Saturday, December 28, 2013

Low Carb Cranberry Bliss Bars

I follow several blogs and this recipe is directly from one of those, All Day I Dream About Food.  I love the flavor combination of cranberry and orange.  It sounded amazing and I just had to try it.  I will admit that I have never had the original Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars, which I'm  sure is terrific after tying this recipe. I'm also sure it is loaded with sugar and carbs.  Whatever the reason, if it is merely to eat a little healthier during or after the holidays, give this recipe a try because it is awesome.  The flavor of cranberry and orange are sublime and who doesn't like cream cheese frosting?

I altered the recipe just a bit because I didn't have time to make her sugarless dried cranberries.  I used Crasins in a lesser quantity to help keep the carbs down.  I also substituted in orange extract since I didn't have any oranges on hand for fresh zest.  Even with my alterations these bars turned out amazing and I would encourage you to whip up a pan soon!  While the post is a little late for your Christmas cookie tray, these would be a lovely addition, so bookmark it for next year!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

What's Cooking At Cathy's?: Lemon Rosemary Butter Cookies

What's Cooking At Cathy's?: Lemon Rosemary Butter Cookies: I love lemon and I love rosemary so when a FB friend of mine told me he was making shortbread cookies with those two ingredients, I couldn...

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Lemon Rosemary Butter Cookies

I love lemon and I love rosemary so when a FB friend of mine told me he was making shortbread cookies with those two ingredients, I couldn't wait to get my hands on the recipe.

Well, true to my style, I just can't leave well enough alone and I've made several adjustments to his recipe as I was making it.  Sorry Craig, I just couldn't help myself!

You can find his recipe here if you are interested in seeing or making the original.  Following is my adaption of his recipe.  

Philly Cheese Steak Pizza

I love love love pizza.  I could eat it every day.  So I was thinking pizza for dinner last night but also was having visions of Philly Cheese Steak with that tender thinly sliced steak, grilled peppers and onions and creamy cheese.

Then I had a revolutionary idea....I thought why not?  I'll just blend the two ideas together.  This Philly Cheese Steak Pizza is what resulted.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Low Carb Snickerdoodle Cookies

In effort to support my change in eating habits and at the same time satisfy my love for the occasional sweet treat, namely cookies, I've been trying out different recipes.  While most are okay, these are more than just okay.  This may become my go-to cookie recipe.

I found the recipe on and it had 5 stars and the reviews were good so I decided to give it a trial run.  While I didn't get the 30 cookies out of the recipe it touted as the yield, I did get 20.  These little guys look like little donut holes.  They didn't crack and flatten out like my traditional recipe, but they were light and very tasty.

So if you are watching your carbs, diabetic or just want to lighten up but not sacrifice sweet treats over the holidays, these little gems are just the ticket.  Each cookie has 93 calories, 1 net carb, 2 grams of protein and 9 grams of fat.  So leave these for your Santa and he will appreciate your help on a night when he has a lot of cookies to eat!

Bacon Cheddar Cauliflower Chowder

I don't know how the weather has been where you live, but here in Kansas it has been very cold. We didn't get the significant sleet and snow that many areas south and east received and I've been a little envious, of the snowfall part.  I love snow and figure that if it is going to be this cold, snow is in order.

As much as I like winter and snow, it requires a nice hot soup to warm  up after being outside.  I tried this recipe over the weekend and it was tasty!  So when you are in need of a nice hot soup to warm you up from the inside out, give this a try.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Quick Peanut Butter Fudge

Here is an easy recipe that I wanted to share just in time for your Christmas Holiday candy making!
This is from a cookbook titled "Friends Favorite Cook Book" published by Koleen Church in Koleen, Indiana. 

My dad gave me this cookbook many years ago as a Christmas gift.  He has always razzed me about being a good cook and his inscription makes me smile.

My best friend is over the moon for peanut butter fudge and this is the recipe I use when I make some for her.  Since we are miles apart, I often send her a "care package" for Christmas.  I bet when she reads this blog entry that she will wonder if she's getting some this year!  Well, I'm not telling so she will just have to wait and see what Santa brings her this year!

