Pass the Sugar, Sugah

Beggin' for Bagels
My love for bagels began when I was a little girl and my mom would take us to "Broadway Bagels" in Mobile. Because this bagel heaven is no longer in existence, it is about time for me to make some bagels of my own. 

This was a fun, slightly tricky, lessons learned endeavor. I went by this recipe from Tasty Kitchen but adapted it to my own liking. I prepared Cinnamon Oat [Semi] Whole Wheat bagels that were not half bad for my first shot. There are definitely some adjustments I would make for the future, as noted below. If you have some extra time on your hands, give this recipe a try!

I used 1/2 cup whole wheat flour in place of AP and added cinnamon, also. 

I tried Hodgson's Mill fast rise yeast for whole wheat recipes.

1/2 cup whole wheat flour; ~1 1/2 cups AP flour; ~1/2 cup oats
The christening of my dough hook

I opened up the toaster oven door to help circulate warm air for the yeast

Ready to knead the risen dough (I should have waited and added the oatmeal at this stage)

Dividing into equal chunks

rolling into snakes

free-formed dough bagels!

letting them rise a little longer

And now the fun part: boiling bagels.

a sprinkling of oats and cinnamon before sending them into the oven

Finis! Warm and bready

Aren't they cute?!

That pretty golden-brown look of a toasted bagel

Just being a cheeseball.

They were tasty but not wonderful. I'm proud of my efforts, at least :)
 Serving suggestions:
Toast and smear with Biscoff Spread (what I did-- so good) 
 Almond Butter-- especially Jason's
Apple Butter
Butter Butter
Need I say more? 


Me Oh My Vidalia Onion Pie
Vidalia onions are sweeter than the average yellow onion and are actually only officially classified as "Vidalia"if grown in specified regions of Georgia (according to the Vidalia Onion Act of 1986). Fun fact: Georgia's state vegetable is the Vidalia onion. There is even a Vidalia onion committee in existence!

Now that you have the full report on this sweet bulb, here is a recipe you must try. I usually cook a Vidalia Onion Pie as a side for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, but it also makes for a great summertime supper. No calories are involved in the making of this pie despite its ingredients of half and half, olive oil, butter, eggs and cheese. Promise. 

All you need is a pinch!

And that, my friends, is how you make a Vidalia Onion Pie.


image courtesy
Strawberry Shortcake. 
This dessert is as yummy as its name is cute. Strawberries, sugar, whipped cream and a subtly-flavored cake. I take no credit for this one-- I merely photographed my mom baking. 

Do enjoy drooling over the following images. You're welcome.

Prepping the shortcakes

Ready to pop in the oven

This was the cookbook used, by the way.
This is the D.C. Junior League's doing.

The recipe

Only the freshest (pre sugar sprinkling)

And why not add a chocolate-dipped strawberry on the side?
Oki-doki. Let's roll.
Not pictured:
Mom added Grand Marnier (oh yes- you read right) to her home-whipped cream before dolloping it atop the cakes. 

Unfortunately, all strawberry shortcakes were devoured before any photos could be taken of their garnished beauty. You'll have to use your imagination on this one, folks. Or perhaps you'll just have to make some of your own :)


Omelet House
Who doesn't love a good omelet? 
Eggs, cheese, and butter artfully arranged into a crescent-ish shape? Sign me up. 

This afternoon we made a lunch of some quick omelets to "clean out the refrigerator," if you will. Here is what resulted:

I used leftover shrimp my Dad had grilled out and
 fresh tomatoes from a local farm

I added a little milk, salt and pepper to the eggs before beating.
 I also used 3 whole eggs and then only the whites of two others. 

A little butter in the pan before adding the eggs,
then let them cook.

Once the eggs were about 75% cooked, I added the tomatoes,
shrimp, parmesan cheese, feta cheese and more pepper.

Then managed to fold without causing a series
of catastrophic events (a first). 

the finished product

I also made a "Caprese Omelet"- the same method minus
 the shrimp and with a little dried basil sprinkled in (good!!)

