Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Cinnamon Beignets with Chocolate Sauce, a Sweet Treat!

Another recipe I made for Mardi Gras were Beignets.  I didn't have the right ingredients for the famed King Cake but I did have what I needed for Beignets.  I had never made these before.  They say beignets are much like a French Doughnut.  I'll admit they were a little work and the original recipe needed some help. The dough was way too dry so I added water as needed. I added some spices to the powdered sugar mix and then I really felt like these needed help from a sauce of some type.  Chocolate is good on almost anything sweet.  These are really sweet tasting so if it's too much, then I would add sea salt on top.  I made up my own chocolate sauce too since the recipes all called for cocoa powder.  Guess what, I don't have cocoa powder either! It's good that I have a nice chocolate bar stash for these times.


  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 tablespoon yeast
  • 1/8 cup shortening
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 quart vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar for dusting
  • 1 Tbsp. Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. Nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. Cloves

  • Pour 1/4 cup room temperature water into a small bowl. Sprinkle the yeast over the water and let stand for about 5 minutes to dissolve.

  • Combine the shortening, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Pour the boiling water over the shortening mixture and then stir in the evaporated milk. Wait for the mixture to cool down until it is lukewarm. Then, add the yeast and water mixture and beaten eggs.

  • Slowly mix in the flour until the dough forms a ball. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

  • Working with a small portion (a little larger than a baseball) at a time, roll out the dough 1/8-inch thick. Cut the rolled out dough into strips 2 to 3-inches wide, then cut again in the opposite direction and at an angle, making diamond shapes.

  • Heat your oil for frying in a deep and wide, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat to 360 degree F (180 degrees C).

  • Slide dough slowly into the oil to avoid splattering and deep fry until they puff up and are golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Carefully remove onto a rack with paper towels underneath and allow to cool until you can handle them. Place in a clean paper bag with confectioners' sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves and shake gently until covered generously or, use a sifter to dust the beignets with powdered sugar.

Quick and Easy Chocolate Sauce

3 Tbsp. Nutella Spread
1 Tbsp. Brown Sugar
1/4 Cup Milk
2 squares of Hershey's Special Dark Chocolate (from large bar)
1 tsp. Butter

On low medium heat, mix and melt all ingredients into small saucepan.  Add more milk if needed for thinner consistency.  Drizzle over Beignets or anything you can think of.  Would be good on cakes and ice creams.

Original Beignets recipe from PREGOCOOK on
Chocolate Sauce recipe made by me!

Shrimp Po' Boys

For Fat Tuesday this year, I had decided to make shrimp po' boys.  I don't normally celebrate Mardi Gras but I thought it would be a great reason to bring in more different recipes into the house.  I was missing a lot of ingredients this time but I improvised quite a bit.  I had to because I can never turn down shrimp!  To be honest, I couldn't tell you all the things I have done differently but the sandwiches were good.  I know I made more of a beer batter and added some hot sauce to the mix and much of the same ingredients listed here.  I did it that way since we didn't have any panko bread crumbs.  I was missing some lettuce and tomatoes so that's why you don't see them here.  The recipe I found for these is highly rated.  For what I didn't have, it was pretty good and I think it would be even better following the original recipe.  I got my bread from a local sub shop and I toasted the insides using olive oil.


  • Vegetable oil for deep-frying
  • 4 French rolls, split and hinged
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons Creole seasoning
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 pounds jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 cups Kikkoman Panko Bread Crumbs
  • 2 cups shredded lettuce
  • Remoulade sauce:
  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • 1 tablespoon horseradish
  • 1 teaspoon pickle relish
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Kikkoman Ponzu Lime

  • Combine butter and garlic, spread on rolls and toast in the oven until brown. Heat oil in a 2 quart saucepan until 360 degrees. Mix creole seasoning and flour. Dredge shrimp in flour then egg; roll in panko. Fry shrimp in batches until golden brown. Spread remoulade sauce on all 4 rolls. Top with shrimp, followed by shredded lettuce.

  • Remoulade sauce: Mix mayo, horseradish, pickle relish, minced garlic, cayenne pepper, and ponzu in a bowl.

Shrimp Po' Boys Recipe from Kikkoman on

Monday, February 20, 2012

Caramel Corn for Everyone!

