Tomato Jam

 Posted by at 8:23 pm on October 7, 2016  1 Response »
Oct 072016

Tomatoes. Tomatoes are all over my counter, and a ton, maybe literally are still left in my garden. My hubby planted 7 tomato plants this year, I think secretly hoping I’d make a lot of salsa. And I have. 4 batches in fact. But I’m done with salsa. I wanted something yummy, something different. So it’s Tomato Jam. Seriously one of my favorite canning recipes to date.

I’ll share the recipe with you, because you all deserve to find happiness with tomatoes. It’s a great recipe. Spread it on top of meatloaf, smother your favorite burger with it. Dip home fries for the best treat of your life. Or even make a BLT in the middle of winter, snow on the ground, and savor the fresh tomato taste you enjoy all summer long.


Tomato Jam (Makes 5 pints)

16 cups seeded, tomatoes, diced (Roma have the most flesh and are the easiest to seed)
1 cup sugar (only if tomatoes are not ripe enough or sweet enough)
1/2 cup bottled lime or lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated peeled fresh ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 tablespoon sea salt
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes

Prepare tomatoes, and place into a large pot, turn the heat onto medium. Add remaining ingredients, and stir until combined. Stir every few minutes. As the mixture reduce, you will need to stir more often. The tomatoes will reduce by half when the recipe is done. Which will take 3-4 hours. It will become a sticky, sweet jam.


To seal in a water bath:

Once your jam has reduced by half, it will be a dark, beautiful, glossy red color. Ladle into prepared pint jars, and wipe rims, seal with warm lids and rings,  and process in a boiling water bath for 30 minutes. Tomato jam sealed in this manner will last 2 years in a cool, dry place.  If you’re that lucky. We are loving this recipe. I’m hoping to  have some well into the winter. I made 3 batches. Which is a labor of love. But I’m so excited!

Happy canning!


(NEW) Lemon Coconut Raspberry Cupcakes

 Posted by at 9:15 am on July 1, 2016  Comments Off on (NEW) Lemon Coconut Raspberry Cupcakes
Jul 012016


I’m known to #stressbake. It’s a thing, I promise. So these beauties were born. And they were eaten almost as fast as I made them.

Lemon Coconut Raspberry Cupcakes

1 box white cake mix

1 1/2 cups lite coconut milk

3 eggs

1 tbsp. coconut extract

1/2 cup butter

3 cups powdered sugar

1/3 cup plus more if needed heavy whipping cream

1 tsp. lemon extract

Raspberries for garnish

Coconut sugar for garnish

Mix together your dry cake mix, coconut milk and eggs until batter is combined. Add the coconut extract and mix. Place scoops of batter into paper lined muffin tins, filling 3/4 full. Bake for 12-14 minutes at 350 degrees until cake springs back when lightly touched. Do not over bake. The bottoms will brown.

Remove the cupcakes from the pan and place on a wire rack to cool. Meanwhile, make the frosting.

In your mixer, place the softened butter and cream and whisk together. Add the powdered sugar, a little at a time on slow speed. Depending on preference of thickness, you can add more cream if desired. Add the lemon extract. Frost your cooled cupcakes. Topping with a fresh raspberry and coconut sugar. Makes 24 cupcakes.

Happy Baking!


Simple Guacamole

 Posted by at 8:50 am on July 1, 2016  Comments Off on Simple Guacamole
Jul 012016
Avocado. Not only is it beautiful to look at (one of my favorite colors in the entire food world) it’s a great base for so many recipe ideas.IMG_4618
Guacamole. It’s always the star of the party, the first dish to get scraped clean with a tortilla chip. Make this recipe your family favorite this summer. It’s going to be on our table a lot. Including this 4th of July weekend.
Simple Guacamole
4 medium avocados
1 tbsp. key lime juice
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 cup minced onion
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
Pinch of garlic powder
Mash 2 of the avocados pretty well in a medium bowl, leaving 2 avocados more “chunky.” I like a bit of texture in my guac. Then add the other ingredients together and stir til combined and cover for up to 1 hour before serving. Serve with your favorite chips…. Yum! This recipe is simple and fresh with avocado as it’s star ingredient.
You can watch my guac off segment (promise it’s a thing) from Studio 5 last week.

Summer drinks for the family on Studio 5

 Posted by at 7:39 am on July 1, 2016  Comments Off on Summer drinks for the family on Studio 5
Jul 012016


I literally had the best time writing these recipes for “family” inspired drinks for the patio/pool this summer. I’ve already made the mint mojito one 3+ times and I’m doing it again for the 4th of July celebration. Super easy, few ingredients, and you can whip up some fabulous drinks for your next summer get together. Here’s the segment and link to the recipes!

Pineapple Teriyaki Turkey Burger

 Posted by at 8:26 pm on June 22, 2016  Comments Off on Pineapple Teriyaki Turkey Burger
Jun 222016


Let’s talk about burgers for a second. It’s a summer staple at our house, and I’m always looking for more ways to serve them than just the staples of ketchup, mustard, pickles… you get the drill. So I thought, why not add some island flare? Teriyaki is one of my favorite flavors, and I had a pineapple on my counter. And this burger was created. All you need are a few ingredients.

