Gooey Cheese & Bacon Soft Breadsticks

Gooey Cheese & Bacon Soft Breadsticks

Gooey Cheese & Bacon Soft Breadsticks



I think if it were left up to the guys in my house, every day would be a day devoted to seeing how many carbs and how much cheese they could stuff into their bodies, veggies be damned. I on the other hand would happily live on veggies and meat, with dessert afterward of course. I love cheese, but I’ve said before I prefer my carbs in sweet form usually. Thus why this blog is overwhelmingly sweets and not non-sweets.

The rare times we can manage to go out for dinner, they love places that have pizza, with Gatti-Town being a favorite…unlimited pizza, pasta, breadsticks and then games. What more does any male need, right? I am pretty sure that when the cooks see them go up for their 14th plate of cheesy carbs, they groan and wish they worked somewhere else. I’m never worth the price of the buffet myself. I usually manage two slices of pizza and a salad  and that’s about it.

Right now, it’s a rough patch financially, so I wanted to give the guys a treat I knew they’d love that we can’t afford to get out. What better way than one of their favorite buffet foods, made fresh at home?

Gooey Cheese & Bacon Soft Breadsticks

Gooey Cheese & Bacon Soft Breadsticks

I think they were happy with these. I mean, really… cheese…bacon. Bacon is one of Gods gifts to mankind :-D I managed to eat one and it was quite yummy. I hid one for myself for later too, hehe. They inhaled the rest of them for an early dinner. Not traditional, not even particularly nutritious, but my guys enjoyed the treat.

These are extremely easy to make. it’s a SIMPLE yeast dough you can do in a stand mixer (or even by hand if you want). Then you roll it out into a rough rectangle, cut it, let it rise, sprinkle with the goodies, then bake and eat the cheesy, carby goodness. Nuthin’ to it. You can add a bit of thinly sliced red onion to this or a bit of green pepper… just use your imagination and put what makes you happy.

You know the drill….

Mrs. Cupcake… who feels the need for a fresh salad now

Gooey Cheese & Bacon Soft Breadsticks

  • 1 package dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water (about 112 to 117 degrees)
  • 4 to 4 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • olive oil (or just use some of the bacon drippings)
  • 8 ounces bacon, cooked to chewy crispness and crumbled
  • 8 ounces Mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 8 ounces mild cheddar, shredded
  1. Sprinkle the yeast over the 1/4 cup warm water in a bowl; stir to mix then let it sit for about five minutes. The mixture should start to get foamy.
  2. Place 4 cups of the flour, the butter, sugar, salt and 1 1/4 cups water in the bowl of a stand mixer (again, you can mix by hand. It will take longer, but it’s definitely doable). Pour the yeast mix in and beat on low speed, with the dough hook, for about five minutes, until the dough comes together in a slightly sticky ball.  If it is too sticky to work with, add in another 1/4 cup of flour, then mix again until the dough comes together in a ball.
  3. Grease a large baking sheet or cookie sheet. Dump the dough out onto a lightly floured board or counter and give it a few quick kneads just to bring it together well. Roll it out into a more or less rectangular size (it doesn’t have to be perfect- you’ll just be laying it out on a baking sheet) of about 15 x 11. Carefully roll it up halfway over the rolling pin or your hand and transfer it to the baking sheet. Stretch out any wrinkles you may have made in it during the transfer.
  4. Use a pizza cutter or sharp knife to score the dough into long strips, then again down the middle to cut the strips in half. Don’t separate them, just leave it like that. Let rise in a warm place until puffy and almost doubled, about 45 minutes. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees while it rises.
  5. Brush dough lightly with either olive oil or bacon drippings. Sprinkle with the garlic powder, onion powder and salt. Sprinkle the cheese on top of that, then the bacon.
  6. Bake at 375 degrees until the edges are golden brown and the cheese is browned and bubbly, about 25 minutes.
  7. Let rest for about 5 minutes, then use a pizza cutter or sharp knife to cut the breadsticks through the score lines you made earlier.
  8. Serve to hungry males with pizza sauce. Take in the accolades and cheese scented kisses.

