Category Archives: Keep Cooking

Baked Taquitos

(Food stylist I am not.)
So easy, yummy and kid friendly!
Beans and cheese, or taco meat and cheese, or anything you want.
Olive oil
Lay filling of choice in the center of the tortilla, wrap tortilla tightly, place seam down and well oiled pan. Brush olive oil on top and bake in 350 degree over for about 15 minutes, till tortillas are crispy.
Serve with guacamole, rice, and a side salad. (And a big slice of watermelon for dessert to finish things off!)

My Cinnamon Rolls

(Yes. They really look like that.)
1 3/4 cups of lukewarm water
1 1/2 Tablespoons granulated yeast
1 1/2 Tbsp. salt
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup of honey
1/2 cup of unsalted butter, melted
7 cups of unbleached all-purpose flour
Mix the yeast, salt, eggs, honey and melted butter with the water in a 5-quart bowl, or a lidded (not airtight) container.
Mix in the flour without kneading, using a wooden spoon. You may need to use wet hands to incorporate the last bit of flour.
Cover, not airtight, and allow to rest at room temperature until the dough rises and collapses (or flattens on top), for about 2 hours.
The dough can be used immediately after the initial rise but it is MUCH easier to handle when cold. So…refrigerate in a lidded (not airtight) container and use over the next 5 days. This is enough for three batches of cinnamon rolls.
(Tip: I usually mix the dough three days in advance, we find that the flavor is better when the dough ferments a bit)
On to the cinnamon rolls!! (are you still with me???)
The Caramel Topping (Don’t miss this! It’s what makes my cinnamon rolls special!)
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
* Mix together and spread evenly over the bottom of a 9 inch cake pan. This magical concoction will turn into a sweet, sticky, gooey caramel that will sink into your amazing rolls.
The Filling
4 Tbps. unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp of freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper (yup. you read that correctly)
1 cup of raisins
*Pull your bowl of dough out of the fridge, dust the surface of the dough with flour and cut off a 1 1/2 pound (roughly the size of a cantaloupe) piece. Dust the piece with more flour and quickly shape it into a ball. With a rolling pin, roll out the dough to a thin rectangle. Cream together your butter, sugar, and spices. Spread thinly over the dough, sprinkle raisins on top. Starting with the long side, roll the dough into a log. If the dough is too soft to cut, let it chill in the fridge for 20 minutes or so.
With a sharp serrated knife, cut the log into 8 pieces and place in cake pan with the “swirly” sides facing up. Let rise for about 1 hour.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees about five minutes before baking.
Bake the rolls for about 40 minutes or until golden brown and well set in the center.
Pull out of oven, and while they are still hot, turn onto a large serving dish. Make sure the serving dish has a lip around the edge or else all the gooey topping will fall onto your counter. DO NOT let the rolls cool in the pan or the Caramel Topping will make them stick.
And you’re done!! 🙂
Yes, a lot of work, but look at this picture! They are SO worth it!!

Recipe adapted from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, which you should own. Seriously.


The Cheyenne Burger

We recently took it upon ourselves to cook our way through Bobby Flay’s Burger, Fries, and Shakes cookbook.
So far we’ve made one, and then our friends went on vacation. Hurry back guys, we want more burgers!!

Next on the list to make: The Buffalo Burger!

Cooking with Alice

Tonight I made dinner all by myself. I love cooking with my girls, it’s so sweet when they help me stir, chop veggies, lick the spoon or dump ingredients into a pan. Every now and then it’s nice to cook without them, less concentration required, more quiet in the house, less mess. That was nice.

Of course I wasn’t completely alone. I did have some company. And while I would like to think she was there because she loves me so much, I think she was just hoping to eat stuff off of the floor.


Why would I think that? I mean, it’s not like every time she hears that Lexi is in her highchair Miss Alice goes scooting over to see what’s up.
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They are good friends, those two. I love them both to pieces.
Before I leave you tonight, please, check out Captain Alice’s love handles. Aren’t they the cutest?


We started off with having Eggs In A Hole. Or Eggs In A Basket. Or Man In A Boat. I’ve even heard of them being called Toad In A Hole.
I love them!

Morning was beautiful, we had a rock hunt in the yard and then the girls painted the rocks with my last little bit of paint in the house.

(Blurry picture, but very accurate.)

I spent the rest of the day talking to myself. Scolding myself actually.

