Saturday, December 20, 2008

martha and kelly's chewy gingerbread cookies

i made these cookies today, from they definitely don't roll well (i tried that a few years ago), but make excellent ball(?) cookies. i made a few changes, because generally i don't like to copy other people's recipes. i like to make a recipe my own:

-i added one egg, because i thought it needed an egg
-used light brown sugar, because we didn't have any dark,
-omitted the cocoa because we didn't have any of that either (living in someone else's house is hard!).
-omitted the fresh ginger (see above) and added an extra 1/2 tbsp of ground
-added another tbsp of flour
-added 1/8 tsp each of allspice and ground black pepper

ETA: these were phenomenally good. and the most beautiful cookies i've ever made! since i made so many changes to the original recipe, i'm changing the title. i hope martha doesn't mind. i think it could stand another egg and i might try that when i make another batch tomorrow. but these are gorgeous, super spicy, almost perfect gingerbread cookies.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

best compliment ever.

"Your brownies are a symphonic extravaganza for the taste buds. They are like the clarion call of trumpets that herald the approach of kings. Nothing in the world is as delectable as your sweets!"

thanks, Mark Lear!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Brownie Mix Cookies

Holy Crow, these are fantastic. I've already eaten three. I made them to sneak into 'Twilight' tonight.

1 box brownie mix, pref. Ghirardelli (the kind with chocolate chips in the mix)
2 eggs
3 tbsp coffee
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup veg. oil
1/2 tbsp orange extract
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 cups butterscotch chips
1/2 cup (or more) chopped nuts. i used pecans because thats what i had.
1/2 tsp salt

preheat oven to 350'. mix everything together in a large bowl with a wooden spoon. spoon onto parchment paper-lined pan and bake 9-10 minutes or until just set.

edited to add: i was freshly pregnant when i made these. in hindsight, they sound absolutely foul.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

martha's cranberry chutney

This is the recipe for the absolute best cranberry sauce i've ever had. It was featured in Martha Stewart Everyday in 2005 and has been a part of my Thanksgiving meal every year since! After the big day, I eat sandwiches made of sourdough, this sauce, mayo, and turkey. For every meal. For at least a week.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

sopapilla cheesecake

this is similar to cheesecake bars served to us while on a group trip to Albany, Texas, after a recital. I altered it a bit.

2 (8 oz) blocks cream cheese
2 cans crescent rolls
3/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 egg

1/2 cup melted salted butter
ground cinnamon

preheat oven to 350'. spray the bottom of a 9x13" pan, sealing the perforations and spreading to the edges. combine cream cheese, sugars, salt, cinnamon, lemon juice, and egg, and mix until smooth. top with remaining can of crescent rolls. pour melted butter over the top and sprinkle with cinnamon. bake 30 minutes or until crescent rolls are puffed and golden. drizzle honey over the top and cool before serving.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

mariotti cake

a cake i came up with last year for amanda's birthday. named after a delicious chocolate orange gelato!

1 devils food cake mix
1 small box instant chocolate pudding
4 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup veg. oil
1/2 cup frozen oj concentrate, thawed and microwaved 1 minute
1 (12 oz) bag semisweet choco chips
1 tbsp (or to taste) orange extract

mix all ingredients together, folding in choco chips last. grease and flour baking pan/s. bake in a 350 degree oven for 45 to 50 minutes.

and here's the dark chocolate orange buttercream:

1 stick unsalted butter, at room temp
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1+ cups dutch process cocoa, sifted with the powdered sugar
4-6 tbsp orange juice concentrate, room temp
2-4 tbsp milk (as much as necessary)
2+ tsp orange extract, or to taste

whip the butter until fluffy, then add in sugar, cocoa, and oj. add milk until smooth and spreadable. add extract and taste as you go!

this is indescribably delicious. i had to restrain myself from licking the bowl clean.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

fruitcake 2008

this year's fruitcake is in the oven as i'm typing it.  i've made a few changes from last year's recipe, so here is the new one.  

