Sunday, September 30, 2007

Food Porn

Ok, well it's more like candy porn, but take a look at this amazing candy photography!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Homemade Marshmallows

I first saw these about a month ago on the Baking Bits blog and I planned on making them when we opened up our hot chocolate we got on our honeymoon. We'll with the fair starting this weekend I knew it was prime time to make some marshmallows and hot chocolate even if it is still 80 degrees most of the time. These made a TON of marshmallows. The other guesses are around 36, but I cut the main square into 36 and then cut each of those 36 in half and the marshmallows were still pretty big. I plan on leaving some of them out and throwing the rest in the freezer so I have yummy marshmallows all winter long yum.

Stolen from Baking Bits

Homemade Marshmallows

.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

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.

What to buy next?

So, I've been wondering around cooking blogs tonight because Greg passed out after our midnight walk/tug of war with Puddles and of course, they had to lead me to a new place to buy more pans that, while I don't need, I really really really want to have and I may just need to get them before they're discontinued (I'm just going to pretend that the cupcake pan doesn't say "New!" )

I've been eyeing this cupcake pan since it came out (yes, I buy the Wilton yearbooks and drool over all the new things to buy). I don't think there's any way out of it, I'm getting this pan, it's just a matter of when and my crystal ball says soon!

Now this, I can safely say I have never seen before, but I NEED this pan. I love brownies, but there is nothing better than the edge pieces, specifically the corner ones (these corner ones have 3 count them 3 corners ... I'm in heaven). I don't think I can live without this pan now that I know it exist. It has moved itself right up to number 1 on my list of things to buy.

Update: The place that makes them has recipes too and apparently they're pretty popular because they're not even offering different shipping options in an effort to get orders out ASAP

Does it make sense to anyone else that I should buy both pans and save on shipping? Makes perfect sense to me ... I'll sleep on it and buy them tomorrow :P

Chocolate Roses

A year and a half ago I took 2 Wilton Cake decorating classes and a few other classes along the way. One of my favorite classes was the edible flower class. We learned to make flowers on lolly pop stick. You can let them dry and they will last forever or until your cat knocks them over as was the case with the ones I made. Ok maybe not forever, but Maxine, our teacher had ones from over a year before that still looked great.

The fondant ones are pretty, but lets be honest, fondant tastes like yuck. One of the woman's hubbies was waiting for her watching and we convinced him to try some. Spit it out like a little kid trying asparagus for the first time (who am I kidding, I still spit that crap out). The colors are pretty, but fondant can be a pain to work with and what fun is making something if you can't taste test along the way?

The chocolate ones on the other hand are pretty and yummy all at the same time. Ever wonder how to make tootsie rolls, follow this recipe and don't make them into flowers. They're as close to tootsie rolls as you're gonna get. So, my recipe is scribbled on a torn out piece of someone elses notebook paper and while I could follow it because it's so easy, I still can't figure out why at the bottom I randomly wrote "gum tex 1/2 teaspoon." I can only guess that this is what you add to the fondant, but how much fondant? You're guess is as good as mine because there is no direct mention of fondant and the top says "Chocolate Flowers." Ahh the joys of scribbling recipes while your trying to learn and make the stuff in a limited amount of time.

So ... I found a far more detailed recipe than 1pkg chocolate waffers, 1/3 cup corn syrup, melt, mix and put on wax paper. While that explains it, the recipe below stolen from is a little more detailed to say the least. And the directions are far better than the "make a blob with a point on the top" instructions I wrote down. So... here you go. I'll post my own pics tomorrow after I make them.

But, before I do ... wanna see my Care Bears Cake I made in our buttercream fondant class?
Note: please ignore the heart on the nose. I was struggling with the heart and Maxine came in and turned it into an off center heart with a rodolf dot next to it.

