Tag Archives: food

Fall isn’t Fall without Homemade Donuts.

26 Nov

Nothing says fall like apple cider (warm and mixed with vodka?) and donuts.

Cinnamon Sugar Donuts

#ilovedonuts

(Seriously. Love donuts.)

So I made a batch of these for my fall cocktail party.

Homemade donuts

Looks yum, right?

These are more of a cake-style donut, more similar to a fry cake, than the super-sweet krispy kreme donut that most people are used to.

The recipe is from Applehood & Motherpie, which is a famous cookbook from the Junior League of Rochester. (Did I mention that the cookbook is on sale now?)

These are very easy to make – especially when you have a donut pan. I only wish that I had two of these.

I would share the recipe, but as a JLR member – I’ll say pick up one of our cookbooks and make it for yourself! There’s also a sweet cider cocktail recipe too!

Easy Homemade Donuts

Perfect for holiday entertaining or brunch!

Easy Peasy: Chili Cheeseburgers

14 Aug

One of my favorite things about summer is grilling. Oh, and burgers. I should really admit that I don’t grill. I leave that to cp-bf. Oh, and we grill year-round here in Upstate. Just shovel yourself a path out to the flames in January. Side points. A few weeks ago I made these delicious chili cheese burgers. Turkey chili burgers Of course, there is beer involved in the chili. Duh, it’s me we’re talking about here. Turkey Chili I use Rachael Ray’s turkey chili recipe. Don’t judge. Once you have the chili ready to go, you need some good bread and cheese. A nice ciabatta and NYS reserve cheddar? Don’t mind if I do. Cheddar & ciabatta Seriously? Try it. It’s that good.

DIY Tiffany Blue Cake Stand

4 Mar

So I love cake. Like, literally love cake.

And Tiffany’s. And cake plates. And any sort of project that involves hot glue.

Saving the world, one hot glue gun burn at a time? I like to think so.

When my bff was in town this weekend, we whipped up this DIY tiffany blue cake stand.

Tiffany Blue Cake Stand

The base is a candle holder, and the top is a dinner plate. I was a “maxinista” (#shamerattle) and procured both of these items for less than $10.

Blue Cake Stand Plate

Candle Holder Cake Stand Base

Add a little hot glue, and you have a cake stand.

DIY Tiffany Blue Cake Stand

Seriously, I could give the chick who made the ‘redneck wine glasses’ a run for her money with these.

Tiffany Blue Cake Stand

#Love.

Now, all I need is some cake.

Mini Monkey Breads

12 Sep

So several things that I am prejudging myself on here.

First, I try to avoid making recipes that have an animal in the name. Like, duh.

Second, I don’t like recipes whose consumption method is prime for hand contamination. I’d rather not get Ebola or a tapeworm, thankyouverymuch.

And third, I canNOT stand Sandra Lee, so anything that resembles a recipe she would feature on “Semi Homemade” makes me want vomit. Do you think she “tablescapes” the governor’s mansion?

But I will make an exception for monkey bread. Because it is delicious.

And I made it in mini, individualized portions, which eliminated issue 2 above. And…I can always mitigate issues #1 and #3 with a large glass of wine. Just like Sandra Lee would do.

Monkey bread is super easy and super delicious. It’s five ingredients. The recipe calls for sugar, cinnamon, brown sugar, and butter. Plus Pillsbury biscuits.

Like I said. Start with these, semi-homemade.

Then you chop the biscuits into 6 pieces each, and toss with sugar & cinnamon.

Press the pieces together into the pan.

Glaze with melted brown sugar and butter.

And bake.

Omfg yum.

I used a mini-bundt pan for this monkey cake, but you could easily use a large muffin tin as well.

Mini Monkey Bread Recipe:

1 can Pillsbury Grands Buttermilk Biscuits

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar

3/8 cup unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350F. Cut the uncooked biscuits into 6-8 pieces. Mix together the sugar and cinnamon, and toss with the biscuit pieces. Press biscuit pieces into lightly greased pan, about 5-6 pieces per tin. Mix together melted butter and brown sugar, and pour over biscuits in pan. Bake for 25 minutes. Let cool 5-10 minutes in pan, and then remove.

For a full-size monkey cake recipe, visit the Pillsbury recipe page.

Don’t knock over the homemade pickles!

4 Sep

Have you ever been in a pickle? What about up to your elbows in pickles? What about cleaning up a mason jar of homemade pickles that you knocked over on your way out to the pool in the middle of the night and then rearranging the remaining ones so no one knew a jar was missing because you were in high school and heaven forbid  you got grounded over the pickles? Yea…didn’t think so.


July & August is pickle time at my parents’ house. Lots and lots of pickles. Straight from the victory garden. My dad grows almost everything in his garden. The cucumbers, hot peppers, garlic, dill…it goes on.

You start with nice, clean Mason jars.

Add garlic.

Hot peppers.

More spices.

Dill. And more dill.

Then pickling cucumbers.

And brine.

