Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Cherrie Tassies

I was invited to my first Holiday Cookie Exchange and I fretted over which cookies to bring!  I wanted to impress my fellow cookie exchangers and decided it was a bad time to try a new recipe.

I made these for my first Holiday Tea Party many years ago.  They were a huge hit and I do not remember them sticking to the pan.  A Pam and all stickiness was gone!

Cherry Tassies
adapted from BHG recipe

1 1/4 cups butter, softened              1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar             1    tsp almond extract
1 tsp baking powder                        1 egg
1/2 tsp salt                                       2 1/2  cups flour

Preheat oven to 360 F.  In large mixing bowl beat butter on medium speed for 30 seconds.  Gradually, beat in the powdered sugar, the baking powder and salt.  Beat in extracts and egg. Beat in as much of the flour as you can; stir in remaining flour.

Spray a small muffin cup pan with Pam, shape dough into one inch balls and lay each ball into a muffin cup.  Poke each ball gently with your finger and then stick a cherry in the hole.  Bake for 10-12 minutes.  Cool in pan for 10 minutes and then carefully pry the tassies out of the cups.  Makes 48 tassies, unless they don’t come out of the pan right, then it makes 10.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Chefs De France

We spent an amazing day exploring EPCOT and I didn't expect to eat at such a fancy place.  I fully expected to just get something quick and easy and maybe a glass of wine somewhere.

My husband had a plan.  Which so rare of him.   I love being surprised and was shocked to learn that he had made reservations for our family to eat dinner at Chefs De France in France!

The restaurant is beautiful with golden walls and I felt transported.  Our wait staff spoken to us in french and I tried out my rusty high school french and realized it was too long ago and gave up.

My husband ordered a bottle of wine!  Oh...I felt so fancy!

I could not wait to order and started with Bisque de Homard (Lobster Bisque).  I had this soup once before when iKeith and I were dating and I was anxious to have it again.  It was delicious and creamy...with a mound of fresh lobster in the center.  I could have just eaten this and been very happy!

For my main course, I went with the Plat de cote de boeuf au cabernet avec pates - Beef short ribs braised in Cabernet with pasta, pearl onions and mushrooms.  It was served over noodles.  The ribs were so tender and seasoned so well!  I loved every single bite.

For dessert, I enjoyed Creme Brulee.  By this point I was so full that I decided to share with my husband.  Normally, I wouldn't let him touch my favorite dessert but I was feeling generous.

My husband enjoyed the Coquille St Jacques et crevette. gnocchis Provencales - Seared scallops and shrimps served with gnocchis, provencales (tomato, peppers and fresh herbs. - and my kids each had a flat bread pizza.

At the end of our meal, we were surprised by a visit from Ratatouille!

Click here for Chefs De France Menu. Les Chefs de France on Urbanspoon

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Army-Navy Game Beer Flight

iKeith is a West Point Graduate.  I've always been very proud of this and I've learned all of the lingo.  Earlier this year, some of my husband's classmates friended me on facebook and I became more interested in the game. 

The football game.

It takes a special kind of person to be a Rabbel Rouser for Army.  They don't win many games and their outfits are kind of ugly.  But I made a point of watching most of the games and not being too disappointed when they lost.

Ironically, the only game I didn't see, against Air Force....they won.

We had big plans for this year's Army-Navy Game!  We'd been invited to watch the game with other alumni at a country club in Aurora and we really wanted to go.  Then the Brazilian babysitter I had lined up left the country without permission and we didn't know if she'd be able to come back so we didn't buy the tickets.  (she's back...everything's fine)

We also failed to order shirts to wear so we changed our plans and just watched the beginning of the game at Buffalo Wild Wings.  Man,  I love hot wings!

iKeith had this and it was really good!  I love judging tasting small amounts of beer.

Sadly, Army lost for the 11th year in a row.

Better luck next year!

Monday, December 10, 2012

How To Judge a Cake Competition

A month or so ago, my friend Jenny Ford asked if I'd be interested in judging a chocolate competition.  I thought about it for about 15 seconds and said YES!

This is the first time I've judged anything professionally (I'm totally putting this experience on Linked In) but iKeith and I judge things all the time.  People's outfits, people's children and beer.  We've judged many glasses of beer.

