ramblings from my little kitchen

Apple Dumplings

The soda may seem a bit strange, but the lemony limey goodness really makes this tasty!  It couldn’t be easier.

this is just before going in the oven… the after picture is lost amidst the hoards of baby photos…

  • 2 whole green apples
  • 2 cans (8 Oz. Cans) Crescent Rolls
  • 2 sticks Butter
  • 1 and 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 can (12 Oz.) Mountain Dew
  • 1/4 tsp salt


core apples. Cut each apple into 8-10 slices each. Roll each apple slice in a crescent roll. Place into a buttered pan. if you have extra apple slices, stuff them between the crescent rolls.

Melt butter, then add sugar and stir. Add vanilla, stir, and pour entire mixture over apples. Pour Mountain Dew around the edges of the pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon and salt and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Serve with ice cream, and spoon some of the sweet sauces from the pan over the top.

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Slow Cooked Eggs

I’ve been busy… doing that.   but here’s something you can do that is truly YUMMY!

Slow Cooked Eggs

6 eggs

1/4 cup egg whites

1 TBS heavy cream

1TBS fresh dill

1TBS fresh parsley

2 TBS fresh basil

1/4 cup diced tomatoes

1/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

dash salt and pepper

1-2 TBS butter


Whisk all ingredients together except cheese and butter.  Place nonstick skillet over medium low heat.  Put 1 TBS butter and allow to melt before adding egg mixture. Pour eggs into pan and stir slowly.  Cook over this low heat for  around 8 minutes and continue stirring intermittently.  Add cheese just before eggs are set.  Top with more butter if you like extra creamy eggs. Delicious!

You can sub any herb or veggie or meat for that matter and these eggs will come out delicious.  The low and slow heat with continual stirring makes for an exceptional egg.

Banana Pancakes

see Lemon Blueberry Pancakes and sub blueberries for walnuts and bananas.

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Brie, Basil and Asparagus Pizza

MMM. good.

This is quick, easy, healthy, and delicious!  To quote matt “this is one of your more excellent creations.”

for the pizza:


Pizza Dough (i make my own, recipe to follow, but you can use store bought)
1 Brie Wheel
5-6 basil leaves
10 stalks of fresh asparagus
1-2 TBS olive oil
1-2 TBS balsamic vinegar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper


preheat oven to 450

stretch pizza dough onto a lightly oiled pan. drizzle dough with olive oil, paying special attention to the edges so that they brown and sprinkle with half the salt and pepper. cut asparagus into 1.5 inch chunks and spread evenly over dough. slice brie into 1/4 inch slices and cover the asparagus. tear basil leaves and sprinkle over pizza. drizzle the vinegar then sprinkle the remainder of salt and pepper.

bake for 13-16 minutes until edges start to brown and the cheese is bubbly.

Basic Pizza Dough

3 1/2 to 4 cups flour (I typically use half AP, half whole wheat)
1 teaspoon sugar
2 1/4 tsp yeast (or 1 packet)
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/2 cups water, 110 degrees F
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus 2 teaspoons

put the sugar and yeast into the warm water and allow to bloom, approx 5 mins. place the flour and kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and combine. While the mixer is running, add the warm water and 2 tablespoons of the oil and beat until the dough forms into a ball. If the dough is sticky, add additional flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough comes together in a solid ball. If the dough is too dry, add additional water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead into a smooth, firm ball.

Grease a large bowl with the remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil, add the dough, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put it in a warm area to let it double in size, about 1 hour. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide it into 2 equal pieces. Cover each with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let them rest for 10 minutes.

