Thursday, December 26, 2013


2 cups white sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup corn syrup
1 cup evaporated milk
1 pint (4 cups) heavy whipping cream
1 cup butter (salted, if you use unsalted add 1/4 tsp salt to recipe)
1 1/4 tsp vanilla

Grease a 12x15 inch pan with some butter (a smaller pan will simply give you thicker caramels)

In a medium-sized pot, combine all ingredients, except vanilla, and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Monitor heat with a candy thermometer. When temperature reaches 234 degrees (250 for chewier caramels), remove from heat and stir in vanilla.

Cool, cut into desired sized squares and wrap in wax paper or parchment.

Tips for caramel making:
  • Make sure you have about an hour of uninterrupted time. You need to watch that thermometer because it can jump up fast.
  • Stir the caramel frequently, constantly if you prefer.
  • Please note that the mixture will double in size when coming up to heat, so make sure your pot is big enough.
  • A tall skinny pot is better to use than and short wide pot, as this can leading to scorching on the bottom.

Cole Slaw

1 16 bag of cole slaw mix
2/3 cup light mayo
1/4 cup sugar
3 Tb milk
2 Tb vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Mix all ingredients. Serve.

It's that simple :) I make this when my husband smoks a pork butt because it's delicious with pulled pork.

Roasted Broccoli

We love broccoli in this house and this was an instant favorite.

4 to 5 pounds broccoli
4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted (put pine nuts in a small skillet and toast on the stove)
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons julienned fresh basil leaves (about 12 leaves)


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Cut the broccoli florets from the thick stalks, leaving an inch or two of stalk attached to the florets, discarding the rest of the stalks. Cut the larger pieces through the base of the head with a small knife, pulling the florets apart (you can skip all of this by using the huge bag of broccoli from Costco). You should have about 8 cups of florets. Place the broccoli florets on a sheet pan large enough to hold them in a single layer. Toss the garlic on the broccoli and drizzle with 5 tablespoons olive oil. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until crisp-tender and the tips of some of the florets are browned.

Remove the broccoli from the oven and immediately toss with 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, the lemon zest, lemon juice, pine nuts, Parmesan, and basil. Serve hot.
Recipe from the Food Network.

Boston Baked Beans

2 (16 ounce) packages dried navy beans
4 teaspoons salt
3/4 cup dark molasses
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon pepper
1 large onion
4 -6 whole cloves
1 meaty ham bone


1 Prepare beans: Rinse well and discard any stones or shriveled beans.
2 Soak beans in water in a 5 quart Dutch oven, using the overnight or quick soak method.
3 Overnight Method: Cover each cup of dried beans with 3 cups of water; let stand for a minimum of 12 hours.
4 Quick Soak Method: Add beans to boiling water, allowing 3 cups of water for each cup of beans, bring back to the boil and boil for 2 minutes; remove from heat, cover and leave for an hour, then cook in same water.
5 Bring mixture to a boil, add salt, reduce heat, cover and simmer for an hour.
6 Stir in molasses and next 3 ingredients.
7 Stud the onion with the cloves; tuck onion & ham bone (or salt pork) into the beans.
8 Cover and bake in a 250F oven for about 7 hours; check & stir about once an hour.
9 Add more water to keep beans moist but not too wet OR remove lid to thicken mixture through evaporation; it all depends on your preference for thick or runny!
10 Discard cloves, chop onion and return to mixture.
11 Remove meat from ham bone (or cut salt pork into pieces, discarding fat) and return to mixture.
12 Add salt to taste.

Deep Dish Pecan Pie


  • 1 whole unbaked pie crust "deep dish"
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 6 TB brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups corn syrup
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2/3 cup melted salted butter
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 cups (heaping) chopped pecans

Preparation Instructions

Mix sugar, brown sugar, salt, corn syrup, butter, eggs, and vanilla together in a bowl.
Pour chopped pecans in the bottom of the unbaked pie shell.
Pour syrup mixture over the top. Cover top and crust lightly/gently with foil. Bake pie at 350ยบ for 50 minutes. Remove foil, then continue baking for 20 minutes, being careful not to burn the crust or pecans.
NOTE: PIE SHOULD NOT BE OVERLY JIGGLY WHEN YOU REMOVE IT FROM THE OVEN. If it shakes a lot, cover with foil and bake for an additional 20 minute or until set. Required baking time seems to vary widely with this recipe.
Allow to cool for several hours or overnight. Serve in thin slivers.

