We're Moving


After four fun filled years, we're growing up.

Follow me, the cyclist, and the six blonde bobs to our new home


We can't wait for you to visit. Let us know what you think!

Update your bookmarks, readers, etc.

Autumn Tomato Soup

I love to eat soup on cold, rainy, autumn nights. Specifically tomato soup. It is such a comfort food. I could eat it every week.
This soup was served at a dinner party by a dear (and very talented) friend. I quickly adopted it as my own.
It's like your favorite tomato soup turned up a notch or two. The addition of the vinegar and sugar give it a very subtle, but unique, sweet and sour kick.

Jenny's Tomato Soup
1 T extra virgin olive oil
2 T flour
1 onion, chopped
2-3 ribs celery, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup tomato paste
16 oz diced tomatoes
24 oz vegetable broth
1/3 cup milk
2 T sugar
2 T apple cider vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in a large stock pot. Add flour and cook, whisking constantly, until it just starts to color.
Add the onion, celery, carrots and garlic. Stir occasionally until they cook through (about 5 minutes).
Add the bay leaf and tomato paste. Stir and cook for about 1 minute. Add the diced tomatoes and broth. Simmer and stir occasionally for 10 minutes.
Add the milk.
Working in batches, puree the soup in the blender. Be careful to not fill the blender more than halfway full.
In a separate saucepan, combine the sugar and vinegar over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, until the vinegar has reduced and the mixture is syrupy. Add to the soup.
Season with salt and pepper.

We served it with Parmesan cheese and our favorite bread sticks (once the dough is made, spread it on a greased baking sheet, top with desired toppings...we like melted butter, kosher salt and rosemary...then cut it into strips with a pizza cutter and bake).

Halloween Tacos

When I saw these cute little tarantulas on Betty Crocker's website, I knew I had to perch them atop our favorite fish tacos.

1 1/2 pounds of your favorite fish (we use mahi mahi or tilapia)
1 T olive oil
juice of 3 limes
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp ground cumin

Put the fish in a shallow dish. Combine oil, lime juice, garlic and cumin. Pour over fish and let marinate for 15 minutes, turning over occasionally. Cook on a hot grill or grill pan for about 10 minutes, flipping halfway through, until fish is opaque all the way through. Flake with a fork and set aside until you build your tacos.

Fish Taco Sauce:
1/2 cup sour cream (we use reduced fat)
1/2 cup mayonnaise (we use reduced fat)
juice of 1 lime
1/2 tsp cumin

Combine all ingredients. Add more lime or cumin to taste.

To build tacos:
Tortillas (corn or flour) or Taco Shells
Fish Taco Sauce
Queso Fresco, crumbled
Fresh salsa or pico de gallo
shredded cabbage
Limes for squeezing

We generally use corn or flour tortillas. Our girls requested hard shells tonight. If you are using tortillas, warm them on the grill.
Fill shells or tortillas with fish, then sauce, then cabbage, cheese, salsa and a sprig of cilantro.

Garnish with a spooky tarantula:

Jumbo Olives

For each spider, top taco with 1 olive, pitted end down. Cut second olive lengthwise into 8 pieces; place around olive for legs. For eyes, squeeze 2 dots of fish taco sauce onto top of olive (I spooned a little into a sandwich bag, snipped a tiny bit off the corner and used it to pipe the eyes).

Cream Cheese Brownies (and a winner!)

Thank you all who entered the Tate's Bake Shop giveaway. You all had some great tips. I'm excited to implement them into my cookie baking.

The winner (random drawing by my three year old...and yes, your name was in there twice if you followed on facebook) is.....Mandy (the second) with a cookie making tip: "My best tip is to follow your recipes exactly". (Ah Shucks. I'm blushing). So Mandy, please email me (bradleykitchen@comcast.net) with your address and I will forward it on to Tate's who will get your cookies and cookbook right to you!

We made these Cream Cheese Brownies from the Tate's Bake Shop Cookbook. They were delicious, yet quite simple to make. I would imagine you would find most (if not all) of the ingredients in your kitchen right now. The brownie is rich and fudgy, and the cheesecake swirl adds just the perfect amount of tang. Definitely a recipe to bookmark.