How do you stuff YOUR omelet??


Elvis Bread
If only Elvis were still around. I would certainly have shipped him a loaf of this bread. He was the king (pun intended) of the peanut butter and banana combo, was he not? He would have loved this. Almost as much as I do.

Peanut Butter Banana Bread. Simple. No airs.
I pulled this recipe from Joy the Baker (a way cool food blogger) who adapted it from Cooking Light. Easy to prepare, this bread is made from everyday ingredients you likely have sitting around your kitchen.

Peanut Butter Banana Bread is currently baking in the oven. Warm smells are drifting toward my nostrils. I am in a dazed and happy state. 

Joy's website and recipe
What you will need.
The whole wheat flour gives it a little more of a hearty taste.
 I did not have flax seeds but added 1/4 cup wheat germ
for added protein and fiber. I also substituted
crunchy pb for creamy and so did not add chopped peanuts.

Combining the two. This is my nighttime baking at its finest.

Like my action shot? Pouring batter into prepared loaf pan.

Into the oven you go.

And out you come. 

Peanut Butter and Banana are pretty wonderful.
Here are some other winning peanut butter combinations in my book:

Dark Chocolate and Peanut Butter
Peanut Butter and Oatmeal
Peanut Butter and Greek Yogurt
Peanut Butter and Oreos (sinful)
Peanut Butter and Chili Powder for a Thai dipping sauce

PS-- I now have a comment box added at the bottom of my "pages." I would be ecstatic if you utilized it!


Lemony Snicket

If life gives you lemons, make ricotta lemon pie. This fluffy dessert has a surprisingly subtle lemon flavor. I made it for my mom's "birthday cake" and it was so simple. Next time I would be sure to garnish it with fresh berries and maybe a sprig of mint or a dollop of whip cream for some extra zip. Easy recipe, nonetheless!

This recipe came from "Taste of the South" magazine.

Ricotta cheese gave this pie its light, creamy texture
Shh don't tell...I used a refrigerated pie crust 
Pre-oven: a little on the blah side

That's better! Complete with a buttery, crumbly crust.

Even Sadie approved.
Happy baking!


Saucy Salsa

Nothing says summer like chips and salsa. Refreshing with a kick, the tomato-based dip is the perfect jar to reach for when the afternoon munchies hit. Salsa is light, low-cal, and a great way to eat some of your veggies for the day!

My sweet brother gave me a Fruit and Vegetable Strainer and Grinder for my KitchenAid mixer as a recent birthday gift. This thing does it all. From making jams to stuffing sausages, pretty much if you name it, this accessory can make it. It was only fitting that the tool could make a delicious salsa!

I improvised on a salsa recipe provided by the cookbook that came with my mixer. Here is my process:

Lots of fresh veggies-- I thought the mushrooms
would give it a hearty taste.
Sauteeing the veggies and canned tomatoes in a
little olive oil with one clove minced garlic. 
Just until they softened a little bit but still
had some crunch... this smelled amazing. Wish you could
click a button right here and the aroma of warm garlic
would seep out of your computer speakers. Sorry.

I then fed the mixture through the grinder along with the fresh parsley. After adding a little chili powder, salt, pepper and vinegar to taste (I like mine nice and spicy), I had... 


I heated this mixture on the stove for about 10-15 minutes to evaporate some of the liquid and thicken the salsa. 

Into the Mason jar it went!
Served with Hint of Lime chips... fabulous!! 
Thoughts on future add-ins:
Black beans
Lime zest

Any suggestions??


Nom Nom Naan

While in Nashville a few weeks ago, I paid a visit to the Trader Joe's. Leave me in a Trader Joe's one day and don't bother to pick me up until the next. I am seriously giddy walking around that place scoping out all of its funky products. After all, where else can you find good $2 wine?

Anyways, I bought Whole Wheat Tandoori Naan while I was there. What is Naan? An Indian-style flatbread that is really yummy. I was introduced to it this summer in Washington, D.C. at a cafe called "Naan and Beyond." Cute, huh? This place truly was the Bed, Bath and Beyond of Indian food. It bombards you with naan.

