Secret Recipe Club


The other day I visited with Heather.  It was her fault that I just sat down because she did just invite me to “Join us, Pull up a Chair“. And since she was my ‘assignment’ for SRC I knew she wouldn’t mind a long visit.  Because it was.  It took a while to find the recipes I wanted to make.  Not because I couldn’t find anything but because I found lots of things to chose from.  But I had to narrow it down – a lot – from the 15 recipes I Pinned.

But I did!

I started with dessert.  I mean, why not?

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Oatmeal Cream Pies.

With a maple cream filling.  No need to make any changes here.  Except when I went to pull out my treasured jug of REAL GOOD Maple syrup, it wasn’t there!  Bother!  So I added some coconut to the cream filling.   Still tasty!  The Man ate all of them.

After enjoying a sweet treat we moved on to a tasty supper.

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I do love pizza.  With lots of cheese.  The more melty the better.  I don’t love crust, not because I don’t love bread, but I don’t need the carbs.  So when I saw Heather’s LOW CARB PIZZA CASSEROLE I knew I had to try it.  All the joys of pizza WITHOUT the crust.  Altho’ I did kinda miss the crust to sop up the juicy goodness in the bottom.  What we have here is mushrooms, Italian seasoning, Mozzarella, and sausage baked in a lovely tomato sauce.  The only change I made was to leave off the turkey pepperoni.  Not a fan.  Definitely a repeat for lunch!

I have two MAJOR fave foods.  A good steak.  Anything with Shrimp. And I also like easy dishes.  This one is basically made in one skillet.  Just one.  Not lots of pots and pans to clean up with this one.  That’s a good thing with these long days and late cooking. So for dinner:

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Shrimp Orzo Skillet

…which is just as good as it sounds.  I have two MAJOR fave foods.  A good steak.  Anything with Shrimp. And I also like easy dishes.  This one is basically made in one skillet.  Just one.  Not lots of pots and pans to clean up with this one.  That’s a good thing with these long days and late cooking.  The only change I made – instead of just salt and pepper mixed with the sugar to cook the shrimp I added some Creole seasoning to add some heat!  YUM!!

I’m definitely coming back for Heather’s Upside Down Sausage and ‘hroom Pizza, her Quinoa Mac & Cheese, and her Mad Hatter Salad when I have more than two people to feed.  And THEN after I had my choices and was writing she goes and adds  Slow Cooker Au Gratin Potatoes.  **SIGH** so add those to the list as well.  {She may have a longer visit than she anticipated. :) } And…. the Baked Zucchini Fries just might be on the menu tonight!  And maybe the Apple Pie Empanadas  for dessert?

For more Secret Recipe Treats check out       !

Hard to believe it is already March 18th.  I am constantly astounded at how quickly time goes by.  Seems like just yesterday I received my ‘assignment’ for The Secret Recipe Club and now it already time to post about it.  This month I cooked with Sarah.  She is the cook/baker and mother of three adorable kitties who blogs over at The Pajama Chef.  Lucky for her husband she  loves to try out new dishes and he becomes her sous chef.

As usual I found more recipes than I had time to make.  For some reason I gravitated toward sides and sweets this month so that is what I went with.

First the veggies:  How about Baked Cauli-Tots Two Ways

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Cauliflower is one of my favorite veggies.  As a child I only ate three – cauliflower, broccoli, and corn. And the only way I would eat the cauliflower was with cheese.  Times haven’t changed much except this time the recipe is different.  Shredded cauliflower baked with herbs and cheese.  Good Stuff!!  I made mine in mini cupcake tins and they were perfect bites.

And then two sweets.  The Man has been asking for something to eat with lunch.  Just a little bite of something sweet.

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How about Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies and not just any filling but dulce de leche – Caramel!  Yep, made from Sweetened Condensed milk.  Cooked until it is thick and super sweet.  Fortunately I keep several cans in the pantry already to use.  While she empties the can into a double boiler and cooks it until it is very thick I have always just cooked 3 – 4 cans in boiling water so I always have some.  These are very sweet and one or two are all you need to satisfy that sweet tooth.  I don’t think I will make just plain cookies again.

One night I needed something just for the two of us.  Something that would be gone in one night.  Sarah’s Twice Baked Apple Crisps were just the thing.  They were good, but the crisp just would not cooperate for me.  So we had Baked Apples in Sauce.  :(.

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I don’t know what happened here.  But it was still good, especially with a little whipped cream.  Sarah suggested ice cream and that would have been so much better.

