Saturday, December 10, 2011

Yams with a sauce

This past Thanksgiving part of our donation to the dinner was yams.  And the wife did this little guys.  The wife got the recipe from the Foodnetwork.  and Paula Dean as the cook.  Being the kind of guy that I am, and the guy making the sauce,  I had to change something on the recipe.  I took the booze out. Two reasons, one I don't drink and the grandkids.  I know the deal you cook all the booze out and you are left with the flavor only.  Oh the other reason was I didn't have any Jack Daniels for the sauce.  

This recipe is scaled for 4 serving and it takes about 2 hours or less.  

It's easy to do,  The hardest part was transporting the dish.  

4          large sweet potatoes
3          cups water
1-1/2    cups brown sugar
4          Tbs butter
1          Cinnamon stick
1/4        teasp. nutmeg
1          long strip orange peel 
1/3       cup bourbon,  Best to use Jack Daniels

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F

  2. Wash and dry the sweet potatoes and bake for 1 hour or until potatoes are soft to the touch.  

  3. Remove from the oven and let cool and then remove the skin.  Reduce the oven temp to 350F. 

  4. While the potatoes are baking, combine remaining ingredients in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30-45 minutes or until sauce is slightly thickened.  

  5. Slice the potatoes 1/2 inch thick into a medium casserole dish, Pour syrup over them and return to the oven and bake for approximately 30 minutes.  

I've been missing

Yes I know I've been missing,  however,  I've gotten back into my old profession, Photography.  Not full time or anything like that, but trying to learn this new digital photography thing.  And I've been working and developing a client list, and building my stock photo inventory.  So that's where I've been,  out taking pretty pictures and stock piling etc.  I do have a small blog going for the photography if your interested in checking it out 

I still plan on keeping up with the food blog and cooking etc.  But starting this new little gig,  is taking a little more time than I expected.  But hey it's fun. So if you don't hear from me for a while, that's what is going on.  

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Fast Drop Biscuits

COPYRIGHT 2011 by Michael Long
If you get overwhelmed needing a biscuit with lets say honey, or jam, or your biscuit and gravy fix,  Try this recipe.  it takes longer for the oven to heat up than it does to mix these little guys up. 

  •  2   cups               AP Flour

  •  1    Tablespoon     Baking Powder

  •  2    tsp            Sugar

  •  1/4 tsp             Salt

  •  1/2 cup               Melted butter

  •  1    cup               Milk

  1. Preheat oven to 450F (230 C)

  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder,sugar, and salt.  Stir in butter and milk until    moist.  Drop the biscuits on to a lined baking sheet.  I used tablespoon size for mine. 

  3. Bake those puppies until golden brown around the edges.  This will take about 10 minutes or so.  

  4. Pull those hot little guys our when done,  dig out the honey and chow down. 

You'll have about a half an hour on these little guys,  This recipe will make about a dozen biscuits. 

Thursday, October 6, 2011


COPYRIGHT 2011 by Michael Long
Most of us know Honey as a sweet, golden liquid.  In addition to being a great natural sweetener, honey has a bunch of other benefits.  If you have a sore throat, take some honey, it will soothe the throat.  If your diabetic, honey under the tongue will raise your blood sugar and keep you out of trouble. For athletes looking for a natural energy boost before a big game, honey will provide a quick energy in all circumstances.  

Honey can be found in several different forms:
  • Comb Honey  is a honey in it's original form; "Honey inside of the honeycomb,  and the beeswax comb is edible!!!!

  • Cut Comb  Cut comb honey is liquid honey that has added chunks of the honey comb in the jar or container 

  • Liquid Honey  is a honey that is free of visible crystals,  and is extracted from the honey comb by centrifugal force and straining.  Because liquid honey mixes so well into a variety of foods it's especially convenient for cooking and baking.  Most of the honey that is produced here in the United States is sold in the liquid form. 

  • Naturally Crystallized Honey  Naturally crystallized honey is honey in which part of the glucose content has spontaneously crystallized.  And it's safe to eat.

  • Whipped (or Cremed) Honey, While all honey will crystallize in time,  This honey is brought to market in a crystallized state.  The crystallization is controlled so that, at room temperature, the honey can be spread like butter or jelly.  In many countries around the world, whipped honey is preferred to the liquid form especially at breakfast time.  

