Baking is like Fishing…

…in that a bad day fishing is still better than a good day at work. Wouldn’t that depend on how avid a fishing enthusiast you are? I really like baking, so I’m still glad that I tried this recipe. I thought it was nearly full-on blech but my daughter gave it the thumbs up and is already finished with pinwheel #2.

I fully blame the cook, not the recipe. Note the original recipe’s photo on top, mine on the bottom:

Top photo from; bottom, my kitchen.
Top photo from; bottom, my kitchen.

The only thing I changed in the recipe was to use cheddar cheese instead of Swiss. I just think they needed to bake longer than 9 minutes, perhaps. These Ham and Cheese Pinwheels are short on effort and have an even shorter list of ingredients:

1 can of flaky crescent rolls

Grated cheddar cheese

Sliced ham (I used the Black Forrest ham from Trader Joe’s)

cream cheese and dijon mustard

Here’s the original recipe:

Here’s what I’d like to try soon, using home made bread dough:

I ❤️ Baking!

Tomorrow I have to hit my Pinterest boards… I hear them calling me! Most of my pins are food based, and there are hundreds of new recipes I want to try this year…

Since my kids have a busy weekend ahead, I think I will crank something out of the kitchen that I have never tried, and they will have to grab and go.

Is it just me, or does everyone else on Pinterest think that they are the most interesting person in the world, based on how awesome their Pins are? I love my electronic hoard!

See for yourself how fabulous I am (ha!)-

Brownies for the Church Office

We have been members at our church for just over five years since we moved back to our home state. We love these people, they do a great job at running the joint- from the pastors to the receptionists.

On my way to a meeting this morning I wanted to say thanks to everyone in the parish office and brought them by a batch of brownies. I’ve wanted to do something like this for a while-, and I love these brownies. I hope that by cutting them into little squares it will be less intimidating to everyone who made New Year’s resolutions to try and eat better…

Chocolate Chip Mocha Brownies
Chocolate Chip Mocha Brownies

Chocolate Chip Peppermint Mocha Brownies- (TIP: Did you know, if you cut your brownies with a PLASTIC knife, they wont shred, or get gummed up on the knife? For real! I didn’t believe it until I tried it, side by side with a metal knife.)

To one box (or home made batch) of your favorite brownie mix, add these extra ingredients: 1 Tablespoon of instant coffee dissolved in the water that your recipe calls for; 1 Tablespoon of Vanilla; 1 cup chocolate chips… or more. Go to town if you are a chocoholic.

Mix these ingredients into the brownie batter, then pour into your baking dish.

Before placing into oven and baking as directed, smash up about 10-15 starlight mints or 4 big candy canes, sprinkle crushed peppermint candy over batter in pan.

Bake and enjoy!! The peppermints melt into a glaze on top and are delicious! This tastes a lot like a Starbucks Peppermint Mocha to me.

New Menu Monday- Roast Beef with Root Vegetables

Monday evenings are my favorite for one reason- we are all home. And since I love to cook, my family is subject to my main hobby whether they like it or not.

Usually they enjoy my cooking, but I always serve the same side dishes every time… like for the last 10-15 years. If salmon is for dinner, it comes with brown basmati rice and spinach. We all love this combination, and why change it? NO ONE, especially me, wants to hear whining about what is put on the table for them to eat.

Roast beef? We love it served with baked potatoes, broccoli, pinto beans and salsa, too. This is by far the family’s favorite meal. But alas, the cook is bored and a new muse has come barging into my imagination- I am going to force introduce New Menu Monday, and drag my family along for the ride.

Ever try a parsnip or turnip? I haven’t, but that is going into tonight’s dinner. Onions, carrots, garlic and potatoes too.

Photos are of the ingredients, prep work, oven ready (350 for three hours), and dinner!

Pot Roast with Roasted Root Vegetables
Pot Roast with Roasted Root Vegetables -3 lb chuck roast sprinkled with salt and pepper -4 medium red potatoes, halved -1 onion, quartered (leave part of the root attached so the onion holds together) -4 carrots, chunked up -2 parsnips, chunked up -1 turnip, chunked -4 to 8 cloves of garlic, smashed -2 cups chicken broth -1/4 cup red wine   Turn oven to 350. Place roast in large, heavy covered baking dish. Sprinkle roast with salt, grind pepper over it, pour broth around roast. Chop as directed and add all vegetables. Place lidded dish in oven and bake for 2 1/2 to 3 hours or until meat is very tender. Serve with a green salad, maybe?

I’ll update this post with the family’s verdict…

Everyone liked the new vegetables, except my son. He is still swearing that I tried to kill him him by serving turnips.  Insert eye roll here.

156,000 Calories + Fresh Tortillas = A New Kind of Happy

Pancho Villa Market is where you can head in San Diego for freshly made tortillas. We are out of torts, so, here I am. Instead of a usual post-grocery shopping snack of little,street-style carne asada soft tacos, today I’m looking for something different.

The fabulous woman behind the counter and I combined our Spanish and English and came up with these snacks: birria de res, and buche de puerco, a chile relleno, some carnitas, and a burrito with adobada de pollo. (Need to brush up on your high school Spanish? Here’s a great site for a cheat sheet- “A Gringo’s Guide to Mexican Food,” or, “Everything You Need to Know to Read a Taqueria Menu.” at

Carnitas and rellenos I know, but the adobada, birria and buche were all new to me. And I will eat anything if it is something other people will regularly eat- no squeamishness in me. Bring on the tripas, medudo is one of my favorites.

WHERE HAVE THESE BEEN ALL MY LIFE?!? The birria and buche became little, soft tacos as fast as possible by toasting up the tiny corn tortillas and adding a little jack cheese and lettuce.

Buche de Puerco on the left, birria de res on the right (ignore what the lids may say, we were too hungry to care about the details).
IMG_5130 2
Buche and birria soft tacos. YUM!
Front- burrito with pollo de adobada, Back- husband swiping carnitas