Friday, November 4, 2011

The Roxy- Another Restaurant Review

The Roxy

In the 7 weeks that I have been living in Portland, I have eaten at The Roxy approximately 9 times. The majority has been in the last week alone. Why? I like the food, the service, and the feel of the whole establishment. For a 24/7 diner, they set standards that in my own opinion can’t be beat. The service at four o’clock in the morning is just as good as the dinnertime rush at seven o’clock, and even at three o’clock in the afternoon.

My favorite meal to eat at The Roxy hands down is The Roxy Melt. This hot sandwich is composed of a hamburger patty with cheese, bacon, avocado, BBQ sauce, lettuce, tomato, and pickles all atop toasted rye bread. I am not a fan of avocado, so I usually order it without, but I had to try it ONCE the way it is supposed to be. It wasn’t bad to be honest. For someone who will not eat avocados, I must admit I couldn’t taste it, and the texture wasn’t bad at all. Also with this sandwich you have your choice of fries, potato salad, salad, or soup. I usually get the fries because there’s something about a hot sandwich needing fries to go alongside it. Price of this meal: $6.45. It will definitely fill you up without breaking the bank.

Now lets talk about the service. I walk in the door, seat myself, and do not have to wait long for someone to come with the menus. With such short handed staff, the servers at The Roxy work like crazy to make sure you get everything you need, and will assist you in any way possible. Even with a full house, my menu and complimentary water is on my table within thirty seconds or less.

Can your favorite place do that?

Aside from the great food and service, this restaurant overall rocks. Seriously, there are always good jams coming out from the jukebox. For a dollar you can pick three songs to play during your meal. Have you ever seen plants in a toaster? Well if you have been to The Roxy you have. All along the shelves inside are white toasters with plants coming out of them. Also, there is a statue of David, who has recently acquired a Viking helmet, and a necklace. There are pictures of actors and actresses, and other celebrities signed and hung on the wall. One night I ate dinner with John Travolta. Yes I did. He sat right behind me on the wall, just staring at me. It was awesome.

Overall, I would give this place a 4.5 out of 5. For an all night diner, the staff at The Roxy make you feel welcomed. The prices are incredible, and the food, is just as incredible. I have been to a few places since I moved here, but I have to say, this is my favorite. If you’re looking for a good time, good food, and great service, you’ll find it at The Roxy located at 1121 SW Stark Street, Portland, Oregon.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


Hello everyone!!! Just thought I'd update everyone and say that I have finally started college at The International Culinary School at The Art Institute of Portland. I am loving classes so far! Except the fact that my kitchen classes start at 7:00 AM. It's pretty ridiculous.

Anyhoo, I am required to write journals everyday, so I wrote today's and decided to share it with you. Some info you probably won't care about, but the rest is about making a vegetable stock. It smells super yummy :) and you can add it to anything! So here it is!!

Jacquelyn M. Peterman

Fundamentals of Classical Techniques


Tuesday, October 4th 2011

Today was an introduction day of the course and of the kitchen. I learned what the expectations are, as well as how to properly prep a vegetable stock, and how to properly make a small quarter-inch dice with the vegetables and potatoes. Also, we learned how to use our chef knife and make a Bouquet Garni. We reviewed the syllabus, and our kits.

Vegetable Stock

· 2 oz. Vegetable Oil

· 1 lb. Mirepoix ( ½ lb. onion, ¼ lb. celery, ¼ lb. carrots)

· 4 oz. Leeks (small dice)

· 4 oz. Fennel (small dice)

· 2 oz. Turnip (small dice)

Bouquet Garni

· Parsley

· Thyme

· Celery

· Bay leaf

· Peppercorn

Make the Bouquet Garni first by taking some parsley and placing the thyme, peppercorn, and bay leaf on it. Then sandwich it in between one stick of celery that has been cut in half then tie it together.

Next, make the vegetable stock by dicing the mirepoix, leeks, fennel, and turnip to ¼ inch cubes (small dice). Once they have been weighed to the right weight, put it all in a pot, and sweat the vegetables. This releases the flavor of the vegetables. Then add 3 quarts of cold water, and the vegetable oil. Let simmer for 30-45 minutes. Strain liquid, and toss vegetables. That is how you make a vegetable stock.

Okay so there it is. I promise to keep you updated with more recipes and new stuff! :)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Best Darn Butter Around

Alrighty folks. Today I made butter. Not just any butter. It is the most spectacular butter I have ever made! In fact, my guinea pigs (my family) and I have all agreed that my butter is so yummy delicious that I shouldn't write a recipe for it.

That's right, it's TOP SECRET.

However, I will be selling it! I do not have any pictures of the packaged product yet, but will hopefully soon! My main flavor right now is a garlic and herb butter which is oh so delightful! I can also make plain (duh!) and salted. I will be doing more experimenting so keep your eyes peeled! It is 100% all natural and made from cow's cream. I can also make organic butter for all you organic freaks :)

Prices are as follows:

1oz. Sampler................. $1.00
6oz. Butter..................... $3.50
6oz. Organic Butter..... $4.75

I also will be selling homemade buttermilk as well. Flavors I have are:


The buttermilk is good as coffee creamer or to use in your cooking as well (buttermilk pancakes with a hint of maple? YES PLEASE!). There is organic and regular. Buttermilk only comes in an 8oz. glass bottle.

