Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Emeril's Cabbage Rolls and Chocolate Pecan Pie

Waiting for the hubby to cook my steak in the rain so thought I'd post up a couple of things from dinner last night. These cabbage rolls are yet another entry from the book "Emeril's Potluck" I got at the library a few weeks ago. I doubt I'd take them to a potluck, they're pretty messy! But worth it, I thought they were really yummy, I loved the sauce.
I found a link for the cabbage rolls here to save my lazy butt from having to type it out, heaven forbid! They are a bit labor intensive, but what else have you got to do?
When I was a kid my mom made a lot of pecan pies. I mean a LOT of pecan pies. Could have been because we had free pecans falling from the trees in our yard. They just never did it for me, but I've figured out why. There was no chocolate underneath it all. This recipe takes care of that!

Serves 8

  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 4 teaspoons unsalted butter, melted, plus 2 teaspoons, chilled and cut into small pieces
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chunks
  • 1 1/3 cups pecan halves
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon (optional)
  • 1 store-bought refrigerated pie crust (not in a pie plate) (I went ahead and used the kind in a pie plate, cause I'm a rebel)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees with rack in center. On a lightly floured surface, roll out pie dough to a 12-inch round, about an inch thick. Wrap dough around rolling pin, and unwrap over a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Press dough into bottom and up sides of pan; trim edge of dough.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, light corn syrup, 4 teaspoons melted butter, and the vanilla. Scatter chocolate evenly over tart shell. Pour filling over chocolate. Arrange pecans on top, as desired. Dot with 2 teaspoons chilled butter.
  3. Place tart pan on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until filling is set, 45 to 60 minutes. If pecans are browning too quickly, tent pan with foil. Remove from oven; while still hot, drizzle with bourbon, if desired. Let tart cool completely before serving.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Yummy Nachos

Got a sad and lonely piece of delicious brisket left from Christmas dinner. What's a girl to do?
Chop it up and throw it in a skillet with a little help from a couple of items from the pantry. (I also tossed in a little taco seasoning, it seemed to need a something more.)
I made mine in a double layer in a small skillet with the beans, some chopped onion, some of that Paul Newman salsa I got the other day, and a colby/monterey jack combo. I put some tapatio in the hubby's nachos. Threw it in the oven at about 375 till the cheese got melty and bubbly. Then as the French say, Viola! Dinner is served!
Speaking of stupid, here's a pic of me in the apron the hubby had made for me for Christmas with images from my blog.
I had to cut my arms off to try to crop off most of my messy kitchen. The Venus de Milo's got nothing on me.
P.S. I got a nice waffle maker for Christmas, but my first try wasn't exactly successful. They turned out just kinda chewy. I used the waffle recipe that came with the package, maybe it's not a great recipe? It has an indicator light that tells you when it's hot enough, so I don't think that was the problem. Any clues? Thanks!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Food Round Up

Hello out there kiddies, hope you all had a fabulous Christmas. I'm still sitting here digesting so I thought I'd post up a few of the yummies we had today.
First up is this Winter Apple Salad based on the one I found at Under the High Chair.
I gave this about a 7 out of 10 for yumminess. It may have been an 8 or 9 if I hadn't burned the pomegranate reduction beyond any point of recognition and had to just skip it.
I used 3 apples in mine instead of just one. I really loved the mixture of tangy with sweet along with the crunch of the pecans. It was a hit with me.
I also had the opportunity to try this lovely cheese from the folks at Beemster.
I'm no cheese expert at all, but I enjoyed the X-O (which stands for extra old) quite a bit. It had a nice mellow flavor.
We also had an Eggnog Custard Pie from Jamie Deen. This concoction has 1/4 cup of rum in it, and for a girl who only occasionally enjoys a watered-down margarita, that packs quite a punch!
I think if the rum were decreased, and maybe prebake the pie crust a bit so it's not quite as soggy, it would be pretty good. I gave this one a 4, mostly based on the looks of finished product.
I saved this one for last because the picture is so crappy, but it was so delicious!
It's a cranberry roasted garlic risotto, and I found this one at recipezaar.
I replaced a little of the chicken broth with white wine, otherwise followed their directions to the letter.
It's so easy, no fussing, just put it together and throw it in the oven. This is one I'll be wanting to make throughout the year. I give it a 9.5, only subtracting 0.5 because I want to eat more of it but can't!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Peppermint Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

