Thursday, December 11, 2008

Artichoke Dip

I made this artichoke dip from for my friend Jill's shower about a month ago. It got really good reviews. I'm not usually a huge fan of artichoke dip, but I really liked this one. I took this picture only a few minutes after we started eating and a few minutes after this picture it was gone. A few people said the just ate it plain without crackers, they liked it that much.

Hot Artichoke Dip
Submitted by: Pamela Cresswell
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 25 Minutes Ready In: 35 Minutes
Yields: 32 servings

2/3 cup Parmesan cheese
2/3 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1 (14 ounce) can artichoke

hearts, drained and chopped
2 tablespoons thinly sliced
green onion
1 tablespoon chopped pimento
peppers (I left this out)
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Lightly grease a medium baking dish.
2. Blend together the cheese, mayonnaise and whipping cream. Stir in the artichokes, green onions and pimentos. Mix well, and transfer to the prepared baking dish.
3. Bake 25 minutes in the preheated oven, until lightly browned.

Fruit Pizza

My friend Heather asked me to make this for a bridal shower she threw a few weeks ago. It's a recipe my mom has been making for a long time. It's a little bit of work, but it's so so good.

Fruit Pizza
Crust: Homemade sugar cookie dough, or store bought
Press into a greased round pizza pan, and bake as directed (I used a large rectangle pan). Cool completely.

Cream Cheese Filling: (Make glaze below before the filling)
8 oz cream cheese
2 t vanilla
1/2 c powdered sugar
Mix together and spread onto cooled cookie dough

Fresh sliced fruit layer: use fruit in season, bananas, apples, peaches, kiwi, mango, grapes, strawberries, cherries, etc. Decorate however you want with the fruit. This time I diced all the fruit and put it in rows so it would be easy to cut.

Glaze: (Make before the cream cheese so it has time to cool)
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c water
1 c orange juice - not concentrate
2 T cornstarch

Mix all together in a saucepan, bring to a boil and cook for 1 minute. Cool before lightly spreading on fruit. This glaze will keep the fruit from getting brown.

Chill and serve with cool whip.

Gingersnaps with white chocolate

I made a few different kinds of cookies and put them in the freezer for when Matt's family came to visit. I got the idea for these cookies when I went to my old wards Super Saturday activity and Jean Boothe made these. It's a gingersnap recipe from that I just added white chocolate chips to. Yum!

Grandma's Gingersnaps
Submitted by: RAMB

3/4 cup margarine
1 cup white sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup molasses
2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup white sugar for
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. In a medium bowl, cream together the margarine and 1 cup white sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg and molasses until well blended. Combine the flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda and salt; stir into the molasses mixture to form a dough. Roll dough into 1 inch balls and roll the balls in the remaining sugar. Place cookies 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets.
3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Tracy's pasta salad

My friend Tracy invited me over for lunch a few weeks ago. She's a great cook & she made an unbelievable pasta salad. I tried to recreate it that night, but mine was not as good. Here's what she did:

Boil a bag of rotini pasta (spirals)

Roast vegetables (425 degrees) and a couple chicken breasts with a little olive oil, salt and Mrs. Dash herb seasoning. She roasted carrots, summer squash, green beans and bell peppers. She cut the veggies on a diagonal. She said the key is to have a single layer of vegetables, don't let them overlap.

Then she mixed the pasta, roasted vegetables, herb feta cheese and a dressing of the packets of Italian dressing you can buy and make mixed with a little Dijon mustard. It was seriously the best pasta salad I've ever had.


Our friend Nic's birthday was a little while ago (I'm way behind on my posting!). They invited us for dinner & I offered to bring Poni Po Po rolls (recipe already on blog). Well that Sunday morning I went to get the Rhodes out of the freezer & this was what I found. A week earlier I went out to the garage freezer and the door was open & some things thawed a little bit. I didn't notice that the Rhodes rolls not only thawed completely, but they rose to fill the bag! It was a hilarious sight, but I was freaking out that I only had 6 other good Rhodes rolls in another bag and that was not enough. Matt came over & said what's the big deal, use them anyway. I chuckled to myself that he had no idea what he was talking about. Boy was I wrong! He cut them into chunks and put them in the pan. Then he said when these are the best ever I better get the credit. While we were at church they rose to fill the pan and they turned out great. Matt saved the day!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Baby Shower Food

I threw a baby shower last Saturday for my friend Anna. I completely forgot to take pictures of the food during the shower, so these pictures are of the leftovers in the fridge. Oops! I made a chocolate chip cheeseball (look at pic from previous post), a quiche recipe from, a farmers breakfast casserole from the Better Homes and Garden cookbook, fruit salsa with cinnamon chips (salsa pic below) from, my moms German pancake recipe, the black bottom cupcakes from a previous post and regular spinach dip from the back of the Knorr vegetable soup box. The farmers casserole was completely gone, so no pics of that one. Matt said that was his favorite thing. It was really good. The quiche was really good too. I ended up adding a few more eggs and milk to the mixture and made 3 quiches. There was way too much filling for just 2. The fruit salsa and cinnamon chips is really unique and delicious. The German pancakes are something I grew up eating & have always loved.