Next on my list:

Butternut squash and quinoa salad

Stovetop Mac and Cheese with Broccoli

Sausage Pepper Penne”

Amish Cheeseburger Soup

and lots more….. I’ll be going back to visit Sarah because I know I will want to make more of her dishes. Too good to pass up.

Please visit the rest of Group C and see what they cooked up this month.

If you want to join in the fun visit The Secret Recipe Club to find out how.

Do you have moments you savor? I do. A particular time with My Babies. A weekend away with The Man. Fishing with Dad. Yep! All important moments to keep in the memory for later.

Well, this month I found something else to savor. A new blog to read and cook from thanks to The Secret Recipe ClubSavory Moments.  This blog is run by Amy and covers

“My journey to learn more and more about food and cooking..”

And she has done a great job.  She has a wonderful collection of recipes that she is keeping for her family and her recipes focus on fresh, local, and healthy.  I was excited to find so many delicious recipes that were also easy to make:  Cheddar ham and broccoli quinoa casserole, Peanut butter cup bars, Creole chicken with cheddar and scallion grits,  and Tomato-basil soup are all saved for later.  So if I’m making those later, what did I make this time for SRC?

Lt’s start with breakfast.  Pancakes.  Pumpkin Pancakes.  With Maple syrup and toasted pecans  I love pancakes.  They are probably my favorite breakfast.  More than waffles.  More than eggs and bacon. m So when I saw these Pumpkin oatmeal pancakes {for two} I knew I had to try them.  It was the right thing to do.

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They reminded me of pumpkin bread.  Full of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and brown sugar.  I made just a couple of changes.  I increased the pumpkin to 3/4 cup rather than 1/2 and I added some cooked 7-Grain cereal to the mix.  I figured a little more fiber wouldn’t hurt  Then instead of toasted walnuts, I used toasted pecans.  I do enjoy pecans in or on my pancakes.  Perfect.  Amy said these were for two and I ended up with 8 medium sized pancakes.Perfect!  I think these would make good waffles as well.

 Next on the list I found several muffin recipes.   I love making muffins.  No frosting. No papers to peel off.  Just out of the oven and eat. Sweet?  Not Sweet?  How about some delicious healthy muffins?

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Whole Wheat Muffins to be exact.  With a little brown sugar to bring out the sweetness of the bananas.  Amy suggested folding in some walnuts, cranberries, or chocolate chips but I opted for some big sweet blueberries instead.  Blueberries are so good for you so adding them to the whole wheat muffins makes them almost guilt free.  And delicious.

That’s what I made to have around for a snack.

For supper we had…

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Bacon Cheeseburger Pie.  This is not your usual hamburger pie.  Instead of adding some veggies and covering with mashed potatoes this pie is baked in a pie crust with all the ingredients of a bacon cheeseburger – thus the name!  There’s bacon, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, and yellow mustard. And of course, lots of cheese.  Amy used  Yancey’s Fancy Grilled Bacon Cheeseburger cheese but I could not find that here in South Podunk so I followed her suggestion and used a sharp cheddar mixed with some crumbled bacon. YUM!!

I have the ingredients for her Cheddar Broccoli soup and the Cheddar ham and broccoli quinoa casserole waiting in the wings.  Looking forward to making them real soon.

Thanks for some great healthy recipes,  Amy.  I enjoyed my visit.  I’ll be back!

For more recipes from the Secret Recipe Club just follow the Frog.

I like to cook. No, I LOVE to cook. Good thing since I need to feed my family. But I only really learned to cook about 10 years ago or so. Beautiful Daughter used to come home and ask me what I was burning for supper that night. I know. But I love her anyway. Cooking was just something I did. NOW it’s something I DO!! And thanks to blogs like Living the Gourmet, which was my Secret Recipe Club ‘assignment” this month, it gets easier all the time.  Catherine, Tammy, and Michael Pappas are the people behind the blog.  Catherine is the founder who wanted a way to leave recipes for her children.  Tammy, her daughter, is the photographer (and her photos are beautiful).  Michael, her son, is in charge of interviews and product reviews.  The three of them are quite a team.

As usual it was hard to find just one recipe, so as is my habit I narrowed it down to three. (Why three?  Once I get my assignment I take a week to read and then try to cook one recipe each week until the reveal.  Makes it easier.)

The first recipe I tried was

ASIAN STYLE MARINATED SALMON FILET 

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A wonderfully flavored salmon fillet marinated in

      3 tbs. teriyaki sauce
      2 tbs. rice wine vinegar
      1 tsp. orange marmalade or apricot sauce
      ¼ cup of Italian parsley – chopped
      1 large clove of garlic – chopped
      1 inch piece of fresh ginger – chopped
      1 tbs. sesame oil
      2 tbs. soy sauce

then baked grilled until the fish is flaky. I’m glad I made two fillets because it was delicious.

