Saturday, April 27, 2013

Homemade Nilla Wafers

I think for a lot of people the cookie they remember from their youngest years is the graham cracker. I know I definitely ate my fair share of those as a kid but for me the cookie I remember most is the Nilla Wafer. These were such a simple, basic cookie but were so tasty and didn’t make a big mess (important when dealing with a toddler!).

Mostly though I remember that Nilla Wafers were one of the few treats my family could agree on. My mom loved them, I loved them, and even my dad could be found sticking his hand into the yellow box (though I’m pretty sure his favorite way to eat these was nestled into a bowl full of banana pudding). So when I stumbled on this recipe for Nilla Wafers I knew I had to make them…and soon. Often times a recipe will sit in my to-make pile (or on my Pinterest board) for a while before I get around to making it. But this recipe? This one took a mere few days for me to make (and only that long because of my schedule).

These cookies do not disappoint. They aren’t exactly like the ones out of the box but they’re close. I rolled mine a little too big so they’re a bit chewy (and delicious) but next time I’ll make them a little smaller to get more of that crunchy wafer aspect. These will definitely be making a repeat appearance in our house. And maybe next time I’ll make some banana pudding too.


Homemade Nilla Wafers

From The First Year


1/2 Cup Butter (Softened)

1/2 Cup Sugar

1/2 Cup Brown Sugar

1 Large Egg

1 Teaspoon Vanilla

1 1/3 Cup Flour

1/2 Teaspoon Salt

1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder


Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone mat. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Cream the butter and both sugars together and then add in the egg and vanilla.

Add the baking powder, salt, and flour and combine completely.

Roll the dough into small dime-sized balls and place one baking sheet. These spread a little but you don’t need much room between them.

Bake for 7-10 minutes or until they are very light golden brown. The bigger the cookie the longer they will take.

Allow to cool and then store in an airtight container.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter!

Wishing everyone who celebrates a happy and fun Easter filled with family, food, and delicious eggs (chocolate or otherwise).


My favorite deviled eggs.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Mastering the Basics: French Toast

French toast seems so simple, yet I seem to have issues with it. I didn’t eat French toast much growing up, we were a pancake household, and I rarely order it when I’m out to eat (I blame the horrible so-called French toast at the restaurant I worked at in college – it ruined me). So sometimes I forget French toast even exists.

But we like to have breakfast for dinner fairly often since we never really get to make a real breakfast in the morning. And after a few weeks my waffle maker starts begging for a vacation and I just don’t want another pancake but I also don’t quite want an omelet and I’m stuck wondering what to have until my brain goes – French toast! Yes!

So I searched some blogs and allrecipes and determined the basic French toast formula and a little while later we had some delicious French toast for dinner. The consensus that night was that French toast is muy bueno (no hablo frances!) and will definitely be making many appearances at our house from now on.



French Toast



6 Bread Slices (thick slices work best)

2 Eggs

2/3 Cups Milk

1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon

1 Teaspoon Vanilla


Whisk together all ingredients except bread in a large, wide pan (rectangular Tupperware works great).

Heat a skillet over medium high hear. Lightly spray with no-stick spray.

Place bread into the egg mixture and allow to sit for a few seconds before flipping over to allow the other side to soak up the mixture.

Place in the hot skillet and cook until golden brown. Flip and cook the other side until golden as well.

Serve warm with your favorite toppings (syrup or fruit with whipped cream are awesome!). You can give a quick dusting of powdered sugar if you wish.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies


These cookies are amazing. Like, you’ll never want to make another cookie recipe again. Or, you’ll never want to eat another cookie recipe again.

I have no complaints about this recipe. It comes together incredibly quickly and easily. I’ve made these many times now and am still impressed at how quickly they come together. I don’t even have to bust out my mixer for these, I’ve made them stirring by hand and they’re just as good.

So try these, today. You’re search for the most amazing chocolate chip cookie (or really any cookie) will be over. Mine is.

I have to add, as I was posting this blog I noticed my photo is a similar set up to Annie’s. Totally not planned or on purpose – total accident. Made me laugh though! I love this shot regardless.


Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

From Annie’s Eats


2 Cups and 2 Tablespoons AP Flour

1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda

1/2 Teaspoon Salt

12 Tablespoons Butter (unsalted)

1 Cup Brown Sugar (packed)

1/2 Cup Sugar

1 Large Egg

1 Egg Yolk (from large egg)

2 Teaspoons Vanilla

1 1/2 Cups Chocolate Chips (I’ve used semi-sweet and dark)


Melt butter and allow to cool until warm.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees and line baking sheet with parchment or silicone baking mat.

Mix dry ingredients. In a separate bowl mix the butter and both sugars until completely combined. Then add the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk and mix.

