Jan 27

Homemade Birthday Cake Oreos

Wow, what a month! Things have been crazy busy – I haven’t had much time for anything – but this huge snowstorm that we’re in the middle of has forced me to relax. And what better time to bake than during a blizzard ;)

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Mom’s birthday is today so I made these last night so we could celebrate properly. When you see how easy the recipe is, you might want to bake some yourself, even if you aren’t snowbound!

Homemade Birthday Cake Oreos
from Chef in Training

2 boxes chocolate cake mix
4 eggs
2/3 cup oil

for the filling (cake batter frosting):
1/2 cup butter, softened
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup yellow cake mix
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup sprinkles

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, beat chocolate cake mixes, eggs and oil until completely blended. Roll dough into 1 inch balls and place on greased cookie sheets.

Bake for about 8 minutes. Do not overcook!

While cookies are cooling, make frosting. Combine butter, sugar, cake mix, vanilla, milk and sprinkles together in a medium bowl until blended.

When cookies are completely cooled, frost the bottom of one cookie, top with another cookie. Repeat with remaining cookies. Roll assembled cookies on their sides in sprinkles to cover the sides.

Posted in cake, chocolate, cookies, dessert, family, QuickAndEasy | Leave a comment
Jan 2

Crab Stuffed Mushrooms

After buying fresh crabs not long ago, and struggling to get a decent amount of meat from them after cleaning them (don’t ask!), I had to come up with a recipe to use the little that I had. I decided to remake one of the first recipes on my blog, and the end result made me forget about all the little cuts I got on my fingers ;)

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So delicious and easy to make! Impressive enough for company, too. The filling would be delicious in a stuffed fish dish as well, like flounder or shrimp. And of course, you can use canned crab meat to make your life easier…

(The original recipe source page was deleted which is why you don’t see anything cited)

Crab Stuffed Mushrooms

2 dozen large fresh mushrooms (save half of the stems when cleaning them)
4 tablespoons butter
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 pound cooked crab meat
2 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
3 tablespoons seasoned dried bread crumbs
3 green onions, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove stems from cleaned mushrooms, then chop stems and sauté in half of the butter with garlic and onion.  Add salt and pepper to taste. Brush mushrooms with remaining melted butter.

Mix together crab meat, eggs, mayo, bread crumbs, green onion (save some of the green part for later), lemon juice, salt and pepper. Add to onion mixture and cook for 5 minutes. 

Fill mushrooms with mixture. Sprinkle with cheese and reserved green onion. Bake in buttered shallow casserole for 15 minutes. Serve warm.

Posted in appetizers, make ahead, mushrooms, seafood, side dishes, snacks | Leave a comment
Dec 31

Eggs Benedict Made Easy

Lots of eating, drinking and being merry is happening lately, especially tonight, which is why most people love a breakfast on New Year’s Day that will “soak up” the festivities from the night before. But, at the same time, you probably don’t have the energy to put tons of effort into making it. So, you might want to check this out…

Poached eggs…made in the MICROWAVE? And hollandaise sauce, made on the stovetop, so you don’t have to have that blender running and making your head pound even worse? ;)

No matter how you’re feeling, these techniques will come in handy.

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So, how do you poach eggs in the microwave? It’s very easy. However, cooking time depends on your microwave, so you need to have some patience and a good eye. Simply take an egg and crack it in a microwave safe bowl. Add 1/3 cup of cold water and a 1/2 teaspoon of white vinegar. (FYI – I made 2 eggs at a time and doubled these amounts, and it worked beautifully!)

Cover the egg with a microwave safe plate and start by cooking for around 40 seconds. Remove the cover and check the eggs. Are they set? Do they look like they’re cooked? If not, continue cooking in 20 second intervals until they are finished. Again, cooking times vary based on what kind of microwave you have and how powerful it is.

Remove eggs carefully with a slotted spoon and place on toasted english muffin/bread, or whatever you desire.

