Friday, July 31, 2009

Emile Henry and Cherry's

Lets begin by saying, YES..I pitted 6 lbs of cherries with out a cherry pitter. It was not as hard as I thought it would be. I went to the farmers market and they were selling wonderful cherries for 3lb for 2 dollars. Of course, I had to buy 6 lbs. I made a Cherry Pie and Cherry Vanilla Jam.

I have made three or four pies using my Emile Henry pie pan and I want to add it makes a fantastic pie. It cooks the pie crust evenly. Not to mention, the pie never sticks. You always get that perfect slice with Emile Henry.
Check them out at:

Cherry Pie
found in Food Network Magazine

Pie Crust
3 sticks of unsalted butter, COLD
3 1/2 cp flour 1/4 cp sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 TB vinegar
1/3 cp. ice water

1. Add the flour, sugar and salt. Pulse to combine in the food processor. Add one stick of the cold butter chopped in cubes. Pulse 3 times. Add the vinegar and another stick of butter. Pulse
3 times. Add the last stick of butter. Pulse three times. Add the ice

water and pulse until dough roll forms.
Refridge for one hour.

6 cps. cherries
2 TB quick tapioca
3/4 cp. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp of almond and vanilla extracts
2 TB water

4 TB butter

Mix all together and pour in pie shell. Dot with 4 TB butter

My Vanilla Cherry Jam

5 cps Cherries, purred
Juice of 2 lemons
1 package of Pectin
1 Vanilla Bean, scraped clean (I use Boston Vanilla Bean Company)
3 3/4 cps Vanilla Sugar

Boil the jars and have them ready to fill.

Bring the cherries to a boil. Add the lemons, paste, Pectin. Add sugar one cup at a time.

Let it boil rapidly for one minute and then stir. Shut off. Add jam to jars. Put the jars with jam in them in a boiling bath with lids tightly on. Let the jars sit in the bath for a few minutes. Remove.... You should hear the lids pop (lock)as they cool.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Jerk Chicken Kabobs and Sea World

To the right: This is my 4 yr old, ALexandra. She is the tiny one sitting in the middle with a HUGE grin.

This is my baby, Bailey Leland, she is 19 months. My lil read head.

The family and I went to Sea World this weekend and on our way home I was craving Bahama Breeze. Instead of dragging the sleepy little girls into a resturuant I decided to recreate our favorite dish at home.I love this spicy chicken dish. My husband wanted to eat right away. Which left no time for the chicken to marinade. I made the marinade and basted the chicken every few minutes and it turned out flavorful and wonderful.

To be honest, my husband asked for this dish once a week. We shall see........

Jerk Chicken Kabobs with Pineapple
adapted from (Jays Jerk Chicken)

2 lbs of chicken, butterflied and pounded pretty thin
1 meduim sized pineapple cut in bit sized pieces
1 onion, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper (I threw in the entire pepper minus the stem)
1 habenero (Seeded)
3/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
skewers, soaked in water

1. I added onions down to allspice into the food processor and processed until well combined and thick.
2. I added the chicken to the skewers by sticking it right threw the middle. I added the pineapple to each end. I brushed the chicken with the marinade every 5-10 minutes.
**For the kids I just salt and peppered a few skewers and did not baste them...They turned out perfect and they loved them.

We Have a Winner!!

Congratulations B.B.B. at Be Foodie! For winning the Vanilla Contest!!!

Remember Check out Boston Vanilla Bean Company and take some money off this wonderful product by typing "miranda" in the coupon code box.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Tyler Florence and His Toasted Coconut Bread ROCKS!

The kids and I were bored the other day and decided to trek on over to the Library. Boy! What a find! I picked up Tyler Florence Real Kitchens Cook Book! When I found the recipe for Toasted Coconut Bread I knew it was a must. My husband loves coconut and bread. I was so far from disappointed. It rocked! It was gone in a few hours. It is served with........


Really, Can you get any better? I will answer for you...NO!

Trust me....This will not disappoint...

If you want to find more Tyler Florence Recipes check out

Coconut Bread with Pineapple Butter

by Tyler Florence

3 cps. flour

1 TB Baking Powder
1 Tsp. Salt
1 Tsp. Cinnamon
1 Stick of Butter, unsalted and melted
1 cp. Packed Brown Sugar
2 Eggs, beaten
1 tsp. Vanilla
Zest of one Lemon (I used Lime)
1 1/2 cp. Coconut Milk, Unsweetened
1 1/2 cp. Coconut, toasted (Bake on 350 until brown..He said 15 minutes, but it took only 10 for me)

1. Sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt together and st aside.
2. Melt the butter and then add the brown sugar. Stir. Add one egg at a time. Stir.Add the Vanilla and Coconut Milk. Don't forget the zest. Last, Fold in the toasted coconut.
3. Bake on 375 for 1 hour and 15 minutes
4. Cool
5. Devour


8 0z. can of pineapple

1 cp. butter
Drain the juice from the Pineapple and then use a potato masher with the stick of butter or you can use a food processor.