Plain, flavored.....................$3.50
Organic Plain, flavored.....$4.75

You can send me an e-mail at to tell me what size, quantity, and flavor butter or buttermilk you want.

I will post more flavors as soon as I discover the good stuff! Also, if you give me a recipe that is better than mine, then I will reward you with a FREE gift and a special feature in my blog.

Follow me on Twitter and 'Like' me on Facebook!

Feel free to send me recipes to try or perfect. I will add them to my blog so be careful if you don't want me to unleash the secrets of your great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandmother's chunky corn bread. Check back often to see what else I'm cookin' up!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Sweet AND Sour Pork

Who doesn't like Asian food? My favorite item to order at an Asian inspired restaurant is always sweet and sour pork.
Sweet and sour pork is a Chinese dish that is particularly popular in Cantonese cuisine and may be found all over the world. A traditional Jiangsu dish called Pork in a sugar and vinegar sauce is considered its ancestor. Sweet and sour pork can either be deep fried or stir fried (Below, I give you the stir fried version).

I bought myself an old edition of Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook at a little thrift shop a few weeks ago. I saw the sweet and sour pork recipe and said, "That's it, I want that in my tummy!"

So I went to the grocery store and bought the stuff I needed to make this delicious feast.
Now I didn't quite follow the rules (if I did I'd be wondering where my sanity went.) but I did manage to use the same ingredients. I just went about the cooking process a little differently.


1 1/2 Pounds of Pork (I used pork tenderloin cut into 1 inch chunks)
2 Tbsp. Hot Shortening

1 Chicken Bouillon Cube

1 20 oz. Can of Pineapple Chunks

1/4 C. Brown Sugar

2 Tbsp. Cornstarch
1/4 C. Vinegar

1 Tbsp. Soy Sauce

1 Medium Bell Pepper (diced small)

1/4 C. Copped Onion

Hot Cooked Rice


1. Brown the pork chunks in the hot shortening. Add the water, and bouillon cube plus 1/4 tsp. salt. Mix well! Cover and let simmer until tender (The recipe says an hour but I am too impatient and did about 30 minutes-- pork was fully cooked and quite juicy!).
2. Meanwhile, drain the pineapple BUT SAVE THE JUICE! If you throw out the juice, you might as well throw out the rest! Kidding, but seriously, save the juice. Combine that with the brown sugar, vinegar, soy sauce and cornstarch in a small sauce pan. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. It will change color to a dark caramel-ish color. That's wonderful :)
3. Remove from heat, mix with the pork.

4. In some hot shortening, crisp up the pineapple chunks, onion, and bell pepper. drain and add to pork. Serve over hot rice.

5. Enjoy!
(**you can substitute the pork for chicken, just use boneless skinless chicken breast.)

Okay so there is that! I love sweet and sour pork so much that if any of you give me a recipe that is better than mine, then I will reward you with a FREE gift and a special feature in my blog.

Follow me on Twitter and 'Like' me on Facebook!

Feel free to send me recipes to try or perfect. I will add them to my blog so be careful if you don't want me to unleash the secrets of your great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandmother's chunky corn bread. Check back often to see what else I'm cookin' up!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Is She YOUR Cherry Pie?

Yesterday dad, the brothers, and I all went cherry picking.

Mmmm cherries!

So we are there at my dad's friend's house picking
right? A beetle hiding among the leaves decides to drop into shirt as I'm working. I don't want to freak out and cause a scene so what do I do? I set down my cherry bowl and smooshed the intruder. Turns out it actually went down my bra.... Awkward moment for me. So I continued picking cherries with a dead beetle, guts hanging out, touching my skin. Gross. I'm pretty sure reading this makes you lose your appetite for delicious cherry pie right?


You see, if you absolutely LOVE cherry pie, you should be well aware of the sacrifices you make while picking cherries. Yes, it all has to do with the cherry picking. I walked away only to have eaten about 7 cherries, I had a dead beetle close to my heart- literally, also I had a mess of various other bugs in my hair along with parts of rotten cherries. These are just some of the things I endured to be able to create such a wonderful dessert.

All together, we probably picked around ten pounds of fruit (not counting the five pounds we all consumed). Dad decided to give some away to a lady friend last night, but we still have enough to make somewhere around 30 pies.

Okay so maybe not that many, but enough to hold us over for a while (;

I can promise you that my cherry pie is best. From the flaky pie crust, to the sweet thick cherry filling, this pie is sure to win a few ribbons- and blue ones at that! It's great topped with real whip cream that I make myself, or with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.

