Friday, September 28, 2012

Dessert: Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

These are the best cookies ever! I made this this past weekend and the entire family thought they were really good. Yes, they eclipsed the cookies I made the previous weekend. It is a shame the recipe only makes 2 dozen. I'll need to see if I can double it. This is another great recipe from Cate's World Kitchen.

1/2 cup vegan butter sticks (I used Nucoa, original recipe suggests Earth Balance)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup pumpmkin
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
pinch allspice
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or Silpats.
  2. Beat the Earth balance and sugars together on a stand mixer on medium speed. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the pumpkin and vanilla. Mix well.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg together. Add to the dough and mix on low until the dough comes together.
  4. Combine the sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and allspice in a small bowl.
  5. Roll about a tablespoon and a half of dough into a ball, then roll in the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Flatten slightly on the lined baking sheet, then bake for about 10-12 minutes. Cool on the sheets for a few minutes, then cool completely on a wire rack.
Other Details:

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Side or Entree: Arroz Congri (Cuban Rice and Black Beans)

Ryan made this just the other night as a side to some Cuban sandwiches. It was really good and not too difficult to throw together.
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper, chopped
small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup uncooked long grain rice
15 oz can black beans (don't drain)
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 tsp cumin
1 bay leaf
pinch oregano
salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a heavy medium sized pot, heat oil on medium heat. Add onions, peppers and garlic and saute until soft, about 4-5 minutes.
  2. Add rice, beans, water, cumin, bay leaf, oregano and salt and pepper.
  3. Simmer on medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the rice absorbs most of the water and just barely skims the top of the rice.
  4. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 20 minute (don't peek). Make sure you have a good seal on your cover, the steam cooks the rice. After 20 minutes, shut flame off and let it sit, covered another 5 minutes (don't open the lid).

Other Details:

  • Original Recipe
  • Servings: 5 • Serving Size: 1 cup • Old Points: 5 pts • Points+: 6 pts
  • Calories: 258.2 • Fat: 2.3 g • Carb: 49.4 g • Fiber: 6.6 g • Protein: 9.8 g

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Side dish or Entree: Chicken Taquitos

Ryan made these the other night. Other than a complaint about a lack of sauce, they were a hit with the kids. Ryan found them at Very Culinary.

3 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup salsa (green or red)
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 scallions, chopped
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese

kosher salt
12 (6 inch) flour tortillas
extra cheese of your choice for sprinkling on top
cooking spray

  1. Preheat your oven to 425ºF. Line a baking sheet with a silpat matte or foil lightly coated with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients (except the tortillas, extra cheese, and salt.)
  3. Working with a few tortillas at a time, heat them in the microwave between two paper towels until they are soft enough to roll (about 20 – 30 seconds).
  4. Spoon 2-3 tablespoons of the chicken mixture onto the lower third of a tortilla. Roll the tortilla as tightly as you can.
  5. Place the rolled tortilla seam side down on the baking sheet. Repeat with remaining tortillas until the mixture is gone, making sure the taquitos are not touching each other. Spray the tops lightly with cooking spray and sprinkle with kosher salt (don’t skip the salt!)
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until crisp and golden.
  7. Serve with salsa, sour cream or guacamole.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Bread: Pumpkin Bread

Mmm, more pumpkin! I'm always looking for good pumpkin breads. This one is pretty good. It stays moist sitting out over a few days (it lasted about 2.5 days before being gobbled up), although it is a bit on the crumbly side. I saw it over at Cate's World Kitchen. I did alter this recipe from the original and it is a vegan recipe.

1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 tbsp flax seeds
6 tbsp water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup almond milk
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 tsp vanilla
1/4-1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  1. Spray a 9 x 5″ loaf pan with nonstick spray and preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Whisk together the dry ingredients (flour through brown sugar) in a large bowl.
  3. Grind the flax seeds in a coffee grinder or small food processor and combine with the water. Let stand for about 10 minutes.
  4. Whisk together the remaining wet ingredients (oil through vanilla), add the flax-water mixture and mix well, then stir gently into the flour mixture.
  5. Stir just until all traces of flour disappear, then fold in walnuts. Spread evenly in the pan and bake for about an hour, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the pan for about 5 minutes then remove from the pan and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Other Details:

Friday, September 21, 2012

Dessert: Peanut Butter Cookies by Joleen Roth

Every Codex needs to have a peanut butter cookie recipe. Back before we used the internet as much for cookies, we relied on good old fashioned cookbooks. We pulled this recipe from a cookbook from Ryan's hometown. The cookies are relatively easy to make and all reports are that they are, indeed, yummy.