Pineapple Teriyaki Turkey Burger

8 turkey burger patties, whatever brand you love

8 Hawaiian hamburger buns (or sweet buns)

8 slices Monterrey Jack cheese

1 large red onion, sliced

Teryiaki sauce (thicker is better)

1/2 cup mayonnaise plus 1/3 cup pineapple juice (mix together)


8 Pineapple slices

In a large skillet, brown your onions to caramelize, adding a pinch of salt and a tbsp. of sugar. Set aside to cool. Combine the mayo and pineapple juice to create your sauce. Cook  your burger patties to your desired doneness… and start layering. Smother each bun with some pineapple mayo, then top with your cooked turkey patty, cilantro, (melt your cheese on your patties if desired…) caramelized onions, pineapple slice and Teriyaki sauce. Top with the bun and you’re good to go! Delicious.

Happy BBQ-ing! XO-Wendy

Blueberry Hand Pies

 Posted by at 8:13 pm on June 22, 2016  Comments Off on Blueberry Hand Pies
Jun 222016


I haven’t baked in about 2 weeks except for an occasional dinner…. I’ve been sick and its so dang hot here. Even I don’t want to bake. The last thing I need is a hot kitchen. But today was an exception.


My friend Holly shot me a text last weekend about this recipe, and the dough was not browning when she baked them.  Troubleshooting recipes is what I love to do. So in that case, I recommend two things: either brush on a beaten egg wash or heavy cream wash. I do that to all my pies and pastries. Then she text me later on saying she tasted these little pies and she loved them so much she didn’t care they weren’t golden on top. They were amazing. And the next day I got a text saying, “we deep fried them in coconut oil…. saying, “if these are wrong I don’t want to be right.” So of course I had to make them for myself. I altered the recipe a bit, and they are super scrumptious. I’ve been giving them away all afternoon….. sharing the fat, ahem, I mean love with those I love.

The dough is a Cajun sweet dough. It’s not your traditional pie crust, and wouldn’t be as flaky baked as it is fried. But let’s face it, everything is better fried.

Cajun Sweet Dough

3/4 cup butter, soft

1 cup sugar, soft

1 tsp. vanilla extract ( I used my homemade version)

1 egg

4 1/2 cups AP Flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup whole milk

1 -12 oz. can of cherry or blueberry pie filling

1 egg white, for egg wash (or use my tips above)

Mix together the flour, baking powder, set aside. In a mixer, cream together butter, sugar, vanilla and egg until light and fluffy. Add the dry ingredients and milk, and mix until dough forms a ball and comes away from the sides of the mixing bowl.

You must chill the dough for 2 hours, covered in the fridge. The roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/4 inch thickness, cutting round circles with a cookie cutter, I used my 3″ cutter. Place a teaspoon full of pie filling in the center of each round. Wet the edges of the pie crust seams with your finger, and fold the dough over to make a crescent moon shape. Then using the tip of a fork crimp edges of the seamed pie crust.

Heat a large skillet on medium heat with coconut or vegetable oil. Fry the pies for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden and crispy. Flip pies using a slotted spoon carefully, as not to burn yourself with the hot oil. Don’t over crowd the pan, as the oil will drop temperature. I fried 4-5 pies at a time. Repeat cooking time after each set of pies is done. To keep your pies crispy, set them on a cooling rack as you remove them from the skillet. Garnish with powdered sugar if desired. Best the first day, and fresh IMHO.

Happy Baking! XO- Wendy

A pretty picnic on Studio 5

 Posted by at 4:59 pm on June 22, 2016  Comments Off on A pretty picnic on Studio 5
Jun 222016


Oh, my… summer is here!! And it’s time to P.A.R.T.Y! So let’s start at the beginning and talk about food. My favorite part. Food.


I had a blast with this pretty picnic menu for Studio 5. It has all of my favorite treats rolled into one meal- a meal that your whole family will enjoy.

Rosemary Focaccia Bread
1 3/4 cup warm water
1 tbsp. active dry yeast
1 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. Kosher salt
2 tbsp. fresh chopped rosemary, or 1 tbsp. dried rosemary
5 cups flour
1 cup olive oil, divided
Activate the yeast in the warm water, let stand for 10 minutes to proof and become bubbly. In a mixing bowl, (I used my KitchenAid) add sugar, salt, rosemary, and flour and 1/2 cup oil. Add the warm water and yeast mixture, and mix together with a dough hook. Mix on medium speed until the dough comes away from the bowl, about 2-3 minutes. Grease a bowl and cover with plastic wrap to rise for 1 hour in a warm place, on the counter. Once your dough has doubled in size, grease your jelly roll pan with the remaining oil, and pour out the dough onto the pan. Press with your hands, stretching the dough to fit the pan. Flip the dough once, and continue to press the dough with your fingers leaving grooves and finger marks. Sprinkle with Kosher salt, and more oil if needed, and let stand for 1 more hour to rise once more. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees, and bake your Focaccia bread for 25 minutes, until golden brown. Then let sit to cool, don’t cut the warm bread, as it will become dry.
Pressed Italian Sandwiches
1 recipe Rosemary Focaccia Bread, (recipe above)
1/4 lb. sliced dry salami
Roasted red peppers
12 slices Provolone cheese
Fresh basil leaves
Baby lettuce
1 cup Pesto sauce
Cut your bread in half, spreading the bottom and top layers with pesto. Then layer your bread with salami, roasted red peppers, cheese, basil and lettuce. Cover with the top layer of Focaccia, and wrap tightly with plastic wrap to seal. Place your wrapped large sandwich on top of a bread board or cookie sheet, and cover with a top cookie sheet or bread board. They place a heavy skillet or brick on top to add pressure to the sandwich. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight. Unwrap the sandwich and cut in to pieces just before serving.
The Lemon Water and Twice Baked Potato Salad recipe are on Studio 5’s website. Go here for more information.
Have a great summer! Full of fun and lots of picnics.  XO- Wendy

