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The Messy Chef



I'm a food network addict, and I'm working on keeping the kitchen clean while I cook, hence the name. Some things about me: I am almost married a year, live in a suburb near Chicago and have a little fur baby names Lenny. My favorite things are cooking



Updated: 2018-03-05T19:29:37.229-08:00

 



Classic Pasta Dough

2009-05-31T17:29:01.336-07:00

My mom gave me her old pasta maker she had since her wedding shower. I am always up for pasta and decided to give it a try. I now have to say there is nothing like fresh homemade pasta. This recipe is a classic dough, but you can add basil, garlic, sun dried tomatoes or anything else your heart desires.

1 1/4 cups wheat flour
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
2 large eggs

Combine flour, salt and eggs in a food processor; until mixture is not crumbly. Turn dough on a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic (about 4 minutes). Wrap dough with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes.

Unwrap dough. Divide into 8 equal portions. Pass one portion at a time through pasta roller on widest setting. Fold dough in half twice and pass through again. Pass dough through each setting to make 8 (15 x 3 inch) pasta strips.



The Perfect for Summer, Caprese Skewers

2009-05-30T09:31:22.660-07:00

(image) Photo from Yum Sugar

I love a Caprese Salad, especially on a hot summer day. With my abundance of fresh basil in my backyard I thought this would be a great appetizer or small meal idea. The results are what I call heaven.

Caprese Skewers: Origonal recipe from Party Sugar

Ingredients
For pesto:1 bunch fresh basil, leaves removed from stems

2 garlic cloves
3 tablespoons pine nuts
1/4 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
3/4-1 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste

For skewers:
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1 pint fresh mozzarella, chopped into small 1-inch cubes
Toothpicks, for serving
Directions
Make the pesto: Combine the first four ingredients in the bowl of a food processor. Process to combine. With the machine running, slowly add the oil in a steady stream.
Season with salt and pepper. Taste, adjust the pesto to your liking.
In a large bowl toss 1/2 cup of the pesto with the cheese.
Depending on the size of your toothpicks, skewer one cherry tomato and one piece of pesto-coated cheese. Repeat until all of the tomatoes and cheese is used. Chill or serve immediately.




Homeade Dill Pickles

2009-05-30T09:24:13.467-07:00

(image) Maybe it's because I'm pregnant, but I love pickles. All kinds, and the more garlic the better.

Many recipes call for heating and boiling water, etc, but this excellent recipe from delicious malicious calls for none of that.

The result: Delicious deli style pickles!



Ingredients:
4 cloves garlic, cut into large pieces
fresh dill
pickling cucumbers

Brine:
3 cups water
6 TBSP white vinegar
3 TBSP Kosher salt

Directions:Put some of the fresh dill in the bottom of each jar. Pack 1/2 full with cucumbers. Lay more fresh dill on top and finish filling the jar with cucumbers. Put minced garlic on top, pour brine into jar until it's full. Put the lid on, and leave them in the refrigerator for 2 days before using.



Refreshing Lemon Bars

2009-05-29T20:19:23.672-07:00

(image) My mom loves lemon and asked for me to make a lemon dessert for an outdoor party she was having.
This is excellent. Refreshing and light this will be a huge hit at any party.
Recipe courtesy of Ina Garten.
Ingredients
For the crust:
1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 cups flour
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

For the filling:
6 extra-large eggs at room temperature
3 cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest (4 to 6 lemons)
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup flour
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
For the crust, cream the butter and sugar until light in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Combine the flour and salt and, with the mixer on low, add to the butter until just mixed. Dump the dough onto a well-floured board and gather into a ball. Flatten the dough with floured hands and press it into a 9 by 13 by 2-inch baking sheet, building up a 1/2-inch edge on all sides. Chill.
Bake the crust for 15 to 20 minutes, until very lightly browned. Let cool on a wire rack. Leave the oven on.
For the filling, whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and flour. Pour over the crust and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the filling is set. Let cool to room temperature.
Cut into triangles and dust with confectioners' sugar



0 Comments

2009-05-29T20:11:22.382-07:00

(image)

Cheesecake is always good but with all the fresh berries I think it is a greats summer dessert.

This New York style cheesecake is compliments of my hero Martha Stewart.


