Welcome to my blog! My name is Stephanie and I was born, raised, and still live just outside of Boston. I’m a stay at home mom of two children that don’t really need me to stay home anymore, especially since one of them is in college. So I currently spend my days with my three insane dogs while owning a very small antique business. I love and appreciate all things old, whether antiques or architecture, and love to give items new life by repurposing.
I love food, too much, and I get immense joy from how my food can make others happy. One of the best compliments I have ever received was my daughter telling me that my cooking has ruined everything else for her. I’ll take that!
I’m much more of a baker than I am a cook. Not that I don’t like cooking, I just wish I didn’t have to do it every day. I’d much rather cook when I feel like it. But, since I don’t have a personal chef and my family is picky about eating every day, here I am. Part of the motivation behind this blog is not only to give me someone to talk to during the day other than my dogs, but to be able to share some of the recipes I’ve tried and really enjoy.
I also love to take pictures of every day things that just make me smile. So this blog is just going to be about “my slice of life” and I hope you’ll enjoy some of it!
I have had this Pooh Cookbook since I was a child in the 70’s and the only recipe I ever remember making from it were the Popovers For Piglet. Despite the fact that I can no longer get the popovers to actually pop, I refuse to make any other recipe because every time I make these the memories make me smile. Not to mention it’s Pooh and how can you not smile with Pooh?
I feel like they used to pop, maybe? I have tried them in two different ovens and they don’t pop. They are delicious regardless, but not going to win any awards for tallest popover lol. One thing that seems to be a little different than other Popover recipes I have seen is that these contain honey. Of course they do, because Pooh loves honey!
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup milk
2 tbsp. honey
1 tbsp. melted butter
2 large eggs
Sift together the flour and salt.
Stir in the milk, honey, and melted butter.
Beat in the eggs.
Fill greased muffin tins just under half full.
Bake at 425 degrees for 25 minutes until the sides are rigid and tops are brown. Do not open the oven before they cook for 25 minutes or they will fall. However, mine never really popped. Hmmm.
While they may not be the most perfectly popped popovers, they are delicious!
Rice pudding is a dessert I have loved since I was a child and I always got so excited every time my mother would get ready to make it and take out her Betty Crocker cookbook. This is one of those childhood desserts that regardless of whether another recipe make look or taste better, I am sticking to this recipe because I want my rice pudding just the way it was. It may not look as creamy or appetizing as some others I have seen, but it is delicious and to me there is no better. My mother and I loved rice pudding, and now my daughter and I are the pudding fans in my family. My husband and son do not like it which just means more for us girls!
I needed a little pick me up with this gloomy weather and rice pudding was just the thing to do it!
There have been a number of different variations of this recipe over the years, but this is the Betty Crocker recipe my mother made when I was a child.
2/3 cup uncooked white rice
1 1/3 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
2 cups milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup raisins
Cinnamon (or Nutmeg)
Combine the rice and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer covered until all the water is absorbed. Around 20 minutes.
While the rice is cooking start preparing the rest of the pudding.
Whisk two eggs in an ungreased small casserole.
Add the sugar, milk, salt, and vanilla and whisk together until combined.
Add the rice and the raisins and stir well. Sadly I can never put in the full 1/2 cup raisins because I am the only one in my family that likes them.
Sprinkle the top with cinnamon (the original recipe calls for Nutmeg, but I like Cinnamon better).
Bake at 325 degrees for about an hour, stirring occasionally until a knife comes out clean.
I prefer the pudding cold so I chill before eating. I also prefer it with whipped cream on top. Yum!
I hope my childhood memories bring back some of yours as well 😊
I can be a very finicky eater especially when it comes to fish, and I will never try anything new. I basically only eat Haddock and no matter how many times my husband said I would love Halibut, I still wouldn’t try it. Recently we were given Halibut instead of Haddock at the grocery store and after I cooked it for my husband I gave in to his coaxing and tried it myself. There aren’t that many instances where I like having to tell my husband he was right, but this was one instance that I was happy he was. Not only was he right, but Halibut is now my favorite fish. If you have never had Halibut, it is a delicious white fish that is actually much better than Haddock.
