Thursday, October 28, 2010


The October 2010 Daring Bakers challenge was hosted by Lori of Butter Me Up. Lori chose to challenge DBers to make doughnuts. She used several sources for her recipes including Alton Brown, Nancy Silverton, Kate Neumann and Epicurious.

I was excited when I read what this months baking challenge was! I love donuts!! And, i got a neat set of donut baking pans about a year ago, and have only tried them once! So I knew right away that I wanted to bake some donuts! And, with it being fall, I knew I wanted to use pumpkin in my donuts! So...I used a great pumpkin chocolate chip recipe for the donuts. The batter was a little runny, so I'm glad I was baking them, because I'm not sure they would have worked for fried. ya go!

I'm happy with how they turned husband ate all the little ones super fast. I took about a dozen to church...and I didn't bring a single one home! Hooray! I guess that means the donuts were a success!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

The Hubbs and I carved our first pumpkin together as a married couple last night! It was lots of fun, and while I had decided not to keep the seeds, as soon as we dug into the guts of the pumpkin I couldn't resist! So, after we got a bowl full of seeds I washed them and set them out to dry over night. when we got home from church I covered them in olive oil and Lawry's seasoning and toasted them in the oven! I baked them at 250 for an hour...turning them every 20 minutes!

The end result was tasty and the hubbs couldn't keep his hands off! Yum!

Friday, October 15, 2010

October Daring Cooks: Stuffed Grape Leaves

Our October 2010 hostess, Lori of Lori’s Lipsmacking Goodness, has challenged The Daring Cooks to stuff grape leaves. Lori chose a recipe from Aromas of Aleppo and a recipe from The New Book of Middle Eastern Food.

This was my first Daring Cooks Challenge, and when I saw that the challenge was Stuffed Grape Leaves, I about peed my pants. Not because I love stuffed grape leaves, but because I had never had them, and I live in the middle of nowhere and had NO idea where I was going to find grape leaves. However, after searching for a couple weeks, I finally found them at a store down in the city (I'm originally from DFW, so the fact that now I live in the middle of rural America still weirds me out sometimes). However, with the jar in hand, and all other ingredients bought, I finally was ready to start this challenge.

I started out by mixing together all my ingredients. I decided to use turkey instead of beef, although other than that I followed the recipe exactly. Mixing up the filling was really quite simple and didn't take very long. What I actually spent quite a bit longer doing was getting the grape leaves out of the jar...and getting them washed off! As I read what other people were doing, I was finding that sometimes the leaves were too briney, so to avoid that, I washed them a few extra times.

Stuffing my first leaf:
First one rolled!
I actually LOVED rolling these and putting them together. It was very soothing to just keep going, and the more I did it, the more fun I had!

Once I got them all done and in the pot, I was ready to cook! Here they are ready to go!

After they were all done I was ready to try this creation...unsure how I was going to feel - i wasn't completely sold by the smell of them. In then end, I did like them...but I didn't love them. When my husband got home, he didn't really like them. They had a decent flavor, but the textures were weirding us out. While they aren't something I would make again, I have to say, my experience making them was a lot of fun! I shared them the next day with my in-laws who came over to watch football!

Great challenge!

To get the recipe or read other people's experiences head over to The Daring Kitchen!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Life Changing Brownies

Ok - so I was on the lookout for an awesome brownie recipe that I could make from scratch - because lets be honest, that's the yummiest way! =o) Anyway, I don't remember where I initially got this recipe, but I've changed it a little.

4 squares unsweetened chocolate
1 c butter
2 c sugar
3 - 4 eggs, lightly beaten (the recipe calls for 4, I've always used 3, your choice)
1 c flour
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt

There are two layers of icing (that's part of what makes them amazing, although its great without them)

1st icing layer: 3c powdered sugar, 2 Tbsp butter, milk
2nd icing layer: 4 squares semi-sweet chocolate, 4 Tbsp butter

Preheat oven to 325.
Melt unsweetened chocolate and butter. Let cool.
In a large bowl add sugar and eggs, mix well. Add flour, vanilla, salt. Mix well. Add in melted chocolate, mix well. Pour into a 9x13 pan. Bake for 35ish minutes - don't let them get TOO done.

Let cool completely.

Mix first icing layer until just smooth enough to spread and cover the brownies. Let it set. (I put it in the fridge while I melt the second layer of icing).

Pour the second layer of icing over the first and put back in the fridge until it sets.

Cut and enjoy!! They are simply divine - and you'll probably want to share, they are pretty rich!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Cooking and Baking and Blogging oh my!


so, for my wedding, I got a beautiful Empire Red Kitchen Aid Pro Mixer...and I am currently in love with using it!

KitchenAid 4.5 Qt. Stand Mixer - Empire Red, KSM450ER

It makes me very happy.

Anyhow, Aaron and I have been watching Master Chef (he's hooked! hooray!) And he's decided that he's going to begin bringing home "boxes" of stuff for me to create meals out of! Yay! I know that doesn't really always use my mixer...but, I figured I should have a place to document my adventures!

Also, I have a passion for baking, and would love to be challenged, so I have decided to join a couple different groups that will get me baking and cooking more often! Sounds fun right? I think so!'s to the adventures that cooking and baking that I will blog about!