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Saturday, March 29, 2014

The Pioneer Woman's Mini Meatball Sandwiches

I am just coming into the recipes of The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond, and subscribe to her newsletter. This was one that popped up that I thought would be perfect for a light dinner. It was. I partnered it with chips and corn on the cob. This made plenty of sandwiches, enough for dinner and lunches the next day. As a bonus, they were just so simple to make. The biggest pain in the rear-end was rolling the meatballs! I made the dish up earlier in the day and then just warmed it up when I got home.

The sandwiches are small enough so they were not overwhelming like the bigger sandwiches are to me. Plus, the bread was much softer than the heavy duty french bread rolls that these sandwiches are normally served on. To boot, they are perfect for wee little hands. 

If using for lunches, just take out the number of meatballs per sandwich and place in a container with two wedges of cheese for each sandwich. Heat up the meatballs in that container and then place on each roll. 

So, here we go!:

1 pound Ground Chuck Or Ground Beef
½ cups Panko Or Other Bread Crumbs ( I used Italian bread crumbs for extra flavor)
1 clove Garlic, Minced (I used 1/2 t. of jarred garlic)
½ teaspoons Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
½ cups Milk
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
½ whole Medium Onion, Diced
1 jar (large) Marinara Sauce
12 whole Dinner Rolls (or Slider Rolls)
4 slices Provolone Cheese, Cut Into Four Wedges Each


1) Mix meat with bread crumbs, garlic, salt, pepper, and milk. Roll into tablespoon sized balls.

2) Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook for one minute. Add meatballs between the onions and brown for one minute. This might need to be done in batches.

3) Pour in jar of marinara. SHAKE pan gently to mix. DO NOT STIR!

4) Cover and allow to simmer for 20 minutes.

5) Cut each dinner roll in half. Place a wedge of Provolone on the top and bottom of each roll. Spoon a meatball with the sauce onto the bottom bun.

Lemon Roasted Chicken (Crock Pot)

I have to say that I am a huge fan of crock pot guru, Stephanie O'Dea. I own each of her cookbooks and had the pleasure to review the latest one, 365 Slow Cooker Suppers.This is a recipe from that book.

Lemon chicken is one of my favorite dishes and we thoroughly enjoyed this recipe. It was a nice blend of lemon, onion, seasonings and garlic. It produced a wonderful gravy that I ended up thickening with cornstarch. Now, Stephanie calls for skinning the chicken parts, but this is optional. Most times, I do leave the skin intact, but did skin it for this recipe.

Instead of using a head of garlic, I added 5 teaspoons of jarred garlic to the herb mixture. Other than that, I stayed pretty true to the original recipe.

So, here we go:


2 onions cut into wedges
1 head garlic, peeled (about 10 cloves) I used 5 t. garlic
1 4 lb roaster chicken, cleaned (I used 4 lbs of chicken thighs)
2 lemons, juiced
1 T. olive oil
1 T. butter, melted
1 T. dried oregano
1 T. dried parsley


1) In a 6 qt crock pot, place garlic cloves (omit if using jarred garlic) and onions in bottom. Place chicken on top.

2) In a small bowl, add the remaining ingredients. If using jarred garlic, add to the sauce.  Pour over the chicken.

3) Cook for 7 hours on low or high for 5 hours. 

4) Remove chicken and onions from the crock pot and place in warm oven.

5) If desired, place 1 T. of cornstarch in a bowl and add 1/4 cup of the drippings. Stir until a smooth paste. Turn crock pot to high and add paste. Stir until well blended. Allow to thicken. This process should take about 20-30 minutes. Return chicken and onion to crock pot and cover with sauce.

6) Serve with white rice and veggies. Spoon sauce over rice.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Saucy Skirt Steak with Orange-spice Sweet Potatoes


My favorite Lean Cuisine is Ranchero Braised Beef. I can eat that stuff like it is going out of style.

I borrowed my friend's Rachael Ray cookbook, Love + Cook, and saw this recipe in it. I knew it had to be like my Ranchero Braised Beef. Guess what...IT WAS! I was in heaven. I ran out immediately and grabbed everything that was needed. This recipe did not disappoint. In fact, as I am typing this, I am getting a hankering for it!

