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Or visit: http://rachelsrecipebox.wordpress.com/

See you there!!!


Recipe: Maple Syrup Pancake Muffins

A few weekends ago Tony and I had our hearts set on a big breakfast of pancakes, home fries, and bacon...but then I ran across a recipe for Maple Syrup Pancake Muffins on Joy the Baker's blog. What? Too good to be true? We thought so, and had to make them right away!

The muffins were a moist, sweet bread good enough to eat alone. Once you add the maple syrup glaze, you're talking a whole different kind of good! The recipe mentions that you can add any other ingredients that you would typically put in pancakes. Next time: blueberries!

A perfect breakfast for a snowy morning

Empty plates and happy faces =)

Thank you, Joy the Baker! Click here to try her recipe.

Recipe: White Chili

Get out your grocery list, you're going to want to make this. I'll admit that I typically follow recipes exactly, I'm always afraid of adding too much of this or too little of that and ruining dinner -- but not this time! This time I read about 5 or 6 different recipes for white chili, mixed and matched the ingredients and spices that sounded best, and came up with this:

It looks delicious, I know... don't worry, it is.

A good base of green chile peppers, cannelini beans, ground turkey....

and plenty of spices.

Serve with tortilla chips, top with sour cream and jalapenos. These are a must, no questions asked, okay? Oh, you can add cheese too...if you want, but I didn't. Tony was in heaven and I wasn't far behind, we love this dish!

White Chili
The goods:
- 1 lb. ground turkey, 93/7
- 3 c. cannelini beans (canned or cooked from dry beans)
- 1 (4 oz) can diced green chile peppers
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 tbsp. cumin
- 3/4 tbsp. oregano (a weird measurement, I know...but you can eyeball it)
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon (trust me, you want the cinnamon)
- 1/2 tsp. chili powder
- 1/2 tsp. onion powder
-1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper (more or less depending on your taste)
- 3 c. chicken broth
- salt and pepper to taste

The drill:
1) In a large pot over medium heat, saute garlic and turkey, about 10 minutes or until turkey is cooked through. Add the chile peppers and spices, saute about 5 more minutes.... this allows the spices to get all nice toasty, releasing the best flavor, before adding the liquids.
2) Add 2 1/2 cups of beans and chicken broth to the pot. Take 1/2 cup of beans, mash them well using a fork, add to pot -- this will give the soup a richer, more creamy consistency. Simmer on low for at least 30 minutes.
3) Don't forget what I said about the necessities: chips, jalapenos, sour cream.

...and go! Now hurry and make this before it's too warm outside!

Recipe: Mini Baked Omelet Cups

A perfectly portable, healthy, and easy breakfast - this recipe is awesome. Anything you can put into an omelet, you can bake into these cute omelet cups. Make a batch on Sunday night and reheat the leftovers to enjoy throughout the week.

The essentials: eggs, veggies, & cheese

Fresh baked

....and delicious.

Mini Baked Omelet Cups

- 4 cups steamed broccoli florets, chopped into small bits (or vegetable of your choice)*
- 1/2 red pepper, small dice (or vegetable of your choice)*
- 4 eggs
- 1 1/4 c. egg whites
- 1/4 c. grated parmesan cheese
- 1/4 c. grated cheese, your choice (I used a 4 cheese blend)
- salt and pepper, to taste
- cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350F. Spray 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray and spoon vegetable mixture evenly into the muffin tin.

In a medium bowl, beat eggs, egg whites, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper until well blended. Pour evenly over vegetables into the cups, until about 3/4 full. Top with grated cheese and bake until cooked, about 20 minutes.

Servings 6

*Note: I used broccoli and red pepper because I already had it on hand. The variations you can make are endless... give these others a try:

- spinach, tomato/sundried tomato, and feta cheese
- peppers, onions, black beans, pepper jack cheese... top with sour cream or salsa
- cooked sausage and onions (less healthy but definitely delicious)

Recipe: Turkey Taco Lettuce Wraps

Enjoy these turkey taco lettuce wraps as a fun, healthy alternative to tacos. This recipe includes homemade taco seasoning which is much healthier than prepackaged mix from the grocery. You can control the amount of salt and are guaranteed to have no preservatives and no msg. I like to make a big batch of the seasoning to keep on hand for other dishes...it's so easy and will store the same as your other spices!

Note: I adjusted my taco seasoning from the recipe by cutting the salt down to 1/2 tsp. I added 1/2 tsp of black pepper, 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper, and 1/2 tsp onion powder. It was perfect...and pretty.

Lettuce Wrap

I thought they were too messy so I turned mine into taco salad....so delicious!

Turkey Taco Lettuce Wraps

  • 1.3 lbs 99% lean ground turkey
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 small onion, minced (I left out the onion, Tony hates it...hence, the onion powder. Shhh!)
  • 2 tbsp bell pepper, minced (I used 1/2 of a red pepper)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 8 oz can tomato sauce
  • 8 large lettuce leaves from Iceberg lettuce
Brown turkey in a large skillet. When no longer pink add dry seasoning and mix well. Add onion, pepper, water and tomato sauce and cover. Simmer on low for about 20 minutes.