I was happy that someone finally saw my potential for judging people things!

This was fourth year for the Holiday Chocolate Festival at The Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs.  You will find over 60 vendors available for all of your holiday needs.  Do you need a truffle that is infused with Rosemary for your dear foodie friend?  How about a beautiful belt buckle or pair of earrings?  Have you always wanted to see a dress made out of candy wrappers?  They have so many unique gifts that you're sure to find something you're loved one will adore.

But that's not all!  They also have entertainment.  Next year, I'm leaving my family at home so that I can enjoy wine/beer and chocolate pairing classes and live singing. I'm also going to stay at The Broadmoor ALL BY MYSELF.

There is also a competition.  The catagories are as follows:

  • Cakes and Cupcake: Top 'Holiday Themed' Cake
  • Chocolate and Sweets: Top Sweets Item, Top Chocolate (non-truffle item)
  • Truffles: Grand Champion Truffle, Best Tradition Truffle, and Best Non-Traditional

I judged the Cakes and Cupcake division and let me tell you....tasting and judging eight cakes is hard work.  It is not for the faint of heart or the diabetic!  I will never eat cake again without thinking about the layers of flavor, the consistency of the frosting and the moisture level of the cake.

The cake that I loved the very most, was the Baileys Hot Chocolate Cupcake. It had the most delicious marshmallow-like filling and it even smelled like Hot Chocolate with a shot of Irish Creme.  And the presentation was adorable!

Things you need to judge cake:

  • A clipboard and score card
  • A pencil (instead of a pen) so you can erase when you make mistakes
  • Wine Water to cleanse your palate between cakes
  • Detailed description of the cakes you are tasting
  • Pictures of the cakes you are tasting 
  • Non-drapey clothes so that you don't get frosting on your jacket
  • Good friends with discerning palates to taste with

Whatever you do, no matter how much you love the cake.  Do not hug the cake.

About the judge:

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


Deliciousness yummicakes trufflefantastic is what the Holiday Chocolate Festival will be.

Tastes of literally hundreds of chocolates?  A stage packed full of entertainment?  A handmade dress made from Godiva Chocolates walking the floor?  Holiday shopping.  All at the Broadmoor on Sunday, December 9.

Entertainment Schedule:

11:00 a.m.          Cookies and Milk with Santa; Pictures using your own camera

12:30 p.m.          Teresa Farney from the Colorado Springs Gazette interviews Jenny Ford from Sugar Loco

1:00 p.m.            Wine and Chocolate Pairings with Julie Pech, The Chocolate Therapist

1:30 p.m.            Acapella Group, Room 46, from Colorado College

2:30 p.m.            Beer and Chocolate Pairings with Julie Pech, The Chocolate Therapist

3:00 p.m.            Acapella Group, Room 46, from Colorado College

4:00 p.m.            Wine and Chocolate Pairings with Julie Pech, The Chocolate Therapist – (Different Wine and Chocolate than the 1:00 class)

4:30 p.m.            Cupcake decorating tips and decorating your own cupcake with owners   from The Dessert Stand

5:00 p.m.            Announcement of Chocolate Contest Winners

Friday, November 30, 2012

Grandma's Banana Bread

Lately, my thoughts have been consumed with recipes from my childhood.  I love trying new recipes and I regularly seek them out, but sometimes you just want the familiar.

My little boy is having trouble eating right now because he has his first loose tooth.  Yesterday, Mallory and I decided that we'd make his favorite food in the whole world (next to pizza).  Banana Bread.  It's also very soft, so he'd be able to eat it without any discomfort.

Mallory couldn't wait to tell him what we'd made for him and he was so very happy and asked if I'd put some in his lunch today.  I was happy to do so.

I might have to stalk the produce section for black bananas for the next 6 years because I'm told this losing teeth business goes on for years!

This is the recipe I grew up with that my Mom made. 

Grandma's Banana Bread

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup Crisco
2 eggs
3 tbsp buttermilk
3 large bananas, mashed
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups flour

Cream the sugar and shortening together. Add well eaten eggs, buttermilk and other ingredients in order given.  Put in greased pan and bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Universal City Walk

Universal City Walk saved my life.

