Saturday, December 28, 2013

Jalapeno Popper Dip

2 (8oz) cream cheese, softened
1 cup mayo... i use dukes
1 4oz can chopped green chilies
1 40z can diced jalapeno , drained
1/2 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1 cup Panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350.
Blend cream cheese and mayo until smooth.
Stir in green chiles, jalapeno peppers and shredded cheeses.
Spoon mixture into baking dish.
Mix together panko bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese and sprinkle over dip.
Spray the bread crumb mixture with cooking spray.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.
Serve with tortilla chips.


1 pkg phyllo dough defrosted overnight in fridge
1 1/2 c feta cheese crumbled
3/4 c cottage cheese ( i used lowfat)
1 1/2 Tbsp fresh parsley diced
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp dried dill
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 eggs beaten
1 stick butter (has to be butter for this dish)

1. Preheat your oven to 375F. In a small bowl, add your cheeses, your herbs, spices and beaten eggs. Mix thoroughly, set aside.
2. On a clean flat surface, bring out your phyllo dough.
3. Open it flat.
4. Preserving your phyllo dough so it doesn't dry out is very important. We have found that a long piece of wax paper is just as good (actually better, because the dough doesn't get soggy). You place a long piece of wax paper over the dough strips or whatever length you need.
5. If your not going to work with your dough right away. Still place the piece(s) of wax paper over you dough. Wet a couple of pieces of paper towel, wring out excess moisture. Place over the wax paper. This will ensure your dough will not dry out.
6. When you are ready to make the tiropitakia, divide your dough into strips.
7. It's much easier to do all the cutting at once, then cover the dough and take out what you need.
8. If you can't work with your strips immediately, don't panic. Roll the strips into a ball. Wrap with the wax paper and then place into a ziplock bag, seal and place in fridge for up to 2 days.
9. To make the tiropitakia; Melt your butter. I use the microwave, and usually do 1/2 c at a time. Take 2-3 strips of phyllo dough, baste with melted butter. Add 1tbls or so of filling.
10. You can decide which side you work with, I alway's start with the right top corner for some reason. Starting at the top right corner, bring your phyllo dough over the filling making a triangle. Flatten slightly to ensure all the pastry will have filling in it.
l11. Now take the top LEFT pointy corner of your filled pastry, and bring it down on the left hand side
12. Working again with the LEFT pointy part, bring your triangle over to the RIGHT.
13. Working now with the RIGHT top pointy part, bring it down straight on the right.
14. Continue doing this till you reach the end of the dough. At this point, just cut off the excess piece. Place on a plate till ready to use.
15. When you are ready to bake, line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil (easier clean up), spray with non stick cooking spray, baste the tiropitakia with melted butter. Bake in a preheated 375F oven for 18-22 minutes, till nicely golden.
16. These can be eaten as is, totally addicting, and so elegant on a plate. The various uses of this wonderful pastry dough is next to none. You can make them savory or sweet. Fill them with whatever you would like. I hope my tutorial has helped you... and make sure you come back and share your amazing phyllo dough recipes with us!!! Enjoy!!

Salted Caramel Bundt Cake

  1. 3 cups all-purpose flour
  2. 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  3. 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  4. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  5. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  6. 3 tsp vanilla extract
  7. 1 cup Crème fraîche
  8. 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  9. 4 large eggs, room temperature
Caramel Glaze
  1. 1 cup sugar
  2. 3/4 cup heavy cream
  3. 1/2 stick of butter
  4. Sea salt (I used fleur de sel)
Preparation for Cake
  1. 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. 2. Grease and lightly flour the inside of a bundt pan.
  3. 3. Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl and set aside.
  4. 4. Using a mixer, beat the butter until creamy.
  5. 5. Add the sugar and continue to mix until it becomes light and pale.
  6. 6. Next add the eggs one at a time, then the vanilla extract and Crème fraîche 1/4 cup at a time until it is all mixed in.
  7. 7. Next add your flour mixture in small amounts allowing each bit to mix in completely before you add more.
  8. 8. After all the ingredients are mixed in, spoon the batter with a spatula into the bundt mold.
  9. 9. Bake for 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  10. 10. Once the cake is done, let it cool for about 12 minutes before inverting it onto another rack. Let it cool completely for about an hour.
Preparation for Caramel Glaze
  1. NOTE: I Updated this recipe with 2 variations of the Caramel Glaze. Each recipe worked beautifully to turn out decadent caramel, so I wanted to share both with you.
  2. If you are prone to seeing sugar rocks start to form then try adding the butter and the sugar at the same time while whisking as they dissolve and blend together. See Version A below.
Version A
  1. 1. Add the butter and sugar together and melt them at the same time while whisking (Medium Heat) .
  2. 2. As the butter and sugar start to dissolve add the cream and continue to whisk (Medium to High Heat)
  3. 3. Once it starts to froth and bubble, take it off the heat while still whisking. Continue in Version B below with step 5.
Version B
  1. 1. In a saucepan add the sugar and whisk over a medium heat allowing the sugar to melt.
  2. 2. Once it starts to turn an amber color add the butter and whisk at a fast pace.
  3. 3. When all of the butter is completely melted and blended with the sugar you can remove it from the heat.
  4. 4. Next add the cream while you continue to whisk until the mixture is in a cream caramel glaze form.
  5. 5. Pour this glaze into a glass container or a bowl and set aside.
  6. 6. Once the cake has cooled you can pour the caramel over the top, covering it in a decorative fashion.
  7. 7. Sprinkle the top with sea salt and serve.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Pulled Pork

