Cheeseburger pie

Like many kids who grew up in the 80’s/90’s and liked spending time in the kitchen, my first cookbook was the Alpha Bakery Children’s Cookbook. I remember my grandma ordering it for me from the back of a bag of Gold Medal flour. I remember how happy she was to give it to me when it came in the mail –  and how excited I was to look through a cookbook with recipes made for children, complete with colorful cartoon illustrations and large font. I still have this book on display with the rest of my cookbook collection, and I proudly whip it out when I feel like cooking a blast from the past.

the alpha-bakery, the OG of cookbooks.

My favorite alpha bakery recipe was called “Quick Cheeseburger Pie”. I absolutely loved it, and I still do. But as I got older, my taste changed a bit. I’ve made quite a few modifications to an already great recipe, adding in some extra flavors and making the dish more bold.

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Vanilla-frosted chocolate cake donuts (vegan & low-sugar)

Who doesn’t love a chocolate donut?!

I’ve been obsessing over my new donut pans, and this particular recipe I used for my third attempt at homemade donuts. Prior to this flavor, I already made an oatmeal chocolate chip donut (recipe from sarah lynn) and a vanilla cinnamon donut. Both came out absolutely fabulous. It was time to attempt chocolate.

sarah lynn’s oatmeal chocolate chip donuts
complete with chocolate glaze… omg

Donuts are VERY sugary, and most of the recipes I came across also had added fat from eggs and dairy. I tried lightening things up a bit by using stevia in place of sugar, nondairy milk, and applesauce as a binder instead of eggs. The texture still came out perfect and the donuts were still sweet. Unfortunately, I still have yet to come up with a low-sugar frosting that still tastes great…

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Tuscan barley dinner

This was actually the first time I’ve ever had barley.

I heard it was similar to rice – but with a heartier texture, nuttier taste, and a decent amount of protein. Sounds like a carb I could get used to.

However, I didn’t really know what to pair it with. I searched online for some recipes, but nothing really jumped out at me. Since a plain carb is somewhat of a blank canvas I decided to liven it up with sausage, peas, onions, and cheese – as if it were a pasta dish.

The result was absolutely delicious & super filling! My husband and I practically licked our plates clean, and I’m definitely looking forward to making this again.

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Fruity crunch cake (a dump cake variation)

This is basically my own twist on a classic dump cake. I don’t personally like how a dump cake is baked in layers – with the fruity pie filling on the bottom of the pan. I like a more cakey texture, so I combine my fruit filling with a cup of the cake mix and some fresh fruit – and use the rest of the dry mix to make the buttery crunchy topping.

For this particular cake I used blackberry pie filling and lemon cake mix. My family LOVES lemon, and blackberries (or blueberries) work so nicely with lemon cake. Other pairings I love for this recipe are:

peach (or strawberry) pie filling + yellow (or golden butter) cake mix

cherry pie filling + devil’s food (or chocolate) cake mix

pumpkin (or apple) pie filling + spice cake mix

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Spicy lemon baked shrimp

It’s been a while since I’ve eaten (let alone cooked) seafood.

I was really craving flounder fillet… maybe broiled with some lemon, butter, and parsley…  but when I got to the fish market, these jumbo shrimp just caught my eye. They were huge.

I needed to buy them and eat them for dinner ASAP.

That broiled flounder does sound delicious, though. There’s always next time 🙂

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Loaded protein pancakes

My husband and I LOVE breakfast foods, especially pancakes and waffles. On the down side, they have little to no nutritional value – especially protein.

For me this is a big no-no. Since I work out regularly and lift weights, I need to eat enough protein to remain full, fueled, and ready to build muscle. This pancake recipe uses hemp, a plant-based protein. Though I prefer the taste of standard whey protein, it often gives me an upset stomach where hemp does not. The vanilla flavored hemp has a pleasant taste, and it blends in seamlessly with the Bisquick powder to create a mildly sweet pancake with great texture.

With a mix-in of chocolate chips, blueberries, or whatever else you want to toss in there – these pancakes will keep you full & energized and are super tasty.

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