Monday, December 27, 2010

Peanut Butter Pretzel Chocolate Chip Cookies

MMMMmmmmm these turned out SOOOO good! I mean, who doesn't love peanut butter and chocolate? But then you throw the pretzel in there too??? Wow wow wee wow. Divine. A new favorite for me. Recipe off

Peanut Butter Pretzel Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • 1 cup Butter, Softened
  • 1 cup Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 2 whole Eggs
  • 3 cups Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1-¾ cup Crushed Pretzel Pieces
  • 11-½ ounces, weight Milk Chocolate Chips

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Beat butter, peanut butter and sugars until creamed.

Add vanilla and eggs and mix well.

Add flour, baking powder and baking soda and mix.

Finally add crushed pretzel pieces and chocolate chips, mix until combined.

Using a small ice-cream scoop, place cookie dough on parchment paper on cookie sheets, making sure they are 2 inches apart from each other.

Bake in a 350°F for 10 minutes.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Soup Nazi's Indian Mulligatawny Soup

I got this recipe off of years ago after watching a Seinfeld episode due to curiosity. I wanted a soup that was SO good, good enough to be guarded by the Soup Nazi. And verdict is yes, this is probably the best soup I've ever made. Lost track of the recipe until this week and HAD to make it again. Unfortunately, I forgot about the stove time for reduction and was up until 3am letting it simmer away to perfection. It is so worth the chopping, stirring, and waiting. But even though you use over 5 quarts of liquid, it reduces down to less than half that, forming a chili consistency. Next time I'll be doubling this; make sure you have a HUGE pot though! And don't forget the crackers on top!

Indian Mulligatawny Soup

4 quarts water (16 cups)
6 cups chicken stock
2 potatoes, peeled and sliced
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 stalks celery, with tops
2 cups peeled and diced eggplant
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup frozen yellow corn
2/3 cup canned or jarred roasted red pepper, diced
1/2 c tomato sauce
1/2 cup shelled pistachios
1/2 c roasted cashews
1/2 c chopped fresh Italian parsley
1/4 c lemon juice
1/4 c butter
3 T sugar
1/2 t curry powder
1/2 t pepper
1/4 t thyme
1 bay leaf
dash marjoram
dash nutmeg

Combine all ingredients in a large pot over high heat. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer about 5 hours or until soup has reduced by more than half, and is thick and brownish in color. It should have the consistency of chili. Stir occasionally for the first few hours, but stir often in the last hour. The salt in the stock should be enough for the recipe, but if you use low sodium stock, you may find you need to add some extra.

Monday, December 20, 2010

The most amazing Chocolate Chip Cookies ever

This recipe is from one of my college roommates. Her mom used to make these huge, 5" cookies that looked like they came from a bakery. Even though I had the recipe for years, it took me a looong time to realize the secret was in the touch of the dough, rather than getting the ingredients straight. I also found out the value in beating the dough after the eggs are added for a full 10 minutes. Since it's the holidays, I used mint M&M's instead of the standard milk chocolate chips. Really you can add any type of candy or "chip" to the dough and it'll come out great. So back to the texture of the dough...the recipe calls for 2-3 cups of flour. You want to add flour *just* until the dough can be touched without stickiness. And never over beat these following the flour! When you pull them out of the oven, they should not look quite done. You should see the bottom edges beginning to turn brown but the tops fairly light.

Julie's Chocolate Chip Cookies

Preheat oven to 350'
Combine 1 c brown sugar, 1 c white sugar, and 1 c shortening.
Beat well for 2 minutes.
Then, add:
-2 eggs
-1 tsp baking powder
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-1 tsp salt
Beat well for 10 minutes. Add 2-3 cups flour (depending on size of eggs). Add slowly and then combine 1 c chocolate chips.
Bake cookies on parchment paper for 8 minutes.

Peppermint Scones

Last week I spotted a cast iron scone pan at the Nugget and thought, wow, this would be sooo much easier than rolling and cutting. After I mastered the thickness and cooking time, they were all perfectly uniform! To put equal amounts in each triangle compartment of the tray, I used a mini ice-cream scooper and pressed the dough down into the corners. I used the Pioneer Woman's recipe for her Petite Vanilla Bean scones, which I've made before, but added the peppermint extract and sprinkles on top.

