Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Chicken Parmesan

DSC_0086 p, originally uploaded by queenofthemoodswingset2.

I have a new family of Cast Iron skillets that I am so excited to use! This was my first experiment: Chicken Parmesan. I started with Smitten Kitchen's Milanese recipe and went from there.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Buche de Noel

From the Cake Bible. I added crumbled brownie dirt to the recipe.
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Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas Cookies

This only took 9 hours of baking :-). We have gingerbread, sugar cookies, peanut butter blossoms, peanut butter cookies, sugar cookies with apricot filling, orange cookies, and oatmeal cookies (though they didn't make the photo).

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Stenciled Sugar Cookies

3 Eggs
2 Cups Sugar
1 Cup Butter
1 Cup Sour Cream
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1 Teaspoon Salt
4 Teaspoons Baking Powder
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
Flour until Can't Work Any More in with spoon (about 1100g)

Roll, cut and bake at 325 till they're done.
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Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Scrimps! One of the best meals I've had: Basmati rice cooked with chicken stock and onion, shrimp steamed lightly on top, served with sliced tomatoes soaked in balsamic vinegar sprinkled with salt. I don't know why it was so delicious together, but it WAS.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Cranberry Apple Butter (Flying Biscuit Recipe)


* 2 cups of dark brown sugar (I used light brown sugar and it worked well)
* 1 cinnamon stick
* 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
* 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
* 1 teaspoon ground cloves
* 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
* 2 cups cranberries
* 10 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced

Place sugar, spices, and orange juice in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Bring to a simmer and add the cranberries. Cook over medium heat until cranberries begin to pop.

Add the apples and cook over low heat, stirring frequently. Cook until apples are tender and falling apart. Puree contents of saucepan in a food processor or mash with a potato masher until smooth and thick. Cool and serve with hot biscuits.

Cranberry Apple Butter will keep for 2 to 3 weeks in the refrigerator.

Yields: 4 ½ Cups (When I made it I used larger apples and it is more like 8 cups)

3 cups all-purpose flour (*Note: a soft winter wheat flour, such as White Lily, works best)
1 tablespoon plus 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons plus 1-1/2 teaspoons sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature (it should be consistency of shortening)
2/3 cup heavy cream
2/3 cup half an half
1 tablespoon half and half for brushing on top of biscuits
1 tablespoon sugar for sprinkling on biscuits
1.Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

2. Place flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Cut butter into 1/2 tablespoon-sized bits and add to the flour. Using your fingertips or a pastry cutter, work the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal.

3. Make a well in the center of the flour and pour in all the heavy cream and half and half. Stir the dry ingredients into the cream and mix with a wooden spoon until dough just begins to come together into ball.

4. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead 2 or 3 times to form a cohesive mass. Do not overwork the dough. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough to a 1-inch thickness. The correct thickness is the key to obtaining a stately biscuit. Dip a 2-1/2 inch biscuit cutter in flour, then cut the dough. Repeat until all the dough has been cut. Scraps can be gathered together and rerolled one more time. Place the biscuits on the prepared sheet pan, leaving about 1/4 inch between them. Brush the tops of the biscuits with 1 tablespoon of half and half and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of sugar. Bake for 20 minutes. Biscuits will be lightly browned on top and flaky in the center when done.

Makes 8 to 12 biscuits, depending on the size of the cutter.

Honey Cakes

The catalog from the people that sold me the cookie mold used for these cookies (House on the Hill) said that cookie molds were originally used primarily for gingerbread or honey cakes. Not finding any honey cake recipes (aside from the Jewish New Year variety) anywhere, I emailed the cookie mold gurus who said to make their gingerbread recipe substituting honey for all of the molasses. So, I made a half batch of the following recipe with only honey.

Mix together:
1 cup molasses
1 cup honey
1 cup butter, softened

6-1/4 cups unbleached white flour
3 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt

Mix both bowls together and knead well. Don't refrigerate - mold after mixing. Follow general directions for molding. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. If desired, glaze the gingerbread cookies as soon as they come out of the oven and before you remove them to a cooling rack.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Quiche, Roasted Pecans, pumpkin pie

I've not been posting much because, well, I bought a house.'s to make up for the long silence.

