Sunday, December 30, 2012

Twice Baked Orange Chocolate Croissants

For orange syrup:

    3/4 cup granulated sugar
    1/2 cup water
    1 vanilla bean
    1/4 cup fresh orange juice

For almond cream:

    1/2 cup natural almonds (2 1/2 ounces)
    1/4 cup granulated sugar
    1/4 cup almond paste (not marzipan; 2 ounces), cut into pieces
    5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
    1 large egg
    1 tablespoon rum
    1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract

    8 (day-old) croissants
    good quality chocolate pieces
    3/4 cup sliced natural almonds (3 ounces), toasted
    Confectioners sugar for dusting

    Special equipment: a pastry brush, parchment paper

Make syrup:
Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan. Split vanilla bean with a sharp small knife and scrape seeds into sugar mixture. Add pod and bring to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Simmer 1 minute, then remove from heat and stir in orange juice.

Make almond cream:
Pulse almonds with 2 tablespoons sugar in a food processor until finely ground. Add almond paste and pulse until finely chopped.

Beat together butter, remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, almond mixture, and a pinch of salt with an electric mixer at medium speed until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Whisk together egg, rum, and extract in a small bowl and gradually add to almond cream, beating until combined well. Chill, covered, until set, about 1 hour.

Assemble croissants:
Preheat oven to 350°F.

Cut croissants in half horizontally. Brush insides of croissants (both top and bottom halves) with some orange syrup. Spread 2 tablespoons almond cream on each bottom half, mounding in centers, top with chocolate and cover with tops. Spread 1 tablespoon almond cream on each top. Transfer croissants to a parchment-lined baking sheet and sprinkle about 2 tablespoons toasted almonds on each.

Bake croissants in middle of oven until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool slightly, then dust with confectioners sugar.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Cranberry Orange Pound Cake With Butter Rum Sauce

• Prep Time: 30 mins
• Total Time: 1 hrs 45 mins
• Servings: 16

About This Recipe
"Got this recipe from a Nov. 1990 issue of Classic Pillsbury Cookbooks and have been making it ever since. I have made this dessert a Christmas tradition in our household (though have also served it for other special occasions). Everyone who has sampled it gives it a "thumbs up".


o 2 3/4 cups sugar
o 1 1/2 cups butter or 1 1/2 cups margarine, softened
o 1 teaspoon vanilla
o 1 teaspoon orange zest
o 6 eggs
o 3 cups flour
o 1 teaspoon baking powder
o 1/2 teaspoon salt
o 1 (8 ounce) cartons sour cream
o 1 1/2 cups chopped fresh cranberries or 1 1/2 cups frozen cranberries ( do not thaw)

Butter Rum Sauce
o 1 cup sugar
o 1 tablespoon flour
o 1/2 cup half-and-half
o 1/2 cup butter
o 4 teaspoons light rum or 1/4 teaspoon rum extract

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Generously grease and lightly flour 12 cup fluted tube pan.
3. In large bowl, beat 2 3/4 cups sugar and 1 1/2 cups butter until light and fluffy.
4. Add vanilla and orange peel.
Page 2 of 2Cranberry Orange Pound Cake With Butter Rum Sauce (cont.)

5. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
6. In medium bowl, combine 3 cups flour, baking powder and salt.
7. Add alternately with sour cream, beating well after each addition.
8. Gently stir in cranberries.
9. Pour batter into greased and floured pan.
10. Bake at 350 degree for 65 to 75 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
11. Cool 15 minutes.
12. Remove from pan.
13. Meanwhile, in small saucepan combine 1 cup sugar and 1 Tbsp flour.
14. Stir in half-and-half and 1/2 cup butter.
15. Cook over medium heat until thickened and bubbly, stirring constantly.
16. Remove from heat; stir in rum.
17. Serve warm sauce over cake.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size: 1 (151 g)
Servings Per Recipe: 16
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value
Calories 545.4
Calories from Fat 259

© 2012 Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Fruit Salsa and Cinnamon Chips


2 kiwis, peeled and diced
1 Golden Delicious apple - peeled, cored and diced
1 Crisp red apple  - peeled, cored and diced
1 Pomegranate - seeded
8 ounces raspberries
1 pound strawberries
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
3 tablespoons fruit preserves, any flavor
10 10" flour tortillas
butter flavored cooking spray
2 T cinnamon sugar


In a large bowl, thoroughly mix kiwis, apples, raspberries, strawberries, pomegranate  white sugar, brown sugar and fruit preserves. Cover and chill in the refrigerator at least 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Coat one side of each flour tortilla with butter flavored cooking spray. Cut into wedges and arrange in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Sprinkle wedges with desired amount of cinnamon sugar. Spray again with cooking spray.

