Tuesday, October 4, 2011


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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork Sandwich

Who would have thought marinating pork in Dr. Pepper would result in such a marvelous creation? Well apparently my boyfriend did. The Dr. Pepper keeps the pork so moist that when you begin to pull it, the pork just slides away from your knife. The chipotle peppers also give a sharp flavor-not too spicy but just a hint of  smoky flavor. Served with cornbread and chili on the side, this sandwich will definitely win your tastebuds!

Serving Size: 6-8


3 1/2 lbs pork shoulder
1 can chipotle peppers
1 white onion, peeled and sliced into large pieces
1 20oz bottle (or 2 cans) Dr. Pepper
7 oz can adobo sauce
2 tbs brown sugar
salt and pepper to taste
burger buns
BBQ sauce (I prefer Stubb's)
cheddar cheese, sliced


Rinse the pulled pork with water and place fat side up crockpot. Add the onion, adobo sauce, brown sugar, salt, pepper, Dr. Pepper, and chipotle peppers (with the sauce from the can).

Turn crockpot on high setting. Cook for 6 hours.

Remove pork from crockpot. Begin pulling pork (it's easier to pull the pork as soon as you take it out of the crockpot as it's warm)

Toast buns. Add the cheese, pulled pork, and bbq sauce. Serve warm.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Cookie Fest!

A friend of mine just turned 21 and decided to host a soiree. She asked if I could bake cookies and of course I agreed. So I began to look for unique recipes online and in cookbooks. The following selections were chosen because of their presentation and taste. There were absolutely no leftover cookies from the party!

adapted from Bakers Royale

Serving Size: 12


  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 1/2 tbsp nonpareils
  • 12 oreo cookies

1. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Set aside.

Mix butter, cream cheese, sugar, and powdered sugar until light and fluffy. 

In a separate bowl lightly mix eggs and vanilla together. 

While the mixer is running on medium low, slowly add egg mixture to creamed butter mixture and continue mixing until combined.

Turn off mixture and use a wooden spoon or sturdy spatula to fold dry mixture into wet mixture.

Divide dough into 2 flat discs and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and 30 minutes. Working with one disc at a time, roll out dough on a lightly floured surface at 1/8 inch in thickness. Sprinkle nonpareils on top and using a rolling pin give the dough one quick roll over to push the nonpareils into the dough. Stamp out 3.5 inch circles and place Oreo on one cookie circle and place a second cookie circle on top, pinch the two cookies edges together. Using your hand smooth out pinched seam until it is smooth and the sides are seamless.

Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

adapted from Taste of Home 

Serving size: 18-20

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened baking cocoa
  • 1.4 tsp sea salt
  • 8 tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup raw sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3.4 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup confectioner;s sugar
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tsp milk
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 10 Hershey Kisses and 10 Hershey Hugs

In a small bowl whisk together flour, cocoa, and salt. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl cream butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. 

Beat in egg yolk. milk, and vanilla.

Gradually add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture and mix well. 

Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. In a small bowl whisk egg white until foamy. Shape dough into 1 inch balls; dip in egg white, then roll in walnuts. Place 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. 

Using a wooden spoon handle, make an indentation in the center of each cookie. Bake 10-12 minutes or until center is set.

For filling, combine the confectioners' sugar, butter, milk, and vanilla in a small bowl; stir until smooth. Spoon 1/4 teaspoon into each warm cookie; gently press a kiss or a hug in the center. Carefully remove from pans to wire rack to cool.


adapted from Bakerella

Serving Size: 10

  • 1 package brownie mix
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 12 oz bag miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used white chocolate chips)

Make brownies according to package and let cool. Cut about ten 1 inch squares. Enjoy the remaining brownies.

For the chocolate chip cookie dough, beat butter with a mixer until creamy. Add brown sugar and beat until smooth. Add eggs, yolk, and vanilla. Beat until smooth.

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl and stir together with wire whisk.
Add flour to butter mixture and beat until combined. Stir in mini chips.

Let dough chill covered in the refrigerator for at least an hour. Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

Use a measuring cup to scoop batter by the 1/2 cup. Since it's chilled you may need to pack it with a spoon. Then use the spoon to remove the dough from the cup and place it on parchment paper. Make an indentation in the center of the dough and place the 1 inch square brownie in the center. Press the brownie down gently and work the remaining dough around the brownie.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 18 minutes.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Homemade Breadcrumbs

Extra bread in the freezer? Tired of bread pudding? Why not make your own bread crumbs with YOUR choice of seasonings! This is your chance to experiment with different blends of herbs and spices.

(Remember you can choose whatever herbs and spices you want to use)

  • 1 loaf of bread (Any type of bread you prefer. I used wheat)
  • 3 tbsp oregano
  • 1 tbsp thyme
  • 4 tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp onion powder
  • 2 tbsp cajun seasoning
  • 1 tsp chili ancho powder
  • 2 tbsp pepper
  • 3 tbsp salt

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

Remove the crust from each slice of bread and begin to tear the slices into small pieces. Place the small pieces of bread one handful at a time into a blender. If you put too much bread in at once the blender will not be able to blend well. You may use a food processor instead as well. Pulse on low until the slices begin to crumble.

Pour the bread crumbs onto an oven bake sheet. You may use two sheets of pans if necessary. Spread bread crumbs evenly.

Bake the breadcrumbs for 15 minutes or until they turn golden brown. During the last 5 minutes stir the crumbs around. 

Pour the breadcrumbs into the blender again. Add your spices. Pulse on low speed.

Wait until the breadcrumbs are cool before you store it in an airtight container. I found that a ziploc bag works perfect.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Warm Cider Vinaigrette

Adapted from Ina Garten's Back to Basics

Serving Size: 6-8


  • 1 butternut squash, peeled and 3/4 inch diced
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 tbsp dried cranberries
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 4 oz romaine lettuce, washed and sliced finely
  • 1/2 cup walnut halves
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven 400 degrees. 

In a small mixing bowl add 2 tbsp of olive oil, the maple syrup, 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper. Toss squash in mixture.

Place squash on sheet pan and roast for 15-20 minutes, turning once until tender. Add cranberries to the pan for last 5 minutes.

While squash is roasting combine cider vinegar, mustard, 1/2 cup olive oil, 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper in a small bowl. 

Cut romaine lettuce in fine strips.

Place lettuce in large salad bowl and add roasted squash mixture, walnuts, and grated Parmesan. Spoon just enough vinaigrette over salad. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Optional: Add cherry tomatoes

Crisp Silken Tofu in Tomato Sauce

Adapted from eatlittlebird.com

Serving Size: 4-6


  • 1 lb silken tofu (4 oz)
  • 1/4 cup cornflour
  • vegetable oil
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 4 medium size tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • cilantro for garnish

Cut tofu in 3cm pieces.

Add the cornflour to a bowl and coat the tofu in the cornflour.

Heat oil in a wok or small sauce pan over low-medium heat. Deep fry tofu pieces for a few minutes until they are crispy and lightly colored. Place tofu on plate lined with paper towel to soak excess oil

In another saucepan, heat 1 tbsp of oil over medium heat. Add garlic and red onion. Cook for a few minutes until mixture is fragrant.

Add tomatoes, sugar, salt, and fish sauce. Cook for 5-10 minutes over medium-high heat until tomatoes have softened and sauce has thickened.

Arrange tofu over plate and spoon sauce over it. Add cilantro for garnish. 

Optional: Serve with steamed white rice.