September 29, 2012

Lattes for Two

Post by: Christian (Audra’s daughter)

A big mystery to me has always been how to make the perfect latte, and one Saturday my mystery was solved. I really wanted to surprise my mom with a good cup of coffee and one of her favorite coffees is a White Chocolate Mocha from Starbucks. With that thought in mind, I went into my kitchen and whipped up this recipe for a White Chocolate Latte. (Literally whipped up the recipe) This wonderful drink became an instant favorite for the both of us and is often made on Saturdays. Because of its deliciousness my mom asked me to post this recipe in honor of our lovely Saturday morning tradition and National Day of Coffee. I hope you can share this latte with someone special soon.

White Chocolate latte

(makes 2 lattes)
1/3 cup White Chocolate Chips
(I use Nestle White Chocolate Chips)
1 cup Milk (We use 1%)
1 tsp. of Vanilla Extract
9 oz. extra bold or double strength coffee or
16 oz. when using light roast coffee

Step 1: Make your coffee and set aside. In a small sauce pan heat milk and vanilla on medium/low heat . While waiting for it to warm, measure out about 1/3 cup chocolate chips. I use a little over 1/3 cup so I guess you could consider it a “heaping” 1/3 cup. I have made several variations of this latte and found that this is the perfect measurement, because 1/2  cup makes the drink too sweet while a little less than 1/3 cup is not sweet enough for our taste.

White Chocolate Chips

Step 2: Stir milk occasionally until it is slightly bubbling on the sides and is steamy. This indicates the milk is warm enough to add the white chocolate chips.


Step 3: Whisk the chocolate chips until melted and after they are melted continue to whisk until enough foam has formed. This  usually takes about a minute or two. 


Step four: Divide coffee equally into two cups.Then equally pour this delicious creamer into each cup to desired taste. I usually put a half a cup to a forth a cup of the creamer in each cup depending on the strength of the coffee.

Tip: To get foam on the top of the coffee hold the spoon at the edge of the pot and pour creamer. Then scrape the top of the creamer from the pan with the spoon to collect foam and place on the top of your coffee.


I hope you and your coffee buddy enjoy this recipe as much as me and my mom do. Thank you for stopping by and Happy National Coffee day!

September 28, 2012

Pumpkin Bread

What is fall without pumpkin bread?
This pumpkin bread is very soft and moist; a perfect complement to a warm cup of coffee. I hope you and your family enjoy this recipe soon!
Happy fall!

Pumpkin Bread

Ingredients:makes 1 loaf
This recipe has been moved, click here for the full recipe.

September 27, 2012

Pico de Gallo

Pico de Gallo is a wonderful addition to just about anything! Top burgers, tacos, nachos, fish, grilled chicken...the possibilities are endless! This is how I make my Pico de Gallo, I hope you enjoy the recipe!

Pico de Gallo

4 roma tomatoes, chopped
1  jalapeño, seeded and chopped (add seeds if you want more spice)
2-3 garlic cloves minced (depending on the size of your garlic cloves and taste)
1/2 sweet yellow onion, chopped
1/4 cup chopped cilantro (or to taste)
juice of 1 lime or lemon
kosher salt and ground pepper (to taste)
1 tsp apple cider vinegar

Mix all ingredients together and enjoy the freshness and the aroma of all these wonderful Mexican flavors!
Makes approximately 2 cups.

September 25, 2012

Egg in a Hole

To be honest, I have never heard of "Egg in a Hole" until a few weeks ago. One day I was scrolling down my Facebook newsfeed and found a picture of 
Necessary Indulgence's first Egg in a Hole.
I was so intrigued! I had to quickly make my own and now my whole family is addicted! What a easy and quick breakfast idea! If you have not tried this fun breakfast, I promise you will not be disappointed :) I serve my egg in a hole with jellied round toast, a sliced tomato, and cucumbers! Serving cucumbers and tomatoes with eggs and toast is something my grandmother always did, and I am so glad I took after her! Yum :)

Egg in a Hole

bread of your choice
salt and pepper (to taste)

First cut a 2 inch hole in the center of the bread. I used a biscuit cutter, I have also seen  a heart cookie cutter used, such a cute idea! Next, heat griddle on medium heat and melt 1/2 TBS butter. Lay bread on the griddle or frying pan and crack a egg in the hole. Season with salt and pepper and cook for about 2 minutes or until lightly toasted.

