Tuesday, December 13, 2011

.Chocolate Gingerbread Bars


  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for pan
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for pan
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin-pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup packed dark-brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsulfured molasses
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • Confectioners' sugar, for dusting (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan. Line bottom with a strip of parchment paper, leaving an overhang on two sides; butter paper. Dust paper and sides of pan with cocoa; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together cocoa, flour, ginger, pumpkin-pie spice, and baking soda; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together butter, brown sugar, molasses, egg, and sour cream until smooth. Add flour mixture; stir just until moistened (do not overmix). Stir in chocolate chips. Transfer batter to prepared pan; smooth top.
  3. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely. Using paper overhang, lift gingerbread from pan. Transfer to a cutting board, and cut into 16 squares. Before serving, dust bars with confectioners sugar, if desired.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Chewy Chocolate-Gingerbread Cookies


  • 7 ounces best-quality semisweet chocolate
  • 1 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1/2 cup dark-brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup unsulfured molasses
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar


  1. Line two baking sheets with parchment. Chop chocolate into 1/4-inch chunks; set aside. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and cocoa.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and grated ginger until whitened, about 4 minutes. Add brown sugar; beat until combined. Add molasses; beat until combined.
  3. In a small bowl, dissolve baking soda in 1 1/2 teaspoons boiling water. Beat half of flour mixture into butter mixture. Beat in baking-soda mixture, then remaining half of flour mixture. Mix in chocolate; turn out onto a piece of plastic wrap. Pat dough out to about 1 inch thick; seal with wrap; refrigerate until firm, 2 hours or more.
  4. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Roll dough into 1 1/2- inch balls; place 2 inches apart on baking sheets. Refrigerate 20 minutes. Roll in granulated sugar. Bake until the surfaces crack slightly, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Gingerbread Waffles

The holidays are once a year, why not make everything as festive as possible. Whip cream, some sort of badass berry preserves or jam and you are like a little kitchen elf just serving up good cheer and smiles for all.


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 4 large eggs
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup sour cream, plus more for serving
  • 3 tablespoons unsulfured molasses
  • Lingonberry preserves (or other berry preserves), for serving


  1. Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices in a large bowl. Whisk together eggs, butter, milk, sour cream, and molasses in a medium bowl. Add egg mixture to flour mixture, and whisk until smooth.
  2. Heat a waffle iron. Spoon 1/3 cup batter into each mold, and cook until golden brown. Serve warm waffles with sour cream and preserves.

Holiday Candy Packaging Ideas

Package this sweet honeycomb brittle in cellophane bags, and close each bag with this adorable fold-over "Season's Eatings" gift label.

Package brittle in round chip-wood boxes and affix a pretty "Made with Love" or "Enjoy" gift label to the lid.

Red-and-white-striped peppermint candy sticks, jelly beans, jawbreakers, and foil-wrapped chocolates make easy, beautiful Christmas decorations and gifts. Save jelly, pickle, and spaghetti sauce jars to make this craft, or purchase containers at a discount store.

Take holiday photo cards to the next level: Paste an image on a small container and fill it with candy bearing personalized holiday greetings. Coat a small box, outside and in, with red nontoxic acrylic paint; let dry. Trace the box top onto card stock. Draw a circle about 1/2 inch larger around the traced circle; cut out with scalloping shears. Repeat to make a second circle. Print or photocopy a photograph, adjusting the color, if desired. Trace the box top onto the picture; cut out. Use craft glue to affix the photo to one of the scalloped red circles; let dry. Affix that circle to the top of the box and the other circle to the bottom using craft glue.Fill with candy.

Wrap candy boxes in solid-color red or white paper and wind different colors and widths of ribbon around them. Fill out a simple white gift tag and thread the ribbon through it.

Miniature felt Christmas stockings or ribbon-wrapped jars make great gift containers for candy. Check out Michael's. I bet they have a bunch of these there.

Gingerbread Cheesecake

That damn Martha Stewart is at it again. Tis the season for gingerbread. I bought some shitty gingerbread at whole foods the other day which inspired me to make something gingerbread and delicious, since that bread I bought was so underwhelming. Top this cake with both  Molasses-Gingerbread Cookies. See Shaped Gingerbread Cookies for how to make the gingerbread men. Because you will use the molasses-gingerbread dough for the crust, you can make all the cookies from the same dough.