The ingredients for this fantastic fudge are simple.  You will need one piece of specialty "kitchen gear", a candy thermometer.  If you don't have one, you can used the old water test method, but these thermometers are inexpensive and ensure the best results. 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Baked Turkey Salad

It has been a while since I've posted an entry.  You see, I've been undergoing a cabinet refinishing project and unfortunately, I've neglected the blog as a result.  I'm really pleased with the results and I feel a great sense of accomplishment since I did all the work myself.  Not to mention I have a brand spanking new kitchen! 

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.  Would I be wrong if I presumed that there are many of you, just like me, who have a lot of turkey leftovers and are wondering what you might do with them to add a little variety rather than nuking the remaining slices?   

Many years ago  a friend of mine gave me this recipe and it is always my "go-to" recipe for post holiday turkey leftovers and if you'll excuse the pun, this salad is delish and always gobbled up!
If you are among my low-carbing friends, this is also a good low carb recipe with only 7 net carbs per serving!

So you aren't a Turkey fan?  Chicken can easily be substituted for the turkey.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Persimmon Pudding

This recipe is from Grandma Burkhart's collection or recipes. In the collection, there were several persimmon pudding recipes but this one was marked as the "best".  The only notable change to the recipe she had made was to increase the amount of butter. I used her revised version that contains more butter.  Butter makes everything better, right?

As I mixed this recipe, I used an old family crockery bowl and grandma's metal 1 cup measuring cup.  I used grandma's kitchen timer to track my baking time.
Today's foray in the kitchen was nostalgic.  I had a humorous moment during the preparation. While I was sifting the dry ingredients, my battery powered sifter stopped.  I giggled thinking that my grandmother, born in 1900, would have never imagined that there would be such a thing as a battery powered flour sifter!  And you know what, her old hand crank model always worked and didn't require batteries.

Hopefully, you live where you can find persimmons to collect and make your own pulp, or can purchase the pulp at a local market.  I scored pulp on my last trip back to Indiana and was pretty excited because I've been craving Persimmon Pudding since last fall and there doesn't seem to be persimmons here in Kansas, or at least not that I've seen or heard about!

This recipe is quick and easy to mix up and delicious.  For me it is extra special as it is sweetened not only with sugar, but with memories of my grandmother.

Grandma's Recipe

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Rustic Apple Blueberry Pie

Pie, did someone say pie?  Pie is my favorite dessert.  I could eat it every day.  Unfortunately, my waistline won't go along with that plan.

Many people fear making pie crust, it really isn't hard, and this pie doesn't require precision or crimping the edges. Shoot, you don't even need a pie plate to make this lovely rustic pie.

I did make my crust the "old fashioned" way, using lard.  You can't beat it for a perfect crust.  

I used fruit that I had on hand, blueberries and apples which yielded a pretty tasty combination.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Apple Strudel

Apple Strudel


2 medium to large apples, cored and sliced  into 1/4 wedges
1 tsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 Tbs. flour
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 package puff pastry, thawed



Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Line a baking sheet with parchment.
On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a rectangle roughly 22 inches long and 18 inches wide (making sure the length will fit on your baking sheet.

Once dough is rolled, transfer it to the baking sheet.  Make angled cuts approximately 1" in width from the edger, cutting about a third of the way to the center on both sides of the dough.

Wash, core and slice the apples.
Toss the apples with the lemon juice.  Add the sugar, cinnamon and flour and toss to coat the apple slices.
Arrange the apples down the center of the dough. Top with the chopped walnuts.
Starting on one side, bring one of the cut strips to the center, repeat with the following side and continue,
covering the apples to the end.  Sprinkle the top with sugar.

Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until the crust is brown and the apples are tender.

....and that's What's Cooking at Cathy's ~ Enjoy!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Lemon Blueberry Cookies

It's a classic.  Lemons and blueberries.  They just go together naturally.  What better way to enjoy the combo than in a cookie!

I found this recipe at and just had to give it a try.  I had to tweak the baking time a bit to get the lightly golden results and that change is reflected in the directions below.  Keep a close eye on the oven when you bake them, the time may vary slightly oven to oven.  This is a great recipe and these cookies are fantastic!

