Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween.. A Special Treat for you

Happy Halloween

happy halloween Pictures, Images and Photos

If you have kids, have fun Trick or Treating, be safe and check all your candy (Sheesh, I’m such a mom, lol) I get it from my own mom, but I still go through the trick or treat bag and toss any candy that isn’t properly wrapped and anything that looks even moderately odd (there was once a man that gave P. a baggie (like a sandwich baggie) full of peanuts and pennies (okay, to me that was Totally odd, but anyway, lol) Just be careful because there are just so many weirdo's out there.

I thought I would share a (free!!!) Guilty pleasure with y’all today. I don’t remember how I found this, but I’m SO glad I did. Desserts Magazine!

You can go to their web site and browse through the current (and back) issues for free.. I’m In LOVE! You can sign up to have the issues delivered to your inbox for Free. (Instant Gratification.. Nice!)

Alright, already I’m in awe of this because one of the featured recipes is STEP-BY-STEP FRENCH MACARON by Helen of Tartlette. I love this Magazine! I’ve been wanting to try Macaron’s and I just have been too chicken to do so.. But I love to “spread my wings” around the holidays and try new recipes.. I’ve never really had a disastrous outcome.. The gingerbread cookies I tried last year weren’t that great, but still edible, lol.. I used to rent from a German woman who always brought me back Chocolate covered gingerbread cookies from Germany and I just can’t seem to recreate that same cookie no matter what I do.

I have a sneaky suspicion that I will be posting quite a few recipes from this issue.. So stay tuned.

As for now, I have to say Ciao.

I’ve got to get myself together to get outta here.

Have a safe and Happy Halloween :)
trick or treat Pictures, Images and Photos


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Nothing like a warm bowl of Pasta E Fagioli

It was nice today, still cool but it is October after all so I can’t complain too much (even though I still do, lol) it wasn’t raining and it wasn’t near freezing like it’s been the past 2 days but I’ve been thinking about Pasta E Fagioli all week and the only thing I didn’t have was a can of beans.. But I got that taken care of on my way home tonight (yay)

Pasta E Fagioli (pronounced like Pasta Fazool) is one of my favorite dishes, it’s quick, hearty and can be served as a main dish or a side.. Tonight it was the main event with some fresh baked bread.

1/4 cup olive oil
1 diced onion
1/3 cup diced Prosciutto or you can use Italian sausage, removed from it’s casing and crumbled
2 cloves garlic, peeled
2 15-ounce cans Great Northern or Cannellini beans with their liquid
4 cups chicken broth
Salt & Pepper to taste
2 cups canned plum tomatoes, well drained and chopped
1 pound Ditalini or other small macaroni, cooked
1/4 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese (Optional)

1. Combine oil, onion, prosciutto(Or Sausage, that’s what I use most often), and garlic in a large saucepan over medium heat. Sauté for about 5 minutes or until onions are translucent and begin to turn golden. Be careful not to burn the garlic.
2. Stir in beans and their liquid, add broth and salt & pepper and bring to a boil. Add tomatoes and return to a boil. Lower heat and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes
3. Stir in cooked pasta and cook for an additional 5 minutes.

Serve hot, sprinkled with Pecorino Romano cheese, if desired.

This is something that my grandma made when I was a kid and I would sit there with the cheese and black pepper and ‘fix it up’ the way I liked it and would sit there with the bread sopping up every last bit.

Monday, October 27, 2008

This is Halloween...

Halloween was never really considered a fun Holiday once I passed the trick or treating age, but then The Kid came along and it was a whole 'nother story... I started getting those pumpkin carving kits and then I started doing them on my own when I was in culinary school, my front porch always had at least 3 or 4 wicked pumpkins adorning it. When I moved to this place being sort of front porch-less I stopped carving pumpkins (because you can't really see the pumpkin sitting on the side stoop, now can ya?) But this year The Kid almost begged me to get a pumpkin "Come on Mom, Pleeeeeeeeeeease?" So on Saturday we went over to Home Depot (which is the only place around that still had any pumpkins worth carving and half price too!) and picked up this Ginormous pumpkin (it had to be around 25 pounds). Yesterday afternoon we took the pumpkin outside and The kid had a little too much fun scooping the 'Guts' out (and throwing them at me, mind you) we saved the pumpkin seeds to maybe try and plant a few to see if we can grow our own pumpkin for next year and roast a few then we planned our mission, to carve a 'really cool' pumpkin with little help from mom, so we did a little pencil drawing and I gave The Kid my set of kid friendly pumpkin carving tools and he was on his way to becoming a carving master.

The Result.. . an Awesomely wicked pumpkin that looked downright evil with the right lighting..

