Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Cilantro Potato Salad

How many of us are stuck using the same ol' recipes, because we know that they're good?? Guilty. Well step out of the box people and try some of this glorious goodness! Being from Idaho, I love potatoes. Tony calls me Mrs. Potato Head. (Like he can talk, he's Mr. Potato Head) I think it would be wrong for me not to love potatoes-disrespectful to my state, maybe? Well anyways, potato salad is one of those dishes that I never even consider trying a new recipe for. The one I use is an old family favorite, and its delicious. But potato salad with cilantro?! Yes! The flavor of this salad is A-MAZING. A perfect and tangy twist on the classic potato salad. So next time you're going on a picnic, or family party, or anything-remember what I said before. Step out of the box! Try something new and unusual, you won't be disappointed!

Cilantro Potato Salad

  • 1 lb. red potatoes, quartered
  • 1/3 c. red onion, chopped finely
  • 1/3 c. celery, chopped finely
  • 1 tsp. garlic, minced
  • 1 c. Mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/2 c. cilantro, chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  • In a large saucepan, bring potatoes to a boil and cook until tender; drain and let sit until cool.
  • In a large bowl, mix together the onion, celery, garlic, mayo, mustard, and lemon juice. Add in the potatoes and toss to coat. Gently mix in the cilantro and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Chill, covered, for 1 hour before serving.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Quinoa Cakes

I am obsessed with quinoa. Never heard of it? Well go buy some NOW, my friend; for you are missing out! I could go on and on about the health benefits, but I also love how versatile the little grain is! I have a huge list of recipes saved to try with quinoa-sweet, savory, breakfast, main dish, side dish, you name it! I really enjoyed these cakes, although Tony wasn't as big a fan as me. His taste buds just aren't as cultured as mine.. ;) I also had some leftover ranch sauce I spread onto them, and I thought it really made the dish! It was really salty, which worked for us since we are salt addicts. I did substitute the vegetable stock for water with 2 chicken boullion cubes, so that could have definitly been the salt culprit. Either way, it was delicious. We ate it with some veggies on the side, and it was way filling! Definitly a well balanced, super healthy, yummy meal!

Quinoa Cakes
adapted from: A Year in the Kitchen

  • 1 c. quinoa
  • 2 c. vegetable stock
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp. fresh minced oregano (or 1/2 tsp. dried)
  • 2 egg whites


  • Rinse quinoa in a fine mesh strainer until water runs clear.
  • Add stock to a small pot, bring to a boil, add quinoa.
  • Turn heat to medium, partially cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Turn heat off, let quinoa sit for 5 minutes. (water will completely evaporate)
  • Add remaining ingredients to a mixing bowl, whisk to combine.
  • Add cooled quinoa, mix to distribute spices and egg well.
  • Heat electric skillet over medium-high heat, or around 375.
  • Scoop quinoa mixture out with an ice cream scoop into mounds on the skillet.
  • Press down with a spatula, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Flip and cook for another 3-4 minutes, or until golden brown.

Ranch Dip

  • Mix 1/2 c. sour cream with 1 c. ranch.

Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies w/ Walnuts & Coconut

Long name-DELICIOUS cookie! I had the day off today, but felt totally unproductive and completely frustrated with some school registration issues, so this is how I relaxed myself! Bummer that the way to make myself feel better is to bake yummy (yet way fattening!) sweets! Oh well, that will motivate me even more to continue my intense daily workouts with Tony! Totally unrelated to these cookies OR cooking, but if you want to get in shape, P90X is the way to go! I can barely walk from yesterdays workout, but it feels so good to be so sore! --Back to the subject-- These cookies contain part of all my favorites, chocolate chips, oatmeal, nuts, coconut....sheer perfection! Try these now!!

Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies with Walnuts and Coconut

  • 1 c. butter, slightly softened ***
  • 3/4 c. brown sugar
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tbsp. buttermilk (or regular milk)
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 1/2 c. unbleached flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 c. rolled oats
  • 8 oz. chocolate chips
  • 3/4 c. chopped walnuts
  • 3/4 c. sweetened, shredded coconut

***I used 1/2 c. shortening, 1/2 c. butter. I learned the trick from my aunt and it makes such moist and yummy cookies!


  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  • Beat in eggs one at a time, then mix in the vanilla and buttermilk.
  • Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Mix into the butter mixture.
  • Mix in the oats, chocolate chips, nuts, and coconut.
  • Drop by tablespoons on a prepared baking sheet. Bake 9-11 minutes (or 6, if you like half-way doughy cookies like me!)
  • Cool on a wire rack.
  • ENJOY!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Crunchy Pea Salad

Take 2 on my dinner at the mother's house! We had some baked fish, ranch potatoes, and this DELICIOUS salad. This has been a family favorite as long as I can remember. Seriously, I love this salad. LOVE it.

