Archive for August, 2009

Like me, my cousin Natalie has grown to love cooking as a result of always being around our moms (who are sisters) and our late grandmother who were/are always cooking up the most delicious things.  She left a comment about the No Pudge Brownies Zoe featured a week or so ago, and also included a recipe for Nectarine and Banana Muffins that she and her mom made, which she claims are absolutely amazing (I don’t doubt it…my mouth is watering just thinking about them).  I thought I would post it so that everyone could take advantage of it before nectarines are out of season!  Thanks for sharing Natalie! 


Hey girls I would just first like to say that the “no pudge” brownies are amazing! After seeing them on your website I visited the grocery store and picked up a box myself. It is so nice to be able to eat brownies without having to worry about all of the sugar and fat that usually comes along with them! Thank you for sharing Zoe!

On another note….I was very bored today and we had some very ripe bananas laying around so I decided to make some banana bread, however, I could not find our recipe for it so I wandered over and grabbed my mom’s muffin cookbook and found something that sounded even better. The result were Nectarine and Banana Muffins and let me tell you these were the best muffins I have ever had! Here is the recipe…..

-generous 1/3 cup sunflower-seed or peanut oil, plus extra for oiling (if using) …..(my mom and I used regular vegetable oil)
-generous 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
-1 tsp baking soda
-1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp allspice (we used cinnamon)
-1/2 cup shelled almonds, chopped
-6oz ripe nectarine, peel and chopped (we did not peel)
-1 ripe banana, sliced
-2 large eggs
-1/3 cup thick strained plain or banana-flavored yogurt

Preheat the oven to 400*F. Oil a 12-cup muffin pan with the oil, or line it with 12 muffin paper liners. Sift the flour, baking soda, salt, and allspice into a mixing bowl. Then add the superfine sugar and chopped almonds and stir together.

In a separate bowl, mash the nectarine and banana together, then stir in the eggs, remaining oil, yogurt, and almond extract. Add the mashed fruit mixture to the flour mixture and then gently stir together until just combined. Do not over stir the batter – it is fine for it to be a little lumpy.

Divide muffin batter evenly between 12 cups in the muffin pan or the paper liners (they should be about two-thirds fill). Transfer to the over and back for 20 minutes, or until risen and golden. Remove muffins from the oven and serve warm, or place them on a cooling rack and let cool.

****To add a delicious crunchy topping to these muffins. put 3 tablespoons raw sugar and 1 teaspoon allspice in a small bowl and mix together well. Just before transferring the muffins to the oven, sprinkle some of the spiced sugar over each muffin.

These muffins are a delicious summer treat and are even better since nectarines are in season!

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Mango salad

I am leaving for Kauai this evening until Monday, and so when I went to make my lunch today, I tried to use as many of the perishable items as I could.  The result was a very delicious (I am literally eating it right now) salad of fresh, locally grown greens, sliced up mango and avocado, fresh goat cheese crumbles, and a homemade dressing of olive oil, vinegar, stone ground mustard, and chopped sweet maui onions (yay for my emulstir!).  Can you say YUMMERS!  So easy and so good, I definitely recommend you try it before mango season is pau (which btw if you are on Oahu, Down to Earth on King street has the most amazing selection of local mangoes and the price won’t kill you)!

*Just a side note, I made a version of this salad a few weeks ago for my eat local dinner party, and in that I added crushed caramel covered macadamia nuts…..such a yummy addition if you have them around!

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The other night I made Szechuan Tofu from Another Taste of Aloha (recipe HERE).  When I was at the grocery store shopping for ingredients, they only had gigantic eggplants, so big that two would have been way more than I needed or wanted.  So instead I got one eggplant and a zucchini, which has a similar density to eggplant and is perfect for this kind of dish.  I chopped the zucchini in thick slices, quartered and added them at the same time I added the eggplant.  It was so good I don’t think I will ever make it any other way ever again!  Served over brown rice it made for the perfect warm and comforting yet super healthy meal. xoxo, e

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Frittatas are so yummy and can really be served for any meal. I love making them for dinner when I feel like having something comforting, warm, and yummy. My mom sent me this recipe a few months ago and it is DELICIOUS! I love artichokes so it is perfect for me! When I have frittatas for breakfast, I serve them with fruit. When I have them for lunch or dinner, I usually serve them with a green salad. Toast and butter is also a fabulous side to have with your frittata! 


  • 2 6 oz jars of marinated artichoke hearts (in oil)
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • Salt and pepper to tase
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • Dash or two of tabasco
  • 2 tbsp minced parsley
  • 2 cups grated cheddar


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Drain marinade from artichokes into frying pan. Chop artichokes and set aside.
  3. Sauté onion and garlic in marinade.
  4. In a large bowl, mix eggs, bread crumbs, salt, pepper, oregano, chili powder, and parsley.
  5. Stir in cheese.
  6. Add in artichokes and onion/garlic mixture and mix well.
  7. Pour into a greased 8×8 casserole dish or pan and smooth down.
  8. Bake for 30 minutes, then let cool for a bit and serve warm.


Served with French Toast for our Christmas Breakfast

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This is an all-time favorite summer side dish for a potluck dinner or BBQ. My mom has been making this for as long as I can remember, and I guarantee that it will be a hit at any party!


  • 2 broccoli crowns, chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 1 cup raisins or craisins
  • 6-8 green onions, sliced
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds


  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar or red wine vinaigrette 


  1. Prepare dressing by mixing together mayonnaise, sugar, and apple cider vinegar or red wine vinaigrette in a small bowl.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the broccoli, green onions, and raisins or craisins. Add in the dressing.
  3. Mix everything together except sunflower seeds in a large bowl
  4. Refrigerate for 3-4 hours, stirring occasionally. 
  5. Add sunflower seeds in right before serving.

