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Please excuse the lack of photos in some of my older posts as I am trying to slowly go back through and add the photos that were accidentally deleted

November 19, 2014

Pumpkin Donut Mini Muffins

It's fall, yall! But quickly approaching winter so that means time to get in all the pumpkin we can!

 























































 

Fall, to me, means caramel apples and Thanksgiving turkey and sweet potatoes. But most of all, fall to me is all about pumpkin!

I gotta say, I love being a grown up (well, sometimes). Do you know how many times I would have gagged at the thought of pumpkin when I was a picky kid and teenager? Now, I know better. I'm so glad I'm willing to try more foods these days because if not, I wouldn't have discovered my love of pumpkin. 

Not all pumpkin flavored-things, let's be clear. But whether it's sweet or savory, I'm definitely on the pumpkin bandwagon.

While we enjoyed these, they didn't scream pumpkin flavor to me. Still good either way!




Pumpkin Donut Mini Muffins
adapted from Martha Stewart

For the Batter:
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
  • 2 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1 and 1/4 cups canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 and 1/4 sticks (10 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pan
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
For the Sugar Coating:   
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour mini muffin cups. 

To make the batter: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin spice. In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk and pumpkin puree. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, scraping down bowl as needed. With mixer on low, add flour mixture in three additions, alternating with two additions pumpkin mixture, and beat to combine.

Spoon batter into each muffin cup and bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a muffin comes out clean, checking at 12 minutes. It may take up to 17 minutes to cook through.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl combine granulated sugar and cinnamon. Let muffins cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack. Working with one at a time, remove muffins from pan, brush all over with melted butter, then toss to coat in sugar mixture. Let muffins cool completely on a wire rack.

Note: May need to use 2 mini muffin pans.


Printable Recipe


So how about you guys? How do you feel about pumpkin? Do you guys stock up on canned pumpkin like I do?


Linking up here


Peace, and bacon grease!



November 17, 2014

Jalapeno Popper Deviled Eggs

It's time for November's Secret Recipe Club.  :)

 






















































This month I was assigned to Debbi's blog, Debbi Does Dinner Healthy. Debbi has so many good recipes, it was hard to narrow it down to one! In the spirit of fall and pumpkin, I was so tempted to make her Pumpkin Pancakes, but I did just make a pancake recipe recently that will be on the blog soon. I just made some rice krispies recently too but her Cinnamon Roll Rice Crispy Treats are so adorable and I bet they taste amazing too. But I decided to go with something more savory. 

Ultimately, her Jalapeno Popper Deviled Eggs won me over.

Anything jalapenopopper-like is a sure thing for me. The perfect mix of spicy, salty and creamy! 

(My tip to nearly perfectly peeled hard boiled eggs immediately removing the pot to the sink and run in cold water to stop the cooking process. Then when ready to crack and peel, run warm water on the eggs as you crack them in the pot. Crack all over, allowing the warm water to help release the eggs from the cracked shells. I only had one mess up, I consider that an almost success.  :)  Do you guys have any tips for perfectly peeled hard boiled eggs?)

 
Jalapeno Popper Deviled Eggs
slightly modified from Debbie Does Dinner Healthy

  • 6 hard boiled eggs, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons mayo
  • 3 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
  • 3 tablespoons cheddar jack cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 cup pickled jarred jalapenos, diced
  • 4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled (save some for garnish)
  • cheddar jack cheese, shredded, for topping
Preheat oven to broil. 

Cut the eggs in half lengthwise. Scoop the yolks out, add to a medium bowl. Mash the yolks and mix with the mayo, cream cheese, 3 tablespoons cheddar jack cheese, jalapenos and bacon. Place about a tablespoon of the mixture into the halved eggs. Sprinkle on cheddar jack cheese to top, place on a baking sheet and broil for a minute or so until cheese has melted. Top with additional bacon for garnish.

Printable Recipe

 























































PJ declared these the best deviled eggs he's had! I agree they are super good. You can use fresh jalapenos if you want, be we used the jarred stuff because I prefer them in deviled eggs. We used cheddar jack shredded cheese, a mix of cheddar and monterey jack. 

We loved that they were broiled for a minute too, cuz jalapeno poppers are served hot right?! Loved this twist on a deviled egg. Adding to the rotation :)


Check out my past Secret Recipe Club posts! 





Linking up here.
 

Peace, and bacon grease!