Everyone knows that every good pie starts with an amazing crust. That is why I am the queen of cherry pies. So here's the pie crust recipe:

Flaky Pie Crust

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon table salt
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
1/4 cup shortening
7 to 8 tablespoons ice water


1. In a large bowl, mix together flour, salt, and sugar until well combined.

2. Using clean hands, add butter and toss until just coated.
Rub butter between thumb and forefingers to incorporate into flour mixture until butter is lima bean sized pieces and comes together in quarter-sized clumps when squeezed in palm, about 2 minutes.

3. Add shortening, toss until just coated in flour, then rub into flour mixture until mixture forms pea
sized pieces (some big chunks should remain) and comes together in fist sized clumps when squeezed, about 1 minute.

4. Drizzle
in half of the ice water, and rake through mixture with fingers until just moistened. Drizzle in remaining water 1 tablespoon at a time and comb through mixture with fingers to moisten. It will go from being a shaggy mess to coming together.

****Dough is moist enough when it is moistened through but is not wet when pressed. (Do not overwork the dough or it will become tough.****

5. While rotating the bowl with 1 hand, push dough between other palm and side of bowl to gather into a ball. Turn dough onto a piece of plastic wrap, press it into a flat disk, then close in wrap. Place in coldest part of refrigerator (usually back bottom shelf) at least 30 minutes before rolling out and forming into a crust.

6. Place dough into a pie pan. Trim the edges. Poke the dough with a fork here and there. Bake at 250 degrees for 7 minutes. You do this so when you pour filling in, it won't make the dough soggy.

Now the other best part of the cherry pie is the cherry filling. I don't use canned cherry filling because honestly, it's disgusting. Instead, I spend hours working up a sweat in the hot sun picking cherries- one by one.

Actually, I only spent about an hour in nice weather picking handfuls of juicy, bright red, sweet cherries. Boy was this year's harvest a good one!!

Cherry Pie Filling

5 C. Pitted Cherries
(make sure you have a ratio of 3 parts sweet ripe cherries, and 1 part sour almost ripe cherries for the sweet and the tart)
1 C. Sugar
1/4 C. Lemon Juice
Approx. 1/4 C. Water (see directions before adding)
2 Tbsp. Cornstarch for thickening


1. Combine fruit and sugar in a pan and stir together. If cherries are soft and mushy, you won't need additional water, but if cherries are firm, add 1/4 to 1/2 cup water. Bring to a boil.

2. Mix cornstarch with some cold water (about 2 tablespoons of cold water with 2 tablespoons corn starch), whisking to remove lumps.

3. When cherries are boiling, add thickening while stirring constantly to prevent lumps. Add enough thickening to make the consistency you desire. (We like our pies fairly thick.) Stir the thickening as it bubbles, just until the juices are clear. (When the filling looks clear, it's fully cooked. Over-cooking will start to break down the filling.)

4. Pour into pie crust. Make a lattice or full top, whichever you would like. Make an egg wash by lightly beating as whole raw egg and brushing on crust. This will make it shiny, and add a nice gold color to the crust.

5. Bake pie at 425 degrees for about 30 minutes or until browned.

So there you have it. My yummy cherry pie! I swear it is the best. If you think yours is better, leave me a comment and we'll talk pie. If any of you give me a recipe that is better than mine, then I will reward you with a FREE gift and a special feature in my blog.

Follow me on Twitter and 'Like' me on Facebook!

Feel free to send me recipes to try or perfect. I will add them to my blog so be careful if you don't want me to unleash the secrets of your great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandmother's chunky corn bread. Check back often to see what else I'm cookin' up!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Chocolate, Caramel, and Shortbread

Okay, so it has been a while since the last post. Truth is, I have been really busy lately and not cooking or baking much at all.

A few days ago I came across a recipe for these British yummies. Shortbread with a layer of
caramel and chocolate on top. I decided right then and there I was going to make them. The recipe is fairly simple and I believe that any cook whether they be pro, or someone who only uses the microwave, can whip this up in no time.

Alright, here goes!

For the shortbread:
1/2 pound unsalted butter, softened

3/4 teaspoon
1/3 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1/2 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch

Make the shortbread.
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Generously grease a 9 x 9 baking pan with butter.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter, salt, and sugar and whip on medium speed until the b
utter becomes fluffy and white - about 5 minutes.
3. Turn the mixe
r to low and add the flour and cornstarch. Mix to incorporate.
4. Pat the dough evenly into the pan.
5. Bake for about 30 minutes, until the edges just begin to darken. The shortbread will remain white. Set aside to cool.

For th

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk

Next, make the caramel.
1. In a 2 quart saucepan, co
mbine butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, and sweetened condensed milk and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
2. Continue stirring and allow
mixture to boil for another 5 minutes.
3. Remove caramel from heat and stir
vigorously for a few minutes.
4. Pour over shortbread and allow to set up at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.

For the chocolate
1 1/4 cups semi swee
t chocolate, chopped

1. Simply place chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat for 45 seconds, then stir and continue to heat and stir at 20 second intervals until chocolate is completely melted.
2. Pour chocol
ate over the caramel layer and spread evenly to cover.
3. Chill to set the chocolate - about 30 minutes.