Crunchy Pea Salad
Sharon Heiner

  • 10 oz. bag frozen peas (do not thaw)
  • 1 c. diced celery
  • 1 c. chopped cauliflower
  • 1/4 c. green onions, chopped
  • 1 c. chopped or halved cashews (I didn't have any on hand, so I used walnuts and almonds. SO much better with cashews!)
  • 1/2 c. sour cream
  • 1 c. ranch dressing
  • 1/2 lb. cooked and crumbled bacon for garnish


  • Combine first 5 ingredients together in a medium sized bowl.
  • Stir together sour cream and ranch dressing, set aside.
  • ENJOY!

Ranch Potatoes

So I STILL have NO kitchen!!! I never realized what a HUGE project we took on! We calculated how much we have left to do, and we made a pact (yes, we even shook on it) that we would be completely finished and I would be cooking in my own kitchen by next Saturday. WOO HOO! I can hardly even imagine. But let me tell you, our kitchen is looking amazing if I say so myself! So anyways, I decided to cook some dinner at my mom's house tonight, I hate that I've started to consider cooking warming something up in the microwave!!

Easy Ranch Potatoes

  • 9-10 small red potatoes, cubed
  • 1 package ranch dressing mix
  • 1/4 c. vegetable oil (or less, but without the oil the potatoes will burn)


  • Place potatoes in a bag. Add oil and shake to coat. Add mix and shake until the potatoes are evenly coated. Spread on ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Coconut Almond Granola

Right now, my refrigerator is in the living room. My stove is in the living room, obviously not hooked up. My toaster and microwave is in the living room. Why? Because we are re-doing our kitchen, and its in the painting stage right now. Yuck. I am sooo ready to have a kitchen again! We have been eating greasy fast food, frozen dinners, Hot Pockets, Toaster Strudels, ect. No offense to any of those companies or their fans, but seriously?! I don't know how people can eat that way every single day. I am so sick of it! So what better breakfast/snack than granola?! I am so excited to have a little something different, and something much healthier! I can't wait to experiment with this recipe, its a keeper!

Coconut Almond Granola
adapted from: The Vegster


  • 2 c. oats
  • 2/3 c. unsweetened coconut, shredded
  • 1/2 c. maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted**
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • a dash or two of nutmeg and ginger
  • 1/4 c. almond slices
  • 1/4 c. chopped pecans


  1. Mix everything together and bake at 300 for 30-45 minutes. (I baked for 20, I don't like mine super crunchy)

**I didn't have any coconut oil, so I substituted about 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil and 2 Tbsp. maple syrup.

Strawberry Walnut Shortbread

YAY! I have something to blog about!! It has been far too long since I have updated, but just as long since I have cooked! We are days away from finishing our kitchen (WOO HOO!!!) but I couldn't wait that long! I had the day off, so I "borrowed" my lovely mothers kitchen for the afternoon. I thought that if we had some tasty treats to snack on, it would make the last few days bearable! Tony the taste tester hasn't tried these yet, but I thought they were pretty awesome! The original recipe called for raspberry jam, so I can't wait to try that out next time! On a side note-when you put the pan in the oven, DON'T leave the oven mitt in there too. Yup, I burnt the mitt. Flames were involved. Pretty freakin' awesome.

Strawberry Walnut Shortbread
adapted from: Taste of Home
  • 1 1/4 c. plus 2 Tbsp. flour, divided
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1/2 c. cold butter or margarine
  • 1/2 c. raspberry jam (I used strawberry)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 c. packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 c. finely chopped walnuts


  1. In a bowl, combine 1 1/4 c. flour and sugar; cut in butter until crumbly. Press into a greased 9-inch square baking pan. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.
  2. Spread jam over hot crust.
  3. In a mixing bowl, beat eggs, brown sugar and vanilla. Combine baking soda and remaining flour; stir into the egg mixture just until combined. Fold in walnuts. Spoon over jam; spread evenly.
  4. Bake for 17-20 minutes or until golden brown and set. Cool completely on a wire rack before cutting.