Monthly Archives: June 2013

Chocolate Zucchini Whole Wheat Muffins


My husband and I went to our local farmer’s market yesterday after our bike ride. We bought their homegrown zucchini in bulk. I love baking with zucchini. I made these this morning for my 19 month nephew. He loves his vegetables! Hopefully he will love these too!


1 cup of Shredded Zucchini (blotted well with paper towel to remove moisture)
1/2 cup agave nectar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup AP flour
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/4 cup Dutch processed cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoon vietnamese cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder


Preheat the oven to 350 and line 12 standard cupcake liners.

1. Sift dry ingredients together in a medium bowl.


2. In a separate larger bowl mix wet ingredients (except the zucchini).


3. Now add wet mixture to dry mixture.


4. Once mixture is mixed well.


5. Now fold in zucchini.


6. Make sure zucchini is spread out evenly throughout batter.


7. Spray liners with cooking spray. Scoop 1/4 cup of batter into each cupcake liner.



Rhubarb Cardamon Whole Wheat Scones

Good Morning! What’s baking?

I just placed these scones in the oven.



2 cups Rhubarb chopped
1 1/4 cup of whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/4 Cup of AP flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1teaspoon of Cardamon ground
1/2 teaspoon of salt
3/4 cup of heavy cream
One stick of butter cup chopped (1/2 cup) Unsalted
1 teaspoon of pure vanilla
1 TB of vanilla sugar & 2 TB of sugar
1/4 cup of sugar

1.5 TB of vanilla sugar
2.5 TB of sugar


1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees

2. In a small bowl take chopped rhubarb and coat well with 1 tb of vanilla sugar and 2 TB of sugar. Set a side.


3. In a separate bowl sift together both types of flour, salt, cardamon, 1/4 cup of sugar and baking powder.


4. Cut butter into the flour mixture.


You can use a pastry cutter for this but I prefer using my hands. Cut until butter is in pea sizes.


5. Add rhubarb and liquids.


6. Use a spatula to mix. And knead until dough form and everything is incorporated. Don’t over knead/mix.


Make sure no flour is left behind.


7. Separate dough evenly into a Pam Spray coved scone pan.


Looks like this


8. Now sprinkle with dusting sugar


9. Bake scones for 20 to 24 minutes on 425 or until golden brown.



Yields 16 to 20 scones depending on the size of your scone pan. As pictured the scones are 2.5 by 2.5 by 3 inches.


Special note: next time I make these I am going to try using fat free half and half to decrease the saturated fat content.


Strawberry-Rhubarb Whole Wheat Shortbread

Strawberry Rhubarb Shortbread



My grandpa gave me fresh rhubarb from his garden this past weekend.  I couldn’t wait to use it. I love baking with rhubarb!! I have made rhubarb muffins, rhubarb cupcakes, rhubarb bars, rhubarb pancakes but never have I made shortbread using rhubarb. We had a very special birthday in the office today so I researched for a new rhubarb recipe to try and when I came across this recipe for Rhubarb Shortbread I had to give it a whirl. This recipe was adapted from a recipe  on PBS’s website The original recipe called for a few different ingredients so I switched it up slightly since I didn’t have spelt flour , cane sugar, nor did I have red wine on hand.




1 Cup of Whole Wheat Pastry Flour

1 Cup AP Flour

A pinch of salt

1 Teaspoon of baking soda

2 Teaspoon of ground cardamom

2 sticks of butter (unsalted and brought to room temperature)

1 Cup of Sugar

2 Egg Yolks

Baking dish needed: 10 inch tart pan



Rhubarb Compote:

2 Cups of Rhubarb Chopped

1/2 cup Strawberries chopped

1/3 Cup of Sugar

1 Teaspoon of Water

1 Teaspoon of Pure Vanilla


Directions for the Dough:


