Friday, February 25, 2011

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cake

1 yellow or chocolate cake mix
1 small box instant chocolate fudge pudding
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup oil
3/4 cup water
4 eggs one at a time
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup sour cream
1 cup chocolate chips

Stir all ingredients by hand. Grease and flour pans.
Bake 350 degrees till toothpick in center comes out clean.

2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup melted butter
2 squares unsweetened chocolate melted
1 tsp vanilla
2-3 Tbsp. cream

Cream butter and 1/4 cup powdered sugar. Add melted chocolate. Add remaining powdered sugar, vanilla and cream to desired consistency.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Coconut Pecan Yams

3 cup cooked mashed yams
1 cup sugar
1/2 cupmilk
1/3 cup butter
2 eggs beaten
1 tsp vanilla
Mix well and put in a baking dish

1 cup flaked counut
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup butter
1 cup chopped pecans
Mix and sprinkle on top of yams mix

bake @ 375 til golden brown about 45 min (i dont think we did them that long)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Ultimate Carrot Cake (& I know Carrot Cakes!)

2 cups flour

1 cup sugar

1 cup brown sugar

2 tsp baking soda

2 tsp baking powder

3+ tsp cinnamon (more if you love cinnamon!)

1 cup pecans

1 cup coconut

1 ½ c oil

4 eggs

2 ½ c carrots mixed in blender with enough water into a thick soup consistency

1 8 oz can crushed pineapple

Add 1/2 or up to 1 cup raisins (optional) after batter is in baking pan. Tap them so they settle.

Use angel food pan (nice presentation and easy to cut) or regular cake well greased and powdered.

Bake at 350 to 375 until done. Test with toothpick.


8 oz cream cheese

½ lb butter

1 lb confectioners sugar

2 Tbsp vanilla

Let cheese and butter soften to room temp

Mix all together.


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Chris the Caterer’s Yummy Macaroons

2 14 oz bags coconut

1 can sweetened condensed milk

1 Tbsp vanilla

2 Tbsp heavy whipping cream

1 big spoonful sour cream or peanut butter

Chop coconut in food processor until fine

Add all ingredients into food processor mixer and mix until combined.

Chill for a couple hours in the refrigerator

Roll into balls by hand, firmly pressed

Lightly grease pan or use wax paper.

Preheat oven to 325

Cook for 10 minutes then turn and cook for another 10 minutes more until slight brown on top.

Let cool on sheet pan for 5-10 minutes

Move to rack and cool

Dip ½ cookie into milk chocolate.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Best Big, Fat, Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie

This is the one you want! The ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe!

Original Recipe Yield 1 1/2 dozen

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips


  1. Refrigerate the dough an hour or so before cooking to re-set the butter, then let them cool to room temperature.
  2. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.
  3. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended. Beat in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk until light and creamy. Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand using a wooden spoon. Drop cookie dough 1/4 cup at a time onto the prepared cookie sheets. Cookies should be about 3 inches apart.
  5. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges are lightly toasted. Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

White Chicken Chili

1 large onion, chopped

1 large garlic clove, minced

1 stick butter

¼ c. flour

¾ c. chicken broth

2 c. milk

2 15-ounce cans white beans

1 tsp. Tabasco sauce

2 tsp. chili powder

2 tsp. cumin

2 4-ounce cans fire-roasted diced green chiles

4-5 chicken breasts, cooked & shredded

2 c. Monterey jack cheese, grated

Toppings: chopped cilantro, sour cream, Monterey jack cheese

Cook onions, garlic and 2 tbs. butter until softened but not browned.

In large pot, heat remaining butter and flour. Whisk together but do not brown.