Got another yummy holiday cookie for you I found at Macaroni and Cheesecake. (I love that blog name!)
Basically it's sugar cookies with a ganache filling and chocolate on top sprinkled with crushed peppermint. It was supposed to have some peppermint extract in the filling but I couldn't find any at my local Wal Mart so instead of store hopping I just skipped it like any good slacker would. The candies on top more than make up for it I'd say.
If you're wanting to make these to share I'd go ahead and double it since it only makes 12.
Go ahead and click on over to Stephanie's site to get the recipe then come on back to see what I got from Foodbuzz and Paul Newman today. I'll wait.
Are you back? Oh good...
Look at all this loot! I couldn't believe it! I already know I love that honey mustard dressing, can't wait to try the rest of it.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Black and White Striped Cookies

I guess I did find something else to post about after all.
I found this recipe in an old copy of Cooking Light I bought at Goodwill this past week. (don't worry, I really don't think they're all that light) Fortunately I found the recipe on their website as well because I was not looking forward to trying to retype this's kinda lengthy.
I thought these cookies were pretty yummy. If I made them again I would possibly double the recipe because you really don't get a lot of cookies for the amount of time you put into it. You have to spend at least an hour and a half chilling time between steps.


  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (about 5 1/2 ounces)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons ice water
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour (about 3 1/3 ounces)
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons ice water


To prepare vanilla dough, lightly spoon 1 1/4 cups flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine 1 1/4 cups flour and 1/8 teaspoon salt, stirring well with a whisk. Place 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 cup butter, and 1 egg yolk in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Beat in 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating at low speed just until combined. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons ice water over surface of dough; beat just until moist. (Dough will be slightly crumbly.) Press dough into a 4-inch circle on plastic wrap; cover and chill 1 hour or until firm.

To prepare chocolate dough, lightly spoon 3/4 cup flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine 3/4 cup flour, cocoa, and 1/8 teaspoon salt, stirring well with a whisk. Place 1 cup sugar, 1/4 cup butter, and 1 egg yolk in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Beat in 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Gradually add cocoa mixture to butter mixture, beating at low speed just until combined. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons ice water over surface of dough; beat just until moist. Press dough into a 4-inch circle on plastic wrap; cover and chill 1 hour or until firm.

Slightly overlap 2 sheets of plastic wrap on a slightly damp surface. Unwrap and place chilled vanilla dough on plastic wrap. Cover dough with 2 additional sheets of overlapping plastic wrap. Roll dough, still covered, into a 12 x 8-inch rectangle. Place dough in freezer 5 minutes or until plastic wrap can easily be removed. Remove top sheets of plastic wrap.

Slightly overlap 2 sheets of plastic wrap on a slightly damp surface. Unwrap and place chilled chocolate dough on plastic wrap. Cover dough with 2 additional sheets of overlapping plastic wrap. Roll dough, still covered, into a 12 x 8-inch rectangle. Place dough in freezer 5 minutes or until plastic wrap can easily be removed. Remove top sheets of plastic wrap.

Place vanilla dough on top of chocolate dough, plastic wrap side up. Remove plastic wrap from vanilla dough; turn dough over onto a lightly floured surface. Remove plastic wrap from chocolate dough. Cut dough stack in half crosswise to form 2 (8 x 6-inch) rectangles. Stack one rectangle on top of the other, alternating vanilla and chocolate doughs; wrap in plastic wrap. Freeze 10 minutes or until firm and plastic wrap can easily be removed.