  1.  Sift all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.


2. In a separate bowl, cream the butter until fluffy.

3. Add the eggs yolks one at a time and sugar and mix well.
4. Add the dry ingredients ingredients and combine the two until a soft dough has formed.
5. Form the dough into two balls, make sure to form one larger than the other.
Wrap the dough in plastic cling wrap and place in  freezer for 30 to 45 minutes. them for a minimum of 30 minutes.
6. For the Compote: Place a 2 quart sauce pan on low heat, add water, sugar,  strawberries, rhubarb into the pan. Make sure to stir often. Add the sauce to come to a simmer and then reduce the heat to low continue to stir often.
7. Remove from heat after thickened and stir in the vanilla. Place the compote in a freezer safe bowl and sit on ice in the freezer for at least 30 to 45 minutes to cool completely.
8. Preheat oven to 350.  Once compote is cooled get the larger piece of dough out of the freezer and start to grate with larger holes on a grater directly into a Pam Sprayed 10 inch tart pan.
9. Pat down the dough into the pan lightly.
10. Spread the rhubarb compote over the first layer of dough evenly. MAKE sure to leave a least a half inch from the perimeter  to prevent leaking on the outside.
11. Now take out the second dough ball and grate over the top of the rhubarb compote.
12. Pat down the dough very lightly. You will still see some compote poking through but it is okay.
13. Bake at 350 for 35 to 45 until the entire top is evenly golden brown.
14.  Allow the pan to cool completely before cutting into this delightful treat.

Resourceful and Flavorful Leftover Hamburger Lasagna

Resourceful and Flavorful Leftover Hamburger Lasagna





I came up with this recipe because I HATE wasting food. We had a cookout the other night so we had some leftover hamburger patties from the picnic. I love using leftover hamburger patties for cheeseburger pizza, cheeseburger calzone or even throwing the crumbles in mac and cheese. This recipe came to mind when I was trying to clean out the refrigerator to get rid of a large pasta sauce jar. The first time I ever made this lasagna, I was hesitant to tell my husband what was in it, but when he said how good it was I had to tell him. Now this recipe is a tradition following hamburgers on the grill.


5 oz 94% Fat Reduced Burger crumbled (my husband makes his with Worcestershire sauce, montreal steak seasoning, and garlic salt)

5 Lasagna Noodles ( I used whole wheat)

2 Teaspoons of pasta sprinkle or italian seasoning

2 Cups of Marinara Sauce (Check out my recipe from a few days)

1 Cup Fat Free Ricotta Cheese

3/4 Cup of Colby Jack Cheese

3/4 Cup of Italian Blend Cheese

3/4 Cup of Fat Free Mozzarella Cheese

Freshly grated Parmesan Cheese (optional)

Salt and Pepper to taste



1) Preheat the oven to 375 Degrees.

2) Cook the noodles as the pasta box reads and drain and blot


3) Place 1/2 cup of marinara on the bottom of a glass dish 9 by 7 inches



4) Cut lasagna noodles in half and place 3 in a row





5) Place 1/3 cup of ricotta cheese spread evenly over the noodles. Also sprinkle a 1/4 cup of each Colby, mozzarella, and italian blend cheeses.


6) Sprinkle hamburger crumbles over the cheese (only half the patty)




7) Pour another 1/2 cup of marinara sauce over the cheese and beef.




8) Place 1.5 noodles over the sauce (cut same as noted above).


9) Repeat steps 5 through 7 and this time sprinkle 1 tsp of pasta sprinkle or italian seasoning evenly over the sauce.



10) Repeat steps 4 through 7 and add an additional 1 tsp of pasta sprinkle or italian seasoning over the sauce.




11) Bake for 25 minutes covered with foil


12) Remove foil and bake for 15 more minutes


13) Sprinkle with freshly grated parm cheese and enjoy!

Yields 6 Servings!



Copy that Local Favorite Marinara Sauce




We were so excited to find out the family owned grocery store where we grew up started carry our favorite restaurant marinara sauce. Whenever we go back home I have been bulk purchasing the spaghetti sauce. The downside is the spaghetti sauce is almost 6 dollars a jar! Yikes….

My husband and I love trying to make our favorite restaurant “copy that” recipes. When I know we can perfect it on our own with a little practice. So we thought we give this recipe a try. This is take one on our marinara sauce.



2-8oz Cans Tomato Sauce ( I used Hunts)
1-28oz Can Tomato Puree ( I used Walmart Trade Name)
1/4 C Olive Oil ( I used our favorite Trader Joe’s Authentic)
1/2 Tsp Kosher Salt
1/8 Tsp of Baking Soda (to cut down on the Acid from the tomatoes)
5 spins on the Pepper Mill of Pepper ( I use heavy duty Penzey’s Pepper Lovers )
2 Garlic Cloves (straight out of mom’s garden)
1/2 Tsp Thyme (dried)
1/2 Tsp Basil (dried)
1/2 Oregano (dried)
2 TB of Sugar
1/8-1/4 Tsp Red Pepper Flakes (We used penzey;s Hot Pepper Flake so to your taste)
1 TB Locatelli Romano Cheese ( We purchase from the Strip district) None of that Kraft “Stuff” Please!!
1) Start with a 4 quart sauce pan and heat the pan

2) once the pan is heated add the oil on medium heat once the oil is heated add the minced garlic and cook until lightly browned and aromatic. Watch it will burn before you know it.