I know, you think I'm being dramatic but I'm really not.  After walking all over the Islands of Adventure on our second day of our vacation....I could barely walk.

We still had to walk through City Walk to the shuttle bus and there were multiple walking sidewalks and escalators involved.  I told my husband that I couldn't walk another step and I needed to sit down.

The first place we found was Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville.  It was like an oasis in the dessert.  For real.....just outside the door is a little bar set up with a beached airplane.  (Note to self: you really should have taken a picture of that airplane.  It was really cool.)

The first thing I did was order the Perfect Margarita and it was amazing!  I wanted to marry it and call it George.

We sat outside on what they call The Porch of Indecision, but when my  drink disappeared quickly and we still had food coming I decided to have another.  My husband took it upon himself to order my next Margarita.

That man gets a gold star for the 22 ounces of tequila and whatnot that he ordered for me!   Not long after I started in on this lovely legs and hips didn't hurt.  I couldn't feel my feet but they still worked!  Medicinal Margarita for the win!

The food was also really good.  I had the Baja Fish Tacos and Keith had Jimmy's Jammin Jambalaya. I would have taken pictures but a few things happened.

It got dark
I was starving
I was drunk pants

Trust me the food was great!

So....City Walk is an experience in eating.  Each restaurant seems to have a theme of some kind and you swear your are in Key West, A Nascar Race, Forrest Gump's Brain or Bob Marley's Jam Session.

Click here for a list of restaurants.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Leftover Mashed Potatoes

When I was growing up my Mom didn't like to make gravy.  I've inherited her dislike of gravy and tend to go with the jarred variety.  Especially when my turkey is missing a few things like giblets.  You thought I was going to say legs, didn't you?

Much like my Mother, I have extra mashed potatoes and no gravy.

I decided to whip up some potato pancakes to go with our leftover turkey and dressing.

They were a huge hit and now I think I'll make mashed potatoes just for this recipe.

Potato Pancakes
makes 8 pancakes

2 cups of mashed potatoes
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup heavy cream (you know you have some of this left too)
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Combine mashed potatoes, flour, milk, egg, onion powder and salt.  Plop (this is a known cooking term, trust me) medium sized mounds of potato mixture onto a pan that contains a couple tablespoons of vegetable oil.  Fry over medium heat for a few minutes, until the under side is getting brown.  Turn the pancakes and smush(yes, spellcheck...smush is a word) with the spatula.  Cook for another couple minutes until that side is brown.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Vacation Food

For our trip to Orlando, I brought several food items to eat for snacks and breakfast.

We liked eating something in our room to start off the day and then we'd eat an early lunch and beat the crowds.  Not that there were many crowds because the first week of November is considered off-season.

I brought cereal bars, granola bars and nuts.  Each night, we'd stop in the little store at the hotel and purchase milk for the next morning.  

While shopping for this trip, I came across some fun meal replacements at Target.  We tried the Hummus and Salami one and we loved them both.  They are $3.99 but I got them on sale for $3.50 which is a bargain compared to what the theme parks charge for breakfast!

If you're looking for a gluten-free meal, the Hummus and Crackers is the one for you.  It was also very filling.

Another thing that saved me on this trip was bringing little half and half cups for my coffee.  I can not stand the powdered chemical packets that are supposed to pass for creamer.  Having these in the hotel room made starting my day so much easier. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Three Broomsticks

The day we'd all been waiting for had finally arrived.  We were going to Harry Potter Land!  That's what my kids call it and their excitement was unbridled!  I have to admit that I was a little excited too but it was because I desperately wanted to try Butterbeer.

We were told to get it frozen and to get it at the restaurant not the street carts.

This worked out well because after three hours of exploring Hogwarts....we were starving! Click here to read more about our visit to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

 We all enjoyed our Butterbeer very much and it was kind of like having dessert with your meal.  We each got a souvenir mug which I advise against because I think they are $10 each and now I have to store them.  I'd have been much happier with TWO mugs.  Bygones.

Look how cool we all look with our mugs!  Okay...maybe it was worth the money.  If you buy the are supposed to be able to go to any counter service restaurant in the park and get free soda refills.  We didn't test this out because we forgot to bring our mugs the next day. Whoops!

