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Showing posts from 2009

Caramel Croissant Pudding

Small Plates:
A desert just for two... ahh how romantic. Rich buttery croissants submerged in sweet decadent caramely goodness with just a hint of brandy... mmmmmm!! Now I will say that that I do not like bread pudding... there is just something about wet bread that triggers my gag reflex however, this recipe is different and am I ever so glad that I found it. The croissants are a different texture and not gummy at all.

Caramel Croissant Pudding

2 stale croissants
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons water
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons bourbon
1/2 cup whole milk
2 eggs, beaten

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Tear the croissants into pieces and put in a small oven safe dish.

Put the sugar and water into a saucepan, and swirl around to help dissolve the sugar before putting the saucepan on the stove over medium/high heat. Caramelize the sugar and water mixture by letting it bubble away until it all turns a deep amber color; this will take 3 to 5 minutes.

Take the pan o…

Tom and Jerry Drink

I tried a new drink over the Christmas holiday and it was scrumptious to say the least! But I can't really explain how good it was without explaining how freaking cold it was. It was our first White Christmas ever (YEA), and this was the perfect drink to warm me up. Ya know, I'm a Texas girl... and I can only handle small spurts of cold... very small. This was blizzard like conditions!! 40 mile an hour sustained winds with gusts up to 60 and below freezing temps! Seriously, I don't know how people up north survive??? So cold it just chills you to the bone... unless, you insert yummy warm drink and then, I'm a happy girl!!
I reseached several recipes to make sure I got it right, so first I will give you the recipe I ended up making (enough for a couple of servings) then I will give you the recipe that Lorie gave me (enough to share!) Thanks Lorie!

So here ya go!

1 egg separated
1 tbsp sugar
hot water

Start by heating water (I jus…

Biscuits and Gravy

Buttermilk Biscuits and Sausage Gravy

This is a real stick to your ribs kinda breakfast, and it is gooood!! With all this weird, cold weather (come on, it Texas! what's up with that???) we need some substance. Now, I've tried this biscuit recipe a few times, the first attempt was sad... my darlin husband (who is not afraid to voice his opinion) mentioned how they could be used as skeet, as well as other negative comments that I chose to ignore... however, the good news is they keep getting better every time I make them.

Buttermilk Biscuits
Recipe on Food Network by Alton Brown

2 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons shortening
1 cup buttermilk, chilled

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Using your fingertips, rub butter and shortening into dry ingredients until mixture looks like crumbs. (The faster the better…

Alcoholic Hot Chocolate

MMMMM.... In searching through Nigella's recipes I kept coming across this one... I just had to make it, and I am so glad I did. I was worth every calorie that I consumed, and every extra minute (175 of them) that I will spend on the elliptical to reverse the damage! Alcoholic Hot Chocolate makes me a very happy mommy.

There is such a sense of peace and contentment and bliss in this little cup that I cannot fully express to you. You are going to have to try it for yourself... Seriously... try it!

2 cups milk
3 1/2 ounces best-quality dark chocolate, bittersweet or semisweet, as preferred
1 cinnamon stick
2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons dark rum, or to taste

Put the milk into a saucepan and break the chocolate into pieces and add to the milk along with a cinnamon stick, honey, and sugar and heat gently until the chocolate is melted.
Add the vanilla and mix with a small hand whisk and still whisking, add a…

Cranberry Almond Cookies

This recipe is a variation of Giada's Dried Cherry and Almond Cookies with Vanilla Icing. It was Day 2 of the Food Network's 12 days of cookies. I used cranberries instead of cherries and they were delicious!! One note: the icing recipe makes a lot, way to much for one recipe of cookies... My solution of course is to make another batch of cookies :o)

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup, plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 large egg
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup coarsely chopped cranberries
1/2 cup slivered, blanched almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped

2 3/4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons water, plus extra, as needed


For the Cookies:
In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat the butter, sugar, vanilla extract, almond extract, cinnamon, and salt until light and fluffy, a…

Triple Chocolate Brownies

I love cookies. In fact I think I might be addicted... but when I was searching for the perfect cookie recipe to make this week, I came across this Triple Chocolate Brownie recipethat I just couldn't pass up! You see... chocolate is an obsession and the simple fact that these have three (that's right, I said three!!) different kinds of chocolate, well the search was over... I had to try it. And I am glad I did! They were warm, super rich with bittersweet chocolate and butter and required nothing more that a cold glass of milk. Plus, the recipe made filled a 9x13 pan so there are plenty to share.

 The challange this week for I heart Cooking Clubs was Cookies or Dessert Exchange and here is the recipe I chose.

3 sticks plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
12 ounces best-quality bittersweet chocolate
6 eggs
1 3/4 cups superfine sugar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup white chocolate buttons, chi…


MMMMMM... My inner goddess knows exactly what she wants... she wants Chocolate.

 Chocolate that is rich and decadent and sinful.

I am so pleased that I came across and chose to make this recipe. It was absolutely divine! The top formed a perfect crust with a gooey chocolatey filling that words simply cannot discribe.


1 stick plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, with 60 percent cocoa solids
2 eggs
3/4 cup superfine sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Special equipment: 4 (2/3 to 1-cup capacity) ramekins

Place a baking sheet in the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F.
Butter the ramekins with 1 tablespoon butter.

