Category Archives: Nom, nom, nom…… delicious!

The things that I make in my kitchen. All of these recipes I have tried and found to be absolutely delicious!

Honey cupcakes for my Bumble Bee’s birthday!

Standard

Miss Kylee has a handful of nicknames but since she was still in my belly we have called her “Bumble Bee”.  I would joke that she would buzz around my belly so the name stuck.  I have always kept an eye out for “bee” themed items for her and knew that for her first birthday we would throw her a ‘First Bee-Day” party.

I initially figured we wouldn’t be able to throw her an individual party because Kyle is going to be away again for her actual birthday.  We started planning a joint party for her and Reece but after a lot of thought and discussion on the matter we came up with a way to give her her own special day.  We are squeezing the party in to a short timeframe when Kyle is still in town and my mom is here (it is about a 12 hour overlap).

If you are familiar with our family you would know my mom is our resident “Cake Lady”.  She makes some amazing cakes and can decorate them as beautifully as the masters do.  I hoped she could make Kylee’s cupcakes and smash cake but we will literally be picking her up from the airport 90 minutes before the start of the party, not enough time for her special skill.  So it is up to me.

Pinterest saved me.  I found this amazing recipe for Honey cupcakes with a Honey & Cream Cheese frosting.  The original recipe is from The Cake Blog. I just made them as a test run and I can say for certain that these little cakes of amazing will be made time and time again.  I know our little Bumble Bee and her guests will love them!

Honey Cupcakes!

Honey Cupcakes!

For the cake:

1 stick butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 12 cup muffin pan with cupcake liners.
  2. In medium bowl mix together dry ingredients: flour, baking powder and salt, set aside.
  3. In small bowl mix together wet ingredients: buttermilk, honey and vanilla, set aside.
  4. In bowl of stand mixer cream butter and sugar on medium speed until combined.
  5. Add eggs, one at a time beating well after each addition and scraping down sides of bowl as needed.
  6. Gradually add the dry and wet ingredients, alternating starting and ending with dry ingredients and mix until combined.
  7. Using ice cream scoop fill cupcake liners about 2/3 full.
  8. Bake for 18-20 minutes.
  9. Let cupcakes cool in pans for 5 minutes, then remove to wire rack to finish cooling.
  10. Once cupcakes are completely cool, ice with Honey Cream Cheese Frosting.

For the frosting:

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
4 oz cream cheese, softened
3 cups confectioner’s sugar
3 Tbsp honey
yellow food coloring (optional)
yellow sugar sprinkles

  1. In bowl of stand mixer cream butter and cream cheese until combined.
  2. Gradually add confectioner’s sugar and continue to mixing scraping down sides of bowl as needed.
  3. Mix in honey.
  4. If desired add a few drops of yellow food coloring to slightly tint the icing.
  5. Place the icing in a piping bag fitted with a round decorating tip and swirl the frosting on top of the cupcake going in a circular motion.
  6. Add some yellow sugar sprinkles and enjoy!

To give credit where credit is due, recipe and image stolen from thecakeblog.com.  Go check that blog out for more cake inspiration!

Peanut Butter, Chocolate Chip, and Beer Pancakes!

Standard

There is nothing better than waking up on a lazy Sunday morning and making pancakes to enjoy with my family.  Usually, I buy Aunt Jemima and add some beer but I recently came across a recipe that inspired me to break free from boxed pancakes and make them from scratch.  I altered the recipe –because I can’t seem to follow directions- by adding beer and topping with chocolate chips.

I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

Peanut Butter, Chocolate Chip, and Beer Pancakes

Ingredients 

There were a hit in our house!

There were a hit in our house!

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
½ tsp salt (I like kosher)
2 eggs
¾ cup creamy peanut butter
1 ½ cup milk
½ cup beer*
Chocolate chips (optional)
Butter

*the beer you add is totally up to you.  You will get a hint of the flavor (yeast & hoppy-ness) so I suggest not using a fruity beer or a heavy stout.  Plus you can opt-out from using any beer at all, just substitute with more milk.

Directions

  1. In a bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  2. In separate bowl combine eggs and peanut butter.  Once combined, mix in the milk.
  3. Pour wet ingredients into dry and mix just until combined, you want the batter lumpy.
  4. Pour in the beer and gently stir to incorporate, still allowing it to remain lumpy.  (You can add more beer if the batter seems too think but add in small amounts as to not make the batter too liquidy). Allow batter to rest for five minutes
  5. On a hot griddle (just UNDER medium heat) drop a small dollop of butter letting it melt in the pan then pour batter right on top of it. You can do small coin-cakes or large pan cakes, whatever you are feeling.
  6. Sprinkle chocolate chips over the pancake shortly after you pour them so they have time to settle into the batter.
  7. After a few minutes, flip.
  8. Enjoy.

