Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Sweet & Salty Crack Popcorn



Ok so I whipped this together for a comedy benefit type of event and threw both batches into paper bags and tied them up, Martha Stewart style... bamm.  Le bammero.  I doubled the recipe listed below.

here's that recipe, it's super easy.  Oh and addictive. there were no survivors.

Ingredients: 

3- 4 Tblspoons of Vegetable Oil for Frying
1/2 cup of popcorn (unpopped)
3/4 cup of shredded coconut
1/2 cup of semi sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup of sugar
1 Teaspoon of salt
1 1/2 cups of mini marshmallows
1-2 Teaspoons of vegetable oil for melting chocolate
1 cup of chopped pecans (optional)

Directions:

1. Pop popcorn in a large kettle with vegetable oil.  Once the popcorn is popped pour it onto a large bowl for mixing.  

2.  While your popcorn is popping place your shredded coconut onto a parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes.  This will nicely toast your coconut, but watch for over browning, it cooks very quickly.  Once the coconut is browned, pour it into the bowl of popcorn. 

3. Pour the sugar, salt, mini marshmallows and pecans (optional) into the bowl with the coconut and popcorn mixture.  Stir well. 

4.  Once all the ingredients are completely mixed together, pour them onto a parchment lined baking sheet.  Spread them evenly.

5.  Now place your semi sweet chocolate chips into a microwave safe bowl and melt them at 30 second intervals.   I do 60 seconds on HALF the power, then stir, then additional 30 to 15 second intervals on HIGH.  Until the chocolate is nice and smooth.  Be careful to handle your bowl with a pot holder when you stir the chocolate.  Now in order for the chocolate to be nice and smooth (I find it is kind of thick),  use about a teaspoon or two of vegetable oil to thin it out.  It drizzles better.   Add the teaspoon and stir, to see if it's the consistency you like. 

6. Once the chocolate is the consistency you like, I use a wire whisk, dip it in the chocolate and drizzle it over the popcorn.  Then place the trays of popcorn into the freezer or the fridge for about 20 to 30 minutes then serve immediately or store in air tight container for up to thirty days. 

happy eats tomato friends :)

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Meatballs

Hey tomato friends. :)

Hope you are all having a nice "autumn",  I love this weather.... it's just well, perfect.  Also, we can break out the hoodies, eat and drink all things pumpkin!  There is just so much awesomeness.

If you are like me, you love having company over and you're always looking for something "different".  Well, here it is, I would be doing you a disservice if I did not share this with you.

I serve them as an app with toothpicks. OMG. so good. trust.  Next time I am doubling the recipe, because these were ridiculously popular.  As in, "barely any left"....

I did find a "similar" recipe online, but I changed it so much, well now I can call this one my own. 


Ingredients:

1 lb bag of frozen meatballs.
2 Tblspoons of melted butter
4 Tblspoons of olive oil
2 cups of honey
5 cloves of minced garlic
8 tablespoons of reduced sodium soy sauce
1 1/2 cups of ketchup 

Directions:

1. Melt the two tablespoons of butter and add it to the crockpot. Add the olive oil, honey, garlic, soy fsauce and ketchup.  Stir well. 

2. Pour in the frozen meatballs and stir them in the sauce until completely covered.  Turn the crockpot on high and cook for approximately 3-4 hours. 

Details: Prep Time: 10 minutes  Cook Time: 4 hours  Total time: 4 hours & 10 minutes Yield: 1 pound of meatballs, feeds approximately 6-8 adults. 



Monday, September 16, 2013

Apple Cider Sangria


Oh hey, so it's September and you know what that means?  Yep, apple season is upon us, which brings: apple picking, apple pie, apple cobbler, candy apples... well, you get it, apples everywhere!

As if fall were not epic enough with its crisp morning air,  its sunny afternoons and rich comfort foods;  I then discovered this amazing recipe over at Inspired by Charm.  A blog by Michael Worm, Jr.  I have to say,  I just adore his blog.  He has the greatest recipes, DIY projects, decorating, etc... The master of all that is, well, charming.  He is just utterly heartable. 

Also, in the Pinterest world, well, let's just say he's what Justin Bieber is to the Twitter world.  Only far more inspiring.  ::ahem::  the.most.adorable.pins.  Trust.

So when I saw this recipe on his blog, I thought: " Holy good God.. no he didn't!" ::insert gyrating head motion and rapid finger snaps:: 

Off to the packie I went and here we are!  I had company over this weekend, and provided a double batch of said awesome sauce.  Needless to say,  there's nary a drop to be had.  Only some very sad, very lonely grapes and cinnamon sticks wallowing in shallow pool of dismal alcohol poisoning;  at the bottom of my fancy Wal-mart glass dispenser. 