Now, I will admit that it took a bit more time with a whole lot more steps than throwing it in a microwave, but it was so worth it. Skirt steak is partnered with an ancho pepper sauce and topped off with a side of sweet potatoes. YUM!

So, here we go!


3 lbs skirt steak
3 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 T. butter
1 large sweet onion, chopped sliced
2 dried ANCHO chili peppers, seeded and stemmed
1.5 cups chicken stock
1 T. tomato paste
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
Olive Oil, divided
black pepper
2 slices bacon, finely chopped
Orange, zested and juiced
1 t. ground coriander
1/2 t. ground cumin
1/4 t. cinnamon
couple of dashes of hot sauce


1) Place sweet potatoes in a pot of boiling water which has been salted. Cover and allow to boil for approximately 20 minutes or until tender. Take meat out of refrigerator and set aside. Allow chill to dissipate.

2) In a second pan, melt butter add onions. Cook until soft and carmelized about 20 minutes.

3) In a 3rd pan, place ancho peppers and 1 cup chicken broth. Add water to cover peppers. Bring to a boil and add tomato paste. Reduce and simmer to about half.

4) Place anchos and onions in a food processor or blender. Add Worcestershire sauce. Process until smooth. With the blender/processor on, add a steady stream of olive oil. Add salt/pepper to taste and set aside.

5) Season the meat with salt/pepper. Drizzle with olive oil. Grill for 6 minutes each side. Place in a warm oven to keep hot.

6) Heat olive oil in a 4th pan and cook bacon just until it begins to crisp.

7) Drain sweet potatoes. Add the orange zest, juice and bacon. Mash to desired consistency adding up to 1/2 cup of the broth. Season with the seasonings and hot sauce.

8) Remove steak from oven and thinly slice. Place steak on plates and top with the ancho pepper sauce. Add a side of the potatoes. I also partnered with thin cut green beans.

Pork and Chicken Chow Mein

Another winner from Kay Robertson's new cookbook. I liked this one because, after a very long day,  I whipped it together in less than thirty minutes along with the rice, pot stickers and egg rolls. With the exception of 4 boneless pork chops that are chopped (I did this before I left for the day to save time) and fried prior to adding the remaining ingredients, it is all canned goods.

Normally, I don't allow commercially prepared, particularly canned, food on my menu, but this dish makes an appearance once per month.

Simply put, simplicity at its best!

So, here we go!:


1/4 cup vegetable oil
4 boneless pork chops, chopped (go as small as you can)
1 bi-pack chicken chow mein dinner (48 oz)
1 can chop suey vegetables, drained
3 T. soy sauce
3 T. teriyaki sauce

**Serve with white rice and chow mein noodles**


1) Heat oil in a very large skillet that has a lid until shimmery.

2) Add  pork pieces and fry until browned.

3) Add remaining ingredients. Simmer for 15 minutes.


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Rosemary-Garlic Roasted Chicken with Dripping Good New Potatoes

Source: Beating the Lunchbox Blues by JM Hirsch

Oh my goodness, this dish was not only simple, but it was DELICIOUS! I honestly thought that it was restaurant quality, but, minimally, it would qualify as  a simple dish for entertaining! I found this recipe in a lunch cookbook, but this cookbook has had the BEST dinner recipes. We chowed down on this dinner!

It is a combination of fresh rosemary and garlic in an olive oil sauce that is baked in a high temp oven. What is even better about this recipe is that the potatoes, the side dish, bake right along with it.

The chicken in this recipe is a whole chicken that has been quartered using poultry shears or a butcher knife. I thought that bone in chicken breasts might also be used for this dish. Make sure to use 6 pounds, but follow the same instructions for the "dipping". 

So, here we go!:

2 lbs new potatoes, quartered
8 cloves garlic, minced
3 sprigs FRESH rosemary
1 T. Kosher salt
1 T. ground black pepper
1/2 cup Olive Oil
1 6 lb whole chicken, quartered


1) Heat oven to 475 degrees and spray a large cookie sheet with cooking spray. Arrange potatoes on sheet and set aside.

