Friday, September 26, 2008

My First Award

I received my first award from Kat at Kat's Whimsy.
Thank you Kat for thinking of me, that was so sweet of you. I know most of you are familiar with her blog, but if you aren't, please go check out her blog. She has a wonderful kitchen reno going.
And now to pass the honor on to 5 more blogs, in no particular order.
1. Sunday Baker
2. Mabel's House
3. Just Beachy in the City
4. The Lettered Cottage
5. Just Beachy

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes

Two of my favorite things, pumpkin and cheesecake. I have always wanted to make a pumpkin cheesecake. I came across this recipe that was specifically for the mini cheese cake pan. I'm always on the lookout for recipes for my mini pans. So I thought I would give them a try. They were actually pretty good. I might try my vanilla wafer crust on them next time, not sure that I was too crazy about the ginger snap cookie crust, it was OK, but not fabulous.

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecake
1/2 cup gingersnap crumbs (about 10 Nabisco cookies)
2 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
1 cup pure pumpkin puree
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp. allspice
12 oz. cream cheese, at room temp.
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly spray each cup of the mini pan with cooking spray. In a small bowl, mix together the gingersnap crumbs, sugar and melted butter. Divide the mixture evenly among the cups. Bake 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.
Reduce oven to 300 degrees.
Filling: In a small bowl, combine pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. Set aside. Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add eggs one at a time beating after each addition. Add the vanilla. Add the pumpkin mixture and beat at low speed until completely blended. Divide the batter evenly among the cups. Bake 18-20 minutes until set. Remove from oven and cool completely on wire rack. Transfer to refrigerator, let cool at least 2-3 hours before unmolding.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Kitchen Inspiration

This kitchen reminds me of the kitchen from the movie Something's Gotta Give. I love the dark hardwood floors, the dark solid counter tops and the white cabinets with glass fronts. I would love to someday replace my appliances with stainless steel.
I also like the color combination in this kitchen. I have really been liking the apple green color in the kitchen, but I don't think I'm brave enough to actually commit to it in something as permanent as tile. Maybe a wall...

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Chocolate Bundt Cake

I discovered this recipe on several years ago. I think they call it the Chocolate Cavity Maker Cake. It quickly became my family's favorite chocolate cake. I add a simple chocolate glaze to mine, although it would be delicious plain, or with a dusting of powdered sugar. If you haven't already tried it... I don't think you'll be disappointed.

Chocolate Bundt Cake

1 (18.25 oz.) package dark chocolate cake mix

1 (3.0 oz.) package instant chocolate pudding mix

1 (16 oz.) container sour cream

3 eggs

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup coffee flavored liqueur

2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (I use mini)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 10 inch bundt pan. Combine cake mix, pudding mix, sour cream, eggs, oil, and liqueur. Beat until well blended. Fold in chocolate chips. Batter will be thick. Spoon into pan. Bake 1 hour or until cake springs back when lightly touched. Cool 10 minutes in pan, then turn out on wire rack and cool completely.

Chocolate Glaze

3 Tbsp. unsalted butter

1 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar

2 Tbsp. water

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

2 oz. unsweetened chocolate baking bar

Melt chocolate and butter in heat proof bowl over low heat. Stir until smooth. Remove from heat and stir in powdered sugar with water. Add more water if needed to achieve desired consistency. Add vanilla, blend well. Drizzle over cake.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Yes... I'm One of Those Mommies

I admit it, I dress my dog. In fact, I think she has a bigger wardrobe than I do.
But in my defense, she actually loves it! No... really, she does.( look, she even has a little smile) And who could blame her, isn't she the cutest???

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Chocolate Chip Cookies

I know most everyone has a good chocolate chip cookie recipe.
My family really likes this one.
These are a soft and chewy cookie, my favorite kind.

Chocolate Chip Cookies
2/3 cup shortening
2/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
12 oz. semi sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Mix shortening, butter, and sugars. Add eggs and vanilla. In a separate bowl add dry ingredients, mix. Mix the dry ingredients with the wet just until combined. Do not over mix. Add chocolate chips. Drop by rounded teaspoon fulls 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8 minutes just until set and edges just barely turn golden.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Not Your Mother's Apron

Do you wear aprons? Aprons are a big seller at the kitchen store. Some of them are so much fun! This is a new company, city girl, that we are hoping to carry soon. We have an order in :)
I especially love the aqua blue one above. We wear aprons at work everyday, I think these would be very stylish.

