Posts Tagged ‘quick and easy recipes’

Edamame, Black Bean & Roasted Red Pepper Salad

Thursday, April 15th, 2010
Edamame, black beans, roasted red peppers, corn, cilantro salad

Edamame, Black Bean & Roasted Red Pepper Salad

I look at eating my Super Salad as my little nutritional insurance policy. It makes me feel like even if I ate nothing but pop tarts the rest of the day, at least I got a few servings of vegetables and nuts.  Because of this, we have some sort of salad with every dinner.  And a salad with every dinner equals salad burn out

If you too get salad burn out, try this one…my Edamame, Black Bean and Roasted Red Pepper Salad.  It is easy to make, and very tasty. You could even eat it like a salsa on tortilla chips.  Very healthy, very tasty, and very flexible.  You can tweak the recipe to fit your likes and dislikes.  Add more edamame, omit the green onion…any way, it will be yummy.

Edamame, Black Bean and Roasted Red Pepper Salad


  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups edamame, shelled and cooked to the package directions
  • Small can of black beans, drained
  • Small can of corn, you could also use frozen corn about 1 cup
  • Small jar of roasted red peppers, drained and chopped.
  • 3 green onion, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon heart healty oil – canola works well (you can substitute this with Italian dressing for a little extra flavor – I like Good Seasons Mild Italian)
  • Small bunch of cilantro chopped
  • 1/2 cup cubed feta cheese (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Simply combine all of the ingredients and then season to taste.  Let the flavors come together by letting it sit for about an hour.  You can add more or less of the cayenne depending on how spicy you like it.

Dreamy Coconut Cream Pie

Friday, February 12th, 2010
Coconut Cream Pie made with Dream Whip

Coconut Cream Pie made with Dream Whip

There was a small blip in history – I remember it well – when my mom jumped onto the cream pie bandwagon.  It had to be late 80s, maybe even the early 90s, when my mom would prepare these incredible cream pies; Banana Cream Pie, Coconut Cream Pie, Chocolate Cream Pie and so many other creamy flavors – all delicious.  Her secret…(quiet now)…Dream Whip. 

Ever heard of it?  If you are over 40, perhaps you have; Dream Whip is powdered non-dairy dessert topping mix that was invented in 1957 by the Birds Eye Division of General Foods. Yes, non-dairy topping – Ewww!  The sound of anything non-dairy scares me…but don’t give up on this post yet.  Dream Whip has its place in your cupboard, I promise. 

Kraft Foods, who has since merged with Birds Eye, now owns Dream Whip.  Kraft certainly has the whipped topping market cornered; they also own competitor Cool Whip and Redi-Whip, surprisingly.  The Kraft website states “With Dream Whip Topping Mix in your cupboard, you never need to go without a topping!”  Well there you go…you will never have to go without a whipped topping ever again with this fantastic little box of magical powder.  Thank goodness I never have “whipped topping” emergencies. 

Ok, so it doesn’t make the best topping….what is it good for then?   For starters, Dream Whip can be prepared and then mixed into cakes to add moisture and fluffiness.  It can also be mixed with pudding or other pie fillings to become a light, fluffy, dreamy mixture.  This is the absolute best use for it in my opinion.    

Go ahead, give Dream Whip a chance with this Coconut Cream Pie recipe. The addition of Dream Whip creates a velvety consistency that is unlike any other cream pie.  This Coconut Cream Pie recipe has another twist – it uses animal crackers for the pie crust instead of your usual graham cracker crust.  

Coconut Cream Pie

Dreamy Coconut Cream Pie 


  • 2 (1 1/3 ounce) envelopes Dream Whip brand whipped dessert topping mix
  • 2 3/4 cups cold milk, divided
  • 1 cup shredded coconut, toasted
  • 2 packages (4-serving size) JELL-O instant vanilla pudding
  • 1 ½ cups crushed animal crackers
  • 6 tablespoons of melted butter
  • ½ pint whipping cream


1.)  Prepare your crust by mixing the animal cracker crumbs together with the melted butter.  Pat them down into a pie plate, covering the sides and bottom.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.  Once it is baked, set aside to cool. 

