Saturday, October 27, 2012

Pear Bear Muffins

I got the idea for these cuties out of the book below when it came through the library.  The recipe itself was a success for us, but you could use any spice muffin recipe.  After having pears galore for several weeks before making these, we had no pears on this day, so, I used apples.  Eh, oh well. The ears look more like horns, but okay.  I used raisins for the eyes instead of using small chocolate chips.  These were a crowd pleaser . . . for my crowd of one, that is.  (But I got inside information that the kids at school admired the funny muffin in his lunch.)  The recipe used is here.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Carrot Soup

I have developed an obsession over this soup.  It all started with the book French Kids Eat Everything, an absolutely charming book about a family who, for realz, moves to France and it changes their entire eating routine.  As in - shatters the American way of eating and wins the family (and the reader) over to the French way.  I loved this book and found it truly inspirational.

So after finishing the book, I wanted to make a soup that was true to itself and didn't have anything "canned" in it.  I happened to have a lot of carrots on hand, and that is how I settled upon this. (In the book, she talks a lot about feeding babies and young children what would essentially be purees of vegetables and then adding aromatics like garlic and onions.  It developes their tastes.)

This soup is from the Moosewood Cookbook, 1977.  At first glance, you might think "Ug, this looks long."  Stay calm, friend.  It is easy. 

Carrot Soup from the 1977 edition of Moosewood Cookbook

2 pounds peeled or scrubbed, chopped carrots
4 cups stock or water (okay, okay, I used canned chicken stock)
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 medium potato, chopped (optional, for heartier soup)
3-4 tablespoons butter
1 cup chopped onion
1-2 small cloves crushed garlic
1/3 cup chopped cashews or almonds

Choose one:
1 cup milk
1 cup yogurt or buttermilk plus a little honey
1/2 pint heavy cream
3/4 cup sour cream
(I have been using the sour cream option)

Seasoning choices:
-2 pinches of nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon dried mint, dash of cinnamon
-1 teaspoon each of thyme, marjoram and basil
-1 teaspoon grated ginger
(I have been using the grated ginger option)

Place carrots, liquid and salt (and potato if you are using it) into a medium sized soup pot and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer it for 12-15 minutes. Let it cool to room temp.

Saute the onion, garlic and nuts in the butter until the onions are clear. You can sprinkle in a little salt to help draw the moisture out of the onions. Towards the end of cooking, stir in the seasoning combo of your choice.
Add seasonings to soup pot and puree in a blender until smooth OR, if you have it, use an immersion blender.

Whisk in one of the dairy products. This soup freezes beautifully.  I have been making batches and freezing them in lunch-sized containers.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Pizza Rolls = delicious balls of goodness

My sister sent me this idea and they're delicious and a smash hit.  Our best bites stuffed pizza rolls...your family should definitely try them.  They are a teensy bit of preparation - nothing hard, nothing dramatic, but you do need to cut little squares and lay everything out.  My goal (unaccomplished thusfar) is to make quite a few of these lil' darlings and freeze them for rainy days (otherwise known as days when mama really needs something easy).

You'll need:
Refrigerated pizza dough (such as Pillsbury)
Pizza toppings I used: canadian bacon, pineapple chunks, grated mozzerella cheese
store bought marinara
olive oil for the tops
garlic bread seasoning (below)

Just roll your dough out of the can and cut it into little squares.  Place your ingredients in the center of your square and then pull corner seams together.  Place your lovelies seam side down in a small square or round dish. You want them to be touching and close to each other.  Brush the tops with olive oil and then sprinkle with garlic bread seasoning. Check your dough for baking times, but I was successful with 400 for 15-20 minutes.  Keep an eye on them, just in case.

I also have a theory that these might be good for company.  Hmmm, you'd have to make quite a few, but it seems that kids of all ages might enjoy. 

The garlic bread seasoning from Our Best Bites is so good.  I keep a jar of it and add the parmesan cheese when I'm using it.

Garlic Bread Seasoning from Our Best Bites
1/2 c. powdered Parmesan cheese (reserve this if you are making it in a jar)
2 tsp. Kosher salt
2 Tbsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. oregano
2 tsp. basil
2 tsp. marjoram
2 tsp. parsley

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Amish Dinner Rolls

I really like reading about the Amish people - their traditions, ways of life, baking methods, etc. I find their recipes to be simple, though sometimes pretty high on the butter/sugar content.  {I take this in stride, uh hum.}  There are great food traditions to be discovered in the Amish people and several good books out there. I got this lovely pan of rolls from the Amish Friends Cookbook by Wanda Brunstetter.