As for the hollandaise, you’ll need…

3 egg yolks
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 teaspoon cold water
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup butter

Beat all ingredients besides butter together in a bowl. Put butter in a saucepan and melt over low heat, then slowly add egg mixture while whisking. Continue whisking for around 6-7 minutes, or until sauce has thickened. Serve immediately.

If your sauce breaks or is too thick, add a splash of warm water and continue whisking fast.

So there it is – an easy yet impressive breakfast for tomorrow morning, or any time. Hope you all have a fabulous New Year! Here’s to 2015…I’ve got my Vasilopita and my lentils ready to go!

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Posted in breakfast, condiments, eggs, lemon, QuickAndEasy, sauce | Leave a comment
Dec 22

Red Velvet White Chocolate Chip Cookies

I know there are many of you out there like me who are coming down to the wire. Presents to wrap, food to prep, last minute gift shopping, etc…don’t deny it! You probably still have cookies to bake too, don’t you. Well, this is the perfect one for a procrastinator like yourself.

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Yep, you’re allowed to use cake mix for cookies in emergency situations. Or even otherwise. Aren’t they festive looking? I made these recently for a church function and they were gone in minutes, so believe me, they’ll be a huge hit!

Red Velvet White Chocolate Chip Cookies
from Whipperberry

1 box red velvet cake mix
1 cup AP flour
2 sticks butter, softened
1 egg
2 cups white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Mix butter until soft and fluffy. Slowly add cake mix and flour. Once combined, add egg and mix completely. Add white chocolate chunks, and stir until well combined.

Form dough into one inch balls, and bake for 8-10 minutes.

Makes approximately 2 dozen cookies.

Posted in chocolate, Christmas, cookies, dessert, QuickAndEasy | Leave a comment
Dec 17

Buffalo Chicken Nachos

This is one of those “let me clear out the fridge and see what I can scrounge up” kinds of dishes. We’ve all been there. And your mind changes 100 times while going through what you have. You think you’re in the mood for one thing, then another, then another…then you realize that you can never go wrong with anything buffalo.

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My only regret is that I didn’t have blue cheese. But it still hit the spot. Next time though, I’ll be sure to have it! Because really, what’s buffalo anything without blue cheese ;)

Buffalo Chicken Nachos

tortilla chips
chicken (I used leftover rotisserie chicken)
monterey jack cheese
tomatoes
scallions
Frank’s Red Hot wing sauce
other recommended toppings: blue cheese, olives, celery

Place chips on broiler pan covered with foil. Add chicken (which you can toss in wing sauce first if you like!), followed by cheese. I used the toaster oven and cooked it for about 7 minutes at 350 degrees, but time will vary depending on the amount you have. Mine was a small portion.

Remove from oven and add whatever veggies you’re using, followed by wing sauce. Serve immediately.

Posted in appetizers, cheese, chicken, leftovers, QuickAndEasy, snacks | Leave a comment
Dec 15

Almond Joy Cookies for the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…yes, aside from the holidays, it’s the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap! Hundreds of food bloggers have once again joined together, thanks to the hard work of Lindsay and Julie , to bake for a good cause. Last year, we raised over $14,000 for Cookies for Kids’ Cancer…I have no idea what this year’s total is yet, but I’m sure it will surpass it!

Each blogger is randomly assigned 3 others and sends each of them a dozen cookies. In return, you receive 3 dozen from 3 other bloggers. What’s better than finding surprise goodies on your doorstep?? We were very happy with ours – thanks again to Beth, Jenni and Vicki for our wonderful treats!

My pick this year was these delicious cookies, inspired by one of my favorite candy bars. I have the rest stored for Christmas and am having a really hard time staying away from them…

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If you’re an Almond Joy fan, you will LOVE these. And you won’t believe how easy they are to make!

Stay tuned later this week when Lindsay and Julie post the HUGE roundup of recipes from all of the participating bloggers! Just in time for your holiday baking :)

Almond Joy Cookies
from Cooking Mamas

1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
4 eggs
4 teasponns pure vanilla extract
4 1/2 cups AP flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
5 cups semi-sweet chocolate chunks
2 cups flaked coconut
2 cups chopped almonds

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, cream together butter, sugar and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Combine flour, baking soda and salt. Stir into mixture until well blended.

