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“Mall” pretzels

11 Nov

Yummy and fun to do with kids.  Cheap too.  Takes about an hour and a half because you have to let them rise and knead them but they were tasty and better than the non-kneading sort.  I put salt/butter on half and cinnamon/sugar on half.  🙂  It’s like dinner and dessert in one recipe.

Buttery Soft Pretzels

  • 4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 4 cups hot water
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt, for topping


  1. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together flour, 1/2 cup sugar, and salt. Make a well in the center; add the oil and yeast mixture. Mix and form into a dough. If the mixture is dry, add one or two tablespoons of water. Knead the dough until smooth, about 7 to 8 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). In a large bowl, dissolve baking soda in hot water.
  4. When risen, turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a rope and twist into a pretzel shape. Once all of the dough is all shaped, dip each pretzel into the baking soda solution and place on a greased baking sheet. Sprinkle with kosher salt.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 8 minutes, until browned.



Baked Mac and Cheese

29 Oct

This is awesome and makes an enormous amount.  Make sure you have all the ingredients or the equivalent of 4-5 cups of cheese.  I used cheddar, mozarella and parmesan and it was awesome.  Also, I suggest baking it in cast iron.  That made it extra crispy.  Also, I used panko bread crumbs instead of making her bread crumbs.

From Martha Stewart and


Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Posted by Billie-Jean in Blogalicious Thoughts, Featured Articles on Feb 4th, 2010 | 11 responses

Thank you Martha Stewart for this sublime recipe.

You can easily divide this recipe in half; use a 1 1/2-quart casserole dish if you do.

Serves 12
6 slices good-quality white bread, crusts removed, torn into 1/4- to 1/2-inch pieces
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for dish
5 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 1/2 cups (about 18 ounces) grated sharp white cheddar
2 cups (about 8 ounces) grated Gruyere or 1 1/4 cups (about 5 ounces) grated pecorino Romano
1 pound elbow macaroni

There are some recipes that you’d never let your kids go near, for fear that they burn the house down and bump up your home insurance quotes for the next year. Baked Macaroni and Cheese is pretty much child-proof! I’m not saying to leave your kids unattended with the oven, but this is a recipe that anyone can manage!

1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 3-quart casserole dish; set aside. Place bread pieces in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Pour butter into the bowl with bread, and toss. Set the breadcrumbs aside. In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, heat milk. Melt remaining 6 tablespoons butter in a high-sided skillet over medium heat. When butter bubbles, add flour. Cook, stirring, 1 minute.

2. Slowly pour hot milk into flour-butter mixture while whisking. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until the mixture bubbles and becomes thick.
3. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in salt, nutmeg, black pepper, cayenne pepper, 3 cups cheddar, and 1 1/2 cups Gruyere or 1 cup pecorino Romano. Set cheese sauce aside.

4. Fill a large saucepan with water. Bring to a boil. Add macaroni; cook 2 to 3 fewer minutes than manufacturer’s directions, until outside of pasta is cooked and inside is underdone. (Different brands of macaroni cook at different rates; be sure to read the instructions.) Transfer the macaroni to a colander, rinse under cold running water, and drain well. Stir macaroni into the reserved cheese sauce.

5. Pour the mixture into the prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle remaining 1 1/2 cups cheddar and 1/2 cup Gruyere or 1/4 cup pecorino Romano; scatter breadcrumbs over the top. Bake until browned on top, about 30 minutes. Transfer dish to a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes; serve.

Read more at Perfect Macaroni and Cheese Recipe –

Apple Pie

29 Oct

Apple Pie Recipe


This is the best recipe for apple pie for those who want an old-fashioned, perfect tasting apple pie with a flaky crust.

Using fresh apples, a homemade pie crust recipe, and the perfect blend of spices; this is the apple pie that is true delight in every forkful.

Apple Pie


Pastry for 2 crusts (recipe below)
8 cups sliced, peeled assorted baking apples – about 3 lbs.  (Granny Smith, Cortland, Jonathan)
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
3/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 Tablespoons butter
1 egg yolk
1 Tablespoon milk


1. In a large bowl, toss the sliced apples with lemon juice.

2. Combine sugars, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg; add to apples and toss well to coat.

3. Fill pastry lined 9 inch pie pan with apple mixture. Dot with butter.

4. Place second crust on top of pie filling, cut slits in top of crust to vent. Seal the edges of the crust with a fork or by hand.

5. In a small bowl, beat the egg yolk and milk. Brush mixture over top crust.

6. Bake at 425 degrees F for 15 minutes.

7. Reduce heat to 350 degrees F and bake 40-45 minutes more or until crust is golden and filling is bubbly.


Flaky Pastry Pie Crust Recipe

Makes two 9-inch pie crusts


2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, chilled and diced
1/2 cup ice water


1. Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl.

2. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

3. Stir in the ice water, a Tablespoon at a time, until the crust mixture forms a ball.

4. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.

5. Sprinkle flour onto rolling surface. Roll dough out, then divide in half. Roll each half to fit a 9-inch pie plate.

6. Place crust in pie plate, pressing evenly into the bottom and sides.

Salty but good Southern Fried Chicken

20 Oct

I knew I could trust Paula Deen with fried chicken. It was VERY salty but super good. It would be easy to cut back on the salt, but I’m not sure how exactly since they want you to roll the chicken in salt/pepper/garlic powder, but maybe under-salting the rest. Or sprinkling it onto each chicken piece instead of rolling it in the powder. If I get a chance I’ll try it again and let you all know.

My personal pet peeve of some fried or oven fried chicken recipes: It doesn’t LOOK good. This one looked GREAT!!! And was easy, so it definitely had a “wow” factor, as Tim Gunn would say. 😉

Here you go:

Total Time:  24 min  ***(Not bad for fried food.)
Prep:  10 min
Cook:  14 min


3 eggs
1/3 cup water
About 1 cup hot red pepper sauce ***(I used cumin instead.)
2 cups self-rising flour ***(I added baking powder and salt to all-purpose flour instead. Maybe cut salt out here too.)
1 teaspoon pepper
House seasoning, recipe follows
1 (1 to 2 1/2-pound) chicken, cut into pieces
Oil, for frying, preferably peanut oil


In a medium size bowl, beat the eggs with the water. Add enough hot sauce so the egg mixture is bright orange. In another bowl, combine the flour and pepper. Season the chicken with the house seasoning. Dip the seasoned chicken in the egg, and then coat well in the flour mixture.

Heat the oil to 350 degrees F in a deep pot. Do not fill the pot more than 1/2 full with oil. ***(Note, this is a lot of oil, but could be used again.)

Fry the chicken in the oil until brown and crisp. Dark meat takes longer then white meat. It should take dark meat about 13 to 14 minutes, white meat around 8 to 10 minutes.

House Seasoning: ***(This is where I’d cut back on salt or sprinkle.)
1 cup salt
1/4 cup black pepper
1/4 cup garlic powder

Mix ingredients together and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

A good chicken parmesan

15 Jul

I made this last night and it was both really tasty, and easy since it bakes in the oven for 30 minutes and that’s it!  I made my own sauce and when it was still really hot poured it on the chicken to bake and that made the chicken crazy moist.

Also I used gluten free flour to dip the chicken into instead of bread crumbs making it gluten-free.  Sarah put it over gluten-free pasta and it rocked.

Love sharing with you guys!



Indescribable Brownies (with a Gluten-free option)

29 Jun

For Elizabeth, I just took a normal brownie recipe that had little flour – 1/4 cup – and substituted gluten free flour.  Yum.  Didn’t change the texture much to use rice flour.  A little bit grainy but nothing that anyone will complain about because they’re so fudgy.

  • 8 oz good semisweet chocolate
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 large eggs – room temp
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 2/3 c granulated sugar
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 1/4 c flour (gluten-free or regular)
  • 1-1 1/4 c chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350.

Melt butter and chocolate together in microwave until satiny.  Let cool to room temp.

Beat eggs until thick and light.  Add salt and sugar while beating 8 minutes or until soft peaks.  Beat in vanilla.

Pour in chocolate mixture.  Fold in gently.  Fold in flour and optional nuts.

Pour in pan and bake 30 minutes.  Cool before cutting.  Don’t refrigerate.


Gluten-free EASY peanut butter cookies

28 Jun

These are the rocking peanut butter cookies we had at Emily’s bachelorette party.  And best of all, they are super moist since they require no flour at all.  Take that, gluten!!!

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

One cup creamy peanut butter
One cup white sugar
One teaspoon baking powder
One egg

Preheat the oven to 350°.

Cream the peanut butter and sugar in a bowl. (As much as I love my KitchenAid, I have found that this is a hand-stirring job). Beat in the baking powder. Add the egg. Mix until it is all well combined.

The dough will be sticky, so be prepared to get your hands messy. Roll some dough into a ball. (How big? That depends on you. I have found, however, that the smaller these cookies are, the better they hold together. Eat two instead of one!) Roll the ball into white sugar. Line a baking sheet, covered in parchment paper, with sugary balls of dough.

Bake in the oven for about ten minutes. You will know the cookies are done when they feel coherent, but still a little soft. Take the tray out of the oven and let the cookies rest for at least five minutes. Afterwards, carefully transfer them to a cooling rack. After ten minutes or so, they will have hardened and be glistening with sugar.

Eat them.

Makes ten to twelve cookies.