Thursday, February 27, 2014


Cheesecake, yummy, fluffy, simple and perfect cheesecake. 
My Aunt Brandy makes the best cheesecake! Like, I'm pretty sure she IS the Cheesecake Factory. I'd definitely say making cheesecake is a form of art, and I'm still in the finger-painting stage.
Mine cracked a bit, but you know what? It didn't effect the taste! I sent her a picture and she suggested looking into a "warm bath", so I went and did just that for about an hour but I decided it wasn't worth the hassle like she said. Plus I was ready to drink a beer.

It was fun to text her pictures of my progress, and use my Euna Mae's Vanilla. I'm constantly trying to channel my inner Euna Mae, Ree Drummond, and grandmothers when I cook. My stomach, hips and thighs are proof! *blush*
you only live once! 

Aunt B's Cheesecake
 A Northwest Cheesecake Supreme recipe

Servings:Serves 10-12


  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs (approx 6 crackers)
  • 3 Tbs sugar
  • 3 Tbs butter/margarine, melted 
  • 4 8oz packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 Tbs flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 Tbs vanilla
  • 1 21oz can cherry pie filling 


  • 1
    Combine graham cracker crumbs, 3 Tbs sugar, and butter/margarine; press onto bottom of 9" springform pan. Bake at 325°, 10 minutes.
  • 2
    Combine cream cheese, sugar and flour, mixing at medium speed on electric mixer until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Blend in sour cream and vanilla; pour over crust.
  • 3
    Bake at 450°, 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 250°; continue baking 1 hour.
  • 4
    Loosen cake from rim of pan; cool before removing rim of pan. Chill.
  • 5
    Top with pie filling just before serving.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Orange-Glazed Chicken

This orange-glazed chicken is so easy, it's like, "Woah! I'm done with dinner, already!?" fast.
I highly suggest it for any week-night meal. Pair it with whatever your heart desires. My heart desired rice and veggies, so that's what he got. ;)

Orange-Glazed Chicken

4-6 chicken breasts (or whatever chicken pieces you prefer)
2 TBS Olive Oil
1/2 C. Orange Marmalade*
1/3 C Balsamic Vinegar
3/4 C. Water
1 TBS chopped rosemary
Salt and Pepper to taste

* A couple things about Marmalade
1. It's located with the Jams & Jellies at the grocery store
2. All my grocery store had was Orange and Ginger Marmalade, and it was good! 

Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper
Heat oil in a large, deep nonstick skillet over medium-high heat;
add chicken and cook 3-minutes on each side, or until lightly browned, and almost done.
Whisk together marmalade, vinegar, water, rosemary and pour over chicken in skillet
*Don't Cover*
Cook over medium-low heat, about 3 minutes or until sauce has thickened and chicken is done.

Mine didn't ever thicken, but that's because I covered it and didn't allow it to breathe. It still tasted great! I just seriously can't get over how little of time it took, dinner was served quick!


Friday, February 21, 2014

Morning Glory Muffins

These Morning Glory Muffins are such a yummy breakfast option, they're filling so one or two (depending on their size and your appetite) can get you through to lunch! I can recall going into bakery's when I was younger and getting one, such a treat!

Morning Glory Muffins
Makes 22-24 Muffins
Inspired by:

1 sugar
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shredded, sweetened coconut
3/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans or walnuts

3 eggs
3/4 cup vegetable (or olive) oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 large apple, peeled and grated
1 cup (8oz) crushed pineapple, drained
2 cups grated carrots

Preheat oven to 350*F and line muffin pans with paper liners.

In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt.
Add the coconut, raisins and nuts, and stir to combine, then set aside.

In a separate (large) bowl, whisk the eggs well, then add oil and vanilla.
Add grated apple, pineapple and carrots and stir until well combined.

Add the bowl of dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and blend until fully incorporated.

Scoop the batter into one of the prepared muffin tins (using an ice cream scoop works great). Fill liners almost full.

