Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Mini German Pancakes

These were really cute and were good but I think I prefer German pancakes cooked in a big pan. This was just wasn't as buttery since the butter is mixed in instead of melted at the bottom.

Mini German Pancakes
1 cup milk
6 eggs
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. orange zest (optional)
1/4 cup butter, melted

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Blend first six ingredients (milk thru orange zest) in a blender. Be careful to see that any flour clumps get well-blended.
2. Blend in butter a little at a time in order to temper the eggs.
3. Grease muffin tins well and distribute batter evenly between 24 tins (I did more like 18. Gimme Some Oven’s tins were slightly less than half-full. I used a 1/4 cup measuring cup and filled it almost full.) Bake for 15 minutes, or until puffy and golden on top.
4. Served with your favorite toppings. (Mine was a dusting of powdered sugar and triple berry sauce. I have other suggestions up top)

Chicken Pot Pie Crumble

I thought this was really good but Matt gave it just a good rating. It's like having pie crust all throughout instead of just on the top and bottom.
Chicken Pot Pie Crumble
1 1/2 Lbs chicken
3 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onion , chopped fine (about 1 cup)
3-4 carrots, peeled and sliced (about 1 cup)
1/2 c. celery, chopped fine
salt and pepper (to taste)
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 c. flour
1 c. milk
3/4 c. frozen peas

Crumble Topping:
2 c. flour
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
6 Tbsp unsalted butter , cut into 1/2-inch cubes and chilled
3/4 c. Parmesan cheese
1 c. heavy cream

FOR THE CHICKEN: Bring chicken and broth to simmer in covered Dutch oven over medium heat (If you don't have a dutch oven, just use a stock pot). Cook until chicken is just done (8 to 12 minutes). Transfer cooked chicken to large bowl. Pour broth through fine-mesh strainer into liquid measuring cup and reserve. Do not wash Dutch oven.

FOR THE TOPPING: Combine flour, baking powder, salt, pepper, and cayenne in large bowl. Sprinkle butter pieces over top of flour. Using fingers, rub butter into flour mixture until it resembles coarse cornmeal. Stir in Parmesan. Add cream and stir until just combined. Crumble mixture into irregularly shaped pieces onto a baking sheet. Bake at 450-degrees until fragrant and starting to brown (10-13 minutes). Set aside.

FOR THE FILLING: Heat 1 tablespoon oil in now-empty Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, carrots, celery, salt and pepper. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until just tender (about 5 minutes). While vegetables are cooking, shred chicken into small bite-size pieces. Transfer cooked vegetables to bowl with chicken; set aside.

Heat butter in empty Dutch oven over medium heat. When foaming subsides, stir in flour and cook 1 minute. Slowly whisk in reserved chicken broth and milk. Bring to simmer and stir until sauce thickens, about 1 minute. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and stir chicken-vegetable mixture and peas into sauce.

Pour mixture into 9x13 pan (or if you have small individual-sized oven-safe dishes, you can use those-- see picture above). Scatter crumble topping evenly over filling. Bake at 400-degrees until filling is bubbling and topping is well browned (about 12-15 minutes). Serve hot and enjoy!

Korean Beef Tacos

You cook this in the crock pot. It was easy and good.
Korean Beef Tacos
3-4 pounds beef roast (I used a trimmed chuck roast)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup soy sauce (La Choy and Tamari Wheat-Free are gluten free)
1 head garlic (peeled, but leave cloves intact--approx 10 cloves)
1/2 onion, diced
1 inch fresh ginger root, peeled and grated
2 tablespoons seasoned rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 whole jalapeno, diced (be careful! use gloves!)

The Directions.

Use a 6-quart slow cooker. Okay. This truly can't be any easier. I didn't brown my meat, but I did trim off the visible fat. I can make these directions complicated and tell you to add this or that first,
but it honestly doesn't matter. This is going to cook on low all day long, and the ingredients will distribute just fine all on their own. Throw everything in however you'd like.

Cover, and cook on low for 8-10 hours or until meat has fully shredded---

Raspberry Lemon Pie

I made this for Thanksgiving. It was delicious! Lemony and tart.
Raspberry Lemon Pie

1 (10-oz.) package frozen red raspberries in syrup, thawed
1 T. cornstarch
3 egg yolks
1 (14-oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup ReaLemon lemon juice from concentrate
1 (6-oz.) packaged graham cracker crumb pie crust
(I prefer to make my own graham cracker crust - it is not as pretty, but I think it has more flavor. Recipe follows.)
Whipped Topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In small saucepan, combine raspberries and cornstarch; cook and stir until thickened and clear. In medium bowl, beat egg yolks; stir in sweetened condensed milk and lemon juice. Pour into crust; bake 8 minutes. Spoon raspberry mixture evenly over top. Chill 4 hours or until set. Spread with whipped topping and serve.

Graham Cracker Crust

Combine 1 cup crushed graham cracker crumbs, 1/3 c. sugar and 1/3 c. melted butter. Press into the bottom of a pie pan. Bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees.

Hot chocolate on a stick with homemade marshmallows

I tried a few recipes for hot chocolate on a stick and this is by far my favorite. It's like a chocolate truffle so it's delicious when you eat it off the stick or melted in milk as hot chocolate. The marshmallows are delish and easier than you think!

Homemade Marshmallows

Scroll to the bottom for an easy-print version of this recipe!

.75-oz unflavored gelatin (3 envelopes of Knox gelatin)
1/2 cup cold water
2 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cups light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Confectioners sugar, Cornstarch (optional)

Line 9 x 9-inch pan with plastic wrap and lightly oil it. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup cold water. Soak for about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine sugar, corn syrup and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a rapid boil and boil hard for 1 minute.
Pour the boiling syrup into soaked gelatin and turn on the mixer, using the whisk attachment, to high speed. Add the salt and beat for 12 minutes. After 12 minutes, add in the vanilla extract beat to incorporate.
Scrape marshmallow into the prepared pan and spread evenly (Lightly greasing your hands and the spatula helps a lot here). Take another piece of lightly oiled plastic wrap and press lightly on top of the marshmallow, creating a seal. Let mixture sit for a few hours, or overnight, until cooled and firmly set.
In a shallow dish, combine equal parts cornstarch and confectioners’ sugar. Remove marshmallow from pan and cut into equal pieces with scissors (the best tool for the job) or a chef’s knife. Dredge each piece of marshmallow in confectioners’ sugar mixture.
Store in an airtight container.

Hot Chocolate on a Stick
Recipe Type: dessert, candy
Author: Rebecca Lindamood Adapted from King Arthur Flour
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 10 mins
Total time: 25 mins
Serves: 36
This creamy chocolate fudge confection can be nibbled in its pure form, skewered on a stick alone or with homemade marshmallows and simply eaten or swirled into hot milk for a hot chocolate that is second to none.

* 1/2 cup heavy cream
* 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk (1 1/4 cups)
* 3 cups semisweet chocolate (3 cups chopped chocolate bars or chips)
* 3/4 cup unsweetened baking chocolate (4 ounces)
* wooden sticks, lollipop sticks, candy canes or bamboo skewers
* optional, crushed candy canes, marshmallows and/or cocoa powder


1. Line an 8 x 8-inch pan or a 9 x 9-inch pan with foil and set aside.
2. Combine the cream and sweetened condensed milk in a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Heat until it is steaming, but not boiling, stirring occasionally to keep from scorching.
3. Add all of the chocolate and remove from the heat. Allow the chocolate to melt, undisturbed, for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, whisk firmly until it is thick and shiny. You can add a few drops of flavoring extract or oil at this point, or add some powdered espresso or vanilla. Whisk vigorously again to incorporate the flavoring (if used.)
4. Use a rubber or silicone spatula to spread the mixture out evenly in your prepared, foil-lined pan. Allow to cool at room temperature 12 hours or overnight so that it firms slowly.
5. Take the fudge from the pan and remove the foil. Place on a cutting board.
6. Using a knife heated with hot water and wiped dry, cut the fudge into 36 equal-sized cubes. You can either stick a lollipop stick (or candy cane) into the center of each block or leave as is. Additionally, you can press the cut sides of the fudge into crushed candy canes, roll them in cocoa powder or top with marshmallows.
7. Wrap tightly and store at room temperature.

