Thursday, December 23, 2010

Shamrock Cookies

These are my friend Diane's shamrock cookies. They're very festive looking and very delish!

Shamrock Cookies

1-1/2 cup shortening
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
5 cups flour

Preheat oven to 350. Cream shortening, sugar, eggs and vanilla. Add remaining ingredients. Refrigerate 15 minutes. Work with 1/3 to 1/2 of dough at a time -- pinch off small (1/2-3/4 inch) pieces of dough, roll into balls. Four balls per cookie. Roll each ball in green decorator sugar, then place 3 balls touching each other in a triangular pattern on an ungreased cookie sheet. Pinch the 4th ball to make more of a stem, and push it inbetween two of the balls forming the triangle. Bake 10-12 minutes or until set.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Homemade microwave popcorn

How did I not know you could do this??? Put 1/4 c popcorn kernels in a paper lunch bag. Fold the top over twice. Put it in the microwave on its side for 2 mins! So easy! I like to melt a couple of t of butter & put the butter & salt on it after it's cooked.

Sata Andagi (Okinawan Doughnuts)

I learned to make these in home ec and haven't made them since. I don't know why I haven't made them since! They're easy & yummy!

Sata Andagi (Okinawan Doughnuts)

oil ( for deep frying)
4 eggs
3/4 cup milk
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups flour
2 cups sugar
3 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
In a deep fryer or deep skillet, heat oil to 350 F or until hot.
In a large bowl, beat eggs, milk, and vanilla. Sift flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
Add to egg mixture; stir until dry ingredients are moistened and dough is smooth.
Drop teaspoonfuls of dough into the hot oil; fry until golden brown and doughnuts rise to the surface.
Drain on paper towel lined plates and serve hot, but they are also good cooled down, you can buy them either way there on Okinawa!'

Friday, October 22, 2010

Spinach Artichoke Dip

I made this dip for a Relief Society Activity last week. I just took all the things I like in Spinach & Artichoke dip recipes I've had and mixed them all together. It turned out really good.

Spinach Artichoke Dip
- Kerstin Bates
6 medium portabello mushrooms, diced
1 stick of green onion, diced
3 sliced precooked bacon, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 T butter
1 28 oz can artichokes, diced
10 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed & drained
½ c mayo
16 oz cream cheese, softened
½ c parmesan cheese, grated
5 basil leaves, diced
½ t dried dill

Cook the mushrooms, green onion, bacon and garlic in the butter in a skillet until softened. Add the spinach and cook over a medium heat until all the moisture is cooked out of the mixture. In a large bowl mix the spinach mixture, mayo, artichokes, cream cheese, parmesan, basil and dill until thoroughly mixed. Put in a 9 x 13 pan and bake at 350 for 30 mins. You can also top it with a thin layer of parmesan for a nice crust.

Warm Picnic Burritos ("Burritos De Machaca") Recipe courtesy Marcela Valladolid Prep Time: 15 min Inactive Prep Time: -- Cook Time: 2 hr 30 min Level

This burrito filling from Marcela on the Food Network is SO good. It made a lot so I put some in the freezer & had 2 meals. I will definitely be making this again.

Warm Picnic Burritos ("Burritos De Machaca")
Recipe courtesy Marcela Valladolid

Prep Time: 15 min Inactive Prep Time: -- Cook Time: 2 hr 30 min
12 burritos

2 tablespoons Maggi sauce* or 1 tablespoon soy sauce, plus 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons water
4 tablespoons fresh lime juice
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 serrano chile, stemmed, seeded, and minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
1 (2 to 3-pound) skirt steak, trimmed and cut into 3 pieces
3 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
1 1/2 cups diced onion
1 cup diced red bell pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 serrano chiles, stemmed, seeded, and minced
1 cup beef broth
1 can diced tomatoes with juice
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
12 (6-inch) flour tortillas
Lime wedges, for serving
*Maggi sauce is a popular seasoning in Mexico that can be found in Latin markets
Combine the Maggi sauce, water, lime juice, garlic, chile, salt, and pepper, to taste, in a medium-size bowl. Slowly add the 1/2 cup of olive oil, whisking constantly.

Add the beef to the marinade, making sure each piece is coated with the mixture. Transfer the meat and the marinade to a quart-size freezer bag. Seal and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or preferably overnight. Allow the meat to come to room temperature before cooking, about 30 minutes. Remove the meat from the marinade and pat dry with paper towels. Discard the marinade.

In a large heavy pot, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Sear the meat on all sides, a few pieces at a time, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer the browned meat to a platter and set aside.

Add the onions, peppers, garlic, and chiles to the hot pan. Saute for 5 minutes, then add the beef broth, tomatoes, oregano, salt and pepper, to taste. Mix well, then return the meat to the pan. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover, and simmer slowly until the meat is very tender, about 2 hours. Transfer the meat to a cutting board and allow to rest until cool enough to handle, about 15 minutes. Continue to cook the onion mixture until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes.

Using your fingers or 2 forks, shred the meat into 2-inch-long pieces. Return the shredded meat to the pot, stir to combine, and cook until meat is very hot, about 3 minutes.

Warm the tortillas over a burner or in a dry skillet over medium heat for 20 seconds. Put about 2 tablespoons of the meat mixture in the center of each tortilla, and roll into a thin burrito. Arrange them on a serving platter and garnish with lime wedges.

Super Simple Crock Pot Beef Stew

I made this last week. It was really good and super super easy.

Simple Beef Stew

1 package beef stew meat
4 small potatoes, cubed
1 c baby carrots
1 package brown gravy mix
1 package onion soup mix
1 c water

Put all ingredients in a crock pot. Cook on low for 8 hours.

Chunky Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookie

I really like Top Chef:Just Desserts. The judges said over and over that this cookie Erika made was really good so I had to try it. It's a seriously good cookie!!

-Erika Davis

Top Chef: Just Desserts, Season 1, Episode 3, Elimination Challenge


¾ c sugar
¾ c brown sugar
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
½ lb butter
2 ½ c AP flour
2 eggs
½ tsp vanilla
¼ tsp salt
1 ½ c chocolate chips
1 c walnuts

1. Cream the butter, sugars, eggs together then add the vanilla, salt and baking soda. Scrape the sides and add the baking powder and flour. Mix till incorporated and add the walnuts and chocolate chips just till mixed.

