Almond Poppy Seed Bread

This is not the picture I intended to use for this recipe, but I’ve had more issues with my brand new phone being sent off & repaired, that I didn’t back it up yet again before they decided to send me a brand new phone to replace the previous one. So far, a couple weeks in & it’s been issue free which is how a new phone should be in the first place. That being said, I managed to snap this one, but don’t let the crappy photo deter you from baking this yummy bread. I had to save myself from myself when it came to this bread. One day I had it for brunch & dinner with nothing else. Yeah, it’s that good.


for the bread:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsps almond extract
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cups oil
  • 3 tbsps Poppy seeds
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp butter flavoring
  • 1 1/2 tsps baking powder
  • 3 eggs


for the topping:

  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1/2 tsp butter flavoring
  • 3/4 cup sugar



Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Spray 2 bread pans with non-stick spray; set aside. In a large bowl, mix together the eggs, sugar, & oil until smooth. Stir in the almond & vanilla extract & the butter flavoring. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, & Poppy seeds. Beginning and ending with the milk, alternate adding some of the milk, then flour, stir & repeat. Distribute evenly between the two pans & bake for 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Once the bread is finished baking, remove from the pans & transfer to a cooling rack & place parchment paper underneath. I learned the hard way and added the topping while the loaves were still in the pan and then allowed them to cool in the pans for 10 minutes. Once I went to remove the bread, the bottom of the loaves stuck to the bottom of the pans. So trust me when I say, boil the topping ingredients on the stove & then pour topping over the loaves after you’ve removed them from the pans. Allow to cool before slicing.


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Pan Seared Garlic Butter Steak

When it comes to steak, 9/10 Chris fires up the grill & I busy myself making baked potatoes & salad or some other type of veggie, but tonight I changed things up & opted for seasoned & seared steak with garlic butter. That’s right, garlic butter, mmm hmm! When the family declares, “This is so good!” after every other bite, you know you’ve got a new favorite on your hands. This is truly excellent & nearly fail proof.


  • 3 (9-10 oz) Ribeye steaks
  • S&P, freshly ground
  • Olive oil
  • 4 tbsp butter, at room temperature
  • 8 garlic cloves, crushed
  • Thyme
  • Rosemary
  • Parsley


Allow steaks to come to room temperature, 30-60 minutes. In a small bowl, add the butter, minced garlic, Thyme, & Rosemary; stir together until well combined; set aside. Liberally apply freshly ground salt & pepper to both sides of the steaks. Heat a large cast-iron skillet to medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat pan evenly.

Add seasoned steaks to pan, cover, & cook 3 minutes on each each side. Reduce heat to medium-low; add half of the butter mixture; distributing evenly to tops of the steaks. Turn steaks over, spread remaining butter mixture evenly over steaks, remove from heat, sprinkle tops of steaks with parsley, & let rest for 5 minutes.

Note: I only had dried Thyme & Rosemary on hand, so I sprinkled some into the butter. If you happen to have fresh, use 2-3 sprigs of each.

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Breakfast Quiche



  • 1 unbaked pastry shell
  • 12 strips of bacon, cooked & crumbled (8 if using thick cut bacon)
  • 1 cup shredded Colby Jack cheese
  • 1/3 cup onion, chopped
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups whipping cream
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper


Preheats oven to 450 degrees. Line un-pricked pastry shell with double thickness of foil. Bake for 5 minutes; remove foil and bake for an additional 5 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. Reduce heat to 425 degrees. Sprinkle bacon, cheese, and onion over the crust. In a bowl, beat eggs, cream, salt, and cayenne; pour into crust. Bake for 15 minutes and then reduce heat to 300 degrees and for 30 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center of the quiche comes clean.

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Bacon Squash Sauté


The other day, I was chatting with a lady that runs a stand at her local farmer’s market every Saturday. We were making each other salivate as we talked about food, swapping recipes, & sharing ideas when she told me about this recipe. A few days later I tried it out for lunch, adding my own touches, & ate every last little bit. I will definitely be making it again.