Chicken Parmesan


This is a video of making chicken Parmesan with croutons on the top instead of breading and frying. It's delicious and so easy. Mine didn't cook in 35 minutes. I ended up cutting the chicken into chunks and putting it back in the oven for another 25 mins.

You basically put a couple of T of olive oil in the bottom of a casserole pan. Add 1 T of minced garlic and mix it into the oil. Put 5 chicken breasts on top of the oil. Top with a jar of marinara sauce. Then sprinkle on mozzarella and Parmesan. Then spread a package of croutons on top and top with more of the two cheeses. Then bake at 350 until done. For me it was about an hour.

Monday, October 24, 2011

This recipe was really good. I served it over pasta. In place of the wine I used chicken broth.
Angel Chicken...slow cooker

You will need
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (about 1-1/2 pounds)

1 8-oz. pkg. fresh button mushrooms, quartered

1 6-oz. pkg. fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, caps sliced

1/4 cup butter

1 0.7-oz. pkg. Italian dry salad dressing mix

1 10-3/4-oz. can condensed golden mushroom soup

1/2 cup dry white wine

1/2 of an 8-oz. tub cream cheese spread with chives and onion

Hot cooked rice or angel hair pasta

melt butter in a saucepan....

add in italian dressing packet

stir in soup , wine and cream cheese until it combines and melts

cut up mushrooms (I used all button...because I had them)

mixture is combined...

place mushrooms on the bottom of slow cooker...top with chicken....pour sauce on top...
close top and cook on low for 5 hours.

Stuffed spaghetti squash

This recipe was delicious. I filled mine with ground bison, onion, garlic, squash, tomatoes, Italian tomato sauce, bread crumbs, mozzarella and parmesan.

Stuffed Spaghetti Squash


Recipe by Courtney


* 1 spaghetti squash, cut lengthwise
* 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
* 1/2 tsp minced garlic
* 1/2 cup diced onion
* 2 celery stalks
* 4-5 baby carrots (or one carrot)
* 1/2 cup peppers
* 2 slices turkey bacon
* 1/2 cup each, zucchini & yellow squash
* 1 cup fresh spinach leaves
* 1/2 cup Italian-style diced tomatoes
* 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
* 3/4 cup marinara sauce
* 3 tbsp Chavrie goat cheese
* 1/2 cup reduced-fat mozzarella cheese
* parmesan cheese
* Salt, pepper, dried basil, or any other spices you enjoy


Preheat oven to 375F. Halve the squash length-wise and scrape out the seeds. Place the halves of the squash in a large pot of boiling water for 10-15 minutes. Set aside to cool.

In a large skillet, sauté the garlic and onion in olive oil. Add celery, carrots, peppers, and turkey bacon softened. Add zucchini, squash, tomatoes, and spinach and cook an additional 5 minutes.

Scrape the meat out of the squash and place in a large bowl. Add the sauteed veggies, breadcrumbs, marinara sauce, goat cheese, and spices. Mix and return the mixture to the empty squash halves. Top with extra marinara, mozzarella, and parmesan cheese. Bake until the top is bubbling and melted. ENJOY!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Granola Bars

I love this granola bar recipe. I adapted it from a few recipes I found:

2 1/2 C. quick oats
1/2 C. Rice Krispies
1/2 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 C. brown sugar
1/2 C. canola oil
1/4 C. honey
1 egg

Mix all ingredients (except for the chocolate chips). Once everything is combined gently fold in the choco chips.

Press the mixture into a baking pan lined with parchment paper.

Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes. Check them at 15. When they're slightly golden they're done. Let them completely cool then cut into bars.

Oven Egg Omlet

This was really good. We had it for dinner last week. I used bacon, cheese and green onion.
Oven Omelet Roll

1 cup milk
1/4 cup cornstarch
10 large eggs
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
salt and ground pepper
3/4 cup cooked ham, sausage, or bacon
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line bottom of a jelly roll type pan with parchment paper, leaving a 1-inch overhang on the two shorter sides. Grease parchment paper. Do not skip the parchment paper on this recipe. You need it to roll the omelet.
In a bowl, whisk together milk and cornstarch. Add eggs, mustard, 1 teaspoon salt, and teaspoon pepper; whisk to combine. Pour into pan. Sprinkle meat over top in an even layer.
Bake until edges of omelet are set, 15-18 minutes. Sprinkle with cheddar; bake until cheese has melted, 2 to 4 additional minutes.
Beginning at one shorter end, lift parchment, and roll up omelet tightly,
peeling back parchment as you go.
Slice and serve.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Cinnamon Roll Cake

This cake was really good and much easier than the process of making cinnamon rolls.

3 c. flour
1/4 tsp.salt
1 c. sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 c. milk
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. butter, melted

1 c. butter, softened
1 c. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. flour
1 Tbsp. cinnamon

Mix everything together except for the butter. Slowly stir in the melted butter and pour into a greased 9x13 pan. For the topping, mix all the ingredients together until well combined. Drop evenly over the batter and swirl with a knife. Bake at 350 for 28-32 minutes.

2 c. powdered sugar
5 Tbsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla

While warm drizzle the glaze over the cake.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Rigatoni Pie

I found this idea on pinterest. It looked like such a cool idea to make a simple dinner recipe fancy. It was really easy. Just make sure to put the spring form pan on a large pan with sides because the juices will leak out while baking.

Pasta Pie
Adapted from Martha Stewart

1 pound rigatoni
2 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 pound ground beef (I used ground sirloin)
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 can (28 ounces) good quality crushed tomatoes
Butter, for pan
1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
8 ounces coarsely grated mozzarella

In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook pasta until slightly underdone (I cooked mine for 12 minutes when the box indicated 14 minutes). One pound of pasta should be cooked in 6 quarts of water, make sure you are using a big enough pot so the pasta doesn't stick together. When done, rinse in cold water and drain again. Toss pasta with 1 Tablespoon olive oil to coat. Set aside.

Heat remaining 1 Tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add ground beef. Cook, stirring occasionally until browned. Add garlic, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper. Cook 2 minutes more.

Add crushed tomatoes; simmer until thickened, about 20 minutes.

Toss pasta with Parmesan cheese. Butter a 9-inch springform pan. Tightly pack pasta into pan, standing each piece on end. Spread meat sauce on top of pasta.

Push the meat sauce into the pasta holes filling each one up. Stuffing the meat into the holes is a weirdly satisfying task. Enough said.

Place in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top and bake another 10-15 minutes until cheese is golden. Remove from oven and let stand for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the edge to loosen and then unmold.

Cut into wedges and serve with any remaining meat sauce you might have.

Homemade Auntie Anne's Pretzels

I don't think these taste exactly like Auntie Anne's, but they're seriously good.

