Posted in Cookies, Dessert, Sweets

Chocolate Chip, Peanut Butter Cookies

So I had my niece Isela help me bake these with me…

Recipe

•1 cup sugar
•1 cup dark brown sugar
•1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
•2 eggs
•1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
•1 teaspoon baking soda
•1 teaspoon salt
•3 cups all-purpose flour
•1 cup milk chocolate chips
•1 cup peanut butter chips
DSC_0221-1

(I think it adds to my pictures having a lovely assistant, such as Isela helping make the recipe while I take pictures)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place sugar, dark brown sugar, butter,
DSC_0222-1

DSC_0227-1

DSC_0228-1

eggs
DSC_0229-1

DSC_0230-1

and vanilla in a bowl and whisk together until smooth.

Add baking soda, salt and flour into a medium bowl and mix to combine.
(I showed Isela how I sift all the dry ingredients together)
DSC_0232-1

DSC_0233-1

Add this mixture to the egg mixture and stir to combine.

Then take the attachment piece off and let Isela lick it
DSC_0236-1

DSC_0239-1

DSC_0241-1

Fold in the milk chocolate chips, peanut butter chips
DSC_0242-1

DSC_0243-1

DSC_0246-1

DSC_0247-1

Drop rounded tablespoonfuls (or use an ice cream scooper)
Untitled

DSC_0248-1

DSC_0249-1

DSC_0251-1
onto baking sheet approximately 2 inches apart.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, remove from the oven and allow to cool on baking sheet for 1-2 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

TJ Likes them
DSC_0253-1

Isela likes them! Good work!
DSC_0254-1

DSC_0255-1

Suyzel and Normy can’t wait to try one!
DSC_0257-1

DSC_0260-1

DSC_0263-1

Posted in Dinner, Pizza

Easy Pizza a la Jamie

So if you are looking for an easy pizza recipe and you don’t want frozen pizza and you don’t want to have to make the crust from scratch, well than this is the recipe for you!

one thing that is a MUST with me when making pizza is the sauce DOES have to be homemade! Easy and Homemade! Just look…

So you will need the following:
Italian Seasoning
2 cloves of garlic
15oz can tomato sauce + an 8oz can
parsley flakes
kosher salt
and freshly ground black pepper

a few other things I added as I went along but are not in the picture:
olive oil
Dried basil
balsamic vinegar

So start by preheating a medium-sized skillet on med heat and coat the bottom of the pan with olive oil and while this heats up, mince your garlic cloves up. Once they are nice and minced thow them in the pan with olive oil
DSC_0164-1

saute until you smell the garlic really well
DSC_0166-1

then add in both cans of tomato sauce
DSC_0168-1

DSC_0169-1

Then add in your herbs all on taste
DSC_0170-1

here are the herbs I ended up using

DSC_0173-1

DSC_0172-1
then stir everything together and add in about a tablespoon of the balsamic and stir again
DSC_0174-1

and turn the heat down to medium low heat and place a lid over the sauce and let it simmer while you assemble your pizza

but first preheat your oven to whatever it says on the boboli pizza package

I got two pizza crusts like these:

and this is where I got some help…

so we have two pizza crusts. One we are going to do Pepperoni and the other we are going to do Mushroom and Pepperoni.

So I needed some help slicing the mushrooms

So I had my Niece Isela and Nephew TJ help me with this

DSC_0177-1

DSC_0179-1

First things first, Gotta wash your hands!
DSC_0187-1

DSC_0180-1

DSC_0181-1

concentrate!
DSC_0182-1

DSC_0183-1

So then after you slice the shrooms go ahead and open the pizza crusts and then add your sauce and then add the cheese (we used shredded mozzarella)
DSC_0190-1

DSC_0194-1

DSC_0198-1

DSC_0202-1

Then once you add the cheese add Pepperoni’s and Mushrooms,
Untitled

and you gotta sample the pepperoni too!

DSC_0205-1

Then bake the pizzas as it states on the packaging

and take out of oven when finished and cool for a few minutes

DSC_0209-1

While the pizza is cooling set the table
DSC_0210-1

and then slice the pizza
DSC_0212-1

DSC_0213-1

and then it is time to EAT!
DSC_0216-1

Posted in bacon, Salads, Tyler Florence

Avocado Salad with Lemon, Bacon and Watercress

Recipe

4 slices bacon
3 avocados, halved and pitted
1/2 bunch watercress, stems trimmed
1 lemon, juiced
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
DSC_0218-1

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Lay the bacon in a saute pan and bake for 15 minutes,
DSC_0219-1

until crispy. Transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels and let it drain for a couple of minutes.