Anywho...Thank You Michael for this epically awesome recipe. 


Ingredients:

1 Box of Black Box White Wine (Sauvignon Blanc) 
2 Cups of Apple Pie Vodka (I used Orient Apple Absolute Vodka ::sigh::, I couldn't find any apple pie vodka):


2 Cups of Ginger Brandy
4 Cups of Apple Cider
1 Cup of Grapes sliced in half
4 Apples Cubed  (i used my dollar store mandolin. made thin slices. mostly due to laziness. and four demanding children.) 


4 Pears Cubed (this i did. only i cheated and used a french fry cutter, which proved to be interesting but did the trick and then i cut horizontally. tadahhh! cubes.)


8-10 Cinnamon sticks 
1 1/2 Cups Cinnamon Simple Syrup, how to make the syrup (do not skip step):

Bring 1 cup of sugar, 2 cups of water and a teaspoon of ground cinnamon to a simmer over medium heat until sugar is completely dissolved. Takes about 10 minutes till it thickens to a syrup like mixture.  Allow the syrup to completely cool before adding to the mix. 

Mix all the above ingredients together and allow to refrigerate for at least 2 hours.  I tried a glass the night I made this, but it was even better the following night.  Once it sits overnight it just tastes a little better.  

Enjoy! And happy fall tomato friends ~b

Friday, July 26, 2013

Jordan Marsh Blueberry Muffins & I love the 80's.



There are so many things i want to say about these muffins.  First and foremost... duh, they are frickin' delicious. The entire stick of butter may have something to do with that.  Seriously, it aint right, people.

Also, these muffins bring me back to the days of ole; literal translation.... I'm a child of the 80's. Which means I was born in the 70's and was actually lucid through the days of leg warmers, Pudding Pops, Michael Jackson's infamous glove and his ill fated head burning incident.

And of course these delicious muffins were a wondrous perk while out shopping at Jordan Marsh for the ever fashionable sweater dress. Remember these ladies?

Oh you think you're fancy, huh? You fancy... so bad. ::ugh:: yeah, bad. what were we thinking, folks?

                        work it gurrl.






Other fuzzy memories of my days spent careening through Max Headroom commercials, Run DMC music videos while bustin' out break dancing moves on my mother's linoleum floor include the following:

My brother pulling my Barbie Doll's limbs apart shortly after I received her as a gift. Namely Malibu Barbie... Even as a girl I was an Estrogen Warrior. Hence I did not forgot... since we DON'T  forget sh*t EVER. Can I get an Amen, ladies?


Which brings me to:

Teddy Ruxpin. When Teddy Ruxpin came out, I was a little too old for his creepy tale spinning "whimsy" of sorts.  Circling back to the Barbie incident of 83',  as I've already stated I did not forget.  Moments after my brother opened this Christmas morning, once he had safely exited the room.... I plotted my evil revenge.  I rammed my pinky finger deep into its plushy mouth as he spun the tales of tender soft pawed creatures of the forest. To make a long story short... I destroyed the mechanism which made the toy's mouth work. Shortest working Teddy Ruxpin in the history of the world, people. Seriously, this gift wasn't unwrapped for more than an hour.  Moral of the story: never mess with a lady and her toys. 



Remember these?

Jelly Rings? Also we had Jelly Bracelets, Jelly shoes, Jelly on yo' toast. Jelly everywhere! I fondly remember these suckers... the rings. Only because my cousin, who teased the crap out of me (and I also teased her - lest we fool no one here). My cousin rammed one too many of these on her ring finger while she was out shopping with me and my mom. This legit turned her whole finger purple. This is when my neurotic Italian mother went into full melt down mode. I busted a gut laughing because, well... that sh*t was funny.  She was fine, her Vienna sausage like finger as well. Aside from my mother's completely irrational panic attack when she practically man handled a store clerk for a pair of scissors to break her pudgy finger free from the shackles of neon plastic. epic I tell you.

And who can forget these guys, while listening to them on a TAPE DECK, out on the trails, with friends. ::ahem:: just to name a few:




Clearly, I could go on for days about this decade, but let's get to that recipe shall we? Adapted from Cooks.com

Ingredients:

1/2 cup of butter - room temp -
1 cup of sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup of milk
1/2 teaspoon of salt
2 teaspoons of sugar (for the top)
1 teaspoon of vanilla

Directions:

1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. In your mixer, on a low speed, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

2. Stir together dry ingredients in a separate bowl and then gradually add to the butter sugar mix, alternately with milk.