2) In a large bowl, combine oil, garlic, salt, pepper and rosemary.

3) Roll the chicken quarters in the oil mixture liberally and really rub it in. Try to get it under the skin as much as possible.

4) Set the chicken on top of the potatoes. Pour remaining oil mixture over potatoes.

5) Roast for 1 hour or until meat in the thickest part registers at 165 degrees.

6) Serve with veggies and cranberry sauce for a perfect meal!

Easy Creole Chicken and Okra

I have a friend named Sue Dyer. Sue LOVES cooking just as much as I do. She subscribes to Yahoo Weekend Recipes and makes sure I get each of the recipes sent to her each week. When I saw the new theme was Mardi Gras recipes, I was all over those bad boys.

I love Cajun cooking almost as much as I love Mexican cooking. Most of the recipes I have for it, though, are weekend involved recipes, so I am very limited in when I can prepare it. When I saw this one, I knew I was right on track for an easy weeknight meal.

As to be expected with me, I did change it some, but not enough not to give credit to Nessie, who sent it out to Yahoo Weekend Recipes.

So, here we go!


6 bone in chicken thighs (remove skin, if desired.)
1/2 t. Cajun seasoning
1/3 cup flour
1 T. Olive oil
2 can diced tomatoes or stewed tomatoes, undrained (I used stewed)
1 16 oz frozen cut okra
Cooked rice


1) In a Ziploc bag, combine flour and Cajun seasoning. Shake each piece of chicken.

2) While shaking chicken, heat 1 T. olive oil in a large pan.

3) Fry each piece of meat for 5 minutes each side. Don't move it to allow it to get a nice crust. Do in batches as necessary.

4) When browned, return all chicken to pan and add tomatoes and okra.

5) Simmer for 30 minutes or until chicken reaches internal temperature of 180 degrees.

6) Serve over rice with cornbread.

Willie's Favorite Roast with Vegetables

When I am wrong, I will admit it. When I am judgmental, which I try really hard not to do, I will cop to it. When I first came across Kay Robertson's new cookbook, I rolled my eyes. First, I considered it another cheesy tchotchke to make those sucking off the teets of the Duck Dynasty phenomena even richer. Second, there was just something that had the feel of Snookie's moronic book. However, I needed a quick cookbook to review, so I figured I would pan it and move on.

 As I got into the cookbook I went "WAIT...HOLD ON! There are recipes in here that my family would enjoy." Some recipes were pretty standard recipes that have been part of my rotation for a while so I wouldn't necessarily call them "authentic". Now, I did skip over the "game" recipes...we will just leave it at game recipes. Let's just say that I feed my squirrels..I don't eat them! In fact, this cookbook was so good that I ended up purchasing it and use it regularly. Just wait until I do the Swiss Steak post! My mouth is still watering! So, I was wrong.

This is one of those recipes. I put this roast in the oven and went about my work for the afternoon. When my husband came home, dinner was done. One thing that I did not like is that the roast was well done. I would like to work that out, but the gravy and veggies on this roast were FANTASTIC. While Kay says that they make a gravy from the drippings, I found this wasn't necessary. The gravy that came off this roast was perfect!

Note: Chop your veggies big. For the potatoes, mushrooms and baby carrots, I left them whole. This roast cooks slow cooks so you don't want your veggies all broken down. Keeping them large will prevent that.

Note 2: I went a bit heavier on the Cajun seasoning because I love me some Cajun seasoning. I will put my measurement up there. Kay did not put a measurement on her recipe.

So, here we go!


Cooking Oil
Salt and black pepper
4 lbs Boneless Roast (chuck, sirloin tip, rib eye or rump)
BABY new potatoes, I did one pound
1 T.  and 1 t. Cajun Seasoning, divided (optional, but I HIGHLY recommend)
1 lb baby carrots
1 medium onion, chopped large
3 celery stalks (my addition)
1 8oz container WHOLE mushrooms


1) Heat oven to 300 degrees.

2) Put 1/2 inch oil in the bottom of a dutch oven and heat oil to shimmering. If you plan on draining, use 1 inch of oil. I will explain later while I only used a 1/2 inch.