Bake 22-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

No-Fire Cookies

Or should we call them "no MORE fire" cookies. 
My brother had not one, but two fires right beside his house in less than three days between them. 

1st one- pyro negligence. 
2nd one- his electric fence caught the ground on fire. 

Needless to say he's lucky to have a house. 

His darling girlfriend (and more importantly my friend) Jaime brought these awesome creations to Sunday night dinner at my parents house. We went nuts over them!

No (Camp) Fire Cookies
By Jaime Newberry

Graham crackers (2 crackers = 1 cookie)
Chocolate chip Cookie dough (from scratch, or already prepared) 
Hershey Bar (one square per cookie)

Place 1-3 marshmallows on top of  chocolate chip cookie dough then place on top of graham cracker, bake at 325 degrees F for 5 minutes, take out of oven and add Hershey's bake 2-3 more minutes, or until Hershey's pieces start to melt. 

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Spicy Peanut and Vegetable Stew With Couscous and Cilantro

This was surprisingly yummy, healthy and so pretty! I was in the process of prepping the vegetables, and thought to myself "Why am I cooking this? No ones going to like it." 
Au contraire, negative thoughts! 
It's delish! 

This makes a huge pot
 I'd say it serves 6-10 people. 

Spicy Peanut and Vegetable Stew
With Couscous and Cilantro 
Prep: 10-15 minutes
Cook: 20

28 oz can of diced tomatoes, undrained
1 lb Brussels sprouts, thinly sliced
3 sweet potatoes, peeled & diced 
2 carrots, sliced
1 large onion, sliced 
2 cloves garlic, chopped 
5 C. Vegetable broth, divided
6 oz can tomato paste
2/3 C. Raisins 
1/2 tea salt
1/2 tea crushed red pepper 
1 C. Natural peanut butter
6 oz package couscous
2 TBS chopped fresh cilantro 

Combine tomatoes, Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, carrots, onion and garlic in large Dutch oven
 (6 qt +) or saucepan. Add 4 C. broth; bring to boil, reduce heat, and simmer 12 minutes. 

While stew is simmering make couscous according to package. 

Stir together remaining 1 C. Broth, tomato paste, raisins, salt, crushed red pepper, stir broth mixture into stew and cook stirring every 2 minutes. Whisk in peanut butter, whisking until blended and stew is thoroughly heated. Serve with couscous and Cilantro.  


Thursday, February 13, 2014

Meme's Mac & Cheese

Sunday nights at my parents house-
You can always count on a yummy home cooked meal by my mom, but more importantly our boy has named her, Meme (Meem).
I brought the dessert, and Meme did everything else.
My mom is the type that you could call her and say "Hey, we're coming over, you got anything to eat?" and lo and behold she always has something to eat! She's just like that.I aspire to be like that!
That's southern hospitality right there, y'all.
This is a dish my brother and I have ate all of our lives, it's a keeper. So I get to share it with you.
Fresh  from the 1976 Better Homes & Gardens New Cook Book, and as always modified by mom.

Meme's Mac and Cheese
1 1/2 C Elbow Macaroni*
3 TBS Butter
2 TBS All-Purpose Flour
1/2 TEA Salt
Dash Pepper
 2 C Milk
1/4 C Finely chopped onion (optional) 
8 oz / 2 C Sharp American Cheese**, cubed. 

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees 
Cook Macaroni in boiling water, drain. 
Meanwhile in saucepan, melt butter, blend in flour and salt and pepper.
Add Milk and stir until thick and bubbly. 
Add onion and cheese, stir until melted.
Mix cheese mixture with macaroni
place in 9x11 or 8x8 (depending on how much macaroni you prepared)
Bake 35-40 Minutes

* Meme does 3 C of Mac to cut down the creaminess and make the dish serve more.
** Use the cheese you prefer, Meme likes a Mild Cheddar or even a Velveeta. 