3. Line your muffin pan with liners or grease your muffin pan. Fill each muffin tin about 1/4 full then put a small handful of blueberries on top of the batter and then cover the blueberries with batter till the tin is full. (This ensures the blueberries don't sink to the bottom).

4. Once each muffin tin is full, sprinkle the tops with a little bit of sugar. Bake for approximately 25-30 minutes, watch for over browning.

Details: Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 25 minutes Total Time: About 40 minutes Yield: 1 dozen muffins.



Saturday, July 6, 2013

Country Amish Bread with Spicy Garlic Herb Bread Dip





Oh hey, i've been away far too long. I've had so much going on, it would make your head spin... since i'm amazed mine has not imploded. legit insanity. I apologize for not getting back to some of you right away. I'm still alive, just wow.... busy living.

I am still working on my book. I broke the 200 page mark. So I'm almost there.

I had another kid. A boy. I also decided not to do that anymore, so immediately thereafter I had the ol' tubes tied. best. decision. ever. I mean, i love my kids and all....but certain birth control methods are the pits. feel what I'm laying down? ::ahem::

i pitifully document my life on instagram: Instagram Me. I follow back. Yo.  Clickah dee clickeroo

so there's this new guy

Nicolace Bird - 4 months old. (with a little buttercream frosting)

Jameson - 2.5 years. getting down to bubble blowing business.

me. obnoxious selfie in the bedroom mirror. almost down to goal weight. ::sigh:: almost.
this is my Cob in Mexico on vacation. lucky devil. cool picture, no? he's 10 going on 26, btw. 
my oldest. Myles Zappa at a Medieval Fair this year. Lief Ericson. bamm.

now let's get at that bread. shall we?- the bread is adapted from One more Moore. The dip, that's my lil' creation. hope you enjoy.

Ingredients:

4 Tblspns sugar
2 Tblspns butter (melted)
3 Tspns salt
1 1/2 cups warm water
2 Tblspns rapid rise yeast
5 cups of flour (+ or -)
1 egg white + 1 Tblspn of water
Parmesan cheese & dried rosemary for sprinkling.

Directions: 

1. Place the water, sugar, salt and yeast in a stand up mixer with a dough hook attachment and mix well until the yeast is bubbly and completely dissolved. I usually let it sit for a minute or two.

2. Then add the melted butter and begin to add the flour in small batches. I find that I use closer to 4 cups for two loaves and 2 cups for one loaf, but slowly add the flour to make sure it is not too dry or too wet. It should pull apart nicely from the side of the bowl.

3. Remove the dough and place it in a greased bowl and let it rise until it's doubled in size. Punch down the dough then divide it into two equal rounds and place on greased cookie sheets. (they rise to be relatively large).

4. Cut decorative slits on the top. Then let the dough rise again for about half an hour.


5.  Rub an egg wash (1 egg white and 1 tblspn of water ) over the top of the bread and then sprinkle with salt, dried rosemary and parmesan.

6. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, then for about 5-7 minutes cover the bread with foil to prevent over browning. I lightly press on the top of the bread. If it springs back quickly it's done. Not an exact science but that's my thing.

Details: Prep Time: 75 minutes Cook Time: 25 minutes Total Time: About 1 hour and 40 minutes Yield: 2 loaves.


Holla at ya' girl. you're welcome. 
Ingredients:

1 cup of olive oil
1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese
1 Tblspn of dry parsley
1 Tblspn of crushed red pepper flakes
1 Tspn of garlic powder
1 clove of fresh minced garlic
1/2 Tsp of ground pepper
1 Tsp of dried rosemary

Mix well with a fork and use spoon to transfer a small amount of oil onto individual plates.


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Caramel Apple Milky Way Cheesecake Bars



Oh hi! So I've been super busy with a few things these days.... Finishing up with my writing (my book that is), tending to the brood, being wicked lazy out of my mind busy. Oh and cooking a new baby. Yeah and then there's that! I'm almost five months pregnant, kinda big news. My bad, so so busy with appointments etc... a toddler... yada yada, life it gets in the way of all the fun stuff, dagnabbit!! I'm over thirty five so my doctors have me doing all kinds of tests the young uns don't have to go through ::sigh:: Advanced Maternal Age. {sounds like I'm wicked old. I don't feel old??} Meh...