½ cup soft butter
½ cup peanut butter
½ cup white sugar
½ cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 ¼ cup flour
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt


  1. Cream butter, sugars, peanut butter, and egg together, then add dry ingredients. 
  2. Roll into balls; place on cookie sheet. 
  3. Dip fork in four and crisscross over cookie. 
  4. Bake at 350º for 10 to 12 minutes. 

Other Details:

  • Makes about 32 cookies.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Side dish: Grilled Sweet Potatoes with BBQ Sauce

This is a great compliment to any meal. I learned about it from Janet Stemwedel

Sweet potatoes (as many as you feel like grilling)
Store-bought Korean BBQ sauce (or make your own)
Olive oil (to grease the grill or grill wok)
Finely sliced green onions (to garnish -- at least 0.25 cup)


  1. Peel and trim the sweet potatoes. Slice them lengthwise into planks (0.25 to 0.5 inches thick). Boil the planks until they are easily pierced with a fork (about 8 minutes). Drain, cool, and drizzle with some of the olive oil.
  2. You'll be cooking the sweet potato planks over a grill that is starting to cool down. (Because of the high sugar content in sweet potatoes, if the fire is too hot, they will burn pretty quickly.) I use a well-greased grill wok so I don't lose the sweet potatoes to the coals. Cook the planks a couple minutes on each side until lightly browned. While cooking the second side, brush the first side with the BBQ sauce. Turn to let the sauced side cook (30 seconds to 1 minute) and brush the side that's now up with BBQ sauce. Turn again and cook (30 seconds to 1 minute). You can sauce and cook each side again if you want. Don't burn them!Remove from grill, put them on a plate, and sprinkle with the green onion slices.

Other Notes:

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Entree: Chicken Pot Pie

We've tried many chicken pot pie recipes over the years, and this one was one of the best. Ryan found this one at Ruf Love.

3 Tbls unsalted butter
1 medium-size yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large russet potato, peeled and diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
8 oz. button mushrooms, sliced
½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 purchased cooked rotisserie chicken
8 oz fresh green beans (optional)
1 (8 oz) package frozen peas (optional)

Cream Sauce
½ C (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 C all-purpose flour
2 ½ C chicken stock, preferably homemade
½ C heavy whipping cream (optional)
dash of hot pepper sauce, such as Tabasco
salt and freshly ground white pepper

1 C (2 sticks) chilled, unsalted butter
3 C all-purpose flour
10 oz. chilled cream cheese
1 tsp salt
½ tsp white pepper
1 large egg 

  1. Melt the butter in a large saute pan set over medium heat. Add the onion and potato: sauté for 5 min. Add the garlic, bell pepper, and mushrooms and sauté about 15 min, until the potatoes are tender. Stir in the crushed red pepper and add salt and pepper to taste.
  2. While the vegetables are sautéing, skin the chicken, pull the meat off the bones, and shred the meat or cut into bite-sized pieces. Place the green beans in a microwave-safe bowl and add enough water to cover. Cover the dish and microwave on high power about 10 min, until the beans are tender. Drain thoroughly. Stir the beans, peas, and chicken into the vegetable mixture.  Set the filling aside.
Cream Sauce 
  1. Melt the butter over medium heat in a large saucepan. Add the flour and whisk until smooth. Whisk in the chicken stock and cook the sauce over medium heat until it thickens to the consistency of a cream soup. Add the cream, hot pepper sauce, and slay and white pepper to taste. Pour the cream sauce over the individual 1 ¼ C capacity oven-safe bowls three-quarters of the way to the top with the creamed chicken filling.
  1. Preheat the oven to 375. Cut the butter in 16 pieces. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade, pulse the butter and flour until crumbly. Add the cream cheese, salt, and white pepper. Continue pulsing just until the dough forms a ball.
  2. Set the dough on a flat-surface dusted with flour. Use a floured rolling pin to roll the dough out to ¼” thickness. Measure the diameter of the pot pie bowls—mine are about 4” across—and cut out dough rounds that are 1 ½” larger in diameter. Whisk the egg in separate bowl. Lay the dough rounds on top of the pot pies, making sure the dough hangs evenly over each bowl. Brush the dough lightly with the beaten egg. Bake the pies for 20-25 min, until golden brown. Serve immediately.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Dessert: IKEA Chocolate Balls

When we had a visiting Japanese exchange student, I wanted to make a dessert that was easy and we had everything on hand for. This fit the bill. They were so good, they only last a few hours. I got the original recipe while shopping at IKEA.