There you have it folks, easy peasy Mac and Cheesy. ;)
Thanks Meme. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

savory popcorn

Every once in awhile my husband and I pull out the ol popcorn popper and pop us some popcorn. James is very traditional, and likes it with just a tiny bit of butter, me I like to garnish it with something sweet or cheesy. Well, to say the least I kind of got into a popcorn rut!
Giada has a interesting twist on popcorn, a more savory way of having it. So I modified it and gave it a shot, yummy, yummy! This recipe is now my go-to for our popcorn creations!

Popcorn with Herbs de Provence 
inspired by Giada

1/4 Cup olive oil (or any healthy, light oil you have on hand)
2 large garlic cloves, minced. (or 1/2 TEA dried, minced garlic)
1 1/2 TEA dried herbs de provence*, crumbled.
1 1/2 TEA sea salt, (maybe try kosher salt or coarse ground)

*HdP consists of:
basil, fennel seed, lavender, marjoram, rosemary, sage, summer savory and thyme
so, if you don't have any, but have some of the above, give those a try! 

Your popcorn amount and oil as desired.
we do ~ 1/4 C oil and 1/2 C popcorn

In a small saucepan, combine 1/4 C oil, the garlic and the HdP. Cook over medium about 3 minutes, remove from heat and let stand. 
Pop your popcorn, via stove top, microwave, popper etc.
once popcorn is popped, put popped corn in a large bowl and drizzle oil mixture (strain off garlic and HdP if desired). Mix together and sprinkle in salt.
Enjoy either hot or room temp!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

2 for 1 Meals: Leek & Potato Roast; Hominy Pork Soup with Cilantro

I wasn't going to share this one, y'all.
It's pretty obvious that I love me a good 2 for 1 recipe, but on the night of the Leek and Potato Roast I thought to myself "meh, this could be better."
But then night two came around, and it was time to make the Hominy Pork and Cilantro Soup
This clip is exactly how I felt about this recipe when I took my first bite of the Hominy Soup-

So I feel that it's my duty to share it with you, even if you just have left over pork roast some day, do the soup! If you even *think* you love hominy, do. the. soup.

Also Friends: Let me know if you like this style of recipe sharing, or the typed out variety. 


Look at you, thirty-two

This week we celebrated my dear husbands 32nd Birthday!
James' favorite cake is "yellow cake, chocolate icing" plain and simple.
In the past his mom has always made him a cake, but with this years weather I assumed it would be a long while before she was able to make him a cake and get it to him. SO with my glorious 9" round cake pans I bought for my Hummingbird Cake escapade I embarked on making a simple box-cake for my man.
Side note: box-cake, holy crap THAT was easy!
So my sidekick and I baked the cake, while the cake cooled we goofed off around the house doing nightly duties, like feed bubbles and take a bath.
: cut to a couple hours later :
I pull out his (remember per his request) store-bought chocolate icing, and get to cracking...
and it wouldn't spread...

{Did I mention it's the dead of winter, propane prices through the roof so we're conserving by keeping our house 60 degrees?? No I probably didn't mention that.}

It wouldn't spread and it wouldn't spread causing the cake to peel off, I grab the jar and read over it, nothing about microwaving it, adding anything to it, nothing. By this time my little sidekick is getting antsy, you can see it in his eyes "I wanna do that!!" So I call over my husband, explain to him that I can't get it to spread, and I've torn the whole thing up. I hug him, tell him happy birthday anyways and really it will still TASTE good even though it doesn't LOOK good. ---
So, we let the 18 month monkey have the reins. *blinks*
He LOVED it!
In the bottom two pictures he's looking back at James. Love.
{Calm down ovaries}

Just a bit more and I'll be quiet:

Since James' cake didn't turn out, one of our prestine pie makers made him a Pecan Pie, and since the weather was so bad, James got to remotely work from my work on his bday, that was a lot of fun!

