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Monthly Archives: October 2012

Baked Potato

This is how I bake my potatoes.  Since I rarely have time to do all oven, I compromise.  Microwave and oven 🙂

Set the oven to 400 degrees.  Place a sheet of aluminum foil on a low rack to collect any potential drippings.

First, poke holes in the potatoes with a fork.  Then rub down potatoes in oil (olive or basil or whatever) then salt with kosher salt.

Put the potatoes in the microwave for 3-4 minutes (depending on size).

Then place potatoes in oven directly on the oven rack.

Bake for around 45 minutes until tender when pierced.

*note… the time will depend on the size of the potatoes.  For little guys, start checking them at 40 mins or so, but for big 4inch+ sized potatoes the 45 mins is pretty accurate.

*also of note… If you are using convection decrease the temp… so 375 for 45mins…


Confetti Cake from scratch

This is a must try. I Made this recipe following it exact. But, as with anything that you do exactly – there are some notes.


Frosting – don’t forget to add the sprinkles (Sorry, but I am adamant that they are sprinkles NOT ‘jimmies’) to the frosting. Also, for this cake, I found that lemon extract is the key. It adds a touch of lemony goodness. I have started with 1 tsp and then added more to taste. Rob says this makes the cake a lighter – fluffier – version of his favorite Italian cookies (see a previous recipe).  Also… i need to add a quick bit of advice.  When you start adding your butter, all of the sudden the frosting will look like a sloppy, wet, yucky nothing.  All those beautiful egg white peaks will disappear and it will splatter all over the place.  Have no fear!! Just keep adding your butter and let it mix.  It needs to mix for probably another 10-15 minutes after the butter is in.  It will thicken up!!

Supplies: Here is what you will need (from both recipes) to make this cake. This is the total… all the ingredients you need at the store to make the whole thing.

10 egg whites from large eggs
1/2 tsp + pinch of salt
2 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
1/4 teaspoon cream of Tartar
2 cups and 4 TBSP unsalted butter SOFT
1 Tablespoon and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon lemon extract (or more to taste- I like 1 1/2 tsp personally)
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
3 cups cake flour OR 3 cups all purpose flour minus 6 TBSP mixed with 6 TBSP corn starch
4 teaspoons baking powder
8 tablespoons non-hydrogenated shortening
1/3 cup multi-colored SPRINKLES

So, now here are my personal notes from making this recipe:

1: Since I never have cake flour, I make it! This is the how-to.

2: I like the 4 layers. Don’t let the batter fool you. I bake them 2 at a time (since I only have 2 9in round pans) and cook only for 18 minutes. Don’t forget to re-butter between turns.

3: Definitely follow the instructions in the recipe on how to make equal portions.

For the frosting:

1: I use my smallest non-stick pot. The sugar mixture just slides right out of it.

2: Thought the recipe says to chill the frosting until ready to use, I have found that when I finish the recipe it is actually the perfect temp and consistency for using. When I put it in the fridge to cool, it became LUMPY and unwieldy.


Chicken Pad Thai

Yummers!! One of our favorites!

This is only very slightly modified from clookbook’s recipe, which can be found here.

You start with making the sauce.  Then get the noodles soaking and cook up the chicken, spiced however you like it.  After that is done you start the stir fry! It’s very quick but is awesome.  One of our very favorite recipes.

This sauce recipe makes more sauce than you need, but I’m not really sure how you would cut it down. Also, the sauce allows you to control how spicy things are going to be.  We like things hot so we usually add more sriracha.

The original recipe says this is for 2 servings, but we have never once even come close to finishing a whole pan in one sitting.  So have no fear if you have 3 or even 4 people… or just want leftovers.


50g Palm sugar
1/4 cup fish sauce
1 TBSP tamarind concentrate mixed with 1/4 cup water
1/4 cup sriracha sauce

Pad Thai

One 8 oz package of rice stick noodles
Oil for frying
1 lb Chicken (we use the thin sliced chicken cut into strips), seasoned with salt and pepper
1 TBSP shallot, diced
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup of Pad Thai sauce (from above)
1 egg, beaten
1 TBSP sugar
1 cup bean sprouts
1/4 cup fresh chives, chopped
1/4 cup roasted (unsalted) peanuts, chopped

Directions: Sauce first, then soaking noodles and cooking chicken, then stir fry.

Before you do any cooking, prepare all your ingredients and have them ready to go by, chopping, dicing, measuring out, etc…


  • In a small pan combine all of the sauce ingredients. Heat on low until the palm sugar is dissolved.
  • Once the sugar is dissolved in the sauce pan, increase heat to a quick boil (a few seconds) and then remove from heat. Set aside.