FOR CRUST
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus room-temperature butter for pan
12 graham crackers
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
FOR FILLING
2 1/2 pounds bar cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest, plus 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
4 large eggs
1 cup sour cream


Directions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Make crust: Butter a 9-by-3-inch springform pan. In a food processor, pulse graham crackers until fine crumbs form; add melted butter, sugar, and salt, and pulse to combine. Press crumb mixture into bottom and about 1 inch up side of pan. Bake until set, 12 to 15 minutes; let cool on a wire rack. Reduce oven to 325 degrees.
Set a kettle of water to boil. Make filling: Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese on medium until fluffy, scraping down side of bowl. Gradually add sugar, beating until fluffy. Beat in lemon zest and juice, and salt. Beat in eggs, one at a time, scraping down side of bowl after each addition. Beat in sour cream.
Wrap bottom half of pan in foil. Pour in filling; place in a roasting pan. Pour in boiling water to come halfway up side of springform. Bake until just set in center, about 1 3/4 hours. Remove pan from water; let cool 20 minutes. Run a paring knife around edge; let cool completely. Cover; chill overnight before serving.




Glazed Lemon Cookies

2009-05-29T20:02:54.975-07:00

(image)
I have never been a big fan of lemon. Once I made Martha Stewart's lemon cookies my mind, and my taste buds were changed.
This is another great light summer treat!
This recipe makes 24 tasty cookies.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest, plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Lemon Glaze recipe follows.....
Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, and lemon zest. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg, vanilla, and lemon juice and beat until combined. With mixer on low, beat in flour mixture.
Drop dough by heaping tablespoons, 1 inch apart, onto two baking sheets. Bake until edges are golden, 15 to 20 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Let cool 2 minutes on sheets, then transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Spread cookies with Lemon Glaze and let set, about 1 hour.
Lemon Glaze
2 cups confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
Directions
In a medium bowl, whisk together 2 cups confectioners' sugar, 2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest, and 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice until smooth.



Roasted Eggplant with Basil

2009-05-29T19:52:59.159-07:00

(image) After making my eggplant dip I wondered what else I could use this great looking veggie for. Tada...Eggplant and Basil. I have fresh basil growing in my garden and this turned out great!

Cut 2 eggplants into 1 inch cubes. On a baking sheet, toss eggplant with 1/4 cup olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast at 475 degrees until brown and tender, or about 25 minutes. Toss with 1 to 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar and 1 cup of fresh torn basil.

...Thanks Martha Stewart!



Roasted Eggplant Dip

2009-05-29T19:46:38.672-07:00

(image) I love eggplant but don't always know how to use them. Ina Garten has a great and simple roasted eggplant dip that is great for a summer bbq or picnic.

2 medium eggplants, peeled
1 red bell pepper, seeded
1 red onion, peeled
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons tahini
3 tablespoons chopped parsley, plus extra for garnish
Directions
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Cut the eggplant, bell pepper, and onion into 1-inch cubes. Toss them in a large bowl with the garlic, olive oil, cayenne and salt and pepper. Spread them on a baking sheet. Roast for 45 minutes, until the vegetables are lightly browned and soft, tossing once during cooking. Cool slightly.
Place the vegetables in a food processor fitted with a steel blade, add the lemon juice and tahini, and pulse 3 or 4 times to blend. Taste for salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl and add the chopped parsley. Garnish with extra parsley



Baby Dutch Pancake

2009-05-29T19:14:51.106-07:00

(image)
We go to a local pancake house all the time and order the Dutch Pancake. I saw this recipe from Martha Stewart and thought I would try it. My husband said this was the best breakfast I have ever made him. So here it is..thanks Martha!
P.S. it's so easy!!!
• 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
• 3 large eggs
• 3/4 cup whole milk
• 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
• 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
• 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 425°. In a medium cast-iron or ovenproof nonstick skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium; set aside.
In a blender, combine eggs, milk, flour, salt, vanilla and 1/4 cup sugar. Blend until foamy, about 1 minute. Pour batter into skillet; bake until pancake is puffed and lightly browned, about 20 minutes.
Working quickly, dot pancake with 1 tablespoon butter, and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar and lemon juice. Slice into wedges, and serve immediately.



Dumplings and Berries

2009-05-29T19:15:08.225-07:00

(image)
I just made this, and had to put it in right away. It's amazing. Berries are my absolute favorite summer treat and I used fresh ones instead of frozen like Martha Stewart called for.
Enjoy!

1 pound frozen or fresh mixed berries
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
6 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Picture: Martha Stewart
Directions
In a medium skillet, cook berries, lemon juice, 4 tablespoons sugar, and 1/4 cup water over medium until slightly thickened, 11 to 13 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and 2 tablespoons sugar; add melted butter and buttermilk, and stir until a moist dough forms. Dividing evenly, spoon 6 dollops of dough over fruit. Combine cinnamon and 1 teaspoon sugar, and sprinkle over dough.
Cover pan tightly with foil, and cook over medium-low until dumplings are set and tops are dry to the touch, about 15 minutes. Serve warm.



