Saturday, July 28, 2012

Chick-Fil-A Copycat Chicken Sandwiches

ChickfilA Copycat Chicken Sandwiches

Chick-fil-A Copycat Chicken Sandwiches
by Malcolm Bedell on October 7, 2011

Chick-fil-A, that Southern chain of fried chicken sandwich restaurants, has long been something of a mystery to me. Truett Cathy, the founder of the Georgia-based chain, claims to have invented the chicken sandwich, though I doubt that he was the first person to think to put chicken in between two slices of bread. The fans of this restaurant are legion; passionate about these fast food chicken sandwiches in a way I haven’t seen associated with other chains. I always doubted the fanatical press I read about Chick-fil-A’s simple sandwich, assuming that people were blinded by loyalty and Southern pride.
Everything changed this Summer, when I flew to Florida to pick up my mother and drive her to Maine. I arrived at the Jacksonville airport, hopped in the car, and before immediately beginning the 1,600 mile drive back to the Northeast, stopped at the first Chick-fil-A I saw. A few minutes later, and I was diving into my first steam-filled paper sack of chicken sandwiches. And that’s when I finally understood the hype. Chick-fil-A’s signature chicken sandwich is damn near perfect: a hamburger bun, grilled in butter, with two slices of sour pickle as the only condiment because, as legend has it, it was all Cathy had on hand when he invented the sandwich.
Since returning to Maine, at least a hundred miles from the nearest Chick-fil-A, the sandwiches I ate that day have gotten in my head. When I want a fried chicken sandwich, it’s Chick-fil-A’s version that I want, that unique combination of special, secret seasonings, cut only by the sharp bite of tart pickles. I bought a jar of sour pickles from Amato’s for the occasion, and they worked perfectly.
The other secret, as it seems to be in all great Southern cooking, is butter. Grill the buns in butter until golden brown, and then close your eyes and butter them again when you assemble your sandwich. The resulting masterpiece melts as you eat it, the butter destroying the bun and oozing into the lightly spicy, golden-battered chicken. It’s not a light lunch, but it will hold you over until your next trip down South.

Chick-fil-A Copycat Chicken Sandwiches
Adapted from a recipe by Food Network Kitchens; Makes 4 sandwiches
  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • Kosher salt and ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Peanut oil, for frying
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon dry milk
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 sour pickle, cut into eight slices
  • 4 soft
  1. Cut the chicken breast in half horizontally, to make 4 thin pieces. Place each piece between heavy plastic, and pound to 1/8 thick with a mallet of skillet. Season the chicken with 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon paprika.
  2. In a shallow baking dish, whisk together egg, milk, and 2 tablespoons water. In another baking dish, whisk together both types of flour, dry milk, powdered sugar, baking soda, dry mustard, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon paprika, and 1 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Meanwhile, heat about two inches of peanut oil to 325 degrees in a heavy-bottomed pot or cast iron skillet. While oil heats, slice pickle, and set aside.
  3. Working in batches, dip chicken in the egg mixture, turning to coat, then dredge in flour mixture and shake off any excess. Fry the chicken in hot oil, using a candy thermometer to monitor oil temperature, until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Drain on paper towels.
  4. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Spread the cut side of the buns with some butter, and lightly toast in the skillet, buttered-side down. To assemble sandwiches, spread grilled buns with more butter, dip 2 pickle slices in jarred pickle juice to moisten and place on the bottom bun. Top with a piece of fried chicken and the bun top.

Read more:

Homemade Goldfish

I am still in a bit of shock over this recipe. My kids love eating Goldfish but they can get kind of pricey if you have to buy them often enough. I find that a lot of “homemade” recipes for things online end up costing at ton to make once you buy all the ingrdients and are time intensive. This is not one of those recipes. These homemade goldfish only require 5 ingredients and I can guarantee you have them in your home. This tutorial also includes how to make the fish shaped cookie cutters. Thanks Tasty Kitchen and Melissa's Bargins!

Your favorite fish cracker made at home – and it is SUPER easy.

Preparation Instructions

Pulse everything (except water) together in the food processor until the dough resembles coarse sand.
Pulse in water, 1 tablespoon at a time.
Remove dough from the processor, wrap in plastic, and chill for 20 minutes.
Roll out the dough and cut into desired shapes. You can use a toothpick to make the eyes and smile if desired. Place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.
Bake at 350 degrees F for about 15 minutes, or until crispy.
Makes approximately 7 dozen crackers.


  • 8 ounces, weight Sharp Cheddar Cheese, Shredded
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter, Cut Into Cubes
  • 1 cup Flour
  • ¾ teaspoons Salt
  • 2 Tablespoons Cold Water

Use whatever kind of cookie cutter you would like to make them

Irish Potato and Chive Casserole

Irish Potato and Chive Casserole Recipe

By: BAWHITE1 Supporting Member (Click to learn more about Supporting Membership)
"A new twist for mashed potatoes. I usually add a dash of onion and garlic powder. I also do a taste test prior to baking to see if they need more salt. Potatoes are combined with cream cheese, sour cream, chives, butter, and paprika...Delicious!!"
Original Recipe Yield8 servings


  • 8 potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
  • 1 (8 ounce) container sour cream
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
  • 1 pinch paprika, or more to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Place potatoes in a large pot of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain.
  3. Combine hot potatoes, cream cheese, sour cream, butter, and salt together in a large bowl. Mash until creamy.
  4. Spoon potato mixture into a 2-quart casserole dish. Sprinkle with chives and paprika.
  5. Bake in preheated oven until bubbling, about 30 minutes.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Spaghetti Pie Cost per Serving: $.67