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Gooey Cheese & Bacon Soft Breadsticks 3

Decadent Creamy Chocolate Fudge Pie

Decadent Creamy Chocolate Fudge Pie

Decadent Creamy Chocolate Fudge Pie



Are those three wonderful words or what?  Creamy…. Fudge… and Pie. They make me happy just reading them. They also make me want to grab a spoon and shove it into what’s left of this pie, but thus far, I’ve resisted the urge. I’m trying my best to NOT get mistaken for a whale when I go in our pool this Summer. I can see it now- “Today, in an event never before seen in the state of Kentucky, a rare white bellied and legged and armed and faced , obviously needing a tan whale was seen in the swimming pool of a local family. No one knows how it got there, but rumors have been abounding as to how big it really is, with some giving estimates into the hundreds of tons! Full story at eleven!”

I think it may be a lost cause though. All the weight I lost and said “Nope, never gaining it back! Not me!” is back. The part of me that looks at modern society and sees thin women in beautiful clothes cares. But the part of me that is almost 51 and likes to eat creamy fudge pie? Not so much. So far, the fudge pie part is winning. I know me though… at some point, I’ll go through the cycle all over again though I’ve lost all hope that it will be permanent. I’m not willing to cut out all the fun foods nor am I willing to exercise for 2 to 3 hours a day, which at my age, I’ve found seems to be the only way to keep the weight off.

Oh well. As a food blogger, I live by the motto of “fat is flavor”, right? So I should be one well marbled woman! :-P

I have been making this pie for many many years. It comes from what I have mentioned before is one of my favorite cookbooks- The Fannie Farmer Baking Book. This is the book that helped me learn to REALLY bake as an adult, not the throw together stuff I did as a kid and teen. It’s one I’ve been using for about 30 years now and love. My copy is tattered and stained and I really should get a new one. Someday.

Make this pie. You can cheat like me and use a store bought crust or make your own if you’re feeling ambitious. I do either, depending on my mood. Store bought won this time. This pie is very chocolatey, but not pudding like as most chocolate pies are. it is, as the name says, more fudge like, almost like having a dense brownie in a pie shell. Over the years, I have of course adapted this to our liking but it isn’t much in the way of changes at all. All I do differently is to increase the filling by 50% because otherwise it’s rather thin and I add a bit of almond extract to the filling. Since it’s with the large amount of chocolate, it doesn’t taste almondy so much as, like adding espresso, it just adds that certain something to the flavor. Did I mention that this pie is also really really easy to make?

You know the drill…

Mrs. Cupcake, who needs larger fat girl pants

Decadent Creamy Chocolate Fudge Pie

  • 9 inch pie crust, unbaked
  • 12 tablespoons (3/4 cup) unsalted butter,
  • 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 6 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350. In a microwave safe bowl, combine the butter and chocolate. Cook at full power for one minute, stirring afterward, then putting it back into the microwave to cook in 30 second increments until the chocolate and butter are melted and combined and the mixture is smooth.
  2. Whisk the eggs in a medium bowl. Add in the sugar, flour, salt and extracts. beat just until smooth. Stir in the chocolate/butter mixture and blend well.
  3. Pour into the pie shell. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 to 40 minutes until the pie is gently set. It shouldn’t be liquidy looking at all on top but should be set. The pie will fluff up as it bakes, then sink and crack all over as it cools. This is normal. The top will be an almost chewy, brownie like layer with a creamy mousse like layer under that.
  4. Cool and serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

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Spicy Mango Chutney

Spicy Mango Chutney

Spicy Mango Chutney



Being brought up in the Midwest in the 60’s and 70’s (yes, I’m old. Just shush.), there wasn’t much in the way of “exotic” foods. There was a lot of sausage, a lot of pork, which was horrid back then for the record- really fatty and just nasty. I honestly stopped eating pork as a young adult because I thought it was horrible. Now I absolutely love pork. There was also a lot of chicken, etc etc. All the homey Eastern European foods that had been brought to the heartland and foods that were made by a depression era parent were part of our upbringing. But Indian foods? Thai Curries? Fiery spice blends? Nahhhh…. not in the Chicago of that time period. When I got into my early thirties, I wanted to branch out some in my cooking. I’m not even sure why. There was nothing in me that said, “oooo, that sounds delicious and I want to try to make it!” It was more like just cooking curiosity. I have always been very interested in reading about different cultures and when you combine that in a book with their food culture, you’ll have me hooked. I had no idea that once I started down that road, I would become a quick addict.

