Friday, November 29, 2013

Choc Shots

Choc Shots

Thanksgiving has come and gone, but one thing that has remained are the endless leftovers, and a big batch of Choc Shots in my fridge.  Not for lack of trying to finish those, just saying!

My sister in law made these yesterday and since then, I have found myself in the kitchen, at different times of the day with a shot glass in my hand......or found licking the last few drops remaining in the shot glass.

I know the holiday has come and gone but just in case someone would like one this weekend, I thought I would share the recipe with you.  There's really nothing to it, super easy to make, but oh so yummy.

Choc Shots

Choc Shots

Milky Way candy bars, broken into pieces
500 ml heavy cream (about one pint and a half)

Place a big pot of water on the stove, top with a metal or glass bowl and melt the chocolate candy bars.  Add in the heavy cream and stir well.  Next goes in the vodka.  Now there's no real measurement for that, just add to your taste, if you like it a little stronger add more, if you don't want it too strong add less.

Mix everything well, pour into a pitcher and let sit on the counter until it's cooled down.  Transfer to the fridge to cool.  When it's nice and chilled, pour into shot glasses and enjoy!!!!

I have been known to go for the wine glass and just sip it while watching a movie...but you know, I'm a rebel like that. 

Choc Shots

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Miss Kay's Honey Pecan Pie

Folks, do I have the perfect Pecan Pie for your Thanksgiving .

Usually I stick with the same recipe, which is the one you can find on the back of the Pecan bags, and truth be told, I've made that one every year.  It worked, it never failed and it was good.

And then I started watching Duck Dynasty a few months ago and I became enthralled by Miss Kay's cooking.  I noticed she had a Honey Pecan Pie and since I do love a good Pecan Pie I decided that I had to try it.  It's SO good guys and it's the recipe I'll use from now on.

Seeing that it's Thanksgiving tomorrow, I always bake the pies the day before so that I'm not so overwhelmed with everything else on the day of.

So, I'm here to share the recipe with you and to encourage you to get your hands on Miss Kay's Duck Commander Kitchen Cookbook.  It will make a great gift for the cook in your family :)

Miss Kay's Honey Pecan Pie
Miss Kay's Honey Pecan Pie
Source:  Kay Robertson

3 large eggs
¾ cup sugar
½ stick (4 Tbsp) butter, softened
½ tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup light corn syrup (I use Karo)
½ cup maple syrup (I use Johnnie Fair) or honey
1½ cups pecan halves
1 (9-inch) unbaked pie crust, homemade or store bought

Heat the oven to 350ºF. Beat the eggs with the mixer until fluffy, about 8 minutes.

In another mixing bowl, stir together the sugar, butter, salt, vanilla, and syrups. Gently fold this into the eggs. Gently fold in the pecans. Pour the filling into the piecrust.

Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until the filling is set and no longer wobbly in the center.

Let cool completely before cutting.

Miss Kay's Honey Pecan Pie

Monday, November 25, 2013

Black's Bakeware Dimpled Cookie Sheet

Boy do I have a great product to talk to you about.

A few weeks ago I was sent a cookie sheet from Black's Bakeware.

But a cookie sheet is just....a cookie sheet, right?  Oh my friends, that is where you're wrong.  It's not just any old cookie sheet, it is a dimpled cookie sheet and what it can do for you cookie baking is wonderful.

It has now become my only cookie sheet specifically assigned to cookie baking, and I do a lot of that around here.

But who exactly is Black's Bakeware and how did this cookie sheet come about?

Let me introduce you to Charlie Black, a retired military veteran.  

Charlie Black is a retired military veteran with decades of experience in mess halls and commercial kitchens.

During Charlie’s time in the kitchen, he began to notice a pattern: traditional baking sheets were becoming warped after repeated exposure to heat. If you’ve ever spent any time around the military, you know that anything less than perfection won’t cut it, so Charlie made it his mission to create the perfect baking sheet. That’s how Black’s Bakeware was born.

Charlie created his first cookie sheets in the workshop behind his home in West Virginia. He quickly found a home for them in schools and restaurants in the local area. Charlie’s process of making the perfect cookie starts with the perfect cookie sheet.

What sets his baking sheet apart from the rest is Black’s patented dimples, which not only act as place markers for dough so your cookies won’t run together as they bake, but also they prevent your cookies from sticking. Cookies and breads will bake evenly throughout, thanks to the patented design. Now, after almost 12 years Black’s Bakeware is being released to the general public. Find out why professionals and commercial kitchens count on Black’s Bakeware!