Bake in the preheated oven 8 to 10 minutes. Repeat with any remaining tortilla wedges. Allow to cool approximately 15 minutes. Serve with chilled fruit mixture.

Easy Cheesy Sausage Dip

1 lb. of Jimmy Deans Pork Breakfast Sausage
2 boxes cream cheese
2 cans Rotel Tomatoes (and onion/peppers)

Cook sausage, add cream cheese and stir until melted.  Add in Rotel and stir.  Serve w/ bread or chiops.

Salted Caramel & Chocolate Bread Pudding

photo courtesty of

Original recipe from

Ingredients (Serves 10)

For the Caramel:

1 1/2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup water
1 Tablespoon salt  (yes, this is a lot of salt but once it's on the bread pudding, its great)
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
8 Tablespoons butter

For the pudding:

6 1/2 cups cubed challah or brioche
5 eggs
2 cups milk
2/3 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
1 Toblerone White Chocolate bar (3.52 oz), chopped (optional)
1 stick butter, melted
1/4 cup raw sugar (optional)


For the caramel:

Mix the sugar, salt, and water together in a large, heavy-bottomed pot. Set out your butter and cream. Heat over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar. Once the sugar is dissolved, DO NOT STIR!!

Boil the sugar mixture until a caramel color develops. This happens quickly, so keep a close eye on it!
Stir in the cream and butter, and whisk until the foaming goes down. Simmer until it looks like caramel (a light brown color), then add 1 tsp. vanilla.  Transfer to a heat-safe container (NOT GLASS!!!!)

For the bread pudding:

Pre-heat the oven to 350°F. Toss the bread cubes with the melted butter. Make sure each cube has at least some butter on it. Layer in a large baking dish: Half the bread cubes, half the chocolate chips, the other half of the bread, and the rest of the chocolate chips and add the optional chopped up Toblerone bar sprinkled on top.

Mix in a bowl: milk, eggs, vanilla, and sugar Pour the milk mixture over the bread. Allow it to sit a few minutes, pressing down on the bread to allow all of it to soak up some of the milk mixture. Sprinkle the top with raw sugar.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the pudding no longer jiggles and the top is brown. Pour the caramel sauce over the top of the pudding, return to the oven for about 10 minutes, then serve with fresh whipped cream.

Creme Brulee


2 cups heavy whipping cream
3 1/2 slightly beaten egg yolks
1/3-1/2 C sugar (we usually do just a little less than 1/2 cup)
1 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp salt
extra sugar for creating the caramelized layer

In a heavy small saucepan, heat the cream over medium low heat just till bubbly.  Meanwhile, in a medium mixing bowl, combine egg yolks, the sugar, vanilla and salt.  Beat with a wire whisk just till combined.  Slowly whisk the hot cream into the egg mixture as soon as it becomes bubbly.

Place six 3/4 cup souffle dishes or 6 ounce ramekins in a rectangular baking pan.  Set pan on oven rack and pour custard mixture evenly into the cups.  Then pour enough hot water into the glass baking pan around the dishes to reach halfway up the sides of the dishes.

Bake the custards in a 325 degree oven for 35 to 40 minutes or till a knife inserted near the center of each custard comes out clean.  Remove custards from the water bath; cool on a wire rack.  Cover and chill for at least 1 hour or up to 8 hours.

Before serving, remove custards from the refrigerator; let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes. Sprinkle a layer of sugar on top of the custard and then, using a kitchen torch slowly and evenly heat the sugar until it becomes a nice hardened layer of caramelized sugar.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Mississippi Mud Brownies

4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 cup butter, melted
1 ½ cups flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flaked coconut
½ cup chopped pecans
1 7-oz. jar marshmallow cream

½ cup butter, melted
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
6 tablespoons milk
4 cups powdered sugar

Grease and flour a 9x13 pan and set aside. Preheat oven to 350. In large mixer bowl, beat eggs until thick. Gradually beat in sugar. Combine melted butter with flour, cocoa, vanilla, coconut and pecans. Add to egg-sugar mixture. Stir well with a spoon. Pour into prepared pan. Bake 30 minutes or until done. Remove from oven. Immediately spread marshmallow cream gently on surface of cake. Prepare frosting. Spread frosting gently over warm marshmallow cream, swirling to give a marbled effect.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Chocolate Sandwich Cookies with Malted Milk Chocolate Buttercream

From Love and Olive Oil blog
photo by lindsay from love and olive oil blog

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup dark or Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 1/2 ounces (1 bar) milk chocolate, chopped
1/3 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted, plus more as needed
2 tablespoons heavy cream, plus more as needed
1 tablespoon malted milk powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch salt

Preheat oven to 375ºF.