Spaghetti Pie Recipe

Yield: 6 Servings
8 ounces uncooked spaghetti $
Click to see savings
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 8 large eggs $
    Click to see savings
  • 1/2 cup milk $
    Click to see savings
  • 1/3 cup cooked bacon crumbles (such as Hormel brand) $
    Click to see savings
  • 3 scallions (green portions only), thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
  • Preparation

    1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, add spaghetti and cook according to package directions, stirring often, until al dente. Drain pasta and rinse well with cold water.
    2. Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease an ovenproof 9- or 10-inch skillet with about 1/2 Tbsp. butter.
    3. In a bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, bacon, scallion, pepper and 3 Tbsp. Parmesan. Add spaghetti; mix well. Transfer mixture to skillet, spreading evenly. Dot with remaining butter and sprinkle remaining 1 Tbsp. Parmesan on top. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until center is set and top is golden. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

    Ham with Red-eye Gravy

    Ham with Red-eye Gravy Recipe

    2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 12 ounces smoked ham, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1/3 cup strongly brewed coffee $
    Click to see savings
  • Pepper
  • Preparation

    1. In a large frying pan (it should be big enough to accommodate ham, even more than one slice, in a single layer), melt butter over medium-high heat. Once butter foams, add ham and cook until browned on both sides, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and tent loosely with foil to keep warm.
    2. Pour coffee into pan and cook, stirring and scraping bottom of pan to release browned bits, until liquid is reduced by about half and just slightly thickened, 2 to 4 minutes. (Gravy will still be thin.) Season with pepper to taste, pour over ham and serve hot.


    What you'll need . . .
    • 2 large bananas
    • 1/4 to 1/3 cup vegan chocolate chips
    • 1/4 to 1/3 cup natural peanut butter
    • Unsweetened coconut flakes

    Method . . .
    1. Set out a large plate or bowl with a piece of parchment or wax paper on it.
    2. Cut up the bananas into good-sized chunks. Each banana should give you around 5 to 6 pieces.
    3. Heat the peanut butter and chocolate chips in the microwave on high for about a minute. Then stir until smooth.
    4. Dip the banana pieces in the chocolate-peanut butter mixture. Lay them out leaving some space between them on the parchment/wax paper. Then when you've "covered" them all, use the remaining mixture to spoon over the tops (for even more chocolate-y goodness).
    5. Then sprinkle the unsweetened coconut flakes on top. Transfer to the freezer for about an hour until hardened.
    6. You can enjoy them like this (but they really aren't frozen yet -- and when they're frozen, the banana tastes like vanilla ice cream) . . . I suggest then covering with some plastic wrap (or really you can do all of this in some kind of Rubbermaid container) and let freeze overnight.

    Vanilla Bean and Fresh Raspberry Cookies by Meredith

    I love the the fresh fruit that summer brings, and Raspberries are my kids favorite fruit. I also love to bake ( which many of you know) and today was one of those days that I just felt like I needed to create something delicious!!
    Yesterday I was at an event in Chicago called Pamper me Fabulous, and while I was there I met the amazing ladies from 240 sweets and they sent me home with a fantastic array of items including their Vanilla Bean Sea Salt and Bourbon Barrel Aged Vanilla Extract !
    240Sweet makes some super delicious treats including a variety of Artisanal Marshmallows ( Look for a full review later, you wont want to miss it)
    With the combination of those amazing ingredients, I made the most delicious cookie!!
    Vanilla Bean and Fresh Raspberry Cookies
    Here’s what your going to need… but I warn you, eating just one is rare!!!!
    1 Cup Fresh Raspberries
    8 Tablespoons of Butter
    1 Cup Sugar
    1 Large Egg
    1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
    1 1/4 cup flour
    1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
    1/2 Teaspoon salt
    Preheat oven to 350
    In a large bowl add butter and sugar, Mix well until Creamy
    add fresh Raspberries, Vanilla, and Egg continue to mix well
    Gradually add Flour,Sugar, Baking Powder and Salt
    Chill in fridge for about 20 min
    Spoon on to cookie tray and bake for 15 – 20 min till golden on the bottom.
    I like to sprinkle the tops with Vanilla bean sugar and Eat!!!

    Mocha Brownies with Caramel Fudge Topping

    Mocha Brownies Caramel Fudge Topping #IcedDelight

    Amp Up your International Delight Iced Coffee with these brownies!{Mocha Brownies & Caramel Fudge Topping}
    • Betty Crocker boxed brownies with Fudge Topping
    • One egg
    • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
    • 1/4 cup International Delight Mocha Iced Coffee
    • For topping:
    • 1/4 cup International Delight Hershey’s Chocolate Caramel creamer
    • For fun:
    • One happy little boy who loves to cook and spend time with Mommy
    1. Prepare boxed brownies as directed on box; however, replace 1/4 water with iced coffee.
    2. For topping: Add 1/4 cup creamer to fudge included in brownie mix.
    3. For fun: Let your happy little boy do all the preparation and don’t forget to lick the mixer! Finally, kiss and hug your boy for doing such a great job!

    Thursday, July 26, 2012

    Chocolate Bananas

    chocolate bananas campfire cooking
    Throw them on the campfire- delicious

    This campfire recipe was created by Elspeth Callendarwho was on the bush camping trip with us. It is a simple and delicious campfire desert.
    Take a banana, cut in half lengthwise and leave in the skin. Put small pieces of chocolate in between the two halves of banana. Wrap it up in foil and put it on the hot coals. They are cooked once the banana is soft and the chocolate has melted.