2. Scoop and bake at 345


This recipe from is my go to recipe for pancakes & waffles. Delish!

Fluffy Pancakes

3/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
2 tablespoons butter, melted
cooking spray
1. Combine milk with vinegar in a medium bowl and set aside for 5 minutes to "sour".
2. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Whisk egg and butter into "soured" milk. Pour the flour mixture into the wet ingredients and whisk until lumps are gone.
3. Heat a large skillet over medium heat, and coat with cooking spray. Pour 1/4 cupfuls of batter onto the skillet, and cook until bubbles appear on the surface. Flip with a spatula, and cook until browned on the other side.

Spinach Twist

I got this recipe from Sister's Cafe. It was a little complex, but really good. It's really rich, so be prepared for that.

Spinach Twist
submitted by Erin ~
printable recipe
8 Rhodes Texas rolls, thawed and risen (or 12 regular dinner rolls)
1 8-oz pkg cream cheese
3 c chopped fresh spinach
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp rosemary
1 egg
1/4 c parmesan cheese
2 c chopped ham
1 c sliced fresh mushrooms
1/2 c chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tbsp butter
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 egg, beaten
parmesan cheese, if desired

Press rolls together and roll out to a 10x13 inch rectangle. Mix cream cheese, spinach, basil, rosemary, egg, parmesan cheese and ham in bowl. Spread mixture over dough. Saute mushrooms, onion, garlic, butter, salt and pepper. Spread over cream cheese mixture. Starting with the longest side, roll dough up tightly and place seam side down. Tuck ends under. With a long, serrated knife, cut roll lengthwise in half. Carefully, roll each half so the cut side is facing out. Twist halves together 3 times and then pinch ends together and tuck under. This will form a long twist. Place on baking sheet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Brush with egg and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
Cover with sprayed plastic wrap and let rise until double. Remove wrap and bake at 350 degrees 45 minutes. Do not underbake. Cove with foil the last 15 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before slicing.
This is what it looks like before being baked:

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Caramel Apple Cake

This is a really yummy cake from the Food Network Magazine. It's quite a process, but really good.

Caramel Apple Cake
Recipe courtesy Food Network Magazine

Prep Time:1 hr 0 minInactive Prep Time:--Cook Time:1 hr 30 min
8-10 servings

For the Caramel and Apples:

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for the pan
3 cups sugar
5 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 cup heavy cream
4 large Golden Delicious apples (1 3/4 to 2 pounds)
For the Batter:

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup sour cream
1/3 cup fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
Butter a 9-by-3-inch round cake pan. Make the caramel: Cook the sugar and corn syrup in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is dark amber, 7 to 10 minutes.

Reduce the heat to medium. Carefully add the cream and 4 tablespoons butter (it will splatter) and cook, stirring, until combined, about 3 minutes.

Remove the skillet from the heat and let sit 1 minute. Pour 1 1/2 cups caramel into a glass measuring cup and set aside. Pour the remaining caramel into the prepared pan and set aside until set, about 30 minutes.

Cut 3 apples into quarters and cut out the cores with a paring knife. Arrange the pieces skin-side down in the pan (overlapping them slightly) to form a ring about 1/2 inch from the edge. Save any pieces that do not fit for later.

Halve the remaining whole apple crosswise. Scoop out the seeds with a melon baller or measuring spoon, leaving the stem on the top half. Chop the bottom and any of the leftover quartered apples into pieces; set aside.

Arrange the apple top, stem-side down, in the center of the pan. If the quartered apples shift, just push them back into place.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Make the batter: Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a medium bowl. In a small bowl, whisk the sour cream, orange juice and vanilla.

Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

Crack the eggs into a small bowl. Slip them into the mixer bowl, one at a time, and beat until the mixture is pale and creamy, about 5 more minutes. Scrape down the bowl and beater with a rubber spatula.

With the mixer on low speed, add half of the sour cream mixture, then half of the flour mixture. Repeat. Turn off the mixer and scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula; finish combining the batter by hand.

Spread the batter over the apples in the pan. Top with the chopped apple. Bake on the middle oven rack until the cake is brown on top and springs back when pressed, 1 hour to 1 hour 20 minutes (don't worry if the top is dark). Cool in the pan on a rack.

Bring 1 inch of water to a simmer in a skillet wide enough to hold the cake pan. Carefully run a sharp knife around the inside of the pan several times, then rest the pan in the water to soften the caramel, about 8 minutes. Remove the pan from the water and dry.

Invert a plate on top of the cake, then flip over the cake and plate. Using pot holders or a towel, wriggle the pan off. Soften the reserved 1 1/2 cups caramel in the microwave, about 2 minutes. Drizzle the cake with some of the caramel. Slice and serve with the rest

Cauliflower Gratin

This is a really good recipe I tried a couple of weeks ago from Ina Garten. It's a nice change up from the normal potatoes gratin.

Cauliflower Gratin
2004, Barefoot in Paris, All Rights Reserved

Prep Time:20 minInactive Prep Time:--Cook Time:30 min
4 to 6 servings

1 (3-pound) head cauliflower, cut into large florets
Kosher salt
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, divided
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups hot milk
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
3/4 cup freshly grated Gruyere, divided
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Cook the cauliflower florets in a large pot of boiling salted water for 5 to 6 minutes, until tender but still firm. Drain.

Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Add the flour, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes. Pour the hot milk into the butter-flour mixture and stir until it comes to a boil. Boil, whisking constantly, for 1 minute, or until thickened. Off the heat, add 1 teaspoon of salt, the pepper, nutmeg, 1/2 cup of the Gruyere, and the Parmesan.

Pour 1/3 of the sauce on the bottom of an 8 by 11 by 2-inch baking dish. Place the drained cauliflower on top and then spread the rest of the sauce evenly on top. Combine the bread crumbs with the remaining 1/4 cup of Gruyere and sprinkle on top. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and drizzle over the gratin. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the top is browned. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Aloha Chicken

My sister-in-law's family is famous for this recipe. It's so easy & SO good. It's called Aloha Chicken because you use Aloha Brand Soy Sauce.