Animal Crackers for Animal Cracker Crumb Crust

Crush these animal crackers for the perfect pie crust

2.)  If you haven’t toasted your coconut yet, do so now.  Simply place shredded coconut in the pan over low to medium heat, stirring constantly until this is browned slightly on the edges.   Set aside to cool. 

toasted coconut for inside the Coconut Cream Pie

Perfectly toasted coconut

3.)  Beat Dream Whip whipped topping mix and 1 cup of the milk in large bowl with electric mixer on high speed 6 minutes or until topping thickens and forms peaks. Add remaining 1 3/4 cups milk and pudding mixes; blend on low speed. Beat on high speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. 

4.)  Fold in ¾ cup of the toasted coconut.  Set the rest aside for the top. 

5.)  Spoon the mixture into your baked crust. 

6.)  Whip your  cream with a hand mixer until soft peaks form.  Spoon over your pie filling.  

7.)  Refrigerate at least 4 hours.  After it has filling has set, sprinkle the remaining coconut on the top of your pie before serving so it remains crisp. Serve and enjoy. 

Coconut Cream Pie with Whipped Cream topping

Peanut Butter Squares

Saturday, January 2nd, 2010


A grade school legend...the Peanut Butter Square

Growing up we called them Peanut Butter Squares, some called them Hollywood Squares (anyone who grew up in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio) – these little peanut treats are sure to bring back memories of grade school lunches.  

I borrowed this recipe from the Hollywood Squares recipe originally printed in the Cuyahoga Falls News-PressAfter going over the ingredients, I was a bit hesitant in preparing it – it’s really nothing but sugar and fat.  Not the best recipe to be publishing so early in 2010 when many resolutions are already hanging by a thread.  

These Peanut Butter Squares are certainly delicious and very rich.  Kind of like a peanut butter cup on steroids.  One tiny square and your peanut butter craving will be cured.  Yep, I said “peanut butter craving” – I get them all the time.  I usually cure mine with a bit of Skippy Peanut Butter mixed with vanilla ice cream.   Now I have a new medicine.     

Peanut Butter Squares, aka Hollywood Squares 


  • 2 cups peanut butter
  • 2 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup graham cracker crumbs
  • ½ cup melted butter


  • 4 squares semi-sweet baking chocolate
  • 2 tablespoon peanut butter


1.)     Combine all ingredients except topping ingredients.  Mix well and place in a buttered 9″x13″ square pan.  

2.)     Melt the topping ingredients together and spread over the top of the peanut butter mixture. 

3.)     Chill until topping is firm. 

I’ve got a question…does anyone know where the term “Hollywood Square” originated?  In my school we simply called them Peanut Butter Squares, but in my husband’s they called them Hollywood Squares.   We grew up 40 minutes away from each other.   

Peanut Butter Squares on Let’s Get Cookin’ 

Hollywood Squares on Tasty Kitchen

Pumpkin Cupcakes

Thursday, November 5th, 2009
Pumpkin Cupcakes

Pumpkin Cupcakes

This morning I awoke to our first real hard frost, I must admit it saddened me. October and Halloween are over. The leaves have all fallen and there is a nip in the air.  As a native Ohioan one would think I would be accustomed to the arrival of “The Snow”.  Well, this is just not the case.

Along with snow comes wet boots, cold hands and feet, warming up the car, scraping the windshield, shoveling, and the awful truth that it will be dark before 6.   Am I ready? Probably not.  Do I have a choice? Definitely not.  So I better learn to make the best of it. 

One thing that I know will cheer me up is the fact I can bake till my heart’s content. The oven can be on for hours and my kitchen will feel and smell warm and toasty.  Pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, cranberries and nuts come out to play this time of year. 

With Thanksgiving being just around the corner, I plan to experiment with all things pumpkin.  I just love pumpkin.  Pumpkin pie, pumpkin cake, pumpkin cupcakes, pumpkin donuts, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin moon pies, pumpkin bread pudding and the list goes on and on.

On that note… I made some very tasty pumpkin cupcakes for my family and friends over Halloween weekend.  I personally feel like they are an anytime cupcake and even good enough to eat without frosting.  This recipe is also one that can be modified easily to give it that personal touch.  Enjoy!

Pumpkin Cupcakes
Cook Time: 25 minutes


  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour, sift before measuring
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten until frothy
  • 1 ½  cup mashed cooked or canned pumpkin
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • ¾ cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)


1.)   Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg into a bowl.

2.)   Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy; beat in eggs. Blend in mashed pumpkin.