Three Broomsticks is considered casual dining at Universal Studios but the food is outstanding.  They do have kids meals for $5 but my son had his heart set on Ribs.  They were very good and the potatoes that came with them made their way to my plate because they were better than the french fries that came with the Fish and Chips.

I love Fish and Chips and generally always order it when it's on a menu.  This was an exceptional meal because the breading was very light and the pieces of fish were large.  I really liked the tarter sauce too but ended up not using most of it because the breading on the fish was so flavorful that I didn't need it.

The atmosphere at Three Broomsticks is really fun!  You feel like you are really in an old English Pub and if you're'll see the house elves scurrying around on the second floor.

Click here for Three Broomsticks full menu. Three Broomsticks on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Holiday Chocolate Festival 2012

Do you live in Colorado?  Do you love Chocolate? 
If so, you will want to join me (I'm a guest chocolate judge) on Sunday, December 9th from 11am-6pm at the 4th Annual Holiday Chocolate Festival in Colorado Springs at the Broadmoor Hotel!
The event hosts over 60 vendors; a third are chocolate vendors giving tastes of their wonderful truffles, dark chocolates, chocolates infused with mint, cayenne pepper, and basil, plus other fun treats. In addition there are gift booths, holiday booths and more — a one-stop shop for all of your holiday shopping needs.
In addition to the chocolate vendors, enjoy great stage entertainment throughout the day including a visit from Santa Claus (11:00 AM – 12:30 PM) where he will be reading stories and sharing cookies and milk with kids in attendance. Also, The Chocolate Therapist Julie Peck will be doing beer and wine pairings and enjoy great holiday music.
The entry fee for attendees is $5 per person (children are not required to purchase a ticket), and the option of buying tasting tickets for food and chocolate tastes (highly recommended). Taste Tickets are available in pre-sale for one ticket for $1, 12 tickets for $10 and 30 tickets for $25. At the door tickets will be $1 per ticket.
The Broadmoor Hotel is located at 1 Lake Avenue in Colorado Springs.
Guests of the Holiday Chocolate Festival can stay at the Broadmoor Hotel for a reduced rate of only $145 per night.  Call (866)837-9520 and tell them you are a part of the Holiday Chocolate Festival for this great rate!


Friday, November 2, 2012

Bananaberry Fabulous Muffins

See that little girl in the header?

I named this blog after her because when she was two years old she took an interest in cooking and insisted on pushing her own cart.

She also took a liking to blue cheese at an early age.  The girl is a foodie!

We took her to California last March and made the mistake of feeding her some Porterhouse steak from our plate.  Now....she's won't eat steak, unless it's a high quality.

Now the girl is dreaming recipes and insists that we make them!  The latest one involved muffins made of raspberries and bananas.  I only added baking soda and powder because apparently...a five year olds mind doesn't realize these are important.

Please note we only added the raspberries to a small portion of the muffins because The Rookie Foodie's brother was not so sure about how this was going to turn out.  Six year olds have little faith in their sisters.

P.S. The raspberry muffins were awesome.

Mallory has named these:

Bananaberry Fabulous Muffins

3 Large ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup white sugar
1  egg
1/3 cup melted  butter
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups flour
In a mixer, mix the mashed banana, sugar, egg and butter together. Set aside. In a separate bowl, stir together baking soda, baking powder, salt and flour. Mix wet and dry ingredients all together! Pour into greased muffin tins, place a fresh raspberry in each cup and push down into the batter. Bake in 350 degrees F oven for approximately 20 minutes.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Debate Watching Party

I'm excited to watch the debate tonight between President Obama and Mr. Mitt Romney.  We've talked about the election with our Kindergarteners and they are excited to watch with us. 

Of course, I took this as an opportunity to plan a party.  A debate watching party!

My original theme was All-American Foods.  I discussed it with Mallory and we'd decided on Hot Dogs, Chips and Apple Pie.  Once we got to the store, she changed her mind and wanted bologna sandwiches. 

I agreed and knew there was going to be a shift to my theme when I saw the big cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon.

Our theme is now.....What the 47% eats!

