Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

I hope everyone has a fun and safe holiday. :)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

I've Fallen for a Stove

For a long time now, I've been dreaming of what kind of new range I might want for my kitchen. The one in our new house works just fine (or, at least, I think it does...but anything's better than the possessed oven at our apartment), but it's a little outdated. And, since I love to cook, I've always wanted a really nice range.

I've gone back and forth between GE Profile, GE Cafe, or Electrolux.

But now, I think I've found the one that tops them all. The one that is perfect for me. I found it by a mere Google search, and when I did, the heavens opened and angels sang sweet choruses.

Well, not really, but I am now desperately, hopelessly in love with the Elmira Stove Works Northstar Range.


It's a modern range with all the conveniences, but with a vintage 50's look! And they have lots of colors to choose from - your basic white or black, buttercup yellow, red, robin's egg blue.... ah. It's just amazing. Of course, mine would have to be an electric range since we don't have gas in our house, but man are these cute!

Check our their website, its chock full of amazing retro/antique style appliances!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

I found this recipe by way of the LiveJournal community bakebakebake. It is courtesy of the community member spracker, so all credit for this absolutely delicious and perfect fall treat goes to her.

I did, however, run into one small problem. No one here had heard of whoopie pies! I had, maybe because I peruse cookbooks and food blogs online for hours at a time, or maybe because I tend to watch exhorbatant amounts of Food Network, but no one at the Halloween party I went to knew what they were and snickered at the name. So, of course, I turned to my trusty friend Wikipedia to find out the origin of the Whoopie Pie.

"A whoopie pie, sometimes alternatively called a gob, black-and-white, or bob is a baked good traditional to the Pennsylvania Dutch culture as well as New England, made of two small, chocolate, disk-shaped cakes with a sweet, creamy frosting sandwiched between them. In Western Pennsylvania they are known as "gobs."
They are popular both as a simple dessert or as a snack food. They can be purchased wrapped in plastic at
Amish farmers' markets throughout Pennsylvania, Indiana, Virginia, West Virginia, and Ohio and are often found in restaurants and gift shops throughout Pennsylvania Dutch Country. They can also be found in most convenience stores and supermarkets throughout New England, most commonly in the states of Maine and Massachusetts, and in some convenience marts and supermarkets in New York as well as in Quincy Market located in Boston, Massachusetts. As one of the most common delicacies of the cuisine, recipes for whoopie pies are almost always included in Pennsylvania Dutch cookbooks. They can be found elsewhere throughout in the United States in various restaurants and bakeries, although uncommon."
- courtesy of

So, there it is. Now you know. No wonder no one down here in Alabama knew what they were!

And, of course, I have no picture (again) for this recipe. I was in a hurry and had to make them for a Halloween party Mr. JY and I were attending. But I thought they turned out really, really well! The cake was very moist and had just the right amount of spice and pumpkin flavor; and the cream middle was just sweet enough. I think this one will surely be added to my repetoire and be made again!

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

1/2 15oz can of pumpkin
1/3 C softened unsalted butter
2 eggs
1 package spice cake mix (I used Duncan Hines)
1/2 C milk
Parchment paper for lining the baking sheet

In a large bowl, beat pumpkin and butter until smooth. Add spice cake mix, eggs, milk, and beat at a low speed until combined for 1 minute. Use a spoon or mini ice cream scoop to ladle batter, about 3 inches apart on a lined cookie sheet. Bake at 375 until lightly browned around the edges (about 15 minutes). Cool the cakes on the parchment paper so they do not become sticky.

Middle Filling:
1/2 C softened unsalted butter (you could get away with using less if you must)
8oz package cream cheese, softened
2 cups sifted powdered sugar
1/2 of a 7oz jar marsmallow creme
1/4 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg

Mix dry ingredients in small bowl. In mixing bowl, beat butter until smooth, add cream cheese and marshmallow creme and continue beating. Add dry ingredients, a little at a time, mixing until smooth. The longer you mix it the more fluffy you will get. I suggest 5 minutes minimum.Spread filling on the flat half of one cake, and top with another cake to make a sandwich. You may end up with extra filling. Just a tip - It's great spread on gingersnaps and banana bread too!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Spicy Chili with Cornbread Waffles

First off, I've got to apologize for that pathetic little photo up there. The truth is, this recipe didn't last long enough for me to take a picture, so this is's tiny stock photo. I made this last night as a treat for Mr. JY and me. I haven't been cooking much lately since we've been busy, busy bees working on our new house, and Mr. JY had a long meeting yesterday and got home late. I thought he might want some nice comfort food. This recipe was a huge hit. Ladies, if you want your man to fall in love with you all over again, whip up this easy chili and waffles and you'll have him wrapped around your little finger. The chili was spicy but not too spicy; the little bits of corn provided a sweet burst of flavor that echoed the cornbread waffle. The addition of sour cream and cheese made it downright sinful and oh, so comforting after a long autumn work day.