Aloha Chicken
-Schoen Family

1 c Aloha Soy Sauce
1 c sugar
1 t garlic, minced
1 t ginger, minced
3 lbs chicken thighs

Put the first 4 ingredients in a large pot. Bring them to a boil until the sugar dissolves. Add the chicken and cook at a medium high heat for 45 minutes.

I like to cook everything in the crockpot on low for about 8 hours.

Super Quick No Rise Pizza

This pizza is great when you don't have time to wait for the dough to rise. It was really good! It's from

Pizza Dough I

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45
degrees C)
1. Combine flour, salt, sugar, and yeast in a large bowl. Mix in oil and warm water. Spread out on a large pizza pan. Top as desired.
2. Bake at 375 degrees C (190 degrees C) for 20 to 25 minutes.

Pasta Bolognese

This is a time consuming recipe, but it's also delish. It's really hearty and thick. This made a huge amount, so I just put 2/3 in the freezer for another time.

Pasta Bolognese
Recipe courtesy Anne Burrell

Prep Time:45 minInactive Prep Time:--Cook Time:4 hr 30 min
6 to 8 servings

1 large onion or 2 small, cut into 1-inch dice
2 large carrots, cut into 1/2-inch dice
3 ribs celery, cut into 1-inch dice
4 cloves garlic
Extra-virgin olive oil, for the pan
Kosher salt
3 pounds ground chuck, brisket or round or combination
2 cups tomato paste
3 cups hearty red wine (I used beef broth instead)
3 bay leaves
1 bunch thyme, tied in a bundle
1 pound spaghetti
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
High quality extra-virgin olive oil, for finishing
In a food processor, puree onion, carrots, celery, and garlic into a coarse paste. In a large pan over medium heat, coat pan with oil. Add the pureed veggies and season generously with salt. Bring the pan to a medium-high heat and cook until all the water has evaporated and they become nice and brown, stirring frequently, about 15 to 20 minutes. Be patient, this is where the big flavors develop.

Add the ground beef and season again generously with salt. BROWN THE BEEF! Brown food tastes good. Don't rush this step. Cook another 15 to 20 minutes.

Add the tomato paste and cook until brown about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the red wine. Cook until the wine has reduced by half, another 4 to 5 minutes.

Add water to the pan until the water is about 1 inch above the meat. Toss in the bay leaves and the bundle of thyme and stir to combine everything. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer, stirring occasionally. As the water evaporates you will gradually need to add more, about 2 to 3 cups at a time. Don't be shy about adding water during the cooking process, you can always cook it out. This is a game of reduce and add more water. This is where big rich flavors develop. If you try to add all the water in the beginning you will have boiled meat sauce rather than a rich, thick meaty sauce. Stir and TASTE frequently. Season with salt, if needed (you probably will). Simmer for 3 1/2 to 4 hours.

During the last 30 minutes of cooking, bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat to cook the spaghetti. Pasta water should ALWAYS be well salted. Salty as the ocean! TASTE IT! If your pasta water is under seasoned it doesn't matter how good your sauce is, your complete dish will always taste under seasoned. When the water is at a rolling boil add the spaghetti and cook for 1 minute less than it calls for on the package. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water.

While the pasta is cooking remove 1/2 of the ragu from the pot and reserve.

Drain the pasta and add to the pot with the remaining ragu. Stir or toss the pasta to coat with the sauce. Add some of the reserved sauce, if needed, to make it about an even ratio between pasta and sauce. Add the reserved pasta cooking water and cook the pasta and sauce together over a medium heat until the water has reduced. Turn off the heat and give a big sprinkle of Parmigiano and a generous drizzle of the high quality finishing olive oil. Toss or stir vigorously. Divide the pasta and sauce into serving bowls or 1 big pasta bowl. Top with remaining grated Parmigiano. Serve immediately.

Friday, September 10, 2010


I made this last week when my family was in town and everyone wanted to lick the pan! It was SOO good. I used New Mexico Hatch green chilies instead of poblanos & I diced the roasted chilies instead of cutting them into strips.

Creamy Poblano Pepper Strips (Rajas)
Recipe courtesy Marcela Valladolid, 2009

Prep Time:10 minInactive Prep Time:10 minCook Time:25 min
4 to 6 servings (or 2 cups)

6 fresh poblano chiles* (or canned, peeled)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium white onion, thinly sliced
2 ears corn, kernels removed
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup Mexican crema or creme fraiche
1/2 cup, shredded Monterrey jack cheese
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
Char the poblano chiles directly over the gas flame on the stove or under the broiler until blackened on all sides. Enclose in a plastic bag and let steam for about 10 minutes.

Add the oil to a heavy large skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the onion and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the corn and cook for an additional 3 minutes. Set aside.

Peel and seed the chiles. Cut the chiles into 1/4 to 1/2-inch strips (rajas) and add the strips to the onion and corn mixture and saute until the corn is tender, about 5 minutes. Add the heavy cream and Mexican crema and cook until bubbling, about for 8 minutes. Add the cheese and stir until melted and smooth. Season the rajas with salt and pepper, to taste. Transfer to a serving dish and serve.

*Cook's Note: The poblano chile is a fresh chile that ranges from mild to hot. It is a deep, dark green color and is large and wide with shiny skin. Ripened on the plant and dried it is known as "chile ancho" or "pasilla." They can also be found at most supermarkets or Latin specialty markets. Just keep your eye out, as some stores sell them fresh under the name "pasilla."

A great filling for tacos or topping for grilled arrachera. You can use virtually any chile but a mild poblano adds the perfect amount of spice to any dish.

Home Smoked Salmon

I made this salmon recipe from the show Chuck's Day Off on the Cooking Channel. It was really simple and very good. The brine is a little sweet, which I liked, but I think Matt prefers it a bit more salty than sweet. I thought the apple vinaigrette was a little too mild of a flavor for me.

