Soft Pretzel

Took a online cooking class with my cousin to make soft Pretzels, loved the outcome so much that I am adding the recipe on here. Original Recipe from Becky’s Mindful Kitchen! Love these with a cheese sauce (Cheesy beer sauce) or spicy mustard.


  • 1 1/2 Cup warm water (for yeast)
  • 2 Tbsp sugar or honey (for yeast)
  • 1 Tbsp salt (for dough)
  • 1 Pkg yeast (2 1/4 tsp) active yeast
  • 4 1/2 Cup all purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp melted butter
  • 10 c boiling water plus 2/3 c baking soda (for less salty pretzels, use 1/3c baking soda)
  • 1 Egg beaten plus 1 Tbsp water for egg wash
  • Coarse seat salt for topping pretzels, or cinnamon sugar, etc.
  • Melted butter or Butter olive oil for brushing on top after baking

Cooking Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F
  2. Take 1 1/2 Cup warm water add 2 Tbsp sugar and 1 packet of yeast. Allow to sit for 5 min to activate yeast.
  3. In a stand mixer combine Flour, 1Tbsp salt, melted butter, and activated yeast. Mix with a dough hook on low to medium low speed until dough has formed.
  4. Cover with a warm damp cloth and allow dough to rise for 1 hr.
  5. Remove dough and form into pretzel shapes. You can also make 3 long strands and braid them together which is what I did in the picture above. (How to fold a pretzel)
  6. Brush on egg wash (1 beaten egg + 1 Tbsp Water) then cover pretzel with coarse salt or cinnamon sugar topping.
  7. Place in oven and bake for 12-15 until golden brown – brown in color. (Your preference)
  8. Remove from oven and enjoy immediately or place on a cooling rack and enjoy later.


Simple, sweet and comforting… and with a few additions here and there, full of limitless possibilities! I may not be from the New England area, but a book series (Expeditionary Force: Columbus Day) that I love introduced me to this comforting snack and I was blown away at the yummy goodness that it is! Especially a grilled Fluffernutter!


  • Creamy Peanut Butter
  • Marshmallow Fluff
  • Nutella **
  • Banana Slices **
  • Honey **

Cooking Directions

1. Take 2 slices of white bread and apply creamy peanut butter to one slice and marshmallow fluff to other slice. Combine slices into a sandwich and enjoy!

** Optional ingredients, I love adding honey and banana. The Nutella goes great with the peanut butter as well and reminds me of a Reese’s peanut butter cup.

*** A Grilled Fluffernutter (using butter much like a grilled cheese) is AWESOME!

Oatmeal Cookies

Soft and chewy with that trademark homemade flavor, these are the best soft and chewy oatmeal raisin cookies.” — Sally’s Baking Addiction (Original Recipe)


  • 1 Cup Unsalted Butter, room temp.
  • 1 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Sugar
  • 2 large Eggs, room temp.
  • 1 Tbsp Vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp Molasses
  • 1 1/2 Cup Flour, all-purpose
  • 1 Tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 1/2 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Tsp Salt
  • 3 Cups old-fashioned whole rolled oats
  • 1 Cup Raisins (soaked for 10 min in warm water then blotted dry)
  • optional: 1/2 Cup Walnuts, Chopped

Cooking Directions

1. Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream the softened butter and both sugars together on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs and mix on high until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Add the vanilla and molasses and mix on high until combined. Set aside.

2. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt together. Add to the wet ingredients and mix on low until combined. Beat in the oats, raisins, and walnuts (if using) on low speed. Dough will be thick, yet very sticky. Chill the dough for 30-60 minutes in the refrigerator (do the full hour if you’re afraid of the cookies spreading too much). If chilling for longer (up to 2 days), allow to sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before rolling and baking.

3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.

4. Roll balls of dough (about 2 tablespoons of dough per cookie) and place 2 inches apart on the baking sheets. I recommend using a cookie scoop since the dough can be sticky. Bake for 12-14 minutes until lightly browned on the sides. The centers will look very soft and under-baked. Remove from the oven and let cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. The cookies will continue to “set” on the baking sheet during this time.

Creamy Tortellini Soup

Super easy to make and twice as easy to eat! Comfort food that warms your soul! The original recipe can be found here and comes with a option to use a instant pot!