After I took the picture I realized he needed a little help on his mouth.. but it was really freaking cold last night, so maybe I'll try again later on tonight :)

He's still pretty Wicked though.Photobucket

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Easy Apple cake

Or.. in my words "Holy Crap that was easy" Apple cake

I came across this recipe when I was looking through my recipe binder this afternoon, Craving something sweet and apple-y. I've had 3 McIntosh apples sitting on my kitchen counter for days and I've been waiting for the right recipe to come to me.. this is the one.

This is a really easy, absolutely delicious one bowl cake that results in a super moist cake that will have everyone asking for more. Try it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or some whipped cream.

Easy Apple Cake

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35-40 minutes

SERVES 12 -16


  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup macintosh apples or other sweet apple, peeled, and chopped (you want to use a nice sweet apple)
  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Soften margarine.
  3. Mix all ingredients together in a lg. bowl.
  4. Bake in a buttered 8x8" baking dish, for 30-40 minutes.
  5. Let cool, cut, and then store in a plastic container.
I didn't have any walnuts, but I added 1/2 cup of raisins, and I also added some nutmeg and ground ginger to spice it up a bit.. YUMMY!!

I'm sitting here with a piece as I'm writing this (who cares that dinner isn't ready yet, lol)

In yet another "Holy Crap" moment today.. I tried out the old, Old camera and OMG, it's working! Probably not for long and the pics aren't that good,.. but check out the Apple cake!

Friday, October 24, 2008

If you can't have fun in the kitchen then what's the point?

Today was one of those days at work that started really slow, I got in at 8:45 and until almost noon it was pretty much dead (but that tends to be a typical Friday) so I went through my emails this morning when one particular blog caught my eye when reading something totally unrelated to food, lol.. Outblush is a blog dedicated to shopping... but it's dedicated to ALL kinds of shopping, not just clothes or gadgets or whatnot.. it's a little bit of everything baby! So, as I was browsing through Outblush I found some cool kitchen gadgets I wanted to share with y'all.
The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
Onion Action Goggles
(these come in Pink, black and white)

Serious foodies know when to take precautions. They also know how to up the ante in order to torment their friends.

Our Onion Action Goggles perform a duty (they are anti-fog and provide a foam seal against vapors) but primarily, they place the chef in a different league.

Okay, when I saw this one I thought of Chef Duff and the episode of Ace of Cakes when he makes the world's Largest cupcake, so freaking funny! I love that show, I wish I could work with a chef as cool as Duff, the only chefs I've ever worked for were total A-holes (and that's putting it nicely)

Giant Cupcake Cake Pan


Designed for the kid in all of us, this whimsical Wilton Giant Cupcake Cake Pan ($28) is sure to be a big hit at your next party. Great for birthdays, graduations, and anything in between, it's made of durable cast aluminum with a premium nonstick interior.

Slice Solutions PreCut Brownie Pan Set

(this is like that old fashioned ice cube tray my Grandma used to have when I was a kid!)
And now, for Outblush's good deed of the day: A fabulous (and fabulously new) excuse to—bake brownies. With this Slice Solutions PreCut Brownie Pan Set ($25), every piece comes out perfectly, no hacking away at baked goods required. Plus, the removable bottom makes it easy to pull brownies out of the pan without the stuck reside stuff. And by sectioning off your brownies, you can make a million—OK, 18—different kinds in one pan.

And last but not least:

Progressive Magnetic Measuring Spoons


How frustrating is it to begin baking, only to realize that you can't find the right measuring spoon. The Progressive Magnetic Measuring Spoons Set ($8) includes five measuring spoons that can be stuck to the fridge or nested together in a drawer for handy storage.
They make Measuring Cups too!
Progressive International Magnetic Measuring Cups
Remember, I'm a bit disorganized... one of these days I will have a kitchen that is bigger than a hallway with enough cabinet space to hold everything I have.. but hey, if I can stick my measuring spoons and cups on the fridge for easy access, I'm all for it :)

And those are my random thoughts for today..

Ciao :)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

A few random thoughts and a poll...

Ever get to work and start browsing food porn? (like FoodGawker, TasteSpotting or PhotoGrazing) then kick yourself for not having breakfast or start daydreaming about what you're going to make for dinner or start planning your shopping list.. It happens to me all too often, lol. My office has been pretty slow this week, but sometimes I wish I had a StealthSwitch for when I sense The Witch in the back office approaching from behind me. I've got a nifty little button in my taskbar though that takes me right to the desktop for when I sense a disturbance in the force. We don't have cubicles around here, it's pretty just one big, open office with the exception of the Witch in the back (she used to be a very heavy smoker and up until 2 years ago smoked here in the office, but never closed her door) and the attorneys (who rightly have their own offices and the Big Guy who likes to slam his heavy door when we're making too much noise or is pissed or whenever he feels like it pretty much), so you can't gt away with too much being on the computer and Instant messaging is a total no no.. even though most of us don't even have computer speakers.. it's still too easy to get caught goofing off, lol.