November 10, 2014

Restaurant Review: Senate in OTR

Oh, OTR. You've come a long way.

It's the cool, happenin place to be. I know, I'm like 4 years late lol. Lined with tons of cool restaurants and bars, all within walking distance, right by Washington Park... who cares that you sometimes have to wait 2 hours to get a table  :)



Senate has been on my list to try for quite some time. Gourmet hot dogs, people. I'm not much of a hot dog person, but pile on tons of delicious, creative and heart-attack inducing ingredients and I'm all for it. 

It's pretty small on the inside and if you go on a weekend, during lunch, or probably even a weeknight, you may have to wait for a table. There was already a wait on a Saturday for lunch at noon, so we decided to sit at the bar. Like I said, not a ton of room... tables are very close to each other so you can hear what your "neighbors" are talking about if you're nosy :) But it's worth it.

I mean, where else can you get a hot dog named after Nick Lachey, or one topped with braised short rib or grippos?!? 

I had their special for the day, The Kevin Bacon ($12). This beef hot dog came piled with some deep fried bacon, avocado, fried onion strings, and a special cheese sauce. All on a brioche bun. To be honest, I completely forgot it had bacon on it and thought I was just eating the fried onions, so wish I had tasted more of the bacon cuz let's face it, I LOVE BACON (see my sign off for proof). But either way I enjoyed it. It was huge though, I couldn't finish it!























































Look at that cheese sauce!

 
























































My friend, Mandy, got the Lindsay Lohan ($10) with goat cheese, caramelized onions, bacon, arugula, and balsamic. It looks and sounds way more fancy and put together than Lindsay Lohan lol. Mandy really liked it! I'll be trying that when I go back one day too!


















































We hadn't seen each other in awhile and were celebrating our recent successes.... graduating from Xavier's counseling program and getting new big-girl counseling jobs... and so that called for some dranks of course! I got the Tequila Olde Fashioned ($10), which is cazadores blanco tequila, brandied cherries, orange and grapefruit bitters (on the left). Mandy got the Gin Paloma ($9) with grapefruit, tanqueray, soda & St. Germain (on the right). Aren't they pretty? They tasted good too! They also have beer and wine if you're not a cocktail kinda person.



 
They're known for their hot dogs, but if you're iffy about the hot dogs, they've got other bites too (think Poutine Fries and Lobster BLT). I definitely have to go back to try lots more dogs + their other offerings. Plus dessert! Hello chocolate & bourbon bread pudding.

I definitely need to get my butt to OTR more often, and that means back to Senate.


Peace, and bacon grease!





Senate on Urbanspoon

October 30, 2014

Obsessions + Confessions: Pumpkin Edition!!!

Time for my latest obsessions + confessions, but this time it's pumpkin edition! All of my recent pumpkin obsessions (and a few pumpkin confessions).

Last week I made some of Veronica's Brown Butter Pumpkin Spice Krispies Treats and they were the domb.com. Recipe and post coming soon!

Then I went to photograph them. I had bought mini pumpkins to use as props in the photo. What do you know, they had gone bad and gotten moldy! Shoot! These were fresh mini pumpkins, so no clue why they had gone bad so quickly. According to Eat By Date, I should have been able to get a couple months out of em (unopened, fresh). No clue what happened there.

And now I'm scared to buy pumpkins for fear that they'll go bad on me. 

Oh well. At least I've got some of these fantastic Pumpkin Oreos. What do you know, again, PJ thought he wasn't a pumpkin fan but he liked these! 



 













































I'll be posting another pumpkin recipe soon too. I just need to get better photos. Think mini pies + bourbon. You're welcome :)


Now for my pumpkin obsessions! Let's start with the sweet pumpkin stuff.

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Caramel Sauce... because pumpkin + caramel is heaven on earth.


Pumpkin Cheesecake Truffle Mummies (No-Bake) ... super cute and easy enough to make in time for Halloween still!

Pumpkin Spice Macarons... never had a macaron in my life but I'm obsessed with them somehow.

Chocolate Pumpkin Fudge with Pecan Crunch... love the two-toned look!


Roasted Pumpkin Five Spice Ice Cream ... because sometimes fall and October call for ice cream.

Pumpkin Spice Oreo Balls... now you have another reason to buy some of those oreos!

Maple Glazed Pumpkin Coffee Cake... because cake for breakfast.