Tru made his daddy a birthday card:

And being the practical wife that I am: 

James collects 2 dollar bills, so I've been collecting for quite a while now and gave him my little stash. 

And to just go ahead and completely assure you all that we're old as $h!t-

I bought my hubs a compost bin.
Because:"Life's a garden, dig it."

Friday, February 7, 2014

White Bean & Chicken Chili

 This meal was meant for a dinner party, but Old Man Winter had other plans, so instead, my darling husband and I enjoyed it ourselves! I thought at the very least we could share the recipe with you! 

Just a few notes: the tortilla chips were a lot of fun to make, be indulgent and make MORE than what the recipe calls for! James thought that the chip/dip ratio was way off causing us to have a lot of dip left over! Also incorporate whatever you like in your "avocado dip" AKA guacamole, right!? James really, really liked it but I just felt it was missing something, still can't put my finger on it. 

We both really loved the chicken chili, plus it's fun to say "chicken chili" chicken chili

White Bean and Chicken Chili

With Quick Oven Tortilla Crisps and Avocado Dip
crock pot - clean eating 
an amazing eMeals recipe 

White Bean and Chicken Chili

3 C. chicken broth
2 C. chopped onion
1/2 C. fresh cilantro
2 TBS dried oregano
1 1/2 TBS Chili powder
1 1/2 TBS ground cumin
8 cloves garlic, minced
3 (14.5oz) Cans Great Northern Beans, drained and rinsed
1 lb boneless chicken breast (or thighs) cut into 2 inch pieces
1 poblano chili, seeded and chopped
28 oz can fire-roasted diced tomatoes (i just bought 2 normal sized cans)
3/4 C. shredded cheddar cheese

Combine: broth, onion, cilantro, oregano, chili powder, cumin, garlic, beans, chicken, poblano and tomatoes in a 5-7 qt slow cooker.
Cover and cook on LOW for 8 hours.
Serve sprinkled with cheese
(I added a TBS of sour cream to mine, because it's fancy)

Side Dish
Quick Oven Tortilla Crisps and Avocado Dip

6 corn tortillas, thawed and cut into 6 wedges each
1/4 C. canola oil
1/4 TEA salt and 1/4 TEA pepper
1/4 TEA ground coriander
3 Avocados, peeled and cored
1/2 C. chopped tomato (next time I will do 1/4 C)
1/4 C. chopped red onion (I will do less on onion next time too)
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 TBS lime juice
1/4 TEA Salt and 1/4 TEA Pepper
2 TBS chopped green onion

Side Dish Instructions:
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
toss tortillas with oil
sprinkle tortillas with salt, pepper and coriander
arrange tortillas on a baking sheet
bake 10 minutes, or until browned and crisp: stirring twice
place avocados in a bowl
mash with a fork until slightly chunky
stir in tomato, onion, garlic, lime juice and the remaining 1/4 TEA of salt and pepper.
Sprinkle with green onion
serve with your chips! 


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Tried and True Brownies

This brownie recipe belongs to Tru's great-great grandmother, Mary. Everyone in the Jech family makes them and all you have to say is "Mary's brownies" and it's like, "Awe yeah! Gimmie!".
I hope you like them as much as we all have!

Also notice on the recipe card, If recipe cards could talk this one would say, "look, I know what I'm doing so just follow along and don't veer off, sheesh!"Although I never met her, I have a pretty good feeling she was a little spit-fire!

Mary's Brownies
James's Great-Grandma

2 eggs
1 cup of white sugar
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 TEA vanilla extract 
1 stick of butter
2 squares (2 oz) of unsweetened chocolate
Preheat oven 350 F 
Melt butter in brownie pan. This serves duel purpose, melts butter and greases pan. Melt chocolate in separate pan. 
Beat eggs, add sugar, flour and vanilla, mix well by hand. Add melted butter and chocolate to mix, mix by hand, not in mixer. 
Be sure to scrape out butter well so brownies won't be greasy. Pour mix into 8x8 pan and bake for 20 minutes, no more, no less.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Baked French Toast Casserole with Praline Topping

I like to do nice things, 
because I want to.
So that's why one particularly snowy Monday I brought this casserole to my coworkers. 
Because I love them, and I want them to eat fattening things with me. :)
This is originally a Food Network recipe, but the Jech Deck altered it!