Lemon Blueberry Cookies


1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 cup bread flour
1 1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cut into cubes
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tsp. lemon zest
1/3 cup sour cream
 1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries


Preheat the oven 350 degrees.
In a medium sized bowl mix together the flours, baking soda and salt.  Set aside
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat both sugars and butter until light and fluffy.  This took about 8 minutes to achieve a good fluffy consistency.
Add in the egg yolk, beat until well combined.
Add in the sour cream and lemon juice and mix until well combined.
Sprinkle the dry ingredients and lemon zest over the creamed mixture.  Stir until just combined.
Remove the mixing bowl from the stand mixer.
Add the blueberries and gently stir them into the dough.

Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Scoop the dough into golf ball sized mounds into the parchment.
Bake in the 350 degree oven for 20 minutes or until the top just starts to turn light golden brown.
Slide the parchment onto cooling racks and let the cookies cool to room temperature.

and that's What's Cooking at Cathy's ~ Enjoy!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Rhubarb Blueberry Skillet Pie

This recipe came along as a whim because I have a flourishing rhubarb plant in my landscaping around my back patio and a couple of pints of blueberries in the fridge.

Fresh rhubarb is one of my favorite parts of spring.  I always anxiously await those first stalks breaking through the ground.    I like strawberry rhubarb, so I thought why not try mixing it with the blueberries and see what happens.

I'm a huge pie fan.  Given a choice, I'll pick pie over cake any time.  I have to admit I was blown away by this combination as was by boyfriend.  He's pretty used to my cooking and baking, and will often comment that something is good.  However, last night when he had his first bite of this pie, he exclaimed "Wow, this is good!".  So there's your endorsement!  Grab your iron skillet, harvest some rhubarb from your garden, farmer's market or local grocery, and make yourself a skillet pie!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

No Crust Apple Pie

How about a dessert that you can easily whip up with ingredients you have on hand?
You know, for those times when you need something in a hurry for a drop in guest or when you are just in the mood for something sweet.  Sound good?  Yes?  You will find this recipe quick and easy.  I acquired it from a cooking class during last year's trip to Italy.

Recently, a good friend and I have had some fun debating whether this recipe is a pie or a cake.  You see, the name in the recipe is pie and it is made in a pie plate, implying that it is a pie.  However, it doesn't have a crust, which for me is essential for pie and the texture is more cake like, so I say it is a cake.

The result of our  cake vs. pie debate?  We  agreed on one key point....  It is Delicious!!
I'll leave it to you to decide for yourself!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Pesto Lasagna

As promised in an earlier post, here is the Pesto Lasagna recipe.  This recipe was given to me by my friend Daniella.  Last May during a two week trip to Italy, which started in the Cinque Terre, a friend and I spent the day with a stranger who soon became a friend.  Daniella graciously welcomed us into her home and taught us how to make some of the local specialties.  We had a wonderful day and left fully stuffed with wonderful food.  We had a great time with during our "girls" afternoon in the kitchen, which by the way was a terrace kitchen with a view to die for!

If you are considering an Italian vacation and are planning on spending time in Cinque Terre, carve out a day to spend in Monterosso and take a day's worth of cooking lessons with Daniella.  You will have a fabulous time.  Contact me if you are interested in her cooking class and/or dinner and I will gladly put you in touch.

This post continues my walk down memory lane. Dinner tonight will include Lasagna al Pesto, or Pesto Lasagna.   Here is my adaptation of Daniella's recipe.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Pesto Two Ways

Red and Basil Pesto

 Woza!  I can't believe that I totally missed April with a blog post.  My life has just been really busy and with
all the craziness, the blog entries suffered.

Well today I'm back in the kitchen!

This week has been full of memories of last year's vacation to Italy.  My friend Wanda and I have been reading journals and sharing quotes.  We recalled and laughed about funny moments that merited subsequent pinky swears that we'd carry those stories to our graves!  That's what best friends are for? Right?  It was an amazing trip and we made wonderful new friends that we hope to get to see again someday.

One of the highlights during the first week of the trip was a wonderful experience we had visiting Monterosso and the day we spent with Daniella.  So in tribute to that memory, today I made pesto!

Fortunately fresh basil is available in my local grocery so I can   enjoy it anytime I am inclined (which is pretty often).  I'll follow with a couple of additional blog entries soon (I promise) for incorporating the pesto into other recipes.  In the meantime, just plain good for slathering on toasted bread or as dippers from fresh veggies!

