I am a newlywed on a budget, just trying to make healthy and inexpensive meals for my husband and I to enjoy. He eats a lot, so cost is a big factor. Though I work 3 jobs, I manage to find time 6 nights a week to cook a full dinner for us both. I am constantly looking for new recipes that are moderately healthy, taste great, and won't break the bank.

On the side, I also own a brownie business called Gersheybars. My passion and love for cooking started when I was just a small child, baking with my mom and grandmother. The brownie recipe has been passed down through 5 generations and I am thrilled to finally have an outlet to share them with everybody else. Friends and family have helped spread the word and made my business as successful as it is today.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Grilled Pepper Steak and Herb-Roasted Onions

Tonight's dinner was superb. Really, fantastic. We grilled top sirloin steaks, which were so darn simple. Just drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and coat with cracked pepper. Then grill to perfection (135 degrees for me)! Yum.

And Ina Garten's Herb-Roasted Onions were such an easy compliment to the dinner. I'd definitely recommend the recipe, especially the vinaigrette. It's pretty versatile and would taste good on just about any vegetable, or even used as a salad dressing.

The original recipe is here, but I'll repost for convenience sake too.

  • 2 red onions
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves (I used oregano instead, personal preference)
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup good olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon minced fresh parsley leaves
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

  2. Remove the stem end of each onion and carefully slice off the brown part of the root end, leaving the root intact. Peel the onion. Stand each onion root end up on a cutting board and cut the onion in wedges through the root. Place the wedges in a bowl.

  3. For the dressing, combine the lemon juice, mustard, garlic, thyme, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Slowly whisk in the olive oil. Pour the dressing over the onions and toss well.

  4. With a slotted spoon, transfer the onions to a sheet pan, reserving the vinaigrette that remains in the bowl. Bake the onions for 30 to 45 minutes, until tender and browned. Toss the onions once during cooking. Remove from the oven, and drizzle with the reserved dressing. Sprinkle with parsley, season to taste and serve warm or at room temperature.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Pineapple Fried Rice & Chicken

There's a lovely food blogger, by the name of Joelen, who has the most amazing blog ever. Seriously, her culinary adventures sound fantastic, and I am highly envious. Tonight, I decided to make her pineapple fried rice, and add in some chicken as well. The original recipe is from her blog, but I will repost it here for convenience. The rice was quick and easy to make, and very tasty.

The only change I made was to add some chicken to it. And I didn't have green onions, so I omitted them (though I think they'd make the dish that much more delicious). The end result was a sweet and salty fried rice, and a sort of glazed chicken addition (my chicken addition is below the recipe).

  • 2 cups cold prepared rice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons olive or canola oil
  • 2-3 stalks green onion, sliced
  • 1 small can pineapple tibits, drained
  • 1-2 tablespoons lite sodium soy sauce
  • salt & pepper to taste
  1. In a wok or skillet, heat oil.When hot, add diced white onion, garlic, pineapple and half of the sliced green onion.Toss and heat until white onions are softened.
  2. Add cold rice, crumbling it with your hands.
  3. Fold rice into the onion/pineapple mixture.
  4. Allow rice to heat & crisp up.
  5. Add remaining green onion and toss.
  6. Drizzle in the soy sauce for additional flavor and color.
  7. Add salt & pepper to taste.
  8. Fold or toss rice to fully combine.
  9. Serve when heated through.
My chicken addition is as follows.
  • 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 3 T brown sugar
  • 2T honey
  • 2T sesame oil
  1. Cut chicken into chunks. Mix soy sauce, sugar, honey and oil in a small container. Toss chicken in mixture and marinate about 2-4 hours.
  2. In a wok, heat 1-2 tablespoons oil. Stir-fry chicken until caramel colored and cooked through. Remove from pan and set aside. Continue with fried rice recipe above, in same wok, and add chicken in at the end, just to heat through.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Mascarpone Cheesecake

This is, by far, one of the best cheesecake recipes I've ever made. It's super simple to make, but it's so creamy and smooth and rich and delicious! I've made it plain, and with pumpkin, and both versions are awesome.

This particular time I made it, was the first time I'd used my oven in the new house. So my timing was off and it was slightly underdone, which is why the picture shows a pretty unclean looking piece of cake. But it's still quite tasty and who am I to let a little undercooked-ness ruin my evening?!


  • 1 1/2 c. graham cracker crumbs
  • 2/3 stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 T. cinnamon
  • 2 T. sugar
  1. Melt butter in microwave safe bowl. Pour graham cracker crumbs, cinnamon and sugar into bottom of springform pan. Add melted butter and use fingers to combine ingredients until they are wet enough to be patted into a crust. Pat the crust into the bottom of the pan, not up the sides. Set aside.
  • 2 lbs. cream cheese
  • 1/2 lb. Mascarpone
  • 1 1/4 c. sugar
  • 1 T. and 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 c pumpkin puree (I always buy the one for pumpkin pie, it says it has additional spices in it like cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, etc)
  1. Blend cheeses and sugar on low, until smooth. Do not overmix.
  2. Add eggs and vanilla....blend on low until creamy. Reserve 1 cup of batter. Pour remaining batter into crust.
  3. Mix reserved cup of batter with pumpkin puree and pour on top of regular batter. Swirl it together with a knife, or just spread evenly on top for a layered look.
  4. Bake at 300 til almost set...about 45min to an hour. Cool completely before removing from pan.