Wash and dry the lettuce. Place meat in the center of leaf and top with tomatoes, cheese and salsa or other toppings.

Servings: 4

Recipe: The perfect weekend morning

Who doesn't love the weekend? The best part: cooking breakfast with Tony! Breakfast is my favorite meal but sadly I refuse to get up early enough to eat more than yogurt or instant oatmeal during the week. I eat breakfast at my desk pretty much everyday so sitting down to enjoy a "real" breakfast is such a treat....a luxury, really.

The ritual: wake up without an alarm, spend extra time playing with the pup, play some good tunes in the background, and then...get busy cooking.

Sit down to breakfast and enjoy the morning sunlight...a recipe for the perfect weekend morning.
Begley loves the weekends too!

Happy weekend!

Recipe: Turkey Sausage, Kale, & White Bean Soup


A hearty, satisfying, and healthy soup that is perfect for the recent blast of cold weather! The soup starts with homemade turkey sausage- it's easier than you think to make your own! Making your own sausage allows you to have control over the seasoning and amount of fat, you can adjust the seasoning to suit your own taste. I served our soup with homemade pita chips.

Turkey Sausage, Kale and White Bean Soup

-1.25 lb homemade turkey sausage (recipe follows)
- 2 tsp olive oil
-1 clove garlic, minced
-1/2 bunch kale- rinsed, leaves removed from the ribs & rough chopped
-1 cup cannellini or other white bean - drained & rinsed
-4 cups fat free chicken stock
-2 cups water
-1 small pinch dried red pepper flakes (optional
-salt and pepper to taste

-Heat oil over medium-high heat in a medium sized pot. Add sausage meat, breaking it up with a spatula into large chunks.
-When completely cooked, add garlic and saute for 2-3 minutes (careful not to let the garlic burn).
-Add the water, stock, beans and red pepper flakes and stir thoroughly. Simmer on low for 10 minutes, covered.
-Throw in kale and allow to simmer for another 10 minutes, covered. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.

Servings: 4 - Serving Size: 2 cups - Calories: 253

Homemade Turkey Sausage

-1.25 lb 93% lean ground turkey
-1 clove garlic, crushed
-1/2 tsp sweet paprika
-1/4 tsp salt
-1/4 tsp black pepper
-1/8 tsp dried thyme
-1/8 tsp dried oregano leaves
-1/8 tsp dried marjoram
-1/4 tsp dried fennel

-Combine turkey, garlic and spices and mix well using hands. Use as desired.

Servings:4 - Calories:140

Here we go again....

Now that life has quieted down, I'm ready to get this blog back into gear.

When I stopped posting we were in the middle of working on our house....it's always a work in progress but we've made some pretty great strides since June. We were also knee-deep in wedding plans. We tied the knot on October 18th. Here's the proof: We went to Chicago for a week after the wedding:

(my first trip to Chicago. I'm short.)

....and that about sums things up.

I've been baking cakes:

...and cooking other things. Sometimes I post my photos on allrecipes.com, and sometimes I even win the daily photo contest (woohoo!)

1st place on 8-7-09
1st & 2nd place on 9-16-09
Not technically a win but my photo was featured on recipe of the day, 12-11-09

And the latest, 1st place on 2-13-10

And now we're here:

Happily married, happily settled into our house.

So like I said, I'm ready to get this blog back into shape. A few different things this time around:

1) Less adding to the list of "recipes to make" and more adding to the list of "been there, made that." I have to quit filing away recipes for the future and actually make them!

2) Every recipe I make will feature my own photos (I'll mark them with my blog name).

3) More about crafting, including fun tutorials.


Oh my, I almost forgot another update, I'm in the Etsy business now! You can see my shop, TheCommonThread, here. I vowed I would learn to sew as a new year resolution, bought a sewing machine on January 1, and opened up my shop a couple of weeks later!!! Take a look:

..and now we're finished with the updates.

Recipe: Sugar Cookie Icing

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

I didn't get to make any homemade sweets today, we were on the road home from our weekend getaway to the Smoky Mountains....but:

Here are some photos of sweet sugar cookies that I made last year in honor of Valentine's Day. You've got to try this recipe for icing, it's foolproof and easy to create professional looking cookies. Have fun!!

Louisville cookies for Tony


  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2 teaspoons milk
  • 2 teaspoons light corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond or vanilla extract
  • assorted food coloring


  1. In a small bowl, stir together confectioners' sugar and milk until smooth. Beat in corn syrup and extract until icing is smooth and glossy. If icing is too thick, add more corn syrup.
  2. Divide into separate bowls, and add food colorings to each to desired intensity. Dip cookies, or paint them with a brush.

Free Printable Recipe Cards

I love recipe cards (big surprise, right?) and these are adorable...not only are they adorable but you can print them out for free (!!!) from Vale Design. There are a few other designs on the site but these are my favorite. Click here to print yours!