Author Archives: melsorens

About melsorens

I'm a mommy who has the privilege of staying home with my three little mouths to feed and two big mouths who love to eat. I'm a believer in moderation so all of these might not be the healthiest recipes, but there is a variety and I believe in eating that way and not leaving anything out. I love good food, I like to cook, I'm not that great at it but I'm always up to try new things, share recipes and eat some more!! These are a collection of random recipes that I have in stored in a bunch of different places...this is my attempt to become more organized, so enjoy and let me know if any of these are yummy to you.

Whole Wheat Bread

This recipe is from an old acquaintance from my days in DC. She shared her grandma’s recipe with a group of women from our church and I’ve held onto it since then and it now has become my go-to bread recipe. It not only is super easy and tastes good, it just reminds me of good times with old friends, and isn’t that what recipes and food does? Create memories of good times and god people. So hopefully when you try this (if you try it) you can create your own fond memory. If not, you won’t regret just eating it haha.

6 cups warm water (baby bath temp)
4 T yeast
2/3 c sugar (or honey)
2 t salt
1 T dough enhancer (optional…but recommended)
1 T Vital wheat gluten (optional)
1 T ground millet (optional)
! T ground flax (optional)
12-16 c whole wheat flour

Directions for a standing electric mixer (use dough hook)

Pour water in mixing bowl and add sugar (honey), oil, sat, and optional ingredients. Add 10 cups of flour and mix on low until all the flour is wet. The dough should be quite sticky because the water and flour have not yet absorbed all the way. Stop the mixer and scrape the dough and flour from the sides of the bowl. Then, while mixing on low, add remaining flour a little at a time. It may require u to 4-6 additional cups of flour (I usually stop after adding 3-3 1/2 cups). The dough will vein pulling from the sides of the bowl as more flour i added. Stop adding flour as soon as dough has completely pulled away from the sides of the bowl and the bowl is clean. At this point, turn mixer from low to speed 2 and mix for 8 minutes. This kneads the dough and allows the gluten to develop.

While the dough is mizin, spray counter with cooking spray and/or a lithe canola oil. Spray the bread pans with cooking spray and set aside. When the 8 minutes is up, stop mixing and pull the dough out of the bowl and onto the oil. Let dough rest for 5 minutes on counter. This allows the dough to relax and makes it easer to handle.

**Cut (with large non-serrated knife) or punch dough into 4 or 5 evenly shade parts, depending on how big you want your loaves. Knead (or braid_ each part to form a loaf. Place in medium-sized pans. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lt dough rise for approximately 30 minutes or until they take the right shape and height. Bake for 25-35 minutes, depending on the oven and altitude. When done, the bread should be golden brown and your ouse will smell like heaven. Immediately remove bread from pans and set on cooling racks. May brush the top with a little butter to make the crust shiny and soft. Try it warm, it’s the best!! Let the bread cool completely before putting in bags to avoid sweating of the bread.

Directions for making it by hand

Keep in mind it is easiest to half this recipe when making it by hand. Add all ingredients (water, yeast, sugar, oil, salt, optional ingredients) and 5 cups of flour in a large bowl. With a wooden (sturdy) spoon, stir well until mixed together. Begin adding more flour, a little at a time. Sprinkle over dough and stir in. When it becomes too difficult to stir, spray coiner with cooking spray and dump dough onto surface. By hand, knead additional four into dough until the dough is tacky to the touch, not sticky. hone yo poke the dough, it shouldn’t come away on your finger. If it does, keep adding flour, but don’t overdo it. When dough reaches the right texture, plea in a greased bowl, with plastic wrap on the top. Let dough rise until double in size (about 1 hour). Remove plastic wrap, punch dough down into the bowl a few times, re-cover with plastic wrap and allow dough to double in size again (about 1 hour). When dough has risen, dump onto greased counter top. See the *asterisk* above in the section about making bread with a standing mixer and follow the directions to the end to complete the bread by hand. Take note that when having the recipe, the dough will make 2 medium-sized loaves or 3 small loaves.

Additional Notes:

-If using a KitchenAid mixer, half the recipe. The motor on the KitchenAid cannot handle this large of a batch (unless you have a pro mixer, I used mine and it did fine).
-Sometimes the recipe requires more flour if the wheat is ground right before. Also the bread usually rises faster because the flour is warm.
-The recipe makes enough dough to fit 2 8-cup loaf pans, 4 4-cup loaf pans, or 8 2-cu- loaf pans.

