Welcome to my kitchen…

I have always loved to cook and bake and you can often find me in the kitchen creating something. There is something calming and fun about preparing and creating food! (At least that is my opinion) This site is dedicated to everyone who enjoys accessing/channeling their culinary creative side. Do you have a recipe you’d like to submit or that I should try?

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Thank you for stopping by.

Happy Reading and Cooking!


Taken by tarawalmsley

Fall is here! What are your favorite Fall yummies?


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Peanut Butter cookie

This weekend I made homemade peanut butter so that I could make a peanut butter and homemade jam sandwich for lunch this week. After I made the sandwich, I thought a peanut butter cookie would be great and so I set off to find the ingredients. It is already 8:30 on a Sunday night so whatever I make needs to be quick as I am in bed by 9:30 for work.
I have a recipe on the site that I have used over and over but it has shortening. I know shortening can make a bit of difference in baked goods but I wanted to try making it without it. I have made a 3-ingredient cookie for my gluten-free friends and loved the recipe without the shortening. This recipe tastes similar but with more than 3 ingredients. :)


  • 1/2 cup of granulated sugar plus some for sprinkling
  • 1/2 cup of light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup of peanut butter (homemade)
  • 1/2 cup of butter (room temperature)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cups of self rising flour


  1. Heat oven to 350F.
  2. Mix sugars, peanut butter, shortening, butter and egg in large bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients. Cover and refrigerate about 15 minutes.
  3. Shape dough into 1 1/4-inch balls. Place about 3 inches apart on cookie sheet lined with silpat.
  4. Flatten in crisscross pattern with fork dipped into sugar.
  5. Bake 7 to 9 minutes or until light golden brown.
  6. Cool 5 minutes; remove from cookie sheet. Cool on wire rack.

Tara’s Note: I made my vanilla sugar from discarded vanilla beans (from a previous recipe) and used that sugar to sprinkle on top of the cookies. You will see lil bits of vanilla pod/beans on top.

Nutella Banana Crepe

Sometime back my Mom got me this crepe set from one of her thrift store adventures. It is called Crepe Magician. I have had it packed away in the box until this morning when I was moving things around looking for my madeleine pan (I’m going to attempt these later today after chores). I pulled it down to finally take a look at what the heck was in the box. Inside the box was a small crepe pan and a container for freezing or storing the crepes once made.

I have actually never made crepes so I thought now is as good a time as any. It did not have instructions but I just went with it. I found a basic crepe batter online and I started mixing things up. At first, I had intended to eat it plain or with preserves, lemon or powdered sugar but then I saw the Nutella and the banana in my pantry and it was a done deal.

I have no idea why I have never tried this recipe before especially with the Nutella and banana… oh boy is it good, too good really. Actually, maybe I sub-conscientiously avoided it because I knew I would love it.  I am going to try out some savory ones with the extra crepes because if I don’t it’s going to be a Nutella fest for breakfast, lunch and dinner or anytime I am hungry!


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • Bananas
  • Nutella


  1. In a bowl with a mixer, combine flour, sugar, salt, milk, eggs, and melted butter. A blender would be best if you have one.

  2. Blend until mixture is smooth and bubbles form on top. If you are not using a blender, pour the batter through a sieve to catch the lumps of flour, press through all the liquid. Let batter sit at least 15 minutes at room temperature or refrigerate in an airtight container, up to 1 day. Stir.

  3. Heat a non stick skillet on medium-high. Lightly coat with butter. Add 1/3 cup batter and swirl to completely cover bottom of skillet. Cook until underside of crepe is golden brown, 2 – 3 minutes.

  4. Loosen edge of crepe with a rubber spatula, then with your fingertips, quickly flip. Cook 1 minute more. Slide crepe out of skillet and repeat with remaining batter. Coat pan with butter each time.

Tara’s Note: I do not have a blender, yes shocking I know so I just whisked it together. I made a stack and froze them with parchment paper in between in a gallon ziplock bags to take out for later use. Also just as a side note for 4 crepes (6 inch) I used 1 banana and about 1/2 cup of Nutella.

Tonight, it is about dinner time but I am not super hungry yet, could snack hungry.

I decided to try out this recipe from one of my favorite food network personalities, Ellie Krieger. She is all about flavor but low-calorie and better for you spins on your favorite vices.  These little babies will definitely be on my list for appetizers or things to snack on. I was eating these things like chips, one right after another! It is pretty quick to prep and tasty.

In my adaptation of her recipe, I removed the cooking spray, salt and subbed the cheese and cut down the zucchini by 1. I also took the extra breading mixture and sprinkled it on top of the rounds.

You can see her recipe here: Zucchini Parmesan Crisps

parmesan zucchini crisps


  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup 3 Italian Cheese shredded or grated Blend ( Romano, Asiago, Parmesan )
  • 1/4 cup herbed bread crumbs
  • ground black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Slice the zucchini into 1/4-inch thick rounds. In a medium bowl, toss the zucchini with the oil. In a small bowl, combine the cheese, bread crumbs and pepper.
  3. Dip each round into the cheese mixture, coating it evenly on both sides, pressing the coating on to stick and place in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet lined with a silpat. If there is any extra breading you can sprinkle it on rounds. Although if watching calories, skip this.
  4. Bake the zucchini rounds until browned and crisp, 15 to 30 minutes (depending on your oven).
  5. Remove with spatula to a plate. Serve immediately.

parmesan zucchini crisps


Scoops of ice cream in an elegant white cup on wooden rustic background with vintage hazy editing

I love my holidays and days that celebrate fun things like… Ice Cream.

