Thursday, July 7, 2011



1 cup sugar
½ cup light corn syrup
¼ cup water
¾ tsp extract of your choice (I did a lemon poppyseed lollipop with real lemon zest and a chocolate cayenne lollipop)
Food coloring (optional- I used none)
Lollipop molds and sticks (or in my case shish kabob sticks and no mold)


1. Prepare your molds by spraying them with nonstick cooking spray and inserting lollipop sticks into the molds.

2. Combine the sugar, corn syrup, and water in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Insert the candy thermometer and stir until sugar dissolves.

3. Allow to boil, without stirring, until candy reaches 295 degrees (hard-crack stage).

4. Once the candy reaches 295, remove it from heat. Stir in the extract of your choice, and, if desired, food coloring.

5. Spoon the candy into the mold cavities (I poured from spoon to silpat mat), making sure to cover the back of the stick.

6. Allow to cool completely and remove once hardened.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Meatballs Stroganoff

Very simple and tasty recipe that I'm sure I'll be seeing again.


1 lb macaroni
1 1/2 lb lean ground beef
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2-3 teaspoon sweet paprika
2 tablespoons oil
1 3/4 ounce butter
1 large onion, thinly sliced
8 ounce small button mushrooms, halved
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2-3 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 cup beef stock
3/4 cup sour cream
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley


1. Cook the macaroni in a large pan of rapidly boiling water until al dente. Drain and keep warm.

2. Combine the beef, garlic and some salt and cracked pepper in a bowl. Use your hands to mix well. Roll 2 heaped teaspoons of the meat into balls. Combine the flour, paprika and some freshly ground black pepper on a clean surface or sheet of greaseproof paper. Dust the meatballs in the seasoned flour.

3. Heat the oil and half the butter in a frying pan. When foaming, cook the meatballs over medium heat, in batches, until brown. Remove from the pan and drain on paper towels.

4.Melt the remaining butter in the pan, add the onion and cook until soft. Stir in the mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms are tender. Pour in the combined tomato paste, mustard, wine and stock. Return the meatballs to the pan and gently reheat. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.Season to taste. Stir in the sour cream through until smooth. Sprinkle with a little parsley and serve with the pasta.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Oven Fried Chicken

I've been wanting to make oven fried chicken for a while now and last night I think I found a keeper so I'm proudly sharing the recipe that worked for me with you. This recipe is from The Neelys on Food Network.

Pat and Gina's Oven Fried Chicken

Olive oil nonstick cooking spray
2 large eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon hot sauce
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 (3-pound) chicken cut into 8 pieces, skin removed

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Fit a sheet tray with a wire rack and spray with nonstick cooking spray.

In a pie plate or shallow bowl, whisk the eggs, mustard, honey, hot sauce, and salt and pepper, to taste, together until thoroughly combined.

Add the panko, salt and pepper, to taste, the paprika, cayenne, and garlic powder to another pie plate and whisk to combine.

Dredge the chicken through the wet mixture, then the dry mixture, patting the breading on so it adheres. Arrange on a wire rack lined sheet tray, making sure there is ample space between each piece of chicken. Give the chicken a spritz of the olive cooking spray. This will help brown and crisp up the coating.

Put on the upper rack of the oven and bake until the chicken is golden and crisp. The temperature should register 160 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer in the thickest part of the chicken, about 45 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter and serve.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Crab Soup

This recipe is adapted from Paula Dean's recipe on the Food Network


3/4 cup chopped green onion, with tops
2 teaspoons minced garlic
4 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups fish stock (I used saved shrimp shells in the freezer to make a simple broth)
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup milk
1 pound crabmeat, picked free of shell
1/4 cup sherry
1/2 teaspoon lemon-pepper seasoning
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1/2 cup chopped fresh chives


Saute chopped green onion and garlic in butter until tender. Stir in flour, stirring until well blended. Slowly add 2 cups of the fish stock, continuing to cook until smooth and bubbly. Slowly add cream and milk. Stir in crabmeat. Add sherry, lemon-pepper seasoning, salt and white pepper. Simmer until piping hot; adjust seasoning (sherry, salt, and pepper), to taste. Serve in bowls topped with cheese and chives.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Fresh Sprouts...

Caesar Salad

This is the best caesar dressing I've ever found (adapted from and it's super easy to make too.