3) Meanwhile, salt and pepper your roast. Place about 1/3 cup of flour in a large bowl and season with 1 t. of Cajun seasoning. Rub this all over the roast. Be sure to coat it really well!

4) Brown the roast on all sides and remove from the pan. Now, Kay say to drain the oil from the pan, but I left it. I wanted the drippings and flour to remain to have the self made gravy.

5) To pan, add all the veggies. Top with the remaining flour and stir very well to blend. Add roast back in.

6) Season with remaining 1 T of Cajun seasoning.

7) Place in oven and bake for 3 hours. 

8) I served with rolls and applesauce.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Crockpot Cheesy Brat Stew

Have you ever had one of those dishes that you were shocked as heck at how well it turned out? I had that with this Cheesy Brat Stew. I was unprepared for how much my husband and I enjoyed it, enough to the the point where I had no intentions of photographing it for the blog. I simply had a package of brats had to get used up and this was the only dish that I had all the ingredients in the morning and could throw into the crock pot. I found this on

It is browned bratwurst that is then combined with a variety of other ingredients, such as potatoes, green beans and, of course, cheese for a rich, rib sticking dish. Best of all, throw it in the crock pot before leaving for work and dinner is done when you get home. I partnered with a salad and Grands biscuits.

So, here we go!:


6 Bratwurst, cut into 1/2 slices and browned
4 medium potatoes, chopping into 1 inch chunks
1 onion, chopped
1 (15 oz) canned green beans
1 red pepper, chopped
2 cups cheddar cheese
1 (10 3/4 oz ) can cream of mushroom soup
2/3 cup water


1) Place all ingredients in the slow cooker. Cook on low for 4 to 5 hours. Potatoes should be fork tender.

2) How easy is that?!?!

Asian Chicken and Vegetables in Foil Packets

I had the chance to grab the new cookbook Weeknight Wonders by Ellie Kreiger. I have been making more and more Asian flared meals, so I loved it when I came across these very interesting packets. I have to admit that they didn't disappoint.

I partnered them with my Fried Rice and pot stickers. It was a perfect meal.

The thin cut chicken breasts were put atop a pepper/carrot veggie blend that then has a sweetened soy sauce blend poured over it. They baked in their own individual packets (so easy clean up). If desired, once baked top with toasted sesame seeds for a nutty addition.

So, here we go!:

4 large green onions, sliced in 1/2" slices
1 medium red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 medium yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
5 baby carrots, chopped into 1/2 slices
4 thin cut chicken breasts
2 T. soy sauce
1 T. unseasoned rice vinegar
1 T. brown sugar
1 T. toasted sesame oil
1 t. Sriracha sauce
4 t. toasted sesame seeds


1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut 4 large slices of tinfoil enough to handle each sized packet. I made mine about 10 inch slices so no dripping of juices.

2) Divide the pepper/carrots into each packet evenly. Top with the chicken.

3) In a medium bowl, combine soy sauce, rice vinegar, brown sugar, sesame oil and Sriracha sauce. Drizzle evenly over chicken and veggies. Top with the green onion.

4) Seal up package and place on large cookie sheet.

5) Bake in package for 20 minutes. The recipe states 12 minutes, but I wasn't happy with that amount of cook time.

5) Remove to plate and top with sesame seeds.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Rich Chocolate Brownies

These are my most favorite, favorite brownie. I make a pan of these and, no lie, they are gone the next day. Now, each recipe only bakes up an 8"x 8" pan, but still, they are just a dang tasty brownie.

They are so rich with a deep chocolate cake and coffee infused frosting that a little goes a long way. No boxed brownie taste here!

I had originally found this recipe in a Taste of Home Annual Recipes book, but have made them so often that I have the recipe memorized.

Like walnuts or pecans in your brownie? Simply add 1/2 cup to the batter mixture prior to adding them to the pan.

Once you try these, you will never go back to a boxed brownie!

So, here we go!:


1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 t. vanilla extract
1/2 cup butter or margarine melted (1 stick)
1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup cocoa
1/4 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt


3 T. butter or margarine, melted
3 T. baking cocoa
2 T. warm water
1 t. instant coffee granules
1.5 cups confectioners' sugar


For the brownie:

1) In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, eggs vanilla and butter. Set aside

2) In a small bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt.