Recently I brought home some old dishes that I found stored away that belonged to both of my grandmothers.  The small bowls with stripes were used at my grandma Helen's restaurant as well as a couple of crockery bowls, one being grandma Helen's and the other grandma Mary's.  You'll see these heirlooms in the photographs.  As I was cleaning up, I couldn't help but think that these two women would have never ever thought of making anything like pesto nor believed any any such concoction would be served in these bowls.  I also best they would be surprised, and hopefully proud, that their bowls are still around and being used in their granddaughter's kitchen.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Lemon Blueberry Cream Cheese Tarts

I was inspired by this recipe that I found on one of the blogs that I follow.  This tasty treat is low carb and gluten free, and honestly just down right tasty!

For me, blueberries and lemon embody spring and freshness.  Both the  lemon and blueberry flavors  marry nicely in this tart.

I don't own small individual tart pans so I "made do" by utilizing  a cupcake pan.  I had a few shells that didn't come out easily but most of the did, and I used the crumbly ones to mix into the remaining filling for a quick decadent snack from the fridge.

I did modify the recipe a bit since my last errand stop was the grocery and there wasn't any Mascarpone cheese (seriously Target....come on!).  As a result, I opted for cream cheese and modified the recipe just a little.  

Sunday, March 24, 2013


Who among you has heard of tea and crumpets?  I have often heard the reference but actually had no idea what a crumpet looked like or tasted like.  On the other hand, I am very familiar with English Muffins and love them toasted and oozing with butter!

A friend of mine at work was going on about how good crumpets were not long ago.  She told me that if I liked English Muffins, I'd like Crumpets.  So the following weekend I found some in the refrigerated case at my local supermarket.

Once home, I toasted one up, slathered on the butter and became an instant convert!  I love these so much more than English Muffins.

Yesterday she and I visited a local kitchen store so I could purchase some rings so I could make crumpets.  I didn't hesitate to get started and mixed up the recipe this morning late.  What a wonderful project for a nice snowy morning.

I looked online for recipes and used the one by Bobby Flay on  After reading the recipe through a couple of times, I ended up altering the directions just a little.  You can find the original recipe on The Cooking Channel website or follow my instructions (which I think are easier and still produce desired results.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Gluten Free FireCrackers

I've dubbed these little jewels "fire" crackers because they have jalapeno pepper in them.  I'm among those who like spicy foods.
Also these little gems contain no wheat flour for those of you who are needing to avoid gluten.

I found this recipe via Pinterest, yes it is an addiction, but it inspires me to try new things and helps me pass time on the bus ride to and from work each day. Following is the recipe as posted by The Realistic Nutritionist, inspired by Oh My Veggies with a little modification to the directions by me.
 Let the healthy snacking begin!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

New York Style Cheesecake

Say Cheese.....Cake!

I can see a big smile spreading across your face right now.  Doesn't this look amazing?
Other adjectives that come to mind for this cheesecake are luscious, creamy, delectable, light, fattening, heavenly, get the idea, feel free to add your own to the list!

I'm a big fan of cheesecake.  I have several different recipes and I'm here to tell you that this one is awesome.  This recipe also omits the crust, and while I'm lamenting the absence of the buttery sweet  baked graham cracker base, I'm not missing the calories it would add...and honestly, this cheesecake doesn't need it.  It can stand on its own merits.

Serve it plain or dress it up with some fresh berries, chocolate ganache or with a dollop of fresh whipped sweetened cream.  I added a little spoon full of lemon curd I had stashed in the fridge and it put it over the top!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Lentil and Sausage Soup

What are lentils anyway?  They sort of look like split peas, flat and about a quarter of an inch in size.
Lentils have been around for a very long time.  Lentil artifacts have been found on archaeological digs dating back 8,000 years.  The Bible also has various references to lentils. So they have quite a history.

Lentils belong to the legume family (peas, beans, soybeans and peanuts) and are a tasty and plentiful source of protein and have loads of fiber. They come in many varieties.

I used what was readily available in my local supermarket which are pictured above.  You can find them with the dry beans.  Since I really like this soup, I am inclined to branch out and try other varieties and other methods of preparation.