Homemade Auntie Annes Pretzels
Adapted From Korean American Mommy (http://www.koreanamericanmommy.com/2010/12/homemade-pretzels.html)
Makes: 10-12 large pretzels
Prep Time: 1 hour, plus 1 hour and 20 minutes for rising
Cook Time: 10 minutes

1 1/2 cups warm water
1 1/8 teaspoon active dry yeast
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/8 teaspoon salt
3 cups all purpose flour
1 cup bread flour

Baking Soda Bath
2 cups warm water
2 tablespoons baking soda

4 tablespoons butter, melted
rock salt
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon

2 cups powdered sugar
3-4 tablespoons water

To prepare your dough, combine 1 1/2 cups of warm water and yeast into the bowl of an electric mixer. Using a spoon, gently stir until your yeast dissolves. Then add your brown sugar and salt and stir until dissolved. Add your all purpose flour and bread flour and using the paddle attachment, mix on low for about 10 seconds until combined. Switch your attachment to the dough hook and mix on high for 5 minutes to knead your dough. If you don't have an electric mixer, you can knead by hand. Lightly grease a large pot by brushing the bottom and sides of the pan with olive oil. Place your ball of dough in the center of your pot, cover it, and let it sit for 1 hour in a warm space to rise. I keep my oven at 350 degrees and place the pot on top of the stove.

Immediately after making your dough, prepare your baking soda bath in a large mixing bowl by combining 2 cups of warm water and 2 tablespoons of baking soda. Stir until dissolved and continue to stir regularly while the dough is rising.

Once your dough is finished rising and has doubled in size. Put your ball of dough on a pastry mat and remove a section about 3/4 cup in size. You can break off as large or as small of a piece as you like depending on the pretzel size you want to make. Roll your section of dough into a long 1/2 inch thick string of dough. The length will vary depending on how big you want your pretzel, but the thickness should be no bigger than 1/2 inch in diameter. When rolling the dough, I found it helpful not flouring my work surface and lightly wetting my hands with water (not soaking wet). To get the right shape, roll the dough up and down with your hands, all the while pushing from the center out to get a long and narrow string of dough. That's what worked for me, but you'll find a good rhythm of your own too I'm sure!

Once you have your long string of dough, bring one end to the center, letting it hang slightly over the edge. Then bring your other end over and weave it underneath the first loop to get a pretty knot. Then dip your pretzel into the baking soda bath water, making sure to hold its shape in place. Place it on a well greased cookie sheet, making sure to put them about 1 1/2 inches in between each other. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees and let your pretzels sit for 15-20 minutes before baking to allow for a second rise. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown.

Meanwhile, prepare your dipping ingredients. Melt about 4 tablespoons of butter. Then mix your sugar and cinnamon together if you're making cinnamon sugar pretzels. To make an icing glaze to dip your cinnamon sugar pretzels in, combine your powdered sugar and water together in a bowl. Mix until combined and set aside for dipping. When your pretzels are cool enough to handle, generously brush them all over with your melted butter. Then dip in your cinnamon sugar mixture until coated or sprinkle with sea salt. Serve your traditional pretzels with a side of mustard for dipping or serve your cinnamon sugar pretzels with icing.

Deep Dark Chocolate Cookies

I found these cookies on pinterest, my new favorite obsession. They're good. Rich and yummy. You definitely don't want to over bake these.

Deep Dark Chocolate Cookies
Nonstick vegetable oil spray

1 1/2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips (about 9 ounces), divided

3 large egg whites, room temperature

2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, divided (I used 2 cups)

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray 2 large baking sheets with nonstick spray. Melt 1 cup chocolate chips in glass bowl in microwave, stirring twice, about 2 minutes. Cool slightly.

Using electric mixer, beat whites in large bowl to soft peaks. Gradually beat in 1 (I halved the sugar here) cup sugar. Continue beating until mixture resembles soft marshmallow creme. Whisk 1 cup sugar, cocoa, cornstarch, and salt in medium bowl to blend. On low speed, beat dry ingredients into meringue. Stir in lukewarm chocolate and 1/2 cup chocolate chips (dough will become very stiff).

Place 1/2 cup sugar in bowl. Roll 1 rounded tablespoon dough into ball; roll in sugar, coating thickly. Place on prepared sheet. Repeat with remaining dough, spacing 2 inches apart. Bake until puffed and tops crack, about 10 minutes. Cool on sheets on rack 10 minutes. Transfer to rack; cool.

Yield: Makes about 18


Monday, June 27, 2011

Thai Coconut Chicken Soup

My sister-in-law Holley who's an amazing cook recommended this recipe. It's really good! I didn't have lime leaf so I didn't add it, but I think it would have added a lot to it.

Thai Coconut Chicken Soup
Recipe courtesy Tyler Florence

Prep Time: -- Inactive Prep Time: -- Cook Time: --
4 servings
1 quart chicken stock, recipe follows
1 stalk lemon grass, white part only, cracked open with the flat side of a knife
3 kaffir lime leaves, fresh or dried, hand torn
1 (3-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
2 small Thai chilies, halved lengthwise
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 (13-ounce) can unsweetened coconut milk
2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce (nam pla)
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 (8-ounce) can straw mushrooms, rinsed
4 limes, juiced
1 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Bring the stock to the boil over medium heat in a soup pot. Add the lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves, ginger, chilies, and garlic. Lower the heat to medium-low, cover, and gently simmer for 10 minutes to let the spices infuse the broth.

Uncover and stir in the coconut milk, fish sauce, sugar, mushrooms, lime juice, and chicken. Simmer for 5 minutes to heat the chicken through; season with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into a soup tureen or individual serving bowls. Garnish with cilantro. Be careful to avoid chewing the lemongrass, ginger, or lime leaves.

Carrot Cake

This carrot cake is seriously the BEST carrot cake I've ever had. I just put it in a 9 x 13 pan instead of doing layers to save on time. The buttermilk glaze says to add the baking powder and then boil, but you should add it when you add the vanilla after you've taken the mixture off the heat, otherwise it will boil over the whole time you're boiling it.

Carrot Cake

· 2 cups all-purpose flour
· 2 teaspoons baking soda
· 1/2 teaspoon salt
· 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
· 3 large eggs
· 2 cups sugar
· 3/4 cup vegetable oil
· 3/4 cup buttermilk
· 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
· 2 cups grated carrot
· 1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
· 1 (3 1/2-ounce) can flaked coconut
· 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
· Buttermilk Glaze
· Cream Cheese Frosting

· Line 3 (9-inch) round cakepans with wax paper; lightly grease and flour wax paper. Set pans aside.

· Stir together first 4 ingredients.

· Beat eggs and next 4 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Add flour mixture, beating at low speed until blended. Fold in carrot and next 3 ingredients. Pour batter into prepared cakepans.

· Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Drizzle Buttermilk Glaze evenly over layers; cool in pans on wire racks 15 minutes. Remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks. Spread Cream Cheese Frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake.

Buttermilk glaze:

· 1 cup sugar
· 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda (don't add until after you add the vanilla and after the pan is off the heat or it will boil over!)
· 1/2 cup buttermilk
· 1/2 cup butter or margarine
· 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
· 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

· Bring first 5 ingredients to a boil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Boil, stirring often, 4 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in vanilla.

Southern Living

Cream Cheese Frosting:
· 3/4 cup butter, softened
· 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
· 1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
· 3 cups sifted powdered sugar
· 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

· Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Add powdered sugar and vanilla; beat until smooth.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Chocolate Biscuit Cake

This is the recipe for Prince William's grooms cake. It was SOO good. It's more like a cookie than a cake. I got digestives brand tea biscuits at world market and they worked great. I melted the chocolate, sugar and egg over a double broiler for a little bit just until the sugar melted and I thought the egg was cooked enough. It doesn't say in the recipe to cook the egg, but I was feeding this to kids and didn't want to worry about the raw eggs sitting out for any period of time. I think next time I will make this in a square pan and cut it into smaller brownie like chunks.

Chocolate Biscuit Cake
Recipe courtesy of Darren McGrady
Oprah.com | April 28, 2011

Servings: Makes one 6-inch round cake (8 portions)
1/2 tsp. butter , for greasing
8 ounces Rich tea biscuits
4 ounces unsalted butter , softened
4 ounces granulated sugar
4 ounces dark chocolate , for the cake
1 egg
8 ounces dark chocolate , for coating
1 ounce chocolate , for decorating
To make cake: Lightly grease a 6" x 2 1/2" cake ring and place on a tray on a sheet of parchment paper.