7 tbsp butter
7 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp cocoa powder
1 1/3 cups rolled oats
3 tbsp cold strong coffee
crushed sanding sugar or shredded coconut


  1. Mix butter, sugar, cocoa powder, oats and coffee. Form into small balls, about 3/4-1” in diameter. Roll them in either sanding sugar or shredded coconut (mostly kids prefer sugar, while many adults prefer coconut).
  2. Put them in the fridge for 30 minutes before serving.

Other Notes: 

  • Makes 15-20 chocolate balls
  • Substitute milk-free margarine for butter; replace oats with gluten-free muesli.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Homemade Lemonade

A great summertime drink, my son and I made homemade lemonade together. What fun!

1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
4 cups cold water to dilute
extra lessons for slicing


  1. Extract the juice from 4-6 lemons to get a cup of lemon juice.
  2. Heat the sugar in the cup of water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until the sugar is dissolved.
  3. Add the juice and sugar water to a pitcher. Dilute to desired strength with 3-4 cups of cold water. Refrigerate for half an hour, then serve.
  4. Serve with ice and sliced lemons.

Other Notes:

  • This is the starting ratio. You can scale up by doubling or tripling ingredients. 
  • If it is too sweet, reduce the sugar by up to a quarter cup. 
  • If using Meyer lemons, reduce the sugar to 3/4 cup : 1 cup lemon juice due to the high level of sweetness of Meyers.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Entree: Meat Pasta Vegetable

I don't recall where we got this idea, but about a year, we started making a really easy throw together all-in-one dish about a year ago. It's very versatile. Pictured is our favorite choices:

1 pound meat of your choice
16 oz pasta of your choice
0.5 pound vegetable of your choice
8 oz feta or goat cheese


  1. Steam the vegetables.
  2. Cook pasta according to directions.
  3. Fry meat in a pan until cooked.
  4. Combine cooked pasta, meat, vegetables and the cheese to the pan. Heat over medium until heated through and cheese is slightly melted.
Other Notes:
You can see we prefer penne pasta, sausage, and broccoli. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Breakfast: Best Waffles Ever

Another favorite by our family is waffles. I have no idea of the origin of these waffles.
This is a stack of Belgian Waffles - and all the recipe made.


1 ¾ cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
3 beaten egg yolks
1 ¾ cups milk
½ cup vegetable oil
3 egg whites beaten stiffly


  1. Mix all dry ingredients.  Combine yolks and milk.  Stir into dry ingredients.  Stir in oil and mix.  Gently fold in beaten egg whites, do not over mix.
  2. Pour about 1/2 cup at a time into waffle iron.

Other Notes:
  • Serves 5.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Dessert: Easy Vanilla Frosting

You may not want to make this as it's own dessert. But every time I make cupcakes, I need a quick and easy vanilla frosting recipe. This is the one I go-to.
Vanilla Frosting on some chocolate cupcakes.

4 cups Powdered Sugar
4 tablespoons Butter, softened
1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
4-6 tablespoons of Whole Milk
food coloring (optional)


  1. In your mixing bowl add the powdered sugar, butter and vanilla. Turn your mixer on medium low and slowly add your whole milk. Adding more milk if needed. Increase the speed to medium until fluffy.
  2. For special occasions, tint the frosting with food color!

Other Notes:
  • Makes about 2 cups

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Polenta Bars

These are a great appetizer, side dish or entree. The photo is only was left after the first use. This is another recipe by Colleen Patrick Goudreau in The 30-Day Vegan Challenge.

