Sunday, December 23, 2012

Chocolate Mint Cookies

Chocolate mint sandwiches
Chocolate mint sandwiches
Recently I came across some yummy looking cookies on Pinterest; Andes Mint cookies. I couldn't find any Andes Mints at the store with the exception of Christmas peppermints, so I grabbed a box of Fernwood's Chocolate Mint Sandwiches and gave the receipe a try. 
Cookbook Bites: Chocolate Mint Cookies recipe review
Chocolate Mint Cookies
Chocolate Mint Cookies
1 box of Devil's Food Cake mix
1/2 C oil
2 eggs

After Baking
1 package Fernwood chocolate mint sandwiches

Combine the cake mix, oil and eggs. Drop by spoonful on to cookie sheet and bake at 350 for about 8 or 9 minutes. The cookies will start to crinkle a bit when they're done. Take the cookies out of the oven when done. In the meantime I cut the mints in half. As soon as the cookies are out of the oven, depending on the size of the cookie, put 1 to 2 mint pieces on each and wait 5 minutes. After the 5 minutes are up take a spoon and spread the now-melted chocolate around.

Recipe Source: Andes Mint Cookies from Six Sisters' Stuff

Monday, September 10, 2012

Pear, Brie & Sliced Almond Grilled Sandwich

Silver Lake, Utah
Silver Lake, Utah
Because I'm not a food stylist, I wanted to share some pictures with you of Silver Lake that I took yesterday. It really is a beautiful place.
Silver Lake, Utah
Silver Lake, Utah
A couple of weeks ago I bought a wedge of brie with the intent to make some lovely, melty brie and pear sandwiches for my family. So tonight my daughter went out to eat with a friend and my husband was like "why would you mix those ingredients?" So, this scaled down nicely to a serving for one. It was melty and subdued compared to a grilled cheese made with sharp cheddar. The pear slices were perfectly ripe, the almonds that fell into the pan toasted and brought a nutty flavor to the sandwich.

Pear, Brie & Sliced Almond Grilled Sandwich
5-6 slices of Brie (with the rind trimmed off)
1 pear (cut into slices)
1-2 T sliced almonds (optional)
2 slices whole wheat bread
1/2-1 T butter

Butter one side of one of the pieces of bread and place it butter side down in the frying pan. Cover the bread with slices of pear, then add the slices of brie, and sprinkle with almonds. Butter one side of the remaining piece of bread and place the bread on the sandwich butter side up. Turn the stove on medium low. Allow the bread to brown, then before flipping the sandwich "pin it" together by adding toothpicks, pushed through diagonally from the corners. This will hold the sandwich together. Flip the sandwich to allow it to brown on the other side, and for the cheese to melt.

Recipe Source: I've seen this all over the place. It's just another version of a grilled cheese. :) This is how I made it.

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Friday, August 31, 2012

The Chocolate - a dessert cafe

"The Chocolate" cafe is located in a cute old house on 9118 South and Redwood Road in West Jordan, Utah. I've driven past it a few times and have been meaning to stop. Today I ran home to pick up my daughter after school and we went there as a special treat, for after-school snack.
There are pretty gardens, and even a few roses, that lead up to the front door--which has stained glass (a good sign, of "charming"right?) You order at the front desk when you enter, then find a place to sit and they bring you your order.
Charming is a good word to describe this little cafe. There are several rooms, each set up with dining spaces that are cozy and welcoming. I loved the little details like the flowers on the mantle--and how clean it was!
We decided to share an eclair and a piece of cake with a cup of tea. The desserts were very good and it was a nice place to chat and pass a rainy afternoon.

9118 South Redwood Road
West Jordan, Utah  84088
801 566-5330

Have a nice evening!

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The Chocolate, a Dessert Cafe on Urbanspoon

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Oatmeal with Peanut Butter & Banana

There's just something about a yummy breakfast that makes the day start rolling a little easier. This oatmeal is one of those combos. This recipe is a whole different thing from the pre-fab packets of flavored oatmeal. If you like the following ingredients separately, give this a try. Oatmeal with peanut butter and banana also seems to be a good breakfast for sustained energy. Maybe it's the carb/protein and potassium (from the banana) combo? I hope you enjoy the recipe (it's really good!)

Oatmeal with Peanut Butter & Banana
1-2 C Milk
1-2 C Oatmeal
1 banana (ripe and smashed with a fork)
2 T peanut butter (chunky or smooth)
1-2 T brown sugar (or Splenda brown sugar) optional

Add your milk to a pan and heat. Add the same amount of oatmeal, as milk, to the pan and stir to combine. (It's okay to put a little more oatmeal than milk. If there's more milk than oatmeal the oatmeal will be runnier.) Cook the oatmeal on medium to medium/low for 5-10 minutes (watch the pan so the mixture doesn't boil over) and then take the pan off the heat. This makes 1-2 servings.