Break each of the biscuits into almond-size pieces by hand and set aside.

Cream the butter and sugar in a bowl until the mixture starts to lighten.

Melt the 4 ounces of dark chocolate and add to the butter mixture while constantly stirring.

Beat the egg into the mixture.

Fold in the biscuit pieces until they are all coated with the chocolate mixture.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake ring. Try to fill all of the gaps on the bottom of the ring because this will be the top when it is unmolded.

Chill the cake in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours.

To coat and decorate: Remove the cake from the refrigerator and let it stand while you melt the 8 ounces of dark chocolate.

Slide the ring off the cake and turn it upside down onto a cake wire.

Pour the melted chocolate over the cake and smooth the top and sides using a palette knife.

Allow the chocolate to set at room temperature.

Carefully run a knife around the bottom of the cake where the chocolate has stuck to the cake wire and lift it onto a tea plate.

Melt the remaining 1 ounce of chocolate and use to decorate the top of the cake.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Pho' and Fried Spring Rolls

My great friend Becky taught me how to make pho' awhile ago. I've made it several times since she taught me. Each time has been a little bit different. Some better than others. This past time I made it I really liked how it turned out, so I thought I better write it down! Thank you Becky!!

1 whole chicken, thawed
Beef soup bones (preferably with some meat on them)
3 T chicken bouillon base (if you don’t have base then you need enough bouillon to make 2 quarts of broth)
Large piece of dicon radish cut in half lengthwise
2 large onions peeled and cut in half
2 big pieces of ginger (6 inch pieces) cut in half lengthwise
3 bags of pho hoa (Chinese special spice, it’s a tea bag that has all the spices in it. You can also buy the spices whole in a bag, toast them and put them in cheese cloth to put in the soup pot.)
Package of rice sticks (pho noodles, you can get them in many sizes, I like the smallest size thickness)
2 cubes of chicken (pho ga) soup seasoning (like bouillon cubes)
2 cubes of beef soup seasoning (like bouillon cubes)
1 quarter size piece of rock sugar
Thai basil
Mint (optional)
Hoisin sauce
Siracha (chili sauce)
Lime wedges
Bean sprouts

Put the chicken and beef in a very large pot (I use my canning pot). Cover them with water, bring to a boil, boil 5 minutes then remove chicken and beef from the pot and wash out the pot. This removes the impurities from the meat and bones.
Put the chicken and beef back in the pot. Fill the pot with water. Leave about 4 inches at the top of the pot. Bring the water up to a boil.
While you’re waiting for the water to boil char the 2 onions, dicon and ginger under a broiler.
Once the water is almost to a boil add the charred vegetables, the bags of special spice, the cubes of beef and chicken seasoning and the chicken bouillon base. Bring the soup up to a boil and then turn it down a little so it’s still bubbling, but not at a full boil. Let the soup cook as long as you can, 6-8 hours or more. Leave it uncovered so it can cook down and condense the flavor.
Put the rock sugar in the last 20 minutes of cooking.
Once the soup is done cooking pull the chicken and beef out. Shred the chicken and any beef there might be. Strain out all the veggies and seasoning bags and discard.
Cook the rice sticks in boiling water for 5-7 minutes depending on thickness of the noodle. Strain the noodles and immediately rinse under cold water until they’re completely cool. Set aside.
When you’re ready to serve heat the broth back to boiling.
Put the rice noodles in the bottom of your individual serving bowls. Put chicken/beef on top and pour the hot broth over.
Garnish to taste with basil, cilantro, mint, lime, bean sprouts, hoisin and siracha.

Fried Spring Rolls
1 lb ground pork
2 c diced napa cabbage
½ c grated carrots
¼ c diced green onion
3 cloves garlic minced
2 t grated ginger
I small bunch bean thread noodles, soaked in warm water for 15 minutes until soft, then chopped
6 wood ear mushrooms, rehydrated and diced
2 t fish sauce
¼ t ground pepper
1 egg
1 package of 25 spring roll wrappers
Nuoc cham sauce (recipe follows)

Mix all the ingredients except the wrappers and nuoc cham sauce in a large bowl until thoroughly combined. Roll the mixture into the wrappers and fry until golden. Serve with lettuce leaves, thai basil, cilantro, mint and nuoc cham sauce. You wrap the spring roll in a lettuce leaf, top it with the herbs and dip it into the nuoc cham sauce.

Nuco Cham Sauce
¼ c sugar
Juice of 1 lemon
1/3 c fish sauce
¼ c water
2 t chili garlic sauce
2 cloves garlic minced
Mix all ingredients and chill until ready to serve.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


My friend Ai taught me how to make okonomiyaki awhile ago. It was SO good! It's like a meat & vegetable pancake. There are 2 different styles of okonomiyaki in Japan. Ai is from Osaka, where they're famous of okonomiyaki, so this is an Osaka style recipe. You can buy okonomiyaki flour that has the nagaimo and other spices in it, but she showed us the scratch recipe.

Ai’s Osaka style Okonomiyaki

(Per person)
1 c cake flour (cake flour is lighter like Japanese all purpose flour)
2/3 c water
¼ c grated nagaimo (It’s a Japanese yam that is a raw egg consistency when grated)
1 egg
Whatever toppings you want:
Bacon, cabbage, green onion, cheese, thin sliced pork, yakisoba noodles, tenkatsu, shrimp, squid etc.
Okonomiyaki sauce
Japanese mayonnaise
Mix the first 4 ingredients together. Portion out a cup of the mixture into medium size bowls, one for each person eating. Add an egg to each persons bowl and mix it in thoroughly. Each person mixes their own bowl after that and can mix in, bacon, thin sliced pork, diced cabbage, green onion, cheese, shrimp, squid tenkatsu, (little fried tempura balls) or whatever else you want.
Once each person has mixed their bowl together you pour their bowl out into a hot oiled pan like you would a big pancake. You want a pan with a lid. Cover and cook until brown and crispy. If you want yakisoba noodles then put them on top of the pancake before you flip it so they will cook on the second side. Once both sides are browned and cooked through put it on a plate and serve it with okonmiyaki sauce and mayonnaise.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


I just found this website dedicated to Korean Food. It's awesome!! I made this Kimchi this afternoon. SOO good. I've also made the bulgogi on the website. Very good also!


Major Grey Chutney

I wanted to make the Mar-a-Lago Turkey burger that Oprah raved about but couldn't find Major Grey Chutney at any stores so I decided to make it! Definitely easier if you can find it somewhere but it was fun to make and the burgers were awesome!

Major Grey Chutney For The Mar-a-Lago Burger

Time 40 minutes Serves 12
4 cups prepared mango, about 5-6 medium
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup yellow onion, chopped coarsely
3/4 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup lime, seeded, chopped
1/2 cup gingerroot grated
1/2 cup peeled, seeded and chopped orange
1/2 cup molasses
1/4 cup peeled, seeded and chopped lemon
3 cloves garlic minced
1 tbsp. mustard seed
1 tsp dried red pepper flakes
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground allspice
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro
How to make it
Peel, pit and coarsely chop mangos. Measure 4 cups.
Fill boiling water canner with water. Place 6 clean half pint mason jars in canner over high heat.
Combine mangos, sugar, vinegar, onions, raisins, lime, gingerroot, orange, molasses, lemon, garlic, mustard seed, red pepper flakes, cinnamon, cloves and all spice in a large stainless steel or enamel saucepan, Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil gently, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes.
Place snap lids in boiling water; boil 5 minutes to soften sealing compound.
Add cilantro during the last 10 minutes of fruit-vegetable mixtures cooking time!
Ladle chutney into a hot jar to within 1/2" of top rim (head space). Remove air bubbles by sliding a rubber spatula between glass and food; readjust head space to 1/2". Wipe jar rim removing any stickiness. Center Snap Lid on jar; apply screw band just until fingertip tight. Place jar in canner. Repeat for remaining chutney!
Cover Canner; return to boil, process 10 minutes at altitudes up to 1,000 ft. Remove jars. Cool 24 hours, Check jar seals. Sealed lids curve downwards.
Store in a dark cool place!

