Sunday, December 20, 2009


Holiday baking is forced....and yet its the only time of year we make such things as crinkle/crackle cookies and bourbon balls. Roll-out short bread and least for me.

Here is my new take on chocolate crinkles.
1 stick butter, unsalted
5 squares of unsweetened baking chocolate
2 Tablespoons Frangelico (num num)
4 eggs (I use cage happy free)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar (I use the dark)
2 cups plus 3 Tablespoons unbleached flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
about 1/3 cup confectioners' sugar for rolling

Heat butter and chocolate in a double boiler until melted, add Frangelico stir until smooth and remove from heat. In a mixing bowl combine eggs and salt. Add sugars. Add chocolate mixture. Add flour and baking powder for form dough. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Roll into 3/4" balls roll in confectioners' sugar. Place 2" apart on greased baking sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes at 350 degree oven.

I usually let the cookies set on the pan for about 2 minutes then place them on kraft paper to cool (I use a brown paper grocery bag...)

These cookies freeze really well.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Sweet Potato Madness!

So I really wanted to make chili yesterday and I've been on a no meat kick lately so I was going to use fake meat in the chili. Alas, when I went to the store close to my parents house (my least favorite grocer in Cincinnati) there were very limited fake meat products to begin with. Normally I don't condone the fake meat....its not very foodie like. So I decided to pick up Sweet Potatoes....which apparently according to the internet is a pretty common vegetarian chili ingredient so here is my version...
Sweet Potato Chili

2 large sweet potatoes peeled and cubed!
1 medium onion, diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 stalks celery, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 16oz can of kidney beans
1 16oz can of black beans
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
1 6 oz can tomato paste
2 Tablespoons salt
2 1/2 Tablespoons chili powder
2 Tablespoons cumin
2 Tablespoons Flour
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 Tablespoon dark cocoa powder
1 cup of water
6-8 oz autumn-ish beer

Place all ingredients in the crockpot for 4-6 hours on high setting! Let is get happy. Serve with cornbread or biscuits. Or frankly, whatever your heart desires.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Honey Pie

I took this recipe from this book by Max Brenner So I'm not sure if i can legally post the recipe. He calls it my very own honey pie manifest it includes honey, eggs, butter, pecans, chocolate, and fresh nutmeg. For this particular pie I used a pie crust that consisted of 1 1/4 cups of flour, a stick of butter, salt, and 4 tablespoons of ice cold vodka! The crust turned out perfect. I served it of course with whiskey whipped cream with cinnamon in it! This cookbook is fantastic and each recipe is paired with a piece of graphic art! Very kitsch!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Sugar Pumpkin

So one of my very best friends, Ryan was in town and he asked me if I have ever made a pumpkin pie from a real pumpkin. And I had not. So on Monday I roasted a pumpkin with him and we made a pie. It was really quite easy. Just took a good chunk of time. But with good company and some hard apple cider time is not wasted.

So we took two pie pumpkins or sugar pumpkins, whatever you want to call them. Cut them in half, removed the stem and seeds and all the stringy flesh, cut them in half again. Placed them in a roasting pan after a hand massage with butter and a sprinkle of salt and loosely covered them with foil. They were roasted at about 375 F for about 70 minutes. After about 40 minutes I ended up pouring about 1/3 cup of water into each pan because I felt like they were not getting soft enough.
I removed them from the oven and Ryan and I peeled back the skin. We pureed the hell of them in a food processor with no extra liquid. Both of these pumpkins made enough puree for two pies and I have some leftover in the freezer, probably enough for another pie. So only one pumpkin is necessary.

For the pie crust!
about 8 oz of ginger snap cookies, made into crumbs
3 Tablespoons of white sugar
7 Tablespoons of unsalted butter

Combine ingredients and press into pie dish. Bake for 4 minutes at about 350 F.