Peppermint Scones
  • 3 cups All-purpose Flour
  • ⅔ cups Sugar
  • 5 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • ¼ teaspoons Salt
  • 2 sticks (1/2 Pound) UNSALTED Butter, Chilled
  • 1 whole Large Egg
  • ¾ cups Heavy Cream (more If Needed)
  • 2 whole Vanilla Beans (or 2 tsp of vanilla paste, try Nielsen-Massey)
  • 1 tsp Peppermint Extract
  • 3 cups Powdered Sugar, Sifted
  • ½ cups Whole Milk
  • 1/2 Vanilla Bean (or 1/2 tsp paste)
  • 1/2 tsp peppermint extract
  • Dash Of Salt

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Split the vanilla beans down the middle lengthwise and scrape out all the vanilla “caviar” inside. Stir caviar into cream. Set aside for 15 minutes.

Sift together flour, 2/3 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt.
Cut cold butter into pats, then use a pastry cutter or two knives to cut the butter into the flour. Keep going until mixture resembles crumbs.

Mix vanilla cream with egg, then combine with flour mixture; stir gently with a fork just until it comes together.

Turn dough onto a floured surface and lightly press it together until it forms a rough rectangle. (Mixture will be pretty crumbly.) Use a rolling pin to roll into a rectangle about 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch thick. Use your hands to help with the forming if necessary.

Use a knife to trim into a symmetrical rectangle, then cut the rectangle into 12 symmetrical squares/rectangles. Next, cut each square/rectangle in half diagonally, to form two triangles.

Transfer to a parchment or baking mat-lined cookie sheet and bake for 18 minutes, removing from the oven just before they start to turn golden. Allow to cool for 15 minutes on the cookie sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.


To make the icing, split one vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape out the caviar. Stir caviar into milk; allow to sit for awhile. Mix powdered sugar with the vanilla milk, adding more powdered sugar or milk if necessary to get the consistency the right thickness. Stir or whisk until completely smooth.

One at a time, carefully dunk each cooled scone in the glaze, turning it over if necessary. Transfer to parchment paper or the cooling rack. Allow the glaze to set completely, about an hour. Scones will keep several days if glazed.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Red Velvet Cupcakes

I have been looking for the longest time for a red velvet recipe to match my grandmother's. My mom has been helping me on this quest and recently sent me a couple takes on the cake. This particular one was cut out of the newspaper and is from Miami pastry chef Keith Freiman of Philippe Miami restaurant. What's different about this version is the "whisper of orange flavor" in the cream cheese frosting. It turned out pretty good. I think next time I may add another tablespoon of the cocoa powder to enrich the chocolately-ness.

I also was watching food network the other night and saw a show on specialty bakeries. This one cupcake shop (I think in New York) presented their cakes in parchment wraps. They looked so cool, piled high with toppings. I tried the technique instead of standard wrappers on a dozen and it was fairly easy. It also eliminated the overflow factor. Will definitely try this again on other cakes and hope to add some height to the toppings.

Red Velvet Cake

1/2 c butter, softened
1 1/2 c granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 T red food coloring (I used more to deepen the red)
1 t white vinegar
1 t vanilla
2 1/4 c cake flour
2 T unsweetened cocoa powder
1 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 c buttermilk

3 (8 oz.) packages of cream cheese
1 1/4 c powdered sugar
1 T orange juice
1/2 T vanilla
1/4 c butter, melted and cooled

Preheat oven to 350'
In an electric mixer, beat softened butter and granulated sugar 5 minutes or until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, food coloring, vinegar, and 1 t vanilla.

Sift flour with cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add about a third of the flour mixture and half of the buttermilk to the batter. Mix lightly. Repeat with remaining flour mix and buttermilk.

Pour cake batter into cupcake tins using an ice-cream scooper (may need a little less than a scoop to prevent overflow). Bake 20 minutes or until a cake tester comes clean. Let cool completely.