So these rolls are awesome.  They have a great, hard crust on the outside and the insides are so soft and delicious. I love them and make them for special occasions.  Or for Fridays.  Because they're always special.  They are not  hard to make, but they do take a bit of time; most of it is not hands on - just waiting for the yeast to work its magic.

2 packets dry yeast
3/4 cup warm water
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg beaten
1/2 cup butter, melted
3 to 3.5 cups flour, divided

Preheat oven to 375.
Dissolve yeast in warm water.  Add sugar, salt, egg, butter and 1 cup flour; mix well.
Stir in enough additional flour to make a soft dough and mix well (2 to 2.5 more cups)
Shape dough into ball and grease dough, turning to grease all sides. Cover and let rise until doubled (this step takes about 70 minutes or so).  Punch dough down and shape into balls; put balls into your baking pan.  Let balls rise for 30 minutes or longer.

Bake *8-12 minutes; yields about 12 rolls.

*Note: if your rolls are touching (as mine are), you will need to adjust baking time to 20-25 minutes.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Tomatoes to change your life

Roasting tomatoes has changed my life for the better; it is THE way to use up your garden tomatoes.  I like tomatoes and eat them, but I cannot eat all our garden produces.  Because the roasting process is soooo easy, I prefer it to making a sauce or canning, both of which stress me out a bit.

Slice your tomatoes in half and lay them cut side up on a big pan.  I spritz them with olive oil and then sprinkle with course salt, pepper, maybe some rosemary, and a few garlic cloves.  You do not need a lot of spices; these sweeties stand on their own.  Roast them at 250 or so for about 3 hours.  (This can vary...some people suggest 325 for 2 hours or 225 for 5 hours; test it out and watch out for your smaller tomatoes so they don't get too crunchy.)

When you take them out, I promise you, you will eat about 1/2 of them.  They are like candy; my tomato-disliking-husband helps me eat 1/2 the pan!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Nigella's cheesecake

We had a special birthday around our house last month, and the requested dessert was a peanut butter and chocolate cheesecake.  Having made my 1st cheescake in April, I was a teensy concerned about the time factor of a Saturday night birthday party and a completed cheesecake.  This recipe, however, came to my rescue.  I did it on Friday night and it was completed before 9 p.m.  Say what!?  Yes, I started it at 7 p.m. and was on the couch watching House Hunters by 9 p.m.!

It turned out delicious, particularly for my PB and C fans. I am not going to call it "light," but it isn't too heavy, either.  I'm a dessert lover, for sure, but the ones that make me fall out of my chair in a sugar coma after one bite? Well, those are not my favorites; I prefer to savor it the entire way through.  This was a deliciously balanced endeavor, and one that I plan to make again.

The recipe is Nigella's, another reliable favorite of mine.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Real Simple's book

Real Simple magazine has a great new book out: Easy, delicous home cooking.  RS's books are always good - clean spreads, ideas to use up extra ingredients, new takes on common ingredients.  Their books are always wonderfully visual, too - a picture for everything (just the way I like it.)

Something I loved in this book was a little visual frosting help.  By just taking various basics (butter, powdered sugar, chocolate, cream and sugar), you have 6 options on hand to choose from!  There is nothing better than homemade frosting.  Nothing.  Start using it and it will change your cake baking life.   I'm very phobic about canned frosting anyway - they all have trans fat, so watch out.

Also included in the cake seciton of this book are basic recipes for chocolate and yellow cake and tips for baking and frosting your cakes.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


I love guacamole.  Love.  I eat it for lunch a lot at work because it makes me happy and because I consider it healthy. (Yes, avocados have a good amount of fat.  But they grow on trees and are not purchased at McDonald's.  So.)

My go-to recipe is Martha Stewart's.  Here it is:

2 ripe avocados, peeled, pitted, and lightly mashed
  • 1/2 cup minced onion
  • 1 jalapeno chile, minced (remove seeds and ribs for less heat)
  • 1 plum tomato, seeded and diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • Coarse salt

  • If I'm in a hurry or don't have an ingredient on hand, guacamole is very adaptable and eater friendly.  I sometimes just use salt and lime juice and I'm still okay, but I'm an avocado fan, so that is easy. 

