Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Easy Breakfast Ideas

The blog world is full of talented people with brilliant ideas, like you! So I want your ideas. More specifically, I want your breakfast ideas.

On a typical morning, I will eat a waffle or a bagel on the way to work. During the weekend it's usually cereal or one of the following:

Pancakes and eggs. I have a most wonderful recipe for pancakes and it's quick and easy too. I'll have to share it some time.

Egg and cheese on whole wheat bagels.

Omelettes. Standard.

And a southern classic, biscuits and cocoa. If you're not from the South then you probably wouldn't understand. I grew up on my grandma's biscuits and for breakfasts on the weekend our grandparents would make us biscuits and cocoa. I got the recipes from her and now from time to time I make this.

I would like to branch out from these staples though and try some new breakfast ideas, so lay them on me! What are your favorite breakfast ideas?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Herb Stuffed Bell Peppers

Since the beginning of Summer I had been wanting to try a stuffed bell pepper recipe, so back in July I actually got around to trying one. I searched a few sites, but all I found were non-vegetarian recipes. I finally decided to just alter a recipe to fit what I wanted, since I pretty much do that every time I cook anyway, haha.

Here's what I came up with (altered from here):

Herb Stuffed Bell Peppers

4 large sweet red peppers
1/2 chopped onion
3 cups cooked brown rice
2 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon oregano
1/4 cup vegetable broth
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
2 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
1/4 cup grated Parmesan 
1/4 cup grated mild cheddar

Wash the bell peppers, cut the tops out and remove the seeds.

Bring a pot of water to a boil and put the peppers in for 10 minutes.

Cook onion in a pan over medium heat until brown. Remove from the heat and stir in the rice, parsley, salt, cayenne and oregano.

In a small saucepan, bring the broth to a boil. Stir in the balsamic vinegar, basil and parmesan cheese.
Mix all ingredients and then spoon into the peppers.

Place the peppers in a shallow baking dish, cover and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Sprinkle cheddar cheese over the tops and bake uncovered for 5-10 minutes.

We really enjoyed these and I thought they were quite hearty for a vegetarian meal. There's a lot of flavor packed in to them and they are very filling.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Grandma's Red Velvet Cake

I grew up in a very tight-knit family where we spent every holiday together and my sister and I spent almost every weekend at our grandparent's house. I became very close to my grandmother over the years and, of course, she was everything a grandmother should be: warm, loving, fun, a great baker, a great cook, selfless, hard-working, energetic and more. She passed away a few years ago, but I have only the most wonderful memories of her. She was an amazing woman and I admired her so much, especially her ability to bring the family together with her cooking. Every Sunday after church we had lunch at her house. It was more of a feast actually as in about an hour the table would be filled with all sorts of food, hot and ready to eat. And of course there were desserts on stand-by for afterward. Usually a pecan pie or homemade ice cream, but other times we would get a cake and if it was a red velvet cake, the crowd would go wild.

I have a cookbook from the school where my grandmother used to work and after looking it through it for recipe ideas, I discovered my grandmothers very own red velvet cake recipe! I had to make it ASAP and I did indeed. It wasn't as good as my grandma used to make, but I did what I could and it was still delicious. =) Besides, nobody can bake as good as grandma, right?

If you want the best red velvet cake recipe ever, read on:


2 1/2 cups self-rising flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp. cocoa
1 cup milk
1 1/2 cup oil
1 tsp. vinegar
2 eggs
1 oz. red food coloring
1 tsp. vanilla

Combine dry ingredients. Add other ingredients in order. Mix for 2 minutes. Bake in greased and floured pan at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Cool completely before icing.

Here's what my cakes looked like with I pulled them out of the oven. Nice and red! You could do this as a sheet cake, but I wanted a round cake to take to a family event.

After the cakes finished cooking, I started working on the icing. Once again I used my grandmother's recipe. What goes better with red velvet cake than cream cheese icing? That's right, nothing.


8 oz. cream cheese
1 stick margarine
1 box confectionery sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Blend together cream cheese and margarine until smooth. Gradually add box of confectionery sugar and vanilla while blending.

I did a crumb coat first and then iced the cake. My grandmother usually garnished the cake with slivered almonds, but I was lazy. =) haha.

It was still a hit at the family gathering though so that's good. Yay for grandma and her recipes!