2 cups packed dark brown sugar
3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 cups all-purpose flour (i used organic, unbleached)
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground nutmeg, fresh if possible
scant 1 tablespoon allspice
scant 1 tablespoon ground cloves
1/2 tablespoon ground ginger
zest of 2 oranges*, finely chopped
1/2 cup calmyrna figs, chopped
1/2 cup mission figs, chopped
1/2-1 cup dried cranberries, chopped if necessary
1/2-1 cup dried blueberries
1/2-1 cup dried sour cherries, chopped
1/2-1 cup dried strawberries, chopped
1/2-1 cup prunes, chopped
1/2-1 cup dried pears, chopped
1/2-1 cup dried apricots, chopped
3 cups dark rum
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1 cup pecans, chopped

soak chopped fruit in rum for at least 24 hours, in an airtight container at room temperature.  

grease and flour two tube pans, and line bottoms with parchment cut to fit.  preheat oven to 225 degrees farenheit.  

cream together butter and sugar until lightened in color and fluffy.  add eggs and beat until combined.

in a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves, and ginger.  

beat flour mixture into butter mixture until well-combined.  stir in fruit (which will have plumped considerably), nuts, and orange zest.  divide between two pans and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, one to two hours.  the idea is to bake slow to get rid of some moisture that will be reintroduced in the form of rum during aging.  

remove from oven and allow to cool in pan for ten minutes.  while cooling, lay out a layer of cheesecloth that has been soaked in rum.  flip fruitcake right side up onto cheesecloth.  sprinkle approximately two tablespoons of rum onto surface and wrap tightly in parchment.  seal in an airtight container.  let age for at least two months, sprinkling with rum every five days.  

*i tried using a spice grater rather than a zester, to see if it would grate so fine that i wouldn't have to chop the zest.  it worked great and produced so much juicy zest that i only used one orange.  but, if using a zester, the resulting zest will be bigger and drier, so use two oranges.  

Friday, August 15, 2008

spicy black bean dip with goat cheese

inspired by stephanie over at!

-1 big can + 1 small can black beans (because thats what i had)
-4-5 cloves garlic
-1 tsp grains of paradise (which i used because i had them, NOT essential! this is a kind of pepper. you can substitute ground black pepper).
-1 tbsp potlatch seasoning (or sub 1 tsp cayenne and 1 tsp chili powder. potlatch is available at williams sonoma and is our favorite spice blend! it also includes paprika, crushed red pepper, and oregano, i think.)
-2 tsp salt or to taste
-several dashes tobasco. i used garlic tobasco.
-2 tbsp olive oil.
-2 tbsp lemon juice

-5-6 oz. goat cheese

drain beans and rinse well. combine all ingredients (except goat cheese) in food processor and process until smooth. stop the machine and taste a few times and adjust and fiddle with your spices if necessary. layer half the mixture in a small casserole dish. crumble half the goat cheese and layer evenly over the bean mixture. repeat.

bake at 350 until cheese is melted and golden and beans are heated through. (mine is still in the fridge. i'll update this later)

ETA: this didn't turn out as well as i'd hoped, but i think i just left it in the oven for too long and it got pretty dry. next time i might just microwave it (covered) for a several minutes and then stick it under the broiler to finish it off. this had potential to be delicious but fell short.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Peanut Butter Frosting

1 stick unsalted butter, room temp
1 cup creamy peanut butter
2 cups powdered sugar
3-4 tbsp milk
2 tsp vanilla
pinch salt (if desired)

combine pb and butter, blending until fluffy. add remaining ingredients and whip until light and fluffy, adding more or less milk depending on the thickness you want!

Ariadne auf Naxos Opening Night Party Menu


Pigs in Blankets (as per my husband's request)
Bean Dip (don't know what kind yet)

Sausage Lasagna
Green Salad w/cranberries, nuts, and gorgonzola
Garlic Bread

Liz DeShong's Blueberry Grenadine Pie (SO excited to try this!!)
those cookies from 2 posts ago (SO much chocolate to use up!!)

Thursday, August 7, 2008

healthier version of those last cookies

in place of the oil, substitute 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce and 1/4 cup oil. the results are cakey. very yummy.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

chocolate chip cookies made with oil

these are TO DIE. the only thing i would change would be to add a little butter-flavored extract in addition to the vanilla.