Mar-a-Lago Pear Chutney
Recipe courtesy of Jeff O'Neill
Oprah.com | June 03, 2008 Comments (10) | Print

Recipe courtesy of Jeff O'Neill
This pear chutney topping is the key to giving the Mar-a-Lago Turkey Burger that extra zing.

Servings: Serves 6
1 Anjour pear , peeled and diced
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 1/2 cups Major Grey's Chutney
1/4 cup dried currants or raisins
Preheat oven to 350°.

Toss the diced pears with the cinnamon and salt. Bake on a parchment-lined cookie sheet for 10 minutes.

Cool and mix with the chutney and currants or raisins.

Mar-a-Lago Turkey Burger
Recipe courtesy of Jeff O'Neill
Oprah.com | June 03, 2008 Comments (58) | Print

Recipe courtesy of Jeff O'Neill
Oprah found a new favorite food when she tried this turkey burger at Mar-a-Lago, Donald Trump's private club in Palm Beach. "I believe [it] may be the best turkey burger in the entire world," she says. The Mar-a-Lago Turkey Burger will be permanently available at the Trump Bar and Grille in Trump Tower in New York City, open to the public for lunch and dinner. It will also be served during lunch in Chicago at Sixteen, the Trump International Hotel restaurant.

Servings: Serves 8
1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
3 Granny Smith apples , peeled and diced
1/8 cup canola oil
4 pounds ground turkey breast
2 Tbsp. salt
1 Tbsp. black pepper
2 tsp. Tabasco® chipotle pepper sauce
1 lemon , juiced and grated zest
1/2 bunch parsley , finely chopped
1/4 cup Major Grey's Chutney , pureed
Sauté the scallions, celery and apples in the canola oil until tender. Let cool.

Place the ground turkey in a large mixing bowl. Add sautéed items and the remaining ingredients. Shape into eight 8-ounce burgers. Refrigerate for 2 hours.

Season the turkey burgers with salt and pepper. Place on a preheated, lightly oiled grill. Grill each side for 7 minutes until meat is thoroughly cooked. Let sit for 5 minutes.

Serve with a side of Mar-a-Lago Pear Chutney and your favorite toasted bread, pita or hamburger roll.

Make your own craisins!

A little time consuming, but delish!

Homemade Craisins

1 bag cranberries
1 Cup sugar
2 Cup water
Cut cranberries in half.

Add sugar to water in a small pan and heat until sugar dissolves.

Add cut cranberries to syrup and soak for 20-30 minutes.

Drain berries and add to dehydrator.

Dehydrate until they are dry.

Beef Vindaloo and Tandori Chicken

Both great recipes! I think the tandori chicken had a little too much spice (the taste of the spices, not heat, so I will scale the spices back a little next time). I love that you don't have to marinate the chicken overnight!

Goan Beef Curry with Vinegar: Beef Vindaloo
Recipe courtesy Aarti Sequeira

Prep Time: 20 min Inactive Prep Time: -- Cook Time: 30 min
4 to 6 servings
2 pounds boneless beef top sirloin steak, trimmed of all excess fat, cut into 1-inch cubes
Wet Masala (spice blend):

1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 (1-inch) pieces cinnamon bark
6 cloves
4 peppercorns
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne, more if you're feeling feisty!
6 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
1-inch thumb fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoon canola oil
1 medium red onion, very thinly sliced
1 serrano pepper, sliced in half
Kosher salt
Serving suggestion: Cooked rice and chapatis (whole wheat griddle bread)
In a small skillet, over medium-high heat, toast the cumin seeds, cinnamon bark, cloves, and peppercorns until fragrant, about a minute or so. Pour into a spice grinder, and process until powdered.

In a small food processor or blender, combine the toasted spice mix and rest of the wet masala ingredients. Process until smooth. Place a large, preferably nonstick pot over high heat, and add oil. When the oil is shimmering, add the onions and serrano pepper. Stirring frequently, saute onions until golden brown, about 12 minutes. Cook's Note: Don't let them burn! Turn the heat down to medium-high if they're starting to burn.

Add the ground wet masala, taking care because it will sizzle wildly, and steam up your glasses if you wear them. Stir quite vigorously, and turn down heat if it's bubbling too furiously. Don't wash the food processor cup yet. Keep stirring, with short pauses, until most of the liquid has evaporated and the masala comes together as one mass, about 2 minutes. Also, you may see little droplets of oil on the perimeter of the masala. That's a good sign!

Quickly add the meat, and stir, coating the meat in the masala. Stir and cook about 5 minutes until the meat browns.

Remember that dirty food processor vessel? Fill it with 1 cup of hot water (from the tap is fine), swirl it around so it picks up any leftover masala, and pour that into the pot. Add 1 teaspoon salt, stir and bring the curry to a boil, then turn it down to a simmer. Cover and cook 30 minutes. Then cook with the lid ajar for another 15 minutes, to thicken the gravy slightly.

Check the meat at the end of the cooking time; it should be tender, and not chewy at all. Adjust salt if you like, and serve over rice over with chapatis (whole wheat griddle bread).

Tandori Chicken
from America's Test Kitchen

(2) Mixing Bowls
(1) Saute Pan
Chef Knife
Cookie Sheet or Sheet Pan
Aluminum Foil to line pan
Cooling rack or grated roasting rack


1 Whole Chicken (Cut in 10 pieces/Breast Cut in Half)
6 Garlic Cloves - minced
2 Tbsp Ginger - minced
2 tsp Cumin
2 tsp Chili Powder
2 Tbsp Garam Masala
2 Limes
1 Cup Yogurt
2 Tbsp Veg Oil
2 tsp Salt


1. Saute Pan, medium heat
2. Add veg oil - when shimmering
3. Add garlic and ginger - stir constantly to prevent burning - sweat 1 min
4. Add seasoning (cumin, chili powder, garam marsala) and bloom in pan for 1 min with garlic and ginger (stirring constantly)
5. Remove from heat - let cool in pan

1. Once cool, divide mixture between two mixing bowls.
2. To Bowl (A) add 2 Tbsp Lime Juice and 1 Cup Yogurt
3. Mix ingredients in Bowl (A)
4. In Bowl (B) add 2 T lime juice with mixture and 2 tsp salt. So both bowls get half of the mixture and 2 T lime juice. The only difference is one gets the Yogurt and the other the salt.

1. Cut Chicken into 8 pieces, then cut breast in half giving you 10. (Save wing tip and carcass for chicken stock)
2. Skin Chicken pieces except the wings (too much trouble)
3. Score one side of all pieces 1/8" deep with a sharp knife (this allows the rub to get deep in the meet AND gives you a beautiful char on the exposed areas - char equals flavor)

1. Place meat in Bowl (B) with the Salt and Rub.
2. Rub mix deep into the scored meat, coat completely
3. Marinate for 30 mins

1. Preheat oven to 325 F
2. After 30 min marinade, pour contents of Bowl (A) into Bowl (B) with the meat.
3. Work Mix into and around meat
4. Give your rack a little spray with non-stick

1. Put dark meat scored side down on rack over tray and place in oven
2. Set timer for 22 mins
3. After 10 min have elapsed, remove rack, place breasts scored side down and back into the oven.
4. Your breasts need to come to 125 F and Thighs 135 F. You may have to pull one while the other cooks. Ideally they should temp out together.