Annie's Fruit Salsa and Cinnamon Chips
Submitted by: Ann Page
Rated: 5 out of 5 by 2127 members Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 10 Minutes Ready In: 45 Minutes
Yields: 10 servings
"This delicious salsa made with fresh kiwis, apples and berries is a sweet, succulent treat when served on homemade cinnamon tortilla chips. Enjoy it as a summer appetizer or an easy dessert."
2 kiwis, peeled and diced
2 Golden Delicious apples -
peeled, cored and diced
8 ounces raspberries
1 pound strawberries
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 tablespoon brown sugar 3 tablespoons fruit preserves,
any flavor

10 (10 inch) flour tortillas
butter flavored cooking spray
2 cups cinnamon sugar
1. In a large bowl, thoroughly mix kiwis, Golden Delicious apples, raspberries, strawberries, white sugar, brown sugar and fruit preserves. Cover and chill in the refrigerator at least 15 minutes.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
3. Coat one side of each flour tortilla with butter flavored cooking spray. Cut into wedges and arrange in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Sprinkle wedges with desired amount of cinnamon sugar. Spray again with cooking spray.
4. Bake in the preheated oven 8 to 10 minutes. Repeat with any remaining tortilla wedges. Allow to cool approximately 15 minutes. Serve with chilled fruit mixture.

Clark's Quiche
Submitted by: Clark Hamblen
Rated: 5 out of 5 by 349 members Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 10 Minutes Ready In: 25 Minutes
Yields: 16 servings
"This recipe is excellent served for breakfast with fruit, or at lunch or dinner with a salad. This recipe makes two 9 inch pies. The reason for this is because if you only make one you will hate yourself the next day when there are no leftovers. Bacon, ham, and spinach and mushrooms are layered with 3 cheeses in this rich delicious egg dish."
1/2 pound thick sliced bacon
1 (10 ounce) package frozen
chopped spinach, thawed
1 (8 ounce) container sour
salt and pepper to taste
2 (9 inch) unbaked pie crusts
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
1/2 pound fresh mushrooms,
finely diced
2 cups finely diced smoked ham
8 ounces Monterey Jack
cheese, shredded
8 ounces Cheddar cheese,
4 ounces Parmesan cheese,
8 eggs
1 1/2 cups half-and-half cream
1 tablespoon dried parsley
salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble, and set aside. Cook spinach according to package instructions. Allow to cool, then squeeze dry.
2. Heat olive oil in skillet over medium heat. Saute onions until soft and translucent. Stir in mushrooms, and cook for 2 minutes, or until soft. Stir in ham and cooked bacon. Remove from heat.
3. In a large bowl, combine spinach, sour cream, salt and pepper. Divide, and spread into pie crusts. Layer with bacon mixture. Mix together Monterey Jack, Cheddar and Parmesan, and sprinkle over pies. Whisk together eggs, half-and-half and parsley. Season with salt and pepper, and pour over pies.
4. Place pies on baking sheet, and bake on middle shelf in preheated oven for 40 minutes. The top will be puffed and golden brown. Remove from oven, and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes.

Farmer's Casserole
Prep: 25 minutes
Bake: 40 minutes

Farmer's Casserole

* Nonstick cooking spray
* 3 cups frozen shredded hash brown potatoes
* 3/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese with jalapeno peppers or shredded cheddar cheese (3 ounces) (I used half jack and half cheddar)
* 1 cup diced cooked ham, cooked breakfast sausage or Canadian-style bacon (I used sausage)
* 1/4 cup sliced green onions (2)
* 4 beaten eggs or 1 cup refrigerated or frozen egg product, thawed
* 1-1/2 cups milk or one 12-ounce can evaporated milk or evaporated fat-free milk (I used regular milk)
* 1/8 teaspoon salt
* 1/8 teaspoon black pepper


1. Coat a 2-quart square baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Arrange potatoes evenly in the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle with cheese, ham, and green onions.

2. In a bowl combine eggs, milk, salt, and pepper. Pour egg mixture over potato mixture in dish.

3. Bake, uncovered, in a 350 degree F oven for 40 to 45 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Makes 6 servings.

4. Make-ahead directions: Prepare as above through step 2. Cover and chill for up to 24 hours. Bake, uncovered, in a 350 degree oven for 50 to 55 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

5. Farmer's Casserole for 12: Prepare as above, except double all ingredients and use a 3-quart rectangular baking dish. Bake, uncovered, for 45 to 55 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Makes 12 servings.