Chocolate Clay Roses

10 ounces semisweet chocolate (coarsely chopped chunks or chips)
1/3 cup light corn syrup

In a shallow bowl, melt the chocolate in microwave for 2 minutes; stir. NOTE: Be careful so that the temperature does not exceed 100 degrees F. If chocolate is not completely melted, return to microwave for 30 seconds at a time and stir until smooth.

Add corn syrup to the chocolate and mix well (scrape all the corn syrup into the chocolate with a rubber spatula). Using a rubber spatula, stir and fold mixture, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl well, until no shiny syrup is visible and the mixture forms a thick ball. Pour mixture onto a waxed paper sheet and spread with the spatula until it's about 1/2-inch thick; let it sit and stiffen, uncovered, for about 2 hours. Use at once or store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 month.

Making Chocolate Roses:

Knead a handful of clay at a time on a work surface until it is soft and pliable like Play-Doh.

Roll dough into (12) twelve 1/2-inch diameter balls of clay. Place the balls on waxed paper or plastic wrap about 1-inch apart. Using your fingers, press in the center and then on either side, flattening the disk into 1-inch flat disks about the size of a quarter (leave the top edge thin than and bottom edge. Repeat with the remaining disks.

Remove one dish and curl it into a "teepee" shape, narrow at the top and wider at the bottom, (this will be the center of the rose. Wrap the next disk around the opening of the teepee and the third disk at the back of the teepee - this is the rose bud. Continue adding disks which will look like petals. Continue adding petals, placing them in between slightly lower than previous row. For a fuller flower, continue adding petals in this manner. As you form petals, you gently roll or curl the right edge of the petal downward. Pinch off any excess chocolate clay at the base of the rose to make more balls.

NOTE: If the clay balls or petals become too soft from your body heat, let sit at room temperature for at least 10 minutes. To periodically cool you hands, grasp a cold glass. (this does become a problem so keep this in mind ... one of the girls hands were so warm she simply could not work with the chocolate)

Roses will harden after a few days and can be saved by storing in a cool, dry place.

NOTE: To make larger roses, make larger chocolate clay balls.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Chicken Parm

I wasn't feeling too good tonight so and was craving chicken parm since Clara made it. I <3 chicken parm sooooo much!! Greg offered to make anything I wanted so I gave him the recipe and said go for it. He did a great job! Even Puddles liked it enough to try to steal the scraps

Stolen from Jessi and Clara

Chicken Parm


Boneless Chicken breasts or chicken strips
1 egg beaten
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 cup garlic powder
1/2 cup parmisan cheese (this is Greg's best guess)
Italian Seasoning
marinara sauce
shredded mozzarella cheese

Cooking Instructions:
>Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
>Mix bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, garlic powder and Italian seasoning in a bowl
> Rinse chicken breasts and dunk in beaten eggs
> Cover with bread crumb mixture
> Cook for 30 minutes
>Top with sauce and put back in the oven for another 10 minutes
>Add Mozarella and cook for five more minutes

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Spaghetti Sauce

In an effort to get Clara to cook without a strict recipe, I bring you my spaghetti sauce. I don't think it ever turns out the same way twice, it all depends on how I'm feeling that day and what and how much I feel like throwing in.

2 cans crushed tomatoes (tomato puree works too, but the sauce burps more)
2 cans tomato paste
bay leaves (take out after cooking)
italian seasoning
garlic and lots of it
a little EVOO
a little white wine
ground beef mmm meat sauce (brown the meat before putting it in)
A whole onion (I cut it into big chunks because I'm not a huge fan of eating onions, but I like the flavor)

Good Luck Clara

Pumpkin Bread!

In honor of my combination pumpkin and baking phases, I decided to make some pumpkin bread. Tomorrow night I'm planning on making pumpkin ravioli, but Greg took too long to get to the store for me to make the raviolis tonight soooooo I settled for pumpkin bread. It's in the oven now so I'll update you later to tell you how amazing it it (you know it's going to be good) and I promise to take pics, which reminds me I still need to put the pics of last weeks cookie craze up.