  • 1 small yellow squash
  • 1 small zucchini
  • onion, chopped, about 2-3 tbsps.
  • Lowry’s seasoning salt
  • garlic powder
  • fresh cracked black pepper
  • 2-3 slices bacon


Wash & pat dry the squash & zucchini, cut off the ends. Cut lengthwise in halves & with each half, depending on size of squash, cut lengthwise again, & then cut, dicing in 1/2 inch pieces. Add to a bowl & season, to your liking, with seasoning salt, garlic powder, & fresh cracked black pepper. Stir to coat; add more if needed. Dice up a bit of onion, again to your liking. I used red, but white or yellow would work fine, too.  Toss in bowl & stir. Allow to marinate while you cook the bacon.

In a skillet over medium heat, cut slices of bacon using kitchen shears, into smaller than bite sized pieces. Cook until done & crispy. Transfer bacon pieces to a plate lined with paper towels. Without draining the bacon grease in skillet, add the seasoned squash & onion mix to the skillet. Cook until squash begins to soften, but not squishy. You want it to still have a bit of crunch. Toss back in the bacon pieces, stir to incorporate in with squash, serve in a bowl, eat, & enjoy. You could also top with some fresh grated Parmesan cheese, if you want, but you certainly wouldn’t miss it if you opt not to.

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Another Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Another Choc Chip Cookie

Whenever I see a recipe labeled as “The Best Ever _____” I’m one part intrigued and other part eye roll because it’s touted entirely too much. Very seldom is something worthy of the title. I’m of the belief “Best Evers” typically only fall under the category of someone’s, “My Favorite” which, of course, they deem ‘Best Ever’. Right? We nurture our taste buds based on what we’re used to and quite likely, what we grew up with because food can certainly tease out a memory, a time, a place. Also, more often than not, recipes don’t vary enough to alter the taste of something to make a drastic enough difference.

When I came across this recipe and noted enough of a variation, I figured I’d give it a go. I opted out of using the maple extract because I’m not a fan of maple and have enough of a discernible palate to taste the difference, even at a half of teaspoon. Case in point: growing up during Christmas, my mom would make red, white, and green cookies using the cookie press and I could taste the difference – the only difference being the dye. My brothers refused to believe me and were somewhat awestruck after they blind folded me to the point I couldn’t even make out any light whatsoever and could; in fact, tell the difference between the cookies based exclusively on taste.

Is this a good cookie? Yes. Is it something I’d label Best Ever? No. What did I like best about it? Turbinado sugar, for sure. Try it for yourself to see what you think.


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, softened (I used unsalted)
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup raw sugar (aka Turbinado), more to top on dough balls
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. maple extract (I omitted this)
  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, spooned & leveled
  • 4 tsps. cornstarch
  • 2 tsps. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 10oz bag mini semisweet chocolate chips


In a large bowl, beat the butter until light & fluffy, about two minutes; scraping the sides and bottom. Add the brown, white, and raw sugar; beat for 1 minute. Add the eggs, vanilla extract and maple extract; beat until combined. On top of this mixture, add the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt & use a small spoon to stir it in. Beat on low speed just until flour is incorporated; scrape the sides and bottom. Stir in the mini chocolate chips.

At this point, you can tightly cover and chill the dough for several hours or a day, or not, do whatever floats your boat. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, sprinkle a little raw sugar on the top of each dough ball, and bake at 350 degrees for 9-11 minutes. Remove from oven, allow to rest on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

Recipe from:


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Big Breakfast Sandwich

Breakfast Sandwich

Most days I only eat 2 meals a day; this is always a given on the weekend. Typically, I’m not hungry for hours after waking, and a cup of coffee with cream, hot or iced, keeps me sated until lunch. That being said, I love brunch for the time of day and how it generally consists of a little bit of everything & then some. This breakfast sandwich (that I often make for brunch) is one that keeps me full until dinner. No particular recipe, per se, but always consists of a hearty bread (in this case Sourdough), one that can withstand the weight of thick cut bacon, breakfast potatoes, and cheesy scrambled eggs. Normally, when I make breakfast/ brunch it’s for a family of 4 and I’m the only one who assembles it all into a sandwich, whereas the others eat it all separately.

