Saturday, May 26, 2012

Fresh Greek Salad

This has become one of mine and Josh's favorite salads lately. Its light, healthy and delicious. Good as a side, or even as the main dish with some fresh bread. Enjoy!
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cups diced cucumbers
1 1/2 cups diced tomatoes, drained if juicy
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 Tbsp olive oil
oregano to taste
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup Feta
olives, optional
Marinate chickpeas with balsamic vinegar and olive oil in baggie for 2-4 hours in refrigerator.
Mix ingredients together, and use 3 Tbsp of olive oil/vinegar dressing used to marinate chickpeas to dress salad. 

Chicken Pot Pie

Nothing beats homemade chicken pot pie. A good comfort food anytime. Yum!
2 pie shells, a top and a bottom
4 Tbsp butter
1 onion
3 Tbsp flour
1/4 tsp pepper
1 can chicken broth
frozen peas, rinsed with water
carrots, cooked
2 1/2-3 cups chicken, cooked and diced
 Fry butter and onions together until the onions are soft. Then, stir in the flour. Add salt, rosemary, and pepper. Cook until mixture becomes bubbly. Add chicken broth and stir until sauce thickens. Add peas, carrots and chicken and mix thoroughly. Add to uncooked pie shell. Lay top shell over pie, cut a vent, and cook at 425 for 20-25 minutes.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

chocolate mousse crunch cake

I made this for my mother in law's birthday and it was soooo easy and soooo good.  It looks pretty impressive and like you spent all day making it, but it takes very little effort and time and has a huge pay off.  I will definitely be making this again. Can you say y-u-m ?!

Chocolate Mousse Crunch Cake
Recipe by Our Best Bites
1 package Duncan Hines Devil’s Food Cake
1 recipe (give or take a little) Chocolate Ganache
Crushed Heath bars or a bag of chocolate-covered Heath bits
1 tsp. unflavored gelatin
1 Tbsp. cold water
2 Tbsp. boiling water (just heat it in a small bowl in your microwave)
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 c. whipping cream
1 tsp. vanilla
Bake cake according to cake mix instructions in 2 8″ round pans. Allow to cool and set aside. This can be done several days in advance; just freeze the cakes when you’re done.
In a small bowl, combine gelatin and cold water and allow to stand for about 1 minute. While gelatin is softening, bring 2 Tbsp. water to a boil in the microwave. Whisk into the softened gelatin and allow to cool slightly.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine sugar, cocoa powder, whipping cream, and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer until medium-stiff peaks form. Mix in gelatin mixture and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Prepare ganache (if you haven’t already) according to directions.
With a serrated knife, carefully slice the dome-iest part of each cake layer off so the layers are level. Place one layer on the serving plate and spread about 1/2 of the chocolate mousse over the cake. Sprinkle with Heath bits.
Place second layer on top of Heath bits.
Spoon ganache over the top layer, allowing it to drip down the sides. Sprinkle with additional Heath bits and refrigerate until ready to serve.


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Parsley Pesto Pasta with Chicken

I love pesto, but it's usually so expensive to buy and if you're making a traditional pesto with pine nuts and basil, it's even expensive to make.  This is a cheaper, just as delicious alternative.
 1 lb Fettuccini
1 bunch Italian Parsley
1/2 cup Grated Parmesean
2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
2 cloves garlic
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup olive oil
Rinse the parsley well and shake off as much water as possible. Remove the leaves from the stems and place them into the food processor. Also add the garlic (peeled), parmesan cheese, and lemon juice. Pulse until there are no large chunks of garlic left.
Slowly add the olive oil through the spout on the lid as you continue to pulse the mixture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed and pulse until smooth. Taste the pesto and add salt to your liking. I added 1/4 teaspoon. You want the pesto to be slightly saltier than you'd think because it will be spread out thin over the pasta.
 Cook the pasta according to the package directions (this can done while you make the pesto). Before draining the pasta, reserve about a half cup of the starchy cooking water. Drain the pasta, let cool slighly (about 5 minutes) and then return it to the pot. Add the pesto and stir to coat. If the pasta becomes dry, clumpy, or sticky, use a small amount of the pasta water to help loosen it up. Serve warm with baked or grilled chicken breast. Yum-o

Friday, February 24, 2012

Whole-Wheat Walnut-Raisin Biscotti

I've never had biscotti before so I don't really have anything to compare these to, but they are pretty good. They definitely have a healthy taste to them because of the whole-wheat flour but don't let that turn you off.  I've eaten so much of them today that I'm not hungry for dinner tonight.  Dunk them in a cold glass of milk, hot chocolate or in my sister Sarah's case, Diet Coke. I'm just kidding; that would be gross. Enjoy!


