Thursday, September 16, 2010

Journey from stovetop to table

Artichoke, stir fry Alaskan fresh veggies ready to be plated, and easy fried chicken.

 A fast easy dinner that can be cooked in 30minutes.

Boneless chicken breast (2 large whole one) slice lengthwise in half to make 4 slices.  Take 1 cup corn flakes, 1/2 Italian bread crumbs, season with salt and pepper Toss in large plastic food saver bag - with rolling pin mashed corn flakes until size of bread crumbs - shake bag to mix all.  Beat one egg with 2 tablespoons cold water in bowl ~ take chicken slices drag in egg mixture turning over 3 to 4 times per slice.  Take each slice place in crumb bag and shake until coated.  Place on a cookie sheet lined with foil sprayed with cooking spray. Bake in preheated oven of 425 degrees.  Cook for 25 to 30 minutes (or until done).

Cleaned artichoke by taking off bottom layer of leaves, cut stem off at base DON'T throw away!  Learned from Alton on TLC Food Network that the second tastiest part of the artichoke after the heart ~ is also the stem! Cut tips off leaves, place stem and whole artichoke in 2 quart cooking pot, cover artichoke with water up to 2/3th's, add two slices of butter, season with salt and pepper and garlic. Cover with lid then, Bring water to boil and cook 20 minutes total; (at every five minute mark turn artichoke upside down so steam also cooks the inside). Serve with Pat's dipping sauce.

Clean all veggies first.  Take one yellow sweet pepper, one white onion, and one Portabella mushroom cut into large diced pieces, chopped 12 stalks of asparagus into 3rd's or 4th's depending on size and thickness of stalks.  Stir fry in medium hot frying pan with 1 tablespoon olive oil when chicken has 5 minutes left for cooking. 

Plate all and serve up to 4 guests.

Serve with your favorite beverage.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A Piece of Cake to all Grandparents

This past Sunday was Grandparents Day. 

I officially do not have any grandchildren. 

I do have a sweet 4 year old who does the honor's of calling me Grandma Pat.  His mother at one time was my supervisor; she being many years younger than me but we became friends.

Since her marriage, and having a child; our bond has grown even more. 

I love her and family dearly.  Jerry Ray is my little heart of happiness.  He is bright, handsome, eager to be your best friend in a flash, and hasn't met a stranger who isn't entertained by all he knows.

And he will tell you if your wrong about something in a flash also LOL! 

On Saturday a card arrived wishing me and my guy Happy Grandparents Day.  Let me tell ya - this ole meanie had tears in her eyes.

So to all who are officially Grandparents - I have to say it's a great place to be.  And to us who are honorary Grandparents IT'S EVEN BETTER!

Thank you DeeDee for allowing me to be Jerry Ray's Grandma cause to be a part of your lives is a gift indeed!  It is one I shall cherish with all of my heart.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Kitchen Love an affair to enjoy!

I love gadgets of any type.  If they make cooking easier I want it!  For many years I only use a hand held electric beater. 

I desired a stand mixer.  I left little hints.  Well okay HUGE hints I wanted a stand mixer.  My eyes desired a Kitchen Aide Stand Mixer.  They looked like they could handle anything I desired to mix up.

I heard they are work horses of the mixers.  I grew jealous of those who own a stand mixer.

It seemed my guy's ears where full of wax when my hints became a daily adventure into the virtues of stand mixers.

My birthday came and went.  Christmas came and went.  Still no Kitchen Aide Mixer. 

Then one day out of the blue my mother called.  Now Mom retired at 65...but did not like being a home body so went back to work in the retail field for the last 15 years.  She loves working - what can I say.  

Anyhow the retail store that is a national chain was closing the store that she had worked part time at for the last 15 years.  All stock had to go.  The prices where unbelievable on many items.

My mother  bless her heart got me my dream machine!  Thank you so very much MOM!!  It arrived in June.  Carried by hand from St. Louis to Alaska by my younger sister on her first visit to Alaska.

OMG I now understand why they are the best!