But I have. I could happily eat foods of that part of the world daily and not get bored with them. The problem is that it is difficult still to get good ingredients in my neck of the woods for the actual dishes and there are very few restaurants serving good Indian or Thai foods. So most of the time I settle for the condiments- mainly the chutneys. Some of what I make is Americanized because I want it to appeal to my not as adventurous family. I buy the “real” stuff from stores with good ethnic food selections and enjoy them myself. But I have made so many different chutneys it’s ridiculous- that tomato one up there, peach, cranberry, blueberry cranberry, pear ginger and so one and so forth. But my favorite will always be this spicy mango one I keep coming back to. It is a total amalgamation of a handful of different ones I have tried over the years until I finally got it to where I wanted it to be. It’s sweet, tangy from the vinegar, fruity and has a mild bite that adds so much to foods. I don’t just use chutneys with curries. I love them with baked chicken, fried chicken, any sort of pork. You name it, I’ll try it with chutney :-D This doesn’t need to be canned, though you can do so if you’re feeling froggy. Just store it in the fridge in a covered container. It will keep well in there for months due to the high vinegar content.

You know the drill… :-)

Mrs. Cupcake, who is now craving a good Indian curry.

Spicy Mango Chutney

  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 2/3 cup vinegar, cider or white (white makes it a bit sharper in taste, but I rather enjoy that)
  • 4 ripe mangoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2/3 cup raisins
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 2 tablespoons chopped crystallized ginger
  • 1 1/2 – 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper (use more or less depending on how much you like spiciness. This amounts puts it at about a 5 on a 1-10 scale)
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds (NOT ground mustard)
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  1. Combine the sugar and vinegar in a medium pot (I use a 3 quart pot to help contain any bubbling). Bring to a boil over medium high heat, then add all the rest of the ingredients.
  2. Stir well, then cook over medium heat, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. Turn the heat down if it seems to be sticking. It will take longer to cook down, but it will get there. Cook until the chutney has reduced by about 1/3, is no longer watery, but looks thick and syrupy. It should take about an hour and a half or so.
  3. Let cool, then store in the fridge in a covered container. This can also be canned via water bath if preferred.

Copyright Notice: From Cupcakes To Caviar images and original content are copyright protected. Please do not publish these materials anywhere without prior permission.

Spicy Mango Chutney

Spicy Mango Chutney

Crispy Chewy Fully Loaded Oatmeal Cookies

Crispy Chewy Fully Loaded Oatmeal Cookies

Crispy Chewy Fully Loaded Oatmeal Cookies



I know, I know; one heck of a title. You guys know I am not much on titles that are a bigger mouthful than the food, but sometimes it can’t be helped. I mean, I could have named these “Chewy, Crispy Oatmeal Cookies With Cranberries, Chocolate Chips And Toasted Pecans”. Now THERE’S  a mouthful.

Sometimes, when I get into the kitchen, I like to pretend I’m cooking healthy. Throw some oats in a cookie dough, add some toasted nuts and some cranberries and I suddenly feel like I’m running a health food blog. I, of course, totally ignore that said cranberries are sugar sweetened, that I also have chocolate chips in them and that there is 2 sticks of butter in with the oatmeal. Yep… health food! No counting calories needed here. *coughcough*

I am running really behind today cause that stoopid Migraine is still hanging around making me fairly miserable and making me not want to do much of anything, so I’m not going to ramble much today, but just to get the goodies.

As cookies go, these ARE actually not too bad for you. Yes, they have butter and chocolate, but they do have those nuts and even sweetened, you get some vitamins and fiber from the dried cranberries. Plus, compared to a lot of oatmeal cookie recipes, these aren’t very sweet. If you like a sweeter cookie, feel free to add about 1/3 cup more of sugar. Personally, I rather enjoy their crispy edges and chewy center just like this…. just sweet enjoy to feel like an indulgence.

