Sunday, August 30, 2009

Giada's Banana Muffins with Marscapone Cream Cheese Frosting


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 4 ripe bananas, peeled and coarsely mashed


  • 3 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup mascarpone cheese, room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
Struesel topping:
1 stick unsalted butter, softened, cut into small pieces
1.5 cups brown sugar
1.5 cups flour

Mix butter, sugar and flour in a sandwich bag and mix until it crumbles. Put on top of the muffins before baking.


Line 18 muffin cups with paper liners. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Whisk the flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a medium bowl to blend. Beat the sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla in a large bowl to blend. Stir in the banana. Add the dry ingredients and stir just until blended.

Divide the batter among the prepared muffin cups. Bake the muffins on the middle rack until the tops are golden brown and a tester inserted into the center comes out with no crumbs attached, about 25 minutes. Transfer the muffins to a rack and cool slightly. The muffins may be eaten warm or cooled completely and frosted.

To frost the cupcakes: Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in the mascarpone cheese and then beat in the honey. Spread the frosting over the muffins. Sprinkle with the walnuts.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Chef Deborah's Brownies

2 packages Duncan Hines Brownie Mix
1 package chocolate chips

Mix brownie according to directions. When it comes out of the oven, sprinkle the chocolate chips over the hot brownies, spread and let cool.

Seasonings for Salmon

Salt & pepper

Rub butter on salmon. Sprinkle seasonings and broil.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Mozzarella Sausage Balls

1 lb breakfast sausage
1 lb. mozzarella cheese, diced in small pieces
1 egg, beaten
1 cup biscuit mix

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well until blended. Form into 1" balls and place on cookie sheet that has been sprayed lightly with cooking spray.

Bake at 375 degrees for 10-18 minutes until deep golden brown and cooked through.

Makes about 12.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Marina's Neopolitan Cookies

16 oz. almond paste at room temperature
1 cup margarine
1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
8 egg yolks
8 egg whites
4 cups flour
red food color
green food color
raspberry jam or Nutella
Chocolate Glaze

Chocolate Glaze: In a glass or plastic bowl mix 12 oz chocolate with 3 tablespoons of shortening and microwave on high for about 2 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
1. grease bottom of three jelly roll pans (approx 11 x15). Line with wax paper, then spray with shortening.

2. Mix almond paste, butter, margarine and sugar together. Add egg yolks and mix until mixture is light and fluffy.

3. Add flour until barely mixed.

4. In another bowl beat egg whites until very stiff. Add egg whites to the batter by hand until thoroughly mixed.

5. Divid batter in thirds. Mix red food color in one, green in the second, and leave the third plain. Spread into prepared pans using a small angled spatula.

6. Bake 10- 14 minutes or until edges are golden brown. If you are cooking two trays at a time, switch the pans in the oven after 5 minutes. Make sure the center is loose before inverting. Cool five minutes. Remove wax paper and let cool. If you have a large cutting board, it helps to put the first layer on this for support.

7. Spread jam or Nutella over green layer, top with plain layer. Spread more jam or Nutella and top with pink layer. Cover and let it rest for a few hours.

8. Cut 2" strips and spread top and sides with chocolate glaze.

9. Slice each strip into thin slices.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Breakfast Casserole

1 pkg breakfast sausage links
6 english muffins, cut into 1 inch cubes
1/4 cup melted butter
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped red pepper
12 eggs
2 cups milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 cup bacon bits

Cook sausage, cool slightly. Cut into 1/4 inch slices. Place english muffin cubes in a greased 13 x 9 inch baking dish; drizzle with butter. Layer with sausage, cheese, onion, and red pepper. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, milk, salt and pepper. Pour over cheese. Sprinkle with bacon. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Uncover and bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Let stand 5 minutes. Makes 12 servings.

Cinnamon Clay

1 cup cinnamon
1 tbsp cloves
1 tbsp nutmeg
3/4 cup applesauce (well drained)
2 tbsp white glue

Mix cnnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. Add applesauce and glue. Work mixture with hands until smooth and well mixed. Divide into four portions. Roll dough to 1/4 inch thickness between two pieces of waxed paper. Cut with cookie cutters. Use a straw to make holes if you want to hang your ornaments. Put on a wire rack to dry at room temperature for several days. Turn twice daily so they don't curl. Hang with ribbon or colored yarn.

You can also dry the ornaments in a slow oven at 250 degrees until hard and dry.

Dough for Cookie Cutter Decorations

1 cup cornstarch
2 cups baking soda
1-1/4 cups cold water

Combine dry ingredients in a saucepan. Gradually add water until the mixture is smooth. Heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture reaches a moist, mashed potato consistency. Turn onto a plate and cover with a damp cloth. When it is cool enough to handle, knead the dough.

Roll the dough to 1/4 inch thickness and cut shapes with cookie cutters. Dip the cutters in baking soda and shake before cutting.