My little beauty:

I have been enjoying my baking all the more!  Whip cream is a breeze!  My cake batters are amazing.  And I have joy in my heart!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Spenard Farmers Market

Until September 30th on Saturday is Spenard Farmers Market.   Farmers and crafters together making it work in a style that is really awesome.  A fun place for those of you in Anchorage to visit!

Alaskans I tell ya “Live for summers fresh veggies”
I know I over indulge in all the greens that I can.  The only thing I have never really eaten all my life is peas.  Don’t like that mushy taste.  Love split pea soup…and I honestly make the world’s best Pea Soup.   
A farmer was at his table yesterday and had a bag of what I thought fat green beans but after being told "no those are Sweet Pea’s" with a snicker and quick reply “I don’t like pea’s and I’ll pass on those”  but his snapped a pod open for me and offered them to me to sample.  Putting a little green ball in my mouth I was expecting the worse but was totally surprised.
I loved them ~ OMG so sweet!  I will be making a soup or casserole with them for sure in the next couple of days. 
I also got kale, zucchini, plus a bag of potatoes, and a new item to try out zucchini blossoms, along with those sweet peas and kohlrabi; which is a great chopped to add flavor to soups – it is nice fried also.
A healthy stew for you and oh so tasty! Kale Stew:

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Cheesecake Brownie Dessert when one slice is never enough

Today I met a handful of friends for lunch.  One dear friend was in town visiting from Washington and we rarely get to see her and her husband. So those of us who don't work in the corporate rat race all got to spent a short but most wonderful time.

For fun I baked Cheesecake Brownie as a surprise for all.  Tis one of my favorite desserts and only made for special occasions!  My recipe makes an 8 1/2" round  dessert.  Eight Slices of pure delight!

A bottom layer of Rich chocolate brownie topped with fluffy cheesecake and then drizzled with white chocolate gauche.  YUMMY!

Will be adding to the 1k shop for ordering!  A small 4 slice cake, an 8 slice cake and a 10 slice cake.  Available for hand delivery in the Anchorage area or mailed overnight express to all other US states. 
Great for those birthday parties for those who have exotic taste buds or just a simple family get together. 

Monday, August 2, 2010

Chocolate the new Frankenstein of Peanut Butter and Jelly

Since summer is closing to an end here in Alaska, I can once again write, bake, eat, and dream about Gourmet Desserts!

Has been a whirlwind of a summer. Now its time to get ready for the new season!

Lots of  flavors will be added this fall with several old favorites!  Frankenstein comes alive in the new mouth watering delights such as Peanut Butter & Jelly Bites or Super Chunk Chocolate & Peanut Butter Bites:  These two will electric-fry your taste buds!

Grand Re-opening of Covered in Chocolate Bakery at 1000markets will be in one week!  New weekly contests & drawings for gifts. 

PLUS ~~~ drum roll please...

CIC newsletter (totally new & it is filled with fun too!) ~  Just leave a comment with your email addy for the monthly news and tips on recipes, desserts, sales, and % off coupons!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Portage Glacier - A drive down Turnagain Arm

On Monday we took a break from our crazy life in Anchorage and drove down Turnagain Arm to Portage Glacier.

Friends were driving up from Kenai.  Plans where we would meet for a picnic lunch; catch up with life happenings and mainly enjoy the 'Breath Taking Beauty of Alaska'.

Even though the drive is only 1 1/2 hours from our house to Portage Glacier Center front doors we love stopping along Turnagain Arm to take in all the beauty of the mountains, the inlet, and especially handsome guys with their best friend.

It was windy along the arm and Miss Patches does not like wind Nor having her hair blown...she wanted back in the car!

Driving along a scenic view such as Turnagain Arm can be very can not stop every 100 yards as I wish I could to take pictures of what caught my eye.  Glacier run off and snow runoff along the mountain side of the drive was amazing!  We must have passed at least 50 waterfalls.  Several are there all summer long - So next month's drive WE do plan on stopping to get those photos!

<----- This happens to be one of my favorite mini stopping areas

 Another car had stopped at the same time - a couple about the same ages as us - we all said "isn't it beautiful today!  And that we are the luckiest folks in the world to live in Alaska. And to be surround by sites such as this!"