Follow the recipe on the pumpkin

•1c sugar
•1tsp salt
•2tsp cinnamon
•1 egg white
•3c pecan or walnut halves
•4Tbs butter,melted

1.Heat oven to 300. Line a rimmed baking sheet with non-stick foil;set aside
2.In a small bowl,stir together sugar,salt and cinnamon;set aside
3.In med size bowl,whisk egg white and 1 Tbs water until foamy. Add pecans or walnuts to bowl and stir till coated. Pour in sugar mixture and melted butter,stir to combine.
4.Spread pecan mixture in an even layer on prepared baking sheet and bake at 300 for 25 mins,stirring occasionally. Remove from oven and cool completely

12 inch pan
1 packaged crust (or homemade)
12 eggs
1 cup spinach
2 tbsp chopped basil
2 cloves garlic
1/4 red onion
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1/4 cup cheddar cheese
onion cheese (from Smicksburg, PA)

Brown the crust in the oven for 10 minutes at 400*, combine onion, garlic, basil, spinach and eggs. pour egg mixture into the crust and top with the cheese. Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Baby Shower Cake

Three layers of yellow cake, raspberry filling, crusting buttercream and red marshmallow fondant. The animals are made from candy melts. More pictures here.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Caramel Apple Cookies

1/2 C shortening
1.5 C brown sugar
1 egg
2 1/4 C flour
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t cloves
1/2 t nutmeg
1 1/2 cup chopped apples
1/2 C white raisins
1/2 C apple juice
1 C chopped walnuts

1/4 C butter
1.5 C powdered sugar
2.5 T milk
1/4 C brown sugar

Mix shortening, sugar and egg until smooth. Sift flour & other dry ingredients. Slowly add to blended shortening then add remaining ingredients. Mix well. Bake for 10 minutes at 350. For frosting, melt butter & sugar together. Stir until blended & add powdered sugar & milk. Beat well. Frost each cookie while still warm. Makes about 6 dozen.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Roasted Garlic Herb Purple Potatoes

Though the purple potatoes that I planted never grew, I did buy some on sale and decided to roast them with some garlic and red onion. It's much yummier than regular potatoes! The carrots caramelize and are sweet and delicious too.

1 cup of baby carrots
1/2 red onion cut
5-6 chicken tenders cut into bite sized pieces
2-3 lbs. purple potatoes (or red potatoes)
4-6 tbsp. olive oil
1 head of garlic
3 tsp. crushed rosemary
3 tsp. parsley
3 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees.

Cut the top off of the head of garlic, mix together with the other ingredients. Arrange in a 9 x 13 pan lined with parchment paper. Bake for 30 minutes or until they are golden brown. Serves 6.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Tiramisu cake with brandied espresso frosting, adapted from the recipe at Somehow this was The Coffee Hater's favorite cake so far. I think it was the liquor.

Friday, September 25, 2009

I'll take my oatmeal to go, please...

Oatmeal Apple Muffins

2 cups uncooked oatmeal

1 cups white self-rising flour

½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

1/3 cup sugar

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1/8 tsp ground allspice

1/8 tsp ground cloves

1/4 cup canola oil

1 cup low fat buttermilk

1 large egg

1 medium apple, peeled & chopped

2 tsp cinnamon sugar

Combine dry ingredients together except for cinnamon sugar.

Beat egg with milk & oil.

Mix wet & dry ingredients, stir in peeled & diced apple.

Spoon into cupcake tin sprayed with butter flavored cooking spray.

Sprinkle tops with cinnamon sugar.

Bake at 425° about 15 minutes.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Get your kicks

The boss turns, you guessed it, 66 tomorrow. So he gets a chocolate cake with magic crusting buttercream frosting and fondant numbers.
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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Mm.. Tortillas brushed with butter and sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar, cut into wedges and ready to be made into tortilla chips to eat with fresh fruit salsa. Bake them at 400 degrees for about 8 minutes or until lightly browned. (If you're pressed for time or trying to save calories, spray the tortillas with butter-flavored cooking spray before sprinkling instead of brushing with butter.)

raspberry banana bread muffins

I had some bananas turning black on the counter, and raspberries drying up in the fridge and voila!

INGREDIENTS: (adapted from: )
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup mashed ripe bananas
1/2 cup vegetable oil (or ¼ cup oil and ¼ cup apple sauce)
1/3 cup water
1 cup fresh or frozen unsweetened raspberries

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. In another bowl, combine the eggs, bananas, oil, applesauce, vanilla, and water. Stir into the dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in raspberries.
Pour into cupcake pans or bread pans. Bake at 350 degrees F for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.
I made 18 muffins, but it’d probably work better with smaller muffins. If you use sweetened apple sauce reduce the sugar.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes

Featuring the Holy Trinity.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Chocolate Cherry Granola Bars

I saw this mix of cherries, cranberries, and blueberries at SAMS and decided to make these granola bars.
Granola Bars
Makes 12 to 16 granola bars
2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
1 cup sliced almonds (E: I left these out because Betsy is allergic)
1 cup shredded coconut, loosely packed (I used unsweetened)
1/2 cup toasted wheat germ (E: substituted oatmeal pulsed in food processor)
2/3 cup honey
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cup dried fruit, or a mix of dried fruit (E: I used ½ cup each apricots,mixed cherries, blueberries, and cranberries, and mini chocolate chips)
Preheat your oven to 350°F. Butter an 8×12-inch baking dish (lacking this, I used a 9×13-inch) and line it with parchment paper.
Toss the oatmeal, almonds, and coconut together on a sheet pan and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and stir in the wheat germ. Reduce the oven temperature to 300°F.
While the mixture is still warm, stir in the honey, vanilla and salt until the mixture is well coated, then the dried fruit. Pour the mixture into your prepared baking dish and press, press, press it in (wet fingers and/or a silicon spatula work great for this) until the mixture is packed as tightly as possible.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until light golden brown. Cool for 2 to 3 hours before cutting into squares — your best serrated knife is great for this.