Pumpkin Toffee Angel Food Cake... I'm a sucker for Angel Food cake and that pumpkin layer.... oh no she didn't! (oh yes she did, and I thank her!)

Pumpkin Pancakes with Brown Butter Pecan Syrup or Cream Cheese Glaze... let's face it, this is basically dessert for breakfast. And I aint mad.

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies... these "bake me happy." Get it? Cuz I used her blog name? I already know I'm corny.


And now for the savory pumpkin goodness.... 


Caramelized Onion, Bacon, & Pumpkin Dip... Anything served in a pumpkin has gotta be good. Plus bacon and caramelized onions, 2 of my favorite things. 


Pumpkin, Ginger & Kaffir Lime Soup... well aren't you pretty and fancy.

Healthy Bacon & Pumpkin Pasta... mmm the pumpkin looks just like cheese! Intrigued.


Spicy Slow Cooker Pumpkin Chili... pumpkin + chili scream fall! Plus served in a pumpkin.... adorbs.

Pumpkin Naan Pizza with Gruyere & Fresh Herbs... pizza + pumpkin. On naan bread. That is all.

Pumpkin Biscuits {with Pecan-Honey Butter}... the perfect side dish for some pumpkin chili!

Spicy Sausage and Pumpkin Mac & Cheese... + sage!

Pumpkin Braised Short Ribs... short ribs are seriously one of my fave things on earth. Never woulda thunk to add some pumpkin! Genius.

Skillet Pumpkin Cornbread... I bet it's amazing topped with that cinnamon butter!

Who's ready for Halloween? Not I! I don't have a costume, not that I need one this year since I won't be at our company's Halloween party. And I don't have any Halloween candy yet to pass out to the kiddos. The past few years only a handful of kids have showed up. And it's supposed to be crappy weather too. What are you all doing for Halloween? Any traditions? 


Peace, and bacon grease!



October 20, 2014

Salted Brown Butter Crispy Treats

Time for this month's Secret Recipe Club!



























































This month I was assigned to one of my fave blogs, Veronica's Cornucopia. I love Veronica! I've been a long time follower of her blog for a long time now and love her recipes, writing style, and all of her posts (when I get caught up on them months later, sorry V!). Plus she has the cutest little baby boy, Joshua!!! You can really get a sense of her fun personality here, I mean her glossary is awesome lol. I tend to have my own Desi language too :)  Her recipes are awesome... I've had so many on my list for awhile to try and have made some myself. This.... so tempting. I'm seriously making this salad asap. 

I've been wanting to try her Brown Butter Pumpkin Spice Krispies Treats forever! But dang it when I went to my grocery store, they didn't have the Pumpkin Spice marshmallows :(  Good thing I had seen another delicious rice crispy treat recipe on her blog too that I wanted to try... her Salted Brown Butter Crispy Treats

Ok... brown butter. I feel like people should be shouting from the rooftops about it. Ok maybe I'm going a little overboard, but it seriously makes everything better! Main dishes and desserts alike. 



Salted Brown Butter Crispy Treats
from Veronica's Cornucopia


  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 (10 oz) bag marshmallows
  • Heaping 1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 6 cups Rice Krispies cereal (about half a 12-ounce box)
Coat an 8x2-inch pan with non-stick spray.

In a large pot, melt butter over medium-low heat. It will melt, then foam, then turn clear golden and finally start to turn brown. Stir frequently, scraping up any bits from the bottom as you do. When the butter takes on a nutty color and the solids have turned a golden-brown, stir in the salt & marshmallows.

Turn off the heat once the marshmallows are melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove the pot from the stove and stir in the cereal. Quickly spread into prepared pan. You can use a piece of waxed/parchment paper sprayed with oil and press it firmly and evenly into the edges and corners, or use a silicone spatula.

Let cool, cut into squares and serve.



Printable Recipe


 




















































These rice crispy (rice krispie?) treats are sooooooooo good. SO much better than your standard rice crispy. That brown butter really makes a difference and gives it this amazing flavor. And I love a little saltiness to compliment all the sweet in my desserts, personally. So these were perfect.

A little too perfect. I couldn't stop eating them! Now I've gotta make more and try those Pumpkin ones before fall is over too.


Check out my past Secret Recipe Club posts!




Linking up here.
 

Peace, and bacon grease!



October 8, 2014

Obsessions + Confessions

Hey you!

