Monthly Archives: May 2013

Tapioca Pudding

Homemade Tapioca Pudding


My husband and I love tapioca pudding ! So today at the market we picked up some tapioca pearls to make homemade pudding. I tried to skim off some calories on this traditional high calorie dessert.


1 Cup of Fat Free Half and Half
3 cups of Skim Milk
1/4 cup of Splenda
1/4 cup of granulated sugar
1/4 Tsp of Sea Salt or Kosher Salt
2 Whole Eggs or 1/2 cup egg substitute
1 Teaspoon of Pure Vanilla (Mexican is my favorite)
1/4 cup of tapioca granules
2 cinnamon sticks

1. In a heavy 2 quart sauce pan ( I prefer my all clad) beat the sugar, Splenda, salt and eggs.


2. Add Milk and half and half


And add the tapioca


Mix well. Add two cinnamon sticks


3. Over medium to medium high heat bring to almost a boil.


Make sure to whisk constantly to prevent scorching.

4. When pudding starts to thicken remove from heat and add vanilla.


Pour into individual ramekins.


I am a cinnamon fanatic so I dusted my off with some additional vietnamese cinnamon


Chive Beer-battered Bread


I saw this recipe a few years ago and took a picture of it so I would remember to try it. Luckily I was downloading some pictures and came across it. I added a few things and made some changes but here it is.


12 ounce bottle of your favorite beer (my husbands favorite is Landshark so that’s what I used)
3 and 1/2 cups of AP Flour
3 Tb honey
1 Tb of baking powder
1 and 1/2 tsp of kosher or flaky salt
1 Tb chives
1 egg beaten for egg wash

Preheat oven to 375. Place the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and mix well or sift it together works nicely.


Once incorporated add beer and honey.


Stir with fork just until combined.


Sprinkle with chives.


Place dough on a light floured surface.


Knead only enough to form a round shape.


Place on a Pam sprayed or misto sprayed baking sheet. And cut with a very sharp knife an “x”.


Use a brush to apply the egg wash.


Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown.



Chinese Five Spice French Toast Bake


I’m always wondering what else can I create using left over heels from bread. One of my favorite tricks is using it to make croutons or breadcrumbs both secrets I learned from the food network. What you can do is every time you get to the end of the loaf throw the ends in the freezer and wait until you have enough to make bread crumbs, stuffing, croutons, or this recipe. Check out this link for more ideas


Meanwhile I was trying to figure out another way I could incorporate my vanilla from Dominican Republic that my husband and I purchased in bulk on vacation! This seamed like the right to go and well it’s breakfast time so french toast it is.

1/4 cup of egg substitute or two egg whites
1/4 cup of a Agave nectar
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of Chinese five spice (or if you don’t like Chinese five spice use Cinnamon or Pumpkin Pie Spice)
1 teaspoon of pure vanilla
4 heels of 100 % whole bread or light whole wheat if you are trying to reduce calories
1/2 cup skim milk
Vanilla Sugar to sprinkle. ( You can make your own or purchase penzey’s brand)


Preheat oven to 350.

Cut heels of bread Into 1 inch squares.


Set aside.

In a medium bowl place, agave nectar, egg substitute, milk, vanilla, and chinese five spice whisk together until incorporated well.


Add bread cubes and let soak up the liquid mixture for 5 to 10 minutes.


Make sure that all pieces of bread sponge up with liquid mixture. You will need to gently fold the bread to evenly distribute the liquid mixture.


Once settled and bread has absorbed as much liquid as possible spread evenly the mixture onto a swallow 8 by 8 dish (pictured is from fiesta).




Sprinkle with vanilla sugar.



Bake for 25 to 30 minutes depending on how crunching you want the bread to get.

Enjoy !




These are my husband’s favorite cookie! So when i asked him what cookie to make for our friends that are moving to Cali road trip, let us just say I already knew the answer. Plus I couldn’t wait to try out our new vanilla from our recent vacation to Punta Cuna.

2 sticks butter or margarine (room temperature)
¾ cup brown sugar
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 eggs (room temperature)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2¼ cups AP flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 small box vanilla instant pudding ( you can use sugar free)
1 12 ounce bag dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350.


Cream together the butter and sugars. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix well.




In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt.




Gradually add to the creamed mixture.



Add the box of pudding, and chocolate chips. Mix untill well blended.



Drop on parchment paper lined cookie sheet. I use a number 60 scoop to make them uniform.




Bake at 350 degrees for about 12-15 minutes; longer for really large cookies.