This recipe is from Paula Deen (of course). Anything so sinfully delicious and comforting would be. I don't make her recipes all too often since they are so dangerous, but you could easily slim this down if you wanted to by omitting the waffles (heaven forbid), using fat free or lowfat sour cream to garnish, omitting the cheese.... but why on earth would you want to?

The recipe on Food Network's website is here:

You might notice I changed the name of the recipe on my blog and switched the order around. That's simply because I think the chili is the true star of this recipe and I think it's a little counter-intuitive to list the waffle recipe first. I made the waffles while the chili was simmering, so it makes sense to me to just go ahead and make the chili first, and then make the waffles. But to each her own, I suppose. Paula does, after all, have her own shows, restaurants, and megabucks cooking empire and I just have this little food blog here no one reads, so why would you listen to me?

Anyway, here's the recipe. :)

Paula Deen's Spicy Chili with Cornbread Waffles

Spicy Chili Ingredients:

1 pound lean ground chuck
1 onion, chopped

1 green bell pepper, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons chili powder

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper

2 (15-ounce) cans ranch-style beans (Note: I could not find these at Target, so I just used 2 15oz cans of seasoned pinto beans and it turned out just fine.)

1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce

1 (15-ounce) can niblet corn, drained

1 (10-ounce) can diced tomatoes and green chiles

In a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, brown ground chuck, until beef is crumbly. Stir in onion, bell pepper, garlic, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper. Stir in beans, tomato sauce, corn, diced tomatoes, and green chiles. Reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes uncovered, stirring occasionally. Yield: 10 to 12 servings

While the chili is simmering, make your waffles. Now, if you don't have a waffle maker, you could certainly just make corn pancakes in a skillet. Or cornbread muffins. But trust me, if you DO own a waffle maker (and this recipe might just be grounds to go out and buy one if you don't) you are gonna want to make these waffles.

Before I list Paula's recipe for the waffles, I have a confession to make........

I cheated.

I used Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix to make the waffles. I know, I know. But it really saved me time. And I have an obsession with Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix. It makes the best sweet cornbread. Until I taste homemade that's better, I won't back down from that. So, if you need to save some time, use the Jiffy box. It's okay. No one will know. Just follow the directions on the box.

But for you pretentious people that would like to make it homemade, here's the recipe:

Cornmeal Waffles Ingredients:

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups yellow cornmeal
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 large eggs

Preheat waffle iron according to manufacturer's instructions.
In a large bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Add milk, oil, and eggs; stirring until smooth. Pour batter onto hot waffle iron and bake in batches. Set aside and keep warm.

Serve waffles topped with heaping spoonfuls of Spicy Chili. Garnish with shredded Cheddar, sour cream and chopped fresh cilantro (unless you hate cilantro like I do, then by all means leave it out).

Trust me when I say you have got to try this recipe. As Paula would say, it's truly "out of this world"!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Crepe Cake Revisted

I wanted to post today to make a correction to my former recipe for the luscious delight you see in the picture above. This, my friends, is my quickie version of a crepe cake. I made it last night for my small group, and in doing so realized that the recipe I posted here was a little bit incorrect. So, I thought I'd repost.
Also, I'd like to take the opportunity to tell you how much I truly love this "cake." It is so easy and looks so impressive. Anyone can make this. There's simply no way you can mess it up! It looks like you spent hours on it, when in reality, whipping this baby up took me under 1 hour.
So, without further ado, I give you:
Easy 20 Layer Crepe Cake
Yes, I am changing the name of the recipe. Why? Because I realize that this simple recipe can be used as a base for many, many creations. Just get creative! You can make tons of variations of this cake. We'll talk more about that after the basic recipe.
Basic Recipe:
- 20 basic crepes (I used store bought Melissa's brand, but you could make your own, of course)
Mascarpone Cream
- 2 8oz containers mascarpone cheese
- 1 8oz block cream cheese
- 1 3.4oz box instant vanilla pudding mix
- 4 tsp. vanilla extract*
- 3/4 c. milk
- 1/4 c. powdered sugar (or more to taste)
To assemble the cake, all you do is layer it with about 1/8 c. mascarpone cream for each layer(and whatever other ingredients you'd like) and garnish with powdered sugar, fruit, chocolate, whatever blows your skirt up!
Now, for the varations. For the one in the picture, I made it a Chocolate Hazelnut 20 Layer Crepe Cake by spreading every third layer with Nutella (aka the food of the gods). I garnished it with a sprinkling of powdered sugar, whipped cream, and strawberries. Last night, the cake I made for my small group became a Strawberry Chocolate Hazelnut crepe cake because I added sliced strawberries in each Nutella layer.
To make a variation, all you have to do is add things to the cream (like different extracts instead of vanilla, switch out the vanilla pudding for chocolate and add cocoa to make a chocolate cream) and use different ingredients for layering. Here are three variations I came up with on my own. Can you think of any others?
Citrus Crepe Cake: Omit the vanilla and add orange, lemon, or lime extract to taste. You could even add in some zest for extra flavor. Then, layer orange, lemon, or lime curd on every third layer.
Mocha Crepe Cake: Add a bit of cocoa powder, substitute brewed coffee or espresso for the milk, and substitute chocolate pudding mix for the vanilla.
Bananas Foster Crepe Cake: Add a bit of rum or rum extract to the cream, use banana pudding mix instead of the vanilla, and alternate with layers of caramel and bananas. Yum!
As you can see, the possibilities are endless!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Halloween Costume Woes

Mr. JY and I are having a lot of trouble coming up with a Halloween costume this year. Halloween is one of my most favorite holidays; I have loved it since I was a little girl and usually think about and plan out my costumes months ahead of time, full of anticipation. To a girl like me with a big imagination, Halloween was always the best: forget all of that spooky stuff, you get to dress up in a fantastic costume, hang out with your friends, and collect candy for a night. What could be better?

