Teaching to Learn and Learning to Teach

Orange Creamsicle Cookies
February 21, 2012, 8:03 am
Filed under: Cooking, Cool Finds, FUN!, recipes, These are a few of my favorite things..., tmc, work

I think these could be a new fave! They will be right at home in Sweazy where we love everything orange. I even had one for breakfast :).

Orange Creamsicle Cookies
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 firmly packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons orange zest 2 cups white chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and creamy. Beat in egg and vanilla until smooth. Gradually add flour mixture until combined. Stir in orange zest and chips.

Drop rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Do not flatten cookies; it will make them dry. Bake 8 – 10 minutes or until golden brown around edges. Do not over cook! Cookies will be plump. Cool for several minutes on cookie sheets before transferring to rack to cool completely. Store in airtight container.

Sweet Potato Stew
February 10, 2012, 10:21 pm
Filed under: Community, Cooking, Friends, FUN!, recipes, work

My coworkers and I have a little lunch club going on. It’s actually the female RD meeting, but we take turns cooking for each other. It gives us a chance to try out recipes that we wouldn’t necessarily be willing to try on just anyone. This week I hosted and I got a keeper. Here is my version of Real Simple’s Sweet Potato Chowder.


  • 1/2 pound turkey bacon
  • 1 whole orange, yellow, or red pepper
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 3 13-ounce cans chicken broth
  • 3 mild green chilies
  • 1 cup of frozen corn or half a bag
  • salt to taste


  1. Cook the bacon in a large stockpot over medium heat until it begins to crisp, 6 to 8 minutes.
  2. Add the peppers and onion to the bacon and continue cooking, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Because I used turkey bacon, I also needed to add a little olive oil at this stage.
  3. Add the sweet potatoes, chicken broth, and chilies and simmer, covered, 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
  4. Stir in the corn and ½ teaspoon salt and cook until heated through.

I served this with ham, apple, and white cheddar mini-paninis. We had home-made peach fro-yo for dessert. The blueberry fro-yo was a flop :(.

Back in the Kitchen

It’s been nice to be cooking again. I haven’t been gourmet; the meals have been simple. Instead of practicing entertaining, I’ve been practicing hospitality and you know what I don’t think anyone has noticed. It could, however, be a phenomenon of being around people who regularly eat caf food and think that anything homemade is spectacular or magical. Tonight, this is what was on the menu. I am going to use this again in the future. Simple but delicious.

Chipotle’s Basmati Rice Recipe

Here’s the recipe with some changes I made:

1 teaspoon butter   2 Tbs. fresh cilantro 1 cup white basmati rice   1 1/3 cup water 1/2 teaspoon salt   1 Lime
In a 2-quart heavy saucepan, heat butter over low heat, stirring occasionally until melted. Add rice and lime juice, stir for 1 minute. Add water and salt, bring to a full rolling boil. At boiling, cover, turn down to simmer over low heat until rice is tender and the water is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Fluff rice with a fork.

Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken

  • 2 chicken breast frozen
  • 14.4 oz can diced tomatoes with mild green chilies
  • 15 oz can black beans
  • 8 oz frozen corn
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 14.4 oz can fat free chicken broth
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper (to taste). I had to use 1/2 tsp of chili powder because I didn’t have cayenne on hand and because I didn’t know how my guests liked spice.
  • salt to taste
Combine chicken broth, beans, corn, tomatoes, cilantro, scallions, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, cayenne pepper and salt in the crock pot.
Season chicken breast with salt and lay on top.
Cook on low for 10 hours or on high for 6 hours.
Half hour before serving, remove chicken and shred.
Return chicken to slow cooker and stir in. Adjust salt and seasoning.

What should I do with the Bananas I get in the caf?
November 10, 2011, 7:14 am
Filed under: Friends, Good Advice, recipes, These are a few of my favorite things...

Make Bostwick’s Banana Bread

2-3 smashed bananas
2 1/2 c. flour
1 c. sugar
3 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp salt
3 TB oil
3/4 cups milk
1 tsp. cinnamon
dash of nutmeg

Combine wet ingredients with bananas. Add dry ingredients grease loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for about an hour.

Recipes I’ve Been Frequenting

Missy’s Marinated Tomatoes – Delish and Not Too Shabby as Far as Nutrients vs. Junk


Chocolate and Raspberries – Love this combo. Don’t know if this counts as a recipe, but my girls ate these up. Making them again soon.


Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls – I don’t make the frosting. I make my own cream cheese frosting (1 stick cream cheese, part of a stick of butter, and powdered sugar to taste). This last time I also spread some pumpkin on the dough with the butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon.


Pecan, Caramel, Pretzel Bites – Just got a request for this recipe. Once again, don’t know if this counts for a recipe, but they are a great trick to have up your sleeve and they are a great gluten-free snack or dessert if you buy gluten-free pretzels.


For a party tonight, I took the ingredients of my fridge, freezer, and pantry and made an apple crumble to go over ice cream. I didn’t taste it but someone called me a P.31 Woman. I think that means it was good, but it’s hard to tell with college students. They will eat just about anything. I mixed together four bags of cut up apples, 1/2 cup pumpkin, juice from one orange, sugar, and cinnamon. I placed that in a baking dish, poured one white dry cake mix over it, drizzled it with 1/2 cup melted butter, and baked until apples were cooked and topping was a toasty brown. Anything is better a-la-mode :).

Fall Fest

Apple Cinnamon Chai Trifle (Too Sweet)

Frosted Banana Bars (A Personal Fave)

Pub Mix (from Costco)

Apple Nachos (because I like all things nachos :) ) – basically caramel apples, but cut up with all sorts of fixings on top like caramel, chocolate chips, pecans, etc.

Carmel Pecan Pretzel Bites (Best of Show and they are a great gluten-free treat if you make them with gluten-free pretzels.)

HT: glorioustreats.blogspot.com

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies: Mix one yellow cake mix, one white cake mix, one 29oz can of pumpkin, 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice, and chocolate chips as you please. Enjoy for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert.

Image from glorioustreats.blogspot.com.

Brown bag flowers, one of many decorative touches:

HT: aplaceforusblog.com


Me Gusta Pinterest!

My Spanish may be lame, but my Pinterest boards are not. If you haven’t heard of or tried Pinterest you will love it. I joined months ago, but haven’t used it until this week. (I wonder why? I must have been busy or something :) ). I am in love… with Pinterest that is. It is like following blogs but it is so fast because it is all pictures and you can save everything you like to your boards and skip over anything you don’t like. I have a board for food, one for photos I like, one for event planning, one I call crafty… etc. So many good ideas all in quick images. Try it today. You know you want to :)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!