3) Pour the dry mixture into the wet mixture and stir JUST UNTIL BLENDED!

4) Line an 8"x8" pan with either foil or parchment paper and spray with cooking spray. Pour batter in

5) Place in a 350 oven and bake for 25-30 minutes. 25 minutes will produce a richer, fudgier brownie. 30 minutes a cake like brownie.

6) Remove from oven when baked to desired level and allow to cool.


For the frosting

1) In a large bowl, combine butter, cocoa, water and coffee. Slowly add the confectioners' sugar.

2) Frost as desired.

Mexican Rice II


It used to frustrate me because, while I could learn how to make EVERY other Mexican dish, including tamales, I could never figure out how the restaurants made their rice. I would try and try and each recipe that I tried was that nasty wet rice that couldn't even remotely compare to the restaurants.

One day, I just got fed up and went on a long and exhaustive search and found a site called Center Cut Cook. She had a recipe that called for an extra step-the washing of the rice. Also, the rice was baked versus simmered, so I was intrigued. I ran out and immediately purchased every ingredient that was called for and prepared it. I followed each step to a "T". At first, I was disappointed. It looked exactly the same as my rices before. I then put it in the oven. With each stir required by the recipe, I found myself becoming more and more excited. IT WAS TURNING OUT JUST LIKE THE RESTAURANT STYLE.

I was giddy as a school girl. As I have made this more and more, I have found just how magical this recipe is. It freezes well. The sauce freezes well, so it is actually enough sauce for 2 batches. This is now my standard Mexican rice recipe.

One very special note, it is imperative that the rice be washed. DO NOT SKIMP ON THIS STEP. You will pay in the end!

So, on that note, here we go!:


1 (24oz) can whole, peeled tomatoes drained.
1 yellow onion, quartered
2 jalapenos, chopped finely (seeds/ribs removed)
2 cups long grain white rice
1/3 cup canola oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups chicken broth
1.5 t. salt
1/2 cup cilantro
1/2 t. cumin
lime wedges for garnish


1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2) In a blender combine tomatoes and onion until smooth. Pour 2 cups into a measuring cup and set aside. Freeze or discard remaining two cups.

3) In a fine strainer, rinse rice in warm water.  Do not skimp on this step and do it for a good 3-4 minutes! DO NOT OMIT THIS STEP! Allow rice to drain and dry slightly.

4) In an ovenproof pan, heat the canola oil. When hot and shimmery, add the rice and fry for about 10 minutes or until the rice turns a golden brown. Don't allow it to burn!

5) Add in jalapenos and garlic and fry a couple of minutes longer.

6) Stir in broth, the 2 cups of set aside tomato/onion mixture, salt and cumin. Bring to a boil over medium high heat.

7) Cover the pan and place in oven.

8) Every 10 minutes, remove from oven and stir. Do this for 35-40 minutes total.

9) When done, add in cilantro and stir. Garnish with lime and serve immediately!

Ramen Noodle Upgrade

adapted: Mad Hungry Cravings

I am not a huge fan of ramen noodles, but do think that they have their place. Normally I don't purchase them, but I saw this recipe in Lucinda Scala Quinn's MAD HUNGRY CRAVINGS and must admit that they looked interesting and intriguing. They were! She bases her recipe off cold sesame noodles. I have never had these, so I can't compare, but must admit that even my husband enjoyed this recipe. The flavor was very unusual. In fact, just typing this up, I am starting to get a craving for them!

There were three things I did different from the original recipe. First, Ms. Quinn called for the pouring off of the broth before adding the "paste". I kept it to give it some broth. Second, I added toasted almonds and chow mein noodles to give it some crunch. Third, I used creamy, natural peanut butter, instead of the crunchy peanut butter she calls for, because it was the only thing I had in the house. I didn't see it as a problem except that the natural peanut butter is less sweet.

Regardless of how it is prepared, I found it to be a great lunch idea, snack or even a light dinner idea.

