Saturday, February 25

Honeyed Baked Brie

Baked Brie is a classic dish often served at holiday gatherings, special occasions, and celebrations. Often found wrapped in pastry, these fancy baked brie(s) are a great dish based on the original and traditional honeyed brie. This classic French dish is often served as a cracker or bread spread in accompaniment to afternoon coffee.

Full time 25 minutes
Serves 8

The needs-

1/2 lb. goat's milk brie round
1/4 cup honey ( try orange blossom, tupelo, manuka, or eucalyptus for best flavor)

The know-

Preheat your oven to 350' and line a small baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Place brie in the middle of baking sheet.

Bake in oven 15-20 minutes, cheese will begin to golden on edges and it will appear puffed up. It you have a little leakage that is fine.

Carefully remove from oven and gently move brie onto a small serving plate with a spatula. If any leaked out, feel free to pour over the top.

Drizzle with honey and allow to sit 3-4 minutes before serving.

Serve alongside crackers, melba, or baguettes, cheers!

Tuesday, February 21

BAKE IT: Cracker Barrel Coke-Cola Cake

The origins of Coke-Cola cake are a little hazy, it either dates back to an era when sugar was hard to come by and other methods were used to help sweeten baked goods. Or it was a recipe originated by Coke to help get the product moving among housewives. I am not really sure which one it truly is, so I will just say it is super yummy. 

Cracker Barrel Restaurants, a very famous restaurant chain that has not only perfected it but, it is on thier menu every fall. It is a limited menu item, sells out instantly, and drives sales through the roof.

I did work for this chain for a while and was able to pick a few pointers, I will let you know that this recipe is slightly modified for household size. There are a few pointers I will give you throughout the making of this to keep it as close to the restaurant quality you may be used to.

This will make a 9 x 13 cake
Full time: 3-4  hours (cool time included)

The needs-

1/4 lb (1 stick) butter
1 oz square semi-sweet bakers chocolate
2 eggs
2 1/3 cup flour
2 cup sugar
1 cup Coke-cola
1 cup chocolate chips *optional, not in restaurant recipe
3/4 cup mini marshmallows
3/4 cup whole milk
3/4 cup coco powder
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

For Frosting:
2 cups chocolate frosting
to make your own try

The know-

In a small sauce pot place butter, coke, and baking chocolate and bring to boil over medium high heat

Once it boils, remove from heat and add in the marshmallows. Stir until they melt and blend evenly. (*if you want the restaurant style do not add in the marshmallows just proceed)


Set this pot aside and let cool for a minimum of 30 minutes before moving on.

Once the 30 minutes have past you are ready to move on.

Preheat your oven to 350

Lightly grease and flour a 9 X 13 pan, I will be honest I use a disposable tin tray for baking

In a large bowl, cream your sugar and shortening together

Blend in oil, vanilla, eggs, and milk. Whisk until smooth and creamy

In a separate bowl mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and coco powder

Pour half of the dry mixture into and mix completely, make sure you are scrapping the sides and bottom of the bowl to prevent uneven mixing

Add in the remaining dry mixture and mix completely, add in the mixture from the sauce pot and mix well. The batter will appear thicker than a cake batter (*if you are going for the restaurant style fold marshmallows in now)

Move batter into the baking pan

Spread optional chocolate chips on the surface of the surface of the cake (*leave off for restaurant style)

Bake cake in oven for 30 minutes, check with a tooth pick. If not done rotate pan, put back into oven, and retest in ten minutes.

Take out of oven, allow pan to cool for a few minutes and move into refrigerator. This is a huge important step to achieve the right texture. 

After 1-2 hours the cake should be cool enough to frost. Frost cake, cover and keep in a cool place but not a refrigerator for up to 6 days, if it lasts that long!


Thursday, February 16

Slow Cooker Chicken A-La-Brasa

Simple and full of flavor, chicken a-la brasa is a great weeknight meal. It can be served in a variety of ways over rice, with tortillas, or with roasted vegetables.

Full time 4 1/2 hours (6 1/2 on low)
Serves 4

The needs-

1 1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast, diced in large pieces
2 tbsp white vinegar
1 1/2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground paprika 

The know-

Place diced chicken into slow cooker.

Add in mixed garlic, cumin, and paprika.

Add in white vinegar and give a good stir to fully coat chicken.

Cover and cook 4 hours on high.

Using two fork, shred gently. Move to serving platter.


Monday, February 6

Mongolian Mushroom Stir Fry

Filled with bold, vibrant flavors, stir-fried mushrooms are a perfect weeknight meal. 

Full time 20 minutes
Serves 2-4

The needs-

6 Portobello Mushrooms, slice thick
2 scallions, sliced large
1 cup snow peas
1/2 cup sliced water chestnuts
1/2 cup shelled edamame
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1/3 cup hoisin sauce
1/4 cup Szechuan sauce
1 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tsp olive oil

The know-

In a large sauté pan heat olive oil over medium high heat.

Add in carrots and sauté 2-3 minutes until carrots begin to soften.

Add in mushrooms and sauté 2-3 minutes until mushrooms begin to soften.

Add in edamame, snow peas and water chestnuts and sauté 3-4 minutes until snow peas turn a vibrant green and crisp.

Add in onions, hoisin sauce, Szechuan sauce, and toss to evenly coat. 

Move to serving platter and dust with sesame seeds.


Thursday, February 2

TABLE FOR TWO: Hotdog Hash

When you first hear the words hot dog and hash together, you probably cringe or even think ew. But when you really think about it after awhile it actually sounds very good and it is. Bringing the taste of hot dogs, grilled onions, and fries together. This is a great way to use already cooked or extra hot dogs!

Full time 30 minutes
Serves 2

The needs-

4 hot dogs sliced into 1/2" long pieces
2 large potatoes, diced into 1/4"-1/2" pieces
1 onion, sliced
1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp salt*
1/2 tsp garlic powder

*you will need to adjust salt to taste based on hot dogs you use

The know-

In a sautes pan, place onions and oil over medium high heat and pan fry until potatoes become golden and are easily pierced with a fork. This takes about 15 minutes.

Drain out 95% of the oil and add in onions, cooking 5-8 minuts or until tender and beginning to golden.

Stir in salt, pepper, and garlic powder.

Add in hot dogs and cook 3-5 minutes or until hot dogs are warmed through.

Move to serving bowls and drizzle with mustard is desired.