Frosting: Combine cream cheese, powdered sugar, oj and 1/2 T vanilla in a mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Beat in melted butter until combined. Scoop into a decorating gun and pipe onto cupcakes.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Decided to make some homemade pizza last night. Not the deep dish type, but the thin crispy crust, petite little ones served up on a wooden platter for appetizers. So I figured the crust would be the hardest part. Dough is often my difficulty. You never know where that "warm" place is in the house to let it rise or even after it rises, will it deflate? I found "My Favorite Pizza" recipe on the Pioneer Woman's website and although it called for yeast, there was no period to allow for rising. Score! After mixing the dough in my KitchenAid mixer, I followed the directions and placed it in the fridge, covered. The recipe said you could allow it to sit up to 4 days before use; I had a couple hours. When I was ready to roll out the crust, I pulled the glass bowl out of the fridge only to realize the explosion of dough which had occurred! It had doubled in size and was pushing out the plastic cover! Pizza stones were preheated and a little cornmeal tossed underneath the rolled out crust. After a lot of extra flour for rolling, the doubled batch made six 9-10" pizzas. Toppings were:

-Hawaiian (pineapple, Canadian bacon, Roma tomatoes, red pizza sauce) and fresh mozzarella
-ground beef, sauteed Cremini mushrooms, Roma tomatoes, red sauce, mozzarella
-Margherita (fresh basil, sliced tomatoes, olive oil wash, mozzarella)
-and my favorite!--sliced pear, pancetta, fig spread, shaved parmesan, pepper, olive oil wash

I could not get enough of the fig, pear, and pancetta pizza; luckily made two of those. I found the fig spread (like a jelly) at the Nugget in the specialty cheese section. The fresh Mozzarella made a difference too, melted and browned nicely.

The Pioneer Woman's pizza dough

  • 1 teaspoon Active Dry Or Instant Yeast
  • 4 cups All-purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • ⅓ cups Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Sprinkle yeast over 1 1/2 cups warm water.

In a mixer, combine flour and salt. With the mixer running on low speed (with paddle attachment), drizzle in olive oil until combined with flour. Next, pour in yeast/water mixture and mix until just combined.

Coat a separate mixing bowl with a light drizzle of olive oil, and form the dough into a ball. Toss to coat dough in olive oil, then cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and store in the fridge until you need it. ***It’s best to make the dough at least 24 hours in advance, and 3 or 4 days is even better.

Preheat oven to 500 degrees.

Drizzle olive oil on a large baking sheet (or flour) and use fingers to coat thoroughly. Remove HALF the pizza dough from the bowl. Stretch pizza dough into a large rectangle, pressing with fingers to finish forming. Dough will be very thin. Top with toppings and cheese and bake about 9 minutes or until crust is browned.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Made this recipe a couple years ago and then lost it! But alas, after repeated searching, I came across it again in my Cooking Light- Slow Cooker cookbook. I've never used a crockpot to make it, but rather let it simmer for 30-60 minutes on the stovetop. It's a Cuban dish that is served alongside rice. Apparently in Mexico it's served with flour tortillas. Your choice! There's a laundry list of ingredients, but all the chopping is worth it!


2 lbs. ground round
1 1/2 c chopped green bell pepper
1 c chopped onion
1 c sliced green onions
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 (14 oz.) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (8 oz. ) can tomato sauce
1/3 c chopped pitted dates
1/3 c chopped dried apricots
1/4 c sliced pimiento-stuffed olives
1 T ground cumin
1 t ground cinnamon
1/2 t salt
1/2 t dried oregano
1/4 t ground red pepper
1/4 t black pepper
1/2 - 1 t red pepper flakes (I added this for a little heat)
1/4 c slivered almonds, toasted (I eliminated this just because I don't like them in a hot dish)

Cook meat, bell pepper, onion, green onions, and garlic in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until meat is browned, stirring to crumble meat. Drain well.