Seal the jar, and refrigerate for two months. In the end, it’ll be a delicious jar of dill-ness.

(I would so get invited to the collective, because I would bring pickles.)

Eggs Benedict, aka Eggs Delicious

24 Aug

A few weekends ago I went to visit one of my biz school girlfriends in her hometown of Chagrin Falls, OH. Jessica and I are both into anything delicious, which usually means anytime we see each other its guaranteed to be a food bender. With intermittent fancy drinks mixed in.

This past visit was no different. High points included homemade crab cakes with sirracha mayo, waffles topped with peaches and fresh maple syrup, mimosas, margaritas, and eggs benedict.

Did I mention the eggs benedict?

Quite possibly my favorite breakfast dish. Of. All. Time.

You start by making some hollandaise.

And maple-glazed canadian bacon.

Then poach your eggs.

(This looks grosser than it really is.)

Layer it all on an english muffin.

And enjoy.

Just try not to think about how you are having carbs loaded with bacon topped with a poached egg topped with buttery egg sauce. You can always go running tomorrow.

Don’t even bother asking me for the recipe…because I will openly admit I did not contribute a single thing to the construction of this meal. Hey, I can’t cook all the time, right?

Many thanks to the lovely Johnson family for a great weekend and some amazing eggs benny.

Friday Finds: Cookbooks I Love

29 Jun

Given that I’m a kitchen-cooking-appliance-tool-food junkie, I’m often asked questions about which is the best pasta maker (it depends on whether you want electric or a hand crank), what type of butter I buy (always purchase unsalted, you can always add salt in later), and what are people going to give me at my wedding, since I already own every kitchen gadget known to man (there is this green paper stuff called “cash,” as my mom says, it’s just as good as money).

But my favorite questions are always around what recipes I like and what cookbooks I own. Now, some people are all snobby and of the “I don’t cook from a recipe” persuasion, but they can go kick rocks. Cookbooks are great because the recipes have ALREADY BEEN TESTED and therefore there is less chance of YOUR FOOD SUCKING. Plus, a recipe is a great starting point and you can always change and spice it up however you like.

Here are five of my favorites. Open any one of these at my house and you’ll find the pages filled with notes, fingerprints, and turned corners marking whats really good.

  1. Dinosaur Bar-B-QueAlthough Dino has been spreading to posh areas like NYC, the restaurant was born and bred in Upstate NY. Their cookbook is filled with amazing recipes for sauces and spice rubs, plus the phenomenal dishes they are known for. My loves are the ginger green bean salad and the mac & cheese.
  2. The Glorious Pasta of ItalyIf I cooked from this book every day, my food life would be amazing. Sauces, pastas, casseroles, raviolis, italian grilling…just love this book. I suggest checking out the smoked mozz and eggplant twist on traditional baked ziti.
  3. The Joy of Cooking: If you don’t own this book, go buy it. Or, scour a good garage sale and you can probably find a copy. Mine cost me $1.00 at a church yard sale. JOC is a kitchen staple—each section gives you the basics of what you need to know on any topic, from baking to broiling to tin foil. My favorite recipe is the mac & cheese. (Yes, I might be slightly obsessed with anything that involves pasta and cheese…)
  4. The Big Book of Cupcakes: Betty Crocker really ups her game with this book. It has hundreds of creative recipe ideas for every possible occasion and holiday. Plus, it’s full of recipes hacks, each recipe has instructions on how to make it from scratch or how to doctor up a box of cake mix for the same effect. I’m partial to the peanut butter cupcakes.
  5. Everything Tastes Better with Bacon: I don’t think this book needs much more of an explanation. Every delicious recipe involves bacon, with recipes for breakfast foods, sauces, side dishes, main courses and desserts. (Yes, bacon desserts.) You can find this cookbook in my kitchen, my mom’s kitchen, my sister’s kitchen, my friends’ kitchens…it’s just that good. I love the bacon-vodka sauce and the bacon-spinach-parmesan mashed potatoes.

Happy Friday and happy weekend cooking!

What are you favorite recipes or cookbooks?

Banana Maple Chocolate-Chip Pancake Muffins

12 Jun

For all those times you want a pancake in travel-friendly form. Or for when you can’t decide between a muffin or a pancake.

Just make a pancake muffin.

Like this.

You don’t even need a mixer.

Just combine the dry ingredients in one bowl and give them a good whisk to fluff them a bit.

And mix the wet ingredients together in a separate bowl. With the mashed bananas.

Fold the dry ingredients into the wet.

And mix in some chocolate chips, just to ensure maximum deliciousness.

Divide, bake, and conquer.

The secret is in the maple syrup. I always add in a bit extra than the recipe calls for. Just make sure you are using pure maple syrup—not the imitation kind that comes in a squeeze bottle with a smiling lady on it. Even better if you have a friend who makes their own. Liquid gold people. Pure and amazing.