If you plan to hang the decorations, pierce a hole with a hollow coffee stirrer or a soda straw before they dry. Allow the dough shapes to dry for several days at room temperature on a cooling rack. They can be painted with markers or paint.

Ultimate Sloppy Joes (Tyler Florence)

Serves 4

  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion , diced
  • 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef or turkey
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 1/4 cup yellow mustard
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 5 whole wheat hamburger buns
Set a heavy-based pot over medium-high heat and add a 3-count of olive oil. Add onions and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes until translucent. Add ground turkey, season well with salt and pepper and brown well all over, breaking it up with a wooden spoon—about 7 to 10 minutes. Add ketchup, mustard, cayenne, brown sugar and tomato paste. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes. Finish with a splash of apple cider vinegar and season it once more before serving on toasted whole wheat hamburger buns.

Christina Ferrare's Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes approximately 2 dozen

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter , room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar , firmly packed
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs , room temperature
  • 4 cups semisweet chocolate morsels
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts or pecans
Preheat oven to 325°. Remove eggs and butter from the refrigerator and bring to room temperature while lining a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda and salt together. Set aside.

In an electric mixer using the paddle attachment, beat the butter, sugar and brown sugar for 2 minutes until fluffy. Beat in the eggs 1 at a time until well incorporated. Scrape down the sides with a spatula and add vanilla. Beat 1 minute, then scrape the sides again. Add the flour mixture and mix until blended.

Add the chocolate morsels, nuts and raisins until well mixed.

Scoop out all the cookie dough in large golf ball–size pieces and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Don't worry if they're too close together—we will chill them before we bake them.

Chill for 1 hour in the refrigerator. When you're ready to bake, line another cookie sheet with parchment paper and place your chilled cookie dough at least 3 inches apart and bake in batches. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes or until cookies are golden and crunchy on top. Place on a cookie rack to cool.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Banana Cream Pastries from Great American Home Baking

Makes 6 servings

1 sheet frozen puff pastry thawed according to package directions.

1 cup sugar
1 cup orange juice
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup confectionary sugar
3 medium bananas, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon frozen, thawed orange juice concentrate
2 cups whipped cream

Garnish with orange slices or sprigs of fresh mint.

1. to prepare filling, in a medium saucepan, bring sugar, orange juice, water, cornstarch, and salt to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook stirring constantly, kuntil just thickened, 3 to 4 minutes.

2. Stir beaten egg yolks into juice mixture. Cook, stirring constantly, until thickened, 4 minutes. Stir in melted butter. Remove from heat. Place a piece of plastic wrap on surface of filling. Chill for 1 hour.

3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with waxed paper. Spray underside of a second large baking sheet with vegetable cooking spray.

4. On a floured surface, roll pastry into a 15-inch square. Cut into eighteen 4 x 3 inch rectangles. Place pastry on prepared baking sheet. Place second baking sheet, coated-side down, on top.

5. Bak pastries until golden, 15- 20 minutes. Remove top sheet. Transfer baking sheet with pastries to a wire rack to cool.

6. Dust pastries with confectionary sugar. Arrange bananas on top of 6 pastries. Brush with juice concentrate.

7. Remove plastic wrap. Fold whipped cream into filling. Using a pastry bag fitted with a small star tip, pipe filling over bananas.

98. Repeat with a second pastry layer, bananas, concentrate, and filling. Top with a third layer. Pipe rosetts on top. Garnish with orange slices and mint sprigs.

Baking tip: Sandwiching pastries between baking sheets prevents them from puffing.

Almond Cream Puffs

Makes 12 Puffs

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 cup water
1/8 tsp. salt
1 cup flour
4 medium eggs

1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract

confectionary sugar
fresh raspberries
sprigs of mint

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a baking sheet.

2. In a medium, heavy saucepan, heat butter, water, and salt over medium-high heat until mixture boils and butter has melted.

3. Reduce heat to low. Add flour all at once to butter mixture stirring vigorously until mixture forms a ball. Remove from heat. Cool for 10 minutes.

4. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.

5. Using a pastry bag fitted with a round tip, pipe 12 puffs, 3 inches apart, on prepared baking sheet; smooth tops.

6. Bake puffs until golden brown, 40 minutes.

7. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees. Bake puffs for 10 minutes more. Transfer baking sheet to a wire rack to cool. Pierce 1 side of each puff.

8. To prepare filling, beat cream at medium spped until soft peaks form. Beat n sugar and almond extract until stiff peaks form.

9. But puffs in half horizontally. Pull out any uncooked dough. Spoon filling into puff bottoms; replace tops.

10. Dust puffs with sugar. Garnish with berries and mint.

Cream Puffs and Eclairs from Marina

1 cup water
1/2 cup margarine
1 cup flour
1 pinch salt
4 large eggs

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a small saucepan bring water and margarine to a boil. Lower the temperature and add flour and salt, stirring fast with a wooden spoon until mixture forms a ball and leaves the sides of the pan.

