Friday, November 1, 2013

Chocolate Cream Cheese Cake

My new favorite.

Mini chips!
1 box of devil's food cake (gasp!), with required ingredients, mixed
1 recipe cheesecake mix: 2 softened 8oz bars of cream cheese, 2/3c sugar, 1 tsp vanilla, 2 eggs, mixed
Layer chocolate mixture first, adding a cup or two of semi-sweet chocolate chips as well
Layer in cheesecake on top
Cook for at least 40 minutes at 350

Cream cheese frosting:
2 sticks of butter, softened
1 stick of cream cheese, softened
Beat together for a good long while
Add in 3-4 cups of powdered sugar, slowly
Add in 2 tsp vanilla extract
Frost cake after it's cooled, topping it with mini chocolate chips

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Pumpkin Soup

Pumpkin Soup

12-16 servings

¼ cup vegetable oil
4 medium size onions, chopped (yellow)
2 tsp. thyme leaves (could be excluded)
½ tsp. nutmeg
1 pound rutabagas, peeled & diced
2 pounds thin skinned potatoes, peeled & cubed (golden potatoes)
2 large cans of pumpkin
14 cups chicken stock (might be too much)

Combine onions, oil, thyme, nutmeg, cook on medium heat till soft (5 minutes)
Add rutabagas, potatoes, and cook over medium heat, stir occasionally until veggies soften (30 min)
Pour in stock and bring to boil over high heat
Reduce heat, cover, simmer until potatoes and rutabagas are soft
Take potatoe/rutabaga mixture with pumpkin and put in food processor to puree

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Coconut Curry Shrimp

2 tbsp red curry paste
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 can coconut milk
Water chestnuts (add last)
Simmer for 5-10 minutes, then add water chestnuts

Steam cauliflower, add to sauce

Cook rice separately

Take frozen shrimp out of bag, run under cold water to thaw, dry it off
Chop up garlic
Sautee in pan with olive oil for 3-5 minutes, add salt

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Creamy Polenta

4 c water
4 c milk
3 tbsp butter
2 tsp salt
2 c polenta (corn grits)
1/2 c creme fraiche
1/3 c parmesan cheese

Boil water, milk, and butter in large stockpot - keep a CLOSE EYE on it so that it doesn't boil over.  Once boiling, whisk in salt and polenta, stir for 3-4 minutes, then simmer for approximately 30 minutes more until thick and creamy.  When ready, stir in creme fraiche and parmesan.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Frittata II

1 bag baby spinach
2 tbsp oil
1-2 rainbow bell peppers, diced
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
8 eggs
salt, pepper
2 tbsp milk

Sautee bell peppers in oil
Wilt spinach in same pan with a bit of water, wring out well and chop
Sautee together garlic, peppers, spinach
In bowl, beat eggs, then add pepper, milk, crumbled feta, and spinach mixture
Using large oven-safe skillet, pour in egg mixture, tilting to spread eggs, occasionally lifting to let liquid run under and cook
Turn heat low, cover, cook about 10 minutes, until just set
Turn on broiler, put pan (uncovered) in middle of oven for just a couple minutes
Let set and cool

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Chocolate Cream Cheese Bundt Cake

Chocolate Cream Cheese Bundt Cake

1 package softened cream cheese
1/4 c sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla

1/2 c butter, softened
1 c water
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 c flour
1/2 c unsweetened cocoa
1.25 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 3/4c sugar

Optional glaze: 1/4 pack of cream cheese, 2 tbsp sugar, dash of milk

Preheat oven to 350

Beat cream cheese and sugar, add egg and vanilla, beat well
In another bowl, beat all ingredients for chocolate cake (wet first, add dry)
Pour about half of chocolate mixture into greased bundt pan, then add cream cheese (swirl with knife a little), then add remaining chocolate mixture.  Bake for about 55 minutes, add glaze when cooled and removed from pan.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


Makes 24 small meatballs . . .

1 lb beef
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp powdered garlic
3/4 tsp oregano
Dash of liquid smoke
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup italian breadcrumbs
1 egg
Salt, pepper

Bake at 400 degrees for approx 8-12 minutes, until centers are no longer pink

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Cherry Cheese Strudel

1 package filo dough
1 package cream cheese
1 tub ricotta cheese
1/4c bakers sugar
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
1 tbsp lemon juice
Cherries (jar or fresh, pitted) - if using fresh you may want to boil them in saucepan with a little water, cornstarch, lemon juice and sugar
4 tbsp melted butter
Powdered sugar for serving

Preheat oven to 350
Line baking sheet with parchment paper
Beat together ricotta, cream cheese, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice in stand mixer til smooth
Add in cherries
Layer filo dough by brushing with butter
Put filling lengthwise on one side, fold in short sides, roll up, brush with butter
Bake approx 30 min til golden
Serve with powdered sugar

Lamb Tagine

Yellow Rice

1.5 cups basmati rice
3/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp cumin
3 cups chicken stock
1 tsp garlic, minced
1 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp salt
optional - lemon at end

Add turmeric, cumin, stock, garlic, butter, salt to stock pot and bring to boil.  Add rice, return to boil, then cover and turn heat to very low (barely simmer) for 20 minutes until all liquid is absorbed.  Turn off heat and let sit for 10 minutes more, then fluff with fork.