In a large bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, espresso, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add egg and vanilla and beat until smooth. Add dry ingredients and mix until no traces of the dry ingredients remain, scraping the sides of the bowl to ensure that everything is fully incorporated.

Drop dough by the tablespoon onto parchment-lined baking sheets. Roll into smooth 1-inch balls, then flatten slightly with the palm of your hand, forming even 1/2-inch-thick disks. Bake for 8 to 9 minutes or until cookies are puffed and set. Let cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet (they will deflate slightly), then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To prepare filling, melt milk chocolate in a microwave or double boiler over low heat until smooth. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.

In a large mixing bowl, beat butter until fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Add powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add cooled milk chocolate and beat until smooth.

Combine heavy cream and malted milk powder in a small bowl and mix until powder is dissolved. Add to milk chocolate mixture, along with vanilla and salt, and beat until light and fluffy, another 2 to 3 minutes. At this point you may need to add more cream or more powdered sugar as needed to achieve the desired consistency.

To assemble, spread or pipe about 1 tablespoon of filling onto half of the cookies, then top with remaining cookies. Press lightly until filling spreads to edges. Store cookies in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Maple Pork and Apples

  • 4 pork loin chops, cut 1/2-inch thick (about 1-3/4 lb.) 
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  •  12 baby carrots with tops, halved lengthwise 
  • 1 medium apple, sliced and seeds removed
  • 1/3 cup  pure maple syrup
  • Sprinkle chops with salt and pepper. In skillet melt butter over medium heat; add chops. Brown for 2 minutes, turning once. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add carrots, apple, and maple syrup. Cover; simmer for 8 minutes or until desired doneness
  • Using slotted spoon, transfer chops, carrots, and apples to platter; bring syrup mixture to boiling. Boil gently, uncovered, 1 to 2 minutes or until thickened. Pour over chops. Makes 4 servings.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Sarah's Salad

  • 1 head of iceberg lettuce
  • 6 strips of bacon
  • 1/2 of a 10 oz pkg. frozen peas
  • 1/4 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese (or 2 1/2 oz. cut into strips)
  • 2/3 cups diced green onion
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup Miracle Whip
  1. Wash and drain lettuce. Dry thoroughly.
  2. Dice and cook bacon until crisp; drain and cool on paper towel.
  3.  Put frozen peas in a colander. Run hot water over peas to thaw. Drain peas.
  4. Tear lettuce into bit sized pieces and place in salad bowl.
  5. Sprinkle sugar, salt, and pepper over top of lettuce.
  6. Add peas, cheese, green onion, mayo and salad dressing.  If making salad ahead of time, layer ingredients in order listed finishing with mayo and salad dressing. Do not mix the mayo and salad dressing in, just drop them on top of the salad, cover tightly and refrigerate.  Toss salad when ready to serve.
  7.  Garnish with bacon. makes 8 servings.

Mashed Potatoes with Crispy Shallots


6 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes - peeled and quartered
4 peeled garlic cloves
2 Tcanola oil
6 large shallots thinly sliced (1 1/2 cups)
1 cup half-and-half
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
Kosher salt


In a large pot, cover the quartered potatoes and garlic cloves with cold water and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderate heat until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, heat the canola oil until shimmering. Add the shallots in a single layer and cook over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until they are golden, about 15 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the shallots to paper towels to drain.

Drain the potatoes and garlic in a colander, shaking out the excess water. Add the half-and-half and butter to the pot and heat until melted. Remove from the heat. Press the potatoes and garlic through a ricer into the pot and season with salt. Stir and cook over moderate heat until very hot. Transfer the mashed potatoes to a bowl. Just before serving, sprinkle the shallots with salt and garnish the potatoes with the shallots.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Cinnamon Sugar Scones


• 2 cups flour
• ⅓  cup sugar
• 1 tsp baking powder
• ¼  tsp baking soda
• ½  tsp salt
• 8 T butter, frozen
• ½  cup sour cream
• 1 lg egg
• 1 cup cinnamon chips
• Sparkling sugar
• Cinnamon for top


Mix all dry  ingredients.  Set aside.  Whisk egg and sour cream together in small bowl.  Using a pastry cutter, combine butter into flour mixture until crumbly.  Add cinnamon chips.  Use a fork to stir sour cream mixture into flour mixture.  Don't over mix, just until it comes together. It will look like there is not enough liquid, but it's okay.