By the way, I used fresh Pineapple...I had it on hand. It turned out GREAT!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Top 3 for Vanilla Contest: NOW IT IS TIME TO VOTE.

Steve, the owner of Boston Vanilla Bean Company picked the top three ideas for the vanilla he enjoyed the most. Steves choices are:

1. Apple Tatin Tarte made with fresh vanilla beans topped with homemade vanilla bean ice cream by Chef Shari
2. The Vanilla Bean with Steamed Milk with Cinnamon Sticks and Bitter Chocolate by B.B.B.
Steve has informed me that this is an old use for Vanilla Beans and he truly enjoyed the fact that it was mentioned in the giveaway.
3. Vanilla Chai & Lavender infused Rice Pudding by Cate

NOW! It is time for you to vote on the top recipe! The winner will receive 5 Mexican Vanilla Beans, 4 0z. of Vanilla Paste, 4 oz. Vanilla Extracts, and 1 0z. Ground Vanilla

Let me just say, the ground vanilla is grounded up vanilla beans. I have added a tsp. to 8 -10 cps sugar and mixed in my food processor. It works wonders.


Everyone who commented gets $1 off their order until August 1st, minimum order is $20 for the coupon to work. Tell your followers to enter a coupon code of miranda on the view cart page of the shop.

PLUS for those who want Vanilla Paste email Steve:


Thank you so much for those who entered. There was many many great ideas. Thank you.

Friday, July 24, 2009

O Olive Oil Products

Have you ever wanted to add a little more flavor to your dishes?
Is one of your favorite ingredients Olive Oil?

Hello O Olive Oil.

O Olive Oil began in 1995 providing spectacular organic citrus-crushed olive oils. Premium vinegars followed in 1997.

What a line-up. Unique flavors like; O Jalapeno Lime, O Clementine, O Blood Orange, O Meyer Lemon, O Tahitian Lime, O Ruby Grapefruit and of course O Extra Virgin.

Yes, the Orange and Cranberry Granola Bars - O Blood Orange. The Spanish/TexMex fare - O Jalapeno LItalicime. I have prepared salads such as my Fresh Mozzarella and Tomato Pasta Salad with O Meyer Olive Oil.

As unbelievable and versatile as they are, go for sweet or savory, fruity or spicy, whether dinner/siesta/breakfast.

The O Team have created masterpiece barrel aged wine vinegar: O Champagne Vinegar, O Port Vinegar, O Zinfandel Vinegar, O Pomegranate Vinegar, O Lemon Champagne Vinegar, O White Balsamic Vinegar, O Balsamic Vinegar, O Cabernet Vinegar, O Cassis Vinegar, O Cuvee Vinegar, O Pinot Noir Vinegar, O Sherry Vinegar, O Port Balsamic Vinegar and the wonderful O Ginger Rice Vinegar.

Wow! Take a breath…

What a variety. I am in love with their White Balsamic. It is my personal favorite. I dribbled the O Ginger Rice Vinegar in my Stir Fry this week and am planning on using it for my sushi rice next week.

O Olive Oils products are used on Food Network and by many top chefs but are reasonable enough for the average housewife’s kitchen. O Olive Oil’s most expensive bottle runs $18 and $12 for the vinegars.

As Geoff says, “that’s only like a 12 pack..............Wait, what are you thinking?!”

You can find O Olive Oil products at many specialty stores such as Whole Foods or visit:

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Oatmeal Cereal for my Alexandra

My Alexandra would eat oatmeal for breakfast every morning. I finally decided to start making my own...Thank god.

It was so so GOOD! I never knew how amazing a bowl of oatmeal could be..

This is for my Ally!!

Vanilla, Cranberry and Apple Oatmeal for my Alexandra

2 cps. oatmeal
2 cps. milk
2 tsp. Vanilla Paste or Vanilla Extracts
1/2 cp. Vanilla Sugar
1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
1/2 cp. Dried Cranberries
1 chopped apple

1. Add the milk, Vanilla, Vanilla Sugar, Cinnamon, Cranberries and Apples. Bring to a boil. Let Simmer for about 5 minutes. Add the oatmeal. Stir a minute or two.