Home Smoked Salmon with Green Salad and Apple Vinaigrette
Recipe courtesy Chuck Hughes

Prep Time: 15 min Inactive Prep Time: 24 hr 0 min Cook Time: 30 min
2 servings

Home Smoked Salmon
3 cups hot water
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
4 tablespoons coarse or kosher salt
Pinch grated lemon zest
2 (4-ounce) skin-on salmon fillets
1 to 2 cups hickory or alder wood chips, for smoking
1/2 cup water
Olive oil, for garnish
Apple Vinaigrette
1 cup apple juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Freshly ground black pepper
Pinch coarse or kosher salt
Dash apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons canola oil
Green Salad
4 to 6 frisee lettuce sprigs
2 large radishes, thinly sliced
1 small yellow beet, peeled and thinly sliced
Handful baby green beans, blanched
Handful baby arugula leaves
Handful fresh celery leaves
1/3 cup croutons, toasted and slightly crushed
Zest of 1/2 lemon, for garnish
To make the salmon: In a medium bowl or container, combine the hot water, brown sugar, white sugar, salt and lemon zest. Add the salmon, skin side up, to the brine, pressing it down to submerge. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.

Remove the salmon from the brine, and discard the liquid. Rinse the fillet under cold running water briefly to remove the excess salt. Place the salmon, skin side down, onto a rack. Let it stand until the top is dry to the touch, for about 1 hour. Do not pat dry.

To prepare your wok smoker: Lay 2 layers of foil in the bottom of a wok if you want to protect the pan from getting charred. Add 2 handfuls of wood chips to the wok and place it over high heat. Add the 1/2 cup water.

Position the bamboo steamer over top of the chips, and set the salmon fillets inside.

Cover the wok with a lid or aluminum foil, and let the salmon smoke for about 20 to 30 minutes, or until its flesh is firm to the touch, and its edges are brown, crustier and caramelized.

Remove the salmon from the steamer and transfer to a plate. Drizzle the smoked salmon with olive oil for garnish, and serve it alongside the salad.

To make the vinaigrette: Pour the apple juice into a small pot, then boil it on high to reduce the liquid by half.

Into a bowl, add the mustard and grind over some black pepper.

Add a nice pinch of coarse salt, then add a dash of the apple cider vinegar. Whisk in your reduced apple juice along with the canola oil. Taste for seasonings and adjust if necessary.

To make the salad: Toss the frisee, radishes, beets, green beans, arugula, and celery leaves into a bowl with just enough vinaigrette to barely moisten the leaves.

Partially crush your crunchy croutons by placing them into a bowl, then crunching them with the bottom of a second bowl. Then add them to the vegetables.

Grate a little lemon zest over the salad with a grind of black pepper. Give everything a final toss and plate.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Mint Truffles

Mint truffles are one of my favorite candies. I've never made them before, but I had a bag of dark chocolate/mint morsels that I got at HEB on clearance last Christmas so I decided to try to make truffles with them. I made them for my Relief Society lesson last Sunday. I didn't see them last time I was at the store, but I did see that Andes mint candies has some diced up candies in the baking isle that I think will work just as well.

Mint Truffles

1 12 oz back of dark chocolate & mint morsels or Andes mints chopped
2/3 c heavy cream
chocolate coating wafers or bark coating (This is my favorite place for candy coating chocolate. I usually place a big order with them once a year and hope it lasts all year!

Put all the chocolate in a medium glass bowl. Put the cream in a saucepan and heat until very hot but not boiling. Pour the cream over the chocolate with a whisk at the ready and once the cream goes in whisk until all the chocolate is melted. Put the bowl in the fridge until the chocolate is hardened (about 2 hours). Use a melon baller and roll small balls and put them on a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Refrigerate until firm then dip in the melted wafter coating or bark. I keep these in the fridge until I'm ready to serve.

**special thanks to Matt my hand model, I told him he had to let me take a picture before he ate the last one!

Oreo Truffles

I taught Relief Society on Sunday and made these for a treat. I topped them with little pearl candies I found in the baking isle of my grocery store.

Oreo Truffles

1 (16 ounce) package OREO Chocolate
Sandwich Cookies
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
Chocolate Almond Bark coating

Crush the oreos in a food processor until they're fine crumbles. Add cream cheese; mix until well blended. Roll cookie mixture into 1-inch balls.

Refrigerate for about an hour.
Dip balls in chocolate; place on wax paper-covered baking sheet.

**special thanks to Matt my hand model, I told him he had to let me take a picture before he ate the last one!

Tortilla Soup

I LOVE tortilla soup!! This recipe from Marcela Valladolid from the show Mexican Made Easy on the Food Network was really good. I added cilantro and I didn't add the tortillas to the blended mixture because I like my soup more brothy).

Classic Tortilla Soup
Recipe courtesy Marcela Valladolid

Prep Time:15 minInactive Prep Time:--Cook Time:41 min
6 servings

4 large plum tomatoes
1 small white onion or a 1-inch-thick slice of a large white onion, peeled
4 garlic cloves, unpeeled
1 medium dried New Mexico chile, stemmed, seeded, and torn into large pieces
6 cups chicken broth
2 corn tortillas, torn into 1-inch pieces
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Tortilla strips:

6 corn tortillas, cut into 1/2-inch wide strips
Vegetable oil, for shallow frying
6 to 8 canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, optional for garnish
Mexican sour cream or regular sour cream, for serving
2 avocados, peeled and diced into 1/2-inch cubes or slices
1 queso fresco or mild feta cheese, crumbled (I used monterrey jack)
Soup: Heat a heavy saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the tomatoes, peeled onion, and unpeeled garlic cloves. Roast, turning frequently, until the garlic is soft, about 10 minutes. Remove the garlic when soft, but slightly blackened. Peel the garlic and set aside. Add the chile and continue to cook for another 2 to 4 minutes. Remove the onion and set aside. Continue to cook the tomatoes until charred and blackened, another 5 minutes. Put the garlic, chile, onion, tomatoes, tortillas, and 2 cups chicken broth in a blender. Blend until smooth. Pour into a large saucepan and add the remaining 4 cups chicken broth. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Tortilla strips: In a medium, heavy skillet, pour enough oil to reach a depth of 1/2 an inch. Heat over medium-high heat until very hot, but not smoking. Add the tortilla strips in batches and fry until golden and crisp, about 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Set aside.

To serve, ladle the soup into 6 individual serving bowls. Serve whole chipotle chiles, Mexican sour cream, avocados, cheese, and tortilla strips on the side.

