Tomato Vegetable Soup

Tomato Vegetable Soup

Tomato Vegetable Soup

One of my favorite comfort foods is homemade soup and quarantine time is the perfect time for comfort food.

1 onion, chopped

1 yellow squash, cut into chunks

1 zucchini, cut into chunks

1 large carrot, sliced

1 cup broccoli florets

1 cup frozen peas

1 (15.25 oz) can corn with liquid

1 (14.5 oz can) can cut green beans with liquid

1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes with liquid

1 (14.5 oz) can crushed tomatoes

2 cups chicken broth

3 cups water

1 tablespoon Italian seasoning

1 teaspoon garlic salt

1/2 – 1 teaspoon pepper

Combine all ingredients in large crock pot and cook on low 6 – 8 hours or on high 4 – 6 hours.

Easiest Pasta and Broccoli

Easiest Pasta and Broccoli

Easiest Pasta and Broccoli

We’re trying really hard to eat healthy things while under quarantine because the fridge and the sweets and the chocolate are calling to us!  This was good but not very flavorful so make sure to not skip the salt, pepper and Parmesan.

12 oz uncooked pasta

6 1/2 cups fresh broccoli florets

5 cloves garlic, pressed

1/4 cup Parmesan

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

salt and pepper

1 Cook pasta according to package directions.  During last 3 – 4 minutes of cooking time, add the broccoli.  Reserve 2 cups of pasta water then drain.

2  Return pot to stove and set heat to medium high.  Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and garlic.  Cook until golden.  Reduce heat to low and add pasta and broccoli back to pot.

3  Add remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil, Parmesan, salt and pepper and stir well to combine.  Add pasta water a little at a time to pasta as needed.

4  Serve with additional Parmesan on top.

1 1/2 cups = about 300 calories

recipe from Skinny Taste

No Knead Skillet Focaccia

No Knead Skillet Focaccia

No Knead Skillet Focaccia

You know what the worst part of being quarantined for me is?  Not being able to bake for all my friends who are also in quarantine.  Seriously.

My daughter bought a new cast iron skillet so I had to try it out and this focaccia was just the ticket.  It turned out delicious.

2 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon dry instant yeast

3/4 cup lukewarm water

3 tablespoons plus 3 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, divided

1/4 teaspoon flaky sea salt

toppings as desired – 2 teaspoons coarsely chopped fresh rosemary leaves or thyme or oregano, thinly sliced lemons, pitted chopped olives, thick slices of fresh garlic or shallots, sprinkle of Parmesan, or Everything Bagel seasoning

1  Place flour, salt and yeast in food processor fitted with blade attachment and pulse to combine.  Add water and 2 tablespoons of olive oil.  Pulse until rough ball of dough forms, about 15 (2 second) pulses.

2  Drizzle 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a large bowl.  Flour hands, take dough out of food processor, and form into a smooth ball.  Place ball of dough in oiled bowl and turn so it’s coated on all sides with oil.  Cover with plastic wrap or kitchen towel and let sit until doubled in size, 2 – 3 hours.

3  Drizzle 1 teaspoon of olive oil in 10″ cast iron skillet or other ovenproof skillet and rub it all over bottom and sides.  Punch dough down and place in skillet.  Coax and stretch dough to cover bottom of skillet and reach all the way to the edges.  Cover with plastic wrap or kitchen towel and let rest until puffed and slightly risen, 30 – 40 minutes.  Place oven rack in center of oven and preheat to 450.

4  Use fingertips to gently dimple surface of dough.  Drizzle remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil over dough so it pools in indentations.  Sprinkle with desired toppings.  (I just did sea salt for this first time.)

5  Place in oven and turn temperature down to 400.  Bake until lightly golden brown, 20 – 25 minutes.

6  Remove from oven and let cool at least 15 minutes before serving.

10 slices = about 100 calories each

recipe from The Kitchn 

Classic Lemon Bars

Classic Lemon Bars

Classic Lemon Bars

I have been in Mississippi for the past month working on a movie that got shut down with only a week to go due to the Corona virus but I did get in some baking while I was there before the virus starting disrupting all of our lives.  The hair and makeup ladies asked if I could make them lemon bars and I realized that I didn’t have a traditional lemon bar recipe on my blog so found this one which was perfect!


