Monday, February 23, 2009

Nocab... that's Bacon backwards!


What is there to say about bacon? Except it is the best thing ever! So here's some BACON recipes for your sweet and savory side. Enjoy! Oh, also here's some links to bacon anything you've ever wanted.

Bacon Products:

~ Bacon Salt and Baconnaise because everything should taste like bacon!

~Bacon Shirts

~Bacon watch, floss, band aids and more

~Bacon for those of you who love to wake up to the smell of bacon instead of coffee

~ Bacon just some giggles for the girls, bacon bra!

~ Bacon Candy

~ Bacon Tattoos

~ The Royal Bacon Society

Bacon Recipes:

Burbon Bacon Brownies

Bacon Cheddar Cheese Scones

Asparagus with Bacon Dressing

an assortment of bacon recipes

Live, Laugh, Love, Eat Bacon.

Golden Gingerbread

Adam and I made gingerbread from my newest cook book The Bread Machine Bible by Anne Sheasby. There's so many yummy sounding recipes we can't wait to try like the pesto-parmesan pull apart. I wasn't particularly thrilled about making gingerbread, but Adam talked me into it. We had everything.... or did we? Everything except the brown sugar. We debated about going to the store,or had gotten some from Adams mom? Wait one minute! We have molasses and sugar, we don't need to go anywhere! So I looked it up... One cup of sugar to one Tablespoon of molasses for light brown sugar and two Tablespoons of molasses for dark brown sugar. Okay NOW we have everything. We did everything, poured it in the bread pan, set it, and licked the bowl. Oh it was so good I couldn't wait for it to be finished. An hour or so later it was finally done! My only question now was what did we do wrong? It didn't rise very much. It was very dense and heavy and the crust was hard to cut through. But the middle was so moist and so good! We will make this bread again, hopefully next time it'll rise more.

Golden Gingerbread

½ cup packed light soft brown sugar

¾ stick butter

½ cup golden syrup or light corn syrup

1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 teaspoons ground gingerbread

1 egg, beaten

2/3 cup milk

a pinch of salt

~ Remove the kneading blade from the bread pan. Remove the bread pan from the machine, grease and line the bottom and sides of the pan, and set aside.

~ place the sugar, butter and syrup in a small sauce pan and heat slowly, stirring, until melted and blended. Remove the pan from the heat and cool slightly. Sift the flour, salt, baking powder, and ginger into a bowl and make a well in the middle. Mix together the egg and milk and pour into the well along with the melted mixture. Beat together using a wooden spoon until smooth and throughly mixed. Pour into the bread pan.

~ Place the bread pan in position in the machine and close the lid. Set the machine to “bake only” for 60 minutes. Press start.

~ After baking, a fine skewer inserted into the middle of the gingerbread should come out clean. If the gingerbread requires more baking, bake on the same setting 5 to 10 minutes longer, or until baked through.

~ Remove the bread pan from the machine using oven mitts, then leave to stand 5 minutes, before turning the gingerbread out onto a wire rack to cool. Serve warm or cold in slices.

Today I took it upon myself to make another black bean recipe. The black bean brownies. They were so easy to make. I put everything in the food processor, sprayed the pan and popped them in the oven. They took about 25-30 minutes to cook. I let them cool just barely enough to cut them. They were good. Really moist, soft cakey, smooth, but I think next time I'll cook them a tiny bit less for more fudgy-ness. You can't taste the black beans at all. I did not add any of the coffee, but it had a slight coffee flavor. They are not super chocolately. For a 'healthy' brownie they are not too shabby.



Thursday, February 19, 2009

Candy of the month feb. 09

A not so good few days I've been having has all been made up for since Adam brought in the mail! Our candy of the month from Lollyphile/Candyphile is here! Boyer Smoothie Peanut Butter Cups complete with play money! A butterscotch peanut butter cup, that's right, just like a regular peanut butter cup except butterscotch instead of chocolate. The butterscotch isn't over powering. The peanut butter in the middle is the sweetest part, it's a little lumpy, you can see the small peanut pieces through the butterscotch covering. The PB middle reminds me of a De La Rosa Peanut Candy, same texture but not quite a dry, the after taste of both are very close. I would defiantly consider ordering these some time in the future. Visit the Boyer website fore more information on the 'smoothie' cup and more yummie treats such as a mallow cup.

Monday, February 16, 2009

The All Mighty Black Bean

The poll is closed! Black beans are the winners!! Not by much, but they are. As I promised something special for the winner. Black bean recipes all around!! Black beans can be used in savory and sweet dishes believe it or not. A nice healthy substitute for meats and flour, and eggs.