South o' the Border Prawn Masala

I've been a little obsessed with Indian food lately. This recipe from the Next Food Network Star winner Aarti Sequeria was very very good. My best kitchen assistant helped me make the shrimp stock. I was surprised that she wanted to handle shrimp tails, but very proud of her too! The shrimp I had only had the tails, not the heads or shell so I just used the tails.

South o' the Border Prawn Masala
Recipe courtesy Aarti Sequeria

Prep Time: 20 min Inactive Prep Time: -- Cook Time: 50 min
4 to 6 servings

1 pound large head-on prawns, shelled, deveined, heads and shells reserved
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large red onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 small jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
2 dried arbol chile, stemmed
1 dried ancho chile, stemmed
1 (14-ounce) can peeled tomatoes in juice, drained, liquid reserved
3/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill (I used 1/2t of dried)
Naan bread, for serving
Remove the prawn heads. In a medium saucepot, bring the prawn heads, shells and 5 cups of water to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onions, garlic, ginger, and jalapeno, and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes.

While the vegetables cook, break the arbol chiles and ancho chile into pieces (remove the seeds, if you prefer less heat and spice), then grind in a spice grinder to a fine powder. Set aside.

Crush the tomatoes with your hands.

Add the turmeric, garam masala, and 2 teaspoons of the ground chile powder to the skillet. Reserve the remaining chile powder for another use. Saute the mixture for 30 seconds, then add the crushed tomatoes and 1/4 cup of the reserved tomato juice. Cook the mixture, stirring, until thickened and most of liquid is cooked out. Cook's Note: This sweetens the tomatoes and helps bring all the flavors together.

Strain the prawn shells from the water and discard the shells. The water is now a prawn stock. Add 2 cups of the prawn stock to the tomato mixture and bring the mixture to a simmer. The remaining prawn stock can be cooled and frozen for future use. Simmer the tomato mixture, uncovered, for 10 minutes.

Add the prawns to the skillet and cook, stirring gently, until just cooked through, about 4 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, then add the heavy cream and fresh dill. Let the mixture simmer, for 2 minutes more, stirring gently. Season with salt, and pepper, to taste. Serve the masala with warm naan.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Black Bottom Cupcakes - Oldie but goodie

I made these for a baby shower a couple of weeks ago. This is probably one of my most requested deserts. They are SOO good.

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.

Green Curry

I'm so glad Aarti won, The Next Food Network Star! I've tried several of her recipes and they've been delicious. I made this one a couple of weeks ago. Yum!

Green Chicken Curry
Recipe courtesy Aarti Sequeria

Prep Time: 25 min Inactive Prep Time: -- Cook Time: 40 min
4 to 6 servings

2 small bunches cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped, 1 1/2 cups
1 bunch fresh mint, leaves, coarsely chopped, 1 1/2 cups
1 red onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic
1 1/2-inch piece ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup water, plus 1 1/2 cups
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 shallots, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, about 1 3/4 pounds, halved
1/2 teaspoon malt vinegar
1/4 cup plain whole milk yogurt, whisked until smooth
Cooked basmati rice or warm naan bread, for serving
Add the cilantro, mint, red onion, garlic, ginger, and salt, and pepper, to taste, to a food processor or blender. Puree on high until smooth. With the processor running, add about 1/4 cup water, and blend until the mixture is the consistency of a thick paste, a.k.a. "masala". Set aside.

In a large pot or deep skillet heat the olive oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add the shallot and cook, stirring often, until golden brown.

Add the spices and cook for 30 seconds. Pour the masala mixture into skillet and cook, stirring often until it deepens in color and aroma. You'll know it's ready when it looks shiny, little droplets of oil will appear on the surface, and the masala will hold together as a cohesive mass.

Add the chicken, coating every piece in the masala and stirring often. Continue to cook for 5 minutes, so that the masala really adheres to the chicken. Add about 1 1/2 cups water, just enough to cover the chicken, and the vinegar. Bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, until the chicken is tender and sauce has thickened slightly, about 20 to 25 minutes.

Remove the pan from heat and stir in the yogurt. Taste and adjust seasonings, if needed. Transfer the mixture to a serving dish and serve over rice or with warm naan bread.

Snickers Bars

I made these bars from Sister's Cafe a few weeks ago. They're really easy and very tasty.

Snickers Bars
submitted by Erin ~

1 box chocolate cake mix
3/4 cup butter, melted
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 14-oz package of caramels
1 cup peanuts
1 cup chocolate chips (or more)

Mix the chocolate cake mix, 3/4 cup melted butter, and 1/3 cup sweetened condensed
milk together. This mixture will be very thick. Spread 2/3 of this mixture into the bottom
of an ungreased, 9x13 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 6-10 minutes until set.
Unwrap the caramels and put in a microwave safe bowl. Add 1/3 cup sweetened
condensed milk to the caramels, and melt in microwave, 1 minute at a time until mixture
is completely melted and smooth.
Spread the chocolate chips on top of the cooked cake mixture. Spread/drizzle caramel
mixture on top of this. The caramel will be uneven. Sprinkle peanuts on top next. Then
put remaining cake mixture on top next. Again, this mixture is quite thick, so this will
also be uneven which is ok.
Bake at 350 for 16-20 minutes.
Let cool completely before cutting. This is important as the caramel makes it very difficult
to cut if still warm.

Roquefort Pear Salad

I made this recipe from last night for dinner. Delish!!

Roquefort Pear Salad

1 head leaf lettuce, torn into bite-size
3 pears - peeled, cored and chopped
5 ounces Roquefort cheese, crumbled (I used blue cheese)
1 avocado - peeled, pitted, and diced
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup pecans (I used walnuts)
1/3 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons prepared mustard (I used dijon)
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
fresh ground black pepper to taste
1. In a skillet over medium heat, stir 1/4 cup of sugar together with the pecans. Continue stirring gently until sugar has melted and caramelized the pecans. Carefully transfer nuts onto waxed paper. Allow to cool, and break into pieces.
2. For the dressing, blend oil, vinegar, 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar, mustard, chopped garlic, salt, and pepper.
3. In a large serving bowl, layer lettuce, pears, blue cheese, avocado, and green onions. Pour dressing over salad, sprinkle with pecans, and serve.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Fruitful Bars

My mom made this cake for my birthday and it was so unique and delicious! No one could stop eating it. It's my Aunt Kim's recipe.