Hints for better bread making
-oil added to the dough keeps bread soft and keeps it from drying out.
-Lecithin helps preserve breads
-Dough enhancer (contains ascorbic acid) or lemon juice gives whole wheat bread a more light texture and is less crumbly (3 T lemon juice per batch of bread). Dough enhancer can improve the texture, taste and crust of the bread. Most of them also act as preservatives which helps keep your bread fresher long. Best of all they are natural and so are perfectly safe to add to your bread.
-Use wheat flour, which has a high protein content for better rising ability. You may also add 2 T of vital wheat gluten to increase protein level and aid in rising process.
-Be sure the yeast you are using is fresh and active. If you are not sure test some in water with honey or sugar before adding to dough (1 T yeast to 1 c warm water and 1/2 t honey). Should double in size within 10 minutes. Keep yeast in freezer or fridge after opening.
-Brush a mixture of 1 egg white and 1 t water onto loaves just before baking for a shiny golden brown crust.
-Use vegetable oil on the counter when kneading rather than flour. Too much flour can dry out the bread and make it crumbly.


Healthy Chocolate Bites

Recipe from Kellie Whiting


So, my hubs has had an alteration in his diet which leads to more healthy options for him…and as a result for the whole family.  This little sweet treat is literally THE PERFECT size, sweetness and ease!  I love it so much, I am probably eating more of them than he is…shhhh don’t tell.


It’s a SUPER DUPER easy recipe which is ALWAYS a plus for me!


Heaping 1/2 c almond butter (I use Peanut butter because it’s what I have on had and it’s cheaper)
1 Ripe Banana
1 Large Egg
3 TBSP Honey (agave or pure maple syrup would work as well)
Pinch of Salt
1/4 tsp Baking Soda
1 TBSP Pure Vanilla Extract
1/3 C cocoa powder
1/2 C mini Chocolate Chips

Pre-heat the oven to 400, put it all in a mixer and mix until well combines, then add chocolate chips, and scoop into mini muffin tin sprayed with non-stick spray, bake for 9-12 minutes depending on your over, cool in tin for a few minutes on rack before putting on a ganache. Ganache is easy, some chocolate chips warmed with cream.


****I omit the chocolate chips and ganache to make it even healthier.  I jut sprinkle a little powder sugar on the top and it’s perfect!!!

Tasty Eating!!!

Steak and Fontina Cheese Panini with Chimichurri Sauce


I posted a little bit ago the chimichurri sauce my friend Megan makes and then I saw this recipe so I had to try it with her sauce.  It was AMAZING!!  The perfect mixture.  I made it for the family and my kids didn’t love it, but my husband and I LOVED it so next time I’ll be making them just a grilled cheese and these will be ours. Bon A petit!

  • 2 lbs. of fajita skirt steak
  • 1 loaf Sourdough Bread, sliced
  • 8 slices of fontina cheese
Chimichurri Sauce:
  • 1 cup of fresh parsley
  • ¾ cup of fresh cilantro
  • ¼ cup of fresh oregano
  • 2 teaspoons of red pepper flakes
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup of red wine vinegar
  • ½ cup of olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste
  1. Prepare fajita skirt steak and slice. {for grilled fajita skirt steak recipe – click here}. Set aside.
  2. Prepare Chimichurri Sauce. In a blender add fresh parsley, fresh cilantro, fresh oregano, garlic cloves, red pepper flakes, lime juice, red wine vinegar, olive oil, and salt & pepper. Blend until completely combined.
  3. To assemble the panini, layer ½ cup of sliced fajita steak, 2 slices of fontina cheese, and 1½ tablespoons of chimichurri sauce on a slice of bread. Top with another slice of sourdough bread.
  4. Repeat this process for the other 3 sandwiches.
  5. Place in panini press and grill for 3-4 minutes or until cheese is melted. {if no panini press use an indoor grill or skillet to cook panini}

Old Fashioned Iced Oatmeal Cookies

From: Cooking Classy

These are my new obsession thanks to my friend Shannon.  She made them for a church function and now I can’t get enough.  You know the packed iced oatmeal cookies, I think it’s the “Grandma” brand???  Well, these are TEN TIMES BETTER!!!  I prefer no frosting because I’m weird, but they are so pretty with frosting and make the cookie complete.  Beware making these….you might not stop!


