Thursday, May 16, 2013

Key Lime Mousse Parfait....Yes, More Please!

Yes, more please!

Those are the words I found myself saying this past Sunday(Mothers Day).  It started with the men preparing a breakfast buffet for the ladies at church.  Everything was delicious, especially my husband's contribution, Savory Breakfast Potatoes.  (Yes, more please!)

We didn't do much for lunch because dinner would be substantial.  OOOOOHHHHH Dinner!  Gerald grilled snow crab clusters, shrimp, lobster tails, and corn. Imagine a crab boil, but on the grill.  Alyson thought to add an appetizer, creamy hot crab dip.  This is Maryland,  so it was full of lump crab meat!  Dinner was rounded out with coleslaw, lemonade, and Key Lime Mousse Parfait.  (Yes, more please!)
This deliciousness AND a clean kitchen!

Although the food was absolutely delicious, the cherry on top of the sundae of my day was: They completely cleaned up "my" kitchen after dinner.  (YES, MORE PLEASE!)

Anyway, with all that said and done, I wanted to post the dessert recipe.  It's easy, refreshing, and delicious!  And who doesn't like love a parfait?!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Honey Butter Vegetables...A Quick & Tasty Sidedish

You might be wondering why I'm sharing a photo that looks like a heap of steamed vegetables.  What you can't tell from the photo is that these are the best tasting steamed vegetables ever! You won't believe how something so simple will taste so good.  Not only is it super easy, it only requires a few ingredients...steamed vegetables, butter, honey, and salt.

Caution: Be careful when melting the butter and honey...The smell is out of this world!  It smells like kettle corn :) 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

My Best Biscuits...I Had Help

Whether homemade or canned(yikes), growing up, we always had biscuits on the weekends.  Auntie always took the homemade route but, mama made due with canned Hungry Jack Buttermilk Biscuits.  With a family of eight, I can't blame her for taking a shortcut while preparing breakfast.  I know that her heart wasn't in those canned biscuits, because she'd go on and on about Auntie's!  Auntie's buttermilk biscuits were the gold standard in biscuits....She made them with a blend of lard and pure butter!

Over the years, I've played around with her method and tried other recipes and techniques to come up with what is now my own gold standard. Although lard helps to create a nice flake, it produces a heavier biscuit. I replaced lard with all butter.  I'd always used buttermilk but, after running out one time, I referred to Christy Jordan's Southern Plate recipe.  She uses a blend of milk and lemon juice.  They don't have a pronounced lemon flavor, but it does seem to brighten up the flavor of the biscuit.  After seeing a photo of biscuits baked in a black skillet, I loved the look and found that this was done by Lisa Fain of the popular blog, Homesick Texan.  It's not just for looks, after baking them in this manner, I found that my biscuits cooked in an iron skillet have a slight crispiness to their exterior.

That's one of the things I love most about blogging and other bloggers...the whole aspect of sharing.  For example, jumping over to the Southern Plate blog is like calling up a friend in Alabama and saying "Girl, I was in here trying to make biscuits but I ain't got buttermilk to first in this house!".  Her response being, "Girl, just add some lemon juice to your sweet milk*.  They'll turn out good!"

* In the South, you will often find whole milk referred to as sweet milk.

In the meantime, want a really good biscuit?  Try these!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Biscoff Toffee Pecan Cookies

About two years ago, I was introduced to Biscoff Spread.  Let me clarify that...I became obsessed, stalkerish, and strung-out on the stuff!  The way those students at Columbia feel about Nutella, I feel about Biscoff.  Having been on the Biscoff bandwagon for over two years, I'm just now getting around to using it in a recipe.  I decided to add it to my basic chocolate chip dough and add chopped toffee bars and pecans.  Believe me, my Biscoff Toffee Pecan Cookies were worth the wait!

The recipe that I'm posting, is made in a food processor.  Making the dough is much quicker that the traditional method.  Because you're using cold butter and egg, you don't have to refrigerate the dough for better better baking results.  Not interested in the food processor method?  No problem...Just soften your butter and follow the steps of your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe, adding the Biscoff after creaming the sugars and butter.

Yeah, this is about the best looking cookie dough I've ever made...I could have just pulled out a spoon and called it a day!

Biscoff Toffee Pecan Cookies
Makes 2 dozen

1 stick unsalted butter, cold and cut into small cubes
1/2 cup Biscoff, (You can also use Trader Joes Speculoos Cookie Butter)
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg, cold
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 chocolate covered toffee bars, roughly chopped(I used Heath bars)
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Place flour, sugars, baking soda, and salt into a food processor and pulse to combine.  Add butter and Biscoff,  and pulse until crumbly.  Add egg and vanilla extract, pulse until mixture forms a ball of dough and no streaks of egg remain.  Transfer to a bowl, and use a large spoon to cut toffee pieces and nuts into the dough.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Scoop a tablespoon of cookie dough and roll into a ball before placing on a lined baking sheet, 2 inches apart.  Bake for 9 minutes, allow 3-5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Cheap Chic Dish Towel Apron...Beginners Welcome!

If I were a hoarder, my thing would probably be pretty dish towels and aprons.  It never fails that if I'm in a store that has housewares, I can't leave until I've browsed through the aprons and dish towels.  In places like, Pottery Barn, Anthropologie, Williams-Sonoma, or Sur la Table, I can usually come to my senses, and leave before purchasing a $40 apron or $20 dish towels.  Not so much will power in Target or HomeGoods!  I mean, $4 for a 2pk of lovely dish towels!  After a recent HomeGoods excursion, I picked up some dish towels and decided to have the best of both towel aprons! 

They're so easy to make, I decided to complete a video of the process.  Remember?  I'm supposed to be getting Alyson ready to fly, she'll be leaving the nest next summer.  She needs to know how to make an apron.  Sure, she's not going to need one in the dorm but, I have to start somewhere :)

Instructions are posted on the next page but, you can take a peek at my YouTube video for this project by clicking here: Cheap Chic Dish Towel Apron

Please understand that I am not slamming Pottery Barn, Anthropologie, Williams-Sonoma, or Sur la Table...I absolutely ADORE those stores!  This post is about creating an apron from a "fabulous cheap find"via stores like HomeGoods, Target, etc.  Although I am not a hoarder, I know that hoarding is a serious condition...My heart goes out to anyone affected by hoarding or a hoarder.


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