    Monday, June 4, 2012

    Sweet Potatoes with Rosemary

    Since sweet potatoes are a power-house, by all means, let's eat them more.  Jason made this dish and it was so simple and so, so good!  They're a bit like sweet potato fries, but the insides seem softer, more substantial, and definitely less fried.  The outside is crispy enough for a great taste - rosemary making these really shine.  Does anyone else use garlic salt with as much frequency as us?

    Slice your sweet potatoes and toss in oil (we to use Canola this time).  Lay out on a baking sheet and sprinkle with garlic salt and rosemary.  Bake  @ 350 for 30 minutes, turning at the half-way mark and sprinkling the other side with a pinch of garlic salt and rosemary.

    Wednesday, May 30, 2012

    Garden Pasta

    After an afternoon of swimming, we came home after our regular dinner time (hungry and mama getting edgy!) only to find in our crockpot dinner the beans were not quite done.  Hmmm. Out to eat? Popcorn?  Thankfully, Jason is truly gifted in the kitchen, a trait he earned with lots of sweat and little sleep while owning his own restaurant.  In the face of dinner desperation, I can be less than helpful.  Case in point: I went to take a shower.  Not one second more than 20 minutes later, this lovely pasta was on our table, complete with the first of garden zucchini and squash.


    Monday, May 21, 2012

    Popcorn Cups

    These little cuties are perfect for company.  They're the perfect thing to have sitting out and ready so that kids can go ahead and get started while parents either chat or get things organized for the official start of dinner.  Dinner with kids is funny, isn't it?  Like a mad dash? A scramble to the table just so you can get up 100 more times?  Well, these help, at least a pinch.  Put the popcorn in first and just a small handful of M&Ms on top.  They'll drop down on their own, and be like "treasure."

    Thursday, May 10, 2012

    Ham & Cheese Scones

    This recipe ran in my local paper, and I tell ya, I was pleased.  First, I love scones.  Second, savory scones?  Even better.  Third, the recipe specifically lists plans for freezing and baking on the spot, as needed.  Yes!

    So definitely try these.  They are so easy to pull together and busy-mom-who-likes-special-breakfast-treats approved.

    Ham & Cheese Scones

    2 3/4 cups All Purpose Flour, unbleached
    2 T sugar
    4 teaspoons baking powder
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    10 T unsalted butter, emlted
    1.5 cups shredded sharp cheddar 10 oz deli ham OR some leftover dinner ham chunks in whatever quantity you have
    1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
    1 cup heavy cream
    1/4 cup sour cream

    In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Drizzle in melted butter and stir well.  Stir in 1.5 cups of cheddar, ham and chives.

    In a small bowl, whisk the heavy cream and sour cream and then add to the dough - just stirring until dough is moistened and it just comes together.

    Turn dough onto lightly floured surface (I like to use wax paper on the counter to save a mess).  Shape with your hands into a round shape, approximately 1 inch thick.  Cut into wedges or squares - about 8 to 10, depending on size.  Transfer to a baking sheet and freeze until ready to bake (at least 10 minutes).  After they are frozen, transfer into a freezer safe bag.  These little goodies will be ready for you on a Saturday morning, just pop in oven and bake!  Yum!

    Bake 375
    20 to 25 minutes

    Monday, April 30, 2012

    Homemade pizza

    I think there are more serious pizza dough recipes out there, but I like this one for its simplicity and for its ease of use.   Last Saturday I made this for dinner that night and we had a last minute change of plans.  I stuck the dough in the fridge.  On Sunday, I set it out about 1 hour before  making pizzas, and it was just a-okay.  I appreciate that in a dough.  I'm experimenting a bit with adding some seasoning to the dough, to make it a little more tasty, but really, I'm just fine with its simplicity.

    My basic pizza dough (Martha Stewart)

    2 packets Active Dry Yeast
    2 T sugar
    1/4 cup olive oil
    2 t course salt
    4 cups all purpose flour (unbleached)

    Pour 1/2 cup warm water in large bowl.  Sprinkle with yeast and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.

