Tag Archive | Cooking

Okay, Enough of the Home/Hygiene Products–Nectarine Cobbler Time

When I created this blog, I didn’t intend to be using it for pintesting homemade cleaning and hygiene products, but I guess that’s what I’ve been doing lately.  Time to move onto something different.  How about a recipe?!

My husband recently bought some nectarines, which are not my favorite fruit.  The kids think they’re okay, but they weren’t moving very fast.  So, one night I decided to experiment, and here is what I came up with.

Mug Nectarine Cobbler

Tools:  Oven-safe mug; toaster oven (mine is a convection oven, and I had convection on)


1 sliced nectarine

about 2 Tbsp butter

dash of salt

pinch of cinnamon

1.5 Tbsp sugar

3 Tbsp flour (may need more, see instructions)


I took my sliced nectarines and placed them in my mug.  That was the easy part.  Then I cut the salt, cinnamon, sugar, and flour into the butter.  You want this topping crumbly.  I never got it quite there–I think I worked the butter too long and it got too melty, but it is possible that I just needed more flour.  At any rate, once your mixture is ready, sprinkle it on top.  Heat in a 350-degree toaster oven for about 10 minutes (until topping gets golden brown).

Despite my mixture not being crumbly enough, it tasted good.  That’s all that counts, right?

Cut up nectarines

Cut up nectarines

Pre-baking.  Yes, crumbles would have looked nicer.

Pre-baking. Yes, crumbles would have looked nicer.

Cooked.  Parts of the topping were a bit doughy, probably because it was in big glops.  Still tasted great!

Cooked. Parts of the topping were a bit doughy, probably because it was in big glops. Still tasted great!


Berry Pizza for July 4th

A few weeks ago, I came across this pin for summer berry pizza.  It looked good, so I decided it would be dessert on the Fourth of July.  It’s pretty easy as it uses a store bought pizza dough and only a few ingredients.  The only one we didn’t have as mascarpone cheese.  Of course, when I went to buy the cheese, I didn’t write down how much I needed.  Turns out that while it comes in 8 oz. tubs, we needed 16 oz., so I had to get my mom to bring more before I could finish it!  Each tub costs about $4.99 in my neck of the woods, so it really turned out to be more expensive to make than I thought it would be.

The pizza dough we had was for thin crust and required a nonstick pan and a lower temperature.  I went by what the dough directions said instead of the blog’s instructions, though I wound up keeping it in the oven for 9 minutes because it didn’t seem to be as browned as it should be.

Baked Pizza Crust

Baked Pizza Crust

I didn’t have any blueberries, so I only used strawberries.  It still tasted good!  The only thing I noticed about the recipe that seemed off was the glaze:  I had covered the pizza with drizzle, and I still had some left.  I think the recipe should really be halved.

Finished Berry Pizza

Finished Berry Pizza

I thought it was delicious, as did my mom.  The kids had mixed reviews.  My son (Mr. Sweet Tooth) liked it pretty well, but my daughter didn’t care for the crust (said it was too firm), and her friend didn’t like the texture of the cheese.  What this basically means is that I wound up eating most of the leftovers, which was okay with me!   However, the leftovers did get a bit soggy with the drizzle soaking into the crust.  If you can make it for enough people that you will have few (if any) leftovers, that would probably be for the best.  Bon appetit!

Apple Pie from Scraps!

Okay, I figure that you looked at the title and either thought “What in the world?” or “Um, you mean, ‘scratch,’ right?”  Well, I did not mean “scratch.”  I know, it’s weird to say I made it from scraps, but I found a few leftover components that work well for apple pie, so it just kind of went from there.  Here’s the story:

I was digging for something in my freezer.  I no longer remember what, but I seriously was pulling everything out while looking for whatever it was.  Oh, I know–cheese!  But that’s another story.  First, I found some cream cheese dough that we made when we made the mini pecan tarts my friend Shari gave me the recipe for (they are yum!!).  It was a little old (I won’t tell you how old), but I figured I’d defrost it and make a flat tart or something.  After all, I have more apples around than I know what to do with (my MIL knows the kids like them, so if they’re on sale, she buys us some).   Then I found leftover cinnamon sugar from a box of frozen pretzels I had (so not good for me).

So, off I was to find a pan to use.  I found a pie tin and squished the cream cheese dough into it.  I know this isn’t how you should do pie crust, but it’s how you do it for the tarts, and it would really stick to the rolling pin.  Next I sliced up some apples (three, I believe) and started sprinkling in cinnamon sugar.  I have no idea how much I used, but the apples all had a light coating on them.  I placed them in the shell and took a picture.

Cinnamon apples in cream cheese dough.

Cinnamon apples in cream cheese dough.

Hm, needs something on top, right?  So, I dug out the Better Homes & Gardens cookbook and found a crumb topping recipe.  I made some and put it on.

That's looking better.

That’s looking better.

