Posts Tagged ‘recipe’

Crazy-Delicious Coffee Cake

Where I grew up there was a bakery down the road with amazing coffee cake. There’s is still the best I have ever had but since I live over 400 miles away this recipe helped me bring a bit of my local bakery into my kitchen. One thing I would suggest is less salt on the topping. I definitely tasted the salt and I think the cake would be better with less salt there, otherwise it was very tasty! Perfect way to warm up a winter Sunday morning.

This recipe was adapted from:


2/3 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, sifted
1/2 tsp salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus additional for greasing the pan, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder, sifted
1 teaspoon baking soda, sifted
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup whole milk yogurt


Topping: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugars, cinnamon and salt. Stir to blend and then stir in butter. The topping should form sandy clumps. Break it into smaller clumps when you sprinkle it on the baking sheet. Refrigerate while you start cake recipe.

Cake:  Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease the bottom and sides of a 13- by 9-inch baking pan with butter. 

Cream the butter and granulated sugar together until light yellow and smooth, 5 to 8 minutes either with a whisk or with your mixer (I was excited because I got to use my kitchenaid stand mixer again!!).  Add the eggs, one at a time, while still beating until they are thoroughly mixed in.

Remove the topping from the refrigerator to let it come to room temperature prior to baking.

Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk the buttermilk and yogurt together until smooth. Add some sour cream mixture, then flour mixture and continue alternating this while mixing until both mixtures are fully mixed together. Spread the batter evenly in the greased baking pan. Sprinkle the topping over the cake. Once the topping has been fully sprinkled over the cake bake it for 40 – 50 minutes. Allow it to cool and then dig in! Don’t forget to make your favorite cup of coffee to complement the delicious cake you just made.



Perfect Pita Chips

I find that chips in generally are one of the easier types of food to put together, but also one of those sneaky recipes that can go really wrong, really quickly. It takes a good eye to make a good chip, but with some practice and patience chip-making is actually very simple. The pita chips below are the perfect complement to hummus. Here at our Homestead we make homemade hummus and now make these pita chips at the same time so we have a great, easy, homemade side-dish that really impresses all of our guests. They are stunned when we reveal that both the chips and hummus are homemade. Impress your friends at your next picnic or BBQ with these easy chips below:

The recipe below is modified from:


1 pckg Pita Pockets
2 tbsp Olive Oil
1 tbsp Cumin
1 tsp Kosher Salt
1 tsp Garlic Salt


Preheat oven to 350 F. Brush one side of each pita pocket with olive oil and then sprinkle the salt, cumin, and garlic salt over the pockets. Each pocket needs to be sliced into 4 triangles. Bake 15 – 20 minutes until they are light brown.

Again, these are best with hummus as an appetizer. Make extra, because I can promise you will be nibbling on them while waiting for the rest of your food to finish cooking!

So-Tasty Tortilla Soup

Well fall has finally arrived here in Virginia so let’s celebrate with some soup! I’d argue that tortilla soup is the perfect soup on rainy or early fall days. There is something so warming about the nice light broth, veggies and SW flare that tortilla soup brings. We are big fans of spanish style cooking and especially of tortilla soup. This is a great side-dish on taco night, or as the main course when you are looking for a lighter meal.


3 tbsp Corn Oil
4 small Corn Tortillas – coarsely chopped
4 cloves Garlic
handful of Cilantro – chopped
1 Yellow Onion
1 tbsp Cumin
2 tsp Chili Powder
2 Bay Leaves
1.5 quarts Chicken Broth
2 tsp Salt
pinch of Cayenne Pepper
28 oz. Tomato Puree
2 Chicken Breasts – Cooked and Shredded
Cheddar Cheese – just a pinch for garnish before serving


In a large soup heat oil over medium heat. Add tortillas, garlic and cilantro and cook for about 5 minutes until tortillas are soft. While those are cooking puree the onion (we LOVE using our Magic Bullet for this). Add onion and tomato purees into the soup pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, stir in: cumin, bay leaves, chicken broth and chili powder. Once this is boiling, reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.  After about 15 minutes add the chicken and then continue simmering for another 15 minutes (30 minutes of simmering, total). Stir-in salt and cayenne pepper to taste, remove bay leaves. Garnish with cheese and dig-in!

Tortilla Soup photo 1 (4) photo 2 (1) photo 4

Martha’s Weeknight Shrimp Jambalaya

My husband loves spicy food, anything with a good kick he automatically moves to his favorite food list. I’m not as into the spicy overtones in food and tend to get overwhelmed by spice quickly. We were in the hunt for a recipe that had some spice, but not too much AND was easy for a weeknight when we forgot to defrost meat which is how we stumbled upon Martha’s Shrimp Jambalaya. Since I’m not Martha I, of course, modified her recipe to fit our flavors and worked based off of her reviews online. Below is our version of Martha’s Shrimp Jambalaya. It wasn’t too spicy for me and my husband added some extra spice to his own dish to better suite his palate. It was quick and easy to make, required no defrosting of anything and contained ingredients we generally alwasy have handy in our kitchen. Definitely a great recipe to add to the weeknight rotation!

creative crops recipe, shrimp jambalayaIngredients

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, ribs and seeds removed, diced
3 celery stalks, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
Pinch of salt and ground pepper
2 teaspoons paprika
8 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 cup long-grain white rice
1 pound medium shrimp (about 30), peeled, deveined, and tails removed
1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions, for garnish
2 cups water

Directionscreative crops recipe, shrimp jambalaya

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Stir occasionally while it cooks until onion starts softening which will take about 5 minutes. Stir in paprika; cook about 1 minute (Martha suggests until it is fragrant).