Honey in normally bought and sold in one of two ways, by variety and color.  Most consumers whether buying in a supermarket or farmers market will typically by either a blend of pure honeys, the so called Supermarket Store brands or a Clover Honey.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

SHARLA's Fruit Pizza

I-phone photo by Michele
I have the best Granddaughter in-law in the world,  This girl can bake, cook, works a full time job, and then comes home and bakes cakes, decorate cakes,  The full show. She commissions out her decorating skills to different clients around the Palm Springs area.  Getting to the recipe and story.  One of the other grandkids had a birthday party the other night,  and of course Grandma and Grandpa were invited.  And Sharla the baker came with this dessert for all of us.  A "Fruit Pizza."  Never heard of such a thing.  Well anyway,  it's great.  (I must have lived a sheltered life)

  • 1     each       sugar cookie dough  (Store bought, Pillsbury, the kind that is rolled up. It's not the pre-cut kind.)

  • 2     each       8 oz cream cheese packages

  • 1/2  cup         sugar

  • 1     tbsp        lemon juice

  • fruit of your choice, (strawberries, kiwi, grapes, blackberries, raspberries etc...)

  • 1     jar           apricot preservatives 

  • 2     tbsp        water

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 350F with the rack in the middle of the oven.

  2. Take a half sheet jelly roll pan and grease or spray the inside of if you have a non-stick, use that.  Take your cookie dough  and press the dough out to fill the sheet.

  3. Bake for 10 minutes.

  4. In a mixing bowl combine the cream cheese, sugar, and lemon juice.  Spread the mix over the cooled cookie crust.

  5. Cut up the fruit and arrange like you see in the picture above.  

  6. Mix the apricot preservatives with water and drizzle over the top of the pizza. 

  7. Keep refrigerated,  after chilling eat that puppy up!!!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

My SnickerDoodles

Photography by Michael Long

In all my years,  I've never had a snickerdoodle.  Never, Honest!!!  And today I found out what I have been missing.  I'd heard about girls making them in Home Ed classes,  and the boys going wild over them,  But No, I was out playing hide and sneak with my Chevy and the cops!!!  Should have been chasing the girls and they're cookies.  Anyway, that's another story.  I got an E-mail from Saveur Magazine the other day and they had a recipe on Snickerdoodles so I thought what the heck go for it.  I mentioned it to the wife, "boss, manager, tax consultant, etc..." and she told me that years ago in the home ed. class where they taught cooking or basic cooking, that was one thing the girls had to do was make snickerdoodles and she hadn't had them since.????  Doesn't make a lot of since to me either, but anyway her eye's rolled back and said oh please,  So I pounded my chest and said "yes my dear, I can do that" So I did that!

Anyway, now to the recipe,


  • 3      cups       Flour

  • 2      tsp         Cream of Tartar

  • 1      tsp         Baking soda

  • .25   tsp         Kosher Salt

  • 1.75  cups      Sugar

  • 16    tbsp       Unsalted Butter, @ Room Temp.

  • 5      tsp         ground cinnamon

  • 1.5   tsp         vanilla extract

  • 2     each       eggs.


  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt;  and set that puppy aside.  Using a hand mixer or better yet a stand mixer on medium speed, beat 1.5 cup of sugar and butter together till pale and fluffy. (Don't you just love the fluffy part?) This will take about 2 minutes of your time.  Add 2 tsp of cinnamon and the vanilla; beat for about another minute more.  Add your eggs one at a time, and beat well after each addition of egg.  Add the dry ingredients that you sat aside to the mixer,  very slowly, or your going to have stuff everywhere! And don't over mix. If you over mix your going to have cinnamon flavored hockey pucks. Now refrigerate the dough for about 30 minutes. 

  2. Heat the oven to 375F.  In a separate bowl combine the remaining sugar and cinnamon.  Remove dough from the frig, and using about 1 tbsp measure, spoon out about 48 portions.  I got 46. But anyway, you get the idea.  Take those portions and roll them into little balls and then over to the cinnamon bowl and coat each and everyone of those guys with the sugar/cinn. mix.  Place on a baking sheet lined with Parchment paper, about 2" apart.  Put those little guys in the preheated oven and bake for about 10 minutes.  What your looking for is some cracking on top of the cookies.  

Transfer to a cooling rack to cool.  and  then get your insulin out and eat till your silly.  


I'm dedicating this recipe to my Granddaughter, Christina, that's living up in Santa Barbara, CA. And to her roommates. Eat up and enjoy,  Grandpa!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Happy Birthday "Michael's Kitchen"

     On Sept 6, 2009, I gave birth to my blog. I had no idea as to what I was doing or even wanting to do, but like everything else, I grabbed my nose, held my breath and jumped in feet first. And just hoped I didn't hit too many rocks on the way down. And so far it's been a life saver for me.
     From the first post I've learned a lot. Met a lot of wonderful people. And have become very close to many of them. I thank you for that.
     I'm going to be doing a few changes to my blog, First and most important, I'm getting into a DSLR camera shortly. The point and shoot has limited me greatly on the pictures. So with the camera up grade, The pictures will improve and there will be more pictures, hopefully to motivate or excite everyone to do my recipes. That's the goal. To make the recipes easier to understand and follow. Secondly I'm wanting to set up a publishing of the post schedule. And stick to that if at all possible. This way, you know when to expect the recipes, or post. And thirdly, I'm going to have someone else proof read all the posts before I post them for spelling etc.