Scoop out each half of the avocado using an oversized spoon and arrange on a platter.
DSC_0221-1

Scatter the watercress over the avocado and crumble the bacon over the top. Drizzle with the lemon juice and olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
DSC_0226-1

DSC_0229-1

DSC_0232-1

DSC_0240-1

Posted in Beef, Dinner

Salisbury Steak with Caramelized Onion Gravy

Recipe

Onion Gravy
2 large red onions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups low-sodium beef broth
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
Salt and pepper

Meat Patties
1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 cup cooked white rice (source Use 1/4 cup of rice and add 1/2 cup of water. This will give you 1/2 cup of cooked rice).
1 egg
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 clove minced garlic
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon olive oil
DSC_0271-1

To make gravy: Heat butter in a large sauté pan.
DSC_0272-1

Add onions
DSC_0273-1

and cook over medium-high heat, until onions start to brown, stirring occasionally. When onions are slightly softened and turning a deep honey brown, add 1/4 cup broth.
DSC_0298-1

Reduce heat, cover and continue cooking, adding more broth as needed to prevent caramelized bits at the bottom of the pan from burning. It should take at least 25 to 30 minutes to properly caramelize onions. Stir in flour
DSC_0302-1

and cook for about 2 minutes. Add wine
DSC_0303-1

and reduce by half. Stir in remaining beef broth and tomato paste. Stir in cider vinegar. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Reduce heat to low and keep warm.

To make patties: Mix ground beef,
DSC_0277-1

rice,
DSC_0278-1

DSC_0280-1

egg,
DSC_0281-1

salt,
DSC_0283-1

pepper,
DSC_0284-1

garlic,
DSC_0285-1

Worcestershire sauce,
DSC_0286-1

parsley
DSC_0288-1

DSC_0289-1

DSC_0290-1

DSC_0292-1

and thyme
DSC_0293-1

in a bowl.
DSC_0294-1

DSC_0295-1

Shape into 4 oval patties about 3/4-inch thick.
DSC_0296-1

DSC_0297-1

Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet set over medium-high heat. Sear patties about 3 minutes per side,
DSC_0307-1

DSC_0308-1
or until a brown crust forms. Pour gravy over patties and simmer for an additional 10 minutes. Serve warm with mashed potatoes or noodles.

DSC_0312-1

DSC_0313-1

DSC_0314-1

DSC_0315-1

Posted in Cake, Dessert, Sweets

Mini Lemon Sugar Bundt Cakes

Recipe

1 ½ cups plain flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
125g unsalted butter, softened
¾ cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 cup buttermilk

Zesty Lemon Sugar
1 cup caster sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
DSC_0043-1

Preheat the oven to 175°F (350°F). Generously butter mini bundt tins and dust with flour, knocking out the excess. Sift together the dry ingredients – flour,
DSC_0045-1

baking powder,
DSC_0046-1

baking soda
DSC_0048-1

and salt.
DSC_0049-1

Beat together the butter
DSC_0051-1

and sugar
DSC_0052-1

in an electric mixer at medium speed
DSC_0053-1

until pale and fluffy. Add eggs 1 at a time,
DSC_0054-1

DSC_0056-1

beating well after each addition, then beat in vanilla extract
DSC_0057-1

and lemon zest.

Combine buttermilk and lemon juice in a jug.
DSC_0058-1

Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk
DSC_0059-1

alternately in batches, beginning and ending with flour mixture, mixing until just combined. Spoon batter into prepared tins,
DSC_0060-1

DSC_0061-1
smoothing and spreading evenly. Gently tap pan on counter to eliminate air bubbles.

Bake for about 30 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Turn out immediately.
DSC_0062-1

DSC_0064-1

To make the zesty lemon sugar, combine sugar and zest in a bowl.
DSC_0065-1

Coat the cakes in the sugar and allow to cool.
DSC_0066-1

DSC_0069-1

DSC_0071-1

DSC_0076-1

DSC_0078-1

Posted in Dinner, Potatoes

Sausage & Potatoes

Recipe

14 oz.smoked sausage, sliced (I used Kielbasa)
2 lb.russet potatoes, cleaned & sliced
1/2 medium onion, sliced or diced
1 Tablespoon olive oil or bacon fat
1 clove garlic, minced
dash cayenne or hot sauce (opt)

DSC_0001-1

In a large skillet heat olive oil over medium high heat , add in sliced potatoes. (You can lay them out flat to get more crispy on each side, If you do this it will take about 10 mins to cook on each side. And I usually use 2 large skillets for this to make it go faster.
DSC_0020-1

DSC_0022-1

Or you can just throw them in the pan stir them around it will give you more of a softer potato.) Brown potatoes, stirring occasionally.

