Monday, November 29, 2010

Sneak Peek: 2010 Thanksgiving Menu

Alright I'm back from my vacation and have lots of recipes and pictures to share! First things is a sneak peek of the recipes that will quickly follow, within the next week.

2010 Thanksgiving Menu
  • Deviled Eggs by Betty Crocker

  • Momma's Stuffing by my Mother
  • Cream Cheese Mashed Potatoes by Me
  • Sweet Potato Biscuits by Bon Appetite
  • Sweet Potato Casserole by Me
  • Homemade Marshmallows (for the Sweet Potato Casserole) by Martha Stewart
  • Roasted Cranberry Sauce w/ Herbed Candied Walnuts by Bon Appetite
  • Cider Gravy by my Mother

Main Entree:
  • Cider-Glazed Roasted Turkey by Gourmet

  • Spiced Phyllo Dough Pumpkin Pie by Bon Appetite

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Fresh Pumpkin Fudge

  • Happy Halloween! I'm not one for dressing up, but I'm certainly celebrating the holiday by making some pumpkin fudge from scratch. What a treat! Too bad I can't give it out to any trick-or-treaters. I'll have to just give them the Reese's Peanut Butter cups, which is probably for the best, since I keep snacking on them. Anyways...I hope y'all are finding your own special way to celebrate this All Hallow's Eve!

  • Ingredients:
  • 3 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup butter

  • Directions:
  1. Line one 8x8 inch pan with foil and grease with non-salted butter.
  2. In a 3 quart saucepan, mix together sugar, milk, corn syrup, pumpkin and salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium and continue boiling. Do not stir.
  3. When mixture registers 232 degrees F (110 degrees C) on candy thermometer, remove pan from heat. Stir in pumpkin pie spice, vanilla, butter and nuts.
  4. Beat mixture until it is very thick and loses some of its gloss. Quickly pour into a pan w/ foil.
  5. Let mixture sit until it is cool, light brown and firm.
  6. Lift foil out of the pan. Cut into smaller squares and serve!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Pumpkin MANIA: Pumpkin Chip Muffins Recipe

That's right! More pumpkin recipes. Hopefully by the time pumpkins are out-of-season, we won't be sick of them.

As I was making dinner in my kitchen, the other night, I happen to come across a recipe card, which I wrote about a year ago. I meant to send the hand-written recipe card to my mom, but then again that's what food blogs are for! Sorry mom. :) Anyways, here is the recipe. It's almost identical to the pumpkin bread recipe, but with dark chocolate chips. Yummy...


4 Eggs
2 Cups Sugar
2 Cups fresh Pumpkin Puree or 1 can Pumpkin Puree
1 1/2 Cups Olive Oil
3 Cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups dark chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Grease cupcake pan.

Mix eggs, pumpkin, sugar and oil in a large bowl.

In a seperate bowl sift in flour with baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.

Mix the egg mixture with the flour mixture and add dark chocolate chips.

With a large spoon, fill each opening in the cupcake pan with 3/4 of the pumpkin chip mixture.

Place into preheated oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

1941 Boston Cooking School Pumpkin Bread Recipe (w/ New Improvements)

Level: Intermediate

Nothing is better then baking on a cold Sunday afternoon. After spending yesterday morning at All Seasons Pumpkin Patch in Cashton, Wisconsin, I decided that I needed to bake my Pie Pumpkin.

I found the recipe in my 1941 Boston Cooking School Cookbook, but decided to make some tweaks in the end. I used oil instead of butter, a few more eggs and lots of baking soda (to help the bread rise.) Nonetheless, it turned out great! Not too sweet and not too moist. Just perfect.


2 cups of fresh pumpkin puree (see Pie Pumpkin blog post for instructions) OR 1 can of pumpkin puree

4 eggs

¾ cup olive oil

2/3 cup water

1 ½ cups white sugar

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, water and sugar until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger.
  3. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended.
  4. Grease the loaf pans with olive oil.
  5. Pour mixture into the prepared pans.
  6. Bake for about 50 minutes in the preheated oven.
Makes 2 loaves of bread.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Celebrating my German Heritage: Glühwein

Level: Super Easy!

