Popovers – Steam-powered magic


It’s kind of a culinary miracle to me that a very thin, pancake-like batter bubbles up into crunchy, hollow popovers ready and willing to support the toppings you deliver them. They’re so fast to make with ingredients you have on hand, and the little guys in the recipe below are less than 100 calories a pop(over).

Here are some basic tips to creating crunchy, crave-worthy popovers. Read More Magic “Popovers — Steam-powered magic” »

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Breakfast Casserole


This casserole contains almost all my favorite breakfast foods.  Biscuits and gravy get cozy with some eggs and cheese…what could be better?  For me, that answer is almost always, “potatoes”.  So, I added 2 cups of home fries to the mix, layering them in over the sausage and under the eggs.  They gave it a little brown crunch, creating a texture contrast.  I went really heavy with the black pepper, which I like…and this was a slice of breakfast heaven.

It came out exactly as I’d hoped – flaky biscuits added a buttery taste, the gravy lent the pepper, and kept it nice and moist without being soupy.  It makes enough for a small crowd, and it was just me here this morning.  So when it cooled off, I wrapped each square in a quarter sheet sized piece of parchment paper and tucked them into a zip top bag bound for the freezer.

I plan to pop them into the convection oven, still wrapped in the parchment, and warm them through for 10-15 minutes at 350 whenever I want a quick hot breakfast. The parchment pouch should let them get hot and melty without drying out the eggs and biscuits.  I can’t wait to try them reheated!

Get the recipe for these here, and think about adding those potatoes.


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Caramel Pecan Shortbread Bars

DSC01022-3I’m warning you right now – if you don’t have people to help you eat these, go make some friends or you’re going to have blood sugar issues :)  I can’t seem to keep my fingers off of these.  Melty caramel, salty crunchy pecans and a buttery shortbread all gang up on you in this simple-to-make and impossible-to-ignore cookie bar. Rich, chocolatey…I’ll stop now but you should make some.

Just a tip to make them a little easier and to save a dirty bowl.  I didn’t melt the chocolate chips separately.  After you pour the caramel, sprinkle the chocolate chips on top, then cover your pan with a sheet tray or some foil for a couple of minutes.  Then you can just spread your chocolate with a knife.

Thanks Pam and AllRecipes for this delicious temptation!

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Funnel Cakes without a deep fryer


Funnel Cake

It’s a crisp Fall day, and I have a carnival going on in my kitchen.  Ok it smells like it.  I don’t deep fry anything, but I had a little bit of a funnel cake craving.  AllRecipes to the rescue.

This funnel cake was super easy to make – I cheated though.  I don’t have a funnel, so I cut down the top of one of my squirt bottles to make a slightly bigger hole, and away I went.

I cooked these in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat with some peanut oil.  Peanut oil has a high smoke point, and a neutral flavor.  Then I just flipped them using a skewer…they are bendy while they’re in the oil, so you can drag the skewer across the pan, then lay them back in on the other side and pull them back apart with the skewer.

Drain onto a wire rack, sprinkle with powdered sugar, and devour these crunchy delicious memories of carnivals and state fairs.

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Easy Pumpkin Spice Muffins


FALL!! All things pumpkin and spice start popping up everywhere. So here is no exception. But I had to share because these are SO easy and so quick and pretty darned tasty. Three ingredients: a cake mix, a can of pumpkin and some cinnamon chips.  Mix them, scoop them, bake them, devour them.  Delicious! Fast!  FALL!

Get the recipe: Easy Pumpkin Spice Muffins at AllRecipes.com

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Creamy one-pan Mac & Cheese

DSC00751-2Who can resist ooey, gooey, cheesy macaroni and cheese? The only thing that could make it better, in my mind, is that it gets on my fork faster.  Enter Barilla Pronto elbow macaroni.  I didn’t even have to drain water from this pasta.  You throw it in the pan, cover it with water, the water simmers off, and you throw in the rest of the ingredients and mix. Delicious, and seriously only 10 minutes from the time I dumped the noodles in the pan until the time I was sitting down, making myself take pictures while I really wanted to get it in my mouth.  So good!

Get the recipe for Cheesy One Pan Mac & Cheese, featuring Barilla Pronto elbows

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Sweet & Spicy St. Louis Ribs

Sweet & spicy St. Louis RibsSummer time means grilling, and nothing is better on the grill than a rack of fall apart, melt-in-your-mouth ribs from Smithfield.  Messy, sticky goodness.  There are lots of opinions when it comes to ribs, but for me Midwest is best. Not too much vinegar, not too much fire.  Just a nice balance of sweet and spicy.

Grab a lemonade or a beer – or a shandy for two birds with one stone, and throw these on the grill and let them go low and slow.  Your patience will be rewarded.  Easy to make, delicious to eat, get the recipe here and get grilling.

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Brown Sugar Sour Cream Pound Cake

Brown Sugar Sour Cream Pound Cake

We take a small break from our regular AllRecipes programming to bring you this special recipe from King Arthur Flour.  I made this tonight because it sounded good and…it is.  I had to share.

So imagine a sugar cookie in cake form.  That’s what this one tastes like.  Light and tender, this has a beautiful crumb, and pairs well with fruit and whipped cream.  It’s simple ingredients that I had on hand, but the flavor is surprisingly complex.  A little brown buttery, and the vanilla really shines through.

Be a little careful when you de-pan this one – it’s a little more delicate than it looks.  I flipped mine out of the pan and it cracked in a couple places.  But if that happens, just let it cool, slice it up and arrange the slices nicely on a tray.  No one will know the difference.  Or care – it will taste the same either way and that taste is delicious!

Get the recipe at King Arthur Flour and make this one soon!

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Heavenly Lemon Cake


Love lemon?  This is the cake for you.  A delicious pound cake, it’s dense, tart, and the glaze just puts that lemony goodness right over the top.

I made a few changes to the main recipe but I think it would also be great as is.  Instead of cooking granulated sugar with the lemon juice, I used powdered sugar.  And I used Meyer lemons which both give this a slightly milder, sweeter flavor.

Give it a try – you won’t be sorry. I think this cake would be delicious with different fruits, also.  Orange is one I want to try.  Or just almond flavoring.  Or vanilla.  Or orange and vanilla.  Or…

Get the recipe for Heavenly Lemon Cake at AllRecipes.com

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Cookies from Across the Pond

Shanny's Chocolate Chip Cookies

One of the assignments for this month was an optional one – make something from the AllRecipes UK site.  Clearly I’ve stepped WAY out of my comfort zone here to make something so quintessentially British…chocolate chip cookies.

Ok maybe not, but I really wanted some chocolate chip cookies and was curious how these would turn out.  The recipe itself seemed a little bit off – a lot of flour and not as much sugar as I’m used to using in ratio.  But I must admit these cookies turned out great.

Not like Tollhouse cookies, these got a bit of a crinkle on top, and they are not quite as sweet as the chocolate chip cookies I’m used to.  They also didn’t spread much at all. But they baked into cookies that are lightly crispy around the edges, softer in the middle…very bakery like.  I’m looking forward to trying this recipe with my large cookie scooper.

In any case I’d seriously recommend giving these a go.  They’re delicious and I think with a few inevitable tweaks they could be even better :)

Get the recipe – Shanny’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

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