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Shamrockin’ shake!

22 Mar

As you might know, I try to avoid dairy at all cost. But sometimes, you just really need a shamrock shake!!

My boyfriend and I tested this recipe, and it is fantastic, and the best part…dairy free!!  This totally hit the spot, yummmm!

Shamrockin' shake for two!


Here is the recipe (makes 2 shakes):

2 c. vanilla soy ice cream (almond ice cream would work too)

1 & 1/4 c. almond milk

1/4 t mint flavoring

8 drops green food dye (optional, but makes it look just like the fast food version)

Blend and enjoy!!


Lets talk calories now…for those of you who can indulge in dairy maybe this will sell you on my version!

Shamrock shake from your favorite fast food joint: 740 calories

Dairy free version: 305 calories

Having fun making shamrockin’ shakes at home: priceless!


Playing Hooky

18 Mar

Where the heck have I been? Playing hooky, that’s where. This is going to have to be an extra long post to make up for my lack of blogging lately!!

I was on spring break for a week, I visited Anna Maria Island, in FL. Ate lots of seafood, got  to spend a lot of time with family, met some family I had never met, relaxed, and ate some more seafood! I also collected more family recipes while I was there, from my Great Aunt Joyce,  looks like there is going to have to be a sequel to my cookbook to include some of the treasures she shared with me. It was a great week off of school!! But all good things must come to an end.

My Dad, Cousin Jan, Myself, and my Mom, enjoying a fantastic dinner. This is where I had the tasty strawberry salad, continue reading for more about my new salad addiction

My Dad and I enjoying a celebratory pineapple martini (note his little brother martini, and my grown up martini!)

My Great Aunt Joyce, she is such a joy!

Fast forward to this week>>>>>>>>I finished my cookbook! I sent it to the printer Wednesday, and now I am waiting for my first copy!!! But that doesn’t mean it is time to stop cooking!

While I was in Anna Maria I had this wonderful strawberry salad. When I returned to Michigan I decided I had to try to replicate this salad. It was lots of strawberries, a little spring greens, candied nuts, and a thick goody balsamic reduction (the restraunt also put blue cheese on the salad, for the home version I skipped the cheese). Strawberries are not quite in season yet, so the ones I got were from Florida, but soon enough I will be making this salad with fresh local berries!

Cut up lots of strawberries, I mean lots!

Cook some pecans with butter and brown sugar, allow to cool.

Make a simple balsamic reduction, allow to cool in a small glass jar.

Plate with a little spring mix, a pile of strawberries, candied nuts, and the balsamic reduction.

The best part about making this at home is you can lick the plate, guilt free.

Even though my cookbook has been sent to the printer that isn’t the end of my project. I still have to plan the installation. Today I went to lots of thrift stores, collecting objects to complete the installation, stay tuned to see how this turns out!

Just a sneak peek at some of the items that are going to go into my installation! Lots more to come!

And thats still not all!! I ordered some new business cards that are the same theme as my cookbook. These will be at my senior show for people to take with them if they want to know more about the project, this blog, my website, or want to get in touch with me! I ordered the cards from Moo. What an awesome company. They have great customer service, they helped me make some tweaks last minute, and the cards turned out better than I could of imagined. The quality is just stellar!

My Moo cards arrived in these awesome boxes, I'm a sucker for good packaging.

Moo customer service is beyond amazing, I highly recommend this company. Here is the front of one of the three different cards I got.

The back of my business cards have a recipe and a link to my website. I am not sure if it is a business card, or a recipe card? Hmmmm...

Notice the quality of the paper, thick and matte, ahhhh I love nice paper.

Well I think that was the longest blog post ever! Thanks for hanging in there folks!

And Then There Were None

25 Feb

Cooking my last recipes today!! (yipee!) Only have a few left!!

I am thinking after this cookbook is done my next blog will be about eating out or drinking beer, because both of those seem easier than cooking my way through all of my families recipes. I think my next blog will be about drinking my way through all the local craft beers at Sicilianos Market…hmmm, I will ponder this further…

Here are some of my last food photography shots, they turned out really fun and playful. Still more cooking to do today though, brownies, chocolate gravy, and popovers still remain…

Nanas bon bons

More bon bons and more sprinkles!