Gather into a circle with hands about ¾ inch think, press on sparkling sugar and cinnamon and cut into even triangles.  Refrigerate for at least one hour.  If you skip this step it is OK, they just won't hold their shape as well. 

Bake @ 400 degrees for about 12-17 minutes.

Serve warm.

Carmel Apples

1 cup butter
2 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt

In a heavy pan combine butter, sugar, syrup,  and milk over medium heat;  bring it to a boil.  Continue to cook  and stir until it reaches 248 degrees (firm ball) - about 30-40 min.  Remove from heat and add vanilla and salt.  Let it cool a couple minutes before dipping apples.  One batch does about 8-10 apples.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Artichoke Beef Stew


  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2-1/2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 can (10-1/2 ounces) condensed beef consomme, undiluted
  • 2 medium sweet onions, halved and sliced
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dill weed
  • 2 jars (6-1/2 ounces each) marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 20 small fresh mushrooms, halved
  • Hot cooked egg noodles


  • In a large resealable plastic bag, combine the flour, salt and pepper. Add beef, a few pieces at a time, and shake to coat. In a large skillet, brown beef in oil in batches.
  • Transfer to a 3- or 4-qt. slow cooker with a slotted spoon. Gradually add consomme to the pan, stirring to loosen browned bits. Stir in the onions, wine, garlic and dill. Pour over beef.
  • Cover and cook for low for 7-8 hours or until tender. Stir in the artichokes and mushrooms; cook 30 minutes longer or until heated through. Serve with noodles. Yield: 6-8 servings.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Classic Lasagna



  1. For sauce, in a large saucepan cook sausage, onion, and garlic until meat is brown. Drain.
  2. Stir undrained tomatoes, tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, fennel seeds (if desired), and black pepper into meat mixture. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Meanwhile, cook noodles for 10 to 12 minutes or until tender but still firm. Drain noodles; rinse with cold water. Drain well; set aside.
  4. For filling, combine egg, ricotta, and the 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Set aside.
  5. Spread about 1/2 cup of the sauce over the bottom of a 2-quart rectangular baking dish. Layer half of the cooked noodles in the bottom of the dish, trimming or overlapping as necessary to fit. Spread with half of the filling. Top with half of the remaining meat sauce and half of the mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers. If desired, sprinkle additional Parmesan cheese over top.
  6. Place baking dish on a baking sheet. Bake in a 375 degree F oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until heated through. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
  7. Makes 8 servings

Garlic Chicken Bake

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
4 minced garlic cloves
4 T brown sugar
1 T olive oil
Additional herbs and spices as desired


  1. Preheat oven to 450°F Line a baking dish or cookie sheet with aluminum foil and lightly coat with cooking spray or lightly brush with oil.
  1. In small sauté pan, sauté garlic with the oil until tender.
  1. Remove from heat and stir in brown sugar. Add additional herbs and spices as desired.
  1. Season chicken with salt and pepper. .Place breasts in a prepared baking dish and cover with the garlic and brown sugar mixture.
  1. Bake uncovered for 15-30 minutes, or until juices run clear. Cooking time will depend on the size and thickness of your chicken.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Alfredo Chicken and Biscuits


  • 2 cups chopped fresh broccoli
  • 1-1/2 cups sliced fresh carrots
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • Lemon pepper to taste
  • Trader Joe's South African Smoke seasoning to taste
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 
  • 2 cups cubed cooked chicken
  • 12-16 ounces Four Cheese Rosa or Alfredo sauce
  • 1.5 cups biscuit/baking mix
  • 1/2 cup 2% milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon dill weed


  • In a large skillet, saute the broccoli, carrots and onion in oil until crisp-tender. Season to taste with lemon pepper and South African Smoke.  Stir in chicken and Alfredo sauce; heat through. Transfer to a lightly greased 8-in. square baking dish.
  • In a small bowl, combine the baking mix, milk and dill just until moistened. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto chicken mixture.
  • Bake, uncovered, at 400° for 18-22 minutes or until bubbly and biscuits are golden brown. Yield: 4 servings.