Friday, November 30, 2007

Applesauce Pancakes

This was the second recipe from Jeannie for my mission to use up wheat bread. It was delicious but I am slightly partial to the banana fritter pancakes. I didn't have any dry milk so I used regular milk for both of these. It didn't seem to make a difference in the banana recipe but it made this one too runny so I added another slice of bread. That did the trick and they turned out perfect.

Applesauce Pancakes
from the LEAN and LUSCIOUS Cookbook

2 eggs
1/2 cup applesauce
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 slices whole wheat bread, crumbled (I used 3 slices)
2 tsp vegetable oil
1/3 cup nonfat dry milk (1/4 cup 2% milk)
1 tsp double acting baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
sweetener equivalent to 3 tsp sugar (I used sugar)

In blender combine all ingredients until smooth. Preheat griddle or skillet over medium- high heat. Pour mixture unto griddle, making 8 4 inch pancakes. Turn carefully when edges are brown.
Makes 2 servings
263 calories

Banana Fritters

I went a little crazy at Costco and bought WAY too much bread. The next few days I will be on a mission to use up some of this bread because I hate wasting food. Jeannie sent me two fabulous recipes and I made them both for breakfast today. Yes, I finally got around to cooking breakfast at 10:30 am. It is my day off so I've been really lazy.

Banana Fritters

2 eggs
1 medium ripe banana
2 slices whole wheat bread, crumbled
1/3 cup non fat dry milk (substituted 1/4 cup 2% milk)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp double acting baking powder
2 tsp vegetable oil
sweetener equivalent to 2 tsp sugar (I used sugar)
I also added 1/2 tsp cinnamon

In blender, combine all ingredients. Blend until smooth. Preheat a griddle or skillet over medium- high heat. Pour unto griddle making 8 4 inch fritters. Turn over carefully when fritters become brown.
Makes 2 servings
286 calories

This isn't exactly what I think about when I think of fritters. I was expecting a deep fried breaded banana. This is so much better and better for you. I would probably call it a pancake instead of a fritter.

Creamy Tomato Basil Soup

I found this recipe on Good Eats n' Sweet Treats Blog. It sounded delicious so I gave it a try with a few modifications. It was perfect for a lazy weeknight dinner of soup and grilled cheese sandwiches.

Tomato Basil Soup
from Cooking Light

4 cups chopped seeded peeled tomato (about 4 large)*
4 cups low-sodium tomato juice*
1/3 cup fresh basil leaves
1 cup 1% low-fat milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1/2 cup (4 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
Basil leaves, thinly sliced (optional)
8 (1/2-inch-thick) slices diagonally cut French bread baguette

Bring tomato and juice to a boil in a large saucepan. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 30 minutes.

Place tomato mixture and basil in a blender or food processor; process until smooth. Return pureed mixture to pan; stir in milk, salt, and pepper. Add cream cheese, stirring well with a whisk, and cook over medium heat until thick (about 5 minutes). Ladle soup into individual bowls; garnish with sliced basil, if desired. Serve with bread.

8 servings (serving size: 1 cup soup and 1 bread slice)

*I modified this recipe by using (gasp!) canned tomatoes (1-14 oz can whole tomatoes and 1-14 oz can diced tomatoes) because I didn't have any fresh tomatoes on hand and was too tired to go to the store. This was enough for 4 servings. I also added 2 Tbs sugar and omitted the milk because 4 oz of cream cheese for 4 servings was plenty creamy (maybe a tad much). It still turned out great. This is the perfect comfort food.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Navajo Fry Bread Breakfast Pie

I stumbled upon a contest called Homegrown Gourmet while I was checking out some other food blogs.

Here are the rules:

Anyone can play!

A theme will be picked by the host. Participants will make a dish that follows the theme and that somehow represents their home region- town, state, area. Representation can feature a local ingredient, be a traditional dish from your area, or be a creative twist.

Participants will have 3-4 weeks (host discretion) to complete their recipes and post them to their blog (or email the pics and text), and notify the host. The host will then post the results and then let everyone know via email or message board the results are up! An explanation of your dish is required; it can be a story about the local custom or ingredient, how you came about eating/ making the recipe, or an explanation about how your creative dish fits the theme.

Fresh and local foods are encouraged!