Nana's famous chocolate cookie sheet cake!

My kitchen mid lots of cooking!

Egg cream and okra… please enjoy separately.

8 Jan

Today is my last day of Christmas Break. Okay, well, tomorrow is Sunday, so I have 1 more day. But today is my last day at home. Finishing up final photographs, and gathering last recipes. Tuesday is my first senior show class! I am so ready to get started working on the design of my cookbook, now that I have a lot of the photography and research done. Here are some little morsels to enjoy!

Copying down some old recipes from home, my mom got a lot of these recipes from her mom, and she got them from her mom, before she moved from Missouri to Michigan, in 1987. In the early 90's she got a typewriter and converted the recipes to typed recipe cards.

Silver dollar pancakes, or Country House pancakes. A very thin pancake, unique flavor, has yeast in it that makes it very different from a thick fluffy pancake. No other pancake compares!

Pancakes with blueberries from Beulah MI, my parents froze them this summer, like a little taste of summer! This is one of my favorite meals.

My great grandma Ellis's cole slaw, my cousin Heather sent me this recipe, it is a lot like my moms recipe. I love this slaw, it is a vinegary slaw, perfect with fish.

This is an egg cream. My grandma used to make these for me as a special treat. Egg creams originated in Brooklyn New York, in the 1880's. I have no idea where my grandma learned to make them, but they are delightful. And no, it does not contain egg! It is chocolate syrup, milk (or milk substitute for those of us who can't eat dairy), and seltzer water or club soda. If the straw doesn't stand up in the foam then your egg cream is not foamy enough!

Fried okra, what can I say, it is...heavenly. My mom learned how to cook it the proper southern way from my great grandma Ellis; bacon grease, cornmeal, flour, and a hot cast iron skillet.

Busy Day of Cooking

2 Jan

I am so tired, my mom and I cooked and did photography all day today in preparation for my cookbook. We made pasty pie (a Michigan tradition). A tomato relish, my grandfather gave me this recipe, also made popovers and honey butter! I am too tired to explain anymore…just look at the pictures!

Tomato relish, spicy and sweet and vinegary

Popovers, still need to perfect my recipe though

Honey pecan butter for the popovers, very tasty!

Pasty pie, similar to a traditional pasty but baked like a pie! This is a twist on a pasty that my mom created.

Classic Cooking

2 Jan

Sometimes it is interesting to investigate the origins of family recipes. After asking around I have found a few great cookbooks that many of our family favorites originated from. The recipes may have changed some over time, or maybe the cookbook is long forgotten and all we have is a scrap of paper with the recipe scribbled down. I have found a few classic cookbooks that contain some of my favorite family recipes, these cookbooks are good standards to just have around.

I found this in the front of Paul Prudhomme's cookbook, looks like I gave this to my mom when I was a wee 5 years old, I had good taste way back then.


This is a favorite cookbook, and a classic, Paul Prudhomme. My favorite is the Michigan Pasty Pie (I am cooking that tonight, pictures coming soon) It is quite possibly the best pasty pie you will ever have. So flavorful and moist you will forget that anyone ever suggested gravy on a pasty pie.

Michigan Miners Pasties, if you don't know the history of this particular Michigan favorite check out the story here.

You know it's a good recipe when there are sticky finger prints and seasonings stuck all over the pages.

My grandfather recommended this book, another classic! I found a copy for $3.20 used! Martha Dixon was a popular chef from Lansing Michigan in the 1950's and 1960's. She hosted a television show and had this wonderful cookbook. My favorite family recipe from this cookbook is the Country House Pancakes. It is a yeast pancake, very thin, and bubbly. Like no pancake you've ever had! We call them Silver Dollar Pancakes at my house (somehow over time the name changed). I have spent lots of time looking through this cookbook and I can't wait to try more recipes from it!

You can almost smell the syrup and butter, can't you?

What I Have Been Eating

30 Dec

Been working through some more family recipes, and doing some more food photography! Here is what I have been eating…


My grandfather gave me this recipe, it is baked tomatoes, very good!


My mom rolling out dough for dumplings, this is my great grandmothers recipe (my moms, moms, mom!) A southern classic!


Mom cutting the dumplings


letting the dumplings dry before flipping them


Homemade waffles with butter and syrup for dinner!