So, here we go!:


1 ramen noodle cup or package (3 oz)
1 T. soy sauce
2 T. peanut butter (creamy or chunky)
1-2 t. Sriracha sauce
1 green onion sliced, optional
Toasted almond slivers and chow mein noodles, optional


1) Prepare noodles as directed. If desired, pour off broth.

2) While noodles are preparing, combine soy sauce, peanut butter and Sriracha sauce in a small bowl. I microwaved mine for about a minute just to melt the peanut butter a bit and make for smoother blending.

3) Add "paste" to noodles and stir. Top with the onion, almonds and chow mein noodles if desired.

Naomi's Special Palomas

My favorite Mexican drink is the margarita. Not your typical Americanized, restaurant style, margarita mixer margarita, but an old fashioned, top shelf, agave margarita with fresh juices. My second favorite Mexican drink is the Paloma. I have to admit though that the combination of lime juice, grapefruit soda and tequila just got downright boring to me. As I always do, I looked for ways to "soup" them up and this is what I came up with.

One thing that I did with my Paloma is that I tried muddled pineapple, mango and strawberries in the base of the drink. While each had their own unique flavor, I enjoyed the strawberry the most.  

I serve mine in a canning jar with or without the salt. If doing for a crowd, I would go without the salt. It is definitely a time saver.

What I love most about this drink, unlike the margarita, is that if you are doing them for a crowd, they can be prepared ahead of time sans the grapefruit soda. When ready to serve, throw some ice in the canning jar, top with the soda and give a slight stir. is ready to go!

So, here we go!:

Ingredients (per drink):

1.5 oz BLANCO tequila
1 oz triple sec or orange liqueur
1.5 oz FRESH SQUEEZED lime juice
1 oz FRESH SQUEEZED orange juice
Fresh fruit, as desired
Grapefruit soda, such as 50/50 or Fresca
garnishes of lime, strawberries, oranges, etc. if desired.


1) In a canning jar, place tequila, triple sec, fresh squeezed lime juice and fresh squeezed orange juice.  If you are serving immediately, salt rim of jar PRIOR to adding juices/tequila

2) If desired, add fresh fruit and muddle. Place lid on jar. If serving immediately, obviously the lid on the jar would be a skipped step.

3) When ready to serve, give lidded jar a slight shake and remove. Add a significant amount of ice and top with grapefruit soda. Garnish as desired!

Mexican Hot Chocolate and Cinnamon Baked Doughnuts

Yay! Cinco de Mayo is coming to The Pub and Grub Forum and Bette Lee Crosby's Midweek Mixers! I love this time of year. I get to cook what I love best-Mexican food and treats. This will include several weeks of two-fers. Yeppers, two recipes in one post!

I found these recipes in one of the best cookbooks I grabbed last year. Mad Hungry Cravings by Lucinda Scala Quinn was pretty dang unusual, but had some rockin', easy to prepare recipes in there. I am now getting around to "taste test" and present these and these are the first from that cookbook.

As I normally do, I tweaked the Mexican Hot Chocolate and added a shot of Kahlua in one and tequila in another. Not a drinker, early morning drinker or serving it to kids, omit the alcohol. It was fine without it. I simply wanted to see what it did.

So, here we go!:

Mexican Hot Chocolate (Serves 2)

2  cups WHOLE milk
1 T. light brown sugar
4.5 oz BITTERSWEET chocolate chopped (Nestle does a nice one)
1/2 t. vanilla extract
1/2 t. ground cinammon
Pinch cayenne pepper
1 shot Kahlua or BLANCO tequila (optional)
Whipping cream
Additional cinnamon


1) Place milk and brown sugar in a medium sauce pan and SIMMER.

2) Remove from heat and whisk in chocolate, vanilla, cinnamon and cayenne.

3) Allow to steep for 3 minutes and reheat just to a simmer.

4) Ladle into mugs. Add liquors at this time, if desired. Top with whipped cream and cinnamon.

5) Serve alone or with Cinnamon Baked Doughnuts.

I pulled out my mini doughnut pan to make these lil gems. I was reminded of the old Hostess product called little gems minus the coconut that was part of theirs. These doughnuts were SO simple to make. The toughest thing of these was the pain in the butt sifting, but it is necessary. I like the fact that I didn't have to put the batter in a pastry bag like I have done with other doughnuts. It was a much cleaner and faster treat to make.

