Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Cookbook Winner and Sour Cream Coffee Cake

First, I want to say thank you for all the comments I received on my previous post for The Vegetarian Family Cookbook giveaway. I enjoyed reading what others like for breakfast. Everything from cereal, oatmeal, yogurt, eggs, pancakes, waffles, french toast, hash browns and even BLT Sandwiches. Personally, I just eat toast w/peanut butter, an English muffin or cereal during the week but on the weekends I like to splurge. My favorites are eggs, french toast, pancakes or waffles. Sometimes, we'll have turkey bacon or turkey sausage (have to cut the fat and calories somewhere). Once in a while I will make real bacon. I love bacon but I try to keep it at a minimum.

Now, I consider this Sour Cream Coffee Cake a dessert but some people (like my husband) wanted to eat it for breakfast. Well, I guess it would go really good with our morning coffee. Anyway, regardless of when you eat it, this is a wonderful coffee cake to make and share with others. We loved the "river" of brown sugar and cinnamon in the middle and the cinnamon glaze on top was perfect. This coffee cake would be great to share with co-workers, a school function, baby shower, family gathering or just your own kitchen.

I found this recipe on the blog Two Peas and Their Pod. There are some wonderful recipes on this site so go check it out. The coffee cake recipe comes from the cookbook You Made That Dessert ? by Beth Lipton.

Ok, drum roll please..........the winner of my first giveaway is........

(you have to scroll down....sorry, I'm trying to build up some suspense here)

#1 - Barbara from Barbara Bakes!!!

Congratulations Barbara! Please email me your contact information and the author, Nava Atlas, will send out your personalized copy of her cookbook.


Mom's Cooking Club Lesson: I just want to take another moment to thank all of those readers that left a comment on my Cookbook giveaway post. I was happy to see so many new people as well as regulars. Congratulations to the winner and stay tuned for future giveaways!

Monday, September 28, 2009

My First Cookbook Giveaway!!!

Welcome to my first giveaway! I was fortunate to be contacted by cookbook author, Nava Atlas, who is doing a blog tour to celebrate the 5th anniversary of her cookbook, The Vegetarian Family Cookbook.

Now, one glance at my blog and you'll know I'm not a vegetarian. But I do try to make a variety of balanced meals for my family. I have a large cookbook collection but this is my first all Vegetarian one. It has ten chapters such as Easy Breakfast Treats, Soothing Soups and Savory Stews, Salads and Such & Vegetable, Grain and Bean Main Dishes, just to name a few. It is a wonderful resource book as well. The author, Nava, talks about organic food, reasons to eat vegetarian and gives great choices and tips throughout the book.

I believe making small changes and better choices in the food we eat can make a big difference to your health and overall well being. Thank you, Nava, for providing your cookbook to me and one of my readers.

Banana Pecan Yogurt Pancakes


These yogurt pancakes are one of the many recipes found in The Vegetarian Family Cookbook. It is the first time I used whole wheat flour. I used half whole wheat and half regular flour. I didn't tell my family about the whole wheat flour. They ate up the pancakes and we all liked them. My husband and I really liked the banana pecan version. My daughters ate them plain. We had some fruit on the side and I felt really good about this Sunday breakfast.

Banana-Nut Yogurt Pancakes
Recipe by
The Vegetarian Family Cookbook by Nava Atlas

4 to 6 servings

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons ground flaxseeds, optional
1 1/2 cups low-fat yogurt or soy yogurt
1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups low-fat milk or rice milk
2 tablespoons nonhydrogenated margarine (such as Smart Balance)
1 medium banana, sliced thin
1/4 to 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans
pinch of ground nutmeg
Pure maple syrup

Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and flaxseeds (if using) in a mixing bowl. Make a well in the center and pour in the yogurt and milk. Stir with a whisk until the batter is just smooth; it should have an easy to pour consistency, but not too thin. Add more milk as needed. Don't overbeat.