Cut the dough crosswise into 6 (6 x 1 1/3-inch) strips. Stack 2 strips on top of each other to form a stack, alternating vanilla and chocolate to form a striped pattern; wrap in plastic wrap, pressing gently. Repeat procedure with remaining 4 strips to form 2 stacks (there will be 3 stacks total). Chill 30 minutes or until very firm.

Preheat oven to 375°.

Working with 1 stack at a time, unwrap dough. Carefully slice each stack into 12 slices. Place dough slices 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake at 375° for 12 minutes. Cool on pans 5 minutes. Remove cookies from pans; cool completely on wire racks.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Pear Tart (with Stevia)

Remember a couple of weeks ago when I got that awesome sample of Stevia in the Raw?
I finally got a chance to use it making the pear tart featured on their website.
The first step in making this tart is poaching some pears in a syrup using the stevia and some spices. I have to admit I've never had poached pears.
I pretty much adore them.
After you get your tart shell ready you spread a paste that includes almonds and butter...oh yeah! This was pretty tricky, but decided not to sweat it since no one can see it after you cover it all with pears anyway.
I had to make mine in a pie plate since I don't own a tart pan.
I'll include the recipe below with any changes I made. I didn't make the glaze because I am a huge slacker was just too tired. But I think it would have been really good because you use the juices that you poached the pears in, which smelled wonderful!
And the final analysis regarding cooking with the Stevia in the Raw. It works! I really couldn't tell a difference!


POACHED PEARS (May be made a day ahead)

2 cups water

1/2 cup unsweetened apple juice


4 strips lemon zest

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 cinnamon stick (forgot to buy so just used ground cinnamon)

1/2 vanilla bean, seeds removed and set aside

(didn't want to sell a kidney so just used extract)

1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

3 whole cloves

1/8 teaspoon salt

4 Bartlett or Bosc pears (about 2 pounds), peeled, halved lengthwise and cored


8 sheets (12"x17") packaged prepared Phyllo dough

Canola oil


3/4 cup blanched slivered almonds


1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Dash salt

1 egg, beaten

1/2 teaspoon almond extract (didn't have)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup poached pear liquid, strained

1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch


In medium saucepan bring water, apple juice, STEVIA EXTRACT IN THE RAW

, lemon zest, lemon juice, cinnamon stick, vanilla bean along with seeds, peppercorns, cloves, and salt to a boil. Add pear halves, reduce heat, cover and simmer 20-25 minutes or until pears are fork tender.

Remove from heat and cool for about 1 hour in poaching liquid.

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Prepare tart shell. Lightly oil an 8" x 11" oblong metal tart pan with a removable bottom. Keeping phyllo sheets moist with a damp cloth carefully arrange 8 sheets in tart pan — brushin

g each with canola oil before layering.

Trim edges and prick sides and bottom of shell with a fork before baking at 400°F for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from

oven and cool on rack.

To make filling add almonds, STEVIA EXTRACT IN THE RAW, cinnamon and salt to a food processor and process until mixture is a finely chopped powder. Add egg

, extracts and butter, and process until a paste.

Spread almond mixture in bottom of baked tart shell.

Remove pears from poaching liquid; pat dry and cut halves into 1/4 slices on angle. Arrange pear slice

s staggered in 3 rows.

Reduce oven to 350°F and bake tart for about 45 minutes on baking sheet or until almond mixture puffs. It may be necessary to shield

crust edges with aluminum foil to prevent burning. Let cool completely.

Prepare glaze topping by combining 1/2 cup strained pear liquid with cornstarch in small saucepan. Bring to a

boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Remove and drizzle glaze over pear slices.

Makes 15 servings.