When this is all said and done, you will have an amazingly yummy British treat. Have a cup of tea too! :) Be prepared for soft caramel, and hard chocolate and sort of a bitter taste from the shortbread. Together all of the flavors are something I haven't really tasted. I loved it though and can't wait to experiment with it!

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Facebook and follow me on Twitter.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Bacon, Beans, & Cheese

A friend, Jonah, recently told me about a sandwich that is supposedly amazing. The sandwich consists of baked beans, bacon, and cheese all on sourdough bread. Today I decided to make this glorious sandwich for lunch.




It was amazing. Actually, amazing is an understatement.

The sandwich Jonah makes is a little different than how I made mine today. Because I lacked the exact ingredients I had to improvise. But it was still delicious.

The Build:

Toast 2 slices of sourdough bread (I used wheat).
Heat up some baked beans.
Cook the bacon until it starts to crinkle.
Cut some cheese (C'mon you know what I mean).
  • Use some really sharp cheddar cheese, I used colby jack because that's what I had on hand.

For the Miracle:

Top the bread with the baked beans.
Top the beans with the bacon.
Top the bacon with the cheese.

Put it in the oven on about 200 degrees just so the cheese melts and the bacon gets crispy.

Make it put a smile on your face:

Put the two halves together.

Are you impressed yet? If not, I'm not quite sure you are even human.

The flavor combination is amazing. You have the salty bacon flavor, the sweet brown sugar from the baked beans, and of course that cheese flavor all topped with the slight crunch of the bread.

Jonah, your sandwich is probably the best thing that's ever made it's way to my yummy. For my readers, go make this sandwich right now.

Feel free to send me recipes to try or perfect. I will add them to my blog so be careful if you don't want me to unleash the secrets of your great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandmother's chunky corn bread. Check back often to see what else I'm cookin' up!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Rollin' in California

One thing you should know about me- I don't eat fish. It's a personal choice. I know fish is one of the most healthiest things you can eat, but this girl ain't going anywhere near it. I'll take the fish oil capsules instead.

However, my younger brother brought home some trout that he caught, and I cooked it up. And yes, I ate half of a small trout. It tasted okay, but the whole fish idea made me not want to eat it. I'll have a recipe on that later (which by the way, all my fish loving family LOVED it so don't worry, it's good).

For today, I want to give you a great recipe for California Rolls. I made this in my culinary class back when I was in school, and I loved it. I, however, was the only one to make mine without crab, and without nori. It was pretty difficult, and didn't really resemble a roll... Anyway, here's a recipe you'll love!

California Rolls

1 C Short Grain Rice
2 C Water
Imitation Crab, or Real Crab (your choice)
Green Onion
Red Bell Peppers


1. Cook the rice. Bring it to a boil, stirring continuously. Put the lid on, and turn the heat on low. Let simmer for 15 minutes. Cool rice completely before assembling your rolls.
2. Put rice on nori, covering all but 1/2 to 1 inch on the edge.
3. Place your meat and cut vegetables on the rice, parallel to the bare edge.
4. Roll carefully, making sure the nori doesn't tear, but tight enough that it won't fall apart.
5. Wet the bare edge of nori with a tiny bit of water so it sticks together when rolled up.
6. Cut into smaller pieces, each piece should make 6-8 rolls.
7. Dip in soy sauce and enjoy! Or use my dipping sauce below:

Sugar dipping sauce

1 tbsp. Rice Vinegar
2 tbsp. Sugar

1. Mix together and dip your California Rolls in it and enjoy!

So if you just wanted a snack, or you're looking for the perfect appetizer, these California Rolls will certainly be a hit! If you have any suggestions, please leave me a comment!

Feel free to send me recipes to try or perfect. I will add them to my blog so be careful if you don't want me to unleash the secrets of your great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandmother's chunky corn bread. Check back often to see what else I'm cookin' up!

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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Tap Rock- A Restaurant Review

Ever wanted to have a nice dinner overlooking a beautiful, and famous river? Ever wanted to go for a stroll after dinner- around the premises of the restaurant? Ever wanted to dine near a waterfall? Well you can.

For today's post, I wanted to do something a little different than the regular recipes you are used to. I decided to do a restaurant review. The restaurant I will be reviewing is a local favorite, Tap Rock Northwest Grill.

I have been here a few times, and thought the overall experience was great. My favorite meal was the Mt. Bachelor Burger. This burger is built with slow-grilled sweet onions and melted Tillamook® Swiss cheese. With crisp lettuce, tomato and Taprock’s burger sauce all for a great price of $9.99. It also came with my choice of fries, cole slaw, or cottage cheese. It ain't a real burger meal if you ain't got the fries right? So I went ahead and got the fries.

Aside from the food, I'd have to say the hostess I had was very friendly, and she made sure everything was perfect. The wait on my meal was about 20 minutes, which is good time considering it isn't fast food. When it got to my table, it was really hot! That doesn't happen often. I usually get warm food.

Below I have posted some pictures of Tap Rock and a brief description.