2. Put in bowl and top with a little more milk per serving.

Fish Tacos with Green Tomato Salsa

Ever since I started my site I have become braver and braver in the kitchen. I do not come in the kitchen protected by a recipe. This is one of those times.

I wanted fish tacos. My husband loves tempura, so I used tempura batter on the mild white tilipia fish.

My salsa was a result of having 5 huge green tomatoes staring at me.
I have been wondering what to make with them for days...I did not feel like fried green tomatoes. Let me say, this turned out wonderful. A little tart which went perfect with the fish. My husband informed me it was another home run.

I love becoming braver and more inventive in the kitchen.....It is such a high.

Let start with the yummy salsa:


4 BIG Green tomatoes (NOT Tomatillos)
2 Garlic Cloves
1/4 cp. Cilantro
1/2 red onion
1 bell pepper
1 jalapeno
2 TB O Jalapeno Olive Oil
2 TB Lime Juice

1. Throw all of the ingredients in a food processor and process until the consistency you enjoy.

Fish Taco:

1.5 lbs Tilipia
1 box of tempura mix
1 1/2 cp. VERY cold soda water
1 Quart oil

Dried Cilantro and Chipotle Pepper Powder

1. Heat the oil to 350.
2. Meantime cut the tilipia in bit size pieces. Then add the soda water to the tempura mix.
3. Dip one tempura a few times and then drop into the hot oil.
4. As soon as it is dark brown remove from oil. Add a little cilantro and Chipotle pepper to each batch.

Red Cabbage Slaw

2 cp Red Cabbage
1/4 cp Cilantro
2 TB. O Jalapeno Olive Oil
1 TB. O Lemon Champagne Vinegar
1 Jalapeno, grated (Remove rib and seeds)

1. Toss all the ingredients together.

To assemble:

flour tortillas
tempura fish
Green Tabasco (For those who like it hot...MY HUSBAND)
Add the fish to the cooked tortilla shells. Top with the salsa, slaw, (optional) jalapenos, and green Tabasco (optional).

Monday, July 20, 2009

Mrs. Meyers

I finally found a product that is tough on my dirty kitchens and safe on my kiddos. I have to share it with my amazing followers and friends.

Have you ever heard of Mrs. Meyers Clean Day? It is now a staple in my household. I must admit, I was skeptical. I assumed that all natural, environmental friendly, biodegradable, chemical free, and is child and animal safe COULD NOT clean that well. Boy, I was wrong. I am not afraid to admit it!

Not only does Mrs. Meyers products amaze me by their heavy duty cleaning, but their aromas are spectacular. I have BASIL laundry detergent! It is very natural and not overpowering. I wanted to crawl into my dryer and sleep in the clean warm clothes. Here are some of their other unique fragrances: Basil, Lavender, Lemon Verbena, Geranuim,
Baby Blossom, and Scent Free.

Mrs. Meyers has a vast line of cleaning products. My favorite by far is their Basil Laundry Detergent and their All Purpose Cleaner.
Please, Check them out!

What do I have in my kitchen? Huevoes Rancheros for the Husband

On Sunday my husband wanted something spicy and savory. Geoffrey loves Mexican. I wanted to make Huevos Rancheros, but most of the recipes I looked at used regular salsa and I did not want that.

I looked into my cupboard and decided to create my own dish with what I had in my kitchen. Lets just say, It was a huge success. My husband devoured the entire plate and informed me that I hit a homerun.

Let's see what you think.....

2 links of Chorizo, out of casing
1/4 cp. chopped onions
1 can pinto beans
1 can of Salsa de (Something...I can't remember, sorry. It is really hot and in a yellow small can)
2 whole Chipotles in Adobo
2 TB of the Sauce in the Can of Chipotles in Adobo
2 flour tortilla, grilled
3 eggs
1/2 cp. monterary jack cheese
2 jalapenos sliced thin

1. I pureed the pinto beans and added the salsa de..., the Chipotles in Abodo and lots of Abodo Sauce. I salt and peppered. It tasted spicy and yummy. Set a side.
2. I browned the Chorizo and added the onions. When browned and the onions are soft I added the thick spicy sauce.
3. I grilled the tortillas and layed on the bottom of a plate. I added half of the cheese.
4. I cooked the eggs over easy. When the eggs where done I added the sauce to the tortillas, topped with the eggs. I added the rest of the cheese and then topped the entire thing with the jalapenos.

