Sunday, September 27, 2015


Today, I was checking out granola bars that I could munch on as a treat in between meals that wouldn't break the bank in calories. With so many to choose from, the semi-healthy ones are in the 270 calorie range. I don't want that many calories for a snack when I'm dieting. So like I do every Sunday, I came up with my own recipe and these babies are not only healthy, but they're only 128 calories! No chemicals, no preservatives, just good wholesome grains, fruits and spices. The apple, along with the cranberries and brown sugar give these bars just enough sweetness to satisfy any palate.

1 cup dried cranberries
4 cups dry oats
1 cup bran flakes
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 1/2 cups orange juice
1 cup cocoa powder
2 tablespoons vanilla
1 apple, peeled and cored
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt


Soak cranberries in hot water for 15 minutes or until plump. Drain off the water and add to the bowl of a food processor. Add remaining dry ingredients, pulse, add the vanilla and orange juice and pulse until thoroughly mixed.


Grease and spread mixture evenly into a half sheet pan (13 X 18 in), or two cookie sheets. I wet my hands and spread this from corner to corner, end to end, and then wet a long spatula to even it out.

Bake in a preheated 350 degrees oven for 50 minutes or until crisp.

Using a pizza cutter and a ruler, cut into 30 bars of yumminess! Wrap in plastic wrap and store in a cool dry cabinet or pantry. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015


This is one of my favorite recipes of all time. I've served it as a main course, but I've also served it as an appetizer simple by making the cakes smaller. If this list of ingredients seems a little long, trust me, you will not be sorry, so go for it!

3 teaspoons light brown sugar                                                3 basil leaves, finely shredded
1 tablespoon fish sauce                                                           2 tablespoons sweet chili sauce
11 ounces of ground chicken                                                  2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
6 ounces toasted peanuts, chopped                                       2 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs                                                      oil for frying                                         
1 tablespoon red Thai curry paste
1 tablespoon lime juice
Take a large bowl, add brown sugar and fish sauce and stir until dissolved. Add everything into the bowl, except the oil, and work the mixture with your fingers until thoroughly combined.
Keep your hands wet to roll the mixture into 24 balls or 12 large cakes because the mixture will be soft. Place each ball on a cookie sheet and flatten with the palm of your hand. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Heat the oil in a skillet and fry in batches 2-3 minutes on each side. Drain on a paper towel. Place each cake on a serving platter and spoon a teaspoon of sweet chili sauce over top or serve it on the side. Here's a picture of how I served it for a small gathering.
If you're serving as an appetizer, add a toothpick to the center for easy handling. If you really want to get fancy, cover the bottom of the plate with banana leaves, lettuce leaves, or a bunch of cilantro in the center with the sauce on the side.  Here's a picture of the cake from another gathering where guests scoffed them down so quickly, I barely had enough time to take a picture. That should tell you of how good these are.

Sunday, September 13, 2015



Yes, you heard me right. A crockpot cake. Pretty awesome, isn’t it? Okay, let’s get started.

2  cups frozen pineapple, sliced (do not defrost)
1  tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla
1⁄4 cup brown sugar
Sprinkle of cinnamon
1 -9  ounce Jiffy white cake mix (or 1/2 package of a 2-layer size cake mix)
4  tablespoons melted butter

I used a large crockpot and coated the inside with cooking spray

Measure out the two cups of frozen fruit. I used pineapple for this recipe because I didn't have any other frozen fruit, but I'd only use peaches or the pineapple. Add them to a mixing bowl first, then add the tablespoon of cornstarch and the vanilla extract; mix them together and put the mixture into the bowl.
Now, sprinkle the brown sugar over top making sure to spread it out so it’s covering most of the fruit as best you can. Use a couple shakes of cinnamon over the sugar

Next up is the cake mix. You can use Jiffy or half a box of regular cake mix. Make sure to break up any lumps. You don’t want to bite into the cake and wind up with a mouth full of cake flour dust or worse yet, a paste ball. Eww.

Melt the butter in a measuring cup and pour it right over the top. Cover the mixture with the lid; set the slow-cooker on high and let it cook for 3 to 3 ½ hours.


And when it’s done. Let it cool slightly. Now, unplug the crockpot and keep the lid on until you're ready to serve it. Understand that this will not come out looking like it's been baked in the cake pan, but trust me, that doesn't matter. When you're ready to serve it, scoop out a serving onto a dessert plate, add a scoop of ice cream. 4-6 servings of good old yumminess!!!

 Now, wait for it . . . wait for it!  BAM! You've just been crowned  "Chef Julia Wild!"


If you like these recipes, check out Dishing Up Romance, One Menu at a Time and Catering to Love. You'll find lots of recipes that you'll enjoy time after time.











Lightly grease the slow cooker/Crock Pot; place peaches in the bottom.

Sprinkle with cornstarch; toss.

Drizzle with vanilla and sprinkle brown sugar over all.

Sprinkle with cinnamon then cake mix.

Drizzle melted butter evenly over cake mix.

Cover and cook on high for 3 to 3 1/2 hours.

Monday, September 7, 2015


My family loves coffee cake. Specifically New York style Crumb Cake, of course, but my from-scratch recipe has a ton of ingredients and I wanted to write. So this afternoon I was on a mission to try to duplicate the recipe using Duncan Hines cake batter instead, and came up with this recipe. I use the mini-muffin tins so they're bite sized. I hope you enjoy them!


1 Duncan Hines Classic Butter Golden cake mix
1 tsp cinnamon
1 stick butter melted
2 eggs - ( No, that was not an error. The box says 3 eggs, but I want these to be denser)
1/2 cup of whole milk

Streusel Topping

3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar-packed tightly in measuring cup
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 stick butter, softened
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt


Prepare crumb topping by placing all ingredients into a bowl and using a pastry cutter, continue until your crumbs are the size of peas. DESPITE what some recipes say, DO NOT use your fingers to make your crumbs because your hot little fingers melts the butter and it won't form into crumbs. Set aside.

Using a large bowl or a mixer, place dry ingredients into the well, add cinnamon and stir to combine. In a glass measuring cup, soften the butter in the microwave, add milk and eggs; blend until smooth. Pour over the dry ingredients and beat on high speed until smooth.

Place cupcake papers into the tins. Using a tablespoon, scoop the batter into each cup so it's half full. Now, here's the trick to keep your crumbs from sinking into the batter. Bake the cakes for 5 minutes, pull out of the oven and using a spoon, cover each cake with the streusel crumbs. Return to the oven for another 5 minutes.

Once cooled, sprinkle confectioner's sugar over top.

Yields 30 mini-crumb cakes