3 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar (i used dark brown)
1 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 tbsp vanilla
3 cups chopped hershey bars, plus another 1 cup to roll dough in.

preheat oven to 350'.

whisk together flour, salt, and bakng soda. in another bowl whisk together sugars, oil, egg, and vanilla. add flour mixture to sugar mixture and stir until blended. stir in chopped chocolate.

line your baking sheet with parchment paper. form dough into balls using a tablespoon. add chocolate chunks to any 'empty' spots. bake for 8-9 minutes. cool for 2 minutes, then transfer to cooling rack.

Friday, August 1, 2008

bye-bye studio artists party

on the menu...

-yummus hummus
-baked spaghetti
-chocolate chip cookies
-oatmeal raisin cookies
-chocolate bread pudding
-pumpkin pie bread pudding

all made with ingredients i had on-hand! yes, it's a LOT of sweets- but that's what i do!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

chocolate bread pudding

2 pkgs hamburger buns, cubed
5 cups milk
1 stick butter, melted and cooled
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 bag semi-sweet choco chips
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 eggs, beaten
1 tbsp vanilla

combine all ingredients (except buns) over low heat until well-combined. put a layer of buns in the bottom of a pan, moisten with a cup or two of the custard mixture, and a handful of chocolate chips, and repeat until buns, custard, and chips are gone! bake at 350' for about 40 minutes.

i haven't actually tasted this yet, so it may need some tweaking!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

lasagna made with what i had on-hand

1 box whole wheat lasagna noodles
2 small things fat free ricotta
2 eggs
1/3 cup parmesan cheese, + more for top
1 bag fat free cheddar cheese (or mozzarella if you can find it F.F.)
2 jars whatever tomato-based sauce you like
1/3 cup pesto
1 lb lean turkey sausage
2 cloves garlic, chopped

combine the ricotta, parm, and eggs. take the sausage out of it's casings and brown on med. heat. season with s&p. add in the garlic and saute a minute, then stir in the sauce. put a very thin layer of sauce in the bottom of your dish. put a layer of noodles, a layer of sauce, a layer of ricotta mixture, a layer of the cheddar, and a layer of the pesto.. repeat twice. on your top layer of noodles, put just a layer of sauce (make sure all the noodles are covered!), more cheddar, and a bit more parm. bake at 375 for 45 minutes to an hour, or until you can stick a knife in and the noodles are soft. make sure to let it sit at least 10 minutes after you take it out of the oven so it can congeal a little.

like most lasagna i've ever made, i kind of made this up as i went along. it turned out delicious though! i was quite skeptical of the whole wheat lasagna noodles, but in the end they are so covered in cheese and sauce, it's really not noticeable if they're a tad rubberier than regular noodles. i had pesto that needed to be used up, hence it's appearance in this recipe. and the cheddar was the only cheese beau could find that was fat free.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

rice pudding

this is good. really good. i don't even love rice pudding that much, but this... is delicious.

3 cups day-old short grain white rice
4 cups skim milk, divided
2/3 cup white sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt (or to taste. i always add extra.)
2 eggs, beaten
1 tbsp pure vanilla
1 cup raisins, if you like raisins. i don't, unless they're enrobed in chocolate.
1 tbsp butter

combine rice, 3 c of the milk, sugar, and salt in a large saucepan and cook on medium until thick and creamy, about 15 minutes. pour in remaining cup milk, then eggs, vanilla, & butter (& raisins if you like em). cook 2-3 more minutes until combined and thick.

adapted from a stellar recipe on!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

vegetarian chili 2

okay, this is really just the bean soup i mentioned a few days ago, with a few minor changes.

1/2 red onion, finely chopped (because that's what we had on hand)
garlic to taste
1 lg. can CRUSHED tomatoes (so much better than diced!)
1 15 oz. can fat free refried beans
1 " can kidney beans
1 can black beans
1 " can pinto beans
1 can water
1 bottle beer (i used yuengling black & tan)
1 packet mccormick chili seasoning
salt and pepper to taste

saute onion & garlic in a bit of EVOO until onion is translucent. add remaning ingredients. bring to a boil, then simmer on low for at least an hour.

i can't wait to eat this with ff hot dogs or tortilla chips!!

oh, and P.S., the baking-soda-at-gas-neutralizer did NOT work. or maybe i just didn't use enough?