Fresh Tomato and Mozzarella Pasta Salad

I received the Bon Appetite Magazine and this was a must try. I admit I changed a few things, but this turned out so refreshing and yummy. I honestly, could eat the entire bowl. I love fresh produce and herbs.

Fresh Tomato and Mozzarella Pasta Salad

One and half pints of cherry tomatoes
1 container of the tiny mozzarella balls
3 TB. fresh chives
1 TB. fresh oregano
3 TB. fresh basil
salt and pepper
4 TB. white balsamic vinegar
2 TB. of good olive oil (It is really good even without oil)
3 TB. freshly grated parm. cheese
1 lb. Orchettia pasta

1. Boil the pasta until al dente about 10 minutes. Let cool.
2. Add the oil, vinegar and whisk. Add the herbs, salt and pepper. Add the tomotoes and mozzarella.
3. Add the pasta and toss to combine. Top with fresh parm. Serve.

This is so good. I can't wait to have some for lunch!

Sunday, July 19, 2009


I am having a fantastic Giveaway! This Giveaway is simple just leave an unique idea on how you would use Vanilla. The winner will receive 5 Mexican Vanilla Beans, 4 oz. Tahitian Vanilla Extracts, 1 0z. of ground Vanilla Beans, and my all time favorite product, 4 0z. of Vanilla Paste!!
All of the Vanilla will be from Steve @ The Boston Vanilla Bean Company. I love their product and their passion.
The Giveaway will begin tonight and will end on Friday. On Friday, Steve from the Boston Vanilla Bean Company will pick the top 3!!! Then your fellow foodies will vote for the number ONE!
Just leave a comment on how you would use vanilla.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Dirty Blondes: A Cross Between Brownies and Blondies.

Vanilla, Vanilla, Vanilla!!!!
My favorite ingredient! There is nothing I would rather talk about on my 100th post!
Yep, today is my 100th post~Congratulations to me!!
I am celebrating by posting extraordinary brownies, I mean Blondie's, no no...A cross in the middle...Dirty Blonde's..
I also want to inform my readers I am going to host a giveaway.
This time I will be giving away the most amazing products. Boston Vanilla Bean Company Vanilla Paste (MY FAVORITE INGREDIENT EVER).

Stay posted....The Giveaway will be real real soon!!!

Dirty Blondie's

2 Sticks of butter, melted
3 cps. Vanilla Sugar (Another FAV)
1 TB Vanilla Paste
4 eggs
1 melted 4.4 oz. of Hershey Milk Choc. Bar
1 tsp. salt
1 bag of caramel choc. chips.
1 1/2 cps. flour

1. I added the first three ingredients and mixed until fluffy. I then added one egg at time. I slowly added the melted chocolate bar. I added the salt and then the sifted flour. Lastly, I added the caramel choc. chips. I mixed until just mixed.
2. I added to a greased 11 X 13 pan.
3. Baked on 350 for 45-hour. When tooth pick comes clean...

My husband absolutely adored these...I will not be making anything else....He said that it resembles fudge.

I hope you enjoy!!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Parmesan Potato Chips for a Playdate

I have mentioned before that I bake or cook for many mommy play dates.

Today I made homemade potato chips. I sprinkled each with a little bit of salt and some Parmesan cheese.

I love potato chips, but I love homemade potato chips even more. Bailey Leland, my 18 month old, would eat the entire batch if I let her.

Anyway, my Amiga has four girls and I have two...Lets just say, it is a party when we get together. These are for her.....

I made many batches, but it is easier to give you the recipe this way. This way you can choose how much to make and season the chips per patch

1 batch:

1 medium potato sliced very very thin ( I used my KA Mandolin)
1/2 tsp salt
2 TB of Parmesan cheese

Quart of oil.

1. Heat oil to 350.
2. Slice the potatoes really thin and drop in the hot oil. I cut them right before I fried them.
3. As soon as you remove them from the oil season.

These keep really well in a freezer safe baggy...
I made cracked black pepper and salt for the adult....
I also made fried sweet potato chips with cinnamon and sugar..


Monday, July 13, 2009

Mac and Cheese with Shrimp

My husband loves shrimp and my girls love mac and cheese. I decided to combine them.

This turned out spectacular.T

My husband and kiddos devoured their food like vultures. I take this as a 5 star review on my meal.

This meal is quick, easy and decedent. What more would you want?