When the round is done, the host will announce their favorite dish by updating their blog. Favorite is completely subjective to the host- no one expects the host to make and taste test all the dishes, it is just something that strikes the host’s fancy! The creator of the fave gets the honor of hosting the next round, if they so choose!

The theme for this round is…PIES AND TARTS!

I was so excited about a blogger contest! But then I got to thinking what could I make to represent Arizona? We are definitely not known for pies or tarts. The first things that came to mind were Indians, Southwestern/Mexican food, and oranges. Since our climate is warm we are one of the top citrus growing states. Unfortunately I couldn't think of any orange pie or tart that sounded good. That left me with Indian and Southwestern/Mexican food. Traditional pies like fruit pies, cream pies, or nut pies were ruled out. I had to think out of the box (or the traditional pie shell to be exact). It was also Sunday morning and I was getting hungry for breakfast. So I decided on a Southwestern take on Huevos Rancheros using Navajo Fry Bread for the pie crust.

One thing I've discovered about my town is there seems to be a festival every weekend except in the summer months when it is too hot to go outdoors. One of the most popular attractions at these festivals is the Navajo Fry Bread stand. Some people go to these festivals only to get some fry bread. You can order plain fry bread with powder sugar and/or honey for about $4 or you can get a fry bread taco with beans, cheese, lettuce, tomato, and sour cream for $7. I did a little research to find out how to make fry bread. It is actually really simple. I can't believe how much these stands charge for fried dough. Maybe I should start a fry bread business! I wanted to incorporate fry bread into my pie since Arizona has a strong Native American history.

We also have a strong Mexican influence. I love Mexican food. I could eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. My husband and I like to go to the Mercado on the weekends and have authentic carne asada, chile verde, and fajitas. The Mercado reminds me of a party with loud music and the aroma of delicious food. Several times we have tried to re-create the foods that we ate there at home. I like the red salsa so I'm always trying to imitate it. My husband likes the green salsa so he tries to make that one. The famous red/green salsa debate, popular in the southwestern states, continues in our own house! The key to a good salsa is fresh ingredients. I wanted to incorporate salsa roja into this dish because no matter what everyone else says the red salsa is the best!

It may sound a little strange but this actually turned out really, really well. I was very impressed and so were my taste testers!

Navajo Fry Bread Breakfast Pie

The Crust:
1 cup flour, plus additional for dusting
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup warm water
vegetable oil for frying

Heat oil in a large, shallow frying pan. Mix 1 cup of flour and baking powder in a bowl. Slowly add the water. Stir until a dough forms. Dust some flour on a sheet of wax paper or other clean, dry surface. Dust flour on a rolling pin. Add the dough to the surface and roll out into a 10 inch diameter circle. Add dough to oil and fry for 3 minutes on each side.

The Pie:
(use fresh ingredients for best results)
2 large tomatoes
1/4 cup white onions, diced
1/4 cup red onions, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, diced
1 Tbs olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp cumin
4 oz tomato sauce
1 Tbs lime juice
2 Tbs cilantro chopped
4 eggs

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Piece the skin of the tomatoes on the bottom in an "X" shape. Heat a bowl of water in the microwave just until boiling (about 3 minutes on high). Add the tomatoes to the water for 2 minutes. This will make it easier to peel the skin. Remove the skin from the tomatoes. Dice the tomatoes and add to an oven safe dish. Add the onions, jalapeno, olive olive, salt, pepper, cumin, and tomato sauce to the tomatoes. Stir to combine. Place in oven and roast for 40 minutes. Remove and let cool for 5 minutes. Add the lime juice and cilantro.

Place the fry bread on the bottom of a pie plate. Add the salsa on top. With a spoon, create 4 wells in the salsa. Crack an egg in each well. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until eggs reach the desired consistency.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Turkey N' Loaded Dumplings

It was kind of chilly in Phoenix today. It doesn't really get "cold" here but when the high is 70 that is cold to us. I was lazy today and sat around the house in cozy sweat pants and a sweat shirt. I felt like eating some warm soup too. We still have leftover turkey and lots of veggies that I wanted to use before they went bad. I created this little twist on traditional chicken n' dumplings. I called the dumplings "loaded" dumplings because I got the inspiration from a loaded baked potato. This turned out delicious!