Lamb Tagine

2 lbs lamb shoulder, cubed (approx 1.5 inch cubes)
2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ginger
1 tsp salt
1 pinch saffron
3/4 tsp garlic powder
3/4 tsp coriander

1.5 cups chicken broth
2 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 leek, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 pear, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup raisins

Combine all spices in gallon ziplock bag, toss together well, then add raw lamb, toss again well until lamb is evenly coated.  Refrigerate overnight ideally.
In saucepan with a few tbsp olive oil, brown lamb on all sides for a few minutes
Pour chicken broth into pan to deglaze it from lamb, save to add into slow cooker
In slow cooker, put all vegetables, raisins
Layer lamb on top, then pour in chicken broth
Turn on slow cooker to low setting for 8-10 hours

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Oreo cupcakes

Oreo Cupcakes

1 pack Oreo Cookies
1 package Mini Oreo Cookies, for decoration (optional)
1 recipe of chocolate cake (homemade or package)
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 stick butter, softened
3 cups powder sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Make cake mix, add a little less than 1/2 package of Oreos, crushed
Mix together, pour into mini cupcake tins, bake about 10 min

Cream together butter and cream cheese. Add vanilla, then powder sugar slowly, mix 5 min in stand mixer.
Finely grind remaining Oreos (maybe reserve some for decoration) and add into frosting, to taste.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Creme Brulee

Relatively easy creme brulee recipe

1 qt heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, halved and scraped
6 ounces white sugar (3/4 c) - divided in half
10 egg yolks
6 tbsp brown sugar
ramekins, cooking torch

Preheat oven to 300 degrees
Boil cream, split/scraped vanilla bean and half of the white sugar together - watch closely because it will boil over if unattended!
Mix yolks and other half of white sugar with whisk, whisking until foamy and pale
Remove the vanilla bean from the pot
Slowly and constantly whisk in boiling cream mixture to yolk mixture
Put ramekins in a deep baking dish, fill baking dish with water until it comes halfway up sides of ramekins
Pour the custard evenly into the ramekins, bake for about 45 minutes until tops are set but jiggly
Let cool to room temperature (or cover with plastic in fridge overnight)
Sprinkle brown sugar on each custard, carmelize with cooking torch

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Baked Potato Soup


6-8 red potatoes
2 tsp olive oil
.5c onion
1 1/4c broth
3 tbsp flour
2 c milk (or half-half)
1/4c sour cream
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
5 strips bacon
1/2c cheddar cheese
4 green onions


- Pierce potatoes with fork, microwave on high 13 minutes, halve, cool
- Heat oil in saucepan, sautee onions 4 minutes
- Combine flour and 1/2c of the milk, add into pot
- Add the remaining (1 1/2c) milk
- Bring to boil, stir often
- Remove from heat, add in sour cream, salt, pepper
- Cook bacon on paper towel in microwave 4 minutes, crumble
- Remove potato skins, mash potato into soup
- Top with green onions, cheese, bacon

Berry Custard


1 tsp melted butter
1 c raspberries
4 sliced fresh peaches
.5c flour
2/3c sugar
1 1/4c milk or half-half
3 eggs
.5 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt


Arrange peaches and raspberries in 2-quart baking dish
Whisk all other ingredients together for 2 minutes, pour over fruit
Bake at 350 for at least 50 minutes until puffed with golden brown edges

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Sea Salt Brownies

Salted, fudgy brownies are addictive.  If you want to be all smitten kitchen, you could add caramels as well into the mix.  I was a purist on these.