Mac and Cheese with Shrimp

1 box of noodles
1 stick of butter
1/4 cp. flour
1 quart of milk
2 cps. Gruyer Cheese
4 cps. Chedder Cheese
1 - 2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 cp. Asiago + 1/4 cp Asiago
1 cp. panko

1lb. steamed shrimp (I bamboo steamed my shrimp as I boiled the pasta. If you do not have a bamboo steamer....Invest in one. They rock.)

1. Add the milk to a pan and warm. Do not boil. Boil the pasta until Al dente
2. Add the butter and then whisk in the flour. Add the hot milk. Add the cheeses: all of the chedder and Gruyer. Add only 1/2 a cp. of the asiago. salt and pepper.
3. Add the pasta. Then transfer to a large pan. I used my Le Creuset Cast Iron. Combine the planko and the Asiago cheese and top the mac and cheese.
4. Bake on 350 for about 30-45 minutes. When it is crusty on the top and bubbly around the sides.

When I removed the mac and cheese I stirred in the steamed shrimp for the hubby.
I added a little heat. I added Old Bay to the steamed shrimp.

I hope you everyone will enjoy!

Review: Viking 5 QT Stand Mixer

What do we know about the Viking Company? Other than every Food Network kitchen and five-star homemaker, the start is quite noble and familiar; a husband wanting to appease his wife. Fed E Carl Jr. was a fourth generation building contractor. While performing and ambitious designing/building of their new home in the 1980’s, The Mr. & Mrs. had a major dilemma.

Fred wanted a commercial range without the dangers of the extreme heat and high energy output. Fred’s wife wanted old chambers range*.

He decided to combine both needs and designed the first high-end residential range – a heavy duty, high performance, and stylish - to achieve the commercial kitchen greatness and removing the shortcomings.

Fred went into mass production in January of 1987 calling his company “Viking”. Yes, American Made!

In 2002, Viking joined the market of selling culinary products such as mixer, toasters, blenders, food processors and other kitchen necessities.

To this day, Viking is passing on Fred’s passion for professional quality and durability to the pro’s, amateurs, and coinsures.

I adore my Viking 5 qt. Stand mixer for numerous reasons: 1) it’s presence is confident and bold 2) the operations are powerful and smooth 3) it’s simple, and 4.)gracefully glides on wheels across the countertop.

Versatility in attachments such as food grinder, shredder, and pasta maker really ratchet up the deal compared to multiple second tier machines. You all know the reputation.

Fred gave his wife what she wanted. I think along the same lines, right Geoff? Hint. Hint.

* The Chambers stove is a generic name for several different kitchen cooking appliances sold under the Chambers brand name from 1912 to approximately 1988. Their ranges and stand-alone ovens were known for their patented insulation methods, which enabled them to cook on retained heat with the fuel turned off. – via Wikipedia


I received two awards this week. One award was from Gypsy Mommy's Kitchen ( the other from Jenn @ Bread and Butter (

I am very flattered and honored. I started my blog in middle of April. It has been three in half months and I am thrilled at the accomplishments. My site averages 250-300 hits a day which I think is a vast amount. I hope it continues to increase. I love passing on the passion for cooking. It has received three awards and my recipes have entered Top 9 numerous of times.

I want to thank everyone who faithfully follows my site. Everyone has been so incredible. Thank you very much.....

Award Rules:
1. Thank the person who nominated you for this award.
2. Copy the logo and place it on your blog.
3. Link to the person who nominated you for this award.
4. Name 7 things about yourself that people might find interesting.
5. Nominate 7 Kreativ Bloggers.
6. Post links to the 7 blogs you nominate.
7. Leave a comment on each of the blogs letting them know they have been nominated

First thing is first....I have to tell everyone 7 things about myself that they may not know:

1. I am a twin. When my husband first met her he was dumbfounded. We use to play tricks on boyfriends and teachers in HS. We live far apart now. (I live in FL and she lives in OH). It is very hard to be so far away.

2. I grew up in a farm town in OH. I love OH, but my husband packed us up for a job opportunity in 06. We have now lived in FL for almost three yrs.

3. I have two baby girls: Alexandra, 4yrs old and Bailey Leland, 18 months.

4. I have inherited the passion for cooking from my mother. My mom still cooks amazing dinners. I remember when I was growing up she made everything from scratch: Egg noodles, Tomato Sauce, Jam, and so on.

5. I have two BA's. I have a BA in Criminology and BA in Psychology. I was a counselor for drug addicted teens until I had my first baby in 05. I have been a stay at home mom since. My greatest accomplishment is my children.

My husband also graduated with a BA in Criminology. That is where we met. We walked down the isle together for our diploma in 03

6.I am in an amazing stay at home mommy group. At each I bring goodies.