    • 1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 2 tsp baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp baking soda
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
    • 1 cup butter, softened (I used salted)
    • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
    • 3/4 cup light-brown sugar
    • 2 large eggs
    • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 Tbsp milk

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  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour oats into a food processor and pulse until partially ground, about 15 seconds. In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ground oats, for 30 seconds.
  • In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, whip butter, granulated sugar and light-brown sugar on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 – 4 minutes. Add in eggs one at a time, mixing until combined after each addition. Stir in vanilla. With mixer set on low speed, slowly add in dry ingredients and mix just until combined (scrape bottom and sides of bowl as needed). Allow cookie dough to rest 10 minutes at room temperature.
  • Scoop dough out about 2 Tbsp at a time and drop onto a silpat or parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven 11 – 15 minutes. Allow cookies to rest on baking sheet several minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • In a mixing bowl whisk together powdered sugar and milk and dip tops of cooled cookies in icing and allow excess to run off or alternately spread icing over cookies. Return to wire rack and allow icing to set. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
  • Recipe Source: lightly adapted from Is This Really My Life? who adapted it from Novice Chef

Pesto and Sausage Baked Ziti


If you ever need to take a meal to someone, or when you have people come over I usually make this.  It is so easy and quick.  I started just keeping a jar of ricotta cheese and pesto in my freezer so I always have this ready to go.  In fact, I made it last night when family came over for dinner….YUM YUM!!! Enjoy!


  • 1 pound ziti noodles
  • 1 pound Italian turkey or chicken sausage, casings removed
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup pesto
  • 9 ounces baby spinach
  • 15-ounces ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9X13-inch baking pan and set aside.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the ziti and cook until al dente. Drain.
  3. While the pasta is boiling, in a large 12-inch skillet over medium heat, add the turkey sausage, onion and garlic and cook until the sausage is cooked through, adding a bit of salt and pepper to taste (the amount will depend on the seasonings in the sausage). While it cooks, break up the sausage into smaller pieces. Drain any excess grease if needed.
  4. Add the diced tomatoes, pesto and salt and pepper to taste (I added about 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper). Simmer for 10-12 minutes. Add the spinach, stirring until it cooks down a bit into the hot sauce, 1-2 minutes.
  5. In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, 1 1/2 cups of the mozzarella cheese and 1 1/4 cups of the Parmesan cheese.
  6. In the prepared baking dish, pour in the drained noodles. Dollop the ricotta mixture over the top of the noodles. Spread the sauce over the top and sprinkle with remaining cheese (1/2 cup mozzarella and 1/4 cup Parmesan).
  7. Bake until heated through and golden around the edges, about 20 minutes. Let stand 5-7 minutes before serving.

Creamy Baked Taquitos


I made these for my husband’s birthday dinner (who always requests anything mexican). He thought they were so amazing he actually brought them to work for leftovers.  He NEVER brings leftovers to work.  They were so good, they are on my top 10 list…if I had a top 10 list.  Happy Eating!!


  • 1/3 cup (3 oz) cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup green salsa
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 2 Tablespoons sliced green onions
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 1 cup grated pepperjack cheese
  • about 12 small corn or flour tortillas (we liked flour better)
  • kosher salt
  • cooking spray



  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly coat with cooking spray.
  2. Heat cream cheese in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds so it’s soft and easy to stir. Add green salsa, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, onion powder and garlic powder and mix well. Add cilantro, green onions, chicken and pepperjack cheese and combine well.
  3. You can prepare up to this step ahead of time. Just keep the mixture in the fridge.
  4. The corn tortillas are harder to roll without cracking. For the corn tortillas: work with a few tortillas at a time and heat in the microwave until they are soft enough to roll without cracking. It helps to place them between damp paper towels. Usually 20-30 seconds will do it. If you find yours are cracking when you roll them or come unrolled right away, just try heating them longer and try the paper towel thing.
  5. Place 3 Tablespoons of chicken mixture on the lower third of a tortilla, keeping it about 1/2 inch from the edges.
  6. Then roll it up as tight as you can.
  7. Place seam side down on the baking sheet. Lay all of the taquitos on the baking sheet and make sure they are not touching each other. Spray the tops lightly with cooking spray or an oil mister and sprinkle some kosher salt on top.
  8. Place pan in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until crisp and the ends start to get golden brown. Makes around 12 taquitos.
  9. Dip in salsa, sour cream, guacamole, or Tomatillo Dressing . They would be great with black beans and this Cilantro Lime Rice.


Easy Granola

From: Megan Dickson
So delicious and so easy…my two favorite things!!!
6 cups oats
1/2 C Brown Sugar
1 C coconut
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 C sunflower seeds
1/2 C raisins/ dried cranberries (optional)
1 C nuts (almonds cashews macadamia)
1/3 C sesame seeds
1/2 C wheat germ (use whole wheat flour as substitute)

Combine 1/2 C oil
2 tsp vanilla
1/3 C honey

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes

I almost always double. Fills two cookie sheets if doubled.