German Pancakes
8 eggs
1 1/4 c milk
1/4 t salt
1 1/4 c flour
1/2 c sugar
1 cube butter

Place butter in 11 x 15 pan, or 2 9 x 13 (I prefer this). Place pans in 425 degree oven. Blend the rest of the ingredients together in a blender. After pans are hot, but not burning, pour the batter into the pan(s). Bake 30 mins or so, until golden and firm. Serve with powdered sugar.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Chocolate-Chip Cheeseball

I made this chocolate-chip cheeseball for cooking club this week. It tastes like a cheesecake. It's super easy and really delicious! It's a nice twist on a cheeseball.

Chocolate Chip Cheese Ball
1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
½ cup butter (no substitute), softened
¼ tsp vanilla
¾ cup powdered sugar
2 tbsp brown sugar
¾ cup miniature semi sweet chocolate chips
¾ cup pecans, finely chopped

In mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla until fluffy. Gradually add sugars, beat until just combined. Stir in chips. Cover & refrigerate for 2 hours. Place cream cheese mixture on a large piece of plastic wrap & shape into a ball. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Just before serving, roll cheese ball in pecans. Serve with graham crackers.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Apple Pie

I have never been able to make a good pie crust, so I usually just buy store bought. I saw this recipe for apple pie on Home Based Mom's website & knew it was a recipe for me. For one thing Matt LOVES apple pie & you don't have to roll this one out or worry if it's too dry. It's incredibly easy & super delicious. Matt said he usually doesn't like pie crust, but he loved this one. Definitely a keeper.

Apple Pie
from Home Based Mom

2 C flour

1 C sugar

1 egg yolk

1 tsp baking powder

Mix and add.

2 cubes butter, melted

Press 1/2 of dough into a glass pie plate. Being sure you have an even layer on bottom and up the sides of the pie plate. (no holes!)

7-8 apples - sliced, cored and peeled. I prefer a crisp, tart apple.

Afer pressing 1/2 of pie dough into pie plate, pile apples onto crust. Sprinkle with cinnamon (sorry, no exact measurement - I just sprinkle until it looks like enough, probably a Tablespoon or two) and 1 1/2 Tbsp sugar (or more if you like it sweeter!)

Crumble remaining dough on top by breaking it into small pieces. Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes - 1 hour (Time will vary depending on how thick you slice the apples, you want them tender but not mush! I just stick a fork in to see how tender they are.)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

"Cafe Rio" like recipes

Cafe Rio is a restaurant in Utah & Arizona (maybe other places too) that's known for good fresh food. I found these recipes online & decided to try them. I didn't have pork, so I made the meat with beef. I made some flour tortillas & served the meat in the tortilla & topped it with the cilantro rice, black beans out of the can (I just warmed them up & put a little of the cooked meat juice in them), cheese, & the creamy cilantro dressing (which is good on any salad). It was really really good. The meat was sweet with a back heat on it. I will definitely make again.

Cafe Rio Recipes
(not for sure that these came from Cafe Rio, but we made them last night and they sure taste awesome!)

3-5 lb Pork Loin or Pork Roast (I used beef)
1 ½ cans Coke (I've heard you can also use sprite)
1 c. sugar
7oz can chipotle chilies in adobo sauce –provides alot of heat (or plain adobo sauce for sweeter sauce)
1 tsp dry ground mustard (heaping)
1 tsp cumin (heaping)
1 tsp minced garlic

Place the contents of the can of chilies in a bowl and cover with soda to get as much of the adobo sauce off the chilies. Remove the chilies and throw them away, or if you want the meat to be hotter, leave one or two chilies in. Rinse can of adobo sauce with soda to get all the sauce out. Place pork in crock pot and pour sauce over it. Cook for 4-6 on high or 7-9 hours on low. Carefully turn roast over halfway through. Cook in sauce until it pulls apart and then shred. Take pork out and shred. Then put it back in the juice and stir to get all the juice back into the meat.

1 c. rice
2 c. water
3 cubes chicken bouillon
½ tsp dried onion
1 tbsp oil
1 fresh lime
1/4 bunch cilantro
Cook rice with all ingredients (except lime and cilantro) in pot or rice cooker. Squeeze fresh lime juice over rice and mix in cilantro before serving.

Creamy Cilantro Dressing (for a salad version)
1 envelope buttermilk ranch dressing
1 c. mayo
1 c. milk
½ bunch cilantro
2 tomatillos
½ serrano peppers with seeds removed

Blend in blender, let sit to thicken.

Poppy Seed Chicken

My friend Anna made this for a party at my house awhile ago & it was so good. I made it this past Sunday & served it over rice. It was creamy, easy & yummy!