Heat a nonstick griddle or a large nonstick skillet that has been lightly coated with some of the margarine. Ladle on the batter to form 3 to 4 inch pancakes. Cook on both sides over medium heat until golden brown. Serve hot with maple syrup.

Now, on to the giveaway details. In order to win The Vegetarian Family Cookbook, you must leave a comment answering this question:

What is your favorite breakfast food? (it doesn't have to be vegetarian) You must answer the question to be eligible. I want to see what other people like for breakfast. Also, to earn a second chance to win, go to the blog Aggie's Kitchen. Aggie is doing the same cookbook giveaway. So, bump up your odds and visit Aggie's Kitchen. You have until Tuesday night, Sept. 29th, at midnight to enter. I will announce the winner Wednesday morning by using

Also, anyone can enter. You don't have to have a food blog to enter. So, family, friends, strangers and of course food bloggers can enter.

Mom's Cooking Club Lesson: Was it wrong that I didn't tell my family about adding the whole wheat flour to these pancakes? I really don't think so. Sometimes you have to be the "deceptive" cook (my husband prefers to use the word "creative") to get them to try new things. The more I expose them to healthier food choices, the more they will like them. Well, that's my hope anyway.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Beef Pot Roast with Maple Sweet Potatoes and Cider Gravy

I decided to participate again this week in the Beef. It's What's for Dinner Challenge. When I saw that this week's chosen recipe was Pot Roast, I knew I wanted to give it a try. I usually make pot roast in my crock pot. This recipe cooks it in a stockpot on the stove. I used a beef shoulder roast which is a leaner cut than the chuck roast I normally use. The pot roast turned out tender and very flavorful. The gravy you make out of the liquid was simple to make and delicious. The recipe calls for apple cider but I used apple juice instead. The sweet potatoes are more savory than sweet. If you like the flavor of ginger, you'll like these sweet potatoes. This was a perfect dinner to celebrate the start of Fall.


Mom's Cooking Club Lesson: The Beef. It's What's for Dinner website has an excellent section called Lean Beef. You can download a wallet card called 29 Ways to Love Lean Beef. It is very informative and a great way to help you choose leaner cuts of beef when you go grocery shopping.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Fettuccine Alfredo and Caesar Salad


Wow, Wow, Wow!!! This is a triple wow meal! All the thanks goes to Pioneer Woman. Both of these recipes are featured on her incredible website. My entire family loved this meal. Yes, it has butter and cream and Parmesan cheese......just eat it in moderation please. But seriously, I highly, highly, highly recommend this meal. These are triple recommended recipes.

Fettuccine Alfredo
Recipe by Pioneer Woman


1 pound fettuccine
1 stick butter
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese (I used the good stuff - Parmigiano Reggiano, grated small using my box grater)
salt and pepper to taste
pasta water - put aside a little if needed to thin out sauce


Cook pasta according to package directions.
In a saucepan or skillet, warm butter and cream. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Grate Parmesan cheese and place half of it into a large serving bowl. Pour warm butter/cream mixture over the top.
Drain pasta and immediately pour it into the bowl.
Toss a couple of times, then sprinkle in the other half of the Parmesan cheese. Toss to combine, thinning with pasta water if necessary. (I didn't need to thin my sauce)
Serve immediately as a main course or accompaniment to meat or salad.


A bowl of creamy, cheesy goodness!

Now on to the Caesar Salad recipe. For the first time, I made my own croutons and they were unbelievable. My daughters went nuts over these garlic croutons. It only takes 4 ingredients. Have you looked at the back of a crouton box lately? Let's just say I want to start making my own croutons on a regular basis.


This is the garlic used for the salad and the garlic oil used for the croutons.
Very easy to do in a small food processor.


Pioneer Woman keeps her romaine lettuce leaves whole. I cut mine in large pieces. I also used half of the lettuce, about 1 1/2 romaine hearts. It was perfect for a family of four. If you use less lettuce, just use less dressing or to your taste.