Not sure if I'll have anything else to post between now and Christmas day, so here's wishing many blessings to you and yours this year.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Sporadic Randomocity

Just itchin' to post something even though I've got nothing to post about.
The only thing I've cooked lately is that sausage dip from the last post again. Just as good the second time around!
Oh well, here goes anyway...
Girl child got a face tattoo. I was a little miffed...hehe.
This was the second day (yes I let her sleep in face paint) so it was starting to fade a little, but I thought it was cute.
I went to see "A Christmas Carol" with boy child and his class today. It was a little scary (the movie, I mean).
This is him (in red) watching some of the other kids get to have ice cream. I'm awfully nice to let him do fun stuff like that.
I've learned the boy sitting right next to him is kinda protective and watchful of him (which is nice since he's such a runt). I think I love that boy. Too bad they won't be in the same class next year.
mom, can I please have some ice cream?
I saw this pic on lolcats. (Don't tell me you don't go there)
It made me smile.
Hope you're all having a stress free Christmas season.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Emeril's Sausage Stuffed French Bread

Another recipe from "Emeril's Potluck", and that's exactly what I made it for.
It's hard to get even halfway decent food pics while other people are standing around salivating and wanting to eat so this was the best I could do.
I have to say I adored this with every fiber of my being. Just the perfect combination of cheesy, creamy and sausage-y. And of course, you guessed's easy!
Here's the recipe:
two 15 inch long french baguettes (a used a regular sized loaf so only needed one)
1 lb bulk breakfast sausage
2 tbsp chopped jalapenos
1 cup chopped green bell peppers
1/4 cup chopped green onions
8 oz cream cheese, room temp
8 oz sour cream
8 oz grated sharp cheddar
1 tsp essence of Emeril (I used seasoned salt)
chopped fresh parsley
corn or tortilla chips
Oven at 350
Using serrated knife, trim upper quarter off the length of the top of each loaf. Hollow out center, leaving a 1/2 inch thick shell.
Brown sausage in lg skillet over med hi heat about 5 mins. Add jalapenos, bells, green onions. Cook, stirring until veggies soft 3-4 mins.
Add cream cheese, sour cream, and cheddar and stir until competely melted. Add essence and remove from heat.
Fill the hollowed out loaves with equal amts. of mixture and wrap with aluminum foil. Place on baking sheet and bake 1 hr. Remove, unwrap and sprinkle with parsley.
Serve with chips for dipping, or cut bread crosswise into 2 inch slices.
It was a potluck/baby shower so I also brought these festive cupcakes.
I have to say I love the little cupcakes stand, but I hate fondant. I doubt I'll ever try to work with it again...blech :P
Speaking of sweet stuff I received this awesome sample of Stevia today.
I was expecting maybe a couple of tiny little sample size packages, but these folks don't mess around! I've been wanting to try this stuff quite some time, but I haven't had the chance yet. Now I guess I've got no excuse.
They have a website you can visit ( for recipes.
I'm especially drawn to the almond macaroons and pear tart.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Flight of Ideas

I tried to make a panettone today. Is it just me or does it sort of look like a mushroom cloud?
I used a small coffee can for the mold. It turned out kinda dense and tough. Maybe I over-kneaded it or something. Smelled good while it was baking though. And what the heck is citron? I bought a little container of it to put in the bread and when I sniffed it I thought for sure it had ruined.
My panettone's will be store bought from now on.
My lovely girl child is suffering from a not so lovely rash called pityriasis rosea.
Of course like most things, they don't really know what causes it, but it's most likely something that occurs after you have a virus that runs its course in 6 to 12 weeks. (I think we're on about week 4)
It starts with a "herald" patch then spreads from there, but usually not on parts of the skin that get sun exposure. Although she has one on her jaw.
If she gets any on part of her that can be seen I don't know if they'll let her go to school, (even though it's supposedly not really contagious) it really has quite an alarming appearance. I may have to dress her in a turtleneck and ski mask.
I started to put an actual picture of the rash, but decided that would disgust many of you, and the girl would probably hurt me in my sleep.
I'm feeling quite a bit more ready for Christmas now than I was this time yesterday.
And I just refuse to stress about anything that I haven't accomplished yet.
And...I think I need more shoes :D