As we passed Girdwood I wanted to stop at the bakery but we decided that would be best at the end of the day and drive home!

I'll be posting more pictures all week long...slow and easy just as our Day Trip!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Demon Slayer in Training

I've always heard God never gives you more than you can handle.  Sometimes I think God likes to mess with folks in ways that boggles one's mind.  God  gives them a bucketful of things to handle and then sits back & laughs as we juggle it all.

Not that I'm complaining  ~ I learned to juggle very young.

Right now life is a mixture of fun and tragedy.  So to overcome tragedy I have decided life needed cheering.  The best way to cheer life up is "fresh paint and make over one's humble nest".

We have a small cottage style home.  Tiny and just perfect for two old folks.  Ha Ha he is old - I'm still a Spring Chicken!

Any how I decided since God is being a bit of a jouster at this time we needed color. Bright Colors!

I've always wanted a red kitchen.  Well actually any room could be red in my humble opinion but never was brave enough.  As a recent demon slayer in training ~ I marched down to Lowe's Home Improvement Center returning home with cans of Red, Yellow, Blue and Ultra Bright White paint to redo the two main rooms in our tiny cottage.

On Wednesday I started my quest.  White first for ceiling, pantry hallway, and one wall in kitchen.  Then I did the Red wall.  Thursday I did the Yellow wall.  The kitchen is Finally my dream come true.  Even with cabinets that are the original ones from when the house was built in 1959 I must brag it looks FANTASTIC!

Now I have no excuse not to be inspired to cook awesome Delicious meals, plus wonderful Gourmet desserts!

Now on to the living room that will be Navy Blue and White.  Stay tuned for the adventure of Living In Color with  the Demon Slayer in Training of Boring beige walls.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Yam It Up

Soup of any kind is one of my favorite quick and easy meals to plan and create.

Leeks are fast cooking and bring a wonderful flavor to any meal.  After a friend and her children visited the other day; I decided to just do soup for dinner and wanted something fairly fast.  I had already had my leeks sliced, and had been in a water/salt rinse for over two hours. 

All I had to do was cook them.  Taking the sliced leeks out of the rinse bath and then running fresh water again over them, they were tossed in the soup pot with butter, spices and one frozen cube of chicken stock plus 4 cups water.  Within 40 minutes dinner was just about ready.  Wanting more color I decided to add one yam.  Peeled it, then sliced and diced into small cubes to cook quickly.

Ta Da: Yam it up Leek Soup ~

Rounding out the meal a new bread I have discovered ~ I visit Carr's grocery store on Dimond and Jewel Lake every few months...had been there the day before and had picked up fresh baked mini loaf of bread: Black Pepper/Blue Cheese.  This mini loaf is unbelievable delicious! 

All I can say is "Perfection!"

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Eating Bitefuls of Sawdust

Ever eat a item so dry it felt like sawdust?  Croutons remind me of sawdust, even when one pours a liquid dressing on top of those crunchy bits my mouth sends a message to my brain 'sawdust'. 

We are a house divided on croutons.  My guy really enjoys them, I don't.  So I will purchase a bag of different types for his eating pleasure with his salads.  Usually though, they sit in the pantry forgotten and then tossed in trash after determining that they have been in the pantry past the expiration date.

I'm also a person who likes my bread lightly browned when toasted but not tortured on both sides turning that slice into a rock; a slight crunch on top with a wonderful softness of the fluffy cooked dough is the type of toasted bread I enjoy.

Today's Gourmet Sweet Treat picture is: Pecan Cookie Bars (before slicing & cutting bars)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Nightmares and Dreams

Running a business online can be a bit nightmarish.  Lost packages, Paypal not adding tax, down servers, and  cancellation before final checkout on that selling site.

Most often everything runs smoothly!  I've found selling online to be fun and exciting.  I have friends across the globe, I have fans of my Art in countries I've long to visit, I've received notes from folks in different countries wishing they could purchase my Gourmet Treats.

In real life business folks will walk in the door looking for a certain item to purchase, walk up to register with item, pay and leave.  Many times folks will chat a bit before leaving the register and a brief but steady friendship develops as they return for more purchases.