For pie filling
15 oz of pumpkin puree!!!!! Made from a real punkin'
1 1/4 cups of whipping cream! WHOA! I know, it was in the fridge though
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
3 cage free eggs
1 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Combine ingredients. This is really thin, but does thicken in oven. Pour into pie crust. Bake for 60 minutes at 350 F.

Let cool.
Serve with fresh whipped cream!

Whiskey whipped cream:
1 cup whipping cream
1 teaspoon white sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 shot of your favorite whiskey I used Basil Hayden which is phenomenal

Beat with hand mixer until stiff!

This turned out crazy amazing!
This was the most fun I've had baking in a while. My camera is on the fritz, but I shall attach one I took with my cell phone....tacky I know but it still looks tempting.....

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Outer Banks has fresh local fish

As I am always trying to be more green I try not to eat a lot of seafood when I'm in Ohio because it's not local to this area and it's really expensive. But when in Rome.....
This past weekend I went to the Outer Banks of North Carolina, which was fabulous. The motel I stayed in had a kitchenette, which included surprisingly a cast iron skillet - one of my favorites. I went to a fish market and picked up a feast to prepare for about 7 people I believe. I seasoned everything with salt, pepper, old bay and a garlic herb grinder. I also cut up some really large shallots and a couple cloves of garlic into the cook process. The feast included : Shrimps...Domestic Mahi Mahi....Scallops
Then I cooked more onions and garlic in the skillet to make them all golden brown and then deglazed the pan with about a cup of white wine and let it simmer for about 6 minutes. Then I added a ajr of store bought marinara, roasted tomato and basil I believe is what I grabbed from Erin's kitchen. Let that simmer for a bit so the flavors could get happy. Tossed it with an even mixture of angel hair and spaghettini. Then served with the fish on top.

If I had a well stocked kitchen I would have sprinkled the dish with parmesan cheese, and maybe some chopped fresh basil.

It was delicious though......

Julian's First

I have to post this photo of the birthday cake I made for my nephew Julian. His special day was 2 Sundays ago on September 20....and he recently just look his first steps!! *presh*

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Creme Brulee

Let's see.....creme brulee is one of my least favorite things to make because of the water bath and the chilling time. But I always seem to make it on mother's day or on September beautiful mother's birthday. Sometimes I want to make it fancy with dried lavender flowers or lemon zest and raspberries. This time I did a simple vanilla. In the past I've had access to free vanilla beans, but alas, one bean was $13.99 at the store so I just used vanilla extract.
I based this recipe off of Alton Brown's. He used vanilla bean and vanilla sugar. I made this less fancy.

Basic Creme Brulee
  • 1 quart heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons high quality vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 2 quarts hot water

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Place the cream, vanilla extract into a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat, cover and allow to sit for 15 minutes.

In a medium bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup sugar and the egg yolks until well blended and it just starts to lighten in color. Add the cream a little at a time, stirring continually. Pour the liquid into 6 (7 to 8-ounce) ramekins. Place the ramekins into a large cake pan or roasting pan. Pour enough hot water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake just until the creme brulee is set, but still trembling in the center, approximately 40 to 45 minutes. Remove the ramekins from the roasting pan and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 3 days.

Remove the creme brulee from the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes prior to browning the sugar on top. Divide the remaining 1/2 cup vanilla sugar equally among the 6 dishes and spread evenly on top. Using a torch, melt the sugar and form a crispy top. Allow the creme brulee to sit for at least 5 minutes before serving.

I also made homemade whipped cream, added a tablespoon of cane sugar, sprinkle of cinnamon, and a tiny splash of vanilla extract.
I served that along side of it with some fresh organic raspberries.

I put a candle in the whipped cream and sang happy birthday.
Thanks Antonio for helping me torch the sugar! XOXO

sorry no picture

Monday, August 17, 2009

When life gives you tomatillos make salsa verde!!!!

A friend of my mother's apparently grows tomatillos in her garden at her house. And she knows I like to cook and experiment with food. So I made two batches of salsa verde. So delicious. My favorite recipe comes from Tyler Florence of Food Network.

