Friday, February 25, 2011

Beignets and Praline Sauce

OK... words seriously can't even begin to describe this tantalizing treat. It's buttery, flaky, light, and just overall.....awesome. You really just need to try this your self. I got this recipe from Kevin and Amanda {blog}. And this recipe of hers is by far my favorite.

1 tube flaky biscuits
1 cup butter- flavored shortening, for frying
8 tablespoons (1stick) of butter
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1/2 tsp vanilla

Melt butter in a medium, heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add sugar and whisk together until sugar melts and mixture begins to boil, about 5 minutes. Stir in milk, vanilla until smooth. Set aside.

Separate biscuits and cut into fourths.

 In heavy bottomed skillet, melt the shortening over medium heat until it reaches 325 degrees F.

Fry biscuit quarters in batches until golden brown on each side. Biscuits cook quickly, so about 30 seconds on each side.

 Dust generously with powdered sugar and serve immediately with praline sauce

The Hangover Omelette

My sister and I were talking about Serendipity 3 the other day and their delicious breakfast menu that her family enjoyed when they went there in Las Vegas last November. Her husband Nate ordered "The hangover omelette" and to his surprise it was delicious, filling, and satisfying. I of course, was very intrigued so I did some searching to see what exactly this omelette entailed. I saw the massive-ness of this...thing, and had to make it for my husband!

Ingredients (feeds two)

5 eggs
1 small potato
4 strips of bacon cut in half
1/4 cup cheese
1/3 cup onions
1/2 cup green bell peppers
OPTIONAL: you can add sauteed mushrooms, but Gavin hates mushrooms so I opted out

Take a medium sized skillet and cook bacon thoroughly until crisp on each side. After bacon is done, cut and dice the potato and fry in the pan. Meanwhile, chop the onion, bell pepper, and bacon and grate the cheese. This time I decided to use the really soft processed cheese to make it creamier, and I highly recommend this(evenly though its super un-healthy) Add the five eggs, onion, bell pepper,and cheese into a small mixing bowl and stir in well mixed together.

Once potatoes are done set aside.Cook the egg mixture until thoroughly cooked. Add bacon and potatoes and mix together

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Chicken Bacon Avocado Quesidillas

I love avocados! When I stumbled across this recipe on Kevin and Amanda {blog} I immediately marched to my kitchen and made it! And oh my goodness... this is pure melt in your mouth deliciousness.


flour tortillas
2 teaspoons taco seasoning

In a medium sized skillet, cook bacon till crispy on both sides. When thoroughly cooked, remove from skillet to paper towel and pat dry. Cut into small pieces. Grate cheese, Cut avocado into small pieces. Cook chicken thoroughly the dice into small pieces

Place ingredients on one half of flour tortilla. Fold in half

Place 1 teaspoon butter on skillet, place tortilla in skillet, cook about 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown and cheese is melted.

Serve hot with salsa or sour cream

Organic Eating

Within the last few months, Gavin and I decided to start eating primarily Organic food. From our meat which we harvest and process our selves, to growing fruits and veggies in our very own garden! The benefits of eating Organically are immense! No chemicals, no artificial flavorings, no pesticides!

So what does organic mean anyway?

Organic foods are those that are produced using environmentally sound methods that do not involve modern synthetic inputs such as pesticides and chemical fertilizers, do not contain genetically modified organisms, and are not processed using irradiation, industrial solvents, or chemical food additives
( go here for more information)

BUT there is one big thing I feel the need to share with you! NOT all fruits and vegetables need to be bought organic. I have a list of the foods you MUST get organically and the few that have virtually NO pesticides or chemicals and are not grown organically! Cool huh!