“I’m so sick of waiting to live. When do we start living? We’ve been packing/moving/packing/moving for over two years now. What gives? When does it end?”
And then I say to myself, “Self, stop complaining. You have a roof over your head. Count your blessings. You are living. This might be the last day. Enjoy it.”
And then Grumpy Self says, “I hope it IS the last day. I’m tired. I don’t feel like a mom. All I feed these little people is PB&J. Our days feel like a Dr. Seuss book and I want out.”
And then I say to Grumpy Me, “The girls love PB&J! And they love Dr. Seuss! You are a mom, every day, like it or not, so be a good one. Circumstance don’t decided that!”
And then Grumpy Self says…
You get the picture.
Do you ever have to chew yourself out?
Then came my least favorite part of the day.
5:00 pm.
Brian asked what I needed. I needed two things. Would he please keep an eye on the popcorn popping while I went to the bathroom and could he take over Lexi’s bedtime.
I couldn’t do it. Not tonight.
As always, because he’s perfect for me, he stepped in and saved the day. (Thanks Hon!)
I gave the big girls some Ginger Honey Tea to soothe their runny noses and sore threats. They sipped on it while I read from Little House on the Prairie.
Maybe I do feel like a mom after all.


Almost every day we have a large pitcher of freshly squeezed lemonade. We’re definitely planting a lemon tree in our new yard next year.

The girls like to eat lemons like they’re apples, they suck on that sour juice and don’t even make a face.
How do they do that?

Grandma Bodin’s Coffeecake

I don’t know who Grandma Bodin is, but I’ve been using her coffeecake recipe for years.

Quick, easy, lots of cinnamon, streusel topping. Perfect for a brunch with friends, or quick grab and go breakfast on a weekday.


2 C. flour
1 1/2 C. sugar
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 C. butter
2 eggs
3/4 C. milk
1 tsp. cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a cake pan with butter.
In large bowl mix together flour, sugar, baking powder and cinnamon. Reserve 1 cup of this mixture for topping.
Add eggs and milk to remaining mixture. Mix well.
Pour in pan and sprinkle with reserved topping and bake.
This recipe is from the New Tribes Missionary Ladies of Venezuela. It’s one of my favorite cookbooks because it has recipes for mapuey, and lapa meat. The cookbook has been around the world, Venezuela, Costa Rica, the United States, and now Paraguay. The recipes seem to work everywhere, and why wouldn’t they? They were created or tweaked by ladies who were used to traveling all over the world. There are no recipes in here calling for “a box” of this or a “package” of that. They all use ingredients that can be found (or flown into) the deepest jungle or bustling city. Perfect for my life.
What is your favorite, have to have it, cookbook?

Shortbread Cookies

Recipe adapted from Apples for Jam
7 tbsp. butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 2/3 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 egg, lightly beaten
A few drops of vanilla extract
About 2/3 cup of your favorite jam (we used strawberry)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Have a large sheet cake pan ready, I lined mine with wax paper.
Put the butter and sugar in bowl and mix together till well blended. Add the flour and baking powder and mix them in. Add the egg and vanilla. Mix until compact and smooth. Place in zip top baggie in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes, or until dough is firm enough to roll out.
Divide your dough in half. Roll out one half on floured surface, gently place in your baking pan. (Drape it over your rolling pin to carry it over to the pan)
Spread jam on that half.
Roll out other half of dough, and place on top of jam. Pinch the edges closed.
Bake for about 15 minutes, or until it begins to brown in areas.
Let cool in pan for about 5 minutes then cut out shapes with a cookie cutter.
We started with a snowflake shape since that is the only cookie cutter that got left out of the Christmas box. Oops.
But then I got impatient so I just cut it all out into squares.
They still tasted good that way. Perfect with a cup of tea.

I’ve been asked.

I’m asked often how I get my kids to eat their vegetables.
They love vegetables.
So, here’s my big secret.
I get my kids to eat their vegetables by giving my kids vegetables to eat.

I don’t know if that is why they eat their veggies or not. Maybe I’ve just been blessed with three non-picky eaters?
But in case I’ve done something right, here goes:
  • Offer veggies all the time. For snacks, for meals, for teethers…
  • They must have at least one bite of everything.
  • They are never, ever, ever allowed to spit something out of their mouth. Unless of course the food is rotten and I didn’t realize it. Obviously, that hasn’t happened yet.
  • If they spit something out, I pick it up again and put it back in their mouth. Yes, I am a mean mother…but one, maybe two times of having to swallow “spit up” food and they never do it again. (Children who spit out perfectly good food…well, that’s a pet peeve of mine. Don’t get me started.)
  • Fresh, crunchy veggies are yummy. Soggy, gooey over-cooked ones are not. Offer the healthy variety.
  • Be gracious. Abbie only has to eat a small spoonful of beans when we have them. Elena does not need to eat a heaping pile of spicy food, but they should eat some.
How do you get your kids to eat their food?
(Brocoli is probably a choking hazard or something…I don’t know. Rest assured that I was watching her closely while she teethed on her broccoli.)

Frozen Yogurt Pops

So simple:
2 cups of plain yogurt
2 cups of frozen strawberries
1 banana
Sweeten with honey.
Blend into a thick smoothie.
Pour into plastic cups, stick popsicle stick in the middle.
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Enjoy the taste of summer.
(If it’s summer where you are that is…)