Most people think of negative things when they think back to when they were in junior high.  Emotions were high back then and we still had a lot of growing to do.  I had a lot of fun when I was in junior high.  I made new friends and had some time to play before I had to start work to help out the family.  Summers were the best because we all could ride our bikes around town to see all the different places.  We also enjoyed going to each other's homes and play flashlight tag.  I sure miss those days!  One class I had in junior high was a home economics class.  We learned to cook and sew, among other things.  I already knew how to cook some of the things we learned.  I felt that there wasn't much to take from the class as I known how to do my own laundry since I was 6.  I was so wrong about that.  All of us students had gotten a cookbook out of the class that had some easy recipes in it.  One of those recipes was for caramel corn that you could make in the microwave.  Just about every time I've made this caramel corn recipe for someone, they either ask me to make them a lot for the next time or they ask for the recipe.  This is an old go to recipe that I will forever keep in my own personal cook book!


2/3 cup popcorn
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup corn syrup
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Pop popcorn in an air popper. Pick out old maids (optional, but desired) and put in a large microwave-safe clean paper bag. That means no staples in it. You can acquire these at any grocery store.

Combine in a quart size glass bowl the butter, brown sugar, corn syrup and salt. Microwave 1 1/2 min. Stir. Microwave 1 1/2 min. again. Stir. Add baking soda and vanilla. Pour mix over popcorn. Close bag and shake. Microwave 1 1/2 min. Shake. Microwave 1 1/2 min. Shake. Spread out on tray to cool. This would be another good way to find those old maids to pick out. Store in air tight container if it can even last that long!

I've tried this recipe with both light and dark brown sugars. Both are very good. If you have an old microwave like we do, you can adjust cooking times to be longer. If you don't, then it can be a little too chewy. It still tastes pretty good then.

This recipe came about from my junior high home economics class.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Filet Mignon with Blue Cheese Sauce For That Someone Special

Ok I'm sorry the picture didn't turn out as well.  My husband and I were in a hurry to eat such an excellent dinner I made for Valentine's Day this year.  I think I cut the tenderloin a little early so some of the juices ran on the plate.  It was still pretty juicy and cooked perfectly.  That red stuff isn't really blood like most people think.  I cooked this tenderloin to medium rare.  That's the only way to have steak!  In another post on here I mentioned I hate blue cheese.  I still do for the most part.  There are some ways I will eat blue cheese and enjoy it.  The most common way is if there is steak involved.  I'm super picky with how blue cheese tastes.  Well, I'm super picky with most flavors anyway.  That's what I get when I'm a super taster.  I can taste and smell things others can't.  I can tell if the milk will turn sour the next day.  I think this blue cheese sauce is one of the most phenomenal sauces ever!!!  It's even great if you stick it on potatoes or bread.  I had a croissant that I didn't really like (sorry mom!) and I put this sauce on it.  I think that croissant needed more butter in the batter or something.  When I put the blue cheese sauce on it, the croissant tasted so good!  I got these recipes from my mother in law.  She made this for Christmas for 2 years in a row now.  For those of you who don't know, Filet Mignon is another name for Tenderloin.  I have found a lot of people don't know that.  You learn something new everyday!

Fillet of Beef

  • 1 (4 to 5 pound) fillet of beef, trimmed and tied
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.
Place the beef on a sheet pan and pat the outside dry with a paper towel. Spread the butter on with your hands. Sprinkle evenly with the salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for exactly 22 minutes for rare and 25 minutes for medium-rare.
Remove the beef from the oven, cover it tightly with aluminum foil, and allow it to rest at room temperature for 20 minutes. Remove the strings and slice the fillet thickly.
Note: Be sure your oven is very clean or the high temperature will cause it to smoke.

Recipe from Barefoot Contessa (Ina Garten) on Food Network

Gorgonzola Sauce
  • 4 cups heavy cream
  • 3 to 4 ounces crumbly Gorgonzola (not creamy or "dolce")
  • 3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley


Bring the heavy cream to a full boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, then continue to boil rapidly for 45 to 50 minutes, until thickened like a white sauce, stirring occasionally.
Off the heat, add the Gorgonzola, Parmesan, salt, pepper, and parsley. Whisk rapidly until the cheeses melt and serve warm. If you must reheat, warm the sauce over low heat until melted, then whisk vigorously until the sauce comes together.