Cream Cheese Brownies
(makes 16 brownies)
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 pound cream cheese, room temperature
1 3/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs at room temperature
3 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup (salted) butter, softened to room temperature (I only had unsalted, so I added an extra pinch of salt)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line a 9-inch-square baking pan with aluminum foil so that the foil extends two inches beyond the sides of the pan. (This creates handles you can use to remove the brownies later.) Spray it with nonstick cooking spray.
Melt the chocolate chips in a small saucepan over low heat. Set it aside to cool.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and 1/4 cup of the sugar until they are smooth. Beat in one egg and 1 teaspoon of the vanilla until they are combined. Set it aside.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter and remaining 1 1/2 cups of sugar until they are combined. Beat in the remaining 3 eggs, one at a time. Beat in the remaining 2 teaspoons of vanilla. Mix in the melted chocolate. On low speed, beat in the flour and salt until the are just combined.
Scrape all but 1 cup of the chocolate batter into the prepared pan and smooth it out evenly. Spread the cream cheese mixture evenly over the chocolate mixture. Spoon the remaining chocolate mixture over the cream cheese mixture. Pull a table knife through the layers of batter with a light lifting motion in a zigzag pattern to create a marbleized look.
Bake it for 50 minutes.
Set the pan on a wire rack and cool the brownies in the pan. When the brownies are completely cool, remove them using the aluminum foil handles.
Cut them into squares. (You can refrigerate them first for ease of cutting. Wetting your knife also helps give you a clean cut.)

For all of you that didn't win, stay tuned for another fun giveaway later this month. And don't forget to use to the promo code "COOKIE" on the Tate's website for your discount!

National Cookie Month (and a Tate's Bake Shop giveaway)

Did you all know that October is national cookie month? I must admit I had no idea.

When the good people at Tate's Bake Shop contacted me about doing a review and hosting a giveaway to commemorate this glorious month of cookies, I was thrilled. Mainly because they promised to send me some cookies to sample.

We tried the Whole Wheat Dark Chocolate cookies last night. I'll admit, my cookie preference is generally for a soft, chewy cookie. Having said that, these thin, crispy cookies really are delicious. The most impressive thing about the cookies (aside from the delicious flavor) is their list of ingredients...dark chocolate chips, whole wheat flour, butter, sugar, brown sugar, eggs, soda, salt, and vanilla. Sounds like my recipe...minus the whole wheat flour. No "HIGH OLEIC CANOLA OIL AND/OR PALM OIL AND/OR CANOLA OIL, AND/OR SOYBEAN OIL" (copied from the online ingredient list of oreo cookies).

And you can definitely tell they are made from natural ingredients. The cyclist was impressed he could taste the butter. My oldest actually commented on how good the aftertaste was. (random...I know...). But no chemicals and no preservatives.

Here's the good stuff:
Tate's Bake Shop will send one lucky reader THREE bags of Tate’s Bake Shop’s Whole Wheat Dark Chocolate Chip cookies along with a signed copy of Kathleen King’s cookbook, The Tate’s Bake Shop Cookbook†. I've browsed the cookbook and can't wait to try the Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins, Double Peanut Chocolate Cookies, Raspberry Squares, cream cheese brownies, sour cream pound cake...really, all of the recipes are right up my alley.

To be entered in the random drawing, leave a comment by Saturday, October 15th, telling me your favorite cookie making secret *.
You get an extra entry if you Follow Tate's Bake Shop on Facebook or Twitter (just let me know you're following them in your comment).

As a bonus, for the rest of the month of October, my readers can get 15% off their total order by using the promo code "COOKIE". How about some blondies, pumpkin tea loaves, gluten free brownies?

Stay tuned. The winner will be announced on Monday morning, October 17.

†Giveaway only open to U.S. residents
*(My favorite tip is making a double batch of cookie dough, and freezing half for later use: Just roll dough into balls, freeze them for 15 minutes or so on a cookie sheet so they don't stick together, then throw them all in a freezer bag. Pull out a few to bake the next time you want hot fresh cookies)

Blueberry Cornmeal Muffins for Conference

We gathered as a family again this last weekend. Omelets, muffins, and a chance to be spiritually uplifted.

This year, I made a delicious spin on a blueberry muffin. I love the texture that cornmeal adds to baked goods. The fresh grated nutmeg gave them a wonderful warmth.