Turkey N' Loaded Dumplings

6 cups chicken broth
2 large carrots, coined
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 cup turkey pieces, cooked
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbs sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
1 Tbs green onion, chopped
1/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
2 pieces of bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 Tbs milk

Bring the chicken broth, carrots, and celery to a boil in a large pot. Simmer over medium until vegetables are tender. Add the turkey and reduce to low. In a separate bowl mix the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Add the sour cream, onion, cheese, and bacon. Stir to combine. Slowly add the milk and stir until a thick dough forms. Add additional milk if dough doesn't stick together. If dough is too sticky add additional flour. Drop dough by teaspoonfuls into soup. Turn the temperature back up to medium and cover pot with lid. Cook for 20 minutes or until dumplings are done.

Asian Slaw

I really like the flavor and uniqueness of Asian Slaw. I had the best Asian Slaw at a restaurant called Claim Jumpers. I tried to re-create my own version today. It turned out ok. It is very fresh tasting and zingy. One thing that could be added is some red or green bell pepper.

Asian Slaw

3 cups cabbage, shredded
1 large carrot, shredded
1 celery stock, shredded
2 Tbs cilantro, chopped
2 Tbs green onion, chopped
4 Tbs vegetable oil
2 Tbs rice vinegar
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp crushed red pepper
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbs sugar
1 Tbs sesame seeds

Mix the first 5 ingredients in a large salad bowl. In a separate bowl whisk the remaining ingredients to form the dressing. Pour the dressing over the slaw and mix to combine. Chill in a refridgerator until ready to serve.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Sweet Potatoes

My co-worker Dara made this for our Thanksgiving Potluck at work and I had to have the recipe because it was by far the best sweet potato casserole that I have ever had. My husband said this was the best part of the meal, even better than dessert. The recipe came from Ruth's Chris Steakhouse. Dara said she went to the restaurant and tried the sweet potatoes and liked them so much that she called them and asked for the recipe. I never thought about asking a restaurant for the recipe but I will keep that in mind next time I like something when eating out.

Sweet Potato Casserole
Ruth's Chris Steakhouse

Sweet Potato Mixture

Cup Mashed Sweet Potatoes
1 Cup Sugar

Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon
2 Eggs, well beaten

1 Stick (1/2 cup) Butter

Crust Mixture

1 Cup Brown Sugar
1/3 Cup Flour
1 Cup Chopped Nuts (Pecans preferred)
1/3 Stick Butter, Melted


  1. First, combine Crust Mixture in mixing bowl and hold on the side.
  2. Combine Sweet Potato Mixture ingredients into a mixing bowl in the order listed. Combine thoroughly.
  3. Pour mixture into buttered baking dish.
  4. Sprinkle the surface of the sweet potato mixture evenly with the crust mixture.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes at 350°. Allow to set at least 30 minutes before serving.

Double Layer Pumpkin Pie

I was craving pumpkin cheesecake but cheesecake is overwhelmingly rich for my taste so I usually only take a few bites and I'm done. This recipe was the perfect combination of cheesecake and pie. The bottom layer is a fluffy cheesecake layer (not thick cheesecake like most) and the top layer is creamy pumpkin. Unfortunately I didn't get a picture of a slice that shows the two layers but you can use your imagination or go to the recipezaar link because mine turned out looking the same. This was simple and fabulous. I would definitely make this again. Oh and I didn't have any plain graham crackers to make the crust so I used cinnamon graham crackers and I think it made it even better.

Double Layer Pumpkin Pie

4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon milk or half-and-half
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 cups thawed whipped topping (such as Cool Whip)
1 9-inch graham cracker crust (store bought or make your own)
1 cup cold milk or half-and-half
1 (16 ounce) can pumpkin
2 (3 1/2 ounce) packages vanilla flavor instant pudding and pie filling mix
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves (I used nutmeg instead)

  1. Mix cream cheese, 1 tablespoon milk and sugar in large bowl with wire whisk until smooth.
  2. Gently stir in whipped topping.
  3. Spread on bottom of crust.
  4. Pour 1 cup cold milk into large bowl.
  5. Add pumpkin, pudding mixes and spices.
  6. Beat with wire whisk 2 minutes.
  7. The mixture will be thick.
  8. Spread over cream cheese layer.
  9. Refrigerate 4 hours or until set.
  10. Garnish with additional whipped topping and/or chocolate-dipped pecan halves.
  11. Store in the refrigerator until just before serving.

Cream Corn Casserole

Chase wanted cornbread stuffing and I wanted a vegetable so this was our compromise. I would describe this dish as part cornbread, part corn niblets, and part creamy goodness. I've made this several times in the past for potlucks and other occasions and it is always a hit. It is also really easy to make.