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Homemade ranch dressing


1/4 t kosher salt
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 c good mayo
1/2 c greek yogurt
1/4 to 1/2 c milk or buttermilk (depending on how thick you want the dressing)
handful chopped flatleaf parsley
small handful fresh chives, chopped
handful fresh dill, chopped
1.5 TBS white vinegar (or only 1/2 TBS if you used buttermilk)
1/2 tsp Worchestershire sauce
1/8 tsp cayenne
1/8 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
juice of one small lemon
1.5 tsp dijon mustard
2 TBS olive oil
dash of hot sauce


Smash garlic clove and dice as finely as possible, sprinkle kosher salt over smashed garlic and with the back of your knife smoosh them together until the garlic is really broken down. Put this into a jar. add all the other ingredients and close the lid. Shake until mixture is combined. add more milk if the dressing is too thick.


pictures coming soon.  this will be served with tons of delicious blue cheese and some lettuce, maybe some bacon or roasted salmon.


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Frosted Brownies

Also, I ran 3 miles and carted my kid around the entire zoo yesterday and he still won’t come out… I figure I should relish this time.  AND I had the stomach flu last weekend and lost 6#.  Cheers to eating too much!  Oh, AND Matt’s on call, again, so I’m lonely.


i can’t see my feet

frosting is good

cute kid

freshly baked brownies


The fatness continues….

These should be illegal. Seriously.  Who came up with frosting a brownie?  I have no idea.  But theses brownies are perfect naked, add amazing chocolate buttercream and something beyond fabulous is born.

1 cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup unsalted butter
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup light brown sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 milk chocolate bar

1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar (plus extra)
1 tablespoon half and half
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup half and half
3 tablespoons Ovaltine chocolate malt powder


Preheat oven to 350.

Melt butter and chocolate together over a double boiler or in the microwave until smooth.  Add brown and while sugar and whisk until smooth.  Sprinkle in salt and vanilla extract.  Add the eggs one at a time whisking mixture until the egg is fully integrated into the batter. Last, add the flour.

butter an 8X8 pan.  pour half of the batter into the pan then layer the chocolate bar (broken into pieces) over top.  Cover the candy layer with the rest of the brownie batter.  Bake for 25-30 minutes until brownie is set but gooey.  Allow brownies to cool completely.

Meanwhile, make some fabulous frosting.

Using an electric mixer, cream together the butter, cocoa powder, and salt on medium speed for about 3 minutes (mixture will be thick).  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the powdered sugar. Mix on low speed to incorporate the sugar, and while the mixer is running, slowly add the 1TBS half and half and vanilla extract. Gradually increase the mixer speed to medium-high, beating until smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.

in a small bowl, mix together the 1/4 cup half and half and the Ovaltine. Reduce the mixer speed to medium, and pour the mixture in a slow, steady stream and mix until thoroughly combined. Then add more powdered sugar a tablespoon at a time for a stiffer frosting.

frost your brownies. and eat them.

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Last preggo weekend, EVER

As this is the last weekend I ever plan to be pregnant, I am going to eat a LOT of sugar and stuff that’s really bad for me. Shh, don’t tell my OB.

Breakfast: Blueberry scones with strawberry double devon cream.

Oh heavens, these were delicious.  Honestly, I didn’t make my scones.  I opened the package from immaculate baking company, sprinkled sugar on top and baked as directed.  I combined 1/4 cup double devon cream with 1/4 cup strawberry jam and mixed until they were smooth.  I then smothered the scone with this deliciousness.  YUM.  I could barely finish one!

Next I headed to the kitchen to make some brownies…

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Strawberry Cupcakes

My sister raved about these cupcakes and I have been wanting to use some of the wonderful spring berries I keep lying around.  They didn’t disappoint.  I made a few adjustments, but this is basically the Sprinkles Cupcake that you can buy at the swanky bakery in downtown LA.



  • 2/3 cup whole strawberries
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder if at high altitude, otherwise 1 teaspoon
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 cup whole milk, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 2 large egg whites, room temperature


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners; set aside.
  2. Place strawberries in a small food processor; process until pureed. You should have about 1/3 cup of puree, add a few more strawberries if necessary or save any extra puree for frosting; set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a small bowl, mix together milk, vanilla, and strawberry puree; set aside.
  4. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar together until fluffy. Reduce the mixer speed to medium and slowly add egg and egg whites until blended.
  5. With the mixer on low, slowly add half the flour mixture; mix until just blended. Add the milk mixture; mix until just blended. Slowly add remaining flour mixture, scraping down sides of the bowl with a spatula, as necessary, until just blended.
  6. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups. Transfer muffin tin to oven and bake until tops are just dry to the touch, 22 to 25 minutes. Transfer muffin tin to a wire rack and let cupcakes cool completely before icing.