You know the drill…

Love you guys! <3

Crispy Chewy Fully Loaded Oatmeal Cookies

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 1/2 cups oats (not instant)
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons honey (this is what helps you get that chewiness)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups dried sweetened cranberries
  • 1 cup chopped pecans, lightly toasted
  • 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two cookie sheets with cooking spray or line with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
  3. In a large bowl, at medium speed on a hand mixer, beat together the butter and two types of sugar until creamy and fluffy.
  4. Add in the eggs and beat well, scraping bowl as needed. Add in the vanilla extract and honey and beat well.
  5. Pour the dry ingredients into the bowl of wet ones and use a wooden spoon to mix until well combined. Dump in the cranberries, nuts and chocolate chips and mix well.
  6. Use a tablespoon to scoop out golf ball sized rounds of dough. Place about two inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets. You can leave them as balls and they will be a bit more chewy or you can flatten them out a bit once they are on the sheets and end up with cookies that are somewhat crisper; your choice.
  7. Bake until they are set but still feel the tiniest bit moist in the center to get chewy cookies, about 18 minutes or until totally set, about 21 minutes to get crisper cookies.
  8. Transfer to a rack to cool.

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Crispy Chewy Fully Loaded Oatmeal Cookies

Crispy Chewy Fully Loaded Oatmeal Cookies

 

Salted Caramel, Chocolate & Toasted Pecan Butter Bars

Salted Caramel, Chocolate & Toasted Pecan Butter Bars

Salted Caramel, Chocolate & Toasted Pecan Butter Bars



The last post I mentioned being tired. Guess what? I’m still tired. Why, you ask? You did ask, didn’t you? Because I have kids, that’s why. last night at about 2am, Joshie came in the room saying he had had a bad dream. We cuddled for a bit, then I put him back to bed. Three fifteen am, Josh came in and said he was scared in his room and he needed a drink. I got him a drink, tucked him back into bed with “Favorite Bear” and “Fuzzy Bear” and stumbled back to bed myself, after tripping over a meowing cat who decided that he too was lonely and swatting at my bare leg was the way to let me know. So, first I had to go clean the rivulets of blood of my leg and put in 33 stitches. Mind you, all of this was after not being able to sleep well anyway because I’ve been dealing with a Migraine. FINALLY, about 5:30, I fell asleep. Then my husband and Josh came to say bye at 6:30 when Russ took Josh to school and himself to work. Fell asleep again… all the way to dream sleep this time…… only to suddenly be jerked awake by the feeling of someone poking me in the head through the pillow I routinely keep over my head to keep out light and noise. What was it, you ask? You did ask, didn’t you?

It was my 18 year old son Zach. He had missed the bus and needed a ride in. After I sobbed for a while and threw a tantrum while lying on the floor kicking my feet, I drove the boy in. And stopped at a gas station for something they pretended was coffee, but I’m fairly sure was really leftover ethanol. So I added cream and sugar to it and hoped for the best.

Which brings us to these bars. I blame lack of sleep and my family for the fact that I let these go a bit too long in the oven and the bottom crust was a weeeeeee bit hard (think machete needed) to cut through. Just remember… in cases like this, do not let me be your foodie role model. You’re welcome for that reminder.

They are good even with the slightly rocky bottom crust though, which says a lot for the bars. These are just my rendition of the ever popular Salted Caramel Butter Bars that are ubiquitous to the internet. They originally came from the cookbook Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey which I love and have taken out of the library about 63 times. I mean, really…. just look at the title. Of COURSE I love this cookbook!

The original bars are just crust, salted caramel and crumbles on top. Can we say one dimensional? :-p Not that anything with salted caramel and streuselly crumbs is a BAD thing. I just happened to think it needed something. Whoda thunk it, huh? So what did I do, you ask? You did ask, didn’t you? I added some toasted pecans in the top crumb layer and I added some chocolate chips on top of the caramel layer and increased the amount of caramel by about 4 ounces. See? Nothing earth shaking. Just enough to change it up a bit.

These are SWEET with a capital SWEET! Cut these bars small. I can see layering a couple of tart apples in there during the Autumn season to help cut the sweetness or serving these with some unsweetened sauteed apples as dessert. They just cry out for some tang. Also? Do not cringe when you see the amount of butter in these. C’mon… they’re called butter bars and this is my blog. You expected salad?

You know the drill….