The Perfect Sammie

Standard

Next week I turn 27 and it seems it has taken all those years for me to create and appreciate a “grown-up’s” style sandwich.

I love sandwiches but I love them more when made by someone else.  There are very few things better than a simple sandwich put together by anyone but the consumer.  I could use the exact same ingredients, same techniques, same everything but the one made by the other person would be better.

Whenever I can, I like to treat myself to a deli sub when I go grocery shopping.  Nothing like unpacking the groceries then sitting down with a perfectly crafted sandwich.  I always get a ham and swiss on wheat with lettuce, pickles, and onion.  It was my go-to sandwich.  Kyle knows it; I only have to ask him to get me one and he knows exactly how to order it.

But it such a pain in the ass to go to the store every time I am craving a deli sammie.  I was looking for a reason to go to the store just so I enjoy the deli perk.  Paying $5.50 for one is good every once in a while but it really adds up if I get one every few days like I was for a while.

Isn't she beautiful?

Isn’t she beautiful?

It was clear the time had come for me to start making my sandwich at home.   Something more than boring bread, protein, cheese, and condiment.  My sandwich needed a little more personality.  I picked up a few things while at the store (no deli sammie this time) and pledged to do it myself.  I haven’t ordered a deli sandwich since.  I make it myself and it is better that way.  If Kyle wants one –by the way, he is in love with my sammie, too-  I jump right up to make it, I love making it.  This sandwich is my baby, my perfect creation, and I just love to share it.

The Perfect (Homemade) Deli Sammie

Ingredients

-Roll (French roll, sub roll, any dense bread so it can hold all the awesomeness)

-Ham

-Swiss (Kyle likes White Chedda, so I guess you can use any cheese)

-Iceburg Lettuce

-Tomato, sliced thin

– Red onion, sliced thin

-Dill relish (relish?  I know, sounds weird, but you can distribute that pickle flavor much better)

-Mayo (not Miracle Whip! I like Heinz mayo but I’m sure Hellmann’s would work too.)

-Sub Oil (I like Beano’s Sub Oil)

Directions

-Seriously? Directions?  Cut bread in half.  Pile all that shit between the top and bottom.  Done.

Substitutions

Don’t.  Just kidding.  I know people don’t like pickles or tomato or onion, so leave it off.  I once added avocado and bean sprouts but it just wasn’t as good.  I’ve also tried it without the mayo (to be a tad healthier) but the mayo makes love to the oil and together they really take the sammie up another notch.

It may seems silly that I wrote a blog post sharing a sandwich recipe but I felt it was only fair to the rest of the world to have the opportunity to experience the awesomeness that is MY sammie.

Flavor and Fire Mahi Mahi

Standard

And now for another adventure in our Kitchen.  On the menu tonight was Spicy Mahi Mahi.

I love to use a recipe as a starting point, an idea, but not as something that requires precise following.  What is silly is that when it comes to developing a recipe from thin air, I get nervous.  Give me the vaguest instructions and I can pull together a full five course meal but if I have to come up with something entirely on my own I just don’t know where to start.

Kyle challenged me to make dinner tonight with no recipe or direction.  The mission:  I was to make Mahi and make it spicy.  That was it.  That was all I had to go on.  As I defrosted the fish I stared into my open cabinets at a loss.  What was I going to do?  Where do I start?  What spices would work well together?  How do I make something spicy but still flavorful?

I started with what I am familiar with.  Seared fish is always a winner so I knew I would sizzle it in a pan with some olive oil.  When making fish it is a good bet that some sort of citrus will pair well so I went classic and brought out some lemon juice; easy.

Chile de Arbol = AMAZING

Chile de Arbol = AMAZING

Now came the part where I would have to tap into my own brain and get a little creative.  We like spicy and that was tonight’s requirement, so I pulled down my spices container and started browsing.  Cayanne, check.  Onion powder seemed like would be a good partner.  Rosemary has been a favorite lately so I grabbed it as well.  Salt and pepper, that is just a given.  Where things fell off the beaten path was when I remembered I had some Chile de Arbol that I have been looking for a reason to use.  I chopped them up and added them to the rub.

As the fish whispered softly in the hot pan my nose, throat, and eyes felt the effect of the spices I used.  I was terrified I made it too spicy and we would have to find something else to eat.  It was so intense that I kicked Reece out of the kitchen so he wouldn’t be bothered by the spices lie I was.