  • 1/2 cup whole strawberries
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly cold
  • Pinch of coarse salt
  • 3 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1TBS strawberry jam


Place strawberries in  a small food processor; process until pureed. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together butter and salt on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce mixer speed and slowly add confectioners’ sugar; beat until well combined. Add vanilla and 3 tablespoons strawberry puree and strawberry jam; mix until just blended. Do not overmix or frosting will incorporate too much air. Frosting consistency should be dense and creamy, like ice cream.

Ice cupcakes and garnish with fresh strawberry wedges. So delicious!


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Chocolate stuffed baked french toast

now that’s a mouthful, but it still doesn’t describe all the wonderful aspects of this breakfast casserole!  This was quite tasty.  My sweet tooth is enormous.  However, I tend to crave salty foods while I am pregnant.  I had gotten some brioche to make breakfast for family while they were in town, but we never had time to sit down and eat a big breakfast. So I made it for me, Reese and Matt. We ate almost half the pan, YUM!


1 loaf day old brioche, sliced


1 pkg cream cheese

2 ounces unsweetened chocolate

1TBS greek yogurt

5TBS sugar

1TBS butter


5 eggs

1.5 cups whole milk

1/2 cup heavy cream

1tsp orange marmalade

1/2 cup strong coffee

3TBS sugar

1/4 tsp salt


Grease a 9X9 pan.  First make the filling by warming the cream cheese, butter, yogurt, and chocolate over boiling water until the chocolate is melted.  Mix in the sugar and taste for your liking of chocolatey goodness.  I like dark rich, so I only used 5 TBS of sugar, but if you like a more milk chocolate flavor, add a little more sugar.  Slather the brioche with the chocolate mixture and begin to layer the bread in the pan until both ingredients are gone and the pan is full of bread slices.

Next, make the custard by whisking all the ingredients together in a medium sized bowl until smooth.  Pour the custard over the bread mixture being careful not to spill too much.  Cover and let sit for at least an hour.  You can make this the night before and let it soak overnight in the fridge.

Preheat oven to 350. Uncover casserole and bake for 35-45 minutes until custard is set.

serve with warm maple syrup and fresh strawberries, or some strawberry syrup.


Strawberry Syrup:

1/2 cup strawberry jam

1/4tsp salt

2TBS karo syrup

2TBS butter

combine all ingredients and warm over medium heat until melted.

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Mustard Cheddar Pull Apart Bread

I saw this on one of the blogs I follow and HAD to have it, immediately. It wasn’t quick, but boy was it good.  I made no adjustments to her awesome recipe, but I think next time I will ease up on the paprika, it was a little strong for my liking.

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup plus 1/3 cup beer
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1/3 cup rye flour (i used whole wheat because i didn’t have rye)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons (1 envelope) instant yeast
1 teaspoon table salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature

3 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon Dijon or a mustard of your choice
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
Dash of hot sauce
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon table salt
Several grinds black pepper
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar

Make dough: In a small saucepan, heat the 4 tablespoons butter and 1/4 cup of beer, just until the butter has melted. Remove from heat and add the remaining 1/3 cup beer. Set aside to cool down slightly. You want the mixture warm- around 110 degrees.

Meanwhile, in the bowl of a stand mixer, stir together 2 cups of the all-purpose flour, sugar, yeast and table salt. With the mixer on low, pour in the butter-beer mixture, mixing only until the flour is moistened. Add eggs, one at a time, and mix until combined. The batter will look lumpy, but will become smooth in a moment. Add the remaining 1/2 cup all-purpose flour and all of the rye flour, mixing until just combined. Replace paddle with a dough hook and let the machine knead the dough for 3 to 4 minutes on low.