5 cloves garlic, peeled
3/4 cup mayonnaise
2-3 anchovy fillets, minced
6 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon lemon juice
salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste
1 head romaine lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces


Mince 3 cloves of garlic, and combine in a small bowl with mayonnaise, anchovies, 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan cheese, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, and lemon juice (I use my magic bullet). Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Place lettuce in a large bowl. Toss with dressing, remaining Parmesan cheese, and bread cubes if desired.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Lemon and Garlic Roast Chicken

This recipe is adapted from Ina Garten's recipe on the Food Network

I made this recipe recently for the first time and was very pleased. I took the bacon out of the original recipe so it was healthier and instead added potatoes to the pot with the chicken and garlic which was AMAZING...


1 (5 to 6-pound) roasting chicken
Kosher salt
Freshly ground long black pepper
1 large bunch fresh thyme
4 lemons
3 heads garlic, cut in 1/2 crosswise
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup white wine
1/2 cup chicken stock


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Remove the chicken giblets. Rinse the chicken inside and out. Remove any excess fat and leftover pinfeathers and pat the outside dry. Place the chicken in a large roasting pan. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the chicken. Stuff the cavity with the thyme, reserving enough thyme to garnish the chicken dish, 1 lemon, halved, and 2 halves of the garlic. Brush the outside of the chicken with the butter and sprinkle again with salt and pepper. Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken. Cut 2 of the lemons in quarters and scatter the quarters and remaining garlic around the chicken.

Roast the chicken for 1 hour. Continue roasting the chicken for an additional 1/2 hour, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

There's nothing like freshly made pizza.....yum

Here's the very good and very easy recipe...

Pizza Dough and Sauce

Pizza Dough

3/4 tablespoon yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons oil
4 cups flour (you can do half white, half wheat if you choose)

Pizza Sauce
1 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
1/2 cup red wine or 1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon vegetable oil or 1 tablespoon olive oil
1 -2 tablespoon parmesan cheese

In a large bowl, sprinkle yeast over warm water (add a pinch of sugar) and allow to set until it begins to foam, about 5 minutes.
Stir in salt, oil and half of flour. Gradually add remaining flour, mixing well.
Knead 8-10 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Place in greased bowl and let rise until double (1/2-1 hour) Punch down and let rise again until double. Punch down and divide. Pat out on two pizza pans.
Top with pizza sauce & toppings. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

Pizza Sauce: Mix all ingredients together, blending well.

Makes enough for two 12- or 14-inch pizzas or one thick 16-inch pizza. (I usually cut the dough in half and use one that night and freeze the other half for another day. If freezing, just freeze half in a ball and pull it out of the freezer the night before you want to use it).
Top with meats, cheese and other toppings. I love using cheese, turkey pepperoni, olives, pineapple, onions, artichoke hearts, etc... endless possibilities...

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Ginger Carrot Soup

This recipe is adapted from Guy Fieri's recipe on the Food Network

I made this soup earlier in the week and it was wonderfully tasty. The toasted pine nuts were such a great addition as was the fresh lemon and lime thyme I added from my little kitchen window herb garden.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped sweet onion
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced ginger
2 pounds carrots, peeled and chopped into even pieces
1 medium russet potato, peeled and chopped
4 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock for vegetarian version
1/4 cup pine nuts
1 1/3 cups plain yogurt
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper, plus more for seasoning
In a heavy Dutch oven, (prefer porcelain covered cast iron), over medium-high heat, add the olive oil and the sweet onions. Sprinkle with salt and sweat for 10 minutes, until just starting to caramelize. Add in the garlic and ginger and saute for 2 minutes more, being careful not to burn the mixture. Stir in the carrots, potatoes and the chicken or vegetable stock. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook until carrots and potato is very tender, about 15 to 18 minutes. Keep warm.

In a small saute pan, over high heat, lightly toast the pine nuts and set aside to cool.

In a small bowl, combine the yogurt, honey, thyme and black pepper.

With a stick blender, puree the carrot mixture and gradually add in the pine nuts and the yogurt mixture. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper, to taste, and serve immediately.

Cook's Note: You can prepare the soup 3 or 4 days ahead, refrigerated, and add the nut and yogurt mixture when ready to serve.

(I doubled the recipe)

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Two Yolks Are Better Than One

I was preparing to make develed eggs this evening when I found something very special in one of the eggs...

This can't happen very often...

Monday, March 7, 2011

Spicy Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350° F.
In a mixing bowl, combine butter, brown sugar, white sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Beat until smooth and light.
In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cayenne pepper. Gradually mix into wet ingredients. Beat until just combined (i.e., when all ingredients are just wet).
Fold in chocolate chips until combined. Scoop cookies into 2-inch balls and place on cookie sheets.
Bake until lightly golden, about 10 minutes.
Let cool slightly, then remove from cookie sheets and transfer to a wire rack to cool further.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Banana And Nutella Crepes

These are so good and very easy to make (from an awesome book too)- a new favorite!

