Saturday, July 30, 2011

Cheese and Honey

So about a week ago my dad donated one of his kidneys to a man at our church. That's one of the many things I love about my dad. If he has anything to give, he will give until he can't give anymore. Literally he can't donate anymore kidneys, so don't even ask. Anyway, at our church if someone has surgery, has a baby, or someone passes away we bring food to them. I don't know if any other church does that, but mine does. It is a great help because the last thing you want to be thinking about is, what am I going to cook. The people who have brought us food have been so generous and loving. BUT I feel like I have gained 50 lbs! The food is wonderful comfort food. I'm talking banana bread, BBQ, lasagna, pasta, cake, pies. You name it, we have been eating it in the last week. We have so much food in our fridge, freezer and pantry than anyone should ever have. So my mom told her church class thanks and that's enough.

So last night our long time family friends the Pipkins came out to our house last night. They said they were going to bring dinner and we didn't have to worry about it. We had no idea what they were going to bring so I was trying to think of an appetizer. I got online and went to my favorite website of course notwithoutsalt and got a grilled cheese with thyme and honey. I thought this would be great and easy.

Grilled Brie Cheese with Thyme and Honey

1 Brie cheese
a couple springs of thyme
1/4 cup honey

On a inside grill, outside grill or panini maker place the cheese on it when it gets really hot. Keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn't get burned. While that is grilling put the honey and thyme in a skillet on medium just to infuse the thyme with the honey. Once you start to see the honey bubbling, its done. Once the cheese has grill marks on both sides and it is soft and yummy, take it off the grill. Place the cheese on a platter and put the honey on top. Serve it with a baguette.

This makes a great appetizer and it was super easy. You can really use any cheese you like, but the Brie has that hard outside white stuff so it holds up better. Try it out and tell me what you think! Happy cheese grilling:)

Thursday, July 28, 2011


In the summer time I babysit about three times a week. If any of you babysit, you know that the more you do, the quicker the time passes. I figured that out probably my 2nd year of babysitting in the summer. I try to do everything from library visits or going to get cupcakes! I was babysitting the other day and I thought it would be a good idea to go get cupcakes. I don't know if cupcakes are a "big thing" where you are from, but in Oklahoma they are everywhere! The Sara Sara cupcake people built a new cupcake place in Edmond, they had one in Oklahoma City but it was too far out there. So we went to the new one in Edmond. The kids were super excited and may I remind you that the kids are 8, 5, & 3. So we get three cupcakes for us all to share. The cupcakes are ridiculously expensive, but I mean why not. I thought it was going to be a one time thing, boy was I wrong. While we were still at the Sara Sara cupcakes, the kids were all ready saying when we were going to come back. I hope the know that I just don't have all the money in the world to spend on cupcakes.
I had an idea to just buy a cake mix and bake them myself and then take them over to decorate! So that's what I did last night. I baked 24 spice cupcakes last night and took them over to their house today with a tub of icing, sprinkles, and food coloring! We had so much fun and it was much cheaper! I was so proud of myself for saving money, but in the end having more fun!
I thought I would share with you a cupcake recipe that I love!

Black and White Cupcakes!
makes about 18-20 cupcakes!
1 (8 ounce) package of cream cheese, softened
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 1/3 cup sugar, divided
1 cup semisweet miniature chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup warm water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350*

In a medium bowl,beat the cream cheese, egg, and 1/3 cup of sugar with a machine mixer on medium speed until the mixture is creamy and fluffy. Stir in chocolate chips and set aside.

In a large bowl thoroughly combine the flour, the remaining cup of sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and pour the water, vegetable oil, vinegar, and vanilla into it. Mix until just combined.

Fill each cupcake liner one-third with cocoa mixture and top it with the cream cheese mixture until the paper is about two-thirds full. Repeat for every one. Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until the tops spring back when touched. I like them a little under done from the oven because they cook a little more in the pan.  Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for 10 minutes, but then take them out to cool completely on a wire rack. Once cooled top with sour cream frosting! I prefer eating them warm with milk:)
If you want to eat one the next day pop it in the microwave for 10 seconds and enjoy with a big glass of milk!