I finished cooking and made our plates.  Kyle and I gave it a final look, cheers, then took a bite.  It was amazing!  The spices were spicy but there was so much flavor to back it up.  It is safe to say I am happy I wrote down what I was doing because this recipe will definitely be made again!

So, if you’re like us and like a little fire in your flavor, give this a try!

Flavor and Fire Mahi Mahi

Ingredients

2 servings of Mahi Mahi
½ tsp cayenne
1 tsp onion powder
½ tsp rosemary
Salt and pepper
Garlic chives (optional)
Fresh minced garlic (I have a jar of it in my fridge that I use in unmeasured scoops)
Lemon juice (1 lemon or a few tablespoons of the bottled kind)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (for the pan, a few tablespoons at most)

Directions 

Isn't it beautiful?

Isn’t it beautiful?

  1. Chop the chile del arbol.  (1/8-1/4 inch in size will work, no need to get precise or fancy)
  2. In a small bowl or zip-top bag combine the chopped chile de arbol, cayenne, onion powder, and rosemary.
  3. Rub the Mahi with lemon juice.  You don’t want it drowning (can you drown a fish?) but you want it on every square inch.
  4. Salt and pepper to your liking.
  5. Pour the spice mixture onto the fish and give it a rub.  (You want to rub down both sides so make sure you don’t waste all the spice mix on the first side.)
  6. In a non-stick pan with a little EVOO sizzle the mahi using medium heat (you can go just above medium but do not venture into the “high” area.)
  7. This step is MUY IMPORTANTE!!!  Don’t mess with the fish!!!  Let it do it’s own thing.  Don’t move it around the pan or squish it or poke it, you will only piss it off.  Wait until the fish turns white-ish about halfway up from the pan; that is cooked fish.  Once you see that half-way whiteness then you may flip.
  8. Remember that fresh minced garlic?  Now we use it.  Grab a little scoop of garlic and drop it into the pan along with the optional chives.  Scoot the fish on-top of it and let it sizzle under the fish as it finishes cooking.
  9. Once the fish is white and flakey it is done.  Pull that delicious creation out of the pan and serve it up to anyone who likes a little fire with their flavor.

Spicy Beef Soup

Standard

As we took care of some errands yesterday, Kyle had some sort of spontaneous craving for Spicy Beef Soup.  Typically I only make it in the colder months because it is such a warming, comfort type meal.  I honestly figured since we moved to Hawaii it would be off the menu because the weather never gets cold enough to feel the need for this comfort food.

If you’ve ever had a meal with Kyle and I you would know we like spice, probably more than the average bear.  During both pregnancies, I was not happy unless each meal ended with my mouth on fire.  Sriracha, Tapitio hot sauce, and Cayenne are regulars in our house.  This soup does not need to be spicy but that is the way Kyle and I like it.

Spicy Beef Soup

First I will share the original recipe.  It is great this way but Kyle and I felt it could be spicier and a tad healthier.  Also there are a few cheats to finish cooking faster if you’re ever in a pinch.

Spicy Beef Soup

Spicy Beef Soup

1 lb ground beef
4 cups cubed peeled red potatoes
24 ounces tomato sauce
4 cups water
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 tablespoons of minced garlic
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1 teaspoon salt, to taste

Directions:

1.  In a large pot, brown the beef and drain off the fat.

2.  Remove beef from pot and set aside.

3.  In same pot, add EVOO, salt, black pepper, onion and garlic.  Sautee on med/med-low heat until fragrant and soft.

4.  Add beef back to the pot and sauté a bit longer to integrate the flavors.

5.  Add tomato sauce, water and potatoes, raise heat to medium and bring to a light boil.

6.  Add hot pepper sauce.

7. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about 1 hour.

—————————————————————————-

So that is the original recipe.

*  It is good but like I said earlier, we like it HOT!  I like to up the hot sauce to 2 full tablespoons.  That amount will vary depending on the type of hot sauce used.  I like a combo of sriracha and Tapatio but Kyle likes all Tapatio.  You can use Franks, Cholula, Tabasco, Louisiana, designer, any.  But start with a small amount and keep tasting as you stir it in because the heat factor will vary greatly with the different brands used.

*  If you’re looking to make it a bit healthier.  We swap out the ground beef for ground turkey.  We swap beef for turkey all the time but in this soup you won’t notice any difference at all.

*  If your ground meat (turkey or beef) is frozen, simmer it in a shallow pot of water until it thaws enough to break apart with wooden spoon.  Strain the meat but keep the broth to reintroduce into the soup for more flavor.  Just cancel out however much broth you have used from the water amount called for in the recipe.