    Campfire paella

    recipes for campfire cooking paellaThis is a super-easy one-pan dish absolutely incredible on a cold night by the fire. Not only does it work really well cooked on a campfire, the woodsmoke will add to the flavour.
    While this version is for carnivores, you could replace the meat with firm tofu cubes; just make sure you pan-fry the tofu in hot oil with the onion, garlic, chilli, extra paprika, saffron and salt and pepper until golden, before adding other ingredients.
    Again, you’ll need a good-sized wok for this. Remember, the rice expands as it absorbs the liquid! This recipe will comfortably feed six hungry people.
    • Good quality olive oil
    • Two medium-sized brown onions, diced
    • Six cloves of garlic, finely sliced
    • One large red chilli, deseeded and thinly sliced
    • One red capsicum, diced
    • Three chorizo sausages, chopped into chunks; cured is absolutely fine
    • Four chicken thighs, chopped into 1cm-thick slices
    • Smoked paprika
    • Two or three strands of saffron
    • Salt and pepper
    • 500g frozen prawns (which we bought before we arrived at the campsite and allowed to thaw in their packaging)
    • Two cups of Arborio rice (…which we couldn’t get, so we used sushi rice instead)
    • Four cups of good quality vegetable stock
    • Water in reserve
    1. Drag out your coals close to the fire itself, and make a level spot for your pan. Heat the pan for a few minutes before dropping in a couple of good lugs of the olive oil.
    2. When the oil starts to sizzle, throw in the onions and let them sauté for five minutes or so.
    3. Once the onions have started to glisten, add the garlic and chilli. Let that sauté for another five to 10 minutes.
    4. Add the capsicum, letting it sauté for a couple of minutes.
    5. Add the chopped chorizo and chicken thighs; fry until the chicken is browned.
    6. Add the spices and salt and pepper, to taste. I use a lot of paprika – a good three tablespoons worth – because I like the smokiness.
    7. If you’ve got prawns, throw them in after the spices have had a couple of minutes in the pan. These are a bit of a luxury item when you’re camping…the recipe will work just as well without them, but they’re great to have if you can find a way.
    8. Add the Arborio rice and the stock. On a campfire, it’ll take at least half an hour over coals for the rice to absorb the liquid…keep stirring every couple of minutes or so to stop the rice sticking to the hot wok.
    9. You want the rice to lose any hardness, and the paella to take on a shiny, sticky consistency. Use the extra water if it turns out the stock isn’t enough to reach this point.
    This is great served with a bit of chopped parsley sprinkled over the top – but really, all you need is a bowl, spoon and an appetite.

    Thanks to

    Spaghetti Arrabiata

    spaghetti arrabiata

    This is a rich tomato sauce flavoured with garlic and hot chillies, which we bulked out with eggplant. You’ll need a large wok-style pan and a second pot for cooking the spaghetti.
    Feeds six.
    • Good quality olive oil
    • Two medium-sized brown onions, diced
    • Four cloves of garlic, finely chopped
    • One large red chilli, deseeded and sliced into fine strips
    • 425g tin of crushed tomatoes
    • 700g bottle of passata (tomato puree)
    • Red wine
    • One eggplant, chopped into 1cm cubes
    • Fresh basil, hand-ripped into large shreds (not chopped)
    • Handful of kalamata olives (I prefer with seeds in, but you can use the seeded olives if you prefer)
    • Salt and pepper
    • Thin spaghetti
    • Parmesan cheese
    1. Drag out your coals close to the fire itself, and make a level spot for your pan. Heat the pan for a few minutes before dropping in a couple of good lugs of the olive oil.
    2. When the oil starts to sizzle, throw in the onions and let them sauté for five minutes or so.
    3. Once the onions have started to glisten, add the garlic and chilli. Let that sauté for another five to 10 minutes.
    4. Empty the tinned tomatoes and passata into the pan, along with about a cup of red wine.
    5. Once that starts to bubble, add the eggplant, basil and olives. Add salt and pepper.
    6. Let the results simmer for at least half an hour. Remember, the flavour comes from the cooking time…the longer this sits on the campfire, the richer your sauce will become. You want it to reduce slightly, and for the eggplant to go really soft and take on the flavour of the sauce.
    7. About 20 minutes out from serving, get a pot of water into the coals to heat for the spaghetti. Once it’s simmering, add enough spaghetti to feed your crew – noting recommended cooking times on the packet.
    Serve this up with a few extra sprigs of fresh basil and shavings of parmesan cheese

    Slutty Brownies

    Now I don't want to over sell this, so I'm going to be conservative and simply say, that these are...

    The Best Brownies In The WORLD.

    I know, big statement.
    They're called Slutty Brownies because they're oh so easy, and more than a little bit filthy.

    They're best served warm from the oven, with good quality vanilla ice cream (devastatingly I didn't have any in the freezer this time, so I guess I'll just have to make them again).

    They take about 45mins to make, including baking time.
    The ultimate comfort food, whipped up within the hour.
    You will need...

    1 Box of cookie mix,
    1 Box of brownie mix,
    2 Eggs,
    2 Packs of Oreos (double stuffed ones are even better if you can find them)
    Some oil
    & your favourite ice-cream (optional)

    Preheat your oven to 350°F, 180°C, gas mark 4.
    Line a baking tray with grease proof paper.
    Follow the instructions on the cookie mix box & stir furiously until you have gooey cookie dough, I usually add a little extra water and oil to what they suggest, it just keeps it moist as you'll be baking it for longer than suggested. An extra teaspoon of each is just right.

    Squidge (technical term) the cookie dough into a lined baking tray, until it covers the bottom.

    Cover this layer with your Oreos. Don't use the broken ones, eat them as you go. This recipe is too glorious to use substandard Oreos.

    Mix up your brownie batter. Just stick to the recipe on the box for this one.

    & pour over your Oreos.

    Bake for 30mins.

    Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
    When its still a little bit warm, use the paper to lift your creation out of the tray and rest it on a chopping board.
    Use a large, sharp knife to cut it into manageable chunks, sections, slabs... depending on how many calories you think you can handle in one sitting.

    Drop onto a plate and scoop on your ice cream.

    Enjoy, and don't forget to lick the bowl!
    Taken from The

    BBQ Potato Chip Burgers


    Serves: 4
    • 1 lb lean ground beef
    • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
    • 1 tbsp soy sauce
    • 1 small white onion, minced
    • 1 cup crushed BBQ potato chips (I used Lay’s)
    • dash of salt and pepper
    1. Mix all ingredients together and form into patties, it doesn’t get much easier than that!
    2. Grill about 15 minutes, turning once.
    Some people like to add egg to their burger recipe. This recipe can be made with or without egg

    Pizza Waffle Pockets Recipe

    • 2 cans of refrigerated biscuits (8 pack)
    • 1 cup pizza sauce
    • 1 – 2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese
    • 20 Slices of Pepperoni
    1. Take two biscuits and form a small pizza crust
    2. Spread sauce evenly over dough. Add cheese and pepperoni
    3. Take another two biscuits to create another pizza crust and place on top. Seal edges.
    4. Place in waffle maker and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes.
    5. Remove, cut and serve!


    Fruit kebabs with mascarpone and pistachio dip
    5 firm, green-topped bananas
    12 lg. firm strawberries
    1 sm. cantaloupe
    1/4 c. butter, melted
    2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
    1 tbsp. honey

    Cut bananas into 1 1/2 inch chunks. Cube cantaloupe into 1 1/2 inch chunks. Thread skewers with alternating pieces of banana, strawberries and cantaloupe, beginning and ending with bananas.Combine melted butter, lime juice and honey. Brush kabobs well with sauce and place on grill 2 inches above hot coals. Cook 5 minutes on each side, brushing with butter sauce. Do not over cook. Remove and serve immediately. Makes 6 servings.


    Fruit Kabobs With Coconut Dressing. Photo by jonesies
    Perfect appetizers or breakfast treats. The creamy marmalade-kissed dressing tastes more complex than it would seem with its three simple ingredients. Taken form Southern Living's Low-Fat, Low-Calorie cookbook.
    1 med. size red apple, unpeeled
    1 med. pear, unpeeled
    1 tbsp. lemon juice
    21 unsweetened pineapple chunks
    21 seedless red or green grapes
    21 fresh strawberries, capped
    Coconut Dressing

    Cut apple and pear each into 21 bite size pieces. Add lemon juice; toss gently.Alternate apple, pineapple, grape, pear and strawberry on a wooden skewer. Repeat with remaining fruit. Serve with Coconut Dressing. Yields 21.


    1 1/2 c. vanilla low-fat yogurt
    1 1/2 tbsp. flaked coconut
    1 1/2 tbsp. reduced-calorie orange marmalade

    Combine all ingredients in a small bowl; stir well. Serve over kabobs. Yield: 1 2/3 cups.


    Read more about it at,1750,134179-241192,00.html
    Content Copyright © 2012 - All rights reserved.
    1 lb fresh green beans
    1/2 cup water
    1 can pinto beans
    1 can black beans
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    pinch of oregano and basil (optional)
    1-2 red vinegar peppers, sliced
    1/3 teaspoon rubbed sage or Lawry's Poultry Seasoning
    salt and pepper, to taste
    1/2 cup Good Seasons Italian dressing (or vinaigrette)

    Wash beans in cold running water. Remove both ends from beans. Cut beans into 1 1/4 inch pieces.Bring 1/4 cup water to a rolling boil. Add the garlic and a pinch of salt to the water.
    Drop cut beans into boiling water; reduce heat to a simmer and continue cooking until beans are a bright green color and slightly tender.
    Drain 1/2 the liquid from the canned pinto beans and add to the green beans in the saucepan. Do the same with the black beans. Add sage or poultry seasoning. If you use the rubbed sage instead of the seasoning, adjust salt as necessary. Add oregano and basil, if using (use fresh herbs when in season, but dry herbs can be rehydrated in cooking water). Stir well.
    Slice the vinegar peppers into strips 1 inch long and 1/4 inch wide; add to mixture. Stir in dressing and bring to a boil for 1 minute.
    Serve immediately while still warm, or chill in refrigerator and serve cold. Makes a wonderful side dish for hot Summer night barbecues.

    Submitted by: CM


    Picture of Grilled Green Onion Flatbread Recipe

    Read more about it at,174,132182-246194,00.html
    Content Copyright © 2012 - All rights reserved.
    1 cup warm water
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 tablespoon sugar
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    freshly cracked black (or mixed) pepper
    1/2 ounce dried yeast dissolved in 1 T. warm water
    12 ounces flour
    1 egg, beaten lightly
    coarse sea salt or kosher salt
    chopped onion, for sprinkling

    This flat bread bakes up wonderfully on a pizza stone set on the grill. Be sure that the stone is well heated before placing the onion bread on to bake. A pizza peel or the back of a pizza pan sprinkled with corn meal (so that it slides off easily onto the stone) can be used as a surface for preparing the flat bread while the grill or oven heats up.Stir salt, sugar and olive oil into warm water. Dissolve yeast in one tablespoon of warm water and add to mixture. Add flour gradually, mixing and kneading until smooth and elastic. Cover, and allow to rise overnight in a warm place, free from draft.
    The next day, knead the dough and divide into balls about the size of a tennis ball. Roll each one out to about 1/2" thickness.
    Brush with egg yolk diluted in two tablespoons water and sprinkle with coarse salt and chopped onion, and finally, coarsely cracked pepper. (For an extra kick, hot pepper flakes can also be sprinkled on lightly). Pierce the dough several times with a fork so that it will remain flat.
    Bake on a lightly floured baking sheet in a 400°F oven for about 20 minutes until onions are brown and crust is crisp and golden.
    Variation: Top pizza with a combination of black oil cured olives, sliced onions and anchovies. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, if desired (cheese is entirely optional)!