I've been meaning to make baked apples or something apple-y for days.. an apple dessert or something, anything really.. but I just cant' seem to find a recipe that I'm happy with.. so I'm open to any and all suggestions here.

Now, as Halloween is fast approaching and the store shelves are amass with candy I've got a question for all my fellow bloggers and foodie friends out there..

What is your favorite Halloween Candy? I have a bad sweet tooth for the sour things... although I can't stand sour Skittles (they burn my tongue!) but gummy sour anything I'm pretty much game for. I'll never forget the first time I gave The kid a sour starburst.. the look on his face was so funny.. but he loved them.. he ate almost the whole bag, lol!! I don't like Candy corn though, It's too sweet and just.. eww.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Foodbuzz Publisher Community Launches

I have to say that I am so honored to be a part of Foodbuzz, it's a really great community of Foodies and people in general.
Contact: Allison Costello


Doug Collister




San Francisco – October 13, 2008: Foodbuzz, Inc., officially inaugurates its food blogger community with more than 1,000 blog partners, a global food blogging event and an online platform that captures the real-people, real-time power of food publishing in every corner of the world. At launch, the Foodbuzz community ranks as one of the top-10 Internet destinations for food and dining (Quantcast), with bloggers based in 45 countries and 863 cities serving up daily food content.

“Food bloggers are at the forefront of reality publishing and the dramatic growth of new media has redefined how food enthusiasts access tasty content,” said Doug Collister, Executive Vice President of Foodbuzz, Inc. “Food bloggers are the new breed of local food experts and at any minute of the day, Foodbuzz is there to help capture the immediacy of their hands-on experiences, be it a memorable restaurant meal, a trip to the farmers market, or a special home-cooked meal.”

Foodbuzz is the only online community with content created exclusively by food bloggers and rated by foodies. The site offers more than 20,000 pieces of new food and dining content weekly, including recipes, photos, blog posts, videos and restaurant reviews. Members decide the “tastiness” of each piece of content by voting and “buzz” the most popular posts to the top of the daily menu of submissions. Foodbuzz currently logs over 13 million monthly page views and over three million monthly unique visitors.

“Our goal is to be the number-one online source of quality food and dining content by promoting the talent, enthusiasm and knowledge of food bloggers around the globe,” said Ben Dehan, founder and CEO of Foodbuzz, Inc.


The Foodbuzz blogger community is growing at a rate of 40 percent per month driven by strong growth in existing partner blogs and the addition of over 100 new blogs per month. “The Web site is like the stock of a great soup. The Web site provides the base or backbone for bloggers to interact as a community, contribute content, and have that content buzzed by their peers,” said Mr. Dehan.

Global Blogging Event

Demonstrating the talent and scope of the Foodbuzz community, 24 Meals, 24 Hours, 24 Blogs offered online food enthusiasts an international, virtual street festival of food and diversity. The new feature showcased blog posts from 24 Foodbuzz partner bloggers chronicling events occurring around the globe during a 24 hour period and included:

24 Meals, 24 Hours, 24 Blogs” captures the quality and unique local perspective of our food bloggers and shared it with the world,” said Ryan Stern, Director of the Foodbuzz Publisher Community. “It illustrates exactly what the future of food publishing is all about – real food, experienced by real people, shared real-time.”

About Foodbuzz, Inc.

Based in San Francisco, Foodbuzz, Inc., launched its beta Web site,, in 2007. In less than a year, and its community of over 1,000 exclusive partner food blogs have grown into an extended online property that reaches more than three million users.

Monday, October 20, 2008

I knew it was coming, but it was still a kick in the ass

I got to work this morning..Freezing my butt off so I went to get a Caramel Macchiatto and my Starbucks was closed crying animated smiley Pictures, Images and Photos

I knew it was coming.. almost every Starbucks around here is closing (and with all the attorneys around here I was really shocked!) Apparently Dunkin Donuts pushed them out, but to be totally honest with y'all, I don't like Dunkin Donuts coffee, their Latte's are good, but the coffee itself is just too bitter for my taste. I was so mad that I didn't even bother going to Dunkin Donuts..but I may be compelled to go there at lunchtime, which is fast approaching as I'm writing this.. they finally turned the heat on in my office building, but it's still cold in here.