1. Once timer goes off, and your pieces have arrived at proper temp, remove, set broiler to high, flip chicken and back in oven.
2. Anywhere from 8 - 14 mins under broiler depending on broiler, oven rack height, and desired char
3. We go six inches down from broiler element and watch those things like a hawk. Great to do when the kids are occupied or asleep.

Dark meat needs to be 175 F and Breast at 160 F. Tent and rest at least 10 mins for carry-over cookery.

Muffins anyone?

I guess I had a craving for muffins last night because I made pear, banana & chocolate!! The pear were very moist, you can't taste the pear, just the cinnamon. The banana is a great recipe from my mom. The chocolate ones are really good from a new blog I just found called Your cup of cake. They aren't dense like normal muffins. They're more like a cupcake texture.

Pear Muffins
from my friend Jen's friend (I will get more info)
2 (15oz) cans sliced pears, drained and mashed. (You can also use fresh pears that you've steamed)
2/3 Cup sugar
4 Tablespoons oil (I actually used unsweetened applesauce and it worked great!)
2 Eggs
2 1/4 Cup flour (all purpose, whole wheat or I use bread flour so the puff up a bit more than normal)
2 Teaspoons cinnamon
3/4 Teaspoon baking soda
1 Teaspoon baking powder
1/4 Teaspoon salt

Mix everything together and bake at 350 for about 15 minutes (for muffins) and around 1 hour for "bread". It makes 48 mini muffins or 1 9x9 pan of quick bread.


2 c. sugar
1 c butter
1 c nuts
6 bananas(2 cups)
4 eggs well beaten
2 1/2 c flour
1 t salt
2 t soda
Cream butter, sugar and then eggs. Add mashed bananas. Add dry ingredients and do
not over mix.
Bake 350 for 45 min.

Costco-esque Chocolate Muffins

3 eggs
½ cup milk
½ cup oil
¼ cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 devil’s food cake mix
1 (3.9 oz) package instant chocolate pudding
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¾ cup sour cream
1 ½ cups semisweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line muffins tins with liners.
2. In a large bowl, lightly beat eggs.
3. Add oil, milk, water, vanilla, and beat again.
4. Stir in sour cream, and then add cake mix, pudding mix and cinnamon. Do not over mix.
5. Stir in chocolate chips and fill muffin liners 3/4 full.
6. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean OR the tops spring back.
7. Remove immediately from muffins tins and let cool for 10 minutes, then store in n airtight container. If the container steams because they are not fully cooled, don’t freak out, that just means they will not dry out.

Salade Nicoise

This salad from Melissa d'Arabian on the Food Network was filling and flavorful. I served it with fish instead of putting the tuna in the salad.

Salade Nicoise
Recipe courtesy Melissa d'Arabian

Prep Time: 20 min Inactive Prep Time: 10 min Cook Time: --
4 servings
1 head romaine lettuce, cut into bite-size pieces
4 eggs, hard-boiled
2 (5-ounce) cans good quality light tuna in oil, drained
2 green onions, chopped
1 tomato, seeded and chopped
1/2 pound green beans, blanched
2 large red potatoes, cubed and boiled
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Lemon-Olive Vinaigrette, recipe follows
On a large platter, place the romaine lettuce and top decoratively with the rest of the ingredients. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Drizzle with Lemon-Olive Vinaigrette and serve.

Lemon-Olive Vinaigrette:
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/2 teaspoon vinegar (recommended: white wine vinegar)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1/2 cup briny olives from salad bar, chopped (recommended: nicoise)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a small bowl, whisk together the mustard, lemon juice, and vinegar. Drizzle in the olive oil and whisk to create an emulsion. Add the thyme, olives, and salt and pepper, to taste. Let sit at least 10 minutes to marry the flavors.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Tikka Masala and Aloo Gobi

I love Aarti on the Food Network. I love when she makes Indian food and these recipes did not disappoint. This is the best and easiest Tikka Masala I've tried!!

Chicken in Creamy Tomato Curry: Chicken Tikka Masala
Recipe courtesy Aarti Sequeira

Prep Time: 20 min Inactive Prep Time: 30 min Cook Time: 35 min
4 to 6 servings

1 cup plain yogurt, whisked until smooth
3 tablespoons Ginger-Garlic Paste, recipe follows (or 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger and 3 cloves garlic put through a garlic press or finely minced)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, poked with a fork, and cut into large bite-sized chunks

2 teaspoons olive oil
3 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup Ginger-Garlic Paste, recipe follows (or 6 cloves garlic and 2-inch thumb ginger minced)
2 serrano peppers, minced (seeds removed if you don't want it spicy)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon garam masala
2 teaspoons paprika
8 Roma tomatoes, diced
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 to 2 cups water
Oil, for grilling
1 tablespoon dried fenugreek leaves (optional)
1/2 cup heavy cream
Minced fresh cilantro, for garnish
Cooked rice, naan, or crusty piece of bread, for serving
For the marinade: In a large bowl, mix together the marinade ingredients. Add the chicken and toss to coat. Marinate at least 30 minutes, or in the refrigerator up to overnight.

For the sauce: When you're ready to make the curry, place a large skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil and butter. When the butter has melted, add the Ginger-Garlic Paste and serrano peppers. Saute until lightly browned around the edges. Add the tomato paste and cook until the tomato has darkened in color, about 3 minutes. Add the garam masala and the paprika and saute for about 1 minute to draw out their flavors.

Add the tomatoes, salt, and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer, and cook until thickened, about 20 minutes. You may need more water depending on how much liquid the tomatoes give off.

Meanwhile, fire up your grill. When it is nice and hot, lightly brush it with oil. Place the chicken on the grill, shaking off some of the excess marinade. Cook until it's charred, about 2 minutes on each side. (Don't worry that the chicken will still be a little uncooked, it finishes cooking in the sauce).

Pour the sauce into a blender or food processor, or use an immersion blender, and process until smooth. Pour back into the skillet and bring back up to a boil. Add the chicken and fenugreek leaves, if using. Take the heat down to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes. Add the cream and stir through. Garnish with minced fresh cilantro, and serve over rice, with naan, or a crusty piece of bread!

Ginger-Garlic Paste:
1/2 cup cloves garlic, whole
1/2 cup fresh ginger, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch slices
1/4 cup canola oil
Throw the garlic, ginger, and canola oil in a mini-food processor and let it go until it forms a semi-smooth paste. There will still be tiny little pieces in there, but overall, it should resemble a paste.

Save what you don't use in a small glass jar. It should last in the fridge for 2 to 3 weeks. It's a delicious addition to marinades, pasta sauces, stir fry sauces, slow-cooker recipes, gravy etc. We always had a jar of this stuff in our fridge growing up.

Cauliflower and Potatoes: "Aloo Gobi"
Recipe courtesy Aarti Sequeira

Prep Time: 20 min Inactive Prep Time: -- Cook Time: 25 min
4 to 6 servings
2 tablespoons Ginger-Garlic Paste, recipe follows, or 2 teaspoons grated ginger
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 cup water, divided
2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 large serrano pepper, split down the middle leaving halves attached
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 small head cauliflower, cut into small florets
1 russet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (similar size to cauliflower)
Kosher salt
2 tablespoons freshly minced cilantro leaves, to garnish
Mix the Ginger-Garlic Paste, coriander, turmeric, and 1/2 cup water in a small bowl. This is a simple wet masala (spice mix). Set aside.

In a large pot, warm the oil over medium-high heat until shimmering but not smoking. Add the serrano pepper, wait 30 seconds, and then add the cumin seeds and wait until they're done spluttering.