Twice Baked Potato Salad

 Posted by at 4:54 pm on June 22, 2016  Comments Off on Twice Baked Potato Salad
Jun 222016


My favorite side dish of the summer is this Twice Baked Potato Salad. Better than any original potato salad recipe, it has huge flavor, and that comes with a secret way of flavoring the potatoes after you cook them while they are still hot. It came from my grandma Lu’s potato salad recipe that I’ve been making for years. I hope you enjoy it.

Twice Baked Potato Salad
8-10 potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 cup light sour cream or Greek yogurt
1 medium sweet onion, caramalized
2 garlic cloves, roasted and minced
3 green onions, sliced
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
4 hard boiled eggs, cooled and chopped
1 cup bacon pieces
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. kosher salt
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsbp. lemon juice
Smoked Paprika, for garnish
Boil your potatoes until fork tender. Remove from the heat, and drain. Place in a large bowl, olive oil, salt and pepper, and lemon juice. Add your potatoes to the oil and lemon juice mixture. Toss to coat and refrigerate the potatoes to cool slightly. Then add the sour cream, onions, garlic, cheese, eggs, and bacon. Toss and cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Sprinkle with smoked paprika.

PBB & J Muffins (Peanut Butter, Banana & Jelly)

 Posted by at 6:00 am on April 25, 2016  Comments Off on PBB & J Muffins (Peanut Butter, Banana & Jelly)
Apr 252016

I’m always on the lookout for great after school snacks for the kiddos. And this one was really fabulous. Tasted like a PB & J- with a little bit of healthy stuff thrown in for good measure.


The sweetness of the bananas, allows me to add almost no sugar, and I’m a huge fan of that. Especially for snacks. We even had these for breakfast the next day.


PBB & J Muffins

1/2 cup coconut oil, soft

1/2 cup peanut butter

2 ripe medium bananas, smashed

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 egg

3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

Pinch of salt

2 tsp. baking soda

1 1/2 cups milk

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 cup of your favorite jelly

Cream together the coconut oil, peanut butter, sugar, bananas and egg. The add the flour, salt baking soda. Batter will be really thick. Then add your milk, and vanilla. Scoop batter into your paper lined muffin tins, filling 3/4 full. Then place a tsp of jelly in the middle of all the batter. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes or until muffin springs back when lightly touched. Makes 24 muffins.

Happy Snacking! XO


Coconut Cream Pie Sugar Cookies

 Posted by at 6:00 am on April 22, 2016  1 Response »
Apr 222016


Oh, yes I did. And I’m finally getting around to publishing the recipe.

They are full of coconut flavor, with a creamy frosting and a chewy soft sugar cookie. They way a sugar cookie should be. IMHO.


Coconut Cream Pie Sugar Cookies

1 cup softened butter

3/4 cup vegetable oil

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 tbsp. water

2 eggs

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. cream of tartar

1 tsp. salt

2 tsp. coconut extract

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

3 1/2 cups all purpose flour

Cream together butter, oil and sugars until combined. Add the water and eggs, soda, cream of tartar, extract, salt and flour and mix until just combined. Don’t over mix your dough. Using a large cookie scoop (at least 1/4 cup sized) place a scoop of dough on your cookie sheet, spaced 2″ apart. With a glass or flat measuring cup, press down the rounded dough to flatten your cookie. The sides will spread out and open up a bit. (Part of the signature sugar cookie look.)

In a small bowl, mix together 1/4 cup sugar and a pinch of kosher salt. Sprinkle this mixture on top of the cookies. Then bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool 1 minute on the hot pan. Then transfer the cookies to a cooling rack. Frost cooled cookies.

Coconut Cream Pie Frosting

1/2 cup butter, soft

1/4 cup heavy cream

Pinch of salt

2 tsp. coconut extract

3 1/2 cups powdered sugar (or more depending on the consistency you desire)

Cream together all ingredients, until light and fluffy. Frost cooled cookies. Top with coconut flakes, and crushed graham crackers. Freeze any leftover frosting in a freezer bag. Label well.

Happy Baking! XO