Cream Corn Casserole

1/2 cup butter melted
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup sour cream
1 can whole corn, drained
1 can cream corn
1 box Jiffy corn muffin mix

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Add all ingredients to a bowl in the order listed and mix with a spoon. Pour into a greased casserole dish and bake for 1 hour or until slightly brown on top.

Find the 4-Leaf Clover Rolls

My grandmother makes the best rolls. Someday I will get her recipe but until that day comes I will just have to keep experimenting with imitations. This recipe was alright but I probably won't make it again. I thought the rolls were too dry. They weren't soft and doughy in middle like my grandmother's recipe.

Find the 4-Leaf Clover Rolls

1 1/2 cups milk
2 tablespoons superfine sugar (caster sugar)
4 tablespoons butter, softened
2 teaspoons dry active yeast
1 egg
2 teaspoons salt
4 cups flour, plus a bit extra if needed
2 tablespoons , melted for brushing, for lining bowl and pans

  1. Warm the milk until lukewarm.
  2. In a large bowl pour in the lukewarm milk, stir in sugar, the 4 tablespoons of softened butter and the yeast. Let stand for 15 minutes.
  3. Add eggs and salt to the mixture.
  4. Stir in 4 cups of flour a little at a time adding more if needed to get a rough dough texture.
  5. Knead dough until smooth (about 5-10 minutes).
  6. Place the dough into a clean bowl coated with shortening; cover with tea towel and let sit in a warm place until doubled in size (about 1 1/2 hours).
  7. Coat 2 muffin pans with shortening.
  8. Punch down raised dough and roll into balls, sized to fit 3 into each cup in the pan. Make a few to fit four balls in the pan for the 4-leaf clovers.
  9. Cover the pans with a tea towel and let rise in a warm place for 1 1/2 hours.
  10. Preheat the oven to 400F; brush the rolls with the melted butter and bake about 20 minutes until lightly browned.
  11. Let cool slightly before serving.

Happy Turkey Day

Here was the menu:
Brined and Roasted Turkey
Homemade Clover Rolls
Cream Corn Casserole
Sweet Potatoes
Double Layer Pumpkin Cheesecake
Moscato Wine

It was just my husband and I this year but of course I had to go all out and cook enough for an army. We will be having leftovers for a long time.

One of my former co-workers told me about turkey brining and he swears this technique makes the best turkey. I decided to give it a try three years ago and it is amazing. I've brined the last three turkeys that I've cooked. I'm not sure where he discovered this method. I think he told me either America's Test Kitchen or Cooking Illustrated.

This is what you do:
Step 1: Put turkey in a bucket of water with 1/4 cup salt (kosher salt is preferred but you can use table salt) and 1/2 cup sugar. Soak for 1/2 per pound but not more than 8 hours. Keep refrigerated while brining if you can.
Step 2: Let turkey dry overnight in refrigerator. This will help get the skin crisp while roasting. I skipped this step this year but still got a crisp skin.
Step 3: Butterfly the turkey by removing the backbone and flattening the breast with a rolling pin. This will help the turkey cook more evenly.
Step 4: Baste turkey with 1/2 cup melted butter. Cover turkey with aluminum foil
Step 5: Roast turkey in 450 degree over for about 1 hours rotating and re-basting half-way through cooking time. Remove foil and continue roasting for 30 more minutes or until meat thermometer reads 170-180 when inserted in thigh.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Winning Chili Recipe

We had a chili cook off at work last year and my competitive side came out. I created a sweet and spicy chili with a few "secret" ingredients. I'm not very good at keeping secrets so I will share the recipe. All the measurements are approximate and you can add more or less to taste.

The Winning Chili Recipe

1 lb ground beef
2 cans tomato sauce
1/2 c water
1 can Rotel
2 Tbs chili powder
1 tsp onion
1 tsp garlic
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp cayenne (more or less to taste)
3 oz Hershey's milk chocolate
1/2 c Dr. Pepper
1 can red kidney beans

Brown beef and drain fat. Add all ingredients except the beans. Simmer on medium low for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the beans and simmer for 10 more minutes.

My chili won the cook off and I got accused of having an unfair advantage because of my Texas heritage. Oh well, I still get bragging rights and that's what matters.