I always start by baking the bacon first at 425 degrees, especially since I use thick cut Hickory smoked bacon, it takes the longest. I line a baking pan with foil, spray with non-stick spray, and arrange the bacon on the pan, pop it in the oven for 12 minutes and get started on the potatoes.

One large potato is generally enough, sometimes two if they’re on the small side. I slice the potato, fairly thin and in a small pan, over medium high heat, melt a little butter and add a bit of extra virgin olive oil. I toss the slices of potato in and add some fine chopped onion and garlic as well. I give it a few stirs, before adding a bit of water as it helps to soften and cook them, and place with a cover. I stir and toss throughout, adding more water if necessary, and once they’re near done, I season liberally with salt, fresh ground pepper, and a shake or two of red pepper flakes.

At the 12 minute mark of the bacon, I remove from the oven and turn each slice over before returning to the oven to for another 12 minutes or so. Once it’s done, I transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to soak up the grease, and add another couple of paper towels to blot the top of the bacon.

I lightly beat the eggs, sprinkle with Lawry’s Seasoning Salt, and cook them in a pan coated with a little extra virgin olive oil over medium heat. Once they are near scrambled, but still wet enough, I sprinkle with Colby jack cheese, stir to incorporate, and cook until finished.

Last, but not least, toast the bread, butter if you like, and assemble your very own big breakfast (or brunch) sandwich. Enjoy!



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Recipe Redux: Salted Caramel Cupcakes with Caramel Buttercream Frosting


Have you ever made something and then allowed 6 more years to pass before making it again only to discover one of the prepackaged ingredients has changed and you have to guesstimate? That’s what happened tonight while baking these cupcakes for a friend. The base recipe is relatively unchanged, but because Kraft now makes little caramel bits instead of cubes of cellophane wrapped caramels, I had to instill the help of my sous chef, aka Leah, who surprisingly enough, remembered the approximate size of the cubed caramels, and decided 14 caramel bits are equivalent to one aforementioned cellophane wrapped caramels. Luckily, she obliged and only mildly gave me a hard time when I requested she help and promptly counted out 210 caramel bits. Of course now that I write that, I realize I should have added all the little bits to a measuring cup prior to melting them to make it easier for next time. Ah, hindsight!


For the cupcakes: 

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk

For the frosting: 

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 4 tbsp milk, divided
  • 15 caramel candies, unwrapped or 210 Kraft caramel bits (I promise next time to measure)
  • Additional caramel bits, for garnish 
  • Sea salt
  • Sea salt


For the cupcakes: 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 24 muffin tin with cupcake liners.

Cream together butter, cream cheese, sugar, brown sugar, & oil until light & fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; mix well until combined.

Beginning and ending with flour, alternate flour and buttermilk, mixing and scraping the  sides of the bowl down between each addition.

Distribute batter evenly among the cupcake liners. Bake for 17-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, or with few crumbs on it. Remove from pan and allow to cool on wire rack completely.

For the frosting: 

Beat together butter, cream cheese, & vanilla extract until light & fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Add powdered sugar & 3 tbsps milk, beating until well combined. Cover & refrigerate.

Melt the caramel bits and 1 tbsp milk in a microwave safe bowl in 30 second intervals, until caramel is completely melted. Set aside to cool. I have found transferring caramel to another bowl and stirring, will help it cool. You do not want to add hot melted caramel to your frosting otherwise you will have soup and need to start over! It needs to be cooled enough so that it’s soft and pliable. Using beaters, mix the caramel into the frosting; combining well.

Cover and refrigerate frosting for 30-45 minutes prior to frosting to help it set up. Frost cupcakes, garnish with extra caramel bits, & sprinkle with sea salt.

Note: Although I allowed the frosting to refrigerate for 45 minutes, after transferring it  into a piping bag & decorating accordingly, in an already warm kitchen, it didn’t take long for it to work against me. I say all of that to say: work fast!




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