  • 1 pound tomatillos, husked and rinsed
  • 1 jalapeno, stemmed
  • 1 small Spanish onion, quartered
  • 5 to 6 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, leaves coarsely chopped
  • 2 lime, juiced
Bring a pot of water to a boil and add the tomatillos, jalapeno, onion, garlic, and 1 tablespoon salt. Reduce the heat and simmer gently for 5 to 10 minutes until the tomatillos are soft but have not burst. Drain. Add the cooked vegetables to a food processor with the cilantro leaves and lime juice.

tomatillo : a staple in Mexican cuisine; also known as the husk tomato. Fruit should be firm and bright green, as the green colour and tart flavour are the main culinary contributions of the fruit

Monday, August 10, 2009


tasty summer salad from food network magazine....

Whisk 1 part white wine vinegar with 3 parts olive oil, and salt and pepper. Toss with baby arugula, red onion slices, watermelon cubes, crumbled feta, nicoise olives and fresh oregano.

I was a little hesitant to try this but I love watermelon and fruit in salad.

I also added

Super refreshing for summertime!!!! Or I suppose anytime.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Proscuitto, olives and mozzarella oh my!

This is the antipasto platter I set up for Sharleen's shower.....

The crunchy rosemary bread sticks wrapped in prosciutto went over really well with the children that were there.

The mixed marinated olives are always a hit.

The pearle mozzarella wrapped in roasted bell peppers were not such a big hit but they looked pretty.

This was a beautiful and easy to put together appetizer for the shower!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Baby Shower

Baby Shower cupcake tier. Miniature Chocolate Chip cupcakes with chocolate chip buttercream frosting. I made over 100! It was wild. The left overs went home with people. I also took some left overs to some very appreciative friends....mmmmm. hamer.
This recipe comes from Martha Stewart Cupcake book. I don't know if i can legally post the recipe. I love that book, by the way, the recipes are so unique and different than any other book about cupcakes.
This was so beautiful and delicious!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

This book is so adorable. Crafty. Kitschy. Food. Love

Farm Chicks in the Kitchen

Dulce de Leche.....Sweet Milk!!!!

I made this recipe as a compliment to some lasagna that I made for my boyfriend and his mother. They are super delicioso and muy fácil to make!


Dulce de Leche Blondies

Source: Kitchen Aid cookbook

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 (14 ounce) package caramels
1/2 cup evaporated milk

Place butter and sugar in mixer bowl. Attach bowl and flat beater to mixer. Turn to speed 4 and beat until creamy, about 1 minutes. Stop and scrape bowl. Add eggs and vanilla extract; beat about 30 seconds, or until smooth. Stop and scrape bowl. Turn to stir speed. Gradually add flour, baking soda, and salt to mixture. Mix about 1 minutes , or until well blended. Spread 1/2 to 2/3 of mixture in a greased 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 7 to 8 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes on a wire rack.
Meanwhile, melt caramels in evaporated milk in a nonstick saucepan over very low heat. Reserve 2 tablespoons. Pour remaining caramel over bottom layer. Drop dollops of remaining dough over caramel layer; swirl slightly with knife.
Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in pan on wire rack. When completely cooled, cut into squares. Drizzle with reserved caramel, heating as necessary, if desired.
Yield: 36 blondies

Friday, July 3, 2009

Sky high pie

Key Lime Pie is my favorite.....
The recipe my mom used to make at the beach house every year is the one that's printed right on the side of the Nellie's Key Lime Juice bottle.
1 14oz can of sweetened condensed milk
3 egg yolks
1/2 cup of lime juice

Bake for 20 minutes in graham cracker crust at 350 degrees. Cool and refrigerate. Serve with whipped cream!

So easy, and the texture of this pie is phenomenal.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Sisterly Love

These are the adorable cupcakes I made to celebrate my sister's birthday. They are yellow buttermilk cakes with fluffy vanilla frosting that are featured in the new Martha Stewart Cupcake book

Extremely moist. First time using cake flour.