The first time I made it I baked it with my normal Haddock topping which is seasoned breadcrumbs, melted butter, and seasoned salt. As I said, it was delicious. Then the second time I made it I used this Dijon crumb recipe and it was extra delicious. Amazing, trust me.
I used about a pound and a half of Halibut filets, which I removed the skin, rinsed, and put on a baking sheet.
I mixed together all of the ingredients for Topping #1 in a small bowl and spread evenly over the filets.
Topping #1 recipe:
1/4 cup mayonaise
1 tbsp. dijon mustard
1 tbsp. prepared horseradish
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 tbsp. parmesan cheese
Then I combined the ingredients for Topping #2 in another small bowl and sprinkled it evenly over the first topping.
1 tbsp. butter, melted
1 tbsp. parmesan cheese
1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
Then you just bake at 350 degrees for about 18 minutes or until the fish is flaky. So, so good!
Years ago I veered away from the classic Nestle Toll House cookie recipe and started trying to find a better chocolate chip cookie recipe. Although I love a good Toll House cookie, I just kept finding they were a little too crispy for my personal liking. This recipe is quite different but they are soft, delicious and have become my new favorite!
When I realized I was out of the regular size chocolate chips and only had minis, I was initially very disappointed. Well, that turned into such a good thing because I loved them even more with the small chips! Give it a try if you never have and see what you think.
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. hot water
1/2 tsp. salt
3 cups flour
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
Cream together the butter and sugars until smooth.
Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla.
Dissolve the baking soda in the hot water. This is the only recipe I have ever had to do this with.
Add baking soda water to the batter with the salt and combine well.
Stir in the flour and chocolate chips ( I used mini chips).
Drop onto ungreased pans. I decided to use the large cookie scoop this time, go big or go home!
Then bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until edges start to brown.
Last night I had intended on just making pasta with pesto for dinner, but then had a craving for something a little more creamy. I decided to add a little cream sauce spin to my homemade pesto and it was absolutely delicious! If you are like me and love cream sauce, you will love this creamy pesto. The addition of the cream is subtle and not as heavy as an alfredo sauce, but satisfies that craving for creaminess you may be having.
First I will give you the recipe for my pesto, then further down the blog you will see how to make it into a cream sauce.
Here are the ingredients for my regular pesto:
4 oz. of fresh basil
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 tsp. minced garlic
Pepper to taste
Add basil, cheese, garlic, and pepper to a food processor.
Turn on the processor and add the olive oil slowly.
Let it run until the basil is finely chopped and all the ingredients are combined.
Oh that smell, wow!
Since nothing goes better with basil than tomatoes, I decided to cut up some grape tomatoes to add to the pasta and pesto.
This is where I would usually stop and be so happy with this meal. I love fresh pesto on pasta.
But I didn’t stop, and this is where things started getting crazy and I decided to bust out the heavy cream.
Heat 1/2 cup of heavy cream and 2 tbsp. of butter in a saucepan until the butter is melted and the cream is starting to boil while being careful not to let the cream burn. Whisk in a 1/2 cup of grated cheese and simmer for a few minutes until it starts to thicken slightly.
Whisk the pesto into the cream sauce mixture and cook for a few minutes.
Doesn’t that look pretty?
Pour the sauce over your pasta of choice, add the tomatoes, stir, and serve.
If your family is anything like mine, you will be listening to happy eating sounds and praises through the entire dinner. Yum!
My daughter and I put our flavor cravings together and came up with this AMAZING cake. We knew we wanted to incorporate coconut and raspberry, and were first thinking of a chocolate cake to go with them which I think will be the next cake we bake. Ultimately we decided on a yellow cake and cream cheese frosting to compliment the two flavors, and were we happy that we did. Wow!
Most yellow cakes have so much butter and eggs in them that you can feel your arteries clogging from just reading the recipe. Since I didn’t really want to use 100 eggs for one cake, I went to the Betty Crocker yellow cake recipe I have been using for years. Simple, moist, delicious, and it only uses one bowl. You really can’t get better than that.
We only had about a half of a bag of coconut so we decided not to put any in the cake batter, only in the middle and on top. I’m sure a little extra in the batter would have been delicious. Here is how to make this yummy cake.
2 1/4 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/4 cups milk
3 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
3 large eggs
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9″ round cake pans.
Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer for 30 seconds on low speed, and 3 minutes on high speed.
Pour into prepared pans.
Bake for 25 – 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
Cool in pans for 10 minutes, then remove to wire racks to cool completely.
Once the cakes are cool you can make the cream cheese frosting. If you have read some of my other blogs you know that this frosting is my absolute favorite. It will be yours too, trust me.
Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter, softened
8 oz. block cream cheese, softened
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
Combine the butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth.
Add the vanilla and beat until combined. Then add the powdered sugar and continue beating until smooth and completely mixed.
If it doesn’t taste sweet enough for your liking, add a little more powdered sugar.
To frost the cakes, place one of the cakes upside down onto a plate or platter.
Spread some of the frosting on the top of the layer.
Spread a thick layer of Raspberry Preserves, try not to get too close to the edge so it doesn’t ooze out when you place the next layer on top.
Sprinkle some coconut on top of the raspberry layer, we used Baker’s Sweetened Coconut.
Top with the next layer with the round side facing up. Then start to frost the top and sides of the cake. When finished frosting sprinkle some coconut on the top.
Refrigerate for a little while before eating, it tastes better slightly cold. Then dig in! So good!!!!
This baked french toast will be your “go to” brunch recipe from the moment you taste it. I started making this years ago for Easter brunch, and it has become a dish that my family looks forward to all year. It has become such an awaited favorite that I am pretty sure I would be disowned if I ever were to decide to make something else. No joke, it’s that good.
This recipe makes enough for a large and a small glass baking dish of french toast. Since this year it was only the four of us, I started to just prepare one dish and the evil stares I received from my children made me quickly realize that was a bad idea. I guess if you wait 365 days for something, you want as much as you can get. A few days extra of this yummy treat for breakfast was a small price to pay for my children’s happiness.
To make your new brunch favorite you need:
2 large French breads
2 cups of milk
1 1/2 cups half and half
2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 cup butter
1 1/3 cups brown sugar
3 tbsp. light corn syrup
Butter a large and a small glass baking dish. Cut the french bread into 1″ – 1/2 ” pieces and arrange in the baking dishes.
Whisk together eggs, milk, half and half, cinnamon and vanilla in a mixing bowl.
Ladle over the bread ensuring that every piece is covered.
Cover and refrigerate overnight so the egg mixture can absorb into the bread.
The next day combine the brown sugar, butter, and corn syrup in a saucepan over low/medium heat until everything is melted.
Spread the mixture on the french toast until evenly coated. I never use it all, but that is up to you.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes, sometimes longer, until the egg is fully cooked. You may need to cover with aluminum foil near the end to prevent excessive browining.
Absolutely delicious! You will see why my family counts down the days until I make this french toast again.
Now that running to the store for every little thing isn’t an option, I have been making my own tortillas instead of buying them. These are easy to make and you will look very impressive on your next Taco Tuesday. This recipe makes eight good size tortillas, but you can double the recipe if you would like more than that.
I could say that I intended to make them the shape that they are in, but I will admit I was going for a circle. They tasted just as good regardless of whatever shape that actually is lol.
You only need four ingredients to make your own tortillas and they are:
2 cups of flour
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup water
3 tbsp. olive oil
Combine flour and salt in a medium size mixing bowl. Add the water and oil and mix well.
Put the dough on a floured cutting board and knead for a minute or so.
Cut your dough into eight even portions.
Roll each portion into a very thin circle. Yes, circle. That is the goal anyway. Actually, the one shown below is kind of a circle.
You will need to keep flouring the board and rolling pin because they tend to get sticky.
Heat your skillet a little higher than medium heat. Make sure your skillet is hot before putting in the tortilla. Cook for only about 1 minute or so, the tortilla should bubble as seen.
What shape is that actually? It’s not even close to a circle lol. I think i need to practice my rolling skills.
Flip the tortilla and cook the other side.
Keep them warm until serving and fill them with fish, chicken, pork, or whatever. You’ll love them!