Our Menu:

Bologna,  Salami and Cheese Hoggies
Carrot Sticks with Ranch
Little Apple Turnovers
Orange Soda and bottles of Coke
Pabst Blue Ribbon

Monday, October 1, 2012

Enchilada Showdown

My daughter has a favorite show.  The Pioneer Woman on the Food Network.  Every Saturday morning, she gets her blanket and her bean bag and begs to watch it.

I'm more than happy to watch it with her!

A few weeks ago, Ree made Simple Enchiladas and Mallory got very excited.  She wanted to make them too so I challenged her to a Enchilada Showdown.

She'd make The Pioneer Woman's Enchiladas and I would make mine.

We waited patiently for the boys to try each one to see which one they liked better.

Here's a hint:  I didn't win, although the boys said they did like mine. 

Here is the recipe for Creamy Chicken case you want to try them for yourself.

Creamy Chicken Enchiladas

1 pound of chicken breasts, boiled and shredded
1 block of cream cheese
1-2 jalapenos, finely chopped
2 tbsp milk
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 28 oz can of green enchilada sauce
2 cups of monterey jack cheese, shredded
10-12 corn tortillas

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.   Bring the cream cheese to room temperature.  Boil the chicken breast (or use left over chicken from another meal) and shred.  

Mix together cream cheese, jalapenos, milk, garlic powder, cayenne and salt.  Add the chicken.  Stir until combined.

In a small pan, heat some oil and lightly fry the tortillas until soft by not crispy.  Set them aside.

Pour some of the green enchilada sauce into a 9X13 pan.  Lay the tortillas on a work surface.  Place a small amount of chicken mixture in the center of the tortilla and then roll it up.  Place in the pan and continue rolling tortillas until finished. 

Pour the remaining sauce over the rolled up tortillas and then sprinkle the cheese over the op.

Back for 30 minutes.

You can find The Pioneer Woman's recipe here.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

I Love AeroPress Coffee

My birthday was a few weeks ago and my five year old daughter decided that she was going to plan my party.  She enlisted my husband to help her but it was less about his abilities and more about the fact that he had money to make her plans a reality.

I'm not sure that she'll ever hire him again because he totally dropped the ball a cake she had wanted made.

Her theme was based on something that I love and talk about all the time.


My little Rookie Foodie had my husband take her to Sur La Table and talked him into a number of lovely gifts to make all of my coffee dreams come true!

 One of my favorite gifts is the AeroPress Espresso Maker.  It's like a french press but it uses air pressure and the grounds are totally saturated in the water.  It makes for an incredibly smooth cup of coffee or espresso.

I'm mostly using it on the weekends when I have more time to boil water (note to self: get a kettle). 

Disclaimer:  I have not been paid to talk about the AeroPress or Sur La Table. 

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Bonnie Brae Ice Cream

I knocked a bunch of things off my foodie bucket list today ( more on that later) and it reminded me that I've been remiss in posting my adventures in ice cream.

In July (i think) we visited Bonnie Brae Ice Cream on a whim.   As in, I said....hey!  Who wants some ice cream and we drove like bats out of hell to another part of town without checking the weather and found ourselves at Bonnie Brae.

We got caught in a major downpour and I was glad I wasn't wearing a white shirt that day.

We loved the ice cream and my husband was VERY happy with all of the choices of flavors.  I'm easy.  I had the mocha.

I don't remember what the kids had but they loved it.

Come to think of was probably Rocky Road and Chocolate.  Their stand by order.  Maybe someday they'll branch out.  Oh what am I saying....I get Coffee most of the time.

Bonnie Brae Ice Cream on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Cilantro Jalapeno Sauce

I think my favorite herb to cook with has to be Cilantro!

I love it in all kinds of food and if it's in salsa, then I can't control myself and will eat an entire bowl.

I add it to so many dishes and love it as a garnish. Luckily, my husband loves it as much as I do or we may have a little problem.

You do know that some people don't like Cilantro.  I took a poll on facebook the other day and I was amazed at how passionate folks can be about their like or dislike or this special herb.

You either love it, or hate it.

If you love're going to go crazy for this.  It takes no time to whip up and lasts for 2 weeks in the fridge.  Do you save your sauce jars?  I'm having fun finding things to put in them.  Soup and now this sauce.

We've put it on fish, grilled chicken and my new favorite....EGGS!  It's fantastic!