0 Comments

2009-02-08T11:13:48.059-08:00

I made this for a superbowl party last weekend, and it was a total touchdown. Everyone wanted the recipe and it tastes exactly like buffalo wings.
The best part, it only takes 5 minutes to cook!
photo and recipe courtesy of KRAFT
1 pkg. (8 oz.) Cream Cheese, cubed
1-1/2 cups finely chopped cooked chicken
1/2 cup Blue Cheese Dressing
1/2 cup hot pepper sauce for Buffalo wings
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
MIX all ingredients in medium microwaveable bowl.
MICROWAVE on HIGH 5 min. or until cream cheese is melted and mixture is heated through, stirring after 3 min.
SERVE hot with crackers, chips or celery sticks.



Orecchiette with Roasted Broccoli and Walnuts

2009-02-08T11:10:05.340-08:00

(image)
This pasta is amazing. The roasted walnuts and broccoli give it a great unique taste. This is also amazingly easy, whole meal was done in about 30 minutes! (recipe and photo courtesy of Real Simple)



12 ounces orecchiette or some other short pasta
1 bunch broccoli (1 1/2 pounds), cut into small florets
1/2 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup grated Parmesan (1 ounce)
Heat oven to 400° F. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Reserve 3/4 cup of the cooking water, drain the pasta, and return it to the pot.Meanwhile, on a rimmed baking sheet, toss the broccoli, walnuts, oil, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Roast, tossing once, until the broccoli is tender, 18 to 20 minutes.Toss the pasta with the broccoli mixture, butter, and 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water. (Add more water if the pasta seems dry.) Sprinkle with the Parmesan before serving.



Baked Mac and Cheese

2009-01-08T16:34:12.361-08:00

This is probably the best baked mac and cheese I have ever had.
It is Alton Brown's who is one of my fav on the Food Network.
It calls for Panko bread crumbs, but I used regular, and it was still amazing.
Enjoy.

Ingredients
1/2 pound elbow macaroni
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon powdered mustard
3 cups milk
1/2 cup onion, diced
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 large egg
12 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded
1 teaspoon kosher salt
black pepper

Topping:
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup bread crumbs

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees .
In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the pasta to al dente.
While the pasta is cooking, in a separate pot, melt the butter.
Whisk in the flour and mustard and keep it moving for about five minutes.
Make sure it's free of lumps.
Stir in the milk, onion, bay leaf, and paprika.
Simmer for ten minutes and remove the bay leaf.
Temper in the egg. Stir in 3/4 of the cheese. Season with salt and pepper.
Fold the macaroni into the mix and pour into a 2-quart casserole dish.
Top with remaining cheese.
Melt the butter in a saute pan and toss the bread crumbs to coat.
Top the macaroni with the bread crumbs. Bake for 30 minutes.
Remove from oven and rest for five minutes before serving.



The best Blondies!

2009-01-08T16:31:52.951-08:00

So I never made Blondies before but always wondered about them.
I had guests over this weekend and decided to try bakingblonde's recipe
she had on her blog. I (and my guests) immediately fell in love with these
amazing treats. I added semi-sweet chocolate chips and pecans but I am
seeing the possibilities are endless.

Basic Blondies
6-7 TBS butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup flour
1/4 tsp baking powder (optional, creates lighter blondie texture)

Preheat oven to 350.Line an 8x8 pan with foil and lightly spray with PAM.
In a large microwave safe mixing bowl melt the butter. Allow to cool for 5 mintues.
Mix the brown sugar with the melted butter and beat until smooth.
Beat in egg and then vanilla. Add salt, stir in flour and baking powder (if using).
Mix in any additions (some ideas below).
Pour into prepared pan and use a greased spatula to evenly spread
mixture in pan and level the top. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until set in the middle.
Cool before cutting.



White Chocolate Bark

2009-01-08T16:33:27.728-08:00

(image)
This is a variation of the bark I posted earlier.
This is my husband's favorite.
I saw it on Barefoot Contessa and had to try it.
It is perfect for a holiday party or any occasion.



Ingredients:
1/2 cup walnuts
16 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup medium-diced apricots


Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Using a pencil, draw an 8 by 10-inch
rectangle on a piece of parchment paper placed on a sheet pan.
Turn the parchment paper over so the pencil mark doesn't get into the chocolate.

Place the walnuts in 1 layer on another sheet pan and bake for 8 minutes.
Set aside to cool and then chop roughly into large pieces.