     If you all have any comments or questions please feel free to E-mail me. And I'll get back to you ASAP.

     Again, Thank you to my followers, the people that have signed on to my E-mail list, the people that are on my other E-mail list. To everyone that said hey guy why don't you do a blog... My wife the proof reader. And my kids that say "hey grandpa has a pretty cool blog"


Photography by Michael Long
Thumbing through Alice Medrich's book,  "Chewy, Gooey, Crispy Crunchy Cookies"  on page 48,  She wrote about these little guys.  And after making them,  These guys are good.  I did change one thing,  I went from Vanilla Extract to Vanilla Bean.  But I have a big stock of Beans, so it was easy to do.  Plus it makes the cookies look like there is pepper in them. ha! not really, but you do get a bunch of little specks in the cookies.  A good sign of vanilla bean being used.  This makes about 60-70 cookies. 

  • 6.75     oz             AP Flour

  • 4.5       Tbs           Cornstarch

  • 3          large         eggs

  • 6.125   oz              Sugar

  • .75       tps            Salt

  • 3          ea             Vanilla beans,= (1tablespoon Extract)

  • 6          oz             Unsalted Butter (Melted and still warm)

  1. Preheat oven to 325F and position racks in the upper and lower thirds of oven.

  2. Combine Flour and Cornstarch in a medium bowl and whisk to incorporate thoroughly.

  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the Eggs, Sugar, Salt and Vanilla.  Beat with an electric mixer on high speed until the mixture is thick and pale.  (This will take about 2-3 minutes)  

  4. Beat in the melted butter.  

  5. Stop the mixer and fold in by hand the Flour mixture (One half at a time)

  6. Dough is going to look more line a batter than a dough.

  7. Drop rounded teaspoons of batter 2 inches apart on a lined cookie sheet.  Bake until the cookies are deep golden brown around the edges.  (About 16-20 minutes) Remember to rotate the pans front to back and up and down, for even baking. 


These will keep in an air tight container for at least a week

1/70 serving or one cookie = 42.08 cal, Total Fat = 2.21g,Cholesterol=14.29mg,Total Carbs=5.05 Sodium=28.28,g, Protein=.57g

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Double Brownie Chocolate Cookie

These little guys are flour-less, with a chocolate chips.  Way over the top.  And they're made in one bowl. And fast!!!  These little guys have to be eaten with Brain freeze milk, since the intensity of the chocolate is so great.  But there's nothing wrong with that. 

I changed the original recipe some,  not a lot,  but some,  in place of the vanilla extract I used 3 vanilla beans,  and I used Ghirardelli cocoa powder.  You can use something else, but I had this on hand,  and I love this chocolate. 


  • 3 cups        Powdered sugar

  • 2/3 cup      Cocoa Powder

  • 1/8 tsp       Salt

  • 2-4 eggs     Whites only (@ Room Temperature)

  • 1 Tbs         Vanilla extract

  • 1-1/2 cup   Chocolate chips


  1. Gotta preheat the oven to 350F.  But you knew that!

  2. Line two baking sheets with either Parchment paper with spray or two Slip-pat mats.

  3. In a large bowl add your sugar, cocoa powder and salt, and whisk till completely mixed. 

  4. Add your vanilla and two egg whites, to the mix and mix till well incorporated  It's going to start to look like a brownie mix,  if it's too thick add another egg white.  Your looking for a brownie/fudge consistency  to the mix.  If need be add another egg white to get to the right consistency. If you go over, not to worry,  add some more sugar to bring it back.  Just a spoonful at a time.  You'll get there,  Trust me on that!

  5. Caution DON'T OVER WORK THE BATTER, just mix till incorporated.

  6. Stir in the chocolate chips.  I know your going to think hey, that's too much,  But there no such thing, too many chips. 

  7. Scoop the batter out on to your mats about a Tablespoon size.  I over did it on mine.  But I'm into chocolate.

  8. leave about a two inch gap between the cookies so that they can spread out.

  9. Put those little guys in the oven for about 15 minutes.  You want a slight crust on the bottom. Your oven temp my vary some, so keep an eye on those guys.