Thursday, July 3, 2008

4th of july party!

tomorrow is the 4th, and it'll be our 2nd annual party. last year we had a good 40-50 people! i have a tendency to cook too much food, so this year i'm trying to be prudent and only making one batch of everything. well, maybe not ONE batch, but not 5 batches. even though i said we were only doing burgers and dessert, but i can't resist the temptation to make other goodies if i have the ingredients on hand. so, i've been a busy bee and made:

-hummus. about a half-gallon of hummus, actually.
-pesto pasta salad w/sun dried tomatoes, green onions, and parm.
-8 pounds of hamburgers!
-kahlua brownie trifle.
-patriotic fireworks cake. mostly a novelty cake, but hopefully it'll taste yummy in the jello-and-cool-whip sense.

Monday, June 30, 2008

bean soup

this is adapted from a weight watchers recipe. i can never just follow someone else's recipe to the letter! it's still WW friendly.

1 vidalia onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 (15 oz) can pinto beans
" " black beans
" " white beans
" " kidney beans
" " fat free/vegetarian refried beans
1 (30 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 bottle beer, whatever you have on hand.
2 c water
salt and pepper to taste
***1 tbsp baking soda- this will neutralize the, um, gassifying? effects of the beans.

saute onion and garlic in 2 tbsp olive oil. add remaning ingredients and simmer for at least 30 minutes. the alcohol needs to cook off or it will be too beer-tasting.

ETA: okay, i've had 3 servings of this soup today. it is so delicious, and filling, and healthy. HOWEVER, next time i will not use trader joe's diced tomatoes... the chunks are too big. i just like a suggestion of tomato, or else it's too much like chili. or i may just use tomato paste and extra stock or water.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

wedding cake!

a friend asked me to bake a wedding cake for her dad and his new bride; a challenge i happily accepted! they need cake for 200. yesterday i baked a total of thirteen cakes- 6 sheet, 2 tiers comprised of 3 layers each, and 1 left over. they are:

-mocha almond chocolate chip cake with almond buttercream (the actual wedding cake and 3 of the sheet cakes), and between the wedding cake layers is whipped cream icing
-lemon cake with lemony buttercream (3 sheet cakes). i like to give a non-chocolate option, because some people don't like chocolate!  can you imagine?  

total came to $165 for all the ingredients and supplies... of course, if i were a 'professional', i'd get all my ingredients at cost, and already have supplies. i imagine if i were a pro, it'd cost at least 2/3 less than what i spent.  my total time spent working was about 16 hours.

the friend i did this for offered to pay me, and i told her she didn't need to (but could if she wanted to). even if she doesn't, i learned a LOT in the last 2 days, and that might be as good as getting paid! 

for example, i learned to NOT use skim milk in my buttercream. for the first batch i did, and it was thin and had no body, and i ended up covering it up with the better buttercream that i made later. for the next 2 batches, i used half and half, and it's gorgeous. i also learned that chopsticks make great stakes to keep the layers from sliding around, and they're free.

most importantly, this experience solidified for me that this is what i want to do. and if it's meant to be, someday we will have a professional kitchen in our home, and there will really be a Yellow Bowl Bakery! the thought of someday having a business is TERRIFYING to me.

i took a few pictures of the process.  will post later

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

baking day...

tomorrow i'll spend the day baking with the other opera wives... on the menu so far:

frito candy (chocolate, sugar, peanuts, pretzels, and yes, fritos!)
blueberry crumble- a martha recipe
peppermint chocolate cake (as per request of a friend)
" " cupcakes

i'm really looking forward to it. if any of it survives the night, it'll be given to the cast of Un Giorno di Regno to celebrate their opening on friday.

Monday, May 26, 2008

memorial day cookout

mark summers just informed me that a "bbq" requires special tools so slow roast foods, and since we don't have any tools like that, we're having a cookout and not a barbeque.

here's the menu, as provided by us (bc people are bringing what they want also):

good old fashioned hamburgers
-specially seasoned, topped with: lettuce, tomato, onion, BACON, gorgonzola, cheddar, on whole wheat buns
peach cobbler
banana pudding
brownies (maybe)
sweet tea
mango margaritas
strawberry margaritas
tuna steaks for person on weight watchers

Sunday, May 18, 2008

big boy pizza

i can't take credit for this, though i wish i could. i was served this tonight by my best friend's mom. all amounts are approximate as i watched her make it and didn't think to ask for the exact recipe

1 large boboli pizza crust
1 small (approx 16 oz) jar frisch's big boy tartar sauce
1 lb ground beef, seasoned, browned and drained
sliced dill pickles (i'm guessing 1/4-1/2 cup), and 2-4 tbsp pickle juice
1/2 bag finely shredded lettuce
1/2 bag finely shredded cheddar cheese

layer ingredients on crust evenly in order given. bake at 350' (i think) for 15-20 minutes until cheese is golden and bubbly.