Foods the you should buy Organic
"Dirty Dozen"

1. Celery
2. Peaches
3. Strawberries
4. Apples
5. Blueberries
6. Nectarines
7. Sweet Bell Peppers
8. Spinach
9. Kale / Collard Greens
10. Cherries
11. Potatoes
12. Grapes (imported)

Foods to buy that are NOT organic
" The Clean 15"

1. Onions
2. Avocado
3. Sweet Corn (frozen)
4. Pineapples
5. Mango
6. Sweet Peas (frozen)
7. Asparagus
8. Kiwi Fruit
9. Cabbage
10. Eggplant
11. Cantaloupe (domestic)
12. Watermelon
13. Grapefruit
14. Sweet Potatoes
15. Honeydew Melon

Chocolate Chip Oreo Stuffed Cookies

On February 28 my new brother-in-law Mike, will be turning a whopping 24! What an old fart huh? This last summer he came up to Alaska with my family to enjoy some fishing, camping, and see this beautiful place that I call home. We were grocery shopping one day to get our snacks for our week long camping adventure! He was absolutely adamant on getting double stuffed Oreos for the trip. At that moment I could see his burning love for those succulent cookies glistening in his eyes... not really but I could tell that he really liked them.
So recently I was searching the web for different and unusual recipes involving Oreo cookies, and I came across a phenomenal blog! Picky-Palate is a mom of two boys that are picky eaters! She makes up all her own recipes and they all are truly FANTASTIC! She has an awesome collection of cookie recipes and this one was by far my favorite! Who wouldn't like cookies the size of planets right?


2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup dark or light brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup butter softened ( 2 sticks)
2 large eggs
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 cups semisweet chocolate chip cookies
1 sleeve Oreo cookies

Pre heat oven to 350. In a medium bowl combine flour, soda, salt, brown sugar, white sugar. Mix well

Add butter until mixture comes to a grainy paste. Then add eggs and vanilla and mix until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl then add chocolate chips. Mix well

Take two heaping tablespoons and place them with the Oreo cookie in the middle

Mold the dough around the cookie creating a ball (should be about the size of your palm, I know its huge, the size of your head!)

Drop onto a cookie sheet about 2 to 3 inches apart. Bake about 9-12 minutes until golden brown and soft. Transfer from cookie sheet to a cooling rack and let cool for a few minutes, then serve warm and enjoy

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Pizza Margherita

My oldest sister Heather is a pizza FANATIC!! Every time I talk to her she always seems to be eating it! Naturally, after talking with her about pizza , it makes me crave that melted fresh mozzarella cheese, piping hot marinara sauce, and fresh basil.. yum. So I decided to make my own rather than ordering the greasy pizza that come from restaurants. And to me... nothing beats a made from scratch pizza with homemade crust

Ingredients for Neapolitan Pizza Dough (thin crust, but not cracker thin)

1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/4 cup lukewarm water
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup cold water
1 2/3 cups all purpose or whole wheat flour, plus extra for kneading
3/4 teaspoon salt

In a large mixing bowl, stir the yeast into the lukewarm water. Let stand until creamy for about 10 minutes.

Stir in olive oil and the cold water, and then whisk in 1/2 cup of the flour and the salt, stirring until smooth.

 Stir in remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough comes together in a rough mass.
On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough until smooth and velvety, about 8-10 minutes. It will be soft. Cover loosely with a kitchen towel and let rest for 15 minutes

Divide into two equal portions, knead briefly, then roll each portion into a tight round ball. Sprinkle a little flour on top of the balls, cover and let rise for about 1 hour.

When dough is ready, press your fingers into the middle of the dough ball and massage dough outward making a flat disk. Keep spreading the dough into a nice thing crust.

Ingredients for Pizza Topping

Flour for dusting
1/3 cup Tomato-Basil Sauce
6 fresh basil leaves
1/4 lb fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced

Pre heat your oven to 500 degrees

Place the Tomato-Basil sauce in the center of the dough. Using the back of a spoon, gently spread the sauce over the dough leaving a 1in border free of sauce. Place the mozzarella slice atop the sauce the place the basil atop the cheese evenly over the pizza. Place on pizza brick and a regular cookie sheet and bake  for 8-9 minutes until the edges are golden brown.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Chocolate and Fruit Pavlova

So lately I have found that I really, really like to bake! Obviously, the only things I have posted have been incredibly delicious and fattening desserts... but there's nothing wrong with that! I did however decide that I wanted to make something light and airy if you know what I mean. I found this recipe for Pavlova and decided to kick it up a notch by adding chocolate... I love chocolate... and fruit.