I baked it at about 350 (maybe it was 375) for about an hour.  Half-way through, it was getting really brown on top, so I put a layer of tinfoil over it so it wouldn’t get burnt.

So, here’s the result:

I forgot to take a picture before cutting (I was eager to eat it).  Oh, well.  At least I got a picture before it was half-eaten, right?

I forgot to take a picture before cutting (I was eager to eat it). Oh, well. At least I got a picture before it was half-eaten, right?

Looks good, doesn’t it?  It really is.  As a matter of fact, I’m sitting here polishing it off as we speak.  It’s my lunch–don’t tell the family that!!!

Homemade Chocolate Syrup

I meant to post this a few weeks ago, but better late than never, right?

For a while, I have wanted to find a good chocolate syrup recipe, but the ones I’d see use honey, and I was worried they’d be too thick if I refrigerated them.  But a couple weeks ago, my friend had us over to dinner and she made homemade ice cream, homemade chocolate syrup, and homemade whipped cream.  Sooo yum!  Anyhow, when I got home, I searched for the recipe she used on-line.  I found one at penniesonaplatter.com.  I didn’t remember her using the pinch of salt, but I figured it was worth a try.  It was delicious!!!  I used a little less sugar than the original recipe (1-3/4 cups).  It is richer (to me) than store-bought syrup, and I can use less of it in my milk to make REALLY chocolaty milk (if you’ve seen my mug brownie entry, you know I take my chocolate seriously).  It is also terrific on ice cream.  I don’t think I’ll ever buy chocolate syrup again.

UPDATE 8-5-2013:  Yesterday, I wanted to make another batch, but I didn’t want to have to search my posts, so I just Googled a recipe.  The recipe said to use a small saucepan, so, not remembering how much it boils, I did.  Big mistake!  You need at least a 2-quart saucepan unless you want a big old mess on your range top.  Lesson learned and remembered for next time.  However, this recipe used even less sugar:  1-1/2 cups.  It is richer, in a dark chocolate sort of way.  So, if you like your chocolate dark, you may want to try that.

Mug Brownie, My Way

So, if you don’t know me, you probably don’t know that I’m a chocolate addict.  Truly–if I go a day with no chocolate, I get cranky.  So, when I saw this recipe  for a mug brownie on Pinterest, I had to try it.  It was pretty good, but it was missing something.  On top of that, it was more dense and cakey than I really like my brownies.  Ideally, I like them incredibly chewy.

To give you an idea of how dedicated I am to chewy brownies, I have a little story for you:  I got a box of Ghiradelli brownie mix at Sam’s Club and made them per package instructions.  They were very good flavor-wise but too cakey.  I started to think about it, and I realized that other brownie mixes have a slightly shorter baking time for chewy brownies AND they use more eggs; Ghiradelli only uses one.  On top of that, I thought they used different amounts of oil and such, too, so I searched the Internet for the instructions for one of the other brownie mixes I buy and used those instructions to make my Ghiradelli brownies.  Guess what?  Perfection!  So, I taped the other instructions to the Ghiradelli box for the final bags of brownie mix, so I could make them exactly how I like them.

So, what was I to do about this imperfect mug brownie recipe?  For a while I just left it.  And if I made it, I put ice cream on top (everything’s better with ice cream, right?).  Then I stumbled across a lower calorie mug brownie recipe which had vanilla in it.  Bingo!  I figured this was the ticket.  Unfortunately, when I made it, I forgot the vanilla, and it was even more blah than the first one.  Oops!  But, I was sure that vanilla was the key.  So, I played around, combining the two recipes.  The first version I came up with was good, but still too dense and cake-like for me.  The second version looked too watery, but when I cooked it, it was more light and chewy, and I’ve been making it this way since.  The only thing I don’t like is how much oil I have to put in to make it this way, and I think eventually, I will get some egg product and play around with substituting some of that for some of the oil.  Or maybe I’ll just whip up an egg and make sure I make several within a couple days to use it all. Anyway, here is my current recipe…

Mug Brownie:

4 Tbsp flour
3 Tbsp sugar (can use up to 4, but I found that too sweet)
2 Tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
3 Tbsp oil (if you want more cake-like brownies, use 2 Tbsp)
2 Tbsp water (if you want cake-like brownies, use 3 Tbsp)
1/8 tsp vanilla (approximately–I guestimated using a 1/4 tsp measure)
pinch of salt

Mix all ingredients in your mug.  You can also add nuts, if you like.  I add walnuts, myself.  Microwave on high for about 1 minute, 15 seconds.  This can vary by microwave; I determined this time by putting it in for 1 minute, then adding 15 when it wasn’t done.

When it comes out, it is VERY hot.  I mix mine up to help it cool, though it doesn’t look as pretty after mixing.  Ice cream cools it down faster, but that’s only if you want an extra indulgence.  🙂

Mug brownie with a sprinkle of powdered sugar. And yes, that is MY Lilo and Stitch mug. I love that movie.