Life, Love and my passion for cooking

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Carson City, NV, United States
I grew up in Illinois in a small town. I moved to California in May of 2000.In that time I have experienced life, love and my passion for cooking. We now live in Nevada. I hope to take my passion for cooking to a new level.


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Tuesday, April 29, 2014


Mixed bean and veggie salad

1 package pea shoots- roughly chopped

2 cups homemade or canned mixed beans- white northern beans, black beans and pinto- any combination that you like.

2 cups cooked edamame

2 bell peppers finely chopped

2 scallions chopped

1/2 cup red onion chopped

2 cups mixed organic carrots peeled and grated- I get the different colored carrots from Trader Joes.

1 cup chopped cilantro plus 1/4 cup for the dressing.

toss all the veggies and beans in a large bowl. I used a 4 quart bowl. Add the mixture to a salad bowl and drizzle with the dressing. Add salt and pepper to taste.


Juice of two limes or lemon

1/4 cup cilantro

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon coriander

1/4 cup olive oil or canola

salt and pepper to taste

1 garlic clove minced

mix all ingredients in a bowl and let sit until ready to use.

Side ideas: You could have this salad with chicken or just by itself. We had it with those salt and pepper rice crisps from trader joes. It is a great meal when its too hot to cook.

This recipe was adapted from my sister who lives in Illinois. She loves fresh veggies and beans. She gave me this great idea. Thanks sis!:)

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Turkey meatballs

Turkey meatballs with ginger lime sauce

For the meatballs:

1/2 cup panko
1 pound ground turkey- I used lean turkey
1 egg white
1 Tablespoon fresh ginger
a pinch of salt
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 scallions chopped
1 Tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
2 Tablespoons sriracha hot sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil

Preheat your oven to 500 degrees. Prepare a cookie sheet with non stick spray and set aside.

In a large bowl add the turkey, panko, egg white, salt, scallions, ginger, cilantro, soy sauce and sesame oil. Mix gently with hands. Then mix in the sriracha sauce with a small spoon. It can get a little spicy on your hands. Shape meatballs into 1/4 cup size. Place them on a cookie sheet. Bake 15-18 min or until the internal temperature reaches 165. I use a digital thermometer to get an accurate temperature.

Ginger lime sauce:

Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl or measuring cup. Set aside until the meatballs are ready to eat.
3 Tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
1-1/2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon fresh ginger
1 scallion chopped
1 Tablespoon lime juice
1-1/2 Tablespoon water

The sides for my dish included: 
I made some jasmine rice. I sauteed  Brussels sprouts in a wok with some rice bran oil. I placed some rice on the bottom of the plate then topped it with three meatballs and added some Brussels sprouts to the side. I then added the ginger lime sauce to the top of the meatballs.

Thursday, February 13, 2014


Happy New Year everyone! Well it is February now but its been a busy start to the new year. I am finally getting a recipe posted. I hope to get a lot more recipes posted for 2014. Enjoy!

Leaha's homemade granola

4 cups rolled oats

1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup dried cherries

1/2 cup shredded coconut

2 tablespoons coconut sugar

1/2 cup honey

2 tablespoons coconut oil- coconut oil comes as a solid so I melt it for about 30 seconds in the microwave.

 I add the coconut oil to my measuring cup first then add the honey and it comes out of the measuring cup a lot easier!

In a large bowl I mix all the dry ingredients. Then I add the wet ingredients and mix well.

preheat the oven to 350.

I start with half the amount on a cookie sheet about 2 cups.
Just make sure you have a nice thin layer on the sheet. If the layer is too thick the oats will not toast evenly. Then put it in the oven. It will be in the oven for a total of 40-45 min. You will stir the mixture every 15min. When it looks nice and golden brown it is done. Let the granola cool for 10min. Then I do the second batch.

Store it in a plastic sealed container on the counter for a few days. It probably would last a week but its gone too fast for it to last that long;) It is great on top of yogurt in the morning or on some vanilla ice cream for dessert.

Monday, October 14, 2013


Italian Polenta bowls


1 bag of polenta- I used bobs redmill

6 cups of water

2 cups polenta

3 cups roasted peeled tomatoes- fresh or good quality organic canned or a good jar of store bought tomato sauce works just as well.

2 cloves garlic minced

large bunch of fresh basil- I use a 4oz container from Trader Joes. Set some aside for a topping.

Parmesan cheese for topping

Herbs for polenta- dried oregano, thyme, pepper, basil and salt. All herbs are seasoned to taste. I change it up everytime I make this dish.