I'm really bummed about Starbucks.. I was there last week too when P. was with me on Monday and I didn't even see the sign on the door "This Starbucks will be closing as of October 16th", I'm thinking they didn't bother to put it up until Tuesday... I"m gonna miss me Peppermint Hot Chocolate and my Peppermint Mochas.. the Vivano wasn't too bad either.. Now I've gotta go and search The List to find out which Starbucks around here are going to be staying open.. Boo Hoo.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

It's cold, and I don't like it

Once the weather drops below 50 I'm not a very happy camper, I don't like the cold, I'm not a huge fan of winter (and go figure, the Kid is a Winter baby) I was born in the summer and I like it Hot, once it's over 80° I'm happy.. (I might whine because I have no ac, but that's a given with anyone I think.) I love the long days of summer and being outside, catching fireflies, having dinner outside and not having to wear 3 layers of clothing to keep warm.

I woke up this morning and it really hit me.. HOLY CRAP! it was 42° outside and not much warmer in here.. my landlord still hasn't turned the heat on. I can't 'really go and bitch and moan to turn the heat on, but I'd like to! I'd also like to bitch about the party they had last night well into the early morning hours.. but then again I have to remember that this is not my house, I'm just renting here, but a little common courtesy would be nice.

Anyway, as I'm starting to veer to the left here let me get back on track.. because since it was so annoyingly cold in my apartment this morning I decided I was going to make pot roast in my crock pot, but I was out of my usual cream of mushroom soup.. damn.. in the very back of my cabinet I found a packet of vegetable soup mix, so I worked with that and it all turned out really good :)
1-4 lb pot roast
3 potatoes cut into chunks
1 packet Vegetable soup mix

Really, that's it. I started it off on low at 8am and at 12pm I flipped it over and cooked it another 4 hours. The meat totally fell apart and there was almost a full pot of gravy in there! Since P. likes his more of an au jus I left it as is and served some sauteed broccoli and garlic on the side with some freshly baked bread. ( I told you, it's cold in my apartment, so I turned on the oven to bake some bread too, lol)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Vote in the Boobie Bake off!

Unfortunately I missed out on this one, I will join in next year though, I'm all for baking for a good cause
Save the TaTas Pictures, Images and Photos

boobie bake off

Hosted by Marye at Baking Delights here are all the details:

This is how it works. Choose one of the entries that you like and press the donate button. In the description area write the item you are voting can use the number if you can’t remember the name. You can vote as many times as you like BUT each vote costs $1.oo You can vote until October 24th. On October 25 I will announce a winner, the amount that was collected and give each participant a button to post on their blog, if they want. By October 31 I will have sent the money to the Susan G. Komen Foundation in the name of the winner…and we will begin planning next year’s event!

Click right through the banner and place your vote :)

Friday, October 17, 2008

Sausage and Peppers, in the crock pot!

I'd been staring at the sausage in the pack in the refrigerator since Tuesday.. I kept saying I'll get around to it.. and I did.. last night, at 10:30.. I was getting ready to go to bed and I decided that I was just going to toss it all in the Crockpot and just give it a go.. if it didn't taste good I had chicken in the fridge.. so.. I did just that!

I lined the Crockpot with my trusty Reynolds liner and started layering..

1 whole onion chopped
1 bag of frozen mixed pepper strips (seriously people, these are the best things.. I can't spend $2.99 for a pound of peppers, I just can't.. it's insane unless I"m having a party or making a special dinner, these are like $1.49 for a 10 ounce bag of yellow, red and green at Stop and shop)
1 pound sweet Italian sausage
1 cup crushed canned tomatoes
2 Tbs. dried Italian seasoning

Chop up the onion and toss in first to make a layer at the bottom of the Crock

Take the skin off the sausage and toss it on top of the onions

Dump the bag of Pepper strips over the sausage

Pour in the tomatoes

Sprinkle Italian seasoning over tomatoes

Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours (or overnight if you're like me)

I turned the Crockpot on when I got home and heated this all up (it was in the fridge all day) and served it with some crusty Italian bread that I picked up on the way home.. It was so Freakin' good! there was a Ton of sauce and the sausage was all crumbly.. It wasn't Grandma's with the nice caramelized onions and peppers.. but it was still really good with very little effort.

OMG, I just realized this is my 100th blog post! WOW!!

Tomorrow I'm gonna have to post something really good :)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Monster Cupcakes


I'm starting to see a trend lately.. gross looking food in preparation for Halloween. Now, my baby is getting a little too old to send to school with treats for his friends (I think they'd laugh at it now, in 7th grade) but it's never too late to share with y'all the fun I've had in the past. This was one of the most fun projects I had... and it was really both exciting and gross when I found the gummy goo filled bugs and spiders in the grocery store by work.. what better to decorate monster cupcakes with?