This Friday is the big ultrasound when we find out the gender! ::eeeeeeeee::  I am hoping for a girl, since I have three boys and if I don't get a whole bunch of pink dust sprinkled my way... this will be my last shot at a little girl. Of course, I will be estatic with a boy, but Oh how I would love to shop down the pink aisles at Babies R' Us and Target oh and buy Princess outfits! My family has ALL boys, this will be the seventh grandson on my side {that's if it's a boy}. My husband has two super adorb nieces.... lucky. So to all my readers, sprinkle me with tons of pink dust please!!! ty~

I don't know about you guys, but I love love love this time of year!!! I love Halloween, so much fun! Comfort food is awesome, apple picking is a blast {well, for me. my boys think it's lame. so does my husband. i make him stifle and deal}. Scary movies are the bomb, although I'm nearly certain the fetus doesn't appreciate it, since I jump out of my skin. TV is bearable again in the fall!! Yah for non crappy TV! Hoodies and sweatpants to wear, which is good after those comfort meals. Also, I am thankful for being pregnant in the fall/winter this time around, rather than the summer. Not fun at all. Being pregnant in the summer is grounds for justifiable homicide. seriously.  So yep I'm due in March,  the 15th. Last time I delivered two weeks early... but I'm a patient lady. 

Oh and we had our yearly family photos done last week. I will post a few under my about me section, since I've been uber lazy about updating. Click Here: to see my new "About Me" section. For now... here's a lil' preview:

Left to Right, Myles, Jim @ Jameson, Moi & Cob



 So how bout them yummo bars?? I thought you'd never ask... ::ahem:: i will give you fair warning, they are super evil! So very very apropos for the upcoming holiday. Scary good!!! boo.

Adapted from: Inside BruCrew Life

Ingredients: 

Cookie Layer:

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup shortening
2 Tblspns sour cream
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup of brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp of pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup of graham cracker crumbs
2 cups of Caramel Apple Milky Way Candy Bars (you can use the regular Milky Way if you cannot find Caramel Apple flavor)

Cheesecake Layer: 

1 pkg. cream cheese (8 ounces)
1/2 cup of sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup of caramel ice cream topping
2 Tblspns of Flour

Topping: 

4 ounces of caramel candies (about 14 squares)
4 Tblspns of heavy cream
1/4 cup chocolate chips
1/2 tsp. shortening 


Instructions: 

 1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cream the butter, shortening, sour cream and sugars until creamy. Then add in the eggs and vanilla. 

2. Sift together the flour, crumbs, baking soda, and salt and then slowly add in the candies by hand. 

3. Press HALF of the mixture into a greased 8 inch pan. 

4. Beat the cream cheese and sugar together until creamy and then add in the egg and caramel ice cream topping and beat again. Stir in the flour and then pour the cream cheese mixture on top of the cookie dough in the pan. 

5. Take the other Half of the left over cookie mixture and gently drop the rest of the dough by the spoonfuls on top of the cream cheese layer. 

6. Bake for 40-45 minutes at 350 degrees. Allow to cool completely before adding the toppings. (also watch the color on the top of the bars... toward the end I added a little tin foil to avoid over browning)

7. While the bars are cooling, place the caramels and the heavy cream in a small saucepan. Heat and stir until melted and creamy. In a microwave safe bowl, place the chocolate chips and shortening. Heat the chocolate for a full minute at HALF the power, then stir. After the minute heat at 20 second intervals, stirring each time until smooth. Drizzle the caramel and chocolate over the top of the bars after they are cooled. 

Details: Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 40 Minutes Total Time: About 1 hour Yield: 1 dozen bars (depending on how big you cut them.)

Monday, September 10, 2012

Apple & Cheese Danish {and a product review}


 

Hello all my tomato friends! I've missed you so! I've taken a summer hiatus {as most of you know} to finish up my book.... -still not finished, but I work on it everyday. I'm very close. So close I can smell it....-  Much like the smell of this danish tantalizing my senses and crippling my last shred of willpower. ::insert lamentable sigh::

the reason for breaking my silence {aside from a much needed break} is twofold. One... I had to share this insanely easy and delicious recipe with everyone, and Two I wanted to tell you about a great product I was asked to review.

A company called Firmoo.com contacted me and asked, "Yo, what up girl? Want a free pair of prescription glasses? Then I responded with a resounding, "Hellz ya peeps! Sign me up!"

ok, maybe it didn't go down just like that....so what's up?

