Monthly Archives: August 2015

Classic Basil Pesto


Last year I was so jealous my sister had a beautiful bountiful basil plant. I had started it in a basket hanging basket for her for Mother’s Day but she took it out and planted it in her garden.  While mine remained in my basket hanger and barely grew a few inches. Her plant was beautiful! The first thing I taught her to make with her basil was pesto!! 
I learned my lesson this year I planted our basil plant in an herb garden. Wow this  year our basil plant is large and in charge, like my sister’s plant last year. I have made pesto a couple times this season. My husband loves it! So I thought I’d share the recipe this time. It is super simple. I plan on freezing some for the winter as well that is if it lasts.

It’s recipe yields about 1 1/2 cups of fresh pesto


4 cups of fresh basil

1/2 cup of lightly toasted pinenuts

1/2 cup of extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 cup of freshly grated Romano Locatelli D.O.C. cheese

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp freshly grated Black pepper 

7 small fresh cloves of garlic (ours are small from our garden)


1. Place all the ingredients except for the olive oil in a food processor. Pulse until pureed. 

2. Drizzle of olive oil while the food processor is pulsing.

3. Enjoy on some homemade bread or pasta!


Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies


Family favorites around here are chocolate chip cookies. Now the debate of what is the best is still up in the air but on vacation the nestle toll houses recipe is a fan favorite for the Lee’s. Every year when we get together for a family vacation we bake these for a sweet treats after dinner.

2 1/4 cup ap flour (I always like to use 1 cup of whole wheat pastry flour if on hand)

3/4 cup brown sugar

3/4 cup white sugar

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

2 sticks (1 cup) of butter (mom uses 1/2 margarine) make sure it is room temp

2 eggs

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1 package of semisweet chocolate chips ( we used mini allergy free chips)

1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Parchment paperline a  cookie sheet. 


1. Mix well together with whisk in a medium bowl butter, sugars, and vanilla. Make sure the mixture is good and creamy. Add one egg at a time and incorporate after each addition. Set aside.

2. In a separate bowl mix together flour, soda, & salt. Add the mixed dry ingredients into the mixture with a wooden spoon. Once incorporated add nuts and chocolate chips.

3. Place the dough about 1 TB spoon amount on the baking pan and space about 1.5 inches apart and bake for 9 minutes. Be careful the amount of time & temperature depending on the darkness of the pan and the temp of the dough. We did have to decrease the temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 12 minutes. Remove from pan right away.

4. Enjoy quickly! They go fast!

You can tell when we are not in our own Kitchen, we have to resort to creative “mixing bowls”.

Mom Lee’s Peanut Butter Cookies


I was going through my grandma’s recipe books a few weeks ago. I stumbled across my Mom’s Famous Peanut Butter Cookies. These are the best peanut butter cookies ever! I maybe bias… Just saying. I love mom! 

Pre directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a half sheet pan with parchment paper. Set aside. 


1 cup unsalted butter

1 1/4 cups peanut butter

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp almond extract

1 2/3 cup sifted all purpose flour

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (I made this change)

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1 package of Reese’s peanut butter chips

 Vanilla sugar for rolling the cookie balls in the dough (optional)


1. Thoroughly cream butter, peanut butter,sugar, and almond extract in stand mixer. Add one egg at a time and incorporate after each addition. 

2. In a separate bowl sift together flour, salt and soda. Blend the flour mixture into the creamed mixure. 

3. Shape the dough into 1/4 cup balls; roll in granulated vanilla sugar

4. Place 2 inches apart on parchment paper on prepared half sheet pan. I only placed 6 to a half sheet pan. Place crisscross pattern with fork or my mother in law found me this adorable “I love cookies” stamp at our favorite kitchen store in the Strip District. 

5.Bake at 375 degrees for 11-13 minutes. The magic number for me was 12. Remove from pan right away and allow to cool on cookie wire rack.