Not everyone shares my sentiments about Halloween, especially Mr. JY. He sees dressing up as nothing but a hassle. I am sure many men share this opinion. As a child, he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 8 so it's easy to see why Halloween has never been his favorite. Tons of candy is not very good for a diabetic kid.

However, enivtably, every year we are invited to some sort of Halloween costume party, to my delight and his dismay.

This year, I am totally at a loss to come up with a costume we'd both like to dress up in.

Originally, due to my love of all things vintage and especially the WWII era, I wanted to recreate this:

The famous end of WWII nurse-sailor kiss. However, I don't think Mr. JY is all too thrilled about dressing up in a sailor costume.

Now, I'm leaning towards maybe dressing up as Elvis and Priscilla Presley or Sonny and Cher.

Anyone else have any creative and fun Halloween couples costume ideas? I'm at a loss, here, people.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Sweet 100

I got this list from, and they got it from someone else. But I thought it was too fun not to do!

1) Copy this list into your site, including the instructions!
2) Bold all of the sweets you've eaten--or make them a different type color.
3) Cross out any of them that you'd never ever eat. (I'm gonna make mine italic).
4) Consider anything that is not bold or crossed out your "To Do" List. (Maybe I will make some of these on Sunday afternoons when I bake!)

1. Red Velvet Cake
2. Princess Torte
3. Whoopie Pie
4. Apple Pie either topped or baked with sharp cheddar
5. Beignet
6. Baklava
7. Black and white cookie
8. Seven Layer Bar (also known as the Magic Bar or Hello Dolly bars)
9. Fried Fruit pie (sometimes called hand pies)
10. Kringle
11. Just-fried (still hot) doughnut
12. Scone with clotted cream
13. Betty, Grunt, Slump, Buckle or Pandowdy
14. Halvah
15. Macarons
16. Banana pudding with nilla wafers
17. Bubble tea (with tapioca "pearls")
18. Dixie Cup
19. Rice Krispie treats
20. Alfajores
21. Blondies
22. Croquembouche
23. Girl Scout cookies
24. Moon cake
25. Candy Apple
26. Baked Alaska
27. Brooklyn Egg Cream
28. Nanaimo bar
29. Baba au rhum
30. King Cake
31. Sachertorte
32. Pavlova
33. Tres Leches Cake
34. Trifle
35. Shoofly Pie
36. Key Lime Pie (made with real key lime)
Panna Cotta
38. New York Cheesecake
39. Napoleon / mille-fueille
40. Russian Tea Cake / Mexican Wedding Cake
41. Anzac biscuits
42. Pizzelle
43. Kolache
44. Buckeyes
45. Malasadas
46. Moon Pie
47. Dutch baby
48. Boston Cream Pie
49. Homemade chocolate chip cookies

50. Pralines
51. Gooey butter cake
52. Rusks
53. Daifuku
54. Green tea cake or cookies
55. Cupcakes from a cupcake shop
56. Crème brûlée
57. Some sort of deep fried fair food (twinkie, candy bar, cupcake)
58. Yellow cake with chocolate frosting

59. Jelly Roll
60. Pop Tarts
61. Charlotte Russe
62. An "upside down" dessert (Pineapple upside down cake or Tarte Tatin)
63. Hummingbird Cake
64. Jell-O from a mold
65. Black forest cake
66. Mock Apple Pie (Ritz Cracker Pie)
67. Kulfi
68. Linzer torte
69. Churro
70. Stollen
71. Angel Food Cake
72. Mincemeat pie
73. Concha
74. Opera Cake
75. Sfogliatelle / Lobster tail
76. Pain au chocolat
77. A piece of Gingerbread House
78. Cassata
79. Cannoli
80. Rainbow cookies
81. Religieuse
82. Petits fours
83. Chocolate Souffle
84. Bienenstich (Bee Sting Cake)
85. Rugelach
86. Hamenstashen
87. Homemade marshmallows
88. Rigo Janci
89. Pie or cake made with candy bar flavors (Snickers pie, Reeses pie, etc)
90. Divinity
91. Coke or Cola cake
92. Gateau Basque
93. S'mores
94. Figgy Pudding
95. Bananas foster or other flaming dessert
96. Joe Froggers
97. Sables
98. Millionaire's Shortbread
99. Animal crackers
100. Basbousa