Salted Caramel, Chocolate & Toasted Pecan Butter Bars

  • Crust-
  • 2 cups (1 lb) salted butter, room temp (you can sub unsalted, but add 1/2 teaspoon salt to the mixture if you do)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 cup chopped pecans, lightly toasted in a 350 degree oven
  • Filling-
  • 2 9 ounce bags Werthers Baking Caramels, unwrapped (because you know you planned on leaving them wrapped :-p)
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line a 13×9 inch pan with foil, preferably non stick. If NOT non stick foil, butter the foil or grease it with cooking spray.
  2. Place the butter, sugars and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer. You can use a hand mixer for this, but you will end up covered in flour and powdered sugar. Trust me. Cream them together until smooth. Add in the flour and beat at medium speed until you have a crumbly mass of dough.
  3. Pat 1/3 of the dough into the prepared pan; add the toasted pecans to the remainder of the dough, then place the part with the nuts in the fridge. Bake the crust at 350 until it is just firm and a light brown around the edges, about 20 minutes.
  4. While the crust cooks, make the filling. Place the caramels, cream and vanilla extract into a medium bowl. Microwave for 90 seconds. Stir to help melt, then continue microwaving for 30 second increments, stirring after each one, until it is smooth and fully melted. Mine took 2 and a half minutes altogether.
  5. Pour the caramel over the hot crust. Sprinkle with the teaspoon sea salt and the chocolate chips. Get the dough from the fridge and crumble it up over the top of the caramel. It is a lot of crumbs but don’t worry, it works.
  6. Bake at 350 until the filling is bubbly and the top layer is a nice light golden brown. Remember, I said LIGHT. Don’t be like me :-P The baking should take about 25 minutes.
  7.  Let the bars cool completely before cutting. Cut into small squares and serve with something tart…or some nice black coffee.

Copyright Notice: From Cupcakes To Caviar images and original content are copyright protected. Please do not publish these materials anywhere without prior permission.

Salted Caramel, Chocolate & Toasted Pecan Butter Bars

Salted Caramel, Chocolate & Toasted Pecan Butter Bars

 

Fudgy Almond Praline Brownies

Fudgy Almond Praline Brownies

Fudgy Almond Praline Brownies



I…am…soooo…tired. I’m sure many of you have heard of what my husband and I call “Wikipedia Syndrome”. It’s where you go to wiki for one article and from that one, see another to look at and then another 4 from that one and then you find yourself with 33 tabs open, all with articles you want to read, most of which have gone so far off topic from the original article that you couldn’t remember it if you tried. Well, I did something similar last night. I was laying awake, Russ snoring to wake the dead next to me and I decided to listen to a certain video. Next thing I knew, three hours had passed and I had Wikipedia syndromed myself into watching about 40,000 videos. I now know every crevice of John Legends face, have watched videos by Christina Perri that SHE has probably forgotten she made and have fallen in voice love with Christina Aguilera (she is far better than I ever gave her credit for). I also now need toothpicks to prop my eyelids open, but hey… John Legend. Music. It was worth it.

I think.

What is definitely worth it though is these brownies. (Didya see my neat little segue there? Did ya, did ya, did ya? Look ma, no hands! Watch me, mom!! Ok, I’ll stop now. Sorry.) These are some intense brownies. They are dense enough to be almost candy like and the topping, which I was afraid would be overly sweet, really isn’t. That’s not to say it isn’t sweet, it is, but it’s actually a nice foil for the brownies. The topping sets up to a firm candy like praline that crackles when you cut through it and the brownies will take of any chocolate craving you have; for the next year. Plus the toffee bits in the brownies themselves add their own nice textural contrast. Cut these babies small. I promise; you don’t need a large piece to be satisfied.

The brownie recipe is lightly adapted from one from King Arthur Flour and the topping also lightly adapted from good old Betty Crocker.

You know the drill….

Mrs. Cupcake… who needs more toothpicks for eye props.