3.)   Stir in the sifted dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk, blending until batter is smooth after each addition; stir in chopped walnuts or pecans.

4.)   Spoon batter into well-greased and floured or paper-lined muffin pan cups. Fill about 2/3 full.

5.)   Bake at 375° for 25 minutes, or until a wooden pick or cake tester inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool.

6.)    Frost with Cream Cheese Frosting, Whipped Cream, or leave plain. Makes about 24 cupcakes.


Breast Cancer Awareness Cupcake

Friday, October 16th, 2009
Perfectly Pink POM Cupcake to support Breast Cancer Awareness

Perfectly Pink POM Cupcake to support Breast Cancer Awareness

Recently, when on my way to check the mail, I was pleasently surprised to find a package waiting at the front door.  Had I purchased something online and forgot about it?  Was it a package for my husband or possibly something for the kids?  After careful review of the box, I came to realize it was from POM Wonderful.  POM Wonderful had written LifeWithCake a week ago asking if we would enjoy a care package of their POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice, to which we replied – heck yeah!  We rarely will pass up anything free.

Now, I have tried POM before, mainly for its health benefits, but I have never enjoyed “cooking” with it.  This is our mission – to find some interesting and unique ways to incorporate POM Wonderful into some tasty dishes and drinks.  The first being our Breast Cancer Awareness Cupcake, the Perfectly Pink POM Cupcake. 

Along with the juice samples, the people at POM kindly included some interesting information regarding the health benefits of POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice.

Did You know?

  • Only POM Wonderful products are backed by $32 million in medical research.
  • POM Wonderful is the only brand to contain 100% authentic pomegranate juice.
  • POM Wonderful grows, picks, and squeezes their own fruit along with manufacturing their own bottles.
  • All Pomegranate orchards are located in sunny California.  Their juice is never imported.
  • POM juice is the only juice to be made exclusively from the “Wonderful” variety pomegranate.
  • The “Wonderful” variety is known for its deep crimson color, delicious taste, and most importantly its unique combination of super antioxidants.
  • Hundreds of scientific tests show POM to be a superior source of antioxidants, with more and better antioxidants than red wine, grape juice, blueberry juice, cranberry juice, green tea, vitamin C and Vitamin E.  That is something to drink to indeed!

These are just a sample of facts about POM Wonderful 100% juice. More health information along with recipes and products can be found at their website POM Wonderful.

To create the Perfectly Pink POM Cupcake to support Breast Cancer Awareness, I looked through countless recipes on the internet, trying to find one that captured that clean delicious pomegrante taste.  Most comments left about  pomegranate cupcakes said basically the same thing, ”good tasting but not much like pomegranate”.

I decided to cheat a bit with this cupcake by using a store bought cake mix.  This allowed me to maxamize my use of POM Wonderful by omitting the water and replacing it with POM Wonderful.  The result was a moist sweet cupcake with the tang and distinct flavor of pomegranate.

Add POM in place of liquid...

Add POM in place of liquid...

Of course, I couldn’t leave it at cake alone, I whipped up a pomegranate buttercream by making a classic buttercream and using POM Wonderful in place of milk. The POM Wonderful gave the frosting a light pomegranate flavor and a beautiful pink hue.

I also did some experimenting my adding a few pomegranate seeds (arils) into a few test cupcakes before baking.  The seeds added a bit of crunch, but did not enhance the flavor. 

October being Breast Cancer Awarness Month, along with the health benefits associated with POM Wonderful, prompted me to top this cupcake with a pink ribbon made of fondant – The Perfectly Pink POM Cupcake is born.

I want to say thank you to Kristen Cavanaugh for the genorous gift of POM Wonderful 100% pomegranate juice!  Megan and I are tickled PINK. We will continue to use your products in good health! We are now working on a POM Wonderful martini to celebrate.

Breast Cancer Awareness Cupcake

Breast Cancer Awareness Cupcake is Perfectly Pink

Breast Cancer Awareness Cupcake
(aka Perfectly Pink POM Cupcake)


  • 1 box white cake mix
  • POM Wonderful juice

Follow box directions omitting water and replacing with POM Wonderful 100% pomegranate juice. 

Pink Pomegranate Frosting


  • 1 stick unsalted room temperature butter
  • 1/2 pound powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons POM Wonderful 100% pomegranate juice


1.) Whip butter until smooth.  