**This recipe is from The Pioneer Woman. However, since I wanted a deep dish pie, I doubled her recipe (I posted it to keep it with my recipes because it's the BEST!)** 

Garlic Red Mashed Potatoes

4 lbs small red potatoes
cloves of garlic to taste (I would use at least 4)
2 cubes butter
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup sour cream
salt and pepper to taste
fresh chives

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and garlic. Boil until tender, but still a little firm (10-15 minutes). Drain.

Whip/mash potatoes with remaining ingredients until smooth and creamy.

A. Maze. Ing.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Smashed Salt and Vinegar Potatoes

Wait for it. Wait for it.

I saw these on TV and couldn't locate the recipe online so I tried to duplicate it. They turned out WONDERFUL!!! So here is what I did.

Baby potatoes (about 1-2 inches in size, I used the mixed bag of red, yellow and purple potatoes from Costco)
4 quarts Water
2-2 1/2 cups Iodized Salt
Olive Oil
Malt Vinegar

Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil. Add 2 1/2 cups (yes, I said CUPS) of salt and potatoes (about 4 lbs). Boil about 20-30 minutes until tender.

Drain potatoes and allow potatoes to dry out on a towel for about 10 minutes or more.

Prepare a large jelly roll pan by coating with about 1/2 cup of Olive Oil.

Preheat oven to 500 degree and move rack to middle/top position (not the very top and not the very middle)

Place potatoes in oil and smash with the bottom of a measuring cup or glass until they are about 1/2 inch thick (they will break open obviously, see photo). Spread them out so they aren't touching (I did 2 pans worth). Drizzle or brush malt vinegar over potatoes. (I used about 3 TB). Sprinkle with pepper.

Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and brush/drizzle with vinegar again.


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Chicken Gnocchi Soup


4 T butter (1/2 stick)
1 C diced yellow onion
1/2 C finely diced celery
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1/4 C all-purpose flour
1 quart half-and-half
28 oz chicken stock
1 t kosher salt
1/2 t dried thyme
1/2 t dried parsley flakes
1/4 t ground nutmeg
1 C grated carrots
1 C chopped spinach leaves
1 C cooked rotisserie chicken
1 16 oz package of gnocchi


1. In a large soup pot, melt butter into oil over medium heat. Add onion, celery, and garlic and cook, stirring often, until the onion becomes translucent.
2. Whisk in the flour and cook for about a minute, then slowly whisk in the half-and-half. Simmer until thickened.
3. Whisk in chicken stock, simmer again. Stir in salt, thyme, parsley, nutmeg, carrots spinach, chicken and gnocchi. Bring to a boil, then lower heat down to a simmer. Taste and add salt if needed. Recipe inspired by: olive garden's chicken gnocchi recipe 

Saturday, July 20, 2013

French Fries

I've finally found the recipe for the perfect french fry.

Here ya go.

4 cups warm water
2/3 cup sugar
about 6 medium russet potatoes cut to desired fries
6 cups canola or vegetable oil

In a large bowl dissolve sugar  in warm water. Once it's dissolved, add ice to make water cold. Cut your potatoes and put them in the ice water. Soak at least 15 minutes while you prepare your oil.

Bring oil to 375 degrees. Remove potatoes from water to a clean kitchen towel and pat dry. Add about half or 1/3 of the potatoes to the oil and blanch for about 2 minutes. Remove from oil to paper towels. Let sit until room temperature. When you're about 10 minutes out from dinner, heat up the oil again to 375 and cook and additional 4 minutes (until golden brown).

TIP: Make sure your oil is back up to 375 before doing subsequent batches.
TIP: You can freeze after the blanch stage for future use.

Salt and enjoy!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Texas Sheet Cake

2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup sour cream
2 eggs
1 cup butter
1 cup water
5 TB unsweetened cocoa powder

Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour jelly roll (10x15") pan.

Combine flour, sugar, soda, and salt. Beat in sour cream and eggs. Set aside. Melt the butter on low in a saucepan, add water and cocoa. Bring mixture to a boil and remove from heat. Allow to cool a little, then stir into egg mixture, mix until blended. Pour batter into pan. Bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

6 TB milk
5 TB unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup butter
4 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

In large saucepan, combine milk, cocoa and butter. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. Stir in powdered sugar and vanilla. Fold in nuts, if using. Mix until well blended.

Frost cake while warm.