Monday, October 3, 2011

French Onion Soup Pizza

This was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! It is true that sometimes simple is best! This recipe includes very few ingredients, but it is off the wall with taste. First of all you need to go HERE! This is the most phenomenal pizza dough. Trust me, I have tried dozens and dozens of pizza dough recipes and this is the best of the best. THANK YOU PETER REINHART!
The pizza is a MIRANDA ORIGINAL! What happened is simple. I wanted to make french onion soup for my husband and I, but I knew the kiddos would not eat that for dinner. I asked the kiddos what they would like for dinner and of course the demanded pizza. Well, that is how the magic began. Why not? Make my French Onion Soup into a pizza! It scored a 10 out of 10 from my husband (which is rare!)


3 LARGE Sweet Onions (I slice mine thin with a mandolin.)
1/2 stick butter
1/2 cp. white wine
2 tsp of bouillion ( I RECOMMEND:  BETTER THAN BOUILLON brand)
Fresh Thyme
Salt and Pepper

2-4 cps mozzarella

Smoke Gruyere

1. Melt the butter in a pan. When melted add the onions and slowly cook until caramelized. (Honestly, this took me almost an hour to get the dark brown color I wanted.)

2. When the onions are done then add the wine. Let cook for a few minutes on high. Lower and add the bouillon and fresh thyme. Salt and Pepper to flavor.

3. Roll out the pizza dough and smear the Onion topping onto the dough. Top with the mozzarella and add slices of Smoked Gruyere on top.Then scatter panko all over the top.

4.  Cook the pizza on 450 for about 10 minutes till browned.


 Yummy! Close up of the caramelized onions and the bubbly cheese and topped with the panko!!!

I made stuffed crust pizza for my girls! That is for a later recipe! ENJOY!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Cinnamon Rolls

Well, I am officially going to start blogging on a regular basis. After having my third little peanut and having him on a great sleeping schedule! I finally have the energy! I finally have "Me" time. I am now able to do what enjoy on my down time! I have been taking loads of pictures and I cannot wait to share with you some of my greatest dishes. Let the fun BEGIN!

The other day I made a cinnamon roll but I cooked them like they were cupcakes. It was much easier to eat and serve. NOT TO MENTION, they were very yummy! I made 36! Do not worry I shared! I gave a dozen to a newbie mother! I personally know how hard it is the first couple of weeks after bringing a new baby home. Everyone deserves a something sweet to enjoy while holding there new bundle of joy! I also gave half of a dozen to my "BUG GUY". (He has been our Pest Control guy for the last five years with a three year old questioning everything he does....He deserves some sweets!)  

Recipe: (Peter Reinhart, artisan bread everyday) <--------My All Time Favorite Cook Book (10 for 10)

61/2 cps of UNBLEACHED All Purpose Flour
2 tsp Salt 6 TB Sugar (I use Organic Cane Sugar)
5 tsp Yeast
2 cps + 2 TB of WARM MILK
1/2 cp. Vegetable Oil
Lemon or Orange Zest

2 sticks butter
1 cups cane sugar
1/4 cp. cinnamon

1. Add All the dry ingredients to a stand mixer. Whisk the yeast into the warm milk and let sit. Add the warm milk to the dry ingredients. Mix with the paddle attachment for 1 minuted. Remove the dough and put onto a floured surface. Knead for 4 minutes and put into a greased bowl. Let the dough double in size. It usually takes 1-2 hours.
2. Cut the dough in half , roll it out into a rectangle and brush with 1 stick of melted butter then top with 1/2 cp of sugar (or more) and a few tablespoons of cinnamon. Next step is to roll the dough towards you. After you roll the dough then you begin to cut the dough from 1 1/2 - 2 inches in width and put into cupcake tin. Let the rolls rise for another hour. When they double put them into the oven on 350 for about 20-25 minutes. (until brown)
3. Remove and Cool. If you would like top it with icing! (Powdered sugar with a few TB of Maple Syrup or Milk)
4. Enjoy and share :)

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Grilled Sirloin Steak with Portabella Mushrooms

After many months I have a recipe for you: Grilled Sirloin with Portabella Mushrooms

It has been awhile. A long while. I have been preoccupied by a pregnancy and two little girls.

My little man arrived a 7 weeks ago and a month premature. Our Owen arrived with complications. The reason they took him early was because my body produced Little C antibodies and it was killing his red blood cells. My husband is the carrier of Little C and I produced the antibodies after carrying my first child. Then with my second, Bailey my antibodies attacked her red blood count causing her to be jaundice. But my body also produced MORE antibodies with my second pregnancy. The doctors knew this during my third pregnancy and monitored me closely. They noticed his hemoglobin was going down by inserting a needle into my umbilical cord and tested his lungs for maturity by an amniocentesis. After many hours of waiting they informed us that our little man will be meeting us in a few hours! He arrived at 9:15at night! He was perfect! He was jaundice (of course). They sent us home 72 hours later with both a bed and blanket to help bring his jaundice down. At home it reached 21!!! It started going down but very slowly and they decided to do more tests. That is when they saw his hemoglobin was going down and he was becoming anemic. On March 21st a day shy of his due date he had a transfusion. What a scary day for me, but we had amazing doctors and nursing working on him. After the transfusion his jaundice finally declined. They are still monitoring him. Time will only tell if the antibodies have left his system. He may need another transfusion and he may not. Right now, he is 14 pounds and 7 weeks old! Healthy! Beautiful! I am blessed.

