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.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Korean Spicy Pork

I found this on Allrecipes, and while I don't know quite how authentic this recipe really is, it's damn tasty and very easy to make. A little sweet, a touch spicy, and very garlicky. Just the way the Bickford's like their food! I marinated the pork overnight in the sauce, along with the green and white onions, so that all I had to do was stir-fry it when I was ready to make dinner the next night. Super simple, full of flavor, and definitely going on our "staple" list. While stir-frying, there was a lot of water that came out, I guess from the onions? So I'd recommend draining it halfway through and getting rid of all that extra liquid.

This would also probably be very tasty with flank steak, cut into thin strips and stir fried. It's on my list to try in the next few weeks, and I will update the post after I do!

  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup gochu jang (Korean hot pepper paste) (I didn't have this, so I used about a teaspoon of Sriracha hot sauce in stead)
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh ginger root (I cut this in half and it was plenty gingery!)
  • 2 tablespoons red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • 3 green onions, cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 1/2 yellow onion, cut into 1/4-inch thick rings
  • 1 (2 pound) pork loin, cut into 1/4 inch slices
  • canola oil
  1. Stir together the vinegar, soy sauce, hot pepper paste, garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes, black pepper, sugar, green onions, and yellow onion in a large bowl. Mix in the pork slices, mixing well until completely coated. Place into a resealable plastic bag, squeeze out any excess air, seal, and marinate in the refrigerator at least 3 hours.
  2. Heat the canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir fry until the pork is fully cooked, about 5-7 minutes. Remember to drain the liquid halfway through cooking, if it seems like there is an excessive amount of water in the pan. Serve over white rice.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Unlayered Lasagna

Sunday evening. Fridge is full of random foodstuffs, and I notice a few things that need to get used up. 1/2 a bunch of fresh spinach. 1/2 a container of Ricotta. 1 pound ground beef.

So of course, I decided a spinach lasagna would be quite tasty on this rainy night, but we didn't have lasagna noodles. So I sort of improvised and made a non-layered lasagna with Rigatoni, tomatoes, garlic, onion, spinach, ricotta and mozzarella. The end result was awesome! Very cheesy, gooey, and warming on a cold rainy night.

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 bunch fresh spinach, roughly chopped
  • 1 14.5oz can chopped tomatoes, drained
  • 1 6oz can tomato paste
  • salt, pepper and crushed red pepper to taste
  • 1/2 pound Rigatoni, or any pasta shapes really
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1.5 cups shredded fresh mozzarella (buy a big hunk of mozzarella and shred it, instead of the pre-shredded mozzarella. It'll taste much better!)
  • 1/2 cup Ricotta
  1. Heat saute pan over medium-high heat. Add ground beef and cook 3 minutes. Add onion and garlic, and cook additional 2 minutes. Add spinach in two batches, waiting until the first batch is mostly wilted before adding the remaining spinach. Continue cooking until beef is thoroughly cooked.
  2. Stir in chopped tomatoes and tomato paste. Reduce heat to low, stirring occasionally.
  3. Meanwhile, cook Rigatoni 10 minutes, or until desired doneness.
  4. Drain pasta. Add beef/tomato mixture and stir. Add Ricotta cheese, stir. Add parmesan and 1/2 of the mozzarella. Stir until evenly mixed. Pour into baking dish, and top with remaining mozzarella.
  5. Cover with foil and bake on 375 for 30 minutes, until cheese is bubbly.

Soy Citrus Scallops

This is a delicious scallop recipe that's incredibly easy and quick to make. The original recipe is from Cooking Light's April 2009 issue. We found the scallops to be quite tender, a little bit sweet, and just a touch spicy. Perfect! I paired it with a side salad, though next time I'll certainly try the veggie side dish that CL recommends.

We substituted Bay Scallops for the Sea Scallops, so I didn't even attempt to sear them. From the Cooking Light website, many people suggest not marinating the scallops first, but instead searing them first, cooking down the marinade liquid, and adding the scallops back at the end. For me, I marinated my bay scallops, then cooked them 80% of the way, boiled down the sauce, and added them back in. They came out perfectly!

  • 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon bottled ground fresh ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili garlic sauce (such as Lee Kum Kee) (I just used hot sauce and 2 cloves of chopped garlic)
  • 1 tablespoon dark sesame oil, divided
  • 1 pound large sea scallops
  • 4 cups hot cooked soba (about 6 ounces uncooked buckwheat noodles) (I used Ramen noodles instead)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
  1. Combine first 6 ingredients and 1 teaspoon oil in a shallow baking dish; add scallops to dish in a single layer. Marinate 4 minutes on each side.

  2. Heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Remove scallops from dish, reserving marinade. Add scallops to pan; sauté 1 minute on each side or until almost done. Remove scallops from pan; keep warm. Place remaining marinade in pan; bring to a boil. Return scallops to pan; cook 1 minute. Toss noodles with salt and green onions. Place 1 cup noodle mixture on each of 4 plates. Top each serving with about 3 scallops, and drizzle with 1 tablespoon sauce.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Black Bottom Goat Cheese Cupcakes

So I subscribe a fantastic cupcake blog, titled "Cupcake Project." The creativity that Stef has is just unbelievable! This girl can make any ingredient into a cupcake. And I find that fun! So being a goat cheese addict like myself, I decided to try her recipe for Black Bottom Cupcakes with Goat Cheese. They may sound a bit weird, but they're delicious! The goat cheese bakes into a puffy, creamy, cheesy goodness that makes these cupcakes perfect just as they are. No frosting necessary. I did have to make a few ingredient changes, just because I didn't have yogurt or unsweetened chocolate on hand. But they still turned out perfectly!


  • 2 C flour
  • 1 1/2 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 3/4 C butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/3 C sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 C plain yogurt (2/3 C buttermilk)
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 1/3 C milk
  • 5 oz baking chocolate, melted (15T cocoa + 5T butter)
Goat Cheese Topping
  • 8 oz goat cheese
  • 1/3 C sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
  1. Whisk flour, baking powder, and baking soda in a medium-sized bowl.
  2. Beat butter and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy.
  3. Beat in eggs, yogurt, vanilla, and milk until blended.
  4. Alternately fold in flour mixture and melted chocolate, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.
  5. Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full.
  6. In a small bowl, mix all the ingredients for the goat cheese topping.
  7. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the topping onto the center of each cupcake.
  8. Bake at 350 F for thirty minutes or until a toothpick comes out dry.
Still in the pan...cooling.

Ready to eat!!