  • 1 Tbsp Vegetable oil
  • 1 Yellow onion, diced
  • 2 Carrots, diced
  • 4 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 15-oz. Can diced Tomatoes
  • 3 Cups Vegetable stock
  • ½ Tsp dried Basil
  • ½ Tsp dried Oregano
  • ¼ Tsp dried Thyme
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • ½ Tsp ground Black Pepper
  • 10 oz (300 grams) fresh Tortellini (I used cheese-filled tortellini)
  • ½ Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 2 Cups Baby Spinach leaves


Cooking Directions

1. Heat oil in a pot, and add diced onion followed by the carrot. Cook for a few minutes, then add the garlic and cook for a minute while stirring with a wooden spoon.

2. Add diced tomatoes, vegetable stock, and all the seasonings to the pot. Cover with the lid and simmer for 10 minutes.

3. Open the lid, and add the fresh tortellini and cook for 3 minutes.

4. Stir in the cream, and add the baby spinach leaves. Cover with the lid to let the spinach wilt. Once the spinach is wilted, serve warm with some Parmesan cheese.


**You can add Italian sausage (1/2Lb.) if you like. Just crumble it and saute it lightly after you cook the onion and garlic. Or you can use ground turkey meat or any other ground meat.

Old-World Raspberry Bars

Comfort food at its best, stick to your ribs good and you won’t even feel guilty for eating the entire tray! Original Recipe can be found here.


     Crumb Mixture

  • 1/4 Cup all-purpose Flour
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Cup Pecans, Chopped
  • 1 Cup Butter, Softened
  • 1 Large Egg


  • 3/4 cup raspberry preserves

**Substitute 3/4 cup your favorite flavor preserves.

Cooking Directions

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Line 8- or 9-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil, extending foil over edges. Grease foil; set aside.

2. Combine all crumb mixture ingredients in bowl. Beat at low speed, scraping bowl often, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Reserve 2 cups crumb mixture; set aside.

3. Press remaining crumb mixture on bottom of prepared baking pan. Spread preserves to within 1/2 inch of edge. Crumble reserved crumb mixture over preserves.

4. Bake 40-50 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely; cut into bars.

Lavender Earl Grey infused Chocolate Mousse

Earl Grey tea and Chocolate, what is there not to love about this pairing? Tried this out on a whim one day and have only made chocolate mousse this way ever since.  The Earl Grey flavor comes as a accented after taste that compliments the smooth creamy chocolate flavor.



  • 1 Pkg Dr. Oetker Chocolate Mousse (or any other boxed chocolate mousse mix)
  • 1/2 Cup Lavender Earl Grey tea or just Earl Grey tea (**see notes at bottom of page)
  • 1/2 Cup Milk

Cooking Directions

1. Prepare chocolate mousse mix as per instructions on box, instead of using 1 Cup of milk substitute 1/2 Cup of milk for 1/2 Cup of Tea. So do 1/2 Cup Milk and 1/2 Cup of Tea. 

2. Allow to set in refrigerator for 1 hr. before serving.


** When Brewing tea, either use 2 sachets or allow tea to steep for 5 mins. I prefer to do both, while the tea will taste really strong if you were to drink it, it will be diluted down when added to the recipe mixture.

Blackberry Cobbler


Great cobber recipe by itself and you can swap out fruit for all sorts of possibilities! Thanks to my cousin Marla for sharing this!



  • 1/2 Cup unsalted Butter
  • 1 Cup all purpose Flour
  • 2 Cups Sugar, divided (recommended to use 1 1/2 Cup)
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1 Cup of Milk
  • 1 Tsp Lemon Extract (optional)
  • 4 Cups fresh Berries*
  • 1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • Ground Cinnamon or Nutmeg (optional) & 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract


Cooking Directions

1. Melt butter in a 13 x 9 baking dish.

2. Combine flour, 1 Cup sugar, baking powder, lemon extract and salt; add milk, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Pour batter over butter (do not stir).

3. Bring remaining 1 cup sugar, berries and lemon juice to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly; pour over batter (do not stir). Sprinkle with cinnamon, if desired.

4. Bake at 375 F for 40 – 45 min or until golden brown. Allow to cool before serving.


*The lemon extract goes great in the batter for an extra zesty flavor.

* The cinnamon/nutmeg can be used based on the type of fruit. i.e. cinnamon + peaches = yum!

Cheeseburger Soup

cheeseburger soup

Found this recipe in the April issue of Taste of Home: Soups Magazine, stick to your ribs good! Made a few tweaks to my liking from their recipe.