I got this recipe from nestie bakingblond, I have no idea where she got it

Pumpkin Bread

1/2 cup oil (canola or vegetable) - I used vegetable
1 1/4 cups canned pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling) ehh I used pumpkin pie filling because that's what I had
1 cup white sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1-1/2 cups and 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 cup toasted chopped nuts (optional, like pecans or walnuts)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
Lightly spray with PAM (or grease and flour) a loaf pan.

In a large bowl wisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, cloves and nutmet. Set aside.

In a medium size mixing bowl, mix together the oil, pumpkin, sugar, brown sugar and eggs until combined. Carefully mix in the flour mixture and stir until well blended. (fold in nuts if using)

Gently pour and spread the battter evenly into prepared loaf pan.

Bake in preheated oven for 40-60 mintues or until the top of the loaf springs back slightly when gently pressed. Cool in pan for 10-20 minutes and transfer to rack to cool completely.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Cookies, Cookies and more Cookies

I have no idea what got into me, but tonight was all about Cookies!! I just kept making them and making them with no end in site. Maybe it's because AF is coming next week, but I only actually ate 1 cookie and I had a bite of each of the different cookies, so that doesn't make sense. Oh well, Greg is happy.

Tonight I made, BBFCCCC (aka Big ole Chocolate Chip Cookies), the Best Peanut Butter Cookies and Glazed Pumpkin cookies in honor of fall coming. Who am I kidding I was cleaning the pantry and saw pumpkin puree that I had an itch to use.

All in all the cookies were very good.

The BBFFCCCC's looked the best and tasted amazing.

The peanut butter cookies ended up a wee bit flat, but tasted devine (hehe I never say devine ... it makes me feel like a snooty old lady wearing a fur). You also couldn't see my fork cross, but that's probably because I forgot to do it and did it half way through the cooking time.. I was aready onto my next batch of cookies so I was a little consumed with other things.

My first batch of Glazed pumpkin cookies were a little round, I forgot to flatten them before throwing them in, like the criss cross fork marks on the PB cookies, I was already thinking about my glaze while putting the cookies on the sheet. I only had a bite, but they were very yummy and who doesn't like a pretty glazed cookie?

All the recipes are below

Iced Pumpkin Cookies

Stolen from

Iced Pumpkin Cookies


  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, and salt; set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, cream together the 1/2 cup of butter and white sugar. Add pumpkin, egg, and 1 teaspoon vanilla to butter mixture, and beat until creamy. Mix in dry ingredients. Drop on cookie sheet by tablespoonfuls; flatten slightly.
  3. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven. Cool cookies, then drizzle glaze with fork.
  4. To Make Glaze: Combine confectioners' sugar, milk, 1 tablespoon melted butter, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Add milk as needed, to achieve drizzling consistency.

Best Peanut Butter Cookies Ever

Stolen from and adapted by Confections of a Foodie Bride

Best Peanut Butter Cookies Ever

1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
3/4 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt

Stir together sugar and peanut butter until well mixed. Beat in egg, vanilla, baking soda and salt. Put dough into the fridge for 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350. Form dough into 2 inch balls and use a fork to spread the cookies and make criss-cross pattern on the top. Bake for 10 minutes, remove and allow to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to rack to cool completely.

Best Big, Fat, Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie

Stolen from


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips


  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended. Beat in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk until light and creamy. Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand using a wooden spoon. Drop cookie dough 1/4 cup at a time onto the prepared cookie sheets. Cookies should be about 3 inches apart.
  4. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges are lightly toasted. Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

Funfetti Cookies

Since I'm on a cookie kick (see above posts) this one sounds amazing, but it wasn't a part of my cookies extravaganza today simply because I was baking with what I had and I didn't have funfetti cake mix. The grocery store was not high on my list of prioritites today.