  10. I rotate my pans so they bake evenly,  But my oven has some hot spots in it. So I have to work mine a little more than some. 

  11. When they are done, let them cool to room temp or close too, and get the milk out of the freezer and go for it.  These should last about 3 days in an airtight container.  Here they lasted about 2 days. 

You should be able to get about 30 or so cookies out of this.  

I got this recipe from the internet,  from a blog called "Chocolate and Carrots"  and this lady got it from another blog called "Keep it sweet"

Friday, August 19, 2011

Pie Crust (Pate Brisee)

Need a fast Pie crust at the last minute,  Here is one from "Ratio",  Michael Ruhlman's book on ratio's. page 25.   I use this as my standard go to pie crust.  It's fast and always right on.  The crust is based on a 3-2-1 formula,  3 parts flour 2 parts fat and 1 part water. So if you need two crust, just double it.  This base ratio will make one 9" crust and one top.

  • 12 oz AP Flour

  • 8 oz Butter or shortening

  • 2-4 oz ICE COLD WATER

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  1. Cube the butter/fat, so that it can be incorporated into the flour.

  2. Add the flour into a mid-size bowl.  Add your butter and with  your hands begin working the butter into the flour... Until the flour is nice and flaky.  You should have nice pea size chunks.

  3. Add your water, Nice and gently and work the water into the dough. 

  4. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes (This gives the dough a chance to rest.)

  5. Flour your board and roll out your dough to the correct size, with about a 1" overhang.

Monday, August 8, 2011

And More Helpful Hints

Here are some more helpful hints for the kitchenTricks to keep you from running to the store at the last minute.

 Baking powder will go bad,  and the best way to check it is Mix 1 teaspoon (5gm) with 1/2 cup hot water.  The mix should bubble immediately.  If it doesn't toss it out.  You have bad baking powder

Baking powder should be replaced every 6-12 months

To test Baking soda, ¼ teaspoon to 2 teaspoons VINEGAR mix should bubble immediately

To make Baking Powder is a pretty simple thing to do.
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar

Mix the baking soda and cream of tartar together until well combined. The yield is one tablespoon.


Cream of Tartar
Cream of tartar is the common name for potassium hydrogen tartar and also tartaric acid salt.  It is obtained when tartaric acid is half neutralized with potassium hydroxide, transforming it into a salt. Grapes are the only significant natural source of tartaric acid, and cream of tartar is obtained from sediment produced in the process of aging wine. It is found on the insides of the wine barrels and sometimes at the bottom of bottles of wine. It crystallizes out as a hard crust in the barrels.

Cream of tartar is best known for helping stabilize and give more volume to beaten egg whites. It is used as the leavening agent in baking powder.
Normally when cream of tartar is used in a cookie, it is used together with baking soda. The two of them combined work like a double-acting baking powder. When substituting for cream of tartar, you must also substitute for the baking soda.


Self-rising flour
If your recipe calls for self-rising flour and you only have all-purpose, here's how you can save the day.. Measure out the amount of flour into a separate bowl and for each cup of flour add 1.5 teaspoon baking powder and one half teaspoon of salt, Mix that up and  POOF you have self-rising flour.

Can be stored in an Air tight container for Months 

 Brown Sugar  
Your out of Brown sugar, but you have granulated sugar and you have molasses.  The formula or recipe is 1 cup sugar and 2 Tablespoons molasses.  In a stand mixer (can be done by hand with a fork).  Put the sugar and molasses in your mixer bowl and with the whisk attachment, start that puppy up..... run on medium speed till all mixed,  this may take a while to do. But it does go together. If you have some clumps that refuse to break up,  use a fork to break them up.  And POOF again,  you've made brown sugar.

I hope these little hints will help,  everyone runs short on stuff, and just maybe this will help.


Friday, June 24, 2011


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If you all are wondering what this is above,  It's a way for us bloggers to increase our following and ratings on Search Engines. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Photography by Michael Long
    This is the first recipe that I made out the book Small Batch Baking. This is going to be a first in a series of recipes that I'll do.
    As Debby Maugans Nakos (author) called her Old-Fashioned Yellow Cake.  pp42. This makes two cakes and uses two 14- or 14.5 oz cans, To bake in.  I had some small cake pans that I used.  

  • Unsalted butter, at room temperature, for greasing the cans/pans. 

  • 1/2 cup A-P flour, sifted, plus more for flouring the cans.

