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.