    Whisk sugar, oil, and salt into yeast mix.  Add flour and stir until sticky dough forms.  Shape into a ball and lightly coat with oil (kind of coating the bowl as you go).  Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside in a  warm, draft free place, until dough has doubled, about 1 hour.
    Turn out on lightly floured surface and gently knead 1 or 2 times.

    Did you spy the spinach on my piece of the pizza?  Yep, delicious.  We used some sausage, peppers, onion, and - the key - mozzerella from the cheese section of the store (not the grated cheese section of the store.)  I have future plans to try to make my own mozzerella, but that is a future project and one I can't pull out of my hat without some planning.
    And someone, who happens to be a teensy picky, has asked for "that pizza you made that one time not too long ago that was white on top and that you made all yourself and not from a restaurant" no less than three times.  Enough said.


    Wednesday, April 25, 2012

    Italian Stuffed Peppers

    Such a simple, delicious dinner.  I take credit for none of it; we have the chef in the house to thank for its ingenuity.

    We love stuffed peppers and make them frequently with combinations of rice (maybe beans), with chicken, beef, or sausage.  Every time we make them we have the same comment - stuffed peppers are so filling without being overwhelming.  The pepper itself provides the bulk of the meal - such a nice, fresh crunch and counterpart to the heavier rice, meat and cheese.

    We had some ground beef cooked up and my husband simply added some pasta sauce to it.  He spooned it into the peppers, topped with a little mozzerella, and baked.  And in a clever twist that indicates what was in our fridge - he served it with a sweet potato. {If your only experience with sweet potatoes is the Thanksgiving version with marshmallows, please, oh please, bake one and eat it with a little butter, pepper, and a touch of garlic salt.  Delicious.}  The Italian version of stuffed peppers - seriously great.

    Tuesday, April 17, 2012

    Taking Food & Honey Mustard Chicken Salad

    Ever since I had a child, I see the importance of taking food to a family with a new baby.  Before I thought it was optional.  I do not think that anymore - especially, oh so especially, if the new mom (or, new mom, again) had a C-section.

    I am always on the lookout for recipes that are easy to take to people. I tend to not be the most graceful meal planner.  More like, think up a hair brain plan that sounds good but is hard to execute or requires last minute trips to the store while my husband looks at me like, "really?"  And since I work a full work week, this isn't always the easiest thing to pull off.  Ideally, I'd like to make a meal for the family with the new baby AND for my family . . . saving time, being cost effective and consolidating ingredients. 

    My newest idea, that I'm quite proud of, is a dinner we have at our house fairly often. We consider it delicious, healthy and easy, but if you add a few special touches, it kicks it up a notch, making it a special dinner to bring to someone.

    Grilled chicken salad with homemade honey mustard dressing & bread

    We grill the chicken with a mix of Cavender's and Creole seasoning - it makes it a bit spicy and we like it that way.  We do a simple skillet grill of the chicken, cutting it in strips as we go.

    Buy a nice pre-packaged box of lettuce . . . also buy salad toppings:
    purple onion
    bell pepper (red, green, yellow)
    . . . the list can go on.  Chop all of these veggies up for your friend and bag them separately in ziplocks.

    Okay, my sister introduced me to this bread and it is ah-mazing.  Seriously.  If you have time, by all means, make your own homemade bread.  But if you are short on time or short on wits, buy this at Target and call it done.  It is delicious, calls for 2 extra ingredients (either beer or sparkling water & butter), and takes 50 minutes. {And a bonus, the mix itself does not have a list of 2 billion ingredients. So, I believe it to be a relatively good thing to eat and make for people}.

    Homemade Honey Mustard Dressing
    I have my husband to thank for this.  I believe he is okay if I share the secret.  If you are mayonaise averse, I am sorry to break it to you: honey mustard dressing is made with a large proportion of mayo.  Forget I told you, okay?

    3 parts mayo
    1 part mustard
    1 part honey
    a few shakes of paprika on top

    Pack all of this up nicely for your friend - I got a large foil lasagna pan and packed it full.  Bring bread and salad mix & they have the makings of a great, simple dinner.

    Thursday, April 5, 2012

    Best Morning Smoothie

    I have been making this smoothie (in spurts) for a good long while, but it has never been this good.  Recently, some magic happened.  First magical event: we replaced our broken Magic Bullet with a new one.  Second magical event: frozen bananas.  Third magical event: Hershey's cocoa powder (unsweet).