  • 3 tablespoons buttermilk

  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 egg Yolk (large egg)

  • 1/5 teaspoon pure Vanilla extract

  • 3 Tablespoon unsalted butter melted and cooled

  • 1/3 cup sugar

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  1. Place oven rack in middle of oven and preheat oven to 350F 

  2. Grease the insides of the cans and lightly dust with flour, tapping out the excess.  Place the cans on a baking sheet for easier handling and set aside. 

  3. Place the buttermilk and baking soda in a small bowl, and whisk until the baking soda is dissolved.  Add the egg yolk, vanilla, and melted butter.

  4. Place the flour, sugar, and salt in a medium size bowl and whisk to blend well.  Add the buttermilk mixture and whisk just until blended and smooth.

  5. Spoon the batter into the prepared cans, dividing the batter evenly between the cans. Bake the cakes until a toothpick comes out dry.  (about 25minutes)

  6. Remove the cakes and cool for about 15 minutes then De-can the cakes.  You may have to use a knife around the edges to loosen the cakes from the cans.  


And that's all there is to it.......Poof you have cakes for dessert....... Is that cool or what.... and they taste pretty darn good too. 

Monday, June 13, 2011


I just got a book on Small-Batch Baking. By Debby Maugans Nakos. A super book. In the book Debby talks about Desserts for 2.  I made a yellow cake for tonights dinner and It came out fantastic.  I was very impressed.  She hit right on with the recipe. Time, Temp Measurements were right on.  It looks like most of the cakes are made in a 14.5 oz cans.  The cans that beans etc come in. I used very small cake pans for the cake below.  She goes into how to prep the cans to use for you baking molds. I made the yellow cake in just a few minutes, with 1 small bowl,  and one 3 qt bowl. and a wire whip.  The baking took right at 25 minutes. Ovens my vary on temp and time.

Photography by Michael Long

Here is what the Publisher had to say about the book.
Even the most enthusiastic home bakers may admit there are times when they really only need a few muffins for breakfast or a couple of cream puffs for a dinner party—not a dozen or more of each. When standard recipes won't reduce neatly (how do you halve an egg, for example?), frustration ensues. Nakos, a Shape, Southern Living and Cooking Light contributor, takes more than 250 classic cakes, pies, cookies, cobblers, puddings and breads and downsizes their proportions to yield just the right number of goodies for small families, singles, newlyweds, empty-nesters or the leftovers-averse (do such people exist?). Nakos certainly is creative: she uses tin cans to bake two-layer coconut cakes and chocolate cakes, jumbo muffin tins for Peach Pie and Pineapple Upside-Down Cake, and small loaf pans for Moist Fudgy Brownies. Meanwhile, a full-size loaf pan turns out Mississippi Mud Cake or Gingerbread Roulade, and one regular baking sheet does the job for Cinnamon Hazelnut Biscotti. Small-batch baking as formulated by Nakos is liberating: with quick mixing, baking and clean-up times, the whole process of producing, say, eight Pecan Snowball Cookies for tea time, or two Honey Apple Oatmeal Crisps for a sweet breakfast, is less overwhelming.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

I give this book a 4.5 star rating.  There are no pictures in the book. or at least none in the paper back edition.  I will be posting recipes from this book very shortly.

Saturday, May 28, 2011


I just got Alice Medrich new CookbookCHEWY GOOEY CHRISPY CRUNCHY.  It is so unbelievable I mean way over the top for cookie recipe.

You all really need to pick that one up.  But anyway,  I've been on a quest for the ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie.  I think I've found it... I really do.  So I've adapted this recipe from one of her's in the book.  She called this recipe "My Chocolate Chip Cookies".  pp 132-33.

Anyway, looking through it I ran into this recipe.  And all I needed was a reason to make this.  The reason I used was that I had a copy of the recipe... So after testing it eating them, giving some away.  And now to make some more, since they are all gone.  I'll do these tomorrow. 

  • 10.125   oz     AP Flour  

  • 1          tsp     Baking soda

  • .5         lbs     unsalted butter, melted and still warm

  • 5.25      oz     granulated sugar

  • 5.25      oz     packed brown sugar

  • 1           tsp    pure vanilla extract

  • 1           tsp    salt

  • 2           lg      eggs

  • 2           cups  chocolate chips

  • 1           cup   coarsely chopped walnuts

I replaced the vanilla extract with vanilla bean and I didn't use the walnuts

  1. Combine the flour and baking soda in a bowl and mix together thoroughly with a whisk or fork.

  2. In a large bowl, combine the MELTED BUTTER with the sugars, vanilla and salt.  Mix in the eggs.  Stir in the flour mixture just until all the dry ingredients are moistened.  Stir in the chocolate chips and nuts.  IF POSSIBLE, LET THE DOUGH STAND FOR 1 OR 2 HOURS in the frig.  (wrap the dough in plastic wrap)  Or better still overnight.