Monday, April 21, 2008

pumpkin pie bread pudding

1 package hamburger buns (8 buns) (or 12 cups day-old bread cubes)
6 egg yolks
2 (15 oz) cans pureed pumpkin
5 cups milk (2.5 cans full)
large pinch salt
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 tbsp orange extract
1 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 tbsp pumpkin pie spice

slice buns into cubes and bake in a low oven until dry, or use stale. put into a large pyrex dish.
in a mixing bowl, combine ingredients (excluding buns). beat until well combined. pour over dried bread and gently toss until all buns are well coated, making sure custard mix is evenly distributed.
bake in a preheated 350' oven for 1 hour or until top is browned.
serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream if desired.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

dried cherry chicken salad

1 cup dried tart cherries
4 chicken breast halves, cooked, torn into large pieces
3 stalks celery, coarsely chopped
2 granny smith apples, coarsely chopped
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
1 1/4 cups mayonnaise
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1 tbsp raspberry vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

mix cherries, chicken, celery, apples, and pecans in a large bowl. combine the mayonnaise, parsley, and raspberry vinegar in a bowl; mix well. add to chicken mixture and toss lightly to coat well. season with salt and pepper. chill 2 hours of longer.

taken from the 'best of the best of america cookbook'.

Swedish Rice Pudding

6 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar (not packed)
pinch salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
4 1/2 cups mixture of whole milk and half and half, scalded
2 tbsp butter, melted in hot milk
2 tbsp vanilla (less, if desired)
2 cups rice, cooked the day before
raisins (optional)

beat eggs; add sugars, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. mix well. slowly add heated milk and melted butter. mix. add vanilla and rice; mix. add raisins, if desired. put into a large buttered casserole. sprinkle a little brown sugar and cinnamon over top. place casserole into a pie pan with hot water. bake 1-1 1/2 hours at 325' or until knife inserted comes out clean. let cool.

taken from 'best of the best from america' cookbook. when i try this i will probably decrease the sugar and use brown rice, and maybe some dried sour cherries!

Monday, March 10, 2008

the ultimate internet compliment... to be referenced in a LOLcat.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

chicken salad

i have a huge bag of frozen (pre-cooked) chicken from the freezer that i just warmed up. i've also got some fuji apples that need to be eaten, so i'm going to make a big batch of chicken and apple salad. too bad i don't have any onion, that would be nice. it's just going to be basic- chopped chicken, mayo, a dab of mustard, salt, and chopped apples.

that last recipe (pumpkin date loaf) is going to be one of the subjects of a paper i have to write for my math class, which is the last class i'll ever have to take in undergrad! i'm going to use it to demonstrate cost vs. profit. i'll also be writing about how ratios are important to baking (ie amounts of baking powder in cookies). it should be interesting!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

pumpkin date loaf

it makes me long for october!

the rightful name for this should be Pumpkin, Date, Coconut, Hazelnut, Pecan, Rum, and Cranberry Loaf.

1 large can pumpkin
6 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups white sugar
1 tbsp vanilla

4 3/4 cups flour
1 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 tbsp nutmeg
1 tbsp baking soda
1 tbsp baking powder
scant 1 tbsp salt

3/4 cup hazelnuts, peeled and chopped
3/4 cup chopped pecans
1 to 2 cups chopped dates that have been soaked in rum for at least 15 minutes
1/2 to 1 cups cranberries
1 cup shredded coconut

preheat oven to 350'. grease and flour large loaf pans.

in large bown, mix pumpkin, eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar until well-combined. in seperate bowl, whisk flour, spices, soda, powder and salt. beat into pumpkin mix until combined. mix in remaining ingredients by hand. put in pans and bake until done, about 60 minutes.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

vegetarian chili

i sort of made this up when it turned autumn and i wanted chili but without meat, and had 5 different kinds of beans on hand.