Time for another round of my latest obsessions + confessions! Ready? I know I am!

It's fall, it's fall! Fall means apples. But wait, apple cider in margarita form? Pinch me please.

Speaking of apple.... these Apple Cinnamon Pretzel Bites with Caramel Dipping Sauce are like the best thing since sliced bread. Actually, sliced bread is pretty lame compared to these.

This soup = the epitome of fall

If I were on death row, this would be part of my last meal... Smothered Sweet Potato Fries!

It is fall and all, but I can't lie, I'm still dreaming of sangrias and ice cream.

Since it's fall, that officially means it's pumpkin season! I'm weird... when it comes to pumpkin, sometimes I love it, sometimes not so much. But lately I've been bookmarking all things pumpkin. I plan on doing a pumpkin roundup here soon  :)

WHO lives like this??? And WHOSE husband does this???  #fairytalereallife

My dream sanctuary

What I Instagrammed vs What Was Really Happening. Ha I can definitely relate.

Lovin this photo editing app! It's one of the best I've used, not that I've used a lot. But it's so helpful for when I unfortunately have to take orange yucky dimly lit food photos in restaurants... it can turn them into decent pics and remove all that orange and add some exposure. So glad I found you.

This just made my life. DWTS meets Fresh Prince. Whoever made this happen, thank you. We all thank you.

Personally, I've been going through some things lately. Last week I lost a good friend to suicide, and my cousin to an overdose. Both only 28 years old. Life is so hard sometimes. So needless to say, I've been doing a lot of grieving lately. Please please please, if you know anyone struggling with depression - try to reach out, get them professional help, be there. We need to stop the stigma associated with mental illness so people won't be so hesitant to reach out and ask for help when they need it. Obviously, depression and suicide are much more complicated than that but I just wanted to put that out there. Same goes for addiction. Death is tragic enough, but when it comes so unexpectedly, to young people who have full lives ahead of them and it wasn't necessarily their time, it just amplifies that pain. I'll never forget my dear friend, Ben. And I'll NEVER forget my little cousin Dustin, who I was lucky enough to have shared so many years of my life with. Some of my favorite childhood memories are because of him. I'll see them again one day....























I hope to get back in my recipe-posting groove. But let's face it, ever since I went back to school, the blog has took a hit and I'm not posting as often. I hope to get back to posting recipes, restaurant reviews, and of course these obsessions + confessions posts. 

How are all of you lovelies doing?! I'll be by your blogs eventually to get caught up! 


Peace, and bacon grease!



September 15, 2014

Roasted Peaches with Dulce de Leche and Roasted Walnuts

Time for another month of Secret Recipe Club!



















































This month I was assigned to Gloria's blog, Canela Kitchen. She lives in Chile and shares her recipes in both English and Spanish! She's been blogging for a long time so she had tons of delicious recipes to search through. Fall is quickly approaching, so her Pumpkin Ricotta Stuffed Shells were calling my name. We recently discovered our newfound love of zucchini so I'd love to try her Zucchini Lemon Cake! And I know her Chicken in Tarragon Sauce will grace our dinner tables here real soon.

 





















































But peaches. I couldn't resist peaches. It was a must that I make this recipe. Before all of those pretty peaches are gone!

We didn't peel our peaches but I think next time I'd prefer to do that. I'm weird about peels. And PJ isn't big on nuts (but he loved the little bit of crunch the toasted walnuts added!) so we used less. Use however much of each ingredient you like and you won't go wrong!


 
Roasted Peaches with Dulce de Leche and Roasted Walnuts
adapted from Canela Kitchen

*Yields: 2 servings
  • 2 peaches, peeled, halved and pitted
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons light or dark brown sugar
  • vanilla bean ice cream
  • 1/3 cup walnuts, chopped
  • dulce de leche, for topping (we used this kind in the squeezable bottle)
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Place halved peaches, cut side up, on baking sheet with edges. Brush tops with 2 tablespoons of melted butter, and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of brown sugar. Roast for 25-30 minutes until peaches are soft.

Meanwhile, toast walnuts in remaining butter and brown sugar for 5 or more minutes, until walnuts begin to brown and are lightly toasted (you may want to stir them). Allow to cool.

Serve peaches with vanilla bean ice cream, dulce de leche topping, and toasted walnuts.


Printable Recipe

 

Check out my past Secret Recipe Club posts!




Linking up here.


Peace, and bacon grease!