7. I might have to move to Gainesville, FL in September for only a yr. CRAZINESS

My nomintations

1. NataliesKillerCuisine @
This site is always full of funny stories and great recipes.
This is by far one of my fav. sites to visit.
3. Spork and Foon's @
This site always contains great recipes...
I love spicy...He always has great eats.
5. Kiss my Spatula @
Always sharing unique tasteful dishes.
6. Brown Eyed Baker @
Has the best cookies, cakes and yummies
7. Heavenly Housewife @
She is always witty and creative. I love her site.
Thanks to everyone and love ya all!!!!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Lattice Peach Pie with Homemade Vanilla Bean Ice cream

What is better on a hot summer day then a huge slice of homemade peach pie with a BIG scoop of Vanilla Bean Ice Cream?

In my opinion, there is nothing more comforting. My girls must agree. They both took turns running into my kitchen pointing to the ice cream maker and making annoying noises until I feed them a heaping spoonful of the homemade vanilla bean ice cream. haha...They both kept running back and forth begging for the vanilla sweetness.

I usually make my own crust recipe, but I received the Food Network Magazine this week. I wanted to try a few things from the magazine. One section of the magazine is all about pie with many different fillings. I figured I would give it a try. I love the Food Network Mag. and it always has some really phenomenal recipes.

Food Networks Recipe of Peach Pie:

3 1/2 cps. flour
1/4 cp. sugar (I used my vanilla sugar)
1 tsp. salt
3 sticks of butter, cold, cut in 1 in. pads
1 TB of white vinegar
1/2 cp. ice water

Add the flour, sugar and salt into a food processor. Add 1 stick of butter at a time. Pulse. It should be crumbly and the size of peas.

This is what it should look like. Then add the vinegar and water. Pulse three times. Remove from the food processor and put on a floured counter. Knead a few times. Cover and put it in the refridge for 1 hour.

2 1/2 pounds of peaches, skinned removed and cut into slices.
1 cp. brown sugar
Juice of one lemon
2 heaping TB of quick cooking Tapioca
1/2 tsp. vanilla (I used the BVBC Vanilla Paste)
1/4 tsp. cinnamon (I added a little more. I love cinnamon)
Dot with 4 TB of butter

Mix all of the ingredients. Add to a pie shell and dot with the butter.

Bake on 400 for an hour.

I used a Emile Henry pie pan and it worked wonderful. But whatever you have will work beautifully. This pie is outstanding. I give Food Network Mag. five stars.

My Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

2 cps. heavy cream
3 cps. whole milk
1 cp vanilla sugar
1 vanilla bean

1. Add them to a sauce pan. Split the vanilla bean and add the pulp and the vanilla bean. Cook the milk and cream just until the sugar dissolves. (Should still be pretty cool) Add to the ice cream maker...Remove the vanilla bean and add to the ice cream maker. If it is warm let it cool. Refridge. Let it work its magic for about 30 minutes and the add to a container and refridge until firm.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Blueberry Orange Granola Bars

My husband loves snacks for the mornings to eat during his drive to work. I know everyone is probably sick of the things I do for him, but he does a lot for me too. Geoff works his butt off so I can stay home and raise our beautiful girls. I will never be able to show him how much I appreciate that. This is not just for him. My girls love them too and they are very good for you....
Granola Bars
(adapted from as Playgroup Granola Bars)

4 cps. oats
2 cps. brown sugar
1 cp. wheat germ
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 cps. flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 cp. honey (I subbed some blueberry syrup. I wanted a more of a blueberry taste)
2 eggs
1 cp. Blood Orange O Olive Oil, (Veg. Oil if you do not have the flavored Oil.)
2 tsp. Vanilla Paste
1/2 cp. sunflower sees
1/2 cp. almonds, slivered
1/2 cp. pecans
1 cp. dried blueberries
1 cp. dried cranberries

I added all the dry ingredients, nuts, dried blueberries and cranberries.

I then added the eggs, oil, honey (If you want sub Blueberry syrup), and O Blood Orange Olive Oil. (Or reg. oil)

All you need to do is mix the ingredients just to combine.

Look at how wonderful that looks. When it is finished being mixed push it into a greased 13x11 pan. Bake on 350 for 35 minutes. Let it cool and cut into bars.