3) Add the tomato purée and sauce.

4) Next add the seasons, sugar, cheese, and baking soda.

5) Turn down the heat to the lowest setting on your stove. Cover stockpot and stir occasionally. Let simmer on low for 90 minutes. The longer the better for a dark, flavorful sauce.

6) Enjoy


Leftover Mashed Potato Cinnamon & Sugar Donuts

Baked Leftover Mashed Potato Cinnamon & Sugar Donuts!!

Makes about 18 donuts and Donut holes (3 Inch diameter)


I made mashed potatoes and meatloaf last night for my husband and I’s anniversary dinner. I always make too many mashed potatoes. So we of course we great deal of leftovers. I remembered my Grandma Lee telling me she use to make left over mashed potato donuts for my dad growing up whenever she had leftover mashed potatoes. I have been wanting to try a recipe for sometime now. I thought I would try and make the donuts a little healthier by not frying them and cutting the butter in half by using no sugar added applesauce. I wanted to do a test run this morning so that I could make them for my dad tomorrow for Father’s day. My dad also has to watch his sugar intake so I cut the sugar in half by substituting half splenda for sugar. My husband and I fried a few to see the difference and these fry up nice too…. But give the baked version a try first.



2 cups of left over mashed potatoes
1/2 stick of butter (melted)
1/2 cup no sugar added Applesauce
4 cups of Self rising flour
Two pinches of nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
2 eggs
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup of Splenda for baking


Preheat oven to 350°

1. In a standing mixer cream together potato, splenda, sugar butter, and applesauce.


2. Add one egg in at a time.


3. Add flour in 2/3 cup increments


4. About halfway through switch to dough-hook attachment.


5. Knead with dough hook until it forms a ball.


6. Turn onto floured surface.


7. Roll out to 3/4 inch thickness.


The dough will not be sticky.


8. Line half sheet pans with parchment paper. Place donuts six to a pan.


9. Bake for 17 to 19 minutes. The donuts will not look golden brown (The Splenda doesn’t allow it to caramelize).


10. Spray each doughnut with Pam spray (both sides). And toss the donuts in the cinnamon and sugar mixture.

Cinnamon and sugar mixture:

Half a cup of sugar to 2 tablespoons of cinnamon. Place in paper bag or Ziploc. Brown paper bag works best.


Flourless Brownies

Flourless Brownies


My sister is always asking me to try healthier recipes with using more secret healthier ingredients. So Jenna Lynn this one is for you….

1 can (15 oz drained and rinsed) Blackbeans
3/4 cup of egg substitute or 6 egg whites
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon of pure vanilla (Mexican is worth it)
1/2 cup Chocolate Chips (Dark or Semi Sweet) you pick your poison
1 teaspoon of Expresso Powder
1/2 cup of sugar
1/4 cup Splenda for baking



1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Line 8 x 8 Pyrex dish with parchment paper and spray with Pam Spray


3. Place all ingredients except the chocolate chips in food processor and pulse until smooth (there will still be some black bean shaves of skin)


4. Remove blade and stir in chocolate chips


5. Pour batter in baking dish


6. Bake for 30 minutes


Yields: 16 Brownies 2 ww plus points each


Salsa Sausage Breakfast Cups


This is usually a casserole I make in 8 by 8 but placed into muffin tins today.


5 Cooked Sausage Links
1/2 -3/4 cup shredded cheese
1/2 to 3/4 cup salsa
3 slices of day old Italian bread
3 eggs
1 cup of skim milk
1/8 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp ground mustard
1/4 tsp salt


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cut up the day old bread.


Start browning up the sausage.


Spray Pam in 12 muffin tins. Place 3 cubes of bread in each tin.


Place a tablespoon of salsa in each tin.


Cut up sausage after cooled slightly. And place 4 pieces of sausage in each tin.


Beat 3 eggs, 1 cup of milk, salt, pepper, mustard in a medium bowl. Mix well.


Add a pinch of cheddar cheese to each tin.


Place in oven for 20 to 25 minutes.