Blueberry-Cornmeal Muffins
from Williams- Sonoma Essentials of Baking

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup fine-grind cornmeal
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg (freshly ground if possible. You can buy whole nutmeg in the spice aisle of most any supermarket. Grate it with a microplane zester)
2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
6 T unsalted butter, melted
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
2 T granulated sugar mixed with 1 tsp ground cinnamon

Position a rack in the middle of the oven, and preheat to 400 degrees F. Butter 12 standard muffin-pan cups or line them with paper liners.

In a bowl, stir together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg and brown sugar. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs until blended. Whisk in the milk and butter. Pour the egg mixture over the dry ingredients and stir with a rubber spatula just until moistened. Fold in the berries.

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling each cup about three-fourths full. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar evenly over the tops. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, 15-18 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 2 minutes, then turn out onto the rack. Serve warm.

Surprise Cookies

These cookies will always hold a special place in my heart. They were my one of my sweet sister-in-law's signature cookies. As I've said before, anything Bunny baked turned out perfectly. I learned early on to never pass up one of her sweets.
The cookies are incredibly moist and chocolaty. Add the marshmallow and chocolate frosting and you have a sweet and sinful treat.

Surprise Cookies
Adapted from Martha Stewart Cookies
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 t coarse salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup whole milk
1 t vanilla
about 15 marshmallows, halved crosswise (just cut them in half with some kitchen shears or clean sharp scissors)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Make Cookies: sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt into a bowl.
Put butter and sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to medium-low; mix in egg, milk and vanilla. Mix in flour mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, until combined.
Using a 1 3/4 inch cookie scoop, drop dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper, spacing them 2 inches apart. Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through, until firm, 8-10 minutes. Immediately press a marshmallow half on top of each cookie. Bake until marshmallows begin to melt, 2 minutes more. Let cool completely on sheets on wire racks.
Make frosting.

Chocolate Satin Frosting
from Joy of Cooking
6 oz unsweetened chocolate
1 cup evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups sugar
6 T unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 t vanilla

Roughly chop chocolate. Set aside.
In small saucepan, bring evaporated milk to boil. Remove from heat and add chocolate pieces, without stirring. Cover and set aside for exactly 10 minutes. Scrape into bowl over mixer or food processor and add sugar, butter and vanilla. Process until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and let sit in refrigerator until it reaches desired consistency (I let mine sit about 15 minutes)
This frosting keeps refrigerated for about 3 weeks, or can be frozen for 6 months. Let soften before using.

Spread about 1 tablespoon of frosting on top of each cookie to cover marshmallow. Let stand until set, about 10 minutes. Cookies can be stored in single layers in airtight containers at room temperature up to 2 days.

Peanut Butter Filled Chocolate Cupcakes

While these little goodies are labeled "cupcakes", I think of them as more of a brownie.

Either way, they combine two of my favorite sweet flavors together for one deliciously rich hand held treat.

from Martha Stewart's Cupcakes

Cupcake batter
2/3 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla

Peanut Butter Filling
4 T (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a standard muffin tin with paper liners. Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Put butter and chocolates in a heatproof bowl set over (not in) a pan of simmering water; stir until melted. Remove from heat, and let cool slightly.
Whisk granulated sugar into cooled chocolate mixture. Add eggs, and whisk until mixture is smooth. Stir in vanilla. Add flour mixture; stir until well incorporated.
Make Peanut Butter filling by combining butter, confectioners' sugar, peanut butter, salt and vanilla. Stir until smooth.
Spoon 2 tablespoons chocolate batter into each lined cup, followed by 1 tablespoon peanut butter filling. Repeat with another tablespoon of batter and top with 1 teaspoon filling. Swirl top of cupcake batter and filling with a wooden skewer or toothpick.
Bake, rotating tin halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached, about 40 minutes. Transfer tin to a wire rack to cool completely before removing cupcakes. Cupcakes can be stored up to 3 days at room temperature in airtight containers.

"chips n salsa"

It's been a while, huh.

Remember this post?

The one about buns in the oven...
as in more than one bun...
no nuts....

Any of this a-ringin' a bell?

Salsa (l), Chips (r)

We welcomed our two little ones earlier this summer.

