Thursday, December 29, 2011

Sad News in the Writing World

A lot of you keep up with my site A Book and A Dish where I post reviews I read for books I read as well as the author's favorite recipes.  Today I received some disturbing news regarding one of the authors I've not only met several times but also done reviews for.  Her name is L. C. Evans.  I've read her books Jobless Recovery, Talented Horsewoman, and We Interrupt This Date.  Her writings have humor, tension, and lots of love.  Today I learned that she has cancer and has already reached the stage of Hospice.  I'm asking that all of you please keep Linda as well as her family in your prayers.  She is a beautiful, sweet lady whose writings will truly be missed.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Eggs Are Awesome!

One of my followers sent more egg info that I want to share with you.  The site has some truly interesting facts about eggs and most of them are new to me.  Go to this site and check your egg knowledge.  Eggs Are Awesome!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Yet Another Review for Stir, Laugh, Repeat!

Banana Pudding!

21 Nov Banana Pudding is the first recipe I got to preview in this great cookbook. I am drooling with the idea of cooking some banana pudding right now. The book is titled “Stir, Laugh, Repeat” by Martha Cheves. What I love about this book is it has clever tips with the recipes on how to do things like peel a ornery egg or using seasoned stuffing mix instead of bread crumbs for meatloaf. As a vegetarian I love to make faux foods like soyloaf, using soyrizo instead of meat. It’s such a clever idea to add seasoned stuffing instead.
Check out Martha’s book here:
It’s the season for cooking, so this would be a great time to buy this book for yourself or a friend.

This review was written by Leah Oviedo on her blog site Impower You

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Monday, December 12, 2011

Stir, Laugh, Repeat - New Review!!!!!!

5.0 out of 5 stars A delight, December 11, 2011
This review is from: Stir, Laugh, Repeat:  (Kindle Edition)
My wife and I were vacationing in the Hudson Valley recently and stopped at a quintessential northeastern town for lunch. Afterwards we browsed an antique store where we bought a very old and heavy wooden rolling pin. I thought at the time, what fascinating stories and recipes this antique must hold. Now I've some idea. "Stir, Laugh, Repeat" is a cookbook that delivers not only delicious snacks, meals and desserts, but stories behind them--real life events that contribute as much to the experience of preparing the meals as the recipes themselves. Martha Cheves has a refreshing sense of humor, a sweet lady--like having a favorite relative in the kitchen advising you. ("Chuck's Fruit Salad" is a quick fix and a favorite). "Stir, Lauch, Repeat" would make a nice stocking stuffer for anyone you know who'd enjoy a warm and friendly hand in the kitchen.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Woopie Pies

Until recently I had never heard of a Woopie Pie but now there are recipes popping up all over the place.  Some are made from scratch and some are made with a cake mix.  Well I like to keep it simple so I decided to give them a try using a cake mix.  So here is the recipe I used.

1 cake mix
3 eggs
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Mix cake mix, eggs, water and oil.  Spoon 1 Tbsp. on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or non-stick foil.  Bake about 8 - 10 minutes or until done.  Cool completely on a rack.

Icing -
1 1/2 sticks butter, softened
1 jar (13 oz.) Marshmallow Fluff
3/4 cup powdered sugar
2 oz. cream cheese, softened

On med. speed, mix until combined.  Spread over flat side of one cookie and top with the flat side of another making a sandwich. 

Now comes the fun part.  I always like to Think With My Taste Buds so to keep from having to make several batches I decided to add my flavors to the icing.  After spreading icing on one of my cookies I sprinkled some with coconut, chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, toffee, finely chopped nuts and some with combinations using coconut and chocolate chips, etc.  I also made a few mini cakes by putting about 1 1/2 Tbsp. of the cake mix into muffin tins and baking them for about 8-10 minutes or until done.  These were cooled and iced with my icing and topped with different flavors such as cherries, sprinkles and even a mix of coconut and pecans.  These cookies are perfect to make with the kids.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Freezing Eggs

Sent by a friend and thought I would share.

Until a good friend shared this tip with me, I did not know that fresh eggs can be whisked together and frozen for up to six months. I have been doing this for over a year now. I buy large eggs when they are on sale in the 18 pack cartons. I keep out about six for use in the fridge and then whisk together whites and yolks of the remaining 12 eggs until just combined.
I then measure them into my ice ice-cube trays, using 3 Tbsp. of the mixture per segment (3 Tbsp. is equivalent to 1 large egg). Freeze them until solid, then transfer the cubes to a freezer bag for up to 6 months. Don't forget to date the freezer bag. When ready to use take out one or more and thaw in the refrigerator.

Now for more tips from the egg professionals - the Georgia Egg Commission

If you receive a windfall of eggs far beyond your capacity to use within a few weeks, they can be frozen - not in the shell, of course. Only freeze clean, fresh eggs.

WHITES Break and separate the eggs, one at a time, making sure that no yolk gets in the whites. Pour them into freezer containers, seal tightly, label with the number of egg whites and the date, and freeze. For faster thawing and easier measuring, first freeze each white in an ice cube tray and then transfer to a freezer container.