The other night I was inspired by a Whole Foods recipe I had seen for "Naan Pizza" and set out to create my own version. I began by brushing about a tablespoon of olive oil on each flatbread and then spooned marinara sauce on top. I layered grilled squash, zucchini, mushrooms and cherry tomatoes on top of that, then sprinkled a little parmesan and feta cheese over them. Some pepper and dried basil on that and into the oven they went. 


This dinner was easy breezy. These were veggies that were in our fridge, but you could mix it up and use just about anything-- roasted red peppers, eggplant, you name it. And, if we are getting fancy, I think goat cheese sprinkled on top would be out of this world. Just a thought :)

Cuban Cuisine

Ricky Ricardo. Cigars. An awesome Dirty Dancing sequel. What's not to like about Cuba? (disregarding the Missile Crisis, its Communist history, etc. etc.)

After trying my first taste of Cuban cuisine at Calypso Cafe in Nashville, I decided to put my own spin on the nation's flavors. I made a vegetarian dinner that was strikingly filling. My menu for the night (Cuban "inspired," mind you):

Wild and Long Grain Rice (thanks, Uncle Ben)
Spring Mix Salad with Toasted Almonds and Honey Lime Vinaigrette
Whole Wheat Naan (some Indian influence to round out our cultural meal)

Lots of lime flavoring gave zing to this meal

Sauteeing red onion, green pepper and garlic in a little
 olive oil for the beans. Love the color!!

I used low-sodium black beans to cut back on the salt.
Cumin, oregano and red wine
vinegar were also added to the beans. They were by far
the best part of dinner and, high
 in fiber and protein, they were also very satisfying!

I left the skins on the sweet potatoes for reasons I'm not quite sure (I have
researched but am unable to determine if the skins
of sweet potatoes are as good for you as those of white potatoes).
They were still really good! 

Salad with fresh tomato, cucumber, toasted almonds and honey lime
vinaigrette (my mom pointed out that homemade salad dressings
really do take the cake; this one took me all of 3 minutes to prepare).

Finis! I toasted the naan and cooked up some rice
from the box and ended up with a fun and unique meal.



Apps. They can get a girl in trouble. My iPhone weapon of choice is the Epicurious app-- a complete recipe finder tool that offers tantalizing pics of mouthwatering creations. I oftentimes swipe my finger across the screen until it goes numb as I scout out new dishes to try.

During the week leading up to Easter, I came across a recipe for Limoncello Tiramisu. My mom and I are both suckers for tiramisu as well as all things lemon. What a combo! I went for it.
Below is my documentation of the process...

Caravella limoncello.
Buy me a plane ticket to Italy.

lovely lemons
Mascarpone cheese gives this dessert its rich, creamy texture

Heating the egg yolks, sugar and limoncello to form a "frothy sponge" (zabaglione)

Dad enjoyed showcasing his kitchen talents

The frothy sponge
Boiling limoncello, sugar, water and lemon juice to make a syrup
lemon zest + mascarpone cheese
Why yes, I did whip the whites of 5 eggs BY HAND. Just call me Wonderwoman.
Folding the egg whites, sponge and cheese together. Not so pretty pic. 
1st layer: lemony syrup-drenched lady fingers

2nd layer: folded mixture

3rd layer: repeat the lady fingers only buy an extra pack so you don't run out (see above)

4th layer: finish off that mixture. It may not look too special now, but...
Serve it in a pretty glass next to a vase of flowers and voila!

You've got yourself a delicious dessert, my love.

Yum. The end. 
*Everything in Moderation* :)


Breaking the Fast

I just returned from a few days at home for Spring Break and was able to get in a little bit of my favorite pastime-- baking. My dad is a CPA and so, with April 15th drawing near, he stays a very busy man. I wanted to provide some morning fuel and edible cheer for his office so decided last night to bake them a few breakfast treats for this morning. I tried to healthify these recipes as much as possible...