Poppyseed Chicken

Cook and cube 1 lb chicken- put into bottom of casserole dish

Mix in small bowl and pour over the cubed chicken:
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup sour cream
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 Tbsp soy sauce

Mix in another small bowl and sprinkle over casserole:
1 stick melted butter
1 tube crushed ritz crackers
2 Tbsp poppy seeds

Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes. Serve over rice

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Sugar Cookies

Maddie & I made these sugar cookies for her pre-school class last week & they were a hit! They're crisp & chewy. I think they're the perfect rolled sugar cookie. I found the recipe on my favorite site, The frosting we used is my favorite cupcake frosting from a guest on Martha Stewart.

The Best Rolled Sugar Cookies
Submitted by: Jill Saunders

1 1/2 cups butter, softened
2 cups white sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

5 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour (or overnight).
2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Roll out dough on floured surface 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into shapes with any cookie cutter. Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
3. Bake 6 to 8 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely

Billy's Vanilla Buttercream

This recipe for Billy's Vanilla Buttercream is courtesy of Billy Reece from Billy's Bakery in New York City.

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
6 to 8 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter until smooth and creamy, 2 to 3 minutes. With mixer on low speed, add 6 cups sugar, milk, and vanilla; mix until light and fluffy. If necessary, gradually add remaining 2 cups sugar to reach desired consistency.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Black-bottom cupcakes

Our friends Megan & Adam brought us dinner after we had Ty & for dessert they brought these cupcakes from a local cafe. I was in heaven after one bite! The only way I can describe them is black-bottom cupcakes on a whole other level! I decided to duplicate them for a book & cook club I just started going to. They turned out super super super close to the original. Close enough for me to say case closed on this duplication & I think these are my new favorite cupcakes!

Black Bottom Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

1 Devil’s Food Cake Mix + ingredients to make cake

8 oz cream cheese, softened

1 egg

1/3 c sugar

1/8 t salt

¾ c choco chips


4 oz cream cheese

½ c butter

1 c powdered sugar

(Cream cheese & butter together, add sugar and beat until fluffy & light)


½ c semi-sweet choco chips

1 t butter

(Melt together on low heat in a saucepan or in the microwave for 15 seconds at a time)

1. Preheat oven to 350

2. Mix cupcakes according to package directions.

3. Fill 24 paper lined cupcake pan with cupcake mixture. Fill each one about ½ full.

4. Beat cream cheese. Then add egg, sugar and salt and mix until creamy. Add chocolate chips.

5. Put 1 ½ T of cream cheese mixture over cupcake batter.

6. Bake for about 20-22 mins or until done (test side of cupcake with a fork).

7. Chill until completely cooled.

8. Top with frosting (since there is already cream cheese in the cupcake you don’t need much)

9. Drizzle with chocolate mixture.


I decided tonight that I don't make homemade pizza nearly enough! I got 2 pizza stones when I got married & I've only used 1 of them 1 time. I also decided tonight that I need to use more of my kitchen tools (such as my pizza stone) that I don't use very often more often.

I used Tyler Florence's pizza dough & it was awesome & super easy! I topped 1 pizza with regular sauce & cheese & a few roni's (as Maddie calls them) I had left in the fridge. The other pizza I put on some carmelized onions that I just cooked in about a t of butter, & some left over steak we had in the fridge sliced up. For the sauce on that pizza I just made a roux of 1 T butter & 1 T flour, when it was cooked I added 1 c of milk, stirred until thick & added about 1/4 c of parmesan.

Yum pizza! I think this might have to be a family Friday night tradition!

Pizza Dough

Tyler Florence

1 package active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup warm water
1 tablespoon kosher salt
Extra-virgin olive oil
3 cups 0f flour, plus more for dusting

In the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the yeast, sugar, and warm water; stir gently to dissolve. Let the mixture stand until the yeast comes alive and starts to foam, about 5 to 10 minutes.

Turn the mixer on low and add the salt and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the flour, a little at a time, mixing at the lowest speed until all the flour has been incorporated. When the dough starts to come together, increase the speed to medium; stop the machine periodically to scrape the dough off the hook. Get a feel for the dough by squeezing a small amount together: if it's crumbly, add more water; if it's sticky, add more flour - 1 tablespoon at a time. Mix until the dough gathers into a ball, this should take about 5 minutes.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and fold it over itself a few times; kneading until it's smooth and elastic. Form the dough into a round and place in a lightly oiled bowl, turn it over to coat. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel and let it rise in a warm spot (i.e. over a gas pilot light) until doubled in size, about 1 hour. This is a good time to stick a pizza stone in the oven and preheat them to 500 degrees F.

Once the dough is domed and spongy, turn it out onto a lightly floured counter. Roll and stretch the dough into a cylinder and divide into 3 equal pieces. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes so it will be easier to roll out.

