Archive for October, 2013

I am beyond excited to have found this recipe.  When we visited our daughter in Colorado we ate at an Indian restaurant one night and I do believe I had the best entree of my entire life that night.  They called it Himalayan Chicken kabobs Nepal style.  WOW….the flavor was stunning and the chicken MELTED in my mouth.   Of course it was cooked in a tandoori oven so I’m unsure how to duplicate that part BUT the experiment is on. At least I have finally found a recipe to try.

1 lb. chicken breasts, skinned, boned, and cut into 1-in. cubes.
1 lb. large shrimps, deveined
1/2 lb. pearl onions
1/2 lb. cherry tomatoes
Melted butter for basting
Bamboo skewers (pre-soaked in cold water overnight)
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro for garnish  

1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1 tablespoon oil
3 fresh red chilies
1/2 tablespoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon asafetida
1/4 teaspoon timur (Szechwan pepper)
1/2 cup yogurt
1 teaspoon garlic paste
1 teaspoon ginger paste
Salt and Pepper

In a blender, process all marinating ingredients into a smooth paste.  Marinate chicken cubes and shrimp in marinade separately and allow marinating for overnight in the refrigerator.  Thread, alternatively, the marinated chicken cubes, shrimps, and vegetables into skewers

Fire up a charcoal grill. Clean the grill surface thoroughly. Do not overcrowd the skewers with pieces. Grill skewers, frequently turning and basting with melted butter until cooked to desired doneness. Take the cooked sekuwas off the grill and generously brush with melted butter before serving. To serve, arrange the sekuwas on the bed of rice pilaf, complimented with a chutney of your choice on the side. Sprinkle chopped cilantro over the sekuwas.


Okay, I haven’t tried this yet but I bought my hubby a piece of Cheesecake Factory’s the other day and he loved it so I found this one to try.  I loved the really light, creamy cheesecake layer on the one I bought. It will be interesting to see how this turns out.  Remember this blog is for me to keep recipes that I’ve tried and for future use.  After loosing hundreds of recipes off an Open Office app I decided a blog of my own was safer to keep things.  Plus some people after Pinterest finds their blogs shut down or someday may decide to close down and the pinned recipes are gone.  I was having trouble getting a Word type program downloaded on my MAC’s so this was the easy answer.


3 c. sugar               1/2 t. cream of tartar               1 c. water           perfect pecan halves

Combine the sugar, cream of tartar and water in a saucepan, stirring until the sugar is dissolved, scraping the sides of the pan to remove the sugar crystals, then cook without stirring until it threads crisply when dropped from a spoon.

Using a long sharp pin, stick into a pecan half and dip into the sugar. Set on a piece of buttered wax paper to cool and harden. Set aside.

Ok, now for the cake…


Pecan Filling:

1  graham cracker crust  10- inch springform pan.

3 eggs           3 T. butter, melted         1/2 c. sugar            1 c. dark corn syrup         1 t. vanilla

Preheat oven 350*

Combine in a medium bowl, the eggs, melted butter, sugar, corn syrup and vanilla. Pour into a 10-inch , graham cracker crust, springform pan, cover with the pecans. Bake 20 minutes or until the filling is firm, but not fully cook. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack, while making the cheesecake.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Filling:

2 1/2 lb. cream cheese          1 c. sugar             4 large eggs, lightly beaten          3 egg yolks, lightly beaten

2 T. all-purpose flour            2 t. ground cinnamon               1 t. ground cloves        1 t. ground ginger

1 c. heavy cream                1 T. vanilla                    1 can (1 lb) mashed pumpkin

Preheat oven 425*.

1. In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese, sugar, eggs and yolks.

2. Add the flour, cinnamon, cloves and ginger.

3. Beat in the cream and vanilla, then add the mashed pumpkin and beat, medium speed, electric mixer , until thoroughly combined.

4. Pour the mixture over the pecan layer and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 275* and bake for 1 hour. Turn off the heat and leave the cake in the oven overnight to cool.

5. Top the cake with the glazed pecans, making circles from the outside, then another one inside the first row, repeating to the center of the cake.

Magnolia Bakery Marble Cupcake

Magnolia”s Double Shot Cupcakes…..makes 24

For devil’s food cupcake batter:
2 cups cake flour
1 cup Dutch process cocoa powder
1½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
¾ cup (1½ sticks) butter, room temperature
1½ cups brown sugar
½ cup sugar
3 eggs, large
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1½ cups buttermilk

For vanilla cupcake batter:
4 eggs, large
1 cup whole milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2½ cups cake flour
1½ cups self-rising flour
2 cups sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature and cut into 1-inch cubes

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees and line cupcake pans with paper liners. (Note: This recipe also works in a convection oven at 275 degrees.)

2. To make the devil’s food batter, in a large bowl, whisk together 2 cups cake flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Sift and set aside.

3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or using a hand mixer, cream together ¾ cup butter, ½ cup sugar and the brown sugar on speed 2 (medium) until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Scrape the sides and bottom of bowl.

4. Add 3 eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the 2 tsp. vanilla and mix until just incorporated. Scrape the sides and bottom of bowl.

5. Reduce mixer to speed 1 (low) and add the dry ingredient mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the buttermilk. Scrape the sides and bottom of bowl and beat for an additional 30 seconds. Set aside.

6. To make vanilla cupcake batter, in a small bowl, whisk remaining 4 eggs and set aside. In a liquid measuring cup, combine milk and 1 tsp. vanilla and set aside.

7. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or using a hand mixer, combine the 2.5 cups cake flour, self-rising flour and 2 cups sugar on speed 1 (low) for 2 minutes. With the mixer still running, add remaining butter one cube at a time.