After letting the kid ask his classmates which kind of cupcake they wanted, vanilla or chocolate they voted for Vanilla and I went with my favorite Vanilla cupcake recipe

Easy One-Bowl Vanilla cupcakes

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar (can use 1-1/4 cup for a less sweeter taste)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup shortening (very soft but not melted, Crisco is best)
  • 3/4 cup half-and-half cream (or milk)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla (or use 1-1/2 teaspoons almond extract)
  • 2 large egg


Set oven to 350 degrees F.
1. In a large bowl, mix together the flour with sugar, baking powder and salt until combined.
2. Add in the shortening cream or milk, vanilla and eggs; beat on medium speed of an electric mixer scraping the bowl constantly until just blended (the batter will be thick, if desired you may add in a few more tablespoons cream or milk).
3. Pour into paper-lined regular size muffin tins filling under just three-quarters full.
4. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until the cupcakes test done (do not overbake as they will be dry).
5. Immediately remove from pans.
6. Cool completely before frosting.

I frosted them with a mixture of cream cheese and marshmallow fluff once they cooled. While the cupcakes were in the oven I melted some semi sweet chocolate chips and carefully dipped large marshmallows until fully coated and placed them on a sheet of parchment to dry. Once they were dry I piped on a teeny drop of icing and 'glued' on 2 kissables (red hots are good too, I use those for Spiders) and with a fork dipped lightly in frosting I added fangs. I iced the cupcakes, added the monster heads and gummy, goo filled bugs for a creepy effect and they went into the fridge until the next morning. It's always fun to bring goodies to school.. but I wish I would have been there to see the faces of these kids when they saw what P. had in the pan.. he told me all about it.. but to see it all first hand would have been a blast!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Food and music (these are a few of my favorite things)

The words of the late Andrew Wood rang in my head while I was thinking of a title for this post: "Words and music, my only tools". I've always loved music, since I was a little kid listening to the oldies with my dad and classic R&B and rock & roll with my mom. I fell into my own when I first learned about college radio, I listened day and night, I became friendly with the DJ's and even got lucky enough to host my own show for a few nights (that was a blast and I still have them on audio cassette) Of all places in my apartment my stereo is in my kitchen, yup, you read it right.. it's nestled in a little nook in my kitchen right under a shelf of cookbooks. I've got Q-104.3 on while I'm cooking or I've got a CD on and of those it's either something Grungy like Pearl Jam or the above noted Andrew Wood and his band Mother Love Bone or I'm listening to Country music.. Kenny Chesney being one of my absolute favorites that I came upon totally by accident one night after I moved here into this apartment and I was sitting in my room late one night by myself flipping through the channels and stopped at this guy who looked so much like This guy dated and I couldn't help but stare in awe. He was being interviewed about his new song that was being released "who'd you be today" and I sat and listened to that song as tears just came falling.. that song hit so close to home.. I kept listening to his music and I turned to country music because there was so much there.. it wasn't the old "my wife left me, my dog ran away" stuff that I thought it was.. it was life.. real life right there and I was in love. My friends and family think it's hysterical because after the 'grunge phase' I fell into heavy metal.. when my dad died when I was 15 it threw me into a bad place and I was angry at everyone for everything and I would lock myself in my room and blast this really dark scary music, I didn't want to be bothered with anyone or anything for a long time.. I say it all the time and no truer words have ever been said, but my family didn't really understand what I was going through at the time and if it wasn't for my best friend, Patty, I probably wouldn't be here to tell y'all this right now, she was there to talk to me and help me out of the hole I had fallen into. Tracy Lawrence says it in 'find out who your friends are"

You find out who your friends are,
somebody's gonna drop everything,
run out and crank up their car,
hit the gas, get there fast, never stop to think
What's in it for me�, or its way to far�...
They just show on up with their big old heart.
You find out who your friends are

When the waters high,
when the weather's not so bad,
when the well runs dry...
Who's gonna be there?

There's a reason I've been friends with the girl since I was 11, she's always been there for me, no matter what.

There is a theme song to every day of my life.. it's not all good, or fun.. but ya gotta make it through, right?

Today Kenny's new CD was released, Lucky old sun. I went after work and picked it up on my way home.. I had a pot of Chili simmering in the crock pot since last night so when I got home all I had to do was make some rice and The kid was in here finishing up his homework, so I popped the CD into my (slightly ancient) stereo and sat on my kitchen floor against the wall and just listened.. ate my chili and listened and sang along.. It's nice, it's not my usual Rock & Roll running around the stage Kenny (saw him in July '06 at MSG, it was awesome!) but a more relaxed, deeper Kenny.. and I really like it.. there's fun like 'Everybody wants to go to heaven' and more mellow 'down the road' I'm loving Every song on this album..