Many folks love to window shop and dream of things to purchase when the right time ~ they have bookmarked that special item in their storage area of their brain, I do that quite often.  I have a whole inventory ready at hand for when I have the space and money available for my purchases.

I firmly believe we should follow our dreams to success in any venture that one desires.  In the coming weeks I'm going to be exploring more of that.  The time for me to follow a dream is at hand.  I have found a charming cottage in the business district of the city I live for rent.  Before ones jumps into burning fire one must know the risks involved.  This week will be busy doing follow up with various City departments to gather the proper information for a budding business.

Stay tune as I dream and focus on life goals.

Friday, April 16, 2010

A Little Cocktail to Go

In Anchorage is a family that at one time owned 3 different sites under the name La Mex.  Totally awesome Mexican food I shall add! 

The oldest Location is on Spenard Road, one was on 6th Ave downtown (now closed for last several years and has been changed into some nightclub) and then they have a location on King Ave - just off Dimond Blvd.

On facebook La Mex has been running a daily contest "Win a Free Lunch" as they celebrate Cinco De Mayo which is May 5th, with a photo of a different margarita flavor for 30 days.

I seldom will enter a contest - in fact I think in my lifetime I have entered a handful.  I  did enter this one because I love the food.  Well I'm happy to report I now am the proud winner of a free lunch!  My first ever:


We will be going next week to have lunch and I'm even going to have a frozen strawberry margarita to go with my lunch!  

I plan on wearing a Cocktail Hat as my claim to fame!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Unsprung by the Snow Gods

This morning Anchorage awoke to a fresh blanket of snow.  Wow the weather station was actually correct in the forecast!  Thanks Jackie ~ please bring back the SUN!

Many of you outside Alaska may be thinking...Hey it's Alaska It Snows...wrong by mid April it should be melting not snowing LOL!  We Alaskan's want to see green by April and May have our tree's starting to bud. 

So for the record an official photo of the day "April 14, 2010 Six inches of snow at 9am"

As I mentioned yesterday my adventure of Pantry organizing ~ a glance onto a shelf of things we use.  My guy loves corn nuts...I personally can't stand them terribly salty and rock hard!  If I'm going to be bad and eat lots of salt Give me Potato Chips.  As I look at my photo I'm so glad everything is not in alphabetical order ~ at least it shows a am a tad relaxed when organizing.

P.S. another note: when I use a can good for cooking, I do rinse the veggies in fresh running cold water before use to rid them from most of the salt.  Although many company's are now selling low salt or no salt canned goods ~ so I do purchase those when available! 

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Spring Cleaning and Renewing Life

Snow is melting in Anchorage, spring is in the air!  After a brief vacation from writing and recipe testing I am happy to say:


I'm also very happy to see Blogger has new templates and designs easily available for changing up our blogs.  Oh baby I love tomatoes!  Which is now my background, makes this old momma look hot!

I've cleaned out my pantry, rearranged shelves, and got the approval from my sweetie even he knows where things are again.  Over the winter that pantry became a black hole of me saying "Where is it? I know I put that in here last shopping trip!"

Today I made up a dish of homemade Hummus.  I know it's easier just to walk into the grocery store grab a small container but it's so much more fun to experiment with different beans and seasonings.

'Just barely Garlic Hummus' was is my recipe for today!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Beer, Cocktails and me

It is seldom that we drink beer.  It's not one of those items I ever liked...I grew up in a city that had two breweries.  Most of my family enjoys a good beer; I was the outcast.

Cooking with beer is a new experience for me but heard others talking about the different beers they have used in Sweet Desserts and I had to try in some of my creations.

Alaska is a budding community of brewers!  I must admit I was drawn to the label on the ones that I chose to try out.  From a brewery down in Juneau, and they do like 5 types and I selected 3 with the help of the sales clerk in the liquor store.  Alaska groceries stores do not sell any liquor, its found in a separate store.  Most are located right next door to the grocery store, or in mini malls.