Add diced tomatoes and next 11 ingredients (through red pepper flakes). Stir well and cover with lid. Allow to simmer 30-60 minutes OR you can put it in a crockpot for 3 hours on high. Stir in almonds at this point if you like them and serve over rice.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Caramel Apple Cupcakes

Whipped these up last night in the wee hours. Had everything on hand so made it easy. It called for heavy cream to mix in the caramel topping, but I only had cinnamon vanilla creme creamer on hand. Substituted that since I figured the flavors would go nice and it worked out well! Recipe off

  • 1-¼ cup Flour
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • ½ teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoons Salt
  • 2 whole Eggs At Room Temperature
  • ½ cups Light Brown Sugar, Packed
  • ½ cups Sugar
  • ½ cups Vegetable Oil
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 2 whole Rome Apples, Peeled And Shredded
  • 1-½ cup Caramels
  • 1 Tablespoon Heavy Cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cupcake pan with baking liners. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. In a medium bowl whisk together the eggs, brown sugar, and sugar until smooth. Whisk in the oil and vanilla. Stir into the flour mixture until just combined; stir in the apples.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan until almost full. Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry, 25-30 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.

In a small, microwavable bowl, combine the caramels and cream. Microwave for 1 minute at medium power, then stir; repeat in 30-second intervals until melted and smooth. Let cool. Spread frosting generously on the cooled cupcakes.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Knowing Thanksgiving would be a work day, I decided to prepare everything ahead of time. It worked out nice because this morning all I had to do was sleep in and heat everything up. Only thing I cut corners on was the stuffing. I don't really like stuffing cooked in the bird and besides, I only made a turkey breast. Having run out of time to make the bread and then chop it up and dry it out, I opted for the Pepperidge Farm stuff. Everything else was from scratch though! On the menu was: turkey, green beans with toasted bread crumbs, glazed carrots, the best mashed potatoes ever!, cranberry sauce, beer bread, stuffing, and pecan pie. Voila!

The turkey breast I placed in a baking dish with carrots, celery, and onions. I drizzled some truffle and porcini mushroom oil over the breast to keep it moist and add an interesting flavor. Seasoned it then with salt, pepper, and parsley flakes and topped a few pats of butter on top. It took a couple hours to bake in foil and then the last half hour I opened it up to brown the top.

The mashed potatoes turned out amazing. They were definitely my favorite part of the meal. When I make potatoes, there's no real measurements I follow - just keep adding more til it tastes right! I boiled about 12 medium size Yukon gold potatoes after peeling them. Once they were cooked through, I drained and mashed them. I think I ended up adding about 2 sticks of butter (maybe a little more), 2 packs of cream cheese, salt, and milk to get the right consistency.

My mom always made the best green beans with browned bread crumbs on top, never the green bean casserole, so that's what I stuck to. I toasted two slices of bread, grated them, and then browned them in a saucepan with butter. After steaming the green beans and tossing them with butter and salt, the crumbs were sprinkled on top.

I LOVE real cranberry sauce. None of this canned tube stuff. Cranberry sauce is not supposed to be sliced! Got this recipe off of

Cranberry Sauce

1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 c water
1 1/2 T honey
1/8 t allspice
1 (12 oz.) package fresh cranberries
1 cinnamon stick

Combine all ingredients in saucepan over med.-high heat; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 12 minutes or until slightly thickened. Discard cinnamon stick and allow to cool.

Glazed carrot recipe turned out ok, but not ideal. I really need to get my mom's recipe, but keep forgetting. This one I found on

Glazed Carrots
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 4 cups carrots
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Melt margarine in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat; add sugar, stirring until melted. Add carrots, salt, and pepper and cook 10 minutes, or until carrots are crisp-tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Stir in parsley.

The beer bread was delicious as always. I can't remember where I pulled the recipe from since it was so long ago, but if I had to guess, probably It's so easy to throw together too and the yeast is in the beer!

Beer Bread

3 c flour
1 1/2 t baking powder
1 1/2 t salt
1/2 c sugar
12 oz. beer
2 T melted butter

Preheat oven to 375'F. Combine all ingredients except for the butter and pour into a greased baking dish. The mix should be sticky. Bake for 55 minutes. The last 3 minutes, brush the top of the loaf with butter and return to the oven. If you have self-rising flour, the baking powder and salt can be eliminated.