Food and Music.. and a little background about me.. Hey, it's how you learn about your friends, right?

I still tend to pull the heavy metal out once in a while.. like when the teenagers that live upstairs from me really start to piss me off with their music.. nothing like some live Metallica or Suicidal Tendencies to shut 'em up

Monday, October 13, 2008

Cesar chicken.. with a twist.

Maybe you've seen my Ranch Chicken thighs recipe, they're so good, moist, tender and full of flavor.. I was planning on making those for dinner last night when it hit me that I didn't have any ranch.. shoot.. I panicked just a teeny bit before I saw it.. I didn't even know I had any left.. Ken's Light Creamy Cesar.. whoopee!! Hmm.. Cesar chicken thighs.. Oh yeah baby..

What resulted was holy cow amazingly moist chicken with an absolutely outstanding crust.. I think I'm gonna try with creamy Italian next time.. this was so good! I love Chicken cesar salad, wraps.. Pizza (Don't knock it 'till ya try it). I served these with Smashed Potatoes and it was Delicious!

Cesar Chicken Thighs


  • 1/2 cup dry breadcrumb
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons yellow cornmeal
  • 6 chicken thighs (skin removed)
  • 1/2 cup bottled Creamy Cesar dressing


  1. In a shallow bowl, combine crumbs, Parmesan cheese, cornmeal, and Italian seasoning.
  2. Dip chicken into salad dressing, then coat with crumb mixture.
  3. Place chicken in a greased 13x9 baking dish.
  4. Bake, uncovered, at 375 degrees for 45 minutes or until juices run clear.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Chicken & Dumplings.. my way.

It wasn't cold by any means yesterday, actually it was one of the most gorgeous fall days, blue sky, warm sun and temperatures in the mid 70's it was amazing (and we're in for that all week, yay!) I had my sights set on Chicken and dumplings, I didn't want to really do it on the stove though.. I wanted to be outside taking care of my garden and enjoying this beautiful weather.. so my compromise? I did it in the crock pot :) and, no matter what kind of dumpling recipe I try I always find myself going back to my old standby Bisquik, because they are the most delicious dumplings in soup or stew (or just plain broth when you just want some dumplings, lol)

Chicken & Dumplings

6-8 Chicken thighs, skin removed (boneless if you've got them)
Italian seasoning
crazy salt
3-4 red potatoes (cut into cubes)
3 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
4 cups water
1 large chicken bullion (I use Knorr)

1 Cup Bisquik
1/3 Cup Milk
1 Tbs. Italian seasoning (optional)

Wash and cut up potatoes (I leave the skin on), Peel and chop the carrots and toss them into the (lined) crock pot (I use Reynolds Crock pot liners, if they're unavailable I use Reynolds Oven Bags in the large size, they work just as well) place the chicken on top of the veggies and season well (I don't bother to measure here, I just kind of eyeball it to how we like it) Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours.

Add water and bullion, cover and cook an additional 30 minutes.

Mix together bisquick, herbs and milk to make a sticky dough and drop by tablespoons over the hot liquid. Cover and cook an additional 20-30 minutes.

(I didn't say it was fast.. but it sure is Delicious :) )

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Great find today at the wholesale store!

I've been in a baking mood lately, I love to make bread and rolls and I've been searching every store in my path for a bag of instant yeast.. I've seen it on ebay (and the shipping charges were outrageous, even on amazon it was expensive) so I kind of just threw in the {kitchen} towel and succumbed to the fact that I was just going to have to use the little packets of yeast that they sold in the supermarket.. Until today, while I was shopping at one of the local wholesale stores with my best friend and I looked up and there it was 2 1pound bags of instant yeast for under $5! I wanted to dance for joy.. but instead I just looked at Patty and exclaimed to her how happy I was because I've been looking all over for this stuff and now I can bake even more bread and stuff (and share, of course, lol) Woo hoo!!!

So, Yes.. now there will be more "Baking Adventures With Ashley" LOL.. I should be good for about 6 months with 2 pounds of yeast!

alright.. well.. it's late and I've gotta be up early..


Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Lemming Central October Box Has Arrived

I love coming home to boxes filled with goodies sitting on my porch, Since April I've been lucky enough to get one when they go on sale every other month and, like I said before, I have never been disappointed in the goodies that were inside. I use most, some I give away (not much though, lol). Inside this box I got a huge surprise though..

Some of these samples are Huge! I am pleasantly surprised by this, giddy even!