This is the front view of Tap Rock entering the city of Grants Pass, OR. As you can see, there is plenty of outside patio dining area that wraps around the front of the building and over looks the Rogue River.

Also, to the left, yo
u can see a waterfall. All around the building there are numerous water features.

If you take a walk under the restaurant, there is bronze bear statues and beautiful paintings along with awesome rock features.

After a nice meal, you can take a walk and enjoy the beautiful scenery, and then take a ride on the jet boats! Of course that costs extra, and you'll have to book a reservation with
Hellgate Jet Boat Excursions.

Now this is the main entrance to Tap Rock. The double doors are bronze covered wood. They are VERY heavy. It shows bears and a river, and some trees, most likely evergreens.

Here it is agian, but this time at night with the lights. I wish it had been a better shot so you can see the full detail, but I guess that's why you should come check it out for yourself.

This is one of the many beautiful fireplaces inside the restaurant. The feeling when you walk in is like you are walking into a log cabin.

Here to the left is just a simple salmon meal with sautéed vegetables, and some rice. I'm not a fan of fish, so I haven't eaten it. However, I heard that all the wild salmon, and other seafood dishes like the halibut is really good. So yay if you're a fish eater :)

So after dinner (or before), you can tale a short scenic walk around Tap Rock, and not only view the beautiful and famous Rogue River, but also the amazing features that Tap Rock has to offer.

If you are it the area, please stop by Tap Rock. It is amazing, and you won't regret it. The price is right, the food is good, and the hospitality is something of the rare sort. If you aren't in the area, next time you plan your get away, plan a trip to Grants Pass, Oregon. There's more to do here than just eat at Tap Rock. :) You can find them HERE!

Also, if you are in Poulsbo, Washington, or in the area, be sure to stop and eat at the Tap Rock there!

Monday, May 9, 2011

A Cold Remedy

One day while watching The Other End of the Line, I saw in one of the scenes a cold remedy from India. Apparently ginger root, and lemon can really clear a stuffy head. Well I tried the remedy, using my own recipe, and came to find out that it actually works.

If you suffer from allergies, and are congested, you can drink this Indian tea, and clear your head. It's a really simple recipe that actually tastes pretty good. I added a little honey for sweetness, and to help soothe my sore throat. After sipping slowly on my hot beverage, I felt better. My nose ran the whole time, but I gotta say, it really cleared me up!

Indian Cold Remedy- Ginger Lemon Tea

1 small ginger root
1 medium lemon
4 C. water
2 tbsp. honey (or raw sugar if allergic)

1. Cut up ginger root, and place in water in a pot on the stove.
2. Cut lemon into quarters and squeeze the juice into the water. Add the rest of the lemon. The squeezing ensures that most of the lemon juice is out.
3. Boil for 10 minutes.
4. Strain into tea pot or pitcher. Add desired amount of honey.
5. Enjoy, and get better!

If you haven't seen the movie I got this from, it would be a great idea to. Especially if you like love stories. Here's the synopsis:

"A beautiful credit card phone operator lives in India but pretends to be American to her callers. Soon she travels to the United States without telling her family in order to meet a New York man that she's met over the phone. But problems arise when they meet in San Francisco and she decides not to reveal her true identity."

At first I wasn't much interested in watching it because I'm not really a fan of watching movies with actors I don't know. It ended up being really good, and it surprised me.

So go rent it, make some tea, and drink to the movie and to your well being!

Feel free to send me recipes to try or perfect. I will add them to my blog so be careful if you don't want me to unleash the secrets of your great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandmother's chunky corn bread. Check back often to see what else I'm cookin' up!


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Pop goes the tart!

The other day I was watching The Wedding Singer when I had a sudden craving for pop tarts. I didn't have any of the tasty pastries to satisfy my hunger, so I decided to make some.

I was on a few days before my pop tart craving day when I stumbled upon a pop tart recipe. Now I didn't follow the directions, but I got the main idea and did my own thing. You can find the recipe at:

I made a simple pie crust, and made some Boston Chocolate Cream Pie filling to make the filling of the pop tarts followed by a homemade chocolate glaze. The pie crust I used, I doubled but I have posted it below:

Pie Crust

1 1/4 C. Flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 C. Butter, Chilled & Diced (substitue 1/2 C. shortening)
3 tbsp. ice water

1. Whisk the flour and salt together.
2. Cut in the butter until it resembles a crumb like texture.
3. Add ice water to moisten.
4. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Now I thought that the recipe wasn't going to be enough, so I went ahead and doubled it. If you have too much in the end, that's okay, you can make mini pies!

The cream pie filling I am going to share is not as good as my mother's, but it is pretty darn close! It reminds me of the holidays when we would all get together as a family and eat until our pants burst... Well not really, but anyway, here it is:

Chocolate Cream Pie Filling

1. C. sugar
1/2 C. flour
1 tsp. vanilla
2 egg yolks
1/8 tsp. salt
2 C. scalded milk
2 squares of baking chocolate (substitute 3 tbsp cocoa powder and 1 tbsp butter per square)
1 tsp. butter

1. In a double boiler, melt the chocolate in the milk .
2. Mix in dry ingredients gradually. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring constantly until mixture thickens.
3. Mix in egg yolks one at a time, stirring after each one.
4. Cook for 3 minutes longer, then add vanilla.

