Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

I whipped these up the other day.  I mean my coworker whipped these up the other day, I helped a teeny but, but mostly watched and ate.  They were delicious.  Recipe here.  By the way, Tasty Kitchen is my go-to resource for recipes.  It rocks.

Speaking of whoopie pies, there is a gourmet whoopie pie bakery in the area, Whoopsies.  I haven’t been there yet but they look delicious.  And I agree with them… why not try something different?  I think they would be such a fun idea for a wedding or event.

(Photo source)

Cheese Squares

My friend Emily’s recipe for Cheese Squares is divine.  They are pretty much butter and cheese soaked bread- how can you go wrong with that?  There is a lot of butter- I might cut down the amount of butter by a stick or two next time a make them.  As you can see from the picture they were oozing with butter.  They are very rich, and very delicious.

Kelly Cheese Squares
1 King Size Loaf Sandwich White Bread (Emily’s note: there is usually one kind of white bread that is square, buy this kind) (Julie’s note: I couldn’t find this so I just bought two loaves of white sandwich bread).
1 lb butter (I would do 3 sticks instead)
2 jars Kraft Old English Cheese (Emily’s note: This cheese is spreadable and not found in a refrigerated section, sometimes located at a weird place in the store, or near the Velveeta)
1/2 t Tobasco sauce
Dash Cayenne Pepper
3/4 t Dill Weed
3/4 t Worchesteshire Sauce
Let butter and cheese soften to room temperature.
Add other ingredients. Mix well.
Stack three slices of bread, cut off crusts. Put cheese mixture on one side, top with second slice and spread cheese on that, put third slice of bread on top. Cut stack into four quarters and spread mix on top and sides — not bottom.
Continue until material is used up. Makes about 36 squares.
Place on cookie sheet and freeze.
When froze solid, store in plastic ziploc bag.
Must be frozen before baking.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
-Ingredients and directions taken verbatim from an email from my friend Emily.  Thanks Emily!

Chocolate Chip Cookies

One of my favorite Chocolate Chip cookie recipe comes from The Silver Palate Cookbook.

However when I whip up the dough, a good 65% of it doesn’t end up being baked but rather is consumed for my evening meal for the next 3 days along with a glass of Franzia boxed Merlot.

I did make one batch in cupcake liners and sprinkled them with sprinkles… I was worried they would burn and/ or not bake all the way through but they came out great, nice and chewy like I like.

The Silver Palate Cookbook’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for baking sheet (I skip this and just use a silpat liner).

1 cup light brown sugar

1/4 cups granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract (this larger than normal portion of vanilla gives it a really great flavor)

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (I actually use a mixture of milk chocolate and semi sweet chocolate chips when I bake cookies, and I never measure I just eye ball it because I don’t like as much chocolate chips as they recommend.  I like to be able to taste some dough when I make cookies, not just chocolate).


Preheat oven to 350, grease baking sheet.

Cream the butter and both sugars together until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs and vanilla and mix well.

Sift the dry ingredients together and mix in.  Mix in the chocolate chips.

Bake 8-10 minutes in the center rack of the oven,

Iced Coffee

I brewed about 45 gallons of iced coffee concentrate the other day… I’ll have coffee concentrate till approximately May 2013.  What’s better in the summer than ice-cold home-brewed coffee in a mason jar?  Two of my favorite recipes here and here.

Baked Eggs

I made baked eggs this morning, and it was quite possibly one of the most delicious things I have ever eaten.  And one of the simplest to make.

They are super simple to make: 2 whole eggs or 3 egg whites (in a mini ramekin) + some sour cream + swiss cheese + freshly grated garlic + kosher salt + freshly ground black pepper.  Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes until the whites are set and it is starting to bubble.  You can make all kinds of variations, add herbs, different kinds of cheeses.  Later this week I am going to try it with homemade pasta sauce.

Easy Cappuccino Pie

I made this the other day and of course forgot to take a picture.  It is so easy and so delish.




= Easy, delicious Cappuccino Pie.

Basic Tomato Sauce Recipe

Tomato Sauce is so easy to make I will never buy it from the store again- and it’s so much tastier!

Basic Tomato Sauce:

A splash of extra virgin olive oil

1 28oz can of whole peeled tomatoes in their juices…. can the best quality you can, I like San Marzano

1 can of tomato pasta, if you’d like a thicker sauce (better for pizza, just the whole tomatoes + EVOO is fine for pasta)

If you’d like to fancy it up a bit:

Red Garlic Flakes


Some red wine


Whatever your heart fancies…

Heat the EVOO in a medium saucepan over medium heat…. add in the whole tomatoes and heat the mixture up for a few minutes till the sauce is hot.  Crush the the tomatoes against the side of the pan with a wooden spoons.  You can also run the tomatoes (and their juices) through the food processor if you don’t want as chunky of a sauce.  Simmer a few minutes and enjoy!


Pigs In Blankets

Of all the dishes I’ve ever made for a party/ pot luck/ get together, Pigs in Blankets is by far the most popular thing I’ve ever made.  Not to mention the easiest a cheapest.

Ready for the recipe: Mini cocktail wieners + Pillsbury Crescent rolls.  Bake at 350 till they are done.  The end.

If you want to fancy it up a bit, you can use puff pastry (yum) or add cheese.  I thought about adding some chive and onion cream cheese this time but I chickened out… I have a feeling that would be delish.

This iPhone photo makes them look kinds nar-sty, but trust me, they are always the most popular dish at any party I bring them to!

Table Design Contest

This weekend I participated in a table design contest at the Virginia Association of Bridal Consultants annual meeting.  I didn’t know until a week before whether or not I was going to actually be able to go to the meeting so I held off on working on my table till the last minute.  I think it still came out ok though!

A while back I saw (I think on The Knot) a table from a wedding reception where they had individual cakes as the centerpieces.  I loved that idea and I had been wanting to do it for a while.  Plus, that meant I could by the cake stand I had wanted for a long time and write it off as a business expense!

If I had more time I would have called around to get someone to donate some pretty china and glassware for the table.  I liked what the hotel was able to provide though (the Sheraton Reston); I think it didn’t overpower the pretty centerpiece.

The beautiful flowers were donated by Shelley at Shelley’s Floral Enterprise.  There were gorgeous and everyone loved the idea of having flowers around the base of the cake plate!  The pink table cloth was donated by Gala Cloths.  I made the cookie favors but I forgot to snap a close up picture of them- they actually had names written on them (so they acted as the place cards and the favors).

I made the cake myself, if I wanted to I could have found someone to donate a cake, but I really wanted to test drive my new pastry bag and try this new frosting recipe.  {It was delicious, but VERY rich!}.

So I thought it would be a fun idea to put the table number on the cake with icing.  It was, but the butter cream frosting and the icing I used to write the number warmed up after being out of the fridge and by the end of they day the red icing was running down the sides and it looking like blood.  Not cute.

Here are a few pics of the other tables that competed in the table design contest:

As soon as I saw all the tables I totally thought this table was going to win (below):

This table (below) was the winner… what do you think of it?

And lastly here are some pictures of the tables we sat at for the meeting, I’m not sure who designed them, when I find out I will let you know!

I LOVED the pattern on the napkins… I heard a rumor that they were from BBJ linens, I’ll confirm that when I can.  UPDATE:  They are from BBJ… I found them here.