Crusty bread bowl

DSC_0089This is a standard crusty bread bowl recipe that is great to use in the fall.  The pumpkin adds a nice color to the bowls and adds some moisture to the inside of your bowls.

5 1/2 cups flour flour
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
2 cup lukewarm water
2/3 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)



Add the flour, salt and yeast to a large mixing bowl. Combine the pumpkin puree with 1cup of the lukewarm water. Whisk until completely combined and smooth. Add the pumpkin mixture and remaining 1 cup water to the bowl with the flour. Use your stand mixer with your dough hook. Mix until the flour is completely incorporated.

DSC_0280Cover the bowl with a wet towel or plastic wrap. Let sit at room temperature overnight and up to two days.

DSC_0066The dough should bubble up and rise to double its original size.Generously dust a work surface with flour.

DSC_0070 Scrape the dough out of the bowl and into one mound on top of the floured surface. It should be loose and sticky.

DSC_0072Cut into even pieces weight wise and form into bread bowls.

DSC_0074Covering them with a tea towel. Allow to rise 1-2 hours.

Preheat to 475 degrees F.

DSC_0076Place a small pan of water on the bottom of your oven to help form the crust on your bowls.

Bake for 20-25 minutes.

DSC_0078Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

DSC_0082Cut the circle in the center of your bowl.  You can see how  soft it is compared to standard sour dough bread bowl.

DSC_0083Remove bread from center to make room for your soup.

DSC_0089Add your soup.  I freeze my remaining bread bowl for later use.

Just a sugar cookie

DSC_0254My son came home last week asking for a sugar cookie.  He said “Mom do you know how to make them”  He continues to crack me up.  Here is Garrett’s basic sugar cookie.

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened ( you can use coconut oil)
1½ cups raw sugar
1 egg
2¼ cups  flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ cup large sugar for tops of cookies or rolling
Preheat oven to 350º F.

Cream together butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. This is an important step especially if you use raw sugar.

DSC_0239Add egg and mix until well-combined.

Stir in flour, baking powder, salt, and vanilla.

Scoop cookie dough  and roll into a ball.

DSC_0244Heres are the scoops I use.
Add large sugar to tops of cookies or to  roll cookie dough in before baking. Place cookie dough onto baking stones, spacing about 1½-inches to 2 inches apart.Lightly press each cookie down. I use the back of my measuring cups.

DSC_0253Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned.



DIY Flameless Candle Nativity Scene

DSC_0029 This is such an easy way to incorporate a modern Nativity Scene into your holiday decor.

What you will need

Nativity Images
Access to a Printer
8 x 10 Printer Paper
Flameless Candles

There are tons of images across the net but I really like Joan’s images on etsy.  Here is a shot of her shop, and a link that should take you there.
Screen Shot 2015-11-25 at 8.48.58 AM

Once you have downloaded your images, it’s as simple as cutting and pasting them into a word document. I did mine  in landscape layout on 8×10 paper.


You may have to play with your sizes a bit.  I chose to keep images fairly close in size even though all my candles were different heights.  In the end I think they turned out just fine and I love that I have a Nativity scene for the holidays that looks like it goes with my decor!


Spaghetti Squash Hero



1 spaghetti squash
1 lb hot turkey sausage
2 cups of your favorite pasta sauce
2 tablespoons  basil
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (plus extra for topping)
Olive oil
1/4 tbs Red Pepper Flakes


Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Wash spaghetti squash, cut off stem and slice squash lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and gunk. Brush with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 45-60 minutes, depending on squash size, or until inside is soft and easily “fluffs” with a fork. It will look like very tiny spaghetti noodles

DSC_0010While squash is baking, removed sausage from links and roll into balls.  Then cook and pour sauce over to simmer.

DSC_0009Mix the ricotta with basil and pepper flakes.

When squash is tender, remove from oven and using a fork, scoop, fluff, flake, scrape, whatever you’d like to call it, to get the inside of the squash to look like spaghetti noodles. Remove a good couple of cups of the squash.

DSC_0011Now we will fill them up. I started with smearing ricotta mixture inside the squash then poured the meatball and sauce on top.

DSC_0014Finally I topped with cheese.