  3. Preheat the oven to 375F.  Position the racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven.

  4. If necessary, remove the dough form the frig to soften.  Scoop rounded tablespoons of dough and place them 3 inches apart on the ungreased or lined cookie sheets.  Bake for 9-11 minutes, or until the cookies are golden brown at the edges and no longer look wet on top.  Rotate the pans for even baking.  Remove from the oven and let the cookies firm up on the pan for 1 to 2 minutes.  For unlined pans, use a metal spatula to transfer the cookies to racks to cool.  Cool completely before storing or stacking.  

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Always being a big fan of the Vanilla Wafer,  I have never found a good chocolate wafer.  But now I have one.. And it's way way over the top.  This thing is so good,  It makes your eyes tear up.  The only true way to enjoy these is with Brain Freeze COLD MILK or with Ice cream... However, these little guys can be eaten straight up also... But the Brain Freeze is so much better... 

    Alice Medrich wrote this recipe and it's from her book Cookies and Brownies, A Warner Books, Inc.  New York: 1999  Which I've adapted this recipe from.


  • 1 cup (130g)  AP Flour

  • 1/2 cup (50)  unsweetened DUTCH-Processed cocoa powder

  • 1/4 tsp           salt (kosher)

  • 1/4 tsp           baking soda

  • 3 TBS (45g)    unsalted butter, room temp.

  • 3 TBS (45g)    margarine (NOTE!!!) 

  • 2/3cup(140g) packed light brown sugar

  • 1/2cup(100g) granulated white sugar

  • 1 tsp               pure vanilla extract.  or 3 vanilla beans split and scrapped out I changed out the extract to vanilla bean.  Made big difference!

  • 1 large            egg

Note the addition of the margarine!!!!


  1. In a bowl whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.

  2. In your mixer bowl cream the butter and margarine until well blended.  Add the sugars (both the white and brown).  And the vanilla to the mix.  Beat on high speed for (1 minute).  Stop the mixer and scrap down the sides And beat in the eggs, one at a time. Then add the flour mixture. and beat until (JUST INCORPORATED)

  3. Take the dough out of the bowl, and onto parchment paper form the dough into a log.  About 1-11/2 in dia.  And warp the dough you just logged with parchment paper.   Try NOT to Flatten the log too much.  And place the log in the frig. for at least 1 hour, but better if longer.  Like overnight.

  4. Preheat the oven to 350F. and place your racks in the center of the oven.  Your only going to be able to do 1 half sheet pan at a time.   

  5. Using a very sharp knife cut the log into quarter inch slices and space them about one inch apart on your cookie sheets.  OH FORGOT USE SLIPATS OR PARCHMENT PAPER TO LINE YOUR SHEETS WITH. 

  6. Bake for about 10-12 minutes or until the cookies are puffy and tops have small crackles or ripples.  

  7. Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool  on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes or so.  Then you can move those little guys over to a cooling rack. 

  8. You can store this little guys in an airtight bag or container for about 10days or so.

This will yield about 36 cookies.   

The local testers for this recipe have been at least 4 stars, all the way up to a 5 star.
So you know these little guys are good... 

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


   HEY, Look at the picture above... Pretty cool huh!!!!  Those are VANILLA BEAN SUGAR COOKIES.  I found the recipe in Alice Medrich newest cookbook. CHEWY GOOEY CRISPY CRUNCHY COOKIES On page 38-40.  I ordered this book and didn't tell my wife about it.  So when she got home, she saw it... So to cover my tail I told her I would bake anything in the book for her... And she picked out this along with 50 or so other recipes...
    After making these little puppies,  I was hooked on them... Hey, the baker here has to test everything...!!!

  • 18 oz       (4cups) AP Flour

  • 1   tsp      baking powder

  • 1/2 tsp      salt

  • 1/2 lbs      unsalted butter/slightly softened

  • 14  oz       sugar

  • 2  ea         eggs

  • 1 Tlb         Vanilla extract or seeds from 3 beans

  1. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and mix together thoroughly with a fork or whisk.

  2. Beat the butter and sugar in bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, (3-4) minutes. Add eggs one at a time and then the Vanilla bean seeds.  On low speed, beat in the flour (only until it's just incorporated)  Scrape the dough into a mass and knead it with your hands a few times until smooth. Divide the dough into 4 pieces and form each into a flat patty.  Wrap those guys up in plastic wrap and refrigerate the patties until firm enough to roll,  preferably several hours or overnight.