Recipe from Barefoot Contessa (Ina Garten) on Food Network 

Blue Cheese and Honey Topped Crackers

I'm not a big fan of blue cheese.  I think blue cheese can be too funky for my tastebuds.  However, I used to be strictly against blue cheese.  That was until I had some at a Steak House restaurant.  I still don't like most blue cheese's, but now I have opened a taste for some of it.  For today, I have found a great way to eat some blue cheese.  My husband and I went to a grocery store where they had us try blue cheese samples on crackers.  I noticed mine had honey on top.  I found that the honey was a great way to cut that funk you get from blue cheese.  I had gotten this blue cheese for another recipe but didn't get it all used up.  I thought it would be a good idea to find another way to eat this blue cheese.  This recipe is so simple, you don't really have to transform any ingredients.  Some of the best recipes don't use a whole lot of ingredients and don't need to be messed around with a lot.  This recipe is just a good idea for a snack, especially if you find yourself not knowing what kind of snack to make in a pinch for guests.  I wasn't going to mention this one but I was so excited to find a way to get me to eat blue cheese other than with steak.  Enjoy!


Ritz Crackers
Blue Cheese

This recipe is so easy that anybody can do it.  You put your desired amount of cheese on the cracker and then add a dab of honey to each.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Brie En Croute to Entertain

Paula Deen is one of my most favorite chefs on the Food Network Channel.  She's very funny and every recipe I've made of hers is top notch.  My husband and I had found this recipe in her cookbook one night and decided to give it a try.  Brie is a very nice cheese. It melts in the perfect way.  We like to get rid of the white rind as we don't like it's bitter taste.  It makes a big difference.  We changed her recipe a little bit because we like this with a lot of nuts.  I added very thin slices of granny smith apples to this during our last Christmas.  They turned out phenomenal.  These are a special thing we make but you could pretty much make this for any time.  They don't take that long.


1 sheet puff pastry, defrosted and unfolded
2 Tbsp. butter
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 small wheel of brie cheese (8 oz)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
crackers (ritz or whatever you like)
1 thinly slice granny smith apple

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat.  Add in walnuts and saute about 5 minutes or until golden brown.  Stir in cinnamon and coat nuts well.  Cut skin off of brie (optional but I recommend it due to the bitter taste of it). Place brie in middle of puff pastry on a greased cookie sheet.  Pour nut mix on top of brie.  Add the brown sugar on top of nut mix.  Close up the pastry and tie with kitchen twine.  Brush with beaten egg.  Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.  Slice pieces of brie en croute and serve on crackers and top with apples.

The original recipe is from Paula Deen's "Kitchen Classics" cookbook.  I modified it because I felt it needed more of the nut mix.  If you want to follow what she did, do half the butter, nuts, cinnamon and brown sugar.  She also didn't tell me to use an apple.  That is optional.  She didn't say remove the skin but I feel it is necessary.  It's ok if you don't get every last speck of it off, but rather get most of it off.  I just used my handy chef's knife to do this.  If you can't find brie, I know that gruyere cheese would be good for this as well.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Nacho Cheese Dip

What kind of cheese is not yours?  Nacho Cheese!  I came a discovery all by accident.  I was hungry for breakfast burritos one morning and I wanted to do them with a cheese sauce.  I was thinking like those sauces different places put on their breakfast burritos, sandwiches and even breakfast pizza.  Much to my dismay, I couldn't find the recipe I was looking for.  I then searched cheese sauce and came across Chef John's video online.  It's a generic cheese sauce recipe that I happened to have changed a few things.  Kudos to John for teaching me the basics on this sauce!  I know I could have just tried doing something with Velveeta, but that wouldn't taste right.  Then I thought maybe using a canned cheese soup but I don't have any at home.  I took the long way and got a very pleasant reward.


1/4 C Butter
1/8 C Flour
1 C Cold Milk
Pinch of Nutmeg
1/4-1/2 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
1/4 tsp. Sea Salt or to taste
6 oz. Cheddar Cheese

Make a roux by first cooking the Butter in a medium saucepan over low-medium heat.  Wait until Butter starts foaming, making sure not to brown it.  Add Flour and whisk.  Cook for 3-5 minutes for a blonde roux.  Keep whisking and add in half of the cold milk. Whisk until evenly distributed.  Add in the rest of the cold milk and whisk.  Add spices and reduce to simmer, heating for about 7 minutes or until desired thickness is achieved.  Take off heat and add cheese in 3 parts while whisking it in each time.  You may want to put pan back on heat just to make things hot again after everything is mixed well together.  Serve with tortilla chips and enjoy!