Stir in onion/garlic mixture. Gradually stir in broth and milk. Bring to a boil, then simmer, stirring until thick and bubbling. Stir in remaining ingredients and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add seasonings (Tabasco sauce, chili powder, salt, etc.) to taste.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Cafe Rio Sweet Pork Burritos with Cilantro Rice

Cafe Rio Sweet Pork
3-5 lb, pork loin or pork roast
1 1/2 cans of Coca Cola (I'm so embarrassed
1 cup of sugar (yikes!)
7 oz. can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
2 t. dry ground mustard
2 t. ground cumin
2 t. minced garlic
1/2 cup brown sugar

Place can of chilies in a bowl and cover with coke. Once the chillies are no longer coated with adobo sauce, remove them and throw away. If you prefer HOT, leave a few chilies in. Combine all ingredients (except pork) in a blender and mix. Place pork roast in crock pot and pour sauce over the top. Cook on high 4-6 hours or low 7-9 hours. Carefully turn roast over halfway through cooking. Remove pork and shred, then throw back in an mix with juice. Use a slotted spoon to remove.

Cafe Rio Cilantro-Lime Rice
1 c. long grain rice
2 c. water
2 chicken bouillon cubes
1 t. butter
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 t. lime zest
2 T lime juice
2 t. sugar
3 T fresh cilantro

In a saucepan combine rice, water, bouillon, butter, garlic and lime zest. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer 15-20 minutes, or until rice is tender and water is absorbed. Remove from heat. In a small bowl combine lime juice, sugar and cilantro. Pour over rice.

Serve along with warmed Flour Tortillas, combining rice, pork plus other favorites i.e. sliced avocados, cheese, black beans, shredded lettuce, etc. 

The following dressing is a tasty addition to the above burrito  or can be the dressing for a mixed green salad to accompany the meal. 

Creamy Lime-Cilantro Dressing
Makes a great southwestern salad by mixing greens with any or all of the following: grilled chicken/avocado/tomatoes/corn/black beans/red bell peppers.)

1 packet buttermilk Ranch dressing mix
1C mayo
1/2 C buttermilk or milk (we used 1 full cup this last time and it was a bit too runny)
juice of 1 lime
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1/2 bunch roughly chopped cilantro
2 tomatillos
hot sauce or red pepper flakes to taste

Put everything in the blender and let it rip! Make it several hours ahead of time to allow it to thicken. If you want to cut corners, use 1 cup of bottled Ranch dressing in place of the mix, mayo and milk, and halve the rest of the ingredients (or use 2 cups and keep the rest the same). Or you can use 1/4 cup salsa verde in place of the tomatillos

Monday, March 9, 2009

Levain Bakery Copycat Dark Chocolate Peanut butter Chip Cookies (Todd's Favorite)


* 2 sticks cold and cubed unsalted butter
* 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
* 2 eggs
* ***1/4 to 1/2 cup good quality dark cocoa powder
* 2 1/4 to 1/2 cups all-purpose flour- Spoon and Sweep method
* 1/4 tsp salt
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
* 2 cups peanut butter chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

1. In bowl of electric mixer fitted with paddle, cream together butter and sugar until well blended and fluffy. Add eggs and beat until well-incorporated, then beat in cocoa powder.

2. Mix in flour, salt and baking powder until just combined. Gently fold in remaining ingredients.

3. Transfer dough to clean work surface and gently mix dough by hand to ensure even distribution of ingredients. Divide into 12 equal portions, **about 4 oz each, and place each on sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Bake in the preheated oven 18 minutes depending on how gooey and raw’ish you like the middle, taking care not to overbake. Let cool on a rack and store what you don’t immediately eat, in an airtight container. To freshen them after a few days (if they last that long), give them a quick nuke in the microwave for 5-10 seconds.

** Note - The Levain Bakery uses 6 oz of cookie dough per cookie. As mentioned above, If you want 12 cookies out of the above recipes, a little over 4 oz per cookie (4.1 to 4.2 oz. Use a kitchen scale) will get you that. If you want to use 6 oz of cookie dough per cookie, you’ll probably get only 6-8 cookies. However, a little over 4 oz makes a cookie just as thick and huge, so you don’t even notice the difference.