The smoked porter was very heavy and dark -tried it in a beer cheese broccoli  soup and it didn't work in fact was a total mistake; the soup turned an awful brown LOL and cheese soup as we all know is a pretty yellow and since I had added the whole bottle the flavor was overwhelming - I had to toss the soup...maybe a lamb stew it would be better - needs a heavy meat to go with - next adventure in beer I will do lamb for sure I really believe it will be the perfect match!  

The Winter I totally enjoyed - I was really surprised super great flavor, we liked it so much it didn't even get to be tested in any item for cooking LOL and I have to say I've never drank a whole beer until this one - we had it with mild white fish and went very well with the total dinner!

We have not opened the White yet...I'm making enchiladas today for dinner with pulled beef so I will stir in a 1/2 cup into the meat mixture and save the rest for drinking with dinner.  We are looking forward to this.  And will make for another post.

The past week I've worked on various things...getting ready for several juried Art Shows, sewing up a few new Cocktail Hats that I been trying to fit into the schedule; plus planning on activities I will be attending for Fur Rondy which starts next week.  I love this little Cocktail number:


If your a follower and live in Anchorage: I have a photo entered into the Fur Rondy Photo Contest that is held at Sears Mall:


This handsome guy is my little guy I mention every now and then!  He is as close as a grandchild I'm ever going to have.  I'm Grandma Pat to him and that makes my heart sing let me tell ya!  On this day we were down at Ship Creek looking for salmon and within 3 seconds of walking on the boardwalk  (don't read the rest Little guys mom) but stepped in gum warmed by the sun Grrrrrr...his exact words where GRAMDMAA PAT I STEEPED IN GOMMMM!  I don't chew gum, totally dislike seeing folks chew their cuds with it and think those who just spit it out where ever should be hung by their thumbs over boiling oil with snapping sharks.  The picture keeps one guessing to what he is up to... it was snapped just before his announcement and yes we did clean off the gum.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Monster Attacks ~ Slain in Kitchen

What to do when the monster attacks?


I tried to do productive things today...all failed or without much success - being an A personality this was Not Acceptable!

So I turned to my trusty oven and pantry filled with all sorts of treasures.

Bam....Bam in no time at all ~

Mouth Watering Cookies!

We have White Chocolate chip cookies

Then Chocolate White Mocha White Chip cookies

And Coconut White Chocolate Chip cookies.



My recipe bakes up 3 dozen cookies so I just divided the basic mix into 3 bowls and added either cocoa or coconut flakes.

Covered in Chocolate is working on her "Wild & Crazy Alaskan Baking Recipes" cookbook otherwise this would be a wonderful recipe to share but not today! 

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Ice Carving and Winter Festivals

In many cities that have a long winter ~ artist of different hues make the most of temps that freezes one’s breath.

Anchorage each winter has Ice Carving Challenges, Snow carving Contests, and Dog Sled Races.  All are wonderful celebrations for winter.

Downtown Anchorage has Town Square where the Ice Carving Challenge takes place.  For those of us whose passion is photography it’s a challenge for Ice to appear in our photographs.

Day time vs night time shots bring about different area of concerns.  Lighting being the main factor; for even experienced photographers. 

As with any medium the artist at times can take liberties that admirers can overlook.  Or creates a piece that leaves one wondering to what it could be.   

Each year the ice carving artists visit from various states and even countries.  Each year my guy and I head over to see theme of that peculiar year. 


This Year the Ice Carving are truly wonderful.  Various themes each created with the joy of using Ice.  I can only say the carvers outdid themselves this year.

A dear friend of ours enters the GCI Snow Carving Contest for Fur Rondy,

a winter tradition since fur trapping days of early Gold Miners of the mid to late 1800's.  

Guy always finishes in the top 4 for snow carving!  I can’t wait to see this year’s entry by him and his wife.  And as always I’ll be posting some fun photo’s to share to those of you who live in those southern sunny beach areas.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Scout Em' Down Soup

Saturday’s dinner I fixed a small pork roast, rice, mixed veggies, a tomato onion cucumber salad, plus brown pork gravy; along with applesauce and a tangerine.

Today as most Sundays I don’t want to spend all day cooking because it has turned into a day of doing things in my craft room ~ so

Last night’s left over’s turned into soup.