    Submitted by: CM


    1 lb. loaf frozen bread
    1 c. finely grated Cheddar cheese
    3 med. green onions, finely chopped
    2 tbsp. poppy seed
    1 tbsp. melted butter

    Thaw dough. Make 3 lengthwise cuts almost to bottom of loaf. Mix cheese, onion, and poppy seeds. Spread 1/3 of mixture down each slit. Press dough together to form loaf again. Place in lightly greased bread pan. Brush with melted butter. Let rise 1/2 inch above sides. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes.


    Goat Cheese, Pear & Onion Pizza Recipe
    2-3 medium size pears, sliced
    3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    1 3-ounce package of Prosciutto (suggested La Quercia)
    1 10-ounce tube refrigerated thin pizza crust dough
    2 3-ounce log soft fresh goat cheese (La Bonne Vie
    3 tablespoon chopped, fresh basil
    1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper

    Preheat clean grill to medium.Unroll pizza dough baking sheet, forming 9x12-inch rectangle and brush with olive oil. Place dough olive oil side down on grill. While dough cooks, brush pears with oil olive and place pears on the grill 2-3 minutes each side. Brush top side of pizza dough with olive oil and flip the pizza. Scatter prosciutto and pears onto dough. Top with goat cheese.
    Grill pizza 5-7 minutes or until crust is crisp. Sprinkle with basil and crushed pepper.

    Submitted by: heather

    Salted Caramel Chocolate Pretzel Bark

  • Salted Caramel pretzel bark
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) of unsalted butter
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • bag of mini pretzels
  • 12-oz bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • sea salt

  • Crack Bark
    Line a 4-sided jelly roll pan with foil. Cover with a single layer of pretzels. Melt two sticks of butter in a small saucepan. Add one cup brown sugar and stir together. Boil just a little and keep stirring until it gets darker. *You want to let it cook just to the point that you think you may have ruined everything. That's when the caramelly, sticky magic happens. Pour over pretzels. Bake at 350 for 5ish minutes. Remove from oven and immediately throw your chips on. The heat will melt them, then scrape your rubber spatula over them to spread them around. Sprinkle liberally and generously and graciously and lovingly with sea salt. Cool a bit on the counter. Then pop into the freezer for an hour or until you remember it's in there. Break apart into bite sized (aka fist-sized) pieces. Fall asleep with salty lips. Wake up with bark mouth.

    Tuesday, July 24, 2012


    Read more about it at,1950,145189-227202,00.html
    Content Copyright © 2012 - All rights reserved.
    6 ripe tomatoes (or canned tomato wedges)
    Salt and pepper to taste
    1/2 tsp. basil
    1/4 c. oil
    1 zucchini squash
    1/2 tsp. thyme
    1 onion, sliced

    Place sliced tomatoes, sliced zucchini, and onions in buttered rectangular baking dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.Mix thyme and basil and sprinkle over top. Trickle olive oil over all. Bake uncovered in 400 degree oven for 1 hour.

    BIG MAC SAUCE (Just like McDonald's)

    1 c. Miracle Whip salad dressing
    1/3 c. creamy French dressing
    1/4 c. sweet pickle relish
    1 tbsp. sugar
    1/4 tsp. pepper
    1 tsp. dry minced onions

    Blend with a fork. Refrigerate in covered containers. Make about 2 cups of sauce.Just like McDonald's.


    2 cups flaked crab meat
    pinch of sea salt
    1/2 tsp. paprika
    1/2 tsp. dry mustard
    1/2 cup Kraft olive oil mayonnaise
    1/2 cup finely chopped celery with leaves
    large pinch of ground celery seed
    1 tsp. dry or 1 tbsp. fresh parsley
    Crisp or frilly lettuce leaves

    Wash, dry and remove strings from celery before chopping. Peel strings up from bottom of celery stalks and discard.Flake the crab meat (artificial crab or lobster may be substituted). In a medium bowl, toss crab with remaining ingredients except lettuce.
    Wash, dry and arrange lettuce in a circle covering the serving dish. Scoop salad into lettuce center. Sprinkle salad with a pinch of paprika and parsley (or even minced chives), if desired.
    This salad can also be served in tomato shells (scoop out seeds; tomatoes should be firm ripe).

    Submitted by: Belle


    Cook fresh corn on the cob in microwave with husks and silk intact. They will cook in their own natural moisture.
    Place on dampened paper towel. Turn ears over and rearrange after 1/2 cooking time.

    Cooking Timetable:

    1 ear - 1 1/2 minutes
    2 ears - 3 to 4 minutes
    3 ears - 5 to 6 minutes
    4 ears - 7 to 8 minutes
    6 ears - 8 to 9 minutes.

    When ears are hot to the touch, remove and wrap in kitchen towel or foil.Let stand at least 5 minutes. Remove husks and silk (which is easier than when cold) and serve.
    Serve with melted butter.

