Monday, May 31, 2010

Cake Balls

If you are in the mood for some delicious cake but you want something creative rather than the normal boxed cake. Well here you go, cake balls are so sweet and delicious. You only need two cake balls to be satisfied, although once you have one you will keep coming back for more.
This time around I made Funfetti Cake with Vanilla Frosting and Vanilla Cake with Chocolate Frosting. There are endless combinations of Cake and Frosting, use what sounds good to you.

1 (18.25 ounce) package cake mix (flavor of your choice)
1/2 container of prepared frosting, about 8 oz. (flavor of our choice)
2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips (melted with 1 Tbsp of coconut oil)

1. Prepare the cake mix according to package directions using any of the recommended pan sizes.
2. When cake is done, crumble while warm into a large bowl, and stir in half of the frosting until well blended.
3. Use a melon baller or your hands to form balls of the cake mixture. Place balls in a covered pan and refrigerate overnight or stick in the freezer for 2-3 hours.
4. Once balls are ready and cold, melt chocolate chips and coconut oil in a glass bowl in the microwave, or in double boiler, stirring often until smooth.
5. Remove the balls from the cold and dip the balls in the melted chocolate using a toothpick or fork to hold them. Place them on waxed paper and then place them in the refrigerator until the chocolate hardens. Remove from fridge right before serving. Enjoy!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Peruvian Aji Sauce

This was my attempt at recreating my favorite meal from a nearby Peruvian restaurant: Inka Mama's

My main tackle for completing this meal was the Peruvian Aji Sauce, a green sauce that is used on rice or as a dip for bread.

  • 1 head of lettuce, torn into pieces (iceberg is fine, romaine is better)
  • 3 jalapeno chiles, seeds and veins removed
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 green onions
  • 1 fresh bunch of cilantro leaves (try to avoid the stems)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, skin removed
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp onion powder

Blend all ingredients in a Blender, when beginning you might want to add a tsp of water to help get the lettuce to start blending.

For the rest of the meal I sauteed red onions and broccoli in butter and sprinkled them with a no-salt seasoning I bought from Costco. I did the same with chicken and once it was cooked, I added the two together. Very tasty and low on sodium.


Peruvian Aji Sauce adapted from

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Monkey Bread

I have been wanting to make monkey bread ever since I ate at Cici's in Vegas last Winter. I don't remember ever eating this while growing up but apparently it is a childhood favorite for most of my friends and so I decided to go ahead and give it a try. I wanted to find a recipe that used all natural ingredients and that did not call for refrigerated biscuit dough and this is what I found, it was absolutely delicious and very simple to make.

Monkey Bread from scratch edited for my liking:

1/4 cup water, warm
2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
1 cup all purpose wheat flour
2-2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp sugar
1 large egg
2 tbsp butter, melted
3/4 cup milk, warm

2 cups brown sugar
1 1/2 tbsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup butter, melted

Lightly grease a standard 10-in bundt pan. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer (all mixing can be done by hand, as well), combine warm water and yeast. Let stand for 2 minutes, until yeast is slightly foamy.
Stir in 1 cup of wheat flour, along with the salt, sugar, vanilla, egg, 2 tbsp melted butter and warm milk. Mix well, until dough is fairly smooth. Put the dough hook attachment onto your mixer and gradually add in the remaining flour, mixing at medium speed until dough comes easily away from the sides of the bowl. Knead for 3-4 minutes on medium speed. Remove dough hook and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest for 30 minutes.

In a small bowl, whisk together brown sugar and spices. Place melted butter in a nearby bowl and get a fork out, as well.
Turn dough out onto a very lightly floured surface and gently deflate so that dough is relatively flat (maybe 1/2-3/4 inch thick) Using a knife or a bench scraper, cut off small pieces of dough to form 1/2 to 1-inch balls (I prefer slightly smaller ones, personally). As you cut each piece of dough, roll it into a ball in the palms of your hands. Dunk each ball in butter, use the fork to remove it and transfer it to the sugar mixture to be thoroughly coated. Place all coated dough balls into prepared bundt pan.

Once all balls have been coated and places in the pan, cover the pan lightly with plastic wrap and let bread rise for 60 minutes, until almost doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 350F while the bread rises.
Bake for 30-35 minutes. Bread will spring back when lightly pressed.

Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a serving platter. Eat immediately (or reheat leftovers), as the bread is best served warm and gooey.

Serves 10 (or 4-5 people with big sweet tooths!)


Adapted from:

Fresh Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce

I had my girls over for dinner the other night and so I made one of my old time favorites that I learned from my mother:

Tomato Basil Pasta

Serves 4

1 1/3 cups Olive Oil, divided
2 cups basil leaves (measure before chopping), chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
10 roma tomatoes, chopped
1 bag of long noodles, cooked and ready to serve (my preference is Capellini)
I like to add some grated Parmesan as a garnish.
You can also serve the pasta with some Italian sausage or some Italian grilled chicken.

1. Heat 1/3 cup of oil in a deep skillet type pan, I use my 3-1/2 quart covered saute pan since it is deep and has a lid.
2. Add basil and garlic and saute on low for a good 10 minutes, stirring often.
3. Next, add tomatoes and 1 cup of oil and bring sauce to a boil.
4. Once sauce has boiled, turn heat to low and cover for 30 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.
5. After a half hour, the tomatoes should be fairly disintegrated, try and make sure they are mushy and that the sauce is in fact a sauce. You may want to add extra oil or 1/2 cup of water if the liquid has evaporated from the sauce.
6. Once you think the sauce looks complete, add it to the pasta and serve immediately. Feel free to add some grated Parmesan and Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Grilled Cheese on the Grill

Here are some Grilled Cheese I made on the Grill with some Grilled Parmesan Basil Fries for a contest I entered. Feel free to vote for me:

These turned out really yummy and they did have a great flame-grilled taste that doesn't occur when they are cooked on my Panini grill. Enjoy!

Sunday, May 9, 2010


My Brothers New Dog: Moose

Can you guess which one he is?

Breakfast Burritos

I decided to get creative with breakfast this weekend:

These burritos contain scrambled eggs with a touch of red salsa, homemade hash browns, bacon, grated jalapeno cheddar cheese, and homemade guacamole on a flour tortilla. So delicious and so filling that we did not eat lunch that day :)


2 potatoes, cut into small squares
1 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp of cracked pepper
4 slices of bacon, cooked and chopped
3 eggs, scrambled
1 cup Mexican cheese, grated (I used Jalapeno Cheddar)
4 Flour tortillas
Top with Guacamole or salsa of your choice.

My Guacamole


I start by preparing my potatoes, they take the longest to cook and so I cut them into very small squares so that they cook faster. Spray a skillet with pam or add about 1 tsp. of butter, add potatoes and mix around. Add garlic salt and cracked pepper and continually cook for about 15 minutes, until potatoes are tender (stirring often). Then in a separate pan, begin cooking bacon. After bacon is finished, remove from pan and add eggs to bacon grease. Make sure to scramble eggs with a silicone spatula in the pan. Feel free to add cracked pepper and/or some salt to the eggs. Once the bacon, the eggs, and the potatoes are cooked, put the four tortillas on a plate, covered with a wet paper cloth and stick them in the microwave for about 30 seconds until warm. Next begin layering your tortillas, make sure to spread all ingredients evenly among the four tortillas. Make sure to add the potatoes (hash browns), the eggs, the chopped bacon, the shredded cheese, and then on top of it all...some guacamole or some salsa depending on your preference. Enjoy!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Taco Salad

Happy Belated Cinco de Mayo!

So I made taco salad tonight, a day late, but that's okay. My mother used to make it this way. You can make it with no meat but I added some ground beef since Nick doesn't like beans. The meat helps disguise the refried beans.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Israel Blog

Here is an old blog Nick and I made for when we visited Israel in 2007 before we got married. Check it out.


Hello to whoever is out there. My name is Liz and I have decided, out of boredom, that I shall create a blog today. I am not a writer of any kind, so do not make fun of my poorly written words or my guaranteed numerous run-on sentences.

I will do my best to make my posts interesting but I'm not promising anything. Also, I don't know what I will include in this blog but I do know that I love God, my husband, food, traveling, my family and friends; therefore those will probably be my most common themes. So that's that for now, I will try and include something interesting soon.