Banana Maple Chocolate-Chip Pancake Muffin Recipe:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/3 cups buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) melted unsalted butter
  • 2-3 ripe mashed bananas
  • 1 cup miniature chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350F. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar in a mixing bowl. Whisk briefly to combine ingredients. In a separate bowl, mix the buttermilk, eggs, maple syrup, and melted butter together until well combined. (If you don’t have buttermilk, you can substitute regular milk mixed with white vinegar in a 1 cup milk to 1 tablespoon white vinegar ratio.) Mix the mashed bananas into the buttermilk-egg mixture. Slowly fold in the dry ingredients, stirring until just combined. Mix in the chocolate chips. Using a large cookie scoop, divide among 24 muffin cups and bake at 350F for 20 minutes, or until done.

Pitcher-Perfect Margaritas

17 May

Do you ever have those moments where you just crave a good margarita? And not the kind that comes out of a giant bucket and guarantees you heartburn and a terrible hangover and not one of those watered down ones from TGIFridays…and no, I don’t need 37 pieces of flair either.

Just a good margarita. One like this.

I had one of these moments last night. It was awesome.

And because I am a firm believer that everyone needs a good margo recipe (especially now that it’s outdoor & day-drinking season), I’m willing to share.

CakeryPapery’s Pitcher Perfect Margaritas:

  • 1 part tequila
  • 1 part triple sec
  • 1 part orange juice
  • 1 part sour mix
  • Splash of lime juice

Mix everything together and pour over ice. It’s really that simple.

If you are like my Aunt Marie and are thinking stop watering down my booze with all this ice you can shake with ice and serve it up too. Or refrigerate beforehand and then you don’t need ice. Or if you like it frozen, blend with ice and then serve. Or add strawberry puree to make strawberry margaritas. These are great for day-drinking parties because you can whip up a pitcher and then just pour over ice when your guests arrive. The possibilities are endless. Word to the wise—drink these someplace where you can walk home.

How did I get so good at margaritas? Let’s just say…I have lots of practice making (let’s be honest—drinking) margaritas. And it helps to have a good margarita spot where you can chat up the bartender and learn some tricks.

And it doesn’t hurt to get a fancy pitcher and glasses to serve them in. It makes them look impressive. Mine are from Crate and Barrel. Love Crate and Barrel. I’m on the hunt for an antique martini pitcher, but until then, this one will do.

Cheers!

A Frosting-Less Orange Pound Cake

15 May

So I’m still not up for making frosting.

But I still love cake.

And I still go on fruit kicks, and last week I was really craving oranges. Or, I just really wanted a mimosa.

But, day-drinking is frowned upon (lame), so I made orange cake.

You start by zesting (i.e. grating the rind) of two medium oranges. You need about two tablespoons, give or take.

Next, whisk the dry ingredients together in a stand mixer. I’ve never made a cake with the whisk attachment before…but, as we all know my opinion on sifting dry ingredients (lame) I figured why not.

Be sure to use cake flour for this recipe. Regular flour is too heavy and has too much gluten to make a light, fluffy cake.

Here’s the fun part. Cut the butter into chunks and toss into the flour mixture.

Whisk on medium until it’s all chunky. It will first look like this.

Keep whisking. When it’s like this, stop.

Mix the eggs, milk and vanilla together in a separate bowl.

I substituted maple syrup for vanilla, since I am out of vanilla.

Two side notes. One, stop having t-rex arms, and spring for real vanilla. Imitation vanilla, while cheaper, is sub-par. Two, if you ever travel south of the border, hit up one of the local shops—you can find pints (yes, pints, not the lame tiny bottles that they sell in the US) of pure vanilla extract. With a price that even t-rex arms love.

Back to cake. Slowly add the egg mixture to the butter-flour mixture. When it is just moistened and everything has loosened up, stop. Overmixing will bring out too much of the cake flour’s gluten.

Pour into a greased bundt pan, and bake at 350F for 30 mins. Check to make sure the edges aren’t getting overcooked, and bake another 15-30 minutes, until the top bounces back when you press on it slightly.

While the cake is cooking, juice the zested oranges. You need about 1/2 cup of fresh orange juice. Heat the OJ together with 1/3 cup of sugar and 2 tablespoons triple sec until it boils and the sugar is dissolved. I knew I could work booze into this recipe somewhere…

Pour the juice-sugar mixture over the cake while it is cooling in the pan. When the juice has absorbed into the cake. remove the cake from the pan and finish cooling on a wire rack.

I’d suggest serving with a mimosa. Just saying…

Glazed Orange Pound Cake:

  • 13 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoon milk
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons grated orange zest
  • 1/2 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons triple sec

Preheat oven to 350F. Zest the orange with a small grater or zester. Combine the cake flour, sugar and baking powder in a mixer. Add in the orange zest and butter and whisk until clumps form. Mix together the eggs, milk and vanilla and slowly add to the flour mixture. Pour into greased pan and bake until top is springy. Boil together the OJ, remaining sugar and triple sec. Pour over cake and let glaze soak in. Flip cake out of pan and finish cooling on wire rack.