*** Note - Regarding the Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter cookies. If you don't use Dutch-process cocoa you can use basic, natural unsweetened cocoa (like Hershey’s in the brown can), add 1/4 heaping tsp baking soda when using regular baking cocoa) to the dry ingredients.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Levain Bakery Copycat Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies

Yields 1 dozen huge cookies just like the bakery in NYC who won the best cookie award.


  • 2 sticks ‘cold and cubed’ unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar - not packed too hard. Just spoon it in the cup(s) and press down lightly when full, sweeping off any extra that runs over.
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour - Spoon and Sweep method. (this means no pre-sifting and leveling off the top of your measuring cup with a knife. Feel the dough, it should be moist, kind of like cold cookie dough in a tube.. but not super sticky, so you can portion the cookies with your hands.
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4-1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups good quality semisweet chocolate chips or chunks (I usually use half semisweet and half milk chocolate)
  • 1 cup walnuts (Toast the nuts for more flavor, if desired and/or use any kind of nut you like like pecans or macadamias)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

1. In bowl of electric mixer fitted with paddle, cream together butter and sugars until well blended and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time.. and beat until well incorporated.

2. Add flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and mix until just combined. Gently fold in chocolate chunks and nuts.

3. Transfer dough to clean work surface and gently mix dough by hand to ensure even distribution of ingredients. Divide into 12 equal portions, **about 4 oz each.. They are huge and heavy!

4. Place each on sheet pan lined with parchment paper and bake in the preheated oven 18 minutes depending on how gooey and raw’ish you like the middles, until very lightly browned, taking care not to overbake. Let cool on rack and store what you don’t immediately eat, in an airtight container. To freshen them after a few days (if they last that long), give them a quick nuke in the microwave for 5-10 seconds.

Note: there is no vanilla used in this receipe, to be authentic to the real thing.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Easy but Oh So Delicious Berry Cobbler

1 pkg fresh blackberries from Costco. (large pack clear container in Produce)
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cube butter
1/3 tsp cinnamon
sprinkle of salt

Wash berries and put in small casserole
Using food processor mix remaining ingredients till crumbly
Sprinkle over berries and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour
Serve warm with ice cream or cream
Recipe may be doubled

Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Ultimate Pie Crust Recipe

Some important rules to follow for this great recipe for flaky, great tasting crust:

1. Keep ingredients well chilled. It will help prevent the butter from mixing uniformly with the flour, so that pockets can form among the flour particles. (translation: flaky crust!)

2. Use a combination of pastry flour and all-purpose flour. Different flours have different amounts of protein (a.k.a. gluten), which forms strands which form layers, which form flakes.

3. Once the butter gets down to pea-sized pieces, use the heel of your hand to smear them into streaks as you mix the dough.

1 3/4 cups pastry flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. sea salt
1 cup (2 sticks unsalted butter, very cold, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 cup ice-cold water (approx) divided

In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, pulse together flours, sugar and salt. Add butter and pulse 2-3 times. Add most of the water and pulse 2-3 times or until butter is in pea-sized pieces. Grab a handful of the dough; if it sticks together turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. If it doesn't stick together, add a bit more water, pulse 2-3 times and test it again.

Grab the dough with both hands and push it into a ball (it may not hold very well? Using the heel of your hand, smear butter into streaks by pushing butter pieces away from you. Do this of a minute or so until the dough is mostly cohesive; it may still be a little crumbly. Divide the dough into 2 balls and wrap them in plastic. Refrigerate 30 minutes before baking (or you may freeze them up to 3 months).

Yield 2 piecrusts

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Fresh Fruit Pies

1 (3 ounce) package jello, same flavor as fruit
4 Tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup white sugar
1 cup water
1 cup fresh fruit

1 quart fresh fruit (place in pie crust)
1 9" prepared shortbread crust

In a saucepan combine jello, cornstarch, sugar, 1 cup diced fruit and water. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently until boiling. Let cool about 5 minutes. 

Place fuit (sliced if necessary) into pie crust. Pour mixture gently over fruit. Chill at least 1 hour uncovered, then cover and store until serving.