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Category Archives: Pie’s Recipes

Hugs and Kisses Chocolate Chip Cookies

In the spirit of it almost being Valentine’s Day, I decided to start testing some recipe ideas for my little one’s school Valentine’s party.   Since her request was something pink, I thought about making pink chocolate chip cookies and I tried a recipe sponsored by Betty Crocker’s sugar cookie recipe and I did not like them.  I thought of shortbread cookies and that they may be a good option since the recipe did not need to be modified for not having eggs in them, which will compromise the color of the cookies due to the yoke.

I pulled up my favorite recipe by Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa, and did some modifications.   I guess if you change three things to a orignial recipe, it can be called your own, according to the Culinary Art Institute.  So here it is!  They turned out WONDERFUL and super cute!  Exactly what I wanted!

Recipe: (I stared the items I changed from the original recipe)


  • 3/4 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 5 drops of Pink food coloring or 2-3 drops of red food coloring – depending on the color pink you want. *
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar *
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1-2 tablespoons of milk (to add a tad bit of moisture back into the batter once the flour has been added)*
  • 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips *


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together the butter, vanilla, and food coloring.  Mix until correct color is achieved.  Add 1 cup of sugar until they are just combined. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and salt, then add them to the butter-and-sugar mixture. Mix on low-speed until the dough starts to come together then add chocolate chips just until they are mixed through.  Dump onto a surface dusted with flour and shape into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least 30 minutes.  This is also good to make ahead of time and pull out each disk at a time.

Roll the dough 1/2-inch thick and cut with any shape cookie cutter. Place the cookies on an ungreased baking sheet or use parchment paper. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the edges begin to brown. Allow to cool to room temperature.

Thanks for coming and sharing a piece of “think pink” pie with me!

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Quick and Easy Comfort Food: Ravioli Lasagna


While in the midst of doing a million Christmas crafty-craft projects I am going to take a moment to post a quick and easy comfort food family favorite I came up with this year.  Everyone loves lasagna and everyone loves ravioli, what do you get when you meld the concept of lasagna with ravioli?  A wonderful surprise twists two very classic dishes!   This dish literally takes about 15 minutes to throw together and about 40 minutes in the oven and it tastes like you cooked all day If you would like to freeze it, skip placing it in the oven and just freeze it.  Pop in the oven for about hour covered (pull cover off the last 15 minutes).  This is a great dish to make for a meal to bring for a new baby etc…


  • Package of ground turkey, ground beef or Italian sausage
  • 3 9-10 oz packages of per-made ravioli (you usually can find them in the refrigerator section – Costco also carries them) I mix it up and add one cheese base ravioli and then a spinach based ravioli for the other two
  • 1 container of ricotta
  • 1 jar of your favorite marinara
  • 2.5 cups of mozzarella cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Spray olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 425.
  2. Brown meat and while browning meat, bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  3. Add salt and pepper to taste to browning meat.
  4. Once meat is browned and water has reached a boil, toss in the three packages of ravioli into the water and boil for about 3 to 4 minutes (if you toss in frozen boil for about 6 minutes) They don’t need to be fully cooked through, you want them to be very firm and they will finish cooking in the oven. 
  5. While the ravioli is boiling add jar of marinara and bring to a simmer.
  6. Once sauce is at a simmer (which should be within a minute or so) add the entire contents of the ricotta to the sauce and blend well.  Keep stove on low to medium and let simmer until ravioli is done
  7. Strain ravioli carefully so they don’t break and begin the layering process.
  8. Spray a deep baking dish with non-stick olive oil spray (Pam or veggie spray oil).
  9. Start layering with the first layer being the ravioli, then sauce, cheese and then ravioli.  Do this until all the ravioli and sauce is gone.  Top with cheese and place in the oven for about 35-40 minutes.

Serves about 8-10 servings.  Serve with a fresh salad and garlic bread.

Turkey Day Cupcakes!

Hello everyone! I had so much fun today making these with my kiddos.   We made the cupcakes and the toppers! 

Thanks for coming and sharing a piece of “early Turkey Day” pie with me.

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Cartridge: Mini Monograms for circle cut at 1 3/4, 2 3/4 and 2 1/4

Cuttlebug: Distressed Stripes

Paper: Die Cuts with a View – Harvest Gatherings, Recollections cardstock

Glossy Accents

Ink: chocolate – Close to my Heart


Wilton lollipop sticks – 4 inches


Cooking With What You Got In . . .

 . . . your CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) box.    Yes, we are very blessed to live in an area where we can participate in a local CSA program.  When we recently decided to participate in the CSA program I made a commitment to myself that I was going to cook and try everything that came in my box.  Last week I found myself pulling out gold beets and rainbow chard.  YIKES!   I “googled” the two veggies and got a grasp of what they are and some ideas on how to prepare them and then formed two recipes on my own.  So, if you find yourself with a bunch of gold beets and rainbow chard, you now have some ideas!   I tend to get excited about cooking, so  I may get a bit carried away on the descriptions… but oh, how I love food!

This was the goodies in the box this week!

Thanks for sharing a piece of “how the heck am I going to make that” pie with me!

Roasted Gold Beets with Walnuts and Blue cheese or Gorgonzola

This is a dish I think I may put out on Turkey Day!  I would classify it as a hearty comfort food side dish that has a level of elegance that comes across that you may of spent hours in the kitchen with. The beets happen to have  a hint of sweetness, so the tangy cheese is a wonderful complement and the crunch of the walnuts was a perfect finish!    It would be really good winter warm salad!  Just add it to fresh spinach  and served with a balsamic dressing and a rustic bread.  I would serve with a merlot with a berry base – it would really pull the sweetness out of the beets!

