Only add a little at a time, so you don't wilt the lettuce too much.

 Mix chicken with the marinade ingredients, and put in a plastic zip bag, and then place that bag in a bowl. Let the chicken marinade for several hours in the fridge. When you are ready to make the salad, pull the chicken out of fridge and let stand for 10 minutes as the grill warms up to med-hi heat. Cook chicken till it's cooked through (165 degrees). Discard any of the remaining marinade. As the chicken grills, mix all salad ingredients together in a large bowl. Mix in a little of the dressing and toss. I would start with 2 or 3 tablespoons, then go from there. Once chicken is done. Let it rest for 5-10 min so the juices stay with the chicken. Then slice the chicken. Put several cups of the salad on each plate and then fan out several pieces of chicken onto each plate. The grill gives the chicken such great flavor, without adding a ton of oil or fat. I garnished the plate with a couple wedges of fresh lime. Have each person squeeze fresh lime over their own plate just before eating. It brighten's up all the flavors. Enjoy! We sure did.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Crepes for Breakfast

I love making pancakes for my family on the weekend. But I also love changing it up a bit. Pancakes, waffles, and of course CREPES! Crepes are a wonderful vessel for fresh fruit and cream or delicious nutella and bananas. So here is a recipe for how the Boyd family rocks their crepes.
Strawberry and Cream Crepes: 4 eggs 2c. flour 2c. cold milk 1/4c. butter, melted 1/2 tsp. salt 2 tsp. sugar Mix all ingredients in a blender or my new favorite...use a hand blender. It's less mess to clean up. Get a round non-stick sauce pan and heat over med. to med.-low heat. Use a little butter to coat the pan so the crepe doesn't stick. Pour a 1/4-1/2 cup of batter in the pan and gently swirl the batter around so it covers the pan evenly. Using a spatula, run it around the edges of the crepe after a minute on the pan to loosen it up. Then give it another 30 sec. to a minute until just slightly golden, and flip with the spatula for another 30 sec. Once you have a couple crepes made, it's time to assemble! This is the best part. You can pretty much add anything you wanted to the crepe. For me, I love sliced fresh strawberries with a pinch of sugar and some fresh homemade whipped cream (see below for whip cream recipe). Top the crepe with a couple more strawberries, roll it up and enjoy! Homemade Whip Cream: 1c. heavy whipping cream 2T. sugar 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract Whip all ingredients in a mixing bowl till light and fluffy. Use this to top just about any yummy dessert or breakfast item. Or if you're like me and my awesome sister Lauren, get two spoons and share with a buddy! Haha.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Family BBQ

It was such a beautiful day here in Portland. The sky was blue and the temp was only 80 degrees. That put me into BBQ mode. So here are the recipes I came up with for our family BBQ. Guacamole Burger: 4 servings 1-1 1/4 lb. lean ground beef salt and pepper to taste 4 T. BBQ sauce 4 slices colby jack cheese Evenly divide the beef into 4 patties. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place on the grill and once you flip the burger, add a tablespoon of BBQ sauce to each burger and then the cheese on top . Finish cooking a couple more minutes till desired doneness. Pull off the grill and assemble the guacamole burger! Guacamole: 3-4 avocados 1/4 diced red onion 1 tomato, seeded and diced Juice of a lime salt and pepper 8 dashes of hot sauce 1-2 T. chopped cilantro We had this with fresh fruit, and chips and salsa. I made fresh pico de gallo that was so delish! Here's the recipe for the pico. Pico de gallo: 3 tomatos(on the vine), diced 1/4 red diced onion 2 T. chopped cilantro salt and pepper to taste juice of a lime 1/4 tsp. lime zest Mix all together and let sit for 15 minutes. Serve with tortilla chips and enjoy!