 Baked French Toast Casserole with Praline Topping


1 loaf French bread (13 to 16 ounces)
Note: I used a sour dough loaf and it was yum!

6 large eggs 

2 cups half-and-half*

1 cup milk

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional)

Dash salt

Praline Topping, recipe follows

Maple syrup

*Don't have half and half? substitute 7/8 C of milk and 1 TBS butter per every 1 cup of half and half you don't have. (melt that butter though!) 


Slice French bread into 20 slices, 1-inch each. (Use any extra bread for garlic toast or bread crumbs). Arrange slices in a generously buttered 9 ,by 13-inch flat baking dish in 2 rows, overlapping the slices. Sprinkle cinnamon and nutmeg in between layers
In a large bowl, combine the eggs, half-and-half, milk, sugar, vanilla, and salt and beat with a rotary beater or whisk until blended but not too bubbly. Pour mixture over the bread slices, making sure all are covered evenly with the milk-egg mixture. Spoon some of the mixture in between the slices. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Spread Praline Topping evenly over the bread and bake for 60 minutes, until puffed and lightly golden. Serve with maple syrup.


Praline Topping:

1 stick of butter, melted

1 cup packed light brown sugar

1 cup chopped pecans

2 tablespoons light corn syrup

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional)


Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and blend well. Makes enough for Baked French Toast Casserole.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Tex-Mex Bakers

This meal has been hands down one of my favorite eMeals. I love it because it's vegetarian/veganable and very fresh / healthy!!! I can't wait to make it for some friends! Even if we go to a pot-luck style lunch I make the sides, and they are a hit! Even with the kiddos!

Tex Mex Bakers
Black Bean Saute and Pan Roasted Cilantro Snap Peas

Main Dish Ingredients
4 (6 oz) Baking potatoes, scrubbed
1 1/2 TBS Olive Oil
1/4 C. (1 oz) Manchengo cheese, shredded (we used either cheddar or mexican blend cheese)
1/4 C. chopped red bell pepper
2 TBS butter
1 TEA Salt and 1/2 TEA pepper
1 TEA chili powder
1/2 TEA ground cumin
1/4 TEA ground coriander
2 TBS thinly sliced green onion

Main Dish Instructions:
Pierce potatoes several times with a fork
coat potatoes with oil
wrap potatoes individually in foil
arrange potatos in a 4 qt + slow cooker
cover and cook, low for 8 hours
unrap potatoes and slit open tops
add cheese, bell pepper, butter, salt, peppber, chili powder, cumin and coriander
mash ingredients into potatoes and sprinkle with green onions

Side Dish Ingredients
1 TBS olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 TBS Lime Juice
1/2 TEA Chili Powder
1/4 TEA Cumin
1/4 TEA salt and pepper
1/4 Cup thinly sliced green onion
1 TBS Olive Oil
1/4 Lb sugar snap peas, trimmed
1/4 tea salt and pepper
1/4 C. chopped fresh cilantro <--- br="" definitely="" fresh="" get="" on="" one="" the="" this="">
Side Dish Instructions:
Heat 1 TBS olive oil in saucepan over medium-high heat
add garlic, cook one minute, stiring constantly.
add beans, lime juice, chili powder, cumin and 1/4 salt and pepper
bring to simmer
simmer 10 minutes
stir in green onion
heat 1 tbs olive oin in skillet over medium-high heat
add peas and 1/4 Salt and pepper
cook 6-minutes or until peas are crisp-tender
remove from heat- toss with cilantro