YOLKS Egg yolks require special treatment. The gelation property of yolk causes it to thicken or gel when frozen. If frozen as is, egg yolk will eventually become so gelatinous it will be almost impossible to use in a recipe. To help retard this gelation, beat in either 1/8 teaspoon salt or 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar or corn syrup per 1/4 cup egg yolks (4 yolks). Label the container with the number of yolks, the date, and whether you've added salt (for main dishes) or sweetener (for baking or desserts).

WHOLE EGGS Beat just until blended, pour into freezer containers. seal tightly, label with the number of eggs and the date, and freeze.

HARD-COOKED Hard-cooked yolks can be frozen to use later for toppings or garnishes. Carefully place the yolks in a single layer in a saucepan and add enough water to come at least I inch above the yolks. Cover and quickly bring just to boiling. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, in the hot water about 15 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon, drain well and package for freezing.
Hard-cooked whole eggs and whites become tough and watery when frozen, so don't freeze them.

To use frozen eggs... Thaw frozen eggs overnight in the refrigerator or under running cold water. Use yolks or whole eggs as soon as they're thawed. Once thawed, whites will beat to better volume if allowed to sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
Substitute 2 tablespoons thawed egg white for 1 Large fresh white.
Substitute 1 tablespoon thawed egg yolk for 1 Large fresh yolk.
Substitute 3 tablespoons thawed whole egg for 1 Large fresh egg.
Use thawed frozen eggs only in dishes that are thoroughly cooked.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Pina Colada Pie

This recipe was given to me by a friend.  Here is the original recipe:

2 medium graham cracker pie crusts
1 container (12 oz.) cool whip
1 can (20 oz.) crushed pineapple
1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk

Drain the juice from the pineapple.  Combine the cool whip, pineapple and milk.  Stir together well, pour into pie crust.  Refrigerate over night.  Enjoy!

Comments:  I've made a pie similar to this using lemon juice but really like the idea of the pineapple.  I had to make this one but of course I started Thinking With My Taste Buds and made a couple of changes.  I added 1/2 cup of coconut and decided to sprinkle the top with chopped pecans.  I did taste the original recipe before adding the coconut and nuts.  It's simply wonderful!  So make it plain or add a few ingredients to create your own taste.  Just make sure the ingredients you add are dry with no liquid.  This is one dish that extra liquid will keep it from setting up correctly.  You can also dress this up by adding sprinkles. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Horsey Radish Cheese Spread

Each year I go to the Southern Christmas Show here in Charlotte.  Each year I have to try the different dips that are out for everyone to sample.  I seldom walk away without purchasing at least 1 package.  This year I discovered a new flavor.  It's Amelia's Chowda Shack - Horsey Radish Dip.  The dip is simple to make using the flavoring packet, mayo and sour cream and I love horseradish but wanted to Think With My Taste Buds and see if I could come up with something other than dip.  So in the kitchen I went and this is what I came up with:

1 cup soft cheese (velveeta type), melted
1 pkg (8 oz.) sour cream, softened
1/4 cup mayo
1 pkg Horsey Radish Dip

Mix all together.  Serve with crackers and/or veggies.  When stored in the refrigerator, let sit out for about 30 minutes to soften.

This spread was such a hit at work that one of the girls wanted the order form for Rand Hill Farms so she could order her own flavor packets. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Hash Brown Quiche

Got leftover ham?  This is wonderful way to use some it up. 

What I came out with wasn't what I originally had in mind but this turned out to be simply wonderful!  If you like ham, cheese, hash browns, peppers and onions, you'll love this dish.

1 pkg (20 oz.) Hash Browns with peppers and onions
4 eggs, whisked
1 cup chopped ham
1 cup shredded cheese (your choice of flavor)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Mix all ingredients together.  Line muffin pans with paper liners sprayed with non-stick spray.   Spoon mixture into liners.  Bake 20-25 minutes or until egg is set and slightly browned.  Makes about 1 1/2 dozen.

Comments - This is perfect for leftover ham but is also great with sausage or bacon.  They are perfect for a Brunch, breakfast and can be eaten on the go.  You can't help but love these.  Think With Your Taste Buds and come up with even more variations.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sweet Potato Pie

I found a recipe for the 'Perfect Pumpkin Pie' and decided to try making it into a Sweet Potato Pie. Above is my finished product.  View the full recipe by going to Martha's Recipe Cabinet.  This is a pie worth making!

Duncan Hines Carrot Cake

Through the Foodbuzz/Tastemaker Program I was asked to try some of the newest Duncan Hines products.  I've told you how delicious the chocolate and vanilla glaze goes with my Chex Mix Munchies so this time I'm going to tell you about the New and Improved Carrot Cake Mix.

I was really impressed when I opened the box and found a bag of dehydrated carrots and raisins.  Now that makes it really taste homemade without the hassle of peeling and shredding the carrots.  To plump them back up you simply soak them in the same water that will be added to your mix. 