  3. Preheat the oven to 350F and position the racks one at a third down and one a third up.

  4. TO ROLL AND CUT THE COOKIES:  Remove 1 patty from the frig. and let it sit at room temp until supple enough to roll but still firm.  It will continue to soften as you work.  Roll the dough between two sheets of wax-paper. To a thickness of 1/8 of an inch.  Turn the dough over once or twice while you are rolling in out to check for deep wrinkles; if necessary, peel off and smooth the paper over the dough before continuing to roll it out.  

  5. When the dough is thin enough, slide it (still between the sheets of wax-paper. On to a sheet pan and put back in the frig.  Remove the bottom (coldest) sheet form the frig.  Peel off the top sheet of paper and set it on the counter.  Invert the dough onto it and peel off the second sheet.

  6. Cut cookie shapes as close together as possible to minimize scrapes, dipping the edges on the cookie cutters in flour as necessary to prevent sticking. Place the cut out cookies on a greased cookie sheet or parchment paper cookie sheet, or slipmat lined cookie sheet.  (IF THE DOUGH GETS TOO SOFT ANYTIME, SLIDE THE DOUGH INTO THE FRIG TO COOL.).

  7. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown at the edges. 

This recipe will yield about 90 cookies with a 2-1/2" cutter 

Saturday, May 7, 2011


Photography by Michael Long
PAT'S PASTA SALAD was created by Pat (my boss,manager,driver,wife).  We had this SALAD at one of the local Restaurant's, Here in Palm Springs. This salad is way over the top for good!  So anyway, we got some to take home and started DECONSTRUCTING that puppy.  And we have come up with a wonderful SALAD...  
So with that Here you go!!! Pat's pasta salad... 

  • 4          Cups    Tri-Color Rotini or other colored Dry Pasta,  uncooked

  • 1          Cup      Mayonnaise,  I used Mirclewhip

  • 1/4      Cup      Distilled White Vinegar

  • 2/3      Cup      white sugar,  (granulated)

  • 1-3/4   Tabl     Yellow mustard

  • 1-1/2   teasp   Salt

  • 1/2      teasp   ground black pepper

  • 1         ea        yellow bell pepper

  • 1         ea        orange bell pepper

  • 1         ea        red bell pepper

  • 1/4      cup      grated carrots

  • 1         med     diced onion

  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.  Add the pasta and cook until tender, about 8 minutes.  See package for times. (Or better yet, taste test)

  2. After pasta has cooked,  Drain pasta into a colander and cool with tap water to rinse. 

  3. In a large bowl mix together the mayo, vinegar, sugar, mustard, salt and pepper.  Add the balance of ingredients.  Bell peppers, onion, & pasta.

  4. Stir to mix and make sure all the ingredients are well coated.  

  5. Place bowl in frig and let the flavors marry together.  Let set at least several hours.  Or better let sent over night.  

  6. Put your pasta salad in a fancy bowl.  Get a big spoon and just go for it.  

This serves about 12ish. The prep time depending on how good your are with a knife, and how much coffee you've had that day...

NOTE:  You don't really need to use those bell peppers.  Use different colors if you like,  Hey do what ever you like... It's all in the taste buds.. Just make it pretty and above all make it taste good...

Friday, May 6, 2011


Here is a list of some of my sources.  You'll also see the web address, and comments.  Most of these you may already know about, Some you may not. I hope you find this list helpful.  Almost everyone I've ordered from. If not ordered from, at least chatted with. 

  A great website, Covering just about anything you might want to know about Pork.

The National Onion Association:
  Another great site.  Kim will get back to you asap with an E-mail  Super lady over there.

  White Truffle Oil: Never ordered from them.  However, there website is very clean.  I would feel safe ordering from them. 

The Fresh Loaf:   
  Carries News & information for the Amateur Bakers & Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

  An internet group set up for chocolatetiers to meet & converse, trade ideas.  I'm a member.  Extremely helpful group to anyone that asks questions etc.  A group anyone with an interest in chocolates should join.

Dessert Professional: 
  Another internet group for the dessert maker etc.  Another wonderful group that I'm a member of.  You can ask them anything about desserts and they will work with you to get an answer.  Another group you should join if your into desserts.  Fantastic group!!!


  I order tons of stuff from there. Great service, Wait for sales if you can.  I have found some great deals. 

Self Life Advice:

  A very nice website about self life.  They have a Tips, A list of all foods and how long they are good for.  Everyone should look at this one!!!

Still Tasty:

  Another great website.  Pretty much the same as the one above.  It's a matter of which one is the easiest for you to get around on.


  A group for people with allergies.  A wonder website.  Covers all food allergies.

