Monday, March 11, 2013

I just HAD too

Ok, I promise I have been trying to bake less but last night I had such a good dinner planned and it was just begging for something sweet to complete it. I guess I can share the dinner too, since mom is the one who told me how to do it....

You need a Pork Loin- plain- un flavored (although the flavored ones a good too) and some Raspberry Chipotle Sauce, liquid smoke, salt, and pepper. 

Throw the pork loin in a crock pot 4-ish hours before you want to eat. Give a bottle of liquid smoke a few shakes on top and then grind some salt and pepper over that. Flip the pork over and flavor the other side the same way. Cover and let cook on low for 3-4 hours. Once it has reached 165 degrees its finished. 5 minutes before eating pull it out and let rest. Then cut at serve. I also had roasted Asparagus and a salad. I rolled the asparagus in some olive oil, salt, pepper, and balsamic vinegar. Then roasted at 400 for 8 minutes. Sprinkle with shredded parmesean and return to oven for another 2 minutes. DELISH!

So you see, not having a dessert after a nice Sunday dinner would have been irresponsible. AND the kids deserved it because they ate better than they have their whole lives- Olivia did not even complain or ask how much gross stuff she had to eat. She actually tried it willingly and had MORE! So this is a dessert I had pinned but never tried. And it's a little unfortunate that it turned out because it's mostly what I have eaten today. Sugar cookies only soooo much easier! Its from whatever website is on the picture, what is it... high heels and grills? Anyway, here you go. Oh and she talks about greasing your hands to help with the stickiness when pressing it into the pan. Yeah- mine wasn't sticky at all but it turned out great. 


  • 2-1/2 cups bread flour (or all-purpose flour is fine)
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1-1/2 Tbsp. sour cream (I used plain greek yogurt)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup half and half (I used milk)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • Pinch of salt
  • Several drops of food coloring (optional)

  1. COOKIES: Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. (The longer you beat it, the fluffier your cookies will be.)
  4. Add egg and combine well.
  5. Add sour cream and vanilla and mix until completely blended.
  6. Slowly add the flour mixture and stir until well combined.
  7. Gently press the batter into the greased baking dish and spread out with hands. (If you butter your hands, this will help with the stickiness.)
  8. Bake 17-20 minutes, or until edges become lightly golden.
  9. Set aside to cool completely.
  10. FROSTING: In a medium bowl, cream together butter, powdered sugar, and half and half until light and fluffy.
  11. Stir in vanilla and salt, combine well.
  12. Add food coloring until desired color.
  13. Frost your cooled cookie bars evenly.
  14. Cut into squares and serve.  

Friday, March 8, 2013

Macaroni Grill Rosemary Bread

Had this with Minestrone tonight. I'm not a bread person. It always seems like too much effort but this was definitely worth it. 

Recipe by: The Sisters Cafe

1 Tbsp. Dry Yeast
1 Tbsp. Sugar 1 cup warm water (105 – 115 degrees)
2 ½ cups white flour, divided
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. rosemary, chopped, (I used about a tablespoon of dried rosemary and it worked great.)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. butter or margarine
Coarsely ground salt
Put the yeast, water and sugar into a blender. Mix it until it is frothy.Turn the oven onto 200°. (You just need to warm it up; you’re not baking yet.)
To the mixing bowl of yeast mixture, add two cups of the flour, salt, and half of your chopped rosemary. Keep the other half cup of flour close at hand. Knead the dough for a few minutes. Add the rest of the flour as needed to get the dough to the right consistency (soft and stretchy without being overly sticky).Turn the oven off
Lift the dough out of the mixing bowl. Add the olive oil to a bowl and swirl it around. Roll the dough in the olive oil so it is well coated and let it sit in the bowl. Cover the bowl with a dish towel and place it in the oven (the oven should be off by now, if you missed that step). Leave the door cracked so it isn’t too hot in there.Let the dough rise for about an hour. It should be approximately doubled in size. 
Punch the dough down and knead it again. Divide it into two equal sized lumps and let it sit for about 5-10 minutes.
Prepare your baking pan. Shape the dough into two oval-shaped loaves and arrange on the pan. Melt the butter or margarine. Use a brush to paint the surface of the loaves with butter. Use all of the butter. The loaves will be quite saturated when you’re done. Take the rest of the chopped rosemary and sprinkle it over the loaves. Pat it down gently to set it into the dough. Return the loaves to the oven. Don’t turn it on yet. Let the dough rise again, for about 45 minutes. Remove the loaves and preheat the oven to 450°. Sprinkle a little bit of coarse (kosher salt is perfect) salt over the loaves. Return the dough to the oven. Bake for 12-15 minutes until light brown.Makes two loaves. Best enjoyed with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and garlic.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


This is again, one of my go to leftover recipes. I use whatever old produce is in the fridge and it's done in fifteen minutes flat (including preparing the rice). John and I watch a lot of chopped and sometimes he pretends to be a judge and presses his eyebrows together and says things like: "I found your presentation to be delightful. Very whimsical." Sometimes he also plates my dinners in abstract ways. Anyway, this was one of our favorites to plate.

 Adapted from Maangchi

  • Cooked rice
  • a package of bean sprouts
  • a bunch of spinach
  • 2 small size of zucchinis
  • 5-7 Shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 small carrot
  • eggs
  • soy sauce, garlic, sesame seeds, sesame oil, and vegetable oil
  • red pepper paste
  1. Cook rice. You can use a rice cooker or a stainless pot. Add less water so the rice is drier. I do mine in a pot and once it is cooked I turn the burner on high for a couple of minutes to get the edges toastier like you would get if you were eating it from a stone pot.
  2. Next, you need to prepare a large platter to put all your ingredients on. Rinse your bean sprouts Add 1 ts of salt and cook for 10 minutes. Mix it with 1 clove of minced garlic, sesame oil and a pinch of salt.
    Put it on the platter.
  3. Put your spinach in a pot of boiling water and stir it for a minute. Then rinse it in cold water a few times and squeeze it lightly. Mix it with a pinch of salt, 1 ts of soy sauce, 1 clove of minced garlic and sesame oil. Put it on the platter
  4. Cut 2 small size zucchinis into thin strips, sprinkle them with a pinch of salt, and then mix them together. A few minutes later, sauté them in a pan over high heat. When it’s cooked, it will look a little translucent. Put it on the platter.
  5. Slice shitake mushrooms thinly and sauté with 1 ts of vegetable oil. Add 2 ts of soy sauce and 1 or 2 ts of sugar and stir it for 2 minutes. Add some sesame oil, and put it on the platter.
  6. Cut a carrot into strips, sauté it for 30 seconds and put it on the platter.
  7. prepare eggs sunny side up.
  8. Put your rice In a big bowl, and attractively display all your vegetables. Place the sunny side up egg on the center.
  9. Serve it with sesame oil and hot pepper paste.
  10. Lastly, mix it up and eat!
 Red pepper paste (gochujang) sauce:
4 tablespoons of Korean red pepper paste (gochujang)
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 tablespoon of sesame oil
3 tablespoons of water.