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.

Friday, April 12, 2013

fresh strawberry muffins

1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups chopped strawberries
3 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Cream butter and sugar. Add egg and mix well.
Sift flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl. Add flour mixture and milk alternately to butter mixture. Add vanilla. Gently stir in strawberries.
Spoon batter into muffin pans.
Combine sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over muffins.
Bake at 400º for 20-25 minutes.
Makes one dozen muffins. (Make sure you eat them the day you bake them. They aren’t so great the next day.)

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Seasoned Sour Cream


  • 1 cup Mayonnaise
  • 1 cup Sour Cream, Heaping
  • 1 Tablespoon Dried Parsley
  • 1-½ Tablespoon Fresh Lemon Juice
  • ½ teaspoons Garlic Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Paprika
  • ½ teaspoons Onion Powder
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire
  • ½ teaspoons Fresh Ground Pepper
  • ½ teaspoons Cayenne Pepper
  • Fresh Parsley, Chopped Or Sliced Green Onions For Serving, Optional

Preparation Instructions

Combine ingredients and refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving to allow flavors to combine. Makes about 2 cups. Keeps in refrigerator for a couple weeks.
Note: When you mix your dip, depending upon your tastes, you may want to decrease the amount of garlic powder and cayenne pepper at first and decide how much you like. We like food a little on the zippy side, so it’s perfect for our tastes.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

egg drop soup with chicken & noodles

  •  cups  low-sodium chicken broth
  •  tablespoons  low-sodium soy sauce
  •    garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1- 1/2  teaspoons  ground ginger
  •  ounces  wide rice noodles or pad thai noodles, broken into 3-inch pieces
  •  tablespoons  cornstarch
  •    eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1- 1/2  cups  cooked, shredded chicken
  •    scallions, thinly sliced (optional)

Bring the broth, 1-1/2 cups water, soy sauce, garlic and ginger to a boil over medium-high heat in a medium-size saucepan. Reduce heat to medium and cook broth mixture for 10 minutes.
Remove the garlic cloves with a slotted spoon and add noodles to pot; cook for 4 minutes or until tender.
Meanwhile, stir together the cornstarch and 2 tablespoons water in a small bowl; whisk into broth and cook for 1 minute or until thickened.
Stir the soup so it is moving in a circular direction. Pour in the beaten eggs in a slow, steady stream. Stir in chicken and garnish with scallions, if desired. Serve immediately.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Blackberry Muffins

2½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
2 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp. milk
1 cup sugar
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and still warm
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1½ cups (about 5-6 oz) blackberries, cut in half (if using frozen, lay them on paper towels to absorb excess liquid)
1. Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 400°F. Grease 18 muffin tins or line with paper muffin cups.
2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, sour cream, milk, sugar, butter and vanilla.
4. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and mix together with a few light strokes, just until the dry ingredients are moistened. Add the berries. Do not overmix, the batter should not be completely smooth.
5. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin tins. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the middle of 1 or 2 of the muffins comes out clean, 17-20 minutes (or longer). Let cool for 2 to 3 minutes before removing from the pan. If not serving hot, let cool on a rack.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Lemon-Lime Chicken

1 whole chicken
2 to 3 lemons, sliced
2 to 3 limes, sliced
1 large onion, sliced
garlic, as much as you want
fresh rosemary and oregano (supplied by school garden)
1 stick of butter, cubed

Rinse chicken.

Plop it into the crockpot.

Peel your garlic and shove a bunch of the whole cloves into the bird cavity and throw some more on top and around the chicken.

Slice the lemons and limes and put slices on top, around, and inside the bird

Wash the rosemary & oregano and do the same. If you are using dried rosemary, use a good amount---probably 2-3T of dried herbs.

Place cubed butter on top.

Cook on low for 8-10 hours.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Sugary Tequila Cookies


2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
Pinch of salt
4 teaspoons tequila
Grated zest of 2 limes
Grate zest of half an orange
2 cups all-purpose flour
Granulated sugar for coating