National Pasta Association:

  A place to go to find out just about anything you want to know about pasta.

Bake Decorate Celebrate:

  A pretty inspiring website for cake decorating for the amateur baker. 

I'm cooked:

  A website to post your cooking video's 

The Chocolate Addict:

  A great website about chocolates, working with chocolates, video's,& materials.

Calorie Counter:

  Looks like a very usable website.  I've used it several times and was very happy.

Pressure cooking with Lorna Sass:

  If your into Pressure Cooking this is the go to lady. Book author, Chef

National Honey Board:

  The National Honey Board,  What more needs to be said!!!

Dry Spice:

  Little containers that you put in your spice containers.  I use alot of these.  Tell Ken that I sent you...


  All Chocolates,  Great people to work with.  All your major brands. 


I hope that some of these websites are of some help to you.  These are all from my "Favorites"  I have a ton more, But these are the most active ones.  I'm sure that I didn't list some of your favorites, So bear with me on that.  Let me know if you a favorite one or ones, and I'll list those also. 

Saturday, April 30, 2011


If you get a chance go over to the site.  It's the National Pasta Association.  It's a great resource of information.  That's where I got this information. I wanted to show you different types of Pasta, there shapes and how they are used. 
This is just a few of the Dry pasta's that are available on the market. ( Fresh or homemade pasta is a totally different thing.  We'll cover Fresh pasta shortly.)

  Angel Hair, Capellini ("Fine Hairs")   These thin, delicate pasta strands are best if used with thinner, delicate sauces.  Other uses: break in half and put in soup, use in salads, or stir-fry meals.


Bow Ties, Farfalle (“Butterflies”) Bow Ties brighten any meal with their interesting shape. Thick enough for a variety of sauces, or a perfect addition to a number of  salad or soup recipes.

Farfalline Farfalline is s small version of the bow tie or butterfly shaped pasta. This versatile shape can be used as the base of any dish. Bake it, stir it into soups, or create great salads and stir-fry dishes.

Elbow Macaroni A highly versatile shape that can be topped with any sauce, baked, or put in soups, salads and stir-fry dishes. Elbow Macaroni is traditionally used to make Macaroni and Cheese. 

Linguine   (“Little Tongues”) - A great shape to compliment a variety of sauces. Also a good choice for salads and stir-fry dishes. 

Macaroni  (“Dumpling”) A highly versatile shape that can be topped with any sauce, baked, or put in soups, salads and stir-fry dishes.


Manicotti (“Small Muffs”) – Stuff Manicotti with a mixture of meat, cheese and vegetables, top with your favorite sauce, and bake. 

Orecchiette (“Little Ears”)These “little ears” are commonly served with thick, chunky sauces or in pasta salads. 

Rotini (“Spirals” or “Twists”) – Rotini’s twisted shape holds bits of meat, vegetables and cheese, so it works well with any sauce, or you can use it to create fun salads, baked casseroles, or stir-fry meals. 

Spaghetti – (“A length of Cord”) America’s favorite shape, Spaghetti is the perfect choice for nearly any sauce, or it can be used to make casseroles or stir-fry dishes. Go beyond tomato sauce and see what your favorite becomes. 

Tortellini Tortellini is a ring-shaped pasta typically stuffed with meat, cheese or vegetables. Tortellini is commonly served in a broth or cream sauce. 

Vermicelli – (“Little Worms”) Slightly thinner than Spaghetti, Vermicelli is good topped with any sauce, or as a salad or stir-fry ingredient. 
Wagon Wheels, Ruote (“Wheels”) – Wagon Wheels make interesting salads, casseroles and stir-fry dishes. Add to soups, or simply top with sauce and enjoy. 

Ziti (“Bridegrooms”) A medium-sized, tubular pasta shape, Ziti is perfect for chunky sauces and meat dishes. It also makes wonderful salads, baked dishes and stir-fry meals.

Several note about cooking pasta.   
  1. Use plenty of water.  Use at least an 8qt pot.  

  2. After the water is Boiling,  Add some salt to the water.  About 1 tablespoon or less.  It's the only chance you have to season the pasta. 

  3. Add your pasta only after the water is at a full boil. 

  4. Remember the Pasta waits for no one!!  Have your sauce ready before you cook your pasta.  Do Not throw out the pasta water, till you have completed the meal.  If you need to thin out your sauce use the pasta water.  Works fantastic.

  5. Cook your pasta till it is almost done.  Then drain your pasta and add to the sauce. Then do your plating... Works great everytime!!!


If you need more information about Pasta, Click on the logo below and it will take you right over to the National Pasta Association.

All the information and illustrations were provided by the National Pasta Association.