Our beautiful creations

Two of my favorite cupcake books!

Little helper

Monday, July 25, 2011

Lemon Curd

I really love lemon and I mean I love it! One of my favorite things to do is go to this restaurant/bakery with my youth minister Megan and get a lemon square! We both love them and they are fantastic. So if you are ever in Edmond Oklahoma, go to Mclaren's Pantry and order a lemon square. They are perfectly put together and topped with a thick layer of powdered sugar! My stomach is growling just think about it.
The other day I was looking through some recipes and came across a lemon curd recipe. I quickly looked at the recipe and began taking a mental note of what was needed for the recipe. I was so happy because I had everything for the recipe and didn't have to take a trip to the store.

Lemon Curd
Put on bread or a blueberry scone
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup Cane sugar
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
6 tbsp. butter
pinch of salt

Place a mesh strainer over a bowl and set aside.

In a medium sauce pan put the lemon juice, sugar, eggs, eggs yolks, & salt and whisk together. After you whisk those together put the butter in the mixture and put over low to medium heat. Stir until the butter has melted.

After the butter has melted turn the heat up just a tiny tiny bit and whisk constantly. You will whisk this until the mixture is thick almost jelly like. You can tell when its done when you lift the whisk out of the pan and its thick and sticks to the whisk and it holds its shape. It took me a little over 10 min. Be patient, it will happen. Don't increase the heat, that will not help you. Just keep the faith that it will happen.


Immediately after it is done run it through the strainer that was sitting aside. Some of it you will have to push through. Keep it in the fridge. Enjoy!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Asparagus Tart!

In my family food is everything. We love to cook things together and then talk about how wonderful it tastes. Everyday someone in my family will ask "What are we having for dinner tonight?" We like to try new recipes, but we don't do anything crazy. We stick to the ingredients that are familiar to us. For example, we would never try a recipe with squid because its not like we eat it all the time. If we grew up eating squid then maybe we would cook with it more often. But my family is also not boring, don't get me wrong. Half the things we normally cook with, people are scared to even try. For example, chicken livers, deer meat, and on occasion with my Uncle Mark beef tongue. But normally we stick to normal ingredients and try to mix it up a little bit. 

My family loves asparagus! We eat it every way, boiled, grilled,or steamed. Its great in the spring and summer, that's when we have it the most. The other day I was at the farmers market in Edmond and I found a fabulous bunch of asparagus. You could tell they were home-grown and yummy! So of course I bought two because one is never enough. I brought them home and showed them off to my mom. I was so excited about the asparagus, I thought that I needed to find a new and fun recipe to try. I went online to my favorite website and found a recipe for an asparagus tart from Ashley Rodriguez(my favorite). It was a very simple recipe that was very Delicious! I thought that I would have to share it with all those asparagus lovers out there.

Asparagus Tart 
Eat with a dressed salad and it makes a lovely summer lunch.
serves 6-8

      1 bunch of asparagus
      1 tablespoon olive oil
      1 package of store bought puff pastry sheets(you can make your own but I was on a time crunch)
      1/4 cup Mascarpone(yum)
      1/4 cup heavy cream
      1 large clove of garlic, minced
      1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
      pinch on pepper flakes
      salt and pepper

preheat your oven to 420. Line baking sheet with parchment

Roll the puff out on the baking sheet into a rectangle.  Carefully put into the fridge while you prepare the other ingredients.

In a small bowl combine the Marscarpone, cream, garlic, pepper flakes, and a hefty pinch of salt and pepper.

Remove the woody part of the asparagus ends and then toss with olive oil.

Remove the puff from the fridge and top with the Mascarpone mixture leaving a 1" border around the edges. On top of the Mascarpone lay the asparagus down, single file, one right next to the other. Sprinkle with fine sea salt and place in the oven. After the first 20 minutes of baking reduce the heat to 350 and continue to bake for another 20-30 minutes, until cooked through.

