Showing posts from 2013

Baked Apples with Cranberry Granola

Apples. They are a staple fruit for us. They are especially big hits with the kids and their hungry friends.
Ages ago, I used to make baked apples with plain granola and brown sugar.  Now, I have found a way to cut out the extra brown sugar. I just don't add it!
Of course, the type of apple used makes a huge difference in the finished product.  Tart green apples need the sugar.  Red varieties don't. Since nobody around here likes raisins, I used a raisin-free cereal and added the dried cranberries instead.

These apples are fragrant and beautiful.  When you slice them open,  the red skin imparts a rosy glow to the apple's flesh.  They also happen to taste divine!

4-6 large apples, I used Red Delicious
3/4 cup granola cereal (I used Quaker Natural Granola cereal)
1/4 cup dried cranberries/ Craisins
2/3 cup cranberry-raspberry juice (or cranberry-apple juice)

1. Core the apples. Arrange in your baking dish.

2. Mix together the granola and cranberries.  Fill …

Influenster Rose Vox Box

A while back I joined Influenster, a site that sends out products to sample and review.  In early November I received the Rose Vox Box. They sent some nice stuff!

First, I devoured the chocolate, because I could. I'm familiar with Lindt Lindor truffles.  My favorite is milk chocolate, and that's what I was sent.  The outer layer is crisp milk chocolate, and the truffle filling is smooth milk chocolate that is really creamy. 

There was also a pack of BelVita breakfast biscuits. They were crisp and tasty, a lot like graham crackers with more texture.  I will definitely get these again.  I shared them with my daughter and she didn't give them back.

I was really interested in the nail polish set, Kiss Gradation Polishes.  There were three bottles of polish that complimented each other.  It was easy to apply the various layers and they turned out looking really good, even for someone like me that doesn't do nail polish often.

See? I think I will use this for the Christmas p…

Cabernet Steak Pot Pie

What do you do with leftover roasts?  Savory pies are a great way to use leftovers. We eat plenty of French dip sandwiches and salads topped with sliced steak, but I rarely make pot pie. I think with the cold weather coming in, we needed a comfort food meal and a pot pie is definitely comfort food!

I had an open bottle of Rex Goliath cabernet, a leftover roast, and a few baked potatoes in the fridge, so no wasting! To make this pot pie a little different and more "gourmet", I added the red wine and some herbs to the gravy. It was delicious!

Dear hubby and his brother requested a deer version next time.  That's an awesome idea, especially since we have venison stock and plenty of meat in the freezer. Oh, yes, that plan is already forming. Cabernet and venison are so good together. Also, venison instead of beef? It's a natural substitution in our house.

about 1 1/2 lbs leftover cooked beef roast or steak, trimmed and diced
2-3 leftover baked potatoes, chopp…

Pie Crust No. 3

Today I'm sharing my authentic French Pâte Brisée recipe.  It's wonderfully light and flaky with that unmistakable flavor that only comes from real buttery goodness.

This recipe makes enough for two single-crust (bottom only) pies or one double-crust (top and bottom) pie. Since it's not sweet, it is suitable for sweet or savory pies, especially pot pies for dinner. I used this butter-based crust for my Cabernet Steak Pot Pie recipe and it was fabulous.

3 cups unbleached AP flour
1 cup (2 sticks) cold butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup cold water (you may not need all of this)
additional flour for rolling

1. Chop or shred the cold butter. I used a microplane grater to grate the cold butter into a large mixing bowl.  Put it back in the fridge a few minutes to keep it cold. I had commercially salted butter on hand so that is what I used.

2. Add the flour and salt and blend with a pastry blender until evenly crumbly. (If you have unsalted butter, up the salt in…

Not Your Average Pizza

Pizza. We eat tons of it. Take-out pizza is the food of choice for most birthday parties we attend for the kids and their friends.

You're probably thinking "Gee, Jenny. Don't you get tired of nasty, cardboard-tasting crust from pizza chains?"

Why, yes. Yes, we get tired of cheap pizza.  So you know what that means.  We either go to a good pizza place or make some at home. Cuz, that's how I roll.

Then, one day this summer, I was chatting with a coworker about homemade pizza. She gave me the low-down on grilled pizza. Here's me, the wanne-be foodie thinking OMG why have I not already tried that?

I've done plenty of normal pizza, and even folding it up into a calzone. Being out in the West, with a fancy propane grill and all, I figured I had to try it.So you should, too.  Now if grilling pizza is not your thing, don't freak out.  I have instructions for regular oven-baked pizza, or turning it into calzone, along with grilling details below.


2013 Best in the West Rib Cook-Off

Yes, it happened again.  The Nugget Rib Cook-off has come and gone.

This year marked the 25th annual cookoff. There were all the usual events, like free concerts with Diego's Umbrella and Bad Company, vendors along the street, the carnival rides, the Rib Village, and Maker's Mark showed up to sell commemorative 25th anniversary silver-wax-dipped bottles of bourbon.

The old Silver Club, has re-opened under the new name of Bourbon Square Casino.  They had a beignet stand just outside the doors.  I love donuts and beignets and these were super, super good beignets! The fried pickles from the next stand were pretty good, too.

This year, we went to the Rib Village and methodically taste-tested ribs.  We took a plate of ribs with the matching sauce and shared amongst ourselves. The 5 of us, me, the husband, his mother, his brother, and brother's girlfriend did the tasting.  The kids were there, too, just not doing any evaluating.

We concluded that the overall outstanding ribs an…

Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

The other night, we were hungry for cake. Being the cake lover that I am, I got busy and whipped up a chocolate cake.  I have to say it can be difficult to get cakes to rise properly at high altitude. Normally they sink in the center and stay sort of gooey, unless you cook them longer and then the edges get dried out. This cake is by far the BEST chocolate cake recipe EVER. I'm not kidding! It tastes great, really chocolate-y, good texture, moist, and it didn't sink in the middle or cook unevenly.

These pictures are of a slice cut from the absolute center of the cake. See how perfect it is? This is unbelievable!

This is not my first time with a mayo cake. It was pretty common back in Oklahoma. Maybe it's one of those regional food things because my hubby thought I was crazy for using mayonnaise in cake. I asked him if he ever had sour cream chocolate cake. Of course not, but he wasn't grossed out. So I proved that even though it sounds funny at first, it tastes amazin…

Roast Chicken with Garlic and White Wine

Hello again, my dear readers!

I have a fabulous recipe for you today.  Chicken!  I have to laugh to myself because my dear hubby is not a chicken lover. He will tolerate it if required. However, this recipe is the one chicken meal that he actually likes and will ask for!

It's not terribly complicated. The hardest part is prepping the bird. Then it goes into the oven and just roasts away. You do need to baste occasionally, but it is worth the tending.

You can carve it like a tiny holiday turkey and plate it up all pretty. You can make gravy with the pan drippings if you want to go that route. It's pretty versatile. In this photo, you can see the garlic crusted breast skin, wild rice, and peas. Yum! If you have leftovers, they are perfect for making chicken tetrazini.


1 whole chicken, about 5-6 lbs
10 cloves garlic, minced
4 Tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 carrots, peeled, choppe…