Add chocolate chips, coconut and almonds and stir. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto baking sheets.

Bake for 8-10 minutes. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before placing on wire rack to cool completely.

Makes approximately 8 dozen cookies.

Posted in almonds, chocolate, coconut, cookies, dessert, Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap | Leave a comment
Dec 12

Asparagus Gruyere Tart

This post is courtesy of my niece, who made this delicious appetizer for Thanksgiving. It’s almost as gorgeous as she is!

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This is a great dish to keep in mind for the upcoming holidays, especially if you’re looking for something easy. I’m definitely going to experiment with different toppings. Any suggestions on what I should use?

Hope everyone has a great weekend! Oh, and don’t forget to enter my latest giveaway!

Asparagus Gruyere Tart
from Martha Stewart

bench flour
1 sheet frozen puff pastry
2 cups Gruyere cheese, shredded
1 1/2 pounds thick asparagus
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Sprinkle flour on work surface and roll puff pastry into a 16×10 inch triangle. Trim and place on baking sheet.

Score dough one inch around edges with a sharp knife to mark a rectangle. Using a fork, score dough in half inch intervals inside the rectangle. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden.

Remove pastry from oven and sprinkle with cheese. Trim bottoms of asparagus to fit inside shell. Arrange in a single layer, alternating ends and tips. Brush with oil, then season with salt and pepper. Bake until asparagus is tender, 20-25 minutes.

Posted in appetizers, asparagus, cheese | 1 Comment
Dec 8

EZ Tofu Press Giveaway!

Hope everyone had a great weekend! So, how is December treating you so far? Is the holiday craziness getting to you yet? So much to do, so little time.

I know there are plenty of you out there trying to “behave” yourselves so you can indulge during your parties and celebrations. Or, maybe you’re planning on kicking off the New Year with better eating habits. Well then, this giveaway is the perfect one for you!

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Tofu is a healthy eater’s delight, and this tool makes preparing it simple as can be. It allows you to condense tofu and release its moisture to allow better results when cooking. No more piling heavy objects on pans, or whatever other crazy method you had…it’s easy to use, clean and store! Plus, it comes with this a cool measuring tool so you know exactly how thick your tofu is after pressing.

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The folks at EZ Tofu Press sent me their product to try, and they’ve also generously offered to give one to a lucky reader!

To enter, simply leave a comment on this post telling me your favorite way to prepare tofu. And, if you’d like to earn bonus entries:

1- Leave a separate comment telling me you follow me on Instagram (please leave your IG user name in the comment).
2- Leave another comment if you follow me on Pinterest (again, leave your user name in the comment).
3- Share this post on Facebook and leave the link from your page in a separate comment.

Enter now…you don’t want to miss out on this great product!

And speaking of great products, the Thai Red Curry sauce from Trader Joe’s was what I used to prepare this tofu, and it was so good!! Sauteed with whatever veggies you have on hand, it’s the perfect meatless meal. Satisfying and delicious!!

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This giveaway is limited to US residents only and will end on Sunday, December 14th at 6pm EST. The winner will be notified by email and will have 24 hours to respond, otherwise another winner will be randomly chosen.

Good luck!

Posted in giveaway | 16 Comments
Dec 5

Peas & Onions with Leftover Ham

I know lots of people are starting to plan their holiday menus right now, so I bring you one of the dishes I made for Thanksgiving. It’s perfect when you’re pressed for time since it takes only minutes to make, and can even be made ahead.

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I’ve been making this for years and it always gets wiped out. The ham was a quick addition since I’d baked one a few days before and had lots leftover. But, it’s great without ham, too!

It’s delicious, it’s SUPER easy, and it’s cheap!