Monday, September 7, 2009

To continue the raspberry theme..

Raspberry Bavarian Cream

4 cups fresh or frozen (not in syrup) raspberries (or strawberries)
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp. (not just 1 packet, be sure to measure it) unflavored gelatin
3 tbsp. cold water
3 tbsp. boiling water
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 cup heavy whipping cream

Thaw and drain the berries, if using frozen. Combine the berries and sugar in a bowl and mash the berries. Let stand 30 minutes. Soak the gelatin in the cold water for 10 minutes. Add the boiling water and stir to dissolve. Add the gelatin and lemon juice to the berry mixture. Whip the cream to soft peaks and gently fold into the berry mixture. Pour into a mold and chill at least 6 hours before unmolding. Alternately, the mixture can be placed in cooked pie shells and chilled. Serves 8 to 10.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake

1 1/2 cups nilla wafer crumbs
5 T butter, melted

1/2 cup seedless raspberry preserves
1/4 cup water
4 8-ounce pkgs. cream cheese
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 eggs
4 ounces white chocolate, chopped into chunks

1/2 cup seedless raspberry preserves
fresh raspberries

1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Place a large pan filled with about 1/2-inch of water into the oven while it preheats. This will be your water bath.

2. Combine the raspberry preserves with 1/4 cup water in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Heat for 1 1/2 minutes on high in your microwave. Stir until smooth, then put the bowl in the refrigerator until later.

3. Measure 1 1/2 cups cookie crumbs into a medium bowl. Mix in melted butter. Press the crumb mixture into a 9-inch spring form pan that has been lined on the bottom and side with parchment paper. Use the bottom of a drinking glass to press the crumb mixture flat into the bottom of the pan and about 2/3 the way up the side. Wrap a large piece of foil around the bottom of the pan to keep the cheesecake in the water bath. Put the crust in your freezer until the filling is done.

4. Use an electric mixer to combine the cream cheese with the sugar, sour cream, and vanilla. Mix for a couple minutes or until the ingredients are smooth and creamy. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add eggs one at a time. Blend the mixture just enough to integrate the eggs.

5. Remove the crust from the freezer and sprinkle 4 ounces of white chocolate chunks onto the bottom of the crust. Pour half of the cream cheese filling into the crust. Drizzle the raspberry preserves over the entire surface of the filling. Use a butter knife to swirl the raspberry into the cream cheese. Just a couple passes is fine, you don't want to blend the raspberry and cream cheese together too much. Pour the other half of the filling into the crust.

6. Carefully place the cheesecake into the water bath in the oven. Bake for 10 minutes at 475 degrees, then turn the oven down to 350 degrees and bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until the top of the cheesecake turns a light brown or tan color. Remove the cheesecake from the oven to cool. After cooled, place cheesecake in the refrigerator at least overnight.

7. After cheesecake has cooled in the refrigerator, microwave another 1/2 cup raspberry preserves and spread evenly over the top of the cheesecake. Arrange fresh raspberries on top of the preserves.

Makes 12 servings.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

One Last Hot Tomato Post for Summer

One more mention of salad with pasta and tomato before the summer is officially over. This one has a spicy dressing that works with stir fry and about anything else needing to be sauced or dressed.

Spicy Thai Peanut Dressing
Combine in jar, shake it up:
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons crunchy peanut butter
2 tablespoons soy sauce
4 medium garlic cloves, pressed
1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes

Tiramisu Cake

I like this even better than Tiramisu. To decorate it, I cut a snowflake out of wax paper and sifted cocoa over it.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Gift with purchase.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

perfect weekend

This is the perfect way to spend a weekend, curled up in a sun puddle!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Baby Shower Cake

Yellow cake with lemon buttercream under the MM fondant and raspberry filling. The white fondant is Wilton and tastes like I imagine silly putty would, ick. But it is a prettier white than I could get the MM fondant.
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Wednesday, August 12, 2009


The sunset through a drop of pine sap.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Supper tonight!

Chicken and beef fajitas with homemade salsa on homemade tortillas. Salsa and tortilla recipes follow.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Chicken and Egpplant Parmesan

We're leaving for Montana and I needed to use up some eggplants and decided to try this for the first time. Betsy and I will be gone for about 10 days so, see you later!

chicken and eggplant parmesan

Chicken and Eggplant Parmesan (recipe)