I start with the tomato sauce. I blend the tomatoes in a food processor along with a nice large bunch of basil. I season it with my favorite italian herbs.

Heat a pan with a tablespoon of olive oil. Add the garlic and stir. Then turn the heat down a bit and add about 1/4 cup of red wine and two tablespoons tomato paste. Using a whisk make sure you blend the garlic, wine and tomato paste together well. Turn the heat down and add the blended tomatoes. Stir well. Cover and let simmer for at least 30 min.

Cook the polenta as directed on package. I boil 6 cups of water to 2 cups of polenta. You will stir constantly for 30 min. It is a nice workout for your arms:) When the polenta is nice and thick add your favorite italian herbs and spices. Scoop into bowls and top with the tomato sauce, basil and parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

Helpful quick meal suggestions:

This recipe makes a nice amount of polenta. I usually get about 4-5 meals. If you only need a small amount of what you cooked, polenta refrigerates well and saves for a few weeks. I also will pour the polenta into muffin cups and refrigerate overnight. The polenta is a great quick breakfast with an egg on top and a side of salsa.

Easy cookies

Pumpkin Cookies

1/2 cup butter (room temp) good substitutes are Earth Balance or Greek yogurt.
1/4 cup to 1/2 cup brown sugar- if you like less sweet use 1/4 cup
1/4 cup molasses
1 egg or egg white, or flax meal egg substitute
1 cup pumpkin puree
2 cups all purpose flour- or a mixture of gluten free flours.
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon pumpkin spice
Preheat the oven to 375. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside. I use a stone for baking but if you don't have one a regular cookies sheet works great.
In a large mixing bowl cream butter & sugar until light and fluffy. Beat for a good 3-5 minutes. This helps with the texture and baking of the cookies.
Then add the molasses and egg. Then stir in the pumpkin. Beat 2 min.
In another bowl add flour, baking soda and spices.
Stir flour mixture into the butter mixture. Make sure the flour is blended but don't over mix. If the batter seems a bit dry add a tablespoon of water or milk.
Scoop the cookies onto the baking sheet with a large spoon or small baking scooper. Bake for 11 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheet. Store in an air tight container. Refrigerate after a few days.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


Spicy slow cooker beans

6 cups dried beans- black, pinto, aduki, white northern beans.
Rinse the beans a few times. Then add them to a large mixing bowl and cover them with water about two inches above the beans. Soak them overnight. Most of the water will have soaked into the beans by morning.
I have a 7 quart crockpot. If you have something smaller like a 3-5 quart I would use 2 cups for a 3 quart and 4 cups for a 5 quart.
The next morning rinse the beans again. Then add them to your crockpot. Add enough water to just cover the beans. I don't like too much water because I like my beans thick. If you want a little sauce add water about an inch or two above the level of the beans.
6 cups soaked beans- 7quart crockpot
4 cups soaked beans- 5 quart crockpot
2 cups soaked beans- 3 quart crockpot
1 large sweet onion
2 bell peppers- I like yellow and red
2 hot peppers of choice- Jalapenos or serranos- I leave the seeds in them and it gives the beans a nice warm heat.
NOTE: you can add any combination of herbs and spices. These are my favorite.
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground pepper
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp ancho chili powder
2 tsp oregano
2 tsp basil
2 tsp smoked paprika
4 oz shot of whiskey- any kind. I use rebel yell or Jameson. The whiskey gives the beans a smokey sweetness that is amazing!
Add all of the ingredients to the beans and water give it a good stir. Put the lid on the crockpot and set the temp to high for the first hour. Then low for the rest of the day. If you don't have time to do this just leave it on low and the crockpot with do the work. You will have left overs unless you are having a party! so these beans freeze very well in quart size ziploc bags. They also keep for over a week in an air tight container in the refrigerator.
My favorite toppings for these beans:
Queso fresco cheese
Red onions


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Ice Cream

Chocolate Coconut Cherry Ice Cream

2 cans of coconut milk- I used the light from Trader Joe's

1/4 cup sugar
I left the sugar out the first time I made it. The ice cream had a nice light sweet taste from the coconut milk.
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup fresh chopped cherries

In a pot over medium heat, add all the ingredients and stir. Allow it to simmer until thickened, about 8 minutes.

Place in a container and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. Add the cherries right before you add the mixture to your ice cream maker.

Add the mixture to your ice cream maker bowl. Let it churn for 20-30min. No longer. It will have an airy light fluffiness to the texture.

When you are ready to serve let the ice cream sit out for a good 10 min before serving. Add a few scoops to your favorite ice cream bowl and sprinkle with coconut. Enjoy!