Since a lot of the conversation in this house revolves around food, it was fitting that our three year old nick-named them "chips" and "salsa".

Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Chips

4 (7-inch) flour tortillas
Cinnamon-sugar mixture (I like cinnamon, so I mix 1 T cinnamon into 1/2 cup sugar, use less cinnamon if you wish)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Combine sugar and cinnamon. Lightly brush the tortillas with water and sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar. Cut each tortilla into 8 wedges and place in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned and crisp. Remove from oven and cool on the pan.

Fruit Salsa
2 cups chopped fruit:
we used a combination of peaches, kiwi, raspberries, blueberries, strawberries and blackberries
1 t lime zest
2 t lime juice (you should be able to get enough juice and zest from one large lime)
1 tsp sugar

Combine all salsa ingredients in a medium bowl. Mix gently.

Pumpkin Bars

This is one of my favorite cakes. I make it year round. No need to think of pumpkin as just an autumnal ingredient.
It is perfect for a party or potluck as it fills a half sheet pan, plus I generally have everything needed on hand.

Pumpkin Squares

4 eggs
1 2/3 cups sugar
1 cup oil
2 cups canned pumpkin
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Beat eggs, sugar and oil until smooth. Add pumpkin. Mix until blended. Add remaining ingredients. Mix.
Grease the bottom of a half sheet pan. Pour batter in pan and bake for 25-30 minutes, until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean.


3 oz cream cheese (room temperature)
1/2 cup butter (room temperature)
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
zest of one orange (can omit, but I love the flavor)

Mix together and frost cooled cake.

Sweet Potato and Zucchini Bread

I recently joined a produce co-op. My family has loved all of the fresh fruits and vegetables. I love seeing sweet potatoes in my basket. I can bake one and eat it plain (delicious). The cyclist and girls prefer white potatoes.

So I sneak the sweet ones to them in a deliciously moist and perfectly spiced quick bread.

Sweet Potato and Zucchini Bread
recipe adapted from Bon Appetit

2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups grated zucchini
1 1/2 cups grated peeled sweet potato
Cinnamon and Sugar

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour 9x5x3-inch loaf pan. Sift first 5 ingredients into medium bowl. Beat sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla to blend in large bowl. Mix in zucchini and sweet potato. Add dry ingredients and stir well.

Transfer batter to prepared pan. Sprinkle batter with cinnamon/sugar. Bake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour 20 minutes (check it about an hour into baking). Cool bread in pan on rack 15 minutes. Cut around bread to loosen. Turn out onto rack and cool completely. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Wrap in foil and let stand at room temperature.)

Penne with Asparagus and Pecorino Cheese

I love everything about spring. I love hearing the birds during my morning run. I love seeing the crocus peeking out of the flower beds at my front door. I love not having to bundle up four kids before we can go anywhere.

I love cooking with good, fresh asparagus. It's so nice to watch my girls willingly gobble up a green vegetable!

This pasta dish was universally LOVED at our house. The combination of the zesty lemon, the salty cheese, the garlic and the crisp tender asparagus...so tasty. This will definitely be made again and again.

Penne with Asparagus and Pecorino Cheese
adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Serves 4

8 oz uncooked penne pasta
1 T kosher salt
2 T olive oil
1 lb asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup vegetable broth
1 T grated lemon rind
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh pecorino romano cheese
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 T shaved fresh pecorino romano cheese

Cook pasta in boiling water with 1 T kosher salt according to package directions. Drain.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to the pan, swirling to coat. Add asparagus to pan; cook until crisp-tender (about 3 minutes), stirring occasionally. Remove asparagus from pan; keep warm. Add broth, lemon rind, and garlic to pan; cook until liquid is reduced to 1/2 cup (about 6 minutes). Return asparagus to pan. Add pasta, grated cheese, salt and pepper; toss well. Serve topped with shaved cheese.

Mexican Hot-Chocolate Cookies

These rich chocolate cookies were a hit at my house. The addition of the cinnamon-sugar coating put them right over the edge.
We enjoyed them on the first day of spring with a glass of cold milk. But I will definitely bake up a batch on a cold snowy day next winter, and dip them into a mug of steaming hot cocoa.