Next came

YELLOW SQUASH WITH SAUSAGE AND PASTA

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A delicious mix of pasta, Italian sausage, yellow squash {I subbed in a zucchini}
Catherine’s recipe called for Italian sausage, yellow squash, lots of garlic, red onion, Italian parsley, fresh basil, red pepper flakes and dried oregano for flavor. There is no way you would not like this one.

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And THEN there’s dessert….

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This is no-churn HONEY VANILLA AND BROWN SUGAR ICE CREAM.

I love making no-churn ice cream. I’ve made ice cream in a table top churn for eons but sometimes you just want something easier. And these no-churn definitely are. If you have made this you know it is super simple. Whip together 2 cups of heavy cream with 1 can sweetened condensed milk and a 1 tsp vanilla. Catherine added in ¼ cup brown sugar and 3-4 tbs. honey. Catherine garnished hers with mini cookies but I didn’t have any so I used turbinado sugar.  The honey definitely adds an extra layer of flavor.

I think this one just became my favorite one.

Thanks, Living the Gourmet for some great recipes still to come.

There’s more for Secret Recipe Club.  Click on the frog.

    ..of luck…

you get assigned to a blog for Secret Recipe Club that has lots of simple, and tasty, recipes. And that is what happened this month when my Secret Assignment was A Little Bit of Everything which is written by Julie WAY up in the plains Nebraska. And I mean way way up because I am WAY down in the Deep South of Louisiana. She has been blogging since 2009 and has a collection of recipes to prove it.

As usual, and we are all in the same boat each month, it was hard to find JUST ONE recipe for SRC so I tried several. And they were all good. And all simple.

It has FINALLY turned cool here which means I could enjoy a nice bowl of oatmeal {I don’t like oatmeal, or soup, in the summer. Just too hot! I know, I’m weird.} and lucky for me Julie had a Pumpkin Oatmeal on the blog.

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It is full of all those wonderful pumpkin pie spices, pecans, and maple syrup. It was just right. I wish I had made more than just 1/2 of the recipe.

There was also a recipe for Butterscotch Pumpkin Muffins

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Talk about tasty. Ditto on the pumpkin spices and then add in the butterscotch chips and it was a definite winner.

    1 3/4 cup flour, sifted
    1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
    1/2 cup sugar
    1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
    1 teaspoon cinnamon
    1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/4 teaspoon baking powder
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    2 large eggs
    1 cup canned pumpkin
    1/2 cup butter, melted
    1 cup butterscotch chips

Preheat oven to 350.
In a large bowl, combine flour, sugars, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Create a well in the middle of the mixture.
In another bowl, whisk together eggs, pumpkin and butter. Stir in the butterscotch chips. Pour into the well of the dry ingredients. Fold together just until dry ingredients are moistened. Do not ove rmix.
Spoon batter into greased muffin tins. Spoon batter evenly into muffin tins.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Place on a rack to cool.

    Oh, yeah, and then I drizzled some with caramel. MAYBE a little over the top, but hey….

We eat a lot of ice cream year round. Or at least The Hubs does. So I had to make Julie’s Cake Batter Ice Cream.

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Okay, it wasn’t completely her recipe. I have fallen in love with the No Churn ice cream so I used her amount of cake batter {3/4 cup} in the no churn. What a great Idea!!! You can have your cake and ice cream at the same time. Add some sprinkles and it’s a party in a bowl!!

So here it is the weekend before the reveal and I still have about 10 items on my list from Julie’s recipes:

Which just happen to be the next three on my list. I cannot put my whole list so you bettr just jump on over to A Little Bit of Everything and check them out your self. AND, when you click on her lists they come up in PINTEREST!! Now why didn’t I think of that?

And for the rest of the SRC delights you can find them by clicking below:

It’s reveal day for Secret Recipe Club. The day we trot out the new recipes we have discovered on our ‘assigned’ foodie blog. The day we glorify the fun dishes we have made from someone else’s kitchen. This month I Homesteaded with April over at Angel’s Homestead.

April lives on three acres with her husband and lives by her definition of Homesteading:

    Engaging in a give-and-take relationship with the earth. Growing your own food, cooking from scratch, raising backyard livestock, collecting rainwater, simplifying your life, reducing your impact, and living in harmony with nature.