DSC_0015Then sprinkled Red Pepper Flakes

DSC_0017I returned the stuffed hero’s back into the oven at 400 degrees for 5 minutes, then turned to broil for 2 minutes.  These are the results!

This meal could be made a day in advance and then reheated.

Thanksgiving Turkey Cookie

FacetuneWhat’s Thanksgiving without a Turkey Cookie?  Here is my tribute to the Thanksgiving Turkey.  No turkeys were killed to create these cookies…..



I started out with my standard Nordic Roll out Recipe and Icing which you can find here.

DSC_0188Once your dough has chilled you will need to roll it out.  Here is my process.

DSC_0205I roll out my dough using spacers to ensure the same thickness in all my cookies for proper baking. Then add parchment paper to one side before flipping my dough over.

DSC_0195 2Once I’ve flipped my dough over I cut out my cookie shapes.

DSC_0197Place them on cookie sheets and place in the refridgerator for about 15 minutes.  My oven is pre-heated to 350 degrees and I use stones to bake my cookies on.

DSC_0206When I remove them from the oven I place them on wire racks so they can cool and won’t stick to counter when icing them.

DSC_0199I used black, violet and orange colors for my turkey.

DSC_0204I find bottles easier than bags.  Use what you like best.

DSC_0214After I have flooded my turkey with my main color then I make Orange and Violet semi-circles on the main color to create feathers.

Facetun2eNext I drag a toothpick through the colors for the tail feathers I pull towards the Turkeys chest.  For the chest feathers I pull toward the tail feathers.  Then I draw two semi-circles in the middle of the turkey and drag towards the head for his wing.

FacetuneNow you will dab and Orange dot for his eye and dab a toothpick in the black color for his pupil.  Then you simply drag an Orange stripe from his nose to his chest.  FacetdduneEach turkey will be unique.  Allow them to cool for at least 12 hours before placing on a tray or bagging them.

DSC_0022Happy Thanksgiving!

Soup Bowl Warmers


My lovely neighbor Lucy gave me this very thoughtful gift last year.  It’s a soup bowl warmer that you can place directly in your microwave, and avoid burning your hands when removing it.  Since Lucy is always on a cruise, I had to come up with a way to make more!

What you will need

1.5 yards fabric
1.5 yards batting
Sewing Machine
Safety Pins
Bowls that you plan on using

DSC_0020Start by measuring your fabric

DSC_0022 I used 13 inch, and 12 inch squares for two different size bowls.

DSC_0023Then you will do the same with your batting

DSC_0047Then I took a small plate and traced it onto the fabric in order to get an approximate idea of where my diagonal stitch would be connecting my fabric and batting.

DSC_0028Nothing I do sewing wise is precise.  Sorry my sewing friends!

DSC_0037My next step was to place the darts in order for the material to fold around the bowls.  I decides to go with 1 inch by 3 inch. This will depend on the size of your square and the size of your bowls.

DSC_0048I had to make a total of four darts on the inner edge of each side when it’s folded.

DSC_0040You will need to repeat the process and then lay the two square facing each other before sewing them together.

DSC_0043Makes sure to leave a 3″ opening when sewing in order to turn your warmer inside out.  It should look like this but hopefully nicer!

DSC_0055Now you will simply top stitch around the edges.

DSC_0058Here are the two different bowl warmer sizes I made.  Not perfect but these are wonderful to hold a warm bowl of soup in!

DSC_0052These bowl warmers can go directly into your microwave prior to reheating your soup.  Then you simply pull the soup out via your warmer and no burned fingers!

Can I Freeze Lemons?

DSC_0059We have a wonderful Meyer Lemon tree that gives us a ton of Lemons in the fall.  A few months back I started freezing my lemons, and I have to tell you I will never have to purchase lemons gain!

All you need to do is wash your lemons and place them in ziploc bags.

Can I freeze other citrus?  Yes, I don’t see why not.


Once they are washed, dried and bagged you simply throw them in your freezer.


Now when you need Lemon, Orange or Lime  they are a breeze to zest.  If you need  juice just allow them to thaw in a bowl of warm water or on your counter if you have time  They will fall out of their outer skin but the juice will be just fine and will not taste different at all.