Fudgy Almond Praline Brownies

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups unsweetened baking cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons instant coffee powder or espresso powder (using this much DOES lend a slight mocha flavor to the brownies, which I wanted- decrease the amount if you don’t)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 8 ounce package Heath Toffee Bits
  • Topping-
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups packed dark brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup sliced almond, lightly toasted and cooled
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 13×9 inch pan with foil and lightly butter or spray the foil.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the 4 eggs with the cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, instant coffee and vanilla extract until smooth. it will be very thick.
  3. In a small pot, combine the butter and sugar. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the butter is melted.  let cool for about 5 minutes, then stir it into the chocolate mixture.
  4. Add in the flour, stirring until smooth, then fold in the toffee bits.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. A toothpick inserted in the middle should come out with just a few moist crumbs on it and the edges of the brownies should look set, with the middle still looking moist, but not uncooked. Let cool in the pan on a rack while you make the topping.
  6. For the topping, combine the butter and brown sugar in a medium pot. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil for one minute, then immediately remove from the heat. Stir in the powdered sugar and vanilla and stir well. Gently fold in the sliced almonds. Let the topping sit for five minutes, stirring every minute or so to distribute the almonds, then pour the mixture evenly over the brownies, smoothing it as needed.
  7. Let sit for an hour or two to set the topping. Your best bet is to set it in the fridge for 30 minutes or so to make sure the topping is completely set and doesn’t ooze when you slice the brownies.
  8. Slice into small squares and serve with plenty of hot black coffee…or tea..or, heck with it, a beer. I won’t judge.

Copyright Notice: From Cupcakes To Caviar images and original content are copyright protected. Please do not publish these materials anywhere without prior permission.

DSCF1550

Brown Butter Blueberry Maple Cornbread

Brown Butter Blueberry Maple Cornbread

Brown Butter Blueberry Maple Cornbread



As much as I love making yeast breads and other good stuff that are yeast raised like sticky buns , my first love will probably always be cornbread .There is just something so homey about a good wedge of cornbread, be it plain or doctored up, as this version is. You can eat it by itself; and contrary to popular belief, you really should be able to eat it plain, without soaking it in something to relieve dryness. If it’s that dry, you did something wrong when baking it.

On the yeast bread front, I’ve put my sourdough starter out to come to room temp somewhere in the vicinity of 43 times in the last month. Then, I get involved in other things, put it away and say I’ll get to it the next day. If starters could be sentient, mine would have the worlds largest inferiority complex. “What? She doesn’t want me again? Was it something I did… said? Do I smell funny? Wait… I’m supposed to smell funny.”

With this bread, I took the recipe I have up in here for honey cornbread and played with it. I traded the plain butter for browned butter because you can never go wrong with brown butter, used maple sugar in place of the regular and added in a pint of blueberries.  This one is perfect for breakfast. Just serve it with  yogurt and a cup of coffee (or tea in my case) and you’re good to go. It’s actually almost cake like enough to be a good fit for dessert too, if you’re the nontraditional sort, as I am. One of my favorite desserts is a piece of cornbread with butter and maple syrup. Try it sometime. :-)

You know the drill…

Brown Butter Blueberry Maple Cornbread

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal (NOT cornbread mix)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup maple sugar (if you don’t have maple sugar, sub 1/4 cup regular sugar and add in 1/2 teaspoon maple flavoring when you add the eggs)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup whole or 2% milk
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup honey, warmed if needed to make it pourable
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries
  1. Preheat the oven to 400. Butter a 9 inch cast iron pan or a 9 inch square baking pan.
  2. Then, brown your butter- place the butter in a small pot. Melt it over medium high heat, swirling it frequently. Let it keep cooking until it turns a nice golden brown, then immediately pour it into a measuring cup or bowl to cool a bit while you work on the rest of the recipe.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk to combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt.
  4. In another bowl, combine the maple sugar, cream, milk, honey and browned butter. Whisk well. Add in the eggs (and maple flavoring if that’s what you’re using) and whisk well.
  5. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and use a rubber spatula to stir just until barely combined. gently fold in the blueberries then pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  6. Bake at 400 until the top is golden brown and a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20  to 25 minutes.
  7. Best served warm with plenty of butter and maple syrup. But that may be a bit of bias on my part. :-D

Copyright Notice: From Cupcakes To Caviar images and original content are copyright protected. Please do not publish these materials anywhere without prior permission.