My Owen Arthur at 6 wks

Bailey Leland

Now, with my pregnancy over and my baby boy is healthy I am going to continue my passion of blogging and cooking. I have missed it so much! I have missed my blogging friends. I am ready to jump head first into this food blogging world! Hopefully, everyone will great me with open arms.

Grilled Portabella Sirloin Steak
3lb Sirloin
1lb Portabella Mushrooms
1 cp. Vegetable Oil
1/2 cp. Soy Sauce
1/2 cp. Good BBQ sauce
3 TB Red Wine Vinegar
3 TB Worchestire Sauce
2 tsp. sugar
3 minced garlic cloves
salt and pepper.

1. Whisk everything together and add the 3 lb Sirloin and 1 lb of big portabella mushrooms . Let it marinate for 24 hrs

Preheat the grill and grill on both sides. Let rest for 15 minutes. Cut it thinly against the grain! Yum.

Friday, November 12, 2010


I had the rare opportunity to host a Hormel Party for a party of ten for The Foodbuzz Tastemakers. Program. We had a wonderful time! It was full of little piglets running around drawing pigs, Daddies playing music, and the Mommies making magic in the kitchen!

Place: The Sellers Household (Friends)
Guest: Sellers Clan (2 adults and 5 piglets), The Hagan Clan (2 Adults and 2 piglets)
Time and Date: November 7, 2010 @ 12:00 - 6:00 (Piggie Joke: I told you not to let those pigs In my office. Now, look What’s happened. They’ve eaten all the dates off my calendar!)

Activities: Piggie Drawings for the kiddos, Music by Mr. Hagan and Mr. Sellers, and not to mention massive amounts of YUMMY chow!

Now! Lets talk SLOP! ((WARNING: My photos are not the greatest! My camera is sent a way being fixed! Boooooo! But I wanted to post pictures of this fantastic food!)

This is some of the yummy food that we served: Bagel Bites, Potato Boats, Cuban, Ham, Chive Mashed Potatoes and Pumpkin Trifle.


Slices of Hormel® Cure 81® ham
Shredded Hormel® Always Tender® (I used the Mesquite and Added a little chili powder, salt and pepper. I cooked with a little water on 250 for 4 hours)
Swiss Cheese
Pickle Relish
Spiced Mustard
Cuban Bread

1. Layer the Sliced Ham with the shredded pork tenderloin on a bed of Cuban Bread. Top with cheese and the slather the top with relish and mustard. Then use a sandwich press and grill until browned. If you do not have a sandwich add a little olive oil to a large skillet and when the oil is warm add the sandwich. But you need to weigh down the sandwich. (Something very heavy..Cast Iron Skillet). Cook on both sides until it is browned on both sides.

The finished product....mmmhhhh....It was one of the FAVORITES!!!!!!

THIS IS Hormel® Cure 81® ham!!!It was fabulous!!! With all the leftover ham it made a WONDERFUL Navy Bean Soup!

The Bagel Bites (For the 7 little piglets)

Mini Bagel
Old English Cheese (Found near the shredded cheese in the Color)
Hormel® pepperoni

1. This is super simple and kids love it!!! Slice the Bagel in half and add the Old English and top with the pepperoni ( I used the mini pepperoni). Bake on 350 for 8-10 minutes.


8-10 Russet Potatoes
Cheddar Cheese
Hormel® bacon toppings
Sour Cream (Optional)
You will need lots of Canola Oil too.
Salt and Pepper

1. Clean and wash all of the potatoes. Brush with oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake on 400 for 45 - hour. Let cool.
2. Cut each potato in half and remove the pulp. (Make Chive Mashed Potatoes with the Pulp) Brush each skin with oil and season. Bake on 400 7 minutes on each side. The last flip add the cheese and bacon and cook 5-7 more minutes. Top with chives and sour cream! Yummy!

For the Chive Mashed Potatoes:

Cook Hormel® Black Label® bacon and let cool and then crumble. Add the bacon, chives, 1/2 - 1 cp milk, a few tablespoons of butter to the leftover potato pulp!

I would love to thank Foodbuzz and Hormel for this opportunity. We had a wonderful time and amazing food! THANK YOU!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Project Food Blog Competition: Ready, Set, Blog!

The infinite question: What describes you as a food blogger? BALANCE

To understand what defines me as a food blogger is to first understand, or at least empathize, er' perhaps sympathize, with the dynamics of mother, wife, and blogger. The Great Dichotomy as it were of a child and husband taste buds: Chicken Nuggets vs. Steak Sandwiches, Homemade Mac and Cheese vs. Tamales, Carrots and Veggie Dip vs. Roasted Pepper Hummus and Pita. Doing my best to please all critics. Whether it is child, adult, or fellow blogger, delivering balance is the preferred format. That format is then transposed for all to read on the web and judge for themselves.