  • Vegetable oil, for baking sheet
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour, spooned and leveled
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled, plus more for work surface
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup walnut halves
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush a baking sheet with oil; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt; stir in walnuts and raisins. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together eggs and vanilla. Add to flour mixture; stir just until combined.
  3. On a lightly floured surface, with floured hands, pat dough into a loaf about 1 inch thick, 2 1/2 inches wide (and about 7 inches long); transfer to baking sheet. Bake until risen and firm, 20 to 25 minutes; cool completely on sheet. Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees.
  4. Place loaf on a cutting board, and using a serrated knife, cut diagonally into 1/4 inch-thick slices; place slices in a single layer on sheet. Bake, turning once, until dried and slightly golden, 25 to 30 minutes; cool completely.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Spicy Chocolate Bars

    This is an Allred classic- especially for events where food and large amounts of people go together. They are easy and especially good when frozen. Take care not to overbake them (like me- oops).

1 1/2 c. margarine/shortening
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. brown sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
4 cups flour
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. nutmeg
4 tsp. cinnamon
2 cups chocolate chips

Mix ingredients together. Spread onto a greased cookie sheet and cook at 350 for 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Flourless Chocolate Cake

I made this cake for Valentines Day and it was quite delicious.  Its very moist and rich and very grown up.  I served it with a homemade butterscotch sauce, but any store bought caramel sauce would work as well. 
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the pan
8 ounces of semisweet chocolate, chopped
6 large eggs, separated
1/2 cup granulated sugar
confectioners' sugar, for dusting (optional)
Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Line the bottom of a springform pan with parchment paper and butter the sides and parchment paper.
In a double boiler, melt butter and chocolate together. Once melted, remove from heat and cool.
Meanwhile, beat egg whites until soft peaks form.  Once soft peaks form, gradually add in the sugar and beat until you see glossy, stiff peaks.
Once chocolate is cooled, whisk in the egg yolks.  Transfer chocolate mixture to a large bowl and whisk in 1/4 of the egg whites into the chocolate before folding in the remaining egg whites.  Be sure to fold them in well as to not have pockets of egg whites.
Pour batter into the greased pan, smooth the top and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until set.  Cool completely before removing the sides of the pan and serve with sauce of your choice.

This little guy wanted to help so he held the measuring cup.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Pâte Sucrée

This is such a yummy crust recipe! Being in college I didn't have a pie pan on hand so I decided to try out a recipe that didn't involve a pie pan. "Pâte Sucrée, or sweet pastery, is a sturday dough, thanks fo its proportion of sugar and the addition of egg yolks. It's a good choice for tarts, which are most often unmolded before serving."
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
2 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
2 to 4 tablespoons cold heavy cream or ice water

Pulse flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor until combines. Add butter, and pulse just until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add yolks and drizzle 2 tablespoons cream evenly over mixture; pulse just until dough begins to come together, no more than 30 seconds. If dough is toodry, add remaining cream, 1 tablespoon at a time, and pulse. Wrap in plastic. Refrigerate 1 hour or up to 2 days, or freeze up to 3 months (thaw in refrigerator before using).
 Citrus Variation: Add 2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest and 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest to the dry ingredients
Poppy Seed Variation: Add 2 tablespoons poppy seeds to the dry ingredients.
Chocolate Variation: Replace 1/4 cup flour with 1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder.
Cornmeal-Lemon Variation: Replece 3/4 cup flour with 3/4 cup coarse cornmeal; reduce sugar to 2 tablespoons. Add 1 teaspoon lemon zest to the dry ingredients.

You can choose a filling of your choice!
I choose a frozen berry mix I had in my freezer.

1. On a lightly floured piece of parchment, roll out dough to a 16-inch-long oval, 1/4 inch thick. Transfer dough and parchment to a rimmed baking sheet. Refrigerate or freeze until firm, about 30 minutes.

2. Thaw berries, and sprinkle with sugar, and cinnamon (optional).

3. Preheat oven to 375F. Spoon mixture over dough, leaving a 2-inch border. Dot with butter. Fold in edges, pressing gently. Refrigerate or freeze until firm, 30 minutes.

4. Whisk egg yolk with cream; brush over edges of tart. Sprinkle entire surgace of tart with remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar. bake until golden, 45 to 50 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely.


Sunday, February 5, 2012

Triple-Chocolate Brownies with a Secret Ingredient

I made these brownies last night for dessert and I was pleasantly surprised, considering one thing, they have black beans in them! Instead of using all butter, a 1/4 cup of pureed beans is added, which decreases the fat content from 11g to 7g, not to mention some added fiber, according to Martha Stewart.  They are a little cakier than I normally like my brownies, but with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of caramel syrup you can't really complain.  


  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for baking pan
  • 1/4 cup black beans, rinsed, drained, and pureed until completely smooth
  • 3 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped (1/2 cup) (next time, I think I will try milk chocolate for a less rich brownie)
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped (1/3 cup)
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs, plus 1 large egg white
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter a 9-inch square baking pan and line with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on all sides. In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine butter, bean puree, and chocolates and microwave in 30-second increments, stirring each time, until melted and smooth, about 2 minutes. Whisk in sugar, eggs and egg white, and vanilla until smooth.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Stir into chocolate mixture until just combined. Pour batter into pan; smooth top. Bake until top is cracked and a toothpick inserted in center has moist crumbs attached, about 25 minutes (center will seem undercooked but will set further as it cools). Let cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Using parchment, lift brownie from pan and cut into 16 squares.