Place 3/4 of the chocolate in a glass bowl and place it in the microwave
on high power for 30 seconds. Stir with a rubber spatula.
Put it back in the microwave for another 30 seconds and stir again.
Continue to heat and stir every 30 seconds until the chocolate is just melted.
Immediately, add the remaining chocolate and allow it to sit at room
temperature, stirring often, until it's completely smooth.
(If you need to heat it a little more, place it in the microwave
for another 15 seconds at a time.)

Pour the melted chocolate onto the parchment paper and spread
it lightly into the drawn rectangle. Sprinkle the top evenly with the
cooled walnuts, the cranberries and apricots.
Set aside for at least 2 hours until firm, or refrigerate for 20 minutes.
Cut the bark in 16 pieces and serve at room temperature.



Peppermint Bark

2009-01-08T16:37:29.086-08:00

(image)



















Around the holidays I always saw bark at William Sonoma and other stores for ridiculous amounts of money.
I never realized how easy this is to make.


I made both white and dark chocolate, the recipe is the same,
just substitute what chocolate you like.
picture courtesy Food Network
Peppermint Bark

2 14 oz bag semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
8 candy canes crushed to 1/4 inch pieces





Melt chocolate on the stove top. Mix in candy canes and peppermint extract.
Spread mixture on baking sheet lined with wax paper. But baking sheet in
refrigerator and let harden for 45 min. Let sit at room temperature 10-15
minutes before serving.



Chicken Pot Pie

2009-01-08T16:36:33.588-08:00

(image)











This is the perfect EASY meal for a cold winter night.
It's one of my husbands favorites. I saw this in Kraft magazine, and after making it,
had to add it to the list. The cheese adds such great flavor to this recipe.
Photo also courtesy of Kraft.







2 Tbsp. Italian Dressing ( I used Kraft)
1 lb. (450 g) boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
3 cups frozen mixed vegetables
1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup Cheddar Shredded Cheese
1/2 block (1/2 of 397-g pkg.) frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 egg, lightly beaten
PREHEAT oven to 400ºF. Heat dressing in large skillet.
Add chicken; cook and stir 5 min. or until cooked through. Stir in vegetables and soup.
Spoon into greased 9-inch square baking dish; sprinkle with cheese.
ROLL out block of pastry on lightly floured surface to fit baking dish;
place over chicken mixture. Fold under edges of pastry; press onto top of
baking dish to seal. Brush pastry with egg. Cut several slits in top crust to
permit steam to escape.
PLACE dish on baking sheet. Bake 30 min. or until deep golden brown.
Let stand 5 min. before serving.



1 Comments

2008-11-21T15:32:50.767-08:00

(image) I am in charge of sweet potatoes this Thanksgiving, and I swear Barefoot Contessa never lets me down. This recipe, I hope, won't let you down.

Mashed Sweet Potatoes





Ingredients
4 pounds sweet potatoes (about 6 large)
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Directions
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Scrub the potatoes, prick them several times with a knife or fork, and bake them for 1 hour or until very soft when pierced with a knife. Remove from the oven and scoop out the insides as soon as they are cool enough to handle. Place the sweet potato meat into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and add the orange juice, cream, butter, brown sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, and pepper. Mix together until combined but not smooth and transfer to a baking dish.
Bake the potatoes for 20 to 30 minutes, until heated through



Pesto-Sundried Tomato Appetizer Ball

2008-11-20T17:57:35.389-08:00

Honestly, my new favorite appetizer. It's actually an old recipe, but has come back into the mix again. This is a huge hit at parties. Everyone always for the recipe. I can not remember where I got this from, but you won't be disappointed.
Pesto-Sundried Tomato Appetizer Ball

8 oz. cream cheese (softened/room temperature)
¼ c. margarine or butter (softened/room temperature)
½ c. finely chopped onion
¼ c. pesto sauce (drained from oil)
¼ c. sundried tomatoes (drained and chopped)
½ c. pine nuts (toasted)
Parsley and Basil for garnish
Crackers

**You may want to use a bit more of the called for pesto and tomatoes…so consider those measurements approximate

Combine the cream cheese, butter and onion
Take a 2 c. bowl and line with plastic wrap.
In the bowl, layer:
1. 1/3 of the cream cheese mix on the bottom
2. Put ½ of the pesto and spread it over the cream cheese mix (go all the way to the edge).
3. Put ½ of the sundried tomatoes over the pesto
4. REPEAT steps 1 and 3
5. Finish with a layer of cream cheese

Cover and refrigerate overnight. Before serving, garnish plate with parsley. Flip bowl over onto plate to remove the ball. Top with toasted pine nuts and a sprig of basil. Serve at room temperature with crackers.