  • All-purpose flour, for dusting
  • 1/4 recipe of the dough for Molasses-Gingerbread Cookies
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 pounds cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup unsulfured molasses
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 6 gingerbread men (see above)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wrap exterior of a 9-inch springform pan in 2 layers of foil.
  2. On a generously floured piece of parchment, roll dough to a 13-by-10-inch rectangle, about 1/4 inch thick. Brush off excess flour. Slide dough and parchment onto a baking sheet. Bake until firm and golden brown, about 14 minutes. Let cool completely on sheet on a wire rack. Break into large pieces, then pulse in a food processor until finely ground.
  3. Combine butter, 1/4 cup sugar, and 2 cups cookie crumbs in a bowl. Press mixture firmly and evenly into bottom and one-third of the way up sides of prepared pan. Bake until set, about 10 minutes. Let cool on rack.
  4. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Beat cream cheese with a mixer on medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in remaining 1 1/2 cups sugar and the vanilla, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Reduce speed to low. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping sides of bowl as needed. Beat in molasses, salt, spices, and lemon zest. Pour filling into cooled crust.
  5. Place cheesecake in a large, shallow roasting pan. Transfer to oven, and carefully add enough hot water to roasting pan to come about halfway up sides of springform pan. Bake until cheesecake is set but still slightly wobbly in center, 60 to 65 minutes. Carefully remove springform pan from roasting pan, and let cool on a wire rack. Refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 8 hours (preferably overnight).
  6. Before serving, run a hot knife around edges of cheesecake to loosen, and remove sides of pan. Arrange gingerbread cookies in center of cake in a circle (with heads facing inward and arms touching, alternating light and dark).

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Aztec Chicken Soup

Warm up this winter with a bowl of mexican healthy goodness. I know sometimes I dont want a big meal, I just want a hearty bowl of soup that fills me up and keeps me warm. My sailor mouth unleashes a f- yes to this, after I sit indian style on my chair wrapped up in a blanket and scarf this down to warm my belly.

Aztec Chicken Soup

For soup
2 yellow onions, peeled and chopped
4 whole garlic cloves, peeled
2 carrots, roughly chopped
2 bay leaves
½ tbsp. whole black peppercorns
1 whole chicken, cut into quarters
2 dried pasilla chiles
8 Roma tomatoes
2 tbsp. kosher salt
2 tbsp. vegetable oil

For garnish
Fried corn tortilla strips
Avocado, diced
Cotija cheese, crumbled
Onion, chopped
Cilantro, chopped
Lime, cut into wedges

1. In a large stockpot, place half of the onions, 2 garlic cloves, the carrots, bay leaves, whole peppercorns, and chicken. Fill with enough cold water to cover the chicken by two inches. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to a gentle simmer.

2. Skim off any foam that forms at the top. Once the chicken is fully cooked (about 45 minutes), remove it from the liquid and set aside to cool. Into another pot, strain the stock through a fine strainer and set aside. Discard the vegetables and aromatics. (The first two steps can be skipped by using 4 cans of store-bought stock and a cooked roast chicken, meat removed from the bones.)

3. Preheat the oven to broil and place the whole tomatoes, remaining chopped onion, and remaining whole garlic cloves on a baking sheet. Place on the top rack of the oven and broil until the tomatoes are slightly charred and the onions and garlic are golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.

4. Put the dried pasilla chiles on a cookie sheet and place them under the broiler until they are slightly toasted (be careful not to let them burn). Remove them from the oven and soak them in warm water 5-10 minutes.

5. Once they are cool enough to handle, remove the skins from the tomatoes. Remove the chiles from the soaking water. Place the peeled tomatoes in a blender along with the roasted onion, garlic, and chiles. Puree until smooth.

6. In a thick-bottomed pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Slowly add the tomato-chile puree and “fry” it in the oil until it thickens and darkens, 5-7 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and add 4 quarts of the chicken stock (reserved cooking liquid) to the puree. Let it simmer 10-15 minutes.

7. In the meantime, remove all the meat from the chicken; discard skin and bones. Shred the chicken meat and add to the soup along with the salt. Simmer an additional 10-15 minutes and serve.