    When I like something, I become an Ambassador for it. I start telling everyone I know why they need one. So I am the Ambassador for the Magic Bullet.  At first I thought they were hokey, counter space junk.  And then I had a baby.  And that baby needed bottles.  And there was no better way to mix that bottle than through the magical Magic Bullet.  We wore that one out, truly.  The reason the Magic Bullet is {magic!} is it enables you to make a healthy smoothie without all the hassle of getting the blender out.  Or cleaning that big ol' thing when you only used the bottom cup of it. And then there is the perk of drinking that sweet little smoothie straight from the cup it was mixed in - no extra dishes.

    Frozen Bananas.  Do not ever throw away another soft banana again.  I confess, I've thrown out a LOT of bad bananas, and I'm not sure where my logical head has been.  When they start getting soft, slice them and place on wax paper on a cookie tray.  Let them freeze for 30 min. to 1 hour and then you can bag them up and use them in your recipes.  I find that one banana is about 10 slices, so that is how many I put in smoothies.  Or if a banana bread recipe calls for 3 bananas, I'd throw in 30 thawed slices and get to mashin'.  Slice a few and you'll get a feel for how many equals one banana.  It is the frozen banana and the ice that give the smoothie the "smoothie" feel.  Without the frozen fruit component, your smoothie will be foamy and a big ooey-gooey.

    Cocoa Powder.  What a genius idea - I saw an almost exact replica of my smoothie through the Make and Takes website, and I was giddy to see the use of unsweetened cocoa powder.  This is a great way to change the taste of your smoothie without adding a bazillion unnecessary calories.  Add a little bit or up to 2 tablespoonsful, depending on your taste. 

    Another good thing to do is add honey instead of cocoa powder.  It just changes the flavor and keeps you happy in the mornings.

    Best morning smoothie:
    1 heaping spoon of crunchy PB
    1 spoon of Hershey's unsweet cocoa powder, or, to taste
    handful of ice (about 3 large cubes)
    1 frozen banana, sliced (10 frozen banana slices)
    approx 1 cup to 1.5 cups milk (thinner vs. thicker smoothie)
    optional: 1 spoonful of wheat germ, if you like adding wheat germ to things
    Put in your adorable, handy Magic Bullet and let her rip!
    Say good morning to a new breakfast routine that you'll enjoy during the long, hot summer to come.  And be sure and let your kids have a sip - could be a new breakfast option for ALL!

    Monday, April 2, 2012

    Attempting cheesecake

    A good friend's birthday brought me to attempting cheesecake.  I've never been opposed, believe me, but they seem a bit fussy.  I don't typically have time for fussy.  But the moon and stars aligned and I had a Sunday with not too much to do and so, the attempt began. 

    When I am unsure of something {and I really, really need it to turn out!}, I consult the Barefoot Contessa.  As I have mentioned before, she is a reliable and trustworthy kitchen friend of mine, and I do hold her dear.  Her recipe is here, and it is the one I used.

    When I was investigating cheesecake tips, I kept hearing of springform pans (check) and water baths (what?).  A water bath, as I found out, is the method of placing your springform pan with cheesecake inside of a larger pan that you then fill with hot water, while all of this bakes in the oven.  It assists in even cooking.  Not too scary afterall.  The Contessa does not suggest a water bath; hmmm.  I do not typically break recipes, but I did decide to implement this technique, because so many sites online suggested it.

    I was mixed over what topping to use and, in the end, decided on this one, which is just fruit with an apricot preserve on it.  The recipe over on My Baking Addiction looks great, too, and I may try hers sometime.

    As it turns out, cheesecakes are fussy.  If you have to make a dessert under pressure, I would not recommend a cheesecake from scratch.  There are lots of steps, lots of time, lots of oven adjusting, lots of cooling.  If you have a calm day right before the day in which you need a fantastic dessert, then a cheescake could be the dessert for you - as they keep very well and pretty much require being made 1 day in advance. {I started mine at 2 p.m. and it wasn't fridge ready until 8 p.m. . . . and it still had to chill for a minimum of 5 hours, or preferably overnight.}  But one bite will redeem all of your hard work, trust me.  You might even have co-workers making marriage proposals for your baking skills.