    Monday, July 23, 2012

    How To Make Eggs Taste As Good As Bacon

    Fried Eggs
    Fried Eggs
    Something magical happened a few weeks ago. While trying to figure out what to do with the first fresh eggs I’d found at the farmers market this season, I discovered the greatest egg ingredient in the history of mankind.
    Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating a little (truffles are pretty darn good on eggs), but not much.
    Generally I am a big fan of adding some kind of ground red pepper (usually chipotle or ancho) to fried or scrambled eggs. But this day I tried something a bit different.
    Digging through my pantry I remembered that I had a ton of smoked paprika left over from the hummus I made. I decided to do an experiment and sprinkle the smoked paprika onto my eggs.
    I can’t believe I went all my life without knowing about this.
    But before I explain why exactly the smoked paprika made my eggs so amazing, I want to address what I’m sure many of you are wondering:
    How healthy are fried eggs?
    Answer: Eggs are perfectly healthy, and frying doesn’t make them any less so.
    Personally I cook my eggs in olive oil (it’s just easier), but even if you use butter it isn’t a problem since the amount you need to cook is so small.
    What scares people about frying eggs is an irrational fear of dietary fat. But theoretically the amount of oil you use to fry an egg should be about the same as you need to scramble eggs, so it isn’t clear why fried eggs would pose any more of a problem. I use olive oil to scramble eggs as well.
    The other issue people have with eggs is the yolk. It amazes me how often people proudly inform me that they eat eggs but “only the whites,” as if this were some unique virtue.
    I understand that the public health message we’ve heard about eggs for the past few decades has been extremely negative, but eggs have since been completely exonerated from heart disease accusations. There was a time when it was assumed that dietary cholesterol (which is definitely higher than normal in eggs compared to other foods) would raise blood cholesterol, but it doesn’t for most people. In fact, the healthy fats in egg yolks are likely to positively impact your good HDL cholesterol.
    Moreover, dietary fats in general have been shown to be excellent at satiating hunger, and are thus a terrific replacement for calories from refined carbohydrates. That makes egg yolks your ally in fighting heart disease and burning fat, not your enemy.
    Then there’s the fact that egg yolks are incredibly rich in vitamins and minerals, since they are meant to be nourishment for a developing life.
    And finally there’s the most important part, that farm fresh egg yolks are out-of-this-world delicious.
    Which brings me back to how to make the best eggs in the universe.
    First you must start with high-quality eggs. Two factors have the biggest impact on egg flavor. The first is the diet of the hen who laid the egg, and the second is the egg’s freshness. Thus for best results you want to find the freshest pastured eggs you can get your hands on. Pastured means the hens that lay the eggs are allowed to peck around on grass eating bugs and whatever else they find.
    Your best shot at finding pastured fresh eggs is at a farmers market or direct from a farm, since if they are already on a grocery shelf they probably aren’t very fresh. Try to find eggs less than 1 week old. Their day of boxing should be clearly marked on the carton. It requires a little math, but I’m not the one who made up these rules.
    Chances are good that if your eggs are very fresh then they are from pastured hens, but this is not guaranteed. Ask the farmer and try to hold out for hens that are allowed to roam free in grass during the day. If you cannot get fresh pastured eggs, “cage-free” is your next best bet for flavor (though these may still be fed a limited diet).
    Without asking the farmer it is hard to tell the difference between real pastured eggs and industrial eggs labeled “cage-free” that are still fed standard or organic chicken feed. One good indication will be the price, since pastured eggs tend to run $6-10/dozen here in SF. Trust me, it’s worth it.
    I do not endorse the taste or healthfulness of industrially produced eggs (even the fancy kinds), and if you do eat them you should be careful to cook them completely.
    (Aside: I never worry about the safety of eggs from farms I trust, so I always eat them runny. If you think runny eggs are gross, I don’t blame you. Runny industrial eggs are gross, and before I had fresh eggs I would have completely agreed with you. But fresh egg yolk is incredible, and it is something you have to taste to really appreciate. I definitely recommend stepping out of your comfort zone on this one.)
    Once you have great eggs, fry them one at a time in 1 tbsp olive oil or butter on medium low heat and sprinkle with sea salt, course ground black pepper and a pinch of smoked paprika. The paprika adds a depth and complexity above what even chipotle peppers can offer, and the smokiness is reminiscent of—I kid you not—bacon. Needless to say, it is the perfect compliment to eggs.
    Fry your eggs for just two minutes or so on each side, being careful to keep the yolk intact while turning. You really don’t want to overcook eggs, which will turn them rubbery and ruin the effect.
    I haven’t actually tried these eggs with bacon yet, though I certainly plan to. But bacon is no longer a requirement for making a show stopping breakfast of champions. Here I served them with some ruby chard sautéed with pistachios and garlic.
    Did you guys know about smoked paprika on eggs and if so, why was I not informed?

    What Do These Expiration Dates on My Food Really Mean?

    What Do These Expiration Dates on My Food Really Mean?

    Dear Lifehacker,
    I'm a little confused by all the expiration dates on my food. Why do some foods have a "Best Before," "Sell By" or "Use By" expiration date? Will those tell me when the food is unsafe to eat, or are some foods okay past their so-called expiration date?
    Eating Expired Food
    Dear Eating,
    You're right, while the labels seem understandable, they actually don't tell you a whole lot about whether you can or cannot eat the food its stamped on. Here's a brief look at what expiration dates mean, and how to tell whether your food has gone bad.

    Expiration Dates Refer to Quality, Not Safety

    Generally, you'll see three types of expiration dates on your food, and they all mean slightly different things. However, contrary to popular belief, they refer to the quality of the food, not the safety. Here's what each one means:
    • Sell By: This date tells the store how long to keep the item on their shelves. If it reaches the date before its sold, the store will pull it from the shelves. It represents the last day the food is at its peak quality of freshness, taste, and consistency. It will still be safe to eat after the Sell By date (how long? See the section below).
    • Best If Used By: Again, this merely refers to when the quality of the item starts to go downhill. Generally, you may notice a difference in taste or consistency after that date, but it will still be safe to eat. For example, sour cream may become a bit more sour, or peanut butter may start to experience some harmless oil separation in the bottle.
    • Use By: Yep, you guessed it—this is pretty much the same as "Best Used By". The Use By date is when the product loses its peak quality. It's still safe to eat for a little while.
    There are other kinds of dates floating around, like the "Born on" date of beer (three months after which it can start to taste funky), "Guaranteed Fresh" on baked goods (after which they'll likely be stale, but okay to eat), and more. The most important takeaway is that this almost always refers to freshness and quality, not safety.