Let the cookies sit on the pan for about a minute and then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.




Yields about 5 dozen cookies using number 60 scooper.

Grandma’s Zucchini Cookies


Grandma’s Zucchini Cookies


My grandma always had fresh zucchini from her garden in the summer. She would make me these cookies all the time !! They are very versatile you can add whatever nut you like or swap out the raisins and go for chocolate chips if you rather. This recipe always bring me back to childhood! I make them every year for my family. Not to mention these cookies are egg free
and dairy free !

34 Serving. Prep Time: 15 min. Cook: 12 min.
  • 1 cup of grated zucchini (peeled or not either way but not peeled will give you more fiber!!)
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 0.5 cup canola oil
  • 1.5 cups of AP flour
  • 0.5 cup of whole wheat flour
  • 1.5 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 0.5 teaspoon of cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 0.5 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup of raisins
  • 0.5 cup of chopped walnuts


Mix the sugar and oil together until combined. Mix this recipe by
hand not a mixer. In a separate bowl mix remainder of dry
ingredients together then mix into sugar and oil mixture w/ spatula.
Fold in zucchini, raisins, and walnuts at the end.

Drop on cookie sheet w/ parchment and spray w/ cooking spray.
Bake on 375 for 12-15 minutes or on convection at 325 for 8-10
minutes, until cookies are browned.
Yields: serves 34

Loaded Baked Potato Pizza

Loaded Baked Potato Pizza


My husband and I love to make pizza… We had some left over baked potatoes from yesterday’s dinner. I google left over baked potato recipes and the first recipes I found were soup and potato salad recipes. It was almost 90 degrees here so I decided against the soup and thought potato salad would not suffice for dinner. Ironically,I just made a new pizza dough recipe and had some of the dough thawed in the refrigerator ( I always have some fresh dough thawed in the refrigerator “just in case”. So I thought I would give a loaded baked potato pizza pie a try. Turns out this recipe does taste just like a baked potato !



4 slices of bacon (cooked and chopped)

One Pizza Dough Recipe (below) or your favorite dough

1 to 2 Cups of Cheddar Cheese

Half of a large left over Baked Potato (skin removed and mashed with a fork)

1 TB of Melted Butter

Salt and Pepper to season

1/2 to 1 tsp of Buttermilk Ranch Seasoning (my favorite is Penzey’s but you can use Hidden-valley powdered ranch too)

1 TB dried chives (optional)


1. Preheat the oven with pizza stone in oven at 500 degrees for at least an hour.


2. Roll out dough into a 12 inch circle

3. Cube up left over baked potato & butter and heat in microwave for up to a minute mash with fork (you may want to season with salt and pepper to taste) .

4. After the oven has been on for an hour place pizza on a pizza piel that has been heavily coated with cornmeal toss the dough onto the stone that has been heating in oven. Let bake for 2 minutes.


5. Remove from oven and sprinkle with salt and pepper.


6. Spread evenly the mashed potato onto the pizza dough sprinkle with Buttermilk Ranch Powder seasoning.


Add chopped bacon, cheese, and whatever use you usually place on your baked potato.



7. Toss back into the oven for 5-9 minutes until your cheese has melted just the way you like it.



8. Remove from oven and sprinkle chives as you wish.



Dough Ingredients:

This recipe will make 4, 12 inch pizzas so freeze some dough for another day!

1 cup of warm water (Temperature 105 to 115 degrees)

1 TB of sugar or honey

2 1/4 cup of AP Flour

1 Cup of Cake Flour

1 TB of Kosher Salt or Flaky Salt

2 TB of Olive Oils



1. Combine water, sugar, and yeast, allow some time to proof (appearance will be foamy) about 5 to 10 minutes.

2. Sift flours and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer with hook attachment in place.

3. Add oil to proofed yeast mixture, pour into flour mixture. Knead using the dough hook for 10 minutes.

4. Place dough formed in a ball into a Pam sprayed bowl on a warm area and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise for 1 to 2 hours or until the dough doubles in size.

5. Once the dough doubles punch down and divide into 4 equal parts. This is where I spray 4 quart sized ziplock bags with pam and place the dough in the bags and allow to rise for another hour. Once the dough has risen place dough you are not using today into the freeze for next pizza party.








Cornbread Muffins

Corn Bread Muffins!!



This recipe was adapted from Paula Deen’s Kitchen Classics Cookbook that my grandma purchased for me during her trip to Savannah (It’s even signed by the southern diva herself).  Of course,  I made some altercations and made it with less saturated fat. Sorry Paula I love your recipes but the fat has got to go !