Deemed a popular beverage around the world , Glühwein (German), grzane wino(Polish) , vin brulé (Italian), vin chaud (French), Glögg (Swedish), Mulled Wine(English) is an excellent cure for pre-holiday fever. Typically it's consumed around Christmas time, but then's October...and it's cold outside, so those seem like good enough reasons to whip up a batch.


1 large orange
3 cinnamon sticks
13 whole cloves
1/4 cup honey
1 bottle red wine (red table wine or a bottle of merlot)


  1. Gently zest the orange . When finished zesting, slice the orange.
  2. In a large (non-aluminum) pot, combine the orange zest, orange slices, cinnamon sticks, cloves, honey and wine.
  3. Without boiling the mixture, simmer on low heat for about 25 minutes or until hot. Taste and add more honey if necessary.
  4. Strain and serve.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Mac & Ale'n Cheese

Level: Hard

If you've never had a heart attack, this recipe is surely a one way ticket to hell - a good hell nonetheless. A place where all your desires and temptations come to eat!

One of my biggest temptations is Mac and Cheese. Without a doubt, if I had to choose between eternal life and mac and cheese, I'd say "kill me now...cause I'm all about the cheese."

What's so great about this recipe? Well... it's made with 2 cups of cream, lots of cheese and beer. All three weaknesses of mine. :)

Anyways...that's enough ramblings for now. Enjoy.

1 (12 oz) package medium pasta shells
1 stick sweet cream unsalted butter
4 shallots, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 (12 oz) bottle of IPA or Pale Ale beer
2 cups whipping cream
1 block (16 oz) Sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups cheddar flavored Kettle Chips, crushed


  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Fill a large pot with lightly salted water, and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Once the water is boiling, stir in the macaroni, and return to a boil. Cook until the pasta has cooked through, but is still firm to the bite, about 8 minutes. Drain well.
  3. Melt the butter in the saucepan over medium heat.
  4. Add the flour, and stir until the mixture becomes paste-like and light golden brown, about 3 minutes.
  5. Gradually whisk the mustard, the beer, and milk into the flour mixture; bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook and stir until the mixture is thick and smooth, 5 to 10 minutes.
  6. Stir in the cheese, until it melts and becomes a sauce. Season accordingly with salt and pepper.
  7. Turn off the heat, and stir in the cooked macaroni.
  8. Place Mac and Cheese in a baking dish and sprinkle shallots, garlic, and then the crushed cheddar kettle chips on top.
  9. Bake for 15-20mins, or until the top is starting to brown.
  10. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before serving.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Honey Glazed Roasted Vegetables

Level: Easy

As I was bundling myself up this past winter, I'd huddle over the stove (to keep warm) and created this winter vegetable recipe. Although, no one will blame you if you make it year around :) I certain do!


1 large onion, chopped

1 bag (8 oz) baby carrots

2 large potatoes, cubed

2 tbls honey

1 tsp pumpkin spice

½ tsp minced garlic

¼ tsp salt

4 tbls cultured unsalted butter, cubed

¼ cup heavy whipping cream


Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine the chopped onion, baby carrots, diced potatoes, honey, pumpkin pie spice, garlic powder and salt. Mix the ingredients well, until all the spice and honey are evenly distributed.

In a lightly buttered baking dish, pour the mixture of vegetables and spices. Next, place cubes of butter and heavy whipping cream on top.

Cook vegetables for 40-45mins or until the vegetables can be easily pierced.

Makes 4 servings

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Italian Grilled Cheese

Level: Easy

For many individuals, living above an Italian Delicatessen should be the least of anyone’s worries. But for the vulnerable nose of a food adventurist it’s torment. When you get a 5am wake-up call and have to answer to the intoxicating smell of ciabatta baking in the oven downstairs, you’ll understand. Therefore, this recipe is inspired by all the distressed Italian lovers like myself, and can be enjoyed with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc or Barbera.


1/2 cup bella di cerignola olive medley, pitted and chopped, or olives of personal choice

2 slices of bread

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 slices of provolone (cut in half)

2 slices of prosciutto, shredded and pulled apart by hand

1/4 cup Sarvecchio Parmesan, shredded


With a brush, lightly coat each slice of bread with olive oil.

Place three half slices of provolone on one slice of bread. Next, add a even layer of prosciutto. For the third layer, add the chopped olive medley. For the final layer, spread the shredded Sarvecchio over the chopped olive medley, and place the remaining piece of bread on top.