Jalapeno Corn Bread

I have made this recipe about a half of a dozen times and it never lasts more than a day. We are having a cookout today and my mom is making ribs! I thought this would pair good with some BBQ! All I can say is move over jiffy !


1 1/2 cup cornmeal ( we bought ours from a local farm)

1 1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup sugar

6 TB unsalted room temp butter, chopped into 6 chunks

1 1/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp kosher salt

2 TB chopped pickled jalapeño (we pickled ours last year)

1/4 cup fresh chives, chopped

2 scallions, chopped

1 1/2 cup buttermilk

1 1/2 cup cheddar cheese blend

2 eggs

Predirections: preheat oven to 400 degrees and cooking my spray a 9 by 13 baking dish with cooking spray.


1. Place flour, cornmeal, salt, baking soda, & sugar in s medium bowl and mix well to incorporate all ingredients. Set aside

2. In a stand mixer bowl place butter in medium speed with paddle attachment. Whip for 2 minute until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and start to add in some of the flour about a 3rd of the total amount. Then add in 1/3 of the buttermilk. Make sure to decrease the speed of the mixer to low while adding in the flour. Continue alternating flour and buttermilk minutes until everything is incorporated.

3. Add in chives, jalapeño, green onions, and cheese. Fold additional ingredients to incorporate.

4. Pour batter into the prepared baking dish. Spread the batter evenly and bake 20 to 25 minutes.

5. Remove from oven and allow to cool on wire rack.

Apple Breakfast Oat Bars


I was saving these apples from my grandpa’s to make an apple crisp but what the heck this is like an apple crisp for breakfast. I’m going for it! Oh happy Sunday!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. parchment line an 8 by 8 baking pan. Set aside. 

Oat Pastry Ingredients:

1 cup Old fashioned Oats

1 cup Whole Wheat Pastry Flour

1/2 cup raw sugar

5 TB Canola Oil

3 TB unsweetened applesauce

1/2 TB ground Vietnamese cinnamon 

pinch of kosher salt

1 TB Ground Flaxseeed

Apple filling:

4 small transparent (early) apples (cored and sliced thin)

1 tsp ground Vietnamese cinnamon

1 TB unsalted butter

2 TB raw sugar 

Pinch of kosher salt 

This recipe yields 9 bars 

1. Place apples, cinnomon, butter, 2 TB raw sugar in small quart pan on low to medium heat. Heat apples for 5-7 minutes until they start to break down almost like chunky applesauce. Stir occasionally. After time has elapsed allow to cool slightly prior to placing on oat batter. 

2. In a medium bowl mix together flaxseed, applesauce, canola oil, oats, cinnamon, sugar, and pastry flour. Mix with hands until mixture is course but well incorporated. 

3. Divide oat mixture in half. Place half the mixture down on the bottom of the 8 by 8. Press into the parchment paper. Place the slightly cooled apple filling on first layer. Spread evenly. Finally top with remains oat mixture. Make sure to spread the topping evenly.

4. Bake for 45 minutes and remove from oven and allow to cool on wire rack before cutting into bars. 


Chocolate Peanut Brownies

All day long I swear I could smell brownies. So when I got home from work I had to bake some! I found a recipe in an old Betty Crocker Cookie Cookbook that I modified to present day! This one is for you Jenna! My sister loves her coconut oil!

This yields 9-12 brownies


2 oz pure dark chocolate

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup coconut oil

2 TB peanut butter

1/2 cup unsalted roasted peanuts

1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

Predirections:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8 by 8 dish with foil and spray with cooking spray and set aside.


1. Place chocolate, coconut oil, and peanut butter in 2 qt sauce pan in low heat. Keep stirring occasionally until chocolate melts.

2. Remove from heat and add vanilla and eggs and mix to incorporate. Add in sugar and continue to mix.

3. In s separate bowl mix flour, salt, baking soda until incorporated. Add into melted chocolate batter and mix to incorporated. Lastly fold in peanuts.

4. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish.

5. Bake for 25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Let the brownies sit in pan for 5 to 10 minutes before pulling the foil out and cutting the brownies.