This recipe makes 18 standard size muffins


3/4 Cup of Corn meal plus 1 TB of Corn Meal

3/4 Cup of Self rising flour*****if you don’t have Self Rising Flour see note below!

1/2 Cup of Canola Oi

8 oz of Canned Cream Corn

1/2 cup of egg substitute or 4 egg whites

1 Cup of Fat Free Sour Cream or…..Non Fat Plain Greek Yogurt (the greek yogurt will give you more protein)

1/2 Tsp Cayenne Pepper

1 Cup of 2% Sharp Cheddar Cheese or Fat Free Cheddar or ( I like Cabot’s 75% Fat Free Cheddar as well)



1. Preheat oven to 375 Degrees. Line 18 standard size cupcakes with paper liners (Or I used my silicone liners).

2. Mix dry ingredients together in one bowl and wet in another. Then pour dry into wet mixture. Use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to divide batter evenly into muffin tins. Bake the muffins for 18 to 20 minutes or golden brown and toothpick comes out clean.


********1 cup (130 grams) (240 ml) is equal to similar grade (all purpose) flour plus  1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder plus 1/4 teaspoon salt

Read more:

Carrot Cake Mini Cupcakes

Carrot Cake Miniatures with Cream Cheese Frosting!




Carrot Cake is my mom’s favorite cake. I had to make these mini’s for a bridal shower this weekend.  My mom was very disappointed that this recipe only make 35 minis.  She didn’t get one since when she came to visit today since the order was for 35 mini’s total and my recipe only yielded 35. Oh my ……I was in trouble :(   Next time I will have to double it!

Makes: 35 Mini Cupcakes


  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  •  1/2 tsp mexican vanilla (my favorite is penzey’s)
  •  1 cups all-purpose flour
  •  1 TSP  ground cinnamon (penzey’s vietnamese is my favorite)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  •  1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  •  pinch of fresh nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1.5 cups very finely grated carrots (the key is use the finest side of the grater)
  • 1/4 cup of chopped raisins


  • In a large bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, vanilla, and oil.



  • Mix with whisk both the flours, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, allspice and salt; gradually add to egg mixture.


  • Stir in carrots (make sure to finely grate the carrots this really adds to the taste and texture don’t sell yourself short by using the larger side of the grater). Fold in chopped raisins.
  • Spray with cooking spray 35  paper-lined muffin cups and fill with size 60 scoop of batter.
  • Bake at 325° for 14 to 15 minutes  (or until toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean).

Cream Cheese Frosting:


1 Package of 8 ounce cream cheese (use 1/3 fat reduced)

1/4 cup of butter (1/2 a stick)

1 Teaspoon of Mexican vanilla extract

5 Cups of confections’ sugar



Beat the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla all together until smooth and fluffy. Add confection’s sugar 1/2 cup to a cup at a time. Beat until creamy or to preferred consistency. Add to piping bag with tip of choice create magical minis :)



Pineapple Upside Down Mini Cupcakes



Pineapple Upside Down Mini Cupcakes with Brown Sugar Buttercream



Who doesn’t love pineapple upside down cake???? Right, Well my sister doesn’t but ………..she liked these little bites of pineapple love.

Servings: 76 miniature cupcakes


For Cupcakes:

  • 2 drained (very well cans of crushed pineapple)
  • 36 maraschino cherries, well drained & sliced in half
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) light sour cream
  • 1 teaspoons Mexican vanilla extract
  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Vietnamese cinnamon

1.  Preheat oven to 350 and line mini cupcakes with paper liner


2. In a large bowl, beat eggs and sugar well. Beat in the oil, sour cream and vanilla until smooth.



Sift together the dry ingredients (the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt).



Add  dry mixture to egg mixture and mix well. Fold in the crushed pineapple.



3. Fill the cupcakes using a number 60 scooper.

Finish the cupcakes off with a half a cherry on the top.


Bake at 350 for 9 to 10 minutes.

Upside down cupcake

Brown Sugar Buttercream

Frosting Ingredients:

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup  brown sugar (not packed)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream or half and half


1. Cream the butter and the  brown sugar.


2. Add the cinnamon and the vanilla. Gradually add the confectionary sugar (not too quickly or you will have a cloud of sugar in your kitchen).



Lastly add the heavy cream and mix and get ready to add to your piping  bags to frost these miniatures.