Black's Bakeware

I got the small baking sheet, which measures 11” x 15 ½” – bakes 12 desserts, rolls, or biscuits
All-natural, aircraft-grade aluminum – None of the carcinogenic chemicals found in other baking sheets
100% Made in the USA
No oil needed!
Easy to clean and easy to store!

Black's Bakeware

Truth be told, I didn't really know what to expect, nor did I imagine that those little dimples in the sheet would be the secret to perfectly baked cookie.  I have had so many cookie sheets, matter of fact still do have tons, but I always end up having to put foil or parchment paper over them because they get so dingy and nasty.

Not to mention that they never bake the cookies exactly the same way, some are over baked, others are not yet done.  It's a pain.

Did you know that commercial chefs use these sheets?

Black's Bakeware

I got a batch of Oatmeal cookies in the oven.  I was so eager to give it a try and see if it really did do what it says it does.

True enough, the cookies baked evenly and came out about the same size.  Just beautiful cookies.

Black's Bakeware

One thing I'll tell you about this sheet, is that it makes a great addition to your kitchen, especially if you love baking with your little ones.

Even though my kids are not little anymore, they still enjoy baking with me and they found that the dimples on the sheet made it easy to know exactly where to put the cookie dough, as they're evenly spaced apart.

Black's Bakeware

Yum, Yum, Yum!

I now have a very happy husband and kids, a very happy kitchen, an easy cookie sheet to clean and the knowledge that I'll never have to worry about burnt, uneven, stuck cookies again.

These really are the best baking sheets I have ever come across.

I don't know exactly when they'll be available for purchase, but I'm waiting to hear back on that and as soon as I have an answer for you, I will come and let you know.  I think they would make a great gift for the baker in your family :)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Best Ever Fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes

I love a good pancake, dripping with butter and drizzled with delicious syrup.

I don't make them too often as breakfast around here is usually a bowl of cereal or oatmeal, toast and other easy things.  But once in a while I really crave a good pancake and not out of a box mix (though I do use those too).

Enter the fluffiest buttermilk pancakes you could ever have.  These come from the great food blog The Slow Roasted Italian.  So very yummy!

The key really is to let the batter sit for an hour or overnight, that is what will give you super fluffy pancakes, though if you make them right away you will still get pretty fluffy ones.

The best ever fluffy buttermilk pancakes

The Best Ever Fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes
Source:  The Slow Roasted Italian
Serves 6

2 cups all purpose flour
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 beaten eggs
2 cups buttermilk
¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder and baking soda. Whisk to combine. Add eggs, buttermilk, butter, salt and vanilla. Stir until just combined. Do not over stir or you will have flat pancakes.

Set aside on the counter for an hour, or place in the refrigerator overnight.

Ladle ¼ cup batter on a hot non stick skillet, over medium heat. Cook until pancakes are golden brown around the edge and bubble appear around the edges. Flip and cook until done.

Serve and enjoy!

The best ever fluffy buttermilk pancakes

Lucky Leaf Giveaway Winner!!!

Thank you all for participating, and if you weren't chosen as the winner, I hope it doesn't stop you from baking up a storm this holiday season.  :)

I used to draw the winner and the number that came up was:

#7 - Vera Khule

Congratulations Vera, I will be contacting you shortly :) 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Menu Plan - 11/18 to 11/30

It's been a while since I've put up a Menu Plan.  Quite honestly, I've had to neglect my poor food blog for other more important things going on around me, but every chance I get, I try to get back here with a little update.

Today it's the menu plan, maybe tomorrow it will actually be a recipe, who knows. 

Monday 18th
Bacon Alfredo

Tuesday 19th
Niece's Birthday - Out to Dinner

Wednesday 20th
Chicken Parmesan Meatballs with Egg Noodles

Thursday 21st
Beef Stew with Homemade Cheddar Bay Biscuits

Friday 22nd
Shepherd's Pie with Salad and Pickled Beets

Saturday 23rd
Chicken Pepper Pasta

Sunday 24th
Pumpkin Soup, Grilled Cheese and Tomato

Monday 25th
Bifes c/ molho de cerveja (Portuguese Steaks with Beer Gravy), Homemade Fries

Tuesday 26th
Upside Down Pizza Casserole

Wednesday 27th
Big Eddie's Rigatoni

Thursday 28th
Thanksgiving - Fried Turkey, Gravy, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Green Bean Casserole, Cornbread Stuffing, Cranberry Sauce,  Homemade Dinner Rolls, Sweet Potato Casserole, Pecan Pie, Pumpkin Pie

Friday 29th

Saturday 30th 
Sriracha Honey Wings, Oven Potatoes, Garlic Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Monday, November 11, 2013

Oven Roasted Chestnuts!