  • In a bowl, soak the rice stick noodles in water for about 8-10 minutes.  They should be soft, but still somewhat hard. The stir fry will soften them more.
  • In your large pan/wok use a little olive oil (or whatever you prefer) and fry up the chicken until cooked through. Then remove the chicken and set aside.

Now for stir fry:

Stir fry calls for high heat and quick action, so make sure all of your ingredients are ready to roll before you turn the heat on. You’ll need 2 utensils to stir-fry the pad thai.

  • Add 2 tablespoons of oil in the same wok and stir fry shallots.
  • Take the noodles out of the water and toss into the wok.  Add 1/4 cup of water and stir.
  • Add 1/4 cup of the prepared Pad Thai sauce and mix into the noodles. Make sure to constantly separate the noodles (using 2 utensils) to prevent them from sticking to one another. If noodles are too sticky, add a little oil.  Cook for 1-2 minutes until the sauce is well incorporated.
  • Move noodles to one side of the pan and add the beaten egg. Scramble and stir the egg until cooked (about a minute).
  • Turn off the heat then add the remaining ingredients sugar, chicken, sprouts, chives, peanuts(sugar, chicken, sprouts, and chives) and stir until combined thoroughly

Notes: If there are any leftovers, you should add a little bit (literally, just a little bit maybe a TBSP or 2) of sauce for each serving, just to keep things moist for when reheating.  Also, make sure you add some fresh bean sprout and peanuts after reheating your leftovers since the crunch will be missing if you don’t.

Apple Coffee Cake

An experiment gone right!

Tonight I made Emril’s Apple Coffee Cake with Crumble Topping and Brown Sugar Glaze

I used 2 medium sized granny smith apples (yes that’s it)!!! And, of course some vanilla ice cream.

Apple Coffee Cake with Crumble Topping and Brown Sugar Glaze

Total Cook Time: 1 hr 15mins

1 stick unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 medium sized Granny Smith apples, cored and chopped

Crumble Topping:
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
4 TBSP unsalted butter, softened

Brown Sugar Glaze:
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 TBSP water


First, make the cake:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter a 13 by 9-inch glass baking dish with 2 teaspoons of butter.
  • In the kitchenaid, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs 1 at a time, beating after the addition of each.
  • In a separate bowl sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
  • Add to the wet ingredients, alternating with the sour cream and vanilla.
  • Fold in the apples.
  • Pour into the prepared baking dish, spreading out to the edges.

Then, make the crumble topping and bake:

  • In the kitchenaid (set to 2), combine the sugar, flour, cinnamon, and butter, and mix until it resembles coarse crumbs.
  • Sprinkle the topping over the cake.
  • Bake until golden brown and set, 35 to 40 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes.

Then, make the glaze:

  • In a bowl, combine the sugar, vanilla, and water and mix until smooth.
  • Drizzle the cake with the glaze and let harden slightly.

Finally, EAT!  Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

Read more at: Apple Coffee Cake with Crumb Topping and Glaze

Korean Short Ribs

Very awesome recipe.

In the crockpot:

5 lbs beef short ribs
4 tablespoons rice vinegar
4 tablespoons sesame oil
1 cup soy sauce
4 crushed cloves garlic
4 tablespoons minced ginger
2/3 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

For the sauce:

6 tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in 6 tablespoons hot water

For serving:

3 cups shredded carrots
6 thinly sliced green onions
2 tablespoon sesame seeds
Bibb lettuce
cooked white rice.


Arrange the short ribs standing upright in the crockpot.

Mix rice vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, brown sugar, and crushed red pepper in a separate bowl. Then pour the mixture (the “cooking liquid“) over the ribs.

Cover and cook on low for 9 hours or high for 6 hours, until the ribs are tender.

UPDATE for Instant Pot: Use the 6 qt pot. Set the pot to 60 minutes on the Meat setting. Allow to natural release for 15 minutes. Use the simmer function to prepare the sauce.

To make the sauce:

Remove the ribs from the crockpot and arrange them on a platter. Skim the fat off the top of the cooking liquid.

In a saucepan, combine the cornstarch paste and the cooking liquid. Bring to a boil and cook until thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the carrots.

To serve:

Place the Bibb lettuce (shredded or whole leafs) on the plate, top with rice and short ribs. Add sauce. Then top with green onions and sesame seeds. Voila!