18 February 2011

blue margaritas

my brother-in-law asked me today for a great magarita recipe and this is my only one (it happens to also be my favorite margartia).  see, ask and you shall recieve!

1 (10-ounce) can frozen margarita mix
3/4 cup tequila
1/4 cup blue curacao liquor
2 tablespoons lime juice
  1. combine all ingredients in a blender
  2. fill the blender with ice to the 5-cup level
  3. process until smooth and serve immediately

16 February 2011

caramel croissant puddding

since I hate to let anything go to waste, this is my version of nigella lawson's pudding and a great use for leftover/stale croissants.  don't let the thought of making your own caramel scare you, it is incredibly easy.

2 stale croissants
1/2 cup cup sugar
2 tablespoons water
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons bourbon
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs, beaten
demerara (or raw brown sugar) for sprinkling
  1. preheat the oven to 350.  tear the croissants into pieces and put in a 2 cup baking dish.
  2. put the sugar and water into a saucepan and stir to help dissolve the sugar.  put the saucepan over medium-high.  caramelize the sugar and water mixture by letting it stay on the heat, WITHOUT TOUCHING IT, until it turns a deep amber color, about 5 to 10 minutes.  keep watching it, but do not stir it.
  3. take the pan off the heat and whisk in the cream, whisking very rapidly, even though it will steam like crazy.  whisk in the bourbon and milk and while whisking very rapidly, add in the beaten eggs.
  4. pour the mixture over the croissants and let it steep for 10 minutes.
  5. sprinkle the demerara sugar over the top and bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.

14 February 2011

intercourses cookbook

so, I found it fitting on valentine's day to share with you my favorite aphrodisiac cookbook, Intercourses, which was actually written my a woman right here in waco.   it is a very exhaustive cookbook featuring recipes from all sorts of aphrodisiacs.  if you get the chance, check it out, you won't be dissapointed!

12 February 2011

my wall of cookbooks

so a few months ago, my cousin wrote a blog post about her cookbook collection and I have been meaning to write about mine.  as I have said before, I love cookbooks and read them like novels, so as you can imagine, I have quite the collection.  one of the things that I wanted in my dream house was a bookshelf in my kitchen for all my cookbooks.  well, our house has a whole wall of bookshelves in the living room, right off the kitchen, and as you can see from the photo here, I have claimed the section closest to the kitchen for my cookbook collection.

10 February 2011

cocoamoda on the cooking channel

if you've been reading my blog for a while, you know how much I love cocoamoda.  well, my friend ken wilkinson and his amazing shop and restaurant were featured on food crafters this week on the cooking channel.  I saw it and it was wonderful, if you missed it, here's a link to the article on the show with listings of when it will be on again.  if you can, check it out, it is great and next time you are in calvert stop by cocoamoda and tell ken I sent you!

09 February 2011

name of my book

my plinky prompt for today was:

You just signed a book deal. What's the title of your masterpiece?

and since the book I would publish would definitely be a cookbook, my answer is deep in the dish of texas, of course!

what do you think, should I pursue writing a cookbook?

08 February 2011

my macaroni and cheese

I love to make my homemade macaroni and cheese and I realized today that I hadn't shared that recipe with you, so, here you go! (make about 6 servings)

1 pound macaroni
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
2 cups grated cheddar cheese (I usually use a blend of mild cheddar, sharp cheddar and fontina)
1/2 cup blue cheese dressing
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
  1. preheat the oven to 375 and bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  add the macaroni to the pot and cook according to package instructions and drain well.
  2. in a large saucepan, over medium heat, melt the butter.  add the flour and cook for about 2 minutes stirring with a whisk.
  3. add the milk, continuing to whisk, and cook until thickened.  remove from the heat and stir in the 2 cups cheddar cheese, blue cheese dressing, salt, and pepper.  stirring until the ingredients are all incorporated.
  4. pour the macaroni into a 3-quart baking dish and stir in the cheese sauce.  top with the shredded sharp cheddar.
  5. bake for 30 minutes, until bubbly and golden brown.  serve immediately.

07 February 2011

fettuccine alfredo

today is national fettuccine alfredo day, so in honor of it, I am going to share my fettuccine alfredo recipe with you:

24 ounces dry fettuccine pasta
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 ounces cream cheese
salt and pepper to taste (white pepper if you have it)
1 tablespoon garlic salt
1 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

  1. bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. add fettuccine and cook as directed on the package;  drain.
  2. put the butter back into the pot you cooked the fettuccine in and melt over medium heat.  add the fettuccine back to the pot.
  3. reduce the heat to low, add the cream and cream cheese, stirring until the cream cheese is all melted and incorporated.
  4. stir in the remaining ingredients and serve with additional parmesan cheese.

06 February 2011

swedish meatballs

so for last night's dinner I made swedish meatballs with egg noodles and broccolini.  now, I won't say that mine were as good as ikea's but they were a close second.  mike even found some lingonberry jam that we had bought at ikea a while back to go with them.