I tested the doughnuts dipped both sides, one side and not dipped. Hands down, the dipped both sides won out. Be sure to use UNSALTED butter for the dipping. My husband and I decided that they were better the next day when everything had a chance to settle down.

So, here we go!:

Cinnamon Baked Doughnuts:

Small or standard doughnut pans

2 cups all purpose flour
1.5 cups sugar
2 t. baking powder
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. nutmeg
1/2 t. kosher salt
1 XL egg, lightly beaten
1.25 cups WHOLE milk
2 t. UNSALTED butter, melted
2. t. vanilla extract

For the topping

1 stick UNSALTED butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 t. ground cinnamon (I bumped mine up to 3/4 t., but I love cinnamon)

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray the heck out of your doughnut pans!

2) Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt into a large bowl.

3) In a smaller bowl, combine the whisked egg, milk, melted butter and vanilla.

4) Stir the wet into the dry ingredients until JUST COMBINED. DO NOT over stir unless you want tough doughnuts.

5) Spoon the batter into the baking pans. Fill just under 3/4 full. Bake for 17 minutes for large doughnuts and 13 minutes for small doughnuts. Testing with a toothpick, it should come out clean.

6) Dip baked doughnuts in melted butter and then in cinnamon-sugar mixture. Set aside.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Pocket Beer Guide: The Essential Handbook to the Very Best Beers in the World by Tim Webb and Stephen Beaumont

Book: The Pocket Beer Guide: The Essential Handbook to the Very Best Beers in the World
Author:  Tim Webb/Stephen Beaumont
Narrator (if applicable):n/a

Release date (if applicable): Published

Synopsis: The authors present detailed bio and "taste" information on some of the world's greatest microbreweries. Can't forget the calendar of beer festivals from around the world!
My rating: 5 Stars
My opinion:  An absolute must buy for beer connoisseurs. Although the greater majority of people wouldn't be able to visit all the breweries listed, the information was amazing and incredibly detail oriented.

I loved the breakdowns of beers for various meals and dishes. I must admit the dessert and breakfast recommendations were kind of shocking. 

I found it absolutely amazing, particularly as a rare beer drinker, the ratings/traits/breakdowns in regional/"local" beers,such as one would see in wine books. 

This book was so detailed, yet so concise. I kept thinking of those travel books that critiques hotels and such.
Source:  Sterling Publishing for Review
Would I recommend? : Oh yeah, this was just a fun book on many levels.
Stand Alone or Part of a Series: Stand Alone

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Cooking with Fire: Techniques and Recipes for the Firepit; Smoker; Fireplace; Tandoor or Wood-fired Cooking by Paula Marcoux

Book: Cooking with Fire: Techniques and Recipes for the Firepit; Smoker; Fireplace; Tandoor or Wood-fired Cooking
Author: Paula Marcoux
Narrator (if applicable):n/a

Release date (if applicable): April 16, 2014

Synopsis: A collection of recipes utilizing alternative cooking methods  primarily outdoor fires. 
My rating: 3 Stars
My opinion: This is the most unusual cookbook that I have reviewed from Storey Publishing. Cool, but unusual.

If you are looking for a "Weber" or grill cookbook...this isn't it.  This isn't a cooking hot dogs on a camp fire cookbook either.

This is a really unique cookbook for cooking on open fire in pits, etc. It included "plans" for building an
open wood fire oven outdoors. I am just not sure how many of the recipes or techniques were truly "practical". 

There were a number of recipes, such as rabbit or fish chowder (to name a few), that I wouldn't eat. There were also several recipes that I would be concerned with the thoroughness of cooking. 

I didn't think that this was a cookbook for a novice. I must admit that there were numerous recipes that I felt would challenge my cooking skills.
Source:   Storey Publishing for review
Would I recommend? : I would take a look at a brick and mortar store or Amazon sample prior to purchasing.  I will say that this is the first cookbook of this publisher that I have not purchased or have no intentions of purchasing.
Stand Alone or Part of a Series: Stand Alone