Easy Cheesy Breakfast Bake

This is a delicious filling breakfast dish that you can easily make for brunches, playdates, lazy Saturday mornings or whenever you have a hankerin for a special (but simple) breakfast. You can put the whole thing together the night before and just pop it in the oven at your leisure in the morning. I absolutely LOVE recipes you can make in advance. You won’t believe how easy it is to throw together. You’ll be out of the kitchen in about 10 minutes flat. [Read more…]

S’mores Bars

Baseball equals s’mores. Bear with me. I swear my thoughts make logical sense in my head. I’ll try to help you keep up. Today, I went outside because I saw a bright yellow orb in the sky. I had to find out what it was. The sun! Fantastic! My husband used the opportunity to teach our son how to catch a ball. Thankfully, Zack is wise enough to start with a tennis ball instead of a baseball. Donovan need a little work on keeping his eye on the ball.

Catch it!

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Samoas Bars

Girl Scouts, and their cookies are evil. Little girls in little outfits, their adorable patches and vests and all those delightful rectangular boxes of deliciousness. Eager smiles and bright eyes saying “Would you like to buy some cookies?”. I managed to avoid them this year. I hid my face, pretended to be deaf, did all I could to find an entrance not blocked by a table loaded with treats. Why did I do that? Now they are all gone. And I don’t have any boxes stashed in my freezer. Woe is me! Whatever will I do? (breathe Tonya, just breathe) Ok. I found this idea for homemade Samoas Bars and knew I’d found a perfect solution. Shortbread base, topped with caramel coconut and a drizzle of chocolate. All the awesomeness of my favorite Girl Scout treat, and from my own oven. Hooray! Oh joy! Rapture! [Read more…]

BBQ Pulled Pork

Why is it when working out at the Y, the only good thing on TV is the Food Network? It kills me to watch fabulous dishes being made while I’m dripping sweat and struggling to breathe. But, since I don’t have cable television in my house (mostly because if I did, all I’d do is sit and watch the Food Network), I’m thankful for the great ideas I get from watching Rachel, Ina, Paula, Bobby and Guy at the gym. This week it was Paula Dean. This is the first recipe I’ve ever tried of hers. They always look amazing, but I’ve never actually remembered to look up the recipe once I get home. I think I’m in an indoor BBQ kind of mood because apparently in Seattle we’re going to skip right over Spring this year and go directly from Winter to Summer sometime in July. Seriously…I think there was a frost this week and I broke out my flip flops yesterday because it was going to be a whopping 58°. [Read more…]

Secret Ingredient Revealed

I had some feedback from my sister today. She was not happy that I didn’t share the second secret ingredient in my America’s Test Piggy’s Parlor Buttermilk Pancakes. She wanted to make them and felt they wouldn’t be super awesome if she didn’t know the secret. Just in case any of the rest of you felt the same way – I’ll let you in on the mystery. Most of you probably add it to your stuff already. I know it’s certainly the magic behind all my Bakerlady goods. Below is “Piggy” revealing his secret to “Fox” after years of building trust. This is what makes his pancakes so truly special. Add this to your baked goods and be amazed.

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Vintage Cheese Ball

For some reason, I associate cheese balls with the 60’s. Not that I was around then. But I just picture people hanging out, having cocktails and noshing on crackers and cheese…shaped like a ball. Anyway, I decided to make one for our Mom’s Day BBQ with the family. It is a quick easy and absolutely delicious appetizer sure to please a crowd. Totally groovy baby. Pay attention to the amount of ranch dressing mix. Any more than an ounce package and your cheese will be too salty. Also, it’s best to let this ball sit in the fridge overnight to allow the flavors to all jive. You’re gonna be so jazzed when you taste this! It’s outta sight! [Read more…]

America’s Test & Piggy’s Parlor Buttermilk Pancakes

I’ve had a go-to pancake recipe for a while that I love. My kids gobble them up, they come together quickly and I make dozens of batches thru the year. Today I was pondering what to do for dinner and (thanks to a breakfast for other meals conversation I had earlier in the day) I got the hankerin for a nice fluffy stack of hotcakes. I decided to deviate from my normal recipe mostly because I had some buttermilk in the fridge that needed to get used up. So, I pulled out my trusty America’s Test Kitchen (ATK) cookbook and got to work. [Read more…]

Tres Leches Cake

Tres Leches Cake is named exactly what it is. Three milk cake. I love cultures that just call things what they are. Not like in America where we park in the driveway. But I digress. I saw tres leches on many menus when I was in Costa Rica a few years ago as it is a traditional Latin American dessert. It’s a pretty simple idea that when done right is pure evil. Take a light sponge cake and soak it in a mixture of cream, sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk. The combination of those milks plus a couple of my own special ingredients took a basic cake mix and made it phenomenal. Anyone can make this. It is insanely easy. [Read more…]

Buffalo-Style Empanadas

Empanadas originated in Spain and eventually made their way around the world in various forms. The name comes from the verb empanar meaning to wrap in bread. Some countries fill the dough with meat, some with sweet fillings or vegetables. I decided to combine the standard fare of the midwest (BBQ) with the Spanish tradition of empanadas. Mmmmm. Tasty. I know, it’s not really a traditional Mexican food. But for many years I’ve made enchiladas or tacos on Cinco de Mayo and today I wanted a little something different.
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Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cookies

For over a week I’ve been craving chocolate and zucchini. Yes together. No kidding. It’s good. Really! I mentioned my mom’s chocolate chip zucchini cake in a post just before Easter and I’ve had a hankerin’ for it ever since. Today I realized that I had a lone leftover zucchini hanging in my crisper drawer just begging to be used. Alas, when I checked the chocolate cake recipe I realized I would need 2 zucchinis to make it. Sad day. I could have popped out to the store to fix my dire need for more of the green courgette (go ahead…click on it…it means zucchini I promise) – but I wasn’t in the mood to make a special trip. Instead, I looked for recipes that would utilize my measly 1 zucchini and still give me my chocolate fix as well. Bingo! Chocolate chip cookies with zucchini in them. I know how amazingly moist cakes and breads are when zucchini is added to the mix and I couldn’t wait to imbibe that same quality into a classic cookie.
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