25 December 2011

And the journey continues...

The New Year isn't a do-over; it's an opportunity to take your next big step. 

As I read that in Whole Living Magazine (http://www.wholeliving.com/) today it really made me stop and think.  I truly love New Years, I always have.  I've never been one to set 'resolutions' so to speak instead opting  to take stock in my life and set the groundwork for goals that I want to achieve in the coming year.

This year is no exception. I have the goals that I've decided on to help me continue on the path I'm taking all mapped out.  They are pretty much off springs of goals from this year, I'm just Amping things up a notch, taking 'that next big step'.

I eat pretty well but I could use a little boost, switch some things up a little and one thing I've wanted to do is a detox plan.  I've done mini ones here and there over the years but I never really gave 100% in following one until now.

This plan focuses on getting back to basics and giving your body a break by taking out the things that slow you down and make your body work harder like dairy, gluten, sugar, caffeine, alcohol and processed foods.  It says in the article that by week three clean eating will be more like a lifestyle and less like a challenge as some things are reintroduced. 

I found the New Year New You plan from again Whole Living Magazine and I'm going to do it and keep track of my progress here on my blog.  Now just in case someone is actually reading, I want to say as much as I love this magazine I have NO affiliation with the magazine, website, company whatsoever!!  I am not trying to promote anything.  I am not a professional in the food, nutrition or writing arena.  I am simply using my personal blog as a journal to document for myself and anyone that may be interested in reading. 

I will be officially starting this New Years day.

Now the plan advises before the challenge to  do a few things to aid in success.  The first thing is to write down five things that this detox means to you and what you hope to achieve so here we go.

1.  Up my intake of fresh fruit daily.
2.  Up my intake of fresh veggies daily.
3.  Increase my energy and stamina.
4.  Clear my head.
5.  Over all health.

Next it advises you to prepare the people in your life especially anyone that shares meals with you so that they know what you are doing and how important it is to you.  Check.

Invite a friend to join you.  Check.  When I told my husband that I was going to do this he said he wanted to do it with me.  I'm all for him joining me in this. We'll see how that all goes.

Drink plenty of water.  Check.  That is one good habit that I already have. 

Space out your meals by eating every three to five hours (including snacks) rather than non stop nibbling to keep your metabolism even.  Check. I already do this also.  YAY...maybe I'm a tiny bit ahead of the game.

Keep a food journal.  Track what, when, where you eat as well as your feelings before, during and after.  I have a new little notebook to do this in plus I will be keeping track here on my blog.

Stick to each week's menu. The different phases of the cleanse offer different foods for a reason so don't jump ahead.  OK, I will remind myself of that.  Probably often.  I know this won't be easy but I'm going to give it a shot.

This week I'm going to be going over the menu and recipes to get prepared for New Years Day.  I'm not usually very good at following a strict eating plan so sending some positive vibes in my direction would be helpful.

Hope anyone that made it through this is enjoying the holiday season and taking some time out to reflect.

14 September 2011

Fall is knocking on our door...

Well Southern Illinois is cooling off.  Yesterday the high was 93 degrees.  Today the high was 63 and the low tonight is predicted to be in the 40's....YES, I think FALL has arrived.
Since it was cool and rainy, something hot was necessary for dinner.

3 cups of diced cooked chicken  (this time I sauteed 3 boneless breasts and cubed them)
3 cups of chicken broth/stock
4 cups of Great Northern Beans (canned and rinsed or dried and soaked)
1 onion diced
2-3 cloves of garlic diced
1/4 cup green chilies (canned works fine, throw in juice also)
paprika, cumin, salt, pepper (to taste)
1 diced jalapeno

Combine all ingredients. Cook in crock pot on low for 5 or 6 hours. Or cook on stove top for 2 or 3 hours on low.

11 September 2011

A great Sunday dessert...Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Pineapple upside down cake has always been one of my favorites.  It was one of the first cakes I made  from scratch many many years ago.  lol  I have no idea where the recipe came from but this is the only one I use now.

Basic Yellow Cake

2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Sift together into a small bowl.