Mexican Hot-Chocolate Cookies

adapted from Martha Stewart Everyday Food

2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp coarse salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 3/4 cups sugar, divided
2 eggs
1 cup chocolate chips (not in the original recipe, but I thought they were a worthy addition)
2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and 1 1/2 cups of the sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl. Add eggs and beat to combine. With mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture and beat until combined. Add chocolate chips (you will probably have to stir with a wooden spoon at this point).
In a small bowl, combine the remaining 1/4 cup sugar with the 2 tsp cinnamon. Using heaping tablespoons, form balls of dough and roll in cinnamon-sugar mixture. Place about 3 inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake until cookies are just set (7-8 minutes), rotating sheets halfway through (the recipe is written to cook for 10 minutes, until the centers begin to crack...around here, we don't like our cookies crispy, soft and chewy for us please. If you prefer a crisp cookie, cook the full ten minutes.). Let cookies cool on sheets on wire racks 5 minutes then transfer cookies to racks to cool completely.


This is the cheesecake my Mother-in-law is known for. It is simple to make, and I don't worry about it drying out or cracking. It turns out perfectly every time.

Kathy's Cheesecake
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup melted butter

16 oz cream cheese, softened (I generally use 8 oz cream cheese, 8 oz neufchatel)
2 eggs
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla

1 cup sour cream (I use reduced fat)
2 T sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Make crust: combine crumbs, 1/2 cup sugar and butter and press into a pie plate or a spring-form pan (either will work fine, just use what you have).
Make filling: Beat together cream cheese, eggs, 2/3 cup sugar and 1 tsp. vanilla until smooth. Pour into crust and bake for 20 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.
Increase oven heat to 425 degrees. Make topping by blending sour cream, 2 T sugar and remaining 1 tsp vanilla. Carefully spread on top of cooled cheesecake. Bake again for 10 minutes. Let cool to room temperature, then cover (careful not to let wrap touch topping) and refrigerate.
Delicious served with fresh berries, frozen berries, cherry pie filling...

Monkey Bubble Bread

The girls came home from school today to find some of these sticky buns in the oven. As with everything we make here in our house...no nuts.

Monkey Bubble Bread

from Baked Explorations

For the Bubble Bread
1 1/4 cups whole milk
2 teaspoons instant yeast
4 cups all-purpose flour
5 Tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg
5 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the cinnamon-sugar coating
1 1/4 cups firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Make the Monkey Bubble Bread
In a small saucepan, warm your milk to slightly above room temperature, then remove it from the heat, add yeast and whisk to dissolve. (Do not warm it beyond 110 degrees F or you will kill the yeast).

In a bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the flour, sugar and salt until combined.

In a small bowl, beat the egg with a fork and add it to the dry ingredients. Mix on low speed until combined.

Keeping the mixer on low, slowly stream in the milk until combined. Add the melted butter and mix until the dough comes together. Replace the paddle attachment with the dough hook attachment. Continue to mix on medium speed until the dough becomes silky and tacky, but not sticky, 8-10 minutes. The dough should mound together and easily come off the bottom of the mixing bowl. (If the dough is too wet, add some flour. If it is too dry, add a tiny bit of water.)

Spray the bottom and sides of a large bowl with cooking spray. Place the dough in the bowl and roll it around to make sure it is completely covered in oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a dish towel and let it rest in a warm area until the dough has doubled in size, approximately one hour.

Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

Use your clean hands to push down and deflate the dough. Remove it from the bowl and pat it into a rough circle approximately 8 inches diameter. Use a bench knife or serrated knofe to cut dough into 1- to 1 1/2-inch pieces (about 1/2 ounce each)-alternatively, use your hands to pinch apart the dough. Roll the pieces into balls (they don't have to be perfectly round). Place the balls on the sheet pan (you will get about 60 pieces in all). Cover the balls lightly with plastic wrap.

Make the Cinnamon Sugar Coating
In a small bowl, stir together the sugar and cinnamon. Place the melted butter in a separate bowl.

Assemble the Bread
Generously spray a 10 cup Bundt pan with cooking spray. Remove the plastic wrap from the dough balls and dip one ball in the melted butter. Let the excess butter drip back in to the bowl, roll the ball in the brown sugar mixture and place it in the Bundt pan. Continue this process with each ball, until you have several layers, arranging them as if you are building a brick wall.