Roll or pat out a piece of dough into a 12 inch circle, about 1/8-inch thick. Dust a pizza paddle with flour and slide it under the pizza dough. Brush the crust with a thin layer of olive oil, and top with your favorite flavors. Slide the pizza onto the hot stone in the oven and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the crust is golden and crisp. Repeat with the remaining dough.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Chicken & Corn Chowder/White Chili

I made this soup about a week ago for dinner & Matt said I should bottle it & sell it! I couldn't figure out what to make for dinner, so I just kind of made it up. Here's what I did:

1. Boil 1 chicken breast in about 8 cups of water along with 1 t onion powder (would probably be better with diced onion) & 4 t chicken boullion (how every much yours needs to produce 8 cups of chicken broth).

2. Once the chicken was cooked I took it out & chopped it into small chunks & returned it to the broth.

3. When it all came back to a boil I added 1 can of rinsed great northern beans, 1 c frozen sweet corn and 4 small new potatoes that I had cooked in the microwave for 5 mins & peeled & diced.

4. I added about 1/2 t cumin (add to taste), about 2 t of crushed green chili peppers (you could just use a couple of teaspoons of canned green chilis if you can't find powder, or more if you like that flavor) & a couple pinches of salt & pepper. Then I turned down to simmer and simmered for about 15 mins.

5. Lastly I added about 3/4 c sour cream and 1/4 c heavy cream and let the mixture simmer for about 10 more mins.

I served it with french bread. It was really good. I think the cumin & green chili added the perfect spice. I will definitely make it again on a cooler night this winter.

Monster Cookies

I made some monster cookies last night for some Primary kids today that are going into Young Women's. They were delish! I haven't made them in a long long time, & I don't know why. They've got the ingredients for 5 cookies in 1 cookie!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Chinese Dumplings

When Matt lived in China he loved to eat Chinese Dumplings. There he would eat the boiled kind (according to him, the only kind!). When I lived in Japan we ate Gyoza which are basically Chinese dumplings that are pan fried & steamed on the top, which is the way that I prefer them. I've made gyoza many times, but I always use store bought wrappers and pre-cook my filling so I make sure it's not raw. They've always been good, but not great. I was inspired by this posting on a food blog ( to make completely homemade dumplings. & wow, I'm a changed person! They were awesome! & surprisingly they were not as difficult as I thought they would be (thanks to my brother coming over to help watch the kids & Heather coming over to help me wrap them). I will include the recipes from Use Real Butter's cooking blog, but I highly encourage you to check out her blog & the pictures she has if you want to attempt them. She did a great, & very detailed job of telling how to make them.

Chinese Dumplings/Potstickers

pork filling
1 lb ground pork
4 large napa cabbage leaves, minced
3 stalks green onions, minced
7 shitake mushrooms, minced (if dried - rehydrated and rinsed carefully)
1/2 cup bamboo shoots, minced
1/4 cup ginger root, minced
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp corn starch

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup warm water
flour for worksurface

dipping sauce
2 parts soy sauce
1 part vinegar (red wine or black)
a few drops of sesame oil
chili garlic paste (optional)
minced ginger (optional)
minced garlic (optional)
minced green onion (optional)
sugar (optional)

*One batch of dough should be sufficient for one of the fillings and will yield approximately 3 dozen medium dumplings.

Combine all filling ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix thoroughly (I mix by clean hand). Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Make the dough, Method 1: Place the flour in the work bowl of a food processor with the dough blade. Run the processor and pour the warm water in until incorporated. Pour the contents into a sturdy bowl or onto a work surface and knead until uniform and smooth. The dough should be firm and silky to the touch and not sticky.[Note: it’s better to have a moist dough and have to incorporate more flour than to have a dry and pilling dough and have to incorporate more water).

Make the dough, Method 2 (my mom’s instructions): In a large bowl mix flour with 1/4 cup of water and stir until water is absorbed. Continue adding water one teaspoon at a time and mixing thoroughly until dough pulls away from sides of bowl. We want a firm dough that is barely sticky to the touch.

Both dough methods: Knead the dough about twenty strokes then cover with a damp towel for 15 minutes. Take the dough and form a flattened dome. Cut into strips about 1 1/2 to 2 inches wide. Shape the strips into rounded long cylinders. On a floured surface, cut the strips into 3/4 inch pieces. Press palm down on each piece to form a flat circle (you can shape the corners in with your fingers). With a rolling pin, roll out a circular wrapper from each flat disc. Take care not to roll out too thin or the dumplings will break during cooking. Leave the centers slightly thicker than the edges. Place a tablespoon of filling in the center of each wrapper and fold the dough in half, pleating the edges along one side (see images above).

To boil: Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add dumplings to pot. Boil the dumplings until they float.

To steam: Place dumplings on a single layer of napa cabbage leaves or on a well-greased surface and steam for about 6 minutes.