1 green bell pepper, diced
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
2 tbsp olive oil

1 large sweet onion, diced
1 small-med jalapeno, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced

1 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp cumin

1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 (28 oz) can tomato sauce
1 bottle beer
2 (16 oz) kidney beans
1 (16 oz) can white beans
1 (16 oz) can pinto beans

saute onion, peppers, jalapeno and garlic in a large saucepan until onions are golden, 10-12 minutes.

add chili powder and cumin and cook 2 minutes.

add remaining ingredients and cook until heated through and serve with shredded cheddar and crackers.

chocolate stout floats

not a new idea, but a delicious one.

1 pint premium chocolate ice cream
2 cans double chocolate stout beer

put 2 scoops of slightly softened ice cream in a large mug or stein. pour beer over. drink with a spoon and/or straw. delish.

pumpkin chocolate chip muffins

4 eggs
2 cups white sugar
1 small can (15 oz.) pureed pumpkin
1 1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp each ginger and nutmeg
1 tsp salt
2 cups chocolate chips

preheat oven to 400 degrees. prepare muffin tin with paper liners.

beat eggs together in a large bown with sugar, pumpkin, and oil. beat until smooth and combined

in a medium sized bowl, combine flour, soda, powder, spices, and salt. blend into pumpkin mix. after thoroughly mixed, fold in chocolate chips.

fill muffin cups 3/4 of the way. bake at 400 for 12 to 15 minutes.

pumpkin squares

i make two things immediately when october arrives: these pumpkin squares, and pumpkin chocolate chip muffins. these squares are my hubby's absolute favorite. i don't make them very often during the holiday season, because we will literally eat them (and nothing but) until they're gone.

for crust:
1 box yellow cake mix, divided
1 egg
1 stick melted butter

for filling:
1 large can pumpkin
2 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (i usually add extra)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2/3 cup milk
a pinch or two of salt

for topping:
1 cup cake mix
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 stick butter, semi-cool
1 tsp cinnamon

preheat oven to 350 f.

mix ONE cup of cake mix, egg, and butter and press into a 9x13" pan.

mix together filling ingredients and pour into crust.

for topping, cut ingredients together with knives or your fingers and sprinkle over filling.

bake for 45-50 minutes or until topping is crunchy. allow to come to room temperature (or even refrigerate!) before diving in! it doesn't taste nearly as good warm, in my opinion!

fried green olives stuffed with bleu cheese

i took this from Bon Appetit and have been wanting to try it. i just had the thought, though, that lots of groceries have olive bars, and specifically stuffed olives. i bet this would be good done with deli olives, or goat cheese stuffed olives!

1 oz mild blue cheese, such as Maytag
24 pitted Spanish olives, patted dry

peanut oil, for frying
all purpose flour
1 large egg, beaten to blend
1/2 cup fine dry breadcrumbs
Method -roll small amount of cheese into log shape narrow enough to stuff into 1 pitted olive. stuff olive with cheese. repeat with remaining olives and cheese.

-pour enough oil into heavy large skillet to measure depth of 1 inch. heat oil to 350. roll stuffed olives in flour, then in egg, then in breadcrumbs to coat. fry olives until golden brown, about 30 seconds. using slotted spoon, transfer olives to paper towels to drain. serve hot.

doo doo's, a.k.a. no-bake cookies

these are addictive. the only bad thing about these is that you have to wait for them to cool in the fridge.

1 stick margarine
2 cups sugar
3 tbsp cocoa
1/2 cup milk
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cup peanut butter
2 1/2 - 3 cups uncooked quick oats

melt margarine in pan. add sugar, cocoa, and milk. cook until boiling, then 1 1/2 minutes longer. take off burner. add peanut butter, vanilla, and oats. stir and drob by teaspoons on wax paper or pour into baking dish. cool in fridge.

cucumber dip

this came from Southern Living, and i haven't tried it yet actually! but it looks good for a summer lunch, doesn't it?

5 small cucumbers, unpeeled
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon garlic salt, divided
2 (8-oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons chopped fresh chives
Garnish: fresh chives
Pita chips

Grate cucumbers into a medium bowl. Toss with rice vinegar, salt, and 1/2 tsp. garlic salt. Cover and chill 8 hours. Drain cucumber mixture well, pressing between paper towels.
Beat cream cheese, mayonnaise, and remaining 1/2 tsp. garlic salt at medium speed with an electric mixer 1 to 2 minutes or until smooth. Stir in cucumber mixture and chives. Cover and chill at least 1 hour. Garnish, if desired, and serve with pita chips.

chocolate buttercream icing

this is my standard chocolate buttercream recipe.