The pecan pie recipe I developed after mixing and matching several online recipes. I also threw in a couple handfuls of semi sweet chocolate chips this time. The crust is my standard crust from "Favorite Brand Name Cookbook". I use it ALL the time.

Single Crust
1 1/3 c all purpose flour
1/2 t salt
1/2 c Crisco shortening
3 T cold water

Combine dry ingredients in a bowl and cut in the crisco with a pastry blender or 2 knives. Sprinkle with cold water, 1 T at a time until the dough forms. Roll out the dough and press into a greased pie plate. Fold the edges under and crimp, trimming off any excess.

Pecan Pie Filling
1 stick butter
1 c sugar
2/3 c dark Karo syrup
1/3 c light Karo syrup
3 eggs beaten
1 c chopped pecans, toasted
pinch of salt
1 t vanilla

Preheat oven to 350'F. In a saucepan, melt butter but don't let it brown. Mix in the sugar and corn syrups and cook, stirring over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Whisk in the salt, vanilla, and eggs AFTER the mix is cooled to lukewarm temperature. Stir in the pecans and pour into the pie shell. Chocolate chips can be sprinkled on top if desired. Bake for 1 hour or until firm in the center.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Pumpkin Spice Donut Muffins

Made a batch of these tonight and probably should've tripled it. Seriously so good. Not good FOR you, but worth the calories. At least they're not deep fried. Tasted like a cakey pumpkin donut. Will be making more of these in the near future. Recipe off

Pumpkin Spice Donut Muffins
  • 3-½ cups All-purpose Flour
  • 4 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • ½ teaspoons Baking Soda
  • ½ teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoons Ground Nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoons Ground Ginger
  • ⅛ teaspoons Ground Cloves
  • ⅔ cups Crisco Shortening
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 2 whole Eggs
  • 1 cup Canned Pumpkin (plain, No Sugar Or Spices Added)
  • ½ cups Plus 1 Tablespoon Buttermilk (see Note)
  • _____
  • 2 sticks Butter
  • 1-½ cup Sugar
  • 3 teaspoons Ground Cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Get out your muffin tins – this recipe makes 18 standard sized muffins.

1. In large bowl or mixing cup combine dry ingredients (except the sugar).
2. In a separate bowl mix Crisco, sugar and eggs.
3. Add pumpkin to the sugar mixture.
4. Alternate adding dry ingredients and buttermilk into the pumpkin/sugar mixture. Mix well. Scrape down sides of the bowl often. Mix for 3 minutes.
5. Grease muffin tins with non-stick cooking spray. Fill tins 2/3 full with muffin batter. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
6. While the muffins are baking, Melt the 2 sticks of butter in a container. While that is melting, mix the 1 1/2 cup of sugar with the 3 teaspoons of cinnamon in a separate container. Place a clean cookie sheet beside these two containers.
8. As soon as you remove muffins from oven tip out onto the cookie sheet adjacent to the butter and sugar containers. Let muffins cool just long enough to be able to handle them, around 30 seconds. Dip warm muffins in butter, coat completely. Directly from butter dredge muffins in cinnamon sugar. Make sure muffins are completely covered with sugar mixture.

NOTE: If you do not have buttermilk on hand you can add 1 tablespoon of vinegar to just under 1 cup of milk to make 1 cup of buttermilk. Or, you can use the powdered buttermilk and reconstitute it with water. Most people don't keep buttermilk on hand and this is an easy way that won't spoil for months.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Probably the best Brownies ever.

I took this recipe off and then totally revamped it. Probably have made these 4 times in a couple months. They just turn out so flaky and delicious.

Best Brownies. ever.

  • ½ cups Oil
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 2 whole Eggs
  • ½ cups Flour
  • ⅓ cups Cocoa powder
  • ¼ teaspoons Baking Powder
  • ¼ teaspoons Salt
  • 1 cup Chopped Pecans
  • 1 cup Semi-sweet Chocolate chips
  • 1/2 jar prepared caramel sauce

This recipe is for a greased 9-inch square pan. I like to double this and pour into a 10" x 13.5" glass pan.