2.) Slowly add powdered sugar.

3.) When the mixture becomes to stiff, add POM Wonderful.  Then add remaining powdered sugar and blend until smooth.

Mascarpone Chocolate Cookie Bars

Monday, October 5th, 2009
Quick and Easy, Mascarpone Chocolate Cookie Bars

Quick and Easy, Mascarpone Chocolate Cookie Bars

Longing for something chocolaty and decadent?  Of course you are.  These Mascarpone Chocolate Cookie Bars are ripped off, I mean “inspired” by Giada’s Mascarpone Chocolate Toffee Bars and they are addicting.  I mean it…seriously addicting.  My father took a few for the road after Joe’s birthday party.  The next day he called to ask if I would deliver some additional chocolate cookie bars to the house – apparently he needed his “fix”.  Sadly, he was out of luck…I had just devoured the last one. 

I adapted Giada’s recipe slightly, simply because I couldn’t find one of the key ingredients – the old school Skor Bar.  Remember the Skor Bar?  Made by Hershey’s, it was a combination of tooth shattering toffee covered in an extremely thin layer of chocolate.  I don’t know why, but the Skor Bar seems so 80’s to me now – maybe because that is when they were at their peak of popularity.  Now you can’t seem to find them – at least not where I live.  

To keep with the toffee chocolate theme of the recipe, I purchased another Hershey’s product instead of the Skor, a bag of Hershey’s Nuggets. They consist of both chocolate,  toffee pieces and almonds without the risk of a trip to the dentist.  They worked well in the recipe, perhaps even better than the Skor would have done; the bars ended up  more chocolaty – and I love chocolate!

Mascarpone Chocolate Cookie Bars


  • Vegetable cooking spray
  • 1 pound refrigerated sugar cookie dough
  • 2 (1.4-ounces) chocolate-toffee candy bars, coarsely chopped, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (I used Hershey’s semi sweet)
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup honey roasted sliced almonds


1.) Position an oven rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2.) Spray a 7 by 10 3/4-inch nonstick baking pan with vegetable cooking spray. Lay a 6 by 18-inch piece of parchment paper in the pan, allowing the excess paper to overhang the sides. Spray the parchment paper lightly with cooking spray.

3.) In a medium bowl, combine the cookie dough, 1/2 of the chopped chocolate-toffee candy pieces and vanilla extract. Using damp fingers, gently press the dough into the prepared pan. Using the tines of a fork, prick the dough all over. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes until the crust is lightly browned. Cool for 15 minutes.

4.) Place the chocolate chips and vegetable oil in a medium bowl. Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water and stir until the chocolate has melted. Cool the chocolate mixture for 10 minutes. Whisk in the mascarpone cheese until the mixture is smooth. Using a spatula, spread the chocolate mixture over the cooled crust. Sprinkle the remaining chocolate-toffee candy pieces and sliced almonds over the chocolate mixture. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours until the chocolate layer is firm.

5.) Peel off the parchment paper and cut into 1 1/2 by 2-inch bars. Serve at room temperature.

Admit want one now.

Admit want one now.

Watermelon and Feta Salad

Saturday, August 8th, 2009
Watermelon and Feta Salad

Watermelon and Feta Salad

Boy oh boy, we need to make a post.  I have been swamped at work, and we are currently doing some work on the site (a slight redesign is in the works).  It is funny how guilty you start to feel as the days add up between posts.

So, I have decided to quickly put something together to ease my guilt…a Watermelon and Feta Salad recipe. 

This salad is like this post…quick and fresh.  Some of you may be able to throw it together without even hitting the market; these six ingredients may be sitting in your fridge now.  

The combination of salty, tangy feta and the sweet, cold watermelon work extremely well together.  It is really an amazing combination of flavors.  And to make it even better, the cucumber adds texture; the tomato adds nice flavor; the red onion brings a bit of zing to the party.  Top it with fresh parsley and fresh ground black pepper – and you have a perfect summer side dish for any picnic or cookout. 

My tips for this Watermelon and Feta Salad:  Cube the watermelon, cucumber and tomato so that they are all about the same size.  It makes the overall look of the salad more appealing.  Serve it immedietely.  This is not the best salad to have sitting around before you plate it.  Toss and serve; this is key.