For each serving: smash a banana in the serving bowl, add a serving of oatmeal and stir to combine. Stir in 1-2 T peanut butter and add brown sugar if you want. This makes a great breakfast if you need to pack it to-go with you.

Enjoy your breakfast!


Sunday, July 1, 2012

Frozen Lemonade

It's been in the high 90's and cold drinks are becoming a highly sought after treat--but going out for them adds up ($$$). We were out in the heat a lot yesterday and this drink saved the day!

Frozen Lemonade
2-3 C ice
1/3-1/2 can lemonade concentrate
1+ C water

Frozen Lemonade (Light)
2-3 C ice
2/3 can sugar free lemonade
2-3 T lemonade concentrate
1-2 T lemon juice (fresh squeezed)

Add the ingredients to your blender and blend on high. If the blender is just spinning and not blending, try adding a little more water  and shake down the ice so the pocket of air created at the bottom is gone. If the mixture is too liquid-y add more ice. Once blended taste the slush to make sure it's lemony enough. If not, add another spoonful (or two) of lemonade concentrate and/or squeeze fresh lemon juice in (to taste). Serve in an insulated travel mug (so it won't melt as fast) with a milkshake spoon and a straw.

Source: Me. Inspiration? Beans and Brew.

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Sunday, June 24, 2012


My daughter and I took a road trip to Oregon where we followed the Pacific Coast Highway 101 from Astoria down to Florence. We saw all sorts of neat things like waterfalls along the Columbia River Gorge, Haystack Rock, the Devil's Punchbowl--it's a neat place to visit! While we were there we were able to catch up with one of my daughters friends and his family. They offered to make us homemade Venezuelan food for breakfast. His mom, Keyla, made arepas which are flat biscuits that are crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. They were served hot so when you add cheese, it gets kind of melt-y. We made sandwiches of cold cuts and cheese and they gave me a package of PAN corn flour so I could try making them at home. They said use equal parts of flour to water and showed me the texture of the dough. His dad also explained that I could also replace some of the PAN with whole wheat flour to make them healthier. This morning I pulled out my cast iron skillet and gave the recipe a try.

1 C water (lukewarm)
1/2 t salt (kosher) optional
Cooking spray or butter

Add the PAN flour to a mixing bowl then dissolve the salt in the water and add to the flour. Mix until combined then knead the dough. Next pull off some dough and make a ball (about 2-2 1/2 inches) then flatten the ball to about 1/2 inch thickness. Spray the cast iron pan with cooking spray and brown the arepa on each side on medium low (takes about 5 minutes) you can flip them as they brown, then put them in the oven at 350 for 20-30 minutes. When they puff a little they're done. Split the arepas in half and add cold cuts and sandwich toppings.

Recipe Sources: My friend Keyla (Gracias!), and also the Venezuelan Arepas recipe from the Venezuelan Cooking blog.

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Sunday, May 27, 2012


Yesterday I went hiking. It was a rainy cold day and my husband made a really good meatloaf. I'm adding his recipe to the blog so I can find it again--and so you can try it too. The meatloaf went really fast. I don't have any pictures. The leftovers are being delivered to his mom's house as I'm posting this. That's why I'm sharing hiking photos instead.
 The hike was the Mineral Fork trail up Big Cottonwood Canyon.

1 lb Ground Beef
1 lb Pork
1/4 Red Onion (chopped)
1 C Lays Potato Chips (crushed)
1/2 C Sliced Mushrooms
1/2 C Ketchup
Onion Salt (1/2 t? - amount is your choice)
Garlic Salt (1/2 t? - amount is your choice)

Onion Salt
Garlic Salt
Oregano (crumbled)

Combine ingredients and put into a loaf pan (or pans). Spread ketchup over the top then sprinkle with onion salt, garlic salt and oregano. Bake at 375 for 1 hour (until temperature is safe).

Recipe Source: Eric Nikolaisen

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Cinnamon Roll Cake

I woke up early today so I decided to try a new recipe spotted on Pinterest thanks to my co-worker Mindy. It's called Cinnamon Roll Cake. Since it makes such a huge pan of cake it's going to the office with me to share this morning. (Cake results? Very good! Like a soft cinnamon roll!)

Cinnamon Roll Cake
This recipe has three parts. The batter, then the streusel that goes on top before baking, then the glaze that goes on after the cake has finished baking.