To pan fry (potstickers): Place dumplings in a frying pan with 2-3 tbsp of vegetable oil. Heat on high and fry for a few minutes until bottoms are golden. Add 1/2 cup water and cover. Cook until the water has boiled away and then uncover and reduce heat to medium or medium low. Let the dumplings cook for another 2 minutes then remove from heat and serve.

To freeze: Assemble dumplings on a baking sheet so they are not touching. Freeze for 20-30 minutes until dumplings are no longer soft. Place in ziploc bag and freeze for up to a couple of months. Prepare per the above instructions, but allow extra time to ensure the filling is thoroughly cooked.

To serve: Serve dumplings or potstickers hot with your choice of dipping sauce combinations.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Cinnamon Rolls

I made these about a week ago. I saw the recipe on My Kitchen Cafe & thought they looked delicious. I was also intrigued by the idea that you use vanilla pudding in it's prepared form. It makes the dough really moist. I LOVED the dough & definitely will use it again. The frosting was good. If you love cream cheese frosting on your cinnamon roll then you will love it. I definitely prefer the standard milk, butter, sugar & vanilla or cinnamon on my cinnamon rolls (my mom always replaces the vanilla in her frosting with maple extract & that's super good too).

Vanilla Pudding Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting
from A. Marilyn (I got from My Kitchen Cafe blog on the right at the top)

½ cup warm water
2 tablespoons active dry yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
3 ½ ounce package instant vanilla pudding
½ cup butter, melted
2 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
6+ cups flour

1 cup butter, softened to room temperature
2 cups brown sugar
4 teaspoons cinnamon

8 ounces cream cheese
½ cup butter, softened to room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups confectioner’s sugar
2-3 tablespoons milk

In a small bowl combine water, yeast and sugar. Stir until dissolved. Set aside. In large bowl, take pudding mix and prepare according to package directions. Add butter, eggs and salt. Mix well. Then add yeast mixture. Blend. Gradually add flour; knead until smooth. Do not overflour the dough! It should be very soft but not sticky. Place in a greased bowl. Cover and let rise until doubled. Then roll out on floured board to 34 X 21 inches in size. Take 1 cup soft butter and spread over surface. In bowl, mix 2 cups brown sugar and 4 teaspoons cinnamon. Sprinkle over the top. Roll up very tightly. With knife put a notch every 1 1/2 inches. Cut with thread or serrated knife. Place on lightly greased cookie sheet 1 inch apart. Cover and let rise until double again. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Remove when they start to turn golden (don’t overbake). Frost warm rolls with cream cheese frosting (combine butter and cream cheese and mix well, then add vanilla and sugar and mix again, then add milk for desired consistency). Makes about 24 very large rolls.

German Pancakes

Matt made these for us for Saturday breakfast a few weeks go. I'm behind on my posting. & yes I realize I'm a super lucky girl!!

German Pancakes

3 eggs
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup butter
2 tablespoons confectioners'
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Place butter in a 10 inch cast iron skillet (we use a regular 9 x 13 pan) and heat the skillet in oven.
2. Beat eggs at high speed with an electric mixer. Slowly add the milk and flour.
3. Pour batter into hot skillet. Return skillet to oven and bake for 20 minutes. It will rise like a souffle, then fall when taken out of oven. Lightly dust with powdered sugar and serve.

Monday, September 8, 2008

__________ Cake

So I found this recipe for a cake online called Idiot Cake by Dave Lebovitz. I was intrigued by the name so I checked it out. A 4 ingredient cake? Sounds like it must be so easy even an Id... could make it right? I think that's why it's named that, but I don't think you can say even an id... could make it when you have to use a double boiler, spring form pan & cook it in a steam bath. So until I find a better name for it I think I will just call it The Cake Without A Name. Matt thinks I should name it a school he doesn't like or a sports team he doesn't like. I won't name them because you know what they say if you don't have anything nice to say. My friend Heather thinks maybe the name means you're an id... if you take the time required & steps required to make it. Any other thoughts?

I will tell you it was pretty easy to make & it only has 4 ingredients which is nice & if you're craving something rich & chocolately this will hit the spot! It's super super creamy & decadent. It's like a super super moist brownie/cake-like fudge/mousse. It's hard to describe other than just saying yum yum!

Chocolate idiot cake

10 ounces (290 gr) ScharffenBerger bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

7 ounces (200 gr) butter, salted or unsalted, cut into pieces

5 large eggs, at room temperature

1 cup (200 gr) sugar

Preheat the oven to 350F (175 C).