Cubed Watermelon

Cubed Watermelon

Watermelon and Feta Salad


  • 2 cups watermelon, cubed
  • 1 cup tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1 cup cucumber, seeded and and cubed
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • Red pepper flake (optional)


1.)   In a large bowl, combine the watermelon, tomatoes, cucumber, feta and red onion. 

2.)   Top with fresh ground black pepper and fresh parsley and toss gently.

3.)   For some heat – add a few red pepper flakes.

Quinoa Salad with Black Beans

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009
Quinoa Salad with Black Beans

Quinoa Salad with Black Beans

I am currently in South America – Buenos Aires to be more precise.  So far, I am pleasantly surprised.  The people are warm and inviting; the food has been amazing; our hotel is surrounded by small shops, markets and trendy restaurants.  More details on my trip, the food and everything else that goes along with the travel experience to follow in a later post. The point of this post is to discuss cooking with the ancient “grain” quinoa, from South America, and it just so happens I am in South America.  There…I have made the connection.  On we go.

I discovered quinoa (pronounced Keen – wah) a few years back while looking for a vegetarian filling for stuffed peppers that was more nutritious than rice. For most, quinoa is known as a type of grain, not entirely true though.  If you want to get techinical, quinoa is actually a seed; it is referred to as a grain because of its cooking characteristics. 

Quinoa has a very delicate flavor and a lovely texture.  People have said it is similar to couscous – I disagree.  The texture is soft, yet there is slight bite from the spiral tail of the quinoa.  Spiral tail?  Yes, as quinoa cooks the outer germ around each grain twists to form a white spiral tail.  This tail is what gives it a pleasant bite or crunch.  The texture combination is why I love quinoa – it is heartier, more nourishing than other grains.  And thanks to its recent exposure in cooking magazines and shows, you can easily find quinoa at most supermarkets and at natural foods stores. 

Quinoa - Close Up

Quinoa - Close Up

Quinoa is high in fiber, calcium and iron, low in fat and is very easy to digest.  Compared to other grains, quinoa is the highest in complete protein which makes it an ideal ingredient for vegetarians.  Quinoa is so nutritious in fact, that it was used to sustain Incan armies who would march for several days on a simple mixture of quinoa and fat, or “war balls” as they called them.  As I stated previously, quinoa is an ancient grain; records show that quinoa has been cultivated in the South American Andes since around 3000 BC.  Quinoa has only been grown outside of South America for a relatively short period of time.  In the US, most quinoa comes out of Colorado.

So, how do you cook this stuff?  I cook my quinoa in a saucepan, a 2:1 ratio of liquid to quinoa.   For the liquid, I usually substitute stock for water as the grains absorb so much of the flavor.   Rinse your quinoa before cooking to remove any leftover residue.  I bring my stock up to a boil, add the quinoa and reduce the heat to the lowest setting and cover.  I usually let it sit for about 10-15 minutes until the liquid is absorbed.   Then I fluff with a fork and set aside.  Don’t worry too much if there is a bit of excess water on the grains – it tends to evaporate as it sits.  If you feel compelled, you can always drain in a wire strainer.  I suggest reading the instructions on your box as each variety of quinoa cooks differently.  Trial and error works best when cooking quinoa. 

Uncooked Quinoa and Vegetable Stock

Uncooked Quinoa and Vegetable Stock

Quinoa can be used in hot and cold salads and casseroles, or you can add quinoa to soups and stews for more substance.  This recipe is adapted from a recipe I found on EpicuriousQuinoa with Black Beans and Cilantro.  I used roasted red peppers and ancho chili powder for an even richer, smokier “southwest” flavor.  The fresh cilantro adds a bright flavor to the recipe, you notice it immediately – it screams “fresh”.   

Quinoa Salad with Black Beans
Yield: 4-6 servings


  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onions
  • 1 jar of roasted red peppers, drained and chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa, drained
  • 3 teaspoons ancho chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed, drained
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided
  • Feta cheese, cut into small cubes


1.) Prepare your quinoa to the package directions. Rinse before cooking.  Once cooked, drain and set aside to cool.

2.) Heat oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes.

3.) Stir in the roasted red peppers, ancho chili powder and cumin and salt.

4.) Remove the mixture from heat, place in a large bowl and let stand to cool.

5.) Once your onion mixture is cool, add the black beans, ¼ cup of the cilantro and quinoa.