Grand Canyon

The kitchen was out of commission last weekend because we took a little expedition to the Grand Canyon. We applied for and received a back country permit about a month ago. With this permit we were able to hike down to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and camp overnight. It was truly one of the most amazing places that I have ever been. It was also the most physically challenging thing that I have ever done.

On Friday we camped at the Mather Campground on the South Rim. Then on Saturday we hiked down the South Kaibab Trail. Saturday night we camped at the Bright Angel Campground by the river. On Sunday we woke up at sunrise and started our hike up the Bright Angel Trail. We arrived at the top of the canyon Sunday afternoon. Just before we reached the top we saw 5 big horn sheep resting on a nearby cliff. It was fascinating to see such interesting animals in person.

In order to make our backpacks as light as possible we brought MREs for lunches and dinners. This was the first time I've ever tried MREs and maybe the last. I definitely prefer home cooking. If you've never tried one and are curious what they look like here is a picture (close your eyes if you have a weak stomach).

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Snickers Caramel Apple Salad

Tomorrow we are having a Thanksgiving potluck at work. I thought this was a perfect recipe for a potluck because I can make it the day before, I don't have to keep it warm, and its super easy. One of the things that perplexed me about this recipe was why is it called a salad because this really sounds more like a dessert. After making it I think that I figured it out. Without the caramel topping and peanuts it looks just like a mustard potato salad. I want to dedicate this "salad" to my co-worker Bill because real salad is his arch enemy. I don't think he will have a problem with this one. I think this turned out perfect. I would definitely make this again.

Snickers Caramel Apple Salad

6 (2 1/4 ounce) Snickers candy bars, chill and chop

6 apples, cored and chopped into bite sized pieces (Granny Smith and/or Red Delicious) 1 (12 ounce) container Cool Whip

1 (5 ounce) box instant vanilla pudding or butterscotch pudding mix (dry mix – do not prepare!)


1/2 cup caramel ice cream topping or caramel apple dip (optional)

1/2 cup chopped peanuts, can also sprinkled on top (optional)

  1. Mix cool whip and dry pudding mix together.
  2. Chop apples and chilled Snickers.
  3. Mix together.
  4. Heat caramel sauce a bit in the microwave- just enough to drizzle, not enough to heat up salad.
  5. Drizzle caramel sauce over salad and sprinkle peanuts on top.
  6. Chill for at least an hour.

Grilled Top Sirloin

We loved to grill. One of the great things about living in Arizona is that you can grill all year. I think grilling with charcoal is the secret to a good steak. You just can't get the same flavor with a gas grill. Tonight we had grilled top sirloin with a baked potato. Yum-O.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Teriyaki Salmon

This is a true 30 minute meal and not a Rachael Ray 30 minute meal that really takes 1 hour plus. Another benefit is that this one is healthy and good for you. I love salmon and I think I just about perfected it with this recipe.

Teriyaki Salmon

1 salmon portion per person
2 Tbs vegetable oil
1 cup teriyaki sauce
1/2 tsp grated ginger
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp chopped green onion
sesame seeds for garnish

Heat oil in a deep skillet over medium heat. Dust salmon portions with ginger, black pepper, red pepper, and green onions. Add salmon portions to the skillet and cook on each side for 3 minutes. Add teriyaki sauce and sesame oil to skillet and cover. Let the fish simmer on medium low for about 5 minutes on each side or until pink throughout. Thicker portions will take longer. Garnish with sesame seeds and serve.

Tonight I served the salmon with sticky white rice and tender steamed veggies (cabbage, carrots, and celery).

Slow Cooker Chocolate Mocha Pudding Cake

Almost everything I have ever made in a crockpot has turned out fantastic. I've never tried making a dessert in it before. I thought this recipe looked fabulous and super easy. It was super easy but it wasn't very pretty, it was basically a gooey blob, and the coffee gave it a bitter taste. Sorry but this will not be added to my recipe box.

Slow Cooker Chocolate Mocha Pudding Cake

Cooking Spray or butter for pot
1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoon plus 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (divided use)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
3 tablespoon butter, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup packed golden brown sugar
1 2/3 cup hot coffee or hot water

Spray inside of 3 ½ to 4 quart slow cooker with cooking spray or rub with butter.

