Saturday, May 29, 2010

Sage & Honey Cornbread

Making cornbread from scratch is only marginally more difficult than making it from a boxed mix. And, while I do love me some Jiffy, I thought I would change things up & try some homemade. I was drawn to this recipe in particular because I could use my new cast iron skillet, it had the word "honey" in the title & I thought the addition of sage might be interesting.
I have to say that straight out of the oven, I questioned the sage, as it was quite overpowering. But, as it cooled, the flavor chilled out just enough that I really liked it. You can leave it out, if you wish. It would also probably be great with some thyme, or rosemary as well.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Saltine Toffee

Well, as promised... some more sweet treats.
Unfortunately, I will be unable to post as many of my bake sale creations, as intended. Because, in the whirlwind of activity that week, I seem to have missed taking some vital shots needed to create the posts I wanted to do. Darn it! But, it will just have to be an excuse to make some of them again.
In the meantime, I give you this insanely delicious & ridiculously addictive saltine toffee. Over Christmas, we received a box of cookies that contained some of this mentioned toffee. I dug around that box, until I found every last morsel of it. Man, it was good!
Since then, I've thought about making some myself. I didn't have the recipe. But, I knew it was made with saltines. So, I did a quick goggle search & found a recipe here. It seemed like a breeze to make, yet looked so gourmet, that I knew it would be a perfect item to make for the bake sale.
You can modify the recipe to your tastes. I would imagine it would be amazing made with bittersweet chocolate, instead of the semi-sweet {or, a combo of both}...topped with chopped pecans, walnuts, or shaved white chocolate. You can be creative here.

Sunday, May 23, 2010


Right now, my peonies in the garden are in full bloom! And, there are loads of them. I think these might be my favorite flower ever. Not only are they gorgeous, but they smell amazing.
The only down side is that bringing them into the house, can also bring in lots of ants. Because the variety of peonies I grow release a sweet nectar from the buds, teams of ants come from all over the garden to eat it. Once, the buds have opened, they leave.
To avoid bringing them indoors, I cut the flowers & then swish them around in a sink full of water. Not only does this separate the ants from the plants, it also washes off any remaining nectar, on the unopened buds, so that they will open indoors.
I really wish I had these all year long.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Zucchini & Sausage Carbonara

As I mentioned yesterday, I am loving Jaime Oliver's iPhone app, called "20 Minute Meals". This was the first recipe I tried from it & it was delicious. Super easy to make too, but tastes like it took a lot something you'd get in a fancy Italian restaurant.
While the meals claim to take 20 minutes to prepare, for most home cooks out there, it will take a bit longer. Even myself, who cooks often, is not all that speedy in the kitchen & all the chopping takes more time...but it's still a great weeknight dinner.
This recipe can easily be adapted to suit your taste. You can make the pasta alone with nothing else, but the bacon, cheese & egg {a more traditional carbonara}, or sub in your favorite vegetable. It was a great all-in-one dinner. But, the pasta alone was equally fantastic!
As a side note...the first time I had sausage prepared this way {rolled into little meatballs}, was when my brother {a real chef} made them for paella {it was everything he makes}. I thought it was the most brillant idea! My kids love sausage. They love meatballs. And, I thought to, this would be so much easier than making traditional mini meatballs. Well, since then, I have yet to make them. Until now...The Bozos loved 'em!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Kitchen Tool of the Week...

I have been wanting this iPhone app for quite some time. But, was hesitant because of it's high price tag. I just wanted to be sure it was worth the $$$.
But, now that I have it, I can see why it's expensive. It's super user friendly, the graphics are amazing, every recipe come with step-by-step photos & instructions and it has an amazing shopping list feature! It's virtually idiot-proof. Someone put a whole lot of time into designing it.
I've already made a few of his recipes, using the app & love it. It's perfect when you are at the store & wondering what to make for dinner.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Bozo Picture of the Week...

My sister, Emily has been in town, visiting from Oregon, with my darling niece, Sadie. I have loved every minute of spending quality time with them. I hate that they live so far away. But, with every visit, I feel like Sadie is getting to know her Aunt Dee Dee more & more. The Bozos have loved it too & I know that they will be very sad when they leave.
Here are some shots of them enjoying one of the only gorgeous days they had on their trip, hanging out with Mima's chickens.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

There is a deli near my house that makes the most amazing chocolate peanut butter bars. I have been trying to come up with a copycat version of them for some time & this recipe is pretty much it. I thought they would be a great dessert to make for the bake sale, as chocolate/peanut butter desserts are very popular & these are super simple & don't require any baking! I cut them into 2" bars for the sale, but 1" bite-sized bars would be ideal, as they are very rich.
They sold out faster then anything else at the sale...I wish I had made more.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

I'm back! Wow...last week was stressful! The Bake Sale was a huge success & I am so relieved it's over! I will have loads of sweet treats coming your way in the next few weeks.
This one had nothing to do with the bake sale. But, I made it a few weeks ago, after I finally broke down & bought an ice cream maker. I saw them at Costco, too cheap to resist.
An ice cream maker is one of those kitchen appliances that I was hesitant to purchase, as it takes up space & how often do you really use it? But, I figured with summer coming & 2 young kids in the would be fun to have.
This is my first attempt at making ice cream. I went for Mint Chocolate Chip as it's the Bozo's favorite flavor. After browsing the internet, looking for a yummy recipe, I found one on Simply Recipes that looked fantastic. There were loads of variations out there, using food coloring & peppermint extract. But, this was one of the few that was made with real mint.
After making it, I was a bit worried that my kids wouldn't go for it, because it had a *real* mint, kind of earthy flavor about it. Something they have never had from store bought ice cream. But, they loved it. Like all ice cream, it's a bit of a, plan ahead.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Bake Sale

I am managing the bake sale for the Bozo's school fundraiser this weekend! I thought Holiday cookie season was rough, but this may top it.
Because of this, I will be off the radar, for the most part, all week.
I have a few posts nearly ready to roll out...just don't know if I will be able to find the moments. If not, at least you will have loads of sweet treats coming along in the next few, I plan to share everything I make for the sale.
See you soon!
{photo by bake at 350}