8. Add ½ of the milk mixture. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and mix on speed 2 (medium).

9. With the mixer running on speed 1 (low), slowly pour in whisked eggs and remaining milk mixture. Scrape sides and bottom of the bowl and continue mixing for 1-2 minutes.

10. Scoop a ½ scoop of each batter into each prepared cupcake liner. Use a paring knife or a straw, swirl the two batters together. Do not over-swirl—you should be able to see each color.

11. Bake at 325 degrees for about 25 minutes. Once cooled, cover with coffee bean French buttercream frosting (recipe below).

Coffee Bean French Buttercream Frosting
Makes 4 cups (enough for 24 cupcakes)

½ cup water
1½ cups sugar, divided
¼ tsp. cream of tartar
6 egg yolks
⅛ cup instant espresso powder
4 sticks butter, cut into 1-inch cubes

1. In a small saucepan, combine water and 1 cup of sugar, stirring with a wooden spoon to combine well. Dip a pastry brush in cold water and brush away the sugar crystals that cling to the sides of the saucepan.

2. Heat the saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently to dissolve the sugar. Dissolve the cream of tartar in 1 tsp. water; add to sugar once it reaches a boil. Stop stirring.

3. Leaving the sugar mixture over low heat, beat the egg yolks in a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, or with a hand mixer, on speed 2 (medium) until creamy and light in color. Continue beating and add the remaining ½ cup sugar in 4 parts.

4. When the syrup reaches 235 degrees on a candy thermometer, increase the mixer to speed 3 (high). When the syrup reaches 250 degrees, remove the pan from the heat and, in a slow stream, add the sugar syrup to the mixer. Immediately add the espresso powder. Continuing on speed 3, beat egg yolk mixture until it cools.

5. Making sure the egg mixture has cooled completely, add the butter one cube at a time and continue beating on speed 3 until it is all incorporated, and frosting is fluffy and smooth. Scrape sides if necessary.

   Charro Beans

1 lb dried pinto bean
6 strips bacon, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
4 medium fresh plum tomatoes, chopped
2 medium onions, chopped
1 medium green pepper, chopped
1 (12 ounce) can beer (chef’s choice)
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
salt and pepper

Rinse and pick over beans.

Bring the beans to a boil in a large pot of water and cook over medium heat for 1½ to 2 hours until they tender but still firm.

Before the beans are done, fry the bacon in a large skillet until halfway cooked.

Add garlic, tomatoes, onions, and green pepper; continue cooking with bacon until the bacon crisp.

Add a can of beer to bacon mixture and simmer a few additional minutes, or longer if you like your beans softer.

Add chopped cilantro and jalapenos; combine everything in one large pot.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Spinach Mushroom Enchiladas

The flavor of these enchiladas was AMAZING.  My husband said it was better than any Mexican Restaurant and that was saying a lot as we just discovered a VERY un-Americanized Mexican restaurant that makes us drool in anticipation.

Cilantro…..good handful chopped                    Giant tub of fresh spinach8 oz. tub of sliced baby portabello mushrooms              1 bag of Old El Paso Chili/Roasted Garlic Mexican Sauce
Chicken broth           Diced onion                    Diced peppers (I had a bag of flash frozen yellow/orange/red/green chopped peppers)
Cottage cheese, about a cup         Pepper Jack Cheese 8 oz chunk shredded
Salsa Verde
2 cup bag of 4 cheese Mexican blend grated cheese
8 large flour tortilla’s

In a large skillet pour in a couple of Tablespoons of oil and lightly cook the diced onions and peppers.  When softened add the sliced mushrooms and lightly salt and pepper.  Stir around a bit and pour in the Mexican Sauce, add chopped cilantro (if you like that flavor) and stir until the mushrooms are soften.  Add a about 1/3 cup of chicken stock and then throw in all the fresh spinach.  This was a very large plastic tub of spinach.  Stir around to let it wilt.   This will happen very quickly.  Turn off the heat and add the 1 cup of cottage cheese and about half of shredded pepper jack cheese, stirring to incorporate. It will melt a bit.  Dump all this into a colander and allow the extra sauce to drain pretty well. SAVE IT and pour into bottom of 9×13 pan.  The filling will be better if drier to roll up in the tortillas.  This made enough for 8 large burritos.

Put a little under a cup of filling towards one side of the tortilla.  Roll up one time, fold ends in and continue rolling up…it tucks the ends in nicely.  Lay in drained sauce, cover with Salsa Verde sauce, remaining shredded pepper jack cheese and all of the 2 cups of shredded cheese of your choice.  I used the 4 cheese Mexican blend.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.

Apple or Pear “Doughnuts”

If you’re not fussed about the doughnut shape, the fruit can be thinly sliced into wedges, dipped and fried that way instead.

1-2 tart apples or ripe but firm pears

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. baking soda
pinch cinnamon
1/2 cup club soda, ginger ale or beer

canola oil, for frying
powdered sugar, for sprinkling

Slice your apples (unpeeled) into rings about 1/4″ thick and cut out the cores from the middle, making a ring. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and ginger ale or beer to make a thin batter – it should have the consistency of cream.

In a wide pot, heat an inch or two of canola oil over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. (You’ll know it’s ready when a scrap of bread held into the oil bubbles around it.) Dip a few slices of apple at a time into the batter, coating them completely, then gently slip into the oil. Cook a couple at a time for a minute or two, flipping with tongs as necessary, until golden. (If they are cooking too quickly, turn the heat down – if it’s taking too long, the oil may need to be hotter. Don’t crowd the pot, or it will bring the temperature of the oil down.)

Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to paper towels to drain. Once cool enough to handle and eat, sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar. Makes lots.