Add the wet masala (careful, it will also splutter). Cook until the paste thickens, deepens in color slightly, and oil oozes out of the perimeter of the masala, about 2 minutes.

Add the cauliflower and potatoes, stirring to coat the vegetables with the masala. Season with salt and add 1/2 cup water. Cover and cook over medium heat 10 to 15 minutes. Then, remove the lid, stir, and cook until the cauliflower and potatoes are cooked through, about 5 minutes. Garnish with cilantro and serve.

Ginger-Garlic Paste:
1/2 cup cloves garlic, whole
1/2 cup fresh ginger, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch slices
1/4 cup canola oil
Throw the garlic, ginger, and canola oil in a mini-food processor and let it go until it forms a semi-smooth paste. There will still be tiny little pieces in there, but overall, it should resemble a paste.

Save what you don't use in a small glass jar. It should last in the fridge for 2 to 3 weeks. It's a delicious addition to marinades, pasta sauces, stir fry sauces, slow-cooker recipes, gravy etc. We always had a jar of this stuff in our fridge growing up.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Outrageous Brownies

The brownies are amazing!!

Outrageous Brownies
Ina Garten

1 pound unsalted butter
1 pound plus 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips, divided
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate
6 extra-large eggs
3 tablespoons instant coffee powder (I don't use)
2 tablespoons real vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided (1 cup for batter and 1/4 cup in the chips and nuts)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 cups diced walnut pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 13 by 18 by 1 1/2-inch sheet pan.
Melt together the butter, 1 pound chocolate chips, and unsweetened chocolate on top of a double boiler. Cool slightly. Stir together the eggs, instant coffee, vanilla and sugar. Stir in the warm chocolate mixture and cool to room temperature.

Stir together 1 cup of the flour, baking powder and salt. Add to cooled chocolate mixture. Toss the walnuts and 12 ounces of chocolate chips with 1/4 cup flour to coat. Then add to the chocolate batter. Pour into prepared pan.

Bake for about 30 minutes, or until tester just comes out clean. Halfway through the baking, rap the pan against the oven shelf to allow air to escape from between the pan and the brownie dough. Do not over-bake! Cool thoroughly, refrigerate well and cut into squares.

Ai's Katdu-don and Miso Soup

My friend Ai taught me how to make pork katsu-don and miso soup a couple of weeks ago. It was SOOOO good!!

Ai’s Pork Katsu-don

Boneless Pork chops
Panko breadcrumbs
1 egg + ½ T vegetable oil per egg (you will need however many eggs you need to cover however many chops you’re making)
Salt & pepper
Oil, for frying
1. Lightly tenderize both sides of the chops then squish them back into form on a cutting board and set aside.

2. Wisk the amount of eggs and oil you need in a medium bowl (the oil helps the panko stay on the chops).

3. Line a cookie sheet with the panko crumbs and set aside.

4. Salt and pepper the pork.

5. Sprinkle flour on both sides of the chops.

6. Take each chop and put it in the egg mixture and then place them on top of the panko crumbs on the cookie sheet. Once the cookie sheet is filled or you’ve finished putting the egg on each chop sprinkle the chops with panko and press down so both sides are covered in panko.

7. Put the chops aside until you’re ready to fry, then fry until golden.

Sauce (per person):
¼ small onion, sliced thin
50 mls water (just shy of a ¼ c)
1 T soy sauce
1 T mirin
1 ½ t sugar
1 t dashi (like a fish bouillon)
1 egg (per person)
1. Saute the onion in about a T of vegetable oil until softened.

2. Add the water and dashi, let simmer for about 5 minutes.

3. Add soy, mirin and sugar, taste (should be strong taste since you will add egg that will make it less strong), let simmer.

4. Right before you’re going to serve it lightly beat as many eggs as you have people eating and put the eggs into the sauce ½ at a time. When you put the second half of the eggs in put the lid on and cook just for a minute until the eggs are just done.

ASSEMBLY: You can either put the fried chops into the sauce and then put it over rice if you like the pork soft. If you like the pork crispy then put rice on the plate, then sauce over the rice and the pork on top.

Ai’s Miso Soup
Any vegetables you want, cut thin (dikon, pumpkin, carrot, etc)
(Per person)
1 c water
1-2 T miso (red, white or Koji (Ai’s favorite, it has rice in it)
½ t dashi (it's a fish bouillon base you can get at Japanese markets)
Silken tofu (cut into small cubes)
Green onion (sliced small)
1. Put the water and dashi in a pot at medium heat.

2. Once the water is hot add the vegetables and simmer until soft.

3. Put the amount of miso you need in a large ladle. Put a little of the dashi broth in the ladle with the miso and stir a small amount of the miso into the broth in the ladle. When the miso is mixed into the broth pour that part into the rest of the broth and vegetables and continue the same process until all the miso is in the pot.

4. Add the tofu and green onions (you can also wait to serve until you add the green onions).

IMPORTANT: Don’t boil the miso!! Just heat until hot.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Ai's Sukiyaki

My friend Ai taught me how to make Sukiyaki a couple of weeks ago. We had so much fun and it was delicious!! Sukiyaki is a Japanese dish that you cook in a hot pot on the stove and then transfer it to the table and put it on a hot plate to keep it hot. Everyone eats out of the communal pot. Each person has a plate of rice to eat their sukiyaki with.

Ai’s Sukiyaki

Prep Work (use as much vegetables as you want)
4 lg carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch by 3 inch long pieces
4 c dicon, peeled and cut into 1 inch by 3 inch long pieces
3 lg yellow onions, cut into strips
Boil the vegetables until just starting to soften, then drain.

8 lg shitake mushrooms, sliced
3 Japanese green onions, sliced on the diagonal in 2-3 inch slices
Enoki mushrooms (straw mushrooms), washed
1 medium head of Napa Cabbage, cut into chunks
Shinjuku (chrysanthemum leaves, herb that looks like parsley), wash, cut hard stems off and roughly chop
Shiratake Noodles, rinse and cut them
Broiled Tofu, rinse and cut the block into 4 strips by 3 strip chunks

1 c Mirin (Japanese sweet cooking seasoning)
1 c Soy Sauce
¾ c sugar (If using Japanese sugar then use 1 c)
Mix until sugar is dissolved

Put 1 T oil in the bottom of the pot. Cook about half the meat. Take out some of the excess oil with a paper towel. Add half the sauce to the meat. Add all the other ingredients into the pot by placing each of them in their own little section of the pot. Don’t put the siratake noodles next to the meat, it will make the meat tough. Put the lid on and steam until all the veggies are softened. Serve with rice.

Chex Mix Arare

I made this Chex Mix Arare a couple of weeks ago. It was a really fun twist on regular chex mix. I loved it. Some people that tried it loved it & others just thought it was ok. Arare can be an acquired taste. You can get furikake at any Japanese market. It a mixture of seaweed, sesame seeds & all other kinds of flavorings that you sprinkle over rice.

Chex Mix Arare
Adapted from Erin’s (Food For Thought) recipe

Makes about 14 cups of snack mix

Recipe Notes: You can use whatever cereals or snacks that you love in your Chex Mix. Just make sure you use a total of 13 cups! I used a combination of cashews and peanuts, but again, use a total of 1 cup of whatever nuts you love.

1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 cup granulated sugar
7 cups Crispix rice cereal
3 cups Honeycomb cereal
3 cups Bugles
1/2 cup salted roasted cashew pieces
1/2 cup salted roasted peanuts
1/4 cup nori komi furikake

1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Place the oil, butter, corn syrup, soy sauce, and sugar in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium-low heat until the butter melts and sugar dissolves.

3. Pour the Crispix, Honeycomb, Bugles, and nuts into a large baking pan. Drizzle ¼ of the syrup over the cereal mix and mix well. Sprinkle ¼ of the furikake over the mix. Continue adding syrup and furikake and mixing until all ingredients have been added and the cereal mix is evenly coated.