8. Garnish with tortilla strips, avocado, cheese, onion, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime.


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Grow through it

Whatever your fate is, whatever the hell happens, you say, "This is what I need." It may look like a wreck, but go at it as though it were an opportunity, a challenge. If you bring love to that moment-not discouragement-you will find the strength there. We learn when we get hurt. We learn when failure happens. We learn when things don't work out the way we wanted them to. We learn through betrayal. What do we learn? We learn how powerful we are. We learn to not ignore our intuition. We learn to love ourselves and demand more. Any disaster you can survive is an improvement in your character, your stature, and your life. What a privilege!! This is when the spontaneity of your own nature will have a chance to flow. Then, when looking back at your life, you will see that the moments which seemed to be great failures, followed by wreckage, were the incidents that shaped the life you have now. You'll see this is really true. Nothing can happen to you that is not positive. Even though it looks and feels at the moment like a negative crisis, it is not. The crisis throws you back, and when you are required to exhibit strength, it comes. Grow through it and be grateful for the lesson.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Me likey

Now that you got your stuffing on. and mashed potato on. and casserole on. Here's a few other things that are delightful. This week's outfit inspirations..figured this was the perfect time to post because, let's face it, who really wants to be at work right now?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Sausage and Stuffing -Stuffed Mushrooms



Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Remove the stems from the mushrooms and chop them finely. Set aside. Place the mushroom caps in a shallow bowl and toss with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil and Marsala. Set aside.

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the sausage, crumbling it with the back of a wooden spoon. Cook the sausage for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until it's completely browned.

Add the chopped mushroom stems and cook for 3 more minutes. Stir in the scallions and garlic and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the panko crumbs, stirring to combine evenly with all the other ingredients. Finally, swirl in the mascarpone and continue cooking until the mascarpone has melted and made the sausage mixture creamy.

Off the heat, stir in the Parmesan, parsley, and season with salt and pepper, to taste, Cool slightly.

Fill each mushroom generously with the sausage mixture. Arrange the mushrooms in a baking dish large enough to hold all the mushrooms in a snug single layer. Bake until the stuffing for 50 minutes, until the stuffing is browned and crusty.

Be Grateful for it All

As we are stepping towards Thanksgiving - it's natural for our thoughts to begin to look back over the year and see how far we've come. We are also starting to slow down from the daily grind and are putting our focus on family, friends and the things that are most meaningful to us.  It's fun, full of love, and celebration.

But what does being grateful mean? Webster's defines being grateful as, "appreciative of benefits received".  I think on a deeper level the outcome of our lives isn't found in present circumstances, but - rather, the MEANING we give our present circumstances and, as a result, the ACTION we take from BELIEVING this meaning.

If we are grateful for EVERYTHING that happens in our lives, some people think that's kind of crazy. But, wait...think about it.. Isn't there benefit from every situation or circumstance? Isn't there a lesson to learn or an opportunity to grow? Isn't there Grace in every bad situation, if we look closely enough ? Can't we learn from our mistakes and make a new choice. Aren't unhealthy situations teaching us how to have more self-love and, as a result, awesome and powerful education for our lives? Isn't every break up an opportunity to trade up?

Depending on how YOU are LOOKING out at life, you will answer these questions differently. But the GRATEFUL point of view would answer YES to all the above questions. If you give your life an empowering meaning, then you can see the true benefit in every situation. And in being appreciative of these benefits (especially if they hurt), you put yourself on a track that is in alignment with the teachings that The Universe is trying to show us.

Human beings learn through pain. We just do. Let's step into gratitude for the times that challenge us. Almost every challenge, hard time or seeming disaster - over time - will prove to be immense acts of grace and beauty. We, today, have the opportunity to see these moments for what they truly are.

If we look close enough, we can see that we can receive massive benefit from all the circumstances in our lives. We can get extreme value from the tough times, the break downs, break ups and seeming disappointments. When we are grateful, even for the challenges, we make the huge leap from lack and blame based thoughts and take a step into abundance and empowerment. When we are grateful for it all, we have truly become rich. Then, whatever happens, we stay in our power, we stay grateful and miracles begin to be a daily occurrence. They have been there the whole time - they've just been waiting to be seen by us.

This is our opportunity - to be grateful for the whole journey. Not just the highs - no, but the lows, too. For each are teachers and come filled with a blessing if we have the miracle mindset to see them.