This cheesecake was one of those desserts that the entire time my family was eating it there were happy little “mmmm” sounds and constant “this is so good” being said. Is there really any better compliment than that? I might even go so far as saying this is one of the best cheesecakes that I have ever tasted. This cheesecake has just gone to the top of my list of desserts to make for Holidays and the like. If you prefer a plain cheesecake, just eliminate the chocolate chips and the cocoa from the recipe.
It is quite time consuming in that it takes about five hours from start to finish, but not difficult to make. The only difficult part about it was actually having the restraint to not eat it until it was cool. We were somewhat successful in that regard.
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup melted butter
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/3 cup sugar
3 – 8oz. packages of cream cheese
1 – 14oz. can sweetened condensed milk
2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup mini chocolate chips
1 tsp. flour
1- 16oz. package of strawberries
2 tbsp. sugar
Crush graham crackers to make them into crumbs. You can do this in a food processor, or in a zip lock bag with a rolling pin. I use my little chopper.
Combine the graham cracker crumbs, butter, cocoa, and sugar in a small mixing bowl.
Push the mixture into the bottom and slightly up the sides of a 9 inch springform pan. Make sure it is well packed down.
With an electric mixture, beat the softened cream cheese until smooth. While beating add the sweetened condensed milk and continue beating until well mixed.
Beat in the eggs and vanilla at medium speed until smooth.
Toss 1/3 cup of the chocolate chips with the teaspoon of flour. This helps the chips not sink to the bottom of the cheesecake while baking.
Fold those chips into the cheesecake mixture, and pour into the springform pan.
Sprinkle the additional 2/3 cup of chocolate chips on top.
I put a baking sheet under the pan just in case there was any leakage.
Bake at 300 degrees for 1 hour. Do not open the oven. Leave in the oven for an additional hour with the oven turned off.
Once the cheesecake is out of the oven, place in the refrigerator to cool. Do not remove springform portion of pan until completely cool.
Ta da! Oh my goodness, look at that!
You can serve it as is, or if you would like you can make an easy strawberry topping.
For the topping, I just macerated strawberries by slicing the strawberries and tossing them with 2 tbsp. of sugar.
After the strawberries sit for a little while, the sugar draws out their juices and makes a syrup.
Now I challenge you to eat a piece of this cheesecake and not make any “mmmm” sounds 😛
We are living in a time that many of us never thought we would ever see. Schools are closed, businesses are closed, beaches and parks are closed, there are lines outside of grocery stores with people standing 6 feet apart while wearing masks. A time where we are all asked to stay home and social distance not only to save ourselves, but to save others and stop spreading a virus. All of this seems so unreal, like I am having a bad dream or that I am a character in a movie that I would never agree to watch despite my husband’s pleading.
As I sit this morning drinking my coffee in my sunroom and listening to quiet that I would not normally hear on a Tuesday morning unless there was a snow storm, I started thinking about how much of what seemed so awful yesterday will be missed tomorrow. Will any of these “new” behaviors and thoughts stay with us when our lives are back to “normal”? Will we still see ourselves and others out walking at a slower pace and really seeing everything around us instead of hurriedly walking and talking about the stresses of the day? Will we still take notice of the daily changes in the trees and flowers outside? Will we miss this time together as a family? I know I will.
I am embarrassed to say that I have found myself stressed over some of the wrong things during this time. Stressed because we can no longer have everything we want when we want it. I found myself in tears after numerous nights trying at midnight to order groceries with no success because somehow other people’s computers must be faster than mine. Groceries that I want, but not desperately need. Feeling so much pressure that my family might not be able to have their favorite baked french toast on Easter this year unless I can find a way to get French bread while not potentially exposing my asthmatic lungs to this deadly disease. Trying unsuccessfully to order items to put together Easter baskets. All of these things that felt so important at the time, really aren’t that important are they? While it is disappointing to not celebrate Easter with family like we always do, isn’t it more important that we are safe, have a home to be together in, and food to eat regardless of what it is?
Maybe all of this will help us appreciate what we have more and not take everything for granted. Maybe next year if things are back to “normal” that Easter brunch will be cherished and appreciated more. Maybe we’ll all find we aren’t throwing away as much food. Maybe even when l can go back to running to the store for every little thing, I will decide to continue making my own tortillas, pasta, and pizza dough. Maybe I will still hear my children’s laughter alongside the bouncing sound of a basketball more often.