Remove from the oven and let cool slightly. Before you devour it, top with the toasted walnuts and shaved Parmesan. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Thursday, July 14, 2011


I told you guys earlier that I got a new cookbook! I was super excited to make something out of it! The cookbook is called Heart of the Artichoke.  It is fantastic and I would recommend it to anyone who loves cooking! The author, David Tanis, is brilliant and funny. It's a great cookbook to just look at and read. David organized the book by seasons, so you can flip to the season you are in at the moment and cook what would taste the most fresh and yummy. Probably tons of cookbooks are like that, but the ones I have are organized into categories such as main course, desserts, etc. Anyway, I was super excited when my mom came to me and asked what we should have for dinner. I ran and got my new cookbook and flipped to the summer section and skimmed through to see what our choices were. I chose Flat-Roasted Chicken with Rosemary, Salt-Roasted New Potatoes, and Green Bean Salad with Pickled Shallots, and for dessert Golden Crunch Cake. The whole meal was so yummy, fresh and light. It truly was a summer meal.

                          Flat-Roasted Chicken with Rosemary
                          1 organic chicken, about 3 pounds              2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
                          Salt and Pepper                                           Olive oil
                          1/4 cup rosemary leaves                             1 Lemon, sliced
                          6 large garlic cloves, sliced
Wash the bird and pat dry. Remove the backbone with a sharp knife.( I know its a pain, but just remove it fast like a band aide) Push down on the breast bone to open the bird like a book.
Put the chicken in a large roasting pan and season generously on both sides of the bird with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with the rosemary, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Drizzle with Olive oil and with your hands gently smear the rub onto the chicken.
Make sure all of the bird is seasoned to your liking and then slice the lemon and place them on the bird in different places. Secure the lemon with wooden skewers and place in the refrigerator for two hours. Decide on what time you are going to eat this lovely bird and take it out an hour before you are going to roast it. Preheat the oven to 400 and roast for about an hour. When you take it out of the oven, let the bird rest for about 15 minutes and cover it with foil.

When I took the chicken out of the oven, I thought it looked so cute! And then I look out my kitchen window and I see our chickens..... I will never eat my chickens. The ones from the store, no problem, but when it comes down to a pet or an animal you have named, MAJOR issues! I hope you enjoy this recipe. And for all those Harry Potter fans out there... you know who you are. Well you are probably at the premier right now, waiting in a ridiculous long line. Anyway, I'm a little excited because I got THE Harry Potter cookbook and I will share some recipes with you soon! 


Sunday, July 10, 2011

Tequila,Peaches, and Breakdowns

OK so I have to admit something. Friday I decided to make an amazing tequila peach pie! I was making it for our family fish fry. My dad's brother was coming out with his family and I was going to impress them with how great a cook I am. Well I really don't know if it's amazing because I never got to taste it. But really peaches soaked in tequila, lime juice, sugar and other yummy stuff all in a pie not amazing, ya right! If it doesn't sound amazing to you, then you are missing out. So back to my story. I made this pie from scratch, all the way down to the crust. And I hate making pie crust, hate it! Anyway so I make the pie crust, let that set in the fridge for an hour, and then put the yummy peach stuff together. The whole pie took me about 1 1/2 to prep. I'm slow, but some of the time was needed. So I had the pie put together and I had to put it in the freezer for 15 minutes before baking it. I go to my freezer, which is full of frozen fish just to let you know, put the pie in the freezer. I have to remind you that the pie is on a medium to large baking sheet. It wasn't quite going in there right so I open the door all the way to adjust it and the baking sheet slips out and the amazing, beautiful pie goes all over the floor! I look at it and immediately start crying, and I mean crying. So I run past my brother, who is staring at me and the awful spilled pie. From my bedroom I hear my parents walk through the front door, then I hear my brother say "Get ready, she dropped her pie!"
Then to make matters worse, I walk into my kitchen after I stopped crying and my dad says "Well, can you just make another one?" I look at him, and then just start throwing all of my dirty dishes from the pie into the sink. So then my mom starts yelling at me to stop throwing stuff around and then I start crying again, AGAIN! I really wanted that pie!
I am very sorry that I don't get to tell you how fabulous the pie was, but when I get the courage to make another one I will for sure tell you how amazing the pie was.
To make myself feel better, I went to Barnes and Noble (favorite place to go when I'm upset) the next day and got myself a too expensive, fabulous cookbook!  It is called Heart of the Artichoke   by David Tanis. It is a lovely cookbook that is worth getting. If you love to cook or you're the type of person who gets cookbooks just because they look pretty in your kitchen get Heart of the Artichoke. Seriously.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Love of My Life