Kim's Hawaiian Friend

2 1/2 c. flour 1 1/2 c. sugar
1 1/2 t. soda 1/2 t. salt
1 t. vanilla 2 eggs (optional)
3/4 c. nuts (optional0 coconut flakes
1 10 oz. pkg. frozen sweetened strawberries liquid too.
1 can mandarin oranges with liquid
Mix all but coconut together for 3 min. Pour into sprayed and floured 9 by 13 pan, and sprinkle with coconut-enough to cover.
Bake 40 min. at 350 Spread immediately with the following glaze.:
3/4 c sugar 1/4 c. canned milk
1/2 t. vanilla 1/2 c butter
Boil 1 min and spread over cake

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Zucchini patties

We had a bunch of garden squash to use. These were really good.

Zucchini Patties

2 cups grated zucchini
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
salt to taste
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1. In a medium bowl, combine the zucchini, eggs, onion, flour, Parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese, and salt. Stir well enough to distribute ingredients evenly.
2. Heat a small amount of oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Drop zucchini mixture by heaping tablespoonfuls, and cook for a few minutes on each side until golden.

Fresh Lemonade

Tart, sweet & refreshing! This is a yummy recipe from

Best Lemonade Ever

1 3/4 cups white sugar
8 cups water
1 1/2 cups lemon juice
1. In a small saucepan, combine sugar and 1 cup water. Bring to boil and stir to dissolve sugar. Allow to cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate until chilled.
2. Remove seeds from lemon juice, but leave pulp. In pitcher, stir together chilled syrup, lemon juice and remaining 7 cups water.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Tyler Florence Swedish Meatballs

These were seriously SO good. Super moist & the gravy was delish!! I didn't have black currant jam, so I used Simply Fruit Blueberry Jam, I used vegetable stock instead of chicken just because I had some to use & I didn't use allspice or lingonberry jam since I didn't have any.

Lena's Swedish Meatballs with Lingonberry Sauce
Recipe courtesy Tyler Florence

Prep Time: 30 min Inactive Prep Time: -- Cook Time: 50 min
about 60 meatballs
4 tablespoons butter
1 small onion, minced
1 pound each ground beef, pork, and veal (or all beef if you prefer)
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons salt
Few grinds black pepper
2 teaspoons ground allspice
3 pieces white bread, crust removed, torn and soaked in whole milk

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups chicken stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 to 2 tablespoons black currant jam
1/4 cup chopped parsley leaves
Lingonberry jam, for serving
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent. Remove the onion to a plate and cool. Wipe out the pan with a paper towel.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground meats, egg yolks, heavy cream and onion. Add salt, pepper and allspice. Squeeze excess milk from the bread and add it to the bowl. Mix gently with your hands or wooden spoon.

With a bowl of cold water standing by, form meatballs about 1-inch across. Dip your fingers in cold water, from time to time, to keep the meat from sticking to your hands.

Melt the remaining butter in the saute pan and once the foam has subsided add a layer of meatballs. Do not overcrowd the pan. Shake the pan once in awhile, to keep the meatballs round. Brown all of the meatballs, in batches, removing them to a large oven safe dish when cooked. Put the dish in the oven for about 20 minutes, being careful not to overcook them.

Cook's Note: you may need to wipe out the pan between batches as it can get kind of gnarly.

To make the sauce: Pour off most of the fat from the skillet and return it to the heat. Add 2 tablespoons of butter and swirl it around to coat the pan. Sprinkle in the flour, and stir with a wooden spoon or whisk to dissolve the flour into the fat. Pour in the chicken stock, and stir to loosen the bits from the bottom of the pan. Simmer, stirring, until the liquid is reduced and the mixture starts to thicken to a sauce. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Lower the heat and stir in the cream and the black currant jam. Add the meatballs to the sauce. Simmer until the sauce thickens slightly and the meatballs are heated through, 15 to 20 minutes. Sprinkle with chopped parsley.

To serve, spoon a couple of meatballs onto each plate along with a spoonful of sauce, and serve with the lingonberry jam on the side.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Fudge Sauce & Butterscotch sauce

I made these 2 sauces last night for our banana splits. They were so good! The fudge was super thick and creamy, just how I like it. I've never made butterscotch before. It was really easy and good. These recipes are from

Butterscotch Sauce II
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
3 tablespoons butter
1. In a small saucepan, stir together the brown sugar, milk, corn syrup and butter. Warm over low heat until smooth and butter is melted. Do not boil.

Hot Fudge Sauce
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed
4 (1 ounce) squares semisweet
2 tablespoons butter (no substitutes)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. In a heavy saucepan, combine the milk, chocolate and butter. Cook and stir over medium-low heat until chocolate is melted. Remove from the heat; stir in vanilla.

Banana Bread Cobbler

I know the title of this recipe sounds like it could be a hit or miss recipe, but I'm telling you you MUST try this recipe from Bake or Breaks blog. It is AMAZING. Especially if you like bananas or banana bread. So unique and delicious. Matt said it's the best dessert he's ever had. We had it with vanilla ice cream. My camera wasn't charged when I made it, so I don't have a picture.

Banana Bread Cobbler

March 31st, 2010 · No Comments

Read and see more at Bake or Break. Recipe from Southern Living.

Streusel topping

3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup self-rising flour
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup uncooked regular oats
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Stir together brown sugar, flour, and butter until crumbly. Stir in oats and pecans. Set aside.

1 cup self-rising flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup milk
1/2 cup butter, melted
4 medium bananas, sliced
Preheat oven to 375°. Lightly grease an 11″x 7″dish.
Whisk flour, sugar, and milk just until blended. Whisk in melted butter. Pour into prepared pan. Top with banana slices and streusel topping. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until brown and bubbly.

Cheesecake Filled Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

Oh my, these were SO good. I beat together 8 oz of softened cream cheese, 3/4 c powdered sugar, the zest of half a lemon and the juice of half a lemon. Then I cut open each strawberry and piped in some cream cheese mixture and then dipped them in chocolate bark coating. YUM!