Wrap the Bundt pan tightly in plastic wrap. Set it in a warm area of the house for about 1 hour, or until the dough balls have doubled in size and appear puffy.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the plastic and bake the Bundt until the top layer is a deep brown and the caramel coating begins to bubble around the edges, about 30 minutes.

Cool the bread for 5 minutes, then turn it out directly onto a platter and serve warm. Should you have any leftovers (this is rare), simply reheat them in a 300-degree oven until warm to the touch.

These are FANTASTIC. I will never make monkey bread from store bought bread dough or biscuits again.

If you need it spelled out for you, this should explain the lack of recipes/appetite lately.

Un-Fried French Fries

As I've mentioned, we try to eat healthy meals around here so that we can justify the indulgent treats. This is one of our favorite ways to eat something that tastes fattening, but isn't.

Un-Fried French Fries

adapted from In The Kitchen with Rosie
5 large baking potatoes (about 2 3/4 pounds total)
cooking spray
2 large egg whites
1 T Cajun seasoning

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Slice each potato length-wise into quarter-inch by quarter-inch fries (I have an attachment to my apple slicer that makes perfectly shaped fries).
Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Lightly spray parchment paper with cooking spray.
Combine egg whites and Cajuns seasoning in a bowl. Add the potato sticks and toss to coat. Pour the coated potatoes onto the prepared baking sheet and spread them out into a single layer (I always make too many, so they are overlapping quite a bit).
Place the baking sheet on the bottom shelf of the oven. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until fries are crispy, turning them every 8-10 minutes with a spatula so they crisp evenly.
Serve immediately.

Being from Utah, we like to serve these with "fry sauce". A simple version consists of equal parts mayonnaise (I use low fat) and ketchup. You can add a little pickle juice or relish. Sometimes we kick it up a notch with barbecue sauce, liquid smoke, chipotle powder or hot pepper sauce.

Almond Poppyseed Muffins

These were the perfect little Sunday Morning pick-me-up. The crunchy sugar coated tops were the bomb.

Almond Poppyseed Muffins
from Betty Crocker cookbook

1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup milk
1 1/3 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 T poppy seed
3 tsp sugar
sliced almonds

Heat oven to 375. Line 12 medium muffin cups with paper baking cups (or spray them very well).
In a large bowl, stir together 1/2 cup sugar, the oil, egg, and almond. Beat in sour cream and milk with a spoon until blended. Stir in flour, baking powder, salt, soda, and poppy seed until well blended. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups. Sprinkle batter with 3 tsp sugar and the almonds.
Bake 14-17 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from pan and cool on wire rack. Can be enjoyed hot or cold.

Ristorante della Fontana's Minestrone Soup

Years and years ago, there was a fun Italian restaurant in downtown SLC. They served a seven course Italian dinner, including a Romaine salad you ate with your fingers, a sorbet palate cleanser, pasta, and the tastiest Minestrone soup I've ever had.
I was given this recipe as a newlywed, and was always a bit overwhelmed by the long list of ingredients. This cold winter weather inspired me to cook up a pot.

The long list...well worth it.

1/4 cup olive oil
3 cups diced onion
2 cups diced celery
2 cups diced carrot
1 cup diced tomatoes
1 cup whole, skinned tomatoes
1 cup french style green beans (I used frozen)
1 cup canned kidney beans
3 t salt
1 1/2 t white pepper
1 1/2 t garlic powder
4 T instant beef bouillon
3 T instant chicken bouillon (I substituted both with vegetable bouillon for my sweet husband)
1 1/2 tsp dried basil
2 t dried oregano
7 cups water
1 cup tomato puree
1/2 cup barley
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup canned garbanzo beans
1 cup macaroni, cooked
1 cup chopped spinach (I used frozen)
grated Parmesan cheese

In large, heavy saucepan, heat olive oil. Saute onions, carrots and celery until onions are translucent. Add diced and whole tomatoes, green beans, kidney beans, salt, pepper, garlic powder, bouillon, basil oregano, water, tomato puree and barley. Simmer 45 minutes.
Stir in peas, garbanzo beans, and pasta. Simmer 15 minutes. Add spinach. Serve hot, sprinkled with cheese.