6.) Just prior to serving sprinkle in the remaining ¼ cup of cilantro and feta cheese. This dish is served at room temperature.  Taste again, season with salt and pepper as needed.

Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Pecan Topping

Friday, June 19th, 2009
Mashed Sweet Potatoes With Pecan Topping

Mashed Sweet Potatoes With Pecan Topping

Looking for a tasty, healtier alternative to mashed potatoes?  My mashed sweet potatoes are sweet, crunchy, creamy – just delicious.  They work well with most of your summer time staples…hamburgers, hot dogs, ribs, chicken – the list goes on and on. 

A tip to make this recipe even easier is to buy the pre-wrapped sweet potatoes that you microwave. There is no need to remove the wrapping, pierce or wash – just throw them in the microwave for about 5-10 minutes.  For this recipe I microwaved 4 at a time.

Once the sweet potatoes are cooked, remove them from the microwave and let them cool; you want them cool to the touch so you can remove the inside goodness from the skin.  Once they are cooled, slice them in half and spoon out the inside into a baking dish and mash them with a potato masher.

Mash the Sweet Potatoes With a Potato Masher

Mash the Sweet Potatoes With a Potato Masher

This recipe is not only simple, it is nutritious.  Sweet potatoes packed with vitamin A, they are also a great source of vitamin C, iron, calcium and fiber.  The recipe does, however, contain a good amount of sugar and fat in it.  But don’t worry – if you are cooking for someone on a special diet it is easy to adjust this recipe. I was cooking for my mother, so I adjusted a portion of the recipe to suit her diet; I used less of the topping (contains brown sugar and butter) on her portion.  Sweet potatoes are a good option for diabetics as they have the lowest glycemic index rating amongst all root vegetables.

If you wanted to adjust the sugar content even further to make a diabetic friendly version, I would suggest eliminating the brown sugar completely from the topping and replacing the maple syrup with sugar-free syrup.  Sweet Potatoes are naturally sweet so they don’t need much help.

I tried both the full fat, full sugar version and the trimmed version and I must say – they were both excellent.



  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans, I use the Pecan Pie glazed Pecans by Emerald Nuts
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) chilled butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces

The Rest:

  • 6 prewrapped microwavable sweet potatoes
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons salt


Preheat oven to 350°F.

1.) Mix the brown sugar, pecans and butter in small bowl. Set aside – preferably in the fridge to chill.

2.) Prepare a glass baking dish with butter. I simply put a bit of butter on a paper towel and wipe. You could even substitute canola oil as well.

3.) Cook your sweet potatoes in the microwave. Remember, you have to pierce sweet potatoes before putting them in the microwave unless you buy the pre-wrapped microwaveable sweet potatoes. Cook on high for about 8-10 minutes until tender to the touch. Let cool.

4.) Once your sweet potatoes are cool, place them in a dish and mash with a potato masher.

5.) Beat eggs, maple syrup, vanilla, lemon juice and salt in large bowl. Mix in the mashed sweet potatoes.

6.) Transfer sweet potato mixture to prepared dish. Sprinkle pecan topping evenly over mixture.

7.) Bake until sweet potato mixture is set and the pecan topping bubbles, about 1 hour. Let stand 15 minutes and serve.

A Bit of Heaven, Goat Cheese with Honey

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009
Goat Cheese with Honey from Whole Foods

Goat Cheese with Honey from Whole Foods

Goat cheese with honey is simple and delicious.  This discovery was found at one of my favorite hang outs, the Whole Foods in Oakville, Ontario.  I am positive that most Whole Foods carry this tasty little treat – it is located in by the prepared foods near the cheese section.  

To some, this may sound like an odd flavor combination – but honestly, cheese and honey go so well together – especially goat cheese and honey.  That slight tang of the goat cheese is complimented so well with the sweetness of the honey.    

The texture of the goat cheese with honey is extremely creamy and it spreads smoothly.  It works well paired with sliced apples as well as spread straight onto a toasted baquette. 

If you don’t have a Whole Foods in your area – you can easily make a goat cheese and honey dip at home. 

Goat Cheese With Honey Dip


  • 6 ounces local goat cheese, bring to room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons honey, I like to use a local honey


1. Mix the goat cheese and honey together until well-blended and smooth.

2. Place the goat cheese and honey mixture in a bowl – serve with crostini, figs, apples, pears and nuts.  A truly delicious and simple recipe.