1 3/4 cups flour

1/4 cup cornstarch

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup butter, softened


1 1/2 cups sugar

1/4 cup flour

4 eggs

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

1  Preheat oven to 350.  Spray 9 x 13″ pan with cooking spray.

2  For the crust, whisk together flour, cornstarch, sugar, and salt.  Cube butter into small pieces and add to dry ingredients.  Using a pastry cutter or two forks, cut the butter into the flour mixture until it’s crumbly and starts to come together.  Dump mixture into prepared pan and press into bottom in an even layer.

3  Bake 20 – 25 minutes or just until top is set and edges are light golden brown.  Remove from oven.

4  For the filling, whisk together sugar and flour.  Add in eggs and lemon juice and mix until fully combined.  Pour lemon filling over crust carefully and return to oven.

5  Bake 18 – 22 minutes or until filling is set and no longer jiggles.  Remove from oven and let cool 1 – 2 hours then cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.  Sift powdered sugar over top before serving.

recipe from Live Well Bake Often

Gold Sprinkle Wedding Cake

Gold Sprinkle Wedding Cake

Gold Sprinkle Wedding Cake

I think this is one of my favorite wedding cakes that I’ve ever done.  I love the look of the uniformity of the sprinkles on the top layer and then the randomness of them on the bottom layer.

The cake was Funfetti made from this recipe here.

The buttercream icing was made from this recipe here.

The gold sprinkles were from Michaels.

Congratulations to Charlie and Tyler!  Thank you for letting me be a part of your big day!

Easy Chocolate Chip Brownies

Easy Chocolate Chip Brownies

Easy Chocolate Chip Brownies

Is there anything better than a homemade chocolate chip brownie right from the oven?  Well, maybe a few things but you get my point, right?  These will go into the regular rotation, they were that good.

2 cups sugar

1 3/4 cups flour

1/2 cup cocoa

1 teaspoon salt

5 eggs

1 cup canola oil

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup chips – I used 1/3 cup semisweet, 1/3 cup milk, and 1/3 cup white

1  Heat oven to 350.  Spray 9 x 13″ pan with cooking spray.

2  In mixer bowl, combine sugar, flour, cocoa and salt and mix on low until combined.

3  Add eggs, oil, and vanilla and mix on low until combined.

4  Pour batter into prepared pan and sprinkle chips over the top.

5  Bake 30 – 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs.  The edges will pull away from the pan and center should look set, not wet at all.

6  Let cool completely before cutting.

recipe from Together as Family

Chocolate Cake Mix Cupcakes

Chocolate Cake Mix Cupcakes with Gumballs

Chocolate Cake Mix Cupcakes with Gumballs

Made some cupcakes yesterday for a couple of birthdays.

Chocolate Cake Mix Cupcakes with Gumballs

Chocolate Cake Mix Cupcakes with Gumballs

The ones with the gumballs were for my friend Reed who was celebrating his 10th birthday.

Chocolate Cake Mix Cupcakes with Kit Kats

Chocolate Cake Mix Cupcakes with Kit Kats

These with the Kit Kats were for my friend Rebecca.

Chocolate Cake Mix Cupcakes with Kit Kats

Chocolate Cake Mix Cupcakes with Kit Kats

I saved one to sample and it was delicious!


1 box chocolate cake mix

1 cup sugar

2/3 cup flour

1/3 cup cocoa

1 cup water or cooled coffee

3 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup sour cream

1 cup mini chocolate chips


I used this frosting here.



gumballs (I bought a giant bag of gumballs on the Christmas clearance rack at Home Goods after Christmas knowing I would find a use for them!)

mini Kit Kats (I bought a bunch of bags of Halloween candy after Halloween on the clearance rack also knowing I would find a use for them!)

1  Heat oven to 325.  Line muffin pans with paper liners.

2  Whisk together cake mix, sugar, flour, and cocoa in bowl of mixer.  Add water, eggs, vanilla, and sour cream and beat on low for 2 minutes.  Stir in chocolate chips.

3  Scoop batter into paper liners.  Bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until center springs back when lightly touched.  Allow to cool before decorating.

recipe from Love From the Oven