~ Daily Love

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Fresh Cranberry Salsa

Maybe I've been living out west too long because I'm a sucker for a good salsa.  #Realtalk what's not to like? I dont always want a blob of some creepy gelatinous looking whatever on my plate claiming to be cranberry  ( insert here ) .

No dude, not floating my boat. I'm on to bigger and better things. This being one of them. I thought I'd share with you so you can set trends for the dinner table next week and everyone can "ooh" and "ahhh" over how creative and delish your cranberry salsa is!

With its clean, tart flavors and addictive heat, the salsa cuts right through mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, gravy, and all the other heavy, rich foods on the table. This also begs for something alcoholic to wash it all down. Stay tuned for that...


1 lb. fresh cranberries, halved
6 tablespoons sugar
1 jalapeño, minced
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (from 2 limes)
Sea salt, to taste
Green onions, thinly sliced, for garnish (optional)
  1. Combine first 4 ingredients together, stirring to combine; season with kosher salt to taste. Return to refrigerator for at least one hour to allow salsa flavors to meld together. Garnish with green onions and serve.
Makes about 4-1/2 cups.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Find a Way or Find an Excuse

Let's get something straight right now - you and me - we have the EXACT same amount of time as Shakespeare, Einstein, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Richard Branson or any other genius who has ever lived. We breathe the same air. We see the same Sun.

If we want to become true MASTERS of our lives - we must begin to master ourselves and master our TIME.

TIME and MONEY are two things people ALWAYS use as excuses for why their life isn't the way that it is. And you know what - I say that if you don't have the TIME or the MONEY - then it's about TIME to start CREATING the TIME and MONEY.

People who achieve amazing things have the same amount of time as people who don't. There are many things that go into being a master, that go into standing out, but one of the most important ingredients is TIME.

If we truly want to create our day, change our life and live life on our terms, we MUST learn how to master time. This is a MUST - not a should. If it's should, you will end up shoulding all over yourself!

Think about the things that you want to do. Look at your schedule. Then MAKE the time. You may have to give up social engagements or sacrifice other things - but isn't it worth it?

If you want to lose weight - MAKE TIME and SCHEDULE your workouts ahead of time. Schedule time to cook and go shopping. Schedule time to learn about how to be healthy. If you want to be a writer - WRITE.  Even if you only schedule an hour a day and write a page a day in one year you will have written 365 pages.

If we are going to take our lives to the next level, it's time to knock off the excuse of not having enough time, get clear about our priorities and then SCHEDULE the things that matter most.

The TRUTH is that you CAN HAVE IT ALL. And it starts with mastering your time. Master your TIME and you begin to master your DESTINY. Busy people make time work for them; people who are frustrated try to work for their time. Flip the switch today and take control of your schedule.

We all have the same amount of TIME; what separates us in the end is how WE CHOOSE to use it

~~ Daily Love

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

How to Make Mac 'n' Cheese like a Pro

Hell. yes. if I could unleash my sailor mouth I would say it warrants a f**k yes. It’s got spice, bite, and crunch — just the way you and everyone else like it. Perfect addition for your Thanksgiving soiree.


6 tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
3 slices bacon, diced
1 c. yellow onion, finely chopped
1 tsp. red pepper flakes (less if you can’t take the heat)
2 small garlic cloves, minced
3 tbsp. all-purpose flour
3 c. whole milk
1 c. Parmesan cheese, grated
4 oz. cream cheese
3 c. coarsely grated sharp cheddar cheese, divided
¾ c. panko (The Japanese breadcrumbs are available at Whole Foods; no substitutions.)
½ c. fresh parsley, chopped
1 lb. penne

1. Melt 1 tbsp. butter in large deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add bacon and cook until crisp.

2. Use slotted spoon to remove bacon. Drain on paper towel.

3. Remove all but about 3 tbsp. fat from pan. Add onion and saute until tender (about 5 minutes). Add red pepper flakes and garlic. Stir for 1 minute.

4. Stir in 2 tbsp. butter until melted. Add flour and stir for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in 3 c. of milk; simmer until thick enough to coat a spoon, stirring frequently (about 5 minutes).

5. Remove from heat. Whisk in Parmesan, cream cheese, and 2¼ c. of cheddar. Return bacon to sauce and season with salt and pepper.