Oil a medium/large bowl and transfer dough to it. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and set aside for 50 to 60 minutes, until doubled. Meanwhile, prepare fillings.

[Do ahead: You can also rest the dough in the fridge overnight — wrapped tightly with plastic. The next day, let it rest at room temperature for an hour before rolling out.]

Make fillings: Back in the same small saucepan you used for the butter and beer, melt the 3 tablespoons butter. Remove from heat and whisk in mustard, Worcestershire and hot sauce until smooth. Set aside.

In the bottom of a medium bowl, stir together mustard powder, paprika, table salt and several grinds of black pepper. Add shredded cheddar and toss until grated strands are evenly coated with spices. I like to keep this in the fridge until needed so it doesn’t get soft and clumpy, making it harder to sprinkle over the dough in a bit.

Assemble bread: Either coat a 9-by-5 loaf pan lightly with butter or a nonstick spray and set aside.

Turn dough out onto a well-floured counter and roll the dough into a 20-by-12-inch rectangle, making sure it doesn’t stick to the counter by lifting sections and re-flouring the counter as needed. Brush the butter-mustard-Worcestershire mixture evenly over the whole surface, right up to the edges. Cut the dough crosswise into 5 strips; each should be 12-by-4 inches. Sprinkle the first one evenly with a heaping 1/4 cup of the grated cheese (which is now fine to leave out at room temperature). Gently place another strip on top of it, coat it with another heaping 1/4 cup of cheese, and repeat with remaining strips until they are stacked 5-high and all of the cheese is used.

With your very sharpest serrated knife, gently cut your stack into 6 to 7 2-inch segments (each stacked segment should be 4-by-2 inches).

Arrange stacks of dough down the length of your prepared loaf pan as if filling a card catalog drawer. I make this easier by standing my loaf pan up on its short end to make the next part easier. If, when you finish filing all of your dough stacks, you ended up with less than needed for the dough “cards” to reach the end of the pan, when you return the pan to rest flat on the counter again, just shimmy it a little so the dough centers. It will all even out in the final rise/oven. If you ended up with toomany dough cards, before you add the last stack, simply press gently on the dough already filed to make room for it.

Loosely cover the pan with more plastic wrap and set it aside to rise again for 30 to 45 more minutes. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Bake loaf for 25 to 35 minutes, until puffed and brown. Transfer it to a wire rack and let it cool for 5 minutes before flipping it out onto a serving plate/cutting board. Serve warm.

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quadruple chocolate chip cookies

Quadruple Chocolate Chip Cookies

A friend of mine brought us some delicious double chocolate chip cookies that she sprinkled with sea salt.  They were to die for.  We ate the whole batch in 5 days. I wanted to recreate it with some ingredients I had on hand.  Here is my take on these cookies.  They turned out pretty fantastic.  I love the combo of crunchy m&ms, semi-sweet chocolate and dark chocolate. These are extremely rich and decadent.  You can omit the sea salt if you aren’t a huge fan of salty sweet, but I loved the salty bite with such a rich chocolate cookie.

1 cup (2 sticks) cold, unsalted butter, cubed

1/2 cup white sugar

3/4 cup light brown sugar

2 large eggs

½ cup dutch process cocoa powder

2 cups all-purpose flour

¼ tsp. coarse salt

1 tsp. baking powder

1½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 cup bitter sweet chocolate chips

1/4 cup m&ms

sea salt

Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugar.  Beat together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes.  Blend in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl as needed.  Mix in the cocoa powder until well blended.  Add the flour, salt and baking powder to the bowl and mix on low speed just until incorporated.  Fold in the chocolate chips and m&ms with a spatula.  Transfer the dough to a work surface and knead briefly by hand to be sure the ingredients are combined.

Spoon the batter onto the parchment paper into even balls, sprinkle with sea salt and push lightly to flatten.  Bake for 13-16 minutes depending on the size of your cookies.  Serve with a large glass of ice cold milk and enjoy!

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