I discovered not only some easy and delicious recipes but some great ideas for the home as well. Like a great Emergency Substitution Chart when you run out of every day ingredients, Gardening 101 but since this is a COOKING Club…

If you been reading about my SRC adventures you KNOW I cannot make just one dish. I just find too many to decide on less than three. I mean it’s hard enough to narrow down to that let alone JUST ONE! I had decided to cook a roast for Sunday Dinner this month. That is something I don’t do often anymore for just the two of us. I remembered seeing that April had a Crock Pot Beef Roast on the blog so I used that one.

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It was nice not having to worry about the cooking. And fragrance of that roast cooking wafted through the house all day.

To go with the roast that night I made her…

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So good! I usually just cut the butternut in half, deseed it, and then nuke it adding cinnamon sugar after the fact. THIS was so much better!!! And so simple!!

    1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes (about 6 cups, cubed)
    2 tablespoons pure olive oil
    2 tablespoons Organic Coconut Sugar I used Turbinado instead.
    1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
    1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
Place squash cubes into a large bowl, along with the olive oil, coconut sugar, cinnamon, and salt and toss together until the squash is well coated.
Spread the squash into one layer on a large foil covered baking sheet that has been lightly greased. Don’t crowd them or the pieces won’t brown.
Roast squash for 25 to 30 minutes, depending on your oven, turning the squash over and rotating the pan halfway through the cooking time, until the edges are browned and centers are tender.

Not wanting to stop there I made the dinner complete with her Fluffy Dinner Rolls.

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If you need some rolls in about an hour or less THESE are the ones you need to make. These were the best rolls I have ever made. And I have made a lot of rolls!!!

It won’t be long before I go back and make her Philly Cheese Steak Pizza, Pecan Pie Muffins, or her Strawberry Cheesecake Parfaits.

Thanks April for some great EATS!

You can check out the other Secret Assignments by clicking below

Have you met Melissa? She is my Secret Recipe Club assignment for August. She is just up the block from me in Michigan. Well, maybe not JUST up the block since I am in Louisiana. But after reading through her blog posts and looking at ALL her recipes I feel like we have been visiting each other. She has a beautiful little girl named Summer and she loves to be in the kitchen where she cooks for her family and friends but she LOVES to bake. And I could tell from the list of cookies, cakes, etc on her blog. I did so wish I needed a sweet treat in the house…..I could have filled my freezer and my friend’s freezers with enough treats for a year!!!

You know I cannot just do ONE recipe. I like to get a better feel for my ‘assignment’ so I usually end up with at least two and usually three of their recipes. No different this time. I hope it is a good variety.

I started with her Quinoa Pilaf.

Like Melissa I was late to the Quinoa party but I am making up for lost time. I love subbing it in rice dishes and sometimes pasta so when I ran across this recipe I knew I had to make it.

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Her original recipe called for celery but there was none in the house so I threw in some fresh corn and red bell pepper instead. Love all the colors. All you need to do is saute your veggies (she also has chopped carrots in hers) in some butter. Throw in about a cup of rinsed quinoa. Add enough chicken or veggie broth to cook it along with some salt, pepper, and fresh thyme. It came together very quickly and was the perfect side with our burgers the other night.


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Melissa’s Aunt-in-Law used to make small Strombolis for her Grandmother to freeze, reheat, and eat. This made me crave, like Melissa, some Strombolis for supper. I used Melissa’s dough recipe but subbed out 1/2 of the white for whole wheat flour. I filled one with typical pizza toppings – pepperoni, cheese, red sauce,

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and one with ham chunks and lots of Mozzarella cheese. Both were delicious and didn’t last past one meal. I made them rather large hoping for leftovers, but it was not to be. Guess I will just have to make them again!!!


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This morning for breakfast, well, brunch, I couldn’t decide between Melissa’s Blueberry Scones, Blueberry Pancakes, or the Egg Muffins. I finally decided on the…

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How can anyone turn down pancakes? These were crunchy on the outside, due to being ‘fried’ in butter, and creamy on the outside. And did I tell you they were chock full of BLUEBERRIES?? They were! Smothered in butter and Maple syrup they were the perfect plate. This doesn’t mean I won’t try the scones or muffins, just not THIS Sunday!

So these are just three of Melissa’s recipes. All three were just right and I will go back for more. I still want to make her Whole Wheat noodles, Kung Pao Chicken, Biscoff Shakes, Chocolate PB Mug Cake, and anyone of her trillion sweet treats.

I love Secret Recipe Club . Meeting new cooks/bakers every month. Trying new recipes. Some inside the box, some not. You should join us!

And check out this month’s other member’s dishes.


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