    So When Does Food Actually Go Bad?

    While you can use most of the foods past their printed date, the USDA recommends that you eat food before its "Use By" or "Best If Used By" date to be on the safe side. For foods with a "Sell By" date, you have a pretty set amount of time before the food goes bad. Milk will usually go bad about a week after the Sell By date, while eggs are okay for 3 to 5 weeks. See the table to the right for the USDA's recommendations, or head to their product dating page for even more foods.

    Remember that this all assumes you've properly stored these items—if you've left a perishable item out on the counter for two hours, it may not be safe to eat anymore, so you should disregard the date and throw it away.
    Lastly, don't discount the ever-reliable smell test. Not sure if the milk and eggs have gone bad, or if a product is still okay a day or two after the "Use By" date? Give it a whiff and if it smells okay, it's probably okay. And if you aren't sure you'll be able to eat something before its expiration date, you can always freeze it before that date hits to make it last longer. Check out the USDA's web site for more information.

    8 Reasons Awesome Girls Should Learn To Cook

    1. It’s still hot
    I’m sure you have no trouble attracting men with your intellect, but no matter how smart and beautiful you are guys always melt for a girl who can cook an amazing meal. You may have already gotten into college, but extracurriculars still matter.
    2. Cooking makes you beautiful
    Nothing is more attractive than a woman who radiates health. Cooking nutritious food at home will give you sparkling eyes, shiny hair, healthy nails and glowing skin.
    3. Good food makes you smarter
    Junk food creates spikes and dips in blood sugar that make you tired and kill your ability to concentrate. Cooking healthier food at home will give you the focus to stay sharp all day.
    4. Cooking is more efficient
    Going out may seem quicker because there is no prep or cleanup, but in the long run it actually takes more of your time. Once you have it down, you can make yourself a solo meal and have your kitchen back in working order in about 30 minutes. Win.
    5. You’ll save money
    Being a girl is expensive. And if you’re the type who likes to splurge on designer brands, every dollar counts. Cooking at home is a great way to save money on food, freeing it up for you to use on other things.
    6. It keeps you slim
    For myself, eating out is the single biggest factor in how easy it is to lose or maintain my weight. At home you have complete control over everything you eat, and when you cook healthy foods this works to your advantage.
    7. You might one day be a mom
    You may have your eye on the prize today, but if you ever plan to raise a family your life will be a lot easier if you pick up some kitchen skills beforehand. Processed foods are bad for you and even worse for kids. Plan ahead for your future healthy family.
    8. You might love it
    Cooking is like art and science all rolled into one. It allows you to build skills, be creative, de-stress and when you’re finished you have a wonderful and delicious product to enjoy (and show off on Instagram). Cooking is more mentally stimulating than I ever imagined, and it is worth exploring for its own sake.
    Why do you amazing ladies like to cook?

    8 Reasons Regular Guys Should Learn To Cook

    Photo by f_mafra
    Some guys I know don’t consider cooking a worthwhile venture. Besides the occasional stint behind the grill, they’d rather bask in blissful ignorance than feed themselves in more than 3 steps: stab, chew, swallow.
    But ask any woman (or man that already knows how) why it is better to be a kitchen savvy dude and you’ll start to see what these guys are missing.
    Whether it’s because they think it takes too much time, too much effort or wrongly assume it’s a woman’s job, men who never learn to cook are losing a huge opportunity to take their man skills to the next level.

    8 Reasons Regular Guys Should Learn To Cook

    1. Chicks dig it
    There isn’t a woman alive immune to a man who can make her a delicious meal. Step up to the plate boys, we’re begging you.
    2. Life skills are manly
    You can fix your car, hunt wild animals and build a camp fire. Shouldn’t you know how to feed yourself without a drive-thru?
    3. You’ll save money
    Though there’s a good chance you’re single if you never learned to cook (see point #1), a home cooked meal is a much cheaper date night (or singles night) than dinner for two at Chez Fancy—particularly with the 150% wine mark up common at most restaurants.
    4. It’s faster than going out
    Fancy date meals aside, cooking at home is almost always faster than going out—so long as you know what you’re doing. Once you have a few basic skills down, you can stop wasting your time in fast food spots simply because you don’t know what else to eat.
    5. Guy Fieri shouldn’t be better than you at anything
    Food Network star Guy Fieri has bad hair, bad clothes and douchey sunglasses, but the dude knows how to cook. Are you going to let him upstage you like that? Of course you aren’t.
    6. Your puppy (aka girl magnet) will eat better
    My notoriously adorable puppy Toaster loves salad scraps (sugar snap peas are his favorite), eggs, meats, fish, and pretty much anything else we’re willing to share. A balanced diet is as good for dogs as it is for people (just don’t give them onions, garlic or grapes).
    7. You might lose weight
    Cooking is one of the easiest ways to improve your diet and stick to reasonable portions. This is a recipe for weight loss, if you’re willing to swallow it.
    8. You might like it
    Cooking is relaxing, fun, creative, purposeful and, hopefully, delicious. Why wouldn’t you want to add this skill to your tool belt?
    Why do you guys like to cook?; }

    10 Ways To Make Your Salad More Satisfying

    Quinoa Salad
    Quinoa Salad
    One of my favorite things about the arrival of summer is all the beautiful, crisp salad greens at the farmers market. I absolutely love to eat salads, but how can you turn a salad into a full meal that is truly satisfying?
    The trick is to make sure you add enough protein, fat and carbohydrates to your salad so it is still a perfectly balanced meal.
    There are dozens of healthy additions you can use to make your salad more filling and delicious. Here are 10 of my favorites.