A New Favorite: Feijoada

I must admit I do not know to much about this meal except it is from Brazil. I will do some research. I will let you know.....But I do have to come clean all together. I found this recipe in Everyday with Rachael Ray Mag. I know. I know. I KNOW. There is a lot of people that do not care for her. Truthfully, there is a lot of recipes that I do not care for, but recipes like this makes up for it. As soon as I saw the recipe I KNEW I had to make this for my husband.....
My husband informed me after one bit that he wants this meal every other week. Which is fine with me. This meal was pretty easy and I cook by itself most of the day.
It was a success.

6 TB O Jalapeno Olive Oil (Or Reg. Oil)
2 lbs of pork shoulder, cubed
1 ham hock
1 lb of smokes sausage, cut in small bit sized pieces.
1 lb dried black beans, RINSED
1 LG. red onion, chopped
2 dried bay leaves
4 cloves, minced
2 cps. of long grain rice
salt and pepper.
1 jar of pickled jalapenos (I used the jalapenos and the juice)

I have no idea if anyone has heard of O Olive Oil from California. But they make flavored Olive Oil that is quit amazing. I used the Jalapeno and Lime to make this dish.
Brown the pork on medium heat with 2 TB of Olive Oil. (You will use the rest of the Olive Oil to make Black Refried Beans
Cut the sausage. I used Surry Sausage (Which I do know about. It is a sausage only created in Surry, VA. IT ROCKS.) and diced 1 onion. Half for now and half for later.
Add it to the pot. Add with 3 bay leaves, pepper,sausage, 8 cups water, bag of black beans 1/2 the onions and ham hock.
I then minced garlic (4 cloves) into the pot. Cover it. Let it cook on medium heat(a simmer) for a few hours. Then you get.........
I added rice, jalapenos, and the other half of the onions. (You need to brown the other half of onions and add a little of the ground beans and mash...Almost like black beans refried beans and you add it back to the pot.) I used the half the juice of pickled jalapenos and almost all of the jalapenos.
This was really good and spicy...I think this would be a GREAT Burrito filling too.....

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

BBQ Steak Salad for the Husband

BBQ Marinade for the Flank Steak

1 2-3 lbs flank steak
1 TB Liquid Smoke
1/4 cp. BBQ sauce
1/2 cp. oil
1/2 cp. soy sauce
3 TB steak sauce
3 TB red wine vinegar
1. Whisk this together and pour over a 2-3 lb. flank steak. Let sit over night.
2. Grill 4-5 minutes on each side. Let rest for 10 minutes

Bag of good Onion Rings

3. Bake on 415 for 25 minutes. Turn half way through......Make sure they are really crispy.

Lettuce (Red Leaf, Green Mix)
1 Carrot, Shredded
2 cp. Cheddar Cheese
12 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1/2 cucumber diced
1/2 red onion
3 ears of corn cut from the cob

4. Mix all together in a large bowl., except the cheese. Top with the grilled steak and Onion rings. Add the cheese to the top. For the dressing: I usually add a little BBQ sauce into a little ranch. My husband does not like Ranch and uses Italian dressing. It depends on what you favor.

I must admit this is one of my favorites. I love huge salads with fries or onion rings. I am from close to the PA area where they put french fries on everything. This is so good and refreshing......


Monday, July 6, 2009

Review: Capresso Coffee TEAM Therm-455 Digital Coffee Grinder/ Maker

Let me start by saying, this makes my mornings incredible. I look forward to that perfect cup of coffee that taste exactly the same each morning. My husband wanted to write his own review on this product. He is the self-made coffee connoisseur. He is also the one who wakes up at 4 or 5 am and makes the coffee for me. (I know I am lucky, but he is too)
I want to add a few pointers about Capresso TEAM Therm-455. Their grinder is not your average grinder. It grinds slowly with minimal heat to preserve the coffee beans and taste. Also, the carafe is made with a stainless steel vacuum to keep it fresh for hours. (It does work.) I have gone to the farmers market and have come back at 10 am. for a fresh cup of coffee that my husband brewed at 5 am.
This by far brews the best cup of coffee and I thank Capresso for their uniqueness and evolutionary ideas.