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Here is another recipe courtesy of Cooking Light’s September issue. This will be a great fall and winter party appetizer that I will definitely make soon!


  • 1 (8 oz) round Brie cheese
  • 2 tbsp dried cranberries
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 40 low-sodium 100% whole-wheat crackers (such as Triscuits)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Using a serrated knife, remove topmost rind from cheese, discard rind. Place cheese, cut side up, in a small ovenproof baking dish; sprinkle with cranberries and thyme. Top evenly with nuts. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until cheese is soft and warm. Serve immediately with crackers. Yield: 8 servings (serving size about 1 oz cheese mixture and 5 crackers).

Nutritional Information

Calories: 188

Fat: 11.6g 

Protein: 7.9g

Carbs: 15g

Fiber: 2.1g

Cholesterol: 28mg

Iron: 1.1mg

Sodium: 291mg

Calcium: 54mg

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I found this recipe in this month’s Cooking Light magazine and it looked so delicious that I absolutely had to post it. I love quesadillas because they are easy to prepare, quick to cook, and yummy to eat. This would be a great meal idea for a main course, or even could be served appetizer style. I can’t wait to try this recipe soon!

The recipe is as follows…

Ingredient Shopping List:

  • 1 cup fresh corn kernels (about 1 large ear)
  • 2/3 cup (5 oz) goat cheese, softened
  • 8 (6 inch) corn tortillas
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions (about 1 green onion)
  • 10 tbsp bottled salsa verde, divided
  • Cooking spray


Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add corn; sauté 2 minutes or until browned. Place corn in a small bowl. Add goat cheese to corn; stir until well blended. Divide corn mixture evenly among 4 tortillas; spread to within 1/4 inch of sides. Sprinkle each tortilla with 1 tbsp green onion. Drizzle each with 1 1/2 tsp salsa; top with remaining 4 tortillas.

Heat pan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Place 2 quesadillas in pan; cook 1 1/2 minutes on each side or until golden. Remove from pan, keep warm. Wipe pan clean with paper towels; re-coat with cooking spray. Repeat procedure with remaining quesadillas. Cut each quesadilla into 4 wedges. Serve with remaining 8 tbsp salsa.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 223

Fat: 8.9g

Protein: 9.9g

Carbs: 28.6g

Fiber: 3.2g

Cholesterol: 16mg

Iron: 1mg

Sodium: 226mg

Calcium: 75mg

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IMGP3733This is a family favorite recipe that I love love love! It’s great to serve when entertaining or if you need to bring something to a party. If you are bringing it somewhere, it’s best to bake it there so that it can be eaten fresh right out of the oven!


  • 8 oz block cream cheese (softened)
  • 8 oz container sour cream
  • 10.5 oz can jalapeno bean dip or 10.5 oz can of plain refried beans
  • 1.5 oz package taco seasoning mix
  • 6 green onions, sliced
  • 1 cup grated mexican cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine softened cream cheese and sour cream with a hand mixer
  3. Stir in green onions by hand
  4. Add bean dip, taco seasoning mix, and a few dashes of tabasco
  5. Place in shallow baking dish
  6. Top with cheese and bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes, until cheese starts to brown and bubble.

Serve with blue or yellow corn chips.




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    This is another favorite recipe that my mom would often make while we were growing up. I love how the cheese gets so crispy and yummy on the chicken during the baking process. This tastes best to me served with wild rice and broccoli. This recipe is super easy, has just a few ingredients, and is really fun to make. Once you try this cheddar chicken, you will want to have it again and again and again! 🙂


    • 3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
    • 2 cups grated cheddar
    • 2 cup original flavored breadcrumbs
    • 2 eggs, whisked in a small bowl
    • Olive Oil


    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    2. Mix cheddar and breadcrumbs together onto a plate.
    3. Dip chicken in eggwash and then roll in the breadcrumbs/cheddar mixture. If the mixture doesn’t completely stick to the chicken, don’t worry. You will sprinkle more on top after. Place chicken breast in a casserole dish (lined lightly with olive oil). 
    4. Complete the process with the remaining chicken breasts, placing them side by side in the casserole dish. The olive oil on the bottom of the casserole dish will prevent the chicken breasts from sticking to the dish. 
    5. Sprinkle the remaining cheddar/breadcrumbs mixture on top of the chicken. 
    6. Place in the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes, until cheese is browning and crispy. 

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    This is a wonderful dessert to make since the zucchini in it makes it a guilt-free cake! My mom sent it to me after I told her about the abundance of zucchini I have been receiving from my friend Jessica’s mom’s farm. I have been having so much fun cooking with zucchini and this is a great way to use it up! 🙂


    • 1/4 cup butter
    • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
    • 1 3/4 cup sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    • 1/2 cup buttermilk
    • 2 1/2 cups flour
    • 4 tbsp cocoa
    • 1/2 tsp baking powder
    • 1 tsp baking soda
    • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
    • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
    • 2 cups grated zucchini
    • 1 6 oz package chocolate chips


    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    2. Cream butter, oil, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and buttermilk.
    3. Sift dry ingredients together and add in gradually to the creamed ingredients.
    4. Mix in zucchini and chocolate chips.
    5. Grease and flour a bundt pan.
    6. Place in the oven and bake at 350 degrees for one hour (it may take 5-10 minutes more, test with a skewer to be sure that it comes out clean and that the top is firm, not soft and gooey.
    7. Let cool before serving.

    Serve with vanilla ice cream!

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