6 tbsp butter, softened
1/3 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/3-3/4 c dutch process cocoa
2 2/3 cup unsifted confectioners sugar

cream butter, add cocoa & confectioners sugar alternately with milk. beat to spreading consistency and blend with vanilla. spread on cake or cupcakes immediately.

chilled strawberry soup

i first had this with my bff hannah, when her mom hosted a tea for us.

2 pints strawberries, hulled
1/2 cup dry champagne
1/4 cup skim milk
1/2 cup plain yogurt
2 tbsp honey

process the berries in blender or food processer until pureed. add remaining ingredients. process until blended. chill until serving time.

you may substitute a mix of 1/4 cup sparkling water and 1/4 cup white grape juice for champagne.

betsy's dorito casserole

i know this looks disgusting, but it is probably my favorite casserole ever. and thats saying something.
feel free to use a deli chicken if you're pressed for time... that's what i usually do. mmboy, this is delish!

4 raw chicken breasts
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 small can chopped green chiles
2 cups mixed cheese
1 bag doritos (nacho cheese flavor), crumbled

boil chicken in about 2" of water. best if water boils down and chicken browns slightly. shred with forks. mix shredded chicken with soup. layer in baking dish in the following order:

soup/chicken mixture
soup mix

bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until bubbly and crispy.

bread pudding var. 1

i made this over the summer when we had a 4th of july party and ended up with several bags of leftover hamburger and hot dog buns. it was my first ever attempt at bread pudding!

10 slices white bread, cut into cubes
1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled to room temp
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups scalded milk*
1 pinch ground nutmeg

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly butter one 2 quart baking dish.
Combine bread cubes, butter, cinnamon and raisins; mix well and place in baking dish.
Beat together the eggs, sugar, vanilla and salt. Add milk, mix well and pour over bread cubes.
Sprinkle with nutmeg and bake for 25 minutes.

*i didn't bother scalding the milk, because for these purposes its a pointless step. i just warmed it in the microwave a bit until it was about room temp, so that it wouldn't curdle the eggs. really its best if you have the time to let everything come to room temp! oh, also i melted the butter.


1 package yellow cake mix
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs
1/4 cup water
1 large can pie filling, OR 1 large bag frozen mixed berries of your choice.

preheat oven to 350 f.

in a large bowl, combine cake mix, butter, eggs, and water. stir until moistened, beat at med. speed for 2 minutes. spread into greased 13"x9" pan. spoon pie filling over. bake for 40-45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in cake comes out clean.

ina garten's brownie tart

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
3 1/4 cups (20 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
3 extra-large eggs
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon instant coffee granules
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup (4 ounces) chopped walnuts
2 to 3 tablespoons heavy cream

Grease and flour a 9-inch tart pan with removable sides. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Melt the butter in a bowl set over simmering water. Add 2 cups of the chocolate chips, remove from the heat, and stir until the chocolate melts. Set aside to cool completely.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs, sugar, coffee, and vanilla on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Stir in the cooled chocolate. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, 1 cup of the chocolate chips, and the walnuts. Fold the flour mixture into the batter until just combined. Pour into the pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the center is puffed (the top may crack). The inside will still be very soft. Cool to room temperature before removing the sides of the tart pan.

Melt the remaining 1/4 cup of chocolate chips with the heavy cream and drizzle on the tart.

bacon and eggs in a basket

i'm getting rid of another recipe account elsewhere, so i'll be dumping a bunch of recipes today!

2 slices toast of your choice
2 eggs
crumbled, cooked bacon (about 2-3 slices worth)
salt and pepper

a glass or cookie cutter
Method using cookie cutter or glass, cut the center out of your slices of bread. heat up a skillet and melt lots of butter in it. place bread in skillet and crack eggs, put egg in center of bread. sprinkle bacon over egg immediately, as well as salt and pepper. toast bread centers alongside for dipping in yolks.

when egg has set on bottom, add more butter to skillet and flip bread. cook until yolk is at whatever stage you like.