Slowly add in the dry ingredients until totally combined and then add chocolate chips.

Roll 1/4 cup of dough into a ball* and place on prepared baking sheet. Leave room between the cookies as they will spread.

Bake about 13-14 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. You only want to bake them until the edges are firm and the center is still soft. The cookies will be golden brown.

Let cool for a minute on the baking sheet and then transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

*Check out Annie’s blog post for a great way to roll the cookie dough. I’ve used her way and the above and while I like both I really like the way the cookies form her way.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Drip Beef Sandwiches

These sandwiches are incredibly good. They cook low and slow on the stove and make the house smell incredible. I’m pretty sure I was drooling by the time they were done.

Add a crusty hoagie roll and some provolone cheese and you’ve got a winner. And then consider that these just get better as leftovers and you’ve got yourself a homerun.


Drip Beef Sandwiches

From The Pioneer Woman Food From My Frontier Cookbook with a few adaptations


3-4 Pound Chuck Roast

Salt and Pepper

2 Tablespoons Butter

2 Tablespoons Oil (I used vegetable)

2 Cups Beef Broth

1 Cup Water

1 Jar Pepperoncini

Hoagie Rolls

Provolone Cheese, optional


Melt butter and oil in a Dutch oven or heavy pot until hot. Salt and pepper the roast and then sear on each side until brown.

Remove the roast and add the beef broth and water. Give a quick stir to get any bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Add the roast back into the pan carefully.

Pour in the pepperoncini and the juice from the jar.

Cover the pan and cook over low heat 4 to 5 hours or until the meat easily falls apart when touched with a fork. Using two forks shred the roast.

Slice your rolls and then add your desired amount of meat and peppers. Top with cheese if desired.

You can serve these with a bowl of the juice for dipping, pour some juice over your completed sandwich, or, if you’re feeling wild, you can dip your assembled sandwich into the pan to soak with juice.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Mastering the Basics: Waffles

One of my favorite kitchen items is definitely my waffle maker. I love being able to quickly make a batch of waffles for breakfast – or even dinner! I don’t always get to make waffles as often as I’d like but when I do I usually double the recipe and then put the extras into the freezer to pull out when we’re having a waffle emergency (you have those too, right?
This recipe was so quick. I actually found it through Pinterest and then browsed the comments on Allrecipes. This recipe has lots of rave reviews, so I was pretty confident it would turn out ok. And did it ever! The waffles were fluffy and delicious and we loved them. I doubled the recipe and have quite a few in the freezer now. Yay! To freeze I just place two waffles into a ziplock bag, push out as much air as possible and freeze.
Definitely give this recipe a try. It took no time at all and I think it will become a regular in our rotation.
Easy Waffles
From Allrecipes via My Missouri Kitchen and found on Pinterest
2 Eggs 2 Cups AP Flour 1 3/4 Cups Milk 1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil 1 Tablespoon Sugar 4 Teaspoons Baking Powder 1/4 Teaspoon Salt 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract Directions Heat your waffle maker per the machine’s instructions. Spray with no cook spray if necessary. In a large bowl beat the eggs until fluffy. Mix in other ingredients until smooth. When the waffle maker is ready pour in the batter (whatever amount goes in your waffle maker). Cook until golden brown. Top with syrup or your favorite toppings. Enjoy!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Tortellini and Sausage Soup

It has been cold here lately. Like, really cold. Single digit cold. Add to that Doug and I fighting off the cold/sinus thing that has been going around and I decided that we were in major need of a warm, hearty soup.

This soup fits the bill. I saved this a few weeks ago and hadn’t gotten around to making it. I’m so glad I finally did. This soup is easy to throw together, tastes fantastic and is very filling. This will definitely be made again and I highly recommend it to you.Try it, you won’t be sorry.

I did make a few changes because of a few things I couldn’t find in the grocery stores here, so check out the original recipe too.



Tortellini and Sausage Soup

From : Your Homebased Mom


1 Pound Sweet Italian Sausage

1 1/2 Cups Carrots, thinly sliced

1 Small Onion, chopped

2 Cups Tomatoes, chopped

2 Cloves Garlic, chopped

1/2 Cup Water

5 Cups Chicken Broth

1 (8) Ounce Can Tomato Sauce

8 Ounce Meat or Cheese Tortellini, fresh or frozen

Very thinly slice Mozzarella, as much as you’d like


Brown sausage, drain.

In the pan you will make the soup in sauté the onions and garlic in a small amount of olive oil.

Add carrots, tomatoes, tomato sauce, water, and broth.

Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes..

Skim off any fat if needed and add tortellini. Simmer 20 to 30 minutes (30 if using frozen pasta).

Spoon into bowls and top with thin slices of mozzarella.