Stolen from ??? I'm not really sure where they originated, but I stole the pretty picture from Melissa's Magic in the Kitchen


1 box cake mix (I use Funfetti)
2 eggs
1/2 cup oil (I used canola oil - you can probably use less than 1/2 cup)
2 tablespoons of instant french vanilla pudding
Canned frosting and sprinkles (you do not have to frost them)


Mix together the first four ingredients, drop batter on a lined cookie sheet (tablespoon size) and bake on 350 for 8-10 minutes. Let cookies cool then frost them and add sprinkles.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Diet Coke Cupcakes

Now this is my kind of recipe. Not too bad for you junk food w00t w00t. It's also a super easy.


1 box of cake mix
1 can of diet soda


Mix soda and cake mix and put it in the oven according to the directions. How much easier can it get? Some people say they turn out a bit better with 2 egg whites, so I'll probably do that next time.

Typically you want to mix darker sodas with darker cakes and lighter sodas with lighter cakes. The most basic combos being

chocolate cake with diet coke/pepsi
white cake with diet sprite/sierra mist/7-up (I used to love 7-up, but I haven't had it in years ... I need to go buy me some 7-up)

Feeling a little more daring?

white cake with diet orange soda (supposed to be very yummy)
white cake with rasberry gingeral is something I would like to try

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Pumpkin Spice-infused Vodka

Stolen from Sunset with help from Alanna

Pumpkin Spice-infused Vodka


Cut 1 vanilla bean (6 in.) in half lengthwise. With a vegetable peeler, shave 12 thin ribbons (4 to 6 in. long and about 1 in. wide) off a rinsed piece of pumpkin or banana squash. In a 1- to 1 1/2-quart jar, combine vanilla, pumpkin, 1/2 of a whole nutmeg, and 1 bottle (750 ml. or 1 qt.) vodka. Seal jar and let stand at least 4 days or up to 3 months. The flavor intensifies the longer it stands; remove flavorings once vodka tastes as strong as you like.
Linda Lau Anusasananan , Sunset, OCTOBER 2005

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Pink Lemonade Cupcakes

Stolen from Confections of a Foodie Bride

Pink Lemonade Cupcakes
1 1/8 cup (9 oz) frozen Pink Lemonade Concentrate, thawed*
White cake mix (yes, the boxed stuff)
3 egg whites
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
Non-stick spray
1 recipe Lemon Buttercream Icing (recipe follows)

* For a less tart cupcake (and these babies do pack a punch), try reducing the amount of pink lemonade. 3/8 cup water and 3/4 cup pink lemonade will cut the tartness.

In a stand mixer, add the cake mix, egg whites, vegetable oil, and the pink lemonade concentrate. Mix on low for about 30 seconds and then increase to medium speed for 90 seconds (the batter will still be a bit lumpy; take care not to overmix so you don’t end up with dry cupcakes).

Spray each cupcake liner with the non-stick spray and spoon the batter into a prepared muffin pan (fill the cups between 2/3 and 3/4 full). Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick registers “done” in the center cupcake. Remove the pan from the oven and cook 5 minutes. Remove the cupcakes and cool completely on a baking rack.

Once the cupcakes have cooled, make the icing and ice the cupcakes.

Lemon Buttercream Icing

3 cups + 3 Tbsp confectioner’s sugar
1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature
1/8 tsp salt
2 Tbsp lemon juice
Red food color (to color icing and sugar, optional)
1/4 cup granulated sugar (optional)

Add the butter, confectioner’s sugar, salt, lemon juice, and food coloring (if using) to the stand mixer and mix on low using the paddle attachment until combined. Turn the speed to med-high until the icing is fluffy and uniformly pink. Add the icing to a pastry bag fitted with a 2D tip and ice the cupcakes.

Optional - Add the sugar and a couple drops of the food coloring to a food processor. Process until the sugar turns pink. Spread the sugar onto a plate and let dry for 15 minutes. Sprinkle onto freshly-iced cupcakes and enjoy!

Lorena's Strawberry-Banana Margarita

Stolen from Lorena aka Jacinthe

Strawberry-Banana Margarita

1 cup strawberries, hulled and halved
1 ripe banana, peeled and sliced
4 1/2 ounces (1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon) tequila
1 1/2 ounces (3 tablespoons) triple sec
2 tablespoons fresh lime or lemon juice
1 cup crushed ice

Place strawberries and banana slices on a plate and freeze at least 1 hour. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth but still very thick. Pour into chilled glass.

You've got Red on you Pasta

Stolen from ..... The adaptation by I Like to Cook of Food and Wine Magazine's "quick from scratch italian cooking"

You've-Got-Red-On-You Pasta

makes 6 servings

adapted from Cavatelli with Sardinian Meat Sauce from "quick from scratch italian cooking"

1 tb olive oil
1/2 lb italian turkey sausage, removed from the casing
1 small onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 28 oz can tomatos
3 tb finely minced fresh mint
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil
5 tb parmesan cheese

1 pkg (approx 1 lb) cavatappi pasta

Heat a large pan over medium high heat and add the oil. Crumble the sausage into the pan and cooking, pressing down on the sausages to break them up, until brown. Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft. Add the tomatos, mint, water, salt and pepper and simmer, uncovered for 20 minutes, stirring often, until the sauce starts to thicken. Continue to gently simmer the sauce while you cook the pasta in salted boiling water.

When the pasta is done, drain and return to the pot. Add in the sauce, basil and cheese, and stir to combine. Scoop into bowls and top with more cheese if desired.

Mozarella Cheese

Stolen from Mel's Diner

So, these are the ingredients for your own mozzarella cheese: A gallon of whole milk, ¼ rennet tablet and a teaspoon and a half of citric acid:

You heat the milk to 50 degrees or so and add the citric acid mixed in a half of a cup of clean water. Bring the milk mixture to ninety degrees and add in the rennet dissolved in a quarter cup more of water. Bring this whole, curdy mix to one 105 degrees and shut off the heat:

Spoon the curds from the whey into a two quart, microwaveable pot. Pour off as much whey as possible and microwave for one minute. Kneed the cheese and pull it like taffy. Microwave for another 35 seconds, kneed the cheese. Repeat. After the third time in the microwave, it should pull like taffy and be shiny. If not, microwave again. It will look like this:

Form into balls quickly and drop into ice water for a half of an hour to cool the cheese. There, you have mozzarella cheese.

Buffalo Chicken Lasagna

Buffalo Chicken Lasagna

12 Whole Wheat Lasagna Noodles, uncooked
1 lb. Skinless Chicken Breast, cubed (I use more)
3 Cups Hunt’s Four Cheese Spaghetti Sauce
1 Cup Very Mild Buffalo Wing Sauce
1 1/2 Cups Water
15 oz. Nonfat Ricotta Cheese
1/2 Cup Egg Substitute
9 Slices 2% Pepperjack Cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Cook chicken over medium high heat for 4 minutes or until almost done. Stir in sauces and water. In a small bowl, combine ricotta cheese and egg substitute. Spray a 9X13 pan with nonstick cooking spray. Spread 1 Cup of sauce in the bottom of pan. Arrange 4 noodles over the sauce. Spread more sauce, then a layer of ricotta mixture. Add another layer of sauce, and repeat the whole process until you end with a layer of sauce. Cover and bake 70 minutes. Uncover and place cheese slices on top, then bake for another 15 minutes uncovered. Let stand 10-15 minutes before serving.

Peanut Butter Cupcakes

Pic Stolen from Beantown Baker

Peanut Butter Cupcakes (from
Crazy about Cupcakes) makes 20
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup smooth or crunchy peanut butter
1 1/3 cups firmly packed brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup milk

Preheat over to 350F. Insert liners into a medium cupcake pan.

In a large bowl cream together the butter, peanut butter, and brown sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Add the eggs. Beat well. Mix in the vanilla.

In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.

Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture, alternating with the milk. Mix well.

Fill the cupcake lines one-half to three-quarters full. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of cupcakes comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in the pan.

Cookies N' Cream Cupcakes

Picture Stolen from Beantown Baker

Cookies-N-Cream Cupcakes (from
Crazy about Cupcakes) makes 20
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 2/3 cup sugar
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
1 cup chocolate sandwich cookies, lightly crushed

Preheat over to 350F. Insert liners into a medium cupcake pan.

In a large bowl cream together the butter, milk, and vanilla with an electric mixer until fluffy, about 3-5 minutes.
In a separate bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
Add the dry ingredients to butter mixture. Mix until integrated. Stir in sugar. With an electric mixer on low speed, beat for 30 seconds. Turn the mixer up to medium speed and beat for 2 minutes. Add the egg whites. Beat for 2 more minutes. Stir in the crushed cookies.
Fill the cupcake lines three-quarters full. Bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of cupcakes comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in the pan.

Cool Whip Topping (Stolen from


  • 1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 1 (3.5 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a medium bowl, combine pudding mix with milk and vanilla. Mix until smooth. Gently fold in whipped topping until no streaks remain. Spread evenly over cake. Fold in some crumbled Oreos and you're good to go

Goat Cheese Bruschetta

Stolen from Beantown Baker

Goat Cheese Bruschetta
3 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 onion, chopped
1/2 of a bunch of cilantro, chopped
goat cheese
~3 Tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
your favorite crusty bread

Mix the chopped tomatoes, onion, cilantro in a bowl.

Add goat cheese to mixture - as much or little as you have/like.

Add olive oil and salt and pepper.

Slice bread and place on cookie sheet. Spoon bruschetta topping onto bread and bake for 8-10 minutes until heated thouroughly.


1 Bottle Pinot Noir
1 mini can club soda
1/4 c sugar
1 1/2 c rum (Captain Morgan, the spicy-ness of the Cap'n was PERFECT for a football party!!)
1 large orange thinly sliced into rounds
1 lemon thinly sliced into rounds
1 lime thinly sliced into rounds
About 2 cups orange juice (pulp free per Nate's request)

In a large pitcher (I used 2 small pitchers but did this in just one of them)add orange, lemon, lime, sugar and rum and refrigerate at least 2 hours stirring, muddling lightly, occasionally. After the 2 hours (this is when I transferred half that mixture into a second pitcher) add wine, club soda, orange juice and about 5 ice cubes. Stir well with a wooden spoon. Refrigerate 1 to 24 hours before serving. Serve chilled or over citrus infused ice cubes.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Macaroni Grill's Penne Rustica

Stolen from

Macaroni Grill's Penne Rustica Recipe

Gratinata sauce use 4 1/2 cups

2 teaspoons butter
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon dill
1 teaspoon chopped rosemary
1 cup marsala wine
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
8 cups heavy cream

Penne Rustica

1 ounce pancetta or bacon
18 shrimp, peeled and deveined
12 ounces grilled chicken breasts, sliced
16-24 ounces penne pasta, cooked
3 teaspoons chopped pimiento
6 ounces butter
1 teaspoon chopped shallots
1 pinch salt and pepper
1 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon paprika
6 sprigs fresh rosemary
  1. For Gratinata Sauce: Saute butter, garlic, and rosemary until garlic begins to brown.
  2. Add Marsala wine and reduce by one-third.
  3. Add remaining ingredients, reduce by half of the original volume.
  4. Set aside.
  5. For Penne Rustica: Saute pancetta until it begins to brown.
  6. Add butter, shallots, and shrimp.
  7. Cook until shrimp are evenly pink but still translucent.
  8. Add chicken, salt, pepper, and mix thoroughly.
  9. Add gratinata sauce and 1/2 cup parmesan cheese.
  10. Simmer until sauce thickens.
  11. In a large bowl, combine shrimp& chicken mixture with the cooked pasta.
  12. Pour into a large casserole dish or roaster.
  13. Top with remaining cheese, pimientos and sprinkle with paprika.
  14. Bake at 475 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes.
  15. Remove and garnish with fresh rosemary sprig.

Baked Mac n' Cheese

Stolen from nestie Ashleighl

Baked Mac n' Cheese

12 ounces macaroni

1/4 cup butter

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 cups milk

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese (or sharp cheddar)

1 cup dry bread crumbs

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add macaroni pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.

In a 3 quart saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and stir in flour. Cook for about 1 minute, until smooth and bubbly; stirring occasionally. Mix in milk, cream cheese, salt, pepper, and Dijon mustard. Continue cooking until sauce is thickened. Add cooked macaroni and Cheddar cheese.

Pour into 2 quart casserole dish. In small bowl mix together bread crumbs, butter and parsley; spread over macaroni and cheese. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown and heated through.

Poached Garlic Soup with Garlic bread

Stolen From

Poached Garlic Soup

30 cloves garlic, peeled
7 cups vegetable or chicken broth, divided
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
8 small new potatoes, peeled, diced and reserved in cold water
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup heavy cream

1 cup milk
Salt and coarsely ground pepper to taste
Freshly grated parmesan cheese
Toasted Garlic-Butter Bread (see recipe below)

In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine garlic cloves and 3 cups of vegetable or chicken broth; bring to a boil and poach 15 minutes or until soft. Remove garlic cloves to a small bowl and mash with a fork; set aside for use in make Toasted Garlic-Butter Bread. Cook and reduce chicken broth to a glaze; remove from heat and set aside.

In a large soup pot over low heat, melt butter. Add onion and sauté until soft. Drain potatoes; stir into butter and onion. Season with salt and pepper. Add remaining 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth. Increase heat to medium-high; simmer, uncovered, 25 minutes or until the potatoes are softened. Remove from heat and let cool 10 to 15 minutes.

In a food processor or blender, puree soup; return to soup pot. Add garlic glaze; stir until well blended.

NOTE: The soup can be made 1 to 2 days in advance up until this stage. Refrigerate until ready to finish.

Stir in heavy cream, milk, salt, and pepper; cook, over low heat, another 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Serve in soup bowls and garnish with parmesan cheese. Serve with Toasted Garlic-Butter Bread.

Makes 6 servings.

Toasted Garlic-Butter Bread
6 slices sourdough bread, thinly sliced and lightly toasted
6 tablespoons butter, room temperature
Poached garlic cloves

Preheat broiler. In a small bowl, combine butter and mashed garlic cloves; mash until well blended. Spread garlic mixture evenly over the top of the bread slices. When ready to serve, broil bread for a few seconds or until top is lightly browned and bubbly.

NOTE: Bread can be assembled earlier in the day and placed on a pan. Cover well with plastic wrap.

Tomato Soup Casserole

Stolen from Nestie Skinnybitch

1 can campbells tomato soup
measue out 1 can milk (any kind but skim)
block of cheddar or cheddar jack cheese, shredded
2 C dry elbow macaroni

Preheat oven to 350. Cook macaroni according to directions on the box. While pasta is cooking, combine tomato soup and milk in casserole dish iand whisk. Add most of the shredded cheese (save some to sprinkle on top). Drain pasta and add to casserole dish and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Cover and cook at 350 for 30 minutes then remove cover and broil until top is melted and golden. Will prob. need salt.

American Chop Suey

This is the recipe my mom used when I was growing up, but I also found it on Super easy and pretty yummy. Nothing amazing, but a good, quick and easy meal.


  • 1 (16 ounce) package uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 (10.75 ounce) cans condensed tomato soup
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • You can also add garlic, italian seasoning, peppers or anything else that suits your fancy


  1. Cook macaroni according to package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, in a separate large skillet over medium high heat, saute the ground beef and the onion for 5 to 10 minutes, or until meat is browned and crumbly. Drain thoroughly and leave the meat and onion in the skillet. Pour the two cans of tomato soup into the skillet and stir well to combine.
  3. When noodles are done, drain thoroughly and return noodles to the pot. Add the hamburger mixture from the skillet to the pot. Mix well and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Pumpkin Streusel Bread

Stolen From Cooking Light

Pumpkin Streusel Bread


1/4 cup chopped pecans
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons chilled butter or stick margarine, cut into small pieces
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup raisins
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
Cooking spray


Preheat oven to 350°.

To prepare topping, combine first 4 ingredients until crumbly. Set the mixture aside.

To prepare bread, lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and the next 7 ingredients (flour through nutmeg) in a large bowl; stir well with a whisk. Make a well in center of mixture. Combine the pumpkin and next 5 ingredients (pumpkin through eggs) in a bowl; add to flour mixture. Stir just until moist. Spoon batter into a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray; sprinkle with topping. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.


16 servings (serving size: 1 slice)

Nutritional Information

CALORIES 209(30% from fat); FAT 6.9g (sat 1.7g,mono 2.4g,poly 2.2g); PROTEIN 3.4g; CHOLESTEROL 31mg; CALCIUM 29mg; SODIUM 252mg; FIBER 1.4g; IRON 1.3mg; CARBOHYDRATE 34.6g

Cooking Light, NOVEMBER 2000

Pumpkin Peanut Soup

Pumpkin Peanut Soup (8 servings)
4 cups canned pumpkin puree (or 3 lb. sugar pumpkin or butternut squash*)
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/4 c. butter
1 c. chopped onion
1/2 c. diced red pepper
1 large jalapeno pepper, seeded & diced
4 c. chicken broth
1/4 c. creamy or crunchy peanut butter (my favorite is crunchy, for texture)
1/2 c. heavy cream or milk
2 Tbsp. lime juice
thin-sliced scallions
Melt butter over medium heat, add onion; saute 15 min. or until golden brown.
Add pumpkin, red pepper, jalapeno, and chicken broth; heat to boiling. Cover, reduce heat to simmer. Cook 10 min., stirring to break up pumpkin.
all but 2 cups of soup solids, puree in blender, then return the puree to the solids remaining in the pan.
Add peanut butter and cream. Cover, heat on low, stirring until peanut butter melts.
Add lime juice, salt, and pepper. Garnish with scallions.
*If using fresh pumpkin or squash, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line jellyroll pan with foil. Halve pumpkin/squash lengthwise, remove seeds. Sprinkle inside with 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/8 tsp. pepper. Place cut side down on foil-lined pan. Bake 1 hr. or until soft. Cool, then scoop flesh out for use in the soup.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Broccoli potato and cheddar cheese soup

Looks like this recipe originally came from Cooking Light, but their recipe is slightly different

I love this soup. The instructions have been adapted for Clara's level of cooking. Let's keep our fingers crossed that she doesn't screw it up :P


1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 cans chicken broth (the regular soup size cans)
2 cups broccoli florets chopped (I usually just use frozen broccoli ... I heat it for a minute so I can cut it, then I chop it up)
1 1/4 cups milk
8 oz of shredded cheddar cheese
3 peeled and cubed potatoes

you can also top with cooked bacon and green onions (I usually skip the onions, but the bacon is good)

What to do

Mix 1/3rd cup of chicken broth with the 1/4 cup of flour until smooth and set aside

Combine remaining chicken broth, potatoes and broccoli in a pot. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat. Cook for 8 mins or until potatoes are tender. (now here I usually wing it and just leave it uncovered and let it cook until the potatoes are soft ... you will need to taste test here so pay attention. Also sometimes I put a few more potatoes and/or broccoli in so I make sure that the broth covers them and if I use more I throw a little bit more milk in .... not half a gallon)

Then you're going to gradually stir in the flour mixture from step 1 and cook for another 3-5 mins

Then stir in the milk and cheddar cheese. Stir constantly until the cheese is melted and your done.

When you serve it put a little bit of cheese on top and break up a piece of bacon

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