1. Butter a 9-inch (23 cm) springform pan* and dust it with cocoa powder, tapping out any excess. If you suspect your springform pan isn't 100% water-tight, wrap the outside with aluminum foil, making sure it goes all the way up to the outer rim.
2. Melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler (or microwave), stirring occasionally, until smooth. Remove from heat.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar, then whisk in the melted chocolate mixture until smooth.
4. Pour the batter into the prepared springform pan and cover the top of the pan snugly with a sheet of foil. Put the springform pan into a larger baking pan, such as a roasting pan, and add enough hot water to the baking pan to come about halfway up to the outside of the cake pan.
Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
You'll know the cake is done when it feels just set, like quivering chocolate pudding. If you gently touch the center, your finger should come away clean.
5. Lift the cake pan from the water bath and remove the foil. Let cake cool completely on a cooling rack.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Ooey Gooey Butter Cake

I had a piece of butter cake at a local bakery a few weeks ago & it was really tasty, so when I saw this recipe from Paula Dean I wanted to try it. I made it for dessert last night & it was delicious! I served it with sliced strawberries & blueberries. It's really rich. It kind of tastes like a really moist blonde brownie.

Gooey Butter Cakes
Recipe from: The Lady & Sons Just Desserts
by Paula H. Deen

Butter Gooey Cakes. Ooey Gooey Butter Cakes. Ooey Booey Gooey Cakes. These are just a few of the names I've heard our guests at The Lady & Sons call 'em. But to quote Shakespeare:

What's in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.

This is exactly how I feel about our Gooey Butter Cakes. No matter what you call them, they're like that sweet rose that Shakespeare wrote about. These delectable cakes were an instant hit the first day they showed up in The Bag Lady basket and they immediately became one of my most requested items. These little sweeties actually resemble a bar-type dessert instead of what we know as a traditional cake. Over the years, I have made every flavor imaginable, using this basic recipe. I'll give you some of my recommendations but by all means experiment and have fun creating your very own version of our signature Gooey Butter Cakes.

  • Cake

  • 1 (18.25-ounce) box yellow cake mix

  • 1 egg

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted

  • Filling

  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 1 (16-ounce) box confectioners' sugar

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 13x9x2-inch baking pan.

  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine cake mix, egg, and butter and mix well. Pat into the bottom of prepared pan and set aside.

  3. Still using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth; add eggs and vanilla. Dump in confectioners' sugar and beat well. Reduce speed of mixer and slowly pour in butter. Mix well.

  4. Pour filling onto cake mixture and spread evenly. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes. Don't be afraid to make a judgment call on the cooking time, because oven temperatures can vary. You want the center to be a little gooey, so don't bake it past that point!

  5. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. Cut into squares. Just remember that these wonderful little cakes are very, very rich, and a little will go a long way-even for piggies like me!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

Chocolate Cake with peanut butter frosting topped with chocolate ganache! Can you handle it? I saw this recipe on the Smitten Kitchen website & it looked amazing, so I decided to make it for Sunday dinner tomorrow...wanna come? ;)

I decided to use a box chocolate cake instead of making the cake in the recipe. I just wanted to make it a little easier.

Sour Cream-Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting and Chocolate-Peanut Butter Glaze
Sky High: Irresistable Triple-Layer Cakes

Smitten Kitchen

This cake is INTENSE. Serve it in the thinnest slices possible, and keep a glass of milk handy.

Makes an 8-inch triple-layer cake; serves 12 to 16 (the book says, I say a heck of a lot more)

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch process
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup neutral vegetable oil, such as canola, soybean or vegetable blend
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs

1/2 cup coarsely chopped peanut brittle (I skipped this)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the bottoms and sides of three 8-inch round cakepans. Line the bottom of each pan with a round of parchment or waxed paper and butter the paper.

2. Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Whisk to combine them well. Add the oil and sour cream and whisk to blend. Gradually beat in the water. Blend in the vinegar and vanilla. Whisk in the eggs and beat until well blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and be sure the batter is well mixed. Divide among the 3 prepared cake pans.

3. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a cake tester or wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean. Let cool in the pans for about 20 minutes. Invert onto wire racks, carefully peel off the paper liners, and let cool completely. (Deb note: These cakes are very, very soft. I found them a lot easier to work with after firming them up in the freezer for 30 minutes. They’ll defrost quickly once assembled. You’ll be glad you did this, trust me.)

4. To frost the cake, place one layer, flat side up, on a cake stand or large serving plate. Spread 2/3 cup cup of the Peanut Butter Frosting evenly over the top. Repeat with the next layer. Place the last layer on top and frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining frosting.

5. To decorate with the Chocolate–Peanut Butter Glaze, put the cake plate on a large baking sheet to catch any drips. Simply pour the glaze over the top of the cake, and using an offset spatula, spread it evenly over the top just to the edges so that it runs down the sides of the cake in long drips. Refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 30 minutes to allow the glaze and frosting to set completely. Remove about 1 hour before serving. Decorate the top with chopped peanut brittle.

Peanut Butter Frosting
Makes about 5 cups

1. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar 1 cup at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl often. Continue to beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes.