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Shoe Fairy Loves Me

My good fortune in the area of shoes has been quite remarkable this week. I think it may be a thing of legend. I think hundreds of years from now when I'm long gone, people will still be talking about it.
I think I've had a long day.
See these blue Dansko's down here? I've been coveting these puppies several months now.
I met with a friend yesterday to go see New Moon again and she brings me these shoes!
Exactly the ones I wanted, exactly my size! (she said she didn't like them)
What luck! I'm just ecstatic! As you may be able to tell by my prolific use of exclamation marks!!!
But wait...there's more!
Bonus clogs too. I'm especially fond of the pair in front. Very comfy (and they're klogs with a "K", that's just too kute).
So what else could I possibly ask for? My shoe blessings runneth over for sure!
BUT, I get to work today and what's in my locker??
Holy arch support! Leopard print Dansko's!!
Also in my size....also completely awesome. From a different friend who just didn't want them anymore.
I pretty much feel like a rock star when I wear these (minus any fame, fortune, or talent).
And, on a serious note, I wore these about 10 hours today and they don't suck. That's a major glowing report coming from my flat footed, plantar fasciitis ridden self.
What does any of this have to do with food? Nadda, zip, zilcho!
But I will be making a cheese ball tomorrow if that helps at all.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Safeway Holiday Recipes: Mushroom Sausage Strudel & Peanut Butter 'n Jelly Scones

I was awfully excited to learn I was going to get to be a part of Foodbuzz's Safeway Tastemaker Program and blog about one of Safeway's holiday recipes.
In fact I was so excited I couldn't pick just one!
My first choice was this mushroom sausage strudel. It incorporates several things I love (cresent rolls, sausage, shrooms) so I was sure I would love it. Plus it looked kinda easy which is always a bonus with me.
Look at me trying to be all fancy with my strudel on the right. I'd better stick with simple.
I think as well as being a great appetizer for any holiday gathering, it would also be super as a brunch item, maybe served with a side of hashbrowns.
I'll link up the recipe here for ya. I will say I would use about half the amount of dijon called for, but that's just me.
When I thought I had narrowed my choice down to one, this guy wouldn't quit calling my name.
I love scones and had never made a peanut butter one, so it seemed it was time.
I love how the jelly made a little heart shape in this one.
These were pretty easy to make too. I was a little concerned about the dough at first because it seemed awfully dry (in fact I did add a little more cream), but it turned out just fine.
And the addition of the chocolate chips in there was awesome!
I imagine a batch of these would keep the rugrats from nipping at your heels while you're trying to prepare your holiday dinner :)
This photo was taken while I had the other half of that scone shoved into my face!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Birthday Boy '09

Another attempt at decorating cupcakes. Not too bad, even if Patrick does look a little angry.
Eleven years! Where did they go? Seems just yesterday we brought home this little not even 5 pound bundle of sleepiness with a mop of hair bigger than he was. And now he's eleven!
"For you formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well." .
Hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Nigella's Raspberry Cupcakes

I'm still looking for a special cupcake for a baby shower in a couple of weeks. These..aren't it.
They have a pretty good flavor but were a bit unpredictable. Below is a picture of my first batch.
Nigella told me to bake it at 180 degrees Celsius. Come on, lady, speak English!
These would probably be too raspberry-ish for some people, who may not enjoy crunching little seeds anyway. I'll probably just end up using a box mix, and maybe just decorating it with blue sprinkles like in the picture below.
Earlier in the week I received a sample of this nifty cupcake icing in a can by Betty Crocker. (she's one of my favorite people)
I was able to make this sunk in cupcake look all pretty by filling it in with icing...yum!
I'm loving this sparkle gel I found at Wal Mart.
Look how cute it looks on there. I think I'm going to use this for my son's Spongebob cupcakes next week. Or maybe as eye shadow.