  • 1 Lb. Ground Beef
  • 4 Tbsp butter, divided
  • 3/4 Cup chopped Onion
  • 3/4 Cup shredded Carrots (roughly 2 carrots)
  • 3/4 Cup diced Celery (1 celery stalk)
  • 1 Tsp dried Basil
  • 1 Tsp dried Parsley flakes
  • 1-3/4 pounds (about 4 cups) cubed peeled potatoes (I use frozen hash potatoes)
  • 3 cups Chicken broth
  • 1/4 Cup all-purpose flour
  • 16 Oz. Velveeta Cheese, cubed
  • 1-1/2 cups whole milk
  • 3/4 Tsp salt
  • 1/4 Tsp pepper
  • 1/4 cup sour cream


Cooking Directions

1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, cook and crumble beef until no longer pink; drain and set aside. In same saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Saute onion, carrots, celery, basil and parsley until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Add potatoes, ground beef and broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, until potatoes are tender, 10-12 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, in a small skillet, melt remaining butter. Add flour; cook and stir until bubbly, 3-5 minutes. Add to soup; bring to a boil. Cook and stir 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Stir in cheese, milk, salt and pepper; cook until cheese melts. Remove from heat; blend in sour cream.




— Add crumbled cooked bacon for bacon cheese burger goodness!

— I use 1lb of beef vs the 1/2lb the original recipe calls for, I don’t feel the original recipe has enough meat in it.

Beef Stew – Instant Pot

beef stew1

Comfort food at its finest! Original recipe can be found here, I tweaked a few things to my liking.


  • 1 Yellow Onion
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 2 1/2 lbs Beef Chuck Roast, boneless
  • 1 1/2 Tsp Kosher Salt, and extra to taste
  • 1/2 Tsp Ground Black Pepper, and extra to taste
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil, divided
  • 3 medium Carrots (about 12 oz total)
  • 3 medium Yukon Gold Potatoes (about 12 oz total)
  • 1 Tbsp Tomato paste
  • 1 Tsp Dried Thyme
  • 3/4 Cup Beef Broth
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp Water
  • 3/4 Cup Frozen Peas
  • Fresh parsley leaves, for garnish (optional)



1. Cut the aromatics and beef. Dice 1 medium yellow onion, mince 2 garlic cloves, and place both in a medium bowl. Trim 2 1/2 pounds beef chuck and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces.

2. Season and sear the beef in two batches. Toss the beef with 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil in an Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker on the Sauté setting until shimmering. Add half of the beef and sear undisturbed until browned on the bottom, 7 to 10 minutes. Transfer with tongs to a large plate. Repeat with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and beef.

3. Soften the aromatics. Add the onion and garlic to the cooker and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Meanwhile, cut the vegetables.

4. Cut the vegetables. Peel 3 medium carrots and cut on a slight diagonal into 1 1/2-inch pieces. Quarter 3 medium Yukon Gold potatoes (you want about 1 1/2-inch chunks).

5. Add the seasonings and liquid. Add 1 tablespoon tomato paste and 1 teaspoon dried thyme to the onions and cook until the tomato paste is darkened in color, about 1 minute. Add 1/2 cup beef broth and 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce and stir to combine, scraping up any browned bits.

6. Add the vegetables and seared beef. Add the carrots, potatoes, seared beef, and any accumulated juices from the beef, and stir to combine.

7. Cook on HIGH pressure for 25 minutes. Lock the lid on and check that the valve is set to seal. Set to cook for 25 minutes on HIGH pressure. It will take 7 to 10 minutes to come up to pressure.

8. Natural release pressure for 10 minutes and make the cornstarch slurry. When the cook time is up, let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk 1 tablespoon cornstarch and 1 tablespoon water together. Coarsely chop some fresh parsley leaves for garnish if desired.

9. Release the remaining pressure and thicken the sauce. Quick release any remaining pressure. Carefully open the pressure cooker and turn on the Sauté function. Stir in 3/4 cup frozen peas and the cornstarch mixture and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thickened, 1 to 2 minutes.

10. Season and serve. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Serve garnished with the parsley if desired.

Pizza Sauce


I love making homemade pizza and having sauce that comes together like nothing is a nice thing, especially when it is so inexpensive to make and leftovers can be frozen for use later! Original recipe found here.



  • 6 oz Tomato Paste
  • 15 oz Tomato Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp Dried Oregano
  • 2 Tbsp Italian Seasoning
  • 1/2 Tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 Tsp Onion Powder
  • 1/2 Tbsp Garlic Salt
  • 1/4 Tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 Tsp Sugar


Cooking Directions

1. Mix tomato paste and sauce together in a medium size bowl until well combined (all the lumps of paste are incorporated into the sauce).

2. Add the rest of the ingredients (oregano, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, garlic salt, pepper and sugar) and mix well!


Storage Options:

  • Refrigerate: Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week. The sauce will thicken in the refrigerator, so be sure to let it come to room temperature or gently warm it in the microwave before using!
  • Freeze. Store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to two months!