6. In a separate large nonstick skillet over medium heat, melt 3 tbsp. butter. Add panko and stir until light golden brown (about 5 minutes). Remove from heat. Stir in parsley and set aside.

7. Preheat oven to 375°. Lightly butter a 13-by-9-by-2-inch glass baking dish (or similarly sized gratin dish). Cook pasta in large pot of boiling water until very al dente. Drain well.

8. Toss pasta with cheese sauce. If needed, season again with salt and pepper. Transfer mixture to prepared baking dish. Top with panko mix and remaining cheese.

9. Bake 30 minutes or until topping is golden brown. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Pumpkin Pie Pancakes with Cranberry Maple Syrup

Breakfast of Champions

It’s the final stretch: eleven days ’til Thanksgiving. You’ve stripped the pantry of everything but the essentials you’ll need for the big day. So wtf are you supposed to grub until then? Duh. Pumpkin pancakes.


3 slices prebaked 8-inch pumpkin pie (cut into 8 even slices)
2 eggs
¼ c. plus 2 tbsp. milk
½ c. plus 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1½ tsp. baking powder
¾ tsp. salt
2 tbsp. brown sugar
½ tsp. powdered cinnamon
½ tsp. powdered ginger


¾ c. cranberry sauce
¼ c. maple syrup

1. Roughly chop pumpkin pie, crust and all, into half-inch pieces.

2. Put chopped pie and eggs into blender and blend until smooth.

3. Add milk and dry ingredients and blend until smooth (a little clumpy is okay).

4. Pour batter into buttered pan and cook as you would normal pancakes. When they are a dark caramel color, flip delicately.

5. Blend cranberry sauce and maple syrup.

6. Top pancakes with cranberry maple syrup. Moan in ecstasy. Repeat tomorrow morning.

The Brookie

Since cookie exchanges and office parties are on the horizon, we asked for an easy-to-make baked good. Voilà: the brookie, an ingenious cross between a brownie and a cookie that’s twice as tempting.


1 tbsp. canola oil
1 tsp. unsalted butter
2 c. semisweet chocolate chunks (52-62% cacao)
2 large eggs
¾ c. light brown sugar
½ tsp. vanilla extract
½ c. all-purpose flour
¼ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt

1. While the oven preheats to 350°, melt the oil, butter, and 1 cup of the chocolate together in the microwave on high heat for 2.5-3 minutes, stirring at 1-minute intervals. Or melt the mixture in the stainless-steel bowl of a double boiler. Let cool.

2. In another bowl, whisk together eggs, brown sugar, and vanilla until combined. Fold the melted chocolate mixture into the egg mixture.

3. Whisk together the remaining dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Combine the flour mixture with the chocolate mixture, and then fold in the remaining chocolate chunks.

4. Freeze the batter in a shallow pan (such as a pie plate) 6-8 minutes until it sets and hardens slightly.

5. Spray two cookie sheets with nonstick spray or line with parchment paper. Scoop about 10 tablespoons of batter onto each sheet. Bake 11-12 minutes, until the tops look dry and cracked (the insides will still be quite moist). Cool completely. The brookies will be perfectly soft and chewy.

Variation: Try adding white chocolate chunks, walnuts, or peanut butter chunks in place of the semisweet chocolate chunks.

Smoked Pork Hash with Poached Eggs


1 tsp. canola oil
½ c. diced red onions, cooked
3 c. cooked rib meat, cut off baby back ribs into ½-inch pieces (or same amount of cooked pork shoulder)
4 c. cooked diced Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into ½-inch cubes
½ c. diced roasted red bell pepper
2 tbsp. chopped parsley leaves (reserve some for garnish)
¼ c. chopped green onions (white and green parts are fine)
1 tbsp. Tabasco sauce (or more to taste)
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
Salt to taste
½ tsp. distilled white vinegar
8-10 lg. eggs
Sour cream to garnish
Paprika to taste

1. Heat oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add red onions and cook until soft, about 7 minutes.

2. Add all ingredients except vinegar, eggs, sour cream, and paprika to a large bowl and gently mix with a wooden spoon (so as not to mash the potatoes). You should see chunks of each ingredient when the hash is finished.

3. Heat a griddle or cast iron skillet over high heat. Add 1 c. of hash per serving and brown about 3 minutes on each side.