A friend of mine sent me a recipe for a carrot cake that had pineapple chunks added to the batter.  I decided to give this a try this using the Duncan Hines Carrot Cake Mix.  The carrots and raisins are soaked in 1 1/4 cups of hot water so I cut the hot water down to 3/4 cup, stirring them frequently to allow all to absorb.  Then I added to the carrots and raisins 1/2 cup of, not pineapple chunks, but drained crushed pineapple.  This mixture was added to the batter as instructed in the directions.  It worked perfectly!  The cake came out moist and with just a hint of pineapple.  So good!

Now for the icing I did something different.  A few days ago I made a Strawberry Pretzel Salad for a neighbor.  One of the layers called for 1 pkg (8 oz.) softened cream cheese and 3/4 cups of sugar beat until fluffy.  Then 1 carton (10 oz.) cool whip, which I beat in instead of folding in.  This is what I used for my carrot cake icing.  It makes a lot so you can ice heavy even between the layers.  Afterwards I sprinkled just the top with chopped walnuts and since I still had icing left I made a 'nest' on top which I filled with chopped pineapple and a couple of cherries.  This is one delicious cake!  No one will ever guess that it was made form a mix!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Newman's Own Pizza

Again, through Foodbuzz and Tastemakers I received a coupon to buy and try one of the Newman's Own Pizzas.  I buy Newman's pasta/spaghetti sauces and know how great they are so I had high expectations for their pizza.  There are 8 different flavors to choose from and all looked good but I decided to give the Supreme a try, giving me a taste of several flavors combined.  The Supreme is topped with Italian Sausage, Uncured Pepperoni, peppers and onions, which are all favorites of mine.  I had never heard of Uncured Pepperoni so was unsure of how that might taste.  After reading the package I found that Uncured Pepperoni has no added nitrate.  When I opened the package I was a bit unsure as to how this thin crusted pizza was going to taste.  It had maybe 10 pieces of pepperoni, I could see a few pieces of Italian sausage and several scattered pieces of peppers.  I really couldn't see how so few toppings could possibly create a tasty pizza.  Well, what do I have to loose?  I had already preheated my oven so about 12 minutes later I was ready to slice and eat.  All I can say is OH MY!  I don't know how they did it but this pizza had one of the best blends of taste that I've ever eaten.  I could taste the pepperoni, sausage and the sweetness of the peppers.  It was actually better than delivery pizza!  Each bite had its own taste.  It was like eating bites of several different pizzas. Now I want to try the White sauce pizza, and the Roasted Veggie, and the Roasted Garlic & Chicken.  Actually I want to try all of them! 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Chex Mix Munch

Foodbuzz and Duncan Hines sent me coupons to try Duncan Hines' Amazing Glaze. I wanted to think outside the box and not do the traditional cakes or cookies so I decided to make a Chex mix.  With the holiday season coming up as well as those Sunday football game gatherings, this makes a delicious yet fiber filled snack. And it's simple.  Here is all you need to do.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large baking dish with sides mix 3 cups each of wheat, rice and corn chex. Add a cup of broken pretzels, 1 cup of nuts (more if you like a lot of nuts) and 1 10oz. pkg of Bugles.  Bake for about 15 minutes or until the cereal is hot, stirring about every 5 minutes.  Just before taking the cereal from the oven, heat your Amazing Glaze as directed on the package. Immediately after removing from the oven drizzle about 1/2 the chocolate and 1/2 of the vanilla glaze over the hot cereal.  Using 2 large spoons, toss well to keep the cereal from clumping.  Makes one really large popcorn bowl full of delicious munch!

Comments - Of course you can make changes.  You can change up the cereal, change up the nuts, I used peanuts but pecans, walnuts or even mixed nuts would be good.  I also used salted peanuts for the salty sweet taste.  You can add more or less glaze depending upon your own taste.  And what do you do with the left over glaze?  Cookies, cakes, cupcakes or make more Chex Mix Munch.  Always Think With Your Taste Buds!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Deviled Egg Carrier

I don't know why I haven't thought about this before.  What could make a more perfect egg carrier than the actual crate.  Be Family All Natural Vegetarian Fed Eggs come in the perfect container for transporting eggs, especially if you aren't concerned about getting your dish back. 

Step 1 - When making your cutting your eggs, don't cut them lengthwise but around the center of the egg so they will fit nicely in the center portion of the carton.
Step 2 - Simply fold the egg protection portion over your eggs.

Step3 - Fold the sealing portion over your eggs.
 This carton gives you the room to carry 12 egg halves without crushing or smashing plus it gives you the perfect storage container.  When ready to serve, simply take a spoon and scoop your egg half out of its compartment, please it on a serving dish and toss the carton, or wash it for use another time. 

The eggs themselves are delicious.  The hens are fed no synthetic hormones, no antibiotics and no animal by-products.  The carton - it's just an added treat.

Disclosure - This posting is completely my own.  I have received no compensation whatsoever for my opinion and idea.

Friday, November 11, 2011