Mom's Cooking Club Lesson: The Fettuccine Alfredo is very simple to make and comes together quickly. If you are making these 2 recipes together, I recommend making the croutons first, set them aside and let them cool. I would then put the salad ingredients together and put the dressing on just before serving.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Beef. It's What's For Dinner Wednesday - East Meets West Burgers

I heard about this weekly challenge from Beef. It's What's for Dinner through several food blogs. I went on the Facebook fan page of Beef. It's What's for Dinner to get more details. So, I decided to take on this challenge of making a selected recipe, reviewing it and posting about it here as well as on the Facebook fan page.

My family and I love a good hamburger. I have never made a burger with these flavors. Boy, am I glad I took on this challenge. We loved the Asian flavors from the Sesame Soy Mayo and the Slaw Topping. The mayonnaise had the perfect spice to it from the ground red pepper while the slaw on top gave great crunch and the perfect amount of acid from the rice vinegar. I used lean ground beef and was happy that it didn't turn out dry. I loved the fact that you can still have a wonderful hamburger but with a healthier cut of ground beef.

Check out the Beef. It's What's for Dinner website for a wide variety of recipes and tips about beef.


Mom's Cooking Club Lesson: This recipe calls for shredded red cabbage and shredded carrot. I bought coleslaw mix and used 1/2 cup in the slaw topping along with the romaine lettuce. It was very convenient and worked perfectly. Also, for the whole wheat bread crumbs used in the burgers, I just cut a small amount of bread from a whole wheat baguette and chopped it up in small pieces in my blender.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Rosemary Thyme Potatoes

Here is a great side dish that is so simple and quick to make yet so flavorful. I found this recipe on the blog The Provident Woman . It calls for fresh rosemary and thyme which I happen to have growing in some pots (something that hasn't died yet). We had these with grilled steak. Who could ask for anything more?

Rosemary Thyme Potatoes
4 servings


2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 whole Yukon Gold potatoes (I used Russet potatoes since my store was out of Yukon Gold)
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
1 pinch of salt and pepper


Heat non-stick skillet on medium high. Heat oil and butter until butter is melted. Chop potatoes into 1/4 inch cubes. Add potatoes to melted butter and oil. Chop rosemary and thyme, add to potatoes. Add salt and pepper. Continue to saute potatoes, about 15 minutes, stirring every couple of minutes until potatoes are tender when stuck with a fork.

Make sure you cut the potatoes into small cubes so they cook quickly


Mom's Cooking Club Lesson: When cooking, you normally get the most flavor from fresh herbs but we always don't have fresh herbs available. Generally, you can substitute 1 tsp of dried herbs for 1 tablespoon of fresh herbs. So, in this recipe, if you didn't have fresh herbs available, substitute with 1 tsp each of dried rosemary and dried thyme. It's also a good idea to start with a smaller amount and adjust if needed.

Friday, September 11, 2009


I made these cookies before my oven broke a few weeks ago. It's finally getting installed early next week and I can't wait. I'm having baking withdrawals. Snickerdoodles have a sugar cookie texture but are rolled in a cinnamon sugar mixture. These cookies use an ingredient that I don't use that often.....cream of tartar. Found in the spice aisle, cream of tartar is an acid salt that is obtained from sediment produced in the wine making process. When mixed with baking soda, it helps lighten and raise the batter. But enough of a chemistry lesson, here's the recipe for these wonderful cookies with the cracked surface and crunchy bite.

I got this recipe from Betty Crocker Cookies & Bars Magazine. Here is the link with a printable version on their website.

The only difference is that the magazine recipe does not use shortening but instead 1 cup butter, softened. Also, I used 1 tablespoon cinnamon.

Roll the cookie dough into 1-1/4 inch ball and roll in cinnamon sugar mixture.


Mom's Cooking Club Lesson: Isn't Snickerdoodles a funny name for a cookie? It's just a funny name for any food item. So where did this name come from? According to Wikipedia:

"The Joy of Cooking claims that snickerdoodles are probably German in origin, and that the name is a corruption of the German word Schneckennudeln, which means "snail dumpling." A different author suggests that the word "snicker" comes from the Dutch word snekrad, or the German word Schnecke, which both describe a snail-like shape. Yet another theory suggests that the name comes from a New England tradition of fanciful, whimsical cookie names. There is also a series of tall tales about a hero named "Snickerdoodle" from the early 1900s which may be related to the name of the cookie."

