Is craving the cake zoebakes p…

Is craving the cake zoebakes posted!

Ugh–I ate way too much! Howev…

Ugh–I ate way too much! However, it was delicious. :)

Mmmm…homemade pizza (whole w…

Mmmm…homemade pizza (whole wheat crust) with homemade marinara (see site for recipe) that I had previously “put-away.” Fantastic!

Quick and Easy Salad Dressing

This quickly rose to my absolutely favorite salad dressing! I’ve made loads of homemade recipes, but hubby still wanted store-bought Italian. Annoyed, I refused to give-up! There had to be a dressing that made salad-haters excited to eat their leafy greens. And, voila! I have found it! It is fantastic on steamed broccoli, too!

Honey-Dijon Poppy Seed Vinaigrette (dresses 4 cups mixed greens)

using good quality ingredients makes all the difference

  • 2 teaspoons good-quality cider vinegar (unfiltered)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons good quality Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons honey
  • 3/4 teaspoon poppy seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon minced garlic (or one tiny pinch of dehydrated, ground garlic)
  • pinch freshly-ground black pepper
  • 3 Tablespoons vegetable oil*

*vegetable oil: Rice Bran Oil, Good quality EVOO, Canola oil


1. Simply toss into an empty jar with a screw-tight lid and shake with all your might. Dress greens. Serve immediately.

Enjoy. Sharing Optional!™

Ooh…I just found a recipe fo…

Ooh…I just found a recipe for pumpkin brownies! Heaven.

Substitution Chart for Pan Sizes in Baking

It’s frustrating when you don’t have the exact pan that a recipe calls for. Or, what if you want to halve the recipe, or quarter it? What size pan do you use? Well, I’ve spent so much time calculating this (repeatedly), I finally got smart and made a chart! I decided to share.

Isn’t it lovely? (clickety on the image for a larger, printable view).

Yes, you can substitute an 8 x 8 square pan for a 9″ round one; the only consequence will be the shape. If you want to do half of a recipe that calls for an 8 x 8 recipe, simply look at the row for the 8 x 8 pan, then under the header “one-half,” which says 32. In the left column, we don’t have a pan that is exactly 32, so you have a few options: 6″ round or 6 x 6 square would be your best options.

Looking for some good pan suggestions?

Calphlon Nonstick 9 x 13 pan
Calphalon Nonstick 8 x8 pan
Chicago Metallic 9 x 9 Nonstick pan
Chicago Metallic Nonstick Mini Loaf 5.75″ x 3.25″
Chicago Metallic 8″ Round Nonstick Cake Pan
Chicago Metallic 9″ Round Nonstick Cake Pan

Now-and-Later Marinara (Simple Tomato Sauce)

A few years ago, I would watch Giada de Laurentiis faithfully. When I became scathed that her show’s time changed, I bought a Tivo. In general, her recipes are hit or miss (which, I attribute to using the same ingredients that she uses), but the best one ever: her Simple Tomato Sauce. It is absolutely to die for, and I turn up my nose at all others. It is simple, unbelievably tasty, and gets better with time. For me and my family, and I always make a “now and later” batch.

There are three basic steps:

1. Prep ingredients
2. Brown veggies
3. Simmer

Really. It is that simple, but tastes complex. My photos show my OCD side, as I purchased a 13-quart dutch oven so I could make obsessively-large batches, then pressure can them to put away for later. Unfortunately, once I know that the sauce is made, it only lasts a week…after all the work of canning it, I mean. The sauce does freeze beautfully, though, and only requires a quick overnight thaw in the refrigerator.

Giada’s Simple Tomato Sauce (as taken from, with my changes)

3-4 Tablespoons EVOO
1 small onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup red wine (optional); I use de-alcholized wine (clickety here for information about cooking with wine, and substitutions)
2 (32-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
2 dried bay leaves
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons dried basil

In a large casserole pot or Dutch over, heat oil over medium high heat. Add onion and sauté until soft and translucent, about 5 to 10 minutes. Add celery and carrots and season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Sauté until all the vegetables are browned, about 10 minutes. Add wine or substitute (if using) Add tomatoes, bay leaves, garlic powder, and dried basil and simmer uncovered on low heat for 1 hour or until thick. Remove bay leaves and taste for additional seasoning.

Add 1/2 the tomato sauce into a blender. Process until smooth. Continue with remaining tomato sauce.

If not using all the sauce, allow it to cool completely and pour 1 to 2 cup portions into freezer plastic bags or Mason jars. This will freeze up to 6 months.

I just taught a group of teen-…

I just taught a group of teen-girls how to make salsa. :) I love teaching about food.

More fun with corn syrup…

As a fun addition to my previous post about the liars–er, marketers–trying to convince you that corn syrup is good for you (clickety here), my brother sent me this website from the Consumist: clickety here

Watch the commercials, then read some comments. There are lots of funny ones (and several that could use an edit button).

My results on the AOL Cereal Quiz

I can identify 18 out of20 cereals, just by site. Really. Have I ever mentioned I ate a lot of cold cereal growing up? AOL Cereal ID Quiz How did you do?

Making some broa, pulled pork,…

Making some broa, pulled pork, homemade bbq sauce (made with homemade ketchup, of course) and deciding which brownie recipe to make.

Corn syrup is trying to make a health claim status

My sister sent me an interesting link today, followed by my view of an interesting advertisement in a magazine. Both claiming that corn syrup is healthy, because it’s derived from corn.

Well, I’ve got a few things to say about it, too (heh. When don’t I, though?) As stated in “In Defense of Food,” (and crudely paraphrased by me), if a “food-like substance” has to tout its healthiness, it’s a sure sign that it’s not healthy; or at least the best option. I’ve never seen an advertisement for a carrot…but I see lots of ads for V8 juice. Blueberries are full of vitamins and antioxidants, but their wrapper doesn’t say that; but, Blueberry Pop-Tarts sure go out of their way to make sure you know that. Same with just about every other raw, natural food out there—-including sugars & honeys versus corn syrup. The healthy foods stay quiet, why the manufactured foods hire marketers to justify their existence.

The website claiming the values of corn syrup sure brings up a lot of good points: same calories as sugar and honey and same amount of sweetness as sugars and honey. However, what the key points are are complete omitted! Such as: the fact that corn syrup is a chemically-altered substance, whereas sugars and honeys are natural in their form. And that corn syrup, by several reports has been show to cause weight gain, and maintain it at higher levels. Last, but not least, their website says, “HFCS-55 is as sweet as table sugar, while HFCS-42 is somewhat less sweet. When HFCS-55 was developed…” Mmmm. Developed! I always like to have a “developed” product in my foods. :)

The omission of truth about corn syrup: SweetSurprise

As a closing thought, “We are living in a world today where lemonade is made from artificial flavors and furniture polish is made from real lemons.” — Alfred E. Newman (MAD Magazine).

Baked From Scratch