Egg in a Hole 2

Add butter to the griddle or bread as needed to brown and crisp the toast. Flip the egg and round, season with salt and pepper. Cook another 2 minutes for a runny yolk, or slightly longer for a set egg.
Egg in a Hole 3
Egg in a Hole 5

I hope you will enjoy this brilliant breakfast soon!

September 20, 2012

Love with Food Giveaway

I was so excited when Love With Food contacted me to do this giveaway. Their monthly boxes are the easiest way to discover and sample the best gourmet food delivered to your door for only $10/month.  Not only are you getting to experience gourmet food, for every box sent, a meal is donated to feed hungry children right here in America. As of this month Love with Food has already donated more than 8,500 meals.

Love with Food's monthly subscription offers a selection of 8+ hand-picked gourmet food samples. The tasty goodies featured each month will vary based on seasonal themes, like healthy snacks in January and Valentine's sweets in February. If members like the samples and are hungry for more, they can come back to the Love with Food's website to purchase the item at a special discount

This September’s box is being curated by famous blogger -
Back in Skinny Jeans, and has a vegan theme.
Look at all this wonderful food my family and I got to sample!

This months box included:
Hand Roasted Granola with Raisins
Barrel Aged Balsamic Vinegar
Barrel Aged Balsamic Vinegar + Pomegranate
Barrel Aged Balsamic Vinegar + Raspberry
Almond Butter
Roasted Edamame
Tropical Blend Dried Fruit
Muscat Grape Jelly
Maya Herbal Coffee
Vanilla Nut Herbal Coffee
Chocolate Herbal Coffee
Hazelnut Herbal Coffee
I was very excited to sample the coffee out of this box! The Chocolate Herbal Coffee was my favorite. This coffee was so smooth and delightful, a perfect dessert beverage. I will be ordering more Chocolate Coffee in the future. Not only was this box fun for me, but my kids were also inspired to sample this gourmet food too!

Love with Food Giveaway
Now, who's ready to be a winner of October’s amazing box?!

Love with Food is offering one of my readers a free first-month subscription.
Please know that in order to redeem the first-month free trial, the winner must sign up for the service by entering their contact info and payment info as if they were signing up for a monthly subscription. Of course, winners will not be charged, and they may cancel at any time.

Please enter below using the rafflecopter widget
(give it a few seconds to load)

If you want to get started right away, Food with Love is offering a $2.00 off coupon to all Once a Mom...Always a Cook readers, just enter the code
(valid until 10/01/2012)
These boxes are also a perfect holiday gift for all your foodie friends and family!
Click here for a direct link to Love with Food subscriptions.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

September 17, 2012

Grilled Romaine Hearts with Spiced Rubbed Grilled Chicken

Fall is my favorite season, and I am so excited it's just around the corner! I love the colors of fall and the aroma of spices that fill my kitchen each year. I must warn you I also love pumpkin too. My daughter and I have already made two pumpkin pies and one pecan pie! I told her we had to stop, so we can enjoy all these flavors throughout the holidays. We just couldn't wait...pumpkin fever!

Back to romaine lettuce...I love grilling romaine lettuce and it especially pairs well with this Spice Rubbed Grilled Chicken I found over at
The Fountain Avenue Kitchen!
It was no surprise this recipe was a big hit with the family. Everyone loved the warmness of the grilled romaine lettuce and the spices of the rub. Then Ann's Everything Sauce brought all the flavors together! This was a perfect fall salad and I hope you will be able to enjoy this recipe soon.