Cream 1/2 cup butter with 1 1/4 cup sugar
Mix in 2 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup pineapple juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
Mix all together well.

Add in sifted ingredients and mix well.

1 stick of butter (1/2 cup)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 can pineapple cubes/crushed/rings...I used cubes

Pre heat oven to 350 degrees.  Put one stick of unsalted butter in 10 or 12 inch cast iron skillet. 
Put skillet in the oven for 2 or 3 minutes to fully melt the butter.
Remove skillet from oven and pour in brown sugar, mixing with the butter to make a 'carmel type' of sauce that coats the bottom of the skillet evenly.
Place pineapple in the pan.
Carefully pour in cake batter.
Bake for 30 minutes.  Cake will be golden.  Let cool about 5  minutes and then flip onto serving plate.


05 September 2011

The Seasons are changing and an Onion Ring Recipe

Happy Labor Day to all of those that celebrate.  True to being the unofficial end of Summer, the weather dropping 30 degrees in two days had made it actually feel like Fall is here. 
I love all of the seasons I really do.  Each has their own joys, treats and beauty.  Fall is my favorite though.  I LOVE FALL!!  Followed closely by Winter. 

For me September is my month to get organized and to purge myself of all the things that no longer should have a spot in my home and my life.   I don't know exactly why I feel this way every September but I do.  I go through everything, every closet, every drawer, every cabinet.  I think since Fall and Winter symbolize for a me a time of cocooning, spending time with friends/family and Lot's of holidays and entertaining I like to be prepared and I like things to be pulled together.

Since I've been so busy today with projects around the house I wanted to keep dinner simple.  Bacon Cheeseburgers and Onion Rings.  This recipe for the Onion Rings is delish.  Even though I haven't made them it years it's quick, easy and delish!!

1 1/2 cups flour

3 tablespoons cornmeal
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons paprika
1 1/2 cups milk
1 egg
1/2 cup water

Mix all ingredients together well.
Dip sliced onions in better, drip off excess, dredge through all purpose flour.
Fry them up either in fryer or cast iron/heavy skillet in about an inch of oil.
Lay on paper towel and sprinkle with salt while still hot.


31 August 2011

Practicing my appetizers

  You know I was thinking today, I don't know about you but we eat a lot of appetizers between the months of September and January.  I guess it's just the perfect food for football, festivals, Halloween, holiday parties. 
This is the third or fourth variation I've made with this fabulous ingredient.   But first I need to give kudos out to one of my friends http://www.richfletchersgoodfoodrevolution.blogspot.com/
Rich was one of my first food buddies when I set up my page on facebook.  He also is the one that introduced me to the versatility of Won Ton Wrappers.  So again thanks Rich.

Tonight to go along with some REALLY spicy chili I wanted something a little different. 

 Just take a little olive oil rubbed on wrappers and put in a small muffin tin and bake in a 350  over for about 5 minutes.  Then take cream cheese, diced garlic, diced green onions, salt, pepper and a little extra garlic powder. Mix all of this together and then fill semi baked won ton wrappers.  Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes.
When done, top with a dollop of jalapeno jelly and serve immediately.

28 August 2011

Banana Cake

A co worker of mine has brought this cake to us a couple of times and I always LOVE it.  I finally used her recipe and made my own.  It is SO good.  If you're looking for a super moist delicious cake this is the one. 

Banana Cake-Recipe from Betty

2 Egg Yolks
1/2 Cup Butter softened
2 Cups of Sugar
1 Cup of Buttermilk
4 Ripe Bananas cut up
2 Cups of Flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 Egg Whites beaten

Mix egg yolks, butter and sugar with mixer.  Slowly add buttermilk and then the bananas.  Sift in flour, salt and soda.  Combine well.  Fold in 2 beaten egg whites.

Bake in 13x9 inch buttered and floured pan at 350 degrees for about 40 to 45 minutes.


8 oz Cream Cheese
1/4 Cup of Milk
1 to 1/2 Cups Powdered Sugar
Combine all ingredients adding milk or sugar depending on desired consistency.  I made it a little on the thin side to smoothly and evenly cover the cake.