In a mixing bowl, thoroughly stir together flour, granulated sugar, 3 tablespoons of the cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Stir in the milk, melted butter, vanilla and chocolate chips. Spread this mixture over the bottom of your slow cooker

In another bowl, mix together brown sugar and remaining 1/4 cup cocoa powder. Sprinkle cocoa mixture over the batter, but do not stir it in. Pour the coffee evenly over all. Again, do not stir.

Cover and cook on high heat for 1 3/4 to 2 hours or until a tester inserted in the top portion of the cake comes out clean. The inside should be hot and similar to fudge sauce. Spoon cake and sauce out of slow cooker and arrange next to or under a very cold scoop of ice cream. Or if you prefer, set the ice cream on top.

Chicken Fried Steak

Being from Texas you probably would have thought that I grew up on chicken fried steak. I actually never even tried it until I was in college. Now it is one of my favorite foods. My hubby makes the best chicken fried steak that I have ever had. One day he was going to make it for me but we were all out of bread, bread crumbs, or anything we normally might use for breading. We did however have several bags of pretzels. We decided to crush the pretzels and use that for breading. It was so good. We will never use anything else for breading ever again. It comes out so much crispier. Since I like things spicy he also adds a "daring dash" of cayenne to the breading mixture. "Daring dash" was his term because its not too much that it overwhelms the taste but its just enough to give it a kick.

Chicken Fried Steak
By Chase

Tenderized cube steak (1 per person)
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 Tsp milk
vegetable oil

1 cup crushed pretzels
1 daring dash of cayenne
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp dried onion

Fill a saucepan with vegetable oil (1-2 inches deep). Heat the oil to medium. Whisk the eggs and milk in a shallow dish. Dip the steaks in the egg/milk mixture then cover them with the breading mixture. Cook one steak at a time in the oil until it gets brown. Approximately 4 minutes on each side. Serve with gravy.

Beer Bread

I was browsing the web and I stumbled across this recipe. There are only six ingredients and five of them are always in my kitchen. Beer tends to disappear very quickly in our house. I went grocery shopping yesterday and brought home a six-pack among other things. I knew if I was going to make this recipe then I needed to either hide one of the beer bottles or make this recipe immediately. I opted for the later just to be safe. I started measuring out ingredients before I even put away all the groceries.

Beer Bread


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle beer (I used Budweiser Select)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan. In a large mixing bowl, combine all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder, salt and brown sugar. Pour in beer, stir until a stiff batter is formed. It may be necessary to mix dough with your hands. Scrape dough into prepared loaf pan. Bake in preheated oven for 50 to 60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean.

This recipe was super simple. The flavor will change depending on the type of beer you use. I would also suggest adding a little bit of butter on top before you put it in the oven so it will get slightly brown. Overall this was not bad but I might try other beer bread recipes before I make this one again.

San Francisco

In July I went to San Jose for a business trip. I stayed a few extra days so I could be a tourist in San Francisco. It is a great place for food, wine, and culture.

I did two wine tastings. One was the Savannah Chanelle Estate in the Santa Cruz mountains and the other was Waddle Creek Vineyard in Ghirardelli Square. Both were fabulous. If you ever go to the Waddle Creek Vineyard or try any of their wine I highly recommend the Sparkling Cabernet.

So what goes best with wine? Chocolate of course. If you are a chocolate lover the Ghirardelli Chocolate Factory is a must see if you are ever in San Francisco.

I also recommend having one of their famous Ghirardelli Hot Fudge Sundaes. Don't share, get your own because every calorie is worth it. After this trip I have added Napa Valley to my future travel wish list. I would also like to go back to San Francisco some day.

About Me

Welcome to my food blog "Spice N' It Up"! I was inspired by all the fabulous cooking blogs out there so I wanted to create one of my own. I love cooking, eating, and trying new things. My first word was cookie so I guess I have been a foodie my whole life. Most of the things I make have a southern or southwest flair. I am originally from Texas so I know good BBQ, steaks, chili, and Tex Mex. I currently live in Arizona where I've learned to have an appreciation for spicy foods, the red vs. green sauce debate, and burritos. I am an engineer in real life so I don't always have a lot of time to cook. I am also not the most patient person so not everything I make is gourmet but every once in a while I will throw down in the kitchen.

I don't want this to be just a recipe database. I will have recipe reviews, product reviews, restaurant reviews, meal planning, and tasty travels. The one thing you will not find on here are any mushrooms. If you would like to find out more about something you read here just send me an email. I hope you enjoy!