Food & Recipes

by Julie Branstetter, Th.B. Welcome to everyone's favorite page, of which the purpose is to share the joy of food and cooking. Please know that the purpose of this page is not to help you live a healthy life. That page is labelled 'Health & Fitness". I have to say this because you will find sweets and desserts and BREAD everything considered evil by the health food industry and I totally understand, but this girl loves food too much to leave anything out. Not to mention I have learned that you don't have to cut foods out of your diet to be healthy you just need to moderate yourself. More on that on the health page. Some recipes are super healthy and some are indulgent, but the blog over all celebrates the joy of cooking and creating enjoyable food. Many times indulgent recipes can use substitutes to make them lighter so keep that in mind while you browse. The greater the variety the better. Guest posts and recipes are always welcome too!


February 29, 2012
Click here to read my new article on the health benefits of cocoa and chocolate!


February 27, 2012
I love recipes that are easy and delicious.  You don't have to stand in the kitchen for hours to have a great meal.  It's a cool damp day in North Carolina; what better to end it with than a warm bowl of chicken and dumplings that you DIDN'T have to slave over for hours.  Enjoy!

You Will Need:
  • 3-4 Chicken Breasts
  • 1 Can Cream of Chicken Soup
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1 Can of refrigerated Canned Biscuits
  1. Clean and cut chicken breasts into large pieces.
  2. Combine chicken pieces, can of soup and ...

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February 23, 2012
Breakfast, lunch or dinner, this family recipe for potato salad will satisfy your belly and put a smile on your face. You could change the ingredients up a bit if you like, but it won't be the same.  This is one of those recipes in a southern family that is loved by everyone.  The babies are raised on it!  You can't have a cook out without mama's potato salad.  So since the weather is slowly changing I thought this would be the perfect recipe to share with you today.  Make a big batch of it ...

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February 14, 2012
We LOVE having breakfast for dinner and we do it at least once a week.  One of our favorite foods to eat are pancakes with bacon.  It' such an easy and pleasing dinner.  Here is a recipe for homemade pancakes that taste very close to IHOP pancakes.  Most of these ingredients are usually on hand in a cook's kitchen so mix a batch together and enjoy those pancakes!

You Will Need:
  • 1.25 cups sifted all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1.2...

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February 8, 2012
Here is a great soda from scratch to share with those you love on Valentine's Day!  My girls loved it!

You Will Need:
  • 2 cups of white granulated sugar
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • pinch of cumin
  • couple of pinches of cayenne (depends on how spicy hot you like it)
  • 1.5 liter club soda

  1. Put sugar in a stainless steel pot, add water, stir over medium heat until completely dissolved.  It will dissolve eventually.  Once the sugar is completely dissolved it will ...

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February 7, 2012
Cooks who keep cream cheese and Parmesan cheese on hand in the refrigerator will be able to whip together an Alfredo sauce at any time.  Most of these ingredients are "cook's kitchen common".

You Will Need:
  • 1/2 cup of butter
  • 8 oz. cream cheese (room temp)
  • 2 tablespoons of flour
  • 2 cups of whole milk or half and half
  • 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese (shred or grated)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • Salt & pepper, to taste

  1. Melt butter over low heat, careful not to burn.
  2. Mix in cream cheese until complet...

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January 28, 2012
In the mood for a quick Italian dinner tonight?  Here's a dinner idea that you can put together quickly by purchasing prechopped and precooked ingredients and tossing them together for a great meal in only a tiny bit of time!

Chicken Parmesan Fanfalle, Tossed Italian Salad, Parmesan Butter Croissants, and Lentil Soup.

You Will Need:
  • 1 Box of Fanfalle "Bowtie" Pasta Noodles
  • 1 Jar of Bertolli Olive Oil & Garlic Tomato Sauce
  • 6 oz. of Cooked Chicken Breast Meat
  • 2 cans of Progresso Lentil Soup
  • 1 Can of C...

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January 24, 2012
We have a new favorite in our house lately.  Root beer has always been a favorite for the girls in my house but lately we've been making it homemade and it is delicious!  Enjoy this super easy recipe and watch your children's eyes light up.

You Will Need:
  • 1.5 cups water
  • .75 cup sugar
  • 1.5 tsp Root Beer Concentrate
  • 1 Bottle (1 liter) club soda
I found the root beer concentrate next to the vanilla extract in Walmart and the club soda was not in the soda section, it was located on the coffee/beer...
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January 22, 2012
This is truly a VERY good and EASY fudge recipe for Rocky Road lovers.
Last summer we set out for our annual vacation to the North Carolina Coast and a couple of our friends took us out on their boat from Pine Knoll Shores over to Beaufort for lunch and shopping.  After we ate at a wonderful little market restaurant, We walked the streets shopping and sight seeing and found a fantastic little fudge shop.  It was my first, but not last, experience with Rocky Road Fudge.  My goodness it was deli...

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"Everybody's Favorite" Butter Rolls

January 12, 2012
I am going to share my personal butter roll recipe that EVERYONE loves.  I'm not just pretending here, this bread is loved by everyone who has ever eaten it. If you like the yeast rolls or butter rolls from places like Texas Steakhouse or Golden Corral, then you will really love these.  I use my bread machine to make the dough but you could mix it, knead it, wait, punch it down and let it rise before you form it to be cooked if you like.

I let my machine do all the work on the dough and I spe...
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