Friday, November 30, 2012

Red Velvet Chocolate Chip Cookies

Red Velvet Cupcakes and Chocolate Chip cookies are two of my favorites so I decided to combine them into a cookie. This recipe makes about 15-18 cookies.

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp red food coloring
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Cream butter and sugars together until combined.
  3. Add egg, vanilla and food coloring.
  4. Stir in flour, baking soda and cocoa powder.
  5. Fold in chocolate chips.
  6. Drop rounded tablespoons of dough  onto cookie sheet
  7. Bake 10-12 minutes.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Apple Cranberry Pie in a Jar

  • Favorite pie crust
Cranberry Filling
  • 2 cups cranberrries, washed
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
Apple Filling
  • 7-8 medium apples, peeled and cut into small cubes
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
Streusel Topping
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup oats
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup butter

  1. Wash and dry mason jars (I used small half pint jars)
  2. Take your favorite crust and press inside bottom and sides of each jar
  3. Prepare cranberry filling by putting ingredients into medium pan to a boil over medium - high heat. Cook about 10 minutes, until berries have popped.
  4. Cool to room temp.
  5. Combine apple ingredients in another pan over medium - high heat and stir on and off till liquid has thickened.
  6. Cool to room temp.
  7. Place cranberry filling in bottom of each jar (divide evenly)
  8. Top with apple filling in each jar
  9. Prepare streusel topping by combining dry ingredients and then cut in butter. Divide streusel evenly on top of apple filling.
  10. Place jars (no lid on them) on baking sheet and place in oven. Put oven to 375 (don't preheat, let jars come up to temp with oven)
  11. Bake 50 minutes.
  12. Let cool and enjoy.
  13. I made toppers for these for Thanksgiving.

Also wanted to share my turkey cake pops, they didn't come out exactly how I wanted, but tasted awesome.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecake

Found this recipe from the Glorious Treats blog and knew it would be perfect for Thanksgiving. I got the picks from work and they dressed them up perfectly.

  • 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 Tbsp light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp pumpkin puree
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tbsp sour cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 Tbsp flour
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 350, I got my mini cheesecake pan from Sur La Table, but most kitchen stores should have one.
  2. Combine graham crumbs, light brown sugar, melted butter and 1/4 tsp cinnamon to create crust. Place small amount on bottom of each cheesecake cup and press down.
  3. Beat the cream cheese till smooth. Add pumpkin, eggs, sour cream and sugar. Blend until combined.
  4. Add flour, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  5. Pour filling over crust.
  6. Bake about 20 minutes, remove from oven and let cool. Cover lightly and refrigerate at least two hours.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Here is another amazing recipe from the Michael Symon Carnivore Cookbook. Love this cookbook, probably my favorite out of all the ones I own. I love rice balls, but have never made my own. So when I saw this recipe in the book I had to make it. I was a little nervous it wouldn't come out right and they came out perfect, so worth all the work.

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 oz sweet italian sausage (removed from casing)
  • kosher salt
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 3 cups chicken broth, warmed
  • 1 lg egg
  • 1 lg egg yolk
  • 1 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
  • 8 oz fresh mozzarella cut into small cubes
  • oil for frying
  • 1 cup plain bread crumbs
  1. Heat olive oil in saucepan over medium high heat, break up sausage into small pieces and add to pan. Brown sausage on all sides, add salt and cook for 2 more minutes.
  2. Add rices and toast, stir with wooden spoon for about a minute
  3. Reduce heat to medium and add chicken broth, 1/2 cup at a time while stirring constantly so the rice releases it's starch. Continue to add broth and stir. Cook about 15 minutes till mixture is creamy and rice is tender.
  4. Pour mixture in bowl and put in refrigerator to cool
  5. Remove rice from fridge and add egg, egg yolk, parmesan cheese and 1/2 tsp salt. Form balls with damp hands (keep bowl of water nearby). Make indent in center, put in mozzarella and make sure rice completely covers mozzarella.
  6. Store in refrigerator till ready to cook, up to 1 day ahead of time.
  7. Heat oil in deep fryer to 350. Coat the rice balls in bread crumbs and shake off the excess.
  8. Deep fry about 2.5 minutes or until very golden brown.
  9. Remove from pan, top with your favorite sauce and grate some parmesan on top.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Oatmeal Cookie Bath Salt and Coffee Mud Scrub

I love giving homemade gifts along with store bought ones for Christmas. I found recipes for both of these on pinterest and they were so easy to make.