4. Bake for 1 hour, stirring the chex mix every 15 minutes. Spread on paper towels to cool, about 15 minutes. Store in an airtight container.

Baked Spinach & Halibut from Jessica Seinfeld


I've been wanting to try this baked halibut from Jessica Seinfeld for a long time & I finally made it this week. It was really really good! It was super easy too. I think next time I will use more spinach because mine got a little dry and crispy. Also, I had to cook it for double the time she says to get it cooked through. I will definitely be making this again!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Thai Honey Peanut Chicken

This Thai Honey Peanut Chicken from Tasty Kitchen is really good and really easy. I added some veggies. I think next time I will cook the chicken as is and have the steamed veggies on the side.

Thai Honey Peanut Chicken

1 pound Chicken, In Chunks
¼ cups Soy Sauce
2 Tablespoons Honey
1 Tablespoon Lime Juice
1 teaspoon Minced Garlic (approximately 1 Large Clove)
1 Tablespoon Natural Peanut Butter (heaping Tablespoon Even Better)
½ teaspoons Curry Powder
1 teaspoon Sriracha (optional)
Preparation Instructions
Mix ingredients and marinate chicken for 2-3 hours.
Cook chicken in the sauce over medium-high heat for 7-8 minutes or until chicken is done. Reduce heat to medium-low and add precooked veggies if desired. Serve topped with sesame seeds.
To thicken sauce if needed: reduce heat to medium-low and add a cornstarch slurry (1 teaspoon cornstarch in 1 tablespoon water).
Substitutions: replace chicken with tofu; replace peanut butter with tahini or another nut butter; if using regular peanut butter (i.e. Skippy) instead of natural peanut butter, reduce honey by 1 tablespoon.

Buttermilk Syrup

This Buttermilk Syrup from allrecipes.com is really good. It's super sweet so a little goes a long way. It's really good on ice cream too. You really need to let it cook until it's a nice golden/amber color before adding the vanilla.

Buttermilk Syrup

1 1/2 cups white sugar
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup butter
2 tablespoons corn syrup
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1. In a saucepan, stir together the sugar, buttermilk, butter, corn syrup, and baking soda. Bring to a boil, and cook for 7 minutes. Remove from the heat, and stir in the vanilla.

Mongolian Beef

This Mongolian beef from Home Based Mom's blog is so so so good! & super easy. I added some carrots and broccoli when I made it.

Mongolian Beef

1 lb top round steak or flank steak, cut thinly on the cross grain

1/4 C cornstarch

3 tsp vegetable oil

1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger or minced ginger

1 Tbsp minced garlic

1/2 C water

1/2 C soy sauce (I used low sodium)

1/2 C brown sugar

2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar

3 green onions, sliced into 2-3″ pieces

oil for frying

Dry off meat with a paper towel and slice into 1/4″ thick slices against the grain. Add to a bowl with the cornstarch and coat thoroughly.

Add 1 1/2 tsp oil to a wok or large frying pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and ginger, stir until fragrant. Add soy sauce, water, rice vinegar and brown sugar. Cook for about 2 minutes and remove from pan.

Add remaining 1 1/2 tsp oil to pan over high heat. Add the meat and cook until brown on all sides and slightly crispy. Pour sauce back into pan over meat. Add green onions, stir and remove from heat. Serve with rice. EnJOY!

Awesome Granola!

My sister-in-law Holley has gotten me addicted to this granola recipe from Alton Brown. It's the best granola I've ever had! She doesn't add the cashews or raisins and I don't either. Instead of maple syrup sometimes I use half agave nectar and half honey & it's really good that way too.

Recipe courtesy Alton Brown

Prep Time: 10 min Inactive Prep Time: -- Cook Time: 1 hr 15 min
6 servings
3 cups rolled oats
1 cup slivered almonds
1 cup cashews
3/4 cup shredded sweet coconut
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup raisins
Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.

In a large bowl, combine the oats, nuts, coconut, and brown sugar.

In a separate bowl, combine maple syrup, oil, and salt. Combine both mixtures and pour onto 2 sheet pans. Cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes to achieve an even color.

Remove from oven and transfer into a large bowl. Add raisins and mix until evenly distributed.

Gingerbread Muffins

These gingerbread muffins are SOO good! My kids keep asking me to make more & more.

Gingerbread Mini-muffins
Adapted from the Bed and Breakfast Cookbook by Pamela Lanier
Of course you could make these as normal sized muffins or even a whole loaf, but that’s just not as fun!
1 cup of dark brown sugar
2 1/2 cups of flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 egg
1/2 cup of molasses
1 cup buttermilk*
1/2 cup of melted butter
* If you don’t have buttermilk (I almost never do), just add 1 tbsp. of white vinegar to a cup of regular milk and let sit out for about 10 minutes.
The Process:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F). Spray/butter muffin tins.
2. Combine sugar, flour, soda, salt and spices in a bowl.
3. In a separate bowl mix the egg, molasses, milk, and butter.
4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until just blended.
5. Add to muffin tins (about 3/4 full, these muffins don’t rise too much, so you don’t have to worry about them overflowing) and bake for 15 minutes. If making normal sized muffins, it’ll be more like 20 minutes. Muffins are done when a toothpick comes out clean.


Friday, January 21, 2011

Parker House Rolls

The first time I made these rolls from Alex Guarnaschelli they were really dry. The second time I made them they were heaven! It's also a really good dough for cinnamon rolls. The second time I made them I put the dough on a very lightly floured surface after it was done rising and I didn't put any flour on the top of the dough. The dough didn't stick at all. It was perfect.

Parker House Rolls
Recipe courtesy Alex Guarnaschelli for Food Network Magazine

24 rolls

1 1/4-ounce packet active dry yeast
1/2 cup sugar
7 1/2 to 8 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus softened butter for brushing
2 cups whole milk, at room temperature
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling
Bloom the yeast.

Measure out 1/2 cup warm water and check the temperature: It should be between 110 degrees F and 120 degrees F (comfortable bathwater temperature). Sprinkle the yeast into a large bowl, add the warm water and whisk in the sugar. Let sit 1 minute (it should bubble and froth slightly), then gently stir in 1 cup flour. Set aside near the stove while you prepare the dough.

Make the dough.

Mix the melted butter and milk in a mixer with the hook attachment on low speed. Add the eggs and mix until blended. Scrape in the yeast mixture and mix until incorporated. Add 6 1/2 cups flour and 1 tablespoon salt; mix until the dough forms a ball, 2 to 3 minutes, adding up to 1/2 cup more flour if the dough is too wet and sticky.

Let it rise.

Brush a large bowl with softened butter. Transfer the dough to the bowl, cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place, 2 hours to 2 hours, 30 minutes. The dough should double in volume.

Shape the dough.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Dust a clean flat surface with flour and turn the dough out onto it. Flour your hands; gently press the dough into a 16-by-8-inch rectangle, about 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick (don't use a rolling pin).

Cut the dough.

With the short side in front of you, cut the dough in half lengthwise with a floured knife. Then slice crosswise into 12 strips.

Shape the dough.

One at a time, fold each strip of dough unevenly in half so the top part slightly overlaps the bottom half, then tuck the overhang underneath. Place the rolls seam-side down on the prepared baking sheet in 3 tightly packed rows. (If making in advance, wrap the baking sheet tightly in plastic wrap and freeze up to 3 weeks.)

Bake the rolls.

Bake until the rolls are bursting at the seams and golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes. (If frozen, bake 25 minutes at 325 degrees F, then 10 minutes at 375 degrees F.) Remove from the oven and brush with softened butter. Sprinkle with salt and serve immediately.