  1. Put the butter in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat at medium speed until it is smooth. Add the sifted confectioners’ sugar and beat again until the mixture is smooth and silky.
  2. Beat in 1 of the egg yolks, followed by the salt, tequila, grated lime zest, and orange zest. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour, beating just until it disappears. It is better to under beat than over beat at this point; if the flour isn’t fully incorporated, that’s ok -- just blend in whatever remaining flour needs blending with a rubber spatula.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a counter, gather it into a ball, and divide it in half.
  4. Wrap each piece of dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
  5. Working on a smooth surface, form each piece of dough into a log that is about 1 to 1 1/4 inches (2.5 to 3.2 cm) thick. Get the thickness right, and the length you end up with will be fine. Wrap the logs in plastic and chill for 2 hours. (The dough can be wrapped airtight and kept refrigerated for up to 3 days or stored in the freezer for up to 1 month.)
  6. Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  7. While the oven is preheating, work on the sugar coating: Whisk the remaining egg yolk in a small bowl until it is smooth and liquid enough to use as a glaze.
  8. Spread the coating sugar on a piece of wax paper. Remove the logs of dough from the refrigerator, unwrap them, and brush them lightly with a little egg yolk. Roll the logs in the sugar, pressing the sugar gently to get it to stick if necessary, then, using a sharp slender knife, slice each log into cookies about 1/4 inch (7 mm) thick.
  9. Place the cookies on the lined baking sheets, leaving about 1/2 inch (1.5 cm) space between them.
  10. Bake the cookies for 12 to 14 minutes, or until they are set but not browned. (It’s fine if the yolk-brushed edges brown a smidgen.) Transfer the cookies to cooling racks to cool to room temperature.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Crockpot Refried Beans

INGREDIENTS2 lbs pinto beans
1 large onion, chopped
4 Tbsp. jarred minced garlic
*Up to 2 1/2 Tbsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
2 tsp cumin
10 cups hot water

* You can use as little as 1 Tbsp. It depends on how you like your beans.

Rinse the beans in a colander. Pick out any bad beans.
Combine all the ingredients in the crockpot. Remove any floating beans. Cover, and cook on HIGH for 4 hours and on LOW for 2 hours.

Uncover, and remove extra liquid. Leave enough liquid to reach the desired consistency when the beans are mashed. (We like our beans somewhere between the very-liquidy restaurant style beans, and the canned version of refried beans.)

Mash beans with a potato masher to desired consistency.

Serve warm. Store in air-tight containers in the refrigerator and use within 2 weeks, or freeze in ziplock bags for later use.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Melted Ice Cream Cake

  • 1 box cake mix (18.25 oz) in any flavor
  • 1 pint ice cream, melted
  • 3 eggs
  • Glaze:
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
How to Make
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Grease cake pan liberally with cooking spray or butter and flour.
  3. Mix the cake mix, eggs and ice cream together and beat for 2 minutes on medium speed.
  4. Follow box for baking times. Time will vary based on type of pan you use.
  5. Let cool and remove from pan.
  6. Allow to cool on wire rack.
  7. Glaze:
  8. In medium saucepan combine ingredients with a whisk over low heat.
  9. Stir until glaze is smooth.
  10. Pour over cake.
**I have had mixed feedback on this recipe. All I can say is that I have made it numerous times and it turns out perfect. Make sure your ice cream isn't still frozen, because if it's still cold your batter will be cold and your cake will not cook all the way through.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Peanut butter banana bread with chocolate chips


2 cups all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
3 medium bananas, mashed
½ cup creamy peanut butter
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup light brown sugar
⅓ cup buttermilk
¼ cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8x4-inch loaf pan and then line with parchment paper so that it hangs over the two long sides.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
3. In a separate large bowl, whisk together the banana, peanut butter, sugars, buttermilk, oil, eggs and vanilla extract until smooth.
4. Pour the wet ingredients into the flour mixture and fold together with a rubber spatula until completely combined and there are no spots with raw flour. Gently stir in the chocolate chips.
5. Transfer the batter to the prepared loaf pan, smoothing the top into an even layer. Bake until the loaf is golden brown and a toothpick or thin knife inserted into the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs, 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes. If your bread appears to be browning too quickly, place a tented piece of foil over it (I did this at the 45-minute mark).
6. Allow the bread to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then turn it out onto a wire rack to cool completely. The cooled bread should be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap; it can be stored at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

pina colada bread

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup canola oil
2 eggs
1 tsp coconut extract
8 oz crushed pineapple, drained
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp shredded coconut
1/4 cup rum

For the buttered rum glaze-
5 tbsp butter
1/3 cup rum
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray a bread pan with cooking spray.
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, sugars, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the canola oil, eggs, and coconut extract. Then mix in the bananas, pineapples, sour cream, and rum. 
 Mix the flour mixture into the wet ingredients. Mix well. Then fold in the 1/2 cup of shredded coconut.
Pour the bread batter into the prepared pan. The bread will take about 1 hour, 10 minutes to bake. After the first 10 minutes of baking, pull the loaf of banana bread out of the oven and sprinkle the top of the loaf with the remaining 2 tbsp of coconut. Bake for the remaining 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Allow the bread to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes and then turn out onto a wire rack.
While the banana bread is cooling, prepare the Buttered Rum Glaze. In a small saucepan, heat the butter until melted. Add the rum and the vanilla. Cook over medium heat for about 3-5 minutes. 
Remove the buttered rum from the heat and pour into a smaller bowl. Allow to cool for 15-20 minutes. Once cooled, whisk in the powdered sugar until smooth.
Pour the glaze all over the top of the cooled Pina Colada Banana Bread.