Glazed Carrots with Walnuts and Cranberries



I love walnut oil and use it often when baking.  This is a great side dish with walnuts to take to your next family gathering.

1 cup pomegranate juice
2 tablespoons honey
1 pound carrots, peeled, cut into 1-inch diagonal slices
1 tablespoon walnut oil
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper, freshly ground
1/2 cup toasted walnuts
1/4 cup cranberries, dried
1 tablespoon thyme



Place juice in a small saucepan over medium-high heat.


Cook for 15 minutes or until juice is reduced to 1/4 cup.


Stir in honey.
While glaze is cooking, preheat oven to 400°F.


Coat Carrots with walnut oil, salt and white pepper.


Place carrots, oil, salt, and pepper on a small baking sheet; stir well to coat. Bake for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.


Drizzle glaze over carrots and stir to coat. Bake for 10 minutes more, stirring once or twice.

Stir in walnuts and cranberries and cook for 5 minutes or until carrots are nicely glazed and reach desired tenderness.

DSC_0041 Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle with thyme. This is a great serving size for 2 to 3 people but if you are planning a holiday dish I would double the recipe.

Sweet Citrus Chicken and Green Beans


This is a variation of the very popular recipe of chicken and asparagus that’s by skinny taste.  It’s very good and pretty simple to throw together.

1 1/2 pounds skinless chicken breast, cut into various size pieces

1/2 cup  chicken broth
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons  cornstarch
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 bunch green beans
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tbsp fresh ginger
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice about 2 lemons
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup homemade brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
fresh black pepper, to taste



Lightly season the chicken with salt.


In a small bowl, combine chicken broth and soy sauce.


In a second small bowl combine the cornstarch and first 2 tablespoons water and mix well to combine.

DSC_0050Heat a large non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat, when hot add 1 tablespoon  of the oil, brown your chicken pieces of around 4 minutes turning once.  


Then add the green beans and cook until tender-crisp, about 4  to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and cook until golden, about 1 minute. Set aside.


Remove and set aside.


Add the soy sauce mixture; bring to a boil and cook about 1-1/2 minutes.


Add lemon juice and cornstarch mixture and stir well,


when it simmers add your brown sugar and slowly add in remaining 1/2 cup of water.


Return the chicken and green beans to the pan and mix well, remove from heat and serve.


Corine’s Kale with Butternut Squash and Hazelnuts

DSC_0259I have a neighbor that loves Hazelnuts.  She simply cannot get enough of them.  This dish is for her.  I have doubled up on the amount of Hazelnuts because I know she loves the so.


1 cup chopped hazelnuts

8 slices thick-sliced bacon
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
5 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
3 lb. butternut squash, peeled,  cut into small pieces
1 package  kale, cut in bite size pieces
1/2  cup chopped shallots
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
3/4  cup dried cranberries
Freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees  and bake your bacon sprinkled with brown sugar.  You will flip the bacon around 15 minutes in and cook for another 10 minutes or so.  If your bacon still isn’t crispy you can place your oven on broil for a few minutes.  You want the bacon crispy and glazed.  Now bump your oven up to 400 degrees. Toast the hazelnuts on a rimmed baking sheet until fragrant and lightly browned, 6 to 8 minutes.

DSC_0238Mix the allspice, coriander, paprika, and 1 tsp. salt in a small bowl. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss the squash with 2 Tbs. of the oil and the spices; spread in a single layer.

DSC_0240Roast, stirring once about halfway through, until browned and tender, 22 to 25 minutes.

DSC_0242Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Have ready a bowl of ice water. Add the kale to the boiling water and cook until tender, about 3 minutes.

DSC_0243Then transfer to ice water.


No you will place Kale in bowl with paper towels over a colander to get as much water out as possible.  It can rest for a while if you are still baking your butternut squash.  DID I catch you getting ahead of the recipe?


Heat the remaining olive oil in a large heavy-duty skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring, until just tender, about 2 minutes.


Add the kale and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the kale and garlic are coated. Reduce the heat, add the squash and the lemon juice, cover, and cook until the squash is heated through, about 5 minutes. Add the cranberries and stir gently to combine.

DSC_0250Chop the bacon coarsely. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish the squash and kale with the bacon and hazelnuts, and serve.