RSS Feed

Tag Archives: Holidays

Grilled Steak Sandwich

Posted on

With Goat Cheese, Dijon, and Roasted Peppers.


I know you’re dying to see what’s inside, but first I have to set your mind at ease.  That’s not an actual flag.


There’s nothing more American than a slab of beef.


I’m so proud of the grill marks.


I only took one picture and in the frenzy of slicing the steak I didn’t realize that the lighting was off a little.  For the record, that’s way too much Dijon, which I discovered later.


Before I go any further, I’ll give you three guesses to figure out whose book this recipe came from


I knew you wouldn’t figure it out.  It’s Brian Boitano.   Told you it’s all-American.


btw – Jake said I should remind everybody that the actual holiday is Independence Day and not the 4th of July.

Eat Well and Savor.


Pina Colada

Posted on

Because nothing says Happy St. Patrick’s Day like an island drink.


This version came from Classic 1000 Cocktails by Robert Cross.   Frankly, the measurements were a little too much math for me.  2 2/3 msr of pineapple juice?  2 msr is 1.8 ounces.  Have I said enough?


Hey now.  It’s a little more festive.  The second batch I actually put in the blender with some ice and followed the recipe on the back of the cream of coconut bottle.

2 ounces cream of coconut

2 ounces pineapple juice

1 1/4 ounce rum

1 cup crushed ice.

But if you really mean business you can multiply that all by four and throw it in the blender.  Don’t forget the green food coloring.

Eat Well and Savor.

Salted Peanut Butter Cake Balls

Posted on

I really wish someone would write a whole cookbook on things that you can do with salted peanut butter.


They totally remind me of buckeyes!

I actually feel a little bit guilty about these.  My friend Avery gave me a cake ball baker two years ago for Christmas.  I generally don’t like to jump into the latest trend, but I do get a birthday cake pop at Starbucks every once in a while.   Needless to say, said baker is still in the box and sitting in the basement.


Then I stumbled upon a little book simply called Cake Balls by Robin Ankeny and Charlotte Lyon.  It turns out you pretty much just bake a cake, crumble it, mix with some frosting, roll it into balls, and voila.  I realize I’m probably the last person on the planet to learn this.


The point is that the cake ball maker is still collecting dust.   Please, don’t tell Avery.   She just had twin girls three weeks ago, so she won’t have time to read this blog for another 18 years.  Did I mention she already has a two-year-old daughter?


Cake balls were really just an excuse to use these cutie little wrappers.


The book describes cake balls as amazingly delicious bite-size treats.  I couldn’t have said it better myself.  And here’s a secret:  I used a boxed mix and a can of frosting.  The book contains recipes from scratch, which I am usually a stickler for.  I figured if I was going to spend time scooping, rolling, and dipping, then I deserved a shortcut.

Eat Well and Savor.

Strawberry and Lemonade Whoopie Pies

Posted on

Happy Valentine’s Day, y’all!


I am here to tell you that these are not whoopie pies,  Just because you put filling in between something that purports to be cake does not make them whoopie pies, even if there is marshmallow fluff in said filling.

Here’s where my trouble began.


Who could go into a cooking store and not be tempted by this book?

I should have known that I was headed for trouble when the batter wasn’t even close to resembling the picture in the book.


There’s actually pureed frozen strawberries and powdered drink mix in there, but I think some good old red food dye was in order.


They look normal enough, don’t they?


Do not be decieved.


They totally stuck to the pan and they’re crunchy.  Do I really need to say whoopie pies are not supposed to be crispy?


I finally resorted to just putting them on a cookie sheet.  After two batches I just couldn’t take it anymore and I made one big one.


And then I turned it into a true Valentine dessert for Jake.


I should also mention that I wasn’t impressed with the filling either.  It called for lemon oil — which I couldn’t find anywhere — lemon juice, and lemonade drink mix.  I actually thought the drink mix was an ingenious way to get a rainbow of flavors.  Frankly, I left out the oil and the juice because the kool-aid was pretty strong.

And don’t go feeling sorry for Jake because he’s getting kitchen rejects for Vday.  Check out what I found at Publix.


I will admit that I am dying to try that coconut doughnut on the cover, so I haven’t given up completely on this book.  Usually when a recipe goes awry there’s a telltale sign that I ignore and that just wasn’t the case this time.  When it comes to the doughnuts I will tred lightly.

Eat Well and Savor.

Overnight Caramel French Toast

Posted on

I feel as though I should be screaming from the rafters that this is a Cooking Light recipe .  And then I should follow that with an apology for the fact that I only have one crappy picture.


Then I guess I should explain the bread.  The recipe suggested Pepperidge Farm French bread, which of course was not available at my Publix.  Well, when I saw the Pepperidge Farm suggestion the French bread just got knocked out of my head.  I wound up with sourdough.  It was still delish and very caramelly on the bottom.  It didn’t even need syrup.

Here is the recipe, which I found in Cooking Light Annual Recipes 2006.

We actually had this on Christmas Eve for dinner.  Somewhere along the lines my family started having breakfast for dinner for the holiday.  It usually starts with biscuits and gravy and ends with a trifle.  I already can’t wait for next year.

Eat Well and Savor.

The Classic Retro Cheese Ball

Posted on

So I have this great cheese ball plate and I found myself looking for a great cheese ball recipe.  Of course I scoured the Internet and asked a couple of friends.  Then it occurred to me that I actually have a book about cheese.  That really shouldn’t surprise any of us.  It’s Hallie Harron’s Cheese Hors d’Oeurves.


How can you resist this happy guy?


Love those boots.

Inside is smoked gouda and cream cheese.  Need I say more?

Eat Well and Savor.

Seven Layer Cookies

Posted on

I thought I would jump from my cake failure to a tried-and-true success.

Some of you may know these as magic bars, but I’ve been eating seven layer cookies every Christmas of my life.  They are so easy, yet every Christmas I have to call my mom to get the recipe.  A couple of years ago I did manage to write it down, but I still had to call for some clarification.  Don’t worry.  I’ve worked out the kinks.


Heat the oven to 350.  While it’s warming put a stick of butter in a 9×13 pan to melt.  My mom swears that the 2 cups of graham cracker crumbs are to just be layered on top.  But I challenged the cookie gods and actually mixed them in this year.  Shockingly, the world did not end.


Add two cups of coconut.


And then 12 ounces of chocolate chips.


Then my favorite part:  12 ounces of butterscotch chips.  I have had these once with peanut butter chips; someone else made them.  I am not one to discriminate against peanut butter, but I am a firm believer in sticking to the original.


No.  I didn’t get confused and put a picture of chowder in there.  That is none other than manna from said cookie gods:  Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk.  Not one can, not two cups, but two whole cans.

Lastly, two cups of walnuts.  Although I think I bought the package that was 2-1/2 or 2-2/3 cups and used the whole thing.  No need to toast ahead of time.  Bake for 30 minutes.


Heaven on a plate.


I can only make these once a year.  Dec-a-dent.


Isn’t that the cutest little reindeer?  This is actually an apron that my mother made for me years ago.


Of course there’s a matching oven mitt and a dish towel to hang on the oven door.

1/2 cup butter

2 cups graham cracker crumbs

2 cups coconut

12 ounces chocolate chips

12 ounces butterscotch chips

2 cans of sweetened condensed milk

2 to 2-1/2 cups of chopped walnuts

Layer in this order in a 9×13 pan and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.  Cool completely before cutting.

btw – I used Nestle chips and couldn’t help but notice that over the years, much like other products, they have decreased in size from the original 12.  The downfall of America, I say.  If they go down any lower I may have to buy two bags next year.

Eat Well and Savor.