Remove from the stove and keep on stirring for a few more seconds.

Add the eggs, one at a time, stirring well after each addition.

Lightly grease a baking sheet.

Fit the pastry bag with a large round tube.

Fill the pastry bag with the batter and squeeze it onto the baking sheet.

Keep in mind that the batter doubles in size while baking.

Bake at 425 for 15-20 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 350 and bake 20 minutes longer.

Let the shells cool before filling.

Traditional Chex Party Mix

1 stick butter or margarine
1 1/4 teaspoons seasoned salt
4 1/4 teaspoons worcestershire sauce
2 2/3 cups corn chex
2 2/3 cups rice chex
2 2/3 cups wheat chex
1 cup salted mixed nuts

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Melt butter in large shallow roasting pan in oven. Remove. Stir in seasoned salt and worcestershire sauce. Gradually add cereal and nuts, mixing until all pieces are coated. Bake 1 hour. Stir every 15 minutes. Spread on absorbent paper to cool.

Makes about 9 cups.

Buttercream Frosting from (Really good!)

1 cup milk
4 tablespoons wondra flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup butter
2 teaspoons vanilla

Combine flour with milk and heat on stove to make a smooth white sauce. Set aside to cool. Then beat butter and sugar until light and creamy. Add the vanilla. Then add white sauce and beat to a pulp. Taste to see that the sugar is dissolved. Enough for one cake.

Basic Microwave Risotto (Good)!

1 tablespoon and 1 1/2 teaspoons butter
1/2 clove minced garlic
1/2 chopped onion
3/4 cup vegetable broth
1/2 cup uncooked Arborio rice
1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons white wine
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

In a 3 quart, microwave safe casserole dish combine butter, garlic and onion. Place dish in microwave and cook on high for 3 minutes.

Place vegetable broth in a microwave safe dish. Heat on microwave until the broth is hot but no boiling (approximately 2 minutes).

Stir the rice and broth into the casserole dish with the onion, butter, and garlic mixture. Cover the dish tightly and cook on high for 6 minutes.

Stir wine into the rice. Cook on high for 10 minutes more. Most of the liquid should boil off. Stir the cheese into the rice and serve.

Makes 2 servings.

Quick 'n Easky Refrigerator Fudge (Good)!

1 package (12 oz) milk chocolate chips
1 package (6 oz) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chopped nuts

Place chips in top of double boiler over hot water; stir frequently and melt. Remove from heat; stir in remaining ingredients. Pour into 8 x 8 pan lined with aluminum foil and parchment paper. Refrigerate until firm. Remove from pan, peel off paper. Cut as desired. Makes about 2 pounds.

Marinated Mozzarella

1/3 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dried basil (use fresh if available)
1 teaspoon minced chives
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 pound mozzarella cheese cut into 1-inch cubes

In a large resealable plastic bag, combine the first seven iingredients; add cheese cubes. Seal bag and turn to coat; refrigerat for at least 30 minutes. Transfer to a serving dish. Serve with toothpics.

Sour Cream Cake from Iva's Niece

1 package Duncan Hines Marble Cake Mix
4 eggs
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup oil
1 cup sour cream
1 package instant vanilla pudding
1 package semi sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Reserve marbling mixture from cake and blend all ingredients except chips. Set aside approx. 3/4 cup batter for marbling.
Fold in chips. Pour into greased bundt pan. Add marble mix and cut through with a knife.
Bake about 50 minutes.

Important! Let cool in pan 5 minutes before removing.

You can sprinkle confectioners sugar if desired.

Best Ever Pie Crust (Allrecipes) Really Good!

You can double of half the recipe without any problem. Makes 2 pie crusts.

2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup shortening
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup water

In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in water until mixture forms a ball. Divide dough in half, and shape into balls. Wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.

Roll out dough on floured counter. Don't over work it. Use as directed in pie recipe.

To Die for Crockpot Roast

1 beef roast to fit your crockpot
1 package Hidden Valley ranch dressing mix
1 package brown gravy mix
1 package italian dressing mix
1/2 cup or more water

Place roast in crockpot. Mix all 3 envelopes together and sprinkle on top of roast. Pour 1/2 cup warm water in bottom of crockpot, cook on low 6-7 hours.

Dave's Barbeque Ribs

Red Rub (Dinosaur) 1/2 a recipe
1/4 cup paprika
1/4 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup garlic powder
3 tablespoons onion powder
1/8 cup chili powder
1/2 tablespoon black pepper
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Mix in a bowl and rub them together with your hands. Store in plastic or glass container. Makes 1 1/2 cups.


3 lbs pork ribs
Preheat oven to 250 degrees
Rub ribs both sides with the red rub.
Place in pan skin side down for three hours plus. Mix oil with rub mixture to baste ribs with.
Heat grill. Baste with oil rub mixture. Cook another 1/2 hour to 45 minutes medium heat on grill. Baste as needed.