Crispy Black Bean Tacos with Feta and Cabbage Slaw
found in this months issue of Bonn Appetit

1 15-ounce can black beans, drained
½ teaspoon ground cumin
1 Tablespoon and 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 cups coleslaw mix
2 green onions, chopped
½ cup fresh cilantro (optional)
4 white or yellow corn tortillas
½ cup crumbled feta cheese
bottled chipotle hot sauce or other hot sauce

Place beans and cumin in small bowl; partially mash. Mix 2 teaspoons olive oil and lime juice in medium bowl; add coleslaw, green onions, cilantro, and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add tortillas in single layer. Spoon ¼ of bean mixture onto half of each tortilla; cook 1 minute. Fold tacos in half. Cook until golden brown, about 1 minute per side. Fill tacos with feta cheese and slaw. Serve with hot sauce.

Black Bean Burgers
found on

1 (16 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 green bell pepper, cut into 2 inch pieces
1/2 onion, cut into wedges
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 egg
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon Thai chili sauce or hot sauce
1/2 cup bread crumbs

1.If grilling, preheat an outdoor grill for high heat, and lightly oil a sheet of aluminum foil. If baking, preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C), and lightly oil a baking sheet.
2.In a medium bowl, mash black beans with a fork until thick and pasty.
3.In a food processor, finely chop bell pepper, onion, and garlic. Then stir into mashed beans.
4.In a small bowl, stir together egg, chili powder, cumin, and chili sauce.
5.Stir the egg mixture into the mashed beans. Mix in bread crumbs until the mixture is sticky and holds together. Divide mixture into four patties.
6.If grilling, place patties on foil, and grill about 8 minutes on each side. If baking, place patties on baking sheet, and bake about 10 minutes on each side.

Black Bean Brownies
also found on

1 (15.5 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
3 eggs
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 pinch salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon instant coffee (optional)
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips (optional)

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease an 8x8 square baking dish.
2.Combine the black beans, eggs, oil, cocoa powder, salt, vanilla extract, sugar, and instant coffee in a blender; blend until smooth; pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top of the mixture.
3.Bake in the preheated oven until the top is dry and the edges start to pull away from the sides of the pan, about 30 minutes.

Black Bean Soup with Cumin and Jalapeño
Found on

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 to 2 teaspoons chopped jalapeño Chile with seeds, divided
2 15- to 16-ounce cans black beans, undrained
1 15-ounce can petite diced tomatoes in juice
1 1/2 cups low-salt chicken broth
Chopped fresh cilantro
Chopped green onions
Crumbled feta cheese

Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrot, and garlic; sauté until vegetables begin to soften, about 6 minutes. Mix in cumin and 1 teaspoon jalapeño. Add beans, tomatoes with juice, and broth; bring soup to boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and cook until carrots are tender, about 15 minutes. Transfer 3 cups of soup to blender and puree until smooth. Return puree to pot. Simmer soup until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and remaining 1 teaspoon jalapeño, if desired.
Ladle soup into bowls. Pass cilantro, green onions, and feta cheese separately.

Cheesy Black Bean Dip
found on

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup diced white onion
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
1 tablespoon canned diced jalapeño peppers (adjust to taste)
1 can (15-ounce size) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella OR Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup crumbled cotija cheese (OR substitute crumbled cow's milk feta)
Tortilla, pita OR bagel chips OR cut up vegetables OR sugar snap peas
In a medium skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and jalapeño peppers; saute until onions are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the beans and smash with the back of a ladle or large spoon until softened and heated through, another 2 to 3 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in Mozzarella cheese, sour cream, cumin and cayenne pepper, stirring until cheese is melted. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.

Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle cotija cheese on top. Serve warm or at room temperature with chips and/or vegetables

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentines Day Anyone?

Happy Valentines Day everyone! Red and chocolate are the themes for the day right? Are raspberries, white chocolate and red velvet good enough for you? How about a white chocolate raspberry cake with lemon butter cream? Or maybe a red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting? Super moist slightly chocolately super red dye cake with sweet soft fluffy cream cheese frosting on top. YUM.



  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • Red food coloring (2 ounces or so)


  • 1 package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (That’s 175 degrees for those of you who do the Celsius thing). Prepare 3 round 8 inch cooking pans with cooking spray, flour or oil.
  2. In a large bowl, mix sugar, oil, and eggs. In a separate bowl, mix food coloring and vinegar with the buttermilk. In a third bowl stir baking soda into flour. Alternate mixtures into one big bowl and mix well. Stir 1 teaspoon vanilla into batter. Pour batter into prepared pans.
  3. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove and cool.
  4. Mix together cream cheese, butter or margarine, confectioners’ sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla. Stir in nuts. Frost once the cake cools

Monday, February 9, 2009


Risotto one of my favorite dishes ever! Sweet or savory. I really like creamy cheesy risotto with veggies, asparagus and mushrooms are the best combo I think. If you don't feel up for sautéing the rice, stirring stirring stirring until the rice is tender and creamy, the box of Safeway brand cheese risotto is good and easy to make, just par cook the veggies and throw them in when the rice is ready. Use chicken or veggie stock instead of water for extra flavor. I have two recipes that are good and easy. One sweet, one savory.