Like so many things in cookie, crepes are a blank canvas- you can fill them with anything. Try a bit of jam, some applesauce, some slow-cooked pears and cream. They also freeze well. I slip each crepe in between layers of parchment, then into a gallon-sized zip bag, which I lay flat in the freezer. While crepe pans work best, a good, heavy flat skillet or omelet pan will work. One note: it’s important to let the crepe batter rest once it’s mixed.
(From The Sharper Your Knife, The Less You Cry, Kathleen Flinn)

Crepe Batter
¾ cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup milk
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
Extra butter for coasting pan

Filling Per Crepe
1 tablespoon Nutella
½ banana, sliced
¼ teaspoon brown sugar (optional)

Prepare the crepe batter by sifting the dry ingredients together in a bowl. Make a well in the center. In a separate bowl, stir together the milk and vanilla. Add one third of the milk mixture and the eggs to the well and beat with a whisk, slowly incorporating the flour. Then whisk in the remaining milk mixture and the melted butter. Allow batter to rest for at least thirty minutes. The batter should have the consistency of heavy cream.

Heat a crepe skillet or a six-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Brush with a bit of butter. The butter should melt and bubble but not brown rapidly. Adjust heat if necessary. Scoop about ¼ cup of the batter and pour into the heated pan. Tilt pan to allow the batter to completely cover the bottom. If the batter is too thick or the pan too hot, the crepe will have holes or burn. Add milk to batter or adjust heat. The crepe is ready to flip when the bottom is golden brown, the edges look dry, and the crepe slides easily when you give the pan a good shake. This may take thirty seconds or three minutes. Be patient.
Flip the crepe and quickly dollop the Nutella onto it and gently spread it around a bit. Precision is not important. Add the sliced bananas, and sprinkle with the brown sugar, if using. Remove from the pan, and fold in half like an omelet. Serve on a place or Parisian street food-style: wrapped in a paper towel or foil.
If preparing crepes to freeze for future use, do not fill but set aside to cool. Stack crepes with alternating layers of parchment or wax paper. Store in a gallon-size plastic bag, or wrap well with plastic wrap, and freeze for up to one month.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

How to Sugar Coat Edible Petals

2 large egg whites, at room temperature
1 teaspoon water
1 dozen pesticide-free edible flowers, such as violets, marigolds, and rose petals
1 cup of Vanilla Powder

In a small bowl, combine the egg whites and water; beat lightly with a fork. Dip a paint brush inthe egg whites and gently paint a flower – covering the petals thoroughly but not excessively. While still wet, gently sprinkle the coated petals with the powdered vanilla. Put the crystallized flowers on a sheet pan lined with waxed paper to dry for 12 to 24 hours. Use to top cakes and desserts.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Monday, January 10, 2011

How to Make Flavoured Salts

Herb Salts
Finishing salts works well when wetter sea salt is mixed with dried herbs. The moisture in the salt rehydrates the dried herbs or spices and brings them to life, with a little time. Freshly dried and ground herbs like rosemary and sage are also a good choice. You’d have to use a higher concentration of mild herbs like dried basil, oregano, coriander and bay leaves, which can otherwise be overwhelmed by the salt.

Rosemary – Just strip the rosemary leaves, put into the blender with coarse salt or rock salt, and blend for a few minutes. Great on all things tomato.
Dried, powdered curry leaves
Dried mint
Spicy Salts
Spices like toasted ground cumin seeds, five spice powder and smoked paprika (love anything smoky!) are strong enough so the lightest sprinkle will lend flavour to a dish.

Five spice powder
Coriander seeds
Ground toasted cumin seeds
Roasted sichuan peppercorn
Ground dried chilli peppers (ancho, smoked Serrano, chiptole)
Chilli powder
Smoked paprika (I absolutely love smoked paprika!)
Wasabi (!)
Citrus Salt
Grate the rind of either of the fruits or even a combination and mix with sea salt. You could even dry out the rind before grinding and mixing it with the salt. It’s so good with fish, chicken and vegetables! But again, make these just when you need them since they lose flavour much faster.

Lime or Keffir Lime
You can play around with the concentration of flavouring to your liking (more fun) but otherwise I like to use equal quantities of salt and flavouring. Try these. I’m sure you’ll be thrilled by the results and then you’ll wonder, what you did all this while without it, just like me.

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