White Bean Scout Em’ Down Soup 
(cause sometimes 
you have to scramble 
to find some ingredients)

Chop the port roast into small bite size cubes

Mix the left over gravy and 2 cups water toss in large cooking pot

Stir in rice plus bite size pieces of pork.  Plus two teaspoons of Worcesterhire Sauce (I use the Thick Classic) Next:

Dice one stalk of celery into very fine pieces & Slice & dice two garlic cloves ~ add both to pot.

Measure out Two tablespoons of dried onions (Walmart sells at 68 cents a bottle and can’t be beat for price) and add to pot.
 Toss one handful of frozen Sweet Pepper slices into pot.  I always have a bag of frozen sweet peppers on hand.  Taste just as good as fresh and it saves time when using for soups or stir fry, since they already sliced into small pieces for me!

Add additional seasoning to taste. I added one teaspoon of “McCormick’s Grill Mates”:
Spicy Montreal Steak

Add one can of White beans to mixture

Cook on medium heat on stove for 30 to 40 minutes! Stir occasionally so that nothing sticks to bottom of pot And dinner is ready in no time at all!

Serves 4 or 2 very hungry peeps

Add a croissant for each person plus a small plate full of red grapes and tangerine slices 

A perfect quick Sunday Night Dinner

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Hats Off To Isaac Asimov

'The day you stop learning is the day you begin decaying, and then you are no longer a human being'
*Isaac Asimov


I try to practice this as much as possible. Sometimes wrapping my head around a new thing is daunting but well worth the experience!

For me trying out new methods of sewing, baking, photography are just a few ways for learning to increase my "human" status.

A few of my newest creations:

Since I have returned to my sewing roots and selling my creations at 1000Markets and Etsy I can only say "Millinery is available for purchase".

Friday, January 22, 2010

'Let Them Eat Cake'

In a household of only two people cooking recipes for 12 or even 6 becomes a challenge of what to do with the excess.  There is only so much room in our small freezer which is the top portion of the refrigerator.  In many recipes one can divide the recipe so that one does not have huge amounts that are left over.

Since the majority of my testing recipes are desserts; Well…

I send many of my trials to preselected testing folks to eat ~ as a shop who sells sweets it is really hard not to eat everything I bake.  But the saying goes ‘after awhile you don’t want to eat cake anymore’.  Now I can tell within one or two bites of a sample if it is wonderful or not.  If it makes my approval it goes to the testers.

This weekend I’m meeting several dear friends for lunch and as a surprise for Valentine’s Day I baked up a few tasty treats!

 Brownie Cheesecake:

This serves 12 folks very easily.  As with any cheesecake following the directions are the key to success!  

I also always recommend using the best ingredients.  It does not pay to scrimp on flavor or taste. Plus the end result will be well worth the smiles you receive when folks bite into your tasty meal or dessert!

One word describes this tasty morsel:


Sunday, January 17, 2010

Drooling Not Allowed or is it?

My sweetie pie was going with a friend down to Girdwood and Portage Glacier to visit some friends who work at both places and spend the afternoon out of my hair. What a better way to celebrate than a day alone to do things I like SO:

Instead of sewing I decided ~ Today was a baking day for home and family members who sometimes get special desserts because I love testing out new things!

Father in law who lives in Mill Valley was going to be treated to cookies and muffins; totally new recipes I wanted to test out.

After gathering up all basic supplies for the different recipes, I got my cookbook out and read once again over each recipe I wanted to experiment with for my tasty treats.

I choose a Pecan Cookie Bar, plus Raspberry Muffins, and Carrot Cilantro Muffins. All items I had not made before and was excited to try out!

Starting with the Pecan Cookie Bars, I followed the recipe and my mouth watered as they baked. When the time was up they look heavenly! The aroma was driving me crazy it filled the house with vanilla and that wonderful smell only cookies give a home! Since they even look like Pecan Pie I was thrilled – One of my favorite pies and rarely get since the mister is not a fan of pecan pie LOL.