Pre-heat oven at 375

Wash and cut 4 medium-sized gold beets into  1 inch chunks

Using a large cookie sheet, spread beets out on to it

Pour about 4-5 tablespoons of olive oil over the beets

Salt and pepper (I use Kosher salt) – take care in adding salt, the blue cheese/gorgonzola has a lot of salt in it.

Spread about 1 cup of walnut halves on cookie sheet

Mix all together until a nice coat of oil is on all the beets

Pop in oven and cook for about 35 minutes or until beets are starting to brown and are tender on the inside.l

Once out of the oven, pour into a serving bowl and lightly toss about 1/2 cup of blue cheese (you can substitute gorgonzola)

Server immediately!

Serves about 4-6

Lemon Rainbow Chard

This is a very bright tasting dish and stems have  a great crunch!  I felt like I was transported to a southern state eating my greens!  This would be a great side dish to go along side Beef Stroganoff- The lemon is a great way to balance out the cream in main dish. 

In a large skillet or dutch oven melt 1 tablespoon of butter and 3 tablespoons of olive oil

Add rainbow chard (about gallon sized ziplock bag full) and cook until it starts to cook down like spinach

Once starting to cook down, add salt and pepper to taste and then 1 full lemon squeezed.

Mix well and bring down to simmer and cover for about 3-5 minutes.

Serve immediately!

Serves 4-6

Did Someone say Pickles?

Yes, you heard right . . . Pickles!  My aunt introduced me to a cool method of making the BEST and I do mean the BEST pickles I have ever had without all the hassle of canning.  DZ Pickles is the name and easy and delish is their game!

Today I headed over to the local farmer’s market and rounded me up about 4 lbs of cucumbers and a bunch of fresh dill.  I then skinned a whole blossom of garlic (around 12 cloves) and added dried red HOT peppers (the type you get in Kung Pao).  I arranged everything in a plastic “gallonish” container, poured the DZ Pickle brine in and then topped with water.  It will need to sit on my counter for about 8 days- tightening the lid every other day or so.  

After the 8 days are up they are ready to go into the fridge and eat!  Yummo! They are crisp, spicy and flavorful! 

 Some fun news:  This past Wednesday, while I was at the zoo with a dear friend and out kiddos, we shared the Santa Barbara Zoo train and “ant hill” (an artificial hill that is covered with Astroturf that kids can slide down) with none other than Mel Gibson and his adorable little girl!  I know… regardless of all the tabloid nonsense, I love his movies and was  a tad star struck.  But being from Southern California, I see and have interacted with my share of Hollywood celebs, but he was a neat person to run into. 

I am almost done with my “big” Cricut project.  I have one more thing to do and I should be posting pictures tomorrow sometime. 

Thank you for coming and sharing a piece of life’s pickled pie today! 🙂

Did Somebody Say Pizza!

Even though I set my timer, I got a little distracted with the kids and let the pizza stay in the oven a tad bit longer than I would of liked. It was still excellent

Every Friday I have been making pizza for our family dinner for the past few years.  Today, I stayed home since the kiddos are suffering from the fist cold of the season and did not get a chance to head to Trader Joe’s and get their pre-made pizza dough (super easy and cheap way to go when making home-made pizza).  I do have the Cusinart Elite 16- cup food processor that has the ability to make dough, so I decided to give making pizza dough a whirl. . . BEST IDEA EVER!

I added a little twist to a recipe I found on ( .  I added an ingredient to the dough base that is something I find as my “go-to” ingredient.  It is a spice/herb mixture that I found at Costco a year or so ago  (which they now have discontinued! I now buy direct from the manufacture – yeah it is that good).  It is called Jonny’s Garlic Spread(–18oz_p_7.html) .  I use it as a base for dressings, italian sauces, rubs for meats (excellent on tri-tip) and now in pizza dough!

It was a big hit tonight, even the dog managed to sneak a piece off the counter while I was clearing the table (pizza is the only thing she will take from the counter at least she has per priorities straight).  The best part was my house smelling like a restaurant in Little Italy while the pizza was baking.  The garlic spread really added a wonderful essence via taste and smell!

It was super easy to roll out! I loved working with this dough!


  • 1 envelope active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water, 110° F.
  • 1  teaspoons sugar
  • 2 1/4 tsp (for rolling out) and  2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5 teaspoons of Johnny’s Garlic Spread


Put warm water in a cup; sprinkle yeast over water and stir in sugar; let stand for about 10 minutes, or until it begins to bubble.

Combine 2 1/4 cups flour, sugar, garlic seasoning and salt in a mixer or food processor that has the “dough” capabilities, if not you will have to go old school and mix and knead on your own ; pour in oil and yeast mixture and mix until a ball is formed.

Place in a large bowl greased with shortening or butter; turn dough over to coat the dough well.

Cover with towel and let rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes.

Dough should double in bulk. Punch down the dough and shape to fit a lightly greased pizza pan which as been sprinkled lightly with cornmeal. Keep dough slightly thick around the edges. Fill with favorite filling and toppings and bake for about 15 to 20 minutes at 425°

Happy Birthday Hubby!

Yesterday was the hubs birthday.  Here is a little something I whipped out for a card for him.  He loved it.  My 3-year-old and I made homemade cupcakes with cream cheese cupcakes.


Cricut Cartridge : Handy Man (Measuring Tape set at 3 inches)  and Mini Monograms (S stitch set at 1 1/2)

Card Base: iCraft – blank brown circle card

Die Cuts with a View:  Summer Stacker for “Happy Birthday” and Glitter Stacker for orange glitter paper

Recollections for base colors

Stickles for the bling outline

Button (from my personal stash)

Button twine from

Sentiment: My Pink Stamper

Ink: Michael’s Dollar Bin special:-)