Grilled Romaine

Grilling romaine hearts is so easy and it brings new flavors everyone will enjoy!

3 romaine hearts
3 TBS Extra Virgin
Olive Oil
salt and pepper (to taste)
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 TBS vinegar (your choice of vinegar)
I did not add vinegar to this batch because I drizzled Ann's Everything Sauce over the salad!

First mix olive oil, vinegar and seasonings together.
Olive Oil and Herbs

Strip any bad leaves and wash and dry your romaine hearts. Then cut about an inch off the tips.
Romaine Lettuce

Then clean the brown ends leaving the root intact.

Romaine Lettuce End

Next, brush olive oil mixture over the romaine hearts covering all sides. Then place romaine hearts on a hot grill. Turn often until each side is nicely charred and slightly wilted.
Grilled Romaine 1

Chop grilled lettuce and serve with Ann's Spice Rubbed Grilled Chicken and Everything Sauce, click here for the recipe. This meal was also severed with

Rice Select Royal Blend
2 cups Royal Blend
3 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 tsp butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 tsp garlic and herb seasoning

Combine broth, rice blend, salt, seasoning, and butter in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Cover with tight fitting lid; reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to stand for 5 to 10 minutes. Fluff with fork.


September 7, 2012

Spinach and Mushroom Lasagna Roll Ups

Lasagna roll ups are a great way to put an elegant look on lasagna. They are so easy to make and your family will love them!

spinach and mushroom lasagna roll ups

 Feel free to use your favorite jar sauce in place of the sauce if you need to speed things up!

The Sauce
1 small purple onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1- 15 oz can tomato sauce
1- 6 oz can tomato paste
1 cup chicken broth (add more if needed)
1 TBS of fresh chopped oregano or 1 tsp. dried oregano
1 TBS of fresh chopped marjoram or 1 tsp. dried marjoram
1 TBS of fresh chopped oregano or 1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp garlic & herb
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 TBS honey
kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
1 lbs ground beef
(If you want to go meatless skip this ingredient)

Sauté onion and garlic in olive oil. Remove onions and garlic and set aside. In the same pan you sautéed the onions and garlic add beef and cook until no longer pink. If your beef is fatty, drain the grease. In a large pan add tomato paste, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes (optional), chicken broth, onion, garlic, honey, all herbs, salt and pepper.
Add fresh chopped tomatoes to the sauce is you have any on hand (optional)
meat to mixture. Cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes.

Spinach and Mushroom Lasagna Roll Ups
makes 8
8 lasagna noodles
16 oz ricotta cheese
1 egg
1/4 tsp of each: oregano, basil, marjoram
1- 12 oz bag baby spinach, chopped
1-  8 oz package of fresh mushrooms (of your choice), chopped
olive oil
1/2 lbs mozzarella cheese

shredded parmesan cheese

the sauce is cooking, prepare lasagna noodles according to the package directions. Boil a few extras in case any break or tear.

, beat the egg in a medium bowl. Then 
add ricotta cheese, add all herbs and mix well.

Heat olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add chopped spinach and mushrooms and cook for about 5-7 minutes, or until mushrooms are tender and spinach has wilted.

Now you are ready to assemble the lasagna rolls!
First spray each side of the noodles with olive oil to prevent sticking. I used a cutting board to lay out each lasagna noodle and assemble. Then spread a layer of ricotta cheese, then top with sautéed spinach and mushrooms, and last sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and shredded parmesan cheese .

lasagna roll up

Then roll up...
Roll up

In a 9 x13 baking dish pour 1 1/2 cup of sauce, enough to lightly cover the bottom. Place each lasagna roll up seam side down. Pour remaining sauce mixture over the roll ups and sprinkle the tops with shredded parmesan, mozzarella cheese, and a little dried oregano. Cover with foil and cook at 375 degrees for 35 minutes.

This meal pairs well with fresh steamed green beans or a fresh garden salad!

Serve warm, take a bite, and enjoy!

Take a bite lasagna roll up

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