I then proceeded to the muffins. Both recipes had the same basics and cooking time so I thought I would whip up the basic dough then divide and add the different main ingredients of carrots/cilantro and the raspberries for the other.

I quickly measured everything out for the dry ingredients. Using the blender to grade the carrots, I hand chopped the fresh cilantro. I mixed the two into one bowl and set aside. Measured the raspberries and set aside.

Adding the eggs and buttermilk to the dry ingredients I was happy with the texture and it even looked yummy. So I divided the dough in half and mixed each half with my different additives.

Baking for the desired time since I was making king size muffins I had to experiment with actual time…recipe called for 20 minutes for normal size muffins; it ended being an additional ten minutes for the king size.

Oh my ~ the kitchen is filled with aroma’s that are so delightful I wish you could all sit at the counter and take deep breaths in of fresh baked goodies!

I put butter on the Carrot Cilantro muffin OMG yummie!  The Raspberry muffin needed nothing!  It was sweet from the fruit.

Now I just have to decide if drooling is permitted

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Amaretto - Its Not Just 4 Drinking!

I don't drink very often.  I do enjoy a shot of Amaretto once in awhile, a glass of good wine, or a splash of Kahlua in French Roast Coffee.  Rare treats these days and to be enjoy for special occasions.

But for cooking it’s another whole adventure!  Many of my stews have 1/4 or 1/2 cup of wine for an ingredient, have even tried Vodka, and for baking sweet treats; Rum and Amaretto my personal favorites in cakes and cookies.  

Wine reduced brings out flavors in many cooked dishes.  The alcohol is cooked out but the flavor left enhances any dishes that the chef may have added to a boiling pot or batter of dough.

Today I baked my Amaretto Silk Almond with Chocolate Frosting Sandwich Cookies and a new Crockpot Stew I'm testing out - I'm naming it 'Sunday Gone Crazy'.

In these cookies is 1/4 cup of Amaretto   My recipe makes 3 dozen cookies.  So the amount of Amaretto is very small per cookie but adds a delightful taste.

Sunday Gone Wild Crockpot Stew:

1/2 pound sirloin round steak
2 medium sized potatoes
one white onion
1 cup fresh whole mushroom tops
1/4 frozen corn
1/2 cup frozen cauliflower (I used green & purple cauliflower from my Farmers Market I purchased in late September and froze)
1/2 cup frozen Brussels sprouts
1/2 red sweet pepper
1/2 yellow sweet pepper
3 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons Olive Oil
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Pepper
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/4 teaspoon Celery Salt
1/2 teaspoon Dill Weed
1/2 teaspoon Ginger 

Slice meat into 1/4 inch strips, slice onion and sweet peppers.  Heat frying pan on med high.  Add the olive oil to pan.  Add meat season with the above seasoning until brown on all sides.  Stirring often.  Add onion and peppers; cook till onion starts to turn translucent. Place all in crock pot on high.  Cut potatoes into 1 inch chunks.  Toss in hot frying pan with butter & brown potatoes wedges on one side.  Season with all the seasoning to your own taste.  Add to crock pot with the rest of the ingredients. Cook on high for 3 hours.

Serves 4 - Salad, Cheesy Breadsticks will round out the dinner!  Serve with a glass of white wine of your choice.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Wrapping It Up - Blondies Grow Up!

As a baker the major concern for any of my treats is Wrapping them Up!

I want everyone to see the beauty of the treat, know instantly what the product is, and drool about the treat!  I also want to include something that is memorable ~ isn't that the goal of every business owner.

I've developed new labels for my "Treats in Jars" and now developing new ways to label my baked goods but with a way so that you can take the label with you and use in other ways. 

Tis boring to stick a label on the food safe cello pack.  After the treat is eaten - its tossed away.

Now with my sweet Tags you can use over and over.  As a bookmark for that newest paperback, or to put in your own cookbook to remember to visit my blog to get new ideas plus recipes for cooking and baking!  Even to visit one of my shops! Or you can wrap up you own little gift to someone by ordering a package of my Tags that will be available soon and sold at either of my Covered in Chocolate Shops!


Blondie Brownies All Grown Up:

Folks who like Edibles