Now, remember not all boxes have the same samples in them (and I always wonder what everyone else got) Nonetheless I'm always happy with what I get.. All I've gotta say is judging by this box the December box is going to be awesome
As if right now there are 30 boxes still available at LemmingCentral

Okay, so here's the list of what I got in my box and if ya ordered one, lemme know what you got too :)

  1. The first thing that I saw in the Cello bag when I opened up the box was this gigantic softball sized bath fizzy in pineapple Cilantro from Sheba's secrets (along with a 20% off coupon!)
  2. Next up was 2 soy wax tarts from Things that make scents in Orange Caramel Crumble and Black Cat (along with a 25% off coupon)
  3. .33 ounce sample of Pure Bliss Exotic butter cream with a 15% off coupon
  4. a huge (maybe 4 ounce) sample from Heaven & Earth Essentials of Candy Corn whipped sugar body scrub, Delicate Raspberry crepe scented emollient lotion sample and a sample of healing lotion (and if you sign up as a new customer on her website you can get $5 off your first order!)
  5. Lip balm in Tangerine Vanilla from Pookie ( I think this is full size!)
  6. Tea and Coffee samples from SBS Teas along with a little baggie of candy corn
  7. From Sandi's soap scents there was a sunset magic hand and body lotion sample, a pumpkin pie soap sample, traverse city cherry soap sample (these 2 were just little slabs) and a little flower shaped soap sample in lavender, apples and oak (and a 15% off coupon for my first order)
  8. 2 whipped body frosting samples from Pink bow bath boutique (with a 15% off coupon)
  9. Pumpkin Vanilla candle tart from Just Right candle Co. (with a 20% off code)
  10. Vanilla lip balm from Harley's delight
  11. Vegetarian cold process soap sample in Apple Mango Chutney and an aloe smoothie sample in chamomile tea scent from Crater lake company
  12. Chamomile Bergamot soap slab and grapefruit casis lotion sample from Ginger's Garden (with 10% off code)
  13. and last, but not least from the Blue Gecko candle company a sample of Silky milky bubble bath and a pumpkin shaped spiced pumpkin brulee wax tart, with 15% off code

WOW!!! It all smells wonderful!!

Monday, October 6, 2008

The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie

I'm a sucker to try any recipe that catches my eye, and this one really caught mine while I was cruising foodgawker last night.. Man, oh man I can't even begin to tell you how amazing these cookies are, you're gonna have to just try them out for yourself (unless you're close enough to me, then you can come on over and try one yourself)

The post is from Erin Cooks
and I could go on and on about these cookies, but I'm gonna just cut to the chase..

Here's the recipe, straight from Erin's page:

Really, you've gotta try it!

Chocolate Chip Amish Puff Cookies
Originally Published In: A Field Guide to Cookies by Anita Chu
Yield: About 2 dozen cookies

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup softened unsalted butter
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup sugar
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon (Note: I only used one teaspoon in this step)

Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt into a bowl and set aside.

In a stand mixer, cream butter and sugars on medium speed for several minutes until light and fluffy. Add the egg and mix until combined.

Add the flour mixture, and mix on low speed just until combined.

Cover dough and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Combine cinnamon and sugar in a bowl.

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line several cookies sheets with parchment paper (Note: I use silpats).

Roll tablespoon-sized balls of dough in the cinnamon sugar and place on cookie sheets about 3 inches apart.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through, until golden brown. Cool cookie sheets on wire racks.

They are OHMYGOD Amazingly good.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

There's something so wonderful about home baked bread

It's cool and damp and generally crappy here today in NY. I woke up to rain and despite it's best efforts the sun just isn't coming out.. bummer.

So what am I doing on this crappy day you ask? I'm Baking bread!!

Just before I sat down to make this post I pulled some sweet rolls out of the oven, and just before that I pulled the plain rolls out (and after it cooled I passed one to P. and had one myself, YUM!)

I had a basic recipe for dinner rolls that resulted in dense, heavy rolls that I wasn't really looking for today but I used it anyway, the trick to that recipe is that you don't let the dough rise and they're done in under an hour.. but today I had the time and I wanted some soft rolls, so I let it rise, punched it down and let it rise a second time before dividing the dough into 12 gorgeous rolls and then left them to rise just a bit more before going into the oven.