    10 Ways To Make Your Salad More Satisfying

    • Warm ingredients Grilled or sauteed onions, peppers, mushrooms and meats wilt salad greens and make them slightly warm, adding depth and character to an otherwise boring salad.
    • Brown rice Adding 1/2 cup of warm rice to a salad makes it more satisfying to eat and keeps you full for longer. Use single serving rice balls and this simple addition will add less than 2 minutes to your salad prep time.
    • Nuts Walnuts and sliced almonds are my favorite, but feel free to try pecans, cashews, peanuts, pumpkin seeds or anything else that sounds interesting.
    • Beans Chickpeas, black beans, edamame and other legumes are inexpensive and delicious sources of protein and fiber to add some substance to a salad.
    • Avocado Half an avocado is sometimes exactly what a salad needs to take it to the next level.
    • Smoked salmon For a slightly more upscale salad experience top your greens with a few slices of smoked salmon.
    • Quinoa Mix in a small amount of quinoa as an accent or make it the base of a salad by adding cooked or raw veggies and greens. See my Mexican-style quinoa salad recipe.
    • Grilled meats Your salad is a great place for summertime BBQ leftovers.
    • Egg Boiled, fried or poached, an egg is a wonderful way to make your salad more substantial. See my Summer salad with poached egg recipe.
    • Sardines Canned fish is one of the easiest ways to get extra protein and omega-3 oils in your salad. Here are 6 reasons to eat more sardines.
    How do you make your salads more hearty

    Sunday, July 22, 2012

    Vanilla Bean Fig Cupcakes with Orange Blossom Honey Frosting


    Vanilla Bean Cupcakes
    Makes about 12 cupcakes

    1 1/2 cups flour
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
    1/2 cup butter, room temperature
    1 cup sugar
    1 egg plus 2 egg whites
    1/2 cup whole milk
    1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners.
    Sift flour, salt, and baking powder into a bowl and set aside.
    Beat butter and sugar in a stand mixer on medium speed until very light and fluffy, about 3 to 4 minutes.
    Add in the egg and beat to combine. Add in the egg whites, one at a time, and beat to combine.
    Combine milk and vanilla bean paste together in a cup.
    Add the flour mixture and milk mixture to the batter in alternating additions, starting and ending with the flour. Once the last bit of flour has been added. beat just to combine - do not overbeat.
    Divide batter among the muffin tins. Bake in the oven for about 15 to 20 minutes, until the tops are lightly golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool on wire rack.

    Fresh Fig and Brown Sugar Filling

    Makes about 3/4 cup
    1 cup (about 8) fresh figs, washed and cut into small pieces
    1/4 cup water
    1/4 cup brown sugar
    2 teaspoons lemon juice

    Combine all the ingredients in a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 15-20 minutes, until the mixture thickens. The figs should turn soft and mushy; mash them with a spoon. Remove from heat and let cool. If you don't like the little pieces of fig skin left, you can process the mixture quickly in a food processor, but I find it doesn't bother me; the chunks give the filling more texture and thickness.

    Orange Blossom Honey Cream Cheese Frosting
    makes about 1 cup
    8 ounces cream cheese
    2 ounces (1/2 stick) butter, room temperature
    3/4 to 1 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
    1/4 cup orange blossom honey

    Beat the cream cheese and butter in a stand mixer just until combined - do not overbeat.
    Add in the sugar and honey and beat until combined. If it seems a little runny, add more confectioners' sugar but be sure to taste so you don't make the frosting too sweet.

    Turtle Brownie Cupcakes

    This week's cupcake flavor? Turtle Brownie Cupcakes! They combine the magic that is Brownies, Cupcakes, and Turtle Candies (chocolate, caramel and nuts, if you are not familiar). For the cupcake recipe, I saw good reviews on this one from Epicurious so I decided to go with it. Since they really are supposed to be cupcakes, and since I intended on smothering them in buttercream frosting, caramel, chocolate shavings and almonds, I didn't want them to be SO rich. I altered the recipe as such:

    Brownie Cupcakes
    3/4 stick of butter
    1/2 C Semisweet Chocolate Chips (reduced from 1 1/4 c!)
    3 oz unsweetened chocolate
    1/2 C Packed light brown sugar
    1/3 C Granulated sugar
    2 eggs, room temperature
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    1/2 C A.P. flour
    1/4 Tsp Salt

    Preheat oven to 350. In the top of a double boiler, melt the butter, and two types of chocolate together. Stir until smooth and lumpless. Remove the top of the double boiler from heat, and whisk in both types of sugar, then whisk in the eggs one at a time. Whisk in vanilla, flour & salt. Divide into 10 wells in a non-stick sprayed cupcake pan (or paper-lined cupcake pan). Bake 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean with only moist crumbs. Mine took about 22 1/2 minutes. Remove to wire rack to cool.


    For the frosting, I went with my usual (simply because I had some made already... or else I may have attempted a caramel frosting). But the vanilla buttercream complimented the rich chocolate brownie nicely.



    Then, I swizzled some melted caramel from some caramel bits I picked up. It was easy to melt in the microwave (which I usually do not do), and easy to use.



    Then, to top it all off, some chocolate shavings & almond slivers. VOILA - amazing. They taste way better than they look.