Cilantro-Jalapeno Sauce
adapted from Culinate

2 cups fresh cilantro leaves
2 jalapenos, chopped
1/4 cup white onion chopped
2 tbsp honey
3 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp olive oil

Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until liquidy.  Season with more salt if needed.  More jalapeno can be added if you want more heat.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Chilled Avocado Soup

I have a love affair with avocados. And cilantro but we'll save that for another day.

 I love making guacamole and sitting on the patio with a cold beer and a bag of chips.

 This soup is a perfect light summer meal and tastes like my favorite appetizer! I'm going to make this when my in laws are visiting and serve it in little jars.

Chilled Avocado Soup
adapted from Cookin Canuck

2 tsp olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 large jalapeno pepper, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp fresh mint leaves
3 avocados, peeled and cut into chunks
2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup coconut milk

Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat and add onion and jalapeno.  Saute until soft for about 10 minutes.  Add the garlic in the last few minutes and don't let it burn.

Get out your food processor and add avocados along with half of your vegetable broth.  Pulse.

Add the remaining broth, the onion mixture, salt and pepper and mint.  Blend until very smooth.  Thin with more broth if you need to.

Refrigerate the soup for at least an hour. If you'll be chilling longer, make sure to cover the soup completely or it will turn brown.  Putting it in little jars solves this problem!

When serving, add a drizzle of coconut milk.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Harry Potter Pumpkin Pasties

A few weeks ago, my kids and I borrowed this book from the library.

We were excited to find it because we are going to Universal Orlando in 110 days to visit Harry Potter!  My daughter Mallory and her Dad have been pouring over the recipes (for some reason she doesn't want to do this with me....growing pains) and found something they had to make.

Pumpkin Pasties.

I love  The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook: From Cauldron Cakes to Knickerbocker Glory--More Than 150 Magical Recipes for Muggles and Wizards and will be buy a copy for our home when this one is due back at the library because many of the recipes have a backstory on the recipe that goes along with the book.  Oh how we love those books!

Legend has it that Harry Potter bought one of these delicious pasties on the Hogwarts Express as he was traveling to school.

Pumpkin Pasties
adapted from The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook
Makes 6 pasties

Pastry Crust
1 1/4 cups flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons cold butter, cut into chunks
3 tablespoons vegetable shortening, chilled and cut into chunks
4-6 tablespoons ice water

1 cup canned pumpkin, not pie filling
1/4 cup sugar
a large pinch of ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Place the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor.  Pulse to combine.  Distribute the butter and shortening over the flour and pulse about 14 times until the mixture resembles course meal.

Relocate the mixture into a large mixing bowl and sprinkle 4 tablespoons of cold water over the top. Toss the mixture together with a spoon until it starts to hold together.  If it seems too dry, add a little bit more water.

Form the dough into a ball and then into a disk shape.  Wrap it in plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour.

In a separate bowl, mix together the pumpkin, sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon in a mixing bowl.  Preheat the over to 400 degrees and roll out the dough until it's 1/8 of an inch thick.  Use a saucer to cut out 6 inch circles.

Place 2-3 tablespoons of filling in the center of each circle of dough.  Moisten the edges with water, fold the dough over the filling, and crimp with a fork to seal.  Cut slits to make vents.  

Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet for 30-35 minutes or until the tops are brown.

Disclaimer: I have not been compensated for blogging about this cookbook.  I did so of my own volition.  I just like to share cool things with my readers.

Monday, July 9, 2012

The Ivy Gimlet

Back in May, I went on vacation to California with 6 blogger friends.  We rented a beach house in Huntington Beach and had a great time!

The highlight of this trip was our visit to The Ivy in LA.

Our favorite cocktail was The Ivy Gimlet.  I've been thinking about that refreshing drink for two months and finally decided to make one at home.  It was also helpful that I bought a package of mint for a recipe (Chilled Avocado Soup) and only needed a tablespoon of mint.  Left over mint means tasty gimlets!

I found a recipe online and tweaked it until I it was just like I remembered it.

I would like to note here that my husband disagrees that this is a gimlet and suggests that it's a mojito.  I'm just going by what the menu says at The Ivy. They call it a gimlet, therefore....I'm calling it a gimlet.