I love Migas, so I decided to try to make them a couple of weeks ago. They turned out really good. I chopped up some corn tortillas and some bacon and cooked them together in a skillet. When the bacon was crispy I added some beaten egg and a couple of tablespoons of my favorite salsa. I cooked them like you would scrambled eggs. Then right before they were done cooking I added some grated sharp cheese. DELISH!

Squash Tacos

This is one of my family's favorite dinners. You just saute' yellow squash and some diced onion in a little butter (about 1 T). Then when the squash is almost done put in some fresh corn and cook for just a couple of minutes. Serve it on corn tortillas with some grated sharp cheddar cheese & salsa. SOO good!

Shrimp Pasta in a Foil Package

This was an easy, fun & yummy dish from Pioneer Woman...

Shrimp Pasta in a Foil Package

½ cups Olive Oil
4 cloves Garlic, Minced
3 whole 14.5 Ounce Cans Diced (or Whole) Tomatoes
½ cups White Wine
2 pounds Jumbo Or Large Shrimp, Peeled And Deveined
Salt And Pepper, to taste
Fresh Parsley, Minced
1 pound Linguine, Uncooked
Red Pepper Flakes, to taste
Preparation Instructions
Cook pasta for 1/2 the recommended cooking time. Pasta should still be very firm.
In a large skillet or pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and saute for a minute. Dump in the tomatoes and wine. Stir the mixture together, season with salt and pepper, and allow to cook for ten minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare a large parcel of heavy duty aluminum foil. It should be large enough to hold the entire pasta dish.
Throw the shrimp on the top of the pasta sauce. Throw the drained pasta over the top, then pour the whole dish onto the foil. Tightly wrap the foil into a parcel.
Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and keep warm until serving.
Open the foil parcel right before serving. Drizzle a tiny bit of olive oil over the top. Squeeze on lemon juice, if desired.

I made these 3 Giada (from the Food Network) recipes for father's day. The chicken was easy to make and very good. I think next time I will experiment with some other spices on the chicken. The salad wasn't my favorite. The chicken & veggie dish were big hits.

Roasted Citrus-Herb Game Hen

Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis, 2008


2 (1 1/2 to 2-pound) Cornish game hens
1/4 cup olive oil
2 shallots, minced
2 tablespoons orange zest, from 2 medium oranges
2 tablespoons lemon zest, from about 3 lemons
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus extra for seasoning
2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
2 tablespoons Marsala wine or dry sherry
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1/4 cup dried cranberries or currants
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

Place an oven rack in the lower 1/3 of the oven. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Rinse the game hens and pat dry with paper towels. In a small bowl, mix together the olive oil, shallots, orange zest, lemon zest, thyme, mint, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Rub 2 tablespoons of the zest mixture over the skins of the game hens. Place the remainder of the zest mixture under the skin and into the cavities of the hens. Using kitchen twine, truss the legs together. Place the hens in a shallow 9 by 13-inch baking dish. Add the chicken stock, Marsala wine, lemon juice, orange juice, and cranberries. Roast for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the leg juices run clear. Remove the game hens and set aside. Place the flour in a small saucepan. Whisk in the pan juices. Bring the juices to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes until slightly thickened. Whisk in the butter and season, to taste, with salt and pepper.

To serve, remove the kitchen twine and place the hens on 2 serving plates. Drizzle with the citrus-herb sauce.

Cook's Note: Reserve 1/4 cup of the citrus-herb sauce for the Crouton Salad.

Crouton Salad

Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis, 2008


1/2 (8-ounces) loaf rosemary bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes* see Cook's Note
Olive oil, for drizzling
3 cups packed arugula
1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
1/4 cup Citrus-Herb Sauce, see Roasted Citrus-Herb Game Hen recipe
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the bread on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and bake for 12 to 15 minutes until toasted. Set aside to cool.

In a medium salad bowl, mix together the cooled croutons, arugula, and pine nuts. Add the Citrus-Herb Sauce. Toss well until all ingredients are coated. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve immediately.

*Cook's Note: You can also use olive bread or any plain rustic loaf in place of the rosemary bread.

Olive and Sun-Dried Tomato Vegetables

Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis, 2008


1/3 cup olive oil, plus 3 tablespoons
5 oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and finely chopped
2 tablespoons pitted small black olives, such as kalamata, halved
2 tablespoons halved pitted green olives
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
Kosher salt for seasoning, plus 1/2 teaspoon
Freshly ground black pepper
3 shallots, thinly sliced
1 zucchini, ends trimmed and discarded, cut into 1/2-inch rounds
1 yellow summer squash, ends trimmed and discarded, cut into 1/2-inch rounds
1 small red bell pepper, cored, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch strips

In a medium bowl, whisk together 1/3 cup olive oil, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, and thyme. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

In a medium skillet, heat remaining 3 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and cook until translucent and tender, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the zucchini, yellow squash, red bell pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring frequently, for 6 to 8 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Add the warm vegetables to the oil mixture and toss until coated.

Transfer the vegetables to a serving bowl. Serve immediately.

Caramel Bars

I LOVE these bars. Chewy chocolate caramel goodness!

Caramel Bars


* 32 individually wrapped caramels, unwrapped
* 5 tablespoons heavy cream
* 1 cup all-purpose flour
* 1 cup rolled oats
* 3/4 cup brown sugar
* 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 3/4 cup butter, melted
* 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
* 1/2 cup chopped walnuts


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt together the caramels and heavy cream, stirring occasionally until smooth.
2. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda and salt. Stir in the melted butter until well blended. Press Half of the mixture into the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking pan. Reserve the rest.
3. Bake the crust for 8 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove and sprinkle with chocolate chips and walnuts. Pour the caramel mixture over the top and then crumble the remaining crust mixture over everything.
4. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 12 minutes, or until the top is lightly toasted. Cut into squares while it is still warm.

Garlic-Rosemary Roasted Fingerling Potatoes

These potatoes from Our Best Bites are awesome!!