OK, OK I know what you're thinking "The love of her life!!! WHAT!" No, No I have not found the love of my life yet. I have found PEANUT BUTTER!!! It's not THE love of my life, but its pretty far up there on my list of favorite foods! I feel bad for the people who are deathly allergic to peanuts.:( I'm very sorry but if you aren't, I'm about to share a recipe with you that is heaven in a jar!
Yesterday as I got home from the lake I had an idea. I was watching my dad make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and it clicked in my brain as I was licking my dad's used peanut butter knife. And I know what you're thinking, licking a knife is very unlady like. But I was in the comfort of my own home and I was exhausted and sunburned from the lake and I felt like I needed a little treat. Anyway, I'm a crunchy fan not creamy. My dad is also a crunchy fan and all we had in the house was creamy. I mean I'll eat creamy, but crunchy is still my favorite. So I thought I will make my very own crunchy peanut putter! And then I thought some more, I will make Honey Roasted Crunchy Peanut Butter! I was very excited, if you couldn't tell.

Molly's very own Honey Roasted Crunchy Peanut Butter
Original recipe from Ashley Rodriguez- notwithoutsalt
                              12 ounces roasted, Spanish peanuts
                              1/2-1 teaspoon kosher salt
                              1 tablespoon honey
                              1/4 cup canola oil
                               a tiny bit of pure vanilla

First put the peanuts in the oven on a baking sheet. Put the oven on about 200 and watch very close so you get the right roast you want. After you get them out of the oven, let them cool and take off all the red skin on the peanuts.
Place the peanuts, honey, salt, and vanilla in the food processor and pulse together. After a little bit of pulsing put the canola oil in the food processor while it's going. Then you can determine how creamy or CRUNCHY you want it. I think you know by now I like the extra crunch in the peanut butter. After you blend it together take the butter out of the processor and put it in a jar. Store in the refrigerator up to two months. Trust me, it will not last that long if you are a peanut butter lover like me.

I used the Spanish peanuts because they are good and they have great flavor after roasting in the oven. I like to keep them in there for a while so they get that yummy rich flavor, but not burned of course. You can also just buy peanuts all ready roasted and salted, just don't roast them and don't salt them. Just skip to the food processor part. I hope all you peanut butter fans enjoy this fabulous piece of heaven!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Tips and Tricks to Camping

Happy 4th of July everyone! I hope everyone is safe and doesn't get burned by any fireworks! I spent my 4th at the lake with my family! We go every summer and it is a blast. We have tube wars, fish, and wake board. If you didn't know this, Oklahoma weather in July is very HOT!!!! We had fun, but we were a little hot! If you have ever been to the lake you may know that you meet some interesting people there. For instance on one of the days that we were there, we saw a boat that said "Upper Class White Trash". And yes that is the truth. We didn't tent camp of course but I still call it camping.
My dad, Uncle Mark, my brother, and my cousin fish while we are there as well. Normally they catch a ton of fish, but this time they only caught a couple. One of the few they caught weighed about 60lbs. YES 60LBS.!! Crazy right?!

My cousin and me with the Huge fish!
 So we had a great time. I'm sunburned and exhausted! A fish fry is coming up soon, so I'll keep you posted:) Before I go I would like to give you some cooking tips when it comes to camping.
1. If you are packing eggs to cook with in the morning, crack the all into a empty Gatorade container and put them in an ice chest. They don't get cracked and you have eggs to eat in the morning. This brilliant  idea is from my favorite Uncle Mark.
2. When you are cleaning fish, DO NOT put the fish in the same ice chest as the drinks. Even if the are in baggies, the smell still gets on the drinks and so bring an extra ice chest, if you are fishing.

Like I said, just a couple of hints for you the next time you go camping. I will share this AMAZING  Brown Sugar Pound Cake recipe for you later. Its a new twist on strawberry short cake! I took it with me camping and it was a hit! So stay tuned:)