Either in a microwave or in a bowl suspended over a pan over simmering water, melt the dark chocolate and 1 stick butter, then set aside to cool a little.

In another bowl, mix the eggs with the sugar and flour with a hand whisk and beat in the cooled butter and chocolate mixture. Divide the mixture between the 4 buttered r…

Italian Feast Part 2 - Cheesy Stuffed Shells

Cheesy Stuffed Shells

pièce de résistance

I was watching Food Network... like I often do when I have time... and when I go to print the recipe I was looking for (that is completely unrelated to this) low and behold there it was, gleaming on the corner of the page... I swear it was calling out to me... a picture of this recipe.

mmmm... this smells good!!

Look how snug they are in the nice warm sauce!

And a little more sauce... now they are ready for the oven.

Cheesy Stuffed Shells
Adapted from Melissa D'Arabian (food network)

For the Sauce:
Kosher salt
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup grated carrot
1/2 cup grated zucchini
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup chopped celery
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
Freshly ground pepper

For the Shells:
1 12-ounce box jumbo pasta shells
1 10-ounce box frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 1/2 cups cottage cheese
1/2 cup…

Italian Feast Part 1 - Spaghetti alla Carbonara

Ok, so I can't just make Cannoli, nope... gotta have something to go with it and since I was making Cannoli... I decided to do a whole Italian Feast! After seeing this recipe on Living in the Kitchen with Puppies, I knew I had to make it.

Spaghetti alla Carbonara
Recipe courtesy Nigella Lawson

1 pound spaghetti
2 cups cubed pancetta rind removed (I used bacon)
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 cup dry white wine or vermouth
4 eggs
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1/4 cup heavy cream
Freshly ground black pepper
Freshly ground nutmeg

Put a large pan of water on to boil for the pasta.

In another large pan that will fit the pasta later, cook the pancetta cubes in the oil until crispy but not crunchy. Pour over the white wine or vermouth and let it bubble away so that, after a few minutes, you have a small amount of salty winey syrup left. Take the pan off the heat.

In a bowl, beat together the eggs, Parmesan, cream, and pepper. Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions,…

Cannoli - Daring Bakers Challange

I have a confession... I have never eaten Cannoli!! I've seen it on the menu, but never ordered it... in fact, I've never ordered any Italian desert, other that Tiramisu... I LOVE TIRAMISU!!! There are no words to describe the ulitmate pleasure you get when eating Tiramisu. I mean seriously people, rum saturated lady fingers, covered with creamy marscapone cheese, topped with decedant cocoa... is there anything better??? Whew, I feel better now. Ok, back to the subject... so, when I read my first Daring Bakers Challenge, I was rather intrigued.

The November 2009 Daring Bakers Challenge was chosen and hosted by Lisa Michele of Parsley, Sage, Desserts and Line Drives. She chose the Italian Pastry, Cannolo (Cannoli is plural), using the cookbooks Lidia’s Italian-American Kitchen by Lidia Matticchio Bastianich and The Sopranos Family Cookbook by Allen Rucker; recipes by Michelle Scicolone, as ingredient/direction guides. She added her own modifications/changes, so the recipe is n…

Comfort in a Cup - Minty Rich Cocoa

Weekend mornings are my chance to have me time; to sit with a cup of coffee and enjoy the silence; to think of things to make for my sweeties. This morning I decided to wake them up with a scrumptiously decadent cup of Minty hot chocolate.
Ahhh, the weekend.

My sweeties are asleep

and I've got a little time to spare.

(ok, not sure what's going on here... I've already picked him up off the floor once)

Minty Rich Cocoa
1 1/2 cups powdered nondairy creamer
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup nonfat dry milk powder
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup milk chocolate chips
peppermint sticks divided (crushed for mix and whole for stiring)

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. (this makes a lot so have a container handy to store the rest)

Place 1/4 cup cocoa mix into a cup and add 3/4 cup boiling water... stir and enjoy! Now go wake those kids up.

Garlic Roast Potatoes

Side Dish Superstar!!

What a busy day! I have so many things to be thankful for, but most of all I am thankful for my wonderful family. I chose Nigella's Garlic Roast Potatoes as my Side Dish Superstar. They were absolutely delicious... I just wish I would have gotten a better picture before they disapeared.

Garlic Roast Potatoes

3 pounds maincrop potatoes (I used red potatoes)
1/3 cup regular olive oil
1 head garlic
Kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Wash and dry the potatoes, and cut them into about 3/4-inch dice. Toss in a large oven tray and pour over the oil, smulching around with your hands to mix well. Separate the head of garlic into cloves adding them to the tray, and roast for about 1 hour, turning once or twice during that time, until crispy and golden but still soft on the inside. When they're done, remove to a large plate and sprinkle with salt.

Bread Bowl - first attempt

My first adventure... a challenge! I came across a recipe for Broccoli and Cheese soup in a bread bowl. The soup itself would be no problem but the bread bowl, on the other hand, is terrifying. I don't quite know what the problem is with me and yeast but I just cant seem to get it right very often. Here are the results... a few of them were usable. My darling husband suggesting using the rest of them for skeet but I had another idea. Even though this is not a sourdough, the texture of this bread reminded me of a Schlotzsky's sandwich and so I went with it. They were absolutely delicious!!