Garlic-Rosemary Roasted Fingerling Potatoes

1 1/2 lb. fingerling (or other very small potatoes), washed; try and pick the potatoes that are as bite-sized as possible
2 1/2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 1/2 Tbsp. coarse-grain or Dijon mustard
2 1/2 Tbsp. chopped fresh Rosemary (be sure and strip the needles from the stem before chopping them)
About 5 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed
Coarsely-ground black pepper
Kosher salt

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. While the water is heating, combine olive oil, minced garlic, rosemary, mustard, and some black pepper. Set aside. When the water is boiling, add the potatoes and boil for about 10 minutes or until they are easily pierced with a fork. Drain, return the potatoes to the pan, and then toss with the mustard mixture.

Now...this is where the beauty of this recipe comes in. You can either do all of this ahead of time and then refrigerate the potatoes until you're ready to finish them off or you can do it all at once. Either way, you're not going to spend more than 30 minutes making these beauties and they're so elegant that you could seriously serve them at the fanciest dinner party. So...if you're making these right now, preheat your oven to 425 and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. If you're saving them (for up to 6 hours), line the baking sheet and spread the potatoes out evenly and then cover them with plastic wrap and refrigerate them until you're ready to bake them.

When you're ready to bake these guys, sprinkle with Kosher salt. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the skins are browning and sizzling. For fancy presentation, place the roasted potatoes on a platter, scrape those delicious bits off the foil sprinkle them over the potatoes, and then garnish with a few sprigs of rosemary.

Buttermilk Waffles

These waffles from Sisters Cafe are very very good! Matt likes them with half the cinnamon, but I like the full amount of cinnamon.

Buttermilk Waffles
Submitted by Mindy

1 stick butter, melted
2 cups flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
3 large eggs
2 cups buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat waffle iron. Beat eggs until fluffy. Beat in everything else just until smooth.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Cute baby shower favor idea

I threw a shower for a woman a couple of months ago and she asked if she could bring a favor for everyone. She brought the cutest favor! She put candy in the bottom of a small plastic pot. Then she cut out some fabric into a diaper shape with pins on the side and inside the diaper she put this poem, flower seeds and these flower candies she made. It was so cute.

Potato idea

My husband grew these beautiful multi-colored potatoes in our garden this year. We had small blue, red and white potatoes. I made mini twice baked potatoes with them keeping each colored flesh separate and added different mix ins to each one. They were yummy & fun to make.

Orange and Raspberry Cake

This cake is...AMAZING!! Light, refreshing, creamy, unique...AMAZING! My husband tried it and said this is good, then a few minutes later I looked over and his piece was completely gone and I said oh you did like it and he said that was SO good (he's not really even a sweet person!). Then my friend Cristina said she's not really an orange cake person, but she loved it! It's a nice refreshing orange flavor, not artificial at all since you use fresh orange instead of an orange box cake. I almost didn't use the fresh raspberries, but I'm so glad I did. It really added to the cake.

Orange and Raspberry Cake
Giada DeLaurentis


* Butter, for greasing the pans
* Flour, for dusting
* 1 (18.25-ounce) box white cake mix (recommended: Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe)
* 1 large orange, zested, about 1/4 cup
* 1 1/3 cups no pulp orange juice
* 3 egg whites
* 2 tablespoons vegetable oil


* 1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
* 1/3 cup creme fraiche
* 1 pound powdered sugar
* 1/4 cup raspberry jam
* Water, as needed
* 1/4 cup raspberry jam
* 1 (6-ounce) container fresh raspberries


For the cake: Arrange an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour the bottom and sides of 2 nonstick, 8-inch round, baking pans. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a whisk attachment, combine the cake mix and orange zest. Mix for 20 seconds at low speed until the zest is incorporated. Add the orange juice, egg whites, and vegetable oil. Blend at low speed for 30 seconds. Increase the speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl with a spatula, as needed. Divide the batter between the prepared pans and bake until golden and a cake tester inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean, about 30 to 32 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool the pans on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Turn the cakes out onto a wire rack and allow to cool completely, about 1 hour.

For the frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together the butter and creme fraiche at high speed until smooth, about 10 seconds. With the machine running at medium-low speed, gradually add the powdered sugar until incorporated. Add the raspberry jam and increase the speed to high. Beat until the frosting is smooth and spreadable, adding water, 1 teaspoon at a time, if needed.

To assemble the cake: Arrange 1 cake layer, flat side up, on a cake stand. Using a spatula, spread a thin layer of frosting on top leaving a 1/2-inch border. Spread 1/4 cup of raspberry jam on top of the frosting. Arrange the other cake layer on top. Using a spatula, frost the top and sides of the cake. Decorate with fresh raspberries. Cut the cake into wedges with a slightly wet knife and serve.

Store the cake in a plastic container in the refrigerator. Allow the refrigerated cake to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Chocolate Peanut Butter Molten Cakes

I've been wanting to try this recipe for a long time. I made them this week for my friends birthday. They are seriously SOO SOO good! Peanut butter and chocolate, you just can't go wrong!!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Molten Cakes
adapted from Food & Wine Magazine
1 stick plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, plus melted butter for brushing
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
6 ounces dark chocolate (70 percent cacao), chopped
3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar, plus more for sprinkling
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
Pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 425°. Brush four 6-ounce ramekins with melted butter. In a small bowl, whisk the cocoa powder with 1 tablespoon of the flour; dust the ramekins with the cocoa mixture, tapping out the excess. Transfer the ramekins to a sturdy baking sheet.
In a medium saucepan, melt 1 stick of butter with the chocolate over very low heat, stirring occasionally. Let cool slightly.
In a bowl, blend the peanut butter with the 1 tablespoon of confectioners’ sugar and the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter.
In a bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the granulated sugar with the eggs and salt at medium-high speed until thick and pale yellow, 3 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the melted chocolate until no streaks remain. Fold in the 1/4 cup of flour.
Spoon two-thirds of the batter into the prepared ramekins, then spoon the peanut butter mixture on top. Cover with the remaining chocolate batter. Bake in the center of the oven for 16 minutes, until the tops are cracked but the centers are still slightly jiggly. Transfer the ramekins to a rack and let cool for 5 to 8 minutes.
Run the tip of a small knife around each cake to loosen. Invert a small plate over each cake and, using pot holders, invert again. Carefully lift off the ramekins. Dust the warm cakes with confectioners’ sugar and serve immediately.