In a medium bowl, blend together the oil, sugar and vanilla. Add beaten eggs and mix well with a spoon. Mix together the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Stir into the liquid ingredients. Stir well, but don’t overmix. Fold in the cup of chocolate chips.

Pour mix into pan and bake at 350 degrees for 26-28 minutes (for a 10" x 13.5" pan). It is easy to overbake these and the edges get crispy and they tend to be a little dry. So underbaking is better. Let cool completely and then sprinkle pecans on top. If you prefer them in the brownie, they can be mixed in with the chocolate chips. Drizzle half a container of prepared caramel sauce over the top. Refrigerate and slice.

Caramel Chocolate Pretzel Bars

So these didn't turn out to be the prettiest looking things, but I couldn't stop eating them. I thought they turned out taste-wise, to definitely be a top 5 on the "bars" chart. Pretzel crust?! With chocolate and caramel on top?! Yum! Next time I make them, I think I'll bake longer than advised and chill longer for the top layer to spread out more evenly. Bringing these in to work tomorrow! Recipe off

Caramel Chocolate Pretzel Bars
  • 1-½ cup Pretzels, Ground Up
  • 1 stick Butter, Melted
  • ¼ cups Sugar
  • 1 stick Of Butter
  • 1 cup Of Brown Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Of Vanilla
  • ¼ cups Of Evaporated Milk
  • 1 whole Egg
  • ¾ cups Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Of Baking Soda
  • 1 package Either Caramel Or Caramel Apple Hersheys Kisses, 12 Ounce Bag
  • 1 teaspoon Of Milk

Start out by making up your crust. Throw a few handfuls of pretzels into your food processor and mulch them up until you have 1-1/2 cups worth.

Dump them into a 9×9 inch baking pan and add in 1 stick of melted butter along with 1/4 cup of sugar. Combine it well and press your crust into the pan.

Throw it in the oven and cook it at 350 degrees F for about 8 minutes. Pull it back out of the oven and let it cool.

While your crust is cooling, grab your remaining ingredients. Melt the second stick of butter on low heat. Once it’s melted, remove it from the heat and add in your brown sugar, vanilla, and evaporated milk. Next up, you’ll mix in your egg. Finish it off by adding in your flour and baking soda.

Grab your cooled pretzel crust and lay your kisses down in rows on top of your crust.

Next up, you’ll grab your batter you just cooked and pour it over the top of the kisses.

Pop the bars back into your oven at 350 degrees F and cook them for another 25 minutes. (Go longer - maybe lay foil on top to avoid burning the sugars.)

Once they’re out and cooling, the final touch will be to take any leftover caramel kisses, throw them into your double boiler along with your teaspoon of milk and melt them down.

Spread the melted kisses over the top of your bars and put the finished dish in the fridge to set for three or more hours until completely cooled.

Simple Sesame Noodles

Picked this recipe up from the Pioneer Woman's cookbook and I've made it probably 10 times in the last 6 months. It's so simple, yet soooo delicious. I usually like to use the thin spaghetti, but only had linguine on hand this go around. Highly recommended!

Simple Sesame Noodles
  • 12 ounces, fluid Thin Noodles, Cooked And Drained
  • ¼ cups Soy Sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 4 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 2 Tablespoons Rice Vinegar
  • 3 Tablespoons Pure Sesame Oil
  • ½ teaspoons Hot Chili Oil
  • 4 Tablespoons Canola Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Hot Water
  • 4 whole Green Onions, Sliced Thin
Whisk all ingredients (except noodles and green onions) together in a bowl. Taste and adjust ingredients as needed.
Pour sauce over warm noodles and toss to coat. Sprinkle with green onions and toss.

Chicken Apple Sausage Medley

This was a Krupcake original tonight! Totally made this up myself with stuff on hand. Turned out pretty dang good if I do say so myself! Great fall dish; had to write it down before I forgot how I did it.