2 slices fresh white bread
1/4 cup milk
3 tablespoons butter, divided
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
A pinch plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 pound ground chuck
1 pound ground turkey
2 large egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups beef broth
1/4 cup heavy cream

  1. preheat oven to 200 degrees F.
  2. tear the bread into pieces and place in a small mixing bowl along with the milk. set aside.
  3. in a 12-inch straight sided saute pan over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter. add the onion and a pinch of salt and sweat until the onions are soft. remove from the heat and set aside.
  4. in the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the bread and milk mixture, ground chuck, turkey, egg yolks, 1 teaspoon of kosher salt, black pepper, allspice, nutmeg, and onions. beat on medium speed for 1 to 2 minutes.
  5. using your hands shape the mixture into 1-ounce meatballs.
  6. heat the remaining butter in the saute pan over medium-low heat. add the meatballs and saute until golden brown on all sides, about 7 to 10 minutes. remove the meatballs to an ovenproof dish using a slotted spoon and place in the warmed oven.
  7. once all of the meatballs are cooked, decrease the heat to low and add the flour to the pan or skillet. whisk until lightly browned, approximately 1 to 2 minutes. gradually add the beef stock and raise the heat to medium high, whisk until sauce begins to thicken. add the cream and continue to cook until the gravy reaches the desired consistency. remove the meatballs from the oven, cover with the gravy and serve.

05 February 2011

cupcakes in honor of national nutella day

who doesn't love nutella, well I do!!  if you've never tried it, you should, it is just chocolate and hazelnut butter that is terrific on anything from toast to strawberries.  today is national nutella day and in honor of that I made these nutella and vanilla cupcakes.  here is a link to the recipe: nutella and vanilla cupcakes I could not find any chocolate wafers at the grocery store, so I made these, which michael thought was great made into cookie sandwiches with nutella in between.

03 February 2011

peanut butter banana blondies

this is my variation of a recipe from the fat witch brownies cookbook. if you love to bake brownies, this cookbook is a must have, it is so wonderful. it's also a great gift, all the brownies cook in a 9X9 inch square pan and the book is sized so that it fits perfectly in the pan. for this recipe be sure to use very ripe bananas, you can always stash the bananas in the freezer once they get ripe and save them for whenever you want to make this recipe. also, I find that these are great for breakfast. makes 12 to 16 brownies.

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups very ripe bananas, mashed (about 3-4 bananas)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs, slightly beaten
1 3/4 cups unbleached flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup peanut butter chips
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or banana chips (optional)
  1. grease a 9X9 inch baking pan with butter. dust with flour and tap out the excess. preheat the oven to 350.
  2. in a bowl, mix the butter, vanilla, and sugar into the mashed banana with a fork. add the beaten eggs and continue mixing until everything is well combined.
  3. measure the flour and salt and sift together directly into the banana batter and mix until will combined. stir in the peanut butter chips and the walnuts or banana chips, if desired.
  4. pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  5. remove from the oven and cool on a rack for 1 hour. cut just before serving.

02 February 2011


so, to go with my chicken parikash last night, I made spaetzle.  now, my friend lara has a spaetzle maker, but since I don't I had to use the spoon method.  it is definitely worth the work!

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 large eggs
1/4 cup milk
3 tablespoons unsalted butter

  1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. In another mixing bowl, whisk the eggs and milk together. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the egg-milk mixture. Gradually draw in the flour from the sides and combine well; the dough should be smooth and thick. Let the dough rest for 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. Bring 3 quarts of salted water to a boil in a large pot, then reduce to a simmer. To form the spaetzle, hold a large holed colander or slotted spoon over the simmering water and push the dough through the holes with a spatula or spoon. Do this in batches so you don't overcrowd the pot. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until the spaetzle floats to the surface, stirring gently to prevent sticking. Dump the spaetzle into a colander and give it a quick rinse with cool water.
  3. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat and add the spaetzle; tossing to coat. Cook the spaetzle for 1 to 2 minutes to give the noodles some color.

01 February 2011

chicken paprikash

so, tonight for dinner I made one of mike's favorite dishes from his childhood, chicken paprikash.  the recipe may not have been very authentic, but it was lighter and in my opinion, very good!

1 chicken bouillon cube
1/4 cup lard (or vegetable oil)
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 Tbs. sweet paprika
1 3-lb. chicken, cut into four pieces
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 large green bell pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 large tomato, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup sour cream, plus more to serve with
  1. put the bouillon cube in 1/2 cup water and begin to dissolve.
  2. heat the lard in a deep skillet or sauté pan large enough to hold the chicken pieces snugly. add the onion; cook over high heat, stirring frequently, until deep golden brown, 6 to 8 min. it should be well colored but not burned. reduce the heat slightly, add the paprika, and stir for a few minutes to develop the flavor.
  3. season the chicken pieces well with salt and pepper and add them to the pan, skin side down. brown them well over medium high, about 7 min. on each side. add the bouillon cube and water to the pan and scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. turn the heat to low, cover the pan, and let it simmer about 15 min. add the green pepper and tomato. replace the lid and simmer until the chicken is very tender when pierced with a fork, about 25 min. longer, turning the pieces once during cooking.
  4. transfer the chicken pieces to a dish and keep them warm while you finish the sauce. using an immersion blender, blend the sauce until smooth. bring the sauce to a boil and boil for a few minutes to concentrate the flavors even more. stir the flour into the sour cream with a fork or whisk and then whisk this into the sauce. simmer for about 4 min. to cook away any floury taste and to bring the flavors together; taste and adjust the salt and pepper if necessary. return the chicken pieces to the pan to reheat and coat them with the sauce.
  5. serve over spaetzle and with additional sour cream, if desired.