So go back to the link I shared with you and follow the directions of adding the filling to the crust. Or you can use preserves, lemon filling, anything you want! The possibilities are endless.

The chocolate glaze I made is rather simple. I added a little bit of cocoa powder to about 1/4 cup of powdered sugar, and about 1/2 tsp vanilla, and 1/4 tsp watrer. You can make it how you want. Without the chocolate, it is just a plain vanilla glaze, or you can make it maple, or even mint with either mint or maple extracts.

I hope you enjoy your homemade pop tarts!

Feel free to send me recipes to try or perfect. I will add them to my blog so be careful if you don't want me to unleash the secrets of your great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandmother's chunky corn bread. Check back often to see what else I'm cookin' up!

Monday, April 25, 2011


I absolutely love popcorn! It is one of my favorite snacks. I decided I wanted to make popcorn balls-- a simple recipe I was taught in my culinary class. So as I'm making the sugar mixture to pour over the popcorn, I think to myself, "man I don't really wanna ball up all this popcorn into equal sized balls."

So I didn't.

Instead, I poured the mixture over the popcorn, let it cool for about 30 second, and broke it all apart. It in a sense made kettle corn. Nothing fancy, just sugar coated popcorn.... Mmmm!

Here's my recipe:

Sugar Coated Popcorn

2 C. White Sugar
1 1/2 C. Water
1/2 C. Light Corn Syrup
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
5 Quarts Popped Popcorn (I like Home-style popcorn)
1/2 tsp. Salt


1. Pop the popcorn
2. Put in an oven safe cooking pan.
3. Place in oven at 200 degrees F to keep it warm.

Sugar Coating
1. In a sauce pan combine the sugar, water, salt, and corn syrup.
2. Cook over medium heat to the hard crack stage(test this by placing a little bit of the mixture into cold water. If hardens almost instantly, it's ready.) or 290 degrees F (use a candy thermometer).
3. Stir in the vanilla.
4. When ready, slowly pour over the popped popcorn. Stir with a wooden spoon to coat each piece.
5. Let it cool for about 30 seconds. If not too hot, break apart the pieces and place into a dry bowl.
6. Enjoy with your favorite movie :)

I have learned also 1/4 tsp of peppermint extract tastes great on your popcorn! Try experimenting with your favorite flavors, but don't get crazy as it could ruin your sugar mixture.

If you want to make popcorn balls, rub butter on your hands, pour sugar onto popcorn, stir well, then grab a handful and roll into a ball. :)

Feel free to send me recipes to try or perfect. I will add them to my blog so be careful if you don't want me to unleash the secrets of your great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandmother's chunky corn bread. Check back often to see what else I'm cookin' up!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Blue Chicken? What?

Okay ladies and gents, especially the ones who like meat, I have a recipe that calls for not one, but TWO kinds of meat.

That's right.

Chicken and ham. Two of the best kinds of meat out there. Also, there is cheese, and a white wine sauce... Is any of this ringing any bells? Maybe you have heard of that yummy French recipe Chicken cordon Bleu? Yeah, that's right. You remember now, that delicious but expensive item on the menu at that fancy restaurant you only go to once a year...

Well today, you my friends are in luck! I am about to spill the recipe to Chicken cordon Bleu.

Chicken Cordon Bleu

  • 6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 6 slices Swiss cheese
  • 6 slices ham
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream

  1. Pound chicken breasts if they are too thick. Place a cheese and ham slice on each breast within 1/2 inch of the edges. Fold the edges of the chicken over the filling, and secure with toothpicks. Mix the flour and paprika in a small bowl, and coat the chicken pieces.
  2. Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat, and cook the chicken until browned on all sides. Add the wine and bouillon. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes, until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear.
  3. Remove the toothpicks, and transfer the breasts to a warm platter. Blend the cornstarch with the cream in a small bowl, and whisk slowly into the skillet. Cook, stirring until thickened, and pour over the chicken. Serve warm.

I have only made this recipe once before and wasn't too crazy about the white wine sauce. Personally I would let it be without the sauce, or just make a chicken broth sauce. I have not made any changes to this recipe and found it at

Tonight I made strawberry banana smoothies for dessert. They were pretty good. Refer to my I Dream of Smoothies post for info on how to make them. Just substitute the peaches for 1/2 cup bananas and 1/2 cup strawberries. :) Anyways, tell your friends about me and leave me feedback!!

Feel free to send me recipes to try or perfect. I will add them to my blog so be careful if you don't want me to unleash the secrets of your great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandmother's chunky corn bread. Check back often to see what else I'm cookin' up!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Stressed spelled backwards is Desserts

I'm not entirely sure if crepes are a breakfast item or a dessert item... I loved crepes from the moment I took one sniff of the amazing creation in my culinary class. I had never had one before then. That day, we made apple filled crepes and I must say, it was a little bit of heaven.