Chicken Apple Sausage Medley

1 package of Chicken Apple Sausages (8 in a pack)
2 small zucchini squash, sliced
1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1 package cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 bundle asparagus, sliced in 1" pieces
apple cider, about 1 cup
chicken stock, about 3/4 cup
brown sugar
olive oil
3 T margarine or butter, melted
salt and pepper
cornstarch, about 2 tsp.
1 bag of egg noodles

Place the cubed butternut squash on a non-stick sprayed cookie sheet. Drizzle melted margarine and olive oil over squash. Sprinkle salt, pepper, and brown sugar on top. Bake in 450' oven 10-15 minutes depending on size of cubes. Set aside.

Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

Slice sausages and brown in pan with olive oil; scrape up brown bits. Add in asparagus and zucchini and cook for a couple minutes. Add apple cider and chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Add mushrooms. Draw a few tablespoons of the broth out of the pan and add cornstarch until it dissolves. Return cornstarch mix to pan and allow to simmer and thicken. Toss in the roasted butternut squash and mix gently.

Spoon mix on top of egg noodles and enjoy!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Caramel Apple Cookie Tart

Made these tonight and let me tell you they smell delicious baking away in the warm oven. The apple cinnamon oatmeal packets were a nice twist to the standard oatmeal crumble topping. And the cookie bottom was a lot easier to mix up than cutting in Crisco for a crust. Should NOT have eaten a piece that big this late at night though, way too much sugar!

Caramel Apple Cookie Tart
  • 1 cup Butter, Softened
  • 1 cup White Sugar
  • 1 cup Packed Brown Sugar
  • 2 whole Eggs
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 2 teaspoons Hot Water
  • ½ teaspoons Salt
  • 3 cups All-purpose Flour
  • 2 Tablespoons White Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoons Nutmeg
  • 4 whole Granny Smith Apples (or half Fuji) Cored, Peeled And Sliced
  • 2 packages Apple Cinnamon Instant Oatmeal (individual Serving Size)
  • ¼ cups Butter
  • 1 cup Prepared Caramel Sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Cream together the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Dissolve baking soda in hot water. Add to mixture along with salt. Stir in flour. Mix until dough forms. Press dough into 2 ungreased pie plates.

Mix sugars, cinnamon and nutmeg. Place apples atop cookie dough. Sprinkle with sugar mixture then sprinkle with oatmeal and crumble butter over oatmeal.

Bake for about 30 minutes, or until edges are nicely browned. Drizzle with caramel sauce.

Pad See-Ew

So I spotted this recipe on and was ecstatic because this is my all-time favorite dish to order over at Spice Thai restaurant. It was pretty easy to throw together, but a little disappointing in the end. It was just missing *something*. I'd definitely try it again, but next time add some oyster sauce and rice vinegar or maybe some jarred black bean sauce. Also I'd take the time to go over to that Asian grocery store on Peabody and get the FRESH thick rice noodles. I found the thinner ones you had to boil at Nugget. Turned out ok though, maybe 3 out of 5 stars.

Chicken Pad See-Ew
  • 2 Tablespoons Peanut Oil
  • 3 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 3-4 chicken breasts, Thinly Sliced
  • 1 pound Fresh Flat Rice Noodles, Sliced Into Thick Slices, About The Length And Width Of Two Fingers Put Together
  • 2 whole Eggs Beaten
  • 1 pound Chinese Broccoli, Washed And Chopped In 2-inch Slices
  • 1-½ Tablespoon Sugar
  • _____
  • 2 Tablespoons Light Soy Sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons Dark Soy Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Fish Sauce (optional)

1. First, prep all your ingredients: mince the garlic, thinly slice the pork, beat the 2 eggs together, and mix the two soy sauces, sugar, and fish sauce in a small bowl or cup. Wash and chop the broccoli in 2-inch slices. You can use the broccoli stems if you split them lengthwise down the middle, but I prefer the dish with just the leaves. Take the large flat noodle and slice it into thick slices about the length and width of two fingers put together. Make sure all the noodles are separated and not stuck together.