When potatoes are about 85% done or your last 5 minutes of cooking add sausage, onion, garlic, and hot sauce.
DSC_0033-1

Reduce heat to medium, and cook until sausage is heated and the onions are soft. You want about a 60/40 ratio with potatoes and sausage

DSC_0040-1

Posted in Dessert, Sweets

Vanilla Bean Caramels

Can I just say that one of the hardest things to make is homemade Carmel…Holy crap! What a pain in the ass! Not going to hold back here but it sucks! But after the 5th try, it’s worth it and it tastes damn GOOD! I tried to make some home-made Carmel candies, and the reason I wanted too was because I wanted to make Salted Caramel Chocolate Cupcakes for my friend Nicole R. for her birthday…

I recall last year for my birthday 11/11/11 I was really upset because I always make a cake for everyone’s birthday and I wanted to make one for myself and well I just couldn’t find the time and I was really upset and Nicole knew I was. So she plotted with my husband and she surprised me with a cheese cake at my birthday dinner, I think I cried because I had NO idea! So It really meant a lot to me that Nicole did what she did…Untitled

I honestly, I am not a big fan of cake as I make so many cakes and cupcake throughout the year. I like cheesecake and so yes the cake Nicole picked was a cheesecake another important detail that meant a lot to me…

I remember stuff like that. It meant a lot to me what she did and so I wanted to do something nice for her for her birthday this year and so I asked her…”So if anyone were to make cupcakes for you, what kind would really make your day” and she told me “Salted Caramel Chocolate Cupcakes”. Oh lordy this was a challenge, and so I took it…

Normally I don’t post cupcake recipes and I am not in this case, just posting the recipe I used for the carmels.

Recipe

1 cup heavy cream
5 tbsp. unsalted butter
½ tsp. vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean pod, split lengthwise and scraped
1¼ tsp. fleur de sel, plus more for sprinkling
1½ cups sugar
¼ cup light corn syrup
¼ cup water
DSC_0097-1

Line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking dish with parchment paper. Lightly butter the parchment.

In a small saucepan, combine the cream,
DSC_0099-1

butter,
DSC_0100-1

vanilla extract,
DSC_0103-1

vanilla bean seeds, pods,
DSC_0104-1

DSC_0106-1

DSC_0107-1

and fleur de sel.
DSC_0108-1

DSC_0109-1

Heat over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.

Remove from the heat and set aside.

In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar,
DSC_0113-1

corn syrup,
DSC_0114-1

DSC_0115-1

and water.
DSC_0116-1

Heat over medium-high heat,
DSC_0117-1

stirring occasionally
DSC_0118-1

until the sugar is dissolved. Boil,
DSC_0119-1

without stirring but gently swirling the pan occasionally, until the mixture is a light golden caramel color.

DSC_0120-1

Remove the vanilla bean pods from the cream mixture and carefully stir the cream mixture into the caramel – the mixture will bubble up, so pour slowly and stir constantly. Continue simmering the mixture until it registers 248˚ F on a candy thermometer.
DSC_0121-1

DSC_0122-1

Immediately remove from the heat and pour into the prepared pan.
DSC_0123-1

DSC_0124-1

DSC_0125-1

(look what the process of making Carmel did to my spoon)
DSC_0126-1

hard as a rock, wouldn’t come off
DSC_0127-1

Let cool for 30 minutes,
DSC_0130-1

then sprinkle lightly with additional fleur de sel. Continue to let sit until completely set and cooled. Cut into 1-inch pieces (a buttered pizza cutter works well). Wrap the individual caramels in small pieces of wax paper, about 4-inch squares.

DSC_0243-1

DSC_0244-1

OK so at this point yes I did cut the carmels, but trying to pull them off the paper and place them on a cupcake and in the recipe notes it states:
When you are ready to serve, top each cupcake with a salted caramel if desired. (Depending on the specific caramels you use, they may slowly dissolve after being in contact with the frosting for a prolonged period of time, so adding them just before serving may be best.)

and I am like, I don’t have time for this…I have to drive these across town and it was pretty damn warm the day I was delivering the cupcakes. So I said screw it and took the caramel and put it back in a sauce pan and melted it down again and drizzled it over the cupcakes instead like so…
DSC_0254-1

I mean what The heck they were melting as I was pulling them apart and they would have melted more in the car. So at least this way I would just do the melting myself and make them look prettier.

DSC_0258-1

DSC_0261-1

DSC_0265-1

Nicole loved them!
DSC_0202-1

 

Happy Birthday!