Saturday, January 28, 2012


Makes: 12 popovers


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon salt

3 large eggs

1 1/2 cups milk

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1. In a large bowl, mix together flour and salt; make a well in center. In another bowl, beat together eggs and milk, then pour into well. Gradually stir egg mixture into flour until batter is consistency of heavy cream yet slightly lumpy; do not overbeat. Allow batter to rest for at least 30 minutes and up to an hour.
2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees fahrenheit. Place 1 teaspoon butter in each cup of  a 12-cup muffin tin or two 6-cup popover tins. Heat in oven until butter melts, about 1 minute. Divide batter among cups, filling each about three-quarters full. Bake until popovers are puffed and golden brown, about 20 minutes. Turn out popovers and serve warm.

Super easy with really simple ingredients! They taste really good right out of the oven with butter and are also perfect to eat along with soup.

(Recipe originally from Country Living Magazine)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Pork Chops with Apples and Sage

Well, its been a very long while since I last posted, but I guess since then a lot has happened- a new baby, a trip to Canada, and just adjusting to life as a mom! We hope that this year we can keep the blog up a little better so check back often!
I made this for dinner last night. I found it on pinterest and it was so delish! 

 Mix the following in a bowl:

1 1/2 t. ground sage
1 t. minced garlic
1 t. rosemary
1/2 t. ground allspice
 (by the way, allspice is really easy to make on your own: 1t. cinnamon, 1t. ground cloves,   1 t. nutmeg)
1/2 cup flour
1 t. salt
Set aside 1 tablespoon of the mixture. Then dredge 2-4 porkchops in the remaining flour mixture, on both sides. Set aside.

Chop up 1 red apple and a medium onion.

 In a hot skillet, warm 1 tablespoon olive oil on high. Place pork chops in pan and brown on each side.
 Wipe out the pan and add another tablespoon of olive oil and on medium heat sautee the onions for about 2 minutes.

 Add the sliced apples and cook for another 3 minutes or so.
 In a bowl add 1 tablespoon of brown sugar, 1 cup apple juice and the tablespoon of flour mixture you set aside earlier. Mix thoroughly and pour into pan. Bring to a boil and simmer covered for 5 minutes, or until the pork chops are cooked through.


Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Basic Smoothie:
1 6oz carton plain yogurt
1/2 cup orange juice or orange juice blend
2 T honey or sugar
1/4 t vanilla
1 cup small ice cubes or crushed ice

In a blender combine yogurt, orange juice, honey, vanilla, and ice cubes. Cover and blend until nearly smooth.

10 to try-
1. Peanut Butter-Banana (my favorite): Substitute vanilla yogurt for plain, milk for orange juice, and add half of a ripe banana and 2 T creamy peanut butter.
2. Tropical: Substitute pina colada flavored yogurt for plain and add 2 peeled kiwifruits.
3. Peach: Add 1 cup frozen peach slices, omit ice.
4. Mango: Add 1/2 cup chopped fresh or frozen mango.
5. Banana-Chocolate: Substitute vanilla yogurt for plain, milk for orange juice, and chocolate-flavored syrup for honey; add half of a ripe banana.
6. Pomegranate: Substitute pomegranate juice for orange juice.
7. orange Dreams: Substitute orange yogurt for plain and add 1/2 cup mandarin orange sections.
8. Mocha: Substitute coffee-flavored yogurt for plain, milk for orange juice, and chocolate-flavored syrup for honey.
9. Banana-Blueberry: Substitute blueberry yogurt for plain; add half a ripe banana and 1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries.
10. Berry: Add 1/2 cup halved fresh strawberries or raspberries.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Apple Pie

(Martha Stewart's)
3 Tbsp. flour
1 egg yolk
1 Tbsp cream or half and half
3 lbs. apples, peeled cored and sliced into 1/4 inch pieces
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. butter, cut into small pieces
Coarse sanding sugar for sprinkling

Roll out dough and line a 9" pie pan with it.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Whisk together cream and egg yolk for egg wash.
Toss together the apples, flour, lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt until combined. Pour mixture into the chilled pie crust. Dot with butter.
Cover with the rolled pie dough top.  Cut slits or insert a pie bird.  You can also make a lattice top or whatever you want.  Brush with the egg wash and sprinkle with sanding sugar.  Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.
Place pie on a lined rimmed baking sheet and bake on lowest rack for about 25 minutes.  Reduce heat to 375 degrees and bake until crust is golden brown and juices bubble, 60-75 minutes more.
Cool pie completely on a cooling rack. Serve with vanilla ice cream.