Anyhoo... I have this easy recipe that makes for amazingly yummy apple crepes. If you don't like apples, try peaches, strawberries, or blueberries.

Apple Crepes

3 Eggs
2 tbsp. Flour
2 tbsp. Milk (or Water)
1 tbsp. Margarine or Butter
Pinch of Salt


1.Whip egg and milk together. Add the salt and flour.
2. Heat frying pan on medium heat and add margarine or butter to the pan. Melt all the way.
3. Pour 1/8 cup crepe batter into hot pan and swirl so batter covers only the bottom of the pan.Cook until the batter turns light yellow.
4. Loosen edges with a spatula.
5. Flip over and cook for about 30 seconds.
6. Remove and place onto a plate.
7. Repeat those steps until all of the batter is used. Should make around 4.

Apple Filling

3 Apples
3 tbsp. Sugar
1/4 tsp. Cinnamon
2 tbsp. Margarine or Butter.

1. Wash apples and cut out core.
2. Dice into small pieces.
3. Add sugar and cinnamon into heated frying pan with the margarine or butter.
4. Add the apple chunks to the syrup. Cook until thick and caramelized.
5. Add apple mixture to each crepe, and roll it up like a burrito, without closing the ends.
6. Sprinkle with powdered sugar or top with whip cream, and Enjoy!

Be careful not to rip the crepes. If one starts tearing, you may have too much filling and need to take some out.

Feel free to send me recipes to try or perfect. I will add them to my blog so be careful if you don't want me to unleash the secrets of your great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandmother's chunky corn bread. Check back often to see what else I'm cookin' up!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Almond Rocca

Every Christmas, my mom buys almond rocca. As kids we used to joke around saying it looked like cat turds. Gross I know. It is one of my favorite candies, and the only time I ever got it was during the Christmas holiday.

When I was taking my culinary class in high school, we made almond rocca. It was good, but there were no almonds due to some students being allergic to them. So we made rocca I guess you would say :) Anyways, I have taken this simple chocolate-less, almond-less recipe and have added those two key ingredients to it. Now if you are allergic to almonds, or chocolate, just don't add it to the recipe when you make it. Here it is:

Almond Rocca

1 pound butter (NOT MARGARINE)
1 pound brown sugar
1 C. finely choped almonds*
2 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips* (or dark chocolate chips)
1 piece of wax paper the size of your cookie sheet


1. Prepare a cookie sheet with Crisco (or any shortening you have). Make sure you cover the ENTIRE sheet, sides included as well as corners. Place in the oven at 200 degrees to warm up.
2. Melt the butter in a medium sized saucepan on high heat. If you have an electric stove, use setting 9. Stir until completely melted.
3. Add all of the brown sugar and stir CONTINUALLY, or else it will burn.
4. Cook to hard crack stage. Test it by placing small amounts of the hot melted sugar and butter in a bowl of cold water. It has reached to the hard crack stage when the sugar breaks when bitten. If it sticks, keep cooking and repeat the process often.
5. Remove the cookie sheet from the oven.
6. Mix almonds into the sugar mixture. Carefully pour the hot sugar mixture into the middle of the cookie sheet. DO NOT SCRAPE THE BOTTOM OF THE SAUCEPAN! And burnt sugar on the bottom of the pan will ruin the candy.
7. Let it cool completely on a counter top. Do not put in the fridge. It will not set properly.

Make sure the almond rocca is completely cooled. This should be about an hour and a half to two hours.

1. Break the almond rocca into small pieces.
2. In a double boiler, add water to the bottom, and the chocolate chips in the top.
3. Place wax paper to your cookie sheet.
4. stir chocolate until melted.
5. One by one, dip the almond rocca into the chocolate, and place onto cookie sheet.
6. When all pieces are covered, place cookie sheet in freezer for 5 minutes.
7. Enjoy your homemade almond rocca!

Typing up this recipe makes me want to go make some :)
Instead of spending gobs of money on almond rocca during the holiday season, instead use this recipe to make the delightful treat.

Feel free to send me recipes to try or perfect. I will add them to my blog so be careful if you don't want me to unleash the secrets of your great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandmother's chunky corn bread. Check back often to see what else I'm cookin' up!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

I Dream of Smoothies

Before bed last night, I had watched part of Arachnophobia. It was getting late so I turned off the movie and crawled into bed. As I lay there thinking, I realized my dream to follow would most likely involve spiders. I hate spiders as much as the main character Ross does. So I said whatever and went to sleep. Now before I continue with my dream, I would like you to know I did not have a plan for this blog post. I thought over and over about what I should post for today.

Anyways, I'm there, in my dream, being chased by tons of small black spiders.

Just kidding... I was making smoothies. Seriously, smoothies. I am not sure what kind of smoothie I was making, but it wasn't turning out the way it was supposed to. The vanilla ice cream I was using was half frozen milk, and half water. Now I make smoothies every now and then, and half of the time, they end up being failed experiments. I like making new things, but I have a feeling I'm not processing it right in my vita mixer.

I'm certainly no smoothie queen, but I do know a recipe that has yet to fail me. I have made this smoothie oh I don't know, about a thousand times at the least. Here it is:

Peach Smoothie

1 C. Cold Milk
1 C. Cold Peaches (fresh or canned)
1/4 tsp. Salt
2 Drops of Almond Extract
1 C. Vanilla Ice Cream

1. Put all ingredients except vanilla ice cream into your blender. Cover and process at Liquefy until smooth (or Frappe depending on the blender).
2. Stop and add the vanilla ice cream, cover and process at Puree for 3-5 seconds (or Whip).
3. Enjoy!

This recipe makes two servings. Also, if you don't like peaches, add 1 cup of your favorite fruit. For a mixed berry smoothie, add 1/3 cup raspberries, 1/3 cup blackberries, and 1/3 cup strawberries. Experiment and find out what you like best!

So there you have it, a wonderful recipe for a wonderful drink! Now go try it, and smile because it's good :)

Feel free to send me recipes to try or perfect. I will add them to my blog so be careful if you don't want me to unleash the secrets of your great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandmother's chunky corn bread. Check back often to see what else I'm cookin' up!

Friday, April 8, 2011

History of Pasta

While searching for my Paula Deen Recipe Diary, I found my Culinary notebook from my freshman year. I was reading through everything and came across some History of Pasta notes. I decided to share because I thought everyone could use a little food history lesson.

400 B.C.- Pasta dates back to the Etruscans
Pasta making was a day long, labor intensive process.
Royalty ate pasta stuffed with meat and cheese (sounds like ravioli!).
Thomas Jefferson was a HUGE fan of pasta and made it known.
In 1848, the National Pasta Association (NPA) was established in
America by the Zeregas family.
In 1890, Franco American made canned spaghetti.
In 1930, spaghetti and meatballs was considered a main course.

There's some interesting facts to let you chew on. I was deciding whether or not to give the recipe to my yummy fantastic spaghetti that everyone drools over, or a homemade noodle, and alfredo recipe. I opted with the second. The alfredo sauce that I will be sharing is one I learned in my culinary class, but with a few minor changes of my own (*). The astrix let's you know that I added that ingredient so if you choose, you can make it the original, or my way.

Fantastic Alfredo Sauce

4 tbsp butter

1 C. heavy cream

1/4 C. Parmesan cheese

1 egg yolk

Pinch of nutmeg

2 cloves. garlic (peeled and diced)*

1/4 tsp. oregano*

1/2 tsp. salt*


1. Melt the butter in a sauce pan.

2. Add heavy cream and stir until light and fluffy and the sauce starts to thicken slightly.
3. Add the Parmesan cheese one tablespoon at a time.

4. Take sauce pan off the stove. In a small bowl, rapidly whisk together egg yolk, nutmeg, garlic, salt, oregano, and about 2 tablespoons of the hot white sauce.

5. Then whisk the Parmesan mixture into the sauce mixture and cook until yolk is cooked.

6. Top your homemade noodles.

Now for the homemade noodles. This is a basic noodle recipe I learned as a child. I remember dad making chicken noodle and dumpling soup... Not the best thing I've ever eaten, but I always loved the noodles.


2 C. Flour

1 large egg

2 tbsp. Oil (whichever you have access to)

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4-1/2 C. water approx.


(You'll need a CLEAN counter top for this recipe!)

1. Measure flour, and place on the counter in a heap.

2. Make a "well" in the center.
3. In a bowl, crack the egg, and whisk together with the salt, oil, and water (only use 1/4C. water at a time)
4. Add the egg mixture to the well in the flour. Mix with hands (add more water if needs to be softened).

5. Knead dough for 10 minutes, if dough gets sticky, add a little four while kneading. It should be shiny and elasticky.
6. Roll the dough out until it is thin. Cut noodles very thin (with a knife or a pizza cutter) and drop into a pot of boiling water. Pasta will float when it is cooked. Around 7 minutes.

7. Strain noodles and pour alfredo over pasta!

8. Enjoy!!!

So there you have it, homemade Alfredo and Pasta! Now I shall be off to find my Paula Deen Recipe Diary... There's only so many recipes of my own I can share off the top of my head. And while I am thinking about it, I hate dry cake. I know, "What does that have anything to do with pasta or Paula Deen?" Well, nothing actually. It was just a thought that popped into my head. NEVER make a dry cake again!

Here's how; So when using a cake mix from a box, add 1 package of Jell-O pudding mix (whatever flavor you want), and add half of the milk called for. If it calls for 1 cup of milk per box, add 1/2 cup of milk. Still add the water, oil, and eggs the mix calls for. It will make it dense, and super moist :) There is no additional baking time needed. So there you have it, a dinner recipe and a dessert tip!

Feel free to send me recipes to try or perfect. I will add them to my blog so be careful if you don't want me to unleash the secrets of your great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandmother's chunky corn bread. Check back often to see what else I'm cookin' up!