2. Add the peanut butter and beat until thoroughly blended.

10 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
5 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2/3 cup smooth peanut butter, preferably a commercial brand (because oil doesn’t separate out)

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Glaze
Makes about 1 1/2 cups

8 ounces seimsweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 cup half-and-half

1. In the top of d double boiler or in a bowl set over simmering water, combine the chocolate, peanut butter, and corn syrup. Cook, whisking often, until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.

2. Remove from the heat and whisk in the half-and-half, beating until smooth. Use while still warm.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Crash Potatoes

I've been meaning to post this recipe for about a week now. We love potatoes in our house. A few weeks ago I was doing my weekly check of all the cooking blogs I like & I saw this recipe on Home Based Mom's blog (see top right where my favorite links are). These potatoes were super delicious. They had just the right amount of crunch & softness.

You really don't need a recipe for them, I will just tell you the steps (Home Based Mom has a TON of pics & great in depth directions on her site if you're interested):

1. Wash as many small red potatoes as you want to use.

2. Boil the potatoes until fork tender.

3. Put the potatoes on a 9"x13" pan that's been sprayed with cooking spray (the actual directions say to put olive oil on the pan liberally, but I wanted to cut a little fat & they still tasted awesome)

4. Mash the potatoes on the pan with an avocado masher one way then the other, like you would with peanut butter cookies.

5. Brush the potatoes with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper and any other seasoning you like on potatoes.

6. Bake in a 425 degree oven for 20 minutes.

I ended up broiling them for about 5 minutes to get more of a crunch on them.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Chocolate Cobbler

Chocolate what? That was my immediate reaction when I saw this recipe on the Bake or Break cooking blog (link is in my favorite links on the right side). I had never heard of chocolate cobbler before. It looked like a Mississippi mud pie my mom use to make growing up. So today when I wanted a dessert that would go well with ice cream I decided to try this out. I'm sure glad I did. It was decadent & delicious. It's like a chocolate cake that makes it's own chocolate sauce. & the best thing about was how easy it was!

Chocolate Cobbler

Bake or Break

  • 1 & 1/4 cups granulated sugar, divided into 3/4 cup and 1/2 cup
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 7 tablespoons cocoa, divided into 3 tablespoons and 4 tablespoons
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 & 1/2 cups hot water

Preheat oven to 350°.

Stir together 3/4 cup sugar, flour, 3 tablespoons cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Stir in milk, butter, and vanilla, mixing until smooth. Pour into an ungreased 8-inch square glass baking pan.

In a small bowl, mix 1/2 cup sugar, brown sugar, and 4 tablespoons cocoa. Sprinkle evenly over batter. Pour hot water over the top. Do not stir.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until center is almost set. Let stand for 15 minutes, then serve. Use the chocolate sauce in the bottom of the pan to spoon over servings. Garnish, if desired, with ice cream or whipped cream.

Makes 8 servings.

Blueberry Crumb Bars

I had a bunch of blueberries in my freezer that I needed to use, so when I saw this recipe on Smitten Kitten (look at sidebar for Smitten Kitten site) I knew I had a winner. They're like shortbread blueberry bars. Delicious!

Blueberry Crumb Bars
Adapted from

1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup cold butter (2 sticks or 8 ounces)
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon salt
Zest and juice of one lemon
4 cups fresh blueberries
1/2 cup white sugar
4 teaspoons cornstarch

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease a 9×13 inch pan.

2. In a medium bowl, stir together 1 cup sugar, 3 cups flour, and baking powder. Mix in salt and lemon zest. Use a fork or pastry cutter to blend in the butter and egg. Dough will be crumbly. Pat half of dough into the prepared pan.

3. In another bowl, stir together the sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice. Gently mix in the blueberries. Sprinkle the blueberry mixture evenly over the crust. Crumble remaining dough over the berry layer.

4. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until top is slightly brown.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Rudy's-like Cream Corn

Last night we had a birthday party for some of our friends. We had bbq pulled pork & tons of sides. I really wanted to try to make Rudy's cream corn for it so I searched online & found a recipe on that looked like it might be a winner & it ended up getting rave reviews! I thought it tasted great. A few of the party goers thought it tasted better than Rudy's, that is the ultimate compliment!! The only change I made to the recipe is that I didn't add the Parmesan cheese.

Cream Corn Like No Other
Submitted by: DIANA YOCKEY
Rated: 5 out of 5 by 260 members
Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Cook Time: 10 Minutes
Ready In: 15 Minutes
Yields: 8 servings

2 (10 ounce) packages frozen
corn kernels, thawed
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground
black pepper
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup freshly grated
Parmesan cheese
1. In a skillet over medium heat, combine the corn, cream, salt, sugar, pepper and butter. Whisk together the milk and flour, and stir into the corn mixture. Cook stirring over medium heat until the mixture is thickened, and corn is cooked through. Remove from heat, and stir in the Parmesan cheese until melted. Serve hot.