    Thursday, March 15, 2012

    Go-to Pancakes

    Pancake Mix

    (sift dry ingredients together)
    1.4 cups of AP flour
    3.5 tsp baking powder
    1 tsp salt
    1 Tbs sugar

    (wet ingredients - mix and add to dry)
    1.25 cups milk
    1 eg
    3 Tbs melted butter
    1 tsp vanilla (or, to taste)

    Incorporate but don't overmix.  This makes enough pancakes for 2 adults, 1 child, and 2 dogs (who each get one, unless we are very hungry).  If your family is big, you need to double it (or more).

    Freezing pancakes: everyone does this, right?  Because it is crazy easy?  I frequently double this recipe and, once cool, freeze the pancakes between layers of wax paper in tupperware.  When you are out of options for breakfast and cereal just isn't going to do it (and it is a work day), pop these in the microwave for less than 1 minute and you are done...yay-hooray.  [Don't spend your hard earned grocery money on the frozen version, okay? There is just no need!]

    Monday, March 5, 2012

    Blueberry Coffee Cake

    This recipe is from Cooking Light, a 5-Star recipe in a best of 10 years cookbook.  That should tell ya - it's a keeper.  And, it is.  Great for breakfast, brunch, dessert - whatever you want it to be for.  It can also be easily doubled, especially since you only use one-half of the cream cheese package. The most satisfying part about this recipe is the coffee cake itself comes off amazingly delicious, moist, and blueberry-tastic, but it is not heavy.  You won't feel the need to run 3 miles after eating a slice, plus maybe another teensy bite or two.

    ¼ cup stick margarine, softened ( I used real butter)
    one-half of an 8 oz. package of lower fat cream cheese
    1 cup sugar
    1 egg
    1 cup all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    ¼ teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen. (I used frozen, unthawed)
    * * *
    2 tablespoons sugar
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

    Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed until creamy; gradually 1 cup sugar, beating well. Add egg, and beat well.
    Combine flour, baking powder, and salt; stir into butter mixture. Stir in vanilla, then fold in berries.
    Pour batter into a 9-inch round cake pan coated with cooking spray
    Combine 2 tablespoons sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over batter.
    Bake at 350F for 1 hour; cool on a wire rack.

    Saturday, February 11, 2012

    Happy Birthday, lil' Monkey!

    Over the holidays, my youngest nephew turned two. It was my pleasure to volunteer to make his cupcakes.  Here's why: I experience baking anxiety on a regular basis.  What? Not so much anxiety, but there's a MAJOR correlation between the expectations of the event and things going wrong on my end. Seriously. I've forgotten eggs in cakes, dropped entire brownie pans on the floor, fallen asleep while something was in the oven - you name it.

    So when the expectations on me are not high (when it isn't my child or husband or event), I view that as "practice."  And that has actually been helping me. I don't have my husband's gift of being effortless in the kitchen.  Oh noooo. I'm frequently a train wreck in the most dramatic sense and I've broken down over co-workers cakes countless times.

    These monkey cakes were so fun to make. They are from scratch.  The chocolate cake was amazing, Barefoot Contessa. And the chocolate icing was easy to work with and delicious. In true form, these were made shortly after Christmas (tired, overscheduled, late at night)...and after adding the hot coffee called for in the cake recipe, I turned on the blender by accident and sent the coffee splattering over every surface available, not to mention me.  Since I'm experienced at mishaps, I took a deep breath, remembered the end result, and cleaned up the mess. Whew. I'm sure Mr. Kitchen Savvy is so glad he didn't come upon me that night crying my eyes out on the kitchen floor.

    Oh & monkey cupcake designs are all over the web, of course. My variety was simply large and mini vanilla wafers and tubed red and black icing for details.

    Happy Birthday, Aiden!

    Wednesday, February 1, 2012

    Garlic cheese toast

    This is my favorite (favorite!) way to eat garlic bread, a.k.a. cheese toast.  It is quite possible that I'm the only person that would like this, delicious though it may be.  Something seems kid-like about it (minus the garlic).

    Butter your bread with real butter.  Slice a garlic clove thinly and lay the slices on top of the butter. Cover with mozzerella cheese or a mix of italian type cheeses. Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes - keep an eye on it.  Then broil for two shakes to make your cheese brown on top.

    It is just a very satisfying way to eat bread, I say - also a way to consume some good ol' healthy garlic.  The type of bread you use can really kick it up, too, but I'm not above doing it with sandwich bread when needed.
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