24 August 2011

A spin on Stuffed Peppers

Peppers are popping out all over around here.  Our Cayenne's are all turning red, jalapenos, big jims and bells, they all did fabulous this year.  I think with the extreme heat we had the peppers thrived.  Anyway, I made good use of a few for dinner.  I hope you give it a try, it's delish and a super easy weeknight meal.

These are the measurements for two Stuffed Peppers. 

1/2 pound ground beef cooked
1 onion diced
1 cayenne pepper diced
2 cloves of garlic diced
cumin, paprika, chili powder, salt to taste
Combine all ingredients
Stuff peppers.

Cook at 350 for 15 minutes.  Add shredded cheddar cheese to the top of each stuffed pepper and let cook about 10 more minutes. 

I served on rice that was cooked with two diced chili's and 2 small diced tomatoes and their juice.

This was delish!!  ENJOY!!

Rice cooking with tomatoes, green chilies, salt, pepper.

Saute onions, garlic and cayenne in a little olive oil.

Mix ground beef, sauteed veggies and spices and stuff peppers.

17 August 2011

TAG...You're It!

I was tagged by saucygirlskitchen.com in this game that is floating around through the blogger world.
If you get tagged, answer these 7 questions using previous posts from your blog and tag 6 of your blogger friends. 

Have fun and THANK YOU Saucy Girl!!

1. Most beautiful post... http://theperfectthyme.blogspot.com/2011/01/wonderful-cake-recipe.html

2. Most popular post...http://theperfectthyme.blogspot.com/2011/06/banana-split-cake.html

3. Most controversial...http://theperfectthyme.blogspot.com/2010/06/rant-for-week.html

4. Most helpful...http://theperfectthyme.blogspot.com/2011/08/best-advice-i-think-ive-ever-heard.html

5. Post that was surprisingly successful...http://theperfectthyme.blogspot.com/2011/06/banana-split-cake.html

6. Post that did not get the attention it deserved...http://theperfectthyme.blogspot.com/2011/03/chocolate-cupcakes-with-spiked-orage.html

7. Post I am most proud of...http://theperfectthyme.blogspot.com/2011/05/my-personal-thoughts-on-food.html

The 6 Blogger friends I'm passing this on to are...

1.  lifewithmel.com
2.  mamagrubbsgrub.blogspot.com
3.  bakeyourday.net
4.  simplefarefairlysimple.blogspot.com
5.  richfletchersgoodfoodrevolution.blogspot.com
6.  theculinarylens.com

14 August 2011

Grilled Chipotle Chicken is a favorite of mine.

In a food processor combine 4 or 5 chipotle peppers with about a teaspoon of the adobe sauce.  Add 1 teaspoon cumin, salt, pepper, 1 teaspoon of paprika and about 1/2 a teaspoon of garlic powder.  Add about a Tablespoon of olive oil and combine.
Pour sauce all over preferred chicken pieces and let marinate at least 4 hours and then grill as normal.

Served with rice and a stuffed Big Jim pepper...a great dinner.

07 August 2011

A cooling dessert for such a HOT day...

Sundays are the one day a week that I almost always make a dessert.  I had originally planned to make a cake but it's so hot out I really didn't want to turn on the oven and also I couldn't find the recipe I wanted.  Organizing my life is a work in progress but that's for another time. 
This dessert is quick, easy and Delicious for a hot August Sunday dinner or probably any time. 

Melt 1 stick of butter in a pie dish.  Add 2 cups of crushed graham crackers.

Spread crushed graham crackers around the bottom and slightly up the sides of the pie dish pressing with the back of a spoon.  Add broken up pieces of a dark chocolate bar.  (or any candy bar that you enjoy)

Make your favorite chocolate pudding recipe and add 1/3 cup of fresh whipping cream.

Pour chocolate pudding mixture over the graham cracker candy crust.  I then topped with homemade whipped cream and sprinkled extra crushed candy bar and graham crackers on the top.  Refrigerate for a couple hours and ENJOY!!