The result? Perfectly browned, soft, freshly baked rolls and my whole apartment smelling like freshly baked bread is a total bonus :)

Perfect rolls:

Yield: 12 buns

40 minutes prep 10-12 minutes bake time

  • 2 tablespoons active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water, plus
  • 2 tablespoons warm water
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3-3 1/2 cups flour
  1. In a mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water.
  2. Add oil and sugar and let stand for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the egg, salt and enough flour to form a soft dough.
  4. Turn onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  5. Put back into the mixing bowl and let rise 10 minutes
  6. Punch down and let rise another 10 minutes
  7. Divide into 12 pieces and shape each into a ball.
  8. Place 3" apart on greased baking sheets.
  9. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.
  10. Bake at 425° for 8 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.
  11. Remove from pans to wire rack to cool.
I left the first batch plain and the second batch got a filling of brown sugar and cinnamon.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

A non-food post too good not to share

If you remember my contest you'll know what I'm talking about here.. the LemmingCentral Sampler boxes are on sale as of today.. Right now there are 65 boxes available. I had a giveaway about a month ago which was a basket full of loose tea samples I had received from my 3 previous LC boxes. Not being much of a tea drinker myself I wanted to share my loot and the lucky winner was Stef from Cupcake Project. It was a lot of fun!

Lemming Central sampler boxes consist of samples of bath and body products from small companies and I have never been disappointed in anything that I received in the boxes.

Lemming Central sampler boxes are a fun way to try out some great sample products from etailers all around the internet. If you are a bath and body addict or just love to try out new handmade products then our sample boxes are for you.

Please Note
Sampler box quantities will be on a campaign basis. If sampler boxes are out of stock this just means all boxes for the current running campaign have sold out. As new campaigns start, boxes will become available again.

Shipping in the US is free and for $20 you get between 10 and 13 samples (and not your little measly sample either) All boxes are shipped via USPS Priority mail (I ordered mine this morning, so I will have it by Wednesday)

If you're interested you can purchase a Lemming Central Sampler box Here :)

TheOctober 2008 Sample Box Campaign Participating Etailers List.
Bauble Bath
Body by M
Candle Dippers Candle and Bath Essentials
Crafty Momma Soaps and More
Crater Lake Company
Heaven and Earth Essentials
Hibiscus City Soap Co.
Just Right Candles
Kreations by Kathie
Lily Gulch Soaps
My Lip Stuff
SBS Teas
Soap Sushi
Cozy Moments

SoY Lovely
The Blue Gecko Candle Company
The Ivy Keep
The Mom Lady's Beauty Booty
Things That Make Scents
Gingers Garden
Shebas Secrets
Harley's Delight

Hawley Road Soap Works
Sandi's Soap Scents
Blue Raven Teas
Indulge In You
Pink Bow Bath BOutique

Pure Indulgent

And hey, just for kicks if you get a box post a comment and let us all know what you got :)

Friday, October 3, 2008

Foodie props and paraphernalia

I'm always amazed at all the different food related items I find while shopping online, but I came across a few notable mentions this morning while I was browsing Perpetual Kid looking for a one of a kind Halloween gift for a friend of mine (and seeing if I can find something unique for P. for Christmas, he's such a pain in the butt to shop for)

Anyway, I came across these, which are just too great Not to share with you all :)


OMG!!! Birthday bliss!

These mints are so freakin' good you'll wish had even more! Each 3" tin contains one hundred and thirty Frosting Flavored mints that will satisfy your sweet tooth without expanding your waistline!

For $1.50, I'm all for it, lol!!

Now, I'm not sure if these are a purely New York thing, but I've always loved these cups.. Now
in Ceramic form.. Awesome!

The World's most famous paper cup, replicated in *CERAMIC* for home, office, or restaurant use.

The famous Greek paper cup has been around since 1963. Currently, over 180,000,000 per year are carried out of New York delis full of hot coffee! Due to the vast number of them, the length of time they have been around and New Yorkers' appreciation for their design, the cup has come to be a quintessential New York icon. It is very likely the world's most famous coffee cup!

Buy 4 or more mugs and receive a 10% discount on your mugs! Enter the discount code MUGS during checkout to redeem.

Each mug comes in an individual charming gift box.

Size: 3.75"h x 3.25"w, holds 10 oz.

and Last, but Not least...

ABC* Cookie Cutters - Gingerbread Man
*already been chewed

They look so sad and Pathetic, but I can only imagine the faces of co-workers or guests
when you have these guys on your Christmas cookie platter, ROFL!! I'm totally getting these!

The Perpetual Kid's cookies are so delicious that all he's ever left with are crumbs, so he devised this devious ploy. Just bake them with bite marks built-in and watch your friends leave them behind on the tray. It's famous ABC (Already Been Chewed) Cookie Cutters!

They're made to the highest culinary standards from luxurious cast aluminum so there are no seams or sharp edges and they're easy to clean. Displayed in nifty clear display boxes - great gifts.

Gingerbread Men set include 3 designs - one missing a head, one missing a leg, and one missing an arm. These poor poor Gingerbread Men! Their loss is your gain.