Heat a skillet or griddle, over medium heat. When ready, place the Italian sandwiches on the skillet/griddle. Grill for 2 minutes, or until the cheese is starting to melt. Using a spatula, press firmly on the tops of the sandwiches, and then flip the sandwiches. Press down with the spatula again. Cook for an additional 30 seconds – 1 minute. Remove the Italian grilled sandwiches from heat and eat.

Makes 1 Sandwich.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Udon Noodle Soup

Momofuko. If you don't have the cookbook, well then I don't blame you. I can't even make most of the recipes in it, let alone pronounce half of the ingredients. Aside from his tempered potty mouth, author David Chang indeed is an inspiration to the next-gereration of chefs, who will too experiece the hardships of paying off $80K+ student loans. And although most people may not be obsessed with ramen noodles as much as Chang , from personal experience, I'm obsessed with grocery shopping. Not for clothes, or chic designer home decor; Yes....I'm only slightly ashamed to say that I have an obsession with grocery shopping. At most times, I spend well over one or two hours shopping through a co-op, a whole foods, or even a farmers market. I've always wondered whether anyone has ever noticed, "Hasn't that girl been through that aisle before?" And most likely I have. The ultimate high for my addiction is a well stocked fridge with wild Alantic Salmon, fresh organic fruits and veggies, hand-crafted artisan cheeses and a 6-pack of a local brew. No one should complain about that.

So, in honor of David Chang and all struggling chefs looking for their breakthrough, I've attempted to make my own version of udon noodle soup. Although it may not be a specific Momofuko recipe, it's inspiration came from his attitude to do what ever the heck he wanted. Enjoy!

Udon Noodle Soup

32oz beef stock

1 bushel of bok choy

3 large carrots, sliced

1 medium shallot, sliced

1 cup shiitake mushroom, sliced

1/2 cup Tempeh

2 tablespoons fresh minced ginger

8 cups of water

1 8oz bundle of Udon Noodles


Green Onion, sliced


In a large stock pot combine beef stock, bok choy, carrots, shallots, mushroom, Tempeh, and ginger. Bring to a boil and them simmer on medium heat for 5 minutes. Concurrently, in a saucepan pour in water and bring to a boil. Place the Udon Noodles in the boiling water for 8 minutes. After thoroughly cooked, drain the water and run cold water over the udon noodles. This will prevent them from cooking any further. Remove the broth mixture from heat and add the cooked udon noodles. Spoon soup into a deep bowl, and garnish with cashews and green onions. Yum!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Fresh Honey Wheat Bread

As I opened a fresh carton of buttermilk, my nose immediately draws close and inhales a small piece of heaven. Right there in that exact moment, I decided that anything with the word butter in it has made this world a better place; especially if it’s organic buttermilk.

I poured the buttermilk in my brand spanking new bread machine, with a little this and a little that. I pushed a little button and was happy to know that kneading, rising, and baking would be taken care of by this little machine.

By the way, let me just confess something right here and now. I am not ashamed to admit that I bought a bread machine, and for all I care, it is one of the greatest inventions of mankind. It’s so great that for the first 30 minutes, I watched the ingredients knead itself into dough. It was completely entertaining and humorous in an innocent childlike manner.

Every now and then I would check on the loaf as it baked, initially thinking to myself, “oh god please don’t f-up.” Last time I attempted to make fresh bread, something went horribly wrong and not only did it greatly annoy me, I wasted 4 cups of perfectly good organic flour. This time around I was determined to get the recipe down perfectly, and I’m happy to report that it went over very well. The recipe for Fresh Honey Wheat Bread is not only damn good, I guarantee that it will be hard for you to want to share it with anyone else.

Fresh Honey Wheat Bread


1 1/2 cups buttermilk,

3 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup whole wheat flour

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast


  1. Pour in the buttermilk, honey, and olive oil into pan of the bread machine pan.
  2. Add the whole wheat flour, all purpose flour, baking soda, and salt.
  3. Using your finger, make a small shallow well in the dry ingredients and carefully pour the yeast into the hole.
  4. Set your bread machine to accommodate a 2lb whole wheat loaf, on medium heat.
  5. If baking in an oven, use manual or dough cycle to knead dough.
  6. Remove from bread maker, and place in a greased loaf pan. Let rise until doubled in size. Bake in a preheated 350 degree F oven for 25 minutes