  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 2 tbsp kosher or coarse salt
  • 2 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard (found in spice section)
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 boneless pork butt, about 3 pounds
  • 1 1/2 cups apple juice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 package plain soft white rolls or other bread
Tip: You can buy bone-in or boneless pork butts. Both have their benefits: Cooking bone-in will contribute some flavor (and increase the cooking time slightly). But if you have your butcher take out the bone, you can rub the spice mix into the incisions where the bone was removed - a great way to get the flavor deep inside the meat.
Mix brown sugar and dry spices together in a small bowl. Rub all over pork, cover, and let sit in the refrigerator for as long as you have time for (as little as 1 hour or up to overnight). Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Lay pork on a rack insert fitted inside a roasting pan. (The rack should be high enough so the entire spiced butt is sitting above the cooking liquid.) Pour in apple juice and water, cover pan tightly with foil, and slow roast for 5 hours. Remove foil and cook for another 30 minutes, until pork is brown outside and meat is very tender, basically falling apart.
Remove from oven, transfer to large platter, and allow meat to rest for about 10 minutes. While still warm, shred pork into small pieces using 2 forks or 10 fingers. Transfer to bowl for serving, or cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. To reheat, just transfer to shallow baking dish, bring to room temperature, and place in preheated 350 degree oven for 15 minutes.
Tip: If the pan drippings aren't burned, discard fat and mix drippings back into the pulled pork, which will make it even more moist and flavorful. 

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Mexican Chocolate Cake

For cake
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter
½ cup Dutch-process unsweetened cocoa powder
¾ cup water
2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
½ cup well-shaken buttermilk
2 tablespoons vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
For glaze
2 cups chopped pecans (7½ ounces)
½ stick (¼ cup) unsalted butter
½ cup half-and-half
½ cup confectioners sugar
5 ounces fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), finely chopped
¼ teaspoon salt
Make cake:
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Butter cake pan well and dust with flour, knocking out excess.
Melt butter (2 sticks) in a 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderately low heat, then whisk in cocoa. Add water and whisk until smooth, then remove from heat. Whisk in separately sugar, eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla.
Sift together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt into a bowl, then sift again into cocoa mixture and whisk until just combined (don’t worry if there are lumps).
Pour batter into cake pan and bake until a wooden pick or skewer comes out with a few crumbs adhering, 45 to 55 minutes. (Leave oven on.)
Cool cake in pan on a rack 20 minutes, then loosen edges with a thin knife and invert onto a plate.
Make glaze:
Spread pecans in 1 layer in a shallow baking pan (1 inch deep) and bake until fragrant and a shade darker, 6 to 8 minutes. Cool pecans slightly in pan on a rack, about 5 minutes.
Melt butter in a 2-quart heavy saucepan over low heat, then stir in half-and-half and confectioners sugar. Add chocolate and cook, stirring, until smooth. Remove from heat and stir in pecans and salt. Cool glaze until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
Spoon glaze over top and sides of cake (cake will still be warm) and spread with a small offset spatula or knife to cover completely.
(Cake (with glaze) can be made 2 days ahead and kept at room temperature in a cake keeper or covered with an inverted bowl.)

Friday, April 26, 2013

Tequila Lime Buttercream

1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup butter (softened)
1 lb. powdered sugar (1/2 bag- give or take)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 tablespoon lime juice
2 tablespoons lime zest
2 tablespoons tequila
1/2 tablespoon milk
Green& yellow food coloring: however many drops you want to make the frosting look lime-y- about 1 green drop to every 3 yellow (optional)
Cream the butter and shortening with your stand mixer. Add the vanilla, lime juice, zest, and tequila. Mix until combined. Add the powdered sugar. Start with about half the bag. Add the milk and if the frosting is too soft, add more powdered sugar. Add the food coloring if you want now and then Whip the frosting for 3-5 minutes and then frost your cooled cupcakes. After I frosted my cupcakes, I rolled the edges of the frosting in sugar (to mimic a margarita glass)


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Vanilla Oatmeal No Bake Cookies

2 c. sugar
3/4 c. butter 
2/3 c. milk
1 (3.4 oz.) box instant vanilla flavor pudding mix
3 1/2 c. quick cooking oats
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

In a large pan, mix together the sugar, butter and the milk. Bring to a boil. Boil 2 minutes. Turn off the heat, add in the pudding mix, oats and vanilla. Let stand 5 minutes. Drop by tablespoon onto wax paper and let cool. Store in an airtight container.