Original recipe came from John at
I changed the cooking times, added salt, added cayenne and extra cheese while cutting the original recipe by half.

If anyone knows how to make that breakfast sauce, please let me know.  The closest thing to what I'm talking about is the stuff that McDonald's will use on their bacon egg and cheese bagels and their breakfast burritos.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Flour Tortillas Just Like They Have in the Restaurants

This weekend I have realized that maybe I should put my favorite flour tortilla recipe up and on its own.  I put this recipe with the chicken enchiladas recipe.  I thought it would be nice to give these tortillas their own blog because they are just that good.  I craved having some flour tortillas just like in the restaurant one day and found this recipe.  Last night we just had a taco night and these tortillas made a showing.  These are easy to make.  It takes 5 minutes to mix, 20 minutes for the dough to rest and then you roll out and cook for about 2 minutes for each tortilla.  I use my handy rolling pin to flatten these bad boys out.  If you have a tortilla maker, go ahead and give that a try.


4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons shortening
1 cup water to start (may need more or less based on humidity levels)

Mix all dry ingredients together. Cut in Shortening.  Add water. You want a nice round dough ball that's not real dry but not too wet that it really sticks to your fingers, so adjust water to where everything just mixes together. Cover with a damp cloth and let sit 15 minutes. Divide into 12 equal balls. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each ball into about 7" flat rounds. Cook each side on medium heat until brown spots start to appear. Keep covered until ready to serve.

Original Tortillas 2 from teresa on 
I only changed the amount of dough used per portion.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Brussel Sprouts, We Need to Talk!

I know what you're thinking.  How in the world could brussel sprouts ever taste good?  I know most of you are thinking back to the times of boiled brussel sprouts with that nasty slimy texture.  Yuck!  When you boil brussel sprouts, it's very easy to over cook them and then they taste bad.  Well, today we are not going to have to deal with that ever again my friends.  Yes, this is one of my greatest glories!  If I can make my brother in law like asparagus, then I bet I could make him like these!  One really good thing here is that I have unlocked the secret to making good brussel sprouts and it's actually healthy.  Yeah I know I said a dirty word, healthy.  It's the perfect time for you to give this a try as I know some of you are on your new year's resolution of dieting.


1/2 lb Fresh Brussel Sprouts
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
Extra Olive Oil to have on hand
Sea Salt and Pepper to taste

First, make sure you soak the Brussel Sprouts in a bowl of cold water for 10 minutes to get rid of any dirt.  Make sure to get rid of any brown leaves or anything that doesn't look good.  Prepare the Brussel Sprouts by cutting off the stems right up to where the leaves meet.  Then cut each little cabbage lengthwise.

Coat a large  frying pan with Olive Oil.  Place Brussel Sprouts with the flat side down, making sure the larger ones take up spots that will be hotter in the pan. Spray Brussel Sprouts with Olive Oil.  If you don't have an olive oil sprayer then it's fine to brush just a little bit of Olive Oil on top. Season with Sea Salt and Pepper.  Cook on medium heat until flat side is brown (about 8 minutes). It's ok if you get kind of a charred look.  That means that part will be crunchy and even tastier.  Just don't burn the snot out of it.You may need to add more Olive Oil throughout the cooking process just to keep the bottom wet.  

Ever so delicately, take your handy dandy tongs and flip each cabbage over.  If it takes a while you may need to take the pan off the heat for just a moment until you flip everything.  Don't be afraid if you have some loose leaves in the pan.  That is perfectly normal.  Sometimes the little cabbages like to move around in the hot pan and can actually flip back over. Season with Sea Salt and Pepper on top of the flat sides.  Cook on this side until you get a brown or charred bottom (again, about 8 minutes). Enjoy this as a hot side dish!

So there you have it folks, a delicious way to eat your veggies.  For the best results, don't use a non-stick coated frying pan so you can get your food nice brown.