There are also rights-of-passage here. I want to share the passion for food with my two little girls as my mother did with me. I include my girls in most endeavours whether it is planting seeds, picking freshly grown tomatoes, making scrambled eggs for their breakfast or rolling out pasta dough. Many of my post include silly stories and quirky moments of motherhood while creating mouthwatering dishes.

My oldest helping make homemade pasta for dinner.
Homemade Chicken Tenders for kids.

My husband enjoys the more complicated and delectable dishes that my children have yet to appreciate. A few of his favorites that grace my site is Smoked Meatloaf, Juevos Rancheros, and the ever time consuming Tamales. The Manly Food. The Comfort Food. These posts screams to most hard-working men and to the women that want to feed them.

The Ultimate Omelet: 4 eggs, Monterrey Jack Cheese, Refried Beans, Taco Turkey Meat, Homemade Salsa, Lettuce, Tortilla Chips, and Jalapenos.

The Insanely Good Steak Sandwich: Slowly cooked sirloin sliced then topped french fries, Cole-slaw, and sour-dough bread! I served with the Fried Onion Rings!

Smoked Meatloaf Sandwich!!!

Then we have the sweet, tasty, satisfying and comfort food that warms your core. It will make you want to nap for hours after eating. Yes, desserts!! The delectable are also has a vast part of My Food and Life Encounters. The pies, cupcakes, cookies and homemade breads.

As a food blogger I BALANCE: the healthy and the not so healthy, sweet and the savory. My Food and Life Encounters is a site where anyone could visit and find a recipe they "must have" or a dish that makes their salivary glands go crazy. Balance is what makes me different, unique, and an able Project Food Blog Winner. I will continue on my journey...

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Dulce Leches Cheesecake

Sorry for the delay. Let me just tell you about August 16th. The worst day in my years of parenthood. My husband has been out of town for five days a week. It could not of came at a worse time. My oldest started Kindergarten at a school that I do not like. (Understatement: No Colors. No ABC's. No Kindergarten type decorations. It was in one of the poorest neighborhoods. We somehow was zoned for this school. Not sure how considering we do not live in that town .)We are in the process of getting her switched, but it broke my heart leaving her there. I cried when I walked out the door.

Then, I looked back at my two year old who was on day 3 of a fever of 104 and noticed her lymph nodes in her right arm were growing the size of golf balls. (I took her to Urgent Care the day before and he told me it was a Virus)I decide to take her straight to my primary doctor. The doctor took one look at her and told me, "She needs to be admitted."

Let me just say, on my way down in the elevator to my car I sobbed. I want my husband. I want my daughter not to be sick. I want my other daughter in a different school. I called my husband and literally broke down.

I live in Florida. All my family live in Ohio. I have no help. SOOOO before I could take my youngest to the Children's Hospital I needed to go pick up Alex EARLY from her first day of her new horrible school. I did not want to take her to the hospital with me because I had no idea what could happen so I made a few phone calls. My husbands co-worker, and now family, left work early to watch my (older)baby. Then, finally I headed to the hospital. After many hours and blood testes we find out that it is most likely CAT SCRATCH FEVER!

After late night baths, 105 fevers, three antibiotics, doctors offices and blood work. It is now over and it is September 11th ! Almost an entire month of mending a sick kid!

Not to mention, we had to get rid of the cat that my girls adored, but I could not risk anyone getting sick again.

Good news: It is now all working out. I got my oldest tested as gifted and she passed. YEAH! Now she will be transferred to the best school in the county. Bailey is on the mend and back to her playing self. AND MY HUSBAND IS COMING HOME....

Because my husband is coming home I had to make something special. My oldest asked for Cheesecake and this is what I came up with.

Dulce Leches Cheesecake
Adapted from

1 1/2 cup cinnamon graham cracker crumbled
6 tbsp. butter, melted

3 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese (24 oz. total)
1 cup superfine granulated sugar
2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
3 eggs
1/3 cup whole milk
2/3 cup Dulce Leches Can from Nestle (You will use the rest of the can too)

1. Mix the crust and push into a 9 in springform pan. Bake on 400 for 10 minutes until browned.

2. Meanwhile, Mix the filling together.

3. Afte the crust cools drop the filling into the springform pan. Drop teaspoons of the Dulce Leches in a circler motion around the cheesecake. Bake on 325 for 45 minutes.

4. Let it cool for 25 minutes and then put in the fridge. Make sure you run a knife around the edge so it does not crack.

5. Enjoy.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A Little Bit of of Spain in Iowa GIVEAWAY! Go Diana!

My good friend and fellow blogger Diana from A Little Bit Of Spain in Iowa is giving away an absolutely amazing carry along bag for convenient shopping at the farmers market. It is called Reisenthel Wheeled Trolley Bag. Check out their site! Please take a minute and stop over to see Diana and her remarkable site! Enter this giveaway! Good LUCK!! (But...I secretly hope I win this bag..hehe)