Dia de Sao Martinho or St. Martin's Day is celebrated in Portugal today.

In Portugal, St. Martin's Day is commonly associated with the celebration of the maturation of the year's wine, being traditionally the first day when the new wine can be tasted.

It is celebrated, around a bonfire, eating the magusto, chestnuts roasted under the embers of the bonfire (sometimes dry figs and walnuts), and drinking a local light alcoholic beverage called água-pé (literally "foot water", made by adding water to the pomace left after the juice is pressed out of the grapes for wine - traditionally by stomping on them in vats with bare feet, and letting it ferment for several days), or the stronger jeropiga (a sweet liquor obtained in a very similar fashion, with aguardente added to the water).

Oven Roasted Chestnuts

Having spent my childhood in Portugal, I vividly remember enjoying roasted chestnuts served in a cone made out of newspaper. It was one of our favorite things to do as the year drew to a close and the busy city center of Lisbon became lit with Christmas lights.

Even though I can't enjoy those anymore, I am still trying to bring that tradition to life each year for my children. Oven roasted Chestnuts are as close as I can get to the delicious fire roasted, but they are equally tasty and sure take me back in time.

Oven Roasted Chestnuts
Oven Roasted Chestnuts

Paring Knife

Preheat the oven to 425 F. Using a sharp paring knife, make an X on each chestnut, make sure to cut through the skin so they can vent. Last thing you want is for them to explode in the oven, they make a huge mess.

Bake them for about 30 minutes or until the skin peels back on the chestnut. Shake the pan or stir them up a few times throughout the baking time.


To roast on an open fire:
Rinse and score the shells. Fire up your grill to medium-high. Put the nuts on the grates cut side down and close the lid. Roast until the shell peels back and begins to scorch and the meat starts to turn golden, perhaps 10 minutes.

Oven Roasted Chestnuts

Holiday Baking with Lucky Leaf - Giveaway!!!


Can you believe the Holidays are almost here? And you know what that means. It means shopping, baking, cooking, and most importantly getting together with the ones you love.

Well, here we are, another Lucky Leaf giveaway and more yumminess being whipped up in the kitchen.

The folks at Lucky Leaf sent me a really cute baking kit, which included the sweetest little ceramic pie bird and of course delicious pie fillings.  I can never have enough and always have cans in my pantry.


From the recipes included in the kit, I picked, or rather the family immediately picked the Caramel Apple Pie.  Can't get more American than Apple Pie right?

Oh my, this was delicious, my brother enjoyed a big slice before heading off to work and my sister in law even had two slices, it was that good.

Caramel Apple Pie
Source:  Lucky Leaf
Serves: 8
Cook Time: 45 minutes

2 prepared pie crusts
221-ounce cans LUCKY LEAF® Premium Apple Pie Filling
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon all spice
12 Kraft® caramel squares
1 teaspoon milk
½ cup chopped pecans


Preheat oven to 425°F. Place one pie crust in a baking dish.
Combine spices with LUCKY LEAF Apple Pie Filling. Pour apple mixture into crust.

Melt caramels and milk in microwave-safe bowl for about a minute, stirring twice. Pour melted caramels over the Apple Pie Filling.

Place pecans on top and cover with the second crust. Vent crust for baking.
Brush top of pie crust with the beaten egg wash and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of sugar.
Brush top of pie crust with the beaten egg wash and sprinkle with 1-teaspoon sugar. Bake for 45 minutes.


So good!

Aside from all the great holiday baking that is to come, Lucky Leaf is also running a Lucky 13 Recipe contest.

The Lucky 13 Recipe Contest begins on November 6th.  Enter your best original recipe using Lucky Leaf® Pie Filling for a chance to win one of 13 great prizes, including the $2,500 grand prize! Please submit your recipe between November 6th and December 2nd. Qualified recipes will be on display in the recipe gallery on the Lucky Leaf Facebook page starting on December 3rd.

AND to top it all off, Lucky Leaf is also generously giving away a baking kit to a lucky winner.  You will receive a can of Lucky Leaf pie filling, a recipe card, a ceramic pie bird and two pie slice boxes and forks.

Now doesn't that make you want to get in the kitchen and bake???

== Contest is open to all US Residents.  Giveaway runs through Monday, November 18th 2013 and I will draw a winner using

== Please leave a comment including a way to contact you if you are picked as the winner.....keep in mind that if you don't claim your prize within 2 days, I will pick another winner.

Good Luck, and Happy Baking!!!