1.5 sticks butter
2 ounces chopped baking chocolate
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1 c white sugar
1 c brown sugar
3 eggs
1.5 tsp vanilla
1.c flour
3/4+ tsp flaky sea salt

1. Preheat oven to 350, line 9" pan with buttered aluminum foil
2. In microwave on half power in 1 minute increments, melt butter and chopped chocolate together until melted
3. One at a time whisk in cocoa, sugar, eggs, vanilla, flour
4. Pour into pan, smooth evenly, sprinkle sea salt, mix in slightly into batter
5. Bake at least 30 minutes (more like 45) until batter in center on toothpick test isn't wet, cool one hour in pan

Recipe for 9x13 pan:
2 1/4 sticks butter
3 ounces chopped baking chocolate
a little less than 1/2c unsweetened cocoa
1.5 c white sugar
1.5 c brown sugar
4 eggs
2+ tsp vanilla
1.5c flour
1+ tsp flaky sea salt

Monday, April 15, 2013

Banana Muffins

Banana Bread Recipe

- 3 or 4 overly ripe bananas, smushed
- 1/3c melted butter
- 1c sugar (or reduce to 3/4)
- 1 beaten egg
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp baking soda
- pinch salt
- 1 1/2c flour

Mix butter and bananas, then add sugar, egg, vanilla, last sprinkle in baking soda and salt, mix. Add flour, mix, and pour into muffin tin - makes 1 dozen muffins. Bake at 350 until toothpick tests clean.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Chocolate Fudge Cake

Hold on to your hat, this one's a winner!

3 cups packed brown sugar
3/4 cup canola oil
3 eggs

2 2/3 cups (cake) flour
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
2 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups milk

1 1/2 cups boiling water
1 1/8 cups cocoa powder

5 sticks butter, soft
3 cups sifted powdered sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup heavy cream

To make 1 two-layer cake plus 36 mini cupcakes or one three-layer cake:

- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees - Oil 2 9-inch cake pans and line the bottom with parchment paper, plus 3 mini cupcake pans. 
- In electric mixer, combine the brown sugar and oil. On low speed, mix in the eggs. 
- In large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, soda, and salt. 
- In small bowl, mix the vanilla into the milk. 
- Sift cocoa into a bowl, bring the water to a boil and pour over the cocoa and whisk it until it is smooth. 
- To the egg mixture, alternately add the flour mixture and the milk mixture beginning and ending with flour. With the mixer off, scrape down the sides of the bowl after each addition. 
- With the mixture at a low speed add the cocoa. 
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl and pour this mixture into the prepared cake pans. It will seem extremely watery. You may want to bake it with a cookie sheet under to catch drips if you're using springform pans. 
- Bake the cake for approximately 30 minutes (cupcakes - around 10min) or until tester comes out clean. Cool and refrigerate. 

Frosting: In an electric mixing bowl place the soft butter and beat it on a low speed while adding powdered sugar, then vanilla, let the mixer beat for 5 to 7 minutes on a medium speed. 
Fill and frost the cake and refrigerate. 

- In a heatproof bowl, place the chocolate chips. 
- Bring the heavy cream to a full boil. - Pour the cream over the chocolate until  just covered and whisk it until smooth. 
- Let sit, then pour over the top of the cake and refrigerate. (spoon on top of frosted cupcakes)

To make a smaller amount of cake (because this is a ton!) I use a 2/3 recipe as follows:

2 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
2 eggs

1 3/4 cups (cake) flour
1.5 teaspoons baking powder
1.5 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup milk

1 cup boiling water
3/4 cups cocoa powder 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Lemon Chiffon Cake

Lemon Chiffon Cake from tasteofhome

This cake was truly light and delicious, but the one criticism is that it has a spongy, chewy quality - not bad but worth noting.

  • 7 eggs, separated
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup water with 1/4 tsp lemon extract
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 4 teaspoons grated lemon peel
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

Whipped Cream frosting:
  • 1 pint heavy cream
  • 6 tbsp+ powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp (or more) vanilla extract
  • lemon extract to taste

Place egg whites in a large bowl; let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. (or, for speed's sake, put them in microwave at 10% power for 1 minute
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt (ideally, sift). In another bowl, whisk the egg yolks, water, oil, lemon peel and vanilla; add to dry ingredients and beat until well blended. Add cream of tartar to egg whites; beat on medium speed until stiff peaks form. Fold into batter.
- Gently spoon into a greased bundt pan. Bake on the lowest oven rack at 325° for 50-55 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched. Immediately invert pan; cool completely, about 1 hour. Yield: 12-16 
- Beat heavy cream in stand mixer until light and whipped - add powdered sugar a spoonful at a time (ideally, sift it in) until you reach desired sweetness, then add vanilla extract and lemon extract to taste.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Key Lime Coconut Muffins


  • cups flour
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup key lime juice
  • 1 -1 1/2 cup sweet flaked coconut


  1. 1
    Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in mixing bowl.
  2. 2
    In a separate bowl, combine milk, eggs, oil and Key Lime Juice.
  3. 3
    Stir liquid ingredients into dry ingredients just until all are moist, do not overmix.
  4. 4
    Spray Large muffin tins lightly with cooking oil.
  5. 5
    Layer batter and coconut by filling tins 1/2 full with batter, then 1 tablespoon of coconut, then fill to about 1/4 inch from top with batter and top with 1 tablespoon of coconut.
  6. 6
    Bake at 400 degrees for 25-28 minutes, until tops are brown and the coconut is toasty. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes, run a knife around the muffins and place on serving dish or store in airtight container.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Blueberry Loaf