This recipe came from the Junior League of Mobile's "Bay Tables" cookbook (a staple in any Mobile lady's kitchen!).
I used light butter for the tart. I did not have any Splenda handy, but it would have been an excellent sugar substitute for sprinkling atop the almonds. This is so quick and easy to make and is a great treat to have with your morning coffee!

I have become an avid reader of the Multiply Delicious blog. This was one of her many recipes that looked enticing, and I'm so glad I tried it! These muffins were also easy breezy and were the perfect subtle flavor for breakfast. I omitted chocolate chips as I didn't have any, but I still thought they tasted great without them. Though the recipe calls for white whole wheat flour, I used a combination of 1/2 whole wheat (for added fiber, protein and minerals!) and 1/2 all-purpose to keep the taste buds of those accountants happy. I had a packet of Ideal No Calorie brown sugar on hand and used this in the streusel topping to save on some calories. 

This bread turned out so moist and yummy! I again used light butter in this recipe. Adding walnuts provides omega-3 heart healthy fat while the raisins supply antioxidants to this breakfast bread. Applesauce is used to substitute for oil in the bread and subsequently cuts back on the calorie content. 

My lovely new Kitchen Aid mixer!


Throw Me Somethin Mista

Perhaps there is some irony in a Nutrition gal celebrating "Fat Tuesday." Nonetheless, in a nod to today's celebration of mirth, I want to share some recipes that showcase my hometown's tradition. Mardi Gras is equated with good food. Below are elements of a worthwhile Fat Tuesday meal.

This version is made using brown rice for some added whole grain benefits!

a staple of Mardi Gras cuisine

Holy Cow. Decadence upon decadence.

OK. It may not be the lowest of calories, but it is intended for drinking over ice in a small glass. 
There. Worth it.

No Mardi Gras feast is complete without some soulful tunes. As you make your Tuesday fat, enjoy the sounds of 

Blow House is a group of Mobile guys who don tuxes and hit the streets with tubas and trumpets to deliver classic marching band jazz. The Excelsior Band is another group that has been parading the streets of Mobile since 1883. I also recommend the Hurricane on the Bayou soundtrack (more of an ode to New Orleans than to Mardi Gras but still keeping with the theme). 

Throw in some beads, doubloons and a few moon pies, and you've got yourself a Mardi Gras throw down, my friend!


Recipe Hunting in the 21st Century

Sharing recipes is love. Apologies for the cheese factor, but I truly believe one can leave a lasting impression through the simple handing off of a set of cooking directions. Here I will pass that love on to you by featuring those tried and true favorites, those I have royally messed up and on which I turn to you for advice, and those I have yet to enjoy.  

So to kick things off, I am not writing about a specific recipe but rather a way to discover your own favorite recipes. I found this website recently and am now obsessed. allows you to find recipes online-- EVERY recipe online. Need to know how to cook a mushroom risotto? At the click of a button Foodily will provide 103 cleanly-presented options from varying websites, chefs and cookbooks. You can even specify ingredients you do not want, and the search engine will respond accordingly. It's easy to search your results as appetizing pictures appear of each dish. 

The only downside to this method is that it totally contradicts the traditional love theory of sharing recipes (oops). Instead, you can e-mail, tweet, post, text, or whatever other technological method of your choosing to share a recipe find. Nonetheless, keep the old-fashioned art of a recipe book alive and print the recipes you come across. Take notes along the margins. Leave batter stains across the page. There. I still justified this site.

A word to the wise: be sure you have plenty of time on your hands before you enter this website-- you will not leave your seat until you have researched every vegan chocolate chip cookie recipe imaginable.


  1. Look at you, you little baker! I love all your recipes lately! You already know I'm a huge fun of PB + oatmeal, PB + Greek yogurt, and PB + dark chocolate, but I think nut butter goes good on just about anything!

  2. Make me a Vidalia Onion Pie! Love all your recipes lately:)