3 C all-purpose flour
1/4 t kosher salt
1 C sugar
4 t baking powder
1 1/2 C milk
2 eggs
2 t vanilla
1/2 C butter, melted

Streusel-like Topping
1 C butter (softened)
1 C brown sugar (I used Splenda brown sugar)
2 T flour
1 T cinnamon

Mix all batter ingredients together (without the butter. Once the ingredients are combined add the melted butter in little "bursts" and combine. Pour into a prepared 9x13 pan.
Combine all of the streusel ingredients in a separate bowl. I used a pastry cutter. Then using two spoons "Drop" the streusel mixture like very small drop cookies evenly over the batter and swirl with a knife as best as you can. I couldn't exactly "swirl" it, but that's okay because I think the effect is similar to a coffee cake. Bake at 350 for 28-32 minutes then toothpick test to see if it's done.

2 C powdered sugar
5 T milk
1 t vanilla

Drizzle the glaze over the cake while the cake is still warm.

Recipe Source: Cookin Up North: Cinnamon Roll Cake (who said they got the recipe from Life as a Lofthouse)


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Sunday, April 1, 2012

Hot Cocoa Mix (Dairy Free)

This version of the Hot Cocoa Mix gives you the choice of what milk you want to use in your hot cocoa. I'm pretty sure you could use soy, almond, hemp, coconut, etc. At our house milk free of rBGH (a.k.a. recombinant bovine growth hormone), pesticides and antibiotics means one less migraine trigger. I recently had another awareness that staying away from milk free of hormones meant sour cream, yogurt and cheese too. Totally obvious. Sigh.
The brands of milk that currently seem safest for us (being rBGH, pesticide and antibiotic free) are Horizon and Tillamook. A few years ago we took a tour of the Tillamook Cheese factory in Oregon. Their farmers are part of a co-op. They make great cheese and the factory staff made one mean chocolate shake!

Some other milk producers state they're rBGH free, but they don't say they're free of pesticides or antibiotics. I've noticed an asterisk on the label that takes you to the fine print assuring consumers that there's no problem with rBGH. So, no problem unless you're sensitive or allergic to it? Scientific proof in the way of hypothesis, multiple tests with various brands--result: when we cut out dairy with rBGH (hormones), pesticides and antibiotics, there are less migraines. If you've ever had a migraine... less migraines=awesome! I had just made the cocoa mix from Alton Brown with, you guessed it--milk powder, when I realized I needed to make a hormone free version.

Hot Cocoa Mix (with No Milk Powder)
2 C powdered sugar
1 1/8 C cocoa powder Dutch process
2 t corn starch
1 (scant) t salt
1/4 C Splenda brown sugar
1/4 C mini chocolate chips (really good*)

Mix ingredients together with a spoon or fork. To make a mug of cocoa, combine two heaping spoonfuls of mix (to taste) with hot milk.

*The tiny chocolate chips melt at the bottom of your mug, for a last hit of chocolatey goodness.

Recipe Inspiration/Source: Alton Brown's Hot Cocoa Mix

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Sunday, March 4, 2012

Zucchini Brownies

Last week my dachshund Squirrelly was diagnosed with problems in his back and his neck and we've had to keep him in his kennel when we're not able to sit by him. He's not the type of dog to rest, but the medicine seems to be helping him sleep. I was going to make the family Zucchini brownies last week, but we were all taking turns sitting with him and I didn't have time. Today, during my husbands shift, I grated zucchini, mixed, baked and now the Squirrel is wrapped in a blanket and asleep on my foot, front paws crossed and snoring.
Recently I made a couple of produce bags out of an old green t-shirt while I watched the movie Illusion on Gaiam. The movie was kind of a funky blend of new age meets redemption. Kirk Douglas was very good. The bags have held up with apples, blood oranges and you guessed it, zucchini's! And they've survived the washing machine, I think I'm hooked. :)
The brownies turned out more like a cake/brownie. Chewy, but lighter than a brownie. Next time I'd use more walnuts. I think I'll serve it with some vanilla yogurt. (BTW Squirrely enjoyed the other half of the applesauce cup that I used in the brownies.)

Zucchini Brownies
2 C grated zucchini
1/4 C cinnamon applesauce
1/4 C (+ 2 T) plain Greek yogurt 
2 t vanilla
1 t salt
2 C all-purpose flour (unbleached)
1 1/2 C sugar
1/4 C cocoa
1 1/2 t baking soda
1/8 C walnuts chopped

Preheat oven and grease your baking pan. Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda and cocoa. In a separate bowl combine vanilla and kosher salt (I tried to get the salt to dissolve) then add the yogurt, applesauce and zucchini and mix. Grate the zucchini then add, along with the wet ingredients to the bowl with the dry ingredients and combine. Spray your brownie pan with cooking spray then add the batter and sprinkle the nuts on and press into the batter. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean

Recipe Source: Food Finery: Zucchini Brownies, my edits are in orange.