4 cups water
1 1/2 cups coarse cornmeal or polenta
1/4 cup nondairy milk (soy, rice, almond, hazelnut, hemp, oat)
1 teaspoon salt (may need more, add gradually)
2-3 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
2 tablespoons fresh basil, minced
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil


  1. Add the water to a 4-quart saucepan, and heat to boiling.
  2. When the water has boiled, slowly add the cornmeal, whisking frequently as you pour it in. If you don't whisk, it will clump up. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue stirring for about 5 minutes to allow the polenta to absorb the water and thicken up. Slowly add the nondairy milk, salt, and nutritional yeast, and stir until the liquid is absorbed and the polenta thickens, about 5-10 minutes.
  3. Add the basil and parsley, stir for 1 more minute, and remove from heat.
  4. Taste, and add additional salt, if necessary.
  5. At this point, the polenta will be thick (and getting thicker.) Once you remove it from the heat, you serve it immediately, or, to form it into shapes, you will shapes using a cookie cutter, and set aside.
  6. To let it set, pour it into a 9-by-13-inch glass or nonstick pan, and spread evenly with a rubber spatula. Place in the refrigerator for at least an hour or overnight. When ready to serve, cut into squares or punch out other shapes using a cookie cutter, and set aside.
  7. Heat the olive oil in the skillet on medium heat. Sear the polenta squares until golden on both sides and heated throughout. Serve with hot marinara sauce.

Other Notes:

  • Variation: Instead of pan-frying the polenta, as long as it is nice and firm, it can also be grilled. Brush the squares first with olive oil, and grill until seared on both sides and heated throughout.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

One Year!

Celebrating 1 year. 

 A year ago, I looked at all the food I was making and posting on facebook and all the comments I was getting. In the interest of posting recipes and sharing them efficiently, I opened this blog. My goal was to post 5 recipes a week. I've had some weeks where all five recipes were posted, but most weeks I have not. I have a few months where it's mostly desserts, and that's okay too. I've got recipes scheduled through the end of this September and I know I'll post more, albeit they will be sporadic.

As of 1 year, I have posted 99 recipes. These are all recipes that either were so good, they make it into our regular rotation of things we make or they were so special, we have to share them. I've had approximately 4000 pages views total. My post popular recipes were the Vanilla Extract and Sauteed Brussels Sprouts.

I have also decided to change up the look of the blog at a year. There are already posts scheduled through the end of October. We haven't covered every recipe in the home edition of the Recipe Codex, and we aren't done cooking over here, so there will definitely be more! Enjoy!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Breakfast: Robert Rodriguez' Sin City Breakfast Tacos

These aren't really breakfast for us. These go in the Breakfast for Dinner category. But they are very good.

We make them as burritos, not tacos.

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup butter at room temperature
3/4 cup warm water, plus additional for dampening tea towel
bacon drippings (optional)

large potato, peeled and diced
large tomato
medium white onion, peeled and sliced
green jalapeno, minced
corn tortillas, 4 days old and sliced into strips
5-6 eggs, lightly beaten
corn oil
salt and pepper



  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt and baking powder. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or your hands until well-mixed and a coarse, sandy texture is achieved. Add warm water and form into a dough. Knead the dough on a floured surface until it is not sticky - it should be smooth and elastic. Make 8 to 10 balls and put these on a baking sheet. Dampen a tea towel with warm water, cover the dough and let rise for 20 minutes. 


  1. Heat 2 tablespoons corn oil in a nonstick pan on medium heat. Fry the potatoes until soft but not crispy. Add salt and pepper. Scoop the potatoes to a plate lined with a paper towel. Heat 2 tablespoons corn oil in the same pan to fry the tomato, onion and jalapeno until the onion begins to soften. Put aside and keep warm.
  2. In the same pan, heat 2 tablespoons of oil and fry the corn tortilla strips until crispy. Put aside on a plate lined with a paper towel. Heat 2 tablespoons butter in same pan and lightly scramble the eggs.
  3. Combine the tomato mixture, corn tortilla strips and eggs on a platter. Put aside and keep warm.

  4. Shape the flour tortillas into thin round circles about 6 inches in diameter using a rolling pin. Heat a skillet over medium heat, adding bacon drippings if desired. Cook the tortillas until bubbles form and brown specks appear, about 1 minute. Flip and cook another minute. Keep tortillas warm, stacking them until ready to serve.
  5. Divide the potato and egg mixture onto the flour tortillas. Fold in half or burrito-style. Serve and enjoy.

Other Notes:

  • The original recipe can be found here.
  • Tortillas make 8-10.