Here is my husbands review:

Impressive Capresso 455 Digital Coffee Grinder/Maker by guest reviewer Geoff
You all know the commercial - An extraordinarily handsome dark haired man of athletic build wakes up in his charming suburban master bedroom, beautiful wife still peacefully asleep at his side. Wow is this room clean. Sun peaking through the window treatments, pop on the slippers and la la la… The orchestral arrangement carries him softly down the stairs. Grab the brand new can of coffee grounds from the solid oak cabinet… pop, hiss, shhhh. The manual can opener releases the heavily aroma, the fix is near. Everything will be alright soon.
Short story long, the guy makes the coffee, the wife gets to wake up to a freshly made pot, everybody is super frickin’ happy. He pulls it off flawlessly. Wink, wink, from the wifey!
So true to my body type and daily life experience, sans the sun being up when I am or the slippers and the orchestra, oh and the gold metal technique which kills the winky winky, I am not flawless. Read that twice.
Just to break the ice and get the snicking out of the way - on occasion I forget to sometimes add water, coffee, filter, or plug it in and/or turn it on. The most disappointing of all these is using a palatable proportion of grounds to water. Oh, I don’t use any measuring implements either which means I “eye it“. My eyes do not focus so well like Mr Suburban Super Husband Guy. At least I grind my own beans DUDE.
Should I even be allowed to do this? Do the coffee grounds floating in my cup really add a manly protein chew? Fact - I have a co-worker that claims this to be true and that I should just be a man and drink it. So I drink. I am man.
The folks at Capresso Inc. say “stop it, that’s enough Geoff“. The New Jersey manufacturer rolls out some serious top tier coffee and espresso makers. Developed over the last 15 years, the Capresso line-up can even figure out how to engineer around my blunders, except for the plugging it in issue (pssst, work on it guys).
The Capresso model #455 CoffeeTEAM Therm™ 10-cup Digital Coffee Maker / Burr Grinder Combo was the answer for my style. The system allows you to program not only auto start, but auto grind to brew. No hands!
Fill the Bean container to the top. Fill the reservoir with water. No filter needed. Plug it in. Program for cups, strength, and grind size. Once the grinder knows it has processed the correct consistency and amount, the filter assembly automatically swings over the stainless steel carafe, and blub blub. Coffee. The fastest at that.
The coffee will still be hot 10-12 hours later in the insulated carafe. I know, I just cleaned it, it was hot.
No heating element = No more turning the family truckster around because she forgot to turn it off.
We decided to give the device at least a one week tryout and I am glad we did. This process was difficult at first. I am used to the cheap ol’ Dr. Coffee, the coffee mangler maker. I never spent more than $50 on one. My Mom spends $150 + and they still don’t cut it, they look pretty though. The process has not evolved in that world.
It is so simple that you over think it. You scuttled the automation! Get your hand out of the way stupid!
Two mornings later and I was a Pro. Being a Pro will set you back $300 for this exotic, however you have to spend $2 for 16 oz. this good at JohnnyAllStarBucks (trademark pending). That’s a three month payback in my world. Put that in your cup and chew it.

Review: Marin French Cheeses

This was a very interesting and unique product to review. Marin French Cheese Company also known as Rouge et Noir was created in 1865 and are still creating amazing Artisan Crafted Cheeses. You can find this company in Northern California near Sonoma Wine Country. Not only do they create distinguished and incredible cheeses, but they also offer tours, cheese tasting and a deli at their facility and 700 acre grounds.

The Marin French Company has created many award winning cheeses. In 2005 Rouge de Noir won three gold award in the World Championship Brie at the World Cheese Awards. One of them is the Triple Creme Brie. It is one of the best soft ripened cheeses in America. It is incredible with strawberries and fruit. Marins French Gold also won a gold award. Marin Gold French is known for its a little sharp, buttery and creamy texture. Then the Marin French Company created the Marin French Blue. It is also a gold award winner at the London World Cheese Championships. It is made with Jersey Sow milk and it makes it peppery, yet sweet. The Melange Brie won a award at the World Cheeses in 2008. It is made with goats milk.
Lastly there is the Yellow Buck Chevre. It won the Americas Notional Trophy in 2005 for Best American Cheese. This is the Marin Cheese Company's original. I must admit this was one of my favorites. It is also made with goat cheese and it has an incredible nutty and delectable taste. There has been many other awards granted to this amazing craftsmanship and I am sure there is more to come.

For me, this was my first time trying Brie. I must admit, I am a huge fan. My favorite was the pesto and jalapeno flavored brie that Marin Cheese Company made. I am a fan of mild blue cheese, but Marin Blue Cheese was a little to strong for my taste. I served this to some of my husbands co-workers who greatly enjoyed it. By far my favorite is the Yellow Buck Chevre. I will pitilessly admit that I ate the entire thing myself with good sausage and peperoni.
If you are interested in Marin Cheeses you can locate them on and also their site at:

Here are some of the AMAZING Brie Recipes that I have found:

Cookin Canuck:
This would be perfect with the Triple Creme Brie.

Yummy...This would also be great with many of Marins wonderful Brie Cheeses.