(WW PointsPlus: makes 16 brownies, 4 points each)

Note: I won't be making these again. They weren't anything like you'd expect from a zucchini baked good, so they're not going on the recipe index.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Hot Cocoa Mix

The grocery store has been out of the cocoa mix that I like, so instead of buying brands I don't like I thought I'd try making my own mix. Here's Alton Brown's recipe so you can make your own hot cocoa mix too!

Hot Cocoa Mix
2 1/2 C powdered milk
2 C powdered sugar
1 C cocoa powder Dutch process (I added about 1/8 C more)
2 t corn starch
1 (scant) t salt (not kosher)
cayenne pepper sprinkles (left this out)
1/4 C Splenda brown sugar
1/4 C mini chocolate chips

Alton says to fill mug 1/3 full with mix and combine with hot water.

Recipe Source: Alton Brown's Hot Cocoa Mix 



Sunday, February 5, 2012


It took me a while to wrap my brain around Muesli, a breakfast cereal developed over a century ago by a Swiss physician, and yet Muesli has become a staple at my house. My daughter has it in her lunch 2-3 days a week and loves it. I send about 1/3 C muesli with Greek Honey yogurt. (My post in 2009 was my introduction to Muesli.) I can't always find muesli at the store. So I've been looking over muesli recipes to see how you make it. It looked really easy, and like you can make it to your individual taste preferences.
Raisins with the cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and almond extracts sprinkled on.
Chopped almonds ready to be pan toasted.
Mixed together.
Taste test above. The toasted almonds really sparkle in this and I liked the touch of the almond extract that shone through as well. (I bet coconut would be really good too.)

3 C rolled oats
1-2 T Oat Bran
Coconut (really wanted to use this, but was out of it)
1/2 C+ Almonds (chopped0
2/3-1 C Raisins
1/2 t Almond Extract
1/2 t Vanilla Extract
1/2 t Cinnamon
1/8 t Nutmeg (fresh grated)

I was not really 100% scientific about measurements with this recipe. 1/2 lid of vanilla and pour in enough raisins so you'll actually run into one every once in a while... you catch my drift. With the exception of the spices and extracts I think you can be kind of flexible. To get started add the oats and bran to a mixing bowl. Add the raisins to the oats then sprinkle on the cinnamon and nutmeg and then the almond and vanilla extracts. Stir to combine. Chop the almonds and toast them in a non-stick pan. Add almonds to oat mixture and stir to combine. At this point I tossed about half of the mixture back into the pan to toast the oats a little. When slightly toasted add back to the main bowl and stir to combine.

Want to make your own muesli? Google "muesli recipes" to get ideas of how other people put theirs together. Some people add sesame and sunflower seeds, others add walnuts, others make it fresh and add fresh apples. The biggest things that seem to separate muesli from granola are:

  • The rolled oats are raw
  • No added fat like butter or oil
  • No added sugar
  • No sweetened sauce baked on (the original recipe called for condensed milk that would have covered this!)
Note: If you like granola check out Almond Granola and Chocolate Granola (which is very good) if you'd like to try them too!

The original recipe for Museli is on the Wikipedia post about Muesli and it looks really good!



Sunday, January 1, 2012

Cookbook Bites Most Popular Recipes

Last night at midnight we went out the front door to welcome in the new year. Like pretty much every year, it becomes immediately apparent that we're the only one's in the neighborhood (at least in close proximity) who bang pots and pans. I can't help feeling like a rebel disturbing the peace with my soup pan and spoon in hand, clanking away into the darkness, welcoming the new year with my daughter beside me.

With the new year I thought I'd share some Cookbook Bites trivia that you might find interesting, including "all-time" most popular recipes in case you haven't seen them. Also, I love the global community who visit, so I've included a short list of where the majority of our blog readers (like you) are coming from. (You can see a bigger list here.) In the new year I hope you'll say "hello" in the comments! (If you're not 100% sure about writing comments in English you might want to try Google Translate.) Thanks to everyone for visiting! And good luck with your cooking adventures in the coming year!

Most Popular Recipes

Cookbook Bites Visitors Hail From:
  • United States 
  • Canada
  • United Kingdom
  • Netherlands
  • Malaysia
  • France
  • India
  • Australia
  • Russia
  • The big list

Happy New Year!



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