Add tomatoes, rice, and water to skillet; cover, and simmer over medium heat until rice is cooked and has absorbed all water, about 15 minutes. Add shrimp and cook, covered about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat; season with salt and pepper, as desired. Garnish the dishes with your scallions before serving!

Shrimp Jambalaya creative crops

Tangy Ginger Dressing

Keeping up with my recent *easy* recipes here is a quick and easy recipe for ginger dressing. I have one of those nifty dressing shakers by OXO – it was perfect for this and many of the other dressings I have made so I highly suggest something similar if you find yourself making salad dressings every so often. We found this recipe at, and the recipe listed below just halves it, which is what we did.


Creativecrops Ginger Dressing

1.5 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tbsp minced fresh ginger root
3/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup soy sauce
3 tbsp honey
1/4 cup water



Creativecrops Ginger Dressing

In your salad shaker, or a pint glass or bowl, combine all of the above ingredients. If using your salad shaker, then shake it up. If you’re using a bowl or cup, cover it tightly and then shake it up! Heat the shaken ingredients  in the microwave for 1 minute to dissolve the honey. Let cool, and shake well before serving. Store covered in the refrigerator.

We paired this over a spinach salad and it was delicious – the perfect compliment to the salad! We also put it into a wrap with grilled chicken, lettuce and shredded carrots which, again, was very complimentary to the wrap. Overall, this is a great dressing and as you can see from the instructions above, its very easy to make. Enjoy!

Limoncello Liqueur

Ciao everybody – I’m Allison’s younger sister, Lauren and I’m your guest blogger for today! I’m very excited to be writing this guest blog to share my love of food and delicious drinks.  Who doesn’t love a good after-dinner drink that can melt away the stress of the day?  For our mother, that particular after-dinner drink is the italian liqueur Limoncello.  I thought this would be the perfect gift to give her for Christmas since it was unique, home-made, and most of all easy to make.  Since lemons reach their peak in August, the limoncello can be started in August and be easily ready for the holidays as the perfect gift!


Limoncello Creative Crops1.75 Liters of Vodka (Many recipes call for Everclear, if that’s too strong I would recommend Absolut)
10-15 organic lemons
5 cups water  (If you prefer it to be less sweet, adjust this ratio keeping it 1 more cup of water than sugar)
4 cups sugar


Take some vodka out of the 1.75 liter bottle, or transfer the vodka to a larger sealable container if you dont want to waste it as the lemon zests you are going to be adding will add volume. Add the rind of about 10-15 lemons directly into the bottle.  Use 10 lemons if you don’t want a strong taste or 15 if you want it very lemony – this can be tweaked to your preference.  When getting the “rind”, you canCreative Crops Lemon Zest either use a vegetable peeler to peel off the rind of the entire lemon (be sure not to get any of the white rind with it as that will make the limoncello bitter) or you can zest each lemon with a microplane. I zested each lemon with a microplane for my limoncello.
You will definitely want to use organic lemons because they have a thicker rind and do not have as many pesticides, making a better limoncello for you.  However, if organic is not an option, make sure to throughly soak the lemons to ensure no pesticides remain.
Limoncello by Creative Crops
Once the rinds are added, shake the bottle thoroughly for about 5 minutes to allow the flavor to infuse.  Store this mixture in a cool dry place (the refrigerator, closet, etc.) for 10 days, occasionally shaking the bottle to let the flavors really penetrate.
After 10 days it is finally time to start the last step in your limoncello making process!  Start your simple syrup by adding 5 cups of water and 4 cups of sugar to a saucepan and boil until the sugar is dissolved.  If you do not want your limoncello to be too sweet, you can lessen this amount to 3.5 cups water and 2.5 cups sugar; any Creative CRops Limoncellovariation will work as long as you keep the amount of water 1 cup more than the sugar.  While you allow this mixture to cool, start straining your lemon infused vodka either into a micro-strainer or by using coffee filters.  If using coffee filters, wet them with water first so they do not soak up any extra vodka (wouldn’t want it to go to waste!).  Once your simple syrup is cooled, add it to your strained vodka and store in a cool dry place for up to 2 months. I generally do a taste test after a month and it’s usually ready by then.
After anxiously waiting a month or 2, store your limoncello in the freezer and enjoy!!  This isn’t a precise recipe so tweak it to your individual taste buds but know that the finished product definitely won’t disappoint! If you’re giving it as a gift consider buying a few cute bottles to put it in and tie them with ribbon for a beautiful display! Happy Valentine’s Day!
Limoncello creative Crops

Jazzy Jalapeno Cauliflower

Apparently I’m on either a side dish or veggie kick here, I’m not sure which…In any case here is another great way to prepare Cauliflower. One of our favorite ways to eat cauliflower was as part of a pasta and sauce dish that I previously blogged, but this is a great way to use cauliflower as a true side dish. It’s not too spicy but does still have some great flavor to offer. As with most of my recipes it doesn’t take too long to make, which is really everything you could want and more in a side dish!

This was heavily adapted from: .


  • 1 head cauliflower florets – cut into small pieces
  • 2 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1 small clove of garlic diced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • pinch of fine sea salt
  • pinch of pepper
  • 1/4 chopped red onion
  • 1 finely chopped jalapeno (the more seeds the spicier!)
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves


Preheat your oven to 450 F. Place the cauliflower on a baking sheet (mine are always lined with parchment paper to aid in a quick cleanup) and drizzle with about half a tbsp of olive oil and add salt and pepper to taste. Roast the cauliflower for 5 – 10 minutes until it is golden brown in color.

In a medium bowl combine your roasted cauliflower, onion, jalapeno, the remaining olive oil, rice vinegar and the diced garlic and toss to combine. Add cilantro as a finishing garnish just before you serve.

Cauliflower Jalapeno, creative crops

%d bloggers like this: