Monday, December 31, 2012

Macaroni and Cheese

our classic mac and cheese

16 oz. bag of elbow macaroni (or cavatappi) pasta
1 ½ sticks of butter (you can definitely do less!)
~ 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
6 tbps. flour
~ 2 cups milk
Cheddar & American cheeses - shredded (approx. ½ lb. each)

Cook pasta according to directions on package, put aside

Melt butter and oil in medium heat in large saucepan or pot
add 6 tablespoons flour gradually (to make roux) or more – make it thick and pasty, avoid lumps as much as possible
Gradually add milk stirring constantly
When sauce gets thicker (after a few minutes), turn up heat a little
After 5 minutes, if sauce is not at your desired consistency, add more milk or flour as needed
Then slowly add and mix in shredded cheese

Add cheese sauce to pasta

If cheese gets oily and separates, call Lauren (add more milk!)

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cookies II

Killer Cookies fell flat last time.  Delicious, but oddly flat.  I threw out all of my baking powder and baking soda and bought new, just in case.  This recipe comes from allrecipes with a very high rating, so we're giving these a shot for Christmas Eve.

- 2 sticks butter (1c)
- 1 c white sugar
- 1 c brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp baking soda, dissolved in 2 tsp hot water
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 c flour
- 2 c chocolate chips

Cream together butter and sugars until smooth
Beat in eggs one at a time
Add in vanilla
Add in dissolved baking soda, salt
Add in flour, chocolate chips
Drop in spoonfuls onto ungreased pan
(optional: refrigerate for an hour or two)
Bake at 350 for approx 10 minutes, until edges are just browned

- 1 stick softened butter
- .5c white sugar
- .5c brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla
- .5 tsp baking soda, dissolved in 1 tsp hot water
- pinch salt
- 1.5c flour
- 1c chocolate chips

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Alfredo Sauce

Easy, delicious, indulgent cream sauce!

1/4 stick butter
1c cream
1 clove garlic, crushed
1.5c finely grated parmesan
Salt, pepper

Melt butter on stovetop over medium heat
Add crushed garlic
Add 1c cream, simmer and stir for about 5+ minutes
Remove from heat, add almost all of parmesan (reserve some as garnish)
Season with salt and pepper

Sunday, December 2, 2012

S'mores Cake

S'mores Cake/Cucpakes courtesy of Smitten Kitchen (cookbook)


- 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
- 2c flour
- 2c graham cracker crumbs, finely ground (about 14 sheets)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 2/3c sugar
- 1c dark brown sugar
- 4 large eggs room temp
- 2c buttermilk, well-shaken

- 1/2 pound milk choc chopped
- 3/4c heavy cream
- 2 pinches salt

- 4 large egg whites
- 1c sugar
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
- 1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350, parchment/spray 2 9-inch cake pans
Medium bowl - whisk together flour, graham cracker, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon
Large bowl - cream butter and sugars until fluffy, add eggs 1 at a time
Add a third of dry ingredients, half buttermilk, dry, milk, etc. - scrape down and mix again
Bake 35min, invert on rack (for mini cupcakes bake 15 minutes)

Simmer cream and salt, pour over chocolate, let sit one minute, whisk until smooth, cool in fridge evenly (stirring often)

Egg whites, sugar, tartar into stand mixer bowl over simmering water - whisk until warm (3 min)
Beat in stand mixer w whisk at low speed, increasing to high, until stiff peaks form, add vanilla, mix
Use large frosting tip to pipe dollops, wet finger to press down points, brown with torch

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Gingerbread Muffins

These are really good - not super sweet, just enough spice to make 'em interesting.  But if you dare to toast one and add some butter, just prepare yourself right now to double the recipe!  Seriously delicious.

1 egg
1/3c molasses
1/3c brown sugar
1 1/4c flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ginger
1 stick butter, melted
1/3c hot water
+ allspice, cinnamon

Bake at 350 for 20+ minutes

Gingerbread Pancakes

1.5c flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4c molasses
1.5c water

Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon in medium bowl
Beat egg in large bowl, with vanilla and molasses, then add water
Add flour mixture to liquid until just combined
Heat on griddle on medium-high heat

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Chocolate Chip "Muffins"

Defining a "muffin" is tricky.  If it's essentially chocolate cake, sans frosting, does it really count as a muffin?  But lacking frosting, you can't really call it a cupcake.  Either way I love them.


2c flour
1c sugar
3/4c choc chips
1/4c choc chips for topping
1/2c unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1c plain yogurt
1/2c milk
1/2c veg oil

Combine flour, sugar, 3/4c chips, cocoa powder, baking soda in large bowl
Combine remaining ingredients in smaller bowl, whisk thoroughly
Pour liquid mixture into dry and mix until just blended
Pour into a dozen+ baking cups, sprinkle with remaining choc chips
Bake at 400 degrees for about 18 minutes

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Slow Cooker Chicken Tagine

- 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
- 2 medium tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 cloves crushed garlic
- 1 can garbanzo beans (drain, rinse)
- 1 c chicken broth
- 1/3 c raisin
- 2 tsp coriander
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 3 pounds chicken thighs
- 1 box couscous

Combine first 7 ingredients in crock pot, combine spices in ziplock bag and shake with chicken thighs.  Add chicken thighs to slow cooker, cook on low for 8 hours
Serve with couscous

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Smitten Kitchen's best brownies

8x8 pan lined with parchment paper, sprayed with cooking spray
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, roughly chopped
1 stick unsalted butter
1 1/3 c sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp sea salt (or 1/4 tsp table salt)
2/3 c flour

In microwave, melt chopped chocolate and butter together in 30 second increments, stirring at each break, until smooth
Whisk in sugar, eggs, vanilla, salt one at a time
Stir in flour
Scrape into pan, spread
Bake for 25-35 minutes at 350, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean

Monday, October 29, 2012

Pumpkin Pie

1 pie crust (see other Kee Kitchen recipe from Smitten Kitchen - prebake it completely)
(Use 1/2 of pie dough recipe, press chilled dough into pie plate, refrigerate 15 minutes, fold under sides of pan, place on baking sheet, cover with sheet of foil and pie weights or pennies.  Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, then remove foil/weights, rotate, and bake another 5-10 minutes.)

2 8" "pie" pumpkins -  use 3 cups of the finished product
1 c. sugar
1.5 tsp cinnamon - actually do less
1 tsp ground cloves - actually do less
1 tsp allspice - actually do less
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
4 eggs
1.5 cans (12 oz each) evaporated milk

This pie came out delicious but it definitely has serious spice to it!  Next time I'll probably dial back the cinnamon to just 1 tsp, and possibly a bit less on the cloves and allspice as well.

- Use serrated knife to saw pumpkins in half (or very large slices) - scoop out all seeds and stringy parts in center of pumpkin
- Steam pumpkin on stovetop for around 10 minutes, until pumpkin flesh is soft enough to scoop out easily
- Puree pumpkin using blender or immersion blender
- Mix pureed pumpkin (3 cups of it) with all other ingredients, pour into crust (not more than 1/4" from top)
- Wrap pre-baked crust edges in some aluminum foil to prevent burning
- Bake at 425 for first 15 minutes, then at 350 for 45-60 more minutes, until clean knife in center comes out clean.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Pumpkin Bread/Cake

2/3 cup (10 tablespoons) butter
2 c. sugar (or Splenda)
4 eggs
2 c. (16 oz can) pumpkin
2/3 c. water      
3 ½ c. flour
2 tsp. Baking soda
½ tsp. Baking powder
¾ tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Cinnamon
1 tsp. Nutmeg
1 c. (or more) dried cranberries

Melt butter, add sugar, eggs, pumpkin, and water gradually

Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg

Fold in cranberries

Grease/flour 2 or 3 loaf pans (9 x 5 x 3)
Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour


1/3 c (5 tbsp) butter
1c sugar
2 eggs
1c pumpkin
1/3 c water
1 1/4 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
pinch salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg

dried cranberries as desired

I baked this in 2 mini-muffin pans for about 25 minutes

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Amazing.  Spectacular.  Unreal.  Possibly the most delicious, indulgent thing I've ever baked, and as someone who doesn't consider something to be a "dessert" without chocolate, that's saying a lot.  


6 tbsp butter, divided
1/2 cup milk warm (not over 116F)
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (from 1 .25-ounce or 7 gram envelope yeast)
3 1/2 c flour
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp cardamom (optional)
1/4 tsp ground ginger
2/3 cups pumpkin puree
1 large egg
Oil for coating rising bowl


3/4 cup light or dark brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon


4 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 tbsp milk or buttermilk

2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
Few drops vanilla extract (optional)

Make your dough:

- Melt butter (if in pan, brown slightly) - let cool slightly
- Put yeast in small bowl with warm milk, allow to foam for 5-7min (start over if it doesn't)
- In mixer combine flour, sugars, salt, spices, and 1/4c (4 tbsp) of the melted butter, stir

- Add yeast-milk mixture, pumpkin, egg, mix until combined
- Change to dough hook, run for 5 min on LOW
- Put mixture into large oiled bowl, cover w plastic, set for 1 hour to double in size
- Line the bottom of two 9-inch round cake pans with parchment paper and butter the sides of the pan and the paper.

Assemble buns:

- Remove dough from bowl, flour top well, roll it out into 16x11" rectangle
- Brush w remaining (2tbsp) melted butter, sprinkle mixture of sugars/salt/cinnamon
- Roll dough from long side into tight spiral, use serrated knife to gently saw into 1" sections
- Put buns into pans, cover w plastic wrap, let rise 45 min
- CHOICE: either put them in fridge now and leave them out for 1-hour in morning, or remove plastic and bake now at 350 for 25 min


- Beat your cream cheese until it is light and fluffy. 
- Add powdered sugar and vanilla.
- Drizzle in milk until you get the consistency you’re looking for, either thick enough to ice or thin enough to drizzle.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Peanut Butter Blossoms Cookies


- 48 hershey's kisses
- 1/2 c butter
- 3/4 c peanut butter
- 1/3 c sugar
- 1/3 c light brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp milk
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 1/2 c flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- extra granulated sugar for rolling


- Heat oven to 375
- Unwrap chocolates
- Beat butter and peanut butter until blended, add sugars, beat until fluffy
- Add egg, milk, vanilla, beat well
- Stir together flour, baking soda, salt, and gradually beat into peanut butter mixture
- Shape dough into 1-inch balls, roll in sugar, put on ungreased cookie sheet
- Bake 8-10min until lightly browned, press chocolate into center

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Magnolia's Chocolate Buttercream Frosting


1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons milk
9 ounces semisweet chocolate chips, melted and cooled to lukewarm
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups sifted powdered sugar

1.  Melt chocolate in microwave in 1-minute increments at half power, stirring at each minute until smoothly melted.  Let cool 5-15 minutes or until lukewarm.

2.  Beat the softened butter using an electric mixer on MEDIUM speed for about 3 minutes or until creamy.
3  Add the milk carefully and beat on MEDIUM until smooth.
4  Add the melted chocolate and beat well on MEDIUM for 2 minutes.
5  Add the vanilla and beat on MEDIUM for 3 minutes.
6  Gradually add in the sugar and beat on LOW speed until creamy and of desired consistency.
(For icing a 3-layer cake use the following measurements: 2 cups unsalted butter, 3 tablespoons milk, 12 ounces semisweet chocolate, 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract, 3 cups sifted powdered sugar.)

*This frosting turns out so beautifully it's poetic. I took lots of pictures.  However, this photo is not mine - my kitchen lighting makes everything look yellow, and my shots of yellowish chocolate frosting were appalling.  So I completely lifted this shot from, but will swear by it for accuracy.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Blueberry Muffins

Blueberry Muffins
(makes 1 dozen)
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup milk (or buttermilk)
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries

  • Optional topping:
  • 1/2 cup white sugar or brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees, grease muffin cups/liners
2.  Combine dry ingredients in bowl, combine veg oil, egg and milk in cup, then mix into dry.  Fold in blueberries at end.
3.  For optional topping, mix ingredients with fork and sprinkle over muffins before baking
4.  Bake 20-25 minutes

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Carrot Muffins

(makes 1 dozen)
2/3 c white flour
2/3 c wheat flour
1.5 tsp cinnamon
1.5 tsp baking soda
1.25 tsp baking powder
.5 tsp salt

3 eggs
3/4 c sugar
3/4 c veg oil
1 tsp vanilla
2 c grated carrot (about 4-5 carrots)

Optional - nuts and shredded coconut

Sift first set (dry) ingredients into bowl
Mix second set (wet) ingredients into separate bowl, starting with eggs and sugar until frothy, then adding remaining
Fold dry ingredients into wet
Pour into greased muffin pan, bake at 350 for around 25 minutes

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Yellow Cake

smitten kitchen's yellow cake

Best Yellow Layer Cake

Yield: Two 9-inch round, 2-inch tall cake layers, and, in theory, 22 to 24 cupcakes, two 8-inch squares or a 9×13 single-layer cake 

4 c., 2 tablespoons cake flour (not self-rising)
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 c. sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 c. buttermilk, well-shaken

- Preheat oven to 350°F. 
- Butter two 9-inch round cake pans and line with circles of parchment paper, then butter parchment (or use cooking spray)- Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. 
- In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until pale and fluffy, then beat in vanilla
- Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well and scraping down the bowl after each addition. 
- At low speed, beat in buttermilk until just combined (mixture will look curdled). 
- Add flour mixture in three batches, mixing until each addition is just incorporated.
- Spread batter evenly in cake pan, then rap pan on counter several times to eliminate air bubbles
- Bake until golden and a wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. 
- Cool in pan on a rack 10 minutes, then run a knife around edge of pan. Invert onto rack and discard parchment, then cool completely, about 1 hour.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Cheesecake Brownies

recipe courtesy of smittenkitchen

Brownie batter
2 sticks sliced unsalted butter
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Pinch salt

Cheesecake batter 
16 ounces (2 packages) cream cheese, well softened
2/3 cup sugar
2 large egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 bag of semisweet chocolate chips

Make brownie batter: 
- Grease 9x13 pan, preheat oven to 350
- Melt butter and chocolate gently (i.e. in double boiler or microwave) - whisk til smooth
- add in sugar, eggs, vanilla, salt, and lastly flour
- spread into pan

Make cheesecake batter: 
- whisk together all ingredients
- dollop onto brownie batter in pan, use butter knife to spread and swirl
- sprinkle chocolate chips on top

Bake brownies: 
- Bake until edges are slightly puffed and center is just set, about 45 minutes. 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Blueberry Boy Bait Cake

Blueberry Boy Bait from Smitten Kitchen
Serves 12, generously
2 cups plus 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon table salt
16 tablespoons unsalted butter (2 sticks), softened
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup whole milk (though buttermilk, which was all I had on hand, worked just great)
1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen (if frozen, do not defrost first as it tends to muddle in the batter)

1/2 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen (do not defrost)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

For the cake: 
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 13 by 9-inch baking pan, or bread pan and 12-c muffin tin
2. Whisk two cups flour, baking powder, and salt together in medium bowl. 
3. In another bowl, with electric mixer, beat butter and sugars on medium-high speed until fluffy, about two minutes. 
4. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until just incorporated and scraping down bowl. 
5. Reduce speed to medium and beat in one-third of flour mixture until incorporated; beat in half of milk. Beat in half of remaining flour mixture, then remaining milk, and finally remaining flour mixture. 
6. Toss blueberries with remaining one teaspoon flour. Using rubber spatula, gently fold in blueberries. Spread batter into prepared pan.

For the topping:
Scatter blueberries over top of batter. Stir sugar and cinnamon together in small bowl and sprinkle over batter. Bake until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool in pan 20 minutes, then turn out and place on serving platter (topping side up). Serve warm or at room temperature. (Cake can be stored in airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.)

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Lemon Poppyseed Muffins


2 c. flour
3/4 c. sugar
Just under 1/4 c. poppy seeds
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. sliced almonds
2 eggs
2 cups lemon flavored yogurt (or plain yogurt + 1.5 tbsp lemon extract)
1/3 c. vegetable oil
1 tbsp lemon zest
*optional - almond extract!

1/3 c. lemon juice
3 tbsp sugar

1. Preheat oven to 400, grease or line muffin tins
2. Combine all dry ingredients (including poppy seeds)
3. Combine all wet ingredients in separate bowl, pour into flour mixture bowl and mix until just combined (do not overmix)
4. Spoon batter into tins, about 3/4 to top.  Start checking for doneness at 10-12 minutes.
5. For glaze, mix lemon juice and sugar, poke a few holes with fork into baked muffins, and spoon about a tablespoon of the glaze onto each.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Ice Cream

1 cup whole milk
¾ cup granulated sugar
pinch salt
2 cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Mix all ingredients together, add to frozen ice cream maker, let churn for at least 20 minutes

Suggestion: add a few drops of peppermint extract (err on conservative side, let churn 1 min, add more as needed) and crushed oreo cookies.  


This recipe is infinitely adaptable - swap in different kinds of cheeses (or leave out mozzarella altogether) or substitute different greens.  Spice it up with salt, pepper, and even nutmeg!  See more ideas at BrokeAss!

To buy:
- frozen spinach
- feta cheese
- mozzarella cheese
- dill
- eggs
- cottage cheese
- filo dough

11x13 pan - brush pan with veg oil
1 pack filo dough - defrosted in advance (preferably in fridge overnight, but on counter for a few hours works too).  Whole wheat filo works great too.

Mix spinach mixture:
2 or 3 packs of frozen spinach, cooked, drained well to remove as much moisture as possible
Large container of feta cheese, crumbled
Cottage cheese - medium container
6 eggs
Dill - medium sizes bunch
Mozzarella cheese - shredded - about 1 or 2 cups
Salt, pepper as desired

Quick Version: Lay down about 6 sheets of filo dough in bottom of pan - brush each sheet with butter/veg oil before adding the next
Add spinach mixture all at once

Fancy Version: Layer sheets just a few at a time, putting a thin layer of spinach mixture before adding the next few layers of filo. 

Add final layers of dough on top (again, brushing each with butter/oil) - about 4 to 6 more layers
Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes with a piece of aluminum foil loosely on top, then remove foil and bake for another 40 minutes or so
Let it set for at least 15 minutes after baking

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Belgian Waffles

Makes 3-4 waffles

2 c. flour

1 tsp salt (or less)

4 tsp baking powder

2 tbsp sugar

2 eggs, separated

1.5c warm milk

5.5 tbsp butter, melted 

1 tsp vanilla

  1. In a large bowl, sift together flour, salt, baking powder and sugar; mix.
  2. Preheat waffle iron to desired temperature.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix egg yolks, milk, butter and vanilla. Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture; beat until blended.
  4. Fold in egg whites
  5. Ladle the batter into a preheated waffle iron. Cook the waffles until golden and crisp. Serve immediately.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

ice cream cone cupcakes

2 packages cake mix (one chocolate, one vanilla/yellow)
24+ ice cream cones
(water, oil, eggs for mix)

Cover cupcake pan with tin foil, cut X's into foil to hold cones upright
Fill ice cream cones with cake mix, about 2/3 - 3/4 of the way full
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Bake 15 to 20 minutes

Pour remaining batter into mini cupcake tins, bake for closer to 10 minutes (watch carefully)

Allow all to cool, assemble by topping ice cream cone with the mini cupcake (to add height) - attach together using frosting.

Buttercream Frosting:

4c powdered sugar
.5c butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
3 tbsp milk


Whipped Cream Frosting:

2c cold heavy cream
6 tbsp powdered sugar
1-2 tsp vanilla

Thursday, July 12, 2012

cheesecake with cherries

Another serious winner from smitten kitchen.  


15 sheets of graham cracker, finely ground
1 stick melted butter
.5 c sugar
1/4 tsp salt

5 packages (8oz) philadelphia cream cheese, softened
1 3/4c sugar
3 tbsp flour
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp orange zest 
5 eggs
2 yolks
.5 tsp vanilla

Cherry sauce
10 ounces cherries, pitted
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 c sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch
.5 c water

Buttered 9.5in springform pan, set in baking pan to catch drips

- mix all ingredients together, press into bottom of springform pan, and sides, stopping 1" from top
- freeze while making filling

- preheat oven to 550
- beat cream cheese, sugar, flour, zest in mixer until smooth
- add vanilla, then eggs and yolks one at a time, scraping frequently
- pour into pan in baking dish until completely full
- bake 10-12 minutes until puffed, just browning
- lower temp, bake 1 hour+ at 200 degrees (middle will still be vaguely wobbly)
- remove from oven, run knife around cake, cool on rack and then chill in fridge loosely covered for 6 hours 

- mix all ingredients in saucepan, bring to boil
- cook 1-2 min, then cool completely

Cheesecake will keep for up to 2 weeks covered in fridge

Monday, July 9, 2012


1 container cherry tomatoes, halved
1-2 cloves minced garlic
High quality olive oil (1/4 c)
8 or so basil leaves, chopped
Dash of balsamic vinegar
Salt, pepper
Burrata cheese

Broil 3/4" slices of baguette, drizzled with olive oil, for just a few minutes
Remove from oven, top with tomato mixture and burrata cheese, broil again for a few minutes

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


2 lbs beef (or ground turkey)
1 lb shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 can pitted black olives
1 onion
1 jar enchilada sauce (trader joe's)
15-20 tortillas (corn preferable)
taco seasonings (either a packet or a mix of chile powder/flakes, cumin, salt/pepper, garlic, onion, paprika, oregano)

Chop onions, mix taco seasonings, sautee in medium heat with beef until cooked through
Put thin layer of enchilada sauce in bottom of pan, put cooked beef and an ounce or two of cheddar in each tortilla, roll and place seam-side down, top with lots of leftover cheddar and sliced black olives and leftover enchilada sauce
Bake for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees

To make a meal . . .
- add a side dish of spanish rice (using a mix is legit but you can also just add salsa, onion and broth to white rice)
- make guacamole - 2 avocados, 1 jalapeno, 1/2 c diced onion, 2 limes' juice, 3 cloves garlic, 1 roma tomato, dash of salt . . . dice and mix all ingredients
- serve with sour cream
- add black beans and chips and make nachos - top layer of chips in baking dish with beans, leftover beef filling, cheese, olives, bake for about 10 min at around 400 degrees.  Top with salsa, guac, and sour cream for super nachos.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Chocolate Mousse

Chocolate Mousse, 6 servings

8 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup water, divided
2 tbsp butter
3 egg yolks
2 tbsp sugar
1 1/4 whipping cream

- Chill electric beaters and bowl in freezer, then use them to whip heavy cream until very thick and clumpy
- Melt chocolate, 1/4 c of water, and butter in glass bowl in microwave . . . should take a few minutes on half power, but check on it constantly (every 30 seconds) to stir.  Melt until reasonably smooth, although tiny bits of chocolate will add texture if desired.  Cool chocolate mix for 10 minutes.
- Whisk sugar, egg yolks, 1/4 c of water in heavy saucepan, then melt on low heat until temperature reaches 160 degrees F.  Remove from heat, whisk in chocolate mixture, then set entire saucepan into bowl of ice to cool quickly for about 5-10 min.  Fold in the whipped cream, spoon into dishes or chocolate cups, refrigerate for 4 hours

If you live in/near the mission in SF, grocery store duc loi at 18/mission sells beautiful chocolate cups in their baking section, as well as chocolate curls and other fancy decor.  I hit their produce for fresh raspberries to serve with the mousse.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala

Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala
Yields 6 servings

This recipe is genuinely amazing.  I added a quick homemade raita by scooping some de-seeded cucumber, a cup or so of plain full fat yogurt, and a teaspoon+ of cumin and coriander.  


5 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into 1 inch pieces (about 3 lbs)
1/2 large yellow onion, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp freshly, finely grated ginger
1 jalapeno, stemmed, sliced in half and seeds removed
1 (29 oz) can tomato puree 
1 1/2 cups plain yogurt 
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp Garam Masala
1 Tbsp cumin
1/2 Tbsp paprika
2 tsp salt, or to taste
3/4 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1-3 tsp cayenne pepper
2 bay leaves

Add at end:
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 tbsp cornstarch
Prepared Long Grain White Rice or Basmati Rice
Chopped cilantro, for serving

In a large mixing bowl combine chopped onions, minced garlic, grated ginger, sliced jalapeno, tomato puree, plain yogurt, olive oil, lemon juice, Garam Masala, cumin, paprika, salt, cinnamon, pepper and cayenne pepper.  Stir until combine.  Pour half of sauce mixture into a large slow cooker then add in diced chicken followed then cover chicken with remaining sauce.  Add in 2 bay leaves.  Cover slow cooker with lid and cook on low heat for 8 hours (or high for 4 hours).  
In a mixing bowl, whisk together heavy cream and cornstarch, pour mixture into slow cooker and gently stir.  Allow mixture to cook 20 minutes while you prepare the rice.  Remove bay leaves and sliced jalapeno and serve warm over rice and sprinkle with chopped cilantro.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Basic Chicken Curry

Eh, I wasn't totally thrilled with this recipe.  It came out soupy and under-flavored.  I think that it needs more fresh, bold seasonings, like a jalapeno cooking in there with it, as well as more salt.

1 lb. skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 lb. skinless, boneless chicken thighs
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 chopped onion

  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1 (13.5 ounce) can coconut milk
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup curry powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper 
  • 1 chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch (for thickening at the end)
  • Garnish - 1 tbsp each raisins and flaked coconut

1. Cube chicken
2. Add all ingredients (except bell pepper, cornstarch and garnishes) into slow cooker, cook on low for 4 hours
3. Keep slow cooker on, add red bell pepper (adding it at the beginning will make it fall apart), cook an additional hour, adding cornstarch about 15 minutes before it's done (easier to add cornstarch by mixing it with a little water first)

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Pulled Peanut Chicken

Thai Style Peanut Pulled Chicken in the Slow Cooker, taken from

for the meat
3 lbs of boneless, skinless chicken thighs, breasts or a combination of the two
1 medium onion, halved and quartered
torn cilantro leaves and crushed peanuts for garnish

for the sauce
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup chicken stock (or warm water)
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons rice vinegar 
1 1/2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon chili flakes

Puree all ingredients of the sauce in a blender for two minutes, or until smooth.  Set off to the side.

Place the onions in the bottom of the slow cooker and lay the chicken on top.  Pour the prepared sauce over the top of the chicken.  Place the lid back on and cook on high 3-4 hours on HIGH or 6-8 on LOW. 

About an hour to 40 minutes before your final cooking time, remove the meat from the slow cooker and place on a large cutting board. Using two forks, shred the chicken by pulling away from each other. Place the shredded chicken back into the slow cooker, stir well and continue to cook for that additional 30 minutes to an hour.

Garnish with cilantro and chopped peanuts