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Grilled Cheeseburgers with Sauteed Onions Featuring Uncle Bob's All Purpose Sauce

It's Labor Day Weekend and it's grilling time! We are grilling everyday this holiday weekend and this has nothing to do with the fact that I'm still waiting for my oven to arrive. (our old oven broke a couple of weeks ago) We just love to grill. And since we live in a milder climate (even though it can get very cold in Pensacola FL), we pretty much grill all year round.

I was lucky to receive a food product to review for a group I belong to called BloggerAid. BloggerAid, Changing the Face of Famine is a growing group of international food bloggers who want to make a difference by raising money and awareness for the hungry in communities both at home and abroad. Please check out their website for more information.

I received 2 bottles of Country Bob's All Purpose Sauce. Country Bob Edson created this sauce in 1968 and has been selling it since 1977. Now, that's a successful condiment. I decided to use this sauce for my grilled hamburgers as well as in the onion topping for our burgers. Delicious!!! It gave the onions a slightly sweet flavor and it brought out the flavor of the meat. I will use this sauce every time I make my burgers.

Grilled Cheeseburgers with Sauteed Onions
Recipe by Jamie from Mom's Cooking Club


1 lb to 1-1/3 lb ground chuck
2 tsp Weber Grill Creations Gourmet Burger Seasoning (I love this seasoning and use it every time for my burgers) or use seasoning of your choice
2 tablespoons Country Bob's All Purpose Sauce
cheddar cheese (use your favorite cheese)
hamburger buns

Sauteed Onions

half an onion, sliced
1 tsp butter
1 tablespoon Country Bob's All Purpose Sauce

Optional condiments: lettuce, tomatoes, mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard, dill pickles

For burgers: Mix hamburger meat, seasoning and Country Bob's sauce. Make equal size hamburger patties. Grill to desired doneness and melt cheese during last few minutes. Heat up buns on grill or toaster oven if desired.

I use this handy gadget my mother bought me years ago. It was only a few dollars and it's a great way to get uniform and nicely shaped hamburger patties.

Just press and ta-da.....a nice looking hamburger

To make these sauteed onions, slice up half an onion. Saute in skillet on medium heat with 1 teaspoon butter and 1 tablespoon Country Bob's All Purpose Sauce. Saute for about 10 minutes until the onions are soft and turn a nice brown color.

Place onions on top of burger and use condiments of your choice.

Happy Labor Day!


Mom's Cooking Club Lesson: Every time I make hamburgers, I do 2 things: I press an indentation in the middle of my hamburger meat. This keeps the burgers from puffing up in the middle when they cook. I also rub a small amount of canola oil on the top of my burgers before cooking. I'm not exactly sure what that does but I read it in a cookbook once and my burgers always turn out good.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Chocolate Fudge Snack Cake - September Cooking Light Virtual Supper Club

It's time for me and my Cooking Light Virtual Supper Club friends to get together for another wonderful meal.....Lunch Style. Our lightened up lunch menu includes:

Jamie (that's me) - Chocolate Fudge Snack Cake

I made dessert this month and it's perfect for a lunch treat. Who doesn't like chocolate cake and we all deserve a little something sweet at lunchtime. The buttermilk makes this cake moist and it's full of chocolate flavor. My husband and daughters were very happy when I tucked these snack cakes in their lunch boxes.

Also, don't forget to check out what the other guests made for our lunch get together.

The batter is light and fluffy.

This cake yields 9 servings and has 251 calories per serving

Enjoy your lunch!

Mom's Cooking Club Lesson: In my opinion, when you bake something for someone, you are really showing how much you care. And when you know that person is enjoying it at lunchtime, well, that makes it even more special. There are many great "lightened up" desserts and treats that can be found on and Come back next month for another Virtual Supper Club gathering.

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