Oatmeal Cookie Bath Salt
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 2 cups powdered milk
  • 1/2 cup oatmeal (not instant)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  1. Mix all ingredients in food processor until mixture is a fine powder.
  2. Add to jar with a note describing the name and to add 2 tbsp to bathwater for a soothing bath.

Coffee Mud Scrub
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 5 tbsp coffee grounds
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp peppermint extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Mix sugar and coffee until combined
  2. Add small amounts of oil at a time until mixture is coated (you may not need all the oil)
  3. Add peppermint and vanilla.
  4. Mix well and add to jar.
  5. Decorate Jar and give as gift.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Lamn Bolognese with Pasta

I'm a big Michael Symon fan and was so happy when his new cookbook came out and I got to meet him and have him sign it. He was the nicest guy ever and was so friendly. This recipe is from his book Carnivore, his recipe makes it with cavatelli, but it's great with any pasta.I mixed two pastas that I had a little bit of each left that had the same cooking times. This recipe makes a lot of sauce, so glad I will have sauce for another night this week after work.

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 lbs ground lamb
  • kosher salt
  • 1 cup diced red onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup diced carrot
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 28oz can whole plum tomatoes
  • 28oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 sprigs oregano
  • 2 lbs pasta
  • 1 cup fresh mint, torn
  • 1/2 grated parmesan cheese
 I used one of my favorite wines from here on Long Island
The sauce as it's simmering
  1. In a lg pan over medium-high heat add olive oil and lamb along with a big pinch of salt. Cook lamb until browned, about 10 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
  2. Add the onions, garlic and carrots to pan and cook until softened and start to brown. Deglaze the pan with red wine and stir. Cook until nearly evaporated.
  3. I added both cans of tomatoes and used my hand blender to blend it down, but the book doesn't have that written, I just didn't want a really chunky sauce tonight. The original recipe only calls for one can of tomatoes, I added two to increase the sauce for another night.
  4. Add lamb back to sauce, add bay leaf and oregano leaf, simmer about 2 hours and remove bay leaf and oregano sprigs.
  5. When the sauce is ready bring large pot of salted water to boil and cook pasta. Remove pasta from water, cover with sauce, mint and parmesan. Serve immediately.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Beef Bourguignon

This is an Ina Garten recipe that I found on pinterest. She also puts in frozen whole onions, but I didn't add those

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 8oz diced pancetta
  • 2 1/2 lbs chuck beef cubed
  • 2 yellow onions, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 750ml bottle of your favorite red wine
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 lb chopped mushrooms
  1. Preheat oven to 250.
  2. Heat the olive oil in large dutch oven, add pancetta and cook on medium high till browned, remove with slotted spoon.
  3. Dry beef cubes with paper towel and add salt and pepper over beef. Sear in hot oil till browned on all sides. Remove to plate with pancetta.
  4. Toss in the carrots and onions into pan and salt and pepper. Cook about 10 minutes, add garlic and cook another minute.
  5. Put meat and pancetta back into dutch oven. Add wine and beef broth, tomato paste and thyme. Bring to a simmer, cover with lid and bake in oven 1 hour 20 minutes.
  6. Saute mushrooms with butter until lightly browned and then add to stew.
  7. Bring stew to boil on top of stove, lower heat and simmer 15 minutes.
  8. I served it over white rice.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Altered Gift Card Container

I love reusing containers of products I buy. When I got some new eyeliners I knew the metal container would be cute for a gift card. Added some of my scrapbook supplies and here is the finished product:

Here is the inside that I papered and also put paper around the edges
Here is the container I started with