nourishing a happy, healthy life

Author: Hawke

Costco Bread Pudding

Costco Bread Pudding

I rarely buy Costco Muffins. My grandma used to keep them in her freezer cut in 1/2, frozen in ziploc’s for snacks. One sad day I read the nutritional information…My kids love them too, but pretty much the only time I will buy them is […]

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

I’ve been tinkering with this recipe for awhile and this is my favorite version. I’m happy that it uses the entire can of pumpkin because I don’t love having can leftovers lingering in the fridge. I’m also pleased that I was able to cut back […]

Ancho Chili Chocolate Pecan Pie

Ancho Chili Chocolate Pecan Pie

This is our go-to pie.  No.  It isn’t sugar-free or dairy-free or wheat-free, but we still eat it guilt-free once a year and it is pretty much the only pie we crave.  The ancho chili brings out the flavor of the chocolate, kind of like a mole sauce. It’s not hot-spicy. My kids love it.

We ran across a version of this at a local Z’Tejas restaurant.  They even had an incomplete recipe on their site.  We loved the sweet heat and fiddled around with ingredients until we got it just right.  The original recipe called for walnuts and pecans.  I use either or both, depending what I have, but pecans seem more Thanksgiving-y.

Ancho Chili Chocolate Pecan Pie
Ingredients:

1 9 in. Deep dish pie crust
2 each Eggs
1/2 cup Flour
1/2 cup White sugar
1/2 cup Brown sugar
1 cup Butter (2 sticks)
1 cup Pecans
1 cup 60% cocoa chocolate chips (I use Ghiradelli Baking Chips from Sam’s Club)
1 tsp Ancho Chili Peppers, ground

Ancho chili’s are available whole. Take out the stem, but not the seeds and process in a high power blender until you get a fine powder. Do NOT use chili powder.

Preparation:
Melt butter on medium heat and add chocolate chips, stir until everything is melted. Toast pecans in oven on flat sheet until lightly brown (usually about 10-15 minutes at 350). Reserve 12 pecan halves to decorate the top with.

Beat eggs well. Add white flour, white sugar and brown sugar. Mix until smooth. Add butter and chocolate mixture, mix well.

Crumble remaining nuts roughly with hands and mix in nuts. Pour into pie crust. Decorate the top with reserved pecans.

Bake at 325 degrees for 45-55 minutes.

Brasas Street Tacos

Brasas Street Tacos

Sometimes you just need an easy, inexpensive place to go out.  For those times, and anytime you want delicious, authentic grilled Mexican food, there is Brasas.  You can’t go wrong with their tacos, which are only $2.04 each!  (Hard to find a meal this tasty for six bucks.) […]

Levain Bakery Oatmeal Raisin Scones

Levain Bakery Oatmeal Raisin Scones

It was Spencer’s birthday last week, and I made these scones for his birthday breakfast. We first had them in NYC when we stopped by Levain Bakery on our way out to see the unicorn tapestries. Such a delicious breakfast. Of course we bought some […]

Lemon Caper Chicken

Lemon Caper Chicken

My whole family loves this dish.  They ask for it all year long, but now that we have so many people (which means pounding a lot of chicken) I make it most often as a birthday request. This last time we made it I invited my 21 year-old brother (Andrew) to dinner and he graciously salted, pepperred, pounded, coated, and cooked all of the chicken. It was fun to be cooking with him and he ended up helping with the meal all the way to the end. Now he can make it for the ladies ;).  It’s a great dish because it is a little fancy, but comes together in 30 minutes or less and it tastes amazing!!

Traditionally, I serve the chicken and sauce over pasta (linguine) with broccoli as a side dish. Last time I made it I served it with a simple salad of arugula, dressed with lemon vinaigrette (juice of 1 lemon, 2 T olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, a few grinds of pepper, whisk together with a fork).

I really like zucchini noodles, so I eat my portion with them instead of regular noodles. They taste great and I love to add a vegetable in the place of a grain. I make the noodles by running the zucchini over the julienne blade of my mandolin. Before I had a mandolin I just took a vegetable peeler and rotated the zucchini while I kept on peeling until I got to the core. Either way, I lightly salt the “noodles” and toss them a bit to distribute the salt. Right before I want to eat I saute them in a frying pan just until they are heated through and plate them just as I would regular noodles.  You can see them in the picture I took for this post.

Flourless Chocolate Torte

Flourless Chocolate Torte

Mmmm… This is my go to rich chocolate dessert for special occasions. It makes me so happy that it’s gluten free, but not pretending to be something else. Just dense, wonderful, chocolate love.  We like to decorate the top with fresh raspberries and I personally […]

Homemade Ricotta Cheese

Homemade Ricotta Cheese

There is a pizza I love at Pizzeria 712 which involves house-made ricotta and mushrooms. I like it even more with a slice of their hot pink pizza to go along with it. Sadly, I can’t be popping over to 712 every time I need […]

Quick ‘n Easy Mac ‘n Cheesey

Quick ‘n Easy Mac ‘n Cheesey

This from-scratch mac ‘n cheese is great when I don’t know what to make the kiddies for lunch.  I almost always have the ingredients on hand and some of my older offspring can even make this crowd-pleaser by themselves!