31 July 2011

An AWESOME Pot Roast

When it's really hot outside my Crock Pot is a life saver. 
Carrots, garlic, sliced onion, sliced green pepper, balsamic vinegar, thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper.

Place your roast in the crock pot, add 1/2 cup of beef stock, vinegar and all herbs and veggies.  Cook on low for 6 hours.

27 July 2011

A Quick and Easy summer pasta dish.

Sliced cherry tomatoes, garlic, fresh thyme, fresh rosemary and parmessan cheese.

Cook mini rotini pasta and drain reserving 1 or 2 tablespoons of liquid. 
Sautee garlic and tomatoes in olive oil.  Add herbs and toss with pasta.

Sprinkle with parmessan cheese and Enjoy, I did.

And I have lunch for tomorrow at work.

22 July 2011

Another great use for won ton wrappers...

I mixed Ricotta Cheese, Mozzarella, diced garlic, fresh basil and salt and pepper.

Then I used a cookie scoop to put a ball of the mixture in the middle of won ton wrapper. Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

Moisten the edges with water and place a second won ton on top.  Press edges together with fingers or a fork.

Lightly brush with olive oil and bake at 375 degrees for about 10 minutes.

Sprinkle a little Parmesan on top when done and ENJOY!!

These are DELICIOUS and the possibiities are endless.

16 July 2011

Happy Birthday to The Big Guy and his Lemon Poppy Seed Birthday Cake recipe.

Today's my husbands Birthday and he had no preference for what type of cake I made him this year so I wanted to try something new.  Something light and fresh since it's been so hot here lately.

I took the basic white cake recipe that I normally use and added lemon juice, lemon zest and poppy seeds.  For the icing I used a Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting. 

Now my cake decorating skills need a LOT of work but the cake turned out delicious.

 Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

1 Cup of Sugar
1/2 Cup of Butter
2 Egg
2 teaspoons Vanilla
1 1/2 Cups of Cake Flour
1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
pinch of salt
1/2 cup milk
2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
2 teaspoons Lemon Zest

Cream together the sugar and butter.  Add one egg and a time and then the vanilla and continue mixing until creamy.
Sift cake flour, baking powder and salt and slowly add to above mixture.
Slowly add in milk, lemon juice and lemon zest.

Grease and flour a 9x9 cake pan or muffin tins.

For the cake pan bake at 350 degrees for approx. 30 minutes.  The cake will be a golden color and when inserted a toothpick will come out clean when the cake is done.

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

8 oz Cream Cheese softened
1/4 Cup Butter
2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
2 teaspoons Lemon Zest
1 teaspoon Vanilla
3 Cups of Confectioners Sugar

Combine all ingredients.  Add more lemon or sugar depending on desired consistency.

Garnish with more Lemon Zest and or fresh Lemon Mint.


10 July 2011

All time favorite...been eating it since I was a kid food.


My FAVORITE hometown food joint.

A double Krekel cheese burger with the works. 


If you are ever in the area of one of Krekels 7 locations you MUST and I do mean MUST try a burger and some of their custard. 

I was fortunate to grow up with Krekels in our town.  WAY BACK when I was a kid Krekels only had 2 locations and they were only open for the summer. The whole town would be buzzing when they opened up for the summer.  I remember at least once a week my Dad taking us to the 'lake location' to get an ice cream cone.  Dad and I usually almost always got their fantastic chocolate custard cone and my mom would get lemon.  It was a great summer tradition.

When I was in my teens Krekels did something VERY cool.  They opened another location within walking distance of my  house and they kept it open all year long!  I was such a happy girl.  I had babysitting money, I was old enough to go their myself.  I was in heaven.

Then, I moved away and  that has always remained number one of my what I miss list from my hometown.
I haven't lived that close to a Krekels in almost 27 years but any time I'm visiting my Mom, Krekels is a MUST.  Everyone knows that.  There is no sense in even asking me, 'Where would you like to eat?'  I will always say Krekels.