Three Cheese Risotto from
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • Salt and white pepper
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 2 teaspoons chopped garlic
  • 1 pound Arborio rice
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Romaino cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Asigo cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives
In a large saute pan, over medium heat, add the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the onion and season with salt and pepper. Saute for 3 minutes, or until the onions are slightly soft. Add the stock and garlic. Bring the liquid to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 6 minutes. Add the rice and simmer for 18 minutes, stirring constantly, or until the mixture is creamy and bubbly. Add the butter, cream, cheese and chives. Reseason with salt and pepper. Simmer for 2 minutes and serve immediately.

Chocolate Risotto Pudding
  • 6 cups milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 vanilla beans, split lengthwise
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 2 cups Arborio rice
  • 1/4 pound chopped bittersweet chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons chopped hazelnuts
  • Small piece white chocolate, to shave for garnish

Bring the milk, sugar and vanilla beans to a bare simmer over low heat for 10 minutes to infuse vanilla flavor. Remove the bean pods and keep the milk hot.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large saucepan over moderate heat. Stir in the rice and cook, stirring until the rice is hot, about 2 minutes. Begin adding the hot milk 1 cup at a time, stirring often and adding more milk when the previous addition has been absorbed. Adjust heat to maintain a nice simmer. It will take about 20 minutes for the rice to become creamy and al dente. It is possible you may not need all of the milk. Remove the risotto from the heat and stir in the remaining butter, and chopped chocolate. Sprinkle with chopped hazelnuts, shave white chocolate over the top and serve.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

~Striped Butter mints~

In Middle School I went on a field trip to San Francisco to see A Christmas Carol play. After the play we all packed on the bus and headed home. One of my best friends and I sat in the back, you know, the spot in the back where you sit and look out the emergency exit. She opened her bag and pulled out some after dinner mints and offered me some. We sat there chewing and sucking on pink, yellow, green and white after dinner mints all the way home. It was the first time I really remembered eating these wonderful soft mints, and i loved it! I love it when you suck on them and they just dissolve in your mouth, or the way they stick in your teeth like you'd been chewing spoon fulls of cornstarch (not that I ever have, it's just what I'd imagine it'd be like) and it's all stuck in your teeth. When my mom worked at cost plus I always looked forward to Christmas time, she would bring home a few boxes of soft peppermint sticks, and/or the soft peppermint balls. I would eat them till my tongue hurt.

This month from my cook book club I ordered Brittles, Barks & Bonbons delicious recipes for quick and easy candy by Charity Ferreira. I was so excited to see there's a recipe for stripped butter mints. It seems easy enough once you have all the ingredients. I can't wait to try them!

~Striped Butter Mints~

4 1/4 to 4 1/2 Cups powdered sugar, plus more for dusting
1/4 Cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temp.
1/4 Cup whipping cream
1/8 teaspoon peppermint oil*
Gel food coloring*

Makes about 1 pound of mints
Step 1: With a mixer on low speed, beat together the sugar, the butter, cream and peppermint oil until well blended. The mixture will be stiff, when it becomes too stiff for the mixer, turn it out onto a surface lightly sprinkled with powdered sugar and knead by hand, working in more powdered sugar as necessary, until the mixture is soft and smooth but not sticky.

Step 2: Divide the mixture into 8 pieces. Working with 1 piece at a time (cover the remaining pieces with plastic wrap while you work, to prevent them from drying out), add a few drops of red and green (or other) food coloring to different spots, and work the pieces gently in your hands until the color is distributed in irregular streaks (to tint the mints a solid color, just mix the food coloring completely in until no streaks remain). On a surface dusted with powdered sugar, roll each piece into a rope about 10 inches long and 1/4 inch thick. With a sharp knife, cut the rope into 1/4 inch squares. Place the mints on waxed paper-lined baking sheet.

Step 3: Cover the mints loosely with a second sheet of waxed paper and let them stand at room temp. until dry, about 8 hours. Rrefrigerate in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

* Gel food coloring and peppermint oil are available at stores that sell candy-making supplies. You can substitue regular food coloring and peppermint extract, but neither the flavor nor the color will be quite as intense.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Lavender Lemon Shortbread Cookies

At the Fancy Food Show we tried these lavender, and lavender with lemon mini short bread cookies. I loved them! So of course I've been looking for lavender lemon short bread cookie recipes to make some. I've found three I can't decide on, could I be any more indecisive!? So under strong review I bring you two lavender lemon short bread cookie recipes. Both picked for certain reasons, I can't wait to buy some Lavender, Lemons and make cookies! As for rolling out or pressing into a pan, you can throw it all into a freezer size ziploc bag, roll it out in the bag, and it's the perfect thickness, then refrigerate or freeze, when you are ready to use cut off the bag and cut them into squares. No fuss, no muss, no mess.

And in no particular order:

Lavender Lemon Shortbread #1 brought to you by
I like the idea of using lavender sugar to sprinkle on top!

Lavender Lemon Butter Cookies #2 brought to you by This one has some great pictures!