That’s right All, it’s at hand again, National Ice cream Day!

In 1984, Ronald Reagan designated July as National Ice Cream Month.  He also named the third Sunday in July as National Ice Cream Day.  So that means today, Sunday, July 19 deserves a special celebration!

To celebrate, I pulled out my multi-tasking ice cream maker to whip up some frozen treats. I wanted a variety of flavors and types of ice-cold treats which included a sorbet and frozen yogurt.

I am not sure why I haven’t used my maker more often in the summer for frozen fruit goodness but seeing how easy it was I will be motivated to try it more.

This past weekend’s recipes:

The winner of the frozen treat recipes? The Earl Grey Sorbet! I have found yet another reason to love my tea. MmMmm You should give it a try, really you should.

Whatever way you plan on celebrating your ice cream day, check out the links below for interesting information on Ice Cream and some great ideas.

Also, Check out the Ice Cream store for kewl gadgets to make ice cream at home!

The History of Ice Cream

From the Cow to the Cone

What’s in the Ice Cream Aisle?

Ice Cream Labeling

Ice Cream Sales & Trends

Tips on Storing & Handling Ice Cream

Tara’s Kitchen Online Fav Ice Cream Recipes.

Recipes from around the web.

Ice Cream Recipes via http://www.ice-cream-recipes.com

Martha Stewart’s Ice Cream Treats.

Check out my compiled lists of MORE Ice Cream links including traditional recipes, adventurous ice cream recipes (Avocado ice cream, spicy beet what?), Ice Cream drinks (Iced Coffee Mocha Float), fixings (syrups and sauces) and more.

GO there NOW

Earl Grey Sorbet

So I think I have found a new favorite frozen treat.

This dish of yumminess is the third recipe in my Ice cream, frozen yogurt, sorbet adventure. So far it is my favorite out of the three which is surprising. It has a strong tea flavor but it is so refreshing and I might even be able to substitute my tea craving for this…almost.  I love my daily cup(s) of tea and this only adds to my tea options, especially in the summer. It’s perfect for a hot summer day like today when it is in the 90’s.

I would suggest giving this recipe a try if you like Earl Grey tea.

Next, I think I am going to try a peach mango black tea sorbet. My mouth just literally started salivating at the mention so it’s a done deal!




  • 41⁄4 cups water
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 12 Earl Grey tea bags
  • 1⁄3 cup fresh lemon juice


  1. Combine water and sugar in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and let cook until sugar is dissolved – do not stir.
  2. Add tea bags and let steep for 15 minutes. Remove, squeeze and discard tea bags. Allow liquid to come to room temperature; stir in lemon juice.
  3. Chill for 6 hours or overnight.
  4. Follow the instructions for your frozen treat maker.

For my machine it was the following: Turn on the machine and pour the mixture into freezer bowl and let mix until thicken, about 25 minutes. The sorbet will have a soft texture. If a firmer consistency is desired, transfer the sorbet to an airtight container and place in freezer for about two hours. Remove from freezer about 10 minutes before serving.

This is the machine I used: Ice Cream Maker.

Earl Grey Sorbet

Tara’s Notes:

The sugar portions seem a bit much for me so I am going to try cutting it down or using a substitute to see how that goes.

Strawberry Peach Frozen Yogurt

Now with the ice cream recipe complete, it is time for the next step in my ice cream, frozen yogurt and sorbet maker project. Frozen yogurt…MMMMmmmm.

I frequent Red Mango and TCBY often enough to know what I like in a frozen yogurt. At Red Mango, my favorite flavors are Nutella, Coconut and Mango. TCBY changes their flavors a lot more and I haven’t yet determined which one is my favorite there.

For my home version, this recipe uses 4 ingredients and is super easy.

For this project, I went with whatever was in my fridge at the time which was fresh strawberries and a mix of peach and vanilla yogurt. I have to say that the results were absolutely delicious. The flavors so great together and I am already dreaming up other combos of fruits for the next attempt at frozen yogurt.


  • 3 cups of fresh strawberries (stems removed)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1⁄3 cup fresh lime juice
  • 3 cups of yogurt (I used equal parts of peach and vanilla)


  1. Place strawberries, sugar and lime juice in a medium bowl. Stir to blend.  Cover and allow to macerate for 3 hours in the refrigerator.
  2. Place the strawberry mixture in a food processor and blend for 15–20 seconds to purée.
  3. Combine the strawberry purée with the yogurt. Stir in until smooth.
  4. Follow the instructions for your frozen treat maker.

For my Cuisinart machine it was the following: Freeze the bowl for 24 hours before using. Turn the machine on and pour the mixture into freezer bowl and let mix until thicken, about 25 minutes. The yogurt will have a soft, creamy texture. If a firmer consistency is desired, transfer the yogurt to an airtight container and place in freezer for about two hours.  Remove from freezer about 10 minutes before serving.

This is the machine I used: Ice Cream Maker.

Strawberry Peach Frozen Yogurt


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