2. Now that everything is ready, heat the oil in a wok or large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add the garlic and fry for 30 seconds, stirring constantly.

3. Add the pork slivers and fry for another 1-2 minutes, until the pork is starting to turn a light brown.

4. Add the noodles and stir to incorporate for another 1-2 minutes.

5. Add the sauce mixture, and stir fry for 2 minutes until well incorporated.

6. Make a well in the middle of the pan or wok, and add the eggs. Let them set into a half-cooked “omelet” before breaking them apart and stirring them into the dish.

7. Finally, add the broccoli leaves and stir for 1-2 minutes, until wilted (longer if using stems or regular broccoli). Taste and re-season—if you want more sweetness, add some sugar; it you want more saltiness, add a little more soy sauce.

Comfort Food

I've been asking my coworker, Rodger, for his Mac 'n Cheese recipe for well over a year now! He finally got his act together and delivered! Thanks to him and his wife. Turned out AWESOME I must say. I was so eager to try it, I scooped a bowl out and then remembered I needed to take a picture. Hence, the sinking corner.

Rodger's Mac 'n Cheese

1 box medium pasta shells
1 box (brick) Velveeta cheese
1 stick butter
1 can evaporated milk

Cook shells per package directions. Drain and return to pot. Over medium heat, melt in butter and Velveeta cheese, cubed. Add can of evaporated milk. Once everything is combined, add a couple splashes of milk to the top (like cereal). Pour into a casserole dish and bake 30 minutes at 350'.


So last week I made a couple different new varieties of cookies. The first one, kinda odd, were Rootbeer Float Cookies. Recipe was off Took me forever to find the extract, but finally tracked it down at Raley's. Once I got past the idea of eating root beer in cookie form, I thought they didn't turn out half bad!

Root Beer Float Cookies
  • 1 cup Unsalted Butter, At Room Temperature
  • 1 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 cup Packed Light Brown Sugar
  • 1 whole Large Egg
  • ½ cups Vegetable Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Milk
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 4 teaspoons Root Beer Extract
  • 3-½ cups Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Cream Of Tartar
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • ⅛ teaspoons Salt
  • 1-½ cup White Chocolate Chips

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Place butter and sugars in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer at medium speed, cream. Beat in egg. Continue to beat until mixture is fluffy. Beat in oil, milk, vanilla and root beer concentrate.

2. In a large bowl whisk together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt. Add to butter mixture and mix until combined. Fold in white chocolate chips.

3. Drop about 2 tablespoonfuls of dough at a time onto ungreased cookies sheets. Bake 10 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes on the cookie sheet and them remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Second cookie I made was a Spicy Molasses cookie. Recipe was a combination of two recipes off I decided on recommendation, to try grating the spices fresh. I think it really made a difference although it's a tedious process. Couldn't make the cloves work on the grater so went out and got a mortar and pestle.

Spicy Molasses Cookies

  • 1 cup Sugar
  • ¾ cups Crisco (vegetable Shortening)
  • ¼ cups Molasses
  • 1 whole Egg
  • 2 cups Flour
  • 2-½ teaspoons Baking Soda
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Ginger
  • ½ teaspoons Ground Cloves
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoons Salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix sugar, shortening, molasses, and egg together until well combined. Dump in dry ingredients, stirring dry ingredients together lightly. Mix together until dough is combined.

In your hands roll dough into walnut-sized balls, then generously coat each ball with sugar. Place balls on a baking sheet and bake for 8 minutes, allowing to bake for about a minute after cookies begin to crack. Be careful not to overbake!

Remove cookies from baking sheet and allow to cool.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

And so it begins...

I'm beginning this food blog on recommendation of my sister. It's a way to share my latest recipes and creations with family and friends. Every week at the start I prepare several dinners, usually at least one a new trial. I also love to bake and present my goods to fellow coworkers, my critics. This site will be a tool for posting my experiences and findings in the culinary sense. Since photos are key, I hope to eventually master Photoshop 8 in order to present my dishes in a spectacular way! Happy Eating!