4. Meanwhile, heat a medium-size pot of water to boiling. Add ½ teaspoon distilled white vinegar and reduce to a gentle rolling boil. Add eggs and let cook for about 3 minutes, until whites thicken. Using a slotted spoon, remove eggs from water and serve on top of plated hash.

For the plating

1. Place 1 cup hash in the center of a large round plate.
2. Place two poached eggs on top of hash.
3. Serve with sour cream seasoned with paprika.
4. Sprinkle eggs with chopped parsley before serving. Let guests rejoice.

Pear Crisp with Maple Pecan Crumble

This, my darling friends, is an absolute treat. Start with 4 to 5 pears, the firmer the better since you don’t want them to fall apart when the crisp bakes. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and hard core.

Put the halves face down, then make several slices.

Throw them into a bowl…With a nice amount of sugar. Though any amount of sugar is nice. Evil, mean…and nice. Stir it all together, and try not to scarf this down. It’s extremely inviting. Now, pop it in the oven to bake for a good 30 minutes. After 30 minutes has passed, stick it on the top rack of the oven for an additional 10 minutes, just to get the top nice and golden brown and bubbly.

Recipe below..This looks promising. Very, very promising.  And I know these things.

Pear Crisp with Maple Pecan Crumble
Serves six to eight 


6 c. Anjou or Bartlett pears, peeled, cored, and cut lengthwise into ½-inch-thick slices
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/3 c. granulated sugar
1 tbsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. cinnamon
2/3 c. flour
½ c. old-fashioned oats
½ c. pure maple sugar (or brown sugar)
1/3 c. toasted, chopped pecans
¼ tsp. salt
1/3 c. unsalted butter, cold, cut into ¼-inch cubes
Cream or vanilla ice cream for serving

1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. Drizzle lemon juice over sliced pears.

3. In a mixing bowl, combine granulated sugar, cornstarch, and cinnamon. Sprinkle over pears and toss to coat.

4. For the topping, combine flour, oats, maple sugar, pecans, and salt, using a whisk to mix thoroughly. Then add cubes of butter individually, using your fingers to pinch and mix each cube with the dry ingredients until a crumble forms.

5. Put pear slices in a greased 8-by-8-inch baking dish or a large, deep pie plate. Sprinkle crumble topping over pears.

6. Bake 45-55 minutes or until pears are bubbly and soft and the topping browns.

7. Serve warm with cream drizzled on top or with vanilla ice cream.

You won’t believe how delightful this is. Such a nice change of pace from the typical (albeit delicious) apple dessert. And you can add some minced fresh ginger to the pears if you want to step the flavors up a notch.

In fact, I’m going to do that right now. I have no self control.

Enjoy this! It’s perfect for the holidays.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Bomb Ass Apple Crisp

This recipe is from Barefoot Contessa (Ina Gartner) and to die for. I love Anthony Bourdain..I trust anything that comes out of that dude's mouth and so when I read an article this week where he talked about what chef's on the Food Network are actually legit and he said her, I listened.
Have you seen how cute her garden is? How happy her little Jewish husband is to come home from the city to the dinner table to eat with her? How excited people are to sit in her kitchen and be fed by her? If I could have chosen a grandmother, she'd for sure be in my top 3 choices. ( nothing against my grams) but this lady can cook. Since she's not I can just pretend and make the same meals she does so that I can live vicariously through her. This recipe is one you are sure to make people happy with. Be ready for some smile-age.

  • 5 pounds McIntosh apples
  • Grated zest of 1 orange
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

For the topping:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9 by 14 by 2-inch oval baking dish.
Peel, core, and cut the apples into large wedges. Combine the apples with the zests, juices, sugar, and spices. Pour into the dish.

To make the topping, combine the flour, sugars, salt, oatmeal, and cold butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.

Mix on low speed until the mixture is crumbly and the butter is the size of peas. Scatter evenly over the apples.

Place the crisp on a sheet pan and bake for 1 hour until the top is brown and the apples are bubbly. Serve warm.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Daily Love

We, as human beings, need to been seen. We are built for relationships. Our entire world is setup as sets of relationships that we all mutually rely upon.

The child relies on the parents for love, support and nurturing.

The student relies on the teacher to learn.

The teacher relies on the student to show the teacher how they can teach better.

The maker of products relies on the consumer.