When we ate there yesterday and I was ooohhhhhing and awwwing with my eyes rolling back in my head my husband commented that in all the years he's been eating there, no matter which location you choose, they are exactly as delish as the first time.    I thought of that when I checked out their website to link it here.  The picture of the burger on their site is almost identical to the picture I took yesterday. 
I think sometimes we all need to remember that 'If it ain't broke, don't change it.'

What is your all time favorite, been eating it since I was a kid food?  I really would love to know.

06 July 2011

Au Gratin Potatoes Recipe

 This recipe is great to use and experiment with different cheeses.  This time I substituted Colby cheese for the Cheddar and it was REALLY good. 


  • 4 russet potatoes, sliced into 1/4 inch slices
  • 1 onion, sliced into rings
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Butter a 1 quart casserole dish.
  2. Layer 1/2 of the potatoes into bottom of the prepared casserole dish. Top with the onion slices, and add the remaining potatoes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. In a medium-size saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Mix in the flour and salt, and stir constantly with a whisk for one minute. Stir in milk. Cook until mixture has thickened. Stir in cheese all at once, and continue stirring until melted, about 30 to 60 seconds. Pour cheese over the potatoes, and cover the dish with aluminum foil.
  4. Bake 1 1/2 hours in the preheated oven. Or can be done on the grill in a well seasoned caste iron pan.


04 July 2011

Hope your 4th of July holiday weekend ends sweetly!!

Graham crackers with strawberry ice cream

Graham crackers with chocolate, cherry, truffle nut icecream.

An AWESOME homemade brownie with peppermint icecream.

The same AWESOME homemade brownie as above but with french vanilla icecream, caramel sauce and pecans.

03 July 2011

Always have a back up plan.

Day two of our three day weekend and I got up to make Blueberry Waffles.   mmmmmm

I love pancakes, who doesn't?  But I have a confession to make... I have still not mastered the art of pancake making.  (hanging head in shame)  It has been on my list of things to do but why worry about it when I can make Waffles!! Right??  I equally LOVE waffles and they always turn out great.

Well, after today, learning to make pancakes moved up to the top 5.

I got all of the ingredients together and plugged in the waffle iron to pre heat it.  It wouldn't work!!  It was dead!!  I was devastated!! I broke the news to my husband who is the only other one up until now that knew I always mess up pancakes and he was devastated also.  His juice was poured, he had his coffee and he thought he was going to get Blueberry Waffles.

When I said 'I'll just make pancakes' a hush fell over the room.  My husbands smile disappeared.   I so  desperately wanted to save the day.  I wanted to turn that delicious blueberry waffle batter into fantastic pancakes.

I preheated the cast iron skillet, poured in batter and watched.  My husband watched.  They looked good.  They smelled good.  But deep inside I was worried.  The few times I had attempted pancakes they looked good and smelled good but ended up either burnt on the outside or was filled with raw batter on the inside.
Would we have a repeat??

We did!!  :-(  The middle was a little raw.  Not much.  Just one mere minute on the griddle probably would have been perfect.  But they were not edible.

So I picked up my ego, held my head high and cooked up some Bacon and eggs. 

I WILL learn to make wonderful light and fluffy pancakes.
I WILL get a new waffle iron.
And I WILL always have bacon and eggs on hand for a back up plan .

01 July 2011


I submitted this photo of my Blackbottom Cupcakes to Food Corner for her photo contest and out of 118 it came in #7.  Not too bad for my first contest. 
Be sure and check out her blog or facebook page for all the photo's.  There were a lot of really great pics that will make you drooooool.

30 June 2011

This is the only Brownie Recipe I'll use now

I am a picky brownie eater.  I don't want it too 'cakey' or dense nor too 'fudgy' or rich. 
I found this recipe in one of my Grandmother's notebooks and decided to give it a try.

All I can say is mmmm. 


1/2 cup vegetable oil or 1/2 cup melted butter (I used butter)
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)


1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9x9 inch baking pan.

2.In a medium bowl, mix together the oil, sugar, and vanilla. Beat in eggs. Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt; gradually stir into the egg mixture until well blended. Stir in walnuts, if desired. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan.

3.Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the brownie begins to pull away from edges of pan.


Brownie with Peppermint IceCream!!