Lemon Cookies

2008-11-17T15:39:30.423-08:00

These cookies are amazing. They also are very easy to make. The one thing I did do differently than the recipe is to just roll the dough into small balls after they were refrigerated the and then flatten them on the pan. The log seemed a little hard to do with this dough, but maybe it was me.

Ingredients
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
2 large egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus more if necessary
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

Preparation
With an electric mixer, beat the butter and granulated sugar until fluffy. Add the egg yolks, vanilla, and salt and beat to combine. Gradually add the flour, mixing until just incorporated.Divide the dough in half and shape into 1 1/4-inch-diameter logs. Wrap in wax paper and refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.Heat oven to 350° F. Slice the logs into 3/8-inch-thick pieces and space them 1 1/2 inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake until lightly golden, 16 to 20 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to cooling racks to cool completely.In a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners' sugar, lemon juice, and zest until it forms a thick but pourable glaze (add more lemon juice if necessary). Dip the top of each cookie into the glaze and let set, about 15 minutes.



Pasta Arrabbiata with Arugula

2008-11-12T16:50:41.496-08:00

This is one of my favorite pasta recipes. It is great for a cold winter night or anytime. I add a little more spice than the recipe says. I have to give a shout out to Ms. Rachael Ray for this recipe.

Ingredients:

Salt
1 pound whole wheat penne rigate or gemelli pasta
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 small red onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, grated
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
One 28-ounce can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
Black pepper
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
4 cups arugula, coarsely chopped


1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving a ladleful of the cooking water.
2. While the pasta is working, in a deep skillet, heat the oil, 4 turns of the pan, over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and crushed red pepper and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the vinegar, then the tomatoes. Season to taste with salt and black pepper and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes.
3. Add the pasta and reserved pasta cooking water to the skillet and toss for 1 minute. Add the cheese, then toss in the arugula and cook until wilted, 1 minute longer



Cinnamon-Roasted Almonds

2008-11-11T14:49:24.717-08:00

(image)
This is a great recipe for the holidays to keep out for guests. It is always a hit with my friends and family and tastes just like the almonds you buy from the mall or those carts in Chicago.


INGREDIENTS
1 egg white
1 teaspoon cold water

1/4 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups whole almonds
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon



Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Lightly grease a 10x15 inch jellyroll pan.
Lightly beat the egg white; add water and vanilla, and beat until frothy but not stiff. Add the nuts, and stir until well coated. Mix the sugar, salt, and cinnamon, and sprinkle over the nuts. Toss to coat, and spread evenly on the prepared pan.
Bake for 1 hour, stirring occasionally, until golden. Allow to cool, then store in airtight container



Chocolate Covered Bacon

2008-11-11T14:43:31.942-08:00

Okay, I know, you are thinking "Bacon and Chocolate? Sick!" That's what I thought. But then I thought more about it, I figured why not put two great foods together. Then I saw it on Dinner Impossible and I had to try it. What I ended up with is pure heaven.

Ingredients
1 pound thickly sliced slab bacon
1/2 pound dark chocolate
1/4 pound toasted almonds

Directions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Place bacon on a sheet tray and cook until crisp, about 25 minutes. Melt chocolate in double boiler over low heat. Dip crisp bacon in chocolate and place back on sheet tray.
Sprinkle with almonds and refrigerate for 30 minutes or until ready to serve.



Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

2008-11-04T16:45:35.079-08:00

(image)
I love pumpkin, had some leftover, and wanted to make something easy and tasty. I also love chocolate so I decided to mix the two together in a muffin. I got the recipe from allrecipes.com and just changed things up a little bit.


Enjoy!


Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
3/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
DIRECTIONS
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Grease and flour muffin pan or use paper liners.
Mix sugar, oil, eggs. Add pumpkin and water. In separate bowl mix together the baking flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices and salt.. Add wet mixture and stir in chocolate chips.
Fill muffin cups 2/3 full with batter. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes



Green Olive Dip

2008-11-04T16:45:51.183-08:00

This recipe has to be the easiest appetizer dip to make. My mom made it for family parties all the time and it has always been a hit. People always ask for the recipe and laugh when they see how simple it is. This may have come from someone else, so I apologize if I am not giving "props" where due. I usually serve this with tortilla chips or pretzels.

Green Olive Dip

1 package cream cheese (no low fat)
1 jar green olives
garlic salt to taste.

Drain green olives and use chopper to blend into fine pieces. Mix with cream cheese until well blended. Add garlic salt to taste.

TaDA!!!!