Peas & Onions with Leftover Ham

3 cups frozen peas, thawed
3 onions, sliced
extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
crushed red pepper
leftover ham (optional)

Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a large deep skillet. Add crushed red pepper to oil (however much you can handle) and cook for around 30 seconds, then add onions and stir. Cook until slightly browned then add peas. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Cook peas for just a few minutes…you don’t want them to get too mushy! Add ham and stir through.

Serve immediately or refrigerate and reheat before serving.

Posted in make ahead, peas, QuickAndEasy, side dishes | Leave a comment
Dec 1

Rainbow Cookies and $100 PayPal Cash Giveaway!

Virtual Cookie Swap Party Momma Lew and her blogger buddies are having a Holiday Cookie Swap Party and you are all invited! Grab a cup of coffee and enjoy the cookies that each blogger has prepared for you!

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Rainbow Cookies
from Lidia Bastianich

2 1/2 sticks butter, cut into pieces and softened, plus more for the pans
2 cups AP flour, plus more for the pans
8 ounces almond paste
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs, separated
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
red and green food coloring (gel preferred)
1 (15 ounce) jar smooth apricot jam
cooking spray
1 pound bittersweet chocolate, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Butter and flour three 9×12 jelly roll pans or rimmed baking sheets and line with parchment paper. Combine almond paste and 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar in a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Mix on medium until mixture is in fine crumbles.

Beat in butter, a few pieces at a time, until combined. Beat in the egg yolks, one at a time, until smooth. Sift 2 cups flour onto a sheet of parchment and sprinkle the salt on top. Add to mixer bowl and beat until just combined.

In another bowl, whisk egg whites until foamy, then while whisking slowly add remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and whisk until firm peaks form. Fold about 1/3 of egg white mixture into batter with a rubber spatula, then gently fold in the rest. Batter should be fluffy.

Divide batter evenly among 3 bowls. Stir enough red food coloring into one bowl to make a deep salmon color. Stir enough green food coloring into another bowl to make a medium green color. Leave third bowl uncolored.

Transfer batter to prepared pans (one pan for each color). Dip an offset spatula in water and spread batter to the edge of each pan, smoothing the tops. Bake, switching the position of the pans halfway through, until cakes are cooked through and just beginning to brown around the edges, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool completely in pans on wire racks.

Spread half of the jam evenly over the green cake layer almost to edges. Unmold the plain cake layer by inverting it onto another pan or cutting board, then peel off parchment. Slide the plain layer onto the green layer (use a wide offset spatula to help you if needed). Spread remaining jam on top of the plain layer.

Unmold the red cake layer and slide it onto the plain layer. Cover cake with plastic wrap and top with one of the empty pans; place several heavy cans on top to weigh down layers. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.

Remove cans and plastic wrap. Place a cutting board on top of the cake and flip to unmold it onto cutting board. Remove parchment from the top of the green layer. Trim sides with a knife to make straight edges. Spray a wire rack with cooking spray, then set rack over a baking sheet. Carefully slide the cake onto the rack.

Melt chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water, then pour over the cake. Dip an offset spatula in the hot water and smooth the top and sides. Let set slightly. Scrape wavy lines into the chocolate with a fork. Let cool a few more minutes until the chocolate is mostly set but still slightly tacky (If the lines in the chocolate don’t hold their shape, let the chocolate set a little longer and try again)

Slide cake back onto cutting board. Slice crosswise into 6 strips, then cut each strip into 8 rectangular pieces. For clean edges, dip knife in warm water and wipe it with a cloth between cuts. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week.

When you are finished enjoying your cookies, we have a great giveaway for you to enter! One lucky reader will win a prize of $100 PayPal Cash to help with your holiday shopping!

Honeycomb(1) This giveaway is open to U.S. Residents, 18+ and one entry per household. Giveaway will end on 12/15 at 11:59pm EST.

Momma Lew is responsible for prize fulfillment. This is a blogger sponsored giveaway.

Posted in chocolate, Christmas, cookies, dessert, giveaway, Lidia, make ahead, Uncategorized | 3 Comments