The consumer relies on the maker of products.

We rely on our friends and our friends rely on us.

And so on...

Examples of relationships that are setup for mutual benefit are endless - because that is the nature of life.

We come together because we can't make it alone.

The thing is, we get all caught up in relationships that we think are serving our greatest happiness, but many times they are simply toxic. And while we can learn from toxic and negative relationships, let us not dwell there.

A key thing to remember is THIS: We have relationships so that we can be HAPPY MOST of the time. Loving someone isn't showing them how much you are willing to suffer for them. Loving someone, starting with yourself, is a demonstration of how HAPPY you are willing to be - for YOURSELF and THEM.

The only thing you owe other people is your happiness.

When we seek to GET something from someone that we THINK is lacking within, we are setting ourselves up for pain and a big time lesson.

To flip the switch, the question we must ask is not "What can I get?" but instead, "What can I give?"

When we show up to be of service in life, we change our relationship with all of life. As a result, we begin to step into the abundance that is promised to us by The Uni-verse, because are seeking now to give instead of to just get.

A thriving relationship is made up of GIVERS and FORGIVERS

So be both, be all things good to yourself so that you can be all things good to others. Let people in, be a good person, be caring and giving and I'm betting you'll be pretty happy with the results.

Da Bling

Right meow.

OPI Designer...de Better! isn't your typical silver foil.  It has little copper flakes interspersed.The sparkle on this polish is out of control. There's no way to match this visual stimulation extravaganza. I am snatching this polish up..It makes me all excited for the holidays and pretty dresses. Plus we all know I'm a fan of accessorizing a black dress with nails like whoa. Pretty ladies should have pretty hands ;-)

Monday, October 31, 2011

Pumpkin Spice Parfait

This parfait is a super easy, super yummy treat…perfect for breakfast, a mid day snack, or dessert! Its tastes rich and creamy...it should be spoon fed to you or someone else. I cant get over how cute it is and I want to give them out to everyone I know. That won't happen though. Get over it...and make your own..at least I'm giving you the recipe!

1/2 C canned pumpkin
2 T dark brown sugar
1 t cinnamon
1/4 t nutmeg
1/8 t ground ginger
1/4 t salt
1/4 t vanilla extract
1/2 C 0% plain greek yogurt
1 small apple, peeled and chopped
1/4 C walnuts
1/4 C cranberries

In a small pan over medium heat place the apple and brown sugar and then cover and allow to cook until soft.

In a small bowl, mix pumpkin, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, salt and vanilla.

In a bowl, cup or mason jar, layer the yogurt, the pumpkin, the apples, the walnuts and the cranberries. See, super easy and ready to eat!!

Smoky Beef Chili

The weather is cooling down and this is such a perfect hearty healthy meal.  Makes me think of a Seinfeld episode I saw a few days ago when Jerry and Elaine are arguing over whether or soup is a meal..and it depends on if its hearty or if its a bowl or a cup. Great episode..  Well this soup Jerry is a freaking meal. I won't be a soup nazi..soup for you!

The nice thing about chili is that you can kind of just kick back and let it work its own magic. Vegetable and meat worlds collide into this perfect marriage of hearty goodness while you just sit back and do whatever gnarly thing is that you do and then you come back to find perfection just waiting for you. Hi perfection, you are delicious!  I usually won't touch leftovers with a ten foot pole but this ...now this I would get involved with. As should you. 

Feed the hungry with this hearty bowl of perfection.


3 lbs ground chuck
2 c. chopped onion
1 red bell pepper
2 large garlic cloves
1 tbsp tabasco
2 jalapenos, seeded and minced
6 c. beef cooking stock
1 ( 29 oz) can tomato sauce
1 ( 15 oz) can tomato sauce
2 ( 15.5 oz) cans pinto beans, drained
3 tbsp chili powder
2 tbsp ground ancho chile pepper
Shredded cheese, chopped fresh cilantro, Scallions

In a large dutch oven, combine beef, onion, bell pepper, garlic and jalapenos. Cook over medium high heat until beef is browned and crumbly.  Drain well

Add beef stock, tomato sauce, beans, chili powder and chili pepper. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally for 1 hour or until thickened.  Salt, pepper and tabasco to taste. Garnish with fixings, high five yourself, your awesome and now so is your chili.