Let me first start by saying, I am absolutely in LOVE with my new glasses. They are trendy {like funky fresh fat -with a PH- yo.}. The color and shape, so so pretty; and they are high quality and durable. These glasses have survived the fleeting tenacious grip of my toddler's chubby fingers; now THAT is the ultimate test of durability folks. Honestly, when I saw the price of these glasses, I thought.... "Oh man, these are going to be super crappy quality". Let's be honest, we all expect to pay more for a high quality product. Hence the old adage, you get what you pay for. Coincidentally, the frames are a steal at $49.95. They have that expensive "hipster" look.

Yeah, you know the look: "Hey, I look cool by accident. Totally not on purpose...I'm just that intense." Or something like that. get at em'



Great for the days I want to look like a lawyer {which is never}, and the days I wanna look like a sexy beast. grrrr...

Truthfully, I spend most of my days, writing or elbow deep in dishes and laundry {not my favorite}. But on the rare occasion I break free from the shackles of maternal servitude,  I like to get all fancy. When you're a mom and a reclusive writer, trips to the grocery store take on a whole new meaning. So I strut my stuff on the catwalk {a.k.a. the produce section}. I like to put on makeup and stuff, it makes me feel like a girl.

Now I have these sexy glasses to complete my look. yah! That's another thing I love about these glasses; they work for a casual look, a sexy look or a business look. they just work. that is all. what more do you want?

Glasses include a hard case, a cleaning cloth, extra screws, an eyeglass screwdriver and a soft carrying case.

Ok Bridge, so where do I get these glasses? Oh, I'm so glad you asked. Just click here: Firmoo.com tadahhh! now you're well on your way to new glasses. ::sparkle sparkle:: Oh and the first pair is FREE for first time customers.

Once you're there, check out their collection of 300+ glasses. Another really cool feature, upload your own picture and virtually try on the frames of your choice. So you will know how your glasses look before they show up in the mail! Genius and fun! Heck, try em' all on! {pssst.... don't tell anyone. I uploaded a picture of my cat and then fancied him up with some specs. don't judge.} So once your done trying on frames for yourself, go grab fluffy or rex. I promise I won't tell anyone.

Want some more good news?! of course you do! Good news is like an ice cream cone for the soul. As a first time customer of Firmoo.com you will receive your first pair of glasses for FREE. Yep, free... the most beautiful word in the world. Of course I've had an unpleasant experience or two with the word "free" {mostly when it's veiled with the word "pro bono"}. Lawyer joke. ::ahem:: Otherwise, FREE is normally a delightful word. Don't need glasses? How bout sunglasses? Those are free too,  so do it. Safety glasses? Just do it baby, cuz those are free too. Yeah, that's what I'm talking bout.

Go here:  Free glasses. Get at em'. Thank me later....

Now how bout that recipe? A tomato original. I promise you'll love it. It's easy, quick and super delish. Oh and it has warm gooey apples. mmmmm.....apples. Apples in the fall make me feel all warm and fuzzy. enjoy!

ciao my tomato friends ~

Apple & Cheese Danish

Ingredients:

1 tube of crescent rolls (8 count)
1 can of apple pie filling
6 ounces of softened cream cheese
2 Tblspns of flour
1 Tspn of pure vanilla extract 
1/3 cup of sugar

Glaze: 

1 cup of powdered sugar
Splash of pure vanilla extract
4 Tblspns of heavy cream

Directions:

 1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Mix together softened cream cheese with the flour, vanilla and the sugar. Once the mixture is creamy and smooth set aside. 

2. Open the can of crescent rolls, seperate them into squares leaving a pair of triangles in tact. Lay each rectangle down on an ungreased cookie sheet. Press them all together side by side to form a long rectangle.  Like so: 



 3. Open the can of apple pie filling and spoon out about 3/4 of the apple pie filling down the center of the rectangle. Leaving room on the sides, making about a one inch wide strip of apples down the center. 

4. Now take the cheese mixture and drop tablespoons of cheese along the top of the apples. 


5. Spread the cheese mixture along the apples with a knife. Carefully run the knife along the cheese mixture evenly distributing it on top of the apples.


6. Cut even strips into the crescent dough along the side of the filling. Trying to make sure the strips are about the same width on each side. 


7. Wrap the strips around the top of the filling pinching each strip together at the center. 



8. Place the danish in the oven and bake for 17-20 minutes or until golden brown.

9. While the danish is baking make the glaze.

10. Carefully transfer the danish to a serving platter and cover with the glaze.

Details: Prep Time: 10 Minutes Cook Time: 17 Minutes Total Time: 27 Minutes Yields: 8-10 servings
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