The Ivy Gimlet

3 sprigs of mint
2 oz  vodka
1 oz simple syrup
juice from a 1/4 of a lime

Crush mint springs in a martini shaker with a pestle or the end of a wooden spoon.  Add ice, vodka, simple syrup and lime juice.  Shake for 15 seconds.  Strain into glass filled with ice.  Garnish with mint, lime slices and a straw or not.

Rinse shaker and repeat.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Summer Wines ~June

Is it hot enough for you yet?

I've lived in Colorado my entire life (expect for those 4 unfortunate years in Utah) and I don't remember it being this hot.  I've sworn off straightening my hair and make up for the foreseeable future and taken up drinking.

Who am I kidding.  I've always been drinking! But now I'm seeking out cold wine instead of my favorite reds.

I've been drinking more Rosé and loving it!  I think Cupcake is my new favorite brand, I've tried several, they are all very delicious and their label is adorable!

We got a great deal on Jose Rosé and after several bottles I decided it's Muy Bueno.

Wine By Joe

My husband isn't a wine drinker.  He's normally a Fosters or ESP (is that right?) guy but he recently came home with Samuel Adams Porch Rocker and it was great!  Perfect for a lazy afternoon on the patio.

What are you drinking this summer?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Buttermilk Brownies

People ask me all the time.  Connie Weiss, have you ever been on The Today Show? 

I have to tell them no, I have not yet been discovered.

But when they ask me for a brownie recipe, I gladly share the one that my Mother has been making for almost 30 years!

She got it from a lady named Wanda that worked with her at The Greeley Gas Company. 

Wanda's Buttermilk Brownies

  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 4 tbsp cocoa
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk

  • 6 tbsp butter
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 6 tbsp milk
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine butter, shortening, cocoa and water.  Heat until almost boiling.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and baking soda.  Add the chocolate mixture, sugar, eggs, vanilla and buttermilk.

Grease a jelly roll pan and add the batter.  Bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes.  Cool completely before frosting.

To make the frosting, combine butter, sugar and milk in a saucepan and boil for two minutes.  Add the chocolate chips and stir until they are incorporated.  Place the pan in cold water and beat with a mixer until spreading consistency.

Frost brownies and enjoy!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Quaker Soft Baked Bars

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Quaker Oats. All opinions are 100% mine.

Our family has become extremely busy!  So busy that we are constantly in the car.  Between school, PTA and after school activities I've had to build a pantry in my SUV.  As a Mom, it's very important to me that they get a healthy snack that feeds their brains but doesn't give them empty calories and chemicals.

My daughter has a high metabolism and has always been a snacker and I know to have something on hand, especially if I want to avoid the drive thru window.

I'm so excited about the new Quaker Soft Baked Bar and I'm sure my family is going to love them.  They have two delicious flavors: Cinnamon Pecan Bread and Banana Nut Bread.  They are made with real fruit and nuts....wholesome food!  This is the perfect breakfast snack or between meals.

I love that they are only 140 calories and have 5 grams of fiber.  It's also a high protein snack which my kids need and filled with 5 B-Vitamins.

My kids are going to love the Banana Nut Bread choice and I won't have to let bananas rot on my counter anymore.  I'll also feel really good about feeding them a healthy snack on the go.

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Thursday, May 24, 2012

80 Plates

Have you seen the new cooking show on Bravo?  Around The World in 80 Plates?

It's fantastic!

My husband and I watched an episode last night and we loved it.  Unfortunately, I recorded only the second one so we have to find the first one on iTunes but we were really excited about it.

We used to love to cook together.  But now we have a galley kitchen and only one person fits in, we haven't made anything together in almost two years.

I miss it so much!

We decided that we're going to start trying some of the recipes that we see on the show and we're going to do it at my brother in laws house.

I hope he's cool with it. HA!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Trader Joe's Corn Salsa

I'm on a mission.


I was in California two weeks ago and one of my friends bought a jar of Corn and Chile Salsa when we were at Trader Joe's.

I'm obsessed with finding a suitable substitute until Trader Joe's comes to Denver.

I tried something from Target and it's good...but it has tomatoes in it.

Maybe I should just make my own.