*  If you’re squeezed for time, use canned chopped potatoes.  They are tender right out of the can so you won’t have to wait an hour for the potatoes to soften.  It may not be as delicious as if it did simmer (you know, flavors take time to develop) but it will still be wonderfully yummy.

*  Add any veggies that may be calling to you.  Last night we thought about adding corn but it was too late, we were already eating.  Corn, zucchini, beans would make a great addition so play with it.

This recipe is very versatile.  If you don’t like something, change it.  We make a whole bunch at once and eat it for lunches for days after.  It freezes well too so make some and enjoy it whenever you like.

Baking Banana Bread

Standard

Reece seems to be on a banana embargo lately so my bananas are going bad.  He loves bananas but lately when I peel one and put it on his plate for breakfast he leaves the table to play.  At first I thought he was simply more interested in toys than breakfast but I will only give in to waste a few times before I stop serving him.  After the second time I was suspicious and when he wasted a banana -that he asked for- for the third time, I was over it.

wpid-IMG_20130219_191003.jpg

My Handwritten Copy
(The original is in Florida with my sister)

So now I have a bunch of old bananas and the only reasonable thing to do with old bananas iiiiiiiiissssssss………BANANA BREAD!!!

I am so skeeved out by old, spotty bananas.  I like my bananas practically green and stiff -insert joke by husband- so when they get soft I won’t touch them -insert another joke by husband.  This recipe, you want your bananas very soft so when the family has given up on the bunch is the perfect time for baking.

This recipe has been my family since as long as I can remember. The original recipe is on a 5×7, yellowing index card with stains and wrinkles. I don’t know who or where this recipe came from but it is by far the best banana bread I have ever tasted. I hope you enjoy!

Banana Bread

wpid-IMG_20130219_201230.jpg

Warm and Steamy!

Ingredients
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup margarine
2 eggs
3-5 very ripe bananas
2 tbls milk
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
dash of salt

Directions
Preheat oven to 250 degrees
1. Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt
2. In a seperate bowl or mixer, cream together sugar, margarine, and bananas.
3. Add eggs one at a time until fully incorporated; then milk.
4. Add flour mixture to mixer
5. Pour batter into 2 greased loaf pans
6. Bake for 30-40 minutes. Bread is done if you tap the top and it springs back. If when you tap the top you finger leaves an indention, keep baking.

Oatmeal Raisin Bliss

Standard

Cookies are classic.  Like I said in my Chocolate and White chip cookie recipe, I didn’t really like cookies but is turns out that I just didn’t like bad cookies.  I have specific things I look for in a cookie and if those expectations are not met, I don’t see the point in wasting calories on something I don’t fully enjoy.

There have only been a handful of times I turned down an oatmeal raisin cookie because oatmeal cookies are -in my opinion- hard to mess up.  The oats do a pretty good job of giving the cookie some substance and the raisins have the right amount of tang to counter the sweetness.  It is okay if these cookies come out of the oven still a bit gooey in the center because the oats really hold things together.  Kyle does not like raisins -weirdo- so I make his with chocolate chips.  If you looking for something sweeter, smoosh some vanilla cream or frosting between two cookies to make a classic oatmeal cram pie.

This one is for you Andi-Pants!

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Ingredients 

Even tasty raw.

Even tasty raw.

1 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
3 cups old fashioned oats
1 1/2 cups raisins

Directions

1. In a mixing bowl combine flour, cinnamon, baking powder, and baking soda.  Set aside.

Who needs a kitchen timer when you have this guy?

Who needs a kitchen timer when you have this guy?

2. Using paddle attachment whip butter.  Add sugar on lower speed then turn to high to whip.  On a lower speed add the eggs one at a time then vanilla, until fully incorporated then turn the speed back up again.

3. Add flour mixture to batter.  Once fully combined, turn the mixer back up and whip until light.  Turn the mixer off and scrape down the sides of the bowl.  Turn mixer to high once more.  It might look a bit wetter than cookie doughs usually do at this point but the oats will really pull it together.

4. On a low speed mix in the oats; then the raisins.

5. Put dough into a container just big enough to hold everything with very little leftover space and refrigerate overnight.

6. The next day heat oven to 350.  Drop golf ball sized dough balls onto a dark cookie sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes.  Remove cookies from oven and let cool on the pan for 5 minutes.  Tip: remove the cookies from the oven before they look completely done because they will continue to cook a bit on the pan.

7. Enjoy!

Gooey Oatmeal Cookies

Gooey Oatmeal Cookies