Saturday, June 16, 2018

Mascarpone Cannoli Cheesecake

As we occasionally do, we celebrated Kevin, Matteo, and Declan's birthdays all at once this year. Mom had Kevin's cake covered: a family friend volunteered to make him a Minions cake. For Matteo and Declan, I asked their moms for ideas. Cheesecake for Matteo, chocolate for Declan. Since our family is mainly Italian, I decided to make a cannoli cheesecake that I saw on one of Giada De Laurentiis's TV shows last fall (the decision may or may not have also been guided by the fact that Matteo will be spending some time in Italy this summer).

Stuffed Peanut Butter S'mores Bars

I'm starting to think that peanut butter is a bit of a staple in my family since as far as I know, every likes it (well, except Carly obviously. But I've always thought that if she weren't allergic to nuts, she'd be a fan too). Especially when paired with chocolate. So of course I wasn't surprised when I texted Helen for more flavor ideas for Kevin's birthday present and she said he liked chocolate peanut butter. She also told me that he likes anything s'mores-flavored.

That last one got the decisive gears going in my head. I started by looking at the books and magazines and got lucky right off the bat. I had gotten a couple recipe books at a store in Chelan called The Culinary Apple (it's one of those stores that sells all kinds of pots, pans, dishes, tools, and other stuff for the kitchen). One of which is all about s'mores - not just ways to enhance the traditional s'more but also all kinds of treats with chocolate, marshmallow, and grahams. The one that stuck out to me was a bars recipe with peanut butter cups.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits

I have a confession that probably won't be a surprise to those who know me: I'm a carboholic. Specifically bread. You know that healthy eating tip that says to replace the carb of your sandwich (bread, bun, etc.) with a veggie or something? Yeah, I roll my eyes at that one. I'm even interested in bread served at restaurants I will never go to. Like Red Lobster (other than Gorton's brand fish sticks, seafood doesn't appeal to me). I've heard nothing but raves over the years for their cheddar biscuits. Which basically meant I had to try them. Thank goodness for copycat recipes on the internet! (Yes, I know you can buy the mix at the store. And while I almost got it because of the ingredients, I decided to stick with making these from scratch.) I've saved a few on Pinterest so I looked at all of them and decided on one from Damn Delicious.

Sunday, May 20, 2018


A few months ago I was at Bed, Bath, & Beyond to see if they have a broiling pan so I could make burgers at home (I've discovered that it's a good place to go before Amazon for stuff for my apartment that Safeway and Target don't have. Plus I get a coupon with my Good Housekeeping magazine that I like to use). As I usually do when I'm there, I started walking around the area of the kitchen section where the kitchen tools and baking pans are. I came across a pan for making madeleines - a.k.a. mini tea cakes. A madeleine pan is one of the few items left on my Amazon baking items wish list because I've always wanted to make them. So I decided to buy it with the plan to use up leftover chocolate chips from baking Christmas presents. I even found a recipe.

Except that plan never really came to fruition. I wanted to make them for me but never really had an opportunity (yes, I'm one of those bad people who has to have dessert after dinner. However, as I've said before, my hands are magnets to new/limited flavors of Oreos and I want to eat them before making cookies from scratch. This has yet to happen). And I was unsure about how they would be received at work. So the pan sat on my storage shelf, the label still on it. Until I found out we were having brunch for Mother's Day. Perfect! Madeleines seem like the kind of thing you serve at brunch as well as tea. So I pulled out the saved recipe - something simple that I could add chocolate chips to - and got to work.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Margarita Pinata Cupcakes

A couple Christmases ago my mom got me a cupcake corer (it was on one of my Amazon Wish Lists that I'd given her for inspiration so she didn't buy me more shirts to stuff into my closet). And then I never had a chance to use it. Until Auntie Lisa gave me inspiration. She, my uncle, and my cousins were coming up for an event with my uncle's family and they decided to have a Cinco de Mayo party with our family. My original plan was to make the Sopapilla Cheesecake; however, Auntie Lisa sent me a recipe for pinata cupcakes with the suggestion that I make them for our party. I didn't want to use that specific recipe since it required ingredients that I rarely use so I started looking elsewhere. None of the recipes I found were what I wanted though. Which is when I had an epiphany: I could use any cupcake recipe and just core them and fill them with sprinkles (The Kitchen on Food Network had a segment on how to do this last year). So I started searching for lime cupcakes (it felt like an appropriate flavor for Cinco de Mayo) and found Margarita Cupcakes in one of the Betty Crocker recipe magazines on my bookshelf.


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