This black and white pattern is really popular right now. We have had dish towels, pot holders, and even paper napkins in a similar print.

Eiffel Tower, always popular

Love this fun little half apron!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Quest for an Organized kitchen

I am always re-organizing my kitchen in the attempt to find the perfect drawer or cupboard for all of my kitchen gadgets, equipment etc...
It's just what I do. Sometimes it will just come to me.... why don't I have the (whatever item it happens to be) in this drawer, that makes more sense. Then it all gets changed and my poor family has to suffer for weeks until they get used to the new place I have cleverly decided works better. Last week I had one of those moments when it came to me, I have always loved this cupboard in the laundry room, which is conveniently located right off the kitchen. Wouldn't that be a perfect place for my bake ware??? And so it began...

Top shelf mini cheesecake pans, loaf pans, square baking pans, batter dispenser
Second shelf 9x13 pans, round cake pans, mini angel food cake pans
and my favorite shelf, cookie cutters in drawers by season, half sheet pans, muffin pans

In the drawers

cutters, and molds

tips, couplers, pastry bags, and food coloring

sanding sugars and sprinkles

birthday candles, cellophane bags, party bags, and sucker sticks

and finally cupcake liners.
Now doesn't this make more sense???
I think if I didn't work at the kitchen store I
would be a kitchen organizer, that would be fun!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Let Them Eat Cake

Tonight was girl's night at my house. We try to get together as often as we can, but with two weddings being planned, and work, it doesn't happen often enough. Tonight's menu was tacos, spanish rice, and of course chips, guacamole and salsa. For dessert I made mini lemon cheesecakes. I have been making them for several years, but now they have to be perfect. I will be making them for one of the weddings... in less than a month (no pressure). I'm actually flattered that the bride asked me.
These are also delicious with a raspberry, and raspberry sauce on top.

Mini Lemon Cheesecakes
For the crust:
1 cup vanilla wafer crumbs
2 Tbs. sugar
pinch of salt
2 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat 12 cup mini cheesecake pan with cooking spray. Add cookie crumbs, sugar and salt to a small bowl and mix. Add melted butter and mix well. Press into prepared cups. Bake 10 minutes. Cool completely on wire rack. Reduce heat to 300 degrees.
For the filling: At room temp.
16 oz. cream cheese
2 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
pinch of salt
2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp. lemon zest

Beat cream cheese with paddle attachment, about 5 minutes or more, ( at this point you really can't beat it too much) you want all the lumps out. On medium low, add eggs one at a time. Add lemon and lemon zest, beat 1 minute and scrape down sides of bowl. Add sugar and salt, beat 2 minutes, scrape bowl . Divide batter into 12 mini cups and bake 20 minutes. Cool completely on wire rack. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate over night. When serving I usually place in a foil cupcake liner. They are easier to eat, you don't need a fork, and they travel well.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Home Sweet Home

I wanted to share pictures of my friend's kitchen. She is getting married next month and her and her fiance just found this cute little house in the country. They have put so much work into it, and it is just darling. They installed laminate flooring throughout, and painted the cabinets white. I love the 50s table and chairs!
How fun for them to start their lives out together in this cute little home. And I must say... I approve of her color choices. :)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch single pie crust
8 to 10 slices Canadian bacon, diced
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1/3 cup minced onions
1/3 cup chopped green or red bell pepper
4 eggs, beaten
2 cups light cream
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a skillet with 1 to 2 Tbsp. olive oil, saute onion and bell pepper until tender. Add Canadian bacon and saute a few more minutes. Sprinkle mixture into pastry shell. Add shredded cheese. In a medium bowl , whisk together eggs, cream, salt, and cayenne pepper. Pour mixture into pastry shell.
Bake 15 minutes in preheated oven. Reduce heat to 300 degrees and bake an additional 30 minutes. Cool 10 minutes before cutting into wedges.