DSCF1534

Easy Stove Top Four Cheese Mac And Cheese

Easy Stove Top Four Cheese Mac And Cheese

Easy Stove Top Four Cheese Mac And Cheese



I was looking through a friends blog the other day and I realized that she had not one, not two, not even four, but FIVE mac and cheese recipes on her blog. I immediately got jealous, knowing I was failing in the mac and cheese category. All I have is this one with 300 lbs of cheese, this one with bacon and caramelized onions and this one based on French onion soup plus one other that has such a hideous picture, I can’t bring myself to post it here. So, being the insanely (insanely being the key part of this sentence) competitive person that I am (more proof of that being that in the game Monster Busters, I have now replayed one level 512 times because I’m number 2 in it, not number 1), I had to post at least one more. Yes, yes I do need therapy.

I wanted to do a stove top version because pretty much everything I have up is baked mac and cheese. While I love that type, there are times that you either don’t have the time, it’s too darn hot for the oven or you just don’t feel like going to that much trouble. So stove top it was.

This one is pretty simple. Ok, it’s wonderfully simple. The hardest part is grating the cheese. But I have complete faith in your cheese grating abilities. This is creamy, not so rich you’ll pass out, but rich enough to satisfy and makes perfect leftovers for lunch the next day. Please use the best quality cheese you can… it honestly makes a difference in a dish where the cheese is the main component.

You know the drill….

Easy Stove Top Four Cheese Mac And Cheese

  • 12 ounces elbow macaroni, cooked according to package directions and drained
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 2 1/2 cups milk (I used 2%)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons of your favorite hot sauce (optional, but it adds some pizzazz)
  • 2 cups sharp or extra sharp cheddar, shredded
  • 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup Swiss cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 cup Bleu Cheese, crumbled (if you are adamantly against Bleu, just omit it)
  1. Melt the butter in a large pot. Sprinkle the flour on top and let it cook for about three minutes, stirring the whole time. Slowly whisk the milk into the flour mixture a little at a time to prevent lumps. Whisk in the Dijon mustard and the hot sauce. Cook over low to medium heat until the mixture just barely comes to a boils and thickens up a bit, about 7 minutes or so.
  2. Change over to a wooden spoon and dump all the cheeses into the sauce. Stir constantly until they are melted. Taste a little bit of the sauce and add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Pour the sauce over the cooked pasta and toss to combine. If it is a little thick for you, just add a small amount of hot water to loosen it up.

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Daisy’s Noisette Potatoes (BLOGGER C.L.U.E.)

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Hey there everyone! Time for another month of Blogger C.L.U.E. C’mon…. you remember. I am part of a secret society (does that sound mysterious and all Freemason-ish or what?) on facebook, where a group of food bloggers swap blogs each month and make a recipe related to a certain theme from one of the other group members. This month the theme was potatoes. Makes sense, right? March, St. Patricks Day, the Irish… all leads one to the humble spud, that root vegetable that has been responsible for saving lives many times in the hardscrabble pasts of many different countries. They had little else, but they had potatoes to eat.

It’s funny; we here in the states or most of the Westernized world actually, think of potatoes as looking just a few different way; Russet, baby, red, white and that’s about it. Some of us who are more into food know of a handful more types that are newer (at least to this part of the world) and enjoy using them, but did you know that, worldwide, there are more than 4000 different types of potatoes?! FOUR THOUSAND!

This month the blog I got assigned to was that of the lovely Christy, herself being the owner of the blog Confessions Of A Culinary Diva . Christy has so many delicious dishes, like this Cantonese Lobster With Coconut Ginger Rice or these utterly delicious sounding Blueberry Dutch Baby Pancakes . I have both of those totally bookmarked, but you know what? I don’t think Christy is a big fan of potatoes, lol. I had a heck of a time finding a potato recipe. She had, I believe, two. This, of course, is probably one reason Christy is so lovely…. unlike me, she stays away from the carbs :-p I, on the other hand, love my potatoes. But you know what Christy DOES love, same as I do? Downton Abbey. And one of the recipes she had for potatoes was for one called Daisys Noisette Potatoes. They were part of what she called “A Very Downton Dinner”, which I thought was so cool.