For the Meringue Base:
6 large egg whites
2 cups superfine sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
1 teaspoon balsamic or red wine vinegar
2 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped

For the Toppings:

2 cups heavy cream
4 cups fruit of your choice 
1 to 2 ounces dark chocolate


Prepare the pan: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment. Draw a 9-inch-diameter circle on the paper with a pencil, tracing a round cake tin that size.
Flip the paper over so your meringue doesn't touch the pencil marks - you'll still be able to see the circle.

Make the meringue: Beat the egg whites with a mixer until satiny peaks form, and then beat in the sugar a spoonful at a time until the meringue is stiff and shiny.

Add the chocolate: Sprinkle the cocoa, vineger and then the chopped chocolate over the egg whites. Gently fold everything with a rubber spatula until the cocoa is thoroughly mixed in.

Shape the meringue: Secure the parchment to the baking sheet with a dab of meringue under each corner. Mound the meringue onto the parchment within the circle, smoothing the sides and the top with a spatula.

Bake the meringue: Place in the oven, then immediately turn the temperature down to 300 degrees F and cook for one to one and a quarter hours. When it's ready, it should look crisp and dry on top, but when you prod the center you should feel the promise of squidginess beneath your fingers. Let it cool: Turn off the oven and open the door slightly; let the chocolate meringue disk cool completely in the oven. When you'reready to serve, invert onto a big flatbottomed plate and peel off the parchment

Decorate the Pavlova: Whisk the cream till thick but still soft and pile it on top of the meringue.

Then scatter your fruit on top. Coarsely grate the chocolate haphazardly over the top so that you get curls of chocolate rather than rubble, as you don't want the raspberries' luscious color and form to be obscured. You want the Pavlova to look like a frosted cake 

Sunday, February 20, 2011

S'mores Cupcakes

I recently met a young mother of two up here in Alaska who has something that she would say is " a totally unnecessary hobby"... Well this totally unnecessary hobby inspired me. She makes the most fantastic and abstract cupcakes I have ever seen and heard of. After religiously looking, admiring, and drooling over her cupcake collection, I decided that I would like to try these new and interesting recipes for myself! This is my first batch of  " unnecessary" cupcakes I have made that is not a boxed cake.. GO ME!


Makes 2 dozen
  • 2 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon cocoa powder (not Dutch-processed)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (from about 20 squares)
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 standard muffin tins with cupcake liners; set aside.
Sift 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together into the bowl of an electric mixer. Using the paddle attachment, mix ingredients together on low speed

In a large bowl, mix together eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla. Add to flour mixture and beat on medium speed for 30 seconds. Scrape down sides of bowl and continue mixing on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add boiling water and stir to combine; set cake batter aside

Place graham cracker crumbs, remaining 1/4 cup sugar, and melted butter in a large bowl; stir until well combined

Place 1 tablespoon graham cracker mixture into the bottom of each prepared muffin cup. Use the bottom of a small glass to pack crumbs into the bottom of each cupcake liner. Reserve remaining graham cracker mixture for topping

Place 2 teaspoons chocolate in each muffin cup. Transfer muffin tins to oven and bake until the edges of the graham cracker mixture is golden, about 5 minutes. Remove from oven and fill each muffin cup three-quarters full with cake batter. Sprinkle each with remaining chocolate and graham cracker mixture. Return to oven and bake, rotating pans halfway through baking, until tops are firm and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer muffin tins to a wire rack and let cupcakes cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan and let cool completely

Marshmallow Frosting

Makes enough for 2 dozen cupcakes
  • 8 large egg whites
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract


Place egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar in the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer. Set over a saucepan with simmering water. Whisk constantly until sugar is dissolved and whites are warm to the touch, 3 to 4 minutes

Transfer bowl to electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and beat, starting on low speed, gradually increasing to high, until stiff, glossy peaks form, 5 to 7 minutes. Add vanilla, and mix until combined. Use immediately


Transfer frosting to a large pastry bag fitted with a large plain round or French tip (such as Ateco #867 or Ateco #809). Pipe frosting in a spiral motion on each cupcake. Transfer cupcakes to a baking sheet. Using a kitchen torch, lightly brown the frosting, taking care not to burn the cupcake liners. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container, up to 2 days