This hearty soup is an excellent way to try lentils for the first time!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Double Chocolate Muffins

Ladies and gentlemen....start your blenders (or food processors)!
These muffins are delish and are so easy to make.  You just dump the ingredients in, blend and bake!

Again, I find a lot of inspiration on Pinterest....these were also based on one of those finds.
I substituted ricotta cheese for the plain greek yogurt since I didn't have any plain yogurt in the fridge and the result was still yummy!

I'll be packing one of these this week to have along with my morning coffee when I get to work.  

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Avocado Chocolate Pudding

Unconventional?  Yes!
Easy?  Yes!
Tasty?  Yes!
Good for you?  Yes

I will admit that I don't keep avocado as a staple in my kitchen.  Don't get me wrong, I love a good guacamole as much as the next gal, but it isn't something that I eat often.  As for slicing one up on a salad or adding a few slices to a sandwich, I've never done it.

I found this recipe pinned on Pinterest while looking for low carb treats.  It is all over the place with various variations so I'm not clear who deserves the credit for this decadent creation but my hat is off to them!
I have to admit that I was intrigued and skeptical on how you could successfully make a tasty chocolate pudding from avocados.  So my next trip to the grocery, I bought 3.  Yep, I was hopeful!

Did I like it you ask?  Absolutely!  It provides me with a sweet treat during the week that I don't feel guilty about eating since avocados are nutrient dense.  A single avocado will make 2 servings so do keep portions in mind when you make this.  I've found that a single serving is plenty as it is a rich and creamy indulgence at the end of the day. avocados are a staple at my house!

Meatloaf Patties

It's a new year and I am among the many folks vowing to change their eating habits and to get more exercise. I've done this before, I can and will do it again but this time I'm determined that those pounds go away and stay away for good!  They are not welcome back nor can they bring their friends.

I started my journey about two weeks ago along with a life long friend.  We are determined to keep each other on track, though our strategies differ somewhat.  I know that I have a weakness for desserts and sweet treats as well as pasta and home baked breads.  I have given those things up for now, but I am looking to learn alternative ways to still enjoy them with different ingredients.
As I find recipes that I try and like, I will share them.

One of the things I do to help myself is to do the majority of my food preparation on the weekend.  I will spend 3-4 hours in the kitchen and cook everything for the week, so all that is needed is a quick warm up.  Keep fresh veggies for munching at hand as well, for those times that I just want to gnaw on something but am not really hungry because those calories can add up fast!!

Last weekend I made meatloaf patties.  These have been perfect for packing in my lunch for work as well as quick suppers this week.  How many of you like cold meatloaf...go ahead raise your hand, it is okay.  I like it too and it makes a great sandwich.

In thinking about the big game day tomorrow and many of you having parties, I thought that these would be great for sliders for a party, so if you are looking for something a little different, get yourself some mini-buns and give this a try.  Obviously, you'd need to make them smaller, but I'm sure they would be a hit.

I have already posted the meatloaf recipe on the blog.  You can find it here.  The only difference is that I measured out my meatloaf mixture into 4 ounce patties and topped them with the following mixture and baked them in the oven in a broiler rack.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Lemony Gooey Butter Cake

Lemon.....ah, my favorite flavor.  I love anything lemon and I've read about gooey butter cakes and I don't recall if I've ever had one.

I got a new stove yesterday and I needed desperately to try the oven.  Well, okay, so maybe not desperately, but I did want to try it out.

I decided that a lusciously lemony gooey butter cake would be just the ticket.  I found this recipe of Paula Deen's and decided since she's know for good southern cooking and desserts laden with butter, it has to be good, right?  I can tell you from the sample that I tasted during the photo session that it is awesome!    Continue on for the recipe.

About Me

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My career is in IT.  Cooking and photography are among a few of my hobbies. In my spare time, which is most weekends I tie on my apron and exercise my creativity by trying new recipes and adapting them to my tastes. I also have a passion for photography that I incorporate by taking photographs to go along with the recipes I post on my blog.  
I also enjoy travel, both near and abroad. Meeting new people, new experiences and cultures and oh, not to mention the food! I hope you enjoy my blog.