- 1 stick butter, softened
- 1c sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/2c milk
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 3/4c flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1c blueberries

Topping: 1 tsp cinnamon, 2 tsp sugar

Cream together sugar and butter until fluffy, then add eggs, milk, vanilla
Add flour and baking powder, mix until just blended
Fold in blueberries
Bake in 9x5 greased loaf pan for approx 1 hour

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Monte Cristo Sandwich

- White bread (I used country buttermilk)
- Eggs
- Milk
- Vanilla
- Cinnamon
- Sliced deli ham
- Sliced deli turkey
- Sliced swiss cheese
- Serve with: blackberry jam, powdered sugar, syrup

- In large mixing bowl, combine 2 eggs with about 1/2c milk, whisk together with 1/2 tsp vanilla and a sprinkle of cinnamon
- Assemble sandwich by layering ham, turkey, and swiss cheese between 2 slices of bread
- Dip outsides of sandwich into egg mixture, coating well
- Fry in covered pan coated generously with butter on medium heat, flipping when browned
- Sprinkle with powdered sugar, serve with syrup and blackberry jam
- Die and go to heaven

Monday, January 28, 2013


Blondies from Smitten Kitchen

- 8 tbsp melted butter
- 1c brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp vanilla
- pinch salt
- 1c flour
Extras: choc chips, nuts, coconut flakes

- Butter an 8x8 pan
- Mix melted butter with brown sugar, beat in egg and vanilla
- Add salt, flour
- Add any extra additions
- Bake at 350 for 30+ minutes until toothpick comes out clean

Chocolate Air Cake

Smitten Kitchen's "Lighter Than Air Chocolate Cake"

- 12oz semisweet choc chips
- 6 tbsp water
- 12 large eggs, separated, at room temp
- 1 1/3 c sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 2c heavy cream
- 6 tbsp powder sugar, sifted
- 1 tsp vanilla

- Melt choc chips with 6 tbsp water in microwave in 1 minute increments on half power until melted
- Beat yolks, 2/3c sugar, salt in stand mixer 5 minutes
- Fold in melted chocolate
- Clean beaters, beat egg whites in stand mixer until they just hold soft peaks
- Add remaining 2/3c sugar into egg whites, until stiff peaks
- Fold egg whites slowly into choc mixture
- Spread mixture into four baking pans (9", greased/parchment), baking at 350 until puffed/dry (15-18minutes)
- Sift cocoa powder onto cakes, cover with wax paper, invert onto pans and freeze 1 hour
- Filling: beat cream, powder sugar, vanilla with clean beaters until stiff peaks

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

french toast

Great french toast means finding the best bread.  The semifreddi's cinnamon twist bread is begging to be french toasted, and for good reason - the intense cinnamon flavor really comes through.  You must serve them with fresh berries!

In mixing bowl, combine:

4 eggs
1-2c milk
Dash salt
Dash sugar
Cinnamon (if not using cinnamon bread)
Dash vanilla extract

Dip slices of bread one by one into mixture briefly, and pile up on a plate to await toasting.  Turn on your stove to medium heat, and use a buttered pan that has a cover - this is the trick to getting the toast to cook through without burning on the outside.  A few minutes on each side should do it.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Blueberry Pancakes

Apparently there are some tricks to making award-winning pancakes.  The first is keeping the griddle on medium/medium-low, which is annoying in that it takes longer, but pancakes will be cooked more evenly throughout.  Also, to get a really great fluffier texture, save the whites of the eggs for last - whip them up into peaks and then fold them into the batter at the very end.  And lastly, if adding fruit or blueberries, no need to mix them into the batter - just drop them onto the pancakes as they cook, which will result in more even distribution and less messiness in the finished product.

This recipe makes about a dozen or so pancakes.

- 2 cups flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- a little less than 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 tbsp sugar

- 2 egg yolks (reserve egg whites to whip and fold in later)
- 3 c. buttermilk (without buttermilk on hand, you can easily "make" buttermilk by filling a measuring cup with 1 tbsp white vinegar and then adding regular milk until it reaches the 1c line.)
- 4 tbsp melted butter

Combine dry ingredients and wet until just lumpy (don't overmix), and fold in egg whites

Drop onto greased griddle (recommend using a small amount of butter as grease), drop blueberries (or strawberries were great too) onto pancakes as they cook, flip after a few minutes once golden on bottom (and bubbles appear).

To keep warm while cooking them, keep finished pancakes on heat-proof plate in oven at 175 degrees.