These are delicious! Little balls of potatoes (go buy a melon baller if you don’t have one) that are lightly sauteed in clarified butter (I admit to not worrying about the clarified part), then finished off in a hot oven to give them that final crispiness. When I joined BLOGGER C.L.U.E., one of the things that I was told was that we were supposed to keep the recipes pretty much as we found them and not turn them into something totally different. I did that with two small exceptions. I added some onion and garlic to these and sprinkled them with Fine Herbes. As much as I love potatoes, I am a huge flavor person. I’ve never been much on just salt and pepper and while I can completely see that being the case back in the day in England, I also like to think of Daisy trying to liven up her cooking a little by adding some flavor to plain potatoes

You know the drill…

Daisys Noisette Potatoes

  • 6 russet potatoes , scrubbed free of all dirt
  • 1/4 cup clarified butter (again, I didn’t do that part. I did however, add a touch of oil to the butter to increase the smoke point)
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced onion (my addition; feel free to omit)
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced (my addition; feel free to omit)
  • 1 teaspoon Fine Herbes (an herb blend you can get at any large grocery store) (my addition; feel free to omit)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Use a melon baller to scoop out balls of potatoes. Put them in a bowl of cold water as you work, so they don’t turn brown while you’re scooping out the rest.
  3. Heat the butter in a large ovenproof pan. Add the potatoes, garlic and onion (don’t crowd, just do two batches if you need to) and cook for five minutes, stirring often.
  4. Transfer the pan to the 375 degree oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until they are golden brown and tender, stirring often. Season with salt, pepper and fine herbes.

Make sure you go check out the other bloggers posts from this months Blogger Clue! These ladies are some amazing cooks!

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Easy Peach And Apricot Cobbler

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Easy Peach Apricot Cobbler

Easy Peach Apricot Cobbler

Years back, before the internet became the place to go to get every recipe known to man, as well as some known only to The Mirthful Mermaids of the Planet Playtex (quick! Where’s that from?!), there were lots of options to get recipes via snail mail. Although it wasn’t called snail mail back then… just mail. :-P One of the options came from various companies hawking recipe cards. They would come in a cute little hard see through plastic case or binders. I was subscribed for a while to one called The Great American Baking Company. It was like Christmas every month as I opened up the new cards and got to look through them to find ones I wanted to make.

The fly in the ointment? Out of a year of doing this, at what I realize now was a ridiculous price (I believe it was like $9.99 a month for about 12 recipe cards), I have now about 5 of those cards that, through various moves, I felt were worth saving. The rest either got thrown out over time, colored on by children over the years or peed on by cats because cats are Satans Spawn.

One that I will always keep is this one. I’ve changed it up a little bit through the years (the vanilla and almond in the fruit are my own idea and I use extra cinnamon in the fruit plus add vanilla to the whipped cream), but not much really in the way of changes at all. This is another one of those recipes that I’ve seen in various places on the web with this person or that claiming credit, but nope… came from a mail order company :-D I love this one because, in the middle of Winter (or the tail end, like now) I can still have a yummy fruit dessert. This uses canned fruit and couldn’t really be any easier. Plus, I absolutely adore the whipped cream topping. It uses honey and cinnamon instead of the typical sugar and that adds such a unique twist to it. So if you have like 15 minutes to throw this together and an available oven….

You know the drill… :-)

Easy Peach And Apricot Cobbler

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 28 ounce can sliced peaches in syrup, drained, juice reserved
  • 1 15 ounce can apricot halves in syrup, juice drained and combined with the peach juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Topping-
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1 egg
  • Whipped cream topping-
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons honey (depends on how sweet you like it. Start with the lower amount.)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a medium pot, combine the sugar and the cornstarch. Stir in one cup of the combined juices from the fruit, along with the vanilla and almond extracts. Cook over medium heat until mixture boils, about 3 to 4 minutes.
  3. Stir in the butter, cinnamon and nutmeg, then add in the fruits. Pour this all into a 1 1/2 to 2 quart baking dish or casserole dish.
  4. For the topping, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt butter and egg. Spoon this over the fruit. It’s a thick mixture, but it will spread as it cooks.
  5. Bake at 400 until the topping is golden brown and the fruit is bubbly, about 30 minutes. You may want to either place foil on the rack below or put the baking dish into a larger pan to catch drips. When done, let cool slightly.
  6. For the topping, simply beat together the cream, honey, cinnamon and vanilla and top each serving with a nice big dollop.

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